tv PBS News Hour PBS May 11, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com ♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight. tensions rising -- clashes turn deadly as israel conducts airstrikes in gaza and palestinian militants fire rockets following weeks of tension in jerusalem. then, getting the vaccine -- we discuss the nationwide rollout of shots with the republican governor of a state with one of the lowest inoculation rates in the country. and beating the virus -- australia's success in stamping out covid offers lessons for other countries yearning for a return to normal life. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."
♪ announcer: major funding for the "p newshour" has been provided by -- >> cfo. caregiver. eclipse chaser. a raymond james financial advisor taylor's advice to help you live your life, life well planned. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service. we offer a variety of no contract plans and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit consumer cellular.tv. announcer: johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. >> the john s. and james l. knight foundation, fostering informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org.
announcer: and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ ju: dozens of rockets launched from gaza streaked over israel tonight, with heavy israeli airstrikes in return, as violence spiraled between israelis and palestinians. in a speech this evening, israel's prime minister benjamin
netanyahu said militants in gaza will pay a heavy price. since last night, 28 people have been killed in gaza, and in israel three people were killed today. john yang reports on the day's developments. reporter: tonight, a barrage of rockets fired from gaza into israel lit up the skies as the latest cycle of violence between israel and the palestinians escalates. some were intercepted by israel's air defense system. tel aviv residents ran for shelter as air raid sirens sounded through the city. the militant palestinian group hamas says the rockets were in response to an earlier airstrike on a gaza residential building. among the dead and another is really airstrike this morning, an 11-year-old boy. >> why did they kill him? there is no one to make them answer for it.
the whole world is watching. it doesn't matter if they kill a child or a woman, there's no one to hold them accountable for. reporter: across the gaza strip, others gathered to search for their loved ones. israeli rocket fire into gaza began last night as families broke their fast for the holy month of ramadan. israel said it was responding to earlier rockets fired toward jerusalem from the militant group hamas. >> we were just sitting outside the house waiting to break our fast. children aged eight months were killed. mohammed who was getting married in five days was killed. girls between the ages of seven to nine years old died. how is this the children's' fault? we wereust sitting outside the house waiting on call to prayer. reporter: israeli airstrikes killed more than 25 people including nine children. the israeli government says it
is targeting hamas israeli city, people huddled near their homes as air raid sirens blared, warning of palestinian rocket attacks. hamas shot more than 250 markets -- rockets toward israel in the last 24 hours. the group said it initially fired rockets to defend one of islam's holiest sites. today, israeli prime minister netanyahu vowed to continue the campaign. >> we are at the height of a campaign. since yesterday, israel defense forces executive hundreds of attacks on hamas. at the conclusion of the assessment, it was decided both the might of the attacks and frequency will be increased. hamas will be getting blows it didn't expect. reporter: this latest round of violence has been fueled by claims over jerusalem. tensions are high in the city because of the potential
eviction of six palestinian families from their jerusalem homes. last weekend, israeli forces injured more than 900 palestinians in east jerusalem and more than 200 and the west bank, according to the palestinian red crescent society. today, the united nations voiced concern over the escalating violence. >> what we are seeing is extremely worrying. certainly, when you see the treatment of some of the protesters, and even people who were not protesting, people simply praying or having their iftar, subjected to violence completely unprovoked responses by security forces. reporter: after meeting his jordanian counterpart today, u.s. secretary of state antony blinken says palestinian rocket attacks on israel should stop. > needless to say, we are focused on the situation in israel, the west bank, gaza. very deeply concerned about the
rocket attacks we are seeing now. they need to stop immediately. it is imperative all sides take steps to de-escalate and calm the situation. again, i am deeply concerned about the rocket attacks. even as all sides take steps to de-escalate, the israeli force has the right to defend its people and territory. reporter: in bethlehem overnight, protesters threw stones at israeli police as israeli soldiers fired back with tear gas. across multiple cities in the west bank and israel, palestinians rallied in support of jerusalem. this evening, the unrest shows no signs of waning with millions of civilians on both sides caught in between. for the "newshour", i'm john yang. stephanie: i'm stephanie sy at
"newshour" west. we will return to judy woodruff and the full program after these headlines. updating our top story of violence in the mideast, the death toll in gaza has climbed to 35 and overnight into wednesday, airstrikes continued. militants in gaza fired dozens of rockets toward tel aviv that set off air raid sirens and explosions. representative liz cheney delivered a combative rebuke of her republican colleagues late this evening ahead of a vote tomorrow to remove her from a leadership roast. -- post. cheney set on the house floor that she could not "sit back and watch in silence" as former president trump undermines the country's democracy. the bid to oust her comes after cheney repeatedly challenged mr. trump's falsehoods about the 2020 election. u.s. public health leaders pushed to shore up the number of covid-19 vaccinations. infectious disease expert dr. anthony fauci told a u.s. senate
hearing that maintaining the pace of vaccinations is key to relaxing restrictions. dr. fauci: i feel confident that if we continue to vaccinate people at the rate that we're doing, that we will very soon have a situation where we will have so few infections in this country, we will begin to return to normality that all of us desire so much. stephanie: meanwhile, the white house announced a deal with uber and lyft to give free rides to and from inoculation sites until july 4. undocumented immigrant college students will now have access to covid relief aid, reversing a trump era ban. today's announcement includes so-called dreamers brought to the u.s. as children. at the same time, the number of migrant children in federal custody more than doubled in the past two months. the associated press reports 21,000 children are now being held at more than 200 sites. federal and state officials moved today to head off east coast fuel shortages -- as the colonial pipeline shutdown
continues. a cyber-attack closed the line last friday, and more than 1,000 gas stationsn the southeast have now run dry. in washington, u.s. energy secretary jennifer granholm blamed panic buying. >> much as there was no cause for say hoarding toilet paper at the beginning of the pandemic, there should be no cause for hoarding gasoline, especially in light of the fact that the pipeline should be substantially operational by the end of this week. stephanie: this evening, florida governor ron desantis declared a state of emergency to deal with that states shortage. we will take a closer look at this story later in the program. awash in federal pandemic relief money, california's governor gavin newsom today proposed a $12 billion plan to alleviate homelessness. the plan includes more than $8
million over two years -- $8 billion over two years that would go to turning hotels into housing. california has 160 1000 people expensing homelessness. a federal judge in dallas has rejected the national rifle association's bid for bankruptcy protection. the ruling today blocks the gun rights group from reorganizing itself in texas. the nra is now incorporated in new york, where a state lawsuit seeks to dissolve it for financial abuses. the man accused of federal -- fatally shooting eight people, mostly of asian descent around massage businesses in atlanta, was indicted today on murder charges. robert aaron long will also face counts of hate crimes and a possible death penalty. also in georgia, three men accused of chasing down and killing ahmaud arbery last year pled not guilty to federal hate crimes charges. they are already accused o murder. in russia, a gunman attacked a school today, killing seven
students, a teacher and another employee. it happened in the city of kazan, east of moscow in the tatarstan republic. at least 21 people were wounded, most of them children. the regional governor said the 19-year-old suspect was arrested. there is word president biden will nominate former chicago mayor rahm emanuel to be ambassador to japan. the "newshour" confirmed it today. an announcement is expected later this month. and horse trainer bob baffert now says a skin ointment may have caused his kentucky derby winner to fail a drug test. medina spirit could be stripped of the victory over trace amounts of a banned steroid. today, however, he was installed as the early favorite in saturday's preakness stakes, subject to additional testing. still to come on the "newshour." judy discusses vaccinations with the republican governor of a state with one of the lowest rates in the country.
the ransomware attack on a major american fuel pipeline causes a surge in fuel prices. the senate considers a critical and contentious voting rights bill, and much more. announcer: this is the "pbs newshour," from weta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: today, president biden met with a bipartisan group of governors to discuss vaccination efforts as the administration aims to inoculate a majority of american adults by july 4. governor spencer cox, republican of utah, attended today's meeting. governor, thank you for joining us. we do see yr state of utah is near the bottom of the list when it comes to proportion of the population that has been vaccinated.
we are interested to know why that is and what are people telling you about why they don't have the vaccine? governor cox: unfortunately, that's just not good reporting. all utah onesans aren't of -- eligible for the vaccine. utah is the youngest state in the nation. people under the age of 16 can't get it yet. you should be looking at the eligible population. when it comes to eligible population, we are doing very well, close to 60% of the adult population eligible has already received the first dose of the vaccine. utah is doing very well. we've been top 10 almost the entire time through vaccination of the number of vaccines assigned to the state that have been administered. that's the one that counts because those are assigned proportionally tthe state based on adults and those that are eligible to receive the
vaccine. judy: and what are people saying in your state? you said you have had survey teams out talking to people to understand what they're thinking is. what are people saying about why they are not getting it? governor cox: just like every state, we are finding a lot of things. we tend to lump everyone into vaccine hesitancy, and that's not true. we have very different groups. we have vaccine ecstatic, the vaccine excited, the people who couldn't wait to get it. of course, we have those who just don't believe in it. but there are a whole bunch of people who are vaccine curious or busy. they have a lot going on in their lives and it tends to be the younger population. and for good reason. what we do know about this virus is that it impacts people more folder they are. for example -- the older they are. for example, the rates of those over 65 who received the first dose or are fully vaccinated are above the national average. for younger people who were not as impacted, they are more
hesitant. when it's convenient, the work hours don't align with when the vaccine clinics are open. what we are focusing on is getting vaccines out to people where they live, taking away excuses, making it abundantly available so people can walk in at any time when they are all from rourke -- work and reaching out to younger people. the announcement today that uber and lyft will give free rides to anyone to a vaccine clinic, that will help to the younger generation that has transportation issues. we are trying to make it more convenient to get the people in the middle who have been busy and not gotten around to it, but have said they are willing when it is their turn. judy: do you know what percentage of the eligible population is saying i just don't want the vaccine ever westmark a few -- ever? we know that a few days ago there was an image of a giant syringe that was set on fire.
some people. . feel strongly about it. governor cox: sure, that is across the nation, but that is a small amount. 10% to 15% who refuse to get it. but we know the president, his goal is to get to 70% by the fourth of july. we think that is reasonable. judy: i want to ask about a different subject, that is your budget, and a budget surplus. thanks to the federal government rescue plan last year, this year, utah is one of the states that has received more money than you had planned to spend. is that a good thing or not? governor cox: it's a good thing in that we managed the way through the pandemic in such a way that we do have these record surpluses. utah has the lowest unemployment rate at 2.9%. we are one of only two states that have seen positive job growth. i think that's good news. it is bad news in that i do
thinks -- think we are spending too much federal money, we have never seen this spending before and we are worried about the consequences. judy: speaking of federal money, we know congress is debating infrastructure as one of president biden's proposals. i'm sure you spoke to folks in washington about it. are you somewhere in between the administration proposing two point $3 trillion for that package, republicans are proposing a much pared down version of around $500 billion. which one are you closer to? governor cox: certainly closer to the $500 billion to $800 billion mark. infrastructure is the one thing that isn't that controversial. for many years and many in ministrations, both republicans and democrats have agreed.
i'm going back to the bush administration, obama administration and trump administration. we were hearing about this bipartisan infrastructure opportunity. the report card that came out a couple weeks ago, the good news is utah was the best state in frastructure.r these types of the bad news is our grade was a c plus. that's how bad the infrastructure has gotten over time in our country. i do think there is bipartisan agreement on water projects, bridges and roads. when you expand beyond that, that's when we lose bipartisanship. judy: i want to ask you finally about your party, the republican party. there is a vote in congress tomorrow among house republicans over ousting the conference chair, wyoming's congresswoman liz cheney, placing her with new york congresswoman elise stefanik. it has to do with congresswoman cheney criticizing president
trump and disagreeing with him, and saying that the election was won by joe biden, there was not fraud. is it the right thing for your party to be punishing its leadership for a statement such as what liz cheney has made? governor cox: there's no question we have seen fairly large divides in the republican party. it is something i'm very sad about that i hate to see. we are trying to do things different in utah. there were people upset with senator romney for similar reasons. there was a censure vote. that vote failed. we like to say there is room in the party in utah for both senator romney and senator mike lee. that's important for the future of your party. if we divide ourselves, the opportunities for future success -- and by the way, we lose
future voters and future generations of voters. we are working hard in my administration to show there's a better way and trying to bring republicans together and enlarge the tent instead of making it smaller. judy: and you are right, the censure vote against senator romney failed. there was significant booing. you even had some boos directed at you. is t message that republicans either lined up behind president trump or not? i guess my question is, is that a good message for the parties future? governor cox: i guess we will see. i have been wrong about the party's future in the past. i was wrong in 2016. i don't know. i don't think it's healthy for a party that divides itself that way. so the future remains to be written, but we hope we can grow the party at least here in utah. judy: we will leave it there. governor spencer cox of utah,
thank you very much. governor cox: it is great to be with you. thank you. judy: the biden administration says it is trying to help mitigate the impact of fuel shortages and supply issues after a cyberattack disrupted the colonial pipeline. the pipeline, which supplies to 45% of the southeast, is still shut down five days later. we're going to look at this story in two parts tonight -- the impact on gasoline and questions about who's behind it. amna nawaz begins with a look at concerns over supply, demand and prices. amna: judy, a number of gas stations in the south are running out of fuel as drivers rush out to fill up their tanks. videos of long lines and reports of shortages are popping up in states served by the colonial pipeline, and prices at the pump are rising a bit as well. officials including governor kay ivey of alabama, are urging
consumers to only buy what they need. to understand more about what's happening, we turn to tom kloza, head of energy analysis at the oil price information service. welcome back to the "newshour." let's start with the colonial pipeline to set the table. what is the significance of this one pipeline when it comes to fuel supply here in the u.s.? tom: it is the biggest fuel pipeline by far in north america, it moves probably about 45% of the population, essentially from texas all the way to new jersey and including tennessee. it is the major artery to supply gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. amna: let's get to some of these videos and reports people are seeing. shortages and outages. a number of southern states -- florida, georgia, south carolina, north carolina, and in virginia, where the governor just today declared a state of emergency to address gas supply disruptions.
what is going on here? are there actual fuel shortages or is it panic buying? tom: i would say it is mostly panic buying. i hesitate to use the words shortage. it is usually like yelling fire in a crowded theater. it is a scramble. but there's plenty of gasoline and plenty of oil in north america and the u.s. we have extra refining capacity and we will be able to import fuel. this is kind of the coalescing of social media and the fear of missing out on gasoline. they say we are going to run out and we are seeing that behavior. the crowd is not making necessarily a wise decision. amna: you say there's no real shortage, but at the same time, some states have said we've had a 5% or 6% decrease in supply. what should we understand? tom: we operate on very much a just-in-time inventory situation throughout the country. there were about 26 or 27 day
supply before colonial shut down. it is vital. it is a vital artery. but panic buying in the sense that it will not be around or my station will run out, that really catalyzed what would have been an annoyance or inconvenience into sort of a crisis in some places. amna: at the same time, a lot of folks are seeing federal leaders paying attention to this. we saw the energy secretary today, the homeland security secretary addressing this. the epa issued a fuel waiver for the state of emergency. i mentioned the virginia governor. that sometimes mentions -- makes people worry more, they think this will be a prolonged shutdown. what would you say? tom: i would say government has acted fairly responsibly so far. i think this is going to clear up if the pipeline gets going by the weekend, as they have indicated. the question is, the term, they
expect to be significantly restored by the weekend. is that by sunday? is it by friday? restoration, is it 80%, 60% or 50%? that is uncertainty. amna: what about the impact on gas prices? tom: this is not much of a gasoline pricing event. sunday night, the markets opened up about six cents higher on gasoline futures, but have moved sideways since then. when you mentioned states of emergency, it becomes difficult to raise gasoline prices when you have a state of emergency. you have to prove your wholesale price has gone up. amna: if you had a message for consumers out there seeing the videos of long lines and are worried they may not get the fuel they need, what would you say? tom: i already failed in this message. . i wanted to be the gasoline whisper and tell people to stay patient and calm. it's a little bit like telling
people to be patient when they thought there would be toilet paper shortages. people have this fear and they see the crowds and they say if everyone else is buying it, i better buy some for me. that has really snowballed in the last 48 hours or so. amna: we hope people will listen today. that is tom close -- tom kloza of the oil price information. thanks for your time. thank you. judy: this one ransomware attack showed the vulnerability of key parts of america's critical infrastructure, and how hostile actors can exploit those weaknesses. william brangham looks at what role, if any, the russian government might have played in this hack, and what else might be on the horizon. william: while this cyber attack was claimed by the russian hacking group known as dark sidethe biden administration yestery strongly hinted that the russian government , perhaps through its notorious spy agency, the gr you, -- gru,
might've also been involved. michael weiss is an investigative reporter who's writing a book about the gru. great to have you back. in regards to this attack, the biden administration strongly implied the russian government must have known about this in some way. what is your sense about that? michael: according to the experts i queried, they believe it was a criminal apparatus, but there is an asterisk when you say something like that in regards to russia. it is true that the domestic security agency of the russian government has often outsourced its hacking operations to various criminal rogue elements, not only in the russian federation itself, but other countries. they have created this permissive environment that has allowed cyber operators to proliferate. i find it hard to believe russia's counterintelligence services have not figured out
who the actors were, and if they had given them a leave to go after targets in the west, but to do so with a veil of plausible deniability, that would not surprise me in the least. the one thing i would say about attributing this to the gru, they tend not to outsource unlike their sister service. . they have their own proactive cyber operations capability, dispatching up role -- actual operatives. they did famously one in the hague 2018 to penetrate the opcw , which was compiling evidence to determine an assassination was indeed a russian assassination attempt among other things. william: according to politico, the biden administration now believes the gru was somehow involved in directed energy attacks against u.s. officials
in cuba, europe, even perhaps in washington, d.c. does that seem again likely that they were involved? michael: one of the victims of this directed energy attack is the former head of european operations at cia. he was hit with this thing in moscow. it's very unlikely they didn't know he was an american intelligence officer when he was stationed under diplomatic cover. the gru exists for one purpose only, to prepare russia for war with the west. if you are using any kind of connecticut, or electronic or microwave technology, american servicemen or american spies undercover with foreign postings, it stands to reason it would be the gru wielding these devices. william: you touched on some of these other instances where it does seem pretty clear the gru fingerprints are all over them. what has your broader sense --
you touched on this as well, what does the gru, and through it, the russian government want with all of these? what is the goal? william: fundamentally -- michael: fundamentally undermine western countries, divide interests between the european union and nato. the most high-profile headline operations in the last month have occurred in the czech republic and bulgaria. these are old operations. 17-year-old ammunitions depot blown up by gru operatives. they used the same cover identities as the ones who tried to murder square paul -- skripal. another event and bulgaria, they try to poison someone with the same agent. these guys exist to do two things. undermine western governments
through kinetic, frankly terroristic activities, blowing things up on nato soil meets the definition of state terrorism, and murder. these guys are mean. they are very, very hyperactive. here's the scary part. we only know one quarter, at most. probably less, a fraction of what they have gotten up to, based on their travel plans. by no means is this -- this is only the tip of the iceberg. william: michael weiss, editor at large of "the daily beast," always good to have you. michael: my pleasure. judy: it is a crucial moment for one of the most-closely watched bills working its way through the u.s. congress. the for the people act is democrats' voting rights and campaign reform measure. already passed by the house, today it met a critical and high-powered senate committee test.
lisa desjardins reports. lisa: usually uneventful. sen. klobuchar: call the meeting to order. lisa: today, the senate rules committee was the hub of the highest-stakes political fight, over voting itself. and whether to expand voting access in all 50 states, with more early voting, absentees and mail voting, or to restrict those ideas out of concern for fraud. democrats are pushing a bill, the for the people act, to rewrite many aspects of elections. this, as 11 states have passed new laws of varying degrees that tighten ballot scrutiny and decrease voting access some shortening timelines for early or absentee voting, some stepping up voter id requirements. a 12th state, texas is debating , a new voting law this week. democrats see oppression. sen. klobuchar: these bills that are moving in state capitals across america are not empty threats. they are real efforts to people from voting.
sen. schumer: don't tell us these laws are about voter fraud. you are more likely in america to be struck by lightning than commit voter fraud. lisa rare testimony from : democratic senate leader chuck schumer, followed by equally rare committee rebuttal by republican senate leader mitch mcconnell. sen. mcconnell: this legislation would let washington democrats dictate the terms of their own reelection races by rewriting all 50 states' election law. let's call it what it is, put aside the flower language. this is a partisan effort to take over how you do, how you conduct elections in our country. lisa: a clear picture that both parties see this as a fight over power and who determines it. house democrats passed the for the people act and sent it to the senate in march. it requires two weeks of early voting in all states. it also tackles campaign law , requiring far more donor disclosure, and opens up public
financing of campaigns. republicans particularly dislike that it allows for absentee ballot collection, which they call harvesting in all states , but that was not the only sharp topic. sen. cruz: i believe it is the intent of this bill to register to vote millions of illegal aliens for the purpose of diluting the vote of american citizens. lisa: senator ted cruz raised a claim echoed in conservative media that the bill is itself an attempt at voter fraud. democrats pushed back forcefully, but simply, by asking for evidence. >> do you have any studies you want to present for the record that document extensive mistakes being made in which people who were noncitizens were registered to vote? sen. barrossof: i'd like to again offer you the opportunity, in good faith, senator cruz to present any evidence for the record of this committee that in any of these states where this policy exists, there's any widespread registration or voting by people who should not be eligible to vote.
lisa: but there was also real, civil engagement, like over the federal election commission split evenly between the parties now. democrats say it is paralyzed. sen. klobuchar: right now we have a dysfunctional federal election commission, everyone knows that. sen. mcconnell: you're assuming that because frequently the fec differs that somehow it's dysfunctional. lisa: or even over the big topic here, the reality or not of voter fraud. sen. mcconnell: in my state, in 2014, we had three people convicted of vote buying and fraudulent use of absentee ballots. since 2010, 16 convicted of vote buying. i just want to make the point that when we are talking about fraud, it is not the fact that this is a non-existent problem. sen. klobuchar: to respond to that, we know how exceedingly rare this fraud is. i do not think that that excuse of fraud should used to make it hard for everyone else to vote. judy: and lisa joins me now. so this hearing has been going
on since this morning, going on all day. tell us where the measure stands in the committee and senate overall. lisa: our team has watched closely. i have talked to my sources in and out of the committee room. here's the situation with this very important debate happening. with this bill, democrats have two problems. one is republicans. so far, not a single republican expressing any warmth to what they see in this bill so far. the other problem is a single democrat. 49 senate democrats have signed onto this bill. the one who has not, joe manchin of west virginia, a name we talk about a lot here on this show. he has not said he's against the bill. democrats do need him to sign on in order for this to move forward. here is what's going on. usually in a committee process, committees can move bills that the majority favors democrats,
but it is a strange situation. the senate rules committee has nine members who are republican and nine who are democrats. we expect within minutes when the final vote is taken, the vote will be a tie, and therefore the bill technically won't be able to move forward. democrats will have to move around that and move it to the floor using special rules they issued during the 50-50 senate. but they need every democratic senator to get on board. we are seeing negotiations behind the scenes with joe manchin who has some concerns about what it means for states. democrats now in the senate are changing this bill to give states more flexibility. states have different needs than the states with not many rural areas. we will see the bill change a little bit. a lot of negotiations with mansion -- joe manchin and others. republicans like some aspects of this bill, but not many.
and chuck schumer, the democratic leader, has said he will have a vote on this bill this year. even if he doesn't have the votes, we will see where everyone on the senate stands on this important issue. we don't know when yet. we know he would like to do it before september. we will see. judy: no question about it, important bill. so many people watching this. it has enormous consequences. if there are changes in the senate, of course it has to go back to the house. still a lot to be determined. lisa, watching it all day long for us and into the night. thank you, lisa. australia is one of the most successful countries in the world at keeping covid in check. it combined strict lockdowns with consistent messages from scientists and politicians. while the daily average number of covid cases in the u.s. over the last week was 39,000, australia's was 13.
not thousand. just 13, despite low vaccination rates. here is nick schifrin. nick: on a recent evening in melbourne, drinks with friends provide the taste of freedom. >> sometimes you kind of forget that there's a pandemic still going on. many of us are leading normal lives pretty much right now. nick: graduate student anna bailey and people across melbourne are enjoying the normality of zero -- zero local transmission of covid-19 in the city and the surrounding state of victoria. and across the country, almost zero community transmission. everywhere they go, they check in electronically, for contact tracing, and to keep the city safe. >> the theater is back in person. so i've gone to like a couple of plays, which has been really good. pubs and galleries, all that life is starting to come back to life. and that's that's so nice to see. >> god, it felt good to be in live performance and a sort of a normal life. nick: sharon lewin is head of
the university of melbourne's doherty institute for infection and immunity -- the first lab outside of china to grow the covid-19 virus. she's also a music fan, and recently attended the adelaide festival, with more than 160,000 fans. prof. lewin: there were thousands of people on the street at night, eating, going out, completely covid safe. nick: today, covid safe means melbourne's key commuter hub flinders street station, is buzzing, and full of passengers. australia kept covid in check, thanks to consistent messaging, across australia's federal and state governments, and across political parties. lewin has met with prime minister morrison from the liberal party, and helped advise victoria state's top officials from the labor party. prof. lewin: i actually really credit political leadership, our premier, which is equivalent to your governors, came out in front of a press conference every single day for one hundred -- 111 days straight and just continued to reinforce the same message. nick: victoria state premier daniel andrews last june --
>> we have always followed the advice of our public health experts. nick: and this february. >> all of our experts advise us this is what must be done, and that it will be effective. nick: the consistent messaging backed up by science, strengthened public support for the government's health measures. in march 2020, australia closed its international borders. much of the country was under some form of lockdown for about two months. when melbourne reopened in june, it became the epicenter of australia's second wave. in response, the state imposed one of the world's strictest and longest lockdowns 111 days. , for most of that time, people were only allowed out of the house between 5:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. for caregiving, essential work, exercise for one hour, and one person per household could shop for food or medical supplies. mask-wearing was mandatory. violators faced heavy fines. >> the police could ask you for paperwork for like where you were living. it was so restricted and heavily controlled, and at times it was really scary, like you'd be out for a walk, and even though you are doing nothing wrong, if you
see a policeman, you kind of have, like, this fear that jumps into you. >> the government held fast. it was this sort of relentless fronting up and leadership confidence in the science and essentially not budging. >> during lockdown, the city was just a standstill. there were tumbleweeds. on flinders street station, it was quiet. nick: duy huynh's is the ceo of the melbourne vietnamese street food franchise, ba'get. >> from transactions a day, we 1000 went to 20 transactions a day. it really pushed us to the brink of, what are our financial reserves? can we afford to keep this going? nick: ba'get is a family business. and the sandwiches he helps make are family recipes. his parents are vietnamese refugees, who arrived in australia when he was five years old in 1980. >> it comes from that sort of , that time when my grandma was
trying to live a subsistence life. and so from that, we wanted to take back those recipes and that food in that form to a broader audience. and and that's our impetus for creating ba'get. nick: to try and save local businesses, the federal government created the jobkeeper program to subsidize employees' salaries. ba'get held on for a while, but eventually had to close three of four locations. this is the only one left. but huynh says the economic heartache was worth it. >> despite the fact that it's been quite difficult, i really do support lockdowns and i support the science whatever , short term financial consequences there are, because that's sort of a better outcome to me than to say, hey, it's acceptable that a whole bunch of people die. nick: the government's response has its critics. it banned even australian citizens from returning home from india. that's been labeled extreme. government-run hotel quarantine facilities came under fire after several staff got sick, and caused outbreaks. and some groups were left out
from federal assistance. bailey didn't receive the federal help accessible to australian citizens, because she's a british-canadian student. at the start of the pandemic, she lost her hotel catering job. she received weekly food aid from a non-profit set up to help temporary visa holders like her. >> anyone who was kind of like on a study visa or working holiday visa, they became vulnerable, but they weren't vulnerable at the beginning of this. it's the groups, like, people seeking asylum and refugees that already had absolutely nothing, they were left with less than nothing. nick: some indigenous australians say they were left out of the initial government response. >> we really didn't know what th governments or what we needed to do in the community. nick: teela reid is an indigenous lawyer based in sydney. when covid-19 arrived, she helped her family in the small rural town gilgandra take matters into their own hands. >> i created a facebook page the
, gilgandra lockdown page, and it meant inviting my family and friends and the local community in to deliver key messages like don't go near your auntie or don't go near your grandparents or don't go near your uncle. it was about delivering a consistent message that meant keep our elders safe. nick: her facebook page and other indigenous-led community health initiatives helped protect australia's 790,000 indigenous people. no indigenous person, has died from covid-19. >> our communities needed to respond really rapidly because of the risk of essentially wiping out our people. messaging traveled with authority when it came from our own communities. nick: over time, australia has continued its aggressive approach. state governments are willing to shut their own borders and impose new restrictionsat even the smallest of outbreaks. like the one caused by a bachelorette party recently in the beach town byron bay. >> one person had been infected at the next table to where they had had their dinner.
one community transmission in byron -- blues fest canceled, lots of the restaurants closed, mandatory mask wearing. which we saw everywhere. nick: one person does not seem all that threatening, sitting here in the united states, where we still have tens of thousands of people getting infected every day. >> in a country that has effectively eliminated covid, to stop it spreading, you have to act early and aggressively. it's a combination -- strong political leadership, science informing policy, closing our borders, community engagement and empowerment, reay. and here we are. nick: most australians are still awaiting a vaccine. but even without one, anna bailey and her friends can celebrate her new job -- and raise a glass to freedom. for the “pbs newshour,” i'm nick schifrin.
♪ judy: finally tonight, a pianist who found a way to bring her music to the world -- and music education to her remote island home. jeffrey brown tells the story of her unusual journey and her new album as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, canvas. reporter: called rapa nui in the polynesian language easter , island sits in the middle of the south pacific ocean, more than 200 miles off the coast of chile. it's home to aut 7000 redents and some of the world's most stunning scenery, including about 1,000 giant statues known as moai. it's also home to 38 year-old mahani teave.
teave recorded this version of chopin's scherzo number one in b minor for her debut album, rapa nui odyssey. and in march, the album climbed to the top of billboard's classical charts -- a remarkable development for a woman who grew up on one of the most remote spots on the globe. >> as a child, i never felt isolated. in fact, in the beginning, i thought this was the whole planet. reporter: but, she told me from near her home on rapa nui, there was a big problem. >> it was difficult, like, to have dreams of some kind and want to pursue some artistic talent, for example, and not have the possibilities. like people would come for a year and teach something, ballet or theater or something else. and en they would leave. reporter: pianos were almost non-existent on the island. teave's introduction came from a visiting teacher. she fell in love with the sound and her talent was soon recognized.
but then another barrier. to really advance she'd have to leave her island home. a chilean music conservatory came first. then top flight training in cleveland, followed by berlin. by her 20's, teave had earned a spot on the international concert stage and was on the cusp of a promising career. >> i never imagined myself performing every other day in a different place, that was never my goal. my goal always was when i was with these amazing teachers, was to find beauty, the maximum beauty i could find in these pieces. ♪ reporter: but nearly 10 years ago, she walked away and returned home to create
something she never had growing up. a music school on easter island. did you feel almost a responsibility like you're the , only one who could do this? everybody who's here loves being here and everybody who's far away dreams of someday coming back and will someday come back. i think it's just like an umbilical cord that connects all of us to this very, very powerful land. i felt nobody else would understand maybe or would be able to do this because i had been the one that had had the chance to study the music. i had the chance to go abroad and be with amazing teachers and listen to incredible musicians. i felt in a way then it's just what i had to do. reporter: we first met teave in 2018 at the school she helped create, called the toki school of music. we were on the island as part of our reporting on the rise of plastic pollution around the globe. ♪ reporter: the school represents another of her concerns, for the
environment. it was partially constructed out of thousands of cans and bottles and other waste left behind from some more than 100,000 tourists who normally visit the island every year. there's also been an influx of garbage steadily washing ashore in recent years. >> all the currents in the pacific come to this vortex in which we are in the middle. so we receive the garbage from china, from new zealand, from chile, from the united states, from everywhere. so at least here, we feel if we can contribute to offering solutions to the different problems that we're facing as a civilization, then maybe we can inspire other places as well. ♪ reporter: more than a 100 students train at the school -- receiving lessons in both classical and aditional rapa nui music. >> here on the island, we have a
very, very strong identity. and that's what's beautiful of the island. and in our school, we want to preserve that as well, that our children learn as much as they can of our culture. reporter: i'll never forget visiting your school and even just how hard it was for you -- you wanted to play for us, but how hard it was for you to find an instrument you felt was good enough for our cameras, right? >> [laughter] oh, jeff, you have no idea the difficulties we've faced. but somehow our goal was the music has to continue and we found a way to make it continue. reporter: includes during the pandemic, which has hurt rapa nui's economy through the loss of tourism. by chance, though, this became the moment teave re-introduced herself to the outside world. on a visit to the island three years ago, seattle-based arts patron david fulton heard teave play and convinced her to come to the u.s. to record.
now the album is out. in addition, a new documentary on amazon tells the story of her life and home. it's called "song of rapa nui." >> here on the island, there's an artistic blood in everybody. i mean, everybody somew sings and dances and carves and or plays an instrument. and there's nothing more natural and more true to the human being than art and music. reporter: all of it adding new wonder and beauty to one of the world's most remarkable places. for the “pbs newshour,” i'm jeffrey brown. judy: such beautiful music and
such a beautiful place. and that's the “newshour” for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the “pbs newshour,” thank you, please stay safe and see you soon. announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. financial services firm raymond james. bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security at carnegie.org. the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate
equitable economic opportunity. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ announcer: this is pbs "newshour" west, from weta studios washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪ >> you're watching pbs. >> youis your family ready [captiofor an emergency?
batteries and first aid kit are a good start to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com batteries and first aid kit are a good start >> pati narrates: los mochis. here in the north western part of sinaloa, just inland from the sea of cortez, los mochis is looking for a little attention. while tourists flock to the beaches of mazatlan to the south, and business runs through the capital of culiacan, los mochis at first glance has just one thing to offer. it's the first stop on a "chepe", a scenic train route through northern mexico's magnificent copper canyon. but spend a little time in los mochis, and you will discover its second gift to sinaloa, street food. tacos, tacos, tacos! chunky, crispy, fried, adobada, greasy, steamed - you crave it, they've got it! pati: when you do something right,