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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  October 30, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, october 30: president biden and world leaders take on tax havens at the g-20 summit. facebook changes its name, but revelations from leaked internal documents continue. and, how no-strings-attached guaranteed income payments are changing lives in gary, indiana. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the j.p.b. foundation. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine.
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the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. >> 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 additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like
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you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thank you for joining us. most of the leaders of the world's 20 largest economies gaered in rome today for the first in-person g-20 summit since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. on the agenda, key issues including climate change, international economic recovery, vaccines, and a global tax overhaul. during the opening session, president joe biden and other world leaders endorsed a global minimum tax on major corporations. russia's president vladimir putin and china's leader xi jinping are attending virtually again this year. the global minimum tax deal aims to prevent companies from basing their headquarters in low tax nations as a way to evade taxes. the landmark agreement has been years in the making, with close to 140 nations signing on. the deal would set a minimum tax rate of 15% on large company profits, and require major corporations to pay taxes where their consumers are-- not just where the company is based.
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according to the organization for economic cooperation and development, the new rate is expected to bring in $150 billion in additionaglobal tax revenue every year. the agreement is expected to be officially adopted tomorrow, and then will require implementation in each country, including new legislation here ithe u.s. also at the summit today, president biden met with the leaders of france, germany, and great britain to discuss resuming negotiations with iran on a return to the 2015 nuclear deal. when asked by a reporter when he would like the talks to restart, president biden replied,“ they're scheduled to resume.” outside the g-20 conference today, protestors gathered to demand immediate action on climate change. in central rome, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets to draw attention to the dangers posed by global warming. early this morning about 50 activists from the group“ extinction rebellion” staged a sit-on on a main road leading to the g-20 venue. the protestors blocked traffic, chanting and singing songs,
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and holding a banner reading,“ from rome to glasgow, your solutions are the problem.” police physically removed the group before the delegations arrived at the summit. in sudan today, thousands protested the country's military-led government. a sudan ctors' union said security forces killed two people and others were wounded during the demonstrations. today's protests were the latest in a series that have been held every day since the military overthrew sudan's transitional civilian-led government on monday. security forces locked down some streets in the capital of khartoum, but elsewhere in the city, protesters marched freely, demanding an end to military rule and the release of detained political figures. the u.s. supreme court rejected an emergency appeal to block maine's vaccine mandate for hospital and nursing home employees la yesterday. in a 6-3 decision, the court ruled against nine anonymous maine healthcare workers who objected to receiving a covid-19 vaccine on religious grounds. maine is one of only three states that do not allow religious exemptions to issue
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vaccine mandates for healthcare workers. the others are new york and rhode island. while dozens of medical employees in the state have reportedly quit, most have opted to be vaccinated. and today at the white house, vice president kamala harris received a booster shot-- her third dose of the moderna covid-19 vaccine. >> sreenivasan: for more national and international news, visit >> sreenivasan: as the climate mmit gets under way in scotland tomorrow, the biden administration's infrastructure spending plans are still on hold. now, a recent report has new warnings about the risk to u.s. infrastructure from flooding as extreme weather events due to climate change increase. taking into account rising sea levels and severe precipitation events, a non-profit research group created a data-driven mapping project to assess the flood danger in the u.s. over the next 30 years, and some of the places in the crosshairs are
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surprising. i recently spoke with matthew eby, executive director of the first street foundation. matthew, when we think about flooding, wesually think about towns and cities that are right next to big rivers, or right on the coast. when you looked across all the infrastructure that's at risk, what did you find? >> well, it's really interesting results that we found, is that the places that you would normally think that have a lot of risk, as you're mentioning-- you know, the floridas, the louisianas, the texas-- those places actually still have a lot of risk. there's a lot of critical infrastructure at risk. but the surprising part that we found is, there's a lot of alluvial flooding, or precipitation flooding, that sees the middle of america have a lot of risk. so, places like west virginia, which you wouldn't think about as being a big flood area, has a significant amount of critical infrastructure that has inoperable risk, meaning that if the floodwaters make it to
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the building, it would render things inoperable-- police stations, hospitals, those things that are critical to the community. but also things that you wouldn't necessarily think about right away, but you can see from news stories that they actually are impacted in a big way, like utilities. so, ida went through and knocked out-- didn't really flood a lot of areas in louisiana. there were impacted areas. but the big story was that the utility was knocked off and that it wasn't able to operate for the area. >> sreenivasan: you're coming out with this report in a year where, i want to say we've had, i think, $18 billion-plus sort of weather events. what is the cost-- if we were able to write a blank check and mitigate this, fix this, move some of these places, how much would that cost? >> hari, i think that's the problem, is that we don't have the data to actually know. this is the first time that a report like this has come out where it doesn't just look at what is the current risk, but how this risk will evolve over the next 30 years. this is the first time we're actually getting a look of just one peril, flooding, let alone a wildfire or heat and drought and
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the other things that impact communities, as well. >> sreenivasan: you know, one of the things that occurred to me was that i hadn't seen all of it pulled together in one place. i mean, where did you find all of this information, and how hard was it to kind of staple together into one map? >> yeah, so our company is a non-profit that's been working at this for about five years now. so, we started by building the flood model itself and understanding where is risk across the country. and we did that in a peer- reviewed, open-source manner so that all the scientists could contribute with us to actually get to that level of understanding. we adjusted it into the future based on the climate change scenarios from the intergovernmental panel on climate change. and then lastly, what we've been able to do now is take all of the different types of buildings across the country and look at them individually. so, those are residential properties, commercial properties, segments of roads. when you think of flood risk, you don't necessarily think of roads.
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but when you think of trying to get out of an area when there is an emergency, or where you're actually driving in and out of a community each year, each day, you know, those are places that have a lot of risk, as well. and then the last two dimensions we looked at were social infrastructure and critical infrastructure. and so, across those five dimensions, now we're able to pull all of this data together and tell a story for each individual community to understand what risk looks like today, and how it will change across those dimensions. >> sreenivasan: matthew eby, executive director of the first street foundation. thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks so much for having me. >> sreenivasan: facebook continued to be a top story almost nonstop this week. thousands of internal documents are now public, and dozens of news organizations continued to publish stories about what the company did not do to stop hate speech, anti-vacce misinformation, and conspiracies. on thursday, facebook's founder announced a name change, making
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meta the new parent company for the vast social media empire. for the latest, i spoke with "new york times" technology reporter sheera frenkel, co-author of the recent book, "an ugly truth: inside facebook's battle for domination." sheera, what has happened in the last week and a half, considering you literally have written a book on facebook? the volume of information, the volume of stories that have come out about facebook, are you surprised? >> i'm not surprised, only because the themes are just the same as the themes that we researched for this book. facebook employees have been trying to tell their executives for years about the problems they've seen. i was actually thinking back to an interview i did with somebody who worked on facebook's news feed in 15, who warned the company's executives, including ris cox, about the inundation of fake news and conspiracies that they were seeing ahead of the 2016 elections, things that they knew were incredibly problematic. they were trying to suggest solutions, and they were being ignored. >> sreenivasan: you know, what's also interesting to me is the
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disparity in how much effort facebook put into what was happening in the united states versus what was happening in other parts of the world, where they just do not seem to have at all close to the amount of resources necessary to tackle the problems. >>hat's right, hari, and i actually had a very, very similar reaction when i saw that statistic about how facebook spends 87% of its budget fighting misinformation on the united states and 13% on the entire rest of the world. that number, that statistic, i think is en more startling when you realize that facebook has more people that use its platform in just india than it does in the entire united states. so, you can see just how disproportionate those numbers are. >> sreenivasan: and what were some of the challenges? i know you had a recent story about the type of things that happened in india. i mean, it's actually lead to a loss of life that's measurable. >> so, india is a really interesting example. "the next one billion users" was what mark zuckerberg called it back in 2018 when he had this idea that he wanted to bring an additional billion people online
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through facebook. you end up with this immense population, over 400 milli people in india joined facebook. and you didn't see in conjunction with that the kind of safety steps of the company now realizes it should have taken. so, the development of language capabilities; this is a country with 22 languages that are spoken. and even just last year when india had its elections, facebook was only operating in three, i think-- four, if you include english-- of the languages that are spoken in india. >> sreenivasan: it's almost impossible for a computer to recognize the language that's not kind of in its corpus, whereas people will make images and in whatever scribble, whatever script that they write. and then, they post it on to facebook, and the message still gets across even though a human censor or a machine isn't going to pick it up, right? >> exactly. and it's doubly hard, right, because you have to train your computer systems in all those languages. but it's not enough for computers to be trained because, as we know, things like hate speech and conspiracies, they're so specific. it's slogans, it's turns of phrases. you have to be immersed in that community, in that population,
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to know what is problematic, right? they might be using a word as a hate speech or as a slur that their systems aren't trained on and aren't familiar with because they have no e on the ground there that's telling them, "hey, this term is currently problematic and should be flagged because people are using it to incite violence." >> sreenivasan: so, what happens now? i mean, there has been this scrutiny on facebook, but you listen to their quarterly earnings and they still have 2.8 billion people, most of them outside of the united states, using the platform, and they're still making money. >> i think that one thing these papers show and one thing that our reporting in the "new york times" has shown recently is that, at least here in the united states and in europe, other social media is a lot more popular, like tiktok and snapchat. and they know that even though they're not showing that in the revenues and the earning reports now, it is going to-- it is going to show up eventually. it might take five years, it might take ten years, but, eventually, that loss of kind of the-- the young, important population that advertisers want to see, that's going to be reflected in their earnings. >> sreenivasan: also this week, we saw a name change.
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how significant is this? >> so, the idea of switching their name isn't new. you know, philip morris did this, other companies did this. but i think it's going to be interesting to see whether it works for facebook because facebook as a company is so closely tied to mark zuckerberg and his image as the genius founder and the chief executive. mark zuckerberg is still in control of meta or facebook or whatever you want to call it, and i do wonder whether people will accept this name change and this idea that it's a fresh new company turning over a new leaf when they know mark zuckerberg still sits at the head of it. >> sreenivasan: sheera fnkel of the "new york times," thanks so much. >> thank you so much for having me. >> sreenivasan: tonight, we continue our occasional series on guaranteed income. it's a simple but sometimes costly concept that is now being tried in at least 34 cities and counties. the payments, usually a
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few $100 each month, go to needy residents, no strings attached. we reported on one of the first pilot programs in stockton, california, in 2018. this past march, we looked at a program in hudson, new york, where there is an affordable housing crisis. now, newshour weekend's zachary green reports from gary, indiana, where jobs can be hard to find. this story is part of our ongoing series, "chasing the dream: poverty, opportunity and justice in america." >> reporter: the city of gary in northern indiana is one of the latest in the country to experiment with a guaranteed income. its 12-month-long pilot program, the guaranteed income validation effort, or give, began in may. it's distributing $500 a month to 125 randomly chosen citizens with no strings attached. burgess peoples is give's executive director. >> the biggest issues i saw, or still see, is poverty. that's number one. individuals not being able to make it through the day-to-day.
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the-- the family unit is stressed out because there's-- the dollar's just not there. i don't care how they try to budget, it's just not there. >> reporter: once a thriving steel town, gary is now one of the poorest in indiana. its abandoned homes and boarded-up shops speak to its declining population, which fell 14% in the last decade alone. that's mainly attributed to the la of steel jobs. the gary works steel mill, owned by the u.s. steel corporation, is still the largest employer in gary, indiana. at its peak in the mid-'70s, it employed more than 30,000 people, but as the steel industry declined, and more jobs became automated, that number dropped precipitously. today, the company employs about 5,000 people in the area. gary now has the highest unemployment rate in the state, and its median household income, just over $31,000 a year, is also one of the lowest. nearly one in three people here live in poverty, including about ha of all children.
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it's challenges like these that inspired gary's mayor, jerome prince, to join mayors for a guaranteed income, a network of 63 city leaders who have endorsed the idea as a tool to address poverty. the organization, which last year received $18 million in funding from twitter c.e.o. jack dorsey, provided $500,000 which partially funded gary's pilot. >> we believe that $500 a month will give persons the opportunity, in some instances, to pay a bill, if you will, that they ordinarily weren't able to pay. and as a result of that, perhaps less stress will be associated with their daily lives, in-- in essence, providing them an opportunity to go out and explore other opportunities that exist, such as going back to school or enhancing their present skill-set. >> reporter: there are some people who say that, you know, if you're receiving money, that's actually a disincentive to work. >> i would ask them to look at
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the results and the information that's been shared from some of the other pilot programs and see how people have, not only in some instances, who were unemployed, they've become employed; but even those who are employed have become gainfully employed. >> reporter: evidence from the country's first citywide guaranteed income pilot program supports the mayor's assertion. beginning in february 2019, the stockton economic empowerment demonstration, or seed, in stockton, california, distributed $500 a month to 125 residents. the pilot program ended its run this january. in the first year, researchers found the number of recipients with full-time employment rose from 28% to 40%, and the number able to pay for unexpected expenses rose from 25% to 52%. peoples says that shows that guaranteed income can be transformative. >> now they can actually do things. that individual told me that he
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got his car fixed. now he can go to work without having to take off work because his car kept breaking down. another one didn't have gas money to get to work. now they can get to work. a mom has never taken her kids on a vacation. she called, screaming on the phone that she can take her kids on a vacation without worrying about not having a home to come back to because she will be late on rent or something. >> reporter: recipients were chosen from a lottery of residents earning no more than $35,000 a year, just above gary's median income. one of them is 47-year-old georzella turner. she had her first child at 15 and was kicked out of her home by h mother. she eventually raised five children and was homeless for many years. 2.5 years ago, she saved enough money to rent the house where she now lives with her two youngest daughters. what are some of the biggest issues that you see affecting your neighbors and the people in this city? >> lack of resources. thjobs here, you either got to know somebody that knows
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somebody, or you got to have-- have a higher education to make the money that you need to be able to survive. because even with me working where i'm working, i still need government assistance. >> reporter: turner, who receives food stamps and medicaid benefits, makes $13 an hour working a bit less than a 40-hour week at indiana's family and social services administration. she learned about the give pilot this past spring from a facebook post and applied online. >> i got this phone call, and i was like, yeah? you know, because i don't normally answer calls if there's not a name there. so, she was like, "i'm calling from the give program, and we had a lottery, and you were picked." oh, my god! you talking about ecstatic. i was so excited. it's like, at that instant, i just started praising god. what may seem small to others is huge, very huge to me. it made a difference in my life. every cent i get goes to rent,
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utilities, life insurance, all that. i mean, you know, just the basics. this is stuff that we can't live without. so, it's like, it wasn't any wiggle room. this gave me wiggle room. >> reporter: part of the give program includes access to other services, like financial literacy courses and assistance from the local small business development corporation in starting new businesses. burgess peoples help georzella turner get a scholarship to an online culinary school. turner says she plans to use some of her extra income to buy a new oven to start a baking business. and at least four other participants have already started small businesses, from auto body repair to a nail salon. >> i want them to take all the resources throughout the pilot, but i want them to keep utilizing them even when the pilot is over. >> reporter: earlier this year, gary received the first round of more than $80 million from the federal government's american rescue plan fund. mayor prince is proposing that $400,000 of it be added to
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give's budget, which will keep it going for a full 12 months. >> we're looking for the data that comes out of this so that we could share it on the national level and encourage our national leaders to take a look at a more robust guaranteed income program for all folks in the country who are at or below the median income. >> poverty should not be a standstill with somebody's life. it should be something temporary. and we should use our dollars and our common sense to help every human being be able to live a decent life and a life of dignity. >> the give program gave me a little more hope that it's-- it's people out there that's willing to help, you know. and there's no stipulations for somebody to just say, "here, this is for you. we're going to do this for you for a whole year, and there's no strings attached." i call that a blessing.
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>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, we've all heard and maybe even seen self-driving cars. now in amsterdam, autonomous vehicles are taking to the city's famous waterways. the result could mean both traffic jam relief on the city's narrow roadways, less pollution, and even more efficient trash collection. to draw attention to these new and environmentally-friendlier modes of transportation, dutch designers teamed up with the massachusetts institute of technology, to make what they are cleverly calling “roboats.” >> so, we have a lot of road traffic and congestion, e-commerce, logistics, that is cluttering the small streets in the inner city, while at the same time, we have a lot of open water available in the canals that is not being used any more for transport, only for tourists. sreenivasan: the first two full-size, functional robot-boats went out for test voyages this past week after
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four years of trials with smaller versions. >> of course we have the autonomy, so the boat knows where it is, what objects are on the water, and how to avoid any collisions during navigation and maneuvering. one very important thing i think that we have been able to develop is that the boat is also able to dock autonomously,nd latch to other boats, so it can really pick up other boats, like a tugboat, but it can also really dock fully autonomously and take in passengers or a load of construction materials. >> sreenivasan: the roboats aren't fully-approved for passenger trips yet. instead, their first use will be to replace some garbage trucks on amsterdam's famously narrow streets-- acting as floating trash containers that can automatically navigate to pick-up points once they're full.
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>> sreenivasan: that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. for the latest news updates, visit i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. stay healthy, and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the j.p.b. foundation. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities.
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barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. additional support has been provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
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-so we're here at the spot where the cattle is coming from mexico to the u.s., right here. -yes, ma'am. they're coming in the united states right now. -and now they're in the united states? -yes, last year, we crossed 606,138 animals from mexico to the united states. -and people have no understanding, including me, of everything else that's happening at the border that's essential. -we have a saying in spanish. and that's, "we're all eating from the same plate." -the idea of the border has profound meaning to me. as a mexican american, i always feel like i'm treading between two worlds. i was born and raised in mexico, then moved to america, and i'm raising my family here. and i spend my career traveling my homeland, sharing mexican food and culture with the world.


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