tv PBS News Hour PBS September 3, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
♪ judy: good evening, i'm judy on the "newshour" tonight, ida's wrath. the death toll rises as a wide stretch of the u.s. from the gulf coast to the northeast comes to grips with the long recovery ahead from the massive storm. then confronting grief. a , personal reflection from the chaplain at dover air force base who oversaw american soldiers' final return home and the human cost of our nation's longest war. >> i have id to thousands of family mbers, we thank you for and honor the sacrifice of your son or daughter, but we also honor your sacrifice, which goes on forever. judy: and it's friday,
jonathan capehart and michael gerson discuss texas' restrictive new abortion law and how the president is handling these moments of crisis in afghanistan and here at home. all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding by the pbs newshour has been provided by, ♪ >> bnsf railway, consumer cellular, johnson & johnson, financial services firm raymond james. e john s. and james l. knight
foundation, more at kf.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions, and friends of the newshour. this program possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station by viewers like you. thank you. judy: the death toll from ida grew today and first responders in some places went door to door to draw up lists of the missing. at least 49 people were killed in five states in the northeast, including at least 25 in the state of new jersey. president biden traveled to louisiana today to see the devastation from ida, which first hit the gulf coast as a hurricane nearly a week ago.
about 816,000 people in the region without power and many without water. but hopes grew for resring some of that next week. roby chavez, our communities correspondent in new orleans, begins with this report. roby: tens of thousands of people across the northeast are without power as many start to recover from the path of death and destruction left behind from hurricane ida. the death toll was the highest in new jersey, where most drowned after being trapped in their cars. before andfter satellite images from across the state show how catastrophic the flooding is. the focus now, recovery and prevention. new jersey governor phil murphy. >> it is quite clear our state and our nation does not have the infrastructure to meet this moment or the future as it relates to these storms which are more frequent and more intense.
roby: in pennsylvania,drones captured severe floodwaters that consumed communities and highways. river nearly swelled onto the bride. it has since dropped below flood stage. residents were shocked by the unprecedented rainfall. those visiting from out of town were also caught off guard. >> we were staying at the residence inn when the waters rose much higher and faster than we ever anticipated and found ourselves trapped. roby: in new york city, commuters relying on the transit system were met with delays as operations slowly recovered. floodwaters blocked passage-ways in central park. several deaths were also reported across new york, many of them trapped in their basement units,
including a todd or and his two parents in queens. some managed to get out. >> the water goes to my neck. so my neighbor in the second floor, he hold my hand and i hold my wife's hand, and my dad's hand, so we can get out from the basement. roby: new york governor kathy hochul said the state will investigate any shortcomings in the early warning advisories but noted that the storm took experts by surprise. >> those warnings were there, but what was not addressed was warnings perhaps in different languages. roby: meanwhile in st. john parish, louisiana, president biden met with officials where he was briefed on hurricane ida's destruction. he later reaffirmed that federal emergency relief is on the way. pres. biden: there's more to come to restore power as fast as we possibly can. faster than anything that happened during katrina. roby: in southeastern louisiana, entire small towns were left devastated by storm damage. one of the coastal communities that president biden surveyed during an aerial tour was grand isle.
piles of rubble lay where buildings and homes once stood. officials say the island is uninhabitable and not accessible by land. and in the tow of independence, louisiana officials are investigating the deaths of four nursing home residents following their evacuation ahead of the storm. more than 800 nursing home residents were being housed in unsafe and unsanitary conditions inside a warehouse. reports of overcrowding and patients laying on the floor in feces and urine. residents on thursday were transported from the facility to hospitals for medical evaluation. at least fourteen -- 14 were hospitalized. family members were outraged. >> i thought they were coming to a nursing home. th they were going to have nursing beds and they would be taken care like they were in a nursing facility. >> elderly people should not be treated like this. nobody should
be treated like this. roby: across the state, food, water, and fuel remain scarce -- utility teams restored electricity to several hospitals near new orleans and baton rouge and power is expected to be restored in some areas by the middle of next week. a vital necessity, especially in a state reeling from a resurgence in covid-19 infections that has overwhelmed hospitals. while new orleans' storm infrastructure prevented some flooding, rural areas remain in the dark with a long recovery ahead. for the pbs newshour, i'm roby chavez. judy: as roby showed us, new york city was hit with historic rainfall and enormous flooding. at least a dozen people died in new york, most trapped in their flooded basement apartments. outgoing mayor bill deblasio announced today the city will issue more evacuation orders in the future, sending first responders door to door and alerting basement residents.
justin brannan is a new york city councilman representing brooklyn. he's also the chairman of the city's committee on resiliency and waterfronts. mr. brannan, thank you for joining us. as you said, there are a lot of waterfronts in new york city and a couple days after the storm, what is your understanding of what happened? >> people forget that new york city is one of america's most hurricane vulnerable urban centers. we have 520 miles of coastline, four of the five boroughs of the city of new york our coastline, our island -- or islands connected to one. we are still dealing with the aftermath of hurricane sdy and that will be nine years come october. what has our city accomplished in those 10 years outside of lower manhattan? very little. in the hour -- outer boroughs we
get thoughts and prayers, mops and buckets and we spare no expense for manhattan. that's what we felt the other night. our sewer system is over 100 years old. it did not fail on wednesday night, it worked exactly as it was designed, boiler -- however it was designed 100 years ago and we were not having storms like this. it is frustrating because we feel like we have all been sounding the alarm for a long time and no one is listening. judy: what do you believe should have been done specifically that would have helped people, for example in these basement apartments that were hit with water they never expected to come? >> there should have been an evacuation program like any other city, or louisiana has, like new orleans has, people who live in basement apartments have to evacuate, be brought to shelter. that is what we need to be doing here because we have an
affordability crisis in the city of new york, a lot of folks are living in basement apartments, and these folks are of the most vulnerable people in our city. they were basically left out there and it was horrible. that is why we saw the loss-of-life we saw. judy: what about going forward? is it your sense that now finally people will pay attention and are prepared to take steps needed, not just evacuation what other steps that could be needed to make new york more resilient? >> we hope so. it's not like we are staring at a bring -- blank page, it is a not -- it is not a matter of what should we do, there are plans in place but the glacial pace of the bureaucracy is what we are up against and time is not on our side. there are plans in the outer boroughs, staten island, the bronx, queens, brooklyn, but shovels are not in the ground and almost 10 years since hurricane sandy. what we need to do is prioritize
the stuff and expedite these programs andlans to get this stuff done until the next one comes because time is not on our side. judy: you have had several changes of leadership since then, you are saying not much if anything has happened in much of the city? what is it going to take? >> that's a good question. the fact that we lost 12 or 13 new yorkers in the storm, that should be a wake-up call we hope. we are not going far enough. we have points in the bronx, which is the epicenter of new york city's food distribution. the city has done a bare minimum and they are blaming the cost on doing more. we are hearing this time and time again when you get outside of manhattan. 75% of essential workers live in the outer boroughs, live outside manhattan. there's got to be a five borough approach. we have to look at the city holistically, none of this happens in a solemn, we have to
prioritize the outer boroughs. judy: do you believe people who live in new york understand the urgency? i could ask ask about people across the country. >> i do. i think people have always understood it. new yorkers are tough but we wish we did not have to be so tough. it should not be so hard. we need leaders to listen. clement change does not care about democrat or republican. climate change is getting on us, we are just not up to the task. judy: justin brannan, a counsel -- councilman for brooklyn, new york and we wish you the best as you work to heal from this. >> thank you. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie sy at newshour west. we'll return to judy woodruff and the rest of the ow after the latest headlines. hiring in the u.s. slowed in august, as the rapid spread of the delta variant took a toll on
the nation's economy. the labor department reported american employers added just 235,000 jobs last month. that was far short of the robust hiring gains made the previous two months. at the same time, the unemployment rate dropped to 5.2%, down from 5.4% in july. we'll take a closer look at those numbers right after the news summary. there are new concerns today that the biden administration's covid-19 booster vaccination plan, set to begin september 20, may have to be scaled back. federal health officials have warned the administration that they don't have enough data yet to recommend third doses for the moderna vaccine. booster shots may initially be limited to pfizer recipients, since that vaccine is further along in the review process. president biden denounced texa'' new abortion ban today. he spoke a day after the u.s. supreme court let stand the
state's law banning the procedure as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. the law also empowers private citizens to sue anyone who helps another person get a prohibited abortion. the president said the justice department is looking into whether it can limit its enforcement. pres. biden: the most pernicious thing about the texas law, it sort of creates a vigilante system where people get rewards to go out, to -- anyway. and it just seems, i know this sounds ridiculous, almost un-american what we're talking about. stephanie: meanwhile, expressing opposition to the abortion ban, right there companies uber and lyft say they will cover legal fees if any of their drivers are sued. taliban military commanders claimed full control of afghanistan today, saying
they seized the pan'-sheer -- panjshir valley, the final holdout of opposition forces. but afghan resistance fighters in that region denied those reports. as the taliban works to set up a new government, dozens of afghan women protested near the presidential palace in kabul to demand equal rights. meanwhile, u.s. secretary of state antony blinken said most of the americans that remain in afghanistan are dual citizens who built their lives there. >> it's especially wrenching for them to make the decision about whether to leave or not. we are in very direct active contact with this group and there is absolutely no deadline on thiwork. we're going to be in very close touch and as they desire to leave, we're going to make sure we're doing everything we can to help them do exactly that. stephanie: also today, homeland security sretary alejandro
mayorkas said the u.s. expects to admit more than 50,000 afghan evacuees and he acknowledged that figure could climb. president biden signed an executive order today directing the review and potential declassification of top seet documents related to the september 11 terror attacks. years, victims' families have -- for years, victims families have demanded more records from the investigation which they argue could show a link to the saudi arabian government. fire crews in northern california made more headway today against a massive wildfire burng just a few miles away from south lake tahoe. the caldor fire is now 29% contained and growing at its smallest rate in two weeks thanks to calmer winds. it's destroyed over 850 structures since mid-august. former roman catholic cardinal theodore mccarrick pleaded not guilty today to sexually assaulting a teenage boy at a massachusetts wedding reception in 1974. a protester yelled "shame on you!" as mccarrick entered the suburban boston courthouse. once inside, the 91-year-old -- who was hunched over a walker -- did not speak at his hearing.
he is the only u.s. catholic cardinal to be criminally charged with child sex crimes. the arizona man known as the qanon shaman leading guilty to a count of obstructing a proceeding of congress when he helped storm the capitol on january 6, part of a plea deal he made with prosecutors. he gained notoriety after being photographed shirtless inside the capital wearing a fur hat horns. he will be centered in december. the japanese premised or will not seek reelection after one year in office, criticized for japan's slow pandemic response an for hosting the summer olympics in spite of public health concerns. in new zealand, a sri lankan man inspired by the islamic state stabbed and injured six people at an auckland supermarket. the prime minister said police
were able to kill the assailant about a minute after the attack because they carry agencies ha been monitoring him since 2016. >> the detailed regions he is known to the agency as a subject of suppression orders made by the court. i can say we have utilized every legal and surveillance power available to us to try and keep people safe from this individual. many agencies and people were involved and all were motivated by the same thing, trying to keep people safe. stephanie: three of the stabbing victims were seriously injured. still to come on the newshour, personal reflection from the chaplain who oversaw a fallen soldiers, -- soldiers final return home from afghanistan. breaking down the multiple crises facing president biden and keeping the beat. how the music industry plays on independent.
-- in the pandemic. >> this is the pbs newshour from weta studios in washington and in west from the walter cronkite hool of journalism at arizona state university. judy: compared with the jobs report of the past few months in many parts of the country seemed to be reopening, the unemployment report for august was expected to be significantly more modest. but as william brangham tells us, the report that came out today was a sobering splash of cold water about the state of the economy and the ongoing impact of the pandemic. william: judy, the net gain of just 235,000 jobs last month was a huge drop from this summer's earlier gains, and it could be signaling a hiring slowdown -- and one that's worse than had been expected. this also comes at a particularly tricky moment. that's because those pandemic unemployment benefits, the ones
that've cushioned the blow of the last year and a half, are going to expire on monday. more than 7 million people will see those benefits disappear on labor day. to help us take stock of this , i'm joined by catherine rampell, she's a special correspondent for the newshour and a columnist for the washington post. great to have you back. in july we saw almost a million jobs gained and how we're down to barely a quarter of that. do you point the finger and the blame squarely at the virus? >> i think the delta variance fingerprints are all over this report, particularly if you look at what industries most missed expectations. for example, you had food services and drinking establishments sector, restaurants and bars, a fancy way of saying restaurants and bars. they lost jobs in august after having averaged about 200,000 jobs per month over the previous six months, and that makes sense
. if it is riskier to go out, to a bar, and at with your friends outside your home, people are not going to do it. so you have those kinds of employers dropping people from payrolls. you see similarffects through other sectors that have been sensitive to the pandemic. the healthcare industry lost jobs. that might seem counterintuitive but when you think about the fact that elective procedures have been put off, nurses, doctors, other workers are burnt out and quitting. throughout this report there has been a fair amount of negative news and it seems due to covid and the rise in infections. william: did those rise in infections and hospitalizations track with the numbers lost? can you plot it on a graft and deceit cause and effect? >> it looks that way. though if you look at the scale
on that early in the pandemic it was much larger relative to the number of deaths for example. in some respects it is better that we have not had quite the same negative impact on the economy this time around that we did early in the pandemic. on the other hand, people are engaging in more of their regular day-to-day economic activities that could be high-risk, particularly if th are unvaccinated. but if you look at the rise in infections, hospitalizations, deaths, it does seem to track pretty closely, at least in terms of direction with the fact that there has been a slowdown in covid sensitive industries. william: ce monday 7 million people are going to lose their unemployment iurance benefits and i know there is some internal debate within the ministration as to whether or not this is the right time those benefits to go away. do you think this jobs report changes that decision? >> i think it does complicated.
a few months ago we were hearing widespread arguments for the fact that these extended unemployment benefits might be keeping people from taking available jobs in their area. and there have been a huge number of job vacancies that have been going unfilled. i think it is reasonable to think for some workers, yes, it could be the case that if their outside option, unemployment benefits continues paying the bills they might hold off on excepting a drought that is not suitable or does not meet their needs. there are other factors that are delaying peoples returned to the workforce, like lack of access to childcare, transportation, and rising covid risk. i think it complicates the picture a little bit if in fact fewer jobs are available, or at
the very least the jobs that have been going may no longer be there anymore because there are consumers who want to go out to restaurants and bars and two other kinds of activities that are higher risk. the real question going forward is if these 7 million odd people lose their on appointment benefits, what does that mean for their families, and for the overall economy? if in fact the benefits are keeping them afloat but not majorly weighing on the decision to take a job or not take a job, what could happen is there spending power just goes down. and if there spending power goes down, that means they have less money available in the local economy which could in turn have ese effects that make it harder for local employers to hire. it is a little hard to disentangle what the macro effects of this will be, but it will certainly cause a lot of hardship for many families, and i should mention by the way that
there have been attempts to look at whether the states that already ended these unappointed benefits, these extended benefits -- unemployment benefits, these extended benefits early, whether they had higher jobs growth then the states that decided to keep it and so far it seems like there is not much of an effect either way. william: all right, special correspondent for the newshour and at the washington post, thank you so much. >> thank you. judy: last sunday president biden flew to dover air force base in delaware to witness the return, or as it is formerly titled, the three ph ration -- repatriation, of american service members killed in afghanistan. and as it has for the past 20 years, the air base hosted what the military calls "dignified transfers". they are solemn, quiet rituals led by dover's chaplains, one of whom has witnessed the human cost of
the war from its very first day, in 2001 all the way to last , weekend. nick schifrin spoke to him before the u.s. troop withdrawal about sacrifice, and families' grief. nick: in the last 20 years, more than 7000 american men and women have died in afghanistan, iraq and fighting the global war on terror. nearly all of them are flown home through dover air force base. throughout, there's been one chaplain at dover, minister david sparks. david sparks, welcome to the newshour. david: thank you for inviting me. nick: thank you for being here. how do you measure theacrifice of the last 20 years? david: it's a sacrifice that goes on forever for the families who have lost their loved one, whether that's their son or daughter or parent. i have said to thousands of family members,
we thank you for and honor the sacrifice of your son or daughter, but we also honor your sacrifice, which goes on forever. mostly at the point at which i am conveying that to them, they don't say anything. they listen intently. and by and large, they're somewhere between tears and sobbing. nick: do you try and comfort them? david: depending on what that means, of course. of course. but it's not usually very verbal. at the moment of the dignified transfer when they have just seen their loved one come across the tarmac covered by a flag, there aren't many words that are comforting. [20.8s] -- comforting. mostly it is the care that is being given by this chaplain and
by others, so many others that are involved in that. and they they see that and feel that. there is a team that carries their loved one off of the plane and to our transfer vehicle. and after they are complete with that transfer, they stand at attention and they will not move until the family has left the flight line. and many, many times the family turns around in our vehicle to look out the back, to see those people still standing at attention. this is going to make me emotional. standing at attention over there and holding that. and they will often comment on that. nick: you have had to deal with this so many times. you've had to be the only one speaking, often, at these dignified transfers so many times. what do you say about these people who have had to come home after the ultimate sacrifice?
david: i try to say something significant in the prayer to challenge the folks who are there in that dignified transfer to live up to the core values of the service. to live up to their own core values, to live a life that is honoring of those who he given their lives in order that we can do what we do. and i almost always pray for peace. nick: why has it and why is it -- been important for you to say something different every time? david: because every military member and their families for me do the honor of not just on rote. i mean, i can pray a rote prayer, i can memorize one that i pray every time. and i kno there are some chaplains who do that, and that's fine. but it's
-- it's important to me that i give that personal touch to everyone, though i would confess that after three or 4000, there are only so many words that can be used. nick: do you think over the years that you have said the right things? david: i am aware that this is very spiritual. i am aware that there have been multiple times when i did not have the preparation for a particular moment, when words came up out of me that were not my own. does that make any sense? nick: of course. david: that were not my own, and i said them. and once in a while it was -- i heard it the first time when it came around in my own ear. and where in the world did that
come from? those are very holy moments for me. nick: yeah. let's talk about you for a few minutes. you are first at dover in 1980. david: yeah. nick: you left for a little while. david: i was a kid. nick: you left for a little while and came back before 9/11. what happened on 9/11 at dover for you? david: i was a reservist and i had been called to dover multiple times and i had regular duty. the first dignified transfers after 9/11 were the remains that were coming from the pentagon, and i do not remember words, but i remember that the helicopters that were coming from the pentagon three and four at a time, every day or multiple times every day. it was pretty overwhelming. and at that time they sent the chaplain up onto
the helicopter on the ramp at the back, and there was nobody else up there. that was just me. sound is a great trigger, so i never hear -- i never hear a helicopter come over that i don't flashback to those helicopters that came in, three, four or five at a time. yeah. nick: and that was 20 years ago. you'd since retired from active reserve. [00:16:30]you were back at this -- you were back at this job that we've been talking about as a civilian, and you've been at it since. why? why have you stayed this long? david: this turned out to be the right thing at the right time, the right place, for me, for my personality, for the training that i had received in many other ways, the fulfillment of doing what i have done at dover has been has been very real for me.
the families are embedded in my heart. i like to ask, how did you meet? and they get to talk about their loved one. what was it about him or her that drew you to her the first time? and smiles in the midst of their loss, and they tell these wonderful stories. and for those of us who are in the grief and loss field all the time, we recognize that the number one need for a family is to remember their loved one, even though that causes tears and they suffer with that. but the number one need, after accepting that, in fact, there's been a death, is to be able to remember well their loved one and tell those stories. it's a part of part of the important part of the grief process that is going to go on.
as i said earlier, it's going to go on forever. nick: chaplain david sparks, it's a real pleasure. thank you so much for being here. david: tnk you. loved being here. judy: when the remains of the 13 american service members killed at the kabul airport were repatriated last sunday, chaplain david sparks was there, for perhaps the last dignified transfer of the united states' war in afghanistan. ♪ dy: as americans continue to grapple with what it means to be out of afghanistan, women's reproductive rights are being thrown into question after this week's supreme court ruling, and the latest employment report shows the toll covid is stil taking on the u.s. economy.
to try to put it into perspective, we turn to the analysis of capehart and gerson. that's jonathan capehart and michael gerson, both columnists for the washington post. david brooks is away. it is very good to see both of you. >> good to see you, judy. judy: we just heard from the chaplain at dover, and we are reminded of what sacrifice there has been. it pulls at our hearts. president biden in explaining the reason for leaving afghanistan said he didn't want to see anymore bloodshed from young american men and women. inasmuch as the american people agree with that, they are saying they don't like what happened here at the end. there is a new poll we did with newshour showing 32% approval, 61 -- almost two to one disapproval. how long-lasting is this? >> i will take that question
first, how long-lasting will this be? i don't think it will be long-lasting at all. i think it is possible to disapprove of the way the united states withdrew from afghanistan while still supporting getting the troops out. there is a washington post poll that is out that actually lays that -- this out perfectly. 77% of those surveyed support withdrawal from afghanistan, when asked do you approve of the way the president has handled withdrawal, only 26% said they approve. they support withdrawal but don't approve of the handling of it and 52% approve -- disapprove of the handling but support withdrawal. this is a momentary blip for the president. and one more thing. the president mentioned it in his speech this week and i don't think people should forget this. only 1% of the american people
serves in the military or the reserves. in a country of 330 something million people. to hear the chaplain talk about that solemn duty, it is not just the fact that he is helping loved ones rave, -- grieve, but this is a special group of people who have given their lives to the country, 1%. we talk about the 1% in terms of wealth, but this is the truly heroic 1% of the country that is willing to put their lives on the line for this country. judy: given the sacrifice they have made and what we are seeing in the american people and what on t surface looks to be contradictory, supporting pulling out but not liking the way it was done, what does that say about this? >> the complexity point, the
public is capable of holding those two ideas of holding those two ideas at the same time. i agree with jonathan about the long-term effect of afghanistan itself, this is a policy people agree with and that is ultimately going to go to the residence benefit. he will campaign if the roads for reelection as the endor of forever wars. -- ender of forever wars. but if this is a data point that becomes toward incompetence, because now they view that as not competent, i don't think it is afghanistan that would be the problem. i think it is a set of data points that would hurt him in a long run. judy: so you are saying wait and see? >> yeah, we have no idea. judy: let me turn to something
else, no shortage of headaches for the president, the economy. we heard william speaking with your washington post colleague earlier on the program about this. this is something where every american feels, you were saying 1% served in the military, people are watching this and we looked at, again, we asked people in our new poll do you make of the president's handling of the economy in april, 38% disapprove. now it is 48% disapprove. how worried should the president be? >> he should be very worried because presidencies rise or fall on the economy and the weight the american people feel about the economy. complicating matters, and this is why this is happening, is the pandemic. we all thought we were in the clear in the spring. basques were coming off, vaccines were being put into arms, and then the delta variant
just knocked us for a loop. i think the fact that the addictions were there were going to be 700,000 jobs created and inside it's 230 something -- instead it is two to 30 something, the economy is spooked and concerned about what the delta variant is going to do to the jobs market. yet those numbers, of all of the things we were talking about, that is what i think worries the white house. the polling on afghanistan, we know they are not terribly worried about that, but this is something they're worried about. >> and it is not an economic problem we are dealing with, it is a scientific problem, the delta variant. in this case is because of breakthrough infections, a lot of people who have been vaccinated have questions aut what they should do in public and under what circumstances. we are also beginning to see this among schoolchildren.
which i think is creating a lot of chaotic interactions at the school board level about what shld happen here. all that creates uncertaiy, and that is i think what undermines economic growth in this case. judy: people talk about the president gets the credit or the blame, in this case howuch control does he have over covid and where does -- goes from here? there is some control with the vaccine, but. >> the president doesn't have any control over the economy whether we admit it or not and we are seeing with the pandemic there is not much control there either. judy: another issue from this week, the texas new restrictive abortion law. the supreme court issued the so-called shadow docket opinion came out at midnight one night. we only saw a touch of what the majority in this 5-4 opinion
thought, but the dissent was vigorous. the people who are abortion rights activists are saying this is a serious blow to women's reproductive rights. others are saying we will see. how worried should abortion rights activists be, and how much cheering should there be on the part of those who are antiabortion? >> i think americans need to understand that roe wade was not overturned. this is a narrow situation in which a texas law was passed. it was written in such a way so that the supreme court would not have standing to deal with it. it was a trick law, intended to essentially trick the justices so they would not intervene in an emergency way with a law that is completely unconstitutional. if you look at justice roberts in his dissent, he is not happy.
people are playing games with him. that don't think it's going to help their cause in the long run. the real issue we have is probably the mississippi case that comes next year that will be a real test about whether roe and others stand. this texas law is a disturbing sideshow, particularly in the way that it has citizens against others in civil lawsuits, you can do that with guns if you wanted to in california. it turns people against one another. i think the whole exercise the attorney general of texas has engaged in has alienated a lot of people. judy: we are talking about two sets of issues, playing games
with the way the law was written but also the question of women's reproductive rights. >> player playing games with women's health and health care. i understand what you're are saying about this does not overturn roe v. wade, technically on paper i guess, but when you don't stop texas from implanting this law, thereby making it possible for south dakota, which is making noises about copying, florida making noises about copying, pretty soon they're going to have a bunch of other republican controlled states copying texas and having it go through until which time the supreme court takes a stand on the mississippi case or when someone brings suit against texas or do something to offend the texas law. that is why there is so much fear in the country about what this means for roe. it did not stop texas and the
idea of pitting neighbors against each other, colleagues, snitching on each other because someone is desperately trying to potentially -- safeguard their health and perhaps the health o their unborn child, this is beyond handmaid's tale. judy: does it give one side or another political heft at this point to make its argument? >> i think people don't quite understand that the republican party, the social conservatives in the party, abortion is not the central issue written now for a lot of them. it is critical race theory and immigration and a lot of other hot button cultural issues. i'm not sure it rallies republicans in a certain way. i think it does rally democra. i think there is a broad concern
over the fate of ro. i think it's going to bring people out in the 2022 elections. i think they are going to benefit more from this argument going forward. judy: how do youee it? >> i agree with michael. as horrendous as it is, this is something that will fire up and already fired up and restive and angry democratic party and democratic party base. the question is in a midterm election, is that enough fire to go from being angry at what is happening to going in the election. in the midterms, democrats vote even less. judy: and a lot of that is of the courts. the supreme court is another subject for another friday. thank you both, we appreciate
it. ♪ judy: for many musicians and live music venues across the country, the pandemic created an existential crisis. the have been signs of life this summer. but also, new clouds making the future uncertain. jeffrey brown reports for our arts and culture series, canvas. jeffrey: it was perhaps the grandest opening of a music venue in the covid-19 era. in early august, a year late because of the pandemic, the san diego symphony debuted 'the rady shell', a spectacular $85 million dollar outdoor performance space on the city's waterfront, a new home for music of a kinds. 3500 people took in the celebration, conducted by music
director rafael payare. >> it was wonderful. you could feel the electricity on the stage and from the audience. jeffrey: the symphony originally planned to use the shell as its summer home, but with the pandemic and the highly transmissible delta variant, it will perform here through the fall. >> the timing of everything, it seems like it was meant to be. the beautiful thing about this venue is that even though it's outdoor, and you remember that you are outdoor when you just look, you could see the coronado bridge, you could see mexico, you or you could see the siegel's going around, -- seagulls going around, is that the feeling on stage that you would be in an indoor concert hall and a very, very good one. so it's fantastic. jeffrey: a native of venezuela, payare joined the orchestra in 2019, as construction was
beginning on the shell just months before the pandemic spread worldwide, bringing the music industry to a screeching halt. the san diego symphony experimented with streaming performances for its music-starved audience. >> when you see that t concerts were taken away, now the people you see that it was something that they were taking for granted a little bit and everybody's so hungry and so happy to have them again. and this is something very reassuring and beautiful. jeffrey: for a year and a half, artists around the globe put on virtual performances and drive-in shows. ♪ jeffrey: but when vaccines became available and case numbers dropped, live music began to return. at big festivals like lollapalooza in chicago ... and historic venues like royal albert hall in london. the doors also reopened at smaller clubs around the u-s, -- u.s., like first avenue in minneapolis. how did it feel that that first performance, what was it like?
>> i kept saying, i know i'm married and i have kids, but i think this was the best night of my life. jeffrey: dayna frank is owner of first ave, renowned in rock history as the place where, among much else, prince performed and filmed "purple rain". we first spoke last summer, as venues like hers teetered on the brink of extinction. as president of an industry trade group, she helped push for legislation including the "save our stages act", passed last december, giving venues up to $10 million for things like payroll, rent and utilities. >> our industry would exist without this so it was all nothing and we knew that. jeffrey: frank says the crisis showed the larger value of spaces like hers. >> without us, the hotel behind us doe't exist. the four restaurants don't exis the uber drivers don't exist. and being able to really appreciate -- tell that story give us a purpose because our communities were relying on us to survive.
jeffrey: but now, as the pandemic enters a new phase, so too does the live music industry. first ave, for example, mandated covid vaccines for its staff -- and now requires concertgoers to show proof of vaccination or a negative test. concert giant "live nation" will do the same. it put on about 2300 events globally in the first half of 2021 compared to more than 18,000 during the same time in 2019. meanwhile, outbreaks are testing artists' comfort levels. some -- like garth brooks and k-pop stars b-t-s -- have canceled shows and tours altogether. on the other hand, rock legend eric clapton reportedly said he would not play any venues that do mandate vaccines. for working musicians it's a time of uncertainty. >> i don't even know if we're all going to feel comfortable going to dinner, much less putting ourselves in indoor rooms night after night. jeffrey: ryan miller is lead
singer and guitarist for guster, the alternative rock band that turns 30 this year, hanging on through the pandemic. >> there waslso some kind of low lows of just figuring out how this was going to play out, how we were going to stay connected internally, how are we going to stay connected to our fans, how we're going to keep some momentum up if that even mattered anymore. >> the band had weekly meengs to stay connected and played a drive-in show last august in new hampshire. >> we're in the midst of this storm. but we felt like it was important to do, even ough it was it was a lot of stress and and not something that any of us were, like, super excited to do other than just feeling like kind of had to. but in july, guster emerged from -- >> but in july, guster emerged from what band members called 'covid-tirement' to headline a sold-out show at 'red rocks' outside denver, along with the colorado symphony. >> there probably isn't a better story that i can concoct comin out of this. it was a bifurcated experience
because i've got 9200 people in front of me. i've got four band mates on the side of me. i got 60 orchestra players behind me and i'm standing in the middle and but also, you know, not i -- it was windy, i couldn't hear, there was a rainstorm 60 minutes before, my guitar pedal wasn't working, my voice cracked for the first time that week on the second song. so i'm in my head being like, am i going to have my voice going to blow out? like we're live streaming this all over the world. and so none of us felt like when we got offstage that we, like, crushed it. but that night i was reading every internet comment and it was literally only then that i was like oh, we pulled it off. jeffrey now, the band is working : on a record and has tentative plans for a tour this winter. but everything, says miller, is on the table, including the future direction of the music industry itself. >> anywhere you spin, like live music, recorded music, streaming music, collaboration, digital sales is being impacted by
covid, is being impacted by technology, is being hit by, you -- impacted by a music industry that was that is basically being destroyed and recreated as we speak. i don't think there will be a single part of the music industry that will be unscathed. jeffrey for the pbs newshour, : i'm jeffrey brown. judy: you've got to love their spirit. on the newshour online right now, as afghan refugees arrive in the u.s., southeast asian americans are recalling their own experiences coming to america after u.s. military forces left their countries. you can read their stories on our website - thats pbs dot org -- pbs.org\newshour. ay with pbs tonight. our yamiche alcindor and her panel explore how this week tested president biden -- that's on on washington week. and a quick correction beforwe go: last night, in introducing our guest discussing afghanistan, filippo grandi, i misstated his title. he is the united nations high
commissioner for refugees. my apologies. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. thank you, please stay safe and have a good labor day weekend. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been ovided by ♪ >> consumer cellular, johnson & johnson, bnsf railway, financial services firm raymond james, the william and flora hewlett foundation for more than 50ears supporting a better world at hewlett.org. supporting entre noris and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems, skoll
foundation.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions. and friends of the newshour. 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 washington and our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at the arizona state university. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
>> the final frontier, this week on "firing line." america has always had a frontier. now that frontier is upward, and it's out into the cosmos. >> a child of the florida space coast who became the second sitting member of congress in orbit. >> we have liftoff. >> now bill nelson's been asked to lead nasa into the future. the agenda is ambitious d expensive -- put an american back on the moon by 2024, then on to mars. >> mars is the goal in the decade of the 2030s. >> there's competition from china and russia and the space race among billionaires to be the first. >> liftoff as the falcon 9 and crew dragon... >> there's also a brand-new government report about unexplained sightings in the sky. >> look at that thing, dude. >> and it may have raised more questions than answers. >> look at it fl