tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS May 9, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday may 9: the leader of china is in red square as russia displays its military might. what the new russia-china alliance means for the united states. teachers in austin struggle to keep up with soaring real estate prices. and in our signature segment: warren buffett invests in a plan to try to reverse decades of poverty in cities across america. next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by:
corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> from klru, austin, texas hari sreenivasan. >> good evening thanks for joining us, we begin tonight with some good news, >> sreenivasan: good evening. thanks for joining us. we begin tonight with good news. word from the world health organization that liberia is now officially free of ebola. the report touched off celebratory dancing today in the capital city of monrovia. liberia has now gone 42 days without a new case of ebola being detected-- twice the length of the incubation period. nearly 5,000 of the 11,000 who
died of the disease since march of 2014 were liberian. the disease is still present in the neighboring countries of sierra leone and guinea. a weapons breakthrough for north korea. the country announced today that it successfully test-launched a ballistic missile from a submarine for the first time. official photos show the country's leader, kim jong un, observing the underwater launch from the deck of a ship. security experts warn that missiles launched underwater are more difficult to detect than those launched from land. syria's chemical weapons program was apparently more extensive than the assad regime let on. diplomatic sources quoted by reuters say traces of sarin and vx nerve agent were discovered at a military research site that had not been disclosed by syrian authorities. syria promised to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile after signing a deal brokered by russia and the united states in 2013. in iraq today, dozens of inmates including a number of convicted terrorists, escaped from a prison 50 miles north of baghdad. the escapes occurred after a riot that led to the deaths of
50 inmates and 12 guards. authorities there say the incident began when prisoners appeared to be fighting with one another. when guards intervened, prisoners attacked them and stripped them of their weapons. according to the bbc, isis claimed responsibility. russia today marked the 70th anniversary of the defeat of nazi germany during world war 2, by staging a military parade in red square, the largest since the breakup of the soviet union. the event was attended by the leader of china but boycotted by most western nations. during a speech, russian president vladimir putin criticized the united states but not by name. >> ( translated ): the basic principles of international cooperation are increasingly ignored-- principles won after the hardship of war. we have seen attempts to create a unipolar world. we see a military bloc-mentality expanding. >> sreenivasan: the first tropical storm of the year is headed for the carolinas, three weeks before the start of the
atlantic hurricane season. tropical storm ana is expected to hit around the border of north and south carolina early tomorrow morning. it now has winds up of to 60 miles an hour. but it is expected to weaken before making landfall. california health officials are reporting a sharp rise in heroin poisoning, commonly from overdoses. they say the number of young adults treated in hospital emergency rooms last year increased six fold during the last ten years. the numbers were also up significantly in other age groups. deaths nationally from heroin overdoses tripled between 2010 and 2013, according to a recent report by the centers for disease control. and authorities say a signed first edition copy of gabriel garcia marquez's novel, "one hundred years of solitude," valued at approximately $60,000 was recovered today at a used book stall in bogota, colombia. it had been stolen from a collector while on display at that city's international book fair last weekend. there was no word of any arrests. the author died last year.
he was 87. >> sreenivasan: as we mentioned, the chinese leader was in moscow today as russia paraded its military hardware through red square. just yesterday, the two countries signed 32 agreements including what's being described as a nonaggression pact in cyberspace. all this, at a time of severely strained relations between russia and the west. are we going back to the future with russia and china lined up against the west? for more, we are joined now from berkeley california by orville schell. he's the director of the center on us-china relations at the asia society. >> so orville, what is the strategic advantage for the alignment of russia an china again? >> well i think both russia and china find themselves at odds with the west. of course, russia and putin in the crimea and the ukraine and
china in the south china sea, and the islands with japan so the tendency, i think when they find they met with this western resistance is to team up. however, one should be careful to note they have not always had a very close and friendly historical relationship. >> so what are some of the economic consequences? is there investment or potential investment between china and russia china putting money into russia or the other way around? >> well the chinese have a habit of moving into vacuums where the west will sanction a country, whether it is sudan or iran, other such countries venezuela, because it is an opportunity, and i think they view russia very much this way. russia has energy china needs energy, and china has now very, is very keen to both sort of consolidate the relationship with putin, give him loans make oil and gas deals.
they signed some deals for weapons and new s 400 missile that russia is now selling to china. so things are getting much, much closer than they were before. >> expand on the military relationship as well. when these two countries decide to align, there is that, not just an enemy, a specific enemy but as large the european union and the united states and the west seem to be in a different camp, especially in terms of russia's intervention in the ukraine. >> well, militarily speaking the west has never sold any amount of weaponry to china. it is almost all comes from russia. so there, advanced fighter jets their missile systems avionics, things like that have largely come from russia and some from israel now they are really beefing up this relationship, and each has something to give to the other and they share 5,000-mile border. there is tremendous amount of
trade-in natural resources coming from russia and china so there is kind of a natural symmetry there. more than that there is a psychological symmetry both feel they were big empires that were somehow dismembered through predatory actions of the west and japan, and there is kind of a victim culture that both share, which i think psychologically speaking drives them close together. >> all right. orville schell of the asia society thanks so much. >> pleasure. >> >> sreenivasan: and now to our signature segment. our original in-depth reports from around the nation and around the world. the recent unrest in baltimore called attention to concentrated poverty in a number of neighborhoods across the nation. it's a problem that goes back decades, but that has intensified in recent years. now, local officials, working with prominent businessmen
including warren buffet, are trying a comprehensive approach to help residents of these neighborhoods improve their circumstances. our report from atlanta by newshour correspondent megan thompson is part of our continuing series exploring poverty and opportunity in america. we call it "chasing the dream." >> reporter: jimmy williams has lived on the south side of atlanta for most of his 37 years. even before he was born, white residents of the neighborhoods around here had begun leaving for the suburbs; and later, big employers like a nearby general motors plant shut down. many areas around here have been struggling for decades. >> when i was growing up, this... wow. when i was growing up, it's... some of these streets, you better not walk down. out of everybody that i grew up with, let's see, i can count probably about five of them that's still living and not in prison. >> reporter: after high school things went south for williams, too. his father had died his mom had
cancer and needed help paying medical bills. williams' minimum wage job at a grocery store wasn't cutting it so williams says he did the only thing he could see to make enough money to pay the bills. he started dealing cocaine. did you see people doing what you did around you when you grew up? >> yeah. i mean, that... that was the entire neighborhood. that's what it was. that was the whole neighborhood. that's how i got into it. >> reporter: he ended up in prison for seven years. his mother passed away when he was in there. >> and that's the worst thing that could have ever happened to me, because i think about that every time i look at somebody selling dope on the street. i'm like, "don't you know the people that you love can leave you while you in the midst of your destruction? don't you know that?" >> reporter: stories like williams' are common in many neighborhoods on atlanta's south side. experts say areas like this around the nation suffer from what they call "concentrated poverty." >> it's a small number of neighborhoods where you have a large number of america's lowest income people.
>> reporter: rolf pendall of the urban institute in washington d.c., says there's been a dramatic increase in the number of people living in high-poverty neighborhoods, almost 80% since 2000-- places where people with money have fled and companies have disinvested, much of it compounded by a legacy of racism and segregation, he says. >> and those who are left behind find themselves increasingly isolated in neighborhoods where no one wants to invest, and few people want to come in if they have a choice. the businesses don't want to come in. employers don't want to locate there. so those are neighborhoods of... of kind of almost neighborhoods of last resort. it's extremely difficult for the people who... who remain behind to... to get ahead. >> reporter: how to turn around areas of concentrated poverty has been a question american cities have long grappled with but experts like pendall point to another neighborhood, about six miles away on the east side of atlanta.
east lake has become a model for one type of approach supported by america's second richest person, investor warren buffett. >> the american dream has been very real for millions and millions of people over the years, but there's been an american nightmare that has accompanied that. and that's where people that equally have tried to get educated and worked hard and had good habits have found themselves living a life that's been on the edge throughout their entire lives and the same for their children. and america can do better than that. >> reporter: in 2009, buffett, atlanta real estate developer tom cousins and former hedge fund manager julian robertson helped fund a new organization called purpose-built communities. the group now advises local non- profits and governments in high- poverty areas in 11 cities including new orleans, columbus and buffett's home town of omaha. its strategy is to fight concentrated poverty on multiple fronts all at once. it often starts by tearing down low-income housing projects and replacing them with mixed income
units, but it goes beyond housing. the model also includes building new schools, establishing health and wellness initiatives-- there's even job placement services-- all of it coordinated by a local non-profit. >> you couldn't do it piecemeal. you really had to have something that was transformative in nature. >> reporter: purpose-built communities' work is modeled on what began as an experiment on the east side of atlanta in the '90s, a time when, across atlanta and the u.s., many big public housing projects were being torn down and replaced with mixed-income developments. >> this was the only community in the city that i would not drive to alone. i was terrified. >> reporter: you were scared to come here. >> i was scared to come here alone. >> reporter: shirley franklin is the former mayor of atlanta and now the head of purpose-built communities, the group warren buffett supports. so, when we talk about concentrated poverty, this... this was it. >> this was one of the worst examples.
>> reporter: the neighborhood was home to a dangerous housing project called east lake meadows and bordered a once-famous golf course that had also fallen into disrepair, but step by step, tom cousins, the city of atlanta and other partners tried their experiment. they knocked down east lake meadows and replaced it with new apartments half subsidized, half market-rate. they built a new charter school. the wellness part was solved by opening up a y.m.c.a. and the neighborhood's first grocery store in 40 years. there were job placement services for residents, too. and the east lake foundation was launched to coordinate all the work. like the other mixed-income developments going up around atlanta at the time, there were also new rules. you had to have a job to live there, and a criminal record made it harder to get in. east lake began to change, and word was getting out to people like marilyn hack, a mother of three who was anxious to move out of a high-poverty
neighborhood. >> there's a saying about being a product of your environment, and i was just worried about that, that they'll get caught up and they won't be ambitious and they won't... so, that's why, when they came home, it was always, "wash your hands, get a snack, homework." always. and i still do it to this day, >> reporter: but you were afraid that no matter how hard you tried there, it could be that this environment might impact them in ways that you just couldn't control. >> yeah. that's why when a neighbor came and told me about this community that had, "oh, there's some place accepting applications, and we should try it." >> reporter: in 2000, hack moved in to east lake. the single mother who had been making $10,000 a year as a nurse's assistant earned two associates degrees and found a new job with the help of the east lake job center. today, she makes $60,000 a year as a registered nurse and has her own business teaching c.p.r. her oldest two kids went to college, one even got a ph.d. and her 18-year-old is going in the fall, with a scholarship from the east lake foundation. >> my big thing was, we're going to get college degrees.
we are all going to get college degrees. two degree minimum. that was my thought, my goal, my everything. >> reporter: supporters say marilyn's story illustrates just how east lake has improved the lives of the low-income people who came to live there. there are other measurements, too. violent crime there is down by 90% and student test scores have risen dramatically. a federal program is even now trying an approach similar to east lake's. the golf course was also restored, and today hosts the culminating event during the p.g.a. playoff championships. the club's proceeds help fund the east lake foundation, which continues the work in the community, the work now being replicated in other cities. here at east lake, you have a very wealthy man who's made this his personal project. you've got a very famous golf course next door that's generated millions of dollars to help support the work. those are some really unique circumstances here. how can other cities replicate the model when they might not be so lucky? >> well, every city and every
community has some assets, and our model does not require a golf course. and we have found that money is not the hardest part of this; the biggest obstacle is committed leadership-- who's willing to work across all sectors and with all sectors of the community to find a plan that works for them? >> reporter: the development at east lake didn't come without controversies, either. rising property values mean the surrounding area's become less affordable, and there are fewer apartments for low-income families than there used to be. the original project had 650 subsidized units; today, there are only 270. the rest are market-rate. one study found that many of the people forced to leave when housing projects were torn down across atlanta just ended up in other high-poverty areas. did the project solve the problem of concentrated poverty, or were people pushed out? was it... the problem pushed to other parts of atlanta? >> we... we have a problem if
what we try to do is, in my opinion and in my experience, if we're not willing to shake the whole thing up. in other words, if we're not looking we're not willing to change the paradigm. the question is, what might work? we believe that you have to have that mix of income both to attract the amenities and... and the support, but also to well serve the people who are at the lowest end. >> things have got to change around here. >> reporter: jimmy williams hopes his neighborhood on the south side of atlanta will change the way the east side has. >> there's an apocalypse that's happening every day, and it's called poverty. >> reporter: after prison, he started his own contracting business and is dedicated to improving the impoverished neighborhoods around here, rehabbing abandoned homes and building an urban farm; doing what he can to keep kids from falling into the same traps that he did, traps that just don't seem to go away. >> sreenivasan: see what concentrated poverty really looks like. go on a tour of a south atlanta
neighborhood struggling to get by. visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: austin texas is one of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, a magnet for the tech industry and the arts. but not everyone here is enjoying the good times. many students live below the poverty line, and some of their teachers are struggling to pay the rent. klru's allison sandza reports. >> reporter: lupe rodriguez is a high school spanish teacher, a coach, and a part-time soccer referee. and he's spending his sunday morning the same way he spent saturday refereeing a soccer >> i've been doing that for about a year and a half, for a couple of different reasons. obviously the extra income, i enjoy soccer, so i'm lucky
enough that i'm able to do something that lets me exercise. and provides a little extra income. >> reporter: jim fulbright is in a similar situation. like rodriguez, and so many other teachers here in austin, he's having trouble making ends meet. >> what i do find is that with the amount of money that i make working for the school district i am dipping into my savings continuously. >> reporter: median home prices have increased 34% in the last four years in the austin area, while teacher pay has gone up only five percent in recent years. this has forced many austin teachers far into the suburbs to afford homes to buy. >> the rate of increase has clearly been most rapid in austin and then most rapid would be the san antonio metropolitan area because these are the kinds of places that have grown from relatively sleepy, kind of small, cities to extremely large, vibrant, crowded cities, where the cost of living is substantially higher. >> reporter: dr. lori taylor runs the mosbacher institute at the george bush school of
government at texas a&m university. she studies regional differences in education costs, and warns >> the more desirable teachers, the more talented teachers, are going to sort themselves out to the more desirable jobs and you can wind up filling those positions with individuals who don't have the same kinds of credentials than you would be able to fill if you were paying a market wage. >> reporter: and while austin's real estate boom does mean more tax revenue for the city, that doesn't necessarily mean more money for the district. by state law, commonly referred to as robin hood, austin and other high property tax districts are required to send millions of dollars back to the state, which is then sent to communities with lower tax revenue. hundreds of texas districts sued the state over the complex school funding formula, part of which is based on data from 1989. a district judge in austin ruled it unconstitutional in august. the texas supreme court will hear the state's appeal of that ruling later this year. >> i call it a pie fight.
of course everyone that's benefiting from the current formula wants to leave it like it is, everybody that's not benefiting wants to change it and you can flip it either way. the districts will say they don't believe in our current distribution model, they say that it's flawed; they've taken the state to court and said, the distribution model is not appropriate. >> reporter: as all involved wait to see what the court will decide, austin's teachers watch their city grow up around them and fear they'll be priced out of the prosperity. >> if you make more money in austin but you turn around and hand it over to your landlord you're left with a very lean budget. elsewhere in the state that same salary goes a lot further because the check you write to the landlord in a whole lot smaller. >> teachers are already used to living on a shoestring. i don't own any clothing that i didn't get from a thrift store and neither do my kids. we know how to do it on the cheap. we can't do it on the nothing.
this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: from england, word tonight of progress by scientists trying to design customized treatments for cancer, specifically tailored treatments based on the makeup of an individual's tumor. itv's science editor tom clark visited a laboratory and met with researchers. he has the latest. >> and crazy incubator, human cells are growing. but they are not any old cells. they have been specially grown from tumors donated by 20 colon cancer patients and what is remarkable is how they have been per swayed to grow into a miniature version of the original tumor. these aren't just cancer cells in a dish. they are in essence a real patient tumor, nurtured in the laboratory because they have all the characteristics of the deadly cancer inside their body.
by doing this in this well the researchers can exploit each of its individual strengths and weaknesses. it is a step towards personalized cancer treatment. >> you can have ten different patients in the room and give them all the treatment and they respond differently and a lot of this comes down to the variation in each of the tumors that the patients have. >> in the latest research the team here screens their cancer organ donors against exiting and experimental drugs it showed the lab grown cancers behaved the same as their real live counterparts and also into the potential new treatments for some colon cancer types. applied more widely the technique could be a gold mine for drug discovery. >> the days of truly individual cancer treatment are not quite upon us, but they are coming fast. >>
>> sreenivasan: some more news before we leave you tonight: iraqi officials now confirm that isis was behind that prison riot north of baghdad today that led to the escape of convicted terrorists. dozens died during the incident. and stormy weather has led to the cancellation of more than 140 flights into and out of dallas today. we'll be back here at klru in austin again tomorrow night. i'm hari sreenivasan. have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
(man) support for this program is made possible by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you! from american university in washington dc, best-selling author and financial expert, suze orman answers critical questions about your money. tonight is all about you! the goal of money is for you to feel secure. the goal of money is for you to feel powerful. you have problems-- but here's the good news-- i have the solutions. (man) suze provides essential advice in... please welcome suze orman! [drums, guitar, & keyboard play in bright rhythm] ♪ ♪