tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS March 24, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, march 24: acndss the globe, students a protesters take to the streets in the "march for our lives." the trump administration formalizes its transgender military ban. and, are all organic eggs created equally? next on "pbs newshour weekend." >> "pbs newshour weekend" is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. ls the cheryl and philip in family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. the anrson family fund. rosalind p. walter barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate fuing is provided by mutual of america--
designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. >> additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, ri sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us.he acrossountry and overseas today, calls for greater gun control.d students inspi last h nth's mass shooting at marjory stoneman douglas hhool led hundreds of protests. the largest was in washington, d.c. organizers parered with advocacy groups including" anerytown for gun safety," and as hundreds of tho of people gathered in the nation's capital, supporters also rallien ll 50 states, and even across the atlantic. protesters chanted "save our kids" in london, outside the american embassy. in paris, american ex-patseld
signs in support of gun control in front of the eiffel tower. students, teachers and grieving parents from marjory stoneman douglas high school spoke at a .rally in parkland, flori >> my classmates and i laid helplessly on the floor hearing and feeling rapid gunfire. as i am aware that the horrific tape that replays in my head will never be rewinded, i am also aware tt the need for change is overdue. e sadly, we will be repeating this, and it couily be in your city or your town.to this now. ( cheers ) >> sreenivasan: in washingtonce d.c., brities performed, including jennifer hudson and broadway stars lin-manuel miranda and ben platt. ♪ ♪ ♪ no matter what thl you... ♪ somewhere will be many of the speakers were students sharing their stories about gun violence, including a 19-year-old from chicago whosesh brother wa and killed in 2006. >> it's time for the nation to realize that gun violence is mobl than just a chicago pro
or a parkland problem, but it's an american problem. >> sreenivasan: lawmakers responded to today's rallies. florida senator marco tweeted that the protests are "" got way of making a point, making a change will require both sides finding common grnd." white house deputy press secretary lindsay walters released a statement applaudingg the coof the young americans "exercising their first amendment rights." she also pointed to president's support for fixing the national background chec" system, the "op school violence act" and the new rule issued yesterday by the justice department banning bump stocks. among the hundreds of thousands of stunts attending today's "march for our lives" in washington d.c. is a group from patriot gh school in bristow, virginia. newshour weekend's christopher booker is with them. >> reporter: they gathered at 8:00 a.m. th morning in the parking lot of a grocery store in haymarket, virginia, boarding buses for the hour-long ride to washington d.c. to join hundreds of thousands of othersad come from all over the country to call for stricter gun control. seniors megan black and liv
mumma helped organize this trip. >> as soon as the parkland shooting happened, we realized that we had to do something about it, but we didn't realize what we could do. >> reporter: like so many students in america, gun violence has been a regular part of their school experience. h theye practiced lock down drills since elementary school. >> other generations didn't have to deal with this, they didn't have mass shootings. i mean, columbine was one of the first big ones in our country and it hasn't stopped since then. >> reporter: mumma andck say they learned about the parkland shooting that left 17 students, teachers, and administrators dead through social media, ndtching the raw video coming in through snapchat awitter. >> so i was in school watching the videos of ese kids run out of their high school over the dead bodies of their fellow students. and i just cried, and cried, and crd some more. so it was a couple days after that that we really started ou movement. >> reporter: around 10:00 a.m. the students arrived iwntown washington d.c. to join the "march for our lives."
but it wasn't just kids. parents, teachers, and even political donors joined the march. ambassador al hoffman, jr. is a major supporter of republicans. the wake of the parkland shooting he says he will not back politicians whoon't support an assault weapons ban, and other gun-control measures.i >> i felt thwas absolutely necessary that i get involved. you know, this might be my last hurrah. but to me we can't give up, we've got to g this under control. >> reporter: he says if republicans don't act on gun control measures, there will be consequences in the midterm elections in november. >> i'm a good republican, but i'll tell you we are in deep do- do, if they don't pay attention to this now. >> reporter: the parkland shoo political awareness of many young people here for the first time.ju this group oors from fairfield connecticut traveled s washington d.c. this morning. >> everyone was juning up, like there was not even enough ombus room for everyone to because so many people wanted to pme.
>> reporter: and fple who have been personally affected by gun violence, they say this time do indeed feel different. rachel callahan is a high school t acher in baltimore. she was a freshmanrginia tech in 2007 when a gunman killed 32 people, rlcluding a gi who lived on the floor of her dorm. so, as seone who has experienced this first hand, are you hopeful that something might finally change after this? >> yes. beuse of these students. because of their activism and their vocal outrage on the internet. just looking at this shows, they are going to make chges. >> sreenivasan: joining me now from washington d.c.s newshour weekend's christopher booker. >> chris, it seems tere several different motivations for these students. >> reporter: yeah, that's right. we've spoken with a mber of different students-- students from suburban schools and students from urban schools. and what's interesting is they're all here for the same
reason. we spent some time with a group of students from jacksonville, florida, and while they say the violence in thiteir comm doesn't make it to the front of her newspaper, let alone theon na media, they feel encouragement they're able to join the national movement and finally something might be happening and they can add their voice and their experience to somethg that is mh larger. >> sreenivasan: what is it the kids you were talking to are expeing to happen after acion like today's? >> reporter: what's interesting is, as we were riding on the busis morning we asked the students if they believe there will be any effective change as a result of this assembly. they don't think anything will change. they realize congress is not looking to make any major changes in gun legislation. what they're focused on is whap tbhaps november. >> sreenivasan: newshour's chris beerk, thanks so much. >> thanks, hari. >> sreenivasan: see more of our
coverage of the "march for our lives" at pbs.org/newshour. president trump followed up on his plan to ban transgender members of the u.s. military with a memo issued late on friday night. it says troops with a history or diagnosis of "gender dysphoria" coulteonly serve under "li circumstances." four federal courts al issued injunctions at least temporarily halting pres trump's original ban from last year. all of this is raising questiono trans people who are already in the ranks or hoping to enlist.er verangruen is a pentagon reporter for buzzfeed news and joins meow via skype from washington d.c. first, you know, this is like a classic friday night news dump, something very important, very la on friday ght. who does it affect? >> that's the thing. it was aews dump, and it took a long time for legal and military experts to eve understand who it's going to affect. and it's still rather unclear because a t of people came out openly as transgender undera the administration policy in 2016 are going to be able to
stay, according to the ne policy, and kind of be grandfathered in. but anyone who has undergone gender reassignment surgery is going to be impa they are now disqualified from serving in the military. and there are some excs epti that, but it's, honestly, still very unclear. a lot o thesewyers and people who are involved in thesk lawsuits and of trying to dig through it and figure out exactly who falls under these biceptions. >> sreenivasan: ho is the population of transgender people serving in the military or perhapbeing recruited? >> right it's under dispute cause this isn't really something that is quite recorded. the study commissioned by the pentagon in 2016 put the number between 1300 and 6,000, and some say it's as high as 14,000. but, of course, not all of those have undergone gendere signment surgery. so it's a blurry line.
>> sreenivasan: gener mattis' argument is this is decreasing military effectiveness. there are studies that have taken a look at this. where does thisall? >> the pentagon commissioned a study in 2016. >> and sphoke with the au of the study with the rand corporation, and they looked at every available data point, they looked at foreigmilitaries who have transgender service members and their conclusion after an entire ye is that it would have very, very limited impact on the military and on health something, which is that the president pointed out when he decide to ban trsgender service members. so what mattis says in this filing on friday, is that-- he saidt was faulty, that these foreign militaries don't have the same requirements for their troops, and that they were us data collected by the pentagon since the obama-era rgulation was put into effect. so, basically, they're saying the study that the oama law was based on was not good, was
faulty. >> sreenivasanall right, so, on the one hand, there's presidential policy, the courts have stepped in against and issued injunctions. and this is now the pentagon policy. does this m more lawsuits or is this something distinct? >> probably mes morlawsuits. it's-- again, it's a little unclear whether this new pms no just-- because it is a new one, kind of gets rid of the old lawsuits and will be kind of be spawning a new knd. but, yeah, i mean, it definitely will mean more lawsuits, and what the president basically did he canceled his original ban, a full ban, and says,'m deferring to mattis. i'm deferring to the military." and the military basicall recommended this new ban, with a few exceptions. >> sreenivasan: all right, vera bergengruen, pentagon reporter for requested buzzfeed, joining us live via skype from washington. thank you.
>> thank you. s enivasan: it's been more than 15 years since the federal government started certifying food as organic. but how the u.s. department of agriculture defines "organic" isot always so simple, especially for a staple of the americadiet: eggs. the treatment of the chickens that lay those eggs is at the center of a battle between farmers, some of whom are saying that not all organic eggs are created equally. newshour weekend's man thompson reports. >> reporter: will harris' family has been farming this land in southwestern georgia for five generations. >> hear that noise? a very soothing noise to me. r >>eporter: here at white oak pastures, harris raises ten kinds of animals, including about 4,000 egg-laying chickens that graze outdoors. the eggs are laid in mobile hen houses, then picked up by hand, cleaned, and checked for impurities using a high-powered light. they are sold as pasture-raised
and organic directly to consumers and to food service companies. at more than $5 a dozen attohite oak's fare, harris says it's a premium product. >> we're notalking about feeding the world like this. you know, the world wants cheap food. you got some peoplthat want a mercedes, and some people that want a hyundai. it's no good and bad, it's just oat you want. >> reporter: the eration at white oak pastures is what many people imagine when they think of organic eggs-- uncaged hens pecking and scratching indo an o field, eating feed grown without pesticides. now, have a look at bob beauregard's hens. >> these birds have 1.5 square feet per bird in all ourac productionities. that's how we... we set a standard at that. >> reporter: beauregard is e general manager for an egg farm in central massachusetts with about 80,000 chickens. it's called the country hen, and its eggs, too, are deemed organic.
>> the birds are beautiful. they're singing, they're happy. >> reporter: to be certified as an "organic" egg by the u.s. department of agriculture, ord. u., the chickens need to be cage-free, fed an organic diet grown without pesticides, managed without antibiotics and hormones, and have seasonal access to the outdoors. the country hen checks all those boxes. but, instead of lettits birds roam on pasture, the country hen provides outdoor access for its birds on covereh porches, tho was too cold on the day we visited for any chickens tbe outside. >> it's worked very well. we've been very transparent about our producon methods. right on our box, it says, "sunlit barns and porche t" >> reportehe company was originally denied organic certification when t organic rules were first implemented in 2002. the porch was not deemed outdoor space by the u.s.d.a. but after an appeal, tntry hen was told that the porch did
comply, anthat one decision about one small farm had big repercussions in the industry. >> we never had the intention to create any kind of a loophole or... we were talking abt our farm individually and what worked best for here. t>> i think the u.s.d.a. time took pity on their situation, and nobody ever imagined what would happen with the scale. >> reporter: jesse laflamme is the co-owner and chief executive farmer of pete and gerry's in nearby new hampshire. it's one of the biggest organic oducers in the country. he says once big factory-style farms, like this one in, michigarted building porches for their hens, thefl market becamded with eggs labeled organic that most consumers would consider far from that.om >>enterprising very large egg producers saw an opportunity to bend the rules, if you will, or take advantage of unclear rules, ambiguous rules and... and ild to scale.
>> reporter: pete and gerry's raises its own hens, but also partners with 120 smaller farms. in its advanced processing facility, it washes, packs, and o ips 1.3 million eggs a day. while it was also cold on the day we visited, all pete and gerry's hens can spend time outdoors on soil when the weather allows. and that's important to people who buy organic eggs. a 20 "consumer reports" surv found 83% "think it's highly important that organic eggs come from hens that were able to go outdoors." and that, says laflamme, means birds roaming on soil, not confined to porches. >> this is just so misaligned with what consumers expect ofga c. it's going to damage the organic seal, and not just in the egg category. i'm talking about all types of organic products. this is a fundamental issue ofec consumer etion of organic, and trust. >> reporter: after ten years of lobbying by pete and gerry'sr nd organic companies, public
hearings, and a recommendation from an expert panel, the u.s.d.a. proposed an update to the organic livestock and poultry practices rule in april 2016. it included a requirement thatic organic ns have contact with actual soil, not simply outdoor porches. the u.s.d.a. said the rules would "better satisfy consumer expectations that organic livestock meet a uniform and verifiable animal welfare andard." in response to the proposed rule requiring outdoor access, there were nearly en000 co submitted to the u.s.d.a., including from three of the largest egg prs in the country: cal-maine, rose acre farms, and herbruck pouly. all three declined pbs newshour weekend's interview requests, but they wrote in a joint comment to the u.s.d.a. that the proposed rules "are a thinly veiled attempt to promote small farms and exclude larger farms" and "conflict with scientifically proven animals. welfare practi >> my name is john glisson.
>> reporter: dr. john glisson is the vice president of research for the u.s. poultry and egg association, a trade group representing the poultry industry. he spent 30 years studying poultry diseases as a professor of veterinary medicine at the university of georgia, and he opposes the rule requiring outdoor access because he says it puts chickens at risk of contracting diseases. >> our industry knows that's disastrous. we can't do that. it goes against everything we've learned for the last 70 years. >> reporter: we spoke with glisson in atlanta, at thetr largest poultrade show in the world.al he says the of the adustry, which produces more than 92 billion egear, has been made possible because of -vancements in biosecurit protecting chickens from pathogs like salmonella, which is spread by rodents; and diseases like avian influenza, which is spread by wild birds. >> one of the main principles is we have to separate, completely separate domestic poultry from wild birds.no
we'ragainst organic, bute organic has tone according to the scientific principles ofr biosecy and food safety or else we're going backwards. >> reporter: while glisson sacknowledges that consum might want eggs from a chicken that is raised with outdoor access, he says there's not a scientific basis for it. >> it's perception based. there's a market for saying that birds were outdoors. there's a profable market for that. it doesn't help the bird >> reporter: jesse laflamme insists the complaint by dr. glisn and other egg producers-- that outdoor access for egg-laying hens will lead to outbreaks of diseases like avian flu-- is not supported by recent events. in 2014 and 2015, an avian flu outbreak affected morehan million chickens, turkeys, and ducks, but the u.s.d.a. acknowledged that fewer than 9,000 of those birds were kept outdoors. >> the question is, what percentage of those birds were outside? basically none.
and so, the question is,re where... whe in reality is the risk? >> reporte the debate over the proposed u.s.d.a. rule requiring outdoor access for-l organic, eing chickens appeared to be settled in e rule was17 when finalized, and then there was a political change. >> i, donald john trump, do solemnly swear. >> reporter: under the new administration, the u.s.d.a. withew the rule, determining that it didn't have the authority under existing law to mandate animal welfare conditions. >> they tossed it around. >> reporter: greg ibach is an a undersecretathe u.s.d.a., overseeing the organic program. he says if the rule had been implemented, it would have raised the price of organic eggs and changed a program that he says is working well. >> consumers have, you know, really given the organic program an extreme vote of confidence over the years. we've seen a growth in organic purchases and organic sales grow consistently across all areas of the organic industry.
if we keep moving the goalposts, neither consumers nol farmers winderstand what rgs.d.a. regulates to. >> reporter: butic producers like jesse laflamme aren't giving up yet on updating the rules as to whatma s an egg organic. >> we didn't anticipate thatld they weally kind of stoop this low and... and pull the rule altogether, and, in response, o.t.a. would have to sue. >> reporter: the organic trade association, or o.t.a., a group representing organic farmers ani companies, inc pete and gerry's, sued the u.s.d.a., aring that the withdrawal violated the process in place for rulemaking. back in georgia, will harris says his farming practices are driven by what customers want, not u.s.d.a. rules. >> for me, it's not l aboutd. u.s. certification. we go way beyond that. the more consumers that demand food to be raised with higher animal welfare, more sustainable
farm practices, the f us will respond to that and do it. >> being completely transparent with your customers is really what's most important. >> reporter: the country hen in massachusetts is also moving beyond the u.s.d.a.'s standard. it's decided that it's going tot change way it produces eggs even though the u.s.d.a. rule has been withdrawn it's expanding its operations and building new facilities without porches, that allow hens outdoors, on soil. >> i do believe that the standards need to be more consistent. that's what i believe. so, we're going to transition our way right into that. so, at the end of the day, we will comply with the rule whether it gets wrten into the register or not. >> reporter: though he acknowledges that there's a risk in letting his birds outside, he says it's what people want. r they have so many choices at the shelf, so ound needs to be changed based on what our consumers are looking for.
>> this is "pbs newshour weekend," saturday. >> sreenivasan: the police officer who took the place of a hostage in a supermarket siege yesterday in southern france has french president emmanuel macron called it an act of "exceptional courage." itn's martha fairlee reports. >> reporter: he gave his life so others could go home. this morning, france's interior minister said the country would nerget armaud beltrame's heroism, his bravery, his sacrifice. he was one of the first officert to respond tohe attack on the supermarket in trebes, in the south of france, volunteering to take te placeave female hostage. and setly leaving his phone on so police could hear what wae happening anide when to storm the bui investigators are now trying to learn more about the gunman, named b prosecutors as morocca
born radouane lakdim. the 26-year-old had been under surveillance and she since 2014 was on a list of individuals suspected of being radicalized, but who had yet to perform acts of terrorism. despite, this the prosecutor says there was no warning sign that he'd carry out an attack. overnight, there have been raids at the bilding where pole believe he lived. they say he pledged allegiance to the so-called islamic state and wase dmanding the release of the only surviving suspect of th paris attacks. this morning, police remain outside the supermarket while traumatized staff and consist mers are being offered counseling. the police officer's deathmb brings the nu of people killed as a result of the attack to four, while 15 others were injured, as once again, ter returns to french streets. >> on pbs newshour weekend snday, an increasing number of african american anding up for what they see as an essential civil right. >> i should have the right toha a gun, like anybody else,
because i'm not a second-class american. i'm an american. >> sreenivasan: filly tonight, we are remembering former pbs president lawrence grossman. he is responsible for some of public broadcasting's landmark news programming, including expanding the "macneil/lehrer report" from 30 minutes to an hour, bringing on "frontline" and the 13-part tncumentary "v: a television history." he went on to lead nbc's news division in 1983. lawrence grossman was rs- old.ll that's a for this edition of" pbs newshour weekend." i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching.oo have anight. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.or wshour weekend is made possible by: bernard anirene schwartz.
the cheryl and philip milstein family. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. amhe j.p.b. foundation. the andersony fund. rosalind p. walter barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why wtire your ment company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. be more. pbs. be more.
announcer: explore newew worlds and new ideas through programs like this, made availle for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. announcer: next, music legend petula clark hosts an all-start reunion from the bands that made the british beat. ♪ it's the time of the season for loving ♪ ♪ wild thing ♪ you make my heart sing ttravel back in time sixties with new live performances, reunions, and archival classics from the vault. ♪ you don't have to say you love me ♪ ♪ just be close at hand it's my music: the british beat on pbs. and welcome to hellomy musictulaspecial.p