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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  April 4, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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♪ judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. tonight, the horrors of war. ternational outrage grows as atrociti apparently commitd by russian forces in ukraine including the mass murder of civilians. then, the tipping point. the united nations panel on climate change calls for a dramatic shift away from fsil fuel. and, footsteps from the past. prehistoric human tracks in new mexico have the potential to upend conventional wisdom about how long hums have inhabited north america. >> probably the most important track site in the americas both in terms of scale but also in
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the frequency. that is what is really special about it judy: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour been provided by -- >> it is the little things. the reminders of what is important. it is why fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you create wealth plan. a plan with tax sensitive investing strategies. planning focused on tomorrow while you focus on today. that is the planning effect from fidelity. >> the william and flora hewlett foundation. for more than 50 years,
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advancing ideas and supporting institutions to promote a better world. the chan zuckerberg initiative. working to build a more healthy, just and inclusive future for everyone. and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for plic broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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judy: global outrage grew today as more horrific revelations surfaced fromucha, ukraine. hundredsf ukrainians died there, many apparently executed by russian troops as they retreated from the town last week. president biden spoke to the latest horrors of war this morning at the white house. >> you may remember i got criticized for calling kootenay war criminal. -- for calling putin a war criminal. this warrants -- he is a war criminal. we have together the information. we have to continue to provide ukraine with the weapons they need to continue the fight. we have together all the details so this -- so we can have a war crime trial. this guy is brutal. what is happening in bucha's outrages and everyone has seen it. judy: the national security survives or -- the national jake
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sullivan said the russians are making a shift to focus their military efforts on eastern ukraine and leaving the towns and cities around key of. -- around kyiv. simon and our videograph traveled. many images in this report will upt viewers but we feel it is necessary to show you what the they retreated from this area. >> this was once a quiet suburb of the ukrainian capital. now, the town of bucha is synonymous with death and devastation. on the way in, smash to relish ran columns and the dies of soldiers. ordered to take kyiv but they never made it that far. the russian between has exposed the horrors of war for ukrainian civilians.
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volunteers bagged the bodies of a group of men unceremoniously dumped behind a building presumably by the russians were used as aase left behind their waist and army issued food rations. what we have seen here is eight bodies. some of them with her hands tied behind their backs. this could be evidence of war crimes. the soldiers were here with -- we are here with say with it -- say they were tortured before they died. one of the man is shirtless. his body is bruised. he appears to have died from a bullet wound to the head. >> i know one of these people personally. i have talked to him. his wife called me and asked me to help. he drove a minibus for a company in kyiv. in the head. >> behind the local cathedral, a mass grave. we sell 13 bodies still exposed but there are as many as 57 beneath the ground.
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in all, within 300 civilian bodies have been recovered in bucha so far according to the funeral director. part of russia's response to allegations that its forces committed war crimes has been so blame the ukrainians themselves for killing their own people after russian forces pulled out on march 31. that timeline is not supported by the evidence. bodies like these of men and civilian -- in civilian clothes with gunshot winds to the head in partially decomposed state. it does not square with the accounts of resints of bucha itself. >> they just took people and shot them for nothing just before they fled. the last five days they were here you could hear it because before it was relatively quiet. you would just hear their vehicles but then there was automatic gunfire all over the place. it killed an old lady in the school. we carried a body with a head
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wound out of a nine story building. we found civilians in a garden over there. all of them straight to the head. >> bucha and irpin are as far as russia's armored columns made it. this is where the tip of the spear was broken by ukrainian resistance. what we're finding is as the russians retreated, the devastation they have left in their wake and the civilian toll has been really high. >> he is a veteran. he has served for a year and defended our country. >> yulia was visiting relatives. the man whose body was found with his hands behind his back. from what it's accounts she has been able to piece together russian forces were looking for military veterans and likely executed him and they found out he had served in the war in ukraine's donbass region several years ago.
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>> i was told he was shot in the head. in the photos he is face down. you cannot see anything on the back of his head. that means they were looking in his eyes when they shot him. this is insane. a sane person would not do that. it is such cruelty. it is the height of cruelty. how can you do that? >> with the atrocities in bucha exposed to the world, ukrainians no longer have any doubt they are fighting a war for their survival. a war which is far from over as pressure refocuses efforts on conquering the country's east. judy: hundreds of miles to the east of kyiv and bucha is kharkiv. now it is largely emptied of residents. whilst on meat from taking the city, the russians are still pounding it with artillery using widespread destruction
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and sparking fires. jack hewson and ed ram traveled with fire brigades. >> that sound means it is time to go. fireproof clothes, no bulletproof vests. kharkiv is under a constant state of alarm. few have felt the urgency like the city's firefighters. >> i throw all unnecessary thoughts out of my head so nothing can interfere with me. >> before every mission, tensions are high. it is not just fires these men have to face. >> her work has become evenore difficult. there was a risk before but now has become riskier because of incoming shells. collects their underweight -- >> they are on their way to northeast kharkiv. ukrainian 30 say more than 300
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shells landed on the city and vilians. incoming rounds had started another apartment blaze. it seems the russians are trying to smash the people's spirit >> eryone experiences this situation in their own way. people still do their duty. everyone is worried but no one talks about it. we keep ourselves to ourselves. >> just as the firemen a starting to get this blaze under control, the area comes under renewed attack. this is the third round of artillery we have had incoming in the last 20 minutes. firefighters here behind me are also hiding. let's get down.
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you can hear the phase of the shells landing should that means they are particularly close. there is a pause in the shelling and a decision is made to pull back. it is too dangerous to operate. >> once, a shell hit 50 meters away from us. the windshield of our truck was damaged. >> since the start of the work, one firefighter has been killed and at least four injured. there are more blazes than firefighters can get to. moscow says it is not targeting civilians but this residential district has faced heavy mbardment for more than a month. in the course of the morning, a gas main was struck. the shopfront incinerated in the blast. yuri silence hangs over the street -- eerie silence hangs
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over the street. it becomes apparent the russian guns are not done. [explosions] we are having to stay on the ground. the shelling continues around us. it is very close. this is what people have to live with everyday. [explosions]
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the relentless bombardment has destroyed more than 1000 homes and puic buildings. the fire services area of operation has been divided by the frontline. >> yes, rescuers are working in terrible conditions from the very first day o work so every fire warning call is like new training for our service. every fire, every obstruction, every blast, every departure is never the same. >> shelling forces the firemen back to base as it continues into the afternoon. the order is given to move underground. >> wait, i will light the way. >> it is a long wait for the all clear. the shift commander tells me a mixture of artillery and rockets have been most commonly used the russian forces. >> there was a hit of a rocket in this apartment on the ninth floor. there was a fire started in two
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apartments >>. cluster munitions abandoned in many countries but not russia or ukraine have also been used in kharkiv a queen to human rights watch. -- according to human rights watch. >> this type of projectile was found while putting out a fire in the biggest marketplace. >> while russian forces have moved away from kyiv, they continue to terrorize kharkiv. there is no rest for the fire service. the city continues to burn. for the pbs newshour, i'm jack hewson in kharkiv, ukraine. judy: the bravery. our coverage of the war in ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. this weekends horrific images led president biden and others to accuse vladimir putin of war crimes. ukraine's president and some european leaders accused rush of genocide. -- a quick -- accused rush of genocide. how russia might be held accountable.
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>> today u.s. and administration officials accused rush of deliberately killing civilians in ukraine as part of its campaign and said president biden would work with allies to determine how to hold prudent accountable. we turn to fully pay -- to fully philippe sands. welcome to the newshour. let's start by talking about what is the difference between war crimes, and why do you think crimes of edition -- crimes of aggression might be important? >> i'm sorry to join you in these horrific images but thank you for your coverage. there are four international imes. were crimes which includes the targeting of civilians. crimes against humanity, which crosses a skill because it is systematic but focuses on individuals. genocide, where your targeting groups. and the crime of aggression
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which is the waging of an illegal war. all four were installed by the famous nuremberg trial of 1945, 1946. they are established now in international law. in the present circumstances where russia has waged a or that is meant -- waged a war that is manifestly illegal it is plain to me the cri of aggression is being perpetrated in the sniffing and said that crime is it is the only one with any degree of certainty which reaches the top table. mr. putin, the defense minister, senior military, senior intelligence. for all the other crimes, the challenge you have got is linking the terrible images we have seen with the leadership at the top and that can be difficult. >> as the images show and as jack reported, the indiscriminate attacks on civilian neighborhoods as we saw from simon, the horrific attacks outside of kyiv and bucha this
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weekend, as you poi out, international law requires protecting civilians. is the were crimes accusation not a clear-cut one -- the war crimes accusation not a clear-cut one? >> we saw two sets of images. buildings come apartment blocks being targeted by someone. that is a violation of the laws of war. it is a war crime to target a nonmilitary objective. the other images were obviously appalling to look at. it looked like individuals who were tied up, bound,ands behind their backs, apparently shot. they appeared to be civilians. that looks to me like a war crime and one carried on systematically. there is no difficulty proving were crimes have happened. the question is, who committed them? was it a bunch of soldiers on the run going crazy or was it on instruction from on high? did the leadership know about it and turn a blind eye?
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the difficulty of proving what is called command responsibilitythe leadership for war crimes and crimes against humanity is established from yugoslavia and other conflicts, which is why i and many others say the principal objective for president biden should be focusing on the legality of the war from which all of these other legalities stem and that requires going against mr. putin for the crime of aggression. >> president biden today accused putin of war crimes but not genocide. cranium president to linsky accuses russia of genocide -- president zelenskyy accuses russia of genocide and gave this reason on sunday. >> the elimination of the whole nation and people. we are the citizens of ukraine. we have more than 100 nationalities. this is about the destruction and extermination of all of these nationalities. >> the extermination of the ukrainian nation.
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do you believe that meets the legal threshold of genocide, the intent to destroy? >> i understand exactly what president zelenskyy is doing and i have a great deal of sympathy in the view of all of these horrors. he is using the term genocide in its political sense, which is the killing of large numbers of people that is not the legal sense. the legal sense and international courts and national courts is you have got to prove something that is very difficult to prove. the intention to destroy a group whole or part. courts have been notoriously reticent to do that. i think it is going to be tough to make out genocide as a crime although i think crimes against humanity are taking place and were crimes. what president zelenskyy did last night as he called for the creation of a special tribunal to target the leadership with the crime of aggression. i think he knows genocide, crimes against humanity, tying that to the leadership they be
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more difficult and he wants to bring the top people at the top table into the dark. that is what president biden needs to be focusing on. when president biden calls mr. putin a war criminal, he is mixing up the different international crimes and the question for the administration will be, which of the various crimes do they want to focus on? >> as you pointed out, president zelenskyy called for a special tribunal. you have called for a special tribunal even though it wou not be crated by the security council because russia would veto it. could the special tribunal undercut the work of a international criminal court case? >> no, i am very supportive of the international crt in the hague. it must continue its. work -- continue its work. i and 100 former leaders from around the world have called for the creation of a special criminal tribunal which would sit alongside the icc in the hague and investigate in
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parallel the crime of aggression. it is very important to support the prosecutor as the u.s. senate has done remarkably i unanimous resolution adopted last week. >> thank you very much. >> thank you for your work. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with newshour west. we will continue with the fu program at the latest headlines. the u.s. senate advanced judge ketanji brown jackson supreme court nomination. in 53-47 procedural vote, all 50 democratic senators voted in favor along with three republican senators. mitt romney, lisa murkowski and susan collins. earlier in the day, jackson earned praise and criticism as a judicial committee members spoke one by one. >> our nominee embodies the
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highest ideals of our judiciary and the legal professi. i know that is going to fall on deaf ears with some members of this committee. members who unfortunately cared more about seeing their soundbites on social media. >> i can say definitively i like her. i think she is a good person but i cannot support her. when you look at her record and a depth, her consistent policy position i the sentencin guidelines are outdated. they are too harsh and criminals are over sentenced. i have to say i could not disagree with her more. stephanie: the vote to confirm jackson is expected to take place later this week. leading climate scientists warned governors -- when governments are falling short on lowering the planets temperature. the united nations panel said global warming could increase the century by twice the limits agreed in 2015.
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it called for urgent action this decade. we will get details after the summary. u.s. senate negotiators agreed today on a pandemic relief package of $10 billion. it would buy more tests and vaccines using unspent funds from previous aid measures. it would not include aid for other countries. lawmakers hope to pass it before a recess. police in sacramento have made an arrest after a shooting sunday that killed six people and wounded a dozen more. it happened in the overnight hours after a fight broke out in crowded street. at least two shooters fired more than 100 rounds. at a show jerry screening began in fort lauderdale in the parkland school shooting that killed 17 people in 2018. the defendant, 23-year-old nikolas cruz, has pleaded guilty to the crime. the jury that is chosen will decide if he gets the death penalty. tesla ceo elon musk has become the largest shareholder of
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twitter. he recently purchased a 9% stake in the social media giant worth about $3 billion. his motivation to purchase the stock remains unclear to in march he took to twitter to question the platform's adherence to free speech principles and hungary, prime minister viktor orban and his nationalist party have claimed a sweeping victory in sunday's ections. he is an ally of president putin. last night he declared his fourth term as a rebuke of liberalism. european union and ukraine's leaders. >> this victory will also be remembered for the rest of our lives perhaps because we had to fight the biggest overwhelming force, the left at home, the international left around, t brussels bureaucrats, the international mainstream media and even the ukrainian president. stephanie: in serbia, and another putin ally won
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reelection in landslide on sunday. in pakistan, the supreme court adjourned after the prime minister's move to dissolve parliament. on sunday, he and ally staved off to a vote of nconfidence by sending lawmakers home and calling for new elections. the hearing resumes tomorrow. the world health organization reports 99% of the global population breeds error that exceeds pollution standards. the human agency says the problem caused millions of preventable deaths. it urged more action to reduce particulate matter that damages lungs. on the pandemic, china has sent more than 10,000 health workers to shanghai including 2000 troops as a covid-19 outbreak spreads. the workers are helping with mass testing of 25 million residents but streets remain desolate as the city entered its second week of lockdown. the 2022 grammy awards are in the books with unexpected week winter. jon batiste took home five
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grammies including album of the year. silk sonic won song of the year for leave the door open. olivia rodrigo was named best new artist of the year. still to come on the newshour, kemmer keith and amy walter break down the latest little news. ancient footprints in new mexico raise questions about early humans in north america. coach dawn staley and the south carolina gamecocks take home the women's basketball title. plus, much more. >> this is the pbs newshour. from w eta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: we return now to climate change and the u.n. panel's latest report stressing the need for your medic cuts in greenhouse gases to head off the worst impacts of climate change. william has the details.
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>> the jury has reached the verdict and it is -- th report of the inrgovernmental report on glamour change is a litany of token climate promises. >> in his typically light language, the u.n. secretary general was withering toward the world's leaders calling today's u.n. report and indictment of their an action agait climate change. the third and final part of the latest ipc report written by hundreds of scientists from around the world finds in house gas emissions from 2010 to 2019 were at their highest level in human history. at this pace the plan that will blow past the goal of keeping warming below 1.5 degrees celsius in eight years. the u.n. report argues without substantive sweeping changes, warming will make life on earth increasingly dangerous and deadly.
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all the report cited some increase in positive climate policies, it said much more were needed. this report is principally focused on the concrete actions nations can take to reduce the admissions driving climate change. those include a rapid turn to cleaner ways of enervating electricity and using it as the principal source of power in our buildings and vehicles. adapting the infrastructure of our cities were over halfhe world's population lives to make them more efficient. rnessing the ability of the land, forests, waterways and how we farm to release less carbon and store more of it. >> human activity got us into this problem and human agency can get us out of that again. it is not all lost. we have the chance to do something. >> given those warnings, how likely is it leaders will do sothing? i'm joined by someone who looks
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closely at clean energy technology and broadly at the politics of climate policy. dave roberts write the newsletter which is also a terrific podcast. great to have you back on the newshour. this u.n. report paints a pretty damming picture. warming is accelerating. the pledges thus far to do something about it are nowhere near enough but they try to lay out all of these things we can do if we get our act together. what do you take away from this recent warning? >> two parallel paths going on here. we continue running out of time and not acting fast enough. and the cliff of 1.5 degrees gets closer and closer. there is a second-story running alongside, which is the tools we need to solve the problem to mitigate the problem or growing ever more sophisticated and
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evermore cheap and evermore plentiful. the need to do something and our ability to do something are rising alongside one another. the intensity of the whole message is cranking up and up. >> i know this is one of the things you have written about, that people don't really appreciate the revolution that is underway in clean energy technology. we hear about the doom and gloom side and less about the flowering. when you look at the landscape, what are some things that give you a sense of this stuff could work? >> i would say the biggest chunk of decarbonization, the biggest single item on the list is clean electrification, which means cleaning up the electricity sector, generating electricity without carbon and looking up the transportation sector to electricitby ectrifying vehicles and hooking up the
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building sector to the electricity sector by electrifying building heating and cooling and hooking up the industrial sector to electricity to use electricity for heat and process heat. electrification is the big nu item and -- the big menu item and the toolsed vacation, which are mainly wind and solar power, batteries and electrolysis to create green hydrogen, all four of those technologies aren what are caed learning curves. every time the deployment, the global deployment of those technologies doubles, the price drops by a predictable amount. this has been going on for decades. if they just stay on those learning curves they are on now, they are going to dominate the landscape within a few decades purely because they will be so much cheaperhan the alternatives that no one -- the
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political argument around them will fade. they will be the obvious option. it is a matter of speed, trying to nudge the process along faster. it is underway already. >> what are the levers to nudge those things along? are they happening at a faith -- a pace that is fast enough or does this require the lever of estate, a governor and, a nation to push them in the right direction? >> they require policy to hit our temperature targets were talking about. we definitely need public policy. we are at the point now where no market driven substitution could ever work fast enough. we are talking about completely transforming several sectors of the economy. the global economy within 10 years and that is not something that will ever just happened no matter how cheap they get. they have got to be pushed along by government policy.
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government policy has not kept up, has not pushed hard enough. >> president biden surprised many with the bill back better legislation which had a lot of substantive climate change policies but that is thus far been shelled as fars i can tell and doesn't that make difficult for the president to meet america's goals but also control other nations to do the right thing? >> absolutely. if the congress does not pass the climate and energy provisions of the build back better act, which mentions says he is ok with everyone says they support, if we don't do that it will be a complete failure on climate change and we will lose credibility in front of other nations. if we passed those provisions, will be close to the trajectory we need to be on. >> dave roberts of the votes
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newsletternd podcast peer thanks much for being here. -- and podca. thanks so much for being here. ♪ judy: as we reported on capitol hill, a bipartisan deal is emerging to give the white house some of the money it says it needs for covid testing and vaccinations. in the far northern regions of alaska, a vacant congressional seat has brought former governor salo pearland -- sarah palin back to the political stage. joining me to discuss this is amy walter and tamra keats. it is so good to see both of you on this monday. we have a little bit of news in the last few minutes. we have learned judge ketanji brown jackson has picked up a third republican senate vote and that is mitt romney.
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it is a landslide i guess by modern standards. it looks like she will get at least 53 votes. he said well i do not expect to agree with every decision she may make, i believe she more than meets the standard of excellence and integrity. >> this was n a difficult thing for member of congress of the senate to say not so long ago, which is i might not have picked this person. it is not somebody i agree with their political philosophy but there is a president. that president gets to pick and it is our job to make sure that person is able to faithfully execute the job. that is becoming rarer and rarer. instead it is a partyline vote. three votes is pretty bipartisan. judy: both republicans, we heard josh hawley saying i like her. she is very nice but she is completely wrong. >> three crossovers is about all
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we have been able to see in the senate since they went nuclear and did away with the filibuster and lowered the threshold for confirmation. we have seen a number of republican come forward and say this is a history making nomination. she has made her family proud. she has made america proud. she will be the first black woman confirmed to the court and it looks quite cle she will be confirmed to be on the court. judy: and possibly the ft she will not change the ideological balance of the court. something else to talk about and that is the news of the covid funding bill. it is 10 million. less than half what the white house was looking for. at one point presidents were getting all the money they wanted for covid. what is changing? >> covid is no longer the top
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issue for americans. the issue of inflation is the top issue and of the economy. pumping more money out even though it is going directly to states and localities to handle things like vaccinations and treatments still a lot for congress to swallow. they wanted to make sure this money was offset by you could find the money to pay for those. it is no longer uncle sam writing a check saying we will rry about it later. i think it is interesting we noted mitt romney becoming the third vote. mitt romney was instrumental in making this deal happen. we have talked a lot about joe manchin. on the republican side, it is mitt romney who is willing to cross the aisle and also be -- he is seen by democrats clearly as somebody who they can deal with and is an honest broker. judy: the administration has been sweating this and saying they will come back and ask for more because they are worried
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about filling some of the needs that are out there. >> one of the big things this deal is lacking is funding for the global effort to vaccinate the world and it is not just producing vaccines and shipping vaccines but it is getting shots in arms and that has been a beer -- a real concern. the administration as saying some of the programs will have to stop pretty much right away without the funding. what this does contain on the domestic side is much needed funding the white house has been raising alarms about. they have not really talked about this explicitly that much but in an interview i did with the white house covid coordinator, he explained they are already getting calls from companies that make those at home rapid tests. companiesre saying they want to shut down production lines because demand has fallen through the floor because people are not testing right now. omicron, you could not find a test.
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now they are everywhere. you can get them by the, at the drugstore. this money will be there to prop up an industry that clearly the free market will not keep it going. will not keep those lines up. >> as we also know, there are countries that do have vaccines whether it is ina for example, but their protocols are so strict they are still shutting down major portions of the country, which has an impact on this country with supply chains and other items we get from china. even when tngs are theoretically going well, which is supplying vaccines, people getting vaccinated. the res country by country are going to impact us. judy: so much of that is out of control of whoever is calling the shots. terrible. we will just erase that.
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in alaska, some news. former governor sarah palin has stepped out of quiet to say she is going to be one of 51 people running for the one congressional seat in alaska. >> 51 people. it is a really important seat. the congressperson for the entire state of alaska. the stakes for the people of alaska are fairly high. what sarah palin has been doing for a while is since she ran for vice president, did not win, ended quitting as governor. she has been a reality tv political star for the last any years. throwing her hat in the ring immediately. donald j. trump endorsed her. i don't know she is a shoo-in. she has a lot of name id but i don't know it is all totally great name id in alaska.
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judy:judy: she is not lacking for name identification. >> or inability to raise money. there is a new system in alaska. it is a ring choice voting. there is a top four primary process. the top four candidates regardless of party of the 51 will go onto this runoff. this is all brand-new. this was designed come this new law passed by the voters in 2020, to help moderates like lisa murkowski so you cannot win a primary or runoff just by getting a big slice of the base. you have to appeal to a broader slice. sarah palin if she were to come to congress, remember in 2008 she was an outlier? ? she comes to congress and she has no part of the majority and the mccain wing of the party has basically -- is no longer there. judy: the wing that propelled her into international
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prominence. >> she was trump before trump she was a precursor for all of the politics of outrage. stoking outrage in voters and also creating outrage among liberals and sticking it to them and raising money along the way. she really helped create this model that trump then used to get into the white house and is now -- there are numerous people using this model to raise money and potentially be the next trump. >> that is what the party looks like and that is what congress looks like. judy: this is one house race that is going to get a lot of attention i we are going to be reading up on ranked choice voting. >> first time it has opened in almost 50 years so there is a lot of pent-up demand. judy: thank you both. politics monday. ♪
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when humans first populated north america and how they arrived has long been a matter of spirited debate. as stephanie sy reports, a recent study detailing what archaeologists believe are the this known footprints in the united states are sparking new questions and upending long-held assumptions. stephanie: within the sprawling expanse of sand dunes and dry lake beds in new mexico's white sands national park, researchers have spent years examining agent footprints. david is the resource program manager. he and a team of scientists discovered ancient animal tracks over a decade ago from giant ground slots, ancient camels and mammoths previously buried under lairs of sand and clay.
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the footprints called a track way were revealed after a flood. mahew bennett is a foot print expert. >> probably the most important tracks are in the americas both in terms of scale, geographical scale but also in the frequency of tracks and that is what is special about it. ephanie: in 2017, the team confirmed they had confirmed human footprints. >> matthew found the human print. that is what sealed the deal. you definitely have megafauna and humans together. that is where the human side of the story began. stephanie: the footprints showed how humans coexisted with large wild animals. many are of children and reveal a story about everyday life and ay. >> the stories of children jumping in a puddle created by a
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sloth track. th is one of the most fantastic things. children love jumping in puddles everywhere. stephanie: one big unanswered question remained. how old the human footprints were and whether they showed if humans inhabited north america earlier than previously thought. >> the peopling of the americas is one of the most controversial archaeological debates from an indigenous perspective of having always been here, from a more traditional archaeological perspective saying peopling the americas was a recent event. in the controversy, one of the issues is a lack of good data points. stephanie: that is where jeff, an expert in radiocarbon dating and kathleen, a geologist and paleontologist came in. >> we need to be able to find an area where the footprints are in the lairs of sediment or we can find something below and above
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so we can constrain the age of the track waves. >> you need to carve out a big trench to what i say reveals the belly of the beast and get inside. >> it is like a cross-section. >> exactly. then the hope is we found tracks in the cross-section and the hope is there better be something that is suitable for radiocarbon dating. stephanie: it turns out there was. lairs of seeds from aquatic grasses that grew near the track way. >> some places, there are seeds underneath the human footprints so we know the seeds and plants were actively living and dying there. stephanie: they used radiocarbon dating to determine the age of the seeds. >> if we measured the amount of radiocarbon in a seed and we know how fast it decays, we can calculate how old the plant is. stephanie: once they crunch the
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numbers, what they found was astounding. >> at the very bottom where people were starting to walk arnd and we have our lowest seed layer age, it is about 23,000 years old. at the top where people were still walking around and we have our highest layer, it is about 21,000 years old. we basically documented 2000 years of human occupation in this area at white sands a long time ago. stephanie: archaeologists have long believed humans arrived in north america 13,500 to 16,000 years ago. after a period of warming headmounted massive glaciers opening up a land passage from asia to north america. >> this is so much older and our first reaction is we better check everything because these better be right. stephanie: jeff says he has a 95% confidence level in the accuracy of the dating. >> we are sure as you can possibly be scientifically that is the case.
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stephanie: the evidence is not rocksolid say some archaeologists. >> critical issues here are, is the dating reliable? stephanie: david is a archaeologist at southern methodist university in texas. he believes dating seeds from an aquatic plant is potentially problematic and says it is too early to be confident. >> the people who are doing this , they are pros or they know what they are about. nature has a mischievous streak appeared nature has full dust before. the motto here is trust but verify. stephanie: jeff and kathleen with the u.s. geological survey expected scrutiny. they are now working to radiocarbon date pollen found in the rock lairs. even then, there is so much to uncover. >> we want to expand the story to not just occupation for 2000 years between 23 and 21 but what
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if it looks more like this? people were here for much longer. stephanie: if the findings hold up, it could spark a rehab is -- a re-examination of dry lake beds in the southwest and that could reveal even olde evidence of humanit's foothold in north america. ♪ judy: finally tonight, south carolina emerges as a powerhouse in women's college basketball. the gamecocks defeated the university of connecticut last night. largely controlling the game from beginning to end. the champions, their coach and the state of the women's game. >> the uconn huskies had won 11 ncaa titles and never lost a championship game once they made it to the final round but last
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night, coach dawn staley and the south carolina gamecks were the ones who came out on top. staley is the first black coach male or female to win multiple division i national basketball championships. she won the first title with not -- with south carolina in 2017. witchel buckman joins me from minneapolis -- rachel buckman joins me for minneapolis. you watched all of this unfold. winning a title for any team at any time is a big deal but for this particular team, why was this such a big moment? >> this was more than a year in the making. last year the south carolina gamecocks lost in heartbreaking fashion to stanfd. the eventual national champion on a last second shot that fell out by their star who was back this year and was laser focused on getting back exactly where she did last night. this time they did finish the job.
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>> they dominated pretty much the entire game i think it is fair to say. they dominated much of the seas. 35-2 in the regular season. why are they so good? >> they have an unstoppable combination of boston down low pitch peridge she is the national player of the year. they have fantastic outside shooters including destanni henderson who had a career-high 26 points. this combination is difficult to defend. they have a great defense and they can beat you almost anyway and that is what they did to uconn. they really shut them down in every facet of the game. >> talk to me about dawn staley. she was an all-star in the wnba and olympic cold medalist. now two time national championship winning coach. is this a dynasty she is building? >> last night she was hesitant to call it that because there are teams like uconn who have 11
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titles. two titles in five seasons minus the covid year and they were number one the entire year this season. i think with boston coming back and the incredible recruiting she has done and will continue to do, dawn staley, i don't see any reason they would not continue this winning stretch. >> coach staley has talked about the pressures he feels as a black coach saying especially going into these high-profile games, she feels that. she knows if you don't win, you closed doors for other people coming up behind you. performing as she has, what is the impact of someone like dawn staley on the game? >> the incredible thing about her is she shoulders that responsibility. she embraces it. she reaches out to other black coaches. the last time she won the title, she shared pieces of the net
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with other black women who coached basketball. she has plenty to do something similar with black male coaches within that that she cut down last night. she does shoulder the responsibility appeared she embraces it and she is a path breaker. >> we should note she is among the higher paid coaches when it comes to women's college baskball. does not even compare to what the men get paid. she has noted this before. she says in the men's game even if you are unproven you come in making what i am making and it is ridiculous. those are her words. how are we doing on csing the pay disparity gap in the investment gap we know exists between the men's and women's games? >> this is where it is important to point out the women's game is much newer. the men's championship started in 1939. the women started in 1982. the women have a lot of catching up to do. there could be more investment to this is what the coaches are saying. a lot of them in a straight or czars saying.
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one of the reasons why coach staley insisted on the high salary she does is she wanted to set a marker for other coaches so they could say if i am close to achieving that i should get close to her pay as well. this is important in the women's game. a lot of coaches have grow up taking what they could get. there are more and more coaches who are not satisfied with just accepting. >> coach dawn staley is going to be one to watch for years to come and theouth carolina gamecocks. congratulations to them. thank you so muc judy: congratulations to that south carolina team. that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. joining us online -- join us online and here tomorrow evening for the pbs newshour. stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by --
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and with the ongoing support of these institutions. this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ this is pbs newshour west. from weta studios in washington and are bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪ >>
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♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -today on "america's test kitchen," keith cooks bridget albondigas in salsa almendras; jack talks olives; dan uncovers the science behind heating liquids; adam reveals his top pick for meat pounders; and becky makes julia espinacas con garbanzos.