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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  October 9, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, october 9: the nation's most restrictive abortion ban is reinstated. and protesters in iraq demanded a new government, but now some may boycott tomorrow's vote. next on “pbs newshour weekend.” >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine.
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the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless serce that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to yo pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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>> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. a federal appeals court reinstated the texas law considered to be the strictest abortion regulation in the country just two days after a federal judge lifted the ban. late last night the u.s. court of appeals for the fifth circuit temporarily suspended the lower court ruling that blocked the law known as s.b.8, which bans most abortions after six weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest. the three judge panel's ruling against a case brought by the biden administration had been expected. it is a temporardecision that allows the biden administration to respond by tuesday. other such bans on abortions after six weeks have been blocked, federal courts ruling that they violate the "roe versus wade" decision which guarantees the right to abortion up to 22-24 weeks of pregnancy. the texas ban also allows private citizens from anywhere in the country to bring suit
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against “anyone who performs an abortion or 'aids or abets' the procedure.” the law went into effect in september after thsupreme court declined to intervene. as the battle over the nation's strictest abortion law continues in texas, there are also a record number of new abortion restrictions taking effect across the country. i spoke with shefali luthra, a healthcare reporter for "the 19th," an independent, nonprofit newsroom covering gender, politics and policy, about the new laws and about the texas abortion battle. shefali, we have been hearing a lot about what's happening with the abortion rulings in texas, but your piece kind of took a bigger picture view, and you looked across the country. what did you find? >> reporter: this year has seen more abortion restrictions become law than any other year since 1973, which was when "roe v. wade" wasecided. 106 restrictions were signed into law in over 19 states. it's the first time we have hit
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three dinlitz ever, with limitations on when or how someone can get a two-pill regimen, that could mean prohibiting those pills from being support over the mail, requiring someone go in person to the doctor to get the first pill done, even though experts say you can safely do it from home. it might mean instituting special waiting periods for someone who wants a medication abortion. you have to wait three days between one visit and the second to even get the pill. it could mean special restrictions on how someone is registered if they want to provide medication abortion. all of these somewhat insidious restrictions that will make it harder and harder, in particular for medication abortion to be available. >> sreenivasan: what is happening in the state adjacent to texas or any of the state adjacent to some states that have the most-restrictive rules coming into the place. >> what is adjacent to texas i think is super important and
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really interesting. the two states that had more restrictions signed into law this year than any other were arkansas and oklahoma. those are two of texas' neighbors and they both reported in their clinics numerous patients coming from texas to there because they can't get an abortion in texas and they still need one. i talked to a clinic in oklahoma where they told me they still see 100 texas patients every week. and now they're facing their own new restrictions. some of the ones that were signed won't take effect, but many of them will. and if so, that will make these places tt are a refuge, equally onerous or almost as onerous as texas. >> sreenivasan: also, places that have theseestrictions coming or now have them on the books, are there correlations between how many abortions are performed in these states versus the rules that are going into effect? >> reporter: these are all generally states that already were unfriendly to the procedure, right.
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so 19 states-- these are largely republican-led states, republican governors, republican state legislatures. and they have had a long history of building up to this moment and what the research that elizabeth nash told me that i think is really smart is what this shows us is the texas law didn't come out of nowhere, right. it came from years and years of states that were already unfriendly to abortion, that were already making this procedure harder to obtain, just really doubling down now because they see that they can. >> sreenivasan: what's interesting is with a story like yours is you don't realize a national sea change often, because you're in one specific jurisdiction. i'm maybe aware of what's happening in my community, but i'm not thinking about the other 49 states, so to speak. >> reporter: i think that's really important, right, because this isn't the first time we've seen this intense deluge of abortion restrictions. in 21, we saw a very similar
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trend, albeit on a much smaller level. that was the biggest year until now. and it was just like this. you don't realize what's happening in california if you live in rhode island. maybe those are bad examples. you don't realize what's happening in oklahoma if you live in montana. and what happens, right, is it doesn't become a national story until someone goes from state to state and pieces it all together and realizes these things we thought were happening in a vacuum, they're actually parent of a much larger project that is working concert to change what abortion access looks like in the country. >> sreenivasan: shefali luthra, healthcare reporter for "the 19th" thank you for joining us. >> thank you for having me. >> sreenivasan: u.s. representatives are holding high level talks with taliban officials in qatar today and tomorrow, the first since the pullout of troops from afghanistan in late august. but even befe the meetings took place, a taliban spokesman ruled out cooperating with the u.s. on reining in the islamic state extremist group,
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reportedly aey issue for the americans. according to an unnamed u.s. official, the government is hoping to come to an agreement on safe evacuations of americans and others from afghanistan and the release of a kidnapped u.s. citizen. a taliban spokesman said the talks would also revisit the 2020 peace agreement that paved the way for the u.s. withdrawal earlier this year. iran's first president, abolhassan banisadr, who was elected following the country's 1979 islamic revolution, has died. banisadr was elected president of the islamic republic of iran in 1980, but impeached just 18 months after taking office during the u.s. hostage crisis in iran. he fled tehran after challenging the growing power of religious clerics in the nation. bani-sadr spent much of the rest of his life in france. he was part of an unsuccessful group that worked to challenge the growing power of the clerical authorities. former presint banisadr was 88-years-old. smoke and lava from the cumbra vieja volcano on one of spain's canary islands kept spewing as the eruptions continued for a third week.
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early today streams of lava flowed past buildings, and four structures were reported destroyed. an airport located on the island of la palma reopened today after being closed since thursday due to ash. for more national and international news, visit >> sreenivasan: tomorrow, ir will hold its fifth election since the u.s.-led invasion toppled saddam hussein's regime in 2003. the party, led by cleric moqtada al-sadr, is likely to emerge with the most power in parliament. once a foe of the american military, al-sadr is now one of iraq's most powerful leaders. huge street protests demanding a complete overhaul of iraq's political order resulted in this vote, but protesters now fear the election will be neither free nor fair, and some are calling for a boycott. newshour weekend special correspondent simona foltyn reports from iraq. >> reporter: in central baghdad, protesters gather to commemorate the second anniversary of iraq's so-called october revolution, a
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large-scale protest that began in october 2019. it called for the toppling of the political system put in place by the u.s. after its 2003 invasion of iraq that overthrew saddam hussein. security forces and armed groups, some of whom are linked to incumbent political parties, killed more than 600 people, the faces of the victims imprinted on the flags and posters the protesters carry as they vow to stay the course. alaa al sattar is an engineering graduate and a key organizer. >> ( translated ): today we remember the martyrs who fell in this uprising and we remember the bloodshed that happened, while many demands have not been fulfilled. >> reporter: al sattar helped form one of the new parties that emerged from the protests. they want to abolish iraq's power-sharing system, which divides ministerial posts between shia, sunni and kurdish parties no matter how they did
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in the election and which is widely seen as fueling corruption and incompetence. in response to protesters' demands, elections are being held early, and there are now 83 districts up from 18. but al sattar says the new election law caters to the political establishment. >> ( translated ): the electoral districts were divided in a sectarian manner and according to the parties' interests, so as to exclude new parties and new faces from the parliament. >> reporter: but while the protesters were quick to reject the new election law, they haven't agreed on an alternative. instead of the current system where political parties choose the prime minister in murky backroom negotiations, many protesters demand to elect their head of government directly, with some even calling for a presidential system. al sattar's party, like ny protesters, is calng for the boycott of the elections. they say the playing field isn't level because the incumbents
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draw on state funds and their armed wings to succeed. >> ( translated ): we in the streets are unarmed, we have no money, we don't have the experience to organize the protest in the face of authority, which during the daytime tells us "come and organize yourself and take part in the elections," while at night, they go around the houses and kill us. >> reporter: the lack of organization is evident. at the protest, the attendees argue over how it should be run, and the turnout is disappointingly low in the hundreds. two years on the protest movement is still struggling to unite, and even arranging a small demonstration like this sparked disagreements over what the goals and messages should be, highlighting the deep rifts within the protest movement. and this lack of unity is one reason why protesters have failed to translate the momentum on the streets into political capital. 167 parties and 3,200 candidates registered to run for iraq's 329-seat parliament.
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the level of competition reflects both the fractured political landscape and the intense competition to access state resources. but despite broad popular support for the protests, only three parties and 80 candidates represent the movement, in par because many protesters refuse to take part in a political system they see as irreformable. one of the movement's most promising contenders is dr. alaa al rikabi, a pharmacist turned politician who was a key organizer in iraq's southern city of nassriyah, one of the bastions of the uprising. rikabi's campaign relies on his own funds, modest donations, and volunteers like the owner of this workshop, who helps him make campaign posters. >> it's a chance to make chang for our country. we know it's-- it's a big challenge to compete with the
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political parties who have very g unlimited finances. >> reporter: rikabi himself helps the volunteers prepare the rickety wood frames to mount the posters. so far, his campaign has spent only $2,000, a very small sum in a country where parties often use money to win over voters. rikabi, in turn, banks on the popular support for the protest movement. >> we have the advantage that our public is with us. hundreds of volunteers work every, every day. >> reporter: but in addition to money, many established political parties also have armed wings which they deploy to crush their opposition. as we follow him throughout the day, rikabi learns that one of his volunteers was shot the night before. rikabi tries to call him, but there's no answe >> his device is closed. >> reporter: luckily, the volunteer survived the assassination attempt. we accompany rikabi as he pays
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him a visit at home. azhar hatem says he was hanging up campaign posters for rikabi late at night when the incident occurred. hatem was shot twice in the right leg. the attack closely resembles 82 assassination attempts against activists and protesters, of which 35ere successful, that iraq's human rights commission has recorded over the past two years. >> ( translated ): anybody opposing these corrupt parties, be it through action or word, will be exposed to threats and killing. >> reporter: rikabi himself has been threatened many times. should he win a seat, he could become even more of a target. that's because the new election law mandates that any elected parliamentarian who dies shall be replaced by the candidate who came next in his district. rikabi says this could incentivize political parties and their armed wings to target winning opponents.
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but the new law, with s increased number of districts, has also made campaigning for smaller parties easier. every evening, rikabi's team holds small gathings with his constituents. the main goal is to encourage them to vote. >> ( translated ): in 2018, all the party loyalists turned out, didn't they? you have the ability to outnumber them by multiples through your awareness and participation. aren't you looking for change? do you like this situation? how else will this change happen if not through peaceful ways? syria is right next door and they've had a civil war for 11 years. >> reporter: but one visit to a rally of the party belonging to populist shia cleric moqtada al- sadr and it becomes clear why many iraqis have such little hope for change.
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>> reporter: al-sadr boasts a cult-like following, and controls one of the most powerful armed groups in iraq, which has been accused of targeting protesters. his party saeroon won the most seats in 2018 and has since consolidated its grip in power. al-sadr and those running on his slate have made it clear that he expects nothing short of a sweeping victory. >> ( translated ): after we win the largest bloc in parliament and the premiership is handed over to us, there will be urgent and revolutionary measures. >> reporter: such triumphalist statements raise concerns over what could happen should powerful incumbents not achieve the results they expect. amid the abundance of armed groups, iraq's post-election period could easily spiral into violence.
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>> sreenivasan: as schools resumed in person teaching this season, teachers and students faced pressure from local school boards and organizations that want to oversee what is taught about race. but no matter what is in a textbook, families need to find ways to talk about racism. earlier this summer, i spoke with dana crawford, a pediatric and clinical psychologist in new york city who has developed approaches to reducing bias, prejudice, and racism. where does a family begin the process of teaching someone how to be anti-racist? >> it starts with that family. specifically are they a family that their child is particularly at risk for being racist? are they a family that their child may be at risk for experiencing racism? so, i think it must start with the conversation between those two parenting adults or those
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caregivers to really talk about where do they need to center the conversation? is it about allyship, or is it about resiliency and survival and navigating a world in which a child may be exposed to racism, prejudice and bias? >> sreenivasan: you can immediately hear parents in the audience say, "well, we're not racist and meling is so important, so i'm not that concerned." why is that right or wrong? >> well, i would dare say that, you know, as a parent, i wish only the things that i expose my children to would be the things that they would model, that they would be exposed to, but we all know we do not own our children, and they live in the world. i don't know about the statement "i'm not racist." i dare say that racism is a socially transmitted disease in which we're all exposed to, infected with and often spread unintentionally, but definitely has an impact. so, that's a different argument. but i would say in the same way that you might not be someone that abducts children, but you
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still talk with your childre about people who abduct children. >> sreenivasan: right. >> you want to prepare your children to be safe in the world. so, although you may not perceive or experience yourself to have very intentional racist thoughts, your children still do navigate a world that they may be exposed to that, their friends may be exposed to racism, and what kind of person are you trying to raise? >> sreenivas: when are children aware of race as a social construct? i know that they can see colors at a young age and identify their parents, but when does this all start to sink in to them? >> well, there is research that shows around the age of 2-2.5 children start to associate behaviors with race. and i have a little two-year-old and that's a really small person. and as they start to navigate the playground, they may assume and make some assertions that this person is behaving this way because they're brown, because they're white, because they don't have a leg or something in this way.
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so, not just race, but also other ways that people navigate the world. and so, the earlier you start, the better. and it needs to occur in ways that are just casual, integrated into your parenting, similar to how you integrate how to cross the street. the ways that we talk about good table manners, these are natural, experiential dialogues and conversation. >> sreenivasan: and what about as kids get older? i don't know whether it's pre- teen or teenage years where they might be more conscious of the news and the politics around it. how do you initiate one of those conversations about what they're seeing on tv in the context of race? >> so, i really like the anti- bullying language that many schools have already led the way in. they have the posters, they talk about what bystander expectations are, what do you do when a bully shows up, ando, for younger children, i talk about some people are bullied because of their skin color,
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some people are bullied because the way that they wear their hair, some people are bullied because of their abilities and the ways that they walk. there are many reasons that people are bullied. and in this family, we do not bully anyone for any reason. and if you see bullying or you hear any bullying, it is the expectation that you say something, that you speak with an adult, that in our family we expect you not only not to bully, but we expect you to stand up and speak up. and so, as children get older, i start to name that bullying. the bullying when someone is a bully because of their race, that's called racism. when someone is bullied because of their gender, that's called sexism or queer-phobia. and so, getting more specific as children get older are very similar to when we teach them how to read, you start with the alabet, and over time, you expand into letters and words and books and narratives and eventually dissertations. >> sreenivasan: dr. dana crawford, a clinical and pediatric psychologist. thanks so much for joing us. >> thank you so much for having me.
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>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, scientists and fishermen in bolivia are embarking on a new project to learn more about pink dolphins, a freshwater river species found in the amazon. it's combining high tech tools with the knowledge of experienced fishermen in the region. in an ongoing project, four more river dolphins now have tags that use satellite technology to connect to a cell phone app. the app means fishermen can track the pink-skinned dolphins and help scientists learn more about the unusual mammals. >> ( translated ): the bolivian dolphin faces several threats, especially in the upper watersheds, where there are huge cities. >> sreenivasan: the bolivian environmental group is working with the world wildlife fund to
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learn more about the pink dolphins, including what they eat and how they migrate to help protect them in their environment. >> ( translated ): wwf's work on freshwater dolphins is essential and important because dolphins are indicators of the quality of an aquatic ecosystem and its habitat. everything that affects dolphins affecting want humans that use those resources and it inhabits the surrounding ecosystems. so if dolphins are doing well, people are doing well. >> sreenivasan: bolivia's vast amazon rainforest is critical habitat for a wide range of species from dolphins to toucans and jaguars. deforestation, upriver dams, forest fires and development are growing threats. now, local fishermen who often caught the dolphins to use as bait, are saving them as local teams help tag and monitor bolivia's pink river dolphins.
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>> sreenivasan: that's all for this edition of “pbs newshour weekend.” for the latest news updates visit i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. stay healthy and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the anderson family fund. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. the rosalind p. walter foundation. koo and patricia yuen, committed to bridging cultural
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differences in our communities. barbara hope zuckerberg. we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe takingare of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. additional support has bn provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
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