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tv   PBS News Weekend  PBS  April 30, 2022 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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♪ geoff: good evening. i'm geoff bennett. tonight on "pbs news weekend"... the siege of mariupol continues, with no agreement in sight to evacuate women and children from the city's remaining ukrainian stronghold. then... living with covid. we talk to a public health expert about the next phase of the pandemic. and... our weekend spotlight with author don winslow, about his turn to activism and the current political moment. don: i think what i' learned is that as human beings, we have an infinite capacity for nobility and for evil. geoff: those stories and the day's headlines on tonight's "pbs news weekend." ♪
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>> mor funding for "pbs news weekend" has been provided by -- >> for 25 yrs consumer , cellular has been offering no wireless service plans to help people find one that fits them. to learn more, visit our website. >> and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions -- and friends of the newshour. ♪
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this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. geoff: russia is slowly consolidating its forces around ukraine's eastern donbas region. meanwhile, thousands of ukrainians remain trapped in a steel factory in the beleagured city of mariupol. and correspondent ali rogin reports, their loved oneare sending urgent pleas for their rescue. [singing] ali: deep inside the azovstal steel plant, a message of patriotism, and resolve. guard: we want to assure you the truth is on our side, victory will be ours. glory to ukraine, glory to heroes. ali: but for the thousands of soldiers and civilians
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sheltering within, conditions are dire. images said to be from inside show injured soldiers receiving what little care is available. they say they only eat once a day. soldier: unfortunately, all resources are running low. we have been in the blockade too long, encircled. we're depleting our own supply. ali: outside, airstrikes pummel the plant, as russia seeks to gain full control of mariupol. the wives of two of the trapped fighters made an urgent appeal. yulia: we want to ask for help from the pple of usa, of europe, from international organizations and diplomats to try to solve this problem in a diplomatic way, in a political way. ali: un secretary general antonio guterres tried to negotiate an evacuation after
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visiting russia and ukraine this week, but so far, no cnge. meanwhile, across the east, small towns are preping for a renewed russian offensive. oleksandr: russian troops are gradually increasing the intensity of their offensive in eastern ukraine simultaneously along all directions. ali: the u.s. says russia is tryingo surround ukrainian forces in the donbas region, advancing north from mariupol and south from izyum. but officials say the russian advance is going slower than expected. they're also meeting fierce resistance. on saturday, ukraine released a video purportedly showing strikes against a russian convoy driving through izyum. two hours north, in the city of kharkiv, soldiers are fighting off russians, and their own fatigue. reservist: i'm doing everything i can. i joined the territorial defence unit, i took up arms, but unfortunately, i can't catch flying missiles with my bare hands and throw them back. the feeling that i can't do anhing about it makes me feel
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sad. ali: but those feelings don't stop them from reloading, and grouping, to fight another day. for "pbs news weekend," i'm ali rogin. ♪ geoff: in today's headlines... a 22-year-old marineorps veteran, willy joseph cancel, who traveled from the u.s. to join the war in ukraine was killed in the fighting there this week. members of his family confirmed his death to multiple news outlets. cancel is believed to be the first american fighter killed in the war. the u.s. military does not have troops on the ground in ukraine, but cancel was working for a private military contractor. he leaves behind his widow, brittany, and a 7-month-old son. the biden administration is considering canceling at least $10,000 in student loans per borrower through executive action, according to multiple people familiar with the internal discussions. the white house has not yet
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finalized the proposal but is planning for the relief to target lower and middle-income americans. on thursday, president biden said that he is not considering $50,000 in forginess per borrower, as some democrats have suggted. biden already canceled more student loan debt than any other president by making it easier for americans defrauded by for-profit colleges and for those working in the public sector to recee forgiveness through relief programs. but thatas done little to ease the pressure he faces from progressives and younger voters in the midrm elections this year. the official announcement is expected within weeks. millions of people across the midwest and south face the threat of severe storms this weekend after a massive tornado tore through andover, kansas on friday evening. that's a suburb of wichita. onlookers captured at least one menacing tornado on cell phone video. emergency responders confirm that, miraculously, there have been no significant injuries, despite extensive damage.
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china's capital, beijing, is tightening covid restrictions, despite official case numbers remaining in the dozens. restaurants will only be open for delivery and residents will need to show negative covid tests to visit public spaces and use public transportation. schools were also closed friday. but officials will not say whether the city will go under full lockdown. meantime, in shanghai, which has been under lockdown for weeks, there were no new daily covid cases outside of quarantine areas. and country singer naomi judd has died. her daughters said in a statement that she died due to "the disease of mental illness". naomi and wynonna were set to be inducted into the country music hall of fame tomorrow. judd was 76. still to come on "pbs news weekend"... our weekend spotlight with author don winslow on why he's turning his attention to political actism. and ukrainian band dakhabrakha
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uses music to bring attention to the war in their homeland. ♪ >> this is pbs news weekend from weta studios in washington, and -- home of the pbs newshour weeknights on pbs. geoff: the u.s. is on the brink of reaching one million covid that's since the start of the pandemic over two years ago. as this grim milestone approaches, health experts nationwide are debating whether a new phase of the pandemic has already started. i spoke with an expert on this topic. dr. cindy prins is the assistant dean at the university of florida college of public health. it's great to have you with us. and dr. prins, can you explain for us where we are in the life of this pandemic? i ask the question because dr. fauci said on the newshour this past week that the country is out of the pandemic for -- phase. he later clarified and said that he should have said the acute pandemic phase. you, as i understand it, say we're not yet in the endemic phase. so why not? where are we?
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help us make sense of it. dr. prins: yeah, we're certainly in a better place than we were a couple of months ago when we were dealing with omicron. but we're still dealing with a pandemic. we're certainly still in a pandemic phase. and i say that because we're still dealing with cases. we're seeing cases actually go up in seral places in the these other subvariants. then also because we're seeing hospitalizations increase. and then there's always the potential for a new variant. and i just don't think that we've necessarily settled into a phase where we have a regular and low level of cases that we're looking for eventually. geoff: so what will it take then to get to a sort of endemic normalcy where people get their covid shot every year, just like they get their fluhot every year and we live with it? dr. prins: i think we're we need to go for that is, number one, for people to get their covid shots. that's first of all, we don't have enough vaccination coverage within our country.
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and then certainly we know that booster coverage is fairly low for those who are eligible for boosters. so that's the primary thing that we need to do. and secondary is that we need that vaccine coverage to also be high throughout other countries in the world. and i say that because this is how variants develop. when you have increase in cases in other places, you have the potential for people to essentially create a variant within themselves, and that can easily be spread to the u.s., to other countries, because our travel is just so fluid nowadays. geoff: i'm interested to get your perspective as a public health expert. when you look at the way the u.s. has handled this pandemic as a case study, when you're talking to your students -- what did the u.s. get right and what did we get wrong? where is there room for improvement as we move forward? dr. prins: i think one place that there's room for improvement is just in the preparation. so obviously we didn't necessarily have the foresight to know this pandemic was coming at this very time. but certainly we had the foresight to know what we needed to do to prepare for a pandemic.
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and i think we were a little lost there in the ppe, in the testing and all of those things that really didn't go welat the beginning of the pandemic. i think the other part of it is the communication, and a lot has been said about that. but being able to communicate with people, what are the precautions they need to take, why they need to take them and having that open communication and then being very honest when communication has to pivot, when we have to make different recommendations because we're constantly learning during this pandemic. geoff: is the u.s. prepared for the next pandemic? i've spoken to public health officials who say it's not a matter of if, it's a matter of when the next one hits. dr. prins: i think that's a concern. you know, what happens when we have any kind of public health crisis is during the crisis, we tend to put a lot of money, a lot of effort and a lot of thought into what's going on. once that crisis abates, we tend to forget about it. and we've seen that happen in many different cases. and so i do worry that we're not going to continue this
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preparedness front when we're looking at a new pandemic coming forth. there are a lot of things that we need in place still. i mean, if i even think about things like medical records and being able to share those nationally, vaccine records. we've learned a lot about testing and mass vaccination, but, you know, being able to continue that and improve on that and apply that to a new pandemic, i'm not quite sure we're ready for that yet. geoff: dr. cindy prins, it's great to have your insights. ♪ and now to our weekend spotlight. this week, i spoke to crime novelist and activist don winslow about why his new series of books will be his last, and what's in sto for his next chapter. novelist don winslow has authored more than 20 acclaimed international bestsellers, including "the border," "savages" and "the cartel." his latest is "city on fire,"
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the first in a trilogy. it's a gritty gangster saga inspired by the mobsters of his rhode island home town and, winslow says, by homer's "iliad." we spoke this past week as he was traveling on his book tour, about why this latest novel is his last as winslow shifts his focus from writing to activism. so, don, your new book is this iliad sagaelling the story of these warring crime families in 1980's providence, rhode island. where did this ia come from to combine crime and the classics? don: well, it's been 27 years ago i was reading the iliad, as one does. and the precipitating story, the helen of troy story, reminded me so much of a real-life incident that had taken place in new england, in the crime world, when i was when i was a kid, that it struck me, the parallel struck me. and i thought, i wonder if i could do that, if i could make a fully modern crime novel that would stand on its own as a contemporary crime novel, but
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also echo those stories and themes from the classics. geoff: the protagonist, i guess the trojan hero of this story is danny ryan. he's part of this irish cri family in providence. i read where you've said that he's not based on you, but that he's somebody who you know well. give us a sense of who he is and this world that he comes from. don: yeah. danny, you know, is a is an irish american guy. he was a longshoreman. he was a fisherman living down in a little town where i grew up in. and he marries the daughter of the irish mob boss. and so he enters the family that way. and because of that, because of his loyalty to his wife and to his family and his friends, he gets dragged into this war. geoff: one of the most interesting things about you is that you've lived so many lives. you were a private investigator years befo you started writing. before that, you were a safari guide in kenya. you had a job in a panda reserve china. you directed shakespeare plays
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in oxford. first of all, how did you do all that? but then how did you really sort of navigate the transitions from one life to the next? don: yeah, you know, i've always wanted to be a writer since i was a kid, but nobody stamps yourapers to do that, right? the transition, you know, i was in my thirties and i thought i'd better get serious about writing. i've been talking about doing it for a while, but talking isn't doing it, is it? and one morning, in fact, in kenya, around a campfire before dawn, i just decided i better really seriously start doing this. so i decided to write five pages a day, no matter what, no matter where i was -- on safari, if it was in china, you know, england, wherever it happened to be, i'd write those five pages. three years later, i had a book or i thought i had a book. most publishers in the industry did not agree. geoff: fast forward to the current moment. you're one of the most celebrated crime novelists in the country, and yet you're retiring from writing to focus
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more on politics and your advocacy work. why? don: i think it's time for me to get off this stage. but more importantly, i think we're in an existential crisis for democracy around the world. but but, you know, particularly here at home. i arted feeling that way and not coincidentally, around 2016 . i don't think we're out of the woods any stretch of the imagination. i think this is going to be a fight. it's a fight we have to win. and i wanted to devote more time and engy to that fight. geoff: that fight has included dropping slickly-produced digital videos on his social media feeds critical of donald trump and warning about the dangers to democracy. videos which winslow says have been viewed online more than 250 million times. at the same time, he also warns that, as he sees it, the january 6 committee will not produce anything relevant to aid in holding trump accountable for the insurrection and trying to overturn the electio
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don: look, it's been sixteen months since january 6. it's been five and a half years sinche fired jim comey and then admitted that he fired comey in order to, you know, shut down an investigation. not a single republican involved in the january 6 attack has been subpoenaed. never mind indicted, on something we all saw and heard. so the clock is running out. let's say the committee finishes up in september or october. the midterms are in november. if the past is prologue, what history tells us is that the party that's out of power tends to be in power and then they all shut everything down. so that's the basis for my skepticism. geoff: you tweeted recently , "democrats have better ideas, better candidates and a better vision for tomorrow. what they don't have is better messaging. and i'm going to try and change that."
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how? don: by talking in plain, simple terms, by meeting people where they are, by using little videos to rch people, you know, because that that is the battlefield. we need to be tougher against the right wing, against the white supremacists. you know, we have to stop bringing -- and i have said this before -- spoon to a knife fight. geoff: what have you learned about human nature? what have you learned about this sort of moment in politics based on your experience as an investigator and a prolific crime writer? don: i think what i've learned is that as human beings, we have an infinite capacity for nobility and for evil. we can go in either direction and sometimes in both. and that has stopped surprising me. geoff: don winsl, thank you for your time. ♪ finally tonight... while some ukrainians are
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fighting on the frontlines in the war against russia, others have taken a different approach. ukrainian folk group dakhabrakha is using a multi-city tour of the u.s. to raise awareness of their war-torn homeland and fight back in their own way against russian aggression. special correspondent mike cerre has our report. ♪ mike: dakhabrakha is not their fathers' ukrainian folk band. with their global rhythms and instruments, theatrical influences and costumes, and a mix of blues, trance and opera that give old ukrainian folk songs new relevance. dakhabraha loosely translates into "give and take," and they're taking on their generation's greatest threat to ukraine's culture. the day the russians invaded,
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the group took what they could and fled like thousands, now millions, of other ukrainian refugees. they're giving back to the ukrainian war effort by continuing to tour and perform, drawing attention to the war and assault on their culture. dahkabrakha pianist, vocalist and percussionist iryna kovalenko fled ukraine with her husband five years ago. iryna: he said that history tends to repeat itself, and he was convinced that it's a matter of time when russia will start the war against ukraine. mike: when not touring with the band, she lives in the seattle area where her daughter sophia was born. iryna had been working to get her mother out of ukraine and to seattle, since they last were together near kiev, the day the war broke out. >> fill thsilence with your music. fill it today to tell our story. mike: while ukrainian president
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zelensky was remotely rallying the music community at the grammys, dakhabrakha was kicking off their u.s. tour in a series of performances in the new york area. in seattle, kexp's darek mazzone first introduced dakhabrakha to american audiences with this 2015 studio performance. it quickly wenviral on youtube, catching the attention of major festival bookers from bonner room and south by southwest. darek: it transcends many things. they are definitely representing their culture. they're representing their nation, but they're also a theatrical band. they're also a band for the time where they're not trying to emulate a western style. they have created their own particular vibe. >> hello, we are dakhabrakha and we are happy to greet you from dak theater kiev ,ukraine. mike: traditional ukrainian folk
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singers by training theatrical , a artistic director transformed them into an avant garde, performing arts group. >> one of the labels i like most that i've heard is this punk folkloric. mike: sanrancisco's jazz center's artistic director randall klein was one of the first u.s. music venues to regularly feature them over the years. >> when you get to the end of the concert and they're talking very explicitly about, you know, the problem they have come of russian problem they have, you know trying to really squash their culture, you know, you're totally there with them. and you know, this time you really will be there for them. >> peace and love. no more. stop putin, thank you so much. [applause] iryna: our mission is to ask people for help. every country we are going to come ask people to help. right now as ukraine is going
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through this but also afterwards we will have to rebuild our country. mike: what do you want to the audience to feel? iryna: that ukraine is a country has a place on this earth to exist. mike: they've previously performed the soundtrack for this 1930's silent film memorializing the suffering of the estimated three to five million ukrainian farmers who died during “the holodomor," starting in 1933 when stalin confiscated ukrainian food supplies during russia's famine. the now destroyed eastern ukraine city of mariupol was where dakhabrakha played in the city's annual weeklong music festival in venues throughout the city. iryna: it is a clear message that it's a war. it's not a conflict. a lot of places and people still call it. it's a genocide against ukrainians. mike: they have joined foes
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with other ukraini pop stars in exile like jamala from crimea. she won a eurovision song contest with her song about the russian forced deportations in crimea in 1944. darek: i'm super curious to see how that's going to be part of the arsenal of the ukrainian culture, of ukrainian people, to push against the war that's happening right now. iryna: i believe that our songs, our art will be our weapon. mike: the combination of the music, the war, and americans looking for an emotional release and ways to get involved in ukrainian causes has sold out their cross country tour. each show ends the same as their shows before the war, with a message that americans can finally comprehend. [applause] >> peace and love, no russian aggression thank you so much! mike: for pbs news weekend, i'm
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mike cerre. ♪ geoff: that is pbs news weekend for tonight. tomorrow i talk to national , teacher of year, kurt russell, abouthe joys and challenges of teaching, especially during a pandemic. i'm geoff bennett. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at pbs news weekend, thanks for spending part of your saturday with us. ♪ >> major funding for pbs news weekend has been provided by -- and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions -- ♪
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this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasti and by contributions to your pb statiofrom viewers like you. thank you.
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eugene "bull" connor: you can never whip these birds, if you don't keep you and them separate. i found that out in birmingham. you've got to keep your white and the black separate! (audio cassette loading and playing) byron rumford: there is a basic racism in this country, which exists. and it's contrary to some of our basic concepts as expressed in the constitution and bill of rights, and other documents. in these documents, we find that there is contradiction. some of those people who express the strong position, any strong position on the constitution, the bill of rights will be some of those who are prone
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to express themselves forcefully


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