tv PBS News Hour PBS August 7, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, north korea vows to press ahead with its nuclear weapons program and retaliate against the u.s. following a new round of u.n. sanctions. then... >> about five million people who lived under isis are no longer living under isis. >> woodruff: ...i talk with the man charged with u.s. oversight of the fight against isis, special presidential envoy brett mcgurk. and, how cubans are grappling with the changing tides of u.s. travel, now that president trump is trying to weaken their government. >> within two weeks of the announcement that president trump gave in miami, we've lost over $250,000 in bookings. >> woodruff: all that and more
>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: north korea had tough talk today for the united states, following the weekend adoption of new sanctions by the united nations. the new measures target north korea's already-limited export market, and seek to further isolate the nation after recent missile tests. lisa desjardins reports. >> desjardins: to new sanctions, north korea today reacted with
its own threat. >> ( translated ): the us's villainous illegal actions against our country and people will be reciprocated by thousands-fold. if it thinks that it will be safe because it is across an ocean, there is no bigger misunderstanding than that. >> desjardins: that sharp warning after north korea test- launched two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month that some analysts believe could reach parts of the united states. today at a summit of southeast asian nations in manila, a north korean spokesman defended its nuclear program. >> ( translated ): we affirmed that we'll never place our nuclear and ballistic missiles program on the negotiating table and won't budge an inch on strengthening nuclear armament. >> desjardins: and again singled out the united states. >> ( translated ): is our nuclear possession a threat to the world or is it just a threat to the united states? we want to make it clear that the worsening situation on the korean peninsula, as well as the
nuclear issues, were caused by the united states. >> desjardins: from u.s. secretary of state rex tillerson, also at the manila forum, a very different tone, stressing possible dialogue. but only if pyongyang stops missile tests. >> this is really about the spirit of these talks, and they can demonstrate that they're ready to sit with a spirit of finding a way forward in these talks by no longer conducting these missile tests. >> desjardins: north korea officials so far have rejected any talks that include the u.s., but did meet separately in manila with representatives from a pivotal go-between, china. chinese foreign minister wang yi. >> ( translated ): china urged north korea to remain calm in the face of the new un security council resolution concerning north korea and not to carry out missile tests or even nuclear tests in violation of the security council resolution and the will of the international community. >> desjardins: the u.n. sanctions on north korea are a
victory for the u.s., whose ambassador nikki haley led the effort at the united nations. she spoke saturday. . >> the international community could not have made a stronger point to tell them that the time to stop is now >> desjardins: for the most part they target north korea's export revenue. anthony ruggiero, helped write north korea sanctions under president george w. bush. he says these new sanctions may affect up to a third of north korean exports, a severe impact, but only if they are enforced. >> unfortunately over the last 11 years that has been lacking. in particular by china, and it's the u.n. itself has called out china for its lack of implementation. >> desjardins: for his part, president trump spoke last night with south korean president moon jae-in, later tweeting: "very happy and impressed with 15 to 0 united nations vote on north korea sanctions." president moon's office said he stressed that the nuclear issue must be resolved in a peaceful
diplomatic manner. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: in the day's other news, the city of chicago has sued the trump administration, over its plan to withhold federal funds from so-called "sanctuary cities." the lawsuit says it's unconstitutional to tie grant money to a city's cooperation with federal immigration authorities. after filing the complaint, the head of chicago's legal office said the city will now request a freeze on the policy. >> we are bringing this legal challenge because the rhetoric and threats from this administration embodied in these new conditions imposed on unrelated public safety grant funds are breeding a culture and climate of fear within the communities in our city. >> woodruff: u.s. attorney general jeff sessions is named in the lawsuit. the justice department said it's
"protecting criminal aliens" authorities have found the wreckage of a u.s. military plane that crashed off the coast of australia over the weekend. three marines are presumed dead, after a search and rescue operation was called off yesterday. 23 other people on board were rescued. the osprey aircraft went down saturday in shoalwater bay, off the eastern coast of queensland, during regularly scheduled operations. venezuela's president nicolas maduro has vowed a severe punishment for those behind yesterday's raid on an army base. the intruders appeared to want to set off a military uprising against the socialist leader. maduro said at least 20 people, including some former soldiers, attacked the site in central venezula and seized weapons. at least two were killed and eight more arrested. >> ( translated ): a trial has already been set and i have
asked for the maximum sentence for all those involved in the terrorist attack, the maximum sentence and no benefits for those civilians or deserters involved in the attack. >> woodruff: the incident came as the country's newly installed, all-powerful constitutional assembly continued its work. today, the european union criticized that body's decision to remove venezuela's public prosecutor. and, in mexico, officials are bracing for tropical storm "franklin." it's expected make landfall tonight along the yucatan peninsula at near-hurricane strength. authorities are closing an airport near the caribbean coast, and are preparing shelters. residents could face flooding and winds of at least 60 miles per hour. it was another record-setting day on wall street, led by technology stocks. the dow jones industrial average gained 25 points to close at 22, 118. that's its ninth-straight record high. the nasdaq rose 32, and the s&p 500 added four.
still to come on the newshour: i talk with brett mcgurk, the special envoy tasked with fighting isis. new restrictions put the breaks on cuba's tourism. our politics monday team analyzes the president's claim that his base of support is getting stronger, and much more. >> woodruff: now, to the fight against isis in syria and iraq. last month, iraqi forces and the u.s.-led coalition finally re- took iraq's second largest city, mosul, after a brutal nine-month campaign. and the fight to re-take raqqa, the isis makeshift capital, is ongoing now, with syrian militia pressing the fight, again with u.s. support. for more on where the battle against isis stands, i spoke a short time ago with brett mcgurk.
he is the special presidential envoy for the global coalition to counter isis. i began by asking him how big a footprint isis has now? >> well, what's really more important is the trajectory. if you go back to 2014, they were dramatically expanding movement. since then, they've lost about 70,000 square kilometers. in the last six months alone, they've lost about 20 square kilometers. so one-third of losses in iraq and syria have taken place in the last six months. so it's radically shrimping. the people under their domain, less and less every day. operations enabled by coalitions for iraqi and democratic forces doing fighting, ability 5 million people living under i.s.i.s. are no longer living under i.s.i.s. more importantly, if you think where we were in 20 14-rbgs # refugees and immigrant flow,
hundreds of thousands of people fleeing out of iraq and syria, we've reversed that. in iraq, 2 million iraqis are in their homes in areas that used to be controlled by i.s.i.s. even in syria, the first six months of this yearbook, according to u.n. statistics, we've seen syrians beginning to return home. that's a remarkable trend line we want to continue. >> woodruff: why has this progress sped up? why has this happened this way in the last six months? >> well, we have made a couple of important changes. when president trump came into office, about three really key changes. number one and probably most importantly was the decision to delegate tactical decision-making authority to the commanders in the field, and that has made a key difference. >> woodruff: this is part of a new initiative under president trump? it's not part of a plan that was handed over by the obama administration? >> well, the rapid turn and decisionmaking is manager that's new and actually is causing us to act with great efficiency,
and seizing key opportunities. it makes it different if decisions can be made immediately to seize those types of opportunities as they emerge. >> woodruff: i saw a story today in buzzfeed which says the u.s. is much more deeply involved in syria in terms of supporting those local forces than most people realize. is that a fair assessment? >> i think we have been pretty transparent. we're supporting the syrian democratic forces. it's support that has grown in a battle few years ago, about 50,000 syrians in this force, about half kurd, half arab, and we are supporting and enabling them, special forces, advisors. we also have diplomats on the ground, something secretary tillerson spoke to at the state department, we have diplomats to help with humanitarian and stabilization assistance. we're not there to reconstruct
cities or do exercises, but we are humanitarian support. 300,000 syrians displaced from raqqa, have gone north. we are helping with yiewmtarian aid supporting the united nations. and stabilization, the elements to help return people to their homes. number one, clearing the streets open land minus, rubble removal, electricity, water, those things. we've tone the same thing in iraq and we've seen a remarkable trend of iraqis returning to their areas cleared of i.s.i.s. this is hard work, not glamorous but working. >> woodruff: you are answering questions i was planning to ask. thank you very much for anticipate thoagz. i want to ask you about the cease fire in syria that the u.s. and russia worked out. it's been pointed out iran was not part of that and by ignoring or leaving out iran's interest in the long run, that that's going to have to be taken into
consideration? >> well, the cease fire that was worked in the southwest, a very important initiative, actually, and another example of how some decisions have been delegated down. secretary tillerson asked us to get after this opportunity that emerged in the southwest and we've negotiated really over a period of months with king abdullah of jordan, the key driver of this, and with the russians throughout that southwest corner of the country, very important corner of the country, is a painstaking negotiation meter by meter mapping out what we call the line of contact between the syrian regime forces and syrian opposition forces. since then we're well into the third week now, the fighting is virtually stopped. it's really going quite well. i think the reason the cease fire is going well is because there was a detailed negotiation about what we call this line of contact. the russians have deployed some of their military police on the northern side of that line, really to deter violations from the syrian regime, and so far
it's going well. we're seeing people return to their homes in this area. so we want to make sure that continues. the presence of iranian forces, hezbollah, some militia forces in that part of the country is highly destabilizing and not only something we believe, it's also something the russians believe. so there is a broader aspect to this agreement, something that was very well worked out, we want to see stability in that area, which means setting hezbollah out of certain areas, getting iranian backed forces out of certain areas, that's something we continue to work on. >> woodruff: speaking of how complicated this is, it's not just iran but turkey is also a factor. we hear the turkish leader president erdogan talking about coming after the kurds inside of syria. of course, the u.s. has been working alongside, we know a number of turkish leaders said they think you have been too supportive of the kurds. how much of a concern is that to
you? >> so syria is one of the most complex challenges on the planet as we speak and obviously turkey is a critical ally. we are totally transparent with everything we do with the turks. we had a big decision to make in this administration, exactly how will we get i.s.i.s. out of raqqa. one option isuto work with the syrian democratic forces which we're doing, which is going quite well. the second option, quite frankly, was an option turkey would have supported but would have required 20,000 to 30,000 american troops, that's something and we're not going back to that model. the model we're using is more effective and sustainable. the coalition we lead as the united states, 73 members, the nature of every coalition, not every member sees eye to eye all the time, that's the nature of a coalition. sotouche, a member of the coalition, we have disagreements, work through them and i'm optimistic we'll work through the issues. >> woodruff: sounds like there are still disagreements with the
turks. >> we have disagreements with the, too and a lot of coalition partners but, as with any endeavor, not everybody sees eye to eye all the time which is why we continue to work through difficult issues. >> brett mcgurk, joining us from the state department, thank you very much. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: it was almost two months ago that president trump announced that he was pulling back on the opening to cuba begun in 2014 by president obama. mr. trump's restrictions are expected next month. but many cubans are concerned that their hopes for better relations with the u.s., and greater economic opportunity, will now be set back. from havana, miles o'brien reports on this latest phase of the cuban evolution. >> reporter: there's a building boom underway at the bay of pigs.
not far from the scene of the failed c.i.a.-backed attack to topple fidel castro in 1961, cubans are making room for an american invasion they have long yearned for, of tourists. >> we thought there were a lot of people coming. many people buy houses, many people made their business bigger. >> reporter: ana margarita perez de corcho is manager of a busy beachside "casa particular," or private house, that rents rooms to tourists. about 80% come from europe. business is good already, but when former president obama loosened restrictions on americans traveling to cuba in 2014, she and her neighbors were optimistic. >> we thought everything is going to be changed. we are going to earn a lot of money because americans are really good customers. >> reporter: but mr. obama's detente with cuba infuriated the
cuban american lobby in florida, and senator marco rubio in particular. >> the previous administration's easing of restrictions on travel and trade does not help the cuban people, they only enrich the cuban regime. >> reporter: so in june, president trump undid some key aspects of the obama cuba thaw. >> we will enforce the ban on tourism. we will enforce the embargo. we will take concrete steps to ensure that investments flow directly to the people. >> reporter: so called "people to people" educational visits will still be allowed so long as they are group tours, but this was bad news for many u.s. travel and tourism companies that see tremendous opportunity here. >> havana is the oldest metropolis in all the americas, first settled in the early
1500s. >> reporter: dan adams is a texas-based high end tour operator specializing in latin america. when the obama administration opened up diplomatic relations with cuba, he got to havana as fast as he could. >> the business was just going crazy. i mean, it was phenomenal what we were doing. >> reporter: we met in front of the newly opened five-star gran hotel manzana, operated by the swiss hotel chain kempinski. >> this place will be severely affected. we've had about 25 clients stay here. and should the executive order proceed as it's been submitted, we will not be permitted to have clients stay here. >> reporter: big hotels like this are typically 51% owned by the cuban military. and under the new trump rules, americans are prohibited from patronizing businesses owned by the regime. indeed, the lunch that dan adams and i shared beside the swanky
rooftop pool at the manzana will soon be illegal-- punishable by a big fine. >> within two weeks of the announcement that president trump gave in miami, we've lost over $250,000 in bookings. we've had corporations that have wanted to have meetings here. their legal departments have come back and said, "look, we just can't touch cuba right now." >> '57 chevy. >> reporter: adams and i hired a '57 chevy for ride down the famous malecon, in all its faded splendor. a trip back in time. cuba is an alluring destination and yet will be once again off limits to american tourists; with one key exception. >> the cruise lines are protected so you'll have several hundred people get off the ship and when the changes are made they'll be able to continue to do this exact same thing. >> reporter: the miami based
cruise lines have a lot of political influence in florida, and will not be affected by the trump travel ban. but their customers will be limited to short guided tours of havana. nicholas and rita crittenden are from ann arbor michigan. >> i've been here when i was in the military. i was on guantanamo bay. so i could never come out to visit the country side. we're always restricted in the base. now, i'm not. >> reporter: what do you think of the place, first of all? >> lovely. >> reporter: the tourists we met were dismayed by the trump policy. ellie and harvey diamond are from chatham, new jersey. >> it's really said because the country needs a lot of work. >> if we wanted the cubans to change and like us, the best way to do is trade, tourism. >> reporter: to see if that's true, i paid a visit to one of cuba's 500,000 private entrepreneurs. marta deus runs three
businesses: an accounting firm, a messenger service and a magazine focused on cuba's burgeoning private sector, which took root after the raul castro succeeded his brother fidel ten years ago. >> i believe the isolation is not good. i believe that we need to be open to united states because it's good for our businesses. >> reporter: many cuban entrepreneurs are women. deus and others wrote a letter to ivanka trump, a self proclaimed champion of women entrepreneurs in emerging nations. >> across the globe you hear the same thing from female entrepreneurs which is that they have a unique challenge accessing capital. >> reporter: they said "the restoration of relations between cuba and the united states has been key to the success of the sector. a setback in the relationship would bring with it the fall of many of our businesses and with this, the suffering of all those families that depend on them." they got no response.
the trump policy claims to target the oppressive cuban military dictatorship, but... >> if you are trying to punish them, you are punishing us also. sometimes i think they don't see that, but we are the most affected. >> reporter: so the time for punishment is over? >> yes, please. it's over. >> reporter: back at the bay of pigs, especially, you might expect to find lingering animosity aimed at americans, but to the contrary, they are anxious to turn the page. >> it's the time to move to a new era. that is my opinion to move to a new era and to forget things-- not to forget, but to live without that in the future. >> reporter: 58 years after the revolution that brought fidel castro to power, cubans are enjoying new economic freedom - and they want more.
there is no turning back to the old ways, at least on this side of the florida straits. for the pbs newshour i'm miles o'brien in havana. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: how smart phones are affecting an entire generation's mental health. and the syrian civil war told in fiction. but first, president trump and congress may be out of town, but there is still plenty of politics to digest. here to discuss this monday, our regulars, amy walter of the "cook political report" and tamara keith of npr. >> woodruff: welcome to both of you. it is "politics monday." not only that, as we know, it is the 200th day of the donald trump presidency.
tam, the president today tweeting up a storm while he's on vacation in new jersey about the senator from connecticut, senator blumenthal, when he ran for office later misleading about having served in vietnam. he was in the military but not in vietnam. the president today, not anywhere in u.s. history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like senator blumenthal, he told stories about how wraif brave he was and it was all a lie. he cried for forgiveness, now claims collusion. all because blumenthal said something about the russian investigation. how do we read this? >> this is a work vacation. part of working is tweeting at senator blumenthal. what senator blumenthal is doing is he's part of a bipartisan piece of legislation. he's one of the co-sponsors of a bill that would protect the
special counsel robert mueller from being fired by president trump. the trump administration now says the president doesn't intend to fire mueller, but president trump, seems, was watching cnn this morning when senator blumenthal was on cnn talking about this legislation, the russia investigation and prompted this tweet storm and then senator blumenthal was on cnn later and there was another tweet about senator blumenthal. >> woodruff: he continued this afternoon where he said he should take a nice long vacation in vietnam where he lied about his service. >> he reacts in realtime and tweets this out. when it's about russia, the president likes to tweet about this, and defending himself against people he believes are attacking him unfairly and promoting this what he calls a hoax about the russia investigation. but it just goes to show that his twitter account as we
discussed many times, instead of being used as a vehicle, to push a positive message which he did a couple of times to be fair this weekend about the economy and what the administration is doing, also gets overshadowed by these personal attacks on other individuals. >> president trump loves a good feud and he -- this is not the first time he's gone after senator blumenthal on twitter. >> woodruff: if it hadn't been for the blumenthal tweets, we might have spoken about the other where he says how strong his political base, is bigger and stronger than ever before, he says, in pennsylvania and iowa. he says the late polls are phony and fake, but a couple of late polls are showing among white voters his support is slipping just a little. >> the president is probably responding to the fact that poll after poll, including polls in the past who have shown the
president doing well are all showing him with historic lows for his presidency, 37%, 38% on average is not a good place to be as president. he is right, republican voters haven't abandoned him. if you talk to strategist and look what candidates are doing, they are tying themselves as close as they can to the president. there is a special election in alabama to replace jeff sessions and his senate seat. all the republicans there are doing i've thing to outtrump each other. so he hasn't lost his base. the question is what does it matter he has only his base? what is it getting him? in this case, not much legislatively, certainly not on repealing obamacare and on other big pieces of legislation, it's going to be critical to see if his support among his base will be able to deliver a debt ceiling increase in september, tax cues and a budgets. >> woodruff: all of which, tam, members are talking about,
thinking about as they go home for their vacations. but i do want to raise another issue that came up in a "new york times" story yesterday, jonathan martin writing about this in the times that there are republicans out there who are already looking to the next presidential election. we are as we said 200 days into this administration, and they're already including none other than vice president mike pence. now, they're saying he spent time with donors, he's been out to go to g.o.p. dinners, but the impression the article gave is that there's a lot of serious interest. >> and mike pence, the vice president, has a political action chitty of his own which is very unusual at this point. now, the pushback that came from pence through the official white house channels was strong. he doesn't deny the facts of the case that he has this political action committee that he's met with donors and been to iowa.
but they're saying he's just getting ready for 2020 as the vice presidential candidate. now, this is not unusual. there are a lot of republicans looking like they are potentially raising they profile and running for president if there is an opportunity to run for president but they're all careful because there is a republican president. >> woodruff: will trump one runin 2020 and who will position themselves if he's not only the ballot in 2020, but the other pies piece, will somebody primary donald trump, and it's been a while since we've had a sitting president primary, but in not so long ago -- he wasn't rare to see carter or pressure getting primaried. they didn't lose the primaries but led to defeat in the general
election. clearly the party was divided. i'm fascinated by a president not of the republican party but they have rallied around him. will they continue, especially p the 2018 elections don't go particularly well? >> woodruff: it just feels really early for this to be happening. >> incredibly early. but also you have a president, we've talked about this before, we've talked about the republican party calling him they which doesn't bleed closeness. >> woodruff: he's within criticizing republican senators for not producing on healthcare and passing russia sanctions. >> right, and that's something we haven't seen before either. we see members of a party trying to distance themselves from an unpopular president of the party. what we haven't seen is a president who's in control of both branches of government going after his own party. remember they need to run for reelection in 2018. if the president is attacking
them and they're getting hammered for not doing certain things, that's a tough place to be. >> woodruff: amy walter, tamera keith, thank you both. >> you're welcome. thank you, judy. >> woodruff: now, how our increasingly wireless world can constrict some of our social behavior, especially among the generation born after the internet. william brangham has that. >> brangham: the promise of social media, as the name implies, is that it connects us to each other, helps up become more social. but according to a recent story in "the atlantic" magazine, an increasing body of evidence shows that for many teenagers, greater use of social media means a far greater sense of isolation. according to the piece, teenagers now spend less time in the company of their friends, they date less, have less sex, and get less sleep than earlier generations. and with this growing isolation comes a rise in cyberbullying, feelings of being left out, and higher rates of depression and
suicide. the piece is called "have smartphones destroyed a generation?", and its written by author and professor of psychology jean twenge. she joins me now from san diego. >> brangham: welcome to the "newshour". >> thank you. >> brangham: briefly please lay out the case you're making in this piece that smartphones and social media have had a detrimental effect on the younger generation. >> i've done work on the generational differences for a long time and around 2011, 2012, i started to see negative signs in the data, more depression, more anxiety, the suicide rate was starting to go up again, and i've realized that these are some sudden big changes. very rare to see such sudden changes in this type of work. i realize 2012, according to the data, is the year when the majority of americans had a
smartphone. so that made me wonder if that might have something to do with it. i looked at the big data sets with teenagers and found those who spent more time online, social media or electronic devices were more likely to be depressed, be anxious and have risk that' factors for suicide. >> you writes the rates of teen depression and suicide skyrocketed since 2011. what is the evidence these things are caused by access or heavy use of these devices? >> that's always the question. the research i did was correlational. there's a link between the two. proving causation, you need a different method. fortunately, there have been other researchers who have used those types of methods. there are two studies that looked for adults over time and seeing that when using social media more, the psychological
well being go down and mental health problems increase. the facebook experience, people by a flip of the coin either continued their normal facebook use or gave up facebook for a week. those who gave up facebook for a week at the end of the week were less lonely, less depressed and happier. so those studies point strongly in that direction that the causal arrow moves from social media andcine stm to lowered psychological well being. >> and you feel confident this effect could not be caused by other factors in society -- the economy, employment, access to healthcare -- so many other things that could drive our sense of well being? >> yeah, so i looked at the economy because i wondered about that, too. of course, the great recession had a big effect on people, unemployment really went up. the pattern for unemployment, a good indicator for the strength of the economy, unemployment peaked out at 2010 and then went
down and is now quite low. but mental health goes in the other direction, doesn't do a lot till 2011, 2012, then shoots upward. to unemployment doesn't seem to be the answer, complete economic factors. other factors, it's hard to nail them down, but access to healthcare, probably went the other direction as well at that time. it's difficult to identify any other big social change that happened around 2011 or 2012 that might be linked to mental health other than smartphones. >> what about this reaction that i've seen some people making online that this is just yet another generational freakout, that this is like we did with violent video games or helicopter parenting or marijuana or rocken roughing, that we are just flipping out because we as an older generation don't appreciate what this technology really is? >> as a generation researcher, i've heard the argument it's just old people complaining
about the young generation, doesn't that always happen? i've always found the argument confusing because i don't care what older people say, i'm more interested in what young people say now compared to what young people said ten or 20 years ago, so comparing the generations at the same age and we're listening to young people and what they're experiencing and feeling. so i'm not sure that argument is relevant. >> some of the things you do cite, driving res, drinking less, not getting killed as often in cars, not getting pregnant as often, those don't sound like necessarily terribly bad things to me as a parent. >> they're not. so this trend of growing up slowly, the things you mentioned about driving, also working less, less likely to have sex and get pregnant as teenagers, less likely to drive, these are tradeoffs. 18-year-olds look more thick, like, 15-year-olds did five to ten years ago. teens are growing up more
slowly. the activities children do, adults don't, they're less likely to do those things. some of those people might think are good like fewer teens having sex and getting pregnant. others are driving less, working less, not a matter of good or bad, it's that all of these trends come together with them growing up more slowly, taking longer to take on the roles, both the responsibilities and the pleasures, of adulthood. >> brangham: your piece also says some of the more negative effects fall harder observe girls than boys and i'm curious why you think that is. >> yeah, so a lot of the mental health trends are more acute for girls than boys. the increases have been much larger for girls than for boys. my best guess is that's because girls spend more time with their smartphones and more time on social media and their interactions on social media are
often more negative, so that might be one of the reasons why that mental health trend is more negative for girls. >> last question. if you were advising a parent who is trying to figure out a good mix of allowing their child to have this technology but try to moderate it in some way, what kind of advice would you give them? >> well, i think first, put off getting teen a smartphone as long as you can. sixth grade is common, even fourth grade. i have a fourth grader becoming a fifth grader, she said half the kids in her class have a phone. the mental health effects are stronger for the younger kids. put that off. if you feel like they need it for taking the bus, get them a flip phone. once there are smartphone, there are apps you can regulate how many hours a day they're using the phone and if they're using it at night because we want them to get a good night's sleep. we found an hour, hour and a half a day of use opportunity
seem to have negative health effects, but two hours and beyond are when we start to see the effects and most teens are on their phones a lot more than two hours a day. >> jeannjean twenge, really provocative piece, thank you for being here. >> thank you. >> woodruff: stay with us, all week we will be closing the show with new additions to our newshour bookshelf. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a chance to offer your support, which helps keep programs like ours on the air. >> woodruff: for those stations still with us, we take a look at how the world's second most populous country is trying to deal with pollution. special correspondent fred de sam lazaro looks at how delhi, india, is trying to cope with
tons of municipal waste in a city of more than 20 million. this report originally aired in april. >> reporter: in india's capital, new housing sprawls as far as the eye can see: a symbol of the world's fastest growing major economy. there also are towering symbols of the environmental cost of all this. just look for the birds. under thousands of hovering vultures are the city's landfills. this is one of three-covering some 70 acres, in a low income area called ghazipur. i'm standing near the top of the ghazipur landfill, now 10 million tons of municipal waste and more than ten stories high, towering over the skyline behind me. all around are trucks that add 2,000 tons of fresh unsorted wastes, every day. >> you can't dump more in that mountain there.
>> reporter: mahesh babu heads an infrastructure company that's been contracted by delhi's government to tackle a trash problem that he says is a crisis at many levels >> keep in mind delhi is in the seismic zone. >> reporter: so if you have an earthquake you will have that mound sliding down. and even without an earthquake, he says the festering garbage is toxic. methane from the dump explodes daily in dozens of spontaneous fires that spew toxins into the air, while a stew of heavy metals and organic and inorganic pollutants washes into the soil when it rains, and into delhi's main river >> this is the leachate. >> reporter: babu showed me a sample of this so called a leachate. >> what we do is basically treat it so that it removes all the toxic impurities. >> reporter: but of the millions of tons that are not treated
yet, this is the stuff that's going into the yamuna river. the centerpiece of his company's approach is a year-old $60 million power plant that converts waste to energy, which is sent to the electric grid. it is ramping up to burn 2,000 tons of trash per day, which means the city may not need to add to the landfill-- though it won't immediately reduce its size. >> india has close to 50 cities that are more than a million people. so waste energy of this kind makes a lot of sense in those kind of settings. >> reporter: this isn't the first attempt at creating energy from waste and previous ones haven't worked, says delhi based environmental activist sunita narain. >> the key reason for failure has been the inability to sort and segregate the waste which has then been used for incineration. now if you don't sort and segregate adequately you both have very toxic emissions that
come out of the plant but you also have very poor quality of fuel that is generated. >> reporter: ideally that kind of sorting should happen in homes: organics, metals, paper and plastics. but narain says there's a cultural hurdle: waste has been the domain of people on the lowest rung of the age old social hierarchy or caste system, not the middle classes who generate most of it. >> we are a caste-ist society and we would like to treat waste as somebody else's problem. you get it out of your home and then somebody else deals with it. the state is never asking us to segregate. it doesn't put the onus and the responsibility on households. >> reporter: instead, the government pays a higher rate for electricity coming out of the ghazipur plant so workers can be hired to segregate the refuse when it gets here. but once sorted, babu says there's plenty of added value. >> we're looking at converting biodegradables into fertilizer,
the combustibles we convert into so the idea is really to glean as much value as possible like this. >> reporter: in time, he says, there are plans by his company and others to chip away at the landfill and actually reduce its size, re-purposing some of the waste as road construction material, for instance. at the plant, combustible trash is dried and incinerated, babu says the effluent passes through sophisticated filters and scrubbers. >> the particulate matter is less than 10 parts per million which is the standard in europe. because we're located so close to the houses here the goal is to ensure that whatever comes out of our stack is clean and pure. >> reporter: neighbors invited to the power plant say they've already seen an improvement since it became operational-- a massive buffer between their homes and the dumpsite. >> ( translated ): before, you got out of the house and looked at a huge pile of garbage. now we look at this.
>> ( translated ): it really was unbearable during the rainy season. it was so smelly and dirty. now we can even have the door open and sit outside. >> reporter: but for another nearby community the power plant represents a threat. hundreds of so-called rag pickers forage for plastics, glass and any reusable items they can sell, risking their health and the wrath of authorities to eke out a livelihood. they're not legally supposed to be here. for them, the company has set up a pre-school and an arts and craft center. the petals of discarded flowers from a nearby florist are used to create greeting cards and other artwork. mahesh babu hopes more rag pickers will choose the new alternative, he says helping these marginalized people is in his company's interest. >> we believe that unless they are mainstreamed, the the mainstream project itself so
they have a sense of ownership. otherwise we are a thriving democracy so we have a number of people who will try to bring the project to a halt but if they are part of the project the chances of success increase exponentially. >> reporter: in the long term, he and environmentalist narain agree that projects like this will have to succeed and that will require a broad cultural shift. the country has no more room to bury its trash, babu says, and runs of risk of being buried by it. for the pbs newshour, this is fred de sam lazaro in new delhi. >> woodruff: now, we kick off a week of books with a unique take on the conflicting loyalties and violence that define one of the most dangerous parts of today's middle east. jeffrey brown has this new addition to the newshour bookshelf. >> brown: the setting is the border zone between turkey and syria, the upheavals and horrors of the syrian civil war as they play out for a group of individuals. the stuff of today's headlines
given fictional life in the new novel, dark at the crossing. author elliot ackerman lives in istanbul and has reported from this area. he's a former marine who served in iraq and in afghanistan, the setting of his first novel, "green on blue." and welcome to you. >> thanks for having me. >> brown: i mentioned that this is an area that you've come to know but where does the idea for a novel come in and which came first, the novel or getting to know this world? >> i think something i'm interested in my writing is often political themes. but when we look at a lot of these political issues, whether it's what's going on in afghanistan or the wars in syria, the wars in iraq-- i mean they're incredibly complex. and in some ways almost impenetrable. and i think one of the great things you can do with story and particularly with the novel and character is you can take a lot of these themes that are central to what's going on in the world but really distill them down into a single narrative and so that's why i try to do in my fiction. >> brown: you got the obvious in-your-face drama of war, and you've got the geopolitical
themes, right, but you've got to give it a personal face. so how do you do that? >> i think you do it with character. and you know this novel, dark at the crossing, is really about three characters. the first is a man named haris abadi, who is an iraqi american. he's really sort of someone of two identities, born in iraq but naturalized american who, for a variety of reasons, wants to go fight in syria. his efforts are stymied and he meets up with a couple of syrian refugees-- a man and wife named amir and daphne and you sort of learn their stories and the stories of their loss. they lost a daughter in the revolution. and so what you see is a lot of these geopolitical themes kind of orbiting around these characters who are engaged, you know, in a pretty intimate narrative amongst the three of them. >> brown: are these based on people that you met, in some ways? are you taking notes from your work and thinking, ¡oh here's where i can build a character or a story'? >> it's more, you know, when you're having an experience
there's sort of questions that come up and themes that come up when you're having those experiences. and then, once you sort of have bored down on the story and the themes of the i think i work in a tradition that used to be more dominant but maybe is less so now which is of novelists who were journalists. >> brown: right. >> in the 20th century we had a lot of that. we don't have that as much now, largely probably due to changes in how journalism works. but often times when i'm out there, you know, these do seem like great places to set stories. >> brown: the main character you talked about, haris, as you said, is in some ways-- he's i mean, he served as an interpreter in the u.s. forces in iraq. and he decides to come back. why? >> you know, i think what's interesting about war in general is, on the one hand, it can be a almost a redemptive act. people will go to fight seeking some sort of redemption. but it could also be sort of a very dark, nihilistic act. and sort of those two threads are kind of splitting haris. he doesn't know why he's necessarily going to fight. he just knows he's drawn back to the war.
and part of that also comes from the fact that he's this man of two identities. he was an iraqi who collaborated with the americans during the war and then became an american citizen but he feels conflicted between his american identity and his identity as an iraqi. and so he's someone who resettles in the u.s., doesn't necessarily find the life he wants there but now that he's left iraq he can't go back and so he is seeking, in some ways, we don't know whether it's redemption or almost a sort of self-destruction in his desire to go fight in syria. you're giving voices to people we don't often hear from, including i.s.i.s. fighters, the kind of hardline voice we know is out there but we don't see represented in fiction. you're humanizing them in some way. >> heaven forbid you humanize these people. >> brown: and i think that's-- just because you're trying to humanize someone or you're
trying to understand them i think is very different-- we often conflate that with agreeing with somebody. and i think that's one of the great things fiction has the power to do, you know, it allows you to create a character-- a character you might find despicable or with whom you might not agree but then give them the power to basically make their cases as though they were making it before god. and so, you know, specific to some of the journalism that i did, i met isis fighters and spoke with them and listened to them explain their beliefs and some of their beliefs and some of the reasons why they're fighting makes sense. i mean, if you're a sunni, if you are a sunni in that part of the world right now, you know, you're under threat politically from a whole bunch of various actors. and so talking to those people doesn't necearily mean that i agreed with everything but i could definitely start to understand, at least, their viewpoint. and then as a novelist i wanted to take what i had learned and you know, put it into a story. >> brown: and once you're start so do you set all that aside or do you keep one eye on the ongoing events? >> well, i think by the nature
of what i do as a journalist i'm still following these events as they're ongoing. but the story is much more particular novel set at a very specific time in syria's war, it's the time when really, in late 2013 when the revolution has almost-- it's become very evident that it's failed and now, you know, as one of the characters in the book says,¡ the revolution is over so the war can begin.' and so it's that sort of moment where it's falling apart, so other events don't necessarily affect it as much >> brown: the book is "dark at the crossing." elliot ackerman, thanks very much. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: on the newshour online right now, despite turmoil around the world, financial markets have been marching forward, with the dow closing above 22,000 for the first time last week. a columnist for our making sense series examines whether there is a disconnect between the markets and global instability. that and more is on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in iraq and the afghanistan conflict.
we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are three more. >> woodruff: and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> rose: welcome to the program. we begin with a new film from director kathryn bigelow. it is called "detroit" and tells the story to have 1967 detroit riots at the algiers motel. >> the rider next -- the writerrer next to me whose work is extraordinary came to me with a story about the detroit uprising? 1967, a true story of a true cyme set in the middle of it in the algiers motel, and it was simply put an execution, and a portrait of police brutality and racial injustice that was extremely moving, very timely and topical. about the same time he told me the story, the decision not to