Skip to main content

We will keep fighting for all libraries - stand with us!

tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  December 16, 2018 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

5:30 pm
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, december 16: a partial government shutdown looms over funding of a border wall. a look at life inside isis from a reporter on the frontlines. and inur signature segment: rising seas and a mass exodus. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. the j.p.b. foundatio rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg.nd corporate g is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual
5:31 pm
and group retirent products. at'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 thank you for joining us. federal agencies are preparing for a partial government shutdown at the end of t week, if congress doesn't meet friday's midnight deadline. at issue is paying for a wall on the mexicaborder. pamocratic leaders say there are not enough votes t a bill with president trump's requested $5 billion to waild a wall. , the president claimed during his campaign, mexico was going to pay for. last tuesday, president trump publicly srred with top democrats over the potential shutdown. senate minority leer chuck schumer said they offered to
5:32 pm
keep funding for border security at $1.3 billionus >> in the or the senate, he is not going to get the wall in any form. even in the house, which is majority republican, they don't have the votes for his $5 billion wall plan. and we should not let a temper tantrum, threats push us in the direction of doing something that everybody, even our republican colleagues, know is wrong.en >> sasan: white house senior advisor stephen miller said the trump administration will not back down. >> we're going to do whatever is necessary to build the border wall to stop this ongoing crisis of illegal immigration. >> and that means a shutdown? >> this is a-- this isy-- if it comes to it, absolutely. this is a very fundamental issue. >> sreenivasan: the father of the seven-year-old guatemalan girl, jakelin caal, who died while in the custody of borderl agents is disputing statements by authorities that his daughter had not had any food or water for several days before crossing into the united states. ruben garcia, directorf
5:33 pm
annunciation house, a non-profit group that assists migrant families where caal's father is now stayin read a statement yesterday from attorneys for the family. on as they crossed the border. she had not suffered from a lack of water or food prior to approaching the border. >> sreenasan: jakelin caal and her father, crsed the u.s. border in new mexico illegally with a group of more than 160 other migrants on december 6th. according to the "washington post," she died december 8th from dehydration, shock and liver failure. the department of homeland security has launched an internal investigation. hundreds of presters in lebanon marched through the streets of beirut today to rally maagainst a government sta. political factions remain divided, leaving lebanon without a governnt seven months after elections. limonstrators are upset by corruption, poor p services, and a rising public debt that has grown to 150% of lebanon's g.d.p. today's rally was ord by the country's communist party.
5:34 pm
the indian-administered section of kashmir was hit today by both a government security clampdown and a strike led by separatists. the moves are in response to the deaths of seven civilians and four combatants yesterday when government fces fired at anti- india protesters during a gun battle. india and pakistan each administer a secti of kashmir, but both claim the disputed region, which has led to decades of violence. fosmore on today's top stor ousit us online at >> sreenivasan: there's a growing population of migrants in this country coming not ross the southern border, but from island nations in the equatorial pacific. they are fleeing deepening poverty and the des ructive effe climate change and they enjoy a status in america unlike that of anyther immigrant group. special correspondent mike taibbi reports from the rshall islands and salem, oregon. this report is part of our
5:35 pm
ongoinseries chasing the dream, and was funded in part "i paislanders in communication." >> reporter: in snapshots, the marshall islands look like paradise, a pacific archipelago of coral atolls midwayween hawaii and australia. but what pictures don't tell you is that a third of t island's population has left for the united states. and why leave their island home? the president of the marshallla s, dr. hilda heine, explains. there've been people wh leave for education, for health purposes, for jobs, and i'm sure there are people who are leaving because of the threats of climate change. >> reporter: climate change is a big issue here, much in the news recently, as punishing kinged tides co with persistent drought have wreaked havoc on dwindling fresh water supplies. mong climate experts, and many here who keep rebuilding their sea walls against the warming,g
5:36 pm
pacific, is that the islands are sinking if not disappearing. >> so of course people are looking for better things, and they think that anything in the united states is better than what we have here. we're competing with the strongest country in the world. >> reporter: there's another reason they're moving to the united states, where the marshaese community currently numbers around 30,000. citizens of the marshall iands can live and work in the u.s. without visas and work permits. that's because of a 1986 law called the compact of free association: or cofa." cofa" established u.s. economic aid and special rights for a trio of equatorial pacific island nations used by the u.s. military, including for thef scoresclear tests in thed 1940s 0s that rendered some of the marshall islands, like bikini atoll, uninhabitable. rtday, with good jobs in s supply in the marshall islands, unemployment is hovering around 40%, leaving for america makes
5:37 pm
sense r many. american pacific international, has been here for half a century and iss the countrggest private employer. he says that so many peoawe have move that it's a struggle to hire and hold onto skilled local worker you employ hundreds, how many have you lost to migration to the states?fr >> i'md to guess. >> reporter: over the years, hundreds? >> oh, yeah, definitely. >> reporter: recent years, many more? >> without a doubt. most of our marshallese are either very young, or very old. the more productive ages, between 25, 45, there's a smaller percentage, e those people go. sp reporter: isaac marty told us his $4 an hour newaper job barely paid for food, making leaving the islands the only option to make sense. >> i love the islands. this is where i was born and grew up. and i don't want to leave the
5:38 pm
islands, but then i have no other choice but to try to make some living for my family. >> reporter: but moving from here is expensive. so his wife, amelia, and two of their kids were the first to leave in april of last year for salem, oregon, while isaac and his son isaiah stayed behind, bunking with relatives. there are nightly call amelia in salem, not knowing if it will be months or years before they'll all be reunited. in the school, 80 kids didn't show up on opening day because they andh r families had left, and many of his remaining classmates can't afford school supplies.a poverty hage impact on education throughout the calands. also limited: mecare here: no kidney dialysis, no cancer care. even basic care is in short supply. isc marty found himself frustrated, whether it was one of the kids needing treatment for an ailment, or his wife
5:39 pm
amia, battling chronic depression. >> we don't get the quality service that we want. we get sent away with pills and other medication that do not help most of the time. so that's, to me that's awful. >> reporter: finally, five months after amelia and the other kids left, isaac and isaiah were able to join the rest of the family in salem, after relatives already in the states helped pay for their airfare.he whenarshallese come here to oregon, to the state of washington, to arkansas, places where their numbers have increased exponentially in recent years, they are not citizens, they are not illegal or undocumented immigrants, they're not refugees shielded by temporary protective status. they're what many are nowpe calling "anent non- immigrants." among them, jesse gasper, one of the first to arrive three decades ago, who came here under cofa years after h andparents and great
5:40 pm
grandparents had been relocated from bikini atoll due to the nuclear testing of the early '50s. gaspnt his childhood in arkansas, which has the largest in elementary school i crieding a lot. i cried a lot when ioing home because i was different. >> reporter: were you ever acconfronted with outrightm or discriminatory-- >> all the time. i leard to i guess be a politician. i tried to be pleasing to everybody. >> reporter: gasr and his family eventually settled in salem, where he works as an insurance agent. he's also the president of an advocacy group called the oregon marshallese community. >> when somebody comes here from the islands, they expect to ha this hollywood-type lifestyle. when they do come here, they are faced with rent, they're faced with a job that doesn't sufficiently pay for all the bills they have. >> reporter: he spreads the word about resources available to the
5:41 pm
community at the churches where hundreds of marshallese flock to on sundays. >> these are the reasons we've migrated herep >>ter: and he meets with city officials like mayor chuck bennett. gasper talks about the challenges facing his fellows. island since they're not citizens they can't vote, and in oregon, have only recently gained access to nefits full citizens enjoy, including health care options, and enforcement. like law they are still seeking access in other areas, like food stamps and in-state college tuiti discounts. but this genial city of 170,000 has made adjustments for the elling population of marshallese and other pacific islanders. >> numbers are growing. currently there's over 1600 pacific islanders in our school district, which is a pretty big number. i make sure that they're getting what they need and their voices are heard. >> reporter: with so many pacific islanders in its school district, salem employs kenny
5:42 pm
ramirez as a resource specialist now working exclusively with that community. >> our absentee rate for our pacific islanders is high. our graduation rate is not the greatest right now. so that's one of our major to listen to them and find out what the underlying reason is why they're not at school first, because there's usually a bigger reason to why they're not at school, it could be transportation, it could be 24me situation. >> reporter: it's job, building relationships with parents through home visits. >> i've already spoke with theai teachers, theythat he's doing his best. >> reporter: and connecting with kids one on one, either in school, where he tracks their attendance and grades. >> you know your grades are great. we have one class of concern. >> reporter: or in the pacific islander club, whose meetis, a junior named rose mae told us, are always packed.
5:43 pm
the aim here is to create a sense of community and to preserve a pacific island culture that goes back thousands of years. how important is it to have this club? >> very important. it's like my own little island, in this classroom. d >> reporteing our visit, the kids talked about the difficulty of trying to embrace an american-styled adolescence. did you find it a struggle to s justw up at school? >> i wasn't used to here. it was confusing at first. middle school year i never ce to school because i was just too scared. >> reporter: some in this club are determined to someday visitt >> i haveen to marshall islands or anything. >> reporte if not move to the marshall islands. will the islands be there, as a place to live? if you ask president hilda heine, and we did, she'll insist the marshall islands are not done yet. s>> i hope that people wi that the marshall islands as a country and as a people continue to live and continue to exist. that we didn't abdicate and just
5:44 pm
say ¡forget it' and leave! >> reporter: there arets here to create more opportunities in the islands, but ey have limitations. this processing and packing plant serves the world's biggest tuna fishery, that produces millions in licensing fees yearly for foreign boats. but there is no full service harbor here that wouldllow the marshallese to support their own fleet of tuna boats and femselves to catch the fish. this aquacultureh farm caeration, produces more than a ton of the fish de called moi each week. but it isn't profitable yet, and currently employs fewer than 50 islanders. and this workshop trains youth in carpentry, crafting the sailing canoes that for a millennium havexplored these islands. but those lovely canoes aren't a business so much as an.ct of devoti as for isaac marty, he and his son, isaiah, have been living in salem, oregon for nearly a year and a half, this reunited family
5:45 pm
be self-sufficient in this new city: they spend afternoons at a sun-splashed nearby park. they have a decent used car, a new apartment, and just enough money for food and a few toys for the kids. >> you're doing a great job. >> reporter: isaacedimself has lais best job yet, $17 an hour as a much-in-demand translator for the school district. >> yeah i've got about five moro syllabus t on. >> reporter: and his kids are thriving in school. >> the workload that they give to elementary students here are like the workload that they give to mdle schools back home. i feel that they're getting smarter than me. >> so she's eight pounds, seven ounces. >> reporter: and there's a newba in this family, petunia. she gets regular neonatalps chechrough oregon's health plan, and the doctor also checks in with mom, amelia, to make sure that her anxiety and ?epression are under control. >> your mood is ok rrnot getting too sad, or d?
5:46 pm
>> a little bit. >> well we get a little bit up to near boiling point, and then just calm down a bit. >> reporter: isaac tries not to second-guess the decision he made to leave the marshall islands. >> it's like two things pulling you in different directions. i've got the islands and then my family. so i had to let one go so that i can have the other one >> sreenivasan: u.s. military officials announced saturday that efforts to fight the islamic state in eastern syria are nearing an end. this after u.s. backed syrianre forces capthe town of hajin, which is one of the largest urban enclaves controlled by the islamic state in the region. but as we've reported on this program; despite efforts to quell the growth of isis, are regrouping, and localized groups are emerging,
5:47 pm
as recruiters exploit the war anpolitical factors. i recently sat down with "new york times" foreignco espondent rukmini callimachi who covers isis. her in-depth podcast "caliphli"" takeeners inside the terror group and their motives through her relationship with self-described former isisfa member abu huz you have a ten part podcast series that looks at so many differt layers of isis, so people might go back and subscribe now but didn't hear it then, what were you trying to accomplish? >> i was trying to accomplish owhat i am always trying accomplish which is, i'm tlying my best to understand these people that in many ways lookon likeers to us. these are people that are-- that are doing acts that we consider so horrific that it's hard to even conceive of them as human. > sreenivasan: uh-huh. >> and yet i havn e bee this for four years and as a result of my work i have over and ov had a chance to speak to them, mostly in jailts in iraq andri
5:48 pm
but occasionally in the west which is the case of abu huzaifa who agred to speak with us. what strikes you when you speak to these people is just now normal they, they come across. and i'm trying to go in the ideology that makes them tick because we typically don't talkn about that, an effort to not, give it more oxygen but unfortunately it's important to try to understand it if we are going to try tod unerstand the-- of this group. >> sreenivasan: how did you get this beat, did you opt in, did your edirs, when you first joined the times. >> since 2014, almost five apyears, i really justpened upon it it was back when i was at the-- press, i was ban the westafer can bureau chief for the a-p. in 2012 a gro that was affiliated with al-qaeda took over the-- and quekly that became the most important issue on my beatk i was being asked t fail on that all the time in 2013, french forces went in to
5:49 pm
force them out. i followed behind them and that was the first major discovery of documents that i lly i realized that this is a group, al-qaeda just like isis is a grohlup h organized, it has an enormous amount of paperwork to go along with the bureaucry that it trying to run, and i realized that in 2013 that much of what washington-- washington sources from the pentagon to the state department had told me about this group was wrong. was dead wrong. and i realized at that point in time that there was some thing that i could contribute to the study of this phenomenal. >> sreenivasan: as y see people that are in this world, i remember one of the things that was kind of at the end of your thisst, you caught up with a year later, the same story, whether or not this individual is gaming the system. >> yes. s
5:50 pm
ke to each other over the course of a year and a half. and we got to him inthis-- in what i think was this really oment which was ta he had managed to get back to canada without getting arrested. he got throu the airport, no issues. so he thought he was scott free, nobody had come to iergate him. and he was starting to think real hard about the awful things th he told us he had done. he claimed that he was still upset by some of th, that he could no longer sleep. he was sleeping on the floor next to hismo er's bed. and so i think we caught him in this moment of eat semed like true remorse. immediate-- immediately after we interviewed him, 12 hours later, police come and bang on his door. he then starts this real long process of constant c interrogatiostant surveillance. he would come out of his house and see a car parked there, we get in hiatown car, th car huld come behind him. and soe suddenly went from i'm ott free which gave him the
5:51 pm
space to sort of feelo guilt these jerks are after me, you know, like how dare they, you know, i was just doing pie duty as a muslim, these crazy things that he tells himself. and then when they couldn't file charge crges against him, thi arrogance came out. >> sreenivasan: embolden him. >> this 3w08dness, they can't get me, you know, i free. check it out, you know,ive a gamed the system. its with a really bad look. and i told him as much. i kept on trying toush him and say listen, you have talked about killing two human beings. what about their families, right? what about their families. and we always sort of shut down when we went back to that. beyo that first pesed of time-- period of time, he did the want to talk about murders again. >> sreenivasan: in his brains and probably the braibs of lot s se people they think they reason on the side of good. >> absolutely. >> sreenivasan: the rest of us perceive and are like what are
5:52 pm
you talking out >> the kritd kal experience that hz eva had was himon frnt of his computer in his bedroom at his mom's house, watching and rewatching these horrific youtube videos of syrian civilians being killed in air strikes. these images cause all of us bu the moment when he was injesting thosemages he was also speaking to muslim recruiters saying these are muslims being killed by the west, they are being killed by bombs by a sad in their-- assad in their own country but theetion are victims dct s by the wez, it is your duty to help them. and at a certain point he bought their rationale and found himself, you knor n what was thelf-proclaimed caliphate standing behind a muslim man about to shoot him to death. >> sreenivasan: rukmini callimachi, you can see her
5:53 pm
website and podcast." caliphate ." thank you for having me. >> this is pbs newshour weekend, sunday. >> sreivasan: space travel. it appears to be getting closer for us mere civilians. virgin galactic's "spaceship two" successfully made it to space this week. the ship went more than 50 miles up on thursday morning, that's the federal aviation administration's definof space. the flight is a jor milestone in commercial space travel and it's the first manned american ship to make it to space since the space shuttle was retired in 2011. the company says nearly 700 people are on a waiting list to get on board. tickets aren't cheap, it would q berter million dollars for the ride. and virgin is not alone. blue origin, the rocket company founded by jeff bezos, said its first test flights with passengers could take place as soon as 2019, and elon musks's company space x is planning a commercial flight around the
5:54 pm
moon by 2023. but there is a dark side of the moon, if you will. earlier this week, n.b.a. superstar steph curry was a guest on the "winging it" f podcast wilow n.b.a. players kent bazemore, vince carter, and andre iguodala. and he expressedoubt that the u.s. ever landed on the moon. >> we ever been to the moon? >> no. >> no. >> they going to come geus, i don't think so either. >> beautiful, just beautiful. op sreenivasan: of course, despite what some believe, 12 american astronauts did walk on the moon between 1969 and 1972. and the trump administration says that going back is a priority. the backlash to curry's conspiracy talk was, well, immediate. nasa even offered to take the two-time m.v.p. on a tour of its lunar lab the next time he's in houston. and it turns out curry says he doesn't need convincing after all. he told reporters on wednesday that he was just joking about the moon landing being faked, and thate's excited to take nasa up on its offer to visit. it was a full moon turnaround for one of the n.b.a.'s brightest shining stars.
5:55 pm
>> sreenivasan: finally tonight, a fifth person has died as a result of the shooting at the strasbourg, france christmas market last tuesday. the 36-year-old polish born man had been in a coma since the attack.d hundreds gathe a makeshift shrine near the christmas market today to honor the victims of the mass shooting. and tomorrow on the pbs newshour, we'll report on a troubling outbreak of ebola in the democratic republic of congo. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan.or thanksatching. have a good night. pt ning sponsored by wnet captioned by media acce group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekess is made le by:
5:56 pm
bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. ton melvin. the cheryl and philip milstein family. dr. p. roy vagelos and diana t. vagelos. thj.p.b. foundation. rosalind p. walter. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retireme company. ditional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewee you. thank you.
5:57 pm
5:58 pm
5:59 pm
6:00 pm
announcer 1: "tastemakers" was fundnded in part by... ♪ announcer 2: what does a craftsperson look like? ♪ announcer 2: is it this? ♪ announcer 2: or this? ♪ announcer 2: or is it this? ♪ announcer 2: is it possible a craftsperson might also look like this? ♪ announcer 2: edward jones salutes the makers who share their expertise and take pride in their craft. announcer 1: ...and by fleischmann's yeast. and ab mauri. ♪ cat: how do you change the food system? if you're kathleen morgan you make frozen custard, of course. in this episode of "tastemakers,