tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS July 19, 2015 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for sunday, july 19: how isis is indoctrinating a generation of children. and, in our signature segment, why american officials are increasingly concerned about female genital mutilation. >> let's start thinking about the fact that there is someone around you that might be going through this. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company.
additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. from the tisch wnet studios in lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening and thanks for joining us. the family of muhammad youssef abdulazeez says there are no words to describe the "shock, horror, and grief" it feels that the 24-year gunned down and killed five u.s. military serviceman in chattanooga, tennessee. in a statement, they say:" the person who committed this horrible crime was not the son we knew and loved. for many years, our son suffered from depression. it grieves us beyond belief to know that his pain found its expression in this heinous act of violence." abdulazeez's family says it is cooperating with investigators and offers condolences to the
families of four marines and one sailor killed in thursday's attack, saying: "...we are truly sorry for their loss." police killed abdulazeez in a shootout. but none of his victims had been armed, despite being members of the military at a reserve center. now, the governors of six states-- florida, louisiana, arkansas, oklahoma, texas, and indiana-- are ordering their national guard members to arm themselves. utah changed its policy a year ago. tennessee's governor says he is reviewing his state's weapons policy. defense secretary ash carter has asked the armed services to recommend by this week any needed security improvements at domestic military bases. currently, troops at recruiting centers and reserve officers are not allowed to carry guns. carter has approved a marine corps request to allow recruiters to wear plain clothes instead of their uniforms, at least for now. the united nations security council is set to vote tomorrow on the deal to curb iran's nuclear program, which would lift the sanctions on iran in
exchange for allowing u.n. weapons inspectors to visit iranian military sites. republicans in the u.s. are condemning the vote as an "end run" around congress, saying lawmakers haven't even had a chance to examine the agreement. the state department sent the detailed pact to congress only today. lawmakers have 60 days to review it and another 22 days to vote on it. secretary of state john kerry says the deal is the best way to stop iran from getting a nuclear bomb. >> if congress says no to this deal, then there will be no restraints on iran, there will be no sanctions left, our friends in this effort will desert us, we will be viewed as having killed the opportunity to stop them from having a weapon, they will begin to enrich again and the greater likelihood is what the president said they other day, you'll have a war. >> sreenivasan: israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu says the pact won't stop that from happening. >> this deal paves iran's path
>> sreenivasan: the obama administration agreed to lift economic sanctions on iran in exchange for allowing weapons inspections, but only congress has the power to actually repeal or reject those sanctions. in ukraine, government forces and pro-russian separatists are accusing each other of violating a ceasefire, last night in the city of donetsk, in the eastern part of the country. pro-russian rebels claim the ukrainian military destroyed buildings and killed at least one civilian in the shelling of a residential neighborhood. but the ukraine government says the rebels were the ones who targeted the neighborhood and fired on ukrainian positions. donetsk has not seen any fighting since february. an international monitoring group says neither side is fully complying with the peace deal. while the islamic state militant group, or isis, captures cities in syria and iraq, carries out suicide bombings, it is also working to build a new generation of jihadist fighters. in a story published today, associated press reporter zeina karam describes how isis is
indoctrinating young boys in schools and mosques, and training them with weapons. she joins me now from beruit. so tell me, your report, one of the most disturbing facts is little kids are beheading dolls for practice. what's happening there? >> reporter: that's right. as we were reporting this story, we heard horrible stories from people who fled the isis areas and one of them was a 14-year-old teenager who told us about this time in a training camp in russia in northern syria. the boy was picked out from his family and hundreds of others from his faith when isis overran parts of northern iraq last
summer. and he ended up in training camp and spent the next five months learning how to use weapons, training on explosives. they changed his face to muse limb. he was forced to memorize the koran. and most disturbingly of all, he was -- among other kids he was forced to watch ble headings. and he said how kids were handed swords and guns and asked to chop off the heads of the dolls as practice on beheadings. and he hold us you know, that he couldn't do it and then they military told them how to hold the sword and how to do it right, and they told them these
are the heads of the infidels. so -- but that's what kids are subjected to in islam state training camps in syria and iraq. >> sreenivasan: so why is isis targeting children? do they feel their a lost cause or it's harder to convert them and believe but a kid you can almost train and mold? >> reporter: well, yes. quite simply the isis group is trying to build a new generation of militants. they are trying to mold a new generation of -- and the group has so many enemies and they know that they are not popular you know, particularly in syria and most of the places that they control, they know they are not popular. they know that people -- most -- or many people actually hate them. and so, you know, one resident told us that they compensate on the children because they believe that the adults are a
lost cause and so they focus on training and brainwashing kids almost to the point of obsession. >> sreenivasan: and how many children are we talking about? or how do you estimate that? how are they ingratiating themselves or winning the fave of these kids? -- favor of these kids? >> reporter: they use lots of ways, any way at their disposal, they will use. they try -- it starts on the streets. they try to get children up the streets and mosques. they use cash and gifts, intimidation. they give children toys on the street. they have special events for children to try to entice them. and bit by bit they subject them to the propaganda, and they train them eventually they turn them against their parents. we saw through one who told us
about this 15 15 -- teenager who left home because they turned him against his parents. he accused his parents of being nonbelievers and bad muslims because they didn't pray and eventually, he joined isis and disappeared. so that's what they do. and unfortunately, parents are unable to to anything about this sad reality short of locking their children at home. there's nothing they can do. >> sreenivasan: you also pointed out this is happening in some refugee camps. >> reporter: that's right. i was in turkey. i worked on this story and we were told by many people there, people who -- former restents of refugee -- residents of refugee camps that islamic state uses the camps to try and find new
recruits as well. sometimes it's done under the guise of humanitarian work. they in in and they start talking to people. they find -- sometimes it's orphans. sometimes it's children who are in desperate need of money and sometimes they give them cash, and they try to gain their sympathy that way. and that's how it starts. >> sreenivasan: all right, zeina karam the associated press joining us via skype from beirut. thanks so much. >> reporter: thank you. >> sreenivasan: mitsubishi is the first japanese company to apologize for using american prisoners of war as forced laborers during world war two. mitsubishi says it made five- hundred american p.o.w.'s work in its copper mines from 1943 to 1945. many died in accidents or starved to death. executives were joined by one 94-year-old survivor at the ceremony today at the simon wiesenthal center in los angeles. the japanese government
apologized to p.o.w.'s five years ago. a rare rainstorm has helped extinguish wildfires in california. a fire that broke out friday is now 60% contained. it burned eight square miles in the hills northeast of los angeles. at one point, the fire spread onto interstate 15, which connects l.a. to las vegas. the flames paralyzed traffic, forced drivers to flee their cars, and destroyed 20 vehicles. the associated press reports the cost of medicaid expansion under obamacare is surging past initial projections. an a.p. analysis published today finds medicaid, the federal- state health program for the poor, is expected to cover 69 million people this year. that's more than the number of people enrolled in medicare, the government health insurance program for the elderly. at least 14 of the 30 states that agreed to expand medicaid under the president's affordable health care act now anticipate a serious budget strain, according to a.p. in kentucky, medicaid enrollment doubled.
california expected to enroll 800,000 new medicaid recipients, but nearly triple that number 2.3 million, signed up. the state of new york has added 1.1 million new recipients. the federal government will pay states for medicaid expansion through 2016 and then will scale back. states will have to pay 10% of the costs by 2020. now online, my interview with pro publica's olga pierce about the importance of choosing the right surgeon and what can happen if you don't do your research. i think the conventional wisdom here was you choose a good hospital based on reputation or something else. there's sort of a reasonable expectation that that hospital has sort of screened out any surge everyones that are -- surgeons who are subpar. we found in our research there are great surgeons in places you wouldn't expect and also surgeons that appear to be problematic at institutions.
and to read pro publica's surgeon scorecard, visit pbs.org/newshour. >> sreenivasan: female genital mutilation is widely thought of as something affecting women in countries halfway around the world. but advocates here say many women who've immigrated to the united states may have been subjected to the painful procedure or could still be at risk. that risk, advocates say, can go up during the summer months, when girls often travel back to their home countries, particularly in africa, to visit family. in our signature segment tonight, newshour's megan thompson has more on the story. a warning: this segment has content that may not be suitable for all viewers. >> reporter: when aissata camara was 13, she immigrated to queens, new york, from the west african country of guinea. she fit in, went to high school and college in the city, and earned a master's degree at new york university. but there was a part of her life she told no one about, something she thought people here would not understand. she was subjected to female genital mutilation.
>> it was very lonely. because who spoke to me about it? no one. so, you're-- here, you're carrying this big secret with you, and no one is there to help you. >> reporter: according to the world health organization between 100 and 140 million women have under-gone female genital mutilation, also known as cutting. the united nations says it's practiced mostly in 29 countries in africa and the middle east, even though it's been outlawed in most of them. in egypt, somalia and guinea, it's estimated more than 90% of women have been cut. the world health organization says the ancient practice ranges from removing part or all of a girl's clitoris to, in the most severe cases, narrowing the vaginal opening by sewing it almost completely shut. the thinking behind it varies. in guinea, aissata says it's believed to keep a girl from being promiscuous and more eligible for marriage. she was 11-years-old when her
aunts came to take her. she hid under her bed. >> you go to the cutter's house. and then, you all sit down. and it's by age. and the one person goes in. you hear them scream. they're coming out crying. next person goes in. you hear them scream. they're coming out crying. your basic human instinct is to run away. you don't want to be there. >> reporter: parts of aissata's clitoris and labia were removed by a cutter, who used no anesthesia. she says it happened to virtually every girl she knew but no one talked about it. 16 years later, she still feels pain from the scarring, endures embarrassing conversations with doctors and boyfriends. and, she says, she will never forget the fear. >> obviously, prior to me being cut, i knew my body. i knew who i was. and-- and then, once you are cut, you become a different person. so, i think also for me, the fear-- i feel-- wanting to run away from something and then not
being able to. i think that it does something to you. i think that it-- it really touches you to the core of yourself. >> reporter: no one knows how many women and girls living in the u.s. have been subjected to female genital mutilation, or" fgm." there's no system to track or report it. but in the last 15 years, the number of immigrants from africa has doubled, to about 1.8 million. one research group, the population reference bureau estimates half a million african women and girls in the u.s. are at risk of fgm or might being have been subjected to cutting back home. it's especially a concern here in new york, which has the largest african immigrant population in the country. >> it's horrible. it is a violation of the right of the woman. ma what they -- what they are taking will never come back. miriamo diallo serves the large
african immigrants. seize seen a number of women grappling with the consequences of fgm which can include menstruation and childbirth. and women can have trouble with interests sensitive to the issue. diallo also sees girls threatened by fgm and mothers facing social pressure to have it done on their daughters even. they don't want to. >> one is completely excluded from the community. and so it makes people go through it or the family, they want to have a woman in the family that is not mutilated because it can affect the reputationutation the of the family. and it's a way to become a woman. >> reporter: diallo says it's rare but she has seen young women sent back to africa to have it done. it's known as vacation cutting because it usually happens
during summer vacation from school. >> i have four cases like that. they are born in the united states but went for vacation and it happened. i hear from my client also like someone in the community that sent their child to africa for the purpose of fgm. >> reporter: diallo says doctors and educators could play an important role in identifying girls at risk, but many haven't had the training. diallo helped one client whose family planned to send here back to africa to be cut. she tried to get help at school. >> and she went to school and she spoke with the guidance counselor who did not know what she was talking about, and the guidance counselor accepted sent her back home! and i think if it was a case where the child went to see a guidance counselor told the guidance counselor something as simple as i don't feel safe, i'm note going back home, they would call the children's services.
but with fgm, they see it as a cultural problem, so they don't want to get involved. and i think this is a serious problem, because it is you know, it is child abuse. >> reporter: congressman joseph crowley represents parts of queens and the bronx. both home to large immigrant populations. fgm is outlawed in the u.s. and in 2013, crowley helped pass a law also making it illegal to take girls out of the country to have it performed. but there have been no prosecutions so far and crowley admits it's nearly impossible to know how often it actually happens. >> i think it is a sensitive issue. but we need to talk about it. right now there's silence. it just happens. and i think that's what needs to be addressed. >> reporter: do we know this is a widespread problem or is it maybe just a few isolated incidents? >> we know that the potential is there. if it's one girl in my opinion,
it's one girl too many. and i think that's what we need to focus on. we know it has happened. we know it can happen and probably will happen again. we -- our country, the united states needs to do more. >> reporter: crowley and others point to britain, where last month prime minister david cameron called for a crackdown on the practice. already the u.k. offers passport inserts for girls traveling to africa explaining that fgm is illegal, and last week, the royal college of obstetricians and gynecologists issued new guidelines for doctors to report cases they see and how to better treat women subjected to it. when we're talking about someone that is so -- something that is so secretive it involves girls that may not understand what's happening to them or happened to them, how to you police that? >> it's veritive. but i do think -- it's very difficult, but i do think we need an an awareness campaign to have posters at airports and doctors and nurses and educators and law enforcement engaged in
understanding that it is against the law to do this and they should be on the lookout. i don't think people want to break the law. i think if they know that something has been made illegal that they will respect the law. >> reporter: last year, advocates gathered more than 220,000 signatures on a petition demanding better data. >> in order to eradicate fgm here in the united states, we need updated statistics. >> reporter: in response the centers for disease control and prevention is now working on its own study of how many girls in the u.s. may be at risk and the white house has asked federal agencies to find a way to address the issue. and next week, advocates are launching a new campaign to get more states to pass their own laws banning fgm. only about half of them currently do. aissata says people need to understand families often think the practice is in their girls' best interest, not realizing the
long-term consequences. >> we need to stop looking at them as if they are aliens coming from other places and we have to respect people's culture no matter what it is and then from that respect is i respect your idea of thinking that you are protecting your child but here are the reasons why you're not and here are the reasons why you need to change this. >> reporter: aissata is speaking out about what she went through. she's launching her own group to fight fgm in the u.s. she says most people don't realize a problem that seems to distant could be hitting so close to home. >> i look like you. i went to school here. i am as american as i think anyone is. and -- but i went through it. so let's wake up. let's wake up and let's start thinking about the fact that there is someone around you that might be going through this.
>> this is pbs newshour weekend sunday. >> sreenivasan: last night, newshour's stephen fee reported on the difficulties facing somali immigrants who work in the u.s. and try to send money back to their families. tonight, he reports on a new york company offering a technology solution for immigrants trying to transfer cash home. >> reporter: for 34-year-old entrepreneur eddie de la cruz starting his financial tech company in the bronx was a no- brainer. >> this is where i come from. it gives me an opportunity to kind of reinvest in the very same community that i partook when i first came to this country. >> reporter: de la cruz emigrated from the dominican republic at age nine. after high school, he worked as an airplane mechanic at j.f.k. airport. >> and throughout that time i was sending money back home in some way shape or form. >> reporter: how much usually? >> it really varies, anywhere from $200, $300. >> reporter: in 2012, the pew research center says immigrants in the u.s. sent over
$120 billion abroad. but instead of sending cash, de la cruz' startup regalii, a play on the spanish word for gift, allows immigrants to directly pay bills for family and friends back home. >> instead of sending cash and having your grandmother, your aunt on the other side having to go pick up the money and having to go somewhere else to pay her electricity, her gas, her water we enable immigrants here to control their families' finances there. >> reporter: traditionally money transfer operators wire cash from one storefront, like this one in the bronx, to a storefront in, say, the dominican republic. regalii uses that same network but eliminates the storefront on the recipients' end keeping fees lower. and regalii's customers can pay bills online or using their smartphones. >> the act of sending money it's not a transactional act as much as an act of really kindness and support, right. >> reporter: de la cruz hopes his model, for now only available in latin america could go global.
>> sreenivasan: tomorrow on the newshour, a closer look at gang- related violence in chicago where the number of dead and injured is rising this summer, despite efforts to stem the bloodshed. >> it's so easy for these kids to get guns it's like going to the store to get a box of juice. >> sreenivasan: finally tonight, former president bush is in maine after spending four days in the hospital. he fell last night in his summer home and broke a bone in his neck. he's expected to make a full recovery. and tomorrow after 54 years, the u.s. reopens its embassy in havana, cuba, advance the renewed diplomatic relations between the two countries. the cuban embassy will also reopen tomorrow in washington, d.c. that's it for this edition of pbs newshour weekend.
i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for joining us. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: corporate funding is provided by mutual of america-- designing customized individual and group retirement products. that's why we are your retirement company. additional support is provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
explore new worlds and new ideas through programs like this. made available for everyone through contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. >>hi, my name is peter marshall and we are here to take a sentimental journey. a journey back to the '30s, '40s and '50s. you see it was called the big band era. we are at the beautiful avalon casino ballroom on the catalina island off the coast of los angeles. it was host to all the big band greats from a to z. now, the announcer might say "from the beautiful casino ballroom overlooking avalon bay at catalina island, we bring you the music of - " just about everyone. >next, take a sentimental