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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  July 13, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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♪ judy: good evening. i am judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the site to vote. texas democrats leave the state to block republicans from passing a restrictive new voting law. then, western wildfires. authorities strugg to contain blazes burning across 10 states as the region grapples with ongoing drought and heat waves. and, raising the future. we examine the causes of the high cost for parents and the low wages for workers in this country's increasingly unequal childcare system. >> we know if you can't access childcare, the impact that has on your ability to work.
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you may not work at all, you may have to reduce your earnings. judy: that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ ♪ >> major funding for the pbs pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> cfo, caregiver, eclipse cher, caregiver. a raymondjames financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life well planned. >> for 25 years, consumer sellers goal has been to provide service that helps people communicate and connect. to learn more, visit consumercellular.tv. >> johnson & johnson. bnsf railway.
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>> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at kf.org. >> 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. : i am vanessa varese in for stephanie sy at newshour west.
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we will return to judy woodruff after the latest headlines. the battle for ballot access dominates the headlines tonight. president biden condemned republicans in charge of state governments that are imposing restrictions. it was that sort of bill that prompted democratic lawmakers to walk out of the texas legislature on monday. after traveling to washington, they pushed today for voting protections. we will explore all of this after the news summary. the white house is also watching inflation including today's report that consumer prices spiked in june the gain from may was nearly a full percentage point. year to year, prices rose nearly 5.5%, the most in 13 years. the federal reserve and the white house say they expect the surge to be temporary. and there is fresh evidence that covid-19 infections in the u.s. rising again. new numbers show 24,000 cases
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reported nationally on monday , double the daily total of three weeks ago. the peak back in january was a quarter million cases a day a . if fire swept through a covid hospital ward in iraq overnight. the state news agency says 92 people were killed, with more than 100 injured. nick schifrin reports. nick: today all that is left of the hospital built to keep people alive is a site of mass death. dozens of families lost loved ones and the caskets became a solemn procession. iraqi officials say the fire likely started when faulty wiring sparked in an oxygen tank ploded. firefighters tried to put out the blaze using self rose the -- using self and flashlights because there was no electricity, but it was too late. the bodies lined up row after row. the grief, unspeakable. >> the tragedy that occurred
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tonight is a tragedy for which there are no words. nick: but the tears are tainted with fury. >> the whole state has collapsed, and who has paid the price, these people have paid the price. nick: for years, iraq's health care system has suffered corruption and mismanagement. it medics at the hospital lacked basic measures like a sprinkler system and a fire extinguisher, and the construction was shoddy, with flammable materials. in april, another 82 people died in hospital after an oxygen tank exploded. >> we have become scared to go to hospitals. why? because of their corruption and tyranny. nick: and the covid search is straining the system. only 2.5% of the population is vaccinated. the government launched an investigation and arrested local officials, but it is too little solace for these people who say the tragedy was preventable. . for the "pbs newshour", i am
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nick schifrin. vanessa: the justice department today annound kidnapping chargeagainst four iranians in a plot to kidnap a journalist and alledly transport her to iran. all four are alleged to be iranian intelligence agents. the journalist was critical of the iranian regime. the indictment says iran was planning other kidnapping activities in other countries. the search for bodies in a condo collapsed in florida is winding down with the confirmed death toll now at 95. 14 people are still listed as missing. the number includes 10 bodies that have been recovered, but not yet identified. in south africa, authorities say 72 people have died in rioting by supporters of the former president. police and troops patrolled around sites that had been looted. the unrest swept for sections of two provinces, with hundreds
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arrested. it started after jacob zuma was jailed last week. he had refused to testify about corruption during his time as president. the u.n. refug agency warned that afghanistan is facing a humanitarian crisis as u.s. forces leave and taliban fighters gain ground. at the same time, the afghan government estimated more than 5600 families have fled homes in northern afghanistan in recent days. the refugees say they had no choice. >> the government withdrew from districts without any planning and strategy and left areas under the control of the taliban. when all this happened, we had to leave our villages because the taliban could easily kill anyone they wanted. vanessa: and the biden intensified warnings to businesses about forced labor in china's xinjiang region. the u.s. and others have charged that muslim uihgyurs in xinjiang
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are sent to labor camps and subject to abuses. this comes as they say investments in the region could violate u.s. law. heat across the western u.s. has slightly but wildfires raged on today, more than 60 burning across 10 states, fueled by hot, dry conditions. we will focus on the largest one burning in southwestern oregon later in the program. president biden is nominating the former health commissioner of west virginia to be the nation's top official in the fight against illegal drugs. the white house says dr. group gupta would be the first physician to serve as drugs czar. the white house also nominated senator jeff flake to serve as
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ambassador to turkey. u.s. foreign policy can and should be bipartisan, he said. and the enemies made some history today. mj rodriguez of the fx series " pose" became the first transgender woman nominated for elite acting role. "the crown" on netflix and "the mandalorian" on disney plus tied with 24 nominations apiece. winners will be announced in september. still to come, on the front of region wildfires. a new book uncovers turmoil and chaos in the trump white house. we explored the u.s.'s increasingly unequal child care system. plus, a new exhibit displays one artist's interrogation of the confederate flag. ♪
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>> this is the pbs newshour from weta studios in washington, and from the west at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: texas lawmakers fighting against a restrictive voting bill took their case to washington today, as president biden made his push for strengthening voting rights laws nationwide. yamiche alcindor talks to leaders on both sides of the issue. but first, lisa desjardins has some background. lisa: for texas democrats, a very public getaway. >> we are not going to buckle to the big lie in the state of texas. lisa: more than 50 democratic state lawmakers are now in washington, d.c. after fleeing austin to take a stand on voting laws. their exit left republicans in the texas house governing without the minimum quorum of people present, unable to take a vote on new election laws, they
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say, increase security, but which democrats insist amounts to suppression. in the current texas proposal, bans on 24 hour and drive through voting, new i.d. requirements for mail-in ballots, and more access to partisan poll watchers the recounting. governor greg abbott pushback. >> anyone who suggests this deprives anybody the right to vote is flat out wrong. lisa: republicans in the partially empty chamber say democrats are playing politics. >> if the quorum is not present, and those of us who have stated to do the jobs we are elected to do take up the bills on the floor? are we able to are in washington, d.c.? lisa: the gop has the votes to get the bill to abbots' desk, but democrats have blocked it so far, like walking out in the middle of the regular session to deny them a quoru that led to the current special session.
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democrats admit this is not a long-term solution. >> we can't hold this tide back forever. we are buying sometime. we need congress and federal leaders to use the time wisely. lisa: they say that for the people act could block some of the ideas in the texas bill. >> texas democrats will use everything in our power to fight back, but we need congress to act now. lisa: but democrats in congress do not have a clear path for that yet, leaving the president's voice as one of the most direct tools for their party. and today, he used it. pres. biden: we are using them -- we are facing the most significant test for our democracy since the civil war. i am saying this because you should be alarmed. i am also saying this as good news, it doesn't have to be this way. it doesn't have to be, for real. we have the means. we just need the will.
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lisa: speaking in philadelphia, president biden gave a sweeping speech, saying the right to vote is a patriotic cause. he charged that the current republican proposals are latent voter suppression. >> 20th-century jim crow assault is real, it is unrelenting, and we will challenge it. lisa: in texas, abbott says he has had enough of democrats' tactics. >> as soon as they come back to texas, they will be arrested, kept in the capitol until they get their job done. lisa: democrats have promised to stay away at least until the end of the session, which wraps on august 7, but at that point, republicans can just call another one. for the pbs newshour, lisa desjardins. yamiche: for a republican perspective on voting legislation in washington and texas, i am joined by congressman van taylor. . he just returned to washington from his district near dallas. he also previously served in the texas legislature.
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thanks for being here. it has been a wild 24 hours. the governor of your state is calling for democratic lawmakers to be arrested. lawmakers are, of course, in d.c. what do you make of the last 24 hours, and do you think it is approprie for the governor to be calling for the lawmakers to be arrested? >> the democratic lawmakers should do their job. they are hired and asked by the state of texas to show up and work on legislation in austin and that is what they should be doing. unfortunately, you are seeing the rank partisanship and brokenness of the washington, d.c. the texas legislature, and that is really unfortunate. we went to see legislation that makes our elections secure, that makes it easy to vote, and what we don't want to see is the kind of washington-style federal takeover oelections that gets read of photo i.d. laws, that uses taxpayer money to pay for attack ads. these are the things americans don't want.
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what texans expect is that legislators show up to work and do their job. 10 millions texans showed up to the office today, but unfortunately a few members of the texas house decided they didn't want to do there's. yamiche: you are part of the problem solvers caucus in washington, d.c., democrats and republicans negotiating, saying that they will work on issues together. do democrats in texas have a point when they say that republicans in texas do not want to hear their input, they just want to ram through these voting laws without hearing at all from democrats? >> surely, that is not my experience. in my time in the legislature, democrats were given a seat at the table, given an opportunity to give their input on whether it was the budget. the budget this session in texas, 97% of the republicans and democrats voted for it. th were given a seat at the
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table. democrats decided yesterday they are walking away from their seat at the table. they have an opportunity for input and they decided not to take advantage of that. they want to put sand in the gears and try to stop the process entirely. yamiche: president biden and other democrats have said that these voting laws we are seeing past by republicans all over the country, that they are a form of jim crow laws, of course, these racist laws in american history. what do you make of the fact that they e saying these laws specifically target black people, people of color some of whom died for access to the ballot box? >> the hypocrisy is rich. you take the united states president from delaware, he is trying to lecture texas about expanding its early voting opportunities. it is hard to fathom where he is coming from. at the end of thday, texas, and in my home county, we have done a lot to pioneer and get more people to the ballot box.
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we actually have one of the highest voter participation rates in any county in the state of texas. voting is a good thing. but you want to have people that have confidence in their voting system. this rank hypocrisy of someone lecturing you and saying, hey, we don't have early voting, but you do, you are the one trying to suppress the vote, it is just absurd. yamiche: you say you wanted to expand access to voting. a record number of people cast their ballots in the last election. you have said that president biden legitimately won the election. state and federal officials said this last election was the most secure in american history. so why are these laws needed if we had a secure election, if we had a president that was legitimately elected? >> it comes out of the basic western of how much voter fraud is too much. yamiche: but there is no massive voter fraud. >> well, unfortunately, in my experience and in the texas legislature d in congress, i have run into voter fraud.
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it is a very upsetting thing when you find it, you realize someone's boat was taken from them, and you also realize you were elected that should not have been elected and that is not right. you want to make sure you have a system that is airtight. i have worked on those bills in the texas legislature, and most of those i passed were largely bipartisan because mostly people agree on how you want to make your election more secure. but sometimes these washington, d.c. ideas in fact into austin, and that is why you are seeing this bipartisanship and brinksmanship of leaving the state, not doing your own job, and then the hypocrisy of trying to lecture other people and how they should do their jobs. yamiche: again, i want to just reiterate that state and federal officials have said the last election was the most secure in american history, but i take your point. thank you for joining us, congressman taylor. we get a different butte now from derek johnson, president and see of the naacp.
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last week he met with president biden to discuss voting rights with other civil rights leaders. president johnson, thank you for joining us. president den just delivered one of the most passionate speeches of his presidency. he called for a new coalition to push back on these voting laws. my question is what do you want to see in addition to these powerful words, are you seeing enough action behind these words . >> the words were powerful and they show his level commitment verbally, but we are waiting to see the outcome of those commitments. one part of the speech i thought was profound was when he quoted john lewis and said "freedom is action." in this moment, democracy is under attack, and we need to push back with actionable policy tonsure all our citizens are afforded access to voting. yamiche: you talk about wanting to see the outcome here. you have the gop who has been quick and efficient, they have introduced hundreds of gop-backed voting laws around the country.
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. what do you make of this efficiency, as you see voting legislation stalled in congress, and as you see the supreme court upholding some of those gop-backed laws? >> for democrats, i command them to try hold fast -- i commend them for trying to hold onto traditions. but republicans are seizing power. democracy is under attack. democrats must stand up and be very clear that this type of attack will be met with equal force, so that our constitution can be real. for the naacp, this is a partisan issue. we have been in the same place since the 1960's, in fact, we have been in the exact same place for over 100 years. at the end of the day it is not about partisanship, it is about the constitution and our rights to vote. yamiche: what is your biggest concern, what are you not seeing and how nervous are you when you see republicans move with
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this efficiency? >> the sense of urgency is in the senate. they must determine whether they will allow a filibuster to prevent them from protecting the right to vote, whether they will be quarantined to one method of getting this done as opposed to pushing through what is necessary. this administration had a major accomplishment, it happened througa bunch of reconciliation. that is the only thing the senate has been willing to move on. if that is the route we need to take, then that is what we need to do. if we do not do this for the census data is released, we are going to see a troubling outcome for every jurisdiction, from waterboards to city councils, because redistricting starts right behind that. this will be the first redistricting we will see without the full protection of the voting's rights act, either section five or section two, if we do not address this it
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immediately. yamiche: you and president biden have compared these laws to jim crow. you have the doj suing georgia over its voting bloc. my question, if congress does not act, where does that leave you? some civil rights leaders say it can't just be litigation alone. >> it is clear, it will not be litigation, it cannot anwill not. the supreme court spoke loud two weeks ago when they gutted section two. first they gutted section five of the voting rights act. now they gutted section two. the house have done their part. now we are stalled in this pattern as we are with other policy issues, because we have a republican leader who has made it his mission not to allow this administration to be successful. the question is for the administration, will they allow mitch mcconnell to bully them and prevent democracy from really standing up and protecting the rights of voters, particularly african-americans, but all voters, because this is
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an issue for all citizens, not just one immunity. yamiche: you brought up the filibuster. president biden has not backed any changes to the filibuster, rather than saying that maybe we should bring back the talking filibuster. -- what do you make on where the president stands? do you want what rep. zeldin: jim clyburn is saying, saying that there needs to be able change for civil rights laws and voting rights laws? >> i want at outcome where citizens are protected. how we get there is nuanced. i don't want to be distracted with whether or not we do away with the filibuster, i am looking for protection for the right to vote. we are under a state of emergency. i understand with clarity that if this is not done before the release of the census data, it will be a huge, huge problem for many citizens across the country. and we cannot afford to hold yourself out as being a leading
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democracy while allowing democracy to be subverted at the hands of this administration, this senate, or this congress. yamiche: do you see a way for voting legislation to pass if there is no change in the filibuster? >> absolutely. you could do it through reconciliation. you could make an exception to the filibuster. there are many other ways that i am sure creative minds, once they get to the table, they can come up with. this is not about what cannot happen. we should be talking about what is possible. it has been the role of the naacp, being the role of this nation to make what is impossible possible. if we get distracted about a procedural rule and forget the substance that matters, we will be talking about the procedural rule. i want to talk about the substance, getting to the solution to protect the rights of all voters. yamiche: do you want to see the president change his stance on the filibuster? >> for multiple reasons, yes, absolutely. it is a segregationist procedural rule that was effected by the former senator
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of mississippi. that should not be the case. it was done to impede progress. but right now i am more concerned with protecting the rights of voters. if it takes the filibuster to be removed to make that happen, great. . i am concerned around the substance of public policy, not the procedural rule. yamiche: thank you so much, mr. johnson, president of the naacp. >> thank you. ♪ ♪ judy: the extreme heat and ongoing drought in the west are combining to make for a very difficult fire season. wild are burning earlierhan usual in some places. it has also led to evacuations as firefighters tried to contain ever-larger fires in sweltering heat, with temperatures hitting the triple digits in some cases. william brangham, who is just
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back from reporting out west, has our update. william: the federal agency that tracks wildfires reports that more than 65 major fires in western states that have burned close to a million acres so far, more than half are located in arizona, idaho and montana. in northern california, large blazes burning in the sierra nevada hills and forests and near the nevada border. thousands have been evacuated. the largest fire in the country is in southern oregon. it is known as the bootleg fire. it has already burned more than 150,000 acres, in area twice the size of portland. there are twother smaller but still significant fires in the state as well. we look at the state of the situation there with rich tyler . good to have you on the newshour, especially t
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amidst what you're dealing with right now. the bootleg fire window has been doubling in size. sounds like an awful thank you are having to deal with. what are the conditions like? rich: currently at the bootleg fire they are reporting over 200 burned and a 0% containment. william: 0%? rich: yes. william: what does it mean for firefighters are trying to get their hands around this? rich: it means we are looking at all possible tactics and strategies to not only give a little bit of direction to the fire, but primarily protect lives and homes, and infrastructure. there is a major power line that runs through the middle of that fire that is headed south to california. william: do you have a sense of the kind of structures and homes and communities that might be in the line? rich: yes. let's see, we have approximately
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1926 homes that are threatened, with 21 that have already been destroyed. we have 54 other structures, outbuildings, that have already been destroyed, and those are the ones we know of. we will continue to assess and look at, but that is a slower process because priority is saving lives, protecting homes and values. william: i can't imagine what it is like dealing with something, one, of that size, but also, the conditions. it is incredibly hot out there? rich: yes. typically fires have a fire front, it goes in a direction which allows us to anchor from the start of the fire area, work along the flanks and work our way to the front of the fire. the unique characteristic that the bootleg fire has, if you look at it on the infrared map, there is no one fire front.
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in fact, at times, there are three, or a horseshoe-shaped fire front. william: it is relatively early in the summer. for you guys to be fighting something as big as ferocious as this can july, what is that? is that this ongoing drought, the heat? what is that? rich: all of it. i was talking to our administrator and we have not deployed a task force under the state fire marshal's office, under a conflagration act, prior to july 15 ever. william: ever. rich: ever. so now we are at july 13 and we have had five conflagrations already in the state of oregon. william: is there any sense from the forecast, do you have any potential relief in sight from mother nature helping you out? rich: right now all of the weather systems, or the weather experts are telling us we are going to get more of the same. stability for us when it comes
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to the weather is good news. it is when the weather changes, the wind direction changes, that temperatures spike and humidity drops. and it changes drastically, in a small window, that it becomes more dangerous. william: we know that human-caused ignition is a major driver of these kinds of fires. is it your sense that people have gotten a better sense of controlling their own behavior with cigarettes and sparks and campfires, things like that, and then a better job of defending their homes and properties in case fire comes, has that improved? rich: absolutely. in 2020 70% of oregon's wildfires were human-caused. 70%. that means we have an opportunity to really push the education while people are aware of, while our citizens are aware of the devastation that wildfires can have. people want to get out of their homes, out of their isolation.
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they are headed back out to the wilderness and to the parks, to where the forests are. but when you take people that may never have been the forest, or haven't been in the forest a long time, they are having to relearn or learn for the first time, how do you be smart? how do you be responsib for your actions to reduce the chance of ignition of wildfires. william: rich tyler with the oregon state fire marshal's office, thank you very much for being here and we wish you the best of luck out there. rich: thank you so much, wiiam. ♪ judy: it has been nearly six months since donald trump left washington after losing the presidential race to joe biden. and four months, the former present has falsely claimed the election was rigged against
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him. but his defeat and his chaotic traversal final year in office is the focus of a new book, " frankly we did win this election, the inside story of how trump loyalist," by michael bender of the wall street journal. the book is out today and he joins us now. welcome to the "newshour." it was a famous quote the president gave as he was talking on television after it was becoming clear he had lost but he goes before the american people to say "i won." it was the beginning of this process of denial, wasn't it? michael: that's right. it was an unscripted line uttered after 2:00 in the morning. he didn't even want to come down to address the nation and the guests at the white house where he was running a victory party. he decided on stage to blurt out that he had won the election, obviously quite falsely, and
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that set off a chain of reactions for the next six months into 2021. judy: the book is just a remarkable collection of stories. you follow the administration, you followed the campaign, spent a number of interviews with him in person, you talked to, what, over 150 people working for him, and you paint this picture of this chaotic, disorganized campaign that never really could settle on a message or strategy, and surrounded by people who basically didn't stand up to this president. michael: this book focuses on 2020, but it is informed over five years of covering him and the people around him. i use a lot of the stories to give context to what happed in 2020. you mentioned the chaos of the trump administration. it was beyond chaos. and the people closest to him thought he was, at different points of the year, a danger to the country and tried various ways to stop him or to keep him
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in line and try to act as guardrails, some without very much success. judy: and as we said, many were afraid to stand up to him. as you point out, some were. you have that really fascinating episode in here where he is with general mark milley, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, this is after the death of george floyd. there are protests all around the country. the president is saying to him and others "we need to crack their heads," talking about the protesters, "shoot them if necessary." and general milley says no. michael: that's right, this is in june of 2020. if you recall, trump opened up the year020 prime for re-election. yes, he had just en impeached but he survived it and he was thriving. his poll numbers whether highest they had ever been. the issue he wanted to run on was the economy and the economy
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was red-hot. suddenly, covid struck, george floyd was killed, and it triggered massive civil rights protests. the economy tanked and he struggled to find a message. he tried -- lashed out at people around him, tried to get back to his law and order message at any cost. it fell to the top general in the world's most powerful military, he was the only one who could sit in front of trump and tell him no. there is one very resonant scene in the book, he points to the portrait of abraham lincoln behind trump and tells him, " that man, sir, had an insurrection. what we have is a protest." judy: this is when they were discussing whether to invoke the insurrection act. u mentioned covid. all of this " place during the pandemic. it turns out, from your reporting, the president tested positive for covid before it was made public and and went on to
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do a fundraiser in bminster, new jersey, where he has a home. why was that allowed to happen? michael: there was very few people around him at that point in a position to tell him no. anyone who was pushing back on the president -- this is year four in the administration -- was long gone. so on that morning when some of his -- one of his senior aides tests positive, it is kind of chaos in the white house. and trump, this is a new reporting in this book, he had several false positive tests throughout the year. several people tell me that trump-era tested positive that morning and assumed it was false and had another test, showed negative, then he left for bedminster. that account is disputed.
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but even the fact that we have competing accounts of whether or not the president tested positive for covid the morning one of his top aides was sick, i mean, it is a story in itself and it tells you a lot about the struggle to address the biggest health crisis in the country in a century. judy: there is a fair amount, a lot of time spent in the book, michael bender, on the sort of the unraveling at the end after the election results are known. people around the president, as we sai are just not able to say directly to him, "you lost," in a way that he would even hear. and then you see the rise of rudy giuliani. what was going on at that moment? michael: people who were around him, in a position to act as guardrails, they never quite
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told him no directly. they always left a little wiggle room that this president heard and latched onto. so those first couple of weeks after the election, vice president mike pence and ronna mcdaniel, the republican national committee woman, left the oval office saying, you know what, the president just needs a little bit of space, give him time and he will get to this himself, he will find his own path out of this. but they gave him space, and what that did was create an opening for rudy giuliani and some of these characters to come in and tell the president exactly what he wanted to hear. judy: we donald trump now teasing about whether he will run for president again in 2024. how does that keep him at the center of what is going on in the republican party, and do you think he will run again? michael: that is where it comes back to his -- you are right,
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judy -- is he wants to be the center of attention about what people are talkingbout, the subject of the headlines. one of the things i try to do in the book is show how trump's priority from day one was to w reelection. very few people around him shared that priority. they all had their different reasons for wanting to be around trump, mostly their own personal reasons. but trump has to wait to see what happens in 2022, because right now the republican party has a choice -- are they or are they not going to try redefine themselves post-trump? how they answer that question will inform what trump decides in 2024. i think what this does is provide new information and a new set of data points that shows that republicans, when they make this decision, are doing it with their eyes wide
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open. they know who this president is and after reading this book, what kind of political campaigner he is. judy: "frankly we did win this election: the inside story of how trump lost." michael bender, thank you very much. michael: thanks for having me. ♪ judy: now to the second report in our weeklong series on childcare in the u.s. tonight special correspondent cat wise and producer kate mcmahon report from mississippi, where many working parents have struggled to find affordable, quality childcare long before the pandemic. among those most impacted our single mothers, who have a difficult time accessing government support. our series is called "raising the future, america's childcare
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dilemma." >> mississippi is one of the poorest states in the country, has the highest rate of child poverty, and like pretty much everywhere, childcare is expensive. >> a lot of times i would create jobs or stay at home because it was easier that way. >> at the williams is a 42-year-old single mother of five. >> gone like the wind! >> she grew upn jackson, mississippi and worked for years in low-paying jobs. like many parents who cannot afford childcare she had to come up with patchwork solutions, which included having her older kids watch their younger siblings. >> i wanted to be able to work, i wanted a career, i wanted a place where my kids could grow and be kids and not have to worry about thresponsibility of taking care of the younger kids and having such a burden on them at a young age. her story is not unique. mississippi has the nation's highest rate of women as primary breadwinners for families, most
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in low-paying jobs living below the poverty line with little to nothing left for childcare. according to one study, a typical family in mississippi with an infant and a four-year-old has to spend about an percent of their income on childcare. but -- has to spend about 20% of their income on childcare. but there are subsidies in the form of vouchers. neither program is universal. >> what are these tools for? >> carol burnett is the director of the nonprofit "mississippi low income childcare initiative." >> we do aot of work trying to help parents navigate the minefield of applying for a childcare voucher. and it is not just the funding, it is the application process that is incredibly burdensome, the multiple obstacles that stand in the way. >> nationally, only one in seven children who are eligible for childcare subsidies under federal rules, actually receive them. >> it is a critical part of our
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infrastructure. >> childcare as a safety net program is just not working, according to uc berkeley's professor austin, director of the center for the study of childcare employment. >> there is not enough of those childcare subsidies today to make sure everybody who needs it gets access to it. it just has a domino effect. we know if you cannot access childcare, the impact that has on your ability to work, you may not work at all, you may have to reduce your earnings. >> ethel williams is one of those who had challenges with government childcare assistance. she says the copayments required of parents in mississippi were manageable when she was making minimum wage, but when she began earning three dollars more an hour, her subsidies decreased and at that point, childcare was too expensive. >> i had to think, what do i do? because i would be working to pay childcare, so i made a conscious decision to go back to
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working at mcdonald's because that is how the system was set up. >> we are constantly looking at our processes, how can we make them better? >> that's all good is in charge of the childcare program at the mississippi department of health and human services. >> we have not had a waiting list in four years, but i don't think we are serving all the children that need to be served. there are parents out there that don't know the assistance exists, and that is one of the things we are looking at, how do we market this program better? >> he says tracking childcare needs is critical, but they may herby -- there may be as much as 70,000 children in the state living at or below the poverty level, eligible for assistance. currently only 24,000 children are in the program. more families may soon get childcare help thanks to pandemic relief funds. mississippi received $520 million from the american rescue plan for childcare.
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$319 million will go to providers. the state is finalizing how to spend the rest. but allgood says if the funding is not permanent, providers may be hurt in the long run. >> the vouchers that we offer, we want to be very intentional at we do so in a way that our current childcare providers are going to be able to meet the need without putting additional strain on them. you don't want to build up all this capacity and not be able to sustain it. >> carol burnett sees things differently. she wants more funding to get too low income parents as soon as possible. >> there needed to be more vouchers and the vouchers needed to be easier to get and keep, that is the story of childcare in mississippi. >> she says the issues in her state are similar to questions asked all around the country. >> we are very conflicted about whether we really want moms to be able to get that childcare and not stay home with their children like they are supposed to. it is rooted in gender bias.
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it is also rooted in racism because a lot of the assistance for poor families, especially in my state here in mississippi, recipients of these vouchers are largely black families, and the inequities that they face thwart their efforts at every turn. >> those inequities were a driving force behind a program burnett created in biloxi a decade ago "women in construction," which combines job training with free access to childcare. the program has helped transform the lives of ethel williams and about 800 other single, low income mothers. after completing the program, williams became the lead instructor. she now earns $20 an hour less benefits, teaching construction-related skills. following the devastation of hurricane katrina, the program has started to meet a large need for skilled construction workers. hourly wages typically start around $15, nearly double the
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state's minimum wage. >> combining job training with childcare, is that a powerful combination? >> it is the magic road for economic security, because job training is super helpful. but if a mom does not have childcare, she cannot do it. childcare is super helul, but if it's only to allow her to go to a $7.25 and our job, that is not what she needs. >> 26-year-old diana recently enrolled in the program. she is a single mom with a nine month old son, who says she has a hard time putting food on the table working as a hairstylist. >> i could see the future. >> how does the future look? >> i am loving the future. i am stepping out now so i can get into a new field and be a provider for my son and not have to depend on nobody else to take care of him. >> ethel williams is leaving the
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future she saw, and she started taking her family on out-of-state vacations something she says she never had the money to do before. >> i feel like i have all the tools through the program to get anything, to accomplish anything. >> she is now passing along those tools and some inspiration to the mothers coming along hide her -- coming along behind her. for the "pbs newshour" i am t wise in mississippi. judy: and join us tomorrowight as our series travels to nebraska where a lack of affordable childcare highlights how rural parts of the country face a dilemma similar in many ways for in major cities. , too and you can watch last nights story and all our coverage in this series on our website, pbs.org/newshour. ♪
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as statues of generals robert e. lee and stonewall jackson were taken down in charlottesville, virginia this weekend, communities around the country continue to grapple with reminders of confederate culture. in an exhibit in lincoln, massachusetts, a sculpture park and museum features the look and winning behind the confederate flag. special correspondent jared bowen explores the exhibit of the 2020 winner of the museum's prestigious prize, as part of our "race matters" and "arts and culture" series. reporter: feeling much of the gallery space is a confederate flag of truce, or as the title of the exhition explains "we should know." >> i want everyone to know what this flag is so we can conceive of what truth really means.
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reporter: history has largely forgotten this simple white flag, actually a towel, used by confederate troops signal interest during general robert e. lee's surrender in 1865. the original is housed at the smithsonian museum of american history. that is where this artist and armrest, sonja clark, discovered it during a visit in 2010. >> i have to tell you, i was, like, how come i have never seen this thing before? that question is why there is the show that you are seeing right now. reporter: hunting this show is a flag that is not seen here, the confederate data flag, that survived to become a ubiquitous emblem in this country. it adorns all manner of merchandise, from baby onesies to ninipple pasties.
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>> my thought was, what would this nation be like? but instead we have the confederate flag in our consciousness. reporter: when clark and h team assembled the show in philadelphia two years ago, they set out red paint to pop in the exhibition's otherwise neutral palette. >> the confederate fla has three minimal stripes on it. i said, that is the color we will use. reporter: the sample they eventually selected -- >> was confederate red. that color lived between two other paint colors. one was called raspberry truffle, and the other was called sherry wine. in between these two confections is a color that is about insurrection, about enemies of the ste, about people who wanted to keep black and brown people enslaved. reporter: clark has interrogated
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the legacy of the confederate battle flag both intellectually and physically. in her pce "reversals," she used a dishcloth featuring the confederate flag to remove dust covering a section of the declaration of independence preamble. in "unraveling" she collaborated with audience members to literally deconsuct the flag, thread by thread. a metaphor for the glacial pace of deconstructing racism. >> when people see the confederate flag being re-created, sonya's work offers a tool to process what does that image mean for us? reporter: sam adams saw both the installation and the companion show. in "constellation" clark delivers us into a night sky, honoring the guidance that provided enslaved people escaping to freedom on the underground railroad. >> we are thinking about people whose stories are incredible.
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they are full of bravery and inspiring and deeply important to the foundation of the country, but they are not recorded. reporter: however, their history may live in the artists' hair. here, clark offers a white sky, dotted by black stars made with her hair. >> in the here is this genetic code -- in the hair is this genetic code of other people who have come before you. so it is both singular like the hair that i grew, but it is also absolutely collective. reporter: clark is mindful of the we have out her work. she wants museum patrons to become pollinators, taking her ideas with them as they leave, but not before particiting. >> just give it a nice push. reporter: visitors are invited to make truce flags on looms in the gallery. >> then he will send it through again, take it out, let your foot off the lever, bring the meter down, hold tight, back up, and then the next pedal.
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it is important that we all participate in this collective work of healing of racial and social justice. reporter: how does leaving do that? >> we do that oa symbolic level by every single person that participates will contribute to a collective truce flags. reporter: with some of work, precise maneuvering, the visitor leaves their own self into the show, imperfections and all. are you mindful that people will believe their interaction with your work o leave it museum exhibition different? >> maybe they leave with a question, which actually is more powerful, i think than an answer. because a question is an invitation to keep thinking. that is actually how the artwork grows and leaves beyond me. reporter: for the pbs newshour, i am jared bowen in lincoln, massachusetts. judy: such an important piece of history so glad we are able to share that. thank you.
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on the news are online, right now an ugly moment for the beautiful game. a look at the racist backlash against members of the english soccer team, and how it spotlights a troubled history in the sport. . you can find that on our instagram account. and that is "the newshour" for tonight. i am judy woodruff. join us again tomorrow evening. all of us, thank you. please stay safe and we will see you soon. >> 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.
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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. ♪ >> this is "pbs newshour west" from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪
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>> pati narrates: behold the beloved sinaloan tomato, one of sinaloa's biggest exports. every day thousands of pounds of tomatoes just like these are sent down the conveyor belt into packaging to be shipped off all over mexico and the u.s. but look closer. this belt is rigged with highly sensitive lasers trained to search for only the ripest, most perfect tomatoes. only those will make it to your table. think of the technology that went into this! and not just tomatoes. i don't ink i knew that blueberries grew in sinaloa. all produce here in sinaloa is big business. sinaloa is known as mexico's breadbasket. here in northern mexico conditions are just about as perfect as it gets for farming throughout the year.

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