tv PBS News Hour PBS December 26, 2017 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: russian intelligence operations continue to influence u.s. opinion. then, the history of boston's longstanding racial problems, and how they permeate everyday life there. and, the woman leading tap dancing's renaissance talks history, tradition and how tapping evolves. >> so inside of this tradition, which i want to always honor, you have to define yourself, and define your voice as authentically yours. >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
>> bnsf railway. >> 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. >> sreenivasan: a record-setting blizzard has blanketed much of the northeastern u.s. in snow, while parts of the midwest bundled up today for brutal wind chills. john yang has our report. >> yang: the joys of a picturesque white christmas quickly gave way to the reality of digging out in sub-zero temperatures. wind chill warnings or advisories were issued for parts of nearly a dozen states, from north dakota to maine. >> it's cold; cold is cold and you've just got to adjust.
>> yang: erie, pennsylvania recorded its snowiest christmas day ever: 34 inches of snow. overnight, another 19 inches on top of that. farther north, the wintry weather snarled post-holiday travels. snow blanketed roadways in buffalo, new york, making for hazardous whiteout driving conditions. at boston's logan international airport, ice and strong winds caused delays. a jetblue plane made a treacherous landing there overnight, skidding on an icy runway. >> we were straight, and all of a sudden we started fishtailing. and, yeah, it started getting rough. >> yang: passengers were shaken, but no injuries were reported. in chicago, some were willing to brave the freezing temperatures for a little winter fun. >> we're very happy that it snowed. it is cold, but when you're skating, it's not so bad. >> yang: some heading back to work were prepared. >> i got several layers on, about three pairs of socks, gloves, mittens.
i mean, the works! >> hot coffee? >> yes, plenty of that! >> yang: there's no rest for the winter-weary. forecasters say the bitter temperatures across much of the midwest and northeast will likely last through the week. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> sreenivasan: three major cities are suing the department of defense for failing to report service members who shouldn't be allowed to buy guns. new york city, san francisco and philadelphia filed the federal lawsuit today. the d.o.d. has acknowledged the gunman in last month's texas church massacre, a former u.s. air force member, was able to buy several guns, after it failed to enter his domestic assault charge into the f.b.i.'s background check system. the justice department's inspector general says the agency has "systemic" problems with how it handles sexual harassment complaints. the "washington post" reported that d.o.j. employees who acted improperly, including senior officials, often received little punishment. some were even given bonuses or
awards. the agency said it's looking into those issues, and will respond to the inspector general with recommendations. the british royal navy said it had to escort a russian warship through the north sea, as it neared the united kingdom's territorial waters. the incident happened on christmas day, amid a recent surge in russian vessels in that area, including intelligence- gathering ships. british officials warned the russian ships could cut internet cables under the sea, to disrupt communications. in peru, there's new fallout after the pardoning of an ailing former president, convicted of corruption and human rights abuses. hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police overnight in lima. they held images of people killed in a bloody counter- insurgency campaign, led by alberto fujimori in the 1990s. speaking from his hospital bed today, the 79-year-old fujimori made his first public apology for the crimes. >> ( translated ): i am aware
that what resulted during my administration, on one hand, was well-received, but i recognize that on the other hand, i have also disappointed other compatriots. to them, i ask forgiveness from the bottom of my heart. >> sreenivasan: peru's current president, pedro pablo kuczynski, granted fujimori a medical pardon sunday. he had only served half of his 25-year-sentence. back in this country, retailers had their best holiday shopping season since 2011. a new report out today from mastercard said year-end retail sales jumped nearly 5% over last year. and on wall street, stocks took a downward turn, dragged down by losses in the technology sector. the dow jones industrial average lost nearly eight points to close at 24,746. the nasdaq fell 23 points, and the s&p 500 slipped nearly three. still to come on the newshour: "race matters." the "boston globe" investigates how racism still plagues the city. does god have a gender? the church of sweden moves to stop referring to god as male.
and much more. >> sreenivasan: russian interference in the 2016 u.s. presidential election is currently the subject of several investigations. but, is russia still mounting operations in the united states? according to former c.i.a. deputy director michael morell, and former congressman mike rogers, the answer is yes. they write in a "washington post" op-ed that "russia's information operations in the united states continued after the election, and they continue to this day." we get two perspectives this. laura rosenberger, director of the alliance for securing democracy, a program of the german marshall fund, that tracks russian influence operations. a foreign policy advisor to the most recent hillary clinton presidential campaign, laura also served in the state department during the george w. bush and barack obama administrations. and, john sipher.
he's a 28-year veteran of the c.i.. who was based in moscow in the 1990s. he subsequently oversaw operations against russian intelligence services. he's now with the consulting firm crosslead. laura rosenberger, let's start with you. you've built tools to track these different c's. what have you found? >> we've built aing too that tracks a network of russian-linked twitter accounts that are pushing divisive content. what we see is a lot of what the messaging is these accounts are pushing is really about trying to turn americans against one another, playing on existing divisions in our society, but trying to pull us to extreme, so it's playing on racial divisions, political divisions, issues like immigration that are politically hot and trying to undermine the fabric of our democracy by pulling us apart at the seams. >> sreenivasan: there is a narrative that will say this is all fake. the administration will say, hey, you were a supporter of hillary clinton, this is a part
of a cob spiersy against the president. >> we see a lot of the content push has nothing to do with the president or political party. we see, in fact, there was a "the washington post" article today that talked as a fake persona the russians have apparently created that is trying to push content on the left and is really trying to insen wait themselves on that side of the political spectrum. this is not an issue about party. this intelligence community assessment was unanimous in is it's conclusion about russian operations and i think it's really important that we think about this in terms of how it's trying to attack our democracy and really is about, you know, could be turned against any politician at any point in time when the russians deem, you know, it's useful for them to attack that person. >> sreenivasan: john sipher, what do the russians gain by doing this? >> well, i think part of the upon is we tend to look at this through solely a domestic lens. the trump administration looks
at it as some sort of attack against them but, frankly, those of us who have been following the russians realize they're the ones who inconsistent here. they goal all along is to harm the united states, sow confusion and hurt democracy, so they have been consistent in what they have been trying to do. there is tune i'm in why things came together in 2016 in the election that made us think it was about clinton versus trump, but it's about hurting the united states. so it's not surprising they continue to go and do these things, and it's also not surprising because there's been nothing to push back against them to make them stop doing this. it's successful tore them, it's an asymmetric form of war fair that cheap and easy and a zero sum game for them and anything that hurts them helps them. >> sreenivasan: give us of example of how the russians have been engaged in the conversations in the united states. >> folks may remember the ongoing debate about 1/ n.f.l.
players kneeling in games and they are protesting police violence against unfarmed african-american men. what we've seen is, when there is this debate that erupted around the protests and whether it was appropriate, this is a real debate happening in american society, real issues americans are contending with, but the networks we track jumped on that, sought to amplify the debate around it, but i think most importantly actually injected very hateful, extreme, sometimes conspirtorial content into the conversation, trying to use abopportunity of people who were heated or emotional about an issue, following content of people who were watching the debates happen, agreeing with people who agree with their underlying political views, but
these informational networks were injecting this extreme content into this conversation, trying to pull people at the scenes or sow further division. >> sreenivasan: john sipher, are we talking about someone trying to rip apart our fabric of society? does this cast american democracy or free speech in a negative light to the rest of the world? >> in fact, it does. a good active measures campaign is what this covert prop imanda, russians call it, have been going for decades. it's not about creating them out of whole cloth but finding weaknesses, tissues in society and stoking them and pushing this. so a lot of this is about our problems, our hyperpartisan nature and dysfunction and the only way we'll sov these things is look at them as a national security issue, not as a domestic political issue. work with allies in in your opinion that have faced this a long time and had more success with this, working with the tech
companies in a more proactive way. i think the snowden revelations for a few years ago severed the relationship and we need to rebuild those things back here, and then we need to learn more about cyber deterrence and defense. it's something we have been fighting with for a long time and never come to terms with how to deal with the issues. >> sreenivasan: didn't the obama administration as part of the 11th hour tactic say here are a number of the things the c.i.a. can do, take offensive measures, handed it off to the trump administration, right? >> yes, and there has been good reporting from "the washington post" and others on this. there's a lot of hammering. it's understandable, these are hard issues, fighting propaganda with your own or cyber tools is an issue we haven't had to deal with and don't know what the ramifications are. how does that play back upon us? but so far the obama administration and the trump administration have not found a way to make it clear to mr. putin that there is a price
to pay for this. as long as there's not a price to pay that threatens something he cares about we think is going to continue. so this is a national security issue this administration will have to deal with for years to come. >> sreenivasan: john sipher, laura rosenberger, thank you both. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: race in america permeated much of the news this past year, whether it was the deadly violence in charlottesville, police shootings, criminal justice and the tone of our politics, taking a knee in sports, or grappling with race in public memorials and history. just before the end of the year, a major investigative series looked at the different ways that race is coloring economic, political and cultural life in boston. william brangham gets a sense of that, as part of our continuing coverage of "race matters." >> brangham: boston is famous for a lot of great things, but it also has had a reputation as
one of the most racist cities in america. that's due in part to horrible images from the 1960s and '70s, when white bostonians violently protested against the desegregation of the city's public schools. fast forward to this past may, when red sox fans hurled repeated racist insults at visiting baltimore oriole adam jones, prompting widespread criticism and an apology from the team. so does the city deserve this reputation? that's the difficult question that the "boston globe" spotlight investigative team set out to answer. >> is boston racist? >> brangham: in a new seven-part series, reporters examined racial disparities in the city's famed universities, its hospitals, even the city's halls of power. the series is called "boston. racism. image. reality."
and i'm joined now by one of the reporters on that series, akilah johnson. welcome to the newshour. >> thanks for having me. >> brangham: so, the very first line of your series reads, "google the phrase 'most racist city,' and boston pops up more than any other place, time and time again." so you guys set out to examine whether or not boston in fact deserves this racist reputation. how do you go about measuring racism? >> well, i mean, you tackle it from a variety of different angles, right? so, in addition to anecdotal kind of evidence, the stories that people tell of their lived experience, you begin to kind of look at different data streams that really talk about the disparities in wealth and power in the city. so we're looking at, you know, who sits in the seats of power, in corporate boardrooms, and college classrooms, or looking at admissions patterns at hospitals. just kind of a wide variety of things that can really kind of provide some data-driven analysis to this issue. >> brangham: you said in your series, documents in a lot of
those places, and hospitals and schools and boardrooms, just as you describe, that blacks are largely devoid from that pool. and how much of that do you think is because boston has a relatively small, as a percentage, black population? >> you know, demographics are something that we kind of dealt with head on, right? because a lot of people like to say that demographics are destiny, and in fact, boston does have a relatively small black population, particularly in the greater boston area. but when you begin to kind of compare that with some other cities that have smaller black populations, and you see that you can't solely pen, kind of, the lack of political clout to the demographics of the city. >> brangham: there are so many striking facts in this series. and here's one that i had to read a couple of times to myself just because i couldn't quite take it onboard fully. it says african americans in greater boston have a median net worth of just $8. that means they owe almost as much as the combined value of what they own, be it a car or
house or savings. i mean, it is just an eye- popping statistic, and later you compare that to the median income of whites, which is almost a quarter of a million dollars. how do you explain that disparity? >> it was so eye-popping, we actually had a right, kind of a follow-up sidebar, letting people know it wasn't a typo. because so many readers thought that we had created this egregious error, and a serious, kind of a high-profile as this. but you know that number comes from a study by the federal reserve bank of boston, as well as duke university, that was really looking at income disparities and wealth disparities in communities of color. so it was a, boston was part of a five-city study and of the five cities, both in the african american community had the lowest median net worth. >> brangham: it really is. it just it took me several times to get through that. you also did an experiment using craigslist to test racial attitudes in housing. can you explain how that went and what you found? >> so, we did a craigslist study used and modeled off of a lot of
what academics do. and they do kind of housing discrimination studies. and so we sent emails with what would traditionally be considered black-sounding names, and emails with what would condition traditionally be considered white-sounding names, to different landlords in the area, saying "hey, we want to see this apartment, we saw it listed on craigslist. is it available?" and then we track the various responses that the email, the emails received. and by and large what we found is that emails with black- sounding names were either ignored, not responded to, or that people were more willing to show apartments to emails to those folks and emailed with white-sounding names. >> brangham: you described that one of the important things you're talking about, not just all of the different data sets that you've compiled, but also the lived experiences of african americans boston. are there particular stories that stand out to you, that seem emblematic of the problem you guys were trying to describe? >> i mean, i think one of the stories that kind of stands out is a follow-up story that we actually did, that has to do with a picture that we've put on the front page that led off the series, and also one of the main, kind of a centerpiece photo, of the day-one story.
and it has to do with a gentleman at the red sox game, at a red sox game when the red sox were playing the yankees, and he is by and large the only black face in that section, which really kind of helps illustrate and represents a sense of isolation that middle class and professional class black folks feel in boston. one of the common refrains we heard is that, kind of the higher up the professional ladder you go, the whiter your world becomes. my son and my father-in-law and i all had tickets to a game at fenway, and it was for the day after the adam jones incident, and a young woman sang the national anthem. she was from kenya. when she finished, the white fan on the left-hand side of me leaned over to me and said, she sang too long and end-worded it up -- n-worded it up. i said what did you say?
he we repeated it and said, yeah, that's right, and i stand by it. he was very proud of himself. i went and reported it and they kicked the guy out. at first, i was confused why he would say this to me because it seemed obvious to me i was there with my biracial son and my black father-in-law, but then later as i thought about it, i thought he kind of maybe pointedly did say it to me the night after the whole jones incident as a way of saying, i can say whatever i want to. >> if i had been there, i would have asked, are you saying that because they are sitting there? because i think sometimes throwing people's racism back at them makes them really uncomfortable. actually, no one wants to be called a racist, and i assume he wouldn't want to actually say he was a racist. >> you could read your series as a fairly damning indictment of the way the structure of the city of boston is organized and these patterns that have been going on for decades.
what is the reaction been in boston to this series so far? >> or you could read the series as a mirror that we're holding up for everybody in the city of boston to look at, including the folks at the "boston globe," who realized it was time for us to kind of take stock in house of what our diversity issues looks like. and so, by and large, a lot of the feedback that we've received from folks in positions of power is just that, that the series really kind of made them stop and say, "we talk a good game, and we've talked about this for years, but we've-- we need to do better and we need to do more." >> brangham: how hopeful are you that that actually will happen? >> you know, now it's time to see where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. and so, the goal is to hold people accountable. the community is very engaged and involved, so the hope is that they begin to hold people in positions of power accountable for the promises that they make to improve life within the city's black community. >> brangham: it's really a fascinating series. akilah johnson of the "boston
globe," thank you very much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: "america addicted." a high school for students battling opioid abuse. from the "newshour bookshelf," the memoir of a young american living in russia during the 1950s. and, new steps-- a dancer showcasing a fresh take on an old art form. but first, as churchgoers in sweden have been celebrating this christmas season, they are also preparing for a major change in how they worship. the church of sweden recently decided its clergy should stop describing god in masculine terms, such as "he," and instead use more general-neutral language. this change has divided the country, and as special correspondent malcolm brabant reports, it's an issue that will
resonate beyond scandinavia. >> reporter: the weight of history resonates deeply at lund cathedral. its foundations were laid 900 years ago, making it almost half the age of christianity itself. now, the god worshipped here and in thousands of other lutheran churches is getting a 21st century, swedish upgrade. cathedral chaplain lena sjostrand: >> we have a consciousness about gender questions, which is stronger in our time than it has been before. and of course this has had an impact on theology and on church life and pastoral reflection and i think we should have that. >> reporter: in six months time, the won the name of the father, son and holy spirit," used at the start of the service, will disappear from churches which prefer to adopt the gender-neutral phrase of "in god, the trinity's name." >> i don't think that god is a
big mother or a father sitting up in the sky. i don't think that makes sense. god is much bigger than this. >> reporter: but here, in western sweden, there's a conviction that the new gender- neutral introduction undermines the entire service. this is a traditionally conservative region. mikael lowegren will resist pressure from the church hierarchy to replace masculine terms such as "lord" and "he" with less gender-specific language. >> you don't play lightly with these things. you don't play lightly with the liturgy. you don't play lightly with the creed of the church. being part of a tradition means that you come from somewhere. you have a history. and that forms you and makes you what you are. and if you lose contact with your roots, you run the risk of losing your own identity.
>> reporter: this from where the winds of change are blowing; uppsala, north of stockholm, the seat of the swedish church. archbishop antje jackelen is the primate of the swedish church, and leader of more than six million registered lutherans. >> we are not going to give up our tradition. but in the tradition, there are all these elements already present. like julian of norwich in the 14th century said, "as sure as god is our father, god is our mother." so, i mena, this is not something that's newly invented. it's part of our tradition. >> reporter: sweden is a nation which prides itself on being at the cutting edge of social change. and the desire to use gender- neutral terminology is stronger here than in many other countries. in the past years, sweden has introduced a gender-neutral personal pronoun as an alternative to "he" or "she" in certain circumstances. the church insists it won't go that far, but critics fear that
the new pronoun will be introduced in the future. the church also says it won't force priests to drop the traditional language, although the primate has made it clear that the changes are preferable. >> i think it's a mistake because you can't fool anybody with this gender-neutral language. you can only fool yourself. you are your own enemy. >> reporter: christer pahlmblad is an associate professor of practical theology at lund university in southern sweden. >> if the society in sweden is so secularized, then the church instead should sharpen its own instrument. and be very clear about what the christian faith is. otherwise, no one will know, in the end, what the church is about. >> reporter: palmblad blames increased party political influence within the ruling body, the synod, for what he believes is a potential disaster. >> if the political party are nominating persons for the
synod, then of course they are nominating persons not because of their competence in these matters. >> reporter: back in uppsala, the church primate insists the changes are based on a genuine interpretation of religious history, not political correctness. >> god is beyond our human categories of gender. it's actually already in the prophet isaiah in the 11th chapter. god says, "i am god, and not human or a man." god is beyond that, and we need help to remind us of that. because due to the restrictions of our brains, we tend to think of god in very human categories. we are not worshipping political correctness, we are worshipping god the creator of the universe. >> reporter: so what do swedes make of changes that challenge a
perception of god that has existed for more than 2,000 years? >> i think that this community and the whole world has been very male-dominated for a long time, and i think it's very important that the female gender gets more space in all communities throughout the country and the world. >> i'm a very conservative person, so most of it i don't like. i'm used to the old way. >> if you do make an image of god-- which is typically a problematic thing to do because it's also supposed to be something transcendent, talking about that which you cannot really know. but if you have to make symbols of god, then you should make them in such a way that they are accessible to as many people as possible.
>> reporter: the chaplain of lund cathedral believes that the church's patriarchal nature has had a negative effect on some women. >> i've met women who have had this experience that, my life is not included in what you are doing in the church. and that is of course very sad. and we have to-- as we find other stories in our tradition, we have to broaden it, make it wider, so both male and female can relate to faith. >> reporter: but these arguments fail to move pastor mikael lowegren. >> god being the father means he has a son. >> reporter: but that's the way that history teaches us, but there's no guarantee that god is male. god could be female? >> you could use female imagery referring to god. but the name of the god is what god has revealed. it's the father, the son and the holy spirit. >> reporter: in common with more liberal protestant denominations, the swedish
church promotes the ordination of women, a trend resisted by the powerful catholic and eastern orthodox faiths. so will these changes spread beyond sweden? anders ellebk madsen is the faith editor of scandinavia's main religious newspaper, the christian daily. >> 30 years ago, if you would have asked me if homosexual weddings would have been possible in 30 years, i would have said absolutely not. so i don't know what will happen in one or two generations, but right now it's hard for me to see this spreading as fast. >> reporter: supporters of the changes claim they are not intended to resurrect declining church attendances. nevertheless, sweden has become a testing ground for whether a gender-neutral god attracts worshippers or drives them away. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant in sweden.
>> sreenivasan: this week, we are taking a second look at our own series about the impact of the opioids crisis, "america addicted." overall, drug use has been down among teenagers, but mortality is rising, and that is leading many to seek out new treatment options for their children. the newshour's pamela kirkland reported on how one so-called recovery school in indianapolis is giving new hope to students battling addiction. it's part of our weekly "making the grade" look at education. >> i went from using downers, mixing alcohol and xanax. >> oxys. percs. >> then i would use uppers, like cocaine. >> some meth and some heroin. >> i would just use anything i could possibly use. >> life just went on that downhill spiral, and i let it take me there. >> reporter: francie wilcox and nick shirkey are two of about 30 students who attend hope academy in indianapolis. all of them have struggled with substance abuse.
>> thank you for taking part in today's circle, and your willingness to support the community. >> reporter: twice a week, their day starts here, in a circle modeled after the teachings of alcoholics anonymous. students lay out their goals... >> what can life be like when i'm clean? >> reporter: ...their regrets... >> i felt bad for all the things that i have done to people. >> reporter: ...and their sobriety dates. >> my clean date is july 17. >> reporter: hope academy is one of nearly 40 recovery schools in the u.s. when it comes to kicking a drug habit, experts say simply being young is a major hurdle. only half of u.s. treatment centers even accept teenagers. that's why recovery schools like these are becoming increasingly popular. >> i get a call probably once a week from somebody, saying, "hey, i saw your school, we really want to start a school, how did you start that, can you help us?" >> reporter: in 2006, rachelle gardner started hope academy to help students who have fallen behind because of addiction. >> our young are pretty normal kids.
they got the same issues. they just so happen to have this disease along with it. and we look at it as a disease, instead of just a behavioral problem. >> reporter: hope is a public charter school, meaning it's tuition-free, and must take any student who qualifies. the school is attached to an in-patient treatment facility, and traditional subjects like math, english, and history are offered in small classroom settings, alongside a constant emphasis on recovery. >> think about how drugs really did start affecting your life. >> reporter: students are randomly drug-tested, and attend 12-step meetings. they also meet one a week with brad trolson. >> it's an easy thing to forget that we have control. >> reporter: he's the school's recovery coach, and also in recovery himself. we first met trolson in june while he was meeting with 17-year-old francie, who had just relapsed days before at a weekend party. >> you start to get into recovery, and you, like,
literally just sit there and think, like, who am i? what do i even like? if i am not getting high or i'm not with people that i hang out and get high with, like, you just don't know what to with yourself. >> our society, our culture, is really-- it teaches our kids that drug use and alcohol use is really a deeply ingrained part of being a kid. and a lot of our students have fallen prey to that idea, and to such an extent that they really don't know what the teen age is if it doesn't include drugs and alcohol. >> reporter: francie says she's struggled with self-harm and an eating disorder for years. she began drinking in sixth grade because she wanted to feel grown up. >> it didn't progress super fast. it just kind of-- i would drink on the weekend, but, eventually, it did start to go into smoking, and pills, and other kind of things. >> reporter: before coming to hope, francie entered three separate residential treatment
programs. >> addiction literally starts to control your entire life. >> it was at the point where we would say, i think we're going to have to get used to the idea that we might be burying our daughter. >> reporter: francie's mom, mary anne wilcox, says she and her husband felt scared and helpless. from their home in savannah, georgia, they made a difficult decision. >> my husband suggested maybe we look into this school in indianapolis, and we could live here for a couple of years, until she gets through high school, and then go back to georgia, because there was nothing anywhere in the southeastern corner really for us to do to get her services. >> reporter: that's all too common, says andy finch of vanderbilt university. he's one of the nation's leading experts on recovery schools. >> many places just don't have many adolescent options available, and a lot of times, the options that exist might be too costly for a family to afford. >> reporter: finch recently authored a report on the
effectiveness of recovery schools vs. traditional high schools for teenagers who have struggled with drug addiction. he found that nearly 60% of students in recovery high schools reported not having relapsed in the sixth months that followed treatment. that compares to just 30% of students in regular high schools. >> teenagers who are struggling with addiction are having to face a lot of peer pressure. they struggle sometimes, if they're trying to stop using, to find friends who aren't using, to find adults that know how to handle that, and what to do with it. and, often, the place where they're either finding drugs or finding friends who are using drugs is in their school. >> reporter: finch also says that many adults in treatment admit to first using drugs while in high school, meaning this age is crucial to combating lifelong addiction. >> high school is hard in general, but it's even harder when you have, like, this extra weight or extra pressure on your shoulders. >> reporter: nick shirkey spent
much of his early childhood in the foster care system, where he says he was abused and neglected. his drug use started at age 12. >> at birth, i weighed one- pound, six-ounces. i was born addicted to methamphetamines. parents were real bad addicts. they didn't care. they just wanted their next high. >> reporter: nick tried a treatment facility, but relapsed earlier this year. this is his second attempt at hope academy. >> most of our students, they're not just substance users. they come with a lot of trauma. they come with a lot of mental and emotional issues that, once they get clean and sober, now those things really start to surface. >> reporter: in many ways, 18-year-old ian lewis represents hope academy at its best. he started using drugs in middle school, moving from marijuana and alcohol to prescription opiates and cocaine. after two years, ian graduated in june as co-valedictorian. he is now a freshman studying
biology at indiana-purdue university in indianapolis. >> if you would've asked me two years ago, i probably would've told you i didn't think i was going to college. but i turned it around after i got into this recovery process. >> reporter: but ian says hope academy can only do so much. >> it's not going to save you if you don't want to be saved. some of these kids out here, they don't want to stop using. and that's when hope isn't really effective, because they aren't using it. >> sometimes, you just forget. you think, well, maybe i can drink, or maybe i can smoke, or maybe, if i go to this party, i can use, like, a little bit of coke, if it's, like, recreationally. >> reporter: when we visited francie again in august, she had relapsed for the second time in three months. >> it just reminds you that i don't drink and use like other people do. like, i have no limits. i have no boundaries. i just-- whatever i can do, i do, and that's just not a right way of thinking. >> reporter: but a relapse doesn't mean the end at hope. >> we can't be a no-tolerance
school. we have to be accepting, because relapse is part of the disease, regardless of how old you are. >> reporter: francie has been assigned more focused recovery classes, where students complete their course work one-on-one with their teachers. her mom, mary anne wilcox, says she remains hopeful, but she admits these last few months haven't been easy. >> i mean, it feels devastating. you know, it's just-- you want so much for the whole thing to be over. but it's just-- it reminds you that it's not. it's forever. and it's something that we will be dealing with forever and she will be dealing with forever. >> reporter: as for francie, she says, despite her setbacks, she can't imagine life without this school. do you worry what might happen if hope doesn't work for you? >> yes. i worry a lot. if i had to be in a regular high school, i don't think i would even be alive. >> reporter: there's been little research into the long-term outcomes for those who attend recovery schools, but, for the students here, they still have
hope. from indianapolis, i'm pamela kirkland for the pbs newshour. >> sreenivasan: tomorrow, we continue our series "america addicted" with the story of a doctor's devastating personal loss to opioids. >> sreenivasan: we return to russia some 40 years after the bolshevik revolution in 1956. the country was once again wrecked with turmoil and upheaval. that's the focus of judy woodruff's latest addition to the "newshour bookshelf." >> woodruff: the year began with nikita cru shave denouncing stalin, leading to uprisings throughout eastern europe and raising hopes within russian. marvin kalb was a young diplomatic a tasha in moscow and
had a front row seat in a career that foreshadowed the breakup of the soviet union. he wrote a book, "the year i was peter the great." krushav, stalin's ghost. welcome. this is a story at what happened in a crucial moment in russian history and the history of the soviet union but also your first memoir after 15 books you've written. we get a glimpse of who marvin kalb is. >> it was a fun book to write. when you write about yourself, it's more difficult than writing about the world or an event. in russia at that time, everything was so exciting and for me, as a young american there, it was an eye-opening, intoxicating experience. i loved every day of it. >> woodruff: and you had been at harvard.
>> yes. >> woodruff: studying for your ph.d. >> yes. >> woodruff: you knew the russian language, studying russian history, this opportunity came along to put you smack in the middle of this place you had been studying and you were able to get to know some of the russian people. >> i got to know the russian people because one of the great advantages of being utterly unimportant at the embassy was that when i wanted to travel to the different parts of the soviet union which had, up to that moment, been closed to foreigners, the ambassador, the wonderful charles bolin, looked at me and say what have i got to lose? so marvin would go to central asia, ukraine, northern russia, everywhere, and after an initial period of caution, the russian people opened up, at least in my experience, and i had a wonderful time with them. i really was able to hear their problems and understand what was on their minds in addition to having access to nikita
khrushchev. >> woodruff: this year was crucial in the history of the soviet union was a month or two after you arrived, nikita khrushchev surprises everybody, denounces joseph stalin who had been a hero in their eyes, and everything changed, at least for a short time when you were there. >> it was a fantastic moment in modern russian history. up to that time, the russian people had never experienced personal freedom, and the the russian people for the first time in their history had an opportunity to think for themselves, and it was such a magnificent, fresh, wonderful thought for them and an experience for them that they began to think, wait a minute, maybe we can get freedom and, suddenly, young people, the future of russia, they are denouncing the system itself, and that thought ran througho russia, then it spilled over the borders and went into eastern
europe and shrined you had the hungarian revolution. >> woodruff: and everything was closed up again. >> because khrushchev decided to crack down to end that. >> woodruff: in the mean time, you met khrushchev. >> yes. >> woodruff: tell that story. that's where the name peter the great came from. >> it was july holiday. the ambassador was having a big event, chu she have decided to come with the bureau. i was one of four americans in a woefully understaffed embassy who spoke russian. ambassador bolin said you want to look after jukev. that was crazy because i had been a p.f.c. in the u.s. army and here i was responsible for dealing with a soviet marshal. he loved vodka. i fed him vodka and i drank water. after about eight vodkas and
waters, khrushchev beckoned to both of us and jukov was tipsy and he said to khrushchev, i can finally found a young american who can drink like a russian! khrushchev loved that line. he looked at me and said, how tall are you? i said, i'm six cent meters shorter than peter the great. well, he loved the line. it brought the house down and, from that time, even when i came back later here for cbs, he always remembered me as peter the great, it was a great access. >> woodruff: you had access in a way no other american journalist had, but, marvin, what did you learn about them as a people? >> more than anything else is how similar they are to us. i remember once being on a train with a young bajani woman, probably 22, 23, and we were traveling together and she said,
where are you from? she said, the united states. she said, i don't believe it. she said you speak russian. i said, yes, but even an american can learn russian. and there was an awkward five or ten minutes where things were the americans are very bad and this is very bad, and then, when she felt she knew me and i felt i was getting to know her, everything sort of dropped, and we were two people, and we were sharing experiences and insights, and i found that to be the case with russians, whether they lived in central asia, in the caucuses of ukraine, northern russia, they were people just as we. they really wanted peace. this was eleven years after the end of world war ii. 30 million russians had been killed in world war ii, maybe more, and they all wanted peace and, yet, they felt maybe they weren't going to get it, maybe there would be war. >> woodruff: well, so many telling stories, a wonderfully
written book. "the year i was peter the great," 1956. crkhrushchev, stalin's ghost ana young american in russia. thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> sreenivasan: now, how an artist in the world of tap dancing is using tradition, breaking with it, and experimenting, with a genre she discovered when she was just three years old. jeffrey brown profiles a choreographer who is lighting up the stage in new york this holiday season. >> brown: for tap dancing phenom michelle dorrance, the most important thing you need to know about her art form is this: >> you dance to create music, tap dance is the dance of creating music.
>> brown: that means we, the audience, watch and listen. and for dorrance, the sounds she seeks guide the movement. >> in order to get this sound, i have to move my body this way, so the look of tap dance is often because we needed a hard toe, or a heel, or a toe drop. and because of these particular nuances, our body had to do this to execute that sound, and that's where the dance comes from. its when people say to us, "oh, i get it, it's music." and you're like, "yes, that's what drives us." >> brown: since founding her company, dorrance dance, in 2011, michelle dorrance has helped lead a renaissance in tap, gaining attention for her own exuberant, athletic style-- arms, head and feet in motion. she's choreographed full-length dances for her group, including "e.t.m.: double down," where the focus on music is made explicit,
as dancers step on wooden boards that function like electronic drum pads. she and the company are constantly touring, bringing new audiences to this tradition- bound dance form. in 2015, dorrance was recognized as a macarthur fellow, the so-called "genius" award. and this hoofer is a trooper-- fighting off a bout of laryngitis, she let us visit a recent rehearsal of a dance called "myelination" at a midtown manhattan studio, and was happy to talk about her role as an evangelist for tap. >> some people use the word "edu-tain" or "edu-tainment." >> brown: that's what you see yourself doing? >> yeah. i mean, inside of the art form, you must constantly educate about the past. but something we were charged with, speaking of tradition, by our masters and elders of the jazz era, is, that's what jazz
was about. having your own individual voice and pushing your expression forward. so inside of this tradition, which i want to always honor, you have to define yourself, and define your voice as authentically yours. >> brown: now 38, dorrance grew up in north carolina, dancing tap from age three. she performed with north carolina youth tap ensemble, and later with the show, "stomp." her mother is a ballet dancer and teacher, founder of the ballet school of chapel hill. her father, head coach of the university of north carolina's women's soccer team and one-time coach of the u.s.a. women's team. >> brown: somehow tap comes from that? >> we all joke about it, because they both use their feet for their professions. both of them ave incredibly quick feet. >> brown: you got that gene. >> yeah. let's bring that here. >> brown: quick feet are certainly one requirement for
tap dancing, but it's also clear that dorrance seeks diverse styles and personalities for her company. we watched her rehearse a duet with 22-year-old byron tittle. >> i met michelle when i was ten, at a tap festival, and i've just been taking her classes, and following her, kind of stalking her, since then. for me, there a push that michelle puts under you, and behind you, that doesn't feel forceful, it feels encouraging. my life was made because michelle asked me to do something this crazy, just full circle, it's really cool. >> brown: by contrast, 39-year- old nicholas young has known and danced with dorrance since they were teens. there's another obvious contrast: size. >> i think that's something that people have been really excited about, the dancers michelle chooses. she chooses a very diverse group of dancers, you know, and she allows each to express ourselves individually while, at times, creating a very specific image, or a story, or a feeling in our pieces.
but then i think people really enjoy seeing all of us move out of that storyline, and become ourselves, and i think people relate. i actually get that a lot. i get, you know, guys coming up to me after a show and being like, "hey, you really made me feel like i could do this, too." so, i don't know, that's a good feeling. >> brown: in her dance, "the blues project," dorrance directly addressed the role of tradition and history. for her and the other dancers we met, being part of a tradition, and knowing that history, is intrinsic to their lives in tap. dorrance cites the recent impact of savion glover, whose "bring in da noise, bring in the da funk," first performed in 1995, was another revolutionary moment for tap. she's also acutely aware, as a white woman, that the history of innovation in tap has largely come from african americans. >> it's a black form, it's an african american form. >> brown: how do you think about the racial aspect? >> it's really important to acknowledge it.
and it's really important to share the history of the form, and to say the names of dancers, to say the names of dr. jimmy slyde, dr. buster brown. to say the names of fayard and harold nicholas, charlie adkins, honi coles. to say the names of these men that aren't the first names that come to your mind. you think of fred astaire or gene kelly, because they were the heroes of the movie musical, but there were dancers behind the scenes, and there were dancers innovating the form that weren't on the screen, but they were the ones that were bringing fire into the form to make it exciting. >> brown: and not just men. she also cites women dancers who've been important to her: diane walker, brenda bufalino, mabel lee. >> i feel very lucky to be a tap dancer, especially a woman as a tap dancer right now. i feel like i can jump into or be inspired by a style of a man or a woman and it doesn't matter, and i won't be received
as being something very specific, i'll just be received as a dancer or a musician. >> brown: dorrance dance performs in new york this holiday season, and then resumes touring around the country in january. i'm jeffrey brown. >> sreenivasan: tonight on pbs at 8:00 eastern, 7:00 central, a new docu-drama, "the sultan and the saint," tells the little- known story of st. francis of assisi and the sultan of egypt, muhammad al-kamil, who met on a battlefield and found common ground. here's a preview. e biggest indication that francis was changed by his encounter with sultan muhammad l
is to say to his friars that you can go and live in peace along muslims. >> sreenivasan: that's tonight observe pbs. that's the "newshour" tonight. on wednesday, we continue our series "america addicted," and review the year in tech. i'm hari sreenivasan. 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: >> bnsf railway. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org.
>> 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. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> you're watching pbs.
a chef's life is made possible in part by biltmore. there was a time when the earth yielded its fruit. wine flowed. and life was a continual feast. there was such a time. it was last weekend at biltmore. applegate, makers of natural and organic meats. commited to raising animals humanely on family farms. applegate is proud to support a chef's life. and by: north carolina pork council. lenoir county committee of 100. blue cross blue shield of north carolina. carolina wild muscadine juice. and the north carolina department of agriculture. got to be nc wine.