tv PBS News Hour PBS May 9, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
judy: good evening. i'm judy wdruff. on the "newshour" tonight, words of war. at an event commemorating the end of world war ii, vladimir putin paints russia's brutal invasion of ukraine as a response to western policies. then, an uncertain future. a lawyer who argued a landmark abortion rights case before the u.s. supreme court weighs in on the possibility of roe v. wade being overturned. and, rising hunger. the ordinary citizens of afghanistan struggle to meet their basic needs as the taliban further restricts the rights of women, drawing international condemnation. >> with the international community putting sanctions on afghanistan, the taliban aren't suffering from this. it's the common afghans. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour."
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judy: today in moscow and kyiv, two countries at war fought over the meaning of what used to be a shared holiday, victory day, when russia, ukraine, and all the former soviet states celebrate the defeat of nazi germany. but this year, the kremlin compared ukrainians to nazis, and ukrainians compared russian actions to nazi war imes. nick schifrin begins our coverage. ♪ nick: they filled moscow's streets by the tens of thousands. russians, remembering family killed during world war ii, mobilized by a leader leveraging an 80-year-old victory to justify today's war. with pomp, circumstance, and a show of military might, russian president vladimir putin likened the red army's fight against the nazis to russia's invasion of ukraine. >> you are fighting for the motherland, for its future, so that no one forgets the lessons of world war ii, so that there
is no place in the world for executioners, castigators, and nazis. nick: putin did not escalate the war, or declare victory. instead, he once again inflated western pre-war support for ukraine as his reason to wage war. >> we saw how the military infrastructure was being developed, how hundreds of foreign advisers began to work. there were regular deliveries of the most modern weapons from nato countries. the danger grew every day. russia has preemptively repulsed an aggression. it was a forced, timely, and the only correct, decision. nick: ukraine's rebuttal, uploaded online. on the street where kyiv usually hosts its independence day parade -- >> [speaking ukrainian] nick: president volodymyr zelenskyy walked past barricades, and compared an unnamed putin to hitler. >> someone is fiting for the tsar, the fuhrer, and we are fighting for our freedom. so that the victory of our ancestors was not in vain.
the one who is repeating the horrific crimes of hitler's regime today, he is doomed. because he was cursed by millions of ancestors when he began to imitate their killer. therefore, he will lose everything. and very soon, there will be two victory days in ukraine. and someone will not have even one left. we won then. we will win now, too. nick: the soviet army, turning -- >> the soviet army, turning the nazi six-month assault into the most ghastly military disaster in german history. nick: ukraine and russia shared sacrifices in world war ii. 20 million soviets died, and across ukraine, nazis committed war crimes. but in kharkiv's world war ii memorial today, the only heartbeats allowed were recorded in the past, and piped in by speaker. the memorial was closed by kharkiv mayor ihor terekhov, whose father was a soviet soldier. >> ukraine was entirely occupied by nazi germany, and ukraine was
liberated with the help of our allies, the united states, great britain, the whole world liberated us from the nazis and fascists. and today, history is repeating itlf. the united states, great britain, they're all providing us with weapons. >> well, welcome, folks. nick: today in the u.s., president biden signed the ukraine democracy defense lend-lease act. it borrows the name of u.s. suppt to allies during world war ii, and makes it easier to arm ukraine. >> with putin's war once more bringing wanton destruction to europe, to reaffirm the enduring commitment to the future grounded in democracy, human rights, and peaceful resolution to disagreements, i'm now going to sign this bill. nick: but at a european meeting in france today, president emmanuel macron ended ukraine's hope to join the european union quickly, and said russia's priorities needed to be considered. >> the terms of the discussion and negotiation will be established by ukraine and
russia. it won't happen by ignoring or excluding one or the other. nick: back in ukraine, russia continues to bombard, and try to storm, mariupol's azovstal steel plant, the city's last holdout. for 2 months, hundreds of civilians have been hiding underneath azovstal, with no light or fresh air, and little food and water. in the last 10 days, the u.n. d icrc have escorted three convoys of families ouof azovstal. u.n. resident humanitarian coordinator osnat lubrani traveled with those convoys to the ukrainian-held town zaporizhia, where we sat down today. the people who you've evacuated with, what are the conditions they faced? >> people that are, have undergone trauma, living in, you know, conditions that's difficult to imagine, in a bunker. they haven't seen the sky. they haven't, you know, they had limited food and and incessant shelling all the time.
so bringing them out, the process of moving them was also not easy. there is presently, by the the entities that are in control of these areas, a requirement to go through a screening process. we were present with them throughout that process, which was very lengthy and intensive, and for people, particularly the ones from azovstal who have just come in, putting pressure on people that already have gone through a difficult time, and very scary, i think, for all of them. i think that's where our presence with those vulnerable people that had just come out of a difficult situation was was very important. and it was, you know, protection by presence, being there. nick: we're talking about screening by russian forces. what are the russians making the people who are leaving mariupol
go through in that screening process? >> i think there are a lot of probing questions, it's very lengthy and very comprehensive and very intense. nick: is it unfair? >> it was putting people under duress, but there was no actual abuse or, you know, to the extent that, that's why we were there, there was no -- nick: to ensure there was no abuse. >> yes, exactly. nick: what are the conditions that the people who remain in mariupol face? >> right now mariupol is, you know, very much destroyed. in terms of access to food and basic services and, you know, these are literally, you know, not there. i'm hoping that we can also be there for the people that are living in a very, very dire conditions. there is russian presence, but there is also the presence of other entities that are now sort of ctrolling people's daily lives.
in this regard, i want to say that the u.n. does have a presence for many years in donetsk and luhansk. we have, you know, in terms of, on the basis of humanitarian principles, been able to engage with all of these entities on access, on bringing humanitarian aid. so i hope that those same, you know, arrangements can be worked out. nick: it sounds like you're making a pitch to the pro-russian separatis who you've been dealing with for many years in the self-declared independent republics in donetsk and luhansk, who are now in mariupol. the pitch is that you can work with them inside mariupol. >> i think yes, that's that's the pitch. nick: as part of the evacuation efforts, have families from mariupol been separated? >> people have ended up in different situation. uh, and --
>> [air raid sirens] nick: air raid sirens in the distance. >> yes. there have been instances of family separation. there were several instances where people were detained because they were considered, they were found either under investigation or were detained because they were considered involved, as, you know -- nick: meaning former soldiers. >> yes. nick: or former police. >> yes. and that that was that involved separation of those people from family members, some children. nick: from children. >> sometimes children and and siblings, but in all of those instances, we we will be following up. nick: osnat lubrani, thank you very much. >> thank you. judy: and a note, our coverage of the war in ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. ♪
judy: in the day's other news, more selling weighed down wall street, amid worries about interest rates and china's economy. the dow jones industrial average lost 653 points, 2%to close at 32, 245. the nasdaq fell 521 points, 4%. the s&p 500 sank 3%, to its lowest close since march of last year. the son of one-time philippines dictator ferdinand marcos scored a landslide victory today in the country's presidential election. unofficial tallies showed ferdinand marcos, jr. winning a big majority of votes cast. the current vice president, leni robredo, lagged well behind. by evening, jubilant supporters had gathered outside marcos headquarters. >> we are happy with the big lead, because we have been hearing about issues like malfunctioning vote-counting machines, system glitches, but
it seems unity is in the lead, our unity, marcos' intention of unifying the filipinos. we're very happy. judy: the elder marcos was ousted in 1986 in a popular revolt against martial law, corruption, and human rights abuses. he died in 1989. the prime minister of sri lanka resigned today after weeks of protests, amid an economic crisis. earlier, pro-government demonstrators broke through police lines in the capital, and clashed with protesters. authorities called out soldiers to quell the unrest. the death toll has reached 35 in havana, cuba, after friday's explosion at a luxury hotel. search crews continued working into the night and through today, clearing debris and looking for potential survivors. it's believed a gas leak ignited the blast. in china, authorities in shanghai intsified anti-covid measures today, despite a drop
cases. the government barred more residents from going outside or ordering non-essential goods. it gave no explanation. and back in this country, the pulitzer prizes for 2021 were awarded. the washington post won for its coverage of the january 6th attack on the u.s. capitol. the new york times won for stories on traffic stop deaths, with many of the victims black, and for reporting on u.s. drone strikes in the middle east. the journalists of ukraine received a special citation for their war coverage. and in the arts, joshua cohen's book "the netanyahus" took the fiction prize, while playwright james imes won the drama award for "fat ham." still to come on the newshour, the biden administration pushes for more affordable internet access for low-income americans. tamara keith and amy walter weigh the latest political news musician jon batiste talks about the next phase of his musical
journey. plus much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour from w eta studios in washington and in the west, from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: the leaked early draft of the supreme court's majority opinion overturning the federal right to an abortion has advocates on both sides of the issue primed for battle. john yang begins tonig's coverage. john: judy, after the prospect of the court overturning roe v. wade led to weekend protests outside the homes of some conservative justices, including brett kavanaugh, the white house today cautioned against threats, violence, or vandalism. the case current -- currently before the u.s. supreme court is the first major challenge to roe v. wade since a 1992 case called planned parenthood of southeastern pennsylvania v. casey. and while the court upheld some restrictions on abortion in that case, it also reaffirmed a woman's right to choose to have
an abortion before a fetus is viable, and to do so without undue government interference. kathryn kolbert argued that case for planned parenthood, and is co-author of the book "controlling women: what we must do now tsave reproductive freedom." she joins us now. i have to ask, what was your reaction to the draft opinion that was leaked? >> i wasn't surprised. i have been saying for some time that the current court, the ultraconservative court was poised to overrule roe v. wade. but i was surprised by its vehemence. i think the way the decision was crafted not only showed the closeness of these particular justices to the antiabortion movement. they used language from the antiabortion mu -- movement, arguments put forward by those who oppose abortion, but more
importantly they opened the door to eradicating a host of rights based upon the 14th amendment. i was surprised by that. i thought it would be much narrower. john: the opinion in the case you argued and won, the justices spent a lot of time talking about precedent and the importance of president to the institution -- precedent to the institutional integrity of the court. in alito's draft he wrote precedent is not an inexorable command and it is at its weakest when we interpret the constitution. justice comment -- justice comment -- justice thomas says precedent is a mantra when we don't want to think. you talked about the impact on other cases and rights. talk about that, what this might vote for the future. >> i think the critical part of the decision is, five justices
of the court said they can overrule a long history of support for civil-rights and civil liberties because they individually disagree with it. that has never been the case. the doctrine says that when law is made, it ought to be respected from generation to generation and only in really specific circumstances, when underlying law has changed, when the circumstances and factual underpinnings of the case have changed, it ought to be upheld. the hard part is, let's think about is. we have had five decades of support for roe v. wade. entire generations of women have relied upon this decision. and frankly, order their lives. millions of women obtained abortions as a result of roe and
that is being rolled back because ve individuals decided in my view, willy-nilly, to change the law. i think that is a hit on the institutional integrity of the court. john: justice alito i think tried to address that when he wrote abortion is different from the other sort of liberty based rights the court has found, like intimate sexual relations, contraception and marriage. he said abortion destroys a life so it is different. what do you make of that? >> first of all, the rights guaranteed in row are what i think of as reciprocal. it is the right to make a decision to have an abortion, and to decide to carry a pregnancy to term. to go both ways. it is protecting the decisional interest of a woman. that is no different no matter if you are using contraception or deciding to be sexually
active with the person of the same sex or you decide to enjoy same-sex marriage or even interracial marriage. all of those rights are based on the liberty clause of the 14th amendment, which says important decisions about all people's lives ought to be protected. they ought to belong to the individual and not politicians. john: the draft is marked first draft. in the case you won, referred to as casey, we learn much later there was a first draft that was quite different from where the court ended up. tell us about that. >> right after my oral argument, the court retired to their conference room. there was a vote of the justices and five justices did vote to overrule roe. chief justice rehnquist wrote a draft opinion that is much narrower than
stice alito's opinion, but justice kennedy at the last minute changed his mind, joined with justices souter and o'connor, and came up with the decision in casey which protected the right to choose abortion, gave states greater ability to restrict those rights but ultimately meant in the last two decades we have legal abortion in this country. the interesting part of that is, everyone says that could happen here. i don't think so. there is no justice kennedy on this current court. all of the members in the majority, the five justices who joined, the four justices who joined samuel alito, are very conservative. they come from the antiabortion movement. they were nominated on the promise of reversing roe and i don't see any of these ideologically based justices
changing their minds as justice kennedy did. john: this was a first draft. i think it is two months old. it is hard to believe it isn't already obsolete, that there are more current drafts. do you think the language will change? do you think anything will change? >> there may be some moderation in the language, but the reality is, there are five very ultraconservative justices who are intent on undermining the ability of women to be equal in society. john: thank you very much. judy: on tomorrow's newshour, we'll hear from a lead attorney opposed to abortion rights. ♪ judy: it's been nearly nine months, and a long winter, since the taliban took over afghanistan.
the economy is in freefall, and people are suffering. the world food program estimates half of the country's population will be acutely food insecure this year, and nearly nine million of those people could endure famine-like starvation. but even with this widespread suffering, the taliban yesterday announced a new priority, ordering all women be completely covered, head to toe, when leaving their homes, requiring them again to don the burqa that was a telltale of their first rule. special correspondent jane ferguson has this update on a nation in crisis. jane: the holy month of ramadan is not only a sacred time for muslims to fast from dawn to dusk, it is also a time for giving to the poor. april marked the first such holy month under the new taliban government. this year, the ranks of the poor included almost everyone. like bibi gul, a widow with six children to feed in kabul.
>> i have a lot of hardships, like the rent, electricity bill, and medicine when the children get ill. life is hard. i earn a dollar and a half a day, sometimes nothing. i go outside to find food and sell plastic bags. sometimes i make money, and sometimes nothing. the children need bread. i must find food for them. jane: as poverty has spiked and hunger set in following the collapse of the former government last august, and the chaotic american withdrawal, afghans who can help are organizing, pooling their money to keep fellow citizens alive as best they can. >> it's not that afghans have rolled over and accepted their fate. jane: obaidullah baheer was an academic researcher before the collapse. he believes local, smaller charities must step in as the international community falls short in its support. >> there are kids in our hospitals who are wasting. wasting is the extreme end of starvation, where your body is
eating itself up. i've helped such patients. i've seen such patients die, right? we already have statistics of thousands of babies in afghanistan dying from starvation and malnutrition and now with the changes, with the international community putting sanctions on afghanistan, the taliban aren't suffering from this, it's the common afghans. jane: when the taliban seized power last august, the u.s. immediately placed sanctions on their government, making it difficult to send money into the country. some exceptions have been made for aid, but the freezing of billions of dollars of state assets in foreign banks has caused afghans to lose access to their savings, a contributed to the economic collapse of the country. as the taliban have tightened their draconian rule, especially with regards to women's rights, the situation has worsened. women are barely able to work. they are so heavily policed if they leave home, running businesses and going out to sell their goods in markets is all but impossible now. whatever struggling economy there is, they have been cut off from.
for ramadan, the taliban made a rare exception and permitted women from the former chamber of commerce to have their own market. roya hafizi founded the women's chamber of commerce five years ago. she reprents a whole generation of female small business owners now effectively shut in thr homes most of the time. >> we have witnessed a political revolution in our country where all the achievements, all the gains, of the past 20 years now seem like a lie. they have vanished. jane: this is an extremely rare opportunity for these women to get out of the house, gather together, and sell their wares again. but they know that it's largely, to outside observers, it seems like a publicity stunt by the taliban. now that eid is over, the full rules are back in place. rahila askari has her own handcrafts business. but her future, as she had once pictured it, seems impossible now. >> going outside, having a job,
having even an education, it is difficult. we don't have the right to go outside without a mahram, male blood relative, like father, brother, son, and without the people, without men, we are nothing. it is a bad thing for women. for humans. because when we say you have the right of a human, it is not just for men. when i say i live in this situation, i just want to cry. jane: others are more defiant, like aziza zahra naeemi. she owns a honey-making business. >> i can't tolerate this situation anymore. for a day, two days, three days, a week or for a month, how long they will silence us? but a point will come, where we would say even if you kill us, we can't tolerate this any more. this system won't work with
violence, darkness, and force. for how long? no one can hold a nation hostage. jane: the taliban have their own crisis too, beyond economics, an identity one. >> the taliban now need to shift from being a jihadist group to a ruling group. and that regime needs to do business with the outside world, so they are going to have to be pragmatic. and it's a difficult balancing act. for 20 years, you have built an organization that was designed to fight, and you motivated people to engage in suicide bombings. they don't turn into government officials overnight. jane: kamran bokhari is an expert on afghanistan and extremist groups with newlines institute in washington, d.c. >> they nnot govern without compromise, and if they compromise, they cannot maintain ideological purity, and if they cannot maintain ideological purity, they are going to lose people to isis, which is a far more radical group.
isis was watching this, and they saw it, and had gamed this out. jane: isis in afghanistan, known as isis khorasan, or isis-k, has been a bitter, rising rival of the taliban for years. last august, during the chaotic , deadly american-led evacuation efforts from kabul, it was an isis suicide bomber who blew himself up at the gates of kabul airport, killing over 150 afghans and 13 us servicemembers. as the taliban struggle to govern, they are stuck between those inside their rank and file who don't think they are hardline enough, and the new generation of afghans and wider global diplomac community pushing back against their repressive rule. >> what we have left behind is a vibrant civil society that is used to certain freedoms, where women are shoulder to shoulder in society, and even in the state. there is no way the taliban can cow those people down. so that's a challenge for the taliban. so
the taliban are not designed to govern, they are only designed to fight. and isis is looking at this and saying, "this is the environment we are looking for, the conditions we want to exploit." jane: civilians are suffering from that exploitation the most cruelly. bombings by isis in afghanistan have been increasing throughout ramadan,ome even targeting small boys in school. as ramadan ends and afghanistan approaches summer, bringg with it a potentially more complicated and vicious fighting season, that violence is likely to increase. afghanistan's people will struggle to feed themselves, while sheltering from those fighting over the carcass of the last war. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane ferguson. ♪ judy: the so-called digital
divide remains a major issue in america when it comes to providing high-speed internet, particularly in rural areas and low-income communities. today, the biden administration announced new commitments fr 20 commercial internet providers to help close that gap by lowering the cost of high-speed internet for millions of americans. stephanie sy gets an assessment of these latest efforts. stephanie: judy, white house officials say nearly 40% of u.s. households qualify for what's called the affordability connectivity program. the agreement with providers, such as comcast, at&t, verizon, and others, offers eligible families high-speed internet at a cost of no more than $30 a month. eligible families wiill get subsidies to essentially eliminate those costs. the money is part of the infrastructure law. president biden spoke today about why better service is essential. >> high speed internet is not a luxury any longer.
it's a necessity. a that's why the bi-partisan infrastructure law included $65 billion to make sure we expand access to broadband internet in every region of the country, urban, suburban, and rural. if you qualify, you're gonna get a $30 credit per month towards your internet bill. which means, which most folks, will mean they get on for nothing. look, zero. stephanie: joining me now is nicol turner lee. she's the director of the center for technology innovation at the brookings institution. thank you so much for your time. previous administrations have tried to deal with the issue of affordability. $60-$70 per month is a burden for many households to get high-speednternet. how big of a deal is it that the biden administrations has gotten these subsidies done? how big of a shift is it from previous policy? >> this is a big deal.
i will tell you why. several reasons. it is a public-private sector partnership and one we haven't seen in a while when it comes to providing internet to vulnerable populations, including those on tribal land. it is a big deal because we have found during the pandemic, families struggle. when you think about 34% of low-income adults struggle to keep their internet on at a time when they were working and learning, we needed something like this. i think this is a great way to people -- bring people into the economy. stephanie: 11.5 million households have already signed up for this subsidy. what are the barriers to getting more people signed up and does the administration have a plan for getting the word out that you think will work? >> the administration has thought hard about this, along with the companies, major companies, comcast, spectrum and
a host of others. it is about how to raise awareness. how do you get people to really come to either the store of these companies, or the administration put together a website. get internet.gov, for people to get access. in certain states and cities they will check -- test message campaigns. if you are receiving government assistance, you can actually get access to this program. we will need all hands on deck strategy to get more people with awareness that they can actually receive $30 subsidies. stephanie: this was a private-public partnership, the nation's biggest service partners are agreeing to offer lower costs and supposedly high quality internet plans. that is 100 megabits per second. underserved areas still lack access to broadband infrastructure. those companies have been
accused by some activists of furthering that digital divide by not providing adequate internet to poor neighborhoods. is that true? or is this a government policy program -- problem? >> i like how you bring this up. in the excitement we have to keep questioning what challenges we have. we know we don't have universal broadband so there will be a portion of people who won't get access simply because there are no facilities, or they don't have a choice of providers participating in the program. we have to keep remembering in tandem with this is the bipartisan infrastructure bill. in tandem with that is the fact that we will deploy more broadband access across the u.s. and we will find ways to do digital literacy training. when we look at this, it is a huge accomplishment. i have been doing this for a long time so thanks president biden and vice president harris. we have to have these programs if it will be fully effective.
stephanie: as you mentioned, the pandemic highlighted some of the social inequities. brought up by broadband access. nearly half of americans who don't have at-home internet are in black and hispanic households. i wonder if you could talk about that. what do we know about how economic, educational, and health outcomes are impacted by the lack of high speed internet in those households? >> i love that you asked that because we have to think of it also, when we are talking about closing the digital divide we aren't just talking about bits and bytes, tablets or laptops and service. we are talking changing the trajectory of any quality. we have to understand the digital divide is more than technology. it is about a pathway to the economic opportunities that are available. with 50 million school-age kids sent home and 15 million didn't
have broadband access, that is a problem. it did disproportionately affect black and brown and native students who needed access. i'm not just talking k-12, i'm talking college students who went home and there were internet deserts. to your point, as we look at this entire trajectory, we have to remind ourselves that this is about closing the inequality gap. when we close that gap we will be better off in the long run. stephanie: nicol turner lee with the brookings institute, thank you for joining us. appreciate you. ♪ judy: last week's report that the supreme court plans to overturn roe v. wade put one of the country's most divisive political issues back on center stage. abortion is suddenly
again a dominant issue in congress, in state houses and on the campaign trail. joining me to assess the political fallout of this and more are a walter of the cook political report with amy walter, and tamara keith of npr. hello to both of you. welcome to the newshour. politics monday and as you heard, there is a lot talk about. the bombshell leak is having repercussions. we are seeing fallout. you are seeing movement in some states like louisiana. they have moved towards more restrictions. we are seeing states that want to preserve abortiomoving to codify. what does it out -- add up to? . >> michigan's governor says they can't wait for congress to do
something, and they can't wait for congress to do something because congress isn't going to do something. there are a number of states where there are ballot measures circulated or constitutional amendments. some of those would expand abortion access or put in the constitution that it is a right to have reproductive rights. others would restrict abortion access. what you are going to see if this becomes official is what you saw in the past, which is a real patchwork, where some states will become havens for people seeking reproductive services and other states become no go zones. judy: it gets more complicated in states with divided governments. >> that is why governor whitm in michigan said we won't get anything done with the legislator -- the legislature,
it is republicans oceane the attorney general are suing the state, arguing within the contra dish -- the constitution there is a right to privacy. i think we will see that in other states with democratic governors, republican legislators. we are also seeing attorneys general saying in many states that have these trigger laws, going back to the previous law before roe v. wade that outlawed abortion, we aren't going to force it. i think that will be another battleground. maybe prosecutors in counties or areas, may be in a red state, a blue area that says we aren't going to prosecute or a blue area where you have a very committed person who is a county commissioner or county prosecutor that decides they are going to try to do something more. this battle is not just between the states. it is likely within the states as well. judy: at patchwork across the
country. in the meantime in washington, at the federal level, you are seeing those who support abortion rights moving the house and the senate, where they face a tough set of rules. >> there is this thing, a filibuster. it is insurmountable in the senate for democrats. they don't have the votes. it is unclear they agree on the past -- the path forward, yet they are going to try to take a vote, leader schumer will bring it up. they have to show they are trying. they have to show they are doing something, even though the results are unlikely to satisfy just about anyone. a lot of challenges immigrants face in the midterm is they are frustration -- there is frustration the democrats
haven't accomplished. democrats say elect us and we can preserve this or do this. there are limits to that. and frustration among voters. >> we have seen and heard i think what some people didn't expect, the senate majority leader -- minority leader mitch mcconnell saying if this leaked opinion became the final opinion, legislative bodies, not only at the state level but the federal level, certainly could legislate in that area, suggesting it sounds like that he is thinking about a federal rule against abortion. >> this goes to your point, democrats can argue maybe we can't go on the offensive but we can be there on defense. the reason to keep democrats in office is to ensure republicans don't get 60 votes, that they will never be able to reach a point where they can push through more restrict federal laws.
>> this is not what people expected. >> it is surprising because he is giving a great talking point to democrats who are headed into a challenging year. he is giving them something to talk about. what is fascinating about it is, macconnell is very restrained. they spent all of last week saying we aren't going to talk about this, we will talk about the leak. it is remarkable to see them go in this direction. judy: meanwhile, we are talking about what voters will be voting on when the midterms happen this year. amy, we are hearing from the white house that tomorrow, president biden will roll out i guess you could say a new message, a new argument for why his approach to the enomy is better than the other guys. he won't use the word trump but speak about ultra maga
republicans. what does this gain them? >> democrats need to make this election not a referendum on the economy or opinions about the current president. they would like to make it a choice. do you want to elect republican fill in the blank candidate who supports as mitch mcconnell noted, the federal ban? do you support republicans like fi-in the blank, who did not support the january 6 investigation? keeping the focus on the more extreme, the places where republicans are really uncomfortable, and off the places republicans would like to talk more about, which of course is the economy and inflation. judy: trying to draw a sharper contrast. >> the ultra maga idea is targeted at independent voters. democrats think all republicans are bad. independent voters don't think all republicans are bad.
this is a way for the president, who has had this bipartisan image he has fostered that he believes in, it allows him to say, not all republicans are bad. it is just the ultra maga republicans that are a problem. they are trying to draw a contrast because they don't want to simply talk about the economy and sort of seed the economy to republicans, who in polls over time, the public feels the republicans are better on the economy. they want to say the president, democrats are better on the economy because of this. judy: when you see something like this, you know the white house has spent time researching it. they have been looking at what arguments might play well. >> to say you might not like the direction we are going in at this moment, but the good things we have done, that is what you will hear from democrats.
as one strategist said to me, things not -- may not be going great right now but these republicans are extreme. it is even more dangerous to put them in office. any party that is in charge of all three branches, that is a common message they make when things are going well for them, but voters are much more attuned to paying attention to what is scary for them right now and what could be scary for them in the future. democrats hope voters remember what it was like on january 6. this wasn't hypothetical. judy: the abortion ruling in the weeks ahead -- >> it is real. >> this is an indication they know the economy will be a big deal, that inflation will be a big deal and they need a message on that. judy: amy walter and tamra keith, thank you both. ♪
judy: call him a man of many sounds. 35-year-old jon batiste received the most nominations of any artist at the recent grammys, 11 in all, in a wide variety of categories. and he came away with the most wins, five, including the biggest, album of the year for his recording titled "we are." jeffrey brown spoke to batiste recently about what led to that success, and a new venture premiering soon, for our arts and culture series, canvas. ♪ >> jon batiste is a musician who loves tradition, and also loves busting traditional categories. >> the categories are very limiting, for one, and really put people in these silos that
limit collaboration. it limits artists who are really irrepressible. >> ♪ when i move my body like this, i don't know why i feel like freedom ♪ ♪ >> "irrepressible" is the word for batiste. try watching the music video "freedom," shot in his native new orleans, without a smile, or getting up to dance around the room. he had the audience at the grammys on its feet just ahead of taking home the biggest award of the night, album of the year, becoming the first black artist in 14 years to win. >> to have reached that moment, it felt almost like we, we got through the matrix. yeah! >> but in your own way. >> yes. by being authentic, by being true to the arand focusing on the craft and making decisions that were truly authentic to everyone who was involved in this album. >> batiste comes from a musical new orleans family and is steeped in the great jazz traditions of his city.
he also studied and played bach and other classical music as a child, and has undergraduate and masters degrees from the prestigious juilliard conservatory. since 2015 he's reached national audiences nightly as bandleader on the late show with stephen colbert, with his group, stay human. a consummate, confident and thrilling performer now, he says it wasn't always that way. >> i think about my early experiences, you know, maybe eight or nine years old, first on stage, and i was very shy, i didn't really have the performer's gene when i first started out. >> it's hard to imagine sitting here now. >> i mean, the years of developing the craft of a performer, just like the same as developing the craft on my instrument. you know, you really sit and you watch tapes, youtube, you watch all kinds of stuff of the past, of people who are around today. and then you go out and you put
yourself in a position to execute on all these things that you've learned. and over time, you figure out your voice. >> as notable as the number of grammy nominations and wins was the range of categories, including jazz, r&b, american roots music for his single "cry," and the soundtrack for the film "soul." the goal, he says -- >> to expand the perception of what is popular, what is in the popular space, to expand the art, to expand the perception of a black artist, to expand the perception of someone who exists and has all these influences and is not categorize a bull. and goal at the end of the day is to add value to people's lives throh these creations. >> that means taking music into the streets. he is known for impromptu love riots, joyous marches through everyday life.
he joined the 2020 black lives matter protests after the killing of george floyd. and celebrated that movement with his song "we are." he calls what he does, social music. >> this idea of music was before it was just entertainment or a commodity, you know, this music that comes from rituals and spiritual practice and all these different ways of having music as a part of community. >> you connect to that. >> i connect to that deeply, for whatever reason, i just am drawn to that kind of expression of music and try to recreate that feeling and that intention whenever i make music. >> i'm curious, because we're coming from a news program (>> -- and every night, we are reporting on divisions in america. i listen to your wonderful song "we are." a lot of people don't see much "we" in america today.
>> in schools, hospitals, community centers across the country, there's a lot of "we." what you all do is a great service because people need dthe -- the news. they need to know what is happening. but i also feel that in this global understanding of our world and in this age of media, we've lost touch with the community, and we've lost touch with our localized thinking, our understanding of each other from a human to human perspective. and what i see is there's a lot of good that goes unnoticed and there's a lot that can be more. so it's both. there can be a lot more good. >> has your own sense of what you can do to foster community changed? >> oh, i'm just getting started. >> some of his new direction was on display at a recent rehearsal for open -- "american symphony,"
a large-scale work he composed for an upcoming carnegie hall premiere. bringing together differents kinds of musicians and traditions, batiste sees this as an ode to democracy itself. but even as he reaches new heights professionally, he recently revealed personal struggles. his wifeauthor suleika jaouad, battling cancer for a second time. batiste has said he learned of the grammy nominations as she was receiving chemotherapyor leukemia. >> i have always thought about the highs in life as an opportunity to really take stock in all the blessings you have. and i've thought of challenges in life as an opportunity to really reflect on and be grateful for what important. that's what they're there for. and i have highs and lows all at once and that is an incredible source of lending perspective.
every time it feels new, whenever you face a challenge or whenever you have success. and i think that it's important to have those thoughts as anchors. >> ♪ in this world with a lot of problems ♪ ♪ >> a deep commitment to his art and the life around him, serious in approach, and did i mention irrepressible as a performer. even at an interview batiste couldn't resist sitting down at the piano. and inviting his interviewer to in in. >> ♪ we are the golden ones ♪ ♪ >> up, he will make his acting debut in a musical version of "the color purple," and plenty more music on stage, on nightly tv, in the street, everywhere. >> that is great. >> you killed it.
>> i'm jeffrey brown in new york. judy: how about that? on the newshour online, we take a look at how poor dental care for incarcerated people can impact them long after they leave prison. that's at pbs.org/ newshour. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us on-line 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's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer no contract plans and our customer service team can find one that fits you. visit consumer cellular.tv. >> the kendeda fund.
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. ♪ hello, everyone. and welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. will the upcoming philippines presidential election replace one strongman with another? a special report on what's at stake. then. >> this is the nostalgia we see around the world and now in the philippines. the chickens coming home to roost. >> what the return of the marcos regime could mean. also ahead. how the supreme court's draft ruling on roe v. wade could hit the black community hardest positive michel martin speaks with the award-winning journalist farai chideya. >> agl