tv PBS News Hour PBS January 20, 2022 3:00pm-4:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the first year-- on this anniversary of president biden's inauguration, we look at what's gone well, and what hasn't over the past 365 days, and ask if anything needs to change as he begins year two. then, tensions rising-- disagreements between nato allies prompt widespread uncertainty as the threat of a renewed russian invasion looms over ukraine. and, on trial-- jury selection begins in the federal case against three former minneapolis police officers charged in the death of george floyd. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> carnegie corporation of new york. suorting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of iternational peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> 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: there's fresh evidence tonight that the omicron spike in covid-19 infections is hurting the u.s. job market. new unemployment claims jumped
55,000 last week, to 286,000. that's the most since october. all told, more than 1.6 million people in the country are now collecting jobless benefits. the congressional committee investigating the january 6th capitol riot asked today to interview ivanka trump. members said they want the former president's daughter and adviser to discuss her actions and conversations on that day. meanwhile, a district attorney in georgia asked for a grand jury to help investigate whether mr. trump tried to interfere with state election results. president biden marked one year in office today, with a new focus on passing at least some of his domestic agenda. his giant bill worth nearly $2 trillion was blocked in the u.s. senate. so, on wednesday, he promoted action on any chunks that can win enough votes. today, the speaker of the house, nancy pelosi, responded.
>> what can we agree upon, and i'm sure we can agree on something significant. call it a chunk if you want, but whatever you call it, we want it to be able to make a difference in transforminthe workplace, by honoring work, by respecting the fact that there are families that have to make decisions between home and work and again, protecting the planet. >> woodruff: we'll take a longer look at the president's first year, after the news summary. police in britain arrested two people today in connection with the standoff at a texas synagogue last saturday. it's unclear exactly how they might be linked to the gunman who held four people hostage near dallas, before he was killed. meanwhile, a recording posted online showed the gunman ranting against jews and u.s. wars in afghanistan and other muslim nations.
the c.i.a. has concluded that most cases of so-called "havana syndrome" were not caused by a foreign government attack. investigators studied reports of headaches, dizziness and nausea among u.s. officials starting in cuba, in 2016. they found most resulted from environmental factors and other medical conditions. two dozen cases are still under review. the first disaster relief arrived in tonga today, five days after an undersea volcanic eruption. flights from new zealand and australia were finally able to deliver much-needed drinking water and other supplies. they had waited for ash to be cleared from the south pacific nation's main airport. >> the runway being open and able to accept flights in with essential relief items is one of the very good news stories of this disaster response. we had hundreds of volunteers come out and manuay clear the
runway of debris and ash to ensure that those flights could land. >> woodruff: across the pacific, peru declared an emergency as it battles a huge oil spill caused by rogue waves from the volcano's eruption. the spill has fouled nearly 7,000 square mil of islands and fishing waters. back in this country, federal prosecutors charged four officials in belarus with air piracy for diverting a ryanair flight last year. the plane was crossing belarusian air space when authorities used a false bomb threat to force it down. then, they arrested an opposition journalist on board. it's unclear if those charged will ever stand trial. the n.c.a.a. has announced a new policy on transgender athletes in college sports. eligibility will now depend on each sport's assessment of athletes' testosterone levels. the previous requirement was the same across all sports.
this comes as more states have banned transgender athletes from school sports. another sell-off hit wall street today. major stock indexes again lost nearly 1or more, amid continued concerns about inflation and interest rates the dow jones industrial average shed 313 points to close at 34,715. the nasdaq fell 186 points. the s&p 500 dropped 50. and, 19-year-old zara rutherford is now the youngest woman to fly solo around the world. the british-belgian pilot landed her micro-light plane in western belgium today after a trip that lasted 1 days. a crowd of family and fries cheered her safe return. still to come on the newshour: we examine the biden administration's handling of the immigration issue. a new report alleges former pope benedict failed to act against
abusive priests. director adam mckay discusses his allegorical film, "don't look up." plus much more. >> woodruff: in the one year president biden has been in the white house, he passed some $3 trillion worth of spending on covid relief and infrastructure. joining me to asss the president's performance so far and where he goes from here are two democratic party strategists. faiz shakir is an adviser to senator bernie sanders and managed his 2020 presidential campaign. and matt bennett worked for both of bill clinton's presidential campaigns. he is now a co-founder of the think tank, third way.
hello to both of you. great to have you with us. faiz shakir, i'm going to start with you. we heard president biden say yesterday that, yes, it was a year of challenges, but there was also enormous progress. how would you size up his first year in office? >> one of the most important accomplishments of this biden administration is empowering workers. i mean, he lifted the income floor at a time when millions of people were losing jobs, out of work, with stimulus checks, with unemployment benefits, with child tax credits, small-business payroll support. what happened? workers gained power. they got the ability to change jobs, move jobs. as a result if you look at household wealth, it is increasing. that is a huge accomplishment. it reverses a decade of a trend of working class people losing. that is one of the most major accomplishments. obviously, there is still business left undone. we haven't done the structural changes to provide things like paid leave, address climate change, expand health insurance. those are the economic
allenges experienced during covid that still have yet to be fully completed, and i'm hopeful that they will be. >> woodruff: matt bennett, how do you see the first year? >> i agree with faiz. i think there were real accomplishments. i think there were other things, too. if you look at the rescue plan and the bipartisan infrastructure bill they combined worth $3.1 trillion. that is the size of the new deal in real dollars. that is an enormous accomplishment. and he's going to be addressing these infrastructure problems for the first time, really, since the 1960s, in a big and concerted way. that's going to change people's lives in really fundamental ways. it will create jobs. it will also change the way people are using roads and their water is going to be cleaner and broadband is going to be expanded. it's going to be a familiarity difference for americans. so i think he had some really significant accomplishments. i think one of the problems, though, is that in the first year of a presidency-- and this is true of every president-- your reach often kind of exceeds
your grasp. every new president tries to do something that they're unable to do. when i served with president clinton, it was healthcare. president obama couldn't get cap-and-trade legislation done. president trump tried to repeal the a.c.a. it always happens. but i think now, in this year, it's time to talk about the accomplishments. >> woodruff: so faiz shakir, is that■ the main explanation fr with the president's public opinion ratings are down? we know that's certainly not the only measurement of what's going on. but the fact it has been a notable drop, and especially among independent voters. is it mainly because he tried to do more than he could get done? >> i think the president is dogged by perception of weakness, and it hurts him. and i think part of that comes from the legislative strife, the inability to get voting rights across, publicly the b.b.b.--
the "build back better." and my view, joe man inch more than any other person in america has been responsible for biden's falling political standing. because with the perception of biden being seen as week, it looks like joe manchin is in charge. it's president joe manchin we have to cater to. we haven't had votes in the senate, we have had months and months of negotiations. that doesn't help joe biden. when you're unable to deliver, it looks like you have a weak president. obviously, there is covid. but if you were able to pass "build back better," to show i'm taking on the biggest challenges we have in covid as well. >> woodruff: it's interesting you should say that, because i want to pick up on something president biden said at his news conference yesterday talking to the reporters. he said, "you guys have been trying to convince me i'm bernie sanders." i'm not. i like him. but i'm not bernie sanders. i'm not a socialist. mime a mainstream democrat." but, of course, that doesn't assuage what republicans are saying. and i want you to listen to just
a short clip of what the republican minority whip in the senate, john thune, had to say at a news conference they had. >> pretty much on every level, you can go right down the list, this administration has been a failure. and i believe the only way they can fix and cure that is to quit listening to the far left, to get away from the radical agenda that is driving their decision-making process, and come to the middle. >> woodruff: so, matt bennett, i don't expect you to necessarily agree with the republican line of thinking, but does-- but is there a seed of a problem? how do you see whether the president has been leaning too far to the left or not? >> well, first of all, just to be clear, i definitely do not agree with senator thune or with the what the republicans are saying about joe biden or about democrats. but it is true that joe biden inherited a very, very broad coalition ana very narrow congressional majority. i mean, he has no margin at all
in the senate, and a three- or five-vote margin-- depending on the day-- in the house. which means he has to kind of negotiate between people as far apart ideologically as folks like bernie sanders and joe manchin, or congresswoman ocasio-cortez, and that's a pretty tough thing to do when you can't lose any of their votes. i think during that first year, when he was trying to do really big things legislatively and he achieved some, and he might achieve more, that's where he kind of ended up. i think now, though, is a moment to pivot and to start to talk to the american public in ways that he was talking in 2020, and as he said yesterday, he's a mainstam democrat. he's very good at talking to folks about the problems in their lives in ways thareally resonate, and i think that's what he'll do. >> woodruff: faiz shakir, will that work? is the formula for 2022? the formula would be in my mind
two major things. one it needs to be a year of executive actions for joe biden. if congress won't act, he will. he will do everything he can for climate change, healthcare, immigration reform, criminal justice. but simultaneously, in the senate, in the legislative arena, it has to be a year of votes. and we've been dogged by this. i mentioned, judy, we haven't had any votes on "build back better," for months and months. i'm ad senator schumer took a vote on voting rights. now he needs to do it with "build back better." and if it fails, we need to break it out. you want to reduce prescription drug prices, let's put it up for a vote? to say, make the choices clear for the american public. who stands where and call people to the carpet. otherwise, manchin is talking behind the scenes or in the press and we don't know where he will vote and it's time for votes. >> woodruff: matt bennett, is that the formula, to hold the votes, even if they go down and
don't pass? >> i would say i'm not a fan of that. i think i land where speaker pelosi does, which is you don't take votes very often that you know you're going to lose. look, i think they had to do that on the lewis bill. those are very important, and i think senator schumer was right to bring those up. i don't think you want to have vote in either house of congress where you're in the majority and you keep losing. i do think, though, there will be behind-the-scenes negotiations, on "build back better." faiz and i agree. we should pass that bill. we hope senator manchin comes around on that. but i also think president biden needs to get out there and start talking to people about the things that you were talking about at the top of this broadcast, about inflation, about covid, about the things they are struggling with. i think he's very good at doing that, and i think that's what he'll do. >> woodruff: so much to consider. we thank the both of you, faiz shakir, and matt bennett. we appreciate it. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: today president biden clarified and corrected comments he made yesterday, and said any russian incursion into ukraine would lead to a severe and united response by the u.s. and its allies. in berlin, secretary of state antony blinken also presented unity. but as the president himself admitted yesterday, the trans- atlantic alliance is not unified over how to punish russia. nick schifrin explains. >> schifrin: in the city once- divided by the cold war, america's top diplomat warned a that new war, risked the values the west hadon. >> to allow russia to violate those principles with impunity would drag us all back to a much more dangerous and unsble time, when this content, and this city, were divided in two, separated by no-man's-lands >> schifrin: secretary of state
antony blinken met with german foreign minister annalena baerbock, and french and british diplomats, to try and present a united front. >> ( translated ): any further aggressive behavior or aggression would result in serious consequences. this is nothing less than a question of maintaining peace in europe. for us it is existential. >> that unity gives us strength. a strength i might add that russia does not and cannot match. >> schifrin: but, there are divisions over how to punish russian president vladimir putin, as president biden acknowledged yesterday. >> russia will be held accountable if it invades. and it depends on what it does. it's one thing if it's a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do, et cetera. >> schifrin: that use of “figh”" was a rare public admission, of what's been privately clear. in germany, the nord stream 2 pipeline would double the natural gas the european union imports from russia. it was completed last year, but germany has indefinitely paused
the certification process. the white house wants to use that pause as leverage over russia. privately, german officials say they would kill the pipeline, but publicly they won't admit that. earlier this week, german chancellor olaf scholz made his most definitive hintwhich still only went so far. >> ( translated ): it is clear that there will be high costs, and everything has to be discussed if there is a military intervention against ukraine. >> schifrin: other european countries are worried about u.s. sanctions because they have their own business ties to russia. the e.u. is russia's largest trading partner. in countries along russia's border, including finland, lithuania, and estonia, russian goods make up about a third of imports. in contrast, russia is the united states' 26th largest trading partner. and in france, president emmanuel macron further broke western unity yesterday when he said the e.u. should hold its own talks with russia, rather than support the u.s.-russia, and nato-russia talks from last
week. >> ( translated ): for both us and russia, for the security of our continent, which is indivisible, we need that dialogue. we have to, as europeans, lay t our own demands and put ourselves in a position where we can make sure they're respected. >> schifrin: today, ukraine's president volodymr zelensky demanded his own respect. while he was visiting poland's president, he tweeted a rejection of president biden's comments yesterday.“ there are no minor incursions and small nations,” he wrote. today, president biden tried to clean up his own remarks. >> i have been absolutely clear with president putin, he has no assembled russian units move across the ukrainian border that is an invasion. but that will be met with severe and coordinated economic response. >> schifrin: so how united are the u.s. and its european allies about the appropriate response for that we tu to constanze stelzenmüller, senior fellow and the brkings institution, a
washington based think tank. constanze stelzenuller, welcome back to the newshour. as we heard, president biden let slip yesterday that there would be a "fight among allies" over how to respond if putin launched something short of a full invasion. today, president biden promised a "coordinated response." which biden comment is more accurate? >> you know, i think the problem here is that they're both accurate, nick. by the way, thanks for having me on again. i think the more outrageous the kremlin's demands and rhetoric are-- and they really have been outrageous, both in those two papers they suggested we should sign immediately and the comment afterwards-- the more united we are. but the suggestion that the russians might try something that's sort of hybrid, sort of mixed, with a little bit of military aggression and perhaps more disinformation, that's where it becomes technically, actually, quite difficult to define what is aggression? what kind of response should that trigger and what would be proportional? and who does it?
>> for example, if russian troops invaded in eastern ukraine where they invaded in the past and continue to support an insurgency or we see special sources, so-called little green men inside ukraine, but not an infrantry, the allies would be less unified? >> i don't think so. i think at this point, our trigger levels with pretty low. i think anything that looks like an actual military response that is not little green men would, i think, create a very unified response. what i'm worried about is sort of maybe if the kremlin leaves us hanging, and then continues with a disinformation onslaught, and cyber-campaigns and that kind of thing, i think that is what the president meant with something minor, really. >> let's go into some of the divisions we laid out in the piece. in addition to europe's dependence on russian oil and gas, there are business ties between the contint and russia. how much does that restrain
european capitals from supporting economic sanctions against russia? >> well, the truth is that really forceful economic sanctions would have a lot of blowback on the european economy, because of the interdependence of european economies, and their interdependence with russia. that is much are less significant for the us. economy. it just has to be said. that is a real difference. and then there are differences within europe. probably the most vulnerable is germany, then comes italy, i'm told. and i think the question for us all is how do we mitigate those differences in vulnerability so the russians can't exploit us to strike a wedge in the alliance cohesion. >> one of the places the u.s. says russia is trying to exploit the division is, of course, nord stream 2. so why can't the german government say in public what german diplomats say in private, that there will be no nord stream 2 if russia invades? >> yes, everyone's favorite
pipeline. the-- my theory is this: it's that i think if you talk to german officials in private, as you said in your report, they are pretty clear that is one of the biggest albatrosses around the neck of german foreign policy ever. but this is a private undertaking. it's actually factually correct to say that, if the chancellor does that. and if the government stops the suspension process and says, "this will never go online," that would be in legal terms an exercise of eminent domain. german courts take that kind of thing very seriously. and it happened afterangula merkel took germany out of nuclear power after the nuclear catastrophe in japan in 2011, after the tsunami. my suspicion is the legal advisers are being super careful here and saying what we need is a clear, a clear-cut case of russian attack, to be able to
move to this without incurring legal damages in the billions, literally, probably 10 billions. >> in general, russia's neighbors, including former soviet states, are more concerned about russian actions, are more calling for aggressive deterrents, despite some of the trade ties we have mentioned, than are western european country. is there a divide between western and eastern europe when it comes to how to treat russia in this moment? >> you know, i don't actually think so. i mean, obviously, i watched the debate in my own country, germany, most closely, but i do speak french and i watch other countries' debates. and i think thatin germany, the mood towards russia darkened significantly already after russians-- the russian attack on georgia in 2008. and the real turning point, the game changer was the illegal annexation of crimea in 2014. yes, there are people who will
sort of talk russian talking points, but usually these are people who have, you know, where you know there's a reason they do that. but they're the minority, and ththey are, with some exceptions not senior policy makers. and there is actually some agreement within this three-way coalition that now runs germany on this. the disagreement is really between the left wing of some of those parties and the people who are in the cabinet. that's an important distinction. i can say something about macron, the speech yesterday? >> only about fen seconds. sorry constanze. >> he has a point that we need to do more as europeans. that is where he was right. it is unhelpful to suggest we need a new european union security order, including t russians this week, with 100,000 troops on the russian border and russian troops moving into belarus. >> we'll have to leave it there. constanze stelzenuller, thank you very much.
>> you're very welcome. thanks for having me on. >> woodruff: one year into president biden's tenure we are taking a look at the status of some of his key campaign promises. today we dive into immigration. president biden came into office promising to undo the aggressive policies of the previous administration, and usher in a more humane approach. amna nawaz is here to lay out how he's doing on those fronts. amna, as we're suggesting, big promises from then-candidate joe biden. how, as president biden, has he made a difference on those promises? >> judy, you're absolutely right. he came into office saying he's not just going to undo what the previous president had done. he's going to work towds and create a more fair, more humane
overall immigration system. some of his earlier actions when he came into office were immigration related. in his first days in office, president biden stopped construction of the border wall. he ended the trump-era travel bans. he created the family reunification task force to find and reunify those families separated under the trump administration, and he reinstated daca, the deferred action for childhood arrivals program that shield children from deportation. he also started to lay out a broar groundwork and strategy for you had to address some of the changes that quite frankly people have been calling for in decades in a system that hasn't had meaningful reform in 30 years. >> woodruff:the me ask you about the southern border. we know this has gotten so much attention, the in-migration into the country has continued. what changes has president biden made? >> judy, ayou know, as our viewers know, evry modern
president has grappled with managing migration there. we should note, numbers at the southern border were rising even before president biden came into office. after he was sworn in they did start dramatically rise, up to a 20-year high last year. as a candidate, mr. biden was very, very porsful about speaking out about the trump policies at the border, some that kept some asylum seekez, forcing them to stay in mexico. and one pandemic rule that essentially shut down border traffic all together. here's how mr. biden talked about that in august of 2020. >> w're going to restore our moral standing in the world and our historic role as a safe haven for refugees and asylum seekers. my lord, we have never made asylum seekers seek asylum outside the yut of america. >> judy, since then some of the promises have run into real-world reality. he did try to end m.m.
the courts ruled against him. they want to put that back into play. that rule remains in place. president biden has not tried to end title 42, the pandemic rule that forced people basically to be expelled immediately after they tried to cross the border. he created some carve-outs for children and families, but that rule, from the trump administration, also remains in place. perhaps one of the biggest changes we've seen, though, when it comes to the border is something that happens hundreds of miles away from the border, and that was the biden administration's decision to prioritize and invest in root causes, the reasons that people leave their countries will in the first place. vice president harris was put in charge of that. they have already secured over $1 billion in private sector and other commitments. it's potentially huge change, judy, but that's the kind of change that will take a while to show up. >> woodruff: that's immigrants. we're talking about people outside the country. what about the undocumented people who live inside who have already moved to this country, the dreamers, for example? what promises has the president made for them, and has he
fulfilled them? >> candidate biden was very forceful and specific about his plans about population. here's how he talked about it back in october of2020: >> within 100 days, i'm going to send to the united states congress a pathway to citizenship for over 11 million undocumented people. and all of those so-called dreamers, those daca kids, they're going to be immediately certified again to be able to stay in this country and put on a path to citizenship. >> so, judy, day one in office, president biden did reinstate daca, but that is temporary. we asked a union undocumented woman by the name of ava santos, about what she thinks of president biden's record so far. >> he promised to protect programs like daca and provide a pathway to citizenship for undocumented people like me, and we remain in limbo. so i think it's more than obvious he has fallen short on each of these promises.
>> judy, the other big change was changing the enforcement guidelines for ice, he raised the bar. meaning people aren't arrest or deported unless they committed a serious threat. >> woodruff: all of this reminding us what a complicat set of issues is involved around immigration. it couldn't be hotter politically. to sum it up, what does this first year under president biden tell you about what could be done in coming years? >> judy, perhaps the biggest change from this administration to the last has just been the way they took about immigration. there's been a rhetorical reestablishment that immigration is central to this country as a core value. but again and again, president biden has run up against some of e same challenges as previous presidents have, and that is to say, until congress acts on a lot of these issues, until the laws are changed, a broken immigration system will likely remain broken. >> woodruff: no questions, one of the toughest set of issues confronting this president. amna nawaz, thanks very much.
>> woodruff: a jury was selected today in the federal trial of three former minneapolis police officers charged in the killing of george floyd. john yang has more. >> yang: judy, this is the next chapter in efforts to hold minneapolipolice officers accountable in the death of george floyd. what began as a call to a convenience store more than a year and a half ago touched off protests around the world for racial justice and police accountability. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro begins our coverage with a reminder of how we got to this point. and a warning: some images in this report are disturbing. >> reporter: “one down, three to go.” that was the message above the minneapolis intersection known as “george floyd square,” in the weeks after derek chauvin's conviction last year. it was a reference to the three
other former minneapolis police officers: tou thao, j. alexander kueng, and thomas lane, who were at the scene on may 25th, 2020, and now face federal civil rights charges. almost a year after floyd's death, chauvin stood trial on state murder and manslaughter charges. for weeks inside a heavily fortified minneapolis courthouse, often emotional witnesses recounted the events of that day, including dnella frazier, the teenager who filmed the viral cell phone video of floyd's death. >> it's been nights i stayed up apologizing and apologizing to george floyd for not doing more, and not physically interacting, and not saving his life. >> reporter: the jury found chauvin guilty on all counts after just 10 hours of
deliberation. he was sentenced to more than 22 years in prison. many in the twin cities rejoiced. and now the fencing is back up, this time around the federal courthouse in st. paul. and some of those same witnesses will be called in once again to testify. thao, kueng and lane are charged with depriving george floyd of his civil rights while acting under government authority. chauvin has already pleaded guilty to the federal charges and awaits sentencing. kueng and lane, both rookies on the force, arrived first at the convenience store whe floyd was accused of passing a counterfeit $20 bill. they took floyd out of his car and attempted to arrest him. thao, who'd been a full minneapolis police officer for more than eight years, arrived with chauvin a short time later. and after the officers struggled with floyd, bringing him to the ground, chauvin knelt on his neck, kueng near his back and lane held down his legs. thao kept bystanders from
intervening. on body camera footage, lane can be heard twice asking chauvin, the senior officer on scene... >> should we roll him on his side? >> stay on him. >> reporter: and at one point, lane and kueng appear to discuss whether floyd had a pulse. >> got anything? >> no. >> reporter: the trial will not be broadcast publicly. the judge in the case expressed concern about the proceedings“ getting out of proportion.” he urged lawyers to limit the number of witnesses and move quickly to avoid delays caused by covid. thao, kueng and lane still face a state trial for aiding and abetting murder and manslaughter. it's now been delayed twice awaiting the conclusion of the federal case. for the pbs newshour, i'm fred de sam lazaro in st. paul, minnesota.
>> yang: the charges and issues in this federal trial are different from those in the earlier state trial that ended in the conviction of derek chauvin. angi porter is a research fellow and adjunct professor at the georgetown university law center. thanks so much for being with us. help us understand these federal charges, depriving george floyd of his civil right. what does that mean? >> absolutely, thanks, john. i want to emphasize that in federal court, we're really thinking primarily about a person's constitutional rights. and in this case, we're thinking about ge george floyd's right to reasonable suzzer-- i, a reasonable arrest-- and also his right to due process, his right to not be deprived of his liberty without getting medical attention for a serious medical need. sohose are the two areas that are infused in the charges in the federal case.
>> in the state case, you were talking about what derek chauvin it did. what are the challenges in proving that the federal prosecutor is going to have in proving that-- this federal charge? >> you know, i think the challenges will really be to focus the jury in on the issues, because lay people come to these cases thinking about the overall incident. so the prosecutors are really going to want to narrow their focus on what each of these defendants did and on their role. so even though chauvin is out there, they have a role-- vis-a-vis chauvin-- they have a role in processing what he was doing and thinking about how they should behave under law to prevent george floyd's deprivation of rights. >> so could they be looking at things they didn't do? >> absolutely. absolutely. the first charge actually is "failure to intervene with the
deprivation of right." so by failing to tell chauvin or to insist that chauvin get up off of george floyd's neck and back, they are violating george floyd's constitutional rights. so it's absolutely about the omission there and not the action. >> one juror was excused after saying he was worried about the influence of race in this case, and he couldn't be impartial. what role does race play in the prosecution of these charges? >> yeah, i was actually very disappointed in the statements of the judge in response to that juror, who raised concerns about race, because as we all know, race is absolutely at the heart of the underlying incident that gave rise to this trial. so even while race is not relevant to the charges, the judge responded by saying race in no way, shape, or form has a part in this case. you know, that to me is a
delusion. that is aspirational, perhaps, for him to say that, but it's not the truth. and i think there should be an acknowledgment that this case was the springboard for the racial reckoning-- as people called it-- after george floyd's death. race is always a factor, and it's absolutely going to play a role in the minds ofhese jurors as they're loong at these three police officers. and, as you mentioned, john, we're pulling from the whole state for this jury. we're not just pulling from henney pen county. so the demographics are going to look different. they're going to look more white. it's going to be more homogenous in terms of race. that's definitely going to be important. and i think by understating the role of race in this case and in our reality as a community, as a state, as a country, i think the judge ally did a disservice here. and it was not reflective of what a lot of people are
thinking in terms of this death and the actions surrounding it and the inaction surrounding it. >> derek chauvin, as fred said in the piece, derek chauvin pleaded guil on these federal charges, of course convicted in the state trial. to what extent do you think his presence is still going to be felt in the courtroom? is he going to be looming over this case? >> absolutely, absolutely. as we discussed before, these charges are related to whether these officers intervened and whether they followed the lead of derek chauvin. they are certainly going to use him as part of their argument saying, "oh, he was the field training officer. he was more senioto us. we were following his lead." they will try to disavow themselves from derek chauvin. note, however, derek chauvin took that plea, and as part of his plea, he said he didn't
force these otherhree to do anything or to not do anything. and so, they're going to have to contend with that. >> angi porter of the georgetown university law center, thank you very much. >> thanks so much for having me. >> woodruff: a new report finds the retired pope, pope benedict, failed to deal adequately with sexual abuse cases when he was the leader of a german diocese decades ago. stephanie sy has the latest on these revelations, and what it says about the vatican's leadership. >> sy: judy, the report found that former pope benedict xvi failed to act in four cases of child sexual abuse by roman catholic priests. this was during his time as archbishop of munich and freising between 1977 and 1982.
and it was the german archdiocese which commissioned this independent investigation. benedict's spokesperson says he is reviewing this lengthy report, but the law firm that conducted the investigation with written testimony from the former pontiff says he denied any wrongdoing. the report identified nearly 500 sexual victims in the archdiocese between 1945 to 2019. chico harlan is the rome bureau chief for the "washington post" and has been writing about this. chico harlan, thank you so much for joining the newshour. so, you know, really from boston to munich, we have seen church leaders at the very top over and over again turn a blind eye to sexual abuse, cover up sexual abuse, commit sexual abuse. how bad is what former pope benedict is accused of doing in this report? >> how bad is it? i mean, there is a way to
measure it against the standards of the time and what was known, but i think viewed at it through the modern lens of the proper way to handle sexual abuse. the only way to consider this is that he failed. he did not value the victims and the safety of young people, the safety of people attending church against the reputation. and that has been the tipping point for leaders for all the decades. that's what all the scandals have in common. and you see that even before this had exploded into public knowledge, this was in the late '70s and early '80s. the same problems were at the root, and this time it involved the man who had become pope. >> sy: and specifically, this report spends a couple of hundred pages i understand on reverend peter hullermann, who was accused of molesting sexually abusing children in the late 1970s. what does that have to do with cardinal joseph ratzinger?
that's what the position he held before he was elevated to pontiff. >> right, so this of all these four cases, this is the one that had been the most known publicly beforehand. and the question was, ok, there was this a known abuser who entered ratzinger or benedict's archdiocese. he was given some therapy and then put back on the job and continued to abuse in the subsequent years. so the question always was how much did benedict know about this? and at the time, 10 years ago, when this first came out, it was the blame was cast on a deputy. the deputy says now that he believes it was improbable that benedict didn't have some knowledge about this guy's past when he was brought in and rehabilitated. >> sy: and benedict, thus far, according to the law firm, has denied that he was at this meeting. is this the closest this high ranking of a vatican official all the way at the top, even though he was cardinal at the
time, has come to being linked to a case of sexual abuse. >> this is, i guess, what you put categorized as mishandling or cover up negligence. and yes, the accusations have been made in a very high profile case even three years ago by this character who famous to any catholic archbishop vigano, who was talking about the way that benedict and pope francis failed in properly, properly excavating the truth with cardinal mccarrick. so that was a case of cover up. but i guess what we've seen today in the german case is something much more fitting with the pattern, the normal pattern. these were cases that at the time weren't getting attention. these were not famous priests that were involved. this was the day to day running of the church and at the time, benedict was the cardinal, but nobody knew he'd become pope. so this was very much, you know what? how do you behave when no one's watching? how do you behave when the attention isn't there from the media?
and we got the answer in the form of this report. >> sy: and really what you're talking about is a form of inaction, but also the fact that they were transferring these accused clergy members from dioceses to dioceses, right? >> yes, always with the transferring, it was better to deal with the priests by changing their job than by disciplining them. >> sy: and we should say that before he was elevated to the papacy, cardinal ratzinger was actually in charge of the vatican office that was meant to oversee sexual abuse cases. so he, more than almost anyone in the catholic church, was responsible for overseeing these cases for quite some time. >> so if you're thinking about what fige of the last decades knows the most about abuse, it's probably him. i mean, he was the very face of this secretive organ that dealt with the discipline and dealt with cases.
he had his finger on that body like nobody since. and then he became pope. so negligence is not an excuse for him. he knew the problem and was defining his job even before he became a name known to all catholics. >> sy: chico harlan is the rome bureau chief for the "washington post." chico, thank you for joining the newshour. >> thanks so much, stephanie. appreciate it. >> woodruff: climate change and comedy might not seem like a natural pairing, but a new film combines the two to create a parable about how our society is responding to the climate crisis. william brangham recently spoke to adam mckay, director of comedies like "anchorman," "vice" and "the big short," about his current hit, "don't look up." it's part of our arts and culture series, canvas. >> this is not real.
>> brangham: it's a classic disaster-movie premise... >> kate, tell me this isn't really happening. >> brangham: ...two scientists, terrified by their discovery of an imminent, mortal threat to the planet, try to sound the alarm. >> what dr. mindy is trying to say is that there's a comet headed directly towards earth. >> brangham: but in the netflix satire, “don't look up,” no one seems to care. >> if this comet makes impact, it will have the power of a billion hiroshima bombs. there will be magnitude 10 or 11 earthquakes. >> you're breathing weird. it's uh, making me uncomfortable. >> i'm sorry, i'm just trying to articulate the science. >> i know, but like its like, so stressful. >> i don't think you understand the gravity of this situation. >> this comet is what we call a planet killer. >> brangham: least of all the u.s. president... >> at this exact moment, i say we sit tight and assess. >> sit tight? and assess? >> sit tight? >> and then assess. the sit tight part comes first, then you digest it.
that's the assessment period. >> brangham: while director adam mckay says his planet-killing comet is a metaphor for climate >> it's real and it's coming! change, he's more interested in how society as a whole responds to the threat. >> brangham: while “don't look up” was panned by many critics as preachy and obvious, it has resonated with audiences in the u.s. here and internationally, breaking some weekly streaming records for netflix. the star-studded cast includes leonardo dicaprio and jennifer lawrence; meryl streep and jonah hill, arianna grande, cate blanchett and tyler perry. i spoke with adam mckay recently from his production office in los angeles. the central struggle of this film is these two scientists who see the threat and then try to communicate that threat to a world that does not seem to want to pay attention. they also struggle a great deal with howto talk about the threat and i mean, i've been covering climate change for 20 years, and i have seen this repeatedly.
the scientists believe at the beginning that simply presenting the data will be persuasive to people. >> yeah, i mean, that's the central emotional thrust of the movie is what do you do when you have a clear truth in this society we live in right now? and a lot of people have applied the movie beyond given the climate crisis to covid to, you know, democracy teetering on the edge in the u.s. and other countries. and i think that's all completely applicable because as we've seen when you have, you know, the way we discuss things >> brangham: i mean, it does seem that that is, i mean, for lack of a better word, the central villain or the central struggle is against this media/entertainment complex, that they cannot find a way to punch through that thick curtain. >> yeah, i think that's really the way the movie works as a direct allegory for climate.
and it was amazing to see the reaction from climate scientists to the movie. people just, right away, climate scientists, saying “yes, that's exactly what we've been rough.” >> in all fairness, i paid for that house. >> i'm sorry, are we not being clear? we're trying to tell you that the entire planet is about to be destroyed! >> okay... >> well, its just something we do around here. try to keep the bad news light. >> and where is something like so the movie is doing a couple of different things. it's dealing with the climate crisis and all these problems that we're not solving, but also just a raw, emotional level for me, even as the filmmaker, good lord, it was so nice to laugh. >> brangham: do you think that i mean, as opposed to the comet in your film, which is-- everyone can see it with their own eyes at the end, it's got a clear
deadline as to when it's going to hit the planet versus actual climate change, which is this slow moving, rolling increment thing. we are seeing damages from it already. but do you think that the difference between the comet and actual climate change is why we have been so slow toeact? >> yeah, i think so, i think to some degree, we're wired to deal with immediate threats. and i think the idea of a slow moving, massive macro change is hard for a lot of us to deal with, especially in a society we're living in now where there's so many bright colors and shiny objects and distractions which get me as well. so yeah, i do think that's the problem, and i think that making it a comet helps compartmentalize it a little bit. and once again, the point of the movie is not really about the threat, it's about our reaction
to it, which i also think is >> do you know how many “the world is ending” meetings we've had over the last two years? >> brangham: i mean, your president in the film sees acting against the comet as a way to goose her political standing in the midterms, but there has been no political leader that has successfully ridden action on climate change to electoral success. >> yeah, i think we've really collided with this great challenge at probably the worst time that we could have because there's just so much big money that is flowing through our political system, through our social system, through our media. but if you turn on most news, you'll see them ignore giant climate stories and then go to an ad for a gas powered car or an oil company. and i don't think anyone's consciously ignoring it because of that, but that kind of conflict of interest just creates a culture around it. and when everything is so profitized, i mean, the very way that we talk to each other with social media is completely driven and cranked to create
conflict and misunderstanding so these companies can make more money. and it's tough. i mean, we are really looking at a nuanced, difficult, immediate threat to billions of lives at exactly the time where we've broken the way we communicate with each other. >> brangham: the film is “don't look up,” it's on netflix right now. director adam mckay, so good to have you on the newshour. thank you very much. >> thank you, william, pleasure to be here, man. >> woodruff: we are covering climate change, and go see the movie, if you haven't. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe a we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv.
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