Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  May 4, 2022 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT

6:00 pm
♪ jeff: good evening. tonight, fighting inflation. the feral reserve raises interest rates to curb rising costs across the economy. then, russian forces bombarded eastern ukraine, killing more civilians, while the european ion imposes a ban on russian oil. rethinking college, we visit one of the cities nationwide fighting growing education inequality by offering free or reduced college tuition. >> the problem is that the jobs are now requiring postsecondary education. jeff: all that and more on
6:01 pm
tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ announcer: major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by. ♪ >> moving our economy for 160 years, bnsf, the engine that connects us. ♪ >> caregiver. eclipse-chase appeared raymondjames, helping you live
6:02 pm
your life well planned. >> the rules of business are being reinvented with a flexible workforce, embracing innovation, looking at current opportunities, but ahead to future opportunities. >> people who know no bdo. ♪ -- know bdo. ♪ >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems, skoll ♪ >> and committed to improving lives through invention and the u.s. and developing countries. supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more just and peaceful world. more information online. and with the ongoing support of these institutions.
6:03 pm
this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. jeff: the federal reserve raised interest rates again today in an effort to stamp down surging inflation, .500%, a move that will affect the pocketbook of millions of americans. jay powell said more hikes are planned for the summer and later this year. the fed has changed its course for steering the economy considerably, but as we report, it is trying to do so without tricking a recession. -- triggering a recession. >> today's announcement of a rate hike means the federal reserve is moving forward with the biggest monetary tightening since 2000, as the country endures the highest inflation since the 1970's, triggered by
6:04 pm
the suly chain snags. the government's pandemic spending ballooning the annual budget deficit, and now russia's invasion of ukraine. jerome powell spoke today about the move. >> it is inflation people are feeling all over the country. it is important that they know that we know how painful it is and we are wking hard to fix it. >> fed critics argue that years anyears of money creation, quantitative easing, has set us up for the inflation problem, and the fed is doing too little, too late, but chairman powell said the fed expects to hike rates several more times this year. higher rates mean higher costs or borrowing, a mortgage or car police, and typically they -- car lease, and typically they hammer the stock market. the biggest one is can a dampen
6:05 pm
-- it dampen an overheated economy without causing a recession, steering its ever elusive middle course to a soft landing? >> i would say we have a good chance to have a soft or soft-ish landing. the labor market is very, very strong, and so, it does not seem to me we are close to a downturn. therefore, the economy is strong and well positioned to handle tighter monetary policy. >> it is historically a tricky bit of navigation with the world in turmoil, prices surging over 6%, while gdp sagged .4% in the first quarter of this year. jobless claims are at their lowest level in decades, and in march, employers posted record 11.5 million job openings. dana peterson is executive vice president and chief economist at the conference boa.
6:06 pm
dana: this is an enormously difficult task for the fed, because it recognizes not all the drivers of inflation are things they can directly control, so we have faster inflation caused by a confluence of events, and certainly meanwhile, you have a full labor market. we have not seen this sort of thing in quite some time, when most people are working. >> finally, the fed has begun to sell off its debt portfolio, which has more than doubled since march 2020, and up nine fold since 2008, when the fed began buying bonds to rescue the economy. president biden touted the continued strength of the economy, and even the reduction of the annual deficit. pres. biden: we are on track to cut the fedal deficit by another $1.5 trillion by the end of this fiscal year.
6:07 pm
due in no small part to the ending of pandemic spending programs, but president biden says his economic policies have led to growth in revenue shrinking the deficit as well. pres. biden: bringing down the deficit is one way to ease inflationary pressures where the consequences of a war, gas prices, oil, food, it is a different world at this moment because of ukraine-russia. >> and the government is paying down the national debt for the first time in six years. ♪ stephanie: i am stephanie sy with newshour west. we will return after the latest headlines. wall street higher after jerome powell played down talk of higher rate hikes in the future. indexes probably 3% or more. donald trump, jr. testified
6:08 pm
tuesday before the committee investigating the attacks on the u.s. capital last year. he was present at his father's rally near the white house. afterwards, supporters march to the capital. a third oath keepers has pled guilty to seditious conspiracy for his role in the insurrection. william wilson was a leader of a north carolina chapter of the group and became heavily armed to washington, d.c. he has agreed to cooperate with ongoing investigations. a barrage of russian missiles hammered cities in ukraine overnight, railroad stations and other supplied line targets, in an effort to disrupt deliveries of western weapons to ukrainian forces. the president of the european commission cold for a -- called a total ban on russian oil by the end of this year. details after the new summary. ukrainian refugees are in a shelter in mexico city hoping to
6:09 pm
gain entry to the u.s. 500 people are there, with more arriving daily. the blended administration has pledged to admit 100,000 ukrainians, but said they will not be allowed to come to the southern border. volunteers save the shelter is dependent on mexican support. >> we are thankful to the mexican government. they provided this for the refugees, food, with a military kitchen here, medicine. stephanie: in all, the united nations estimates more tn 5.5 million ukrainians have fled their country since russia's invasion. the u.s. has condemned north korea's latest ballistic missile test. south korea and japan say the weapon flew nearly 300 miles today before landing in the sea outside japan's exclusive economic zone. last week, there was an announcement about the rapid development of the nuclear weapons program. fire crews in northeastern new
6:10 pm
mexico bracing for high wind as they try to save las vegas. tanker planes have been dropping fire retardant, but the fire has grown to 250 square miles of the largest anywhere in the u.s.. the governor warned last night that fire fighters will struggle to hold their own. >> was the wind is this dangerous -- when the wind is this dangerous and guess this unpredictable, up to 70 miles per hour on many days gusting, there is no way you can actively pursue putting the fire out. stephanie: president biden approved a disaster declaration today. sec. of state antony blinken has tested positive for covid-19, the latest american official to catch it. the state department says he is vaccinated and boosted and only has mild symptoms. the white house as president biden is not considered a close contact. a 23-year-old man is in jail in los angeles after police say he
6:11 pm
attacked dave chapelle during a performance last night. they say the man had a fake gun with a knife blade inside when he ran onstage and tackled dave chapelle. he is charged with assault with a deadly weapon. it comes just over one month since will smith slapped chris rock on the stage at the oscars. chris rock joined dave chapelle, on stage and joked, is that will smith? a list headlined by this years rock 'n' roll and duckies, dolly parton, and others. dolly parton was voted in any way after saying she did not earn it. the hall of fame called her a living legend that expanded horizons for countless other artists. still to come, medical -- medics delivering life-saving care on the front were of the war in ukraine. the upcoming midterms. antiabortion and abortion-rights activists reckoning with the
6:12 pm
decision to overturn roe v. wade and much more. ♪ announcer: this is pbs newshour west, from weta studios washington and from our bureau at the wter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. jeff: the wide plains of eastern ukraine are the site of a pitched battle between ukrainian and russian forces. american and allied weapons keep flowing to help ukraine fend off the russians. from kyiv, we have this report. >> on the front lines of ukraine's east, russia prepares another artillery onslaught. russian forces continue to make slow progress from a firing on outgunned ukrainian positions. pressure release these videos today and said it targeted ukrainian railway station student disrupt the flow -- to
6:13 pm
disrupt the flow of western weapons, none more crucial than these american howitzers the u.s. is rushing to ukraine to counter russian artillery. the russian defense minister today threatened to target those weapons shipments. >> the u.s. and nato allies continued to pump weapons into ukraine. we view any transport of the nato alliance arriving on the territory of the country with weapons for materials destined to the ukrainian army as a legitimate target to be destroyed. >> yesterday, many of russia's so-called legitimate targets were clearly civilian, but stop near a chemical plant that lled at least 10, in another city, an amusement park that would have then filled with children before the war. the most widespread attack on the western city of livvy suck power stations and not down much of the city's electricity. british officials said today that russian troops are expected
6:14 pm
to move south and could capture other cities. further south, a senior u.s. defense official says russia maintains 2000 troops inside the city. in the center of that city two months ago, 1000 civilians sheltered in a theater basement from russian strikes. today, the associated press estimated the russian missile strike killed 600 civilians in the theater, doubled the official death toll. the new estimate relies on 3d floor plans, videos, phos, and the accounts of survivors. she lives only because she happened to walk outside before the russians attacked. >> this was the ultimate realization they are not at war with the army. they are at war with every ukrainian, every resident. theyame to destroy the city, not capture it. >> and destroy it, they have. two months have left they
6:15 pm
ravaged skeleton of a city. soldiers and civilians final all about, a steel plant. the mayor of the city said they temporarily lost contact with everyone inside. >> we pray for our heroic boys. we thank them for this. they held back the enemy and gave us more time to prepare. our defenders. >> far from the front in france today, the eu announced new penalties on russian banks and a four on russian oil. -- a full ban on russian oil. >> let's be clear, it will not be easy, because some member states are strongly dependent on russian oil, but we simply have to do it. >> the block remains divided over larger punishment, a ban on russian natural gas, mostly because of german resistance. ecomic punishment has not prevented pressure from waging war.
6:16 pm
today in moscow russian jets flew in a formation, a symbol of the conflict. the country is preparing for the national holiday on monday celebrating victory in world war ii. >> british and american officials fear vladimir putin could use his speech to declare some kind of victory or escalate a war that has already destroyed so much and taken so many lives. jeff: what kind of victory could vladimir putin declare? wh are his options for escalation? >> you heard the mayor admit earlier today that he lost contact temporarily with the soldiers and civilians, the last holdouts in the steel plant. if russia takes over that plant and therefore takes over the city, vladimir putin can declare that russia has created a land bridge from russia to crimea with territory in the separatist regions that have already been under control, with new
6:17 pm
territory russia currently occupies in southern and southeastern ukraine. a senior u.s. official acknowledged that russia does have options for escalation. the u.s. remains concerned about chemical and biological attacks, and british officials are publicly saying that vladimir putin will use his speech on monday to declare some kind of national conscription, in which he would increase the invasion of ukraine and even try to target kyiv once again. many experts on western officials i talk to say that is unlikely, because it could spark the dissent inside russia that vladimir putin so far has suppressed, but they do admit that that kind of announcement as possible. jeff: is there any sign that the strikes russia says targets westerweapons is preventing the delivery? >> u.s. and western officials say there is no sign russia has managed to interdict those weapons convoys. a senior u.s. official says either russia does not have the
6:18 pm
telligence or the capacity in terms of precision guided munitions in order to interdict those convoys. lloyd austin said yesterday that most of those howitzers coming from the u.s. into ukraine have actually reached eastern ukraine and ukrainian soldiers are using them against russia in the fight. the increased weaponry has led to some officials in moscow say this is a proxy war between the u.s. and russia, and that goes back to the fears of escalation, because russian officials have indicated they would rather escalate than does a proxy battle. jeff: lastly, -- than lose a proxy battle. jeff: lastly, you are there. give us a sense of what life is like. >> this kyiv. this would normally be a bustling street. there is a 10:00 p.m. curfew. the area around kyiv is a ghost
6:19 pm
town after 10:00. i am standing pretty much in the middle of the street. that said, during the day, a lot of residents have returned to kyiv and there is a lot of shops open, but this is still a city at war. jeff: absolutely. thanks. just beyond ukraine's phone lines, there is another -- front lines, there is another fight to keep those on the front lines alive. volunteers who run volunteer medical services are committed to their lifesaving work. we spent time with some of these medics and film for the first time that extraordinary treatment given -- filmed for the first time that extruding a treatment given to wounded soldiers in the field and showing ukrainians and the trouble accessing care in the midst of war. some of these images in the story are disturbing. >> in a country at war, guardian
6:20 pm
angels appear in many guises. here, sorting through a mess of medical donations. this kyiv hq for a volunteer group of several hundred trained combat medics. these men and women are getting grieved are not -- briefed are not all ukrainian, but are heading east to treat ukrainians wounded on the front lines with russia. she is the movement's founder and a member of the ukrainian parliament. >> more and more people are coming. today, we will form a new team, the 47th team. >> her group hopes to fill the gaps in the medical system under massive strain. >> you need to understand when there are major military activities in different places at the same time, there is a limited quality of medical doctors, medical vehicles, and medical specialists. >> in this makeshift stockroom,
6:21 pm
final packing preparations are underway. in the shadow of the cathedral to the soundtrack of acquire, these waiting ambulances will be stopped and shipped out. days later, eight hours east, we catch up with some of them, each team assigned to serve at frontline all of them not proficient in firearm safety. he is headed to a village on the border between two cities, two hours further east. authorities asked us not to identify the location. there, a walk in clinic is a military hospital with extra er space outside. all of it empty when we arrived. to give you an example of the health care that has been delivered in this country, this is a field hospital parked inside a quiet ukrainian village
6:22 pm
15 minutes from frontline fighting, and two civilian oncologists surgeons are here waiting for patients to be brought in every day. >> this cancer specialist told us he had been here two weeks and had stabilized many severely injured soldiers. >> we see bullet injuries to the brame, bullet injuries -- brain, the chest, the abdomen, extremities. >> as we talk, a radio announces an emergency arrival. >> i go to help our soldiers. so, thank you. >> the hospital team unloads an 18-year-old, a volunteer soldier struck by shelling at a nearby checkpoint. he is badly hurt. inside the trauma room, he struggles with colleagues to save his life. they have lost two patients already today.
6:23 pm
shrapnel has pierced his skull. they stanch the bleeding, intubate, check his back, examine the wound. his cell phone starts to ring. repeatedly. it is taken outside with his other belongings. his head is wrapped. a doctor requests transport to a better equipped hospital. then, they wait. belong delay worries these civilian doctors. -- the long delay worries these of inductors. >> it is serious, but it helps that the brainstem is working in blood flow is within acceptable limits. >> with the ambulance on route,
6:24 pm
doctors start treating slava, who asked us not to show his face. he was caught in the same show blast, but escaped with much lighter injuries. an ambulance finally arrives for the long journey to the hospital, where he still remains alive, but in a coma. they treat soldiers and civilians alike, the vast majority victims of russian missiles. strikes on a train station on april 8 shot to the world. the 46 or a railway worker -- 46-year-old railway worker, they shattered his life. >> explosions, clusters, 1, 2, 3. i don't know if i jumped about. maybe i figured it out late. when i felt and lay down, i heard explosion. my head was in an unnatural position. my knees were bleeding.
6:25 pm
people running aund. >> within two hours, he was on the operating table. >> i consider myself lucky. april 8 is my second birthday. >> she is responsible for the heavily stressed health care system, as hospitals try to cope with the hospitals many victims. >> the system has been reconfigured to provide patients with the care they need as quickly as possible, so everybody tries to bring patients as soon as possible to the nearest hospital to provide care. >> ukraine recently created a nationwide health service, designed to operate meaningfully in a country mired by conflict. >> these things have never coexisted in the world, so this is the first time we have encountered this. were we ready for this? you cannot be ready for war. >> russian bombs damaged the bodies of ukrainians, but also destroy ukrainian buildings, pharmacies included. in this heavily-shelvedity
6:26 pm
northeast of kyiv, he hunts for his elderly mother's pain medication. >> there were no timely deliveries of the medicine, and when it all started, the pharmaceutical warehouse was bombed. >> at those stores, still standing, a 66-year-old who cannot get the drugs he needs. >> there are shortages of the medicines, supplies are not regular. >> this paramedic is well-versed in emergencies, but he has never seen desperation like this. >> it will be a crisis of things do not change soon. you have all these chronic illness needs that are not being met. >> he has come heras a volunteer to help however he can. dispensing unlimited supply of pills, but plenty of professional advice. >> you need to cut these in half and take one a day. >> to an endless line of locals.
6:27 pm
>> there appears to be a breakdown somewhere. the main focus is on the security, the army, the war, and fighting the russians, which is understandable, but there is a misalignment in the community as you can see from the crowd to my left now. >> the catastrophic consequences of this cons conflict felt not t on the battlefield. jeff: a note, our coverage of ukraine is supported in partnership with the pulitzer center. ♪ a busy month of primary elections kicked off yesterday with the marquis republican race in ohio. it was a critical test for a former president donald trump in his ins witn in the gop. >> in that race, jd vance, a one
6:28 pm
time never trumper beat out a crowded field of candidates who tried hard to get tru's support. >> this campaign was a referendum on what kind of republican party we want and what kind of country we want. went to battle. do we want republic party that stands for the donors who write checks or a republican party for the people right here in ohio? >> the former president's endorsement was a surprise, because jd vance had been sharply critical of trump in 2016. the managing editor of the crystal ball. thanks for being here. what did we learn yesterday about the influence of president trump? >> he still has a lot of power
6:29 pm
in the republican party. republican candidates feel like they need his endorsement, want his endorsement, and his endorsement can have an effect. maybe in some world jd vance could have won, but what we know from the numbers is that he was gaining a little bit before trump and torsten, but gained a lot -- endsed him, and gained a lot after trump endorsed him. >> at the same time that jd vance was winning, the incumbent governor mike dewine overcame two challengers pressing him on his response to the pandemic. he had very strict restrictions at the beginning of the pandemic. and you think that is an issue that would appeal to trump voters. what was going on? >> he benefited from the split
6:30 pm
opposition, because he got just under 50% of the vote. there is a runoff, and he got 48%. his nearest competitor was in the high 20's. the most prominent opponent was a former senate candidate in 2018 who did not run a particularly good race in 2018 and was crowded out by this farmer who became this colt figure in -- cult figure in ohio. neither could consolidate to challenge governor dewine. >> jd vance goes on to the general election in november and will face congressman tim ryan, who presents a district in northeastern ohio. this is a state that donald trump won in 2016 and 2020 by eight percentage points. last night in his victory statement, congressman ryan
6:31 pm
acknowledged he will have to appeal to republican voters. >> we have a guy who voted for trump twice. lifelong republican. i talked about china, manufacturing, building things, infrastructure in marietta. he got done and he said, this is the most refreshing politic conversation i have heard in five years. i am voting for tim ryan. [applause] jeff: what you think of that race ahead? >> ryan knows with the challenges are in front of him. he is fr an area that is traditionally democratic, but that place has struggled with industrialization, and a lot of those places have turned towards the republicans, particularly since donald trump became the leader of the republican party. donald trump won by eight points there. in a year that will look like it is republican-leaning, ryan will have to get crossover support. jd vance is not a super week
6:32 pm
republican candidate, the way some have been in senate races in the past, most recently roy moore in alabama. whatever problems jd vance has, it's not the problems roy moore had. i think jd vance would have to mess this up for the environment to change in order to lose this race. jeff: this was the first sort of primary trump test and a primary this midterm season. we have some primaries coming up where trump has made endorsements in competitive races. pennsylvania on the 17th. he has endorsed dr. oz in the senate race in georgia on may 24. he has endorsed a slate of state-wide candidates. are these states, or compare these states to ohio and the candidates in the races to jd vance d his race. will trump be able to replicate what happened yesterday in these states? >> it is unclear.
6:33 pm
trump did stick his neck out on jd vance. we will see if that happens with dr. oz in pennsylvania. that is a race that seemed because when trump made his endorsement. brian kemp of georgia who had a falling out with trump, trump endorsed david perdue and at primary, camp seems to be doing well -- brian kemp is doing well over 50% in the primary at this point, so it doesn't look like trump will get everything he wants and make, but he got off to a good start. jeff: thank you very much. >> thank you. ♪ jeff: if roe v. wade is struck down as elite draft memo -- a leaked draft memo, restrict
6:34 pm
abortion. women of color and low income will be the most affected. antiabortion and abortion rights advocates see the outcome very differently. joining us to share their views do not are samuel rodriguez, an evangelical pastor president of the national hispanic leadership conference, and michelle goodwin, law professor at the university of california irvine, and the author of invisible women in the criminalization of motherhood. welcome to the both of you. michelle, we will start with you. in the conservative states with limited access, surveys and studies have shown it is black, latino, and low income women who will bear the brunt of it. what is your assessment of the draft opinion from justice alito ? michelle: you are right. it will be black and brown women
6:35 pm
and those economically vulnerable who will suffer the consequences of what could eventually come from the supreme , but also people who have experienced rape, insist, sexual violence -- incest, sexual violce. it is a glaring omission that we see coming from this draft given it is a new articulation in abortion bans. jeff: what about that, too michelle's points, many states do not have exceptions for rape or incest survivors, and many say it is cruel, degrading, and inhumane >>. >>the overturning -- >> the
6:36 pm
overturning of roe v. wade does not ban abortion in any states or u.s. territories. it does not. it brings the issue back to states. as it pertains to rape and incest, 1%, and every case is horrific and tragic. 1% rape. .5% i9incest. these states must be considered. at the end of the day, this issue, i am a pro-lifer, and i believe in the beauty and sanctity of life. however, i don't believe abortion will be made illegal in america. the issue has to do with what happens after the first trimester. the vast majority of americans are in favor of keeping abortion legal in the first 12 to 15
6:37 pm
weeks maximum, and 58 percent oppose it after 15 weeks. what we are experiencing is the egregious malfeasance of legislative bodies in california, new york, virginia, and other states who went to the extreme, bringing about the outcome we have now. jeff: michelle, i want to ask if you would like to respond to that, but also something you said previously, abortion bands represent more than states rights, they represent an attack on the fundamental principles of freedom, liberty, and autonomy. in what ways? >> they are based upon the fundamental notions of freedom. people who were kidnapped and sexually exploited and brought to these lands were forced into cohorts -- coerced reproduction, and course reproduction, coerced sterilization coerced now after
6:38 pm
abortion bands, all of this is part of a lengthy arc in american history that has disproportionately affected the most vulnerable people in our society, the most vulnerable women in society, and it is more than ironic that before the u.s. supreme court as a law that is coming out of the state of mississippi, a state in which there were horrific, horrific legacies of slavery, jim crow, of denying people the right to the ballot, a state in which one person famously talked about being beaten by shares as she tried to vote. it is a state where black women had to guess how many bubbles were are on a bar of soap or jelly beans in a jar in order to vote, so in this draft opinion of justice alito says just go out and vote here at we must keep in mind as legacies and histories which continue to prevail in states that an act
6:39 pm
and act upon voter suppression and gerrymandering. jeff: to that point, i want to build on that a bit. you describe yourself as pro-life. there is a pattern in so many conservative states that are poised to require women to carry pregnancies to ter, many states invest at least in the health and economic security of expectant mothers and children once they a worn, so how do you explain that paradox >> make >>, wholeheartedly -- that paradox. >> i wholeheartedly agree. the states must provide health care, child care. it can't just be rtorical articulation of a pro-life agenda limited to the baby in the womb. there is, unfortunately, a vestige of hypocrisy in some legislative initiatives. these states that are restricting our placing guardrails and abortion. i agree with many of the guardrails.
6:40 pm
i am a pro-lifer from the moment of conception, but the vast majority of americans agree abortion should be legal for the first trimester for a maximum of 15 weeks, but if you're going to put guardrails on this and bring this debate issue into the confines of the logical, reasonable common sense worldview, make sure you provide the necessary infrastructure via medical, childcare, and so forth , and even adoption services. evangelicals, we are pro-lifers, but if we do is preach pro-life and not providing adoption alternatives, services, investing the financial, educational needs of the community, then i do believe there is a bit of hypocrisy and a lack of a viable continuum, so i am the first to confess it needs to be practical. this abortion debate is difficult. we should begin with empathy,
6:41 pm
empathy for the women who had this very critical decision to make, and empathy for those that really do believe in the sanctity of life. jeff: as we wrap up our conversation, i want to slip through the potential legal ramifications. president biden for two days has made the case that this draft if the court moves forward with it, it could call into question a number of other issues steeped in the same legal foundation about privacy matters. pres. biden: what happens if you have states change the law saying that children who are lgbtq can't be in classrooms with other cldren? is that legit under the way the decision is written? what are the next things that will be attacked? jeff: michelle, how could protections be vulnerable to the same legal argument justice alito made in that draft opinion where he says they are not
6:42 pm
deeply rooted in the nation's history and tradition? michelle: that includes contraception, interracial marriage, same-sex marriage, same-sex adoption, many of the areas in which americans have come to find freedom that was deserved through the constitution, and i should also say that the backdrop of all of this is we have to pay attention to science and health care. the u.s. leads the developed world and maternal mortality. women are more likely to die by curing a pregnancy to term and the u.s. and having an abortion. that is one aspect of the conversation we should not miss. >> president biden, what he said, i can describe it as horrific. justice alito's decision was specific, no other case or relevant issue before the court
6:43 pm
has anything to do with that decision. gay rights will not be taken away. contraceptive rights will not be taken away. it is a strong men's argument. jeff: thank you to you both. ♪ after he took office, president proposed two years of tuition free community college. after congressional opposition, that plan was dropped. there have been efforts at the local and state level to boost college-going rates by offering free or reduced tuition to students who meet certain requirements by living in a certain community or attending a specific school. there are now more than 400 such programs across the country. san antonio, texas has one of the highest urban poverty rates in the country.
6:44 pm
it launched its own program in 2019. our special correspondent reports for the series on rethinking college. >> on a recent morning, juniors and seniors at the san antonio high school filed into the gymnasium. ♪ the marching band played, cheerleaders hyped the crowd, but this was not a typical high school pep rally. these students were cheering for what comes after high school. >> there is no reason why anybody here in this room should not go to college. >> 100% of students qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. over the years, only half of that graduating seniors have produced a post-secondary education, but there is a new effort to set san antonio's young adults on a different path. >> it says if you commit to go to college, we will meet you where you are at and meet your need. >> now, the alamo promise
6:45 pm
program covers tuition and fees for up to three years that any of the five community colleges in the greater san antonio area. it is funded with public and private dollars. all graduating seniors at nearly 50 area high schools and mostly low income neighborhoods with low college-going rates are currently eligible. >> we are working on alamo books, or you don't even have to pay for your textbooks. >> students apply for federal financial aid. the program pays for any remaining calls for full tuition and fees, about $6,000 a year. >> you don't have to pay for school or your textbooks. what a great opportunity. >> nearly all of the seniors have expressed interest, filling out enrollment forms to save their seats for next fall, including melissa mahood says she is looking forward to starting her college education debt-free. >> my mom and dad were not able
6:46 pm
to help with the financial situation in school, so they went straight into the workforce. >> only 30% of adults in san antonio have a college degree, and many people here struggle to find jobs that pay living wages. city leaders are hoping the alamo promise program can help break the cycles of generational poverty. >> we are introducing a pathway to post secondary education for tens of thousands of students that prior to this would not of had that opportunity, who were statistically condemned to living in likely raising more children and poverty. alamo promise is our moonshot to break that cycle. >> the mayor of san antonio was an early backer of the program. >> economic mobility isuch a challenge for our community. the problem is the jobs being pervaded -- created and pay a living wage increasingly require a postsecondary education, and
6:47 pm
without that opportunity to get trained oro have the credential, or to get the degree, there is no path to coming out of poverty. >> it gets pretty hard to keep up with the bills, so going to college seemed almost impossible. >> this 18-year-old first learned about alamo promise in the fall of 2020, when he was a high school senior. his family was worried about how they would pay for his college. his mom worked for the san antonio police department. his dad is a repairman. >> one of the things we had in mind and we discussed with the wife was to sell the house and move to a small house. >> i was very nervous. we are at that bracket where we make too much money for pell grants or any type of assistance, but yet we don't make enough money to send him to any college or university and still be comfortable.
6:48 pm
>> when they learned about the alamo promise program during his senior year, they say it was a big relief. >> we will look at the history of the english language. >> he is now finishing his freshman year at san antonio college with a 4.0 gpa and is hoping to attend the university of texas it's antonio when he graduates. >> i have been saving up a little bit with the alamo promise program. it is manageable right now. i might not make it with no debt, but it will be minimal at least. >> graduating high school seniors within san antonio in our county are interested are going to college and they need the community to come forward and say we believe in you. >> mike for his is the chancellor of the five community colleges, the alamo colleges district. >> 92% of the promise colors are latino, hispanic, or african-american students coming from some of the highest poverty rates within our community and
6:49 pm
within the united states. our students do not look at can i afford to go would -- to one of the collegeswhether they can afford to work, so promise helps to alleviate most of that consideration. >> this is our first time doing tiktok advertising. >> they are trying new ways to reach students and families to let them know about the program. >> i am an alamo promise color. >> they say outreach -- promise stollar. >> they say outreach has made a difference. >> we were to get many reached. >> to the follow 2020, was overall texas college enrollment decline, alamo promise high schools increase college of roman by 17%. he says college completion is just as important as it enrollment. -- is enrollment. send to colleges and other colleges offer free food and
6:50 pm
clothing, low-cost childcare and health care, and emergency financial aid for things like rent and car payments. >>? how are you doing are you ok? >> students have to meet with advisors to stay on track academically and have a plan for after graduation. graduation rates attract over three years because students often attend part-time. next year marks the third year forhe first cohort of alamo promise recipients. administrators say early indicators are pointing the right direction, despite significant impacts on students by covid. he has his sights on the future, pursuing a career in cybersecurity, and confident he will be able to have a comfortable life. >> i expect to make $70,000 a year, which is good enough for me. >> 13,000 students are eligible for the program next fall. so far, more than 10,000 have shown an interest unsaved of the receipt. ♪ -- and saved their seat.
6:51 pm
♪ jeff: roxanne has a long use writing as a means to communicate her own trauma. now a successful author, professor, and mentor, she advises aspiring writers. tonight, she shares her brief but spectacular take on ways of being heard, as part of our ongoing arts and culture series, canvas. >> a lot of people ask me about voice and how to find it, as if they can go on some sort of search and find voice waiting the end of it, but in fact, we tend to have our voices, and it is a question of learning how to use our voices and knowing that we have every right to do so. ♪
6:52 pm
i started writing when i was four years old. i would draw little villages, then i would write stories that people lived in those villages. i would write a lot about trauma. few of us know how to talk about it, because we have very little language for trauma. people seem to want us to have these triumph put -- triumphant stories and there's not a lot of space in between where you suffered and are healed, but maybe things are not ok. when i wrote my memoir hunger, and memoir of my body, i was extremely worried about how it would be received, because it required a level of vulnerability that i found uncomfortable of writing about a fat body while living in it, and i certainly did think anyone except other fat people would gravitate towards the book, but as i was touringll around the
6:53 pm
world, i found that everybody lives in the body that is complicated and that they stggle with that one time or another. i think a lot of people are looking for language to talk about that. to write about most anything personal, i tell myself no one will read my work. i was terrified, but i didn't despite the fear. and to -- did it despite the fear. and to have my story connect with so many people was overwhelming and reminded the wood great writing can do. often when we think about trauma , we think about it inhe context of the personal, but we deal with collective trauma all of the time. we are currently in the second year of a collective traum a pandemic in the u.s. that has resulted in the deaths of 800,000 people, and most of us have no idea of how to grapple with that loss, did nearly when the people have disappeared from our daily lives. there are things we need to sit
6:54 pm
with and spend more time with to fully make sense of. a lot of my current work is how do we reckon with these collective traumas? i am often asked, particularly by young women, how they can be less angry in the writing, as if anger was a bad thing. what i tell these women and i also remind myself is anger is often incredibly appropriate when you're writing about sexual violence, mythology, all of the issues that feminists are trying to address in our work. anger can be incredibly productive, and i them encouraged to see it as an asset rather than a liability. this is my brief but spectacular take on ways of being heard. ♪ jeff: you can watch more brief but spectacular videos online at that is the newshour tonight.
6:55 pm
join us online and tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you for spending part of your wednesday with us. ♪ announcer: major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by. >> for 25 years, the goal has been to provide wireless service to help people connect with no contract plans and a customer service team that can help one that -- help find one that fits you. for more, visit can soon your seller -- visit consumer cellular. >> the ford foundation, working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide. and with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions.
6:56 pm
this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. ♪ this is pbs newshour west, from weta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪ [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] ♪
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
lidia: buongiorno. i'm lidia bastianich, and teaching you about italian food has always been my passion. it has always been about cooking together and ultimately building your confidence in the kitchen. so what does that mean? you got to cook it yourselves. for me, food is about delicious flavors... che bellezza! ...comforting memories, and most of all, family. tutti a tavola a mangiare! announcer: funding provided by... announcer: at cento fine foods, we're dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of authentic italian foods by offering over 100 specialty italian products for the american kitchen. cento -- trust your family with our family. ♪♪
7:01 pm