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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  December 8, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, december 8: moreit house moves as president e ump announces that john kelly will be gone by end of the year; discontent in the city ofe lights as porack down on yellow vest protesters; and in our signature segment, scotland looks to he sea to harness renewable energy. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edr wachenheim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america--
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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, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thanks for joining us. president trump's chief of staff john kelly is leaving the administration. the four-star retired general replaced the president's first chief of staff, reince priebus, in july of 2017. the president told reporters the news as he left the white house this afternoon to go to the army-navy football game in philadelphia. >> john kelly will be leaving. i don't know if i can say "retiring," but, he's a great guy. john kelly will be l at the end of the year. we'll be announcing who will be taking john's place. it might be on an interim sis. i'll be announcing that over the
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next day or two. but john will leaving at the end of the year. >> sreenivasan: the president also said he thinks the russia investigation headedy robert mueller is "going very nicely."a joining us nowkype is newshour white house correspondent yamiche alcindor. the replacement of the chief of staff. is this expected? >> it wageexpected lar because for days now, we've heard that john kelly andid prt trump were not speaking, and this is really, in some ways,seremarkable, bec the chief of staff is supposed to be someone who is very close to the president, someone hos bringing order to the white house, hois actually the person who is supposed to be channeling communication to the president. but president trump, after-- after i would say months of saying that john kelly was a great general, that he was someone that he wanted to keep in his adminisation until 2020, i think tired of that order because the president isd really uo a free-wheeling white house thafunctions much like trump tower where people hiscome in and out of office and his daughter ivanka trump can talk to his dadev
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wh she wanted and john kelly wasn't going to have a white house that functioned that way. >> sreenivasan: are there any ideawho wi replace him? >> right now there are no ideas. the president said he had someone in the back of his mind, would make that announcement in the next couple of days.or but the reng i have gotten so far is there isn't a solid rson who will beollowing john kelly as of yet. >> sreenivasan: this is just about 24 hours since the release of documents that say the president directed illegalh hus money payments. putan, i'm just trying to this in the context of the kind of information that you have to isal with on a daily bas covering the white house right now. >> well, this is a white house that, whiule president tments to say is functioning very smoothly, is actually, i think, in a state ofh caos in a lot of times. you have this continuing revolving door that's spinningnu of people consly leaving the white house. and then you have this large cloud of the russiave igation. the president is someone who is focused on it. he's tweeting about it daily. he is frustrated with the fact
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that he has these people that he thought we loyal to him now speaking to the special counsel. you think of michael cohen.u ink of the executive editor of the "na enquirer" other and people who were close friends of the pesident who have now had interviews with the special counsel to, in a lot of ways, save their own neck. michael cohen was focused on making sure he wasn't goitong to gojail for a long period of time, and as a result, the president is now, i think,wo ied about what else could be coming out of the special counsel's investigation and out of robert mueller's indictment. >> sreenivasan: but in his public statement he's seems to be almost exxonerated saying, "hey, i don't see any collusion between the russians here. i don't need any help from the russians. you should ask hillary clinton about that.hi >> the oneng he has been very consistent about, is that he thinks they say complete ax, that the russia investigation is a witch hunt. it a message he has been consistently been able to tell his supporters and republicans that he'll not accept the
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findings orobert mueller. and he say there will be a counter-report released. the president knows reporters like you and i are gog to have to follow in a lot of ways, are going to have to report on what the present is saying if he puts out his own counter-report. i think we're going t days where the last two years are going to seem quiet compared to what might be come. >> woodruff: yamiche alcindorin g us live via skype tonight. thank you very much. >> sreenivasan: in paris, today, riot police faced off with yellow vest protesters for the fourth weekend in a row. police shut down roads to theti presid palace and used tear gas to break up the crowds. 135 people were injured, including 17 police officers. and 1,000 protestors were in custody by protests began in response to a planned fuel tax increase which french president emmanuel macron announced he would suspend earlier this week. but the "yellow ves " have added new demands and are now protesting high taxes and theiv high cost ofg. for more on today's protests and the growing demands of the" v
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yellowt" movement, n.p.r. reporter eleanor beardsley joiny us now via from paris. let's start with today. what did you see out on the streets? >> reporter: i was out by the arc de triomphe, which sawng fighround it a lot last week. and there was just a lot of police out.0 8,00lice were on the streets. that's dowbility number of last week. there were armored vehicles. they were prepared for the thousands of protesters to arrive. and it was sort of cat and mouse going on.wo the policuld push people ldown the avenue, a ot of tear gas, and the protesters would try to come back. hthis went on most of te day. there was not rioting. most of the stores were closed and people had boarded up their windows. all of the ground floors of buildings were completely boarded up with plywood. >> sreenivasan: we have been seeing and you have reported on the protests escalating the past couple of weeks, do the people in par represent something big e, the people out on the streets? we're seeing this from a cit perspective, but is there a larger discontent in the
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countryside as well?>> ctually, there were only 31,000 out nationwide today,0 8, paris. that doesn't sound like a lot. but, actually, what they represent goes very deep. mo than 70% of the frch population support themselves. a woman told me today, "i can't afford to buy shoes for my son." so you feel that it dos present something much bigger than the numbers of people who are actually demonstrating. and another thing it makes you realize is there's just a hue disconnect between the president, emmanuel macron, and these people. somehow, he has no managed to communicate his message that he wants to lower french unemployment, give them jobs. they tink he say prsident of the rich who is giving more money to the rich. and everyone out thid, "we are for the environment. we-- we care about the planet.e but not on t backs of the poor." they say the rich should be paying more, and we're paying the lion's >> sreenivas: what do they do? i suspect even the prot testerso nont the type of violence that they saw over the last
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couple of weekend. they want to get their pointss acro. and the government sas you say, is taking a lot of stops preemptively arrest people and take them off the streets. >> you know, tese nas movements that have happened now for four sturdays in a row is not all of it. little groupof yellow vest protesters might occupy-- or they'll be at a toll road. at first they tried to stop cars to get attention. they don't even have to anymore. you know, drivers just go by and honk in support. so then they come and have a national demonstration in different cities in paris, and they've gotten violent for various reason because yve young groups of men who come to almost any protest. it gives them just the chance to fight with police. so it does get distorted when we're watching these images on tv. basically the movement is peaceful and it's spread out all over the country and they're non always figpolice. >> sreenivasan: all right, npr's eleanor beardsley joining us from pa.s tonig thanks so much. >> you're welcome.
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>> sreenivasan: prosecutors in new york want michael cohen, president trump's former lawyer seenced wednesday to a substantial prison term. for a breakdown of what that means, visit re sreenivasan: police in the united kingdom arering for possible violence and are closing roads in central london in advance of a plned "brexit betrayal" demonstration scheled for tomorrow. this comes with just days to go before the british parliament makes onof its most important decisions since the second world war: whether to support or reject the way in which the country leaves the europeanea union after 45 of membership. the 2016 referendum in which the british people voted to leave the e.u. has created unprecedented division in britain to such an extent that some experts are warning that social unrest could be imminent. special rrespondent malcolman t reports. >> reporter: with just over three monthso go before britain's formal departure date, so called remainers cling to the hope that they can thwart brexit. they're angry at the impending loss of benefitsh associated witropean
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membership, the anti-immigrant stance of many brexiteers and the potential isolation ofit n. in parliament, jeremy corbyn, leader of the labour opposition party, believes theresa may's tenacious defence of her dth the other 27 e.u. countries increases his chances of ascending to power. >> the prime minister may have achieved agreement across 27 heads of state, but she's lost pport of the country. >> reporter: a rebellion within her own party is a bigger threat to theresa may's future than jeremy corbyn. about 80 of th are ready to vote against her plan on tuesday. tey object to the e.u.'s conditions governi island of ireland during the post- brexit transition period. the republic of ireland is part of t european union. northern ireland is part of the united kingdom, which would leave the e.u. under brexit. both the e.u. and britain wa to prevent the return of a hard border between ireland and northern ireland, but they can't agree on a solution.
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until there's a final brexit settlement, northern ireland will remain within the e.u.'s free trade zone, and its border with ireland will remain open. theresa may's opponents fear northern ireland's special status would effectively mean partition of the united kingdom. they're also concerned that britain will be apped into following e.u. rules for an indefite period of time. conservative member of parliament, nigel evans: ttorney general has made it clear that we cannot, with the withdrawal agreement,at unally leave the european union. we want to control our own laws in the united kingdom, and the withdrawal agreement as ity currentlands doesn't allow us to do that. >> reporter: conservative rebels sske evans want theresa may to demand new concens from beuropean leaders who areng tough on britain because they don't want any more countries to it the bloc. the president of the euronean commissijean-claude juncker, insists there'll be no more compromises. >> this is the best deal possible.
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this is the only deal possible. >> i don't think we believe that. we really do he to go back to the drawing bod and try a bit harder, quite frankly. >> reporter: in evans' district, n,230 miles north of londomall business owners are caught in the middle. >> elements of brexit are very useful to r business. >> reporter: jack singleton is an executive with grandmato sings cheese. >> we export to 40 countries, and, of those 40 countries, it would be preferae for us to be able to negotiate individual trade deals and be outside of the single market. thereporter: however current uncertainty is unsettling to singleton. m >> there's deal gives us certainty. and without certainty for those exports in the short-term with a perishable product, we couldlv find our in serious trouble. >> reporter: derek hayhurst, whose cow's pply the milk for singleton's cheese, concurs. >> we could just do with some certainty. we could, and then we know where we are going, what steps we should be taking. t the onng, we just want to make a living, you know.
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>> reporter: bigger businesses.m like., the german owners of the mini-plant in oxford, are taking steps.e theyanning to shut down the factory for four weeks immediately after britain leaves the e.u. to ensure they don't have supply problems. along with other motor manufacturers, they're warning that a no-deal brexit could be disastrous. that's something auto workers agree with. tony burke of unite the union res.esents british auto work an influential trades uniolost, he's beeying against theresa may's plan. >> quite frankly, the whole thing is an solute disaster. what do i see as the alternative? we in unite are king m.p.s to vote down the deal, to rejec it; and then, if we need to, to move towards a general election so we can get a government who can actually get involved and negotiate and try and get a proper deal with the european union and one that protects us for thfuture. >> reporter: this is maidenhead, west of london, the district represented in parliament by
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prime minister theresa may. in common with other towns, main street here has its share of boarded-up businesses and low- budget stores. remainers here are campaigning for a second rerendum-- in other words, for the country to vote on brexit again in thebe ef that the result would work in their favor. >> so, what we're doing ispl giving pa chance to say, for example, here in theresa may's constituency ofhe maid, do they want a people's vote? and they're saying quite clearly, as demonstrated here, they want a people's vote and that theresa may does notem represent >> the people have already spoken, you know. come on, let's try and try agaii until we gright, until we get a "no brexit" like what they want. no. >> bause the best deal with the e.u. is membership with the e.u. >> the best deal is to just geth hell out. >> what it would say about the state of ouremocracy if the biggest vote in our history were to be rerun because the majority in this house didn like the
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outcome. and what it would do to that democracy, and what forc it would unleash. >> reporter: many analysts believe that theresa may's days as prime minister are numbered, but she's not going down without a figh her determination has earned admiration from those who previously doubted her, but her more entrenched opponents believe that she's developed a bunker mentality, proclaiming that victory is possible when defeat is far more likely. >> one of the things about the moment is that we don't know how great a crisis this is becauseve no one hasattempted to do something like this. >> reporter: ruth harris is a anofessor of modern europe history at all souls college oxford. >> i think there's going to be a lot of i think hat is interesting now is that there is tremendous discontent and a feeling that there isn't proper leadership tu deal with thent crisis. we have the kind of discontent i think that people have in france. >> reporter: historian ruth harris sees parallels whth francee violent protests ly forced president macr
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to scrap fuel tax rises. >> people were feeling thishe seething underurface for years. and then, instead, what's eppened is, it's come to surface. whher or not it will end i civil unrest is just so unclear. there'nothing yet organizing us, but after all this movement in france came out of nowhere, let's see what happens here.ou >> i hate to see civil unrest in this country, but i think there is an underestimation by those who ovve literally spent the last two years trying tturn the democratic wishes of the people. and if somehow or other they use a device and they're able to do that, that they deny the british people what they voted for, then i think we're in for huge problems within uncharted territory. and i'm incredibly worried by that. >> sreenivasan: there's recently been a steady drumbeat of reports from climate scientists
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warning that there is less and less time for us to take collective action to slow the disastrous effects oate change. the united states has withdrawn from the paris climate agreement, and the president has feen an open skeptic established facts. this has not deterred a globalee revolution. countries around the world are continuing to move forward with investme renewable energy. we'll be looking at various innovative energy effoals period, starting with one under way in scotland. n the country rly 70% powered by renewable sources already, with the go00 of reachingby 2020, ten years ahead of schedule. their power traditionally came from dp sea oil and gas, but the ocean has a lot more to give, as you'll see in this, the first of a two-part series. in a giant industrial hangar on the eastern coast of scotland, technicians are servicintwo turbines, each with three 30- foot blades. they're not wind turbines; these are actually designed to be 100 feet underwater, capturing
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energy not fm the wind, but from tidal currents. once they get this 150-ton turbine into the water, this entire thing wilswivel with the tide four times a day, generating about enough power for 1,000 homes. for the past year, these turbines, and two others, have been in the pentland firth, a strait off the northern coast of mainland scotland. it's called the meygen project. >> the blades, for example, we made from carbon fiber. >> sreenivasan: eddie scott is s e health and safety manager with simec atlanergy and part of the team that oversees installing these devices undeater. to get them in place, the turbines are guided onto steelhe bases oneafloor. you can drop this in to its bast and gelugged in how long? >> we can do tt within about 30-40 minutes. >> sreenivasan: as the tide ebbs and flows, the turbine between seven and 15 times a minute, generating power, similar to a wind tu cables carry the energy back to
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the shore, first underr, then underground, where it's then fed into the national grid. the tides are so predictable that atlantis says it can tell how much eney these turbines will generate every 15 minutes for the next 2years. so, you don't have to worry laout whether there's clouds on a sunny day for you don't have to worry about whether there's a stiff breeze or not. >> that's the real advantage of tidal energy: it's very, very predictable. >> sreenivasan: scotland is estimated to have a quarter of all the tidal energy resoues in europe, and scottish companies have helped lead the way in developing technology to harness ose currents. meygen, here in northern scotland, is the world's largest planned tidal project, and, over the next four years, simec atlantis is planning on installing more than 250 additional turbines. >> when it's fully done, you're talking more than a quarter of a million homes can benefit from the power that's generated from this array of turbines. >> sreenivasan: tim cornelius is the c.e.o. of simec atlantis energy. the company says the turbines at the meygen site are expected to
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last 25 years and only need to come out of the water for maintenance every six years. >> it's in a very, very stable environment. and more importantly, from a permitting and consenting d perspective, y't see them and you don't hear them. and that's very, very important for local communities. expensive being first. the cost of producing tidal energy is more than two and half times the more established technology of offshore wind. the meygen project has cost abou$64 million so far and h been largely subsidized with public money. almost half of the total cost has come from the sc government. >> we are ry, very grateful for the support that we have received over thpast ten years from the u.k. government, and specific reference to scottish government support because is been outstanding. but, of course, the aspiration is to eventually wean itself off subsidy. >> sreenivan: as the project continues to expand, cornelius sa costs are coming down.
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a year after the turbines were installed, the price simec atlantis charges the utility company for its tidal power has decreased by 50%. >> the scottish government has provided consistent long-term espport for these technolo >> sreenivasan: on stage, paul wheelhouse. he scottish minister for energy, connectivity and the islands. we sat down with him at a on ocean energy in edinburgh. can this industry survive without government subsidy?ke >> we believtechnologies are already close to being in a position where they can survive without subsidy. other technologies which are newer, emerging technologies do need, we believe, continued support to get them to commercial scale, utility scale projects tll then get the economies of scale and theur manufag process and drive down the price and prove their competitiveness. >> sreenivasanwheelhouse says these government investments will help scotland reach its yal of being 100% powered renewables by then, there's the transfer of technology that's happening. >> the great secret about e tidal power industry is while it
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looks like an incredible leap forward in engineeri, actually, all we've been doing is just stealing the great ideas of the oil and gas industry over the last decade. >> sreenivasanthe facility where the tidal turbines are maintained also supports oil and gas platform >> big cranes, heavy lifting equipment, moving large portions and large chunks of steel around. some of the subsea technology is very, very similar, so there's a tremendous amount of existing technology that we're using and capitalizing on.>> reenivasan: for wheelhouse, relying on the technology and knowledge gathered from decades of oil and gas exploration means continued jobs in this new energy sector. >> we don't want to leave communities, entire communities behind as has happened in the past with coal mining, you know, just abandon them and leave them to their own devices. >> sreenivasan: so, you' saying that you are creating opportunities for whether its coal miners or at oil and gas workers to transition to this new renewable economy?>> es. >> sreenivasan: and with the growing threat of climate change, wheelhouse says the timo
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nvest in new forms of renewable energy is now. >> we have long argut there is an economic advantage in moving early not wast because l have to do this. i believe firmly that climate change is happening, and we cannot avoid tackling ssue globally. >> sreenivasan: while the tides these turbines are gathering energy from are predictable, the political winds around them are not. how brexit could hamper this emerging industry, that's theie subject of our tomorrow night. >> this is "pbs nshour weekend," saturday. >> sreenivasan: tens of thousands of malaysians rallied today to celebrate their scrimination.convention on a mee u.n. international convention outlineures to eradicate all forms of racial discrimination. ethnic malays make up 60% of the population. they oppose the measure, claiming that ratification would threaten government benefits and
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weaken islam's status as malays primary religion. 14 nations have not signed the u.n. treaty. hungarian trade unions protested today over a government plan to allow for more overtime in an effort to offset the country's labor shortage. the government wants to raise workers' allowable overtime, which would add up to one extra day per week. union leaders are calling the measure a "slave law" and anto attempoost companies' profits at the workers' expense. the government says that they' allowing workers who are looking to earn more money to work more hour china warned today that canada will face severe consequences if it does not release meng wanzhou immediately. wanzhou is the chief financial thficer of huawei technologies. she was arrested arequest of the united states as she changed planes in vancouver last weekend. the. u.s. alleges that she covered up her company's links to a firm at tried to sell equipment to iran despite sanctions. al a statement today, the chinese governmentd the case "extremely nasty."
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more than 3,000 aftershocks have struck alaska in the days sinc a 7.0 earthquake struck near anchorage more than a week ago. officie warning residents about rock slides as tremors, some up to 4.5 on the richter scale, continue in the region. the quake damaged roads and bridges, but there were no deaths or serious injuries. a highway off-ramp that collapsed near the anchorage airport was repaired and reened in four days. >> sreenivasan: join us tomorrow for part two of our ren tidal energy in scotland. and we'll have more on theia runvestigation and the information coming from some of the president's closest former advisors and friends. that's all for this ition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm harireenivasan. ve a good night. ptioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible b
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bernard and irene schwartz. esue and edgar waim iii. seton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vageb.s. the j.oundation. rosand p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding by provided utual of america-- designing customized individual and group retiremeducts. 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. be more. pbs. wh
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