tv PBS News Hour PBS April 11, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT
judy: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, the shifting war -- a miles-long russian convoy is seen heading toward eastern ukraine and civilians desperately try to escape ahead of an expected major military offensive in the region. then, overhaul -- the u.s. postal service gets a reboot with new laws aimed at fixing long-standing budget shortfalls and shipping delays. and, unlevel playing fields -- 50 years after title nine became law, why girls are still experiencing discrimination in sports. >> we'd never seen an example where girls were kind of treated
more equitably, i guess you could say. it just kind of seemed like that was just the way things are. and as girls, we just had to kind of tough it out. judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by. >> it's the little things. the reminders of what's important. it's why fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you create a 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 advancing ideas and
supporting instituations to promote a better world. at hewlett.o. and with the ongoing support of these individuals and 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. judy: the russian military is beginning to refocus its assault on eastern ukraine, and russia's president, vitamin putin, has named an overall military commander for the war, one with
a resume notable for killing civilians and wreaking wholesale destruction in syria. we begin by looking at this change in strategy. here's nick schifrin. nickin southeastern ukraine, russian forces are moving into position. russia says it is targeting newly arrived ukrainian air defense systems. and in mariupol, the mayor said today 10,000 civilians have been killed, russia is deploying recently recruited conscripts. vladislav: what can i say? they called me up to go to war. i got a call from my school to come to the recruiting station. nick: satellite images show what a senior u.s. defense official calls an eight-mile-long resupport and resupply mission into donetsk and luhansk, where russians have occupied territory since 2014. that convoy is moving through velykyi burluk toward izyum and further south, to reinforce russians fighting in the donbass and try and connect with territory they occupy as far west as kherson.
pres. zelenskyy: this next week will be just as tense. russian troops will move to even larger operations in the east of our state. they can use even more missiles against us, but we are preparing for their actions. nick: those actions in the east will be led by general aleksandr dvornikov, the first commander named to oversee the war in ukraine. he led russia's campaign of scorched earth in syria, using starvation and indiscriminate targeting of residential neighborhoods to destroy syrians' ability to resist. john: we are probably turning another page in the same book of russian brutality. nick: but while russia's focus will be on the east, u.s. officials say there's no evidence that vladimir putin has given up on his goal to overthrow kyiv. and to discuss this next phase of the war, we turn, as we often do, to michael kofman, research program director in the russia studies program at the center for naval analyses. michael kofman, welcome back to the newshour. so, 30,000 feet, is phase one of this war over, and we are
waiting for phase two to begin? michael: i think that's the case, nick. i think that the second phase is now beginning, although it is a bit unclear whether the russian military is going to wait to build up, to reorganize their forces. they have taken big losses around kyiv and in other areas. so, they have attrition units. they're trying to resupply. they're trying to reorganize. are they going to send them in again piecemeal and start this campaign for the donbass, or are they going to wait to build up? that remains one of the big questions. you see, in general, the russian military trying to make adjustments more at that operational strategic level, including the appointment of this new commander and reworking their command and control. but it's fair to say that this is probably the end of the beginning and you're seeing a second chapter in this war. nick: in terms of how the next phase, the next chapter will look like, dmytro kuleba, ukraine's foreign minister, told us at nato next week that it would look like world war ii, with thousands of tanks, planes, and artillery. a senior defense official said it would be a, quote, knife fight. regardless of whether those are right, how will this phase
differ from the first phase? michael: so i think, in the first phase, you saw a very diffused russian military strategy, trying to go after too many objectives at the same time, heavy urban fighting, where they were checkmated successfully by ukrainian forces, and a really spread-out russian effort. here, you're going to see a concentration more on one front. i don't know which analogy is best, but i think you're looking at a set piece battle where the russian military is probably going to concentrate forces against a sizable amount of ukrainian units defending the donbass. and they're likely going to try to leverage firepower and forward assaults, basically squeeze the ukrainian units in more frontal attacks, in trying to pushing them out of the donbass. but how this pans out is very much in question. the russian military has been unsuccessful thus far in the first phase of the war. and the ukrainian military retains a lot of advantages. nick: as you say, the ukrainian military retains those advantages. russia has struggled to make this a united front. is there any sign that it's learned from its mistakes,
including with this naming of this new commander? michael: well, absolutely. we see a reorganization of the russian effort. we see a concentration one front. and the main russian problem at this stage is manpower. they have a lot of equipment. they don't necessarily have the forces. they have taken substantial losses. and they don't have big manpower serves, because they' not conducting a national mobilization. on the other side, the ukrainian military has all the advantages of manpower, of reserves, of strong levels of morale. where they lack maybe is more an equipment and in ammunition. so these are maybe the big asymmetries of the two forces. and the battle for donbass may not be a fast fight. it may be a longer war of attrition, with heavy use of artillery and firepower. nick: the u.s. has, of course, continued to send anti-tank weapons, including javelins, and has facilitated sending takes into ukraine. ukraine says it needs more, and it needs fasr -- needs more
faster. are ukraine's partners sending enough weapons in quickly enough to make a difference in this next phase? michael: so it looks like european countries have started to shift the kind of equipment they're likely to send to ukraine. ukraine needs armor. it needs infantry fiting vehicles. it needs artillery. it needs conventional kit, larger types of capabilities, sort of those of the kind that can equip their reserves. they have a lot of manpower. but if they're going to launch counterattacks, if they're going to go on the offensive, they're not going to be able to do it with just anti-tank guided missiles or other types of personnel-carried weapons. you see increasing willingness by european countries to send this kind of weaponry. it's unclear if the volumes or flow is going to be sufficient, or if it's necessarily going to make a difference in this current part of the r. nick: and quickly, in the time we have left, it seems like there's two variables in this next phase. will russia wait to capture mariupol before expanding its operation in the southeast, and does russia have a deadline, may 9, when it celebrates the anniversary of victory of world war ii?
do we know the answers to those questions yet? michael: well, i'm not sure we do on the second. i'm sure, politically, they would like to be able to declare victory by may 9 if they can. but if they don't make that date, it doesn't mean that the war is somehow going to stop or the battle of the donbass will be suspended. on the first one, it's clear that they're going to push from the north, and likely the southern part of this campaign may wait until they are able to achieve sufficient conquest of mariupol, whatever that means at this point, given they have leveled of much of the city. but there's likely to be a southern acts of advance as well. however, at this point, it does look like they have several operational directions and are going to try to attack ukrainian forces at least in the northern part of the donbass without waiting for the southern fights to finish. nick: michael kofman, as always, thank you very much. michael: thank you. judy: the widespread destruction wrought by russia across ukraine is astonishing, whole towns flattened, large swathes of cities sacked.
special correspondent simon ostrovsky and videographer yegor troyanovsky found twin towns where the visible damage was more limited, but the heartache and anger are still palpable. simon: in the village of staryi bykiv, two hours east of kyiv, a woman and man work to fix a fence. i ask, her, what happened here? you live your life, do everything to have a comfortable retirement, and then, the russian world comes to liberate you, she smirks. tetyana plysko tells me russian soldiers occupied and ransacked their cottage after she and her husband fled the village when fighting began as the russian columns advanced on the ukrainian capital in february. they shot out the locks with a machine gun. they took everything, she tells me, down to the sheets from the bed and the tools from the garage.
the clothes on her husband's back are now the only garments he has left. what kind of mothers bore them to raise such scumbags? at least, she says, she got away with her life. six village men were not so lucky. their bodies were found where they were executed by an abandoned building across the street. here in the village of staryi bykiv, it almost looks like the war never touched this place. most of the houses are actually in pretty good condition and weren't hit by shelling. but when you start talking to the local residents, that's when you find out what the russian soldiers were up to while they were occupying this area. and it paints a completely different picture. we go to search for the family of some of the men who were killed to find out what happened. a few streets over, we are
greeted by lesya nyzhnyk. all i have left are memories, she tells me. her husband and his uncle were taken by a group of russian soldiers and executed just as the force swept through the town. they were cut. bohdan was stabbed in the heart and his ribs were broken. my husband's throat was slit. i would give anything for them to be alive. lesya tells me she blames herself, because she didn't beg hard enough for their lives while the men were still alive. no one knows why they were killed. they had no lis to the military and had left the city to weather the war in their home village. it would prove to be a catastrophic miscalculation. viktoria: bohdan's hands were so
white and his nails were just a little bit blue. his t-shirt was clean, as if he had just put it on. his pants were clean. after the exhumation, that's when they told us they had been knifed. simon: across a blown out-bridge in novyi bykiv, staryi bykiv's sister city, we arrive at the local community center. russian anti-aircraft units used it as their base and their prison. lyudmyla kiriyenko shows us the cellar in an adjacent boiler room that was used to hold ukrainian detainees. as many as 20 people were packed into this crawlspace at one point. after the russians left, three of their bodies were found sprawled in the cemetery next door. a total 13 people were killed in staryi and novyi bykiv. another is missing. the communy center itself is ransacked. the soldiers spray-painted the words "glory to russia" on a
wall panel, below it, a oss associated with the white power movement. another inscription decorates the stairwell -- we will feed our children with the bones of your people. lyudmyla's daughter, yulia, takes us into her nail salon on the second floor. this was my business, she tells me. i built it with my own sweat and blood. now look at it. the cutters, the nozzles are gone, most of the nail polish, nail clippers gone, the lamp gone. this was a pogrom, simply a pogrom. this is what we managed to salvage. what do all these men from the russian army want with a bunch of nail salon equipment? there's a tapped phone conversation that was put online where a guy says, “there are manicure sets here. should i take them? i will bring them.” when i was listening to it i thought to myself, he was in my place, called his wife, and told
her he would take it. he probably did. maybe he didn't make it. maybe he's out there's somewhere. one knows. i hope he is lying out there somewhere. for the pbs newshour, i am simon ostrovsky in staryi bykiv. judy: just unbelievable. the newshour's coverage of the war in ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. the war has driven millions of people from their homes in ukraine. more than 4.5 million have left their nation for eastern europe and beyond, and a further seven-plus million are displaced within ukraine. helping manage this crisis is the united nations' high commissioner for refugees, filippo grandi. we spoke just a short time ago after he met with top officials today at the white house. filippo grandi, thank you very much for joining us. before i ask you about your meetings at the white house, let
me just ask you to give us an overall sense of the refugee crisis right now as a result of russia's invasion of ukraine? filippo: well, you know that this has been the fastest growing refugee crisis in european history since the second world war. we are at 4.5 million refugees, without mentioning, of course, the more than seven million that are refugees inside ukraine. judy: and what do you expect is next, i mean, based on the people you are talking to? filippo: well, this is exactly what i have been discussing also today here in the national security council and meeting the secretary of state tomorrow. i think the prevalent analysis of the experts is that the war has moved eastwards. but what i fear, as a humanitarian, is a protracted conflict that may be perhaps lower intensity and more localized, but will continue to cause untold suffering to
millions of people, and may cause further displacement. judy: what is needed to take care of these refugees, mr. grandi? how manyf them do you think can homes, temporary or permanent, be found? for them? and how many are you seriously worried -- i know you're worried about all of them, but give us a sense of how many of them do you believe can be taken care of? filippo: well, europe has done a remarkable job, has established what is called technically temporary protection. this is a quick protection regime for all of them. this has allowed ukrainians in europe to spread across the continent, and they usually go where they have communities that can take care of them, their own communities, ukrainian communities. but, clearly, if this wave continues, if more people come out of ukraine, it will be more and more difficult. so we will have to step up regular assistance program and
maybe more organized burden-sharing mechanism. but we're not yet there. if i may say one more thing, where i'm really worried and where i think we must put a lot of the emphasis right now is inside ukraine, to this -- for the displaced people, for all those millions who need to stabilize the situation there and ensure, when they can, that they can go back to where they came from. that's the priority right now. judy: so what does that mean in terms of what's needed? is it money that is needed to go to the ukrainian authorities? is it assistance of some other kind? filippo: well, we work very closely with the ukrainian authorities. when i say we, meaning not just we unhcr, but all the humanitarian organizations, because they lead the response, clearly, in their own country. and money is very important, because one of the most effective ways to assist people -- and this is refugees, displaced people, everybody need -- is to give them cash handouts.
in all these countries, certainly in the e.u. countries, but also in ukraine, you can buy goods in the market still. so that's the most effective and dignified way to help them. the other big, big area of need is, of course, from our perspective, what we would call accommodation or shelter, both for people that are outside their homes and need to have some form of accommodation -- so we're helping, for example, the ukrainian government fix big empty buildings, public buildings -- but also for people that may wish to return to their homes in areas that have been liberated and areas where reconstruction will eventually happen. judy: is the united states right now, the biden administration, doing all that you believe it can do to support these refugees? filippo: i think so. and the response of the administration, but may i add, judy, the response of civil
society, has been amazing. you know that unhcr alone -- and we are one of the many players here, but -- although a big one in terms of refugee response. we have mobilized more than $800 million. there's been an unprecedented outpouring of solidarity that has been very tangible, very important. judy: and let me ask you, mr. grandi, about one other area of the world where we're concerned about a humanitarian crisis, and that's in afghanistan. we know that, since the u.s. pullout last summer, there's been a -- the crisis has only grown worse. can you give us an update on where things stand right now? filippo: well, in afghanistan, because of the difficult political situation and the impossibility, for now, for any donor to support the taliban regime directly, everything has been channeled through
humanitarian activities. and there's been a very considerable effort, especially before the winter. and i was -- i visited afghanistan twice after the taliban took over in september and just recently. and i observed that, although the crisis is still looming and very acute, the indicators of hunger are very bad, we have avoided through this massive humanitarian effort the worst. we need to continue this massive humanitarian response to keep the country stable. it works, but it requires a big, sustained effort. judy: and you see that continuing? filippo: i hope so. and i think that your question somehow implies that, and thanks for giving me the opportunity. it's important not to forget all the other crises, even as we are rightly focusing massively on ukraine.
and this is -- i was in new york last week. i met all the african ambassadors to the united nations. they're very worried that this big effort to respond to the crisis in ukraine distracts the international community from solidarity with african countries that also are hit by very, very severe humanitarian crises. so, let's adopt that solidarity for everybody in need. judy: so good to be reminded of that. the united nations high commissioner for refugees, filippo grandi, thank you very much. filippo: thanks for inviting me here. much appreciated. vanessa: i'm vanessa ruiz in for stephanie sy with “newshour west.” we'll return to the full program after the latest headlines. philadelphia reinstated an indoor mask mandate for covid-19, the first major u.s. city to do so.
cases had risen 50% in 10 days. and, in china, the manufacturing hub of guangzhou closed itself to most travelers. and meanwhile, shanghai began easing its lockdown inlaces amid rising criticism from residents. that's despite a new daily record yesterday of more than 25,000 infections. campaigning began in france today for a two-week race to a presidential election runoff. president emmanuel macron was out and about after leading sunday's first round. far-right populist marine le pen surged late and finished second. macron beat le pen by more than 30 points in the last election five years ago. polls show it is much closer this time. and in pakistan, lawmakers chose opposition leader shebaz sharif as interim prime minister today after a political crisis in the nuclear-armed nation. imran khan had been ousted
sunday in a no-confidence vote. more than 100 lawmakers loyal to khan walked out and resigned today. sharif denounced khan over political divisions and economic mismanagement. pm sharif: today is a great day for the whole pakistani nation, cause this parliament has thrown out a selected and fake prime minister from this honorable house. vanessa: sharif will serve until elections that could come by the end of this year. israeli forces have killed a fourth palestinian in 24 hours. troops said they fired on a man who threw a firebomb near bethlehem in the west bank. hundreds of people marched in the funeral today. it followed a spat of palestinian attacks that killed 14 israelis in recent weeks. and a jury in london today convicted an islamic state supporter of murdering sir david ay'mess, a member of parliament. ali harbi ali had denied he
stabbed the lawmaker to death during a meeting with voters last year. the jury took just 18 minutes to find him guilty. and back in this country, president biden has nominated former federal prosecutor steve dettle-back to run the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. an earlier nominee stalled in the senate. in a rose garden event, the president also rolled out a finalized rule to regulate so-calleghost guns that are privately made. pres. biden: a felon, a terrorist, a domestic abuser can go from a gun kit to a gun in as little as 30 minutes. buyers aren't required to pass background checks because guns have no serial numbers, these guns. when they show up at a crime scene they can't be traced. vanessa: both the ghost gun rule and the atf nomination face opposition from gun owners groups. a district attorney in south texas moved today to dismiss a
murder case against a woman over a self-induced abortion. the prosecutor said a review showed state law exempts pregnant women from homicide charges involving abortions. the woman was arrested last week. pacific gas and electric will pay $55 million to avoid criminal prosecution in two major california wildfires. the firedestroyed thousands of homes and buildings, and were blamed on aging power lines. pg&e already settled with wildfire vicms for more than $25 billion. still to come on the "newshour," how girls are facing tgh battles on and off the sports field. amy walter and laura barron-lopez analyze the latest political news. and a ukrainian novelist discusses preserving his country's culture during war. and much more.
>> this is the "pbs newshour" from weta studios in washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: between shrinking budgs and the covid-19 pandemic, the unitedtates postal office has enred a turbulent few years. now lawmakers are pushing -- or rushing, that is -- to salvage the essential agency. geoff bennett has more. geoff: the u.s. postal service has secured a major victory which will keep it afloat in and address service delays that have plagued the agency in recent years. president biden signed a bill into law that will overhaul the postal service's finances and allow the agency to modernize its service. but there are questions about the future of postal service operations and the leadership of americans rely on each day for everything from prescriptions to paychecks. jacob bogage covers the u.s. postal service for "the washington post." it's good to have you with us. and, jacob, as you know, this new law comes after years of increasing warnings about the
state of the agency's finances. president biden said when he signed this bill into law that the postal service will be on sustainable and stable financial footing moving forward. explain to us how that will work. jacob: so, what this bill does is it frees the postal service from $5 billion annual pments. and a lot of tho payments, it hasn't been able to make for more than a decade. the postal service is required to pay its retirees' health care costs in advance. that's because it's a physical job. you're sorting and moving mail. it's a lot of driving. you're getting in and out of a car or a truck every day. you're walking around city blocks. it's a difficult job. and so they make $5 billion payments annually that they just don't have the money to pay for, because, we as a country, don't send enough mail anymore to keep the postal service afloat that way. so, this bilwipes clean a lot
of those payments and gives the postal service the financial flexibility to make investments and modernize for the years to come. geoff: and, yet, on the same day the president signed this bill into law giving the postal service, to use your phrase, financial flexibility, the agency announced another series of price hikes. why? what accounts for that? jacob: the postal service, generally speaking, does not get funding from congress. it has to subsist on the sale of postage products. if, we, as a country, don't send as much mail, it has got to find ways to make up that revenue. and the way it's choosing to do that, postmaster general louis dejoy is choosing to do that, is to raise the price of a stamp. come july, it will go from $0.58 to $0.60 for a first-class stamp, and then, for a postcard, from $0.40 to $0.44. so, these are large -- relatively speaking, large jumps. geoff: you mentioned the postmaster general, who you actually recently interviewed. what did he tell you about his strategic plan and how he plans to implement it?
jacob: sure. i think the important thing -- the important takeaway from that conversation is, regardless of what your opinions are about delivery speed or delivery price, the postal service's network has to compete with private sector logistics -- logistics companies. and in the consumer space, that's fedex and ups and amazon. its network is simply not set up to do this right now. it's the stuff that consumers d't see. it's the stuff that folks on capitol hill don't see and don't want to talk about. and it is uncomfortable. it is consolidating processing plants. it imonetizing or making more efficient mail delivery routes, things that are really going to create some turmoil in the organization. but whether louis dejoy was the guy to do it or not, this is something that needed to be done for the postal service's worthiness for the 21st century. geoff: yes. what is dejoy's future? as you mentioned, he's a
controversial figure. he's a major republican donor. democrats accused him of deliberately trying to slow the mail in the run-up to the 2020 election, when there was an overreliance on mail-in ballots. yet president biden doesn't have the authority to remove him directly. that authority rests with the board of governors. give us a sense of the current makeup of the board of governors and what that suggests about dejoy's future. jacob: this is, as you alluded to, geoff, a more complicated question than a lot of folks realize. so, louis dejoy serves at the pleasure of the board of governors. it's a nine-member board. it's bipartisan. it's appointed by the president, so members there now were appointed by both president biden and president trump, confirmed by the senate. but, even as democrats take control of the board, louis dejoy is not going anywhere. he still enjoys enough support to remain in office. and, i should say, even as the white house has continually expressed a lack of confidence in the postmaster general, they are leaning more and more
heavily on the postal service for different parts of the administration's goals. and i think the best example of that is the covid test kit program. they have se 320 million covid test kits to americans all over the country. i have gotn four test kits myself. that is noteworthy that, even though they say they don't have confidence ilouis dejoy as the postmaster general, they are enthusiastically using his agency in the pandemic response. geoff: yes, such a great point. jacob bogage covers the u.s. postal service for "the washington post." jacob, a pleasure to speak with you, as always, friend. jacob: thanks, geoff. judy: it's been nearly 50 years since the passage of title ix, a landmark civil rights law prohibiting sex-based discrimination at federally funded schools, including in athletic programs.
but violations still exist. schools often provide better opportunities and benefits for boys sports. amna nawaz takes a look at one san diego area high school team that fought to settle the score. this story is a partnership with the shirley povich center for sports and the howard center for investigative journalism, both at the university of maryland's merrill college of journalism. amna: outside san diego, at rancho buena vista high school, it is almost game time. fresh chalk lines the infield. team gear hangs in the dugout. and fans await the action in shaded bleachers. the varsity softball longhorns are looking sharp. but this facility, with its scoreboard and fencing and manicured outfield, is a world away from the team'old field, an off-campus city park with patchy grass, a partial fence,
and no locker rooms. former players dani ellis and sydney prenatt remember it well. danielle: we'd have to carry our equipment to all of our classes that day. and both of us, we were catchers, so the bags are huge. they probably weigh like 30 pounds. sydney: changing in the parking lot sometimes and the bathrooms, it definitely wasn't convenient. amna: not every team had to use it. the boys baseball team had their own field just steps from the school. what are you thinking when you're seeing everything the baseball team has right there and the way they're able to practice and play and everything you have to go through every day just to get to practice? danielle: we had never seen an example where girls were kind of treated more equitably, i guess you could say. it just ki of seemed like that was just the way things are, and, as girls, we just had to kind of tough it out. amna: fed up, in 2017, ellis and prenatt, then high schl seniors, decided to level the playing field. the players realized their high school was violating federal civil rights law title ix,
providing a girls softball field in worse condition with fewer facilities and farther away than the boys field. sydney: we knew that we had a really blatant case of title ix struction. and so we were very confident. and we kind of knew that we're going to make some people mad. but this is what we deserve, and we don't expect anything less. amna: on june 23, 1972, president richard nixon signed title ix into law. it required gender equity in education, including in athletics. that year, only 7% of high school varsity athletes in the u.s. were women. the law is meant to guarantee all institutions receiving federal funding provide equal opportunities, supplies and facilities to students, regardless of their gender. it was in this classroom, led by social studies teacher tim leary, that ellis and prenatt learned about the law. tim: i remember actually them looking at each other, the looks
on their faces, and they made eye contact with, like, something's up. amna: in april 2018, backed by their entire softball team, ellis and prenatt took their fight straight to the school board. sydney: we are asking you to all stand with us, so that future girls don't have to grow up thinking equality has to be earned. they grow up believing that equality is expected. amna: the team made their case, thanked the board, and walked out. a few weeks later, ellis and prenatt received a letter fr their school district. they learned the school board had approved the new softball field. >> so, a brand-new field. amna: and shared the news with their whole team danielle: they're calling it the best softball field in north county. sydney and i never could have dreamed up anything like that. it's absolutely unbelievable. amna: since title ix passed 50 years ago, gir' participation in sports has skyrocketed, millions now playing in high school programs across the country. but experts say, to this day, boys programs still get better uniforms, better facilities, and
more support, all potential title ix violations. those kinds of examples are not hard to find. in ewa beach, hawaii, girls on the water polo team could not get funding for a pool and had to practice on dry land or in the open ocean. in union city, new jersey, the boys football team played in a multimillion-dollar rooftop stadium for 10 years before the girls teams were even allowed to use it. and in stillwater, oklahoma, softball team parents had to sue the school district, to get their daughters equal training, equipment and facilities to the boys. nancy: title ix is not hard. this is not rocket science. amna: nancy hogshead-makar is an olympic gold medalist swimmer and civil rights attorney. her organization, champion women advocates for gender equality in sports for women and girls, including her own daughters. nancy: they came up to me and they said, hey, mom, how come the boys have a scoreboard and we don't have a scoreboard? at their third practice, they already knew that they were not getting treated the same way.
that's a terrible lesson. amna: she says one of the biggest barriers is that most high school students and their parents either don't know that title ix exists or don't understand what it protects. nancy: they sort of understand, yes, i'm entitled to equality. but they don't really know what that means. and i have never talked to a female athlete that was not acutely aware of how they were getting second-class treatment, as compared to some of the other male athletes. but they think that, like, there must be a reason. there's no defense to giving men more. amna: reporting title ix violations often means filing a lawsuit or federal complaint with the department of education that can sometimes take years to resolve. it can also mean standing up to school officials. coach theresa murillo has led rancho buena vista's softball program for 17 years, most of them on that old field. theresa: we had a lot of issues. we had some inries, ankles being broken. amna: but murillo worried about
speaking out. theresa: i heard horror stories about other people trying to push for it, and they were let go as coaches. i really like my job. i really like doing what i'm doing right now. amna: but you thought, if you advocated for the girls, that would be helagainst you? theresa: i was worried about that, yes, because i heard it from other coaches. catherine: 50 years on, we live the same challenge that we've always lived, right, that we have a promise that we have to struggle to achieve. amna: catherine lhamon is assistant secretary for civil rights at the department of education. she says parents and students shouldn't have to be the first ones flagging title ix violations. in instances when the responsibility does lie with the students or the parents themselves, what would you say to that? is that fair? catherine: i regret that this country puts people in that position, because i believe that all of us should be able to, in advance, have our rights respected and not have to keep pushing for more and more. but that is the story of this country. so, we really try to use our voice to share information about what the law is. and we are not shy ever about
saying, if the laws have been violated, we will be there to vindicate them for students. amna: the new field at rancho buena vista opened last february, after prenatt and ellis graduated. but they say the fight for the field was about the generation of players coming after them. danielle: this project is not about us. we knew the entire way through like, we're never going to get to play on this field or anything like that. so, what we hope of what comes from this is that people everywhere, younger generations, that they know, like, it is possible. and, like, we're a testament to that. amna: for young women across the united states, title ix violations still run rampant, and a chance at a fair ball often means going up against power. but, for now, this team has a game to win. fothe pbs newshour, i'm amna nawaz in san diego. judy: congress may be out on
spring recess this week, but political fights are brewing in d.c. over hot-button issues like guns, abortion, and the president's social spending package. lisa desjardins brings us up to speed on all the news in politics. lisa: the announcement of a nominee to run that agency that regulates guns has recharged an intense political debate here in washington, and the primary election season is getting into high gear, as the former president weighs in on key races. here to break this down, of course, are our politics monday crew, amy walter of the cook political report with amy walter, and laura barron-lopez of politico. tamara keith is away. laura, let's start right with you. you broke the stories of the announcements on guns today from the white house, including the announcement of the new nominee for the atf. now, steve dettelbach is someone who comes from a prosecutor's background, a little dferent than the previous nominee, who did have experience with gun
control advocacy groups. what doethat tell you? what does this -- all the announcementtoday tell you about where we are on the politics of guns, especially for democrats right now? laura: right. so this is a big second attempt by the white house to try to get an atf nominee director confirmed. there hasn't been a director of the atf, which is responsible for cracking down on illegal or trafficked guns, there hasn't been a director of that agency, a permanent one, since 2015. so, if biden is able to get dettelbach confirmed, that's a big deal. hill sources have told me that they think dettelbach has a better chance than the prior nomine david chipman, who, as you noted, used to advise gun advocacy groups, namely, the giffords group. and so they're thinking that he could potentially have a bigger -- a better shot at getting confirmed, particularly among those democratic senators or senators that caucus with
democrats, supporting him, because, last time, it was the fact that they couldn't get enough of those democratic senators to support the prior nominee, which is why that nomination fell apart. t this could be a big potential boost for the democratic base in terms of if biden is able to get the atf nominee director confirmed, as well as seeing this ghost gun rule finalized, which is a major regulation that cracks down on untraceable guns. and so a lot of gun advocates that -- gun control advocates i have spoken to today say that they hope that the white house continues to hammer home their gun safety agenda, because they think that it could turn out younger voters. lisa: amy, another perennial dividing line in this country is abortion. as you heard judy report earlier, a young woman in texas was arrested for murder last week. those charges were dropped for an illegally obtained abortion. we talk so much about the politics of abortion, but i want to ask you about the policy now.
the politics have been inflamed for so long. do we now see policy becoming inflamed, people being arrested for things that are legal policy because of, i think, political kind of debate? amy: well, lisa, we have seen a number of states actually follow the lead of states that, like mississippi, whose case is being heard in front of the supreme court at this time, or the decision will me out this summer, that shrinks the window of viability. so it says that a woman is allowed to have an abortion, but only in this certain window of time. some states, it's like -- texas is short of six weeks, others this 15-week window. but while these states, mostly red states, have been passing these laws, we haven't seen this issue really rise to the top of either democratic or republican voters' agendas. i was just looking at some
polling that came out in march. and, for democrats, this issue of abortion ranks sixth -- as the sixth most important. and it is as important to republicans as it is to democrats, which is to say they both are invested in this issue. but they're not as invested in it as, say, the economy or climate change or immigration. the other thing we're waiting for, as i alluded to earlier, lisa, of course, is the roe v. wade decision later this summer. we don't know exactly what that's going to look like. and what it looks like, i think, is going to be very important to undersnding the reaction to it. you can assume that if the court cides to completely overturn the 50-year-old decision, that would probably have a very intense reaction. if they decide to keep the law, but, again, allow states, like we're seeing in a place like
mississippi, to keep that window shorter, that may not elicit the same kind of intense response that we would see otherwise. lisa: and then a question for both of you. i'm excited that we're getting close finally to primary season here. i call it super month of may, beginning with -- we have got ohio, pennsylvania, georgia, big primaries. and, of course, we have seen now some endorsements from former president trump, much-sought-after endorsements. amy, i want to ask you about that. what does president trump want out of giving those endorsements? and what is the effect on his party? amy: so, by the end of these primaries, there will be a win-loss record for donald trump and his endorse candidates. and we can use that as a metric to say whether he's been successful in his political acumen, how smartly he picked candidates. but i think the more important thing to appreciate is that
almost every single candidate running in a republican primary is running as a trump republican. this is not the trump endorsed candidate or the trump wing of the party vs. the anti-trump wing. all of them are running in that same mold. almost all of them talk about things that president -- then-president trump put forward, like building a wall along the border. and so this is -- much will be made about whether his specific candidates made it through. but, again, think it's important to appreciate how many of these candidates are running in the mold that was made by donald trump. lisa: laura. laura: yes, i mean, i agree with amy. also, specifically, when you look at all of these candidates, a lot of them -- in the instance of pennsylvania, where we're seeing trump endorse dr. oz, but a lot of republicans prefer david mccormick, who is also running in the primary and appears to be the leader in that pennsylvania senate primary.
but mccormick has not distanced himself from trump on the issue of whether or not the 2020 election was fraudulent, which it wasn't. mccormick has actually continued repeat baseless claims that the election -- there was broad irregularities across the 2020 electi, which we know is not the case. and so, he, like oz, are very much trying to stay in line with trump. and we see that increasingly across these races, where these candidates are deciding very much to repeat the same -- the same efforts to undermine democracy and other sentiments, like amy pointed out, in terms of immigtion, in terms of increased embrace of white nationalist sentiments. they're repeating all those points, and that's been growing within the republican party. lisa: ok.
well, i have to say, it was a pleasure being back with you. there's a lot that you're observing that we're watching too. and as we can all say, this year keeps changing. we're distancing again, but i'm sure we will be back together in person hopefully in coming weeks. laura barron-lopez, amy walter, thank you so much, both of you. laura: thank you. amy: you're welcome. judy: we turn back to ukraine now through a different lens with a conversation with one of that country's best-known novelists. jeffrey brown talks with andrey kurkov about his new book addressing ukraine's past struggles with russia, now translated into english at a moment of existential crisis for his country. it's part of our arts and culture series, canvas. jeffrey: andrey kurkov is author of more than 20 books, including, translated to english, the novels death and the penguin, and the bickford fuse.
a new novel, grey bees, is set of several years ago in the donbass region of eastern ukraine amid what was then a simmering conflict, but one little noted by the outside world. a resident of kyiv, kurkov spoke to us earlier this week from western ukraine. in the forward to your new novel, you write that you wanted to give voice to the forgotten people in the east. that was a few years ago. now the entire country has been invaded. did you ever imagine this could happen? andrey: no. no, i could never have thought about this, because, i mean, this is middle ages, or at least this is the war of 20th century, something like second world war. i mean, the methods of german nazis arvery obvious to me in bucha, in gostomel, in mariupol. i have -- never could imagine such a destruction and killing of civilians and just don't caring about the country, the peoplethe infrastructure. jeffrey: the world is, of course, watching the human
suffering now, but you have also been speaking about the impact on history, on identity, on language itself. andrey: well, now the stake is very high. it is independence of ukraine, statehood of ukraine. ukraine has its own history, but russia wants ukraine to accept the russian version ukrainian history, according to which ukrainians are actually russians. ukrainian language is different. there are 40% of russian speakers in ukraine. many of them are bilingual like me. and ukrainian language actually is the only guarantee now that ukraine will stay independent from russia. ukrainians will not accept any more russian culture or anything russian because of the atrocities imposed on us by the russian army. jeffrey: you yourself write your novels in russian. many americans may still not understand the interaction between the two languages and how much that's been a part of ukrainian culture.
andrey: well, in ukraine, there were always people speaking russian and ukrainian. and the only official language is ukrainian, but many russian speakers do speak and understand ukrainian. i am a russian speaker. i am ethnic russian. russian is my mother tongue. but i never had problems publishing my books in russian and writing in russia and ukraine. now, because of the russian aggression, and putin said that this war is against ukrainian nationalists who are suppressing russian speakers, i feel ashamed. and i'm prepared actually sort of to give up publishing my books in russian just as a political gesture. jeffrey: so, you see this as having that kind of impact on you as a writer? andrey: yes, because ukrainians and russians speakers actually in the east, they are killed in the name of the -- defending russian language by russian army. jeffrey: i can see you use humor in your writing, that you bring
out the humanity in difficult situations. what about now? what do you see as your role as a writer? andrey: well, it's impossible to write fiction now. so i started a novel before the war. and i put it aside. i am writing now only diary, articles about what is happening in ukraine, essays and trying to inform international audience about the true events happening in ukraine. so, i think many writers are doing like me, and they are not writing fiction or poetry. i mean, the time of arts is not now, really. jeffrey: and what is it you most want the world to know right now? andrey: well, first of all that all the pretexts of this putin for this war are false. we are a european free country with a democracy, with a lot of chaos, with anarchy, with over 400 political parties registered in the ministry of justice. but, i mean, we are not anything that putin says.
jeffrey: andrey kurkov is author the new novel grey bees. thank you very much. andrey: thank you. judy: and thank you, jeffrey brown. on the pbs newshour online, the irs is working through a backlog of millions of tax returns from last year. and, on top of that, the pandemic has created complications for this tax season. we talk to tax experts about what you should keep in mind this year. you can read more at pbs.org/newshour. and that's "the newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the "pbs newshour," thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular'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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