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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  August 30, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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♪ judy: good evening. on the newshour tonight -- >> i'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from afghanistan and the end of the military mission to evacuate u.s. citizens, nationals and vulnerable afghans. judy: out of afghanistan. the final u.s. military fight -- flight ends america's longest war. we get an inside look on the exit. then, a path of destruction. rricane ida ravages windows and massive storm surges. we get the latest on the damage. and, political stakes. we asked cap president biden is faring in the face of these two
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maser crises in the midst of the pandemic. all of that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> before we talk about your investments, what is new? >> audrey is expecting. >> grandparents. >> we want to put money aside for them. >> let's see what we can adjust. ♪ >> we will be closer to the twins. >> ok. >> mom, are you painting again? you could sell these. >> let me guess, change in plans? >> at fidelity, a change in plans is always part of the plan. >> consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. bnsf railway.
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financial services firm raymond james. the william and flora hewitt foundation. for more than 50 years, advancing ideas to promote a better world. the chan zuckerberg initiative. working to build a more healthy, just, and inclusive future for everyone. at and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪ >> this program was made
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possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: we have two main stories tonight. we will get the latest on the destructive aftermath as hurricane ida ravages louisiana. but first, america's longest war is over. the final military flight of american troops left afghanistan just before midnight on what is now tuesday, august 31 in kabul, after 20 years of war. as of today, the u.s. has elected more than 120,000 american civilians and afghan allies out of kabul. almost all of them in the last two-plus weeks. but thousands of afghans are left behind for now. the deaths of americans and afghans over the past couple of days hot this exit -- haunt tis exit. here's newshour special
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correspondent jane ferguson. >> i'm here to announce the completion of our withdrawal from afghanistan and the end of the milita mission to evacuate american citizens, country nationals and vulnerable afghans. the last c-17 lifted off on august 30, this afternoon, at 3:29 p.m. the last manned aircraft is clearing the airspace above afghanistan. jane: the announcement came from the top american general, general frank mckenzie, the commander of u.s. central command. >> tonight's withdrawal signifies both the end of the military component of the evacuation, but also the end of the nearly 20 year mission that began in afghanistan shortly after september 11, 2001. jane: the general noted both he and his son had served in the country. a generational american war effort now ended. >> there's a lot of heartbreak associated with this departure. we did not get everybody out that we wanted to get out.
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if we stayed another 10 days, we wouldn't have gotten everybody out. jane: it was a bloody end, as the americans finished their flight from afghanistan for both the u.s. and afghans. blood stained the hood of a car destroyed in a kabul neighborhood by u.s. drone strike. president biden promised action against the terror group isis-k, after they launched an attack outside the airport that killed at least 170 afghans and 13 american service members. american officials said sunday strike hit suicide bombers, but reports that it may have been a family. at least 10 civilians were reportedly killed, including seven children. in washington today, the pentagon press secretary john kirby said the defense department is investigating. >> if we have verifiable information that we did take innocent life here, then we will be transparent about that, too.
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nobody wants to see that happen. jane: in kabul this morning, thick smoke rose from a burning car. the apparent site from wch a rocket attack was launched. no casualties reported. a u.s. counter missile system intercepted at least five rockets earlmonday morning, 14 the attack that shook the area. >> i was inside the house with my children and other family members. suddenly, there were blasts. we jumped into the compound and laid on the ground. jane: the islamic state in afghanistan claimed responsibility for the attack. the u.s. and 97 other countries have agreed to take those fleeing the taliban after the august 31 deadline. the group consists it has been granted assurances by the taliban that those people will be able to leave. at dover airfield base in delaware on sunday, the remains of 13 u.s. troops killed in afghanistan last week were returned home. president biden and the first lady watched the flag draped coffins during a dignified
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transfer ritual, and met with the families of those killed. they died thursday in the bombing at the airport. the oldest was 31 years old. the rest of those killed were in their early 20's, and many were just 20 years old. dead in the last days of a war that started when they were babies. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane ferguson in washington. judy: this evening, president biden released a statement asking americans to pray for our . service members those who helped evacuations and those who will welcome the new afghan neighbors. he will address the nation tomorrow. we'll return to jane's reporting on the push to evacuate afghanistan later in the program. ♪ our other major story -- the devastation of hurricane ida. the crical -- category four
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storm with a path of destruction across southeastern louisiana. it tore through cities and towns, flooding streets and ripping apart buildings and homes. at least two people were killed. crews are still ting to assess the full impact. electricity remains out in new orleans and surrounding areas for more than 880,000. it is not clear when it will be restored. john yang begins our coverage with this report. john: today, louisiana officials began surveying the damage from hurricane ida, one of the most powerful storms ever to hit the united states. blasting ashore on sunday as a category four hurricane, ida brought winds that reached 150 miles per hour. tearing roofs and knocking out power to the entire city of new orleans. ida hit 16 years to the day after hurricane katrina, a storm that killed more than 1800 residents in louisiana an
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mississippi. >> good afternoon. john: new orleans mayor latoya cantrell told reporters this afternoon that the city avoided a worst-case scenario, but urged residents who had evacuated not to return yet. >> we did not have another katrina. and that is something, again, we should all be grateful for. however, the impact is absolutely significant. while we help align -- held the line, no doubt about that, now is not the time for reentry. john: the storm tested a $14.5 billion levee system that had been overhauled in the aftermath of hurricane katrina. many new orleans residents, like stephen, said they felt lucky. >> this is a lot of wind damage, kaina was more flooding. katrina, we got about two feet of water that just stayed for about a week or two.
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this was just a lot of wind damage and no power. john: officials worried that the power outage in new orleans could make the city, which relies on pumps to clear storm water from streets, more susceptible to flooding in coming days. in addition, hundreds of thousands of residents remain without air-conditioning or refrigeration. in nearby jefferson parish, residents crawled into addicts to escape rising waters. some even to took to social media pleading for help for themselves and their families as calls to rescue crews went unanswered. on facebook today, louisiana state police warned communication is very limited in these areas. if you are stranded, it may be difficult to get help to you for quite some time. jefferson parish resident cynthia lee spoke this morning about the desperate effort to reach trapped residents. >> our water system is down, our electricity is down.
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we have roads that are un-passable because of waters. electrical poles are down. trees are down. so, the first level of business is trying to get through to communications so we can work as efficiently as possible. john: the u.s. army corps of engineers said the storm surge was so powerful, it temporarily reversed the flow of the mississippi river. louisiana governor john bel edwards told nbc's "today" this morning that the human toll may not be clear for a while. >> i'm certain as the day goes on, we will have more deaths. we were getting calls for help. we know, for example, some apartment buildings collapsed partially in certain areas. this happened during the height of the storm and there was no way to respond. john: presint biden met with fema officials this afternoon. he said more than 5000 members of the national guard had been activated for search and recovery efforts. pres. biden: we know hurricane
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ida had potential to cause massive, massive damage. and, that's exactly what we saw. are going to stand with you and the people of the gulf as long as it takes for you to recover. john: hurricane ida hit as louis is in a hospitals are already stressed from a resurgence of covid-19 because of low vaccination rates and the highly contagious delta variant. after spending 16 hours as a hurricane overland, ida was downgraded to a tropical storm as it turned towards mississippi. flood watches have been posted along the projected path from the northern gulf coast to the tennessee valley. i'm john yang. judy: the storm group in strength and intensity beyond what had been projected just a couple days ago. scientists say greenhouse gas emissions and climate change are contributing and fueling hurricanes like ida, in part by
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forming the waters that feed and fuel the storms. let's go to one of the hardest hit areas that was in ida's path, louisiana's lafourche parish, were reports of damage are significant. the president of lafourche parish. thank you very much for joining us. tell us how badly was lafourche parish hit. >> we got hit by a mack truck over the last 16 hours with this one. it was every bit a strong category four they told us it was going to be paid we have major roof damage across the bottom two thirds of our parish. the top third has some moderate damage to homes and businesses. two of our local hospitals, both of tse facilities are compromised and we are working to get patients out of there. the water system to the bottom third of the parish is compromised. as we work to clean roads, we will try to figure out why the system is leaking, whether we lost power along the way or a
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mainline breach somewhere. it is picking up the pieces right now. communications are tough. most of the cell phone towers were hard-hit. trying to communicate on radios and dispatch with the police is difficult. judy: it sounds like just about everything was affected. what about people? injuries? mr. chaisson: luckily, no reported fatalities. we have some minor injuries we were able to deal with with our first responders. there are still some search-and-rescue operations happening, as we try to get the people as we can clear roads, power lines and trees,. those will continue throughout the day and night until we can get all the calls of service that we received during the storm we were unable to get to. judy: give us a sense of how peoplere surviving at this moment. if they can't go anywhere, if they need water, if they don't have electricity, what are they doing? how are they getting by? mr. chaisson: it is tough for them right now, especially in
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the most southern part of our parish. we are working very diligently to get trucks in. we do have some bottled water. the main point is clearing the roads of debris. lafourche parish is a very narrow and long parish. we have two roads that parallel. we don't have a lot in and out to get the people. we are working very hard to clear those roads the power lines and trees so we can get supplies to the people in the most southern part of the parish. judy: do you have what you need? do you have the equipment the supplies that you need at this point? mr. chaisson: yeah. we have chainsaw crews and trustees, crews in partnership with our sheriff's office, cutting up the trees and power line -- powerlines. a lot of the employees were here because they are essential. as they come in, we are opening up the regional field offices and getting excavators and things like that to push the stuff off the road. the big part into tonight and
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tomorrow will be getting bigger amounts of supplies into the parish. food, mre's, ice, and water to be able to open up those points of distribution so we can help people survive bette judy: you mentioned the hospitals. tell us what the situation there is. mr. chaisson: two of our hospitals, the one in the central part and the one down south had roof damage, caused significant water damage. all of the patients themselves are safe and have been taken out of the facilities to other regional hospitals that were not affected. we are working with our partners, with the governor's office, homeland security of emergency preparedness, and the national guard to stand up some temporary hospitals so we have some ability to treat people and triage them should something happen like a heart attack or a broken bone. the ability to stabilize them, to get them airlifted somehow or by road to a different facility. this is going toe a tough battle. we have a long road ahead of us, but our community is resilient.
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we put our faith in god and we will get through this. judy: you say long road. it sounds like a massive undertaking. do you have any idea how long it is going to take to put your parish back together? mr. chaisson: i don't at this point. i'm still trying to get some damages from the bottom part of our parish to figure out exactly what is left. we are getting some stuff through interconnectivity with the internet, through facebook. social media turns out to be a great thing sometimes. it will take us months, if not longer to put together all of this stuff. we will be without power for several weeks, if not months,s we work to rebuild the transmissi grid that feeds us here as well as the thousands of power poles that are down across lafourche parish. we've a long road to go. judy: the president of lafourche parish, we wish you the very best. we are so glad there was not the casualties were not worse, but you haveour work cut out. thank you for joining us and all
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the best. mr. chaisson: thank you so much. judy: congressman troy carter represents louisiana's second district, which include some of the areas hardest hit by hurricane ida including portions of jefferson parish and most of new orleans. he joins us now on the phone. congressman, we heard the parish president of lafourche parish say it sounds like they have been hit by a mack truck. what is your impression? mr. carter: i think i would double down on that. he's probably quite right. throughout the state, it has been pretty hard hit. some places not as hards others. some have incredibly been devastated. judy: what are you seeing? i know your district, it is the second district. how are people doing? what is the situation there? mr. carter: it is dire. you have people that are -- some have been significantly damaged with property damage to their
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homes and their businesses. nearly everyone has been impacted by being out of power. not having access to electricity, the internet, and in many cases, access to cell phones which makes it difficult to keep people apprised of what's going on and find out where they are so we can get to them. judy: so, how would you describe the efforts to get to them? are you able -- do you even have access to the people who are most in need? mr. carter: well, i think that the efforts have been as good as you can possibly hope for. the federal government stepped in immediately. the president signed off on that aggression -- on the declaration of emergency which freed lot of money and resources. the national guard is on the ground as we speak going into those areas where pele were able to reach 911, as well as those areas where we suspect
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people could not get a chance to get out to evacuate in time. judy: congressman carter, of the things that are needed now, what would you say are the priorities? mr. carter: i would say right now, search-and-rescue obviously is number one. saving lives. saving lives is number one. quality of life comes next. making sure that we have secured everyone who is in a dangerous position and gotten them to higher ground where they are safe and secure and stabilized. then, second is making sure that we get power back on the grid. make sure that people that are sheltering in place have the comforts of air conditioning. it's very hot in august in louisiana. it's sweltering heat and very dangerous for senior citizens and children. judy: i know a lot of people are asking, are trying to compare this to hurricane katrina. i assume you were in the area
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back then. why would you say the destruction has so far not been worse and certainly loss-of-life thankfully? mr. carter: i've experienced both. i lived through katrina and now ida. i will tell you the most significant difference is 16 years ago, we did not have the built up levee system that we have today. the federal government investing the money to build our levees up to prevent, to protect us from a storm like this. it looks like it has really paid dividends. having the ability to have our community not as ravaged as they could be. they are pretty bad now, but certainly a lot better than they were 16 years ago because we did in fact invest in stronger protection. we will continue to build on that. judy: representative troy carter of the louisiana's second congressional district. we wish you and all of your constituents the very best.
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thank you for joining us. mr. carter: thank you. judy: louisiana's lieutenant governor is in clackamas parish and joins us on the phone. mr. lieutenant governor, remind everyone where it is and what is the situation now? >> it is that little thing that sticks 100 miles out to the gulf of mexico, both sides of the mississippi river. -- it's still, many miles of it is underwater. it looks like a warone. judy: tell us what you have seen today and what people are saying. to what extent are people in distress, homes, other buildings in people's lives turned upside down. >> the town of myrtle grove is submerged in water.
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last night when everybody went to bed, there were calls to evacuate people from the area as water rushed up highway 23 and those efforts failed. luckily, i did not get into all of those home but people were frantically leaving their homes in the middle of the night. today, highway 23 is continue to be submerged in water. the water will not go out until the wind turns around and then pumping will begin. most of the parish is out of power. and it is going to be a long recovery as all of coastal louisiana and many miles inland. thibodeau. the rainfall in laplace and those areas throughout the metro area, heavy rains flooded those areas as well. judy: you say it is going to take a long time.
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what kinds of things are you going to need in louisiana to get through this? lt. gov. nungesser: obviously, the funding and support of the federal government. we have 10,000 volunteers that go out and help these communities. it cannot all be done with government money. obviously, fema and their resources are so important. the predent did grant the emergency declaration to the governor of our state. we will begin the process of assessing the damages to not only homes, roads, bridges and infrastrucre and schools, but getting the power back on because of a major failure in this area of a line falling in the river. it could be several weeks, if not a month before we get power to a majority of the people. i believe it is over one million power without power. judy: sounds so very difficult.
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lieunant governor nungesser of the louisiana, thank you for joining us. we wish you the best as you work to make people's lives better at this terrible moment. lt. gov. nungesser: thank you so much. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie sy. we will return to judy and the rest of the show after these headlines. secretary of state antony blinken announced this evening that the united states has suspended his diplomatic presence in afghanistan and operations will be run out of doha, qatar. he said the bin administration would engage with the taliban-led government only when it is driven by interests vital to the u.s. and humanitarian aid would flow through independent organizations. the u.s. is now averaging
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100,000 cobit hospitalizations per day, a level not seen since last winter. hawaii reported nearly 1700 new infections sunday, the most that has seen during the entire pandemic. and west virginia recorded its highest number of weekly cases and seven months. the head of the world health organization's european branch warned infections are also rising across europe. >> this high transmission is deeply worrying, particularly in light of low vaccination uptick in priority populations in a number of countries. several countries are starting to observe an increased burden on hospitals. stephanie: also today, the u.s. department of education announced it is investigating five republican-led states that band universal indoor masking. it is said those policies could diriminate against students with health conditions or disabilities by preventing them
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from safely attending school. meanwhile, an advisory panel to the cdc unanimously recommended pfizer's covid vaccine for people over 16. the fda granted its full approval last week. the rise in covid cases in the u.s. has prompted the european union to advise its member nations to reinstate travel restrictions for american tourists. the european council voted to ban non-essential travel from the u.s. the guidance is nonbinding so eu countries will ultimately make their own rules. in northern california, the entire city of south lake tahoe is now under an investigation -- an evacuation order as fire crews worked to control the caldor fire. orange haze filled the sk is the rapidly moving flames tore through the mountainside. officials were in the fire is becoming more aggressive than anticipated as it nears the resort area. >> there is fire activity happening in california that we
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have never seen before. i have said it before but the critical thing for you the public to know is evacuate early, early. warning, warning does not mean you have to stick around and wait for the order. stephanie: the massive caldor fire is still only 14% contained. this afternoon, the u.s. forest service announced it is temporarily closing all national forests in california starting tomorrow and through september 17. anyone hiking or otherwise violating the closure could face fines of up to $5,000. the number of hate crimes in the u.s. hit a 12 year high in020. a new rort from the fbi said that spike was driven by an uptick in assaults targeting black and asian people. the agency recorded more than 7700 hate crimes last year, a 6% increase over 2019. the highest level since 2008. the united nations atomic agency
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today warned there are signs that north korea has restarted its main nuclear reactor. it is located north of the capital and is used to produce weapons fuels. nuclear disarmament talks between the u.s. and north korea have remained stalled for years. three guantanamo bay prisoners finally got their day in court after being held for 18 years in connection with the 2002 bali nightclub bombings and other terror plots in southeast asia. the bali attack left 202 people debt. two malaysian prisoners and another from indonesia were arraigned before a military commission on charges that include murder, conspiracy and terrorism. the biden administration has plans to close the guantanamo bay detention center where 39 prisoners remain. still to come on the newshour, an inside look at the harrowing exit from kabul's airport. plus, the polal stakes for
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president biden in this moment of crisis. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour from weta studios in washgton and from the west at the walter cronkite school of journalism. judy: we've all seen the images of people scrambling to escape afghanistan, but not seeing nearly as much, a herculean effort by former u.s. service members, diplomats and private citizens to help afghans, especially leave the country. jane ferguson is back with an inside look at who was at work and why. jane: the scenes of total disarray at kabul's airport last week shocked the world, as promises made to get america's allies out of afghanistan seemed increasingly impossible. >> we waited for 24 hours outside the gate. i swear, i saw kids, a woman who
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was stamped, people who run them over. i don't know if they are alive or not but i saw those things. people pushed to get closer to the gate. by the time i reached the u.s. forces, i kept asking them that i am going to die here because of the heat and lots of oxygen. >> u.s. passport. jane: as the crowds of people desperately try to get through the gates and onto planes, any working system that sort those with a valid case disappeared. >> i kept asking to please check my documents because it has been 24 hours and i fought between life and death to get here. just take my documents. if my document are correct, let me in. if not, i will turn back and go home. they didn't even bother to check the documents. they said go away, we are just allowing u.s. passport holders
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and green card holders. >> that think i am a translator, but my wife is living in the u.s. they are searching for me. jane: if you are lucky enough to have someone to vouch for you, the likelihood of getting it is so muchigher. the sad reality is the rules have become so blurred. it is very much about luck and connections. en it became clear that battlefield allies wrist being left behind, non-us government volunteers stepped in. as an army of american vetans and activists fought to ensure it was american partners in combat who made it through first. >> i got a call from a friend on the ground in kabul and realized how bad the situation was. based on that, i reached out to people to see if i can potentially help or convey the word. i realize there were many people on the ground who have no idea where to go, which gate to go to, how to process the
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paperwork, how to get through the gate. i am not the only one. there are 1000 other people doing the same thing. i was uniquely positioned cause i happened know some of the marines at the gate throughout the course of this. knowing them allowed me to connect them with afghans, american citizens, green card and other on the ground who were trying to get through. jane: the captain is a u.s. marine now studying for a masters. he began helping to get the names of former interpreters and afghans who other service members vouch for to the marines of the gate. often getting them to write the names of the u.s. soldiers they were to connect with on a placa rd. other veterans went one step further. flying into kabul iperson 12 make this happen. >> i had one guy with his family and i said, hey, what are you wearing? ok, you are wearing a baseball hat. but the hat on aroomstick and put it over your head and wave it around so i can see you. i did not end up finding him, but those were the things that
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we did. i found the family of a piolt. -- pilot. i said get a piece of cardboard and write "bigfoot" and hold it up. jane: jericho was a former army ranger. he spent much of last week helping find former afghan special forces soldiers he and his comrades fought alongside, and plucking their families from the crowds. >> it is indescribable, both at how hard it was, but more so how inconstent and was, right? you know, for example, i brought some afghans in from the gate, dropped them off at the line to get screened, left. found out they were on the plate. the documents they had on them were less than other documents of guys they brought later who were kicked back off. for me, it was an inconsistent set of information or inconsistent set of standards.
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jane: a cruel irony is many most at risk are men who sacrificed the most fighting the taliban. those who fought to the end did not have time to apply for visas. >> what's happening now is the people who were most committed to figing for the country of afghanistan are the people that are most disadvantaged escaping. jane: why? >> because if i am an afghan commando and i say i am fighting for my country, i'm not setting myself up a backup plan. i'm not getting a visa. i want to fight for my country. jane: even getting people into the airport was not only enough. there were numerous reports of private flights arranged and paid for for volunteers having to lead almost empty amid the confusion and chaos of the evacuations. like this one, apparently organized to fly to uganda where the government agreed to allow
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afghans. >> getting people through all the taliban checkpoints all the way to the gate, checked by the marines and into the airfield was hard enough. we heard flights were leaving empty or nearly empty. jane: why were they not being filled up? >> i don't know the specifics. i imagine the state department officials and military on the ground were doing everything they can, but obviously there was a disconnect in planning ahead to make this succsful. jane: after days of warnings from the u.s. government, a suicide bomber entually went into the crowds and detonated, taking over 170 afghan lives and killing 13 american troops. still outside the gates trying to help afghans get inside. some of them jericho worked with to get people out. >> none of them thought they would have to do that. most important, none of them were trained to do that. they were learning as they went. and, god, they were impressive. it gets me choked up.
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but, just being good people and watching them have to swallow so much frustration then continue to do their job. i was humbled by seeing them work and i can just see it on their faces, the thousand yard stare of total saturation of emotion and physical exhaustion. jane: the killings hindered final evacuation efforts as u.s. forces struggled to each tract -- extract u.s. citizens before the deadline. >> we failed to properly prioritize the people who have literally gone to combat on behalf of the u.s. there is no way we are getting all of those through. there is just no way. jane: to those who cannot make it out, the army of people involved in trying to get to
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them says it won't quit. the nexthase of evacuations will be more dangerous, secretive and urgent. >> what i will say to her afghan allies still on the ground is we are not giving up on you. that is the promise we can make. even if it feels hollow right now, at least those who are still working this issue, we promise to make sure we will do everything in our power to find a way. jane: the u.s. service numbers who died have been credited with helping over 100,000 afghans make it out and onto new lives in the u.s. and elsewhere. the private army of people who worked with them now ask that americans honor those efforts by welcoming the afghans. judy: jane joins me now in the studio. jane, welcome back. we are so glad yoare safe. let's talk about what's going on now that this last flight has left. what is security going to be like for the people who are there, the taliban in control? jane: that is really going to be
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the biggest question moving forward. can the taliban maintain control? how solid is their grasp of the capital and the country? this is clearly with the bombing on thursday, and message to the taliban from isis. their rivals within the country, that there control is not unshakable entirely. we have been hearing reports as well of some pushback against the taliban socially. whether or not they are brave enough to step up and say they will protest against you or criticize you on the street, there are so many questions to be asked about whether or not the taliban can actually control the population, this massive city. they didthey do not when it mil. they walked into kabul to take this city. their ability to control it will be very much so late to their ability to provide some severance of services and security to the people. if i don't, they are likely to get pushed back. judy: that leads to the
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question, what kind of life can people have with the taliban in charge in terms of going to wo, school, going about their daily business? what can people expect who live there? jane: people sitting in the city tonight are still wondering that themselves. what is life under taliban rule going to be like? the taliban invested a lot in this pr pushback where they said it will be taliban friendlier, not as harsh as before, but it is unclear how implementable that will be. no matter how much the political leadership would like to sell themselves to the world. we have for them say that women can go to work, but that water women back into homes. we have heard them say the media can operate, but we have seen media workers be threatened or beaten. it is unclear exactly how normal life will be. we know there have been door-to-door searches and some reprisal attacks against people associated with the security forces from the former government. there seems -- of the scenes at
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the airport are indicative of how frightened people are. judy: speaking of fear, it was isis-k that took responsibility for the terrible bombing that killed so many people, wounded so many last week. what is it people thincan happen with isis? clearly theyre there. jane: they are there and they have been there for years. it was about 2015 when they really started to first show up. the americans and coalition forces really let a campaign against the group that massively degraded them. ironically, at the time, there was an aerial campaign that involved the taliban fighting the group and this very loosely, on directly coordinated fight where you had american airpower and the taliban on the ground ghting the group. since then, it has believed to be reduced to a few hundred people. now, you are going to have the taliban in an awkward position where they risk losing fighters to isis if they are seen to be
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too soft, liberal, westernized, as they try to rule country and govern a country. you will see that rivalry reignited. the revel for foot soldiers, land and territory. judy: the last thing. we know the biden administration has been saying they are looking to the taliban t make sure that people who still want to get out of the country are going to be able to get out, but what is the reality for people still there who did not getut who wanted to get out? jane: the reality for people there tonight is they now have no functional airport right now. they don't know when it will reopen. the commercial flights stopped weeks ago. the airport is not operating or receiving commercial flights. there are attempt to ge it up and running but that can take weeks or months. there are overland routes over pakistan but those are very dangerous. people would have to travel across. if you are in hiding, the last thing you want to do is present
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yourself to any taliban officials at a border post. this is an extremely difficult position, for anyone still trying to get out. it is likely they will go underground and hide. judy: the taliban has said they will let people go? jane: they have been saying that, they will not stop people from leaving. again, you will see them do the opposite, they will stop people from going to the airport. they have been for several days. it really depends on whether were not an individual who is leaving is likely to be hunted by the taliban for their association with the former security services or whether that person would just face a kind of pressure or disapproval for leaving. somewhere on that sliding scale, people will take their chances and try to leave or try to hide. judy: so many questions and so much fear still very much there. jane ferguson, thank you for your reporting. jane: thank you. ♪
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judy: it is another critical time for president biden, facing twin crises -- exiting afghanistan and a massive hurricane at home. all amid a major covid search. yamiche is joined by our politics monday duo. yamiche: thank you. th are amy walter, editor-in-chief of the political report, and tamara keith for npr. thank you for being here. america's longest war is finally over, amy, and it is by a deadline president biden set himself. what do you make of this historic moment given there is heartbreak about the people that we left behind, but also a sense of accomplishment on their part? amy: that is right. i think that is a good way to phrase it. you have the success of the airlift but most of what we have seen for the past two weeks or so has been chaos and carnage. that, i think, is what is really
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driving, at least for americans, the way they are interpreting this moment. how we ar going to interpret afghanistan a year from now, 10 years from now, really unclear. i dthink for this moment in time, watching all of these scenes, watching the reporting from jane, what you see is a country that is still in the midst of chaos. but also, just the way in which the planning for this operation did not go, shall we say, swimmingly. the execution of it. when you hear these stories of individuals actually trying to get friends, family, people who served in the military out themselves, it raises a lot of questions about the role that the government should have played, but was unable to do. yamiche: white house officials tell me that think history will judge president biden as having made the right decision. no surprise on that. there's a lot of criticism
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especially from veterans i have talked to about how this played out. what does your reporting reveal? tamara: we are going thear from president biden tomorrow. he's going to address the nation. he will in everly -- in everly make the case for his decision. he has argued there was no other choice. th are highlighting the fact that 120,000 people got out. but, the worst happened. 13 american servicemembers were killed by terrorists. ere are still a lot of questions, very serious questions about whether americans are safer now than they were before. whether the military capacity and intelligence capacity exists to keep americans safe, or whether afghanistan is going to fall apart and become the place that harbors terrorists once again. and, one thing that stood out from today's remarks from pentagon officials was they were like, our part is done, but the
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diplomatic mission continues. i think the way americans will judge how this all turns out really still is off in the horizon. there are important questions about those people who were left behind, and there were people left behind. will they be able to get out somehow or are we going to hear stories about people who helped america being targeted by the taliban or by isis-k? we don't know the answers to a lot of these questions right now. certainly, psident biden's remarks tomorrow will put down another marker to explain what he was thinking and certainly to try to highlight the positives of what has been a very difficult several weeks. yamiche: very difficult several weeks and not swimmingly is one way to put it. amy, there will be the political consequences, possibly of this. what do you think about this? the midterms are a long way
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away. foreign policy is not always at the top of the agenda for the american public, but the stories we hear especially about people that were left behind -- one analysts saying afghanistan could become the las vegas of terrorists. what consequences could there be? amy: we don't know what we will be talking about a year from now. afghanistan, the fact that our troops are no longer there, there will not be a big american presence means it is unlikely we will have these stories front and center every day. yes, they will be the stories of the people left behind, but not something that will be driving interest among american voters. what i kp hearing about over and over again sitting in focus groups and listening to voters, covid is still top of mind and the uncertainty about covid is still really frustrating to so many people. the fact that we were supposed to turn the corner. the corner has not yet been turned. are schools going to be safe?
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what about my job? is it going to be saved or am i going to get laid off once again? those are the things that will will be driving the conversation going forward. this was a formative moment for so many americans. the president, the first six mohs of his presidency was pretty calm. he pretty much did the things he wanted to do. since july, between covid and afghanistan, the -- you can sort of see the questions about his leadership and his abilities are coming under scrutiny from voters. yamiche: you bring up covid, but i want to ask you, tam, the gop, part of what's going on in that party right now is this deep divide over afghan immigrants. anyone who watches this can see there is going to be this conversation around the corner. what do you make of that, what is your reporting tell you about what might happen with some having anti-immigrant criticisms and other saying let's help these afghan immigrants?
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tamara: you will remember that when there was a russian of syrian refugees, it became a big fight. it became a big political touch point and it worked for republicans, including former president trump, to be anti-refugee, not wanting syrian refugees to come into the u.s. this situation is a little different or maybe a lot different, because these are people who have a direct connection to the united states, who have connections to american servicemembers who they served alongside or who they translated for. these are families of people who are allies of the united states which makes this a bit different, but you are seeing some of those fissures erupt. you see some republican governors saying we are here with open arms and others not so much. i think this is likely to be something that does emerge over time, because this initial wave is just the beginning.
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this is going to continue for months and months. there are thousands of refugee families in third countries awaiting disposition of the paperwork and resettling that in the u.s. may not be as easy as -- yamiche: talking about covid. there was so much on the agenda with congress and all of this took over. there are proxy battles when it comes to the back-to-school arguments over covid. talk about that. tamara: school is back and people are fighting about masks. before they were fighting about masks, they were fighting about reopening schools. now schools are reopened. yo are seeing and localchool board elections, you are seeing a bigger fight. you are seeing local school board elections come a proxy war foronservatives -- republicans versus democrats when normally school boards are pretty sleepy. it usually has very little to do
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with national politics and everything to do with school bus routes. now, it's about critical race theory, it is about school namings, it is about mask policy. it will be fascinating. we will see first test of whether the anger in the suburbs is going to become a problem for democrats in the virginia governor's race and the legislative races. yamiche: only five seconds left, but, amy, anything quickly you can say about covid in this agenda that was not? amy: this was the recess that members of congress were supposed to go back and sell the $3.5 trillion social services package. they are not talking about that much. it is more afghanistan and covid. yamiche: thank you so much, amy and tam. overly next time we will give you more time. i appreciate you both ming on. ♪
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judy: we close tonight with an honor roll. remembering the 13 u.s. service members who were among those killed last week in the terror attack and couple -- in kabul. losing their lives during the effort to help americans and afghan allies flee in the wake of the taliban takeover. ♪ 20-year-old david espinoza of rio bravo, texas. marine sergeant nicole gee, age 23, from sacramento, california. marine staff sergeant darin t. hoover, age 31, from salt lake city. army staff sergeant ryan c. kn auss was 23. he was from corryton, tennessee. bring corporal hunter lopez was
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22. 20-year-old rylee j. mccollum from jackson, wyoming. marine lance corporal dylan r. merola of rancho cucamonga was 20. marine lance corporal kareem nik oui was 20. marine corporal deegan page, an omaha native, was 23. 25-year-old marine sergeant joanny rosario from march to choose its -- massachusetts. marine corporal humberto sa nchez. marine lance corporal jared schmitz, age 20, of st. charles, missouri. and hospitalman maxton soviak of the u.s. navy. he was from berlin heights,
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ohio, and he was 22. our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of each one of these young men and women and we thank these young people for their ultimate sacrifice in service of our country. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. thank you. please stay safe and we will see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- ♪ >> consumer cellular. johnson & johnson. financial services firm raymond james. bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security.
6:56 pm the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate quitable economic opportunity. 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. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >> this is pbs newshour west from weta washington and from her bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism.
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batteries and first aid kit are a good start to learn more, visit ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ ♪♪ -today on "cook's country," natalie makes bridget a streamlined recipe for classic roast-beef tenderloin. adam reveals his top pick for tongs, and lawman makes julia the ultimate lyonnaise potatoes.