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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 9, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, january 9: ukraine tops the agenda for tomorrow's direct talks between the united states and russia. how a guaranteed monthly check makes a big difference for black mothers in mississippi. and punk rock legend kathleen hanna inspires a new generation of musicians and feminists. ♪ ♪ ♪ 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.
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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. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in mo 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 has been offering no contract wireless plans designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private
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corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. the biden administration is downplaying expectations for its security talks with russia that begin tomorrow in geneva. topping the agenda for the bilateral meeting is the buildup of russian forces near the border with ukraine. in interviews today, secretary of state antony blinken said that he did not expect any breakthroughs, and called for de-escalation. >> we're going to listen to their concerns. they'll listen to our concerns, and we'll see if there are grounds for progress. but, to make actual progress, it's very hard to see that happening when there's an ongoing escalation, when russia has a gun to the head of ukraine with 100,000 troops near its borders, the possibility of doubling that on very short order. >> sreenivasan: while u.s. officials say they are willing to make some concessions, including limiting offensive rockets in ukraine, they are also warning that russia would face severe sanctions if it intervenes in ukraine.
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russia is seeking security guarantees that the u.s. and the nato alliance will not expand eastward, leavinukraine and other former soviet states under russia's sphere of influence. deputy secretary of state wendy sherman is scheduled to meet for a working dinner with her russian counterpart tonight, followed by formal talks starting tomorrow. the talks this week between the u.s. and russia have another wrinkle: the ongoing instability in kazakhstan. for a week, deadly protests in this former soviet state have challenged the regime that has led the country since independence in 1991. at the request of the country's president, about 2,500 mostly russian troops are now deployed in kazakhstan as part of a post- soviet alliance. kazakhstan's government said today order was restored, and the health ministry reported that at least 164 people were killed in the protests- far more than the death toll of 16 security forces and 26 civilians
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previously announced. iraq's new parliament met today for the first time since the country held a contested general election three months ago. shiite leader muqtada al-sadr controls the largest bloc in the new parliament, but even that is being contested. there were disruptions during today'session, but parliament's speaker was re-elected for a second term. iraq's constitution requires lawmakers to choose a new president who then has 15 days to appoint a new prime minister nominated by parliament. in china today, healthcare workers began mass testing of 14 million people in the city of tianjin after detecting a cluster of coronavirus infections. state tv showed residents lining up after officials reported 20 people tested positive for covid-19, including at least two with the omicron variant. china is steppinup its zero tolerance policy in advance of the february 4 start of the winter olympics in beijing. several cities are under lockdown orders, andchools are closing in some districts.
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wisconsin republican senator ron johnson said today he will run for reelection, breaking his promise not seek a third term. johnson is one of former president donald trump's staunchest supporters. he has downplayed the violence in the deadly january 6 attack on the capitol and promoted conspiracy theories. johnson contracted covid in 2020, but is not vaccinated and recently questioned vaccine science. in new york city today, one of the deadliest high rise fires in recent memory. at least 19 people, including nine children, died when a blaze swept through a 19 story apartment building in the bronx today. at least 60 people were injured, including 32 hospitalized with life-threatening injuries. >> the impact of this fire is really going to bring a level of just pain and despair in our city. the numbers are horrific. >> sreenivasan: as of latehis afternoon the cause was still under investigation.
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for more national and international news, visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: as of 2020, about 30% of families in the u.s. headed by black mothers lived in poverty. that's more than two and half times the national rate. in jackson, mississippi, a guaranteed income program is trying to help black mothers lift themselves out of pover. guaranteed income provides people with a stipend, usually between $500 and $1,000 a month, with no strings attached. some praise it as an economic lifeline, others criticize it as an expensive handout. newshour weekend's zachary green, who has been covering guaranteed income programs for the past year, visited jackson to learn more about the program, which is also the subject of a new documentary that premiered last month called “inherent good.” this story is part of our ongoing series “chasing the dream: poverty, opportunity and justice in america.” >> reporter: since 2013, aisha nyandoro's nonprofit
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organization, “springboard to opportunities,” has worked to help families in jackson, mississippi, living in subsidized housing. >> the women that we work with on average make $10 annually, and that's working full time. we were doing everything from after school programs, workforce development, and training programs. food pantries on site, healthcare clinics on site in a couple of our communities. and w-- really was about economic mobility and thriving. >> reporter: but in 2017, she had a problem. nyandoro feared that the group's efforts weren't having enough of an effect on the lives of poor families in jackson. >> we were not seeing a successful transition out of fordable housing. we were not moving the needle on poverty. and the reason that that mattered to us is because so many of our families, when they t-- when we asked them what it is that you want for yourself, for your family, what are your goals, they talk about home ownership. they talk about living in maet rate housing. and we were seeing that we weren't actually helping families achieve those goals. >> reporter: nyandoro asked the families directly what they thought was missing.
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>> our families told us a myriad of stories, but every story that we heard could be addressed with cash. i pulled together a roundtable of moms and i just said, "okay, just help me dream about what this could potentially be." >> reporter: the discussion that followed led to the creation of the magnolia mother's trust, the first privately-run guaranteed income program in the country. the program launched in 2018 with $300,000 in funding from the nonprofit economic security project and a private donor. it distributed $1,000 a month for one year to 20 working black mothers living in subsidized housing. the recipients, chosen by lotty, were free to use the money in whatever way they saw fit. one of the first was 31-year-old cajania brown, aother of three who was then working part time as a suprket cashier. >> i was pregnant at the time and-- i kept passin' out at work 'cause i had vertigo, and-- got couldn't work anymore. so, i go, "okay, well, this came just in time."
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>> reporter: brown used the extra $1,000 a month to pay for essentials, as well as take time off to be with her kids. >> i got into a new bed, i got my car fixed, just-- clothes for the kids. i'd take my kids on trips. we went to the zoo. we went out to eat. >> reporter: the money also helped her move to a larger apartment for her growing family and raise her credit score by making and paying off credit card purchases. in addition, magnolia mother's trust provided her with counseling on topics like home ownership. >> at the time, i di't know credit was that important. like, i knew a little things about credit, and what we'd need to make to get a house in jackson. i knew the simple things, but you know, they was-- taught us a lot. >> reporter: magnolia mother's trust is now sving its third group of guaranteed income recipients. so, you said you staed with 20 moms in the first cohort. how many moms are in the current cohort that you're serving? >> 100. >> reporter: 100 moms. >> last year we had 110. next year we'll have at least 100. so, it's like we started from the btom, now we're here. it feels really good. >> reporter: the program is now fully funded by private donors from around the country.
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one of the current recipients is ashley dawson, a 30-year-old mother of five who works as a campus enforcement officer at chastain middle school in jackson. she found out she had been chosen for the program in an email last april. >> and i just couldn't believe it. i might have read it probably ten times just to make sure that i was seein' what i thought i was seeing, but-- 'cause you know, 'cause things like this just don't come about too quick, too often. >> reporter: dawson began receiving the $1,000 a month in the midst of a trying year, in which she separated from her children's father and her sister was killed in a shooting. >> you know, sometimes you can kind of lo insight when you go through a couple of things in life. something as simple as your-- your worth-- your worthiness or-- if you matter, you know? when someone do something good, you know, when you get a chance to be a part of something good, you know, just picks you up, you know? and it helps you remember who you are and what really matters.
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>> reporter: dawson says that she's used the extra income to pay for family holiday expenses, as well as some unexpected car repairs. she's also saving money to move her family to a bigger home d to go back to college and finish her degree in social work. she hopes to have a career in education or srt an organization to help young people deal with challenges similar to those she herself faced. >> i wanted to get an organization set up that would be designed for teenagers, once they graduate school, preferably females, to help them have somewhere to go, to stay, if they don't have nowhere to go. and that will provide them somewhere to stay and to help them get on their feet. >> reporter: since magnolia mother's trust began three years ago, several of its former participants have been able to purchase homes or move into market rate rental properties. aisha nyandoro says that the program is proof of the beneficial effects of a guaranteed income. >> when you give people money without restrictions, they go about taking care of what it is that they need for themselves and their families.
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we've seen moms get out of debt. we've seen individuals go back to school, finish school, get better jobs, go see family members for the first time in years because they actually have disposable income now. >> reporter: what do you see as the future for magnolia mother's trust? do you see this as something that could become a permanent fixture, something that could grow to involve more people, maybe in places outside of jackson? >> i don't want magnolia mother's trust to be permanent. i feel like that would be a failure if it is permanent. i don't think that any of the guaranteed income projects that are currently being implemented in this country can be sustained without federal policy. i think they're all important. i think that we are all providing critical narrative and data and conversations that were needed to help push this country forward and to really help us divorce this ideal of cash with restrictions, but if magnolia mother's trust or any of the guaranteed income programs are still occurring five years from now, i will feel like we've missed the mark in a massive opportunity. so, for me, am pushing for policy and demonstrating what is
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possible on a federal level. >> sreenivasan: for more on guaranteed income, zachary green spoke with natalie foster, co-chair of the economic security project. the non-profit organization helps fund programs that work to create wage and income equality, and is one of the funders of aisha nyandoro's non-profit, springboard to opportunities. >> reporter: so, we just heard aisha nyandoro say that if magnolia mother's trust or any of the other guaranteed income programs that are currently operating in the country now are still around in five years, she would consider that a failure. what do you think of that statement, and is there anything happening on the federal level right now that would make programs le magnol mother's trust unnecessary? >> one thing we know is that cash policies are some of the most efficient and effective ways of helping families when they are struggling. you know, people, almost all americans, experienced a sort of experiment in cash policies through stimulus checks that came to families through expanded unemployment insurance
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when people lost a job, and through the child tax credit checks, which are basically a guaranteed income for families with children. unfortunately, it's all uncertain. people didn't know when the stimulus checks would come, when they would start and stop. and unfortunately,he child tax credit has just sent out its last check in december of 2021 because of congressional gridlock in washington, d.c. so, we need to move past the uncertainty and make the child tax credit, which is a guaranteed income for families with children, a permanent part of american social policy. >> reporter: so, one thing that we keep hearing is that restrictions within the current social safety net might actually be keeping people wiin the cycle of poverty rather than helping them pull themselves out of it. could you tell us why that's the case? what is it about our current welfare system that might actually be keeping people in poverty? >> well, i'll first say that our current welfare system is saving people'sives. it is incredibly important that we have it, but we need to build
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on it and grow it and create it as a support mechanism for families as we enter these uncertain times, making it so that cash comes with no strings attached so that families can make their own decisions about what they need. >> reporter: so, what do you say to people who say that if you take away the restrictions from these welfare programs, then people are just going to spend the money irresponsibly? >> these policies are often rooted in racist histories, in distrust of families, and they add cruel logistical complexity to people who are just trying to navigate a system, you know, when they are struggling. one of the things we saw coming out of many of the guaranteed inme demonstrations are that people spend the money on the basics. they put food on the table. some families, that's three meals instead of two. every family is different. and for every family, it's important fobeing able to live the lives of dignity that they
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deserve. >> reporter: and finally, we've looked at guaranteed income programs in stockton, california, in hudson, new york, in gary, indiana, in san francisco, where they were dealing with people experiencing homelessness. what do you see as the future for guaranteed income, and how do you see guaranteed income being scaled up on a national level? whatould the mechanics of that be? >> what we're seeing right now are cities as the laboratories of democracy. we are seeing mayors like mayor michael tubbs in stockton, and community leaders like dr. aisha nyandoro, who are taking up the mantle and saying, this is the future of american social policy, and i will demonstrate what it looks like in my city. we're seeing cities-- dozens of cities across the country demonstrating what a regular monthly support of cash could look like for families. and the results are incredible. people feel less stress. they're able to work jobs that are meaningful and higher paying
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in their lives and are able to put food on the table. and i believe that will demonstrate what a federal guaranteed income should look like. but the bottom line is, regular checks that families can count on in this country are how we build back better in america. >> reporter: natalie foster of the economic security project. thanks so much for joining us. >> it's great to be here. >> sreenivasan: like all musical styles, punk rock has its history and its traditions. and, inevitably, the torch is passed as artists emerge. for a new generation, punk veteran kathleen hanna, who co-founded the band bikini kill, continues to be an inspiration-- especially for young women moving into this me-dominated genre. newshour weekend's christopher booker has the story. >> reporter: as part of their teentastic tuesdays program last may, the los angeles public
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library hosted a young band called the linda lindas. >> a little while before we went into lockdown a boy came up to me and said his dad told him to stay away from chinese people. so, this is about him and all the other racist, sexist boys in this world! >> reporter: rather unexpectedly, this performance was about to go viral. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ racist, sexist, boy you are a-- ♪ >> reporter: the clip of their song “racist, sexist, boy” was viewed millionof times online, and landed the young band on late night television. >>he linda lindas! ( cheers and applause ) >> reporter: for those invested in punk rock, the linda lindas brief bombardment of social media feeds provided proof positive that the future was in good hands. but there was something else: the t-shirts, a not-so-subtle nod to one of punk's most seminal bands, bikini kill, and its singer, kathleen hanna. ♪ ♪ ♪
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in the early 1990s bikini kill, led by kathleen hanna, was arguably one of the most influential groups in music, an integral part of a do-it-yourself art, music and political movement called riot grrrl, which gained prominence as alternative music came to dominate the airwaves and pop- culture. the riot grrrl scene, however, existed in small clubs and college campuses, well outside of the commercial mainstream. >> we booked our own tours, we had no management and we did everything ourselves, including, like, fixing the van most of the time. any woman or girl at our show, i would get their address. i would write them a postcard and say, here, we're going to be here this day, put a heart or a star on your hand. if you see another girl with that, you'll know she's interested in feminism and you guys could start a conversation. and it started working. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: taking a hammer to the male-dominated underground music world, hanna become a punk rock feminist icon- and a target, as bikini kill's prominence grew. >> if you're-- if you're
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challenging the status quo, a bunch of jerks are going to come out of the woodwork like termites and try andttack you. some big magazine would write something about how we were just a bunch of sexual abuse survivors who hated men, and we were ruining the punk scene, and our shows weren't really musical, they were speak outs. i mean, i could tell you a million stories. but to have to endure that and then go on stage and be like, hey! all girls to the front. i'm not kidding. all girls to the front! ( cheers and applause ) all boys be cool, for once in your lives. go back. if i got into this to be liked, this is, like, the wrong business to get into to. like, we've all got to end oppression ainst all people. it's not about being a white woman who climbs the corporate ladder or who makes it on to a major label, or i get to play a big festival and everything's solved. it's about everyone coming together, and feminism to me really is that. >> reporter:n the late 90s, bikini kill slowed down, and
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hanna would release a solo cord and also formed a trio called le tigre. now a seasoned music veteran, she had made her mark. bikini kill's advocacy of what has been called girl power had become an integral part of culture, and their song "rebel girl," an unofficial anthem, appearing in movies, television and even miley cyrus' 2021 super bowl performance. ♪ that girls thinks she's the queen of the neighborhood ♪ she's got the hottest trike in town ♪ >> the weirder part of the way that things i've been involved with have seeped into popular culture is walking into target and seeing a girl power shirt. and all the crap that we went through, you know, back in the day, it makes it worth it. >> reporter: but culture is not a static affair, and recent years have not been quiet. bikini kill decided to reunite shortly after the 2016 election because, hanna says, she still felt the same way she did in the 90s. >> i feel the same exact amount of anger. i mean, it's not like sexism stopped existing.
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you know, we actually, when we were, , we were checking out different booking agents that we wanted to work with. and one of them, a male, was like, "well, you better strike while the iron is hot, you know, with this, like, kavanaugh stuff, and you know." and i was like"don't worry, i think sexism still going to, you know, still going to exist like next year. i don't think we need to really rush this. it's been around for a long time." >> reporter: do you find yourself checking what youay because of what we now call call out or cancel culture? >> i've always been put in a position where if i say something in a sort of weird way or i have an off interview or something like that, or even if i have a great interview, someone's going to take issue with it, and i don't care. i mean, i can't live my life that way. hey there! >> reporter: while the pandemic postponed bikini kill's 2020 tour until the spring of ¡22, hanna has been busy, spending
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her time working on her organization tees-for togo. what is tees for togo? >> reporter: founded in 2018 and working in collaboration with an organization called the peace sisters, tees-for-togo sells designer t-shirts for $40.00 a piece, each helping to pay for a girl to go to school in togo, west africa, for one year. turns out the t-shirts worn by the linda lindas in their viral video clip weren't just band shirts, but tees-for-togo shirts. >> just to show how amazing the internet is. these shirts, thlinda lindas, like, bought on their own, wore them in the video. and then i sold like $13,000 worth of shirts the next day. >> reporter: hanna says this year tees-for-togo has donated over $40,000 to the peace sisters, helping to triple the number of girls the organization is sending to school since its founding. when you think of a band like the linda lindas, against your experience, what kind of advice would you give to a young band, as people, as young people that
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have something to say, and want to say something in a cynical world? >> i always think of it like this: a kid threw spitballs at you in your class and you think, "oh, this kid is hating on me," or whatever. but that kid just wants to get your attention, and it is the same way if you are somebody who speaks out in the public eye. there is going to be people who want to have some kind of relationship to you, and if they can't have a positive relationship with you, they will have a negative relatiship with you. and i would tell them that the spitballs mean people are paying attention, and that all of the negative stuff means it's working. and if you're not getting those negative comments, like, are you really a punk? ♪ i really want to be yo best friend ♪ be my rebel girl ♪
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>> sreenivasan: that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. for the latest news updates, visit www.pbs.org/newshour. 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 access.wgbh.org >> 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
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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 ofomorrow 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. yo
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