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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  July 30, 2019 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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>> woodruf good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight: sexual assault and the military. accusationagainst a nominee for a high ranking job raise questions of how allegations are handled in the ranks. then, taking the stage.ok what to or as the next round of democratic presidential primary debates gets underway. plus, second chances after serving time. how thinking outside the box is giving young adultlein the juveustice system a path forward. >> what's needed is yes,e workfoills, job skills, academics. t but you can'hat if you haven't been able to go through and deal with the hurt. deal with the pain. deal with the lack of trust.
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arts allows us to do that. all that and more on tonight's pbs wshour. >> major funding forurhe pbs newshoas been provided by: >> advice for life. life well-planned. learn more at text night and day. >> catch it on replay. >> burning some >> shahe latest viral cat! >> you can do the things you like to do with a wireless plan designed for you. with talk, text and data consumer cellular. learn more at >> babbel. a language program that teaches spanish, french, italian, german, and more.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program sss made le by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: president trump is claiming widespread support from black americans, and declaring himself, "the least racist person in the world." that came today, as he defended his attacks on elijah cummings, the baltimore congressman leading investigations of mr. trump. the president befo an event in virginia that black lawmakers boycotted. as his helopter roared, he sisted it's voters that count. >> they are hay as hell. so you may have a couple of politicians boycott but it's all a fix. it's all a fix.
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anthe fact is african amer people love the job i'm doing cause i'm working for them, i'mo working for the politicians. >> woodruff: in fact, a recent "gallup" poll found only 8% of african americans support mr. trump. meanwhile, he was briefly heckled in jamestown today, at the event marking the start of self-government in ameri in 1619. the first african slaves arrived that same year. for their part, black virginia state legislators gathered in richmond, where a slave jail once stood. one tearfully urged spectators to reclaim the nation's soul. the number of central americangr ts crossing mexico to the u.s. border has dropped nearlye 40% siy. the mexican government announced today the nuer fell to 87,000 in july. ud, the american civil liberties union sa. officials have separated mrae than 900 m children from their families since a federal judge curtailed ye practice lar. we'll get details, later in the
6:04 pm tle woman had her initial court appearance today in a huge data breach at capital one financial. paige thompson allegacked credit card applications from more than 100 million people. the data included credit scores, bank balances and soci security numbers. capital one says it is unlikely fthe data was actually us fraud. it appears north korea has carried out new missile launches, for the second time in less than a week. south korea reports the north fired multiple, unidentifieds projectito the sea, early on wednesday. north korea's kim jong un agreed last month to revive talks on scrapping his nuclear program. pro-democracy protesters in hong kong have clashed with police again tonight after 44 people were charged with rioting on sunday. hundreds swarmed a police station where the accused were being held, and police in riot
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gear fired pepper spray to try to disperse the crowd. earlier, demonstrators blocked subway train doors, disrg ting the mornsh hour. still, some of the commuters supported the effort. >> ( translated ): this is what the movement is trying t achieve. the government is not addressing thproblems in our society, such as political issues, police violence and suspected triad gangs. that is why now hongkongers have no choice but use different creative approaches to remind people what is happening here. w druff: the protesters have demanded an independent investigation of police actions but vernment in mainland china blamed the west again today for stoking the protests. in afghanistan, a united nations report finds that afnd nato forces have killed more civilians this year than the taliban has. more than 700 people have died in afghan and coalition military operations including air strikes
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and night raids on militant hideouts. taliban attacks have killed 531 civilians. the u.s. and the taliban are currently holding talks on a peace settlement. back in this country, president trump warned china not to delay a trade deal, waiting to see if he will be re-elected next year. he said he will be "much tougher" after the ection. the two countries resumed trade ta shanghai today. california will mandate that lepresidential candidates e their tax returns to qualify for the state's primary democratic govgavin newsom signed the new law today. it is aimed at presirump's refusal to rease his returns. newsom said states have a legal and moral duty to ensure that the nation's would-be leaders meet minimal standards. d, on wall street today: the dow jones industrial average lost 23 points to ose at 27,198.
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the nasdaq fell 19 points,nd the s&p 500 slipped seven. still to ce on the newshour: how sexual assault allegations aimed at the top of u.s. military command raise questions on how they are investigated. what's on the line for the democratic presidential candidates squaring off in tonight's debate. second chances for young adults caught up in the juvenile justice stem. and much more. >> woodruff: the confirmation hearing for general john hyten, who is the far general nominated to be one of the highest positions in the u.s. military, was upended today when an active duty colonel again accused general hyten of sexual assault and lying to the senate immediately outside the hearing. william brangham has the story.
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>> we just had a four-star general get front of the american people and in open testimony in front of the senate armed services committee, and enmake false official stat, under oath. he lied about sexually assaulting me. >> brangham: an unprecedented accusation.ti duty army colonel kathryn spletstoser alleged general john hyten, the air force general tapped by president ump to be the pentagon's second in llmmand, lied to the senate today about sexuay assaulting her in 2017. she spoke to reporters immediately after hyten's confirmation hearing, where he again categorically denied her allegations. spletstoser alleged that during a 2017 conference in california, hyten came to her hotel room, kissed, touched, aai pressed up t her until he ejaculated. she says he was infatuated with
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her and uched her inappropriately several times before. the air force investigated the allegati for several months, and found "insufficient evidence to support any finding of misconduct against general hyten." spletstoser said there was sufficient evidence to charge hyten. since the allethtions emerged, senate armed services committee conducted its own investigation. >> the truth is that general hyten is innocent of these charges. >> brangham: both republicans and democrats today praised the committee's handling of the probe. >> thank you to chairman inhofe anranking member reed for conducting a very thorough, and a very fair inquiry. >> the fact this has been such an exhaustive, extensive, professional investigationes speaks vol >> brangham: there was also bipartisan agreement that hyten was innocent of thcharges. perhaps most notably, from arizona's republican senator martha mcsally. she's an air force veteran, and revealed this year she was raped by a superior officer years ago. >> i didn't take coming to this conclusion lightly. i knew the message it could sena to sexual t survivors, who
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haven't seen all the information w the case that i have. the process i junessed was strong, fair, and investigators turned over every rock to seek justice. s brangham: notably, two of the democratic senatwho've been itical of how this investigation unfolded, kristin gillibrand and elizabeth warren, were both absent because of their democratic presidential debate. throughout the heang, as he has since the allegations emerged, general hyten denied the charges. >> it has been a painful time for me and my family, but i want to state to you and to the american people in the strongest possible terms that these allegations are false. >> brangham: but spletstoser, who was in the room for his hearings, said hyten was lying, and his confirmation will deter assault victims from coming forward. >> this moving forwards tells everybody, every sexual assault survivor, victim, whatever you want to call them, that theyed ot bother to report. they won't be taken seriously.
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despite having a flawless record, they will always be quesoned, they'll be the one investigated, they won't see justice. and hey, in the end, senior officers are allowed to sexually assault people, and we'll just give them a promion instead. >> brangham: the armed services committee does not intmad to public its report on their findings on the allegations. they're poised to approve hyten's nomination. >> brangham: for more on today's hearing and what it says about the way the military investigates sexual assault in the ranks, we get two views. retired colonel don christensen had a 23-year career as a lawyer in the air force and has prosecuted many sexual assault cases. he's now president of protect our defeers, an advocacy organization that defends sexual assault victims in the military. and retired lt. col. rachel vanlandingham haa 20-year career in the air force as a lawyer and has also prosecuted sexual assault cases. she's now a professor of law at southwestern law school. thank you both for being here.
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don christensen,'d love to start with you frst. you represent an advocacy organization that looks out for people in the services that ve been assaulted or harassed. what do you make of these allegations and what u make of the investigation that was done into these alegations? >> well, the allegations are extremely troubng. colonel saspletstosereen consist. she has made herself available to the senate, osi, the m it was incredible that she talked to the media right afterward. there are no inconsies in what she has said. the investigation itself seemed to be rushed, but the thing to remember about a sex assiglt inveion in something like this, and we heard the senate say there is no corroboration, she never said anybody else was in t room. as wih most sexual assaults,
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there is no one else in the room. i don't know what they wanfor corroboration. do they think general hyten was stupid enough to send an e-mail and say, hey, sorry i sexually assaulted you. >> yang:>> braorngham: profewhat do you make of this in. >> well, neither of us have scene or read the investigation. we have only seen what has been released in the meddia an has been articulated by the senators from the senate armed services committee, but investigations are contention actual, so it would only be rushed if there had been quite a bit of evidence to uncover, anit does noseem to be the case in this situation. there was, in fact, what this case and wt this situation thlls me is that no one is above the law. even a four-star general in the united states air force when serious credible allegations of sexual assault are lodged agnst him or her is going to be investigated and is going to be investigated quite thoroughly. there have, in fact, been two
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investigation, as well there should be, both the air force office of snecialestigation, and then as we just heard on that clip, the senatarmed services committee conducted their own investigation. so i have been able to ascertain from the news reports that there were over 50 winesses interviewed, and thousands of pages of documents. so i'm not rely quite sue what hasn't been done here. i don't know what else can actually be done torroborate an accusation in which there is simply no other evidence to suort it. >> brangham: don christensen, let's pick up on this. professor vanlandingham believes this was sufficient and there was an appropriatest ination. i know some questions have been raised as to whether it's appropriate to have a four-star general, which is general hyten's rank, be investigated officers who are inferior to him, not diectly under hi rank, but who are clearly below rank. do you think that's appropriate? >> well, there's definitely a perception problem in this case.
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i believe general hyten was the second or third mo senior general in the entire united states air force at the time of tithe investi. and there are only about 13 four-star generals in the r force. if there was going to be anr investigation rception issues, it would have been much better off if one of the other servicto criminal investi had looked at this. but the thing to remember about investigations from the o.s.i., contrary to wha the air for and the department of defense keep spinning this with, the investigators do not reach a conclusion whether or not these allegations are true. all they do is uncover facts and get ints and track down evidence. they do not make a suggestion. they don't reach a conclusion. so it would be muh better to go off to somebody else, but let's remember, he was not cleared by an investigation. he was cleared by a fellow general officer. >> brangham: profe vanlandingham, what do you make of this? this wasn't a true exoneration. this was sily then ting to gather the facts, and we still
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don't necessarily knowhat all at evidence is saying? >> well, we do have professional -- the air force doesave professional investigators and fact finders, and don is absolutely correct th they reach factual conclusion, not legal conclusions. ose leg conclusions, however, where i disagree with don is thf conclusions whether or not a crime was committed or whether any kid adverse administrative action was warranted by the actuala evidence made by a senior officer in the united states air force, senior to general hyten, as well as was made by the senate armed services committee indi so the investigators themselves weren't reaching those conclusions, and they shouldnin be reathose conclusions. if there was any doubt regarding ther the comprehensiveness of the investigation or appeseara of partiality, the senate armed services committee could have easily had the lead investigator come speak with them, and to the best of my knowledge, they did
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not. instead they have the victim, the colonel herself, they spoket with heo assess hered cribility to ensure they were didoing their dueigence. >>rangham: don christensen, colonel splesstoser says if th general gets this promotion, this will mean other survivors won't come forward. >> i absolutely agree with that. approximately 75% to 80% of people are who are sexually wn'tulted in the militar come forward and report it because they fear ret ialiati the military. what has happened to her today is a classic of example of blaming the victim, smearing the victim. it sent a terribly negative messageto the force that evn when credible evidence is brought forward that a gentle officer will still be promoted
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after sexually assaulting someone. >> brangham: professor vanlandingham, same qu to you. if hyten is confirmed, does this cae a chilling effect? >> this does not cause a chilling effect. in fact, it sends a message that all allegations of sexual assault will be taken seriously, even if you are a four star or a major or even if you're a staff sergeant. in fact, tha individual who accuses someone of sexual assault is invited to cgress and gets to sit down with senators to discuss their complaint. that's not -- if that's not something being taken seriously, i don't know what is >> brangham: professor rache vanlandingham and don christensen, thank you very much. have a yet day. >> woodruff: as we reported earlier, the american civil liberties union says the trump
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administration has continued to separate migrant children from their parents at the southwest border, amna nawaz has our report. >> nawaz: judy, lee gelernt is the lead attorney for the american civil liberties uon, representing the separated families, and can tell us moou today's court filing. welcome back to ths news hour. leart with that number. the exact number is 911 children. you have identified in this court filing as having been separated from their families bejune 28th of last year and june 29th of this year. start with that. how did you arrive at that number? what's that based on? >> that's right. that's not a number that we discovered on our own. we would have no way of doing that. those are numbers the court ordered the government to give us, and the lattes numbers we got from the government are1 91. we have an excel spreadsheet that shows the separations. they have been going up monthly. the shocking thing about this is
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the government is clg this they're doing this for the children's benefit because the parents have a criminal history. what we expected to see from the government are very serious abuses against the cildren themselves, but it turns out they're separating children for things as minor as the parent's old traffic offense. in one case a misdemeanor offense for $5 or disorderly conduct or d.u.i. it's shocking they're doing this and for such minor crime, and what we have also found out that the children are younger than even first time last summer, ttle babies an toddlers are being separated on the pretexthat the parents are a danger to them.n >> nawaz: i to dig into those more, lee, but let's start with the acting secretary of homeland security has said. he has testified that uparations do continuet only in extraordinarily rare circumstances and only as you mentioned when it is in the best interests of the chi c. when tild is in some way at risk. we know there are cases outer i have seen them myself, well
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documented cases of child smuggling or abuse nreglect. how many of those 911 cases fall under that category? >> there's a lot in there. let me pull it apart. i think thathe administration is really being misleading in those statements. to begin with, you canok at a percentage-wise or you can look at how many children are bei separated. we now know over 900 since the junction and these are little chilonen, evee impermissible separation would be too much. i'll let the public judge for themselves whether 900 little children being separated after the court'snjction is too much. the second thing i want to point out is it's apples and ons to talk about trafficking here. these are cases where the gornment admits it's the parents, but says we still need to separate because of danger. yet when we look at the government's reason, we are seeing things like traffic offense, mismeanor, theft, disorderly conduct. and the last point i want the rtress is that we told the cou from day one, if the child is a
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genuinely endanger, if there ise ive reason to believe the child is in danger, we, of course, wantou to separate the parent and child. that's not what's going on. we've had independent experts slook at these caes and say, at most there's a handful of casats ight warrant further investigation, thatmi overwhelngly these are cases that should never have been consideredr separation. parent and child for -- because the parent has a disorderly conduct offense in the past. imagine how many americanul parents lose their children if those are the kind of offenses that would warrant you losing your child. >> matt: but i want to pick upa what youid. about a handful of cases based on the experts who reviewed them think those could have been in the best interest of the child. overall for some coontext, tse 911 separations happened at the same time that over 430,000 people crossed the southern border. that's just for some context. tell me, though, what we know about those children? how many of them are still in u.s. government custody? how many of them have been reunited with famils?
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do you know? >> we don't know. that's one of he troubling things. i think that's one of the parts of this story that needs to be told is thawe are not getting the information. the service providers for the children are not getting the information, in many cases the children's facilities are not getting the information. so we don't know how many have been reunified. we know that many have not, most have not, anre some pas have even been deported without their children. so what we are going to be asking the court for is toar y the standard by which you can separate a child and also that there be more information flow, because we need to know when these eseparation os cur where parent is. often the child will be dump entered a facility and the service providers won't even be told the parent is in the u.s. much less the reason for the separation or where the child was placed. >> nawaz: a lot of questions still to be answered then. >> or where the parent was placed >> nawaz: lee, thank you. >> thank you for having me.
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>> woodruff: when donald trump won michigan by fewer than 11,000 vot the first win in three decades by a republican presidentialat cand the state is among democrats' top targets in 2020, and the democratic national committee's choice for the next round of candidate debates. they have come to detroit this week on a mission. 10 candidates tonight, and 10 more, tomorrow night-- all wanting a boost t of this second set of democratic presidential debates. two progressive stalwarts are standing center ste tonight: vermont senator bernie sanders and massachusetts senator elizabeth warren. on either side of them are two of the field's youngest candidates: mayor pete buttigieg of south bend, indiana and former texas congressman beto o'rourke.
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farther out on the wings are many of the field's more moderate candidates: minnesota senator amy klobuchaohio congressman tim ryan, plus former colorado governor john ryhickenlooper and former nd coressman john delaney. and at each end: author marianne williamsonnd montana governor steve bullock, another moderate who missed out othe previous debates. while those 10 hopefuls are on stage, some of the oth candidates are looking to catch attention on other fronts. a super-pac backing washington governor jay inslee, who's debating wednesday, bought airtime for a tv ad criticizing the five candidates topping national opinion polls. >> but democrats aren't making climate change the number-one issue. >> wdruff: meanwhile, a political group founded by billionaire philanthropist tom steyer, who did not qualify for the debate stage, is out with an ad whose focus is
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special counsel robert mueller, president trump, and impeachment. >> you believe tt you could charge the president of the united states with obstruction of justice after he left office? >> yes. f> woodruff: that ad is part a push by candidates to highlight specific issues ahead of this week's debates. california senator kamala harris was in detroit yesterday defending the health care plan she rolled out ahead of her wednesday debate. >> my medicare-for-all plan will allow private insurers to be a part of our plan if they play by the rules.s but le clear about the rules. they're not going to be able to do business as usual. >> woodruff: but some of her rivals pounced immedia. vermont senator bernie sanders, who's tonight's debate, told cnn this, in a phone interview: >> i like kamala. she's a friend of mine. but her plan is not medicare for l. >> woodruff: a campaign spokeswoman for former vicepr ident joe biden also
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criticized the harris approach, saying it "pushes the extremely challenging implementation of this plan n years into the future." biden and harris will meet again at wednesday's debate. he has made his own contribution to the current rush of policy roll-outs: a criminal justice plan he announced last week: fr i tnk we need to shift the whole focus om what we're doing in terms of incarceration to rehabilitation. >> woodruff: but biden's announcement drew criticism from oother rival he'll debaten wednesday, new jersey senator cory booker, who's targeted biden's history on these issues: >> woodrf: the new trade proposals from massachusetts senator elizabeth warren arehe among the policy ideas unveiled by the 2020 candidates over the past of the other ds tonight, klobuchar and o'rourke rolled
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out plans on houucng and k-12 ion, respectively. delaney wants to build a program around mandatory year of service for young americans. and williams proposes a cabinet-level agency to focus on policies affectinghildren. new york senator kirsten gillibrand, who debates tomorrow, has released her own sweeping plan to combat climate change. for many of these democrats, this week's debates may truly be make-or-break. they have to reach a higher threshold, in public polling and donations, to qualify for the debates this fall. we turn now to dallas, where two programs are trying to shift the conversation around juvenile justice. one is bringing young people
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into the kitchen, the other aims to address trauma through art. john yang has that story as part of our occasional series" chasing the dream," on poverty and opportunity in america. >> yang: it's a friday night in downtown dallas and cafe i momentumbuzzing. in the dining room, waitersay thread theiretween tables. in the kitchen, workers churn : t dishes. watching over it aecutive chef and founder chad houser. av>> say, you know, "we'll a table for you in about 15 minus, if you'd like to wait >> yang: but cafe montum is far from an ordinary restaurant. all the waiters, and a lot of the kitchen staff, have recently been released from juvenile detention in dallas county. they're here on year-long paid internships. >> you guys come in, you guys helping us. we feed you guys, you guyso home happy. >> yang: 18-year-old de'monica, deo goes by dee, first got in trouble in 2014 for stealing her sister's car.
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at cafe momentum, she does a bit of everything. >> it gives me another chance. it's shown me that, you know, the are more people out he in the world that wants us to have another chance. t most important thing that we do in this physical restaurant is prove to our kids and to the community that these young men and young women can and will rise to whatever level of expectation is set for them. >> yang: across town, another program with a similar mission, but a very different approach. this is creative solutions, a grven-week summer arts pro for dallas juveniles on probation. byron sanders is the president and c.e.o. of big thought, the non-profit that runs creativeon solu >> w workforce skills, job skills, academics. gt you can't do that if you haven't been able through and deal with the hurt. deal with the pain. deal with the lack of deal with things that have been barriers to empathy. deal with own self-worth. arts allows us to do that.
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>> yang: in texas, more than 60% of juvenile offenders end up inerouble again within thre years of probation or release. for creative solutions, that number is just 13%. for cafe momentum, 15%. here in dallas and across texas, juvenile justice officials are rethinking the system. since reforms in 2007, the number of young offenders sent d. big state run detention centers has plumme the focus has shifted to local programs closer to home. university of texas at dallas criminologist alex piquero. >> people were really concerned at the beginning of that because, "oh, crime's going to yrocket." people we know, "all these kids are going to be on the street." ow, "you're letting out all these kids who should be locked up forever." and we didn't see that. in fact, just the opposid . at i think is what we call the texas miracle. >> yang: darryl beatty directs
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the dallas countdejuvenile rtment. >> we, as, as a department, you know, we have our funds that we can dot hings with. 's really the community, and community programs, that are vital to provide the necessary services that sometimes we as a department can't. >> yang: hours before fe momentum opens, interns sit down for family dinner, a staple in restaurants. here, though, they usually begin with an activity led by a staff member. today, it's a game of telephone, to show the importance of >> the seeds of cafe momentum were planted more than a decade ago, when houser taught eight kids in the dallas juvenile justice system how to make ice cream. >> that experience was very humbling for me. i learned that the differee between their lives and my life at their age was literally the difference in choices that were made for them-- and made for me-- before any of us were ever born. >> yang: he launched a series of pop-up dinners and then, in 2015, opened cafe momentum.
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h the program has worked wre "an 750 kids-- each, houser says, with their oique starting line." >> welcome to cafe momentum. ( laughs ) >> yang: server mar'twan darden, now 20, first got caught shoplifting when he was just 13. the last time he was locked up, he came to a realization. >> ias just, remember starin at the ceiling, just thinking, like, "do you want to live like this for the rest of your life?" and, nah. i was like, "nah, man. to get it together." so when i got released, i made a promise to myself, like, you know, i'm going to value my freedom. >> yang: creative solutions has worked with some 14,000 dallas youth over almost a quarter century, and since 2007, southern methodist university has hosted the summer program, where participants choose between creating art for an exhibit or performing indiront of an auce. sasha davis is creative solutions' theater director. >> they'll come in oftentimes as
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a brick wall, not ready to quite say or experience whatever that thing is in their past or whatever led them to this moment, and then they'll take a poetry class and writed t all down, en something clicks. >> yang: frankie zuniga had been incarcerated for more than a year when he entered creative solutions-- very reluctantly. at first, he didn't trust the instructors. >> in my mind, they're like "o you're just here to get paycheck." and yeah, i don't care. but overime, i'm like, dang, like, they do care. i learned to open up, and then they're like, "here, just try this, do this dance movetry to write this, perform," and little by little, it, like, to help me open up. >> yang: zuniga-- who now works at big thought-- recently got his associat wants to be a nurse or a physical while ig thought's sanders and cafe momentum's houser are focusing on getting juvenile offeers back on track, they say their ultimate goal is
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keeping young people out of trouble in the first place. >> i've got to continue to push as hard as i can, to push that conversation furtherhat we as a, as a whole country are talking about these injustices that we are forcing on a population of children. i think about at every day. >> we had one of our alumni ask a really strong queson, which is actually guiding a lot of our work. moving forward, he said, "why atd i have to go to jail before i got something ould change my life?" that's the question uld all be asking ourselves. and then we need to act. >> yang: action that may start with a work of art, or a good meal. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang in dallas.
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>> woodruff: now, jeffrey brown has a conversation with theou author ojuly pick for "now read this," the newshour's book club in collaboration with the "new york times." this report is part of "canvas," our ongoing coverage of arts and culture. >> brown: it's the final day of miguel de la cruz, "big angel" the dying patriarch of a mexican. >> american family. largeristories unfold in a row.l of both comedy and sor "the house of broken angels" was our july balk club pick. arthur luis urrea is here to answer some of our reader's questions. thanks for joining us. >>h tks for having me. >> brown: i'm going to go ght to our first question. it goes to the title and what you were after. >> the title fits sowell with the concept of this book. did you have the title in mind before you began writing? or did it fall into place afer
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finishing the book? >> good question. i didn't know that it was a book honestly. know, myr big bother died of hncer, and, you know, the family had givm a farewell birthday party, and my family attended. they had never seen anything like it. i talink my wife re had the idea that i should write a book about it. he had pased away very soon after this party. and oddly enrgh, jim harison, the great --. >> brown: writer and pet. >> had been a hero of mine for a long time. we had an opportunit to have mpper one night. he asked me, te about your brother's death. when i told him, he saitid, sos god hands you a novel. you better write it. i thought, between jim and my wife, i better do it. so that's where itme from. >> brown: okay. eet's go to our second question. it continues that theme. >> i was wondering if the
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character little angel is based upon the author himself? >> reporter: so there is big angel, who is dying, and then a little is the brother who is somewhat estranged. >> for th purposes of the novel, if you're going to have a rupture that in some ways maybe represents the border, my immigration, immig, to have one brother who is from a different mom who happens to be american, who doesn't quite know how to penetrate that incredibln well-world of the primary family. >> brown: but this is you, product of a mexican father and a white ameran mother, university professor. >> that's me. >> brown: that's you. >> and author. so, yeah, i mean, it gave me a palette that i could paint that character wiecause i could understand everything i think that he felt or any doubts he may have had whereas i think in some of the other characters who may have been based on real
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life, i had to guess a little bit and hope for the best. >> brown: you were telling me before you started you had to go to your family, some of them, and say, okay, it's based on yoon but here's what fics. fiction is not the truth. >> right. after my brother died, nt to tle family, threw a lit dinner and n san diego, and his widow, and i went, and we were all talking, and she just kept staring at me across the table like this. and i said, what?d, she sao you have something to tell me, luis? i said, nah. what's there to tell? she said, you have something you need to tell me. i thought, oh my god. >> brown: word was out >> i had been outed by my niece. i said, okay, yeah, i have based this novel on what happened to us and what happened to you, but it's fiction. it's fiction. it's a lie. i made it up,w,ou kno'm making things up, and i'm making a movie, and sometimes you have to act in my mind so i can
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write. and she just stared at me like that. she put her finger up. she saidi just want know, are you, you know, paying spects? are you honoring my husband? and i said, well, of course i am, yeah. that's all i need to know. >> brown: okay. let's go to our next question. >> one of my favorite passages in this book is when big angel remembers his father saying to him, "tis second jut became the past. as soon as you noticed it, it was already gone." hhe concept of time comes up again and again ins book, and i was wondering if you could talk about that. >> time. >> brown: love that question, because time is an essence of the book, also making fun mexican time. >> right. big angel is obsessed with time. and that comes directly from my own father. people used to call my father
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"the german," becae he was punctual. in fact, he was early to everything. so that bled over. and that line that big angel's father has said to him was something my father said to me. toe ticking clock in this is that we know he's going to e'die. he knowsgoing to die, and in only has so much time to try to rectify anythat he may have done wrong or any problems in the family, which i think any f us who are parents, you know, who were once iour 20s ana no longer there, you know, we all think about these things as time passes, what cawe dhow can we negotiate our tim>>e. rown: okay. next question. >> "the house of broken angels" has showed me that every moment of life is fresh. when you set out to write thisu book, did intend for this to be a central message? >> yes, iid, actually. i intended that. you know, i may not have known
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it until i started crying.: >> brorying to yourself while you were writing? >> there were a few passages thaty wife cindy had the type because i couldn't deal with them. i ju walked around crying saying them, an she typed them in for me. so the ralization i think of time passing and ev eryou love leaving some day, it's been a lot of loss in our family, but that was -- that became a kind of an obsession to me. >> brown: you can't read this book now without thinking of the times we're in, the situation at e border, you know, the conflict over immigration. you sprinkle ill resolutions in and out occasionally -- you sprinkle illusions in and outhe what'sule of fiction? >> if you are writing sort of social realism to pay atention to what is going on. but also, you know to,er
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unlize the story. and i cannot help but think if i ve you this family that maybe quite different fr your family, after a while you'll realize they're not that differen you know? there's love. there's regret. there's life. there's death. there's sexuality. there's religious faith. i the entire bo a parable i think for grace. >> brown: we're going to continue this discussion online. for now, luis urrea, thank you very much. >> thank you, thank you. >> brown: and bere we go, we're going the try something did for august. mny of us love nothing more than to turn to aloved older book for a summer rereading. so we decided to as one of today's top writers to selected a personal favorite, a become that continues to inspire and entertain her. celeste ing is author of the bestselling novel "little fires everywhere." her pick for us to read "the woman warrior," the acclaimed memoir by maxine hok kingston.
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celeste will sit down witus next month. join us on oura fcebook page for the now read this book club in partnership with "the new york t >> woodruff: with the new school year fast approaching, john yang is back to report on a controversial practice some districts use that puts children in the middle when schools go after money owed by their parents. it's part of our weekly education series, "makg the grade." >> yang: every school day, millio of children across the county sit down to lunch in their cafeterias whether it includes a scoop of tar tots or a tray of fruits and vegetables. about 20 million students-- those whose household income i at or below 185% of the povertya line-- eligible for free or reduced-price meals, subsidized by the federal government.t en other students show up without enough money to pay for
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lunch, school districts end up picking up the tab. some 75% of school districts reported carrying meal debt at the end of the 201school year, some running as high as $865,000. some schoo pressure students, in order to compel their parents to settle up, a pracce known as "school lunch shaming." a federal report said that, in 2014, nearly half of all schl districts had policies that singled out students for unpaid school lunch balances. in may, the warwick, rhodesc island publiol district announced on its facebook page that any student with an unpaid balance would be served a "sun sandwich" instead of the .school's regular hot lun that sparked national outrage anan outpouring of donatio to help cover the district's $78,000 school lunch debt, including $40,000 from the cbs show, "the talk."
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>> no kid should ever have to feel shame. >> yang: and nearly $50,000 from the founder and c.e.o. of the chobani yogurt company. >> we need everywhere, everywhere around the country to eliminate this for all, forever. >> yang: and earlier this month, the wyoming valley west school district in northeastern pennsylvania sent letters to about 40 families telling them their children could be sent to foster care if they didn't pay up. >> yang: the pennsylvania school heboard has apologized for tone of the letter and accepted a local businessman's donation to wipe out the $22,000 debt. the board president had inially rejected the offer saying it was the parents' s sponsibility. crystal fitzsimonsrector of school and out-of-school-time programs at the food and research action center, an advocacy group that targets hunger and undernutrition. crystal, thanks so much for join>>g us. >> yanhanks for having me.
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>> yang: we heard a couple of reactionicfrom school dis in that piece. give us some idea of the range ou policies that school districts have the country to deal with school lunch debt? >> right. there are a group of kids whool get free sceals. they get free breakfast and lunch. but other kids don't qualify for free school meals. so school districts really do have to figure out how to cover those costs. so they set fes. kids who are eligible for reduced price can be charged 30 cnts for breakfast, 40 cents r lunch. the other kids are charged the majority of the cost of the meal. when families don't pay those school meal fee, the school district has to figure out how to come up with that money,ca e otherwise it is actually charged to the school district's general account. al it is a re issue for schools. >> yang: what do they do? what is the range of things that schools do to deal with tha debt? >> well, i would say the vast majority of schools are not school lunch shming. there are schools that do
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practices around, you know, stamping or stickering, saying owe school lunch money. there are school districts where they say, we're not going to provide any meals to kids who have school meal debt, and soh when theld goes through the cafeteria line at the end of the line, beuse they have debt or they don't have cash to pay for the meal, they will take the lunch awh and throw it ine trash because the food cannot be reserved. in fact, the first time iever really heard about unpaid school meal debt was when we had a grandparent who caed and her granddaughter had just started kindergarten in michigan. th had taken her lunch away because the school district had not processed her school meal application yet. so there are lots of kids who fall through the cracks within the school nutrition program, and we rally think that it's important for schoolsif family is falling behind in unpaid school meal debt, it's really important for schools to take a will be at whether or n the family is actually eligible for free school meals. >> yang: your goo the food and research center, frac, as you call it, is backi
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legislation in congress right now that would address this issue. what would the legislation do? >> right. so we're very excited about a bill called "no shame ath scool" introduced by representative omar and senator smith. and that would actuay this a number of things to improve the situation. first, it would make sure that there was no shaming or embarrassing activities happening in the school. and second, we think that all the communications around hool meal debt should actually go to the parents or the guardian as opposed to the child. we think the cafeteria really should be a positive experience for all kis. and then for the kids who are eligible but somehow were missed in being certified for free meals, if the school district r has ach out and let families know that they can apply, and if the child becomes eligible, the bills wo provide retroactive reimbursement for school lunch and that way schools would be made whole. the kids would no longer haveeb that and then kids who need school meals would actually be able to tap into them. >> yang: one thing the
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tegislation won't do, as i understand it, ion't address alternative meals. the school districts, if there isn't enough, they don't have enough money to pay for that lunch that day, give them anrn alive meal, not the regular hot meal. why is that not in the legislation? >> well, so because the federal govement doesn't payor all the meals served in school, which i think this whole issue l does shineght on the fact that that is a problem, that we do want kids to ben i classrooms healthy and well nourished and providing frealmeals to kids is a wonderful way the make sure that happens, but thern federal gont does not pay the cost ucedhe meals for the re price or the paid, so they can't tell schools that they have to provide a meal to those children. and so you know, ifhool district that is really struggling with dealt, i would say that it'sly probetter to make sure that the child has some food, and i would al sn that there are ways to provide an alternative meal that are less embarrassing, you know, if
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the cheese sandwich or the su butter sandwich is part of the regular school lunch and any child can take it, then it's not embarrassing for a child to hav it. but when it's done in a way that is public that is humiliating, we really need to make sure that's not hapning in school cafeterias across the country. >> yang: crystal fitzsimons of the food and resrch action center, thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: finally, new york city is known for pizza, but you've never seen a pie prepared like this one. our science producer nsikan akpan visits columbia university, where engineers are lighting up new ways to cook a slice. >> reporter: the new york pizza slice as the world knows it has been around since the 1930s. that's when frank mastro, an italian immigrant and salesman,
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invented the gas deck ov. this simple innovation turned f new york pizrom a laborious item that could only be made in bedroom-sized coal ovens into the easy-bake, grab-and-go food that you find on street corners worldwide. but, just as new yorkers rarely sistill, the pizza oven continues to evolve. uptown at columbia university, a lab is crafting ways to improve nutrition byd printing pizza and cooking it with ser beams. that's right, laser beams. >> it's very easfor a machine to kind of layer in different types of nutritious elements into your food without you even knowing it and without the taste changing too much.on >> reporter:han blutinger is a grad student in hod lipson's creative machines lab ere this tech was invented. >> so the printer has an arrayca of fooridges, where in each one of these cartridges, you can have a different material. so, dough, sauce and cheese, for example, as three different ingredn nts.
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and thenis cartridge, our machine can pick up one ingredient, extrude it onto a platform, that's moving around in a 2d way and then they can pick up another ingredient and doerhe same and follow this and over >> reporter: oe the cheese and tomato sauce are spread-- or should i say squeezed-- onto the dough, everything gets tossed into their mini oven. there, lasers shine at two mirrors, which are angled in certain directions by commands given through custom built software. this selectively cooks parts of the food with much greater precision. that's good for printed food because the ingredients are packed close together, and their final pizza is millimeters thin. >> so the pizza you're going to see, yes, it is very small. it will naturally sc as we kind of improve the printing process, and we get more efficient with it. with the cooking pcess with >> reporter: the end result is delizioso. in truth, it tastes much more like a crunchy pizza bagel.
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but in many ways, their approach mimics the thinking behind that original pizza oven. much like mastro's invention, 3d-printing could make pizza even more personal. >> the biggest value is the fact that you can customize nutritioo someone. a big space where this be a great value, is in hospital settings where people maybe have certain nutritional deficiencies and need to supplement that either with medicine or with a rtain vitamin additives. >> reporter: nashas invested in 3d printing pizza for deep space missions, but blutinger sees stellar prospects for this tech closer to the ground. he thinks ditizing food can help people stay healthy. imagine printer and an app that learns your eating habits. it cou preparation of your meals and improve your diet.o >> in five years. we think this could be a clear possibility. the technology's there is just a matter of time and marketing itt in the r way for people. >> reporter: for the pbsi' newshournsikan akpan-- noshing on some za. >> woodruff: and that's the
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newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. ein us online and again h tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and see you soon. t >> major funding fhe pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language program that teaches spanish, french, italian, german, and more. >> consumer cellular. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> the ford working with vries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. >> carnegie corprkation of new supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.oron
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>> and with thing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media acss group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.i narrt : you mighbe looking
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