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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  November 23, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight. pain at the pump -- the president taps the strategic oil reserve to try to ease gas prices as millions of americans travel for the holidays. then -- the verdict -- a jury finds white nationalists liable for the violence perpetrated at the deadly 2017 rally in charlottesville, virginia. then -- vaccinating kids. how disparities highlighted by the pandemic are now preventing children of color from getting the covid-19 vaccine. >> there aren't the systems of a lot of other health care facilities. there's a lot of poverty. the's a lot of people working several jobs, there's a lot of multigenerational families. judy: all that and more on
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tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> pediatric surgeon, volunteer, topiary artist, a raymondjames financial advisor taylor's advice to help you live your life. life well planned. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no contract wireless plans to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find the plan that fits you. >> johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. bdo, accountants and advisors. ♪
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>> the john s and james l knight foundation. >> and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: president biden is tapping an emergency national stockpile
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of oil to try to stem a rising tide of energy prices. his order today draws 50 million barrels of crude oil from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve. william brangham begins our coverage. william: with rising energy prices, president biden was under growing political pressure to make a move. >> today, i'm announcing that the largest ever release from the u.s. strategic trillium reserve to help provide the supply re-need as we recover from this pandemic. william: five other nations, including china, have agreed to make similar moves withdrawals from their own stockpiles. >> we are launching a major effort to moderate the price of oil. an effort that will span the globe and reach your corner gas station, god willing. william: all of this comes after pandemic lockdowns had slashed the demand for oil last year, but when the u.s. economy revved back into gear, renewed demand outpaced supply. nationwide, average gas prices have spiked to nearly $3.40 a
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gallon, up more than 50% from a year ago. republicans have blamed the president for the climbing prices. >> every time you go fill your car up with gas, you wonder if you're going to set your own personal high that day. is this gonna be more than i've ever paid for gas before in my life? william: democrats, like senate majority leader chuck schumer, put the blame elsewhere, but they, too, pressed mr. biden to address the issue. >> we are here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the strategic petroleum reserve. william: president biden is not the first to tap the strategic petroleum reserve in an emergency. in fact, the reserve was birthed from a crisis. in 1973, after the middle eastern members of opec cut off oil exports to the u.s., president gerald ford signed a law creating the emergency stockpile. the u.s. reserves are located along the gulf coast in underground salt caverns at four major facilities in louisiana and texas.
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they hold more than 600 million barrels of petroleum. but mr. biden's move comes at a complicated moment -- with his administration trying to strike a balance between boosting the economy while also cutting oil and gas use because of its impact on climate change. days before last month's u.n. climate summit, the president was asked if he's being inconsistent. >> on the surface, it seems like an irony, but the truth of the matter is -- you've all known -- everyone knows -- that the idea we're going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight and not have -- from this moment on, not use oil or notse gas or not use hydrogen is just not rational. william: the question now is whether these temporary actions boosting oil and gas supplies will make enough difference for consumers to see. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. judy: the president's move today mes at one of the busiest times of the year for drivers as
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many prepare to travel for thanksgiving. bob mcnally is president of rapidan energy group, an energy policy and consulting firm. and he's a former energy adviser to president george w. bush. thank you very much for joining us. this is the first time the united states has done this in coordination with other countries. how much difference do you believe it will make? >> judy, it is great to be with you. it is the first time he has done this in coordination with other countries without an emergency. we have had coordinated releases during the first gulf war and katrina and after the libya disruption, but what is unique about this is that it is a coordinated release of some producers, about six, without an actual supply interruption. as for the impact, i expect what most people expect and what the president himself has said, not much of an impact from this. it is going to wash away in a
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few weeks to a few months. it is a drop in the ocean. the global oil market is enormous and shaken by huge trends and supply and demand and this injection of oil is just one factor. we think it wilmay be bring gasoline prices down a dime, maybe $.15. really, that has arrived from the last few weeks because the price of oil has fallen, the crude oil price has fallen over the last several weeks, and that is what drives the price of gasoline. judy: at this point, there is some expectation that the oil-producing countries around the world, the opec countries, they may reduce their production in order to offset this. what is your expectation about that? >> that is what they are considering right now. there is no question they are considering that. they signaled yesterday if we did this, they might react. that would be a very provocative event.
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were they to meet next thursday and they do meet next thursday and decide to stop there increases, that would be quite provocative. i think there is a good chance of that, however they may choose to lie low a little bit, especially as we saw today the crude oil price rallied. it went up on the decision by 3%. if oil prices continue going high, the smarter move for opec+ might be to lay low for a little while and gradually start to reduce there increases starting next year. that is what i think they will do. judy: you are saying a minimal effect on prices. what other option does a president have at a time like this? >> the only good option was plan a that he tried, which was to lobby opec+, really saudi arabia, to increase more oil. the sad reality that anyone in the white house knows is the only way to get a lot of oil quickly is to ask opec+ to
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increase and they have said no. we are at second-best. other options we heard talked about would be counterproductive. you hear a lot of discussion about banning crude oil exports. democrats have called for that in the house and the senate. that would be a policy error. we think that would cause gasoline prices to go up and hurt shale oil production. that is on the table. he can threaten to sue opec under the sherman antitrust act. it was that acte used to break up standard oil in 1911. i don't think that would be productive either. there are things you can do such as adjust to the renewable fuels mandate, which is our ethanol mandate. there are some measures that might bring a little bit of relief, but the real truth is there is no short-term solution to high gasoline prices other than to get opec+ to put a lot more oil on the market fast and this they won't do.
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judy: and number of people pointing out today this is a president who has said that fighting climate change, reducing carbon emissions is a priority. this is a move in the opposite direction. >> you know, that's right. i'm sure you've heard. in washington, there is this myth that democrats and environmentalists love high oil prices. but i think what we are seeing today is elected officials do not like high oil prices. president biden is taking every step he can to get prices down. there is a disconnect and he has acknowledged that. there is a question whether political leaders are willing to see their consumers face the types of cost increases that will be needed to decarbonizing energy sector down the road. today suggests they may not be that willing to do so. judy: bottom line, i'm going to come back to the question william asked, will there be enough of a difference here for consumers to see?
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>> i don't really think so. i think you will see squiggles and a nickel here and a dime there. most of that is baked in the cake over the last several weeks with the crude oil price drop. i don't think it is quite enough, no. i wish i had better news. judy: well, we all do. bob mcnally, thank you very much for joining us. >> thank you. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie sy at newshour west. we will return to the program after these headlines. the japanese prime minister has announced that his government will, in concert with the u.s., release some of its oil reserves in response to soaring prices. in other news -- a child, 8-year-old jackson sparks, has died of injuries suffered when a car drove into a christmas parade in waukesha, wisconsin.
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he was marching in the parade on sunday with his baseball team. this raises the death toll to 6, with roughly 60 people injured, many of them children. the suspect -- darrell brooks jr. -- made his first court appearance today. he entered the courtroom in manacles and listened as the charges were read -- bail was set at $5 million. >> detectives not only tried to stop this, but rendered an opinion that this was an intentional act. you're presumed innocent, sir. but that's what the allegations are. i've not seen anything like this in my very long career. stephanie: police have said brooks was speeding away from a domestic dispute when he mowed into the parade. a black kansas city man -- kevin strickland -- was exonerated today of 3 murders, and released. he had spent 43 years behind bars. strickland was wheeled out of prison in cameron, missouri,
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hours after a judge ruled he had been wrongfully convicted by an all-white jury in 1979. strickland was 18 at the time. he is now 62. a federal jury in cleveland has found three retail pharmacy giants liable in the opioid epidemic. the panel said today that cvs, walgreens, and wal-mart recklessly dispensed huge amounts of pain pills in 2 ohio counties. a judge will decide later on damages. the biden administration asked a federal appeals court today to uphold a covid vaccine mandate for large employers. the rule is suspended, for now, after republican state attorneys general and others argued the federal government can't mandate vaccines. the jury in the trial of three men accused of killing ahmaud arbery has adjourned for the day without reaching a verdict. the lead prosecutor had the last words before deliberations began in brunswick, georgia. she argued the defendants chased
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arbery and started the confrontation. >> they were the first unjustified aggressors and they were committing felonies against mr. arbery and therefore they don't get to claim self-defense. you can go directly to the charges in the indictment. when they do something like this, they have to be held accountable and responsible. nobody gets a free pass. stephanie: the defense says the 3 men thought arbery might have stolen something from a home under construction. at least 45 people are dead after a bus full of tourists crashed and caught fire in bulgaria early today. it happened near sofia as several buses headed back from istanbul, turkey, to north macedonia. in the aftermath, officials inspected the remnants of a charred bus near a damaged guard rail. the cause of the accident is under investigation. in hong kong, a former pro-independence leader has been sentenced to roughly 3.5 years in prison. tony chung was charged with secession and money laundering under an ongoing crackdown by chinese authorities.
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back in this country, several far-right organizations and their leaders were subpoenaed today in a probe of the january assault on the u.s. capitol. a select congressional committee ordered documents and testimony from the proud boys and other groups. just after midnight, nasa is planning to launch a spacecraft with the mission of smashing into an asteroid at 15,000 miles per hour. the spacex falcon 9 rocket is set to take off from vanderberg space force base in california and if all goes well, it will prove that the rocket can be used as a weapon against asteroids headed for earth. and australia's christmas island was crawling with crabs today. millions of red crabs are migrating to the sea during mating season. it's the largest migration by any crab species in the world and roads are closed to let the swarms travel undisturbed by humans who cross their path. after mating, each female can deposit up to 100,000 eggs in the ocean. still to come on the "newshour."
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tensions rise as russia amasses more troops near ukraine's border. schools around the country struggle to find enough teachers. a new documentary draws attention to the many black people who have gone missing. plus much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour from weta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: a civil court jury in charlottesville, virginia, today found the main organizers behind the deadly 2017 "unite the right" rally liable on four counts, but deadlocked on two key charges. >> a jury in a nearly monthlong civil case involving the violent unite the right rally ordered
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white nationalist leaders and organizations to pay more than $25 million in damages. but the jury deadlocked on charges of a federal conspiracy in the lead-up to the rally, which led to the death of a counter-protester, heather heyer. the rally was planned in part to protest the removal of a statue of the confederate general robert e. lee. the plaintiffs described emotnal trauma, broken bones, and bloodshed during the rally. for more i'm joined by ian shapira, an enterprise reporter at "the washington post" who has been covering the trial. the jury decided this after an monthlong civil trial. can you tell us exactly what we know about that decision? what did the jury decide? ian: the jury handed down a pretty stinging rebuke to the people who organized this rally. they meted out millions of dollars of punishments to the participants. they awarded a total of $26 million in damages against 12 individual defendants, five white nationalist organizations
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on trial. it was a message sent by the jury that this kind of violence cannot happen in today's day and age. lisa: but what about the federal conspiracy charges and of the plaintiffs also hoped to prove? why do you think those were tougher for the jury and what does it mean that those were left unaddressed? ian: that is a great question and that is something that the plaintiffs' attorneys want to continue fighting for. at the end of today's verdict -- hearing, they said they plan on appealing those charges again. those are important counts, very crucial to the plaintiffs' attorneys and all the advocates who wanted to see real, serious reform. they had sued the defendants under an old, old law meant to protect enslaved black people
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from the kkk in the late 1800's. in that respect, this was considered a landmark case under those particular counts. the plaintiffs instead won on state claims instead. that is where we are right now. it is still a pretty big victory for the plainffs and those activists who did not -- who wanted to send a message. lisa: the legal proceeding was very complicated. the jury instructions were 77 pages long. this revolves around a simple and dangerous divide the country is experiencing right w, in large part over race identity, over the past. what did you hear in this trial about where the white nationalist movement is now and if they are standing by racist beliefs? ian: the white nationalist movement that inspired this particular event has largely cratered.
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it is dispersed. many of the finances of these organizations are nonexistent. several have gone underground. for that component of this story, you have seen a real victory for folks who want to see those forces eradicated. as we all know, white supremacy and white nationalism still exist very much in the united states. we see this every day, basically. this lawsuit was important in beating back the forces that profit so much violence and -- on that day and these lawsuits could be used in the future for other events that may happen. lisa: this particular case has been watched for years. what happens next? do we think the plaintiffs will get this money anyti soon?
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ian: it really remains to be seen. what is going to happen next is defense lawyers will ask the judge to reduce the penalties and huge damages and there are state laws that put a cap on punitive damages depending on certain cases. they will go for that. it sort of remains to be seen how quickly the money can be extracted. it also remains to be seen how much money these organizations and individuals have it all. they could extract future wages, impose liens on their properties. but we are trying to figure this out right now. lisa: one last question, you have been there in charlottesville, i know how tense it has been over the past couple of years -- what is the feeling now after this? ian: i think the sense is exhaustion. i think they are exhausted with everyone, to be honest.
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they are exhausted with the story. they are exhausted with the news media, frankly. and they are of course exhausted with lawyers and for white nationalists and the white nationalists themselves constantly showing up in court all the time at various hearings, going through so many different criminal cases. this particular civil litigation has dragged on for a while now. i think they are quite relieved that at least part of this is over. what we are trying to figure out now is whether the plaintiff's will file a new lawsuit trying to win on those two federal claims. that remai to be seen. but the sense in charlottesville is that they still have issues they are dealing with here. they are just exhausted. lisa: at times difficult, but a very important story. thank you for joining us. ian: thanks for letting me be here.
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♪ judy: american and european officials are growing increasingly alarmed by a russian military build up of more than 100,000 troops along the border with ukraine. as john yang reports, there is concern a full-scale russian military invasion could be on the horizon. john: judy, u.s. officials are closely watching that russian military build. today joint chiefs chairman mark , milley spoke with his russian counterpart, valery gerasimov. the region has been a flashpoint since 2014, when russia invaded and annexed crimea, and supported separatists in two provinces of eastern ukraine. since then, there's been fighting between those separatists and the ukrainian army and more than $2.5 billion in u.s. security assistance to ukraine. now, there are reportedly more
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than 100,000 russian troops along much of ukraine's northern and eastern borders. andrew weiss worked on russian affairs in both the george h.w. bush and clinton administrations. he is now vice president for studies at the carnegie endowment for international peace. thanks so much for joining us. what is vladimir putin up to and why is he doing it now? >> ukraine is the single most important piece of unfinished business in his more than two decades as russia's leader. he is the russian leader that bears the acne many is distinction of being a person who has lost ukraine twice. he lost it in 2014. he lost it in 2004. he is sending a message right now that no one should underestimate that he is thinking about undoing the unstable cease fire that has been in place since the war in 2014. he seems to smell an opportunity, when the west is
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divided, when the biden administration has other priorities, and when russia has overwhelming military superiority. john: why is ukraine so important to him? it is almost an emotional attachment for him. >> sure thing. we tend to think of putin as this great chessmaster who is obviously very tactical and very cunning. there is also a side of him which is quite emotional. when it comes to ukraine, it is an issue that cuts very close to the bone and that he feels is a huge stain on his record. losing ukraine, probably most important former component of the soviet union, and see it move decisively westward after the revolution in 2014, he now is saying it is a redline for russia's own security. he is looking at what is happening inside ukraine, particularly the increase of u.s. and nato military
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activities, as a threat to russian security. he is saying it is a red line for the first time since this totally avoidable conflict began more than 7.5 years ago. >> you mentioned earlier he looks at the united states and seems emboldened. what does he see in the united states domestically and in the biden administration that makes them think this is a good time to do this? >> vladimir putin knows that joe biden came into office not wanting to have his presidency dominated by having to deal with russia. he knows that the president's priorities lie elsewhere. he is focused on overcoming the pandemic, getting the economy back on track, and when it comes to national security, retooling our apparatus to focus on the major threat we are facing long term, which is china. russia in some ways is benefiting from the facthat the biden administration would be perfectly happy to park the u.s.-russia relationship and get on with business that it thinks is more important. putin sees that as an
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opportunity. it is a chance to force western leaders into a reactive posture and basically show, as he has done many times in the past, that he cares about ukraine much more than we do. he believes that because russia is a nuclear weapon state that no one is going to tangle with him or challenge him directly. people like former president obama have said the united stat is not prepared to go to war over ukraine. i don't think anything is changed. john: you mentioned what is going on internally in ukraine. talk about the ukrainian president and what is going on there and that may be also emboldening putin. >> when he was elected a few years ago, there were a lot of expectations that this was a person who would be more russia friendly and potentially take awayrom some of the intense acrimony that has been in place since the revolution in 2014. instead, we have seen he has squandered what was initially a very strong, popular mandate and
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he has become more antagonistic toward russia in ways that definitely irritate kremlin sensibilities. they are in no way a predicate for russian military action, but they are becoming part of this broader russian excuse about why some things have to change. they point to things like changes in the language law, the increase of western military support, and for the increased nato military presence in and around the black sea. the russians are now claiming in a theatrical and unconvincing way that the president is planning to invade eastern ukraine and that they will never allow this to happen. they said things very similar to that in march and april of this year when there was an earlier war scare. they are putting in place all the pieces to justify military intervention in ukraine. the biden administration says the united states commitment to ukraine is ironclad. what does that mean?
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what short of war with the united states do or should they do if russia invades? >> the biden administration is in a bit of a box right now. on the one hand, it wants to send as many signals it as it can of support to ukraine and bolster multilateral responses to what they are seeing is a credible threat of russian military intervention sometime in the coming months. on the other hand, they don't want to do anything that needlessly provokes russia or gives them an excuse for military action. if they back away from ukraine, they will be seen as being too timid. if they lean into far, they will be seen as trying to poke the bear. they are trying to play this one very steady. our top military commanders spoke earlier today. in the past, that channel has been the most important one between the two countries. there are expectations that president biden and putin will get together in coming days, as well.
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there is probably going to be in the coming months a very elevated sense of tension in and around ukraine. the russians can turn that level of tension up and down. they will also do things that will throw us off balance. that is unfortunately the name of the game for putin. john: thank you very much. >> great to be here. thank you. ♪ judy: public schools across the u.s. are taking a break for thanksgiving after a more traditional fall semester that saw students largely back in their classes in person. but it is still a long way from the usual. many teachers and staff did not return this year and that has meant a shortage of teachers, substitutes, bus drivers, custodial staff, and more.
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in some cases, it has even led to virtual classes. our student reporting team reached out across the country and asked educators and students about how this was affecting them. here is some of what they told us. >> i was waiting like 30 minutes for my bus driver to come pick me and my classmates up to go to school, but they ended up never coming and we had to call the office and they ended up sending an extra bus. >> my school had a lot of vacant spots for teachers. the sixth-graders only had one teacher available, so other staff had to fill in. >> i don't even have an english teacher and it makes it really hard to learn with no one in the classroom. >> i had to go to the auditorium because our teacher wasn't here and in that auditorium, there were three other math classes. >> we largely don't have enough substitutes. at the beginning of the school year, i believe that the administrative team including our principal and the three
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assistant principals were covering about 20% of the absences. >> a lot of them a not know the topic we are learning, so it is really hard to keep learning in school and you sort of feel stuck. this is a very important year for us as a junior in high school. do not have the right teachers is really frustrating. >> we are on our own, we have to read the material, do the projects on our own. you kind of lose motivation. you get tired of sitting there for so long and doing it on your own. >> people want to go into education, but they can't because they feel like they are choosing between their passion and just growing up and paying bills. >> if i had known twentysomething years ago that i would be stuck in the same pay scale more or less, i probably would not have made this choice. >> the pandemic has made me change my mindset on what a good teacher actually is. with the pandemic, and a lot of
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people developed mental health issues and aren't really coming back is themselves. and a teacher who understands that we were just in a pandemic and we are just high schoolers, that is really to me what makes a good teacher. >> a good teacher has to be born, you can't just make them come into the business. to attract new teachers, i guess weould have to go a salary in the hope that people that are born to teach fall into the career. judy: our communities correspondents have been tracking all of this is playing out where they are based and two of them join me now. briel is in st. louis and francis is in ann arbor, michigan. hello to both of you. i'm going to start with you. you have been talking to education officials, looking at schools in missouri, tell us what you are hearing and seeing
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there. >> we are seeing the shortages across the state. in st. louis, one of our school systems tells us that they have experienced over 200 vacancies and that includes teachers and other support staff. i think the way we are really able to see how this is affecting our state is kind of through the solutions that districts are coming up with. it is everything from some school districts playing -- paying's drivers to be custodians when they are not driving. we have one district that is now hiring some of its own high school students to fill in some of the non-teacher roles. it is a state issue. our state has pledged $50 million over the next couple of years to try to fill in some of the gaps and also to attract more teachers, because the state says it has seen a dip in that. they have created tools and are putting money toward it and it continues to be a real issue. >> you have been looking at the schools and talking to people
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across michigan. you are seeing some similar challenges. >> yes, here in michigan, winter has just started, which is also the beginning of flu season and covid is spiking. michigan is number one in covid cases, new covid cases. schools are trying to balance the traditional teacher shortages, substitute shortages, as well as increasing cases. some of the thing school districts are doing include shifting the schedule to four days in person, one day remote. during that time, they have the support staff, like bus drivers and food service people, double up on custodial duty to help deep clean the schools on those fridays with elecostatic sprayers and uv lights. other school districts are closing on days that they anticipate there will be substitute shortages and teacher
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shortages, so that they call it ahead of time so parents can prepare, such as thanksgiving instead of the regular three days, they have added monday and tuesday off as well. that gives them a chance to disrupt the covid cycle. judy: you were telling us that some of these staffing issues existed even before the pandemic hit. >> yes, these are long-standing issues. salaries in michigan have -- if you account for inflation -- salaries have actually gone down 16% over the last 20 years. retirements have gone up due to covid in the last year. retirements were up 40% over what they had been the previous four years. and most pressing, the number of college students who are studyi to become teachers in the state of michigan has gone down 50% over the last six years. judy: back to you, gabrielle,
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you have looked at whether the schools are financially prepared to deal with the kind of challenges that are now facing them. >> yes, i think it is important to remember and we learned this through our interviewing that while some school districts and a lot of them were able to get some cares funding and they are using that to do different thingsm a lot of these issues existed before the pandemic started, so when we talk about teacher shortages, and a lot of that has to do with teacher pay. missouri is not alone in that. we have seen that across the country. but also, the amount of funding that school districts get from the state and that matters, it matters especially if we are talking about issues before the pandemic, when the pandemic hits and not having those funds and maybe not being funded adequately, it matters may be more than it did before. judy: have you seen something
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similar with regard to financing in michigan? > yes, in michigan, the educational revenue growth, in michigan, it is 50th out of 50 states. so, teachers are trying to increase pay rates for substitute teachers. they are trying to increase pay rates for support staff. they are also offering whatever benefits they can offer their teachers, they are extending into substitutes, such as vaccination clinics. they are also trying to promote the grow your own teacher programs, where they can encourage and help professionals and support staff who want to become teachers, help support them so they can become teachers, as well. judy: it is such a difficult set of issues and it is facing so many of our public schools across the country. we thank you, francis and gabrielle, two of our community
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reporters. you can read more about this issue from our reporters across the country on our website. since the fda ran an emergency authorization of the pfizer covid vaccine for children ages five to 11, more than 2 million children in the u.s. have been vaccinated. public health officials are highlighting the importance of providing vaccine access to low income and minority communities that have been hit hardest by covid. stephanie sy visited one of those communities in phoenix, arizona. stephanie: it is a busy saturday morning at the mountain park health center in the maryvale neighborhood of phoenix. a few dozen parents have flocked to the vaccine clinic to get jobs for their children.
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some made it look easy. others were understandably nervous, especially the youngest ones, which included five-year-old gustavo, he is a cancer survivor who is currently in remission. his mom wanted to be there on day one to get him vaccinated. the pandemic upended her life. she quit her job, worried about bringing the virus home. >> you never left. he was in the house unless it was absolutely necessary to leave. stephanie: this 10-year-old with asthma came with her two younger brothers and mom. >> my grandpa is the one who got covid. stephanie: her grandpa was not vaccinated and died earlier this year. >> that is why i came and brought them, so they could get the vaccine. i got it because of what happened to my dad. at first, i did not want to get
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it because i was scared and everything. stephanie: so many families have lost loved ones in this neighborhood. this community health center is on the front lines. the director of equity, diversity, and engagement -- >> is a vibrant community and it is a lot of -- it has a lot of needs. there is a lot of poverty. there are a lot of people working several jobs. there are a lot of multigenerational families. stephanie: i one point in the summer of 2020, arizona had the highest rate of covid cases in the nation and maryvale was particularly hard-hit. public health officials worry that the same systemic issues they prevent parents from vaccinating their children. >> i go to work at 3:00 in the morning and i get off at 2:00 in the afternoon.
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stephanie: with a truck driver schedule and caring for multiple grandchildren, the vaccine simply wasn't top of mind for ray dixon. >> i've been talking to some people about the vaccine. a lot of them say, go ahead and get it. some of them say, you don't need it, you ain't sick. they got me confused. i don't know. stephanie: what about the kiddos? did you know they just approved the vaccine for children ages five to 11? >> i did not even know that. stephanie: this is the challenge in neighborhoods like maryvale. people may not have time to go out of their way to get the vaccine and health officials say parents are getting mixed messages and rumors are spreading faster than facts. it is why mountain park health center is sending outreach workers to knock on doors. they are connecting people to provide -- with providers who can answer their questions and make appointments to get the vaccine. they have met mixed success. >> we will be knocking on doors
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and trying to further the trust. just as the folks who are already vaccinated want their kids to get vaccinated, we know that there are a lot of adults who are not vaccinated who don't want their kids vaccinated. stephanie: outreach workers approached him in his drivey. he said he was worried about the virus and it spread, but still hadn't been vaccinated. >> i have friends who've gotten sick after getting the vaccine. stephanie: the language barrier with maryvale's large latino population is another barrier. >> we have seen that, where in english a lot of the misinformation gets fact-check then blocked out on social media, that doesn't happen in spanish. stephanie: just more than a third of latinos in arizona have received at least one dose of the covid vaccine, compared to more than half of white arizonans according to the pfizer family foundation. as dusk approached, we met a woman with one of her five
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children. he is five and she plans to have him vaccinated as soon as possible, but her husband is adamany refusing the vaccine. >> some people say they are putting a chip in your arm. there are so many rumors and my husband believes all of them and not that the vaccine is actually working. stephanie: the microchip conspiracy theory is just one bit of misinformation this dr. battles. microchips are not in the vaccines. >> hey, big guy. the hard thing has been for me and a lot of our providers is being able to battle the false news or false information that is being heard out there. i want to meet them in the middle, but also let them know as your pediatrician, this is
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why my recommendation is what it is. otherwise it does come down to a lot of frustration. stephanie: frustrating because the pediatrician has seen how covid has ravaged this community. >> we have also been seeing parents get affected from even like a work standpoint. schools being shut down, schools going online. i've seen it hit across multiple levels. one of the areas i've seen it really hard that has struck me is adolescence and mental health. stephanie: vaccinating children is also important for protecting the most vulnerable. even those that have been inoculated. five-year-old cancer survivor gustavo can relax now that the jab is over. his mother has the vaccine card in hand. for her and other countless parents, the child covid vaccine was long anticipated and offers
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a path toward much-needed normalcy. for the pbs newshour, i'm stephanie sy phoenix. ♪ judy: a third of the almost 300,000 girls and women reported missing in the u.s. in 2020 were black. that is according to the national crime information center. yet, those cases often get little attention or are all but ignored by law enforcement and national news media. now, a four part documentary series on hbo follows the lives of two women working to bring awareness to these cases. amna: the new series tells the story of the cofounders of the blackened missing foundation. the sisters in law a rally communities and help families as they search for their missing loved ones. here is a clip. >> being a former
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law-enforcement official, i've dealt firsthand with missing persons cases. back in 2002, i ended up getting hired on as the first african-american female police officer in the history of the agency. like my aspiration was to work for the fbi and get into forensics. i spent six months in a police academy and we dedicated like an hour to missing persons cases. i had a case where there was a young lady and i did not realize she was missing until i was able to recover her. we received a call and i was the primary officer responding to that call of a domestic violence situation and all grass -- in progress. as i'm driving to the scene, i noticed two people walking really fast and it just looked
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out of the ordinary. i stop and this young lady ran to me. it was the young lady that was the domestic violence victim. her hair was pulled out. she had bite marks all over her body. had to take her to the hospital to get a rape kit. she had been missing for days. she was stuck in a motel with her abductor. she was reported missing in our neighboring jurisdiction and her flyer never crossed my desk. and she was a young, black female. i don't want these cases to be handled sloppy, because our community matters. amna: sola. o'brien is the executive producer of blackened missing. welcome to the newshour.
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thank you for making the time. tell us more about these two women. why did you choose to center the story around them and their work? >> we started this documentary process about three years ago because we found the work they were doing fascinating. talking about being in law enforcement and trying to use her expertise to help families who had missing loved ones who can't figure out how to break through the barrier of disinterest in a lot of cases, where no one seems to actually care enough about the person who is missing that they go the extra mile or maybe just go the basic mile to make sure there is a missing persons flyer, that it is circulated in areas outside of just that one jurisdiction. for natalie, she was interested in leveraging what she does in her day job in pr to helping families learn how to navigate the system. how do you make a media that does not seem to very often care
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about women of color who are missing, make them care? sometimes it is about the information you give come the press conference to give, how do you address people on the phone? the two of them get together to help their skills to help communities that are and that the data shows very clearly, communities that are very often ignored by media, law enforcement, and their own community when they go missing to help get a leg up. amna: this issue of the media not caring, there is a phrase many of us have heard, missing white women syndrome. it basically means in our industry that the stories of missing white women often get a lot of attention in the media tends to stay with those stories in a way they do not with the stories of missing black or indigenous women or latinas. why is this still a problem today? >> because i don't think anybody has thought about why do we not
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care? is it that people in media are cold and callous? i don't believe that is true. i think there is a lot of bias involved. missing white women syndrome also includes the wall-to-wall coverage that gets communities up in arms to the point where you have people flying themselves to aruba to help look for natalie holloway. it is not even just the media, it is this idea of why do people as a whole just not care? we profile a young woman, a beautiful young woman who is black who goes missing and then a couple weeks later natalie holloway goes missing. her hand to describes what it is like to watch the attention that natalie holloway -- i covered the natalie holloway case, what a horrific story for her mom to go on newscast after newscast -- but at the same time, the on who is looking for her niece is
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saying, why does no one care about my niece? she is reaching out to these news organizations, she is a tv producer, she can't get any attention. why do we care about some people and why do we not care about others? i believe it is a lot of bias. i know when i've done documentaries that focus on people of color, i've been told, don't make it too black, make sure you don't push away the audience we really care about, which is to say the white audience. there is often a sense of our audience is this, this is a person who is appealing, attractive, interesting to me as a producer and that is what should get the focus, versus thinking about what are the communities that you serve and how do you serve those communities? we talk to a former news president who says race is not a factor. that is just not true. the data does not hold that up. until newsrooms are willing to
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say why do we not care? maybe we should examine that. i don't know if you are going to get a lot of movement. amna: in the law enforcement angle, is that the same angle? bias? >> also a little bit about runaways, many folks told us that the police would push back and say, she is probably a runaway, maybe she went to stay with her boyfriend. the idea that someone could be in a motel with their abuser covered in bite marks and only because of a chance call is able to be saved is just too horrible to wrap your head around. people should be searching. if you call someone a runaway, there is much less of an interest in thinking that maybe you can help find them. they have run away. the folks at blackened missing foundation should say no one should be characterized as a runaway. the search should start immediately. someone shouldn't be sent home to say, maybe they will turn up. we all know that the first 48
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hours are critical in gathering information about a person who might be missing. amna: a fascinating series, necessary storytelling, the four part documentary series debuts tonight on hbo and hbo max. executive producer sola dad o'brien. >> my pleasure. thank you. judy: it is a story that deserves much more attention. we are so glad it is getting it. that is the newshour for tonight. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us her thank you, please stay safe, and we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> the landscape has changed and not for the last time. the rules of business are being reinvented with a more flexible workforce by embracing innovation, by looking not only at current opportunities, but
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had to future ones. resilience is the ability to pave it again and again for whatever happens next. >> people who know, know bdo. ♪ >> consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. financial services firm raymond james. bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate equitable economic opportunity. and with the ongoing support of these institutions.
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this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> this is pbs newshour west from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] ♪ >>
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-today is all about the art of the taco and one of my favorite tostadas. when we would just hang out at the beach, they would serve those tostadas. it is so incredibly delicious. the layering of flavors, the play of textures, the bliss of the perfect bite. whether you are leaning towards some crispy beef or the bright unch of puerto vallarta seafood, jalisco will satisfy your taco cravings. and inspiration follows me back to my kitchen as i play with my versions of those tacos, starting with an enchanting battered shrimp taco garnished with a jicama, apple, and cucumber slaw. then the puerto vallarta classic -- a dry ceviche tostada. and i complete the series with a delicately toothsome mushroom taco. but if you're gonna make tacos, you need the things that are gonna dress up your tacos