tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS January 12, 2019 5:30pm-6:01pm PST
captioning sponsored by wnet on this edition for saturday, jartary 12: the l government shutdown enters day 22, the longest on record. and, in our signature segment, the ongoing court battle that is plaving many transgender p serving in the u.s. military in limbo.n next os newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: waernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgaenheim 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-- 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 ieontributions to your pbs station fromrs like you. thank you.om he tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. iv >> srean: good evening and thanks for joining us. on day 22 and with no end in sight, the paral government shutdown is now officially the longest shutdown in u.s. history. >> both houses of conghoss have gone for the weekend and no talks are scheduled. >> sreenivasan: this mt ning, presidump tweeted from the white house, that "we will be out for a long time," and continued to blame democrats. yesterday an estimated 800 thousand federal workers, either furloughed or working without pay, did not receive paychecks. the house and senate passed a
bill to gu whenever the federal government does reopen and the president has said he will sign it. for more on the fall out from gte shutdown we're joined now by wash post reporter david nakamura who is in washington d.c. >> sreenivasan: any updates? we don't have both sides at the table >>at's for sure. o, the talks seem to have broken down and now it seems to be in the white house's court, i mean this is the longest shutdown in u.s. history, and there is no sign of it ending, i mean right now the president has talked a lot about decaring national emergency, he set the stage by going to the border and saying there is arisis situation, but lately he now is saying he is backing off a little biand says still wants to keep talking but there is no sense there is any room for the two sides to really find a compromise, both are digging in on their positions and uil see a breakthrough i think sright now thetdown will continue. >> sreenivasan: if it is a crisis and something so urgent why not declare thational emergency? what is keeping him from doing that? >> that's what a lot of people are asking, if this is anum emergency, thers at the border are up, they are far below historical highs, but t president is saying we need to deal with this, there are lots of families, women and children coming over the border, the
president is saying, you know, the humanitarian crisis, he called it a national security crisis and talked about crime, others are saying he i inflating that and by the fact he is not declaring a national emergey shows he is doing, so but i think one of the concerns they have is, you know, not, certainly democrats are against the idea of the president would invoke special powers and go around congress to do so to build the wall, but even some republicans are saying they don't really agree with that, because that sets a bad precedent what stops a future president, a democrat can from doing can this on some other porkcy area if they can't with progress. >> sreenivasan: so another president could come along and say climate change a national emergency and have to take all of these americas that have not yet been approved or f paid by congress, right? >> it is an extreme position if the president were to try this and hasn't really been tri this area to try to call a national emergency, cancel some bentagon projects and may redirect that money to a wall, that would invoke all source of, all sorts of chance both legal and political and congress could try to step in as well, it is unlikely the republican senate would do anything but certainly the house would probably try too hold som of vote to sort
of go against it, that might not stop the president but certainly a court challenge probab uld. >> sreenivasan: are the people you speak to in the white house prepared for this too on indly or i mean, do they see kind of something coming up? we have the state of unicoming at the m end of tth. >> absolutely. and the president canceled a trip later in january that he had en scheduled to go an economic conference in davos, switzerland, some said well what does that mean? he is digging in now for a really long shutdown, we don't really know, this is a shutdown that began in the late december at a time whe take a snd and fight for this border wall, it could be the last -- -- until i get this funding and not bundling off the $5.7 billion am asking for, e democrats say no way and it is not clear what the eesident's end game is here. he says i wonn open the
other parts of the government, aside from dhs which some democrats are saying let those fos get back to wo, no, i am going to take the hard-linepo tion, he is signaling to his base i will fight tooth and nail to get this done.rt >> the dent o department of homd security is one that is already being impacted.ab >> absolutelylutely, the border patrol agents and others who are working because they ars ered essential employees without pay, there is a one federal works union that is actually suing the administration because the employees are working without pay, and that includes some parts of the border patrol agency, not all of them. other parts are of border patrol are saying we support the president, union members of a different part of the union stood up with the president bot in tite house and on his tour of the border and says we support this idea bufact that dhs is one of the government agencies that is shut down is actcouallounding the problem at the border, immigration judges are not holding the heargs right now, there is a huge backlog already so it is getting worse. >> sreenivasan: all right, david nakamura of the "washington post", thank you so much.e, >> sure, my tihank you.>>
en >> sasan: "the new york times" reported last night thate the f.b.i.d a counterintelligence investigation into president trump shory after he fired rmer f.b.i. director james comey in may 2017. the times cited unnamed "former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation" as sources. the inquiry was open "consider whether the president's own actions constituted a possible threat to national security," and "whether mr. trump was knowingly working for russia." special counsel robert mueller reportedly took over the inquiry but the status of the investigation is unclear. the f.b.i. declined to comment onhe story. democrat julian castro officially entered the 2020 presidential race today. at a rally in san antonio, texas, his hometown and where he served as mayor, the 44-year-old said he did not think his grandmother, who immigrated to texas from mexico, cou have imagined her grandson would become a candidate for president. castro served asecretary of housing and urban development in the obama administration. he is the second democ
atficially enter the race. former represee from maryland john delaney declared his candidacy in 2017. massachusetts senatoelizabeth warren has announced an exploratory committee. and hawaii representative tulsi gabbard says she will officially join t race next week. in cities across france today, a niekend of "yellow vest" protests continue with more than 30,000 taking to the streets in opposition to president emmanues macronovernment. in paris, riot police wared r cannons and used tear gas to stop the demonstrations against macron's economic reforms. a three-month national debate over policy issues including green energy, taxes, institutional reforms, and citizenship is set to begin on tuesday to help calm the unrest. but, demonstrars say they are skeptical because macron has already said that he won't back down on certn key measures. the united states is calling for a new government in venezuela following the re-ection of socialist leader nicolas maduro. maduro was inaugurated on
, thursdbut his victory has been rejected as illegitate by most countries in the hemisphere. popular opponents were banned from running and the largest anti-government parties boycotted the election. >> the u.s. is publicly backing the leader of venezuela's opposition-run congress, juan guaido, who says that he's prepared to temporarily step into the presidency.-u the runnin the democratic republic of the congo's presidential election is s.ficially challenging the resu martin fayulu has filed an appeal in the constitutional court to contest fellow opposition candidate felix tshisekedi's victory. fayulu said yesterday that his camp'sally showed that he won 61% of the votes to tshisekedi 18%. congo's ectoral commission announced that tshisekedi won with 38% of the vote to fayulu's 34%. fayulu's supporters believthat the election was rigged to protect members of former presjoseph kabila's outgoing administration and continue his influence. read about the first-ever openly transgender military recruits on
our website at pbs.oshour. >> sreenivasan: yesterday, during a closed door session, the supreme court did not act on the trump administration's request to intervene in the legal fight over the proposed ban on most transgender people serving in the u.s. military. so, the year-and-a-half-long court battle over the ban lifted during the obama administration will continue in lower courts. since president trump attempted to reinstate the ban in 2017, thousands of transgender troops have served while unsure of their rights or the their military careers. the documentary, "transmilitary," released on itunes this week, shows what life is like for these soldiers. megan thompson recently sat down with a former soldier as well as the film's director. >> reporter: when laila ireland was 17 years old, she joined the army. she was assigned to be an interrogator, and deployed twice to iraq. ireland eventually became a
corporal, continuing a long tradition of military service in her family. th my father was in the military, my grand was in the military, my great grandfather was in the military. and i wanted to be part of that legacy, part of that tradition, but i also understood thf being a parte tradition did not allow me to really be myself. >> reporter: that's because ireland is transgender. when she enlisted in 2003, there was a ban on transgender people serving. the u.s. military had long considered issues related to being transgender as disqualifying physical and mental conditions. so, during her 12 years in the army, ireland often couldn't identify openly as a woman. >> it was difficult, having to live by the core values of the military where i would... one of the most important ones to me is integrity. and i violated that on a daily absis by not being true to who i am or not being to share that. >> reporter: ireland's story unfolds in the documentary, "transmilitary," which tells the stories of four transgender troops. one rand corporation study
estimated american forces could anclude as many as 10,790 ender people. a study by u.c.l.a. estimates there could be as many as 15,500. gabriel silverman co-directed the film. r says the project began as a short documentary e "new york times," published in 2015. >> there shouldn't be any problem for us to serve openly. >> reporter: at the time, debate had begun about lifting the transgender ban, but silverman says stories like ireland's weren't well known. he points to a 2015 poll showing that only 16% of those surveyed reported working or even knowing a trans person. >> so, here we are, having this incredibly important , nversation around gender identit the vast majority of americans hadn't met anybody. and we realized that, look, the orn was still in place; we have this incredible we have this incredible group of people that we get to follow; and let's sewhere this goes. and, we did.
orter: over the next thr years, silverman and his team continued to follow ireland and three other trans troops: caain jennifer peace; firs lieutenant el cook; and logan ireland, laila's hband and a staff sergeant in the air force who'd served in afghanistan from 2014 to 15. >> every day, in kandahar, our job itself when we go outside the wire is inherently dangerous. >> reporter: besides showing what life is like for transgender troops, the film meows some of the service ers lobbying high-level officials at the pentagon to eliminate the trsgender ban. but coming out as trans to leadership carried huge risks, including the possibility of getting kicked out. after one of captainnifer peace's first meetings, word got back to her command in washington state that she was trans. >> i was td that i was going to immediately go back to male regulations, to have my hair cut hawithin male regulations,i was going to correct people to male pronouns. >> reporter: laila iland says being asked to speak out in the
film put the service members at sk, too. >> my reaction was, "you're crazy." keke, "i can't do this." "i'm putting everything on the line." and understanding that, if not us, who was going tois for us? >> reporter: the risks also presented challenges to the m lmmakers. how do you fis film without, you know, outing people, essentially? >> all of our service members for the documentary understood that this is either going to come out at a time where the, you know, ban is still in place and their career igoing to be in jeopardy anyways; or the ban is going to be lifted and we are able to release this without jeopardizing their careers. so, i think that that was the calculation that a lotf people ended up making. the pernicious aspect of this is that we can't go to a public affairs officer in the military and say, "i want to llow this random, you know, senior airman in afghanistan." "why?" "oh, because he's transgender." because you're immediately raising the red flag. so, fortunately, logan had some friends in afghanistan who had prosumer d.s.l.r. footage and
some gopros and was able to capture some of the foage that gives you a sense of his day-to- >>y route. reporter: as the film shows, a trans soldier's experience depends largely on wn direct command. in afghanistan, logan ireland had a dangerous job as the lead driver of a convoy. his commander accepted his identity, and ireland says he fit right in with his male peers. >> what i like abo this deployment is, i can be my authentic self. >> reporter: ireland en came out in 2015 to president obama's secretary of defense, ashton carter, who visited ireland's base in afghanistan. the visit made headlines when carter com he'd be receptive to letting transgender people serve openly. erally at the last split second, i decided to introduce myself. "sir, i'm senior airman logan ireland. i am representing one of the 15,000 actively serving transgender members of the military." his eyes bugged out, and he is e sweetest guy.
he's like, "wow, this is... this is incredible. thank you so much. thank you so much for your service and having the integrity to come up heratand tell me >> reporter: while logan was tle to be his true self in afghanistan, back states, laila ireland wasn't so lucky. she was stationed at the tmypler aredical center in honolulu, where her leadership told her she had to cut her hair and tell people to address her as a man. >> and tel i'm not a female, i'm a male." that was hard. it was really difficult. >> reporter: can you just talk y about was that you kept serving in that environment? >> because i was able to really be and do something that was greater than just myself. you just develop this sense of pride that not a lot of people can understd. >>epter: despite that pride and all it meant to her, and her desire to serve as long as she uld, ireland eventuall decided she had no choice but to leave the army. >> so, i was basically building a case against me. >> reporter: an on-the-job
injury made her eligible for an honorable discharge, so she took it rather than risk a dishonorable discharge. >> i wouldn't be able to get a job on the outsi and so, i chose to stick with the honorable discharge. >> reporter: laila left honolulu and moved to oklahoma with her husband, logan, and is now an advocate for trans rights. >> good afternoon, everyone. thanks for being here. >> reporter: in june 2016, six months aft laila left the army, secretary of defense carter me the announcement she and the other service members had been working so hard for. >> i'm announcing today that we're ending the ban on transgender americans in the united states military. >> yes! yes! yes! it was a relief and srrifying at te time. the terrifying part was that now how do we get this policy to have a smooth implementation amongst folks who don't necessarily believe that we should be in service or even be in society?
>> reporter: and how was that for you, as a storyteller and a filmma wr? >> you knod been filming with logan, laila, el and jen for several years at that point. ted so, to see this policy change for the b and just know what that means, i don't know, there was a calming effect. from a filmmaking perspective, we also said, "we have an ending." or so we thought. >> reporter: and that's because just oyear later, in july 2017, president trump announced his intention to reinstate the ban in a series of tweets. so, while the issue continues to make its way through the courts, trans military members like logan ireland are serving in a legal limbo. >> what is the future going to t ld for me in the military? this is what i wanto do. this iwhat i'm focused on. >> reporter: laila ireland says she hopes the film she chose to speak out in will help inform the debate and help the public understand everything that's at stake. >> we are part of that 1% of the american population that raises our right hand and swears to the oath to protect this... to
protect and dend this great country. it shouldn't matter wh, you know, our... our gender identity is. it really should mter if we are capable and willing to do the job. for more perspective on the shifting legal landscape for transgender rights, feliciano sat down with chase strangio, an attorney at the
and then also to push the court arto rule that trans peopl not covered under existing the office, now and moving into 2019, what we are seeing is an escalation sying to get treme court -- now, as we're moving into 2019, what we're seeing is an tion, trying to get the supreme court to rule in... in ways that will have long lasting, really devastating effects for the trans community, both solidifyingalhe constitutiy of the trans military ban, which is one thing that he wants and his administration has been pushing, and then also to push the court to rule that trans people are not covered under existing federal civil rights laws. >>r: reporooking at the sort of big picture in terms of federal protections for trans people, what has the trump administration said it might do versus whatually been set in motion? have any protections been taken away so far? >> so, i think what's reall important for people to understand is that, for many years-- decades, in fact-- the del courts have interpreted existing federal civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination on the basis of sanex to include people. so, this is not a new phenomenon. what the trump administration
has made clear from the start is that they want to undo and reverse those protection but they can't do that single- handedly, so wha from the administration is far reaching attempts to chip away at the legal protections that do exist and to urget he supreme co roll back the lootections that have been established in thr courts over the past many years. >> reporter: you're working on the case of amy stevens, a trans woman who was fired from her job at raa fuhome in michigan. can you briefly describe her situation and how it connects to the questions that were raised by that h.h.s. mem >> yeah, the amy stevens case is... is sort of, sadly, a typical one. she was a model employee at a funeral home in michigan, and she was living as male and working as a man. but she knew that she was trans. she knew inside that she was a woman. and after many years of... of sort of model employment, she informed her employer that, you know, the ly way she could ve in... in her authentic self
was to come to work as a woman, to... to transition. and as soon as she informed her employer about her being trans, she was fired. andt so, the equal employm opportunity commission, the e.o.c., actually initially broug behalf.wsuit on her she won in the lower court. basically, the court said the..re's nhere's no question that when you discriminate against someone because they are trans, that is discrimination on the basis of sex. that's a violation of title seven, federal civil rlaw. the employer has now sought review from the unitedsta supreme court. and the court is being asked by the trump administration and by the funeral home to interpret the law in such a way that tra people are excluded from... from coverage. basically saying "undo the protections that trans people have and let employers fire people and otherwise minate against people ju because of who they are." >> reporter: and you've written extensively about how the media's coverage of trans issues sometimes further stigmatizes
trans people and even perpetuates misconceptions. can you say a little bit more about that? >> as visibility has increased, we've ended up wching this discourse emerge that really just ask questions like, are trans people real? do trans people deserve healthcare? and the sort of foundational premise of those inquiries is itself really dehumanizing because of course we're real. that shouldn'te a question. it shouldn't be a question whether we deserve health care. of course we deserve hlthcare. and so, i think what we really have a responsibility to do is really shift the focus of the inquiry and help people understand that there's... people's core humanity and lives are... are on the line and that this isn't about hav og a debate ov existence. this is about recognizing our... our core humanity and ensuring that were afforded the same access to the legal protections that everyone else is. >> reporter: chase strangio, thanks so much for joining us. >> thanks for having me.
>> this is "pbs newshour weekend," saturday. >> sreenivasan: and now to viewers like you, your cha se to comment ries you've seen here on pbs newshour weekend. in december, we brought you a two-part report on tcotland's mocapture energy from tidal currents. similar to wind turbines, which sit above ground, tirbines d e 100 feet below water and use tides instead of w generate power. >> as the tide ebbs and flows, the turbines spin between seven and 15 times aine, generating power, similar to a wind turbine.es caarry the energy back to the shore, first underwater, you had lots of comments and there was a curring question. tom flanagan wrote, "i really "i work as a citizen scientist on a number of shorend intertidal projects and am acutely aware of the impacts these areas have to sustain with any kind of development. it wouleed havea bonus to the piece if there had been consideration of the impact to the marine environment." and jeanette muller had a shmilar question:
"my carpenter and man husband wonders how the turbine affects marine life?" thanks for the questions, we didn't have it in the but the impact on marine life by tidal turbines is something countries and companies have studied for quite some time. first, the turbines don't spin ast, usually between six and eight times a minute. here is a video from the bay of fundy in canada where they tested a different type of turbine. what you can see is that, during slack tides, the fish gather, but once the tides get going, the fish don't swim in these waters. basicay fish are smart enough not to waste energy swimming through waters where the tide is most powerful. there were plenty of other comments. on facebook, john spagnoli said, "any way renewable, carbon free energy can be caured is a good thing." and on our website willis emmons had this praise for scotla, ead the way scotland! maybe we'll catch up someday." as always, we welcome your comments on all of our reporting. visit us at pbs.org/newshour, n our facebook page, or tweet us @newshour.
bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. seton melvin. stthe cheryl and philip mn 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-- designuaing customized indiv 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. be more. pbs.
milan's monumeal cemetery. whilatthere are many eve cemeteries in europe, this one -- with its emotional portrayals of the departed and their heavenly escorts -- c in the melodramat styles from the late 19th and early 20th centuries -- is in a class by itself. it's a vast garden art glery of proud busts and grim reapers, heartbroken angels and weeping widows... soldiers too young to die. acres of grief, and memories.
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