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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  September 14, 2019 5:30pm-6:00pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for satuay, september 14: the bahamas brace as another tropical storm heads their way; the administration annoues federal changes to the cleante uract; and in our signature segment, a legal rule that could put someone away for murder even if they weren't the one who committed it.s next onewshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the j.p.b. foundation. irosalind p. walteremory of george o'neil.
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barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customizedndividual and group retirement products. tretirement company.r additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting. a private corporation funded ny the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york,iv hari srean. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and than for joining us. heavy rain and wind from tropical storm humberto forced the bamas to suspend aid just two weeks aftricanetoday more than 1,300 people missing. humberto is moving away from the island nation and may beme a rricane later this weekend as it heads toward bermuda. at an evacuation center in nassau yesterday, u.n. secretary
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l antonio guterres pledg support for the bahamas. he called on other nations to address climate change and invest in resilience >> one thing is clear, climate ange is already here. it's not a threat to the future. it's happening, and it's happening with devastating impacts. and so, it is absolutely essential to have a very re investment in resilience and adaptation. >> sreenivasan: more than 2,100 people in the bahamas are still staying in shelters, and aid organizations continue to provide meals and assi to many more. humberto is not expected to reach the u.s. coast but may strengthen to a category twohu icane in the coming days as it turns northeast. in southeastern spain, two days of record rainfall has caused widespread flooding to the coastal regiond killed at least six people. emergency personnel have rescued thousands of stranded residents from the rising waters. spain's acting prime minister, pedro sanchez, flew over the area and surveyed the damage. aroirports, trains and ways in the region have been closed.
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rainstorms are normal in the fbeall, but this year's hav bunusually fierce, flooding fields and turning roads into rivers of mud. saudi arabia said today that it is shutting down about half of its crude oil output following drone attacks on major production facilities. yemen-based houthi rebels claimed responsibility for the attacks at a major oil field and auproduction center, whichd a huge fire. saudi arabia said the fires were under control but did not ircothe houthi's claim. the shutdown will mean the losst miof fivion barrels a day, or roughly 5% of the world's daily production of crude oil. the unitedtates and saudi abia say iran is backing the houthis. a saudi-led coalition has fought a war to unseat the houthis, who took control of yemen's capital city in 2014. this morning, the white house issued a statement from the presidt officiallyonfirming reports that the united states killed hamza bin-laden in a u.s. counterterror operation in the afghanistan/pakistan region. he is the son of osama bin laden
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adamza bin was believed to have been about 30 years old. he was reportedly a senior leader in the al qaeda terror group after his father was killed during a na seal raid in 2011.e the whuse statement today did not the operation. about the state department issued a $1 million reward for information on bin laden's location lt february hong kong today, hundreds of supportersf china's government sc wuffledh demonstrators who are in their 15th week of pro- democracy protes. the pro-beijing group sang the chinese national antm and waved red flags at a shopping mall while the pro-democracy ermarchs gathered. policseparated the two groups after they clashed briefly. police have band a major anti- govern tomorrow, but organizers say they will show up anyway and march to the british consulate. in frankfurt, germany today thousands of protesters demanded the government take more action against climate chan as the city hosts one of the largest international car shows this week.
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>> power to the people! >> power to the people! >> sreenivasan: bicyclists temporarily shut down some of the city's highways on their way to a rally held outside the frankfurt motor ow. organizers are calling for new policies to reduce ggaenhouse s and cut back on the number of cars on the roads. they also say an increasing number of larger vehicleare slowing down progress germany has made on carbon emissions in recent years. thousands of mourners joined african leaders at the state funeral for zimbabwe's founding president robert mugabe today. the crowd sang and danced in the stands of a sports stadium ascu zimbabwe's ent president, emmerson mnangagwa, presided over the ceremony alongside mugabe's widow. dignitaries, including kenyan president uhuru kenyatta, remembered the 95-year-old mugab who died last week, as "great icon of african liberation." mugabe ruled zimbabwe for 37 the military deposed him in 2017 after protests over the country's collapsing economy. mugabe's burial has been delayed while a mausolm is built for
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his remains at zimbabwe's national heroes' acre monument. >> sreenivasan: for the latest on tl storm humberto and humanitarian efforts in the bahamas,isit ol sreenivasan: the trump administrationd back obama-era regulations on the clean water act this w the restrictions were established to limit the aonunt of pollun u.s. bodies of water and to protect sources of drinking water for about one-ki third of the country. critics said they were an example of government overreach. joining me now from washington, d.c., is coral davenport, "new york times'" reporter covering energy and environmental policy. so what were the rules at were being rolled back? >> hari, the rule, which was put forth by the obama administration in 2015, it was called "waters of the unit." stat and essentially, what that rule did ywas clea define a lot of sort of smaller bodies of water,
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wetlands, tributaries, streams, even ditches asming under federal protection as waterspr f the united states. that protectn already existed for very large bodies of water, salike the cheake bay, or mississippi river. and that rule really clearly defined even smaller bodies of water and wetlands thadrain into t smaller bodies of water and thus they couldn't be polluted, they couldn't have runoff. land owners around those bodiest ofr would have to wget permits to use the land in certain ways. so this rule defining thee bodies of water, protecting them, is what was stripped away >> sreenivasis week we environmental prot agency coauthor an op-ed saying this was government over-reach. what does he mean by that?y, >> essentiahe biggest opponents of this rule were rural land owners, real estate developers, groups that said, "look, this s allowing the
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government to tell us how to we ann use our land." it was, to a large extent. it was saying if you're on a farm and you have a stream orth ditch at drains into a larger body oer wat, you have to get a permit from the e.p.a. before you can use your land in certain kind of ways that might pollute that water. and so land owners saidyou know, this is the federal government literally coming in and telling us what we can and that was the objection on thibjs rule. >> sreenivasan: so if you're a farmer or a golf course owner, real estate developer, the kinds of pesticides you might use on your crops or on your lawns might flow into one of these ditches and that might go ihe a larger body? that's the-- c exactly. thatplaint. >> sreenivasan: so now what will replace this rule? the trump administration has t say intend to put forward a new rule, a replme rula the trump administration's version of the waters of the united states by the end of the year.ia and, essey, it's t just
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expectbe a much narrower definition of what gets this federal protection. so wetlands are not expected to be included for the ltoge part. the obama rule included protection for underground bodies of water. so, you know, if you had a stream that drained underground into a larger body ofater, that counted. those are not expected to be protected under the new rules. so there's lot of sort smaller bodes of water and wetlands that will not be suect to federal prection under the expected trump rulepe, which they're puying they'l out by the end of the year. >> sreenivasan: now, the obama rule wasn't alrea instituted or rolled out in every state in the country, right? it had been.ght. it had been rolled out nationally, but there has been so much objection to it, it's been implemented in about half the states and not implemented in about half the states. >> sreenivasan: ok, and finally, this is not in a vacuum. in the policacontext this is something the prident campaigned on. he thought this was gov over-reach, and for him this was a win for whom, his farmer base?
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>> yes, this is,s you said, something-- this was a major issue the president campaigned on. vowed to do it in his first weeks in office. and this delivers a big win to him for a major political base, and that's rural land owne, farmers. and that's a group that has been frustratefrustrated with presidp lately. they have been hurt by some of the tariffs that the administration has been put forth. they've been hurt by some of the roll-backs on ethanol mandates. so farmers ha been feeling a little bit of a burn lately from trump administration policies. this dhifers them a direct win that they'd asked fo, ththe president campaigned on. >> sreenivasan: all right coral davenport from the "newin york times" g us from washington tonight. thanks so much. >> great to be with you, hari. thank you upo. >> sreenivasan: last month, in lake county, illinois, just lerth of chicago, six teenagers dly tried to break into a
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car. the owner shot and killed one of them, a 14-year-old boy. the story has garnered a lot of press in illinois, a just because of the tragedy, but because the five other teens c were arged with the boy's murder. how could this be? newshour weekend's meganps th takes a look at the little-known legal statute behind the case. a warning: this story contains images some viewers might find disturbing. >> reporter: on the morning of february 23, 2015, five01 teenagers drove to thef a utiet street in millbrook, alabama, aen miles north of montgomery. the teens, who were armed, broke into an empty house, stealing eltronics and money, then went up the block to another empty a me. spicious neighbor called 911. >> well, i think we got them f right now, if you're still there. >> reporter: two millbro police officers soon arrived. one went in the front, and the other along the side. gunfire bre out. ( gunfire
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as the second officer ran towards the backyard, one of the teens, 16-year-old a'donte washington, came through a back gate carrying a gun. ( gunfire ) the officer hit washington three times. he died at the scene. andre washington is a'donte's father.fa a good, good son. a good child. remembers his son as a quiet kid who dreamed of playing football for the university of florida. wa>> full of energy when h real young, just full of energy. wanted to go to, like, the t florida gators. >> reporter: as the shock of his son's death sunk in, washington learned something else shocking. though none had pulled the trigger, the four other teens at the house were all being charged theft, but with murder-- the murder of a'donte washington. >> it's... it's... it's crazy. >> reporter: do you think the other boys are responsible for a'donte's death? >> no. no.
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>> rorter: in alabama, a sentence of up to 99 years. three of the teens took plea deals. the fourth, lakeith smith, w offered 25 years, but he rejected it and took his case to c.urt. robinson is the chief deputy district attorney for alabama's 19th circuit. ll didn't pull the trigger. he didn't kinybody. de, how can he possibly be charged with m >> i think that's a great question, and, you know, toti answer that qu, you really have to look at yabama law. wh look at how that law is on the books and how it's applied inlabama, it goes to the foreseeable factor, all right. >> reporter: in alabama, the law says all suspes can rged with murder if a death occurs during a felony that's "clearly dangerous to human life." another legal standard used is that the death was foreseeable. >> "do i think, when i break into this house, aofficer is going to come running in, and we're going to get in a gunfight?" eayes.t foreseeable?
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>> reporter: robinson also based his decision on the fact that s the group arged in other crimes in montgomery in the 36 hours before washington was killed. one defendant pled guilty to murder. charges of kidnapping and arrobbery are still pending agnst lakeith smith. >> when you're engaging in a series of the most dangerous behavior that's out there, the question for us was, is it foreseeable that someone coulddi e based off these five young men's conduct? our answer was, absolutely. >> reporter: alabama's law is based on something called t "felony murder rule," a centuries-old legal concept. steven drizin is a clinical professor at northwestern university's pritzker school of law. >> so, in its purest form, the felony murder rule means that if you commit a felony, and, during the course of that felony somebody dies, you can be convicted of first-degree murder-- the most serious crime on our statute books-- even if
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youll didn't intend to he person who died, even if the death was accidental. >> reporter: 42 states ha some form of a felony murder rule, and it's interpreted differently in each. in some cases, it's been used to charge accomplices with murder. so, for instance, if two people rob a store and one of them kis the clerk, both of them are charged with murder. the idea is, everyone involved in a felony should be held accountable fothe consequences. but some states interpret felony murder more broadly. in rare cases, if the clerk kills one of the robbers, the other robber is charged with murder. take the case of justin doyle in in 2008, doyle, 15 and unarmed, set out to robe with three other boys. they thought it was a person stayi there shot and killed one teen, travis castle. the other ree were charged with castle's murder. faced with a possible 60-yearen
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se, doyle, who got a y ttoo to memorialize castle, pled gui home invasion and involuntary manslaughter and was t likely to get prison in 15 years. steven drizin got doome's sentenceted by the illinois governor. >> most people are offended by the notion that teenagers who want to commit a burglary can be charged with felony murder or first-degreeurder. the punishment is just much too harsh for the criminal culpability. >> reporter: i want to ask you about why this is an appropriate tool to use: if you are out to commit a crime, whatever it may be, you should pay for whatever >> the answer to that argument is... is, you punish the burglar with the higher range of sentences for the burglary. you don't punish someone for
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crimes they neither intended or committed. >> reporter: back in alabama, even though lakeith smith was 15 was tried in adult court.ngs, he mother.a smith is lakeith's dur son was offered a deal. >> he was. >> reporter: plea deal. he did not nake it. >> d. >> reporter: why not? >> that was my son's thing. he was like, "i didn't kill, why... why am i ag a murder that i know i... cop killed him.ommit?" >> reporter: that cop was clearerongdoing. lakeith smith's trial took place in 2018 in ruralore county, north of montgomy. an all-white jury found him guilty of burglary, theft and >> you just don't get it, do you? >> reporter: and the judge, annoyed at what he claimed was smith's disrpectful demeanor, sentenced him to 65 years ince prison. what wenugh your head when you heard "65 years"? >> it was malice. it's like, "if you don't do what
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i want you to do, i'm going to show you." >> reporter: he did commit a crime. >> he did, and he should have got crime that he committed, the burglary and the stolen property. so, 65 years on a young guy, 15, who didn't kill no one? didn't kill no one and didn't shoot at no one? alabama. yep. >> reporter: what do you say to critics of this? they say, "we shouldn't be charging... bringing this charge in suations like that." what do you say? >> i understand people who may not understand tnt law or may he law to be different. ynoou if the supreme court says, "it's got to be this way," thei will gladly apply the law that way. >reporter: back in illinois, an investigation in 2016 by the "chicago reader" found ten cases over the previous five of led to felony murdrges.ment that
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one case was that of tevin louis. >> i'll pull in over hereo you can see. >> reporter: femi soyode was tevin louis'ttorney. 2012, when louis was 19, he and emarquise sampson, his cl friend since childhood, robbed a sandwich shop on chicago'south side. >> mr. sampson came out of king gyro, and then they ran acrossy the street. and coincidentally, an officer just happened to see him running across the street holding his waistband. and the officer just, boom, and tarted chasing him allut throughese neighborhoods right over here. mr. louis went the opposite way, this way, southbound. >> reporter: the officer shot and killed sampson. he stated later that sampson had a >> i was down the street, yeah. i heard the gunshots. i was down the street. >> reporter: even though louis was down the street, he was chgewith murdering his friend. he spoke to us from prison. >> ye, it was shocking.
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it was... it was crushing. like, you knowcrhat i'm saying? especially the fthtor playing in he was a close friend of mine, he was my brother. >> reporter: soyode says he sees feny murder used often in cases when it's one of the felons who's committed a killi. >> my thoughts on felony murder is, the idea behind it i'm actually not opposed to. >> reporterbut in a case like louis', soyode feels the punishment doesn't fit the crime. he routinely sees first-time offenders charged with robbery, like louis, take pleaeals and serve only a few years in prison. louisefused a deal that would have required him to plead guilty to his best friend's murder. a jurfound him guilty of both robbery and mur or. he received a 20-ye sentence thhe must serve in its entirety. >> the fact that mr. louis isin and for that reason, i know with felony murder because that just shouldn't be. >> rep,orter: the offic meanwhile, was cleared of
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wrongdoing. in recent years, chicago has had some of the highest numbers of any large city.ce officers of femi soyode says a felony murder charge like tevin louis' adds to his community's distrust of the poli. >> it just further reiterates what people already feel about law enforcement. and not only does it reinforce it, it takes it to a new level. >> repo know how often prosecutors use felony murder in thu.s.but one report states that nearly 20% of murder convictions are sed on felony murder. >> i think the felony murder rule causes people to plead guilty to crimehes thate didn't commit, to avoid extremely harsh sentences. i think it's a big part of mass incarceration. >> reporter: in response to the
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2016 investigation by the "chicago reader," the ofce of anita alvarez, cook county state's attorney at the time, told the paper: the current state's attorney, kimberly foxx, came to office in late 2016. her office said in a statement that when deciding to charge felony murde it conducts an ditional review that considers "the offender's role" and "conct during the commission of the underlying felony, whether he was armed or discharged a weapon, and if he has a previous criminal history." foxx has not used felony murder to prosecute in cases of shootings by the police. but the rule is still on the books in illinois, as it is in alama, where lakeith smithis his 65-year >> i don't agree with that particular law. it just doesn't make. >> reporter: brontina smith sayl her sos to appeal his murder conviction.
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>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: according to the united nations, by 2050, one in six people will be over age 65. stspain has one of the fasha growing elderly populations. bilbao in northern spain isty of activity in two public parks. newshour weekend's ivette feliciano reports. >>eporter: the walkways and benches in two of bilbao's public parks now include activities designed for the city's or-65 residents. games including math and memory challenges areixed with exercise equipment anyone can use. >> ( translat ): we thought that it was necessary for older people or those with reduced mobility to have equipment not just for physical exercise, but also for cognitive and comprehension skills. so, we needed to increase the quality of the machines. >> reporter: one recent visitor
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found the new park additions ioeated an attractive destinfor seniors who now make up 24% of bilbao's population. >> ( translated ): at least your have places you can go as an elderly person to meet up, make friends, and, aside from that, well, activate the mind. >>ter: there are a variety of stationary bikes and other machines for strengthening muscles and minds. the new equipment also attracts younger generations who interact officials say makes big difference in a country where more to million people over the age of 65 live alone. >> ( translated ): by creating l aces where people can do not just physit also cognitive exercises, we're also making and all this connects to ther. issue of loneliness and people who live without interaction with others. so, we look for spaces where there are ways to be able to talk and also exercise your lkmind.
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it's a weekend to look to theht, skght sky. last night, there was a rare friday the 13th harvest moon. tonight, just before 8:00 p.m. on the east coast, an asteroid estimated to be 950 to 2,100 feet long will pass by earth and may be visible to the naked eye. you can also watch telescopes track it live on the web site nasa's planetary defense coordination office ys there is no danger. the asteroid known as "2000qw7" will be about 3.5 million miles away. that's it for this edition of pbnewshour weekend. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwar.
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sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the cheryl and philip milstein family. nd the j.p.b. fion. rosalind p. walter, in memory of george o'neil. barbara hope zuckerberg. decorporate funding is pro by mutual ofsimerica-- ing customized individual and group retirement products. we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting. a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. be more. pbs.
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narrator: on this episode of "earth focus," how cane manage, protect, and nourish our natural resources while meeting anthe growing global defor along the coast ogascarcontrol provide a blueprint for ocean sustainability and community building, while in san diego, scalability is the goal ashe resear work to build the first open-ocean fish farm in the united states. [film advance clicking]ki