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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 11, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight. ballot battle the president and the vice president make a new and urgent push for voting rights legislation but face an uphill fight in a divided congress. then the surge continues. covid hospitalizations reach a record high as the white house rushes to ramp up athome testing. and lockdown. we look at a chinese city under some of the world's toughest covid restrictions to examine the human toll of a "zero covid" policy. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."
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>> and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions from viewers like you. thank you. judy: president biden and vice president harris both traveled to georgia today to up the pressure on congress to pass longstalled voting rights legislation. geoff bennett begins our coverage. >> president joe biden today with an urgent new call to protect the right to vote.
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>> to protect our democracy, i support changing the senate rules. >> the president during his full support behind a onetime change to the senate filibuster to ease passage of voting rights legislation. >> i believe the threat to our democracy is so grave that we must find a way to pass these voting rights bills. debate them. vote. let the majority prevail. and if that bare minimum is blocked, we have no option but to change senate rules including getting rid of the filibuster for this. >> but that requires the sport of all 50 democratic senators and west virginia's joe manchin and arizona's kyrsten sinema aren't on board. and republicans are nearly unanimous in opposing the bills as government overreach. >> it's a power grab to enable a power grab. >> senate minority leader mitch mcconnell says democrats are promoting what he calls "fake outrage" and "fake hysteria" on voting rights "ginned up by partisans." >> if my colleague tries to
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break the senate to silence those millions of americans, we will make their voices heard in this chamber in ways that are more inconvenient for the majority and this white house than what anybody has seen in living memory. >> the white house insists that chuck schumer promised about on voting rights pledge lesion as soon as tomorrow. schumer one of that if republicans filibuster the effort, they will force another vote by martin luther king jr. day. >> failure is not an option for the democracy of america. >> the choice of georgia is no accident. it served as the cradle of the civil rights movement. dr. king whom the president honored today laying a wreath at his crypt.
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and the late congressman john lewis who represented a district with president delivered his address. the state is ground zero for the current challenge. the state became one of the first to pass more restrictive voting laws. supporters point to one measure, an additional day of early voting as the law increasing butter access but other provisions take aim at mail-in voting, implement stricter voter id requirements and that the use of ballot drop boxes. georgia is one of 19 states that have puffed -- passed for voting laws. the laws of the biggest or to democracy since the civil war. >> each one of the members of the senate is going to be judged by history. on where they stood before the vote and where they stood after the vote. there is no escape. let's get back to work.
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>> he says he is bracing for a bruising fight to take action. >> we will return to the full program after the latest headlines. the number of people hospitalized with covid-19 has hit a new record. there were nearly 146,000 as of today, topping the peak of 142,000 last january. also, chicago teachers ended a walk at that canceled five days of classes. they agreed on new covid safety measures. we will have more on that after the new summary. hundreds of students across new york city walked out of classrooms and protest asking for remote learning options and increased covid-19 testing. and new orleans reimposedn
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indoor mask mandate as a ready for visitors during mardi gras season. president biden defended his sponsor the pandemic. he says he is confident or on the right track. meanwhile, his top covid advisor, dr. anthony fauci accused a longtime critic of lying about him to this. court that weakens all the crazies out there. i have life, threats upon my life. harassment of my family and my children with obscene phone calls because people are lying about me. go to rand paul website and you will see fire dr. fauci with a little box that says contribute here. you cou do five dollars, 10 dollars, $20.
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police say that he had a hit list with fact his name on it. an arctic wave moved into new england with subzero savages. public schools in boston and elsewhere canceled classes for fear of students suffering frostbite. wind chills hit minus72 at mount washington, new hampshire. fs the observatory there posted an image of a fork sticking straight out from a plate of frozen spaghetti. the head of the federal reserve system says the u.s. economys recovering strongly but inflation is now a serious threat. jerome powell had his senate confirmation hearing today for a second term as fed chair. he acknowledged the need to act, with price hikes at a 40-year high. >> if we have to raise interest rates more over time, we will. we will use our tools to get to inflation back, and the main reason is this a reason is this to get the kind of very strong labor market we want with high participation, it's going to
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take a long expansion. >> north korea reported that this was a hypersonic missile, making it the second such test launch . the world sides a looming catastrophe for 23 million people. in response, the u.s. announced $300 million in aid today. any donors suspended it after the taliban took over in august. a russian that military alliance begin withdrawing more than 2000
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troops from kazakhstan. that comes as violent protests have been quelled annually 10,000 detained. >> the main mission of the peacekeeping forces have been successfully completed. the withdrawal process take no more than 10 days. >> they will narrow the country's wealth gap. back in this country, the u.s. navy will drain an underground fuel facility that is blamed for contaminating, drinking water around here. a navy official confirmed today that the service will comply with state order. hundreds of people have reported getting sick from tap water since november. the u.s. senate passed a bill to award the congressional medal of honor posthumously to emmett till and his mother.
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emmett, a black teenager was murdered by white supremacists in the 1950's. the killing helped spark the civil rights movement. the use of representatives is considering similar legislation. a leader in the struggle for native american civil rights has died. they cofounded the american indian movement in 1968 which protested police brutality. still to come, a member of the covid response team discusses the push for testing. chicago teachers agreed to return to school after a bitter standoff. we examine the legacy of the guantanamo bay prison 20 years after his opening and much more. >> this is the pbs newshour from here and in the west at the
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walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. >> as we reported earlier president , joe biden and vice president kamala harris are stepping up their push for democrats to pass federal voting rights legislation. geoff bennett is back with two different views on the significance of their trip to georgia today, a what lies ahead. >> thanks judy. while the president was joined by several civil rights leaders today during his events in atlanta, some local voting rights advocates chose not to participate. one of those organizers joins me now, co-founder of black voters matter. latosha brown, good to have you with us. president biden did 70 things that you guys have been calling on him to do. why did you choose not to attend his speech today question mark >> we could attend his speech today. we want his agenda to pass.
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we axley helped put him in office. we were way past. it was going to require action. >> what is your reaction to what you heard from the president today? >> i think it was a promising speech. i think we are cautiously optimistic. many of the things he said today, i must commend him. i think it takes a measure of a man to acknowledge and admit when you were wrong. i think for him to say that he has been solid long enough, i commend him for being able to speak to that. he has also been a staunch
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defender of the filibuster. he has said adamantly that he will not support moving the filibuster. to see him move his position and recognize the seriousness of this moment and also to acknowledge the work that is happening on the ground in georgia, i thought it was promising. >> when it comes to preserving access at the ballot box, so much of that work falls to people like you and groups like the one you represent. given the ways in which the laws have changed in georgia, can you out organize what you see as voter suppression? >> absolutely not. no one can. many of the organizers i work with are the best in the country. possibly the best organizers in the world but there is only so much we can do. that is part of the reason why we have been diligent. we have done every thing we could to really put pressure on the white house, the senate, the house. we have gone back and forth to d.c.. we have organized on the ground.
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we have protested, we have been arrested. there is no way out of this other than to make some structural changes. there has to be some federal protection. we cannot allow people to be punished because of the way they voted or who they voted for. that is a serious attack on democracy in this nation. >> there is a palpable frustration i picup when i speak to grassroots organizers like yourself. the political realities in washington have not really changed one iota despite the speech the president gave today and all the attention he is trying to focus on voting rights right now. if nothing changes between now and election day, can democrats -- the biden administration, can they count on support from organizations like yours? >> we are literally fhting for our lives. we are supporting legislation around health care.
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when we are supporting legislation around job access, that is because we need quality jobs. the truth of the matter is we are being attacked right now. i often talk about these three strategies that the republicans and the rights have used historically to impact the right to vote. that is creating a culture of fear. we are seeing that even with the lies, the information. georgia is a prime example. this is the most popular county in the state of georgia. the republican party's have an effort right now to take over the election board here in the county and the third thing is to restrict access. we have seen that in the closing of the polling sites. we have seen that when we are talking about access around absent the voter ballots. this is being proposed in the
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georgia legislature that would illuminate drop-off boxes. we have seen this strategy, it is like a playbook we have seen over and over again. what it will take to move forward is we have to recognize that we are in a different kind up local landscape. we cannot allow to think of this as just another bill. we have to see this as a fundamental lead to preserve democracy in this nation no matter who you are and what you vote for, you should not be punished. there should not be punitive measures. >> not one of their public and officials tasked test with implement in george's new voting law, gabriel sterling is the chief operating officer of the georgia secretary of state office. you are one of the few republican officials that has pushed back against the lies that former president donald trump has been telling about the
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election he lost. president biden has adjusted those lies have transformed into a potent threat facing our democracy. do you agree with that assessment? quick the reason you have ballots is so that we can avoid bullets. if they can keep weaponizing this the way they are, we will have a serious situation for years to come. president biden was speaking about republican election officials like yourself and said that too many people voting in a democracy is a problem for people like you. so they're putting up obstacles. how do you react to that? >> this kind of hyperbole by president trump or president biden is dangerous and wrong. the voter integrity act actually extends the number of days people can early vote. it makes it easier to ruest an absentee ballot andor these
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people to be identified as the right person. we want to make sure that every legal vote is counted and n illegal votes are being cast. in every single election, there will be illegal votes. your job is to minimize them and make sure that -- many of the things he talked about today were not true. we did not have absentee about drop-offs because it was authorized by law until this past. for the first time ever, georgia law authorizes drop boxes. the idea that it is hard to do this is not true. we have a which he is a voter id to make sure we are no longer having to match signatures. , kratz literally sued as last year to get rid of signature match and now they are trying to sue us for other ways to identify voter we are trying to make it more secure and very easy to vote. it is extremely easy to vote in my state. it is hard to cheat. that is the goal of these kinds
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of laws. there are elements of the georgia voting law that had been termed in a political process. for instance, giving the state oversight of the state election board. why is that appropriate? >> people have wide about this law. i was so frustrated -- people have lied about this law. i was so frustrated. people are being abused by the election officials locally. take fulton county which has always been a problem. we have thousands of people that did not get there absentee ballots during the primary. there has to be a mechanism of accountability. in this one, there has been a lot of due process. one of the claims is that republicans can get people to overturn election results. that is impossible. it is not reality. the investigation has to go to at least 30.
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these lies, i know it is great politics. it really is. for biden and the demarest estate voter suppression is great politics, it undermines people's faith in both elections. it is just wrong. >> the voting law is in search of a problem. there was no fraud in the 2020 vote in georgia to the degree that it would have changed the outcome. but there was was increased turnout. as a result come these stricter voting laws. why was that the sequence? >> the claim that these are stricter voting laws is somehow very bizarre to me. our office wrote a good 90% of this law. it is really about election administration. we had arand-new voting system used for the first time in 2020. we knew there would be things we would learn and change. we also needed tighter control on the process.
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that is one of the areas that was not as well regulated as need be. it put a lot of stress on our counties. one of the things that was really important, people requesting about, only 52% of those people actually voted. we put up absentee ballot deadlines there. that way the county could process them and if you have time, you will not get a ballot. >> during today's senate hearing about the pandemic, lawmakers level tough criticisms on the
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biden administration incding around the lack of available testing. the president has announced plans to ramp up the response, that includes requiring insurers to pay for eight at home rabbits hats per person per month starng this weekend. and making 500 million tests available to ship to those who request them. we look at key questions about all of this with dr. tom ingalls b. he is a senior advisor to the white house team. thank you so much for joining us. the calls for these tests have been out there for a long time. how much difference are these steps the white house has announced going to make? >> thank you for having me. the steps that have been announced to this week i think will make a major difference in the availability of the test. the insurance plan you just reference will come into effect this weekend. every family that is covered by
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private insurance wille able to access test. this will provi 500 million rapid tests to americans across the country through a simple website. that will be put in place later this month. those different components will add to the already growing market of over-the-counter tests in the united states. if you look back at summertime, you have 25 million tests available that can august. the number will grow in january, february, march and beyond. >> how are you ramping up the supply of tests? for the longest time there have not been anywhere near the number of tests available. how are you suddenly going to make this happen?
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>> the number of tests has been growing over the course of the fall. we have had a number of new manufacturers get their authorizations from the fda. there are new manufacturers even rent for the holidays. two major companies got their authorization and they are not providing tests to america. there are many more companies seeking authorization. these announcements have increased the interest in these companies. we have more momentum. we are going to go faster and make more tests available. >> how will it work are people that would want to access these tests? do they want to go to the website? how is that going to work for people? >> people will be able to go to a website which will be launched relatively soon. they will be able to see it before the time they can start ordering tests. it will be a simple -- a civil and very straight forward website where people can go and
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do this. that will be happening relatively soon and -- >> relatively soon meaning by the end of the next few weeks? >> yes. the website should be online by this weekend and then sometime in the days to follow, people will begin to be able to order their tests. >> how long to receive them? >> tests will begin to arrive during january. and then into february. >> i am asking because i saw a reporting that it may take two months for these 500 million tests the administration is talking about to reach people. correct the details of the timing of their arrival are being worked out with companies. the contracts are just closing today and the next couple of days. i think some of the details will be announced by this friday.
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given that the demand is going to -- it will still be exceeding the supply, how will you decide who gets the tests that are available? >> in this plan to distribute 500 million tests, there are enough tests for every household in america. there is no need to make a choice between one household or another. any household that will what these tests will be able to get them. as orders come into the website, we will distribute those tests accordingly and we will not have a problem reaching all americans. >> in other words, you are not -- there is no plan for prioritization >> -- prioritization. certain people will have access before others. >> right. this website will provide access to all americans at the same time. it will be able to handle a very large load of reests. it is being built to be able to handle a very high volume in the
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earliest stages when we expect there will be a lot of interest and demand. >> for example, individuals of low income may not be able to go to the drugstore to pay for them. they will be thrown in the mix with everybody else and everybody will need to have internet access. >> we are very conscious of the equity issues involved and having a website like this, there will be a phone line available to call in orders. for people who don't have internet access or have some kind of disability that limits their ability to be on the internet. it is part of a larger program of testing in the united states. we have a variety of different testing channels provided test for americans, over-the-counter tests. the president announced a commitment last month to provide 50 million over-the-counter tests for free to commuting health clinics around the country and to rural health
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clinics. that is already happening. about 90 tests have been ordered by clinics around the country. we will continue to do that. we will continue to provide free testing in 10,000 pharmacies around the country that are disproportionally located in underserved communities. all those programs will continue as is but we are adding an additional program here. we will make sure to communicate very broadly and carefully with communities that are underserved before this program launches. twice with regard to the announcement about insurers providing -- reimbursing everyone who has insurance coverage, reimbursing what they pay for tests, that is -- that does not cover all americans, it covers people who have insurance. you are looking at two different buckets of people. is that how you see it? >> with the insurance program, we took a step to recover everyone -- to cover everyone who has revit insurance.
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medicaid providers also have a provision for including over-the-counter tests and providing them for free. there are some states where we are working through prescription , we are hoping they will be able to access the test the same way as anyone with private insurance. we have also had in place a program for the uninsured since the beginning of the administration. we have a $5 billion program to provide coverage o testing for e uninsured. we are going about this in a variety of ways consistent with the programs we have. but yes, the insurance program, for now, that is a private insurance program. we have other channels for other people covered in other ways. >> thank you. i know a lot of people have questions. questions about how this will work. thank you for joining us. we appreciate it. >> thank you for having me.
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quested a, after discovering two cases of omicron, chinese authorities locked down this area 300 miles from beijing. it is the third shiny city in knocked down. the largest is she on. 13 million people that shut down within two weeks ago after 120 residents tested positive or delta. weeks before the beijing lipids. these lockdowns are tests of china's zero covid policy. attorneys have called this a success but critics ask at what cost. >> the only signs of life are state-mandated covid tests. as seen on chinese tv, every resident has detested nearly every day. this is the country's largest committee epic and the largest lockdown in over two years.
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but first, residents were desperate. from their windows they yelled they don't have enough food. there please ignored. city officials say as long as you have one grain of rice, stay home. authorities say they recently made progress delivering groceries but shortages remain. >> it is very difficult to find food it has been difficult to find bottled water. a lot of my coworkers and friends are down to boiling their water. >> one american working spoke for fear of reprisal. >> when you say solitary confinement, what do you mean? >> it means i cannot open the door of my apartment. the only way i can leave is to go downstairs and get tested for covid. that is the only time i can leave. i tried to go down there when the line is long so i can stay down there as long as possible.
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>> what would happen if you tried to go outside? not in the context of getting tested? >> i might get arrested. i could be taken to jail. this is serious. >> zero covid could be deadly serious. hospitals require a negative test for entry. this woman was refused care for two hours. she was eight months pregnant and miscarried. in another video, a woman says her father had a heart attack and died when he was blocked from all the city hospitals and tens of thousands forcibly bused to quarantine centers far from the city center. and now, more citieare under lockdown. disinfecting trucks after three residents developed a symptom medication is. it is all part of china's zero covid policy to prevent community transmission. beijing says it has worked. cases are far lower than the west, saving thousands of lives.
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we need to try to stay ahead of the virus. we should carry out more strict management in areas with frequent movement of patients to control risks at the community level. cries at the national level, the top priority is the olympics as president xi jinping so last week, athletes and spectators will be kept in a closed loop. anyone entering the bubble must be vaccinated or face a three week quarantine. >> want to make sure there are no major outbreaks in the country. before the winter olympics. in the meantime, they also don't want the zero covid strategy to fail. >> as the council on foreign relations, he says china wants its covid policy success to prove the communist party success. >> that can be very convincing in terms of showing chinese superiority.
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showing a successful political system. >> what scientists say is not superior is state manufactured sinovac. chinese authors have voiced concerns their vaccines cannot stop infections despite an 86% vaccination rate. >> these two dose regiments are still not very effective at preventing new infections. >> the lockdown mirrors wuhan's. the covid epicenter was a ghost town. for not wearing a mask, this woman was arrested and this family dragged out of their homes to be quarantined. but one doctor was brave enough to speak out. in december of 2019, this doctor sounded the alarm about a virus spreading between patients. on chinese social midi he wrote i decided to inform my classmates and help protect them. chinese police later reprimanded him for quote spreading rumors. exactly two years ago he
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contracted covid. from his deathbed he wrote today , my nucleic acid test came back positive. the dust has settled. he died a few weeks later. hundreds of thousands of chinese still right online. including from xian. >> when i see that sick patients are repeatedly turned away from hospitals and die, i bet -- vent my fury again and again. it is like seeing the doctor with his foreknowledge. if there is anyone lesson we can learn, it should be that we are unable to learn from our past. >> a man was rejected by three hospitals and died. nowadays, there is no one who dares to whistle. >> people are late to him not only because he is speaking truth and paid the price but he was being wronged. also, his courage.
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>> this is the editor in chief of the california-based china digital times. he says the anniversary of the reprimand and xian's lockdown reveals that it -- the true nature of an authoritarian state. >> healthy society should have more than one voice. or reasonable room for a policy debate about zero covid policy. none of us -- none of this existed. not then and not now. what is happening and she on reminded them the human cost of those authoritarian policies, the human cost in chinese society. >> the country's first cases of omicron reported. omicron has led other countries to abandon zero covid policies but china is sticking to it. its low infection rate creates a country more vulnerable to future disease.
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>> china will continue to be in that lockdown mode. that immunity gap will be very dangerous because even a small opening could lead to a devastating impact. they could quickly overwhelm the health care system. it also comes with panic associated with the disease. they could have little stability applications. >> even as zero covid save lives, it might prove self-defeating. for the pbs newshour, i am nick survey. -- schifrin reports. >> returning to school after winter break has a struggle in
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many parts of the country. the overwhelming number of school districts are back in person, but some have gone virtual for a few weeks. and, as stephanie sy tells us, the biggest battle over whether to return to inperson learning has been playing out in chicago. >> students are expected to return to inperson classes in chicago tomoow after nearly a week of canceled classes. the breakdown started last week when the chicago teachers union or ctu said teachers would not return inperson without better covid testing and stronger safety protections for staff and students. mayor lori lightfoot and the chicago public school district said remote teaching was not an option. teachers were locked out from virtual accounts and were not paid. parents have been extremely frustrated with both sides. >> my name is lauren lehman. my son's name is bryson mosley. he is six years old and is in fst grade at newfield elementary. >> my name is ally ward. this is my husband, marcus ward. we live on the north side of chicago and we have twin boys who are in the
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fourth grade in cps. >> my name is joseph williams. i am a proud father of five children who attended the chicago public schools and i reside in the englewood community. last week was very frustrating as a parent we had to watch the news to find out there was going to be school or not family decision on looking at the news at night to see what's going to happen, i don't think that's fair to families at all. >> with bryson having his adhd and anxiety, it is much better for him be in a structured learning environment so that he does have his schedule and he knows his tasks what he needs to do. it was for both of us kind of a constant stop start all day wednesday, thursday and friday. and by the end of the week, we were both mentally and emotionally drained. >> they're thiing like, 'oh, are we flashing back to where we were when we went on break for, we went on spring break and never went back to school. is this what's going on again?' >> as parents, we have to adjust to every known variable that's going to happen. so why doesn't cps have to do that as well? i think it's a poor example for
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parents and for students who are living through this, certainly. and i think it's hard to know how to explain to your kid what's going on joseph williams: parents voice was not there, and i feel like these issues, and there is no of reason why parents aren't at the table. we have folks that are making decisions about our children without us being present. >> i don't know how they expect kids to just bounce back after four days of education. it is really hard for them. we are losing sight of that with the constant bickering and back-and-forth and passing the buck in between cps and ctu. enough is enough. >> my nephew is in l.a. and it's one of the large school systems in the country as well they told the parents about how school would look coming into the new year before theyeft for christmas break. if we need to go promote, this is what it with a fight. if we need to go hybrid, this is what it will look like. with our situation, it seems we
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were chasing after answers. >> we have gone through this after almost two years and you did not think to already have these kinds of measures in place? other people around the world are looking at cps for guidance and we can't even do it. we are creating things day by day and these with whole lives ahead. >> i did not think that we would be going through this much. i did -- i would not have anticipated this as a parent coming into this school district. it is a bit alarming for me. it kind of makes me question how much longer i really want to keep him in an environment like this where we could be consistently going back and forth. >> the agreement that allows students to return to school tomorrow also sets new guidines for when they might go back. the mood remained acrimonious between the mayor and the teachers. here is some of what mayor
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lightfoot and stacy davis gates had to say last night. >> some will ask who one and who lost. no one wins when our students are out of the place or they can learn the best and where they are safest. there does come a point where enough is enough. three work stoppages in three years, of course people are frustrated. why wouldn't they be? but i am hopeful that this is the end. have these for the school year. >> you have more testing because the mayor was shamed into taking the testing from the governor who by the way offered it. months ago. this mayor is unfit to lead this city and she is on a one-woman, because emission to destroy our public schools. she has not taken good care or the safety of the workers and
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the students that attended. weiss and another twist, mayor lightfoot announced she tested positive for covid. she says she is working from home while experiencing cold like symptoms. for more on all of this, i am joined by brenda's treatment of chicago tonight. thank you so much for joining the newshour on this busy day for you. did anyone benefit from this five work stoppage in the end? the agreement lead to concrete safety measures that we will see implemented tomorrow when students go back? >> i think the teachers union will say to some degree that they were able to move the ball a little bit in getting closer to some of what they wanted. he felt like the testing was insufficient in chicago public schools so they will say that since they have finally got the district to agree to at least 10% of all students in all schools being tested that that is something. it is not what they fully wanted so union is taking a bit of criticism from some of its members who don't think this is
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the best deal they could have gotten. especially since they were out of school, off of work, not getting paid for five days. i think with regard to testing, i think they think they have made some progress. there are some metrics for a school by schooleturn to remote learning when it is necessary. that is what the union asked for. the mayor held firm on her position that there would be no metric for a districtwide closure of schools and return to remote learning. it seems like there were some compromises made on each side. >> you said there was some agreement that a positivity rate could trigger a return to virtual learning. school by school. does that mean students and parents could still face more school closures? >> if they are reaching the metrics, the schools could return to remote learning. i think the metric is about 40% of students in isolation are quarantined.
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i should say or and or at 25% of teachers are absent some schools might experiee it and i'm wondering if it's going to be in the communities that have already experienced a lot of disruption because of their high case rates in those communities. >> some of those same communities learning loss 16:27:28that has yet to be seen studies and reports definitely fallen behind. >> this is no surprise. , learning is hard. the teachers learning -- teachers union has said that remote learning is subpar but in person learning can be dangerous if the proper mitigation strategies are not in place and the argument that the district says you have done x, y, and z to make it safer teachers have said that is not the lived experience, the reality on the ground the are experiencing. the other thing is the number of days that have been missed. those five days but it is up to the district to decide that or are not those days will be made
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up somewhere else in the school year. that is five days of learning loss. cuesta drive home how dangerous omicron is, the mayor has it. now everybody has to be tested for covid. teachers and staff are falling out of the variant. is that problem that has been dressed -- addressed? >> i think they are hoping to lament this new testing as soon as possible. the problem with what has been contentious about the testing pl is that the mayor was firm about not having an opt out plan. so we have this opt in testing system where the parents have to opt into the testing. now the teachers union has taken it upon themselves to work with their cmmunities and students and families to get more students signed up so you can at least reach a large number of students who agreed to be tested so you are not testing the same 10% every time. as far as people having been out as of late, the testing that was intended to happen before
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schools resumed last week, it did not go well at all. there were pictures of tests stacked up outside fedex boxes and a lot of them were deemed invalid. so before they show tomorrow, any testing that has to happen, that has either already been done -- >> hard choices that a lot of school districts around the country are fixing. thank you for joining the newshour. >> my pleasure. >> as of today, the military detention camp at guantánamo bay, cuba has been open for 20 years. it is an enduring symbol of the american war on terror but it is also a symbol for many americans and worldwide of a grueling controversial war and a legacy of torture.
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we have more on guantánamo's history and what is to come as it enters its third decade. >> that is right. on january 11, 2002, the first 20 detainees arrived at the guantanamo bay detention facility, that was four months to the day after the september 11 terrorist attacks. since then it has held about 780 detainees. the majority have never been charged. 741 have since been transferred out and today, 39 men remain. as president biden renews a place to close it. for more on all of this, i am joined by carol rosenberg. she is the only reporter covering wonton what they call time. i'll come back to the newshour. let me ask you about those 39 man -- men who are still there. the majority of them are waiting for their trials. but most of the men, most of
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them have never been charged. how is it that the u.s. is still holding them? >> you are correct, there are six people awaiting death penalty trials. the majority have not been charged. it was an offshore pow camp in this irregular war on terror. the concept was not that they were bringing in war criminals, the concept was that they were removing people from the battlefield. it is -- is it also true that some of these men who have not been charged will likely never be charged because of the treatment they endured while they have been in u.s. custody? >> part of the problem in some cases may be that the evidence is so badly tainted that they can't. they can to bring charges against them. there is no clean evidence. but again, these detainees are
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being held not as alleged war criminals but as war detainees. the detention -- the intention was never to charge a majority of them. >> most of them have been transferred out and critics say if you want to close the camp, you have to transfer the remaining men out. especially if they have never been charged. we know the process is they make their case before a review board that has members of six different agencies. one man remains in custody and went to a secure room in the pentagon. you have a live video link to guantanamo bay. you just reported on one detainee, a somali man who i believe is the first high-value detainee who has been approved for transfer out of guantánamo. explained to me the significance of that. big of a deal is that? quiet he is one of 18 men, we have more transfer decisions that camout today.
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but the significance of this man, a somali man is that they never before cleared someone who came straight to guantánamo from the cia black site for transfer to another country and there is a number of those former cia prisoners or not charged with crimes and this suggests the cia had at some point felt they could not ever be released. some of them might be. the best-known one is -- has never been charged with a crime. there are some expectations that we will hear about whether or not they decide he can be really -- he can be relocated to another country. >> for anyone who has been catching up on how this has been open for 20 years, when you look back at january 2009, that is when president obama and one of his first executive orders order the closure of wonton monday. it was not able to happen during his presidency. congress put up a number of
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hurdles that kept them from being able to be moved out. president trump reverses that closure order. president biden comes into office and launches a review. do you see these steps being taken? could this facility be closed under president biden? >> three out of four have said they want to close it. for president bush it was aspirational. he said we should not need to do this. for president obama, it was intentional, meaning the former constitutional law professor was offended by the notion of indefinite detention without charge. president biden does not talk about that much. we don't know where he lands on the aspirational versus intentional spectrum. he has not assigned anyone full-time to this task. the argument is there is so few of them it could be handled by a
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number of people in government but the counterargument is if you want something done, make someone responsible for it and they can move government. the question how badly does he want it? closing guantánamo does not mean opening the gates and letting everybody go. it means moving guantánamo, picking up a number of detainees and taking them to detention facilities in the united states for some sort of similar detention. right now, congress won't have it. the law says they can't move them here. >> carol rosenberg of the new york times who follows the proceedings and the ups and downs of guantanamo bay more closely than anyone else. a facility that remains 20 years -- remains open 20 years later to the day. >> and for more on guantánamo's legacy, follow us on instagram. there we emined the detention
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camp's history by the numbers. including a look at how much it costs to hold each detainee. that is the newshour for tonight. i am judy woodruff. join us online for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- consumer cellular, johnson & johnson financial services firm raymond james, bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york, supporting innovation and democratic engagement and the advancement of international peace and security at the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to ship systems and accelerate
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equitable economic opportunity. and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contribuons to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. this is pbs newshour west from w eta studios in washington and from our hero at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university.
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-sonora, a vast open territory in northern mexi defined by rugged mountain ranges,
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unforgiving deserts, and the peaceful sea of cortez. but down in the valley a gift from the culinary gods. here conditions are just right to grow and harvest miles and miles of the regions most identifiable crop -- sonoran wheat. the flour produce from these wheat fields has completely shaped the food of northern mexico. mmm, delicioso! and that iconic wheat flour it's inspiration from my take on two classic recipes. this dough is -- oh, it's so delicious. sonora's absolute favorite pan dulce -- these light, crisp, flaky, sweet coyotas, and the hearty, savory, super satisfying chili con carne, wrapped in a flour tortilla, served with the tastiest refried beans.


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