Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  May 25, 2014 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

5:30 pm
on this edition for sunday, may 25th, president obama makes a surprise visit to afghanistan. the latest on the presidential election in ukraine. margaret warner reports from kiev. in our signature segment, how mexico is battling obesity by raising taxes on certain foods. >> we're doing a lot of education problems to change the habits of people, but we are also using taxes can be powerful incentives. >> and on memorial day weekend, a u.s. veteran with a different way of seeing the people around him. next on pbs newshour weekend. pbs newshour weekend is made possible by --
5:31 pm
additional support is provided by -- and by the corporation for public broadcasting and contributions from viewers like you. thank you. from the studios in lincoln center, new york, hari sreenivasan. >> good evening. thanks for joining us. president obama is spending part of midmidweekend in afghanistan. he was greeted at the bagram air base. the trip was not announced ahead of time. during the brief surprise visit he met with u.s. troops and conferred with military
5:32 pm
commanders. the white house sought to quell speculation that the visit in in response to the v.a. scandal. new details emerged with the 22-year-old man accused of carrying out the deadly rampage in california. police say elliott rodgers fatally stabbed three men in his apartment then prowled the streets wounding 13 and killing 3 others before shooting himself in the head. police found three semiautomatic handguns in his vehicle all purchased legally. in a series of youtube videos and in a 140-page manifesto, rodgers ioutlined his isolation and the women who rejected him. police visited his apartment last month. this weekend a local sheriff said at the time of those visits his deputies found rodger polite and timid. in arizona firefighters are struggling to contain fires. the fires have burned through
5:33 pm
more than 11,000 acres north of phoenix between sedona and flagstaff. they expect the fires will more than double in size before they get them under control. after months of political unrest and violence, ukrainians have apparently elected a 48-year-old billionaire petro poroshenko. there likely will not be the need fr a runoff. there was a heavy turnout in the european-leaning western part of the ukraine but in the east pro-russian rebels blocked polling stations and smashed ballot boxes. on the second day of his visit to the middle east, pope francis met with palestinian leader mahmoud abbas and then made an unannounced visit to the barrier israel erected that surrounds much of bethlehem. he invited abbas and shimon peres for a meeting at the
5:34 pm
vatican next month. both accepted the invitation. the pope will complete his trip with a visit to jerusalem. in brussels flowers were left outside the jewish museum where four were gunned down yesterday. police are investigating it as a hate crime. for much more about today's voting in ukraine, we're joined from kiev by "news hour's" margaret warner who is inside the central election commission there. we heard about poroshenko's win. why is this margin of victory so significant? >> hari, it's huge because the more and more we talk to voters here in ukraine, the more and more there was a groundswell that this country's in such difficult and desperate shape that it needs a new president now. it can't even afford to wait three more weeks to have a
5:35 pm
runoff. and so i talked to voters who had different emotional voices between the candidates but poroshenko ran this campaign in part based on inevitability and the more and more it grew the more voters decided -- one young man said to me, we're on the verge of war. putin has designs on ukraine and we need somebody who can take charge now. that's where the margin is important and also the turnout. if you look at the screen, it was huge. not only in the 70% and over in the west, but even in the central part, not only around kiev but a lot of heavily russian-speaking areas, the only two gray zones where they don't have enough data are the two areases that the russian-backed separatists ran this campaign of intimidation that we reported so much on this week. that makes it significant. and makes his win unassailable. >> what about the issues that he faces with the separatists in
5:36 pm
the east? >> great question, hari. i actually raced over to his headquarters tonight after the exit polls came out. and he was just speaking to the press, and he said, my first visit will be to the donspach, the coal, metal producing area in the east. he wants to assure them that they have a place in ukraine. they're the poorest section of the country, but we'll respect their russian language. so on one hand he's putting out a hand. amnesty even for separatists. but those who have killed people, there will not be amnesty and we're going to -- that will not continue. he's made it clear that he wants a more muscular approach to armed separatists, to the russian operatives they believe are operating there who are russian-back or russian paid
5:37 pm
ultraseparatists and also these criminal gangs and elements that were hired on by that crowd. so i think you're going to see public support for doing this in the rest of ukraine even if it costs some lives to go ahead and take them on militarily. i'm not saying tomorrow. he's going to make an offer, but time is running out. >> what do we know about him personally besides he made all his millions and billions in selling chocolate? >> and you know, funny thing, hari, i just learned last night he's diabetic and can't eat his own chocolate, which is fantastic. he made billions in chocolate and in many other businesses. he's known, though, as a pragmati pragmatist, a very pragmatic, he's been finance minister, foreign minister, he's been speaker of the house. he does a lot of business in russian even though putin shut down one of his chocolate plants when he sided with the uprising over the winter.
5:38 pm
on the other hand he does business with the europeans. and folks we talked to today like that combination in him. he doesn't stir deep feelings but there is a sense that he's a very pragmatic guy, that he's not going to take ukraine over a cliff in one direction or another and that he's probably the most astute and savvy of the bunch. >> so you've been reporting from ukraine for the past week, from the eastern part of the country, now you're in the capital. how do you distill the differences in these two big regions? >> well, you mean today or in general? i mean, the differences in the regions are pretty amazing. we've been over in the east a lot in march and now and it really is for coal miners, i don't know, think of pittsburgh or west virginia in the '50s and they work very, very hard and there's so much corruption and so much skimming of the
5:39 pm
subsidies that they don't see much of it. the rest of ukraine is really moving in a european model. i say today the difference was surreal. the voting places in kiev were absolutely ran like clockwork. at the same time i was calling and texting with officials i knew back in donetsk and luhansk and it was chaos and most didn't even dare to open. >> margaret warner in kiev, thanks so much. >> my pleasure, hari. and now to our signature segment. we thought this holiday weekend when millions of americans go to barbecues was a good time to rebroadcast this story we first brought you in december. that's because it's about obesity. millions of americans suffer from it as do millions of mexicans.
5:40 pm
that nation recently launched an ambitious national program to combat the problem. its biggest component, increasing taxes on foods loaded with saturated fats and sugary drinks. it's all being done with the assistance of former new york city mayor michael bloomberg. martin fletcher reports. ♪ >> reporter: every sunday mexico city tens of thousands answer their president's challenge to exercise one hour a day. mexico's health ministry says its citizens are too fat. yoga classes on the city's main reforma avenue. nearby zumba, five straight hours of latin american dance and aerobics all overseen by horatio de la vega, a mexican pent ath leith. >> you see that 30% of mexicans are obese. you're an olympic athlete. how do you feel about that?
5:41 pm
>> it's a very important problem. it's sad that we came to this, but it has a lot to do with education, with the culture and we're trying to make a lot of effort to make this reverse. >> reporter: we met diana cardona at the zumba dance, this mother has struggled with her weight her whole life. zumba has helped her lose 20 pounds. she's hoping to lose 20 more. the zoom ba class is certainly hard to resist. a catchy part of what mexico calls its three pillars to fight obesity. so this is pillar number one, more exercise for the people. i think i've lost a little bit of weight. after more sports, comes number two, a healthier diet. but it's pillar number three that has the whole world watching. taxation of junk food. with 1.5 billion people overweight around the globe, mexico's battle of the bulge has
5:42 pm
become a test case in the fight against obesity. the new taxes are 8% on food high in saturated fat, sugar and salt, like sweet breads and cakes and 9% on sugary drinks like coca-cola. >> we do have a lot of health problems to change the habits of people, but we're also using incentives. and taxes can be powerful inc t incenti incentives. i'm an economist so i believe in incenti incentives. they should have an effect on what people select to eat and drink. >> reporter: commercials pound the message, exercise and eat healthy every day. similar to the new york message of former mayor michael bloomberg. that's no coincidence. his philanthropic organization has pledged money to aid mexico's anti-obesity campaign. the beverage association said that since taxes were introduced
5:43 pm
january 1st this year, consumption is already down 5%, but he believes it lot go up again. >> we're not convinced that by putting a new tax for some drinks in addition to other taxes that they already pay is going to be a solution. the reason is that it's an old custom in mexico to drink soft drinks. >> reporter: but that's the point, reduce the consumption of sugar because sugar leads to obesity. >> if you drink the drinks that are bottled then why not the other ones. there's an inequitable situation. the tax might be unconstitution unconstitutional. you cannot tax some products and the other ones not. >> reporter: what he's getting at, the new tax only levies extra pesos on canned drinks and
5:44 pm
fatty snacks, not those sold on the street. mexicans drink more coca-cola per capita than anyone else in the world. visiting a mobile health clinic, maria has had hypertension for 23 years and diabetes for 5. how much coca-cola do you drink every day? for the family, three liters, she says. three liters a day. one liter a day each person? she says, yes, it's bad. and tortilla and bread. that's what makes us fat. mexico's coca-cola franchise declined our request. but the soft drink companies are not the only culprits in the obesity problem. the amount of shug are in these drinks? >> maybe it's the amount of sugar, but it's the only energy that they consume. they eat or they drink. so no problem. and if they exercise, no problem
5:45 pm
at all. it's very expensive to buy fruit, to buy vegetables. so they are only eating fried food. >> reporter: with 50% of mexicans living below the poverty line, cost is critical. doesn't it just make it more expensive for the people who can't afford to buy anything else? >> the taxes are only taxing high calorie foods and sugary drinks. all the foods and drinks available that are taxed. >> reporter: perhaps easier said than done especially in a country where locals even shy away from the tap water often leaving bottled drinks as the only option. back at home, diana from zumba class has heard the governments a message loud and clear. she's changed her eating habits over the past year. the children eat rice, tomatoes, peas, tortilla and guacamole.
5:46 pm
a year ago fries, take-away pizzas, hamburgers, cans of cola. if i hadn't gone on the diet, she says, i'd be this big. look at the badge behind her. that's spanish for i feel magnificent. it's too early to say what the effect of taxation will be as a tool against obesity, even as supporters say an increase of 8% to 10% is not enough, but the government argues it's the message that counts, healthy eating saves lives. in a local initiative by mexico city for those who don't go to the gym, gym comes to them. 300 so-called urban gyms were set up last year. 300 more this year and the same again next year. with medical and psychological device and checkups all provided free by the city. prevention, the mayor says, is cheaper than treatment. maria gonzalez is the city's psychologist in charge of these urban gyms.
5:47 pm
>> we wanted people to have -- >> and when you see the people who come to you, are they healthy? >> most of them, no. but they come here and they start wanting to have a better way of living a healthy life, a healthy style of living. >> reporter: the biggest challenge is to start them young. all research shows that if a child is overweight at age 5, most always will be. they don't know much about new taxes, but the government says higher taxes on junk food will make families buy less and that children will be healthier and live longer. the whole world is gaining weight. find out where the u.s. fits in and see what other countries are doing to battle the bulge. visit newshour on
5:48 pm
on this memorial day, we wanted to introduce you to ed drew, a military veteran, who was inspired to make something lasting. our story narrated by scott schaeffer was produced by pbs station kqed in san francisco. >> when i grew up, my life was not incredibly easy. my mother work all the time. i really had to learn on my own how to hold myself up. photographer is one of those things i used as a vehicle for self-expression because i felt in my heart i was an artist. >> working out of a make shift dark room using highly reactive chemicals, large plates and a camera, artist ed drew is putting his own spin on a 19th century art form. >> i like it because it's not just something simple. you have to set it up and you have to be really physical with it.
5:49 pm
you can't just click. you're basically making a photo on a piece of metal, you're exposing it, developing it and fixing it all right then and there. >> tin type portraits reached the height of their popularity during the american civil war. inexpensive, durable and relatively simple to make, tin types were the first available to the masses including hundreds of soldiers headed off to battle. >> these images of soldiers, sometimes these are the last images that their friends and family would see of them alive. >> he's no stranger to the rifbs of combat. he's served in the military since he was 18 and is an aerial gunner for the california air national guard. when he was deployed to afghanistan last spring, he brought his camera along. >> it came from the fact that i was going to afghanistan and i wanted to record the people who i work with in the most humanistic way possible.
5:50 pm
i really wanted to focus on this brotherhood i belong to, these combat rescue individuals. i would do tin types in between missions. sometimes while i was doing tin type, i would get called on a mission, so i would literally have to drop everything and sprint out to the aircraft to do my job. >> drew's tin types were the first to be made in a combat zone since the civil war. >> when i came back from my deployment, i was a little frustrated because i had purpose over there. i got back and i kind of had to fill that void. how i did that was i had very specific idea that i was going to use my art to show the beauty of people. >> now drew is working with at-risk youth as a garden project in san bruno. >> i got a special job for you. >> katherine sneed directs the
5:51 pm
program. they learn life skills through organic farming. the vegetables they harvest feeds thousands the of needy san franciscoens every year. >> the young people who work with us every day are the people who live in areas of the city where there's a lot of crime, a lot of poverty. they manage to overcome all that. they're understanding they have a future. >> right about there. yeah. >> that's perfect. >> the reason i chose this is because they're making something of themselves. they're going to college but they're also earning money here. >> drew hopes by making these portraits he can help shatter negative stereotypes that often follow young men of color. >> good, good, i'm glad. >> the kind of photography that ed is doing with us is particularly meaningful because it has that historical reference. after the experience of slavery, many folks have said, oh,
5:52 pm
gardening isn't for me. i think that ed's taking pictures of us, using this older way, it's come full circle. the garden is now a place that can uplift and not just hold you down. and hopefully his pictures can depict that in a way that touches people. >> the imperfections of tin types is what i really enjoy. and i think it's a great analogy for life. life is not perfect. whether they have a little speck on them or a little streak of silver that just kind of went awry, you accept the image just like you accept the person. memorial day weekend can also be very difficult for the families surviving the loss of a service member. online at, we have a conversation about this with the tragedy assistance
5:53 pm
program for survivors. this is pbc newshour weekend sunday. and now the latest on a story that the newshour has been following for some time now. a new and growing outbreak of polio overseas. 80% of the new cases are in pakistan. itn's military correspondent john ray has the latest from that nation. >> reporter: on karachi's streets you can meet many who serve as a reminder of the limbs and lives wasted by polio and understand just how desperate the battle is to prevent its return. at times that battle can seem like a real war. a simple vaccine offers immunity. even the promise of good health comes at the point of a gun.
5:54 pm
it might seem strange that it takes an armed escort to deliver vaccines, but there are good and disturbing reasons for the guns. in trying to save children, these health workers are themselves risking their lives. the taliban has targeted the team, women like this doctor. >> they're attacking us. >> reporter: religious leaders have issued a fatwa ordering their parents to bring their children for vaccination. but many remain distrustful. it is well known that the program is to hunt osama bin laden. many are murdered administering the vaccine. she died for her country, her mother tells us.
5:55 pm
join us on air and online tomorrow on the newshour. margaret warner continues her reporting from ukraine following the presidential election there. that's it for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching.
5:56 pm
pbs newshour weekend is made possible by -- corporate funding is provided by -- mutual of america. designing customized, individual and group retirement product. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support is provided by -- and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
5:57 pm
5:58 pm
5:59 pm
6:00 pm
>> explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this. made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [captioning made possible by tjl productions, llc] >> folk music has been around as long as there have been folks to sing it. folk music is about real people and real lives and the frustration of dissent. there was a time in america when the simple act of gathering together to share experiences united us and helped us sing our troubles away. how do you do? i'm john sebastian, and that was me, and this is my music. tonight, we're going to look back at some of the most popular songs of the folk era. >> ♪ and when we go dancin', baby, then you'll see how the magic's in the music and the