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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  January 18, 2022 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: ballot battle. the senate begins debate on voting rights, even as democrats and republicans remain united in opposing the legislation and any efforts to allow a simple majority to rule. then, covid surge. managing the virus grow louder, as hospitals struggle, and parents of young children navigate an uncertain time. and, economy in a tailspin. skyrocketing inflation grips turkey, as its president implements unorthodox counter- measures. >> anyone who took econ 101 in college would know, if your inflation climbs up, interest rates have to follow that. erdogan is doing the opposite. >> woodruff: all that and more,
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on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life, well-planned. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular 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 >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> fidelity wealth management.
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>> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: the biden administration's website for requesting free at-home covid tests is now open for business. it went online today, a day ahead of the officially-
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scheduled launch. the website,, allows four tests to be ordered per residential address. we will focus on federal efforts to deal with covid after the news summary. the u.s. senate formally opened debate today on voting rights legislation-- with little prospect of passing anything. democrats want to expand voting access, increase regulation of campaign financing, and challenge states that-- they say-- restrict voting rights. republicans say it is federal overreach, and they plan to block action, again. party leaders sparred on the senate floor. >> senate democrats are der no illusion that we face difficult odds, especially when virtually every senate republican, every senate republican, is staunchly against legislation protecting the right to vote. sadly, unfortunately, this is donald trump's republican party,
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and it is the one now trying to take away the vote. >> the partisan election takeover bills that democrats want to ram through this week are not-- not, in any way, successors of the civil rights legislation from the mid-20th century. targeting americans' online speech and sending government money to political campaigns is not about civil rights, it's about tilting the playing field. >> woodruff: democrats say they will seek to change senate rules so that republicans cannot blo a simple majority vote-- but, it's unlikely they can muster the votes for that, either. we will return to this, later in the program. a congressional committee subpoenaed former trump adviser rudy giuliani today in the january 6 investigation. he pushed baseless claims of voter fraud after the 2020 election, and leading up to the assault on the u.s. capitol. the panel also subpoenaed several others, including lawyers sidney powell and jenna ellis.
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a federal judge has approved a debt-restructuring plan, ending puerto rico's struggle to emerge from bankruptcy. it cuts the u.s. territory's public debt-- of at least $74 billion-- by 80%. local leaders today called it a big step forward. opponents said that it will force new austerity measures. warnings flew back-and-forth today between russia and nato powers over ukraine. that's after talks last week ended with no progress. today in berlin, nato's secretary-general met with germany's new chancellor, and said the danger of a russian attack on ukraine is rising. >> the risk of a conflict is real. nato allies call on russia to deescalate, and any further aggression will come with a high cost for moscow. nato is a defensive alliance, which does not threaten russia or any other country. >> woodruff: but in moscow, after a meeting with germany's foreign minister,
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the russian foreign minister said the risk is from nato moves near russia's borders. >> ( translated ): we don't threaten anybody with anything, but we do hear the threats addressed to us. i hope it only reflects certain emotions that certain powers incite within the western camp. we will act in accordance with concrete steps and concrete actions. >> woodruff: russia also announced that it is sending troops to belarus for war games, adding to its forces deploye near ukraine. meanwhile, u.s. secretary of state antony blinken spoke with foreign minister lavrov by phone, and they agreed to meet friday in geneva. verizon and at&t agreed today to delay activating 5g cell towers near major airports. the new wireless technology will speed up service, but airlines warn it could interfere with instruments measuring distance to the ground. major carriers had threatened to ground or delay flights. their announcement followed
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lks with the white house. in texas, the nation's most restrictive abortion law may stay in effect longer, as a legal challenge continues. a federal appeals court now says that a judge who already ruled against the law will not review it again. instead, it goes to the texas supreme court-- controlled by republican justices. the new law bans abortions at about six weeks of pregnancy. and on wall street, stocks tumbled amid fears of how much the federal reserve might raise interest rates to control inflation. the dow jones industrial average lost 543 points-- 1.5%-- to close at 35,368. the nasdaq fell 386 points-- that's more than 2.5% the s&p 500 slid 85 points-- that's 1.8%. still to come on the newshour: the food security emergency in afghanistan grows ever more dire amid a harsh winter. microsoft makes a big bet on gaming.
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the pacific nationof tonga begins recovery, after a massive volcanic eruption. plus, much more. >> woodruff: this week marks a full year since president biden took office. that also means the president has had broad responsibility for the federal response to the pandemic for a year. there is plenty of data to suggest that things are not going well at this moment. cases are surging in many parts of the country, with nearly 800,000 new cases a day. hospitalizations and deaths are up significantly compared with two weeks ago. the united states is averaging a total of about 150,000 people
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in the hospital, and nearly 1,700 deaths each day. there have been calls for shifting the administration's strategy. that includes several articles written by former advisers to the president. dr. ezekiel emanuel is a lead of that group of public health experts. he is the vice provost of global initiatives at the university of pennsylvania, and he joins me now. zeke emanuel, welcome back to the "newshour". tell us, why is a new approach needed. >> well, the biden administration came in a year ago with a strategic plan and it executed very well on that plan -- got more people vaccinated, got more tests out to the community, began developing other inrventions for the public. then we had cases come down in june, but we developed delta, we developed omicron, and the people in the administration have been working hard to address those acute problems,
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and they do marshal in and require us to re-think the direction of interventions and how we deploy everything together, and that was really the source of our viewpoints. >> woodruff: what would this new approach look like? how would it be different? >> first of all, we have to get there. as you pointed out, we have 1750, or so, deaths a day. we're nowhere near getting to a new norm. but we can see we're not going to erad cat covid, we're going to have to live with it. living with it means we have to take measures to allow it to be in the background and not causing so much mortality. and, so, part of this is, you know, we have to make sure that we have good air filtration in all indoor spaces, an issue which we have not heavily emphasized but can make a big difference, improve that filtration of air. we do have to improve our vaccine distribution.
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one of the reasons we're having so many hospitalizations and so many people in the intensive care unit in such high deaths is that a lot of people are not becoming vaccinated and most of those people are ending up -- or the people ending up in the hospital are mostly unvaccinated. if you're vaccinated and boosted, you're chance of dying from getting omicron, one in 34,000. that is very, very safe, and we have to get more people vaccinated. plus, we need more therapies. we have a couple of nice oral antiviral therapies against covid, but we need more, and we need more volume of them. so those are some of the areas that will get ere. and the new norm wil look -- new noal will look like the old normal. >> woodruff: if i can stop you there, i want to pick up on what you said about vaccinations. how would you have the administration up the number of people vaccinated? they have been pleading with americans to get vaccinated, it's become a political issue,
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and now you have the supreme court ruling a few days ago against the administration's requirement that large employers have employees vaccinated. >> well, first of all, we do have to get all the healthcare workers vaccinated. the supreme court did deal a very severe blow to responding to this pandemic, and i think the ruling was unjustifiable. the federal government clearly has the authority to protect people and people in their workplace are threatened by covid. so the federal government has to try other things. it has to target the workplace vaccine requirements. it probably has to make a requirement on air travel, train travel, bus travel, that's interstate, that it can control. it's got to work with states to mandate vaccination for children when we're convinced that the vaccines are totally safe for them. these are important areas in which we can make ogress in, and it really has to work with
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employers. again, can't mandate them but it has to work with them. we've seen a lot of employers where things have gotten much better when they vaccinate their people. more people show up to work, they have safer work environments, you know, things go much better. and very few employees who are required to get a vaccine actually quit. >> woodruff: and i hear you saying that that's the ideal, but we also know there is resistance out there, very stubborn resistance that exists. i do want to ask you, though, you said a moment ago you understand this can't happen, a lot of it, right now because we are dealing with this omicron wave with deaths and hospitalizations still at a very high number. so you're saying just to get this ready for the future, is that what you're asking the administration to do? >> no, it's not just get ready for the future. many of the things we suggest will actually address problems now. as i mentioned, you know,
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getting more people vaccinated, improving air quality, having more people masked will actually both address the problem now and be important for the long term. and i would say, judy, that this information, that misinformation, that resistance to things like vaccines didn't come out of nowhere. it's been fostered by republicans who have no other response to this pandemic, and that has made it harder for the nation to have an effective response. we do need to counterthat and countering that will require dealing with the social media environment. >> woodruff: well, of course, that raises a number of other questions, but i do want to ask you about a comment made by one of your public health expert colleagues who was part of putting these public statements, these articles out publicly a few days ago. dr. luciana boreio, a former chief scientist at the f.d.a., referring to the administration, she said it's like we're always
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fighting yesterday's crisis and not necessarily thinking what should be done today to prepare us for what comes next. in effect, the administration hasn't been forward thinking enough. is that your observation as well? >> look, judy, i have been in the trenches in the white house during a crisis in 2009 and 2010 working on the affordable care act. you are just trying to manage all the crises. you need a separate group that is thinking about the strategy and what we can do today for the long term and really make the infrastructure changes we need, and that's what we were suggesting, and that's the suggestions we had for them on strategic goals and how to operationalize those goals. by the way, they have been very well received. >> woodruff: they are listening to you? >> well, i don't know. we'll find out soon. >> woodruff: well, withel be back in touch to find out what the answer is.
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dr. ezekiel emanuel, thank you very much, we appreciate it. >> thank you, judy. a pleasure to be here. >> woodruff: as omicron continues its spread, as we've discussed, children under the age of five are still ineligible for vaccinations-- leaving many families in limbo, wondering how best to navigate everyday life. stephanie sy has a conversation in a moment about some of those important questions. but let's begin with what we heard from some parents across the country, and how they are coping, nearly two years into the pandemic. >> my name is lori sipe-chen and i live in oakland, california. i have-- i'm a mother of a 3.5-year-old, and we are expecting our second child in about three weeks. >> my name is tim sookram. i live in chapel hill, north
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carolina, and i have two kids, ages four and six. >> my name is meg trelease. i live in philadelphia, pennsylvania. and i have two children. i have a four-year-old girl named saoirse. my son, beckett, is two, and he has down syndrome. he is awaiting a heart procedure. he is immunocompromised. >> my name is detriecia taylor. we live in clarksville, tennessee. having a four-year-old who'sot vaccinated when the rest of the house is vaccinated, it's been a little hard, as far as with them traveling and even having people come into the home. >> right now, with the surge, we're continuing to send our child to child care, because we need that help. we both work full time. we're getting ready for a baby. and so, you know, it's sort of like i keep saying, like, it's trade-offs of life decisions on a week-by-week basis. >> he's four years old. he's already gotten covid at daycare, even if they-- and he's been wearing masks as long as
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he's been back at school. and it seems crazy that he might get it again. day-to-day, you kind of just have to fool yourself and say that your kid's not going to be the one that goes to the hospital. your kid's not going to be the one that gets complications. and i don't know that for sure. >> we have family that love us and friends that love us and want to see our kids. but it's like, well, what if we wore a mask? well, what if we tested well? what if we were? what if we-- and i go into these conversations knowing that ultimately i'm going to have to say no, but i enter into them because i don't want to be that person. so we're just literally in our house, and we've been in our house for two years, and i feel so beaten down. >> it is scary, because she can just a little cold. you're kind of like, oh, my goodness, is that what that is? this is the new variant, or she's wearing fever for no reason. it is like you're constantly wondering, everything that's happening to her, could it be that new variant? and if it is, how bad is it
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going to get for her? will she have to be hospitalized? >> it's really like, what are the risks to my unvaccinated 3.5-year-old? but also, like, are there additional risks to an infant? like, is there a difference between an infant and, like, a child, you know, even though they're under five and not vaccinated, if there's some other, additional risks that we're taking on? our 3.5-year-old goes to preschool right now, and they have safe practices, but it just-- it's rd for me to quantify the amount of risk that 're taking on. >> my big question is, how is it taking so long for kids under five to get approved for a vaccine? why aren't they more of a priority? it's b for us parents. we're really worried about our kids' health, but they're worried, too. >> the public health information has been so confusing. i do wish i had a little bit more information on community spread, because right now, philadelphia is hovering at
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about 40% positivity rate. when is it safe for me to send my unvaccinated four-year-old back to preschool, so that she doesn't bring covid and infect my son or herself? >> i was able to finally get my six-year-old vaccinated. so it's like we're-- it's-- it's getting there, but we're just waiting for her, so we can go see family members more often and travel more. we're hoping that something comes down. maybe the age will lower, even before that time frame. that's what we're looking forward to. we're left in the dark, kind of. >> sy: all right, let's try to address some of the concerns of these parents. and for that, i'm joined by dr. ibukun kalu. she's a pediatric infectious disease doctor at duke university hospital. and dr. ibukun kalu, i should say i have my own three-year-old toddler so i can relate to some of the anxiety we just heard from some of the parents. we know omicron is more contagious, for most vaccinated people it's more mild. so the key question for parents is how big of a risk is there
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for serious illness in unvaccinated children under five? >> thank you so much for having me. i hear the frustration and pediatricians have felt the same as we tackle how best to keep kids safe, particularly those who are not eligible for a vaccine. so to your question as to how severe this is, we've seen more cases in the community which meant more kids ending up in the hospital. but we're seeing milder infections even in kids. what that means is we're seeing upper respiratory infections, but the i didn't thinker kids, even infants, a simple respiratory infection could affect their ability to feed, take milk, for example, or maintain their typical health status, or they need support for breathing or hydration, so that's meant a few more infants in the hospital for covid. >> reporter: i'm glad you
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asked the question about infants because parent asked specifically about that. i want to ask you about immunocompromised, we have a parent with a two-year-old in that situation, how much more dangerous is covid to that child and should they avoid sending their children to daycare? >> those questions are difficult because it really depends on that family's situation. you may need to send a child to daycare just to be able to get to work, to be able to manage the household. so ultimately, it depends on if you have options where you can remove a child from daycare or put them in daycare. as much as you can ensure the daycare setting is safe, so all the eligible adults that are present should be vaccinated and hopefully should get a booster, and particularly for immunocompromised patients and our youngest immunocompromised patients, i think a lot of people have them in protective bubbles, so smaller daycares, fully vaccinated adults people who are there, masking if at all
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possible, and ensuring you're preventing other respiratory viruses, such as influenza, which has a safe and effective vaccine at this time. >> reporter: i want to go back to vaccines in a second, but you talked about protocols and things schools and pre-schools can do for this age group. is it appropriate to test kids this young regularly? should they all be wearing kid size n-95 masks? >> it depends. i keep coming back to that answer. i don't necessarily think a kids' size n-95 mask is necessary for all our kids. what i think is a properly fitted mask that can stay on that child's face or as long as they'll tolerate it should be the goal. so if you have a mask that has a proper filter, if you have a mask that has ties you can tie around the child's head when they go into daycare, i think those are safe and effective. if you have a mask for a child that has n-95 properties and the child will keep it on, then it's
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fine to use it. as to the other question about testing, if they have symptoms, it's good to get a covid test and maybe even some other testing based on their symptoms. talk to your provider as soon as you can if you're worried about covid or other illnesses. >> reporter: i just want to follow up on that because a lot of parents who i've heard from whose young children under five have had positive covid tests have basically reported symptoms of a cold. if your child starts to exhibit symptoms of a cold, should you get them estthed? >> yes, based ton current community rates, it would make sense to at best get a test for covid 19. the chances are high that the common cold could be the presenter for covid. if you don't have access to a test, and i really hope we get past the point where if you want to get tested you have to stand in long lines to get tested, you could stay home and monitor the child and communicate the symptoms going on with your
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provider until you can get a test done. >> reporter: do you think it should be a priority, dr. kalu, of the federal government now to make the season available to children under five? we heard from one dad who thought that would be a good idea. and do we have data on its safety and efficacy at this point in? >> we're waiting on data on clinical trials on children less than five. what we know is based on media reports and the companies that are working on these vaccines have provided to us publicly. we know they're working on it, we know they had to go back and run this trial for longer, possibly including an additional dose to ensure that whatever that final product is, it actually does what we need it to do, which is protect our youngest kids and help them mount a protective level of antibodies. i don't the time line. i certainly think this should be a priority for everybody, and it
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is a priority for everyone, but i also want to ensure that it's done safely and effectively, and that's what we're all waiting for. >> reporter: dr. ibukun kalu with the duke university hospital. thank you so much for joining us with your advice. >> thank you for your time. >> woodruff: the u.s. senate officially began debate today on a key democratic priority: voting rights legislation. but, without support from 60 senators, final passage is impossible. democrats met this evening for an update on the path forward from majority leader chuck schumer. here with her own update, our congressional correspondent, lisa desjardins. so, lisa, the democrats were meeting late today. what is the plan? >> reporter: some big news tonight in a very big moment for
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mocrats. senate leader chuck schumer came out just minutes ago speaking to reporters and unveiling exactly what he intends to do now that it's clear he doesn't have the votes to pass the voting rights. he is going to try and change senate rules for ths bill, and i'm going to tell you how. he wants to float the idea of the talking filibuster. that is something that you and i have been talking about on this show. let me explain what senator schumer's proposal is exactly only pertaining to the voting rights bill. essentially with regard to the talking filibuster, it would talk senators to stand and speak while they filibuster, continue to hold the floor. it would still require 60 senators to end that filibuster, force an end to debate, but here's the idea that, eventually, all of the opposing senators would use up their time, would get worn out and, ultimately, they would stop speaking on their own and then, at that point, the bill would have just a 51 majority vote
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threshold. now, this is an idea that we know senator joe manchin, that critical vote, the democrat from west virginia, has said he's interested in. however, just about an hour or so ago, he came out and said he is not on board this plan tonight for a couple of reasons. he says he still thinks the 60-vote threshold is important for bipartisanship in the senate, and he also thinkthat you should not change it with just one party alone changing the rule. here's what he said -- >> the majority of colleagues in the democratic caucus they change their mind. i respect that. you have a right to change your mind. i haven't. i hope they they respect that, . i've never changed my mind on the filibuster. >> woodruff: lisa, that doesn't sound promising for leader schumer's plan, but what does that all mean for president biden and the democratic agenda? >> rorter: this is a moment that i think democrats expected.
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they have been telling us again and again that they thought this was going to be a very tou hill for them to climb. that said, don't be fooled, this is a major defeat for the democrats and the the biden agenda. this means not only voting rights and all the possibilities of things like same-day registration, early voting across the country, all the things democrats wanted to do, civil rights protections, those now will not happen, but, indeed, other legislation, none of it can happen without ten republican senators now on board in the senate. this is still the exception, potentially, of a reconciliation bill that contains some of that biden agenda, that build back better idea, senators still need manchin and sinema on that bill and senator schumer has a needle to thread there. this is a big defeat in the terms the democrats can mount in
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the senate and government in general. it doesn't meaevery door is closed to th but the largest one is. >> woodruff: no question a big victory for republicans and a significant defeat for democrats. lisa desjardins staying on top of it all, thank you very much. >> woodruff: it has been five months since the taliban took over afghanistan, and a hard, cruel winter has descended. millions are in dire need; not just in the capital, kabul. john ray of independent television news is there. >> reporter: there is a timeless side to afghanistan-- restant to change. resilient in crisis. but, this is a test of their deepest reserves. shafiqa has her winter larder
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stored underground. it's the difference between eating and starvation. "this is all we have," she says. much of this vast land is cut off. the big freeze follows the worst drought in 30 years. this villiage was in the front lines the taliban wants international recognition. it wants aid. but it wants it all on its own terms.
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>> ( translated ): in respect of women's rights, we never prevented anyone going into education or the workforce. but it must be under the framework of islamic principles. >> reporter: a middle class who once fared well under the old regime now struggle; in kabul, they are queuing for food. we have teachers, doctors, engineers, in the private sector, and now they lose their jobs and they are about to have the food assistance. >> reporter: they have nothing but what they can get here. >> yeah, yeah, yeah. >> reporter: waiting for >> reporter: waiting for their sack of flour and a single bag of beans is a woman who tells us her daughter was studying to be a doctor-- until the taliban closed her school. the boys still get to sit exams, even if it is outside in the snow, because their school
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building is a wreck with no heat or light. they can dream. ( speaking foreign language ) >> reporter: this little girl can only watch and wonder what might have been. however deep the crisis, the taliban will recast this country in its own image. john ray, itv news, kabul. >> woodruff: that was john ray of independent television news. >> woodruff: for turkey, 2021 was mark by a free-falling currency, the lira, and record-high inflation. the government's monetary policy has sent the country into economic turmoil, and, as nick schifrin reports, soaring prices have hurt turks
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from all walks of life. >> schifrin: for 45-year-old hasan turan, the work never ends-- he's made a living and supported his family as a janitor for 20 years. but, these days, one job is not enough. >> ( translated ): i'm trying to find a fourth apartment building to clean. the price increases have affected us a great deal, so i will have to take more jobs. >> schifrin: his newest, additional job: at a small grocery store in eastern istanbul. he takes phone orders, picks produce for upper middle class customers, and delivers them on an ectric scooter. this is his 15th hour of work today. some days, he delivers 20 orders a day. >> ( translated ): i'm struggling to make ends meet. the prices have gone up, so i had to take up extra work. i'm doing a part time job out of necessity. >> schifrin: it's a necessity, just to feed his family. at the farmer's market, hasan and his wife kiymet struggled with what to buy, and what to leave.
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>> ( translated ): can we have a kilo of tangerines? >> ( translated ): no, no, half a kilo will do. let's buy just half a kilo. >> schifrin: one pound of tangerines, four pounds of potatoes, was all they could afford. kiymet turan says food used to be abundant. not anymore. >> ( translated ): the prices are too high. i mean, we can't afford to buy all we need. in the past, i used to buy a lot, cook a lot. now i have to buy in small quantities, and try to get by. >> schifrin: turkey is suffering its highest inflation in nearly two decades. from december 2020 to december 2021, prices rose more than 36%. everything from food to gas are at record highs. the economic crisis is everywhere. in december, bread lines stretched around the corner. and as the turkish lira plunged, turks around the country rushed to change money into u.s. dollars. but president recep tayyip erdogan says it's part of his plan. >> ( translated ): hopefully, we will eliminate this swelling as soon as possible, and prevent our nation from being under the
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burden of unfair price increases. >> schifrin: the economic pain runs deep: extensive borrowing and previous interest rate cuts were already driving up prices. but, analysts say erdogan's recent medicine is making the country sicker. under his pressure, since september, turkey's central bank slashed interest rates four times. >> anyone who took econ 101 in college would know, if your inflation climbs up, interest rates have to follow that. erdogan is doing the opposite. >> schifrin: soner cagaptay is the director of the washington institute's turkish research program, and author most recently of“ a sultan in autumn.” he says erdogan's motivation is difficult to know, but in the last few months of 2021, the lira lost almost half of its value. in december, 18.4 for $1. and a weak lira can boost tourism and turkish exports. >> erdogan is maybe trying to create what is called growth out of contraction. in other words, let the economy crash and burn, and that will make turkish exports very affordable, because the lira has
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lost its value, and the country will have a restored growth driven by strong export sector and also demand for turkish tourism and services. >> schifrin: there are some signs of increased tourism. last month, bulgarians by the busload arrived in istanbul to buy cheap groceries, and bargain bazaar christmas gifts. and erdogan says exports are at an all-time high. turkish authorities have also raised the minimum wage by 50%. and a new plan pays turks to keep their bank deposits in lira. but, the depreciation is still large-- as is the anger. >> ( translated ): government resign, police get out, the streets are ours! >> schifrin: in november, protesters called for the government to resign and the police to back down. how could the economic crisis become a political crisis? >> if erdogan does not restore economic growth, he's not going to win the next elections in 2023. we're going to see a country's economic resilience push back, and also a more unified opposition. so, i would say this is the most important turning point in president erdogan's career.
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the unusual part of it is that turkey's citizens lived under erdogan for nearly two decades and experienced prosperity that they had never witnessed before. that income level and living standards is disappearing in front of the eyes of a lot of citizens. voters are turning away from him. >> schifrin: a erdogan's turning inward. he fired multiple officials who resisted his unorthodox economic policies, and his government filed criminal complaints against turks who criticized his policies online. >> at this stage, i think the only way for him to stick to power-- it looks like he's not going to be able to restore strong economic growth-- is by becoming more autocratic. >> schifrin: that boosts leading opposition politicians like istanbul mayor ekrem imamoglu, who challenge erdogan's nearly 20-year rule. >> ( translated ): this current process is not merely an economic crisis. i want to underline that it is a political crisis. i see this as a reflection of
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the inability to run the country. >> schifrin: and it's hard to run a family. the turans have cut back on food, and cut out any new clothes, in order to afford one, essential need: their daughters' tuition. 12-year-old nisa's in middle school, and 19-year-old irem's in college. >> ( translated ): i can't say no to their needs. because it is related with their education. they have to stay in school. we have to make personal sacrifices to meet their needs. and maybe one day, solve the country's crisis. >> schifrin: irem is studying economics. for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: microsoft announced plans today to buy activision blizzard, a huge leader in game development in a deal valued at $75 billion. but, the acquisition comes with significant issues-- there have been numerous allegations of
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sexual misconduct in the activision workplace. geoff bennett looks at those concerns, and what's behind the deal. >> reporter: judy, microsoft is already a major player in the gaming market, an industry generating $175 billion a year in revenue, thanks to its x-box and video game subscriptions. but, acquiring activision will allow microsoft to up its own game during a pandemic-fueled gaming boom. activision is the company behind major hits like "call of duty," "world of warcraft," and "candy crush," and the takeover would make microsoft the world's third-largest gaming company. for more, i'm joined by kirsten grind of the "wall street journal." if you can, put this number the context for us, this $175 billion, the $75 billion acquisition, what does it mean for the gaming industry generally? >> it's huge. it's one of the biggest deals,
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period, one of the biggest all-cash deals and for the gaming industry, it put so much under one roof. so you had xbox and now you have activision's hits which will be microsoft so it gives microsoft so much more might than it had before. >> reporter: and microsoft which makes the xbox consoles, owns studios that produce hits like minecraft, it's gotten more aggressive with gaming in the last several years. how does this acquisition play into their long term tragedy? >> affect u.s. has so many long term franchises, with the addition of activision, they became the largest gaming company worldwide so pending the closer, makes them a very serious player in the place. >> reporter: and this deal as you know and reported, it's coming as activision faces
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allegations of sexual assault and mistreatment of female employees going back years. just yesterday activision fired several of its own executives following its on investigation, its own review of what transpired. give us a sense of what's happening within that company and has microsoft indicated how it will handle it moving forward? >> that's right. well, activision is, really, quite frankly in trouble with its culture at this point. it's facing three regulatory investigations -- the state of california, the eeoc, the securities and exchange commission. we've reported about handling of some of the misconduct allegations. its stock is down about 30% from the first of the lawsuits about its culture last summer. so it was facing pressure from employees, from shareholders. so this is a really -- it's kind of, you know, a good solution,
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really, for activision, at this point. >> reporter: and based on your reporting, i mean, do you know what happens to activision's c.e.o. bobby kotick? he's led the company for more than three decades but there were allegations he was aware of complaints of harassment, misconduct and assault and neglected to share it with the board. >> that's right. that's actually what kind of led to microsoft's approach when they were in the middle of all this turmoil after our story came out. and, so, bobb■y actully is not expected to stay with the company after the deal closes. again, these deals can take a very long time close and it's also pending a lot of regulatory approval. but, yes, he's not expected to stay. >> reporter: can you give us a sense of the nature of what's been alleged? >> definitely. so some of the regulatory agencies have alleged sexual
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harassment, sexual assault, gender pay disparity, just a broad range of workplace misconduct across the board. what we wrote about in our november story in the "wall street journal" was about how bobby kotick himself knew about some of these workplace misconduct allegations and didn't tell the board about them. >> reporter: bigpicture as we wrap up our conversation here. this acquisition is almost akin to disney arequiring marvel in 2012. microsoft will own a huge piece of the gaming industry. what does this mean for gamers generally? >> i think, going back to the culture questions, i think this could be a very good thing for gamers. i think, you know, i heard a lot out there about how it was harder to get behind a company that was facing so many culture issues, and if a company like microsoft can help turn that around, i think that would be
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good for everyone, frankly. >> reporter: kirsten grind, thank you so much for your reporting and perspectives on this major deal between microsoft and activision. >> thank you so much for having me. >> woodruff: today, the first satellite images emerged of the pacific nation of tonga following saturday's volcanic eruption. the photos show the islands coated in ash. despite the violent explosion, the tongan government has so far reported just three deaths. the status of two smaller islands in its chain is still unknown. john yang takes a closer look at the science behind the volcano, its explosion and aftermath. >> yang: judy, scientists say the explosion revealed some of the mysteries of underwater volcanoes. it produced a tsunami that was felt on the coasts of japan and
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the united states, 5,000 miles away, and triggered an oil spill in peru. it set off a lightning storm that lasted seven hours and had 400,000 strikes. it was heard as far away as alaska. but, for all the ways it made itself felt around the world, its damage was relatively confined. tonga bore the brunt of the volcano's fury, blanketed with ash that is now contaminating its water supply. michael poland is a research geophysicist with the u.s. geological survey's cascades volcano observatory in vancouver, washington. mr. poland, thank you so much for joining us. as we talk about, there was so dramatic, this event, that huge plume visible from space, the tsunami, the atmospheric shockwave which rippled around the globe, but you say the data actually showed this was a relatively small eruption. explain that. >> yeah, it's a very confounding
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event in that the amount of material that came out of the ground was not especially huge -- it was perhaps the kind of thing we might see every few years from a volcano somewhere on earth -- but it produced an outsized explosion, really a massive explosion, and that has to have something to do with the interaction with ocean water to prose that really massive tsunami. so it's having outsized impacts for the amount of material that came out of the ground. >> reporter: and what was in that material? what did come out of the ground? >> there was a lot of ash as with most vol gannic eruption and so2 gas among other types of gas, water vapor, so forth, and that sulphur dioxide shows us how to pinpoint the plum. it'sike opening a soda and having the carbon dioxide come out to have the soda. when the gas comes out of the volcano, you get so2 that comes out, and that allows us to track the plume and know how big an
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eruption is. >> reporter: what's the explanation for it being heard so far away as alaska? >> yeah, that's really difficult to understand at this point. it had to have something to do with that sort of interaction, perhaps a large amount of gas-rich magma being suddenly exposed to cold owns water generated a really massive explosion and was heard obviously very far away. that something i think will be the subject of an awful lot of research in the days and years to come. >> reporter: and the tsunami, i think a lot of people's familiarity with tsunamis comes from the 2004 tsunami which was the result of an earthquake, a seismic event. is this kind of sue mammy common with volcanicruptions underwater? >> volcanic eruptions right underwater can induce sue name
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is -- tsunamis. we've come to understand the sorts of processes a lot better than before. volcanic tsunamis being rare give us fewer opportunities to study them. so we don't understand the volcanic tsunamis quite as well. this tsunami will be studied intently to understand what generated it, was it some dispayment placement to have the sea floor, the impact of an ash plume on the water? there are many potential mechanisms of why this tsunami was sing my and understanding that will be the key to forecasting these sorts of events in the future. >> reporter: hearing you talking, seems like there's a lot we don't understand about underwater volcanoes and there will be new research to examine this one. what will be looking at in this
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event. >> i think the key is magma-water interaction, and, so, there will be all kinds of attention to how magma and water interact, what happens when you put these two different materials in contact with another really in a dynamic way. so we'll be looking at modeling studies of those sorts of interaction, studying the ash particles to see if that can provide clues as to how the interaction took place, and modeling the explosion and the tsunami to understand more about the nature of this interaction. there are submarine volcanoes in other places and they are tremendously hard to study because they are obscure. it's easy to study these on land but clearly they present a hazard and we need to understand more about that hazard. this event as tragic as it is for tonga might help us understand these kinds of interactions more in detail and will help us in the future. >> reporter: fascinating stuff. research physicist michael poland, thank you very much.
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>> my pleasure. >> woodruff: tania maree giordani founded nourish-nyc, an organization that began with the goal of providing support to black lives matter protestors, and has grown to provide broader grassroots services to her community year-round. tonight, she shares her "brief but spectacular" take on building a community based on love. >> i've been protesting, like, physically, since i was a young child, with my mom. it's really funny-- i don't call myself an activist, because this is just a way of life. >> nourish nyc, in short, is a community organization that is black-led, black-centered, and we practice a holistic approach to community care. i started nourish nyc on may 29, 2020 in my best friend's bedroom. that was the eveni after the
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very first protest in the-- in this wave of protesting, of black lives matter, protesting after george floyd was killed. people were hungry, people were getting hurt, scraping themselves, but nobody had p.p.e., nobody had first aid, nobody had water bottles to share. when i got home that evening, i looked for organizations to donate money to who were providing p.p.e., snacks, and water to protesters, but i couldn't find any. and that's how i started in nourish nyc. i just started to post on my twitter and my personal instagram, and then it grew, really, really fast. i went from having like 1,000 followers, to almost 10,000. within like three days, i had like $80,000 in my accounts, and i knew it wasn't going to stop there. and i looked at it and i said, i have an opportunity to really do something with this money. that has been an opportunity to provide over 40,000 meals, to provide over 10,000 safety kits to protesters. it's been an oortunity to connect black trans people with therapy. it's been an opportunity to keep people housed. it's been an opportunity to keep people fed, to get people clothed, to help hurricane ida
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victims, to help people who are just struggling to make a friend. it's been an opportunity to make a difference in so many people's lives. and, even if it's one person, to me, that's success. and so when i saw my bank account just growing and growing and growing, i was like, no. people like me, we deserve the opportunity to call the shots, instead of them always being called for us. in 2019, i was sexually assaulted, and, this is kind of like where the idea for having these spaces that take our marginalization and our traumas in mind, but that center joy, came from. all i wanted was a space to go that understood what i was experiencing-- with people who were trauma-informed-- to go be happy. i just wanted to go and, like, create, around other people who were going through the same thing that i was navigating. and it just doesn't exist. and so nourish is my opportunity to create that space. when you don't have your basic needs met, you can't show up for yourself in the way that you want to. and just don't think that
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that's a way to live. i don't think that's the way that anyone should have to live. i deserve t opportunity-- and people who are like me, who have experiences like me, deserve the opportunity to control our stories. we deserve to feel joy, uninhibited. we deserve to smile uninhibited. we deserve to dance. we deserve to eat. we deserve to feast together happily. my name is tanya marie giordani, and this is my "brief but spectacular" take on living in a world based on love. >> woodruff: such a powerful story. and you can watch all our "brief but spectacular" episodes at also on the newshour online right now, fatal drug overdoses spiked to a record high in the u.s. during the first year of the pandemic. you can read more about what experts say needs to happen to change course on our website, and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening.
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for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> bnsf railway. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate equitable economic opportunity. >> and with the ongoing support ofhese institutions
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.
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welcome to show show here's what's coming up. >> we're going to fight and we plan to win. >> a rousing call to action on voting rights. but on this martin luther king day, i asked him why the dream is yoet to be fulfille then, political turmoil in ukraine as the threat from russia builds. i speak on the security stakes fothe western alliance. and why the west is in no rush to welcome ukraine into nato. >> what happened was not the liberation of mosul. >> speaks to the investigative reporter about the true toll of america's air wars. ♪


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