Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  September 6, 2017 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

3:00 pm
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> sreenivasan: good evening. i'm hari sreenivasan. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: the most powerful atlantic storm ever recorded takes aim at florida. hurricane irma rips through the caribbean with 185 miles-per- hour winds. also ahead, as congress returns, president trump sides with democrats on the debt ceiling, complicating a packed to-do list facing republican leadership. plus, combating road rage with technology. how a program in pittsburgh is using artificial intelligence to reduce traffic and fix pot holes. >> so, we have an opportunity here to make our system more efficient and to optimize it, rather than trying to figure out how to build more. >> sreenivasan: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
3:01 pm
>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems--
3:02 pm
>> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: hurricane irma is punishing puerto rico tonight, as it takes aim at the u.s. mainland. sustained winds are still blowing at a record 185 miles an hour, with gusts up to 225 miles an hour. one forecaster watching the assault today, said "this thing
3:03 pm
is a buzz saw." the monster storm came in the night to the outermost islands of the northeastern caribbean. heavy rain and howling wind slammed antigua and barbuda, cutting off communications and doing untold damage. officials confirmed one death. the hurricane raced on to the french island of saint martin, ripping the roofs off homes and triggering heavy flooding. by mid-afternoon, hurricane trackers found the eye of the storm roaring over the u.s. virgin islands, as we reached the territory's lieutenant governor, osbert potter, by phone. >> the light posts, power posts, they are swaying. the trees-- what branches have not broken, what trees have not fallen, are being stressed a whole lot. cars in the parking lot are literally shaking. >> sreenivasan: puerto rico
3:04 pm
stood next in line. heavy rain and wind built through the day, and residents there scrambled to prepare for an all-out disaster. and, the people of haiti hoped to be spared the worst, after hurricane matthew devastated the island nation last year. >> ( translated ): i have no place to go, i have to stay here. i will live or die depending on how this storm hits us. if god wants to help us, he will, but we have no place to go. >> sreenivasan: after passing haiti, the national hurricane center projects irma to continue tracking northwest hitting eastern cuba by saturday morning. at the same time, the storm will be turning more to the north, and could strike at miami, with 150 mile-an-hour winds, by early sunday. irma's approach resurfaced memories of the devastating andrew that struck south florida 25 years ago. governor rick scott said he plans to activate 7,000 national guard members by friday. >> the storm is bigger, faster and stronger than hurricane andrew. do not ignore evacuation orders.
3:05 pm
remember, we can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life. >> sreenivasan: miami-dade county mayor carlos gimenez joined the appeal to heed the warnings, and soon. >> we don't want you to be caught in a hurricane in your car. that's the worst thing you can do, so if you're planning to do so and leave by car, please do so as soon as you can. >> sreenivasan: stores and homes in the florida keys boarded up, as people left under mandatory evacuation orders. >> i've been through george, been through andrew, been through wilma, but i'm not staying for irma. no, not happening. >> sreenivasan: and heavy traffic was already slowing highways along florida's atlantic coast, with stores struggling to keep shelves stocked. >> they only let you get two waters, and the line is around the block. this is the third place i came to today. this is the first i got any water at. >> sreenivasan: meanwhile, two more storms are forming. katia, in the gulf of mexico, could strike veracruz this week. and, jose, in the open atlantic, is tracking far behind irma.
3:06 pm
neither of those storms poses an immediate risk to the u.s. mainland. irma, on the other hand, has taken dangerous aim at florida, but exactly where it lands, and how bad, is uncertain. meteorologists are tracking its path closely, in an already record-breaking hurricane season. we check in again tonight with ed rappaport, the acting director of the national hurricane center. he's in miami. ed, we had you on the program last night. you have more information now than you did then. where do we go from here? what do we know about where the storm is headed? >> last night, we talked about how the hur cambridge was moving into the caribbean, and then in the longer range, was going to be taking aim at the florida peninsula, and that's still the forecast. we're just one day closer to whatever we have for wil will eventuality. the center is forecast to move by saturday to just north of cuba and then turn towards the north. where that turn occurs is what's really critical because florida
3:07 pm
is along one of those lines right up the we get a hurricanee strength that we're forecasting, category 4, for irma coming along this track, then we will have impacts that will be perhaps the most significant, certainly for florida, since hurricane andrew. >> sreenivasan: speaking of going back in history, this almost seems like the same conditions back 11 years ago when we had katrina, rita, and wilma all in a row. what's happening in this ocean that's making this possible? >> we're right at the peak of hurricane season, so we do see often hurricanes this time of year, even multiple storms. what's unfortunate this year, these last couple of hurricanes have been not only very strong but they've taken trackses that brought them to land. often they stay offshore, but in this case, that's not occurring. >> sreenivasan: why that happening this time around? is there a difference in the weather patterns on why it's coming closer to the eastern seaboard? >> that's right.
3:08 pm
the storms that form out over the eastern atlantic all tend to move towards the west-northwest. but at some point in their lifetime they typically turn to the north. many of them do that way off the u.s. east coast. some of them make it all the way into the gulf of mexico as did harvey. in this case, we've got something in between. and it just depends on when these storms form relative to what's going on elsewhere in the atmosphere. >> sreenivasan: how much does the warmer temperature of the water factor in to how much strength these hurricanes have? >> the hurricanes draw their intensity, draw their strength from the warm waters, and, again, we're at the peak of hurricane season, and what that also means is we're at the peak in terms of how warm the waters get during the season. and it just so happens that the hurricane is passing over what is nearly the warmest waters available to it. and that's why we're seeing these record, to near-record intensities. >> sreenivasan: finally, just looking at that map behind you there, it almost seems that the worst thing that could happen to cuba is best thing that could happen to florida.
3:09 pm
i mean, storms still wiggle back and forth. is there a chance this could hit land somewhere else than the united states? >> there is a chance that it could move over the north coast of cuba, and if it did, you're right, it would be very destructive for cuba. it may well then weaken the storm a bit, at least temporarily. but still, it would be a major hurricane approaching the united states, and that's what we're most concerned about now. >> sreenivasan: all right, ed rappaport, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> sreeniva >> sreenivasan: irma is about to hit, less than two weeks since harvey struck texas. fema, the federal emergency management agency, is leading the federal response and working with states. i spoke with the acting deputy administrator, kathleen fox, this afternoon and began by asking if fema can mobilize enough resources again so quickly. >> we have a number of resources in place. we've got about 700 personnel on the ground in the u.s. virgin islands, in puerto rico, and in florida. and then personnel all along the eastern seaboard to be prepared to respond to any event that may
3:10 pm
occur. >> sreenivasan: is that enough people, considering that governor rick scott has already mobilized all the national guard he can in the state? >> it fendz on what happens. i mean, you know, as a federal government this is what we plan for and what we prepare for. so we're prepared to mobilize more folks, should we need them. >> sreenivasan: and what kind of resources in terms of housing or relocation or shelters? i know you're working with the people that are already in these states. but what can the people of the u.s. virgin islands or puerto rico expect, considering the storm is going right through them, right now? >> yeah, the damages could be certainly severe in those places. and so we are mobilityizing search-and-rescue assets, and working with the commonwealth, the territories, and the states to support them in whatever they need. so we've set out mass care work with the american red cross and, again, search-and-rescue assets -- food, water, other commodities, sort of the basic essentials. and then we'll be there to provide recovery support, should they need it, as well.
3:11 pm
>> sreenivasan: what are you worried most about this storm? in the case of harvey, it was the rain that lasted days and days after the fact. this seems to be incredible winds like we haven't experienced before. >> this is an incredibly powerful storm. i mean, the national weather service has been calling it it potentially catastrophic, so one of the most powerful storms in the atlantic. so the-- you know, the results could be really devastating for folks. what we're asking people to do is take a few steps to get ready. you can go to for information about how to prepare. you know, having three days of food, water, emergency ?riez like medicines or other things that you and your pets may need. and, also, if you download the fema app, we have got checklists there, and then that gives you access to alerts from the national weather service, as well as other emergency information, such as where shelters might end up being located in your area. >> sreenivasan: unfortunately, this is not the only crisis that you're having to deal with. you've also got harvey.
3:12 pm
how are the recovery efforts there going? >> the recovery efforts are going well. i mean, we're providing tremendous support. we've got thousands of people on the ground in support of the state of texas, working to make sure that we get the folks in texas, the survivors of harvey, what they need. so that operation is certainly continuing, as we prepare for irma and anything else that may follow. >> sreenivasan: so, how long until people in the houston area or in texas can get relief? i mean, is there any sort of a guideline or thumbnail that they should know, okay, this is how long the process takes from the application to when i hear back? >> i mean, we ask folks to go to, and to register, and if they have flood insurance, to file their claim. we're providing expedited assistance for flood insurance, and also for transitional housing. so putting, you know, thousands and thousands of people into hotels in the short term. we've got, you know, working with the red cross in the state of texas on the shelters that
3:13 pm
they have there. and then we're also-- we've begun a huge effort to do planning for long-term housing. what i would say is that, you know, the federal government and the state have some resources to provide immediate relief. but, you know, given the def station that they faced in texas, the recovery from the storm that will likely take years. >> sreenivasan: finally, miss fox, does fema have enough money to be able to do both of these things at the same time? >> the administration, you know, working with the congress to make sure that we are sufficiently funded, but that is not standing in the way of life-sustaining, life-safety needs at this point. >> sreenivasan: all right, kathleen fox, thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: as we mentioned earlier, the florida keys could be at serious risk from the hurricane. residents there are being told to evacuate. i spoke with the mayor of key west, craig cates, this afternoon about how preparations are going. sir, do you have all the resources you need to deal with what's coming your way? >> yes.
3:14 pm
obviously, if we get a direct hit, we'd need a lot more resources. but as it stand now, we're in very good shape. >> sreenivasan: how are the mandatory evacuations going? >> we started this morning with the tourists, and that's been going very well. and we started this afternoon with the residents. >> sreenivasan: what are the lessons learned here? you guys see these storms a lot more frequently than the rest of the country does. what can you do differently? >> we've been very fortunate. we haven't been hit by a hurricane in 11 years. we had a couple of close calls the last few years, but before that, i think we were hit three times in one year. so, yeah, we're definitely prepared for it. we know the size of this hurricane and the strength of this hurricane is kind of unprecedented for anybody here in the united states. so we're taking it very seriously. and the residents have taken it very serious and they are evacuating. >> sreenivasan: there's a good chance nothing is going to withstand 180-mile-per-hour winds. >> the old homes were built very
3:15 pm
strok and withstood many hurricanes. that's what we call the old part of key west. the newer homes, built in the late 50s, they are much lower. they have a tendency to flood in storms like this. but there are not a lot of homes in key west still right on the water. very fortunate about that. anything on the water that's been damage over the years has been rebuilt with much stronger homes and hotels and stuff. so we don't have as much damage from the wind. it's the water that comes up in certain areas that, you know, don't total out the properties but definitely does flood damage to them, which takes quite a bit of money to repair. >> sreenivasan: how many people are still left in key west and the other areas? >> i was out riding around today. obviously, we have no way to count exactly how many. but this is the least amount i have ever seen that state, or hurricane. they took this very serious. we have been preaching to them, telling them how bad it is. and i think coming off of houston and seeing the impact that was done over there and
3:16 pm
seeing all the issues that they're having, i think people paid a lot closer attention to this, and are definitely evacuate. >> woodruff: the other thing that concerns me is where do they evacuate to? if they go to south florida, that's where the hurricane could land. >> you're absolutely right. and we have concern overs that. we were going to start running buses tomorrow to our shelter, which is in miami at the florida international university. and that's where our shelter is. but the hurricane may hit there. so we're looking at that very closely, and the ones that haven't left, or left with a car, they can go wherever they want. they can move on to whatever area is safe. but if we're going to bus these residentresidents to a certain w are they going to get out of there if they have to be evacuated? that's something we'll be discussing tonight and definitely through tomorrow at the e.o.c. >> sreenivasan: what's the absolute deadline, where you aren't going to be out there trying to help someone who has
3:17 pm
chosen to stay? you don't want to put your first responders at risk, either? >> we're supposed to start getting storm-force winds very early saturday morning. it's moved back a little bit as the hurricane has slowed down some, and it's turned up some. so we are-- it looks like we're not going to get a direct hit like was possible before. we're going to be on the better side of the storm, but we're still going to get a lot-- very strong winds and water. so that being said, starting thursday-- saturday morning, there will be no more evacuations because the upper part of keys will actually be closer to the storm than we are. so that being said, you'd be getting-- driving into worse weather. so whoever is there then will have to stay, and we'll have to deal with it. >> sreenivasan: mayor craig cates, thanks for joining us. >> okay, guys, thanks for having us. >> sreenivasan: in the day's other news, president trump cut a deal with democrats to raise the national debt ceiling for three months. that's far less than republican leaders had wanted. the deal combines the extension
3:18 pm
with hurricane harvey relief money. it came as the death toll from harvey rose to at least 70. we'll have a full report, after the news summary. 15 states and the district of columbia filed suit today over the president's decision to end the daca program. it shields thousands of young, undocumented immigrants from deportation. the states argue the decision violates due process and is racially motivated. washington state's democratic governor jay inslee went further, at a news conference in seattle: >> it is a dark pall of cruelty and inhumanity which has covered this land as a result of this president's willful, malicious bigotry, which has attempted to stifle the dreams of some of the strongest, most ambitious, most vibrant, most brilliant people in our blessed community. >> sreenivasan: mr. trump said today he has no second thoughts about dismantling daca. he also predicted democrats and republicans will work out a solution in the next six months. on north korea, the president spoke by phone with his chinese counterpart, xi jinping, and urged him again to put more pressure on pyongyang.
3:19 pm
he spoke as he left the white house for a flight to north dakota, and he said, "it was a very good phone call." >> president xi would like to do something. we'll see whether or not he can do it. but we will not be putting up with what's happening in north korea. i believe that president xi agrees with me, 100%. he doesn't want to see what's happening there, either. >> sreenivasan: the president said military action is not his first choice, but he left open the possibility. chinese state tv said xi insisted the crisis must be defused with diplomacy. a u.n. commission reports it has strong evidence that syria's government carried out a deadly sarin gas attack in april. the attack killed 83 people, and sparked a u.s. air raid in reprisal, but the syrians denied responsibility. the u.n. report relies on satellite images, video and interviews. the report also accuses the syrian regime of 20 chemical attacks in the last four years. myanmar is blaming a
3:20 pm
"misinformation campaign" for criticism of its crackdown on rohingya muslims. the leader of the mostly buddhist country, aung san suu kyi, said today that her government protects "all people." later, suu kyi's national security adviser challenged the rohingya to come forward with any accusations. >> if there is wrongdoing, action will be taken against the person who has caused the wrongdoing. nobody is above the law. in myanmar, nobody is above the law. but you have to prove, you have to provide the proof that this was done. >> sreenivasan: myanmar's army says it is responding to attacks by rohingya insurgents. refugees tell of government troops destroying whole villages. at least 146,000 have fled into neighboring bangladesh since late august. the u.n. warns that number could double. the european union's top court has thrown out a legal challenge from hungary and slovakia, to taking in asylum seekers. the two nations have refused to abide by an e.u. plan to
3:21 pm
relocate some 160,000 refugees now in greece and italy. but the court today overruled the objections. back in this country, a major wildfire east of portland, oregon, has spread so much ash, it's being likened to the mount st. helens eruption in 1980. the fire broke out saturday in the scenic columbia river gorge. by today, it had burned across at least 50 square miles. federal prosecutors began making their bribery case against new jersey senator bob menendez. in opening statements, they said the veteran democrat sold his office for a lifestyle he couldn't afford. earlier, outside the courthouse in newark, menendez denied accepting cash and lavish gifts from a florida eye doctor in exchange for favors. >> i started my public career fighting corruption. that's how i started. and i have always acted in accordance with the law, and i believe, when all of the facts are known, i will be vindicated. >> sreenivasan: menendez is up for re-election in 2018. if he's convicted and steps
3:22 pm
down, republican governor chris christie would name his replacement, providing it happens before christie leaves office in january. and on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 54 points to close at 21,807. the nasdaq rose 17 points, and the s&p 500 was up seven. still to come on the newshour: what's on the top of lawmakers' agenda, as congress return to capitol hill. the nation's political divide on immigration. using technology to reduce traffic jams in pittsburgh. and, much more. >> sreenivasan: by siding with democrats today on the debt ceiling, president trump has again complicated an already packed legislative agenda for republican leaders in congress. john yang brings us up to speed. >> yang: congress got right down to business this morning, overwhelmingly approving a $7.9 billion first round of hurricane harvey relief with
3:23 pm
only three no votes. >> as one of the nation's greatest natural disasters unfolds before our eyes, this congress must ensure that our federal government is able to meet the short- and long-term needs of disaster victims. >> we have a lot to discuss. >> yang: but the path forward for harvey aid may have been complicated by a deal president trump made at the white house with democratic leaders chuck schumer and nancy pelosi. mr. trump agreed to their proposal to tie the relief funds to funding the government and increasing the nation's borrowing limit, to avoid default until december 15. but, that could create a fiscal showdown just before christmas and increase the democrats' leverage. flying to north dakota aboard air force one, mr. trump praised the agreement deal. >> we essentially came to a deal, and i think the deal will be very, very good. we had a very, very cordial and professional meeting. so, we all very much agree. >> yang: not everybody.
3:24 pm
officials said objections came from treasury secretary steven mnuchin, senate majority leader mitch mcconnell and house speaker paul ryan. they wanted a longer-term fix on the debt ceiling, through next year's midterm elections. an hour before the oval office meeting, ryan had flatly rejected the democrats' idea. >> i think that's ridiculous and disgraceful, that they want to play politics with the debt ceiling at this moment, when we have fellow citizens in need, to respond to these hurricanes so we do not strand them. >> yang: afterward, mcconnell pointedly excluded himself from the agreement. >> the president and the senate and house democratic leadership agreed to a three-month continuing resolution and a debt ceiling into december. >> yang: it threatens a revolt from conservative republicans. even moderate republican senator ben sasse of nebraska tweeted: "the pelosi-schumer-trump deal is bad."
3:25 pm
meanwhile, a senate committee began bipartisan hearings on another issue that divides republicans. >> this hearing is about taking one small step-- a small step on a big issue, which has been locked in partisan stalemate for seven years: health insurance. >> yang: this afternoon, once in north dakota, mr. trump addressed another item he wants congress to tackle: taxes. >> i had a great bipartisan meeting with democrat and republican leaders in congress, and i'm committed to working with both parties to deliver for our wonderful, wonderful citizens. >> yang: the president reached across the aisle on taxes... >> thank you, senator. >> yang: ...taking democratic north dakota senator heidi heitkamp along on air force one. but after this morning, it may be his own party he has to worry about. we break down the political road ahead with erica warner, congressional correspondent for the associated press, who joins us from the capitol. erica, welcome back.
3:26 pm
>> thank you. >> what are you hearing from republicans up there about what happened at the white house this morning? >> well, it's just amazement. i mean, they got completely rolled by the president of their own party, and we're almost speechless in the aftermath. paul ryan, in fact, literally was speechless. there was no statement from him whatsoever. mitch mcconnell, as the audio you played earlier indicated, making clear-- admitting outright trump had side well the democrats on this. it's certainly not the outcome they want or expected from this meeting. and then the next thing that happens is that trump flies heidi heitcamp, to northica dota with him. democrats are getting everything they could ask for from this president today and republicans are getting nothing. >> so when theyald the debt ceiling and the short-term funding, continuing resolution to the harvey aid in the senate, and it goes back to the house,
3:27 pm
what's going to happen there? >> well, i think that despite, again, the complaints that we're hearing from conservatives, all the democrats are on board. and paul ryan, you know, is on this deal, much as he may not like it. so the expectation is that it will pass. >> does this complicate things for the republicans moving forward on other issues? >> well, definitely. i mean, it's just curious because one of the explanations coming out of the white house for why they cut this deal is that they wanted to clear the decks for tax reform so that the next period of time can be devoted to that number-one agenda item for the president. but there is going to be so much ill will coming out of this deal among republicans, and then this looming deadline, which is now such a huge thing in december, it makes tax reform all the
3:28 pm
harder. so that logic doesn't really compute for a lot of republicans up here. >> margaret warner on capitol hill on an interesting month that just got interesting. thanks a lot. >> thank you. > >> yang: as congress weighs what to do next with daca, we take a look at the story of one dreamer growing up in salinas, california. jose anzaldo is now in his first year of high school. filmmakers with our pbs colleagues "independent lens" have been following jose since he was in third grade. produced with "usa today," this is a follow up to the film "east of salinas," which is now streaming on the independent lens website until september 30. this clip starts with jose in the 8th grade. >> my name is jose anzaldo. ( bell ringing ) i'm in eighth grade, and i go to washington middle school.
3:29 pm
i'm good at math. when i grow up, i want to be an engineer. are you saying 9 squared plus 6 squared equals x squared? >> can you try squaring them and them adding them, both? >> okay. i like learning. it can be fun sometimeses. >> jose how did you try to solve this problem? >> i found you could find it by square rooting it. >> born in mexico, my brother and my sister were born here. it's not like i'm supposed to feel like some other species. it's just that i don't have papers. that's all. it's not a big deal. it's not affecting me right now, but i know it will. and i will have to be ready for it. >> my name is oscar ramos. i'm a second-grade teacher. a few years ago jose anzaldo was one of my students when i was teaching third grade. can you take away 8? >> no. >> no, you need to regroup so--
3:30 pm
he was a happy little guy, eager to learn. jose, you get the next one. jose reminded me a lot of myself as a child. >> mr. ramos and i had a lot of things in common. i remember we both said we liked math, and we both like soup. it's delicious. >> so if you agreed, you got it right. >> i agreed, yeah! i agreed, yeah! >> every year i tell him that i was born in mexico, and that i worked in the fields at a very early age. we used to get up really early, like, at 4:00 in the morning. and then we would go work for 10 hours, 12 hours. and it's a great message for them because they start to picture themselves being someone with a professional career-- a teacher, lawyer, doctor, engineer. i like seeing that in their faces when they realize, "i can be someone." >> ( translated ): three of my children are from here, and one
3:31 pm
was born in mexico. that's jose. >> i do think my mom has a hard life, but i know that she can get through it. >> ( translated ): jose is still doing really well in school. i'm worried the most for jose because he's undocumented. >> it's just, like, see if that can help me learn more. >> a lot of our students don't have a very strong mentor in terms of education, educational choices. i think jose sees me as a mentor, and i'm glad to play that role. >> 28 students. >> i felt like i do have the right to stay here because i've been here for so long, and i've done my best to learn here so that one day, eventually, i can help people here. >> when i grow up, i think i want to be an engineer.
3:32 pm
an engineer has to really know math, and i like math. i want to go to college because my goal in general is just to have an education, and mow matter what happens, i will still strive for more opportunity. >> jose is more determined than ever to succeed, and i'm more determined than ever to support him. do i have hope for jose? absolutely, 100%, yes. >> there's always a chance to do what you want to do, as long as you don't give up. >> yang: what to do with dreamers like jose is just one issue dividing republicans and the nation. here to walk us through the political fault lines are karine jean-pierre, a veteran of the obama administration and a senior advisor to and, chris buskirk, the editor of the online journal, american greatness, who joins us now from
3:33 pm
phoenix. chris, let me start with you. what happened this morning with the president and the leaders from capitol hill? the website axios is quoting a top republican as saying, "what he did today was the legislative equivalent of giving an entire stockpile of weapons to democrats and inviting them to take the republican party hostage." what do you think? what's your take on this? >> well, i'd love to know who gave that quote. i think that's pretty rich. what we saw today, i think, is a warning shot across the bow of the republican leadership, which has thought that they could get away with trying to control the white house from capitol hill without ever actually having control of their own house, without ever having their own house in order first. we have seen this republican leadership over the past eight months do absolutely nothing. they have fulfilled none of the promises they made to their constituents, let alone to the deals they had with donald trump about working on his agenda. they just haven't accomplished anything on the agenda. they don't have anything to show for this past eight months in
3:34 pm
office or in session. and, so, i think donald trump is saying to them, "look, if you guys aren't going to do something, if you guys aren't going to move legislation, then i'm going to find people on capitol hill who will do it." this is why i think-- i have to tell you, as somebody who supports trump as a republican, i think it was a good move. the president has a responsibility to the american people, and i think he's trying to move things along in a way that is productive. and the republican leadership and the republicans on the hill need to take notice and they need to fall into line. >> shot across the bow, karine? >> well, i have to say, john, i think chris and i agree on something here. i see it a little bit differently about the takeover. look, i think that republicans have allowed their party to be-- to be taken over by donald trump, a hostile takeover. and all of these red lines that have been drawn from the last 18 months, especially into this administration-- whether it was the comey firing, "access
3:35 pm
hollywood," defending nazis and white supremacists-- they never-- they allowed it hohappen essentially. they had an opportunity to censure trump and they did not do that. they had many opportunities to take action. they did not do that. i think this is on them, for sure. the other part of it as well is republicans own everything in congress. they really do. most of trump's major agenda items, they needed 50 votes, not 60 votes, and they haven't shown that they could just really run a government on a basic level. >> so, let's talk about the-- now the big test facing the legislature now, congress now, chris, and i'm particularly interested in hearing what you think coming from arizona about what the president did with daca this week. >> yeah, it's interesting. i mean, this is-- there are a couple of things going on here. of course, anybody who has followed this president as a candidate or as a president knows that this is one of his long-standing promises. so no surprises here in one
3:36 pm
sense, right. this didn't come out of left field. president trump promised as candidate trump to end daca when he got to the white house. he disappointed some of his supporters because he didn't do it in january, or february. that was an expectation based on those promises. but what he's doing here i think is write righting a wrong that has been really a bipartisan wrong that has taken place over 30 years, which is just the cynical ploy by both republicans and democrats to fail to deal with immigration on its own terms north topaz any legislation, to hold people hostage. they won't enforce the law, and they won't amend the law. so it leaves people in limbo. and even barack obama when he passed-- not passed when he signed daca gak backin june of 2012, that was a cynical campaign ploy leading up to the 2012 election. it was only a couple months before. he said he did not have the power to unilaterally suspend deportations. i agree with him on that. the process is important. to undo the executive order daca, and to force congress to
3:37 pm
do their job, which is legislator on these issues, i think that's good government. regardless of what you think whether daca as legislation should be in place or not, it it has to come from the congress and i think we should have that debate as the american people and through our representatives in conclude and come to a resolution, and then live with it. this idea of holding people hostage because conclude fails to act i think is just wrong. >> chris, i just want to make sure i understand you correctly. you're making a distinction between the policy itself and the way the policy was put in place? >> absolutely, yeah. i think they're two distinct things. what donald trump did-- and he made the same distinction. he said, "look, i'm rolling back daca, but i'm-- on a six-month suspended sentence, so to speak, and i'm giving congress time to work it out." well, that's congress' job. they need to do it. unfortunately, congress has gotten way too good at not doing anything. we saw this with the debt ceiling thing today as well. congress specializes in nothing so much as kicking the can down the road. well, now they've got something
3:38 pm
that they need to deal with that they should have dealt with a long time ago. >> karine? >> the fact of the matter is donald trump and his administration are sending a very clear and simple message which is, "if you don't not look like us, you do not belong in this country." that is what they have been doing time and time again over the last eight months. and here's what i find really fascinating is their argument. so when it comes to muslim ban, it's okay for donald trump to do a wide-authority muslim band ban and actually deal with immigration then. but when it comes to dak aoh, you know what, let congress deal with it. this is the same man who said, "i alone can fix this." that's what he said going into the presidency. so i think there's some inherent hypocrisy here that is quite unbelievable. and i think the last point that i want to make is that it is remarkable to see that jeff sessions was the person who made this announcement, the same person who lied in front of congress to get his job, which is probably-- he probably committed some sort of-- some sort of-- he probably broke the
3:39 pm
law by lying in front of congress. and he's the one that made this announcement about these young people and if they should be here or not. >> chris, what about that comparison between the immigration policy and daca, both executive action? >> yeah, i mean, just-- look, the president, obviously, has the ability to take executive actions. but what people have agreed upon is that with regards to-- with regards to deportations, with regards to enforcing laws that have been enacted by congress, the executive branch has an obligation to enforce those laws. that was not the same instance with regard to the-- what people call the muslim ban, the travel ban. this was the same ban proposed, by the way, by the obama administration. this is nothing different. i want to go back to what i think is the key point here, which is that donald trump is virtually begging congress to send him a daca look-alike bill, right. to say that he's saying you don't look like us and you're
3:40 pm
not welcome here. i don't think so. and i don't think what he said to congress bears that out. he said, "look, this was done incorrectly. this is congress' responsibility. even barack obama said he couldn't do what he ultimately did. now, congress, deal with it, send it to me." he hasn't said it explicitly but he sure is sending the signal if they send it to him he'll sign it. >> i believe we have to leave it there. >> this is just not true. he is appeasing his small and shrinking base. and just look at every action he has taken. it has been about his small and shrinking base. this is a guy who defended whies supremacy and nazis. come on now, that's not right. >> chris, karine, thanks so much. we have to leave it there. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> sreenivasan: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: new allegations in the red sox- yankees rivalry. this time, it's stealing signs using apple watches. but first, can robotics and
3:41 pm
artificial intelligence help improve that rush hour commute you're facing? experts at carnegie mellon university think they can, by monitoring traffic flow in real-time. jeffrey brown has the story from pittsburgh, part of our weekly series on the "leading edge" of science and technology. >> brown: you know the frustration. you're late for work, or picking up your child. you're driving through the city streets and every block or two, it seems, there's another red light. it's a problem that plagues commuters across the country. in fact, according to a texas a&m study, the average commuter in the u.s. spends upwards of 42 hours a year at a complete standstill, stuck in traffic. >> heavy congestion from neville island to craft and then opens up. >> brown: eight years ago, traffic problems in pittsburgh got the attention of a local philanthropist who gave seed money to carnegie mellon university. the idea? to have its robotics experts use artificial intelligence to create a smarter transportation
3:42 pm
grid, that will eventually remake the commute for drivers, cyclists and bus riders. almost half of all pittsburgh commuters drive alone in their cars, so the first priority was road congestion. courtney ehrlichman helps run the program, called traffic 21. >> the problem in pittsburgh is like the problems around the country. you have this existing infrastructure that was designed many, many years ago, and you can't expand it. you really have to optimize the system. so, we have an opportunity here using these technologies to make our system more efficient and to optimize it, rather than trying to figure out how to build more. >> we're going with the flow right now, so we're getting the greens. >> brown: professor steve smith thinks he's discovered a key to optimizing traffic flow. he's created software that's currently deployed at 100 intersections in a pilot area of east pittsburgh. >> conventional signals are pre-programmed. it's designed for average traffic flows as opposed to actual traffic flows.
3:43 pm
>> brown: so the trick is to make it as real-time as possible. >> right. we're watching the real traffic. >> brown: smith's technology uses existing cameras and radar to track how many cars are approaching. then, an algorithm determines how to efficiently move the cars through. that program controls the lights and also sends information to neighboring intersections. >> essentially, we're trying to build a signal timing plan that moves all the vehicles through the intersection. >> brown: without a lot of wait time. >> right. it also communicates to its downstream neighbor about traffic it's sending its way. now the downstream neighbor is building its own plan, but in addition to what it sees in front of it, it has an idea of what is coming behind it, so it can build a plan for a longer horizon. so here are one of your boxes. >> brown: the traffic plans are recalculated every few seconds,
3:44 pm
using a small computer installed at each intersection. smith says the program has made a noticeable difference. >> we pretty consistently get, on average, a 25% reduction in travel times. not so much because vehicles are moving faster, but because they are stopping 30% fewer times. and when they do stop, they're idling 40% less. >> brown: smith says short-range communication technology that will soon be installed in new cars will give the system even more information to make greater gains. and even better for the city, the u.s. department of transportation announced it's giving $11 million to expand to many more intersections. >> traffic is probably the number one issue that we get complaints about. >> brown: alex pazuchamics, who works in the mayor's office, says it may be impossible to make everyone happy, but city officials have been pleased with the program so far. >> for us, it's really important that we're seeing improvements
3:45 pm
in those corridors, and would like to find ways to expand the use of technology to solve more city issues. >> brown: in fact, steve smith and his team are now working on plans to use smart phones so that cyclists and pedestrians can digitally talk to the intersections to help their commutes too. another problem for drivers and the city: potholes and decaying streets. there's a project underway here to deal with that as well. pittsburgh has more than 800 miles of roads and, like most cities, a limited budget to maintain them. professor christoph mertz has devised software that could help the city better determine where to send repair crews. so the idea is pretty simple. use the camera that we all carry around? >> right. it's just a smart phone. >> brown: the phone, which can be mounted on the windshield of any vehicle, records video of the road. then comes the technological wizardry: mertz developed software that quickly analyzes
3:46 pm
the footage, capable of distinguishing between small cracks and bigger problems. so the machine has to think" what is that?" >> artificial intelligence is a big word. in the past, people thought, if it can play chess, it's intelligent. well, it can play chess, but that's all it can do. that program does not help us fix the roads. so, our program will recognize roads, but can't play chess. (laughter) >> brown: the program also provides simple-to-use color- coded mapping. mertz showed us the results for if i'm a city manager, how do i use this? >> you could say i'm going to do all the red stuff. or, here's a main road. even though it's yellow, i'm going to do it because it gets so much traffic. >> brown: mertz and carnegie mellon have just launched a private spin-off company, called
3:47 pm
roadbotics, to sell the technology to local governments. the nearby town of north huntingdon was first to sign on. one idea is to mount cameras on garbage trucks, which travel every city street once a week. >> the idea here is, if it's so inexpensive, you can do it all the time. you can address the problems right away. >> brown: before it's a big pothole. >> before it's a big pothole. for every dollar spent in preventative maintenance, you save $10 in reconstructive maintenance. that's a huge savings. >> brown: although pittsburgh was involved in a pilot project using this technology, it hasn't yet signed onto a long-term contract. alex pazuchamics explains. >> technology is moving very quickly. there's a risk to making a large investment without necessarily knowing what direction the technology is moving. so for us, it's making sure that we're fast and nimble enough to make decisions as the technology evolves. >> brown: you mean technology might be changing so quickly
3:48 pm
that you're on the wrong technology? >> you can very easily be obsolete after just a few months of having the technology out there. we want to be the leading edge, not the bleeding edge. >> brown: the hope is the new technology will also address public transportation, moving buses along as quickly as possible, and giving them priority at crowded intersections. that could lure more commuters out of their cars, further reducing congestion. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeffrey brown in pittsburgh. >> sreenivasan: baseball has a history of teams trying to gain advantage against a pitcher by occasionally stealing signs from the team it's playing. the idea is to relay information to the hitter about what kind of pitch he will face. there are ways to do it that are acceptable. but, the boston red sox are accused of going too far with it last month against their rivals, the new york yankees, and using
3:49 pm
technology to do so. william brangham has the story. >> brangham: specifically, the skullduggery being alleged against the red sox involves the use of a video camera and an apple watch. the commissioner of major league baseball, rob manfred, confirmed that boston used this technology in a very elaborate process to record and decode the signs that the yankee pitchers and catchers used, and then relayed that information to their batters in the middle of the game. for more on today's unfolding scandal, and the decades-long history of outwitting the rules in baseball, we turn to joshua prager. he's a journalist and author. his 2008 book, "the echoing green," chronicled the sign- stealing secret that helped the new york giants win the 1951 pennant. welcome to the newshour. >> thanks for having me. >> so help me break down what the allegation is against these dafterdly red sox. what are they accused of having done? >> so they are accused of using mechanical means to alert a
3:50 pm
batter to what kind of pitch is coming. and there are about 20 or so seconds that pass between every pitch of every game-- 280 pitches or so, 20 or so seconds between every pitch. and that might seem like not a lot of time, but it's actually plenty of time to do all sorts of stuff to alert a batter what kind of a pitch is coming. and obstebsibly most batters will tell you if helps them to know if a pitch will be a fast pitch or an off-speed pitch. and the red sox are accused of using a phob and all sorts of quick signals to alert the batter to what was coming. >> so, so i guess the concern is-- the idea is that they somehow used a video camera to record what the yankee pitchers and catchers were signaling to each other, figure out what that means so that the next time another batter is coming up, that batter can be somehow tipped off what those signals are and what they mean?
3:51 pm
>> well, when you watch a baseball game at home, you see the catcher wiggling their fingers between every pitch, and when they're doing that, they're telling the pitcher what kind of a pitch to throw. so someone on the red sox, allegedly-- according to smiekle schmidt, "the new york times"--" was looking at this, allegeold a television screen, and relaying that information to a member of the training staff in the red sox dugout, who saw that information by looking down at his wrist. and then he simply signaled to one of the players in the dugout-- michael mentioned two of them by name, brock holt and dustin pedroia-- who then relaid the sign, it seems, to a red sox player, who was probably already on second base. so in other words, they didn't use this between every pitch of every game, it seems, but rather, they waited for someone to be on second base. and they did that because it's very easy when you're on second
3:52 pm
to then relay the signal to the batter. so that sounds like a lot going on-- you go from the watch to the player, to the man on the field, to the batter-- but as i mentioned earlier, you have 20 or so seconds, and you've actually-- that's plenty of time to let the batter know what kind of a pitch is coming. >> so my understanding is-- and you've certainly written a whole book about this-- stealing signs is not considered a tabu thing to do. you're sort of allowed to do it. so what have the red sox done here that's the problem? >> not only is it allowed. it's encouraged. if you're a batter-- if you're a runner on second base and you can peer in with the naked eye and see what finger signals the catcher is using, and if you can figure out what that signal means and the catcher knows that you're there, so they often change what the signal means when there's a man on second, but if you can figure that out and relay that to the batter, that's encouraged. that's kosher. everyone's happy with that. but what is not okay is to use mechanical means to do that.
3:53 pm
the commissioner is empowered to come down on the red sox and say, "you cannot do this." and, no doubt, he's now figuring out what will be a proper punishment. >> so that's where the apple watch comes into this. that is the mechanical piece of equipment that is verboten in baseball rules. >> correct. and baseball teams have been cheating for as long as there has been baseball. i wrote a book about the 1951 giants who, famously won the pennant with bobby thompson's shot heard around the world, and starting in the summer july 20, they installed a man in center field in the polo grounds with a telescope and when he would spy the sign, he pressed a buzzer, which would it go off in the right field bullpen and the player in the bullpen would signal to the batter what pitch was coming. there are literally dozens of
3:54 pm
other examples going back to the 1th century. >> is there any sense that you have that all this creative hijinkses that goes on actually makes a difference in the results of a game? >> absolutely. if it didn't help teams to know what pitch was coming, they wouldn't go to these great lengths to steal the signs. when i interviewed all of the members -- all the surviving members of the 1951 giants, boab thompson, for example, who hit the shot heard around the world, was very honest with me. he said, "it it helps me enormously. it helped me enormously ton what kind of a pitch is coming. if a pitch is traveling 90 miles per hour, a batter has just .13 seconds to react to it. so if you can say, "hey, i can wait. this pitch is going to be an off-speed pitch," that will help. some batters don't want to know. tony guinn, famously, just wanted to react to the ball-- see the ball, hit the ball. but most batters, it would seem,
3:55 pm
very much do want to know. and that's why no matter how many timesserhowmany timessers o do it they will try to do it. >> joshua prager, thanks so much. >> thanks for having me. >> sreenivasan: on the newshour online right now: we mark the unofficial end of summer with a look at the pop music that americans played over and over again. you can find every state's "song of the summer" on our website, and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm hari sreenivasan. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the wellbeing of humanity around the world, by building resilience and
3:56 pm
inclusive economies. more at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
3:57 pm
3:58 pm
3:59 pm
4:00 pm
>> rose: welcome to the program. it is a new fall season. congress is back in session, and so we turn this evening in the beginning to bob costa of the "the washington post." >> we see a president, charlie, who's grappling with his base that wants purity when it comes to hard line immigration policy, that wants results, and his own instincts, his own advisors, even, and the republican leadership who want to show the republican party as more compassionate as appealing to hispanic voters, even though they know the president's well known as someone who's supportive of border wall and some of the more aggressive tactics on immigration. >> rose: and we continue this evening looking at the situation in north korea with david sanger, national security correspondent for the "new york times," david ignatius, columnist for "the washington