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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 10, 2022 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, the specter of war-- russia initiates massive military drills along ukraine's border and effectively barricades the black sea, further stoking fears of invasion. then, presidential papers-- a congressional committee launches an investigation into documents recovered from mar-a-lago and whether former president trump attempted to destroy government records. and, in peril-- the loss of seagrass and environmental collapse leads to an unprecedented number of manatees dying off the coast of florida. >> one year of an event like this is really concerning. but if this continues it, it could be catastrophic for the population. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: there is fresh evidence tonight of just how bad inflation has gotten. consumer prices in january jumped 7.5% from a year earlier.
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that's the biggest one-year increase since 1982, with no sign of a let-up, any time soon. lawmakers from both parties pointed to the numbers today, with an eye toward the november elections. >> democratic policies have created an inflation riptide that is forcing families and small businesses to swim as fast as they possibly can just to avoid getting sucked out to sea. >> we're just coming out of a pandemic, but i still think that we need to start doing some things in a positive way to lower inflation. we did it with the bipartisan infrastructure deal. we did it with the rescue plan. >> woodruff: also today, 30-year home mortgage rates hit their highest point in two years, at nearly 3.7%. his warnings to americans to leave ukrained inly. ukrained in stage
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on ukraine, russian military exercises got under way in earnest, in belarus near the exercises in neighboring belarus. and in an nbc news interview, the president sai "things could go crazy quickly." we'll take a closer look at ukraine after the news summary. the biden administration urged c the biden administration urged canada today to put an end to truck blockades along the border protesting covid vaccine mandates. the ambassador bridge linking detroit to windsor, ontario stayed bottled up for a fourth day. a bridge at port huron, michigan was also blocked, and a border crossing in manitoba joined the list. truckers are still clogging central ottawa as well. supporters said today the government has to give way. >> if everyone here leaves and goes home, and everyone is a little bit happy, and everyone can go back to doing what they want to do, then we can start to have a civilized discussion about things. but til the band-aids and the restrictions are lifted, no one here is leaving. this can go on for days, weeks, months; it doesn't matter. >> woodruff: with the protests
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continuing, general motors and toyota joined ford in closing plants or cutting production as parts shipments are blocked. the blockades in canada have sparked similar actions overseas. police in new zealand arrested 120 people today outside parliament. thousands have blocked streets there for three days. and in france, protesters waving canadian flags headed toward paris, despite threats of fines and prison time. britain's prince charles has come down with covid for a second time. he is fully vaccinated, but royal officials say he's tested positive. charles met recently with his mother, queen elizabeth, who is 95. officials say she has no symptoms. back in this country, the c.d.c. proposed today to ease guidelines on how doctors prescribe opioid painkillers. since 2016, there've been strict limits on the drugs, in an effort to slow an overdose epidemic.
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the proposed changes would give doctors more leeway in treating patients with severe pain. the u.s. senate gave final approval today to ending forced arbitration in sexual assault and harassment claims. instead, the bipartisan measure will allow accusers to go to court. democrat senator kirstin gillibrand of new york championed the bill. >> the arbitration process has not only allowedorporations to hide sual harassment and assault cases in this secretive and often biased process. but it has also shielded those who have committed serious misconduct from the public eye. so there's no accountability. and we know that sunlight is always the best disinfectant. >> woodruff: we'll speak with former fox news anchor gretchen carlson, who lobbied for the bill, later in the program. state lawmakers in louisiana will investigate theeath of a black man, ronald greene, in a violent encounter with white state police. officers originally said greene died in a crash in 2019.
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later, body camera video showed the trpers beating him and using stun guns. electric auto maker tesla says it will fight a california state lawsuit accusing it of racial bias. the suit follows hundreds of complaints by black employees at tesla's factory in freemont. the complaints range from racial slurs to job discrimination. a federal judge in california restored federal protections for gray wolves today, across much of the nation. that reverses a move by the trump administration. wildlife advocates argued that without the curbs, hunting would sharply reduce gray wolf numbers. on wall street today, the flation news sent major indexes down 1.5 to two percent. the dow jones industrial average lost 526 points to close at 35,241. the nasdaq fell 304 points. the s&p 500 dropped 83. and, at the winter olympics,
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american nathan chen's long program secured the gold medal in men's figure skating. defending gold medalist snowboarder chloe kim won the women's halfpipe. and the u.s. won the mixed team aerials in free-style skiing. still to come on the newshour: what ending forced arbitration for sexual assault claims could mean for survivors. we break down the latest victories and controversies in the winter olympics. a new exhibition showcases art made of unconventional materials. plus much more. >> woodruff: ten days of russia military drills launched today in belarus with 30,000 troops; naval drills also began in the black sea.
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all this as crisis diplomacy over 100,000 troops surround ukraine. all this as crisis diplomacy continued, in moscow, berlin, and brussels. nick schifrin starts our coverage in belarus, on the belarus-ukraine border. >> schifrin: with tanks, artillery, missiles capable of and its most advanced jet, russia's belarus military exercises, are the largest since the cold war. it's a display of military might, near the border with ukraine, and just a few hundred miles from kiev. and past the sailboats off annexed crimea, russian ships, hold naval drills. ukraine's foreign ministry today said those ships make black sea navigation virtually impossible, and are part of russia's "hybrid war." meanwhile, ukraine's defense
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ministry, prepared in case of a shooting war. just north of crimea, soldiers practice securing an enemy- occupied building. ukraine uses drones from nato- member turkey, that have successfully targeted russian tanks in previous conflicts. ♪ don't you need somebody to love ♪ and to a rock soundtrack, a show of american and to a rock soundtrack, show off americ javelin anti-tank missiles that senior u.s. officials say are now deployed to key transit points. but at the same time, diplomacy continues. in berlin, mid level-officials from germany, france, ukraine and russia met in a format that's focused on the frontlines of the eight-year-old conflict in eastern ukraine. in moscow, british foreign minister liz truss visited russian foreign minister sergey lavrov, and at first, the diplomacy was relatively diplomatic. >> ( translated ): relations can be normalized only through mutually respectful dialogue, an equal dialogue, and dialogue based on recognition of each other's legitimate interests, a search for mutually acceptable solutions.
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>> the reality is we can not ignore the buildup of over a hundred thousand troops on the ukrainian border and the attempts to undermine ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity. >> schifrin: but after their meeting in a press conferenc.. >> ( translated ): i'm honestly disappointed that wh we have is a conversation between a dumb and a deaf person. they say russia is waiting until the ground freezes like a stone so its tanks can easily cross into ukrainian territory. i think the ground w like that today with our british colleagues, from which numerous facts that we produced, bounced off. >> schifrin: after that, lavrov exited stage left, leaving truss standing alone. there was friendlier choreography in brussels between british ime minier boris johnson and nato secretary general jens stoltenberg. johnson said putin's end game was still unknown, but british intelligence was “grim.” >> this is probably the most dangerous moment, i would say, in the course of the next few days, in what is the biggest security crisis that europe has
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faced for decades. >> schifrin: in response to that crisis, british troops today arrived in poland, and u.s. equipment re-deployed to nato member romania. senior officials tell pbs newshour they're worried about any ukraine conflict seading into nato, as state department counselor derek chollet suggested in bucharest. >> romania is facing acute threats from the situation unfolding not too far away from here with the russian escalation. >> schifrin: for more on ssia's moves near ukraine's borders, we turn to michael kofman, research program director in the russia studies program at the center for naval analyses, or c.n.a., a navy- funded think tank. michael kofman, welcome back to the newshour. we've got a map that shows how ukraine is really surrounded from the north in belarus, are the northeast, from the southeast, and south in crimea. what's your assessment is the russian buildup right now?
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>> the russian buildup has entered a fairly advanced stage. you have seen trooppedz arrive and grab equipment. there is a sizable russian deployment in belarus just north of the urainian capital kyiv. there are a lot of russian troops northeast and east of ukraine, and there's a fairly sizable russian deployment in crimea. plus, there are additional ships along the way, amphibious assault ships bringing more troops to reinforce the russian forces in crimea. what you're beginning to see are kind of what looked like the final stages of a very sizable military buildup, a military that is positions itself to be able to conduct a large-scale military operation. >> and last time we spoke about a month ago on this show, you pointed out how a lot of the hardware was in place, but the wasn't quite in place yet. is that personnel now in place? >> yes, that picture is very much changed. we've seen personnel arrive, grab their equipment, move much closer to the ukrainian border
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towards final staging grounds, begin to conduct exercises that bring the personnel at the higher readiness level. a lot of logistics have shown up, the kinds of things you would see the military bring that is not necessarily preparing for an exercise, but are more than likely is positioning itself for an operation. everything from medical, fuel, ammunition, communication-- these kinds of elements. you have seen aviation shift over, aircraft, helicopters. and you've seen troops come very close to the borders. that equipment that in the past we saw maybe 200, 300 kilometers away from ukraine, kind of staging there. they grabbed that gear, and they've gone down to maybe within 30 kilometers of the ukrainian border at this point. >> one other element of the presence that senior officials i talked to are very worried about is electronic warfare, russia's ability to cut off ukraine's
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cell phones, internet, sattelites. how large, how real is that threat? >> it's very real. you've seen the russian military bring all sorts of different types of electronic warfare systems. some fairly high level. th're accompanying the various units that have deployed there. and russians are quite advanced in the electronic fire operations,a they call them; information operations. so you can see a combination of both cyberwarfare, which is likely to have some effects, but more importantly electronic warfare, but of theical level but high-end sstems, as well. >> we were focused on the exercises today in belarus. we saw that at the top of the story, and i want to go back to another map to show why people are so concerned about those troops in belarus. the fear of troops in belarus coming down toward kyiv in a pitcher move that is surrounding kyiv. u.s. officials i talked to are
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worried about that. what does that say about russia's intentions? >> sure. those red arrows you have on the map are actually a realistic prediction of at least one of the likely russian foreign actions, that they intend to encircle the ukrainian capital and impose regime change, perhaps install pro-russian regime or change the constitution. you're also likely to see a fairly large incursion by russian troops both south of crimea, the crimean peninsula, and also in the east, perhaps enveloping the bulk of ukraine's forces which are currently deployed in the southeast along the line of control opposite the donbass, the separatist territory. you're anything to see a fairly sizable russian incursion potentially across the eastern regions of ukraine looking to develop or cut off a large number of the ukrainian military that's basedhere. >> now, senior u.s. officials who i talked to ar as concerned as they are, given the things
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that you're describing and the capacities of russia that are on the border. but they do say that vladimir putin has not made a final decision yet. and certainly, the u.s., the west, in what they say is the united way, are trying to come up with a russian off ramp. but those things that the west are offering russia are far from what russia's core demands are. so do you see any possible diplomatic off ramp in this moment? >> i mean, i've slightly been pessimistic all along, and i've seen the likelihood for diplomacy to succeed is not very good, fairly slim. of course i agree, we don't know whether putin has made a decision. that's very true. is there a chance for diplomacy to succeed? well, i think the window for it is is, unfortunately, closing. it's not necessarily that russia has to conduct a military operion now that they have deployed. but they do appear to be increasingly in a sort of go or
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no go posture, so they're likely to make a decision in the coming weeks and not months-- and by weeks i mean only a few weeks. so far in terms of what we've seen as public diplomacy i have not witnessed anything that gives me optimism. there is a chance behind the scenes there is backdoor diplomacy taking place th none of us know about, and maybe there is movement there. russia can always back down. putin can take what he's been given on the table, declare a victory and pull back from the border. however, i find this a fairly unlikely scenario, and i'm worried i might be right about my pessimism going into this. if you recall our conversation months ago, a lot of the indicators that i suggested that would tell us they are serious about military operation, and a renewed invasion of ukraine, they've all shown up, literally almost every single one of them. so we are now looking at a very different russian force posture. >> michael kofman we have to leave it there. michael kofman, center for naval analyses, thank you very much. >> thanks, my pleasure.
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>> woodruff: there are more headlines today about donald trump and his potential miandling of white house records, including questions about whether the former president broke feral law. chief washington correspondent geoff bennett has more. >> bennett: a source familiar with the issue tells me the national archives has asked the justice department to review former president trump's handling of white house records, as the "washington post" was first to report. officials at the archives believe trump may have violated the presidential records act. that request followed news that officials recovered 15 boxes of documents from trump's mar-a- lago residence-- materials that should have been handed over to the government when he left office. according to the post, the documents included letters from north korean leader kim jong un, the note barack obama left for trump in the oval office on the day of his inauguration, and a map of the projected path of hurricane dorian in 2019,
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infamously altered by donald trump with a black sharpie. and news first reported by the "new york times" adding another level of concern-- the archives "discovered what it believed was classified information in documents trump had taken with him from the white house as he left office. add to all of that, new reporting from the "new york times'" maggie haberman that when president trump was in office, "staff in the white house residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet-- and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper." the former president released a statement today calling it a fake story. and it's not clear what the d.o.j. will do, if anything, to investigate. for more, let's bring in chuck rosenberg, a former united states attorney and senior fbi official. chuck, it's great to have you with us. a d.o.j. referral, as i understand it, doesn't necessarily mean that there will be an investigation. and you handled such cases as a federal prosecutor.
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do you see a compelling case here or not? >> well, that's a great question. first, geoff, you're exactly right-- other agencies of government can make referrals to the department of justice, but it's up to the department of justice exclusively whether or not it investigates and prosecutes. so if the national archives or any other agency believes a violation of the law was committed, they ought to make a referral. and then the justice department will decide. has there been a violation of the law, of the criminal law? that's a hard question. let's take it one at a time. with respect to the presidential records act, that law doesn't have a criminal provision. it doesn't even have an enforcement mechanism. but it requires a president to preserve their records, not for the president but for archivists and for historians, for all of us, for citizens. those records belong to us, not to the president. and it seems like president trump-- and this doesn't really
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come as a shock-- didn't fully abide that requirement. >> what about the potential classified information, putting aside the apparent hypocrisy that donald trump ran against hilary clinton on the issue of mishandling classified informatn. if officials found that documents did in fact contain classified material, would that make a significant difference? is this. >> it might, but here's why i don't think it will in the end make a difference, geoff. the president of the united states, any president, is the primary consumer of intelligence information. he is the ultimate customer. he also has the authority to classify and teclassify documents. so even if documents were found that are classified, it would be very difficult, exceedingly difficult for a federal prosecutor to prove that mr. trump or any oth president didn't just wave their hand over the documents and say, "i now declassify you." in order to prove a criminal
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case of mishandling or retaining classified information, you would also have to essentially prove a negative, that that didn't happen, that the documents were properly classified, and that president trump took the documents in a classified condition, he mishandled them and retained them. that's a very difficult criminal case, given that the president has ultimate classification and declassification authority. >> this isn't the first time the former president's handling of official records has come under scrutiny. politico reported some four years ago that trump was ripping up documents and that white house aides were saving them and taping them back together like jig saw puzzles. fast forward to today, and the january 6 committee is confirming it received documents from the trump white house by way of the national archives that had in fact been taped back together. so i guess the question is, when does this cross the line from being cavalier to being
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criminal? and what's the point of having laws like the presidential records act or the hatch act, which were retune flouted during the trump years, if there are no apparent consequences? >> with respect to the presidential records act, again, even though it has no enforcement mechanism, a president takes an oath of office at the beginning of his term to faithfully execute the laws of the land. that includes provisions, laws, statutes with enforcement mechanisms and without. that includes civil laws and criminal laws. and so maybe it only matters to me, but it matters a lot that by failing to abide the presidential records act to preserve documents, to turn them over, to not tear them up or perhaps flush them down a toilet, then you are not abiegd by the presidential records act, or your oath to faithfully execute the laws. that said, there is yet another statute that could make it a crime to destroy documents. let's put aside the classified documents for a moment.
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let's put aside the presidential records act for a moment. there is a federal law that makes it a crime for a custodian of record, somebody who has ownership of the records-- possession, custody-- to destroy them or remove them. it's not clear to me that he automatically violated the statute when he tore up those records, a violation would be a felony, geoff. but here's the problem: that statute, found in title 18 of the united states code, requires that the person who violated it acted intentionally. it doesn't mean he intentionally tore the documents. that means that he tore the documents intentionally to violate the statute. it's not impossible to prove, but it's not as easy as it might appear at first blush to some people. >> chuck rosenberg is a former u.s. attorney and former senior f.b.i. official. chuck, thank you so much for your insights. >> my pleasure, geoff.
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>> woodruff: the bipartisan bill to empower survivors of sexual harassment and assault now heads to president biden's desk for his signature. it's the most significant "me too" legislation to pass in congress since the movement began. lisa desjardins has more on what it means for sexual abuse survivors. >> desjardins: the historic legislation ends the use of "forced arbitration" clauses for sexual harassment and assault claims, a common practice that bans people from taking sexual harassment to court. gretchen carlson saw the effects of this first hand when she came forward against former fox news c.e.o. roger ailes in 2016. since then, she's advocated for the law, and today joined senators on both sides of the aisle to celebrate its passage. she joins me now.
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gretchen, this term "forced arbitration," it sounds almost clinical. can you help us uderstand in real term what has this meant in america? >> yeah, it really is something that people hear it and their eyes glaze over, and they have no earthly idea if they have it in their workplace contract or if they happen to click on an email or it's tucked away in their employee handbook. basically, this has become an epidemic across america, with companies using it up to 80% of all people under forced arbitration in the next couple of years, to show you the exponential growth. it means if you have a problem at work you have to go to this secret chamber called forced arbitration, instead of your seventh amendment right and be able to go an open jury process. >> your case made international headlines, in part because of your profile, and also because it took down one of the world's most powerfully men. it meant his professional demise. but can you help us understand more broadly, what has this
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meant for people less close to power? any stories you can share. >> yeah, let me first explain i had a forced arbitration clause in my last contract at fox. and even as an educated woman, thinking about bringing a lawsuit even at that time, i did not understand the ramifications of what that meant. and it was a dark day for me when my lawyers told me, "you have no case because you're going to go to the secret chamber of arbitration. you cannot go to a jury trial." and that's why we sued roger ailes personally. that was the strategy, to try and make my case public, or we, arguably, would not be in this movement right now because my story would have never, ever been told. and what ended up happening, lisa, is i started hearing from thousands of other women across the country after my case became public, and they said, "the same thing happened to me." and i've never, ever been able to tell my story. and i realized then that it was an epidemic and i needed to do something about it. >> those are stunning numbers.
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this is also a topic that was once tabu, sexual misconduct. and i know in trying to push this law, some large business groups really worked against you. they said this law is too broad. can you help us understand how and why, in the end, did it get so much wide support? >> yeah, so groups like the chamber of commerce were against this bill, but i will say that this time around, they did not publicly come out against it, but they were working very hard behind the scenes. but the way that i sum this up is that i saw a tonal shift happening on capitol hill over the last five years since i started advocating for this bill. and specifically, with republicans. and so i decided strategically to make most of my outreach to republicans. democrats tend to vote for this, and republicans tended not to. and i was able to get a lotf republicans who voted no the first time this was introduced back in 2017 to switch their vote to yes this time. i think that that was significant because of the efforts made, but also because
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people realize that this movement's not going away now. and the same thing with companies. as much as they thought this might be a passing fad, they're now thinking to themselves, "wow, five years into this, we're still talking about this." this. and so we might have to be intro introspective and make is this changes and maybe we can't silence the women anymore when these things happen to them." >> it has been six years since you filed your lawsuits. where do you think america is culturally with the concept of sexual harassment and treatment of other people in terms of sexual misconduct? >> i think we've made incredibly great strides. first and foremost, women are being believed, which sounds so crazy that in 2022 we weren't believing women back in 2016, but we weren't. women are not as much maligned as they were. the first thing my lawyer said to me s, they will kill you." and they, you know, they definitely tried to. and they did to so many other women, just meaning in general in our society. perpetrators are being held
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accountable. you're not seeing these big payouts to well-known people when they have allegations made against them. so i think that that's massive progress. i also think a key to this is the media started covering these stories, and the general public got angry when they heard them. and they wonder idea have we not heard about these stories? and i'll bring you full circle to why-- because they were all going to the secret chamber of forced arbitration. >> as you ride this wave, as you fight this fight, what's next? >> well, i created my nonprofit "lift our voices" two years ago, and we believe that there should be no forced arbitration for any toxic workplace issue, including age, race, gender discrimination, lgbtq discrim neighbors et cetera. we also believe people should not be silenced with nondisclosure agreement. of course companies should be able to protect trade secrets but not cover up horrible things that happen to people in the workplace. that's our mission of "lift our
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voices." as you heard today on the hill i plan to start meeting with members of congress immediately to start tackling some more legislation. >> one last question: this was historic legislation by some-- by some accounts, perhaps the biggest change in labor law in almost 90 or 100 years. how does it feel for you to have gotten this done? >> yeah, you know, i did shed a few tears when the vote came in because this has been a five-year journey. but not for me. i shed them for the millions of workers who maybe don't have the same platform that i have to try and get this done. and i've often said that aside from my two children, who i'm going to hug incredibly hard tonight, that this will be my greatest life achievement. and aside from my children, making this kind of historic change for so many people is something i never expected would be on my radar screen. but when a bad thing happened to
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me, i decided to roll up my sleeves and make a difference. and i hope today that i have. >> gretchen carlson, thank you so much for speaking with us. >> thank you for having me. >> woodruff: last year was the deadliest on record for manatees. many of the large, aquatic animals starved to death, and a die-off is happening again this year. federal and state officials, as well as volunteers in florida, are trying to save starving manatees with a pilot feeding project this winter. but as science correspondent miles o'brien reports, there are larger environmental problems in the water that cannot be solved with emergency feedings. >> reporter: it is a desperate measure for a desperate time. florida manatees, freezing and famished, getting a handout from
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humans at a power plant near titusville. these gentle giants, also called sea cows, gravitate to the warm water discharges from power plants and natural springs every winter. but on the east coast this year, like last, they're arriving hungry and weak. the seagrass they subsist on has all but disappeared. ron mezich is with the florida fish and wildlife conservation commission. >> we're here for a purpose now that we were helping animals. but truth be told, we'd rather have the animals not here. >> reporter: last year about 1100 of them died mostly due to starvation compounded by cold weather. so far this winter about one hundred thirty have succumbed to various causes statewide. nearby, aquatic biologist pat rose is keeping tabs on the species that he has spent more than 45 years trying to protect. he is executive director of the
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save the matee club. >> it's the first timever that manatees have been supplemental fed during the winter, and it's started off okay, but it's got a long ways to go if it's going to really take care of all the manatees that are going to need it. >> reporter: the drone documents the crisis in vivid detail. what are you looking for? >> we're looking at mostly what body condition they're in. how many of them are very lean on, you know, on their way toward starvation and then looking for those that would be very sick, that would be having trouble balancing in the water, sideways swimming, those kinds of things that tell us that manatee is really in trouble and it's going to need help. >> reporter: about 90 malnourishednd injured manatees are getting help in intensive care facilities like this one at zootampa. >> i think roughly i've seen him
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eat about 10 heads this morning. >> and i'm glad everybody stable, stable after her last few days where they were a little hectic. >> reporter: molly lippincott is the curator of florida and manatees. 20 of them are here, pushing this dedicated staff to its limits. they bottle feed orphaned calves every four hours around the clock for several months. one of them, flapjack, who got his name because he was so emaciated his head looked flat, arrived here october 20th, but now is doing much better. >> we have a pretty tiny team. we definitely work very hard. we always figure the animals come first in a lot of situations, your home life may take a little bit of a ding in order to do what's best for these animals. >> reporter: at the root of the problem is an environmental collapse in florida's indian river lagoon. it's a shallow body of water between the mainland and the barrier islands atns50 miles from cape canaveral to jupiter.
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it was a manatee haven. dennis hanisak is a research professor at florida atlantic university's harbor branch oceanographic institute in fort pierce. he took us on a three hour tour of the lagoon. >> it's definitely a lagoon in peril. >> reporter: we were hunting for seagrass. the average adult manatee forages about 100 pounds of it every day. but all we saw was a lot of algae, which blocks sunshine from reaching sea grass rooted at the bottom, killing it. >> we probably have lost at least 80% of the grass, but... >> reporter: 80%? >> there are many areas where there's zero seagrass, i mean zero percent. 2011, when we started the blooms. and at's really when everything did the catastrophic decline. >> reporter: a huge algae bloom in 2011 was just for starters. ever since, recuing algal events known as brown tides have
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pushed this rich ecosystem out of balance. in 2016, a brown tide starved the water of oxygen enough to trigger a massive fish kill. the problem has grown along with the human population around the lagoon, now more than 1.5 million, an increase of 50% in the past 25 years. today, there are more than 300,000 septic systems in the six adjacent counties and many sewage treatment plants are antiquated. and take a look at this distinct brown patch in the lagoon. it is freshwater runoff filled with phosphorus, nitrogen and decomposing vegetation. increasing amounts of it are funneling into the lagoon thanks to rapid development, agriculture and flood control discharges from lake okeechobee. so all these things are major red flags, warning signs that nature is giving us, right? >> yeah. well, now we got now we got dying,anatees starving because
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not having a seagrass. i guess that's the next sign that yes, indeed, we have a very serious situation here. >> reporter: dennis hanisak is cultivating a potential solution, perfecting a technique for growing seagrass in a nursery, something that's never been done before. so this would be the perfect man at manatee buffet right here, right? >> oh, i think if a manatee, if we could get a manatee here, that manatee would be very happy. >> reporter: but of course the seagrass won't be happy in the lagoon until the algae clears. by some estimates that would take $5 billion and 20 years. florida governor ron desantis has committed 53 million dollars over ten years to remove 3,000 septic systems. and brevard county has imposed a half cent sales tax for lagoon restoration. and yet some state legislators are going against that current, proposing a bill to make it easier for developers to destroy
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seagrass beds. none of this deters the team at zootampa. it is release day for baylo, a 500 pound adult female now back in good health after exposure to red tide. veterinarian cynthia stringfield is vice president of animal health, conservation and education. >> this is a short term solution. so, you know, we patch them up. we make them better. we do as much as we can. but as you can see, we have a finite space, so we can only take smany and it isn't a long one year of an event like this is really concerning. but if this continues it, it could be catastrophic for the population. >> reporter: for now, all they can do is take stock of success one animal at a time. >> almost there, lady friend. >> reporter: it is clearly not sustainable, but for those committed to saving these gentle creatures, it's not optional either. >> all right, ready. one, two three.
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>> reporter: in the late970s there were fewer than 1,000 manatees left in florida. but after the state imposed boat speed protection zones to prevent propeller strikes that re killing so many of them, they rebounded. before this die off, the population had reached about 8,000. but now, the problem has deeper roots, and the hungry manatees may not have time to wait for the solutions. for the pbs newshour, i'm miles o'brien along florida's indian river lagoon. >> woodruff: as we reported, team u.s.a. had a big night in beijing, but there have been upsets and disappointments this week, too. and there's controversy
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surrounding a p russian figure skater who reportedly has tested positive for a banned drug. she's already secured one gold during these games, but there are questions about all of that. amna nawaz spoke earlier today with "usa today" sports columnist christine brennan >> christine brennan, welcome back to the newshour. thank you so much for staying up late for us. we know it's very late there. the olympics are always have wonderful stories of redemption, right, is one of the key story lines. nathan chen, the american figure skater, four years ago came in fifth, determined to do better this year, and lindsey jacobellis is another big story, known as one of the sport's most dominant athletes as a snowboarder but knn for the 2006 blunder that cost her the medal. how did both of them do this year? >> what's fascinating about this, amna, it took, for lindsey jacobellis, it took 16 years to finally get a chance to come
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back and win the gold that was sitting there for her when she made this kind of crazy move, kind of hot-dogging, celebrating a little too soon. we've seen that throughout sports. and when she did that, back in to reno in 2006, she lost the gold medal and it was this kind of classic blunder. and here she is, all these years later, winning that gold finally. talk about perseverance, and just hanging in there, and figuring it probably wasn't ever going to happen, until it did. that's the kind of story that you hear that, and even if you dont really care about snowboarding or whatever, you think that is great for an athlete to hang in that long and finally have te moment they deserve. nathan cn wasn't 16 years, he's only 22 years old, but four years, four big years, and you mentioned his fifth-place pingz in 2018. but he was 17-- yes, 17th-- in the short program at those olympic games. and he went into tose games as a medal hopeful as well, but as a teenager.
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and from that moment fo years ago, he has been o a mission. he's won three world titles. he's won four more national titles, sick overall. he's only lost one competition between south korea in 2018 and these olympic games. and that was earlier this year. just almost perfection. and yet, the pressure was on him. and you could just feel the tension. when he finished his short program-- he's not yet done yet with the competition-- but he just punched the air, just a fist pump, which he said is so unlike him, but it was just are the release of the tension and the nervousness and all that energy and then just went on to state skating a majestic long program and about three-quarters of the way in, about a minute left, you knew he had it. the gold medal was his. he had done it. he had risen to the occasion and had the most-- greatest performance at the most important moment of his life, which not many athletes can say that, but certainly nathan chen can say that today. >> speaking of a lot of pressure
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and high hopes, chloe kim knows what that feels like. she was just 15 four years ago when she won her first gold on the halfpipe. she established herself as one of the best in the world. the big question coming into this game was can she do it again? can she continue to dominate? >> yes, the answer is yet. one of the most magnetic personalities, just someone that you hear the name and you smile. fans, again, even if you're not tuning in you've heard that name and she did win the gold again. the u.s., it's been difficult. you know, there has been some heartbreak. this is never easy. and these games at the winter olympics, obviously, on ice and snow, they're slippery. there are mistakes. but she nailed it. she was able to overcome, obviously, not only competitors but also just that sense can you pull it off? the pressure of being the defending champ and doing it again, and she did do that. so another happy for story for the united states obviously as the games are neither the
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midpoint. >> another name a lot of us have been coming to no, known in china is eline gu. she's competing for china, her mother's country of origin. she's a superstar there. she's got billboards and magazine covers and sponsorships. how did she do in her first games? >> she's doing great. she won the gold, and she's an interesting storyline. because she is from san francisco. she's 18 years old and chose as a u.s. citizen to actually compete for china. and now she's starting to get questions that she will probably get for the rest of her career, and that is why china? obviously, these oly olympics ao inscprikably linged with politics. the issues of human rights abuses, the uyghur people, and the genocide that has been reported. a very, very serious issues. well, when you join and you decide to go with china, as she did, you get those questions.
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"why now?" so, yes, of course, it makes sense in a marketing way. 1.4 billion chinese, and you could sell a lot of products to 1.4 billion people, an untapped market in many ways. and so she's reaping that benefit. but she's also dealing with some very significant questions. >> there are also a lot of questions surrounding the performance of makayla shiffrin so far. 26 years old. she's had a sterling career as an alpine skier, and she's won olympic medals before, but this year, in both the giant slalom and the slalom, she skidded out. and so we're hearing a lot of comparisons being made between her performance so far and that of gymnast simone biles at the tokyo games. i'm curious how you are looking at this? do you think the comparisons are fair? >> it's the first thing i thought of when i saw she had skied out the second straight time. she was a teenager the last time she failed to finish two races, and when we say "skied out," that means she didn't even get through five gaetz and something
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happens and she just kind of goes off the course. that means she's done there's no chance of a takeover, a redo, a second chance. so i think many ople probably saw that picture after the second one, after the slalom, where she just was kind of sitting on the snow and just kind of bent over in absolute despair. heartbreaking. and it does bring to mind simone biles, because, you know, let's face it, the pressure on these athletes, it's always there, but especially if you're a little bit older. you know what's at stake. there may well be other comparisons, and there may well be differences between them, but i do think it is again that conversation that i think we should have about just how much pressure is on these athletes. >> christine, meanwhile, in team figure skating we should note russia won gold, america won silver, japan took the bronze. we haven't had a medal ceremony yet, why not? >> because of a positive drug test among one of the russian athletes and it was a minor and there's only one minor among the
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six athletes, and that is kamila valieva, the gold medal favorite in the women's event. because of that, there's an investigation going on, on that. it's very confusing. there are multiple groups looking at this. because she's a minor that throws new questions into the mix. but the key point is if russia is disqualified, u.s. would move up to the gold medal, japan, and then canada would move up for the bronze. so we shall see but this is a story right now consuming these olympic games. >> no shortage of news on top of all of use highs and lows of any olpic games. christine brennan, i don't know w you keep up with it all, but i'm so grateful that you do, but thank yoso much for joining us. >> amna thank you very much. >> woodruff: industrial materials used in dramatic new ways. this is the focus of an exhibit at the addision gallery of american art in andover,
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massachusetts called "light, space, surface." special correspondent jared bowen of gbh boston gives us a look as part of arts and culture series, canvas. >> reporter: art changed in the 1960s and '70s. it took on a glimmer. it rippled. and it lured the eye and the mind with a seductive, mystifying glow. on its surface, art had a fresh polish thanks to a host of repurposed materials. >> plastic, polyester resin, lacquer, some of these were new, coming from the burgeoning aerospace industry, and some were developed by the artists themselves. >> reporter: the exhibition "light, space, surface" at the addison gallery of american art presents the art created in southern california by a group of artists mad about unconventional materials. they were described as having a "finish fetish." allison kemmerer is the addison's director. >> that the artists who were ascribed to that didn't
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necessarily like, but it stuck, becausto them, "finish fetish" sort of implied that the finish itself was the most important part of the work. and, really, for these artists, finish is a means to an end. it's a way to explore light, whether it's light that's reflected, or refracted, whether it's light that you can see through. >> reporter: or that we can't even distinguish, something artist robert irwin toyed within his disc paintings. so alli, how am i seeing... what am i seeing here? >> what are you seeing-- exactly. so this piece by robert irwin a painting. it's an aluminum disc that's painted with acrylic, and is attached to the wall by a metal armature that's extending about 20 inches out. its convex in shape, and simply lit in four different directions. the light animates this object,
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and completely blurs the object. it's confounding our perception. >> reporter: light had a new dawn in the 1960s. it's when james turrell, son of an aeronautical engineer cornered the market on light in the first of a series of sculptures and installations that would define his career. while doug wheeler, a one-time pilot, began navigating in neon. >> so you walk into the ug wheeler room, and you're not really sure what you are seeing. yocan't define, is it a form? is it a mist? it comes in through various senses, and it's a total perceptual experience. >> reporter: carol eliel is the senior modern art curator at the los angeles county museum of art, which curated this traveling exhibition from its permanent collection. most of these works surfaced when new york was the epicenter of the art world, and still adhering to painting traditions. but fitting for california, says eliel, the west coast artists
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assumed a frontier mentality. >> these materials were never conceived of as art materials, so they totally made them their own. the works don't look like other works. other artists simply weren't using these materials elsewhere, so it wasn't as if, you know, there were templates for them to follow. they each developed their own vocabularies. >> reporter: so they became pioneers. peter alexander dipped into the wonders of liquid resin after realizing it could do more than repair his surfboard. billy al bengston was a motorcycle racer who took a shine to sheen. >> he repaired a lot of motorcycles, and was at the same time a painter. and then he became sort of enraptured by the metallic surfaces and spray painted acrylic, and started making art that way. >> reporter: as a way to rev up her career, in 1964, artist judy chicago enrolled in an autobody course, the only woman among 250 men.
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>> she started spray painting, not on metal, which is the traditional, of course, automotive surface, but on sheet acrylic. the acrylics chemically fused, and she said it felt like skin to her. she made a series of these tabletops with the three half- dome, molded, spray-painted spherical forms, which of course one can read as breasts or as bellies. she sort of came out of car culture, but in this very feminist way. >> reporter: the foray into finishes has made much of the work tops, including this fiberglass one, for being irresistible. so much so that the addison has added "don touch" signs to the galleries. they could equally translate to the greatest measure of success for these artists. >> the viewer is having an experiential conversation and a back and forth with those objects. and i think that's a really important part of those surfaces. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm red bowen in andover, massachusetts. >> woodruff: fascinating. and that exhibit is up through
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the middle of march. on the newshour online right now, the bells of the washington national cathedral have tolled thousands of times in tribute to the lives lost to covid-19. read how the dean of the cathedral describes the ritual after the nation hit another grim milestone. find that at and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> for 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide.
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and friends of the newshour. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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hello, everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. >> right now our cdc guidance has not changed. we have and continue to recommend masking in areas of high and substantial transmission. >> to mask or unmask? as democratic governors get ahead of the cdc on lifting those mandates, we ask top doctors around the world how best to manage the end of the omicron wave. then -- >> so will the prime minister do the decent thing? will he reconsideris words, repent and resign? >> more pressure piling up on boris johnson. i ask how long the british prime minister can survive this self-inflicted crisis. plus -- >> i started to feel a bit fraudulent i guess when people
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would say