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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 25, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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♪ amna: good evening. i'm amna nawaz. judy woodruff is away. on the "newshour" tonight -- desperate to flee. chaotic scenes in kabul as thousands struggle to leave afghanistan, just days ahead of a full u.s. withdrawal. then, on the border. the supreme court reinstates the controversial trump-era remain in mexico policy for asylum seekers, complicating an already critical situation. and, and new collar jobs. efforts intensify to match people without college degrees with employers who need to fill better paying jobs as income inequality widens. >> why is there such difference in earnings between people who are college graduates and people who are not, in this country?
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it is simply not the case that not having a bachelors degree means that you don't have skills to contribute. amna: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- ♪ >> bnsf railway. consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. financial services firm raymond james. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems.
6:02 pm >> the lemelson foundation, committed to improving lives through invention. supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur world. ♪ 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. ♪ amna: the u.s and allied evacuation of afghanistan is now flying out thousands of americans, allied personnel, and afghans every day, as a biden-pronounced deadline looms for a complete withdrawal in less than one week. the first of the nearly
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6000 american troops have left, and many thousands more afghans and americans await. to date, 82,000 300 peopleave now been evacuated by the united states from kabul since august 14. 19,000 have been flown out in just the last 36 hours by the u.s. and its partners. secretary of state antony blinken said today more than 4,500 americans plus their families have now been evacuated. up to 1,500 americans may still be in afghanistan, trying to leave, he added. lisa desjardins begins our coverage. lisa: outside the kabul airport, throngs still desperately try to get past the razor wire barriers. many stand and wait in an open sewer. the biden administration has faced heavy pressure to answer exactly how remaining americans and afghan allies will be brought out. out front today answering questions, secretary of state antony blinken. >> i take responsibility. i know the president has said he takes responsibility.
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and i know all of my colleagues across government feel the same way. lisa: he seemed to try and quell the panic in kabul by saying he expects the taliban will let peop leave even after the u.s. is gone. >> we will use every diplomatic, economic, assistance tool at our dispos, working hand-in-hand with the international community first and foremost to ensu that those who want to leave afghanistan after the 31'st are able to do so. lisa: but trusting the taliban in the past was a life-and death risk. u.s. officials have acknowledged that evacuation flights will slow down in the coming days in order to reduce the number of u.s. and coalition troops and the many tons of equipment brought back to afghanistan. fear has become paralyzing for some at risk, including one afghan man spoke with the "newshour" by phone. he worked for the afghan government and an american news outlet. >> if if they recognized me that i was working with the
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government, with different organization, they might cut me, . i am afraid of that. my small daughters, they are afraid of these things. they're crying. they are always crying. and they're asking please save us, save us. lisa: he urged the u.s. to extend the deadline for withdrawal. >> somebody has to take me as soon as possible. if biden government extend this program, it will be much better , to find a way to go to the airport. even now i cannot go to the airport. believe me, if i go to the washroom, my dghter, my sons, they are crying. even my wife. lisa: pentagon spokesperson john kirby said the u.s. has been adamant with the taliban who should be allowed through. >> we've been very clear wit taliban leaders about what credentials want them to accept. the people that we have made clear to the taliban that we want to have access through the checkpoints have been able to get througby and large, again, with caveats.
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so it hasn't been a big problem to date. lisa: "newshour" spoke by phone with one american citizen as he drove to the airport he says he reached out to the u.s. embassy but never hed back. >> i am a u.s. citizen. my wife, she has a green card and my two kids was born in boston, massachusetts. they are u.s. citizens. right now the situation is really tough, as you know. >> i came, i think it was on july 13. on the u.s. embassy website, there was an email address that i could send an email and i could request embassy assistance. and i did that. i just got the auto-reply and i didn't get anything else other than that. and then i was just waiting for last three days for a response and i didn't receive anything. lisa: he and his family finally got help from a u.s. senator. yesterday president biden affirmed that the u.s. would stick with the 31 evacuation august deadline despite pleas by some world leaders and members of congress to prolong the mission. the president did say there were
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contingency plans being drawn up to stay longer. but sources involved in the evacuation efforts, including members of congress, tell "newshour" that the situation on the ground is glaringly different that the american process remains a bottleneck and there is no way everyone can be out by august 31 under current conditions. some world leaders said they will continue evacuations until that deadline, but would not be able to stay past that without the u.s. support meanwhile, the humanitarian situation in afghanistan remains catastrophic. according to unicef officia, one million children under the age of 5 will be severely malnourished by the end of the year if no action is taken. >> in addition to the conflict and crisis that we have seen,n addition to the malnourishment crisis we have seen, in addition to the fear and anxiety across the country, afghanistan is a country in drought. people don't have enough water. lisa: the world food program estimates 14 million people in afghanistan today are struggling to put food on the table.
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the worsening economy in afghanistan is troubling for many, too. >> there is no work. and in the previous system of the islamic emirate, our work was a guest of the law. everyone is scared and i work in fear. lisa: as some grapple with a frightening future, for many afghans the next day or two remain crucial, and desperate as the window to leave seems to be closing fast. >> people are leaving, my brother, because they are afraid of complications people are in the future. people are afraid for their lives, brother. lisa: for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. amna: as you just heard, lisa and not jane ferguson narrated our lead story. that's because jane and producer and videographer eric o'connor were flown from kabul this morning on the u.s. air force evacuation flight, to an american air force base outside of doha, qatar. they're working with the support of the pulitzer center, and i spoke with jane just a few minutes ago. amna describe what this like? wed out of the country.
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describe if you can, what with the process like, what did it take to leave, what did kabul airport look like as you were leaving? jane: i am still not at the far end of my destination, it has taken that long, but kabul airport itself was more orderly on the inside than it had been, you had reallyeen the uptick in planes. it is still a six or seven hour wait once you make it through the gate and you get registered. the registration process was fairly simple. they are giving passports, giving people wristbands, taking bubio data. six to seven hours is vast improvement. there have been people who got to the airport and waited for days for a flight in the past. once you get -- once the flight comes for you, you are only allowed to bring limited luggage. several hundred people are
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guided down the tarmac toward the huge c-17, these massive military aircraft which can carry large amounts of people and cargo. and you are basically seeing families, people clutching little children. very little luggage. people come with a tiny amount, small handbags and that's it. small children, elderly. there was someone on our flight who was an elderly lady in a wheelchair, and everybody literally climbed up the ramp and into the aircraft. once inside, everyone just sits down and holds on the best they can. is so crammed. there is barely enough room to lie down. mosteople are just sitting crosslegged against one another. children are sleeping. the flight from kabul to qatar is only about three or four hours, so that is relatively
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comfortable. once people get to this end, there is a backlog of people here. the hangers are still full. we sat on the tarmac for over one hour on the plane. we disembarked, obscenely hot here. the persian gulf in the summer. the people who have been on the plane had to wait outside on the tarmac for nearly two hours because they were waiting to go into a hangar. the hangers are so full of people. american soldiers told us it can be a 6 to 8 hour wait. just to get processed. and that is before they get on the flight to the united states. it is an ardous and long joirney. amna: and jane, we are seeing some of these images and video you have been shooting, tell us a little bit more about who else was on that plane, on that
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military aircraft. are the vast majority afghans, are they from other nations? what is the sense once they get to the transit center in doha? jane: there is about eight of us foreign journalists there. other than that, i believe everybody was afghan. we managed to chat to a few people -- these are military aircraft, so they are very loud. you have to shout to talk because of the noise on the inside. we did manage to talk to a few and they were relatives of interpreters. i do believe that a fair few of the people and our flight were those who had been granted that special immigrant visas. the military interpreters that had worked with u.s. service people. it was a hugely diverse group in terms of gender and age. lots of small, small children and also the elderly. large families traveling together.
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the atmosphere was very much one of people who are exhausted. not only have they gone through the horrendous journey of getting to and through kabul airport, which we are all very aware of no, but they have also lived through the collapse in their own state, and the uncertainty of the last 10 days. people look exhausted, but there is a sense of relief. it is a very strange atmosphere on these planes because, obviously, there is a deep sadness. there is the grief and trauma of leaving him behind. everyone getting on an evacuation flight during a war is not choosing to leave. so there is that sadness. but you are also surrounded by so many children whose entire lives will likely be lived in a different country as a result of this. so there is a real sense of history, of history that is personal for these people, but also on a huge scale for their cotry, when you are inside and watching the different
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generations, watching their life change overnight. amna: you have covered afghanistan for years. on this last trip, you were there for over 10 days, i believe. what is it that will do that now was a time 20. >> jane: this has been the most logistically challenging assignment of my career. we had to question ourselves and question our judgment in our choices all day, every day, because it is unprecedented, we have never been in a country taken over by a group recognized internationally as terrorists. where the entire state institutions have collapsed. i have covered coups, civil wars, revolutions. as we were watching what president biden would do with that august 31 deadline, that really impacted our decision on how and when to move. we were in constant contact with
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the military, we also had a large contingency here for flights out, and we were told basically that although the deadline might be august 31, that doesn't mean that people like us, foreign journalists, can show up at the airport on august 30 and hop in a plane. we were told that things, within the day or two, getting on flights would be more difficult. so journalists had a choice, either stay on or take your chance with the airport closing afterward and being in the country with only the taliban in control and the airport not operational, or try to hop on one of these flights. as a journalist, i wanted to be on the last one as possible so i can continue to do my work as much as i can. we went to the airport, and this is the one the american military put us on. so i am grateful for the opportunity to get out safely, but every journalist i think feels the same way.
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maybe they could do more, maybe they should stay longer. we will always have that conflict of feeling. amna: jane, you are "newshour " family, and i am sure many people are so happy that u are safe. we know you will continue to follow this in the weeks and months ahead. please stay safe. jane: thank you. amna: we step back now for a broader look at the looming adline to evacuate with, matt zeller, co founder of no one left behind, a non profit dedicated to getting interpreters, their families and others who worked with the u.s. out of afghanistan. he is an army veteran former cia , a analyst, and wrote a book about his experience called "watches without time: an american soldier in afghanistan." and we also are joined by john sifton. he is the asia advocacy director at human rights watch. welcome to you both and thank yofor making the time. matt, 80 2000 people evacuated
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in a matter of days, no small feat. they absolutely get credit for that. but how does what has been done so far compared to the existing need on the ground? >> they have done it at the 11th hour, and done months earlier, it will haunt us for the rest of our people that t biden administration will be judged on is not the number of people we have saved -- that is a heroic and valiant effort, every single aircrew, state department official, department of defense official, aid worker who are home right now trying to still help afghans get to the airport, they are heroes. but we could have gotten every single person out. so we need to be clear, we will be leaving a lot of people behind. the association of wartime allies has been spending the last week talking with 100 data
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scientists at the american university here in washington, d.c. the new york times will be publishing a story on this. our estimation is that we are leaving behind somewhere between 175,000 people. amna: john, that number is just stunning. in the u.s. is evacuating tens of thousands of people a day now. is there any chance everyone gets out by that deadline? >> one of the things to recognize is that it is not just interpreters and people working for the u.s. military. the u.s. and nato partners have lists of people who will be granted entry into their countries because of their work for media companies, for u.s. organizations, for human rights groups. so when we talk about who is outside the airport waiting to get access, it not just u.s. citizens or the interpreters who held to the military, it is human rits defenders, lawyers and advocas and academics and
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their families and many oth people who are going to be targeted by the taliban because of the work they did. when we say we need more time, when we say that president biden needs to focus on the political issues here, not the technical issues of meeting a deadline, but on the political issues of going back to the taliban and saying, we need to work out a few more days to get people out, we are talking about people on the list. we are not talking about an unlimited mber of afghans who are going to seek refuge. make no mistake, there will be hundreds of thousands who will seek refuge for other reasons in the coming years, but we are talking about people who have already been authorized or reauthorized for access to the united states and, nato partners whose names are on lists at the kabul airport. get this people out. we are still going to have many people left behind. but at least that. that demands an extension of the
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deadline, which requires further negotiation with the taliban. amna: what kind of extension are we talking about? what would you like to see. >> i can put a number on it. the taliban will ultimately decide. by the taliban has already agreed to allow what is going on right now and that should tell us everything we need to know. the taliban is not going to attack when they know what will happen if that occurs. they know that the united states is leaving. it is just a question of working out the particulars. the other issue is access to the airport. even if there is an extension, the united states and the taliban have to work out differences about how people are going to the airport. secretary blinken suggested today that they told the taliban how it can happen, but we are hearing every hour and every day, up until 20 minutes before this interview, people can't get to the airport because they are not able to make it through the checkpoints. amna: matt, i want to ask you
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about that deadline because we have to remind people, that was set by the biden administration. . do you think they should abide by it? what sort of extension are you suggesting? don't they provoke the taliban into getting into a fight on the ground if they stay past the deadline. >> we are talking about an additional five days. that is what the math is. the association of wartime allies has a daily tracker we have been putting out since may and we were trying to convince the administration to do the evacuation back then, and what we have shown is that at the current pace we could get every single person that we are seeking to take out, everyone one of these people on these lists, out by september 5. we need an additional five days. i completely agree with the other panelist, we should be negotiating this one thing. i also agree with his analysis.
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i think the taliban have made the calculus that we are going to leave and that they can push us around and if we were going to get forceful and say back to them, no, we are staying until it is mission complete and it will risk a shooting war, they will probably stand down. they know they won. they got the country. they don't want to fight us for these people. so the choice to leave on the 31st really truly is a choice to abandon and betray them. amna: matt, is the u.s. in a position to bargain on its way out? >> yes, we are still the most powerful military on the planet. more power than any of our nearest allies combined. if you think the other 10 leading nations in nato, their militaries alone don't even combine up to hours. we absolutely have the means.
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unfortunately, this entire time, we have lacked the will. amna: john, what are you thinking about whethinking about what we could potentially leave behind? >> obviously, the situation will be a catastrophe. and there are other issues, about whether the international community will recognize the taliban in some capacity and allow some of the humanitarian assistance that is vitally needed right now to get to afghanistan. he just asked about leverage -- that is it. the taliban recognize that they cannot survive whout some level of international recognition that allows them to get access to net judge emergency humanitarian assistance, but also developmental assistance, and even recognition of the u.n. to allow them to begin to have a monetary policy. there are huge bargaining chips on the table. and the united states can't just act like because they lost
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the war, they don't have any cards to play. that is not the case. amna: if the administration does not extend the deadline, matt, what do you worry about? >> the profound death that is coming. we have already started to see it. we know the taliban are going door-to-door throughout afghanistan, now inside kabul. . they are disappearing our wartime allies in the night never to be seen again by their families. there is video on social media of them shooting an interpreter today as he was trying to get to the airport. he says they beat me, i am an interpreter. and they shoot him. i have been warning of a whole coalition. every single one of us has been warning that this would happen that we could have saved people. we still can. there's still time. they are not dead yet, but they will be quite soon. and when that happens, we have to know that we played a part in that. we chose to abandon him. amna: days before that looming
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deadline on august 31. matt zeller and john sifton, thank you very much for joining us tonight. ♪ stephanie: i am stephanie sy with "newshour west," we'll get to the rest of the program after the latest headlines. a new warning late this evening out of afghanistan. the u.s. embassy there is asking american citizens to avoid traveling to the airport in kabul. even those already at certain gates are being advised to leave immediately. the alert cites unspecified threats. in other news, the world health organization warned that its probe of covid-19's origins has stalled, and that the trail is growing cold. in geneva, agency leaders said 's still impossible to say if the virus leaked from a lab in china, because beijing refuses to share its own findings. >> we have heard from chinese colleagues that some studies are underway from some public statements that they have made
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recently. so, again, we want the origins work to remain scientific, transparent, urgent and inclusive. stephanie: at the same time, a number of reports said that a u.s. intligence review also proved inconclusive. in other developments, new york state nfirmed it's had nearly 12,000 more covid deaths than previously acknowledged. and the pentagon formally ordered that all u.s. troops be vaccinated as quickly as possible. a federal judge in michigan sanctioned lawyers for donald trump's reelection campaign for a profound abuse of the judicial process in filing an election fraud lawsuit. the judge requested that sidney powell and others be investigated to have their licenses revoked, and also imposed financial penalties. a select congressional committee demanded records from federal agencies today as they look into the january assault on the u.s. capitol. the house panel is looking at
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then-president trump's communications and actions before and during january 6, when a mob of his supporters stormed the building. the committee also wants records of some members of congress and trump's family. a federal judge has handed down the first sentence in a plot to kidnap michigan governor gretchen whitmer. ty garbin was given just over 6 years in prison today. he pleaded guilty and cooperated with prosecutors. five more men face federal charges, and others are charged in state court. the fbi say they schemed to abduct whitmer over covid restrictions. graphic new video has emerged of louisiana state police men beating a blk man during a traffic stop two years ago. the associated press obtained body-cam footage of trooper jacob brown jumping from his vehicle and running at aaron bowman, who was already pinned down by other officers. moments later, brown struck bowman 18 times with a heavy-duty flashlight. bowman recalled the beating, earlier this month.
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>> i kept thinking i was going to die that night, because all i could do was breathe, you know, and try to keep myself from just going out, because he got my face mashed down in a puddle of water. stephanie: trooper brown resigned last march, and faces state criminal charges. major tech companies, including google and microsoft, met at the white house today pledging , billions of dollars to tackle growing cybersecurity threats. the president asked the top tech executives to do more to fight ransomware attacks after several high-profile hacks, including solarwinds and meat packing giant jbs. still to come on the "newshour" many renters and landlords face an uncertain future as assistance money remains backlogged. why vaccination efforts for school children multiple roadblocks. efforts intensified to match people without college degrees with employers who need to feel better paying jobs, less much more.
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-- plus much more. >> this is the pbs newshour, from w eta studios in washington , and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. amna: now, to the u.s. southern border. the supreme court ruled against the biden administration in its attempt to end the trump-era "remain in mexico" policy that forced migrants to stay in mexico while seeking asylum. while its future is unknown, another policy to rapidly expel migrants during the pandemic remains in place. we check in now with robert moore, founder of the non-profit news organization, el paso matters. welcome back to the newshour. thanks for making the time. just explain to us the supreme court move. what does this operationally change at the border? how does it change the way things are being processed right now? >> in the short-term, it doesn't
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change anything really. title 42 is the main method both administrations have used the last year and a half to keep people from crossing the border. longer term, it could have implications if mexico agrees to receive more mpp recipients and if the biden administration puts the court's ruling into effect, but that is further down the road. even if the mpp does go back into effect, it will not have a noticeable difference. most of the migrants coming to the border are not being allowed to cross. last year and the year before, it was for mpp, but since march of 2020, it has been title 42 which has stop that flow with some exceptions for families with children. amna: when you talk about what is happening now at e border as youay, most people are not being allowed in, tt is most
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single adults. but many families are, and all unaccompanied children are. what are we seeing at the u.s. southern border? >> we are seeing a continuation of developments that have been going on close to a decade now where you had families primarily from central america that are facing desperate challenges, poverty, violence, and trying to make their way northward and escape from that. increasingly we're seeing people from other parts of latin america as well. because of the title 42 expulsions, you have something of a revolving door that has been going on for the last year or so at the border, where the u.s. government kicks people out, they go back to mexico and they immediately try to re- cross. that is driving up the numbers. the main challenge remains the economic instability issues people are facing in central
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america. amna: what about specifically in texas? i know governor gr abbott has been a vocal critic of the biden administration's immigration policies. he has taken unilateral actions including moving national guard troops to the region. what is the impact, what are they able to do at the border? >> governor abbott tried to both politically and practically exploit what he sees as a lack of focus on the border by the biden administration. he has sent both department of public safety troopers, and the national guard down to the region, primarily down to what is known as the rio grande valley of south texas. we are not seeing this nearly as much in el paso. as of this week, the governor allowed the national guard to begin forcing texas state law on issues such as trespassing as a means of apprehending migrants crossing the border. this raises legal issues, especially with asylum-seekers,
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that they are allowing the guard to serve in a civil law enforcement function. by governor announced yesterday that they are allowing the national guard to begin working on the border wall, as they call it. the governor has vowed to use state funds and donated funds to continue the expansion of the wall that began in the trump administration, but that the biden administration has largely halted. amna: this administrations messaging on immigration stands in stark contrast to the previous one. i do wonder operationally for the biden administration saying we promise a safe and humane immigration policy, are you seeing a marked difference in what is going on at the border now versus four years ago? >> i think humanights organizations would say there is not a substantial difference in deeds on the border between the trump and biden administration's largely because of the title 42 expulsions going on.
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. we continue to see, as i mentioned earlier, this outflow from central america that is not going to abate with any border policies we adopt, because that doesn't directly address those conditions that are out there. certainly on our part of the border, things are not as hectic as they were in 2019. that is not the case in the rio grande valley in south texas, things are very heic on both sides of the border as the communities there try to grapple with these large numbers of migrant families in particular that are arriving. amna: robert moore founder of the non-profit news organization, el paso matters. always good to see. >> thank you for having me. ♪ amna: the clock is taking, once
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again, for those who could face eviction this fall. a motorium on evictions is set to expire in early october, or possibly even sooner. the biden administration is pushing states, cities, and counties to tap into more federal aid, and get it to those who need it, but, as john yang tells us, new data shows those efforts are moving much slower than needed. john: amna, the treasury department said today that in july, it distributed 1.7 billion dollars in rental assistance. that brings the total amount to $5.1 billion. but that's only a fraction of the 46.5 billion dollars that congress has allocated for that purpose. meanwhile, as the supreme court decides whether to strike down a new eviction moratorium, the latest census data show that 8 million households say they are behind on rent, and 3.5 million say they face likely iction ithe next two months. rachel siegel is a washington post economics reporter. thanks so much for joining us.
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why, quite simply, if there is a simple answer, why is this money taki so long to get to the people who need it? >> thank you for having me, and i will try to give you a simple answer with the caveat that this has been such a complicated process for several months. first, there was no infrastructure, going into the pandemic, to quickly get relief into the pockets of people who needed it quickly. so states and cities essentially had to set up these application programs in an emergency, and they were dealt with technical glitches and overwhelms systems that at times had to be shut down. people didn't know where to apply, or if they had internet access, how they could apply at all. that has been a huge obstacle to getting money to renters and landlords. and then at the top, there are questions about how what more the biden administration could have done to streamline
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application processes to fix attention on the election crisis earlier. unfortunately, we are dealing with those questions as people might be on the verge of evictions. john: so states and localities how to build the system from scratch. are there some places that did it well and others that seemed to be lacking? >> there are. a common theme among places that did it well, some places put in the time and effort to fix some of those problems that they ran into in the beginning. for example, harris county, which covers most of houston texas, officials there realized there was confusion among renters and landlords about whether they should apply to the county program or to the city of houston. . when officials realized that, they merged the two programs together and stripped away confusion that was blocking many from getting out and as a result, harris county has led the charge among localities in helping get the money they were allotted to help people.
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john: this moratorium is going to end at some point, it could be in october, or it could be sooner, if the supreme court says it has to end. will that mean that the money will go away, or will the rental assistance program continue without the moratorium? >> rental assistance money does not vanish once theoratorium either expires in october or is struck down sooner. but it is really hard to imagine how people will be able to be helped by the money once the moratorium is no longer in place. it has taken so long for those humans to go out that if you are someone who had a finding against them, or you think you will be removefrom your home in the next few days, it is heartbreaking, but it is hard to imagine that that money will be able to reach you in time. john: this money, we should note is not only important to tenants, but also to small landlords who need this money to pay mortgages.
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you talked about the biden administration trying to streamline the process and that is still ongoing. what sorts of things are they continuing to do with this process as we raced toward the deadline, the ending of the moratorium. >> the biden administration has put a lot of emphasis that states and local programs can apply. administration officials were telling me last night that they still get questions from administrators saying, are you sure we can loosen these requirements? that makes us nervous, what if money goes into the wrong hands? at this point, the answer is, do what you can to make this as easy as possible some places still require the cooperation of tenants and landlords, some places require extensive documentation that tenants and landlords say they don't have. and as you mentioned, part of the goal here is to make landlords whole as well. the moratorium does not wipe away rental payments that are
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due, it is supposed to keep renters in their homes and also pay landlords what they are owed. john: rachel siegel from the washington post, thank you so much. >> thank you for having me. ♪ amna: the makers of the leading vaccines in the u.s. are said today they have new data showing that an osha can boost protection significantly. they also announced plans to ask the fda to approve their boosters. it could happen as early as next month. but even as the biden administration is preparing for those boosters, the plans to vaccinate kids of all ages with their first shots are lagging. william brangham explores those concerns. william: amna, just 32% of kids from 12 to 15 have been fully vaccinated. that compares with 52% of the overall u.s. population. whle the efforts to vaccinate those kids began later than adults, a number of public
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health experts say those numbers are lower than expected. and, for children who are 11 and younger, no vaccine has not yet been approved. the timeline for those approvals has been sliding back this summer. for more on all of this, we turn again to dr. peter hotez. he's the dean of the national school of tropical medicine at baylor college of medicine and the co-director of the texas children's hospital center for vaccine development. that great to have you back on the newshour. as i mentioned, only one third of kids between 12 to 15 have been vaccinated thus far. is that troubling? what is your sense about that? >> here is where it really worries me, because that number nationally only tells a part of the story. those numbers are far low down here in the south. you lookt for instance, the 12-17-year-olds, the numbers a about one third that of the northeast.
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so in states like vermont and massachusetts, new england and mid-atlantic states, you are doing pretty well in vaccinating most of the young adults and adolescents, here in the south, adolescents are and vaccinated and young adults. that is why you are seeing delta raging through the sth. so many young people, including kids, get hospitalized. so, figuring out how to correct those regional differences will be really important. william: do you have a good lever that we can pull to help get those numbers up? >> we need to understand it better and some of the social science behind it, but so far, a lot of that looks like defiance among conservative groups, especially among the young adults who feel that either it is unnecessary or that these a being used for political gain somehow because of the vast disinformation campaign. and i think it is probably a lot of young parents as well,
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thinking the same thing for their adolescent kids, that they don't need it, or that the vaccines are somehow unsafe and they are in this disinformation bubble. that is really critilly important in terms of correcting this, because what we're seeing now in the number of pediatric hospitalizations, even pediatric icu admissions, is unprecedented in this phase of the pandemic. william: moving to a slightl younger generation of kids, we know there's a lot of anxious parents who are wondering when their five to 11-year-old kids might get approval for a vaccine. when you look at how the is doing this process, and i know we are not all privy to the inner workings of that, do you feel they are striking the right balance between caution and the urgency of this pandemic? >> i think so. the stakes in some ways are higher for little kids. if the fda gets it wrong, it not
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only has chilling effect on our vaccination program, but could potentially derail all of our childhood immunization efforts for things like measles, mumps, rubella, and other vaccines we give to infants and young children. so the bar is always a little higher for young children to begin with. i think the fda is trying t thread the needle behind the urgency to prevent pediatric hospitalizations from covid-19, and yet making certain that they have adequately powered study in terms of the number of kids and the length of protection to look for any type of safety signal. william: i want to ask you this question about boosters. we have heard the heads of all vaccine manufacturers say over boosters to provide good protection. the administratio the cdc, the fda, all seem to be going forward with the booster campaign. do you believe the evidence is there that that is the right move? >> there is certainly the
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evidence there that we are seeing declines in protection against virus infection, from 90% to 40% to 50% for the pfizer/biontech vaccine. the question is, is that truly waning immunity, or is that declines in efficacy versus the delta variant? that is something we need to sort out. the other big question is we don't have the data yet to look at breakthrough hospitalizations. that will be important. we are hearing anecdotally from colleagues that up to 20% of hospitalized patients are now vaccinated. others say it is much less. we need that data fully presented. thenhe question will be, douyu rollout a third immunization on the premise that the decline in protection against infection is the tip of the spear and hospitalizations will inevitably follow, or do you wait for the breakthrough hospitalizations. that is the discussion that is going on.
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william: always good to see you, thank you. >> thank you so much. ♪ amna: well, the pandemic has made this almost unusual time in the labor market. millions of lost jobs are not filled yet. and yet still, there are reports of labor shortages in many sectors, and a large percentage of workers who say they are looking for a new job. for some without a bachelor's degree, job prospects were bleak even before the pandemic. paul solman looks at a program that is offering better opportunities. it's the latest in our "work shift series." paul: adquena faine's last job, before the pandemic, driving for uber and lyft in virginia. >> i was driving so much, i would play down and try to take a nap or go to sleep, and i would still feel the vibrations of the car.
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paul: no time or money to finish college, barely able to feed her daughter and pay for a hotel room after foreclosure on their home. food for herself? >> before i got on the road to drive, i would stop and forage in the woods or on the side streets. paul: you are actually foraging at some point, i have never heard that before? >> people would stop and ask, what you doing? and i'm like, oh, nothing, because i don't want anybody to start coming to pick my food. [laughter] paul: in louisiana, jennifer burgess went straight from high school to dog training. >> for 15 years. i have trained over 15,000 dogs. paul: how much money did you make? >> my best year ever, maybe $28,000. paul: mariana perez was 20 when she emigrated from mexico in 2005, without a high school degree, or even any english spent nine years working in a north carolina nail salon. >> i used to work 60 to 70 hours a week . paul: 6270? >> yes.
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i had no benefits. no vacation paid. so if you don't work, you don't earn money . paul: on the plus side, however. >> i missed some of my clients, they were very nice people. >> i loved working with dogs. paul: but the pay -- >> i went from $6.10 an hour to $11.25 an hour over fifteen years. paul: two problems have plagued the u.s. economy for decades now, income inequality, and young folks not working at all. low pay for those with just high school or less is an obvious explanation. >> 60% of americans in the workforce today do not have bachelor's degrees. paul: but, asks economist byron auguste -- >> why is there such a difference in earnings between people who are college graduates and people who are not in this country? it's simply not the case that not having a bachelor's degree means that you don't have skills to contribute. 30 milli today have the skills based on the work they're doing for jobs that pay at least 50% more than the jobs they're in.
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paul: meanwhile, employers are begging for employees, boasting $20 an hour where once $15 was thought magnanimous. but $20 an hour is barely $40,000 a year. >> these are the computers. paul: ok, time for one more player in this story, ibm, once the icon of high tech in america. >> these machines are things of gleaming, vari-colored metal and numerous flashing lights. paul: selling and servicing huge computers, big blue and its big machines were attacked by little apple with its mini mac back in 1984. ibm was worth 30-something times the value of apple as a company back then. today, apple is worth 16 times as much as ibm. and yet ibm has survived, by cutting costs drastically, changing its business, outsourcing, and it still employs 350,000 people worldwide. here in the u.s., however, it finds itself competing for talent with the trendier apples, googles and startups.
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so kelli jordan spearheads ibm's new collar initiative. >> back in 2016, we really started looking at how we could fill roles that we had just struggled to fill in other ways. just saying you don't require a bachelor's degree rot in a whole new slate of candidates that we never would have uncovered. paul: and you knew this was coming, right? the new collar candidates are folks like faine, burgess, perez and in new york, ray rodriguez , who spent 11 years working his way up to assistant store manager at a big drugstore chain. >> i used to make $46,000 a year. and then it dropped down to $40,000. paul: as you got promoted? >> right, it was salary and then they changed it to hourly . paul: but that wasn't the worst of it. >> my god, i worked in the bathroom one day, i seen feces everywhere. paul: how do you get it on the wall? >> and then there's a couple of times where people passed out in the bathroom. shooting up.
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and we got to call the paramedics. paul: rodriguez, supporting a family, was desperate to get out of retai >> i used to always picture peop with their 9-to-5 jobs, weekends of, they don't have to work nights. there was times were i would have to work overnights as well. and i was always like, oh, i wish i could have a job like that. without a degree, it seemed like everyone else was the same. paul: and then he heard of ibm's electronics lab apprenticeship, applied, got an interview. were you scared? >> yes, i was scared. this is a dream job. the 9-to-5 that i have been dreaming about for years and years. this is what i have been looking r . paul: so what was it about these lks that got them into ibm? >> that willingness to constantly challenge and put themselves out there, take that little bit of a risk and build their skills on a very regular basis. >> the rapid advance of ibm technology -- >> paul: ibm is trading on its long history of training its employees to scale up its apprenticeships, investing $$65 million, as well as plenty of
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federal money, into earn-while-you-learn programs that usually segue into permanent jobs. the company says at least half its u.s. jobs no longer require a bachelor's degree. but for those without one, even applying can be a challenge. take faine's online interview for her apprenticeship. >> i have this old laptop that is decrypted and kind of takes an hour to start up, to boot up. when i try to do the webex, it fails. i am crying. like tears are pouring out of my eyes. this was my shot and i just blew it. paul: burgess had a similar snafu. >> on my way to the ibm interview, my car actually died the side on the road, and my parents had to come and help me because it overheated. and then i get to the interview and it dies in the garage, and i have to in heels and a dress, , push it into the parking spot.
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paul: and all these folks were intimidated by the name ibm. >> in my mind, ibm is this big computer company, white men, suit and tie, carrying around a briefcase. business savvy with all of the technical jargon. this is for the b7000 8.2, but -- paul: look who's talking technical now. can anybody arn to do what you do? >> i think anybody with the drive to can. >> it doesn't matter what your background is. it doesn't mean that your brain can't do it. >> go ahead and walk forward. paul: despite her canine credentials, jennifer burgess is now a project manager. or maybe it's because of them. >> it is very similar to dog training because it is about training the humans to be able to do what you need them to do. when they are good though you need to give some form of reward. paul: give folks like this a chance, and there are hidden bonuses for the employer, lower pay than the highest priced talent, and higher loyalty. >> because they gave me the
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opportunity that other people did not. >> i am not going anywhere. did you not here where i came from? [laughter] paul: and with that, a final warning from those of you in corporate america from byron augeeste. >> we hear about labor shortages, we hear about skills shortages. we hear about a war for talent. if you overlook half the talent pool in the united states, that is not a good talent strategy. and serious, smart companies are realizing that an enormous opportunity is among those that do not have bachelor's degrees. paul: for the "pbs newshour, "paul solman in north carolina. amna: and that is the "newshour" for tonight. 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 will see you soon. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by --
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>> 425 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wire service that helps people communicate and connect. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit consumer ♪ johnson & johnson. bnsf railway. financial services firm raymond james. the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the frontlines lines of social change worldwi. ♪ and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪
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>> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> this is "pbs newshour west" from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪
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tely, but just what is it? the word comes from the latin word for this, a fasces. the idea? well, you can break one stick easily, but when you bundle them together, they become very stron and, when a dictator convinces an entire nation to march together in lockstep, they feel strong, too, and, in fascism, an ax symbolizes that it's unity with discipline; brutal, if necessary. i'm rick steves and, in this special programve we'll learn from the hard lessons of fascism in 20th-century europe. thanks for joining us. [ suspenseful music plays ] [ flames crackling ] -[speaking indistinctly] -[chanting] sieg heil! sieg heil! sieg heil! sieg heil! ♪♪ [ chanting ] ♪♪ [ cheering ]