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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  November 28, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> hill: on this edition for sunday, november 28: the new coronavirus variant emerges in more countries. global food insecurity grows as prices surge. and how fatherhood and poetry combined to create a turning point for an indigenous man. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fu. the estate of worthington mayo-smith.
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leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no contract wireless plans desied to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find the plan that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like
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you. thank you. >> hill: good evening and thank you for joining us. i'm michael hill, in for hari sreenivasan. a gring number of countries are confirming cases of the new omicron variant of covid-19, which health officials believe may be more contagious than prevus mutations of the virus. as of late this afternoon, health officials in several european countries, hong kong, israel, and australia all confirmed cases of omicron. researchers in south africa last week identified the variant, and the world health organization quickly declared it a variant of concern. in the netherlands, health officials said 13 cases of the new varianwere found in passengers who arrived last week from south africa. the infected passengers remain quarantined in a hotel at the amsterdam airport. officials in israel announced they are banning all foreigners from visiting the country for the next two weeks and mandating quarantines for israelis arriving from abroad.
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here in the u.s., a ban on travel from eight southern african countries for non- citizens or residents starts at midnightonight. the nation's top infectious disease expert, dr. anthony fauci, warned today there are still many unknowns about omicron, including whether it causes more severe disease and how well existing vaccines will protect against it. >> even with a variant that we don't know yet the full impact that it's going to have on protection against vaccine induced antibodies, get boosted, get vaccinated and you're going to bring that level right up. i don't think there's any possibility that this could completely evade any protection by vaccine. it may diminish it a bit, but that's the reason why you boost. >> hill: fauci said biden administration officials are in contact with counterparts in south africa. president joe biden returned from nantucket this afternoon and planned to meet with fauci and the administration's covid-19 response team about
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omicron. voters in switzerland have confirmed they would like the government to continue its covid response efforts that include a mandatory proof of vaccination or negative test to enter many locations. swiss election officials reported that 62% of voters opposed the removal of the restrictions in a referendum vote. today's vote also protects massive pandemic aid spending for workers and businesses. protests against the covid mandates continued today after intense debate over the country's response. st week, swiss health officials warned of a possible fifth wave as cases continue to rise. about two-thirds of the population is vaccinated in switzerland and neighboring austria and germany. in honduras, voters went to the polls today to choose their next president in what is being called the most significant eltion in more than a decade. in a tight race, the ruling
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conservative party candidate nasry asfura is facing xiomara castro who will make history as the first female president if she wins. castro is the country's former first lady, and is considered to be the only candidate with a chance to defeat asfura and remove his national party from 12 years in power. crime and poverty have forced many residents to flee north, and the biden administration says it is monitoring the vote closely. leading up to today's election, political violence has increased in honduras, with attacks against some candidates and their supporters. preliminary results are expected late tonight. in taiwan, officials claimed 27 chinese aircraft entered the country's defense buffer zone today. on taiwan's defense minister's twitter account, authorities mapped the flight pattern of 18 fighter jets, five h-6 bombers, and a refueling aircraft near the southern part of the island. taiwan said it scrambled aircraft and deployed missile systems to monitor the flights.
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officials said the chinese planes then returned to mainland china. china had no comment on the reports. since october 1, taiwan has reported 150 chinese aircraft entering its air defense identification zone. for more national and international news, visit pbs.org/newshour. >> hill: this holiday season, many americans are noticing rising prices at grocery stores as the inflation rate reached more than 6%. worldwide, the price of food is now at its highest level since 2011 according to the united nations food and agriculture organization. inflation, climate change, and energy costs are all contributing to severe shortages and increased costs in some of the poorest countries. in a recent "wall street journal" story on the global surge in food prices, reporter samantha pearson explored the crisis. she spoke with hari sreenivasan
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from sao paulo, brazil, where she is based. >> sreenivasan: so, samantha, you've been covering how food prices have been skycketing in brazil and latin america. is there any one central reason why this is happening? >> so, yeah, we' been doing a lot of stories on, in fact, the global rise in food prices, but that's really hit latin america hard, and it's heartbreaking to see that especially in places like brazil where i'm based. i mean, brazil, it just seems like we're finally coming out of the worst of the pandemic, which has had a horrific impact here. more than 600,000 people dead. and things are now meant to be better and now, as you say, food prices are rising and people can't afford to eat. millions of people can't afford to eat. and the reasons for that are very varied across the world. i mean, it kind of depends on which country, it depends on which food group as well. but i think i would lump it into, kind of, two main reasons. so, i think either because of
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the pandemic, the effects of the pandemic, but also climate change had-- is having a kind of catastroic impact as well. so, i'll give you an example in brazil. inflation, you know, we're seeing double digit inflation at the moment, it's at 11%. and one of the reasons for that is we're suffering the worst drought in almost a century, which has driven up energy prices, which is then adding to general inflation. so, it's a whole host of catastrophic events, the pandemic, plus the catastrophic events of climate change that we're living through. >> sreenivasan: so, let's break that down a little bit. on the climate change side, are we talking about essentially adverse or horrible, kind of, weather situations in different parts of the world affecting the supply of goods, meaning what's able to grow? >> precisely. so, i mean, in brazil, we've had a drought which has pushed up
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prices, but across parts of asia that's exactly what we're seeing. so, in india, we've seen terrible heavy rains, landslides. that's affected just the production of vegetables like cauliflower, tomatoes, and pushed the prices of those items up. also in china, the vegetable growing regions in china have been affected by heavy rains. that's affected prices there. so, it's basically bad weather, and also we've had terrible wheat harvests in the u.s. as well, canada, russia. wheat prices that now are at the highest level in almost a decade as well. so, on that, in terms of climate change, i'm talking about a lot of rain. and in brazil's case, not enough rain. the west has had the worst drought in almost a century which, i mean, most people here attribute that to climate change. >> sreenivasan: so, the drought there has a knock on effect on hydroelectric, meaning the dams are not nearly producing as much energy. and so, just like everything
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else, the less supply you have of something, the greater the demand, and the prices for electricity are going up as well. >> precisely. so, brazil is a special country in that sense that we use a lot of hydroelectric power here, so we rely on hydroelectric dams for electricity. so, when those dried up because of the drought, the government had to switch to thermal power plants, which are more expensive. so, that's the reason that the drought then caused electricity prices to go up. so, there's a lot of different things going on here. and then you have, as we said, the effects of the pandemic, right? so, i mean, that-- one of the causes is energy pces. as you know, energy crises have skyrocketed as countries emerge from lockdowns across the world. and then that obviously means that transporting food is more expensive and that is passed on to the final customer. we've seen particular situations, for example australia, they ship a lot of bad food out, a lot of exports out, and they just can't get
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enough staff to go on the ships because everyone's so freaking out, rightly about getting covid. palm oil prices are rising, for example, because in malaysia, they're struggling with labor shortages, migrant labor shortages. so, this is kind of a whole host of reasons that have converged just at, kind of, like this heartbreaking time, you know, when especially the poor, we can talk about that a bit lar, but the poor really are the ones that are suffering in places like latin america. >> sreenivasan: so, we've heard about, kind of, supply chain slowdowns when it comes to things like computer chips, but you're talking about staples that people rely on, whether it's just we're talking rice and beans and vegetable oil, things that the poor rely on more so than t rich because this is all they eat. >> exactly. so, food price inflation always affects the poor more because the poor tend to spend a higher proportion of their income on food. and because they just don't have that cushion, that margin, you
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know, when prices go up, they don't have savings or they can't, you know, they live literally day to day. i mean, millions of people in lan america live like that. so, it's just been punishing. i mean, we've done a lot of reporting in brazil's favelas, and it's just heartbreaking. i mean, inflation sounds like such a, kind of, academic subject, you know, but you see the fects of inflation on the poorest people. and the one thing that struck me really was that it comes down to choices at the end of the day. because you can't afford to buy everything you need, so you have to make these heartbreaking choices about what to buy. so, i mean, we met a woman, for example, she could buy cooking oil, but then she couldn't afford meat to cook-- or she buys meat, but then she can't afford cooking oil, so she has to cook. i mean, in brazil, people are starting to cook on open fires with wood and alcohol, and it's just hugely dangerous. you know, if you've got kids, you know, it can cause respiratory problems.
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and one woman, i mean, this particular scenario really got to me in brazil. we met a woman who, she didn't have enough money to buy clothes for her kids. she's got three kids. she didn't have enough money to buy clothes for her kids. in sao paulo, which is where i'm based, we've had a lot of cold weather recently. but she knew that the only way for her kids to eat was to send them to school, because in brazil, the government gives kids at school food, and that's probably the only decent meal they're going to get in the day for local families. so, she had this heartbreaking decision and she was like, well, i don't have enough money to n've clothes to my kids,hey're freezing, you know, they don't have enough clothes to keep them warm. but if i don't send them to school, they're not going to eat, so is it better they eat and get sick, or is it better they stay at home and don't get sick, but don't eat, you know? it's like, i mean, it's a humiliating position to be in as well for these families, you know, and they're angry. and this obviously has political consequences. and it's a huge, a huge problem in places like brazil right now.
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>> sreenivasan: yeah. samantha pearson for "the wall street journal," joining us from sao paulo. thanks so much. >> thank you. >> hill: we've been bringing you a series of stories told by indigenous people from yellowknife in canada's northwest territory. in partnership with the global reporting center, they're sharing their stories of life, addiction and recovery. donald prince is a counselor and the former executive director of the arctic indigenous wellness foundation. in this first person story, he shares his past experiences with violence, thjustice system, and addiction; and how being a father and writing poetry were crucial steps towards his healing. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> i walked through the empty city.
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my soul is hurt and torn. i'm surrounded by loneliness. why was i even born? i wish i could find a way out of this world of violence. i cry out at night and i hear on the silence. i remember i was about probably ten years old, just when i started school, i started drinking. the feelings of fear and insecurity and not feeling a part of, and... all this other stuff, sort of, went away when i drank. fights, i remember a lot of fights. my dad was a big guy, so he was always screaming and yelling and different things like that, the cops coming. reality, dirty breath in his face. he's back in line. thoughts gone, food's coming. boy, i'm sure hungry. been standing in line r years. hope they don't see me. i used to get picked on in school by all these bullies. they used to wait for us. and the biggest guy, they came after me and i stabbed him in
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the face. i cut him right from his mouth right up to his ear. the cops came, they picked me up that night and threw me in jail. he stands in the line and hides his face. keeping up to the others, doesn't lose his place. he stares at the holes in his shoes. dirty pants, stale shirt. hey, move it, buddy. what are you dreaming about, wine? ended up in jail again, '89, but these couple of guards, they said, "prince, when in the hell are you going to learn, when you're going to smarten up," you know? i said, "yeah, yeah, but i don't know what the hell," i thought, "i seemed like i can't. i don't know what the hell's going on with me." so anyway, one of them said, "well, why don't you start writing some of this stuff down? write it out." and i thought, "okay." so, i went back and i started writing, and i wrote about how i felt about love and about hate and about anger and wishing for a better life and wishing for a
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love that was true or wishing for, you know, have my kids in my life and things like that, right? well, i remember when my oldest daughter, crystal, was born, i just held her and looked at her and i said, "i will never do the things to you that were done to me," and i never did. for the first 14, 15 years of her life, i was never there much. one time paula was in jail. the guard comes up to me and says, "your daughter phoned, there's an emergency. she said that amanda got run over." amanda, my younger daughter, she was five years old. so, i'm on the phone and i said, "well, is she okay?" and all i can hear is crying on the other end. and i thought, "she's dead." i thought my daughter was dead.
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finally, crystal was able to talk, and she said, "no,he's in pretty bad shape, she's in a hospital, but she's going to make it." but i remember going and walking away on that phone call thinking, you know, "what the hell kind of a dad am i?" you know, my kid's 500 miles away, ran over, the other one's getting in trouble. what the hell is wrong with me? you know, why? what's the matter with me? strange, foolish desires. they come over me. i feel the chains tighten. i am no longer free. i went and saw this drug and alcohol counselor. he says, "well, i just want to know what people did to you." i said, "what do you mean?" he said, "what did people do to you when you were a kid?" and holy-- that blew me away. you know, nobody ever asked me what happened to me. you know, they always want to know what a bad guy i was. and... i look back now, that was the key.
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( sighs ) that was the key to locking all-- unlocking all that bitterness and hate, anger i had for the world. i haven't had a drug or a drink since. ♪ ♪ ♪ we provide a place where people can get help, whether that be counseling, or traditional healing, or traditional medicine, ceremonies, different things like that. we don't follow any western way of doing things, we do things our way, the indian way. ( laughs ) we don't have anybody who works here was not aboriginal. >> every tribe has their own medicines and their own land, you know, so we utilize our own medicines here.
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we know that people are going through a lot of pain and they're feeling so good when they leave here. >> western counseling the way it's set up, you got to go into a counseling session. you speak for 50 minutes or something like that and that's it. out here, anybody can come any time they want for as long as they want. talk with somebody for a little while, go have something to eat, relax a little bit, talk again. when people are allowed to be what they are, say what they want and do what they want, they're more likely to open up about something that's going on with them. >> unlike other organizations, these people said, "come on, it's okay if you fall down. come join us, sit down, have coffee, have tea." donald is a no holds-barred elder. he'll tell you exactly the way it is. he cares so much for individuals.
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i learned quite a bit off of him. i learned how to stand up for myself then. growing up in residential school, your voice, your spirit is taken away, but working with him d in this camp has given me my spirit back. >> what motivates me is success, you know, and seeing people like stanley or inuk who are sober today and they have good lives. their kids have good lives. their grandkids have good lives. i've let go of the dark side. there's going to be better days. things are looking better now since i've changed my evil ways. sometimes the temptation is not easy. it's hard for me tabide. but i don't let it get me down, i just push it all aside. i'm focusing on the good times d keeping an open mind. i'm going to look ahead of me. the past is all behind.
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>> hill: finally tonight, menorah candles are being lit tonight as the jewish festival ofights begins and lasts for eight days. happy hanukkah to all who celebrate. that's all for this edition of“ pbs newshour weekend.” for the latest news updates visit pbs.org/newshour. i'michael hill. thanks for watching. stay healthy and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii.
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bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. addional support has been provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the
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american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
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announcer: this program was de possible in part by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. [bells jingling] [playing "russian dance" from "the nutcracker"] ♪ ♪ ♪

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