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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 24, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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to learn more, visit captioning sponsored by newsur productions, llc >> nawaz: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight: the fall of afghanistan. evacuations from kabul airport accelerate, and women's rights advocates tell us their fears of taliban rule. then, a bumpy road ahead. moderate democrats face off with the party's progressive wing over legislative priorities, potentially dooming a critical infrastructure bill. and, haiti in crisis. the country languishes in the aftermath of a major earthquake, and faces increasingly dire food shortages. >> ( translated ): we are here with our children. i don't know how many, but we need to feed them. we need food, water, clothes. they are crying because they are hungry and thirsty. >> nawaz: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. 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. >> nawaz: president biden says the united states will work to finish its evacuation in afghanistan by august 31. but, he did not fully commit todato a complete withdrawal,
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as american and allied evacuations continued and thousands remained desperate to flee. with the pullout deadline drawing near, there were some signs of progress in the afghan capital. 70,700 people have now been evacuated by the united states from kabul since august 14. 12,000 have been flown out in just the last 12 hours by the u.s. and its partners. 4,000-plus americans have now been evacuated. the president says the secretary of state will update the numbers of americans trying to leave afghanistan tomorrow. now, again with the support of pulitzer center, jane ferguson reports from kab. >> reporter: with just a week to go before the u.s. military mission expires in afghanistan, president biden is staying firm to his august 31 deadline. he said that decision came down to concerns about the safety of american forces. >> we are currently on a pace to finish by august 31.
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the sooner we can finish, the better. each day of operations brings added risk to our troops. in addition, i've asked the pentagon and the state department for contingency plans to adjust the timetable should that become necessary. i am determined to ensure that we complete our mission. >> reporter: the taliban has been adantly against any such extensions. >> ( translated ): we are not in favor of allowing afghans to leave, and after august 31, we will not allow the americans to be here. >> reporter: this comes amid word that c.i.a. director william burns secretly met face-to-face with the taliban's leader on monday in kabul. but, no details were released. pentagon officials reported at least one flight is departing from kabul every 45 minutes. spokesman john kirby said they expect to build on that momentum. >> we still believe, certainly now that we have been able to increase the capacity and the flow, we believe that we have
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the capability, the ability, to get that done by the end of month. our plan is to continue this pace as aggressively as we can. >> reporter: back in kabul, the desperation grows as the clock ticks down. thousands of people are still attempting to flee, their possessions reduced to what they can carry, or wheel around. while the evacuation numbers are higher, they're only allowing in people with passports and green cards, not the many more who were promised to be considered for a flight out. >> ( translated ): the situation at the airport is really bad. people are crowding, and because of the rush of people, women and children are in miserable condition. >> ( translated ): the situation is unclear, and we don't know who will come and who will run the country. there is unemployment, insecurity. there is no source of income, and we have food and security issues. >> reporter: also today, the taliban ordered all women to stay in their homes "for their own safety."
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less than ten days after taking control of this country, and promising that, this time, women would have their rights, they are starting to feel very much like the old taliban of the 1990s. mahbouba seraj, the founder of the afghan women's network, is one of the most prominent voices advocating for the rights of afghan women. >> i don't have anything to say to the international community, especially the leaders. i have a lot to say to the women of the world. i have a lot to say to the people of the world. but not to the governments of the world. reporter: what do you say to american women who are watching, who are concerned, but feel helpless? how can they help the women of afghanistan? >> i know. i just want to tell them how much i appreciate their solidarity, how much i appreciate the fact that they have been always standing next to us, how much i appreciate the fact that they are still looking after us. i want them to say to the world, just, you know, just watch and see what the taliban are doing. are they keeping their promises? are they really behaving the way
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they are supposed to? if they are not, then at least don't give them the money that you promised them. i would tell every afghan woman tonight, that, my sisters, i love you so much from the bottom of my heart, the ones of you that have left this country is not because you wanted to. it was because you had to. the ones of you that are staying in this country and you can't get out, please don't give up hope. please don't be afraid. things are going to change. nothg in this world is going to stay the same. >> reporter: back in washington, demands for accountability are coming from both sides of the aisle, especially as the biden administration has yet to say just how many americans remain in afghanistan. >> "the buck stops here." president biden said that about a week ago, and then he went off blaming everybody else. but ultimately, it's his decision. he's got to own this, but he's got to own up to the american people. >> reporter: senate intelligence committee chairman mark warner of virginia issued a statement vowing to get to the bottom of
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"why we weren't better prepared for a worst-case scenario involving such a swift and total collapse of the afghan government and security forces”" lawmakers have already announced investigations into the administration's handlinof the afghan withdrawal, hoping to reveal some of those answers. >> nawaz: and jane joins me now, again from kabul. good to see you. we heard president biden say that the u.s. will be finished by august 31st. you showed us thousands of people outside the airport, many more still hoping to make it there. what does that mean for them? >> reporter: there are so many more out there, amna. many sleeping, bedding down for the night. some of them have been there for several days. there are also people in the city who are desperate to make itut here. all of us journalists field frantic calls from former interpreters, anybody who worked with
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the u.s. i.d. and other agencies, and known to work with the foreigners over the last 20 years are really concerned saying that the situation, we can't get through to the airport. now this is a hard deadline. it applies pressure. and we have to remember they have to get to the airport anyway, and the taliban have said they're going to stop people from here on in, stof afghans from getting to the airport. and the airport is really there for foreigners who wiwis to leave, to go, and that could stop anybody's chances of getting through. it is tonight we're beginning to see the taliban stopping afghan civilians. they've alrey had a kind of informal curfew in the evening, it was never guaranteed they could get through checkpoints, but after tonight we're going to know if they're going to act on that promise they're going to stop afghan people from getting to the airport. having seen the crowds of people showing up and the desperate anxiety to get on to a plane, i think
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that will be a challenge for the taliban. but for anybody who is already here, it is still very, very difficult to get inside the airportp on airpd on to a plane, whether or not you're clutching a partly guaranteed visa, an approved visa that has been issued, and it is extremely difficult to get in. >> nawaz: there is intense negotiations under way between the u.s. fibers and the taliban, the head of the c.i.a. meeting with them in kabul. what leverage does the u.s. have at this stage when it is days away from leaving? >> reporter: it is days away from leaving, and it is clinging to the edge of an airport. so the leverage in terms of the situation on the ground in kabul, when you look at it from that literal strength and military perspective, it is very low. this area is surrounded by the taliban. you know, obviously the soldiers here are heavily armed, and the taliban are unlikely to want to really poke the bear to that extent, when it is on its
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way out the door. but at the me time, it is clear that th taliban are happy to put pressure on the united states to leave, and that, from their perspective, they are very much hoping to be seen as the vicrs here, and that they really do, from a p.r. perspective, they want to be able to show the americans wanting to get out. and in a hurry, and they are dictating terms to them. but, however, there is some leverage, potentially. i mean, the taliban are under pressure to actually run this country. it is one thing to menace a country, but it is another thing entirely to run one. they're under pressure to provide services, to provide security here, and they will be, as the last government was, dependent on international aid and support. this country has been suffering under covid lockdowns, suffering under droughts. there is a huge amount of food insecurity for millions of afghans.
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everything from the educational system to the health care system is dependent on the international community. that is a form of leverage. and, lastly, one other form of leverage is the issue basically the leadership of the taliban being on the sanctions list. that has aus been always been something they have been negotiating with, even throughout the whole negotiations with the trump administration during the draw-down deal. that is one way the americans might be able to negotiate with them. i imagine in that meeting with the c.i.a. chief that these topics all came up. >> nawaz: before i let you go, we heard the president mention the threat from isol isis to the kabul airport. what is the security threat? >> reporter: the security threat is that they can't really secure the compound. these are roads provided by the taliban. you're relying on the taliban providing security on the way in. no one is being checked. no one is being checked by the metal detectors.
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you've got crowds showing up. and you have military from britain, all in the street next to taliban commanders. it is a chaotic scene and a very vulnerable one. >> nawaz: another long day of extraordinary reporting by our jane ferguson on the ground in kabul in afghanistan. thank you, jane, and please stay safe. >> reporter: thank you, amna. >> nawaz: well, the last time the taliban was in power, they barred women and girls from working and going to school. one looming question, now that they are back: will half of afganistan's population be able to study and workreely? earlier today, i spoke to pashtana durranifounder and executive director of learn, a non-profit she created three years ago to ensure women and girls have access to education in afghanistan. durrani fled her home in kandahar wn the taliban took control nearly two weeks ago, and is in hiding. we are not disclosing her current location for her safety. >> nawaz: take me back. it's been now a week since the
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taliban took over kabul. what was that moment like for you when you saw that happening? >> i mean, like, taking cover was something that i already-- it was like, you know, in the back of your mind, you know, that it's going to happen the minute they take kandahar. it's for sure, the history has proven back in time, again and again. the minute they take over kandahar, theyake over kabul. it's just a matter of days in this situation. it was just a matter of hours. so when they took over kandahar, i was pretty much sure that afghanistan is gone. and we probably have to get ready for all these things. and, i'm going to be honest. it was an emotional three days for me. i think i cried my eyes out. majority of my interviews, i had very puffy eyes because i kept on crying. and my family, we didn't even know what to pack, what not to pack, what to do, what not to do, who to talk to. like, we left in such a hurry that there was no-- like, nobody knew, what is the next step? what are we going too? what are we going to do about school, situation, future, anything. so, it was just a chaotic mess, and it has continued up until to
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this day. >> nawaz: pashtana, you are 23 years old, is that right? so basically, for most of your life, you have only known an afghanistan in which women are allowed to go to school, and the taliban are not in power and the u.s. has been at war in your country. what are you worried life would look like for you moving forward with the taliban in charge? >> the fact that is-- here's the reason. when the taliban talk on media, they're like, we're going to allow girls to go to school. today they said that "we are going to allow women to get back to work-- only, our fighters don't know how to behave with women. so we just need, like, you know, a window of time." for me, the problem is not the fact that they will let or not let. the fact that what ty see, they should be standing by. right. it makes me what is in essence, like, you know, every time they use sharia law, what if they use it in weak terms, in loose terms, and then just go withne class and say, okay, this is girls' education for you now. right? and then the next time they say women can work, and the only work that they could do would be teaching in a madrassa. right.
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what if that everybody leaves, afghanistan stays here, no everybody can be on that plane. what about the economic situation? what about the girls education? what about women working rights? what about civilian rights? what about people getting appointed in particular positions with no experience? taliban are a military force. they don't have any education. they don't-- they haven't been through this particular system of, like, you know, maintaining or, like, running a country. how will that happen? all those things make you worried. afghanistan is now the hot topic and in the week it won't be, right. what will happen then? all those things make me very much worried about afghanistan. >> nawaz: well, what do you worry about? because right now there is so much focus on afghanistan, and the u.s. is still there, but they won't be in a matter of days. what do you worry will happen when they're gone? >> when they are gone, the first thing that i'm worried about is the fact that they won't be able to open the schools.
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all those public spaces that are shrinking for women, all those things make me worried, because those are the two things that they don't have a very clear track record in the past. and i don't think we should be trusting them right now until they walk the talk, until they make sure that people are-- women are going to work, girls are going to school, things are happening. then we should be trusting them. and this should be a mechanism in place to follow up with them. you know, not only us-- all the western, all throughout the world, the world leaders should follow up with them every now and then. what is happening? what is your literacy rate? what is your workforce rate? how are the women involved? you know, those things are very important right now. and the world is watching. and the world should make sure that there is a mechanism in place, that every time they go back on their word, there's a mechanism in place to make them stop from going back on their watch, when it comes to girls and women. >> nawaz: that's something you'd like to see in the future. but i'd like to ask you what would be your message today, at this point in time, to u.s. aders, to president biden, about what you would like to see the u.s. say or do right now? >> the u.s. right now should focus a lot on the fact that people who are fleeing should be able to flee with more dignity, they should be able to flee with the secure passages. that's the first thing. the second thing that the u.s.
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or joe biden or whoever is in charge right now should be focusing on is, women and girls rights. now, they can do it and they can do it very easily. it's just picking up a phone, calling them, talking to them, because the taliban are fishing for legitimacy. they want legitimacy from the world leaders, and they need it. afghanistan is an independent country. and this all could happen if only the world leaders tell them right w, except these things, move on with these things, open the schools, let the women go to work, and then figure out the political leaders in all these different things later on. yu know, all these public institutions and political institutions, it takes time. but in the process, schools shouldn't be closed, banks shouldn't be closed, people shouldn't really be suffering. >> nawaz: pashtana durrani, you have been an outspoken advocate for women's rights and empowerment and education. you have been an outspoken critic of the taliban. does that make you a target? >> it's-- it's like, you know, i'm going to be honest with you. in the leadership, they're very polite right now. they want to be very inclusive. they want to push for
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legitimacy, so they want to have voices that are against them. but at the same time, they won't entertain those voices in a sense that in the future that we see what is happening. but then there are foot soldiers, and foot soldiers are very emotional. they're happy about their victory and they want to celebrate it. and it wouldn't harm them to target a few activists or journalists. and i'm not the first one. they have done that in the past. you know this. i know this. but yeah, foot soldiers, which are many and are not under the control of all the taliban, they pretty much want to target that would criticize them. >> nawaz: and yet you still continue to speak out and give interviews, why? >> my university closed down, people are-- my, my students are being evacuated, and they're leaving right now. if it was about me, only me, i could have moved to any of the neighboring countries, continued with my studies, and be done with it. ani have the opportunities. but then again, there is a whole 50%-- there is 7,000 girls who i have talked to and i have made sure that they will have a future, that we will get through this high school phase.
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at least i have an international platform right now. i could raise a voice for them. i mean, like, i wouldn't forgive someone who wouldn't raise a voice for me if they have access to all those things, and i feel the same responsibility towards them. they don't have the internet, they don't have electricity, they don't have the family support right now, or most importantly, access to international media. i have all that. so why not talk about it? because girls are dependent on the public institutions and public schools. not only me. and i should be talking. it's my responsibility. it's my country. >> nawaz: pashtana durrani, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us, and please stay safe. >> thank you for having me. thank you. >> nawaz: in the day's other news, u.s. public health leaders urged businesses and governments to impose vaccination mandates. they pointed to the f.d.a.'s fully approving thpfizer vaccine. white house covid coordinator jeffrey zients said people who've resisted the shots no longer have an excuse, and employers have no more
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reason to delay. >> if you're a business, a non- profit, a state or local leader who has been waiting for full and final f.d.a. approval before you put vaccination requirements in place, now is the time. you have the power to protect your communities and help end the pandemic through vaccination requirements. >> nawaz: covid infections and deaths in the u.s. have continued to rise since last week, despite a rise in vaccinations. in tokyo, the paralympics opened amid the pandemic's worst surge yet in japan. ceremonies featured a nighttime fireworks display in a nearly- empty stadium, due to pandemic restrictions. instead, spectators watched from outside. majority democrats in the u.s. house of representatives struck a deal today, advancing president biden's sweeping budget plan. it contains $3.5 trillion in social and environmental spending. party moderates wanted to vote first on a bipartisan infrastructure bill-- but they
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agreed to wait till next month. democratic leaders hailed the agreement, while republicans uniformly opposed it. >> today is a great day of pride for our country and for democrats. we have a president with a big bold vision for our country and an unprecedented opportunity to keep our promises for the people. >> our country's infrastructure should not be tied to the democrats' partisan spending spree, especially during a pandemic. but, here we are. >> nawaz: house democrats also med to pass a bill that they said would bolster voting rights. it faces uncertain prospects in the evenly-divided senate. the death toll in middle tennessee's flood disaster was revised down today, to 18. three people were still listed as missing. that came as local officials reported around 120 homes were washed off their foundations on saturday. hundreds more were damaged. scores of flood victims are
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now relying on donated clothes and food. vice president harris today accused china of using coercion and intimidation to enforce territorial claims in the south china sea. she was in singapore, meeting with business leaders during a southeast asian tour. in a speech, she said the u.s. is committed to opposing china's moves. >> beijing's actions continue to undermine the rules-based order and threaten the sovereignty of nations. the united states stands with our allies and partners in the face of these threats. >> nawaz: china shot back that the accusation is a smear tactic, and that the u.s. has lost its credibility over the chaotic withdrawal from afghanistan. separately, vice president harris was delayed several hours in flying to hanoi in vietnam. reports said officials were investigating a possible case of so-called "havana syndrome." it refers to a variety of
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ailments first reported by u.s. diplomats in cuba in 2016. in the middle east, new fighting has broken out between israel and hamas-- the worst since their 11-day war in may. today, hamas-backed militants in gaza sent balloon bombs into southern israel. overnight, israeli air strikes hit targets in gaza after a previous round of balloon bombs and cross-border machine gun fire. also today, israeli troops killed a palestinian teenager during clashes in the west bank. and on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 30 points to close at 35,366. the nasdaq rose 77 points to finish above 15,000 for the first time. and the s&p 500 added six. and, legendary rolling stones drummer charlie watts died today in london. he joined the band in 1963, remained for nearly 60 years, and played with the group again years later. here he is from the documentary "shine a light," performing "jumpin' jack flash" with the stones in 2006.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ >> nawaz: charlie watts was 80 years old. he will be missed. still come on the newshour: fatigue and frustratiofrom the pandemic lead to a critical shortage of nurses. haiti faces the aftermath of a major earthquake and increasingly dire food shortages. the first black man inducted into the sailing hall of fame reflects on his life. and much more.
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>> nawaz: well, the u.s. house of representatives is back in washington for a rare august session. the agenda? moving forward on potentially trillions of dollars of spending. with a narrow majority, democrats need every vote, and ten moderates have been throwing up roadblocks for speaker pelosi's timeline. congressional correspondent lisa desjardins is here to walk us through it. lisa, good to see you. >> hi. >> nawaz: clearly a contentious day with these two big bills. walk us through what happened. >> take a deep breath. i'll try to keep this simple. but it was a very dramatic day of action on two of the biggest bills in the democratic agenda and two of the biggest bills in u.s. history. first, there is that infrastructure bill. if you look at that, the infrastructure bill is
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something that we know has the votes to pass. it is a bipartisan bill. it all right passed the senate. the other bill we're talking about is that $3.5 trillion bill, somewhere around there, biden bill called "build back better." it is not clear what it is quite yet. speaker pelosi trying to get both of these bills passed, tied the one that has the votes to the one that doesn't, the build back better vote. this was her plan. she said only when the large biden bill passes will i give that bipartisan one a chance. today that changed. that is because of the 10 democrats you reported on, the moderates, who said no, we will not support a first step, a critical step for that huge multi-trillion bill, we won't support it unless you guarantee that infrastructure can pass on its own. and speaker pelosi changed what she is trying to do, and she said, okay, by the end of september, i will
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give the infrastructure bill its own vote. >> nawaz: 24 hours of negotiations condensed to a few minutes. neither of these bills is passing, so why does this matter so much? >> it is a critical moment. it is a have very, very big win for the infrastructure bill. now the idea it could be separated is very big news for its supporters, and for americans all-around the country wo need more infrastructure and issues in that bill. on the other hand, it adds a lot of pressure to senate to try to act quickly and ups the timeline across the border on all of this. >> nawaz: the question everybody wants to know: what happens next? >> september is going to be something. it is going to be intense. these bills are poised to potentially have major action in september. i want to go over what else can happen in september. a quick look at the calendar for what congress has to do by october. the so-called
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reconciliation bill, they have to do, and pass government funding, and what else? raise the debt ceiling, due by the end of september. and to bring it full circle, they must pass the infrastructure bill. to understand the dynamics, i talked to kurt schrader of oregon. congressman, thank you for joining us. for the past two days, your group of 10 members froze action on one of the president's top priorities, the $3.5 trillion build back better bill. it has ideas for universal pre-"k" and other things, climate change, that your group says is critical. so i wonder, why take this dramatic action to stall it for a few days? >> actually, that is not what we did. we actually voted today on a rule that allows the infrastructure bil bipartisan infrastructure bill, worked out by the group in the house, and senators from both sides of the aisle, and the president of the united
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states actually come to the floor by a date certain and allows the budget resolution to go into effect, and they can figure out if they want to do reconciliation and at what number at a later date. the big win today for america is that the infrastructure bill stands on its own two feet, and has a date certain by which we're going to vote for it. raises two million new jobs, the biggest investment in decades, actually, for public transit, water and sewer, it connects families with broadband across the country. hopefully no more holes. energy resiliency to deal with the climate issues out there. basically the biggest infrastructure package we've had in the last century. >> nonetheless, this was a pretty intense staredown between you and speaker pelosi, who wanted things to move pretty quickly. i'm wondering why you took this move? there are close margins in the house, and just a few members have a lot of powe >> hopefully not.
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this is something we work out. legislation is a difficult business. you never get everything you want and exactly the way you want it. you look at what was your overall goal? the overall goal was to make sure wead a stand-alone infrastructure bill, supported by the chamber of consumers', supported by the afl/cio and the american people. some people tried to link it to other issues that were very partisan, and frankly unproductive in our discussions. since it was such a bipartisan issue, we wanted a clear, stand-alone vote, and we got that. >> let's talk about the other piece, the part that you see is unlinked, the build back better bill. right now it is about $3.5 trillion. could you ever support a bill that size? or what do you think is right? >> actually, the house will not vote on anything that the senate can't pass. the speaker has made a
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commitment to affect. she issued a written statement, it has to at least get 51 votes and pass the senate. as i understand it, senator cinema said she is not voting for 3.5, and i don't think joe manchin is either. it will be something less than that. we have no idea what is in it at this point in time. it is a morfous shell, and then we'll know whether or not we want to vote for that and bring that along at a different point in time. >> in all of this, there are different viewpoints within the democratic caucus, and there are people pushing for bipartisan, and the infrastructure deal was part of that. congressman alexandria ocasio-cortez said she felt moderates were not helpful, and she said just because something is bipartisan doesn't mean it is good.
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how do you respond to that? >> well, she represents her district, and i represent mine. that's the way it should be in the united states congress. this bill has overwhelming support by democrats, independents, and republicans. the president of the united states of america and democrats overruling overwhg support this. the secretary of transportation supports this. 69 senators, and 19 republicans crossed the aisle to vote for this. my problem-solvers group met a 75% threshold to endorse this proposal way back when. so i guess that answer is it is very popular. let's go ahead and vote on it, get a big win for the american people. desperately we need that right now with covid and afghanistan and some of the other issues out there. let's show america that congress, despite all of the difference we have can work together on the meat and potatoes issues that matter to them.
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>> a lot to talk about. congressman kurt schrader of oregon, thank you so much. >> thank you so much, lisa, for having me. i appreciate. >> nawaz: the pandemic has been especially difficult for those working on the front lines of health care. increasingly, we're hearing about doctors and nurses who are exhausted and burning out. moreover, the demands of caring for covid patients comes when the nursing profession needed more nurses to begin with. one estimate from the government found a need for more than one million new registered nurses, to avoid a nursing shortage. william brangham looks at the fallout from all of this. >> brangham: that's right, amna. according to the kaiser family foundation, roughly 60% of frontline healthcare workers said that pandemic-related stress had negatively affected their own mental health. and that was a poll taken before the delta variant arrived and filled hospitals even more. when i was at baton rouge general earlier this month, i heard much of the same.
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an overtaxed hospital, i.c.u.'s full of mostly unvaccinated patients, and a nursing staff that had been struggling for over 16 months. >> the patients aren't going to stop coming. they're going to keep coming. and there's-- there's nothing that-- that we can do to stop that. so, i mean, we have to do what we have to do to be able to care for them. so, yes, we're tired, but we have nurses that are picking up extra shifts and, you know, canceling plans, and getting people to watch their kids if they can come in and help. we have nurses that are coming in that have been, you know, on maternity leave, and have been doing-- in positions and they're coming in, picking up shifts. >> brangham: for more on how hospitals are facing staff shortages amid this now-fourth surge of cases, i'm joined by mary mahew. she's the president of the florida hospital association.
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mary mahew, thank you for being here. i know you have been talking to hospital administrators across the state, and we know florida is suffering with a lot of new cases and a lot of hospitalizations. what are you hearing from them? how are things there? >> first of all, we have today nearly 17,000 covid hospitalizations across the state. and that is combined with unusually high volumes of very ill non-covid patients, along with emergency rooms that are overcrowded and full. so boots on the ground, we are at unprecedented levels in terms of the demand on the system, which is strained. very few i.c.u. beds, very few beds generally available around the state. >> brangham: i know there is a real shortage of nurses, to command a lot of those beds. i know this was a crisis that preceded the pandemic.
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but, obviously, it seems like the pandemic has only exacerbated this. >> first of al, nurses are the heart and soul of our hospitals. we have many health care professionals throughout the organization. our nurses, our respiratory therapists, our e.r. staff, it is nearly indescribable the physical and mental exhaustion that our nurses and our staff have been under. when you're dealing with patients who are lining the halls on stretchers, when you are having to find a hospital in some other part of the state that can take a patient, and you are calling day in and day out to find those beds, it's tough to put into words the stress that that has created, the challenges it has created, and certainly the other concern: these nurses have put their own families at risk because of the exposure or the concern about the exposure to covid. so it is a lot.
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we've had our hospital executives using the phrase "post traumatic stress" to describe what they are responding to and preparing for to support their workforce, their nurses in the coming months and years. >> brangham: so what is the solution to this? i mean, can you -- are there surplus of nurses elsewhere that you can bring? can we train more nurses? like how do you see the way out of this? >> we have over 8,000 nursing vacancies right now. one in four nurses lft nursing last year. one in three critical care nurses left the profession last year, or left their jobs, at least within their respective hospitals. so we've goto look at the pipeline. we've got to understand how many new nurse graduates do we need, and how much does the system today currently support it? we know there are waiting
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lists typically to get into these programs. we know that nurse faculty -- we enough teachers to support not only the current demand, but ultimately the supply of nurses that we need to support. and, again, this is both about retention, the workplace environment, what we need to be looking at to support that workplace environment, and then the number of new nurses that we need to be graduating in the next 12, 24, 36 months. >> brangham: do you attribute that attrition that you describe to the depression of this pandemic, the 16 months of never ending and now this most recent surge? >> it is important to underscore these are incredibly difficult and demanding jobs in the best of circumstances. now you layer on to that nearly 18 months responding to this unprecedented pandemic. and then the trauma that they are experiencing.
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they certainly experienced it throughout the pandemic, but now they are seeing healthy 25-year-olds become hospitalized with covid. they are seeing young mothers die from covid. the level of trauma from those experiences, we are absolutely seeing nurses that are leaving the bedside, either taking a break from that 24/7 hospital environment or pursuing other opportunities in community practices. >> brangham: mary mahew of the florida hospital association, thank you very much for being here. >> thank you. ♪♪ >> nawaz: in haiti, the death toll from this month's 7.2 magnitude earthquake
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continues to rise. more than 2,200 people are confirmed dead, with 344 still missing. but as john yang reports, the earthquake has led to a new set of challenges for haitians. >> yang: in the hard-hit city of les cayes, scavengers and rescue crews sift through the same debris. haitians look for anything they can use, or sell, as excavators begin clearing what remains of buildings, and a rescue team from mexico takes a pause. >> ( translated ): after several readings from the electronic equipment until we reached the floor, unfortunately, we obtained nmore signs of life. >> yang: earthquake-fractured roads slow down trucks carrying food and fuel to isolated villages. farmers set up a camp in the region of grand'anse after the earthquake destroyed their crops. survivor evelya michele said people here were desperate for food and water. >> ( translated ): we are here with our children;
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i don't know how many, but we need to feed them. we need food, water, clothes. they are crying because they are hungry and thirsty. >> yang: some haitians, frustrated with the aid distribution, have taken matters into their own hands. crowds descend on trucks of food before officials can distribute their contents. some earthquake survivors clashed over supplies. over the weekend, gang leaders declared a truce, which they said was to help relief efforts. this man blamed the problem on the police. >> ( translated ): the city is doing badly now. we are suffering. we can't find food to eat. when the truck arrives with the food, the police don't want to distribute it. >> yang: aid workers are doing their best to keep order and deter stealing. at this les cayes camp, they surrounded bags of fd aid. even as one displaced person tried to assure fellow survivors there was enough food for everyone, a scuffle broke out. >> there's a lot of hungry people here, and they're doing
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exactly what anybody on this planet would do if their kids were hungry. there is a lot of desperation and unrest. >> yang: tom cotter is the director of emergency response and preparedness at project hope, a non-governmental humanitarian group. he said that more than a week after the initial quake, some badly-injured people are just now getting medical attention. >> it's really a critical time >> some are coming by motorcycle. some are coming by pickup truck. we even had someone come in today that had been carried. a man probably in his 60s, with crush injuries to his limbs, having been >> yang: the u.s. coast guard has sent crews to evacuate injured itians. brazil and germany have also sent rescue teams and doctors. peter kaup is with the german team. >> ( translated ): it helps to see that we are able to improve the situation significantly for some individuals. >> yang: while medical crews are able to provide life-saving aid
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to some, many haitians are focused on burying the loved ones whose lives were taken in the earthquake. for the pbs newshour, i'm hn yang. >> nawaz: now, a man who made history and set records in a profession and sport not known for its diversity. special correspondent mike cerre has the story from puerto rico. >> the sea doesn't care what your economic status is, your religion, your nationality, your sex. doesn't care what you think. it cares about one thing: i am the sea. >> reporter: bill pinkney chronicled his solo sail around the world, as the first african american to do it the hard way
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around the great southern capes, in his 1992 video diary and documentary. >> it's been very, very rough. seven days i've had nothing but bad weather. the boat has been knocked on its side a couple of times. >> reporter: raised on chicago's southside, in a fatherless home, often on public assistance, attending inner city public schools, bill pinkney's sailing accomplishments are all the more extraordinary. >> the fact that i was black meant that statistically, before i was 21, i would be either be killed from crime of violence on drugs or incarcerated. now, i never believed the statistics. >> reporter: now 85, he's retired in puerto rico, where he first learned how to sail small cargo skiffs while stationed here with the navy in the '50s. >> i was a terrible student,
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but i read this book entitled“ call to courage” about a young man who was an outcast with the people on this island in polynesia. i held that as my dream for great adventure in my life. >> reporter: after a successful career as a cosmetics executive, bill pinkney decided to sail around the world in 1990, while in his mid-50s, as a legacy for his grandchildren-- and to teach inner city students back at his former elementary school how far they could go with a basic education and by making commitments-- like he named his boat, donated by other sailors and businessmen. well before the internet and instagram, he sent back video dispatches from his circumnavigation, and social studies reports from his several stopovers during his two-year sailing adventure. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> this is capoeira, the first kind of break-dancing.
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>> reporter: the lesson plans he created with chicago educators eventually connected his voyage with nearly 30,000 students. >> i had one day when i made almost 140 miles in a day. my average speed for that day is a number that you might want to figure out. the thing i tried to show in my trip was that the things you use and learn every day, the things you learn in the first 12 years of school, come into play every single day. >> reporter: bill pinkney added to his sailing lacy as the first captain of the amistad schooner replica, for teaching the sailing history of the slave trade. and taking teachers to africa for a middle passage crossing from senegal to the amicas, starting from the “door of no return,” the slaves passed through. >> that was the whole idea, to
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give thajuxtaposition, to get a real, a visceral appreciation of that distance, of that time, that removal. that quantum leap from africa to america essentially as cgo contemporarily as a master. >> reporter: nearly three decades since his historic solo circumnavigation, and nearly ten years on the national sailing hall of fame nomination list, bill pinkney is finally joining sailing's elite. not so much for his sailing, as for his lifetime contributions to the sport. >> sailing gets a bad rap for being an elitist sport, because it's always portrayed as yachting. because sailing is predominantly white and there aren't many black people doing it, it's an easy-- it's easy to hang your hat on something like that, if sailing, on the other hand, is people on boats anywhere from a
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little optimus dinghy, up to 140-, 170-, 190-foot boat that sails. i don't believe that my entry into the hall of fame had anything to do with-- as much with the times that we live in, and black lives matter. i think it had to do more with my ability, what my story is, what my history, what my achievements have been. >> reporter: these days, bill pinkney is playing more dominoes at the local american legion post than sailing and hanging out at yacht clubs. he is a member of the prestigious new york yacht club in new york island. hurricane maria beached his most recent boat, causing extensive damages, and the covid shutdown crushed his charter boat business-- but not bill pinkney's faith in sailing as his metaphor for life. >> i kept my focus on what my
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goal was. i knew that i had to complete what i started, because there were kids out there watching, and adults also, who were depending on me to make my dream a reality, so their dream would seem more like a reality tohem. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, mike cerre reporting from fajardopuerto rico. >> nawaz: for the past 40 years, ruben garcia has served as the director of the annunciation house, an organization that works with people on both sides of the u.s./mexico border, to help people immigrate or determine their next steps after deportation. tonight, he shares his "brief but spectacular" take on how embracing refugeesuilds stronger societies.
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>> i believe that many of us in the united states tend to look at the refugee, the immigrant, as someone who is simply a matter of charity. so many of our industries are interwoven with the immigrant and the refugee. when we protect the refugee, the immigrant, we are protecting ourselves. >> i was fortunate to have been born here in el paso, a border city, a border community. my family lived on both sides of the border. i had family that lived in juarez, mexico, as well as here in el paso. i grew up going back and forth. it was a daily event that was as normal as crossing the street in any neighborhood in the united states. annunciation house is an organization that operates houses of hospitality for
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refugees and immigrants, right on the border in el paso, texas and juarez, mexico. we've been doing this now for almost 44 years. the vast majority of those that come to our houses are individuals that have been processed by border patrol or ice, and then are released on their own recognizance. some of the policies that were implemented during the trump administration, were-- i would use the word, they were "inhuman." the worst among multiple policies was the zero tolerance policy, whereby the children of parents were separated from parents so that the parent could then be prosecuted criminally. there's over a thousand children that have not been reunited with parents. annunciation house was one of four locations that was selected to receive the reunified families. and to see the dynamic of people coming back together again. and-- and let me tell you, it
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isn't all just hugs and tears. there's also anger. anger on the part of children who look at the parent and basically accuse the parent of abandoning them. why did you leave me? why didn't you come get me? it's an incredibly profound experience to see that reunification. i've always believed that all of us have a responsibility to each other, and i also believe that the vast majority of us find some way to live that. when annunciation house came into existence, that simply continued to affirm that commitment to the other. my name is ruben garcia, and this is my "brief, but spectacular" take of refugees on the border. >> nawaz: you can watch all our "brief but spectacular" episodes at on the newshour online right
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now, 20 years after singer aaliyah's death, her full discography will be now available on streaming platforms for the first time. read more about how she is bei celebrated, and her impact on the world of music and how its being commemorated. that's on and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm amna nawaz. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you for joining us, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >>ajor funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> pediatric surgeon. volunteer. topiary artist. a raymond james financial advisor tailors advice to help you live your life. life, well-planned. >> consumer cellular.
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>> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> the kendeda fund. committed to advancing restorative justice and meaningful work through investments in transformative leaders and ideas. more at >> fidelity wealth management. >> 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.
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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh >> you're watching pbs.
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[upbeat music] - hello everyone, and welcome to "amanpour & company." here's what's coming up. two great powers meet. what is the world to make with this brief encounter? putting the biden-putin summit into historical perspective with nina khrushcheva, the great granddaughter of theoviet leader and amican diplomat, richard haass. plus. - [man] no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no. - [christiane] the last best hope for a divided america, george packer, talks about his new book and bringing together a fractured nation. then. - truth is a battle. there's no question. and maybe never more so than that. - [christiane] heavyweight novelists salman rushd with walter isaacson in defense of truth. [upbeat music]