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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  December 7, 2020 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. t,on the newshour toniovid relief-- congress moves closer to passing a long-awaited economic response to the pandemic's financial toll. then, balance of power-- with stake, two very different debates are held in georgia. and, searching for justice-- we kick off a new series with one man's story of life after prison and guiding others on re- entering society. >> just because a person has eled down a path and made a mistake, that this mistake won't label them forever and that you can change, there's room for redemption. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> before we talk abyour investments-- what's new? >> well, audrey's expecting... >> twins! >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for them, so, chanal in plans. >right, let's see what we can adjust. >> we'd be closer to the twins. >> change in plans. >> okay. >> mom, are you painting agaco? yod sell these. >> let me guess, change in plans? >> at fidelity, changing plans is always part of the plan.
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ra>> the william and flo hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> and with the ongng 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.
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>> woodruff: a new week brings sharply higher covid-19 numbers, with no end in sight. the united states is now averaging nearly 2,200 deaths per y, and health officials warn of new spikes after holiday gatherings. in california, almost 85% of state residents went under stay- at-home orde today. >> the point is totay at home during this critical time. to bring transmission rates down, to help us get this unr control so our hospitals they so long, which is provide high quality health care to all those californians who need it. >> woodruff: but in new york y, elementary schools reopened, something many parents had clamored for. mayor bill deblasio cited low infections in the classroom. president-elect joe biden today announced his selections to oversee the pandemic and health
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care in general. he's nominating california attorney general xavier becerra to be secretary of health and human services. becerra wld be the first tino in that role. harvard's dr. rochelle walensky will be director ofothe centers disease control and prevention. and, dr. anthony fauci, on the na institutes of health, adll also be chief medical ser on covid-19. later, mr. biden said ce will annois choice for secretary of defense, on friday. the top elections official in georgia has stcertified the e's results and once again confirmed president-elect biden's victory there. georgia's secretary of state brad raffensperger made the aouncement today, after a recount requested by the trump campaign. >> we have now counted legally cast ballots three times, and the results remain unchanged. disinformation regarding
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election administratn should be condemned and rejected. integrity matters. truth matters. >> woodruff: meanwhile, federal judges dismissed separate lawsuits by a trump ally to overturn the results in michigan and georgia. in venezuela, president nicolas duro has extended his power oper the only government body undesition control. sunday's elections handed maduro's socialist allies a landslide victory in the national congress. the vote.ion mostly boycotted the u.s., european union and much olatin america rejected the results. two robotic spacecraft are making headlines with historic cargos. a japanese capsule came down safely in thralian outback on sunday. it's the first to retrieve rocks from below an asteroid's surface. and, a chinese spacecraft is ready to return with samples from the moon, as this animation shows. that hasn't been done since the
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1970's. on wall street today, stocks had a choppy session. the dow jones industrial average lost 148 points to clo at 30,069. the nasdaq rose 55 points, but, the s&p 500 slped seven. and, legendary singer/songwriter bob dylahas sold his entire catalog of songs to universal music publishing group. the price was not announced, but the deal covered more than 600 thngs, including "blowin' in the wind",times, they are a- changin" and "like a rolling stone." still to come on the newshour: congress moves closer to passing a long-awaited covid relief package. with control of the u.s. senate at stake, two very different debates are held in georgia. we discuss the response to a wworsening pandemh virginia governor ralph northam. and much more.
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>> woodruff: with the covid-19 pandemic surging and some economic relieto expire on hundreds of bil of new a deal lisa desjardins is here to walk us throughhat's on the table. lisa, tell us whats the story. how dwhroas is congress, where do things stand right now? >> they're closer. they're not there yet. judy, we're facing what could be two of e ost consequential eseks of this or recent congren general. congress will be working on a defense bill going into effect this week.
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the other two big funds, a funding bill coming up and covid relief bill. what ll looks like w happen w is that government funding bill and the covid relief bill will be putting to intoone bill combined. the deadline that's important here is for the government funding which right now runs out at the end of thursday t congress now is moving to punch that decision another week. they need more me to work out these deals. so now the deadline is deceer 18th, a week later. these thin but that finalth of mile, as you know, is the toughest. they're not there yet. >> woodruff: so, lisa, what do we know about what would be inv the id relief part ofthis? >> well, one reason that we're seeing action now is because we're seeing more problems in this country. so, first, i want to go over the g isis that we're dealing about, what they're try solve here. first now we know that 58% of
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national restaurant association say that more layoffs and closures are imminent, also state governments are now saying furloughs are jt around the corner, more budget cuts, eviction and food relief help is set for december 31 as part of the cares actth. we have house and senate groups trying to come up with a deal. here's e dinner group called by a few members in it, they benefits for thos on theoyment jobless role, $160 billion for state and local governments help deal withthose budget kree sees, and then for food and rental assistant, $51 billion, judy. that's just some of it. worked out the deal on havenot liability. that's something that republican leader mitch mcconnell wants. liability essentially meaning that businesses couldn't be suew kers became sick with the
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coronavirus. they're having a tough time and, inme fact, eting as you and i are speaking right now to try to figut out timpasse over liability and lawsuits.t >> woodruff: wbout the idea of direct payments to a neediest individualsature of the recent covirelief bill to pass earlier this year. >> so much interest about. this there is no talk of direct payments by members of congress. the idld is that wdd a large amount to the bottom line, something republicans areta uncomfe with, and in addition that seems that's what president trump wanted more than anyone. with him losing the election, momemtum inside congress for that. >> woodruff: lisa, stay with time, so much of what congress will congress will prioritize in the new year comes down to control of the u.s. senate. lisa has also been reporting on e two runoff races looming
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next month in the state of heorgia. today isoter registration deadline for the elections that will determine the senate majority. >> desjardins: the nation'se immediture comes down to this-- one month in one state. a mad sprint in ats need to win both u.s. senate runoffs in january in order to control the chamber. republicans need to keep their base fired up. >> at stake in this election is control of the.s. senate and that really means control of rdis country. >> dess: president trump, who spoke in valdosta saturday, may not be on the ballot but he is a force in the race. >> it's rigged. it's a fixed deal. >> desjardins: this weend, as he campaigned for the republican senate incumbents, kelly effler and david perdue, mister trump falsely charged again th which joe biden won, was illegitimate. >> you know we won georgia, just so you understand. >> i am worried about it.
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it's a mixed mesge. >> desjardins: buzz brockway is a republican, and former georgia state representave. he believes his party has the edge in both senate races, but the president's message is confusing. >> it's you know, it's hey, i want you to vote for the republican candidates, perdue and loeffler. w but the electi rigged and the machine still flipped. votes and absentee ballots weret en. so i've heard from people. i've heard from dozens of people who say i'm not going to vote. and i hope that that's just the emotion of the moment. >> desjardins: more than emotion, it's a movement, from some trump supporters like linwh wood at a rally last week told republicans to stay home.ou >> why you go back and vote in another rigged ection, for god's sake! fix it! you gotta fix it! >> desjardins: meantime,at demoalso are pinning their underdog hope to the same strategy that they believe wonth
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state for biden, the effort, led by stacey errams, to regiew voters, especially voters of color, who are growing in georgia. andra gillespie is a political science profeserr at emory unty in atlanta. >> now bcks make up about 30% of all registered voters in the state. and in the last decade, we have seen the number of proportion of asian-american and hispanic voters double in the state. >> desjardins: gillespie says this contest is entirely about base turnout. democrats are bringing in their hopeful andrew yang hasidential literally moved to the state to balp, and former president ck obama has campaigned virtually. >> the special election in georgia is going to determine, ultimately, the course of the biden presidency and whether joe biden and kamala harris can deliver legislately all the commitments they've made.
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>> desjardins: it ishe orthusiasm fight. bill nigut of a public broadcasting. >> the circumstances here are unlike anything we've ever seen. we're cl absentee ballots applied for in georgia. that's only about two or 300,000 vewer than at th time prior to the nomber 3rd election. >> desjardins: to the trumpul tornado, add mple firestorms and attacks surrounding the candidates themselves. incumbentse republicators david perdue and kelly loeffler, both former corporate c.e.o.'s, have faced headlines about their stock trades. loeadffler for trades she after a senators' only briefing on the pandemic, an ethics committee found no violations her.sue has hovered over perdue has been scrutinized for thousands of tdes he made that involved companies his committee directly oversaw. republicans are just as sharply
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on attack, example loeffler's >> my opponent, radical liberal raphael warnock, is a socialist. >> desjards: democrat raphael warnock, the pastor at historic ebenezer baptist in atlanta responded in an ad with a simple gesture. wave of cash again washing over the state. >> it wouldn't be surprising to many people if thisoended up beinwhere in the neighborhood of a half a billion dollar race. the fact that so much money is pouring into georgia is evidence of how competitive these races are. i think if one party had a clear advantage over the other and it was very comfortable and substantial, we wouldn't see this level of spending. >> desjardins: the intensity will keep rising, along with the money spent and the high profile visits. president-elect joe biden says he plans to visit georgia soon. among the complex issues here,
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timing. the georgia elections ar january 5. the new senate is scheduled to begin january 3. >> woodruff: so, lisa, explain how that works and, also -i mean, remind us what is on the line here in terms of america's future in how these races turn out. >> reporter: i cannot stress enough how every conversation i have with any kind of source, be it about housing, be it about the coronavirus, any conversation i'm having right p nople on or off the hill, comes back to the georgia it affects everything, the direction of thisountry, it especially will affect the next round of coronavirus relief which is one reason house speaker nancy pelosi is okay with a smalleal right now. they expect a bigger package and nor stimulus next year. it will also affect any chance of climate change legislation, healthcare, all of it on the table, right now, in georgia. > woodruff: all eyes on
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georgia, and they are going to continue to be until runoff election takes place. whrilis desjardins, thank you fr filling us in on both of thespoe ant stories. >> reporter: you're welcome. mo >> woodruff: lik other states in the country, virginia is seeing a se in covid cases and hospitalizations. and with the vaccine's approval expected soon, the ss set to receive nearly half a million doses by the end of this month. virginia's governor ralph nodham is also a physician he joins me now., governor northank you very much for being with us again. so, tell us, how is virginia doing egard to infections, hospitalizations, positivity rate?>> udy, thank you so much for having me. we are seeding upward trs of our number, our positivity rate,
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which we follow closity. now over 10%. there are some areas of virginia where it's even hierhan that, especially out in our southwest. we took some aggressive actions prior to thanksgiving to mitigate these numbers. obviously, we have the thanksgiving surge that we are concerned about.we are probablyf that beginning now. and we're having further discussions, judy, on whether we shld take further measures to mitigate these numbers. so a lot of that is in discussion. but we're very concerned, especial our hospital capacities through virginia. for the most part, they are doing ll, but certainly in thet, southwe are seeing decreased number of beds and, also, our staff, judy, a that's across virginia. wonderful job now for tenjust a months, but they're very tired. they're fatigued and we need to take that into consideraon and make sure that we protect them,
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and continue to encourage virginians and, for the most part, they have been doing a goob to follow the guidelines of wearing the facial protection, washing our hands, not gathering in large groups. so those arethe things t we're doing. we're anxiously awaiting, like, all governors, like all states inirginia, the vaccination. two companies, as you know, are very close to receiving approval tom the f.d.a. we have been tolt we're going to have 480,000 doses, which willover our front line healthcare responders and providers and, also, our long-term caretifaci, both the residents and the staff. so we're excited about that, but we know there's going to be a couplef months at leaswhere we need to keep these numbers down and need to keep that curb flat. >> woodruff: so you're saying the people who will be first in line for the vaccine, once you get it, will be your frontline
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healthcare workers, and then indiduals who live in long-term care facilities, nourseing homeo and soh. but what about beyond that? i mean, when you look at essential workers people over 65 years old, i mean, that's a lot of pple, h will you make decisions about who gets the vaccine firs >> yes, it's no doubt going to be supply dependent, judy. we're looking at teachers, we want o children to bback in school safely and responsibly, our food preparers, those individuals who can't work virtually from home, we really have to make them a top priority. so we have three pdhases an we're following the guidelines of the c.d.c. but we really want to get to the first phase and then as the supply will allow, get to the other indivias well. we are confident, as the supply is there -- mean, we have been preparing for this for months now and, certainly, as a physician, i have experience
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doing this in the past,orking with vaccinations, so we're summer, all virginians will have access to the vaccination, which is really encouraging news. there's finally light at the end of this long, dark tunnel, an we're all looking forward to that. >> woodruff: governor, i want signed several weo modeledon you around so-called breonna's law, after breonna taylor, the , womanlle, kentuc makes virginia the third state to pass this law. what is it do you see for your state. >> ts was a mber day in virginia. what a tragic loss for breonna taylor's family. her family was with us today in virginia. had the opportunity to sit and really hear their story. y
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mentioned, we're the third state to have a no-knock warrt law. we're actually the first state to sign into law in response to her death, so this is important. you know, it's weme thaas a abciety do more than just talk t these tragedies, and, you know, it's time to take action. and that's what we chose todo. i called the general assembly back into special session in september, and they took up a lot of measures with police reform, such as dertification, co-responding, when there's mental illness, better training for our police officers and, you know, as i made the point today, this is not about being antiepolice, it's about being pro peoweple. eed to make sure we treat people civilly across our commonwealth. so, today, to able to sign breonna's law into law was a good step for the commonwealth of virginia, and i would hope the other states follow suit. >> woodruff: and, finally,
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governor, law enforcemen organizations in virginia, are they acceptinthis, are they -- this and your other moves to reform policing? >> no, we've had a listening tour in virginia, judy, and i like to sthe more elearn, the more i can do, and the police forcesere at the table, as well as a lot of communityst acti a lot of the protesters that we heard from, especially after the tragedy in minneapolis. so we all worked on this together, and, now, they couldn't have been more cooperative, and i think they agree that we needed toake changes and this certainly was one of them. no woodff: governor ralph ham of virginia. governor, thank you so much r join us,we appreciate it. >> thank you so muchor having me, judy.
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>> woodruff: on new year's day, n e united kingdom's divorce fr the europion will be complete. whether it's a clean breakor a hard "brexit" remains to bede ded; "hard brexit" would mean no trade deal between thec two, and econocertainty, well beyond the pandemic's knfects. deadlines arn to focus the mind. s d, as special correspondent ryan chilcote te from london, in this case, they need to focus the future. >> reporte rex goldsmith always knew severing trade ties with the european union waea't going to bcut. >> messy old business. >> reporter: while the waters of the british cot make for some of the best fishing in the world. >> lovely cornish turbotthis. >> reporter: continental europe buys the vast majority of the fish. >> i just can't quite wo out why we would want to upset our that's what i don't understand. -ffore it was just an open door, all frwing.
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>> reporter: even in his london shop, the majority of the fishmongers' customers a european. how much access to its waters the u.k. allows european fishermen to keep is one of the last snags preventing a free trade deal. but it's not the only one: the e.u. wants the u.k. to agree to what it calls a level playing field. >> there's a real fear amongst some member states that having a large competitor economy immediately offshore is a potential risk to the e.u. eprket. >>ter: anand menon is the director of the u.k. in a changing europe. >> for e.u. leaders, it's very important that non membership looks worse than membership. so actually, they want to make sure thabrexit doesn't get britain any benefits, because one of the fears is if being out looks quitattractive, who ows who might be next. >> reporter: meanwhile, positions on both sides have been hardening. >> while an agreement is prtoerable, we are prepared leave on so-calledalian style terms if we can't find compromises.
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>> reporter: the british government meanwhile says it has the right to "take back control" of its economy, and that incles control of its waters laws and borders. wednesday, the u. parliament is scheduled to debate a bill the e.u. says risks re- introding a hard border between the republic of ireland, which is part of t european union, and northern ireland, which is part of the u.k. that could threaten th1998 good friday agreement, which brought an end to decades of violence between catholics and protestants in northern ireland. president-elect biden has made clear that deal cannot "become a casualty of brexit." in a last-minute concession before talks with ursula von der leyen, the president of the european commission, the british prime minister boris johnson said hll remove any parts of the legislation that break the t deal.f the sides agree a economically speaking, brexit was always going to result in some pain. short term sacrifice, its proponents said, for long term gain. then, came covid-19.
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stores in the u.k. only opened last week after a month-long nationwide lockdown, the second this year. contraction in moran 300teepest years, the british economy is coming back to life, but it wouldn't benefit from a hard s brexit. >> idouble whammy of bad news for the u.k. for in terms of brexit, that's going we're not going to know how much damage that'll do or what the opertunities on the other s might look like for many years >> reporter: the gest danger of the e.u. anu.k. failing to ree a deal may be diplomatic. >> one of the asons why no particularly in the context of a new american administration that is committed to trying and rebuilding multil your closest allies at loggerheads unable to sit down at the table because we're blaming each other for real economic damage, could damage not just the u.k. and the e.u., but t >> reporter: some holiday
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shoppers said they expect relations with their european unterparts will so look a little like the weather. >> frosty. it'll be frosty. i don't think they will ever forgive us. and we have had all these we've just destroyed everything, and for our children, their world has become small. time is running out. chilcote in london.r, i'm ryan >> woodruff: when supreme court justices decide cases, they often rely on a document from the 18th century-- the u.s. constitution. as jn yang reports, today th heard a case about a collection of art dating back to the 11th century. the reports part of our ongoing arts and culture series,
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canvas. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> yang: fician jed leiber, it's a family story that centers around a game of >> for me, the metapr for my grandfather's story and mine is chess. >> yang: as a young boy, he german-born jewish grandfather, art dealer saemy rosenberg. >> the lesson was to always play to win, but to play fair and to think three moves ahead. yang: rosenberg, who died in 1971, was a derated world war i german army officer. >> the journey, i was told, began with my grandfather who eventually became a member of the nazi party. the officer one day told my grandfather to take a vacation
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and my grandfather knew exactly what that mean he left his home and his gallery and his art and he took my mother and grandmother and fled to holland. >> yang: rosenberg and two other jewish art dealers owned the guelph treasure, 82 pieces of medieval religious art that date back to the 11th century. in 1935, the pieces were sold to agents of hermann goering, hitler's second in command. after inflation, today the transaction ould be worth about $20 llion. the dealers' descendants say the sale was coerced >> goering was building, you know, a palace museum for hitler to impress him and all of the art dealers and all of the businessmen that were jewish at the time were traumatized and were persecuted. and it's just inconceivable that any fair transaction could have transpired during this period of
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time. >> yang: today, those pieces are on exhibit in a berlin museum. at least a quarter of a billion dollars, more than 12 times the value of the sale. >> each artwork which was produced before 1945 and came into a museum collection after 1933, is suspicious. >> yang: dr. hermann parzinger is president oprussian cultural heritage foundation. >> we have so many facts to prove it was not a forced sale because the artworks were not n germany; they had been located in amsterd when the negotiations started. then the purchase prs fair and appropriate. this was a rumor tha ait was given irthday gift from goering to hitler. >> yang: over the last two decades, theoundation has investigated more than 50 claims of forced sales from the nazi- era. >> the facts tell, most of the cases, a clear story that the have been looted in the
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nazi period. but in this case, of the guelph treasure it facts tell a different story that this case has no merit. >> yang: today the case was before the u.s. supreme court. the question: whose cour should settle the dispute: america's or germany's. the dealers' descendants argue u.s. law gives u.s. courts jurisdiction. their attorney, nicholas o'donnell. >> the nazi government set out explicitly to destroy the german jewish people by taking their property and congress has specifically identified the nazis looting of art from the jewish people as genocidal. >> yang: but the u.s. government says american courts should iefer to german authorities. justice john roberts pressed deputy solicitor general edwin kneedler on that point. >> that's the main policy, as ir siof the united states is ly to encourage other countries to provide mechanisms for compensation and if that
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fails,hen that's just too bad? >> that is right that the relationship between the state and its own nationals was a matter that other nations had no right to complai labout. >> yanber finds that hard to swallow. >> i don't believe how we could possibly receive a fair trial any more than my grandfather could have made a fair deal in 1935 with hermann goering. >> yang: analysts say the court has tried to make it harder for cases like this to be heard in the united states. >> if we open our doors to their claims, they may open their doors to our claims as well. >> yang: marcia coyle is chief washington correspondent for the "national law journal." >> and justice breyer then was saying, well, you know, we've had some bad acts in our future, in our past and what if claims were brought involving the internment of the japanese? claims for reparations for slavery? would that open? would that allow those claims to be heard by foreign judges in
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foreign courts? >> yang: leiber's fought to right what he sees as an 85- dear-old wrong for me than a de. as this whole process has been going on, have you been thinking ec your grandfather moving chess around the board? >> you nailed it. u nailed it. >> yang: playing fair, thinking three moves ahead, and playing to win. for the pbs newshour, n yang. >> woodruff: night we take a look at the challenges many formerly incarceted men and women are facing as they reenter society. the coronavirus pandemic has upended the lives of all americans, but it's been esly hard on individuals
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known as returning citizens. of one man in washington, d.c. who is trying to beat the odds. >> brangham: after 23 years behind bars, this was the moment when michael plummer became a free man. >> i got released on february 10th of this year, and it was amazing. you know, it's like stepping into a different world. you step into a different world. >> brangham: plummer is now 40, he was locked up in 1997 for a murder he committed when he wa 16. growing up in a violent ighborhood in washinon d.c., plummer says his story was say, pretty common. >> a lot of my friends and family members was killed. ad nd in those who nt to jail, you know, they did 10 year they did 15, 20 years. and some of them still serving life sentences. my mother, she fell victim to, you know, using drugs and so
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forth. so my dad, he went tngprison for a ime and i moved around from family members to family members. sometimes i was homeless or we live in like shelters and stuff like that. when i started getting a little older, like six seveh grade and that's when i had my first brush with the law and that's len i got into the streets and initially it's fe, you know, okay, i need shoes, i need food. but then you actually do become a product of your environment. >> brangham: plummer recently took me back to his old d.c. neighborhood, just a mile from the u.s. capitol, and now transformed by gentrification. >> if you look down this street here, this is where we operated. we'd sell cocaine or weed or whatever else we had a small neighborhood gang, known as a crew, and it became like a family. and one night when his crew clashed with a different crew, otplummer shot and killed r teenager.
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>> and i wish like a million times i could ha went back and thought about it and had a better outcome, then what came about. >> brangha two years later, when plummer turned 18, he sentence for that shooting. thinking man is thna be myust life. you know, i definitely made a bad decision what i did. >> brangham: during more than 20 years in prison, plummer says he began to slowly turnndis life arou ng got his g.e.d., did job trairograms, earned a college diploma and converted to islam. >> i grew up in prison and growing up in prison. >> brangham: do you thin.of it that w do you actually think you grew up in prison? >> sure, some people grow up in orphanages. some people grow up in society. i actually was raised in prison prison, and so i spent my time n wisely, despite me beingat predicament. >> brangham: plummer also says he wanted to prove to his
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daughter mayana, who was born when he was just 15, that he had changed as a man. >> sing the things that i did while i was in the street. i reected upon it. and in retrospect, it was hideous, and i wanted to show my person have traveln a path a and made a mistake that this mistake can't label them forever. and that you can change, there is room for redemption and so no wrong can't be corrected and i wanted tcorrect that. >> brangham: plummer was gtentually released thanks to a washin, d.c. law allowing judges to free certain longtime prisoners whose crimes were committed when they were juveniles. t mon 50 men have now been released since 2018. however, his new fedom brought new challenges.the pandemic hits after his release, andhe places that could help him get back to some semblance of normal >> you gotta get a birth certificate. you got to get a social security so i was gone for rs and both my parents passed away.
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so these documents was lost. and so i had to go and gethem again. >> brangham: he had no credit history, no edit cards, never applied for a loan of any kind. >> so that's the first thing they ask for, you know, your credit, how long you been employed? so these things are nightmare for me when i want to go and purchase a vehicle or try to get an apartment. it's horrifying. you know, they may want to check your credit score and so forth. and not knowing that coming out is a disadvantage. >> brangham: plummer did find housing with his brother, and with the help of his lawyer, he was able to re-establish hison identifica >> to own these documents myself. a driver's license, to get a social security card to get a bank account. i was overjoyed. it seems it was that, you know, i was integrating myself into society slowly but surely. and i felt like a citizen again. >> brangham: michael plummer is, scenario.ays, a best-case when he was locked up, he took advantage of programs the prison offered. not all prisons provide those.
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when he got out, he had family to lean on fsing, but mormerly incarcerated people are almost 10 time likely to be homeless, and five times more likely to be unemployed. t' you don't have a house or a job, tpartly why so many, more than four out of ten, cycle back to a life crime. but now, pmmer is trying to change that for the next generation. >> i don't want you all to have to have to do life in prison, or 23 years in prison. this can start right here, right now. >> brangham: he got a full time job at a non-profit that worop with young in custody, within d.c.'s department of youth rehabilitation services. norman brown is the program manager who pushed for plummer to get this job. >> when people come before us to be interviewed for these type of roles. my heart is into believing and
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knowing that people can outgrow certain behaviors. and we're willing to give you a chance, just like someone gave me one. >> brangham: brown spent 24 years in prison himself for selling crack cocaine. he says people like plummer, who they call "credible messengers"" have a legitimacy with young people, because of their own backgrounds. >> he panned out to be exactly what we needed to add to our initiative. >> brangham: on many days, plummer is back inside the city's juvenile detention facilities. he offers advice, he shootsop sometimes he even ads prayers for those interested. >> brangham: ...but he's also here to share his own story. when you're meeting a young person for the first t fe who might ing a very long time behind bars, what's that
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conversation like initially? >> you tell them what you've been through a lot of times. and when i tell a youth that i did 23 years in ison, they can't believe it. and so then i asked him how old you think i am? whd so when i tell him that i went i i was 17 and i didn't come out until i was 40. w ey eyes get big ask you be because no starts to click. this can maybe be them. >> brangham: oicials asked us not to use these young people's names or to discuss their crimes, but they did allow us to talk with them about why they trust someone like michael plummer. >> we don't have a lot of people like mr. plummer coming around you and giving you the tools that you need. >> he actually came from where we come from. been through it, know what's going on, stuff like that, because at the end of the day, somebody who don't know what you got going ahead of you they might not know exactly what to tell you and what advice thatal you need. >> brangham: plummer also meets
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with formerly incaed adults, like isaac carey. edthe 24 year-old was rele from prison late last year but has struggled to find steady work. >> like selling drugs to like going toet a real job. you know, the money is different, you know, so that's like a hard trantion. so, you know, michael helped me like, he send me like job applications and stuff like that. he even heing me get my i.d., >> bm: now nine months after his release, plummer says he is rebuilding a relationship with his daughter. and he recently got married to a woman he's kno since he was a teenager. >> upon me cing home, we got back in contact with each other. i asked her out on a date again. and from there you know she wanted to put a chain on my leg and lock me down. married and, you know, we newly weds right now and we just enjoying each other. >> brangham: he's leading a life
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plummer says he never could've never imagined 23 years ago. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in washington, d.c. >> woodruff: with every week, we get a better picture of president-elect biden's team. myrst on national security, then on the econd this week, on health care. amna nawaz is here to break down his picks. >> nawaz: judy, thambiden health ill enter the white house as the virus surges nationwide and the vaccine is still months away. as we reported earlier, it includes doctors anthony facui and rochelle walensky, withea xavier becerrang h.h.s. also on the team, dr. vivek murthy as surgeon general, jeff zients as covid czar, dr. marcella nunez-sth to lead a task force on health
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disparities. here to analyze the politics behind the nominations is amy walter of the "cook political report" and host of public radio's "politics with amy and errin hainesf the 19th news. tamara keith is away. amy and errin, good to see you and thanks for being here. cry, know easily one of the biggeses the biden administration will face is the pandemic and the team will lead the response. what di the pics say toatou this particular time? >> what they say is you have really important experience there. obviously keeping dr. anthony fauci, who has become the face of the response to the pandemic, very trusted, certainly on the democratic side for republicans, not quite as much but still a trusted voice across the boar dr. vivek murthy, also in the obama administration, also has very deep experience now in
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handling this pandemic and public health so a lot of experience on the tae. the h.h.s. designee, the attorney general, javr becerra, doesn't come from a public health background. he was the attorney general in california. he came from the house of representatives where he served for many years, so he doesn't seem to be a natural pick but he geranding the affordablettorney care act, obamacare, inourt, and he is also somebody who will have to hit the ground running, somebody who understands how the systems work, the system of government in washington and a big state like california, putting into place not just tpoe cies of the health and human services or what thwhite house would like to put forward in term of healthcare policy but being able to put the systems in plve to delivecines, that is going to take up, really, i think, the majority of time for h.h.s. and being able to do
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that, it, you know, srtl safely, and in a very transparent way. >> z:wand that's a perfect segue to the question to errin,o which iscal storm another through line on this team and that relates to obamacare or the affordable care act, jeff zients led the charge to xthe the and attorney general has been leading the effect to protect the ac rakes as democrats work to dismantle it. is this a essential? >> you can't talk aut the pandemic without talkinabout its relationship to the healthcare system. e,think certainly from joe biden's perspecteven in the primy before we got to the coronavirus pandemi you know, building on the work that th obama-biden administration had done around healthcare was a campaign priority for him, and s think that oing to be a
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governing priority, particularly because of the systemic inequality around the healthcare system and the exposed at least in, you know, the biden campaign and transition team's mind the need for the affordable care act to be strengthened and expanded and, so, i think thats also going to depend largely on the future othe sena, which we know is in the balance right now in my home state of georgia. the runoffs there could decide what happens there and also could factor into what happens to the future of the affordable care act, even as, you know, the legal challenges persist with regard to that landmark legislation. >> errin, when you look at some of the key roles that have yet to be filled, we have ye to see names for top administration posts, attorney general among them, secretary of defense, although president-elect biden today said we should hose names by the end of the week,
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there are a number of other cabinet-level positions to be oufilled. whenlook at the folks who have been named to fill some of is easy to say.tration pos it's a much more diverse makeup than the curronent administra for sure. many more women, many more people of color for sure, and yet still there'a very public battle unfolding for people calling for more diversity at the very top ranks. what do you make of that now? what is riding on those selections? >> well, i think that, for tthe grout are raising concerns, there's a lot riding on it. we know that a month outrom the election joe biden has begun to name administration nominations and other posts, t there are definitely groups i'm hearing from,block and brown lawmakers an leaders that are worried that as the positions are filleand there become less
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open seats to fill, that thers diy remains a priority and, so, they are pushing this transiti team thear their concerns that someone with their lived experience and, you know, be put in these roles so that's correct really, they have a seat at the table not just, you know, for symbolism but also for substance in terms oweighing in on the governing and the policy. i mean, you take ouat -- know, the healthcare announcement today, for example, so many, you know, women d people of color in that group alone and also some pioneers, i think what that says is, you know, the transition team understands women, people of color being disproportionately affected by this pandemic. joe biden said one f the four crises he faces coming into fice is racial inequality and, so, addressing that and having that reflected in his governing priorities with the people that he chooses, i think, is something that his -- thesns
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cotituencies want to hold him accountable for. you have civil rights groups meeting with him tomorrow and the congressional hispanic caucus meeting with him last week. these are folks ge getting an audience with this transition team and hopion theirrns are herd. >> news from today as well because, as we speak president trump's legal campaign continue to challenge the election results in the months since the election, the associated press tally says 50 cases they've launched challenging results, 30 dropped and a dozen waiting action. cases looming in gorgia in january. does all of this, challenges election results, calling into question recollection integrity, does that have an impact in >> you would think, am navment when you're trying to get your t a coupleshow up jus of days after the new year, by continuing to rail against the system, sang that it was rigged, questioning whether the
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actual voting systems themselves are, you know, are flipping votes, you know, that doesn't seem like a good strategy. at the same time, i think we're -- trump has been successful as a candidate and au a political is by keeping people outraged at all times, keeping hisbase fired up, and one way to do that is, as he did this weekend at his rally, is to say they may have stolen it from me, which, of course, we al know is not true, there is no evidence that this election was gged, that these voting machines were working improperly, but what he's sayin is don let them take the senate away from you, too. let's make his sort of the last gasp here. don't let this be the last gasp me losing georgia, let's make sure that you get out and have your vote ard s in that sense, it keeps his base much democrats, where tstion isay, fr not so much keeping the senate is obviously part of the rallying cry, but it's not as,
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say, intense or as powerful a let's get rid of donald trump. that message has been the existe sitional question for democrats for the last fors. ye now that he's gone, is that enough, let's keep the senate, le as make sure hgenda gets enacted enough to keep the momentum going. >> as we know, those two key races will determine control of the senate, they are now weeks away and that is "politics monday." errin haines, amwalter, thank you both. always good to see you. >> thank you, amna. good to be with you. >> woodruff: before we go, we want to take a moment to honor one of our own. glynda bates has worked at washington's public television station weta and the newshour for more than 45 years.
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from the very beginning, glynda has played a critical role in getting this program on the air. as stage manager, she makes sure i, and our guests, are in thet riace at the right time. glynda did it all with her signature grace and kindness. she begins her retirement today and glyn all wish you the best on th new adventure. d want to congratulate you on a remarkable career. and that's the newshour fo tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, planse stay safesee you soon. newshour has been provided by:
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>> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaninul work throug investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at a
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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. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh
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hello, everyone. welcom to "amanpour & co." here's what's coming up. >> i will behe firsts soon as i'm authorized to take the vaccine and give it to my family. absolutely. >> our walter isaacson talks to monsoonel slaoui. then -- >> we have to make sure when the vaccine is tedistri it is accessible to peopleho have been hurt the most. the brown and black community. >> a pandemic, a presidential election and his, to protests have seen racial inequality come to the fore in 2020. dyson says it's been a long time coming. and -- >> ♪