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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 9, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

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judy: 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 kgb 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. judy: moves forward on several major pieces of legislation, including
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government funding, aid for ukraine, and postal service reform. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf. the engine that connects us. ♪ consumer cellular.
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judy: it has been a day of carnage in ukraine. russian bombing struck a maternity hospital, sending new and expectant mothers fleeing. there was also 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, jen psaki, tweeted a warning about russian propaganda that accuses the u.s. of creating bio-weapons 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." 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.
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and a warning -- images in this report may disturb some viewers. nick: this is a hospital under attack, a maternity hospital. a victim near childbirth is the latest target in the siege. the city was supposed to be under a cease fire so residents could flee safe. instead the bombardment resume. officials say two weeks of war have killed more than 100 civilians. >> what we have seen in this civilian place, so many terrible things with war crimes, with crimes against humanity. nick: ukraine's first female prosecutor general, equivalent to the attorney general, is investigating russian war crimes. do you call these war crimes because you believe they are targeted at civilians? >> absolutely.
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we have now a thousand cases, actually. it is ordinary soldiers who understand whom they kill. nick: the international criminal court's prosecutor has fast-track to an investigation against russia focused on attacks on civilian targets as seen today, but the battlefield is the crime scene. >> it is very hard. in a few months it will be impossible. that is the main goal of prosecutors and investigators, to fix war crimes, to collect this evidence. i can demonstrate it. we can see such possibilities in the main cities of ukraine. this boy's family tried to run from attacks.
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this is a projectile in his chest. nick: rescuers work through the night to pull survivors from the rubble of homes damaged in the airstrike. how would you define justice? is it holding to account russian soldiers, or vladimir putin himself? >> all of them. nick: women included? >> i am sure that vladimir putin is a main criminal of the 21st century. nick: ukraine did manage to evacuate more than 40,000 people today in humanitarian corridors, adding to the exodus of those escaping the 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, we traveled the same route. we are just leaving odessa. the drive back tel aviv -- to lviv is supposed to be 10 hours, but we think it might be two
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days because we are traveling in the same direction as displaced people, so we will see how it goes. the road from odessa heads north, toward kyiv, then heads west. the rabbit is 500 miles. we ended up driving for more than 20 hours, through hailstorms and, through the next day, through sunny skies lined with checkpoints. some with troops, others just to slow would be invaders. for hours, the traffic starts and stops. they flee on a single road from the war's epicenters. many taped the russian world meaning "children," as in children on board, including this car. >> there was no electricity. we stayed underground. maybe i will go abroad inbut i .
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nick: you want to go back home. of course. nick: a senior defense official said there has been no movements. in the east, russians are still being siege to harkey. in the south, variable also see aged by -- also sieged. to stop russia's advancement, zielinski demanded a no-fly zone or jets. >> this is about human lives. we ask once again to solve it faster. do not shift the responsibility. send in planes. nick: but the u.s. rejected the plan to send soet era flight or planes -- fighter planes to the u.s. and then ukraine, feeling that would escalate conflict, although antony blinken said that is the plan. >> we are talking with our polish friends right now. nick: today, blinken punted.
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>>:'s proposals shows there are complexities. >> so, when will the decision be made? we have a war. we do not have time for this. nick: part of fighting that war is a national curw. by 10:00 p.m., all ukrainian cities are under curfew. the streets are quiet and kept quiet by volunteer patrols, a neighborhood watch born from the war. they coordinate with police and are allowed to enforce martial law with their own weapons. a night on the town takes on new meaning. why is it important to enforce the curfew? >> first, to identify the saboteurs that can harm our country, our city. they usually operate at night. nick: that means checking anyone who is out too le. it is 45 minutes after curfew and these guys saw a suspicious car, so they surrounded it,
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asked questions, and let them go. on a night like tonight, most of these guys would be having fun before the war. now they are dedicated to their city. nick: others hope the city is the road to safety. we came across a family 12 hours after they fled kyiv. the mother does not hide their fate. >> i told them the truth. this is war and this is bombardment. they know why. on the other hand, i am happy that they do not understand all the reality. nick: the reality is they will soon be split. all ukrainian men 18 to 60 cannot leavehe country. >> i am sending them off and i will stay here. i will help send humanitarian aid to kyiv and will encourage my relatives to meet me here for help. for now, that is my plan.
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nick: they are hopeful that their future remains on's -- they are hopeful, but their future remains uncertain. we checked in with the family. the mother and boys made it to northern poland, but they have nowhere to stay because the city is overwhelmed by refugees. the best they have been offered is a place in a gym. as for the images from our you bowl, the who says 18 medical facilities have been destroyed across the country, but we have learned that those pregnant women that we saw evacuated at the top of this story are all safe and sound. judy: thank goodness for that amidst all the rest of this carnage. nick schifrin, thank you for your incredible reporting. 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 with her a short time
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ag ambassador, thank you very much for joining us. at this point, who is winning this war? >> thank you for having me. 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 is russia that attacked us, and we were defending our homes. a lot of people said we would not be able to defend ourselves against this big, mighty russia. that a country like ours does not stand a chance. it is truly a david against goliath fight. but because we are fighting for our homes, for our freedom, today is day 13 of the brutal war that russia is waging, and
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we are defending our home. as much as it gives us pain to see how many ukrainians are wounded, how many homes are ruined, how many maternity hospitals are shelled, we are not ready to surrender and we will not. nick: let me -- judy: let me ask you about the fire jets. this was under discussion with nato. grainy and officials had expected fighter jets, but after public -- ukrainian officials had expected fighter jets, but after they announced they would be going to germany to then be delivered to ukraine, nato, the united states said this is not tenable. is this a deal that is dead? amb. markarova: i would 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 strategic partners here, but we would rather discuss it and get everything rather than discuss
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different processes in the press. we are trying not to comment, but i have to say we are working very csely with our colleagues, but also with congress and the administration. there is this new package coming out in the congress of the support. we are dedicated to fight for our homes. armed forces a ready to fight. 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. we see it all in videos and photos, how they are bombing from the skies. this maternity hospital today is unbelievable, you don't shoot at
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pregnant women. we have talked about all of it. we are getting more supplies. judy: can ukraine win this war without fighter jets? we are also seeing bulgaria and other countries saying they cannot provide fire jets. judy: we have to win thiwar because this is our home. but as a civilized world, we have to win this war because we've come altogether -- we, altogether, have to show that it is not ok for the autocratic terrorist state to attack the 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, a fight for democracy, a fight for our planet to be a
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peaceful place, not a place of war. judy: you say it is a global fight, and yet nato is saying we will give you some weapons, surface to air, antitank weapons, and other humanitarian needs, but we cannot give you some of the most lethal and powerful weapons, like fighter jets. is ukraine getting the support that it eds? amb. markarova: we are getting a lot of support, but we are talking to all of our friends and partners, saying we need more. pay attention to the size of ukraine and the size of russia. this is something we all have to focus on right now, because putin will not stop in ukraine. judy: 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?
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amb. markarova: as we said, we will never surrender. we will not give up. but we would like to save as many ukrainian people as possible, so we are open to discussions. we showed it from day one. our delegation is always ready to meet and discuss, and we really hope that there is an honest desire to discuss on the other part. judy: would that include ukraine saying it has given up on the idea of joining nato? i am asking you because as president zelensky said a few days ago, he said he had cooled down on the question of nato a long time ago after he said, we understand nato is not prepared to accept ukraine? amb. markarova: this is something we should ask nato. ukraine, not only the majority of ukrainians support joining nato, more than 60%, not only is it in our constitution in 2018,
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ukrainian parliament voted that we would like to be a part of european union and nato, we are the status partner with nato, and our army has been transformed according to nato standards, plus everything else, the democratic standards and everything else in the country, so our desire to join nato was always there and is still there, but it is an alliance of prosperity members. it is up to 30 members to make the decision. judy: last question, i see those photographs behind you, war scenes of your country. how long can ukraine hold out? amb. markarova: a lot of people said we would not hold for a decade or two. we are in our homes. even though people are shot, there are war crimes, war criminals on our territory with tanks, armored vehicles, guns and airplanes, and rockets are
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shooting at us. we are defending our homes. even though many fled to save their children. but the majority of adults would put their kids into safety and come back to defend our homes. after everything we have lived through, i think the question to ask would be is not how long ukraine can hold, the question is what the world 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. international order still exists, and peaceful countries can defend themselves from an autocratic state that decided to attack it for no reason. judy: thank you very much. amb. markarova: thank you for all the support.
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♪ stephanie: we will return to the full program after the latest headlines. wall street rebounded after oil prices dove 12%, back below $109 a barrel. it followed reports that the united arab emirates had changed its position and would now were joe heck to boost oil production. after trading ended, the uae said it supports opec's existing plan. the dow industrial average gained 2% to close at 33,286. the nasdaq rose 3.5%. the s&p 500 jumped 2.5% the most, -- two point 5%, the most since june of 2020. the house of representatives is debating to -- debating on
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the budget. includes nearly $14 billion in aid on ukraine. but speaker nancy pelosi removed $15.6 billion in new covid relief spending from the measure after some democrats complained it would cost their states money. speaker pelosi: this is a democratic process. people weigh the equities, express their views, and the timing is what the timing is. the timing on this is march 11, so we had to move when we had an agreement. stephanie: republicans also oppose the covid spending, but pelosi says she hopes it will be approved in a separate bill. we will turn to this later. a federal judge in washington threw out 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.
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in south korea, conservative candidate yoon suk-yeol has claimed victory in a bitterly fought presidential election. hours after south koreans voted today, he was declared the winner. he finished ahead of the liberal ruling party candidate by less than one percentage point. he favors stronger ties with the u.s. and a tougher stance toward north korea. the prime minister of australia declared a national emergency today over severe flooding along the country's east coast. historic rainfall around 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. stephanie: just two years ago, some of the flooded communities were battling the effects of
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disastrous forest fires. the biden administration today restored california's authority to set tailpipe emission standards for cars. that 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 california standards. 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. finally, major league baseball has canceled regular-season games as a lockout dispute with players continues. the opening day is pushed back to april 14 after the commissioner canceled 93 games today. the sides remain far apart on a luxury tax and a draft for foreign players.
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still to come, russia's invasion in ukraine highlights the vulnerability of nuclear power plants. we break down congress' latest government spending bill, plus much more. >> this is the pbs newshour from weta in washington. judy: 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 times, by cooperation with the west, but more often by antagonism and confrontation. lisa desjardins charts putin's rise and reign. lisa: he is a new kind of tsar -- equal parts autocrat and operative. before this, at 47 years old, in 2000, vladimir putin was a new president, praising a democratic transfer of power.
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>> for the first time in russian history, the executive power of the country is being transferred democratically, legally, and peacefully. lisa: 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 throughout, 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
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elsewhere during world war ii. he grew up in the 1950's and 1960's, a time of surging cold war, and swelling pride in the soviet union. space waste -- the space race with america was on. heroes in soviet movies were soldiers and spies. >> putin was drawn to the lure of the kgb spy. lisa: amy knight is a longtime russia analyst. she has written six books on the subject. putin joined the kgb in his 20's. 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 kind of soviet paranoia about any opposition. lisa: then, in 1991, communist hardliners tried and failed to overthrow reform-minded mikhail gorbachev. putin disavowed the coup attempt and resigned from the kgb. as the soviet union collapsed, putin rose, from a deputy mayor
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in st. petersburg, to president boris yeltsin's right hand man, in 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. lisa: 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. pres. bush: 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. lisa: and putin warmed to the
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west, an ally after september 11, 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 submarine explosion. russians lost precious days fumbling the rescue of those trapped. putin lost trust while he stayed on vacation. >> he, and not some subordinate, should have responded with a visit sooner here. lisa: 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.
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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 expansn, and the united states specifically, as threats. >> one state, primarily the united states, has overstepped its national borders in every area, in economy, in politics, humanitarian, and educational policies it imposes on other nations. lisa: 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
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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. twice he's -- >> he's a kind of a czar, an autocrat. unfortunately he cannot imagine for himself another way of existence. lisa: again, putin survived by force, arresting navalny and other opponents, winning an unprecedented third term as esident, and expanding suppression of some groups, including lgbtq russians. 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
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green men," into majority-russian crimea, ultimately annexing the prized territory from ukraine. >> crimea has always been an inseparable part of russia. lisa: 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. >> kiev is the mother of russian cities. ancient rus is our common source, and we cannot live without each other. lisa: 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. 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,
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democracy could undermine his leadership and the whole regime. lisa: putin's attack is killing thousands 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. ♪ judy: ukraine gets much of its electricity from nuclear power. and a series of russian military attacks near nuclear plants over the last two weeks are elevating fears of potential accidents and what they could trigger. john yang has that. lisa: john: -- john: judy, the latest warnings come from ukrainian authorities who say russian attacks have left chernobyl disconnected from
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the power grid. chernobyl is the site of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986, and while it 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 only had a 48-hour supply. and last week, a training area near another nuclear plant in ukraine, the largest one in 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 turn noble haunts any discussion of nuclear power. what is the real threat of what is happening there now? miles: we have to put it into perspective. the nuclear fuel there is old and cold. the last operative reactor engine noble closed down in 2000 -- in chernobyl closed down in 2000. yes, there are spent rods in a pool slowly cooling down, but each has the equivalent of about
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35 watts, or a nightlight to them. 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. as for the actual melted down portion of chernobyl, where the real trouble occurred 36 years ago, there was no power or water required to keep it safe. it is inside a shelter. john: but there are still decommissioning operations. what are the options for restoring calendar to insurabl -- to chernobyl, and why would russians want to be in that area given the radioactive materials? miles: good question. there are a couple other areas within the grid that could be reactivated, one inside ukraine, one inside belarus which was turned off before the invasion. you could get the power on very quickly, in theory, and there are a few hundred people who work there, and on a good day it is a dark and dank place to
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work. strategically it makes sense for the russians to be there it is a straight shot into the capital. and there is an electrical switching station there which they may want to control. john: you have been to that area. what is it like? miles: it is a thousand square miles of mostly nothing, and this plant, a real abandoned plant in the middle of it. some oldeople are still living there. i remember talking to an elderly woman living in her house, asking her why she did not move. she said she was more worried about the roof falling on her head than the possibility of radiation exposure. what has happened is it has become sort of than ironic garden of eden. a lot of wildlife there. but a lot of scientists would tell you there have been all kinds of genetic mutations making the wildlife not so healthy. john: ukraine does rely heavily on nuclear power for its electricity. a number of power plants across
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the country. how dangerous is it to have a battlefield like this? miles: this is where you get into the nightmare scenario. there are 15 operative reactors. you could march down the road to a fukushima scenario. you need water flowing over the hot core of these operating plants in order to keep them from melting down since fukushima, plants all over the world have bolstered their defense to insure against this, but we are not certain 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. john: earlier in the program we heard the ukrainian ambassador to the united states tell judy that monitors have been disabled ensure noble and some other plants. what are the dangers of that? miles: it is always good to have
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a visibility of things going on in chernobyl in case things do not become stable. right now it is relatively stable. the sensors that are there from the international atomic energy agency, many of them are remote, they are solar operated, and the data comes back on cell networks. when the power goes out, there is no cellular transmission. we are a little blind about chernobyl, and that is scary to say on the face of it, but because it has not been operating for 22 years, we need to temper our concern. john: miles o'brien, thank you very much. miles: you're welcome, john. ♪ judy: lawmakers here in washington are working around the clock to pass a massive funding bill to keep the government open through the fall.
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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. another whirlwind day, i could say, in washington. you have a big government spending bill overnight, only to hit a snag today. that was overcome. tell us through what is it that bill and why it is important. john: it is a mega bill, called an omnibus for a reason. our latin scholars know why. this is where the government touches the american people's lives the most. i want to take the people through the broad strokes. we can't cover it all. in general, it is 1.5 trillion dollars. but there are also increases in it, for defense and nondefense, and for the first time that we have seen in the liver a decade
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-- well over a decade, your marks have returned. also, $13.6 billion for ukraine. half of that is military funding . another roughly half is humanitarian and manic. -- diplomatic. also, $1.5 billion, about, for shoring up the southern border. this is a big ticket item. it covs a lot of issues. there was an issue earlier today with the covid money, about $15 billion, mainly for vaccines and medicines. how do you pay for that was the issue. that debate -- because that debate, that has been separated into another bill. i think we will talk about that in the future. but tonight we expect this large package to move forward. how long it takes, we don't know, but we think the government will not shut down. judy: i am hearing it is more than 2500 pages. you have been reading it.
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tell us about what it does. >> there is so much and it really tells you what government does. this bill would renew the violence against women act, a big deal, the first time in early a decade that act has been renewed by congress. it also 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 irs since 2001, almost the largest increase in this century. it also has small things with big meeting. this directs that there must be a plaque faced on the west front of the capital to honor the police who fought there on january 6. it covers items big and small. it has a major affect on what this country does and how congress sees this country. judy: a lot of different important issues wrapped up in one place. it is not the only major piece of legislation to pass this week. significant postal service
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reform. tell us what is in that legislation. jo: i want to remind -- lisa: i want to remind people why we have a problem with the postal service. last year it increased its revenue, making more money. but they are losing more money than they are bringing in. last year it was a net loss of almost $5 billion. the key issue for them has been pension money. they have been required to fund pensions ahead of time. no other agency has to do this. when you look at the workers of the postal service, some 650,000 people -- we all know what they look like -- their jobs have been on the line as to whether they can deliver the mail six days a week. that was a question for the service. this reform bill goes to the president's desk and says that it saves about $50 billion for the agency by changing how the pension system works and diverting many of those workers to the medicare system instead. and it keeps our six-day delivery system intact.
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judy: so much. one more significant bill went to the president this week, the kimmitt till & lynching measure. tell us about that. -- the emmett till anti-lynching measure. tell us about that. lisa: this is for the victim of a murder of a lynching in the 1950's in mississippi. the idea that lynching should be a federal crime has been debated for a hundred years. but this week it passed and went to the president's desk. it defines lynching as a conspiracy that results in a violent crime. some people say that the ahmaud arbery murder in georgia could be considered lynching under this. it applies to race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or
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disability status. this was overwhelmingly passed by both chambers, a bipartisan vote. something that has been in the air for a century and took a long time to do. now it is going to the president and should be law soon. judy: take notice when legislation passes and when there is bipartisan agreement. lisa: that's right, there is some. judy: lisa desjardins, thanks very much. ♪ 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
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judy: finally, a bit of brighter news, this time from the deep sea.
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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 angham has our report. william: she has not been seen in more than 100 years. this is the endurance, resting 10,000 feet down at the bottom of antarctica's when elsie. just a few cn enemies -- cm enemies and other creatures bear was to survival. in january of 1915, a sturdy ship that had carried british explorers to the coast of antarctica. the captain's plan was to land and then cross the entire continent, which would have been a first, but the endurance got stuck off coast, trapped ib massive halo of cis that grows around antarctica every year.
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the ice seized the ship. despite the crew's best efforts, it never let her go. the captain and his men were stranded, forced to live on the ice with their ship for nearly 10 months, their heroic expedition plans ruined. after carrying them many miles along the coast, the churning ice crushed to the endurance as she sank to the bottom of the sea. what makes this story so legendary is the extraordinary journey that shackleton and his men had to do across miles of open ocean in small light boats. -- lifeboats. >> this is regarded as one of the most epic voyages ever taken across some of the steepest, harshest seeds in the world. >> in this documentary, the director of the scott polar research institute explain how precarious their journey was to finally reach a distant whaling station. >> they have done this epic boat
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journey and survive that, and then they have to do and at big mountain crossing as well, all the time knowing that if they failed, no news would ever come out and the whole party of 28 would probably die. william: but they all made it. polar historian katie murray says this is likely why the captain's leadership skills are taught in leadership academies to this day. >> there are so many places where that could have easily gone wrong, and it seems miraculous that not only did this fate that seems impossible actually succeed, but it succeeded in bringing all the men of the expedition home safely. more than a century later, an exploration crew organized by the falklands maritime heritage trust went back to the icy sea
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where the ship first went down. using the last known coordinates used by the endurance crew, they deployed underwater drones to search the seabed. after two weeks of searching and difficult conditions, they found the wreck. the word "endurance," as fitting a name as ever, still clearly visible on her stern. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham. judy: just the type of news w like to see and need to see right now. that is the newshour for tonight . join us online and tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we will see you soon. >> major funding 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 no contract plans, and our customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit
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this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ this is pbs newshour west. from w eta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter school of journalism at the arizona state university. ♪
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