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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 31, 2022 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

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♪ judy: good evening. i am judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, the shifting invasion. russia repositions some troops but increases attacks in the south, as civilians resort to desperate attempts to escape the war zone. then, looking for relief -- president biden announces plans to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the nation's strategic petroleum reserve in an effort to lower gas prices. and, investigating the insurrection -- former president trump's son-in-law jared kushner testifies before the january 6th committee. we discuss the latest on the probe with representative zoe lofgren. >> what has unfolded here, i think, is more sious than the threat that was posed by watergate to our country.
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judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ >> major funding for the pbs "newshour" has been provided by. >> fidelity dedicated advisors are here to help you create a wealth plan a plan with tax sensitive strategies, planning focused on tomorrow while you focus on today. that is the planning effect, from fidelity. >> consumer cellular. bnsf railway. accountants and advisors. the kendeda fund. committed to restoring and advancing justice through meaningful work.
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more at kendeda carnegie corporation of new york, supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security, at ♪ and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. ♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. judy: president biden said today there was "no clear evidence" that the russians were scaling
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back their military operations around the ukrainian capital, despite that assertion from moscow earlier this week. the u.s. has seen some redeployments of russian troops, but not in sizeable numbers. meantime, the russian attacks, and ukrainian resistance grind on, most fiercely in the east and southeast of ukraine. the international committee of the red cross said it had secured an agreement to evacuate civilians from besieged mariupol, but those plans have been blown away by russian shells in the past. tonight we start well north of there, in ukraine's second largest city, kharkiv. special correspondent jack hewson again begins our coverage. >> a once residential area in north eastern kharkiv now a ghost town. the horror continues even as russia pledged to stop the attacks. today, another russian missile hit a pipeline, cutting the gas supply to thousands of residents.
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the strike triggered a massive fire that burned dozens of local shops. >> our apartment block was hit by three missiles. people were left without entry doors. where are we supposed to live? look at us, look at my clothes. that's how we live. >> elsewhere in the north, russian per troops are now pulling out of the chernobyl nuclear plant, the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster. the russians seized the facility in the early days of the invasion. today, ukraine's nuclear operator reported russian soldiers were exposed to "significant doses" of radiation from digging trenches around the highly-contaminated site. ukraine said those troops are now moving toward the belarus border, where the u.s. expects russia to resupply and redeploy em elsewhere in ukraine. the ukrainians are not letting up their defense. this week they recaptured towns and villages near kyiv where dead russian soldiers now lay. ukrainian fighters, eager to take any russian weapons left
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behind. >> we will win. and we will be victorious, because we are on our land. there is a huge advantage we have over the enemy. >> as russian forces struggle, today president putin authorized drafting nearly 135,000 conscripts into the army. he said it had nothing to do with ukraine. but the issue of conscription has been contentious in the war. earlier this month, mr. putin claimed all soldiers were quote professional." but russia's chief defense spokesman said that was not the case. >> unfortunately, we have discovered several facts of the presence of conscripts in units taking part in the special military operation in ukraine." >> us officials say russia continues to reposition its troops away from the capital. but despite promises of de-escalation, russia intensified its offensive in the southeast as it focuses on the donbas region. in the north, heavy shelling continues to hit kyiv, chernihiv and kharkiv. there was a renewed onslaught of
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russian artillery hitting the northeast of kharkiv today. 380 impacts recorded. according to firefighters we spoke to, this was the heaviest week they d observed since the beginning of march. so, contrary to russian claims, there is no observable reduction in russian military activity in kharkiv. in reality the bombardment is actually getting worse. further south in mariupol, russia promised a one-day cease-fire. but ukraine said a new humanitarian convoy headed to evacuate trapped civilians was stopped at a russian checkpoint. in washington today, president biden said he has seen no sign of moscow scaling back its offensive. pres. biden: depending on your view of putin, i'm a little skeptical. it's an open question whether he's actually pulling back and going to say i'm just going to focus on the donbas and i'm not worried about the rest of the country. >> meanwhile in berlin, a ukrainian delegation met with germany's economy minister as the country is trying to reduce its dependency on russian energy. putin threatened to halt gas exports if they're not paid for
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in rubles, beginning tomorrow. >> today i signed a decree that establishes the rules for trading russian natural gas with the so-called unfriendly states. in order to purchase russian natural gas, they must open ruble accounts in russian banks. >> earlier this week, putin's spokesman dmitry peskov insisted that russia will cut off all gas supplies if countries don't adhere to the new rules. and as peace talks are expected to resume tomorrow, in another address to his nation last night, ukraine's leader said the suffering was expected to grind on. >> there are only words. so far, no specifics. there is a real tuation on the battlefield. we will fight for every meter of our land, for every person. >> for the pbs "newshour", i'm jack hewson in kharkiv, ukraine. judy: the city of zaporizhzhya lies in the southeast of ukraine, along the dnieper river. it's very close to the front lines, and so far remains in
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ukrainian hands. in the early days of the war, fighting at its nuclear power plant put the entire world on edge. now, things have settled down there somewhat. but zaporizhya has become a way station for thousands trying to escape russian attacks. special correspondt volodymyr solohoob is there for us. >> the routine is anything but routine. the city has become a major logistics center for those fleeing the war in mariupol and other towns in southeast ukraine. >> we have evacuated around 100 12,000 people to central and western parts of ukraine since the beginning of the war. we serve as a layover hub. if all the evacuees stayed here, tens and hundreds of thousands of people, it would be very difficult for the city. most of the evacuees just stay here overnight and keep going to central and western ukraine. reporter: this is the city's
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main layover hub. all those fleeing come to this processing center to get help moving further from the fighting. you can see the damage on their cars arriving here. victoria was forced to live three weeks in the basement of an apartment building in mariupol with her six-year-old daughter and two elderly parents. she told us the daily struggle to even cut. >> we would put a pot on a fire afterwards, add some water, start cooking. when they would start bombing, we would run back to the basement and then come back to see if it is ready. a lot of young guys helped us. before the war, you would call that looting. now it is just help. reporter: staying in mariupol was dangerous. but fleeing the city was both dangerous and uncertain because they didn't have internet access, and hence, the outside world. >> on march 15 when watching our
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aparent burned, we realized we needed to leave, but we couldn't, we were too afraid. some people left at 4:00 a.m., packed their cars and drove. some didn't make it indeed were turned back. reporter: and where the worst is behind victoria and her family, their future is uncertain. as she walks into this welcome center, she says she isn't really sure what his next for her. for many, the road from mariupol to cities in eastern ukraine took days, before finally reaching this parking lot of a hardware store on the outskirts of zaporizhzhya. inside, they can get some clothing for those who have had very little time to pack before fleeing the war. and here, they are being greeted by volunteers and social workers. they can get some food and hot drinks and, for the first time, feel some sort of normality. they arrive here with children, that's, and a few belongings
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they could take with them. many of them are confused, frightened, and not sure what to do next. but all of them ask the same question -- why did this happen to their city? one of the main problems of mariupol, according to both the experts and those in the city, is the absence of air defense systems. if they had a proper air defense, russians would not be dropping 1000 pound bombs on civilian objects. zaporizhzhya also needs a proper air defense system. this will protect both our civilian objects, and chemical plants, and other dangerous facilities. reporter: we diussed the need for more air defense systems with a ukrainian fighter jet pilot. his location, face, and real name could not be disclosed. he asked us to refer to him by his call sign. >> some soviet systems from our allies, which are
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mastered by our cruise. everyday we are losing our systems. russians are -- our ground air missiles. so every day we need more and more and more. we need to close the sky over our cities, over our infrastructure, like the nuclear power stations, et cetera. reporter: how big of a game changer will it be if ukraine were to receive these types of weapons? >> we have a lot of advantages with our land forces, we have a lot of good tanks, antitank missile systems, and other systems on the ground, but the air, unfortunately, we are not able to fight efficiently. reporter: meanwhile, ukraine is waiting for more missiles. people in other cities continue
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living the horrors of war, whether in the basements of their homes, or making the debt-defying journey to safety. reporter: for the pbs newshour, i volodymyr solohub in am zaporizhzhia, ukraine. judy: our coverage of the war in ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. ♪ stephanie: i'm stephanie sy with "newshour west." we'll return to full program after the latest headlines. president biden ordered the release of one million barrels of oil and day from the nation's "strategic petroleum reserve" -- for the next 6 months. he said it could help control soaring gasoline prices. previous releases failed to have much effect, but the president said he is hopeful. >> my guess we'll see it come down, and continue to come down. but how far down? i don't think anyone can tell. but it will come down, and it could come down fairly significantly. it could come down, the better
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part of, anything from 10 cents to 35 cents a gallon. it's unknown at this point. stephanie: in response, oil prices fell sharply in new york trading, back to $100 dollars a barrel. we'll return to this after the news summary. parts of the deep south are recovering from severe storms and tornadoes, including one that killed two people in the pedroia panhandle. the system blasted its way across six states overnight, with hundreds of reports about wind damage. storms toppled trees and smashed homes. by early morning, workers were rushing to clear the wreckage, and crews began trying to restore widespread power outages. the national weather service issued tornado warning for washington, d.c. and parts of virginia. the state of washington today became the first in the nation to create a statewide alert system for missing indigenous people. the governor signed the measure, modeled after amber alerts for missing children. advocates say it is aimed primarily at native american
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women, who suffer sharply higher rates of violence than whites do. in turkey, a prosecutor has asked that a trial involving the killing of jamal khashoggi be moved toaudi arabia. the "washington post" columnist disappeared in 2018 at a saudi consulate in istanbul. 26 saudis have been on trial, in absentia, for nearly 2 years. the transfer request comes as turkey is trying to repair relations with saudi arabia. israeli forces killed at least 2 palestinians today in the occupied west bank. shooting erupted when troops entered a refugee camp, hunting suspects in tuesday's killing of 5 people in israel. afterward, palestinians marched in a funeral procession. and, the militant group "islamic jihad" announced a mobilization of its fighters. ♪ . back in this. will oppose ketanji brown jackson of abomination to the u.s. supreme court.
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lindsey graham of south carolina supported jackson for a federal appeals court slot last june. today, he said he now believes she is too far left. sen. graham: i find judge jackson to be a person of exceptionally good character, respected by her peers, and someone who has worked hard to achieve her current position. however, her record is overwhelming in its lack of a steady judicial philosophy and a tendency to achieve outcomes in spite of what the law requires, or common sense would dictate. stephanie: so far, maine senator susan collins is the only republican to back jackson's nomination. but her support, if joined with all 50 senate democrats, would be enough to ensure confirmation. hillary clinton's 2016 presidential campaign, and the democratic national committee, will pay 100 $13,000 to the federal election commission. the penalties involve the
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so-called "steele dossier," which made allegations about then-candidate donald trump and russia. it was largely discredited later. the clinton campaign was accused of covering up paying for the research. it has admitted no wrongdoing. postmaster general louis dejoy announced today, that the u.s. justice department has closed an investigation of him without bringing criminal charges. it involved political fundraisinat his former logistics business. dejoy was appointed to his post by former president trump. workers at an amazon warehouse in alabama appear to have rejected for a second time , becoming the company's first unionized facility. last year, workers voted overwhelmingly against unionizing, but the national labor relations board ordered a re-vote after ruling amazon interfered in that election. today's tally is still close enough, that challenged votes could change the result. and, the space tourism venture "blue origin" launched and landed its fourth flight today. the 6 passengers included a "blue origin" engineer and a university professor.
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their capsule blasted off just after sunrise in west texas. it flew as high as 66 miles, then drifted back to earth under 3 parachutes. still to come on the "newshour," the transgender community marks a day of visibility as more state laws target lgbtq youth. ♪ an economic historian discusses the global impact of sanctions on russia. how the slapping incident at the oscars is sparking difficult but important conversations. plus much more. ♪ >> this is the pbs newshour, from w eda studios in washington, and in the west and walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: as we reported earlier, president biden announced unprecedented action today to reduce the pain at the gas pump. lisa desjardins explains. lisa: "putin's price hike," that's what president biden
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calls the surge in gas prices since russia invaded ukraine five weeks ago. today here announced an historic effort to lower the costs. he said the administration would release 180 million barrels of oil from the strategic reserves of the next six months. at one million barrels per day, that is the largest release in u.s. history, and it amounts to roughly one-third of the reserve's current supply. joining me now to help us understand what this means is patrick de haan, he is the head of petroleum anysis at gasbuddy, an app that tracks fuel prices and shortages. patrick, let's start right away. how significant is this? what do you make of it? patrick: very significant. it was largely unexpected, surprising, and it is a significant amount of crude oil. the president had announced two previous releases last fall and 30 million barrels after russia's war into ukraine, so
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to, shortly thereafter from the previous announcement and announce another 180 million barrels, it certainly caught me off guard. lisa: those previous two releases didn't seem to affect prices, or at least didn't bring them down. do you think this will affect prices? the president says i'm cents to $.35, but republican majority leader mitch mcconnell calls it a drop in the bucket. what do you think? patrick: a drop in the bucket is just dismissing the idea that maybe he didn't originate with him. i think there will be an impact. i don't know if it will be as high as $.35. what i am concerned about is that there are plenty of volatile situations, especially russia and ukraine, covid, and china that could offset part of the decrease should oil prices reverse or should the situation with russia and ukraine escalate.
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lisa: help us understand the world markets right now. the president calls this "putin caus price increase." how much of the price increase right now is related to ukraine, how much is related to global oil supplies, and how much is related to other factors? patrick: there is some level of accuracy if he is referring to the last two months of increases as being associated with putin. without the war in ukraine, the u.s. wouldn't have had to respond with sanctions. part of this could be related to putin moving into ukraine. having said that, gas prices were already high prior, the national average was about $3.30, so much of the increase since that $3.30 national average is likely attributed to the war in ukraine. prior to that, a lot of the increase, i could blame on covid , the supply and demand.
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oil prices early in the pandemic limited only for the economy to recover, and for demand to recover much faster than supply. lisa: this is an historic release in its amount. some critics say this is not what the strategic reserve is for, that it is for emergencies. do you think there is enough left in the reserve to deal with any potential other supply shocks that we may not be able to predict? patrick: that is certainly a point of contention. it could be debated. it is a situation that the u.s. created through sanctions. those sanctions have plenty of merit. this is not an emergency that is unexpected. so i would have to say that part of me agrees that potentially, this is not an emergency situation. and that we are leaving the nation more vulnerable to if and when one of those emergencies arrives and we can't do anything about it.
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certainly the situation the u.s. has put us into, is avoidable. whether or not sanctions were necessary is one thing. but this situation is of the u.s.'s choosing. lisa: i can see that heat map behind you. i take it that is places -- a lot of americans want to see those colors dim in there. thanks for talking with me. patrick: thanks for having me. ♪ judy: as we have heard, oil prices have largely climbed since russia's invasion of ukraine. that's one key part of the larger economic fallout from the war and from the tough sanctions the u.s. and many other countries have imposed on russia in response. our economics correspondent, paul solman, looks at the global impact of these moves.
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paul: lumbia university's professor has followed the most recent economic events of world history, from world war i to the crash of two thousand eight. so what do the crisis in ukraine mean? >> for the google economy? >> we are worried about energy, oil and gas and food. paul: worrying about soaring gas prices since russia is a key supply of oil and gas throughout the world, and together, russia and ukraine export so much of the world's wheat. >> the shock of the war, the markets of certainty was very tight. and the black sea through which the grain has to travel, and the actual fact of a shooting war and shapes being has led to an interruption of supply. speculators get a hold of the story and's prices rise. in essence, even more
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significant for the low income countries. paul: how worried are you? >> seriously concerned aut the countriest most disadvantage -- ethiopia, egypt, tanzania, kenya, little income countries with huge import bills. this is a very treacherous situation. the worst-case scenario that we have to contemplate now is that there will be a flat-out interruption of supply, a so-called stock-out where countries run out of keefe you like diesel needed for not just driving tractors, but generators, which are the backup power source if security fails. paul: how much of a problem to the world food supply is what is going on now? >> the shock to the world's food supply is much more significant. russia and ukraine together add up to close to 30% of the wheat supply, large percentage also of vegetable oil, which are crucial say, indian cuisine.
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80% of that comes out of the black sea region. there are concerns about the ability of low income countries to afford foodstuffs through the fall and into the winter. it is the middle east, north africa, sub-saharan africa, which will be in the crosshairs of these pressures. paul: we are america. what about us'america should not exaggerate the scale of its difficulties. the shock to the united states will be felt through the oil market. paul: the greater, "difficulties, ",." , ", "." two -- the greater difficulties, he says, are to the u.s. economy through the sanctions posed on russia with its allies. >> this is like nothing we have ever seen before. we have done sanctions against the central bank, the equivalent of the fed in russia. we have done that against iran and against venezuela. but russia is a far bigger proposition, it is a g20 country in good standing, it hard and exchange reserves of five
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hundred billion dollars at least. these have been frozen effectively in new york and in the financial sectors of europe. that is totally indiscriminate, it is a bludgeoning attack on the russian financial system and on the russian currency the big? is whether we will move and this is a question for the europeans, to sanctioning or locating or boycotting russia's exports of oil and gas. that is the open question. paul: so far, the e.u., which relies on russia for gas, oil, and coal, has not sanctioned russian energy. but russian aligarh et cetera been targeted -- russian oligarchs have been targeted. >> i say to the russian oligarchs and the corrupt leaders, no more. [applause] >> we like to tell ourselves that the function of the targeted sanctions on the oligarchs is to make a surgical strike in the inner circle around putin that will force a change of mind on the part of the kremlin. but i think if you honestly look
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at the power politics of russia since the early 2000's, since the incarceration of the energy barracuda russki in 2003 that's not a very convincing story about how politics is made. if those people had been in charge, putin would never have launched his invasion of ukraine. this is a policy that doesn't suit their interests. paul: or, of course, the interests of their yachts. what about the larger interests of the global trading system? are we seeing a lasting reshaping of the world economy? >> we are seeing a lasting reshaping of the world economy, but i think this war is just part of a broader sect, a broader reconfiguring. more fundamental is the antagonism between the u.s. and china. what i think we're going to see is a globalization in a new mode, with a new sort of politics, and without some of the, if you like, cultural aspirations.
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the promises of convergence and harmony. all of that rings hollow at this point. the fact of the matter is that as this war is going on, as russia is shelling ukrainian cities, both ukrainians and europeans, continue to consume its gas. those connections are profoundly resilient. but no one is any longer going to pretend that that connection will create a total -- between russia and europe. paul: no, it will not. for the pbs newshour, paul solman. ♪ judy: president biden commemorated the international transgender day of visibility today with a series of announcements and events. the president's message came as more states have passed laws limiting transgender rights. william brangham has more about the day and the battles playing out around the country.
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>> that's right, judy. the biden administration announced a number of changes to make the government more inclusive, including giving trans people the right to mark the x on their identity cards or passports. and it announced a series of measures to support the mental health of transgender children. but perhaps the most powerfully in this video message, president biden told trans individuals, quote, "your president sees you." to parents of transgender children, affirming your child's identity by the most powerful things you can do to keep them safe and healthy. to any transgender american who's struggling, please know you're not alone. parents and children alike. please ask for help. and know this. you're so brave. you belong and we have your back. william: this all comes as more than 130 bills targeting transgender rights specifically were introduced in state legislatures this year. just yesterday, oklahoma became
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the 13th state to sign into law a bill banning transgender women from competing on female sports teams at public schools and colleges. in arizona, governor ducey signed deals targeting trans youth,, including one that would restrict access to gender-affirming health care. for more on all of this, i am joined by an award-winning writer and activist, raquel willis. raquel, great to have you on the news hour. before we get to what is happening in the states. i want to acknowledge that today is supposed to be a day of recognition and visibility and celebration. does it feel that way to you? does it feel like today is important? >> today is important, for our community. i think folks are carving out spaces of joy in their everyday life. the trans community has always been here, we have always found ways to survive and thrive and i love that our community does that in the face of all of this
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legislation. william: let's talk about that legislation, because there has been this record number of bills passed in states targeting different slices of transgender life in america. why do you think this has become such an issue? >> this has become a banner issue especially in the aftermath of what is considered marriage equality, becoming the law of the land. the conservatives have made it their point to go after the community. they know overwhelmingly that we still have a general public that is unfamiliar with the experience of the trans people. many folks still say they don't know a transgender person who lives in america. so it is easy for them to tak advantage of a bit of confirmation bias. they know that folks have these ideas about us that are not necessarily true. william: i was struck recently by the republican governor of
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utah spencer cox, when he was he , was vetoing a piece of legislation in his state -- it was then overturned by the legislature. but when he went to veto the bill, he said, quote, "rarely has so much fear and anger been dicted at so few. i don't understand what they're going through or why they feel the way they do, but i want them to live." it does seem that there is a disproportionate focus on trans people in society right now. >> yes, there is. if you look at many of the testimonials from conservative politicians, a lot of times they don't even know us. they don't know a single case in the state in which they are trying to move this legislation. either way, i think we need to see more of folks who consider themselves to be supportive of a trans community, like the democratic party, to come out and be on the offense, not just the defense.
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william: what are the practical implications of these bills and laws and all these different states? >> unfortunately, what we are seeing in texas, which has really been a tentpole state for a lot of us by legislation, i mean, there are families that are considering moving or have already. there are lots of folks who are trans, who just do not feel safe, you know, that impedes their ability to be visible as we're celebrating today. so i think we have to get a grasp on why our experiences are so vital, and why we are valid as human beings. william: what would you say to people who -- it is hard to understand people's motives sometimes, but people who generally believe that they're trying to protect women's sports, or trying to protect their kids from what they think is indoctrination going on in classrooms. what do you say to people like that?
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>> we have to consider that the folks who are overwhelmingly trying to move this legislation have never really cared about women's inclusion in different sectors of society. so i think that is very telling. i think it also paints an unfair picture. to my point earlier about the ramifications of this, we don't want to see an increase in suicide amongst young people, which we know happens when they don't have environments that are affirming. and we don't want to see a stoking of the violence that already exists. we have already lost a number of trans women of color to violence this year. william: right, that violence is growing with the rise in the number of bills. you see those as connected, or are they just parallel tracks? >> i definitely see them as connected. we cannot disentangle what happens when we hear political
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rhetoric that says that we shouldn't exist. that says that we don't deserve the same rights as other folks, we don't deserve health care or housing or to be loved by our family, that is the big thing. if you think about the young children who are able to even name their truth to their families and then finally find support now, for instance in places like alabama and beyond, urc criminalization of families that are affirming and loving. that is not ok. william: that's writer and activist raquel willis, thank you so much for being here. >> thank you. ♪ judy: the select congressional committee investigating the january 6th capitol attack today heard from the closest witness to former president donald trump yet, his son-in-law jared
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kushner. representative zoe lofgren, a democrat from california, is a member of that committee and i spoke with her a short time ago. congresswoman lofgren, thank you very much for joining us. the january 6 committee today heard from jared kushner. what can you tell us about what he had to say to the committee, or equally important, what he didn't say? rep. lofgren: well, as you know, judy, it's the policy of the committee not to discuss the testimony of the witnesses without a vote of the committee, which has not occurred. so i'm sorry, i can't get into that with you. judy: does his testimony, in your view, help the committee reach its goal, which is understanding what happened on january 6 of last year? rep. lofgren: as you know, we have heard from hundreds, hundreds of witnesses, so very close to the former president, some in his closest in a circle,
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others not as close. we are piecing together the information. as you are aware, there have been some high-profile individuals who have refused to testify, which is wrong. but we are going to great lengths to put together the facts, then we will be able to lay it out for the american people. judy: speaking of foreign calls, now that we know there was almost an eight hour gap in the official phone records provided to the committee of what was going on inside the trump white house on january 6, and now we learn that the president made at least one phone call during that time, to utah senator mike lee, how does that change the work of the committee and what you have to do now? rep. lofgren: we know there were many phone calls made during that timeframe. for example, it has been publicly reported, certainly not denied, that minority leader
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kevin mccarthy spoke to the former president in that timeframe, along with many others. so we know that phone calls were made. they should have been recorded on the log, and they were not. so we intend to find out what calls were made and piece together the truth. it is so disappointing that the laws that require these logs were not followed in the case. judy: we know that the committee's mission is not to pursue a criminal investigation. but does the fact tt you aren't getting the whole picture from the records provided change materially, the work the committee has to do? rep. lofgr: well, there are other ways to find out what phone calls were made, and we're doing our best to do that. as i say, life would be easier for the committee if every person who was asked to give us information did so readily as the law requires.
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that hasn't always occurred. it would be easier for the committee if the former president had fully complied with the presidential records act, which unfortunately has apparently not occurred as well. but we'll piece together. it's our intent to find out everything about this whole situation and report it to the american public and so everyone can understand the threat that we posed. and i would say, still face to our democratic republic. judy: congresswoman, you were a young staffer in the office of then congressman don edwards, member of the house judiciary committee, during the time of watergate when there were impeachment proceedings against president richard nixon. one of the things you were dealing with was an 18 and a half minute gap in the audio recording in the oval office. how do you compare the gap you are dealing with now with what
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happened back then? rep. lofgren: i will just say that what is unfolding here, i ink, is more serious than the threat posed by watergate to our country. judy: why do you say that? rep. lofgren: i think the threat to the democratic republic was far more serious than in the case of watergate. just my opinion. judy: well, let me ask you in connection with that. we we interviewed on the "newshour" just a few days ago congressman adam schiff, who's on the january 6 committee with you. he made a point of saying that the justice department now needs to move, in his words, with alacrity, to pursue investigations against those for whom criminal referrals have been voted out of congress. do you share the concern that he expressed, that he is worried
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that justice and the attorney general may be worried about wading into controversy, rather than pursuing an investigation? rep. lofgren: well, the truth is, we don't know what the department of justice is doing, and it's really not the regular order the department of justice report to us, that's not the way they're supposed to act. however, we did refer the mark meadows matter to the doj for prosecution. we didn't do it lightly. and the former chief of staff has taken the position and there is no authority for this in the case law that he didn't have to come in and answer the questions. now, there is a privilege that he wants to assert, he can come in and assert that privilege. and there may be some cases where that privilege would be warranted. but clearly, in cases where he has already talked about matters, he's waived the
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privilege when he was talking to state legislators, not the former president. that wasn't privilege. so it's what he has done is completely lawless. and i just don't understand what is taking the department of justice so long to actually take some action relative to this. you know, hopefully they are doing some work. we certainly are. judy: and is there any way of conveying that the justice department, other than speaking out as you are right now in public? rep. lofgren: no, i mean, they have to make their own decisions. i understand that. they cannot, and should not take orders from the legislative branch, but in this case, congress and by extension the american people, are the victim of this misconduct on the part of mr. meadows. and so we have stature is the victim of this crime to complain. and we are. judy: congresswoman zoe lofgren, who was a member of the house select committee on january 6th, thank you very much. rep. lofgren: thank you.
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take care. ♪ judy: four days after the shocking events at this year's oscars, the fallout is not over. the academy of motion pictures says it is considering disciplinary action against actor will smith for walking on stage and striking comedian chris rock. the academy also said yesterday that smith was asked to leave the ceremony but refused to go. chris rock, for his part, said during a previously scheduled show last night that he is still processing what happened. many people and commentators are also still processing it. stephanie sy picks up on that larger conversation. >> a lot of people who watched
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will smith's onstage slap of comedian chris rock say the moment carried more meaning and charge than just a manosing his cool with another man who insulted his wife. joining me to discuss the deeper cultural contexts are author and film critic eisa nefertari ulen who is also a professor, and mark anthony neal, author and professor of black popular culture at duke university. professor ulen, in a piece you wrote for the hollywood reporter in which you seem to dissect each action that will smith took that night in the deeper context of pain, specifically what you called "black pain." why do you think it is important to see the moment through that lens? >> i think every time we have witnessed violence, we need to understand that from a place where we recognize the emotional and psychological state that is driving this response to a
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trigger. will smith was definitely triggered that night. but i think in the broader context of american society, we need to understand what was happening there is rooted and steeped in a 400-year commitment to black erasure, black marginalization, black silencing and stereotyping of black people. all of that was present in a visceral and real way in this slap. stephanie: professor, you have taken a different take in previous interviews, you have criticized will smith's action as rooted in notions of traditional manhood, what people refer to as toxic mix of -- toxic masculinity. why do you see it that way? >> there has been a recent discourse about the way black men show up for black women. we saw senator cornyn book or
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last week judge ketanji brown jackson. -- senator cory booker last week with judge ketanji brown jackson. like she suggested, we saw a man who was unhinged in that moment, and the only thing that seems to be in his toolbox to respond in that moment was violence. but i also do not want to erase the violence that was enacted by chris rock in that moment. in his critique on jada pinkett smith, an extension of a broader critique of black women. is it ever a comfortable space to make fun of the kind of chronic diseases that black women are suffering? i absolutely agree with eisa that we are seeing the continuation of almost a spectacle of black pain broadcast to millions of people. stephanie: i wonder if you will pick up on that point and think -- talk about black pain as it relates to jada pinkett smith in this moment, and to black women. was chris rock's joke about her
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shaved head, did it beyond an insensitivity to her medical condition, alopecia, and did it also hit on issues surrounding black beauty? >> yes. i appreciate mark so much for getting the conversation in this direction. the decentering of black women in time has been ubiquitous. we have been maligned and attacked so much that we have internalized these external pressures, these social constructs, and we have started to use them one against each other in the black community. calling someone bald headed in the black community, critiquing black women's hair, that is a real red zone. and the language itself is a violent act. chris rock should not be exonerated for what he committed onstage, it was a verbal
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assault. to minimize it anday it was just a joke is actually treading into dangerous territory, because it gives a cultural permission to that global audience, to people outside the african-american community to commit the same kind of aggressions against black women. calling them out about their physical appearance, marginalizing the way that they appear. this has been a tool used to oppress black people through time. so no one should have permission to do that. it's more than just a joke. so as violent as will smith's act was, his slap, and the fact that he shouldn't be exonerated for what he did that night, we need to hold chris rock accountable also. and anybody else that would try to attack black women's appearance. stephanie: professor neal, you obviously agree that chris rock , a comedian, did cross the line in this instant.
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but i wonder if you will comment on the irony here. two of the most profound black women in the oscars that night, will smith and chris rock, get into this altercation, after the oscars have faced years of criticism. oscars so white was the hashtag not so long ago. the irony of that and and whether you're concerned something was lost that evening, in the midst of so many victories for black talent that evening, including mr. smith. his victory. >> when you think about some of the campaigns around "oscars-so- white, it is ironic that this moment brings upon at least a feelg of shame or some evidence of shame. and i think that shame is legitimate in terms of the way that some black folks black hollywood folks but also nominal black folks who are watching the television show. my concern there is that we can put too much energy into this notion that we can somehow not
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have shame. we are talking about multimedia, social media. so many aspects of what we would call the dirty laundry of blackness that are out there. what is more important in this moment is to own up to the pain that is occurring in this context, go from that standpoint to talk about ways in which we can be healthier. the challenge is, if there were more vibrant and diverse representations blackness that existed in hollywood and were given the kind of kudos we saw the other night, then it wouldn't feel so unhinged when we have this kind of moment explode, right? it's not as if we haven't seen these examples of hollywood performances before ere folks do things off script, that break decorum. let's not pretend this is the first time the quorum has been broken at the academy awards. stephanie: to that point, the academy is considering disciplinary action today
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against will smith. what do you make of that? and what are some of the ways accountability is being discussed within black spaces? professor? >> i would like to see the board of governors, the academy board of governors take this as an opportunity, and instead of resorting to punitive disciplinary actions to hold will smith accountable, i think that this is an oortunity for the academy to do something bold and different. our healing needs to happen in a way that is restorative, around issues of blackair, around issues of black wellness, around the fact that we are, as mark just said, unhinged. not just because of what happened that night and the representations and misrepresentations of black people through hollywood through time, let the academy do something that affirms black life and the value and worth of jada pinkett smith first, and
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then chris rock and will smith also. stephanie: marc anthony neal what do you think should be looked at in terms of, accountability for either of these men, or for the academy? >> deal with the access in a way that reflects the nature of the act. we didn't have these conversations when adrian brody a few years ago sexually assaulted an actress onstage. we didn't have these conversations, of course, when he had someone like casey affleck who was facing a rape charge at the time that he won this award. why is it now that we feel we need to do a better job of scripting these shows and policing people, when it is an active black and black crime that occurred on that stage? stephanie: eisa nefertari ulen and mark anthony neal i am afraid we are out of time. thank you so much for joining me with your insights.
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♪ judy: on the news our online right now, the ocean plays a huge role in keeping earth's climate in check. but as waters warm, it's not clear whether it can keep absorbing as much carbon dioxide. learn more on our instagram page. and that's the "newshour" for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs "newshour." thank you, please stay safe and we'll see you soon. ♪ >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by -- >> the landscape has changed. and not for the last time. the rules of business are being reinvented, with a more flexible workforce, by embracing innovation, by looking not only at current opportunities, but
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♪ this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, andy contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ >> this is pbs "newshour west," from weta studios in washington, and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪
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- we're doing dessert today: puff pastry, cream puff dough, crystallized orange rind. and even when i do dessert, puff pastry, particularly, i don't like to waste anything. and even with a little trimming, you can use that dough to make these puff pastry sticks, very crisp and sugary, as well as those other cookies. this is how i made them. begin by rolling out puff pastry dough on a work surface, sprinkle with plenty of sugar. roll it so that both side are covered with sugar. to make pig's ear, cut a piece of the dough and roll it into a rectangle, which is no more than, like, a 1/4 of an inch thick. then with your finger, fold each side of the thin part of the dough toward the center. when they reach each other, fold one over the other again.