Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 14, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, energy crunch-- a limited supply of global energy sources has led to rising prices wodwide, gasoline in the u.s. at a seven- year high, with winter fuel costs expected to climb. then, troubled water-- residents of another predominately black city in michigan are ordered to use bottled water amid health risks from high levels of lead contamination. and, iraq's uncertain future-- threats and disaffection among voters following the killing of protest leaders prompt a poor election turnout. >> on an evening like this there would be hundreds even thousands of demonstrators, but after
3:01 pm
months of violent crackdown and targeted assassinations, the movement has lost momentum. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: that's fidelity wealth management.
3:02 pm
>> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs sttion from viewers like you. thank you.
3:03 pm
>> woodruff: americans who've had moderna's covid-19 vaccine are a big step closer to getting boosters. an f.d.a. advisory panel recommended the extra shots today for senior citizens and those with health issues or at- risk jobs. the same guidelines already apply to pfizer's booster shots. the recommendation now goes to the f.d.a. and the c.d.c. meanwhile, president biden urged more businesses to mandate covid vaccinations for employees. at the white house, he said mandates are driving up the nation's vaccination rates. and, he argued again, it's not about politics: >> vaccination requirements should not be another issue that divides us, that's why we continue to battle the misinformation that's out there. >> woodruff: the biden administration plans to implement a vaccination mandate for larger companies, but some republican governors are
3:04 pm
opposing the move. there's yet more data that shows u.s. inflation is running hot. the labor department reports wholesale prices spiked 8.6% in september from a year earlier. that's the most since 2010, when the government began calculating year-to-year increases. in beirut, lebanon, least six people were killed and dozens wounded today, in the worst muslim/christian fighting in years. gun battles broke out as shiite militants of hezbollah protested against a judge investigating last year's beirut port explosion. many were shot by snipers on rooftops. >> ( translated ): there were protests and then suddenly gunfire began. shooting, r.p.g.s and everything. why is it our fault? isn't this a shame? they brought us back to the days of the civil war. >> woodruff: that civil war, from 1975 to 1990, pitted shiites against christians.
3:05 pm
police in norwayay a bow-and- arrow rampagthat killed five people appears to be a terrorist attack. they've arrested a 37-year-old danish man, but the motive is unclear. flags flew at half-staff today in a small town near oslo where the attack took place last night. people left candles and stuffed animals as a memorial. at least 46 people died in taiwan today when fire engulfed a residential and commercial building. flames broke out in the early morning hours. the 13-story building was home to many elderly, poor and disabled residents. the cause of the fire is under investigation. back in this country, it now appears an oil spill off southern california this month was far smaller than first feared. the coast guard's new estimate today is that 25,000 gallons of crude was involved. the initial estimate was five
3:06 pm
times that amount. more than 1000 john deere workers went on strike today over pay and overtimrules. the walkout at 14 plants is the first major work stoppage at the farm machinery giant in more than 30 years. it comes after workers overwhelmingly voted against a tentative agreement. and, on wall street, stocks rallied, with major indexes rising 1.5% or more. the dow jones industrial average gained 534 points to close at 34,912. the nasdaq added 251 points. the s&p 500 was up 74. still to come on the newshour: another majority black city in michigan faces health risks from lead-contaminated water. thousands of hollywood production staff threaten a work stoppage. missouri becomes the latest state to expand access to medicaid. plus much more.
3:07 pm
>> woodruff: the head of the international energy agency warned of a global energy crunch that could slow the recovery from the pandemic. the head of the international energy agency warned of a global energy krurn that could slow the e the root causes: demand and high prices. nick schifrin has more. >> schifrin: we're in the midst of an energy crunch perhaps unlike we've ever seen. in the u.s., the price of natural gas has more than doubled. in europe, it's increased more than four-fold. the price of crude oil has gone from an all time low of, minus $37.63 in april last year to over $80 a barrel today, the highest it's been since 2014.
3:08 pm
and the pain is universal, from the consumer in france to the factory owner in china, which for its own reasons, launched unprecedented power cuts. >> ( translated ): if you go to the poorer areas where there is suffering, no one puts on the heating because everyone knows they won't be able to pay for it. >> ( translated ): the power curbs lasted for four days. to be honest, we can afford it, but if it goes on longer the costs are too much and we won't survive. >> schifrin: today in moscow, the energy ministers responsible for more than one third of the world's energy spoke on one panel at russia's annual "energy week" conference. it was moderated by special correspondent ryan chilcote, who joins me now. ryan, good to see you. so why has want market gone crazy? >> thanks. well, the reason the market has gone crazy is really off-the-chart demand, particularly in asia, particularly when it comes to natural gas. the lockdown is over. industry is running, and they need that natural gas like there's no tomorrow. so when they can get their hands
3:09 pm
on it, they do. and when they can't get their hands on it, they'll buy other forms of energy, like coal, for example, which is also risen by some three-fold, and oil, which is another reason why oil is up. >> schifrin: but it's not just demand, right, ryan? there are other reasons for these price spikes? >> absolutely. weather is one. so we had a very cold winter last year, and people are anticipating another cold winter, so you get hording. lack of investment-- during the lockdowns there was a lot of uncertainty about the future, so people didn't put money into oil and gas. plus, you know, with responsible investment, e.s.g., putting money into oil and gas is just not particularly popular, so money didn't flow for that reason, either. then,sh, you have the issue of renewables not always being reliable. bob dudley, you may remember, is the c.e.o. of b.p. he runs the oil and gas climate initiative. they represent 12 of the biggest energy companies out there.
3:10 pm
they produce oil and gas other but they also work with renewables, and they said, quite frankly, this last year, when it comes to renewable energy has been a little bit of a letdown. >> these are not to blame on anyone. these circumstances came up very quickly. the wind didn't blow like it was supposed to or people thought in europe. this year,he u.k., which is a clue why we need resilient fuels and backup and natural gas as well. i think you're seeing, because of these high prices, actually switches to coal now around the the world. not good for the environment. >> so everything is just kind of out of whack right now in energy markets. >> schifrin: the u.s. has called on opec-plus, including saudi arabia and russia, to increase production as a way to reduce prices. what's been the response to those u.s. requests? >> the response has been, "we think we're doing enough right now." within opec-plus, which is a large group, that as you pointed out, crucially includes russia,
3:11 pm
but also saudi arabia, really the first amongst equals in opec-plus. they think that they're, you know, providing enough oil to the market. the most powerful man in the oil industry in the world is arguably saudi arabia's energy minister. and i asked him about just that. >> we want to do it in a gradual, phased-in aprosm. and we believe we will have a challenging year on '22 if we don't attend to this situation. >> reporter: why not make, for example, the biden ministration's day and give them more oil? >> but it's not about making anybody's day. it's about finding a solution, a remedy to the root cause of the issues. >> off camera, though, a lot of opec countries and their ministers tell me they do think that opec-plus should be providing more oil to the market. they're concerned that prices are this high. they worry about things like demand destruction-- in other
3:12 pm
words, when prices get really high, people stop buying fuel. and that has economic consequences. it weighs on economic growth. and so that's not good for them. they're also concerned that, you know, just a couple of weeks away from cop26, it's just not a good look to have oil as expensive and other forms of energy as expensive as it is because they're arguing, going into co cop26, that oil and gase going to be necessary trnsition fuels as the world goes to greener energies. >> schifrin: as you say, cop26, the world's largest and most important climate conference coming up in glasgow in a few weeks. what did the oil ministers say specifically about what today's energy crunch says about the future transition to green? >> they say that this energy crunch that we're seeingight now is really a lesson that as we go forward in this transition, you're still going to need oil and gas.
3:13 pm
have a listen: >> ryan, if you think about it, the data is amazing. most people don't realize that, including many of the representatives of cop. 1999, 81% of the world's energy was oil, gas, and coal. 2019, 81% of the world's oil, gas, and coal produced the energy. by 2050 we'll have more people on the planet. we will need more forms of energy and have to take the motion out of it. >> some of the biggest energy watchers out there, ihs markets, say the same. they say even if governments around the world are really strict on the use of hydrocarbons, oil and gas, there's still going to be a need for about 55 million barrels' worth of oil and gas a day. the world right now consumes about 100 million. so in 2050, what, nearly 30 years from now, we're still going to need, according to a lot of the industry watchers out there about half as much oil and
3:14 pm
gas as we use today. >> schifrin: i think activist would hear dudley talk about emotion and say that this is now the time to start transition to green. wouldn't you expect, ryan, for oil ministers to say that of course we need oil indefinitely? >> absolutely. they have their industry needs in mind as they're talking about this. but they also think that there's a certain naivete out there, and that people just really don't understand what is going to be required by what is an extraordinary energy transformation that we're going to be involved in over the next 30 years. >> schifrin: ryan chilcote reporting from moscow, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: residents in benton harbor, michigan, a predominantly black city, have
3:15 pm
been advised to only use bottled water, for things like cooking and bathing, due to lead contamination. the warning comes just a few years after flint's water crisis was discovered. and john yang reports, benton harbor has detected elevated levels of lead in it's water supply for years. >> yang: judy, today, michigan gov. gretchen whitmer signed an executive directive pledging all available state resources to address this issue as quickly as possible. the lieutenant governor, garlin gilchrist, made the announcement in benton harbor. >> every person deserves access to clean and safe drinking water, and every community deserves lead-free pipes. so we are committed to doing everything that we can to ensure that every parent in benton harbor can give their child a glass of water with confidence. >> yang: gilchrist said the
3:16 pm
state would replace all the city's lead pipes within 18 months, and until that's done, the state will deliver 20 truckloads of bottled water every week, according to state health data, high levels of lead were first detected in the city's drinking water in 2018, and every year since the level of lead has only gone up. the rev. edward pinckney is head of the benton harbor community water council, a local environmental justice group. reverend pinckney, thanks so much for joining us. you have been calling for this emergency directive for a while now and for a while now, you have been on your own organizing water delivery, organizing filters delivered to homes. how satisfied are you with what the state with the lieutenant governor said today? >> well, you know, i'm happy to hear that they have started to move forward. i'm happy to make sure that that they're going to do what they say they're going to do. but one of the things they to
3:17 pm
me, they feel a little short of one. one of the most important thing is the language the governor need to say that the water is unsafe to drink, unsafe to brush your teeth, unsafe to cook with unsafe to bathe with, with unsafe to provide baby formula. she used the word abundantly caution. that is not the language we need. i appreciate what she's saying. don't get me wrong, i appreciate the bottled water. everything, but the language is important. we have to let the people know that it's unsafe to use this water. >> yang: what do you hear from from people in the community when you move around? what are they anxious? are they worried or are they concerned? what are you hearing? >> well, they're concerned about not the mayor not mentioning that the water was contaminated with lead, but three years they concealed this information. they should have told the people
3:18 pm
that the water was contaminated, but they failed to do so. and at have led the community not to trust not only the mayor, but also the governor. she said she's going to do this thing, but we want to see some action, some real action. >> yang: this is not a new issue >> is the state spending enough on the problem? >> absolutely. we need at least $35, $40 million to complete this mission. i think that she should consider-- if she's going to finish in 18 months, she needs to find more money to complete this mission.- the transformation of the pipes need to be done now, and she needs to figure out how she's going to pay for it. and don't and don't allow the citizens of benton harbor to have to pay for it. that's the way it should be done. >> yang: any 10 months is a very ambitious target, this is they're still trying to finish up the work in flint, yes? >> yes, absolutely.
3:19 pm
and all but remember in newark, new jersey, they completed 20,000 pipelines, you know, and they did that in 18 months. so we only got 6,000. and i think that if they've been aggressive, they can complete it and maybe 12 to 18 months. >> yang: this is not a new issue in michigan. flint has had this issue both flint and benton harbor, the populations are majority black. both. you have a high proportion of people living in poverty. do you think that's a coincidenc >> no. what you just said is a fact. and let me say this. if there was a white person with a baby talking about land in the water, they would call the pentagon. they would call fema. they would call everybody out in the army every day to make sure they get rid of all of the lead in the water.
3:20 pm
but being a black community, they have different thoughts about that. we call, why would it take three years for the governor to even answer using? >> yang: and given the fact that this has been going on on the other side of the state, you're benton harbor is on the western edge of the state on lake michigan. given that this has been going on in flint on the eastern side of the state for a number of yes, do you think that the state officials should have been a little me as a little more aggressive about this reactive, a little faster? >> absolutely. it is no excuse for this. you know, we applaud her for what she's doing now. but she said it is just three years ago. you know, we don't know w many children thihas affected, where is is a ow killer, what it does, it destroys the body, kidney disease, liver disease, brain disease, heart failure, all these things let it contribute to that. so we don't know how much damage has been done already.
3:21 pm
we might even lose a whole generation because of this layer and what it does to the brain. so i'm very, very concerned. >> yang: the reverend edward pinckney of the benton harbor community water council. thank you very much, sir. >> and thank you. >> woodruff: tens of thousands of workers ranging from costume designers to electricians and video editors are preparing for a possible strike monday that could stop the production of movies and tv shows nationwide. their union, the international alliance of theatricaltage employee is trying to negotiate better working conditions and a larger cuof profits from streaming productions. joy press covers television for vanity faiand she has been
3:22 pm
following the story. joy press, welcome to the newshour. thank you for being here. so, tell us a little bit more about who these employees are. what kind of work do they do? >> well, the people who are involved in this action are basically the-- the backbone of hollywood, the invisible workers behind the scenes. so editors, set decorators, grips, you know, cinematographers-- just all of the sort of, you know, working people behind the cameras. >> woodruff: and what are they asking for? i know these negotiations have been under way for a while? >> yeah, there are two contracts that sort of ran out months ago, and they are asking for some things that i think a lot of americans would understand. they're looking for more rest breaks. they're look for meal breaks. some of them work 12-18 hours a
3:23 pm
day, you know, seven days a week. they're looking for better fees for the lowest paid workers. and they're also, as you said, looking for a better deal in terms of streaming platforms. >> woodruff: and you were telling us, joy, that a lot of this has come about or been, i should say, exacerbated by what they experienced during the pandemic. >> yeah. i mean, i think that before the pandemic, these workers have traditionally been really tough, right. they have a really can-do attitude. nothing's too hard for us. and i think the pandemic, as a couple of workers said to me, was really the first time that th'd had a break in know-- in their working lives. and they started to think a little bit about some of the stuff they put themselves through. and then when they went back to work in this new world of, you know, working 15 hours in, you
3:24 pm
know, n95, and not being able to have lunch at all, because you can't take your mask off on set, that kind of thing. so i think a real sense of grievance started to circulate and they started kind of discussing, you know, that this really needed to change. >> woodruff: and you were also telling us that this has to do with how the nature of television, video watching is changing, that streaming has a much-- is playing a much bigger role than it used to. >> yeah, i mean, streaming is very different. i think for working people behind the scenes, the work patterns are shorter, you know. network television, you would have many, many episodes streaming. you often have a very short burst of work. so you're a gig worker going from job to job. often they are trying to shoot things faster, particularly now, because during the pandemic, we all ran out of tv.
3:25 pm
and so, you know, all the production shut down. and so all these studios and streaming platforms are trying to shoot things very, very quickly. so all of that has just exacerbated things and also in terms of the way they're paid. they are not getting residuals from syndication and things like that. >> woodruff: the older contract can not reflect this new f phenomenon. at this point, are the big-production studios, the big media conglomerates, are they inclined to make this-- to give them what they want? >> well, you know, they're in associations. i think this has been under discussion for a while. the negotiations have heated up since a huge majority of the union, i.a.t.s.e., the workers' union voted that they are willing to go on strike. they now set the deadline for
3:26 pm
this coming monday. so certainly no one wants a strike. the producers, the studios don't want a strike, and the workers don't want a strike. so, you know, i imagine that they are pedaling as fast as they can to find something that they can live with. >> woodruff: and if they do end up going on strike, what does it mean for consumers? >> it's a huge disruption. i mean, no one that i talked to, you know, could soft pedal it. this is 60,000 workers from this union, and they are behind the vast majority of tv shows and movies. they'll shut down. and, you know, other unions are very much in sympathy with them, hollywood's other unions. and they all have contract negotiations coming up, you know. the actors union, sag, the directors guild, the writers guild. so, you know, i think it would be-- we'd be missing some of our favorite shows foquite a
3:27 pm
while. >> woodruff: potentially big impact. joy press-- for sure. joy press with "vanity fair." thank you so much. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: missouri is officially the 38th state to expand medicaid to low-income residents as part of the affordable care act. it's been over a year since voters approved it, and after many delays, the first few thousand people have been enrolled this month. in a minute, lisa desjardins will talk about the rollout, but we begin by hearing from a few people now eligible for medicaid about the long wait and urgent need for coverage. >> my name is nina canaleo, and i live in kansas city, missouri, and i work nights as a janitor.
3:28 pm
>> my name is autumn stultz. i live in springfield, missouri. i work through cox health at home to do staat home care for my mother, who is disabled. >> my name is terrance wise, and i'm a mcdonald's worker from kansas city, missouri. >> my name is amanda reynolds. i live in st. uis, missouri. >> i just received the health care coverage through medicaid expansion. in fact, it came in on friday. i kind of did a little happy dance. >> right now, i currently have no health care coverage or benefits. i've recently applied for medicaid and i'm waiting on a response on my eligibility. >> they said, i made too much money. i made $18,000 a year. i'm not sure how that's too much money because i can't even rent my own apartment. now i do qualify. >> once it hit the ballot and people put through it should have automatically been implemented. we should not have to fight our government to get what should have been given to us all along as a safety net.
3:29 pm
>> i'm a long time cancer patient. i've had cancer off and on since five years old, so i've had six different forms of cancer. and as of last week, i just had surgery number 29, and when you don't have insurance and you've lived a life of cancer, even if you haven't lived the life of cancer, you're thinking, have i waited too long? is it something that i'm not getting seeing through my going to be able to catch it in time? >> i'm 42 years old now, and the last time i visited a doctor, i was 18 years old. so it's been over two decades and it's almost unimaginable to think that any human would go 365 days out of a year without being sick or having some health care problems. >> i have multiple sclerosis, which deteriorates, well, your t-cells attack, attack your spinal cord and your brain, and it leaves me numb. there's a lot of people who can't walk and you have to have mris every year. it's not cheap.
3:30 pm
>> now i am a medicaid client, and the first thing the doctor says to me is that opens a whole new world for you in getting care. so it was like a major relief. >> i actually lost somebody very dear to me back in february. she's my sister. and if she had the medical coverage all along, when she first started getting sick, she wouldn't have passed on this year. and it took forever for her to be on medicaid. the cancer and the bacterial infection that took her. it was absolutely horrific. and individuals like that is the reason why i fought so hard. >> desjardins: those are just some of the 275,000 people now eligible for medicaid in missouri.
3:31 pm
under the new rules, anyone making up to 138% of the poverty level, about $30,000 for a family of three, can qualify. previously that was just $4600. and individuals could largely not qualify at all, only people in families or pregnant women. to tell us more, i'm joined by jason rosenbaum, politics correspondent for st. louis public radio. jason, we just heard from those four people. i know you've spoken with some of them as well. even with this expansion, this is still an income level befoul full-time, minimum wage work. how do yousee, and what are you hearing about who this expansion helps and how? >> primarily, this is going to help what is colloquially known as the working poor in missouri. and you're right-- these are people that mae sometimes below, like, $15 an hour, well below $15 an hour. but people that previously made too much money to qualify for
3:32 pm
this healthcare program. missouri had one of the lowest eligibility rates in the entire country. there are some situations where a single mother or single father of one kid, if they made more than $4,000 a year, they couldn't qualify, even though their child could. so this is going to be a real lifeline for people like the folks you talked to, some of whom i've also talked to who have had really serious health problems and are now going to be incentivized to go to the doctor and get them at least dealt with before they have to go to the emergency room. room. >> it really strikes me that even some trump voters back this. why is it republicans have been fighting so hard to try to block this? >> this has been a philosophical hill to die on for missouri republicans since at least 2005. that's the year that then-governor matt blunt and the legislature made deep cuts to
3:33 pm
eligibility. and even after missouriians elected a democratic governor in jay nixon in 200aipt, he was unsuccessful at raising eligibility, even after the affordable care act passed, and the federal government was going to pay for all, or the vast majority of medicaid expansion. but what really tipped the balance in 2020 was that hospitals in missouri just were fed up with the situation. and while medicaid expansion is not going to completely get rid of the problem of uncomp sainted care, hospitals had been struggling to treat people that don't have healthcare coverage, especially in rural missouri. so they primarily funded the 2020 ballot initiative. and the pro side ran a very robust, a very well-funded campaign that had slick television ads up against an opposition of mainly republicans that didn't have basically anything. >> i know those supporting this expansion have also gotten help from the $1 billion, almost, from the american rescue plan
3:34 pm
that's now going to be coming into the state. but i'm curious, so far, it looks like just a few thousand folks have signed up for this expanded medicaid. do we know why so few? >> i think it's probably because a lot of people would qualify for medicaid don't have easy access to computers like we do. if you're making $10,000 a year, you may not be able to access the information that you even know that medicaid expansion is here. so it's really going to fall on social service organizations that primarily deal with medicaid patients to reach out to some of these hard-to-reach communities, especially in rural missouri, which doesn't have good internet access at all; where you could find potentially thousands of people that could benefit from medicaid expansion, and get the word out that this is available to them. we still-- this is still a republican state with a republican governorship and a republican legislature. the chances that the state is
3:35 pm
going to widely promote the fact that medicaid expansion is here is, frankly, not very high. >> healthcare is such an important topic. jason rosenbaum, st. louis public radio, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. >> woodruff: iraq's recent elections were in large part driven by a protest movement that erupted two years ago, denouncing government corruption and lack of services. prime minister mustafa al khadimi is vying for a second term while trying to balance relations with the u.s., which still has 2500 troops in iraq, and iran, which supports powerful militia in iraq. but many iraqis are disappointed that kadhimi hasn't delivered on promises to rein in armed groups linked to iran, or to prosecute the killers of protesters who rose up against the government
3:36 pm
in 2019. special correspondent simona foltyn investigated the case of one prominent protester assassinated in may and what it tells us about iraq's deadly politics. >> reporter: as dusk falls over karbala, home to some of the holiest sites of shia islam, a handful of people gather at a monument set up to commemorate slain anti-gernment protesters and activists. marwan al wazni's brother ehab was killed in may. >> ( translated ): that flag belonged to the martyr ehab al wazni and that flag over there as well. these are collectibles of some of the other martyrs from karbala. >> reporter: pictures of wazni are plastered across the square, a testament to his prominent role in the protest movement and a painful reminder that his killers are still at large. wazni, in the center, was the headf karbala's protest coordination committee and one of 35 prominent activists and
3:37 pm
protest leaders murdered across southern iraq in targeted assassinations. he was threatened many times >> ( translated ): we are threatened every day. letters are being sent to us from entities and people, threatening us to not remain in these squares. but we will stay by our blood and we will not let go. we will not sell iraq. >> reporter: the so-called october revolution began in 2019. across iraq's south, thousands of young iraqis demanded the toppling of the system installed by the united states following its 2003 invasion and the removal of an inept and corrupt ruling class that has failed to deliver basic services. they rallied against iranian- backed political and armed groups who filled the power vacuum following saddam hussein's downfall, and who now control many state institutions. the protesters' vocal opposition to iran hit a particularly sensitive nerve in karbala, one
3:38 pm
ofhe most important centers of the shiite faith, which draws millions of iranian pilgrims each year. security forces and armed groups responded with deadly force, killing more than 600 across iraq. when mustafa al kadhimi came to power in may 2020, he promised justice. >> ( translated ): the government vows to protect freedom of expression, to protect peaceful protesters and their protest spaces and to pursue all those involved in spilling iraqi blood. >> reporter: but more than a year on, there has been no justice for any of the activist killings, which have been widely blamed on iranian-backed armed groups. the lack of accountability instilled an atmosphere of fear ahead of sunday's election. this used to be the main protest square in karbala, and on an evening like this there would be hundreds even thousands of demonstrators, but after months of violent crackdown and targeted assassinations, the movement has lost momentum. many of the killings have been
3:39 pm
caught on grainy surveillance footage, including wazni's. this video shows him pulling into the narrow alley leading to his family home. a motorcycle crying two men pulled up behind him. wazni's brother marwan explains what happened. >> ( translated ): one person disembarked from the motorcycle and executed the operation from here, using a pistol with a >> reporter: wazni's relatives and friends believe there's sufficient evidence to bring those responsible for his murder to account. >> ( translated ): we provided the judiciary with all the information and evidence we have, but unrtunately the judges are afraid because of political pressure. >> reporter: in may, shortly after wazni was killed, the government arrested qassem musleh, a commander of a powerful iranian-backed armed group. in response, militiamen laid siege to government offices and the judiciary released him days later, claiming there was insufficient evidence to link him to wazni's murder. the case has now been placed on
3:40 pm
hold. the environment of impunity has forced many activists into hiding. we head north to iraqi kurdistan where many protesters from southern iraq have sought refuge. kamal jabbar is a veteran activist who used to fight saddam hussein's government in the kurdish mountains. decades on, he helps the young protest movement in its own struggle against the current system. >> ( translated ): we are going to a farm in the mountains where we keep some of the protesters and activists because they cannot live in their home town anymore due to threat from militias or the corrupt people within the government. >> reporter: jabbar takes us to meet a close friend of wazni. ridha hajwal is also from karbala and has stayed in this safe house for five months.
3:41 pm
he has been threatened by the same men accused in wazni's killing. >> ( translated ): even when ehab was alive, i used to receive a lot of threats. we couldn't tell which threat was serious. but after ehab was killed, the targeting became real. >> reporter: that's because hajwal possesses evidence against qassem musleh, the previously detained militia commander, and his brother ali. he secretly recorded a conversation documenting some of their threats to kill wazni. but again, the judiciary didn't act. hajwal sees this as proof that the armed groups backing the two brothers are more powerful than the state. >> ( translated ): this is the iraqi state. in fact, it is not even a state, because the basis of a state is that there are independent institutions. we don't have independent security or judicial institutions. >> reporter: the newshour has found that there are several arrest warrants that have not been executed in wazni's case.
3:42 pm
that includes a warrant for qassem musleh's brother ali musleh. we tried to reach both musleh brothers, but they declined repeated requests for comment. the judiciary declined an on camera interview, but the investigative judge in charge of wazni's case told the newshour that an audio recording of a threat isn't considered strong evidence. we also asked the government why it has not arrested the remaining suspects. saad maan is a spokesman for the ministry of interior. >> ( translated ): well, if there are arrest warrants, they will be executed and implemented. >> reporter: it has been three months since these arrest warrants were issued. >> ( translated ): not all what we hear is really true and in addition, the investigation is >> reporter: officials say that prime minister kadhimi, who is hoping to secure a second term, may act more decisively against powerful entities after the elections. but as the investigations draw out, the hope that justice will be served is growing thin.
3:43 pm
instead, family and friends hold on to the legacy of their loved ones. >> ( translated ): ehab was hurting a lot, but he very much believed in the protests, and he believed that this regime would be removed at one point. >> reporter: wazni had refused to run in the election because he thought that existing power structures were too entrenched to permit meaningful change, the same reason why many iraqis called to boycott the vote. only 80 out of the 3200 candidates who ran in the election represented the protest movement. turnout hit a record low at 41%, allowing established political parties to secure a comfortable victory. for the pbs newshour, i'm simona foltyn in iraq.
3:44 pm
>> woodruff: smoke and dust are blanketing central california. air pollution is a chronic problem in the san joaquin valley but it is now reaching levels unlike any previously seen. with no measurable rainfall in weeks, and little chance of rain in the forecast, there is no end in sight. i am joined now by pbs newshour community reporter cresencio rodriguez-delgado in fresno. cresencio, thank you so much for talking with us about this. tell us what it was like in the san joaquin valley this week when this dust storm happened. >> well, judy, this was on monday, and we knew that there was a possibility of high winds on monday because the national weather service had put out an advisory saying that there was going to be high winds, and they raised the fire threat to critical in the entire central valley. so what we saw on monday was winds of up to 40 miles per hour in some parts. trees were toppled.
3:45 pm
electricity was cut off in many communities. and there was grass fires that were started in some places that firefighters quickly extinguished. but the situation also led to visibility of up to one mile in some places, and the local national weather service said some places even had zero visibility because of the heavy dust that was blown because of a storm system that was dry and that came from the pacific northwest. >> woodruff: so how did this affect the lives of people who live there? >> well, this-- the air quality has been a challenge for quite some time now, because the-- there have been some wildfires that have also been sending smoke into the valley. so we had had a few days of clean air, blue skies. but dust storm created dust from as far north as sacramentoo down to bakersfield and it was visible from space satellite.
3:46 pm
this was a very concerning situation for a lot of people because there is the possibility illnesses that come from the dust that is spread across-- one being valley fever. and doctors and air officials here issued an alert and told residents, "stay indoors. if you have to go out, wear a mask." but that was the same situation that residents had faced previously before a storm system cleared the previous smoke. >> woodruff: and we know this all is taking place at a time when there's worry already existing about climate change and what that's going to mean for the area. how does this fit in to that picture? >> so what observers tell me here is that they are noticing that these wildfire such as the windy fire burning in the sequoia national forest, are arriving earlier and the fires are sending much more than smoke to the region. and doctors and residents say
3:47 pm
they've never seen these level of smoke and pollution arrive in their community. there is an overlap that advocates say they're seeing with particle pollution arriving much earlier in the hot summer months at a time when the ozone pollution is typically forming. and so this overlap of pollution is concerning to people. and advocates point to climate change as a factor, also considering that this drought that california is in is allowing these fires to continue to spark in many parts of the state. >> woodruff: it sounds like people are dealing with a lot. cresencio rodriguez-delgado, thank you very much for your reporting. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: and you can read cresencio's full report on our website,
3:48 pm
>> woodruff: and now, a woman who has made a career of turning toxic and industrial sites into usable, community spaces, has won the first prize of its kind in landscape architecture. jeffrey brown has more for our arts and culture series, canvas. >> brown: orange, polluted streams, bare trees and riverbanks-- an abandoned coal mine in vintondale, pennsylvania. an ugly wasteland, right? landscape architect julie bargmann saw more. >> it's not just a lump, you know, of toxic stuff. it's a story. so i find that's where i go. i want to tell the past in order to project something for the future. >> brown: and so, over three years beginning 1995, bargmann and her team set about to regenerate the site, creating a safe and welcoming wetlands and park, while keeping reminders of its past, including a giant mound of refuse from the mine, turned into an overlook.
3:49 pm
it was, she says: >> the project that opened it all up. i had the suspicion that this was the work i wanted to do. >> brown: bargmann has strong views -- and a sense of humor: she named her professional studio “d.i.r.t.”, for “dump it right there”. and she happily embraces one nickname: the “queen of slag”-- the leftover by-product from the mining of metals. >> if i could make a crown out of slag, i'd be very happy. so, yes, i mean, i think it's a recognition of the industrial territory that i adventured into. >> brown: now she's the first- ever recipient of an international landscape architecture prize given to honor her work as a designer, educator and activist in addressing abandoned toxic, industrial and urban sites. the award, created by the washington, d.c.-based cultural landscape foundation, is named for renowned landscape architect cornelia hahn oberlander, who died this year of covid at age 99. bargmann lives and works in
3:50 pm
charlottesville, virginia, and has taught at the university of virginia for 25 years. she often takes her architecture students to scummy, toxic sites most have never experienced before. but it all began for her in a very different landscape, as a child in new jersey. she remembers looking out the window of her parents' car in wonder at a vast, smoke-filled, industrial scene. >> it was a landscape that i was surrounded by, the refineries. so in essence, they felt like home and they felt like a landscape that i, unbeknownst to me at that early age, would eventually work with. i also guess i'm a fan of the underdog or in this case, maybe the under duck, because i have always been defending the ugly duckling for its potential to turn into the swan. >> brown: but not a showy swan. a by-word for bargmann: modesty. she eschews architecture she calls fancy-pants.
3:51 pm
even the celebrated “high line” in new york, an elevated park built on an old railroad track, feels overdone to her. the cultural landscape foundation cites vintondale, as well as three more recent projects:“ turtle creek water works” in dallas, a sustainable garden space in the remains of an industrial pump station active in the 1920s. the philadelphia headquarters of clothing retailer urban outfitters at a decommissioned navy yard, for which bargmann created a 15-acre campus, including re-using on-site demolition debris. and core city park in detroit, where bargmann worked with a local developer to turn an unused parking lot into a community space and urban woodland. as always, she incorporated components of its past: a fire station dating to the 1800s. >> there were such simple means of, you know, revealing the earth, which was a former engine house as paving, and then these
3:52 pm
trees coming up out of it. there's a big, you know, cornerstone, right, of the engine house, the very engine house that said 1893. now, a lot of people might have put that on a plaque, you know, really made it fancy pants, you know, but instead i said, dump it right there. i put i said, just put it on the ground. just make it go back to work. >> brown: that is: the continuity of work a site has seen, and the continuity of the life of people in and around it. >> there are so many people that still live there. and they remember that site. i just think it places that site, you know, in the realm, both physically, geologically, culturally, that can give it meaning. i'm very against erasure, you know, because it erases the meaning, you know, and any memory. and that's not great for the people, nor is it fair to the site.
3:53 pm
>> brown: these sites, she says, were once productive. now let's keep them productive, in a new way. and she hopes the prize can allow her to be a spokesperson for her philosophy of landscape architecture. when you think back to that young girl looking out the window at the industrial landscapes in new jersey to now, has it been rewarding work for you? >> love it, love it, love it. love it. i am just so happy that for whatever reason, i followed my instincts. it's pretty fun, you know, to be a bit of a pioneer and just and experiencing these amazing sublime landscapes. so fulfilling, so fulfilling. >> brown: bargmann is now embarked on what she calls,“ d.i.r.t. 2.0”, focused on regenerating currently under- used spaces in depopulated cities. for the pbs newshour, i'm
3:54 pm
jeffrey brown. >> woodruff: such a treat to see her work. and online right now, a solar phenomenon has put a pause on communication between earth and nasa spacecraft stationed on mars, like the perseverance rover. watch our video and learn more on instagram, that's: @newshour. 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 we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: the rules of business are being reinvented, with a more flexible workforce, by embracing innovation, by looking not only at current opportunities, but ahead to future ones. >> people who know, know b.d.o. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like.
3:55 pm
our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
3:56 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
. hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. >> the taliban will be judged for what their deeds are, not their words. >> but until then, they still stand to get a billion dollars from the g20 to help the afghan people. also ahead. >> we have to be willing to bear witness, to bear witness to the often painful realities that we would just rather not confront. >> why black womens complaints are rarely taken seriously. i'm joined by kimberly crenshaw, the leader scholar who coined the term intersectionality between race, gender and class. plus. i would have recommended -- had i been president i


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on