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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  October 19, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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ything. i hope you're ready. 'cause we are. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: democratic divide. key lawmakers express optimism that aagreement may be close over president biden's domestic agenda, after a meeting with members of his own party. then, trial and recking. the jury selection process is now underway in georgia, in the high-profile case of three white men charged with killing ahmaud arbery. and, "rethinking college." how historically black colleges and universies are using federal pandemic relief funds to retain students. >> how can we ensure that our students are getting everything
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that we can possibly provide, so that they can stay here? >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ >> pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life, well-planned. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway.
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>> woodruff: key lawmakers are signaling tonight that an agreement among democrats could be reached, following president biden's meetings with influential members of his party over the framework of his build back better agenda. majority leader chuck schumer expressed optimism that the dust has settled in his ranks, paving the way to a compromise. >> there was universal-- universal agreement in that room, that we have to come to an agreement and we've got to get it done, and want to get it done this week. >> woodruff: to bring us up to speed on the developments, i'm joined by lisa desjardins at the capitol, and yamiche alcindor at the white house. so hello, good evening to both of you. lisa, let me start with you. we heard majority leader senator schumer hear the word "agreement," what are you hearing? >> reporter: there's work ahead for democrats but this was a significant day for them. today, quickly, we learned from
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house progressives, including pramila jayapal speaking at the white house, the bill is 1.9 to $2.2 trillion. this also happened on the same day as senate democrats say they'd like a framework this week. they came out of their most unifying and positive meeting on thisssue yet saying they will try to figure out what this bill will look like this week. so this is no accident that this is coming as there is tremendous political pressure on democrats, one, president biden's approval rating and democrats see that as to whether they succeed on these issues, and, two, the gubernatorial election, where terry mcauliffe is not doing as well as hoped. they want to get things movg soon so they can start making more electoral gains and helping the president with his approval rating and, of course, getting their agenda through.
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basically, judy, where we are right now is the opening moves are over here. we are now in the middle game. we know roughly what this bill will be of size. this week, democrats are going to try to figure out if they can agree together on what goes in it. that's the middle game. we'll see how long it takes for them to do the end game, move it through both chambers. >> woodruff: and then yamiche, from the president's perspective, he spent much of the day meeting separately with progressives and moderates in his own party. what is the white house thinking now? >> well, the president is spending much of his time trying to get democrats, democratic-makers on the same page, and today was significant in that he met with senator sinema, manchin, house progressives and a group of house moderates. here the president is saying, essentially, to all to have the members of his party, we need to get together and close this out. the president is talking about specific numbers. we have been reporting it was probably going to end up arod
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$2 trillion. well here is the president talking through both modates to try to make sure they ca go down on the initial $3.5 trillion but also senator manchin who wanted at times $1.5 trillion a number he had been floating since summer. the key thing is white house press secretary jen psaki said the white house says we're getting closer to te final stages but would not say whether wind said president biden wants the infrastructure bill passed by the end of the month. the white house says president biden is the inspirer, the closer, the mediator in chief in this moment. so, really, president biden is being seen as critical in these debates. >> woodruff: the president is not only working on this, he's also feeling pressure from members of his own party on a number of issues including police reform and voting rights. >> reporter: that's right,
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president biden is facing incredible pressure to get this infrastructure bill and this infrastructure deal through because he has not been able to get a deal through on voting rights or on policing reform. we've seen those parts of his agenda stalled in congress and democratic leaders including candidat running in races like the virginia governor's race are saying democrats in washington need to hand democrats something productive they've done in order to win in other races. >> woodruff: lisa, back to you, there had been a sense of a cedline which the end of october. what's it looking like now? >> reporter: i don't think they can get a full bill but are already talking turkey. the climate pricing item we talked about last night is likely out of negotiations. from here, democrats have to choose from everything else -- healthcare, childcare, the climate package, housing, all of that. what will remain in this bill, those talks will start right now. >> woodruff: all behind closed doors but sounds like some
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movement today. lisa desjardins, yamiche alcindor, thank you both. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the u.s. supreme court refused to block a vaccine mandate for health care workers in maine. it is the first statewide requirement to reach the high court. meanwhile, the u.s. secretary of homeland security, alejandro mayorkas, tested positive for covid. he's been fully vaccinated, and is isolating at home with mild congestion. and, various reports have said that brazilian lawmakers want to charge president jair bolsinaro with mass homicide over his pandemic policies. they say hundreds of thousands died in his bid for herd immunity. kidnappers in haiti who abducted 17 members of a u.s. missionary group are demanding $1 million for each captive.
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the country's justice minister confirmed it today. meanwhile, in port-au-prince, the spike in overall crime has spurred protest strikes. streets are quiet, and businesses, schools, and mass transit are closed. north korea stoked new tensions today, after firing a short- range ballistic missile into the sea of japan. the north said it launched from a submarine. if true, that would mark a significant advance. japan's new prime minister vowed a tough response. >> ( translated ): i have instructed this government to consider all options. i will drastically strengthen our defense capabilities. my administration is determined torotect our land, territorial seand air space as well as the people's lives and assets, no matter what. >> woodruff: this was north korea's fifth weapons test since september. it followed a u.s. call for new talks on the north's nuclear weapons program. in afghanistan, the taliban announced rewards for families
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of suicide bombers who attacked u.s. soldiers. they will receive cash and land. separately, the world health organization said the taliban has approved afghanistan's first polio vaccination campaign in three years. back in this country, the f.b.i. raided homes in washington and new york linked to russian billionaire oleg deripaska. he is allied with president vladimir putin, and is under u.s. sanctions over moscow's meddling in the 2016 u.s. presidential election. agents spent hours at the two homes today. the f.b.i. said only that it was acting on court warrants involving the u.s. sanctions. president biden's pick to head customs and border protection called today for more humane policy toward migrants. chris magn is now police chief in tucson, arizona. he told his senate confirmation hearing that he wants
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to secure the border and treat asylum seekers decently. >> i don't believe that we have to sacrifice efficiency for humanity. and so, i think humanity has to be part of the discussion again, early and often throughout the careers of c.b.p. members. >> woodruff: magnus said that the trump-era policy that's allowed mass expulsions of asylum seekers during the pandemic. a federal grand jury today indicted a sitting congressman, jeff fortenberry, in a campaign finance case. the nebraska republican is accused of lying to the f.b.i. and concealing information about contributions from a nigerian billionaire in 2016. fortenberry denies the charges. a new f.d.a. proposal could make hearing aids more affordable for millions of americans. the agency saitoday that it wants to allow people to buy the devices over-the-counter, without prescriptions.
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the goal is to cut red tape and bring down costs. and on wall street, stocks advanced on upbeat earnings reports. the dow jones industrial average gained 198 points to close at 35,457. the nasdaq rose 107 points. and the s&p 500 added 33. still toome on the newshour: the biden administration's new measures aimed at helping studentstruggling with mental health during the pandemic. how lawyers are selecting unbiased jurors in the high-profile ahmaud arbery murder trial. a look at one man's impressive collection of historic and presidential artifacts. and, much more.
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>> woodruff: the special congressiol committee investigating the january assault on the u.s. capitol meets tonight, in the battle over how much cooperation they will get from allies of former president donald trump. this evening, they will consider whether to recommend charging steve bannon with contempt of congress for refusing to comply with a subpoena demanding that he turn over documents to the committee, and sit for a deposition. ambassador norman eisen previously worked on the investigations that preceded mr. trump's first impeachment, as a counsel to the house judiciary committee. he is now with the brookings institution. norm eisen, thank you very much, and welcome back to the "newshour". first of all, what is your understanding of why this special congressional committee wants to hear from steve bannon? >> judy, thanks for having me back. we know that steve bannon, donald trump's long-time advisor
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for a time in the white house, estranged, then consulting again, was intimately involved with donald trump's decision to, in my view, incite an insurrection on january 6th 2021. bannon is the one who called him and told him trump had to get back to washington for this. there's been reporting that bannon has partially corroborated that he spoke about killing the biden presidency in the crib, judy, and we know that he used very strong language on his podcast about what was going to happen on january 6th. so, for all those reasons, bannon's fingerprints are on the events of january 6th and he is a critically important witness in his own right, but
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also to understand the insurrectionist in chief, donald trump. >> woodruff: so, at this point, it's our understanding that steve bannon is not cooperating, the committee has asked him for information, they've asked him to come testify, they want to depose him. what recourse does the committee have? >> in a situation like this one, the committee can utilize two principle avenues. they can vote civil contempt, which on approval of the hse allows them to go to court to compel bannon's testimony and documents, or -- and this is the course that they seem to be electing, judy -- they can do criminal contempt, which, under federal law, the committee and then the full house will make a referral to the u.s. attorney for the district of columbia and, in consultation with the justice department, the u.s. attorney will decide whether to prosecute bannon criminally for
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refusing a lawful subpoena. based on the facts and the laws as we know them here, bannon richly deserves to be prosecuted for criminal contempt. >> woodruff: based on what we know and based on precedent, what do you believe the likelihood is that the court would give the go ahead? >> well, in the first instance, of course, it will be for the u.s. attory and dodge to decide -- and d.o.j. to decide. i think it is likely that they will seek to prosecute bannon. the bases he gives for refusing to comply with a lawful subpoena of the united states congress are make weghts. he says that the information that is sought is executive privileged -- in other words it's protected by law because it has to do with the inner workings of the goernment. but, judy, that decision is made
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by the current president. it's joe biden, not donald trump. and moreover, when bannon had these conversations with trump, it had been years since bannon was a part of the government, and inciting an insurrection is not government function that gets executive privilege basis. the biden administration has made clear that it's not countenancing these kind of executive privilege claims, so those arguments just don't hold water. he must comply or he should be prosecuted. i hear what you're saying, and yet we both know that steve bannon is likely to fight this to the fullest extent of the law in every way that he can. we know that president trump -- former president trump is already doing everything he can legally to try to stop any cooperation by people who advised him. so if we try to understand where this is headed, and we know it
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could be in any one of a number of places, what do you think? i mean, what do you think we are looking at here? >> well, we're looking at a continuation of donald trump's campaign of obstruction, one that is enabled by his cronies like steve bannon. it's something that worked when he was in the white house. it effectuated delay. what does donald trump have to hide in what are he and bannon and the others in trump's coatry so afraid of coming out if they honor these ? there's so much to learn about january 6th and that's important for the truth to have the historical record, it's important for congress legislating to make sure that we
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don't have another janua january 6th, but, unfortunately, the donald trump big lie campaign continues, so it's also important to counteract the ongoing lies that stimulate these terrible actions like the january 6th insurrection. we're looking at a clash now between the trump style of governance and getting to the truth. i think truth will win. >> woodruff: we will watch and see. no guarantee at this point, but tonight -- >> no, no guarantees. >> woodruff: tonight, an important vote by this committee. norm eisen, thank you very much. >> tog. thank you, judy. >> woodruff: on college campuses across the country, the pandemic has posed unprecedented financial challenges. the federal government has
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provided $76 billion dollars in relief-- over $3 billion specifically for historically black colleges and universities, and more than $1 billion to minority-serving institutions where many students face financial hardship. yamiche alcindor reports on how the money is being used to reduce the economic strain on students. it's part of our series, "rethinking college." >> alcindor: ever since 19-year- old manuhe abebe came to north carolina central university, he's had a plan. >> i'm actually going to venture capital after i graduate. i know there's only like 4% of african americans in v.c. so if i become that one minority that could advocate for other minorities, i believe i can definitely make a difference. >> alcindor: he moved to the u.s. from ethiopia when he was four. he is the first in his family to go to college. >> they came here to give me a better education, better life. and i definitely don't want to waste an opportunity.
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i want to set an example for my siblings and any other first generation that, you know, is going into college. >> alcindor: but during the pandemic, the balance he owed his school ballooned to some $7,000. the honor student did not know how he would pay it off. then he got a surprise. >> one day i just woke up and i ended up seeing, you know, my balance being cleared. and that definitely lessened the stress of having to worry about, you know, "how am i supposed to pay for my college?" >> alcindor: north carolina central university is one of many historically black colleges and universities that used federal pandemic relief funds to clear the outstanding balances owed directly to them in tuitions and fees. >> we're doing whatever we can. >> alcindor: the school's chief financial officer akua johnson matherson ys the goal is retention. >> how can we ensure that our students are getting everything that we can possibly provide, so that they can stay here? >> alcindor: it's a welcome relief to students at h.b.c.u.s, who are disproportionately low-income. more than 75% receive pell
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grants, and many come from black communities which were hit hard by wage and job losses during the pandemic. fenaba addo studies student debt. >> schools are realizing that the fees that are associated with attending their universities and their colleges are prohibiting them from completing their degree, or maybe delaying their opportunity with completing their degree. >> alcindor: trinity washington university's student population is predominantly black and hispanic. most students are women. and provost carlotta ocampo says, on average, they have few resources. >> the median family income is $25,000. that's family income. a $200 bill can make a difference for them staying in school. >> alcindor: so trinity spent more than $2 million in american rescue plan funds to pay off balances for 535 students. >> many of our students have economic great economic need, even at the best of times. so, you can well imagine, in an economic downturn, who were the
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first to be impacted. they don't have family they can run to and say, lend me $1,000 bucks to get through. >> alcindor: annissa young, who emigrated from jamaica as a teen, is double majoring in business administration and psychology. until the pandemic, her dad helped pay her tuition. >> he drives trucks. he works seven days a week, or five. he was cut back to two or three. >> alcindor: young could no longer make tuition payments, and accrued an $11,000 balance. how concerned were you about paying missed tuition, before your debt was wiped away? >> it was kind of stressful. my dad told me not to worry about it, but knowing me, i am going to worry about it. after finishing the homework and everything, i'll just stay up wondering, is this wt i'm going to do? so, it was-- it was kind of a struggle, to be honest. >> alcindor: young works part- time at a jamaican restaurant. but, her earnings were dwarfed by the size of her debt. so when she found out her balance was paid off, she couldn't believe it. >> first, i thought it was
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a scam-- someone hacked trinity's email. but then, i read it, and i'm like, is this it? like, is this what i have been actually praying for? like, all of it, just thousands gone. >> welcome to this evening's women's volleyball contest. >> alcindor: 19-year-old kiara tate has worked a number of jobs to help cover her college costs, including a work-study position in the athletics department. >> i need to work so i can pay my tuition. >> alcindor: tate is studying nursing, and has wanted to go to trinity since she was child. >> my mom went to trinity. she was coming here when i was in the womb. i fell in love with the college. >> alcindor: but tate's account balance of over $6,000-- that made her question whether she could stay in school. >> i was just, i don't know how to pay it. i don't work enough hours to pay it. i was pretty worried i was going to get kicked out of college. >> alcindor: then she got the
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news that her account was cleared. >> i called my mom and i said, mom, my debt is paid off. and she was like, what? and i said, my debt is paid off from trinity. i-- they're starting me over, like a financial new start. >> alcindor: so, a weight has been lifted. >> yes, a very big weight. >> alcindor: provost ocampo says it's money well spent. >> this is not giving away free money to students who just are going to run off to vegas. i mean, these kids work hard in order to put themselves through school so they can better themselves and their families. >> alcindor: wiping away the fees students owe their schools does not impact the $1.7 trillion held nationwide in federal and private student loans. and, on average, black students have more student loan debt than their white counterparts, says fenaba addo. >> but the fees are important as well, because the fees are associated with-- with students' ability to stay enrolled and to completeheir degrees.
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you'll have one less financial burden to worry about. >> alcindor: schools have used federal dollars to provide other kinds of help. denise perez, a senior studying psychology at virginia union university, grew up with ten brothers in a low-income section of norfolk, virginia. >> there's not a lot of oppounities there. so, when you're given that chance to leave norfolk, virginia, you definitely have to take that chance and you just have to run with it. >> alcindor: she's learned to care for herself. but that got tough when covid hit. how di the pandemic impact your situation, both financially, but also emotionally? >> i was a student who, where the professors were, like, are you okay? what's going on? like, this is not you. >> alcindor: perez had lost a job, and her focus. she struggled to make ends meet. >> i was thinking about how i'm going to pay my rent, how am i going to make sure that i have food in my mouth? and my mom said it's like she still has kids at home. she has her own bills, her own commitments, her own business. money doesn't grow off the trees. >> alcindor: perez got a boost when her school sent her around $2,000 in emergency aid, funded by the cares act.
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with that, plus scholarships, loans, and earnings from her job, she's hung on. >> i'm still here. i didn't give up. i didn't drop out. virginia union is like my world, this is like my comfort zone. this is where i feel like i am me. >> alcindor: virginia union chief operating officer allia carter is exploring ways to provide more support to students even without federal relief money. >> what we used these funds for was to offset the cost of what we call gaps in the idea of affordability. how do we sustain this? how do you make this doable for those to cominto a higher education environment and providing them relief or support that they may need so that they can gain access? >> alcindor: at north carolina central, manuhe abebe is looking forward, now that his financial burden has been eased. >> i was actually thinking of running for student body president. i just want to give back to the students and make sure that i'm making an impact. >> alcindor: for the sophomore, and so many other students, the
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focus is now on the future. for the pbs newshour, i'm yamiche alcindor. >> woodruff: the question of how much more money should be provided for higher education-- including two years of free community college-- is one of many points up for debate among democrats and the president right now. the spending bills also include significant new money for k-12 schools. that's in addition to money already being given out in pandemic relief legislation. those bills have directed funding to support the mental health needs of students. amna nawaz has a conversation with the secretary of education. >> nawaz: leading child health care groups, including the american academy of pediatrics, said today the pandemic has triggered a “national state of emergency” in mental health among america's youth. that policy makers need to act.
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the education department has issued new guidance for how to address the crisis in k-12 schools, as well as how to spend billions in relief funding to bolster student mental heah. secretary miguel cardona joins me now. mr. secretary, welcome back to the "newshour". thanks for making the time. let's talk about the guidelines issued today. how do they address this crisis right now? >> i appreciate the academy of pediatrics making those statements because it's critically important we continue to work together to give our students what they need and across the country they need more support, mental health support, more social-motional well being checks, and we are pleased at the don't of education to be able to respond in a way that addresses what we have been hearing from students, from educators across the country, as we visited schools. they need more social-emotional support, more access to mental health support. so the manual, the guide we put out today provides not only links to good research around mental health supports but also
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wonderful examples from across the country of what educators are doing to provide access to students in ways that maybe weren't available just two years ago. >> reporter: tell us about some of those examples. i don't need to tell you the crisis is already here. people will wonder what good do guidelines and additional funding do? suspected suicide attempts for teen girls are up 50% from last year. emergency visits from mental health emergencies up 30% for teens, 24% for kids 5 to 12. what is the department of education doing that's addresses this now? >> well, that's what we're doing. we have examples of what's happening now, what you can replicate in your schools today. the american rescue plan funds are there already, so we know the resources are there, the urgency is there, now we have in this manual that you can find online on our web site accessible to all but in particular it gives practical tips on what you can do today in the classroom, in the school, in a district, in a state, and
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these proven strategies that have worked in other places. we're lifting up those practices and making it accessible to all. we don't want to be in the business of providing long documents that are not practical for educators. educators need support now. in this document, they're going to get that. they have the resources, they have the strategies that have come up from educators, so now it's time to make sure that our schools reflect the needs of your students and that we provide the support that our students need. >> reporter: i'd love to ask you about masking in schools and soms of the mandates. you said you are reluctant to withhold federal funding from states who won't uphold masking in schools. masking protects, so why not do everything youan to require that masking in schools? >> i believe we are, and i believe, you know, withholding funds for students, while i do reserve the right to do that, would only take that student who is now in an environment that is not as safe as possible and prevent that student from getting reading support or
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getting a s social worker becaue they've experienced a lot. we're working closer with the district leaders who are doing the right thing at their own risk to make sure they protect students. we're working with them, providing funds if their funds are cut, and also through the office of civil rights are investigating cases where we believe students' rights to education are being violated. so we are doing that and what we're finding roughout the country is the places who follow mitigaon strategies, promote vaccinations, and promote studts and staff have less disrupted learning, students stay in the classrooms, and the mental health impact is less, too, because they're seeing less hospitalizations and death around them. >> reporter: mandatory vaccinations, you said you back mandatory vaccinations for older students. we could soon see f.d.a. approval for younger kids 5 to 11 to support mandatory vaccinations for elementary students as well.
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>> i'm pleased we're making progress with vaccinations and the youngest learners will have access. as a farther, the first thing my children did was get in line, give them the opportunity to be safe and protect those around them as well. i encourage all families have their children be vaccinated. we know that if it's getting approvals, it's safe for students and it should be something that parents get for their children, and it should be something that as a community we do to protect one another. >> reporter: i want to ask you about student debt which is on a lot of people's minds. there has been a freeze on student loan pandemic that impacted 40 million or so borrowers. the biden administration extended that to january 2022. should those people restart payments in february? >> yes, but we're providing a long enough onramp to support the borrowers.
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president biden and the team are making sure the students are at the center of conversations. not just the k-12, it means the higher ed students. we've forgiven $11.6 billion in student debt, we're making sure we're protecting the borrowers, we're making shire they have information and the processes to get public loan forgiveness is simple. students shouldn't have more hoops to jump through in order to get what's right offully theirs. we'll continue to protect our students, prioritize our borrowers and maybe fix some of the syems that were broken. >> reporter: if i could follow up, a lot of people are saying a you have forgiven billions in debts. it's a small slice of borrowers. for the tens of millions of others, the pandemic is not behind us, the recession is still with us and people are still very much struggling. the question is if there's a surge in delinquencies, how are you preparing to handle that? >> right. we're revamping our processes to
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make it more user friendly, to support our borrowers and communicate more effectively, what options they have and what type of support they can receive. the goal is to help the borrowers not add more stress but we know the process will require that we fix systems that were broken and make it more student centered. we'll correspondent to do that, listen to our students and borrowers, do our best to protect our borrowers and provide pathways for them to be successfuller in repayment but also in whatever life circumstances they have. >> reporter: brieflyill have i let you go, i know you have been leading the charge to figure out if there's a way for the biden administration to cancel student debt, there's pressure from the democratic party to do just that. have you delivered your recommendation to the president yesterday? >> we're working with the white house and the department of justice on that. we're not waiting for that to do what's right for our students and borrowers. as you saw a couple of weeks ago, we announced public loan
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service forgiveness, we're going to fix that and make sure those who are offer public service loan forgiveness ten years ago that we follow through on those promises and with the intention of congress. so we haven't slowed down. we'll continue to do that. while those conversations continue, it doesn't make sure we're taking our a eyes off, making sure everything we do at this department is student centered. >> reporter: secretary miguel cardona joining us tonight. mr. secretary, thank you for your time. >> thank you. spf >> woodruff: jury selection is underway in the high profile case of white men accused of murdering an unarmed black man in georgia-- one of the cases that set in motion a wave of racial justice protests nationwide in the summer of 2020. william brangham has the story, as part of our ongoing coverage of "race matters." >> brangham: that's right, judy. jury selection is underway for
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the three white men on trial for the murder of ahmaud arbery. arbery was jogging near his home in southeastern georgia in february of 2020, when two of the men stopped him, claiming that they thought he was involved in a string of burglaries. a fight took place. one of the men had a shotgun, and arbery was shot and killed. the two men were not initially arrested, until 10 weeks later, when video of the incident was revealed. the third man on trial is the one who took video of the encounter. to talk about this highly anticipated trial, i'm joined by gerald griggs. he's vice president of the n.a.a.c.p. atlanta chapter. mr. griggs, thank you very much for being here. could you just give us a sense? i know this is a very fraught time as this trial starts. what is the mood like in the community there? >> yes, the mood down in glen county is cautiously optimistic. as you said before, it took 74 days, from the incident occurring until the videotape was released, for them to make
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an arrest in this case. so they're cautiously optimistic and they're hopeful that justice will be achieved in this case. and they've been watching this and particating, and many members are outside the courtroom right now waiting on jury selection, and some people are outside having a teach-in. but the community is galvanized around this case and they will continue to push towards justice. >> brangham: i can't help but notice that again, this is one of those instances where videotape-- i mean, albeit video shot by one of the men who is being prosecuted-- was the turning point. was what got state prosecutors involved, and what helped turn the tide and really change the facts on the ground of what actually happened. >> yeah, that's correct. because of the release of the tape, law enforcement got serious about this case. you know, for the longest time, wanda cooper jones and other members of ahmad's family have been pushing for justice ever since they learned what happened to their loved one on february
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23, 2020, and they were always resolute in believing that he was murdered. and so once the videotape was released and it showed the world, that's when law enforcement started to actively truly investigate and bring individuals in for questioning, as well as arrested the three suspects that were involved. >> brangham: as i mentioned, the defense argues that these men were within their rights to stop mr. arbery. they thought he was involved in some crimes. they were legally carrying their guns, and when they confronted him, he fought back. what do you make of that argument? do you think that's going to have any sway over the jury? >> i think that that's a curious factual argument. it goes against the facts and the law. they're arguing that they had a right to arrest the individual because they believed that he was involved in some sort of criminal behavior. it turned out that the owner of the property believed there was no criminal behavior and had not empowered these individuals to make any arrest on his behal and ultimately, even if they were empowered to use that type of power to arrest someone, they
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could not use deadly force to protect property. >> brangham: where do you see this tragedy fitting in this long line of cases that we have seen that have triggered this racial justice movement across the country, from george floyd to breonna taylor? where does this fit in that? >> well, this is actually the case that began freedom summer 2020. it was a case that happened before george floyd, and it brought the awareness as we were all dealing with covid 19 and we all saw thvideo. it launched the new social justice movement that has gripped america. so i think that this is the very first case, and i believe that hopefully we can achieve justice like we achieved it in the george floyd case. but ultimately, it's a little different because we're not dealing with directly law enforcement. we're dealing with vigante justice. so it falls in line with the emmett till case. it falls in line with the jordan davis case and so many other cases throughout history, and hopefully we will see the appropriate response by the
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criminal justice system in this case. >> brangham: i know you have been in touch with many members of the arbery family. what is your sense from talking with them about what justice would look like to them? >> they've been very clear since the very beginning. they want all individuals who were a part of this, or who helped cover iheld accountable, specifically for the three individuals on trial. they want a conviction, and they want the maximum punishment under law. like i said before, like many members of the community, they're cautiously optimistic. but they are so far happy that we have gotten to this point because of the pressure of activists, the pressure of the family, the pressure of the community and of course, the pressure of the nation seeing what happened in that southeast georgia town. >> brangham: do you think that all that pressure and all of that attention and all of the fraught history of what we're been dealing with in this country is going to make it hard for the jury to keep their eyes focused on the facts of this particular case?
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>> no, i don't think so. i think that once you look at the facts and evidence in this case and you look at all the body cam footage and look at the cell phone footage, you can come to a pretty easy decision about what happened, and what was legal, what was illegal. so, i don't think it's going to weigh that heavily. once you look at the case, and that case will be tried in a courtroom, the judge will give curative instructions about ything that people may have seen outside of the courtroom, and tell the jurors to determine the facts and the evidence based on what they see on the witness stand and what they hear from the witnesses and the documentary evidence. >> brangham: all right. gerald griggs of the n.a.a.c.p. in atlanta. thank you very much for being here. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: as the nazis began their occupation of europe, they set up ghettos for more
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than one million jews they forced to live and work in fenced-off communities. once the nazis arrived at the "final solution"-- the mass murder of jews-- most ghetto residents were killed some 25,000 jews escaped the ghettos and hid in the woods of eastern europe. the members of one family who survived years in the forest are now telling their story. author rebecca frankel writes about them in her new book,“ into the forest.” she recently sat down with newshour producer ali rogin. >> reporter: rebecca frankel, thank you so much for being here. your new book, "into the forest," is first and foremost a story of survival, and at the heart of it is the rabinowitz family. so, can you tell me a little bit about them and what they endured? >> sure, so, the rabinowitz family was a normal family in 1930s poland. they lived in a very small town called zhetel. it was maurice and miriam, were married, and they had two young,
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very sweet, adorable daughters, rochel and tania, and they were basically just going about their lives. maurice was a lumber dealer. miriam owned a small shop. and they were, of course, a jewish family, which ultimately, as the 1930s would continue and as germany's influence in poland and the politics started having a meddling influence, certainly that changed for the worse. >> reporter: their fortunes change. they are sent into the ghetto. and tell us about what their experience was like in the ghetto. >> so when the germans invaded and they broke their pact with russia in 1941, that's when things for zhetel started to get really bad. all of the jews of the small town in general, they were interned in a ghetto. and then the selection started. and what this meant, of course, was that the germans were separating out the jews that could provide some sort of service, were of some value-- in terms of labor, or they were doctors or craftsmen or architects or engineers. and the people who suffered most
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then, of course, were small children without parents, the elderly, the infirm, and even just women who didn't have working certificates. but one thing that for these small communities in these more forest-adjacent towns in poland and lo-russia and other countries oser to russia, one thing started to give them hope. and that was this idea that they could run away to the forest. and what was happening then was that the soviet fighters who had been sort of behind enemy lines at this point were regrouping into guerrilla fighting units, and they were slowly mounting this outside fight against germany. and so these jews in the ghetto, not many of them were able to do it, but some of them did escape their ghettos and they did run to the forest. and, of course, this is what happened with the rabinowitz family. they were able to escape in august of 1942, right during the most terrible thing that happened to the jews of zhetel, which, of course, was the
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liquidation of the ghetto, when the nazis basically killed all of the remaining jews except for a very small number. >> reporter: they end up in the forest. and then tell us about what life was like there. it was incredibly difficult for a number of years. >> so they went into the forest in the summer of 1942, and that-- the summertime was actually probably the most benevolent season of this area, because the winters are absolutely brutal. the temperatures drop to about negative 20 degrees. and i think during these winters that they were there-- and the family was there for two years-- it was even colder. and of course, they weren't safe in the woods, as i think that they imagined they would be, because there were still people-- local groups, poles, and lithuanians and others who had aligned with the germans and the nazis, and were looking for partisan fighters, but also jewish family camps, which is what the rabinowitz family did. they formed a family camp. and so they were constantly on the move. they built these small, little communities in the woods, these
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underground bunkers, that are called zemlanki. and they basically made as much of a life in the woods as they could. but really, it was just e day- to-day struggle to survive. >> reporter: and the fact that they did so, and they made it through-- they spent several years, as you recount in the book, traveling through europe as refugees. but then, of course, when they get to america, in the midst of all of this, there's a love story. >> there is, and it's a really wonderful part of this family story. and, of course, there's the love story between morris and miriam, and how they kept their family going. but the other love story, that you're talking about, is the one between morris and miriam's daughter, ruth, and this young boy, phillip lazowski, who is from another small polish town called belitza. and this boy met the rabinowitz family earlier, before they escaped the ghetto, in 1942, in april when there was a selection-- as i mentioned before. and during this selection, he was separated from his family.
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so 11-year-old philip is in the midst of this brutality, and people are being killed all around him. and he sees this woman with her two young daughters and she has a kind-looking face, and so he thinks, "i can approach her." and so, he walks up to her and he says, "will you please pretend that i'm your son?" and she takes one look at him and she says, "if the nazis will let me live with two children, they'll let me live with three." and so they make it through the selection, and he's safe, and they're safe, and he rs off and they don't see him again until after the war. philip lazowski also immigrated to the united states, just like the ranowitz family did. and in 1953, he's at a wedding in brooklyn, and he sits next to this young woman. and it turns out that she knows this family that once saved a boy from bilitza. and he's sitting there and he thinks, okay, well, what's the story? yu know, tell me, how did it happen? and she tells him and he says, "that was me. i'm the boy." and so, minutes later, he runs
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to a payphone. he makes the phone call. and then, so begins this reunion between the two families, you know, miriam rabinowitz, who saved philip lazowski. and on a visit to hartford, where they were living, he meets miriam's oldest daughter, ruth, who's no longer a little girl. she is a teenager. >> reporter: and she had changed her name from what it was back in poland. >> yes, thank you. so, rochel was now ruth. and he srted writing her letters, and it took two years, bueventually they fell madly in love, and that started a whole nother family and romance and marriage. >> reporter: and of course, you got to know them because you have a very personal connection to this family. tell us about that. >> in addition to meeting miriam, his daughter ruth, and falling in love with her, philip lazowski became a rabbi. and my famy, from the time i was five years old, attended the synagogue where philip lazowski was the rabbi. and so i've known-- i can't-- i can barely call him philip.
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but, rabbi and ruth, as i call them, i've known them since i was about five years old. so this story of how they met and their love story has always been sort of in the background of this community that i grew up with in west hartford, connecticut, and was just something i've known about for a very long time. >> reporter: the book is "into the forest." rebecca frankel, thank you so much for joining us. >> thank you so much. >> woodruff: for many americans during the pandemic, the home office has seen a lot of activity. but, as maya trabulsi of station kpbs reports, one san diego man dedicated his home's workspace to his passion: american history. it's part of our arts and culture series, "canvas."
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>> front door, open. >> reporter: when roger dangel walks inside his house, he takes a step into another place and time. >> welcome to the oval office. >> reporter: he's been collecting historical artifacts for more than 20 years. the room is now flanked by history-making documents, signed byhe most famous men in american history. the men that made a country. >> i guess, if you're going to have a theme room, you might as well have the biggest theme room you can have. and something that not a lot of people are able to have. >> reporter: when roger and his wife rebuilt what was once his parents' home, they designed this room to bear the famous oval shape, just like the real thing. >> it's a functional desk. it's a functional office. i use it all the time. >> reporr: and the size of the desk was also taken into consideration-- a replica of the resolute desk, oginally a gift from queen victoria to then- president rutherford b. hayes, and used by many american presidents. >> the most famous one, of course, is john f. kennedy, with john-john, you know, coming out
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of the little door in the front. >> reporter: but beyond the wainscotting, scalloped doorway molds, and other small, thoughtful details, this room holds treasures that transcend time. like this lieutenant colonel's union uniform worn during the civil war, with a small hand- written clue as to the person who wore it. >> this was found, actually, in the pocket. and it does say that it did belong to elijah hunt rhodes of rhode island. and that's kind of cool. i'm kind of an equal-opportunity presidential collector, as i have every president on the walls or somewhere in the house to date. except for joe biden, which is so new right now that i don't have a presidential document from him because he's still in office. >> reporter: some smaller pieces give us a glimpse of the personalities behind the decision-makers of yesteryear. >> doodles. these are original sketches by ronald reagan, when he was doodling as governor. >> reporter: and while this original doodle sits casually on this desk in la jolla, the
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reagan library sells copies for museum visitors. >> do you see which way the head is pointed? the head is always pointed to the olive branches, with the exception of one president. the eagle turned its head to the arrows during world war ii, from franklin delano roosevelt after they attacked pearl harbor. and when harry truman became president, he turned the head back toward the olive branches, and its remained that way ever since. >> reporter: as guardian of this treasure, roger wants these things to be accessible-- and more importantly, interactive. he says history should be touched. >> and this is something they won't let you do at the smithsonian, but let you do here. and that is something that was signed twice by abraham lincoln. >> reporter: abraham lincoln signed this, right here and right here. august 17th, 1863. and less than two years later in 1865. >> these glasses were reportedly found at ford's theater the
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night that abraham lincoln was shot, and was dropped by a patron there, captain. and if these glasses could only talk, they could tell a story. >> reporter: and it is the story behind the land deed, the pardon, the court martial, or even the civil war bullet lodged in a piece of wood that draws roger to these items. >> i'm just holding these pieces of history in my hand for a short period of time, until it can be passed on to someone else. >> reporter: and for lovers of history, these are reminders, of how far we have ce, and how far we have yet to go. ( j.f.k. speech from doll ) >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm maya trabulsi in san diego. >> woodruff: what a remarkable collection. and online now, zalmay khalilzad, who held the role as the u.s.' top diplomat to afghanistan for three years and negotiated an agreement with the taliban, has stepped down. you can find more on what this means for u.s.-afghan diplomatic
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relations on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. anthat is 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 landscape has changed, and not for the last time. 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. resilience is the ability to pivot again and again, for whatever happens next. >> people who know, know b.d.o. >> fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson.
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>> financial services firm raymond james. >> bnsf railway. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate equitable economic opportunity. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions,
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♪ ♪ hello and welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. >> i will never not be a solder. >> colin powell dead at 84. therailblazing four-star general gained accolades leading the firs gulf war and became the public space of the iraq war. we examine the complicated legacy of this military giant. then -- >> no one, including the head of fortune 500 companies, is above the law. >> the fbi calls it the most complex white collar crime investigation ever. a look at the lessons learned from enron 20 years after its stunning fall. and -- >> huge congratulations. so proud of everyone's

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