tv PBS News Weekend PBS November 19, 2022 5:30pm-6:00pm PST
jeff: tonight on pbs news weekend, investigating donald trump. what the appointment of spencer -- special counsel means for the ongoing legal troubles. war in ukraine. with theonflict entering its 10th month, the latest from on the ground. bluegrass icon, alice gerard reflects on her musical career singing harmonies and making -- political statements. >> when things moved me i felt like i need to write about it. jeff: allf that on tonight's pbs news weekend.
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like you. thank you. geoff: good evening. it is good to be with you. we start tonight in egypt where global climate talks are on the verge of a breakthrough deal. u.n. talks were extended and a draft agreement that would create a disaster fund for vulnerable countries is on the table. the deal would urge developed nations to contribute to the fund but not mandate it. european officials threatened to walk away if the agreement doesn't keep temperature limits on global warming to 1.5 degrees celsius. that's what experts say is needed to avoid the most extreme effects of climate change. >> we want a good decision. it is better to have no decision than a bad decision. a good decision means we remain on track to keep 1.5.
we don't want 1.5 celsius to die herein today. geoff: u.s. climate envoy john kerry positive for covid-19 while at the summit. he is participating via phone. it is the eve of the world cup's opening soccer match. the head of soccer's governing body scolded critics over the host country and accuse the western world of hypocrisy. the government of qatar is facing scrutiny for human rights abuses and treatment of migrant workers who helped build facities for the world cup. in a news conference lasting nearly two hours, fifa president pointed his criticism at europeans. >> i think for what we europeans have been doing in the last 3000 years around the world, we should be apologizing for the next 3000 years. before starting to give more lessons. geoff: he also defended the
last-minute decision to ban beer from world cup stadiums. saying fans will survive for three hours without it. leaders from some of the world leaders -- leading economies wrapped up their meetings in bangkok today. the apex summit economic focus was sidelined at times by other global issues including the war in ukraine. the group issued a declaration that said most members strongly condemned of war in ukraine, acknowledging others saw the conflict differently. russia is a member of aipac. the snow kept on falling in western new york today. in the buffalo area, some places were under six feet of heavy, wet snow as a blizzard moved in from lake erie. residents dug themselves out. the lake effect snow is unpredictable and dangerous. at least two people have died already from cardiac events
suffered during shoveling and nearly 300 people had to be rescued. former president trump is reacting to yesterday's appointment of a special counsel and probes focused on the former president. he spoke last night while attending a gala at the mar-a-lago estate. denouncing the investigations involving the january 6 insurrection. president trump: this horrendous abuse of power is the latest in a long series of witchhunts. it started a long time ago. the investigation was dying, dead, or over, especially after the record-setting 40 point loss of liz cheney and the great state of wyoming. i thought that put the final nail in the coffin. geoff: despite his characterization, federal investigators recovered hundreds of classified records improperly retained at his mar-a-lago resort. we will have more later in the
program. president biden spent the day at the white house after a lengthy trip to egypt and asia t attend his granddaughter's wedding. in a ceremony on the south lawn, naomi, the eldest daughter of hunter ben married. the wedding is the 19th in white house history. it comes a day before president biden's 80th birthday. still to come, the latest from kyiv as the war enters its 10th month. a conversation with bluegrass legend. >> this is pbs news weekend from weta studios in washington, home of "pbs newshour." geoff: we returned to attorney general merrick garland's appointment of a special counsel to head up investigations
involving former president donald trump. marlon tapped longtime former prosecutor jack smith to oversee the retention of national defense information at trump's more logic -- mar-a-lago resort. smith has investigated war crimes at the international criminal court, and he investigated public corruption cases as head of the doj public integrity section. his career as a prosecutor spans some 30 years. his appointment came three days after trump launched his third run for the white house. for more on this we turn to acting u.s. solicitor general. it is always great to have you on the program. neil: thank you for having me. geoff: you helped write the special counsel regulations. given that, do you see this as a necessary step? neil: i don't see it as necessary. i think i could understand it. in the end, i think it is a
mistake for the attorney general to do so. special counsel regulations are designed to prevent a government cover-up. the ideas we were worried about in 1990 nine was an attorney general might not be willing to investigate his boss or others at the white house who were responsible for his elevation to be the attorney general. what the regulations provided for the attorney general to go outside the department and have the investigation by someone else. here, that investigation, particularly into mar-a-lago stolen, classified documents, that investigation has already basically happened. you don't have the fears of a cover-up you did. the idea that attorney general garland said, there might be a conflict of interest. former president trump has announced he is running for office. to me, it doesn't hold water.
that is not the type of conflict we were thinking about. geoff: is the attorney general doing this for appearances then? neil: i can't speak to it. i have great respect for the attorney general. if it is based on appearances, i don't think this is likely to reduce any of the criticism that he is likely to face. under the special counsel regulations, if the special counsel does call for an indictment, who has to sign off on it? merrick garland. he is in the thick of it no matter what. we know donald trump and his allies will attack anyone including president trump's own former vice president, mike pence, if they feel like trump spitting is not being done -- trump's bidding is not being done. jack smith is in a torrent -- extraordinary attorney. i don't think it was a necessary
thing to do. geoff: what more could you tell us about jack smith? neil: he ran the public integrity segment of the justice department. that is a small, elite office designed to go aroundhe country and make sure public officials aren't corrupt, aren't engaged in wrongdoing. the people who work in that office, who have n that office in the past are legendary people like eric holder, just to take one example. i think it is a good sign. it is also a good sign he has investigated war criminals and high-ranking people. he has that kind of experience. a big concern here is the delay bringing someone new will bring to the investigation. with respect to the mar-a-lago piece, it seems to me a fairly open and shut case.
the proof will be in the pudding. i sure hope mr. smith reaches a decision soon. on the other half of the investigation of jaary 6 and president's possible involvement and complicity in those horrific events, those will take more time. that is understandable. we should let the hardness of the second one interfere with the quick need for a decision in the first part. geoff: a question about the timeline, one of the reasons donald trump announced a reelection bid in the first place according to peop close to him was to insulate himself from prosecution and at the very least delay an indictment. how does the appointment of a special counsel affect the pace of the ongoing investigations? there is analysis out there that suggests this could actually speed things up. neil: that is the $64,000 qution. bringing in someone new at this
stage will speed things up. i don't understand the case for that. one of the reasons i'm so critical of the attorney general's decision is i feel like it is rewarding donald trump for this maneuver on tuesday, announcing his election early. at the end, i don't think it will prevent it from happeni. you don't have some get out of jail immunity card because you are running for office. what it has done is create new procedural hoops that need to be jump through. those hoops will be jumped in really quickly by mr. smith. the clock is ticking. if we don't have a criminal trial in short order it ris the four election. geoff: tnks for being with us. we appreciate your insights. ♪
we shift our focus to the ongoing war in ukraine. volodymyr zelenskyy said he had no doubt that his country was not to blame for a missile strike on tuesday that hit a polish village, killing two people. that is despite nato's initial assessment was the blast took place as ukraine was trying to defend itself. all parties are urging restraint for right now. for the moment, the incident highlighted how little it would take to widen the scope of the war. while russia continues to target civilian infrastructure and the electrical grid. for more on what the winter will look like, we are joined by greg miry. greg: good to be here. geoff: what's the latest on the investigation of the missile strike that hit that polish village four miles from the ukrainian border? greg: poland has invited the
united states andow ukraine to figure out what happened. it shouldn't be a huge mystery. the missile left a big crater. there were fragments providing what seems to benough information to identify who's missile it was. there seems to be a general consensus among poland, u.s., and nato that this was a ukrainian air defense missile. russia was firing 100 missiles into ukraine on tuesday. ukraine shot a lot of them down. about 75 of them down. it seems this morning question mystics target. these missiles are then supposed to self-destruct. this one did not and landed in poland. president zelenskyy has not acknowledged it might be a
ukrainian missile. nobody is blaming him. poland, u.s., nato said they all understand why this happened. it seems like the thing to do is say ok, it was an accident. ukraine and president zelenskyy have not acknowledged it was there missile. geoff: what does his reluctance to acknowledge, what does the international response suggest to you about the geopolitical landscape right now in month 10 of this war? greg: what's notable about this is ukraine and its western backers have pretty much been on the same page. they had a few little quibbles. it is unusual for them not to be in agreement. that is what is significant. quite frankly i think among the western countries there is a real sense of relief that it was a ukrainian missile rather than a russian missile.
if it were a russian missile you would have all sorts of issues. a strike in a nato country, was it accidental? how do you respond? in terms of the geopolitics, it is much easier to say this is an understandable accident. let's move on, let's not get involved in some big confrontation with russia in addition to all of the issues in front of us right now. geoff: russia is targeting civilian infrastructure from bridges and roads, to the electrical grid. that strikes me as a concerted effort. unlawful effort by russian forces. how do you see it? greg: that's a pretty good summary. the russian ground forces have really not been able to advance for the last four months or so. they have been pushed back. the russian navy is sitting out
on the black sea. not really doing much beyond that. the russian air force is not sending many if any planes to ukrainian airspace. they are getting shot down. russia's militaryfforts have really come to a standstill or been in reverse in recent months. the one vulnerable spot the russians have picked out and determined is to fire the barrage of missiles at ukrainian civilians and in particular the energy grid. it is getting cold very fast. temperatures dipping below freezing here in kyiv. the efforts to repair the energy system, ukrainians have shown a real ability to do that. it will be a real struggle to do this. the russians hit it. every time we go through this cycle the ukrainians lose a little bit of capacity. it will be a real battle this winter to see who can stay ahead
of the other side. geoff: in the 30 seconds we have left, what are you hearing from people as you do your reporting? greg: the ukrainians are not lessening their resolve. if you look at the beginning of the war you did see millions of people leave ukraine and go to poland and other countries. they are not doing that now. they know it is going to be a hard winter. they are already experiencing power cuts. you see them staying. we will fight it out. the intention is to stay here and not to leave. geoff: thanks so much, greg. greg: my pleasure. ♪ geoff: the bluegrass duo of
hazel dickens and alice gerrard blaze trails for female folksinger's with harmonies that perfected their versions of the signature of old-time american music. they were also civil-rights activists, using their music to speak out. to celebrate the pair's legacy, is bit sony and -- smithsonian released updated versions of their music. allie rogan spoke about the trailblazing career. allie: alice gerrard, congratulations on the releasing of your albums as well as the collection of music you put out through smithsonian folkways. these will be available for streaming for the first time opening you up to a lot of new listeners, what does that mean to you? alice: streaming, what is that? [laughter] i'm aware of that.
i'm very pleased at the way the smithsonian has got behind this recording. it is great. the more people that get introduced to this music, the better, as far as i'm concerned. ♪ allie: for people not familiar with the genre of bluegrass, there were not that many women fronting their own groups. what did it mean to you to be an outlier at that point? alice: we didn't think about it like that. we were sort of hanging around doing this stuff. we weren't thinking in terms of careers. admittedly, hazel had some -- what i would call difficult experiences. it was more often than not let's let the girl singering a song now.
it was not probably as easy for her at the time. then when she kind of came into this circle of people like me, my husband and people in the area who were also playing this music. they accepted her and encouraged her. ♪ allie: your voices in this incredible harmony, when did you realize you really had something special? alice: i listened to her for a very long time before i ever sang with her. we had these music parties were all we did was play music every weekend. sometimes people would come over and bring their banjos and guitars. we would take turns getting up.
somebody suggested she and i sing together. we have just kind of kept doing it. ♪ allie: why didn't take you so long to record after you started playing together? you didn't record until the 70's together. alice: we probably weren't even thinking about that. there was just this thing, when music lives with you it becomes accompaniment to your everyday life. the reason we started was peter siegel, who came down to go to a bluegrass festival and then the bluegrass festival got rained out. he heard about this party and came to the party. hazel and i were singing at the
party. he really liked the way we sound and ask us what we want to do a record? we were like wha? [laughter] what do you mean? that was how that started. allie: you toured with hazel on the southern fulcrum revival project in the 190's and 1970's. a gathering of black-and-white performers together to make a statement about civil-rights. why was that important for you toar a b?t p alice: i was a political liberal. hazel was politically liberal too. she grew up right next to all of the coal mine injustice and the exploitation of e south. . she might not have labeled it as politically liberal, she lived with that.
it was luis ragan who formed sweet honey and the rock. they were working in atlanta georgia. it was their idea to put together a tour of black-and-white musicians who tour around the south. allie: you remained very politically outspoken. you perfmed earlier this year on the national mall at the same day. >> the festival honoring women and their achievements. allie: why is it important to you to remain politically outspoken? alice: these are really bad, difficult times. we are on the edge of basically catastrophe. if we don't turn things around
here. i feel like when things move me, we need to write about it. i wrote a song about donald trump once. we perform it here at chapel hill. i don't always write political songs. there is a need for that. allie: thank you so much for joining us. alice: thank you so much for having me. it was a pleasure talking with you. ♪ geoff: that is our program for tonight. for all of us here at pbs news weekend, thanks for spending part of your saturday with us. see you back here tomorrow. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.] >> major funding has been provided by. and with the ongoing support of
(birds calling) - [interviewer] and since we're talking about ancestors, will you introduce us to the next generation here? [muwekma tribal member] i'd li to introduce you to the next generation muwekma, which is my son lucas tuyheste arellano. and his middle name means strong, tuyheste, because he is strong. say hello, lucas. - [muwekma tribal member] - hello, lucas. (speaking in chochenyo) (soft contemplative music) - [narrator] today, monica is taking her son lucas on a field trip to mission san jose to learn about the history of his ohlone tribe,