tv PBS News Hour PBS February 18, 2020 6:00pm-7:01pm PST
ufi'm judy woo on the "newshour" tonight, crime and punishment. president trump granmency to several high profile convicted criminals. a new "pbs newshour" npr marist poll has bernie sanders on top onto the next democratic presidential debate stage. plus, crisis in syria. nearly a million people are displaced and on the run from bombings in the largest movement of people in that brutal war. and different by desig exploring a museum exhibit that mixes art and science to create a new sensory experience. >> when we can offer experiences
and oppounities that may change the way that they see ane perceihat art is what a , great thing to be to not be locked in a box. ndy: all that and more on tonight's "pshour." ♪ announcer major funding for the : pbs newshour has been provided by. >>wi on a journe american cruise lines, travelers experience the maritime heritage and culture of the maine coast. and new england islands. our fleeof small cruise ships explore american landscapes, seaside villages, and historic harbors, where you can experience local customs and cuisin on american cruise lines, proud sponsor of "pbs newshour." >> when it comes to wireless, censumer cellular gives its
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pardoned or commuted the sentences of mostly prominent 11 people after determining they served enough prison time ored were trenfairly. this comes as the president has also sharply criticized hisst department of e for its handling of the recentase of his longtime advisor, roger stone.an william am looks at the president's powers as they relate to delivering justice. reporter: after serving about eight years of a 14 ye sentence former illinois , governor rod blagojevich was due to be released today from this prison in englewood, colorado. it marked perhaps the t profile commutatiothat president trump has issued since taking office. >> he served eight years in jail. it's a long time. hivery far froildren, they're growing older now, they're going to high school now and they rarely get to see their father outside of an orange uniform. a that wremendously powerful, riculous sentence in my opinion. reporter: blagojevich, a
democrat, was found guilty in 2011 of 18 counts that included seeking to sell an appointment to president obama's old senate seat. the conviction came just months after blagojevich appeared on mr. trump's reality show, "celebrity apprentice." in a state often known for corrupti, four of itsast 10 governors have gone to prison , longest for an illinoiss the politician. chicago mayor lori lightfoot today decried the commutation. >> this is a man who was a governor of our state. he committed crimes as found by a jury of his. peers he has to accept respsibility for that. president trump is probably the least credible person to make this decision. reporter: in addition to this mmutation, president trump today pardoned seven people including former new york city police commissioner bernie kerrick who served three years for tax fraud, and financier
michael milken who pleaded guilty to violating u.s. securities laws in 1990. all of today's conouncements after attorney general william barr altered the sentencing recommendation for mr. trump's longtime ally, roger stone. stone had been convicted of tnlying to congress and wis tampering and faced a possible seven to nine yes in prison. the president criticized that as far too harsh. barr subsequently said the president's twee about his -- the president' criticisms were making it "impossible for me to do my job." i am joined now by two former federal judges. nancy gertner prs appointed by ident clinton and served as massachusetts for 17 years. and paul cassell. he was appointed by president george w. bush and served t a u.s. distrdge in utah for five years. judges, welcome to you both. nancy, to you first.re.
let's talk about the pardons and commutations the president issue today. if11rent people that span an what do you make of the president's move today? >> in a regime that has been for the past 30 years, extraordinarily punitive regime, the pardon power is really critical. the clemency power is really critical and important. omoer presidents had a process for it, had standards, had a pardon attorney, a process within the department of justice. i don't know that the president has that kind of a process. the purposef that process is to make sure that pardons are not gold out because of political influence or just celebrit status. that is a problem wit the deploying of this very, very important clemency tool. the question is whether the people on the list a today the
most deserving or just the most famous. reporter: paul, what do you make? of . decision about who is pardoned and when. do you have any concerns about the motives of the president's actions today? >> i think one good thing about the president's actions today as he took them well before the next election. the electorate will have a chance to decide whether he's sely using his presidential power to commute sentences along with many other things the president is dng. some of the pardon decisions in the past have been made byei presidents on way out the door. this one will at least be reviewable. reporter: let's turn now from these pardons to the question of onthe ongoingoversy within the department of justice. as we know, roger stone was convicted of lying and witness tampering, among many other things. e osecutors recommended he
surf somewhere between seven to nine years. idprt trump strongly criticized that on twitter. attorneyeneral william barr then stepped in and overruled the recommendation and said no, that was far too harsh. those prosecutors have nd all leftesigned from the case. nancy gertner, help us understand, is it unusual for an attorney general to overrule their line prosecutors in a case like this? >> it is extraordinarily unusual. it's extraordinarily unusual to have made justice, the upper echelons of the justice department, intervene ia case involving the line prosecutors, abpres the four who y would hav reviewed the recommendation ready up the chain. in addition, it's not just that he did it, it is the way he did it. the notion that after the president tweeted that these were rope prosecutors, barr
stepped in and called for a memorandum, very public display of the four prosecutors, essentially rejeing the recommendation. their recommendation, i might add, although i might have sagreed with it, was a guideline recommendation. it was act wlly consistenth the federal sentencing guidelines, whi bill barr conceded. it is very unusual. usually, whatto a prosewould do in a situation like that would be go before the judge and say here is what the guidelines say. i understand you have a right to go below that. that would have been communicating to the judge that the department does not stand behind the guideline sentence, that in fact the judge could go below it. but what william barr did was a shot across the bow to other prosecutors, which was really troubling that he would intervene when he did,so for
one who is obviously a political crony. the president is very troubling. reporter: paul casale, what is your thought onhat? is this a shot across the bow where the president's strength hisntervene and prote buddies?>> attorney general bare did not communicate with president trump make these decisions. i think if the attorney general can be criticized, it is because he failed to keep these deliberations internale to department. the u.s. attorney's office for the district of columbia was in a time of transition with the initial sentencing was made, and i thinkoo as higher upsd at it, they decided it could not be sustained and decided to put forward a more reasonable and limited recommendation. it's interesting to see that this is a situation where a l of people who typically decry the severity of the sentencing guidelines are somehow now opposed to the justice department trying to find a bit re leniency in a particular
case. i don't see this has some kinsa of broader m at all involved. reporter: nancy gertner -- >> if i might, the question is whether or not barr will intervene on behalf of other people for whom the sentencing guidelines were ridiculous, whether or not he would intervene to tamp down on mandatory sentences, or if it's a one of. if it is a one of, it is troubling. porter: paul casale, the is a meeting tomorrow of thess federal judgesiation. reportedly, this is a meeting of this group of jud having a meeting because they are troubled reportedly by wha is going on in the doj and from the president. is that your understanding, and if so, do y understand the ncern from judges about what's happening? >> i understand the concern about the president having sort
unning commentary on the ongoing proceedings and criticizing a judge by name, i think that is unusual and n something i think that is the kind of activity we like to see from the president. on the other hand, i am not sure whether the a judgesociation is the best group in a position to make a criticism of what the president is doing. judges are typically above the fray and don't step into what this has clearly baoversies. political controversy. it is clear judge jackson who is being criticized has no lack of allies among the members of ngress and even presidential candidates running against president trump, so i'm not sure it is something the judges association needs to step into. reporter: nancy gertner, what do you make of that? he you think the judges should stay out of fray and say we are on the bench, we will make decisions as we see fit, and let the political fray be the political fray?
> i think they can stand up for the institution. i think when the president makes a kind of comment that he di for a sentencing, sort of mid proceeding, when he makes the kind of commenthahe did trashing the judge who was hearing the case, and making the comments he did with respond to a political crony, the judges should well be concerned about the interference with the bench as an institution. ving said that, i doubt very much that they will say anything said when trump was talking about obama judges, and somethingt tould be different than what the chief justice of the district court sa, these are independent judges who should be free to make independent decisions free from political influence. taking that position is fine. i don't think they will say much more than that. reporter nancy gertner and paul cassell, thank you very much.
stephanie: good evening. i'm stephanie sy at "newshour" west. we will return to judy woodruff after the break. rethe coronavirus ou in china may be slowing -- with new cases falling below 2,000 for two days running. but so far, some 2,000 peopledi have died, inc the head of a leading hospital in wuhan, epicenter of the outbreak. quarantines and stepped-up surveillance, but the "world heth organization" stopped short of criticizing those measures today. >> what china are trying to do is while they are getting , success in putting out one fire, they do not want the fire to start somewhere else. now, you can argue whether those measures are excessive or whether they are restrictive on people, but there is a lot at stake here. there is an awful lot at stake here. stephanie: meanwhile, 88 additional cases are reported on a quarantined cruise ship in japan -- forth total of more 540. that is the highest conctration outside china.
in afghanistan, election officials announced today that president ashraf ghani won second term in last september's vote. results had been repeatedly delayed, partly by accusations of fraud. ghani's rival abdullah abdullah jected the outcome, and so did the taliban. that, in turn, could jeopardize a u.s. peace plan -- the u.s. is trying to reach a peace deal with the taliban. the united states imposed financial sanctions today on russia's state-owned oilro brokerage firmeft. the state department said the company is helping venezuela skirt an american oil embargo. it marked an aggressive move against both russian interests and venezuela's president nicolas maduro -- with more to come. >> there will be more steps and further pressure in the coming weeks and months. the unit states remainfirmly committed to the people of venezuela and to the cause of freedom there. stephanie: the u.s. and other countries say maduro's re-election in 2018 was ilgitimate. an appeals couer in the nends ordered russia today to pay $50 billion for seizing
the yukos oil company in 2003. yukos founder mikhail nodorkovsky was an outspo critic of president vladimir putin and was jailed for more than a decade. company sheholders have been pursuing compensation ever nce. moscow says it will appeal today's decision. a urt in istanbul, turkey ha acquitted nine opposition itivists of aiding protes 2013 in a bid to overthrow the government. stside the court, support applauded, and some shed tears as the vdict was read today. they argued the case was part of a campaign to stifle opposition voices. andrew gardner: it's a great verdict, acquittal was the only thing that could possibly be just. this is the verdhat we should been given more than two years ago. stephanie: later, one of the activists -- philanthropist osman kavala -- was detained again. the turkish state news agency said he is suspea ed of ties to iled coup in 2013.
back in this country, the boysc ts of america has filed for federal bankruptcy protection, facing a storm of sexual abuse lawsuits. several thousand men have alleged they were assaulted by outmasters and other adult leaders, decades ago. the chapter 11 filing lets the organization try to cr settlement with the alleged victims. we will return to the later in the program. a fresh round of heavy rain is expected to bring more misery th parts of the sn u.s., starting tonight. new flood watches are in force in central mississippi. some neighborhoods in th o capital cijackson are already under water from weekend downpours. the new downpourcould stretch om eastern louisiana to western georgia. the state of alabama has declared aemergency. the iowa democratic party has announced the results of a possible -- partial read canvas of the caucus, narrowing pete buttigieg's lead to less than .004% over bernie sanders the
ersacampaign has announced it will ask for a re-canvas. nascar driver ryan newman is reported to be awake and talking at a floda hospital after a terrifying crash last night, in the daytona 500. in the final lap, newman's number six car collided with thp barrier wallped over and was hit another car -- then,al skidong the track in s ames. officials say hijuries were not life-threatening. denny hamlin ended up winning the race for the second year in a row. still to come on the "newsho." new polling shakes up the democratic presidential race. the re-election strategy behind president trump's outreach to african american voters. the move in the largests are on displacement of that country's civil war.an much more. announcer: this is the "pbs newshour from weta studios in
washington, and from the west from the walter cronte school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: six of the remaining democratic presidential candidates are set to bate tomorrow night in nevada. and as lisa desjardins reports, there will be a new face one. stag reporter: after mounting calls for michael bloomberg to have to debate h >> i can't beat him on the airwaves, but i can on the debate stage. >>an i'm going to get a chce to debate him on everything from redlining to stop-and-raisk to a wholnge of other things. porter: 2020 democrats will get their chance tomorrow night in las vegas -- during the 9th democratic debate, which will be bloomberg's first. the form new york city mayor qualified for the debate aft hitting 19% support ia new national "pbs newshour/npr/marist" poll out today. another headline in the poll -- bernie sanders has a hefty, double-digit lead. other democrats, inclutrng those withg showings in iowa and new hampshe, fell behind.
like former south bend, indiana mayor pete buttigieg, who criticized shaders at a town in las vegas. >> the politics that says if you me 100% of thth time, you don't even belong, that's clubbing people over the head that's sayingitou have to beus. reporter: the in-personis campaigninattling a tidal wave of tv ads, especially from bloomberg. he's funded a nearly $420-million ad blitz with his own fortune. bloomberg's record has come under fire in recent days, for "stop-and-frisk" policing policies targeting minorities, and his treatment of women at his company. now, several news outlets have surfaced bloomberg's 2011 "newshr" interview wh jeffrey brown about a program for young minority men. >> there's this enormous cort of black and latino males aged, let's say, 16 to 25 that don't have jobs, don't have any prospects, don't know how to
find jobs, don'tnow that the - what their skill sets are, don't know how to behave in the workplace. reporter: that's the other undeniable dynamic, the importance of diversity. some 40% of nevada cauwesgoers in 201 people of color. and candidates are directly appealing to them now. >> democrats are supposed to t represrking people. democrats are supposed to represent black people and latinos. reporter: the hopefuls face off each other again when the state holds its caucuses this saturday. for the "pbs newshour", i amar lisa de n -- desjardins. judy: for a closer look at the results of that poll and what those numbers mean for the state of the 2020 democratac presidential i'm joined by domenico montanaro. he's the senior political editor at npr. t's look at these numbers. we will put the number of this npr mast poll up.
bernie sanders on top 31%. michael bloomberg shooting into second place. what do yonusee with these ers? >> it is pretty remarkable. bloomberg having spent more ,an $300 milli over $330 million now we are hearing from add analytica. quite literally flood the airwaves. he has been given 15 points sinc december. he has leapfrogged right over joe bid, the former vice president, who had been the far and away leader for a long time. remember wn i would talk about how national polls, they don't really matter all that much, you have to look at thetes, it will move, that is what has happened. warren is down. pete buttigieg surprisingly at 8%, down five points after two very good showings. a lot on the line in south judy: it is interesting because pete buttigieg one example, came in first just barely ahead of sanders in iowa,
did well in new hampshire right behind sanders, but that is not reflected here. >> he is the pledged delegate leader and he's at 8% and naonal polling. the reason why national polls matter a little more now is because we are only s week away frer tuesday 114 states are going to hold contests. ilwehave more than a third of all delegates at stake up sor grabs in ogle day. it is like a national primary and we have mayor bloomberg having advertid in allf those states, spending all that money, and he could do it at will because he'nss worth bill judy: thereer are s interesting things to look at, but amy klobuchar, here is someone who did better than expected. you can see here, single digits. >>f you add up klobuchar, buttigieg, biden, and bloomberg, they get to about 51%. at up sanders and warren for the poor -- progressive lane, y are at 43%. are really sort of struggling to
get out of each other's way. klobuchar and buttigieg in particular need to distinguish they have had a very difficult time breaking through with voters of color. we have two states inso nevada d h carolina were overwhelmingly we will see way more voters of color, verse states, 41% in 2016 in nevada were nonwhite and the democratic electorate. in south carolina, two thirds nonwhite, 61% african-american. they are only a 4% a 3% in the poll with black voters and they have to do better than that if they want to win the nomination. judy: speakier of african-an voters, former vice president biden doing very well, has been doing very well in south carolina. here is someone who is leading in almost every single national poll. and y here see now, there have been a couple polls including this one today, showing him in third. at 15%. is is a nevada poll, that has him down a little bit, still in second place.
how do youccount for what happened? >> biden still has support of african-americans. in our poll, he has 31% of the black vote. bernie sanders on his heels at 28%. marginrr of is the difference between the two of them. that is the most under told story of ts entire election, how much bernie sanders has been able to wiover voters of color, especially voters of color under 45. voters under 45 generally, it's has more than half of voters under 45 in our polling. biden was somebody who promised working-class white voters and he couldn't do it in a place like new hamhire, and it makes his electability case difficult. judy: so mh volatility, so much change. so much to watch. domenico montanaro, thank. -- thank y very much. >> you're welcome. judy: while democrats make their
case to more diverse primary electorates in nevada and south carolina, yamiche alcindor has been reporting on how president trump is trying to make gains neth black voters ahead of november's l election. reporter: stepped up pitch to black voters. >> we're delivering for african americans. reporter: just in the past few weeks, president trump has touted what he considers his biggest achievements for the black community. here he is in his state of the union address. >> african american verty has declined to the lowest rate ever recorded. porter: in a speech on "opportunity zones" in north carolina -- >> from the day i took office, i have been working to build an unlimited future for african american cmunities. reporter: and a super bowl ad featuring a black woman being released after the president couted her prison sentence >> i want to thank president donald john trump.
voters went for president trump in 2016. but the president's 2020 i campaigns hoping to up those numbers. it is ramping up efforts to peel away jusa percentage or two of black voters from democrats in key battleground states. e president is confident his economic message is enough to bring black voters onboard. last week, he told a crowd in charlotte, north carolina that democrats haven't done enough for african americans. >> they want your vote. and then the day after the election, they're gone. that's the democts. and i said -- all these bad numbers, "what thedo you have to lose?" then i went offstage and my people told me, "i don't know. that's n nice." i said, "no, it's true." h what do the to lose? reporter: but some of the president's outreach to black voters has come under scrutiny. >> i have some good news for you. reporter: during his state of the union address, president trump awarded philadelphia fourth-gradejaniyah davis with a scholarship -- appearing toou tout a white h initiative to support school choice.
>> i am pleased to iorm you that your long wait is over. i can proudly announce tonight that an opportunity scholarship has become available. it's going to you. and you will soon be heading to the school of your choice. reporter: b it turns out the money for the scholarship came personally from education secretary betsy devos. also, davis already attends a highly-sought after charter school. allies of the president also held a pro-trump event where they gave away a total of 5,000 to a mostly black audience. >> come on down to therice is right and get your $300 april. reporter: attendees praised the president after they collected the cash. d at the event, a white house official was awarded. >> four more years for president reporter: the event was organized by a non-profit called urban revitalization coalition of america. a pro-trump super pac also gave
the the group a $238,000 grant. it is run by ohio pastor darrell scott. he also co-chairs an outreach program for president trump's d-election campaign dubbe "black voices for trump." a trump campaign official told the "newshour,"these events are not affiliated with or sanctioned by the president's campaign." judy: andamiche is with me now along with donald sherman. he's the deputy director of citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington, a non-partisan legal watchdog group. welcome. hello to you. so let's talk about what we were just seeing. let me start with you, dald. your organization is looking at a few examples ofd the k of thing the trump organization is doing. are there ethical concerns with regard 12 this? >> absolutely. first, it seems like the thpresident suggested tha scholarship for ms. davis was
but then we found out that it was paid for byarhe personal y of one of his employees. we are also interested to s whether the officials were used in facilitating is donation because then it makes it seem like they are actually grant officers for the secretaries personal charity. in addition, the urban revitalization coalition event is particularly troubling, one, because th is supposed to be nonpartisan 501(c)(3) charitable organization. engaging in elliptical activity registratn drive aimed at increasing african-american participation for the president would violate irs regulations. finally, it would be a problem for white house officials and other political officials to attend eves using those funds. that's a violation of the hat act. judy: so what is the trump
campaign thing about this? secondly, do they have a larger strategy? reporter: president trump'sk outreach to blters has long been something that has been criticized and controversial going back all the way to 2016. this time around, the 2020 trump campaign is saying we are not affiliatedith any of this. had a long conversation with katrina pearson, a senior advisor to the trump campaign and working on black votes for trump. she said even if it was c part f thpaign, it looks like it would be illegal. that is an admission on the campaign's part that they should h not be giving cay at these events. when you look at what they are doing, there are two things going on. officials and surrogates of the president are talking about the economy, school choice, and bettering the lives of african-americans. when you listen to the president himself, he is still going back to the 2016 question that got him into controversial conversations, which is what do you have to lose? he says his campaign things
that's not something he should be saying, but the president said, i did better than both the last republican nominees, talking about the late senator john mccain and senator mitt anromney with african-amer brothers, so i will continue to do the things i think will work. judy: donald sherman, picking up on this, we understandour organization has been looking into something that the president'daughter to a couple of years ago and pushing for the -called opportunity zones. mi us without us about and what is the concern. >> the reason why we filed a complaint with the department of justice related to ivanka trump's rule in pushing opportunity zones is because her sband jared kushner has a $25 million stake in a company packaging investment vehicles through the opportunities own program. at tha means is ivanka trump's work for the opportunity zone i progressentially a conflict of interest, whereby
this government program is funnelingoney into her pockets and her husband's pockets throughhis company that jared kushner still has an ownership in. judy:th s is ongng. >> it is an ongoing thing we have looked at. e filed a complaint wit the department of justice. we are awaiting a response. judy: one other thing we were just discussing. e member of dee pre's cabinet, one of the few senior officials in his administration who is black, ben carson, the secretary of housing and urban development, he introduced the president and recently made a point of saying the president is not a racist. tohaextent is it a concern the campaign that the is this perception of their that the president is discriminatory? reporter:reporter: president trump has done a number of things that have caused peopm to think of racist. critics of the president are calling him racist. they say that the president was a longtime birther, questioning whether or not president obama was born in the country, and it as largely a racis
conspiracy theory, given that president obama was born in the u.s. the second thing is the way he has talked about criminals -- immigrants. he says they are rapists and criminals. he has been playing and documenting and talking to a certain segment of the populationorried about that. there is this feeling in the campaign that tndy need to dehe president's rhetoric and that's why we see someone like ben carson saying he's not a racist. that being said, there are also critics w say the president is not genuinely interested in increasing black voters, he' trying to increase white voters including white women that helped him, w that he's not racist, and by doing that he's trying to appeal to a broad range of people, when really what he's trying to do is comfort a lot of the white voters that have gon judy: is calculation -- comfort a lot of the white voters that have gone for him before. judy: uerstanding there is
calculation behind it. thank you very much. only one pocket of resistance to the ruling aad regime remains in syria. al-assad's military, backed by russia, has been pounding idlib province relentlessly. now, nearly one million people are on the move in the freezing cold, and out in the on. as nick schifrin reports, in a war defined by displacement, this is the largest movement of people of the entire war. reporter: they flee by the hundreds of thousands- in just 900,000 the last two month but now after nine years of war, there is nowhere left to run. theyck arrive by the tad, at camps in open fields. others flee to tents set up next to abandoned buildings, by international humanitarian groups. this is their final refuge,
pushed north by syrian and russian forces against the turkish border. but the border is closed, and the internally displaced, are trapped. >> this is our 10th displacement. now we are getting ready to leave, but to go where? we don't know. we couldn't find a house so now we are just taking our stuff to the countryside. maybe we will just sit under an olive tree. reporter: some have found temporary homes by olive trees. but the tents are thin and the winter is harsh. and here, the only way to stay warm are thin sweaters, and the only fuel for the fire, are shrubs. >> we fled from the airstrikes and we came here and now we are dealing with the snow. we have no heaters, blankets, mattresses. no firewood. we don't have bread. is entire camp is poor. we have nothing. reporter: last april, the syrian regime and russian military launched a major campaign to recapture idsyb province,
a's last opposition stronghold. in december, the regime intensified its assault to country's mosttantighway, the remmercial route. turkish forces a in idlib resisting the regime. and turkey has pushed russia diplomatically. but those turkish trngps are prevenivilians fro crossing the border. and yesterday rian president bashar al-assad predicted victory over turkey and all the regime's enemies. dle battle to liberate the and aleppo countryside is r ongoinardless of some of the empty bubbles of sound coming from the north, as well as the battle for liberating all syrian soil, crushing terrorism, >> they lost their homes, their equipment, everythg they have. reporter: fouad sayyed is ther foun violet, a local organization trying to provide relief to displaced syrians.ai he says the rstrikes are closing in. >> they are so afraid from every day at tax -- attacks or
what will happen for them if the syrian regime came to this area. >>hey have been destroying hospitals while sick people are inside them. if he doesn't detain all the people, i think he will kill everybody. reporter:a saleh h an english teacher. his story is the story of the syrian war. in 2012, he was a hopeful local council leader who helped leadpr an anti-assad est that pushed the regime from his hometown. >> we are looking forward to a better fure. reporter but then his town haritan was boaned by russian d syrian jets.ai when we spoke in 2016, gone were saleh's hometown -- and hope. >> most of the population of haritan left the town, because there was no single house which is safe right now. we were let down. america let us down. reporter: his hope returned
briefly in 2018, woon turkish tr entered idlib. >> the syrian people see that the only savior for them is turkey. maybe, a f years ago, they hoped that america would do that. reporter: today, those turkish troops are still there, but saleh says, they cannot save the people of idlib. >>oethe international community accept that all these people are killed just because they wanted their freedom, their dignity, their equality? i'm calling for the unitedt states, presidnald trump. please, please do something. i beg you. now, more than one million people are going to be exterminated. reporter: the u.s. supports turkey's military psence in ialib, and has called russ's involvement unacceptable. but last week, national security advisor robert o'brien ruled out any intervention. >>th the ide america must do something, i just find that todo
be --'t even see that as being a real argument. what are we supposed to do to stop that? we're supposed to parachute in as a global policeman, and hold up a stop sign anday stop this turkey, stop this russia? reporter: so all that syrians like abdullah mohammad can do, is to trto protect their ildren. he teaches his daughter that [laughter]ears airstrikes -- reporter: -she is supposed to laugh. he's lied to her -- that they're only toy planes. but the planes aren't toys, and the airstrikes are inching closer. >> the syrian people being killed, being bombarded, every day. the schools, their houses, their hospitals, the infrastructure is complely destroyed, and nobody inis doing anythg. reporter: for the "pbs newshour," i'm nick schifrin.
judy: officials with the boy scouts of america say theirg bankruptcy filrly today is the only way they can deal with a growing number of sexual abuse lawsuits and still maintain scoung programs for curren members. but as john yang reports, it's a bitter pill for former members who were abused as young scouts. reporter: growing up in floridae juan carlos loved being a boy scout. >> i started to, you know, just learn everything about scouting, hecamping, doingerit badges. whatever scouting entailed, i was all over it because i liked it. it was fun. reporter: by the time he was a young teen, he was a life scout -- the second-highest rank -- and was taking aan lessons from ssistant to the scoutmaster. >> and then one day he summoned me to go upstairs in the house to a bedroom. and that's whenncident took place. that's when everything changed. porter: rivera says that was the day he lost interest in scouting and quit.
for 20 yea, he never told anyone why. he had been molested. now he's suing the boy scouts ol america and isng his story publicly for the first time. >> it angers me that it ppened because it was a part of my childhood that should have been 'nnocent. you know, i didnt seek it. it just happened. reporter:g rivera's case is amon about 2,000 collected by an alliance of lawyers called "abused in ey say each week brings as many as 70 new claims.their olds ol the youngest, eight. timothy kosnoff is one of the attorneys. >> more than 95% of them are identifying perpetrators thatev have previously been identified. so it's an amazing act of civic responsibility to come forward. most of these men have never disclosed this abuse to anyone. reporter: in a statement, scout
ceo roger mosby said the organization "sincerely apologizes to anyone w wasei harmed during time in scouting." he said the boscouts wants to use bankruptcy to create a fund that "will provide equitable compensation to all victims." the organization's most recent irs filing lists assets of1.4 billion, includi land for camping and hiking. the scouts are asking the bankruptcy court to halt existing lawsuads and set a ne for new complaints. >>t' whil's unfortunate that these men probably won't get their day in court or this will be their day in court, at least this means that wef're moving ard and these men will get acompensati closure. reporter: the scouts follow more than 20 individual catholic dioceses and religious orders and s.a. gymnastics in turni to bankruptcy in the face of sex-abuse lawsuits. allegations of abuse in the bo scouts go back decades.
in 1935, "the new york times" flag list" of leadersal "red expelled for "moral perversion"" last year, testimony in an unrela boy scout files from 1944 to 2016 listing nearly 8000 men believed to have abused more than 12,000 children. attorney jeff anderson discussed the disclosure on the "newshour." >> we have known they have been harboring offenders and keeping these files. we didn't have the precise number until we got it from the expert on the witness stand. reporter: most of the names have never been made public. i 2012, an oregon court unsealed documena sex abuse case that identified more than 1,200 scouting volunteersol accused ofting young boys between 1960 and 1991. >> these are files that document the history of allegations of abuse in scouting and how the boy scouts responded to those allegations. legal and financi l
reporter: legal and financial pressures on the scouts increased last year when more than 20 states enacted laws changing the statute of limitations for abuse cases. >>ne thi law brings out information, exposure and accounbility that these institutions have been unable and incapable of doing. reporter:uan carlos rivera, now 53, never confronted his abuser and doesn't know where he is now. y still struggles with what happened that daarly four decades ago. he says the boy scouts of america should worry more about that than its financial future. >> they need to man up and do thright thing. i understand that they want to ect their assets. that's fine. but they need to put themselves in the positions of the people that were abused.
money is ok. but the trauma that abused people have that's lifetime, that never, ever goe. reporter: abuse allegedly suffered in a program whose stated mission is to teach yicng people e and moral values. for the "pbs newshour," i'm john yang in washington. dy: and now, a muse exhibition, created by designers and brain researchers, that challenges our senats by demonsg how we all experience art differently. jeffrey brown reports from dallas as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, canvas. reporter: it's a kind of
playground inside an art museum. large, room sized worksinin which explthe different ways each of us experiences the world around us is as important as the art itself. now with the dallas museum of art, the exhibition is titled "speechless, different by desi". it's unusual in that touching and much more is encouraged, even required. >>e i becterested in what happens if we do an exhibition e ere it's interactive, wh encourage people to use all their senses. reporter: unusual, too, in how it began -- in a very persfoal wacurator sarah schleuning, when her now six year old son, vaughn, was first diagnosed with an exprissive languageder. >> "speechless" is really quite literal in that he was speechless for the first several years of his life. and as we were navigating that as a family, we were trying to figure out -- m a hyper-verbal person, and what happens when i, the words that i use and how iex ess and communicate, is no longer valid?
ied think that me into these ideas of, what is disability? what does that mean? i didn't think he was different. his sister doesn't think he's different, but he gets out in the world and people didn't know how to communicate with him and it was very frustrating. also re-think her work as a curator and how we all interact in different ways with art. for this exhibition, she asked artist-designers to ing those fferences to life. ini archibong -- a california-born, switzerland-based designer created an installation title, "the oracle". it's made up of 10 pill-shaped synthesizers, crafted of blown ass. >> you can feel the reverberations irtthe room. re: museum visitors can move them, subtly altering the sounds in the room, even the color and vibrations of a pool of water. the console controlling all this, "wizard of oz"-like, is
behind aall. yuri suzuki -- tokyo-born andas london-b -- created "sound of the earth, chapter 2", a e sphere that requires the visitor to experience it up close. suzuki gathered audio by crowd-sourcing on instagram, with people aroundsehe world ing in clips of sounds of everyday life. here, sound substitutes foral vimagery we might expect in a work of art. and if i stay here long enough? >> yes, then y will get areug. rter: most playful of all, a brooklyn based -- misha kahn, a brooklyn-based artist and furniture designer, lled a large room with strangely shaped sacs of hand-painted silk over vinyl, each covering a wood sculpture inside. and all of it consanntly inflatindeflating, so the the whole room seems to be breathing. >> everything is touchable.
you can kind of explore it. for me, i wanted to find a way to embed these sculptures and humanize them by having them breathe and sort of shy away from you. reporter:nl not o that, you can jump in and take aeat. and so we did. sittings the idea here? experiencing it. you wanted to know if this would be perceived as a place to sit? >> yeah, and then like, if you sort of think of it as a chair , then what else is going on? itd so it sort of pulls you into a different areactivates your brain in a slightly different way. >> challenging to find that central focus on everybody. reporter: and that is what dan krawczyk brought to exhibition. krawczyk is a brain researcher and deputy director of the "center for brain health" at the university of texas, dallas. >> we're essentially seeing how active the brain is.
it's a heat map of areas that are particularly active for sos. kind of proc reporter: in 2018, before the artists got to work, curator sarah schleuning brought them together with ientists and medical researchers who study brain function, autism and dementia, and much more. dan krawczyk was one of em. >> i was excited by the possibility because we don't often have these opportunities to have a science-meets-art kind of conversation. i have long thought that especially visual arts has a very clear link within the brai and when youneuroscientist hink, howd to always does the brain become active in different ways? reporter: the artists then did there thing. the design teastof brothers en and william ladd created this room from hundreds of rolled-up, colorful scrolls of all sizes, each made and initialed by a resident of o dallatlanta. the room entices the visitor to meditate.r sit and neuroscientist krawczyk was able to explain to the artists how their work alters percs.
>> tnk the major message i really tried to inform them about is how dynamic the brain j is that we dont perceive, we're constantly perceiving with a goal to act. the brain is constantly cycling between perceiving a then acting. so thought there was a lot of exciting synergy wh the way the brain really works becayse we awant to take the next action. reporter: why would this kind of art be more accessible to someone who we would all --f call disabled, in terms what's going on in the brain? >> it is changing the inputs pretty dramatically. that will change the braistate quite dramatically. the range of options, if you are exploratory person, you're likely to get something very different out of these exhibits. reporter: and that, of course, is the point of this exhibition, which even includes a so-called n" room where visitors can relax, with a weighted blanket, after all the sensory stimulation.
curator sarah schleuning hopes the exhibition can be part of a new model for museums. >> when we can offer experiences opportunities that ma change the way that they see and perceive what art is, what a great thing to be, to not be locked in a box. it's ok to be different in this space. ndu still can be surrou and engaged in the experience.: reporter the exhibition "speechless, different by design" was a collaboration with the high museum of aa, in atland travels there next. for the "pbs newshour" i'm jeffrey brown at the daasse of art. judy: on "newshour" online, right now, 12 tapestries desied by the renaissanceap masterel have all been
returned to the sistine chapel for the first time in nearly five centuries. take a closer look on our web site, pbs.org/newshour. stations, "frontline" examines the ascent of the world's j richest maf bezos. who is leading amazon's deliveru of endless ps, entertainment services and technology innovations to swipe.ers with just a simple but at what price? "frontline's" "the rise and reign of jef bezos," tonight at 9:00 and 8:00 central. and that is "newshour" for tonight. on wednesday, from las vegas, a preview of the next democratic debate. join us again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at "e pbs on.shour,"hank you and see you announcer: mngor funor the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> collette guides traveler to expanse the world in more than
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