Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  August 5, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

5:30 pm
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, august 5: record heat in europe and the western united states amid a dire warning over the effects of weather-related disasters, and a new perspective on income inequality in america. >> you're stretching the definition of middle now to include people with very healthy six figure incomes. at some point the word middle ceases to mean very much. >> sreenivasan: next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the j.b.p. foundation. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill.
5:31 pm
barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. provided by:pport has been and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, thanks for joining us. a historic, dangerous heat wave is gripping much of southern europe, setting record triple- digit highs this week and is expected to continue into next week. at least two deaths are blamed on the heat wave meteorologists have nicknamed "lucifer." the european weather service issued its highest "red alert" heat warning to at least nine countries, including italy, many of the balkan countries and southern poland. weather officials in spain predicted temperatures there could hit a scorching 111 degrees today.
5:32 pm
the extreme heat has intensified wildfires and crop damage, and authorities urged residents and tourists to stay indoors and drink plenty of fluids. this as a new european commission study predicts europe's death toll from extreme weather could rise sharply if dramatic steps aren't taken to slow global warming. scientists projected the number of deaths from high heat alone could reach more than 150,000 people a year by 2100. back home, the pacific northwest is reeling from its own historic heat wave. thursday was a record-breaker for many for cities, temperatures hitting 102 in eugene, oregon, and 105 degrees in portland, just two degrees short of the all-time high of 107. portland also extended its rainless streak today marking its 50th consecutive "dry day." only yesterday, the u.s. state department delivered its first written, official notice to the united nations that it intended
5:33 pm
to withdraw from the paris climate accords. the search is on for three u.s. marines missing after their osprey tilt-rotor aircraft crashed today off the east coast of australia. the unconventional osprey, which takes off and lands like a helicopter but flies like a plane, was based in okinawa and had lifted off from a navy aircraft carrier. the marine corps says 23 other people on the aircraft were rescued. no word on why the osprey crashed and an investigation is underway. there have been three osprey crashes or crash-landings since 2015. the political crisis in venezuela deepened today as government security forces surrounded the office of the chief prosecutor luisa ortega diaz. she denounced the move as a "military siege." the new constitutional assembly met today for the second time and voted to remove her from office. it was chosen last sunday in what the u.s. and other critics charge was a fraudulent election. the assembly, comprising
5:34 pm
supporters of president nicolas maduro, has vowed to crush his opposition and is widely expected to dissolve the opposition-controlled congress. putting pressure on maduro, the south american trade bloc" mercosur" this evening suspended venezuela indefinitely. at least 120 people have been killed in four months of violent opposition protests. the office of special counsel robert mueller, apparently for the first time, has asked the e request by the mueller teamp that is investigating possible collusion between president trump's election campaign and russia was not a formal subpoena, according to the "new york times." the "times" also reports investigators have questioned witnesses about secret payments made to flynn by the authoritarian government of turkey during the campaign. and the associated press has learned that, in an amended financial filing, flynn revealed he had an advisory role during the campaign with a firm linked to cambridge analytica. that's a software data-mining company which helped the trump campaign, and whose former vice president is trump strategist steve bannon.
5:35 pm
>> find out why cities in the pacific northwest have reached record temperatures. visit >> sreenivasan: today, secretary of state rex tillerson began a five day trip that includes stops in the philippines, thailand and malaysia. among the issues on the agenda: the extra-judicial killings that have taken place in the philippines during president rodrigo duterte's war on the drug trade. it is estimated that police have killed more than 2,500 alleged drug offenders since duterte took office a little over a year ago. for more on mr. tillerson's trip i am joined from washington, d.c. by lindsey ford, the director of political security affairs for the asia society. so, how does rex tillerson broach this fairly uncomfortable topic? >> you know, i think he's going to be direct, and i suspect the message is going to be "look, we understand that you have problems domestically in terms of the situation with drugs
5:36 pm
flowing through the country, but you're creating an issue that's becoming a bilateral problem because you're going to see people in the u.s. congress and the administration more broadly, it's going to make it challenging for us to cooperate in really important areas that we need to, like dealing with isis in the south, maritime security in the south china sea, and a number of other issues." so i suspect they're going to deal with this quietly but very directly in the conversation. >> sreenivasan: let's talk a little bit about that. the south china sea issue, for example. at times president duterte has distanced himself from the united states and really said he doesn't need the type of security arrangement that we have now. >> he has. you know, it's been a challenge, i think, in the south china sea trying to figure out how to calibrate the relationship with the philippines over the last year. at times, president duterte has seemed like he, obviously, wants to take a much more conciliatory approach towards china.
5:37 pm
most recently he's discussed things like joint exploration again, in some of the areas like reid bank. but he faces domestic challenges at home facing a-- you have seen parts of the philippine congress, as well as parts of the philippine government, including the ministry of defense really saying they're not okay with that approach. and he's had to walk that back at times. so he's trying to tow a fine line between wanting to be more open with china but recognizing at the same time a lot of people in the fill feens pooens have real concerns about chinese assertiveness in the south china sea. >> sreenivasan: what about the fight on isis? what's the role that the philippines is in now? >> there's a real concern right now that we're facing a situation in the southern philippines where potentially you're going to have a new sort of haven for violent extremists that will become something that is attracting extremists, not just within the philippines but
5:38 pm
elsewhere in the region, potentially foreign fighters fis from other regions as well. we've already seen some growing connectivity between isis in syria and the rebel groups in the southern philippines. and i think this is a growing concern. and so even though it looks like the siege right now is hopefully drawing to an end in the near term, i think the united states well as other governments in, southeast asia, need to have some really careful conversations about how do we enhance our intelligence coordination, counter-intelligence coordination so we don't see a growing isis safe haven occurring in southeast asia. >> sreenivasan: and this all comes in the context of u.s. military support in the philippines over the last several years. and president trump is supposed to have a trip there in november. >> and i imagine that will be another topic that-- that you'll see secretary tillerson want to discuss because this will be the president's first trip, and they're going to want to tee up some positive deliverables in the relationship. so i think on the philippine
5:39 pm
side, they'll probably be very interested in, without a t.p.p., the trans-pacific partnership trade agreement, what kinds of economic priorities does the trump administration have for countries like the philippines in southeast asia? and on the u.s. side, i think in particular, they're going to want to see that that some of the concerns more recently with scaling back defense cooperations and, you know, president duterte talking about he's not sure exactly whether they'll follow through with the enhanced defense coongz greement that gives the united states more access to philippine bases. they're going to want to see some assurance that we're making progress on the implementation of that agreement. >> sreenivasan: lindsey ford of the asia society, thanks so much. >> thanks very much. >> sreenivasan: here in the united states much of the talk about income inequality centers around the so-called top 1%. however, i recently spoke to an author who sees america's class
5:40 pm
divide in much broader terms. >> it is pretty simple to do. >> sreenivasan: scholar richard reeves believes the united states is in need of some self- reflection about income inequality. >> i think america doesn't want to have a conversation about class because it is uncomfortable with it. >> sreenivasan: reeves is a co- director of the brookings institution's center on children and families. his new book, "dream hoarders," argues that while the top 1% of america's wealthy receive so much attention, the more significant divide is between the top 20% and everyone else struggling to achieve the american dream. reeves suggests the advantages of those at the top are gained simply by being part of the right socioeconomic group. by supporting certain policies and behaviors, they protect their status and keep others out. >> a dream hoarder is someone that's a member of the american upper middle class-- so, on the top rung in terms of the income ladder-- but is then using that position to rig certain systems or certain markets so that they succeed and that their kids succeed. so, rig the housing market, rig
5:41 pm
the education market, some say rig the labor market. and so, it's basically like a cartel in business, if you like, but you're using your power in an anti-competitive way rather than in a competitive way. >> sreenivasan: we all want to think of ourselves as middle- middle class, but we're not. >> i think nine in ten americans define themselves as middle class in one form or another. and it's obviously an attractive thing to say we're all the same class, we're all in the same boat. you're stretching the definition of "middle" now to include people with very healthy six- figure incomes right at the top of the distribution. and at some point, the word "middle" ceases to mean very much. >> sreenivasan: reeves defines the upper middle class as families making $117,000 or more a year. to illustrate the difference between them and everyone else, reeves points to this statistic: between 1979 and 2013, the total pre-tax income for the bottom 80% of americans grew by $3 trillion. the much smaller group that makes up the top 20%, their income grew by $4 trillion,
5:42 pm
$1 trillion more. reeves says the upper middle class income gains mean a greater benefit from the government's home mortgage interest tax deduction and more power to insulate themselves in better schools and neighborhoods. >> if you're in the upper middle class, you get to buy an expensive house, more expensive than most people can afford. you then get a deduction from the treasury for doing that, so you're helped by the government to buy this expensive house. you can then use local zoning ordinances or land use regulations to ensure that only people like you can live in your neighborhood. and then, you can organize your school admissions policies based on neighborhoods, which means that even public schools can actually be predominately affluent and high quality because of the way we've organized it. >> sreenivasan: reeves calculates almost 40% of the upper middle class live near public schools with the best test scores, according to the data from the u.s. census bureau and the nonprofit, great schools. >> it's like an x-ray. it exposes the class fracture when schools get involved and when you think about kind of integration. >> sreenivasan: take this
5:43 pm
elementary school in new york city's affluent brooklyn heights neighborhood. p.s. 8 is predominantly white, with test scores considerably above average. when the city's education department rezoned the area two years ago to ease overcrowding in p.s. 8 and assigned children to nearby p.s. 307, some p.s. 8 parents rebelled. p.s. 307 had served predominantly low-income minority students with lower test scores. >> it's not that anyone sat down and said, "look, let's do some devilish scheme, let's find a way to rig the system and design tax and education, housing like in this way," but it is the result of the interaction of those different kinds of systems which many of us benefit from. and candidly, we all support those sorts of exclusionary mechanisms because it's in our short-term immediate self interest to do that. >> sreenivasan: in the end, the brooklyn heights school rezoning went through, but reeves says the class gap in education continues right on through college. you also talk a little about the idea of legacies and giving you a leg up if your parents went to
5:44 pm
the same college. how... how does that play out? because most of the ivy league schools say, "no, no, no, we don't really do that," not to a great extent, anyway. >> there is something deeply troubling about the idea that my kid should get preferential treatment getting into a particular college because i happened to go or my wife did, whereas the kid of an immigrant by definition can't benefit from that, or a kid who was born poor, first in their generation to go to college. so, that's something symbolically, deeply unfair about that system. >> sreenivasan: besides that idea, a slightly more public example might be internships-- who gets them, how diverse that actually is. >> one survey suggests that three in five graduating college seniors have done some sort of internship. many employers will give a job to someone who's done an internship. they'll certainly value someone who's done it. so, it's become quite an important transition institution in the last 20 years. and what you find is that, first of all, many of them are unpaid, which means almost by definition that they're biased in favor of
5:45 pm
those who are from affluent backgrounds. but also, and even more egregiously in some ways, they are often handed out on the basis of who you know or as a favor. well, that's just cheating in terms of an open labor market and the kind of social norm we need to shift. >> sreenivasan: some critics of reeves' work argue that laying the blame for lack of upward mobility on the upper middle class is misguided. in a recent "washington post" op-ed, economist robert samuelson wrote: "though economic opportunities abound, the capacity to take advantage of them does not. that, not hoarding, is our real problem. as for parents, why make them feel guilty for wanting to help their children? what are parents for, after all? let's not blame the struggle of the lower middle class and poor on the success of the upper middle class. the two are only loosely connected, if at all." but reeves says being a successful parent shouldn't mean rigging the playing field. >> the question then is, where's the line? when does this sort of good parenting become some form of
5:46 pm
hoarding or kind of cheating? because we're all so in favor of a fair society. how do we manage schools? how do we vote on a local zoning bill? do we play the legacy card or the donation card? how do we operate in our own institutions? it's not quite good enough just to say, "well, everyone's doing it," because that's the moral reasoning of a sixth grader. if my kid comes home and says, "i cheated in math today, but everyone was cheating," do i say, "well, that's okay, as long as everyone's cheating, it's fine"? , another person might have to move down. and that runs counter to everything we've ever grown up with: "oh, there is plenty of room at the top. we can all get there." >> it is a zero sum game. you know, the top 20% can only ever contain a fifth of the population; that's just a math statement. and so, to that extent, if you want more people moving it back up 20%, you do need some more people coming out of it, falling down. but downward mobility, while mathematically necessary, is also deeply unpopular both on a personal and a political level,
5:47 pm
and i think that's true for all of us. very few of us are willing to decide which of our kids are going to be nominated to go down in order to create more room for poor kids to rise up. but it is a necessary, necessary part of the story. >> sreenivasan: the last 100 meter race of his career did not go as planned for usain bolt. he came in third place at the world championships in london, losing to two americans justin gatlin who took the gold and chris coleman who took the silver. bolt, still the world record holder said this would be his last competition. for more context about the bolt effect, earlier i spoke with christopher clary of the "new york times" who joined me via skype from london. chris, is it possible to overestimate the as a matter ofn bolt on track and field and sports? >> he has been the face and the soul of the sport for almost a decade now, and it's
5:48 pm
extraordinary. it really is. he has been the one global figure that they've had, and also he's been pretty good news for the sport, instead of bad news. so definitely a seminal figure gr it's as michael phelpss is to swimming. you have the guy doing the lightning bolt dance at the end of his races. >> no, it's true. he and phelpss are a good comparison. they've just been the kings of their sports in the same period of time. they kind of tbroak brok through in beijing and dominated that olympics at the same time. very similar. dominant figures, huge appetite for success, and really enduring. >> sreenivasan: you know, even if track and field-- as track and field had these sort of repeated, high-profile doping incidents, usain bolt was able to just kind of glide above it all, winning match-- or meet after meet. >> in a way, that's been his greatest accomplishment, in a sense he's been able to remain above that fray. it's been quite a fray. a lot of scandals in track and
5:49 pm
field, a lot of credibility crises, and bolt has really been able to stay above that. there have been things that have affected him. he lost a medal in the relay because one of his teammates was involved in a doping infraction. there have been fellow jamaicans who tested positive for banned substances as well. usain has never tested positive, never been sanctioned so that's a bit of good news for the sport. >> sreenivasan: is there a reason he chose to retire now? you can see that his times have been slowing, but this is a guy who loves the competition, who loves to get in there and win. i don't think, at least in the interviews they read, i don't think he particularly likes to train and put the work in but he does it because he loves to win. >> i think that's it. i think you put your finger on it. he's had injury problems throughout his career. i think he's tired of that. and, really, he did a great documentary last year which was a lot of fun to watch called "i am bolt," and you can see him
5:50 pm
complaining about the training in almost every scene. i think he really enjoys the competition, enjoys that magnetic moment when he's out there and the crowd is communing with him and racing and beating everybody. but when it comes to the day-to-day drudgery of being a sprinter, i think he would be hey haep to leave that behind and i think he's done all there is to do in this sport. >> sreenivasan: this is a guy, when you look at him, he doesn't look like a sprinter that has been the archetypeee have had, the short, stoke, muscular guys who exploaldz out of the blocks. he's literally, at times air, foot taller than his competition. >> yeah, it's true. when he lines up to race and get in a set position, you can see he's already higher than everybody else even with his head down. he's a taller person, 6'5". you you look back at track and field, carl lewis wasn't as tall as usain, but same sort of lines-- a tall sprinter by those standards of that day. and i think now what bolt boelt has really done is being able to combine the two of being a tall
5:51 pm
sprinter but also australia has a quick turnover, able to exploatd off the track and produce tremendous power in each of his strides. , and also, he has long strides so he's able to cover the whole race, 100 meters in 41 strides whereas a lot of his competitors are 44, 45, 46. that has all been a big factor and many will try to replicate it in the years to come. >> sreenivasan: do you ever wonder what that world record time could have been in beijing or other places where it almost seemed like in the last 10 meters he's looking up at the big screen, and he's almost coasting in? i mean, there wasn't anybody kind of breathing down his neck. and if if he had given that last extra 10%. >> you're right. that was the first breakthrough in the global olympics that he let up in the 100 when he got to the finish line. later in berl lin, when he made the world record, he ran through the tape, and saw what happened, a world record that nobody has been able to touch and he himself was quite young at the
5:52 pm
time, maybe get into the 9.4s, never did for a variety of reasons but he did run through the tape and that record is there to prove it. >> sreenivasan: christopher clarey of the "new york times," thank you so much for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> sreenivasan: finally, the u.n. security council voted unanimously this evening to impose sharp new sanctions on north korea over its recent tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles. the resolution bans about a billion dollars in north korean exports of coal, iron, seafood and other goods. about a third of the north's total export revenue. on "pbs newshour weekend" sunday, from hawaii, growing concern over an invasive species. how parakeets are wreaking havoc on local farms. that's it for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend." i'm hari sreenivasan. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh
5:53 pm
>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the j.p.b. foundation. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. the anderson family fund. rosalind p. walter, in memory of abby m. o'neill. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. provided by:pport has been
5:54 pm
and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
5:55 pm
5:56 pm
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. ♪ what's it all about... ♪ alfie? for over half a century, burt bacharach has enriched the soundtrack of our lives, creating some of the most beautiful music ever. i'm robert wagner, and i'd like to invite you to enjoy a wonderfully melodic journey with my music. it's "burt bacharach's best," here on pbs. ladies and gentlemen, mr. burt bacharach. ♪ what the world needs now ♪ is love sweet love robert wagner: his big break was arranging and conducting