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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  December 5, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, december 5: tributes and honors for bob dole, former republican senate majority leader and presidential candidate who died today. and communities pull together to help america's newest refugees. 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 j.p.b. foundation. 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 of 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 has been offering no contract wireless plans designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find the plan 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 your pbs station from viewers like you.
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thank you. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thank you for joining us. bob dole, who led the republican party in congress for decades and as their presidential nominee in 1996, died today at the age of 98. senator dole's political career spanned more than 50 years, from the state legislature in kansas to the u.s. house and finally the u.s. senate where he spent almost 30 years. while in the senate, he was known for his bipartisan abilities, and helped pass the "americans with disabilities act" in 1990 and reforms to social security. dole gave up his seat in the senate to make his run for the presidency in 1996. >> and my time to leave this office has come... or home. ( applause ) >> sreenivasan: after losing to president ll clinton, dole returned to private life and worked to help his wife
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elizabeth win election as a senator from north carolina. in 2016, bob dole was the only former republican candidate for president to endorse donald trump, and still considered himself a supporter of the former president as recently as this july. a veteran, badly injured in world war ii, dole announced earlier this year that he had stage four lung cancer. this afternoon, president joe biden released a statement about their friendship and bipartisan work over the years. biden visited dole at his home in washington earlier this year, and wrote today, "we picked up right where we left off, as though it were only yesterday that we were sharing a laugh in the senate dining room or debating the great issues of the day, often against each other, on the senate floor. i saw in his eyes the same light, bravery, and determination i've seen so many times before." in a statement today, former president george w. bush recalled when dole paid respects to his father george h.w. bush in 2018. "i will always remember bob's salute to my late dad at the
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capitol, and now we bushes salute bob and give thanks for his life of principled service" today the capitol's flag was lowered to half staff in honor of the late senator. we have more on senator dole's political career now from newshour managing editor judy woodruff. >> woodruff: in 1968he won a seat in the united states senate. he became known for a moderate to conservative voting record and an ability to bridge policy divides. but dole was also a partisan warrior. he served as republican national chairman starting in 1972, and defended president nixon during much of the watergate period. he impressed nixon's successor, president gerald ford, who asked him to be his running mate in 1976. the announcement came in dole's hometown. >> it shows that you can come from a small town in america, but you don't need the wealth and all the material things in
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this world to succeed if i've succeeded, and some may quarrel with that. >> woodruff: the ford/dole ticketost, but in 1980, dole ran for the republican presidential nomination, again returning to russell for the campaign's launch. >> whenever i set out on a new path, i come back here to begin. no failure has been so hurtful that this place could not ease the pain. and no success has been so great that its satisfaction exceeded the satisfaction of being a part of the people of russell. >> woodruff: still, dole struggled to gain traction and dropped out after a poor showing in the new hampshire primary. eight years later after president reagan's two terms, he tried again for the white house, discussing the decision with jim lehrer. >> but don't you have to want it very badly to go through what you and the others go through to be a candidate? >> i think you have to have the drive, but you shouldn't be driven, shouldn't be so obsessed with becoming president or whatever you may do, that you,
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sort of, lose your perspective. i mean a lot of people may become consumed by ambition, i just have to have it, it's the next step, it's power, and that would be for all the wrong reasons. >> sreenivasan: joining me now for more on the life and legacy of bob dole is barbara perry, director of presidential studies at the miller center at the university of virginia. barbara, what should people remember about bob dole? >> they should remember that he served his country with great distinction and courage starting in world war ii, where he was nearly killed in the 10th mountain division and fighting north of florence in thetalian theater of war, was really left for dead with such as grievous wound, but came back to the united states, went through months and years of surgeries and rehabilitation, from paralysis to a right arm and shoulder that were left virtually useless, and then carried on to go on into politics. he had hoped to be a surgeon,
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but instead he was actually going under the surgeon's knife rather than being the surgeon. so he decided on law school, went into the kansas legislature, then on into congress and ran for vice president and president unsuccessfully. but he should certainly be remembered for this long, long record of service to the country. >> sreenivasan: one of the things that comes up about his career in congress is his ability to find bipartisan solutions and, to me, one of the probably more monumental pieces of legislation that he was instrumental with is the "americans with disabilities act." what's the, kind of, story behind that? >> as you can imagine, having been disabled himself to the point where his obituaries are saying that because he was paralyzed in coming back from the war and only after rehabilitation regained the use of his legs and his left arm, but he thought at the time in the 1940s he might be relegated to selling pencils on the street corner to try to make a living,
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so he knew what it was like to be a person with a physical challenge. and you mentioned his attempts at bipartisanship on occasion. he worked very closely with ted kennedy. it's hard to imagine two more partisan men and battlers in the trenches of the senate on different sides of the political spectrum. but what bob dole said in his oral history about teddy kennedy, the miller center conducted in the early 2000s, was that he said teddy kennedy was like ronald reagan. ronald reagan would come to the senate, would come to bob dole when he was the leader of the majority and say, if you can get 80% of what i want or 90%, you don't have to always get 100%. d so, bob dole said in this oral history about the kennedy. teddy kennedy was the same, and they had two different visions, perhaps of the a.d.a., with teddy wanting to want more from the government than perhaps bob dole did. but what bob dole said ultitely was they found the
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middle ground and they took the bill through. they got it through. it became law and it was signed into law by george h.w. bush. >> sreenivasan: you know, in a way, the period that he served, he witnessed really the evolution of the republican party in a way that i wonder i he recognizes congress today from when he came in? >> he was already telling us in the oral history in the late aughts, as they call them, of the 2000s sort of 2000-5-6-7, that period. he said, "i'm already beginning to see, as i look back on my 30 some odd years in the congress, a change." and he said, "i'm seeing less civility. i'm seeing less bipartisanship." and it was beginning to worry him. so, i'm sure as he came to these last years and his life and saw what happened on january the sixth of this year, that it must have been a trauma to him. now, having said that, he did
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support, in 2016, donald trump who, of course, was responsible for a number of these elements of increasing lack of civility in american life and public life, and even the insurrection itself on january the sixth. so, i'm not sure how he dealt with that. i'm sure he was somewhat conflicted over it. >> sreenivasan: so, what do you think his longer term legacy is going to be when it comes to the impact that he's had on the senate that impacted his wife, went on to become a senator as well, and she's-- she's accomplished in her own right, running the red cross and other things. >> i think that people will see them, perhaps as james and dolly madison, the first power couple and early washington, d.c., as our capital. but they were one of the first modern contemporary figures in that realm of being a power couple in washington. so, i think they'll be seen that way as two people who found each other but also served the country together. and i thinfor bob dole, in
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addition to the "americans with disabilities act," he was very proud of helping to secure and save social security. so, he should be remembered for that as well as for the world war ii memorial in washington. and i got to take my dad, who was also world war ii vet, also served in italy during world war ii in the opening days of that memorial before he passed in 2006, and it was a very moving time, and i know many, many of the greatest generation and their children and grandchildren have had those experiences, so a salute to bob dole for that as well. >> sreenivasan: barbara perry of the miller center. thanks so much for joining us. >> thank you, hari. >> sreenivasan: for more national and international news, visit >> sreenivasan: in other news today, the new covid variant omicron is emerging in more countries and in more parts of the u.s. this weekend just as the u.s. nears fully-vaccinating 200 million eligible people.
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the centers fodisease control and prevention reports 198 million americans are fully vaccinated, and about 45 million have received a booster dose. scientists believe the vaccines will help protect against the omicron variant, but today c.d.c. director dr. rochelle walensky said the food and drug administration is considering a new vaccine. >> they're already in conversations about streamlining the authorization of this, of an omicron-specific vaccine, partially because much of the vaccine is actually exactly the same, and really it would just be that m.r.n.a. code that would have to change. >> sreenivasan: contact tracing is ramping up as new omicron cases are reported, and the white house announced more testing resources will be added this winter. in indonesia, at least 14 people died and dozens were injured when a volcano on the country's largest island of java erupted yesterday. the search for survivors and victims was suspended today as heavy rains threatened to send
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more hot ash and debris onto towns and villages. indonesian officials said more than 1,300 people are in evacuation centers. hundreds of homes were completely destroyed, many of them submerged under volcanic dust. pope francis wrapped up a five day trip to cyprus and greece today with a visit to a refugee camp on the island of lesbos. the pope waked along barricades, stopping as some refugees held out cards with contact information, hoping to find help leaving. this was the pope's second visit to the camp. in 2016, during a massive migration from mideast and african nations to europe, the pope visited and brought 12 syrian refugees home with him. there were no announcements of any refugees leaving with the pope today. >> sreenivasan: the san francisco bay area has america's largest afghan population,
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making it an obvious place to resettle afghan refugees, but it also has one of the country's tightest and most expensive housing markets. newshour weekend special correspondent mike cerre reports on the newest refugees, and those helping them make the transition to life in the united states. this story is part of our ongoing series, "chasing the dream: poverty, opportunity and justice in america." >> reporter: looking out over california's silicon valley, the fazili family could have landed on another planet since leaving afghanistan. >> and when we received in the united states and especially in cafornia, we are so happy because we are safe. >> reporter: just a few months ago, the fazilis were caught in the afghanistan evacuation nightmare. they recorded this video during a taliban shootout at their apartment building which killed a neighbor and spent three days of terror outside the kabul airport waiting for a flight
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out, and sheltering their young daughters from the gunfire in a drainage ditch. the fazilis' first two months in the u.s. were spent in a military holding camp at fort bliss, texas, living in a tent. until they completed their visa applications and vaccinations and were finally allowed to travel to the san francisco bay area to resettle. the bay area has the country's largest afghan population. it's also one of the country's most expensive and tightest housing markets. >> i cannot let my afghan people just be on the street. i was helping in a week about five, six families, now that's increasing by the double, and that's going to increase as well. >> reporter: madeena siddiqui, a first generation afghan american and volunteer for the local afghan coalition, was able to get the falis a hotel room for their first night and an airbnb apartment in hayward, california, just south of oakland, for the next 30 days,
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until they can find long-term housing. >> nationally, is committing to temporarily house 20,000 afghan refugees as they look for longer term options to permanently resettle in the united states. >> reporter: ayisha irfan oversees's humanitarian grants. she one of the first calls the resettlement agencies make for new arrivals, like the fazilis, often with less than a few days advance notice of their arrivals with no place to stay. >> over 6,600 hosts globally have committed to this cause of offering their homes to afghan newcomers. >> wherever you place an afghan in the united states, they're going to want to travel to an afghan hub. these hubs are the bay area, potentially l.a., seattle, d.c. virginia area and new york city. >> reporter: hayward councilwoman aisha wahab is the country's first afghan american woman elected to public office.
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she knows firsthand the challenges the local afghan community has faced since they first started migrating here in the 80s and 90s after the soviet occupation and afghan civil war. people like store owner freshta khwaja. >> we try to make them as comfortable as possible because we went through the same thing. they should be very, very lucky that we are here and helping them. but 45 years before, none of this was available. >> when it comes to being able to translate or interpret or explain cultural nuances and really engage with the new arrivals, the afghan american community that grew up here in the bay area would be able to help step up significantly. >> when the whole afghan crisis happened, all afghans, my family and i, we were pretty devastated. we were trying to do everything we could to help. >> reporter: laila mir, a former accountant and financial advisor, is now cooking and delivering each week nearly a
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hundred home cooked afghan meals for the refugees, with help from shef, a regional online food service specializing in ethnic cuisines. >> preparing a meal and giving back is also a part of my family and culture. i think afghans we love to feed will feed complete strangers. if we know there's somebody in our community. we will make sure there's food on their table. >> reporter: each meal comes with a note. >> dear fellow afghans, peace and blessings be upon you. welcome to the united states. i hope that you enjoy this food. >> reporter: as to be expected, the larger local muslim community is playing a major role in raising money, clothing donations and other services for the new afghan arrivals. aminah abdullah heads up the muslim community center in pleasanton working together with other local mosques. >> i think it stems from our faith, our duty to ser and
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take care of those in need and the afghan crisis just gave us an opportunity for us to do what we are supposed to do. >> reporter: so, too, are the other mostly faith-based resettlement agencies like the local jewishamily services in oakland. >> it does not surprise me because i think faith-based communities have always stepped up and their number one key principle, regardless of religion, is humanity. i will say that the jewish community has stepped up probablyhe most, but they have historically stepped up for afghans. even the afghan coalition was founded by a grant of $10,000 by one of the jewish organizations. >> is there one generous person who will commit to $15,000, inshallah, for our brothers and sisters in afghanistan? >> reporter: afghan refugee fundraisers like this one at a local afghan banquet hall are also raising funds for their afghan relatives still wanting to leave and trying to survive the afghan winter, now that fuel and food imports have been cut along with foreign aid. >> and why should we help these
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new arrivals? because they served the united states military. they were promised that if you serve the united states military, with the risk of death in afghanistan, you would be able to come to the united states. >> we want to leave afghanistan and we don't have any intention about where we want to go and when or which city of america. just we want to leave afghanistan because the situation is so bad. >> reporter: how important is it to have the afghan community around you? do you feel a bit more at home because there are people from your culture living close by? >> i'm afghan, i love afghan people and i'm so happy which i am in this place and i'm near my afghan people. >> reporter: the local marine corps reserve unit's annual" toys for tots" campaign has added afghan refugees to their holiday list of needy families
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this year. the city of fremont'is mayor, lily mei, and afghan american volunteers like mena adida, led the $10,000 toy shopping spree. >> this will be the ultimate surprise for them. they're struggling to get basic necessities and this will be a huge treat for them and their families. >> reporter: especially for families like the fazilis this holiday season, having recently arrived in the u.s. with no other possessions than the clothes they were wearing. >> sreenivasan: newshour will have more coverage of the death of former senate majority leader bob dole and the tributes to him on tomorrow's broadcast. this afternoon former president bill clinton tweeted, "bob dole dedicated his entire life to serving the american people, from his heroism in world war ii to the 35 years he spent in congress. after all he gave in the war, he
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didn't have to give more. but he did. his example should inspire people today and for generations to come." 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
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family. the anderson family fund. the j.p.b. foundation. the estate of worthington mayo-smith. leonard and norma klorfine. 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 of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group: retirement services and investments. additional support has been provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the
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american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
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emergency planning for kids. we can't predict whe an emergency will happen. so that's why it's important to make a plan with your parents. here are a few tips to stay safe. know how to get in touch with your family. write down phone numbers for your parents, siblings and neighbors. pick a place to meet your family if you are not together and can't go home. remind your parents to pack an emergency supply kit. making a plan might feel like homework, but it will help you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
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