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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 28, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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judy: good evening. i'judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, president biden's request to congress for $33 billion more in aid for ukraine underscores the u.s. is bracing for a prolonged conflict. then, with a new report showing the economy contracting, experts weigh whether this or other signs of resilience matter more for the future. and, a tiny vial with big ambitions -- a vaccine for the world, to help close the gap in global vaccine distribution. ouu seca ill t fhe firs e depao and we want to be the fire department for the world. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."
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station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: president biden announced a new $30-plus billion proposal to help ukraine today, as congress passed a bill that would make it easier to send weapons to ukraine and nato allies. about two-thirds of the biden request is for military assistance. the rest is for economic and humanitarian aid. as the war rages o the united nations secretary-general is on a week of shuttle diplomacy. he met on tuesday with russia's president vladimir putin. and today, in kyiv, he met president volodymyr zelenskyy, a meeting punctuated by russian missile strikes. nick schifrin again begins our coverage. nick: all that's left that ukraine's defense of mariupol under fire and underground. for those forced to hide for weeks, it is terrifying. this was a makeshift hospital inside their final holdout, the
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azovstal steelworks. from a secret location, a ukrainian commander vowed to fight until the end. sviatoslav: the tactic now is like a medieval siege. we're encircled. they're no longer throwing lots of force to break our defensive line. they're conducting airstrikes. nick: new satellite images show putin's apparent plan, not to storm the plant, but to flatten it. russian-backed separatists control the city center, where the bodies of ukrainians they killed lie in stacks. local officials today warned of outbreaks of disease. and a senior u.s. defense official said today russian forces are leaving the city, as russia makes -- quote -- “slow progress” for their goal of the eastern donbass and russian forces launch new attacks along a strategic front-line highway from kharkiv to izyum, including slovyansk and donetsk. in nearby lyman, ukrainian soldiers fear a new ground invasion. the town's already suffered airstrikes that have blown out people's homes. the strikes continue. elena marks “civilian” on her fence, hoping it saves her.
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elena: there is no electricity. we live in the basement and cook food over campfire. we don't have a place to go. nick: nearby, a strike hit a railway warehouse. it's part of russia's campaign to target the delivery of western weapons. today, president biden press congress to deliver ukraine more weapons. pres. biden: so, we need to contribute arms, funding, ammunition, and the economic support to make their courage and sacrifice have purpose, so they can continue this fight and do what they're doing. nick: the $33 billion is mor clthudane f$2iv0.e 4 llbiinn on billion in humanitarian assistance. pres. biden: russia's continued assault on -- is yielding immense human costs. we've seen -- we've seen them leave hind horrifying evidence of their atrocities and war crimes. nick: and that is what u.n.
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secretary-general antonio guterres witnessed today. he toured borodyanka and bucha, what he called the epicenter of unbearable heartbreak and pain, and envisioned his own family as victims of terror. sec. guterres: what i feel, i imagine my family in one of those houses that is now destroyed and black. i see my granddaughters running away in panic, part of the family eventually killed. so, the war is an absurdity in the 21st century. nick: guterres walked through the secure middle of kyiv to meet president volodymyr zelenskyy and pledged more u.n. assistance. as they met, multiple missiles struck a residential building in central kyiv and blew out windows across a city block. guterres warned that, by the end of the year, 25 million ukrainians, more than lf the country, would be in need of humanitarian assistance. president biden today also announced the administration was looking at ways to convert
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assets seized from wealthy russians associated with vladimir putin and use them to help ukraine arm and rebuild. new jersey democrat tom malinowski is one of the co-sponsors of a bill that passed the house yesterday, the asset seizure for ukraine reconstruction act, and he joins me now. representative malinowski, welcome back to the program. your bill is a sense of congress. it is nonbinding. but most efforts against oligarchs freeze their assets. why do you think the u.s. should go further and confiscate those assets and actually convert them to help ukraine? rep. malinowski: putin has caused tens of billions of dollars of damage in ukraine, at least, not even counting, of course, the horrific loss of life. at the same time, we, the united states and our allies, have frozen or blocked potentially hundreds of billions of dollars of russian assets, up to $300 billion of their central bank
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assets, not to mention yachts and villas and private planes that ostensibly belong to these oligarchs, but, in fact, are the property of vladimir putin. it seems fitting to me and right that we should be willing to use some of that wealth to help the country that putin is destroying. we're not going to be returning these yachts anyway anytime soon, even if there's a cease-fire. so, rather than letting them sit and rot in a port somewhere, why not use them to help the country of ukraine rebuild? nick: is it possibly a slippery slope for congress to give the power to an administration to seize the assets of a country that it chooses to confront, and then give those assets to another country that administration chooses to support? rep. malinowski: i think this is a very unique circumstance. this is stolen money in the first place. it was money that was stolen from the russian people by the
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putin regime. and i think we also have to remember the fact that we are complicit in this corruption over many, many years. the united states and our european allies have, frankly, welcomed the transfer of this massive wealth from russia into our real estate, our banks, our hedge funds. nick: there are also legal questions. the aclu criticized an earlier version of your bill for not having enough due process. do you acknowled there are concerns about going down the road of the executive branch identifying pele to target and then taking their assets? rep. malinowski: i acknowledge that there is a need to do this in a careful way. but, at the same time, i think one mistake we sometimes make is that we apply an american construct to a russian reality. so, an american lawyer might look at a russian oligarch who owns a soccer team in england and say, oh, that guy's the owner of the soccer team.
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anyone who understands how russia works would say, no, that guy is not the owner of the soccer team. it's the russian state, it is putin who is the owner of that soccer team. these are pooled assets that the leader of russia can use as he pleases. so, let's not use our due process to protect -- to protect property that was stolen without due process and that is financing a war that is killing thousands and thousands of ukrainians. and let's seize the opportunity here to be able to do something for the people of ukraine with the wealth that contributed to the attempted destruction of their country. nick: you mentioned possibly hundreds of billions. you even mentioned the central bank reserves of russia that are frozen inside the u.s. we're presumably talking about russian oligarch money, taking that and sending it to ukraine. how much of that can the u.s. actually seize? isn't most of that money outside
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the u.s.? rep. malinowski: most of it is outside the u.s. maybe it's a few dozens of billions of dollars, if you count the central bank assets that are available to the united states. but that's not chump change. that's a lot of money. the european union has also started a discussion about embracing a similar mechanism. so, i think, between the united states and the european union, there's a lot that we can do. and, yes, i asked secretary of state blinken today, for example, whether this principle that we are agreeing on encompasses potentially central bank assets. and he says, potentially, yes. nick: as we reported, president biden sent to the hill a $33 billion supplemental. that is more than five times ukraine's anal defense budget. is the any point, is there any number past which it is becoming too expensive to support ukraine? rep. malinowski: the ukrainians aren't just fighting r themselves.
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they're fighting for us. they're fighting for democracy. they're fighting for a set of rules and principles that protect everybody, including the united states of america. it is absolutely essential that they win this fight. there's bipartisan support in congress for doing what is necessary to achieve that goal. nick: tom malinowski, democrat of new jersey, thank you very much. rep. malinowski: thank you. judy: flicking on the lights in your home is not so simple in the middle of a war zone. with so much of ukraine's vital infrastructure targeted by russia, widespread power outages are the norm. it falls to local crews to restring power lines, all the while under fire. from the town of orikhiv near the front lines in southeastern ukraine, special correspondent willem marx and videographer edward kiernan report. willem: dmytro klepcha hurries work. they change into uniforms, apprehension apparent on every face.
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dmytro recently turned 40. for 20 years, he hasn't touched a cigarette. that has changed after the war arrived in his hometown, orikhiv. but this brief smoke break is interrupted, another incoming shell. though safe inside the shelter, the booms keep on coming, a terrifying soundtrack to a wednesday morning. no break in the barrage, but urgent repairs are required to restore power for the people they serve. dmytro: in this kind of job, you understand you cannot abandon your place of work. willem: dmytro is the manager of the local power company and worries about his staff. dmytro: to lose a worker who has a family, kids, wife -- this team are all young -- that is the most difficult. and every day when my team goes out, when they're working, i
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just worry so much. willem: for the last half-an-hour, the shelling here has been pretty constant. and as this team prepares to go out to repair pylons, replace wires, the control room just told us that electricity to the entire town has been cut. the engineers start packing up their gear, a band of brothers he not to fight, butt,ouadin to fix the fighting's damage. on this day, the shelling is too severe for them to travel into the town center. instead, they follow pylons through plowed fields. for hundreds of miles, front lines and power lines alike crisscross this conflict. in their years on the job, these men have learned to move fast and pull hard. this work is dangerous at the best of times. these may be amongst the worst. on the horizon, a plume of smoke signaling another shell.
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we're about 2.5 miles outside of orikhiv, and tank tracks stretch off into this field. those vehicles presumably targeted led to this strike crater right here. and the shrapnel we found inside it is what's damaging these wires overhead. the frequency of fire has left dozens of equally damaged sites nearby. back in the dispatch center, dmytro, denis and her colleague, oksana yevsieieva discuss the growing list of locations they must visit. calls come in from residents reporting yet more. there's no power going through there. orikhiv's mayor visits each day to warn them where they cannot safely go. oksana: we have been coming to -- three times to make repairs. and all three times, there was shelling and there was no chance to put up the wires. in -- there are russians. we cannot get there. willem: because the russians
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have taken that area? oksana: yes. willem: is this the most damage to the system you have ever seen? rattling windows her new normal. yes, you can hear it. on another map, dmytro explains how the day's drumbeat of artillery has cut off all power. is the line that's been cut between here and here? some homes here already destroyed, many more abandoned, except for the pets. angelika zakharchenko and her husband, yuri, are collecting food to feed their neighbors' dogs. angelika: we have come together as never before. we have shown to everyone this is happening during this time in the 21st century. the war is, of course, terrifying.e ld us wianem: electrical workers exemplify this solidarity. angelika: these guys are just great. they keep doing their work, despite the shooting. no one fled. i think it says a lot about them
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that they care about others and not just about themselves. willem: despite the danger, dmytro calls his day's work a duty. dmytro: we all understand, all of us working on the grid, that, without electricity, there will be chaos at the bakeries, in the hospitals and homes, most importantly. so we understand that we have to carry out our obligation to provide people with energy. willem: for the “pbs newshour,“ i'm willem marx in orikhiv, ukraine. judy: thank you, willem. and a reminder, the “newshour”'s coverage of the war in ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with newshour west.
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we'll return to the full program after the latest headlines. after a year of roaring growth, the u.s. economy slowed down in the first quarter of this year. the commerce department says it shrank at an annual rate of 1.4%. that had not happened since the pandemic recession hit in 2020. we'll take a closer look, after the news summary. moderna formally asked the fda today to authorize its covid-19 vaccine for children under the age of six. if approved, the low-dose shots would be the first available for that age group. company officials said they hope for a decision before summer. dr. burton: th is a group of children who are at high unmet need. i think we now have a safe and effective vaccine to be able to offer them that mums and dads and caregivers and physicians that will safely protect them. stephanie: the moderna vaccine has proved 40% to 50% effective at preventing infections in young children, but more effective at preventing serious
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illness. new research concludes a warming planet could help thousands of new viruses spread in the next 50 years. scientists at georgetown university in washington, d.c. studied 3000 memo species. they reported animals may migrate and carry new diseases with them as temperatures rise. the results appear in the journal, nature. the premier of the british virgin islands was arrested on drug smuggling charges today. he and the director of the territories ports were apprehended at a south florida airport. according to a criminal complaint, they thought they were meeting drug traffickers. they were actually undercover dea agents. there were observances around the world today of holocaust remembrance day, in memory of the 6 million jews and others murdered by the nazis. in poland, president andrzej duda joined survivors and others in auschwitz, where more than one million people were killed.
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he used the occasion to condemn russia's invasion of ukraine. pres. duda: in fact it's hard to believe it at all, that after so many russian leaders held speeches here, filled with pride about the fact that the red army had liberated the auschwitz camp, they dared to bomb babin yar. a place where ukrainian jews were executed during the second world war. stephanie: in israel, drivers stopped thr cars and bowed th shoppers in markets did the same, as sirens blared for two minutes in an annual tradition. health officials in canada have lifted stritch and's on blood donations for gay men. the policy began in 1992 as an outright ban but changed in 2019 when gay men were eligible to donate blood if they abstained from sex for threeonths. that policy is still in effect in the united states. lawmakers in oklahoma gave final approval today to banning nearly all abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. it is modeled on a law in
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neighboring texas and will effectively stop women from crossing the state line for abortions. the new law takes effect immediately once the governor signs it. president biden is mulling whether to cancel additional federal student loan debt. democratic lawmakers and activists have urged him to erase $50,000 in debt per person. the president was asked about that at the white house today. pres. biden: i am considering dealing with some debt reduction. i am not considering $50,000 in debt reduction. but, i'm in the process of taking a hard look at whether or not there will be additional debt forgiveness. stephanie: in argentina, paleontologists have discovered the remains of the largest dinosaur belonging to the raptor family. the new species measures between 29.5 and 32.8 feet. the fossils were first discovered in march of 2020 in patagonia before being taken for examination. still to come on the"newshour," a divided congress grapples with
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rising gas prices, covid relief and immigration. the government's push to eliminate menthol-flavored tobacco products. preserving the artistic and cultural treasures at risk in ukraine using tools of the digital age. and much more. >> this is the "pbnewshour" from weta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school journalism at arizona state university. judy: as we reported, the u.s. economy slowed down over the first three months of the year, the first time it has contracted since the pandemic brought it to a screeching halt. there have been other troubling signs, most notably inflation and concerns over the rise in borrowing costs. let's get some analysis of what to make of this. diane swonk joins us again from the economic services firm grant thornton. diane swonk, welcome back to the "newshour." so, last year, we saw roaring growth, first quarter of this
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year, a slowdown. what is behind this? diane: well, we really saw was sort of a tale of two economies. we saw the domestic economy, the consumer, homebuying, building and business investment all accelerated in the first quarter off the fourth quarter, while the trade deficit absolutely ballooned. we saw exports fall at their fastest pace since the onset of the pandemic in 2020, as the -- everything from the omicron wave to the war in ukraine and new lockdowns in china take a bigger toll on growth abroad than at home. we also saw continued double-digit gains in imports here in the united states, as we were trying to bring in and catch up on losses from the delta wave last summer. so, where we saw the strength was ally the pillars of the u.s. economy, the consumer, the housing market, although all-cash buyers are clearly pushing out first-time buyers, and business investment actually accelerating. that resilience that we saw off
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of 1.7 million jobs generated, something that was like what we would do in a year in the 2010's, in one quarter, that helped to buoy the domestic economy, even as the foreign side of the economy imploded. and government spending also fell quite dramatically, as defense spending was cut. now, we know that's going to be reversing course soon too. judy: so, we look at all these different indicators. which ones do we look to for the most accurate picture of what's really going on in the economy? diane: well, from the perspective of the federal reserve, what really matters most is that inflation in the data today as well hit a 40-year high at the same time that domestic demand actually accelerated. that's important for the fed, because that resilience, as good as it, is -- also means that it's allowing inflation to continue to flare.
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and that's something that fed is really concerned about. it would like to see demand slow down to meet a supplyonstrained global economy. the problem is, to do that, you got to hammer on demand pretty hard. and the chances of getting things just right, like -- in the goldilocks and getting the porridge just right, not as easy as just moving around the table. and goldilocks only exists in fairy tales. judy: and inflation, you mentioned, diane, there are more numbers coming tomorrow. we can look. the fed chairman, jay powell, himself has said they may be looking at a half-point increase. how much is that expected to slow down the economy? diane: well, we're looking to see some of the fastest rate increases since 1994, if not faster, because, in addition to what will be two back-to-back likely .5% increases in may and june, we're also going to see the fed start to reduce that mammoth balance sheet it has. and, really, that's kind of an unknown, as it reverses course
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on its balance sheet. but it's kind of like driving through -- using the rearview mirror. you can't see all the obstacles you might hit. that could be the fastest tightening cycle we have seen since the 1980's to deal with 1980's levels of inflation. that's reallyd. h wwha'at that the u.s. economy slows to a stall speed in the second half the year, where we actually don't see this underlying domestic demand and we actually start to see, by year end, a rise in the unemployment rate. judy: and when you say slow down, of course, there is starting to be discussion about whether -- what are the prospects for another recession? what are the signals we should be looking at to see whether that is on the horizon or not? diane: well, really, the issue is whether or not we can keep -- slow down the demand for workers. it's up 60 -- more than 60% since february of 2020.
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the supply of workers is not up that much since 2020. there's just no way we can possibly see -- even if we got a lot more workers participating in the labor force, which has come back, to get that -- to meet that demand. and so what the fed would like to do is cool those job openings a bit to bring it down closer to supply. it's over a five million gap right now. what i worry about is that we're not going to be able to do that without raising the unemployment rate as well and increasing the supply of workers. and i think the probability of recession is very high in the second half of the year and as we move into 2023. in fact, we're forecasting what's called a growth recession, which is when growth is not enough to hold unemployment down, and it continues to rise in 2023 to derail the inflation we have and get it back to being insignificant to most consumers. judy: but, meantime, all eyes are -- or, i should say, many eyes are on the federal reserve and what it does.
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diane: absolutely. the federal reserve is going to be driving this. and the federal reserve is forcibly going to be bring inflation down. they're going to be committing to that again and doubling down on it next week. and i think that's a very important message to watch, is, how aggressive does the fed can want to continue to be after this initial liftoff, which is already going to be very aggressive? they have got credibility on the line here. they're behind the curve on inflation. judy: diane swonk with grant thornton. thank you, diane. lawmakers returned to capitol hill this week and were met with a growing list of legislative items to tackle. from funding for ukraine to more covid relief, there is a lot they're hoping to accomplish, as the political clock may be running out. for more on all this, i'm join
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by our lisa desjardins. so, lisa, a lot to look at. they are back in town. as we just heard from diane swonk, there is growing concern about the economy, about growth, about inflation. what does all this say about what congress is looking at? lisa: this is a major issue for not just the country, but for congress right now. the problem is, there isn't that much congress can do to change the short-term economy or to address short-term prices. but, that said, democrats want to let americans know that they are paying attention, they're concerned. and, today, democrats did unveil something that they're trying to do. their idea coming out of the house is to tackle gas prices specifically. don't have to tell our viewers that those gas prices went up 20% in just a few weeks in march. you look at the gas prices here, those are from california. everywhere is different. speaker nancy pelosi is trying to move through with her counterpart in the senate a bill that would deal with how oil and gas companies -- what they charge.
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basically, they accused them of price manipulation. here's what speaker pelosi said today. rep. pelosi: in this time of war, at any time, there's no excuse for big oil companies to profiteer, to price-gouge or exploit families. lisa: they want to give the federal government more power to look at how oil and gas companies operate, how -- potentially penalize them. the problem is, judy, that's another thing that would have a long-term effect, not a short-term effect. pelosi is someone who does not want to change the gas tax, does not want to erase that. one other economic move we are watching, there's a bill about our competitiveness with china. the senate just moved to go to conference. that means we're getting closer to perhaps seeing a final bill on that. it also deals with the chips act, which is a very important technological issue on semiconductors. but i think we're still weeks away from seeing where that all that, you have the request for ukraine, which we have reported on, other urgent needs
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out there. we reported on the white house request today for $33 billion. what -- where does a that stand? sa: all right, i'm going to break this down quickly. and we did talk about this a bit yesterday, but more action was -- came today. as our viewers may know, the president did announce he wants $33 billion, as we were talking about earlier in the program, for ukraine. now, here's the thing. senator mcconnell, the republican leader, did say today that he is likely to support that, even though it's a very large number for republicans. the problem, again, is that democrats would also like to get the covid funding bill, about $10 billion, through. mcconnell is someone who is in the way of that right now. but the issue is that mcconnell has not made a deal on these two issues coming together. democrats have decisions to make. and i think a loof this, we will understand more about in the month of may. judy: and, finally, lisa, the biden agenda overall, a number of things he talked about during the campaign last year, there's the thing that was originally called build back better. what about all that? lisa: so much
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k he t.ab tso let me also try to guide this. we are still watching senator joe manchin of west virginia. and he is having talks with democratic leader chuck schumer. they just talked on monday. however, what joe manchin wants right now is a bill that is aimed at deficit reduction. he would increase corporate taxes, which is what a lot of democrats want to do. but he would use half of that money to reduce the deficit. sort of what he's saying, if you want my vote, this is what i -- what i want in return. now, democrats could try and get some of that original -- those original agenda items, maybe child care, maybe some health care provisions in that. but this is early days on that. and, really, it kind of is a longshot at this point on whether any version of build back better remains. i think what i want to do, because this is so much, it sometimes hurts my own head to talk about all these things. i want to lay out for viewers the chances of survival of all the different issues that we're talking about. so we put together this graphic. this is talking about the path ahead for all the different issues that are on the table here. you see, first of all, on the left side, more likely, ukraine
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funds. that is something that is more likely to get through congress sometime in coming weeks and months. now, sort of more in the middle, talking about covid funds. that is a hot political issue right now. republicans do not trust democrats. there is politics involved. i do think, though, everyone realizes this country needs new covid supplies. now, in the middle, trickier, that china competitive spill and -- competitiveness bill. very unclear to see where that heads. on the less likely end, the longshots, those include things that we were just talking about, the manchin deficit bill, build back better. there is also a potential climate bill that joe manchin and senator lisa murkowski of alaska are working on. i put those on the longshot kind of part of the spectrum. another problem with all this, judy, of course, as you said, the clock is running out. so let's take a quick look at the calendar for congress up ahead. here we are. let's look at may and june. these are the weeks that both the house and senate are in session, just five weeks.
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why do these months matter? because this is a midterm election year. july 4 is generally seen as the time when everything turns into the election year. this is a huge election year. could lawmakers do something after september? yes. but have they in recent years? no, they never have. and, also, occupying the calendar in may and june, january 6 hearings in the house. so there is not a lot of oxygen on capitol hill. they have a lot to do. there is not a lot of will -- or there's not a lot of commonality, and a lot to do. judy: and those january 6 hearings, we think, in the month of june. lisa: yes, my reporting, my sources tell me june, yes. judy: well, you don't have enough to keep track of. [laughter] lisa: we will handle it. judy: lisa desjardins, thank you very much. lisa: you're welcome. judy: after considering doing so
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off and on for more than a decade, the fda is forging ahead with a proposal to ban menthol-flavored cigarettes. if finalized this summer, the move is expected to reduce smoking levels, but the decision has been met with both praise and criticism. stephanie sy has our look. stephanie: judy, menthol accounts for more than a third of all cigarettes sold in the u.s. and the cooling, minty flavor is the most popular among certain smokers. nearly 85% of black smoks use menthol, compared to 30% of white smokers. more than half of all kids who smoke use menthol cigarettes. the fda said the ban could prevent up to 650,000 smoking deaths over 40 years. carol mcgruder is the co-chair of the african american tobacco controleadership council, an advocacy group. carol mcgruder, thank you so much for joining us. banning menthol cigarettes, really, it's been discussed for years der different presidential administrations.
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how big of a deal is it that this fda under biden is finally making this move? carol: this is a monumental day in public health, the day of the century, i would say, over the last 100 years. this ruling is that important. we want to make sure people know it's not done. this is the beginning of that process. and so we still need to very much participate in it. and we need to understand that the tobacco industry could also have lawsuits to block it. so, this is the beginning of the end, not the end. but it's a monumental day. and the fda is finally doing what they were mandated to do in 2009, when theobacco control act was passed, and that was to do something about menthol. so it's taken a lot of push, a lawsuit on our part, with our co-plaintiffs, action on smoking and health, and the american medical association, and the national medical association, to get them to move. and they finally have. and we are very grateful. sthanie: the fda statement out today explained the effects of menthol cigarettes.
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and one of the facts that i think a lot of people may not know is that the flavor actually enhances the addictive effects of nicotine. we also know they are the most preferred cigarettes among black smokers, which your group specifically focuses on, carol. talk about some of the ways in which tobacco companies over the years have pushed these cigarettes on black communities. carol: well, through -- through the tobacco industry's own documents that were released as a part of litigation over all these years, there have been some research papers that have come out. one is called institutional racism. the other one is smoking with the enemy. and it documents the tobacco industries, from their own documents, how they have preyed upon african americans, how they had special -- quote, unquote -- "urban programs" for black people. they distributed free cigarettes in our communities across this country to children as young as nine years old. one of those children was dave chappelle. when he was 14 years old, he was given free cigarettes in washington, d.c., in the metro
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station. and he talks about in some of his interviews how he went home, and he decided he was going to learn how to smoke. and so that seeding of these deadly, addictive products in our communities has been going on for decades. and while we have been very busy fighting for civil rights and all of the other things that we -- that have happened with black people in this country, the tobacco industry has been there in the background addicting us each generation after generation. in the last 20 years, there have been a million bck people who have died from tobacco-induced diseases. my mother died from breast cancer. we do all kinds of research on what causes breast cancer. we know what caused these million deaths. what caused these million deaths was the tobacco industry. stephanie: and yet, carol, there are critics of the ban. they worry it will have unintended consequences specifically on the black community. family members of eric garner, george floyd, and trayvon martin, as you know, all victims of excessive police force, have
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signed a joint letter to the biden administration, which says, "our fear is that banning the manufacture and sale of menthol cigarettes will not stop their production or purchase, but will instead open the floodgates for smuggling. while we have been told black smokers will not be criminalized for possessing menthol cigarettes, that does not match our experience with other cigarette policies." carol, what's your response to those concerns? carol: my response to those concerns are that we have a problem in our country with racism and with the policing of black bodies. and that is a fact. and that the -- for the tobacco industry, i know that reverend al sharpton and his group, they actum reynalolds fmelyrivecan,ro whiei mnewporont cigarettes, and thae has been one of the people traveling around the country with this dialogue. and so -- and i respect reverend al. he's done tremendous work in our community. but, on this issue, it's really the tobacco industry that is behind it. so, that's the group that has
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killed a million black people in these past 20 years. there are other national organizations that are in full support of taking these products off the market. no one loves a black smoker or black people more than the african american tobacco control leadership council. that is why we exist, is to protect our people from this predation. so, this is not the end, to pass legislation. it's the beginning. and we are all on board. public health is on board. this is not about criminalizing black smokers. this is about helping black smokers and stopping another generation of black children from being addicted to these products. our neighborhoods do not have to be this way. and that's what we're saying. it's a new day. we are grateful to get to this day. stephanie: that is the next step. carol mcgruder with the african american tobacco control leadership council, thank you so much for joining the "newshour." carol: thank you so much.
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judy: it is a tiny vial with big ambitions to help bring an end the pandemic everywhere on earth. the developers of the so-called vaccine for the world hope what's inside can ease the equity issues surrounding global covid vaccine distribution. john yang has the story. john: some squeezed their eyes shut as they got their shot. others turn their heads away. these schoolchildren in chennai, india, were among the first in the world to get a dose of a new low-cost covid-19 vaccine called corbevax, manufactured by the indian pharmaceutical company biological e. it was developed half-a-world away in houston, texas, home to the world's largest medical hub, including texas children's hospital at olorba ole cfge that's where microbiologist maria elena bottazzi and physician peter hotez hang their lab coats, heading up research
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at the national school of tropical medicine. dr. hotez: if your house is on fire, and you can make one phone call, you don't call the patent attorney. you call the fire department. f-1me9 pavaheccorinnte, tld which uses a decades-old method, available to low and middle-income countries at no cost. dr. bottazzi: we give them a box, arop box, and a zoom link. and with that, you basically have access not only to all our reagents, consumables, information. and we get access to us and our team of scientists. and that's what really true diplomacy in vaccine development should look like. john: why is another vaccine necessary? in high-income countries, 71% of people have been vaccinated with at least one dose. in low-income countries, that number is 15%. and many of those poorer countries are in africa, where
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government resources are scarce and access to vaccines has been limited. it's a problem the head of the world health organization had foreseen. tedros: as we began to see some countries striking bilateral deals with manacturers, we warned that the poorest and most vulnerable would be trampled in the global stampede for vaccines. and that's exactly what has happened. dr. hotez: i mean, i remember when that covid-19 sequence came online. the first person i called -- i called, of course, is maria elena. we have worked together for 20 years. i said, maria elena, i think we can do this. john: hotez and bottazzi put their lab to work, building on a decade of research on what's known as recombinant protein technology. it's what's us in the common childhood ccine against hepatitis b. it involves using yeast to copy a harmless piece of the coronavirus' very recognizable spike protein and create a
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vaccine that teaches the immune system to recognize and fight the virus. tell me more what we're seeing here. dr. bottazzi: so this is our brewing room. john: your brewing room. dr. bottazzi: and, by brewing, it's because, very honestly, when you use yeast, and we use fermentation of yeast, it's the same as if you were brewing beer. the yeast grow. and, instead, of course, of secreting alcohol, we actually make them secrete our protein of choice, which is our vaccine. john: is it finding the right recipe, as it were, that -- for this brew to grow what you want it to grow? dr. bottazzi: in theory, it's relatively simple, again, very, very traditional. it's been around at least, what, four decades? dr. hotez: for making vaccines -- for making vaccines, four decades. john: but just corbevax work? india's phase three clinical trial is ongoing at 18 sites across the country. and a clinical trial for children aged five to 18 is also undeway. dr. hotez: and it looks like one
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of the advantages of this protein-based vaccine, it seems to hold up to the variants better than most other technologies. dr. bottazzi: overall, i think that we have very robust immune responses. john: funding for their lab work didn't come easily. the u.s. government was more focused on new innovative technology that produces vaccine doses quickly. dr. hotez: they wanted to have a piece of mrna that you could make in a few days, and with no real situational awareness to the fact that, when you have a brand-new technology from that, there's a learning curve before you go from zero to nine billion, which is what you needed for the world's people living in poverty in africa, asia and latin america. and so it was all about speed and innovation enough to vaccinate the north, north america, western europe and the u.k. john: how did they eventually raise the money? dr. bottazzi: i think texas is philanthropic like you would not believe.
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foundations which we already had prior experience with for our other neglected disease vaccine portfolio, they came to the rescue. tito's vodka came to us. john: what was your reaction when you got the call from tito's? dr. hotez: you're never surprised totally where the funding comes from. it comes from the most interesting sources. and being heren texas made that possible. john: part of the vaccine equity problem lies in the wide variation in prices around the world and the lack of cost transparency. this no-frills vaccine, which doesn't require the special handling that others do, is being manufactured in hyderabad, india, at a cost of the indian government of $1.90 a dose. and the company can make 100 million doses a month. by contrast, a dose of pfizer in the united states costs the government $19.50, a price that's expected to rise. dr. bottazzi: if you are a privileged member of society with money, you have access to
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health and you most likely can afford a medicine. but those who don't are really the ones who suffer. i grew up in honduras. and, growing up, you definitely see the impact that poor health has on a child to be able to grow as an economic, productive member of a society. so that's been my drive, to work in this space of a money-losing guaranteed biotechnology company, where, really, the -- our revenues are how many people we can touch by bringing these technologies to those who really need it. dr. hotez: i really appreciate working with dr. bottazzi these last 20 years, bause she's made me realize also how global health very much operates along a colonial -- old colonial model, right, that only japan, western europe, and the u.s. and canada really know how to do this stuff, australia, and eventually it'll filter down. it's not true. so we're very much adherents of
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this idea of decolonizing global health. john: this gift to the world has also been approved in botswana and indonethe potential to soon reach million, more of the unvaccinated. for the "pbs newshour," i'm john yang in houston. judy: finally, tonight, we returned to the invasion of ukraine. there, as everywhere, much of ntemporary life, including history and culture, is documented in the digital space. with so much at risk, new efforts are taking on a new nd of digital cultural preservation. jeffrey brown has a look for our arts and culture series, canvas. jeffrey: outward signs of destruction, homes, roads, whole cities, efforts to protect
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important monuments and artworks, and a less obvious, different kinds of risks to the digital world. quinn dombrowski is a digital humanities specialist at stanford university. quinn: we often don't think about it, but the internet ultimately comes down to physical things. web sites live on servers. and servers are physical things that can be destroyed, just like anything else. and, these days, servers capture so much of modern life. jeffrey: anna kijas is head of thlilly music library at tufts university. anna: i became concerned that, if the physical artifacts, manuscripts, books, scores, were destroyed or damaged during the invasion, that there wouldn't be anything left, if no one was interested or willing to secure and preserve the digital content. jeffrey: kijas and dombrowski are founding members of saving ukrainian cultural heritage online, or sucho, focusing on the country's digital imprint, now at risk from damage to servers and other threats to countless web sites of cultural
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institutions, braries, schools, and so much more. it's a different kind of cultural heritage, existing digitally and requiring digital preservation. that's where sucho steps in, scouring web sites across ukraine to create a new archive, kept safe and backed up on secure servers. in some cases, these are digital versions of physical artifacts, like an important 18th century music manuscript at the national library. anna: so, there are many other artifacts like that, where there may not be any other copy available outside of that one library. so it's really important that we're doing this work in order to help preserve and archive these materials, so that they can live on and other people can access them. jeffrey: other material is already digitized, important historical documents such as kgb files from the soviet era, everyday items like an after-school program teaching children about railroads.
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quinn: we have gotten, i think, some of the biggest and most obvious ones. and now is the much harder work of tracking down all the smaller archives. there's just beautiful and tremendously varied kinds of content outhere that represent the lives and culture of people in ukraine. and we're here to look for as many of them as we can find. jeffrey: multiple processes are used to save and backup this content. first, web site url's are uploaded to a tool called the wayback maine, which is connected to the internet archive, a free nonprofit digital library. then sucho's volunteers use free software called webrecorder on their own computers to crawl or capture web sites. quinn: they have multiple virtual browsers that sort of act as if they were humans going through the site page by page by page, finding new pages as it goes, and adding those to the list, then sort of go through
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the site 24 hours a day until they capture every single page on the site, and then crte this archive file that can be saved on our servers. anna: so, even if the site goes down or the server is damaged, you can still go to the internet archive and see that web site as it existed. jeffrey: more than 1300 volunteers are now involved, searching web sites like wikipedia, perusing lists heritage sites, and, in some cases, even taking a digital walk through ukrainian streets on google maps to find heritage sites at risk. this is dital sleuthing to walk through the city itself and look for possible archives. quinn: yes, people are becoming familiar with cities on the other side of the world looking for these places and trying to find some way to capture what we can. our 1300 volunteers can't parachute into ukraine and try to bundle away its statues, but we can protect other forms of
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cultural heritage. and these are things that are easy to overlook when sort of looking at the large scale of ukrainian cultural heritage at risk. but it's a small piece and something that we can help with even from the other side of the world. jeffrey: even children can help, says dombrowski, who has taught our own son how to archive web sites. quinn: my eight-year-old loves archiving ukrainian web sites. and he knows he can always stay up a little late if he says, oh, come on, just three more sites before bed. jeffrey: so far, the project has archived nearly 3500 sites, with plenty left to do. one possible use of this work, as evidence, legal and otherwise. anna: if there is any kind of erasure that happens or looting of physical artifacts, physical buildings, and so forth, there is the digital that exists. and that can be used if there are war crimes committed, for example, or if there's any kind
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of erasure or silencing of the ukrainian identity. jeffrey: what's the goal here? what happens to all this digital material? quinn: the best outcome for us is for none of this to be needed. we would like nothing more than, at the end of this, to find out that all of the servers are safe, all of the archivists are safe, and the sites will go back up, and life will continue as it did before. already, we're seeing that, unfortunately, this is unlikely to be the case. and our goal is what's called digital repatriation. so we want to give this data back tthe ukrainian librarians and curators who care about it and who can take it forward into the future as soon as they're in a position to rebuild. jeffrey: until then, preservation of digital culture one web site at a time. for the "pbs newshour," i'm jeffrey brown. judy: so grateful that this work is going on. thank you, jeff. and tonight on the newshour online, how one jesuit-run boarding school in missouri forced native children into assimilation and stripped them of their culture.
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you can fi that now on and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. 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. >> 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 >> the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the front lines of social change worldwide. and with the ongoing support of these institutions.
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and friends of the "newshour." this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> this is the pbs "newshour" from weta studios in washiton and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journism at arizona state university. [captiing performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >> you're watching pbs.
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