tv PBS News Hour PBS March 9, 2022 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the war grinds on. evacuations from ukraine become ever more desperate as brutal russian shelling continues on civilian targets, including a maternity hospital. then, putin's power. we examine the long career of the russian leader, from his beginnings in the k.g.b., to his increasingly totalitarian rule as president. >> i think he is genuinely fearful that western values and democracy could undermine his leadership and the whole regime. >> woodruff: and, across the aisle. congress moves forward on several major pieces of legislation, including
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>> woodruff: it has been a day of carnage in ukraine. russian bombing struck a maternity hospital, sending new and expeant mothers fleeing. there was continued confusion about a plan to deliver polish soviet-era jets to ukraine, while the u.s. sent anti-missile batteries to poland. late today, the white house press secretary, jensaki, tweeted a warning about russian propaganda about accuses the u.s. of american bio-weapons production in ukraine, saying, "we should all be on the lookout for russia to possibly use chemical or biological weapons in ukraine, or to create a false-flag operation using them." but in and around ukraine, the humanitarian catastrophe continues to spiral. more than two million ukrainians have fled their nation, as more seek shelter within it. having just returned to lviv, in the country's west, nick schifrin again begins our coverage.
( explosion ) >> schifrin: this is a hospital, under attack. a maternity hospital. a victim, near childbirth. just the latest target in the siege of mariupol. the city was supposed to be under a cease-fire, so residents could flee safely. instead, the bombardment resumed. mariupol officials say two weeks of war have killed more than 1,100 civilians. >> what we now see in mariupol, in these absolutely civilian places, so many terrible things with war crimes, with crimes against humanity. >> schifrin: iryna venediktova is ukraine's first female prosecutor general, equivalent to the attorney general. she is investigating russian war crimes. do you call these attacks "war crimes" because you believe they are specifically targeted at civilians? >> absolutely. i said we have now a thousand cases, actually.
it's ordinary soldiers who understand whom they kill, actually. >> schifrin: the international criminal court's prosecutor has fast-tracked an investigation against russia, focused on attacks on civilian targets-- as seen today in kharkiv. but the battlefield is the crime scene. >> now it's very hard. in a few months, it will be impossible. that's why the main goal of prosecutors and investigators to fix war crimes, to collect this evidence, and then we will i can demonstrate, if it's possible to demonstrate this cluster bombs in kherson region, for example. and we can see such possibilities in the main cities, of ukraine. this is in the chest of the boy. his family tried to run from russian tanks. and this is a piece of projectile in his chest.
>> schifrin: in sumy, rescuers worked through the night to pull survivors from the rubble of homes damaged in an air strike. how would you define justice? is it holding to account russian soldiers, russian commanders, or even vladimir putin himself? >> all of them, of course. all of them. putin included. i am sure that vladimir putin is the main criminal of 21st century. >> schifrin: ukraine did manage to evacuate more than 40,000 people today in humanitarian corridors, adding to the exodus of those escapinthe war. the u.n. estimates 1.5 million ukrainians have fled their homes but remain in ukraine-- many in miles-long lines heading west. to see the conditions they faced, we traveled the same route. so, we're just leaving odessa. the drive back to lviv, near the polish border, is supposed to be ten hours, but we think it might take two days, because we're going in the same
direction as so many fleeing the fighting. so, we'll see how it goes. the road from odessa first heads north, toward kyiv, and then turns west, on ukraine's central artery. the route is 500 miles. we ended up driving for nearly 20 hours, through hail storms and, the next day, through sunnier skies, on roads lined with checkpoints-- some with troops; others, just to slow would-be invaders. there's so many people filling for hours, the traffic starts and stops. they flee on a single road from this war's epicenters-- "b.b." for luhansk. "b.e." for mikolaiv. "a.x." for kharkiv. and many tape the ukrainian/ russian word "dee-teh“-- children. as in, children on board. including in this car, where daria x and her father have spent the last three days after fleeing kharkiv. >> there is no electricity, and all time we sit underground, and it was really-- we are afraid. maybe i go abroad in europe, but i hope i will return my
native kharkiv. >> schifrin: you want to go back home. >> yes, of course. >> schifrin: a senior u.s. defense official said today there have been "no significant movements” toward kyiv or chernihiv. in the east, russian troops are still laying siege to kharkiv. to the south, mariupol is also besieged by russian forces. and in the strategic port of mykolaiv, ukrainian troops have repelled russia for nearly a week. to stop russia's advancement, zelensky once again demanded a no-fly zone, or jets. >> ( translated ): this is about human lives. we ask once again: solve it faster. do not shift the responsibility. send us planes. >> schifrin: but the u.s. again today rejected poland's plan to transfer soviet-era fighter planes to the u.s., then ukraine, fearing that would expand the conflict-- even though secretary of state antony blinken said on sunday, that was the plan. >> that gets the green light. in fact, we're talking with our polish friends right now. >> schifrin: today, blinken
punted-- >> poland's proposal shows that there are some complexities that the issue presents. >> schifrin: --while poland's >> ( translated ): so, when will the decision be made? listen: we have a war. we do not have time for all this. >> schifrin: part of fighting that war is a national curfew. by 10:00 p.m., all of ukraine's cities are under curfew. the streets are quiet, and kept quiet by volunteer patrols. they're a neighborhood watch born from the war. they coordinate with police, and are allowed to enforce martial law with their own weapons. they were already friends, but now a night on the town now takes on new meaning. yuri dyakun is a 23-year-old fitness coach. why is it important for you to enforce the curfew? >> ( translated ): first, to identify those saboteurs that can harm our country, our city. they usually operate at night. >> schifrin: that means checking anyone who's out too late. it's 10:45, 45 minutes after curfew started, and these guys saw a suspicious car, so they surrounded it.
they asked him questions, and they left him go. on a night like tonight, most of these guys would usually be having fun-- at least, before the war. now, they're dedicated to doing what they can for their city. others hope this city is the road to safety. we came across the mishyna family 12 hours after they fled kyiv. katya doesn't sugarcoat their fate for sons illya, six, and kiril, eight. >> i told them the truth. i told them that this is war. and this is bombing noise. so they know why. but in the other hand, i'm happy that they don't understand all the reality that is surrounding them. >> schifrin: the reality is, they will soon be split. dima, and all ukrainian men 18 to 60, can't leave the country. >> ( translated ): i'm sending them off, and i'll stay here. i will help send humanitarian aid to kyiv, to kharkiv, and will encourage my relatives to meet me here and help. for now, that's my plan.
>> schifrin: they are hopeful, but their future remains uncertain. we checked in with the family in the few days since we met them. katia and the boys made it to northern poland but they have nowhere to stay because the city is overwhelmed by ukrainian refugees. the best they have been offered is a place in a gym. judy, as for those images from mariupol and that attack on the hospital today, the w.h.o. says russia has now destroyed 18 medical facilities across the country, but we've learned tonight those pregnant women we saw evacuated at the top of the story are all safe and sound. >> woodruff: thank goodness for that amidst all the rest of this carnage. nick schifrin, thank you for your incredible reporting. and for more on the latest developments in ukraine, and how ukrainians are fighting back against russia's invasion, we turn to oksana markarova, ukraine's ambassador to the united states.
i spoke to her a short time ago. ambassador markarova, thank you very much for joining us. at this point, who is winning this war? >> thank you very much for having me. well, ukrainians are winning this war, and the moral win is on our side from day one because we never did anything to provoke this, we never did anything to inflict this upon us, and we never attacked anyone. it's russia that attacked us, and we're defending our homes, and if you remember, a lot of people said that, you know, we will not be able to defend ourselves against this big mighty russia that, you know, a country like ours does not stand a chance. it's truly david against goliath fight. but because we are fighting for our homes, because we are fighting for our freedom, today is day 14 of the brutal war that russia is waging, and we are
defending our home. so, again, as much as it gives us pain to see how many ukrainians are wounded, how many homes are ruined, how many hospitals, maternity hospitals today are shelled at, we are not ready to surrender and we will not. >> woodruff: let me ask you about the fighter jets. as you know, this was under discussion with n.a.t. ukrainian officials had been saying they expected fighter jets. but then after poland announced they would be sending them to germany to be then delivered to ukraine, the n.a.t.o., the united states said this is not tenable. is this now a deal that's dead? >> i'd rather not discuss specific discussions, to be honest. we have to understand ukraine is at war and we need all the support we can get, and we focus on the discussions with our partners, strategic partners here especially, but we would rather discuss it and get
everything rather than discuss different processes in the press. so that's why you saw that we're trying not to comment on it, but i have to say that we are working very closely both with pentagon but also the congress and administration and as you know there is this new package coming out in the congress of the support. we are dedicated to fight for our homes. we are very much armed forces ready to fight, and we need a steady supply of all kinds of equipment and weapons that we can get from our partners, especially with regard to the anti-air p because what we see, and we see it all on videos, how they are bombing from the skies. again, this mariupol maternity hospital today is unbelievable war crime, unbelievable. you don't shoot at pregnant women.
so we are talking about all of it, and i want to say that, you know, we are getting more supplies and we will be getting more supplies. >> woodruff: can ukraine win this war without fighter jets? we're also seeing bulgaria and other countries saying they can't provide fighter jets now. >> we have to win this war because this is our s -- our ho, but a we also as a civilized war have to win this war because we all together have to show that it's not all right for an autocratic terrorist state to attack a neighboring country and get away with it. so all the support that all civilized countries can provide to us, i think this is time to do it, because this is a global fight. this is a fight for democracy. this is a fight for our planet to be a peaceful place, not a
place of war. >> woodruff: you say it's a global fight and, yet, n.a.t.o. is saying we'll give you some weapons, we'll give you surface-to-air, we'll give you antitank weapons and other humanitarian needs, but we can't give you some of the most lethal and powerful weapons that -- like fighter jets. is ukraine getting the support that it needs? >> we are getting a lot of support, but, of course, we are talking to all our friends and partners that we need more because, again, pay attention to the size of ukraine and to the size of russia, and, you know, this is something where we all have to focus on right now because putin will not stop in ukraine. >> woodruff: the diplomatic track, we know the ukrainian and russian foreign ministers are supposed to be meeting tomorrow. is there a diplomatic path at all at this point?
>> as we said, we will never surrender, we will not give up, but, of course, we would like to save all -- you know, as many ukrainian people as possible. so we are open for discussions, and we show that from the day one. so our delegation is wanting to meet and discuss and we hope there's an honest desire to discuss on the other part. >> woodruff: and would that include ukraine saying it has given up on the idea of joining n.a.t.o.? i'm asking you because president zelensky said a few days ago, and i'm quoting, he said he had cooled down on the question of n.a.t.o. a long time ago after he said that we understood that n.a.t.o. is not prepared to accept ukraine. >> well, i think this is something that we should ask n.a.t.o. ukraine, not only the majority of ukrainians support to joining n.a.t.o., more than 60%, not only it's in our constitution in
2018, ukrainian parliament voted that we would like to be a part of the european union and n.a.t.o. we are the eop status partner with n.a.t.o., and our army has been transformed according to the n.a.t.o. standards and plus everything else. i mean, the democratic standards, the free and fair elections, everything else in the country. so our desire to join n.a.t.o. was always there and still there, but it's an alliance of 30 members and it's up to 30 members to make a decision. >> woodruff: last question, madam ambassador, i see the photographs of the war scenes in your country. how can can ukraine hold out? >> a lot of people said we would not hold for a day or two. we are in our homes. and even though people are shot, there are war crimes, there are war criminals on our territory with tanks, armored vehicles, gunsand airspace and rockets are shooting at us from all the
places, we are defending our homes. so, even though many people fled to save their children, but the majority of adults even would put their kids into safety and come back to defend our homes. and you know after everything we've lived through these 14 days, i think the question to ask would be is not how long ukraine can hold, the question would be what the world is ready and is prepared and should do in order for us to defend our home but also in order for the civilized world to show that the international rule of law still exists, that international order still exists and a peaceful country can defend itself from a large autocratic state that decided to attack it fo no reason. >> woodruff: ukraine's ambassador to the united states, oksana markarova. thank you very much. >> thank you. thank you for all the support.
>> woodruff: in the days other news, stocks rebounded after oil prices dove 12% in new york, back below $109 a barrel. that came amid reports that the united arab emirates reversed itself and will urge opec to boost oil production. in response, the dow jones industrial average gained 653 points-- 2%-- to close at 33,286. the nasdaq rose 460 points-- that's 3.5% the s&p 500 jumped 2.5%-- the most since june of 2020. the u.s. house of representatives moved this evening to fund the government for the rest of the 2022 fiscal year, ahead of a friday
deadline. the bill totals some $1.5 trillion, and includes nearly $14 billion in aid for ukraine. but, speaker nancy pelosi removed $15.6 billion in new covid relief spending, when some democrats complained that it would actually cost their states money. >> this is a democratic process, where people have weighed the equities, expressed their views, and the timing is what the timing is. and the timing on this is march 11. and so, we had to move when we had an agreement. >> woodruff: republicans also opposed the covid spending, but pelosi said she hopes the house will approve it in a separate bill. we will return to all of this, later in the program. a federal judge in washington threw t claims today that republican congressman mo brooks of alabama incited trump supporters on january 6. the judge ruled that brooks' speech to a rally that day was protected by the first
amendment. california democratic congressman eric swalwell had made the claims against brooks in a lawsuit. in south korea, conservative candidate yun suck yohl has claimed victory in a bitterly- fought presidential election. hours after south koreans voted today, yun was declared the winner. he finished ahead of the liberal, ruling party candidate by less than one percentage point. yun favors stronger ties with the u.s., and a tougher stance toward north korea. the prime nister of australia declared a national emergency today over severe flooding along the country's east coast. historic rainfall around the two largest cities, sydney and brisbane, has killed 22 people and left entire communities stranded. officials said they need to cut through red tape to meet the crisis. >> there is no flood event that has occurred in this part of australia like this in anyone's living or recorded memory.
and so, what we're dealing with here is an extraordinary event. australia is becoming a harder country to live in. >> woodruff: just two years ago, some of the flooded communities were battling the effects of disastrous forest fires. back in this country, the biden administration today restored california's authority to set tailpipe emission standards for cars. th reverses a trump-era policy, and it means california will again be allowed to impose mandates that are stricter than federal rules. at least 15 states have endorsed the california standards. and, the first recipient of a heart transplant from a pig has died, two months after the procedure. david bennett was 57 when he passed away tuesday at the university of maryland medical center. he had terminal heart disease, and received the genetically modified animal organ as a last resort. still to come on the newshour: russia's invasion in ukraine
highlights the vulnerability of nuclear power plants. we break down congress' latest government spending bill. plus, much more. >> woodruff: the war in ukraine is the making of one man: russia's president vladimir putin. he is now in his third decade of ruling russia-- decades marked, at turns, by cooperation with the west, but more often, by antagonism and confrontation. lisa desjardins charts putins' rise and reign. >> desjardins: he is a new kind of tsar-- equal parts autocrat and operative. before this, though, at 47 years old, in 2000, vladimir putin was a new president, praising a
democratic transfer of power. >> ( translated ): for the first time in russian history, the executive power of the country is being transferred democratically, legally, and peacefully. >> desjardins: but within a few years, he would change russia's laws to keep power for himself. the same man who reached out to the u.s. president in 2005, denounced america as a threat just two years later in front of u.s. senators. and in 2016, he ordered a russian cyber campaign that attacked u.s. democracy itself with misinformation-- lies that were anti-government and pro-donald-trump. constant through-out: putin's survival instinct and grand ambitions. those started here: st. petersburg, russia-- communist leningrad, when putin was born. according to putin, his mother survived the brutal nazi siege there, while his father fought
elsewhere during world war ii. he grew up in the 1950s and '60s-- a time of surging cold war, and swelling pride in the soviet union. the space race with america was on; heroes in soviet movies were soldiers and spies. >> putin was drawn to this. the lure of-- of the-- of the k.g.b. spy. >> desjardins: amy knight is a longtime russia analyst. she has written six books on the subject. putin joined the k.g.b. in his 20s. knight points out, his first assignment, in leningrad, was preventing dissent. >> this is an area of work where he's very strongly influenced by the soviet paranoia about any opposition. >> desjardins: then, in 1991, communist hardliners tried-- and failed-- to overthrow reform-minded mikhail gorbachev. putin disavowed the coup attempt and resigned from the k.g.b. as the soviet union collapsed, putin rose from a deputy mayor
in st. petersburg, to president boris yeltsin's right-hand man, i just six years. that rise, in part, to his handling of a russian crisis. >> the chechen war started. this basically was what catapulted putin to the presidency. >> desjardins: in 1999, putin took over and unleashed hell in chehnya, a scorched-earth assault that left thousands of civilians dead. as putin surged, yeltsin plummeted. facing criticism and health problems, yeltsin resigned, making putin president on the eve of the millenium. his survival was tied to russia's. he stabilized and breathed new life into the economy. businesses opened. poverty dropped. >> i looked the man in the eye. i found him to be very straightforward and trustworthy. i was able to get the sense of his soul. >> desjardins: and putin warmed to the west, an ally after
september 11th, smiling and shaking hands across the world. but while he touted democracy, putin was, in fact, building a government of one man. but, barely a year into his rule, terrible missteps that echoed from his soviet past: the kursk. 118 sailors perished after a suarine explosion. russians lost precious days, fumbling the rescue of those trapped. putin lost trust while he stayed on vacation. >> ( translated ): he, and not some subordinate, should have responded with a visit sooner here. ( explosion ) >> desjardins: his war with chechnya and his iron-fist approach turned tragic twice-- chechen militants took hostages in a moscow theater in 2002; more than 100 died after russian forces gassed the building. in 2004, chechen terrorists seized a school in beslan. more than 300 were killed,
including 186 children, in a botched security response. that same year, a new, grisly era began-- the lethal poisoning of putin's opponents. some survived. some died gruesome deaths. this, as putin stoked his tough guy image for the cameras, and changed the face he showed the west. at the 2007 munich security conference, putin blasted nato expansion-- and the united states specifically-- as threats. >> ( translated ): one state, primarily the united states, has overstepped its naonal borders in every area-- in economy, in politics, humanitarian, and educational policies it imposes on other nations. >> desjardins: it was a stark warning, that turned to warfare the next year. russia rolled into breakaway parts of the former soviet republic of georgia-- itself hoping to enter nato. soon, putin had a new threat to his power.
the russian middle class now wanted a say. tens of thousands of russians took to the streets, joining leaders like alexei navalny to challenge growing repression. they charged rampant election fraud by putin. the newshour spoke with navalny just before the presidential election in 2012. >> he's a kind of a czar, an autocrat. unfortunately he cannot imagine for himself another way of existence. >> desjardins: again, putin survived by force-- arresting navalny and other opponents, winning an unprecedented third term as president, and expanding suppression of some groups, including l.g.b.t.q. russians. >> rev-o-lu-zi-a! >> desjardins: but resistance was also rising on russia's border. in early 2014, ukrainians revolted against their pro-russian government, wanting closer ties with europe. it was putin's nightmare. he struck. amidst a bloody crackdown that left dozens dead, putin sent secret special forces--
"little green men”-- into majority-russian crimea, ultimately annexing the prized territory from ukraine. >> ( translated ): crimea has always been an inseparable part of russia. >> desjardins: in a kind of victory speech, putin decried the west as the problem. he said he wanted ukraine to be a sovereign state, but he also nodded toward russian ambition. >> ( translated ): kyiv is the mother of russian cities. ancient rus is our common source, and we cannot live without each other. >> desjardins: putin next turned to a divided region in ukraine, the donbas, where war began in may 2014, and fighting has continued since. thousands were killed. but that wasn't enough. putin now wants all of ukraine. it's a core goal, to restore a russian-run eastern europe-- a russian empire, with him in charge. >> i think he is genuinely fearful that western values,
democracy, could undermine his leadership and the whole regime. >> desjardins: putin's attack is killing hundreds of ukrainians, but thus far not breaking their will. it is their will to live, and for self-preservation versus a man who knows how to survive. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: ukraine gets much of its electricity from nuclear power. and, a series of russian attacks near nuclear plants over the lastwo weeks are elevating fears of potential accidents, and what they could trigger. john yang has the latest. >> yang: judy, the latest warnings come from ukrainian authorities, who say russian attacks have left disconnected the power grid from chernobyl, the site of the world's worst
nuclear accident in 1986. while chernobyl is no longer generating electricity, it still stores spent nuclear fuel, which must be cooled. there are emergency generators providing power to do that, but they run on diesel fuel, and they only had a 48-hour supply. and last week, a training area near another nuclear plant in ukraine, the largest one in europe, briefly caught fire during a russian assault. science correspondent miles o'brien, who covered the aftermath of chernobyl and other nuclear accidents, joins us now. miles, the name chernobyl, of course, haunts any discussion of nuclear power. what's the real threat of what's happening there now? >> john, i think we have to put it in perspective. the nuclear fuel we're talking about there is old and cold, the last operative reactor at chernobyl closed down in 2000. yes, there are 20,000 spent fuel rods in a pool there slowly cooling down, but each of them
has about the equivalent of 35 watts or a night-light to them. and, so, if you left them in that pool of water for a week, it might, without doing anything to it, it might get to the temperature of a warm bath. now, as for the actual melted-down portion of chernobyl where the real trouble occurred 36 years ago, there's no power or water required to keep it safe. it's inside a shelter. >> reporter: but there are operations still going on, decommissioning operations. what are the options of restoring power to chernobyl and why would the russians want to be in that area which is uninhas been taliban because of contamination from radioactive materials? >> it's a good question. there are a couple of other nnections to the grid which could be reactivated, one inside ukraine, one which comes from belarus which was turned off right before the invasion. so you could get the power on there fairly quickly, in theory, and there are a few hundred people who work there and on a
good day it's a dark and damping place to work. strategically, it makes good sense for the russians to be there. it's north of kyiv, straight shot into the capitol, and there is a sophisticated electrical switching station there which they may want to control. >> reporter: miles, you have been to that area. what's it like? >> it's 1,000 square miles of mostly nothing. then this plant, the surreal abandoned plant in the middle of it, some old people have held on and are still living there. i remember talking to an elderly woman living in her house asking her why she didn't move. she said she was more worried about the roof falling on her head than the possibility of radiation exposure. what has happened, interestingly, is it's become somewhat -- someone suggests an ironic garden of eden, a lot of wildlife there, but scientists will tell you there's been all kinds of genetic mutations making the wildfire there not so
healthy. >> reporter: ukraine relies heavily on nuclear power for its electricity. a number of nuclear power plants across the country. how dangerous is it to have a battlefield like this? >> yeah, this is where you get into the nightmare scenario. there are 15 operative reactors there and if you cut off power to one of them, you could march down the road to a t fukushima scenario. you need water flowing over the plants to keep them from melting down. since fukushima, plants all over the world have bolstered their defense in depth to try to ensure against this, but we're not sure how well defended these plants are. this is unprecedented. we cannot think of another time in history when nuclear power plants have been caught in the crossfire of war. >> reporter: earlier in the program we heard the ukrainian ambassador to the united states tell judy monitors have been disabled at chernobyl and other
plants. what are the dangers and the threat of that? >> it's always good to have a visibility of what's going on in chernobyl in case things don't become stable. right now it is relatively stable. but the sensors that are there from the international atomic energy agency, many of them are remote, solar operated, and the data comes back on cellular networks. if the power grid is down, there's no cellular transmission. right now we're a little bit blind about chernobyl and that's a scary thing to say on the face of it, but the experts tell me, because it hasn't been operating for 22 years, we need to temper our concern. >> reporter: science correspondent miles o'brien h thank you very much. >> you're welcome, john. >> woodruff: lawmakers in washington are working around the clock to pass a massive
funding bill to keep the government open through the fall. the bill includes billions in aid for ukraine, among other key provisions. our congressional correspondent lisa desjardins is back with more on this, and other news brewing on capitol hill. lisa, hello, welcome back to the studio for a change. >> reporter: hi. >> woodruff: another world wind day in washington. you do have this big government spending bill worked out overnight only to hit a snag today. that was overcome. but tell us what is in this bill, some of tha and why is it so important? >> reporter: judy, this is a mega bill, it's called the omnibus for reason. our latin scholars know why. it includes everything. this is the way the government touches american people's lives the most. i want to take people through some broad strokes of this bill. we can't possibly cover it all, but, in general, this bill is $1.5 trillion, the annual spending bill, but there are also increases in it, more increases for defense and
non-defense and for the first time that we've seen in well over a decade, earmarks have returned. we've reported on that, that is in this bill slated for passage. also in here you talked about with the ambassador earlier, $13.6 billion for ukraine, half of that is military funding, another roughly half is more humanitarian and diplomatic. also in here, another big issue, 1.5 billion for shoring up the southern border. so you can see this is a big ticket item. itovers a lot of issues. there was an issue earlier today with the covid money that was in it, about $15 billion mainly for vaccines, medicines. how do you pay for that? because of that debasement, that has been separated out into another bill. i think we'll be talking about that more in the future. its fate is unknown. but tonight we expect the large package to move forward. how long it takes, we don't know, but we think the government will not shut down
and this bill will become law likely. >> woodruff: it's more than 2,500 pages. you have been reading it. tell us more about wt it does. >> rorter: there's so much. it tell us what government does. a few items to highlight that i want to talk about, this bill would renew the violence against women act, a big deal, the first time in nearly a decade that that act has been renewed by congress. also it addresses the immigrant visa backlog with hundreds of millions in new spending to try and deal with that problem. it also contains the largest increase in funding for the i.r.s. since 2001, almost the largest increase this century, and it also has small things with big meaning. for example, this directs there must be a plaque placed on the west front of the capitol to honor the police who fought there january 6th. it covers items big and small. it has a major effect in what this cutting-edge does and how congress sees this country. >> woodruff: a lot of different, important issues that are wrapped up in one place. it's not the only piece of
important legislation to pass this week. significant postal service reform. tell us some of what is in that legislation. >> first of all, to remind people, i know jeff ben -- geoff bennett reported on why we have a problem with the postal service. it's increased revenue last year but they're losing more money than they're bringing in. last year was a net loss of almost $5 billion the key issue for them, judy, has been pension funding. they have been required by congress to fund pensions ahead of time. no other agency has to do in. when you look at the workers of the postal service of some 650,000 people, we all know what they look like and see them in our lives, their jobs have been on the line in whether they could actually deliver the mail six days a week. that was a question for the postal service. this reform bill that passed the senate this week, goes to the president's desk, saves about $50 billion for the agency by changing how a pension system works and diverting many of the
workers to the medicare system instead and keeps our six-day delivery system in tact. >> woodruff: so much. >> reporter: yes >> woodruff: and lisa, one more significant bill went to the president's desk this week and that is the emmitt till anti-lynching measure. tell us what is in that. >> reporter: thanks to our viewers for hanging in. this is a lot of information, but this is a lot of very important stuff that doesn't get attention all the time. the emmitt till anti-lynching act is named for the 14-year-old lynching in mississippi. the idea lynching should be a federal crime has been debated 100 years. it made it to the president's desk. it defiance lynching as a conspiracy that results in a violent hate crime. some people say the ahmaud arbery in georgia could be considered a lynching under this law of federal hate crime, federal lynching and applies to
race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability status. this was overwhelmingly passed by both chambers of bipartisan vote, something i say that has been in the air for a century, took a long time to do, and now it's going to the president which should be law soon. >> woodruff: you take when legislation passes and when there's bipartisan agreement. >> reporter: that's right. there is some. >> woodruff: there is some. >> reporter: mm-hmm. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, thank you very much. >> reporter: you're welcome. >> woodruff: we'll be back shortly, with the discovery of a long-lost shipwreck off the coast of antarctica. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a chance to offer your support, which helps keep programs like ours on the air.
>> woodruff: for those stations staying with us-- we turn to how covid-19 is changing the health care industry. two years into the pandemic, many hospitals and other health care facilities are still grappling with a shortage of nurses and physicians. but, data indicates there has also been a surge of interest in nursing, medical, and other health-related career programs. stephanie sy explores the trend, in this reprised report that is part of our "rethinking college" series. >> good girl! >> sy: at 55, debi kinder is taking a new path. last year, the mother of two-- plus dog diva-- was semi-retired and working a part-time job. then, the pandemic hit, and she was laid off. sheltered at home, kinder saw a gap that needed filling. >> i kept-- i'm going to cry! i kept seeing the nurses on the
news, and they were, like, sitting in the hallways, and they were just, like, crying. they were exhausted. and, i don't know, i was just, like, really driven to go see if i could help in any way. >> sy: so she started training to become a licensed practical nurse... >> this is debbie, how can i help you? >> sy: ...and got a full-time job at a local home hospice. when she finishes her program in kinder will take more courses to become a registered nurse, or r.n., a role with more responsibility and pay. full-time school on top of full-time work is no easy task, but kinder says she's prepared for the long road ahead. what else do you think it takes to be a front-line worker during a pandemic? >> endurance. >> sy: because we're still in it. endurance? >> i definitely have the endurance. i've done three ironmen. i've done an ultra run. and so, i think that gives you the stamina. i'm not fast, but i never stop. >> first, you assess. >> sy: kinder is part of a new trend.
last year saw record interest for many health-related programs nationwide. medical schools saw applications ar by about 18%. public health programs reported spikes in interest for both undergraduate and post-graduate courses. and kinder's school, gateway community college in phoenix, arizona, saw a 15% rise in interest for its licensed practical nurse and nursing assistant programs. >> they really want to help people, and they want to make a difference, and they feel that this is a way to do it. >> sy: margi schultz is the director of nursing at gateway. >> a lot of students have cared for their family members who had covid, and some of them were extremely ill. and they realized they weren't scared by it, or, if they did home care, they liked it, and they were drawn to that. >> sy: she says that some applicants are also attracted to the eld because of the high demand for nurses at all levels. >> there are more jobs than there are people to fill them. >> sy: the unprecedented
interest that schools like gateway saw last year has been dubbed "the fauci effect," after prominent physician dr. anthony fauci, who, along with other frontline healthcare workers, emerged as heroes during the pandemic. ming lian and her fellow classmates are some of the lucky few accepted to the university at buffalo's medical school, from a record number of applicants. >> during the midst of the pandemic, i had to focus on just getting by, day by day, and the task at hand. >> sy: lian had been working as a medical scribe, assisting doctors at a hospital in brooklyn. when new york city became the u.s. epicenter of the pandemic, she felt powerless. >> i was very disappointed in myself, not knowing enough to help anyone. so going through medical school will allow me to directly participate in patient care. >> sy: she had worked on her medical school applications for two years, and was ecstatic when she found out she was accepted. >> that was incredible. it was an incredible feeling.
>> sy: dr. dori marshall is the director of admissions at the university at buffalo's medical school. she says that like lian, many first-year students were inspired by frontline doctors, but didn't apply on the spur of the moment. >> it's really a process that takes years, to get themselves ready to apply for medical school. >> sy: she says last year's spike in applications is more likely attributable to other reasons-- like moving the entire process, including interviews, online. >> the expense of flying here was, you know, was gone. with covid, there was no overnight in a hotel. there was no travel expenses. the only expenses last year were really the application and then taking an hour for each of the two interviews. so i think that that had a lot to do with it. >> sy: fully-online applications meant aspiring doctors could afford to apply for more medical schools. >> being able to do it virtually
and at home saved me quite a bit of money, so that i can actually use those money to apply to more school. >> sy: these changes meant university at buffalo saw a 59% increase in applications from first-generation college students, like lian, who moved to the u.s. from a village in china when she was 13. but, this rising interest won't mean more physicians any time soon-- medical schools and hospitals have not increased class sizes and residency programs to meet demand. back in arizona, gateway community college has enrolled more nursing students, but students need hospital experience to complete their training. and those spots, as with physician residencies, are limited. while students can practice in simulations like this one, it's no substitute for the real thing, says nursing director margi schultz. >> you absolutely must get in
there with real patients. and, you know, patients do different things than a simulator does. and you really have to be vomited on and you have to really experience it up close and personal to be a nurse. >> sy: student debi kinder is eager to join the fray. what most excites you about the prospect of being an r.n.? >> being done with school. ( laughter ) i think just that-- honestly, i hate to say it, but that feeling of accomplishment, you know, of doing something i didn't think i was able to do. and then being able to help-- help patients and interact with them and get that quality time. >> sy: she's got the bedside manner part down. for the pbs newshour, i'm stephanie sy in phoenix.
>> woodruff: finally, a bit of brighter news, this time from the deep sea. off the coast of antarctica, deep underwater, researchers have discovered the british ship called “endurance”-- the vessel that launched one of the most remarkable stories of survival and determination. william brangham has our report. >> brangham: she hasn't been seen in over 100 years. this is the "endurance," resting nearly 10,000 feet down in the dark, freezing waters at the bottom of antarctica's weddell sea, just a few sea anemones and other creatures bearing witness to perhaps the final chapter in one of the world's great stories of heroism and survival. this was "endurance" back in january of 1915-- a sturdy, three-masted ship that had carried british explorer sir ernest shackleton and his crew of 27 to the coast of antarctica. shackleton's plan was to land, and then cross the entire continent-- which would have been a first. but the "endurance" got stuck off the coast, trapped by the
massive halo of sea-ice that grows around antarctica every year. the ice seized the ship, and despite the crews best efforts, never let her go. shackleton and his men were stranded, forced to live on the drifting ice-- with their ship-- for nearly 10 months. their heroic expedition plans, ruined. after carrying them many miles along the coast, that churning ice crushed the "endurance," and she sank to the bottom of the sea what makes this story so legendary is the extraordinary journey that shackleton and his men then had to do-- over unmapped mountains, d across hundreds of miles of open ocean in small lifeboats-- to get out. >> this is regarded as one of the epic small-boat voyages ever undertaken, on some of the steepest, harshest seas in the world. >> brangham: in this 2019 documentary, the director of the scott polar research institute, explained how precarious their journey was to finally reach a distant whaling station
>> they'd done this epic boat journey, and then they have to do an epic mountain crossing-- because the whaling station was on the other side-- all the time knowing that if they didn't succeed, the whole party of 28 would probably die. >> brangham: but, ey all made it. polar historian katie murray says this is partly why shackleton's leadership skills are taught in business schools and military academies to this day. >> there are so many places where that could very easily have gone wrong, and it seems absolutely miraculous that, not only did this feat that seemed impossible, succeed, but it succeeded at bringing all the men of the expedition home safely. >> brangham: more than a century later, an exploration crew, organized by the falklands maritime heritage trust, went back to the icy weddell sea
where shackleton's ship first went down. using the last known coordinates recorded by the "endurance's" crew, they deployed underwater drones to search the sea-bed. after about two weeks of searching in very difficult conditions, they found the wreck, the word “endurance”-- as fitting a name as ever-- still clearly visibly on her stern. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. >> woodruff: wow! thank you. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. r 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's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team
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hello and welcome to "amanpour & company." re's what's coming up. >> all these inquiries, pressure of sanctions. >> a powerful plea from kyiv as russian artillery keeps pounding civilians. 2 million have fled ukraine so far. i talk to jan egeland, head of the norweigian refugee council about coping with this humanitarian crisis. and on international women's day we look at w through the eyes of women in ukraine and afghanistan. also ahead -- >> helicopters, ballistic missiles, those are the things we need to help the ukrainians target. >> retired colonel lieutenant colonel alexander vindman tells us what more