Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  February 18, 2017 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

5:30 pm
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, february 18, the trump administration tries to reassure european allies. and in our signature segment, the fight over who controls public lands in western states. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products.
5:31 pm
that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. the trump administration is offering europe a message of reassurance. attending an annual security conference in munich, germany, today, vice president mike pence said the u.s. has an" unwavering" commitment to the 27 other nations who form the post-world war ii nato alliance-- whose motto is, "an attack on one is an attack on all." >> we will stand with europe today, and every day, because we are bound together by the same noble ideals: freedom, democracy, justice, and the rule of law. >> sreenivasan: but pence bluntly told allies they're falling short of nato guidelines to spend an amount equal to 2%
5:32 pm
of their gross domestic product on their military. in fact, according to nato's own figures, only the u.s. and four other nato members meet that goal, while france, germany, the netherlands, and italy are among nations that spend less. >> the truth is that many >> let me be clear on this point: the president of the united states expects our allies to keep their word, to fulfill this commitment, and for most, that means the time has come to do more. >> sreenivasan: german chancellor angela merkel, who spoke before pence, said germany is increasing its military budget. >> ( translated ): the goal of 2%. i am able to say here, same as the defense ministers, we will do everything possible. we feel obligated to this goal. >> sreenivasan: pence also told the gathering, russia must honor the 2015 agreement to end fighting in eastern ukraine between government forces and russia-backed separatists; and russia's foreign minister responded. >> the united states will continue to hold russia accountable, even as we search for new common ground, which as you know, president trump
5:33 pm
believes can be found. >> ( translated ): we count on common sense prevailing. what kind of relations do we want with the united states? pragmatic relations, mutual respect, understanding of the increased responsibility for global stability. >> sreenivasan: for more perspective on the u.s./russia relationship and the role of nato, i am joined from munich by james jeffrey, who has served in republican and democratic administrations as u.s. ambassador to turkey and iraq, and as deputy national security adviser. he's now with the washington institute for near east policy. so, ambassador jeffrey, why are european leaders unsettled with president trump? why were today's reassurances necessary? >> they were necessary because of things that the president said during the campaign against nato, possibly forming some sort of alliance with the russians, and basically, calling into question the validity of underlying values that everybody we say in the west, the atlantic community, shares. this made people very nervous
5:34 pm
because here in europe, this is like a civic religion for the political class and much of the population, and it's the anecdote to half a century of devastating war and totalitarian regimes that they experienceed in the early 20th century. so they were really frightened when they heard this, and that's why the effort over the weekend to clear things up with washington. >> sreenivasan: do they believe what vice president pence has said, or defense secretary mattis has said, is the last word, that they can trust that's the u.s. foreign policy? >> the europeans will never be completely satisfied or completely reassured ever with america, and particularly now because donald trump is such a different president and such a problematic president for europeans. but if the president wants to point to a well-oiled element of his administration machine, it's the efforts by vice president pence secretary tillerson, secretary kelly, secretary
5:35 pm
mattis here in germany over the weekend. they hit every worry that the european had, and they gave all kinds of assurances, not coming from them, but particularly the vice president said again and again, "this is what donald trump believes, hat nato is really important, that russia will have to account for its actions in ukraine and elsewhere." this is exactly what they wanted to hear. we'll see whether they believe it. >> sreenivasan: europe is also at a crossroads right now. we all remember that the united kingdom decided to depart the e.u., the brexit event. we have a rise of the far right. we have several important elections coming up. and then there's, also, this-- i think this tone that perhaps the united states and russia will be more closely allied, which changes the balance of power there. >> it startedly with the great economic crash of 2008, which ironically, hurt europe far more than it did the united states and they have not yet recovered. combined with that is this huge refugee flow from the middle
5:36 pm
east, and the set of terrorist attacks against germany, against france, against belgium. this has them unsettled, nervous. they're questioning their future. brexit, the british decision to leave, was a terrible blow. and so on top of this, the trump administration, they were really rattled. they're less rattled now, and that's a good thing. >> sreenivasan: speaking of the refugee situation, president trump has been very critical of germany's policy. he calls it an open door policy, and he in response has a travel ban for the united states. now, there are some plans the travel ban will come back in a different form to address some of the concerns of 9th circuit. how is that sitting with the european community? >> there are many, many people in europe who think exactly the way donald trump thinks about angela merkel's decision to let in a million refugees, in many cases without any screening whatsoever. that doesn't mean that the initial travel ban that the u.s. government imposed was a wise thing. there's nothing merkel can do to really reverse the damage she
5:37 pm
has done to her party, to her reputation, and to european solidarity with that decision. in a way, trum donald trump is t saying what many people here believe. >> sreenivasan: all right, james jeffrey joining us from germany tonight. thank you so much. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: a powerful pacific storm is blasting california this weekend with its heaviest rainfall in six years. the national weather service forecast a total of ten inches of rain in parts of southern california. utility crews today worked to restore power to 78,000 homes in los angeles. one man was electrocuted by a downed wire. 20 miles east of l.a., 180 homes were told to evacuate because of potential mudslides. in victorville, flash floods washed away cars, and one man drowned in his submerged vehicle. near sherman oaks, a sinkhole swallowed up two cars. more than 300 flights were delayed or canceled at los angeles international airport, and amtrak canceled service along the state's southern and central coast.
5:38 pm
one of the most notorious terrorists ever convicted in the united states, and serving a life sentence in prison, has died. the bureau of prisons announced today that the muslim sheik, omar abdel-rahman, of egypt, died at a prison hospital in north carolina. he had diabetes and coronary artery disease. known as "the blind sheikh," abdel-rahman was convicted in manhattan federal court in 1995 for the conspiracy behind the 1993 world trade center truck bombing. that first radical islamic terrorist attack on u.s. soil killed six people, injured hundreds more, and caused $800 million in property damage. the terror conspiracy included a subsequent foiled plot to bomb the george washington bridge, the lincoln tunnel, the united nations headquarters, and the new york f.b.i. building. omar abdel-rahman was 78 years old. the woman known as "jane roe," the plaintiff in the supreme court's 1973 "roe v. wade" case that established a woman's constitutional right to an abortion, has died. jane roe's real name was norma mccorvey. she used the pseudonym to
5:39 pm
protect her privacy. shedding her anonymity years later, she became an abortion rights advocate, but in 1995, she declared herself a born-again christian and opposed abortion rights. mccorvey died today of a heart ailment in katy, texas. she was 69. >> sreenivasan: the federal government owns roughly 640 million acres, or about 28% of the land that forms the u.s. most of that is in the western u.s. and alaska, and held for preservation, recreation, and development of natural resources. in tonight's signature segment, we look at how that land ownership equation occasionally creates conflicts between states and washington. our focus is a swath of land in nevada, one that presents the trump administration another avenue to re-evaluate the obama legacy. deep in nevada's mojave desert,
5:40 pm
100 miles from the las vegas strip, the rocks provide glimpses into the lives of native americans who inhabited this area for thousands of years. hundreds of their petroglyphs, or etchings, are carved on the rocks in this area, now known as gold butte. >> they also can date them by comparing them to other otect this stretch of desert.o >> so on this panel here you see a lot of abstract shapes, so, honeycombs and squiggly lines, and then if you look over here on this panel, you see more representational forms, so, humans, sheep. >> sreenivasan: while petroglyphs have been found all over the world and in other parts of the southwest, the concentration of images-- and this drawing of a man appearing to fall-- help make gold butte unique, according to jim boone, an ecologist and volunteer with friends of gold butte. >> i think of the artist who did this as perhaps the michelangelo
5:41 pm
of his day. >> sreenivasan: boone says, unlike the stick figures found nearby, the "falling man" petroglyph is more lifelike. >> so it has real motion to it, and the arm is out as if to brace himself for a fall. >> sreenivasan: a decade of advocacy by friends of gold butte, local native american tribes, like the moapa band of paiutes, and other groups, paid off last december, when president barack obama, in one his final acts of environmental conservancy, used his executive power to designate gold butte-- its petroglyphs, along with 300,000 surrounding acres of land owned by the federal government-- as a national monument. the president's proclamation cited gold butte's ancient gnificant geologicalitat,al formations," and remnants of mining and ranching heritage. nestled between lake mead in the west and the grand canyon national monument in arizona, the designation of gold butte permanently limits any
5:42 pm
commercial development, but doesn't change existing recreational uses. >> it's assured that we are going to have this land for our enjoyment and for the health of the landscape itself, and the plants and animals that live here. there's no timeline that ends this particular designation. >> sreenivasan: the senior u.s. senator from nevada at the time, democratic minority leader harry reid, had encouraged the president to make the move. >> is this worth protecting? is this worth preserving? of course it is. >> sreenivasan: to protect gold butte, president obama relied on a law from 1906 called the antiquities act, a law he used 34 times during his two terms in office, designating 553 million acres of land and sea as national monuments, the most ever by any president. university of nevada-las vegas law school professor bret birdsong served during obama's second term as deputy solicitor for land resources at the bureau of land management, or b.l.m., the federal agency tasked with
5:43 pm
managing gold butte. >> president roosevelt in 1908 protected the grand canyon for the first time-- because it was under threat of miners who were establishing claims there-- using the antiquities act, and didn't need to go through what can be a very long and lurching legislative process. and then, as we've seen, the public support tends to grow around those designations. >> sreenivasan: birdsong says obama took action after the republican-led congress failed to pass legislation to protect gold butte, despite broad public support. a 2016 poll found 71% of nevada voters supported creating a national monument. >> what the president was doing is using a lawful power to provide the benefits and the protection for these areas that he thought were warranted, because congress was really unable to act, despite significant support to do so. >> sreenivasan: but there was--
5:44 pm
and still is-- strong local opposition to the national monument designation, and fear it will restrict access to the area. >> it all sounds great to the public out there. what they don't understand is, it is public lands right now, and it's public lands for the use of me, my children, other people. >> sreenivasan: cresent hardy represented the gold butte area in congress and the state legislature. a republican, hardy calls the designation an overreach. >> if you want to protect the petroglyphs, and you want to designate that as the monument, that's what the antiquities act was set up to do, is protect the minimum possible footprint of that, of what you're trying to designate. not an extra 300,000 acres on top of the 50-100 acres that you could have protected. >> sreenivasan: the tension over control of federally-owned land has simmered since many western states were formed. the federal government owns almost half of these 11 western states. and no state has a greater percentage of federal land than nevada, which is 85% federally
5:45 pm
owned. former congressman hardy would like to see states have much more control of their own management. >> give us the money that you spend out there across the country on every state, and let us manage our land. let us do our planning processes instead of going to this heavy bureaucracy where you duplicate the same thing nevada does, the federal government does and takes longer doing it. >> sreenivasan: conflicts over federal land have also boiled over in this corner of nevada and made national news. >> woodruff: ...where a standoff between the federal government and a local cattle rancher, involving an armed militia, almost turned violent. >> sreenivasan: just north of gold butte, rancher cliven bundy, his two sons, and hundreds of their supporters engaged an armed confrontation with federal officials over cattle grazing fees in 2014. while bundy and his sons are facing federal charges over the incident, since the stand-off, there has been almost no federal presence in the area. since then, friends of gold butte has worked to document
5:46 pm
existing and new damage-- including illegal water tanks and vandalism of petroglyphs, even a few bullet holes. >> we don't want to see those continuing degrading effects impact the land and erase all of these wonderful treasures that we have out here. i mean, when a petroglyph is shot, that's it, it's there forever. >> sreenivasan: jim boone says off-highway vehicles frequently damage habitat by veering off the more-than-300 miles of designated trails. these fresh tracks during our visit marked where a vehicle drove around a fence meant to protect a plant species found only in this part of nevada. >> so everybody gets their piece of the desert to do what they want, but people can't go everywhere and do everything. >> if there ain't a road; i'm not going there. >> sreenivasan: bob adams is the president of a local all-terrain vehicle club. he's ridden thousands of miles in and around gold butte in hi"" side by side" a.t.v., and says the area is generally respected by people that use it. >> if you got a network of roads
5:47 pm
already that goes to those places, why would you want to go over and travel on something like that, just to say you did? >> sreenivasan: the designation does not roll back driving in off-road vehicles, camping, hiking, or hunting, but adams worries conservationists will exploit the rare acts of vandalism to put future limits on recreational access. >> why did they feel they needed to designate it as a national monument? unless they then use that to, you know, put restrictions on it in some way, shape, or form. >> sreenivasan: native american tribes like the moapa band of paiutes consider gold butte to be sacred land, and see the national monument declaration as an important step to preserve their cultural legacy. william anderson is the tribe's former chairman. >> every attempt we tried, to go ahead and preserve the land, failed. >> sreenivasan: last april, he helped organize an 11-mile" culture walk" through gold
5:48 pm
butte to raise awareness of the federal funding comes with national monument status. and the b.l.m. had a maintenance backlog of about $600 million in 2016. former congressman hardy wants the trump administration and congress to reexamine the gold butte declaration. >> i would sure hope that this administration would look at that, shrinking the size, or let's designate the area that needs protecting. but almost every president that's gone through has abused the antiquities act in a manner that's way beyond protecting that which is designed for the antiquities act. so i hope congress looks at it. >> sreenivasan: past presidents have only amended the size of a predecessor's monument designation. >> no president has ever tried to undo a national monument designation. the antiquities act says the president has the authority to designate national monuments.
5:49 pm
it is silent as to any un-designation of national monuments. >> sreenivasan: in his confirmation hearings to become interior secretary, ryan zinke said he'll review the gold butte decision, but not before visiting the area himself. b.l.m.'s las vegas field manager, gayle marrs-smith, tells newshour weekend, officials have started outreach on how the monument will be managed. >> this plan is to be developed with extensive public participation. we would want to take their input, their concerns and build that into the planning process. the more the merrier, at this point. >> sreenivasan: jim boone, of friends of gold butte, is participating in the process, and pushing for this land to be protected. >> there'll be more people. there'll probably be more designated trails. there might be some kind of barriers to keep people from actually walking up and touching the petroglyphs.
5:50 pm
but by and large, the landscape, the geology, the big views, all of that stuff is going to be the same virtually forever. >> sreenivasan: facebook c.e.o. mark zuckerberg has laid out his vision for the social network's future in a nearly 6,000-word manifesto he posted on thursday. called "building global community," zuckerberg called for more connectedness to empower people to combat social ills. for more, i am joined by kara swisher, executive editor of the news site re/code, who spoke with zuckerberg about his essay. now, worth noting, the social network has 1.8 billion people, a quarter of the planet. but why is it a big deal? there are shareholder letters written all the time by companies. >> thee didn't write to shareholders. he wrote it to employees of facebook, and i think he wrote it to the general public, too, certainly from reading it, it
5:51 pm
wasn't about investment and not about the business but more about their soul, the soul of the country. >> sreenivasan: one of the things that seems to strike out is in the transform global connectedness he is speaking against what we are seeing as a nationalism and isolationism. >> absolutely. he's trying hard to thread a very thin needle. he didn't use the word "trump" anywhere and insisted he was working on this idea for years. there was one line, where it said there was never a controversial thing, that global connection was controversial, essentially. that's what he was saying. by saying that, you are saying why is connection controversial? and that was the beginning of the essay and it wont for a long, long time, on lots of issues around safety, everything from bullying to fake news, to how facebook is going to let people handle their profiles going forward, to sort of an embraifs globalism. >> sreenivasan: for the fake news part, we in this business care a lot about it, and building a more informed world. his first response to the allegations of the
5:52 pm
responsibility of facebook in all this was, what? no, we didn't do any of this. >> i call it the "what" slug. >> sreenivasan: now it has shifted. >> he-- you know, i think in the beginning he was asked about it, and he shrugged it off that it wasn't a big deal, except every indication is people get their news from facebook. even as he doesn't see facebook as a media company, it is. it's a media distribution company for sure. i think a lot of people reacted to that badly and said, wait a minute. everybody gets their news, and some of this news is fake. and don't you have a responsibility to have some control over your platform or do you just want it to be this toxic waste dump it's becoming, sort of like twitter. twitter is sort of a free-for-all, and i think mark is throok get somewhere in between, not take full responsibility, but least acknowledge that there are some implications of what facebook does. >> sreenivasan: in this, he's trying to almost build this connective tissue, eye layer of
5:53 pm
infrastructure between other layers of infrastructure, between it's the sort of thing that would be between our church and our school and everything else would be on facebook which, of course, is good for business. >> the funniest headline is mark zuckerberg's solution for the world crisis is more facebook, if we could only facebook together we could get along and have common ground. and he talked about polarization. the filter bubble that you hang with your friends and family and only people like minded and you don't get out and see other people. and i think that was the interesting part-- how do we connect you with dirve points of view? how do we connect you with different people and how, because facebook has been orjannikly friends and family and people like you. >> sreenivasan: kara swisher, thanks so much. >> thanks a lot. >> sreenivasan: read about the architectural challenges of designing a cohousing community. visit cutting off one of north korea's economic lifelines, china today suspended all of its coal
5:54 pm
imports from north korea through the end of the year. china's commerce ministry said the move implements united nations sanctions over the country's nuclear program. it also follows north korea's latest ballistic missile test last week. coal is north korea's biggest export, and most of it is sold to china, the regime's biggest ally. a north korean man arrested in malaysia today is the fourth suspect in the apparent assassination of the estranged half-brother of north korean dictator kim jong-un. two female suspects and a malaysian man were already in custody for monday's murder of kim jong-nam. before he died, the half-brother said the attackers had sprayed a chemical in his face at the kuala lumpur airport. in the philippines today, the biggest public protest yet against president rodrigo duterte's extra-judicial crackdown on suspected drug dealers. thousands of people marched in the capital of manila in a demonstration organized by the catholic church. human rights groups say duterte's crackdown has killed more than 8,000 people since he
5:55 pm
took office seven months ago. the marchers were also protesting plans by filipino legislators to re-impose the death penalty. >> sreenivasan: finally, president trump, in office a month now, made the short hop late today from his residence in west palm beach to melbourne, florida, where he is scheduled to address supporters in an airport hangar. the white house called the event a "campaign rally for america." a spokeswoman said mr. trump wanted to "speak directly to people across this country in a unfiltered way that doesn't have any bias." a crowd of protesters also awaited his arrival. that's all for this edition of "pbs newshour weekend." i'm hari sreenivasan. good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made
5:56 pm
possible by: bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the john and helen glessner family trust-- supporting trustworthy journalism that informs and inspires. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. barbara hope zuckerberg. corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we're your retirement company. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
5:57 pm
5:58 pm
5:59 pm
6:00 pm
announcer: explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ magic ♪ moments announcer: tonight public television brings back the magic moments from the 1950s. ♪ sincerely the mcguire sisters, pat boone, patti page, debbie reynolds, and your favorite artists from the 1950s pop era bring back the music that makes memories. ♪ love is a many splendored thing ♪ join us for my music magic moments,