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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  May 11, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, political divides -- u.s. senators go on record with their stance on abortion as part of a key vote ahead of the supreme court ruling that could overturn roe v. wade. then, the global fallout -- the war in ukraine causes food prices to rise around the world and pushes scandinavian countries to seek nato protections. and, the vaccination gap -- as the u.s. approaches one million lives lost to covid-19, political affiliation becomes the leading indicator of who is and is not protected from the virus. >> we find that people who identify as democrats are vastly more likely to be vaccinated
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compared to people who identify as republican. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by. >> moving our economfor 160 years. bnsf. the engine that connects us. >> cfo.
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6:03 pm and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributis to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. vanessa: i'm vanessa ruiz in for stephanie sy, with newshour west. we'll return to the full program after the latest headlines. the sharp rise in flation in this country may have hit a peak, but it remains near 40-year highs. that's the upshot of today's consumer price report for april by the u.s. labor department. it showed prices rose 8.3% percent from a year earlier, a slight decline from the reading in march. and the monthly increase from march to april was .3%, the smallest in eight months. but, not counting volatile prices for food and fuel, the core rate of inflation jumped twice as much as in march.
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on wall street, those inflation numbers fueled fears of aggressive new interest rate hikes by the federal reserve. the dow jones industrial average lost 326 points, 1%, to close at 31,834. the nasdaq fell 373 points, 3%. the s&p 500 dropped 66, or 1.6% republicans in the u.s. senate blocked efforts today to enshrine abortion rights into federal law. democrats fell well short of the 60 votes needed to break a republican filibuster on codifying abortion access. they're expecting the u.s. supreme court will overturn roe v. wade this summer. also today, attorney general merrick garland ordered u.s. marshals to provide additional security for the justices. we'll look at the senate vote, after the news summary. a rapidly growing brush fire is burning several homes in southern california, this evening.
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high winds are pushing flames in to residential neighborhoods of laguna hills. the orange county sheriff's department has ordered evacuations for parts of the community. so far, the fire has burned at least 150 acres. on the pandemic, china insisted today that it will maintain its zero tolerance policy. it came a day after the head of the world heth organization warned that extreme lockdown as in shanghai, are not sustainable. in beijing, a foreign ministry spokesman dismissed the criticism. >> we hope that relevant people can view china's policy of pandemic prevention and control objectively and rationally, get more knowledge about the facts, and refrain from making irresponsible remarks. vanessa: shanghai has been locked down for six weeks. today, authorities reported that half of the city has now achieved zero covid status. but they said strict measures will remain in place.
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in ukraine, government forces claimed new gains in the northeast. they said a counter-offensive around kharkiv has pushed to within a few kilometers of the russian border. meanwhile, russian missiles again struck odesa, on the black sea, trying to stop the flow of western weapons. we'll return to ukraine, later in the program. back in this country, published reports say legal settlements worth nearly a billion dollars have been reached in last june's condominium collapse in surfside, florida. nearly 100 people were killed. an attorney for their relatives, plus survivors, says they've finalized agreements with insurers and others. and candidates endorsed by former president trump had mixed results in tuesday's primaries. in nebraska, jim pillen won a crowded republican contest for governor. rivals included charles herbster, who had mr. trump's backing. but, in west virginia, trump-endorsed congressman alex mooney defeated fellow gop
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congressman david mckinley, who supported the january 6 investigation. redistricting forced the two men into the same district. still to come on the "newshour," tensions rise as a journalist is killed during an israeli raid of a town in the occupied west bank. also, a new report details the troubling history of forcing indigenous children to attend boarding schools. and overse deaths in the u.s. hit record levels. and much more. >>his is the "pbs newshour" from weta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: as we reported, growing concern among democrats that the supreme court will soon overturn roe v. wade led them to try to pass feder legislation that would guarantee abortion rights and prevent recent state restrictions from taking effect.
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that effort fell short in the u.s. senate today, as democrat joe manchin joined all republicans in voting against the women's health protection act. for more on all this, our lisa desjardins joins us now om capitol hill. so, hello, lisa. you were there to watch this. remind us exactly, what was this vote on? lisa: judy, this was on a bill, democrats' version of a law that would make abortion legal throughout the country in statute, codified, essentially, as they say. now, this bill, a version of it, also passed the house earlier this year, but failed in the senate one other time, as it did again today. now, what we did learn from this debate is just how much each party distrusts the other on this not only divisive debate, but very high-stakes one. here's some of what we heard in the debate today. sen. murray: republicans have been clear, they have been explicit, even that they are not
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going to stop at roe. they're not going to stop at the state level. and they're not going to stop at abortion. sen. cornyn: democrats have taken things to thvery nth degree. and they're pushing for a bill that is far out of line with the views of most americans over this divisive and emotional topic. lisa: both parties knew going into this vote that it would fail today. what was interesting to me though, judy, is sitting in that chamber looking at the senate floor, there really was no sense of the gravity of it, senators coming and going, very few democrats on the floor, except if you looked up into the gallery the balcony. the only piece of the senate chamber that was full was the one reserved for staffers. and i saw young staffers there watcng with very focused attention. judy: and, lisa, for the democrats and for those who want to codify roe v. wade, who want to put it into law, what then now are the options, if any? lisa: the short answer that -- is that democrats do not have the votes for any of these options.
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but i do think it's important to go through, in theory, what democrats could try to do. so let's take a look. the first option would be to get 60 votes in the senate to overcome a filibuster. right now, there are some 52 senators that have said they do want to codify roe in some way, but they don't have more than that. now, the other option to get 50 votes to change the filibuster, completely break the filibuster entirely. and right now, however, there are just 48 senators. senators manchin and sinema on the democratic side have said they will not do that. now, the longest shot of all is that process budget reconciliation, which we have talked about before, which requires just 50 votes in the senate. however, again, democrats fall short on that. senator joe manchin of west virginia has said that is not something that he would support. so, at this point, legislatively, democrats really don't have an avenue to putting roe vs. wade into federal law.
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judy: and, lisa, as we know, we are just six months away fm these crucial midterm elections. walk us through the politics of this right now. lisa: right. the politics are extensive and especially meaningful at this moment for democrats, because they are hearing from their base a sense of very high dissatisfaction with them. even though it's clear that republicans have been the ones that have changed supreme court, who have been pushing to make abortion illegal or give the states that option, democrats' base feel that their lawmakers here in congress have not done enough. i spoke to some high-ranking aides and some lawmakers, democratic senators, today about this. they believe that will change once the decision comes out from the supreme court. but, right now, democrats in the senate and in congress have a serious problem as they go into potentially a rough midterm season. and let's look at polling for where the country is on this kind of issue, what congress should do, in theory. this is a new poll out from monmouth out just this week.
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in that poll, 44% of people said they believe congress should allow abortion nationwide. that is what democrats would like to do. just 9% would like to ban it nationwide, which is what some republicans would like to do. 43% say let states decide, which would be the effect of the opinion that we now expect from the supreme court, or at least what the draft opinion said. the politics are very significant here. and it's interesting to me. it almost feels like the politics at this moment are more in the atmosphere here in congress than really the effect of what's about to happen. i do believe in coming weeks that will change as we hear from the supreme court. judy: yes, interesting that you hear them saying we will see whether public opinion is shifting in some way when that opinion comes out. lisa desjardins, reporting from the capitol, thank you. lisa: u're welcome.
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judy: president biden visited a farm in illinois today to highlight how the war in ukraine is raising food prices around the world. meanwhile, the war is pushing previously neutral countries to seek the defensive umbrella of nato. nick schifrin joins me now from the city of dnipro in southeastern ukraine. so, nick, hello. and let's start with this question of food. why is ukraine's food so important to the world? nick: ukraine is the largest producer of wheat in the world, judy, and one of the largest producers of cooking oil. but production has been halted mostly because of the violence. and, also, ukraine can't export because russia is blockading its ports. meanwhile, russia is the largest producer of fertilizer in the world. and it can't sell that because of export controls and sanctions. and so all of that adds up to
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what the wfp called an explosion of globahunger and the food administration organization says are the largest global food price index hikes that they have been measuring in more than 30 years. and so the president today announced new efforts to increase u.s. production. in ukraine, the emphasis is also on trying to increase production. we have seen some farmers out there trying to harvest in the spring. today, we visited a steel plant a few hours from here, the largest in the country, that recently restarted its production. but, again, the problem is those russian warships off the coast of odessa in the black sea. that means that none of those farmers, none of the steel plants can export to where they usually do via ship. and that means they're turning the trains overland into europe. that is much more expensive and takes a lot longer than it usually does, judy, which means these global food problems will continue. judy: so complicated.
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and, nick, last night, you were reporting on the progress that had been made in -- by the ukrainians in the city of kharkiv in the east. but tell us about where you are now. in the south and the east, what does it look like there? and what is president zelenskyy saying? nick: yes. so, in the east, russians are making gains in the critical city of izyum. they're pushing out a little bit to the west. and that's important for their supply lines down in the donbass. where we are, in the south, in and around the area of kherson, the lines are pretty static, according to ukrainian officials. but the mood, judy, at the top is positive. president zelenskyy tonight in his nightly address said that the war wouldn't end until russia returns everything that is ours. that suggests that ukraine wants russia not only to return what it has recently captured since the invasion two months ago, but, also, ukraine wants to recapture territory that russian-backed separatists have controlled in eastern ukraine since 2014.
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other ukrainian officials are using the word victory. and i have talked to multiple ukrainian officials in the last few days about, because they're getting new, heavier weapons, they want to launch counteroffensives, including in places like mariupol. so that, judy, adds up to a grinding war of attrition that u.s. officials are beginning to talk about would last months, if not years. judy: oh, if not years. so, nick, nato -- we have seen nato galvanized by this war. and we know it's about to get larger. what would the addition of finland and sweden mean? at is it thought would be the difference that could make? nick: yes, so finland and sweden are both over the next 24 to 48 hours expected to announce that they will join nato. and the most senior nato officials i speak to say that, at the very top, they have been, frankly, shocked at how quickly things have changed.
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finland and sweden have been integrated into nato for a few years, but it's really a generational shift for tse governments to choose to join the nato alliance. and it is the opposite of what putin has wanted. this will an more countries in nato, including on russia's border -- judy. judy: and you're right. this is exactly what vdimir putin did not want, but it's happening. nick schifrin reporting tonight for us from southeastern ukraine. nick, stay safe. nick: thanks a lot. judy: and a reminder -- nick's reporting and our ongoing coverage of ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center.
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a prominent tv journalist was shot and killed today in the west bank while reporting on a raid bisraeli troops. her killing has raised tensions between the israeli security establishment and the press, as a new wave of violence in the holy land between israelis and palestinians continues. here's john yang. john: a burst of gunfire. al-jazeera correspondent shireen abu akleh lies face down, motionless, shot in the head, then panicked calls for an ambulance. the 51-year-old palestinian-american journalist was rushed to a hospital, but died from her wounds. in a career at al-jazeera that spanned a quarter-century, she was a household name across the middle east for her coverage of the israeli-palestinian conflict. al-jazeera, several journalists on the scene and the palestinian health ministry said israeli troops shot abu akleh and her producer, who is reported to be in stable condition. the israeli defense minister said a full investigation is being conducted. earlier, officials released video they said shows
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palestinian militants firing nearby. but open-source investigators said they doubted the video was taken at the scene of the killing. israeli prime minister naftali bennett warned against jumping to conclusions. pm bennett: the palestinian authority was quick to blame israel. there is a viable chance that the journalist was hit by the fire of armed palestinians. john: palestinian prime minister mohammad shtayyeh said israel was responsible. pm shtayyeh: israel wants to silence the free voice and wants to silence the voice of the press and wants to silence the image that shows the ugliness of the israeli occupation and the crime of this occupation. john: at abu akleh's home in jerusalem, her family mourned her death and called for answers. lina: i never thought this day would come where the news would be about her, and she won't be the one who's covering the news. john: israeli forces also appeared at abu akleh's home, but were shouted away.
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abu akleh was on assignment at the jenin refugee camp in the occupied west bank, where israeli forces have regularly conducted raids. they say they'reunting for a palestinian terrorist. it's a response to a recent uptick of violence against israelis. last week, two palestinians from jenin were captured after they allegedly killed thr israelis with axes in elad, a predominantly ultra-orthodox town in central israel. and, last month, the rare convergence of ramadan and passover brought near daily clashes in jerusalem's old city at the al-aqsa mosque compound, a site revered by both muslims and jews, who call it temple mount. though the conflict has not yet broken out into the all-out war scene in gaza last may, so far this year, dozens of palestinians and israelis have been killed. throughout the long israeli-palestinian conflict, critics have accused israel of targeting journalists. a united nations investigation found reasonable grounds to believe israeli snipers had shot a journalist during 2018
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protests in gaza. for more on both shireen abu akleh's death and the ongoing israeli-palestinian violence, we're joined by josef federman. he's the associated press news director for israel, the palestinian territories and jordan. josef, thanks for being with us. first off, what -- is there anything new? what more do we know about shireen abu akleh's death? josef: well, we're still trying to figure out who's responsible for this. early in the day, the israelis were indicating, they were suggesting that perhaps she had been hit by palestinian militant fire. later in the day, they backed off that claim. they're now saying they don't know who's responsible. they're promising a full investigation. but, right now, what they're trying to do, they're trying to get ahold of the bullet that killed her. the palestinians have that bullet. and, for the time being, they do not want to turn it over to the israelis. so, there's sort of a dispute on how to proceed with this investigation.
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john: i think it's fair to say that there is a strained relationship between the israeli military and the foreign press in particular. earlier today, my colleague producer dan sagalyn spoke with avner gvaryahu, who is co-director of a group of veterans in israel called breaking the silence -- they are opposed to the israeli occupation of the palestinian territories -- talking about this relationship. let's take a listen to what he had to say. avner: the military and definitely big elements within the security establishment see the work of journalists, but also activists and human rights organizations and human rights defenders, as a threat. i think that there is a fear, a dangerous fear of exposing reality on the ground. john: given that strained relationship, how does it affect the daily work of your reporters at the ap? josef: yes, it affects us on several levels. first of all, the foreign media,
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i don't want to say that we're viewed as hostile entity, but many elements in israeli society and official israeli society certainllook at the foreign media with suspicion. the foreign media has a different view -- not a viewpoint, a different perspective than what you would see. the israeli media, israeli journalists are israelis, and they see things through israeli eyes. the foreign media looks at things in a more balanced way. we have israeli staffers working for us, foreigners, like myself, but also palestinian staffers. so that complicates the issue. and what happens is that palestinian staffers, first of all, they are out in the field when there's conflict, when there are protests and so forth. so they come into -- into contact with the israeli forces, and they're often viewed not as journalists, but as palestinians. so there's a basis for this tense relationship from the very beginning. john: let's talk about what's going on in israel and the palestinian territories right
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now. this cycle of violence against israelis, folled by raids, israeli defense force raids, in the west bank, flowed by violence against israelis, followed by raids, i mean, where is this going? is this -- could this escalate into a third intifada, an all-out war again? josef: it's impossible to predict where this is going to happen. but we have ne through many of these cycles. and, sometimes, they do escalate. we saw it a year ago, exactly a year ago, where tensions in jerusalem escalated and eventually spilled over into a full-fledged 11-day war with gaza militants. both sides, i think, have an interest in containing things and preventing things from spinning out of control. but you don't have full -- you don'have full control over what's going to happen, because many of the attacks, many of thesincidents originate with lone wolf attackers. they're not organized. and you never know what the effect, what the repercussions -- what the repercussions will
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be afterwards. john: and israel has a new government, a fragile coalition. what are the pressures, what pressure does this put on prime minister bennett and his government? josef: well, the -- prime minister benjamin netanyahu, the former prime minister netanyahu, always billed himself as mr. security. and he now is the opposition leader. and he is trying to take advantage of this. he's now trying to present this new government as being soft on what they call terrorism. and he is going to continue to hammer the government on that. what people don't always realize is that, when netanyahu was in power, he dealt with the same threats and the same issues. they really only have a limited number of options on how to deal with these things. and it seems that, no matter who the prime minister is, you're always going to be dealing with this. we're in a conflict zone. israel has controlled the west bank, the palestinian territories, for over half-a-century. and there will be -- until there's a diplomatic process, until they figure out some way
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to settle this conflict, there's always going to be friction, and we're always going to go through these waves of violence. john: president biden is scheduled to go to israel probably later in the summer, probably in june, actually. what's the state of u.s.-israeli relations right now, and in the wake of the alliance between president trump and prime minister netanyahu? and how might this violence affect that u.s. relations -- the u.s.-israeli relationship? josef: yes, relations became very close under trump and netanyahu. they were very similar in personality. they got along very well. but bennett has done a very good job, actually, of making up with the democrats. under netanyahu, relations became very strained with the democrats. bennett has made it a priority, i think, to strike up better relations with both sides. and the ties are quite good right now. today's incident, it's a little bit of a strain. shireen was an american citizen. you hear expressions of regret, condemnations from the american
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side. the secretary of state, blinken, himself is a former journalist. so there's a lot of sympathy for journalists in this white house. but, that said, i don't see any long-term damage to the relationship. this relationship goes deep. there are strategic interests. there are personal relations. and the relationship, i think, will survive and thrive even after today. john: josef federman of the associated press from israel, thank you very much. josef: thank you. judy: and, late today, a spokesman at the israeli embassy in washington sent us a statement in response to the accusation leveled by the israeli military veteran avner gvaryahu that you just heard about his belief that the israeli security establishment fears exposing the reality on the ground. the spokesman wrote -- quote -- "this statement is a libelous accusation and could not be further from the truth. israel values freedoof the press and human rights, and we are committed to protecting them."
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the federal government detail for the first time today the brutality and treatment that native american children suffered when, beginning in the 1800's, they were forcibly moved into u.s. boarding schools. leaders of different tribes and communities spelled out a litany of horrors that they say led to a cultural genocide that still impacts native americans to this day. amna nawaz looks at what the investigation found. amna: judy, between 1819 and 1969, thousands of native american, alaskan native, and hawaiian native children attended these u.s. government schools, part of a system of over 400 facilities spread out across 37 states or then-territories. more than 500 children died while attending. kids as young as four were forcibly removed from their families, transported across the
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country in some cases to schools where they were banned from speaking their language, forced to do manual labor, and suffered physical and sexual abuse. secretary of the interior deb haaland spoke today about her own connection to those schools during a difficult and emotional press conference. sec. haaland: the fact that i am standing here today, as the first indigenous cabinet secretary, is testament to the strength and determination of native people. i am here because my ancestors persevered. i stand on the shoulders of my grandmotr and my mother. and the work we will do with the federal indian boarding school initiative will have a transformational impact on the generations who follow. amna: also at that event was our guest, deborah parker. she is ceo of the national native american boarding school healing coalition and a member of the tulalip tribe in washington. the coalition works with the government on this report. deborah, welcome to the "newshour."
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and thank you for making the time. we could hear it there in secretary haaland's voice. i heard it in your voice when you were speaking eaier today too. it was difficult. and i wonder if you can just tell me what it was like in that moment, what it felt like in the room to finally be able to come forward and share these findings. deborah: you know, in that moment, it was like a release of extreme amount of sorrow and grief, but also this feeling of -- this feeling of pride that that we're here today. we're in washington, d.c. we're at our nation's capital. i'm sitting next to an indigenous woman from the laguna pueblo known as the u.s. secretary interior, deb haaland. and we're here to share a story, to share a truth that has not been told for generations.
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the feeling, the enormous feeling of that it has impacted so many of us for generations. and it's time that we tell the story. it starts with this interior report on the u.s. boarding schools and how we have been impacted by this federal government on the lives of indigenous children and families. amna: and we should note that this first report is volume one. there will be more findings from the investigation to come. but, specifically, this work found marked and unmarked burial sites at 53 different schools, the remains of hundreds of children who died in u.s. government custody. can you tell us a little bit about some of the details uncovered in this investigation? what kind of treatment did those children go through at those schools? how did they die? deborah: so many of our children were taken and never returned. we know that some of them were murdered. some of them were buried on residential school, boarding school sites, and near rivers on hillsides.
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the stories are so enormous. and we know these stories from our relatives. we know these stories so well. but we're waiting for the federal government, we're waiting for churches, for others to tell the story as well. and when we talk about the pain, these were beatings, tortures, children -- just the other day, a member from the alaska native tribe shared with me that his mother was put in the basement of one of the boarding schools, she was chained to a heater, and she was beaten daily. and so the -- hearing these stories, knowing that our relatives suffered so enormously is a lot to carry. amna: you have menoned, we
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heard secretary haaland mention this idea of intergenerational trauma, that there is a lasting impact and legacy after the -- what children went through, what generation went through in those schools. and the reports show, right, today, the disparities are absolutely there. when you look at the american indian and alaska native communities, you see some of the highest rates of poverty and premature death and suicide, some of the lowest rates of graduation. so i want to ask you to connect the dots for us. do you believe that this effort, this investigation, it can help to close some of those gaps? what's your hope? deborah: absolutely. the hope is that we find healing. the hope is that we come together as a nation to not only tell of these truths, but also to begin to heal together. and our communities havenown this truth for generations. it's time that the united states government understands these truths. it's time that we listen. it's time that we hold space for our traditional elders, for our keepers of our language.
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it's just time that we support tribal nations and indigenous peoples, who are continuing to suffer. and we suffer because, when our children attend these schools, they're not taught this language. they're not taught our history. we're written out of the history books. the goal was kill the indian, save the man. and so, for so many of us growing up in the united states, all we wanted to be was the very best self that we could be. we wanted to carry our traditions. we wanted to -- we want to speak our languages. but for our children and our grandparents, that was beaten out of them. that -- for to take a class, a lushootseed class from my tribe, i sat there and cried. i -- it was so difficult. and i couldn't understand why. but my father shared with me that grandmother cried. she tried to sing her song, but grandfather would say, "don't sing.
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they will arrest you. they will come and get you." so, these were -- these are moments that were so painful for our family. and they were meant for us to forget our songs. it was meant for us to forget our dances and our ceremonies and our language. so this generation -- generational pain exists very de within so many of our relatives across what these lands are now called, united states. this is our way of life. amna: deb, you mentioned today that you're not going to stop advocating until there's a full accounting from the u.s. government. so what does that mean to you? deborah: well, it means that records, the records go back to the families, that tril nations are able to find where their children -- the missing children, the missing and murdered children, that the government apologizes to these nations, but not only apologizes, that they make amends. and i don't have the recipe for
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that amends. it will be up to each tribal nation, each indigenous person who have suffered at the hands of this colonial system. we're just getting to the point where we're telling our story. and i think the rest of that will come as we listen to our elders, as we listen to the stories. amna: that is deborah parker, ceo of the national native american boarding school healing coalition. thank you for your time. deborah: thank you. judy: as the death toll from the coronavirus nears one million americans, we have been exploring why e united states suffered such a terrible loss, especially when compared to other nations that are similar to us. while there are many reasons for this, one of them is that many americans have not wanted to be
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vaccinated. william brangham examines that part of the story. william: judy, early in the pandemic, people died from covid in big cities and small towns. they died in blue states and in red states at roughly equal rates. but once the vaccines were rolled out, that started to change. according to pew research, from late last year on, covid deaths in the most pro-trump counties in ameca, the red line here, were about 180% of what they were in the most pro-biden counties, the blue line. that disparity exists in large part because vaccination has become a deeply partisan issue. many argue that our failure to get more americans to take these safe, free, and largely lifesaving vaccines has cost this country tens of thousands of lives. katie: the live photo of him just asking "what?" and putting his hands on his hips, i don't know. it's just -- it's so him. william: katie lane says her dad, patrick, was the best dad in the world, the kid who never
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grew up. katie: this one right here, we are in the drive-through. my dog is in his lap. william: patrick worked for boeing in washington state. katie, who's now a junior at washington state university, says her dad knew the pandemic was real, but he was reluctant to get the vaccine and he kept putting it off. he also repeated a lot of misinformation, that the vaccines could cause infertility for her, that there were likely hidden side effects. katie: he watched some youtubers. fox news wasn occasional youtube ip channel he watched, stuff like that. for some reason, with this vaccine, people were telling you not to get it. for some reason, that stuck with my dad. and that's ultimately why he didn't choose to. august 12, 2021, he took a day off work and moved me into my first apartment at college. and the next morning, he gave me a big hug. and he said, "i'm really proud of you, katie bug."
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and he walked out my front door, locked in that u-haul, and that's the last time i ever saw him alive. william: a few weeks later, patrick lane got covid and died in the icu at a local hospital. liz hamel studies public opinion at the kaiser family foundation, where they have been tracking americans' attitudes about the covid vaccine. in december of 2020, when americans were asked if they would get a free, safe covid vaccine, around 15% of respondents said, no matter what, no. that's not unusual, compared to past polls, but who that group is has changed. liz: o of the things that really stands out is the partisan divide in who's getting vaccinated and not. we find that people who identify as democrats are vastly more likely to be vaccinated compared to people who identify as republicans. william: 61% of unvaccinated people in america today are republican. it's now the single most reliable predictor of
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vaccination status. but this wasn't the case with prior vaccines. multiple polls over the last few years showed majorities believing in the value of the measles, mumps, rubella vaccine, and bipartisan uptake of the flu vaccine. the kaiser foundation's data hints at why this partisan divide over covid vaccines emerged. strong majorities of democrats say they trust these mainstream news sources for information about covid-19. the only source that nearly half of republicans trusted was fox news. trish: this is yet another attempt to impeach the president. william: from the start of the pandemic, many of fox's top anchors said the threat from covid was being exaggerated to harm president trump. laura: democrats and their media cronies have decided to weaponize fear and also weaponize suffering to improve their chances against trump in november. sean: they're scaring the living hell out of people.
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and i see it again as like, oh, let's bludgeon trump with this new hoax. liz: people who have chosen not to get the vaccine are -- most of them say they're not at all worried about getting sick from covid. a majority of them believe that the news media is exaggerating the seriousness of the pandemic. william: and when the vaccines were developed, fox gave prime-time coverage to the baseless claims that they didn't work and were, in fact, harming people. alex: the mrna covid vaccines need to be withdrawn from the market now. no one should get them. no one should get boosted. no one should get double-boosted. they are a dangerous and ineffective product at this point. robert: until it affects you personally, you don't. now i know. not being able to breathe, it's a scary thing. william: we heard some of these fears firsthand in a covid emergency room at baton rouge general hospital last july. 49-year-old robert wilson didn't think the virus was much to worry about. 600,000 americans had died at
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that point. he hadn't been vaccinated. robert: it wasn't political. it was just i didn't figure i was going to need it, because nobody really knows the long term of this vaccine. people are scared of it. william: seeing this large number of unvaccinated people coming through your doors, is that frustrating to you? does it just -- you just think, that's just the way our society is? like, how do you square that? dr. brierre: i try not to dwell on it too much. william: why not? dr. brierre: because it does frustrate. there is a little bit of, we shot ourselves in our foot. i'm not mad at people who didn't vaccinate. and i understand a lot of it. i mean, there's so much misinformation out there and the country is so polarized. william: kaiser's research found that people who chose not to get vaccinated were also very open to incorrect information about the pandemic.
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liz: there was a tendency to believe many, multiple pieces of misinformation, so, for instance, believing things like the government is hiding deaths related to the covid vaccine, believing that the vaccines contain a microchip or that they cause infertility. so there was a strong correlation between vaccination status and belief in some of this misinformation. joseph: i mean, a lot of the misinformation and conspiracy theories about vaccines online are accessed by people who already aren't going to get vaccinated. william: the university of miami's joseph uscinski studies conspiracy theories. he argues the partisan divide over covid vaccines is also because of the type of republican that was drawn to donald trump. joseph: president trump built a coalition of conspiracy-minded people, and he was doing that with conspiratorial rhetoric. but he even engaged in misinformation about vaccines, claiming on twitter at one
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point, long before he ran for president, that vaccines caused autism. bill: both the president and i are vaxxed. and did you get the booster? fmr. ps. trump: yes. bill: i got it too. ok, so -- [booing] fmr. pres. trump: don't. don't. don't. joseph: and when he makes efforts now to say that he got the shot and people should get it, he gets booed by his own crowd, because these are the people that he sought to bring around him. so, their mind just isn't going to change at this int just because he says to go get it. william: do you think that there was any way that you could have persuaded your dad to get vaccinated sooner? katie: i don't think that there was. i tried really hard. i don't think there's anything i could have done more. william: millions of americans have now lost a loved one to this virus. and so many of those deaths didn't have to occur. for katie lane, the coming commemoration for the million lives lost is for others to do. she just wishes her dad was
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still around. katie: that one million is a huge deal, but that one in that one million is -- it's been worth more to me than the other 999,000. william: for the "pbs newshour," i'm william brangham. judy: america's opioid crisis shows no signs of abating. new data out today indicates that deaths from drug overdoses in the u.s. reached a record high last year. geoff bennett breaks down the latest. geoff: judy, new numbers out today from the cdc show how drug overdoses have surged during the pandemic. more than 107,000 americans died of drug overdoses in 2021. that's the highest annual death toll ever recorded and a 15%
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increase from the year before. deaths involving fentanyl, meth, and cocaine rose sharply. for more, we're joined by dr. nora volkow, the director of the national institute of drug abuse. dr. volkow, it's good to have you with us. and to what do you attribute these numbers? fentanyl-related deaths are up. meth and cocaine overdose deaths also increased. why? dr. volkow: there are two factors. one of them is all of the stress and the uncertainty that the covid pandemic brought that made many people vulnerable to drug-taking as a way to cope with the stressors. but the other one is, during the covid pandemic, we have seen an acceleration of the distribution of fentanyl all over the united states. and fentanyl is being used not just to be sold by itself, but very frequently sold to contaminate heroin or, more recently, to contaminate cocaine and contaminate methamphetamine, and, even more recently, to contaminate illicitly manufactured prescription drugs. and because fentanyl is so potent, it increases the risk of pe tin pweignificantly.
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able to take drugs more or less safely are now actually a very high risk of overdosing. geoff: i want to ask you more about the people who were unknowingly exposed, people who intended to buy non-opioid street drugs or were buying what turned out to be counterfeit pills like adderall that were cut with a lethal dose of fentanyl. help us understand more about the proliferation of those types of drugs and what can be done about it. dr. volkow: well, we haven't, per se, seen a very significant increase in the numbr of people that are using cocaine, but we have seen a very dramatic increase in people that are dying from the use of cocaine, and similarly for methamphetamine. this means that the drugs cocaine and methamphetamine that these people are purchasing are actually much more lethal. and this is driven by the fact that they are frequently contaminated with fentanyl. and, as you mentioned, people that may actually be seeking out an amphetamine to prepare for an exam or they cannot fall asleep, and they buy a benzodiazepine, they buy it in the illicit drug
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market, they can end up with a ug that has fentanyl. and that increases -- they are at very high risk of overdosing. geoff: i want to shift our focus to solutions. in terms of treatment, what works and what doesn't work? dr. volkow: we know that, if you have an opioid use disorder, or, that is, opioid addiction, there are medications that are actually very effective in preventing withdrawal and relapse and preventing you from overdosing. so, if you have an opioid addiction, there are medications that should be given to people. if -- because now that has shifted towards people that may be addicted to cocaine or methamphetamine, for which we do not have medications, but which we have behavioral therapeutic interventions, we should be able to offer those therapeutics to people like them. and, importantly, when you start to look at people that actually do not have a problem with addiction, but are occasional users, we need to provide them with education and screening to ensure that they are actually aware of the consequences that
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this drug-taking may take. and, importantly, we also need to consider that we have a very effective medication for reversing overdoses, narcan or naloxone, which works if you're overdosing with opioids. but if you're overdosing with methamphetamine contaminated with fentanyl, naloxone does not -- is not as effecti, will not be effective if you're -- if what you have is a combination of toxicity. so we need -- and that is an area that requires actually research development to have alternatives. geoff: dr. volkow, is this a uniquely american problem? are other countries grappling with this? and what more do you think needs to be done to address this surge of opioid overdoses? dr. volkow: extraordinary question. and i would say that the united states is among the countries with the highest rates of use. canada also has seen an increase in overdose deaths. and it's also driven very much by fentanyl, and some of the northern or european countries, but not at the level of the
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whole country, not at the rates that we are observing. so, we need to ask ourselves that question. what is making americans vulnerable to -- or -- to drug-taking. and one of the components we know about these that the social determinants of health, the social disparities, the diseases of despair that are driving people to escape their realities by taking drugs. and the problem now is that the drugs -- those drugs that they may be taking are actually extremely risky and dangerous. geoff: dr. nora volkow is the director of the national institute on drug abuse. thanks so much for your time and for your insights. dr. volkow: thanks. judy: as wildfires continue to burn across new mexico, almost 350,000 acres have been scorched. we turn to a perspective of how these increasingly common events
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are affecting the people in the midst of them. lucy walker is a documentary filmmaker. and her most recent work, "bring your own brigade," follows residents after the disastrous camp fire in california. tonight, she offers her brief but spectacular take on the power of documentary filmmaking. lucy: when fire burns in the community, when people are forced to grab a few things and go someplace, you really see what matters. what do people grab? where do people go? what resources do they have or not have? it felt very revealing to be with people in these incredibly intense moments, where they realized that they had lost everything. "bring your own brigade" is a film that wants to understand the global fire crisis and uses the case study of the worst time in fires in california, these
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fires that we had in malibu and paradise, which are the opposite ends of the state of california, the opposite ends of the political and economic spectrum, but happened at pretty much the same time. when i first began the film, i had assumed that it was just climate change that was driving these fires. then i learned that climate change is more of a performance enhancer. i hadn't understood that native american people living here had had a much different relationship with fire than the european settlers who came later. and they had deliberately set fires to serve many purposes, for farming, for clearing paths, for disinfecting. and once the logging industry moved into california, and trees became a valuable crop to protect, it became all about suppressing fire at all costs. the way that the landscape is, it needs to burn regularly.
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it's adapted to burn regularly. and if there aren't smaller fires that come through, the fuel will build up. and then, when a fire is ignited, it will be completely out of control. i have had the privilege of being with people in some really intense moments in their life, and sometimes moments of real loss and grief. there's a lot of sensitivity that would always go into that. but when you are also bringing the recording to that situation, it's a lot to handle. the goal of this sort of job is to have it be a win-win-win, a win for the audience because they are going to get to understa something that's going to be very precious and important, a win for the person who's sharing this vulnerable moment with me, the team, and also potentially this audience. i think, as a filmmaker, i'm not kind of an activist hoping to persuade people of a point of
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view exactly, but i do think, the more aware we become of what is actually happening in the world, the better we can respond and bring all our beautiful human awareness to the situation. my name is lucy walker, and this is my brief but spectacular take on the power of documentar filmmaking. judy: and you can watch more brief but spectacular videos at and join me tomorrow for a livestream of the inaugural jim lehrer lecture hosted by the miller center at the university of virginia. i will be talking with the center's director william antholis about the journalistic legacy of this program's co-founder, jim lehrer, how we strive to maintain those standards, and the challenges reporters face today. that starts tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. eastern at and that's the “newshour” for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
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for all of us at the “pbs newshour,” thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no contract plans and our u.s.-bas customer service team can help find one 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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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 washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >> you're watching pbs.
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