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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 14, 2022 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, confronting covid. health systems opal under the latest surge of hospitalization from covid-19 as schools struggle to keep the virus at bay. then, a deadly drought. aliens of canyons face -- k enyans -- millions of kenyons face drought and hunger. >> this village was filled with people and livestock which depended on livestock for livelihood, but for nine months we have not received any main. judy: and considering the push for voting rights in congress and the supreme court decisions on vaccine mandates.
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all of that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour been provided by ♪ >> moving our economy are 160 years, bnsf, the engine that connects us. ♪ >> johnson & johnson, financial rvices firm raymond james,
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>> the john s. and james l knight foundation fostering engaged communities. more at kf.org. >> and with the support of these institutions. and friends of the newshour. this program was made possible by the corporation for public block -- broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with newshour west. we will return after headlines. hospitals close to capacity as covid patients continue
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arriving. government data shows more intensive care units are running out of beds, and a federal website will begin taking orders wednesday for free covid tests, a limit of four per home. the cdc clarifies cloth masks do not offer as much action against omicron as surgical or respirator masks like n95's. the best mask is one that fits well and is worn consistently. chains like cvs and walgreens closing some of their stores this weekend due to staff shortages. the leader of the far right over leaders militia pleaded not guilty -- oath keepers militia pleaded not guilty in connection with the january 6 insurrection. he pleaded not guilty and was ordered to remain in jail. a republican congressman who
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voted to impeach president trump over the assault is retiring. presented of john katko of new york will not seek reelection. he is the third of 10 house republicans who voted for impeachment deciding not to run agian. the white house warns that russia may attack its allies in ukraine. ukraine said it russia has already priebus and operatives to perform a false flag operative in ukraine. the white house press secretary says moscow once an excuse to invade. >> we are concerned the russian government is preparing for an invasion in ukraine that may result in widespread human rights violations and war crimes should discipline as he failed to meet their objectives. -- diplomacy failed to meet their objectives. the invasion could begin mid january or february. stephanie: the release of the u.s. intelligence came after talks involving the u.s. and
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nato failed to make progress. in ukraine, a cyber fact -- a cyber attack left government websites unusable. hackers posted a message in russian, ukrainian and polish, warning people to be afraid and expect the worst. some think he has blamed russia -- in kiev blamed russia. >> it could be a message, or a sign of their instable relations. stephanie: russia says they have arrested and charged members of a ransomware group. the operations, they say, were carried out at the direction of the united states. they were responsible for the attacks on the colonial pipeline and the world's biggest meatpacking company. 75,000 students in albuquerque, new mexico have missed class after a cyberattack for a second day. they cannot access a database
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that tracks attendance and emergency contacts. it's unclear if the hackers were demanding a ransom. a milwaukee man who drove through a parade will stand trial. the attack killed six people and injured one, he appeared in court in waukesha today. they will prosecute on 77 chargers. the supreme court of ohio rejected congressional districts drawn by republicans. they found the districts unduly favored gop candidates and gave state lawmakers 60 days to make a new map. president biden named his nominees, if confirmed by the senate, cook would be the first black woman on the board of the fed. still to come on the newshour, austin school superintendent on the challenge of keeping covid
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out of classrooms. tennis dart novak djokovic battles with australia after violating covid rules. immersive then go exhibits paint a new way of experiencing art -- van gogh exhibits paint a new way of experiencing art. >> this is pbs newshour, in shington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: the omicron variant is spreading rapidly across the u.s., free tests announced by the president today should help track what is happening but they will not ship until seven to 12 days after an order is placed. in the meantime, the surge is hitting many hospitals hard and stretching some to capacity. william reports on how this is playing out in california. >> los angeles county is averaging over what he thousand
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new infections a day. a week ago it was -- 40,000 new infections a day. that is sending some peoples to the hospital. covid hospitalizions have jumped 179% in two weeks. this dr. works in california, thank you for being here. you're dealing at the front edge of the tide of people coming to the hospital. what is it like? what kinds of patients are using? -- you seeing? >> we are seeing a significant high-volume of covid cases presenting in severe disease that require hospitalization. most are presenting with either a severe lung infection or with stroke symptoms, heart attacks, symptoms such as blood clotting disorders.
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our volume has gone up significantly over the past couple of months and to give you an example, in december 2021, our covid inpatient volume was down to zero and as of this morning we have 50 plus covid patients in the hospital. that includes icu patients. it is definitely straining our system to the maximum. william: the surge is enormous. do you have a sense of the vaccinated patients who end up in the icu? >> a great question, the majority of people in the icu at the hospital are unvaccinated. the goes line -- in line with national da. i believe the number was more than 90% of patients in the hospital are either partially or
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unvaccinated. william: we know employers and workplaces across the country are suffering because workers are having to stay out and isolate. are you having a similar issue with your staff? >> absolutely. a majority of our staff are having the same issue. 50 plus members are currently out with covid, just talking about the nursing staff burst. to give you an example, this hospital has a 40 icu bed capacity and right now our need is 25 to 30 beds. but we are only staffed for 18 at the moment. as of now, we have zero available. if we have -- at any time we have -- william: they're waiting to open
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up. >> absolutely, which stresses us more. william: we have heard from seniormost political public health officials that omicron is mild. it seems that while that may be true, what you are experiencing is anything but that. >> that is true, omicron to an extent is milder, but it also has a higher infectivity so a lot more people e getting infected with omicron, patients getting sick with the disease, and even if it is a lower percentage in the hospital, that leads to a higher volume because of the sheer number. are seeing a huge surge despite the fact that it is milder compared to delta. william: did you imagine two years in the pandemic we would
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be struggling to get our arms around it? >> we did not imagine the situation, but the virus is mutating and we are still learning with new variants that there are new challenges. one of the bigger challenges is the vaccination rate among vicki -- the community. i tell my family and my patients that we have to keep in mind that they provide a standard of protection against severe disease, which means they will keep us out of the hospital and the icu. so my message to all of your viewers as an icu doctor is to get boosted and wear a mask. william: do you take comfort from reports out of new york,
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new jersey and massachusetts that that incredible peak of omicron cases might be plateauing and in some places starting to dip down? do you think that is real and might end up in your neighborhood? >> we are hoping that is real. the data has -- is promising if you look at international data from europe and south africa, even the east coast in the united states. the data can vary from community to community, we are hoping the surge starts to die down in the next few weeks. like mention, because of staffing shortages it has been challenging to care for those tients. william: dr. at the meodist hospital of southern california, thank you and best of luck. ♪ judy: let's turn to another
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important part of covid's impact, most of the nations nearly 100,000 public schools are open. but as the omicron surge continues, some districts are struggling to keep in person learning going. stephanie sy on how boston is faring. stephanie: boston public schools have been operating in person since last spring and aims to do so, but the virus is keeping teachers and staff home and attendance has dropped from 90% before winter break to 70% in the new year. some officials say virtual learning has to remain an option if the surge continues. for more on challenges facing boston public schools, we turn to the superintendent, brenda. thank you for joining us. i understand the staffing shortage has been so severe that you recently filled in as a substitute teacher in a school.
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where do things stand now? are you still seeing a lot of cases? >> thank you for having you this evening and for highlighting e serious challenges school districts have across the nation to keep in person learning going. we are still seeing challenges, though not as bad. we had about 1200 staff out, we are down to about 800 now. we have -- we are lookin better for teachers and bus drivers, the numbers are moving in the right direction. stephanie: are you getting a sense you have reached a peak? >> we do. we have looked at modeling from other cities and towns, and as they look at this variant, it looks like it's going to be going down quickly, hopefully.
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stephanie: we have seen other major school districts, having to at least temporily put a pause on in person learning as they gpple with safety and staffing issues. at what point do you think you might have to pull the trigger and go back to online learning? >> we've been fortunate to have a great data process with our team, we have our deputy of academics working with the deputy of operations and our chief of schools and data teams. we come together multiple times a day to look at the real-time staffing on the ground with school leaders. and also to look at the spread of the virus within our schools. we made class by classroom decisions, school by school decisions, i have the support of my mayor so i've been able to work with her and her team as we begin to make these decisions about if and when we have to close a classroom or a school, which we have not had to close
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any schools yet. we have had to close a couple classrooms before winter break, but we keep watching very closely. stephanie: if there is pressure from students, hundreds of students in boston public schools joined students in chicago public schools to stage a walkout today. they along with nurses and teachers have expressed concern about whether there is adequate testing, contact tracing, n95 masks to really be back safely in person. what are you doing to concretely allay concerns? >> i met with them, which is one thing because we value student voice and we are supportive of our students. we are also thankful that the biden administration has stepped up to provide additional testing for our students who have been working with our state partners as well, to be sure that we have test kits in place. we provided additional masks to our students and teachers, and we have put in air quality
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sensors and all of our classrooms. we have been watching the air quality very closely with our environmental team. stephanie: and those things are in place, those test kits are in student hands? >> yeah, we have tests, we have ordered 500,000 additional test and we expect more from teh adm -- the biden administration. we have had testing all year and that is part of our mitigation along with masking and air quality. stephanie: i want to ask about options if things take a turn for the worst. you think cases have peaks, but the governor says in person school is not only safe, it is healthy, and he is referring to learning as well as socialization, he has gone further by requiring districts like yours to remain in person. do you agree with that stance or
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two you think there should be more flexibility for online learning? >> i do believe in person learning is the best for our students. the isolationas been difficult and having them with caring and competent teachers in the classroom is the best position. i do think you can build a lot of good will with superintendents if we had more flexibility with the remote learning pieces as we navigate the reality of staffing and the reality of covid schools -- covid spreading our schools. stephanie: boston school superintendent, thank you for joining us. >> thank you. ♪ judy: the worst drought in decades is gripping eastern africa, perching landscapes,
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killing livestock -- livestock and creating a humanitarian crisis. it is also leading to civil strife as shepherding communities battle for scarce resources. speckle correspondent jack and producer georgina begin this report in northern kenya. some images in this report may disturb viewers. >> these giraffes have become a dividing image of the east african drought. at least 100 have died in this nortastern province of kenya. some are coming to the only remainingatering hole for 30 miles, near the nature conservancy. this morning, a fresh caslty by its shore. giraffes are dying after getting stuck in the mud, weakened by hunger they don't have the strength to pull themselves out. to prevent contamination, locals drag them away, it is not just
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wildlife being affected. >> this village was full of people and livestock which depended a sickly on livestock for livelihood. for a period of nine months we have not received any rain. >> over 70% of their livestock has perished. they have received less than 30% of normal rainfall. droughts have always affected the region but have doubled in frequency since 1999 due to climate change. now there is drought every two to three years. in a nearby area, they have lost more than 100 animals. some of the cattle is so weak they have to be assisted to stand. >> most of the animals we toiled away for her dead. - are dead. some children have been sent to other parts of the country to save them. the younger ones and lactating mothers are unable to eat the food we cook because it has gone bad.
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>> the animals are a critical source of wealth and nutrition. without them, they are destitute and hungry. more than 26 million are struggling to find food across east africa, while in northern kenya, half a million children are acutely malnourished. her daughter is among them. >> when there was milk from the cattle, she could support herself and walk around. but without any milk, she cannot. when she wants to sit, we have to help her set up. when she tries to stand, she collapses. >> it's not just a humanitarian crisis, but intensifying conflict. we traveled to a province between sudan and ethiopia, where they have no respect for boundaries. these women were constantly on the lookout for cattle raiders.
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>> two tribes from gonda -- u ganda are attacking. he might be watching as we speak. >> that has always been part of the culture, but severe droughts intensify competition around -- among rival groups. an increase of one degree of global warming will increase this. animosity is high. >> the enemy are taking our animals to sell them. they get rich while leaving is poor. >> adding to the conflict is the growing prevalence of automatic weapons. when pastoralists started fighting with ak-47s in the 70's, violence as a cause of death among men jumped to 35%. it remains a leading cause of death.
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the national police reserve is here on the border where they have had multiple cattle raids in kenya territory recently. many have been killed in these classes. >> in december, ugandan pastoralists came with about 600 warriors. they came away with 140 cows, killed one person and injured 40 people who are hospitalized. the cows have not been recovered. >> authorities have reported ab out clashes. >> this clan is also searching for water, so when they find a water while we are tending to our cattle, they steal them. >> he was treated with a gunshot in his abdomen but has returned to the hospital after a septic infection in his foot due to internal injuries.
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>> every day they come with force and bullets. every day they fight with us. >> incident numbers are difficult to verify. one study said annuadeaths from these conflicts spiked from 500 to more than 3000 over the past decade. but much remains unreported. timing with our visit was an annual cultural festival attended by clans throughout the region, aimed at promoting tribal unity. in attendance was the vice president of kenya. he has canvassing voters for years election. we asked him about the climate crisis. >> much of the problems caused by climate change are emissions from countries ithe global north. what would you like to see done by those countries to improve the situation? >> the effects of climate change are real. i was speaking to one of the
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gentlemen here a few minutes ago about this, it is supposed to be a very wet season. but there has been no rain and climate change is slowly becoming a harsh reality to many. hopefully, those of us in this part of the world expect the people in the north to do their portion in cutting the challenges that are affecting our region. >> but what western nations will do remains to be seen. unless there are immediate large-scale reductions in emissions, limiting warming to 1.5 or two degrees celsius, they will be beyond reach, leaving harsh likelihood of more drought, more conflict in
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africa. i'm jack houston in kenya. ♪ judy: this week, democrats renewed their push for voting rights legislation. the supreme court ruled on vaccine mandates and new data showed inflation at its highest rate in nearly 40 years. or a deeper look, we turn to the analysis of brooks and capehart for david brooks and jonathan capehart from the washington post. thank you for joining us this friday night. let us start with voting rights. it has not been a good week for the democrats despite the fact that president biden went to atlanta, made his strongest remarks yet on w voting rights matter.
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what was your take on what he said? david: 80% of it was fine. there were rhetorical flourishes that went over the top and were too partisan. if we are going to have a clean and fair, properly certified election, we will need democrats and republican officials to do their job. and in 2020, most republicans do their job. to make this a partisan issue and to have supercharged rhetoric about arguing on the side of abraham lincoln or jefferson davis, but made republicans angry and it makes them harder to be in their party. my friend wrote a column advocating for a biden liz cheney ticket in 2024, and i don't think he meant it literally, but he pointed to the fact that in israel, there is a coalition that decided we cannot have netanyahu as prime
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minister, so they formed a coalition to make that happen. if we are going to prevent donald trump from being president again, we need a coalition. i thought this was helpful coming from a man who's that he's going to unify the country. most of the speech was good, but those flourishes detract. judy: too much partisanship? jonathan: i don't think so. what he calls flourishes and over-the-top i thought was the most powerful part of the president's speech. remember, president biden to my mind is never more clear, passionate, focused and determined then when he is talking about what he calls the soul of america. it started with this campaign, talking about charlottesville, talking in his run against donald trump about who we are as a people. a lot of people make a mistake
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in terms of focusing on the politics of the speech and not understanding that it is as much political as it is moral for this presint. and we can focus on what happened in the 2020 election, but the fire coming from the president, the fire coming from millions of americans has to do with what republicans in particular have been doing in states since the 2020 election. for a lot of people, what is happening at the state and local level in terms of not just voter suppression but voter subversion is what is animating this entire debate. for people to be upset because the president drew a stark and clear line in the sand that you are either with, as he said, dr. king, in terms of opening up the promise of america to everyone, or george wallace, who was about holding on to power for powers
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sake and holding it in the hands of an elite few, particularly white male elite few. this is where we are. the last thing i will say is after four years of a president who took a blowtorch to the american presidency, to the constitution, to our values, to thpeaceful transfer of power, to decency in general, for people to be upset with president biden for fighting for american values and american democracy, it is hard for me to take them seriously. judy: what about that, david? what we have seen republicans doing in a number of states is cutting back on early voting, cutting back on things like mail and voting. what about that. david: i'm not here to defend that and i certainly have not been venting it these many
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months. but i do think rhetoric ke comparing republicans to jefferson davis is not helpful. it is not 18 six he won. i even think the trope he has, jim crow, is not helpful. the georgia law was a step backwards, i agree with jonathan 80%, but the law -- i read an analysis comparing it to the new york law. there were parts where georgia makes it easier and some new york makes it easier. it is true georgia is going backward in new york is going forward, so i do not want to justifthat. but the overheated rhetoric has the effect of making this a republican versus democratic issue that should not be one. it should be a republican and democrats on one side and the cult of trump on the other side. making that clear i think is the right way to approach this. judy: jonathan? jonathan: we can polite
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ourselves to oblivion, and at some point it is imperative that the president say clearly what is at stake here. it comes to georgia, let us keep in mind, georgia did not institute its new laws until after georgia voters voted for president biden to make in the next president of the united states, and after they elected two democrats from that state. so this is what we are talking about. 19 -- 19 states have passed 34 restrictive laws in 2021 alone. that is what is animating that discussion. judy: go ahead, david. david: maybe i will get to what we are going to, but i believe an ethical responsibility here,
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it is to make sure we effectively repulse what happened and they are now in the position were nothing is probably going to ppen in washington because they could not get kyrsten sinema and joe manchin to sign off on filibuster changes. so it is likely we will have no voting rights bills this year. so we have to figure out ways to actually pass things. i think alienating senator -- the center is not the way to go. as i look at the biden presidency and the terrible events of not having these voting rights bills, it seems clear to me that they should have sat down with joe manchin and kyrsten sinema and said where can we go from here and what can we do together? they should have started at the center and gone outward. instead, they started at the left and went centrist. that is looking like an unfortunat strategy on voting
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rights and build back better. judy: that brings up senator kyrsten sinema said in her speech on the senate floor this week. they need her, they need senator joe manchin to go along with any changes in the senate rules in the filibuster. but she essentially argued it is more important to work on partisanship then is to do something about voting rights. jonatha: sure. in her speech could have been delivered from fantasyland. the idea that the republicans who sit there now have any interest in working with democrats on this issue in particular, in 2006, the voting rights act was reauthorized unanimously in the senate. republican president george w. bush had a south lawn signing ceremony with rev. al sharpton in the front row. that was when voting rights was bipartisan. all of the republicans in the
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senate voted for it. as the president pointed out, 16 of those senators still serve, and yet 16 of those senators will not about to allow those voting rights bills to even be debated. they don't have to vote for them, but why shouldn't they debate them? why shouldn't the american people get to hear what is in those bills, what is wrong with them, we are at their the of compromise? it comes to senator manchin, at least he worked with republicans. they had three bites of the apple on the freedom to vote act and senator manchin gave republicans, after talking to them, many of the things they wanted, including voter id. yet no republican voted to allow that bill to even be debated. for senator kyrsten sinema to say that we have to work with republicans and i will only do this if it is bipartisan, where
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will it come from? it is not happening now. judy: david? david: her argument is not implausible and it's not even about these particular pieces of legislation. her argument is that if we change the filibuster and the majority party gets to control the senate and never has to work for the minority party, that would be bad for the country and bad for the senate, because you basically have one party rule. and that is not an implausible argument. whether she is right to not pursue a carve out for voting rights i think is a mistake. i wish she would do a carve out just for voting rights to get this iss off the table. but her defense of the filibuster is the traditional defense of the filibuster. and my view, having covered this for a long time, almost every effort to reduce the filibuster over the course, whether judges or anything else, has had long-term negative effects.
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i wish we had had a carve out but kept the filibuster, but now we have nothing. judy: do you want to--? jonathan: quickly, all anyone right now is asking for is a carve out for voting rights and for senator cinema -- sinema to go to the floor and say i'm not for a carve out for voting rights because of what it might do to the senate as a body flies in the face of what she did earlier this month in terms of voting for a carve out to raise the debt ceiling, which needed to be done and had to be done. why are voting rights not considered something that absolutely has to be done and absolutely there needs to be a carve out in the filibuster to make it happen? that is my problem with senator kyrsten sinema. stephanie: -- david: we are in violent agreement on this.
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[laughter] judy: we only have about 30 seconds so there is no time to ask you about the supreme court decision about the vaccine mandate and inflation, but we will come back to that next friday. you have a whole week to think. thank you both, jonathan capehart and david brooks. have a good weekend. ♪ judy: the best mens tennis player in the world has been caught up in a legal battle in australia. as the first of this year's grand slam tennis tournaments is poised to begin. novak djokovic is not vaccinated, he is a skeptic. australian officials are not and demand proof of vaccination to enter the continent. more from nick. >> he is one of the world's most
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famous athletes, but almost-- also one of its most famous vaccine skeptics as he told serbian athletes on a facebook live. >> i am opposed to. i'm curious how we can empower our own immune systems to defend against imposters like covid-19. nick: he celebrated by walking around a museum unmasked. after that he posed for a french magazine. he was training in belgrave as seen in photos and in spain, but on his visa application he claimed he had not traveled in two weeks before that. >>. djokovic is a lying snakey [beep].
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>> this tv clip went viral. state authority is granted his visa. when he landed february 5, federal authorities rejected it. january 10, a judge reinstated it antedate the immigration minister partially canceled it for health and good order. novak djokovic and his team argued the defense was invalid because he has natural immunity from a prior infection and that it was a mistake. he also said the conditions in a hotel where he was being held was unfair. >> they are keeping him as a prisoner. it is just not fair, it is not human/ . we turn to mary carrillo, the grand slam winning tennis player and now commentator for nbc sports. novak djokovic's fate will be decided this weekend, but you do
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not believe he should play when he is scheduled at the open. >> i just think it has gone on too long. this has been so chaotic and unnecessary and unfair to the other players in the locker room. and novak himself, he has had terrible preparation. this is a tournament he has won nine times, he is trying to win his 21st major which would put him beyond nadal and roger federer. he is so precise on the court but he has made many missteps, he has lost the favor of the country and the locker room, and i think he has to pull out. nick: it is not only missteps or vaccine skepticism, he lied on his immigration forms. he went somewhere a day after testing positive. do you think he doesn't care or believes the rule does not apply to him? >> he regrets what he did after
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he knew he was covid positive that he went unmasked and he went to a couple of events. he had an interview with a french reporter, did not tell the guy that he was covid positive. these are huge mistakes. in the beginning of the week when this nonsense was happening, the locker room thought it was a loophole, kind of sketchy but it would be good to have him in here , everything has now moved away from that. there was a poll taken, more than 60,000 aussies were asked when they thought should happen to him and 83% what him to leave the country. i cannot imagine that this man, who i think is the greatest player of all time, certainly the best hardcore player i have ever seen, and he does many things so well, but he really screw this up. nick: there is a lot of full stew go around.
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tennis australia wanted to get around the rules, the prime minister being accused of using him to make a political point. >> all that is true. i agree with all of that. he triedo come into the untry of australia thinking he had the requisite paperwork. he thought the state of victoria, where the open is played, he thought he was all set. then it turns out he could not get into the country. novak was trying to get into the country thinking he was all set and he was not and i blame tennis australia, the tournament director, everybody seems to be tone deaf. the back and forth stuff has been rough in the absence of serena williams, venus williams and roger federer, it's going to be a big story and it is all this other stuff that has become a big story now. as someone who loves my sport,
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it has been so painfulo watch this. it seems unending. at a certain point we will know what happens, but it has gone too long and i feel badly aout that. -- about that. nick: as someon >> it's painful. but he has 20 grand slams as you said. tied with -- and roger federer. he is not playing and -- is playing. joe commits likely to win number 21. bottom line, with this controversy cost him his legacy? >> it will cost him his personal legacy. you can't take away what he is already one. he has been controversial for years of all matter and things. he got thrown out of u.s. open a couple years ago for inadvertently hitting a white
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woman. yeah. i think it stains his legacy. he is searching problem is if he could be deported. it means he can't enter the country of australia for three years. this is a tournament where he is one most of his majors. other countries and nations in grand slam events,they seem to always be shifting their goalpost on what is possible to get into a country. he is a very intelligent guy but this is just, there have been so many mistakes made. so many errors on his part and a lot of the people around. it's a great pity. >> thank you. >> pleasure. vincent van
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vincent van gogh was the quintessential world phenomenon. but for his art and life story. but now he is everywhere. in a new way. center of a boom in immersive experiences. jeffrey brown immersed himself in seattle before the omicron search for our arts and culture series, canvas. >> reporter: blossoms waiting in the wind. sunflowers falling all around. the story night the likes of whic you have never seen. >> for us with this experiences is from the minute you walk into the minute you leave. you are fully enveloped in the spirit of van gogh. >> reporter: john zoller's executive producer of van gogh the immersive experience. the van gogh he says for our age. >> we are doing what van gogh might've done if he had the technology that we have today. we are using his works to create the next version of his
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works. by adding the motion and the animation. adding energy to bring the wife to his work that is already there. >> reporter: we met him in seattle. that is a small part of the immersive room in nearly 40 cities in the u.s. in addition to van gogh the immersive experience, there is the immersive van gogh. beyond van gogh, van gogh alive, and imagine van gogh. some cities including seattle even have competing exhibits. it's a bit confusing, but like the artist himself, very popular. this company estimates 50% of its audience is never set foot in a museum before coming to see this van gogh. >> he is such a public figure. his kind of like a walk starke in the art world.
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you can connect with it. it doesn't necessarily require an art degree to approach and engage with van gogh. >> in one sense it is nothing new. from lust for life in 1956 and a slew of other films books and exhibitions the fascination has continued. the art with its vibrant colors and textures, the drama event goes life and early death. now in immersive experience like this one guests can come face-to-face with a giant 3-d bust of the artist himself. rejections of his most famous works input on headsets and take a virtual reality run with the countryside he painted. you can personally enter van gogh's bedroom and sit as long as you want in front of 30 foot walls of moving images with mood music.
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lines from van gogh's letters recited from an actor. you can also color your own masterpiece. >> seeing the actual paintings in person, and seeing them come to life is definitely i have never seen before. absolutely out do this again. >> i think it answers the experience to see what art looks like in another way like that. animated and truly fully immersive. >> reporter: remember, these are digital representations. there are no actual artworks here. just what is this experience? we asked university of washington art history professor mark jurek to take a look. >> i was curious as an art historian i might've had a slight bias. i teach van gogh in the
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classroom. how is this immersive experience going to compete with what i do? i really enjoyed going because what i saw was people who enjoyed themselves. ultimately i think that's what any experience with art is about. there were a lot of things where as an art historian i thought, this is not right. are we really getting the experience of vincent van gogh? if we look at story night on the museum of modern art website and compare it to the video you see in the exhibition, it's like two different paintings. >> reporter: a modern art scholar who happens to be dutch, just like van gogh, wants him to see what this is and what it's not. >> it is cool but when you stand in front of van gogh painting the light does not have to come from the light box. but from the color. the optical mixing of complementary colors.
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and thinking about what is lost in translation in this exhibition. the lightbox effect. that makes light come at you. almost an overwhelming way. the scale, material, but especially the optical mixing. >> reporter: compare a photo shown of a painting sold at auction and the projected version of it nearby. the colors he points out a completely different. the texture of the brush strokes are lost. it may be very cool indeed but it is not what van gogh created. >> what is this? it's fireworks. i would say van gogh's work in itself is fireworks. would you lose in this exhibition in a way, what is taken away from you by being presented an image of van gogh that is not van gogh is the essence of your precipitation. in a way you were robbed. >> reporter: neither the professor nor we want to spoil
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an experience people have. they clearly enjoy it. this will not change going to museums? >> oh no. >> we are museum goers. >> it is different to be here and to sit and look at this. it's a much different experience. >> reporter: it is an experience only growing. with more artists being brought into the act of the time. john zoller's company is roducing exhibitions with new artists. >> there is a next rotation of the to the public. for these more immersive experiences. that's going to continue to grow. when you look around at other things are happening with virtual-reality experiences and augmented reality, everything is, every level of experience as being elevated or more is
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beating added on. >> reporter: if this is it for you or you prefer a curated vigilance. at home, mark jurek recommends museum websites. they capture fine detail masterworks by van gogh and other artists. either way, it is fascinating. right now 2021 was another year of extreme weather. with 20 notable billion-dollar disasters in the u.s. we break down the numbers behind the human and the financial. that is on a website, pbs.org /news hour. for more on the seditious conspiracy charges leveled against far right militia members involved in the capital riot and on the president's attempts to rally support for voting rights legislation joined my colleague and guest moderator on washington week tonight on pbs. i'm judy woodruff.
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what is online and again here on monday evening. all of us at the pbs news hour, thank you and have a good, safe weekend. >> reporter: entrepreneurs -- skollfoundation.org.reneurs -- >> and with the support of these
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institutions. and friends of the newshour. ♪ >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> this is pbs newshour west from weta studios in washington, and our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.]
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