Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 20, 2018 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

6:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, a forecast for rain in california. residents to get relief from fires only to brace for potential floods and mudslides. then, "maybe he did - maybe he didn't." the prident signals that the united states will not hold saudi arabia accountable in the murder of a journalist directed by the saudi crown prince. plus, we take a look at how some teachers and schools are re- thinking the way they teach thanksgiving. >> there's a tendency to be overly critical or blindingly patriotic and i really think we would move ourselv tremendously forward if we could oo both together, side by side. >> wuff: all that and more on tonht's pbs newshour.
6:01 pm
>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> kevin. >> kevin! >> kevin. >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation ford public bsting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. ank you.
6:02 pm
>> woodruff: a new sell-off hasb wall street ng. today's rout ranged from tech to retail to energy stocks, as weak earnings a sliding oil prices fueled worries about economic growth. w jones industrial avera plunged more than 550 points to close at 24,465. the nasdaq fell 119 points, and the s&p 500 slipped almost 49. the dow and the s&p are nodown one percent for the year. president trump says he will not sanction saudi arabia's crown prince mohammad bin salman, in the murder of journalist jamal khashoggi. mr. trump also announced today that the u.s. will not cancel arms sales to the saudis. he said that would hurt the u.s. economy and damage efforts to contain iran. we'll discuss all of this, later in the program.
6:03 pm
there's word that the president has submitted answers toom questions obert mueller, the special counsel in the lssia investigation. two of mr. trumpyers, jay sekulow and rudy giuli ii, confirmed statements this evening. the president also slammed a federal judge's ruling on his new asyl policy. the judge, in san francisco, found the presidt violated u.s. law by refusing asylum to anyone crossing from mexico illegally. in turn, mr. trump took aim at the 9th judicial circuit, in the instern u.s., where courts have issued several r against his immigration policies. o deople should not be allo to immediately runis very friendly circuit and file their case and you people know better than anyone else about what's happening. it's a disgrace, in my opinion it's a disgrace with what happens with the 9th circuit. we will win that case in the supreme court in the end.
6:04 pm
>> woodruff: the judge's ruling bars enforcement of the asylum policy for one month, while the case is litigated. in afghanistan, a suicide bomber attacked a gathering of muslim religious scholars in kabul today, killing at least 50. another 83 people were wounded,f r the attacker slipped inside the kabul banquet hall and blew himself up. a waiter said several hundred scholars and clerics were marking the birthday of the prophet muhammad. >> ( translated ): we went out to bring water for guests and while i was walking down the stairs, we heasound of an explosion from inside the hall, after we entered the hall everywhere was covered with smoke and dust, thereswere dead boll around on the chairs in large numbers. ca woodruff: both the taliban and the islamic state affiliate have targeted religious leers aligned with the afghan government. back in this country, police in chicago are working to piece
6:05 pm
rcgether why a gunman shot dead three people at hospital. officers swarmed the site yesterdaafter the shooter killed his former fiancee outside the hospital ran inside and killed a staffer and a policeman. today, the head of the hospital's e.r. said they're just trying to cop >> there's no way we can prepare for this. there's no way we can adjust to it but we step up the plate when it happens. we take care of our patients. we take care of our staff. this is just a tragedy. it's a senseless loss of life. we have three young, vibrant people with very bright careers. >> woodruff: the gunman was identified as juan lopez. officials say he killed himself, h ter being wounded in a shootout wlice.
6:06 pm
house minority leader nancy pelosi got a boost late today in tsr bid to become house speaker again when democake control in january. ho democratic congresswoman marcia fudge announced thaunshe will notgainst pelosi after all. cke said that pelosi has assured her that bomen in the democratic caucus will have a voice in key decisions. and just in time for thanksgiving, the u.s. food and drug administration is warning people to avoid all row -- roine lettuce. f.d.a. cites an e. coli outbreak that has sickened 32 people in 11 states and 18 more in canada. it is the second such outbreak affecting romaine lettuce this year. still to come on the newshour: california preps for potential floods and mudslides as rains replace fires. the trump administration signal luctance to punish saudi arabia over the murder of a journalist. ivanka trump uses personal email for white house work, and much
6:07 pm
more. >> woodruff: rain is expected to fall in californover the next few days, helping to further snuff out the camp fire in northern california and reduce the risk of further wildfires for the coming weeks. but the overall situation remains catastrophic for many residents in the region. housing remains a cr situation, and for some, the losses are staggering. lliam brangham gets a vi from the ground tonight. >> brangha the rain may also help eliminate some of the smoke in the area. but it c flash floods in some towns. the recovery andelief efforts all come as the trump administration is laying some blame for wildfires the feet of what interior secretary ryan zinke called "radical environmental groups" who aren't willing to cut down trees.t we'll tackle testion in a moment. but first, mat honan is the san franscico bureau chief for
6:08 pm
buzzfeed news. he just published a piece called "there's no looking away from this year's california fires." i spoke with him earlier today via skype. >> i was trying to write somethinfor people outside of california to help them see what we're seeing here. the last couple of years, and especially this year, the fire situation has gotten horrific. it's really tied in with a couple of things in california. it's tied in with where homes are built and it's tied in with climate change, it's tied in with the drought. but this year so many homes have been destroyed, so much land has burned up, and recently smoke has been covering the state almost end to end for days nowing, for i think going on 12 it's madard to breathe throughout the state, and it'sll certainly senthese people into a station of desperation who have lost their homes and now have nowhere to go. for i believe 12 days now the air, eecially around the bay area, and a lot of the state, the bay areahere i live, has
6:09 pm
been so bad it burns your eyes and irritates your sinuses. one of my children was coughing sclot. thols closed. it'seen, you know, it's very unhealthy. there are debates as to how many cigarett it's the equivalent of smoking, but, you know, any is too mo y. and it's ast weirdly ttling to look outside a not be able to see nearby buildings, to not be able to make out the sun, to not see the stars at night. the air itself is kind of terrifying. >> brangham: what are you hearing from people about the immediate needs they have? >> so to be clear, everybody who i talked to has been in pretty good shape these are people in san francisco, sacramento, places where they have been able to -- they have the option of packing up their car and going to a hotel room, which is what we did. there are a lot of people who don't have that option. the conditions on the ground outside of paradise near chicowh
6:10 pm
ere a lot of people have takenge refurom the fire, they're living in shelters, in tent city, there's norovirus going around. it's a terrible situation. we've had a reporter brianna sax who has be up there for a week now talking to a lot of those people on the they don'twhat's going to happen next. they don't know where they're going to go in some cases to spend the night or certainly next week. in some cases they don't know the condition of their home. they don't know where their loved ones are. there was this detai brianna sax uploaded lt week that many people who don't kw where their relatives are were asked to come in and take a d.n.a. test so they can identify remains. it's really bad. >> brangham: a moment ago you touched on climate change. the president says climate change inot adding to california's fire risk. he has said and the interior
6:11 pm
secretary echoed this today, that better forest management is needed. >> that would have done nothing to save malibu. that's ridiculous. we filed a story today on the effectiveness of thig programs, of thinning out parts the forest. even that is suspect. the real problem is that we have got many, many thousands of californians living in places where they didn't usedovo live. the past several decades, you know, a lot of people havela moved intos like paradise asat were once wilderness areas. california already housing crisis. i don't think you're going to convince a lot of the state to ve out of those areas. ile, we're living with a drought, a multiyear drought. we're living with weather that seems to get warmer every year,n you know, whether or not u think thinning is effective, and there is a debate about
6:12 pm
that, the reality is you're not going to get people out of the areas they're in, and you're not e ing to make it rain. >> brangham: youscribing the need for some very seriousan public policy s going forward. does california have the appetite right now for this conversaon? >> i think after the last two years people are beginning to really be ready to take it on. i don't know what those answers look like, an i don't think anyone really does, t, you know, especially when you've got a year like thisne, when you have the largest and the most destructive fire takinace in the same year, last year held the record for the largest and the most destructive fire. i think that, you know, you combine those with people in san francisco, sacramento choking on smoke, fires raging through malibu, you know, fires coming into los angeles, there are fires just all up and down the state, and i certainly hope that it's something that we're ready to wrestle with as a state and ready to think about what we can
6:13 pm
do. some of those solutions might be making sure that houses are m built so they'e fire-proof. we also may have to have discussions about whople actuallyive. >> brangham: all right. mat hohan of buzzfeed news, thank you very much. >> woodruff: we return to the murder of jamal khashoggi, the saudi journalist and "washington post" columnist, and to the post reported friday that the c.i.a. had assese powerful crown prince of saudi arabia, mohammed bin salman, was responsiblfor the october murder in istanbul. mr. trump made his clearest statements yet on the killing, why he is not blaming the crown prince, and the ramifications for americ policy in the region, and relations with saudy >> it's a omplex situation. it's a shame, but it's-- it is what it is. saudi arabia, if we broke with
6:14 pm
them, i think your oil prices saudi arabia, if we broke with them, i think your oil prices lould go through 2 roof. just take at iran. and you look at what they're doing. they are a terrorist nation right now. we also need a counter-balance. and israel needs help also. if we abandon saudi arabia, it would be a terrible mistake. >> woodruff: for more on all this, our foreign affairs correspondent nick schifrin is here with me now. ngso nick, what's the thin behind the administration's decision to handle this this way? >> tt strategic interests ar more important than human rights concerns and the president wants to stuck bnot only saudi arabia but by the crown prince, mohammed bin salman. s on tategic concern, you heard what the president said. saudi arabia is critical for keeping oil down, for e peace plan to counter violent ttremism. he's n first president the
6:15 pm
say saudi is a strategic ally. each of his predecessors have decided that the saudi strategic terests are more importa than human rights conc mohammed bin salman is rejecting his intellence community's assessments. the president said, "our intelligence agencies continued to assess all informatio but it could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event, maybe he did cd maybe he didn't." now, t.a. assessed that mohammed bin salman was likely responsible for khashoggi'srd . but u.s. officials i speak to say there is no smoking gun. there is some circumstantial evidence, and there is an assessment, there is no way the naown prince wouldn't know this is coming given thre of how saudi arabia works. that's an assessment. the president is exploiting that ambiguity. the president has questioned the intelligence community before buabout russia in 2016at the end of the day, the c.i.a.
6:16 pm
provides assessments and the ident provides policy, and he's not first president to receive an intelligence assessment and decide to do something different than what assessment reads. e woodruff: so after the administration m clear what their position was, criticism, serious criticism from both republican parties. >> especially from republica senators. let me show you first what the president wrote in his statement. he wrote that represves of saudi arabia say jamal khashoggi was an enemy of the state and a member of the muslim brotherhood, but my decision isn o way based on that. this is an unacceptable and horrible crime. this is a saudarabian talking int. jamal khashoggi's past connection with the muslim brotherhood somew invalidates his criticism. the saudis have been whispering that, and the president repeated that in his statement, which led bob corker, chairman of the senate foreign relations committee, to tweet this afternoon, "i never thought i'd see the day a white house would moonlight as a public relations firm for the crown prince of
6:17 pm
saudi arabia," and senator lindsey graham, more of an allyt of the presireleased this statement, "it is not in our national security interests to look t other way when it comes to the brutal murder of jamal khashoggi. i fully realize we have to deal with bad actors and imperfect situations on the international stage, however, when we lose our moral voice, we lose our strongest asset." next week senators will come back and will have tde whether they want to put pressure on the president and put more pressure on sau arabia than the president has and one republican aid did tell me today that this statement that the president released will likely encouge senators to put more pressure on saudi arabia than the president did. >> >> woodruff: well, reaction will continue to come in, and i know you have been staying on this story. nick schifrin, thank you. >> woodruff: now, for reaction from the "washington post," wherjamal khashoggi was a columnist, we are joined by the paper's editorial page editor, fred hiatt. fred hiatt, welcome to the program.
6:18 pm
the "post" reaction to the administration's announcement? >> i'm stunned, judy, to be honest. you know, there have bn a lot of kind of amazing and dismaying things from this president, but i really don't think iver expected to hear a united states president say, "maybe he was responsible for murder, maybe he wasn't, it doesn't matter." i mean, that's just almost beyond belief for a country to take that position. >> woodruff: well, you have long covered american foreign policy. u.s.y, foreign polred. you are familiar with what the president said today. he said this is entirely in u.s strateterests not to doie anything to te, in so many words, not to do anything that would separate the uom its close relationship with saudi arabia. on yeah, i think it's wron so many levels. even if you wanted to say human rights don't matter and strategic interests do, it makes no sense, becauseverything
6:19 pm
this reckless 33-year-old crown prince has done has hurt american interests he entered this war in yemen which has been a disaster. he broke with qatar, that's been harmful to u.s. industry. prhe kidnapped the lebanese minister and so forecast. even a political analysis would not say this person is acting in u.s. interest, and more broadly, i would say, you know, if we want to live in a world where a dictator can lure one of his own citizens to a diplomatic compound, which is supposed to be a sanctuary, deliberately murder and dismember him, and get away with it, that's what's going to make the world a dangerous place, and accepting that is what's going to make the world a dangerous place. everything trump said in that rega is just backward.
6:20 pm
>> woodruff: so when the desident argues, as we he him in that report just a moment ago say that we think this is t going to dri saudis into yie arms of the chinese and the russian, you're that's not a real concern? >> look, i'm in the saying tan united statesaudi arabia shouldn't be -- shouldn't have a relationship, shouldn't have an alliance if both countries think it's in their interest, but first of all, mbs is not saudi arabia. i the kithe ruler in saudi arabia, and, you know, a perfectly possible for the united states to say, we want a relationship, but we also think there was a murder, and whoever was responsible for the murder should be held to account. those are two separ questions. and also, you know, i think they are playing trump for a fool in the sense that, you know, they present this story now of how khashoggi died, which is a clear lie, and we swallow it.
6:21 pm
and they have him kind of, you know, the saudis, as he said himself a few weeks ago, need the united states a lot more than the united states needs saudi arabia.go 30 yearsaybe that wasn't true, but the united states is now an energy exporter. hau know, these arms sales he's always talking about, it's been maybe $4 billion, not $110. anll so the power b is very much different than how he seems to see it. >> woodruff: fred hiatt is the editorial page editor for the "washington post." fred, thank you very much. >> thanks for having me. >> woodruff: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: how some teachers are
6:22 pm
reconsidering the way theyvieach thanksgi. inside a laboratory that conducts vital research by burning wn houses. and the conductor of the los angeles philharmonictraining the next generation of musicians. but first, ivanka trump says she dn't know it was against the rules to conduct government business through her personal email. this, after the washgton post reported the president's daughter, and advisor, repeatedly used her personal account to conduct government business last year. carol loennig is one of the reporters who broke the story, and she joins me now. >> it's really interesting, judy. what we learn was the white house that review that was triggered in the fall found she been using it from the d her father was inaugurated, but e e wasn't really covered by the rules until ficially h
6:23 pm
joined the whise on march 30th. but personnel e of her e-mail r official business continued until they discovered it in the fall. >> woodruff: in th of 2017? >> that's right. >> woodruff: remind us how this was discovered. >> so it was triggered by something fairly mundane andal which was that a watchdog group was interested in her commications while she was sort of an unofficial employee, and they made a public records request for ioency communic with her. you can't seek public records from the white house, but you can make a formal request from cabinet-level agency, and that's what they did. when that happened, as the agencies were gearing -- gathering up the records that they needed to turn over, they realized that the president's daughter was using a personal e-mail account. >> woodruff: so you wrote hundreds of e-mails.e what wey about?
6:24 pm
what was she writing about and to whom was she writing? >> so when they found out that she was using this personal e-mail with cabinet-lel officials, they started to dig a little deeper. and the white house and ivanka trump's lawyer discovered that she was communicating in threesi ways, one, to cabinet-level officials beforer and afe was in an official role, second, she was making a lot of scheduling and sort of logistic arrangements with a personal assistant, so she was writing on a personal e-mail all sorts of details about her public life to sort of keep her household manager and her childcathre manager iloop about what she was doing. and then finally, inhird group, she was talking to close confidantes inside the white house out official business but using her personal e-mail. >> woodruff: was this illegal? >> it violates the presidential
6:25 pm
records act, an acthat governs the white house and helps make sure that there's always an archive, a permanent record of every presidency. so even though something as mundane as, "i'm going to idaho tomorrow to ta about childcare on behalf of my father, the president," even though at's fairly banal, it has to be stored, it has to be kept as a record. she broke that rule quite a lot. >> woodruff: i was just going to say, as i understand your eeport, her response when was asked about it was that she sn't aware of the rule, and yet presumably she had been briefed? >> so she received a briefing a little late because she arrives later than the other members who are brought in after the inauguration. however, it's hard to imagine she didn't know anything about the personal e-mail use prohibition.
6:26 pm
there is one wrinkle, once they discovered in the fall of 2017 all these personal e-mails that violated the rules, she made the argument, look, i di't know, i wasn't reminded, and it turned out that she wasn'getting regular all-staff reminders about prohibitio on personal e-mail use. everybody in the white house got periodic reminders. for some weird reason she wasn't s. the all-staff list and wasn't getting those upda >> woodruff: of course, one of the reason, carol loennig, this is getting so much attention todais what president had thsa about hillary clinton's use of a private e-mail server, thousands and thousands of e-mails, and today we know when the president was asked about a verye said, oh, this i otfferent case, because his daughter wasealing with classified information, he said, and he said she didn'testroy e-mails. so his contention i guess, her contention is it's not the same thing at all. >> i think -- i'm of mixed minds
6:27 pm
about that, judy. on the one hand, i aheee, based oneporting we have so far, that this is different than thet sey of state at the time, hillary clinton, setting up a whole server and a completely separate e-mail system to never use her government account. so there is no evidence that ivanka was doing however, thearities are pretty striking. she was using private e-mail. she should have been on alert that she shouldn't do that. as wel she has a private attorney going through her e-mails as hillary clinton didhe to heldecide what's personal, what's public. we haven't seen the personal e-mail, so you don'tnow what's gone, what might be business related. you just can't know. and then finally, we realldon know whether or not classified materials are discussed. remember, hillary clinton also said there was no clsified markings on her e-mails, and it turns out that many of the things she discussed were
6:28 pm
classified. did ivanka trump ever talk to a foreign official or discuss a foreign official on her personal e-mail? if she did, that cou be a class find discussion. -classified discussion. >> woodruff: we know the house oversight committee is going to be looking into this. w perhaps l get more information about what was in those e-mails. carol loennig of the "washington post," thank you. >> thank you, judy. >> woodruff: thanksgiving is often seen as a feel-good quintessential u.s. holiday. but many argue the traditional narrative perpetuates myths as well as being disrespectful to native americans because it often leaves out the context of relations between the two groups: how the settlers brought diseases, for example, that decimated tribes. or information about the massacres that folwed.
6:29 pm
now there's a growing movement to help history teachers "unlearn" what they themselves were taught. not everyone agrees about what ould be taught to students today. special correspondent kavitha cardoza with our par "education week," has this report for our weeklation segment, "making the grade." >> there's certainly some information in the textbook but there's a lot of bias lot of slant. >> reporter: there are about 50t social studichers at the museum of the american indian in washington, d.c. they're learning how to ach the first thanksgiving in a way that is true to actual eventsul and respecf native cultures. for example, pilgrims weren' the first settlers in the u.s., native americans had celebrated fall harvest feasts for yearsy alred they had a sophisticated society. teacher diane wright says shehe was taughtpposite in school . >> it was very much with a white focus and white presentation and european colonialism.
6:30 pm
a reporter: renee gokey i member of the shawnee tribe and runs the workshop. t >> we knt the stories are either inaccurate, they're incomplete and almost never tell a native perspective. >> rorter: at the museum, teachers learn about the thanksgiving story in context. >> all of these federal policies, assimilation, the dawes act, american indian removal under jacksoni policy, these affected my people, my community personally. >> reporter: and they see how the consequences are still being felt today. d'adre blake says that connection is important becaus textbooks often refer to american-indians in the past. >> when you tell them that native people are still heren america, they're like, "oh, we didn't know that." >> reporter: here, teachers listen to first person stories, analyze historical photos, and learn about traditional native foods. karen brown is an arts educator. she says making thanksgiving crafts like dreacatchers or headbands with feathers is" outdat and inappropriate." >> my colleague is shawnee, and
6:31 pm
she taught me that feathers are very sacred. she was given one feather by her elder, and she keeps it and brings it out for spec ceremonies. it completely changed the way i nolate to feathers. they'ra craft item from the crafts store any longer. >> reporter: so she teaches them alternatives that are rooted in history. like making catalogues to understand how native people traded seeds. it's not a monolith. >> reporter: gokey says teachers may have to "unlearn" what they were taught because simplifying the past is damaging not just to native people. >> they do a disservice to us as a nation and forming our identity. i thinthere's much more opportunity when we speak frankly and truthfully about the past. and i think from there then, we can start to heal. >> reporter: but h to teach the past is very controversial. what students learn in different school districts varies a lot tiross the country, influenced
6:32 pm
by social and pol values as well as a community's demographic makeup. some see bias in the opposite direction. roy white says america's rich culture is in danger of being lost to revisionist history. 's the founder of truth in textbooks, an organization that trains volunteers toeview history textbooks for what they see as bias. they've successfully lobbied for change. >> we're trying to remove the political correctness that we found in a lot of the textbooks and begin to put back things that have been omitted purposefully over the years. >> reporter: he gives examples. >> those who were founding our country were terrible towards all indians and that's really not a fair, accurate characterization of everything. when you talk about world war ii and emphasize the japanese internment camps or the moral dilemmas of dropping the atomic bomb. when you talk about the falling of the berlin wall and all you ealk about gorbachev and you
6:33 pm
never talk aboutn. there's a constant berating of america. and suddenly now you a student say, "well, i'm not proud of america anymore. i me, why would i want to be proud of those kinds of things?" >> reporter: white believes history textbooks should emphasize american exceptionalism and the country's roots as a christian nation. eric shed teaches history teachers at harvard univsity. he says understanding the past is important because it's about narratives or stories, that help us make sense of the present. >> narratives are fundamentally important to us as a society in terms of they're what binds us gether. >> reporter: shed believes including the difficult parts of history,eaches children mpathy and citizenship. >> i think all civic issues are rooted in history, right? we just didn't have sort of issues around immigration, economic policy, women's rights. those very important issues today, are fundamentally rooted in the past. >> reporter: in colorado springs, at fremont elementary school, rebecca daugherty's
6:34 pm
third graders have started a week-long unit on anksgiving. >> so are you gu ready to have your mind blown? >> yes! >> so if you guys can take one thing away from social studiesin hird grade i want you to ake away the pilgrims overtook the natiricans and took everything that had worked so hard for. >> reporter: daugherty herself taduated college still believing in thenksgiving myth, so she's determined to teach her students the truth. >> they're going to be the fture of this country and everyone has a misunderstanding and no one tells them the truthn then we'reion built on lies. so i did burst their bubble but hopefully i taught them to not eaalways believe what they the first time, but to look further and investigatmore. if they didn't get along, then why do the pictures show that they did? >> reporter: students look at pictures and analyze how thanksgiving has changr
6:35 pm
time. >> i can see no phones. >> oh this picture has a phone. >> yes, there are tons of phones i see. >> reporter: joan jahelka oversees social studies for the almost 30,000 students in this district. >> the way we taught social studies was very much about how do we win on a game of jeopardy? >> reporter: so a lot of dates, a lot of names?h >> yes, very m stereotypical history class. >> reporter: now she says they've moved away from history textbooks, to teaching students to become historians. >> when students rely fully on a textbook, someone else has done the thin for them. whereas when students interact with primary sources, they're really learning about those sources and how they are significant in understanding oua story as ame >> reporter: she says it helps students learn to ask ons, research information and analyze material-- life skills. >> i want you to talk about what
6:36 pm
from this picture puzzles you, confuses you or you don't get? >> reporter:ric shed, the harvard professor, says when students learn about our country's probletic past, it makes the stories of our achievements more >> it's that conversation between our ideas and our reality, that striving to meet these wonderful goals that we were founded on. it is really what makes america truly an amazing place. do think there's a tendency to be either overly critical or lyindingly patriotic and i rehink we would move ourselves tremendously forward if we could do both together, side by side. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour and "education week," i'm kavitha cardoza in colorado springs, colorado. >> woodruff: before departing
6:37 pm
the white house for mar-a-lagoth afternoon, president trump handed out another presidential- pardhis time, to a recipient who gobbled up the spotlight.nd yamiche al reports on how the annual thanksgiving tradition began. >> peas, i hereby grant you a full pardon. >> alcindor: call it a feather in his cap. president trump taking part in an o thanksgiving custom: sparing one fortunate turkey from the thanksgiving dinner table ming an alternate. >> thanksgiving is a time of great american traditions, and today, we continue a very paecial one, when a lucky turkey gets a presidentiaon. that turkey is so lucky. i've never seen such a beautiful turkey. >> alcindor: that tradition has happened every novembefor the past quarter-century. but there are some, let's say, ruffled feathers, about how it all got arted. >> president truman was the first president to pardon a ndrkey. >> al: but that's not
6:38 pm act, the truman presidential library says: truman sometimes indicated to reporters that the tueys he received were destined for the family dinner table. truman was actually the first president to receive a turkey from the nationaturkey federation 71 years ago. so, who was the first president to pardon a turkey? lincoln, it appears, was the first on record. but it was a chrisurkey that his son had taken a liking to. in 1963, president john f.e kennedy was rst to pardon a thanksgiving turkey. despite a sign hanging around the turkey's neck that read, "good eating, mr. president," kennedy sent the bd back to the farm. richard nixon also gave the birds a reprieve, sending his turkeys to a nearby petting zoo. ronald reagan was the first to use the word "pardon" when he was talking turkey in 1987. the turkey pardoning became formalized in 1989, with president geor h.w. bush. >> let me assure you, and this fine tom turkey, that up will
6:39 pm
not enn anyone's dinner table. not this guy. >> alcindor: exactly. these turkeys are no sitting ducks. they rode 1400 miles for their freedom this year, from south dakota to washington d.c. they even spent some time at a luxury hotel. from the white house, they'll be sent to virginia tech university, where they already have a prominent gobbler mascot on campus. the event has come a white house holiday tradition. >> this is the eighth i have had the privilege to meet and set free in the rose garden. >> alcindor: in 2000, jerry the turkey from wisconsin sp white house pass around his neck. four years later, the buti administ also had some with fun. the names of that year's turkeys were chosen in a vote on the white house website. >> this is an election year, and biscuits had to earn his spot at the white house. scuits and his running mate,re gravy,iled over the ticket of patience and fortitude. >> alcindor: when paesident
6:40 pm
obamoned his final turkeys, he said that he e wouldn't ston after leaving office. >> we are going to do this every year from now on. ea cameras, just us, every no way i am cutting this habit cold turkey. >> alcindor: this year's finalists: peas and carrots. the top turkey was selected in an online poll, and president trump endorsed the results. >> this was a fair election. unfortunately, carrots refused to concede andunemanded a re and we're still wghting with carrots. and i will tell yove come to a conclusion. carrots, i'm sorry to tell you, the result did not change. >> alcindor: for the pbs newshour, i'm yamiche alcindor. >> woodruff: as the current outbreak of wildfires in
6:41 pm
california shows, 2018 will likely be one of the worst wildfi seasons in recent history. but how does fire spread and what can you do to protect your home? as part of our web series "sciencescope," newshour producer nsikan akpan explores the science fires and gives us some tips. >> reporter: although this , ar's wildfire season should be winding do continues to leave behind a record wake of deearuction. as oy november, flames have scorched more than 8.2 million acres in the u.s., a 25% increase relative to the last decade. wildfires have raged in recent years, embdened by climate change. though the overall number of ldfires has declined slightly since 1985their individual size and the damage they cause have more than quaupled. apart from lightning strikes and careless camp fires, aroundct 500,000 ste fires start pmdoors in the u.s. each year. cooking equit is the main cause, but the deadliest cases
6:42 pm
involve cigarettes and upholstered furniture. so today, we're going to turn this chair into an inferno, to show you how to protect your house from indoor and outdoor fires. sciencescope watch this blaze at the national fire research laboratory in gaithersburg, maryland. this 32,000-square-foot facility is one of the largest labs in the world dedicated to studying how buildings respond to fire. >> anything that you can measure related to a large fire, we do >>. eporter: matt bundy, a mechanical engineer, has led the group for 10 years. >> we make measurements of structural performance looking at how structures deform. so, everything from fires on small pieces of furniture up tot multi-story bay structures. >> reporter: as part of theon na institute of standards and technology, or n.i.s.t., their experimentofform the basis ire codes for buildings and furniture. feir lab resembles a movie set. each experiment med from various angles to build computer
6:43 pm
simulations. these vivid models split the area into millions of one-inch boxes called grid cells. >> in each of those little boxes, we solve conser equations of mass momentum and energy. >> reporter: kevin mcgrattan, one of the lab's mathematicians, says small grid cells allow foro a closerat the chemical reactions that occur deep within a fire. now, you might think temperature dictates whether this fire .preads. but you'd be wro >> for us, the key parameter in these experiments is the heat release rate. that is how much energy is given off by the fire. >> reporter: all furniture is essentially combustible fuel. much like the food that you eat that fuel has calori. when you or a fire burns these calories, it generates energy and heat. here, watch how the heat release rate changes over time. notice how the chair isn't fully consumed until the heat release rate spikes. that's dangerous.
6:44 pm
>> what happens is the heat from the fire rises up to the ceiling d then spreads across the ceiling. eventually that hot layer near the ceiling starts to descend as more and more heat and smoke is pumped up from the fire. so, then all the contents in th room, e other chairs, the carpet, any items that areta around, they heating up.ep >> rorter: eventually you get what's c led a flashover-- when all the items in the room seem to burst into flames simultaneously. to stymie furniture fires, the lab is testing flame retardants made of silicon dioxide, the same materl in sand and glass. heat-related fires can also be prevented by repcing old kitchen appliances with worn out insulation and by keeping space heaters away from flammae material. but flashovers can occur outdoors, too. research shows once a fire gets within 33 feet of a ho, the heat alone from the fire can cause combustion. to help communities resistld res, n.i.s.t. works with
6:45 pm
people like pam leschak, the u.s. forest servics national program manager wildland-urban interface and fired-adapted communities. >> the most effective thing people can do, the simplest easiest do it on a weekend or a couple of weekends, is to create defensible space and harden your home. >> reporter: a "defensible space" involves clearingma flammablrial from about a hundred feet around the home, unless it's steep terrain, then it needs to be more than 100 feet. for full details, look up" firewise usa but you can start by watering and mowing your lawns on a regular basis. clear away pine needles and store deck furniture when it isn't being used. remove any flammable materials in the yard. propane tanks, lawnmowers, downed trees, limbs, brush. swapping wooden fences for metal ones and replacing wood roofs can help too. oh, and block any crevices around your garage door >> wind blown embers can get into your garage, and there aref usually a lot hings in your garage that can burn.
6:46 pm
>> reporter: building houses more than 20 feet from each other can also significantlyea reduce the sprd of fires. people that use defensible space programs are twices likely to save their homes and businesses during a wildfire. but plan ahead, becausyou never know when a fire might spark. for the pbs newshour, i'm nsikan akpan reporting from gaithersburg, maryland. >> woodruff: now, making beautiful music, in and outside the concert hall. jeffrey brown takes us to los angeles for a look at the work of conductor gustavo dudamel and the orchestra he leads, now celebrating its 100th anniversary. >> brown: at the camino nuevo charter academy, a public school in los angeles' macarthur park, the star of the show recently was l.a. philharmonic conductor gustavo dudamel.
6:47 pm
he was there to open a new site for yola, the youth orchestra los angeles, a program to offer free, high quality music lessons and support to students in underserved communities. >> when i see them, i'm one of them. i go back -- >> brown: you feel that still? >> completely. for me to do music, i have exactly the same feeling as when i was sitting in the orchestra for the first time, nine years0 old,ar old boy, playing in the middle of the second violin section of an orchestra of 500 musicians. and then we were playing and that was like wow! this is the thin >> brown: by now, dudamel's own story is the stuff of legend, a'coming up through venezu famed el sistema program, created in 1975 by jose antonio abreu, which has brought musican lessonorchestra training
6:48 pm
to hundreds of thousands of children, many from poor backgrounds. as a teenager, dudamel became conductor of the program's simon bolivar youth orchestra. and today, still just 37, dudamel is one of the most celebrated classical musicians in the world. ten years into his time as nductor in a city of stars, his image is everywhere. and he remains committed to changing the image of orchestras in today's culture. >> i think it's a representation of the community, the orchestra. we have to avoid that kind of, i doow how to call, but elitist way we see artis >> brown: el >> elitist, yes. hethat we are on a mountai and the rest of the people is there. it's >> brown: but a lot of people do see it that way. especially classical music. >> but we e transforming that. because the people have to feel when the people see that they are represented by the best art,
6:49 pm
by the best culture. >> brown: this year the l.a. philharmonic is celebrating its 100th anniversary in a grand style that began with a day-long street festival, and a free concert at the hollywood bowl featurg katy perry and other stars alongside the orchestra. they've commissioned 50 new works from contemporary composers, and dudamel is presenting innovative collaborations, as this one with the choreographer benjamin millepied -- in prokofiev's 'romeo and juliet,' in which dancers used unconventional spaces inside and out of walt disney hall, itself a world famous building by architect frank gehry. gehry is now designing a new home for the philharmonic's youth program in an abandoned bank building in inglewood, a majority latino and african-
6:50 pm
american community. music, dudamel says over and over, is a fundamental human right. >> it's a big idea but simple because art is creativity. art is aess to beauty. what our children in our times are living inot, they are not having access to that. we live a very pragmic world where you have to produce, you have to do this, you have to learn in that way. but where is the space to contemplation, to creativity, to work as a team to create beauty. >> brown: the immediate goal is to double the number of children participating, now at around 1200. we visited yola @hola, an afterschool program in theix where childrennd up have access to instruments, lessons, and orchestra practice.
6:51 pm
occasionally, the mentoring here is peer to peer. two young cellists, 16-year-old zenaida aparicio and 14-year-old mariely flores, attend nearby schools. did you have the opportunity to play music at school? >> no, the only opportunity i had was here. >> brown: and when you got here what was it like? >> it was amazing. i got to learn, i got to experience things guat i didn't i would get to experience. wn brown: really, like what? >> like getting my instrument, getting private lessons, like academic tutoring, and stuff like that. wh brown: what did you fin you got here? >> i sawhere was opportunity not only for certain people in this country but that there was opportunity for ople that need it the most. >> brown: did you need it? >> yes, i did, because i don't have enough money to pay for an instrument, lessons, and all those things. so, i found it here. >> brown: what theve clearly also found here is a community
6:52 pm
of friends and mento, including maestro dudamel himself. did you get to meet gustavo? >> it was pretty exciting, so many feelings just a. he's a big person in our life. >> brown: as dudamel is moving forward in los angeles, his homeland of venezuela is another story, after years of political, economic and humanitarian crisis. el sistema is a governme- funded program. and the simon bolivar orchestra regularly performs at government functions.en dudamel has trongly criticized at home for being too cozy with ese regime of ent nicolas maduro and not speaking out against hisit authian policies. after dudamel did write a "new york times" op-ed last year critical of the government, maduro responded by canco ing urs of the bolivar orchestra. i asked how this has shaped his own se what music and an
6:53 pm
orchestra can do. >> you have to understand your position and your role in the society.ev and i beand i really believe that you can create bridges. can unite. for me music have to unite. if you get from one side to the other, then you ll that, then you destroy that possibility to build a communication. that is the thing. but of course i suffer every day of what is happening in my country. because i have my family there, and they suffer this thing. and we have to-- you know, this have to change. this have to change and ople have to take responsibility for that. >> brown: here in los angeles,e, in the meanthe focus is on playing beautiful music, and reaching more young people. >> every child have access to musiand to art. that is the dream. that is my dream, you know, to embrace the world with and it's not n
6:54 pm
access to art. that's it. it's simple. that is the most beautiful thing. >> b,wn: for the pbs newshour i'm jeffrey brown in los angele >> woodruff: later tonn pbs, "frontline" and propublica presenthe second film in their "documenting hate" series. "new american nazis" continues their investigation into whitesu emacist groups in the u.s. and what influence they may have had on the gunman behind thek recent att a synagogue in pittsburgh. "documenting hate: new american nazis" airs tonight on most pbs that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us ur the pbs newsthank you and see you
6:55 pm
soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change wo dwide. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic ment, and the advancemen of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for
6:56 pm
public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc media access group at wgbh
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
♪ - this week, milk street is in taipei, taiwan. you may not know much about taiwanese cuisine. i rtainly didn't. it's probably the most interesting, most varied cuisine i've ever tasted. we're going to learn how to make a great scallion ncake. this is an older shop in town. they have been making them fodecades. they have a special recipe for the dough. fr and they don't y the pancake at all. they actually do it on a d griddle. so we like that a little bit better. then we finish up by going to a cooking school. this is a woman, chuang pao-hua,