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tv   PBS News Hour Weekend  PBS  January 9, 2016 5:30pm-6:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, january 9: germany toughens its stance on migrants and refugees as protesters take to the streets; white house officials meet with silicon valley executives, seeking help to police violent extremists; and, a surge in painkiller and heroin abuse by pregnant women leads to more american babies born going through drug withdrawal. >> it's a catch-22 all the way. you can't get off of it or then the baby will die. but if you stay on it, the baby could go through withdrawal. >> sreenivasan: next on pbs newshour weekend. >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein
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family. the citi foundation. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. 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 has been 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 at lincoln center in new york, hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thanks for joining us. germany has accepted more than a million asylum seekers in the past year, and today anti- immigrant sentiment was on display there in response to new year's eve assaults on women, allegedly by migrants. in koln, germany's fourth largest city, hundreds protested against the new migrants and refugees, who are mostly from the middle east and north africa. police dispersed crowds with
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water cannons after some protesters threw firecrackers and beer bottles at officers. the protests follow revelations that 120 women were robbed or groped at the main train station the city's police say they are investigating 379 complaints, including two alleged rapes. the german government has said two-thirds of some 30 suspects questioned in the attacks are asylum seekers, but the alleged tizens and one american.erman in response to the marauding, german chancellor angela merkel announced today any refugees who commit crimes may lose their right to asylum. >> ( translated ): what happened on new year's eve were despicable criminal acts which call for decisive answers. this is about women who were victims of sexual attacks. our thoughts are with them, and, now, of course, we have to face these new tasks and challenges. >> sreenivasan: in a separate protest today, about 2,000 germans gathered outside cologne's main cathedral to protest violence against women. for more on the migrant protests
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and investigation in germany, newshour special correspondent malcolm brabant joins me now by >> so is tell me, you were at the protest today, what did you see. >> well, this is a pretty ugly side of germany it has to be said. there were lots of very angry right wingers belonging to this organization called -- which is a pan european organization that wants to celebrate, they see -- of europe, these sexual attacks on women in cologne and other german cities they try to generate some support for themselves because their influence was on the wane but this really has given them a little bit more energy for their campaign. there were right wing leaders from britain who came over to address people and so the whole demonstration was in a pretty sort of raucous mood and people
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were with drinking heavily on the way through. police allowed thome march. they didn't get to their destination because there was a very aggressive atmosphere, bottles and started being throwing towards the police lines. the police told them to disperse, the people didn't do that so a water cannon was brought out and they forced them to retreat back to the station. but the atmosphere in cologne really has been, has become very unpleasant. these people were demanding angela merkel should go and calling her a traitor for what she had done to both germany and europe in inviting so many refugees into the continent. >> sreenivasan: and what about the average citizens you have spoken to in the last few days? >> well, i think people are extremely shocked by what happened, not just in cologne but other german cities. it is real scale of the violence against women, and i have to say that over the past day, the german police are saying that the number of complaints that have been made by women who were approached, have approached nearly 300, nearly 400, and many of those are of a sexual nature this is really surprised people,
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and some people think that, you know, they have been, misled about the nature of the people that hav they have been acceptin and others who say that the people who committed these crimes are just a small minority of ordinary decent people who want to have a better life. but what is being discussed here is basically the cologne may possibly be a turning point for the whole sort of german attitude towards the migration trail, and indeed angela merkel has had to respond to that today by being as a political rally saying that she is going to bring in new laws which will make deportations easier for those people who are breaking german laws. at the moment, people have to serve at least three years in prison before they can be deported but there is a need now of germans to accelerate that process. >> sreenivasan: and none of this happened in a political vacuum. >> no. and people are really sort of interested to know whether angela merkel, what her political future is like,
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because she has really put herself out on the extreme of european -- by opening up germany to virtually anybody now and she is having to reverse that process. now, the numbers in germany are quite startling, over the past years the german say they have taken in more than a million migrants and somehow they don't see this jives. that is the same amount of people that others have let in. perhaps there has been some double registration in germany which boosted those numbers, but nevertheless those numbers are pretty high. and there is a demographic problem, because many o of the people coming into europe from turkey, through greece and are young men, and they, as i found out yesterday when i talked to some moroccan people, they have got to learn there is a completely different way in europe about the way in which you treat women, and people are very concerned that there is a serious cultural clash that is happening between people of
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european sort of background and those newcomers, and sokol loan could very well be a turning point. >> sreenivasan: special correspondent malcolm brabent joining us via skype, thank you so much. the >> sreenivasan: the syrian government told the united nations today it's ready to take part in peace talks scheduled later this month in geneva, but it wants to know first which opposition groups will be invited. an air strike in a rebel-held town in northwest syria killed at least 39 people today, according to the syrian observatory for human rights. but the group did not say whether the air strike was carried out by the syrian government or russian jets. russia has been supporting syrian president bashar al-assad by bombing anti-government forces since september. an unnamed senior u.s. official told reporters today 70% of russians air strikes have struck anti-assad rebels, not isis, which is the target of a u.s.-led coalition. syria's five-year civil war has claimed 250,000 lives.
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>> sreenivasan: for more than a year, f.b.i. director james comey has argued american technology companies need to do more to help law enforcement combat terrorists exploiting the internet and mobile devices to plan plots and publish propaganda. for example, comey has said encryption on smartphones makes it harder to monitor communications by suspects under investigation. the companies defend encryption as a privacy tool for all customers. yesterday, comey, the attorney general, the white house counterterrorism adviser and other officials went to silicon valley to seek common ground. joining me now from los angeles to discuss this summit is dawn chmielewski. she's a reporter for the tech news web site re/code. >> so what do they talk about? obviously the encryption thing is front and center on the table. is this the agree or disagree conversation? >> this is the let's all come together and tackle an incredibly hard and deadly problem. look, encryption because part of the conversation but i am told that it was not the main, the
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main focus of the discussion, which took place over the course of two hours, and undisclosed location in san jose. what i am told is that the government wanted to take the opportunity to meet with executives in silicon valley to sort of weigh out the scope of the problem, and how isis and other extremists are using social networks and encryption to try to recruit members and immobilize, mobilize people into committing attacks against the country. i think there was much time devoted to creating a common understanding of what the problem was, and then talk first about how the government was trying to put its own house in order because obviously we had the recent attack in san bernardino that the government was not aware of so it is trying to get its own house in order first. >> sreenivasan: who was at the meeting from the tech side? >> so we understand that charles sandberg was there, the chief executive officer of facebook, and also tim cook, apple's chief executive officer, and we know
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that there was some discussion about how facebook actually is, deals with violent threats that are made on its platform, remember facebook reaches more than a billion people around the world and it tries to be really diligent in dealing with threats or threats of violence, when people use its platform for that but it tried to figure out how to manage that and not, not act as a sensor, not try to, not proactively go out to take things down until it is reported by users as being abusive. >> sreenivasan: so you have tim cook from apple, and cheryl sign berg with from facebook and you have these tech heavyweights and really on the administration side of the table they have some street cred with the people on their side as well. >> yes, exactly, megan smith, the nation's chief technology officer came from google, she ran a number of units at google and has some serious cred, and other executives from twitter, long time executives with
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twitter, from princeton who is really well regarded within the tech community, and someone who is knowledgeable about privacy and other issues, so these are some pretty heavy hitters who are also at the table and speak silicon valley's language and the goal here at this meeting is to try to find some common ground in an issue that is really contentious. >> sreenivasan: all right. dawn chmielewski from the website rico, thanks for joining it us. >> thank you. >> >> sreenivasan: the abuse of painkillers derived from drugs called opioids is an epidemic that leads to 44 overdose deaths every day in the united states, according to the centers for disease control and prevention. the c.d.c. also says women are abusing and overdosing on these painkillers at alarming rates, and many addicted women wind up taking heroin, which is also an opioid. pregnant women are among these drug users, and, as a result, a growing number of american babies go through drug
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withdrawal from the moment they are born. in tonight's signature segment, special correspondent alison stewart looks at the challenges for pregnant women struggling with opioid addiction. >> reporter: in many ways, sheena is a typical 30-year-old north carolina mom. she spends a good part of her day shuttling around her two boys, five-year-old kiefer to kindergarten... >> bye, i love you! >> reporter: ...and 18-month-old rohan to day care. but another part of sheena's routine is going to the horizons clinic at the university of north carolina in chapel hill for a urine drug test. >> hey, sheena, what's going on? >> coming to pee! >> reporter: how many times do you have to go get drug tested? >> right now, it's three times a week. >> reporter: so, this is just part of your life as a mom. you go take a drug test, and you pick up your son. >> yep. >> reporter: and that's just the way life is right now. >> oh, yeah. >> reporter: sheena is recovering from an 11-year addiction to opioids that included painkillers and heroin.
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we agreed not to use her last name. she now attends classes and therapy sessions that help her stay clean, and her daily regimen includes taking medication to prevent withdrawal. >> if i were to not take it, it starts to quickly increase in getting worse, the withdrawal symptoms. >> reporter: she says her older brother introduced her to opioids when she was 17. >> he had gotten some pain pills, painkillers, from our grandfather, and i loved the way it made me feel. i was happy. the time flew by. >> reporter: in her early 20s, sheena says she stopped using opioids when she met her boyfriend. at 24, she became pregnant. and during a difficult childbirth she was given intravenous fentanyl, an opioid painkiller, by a doctor who didn't know about her addiction. discharged with a prescription for another opioid painkiller, percocet, she relapsed. sheena continued using opioids for the next three and a half years, even when she and her boyfriend found out she was pregnant again.
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so, you were actively addicted when you became pregnant with your second son? >> yes. >> reporter: did you use while you were pregnant? >> yes. >> reporter: how often? >> every day. just to get out of bed i had to have opiates. i was just in a place of complete self-hate. i hated myself. >> reporter: almost five months pregnant, sheena went to see elisabeth johnson at horizons, which used to treat mostly cocaine abuse in pregnant women. now, it's almost all opioid abuse. >> were you taking prescription pills? >> yeah. >> were you buying them mostly? >> and sometimes i was using heroin because it was cheaper. >> reporter: johnson previously worked for a pain clinic and has seen firsthand the effects of powerful opioids like oxycodone. they have been increasingly prescribed over the past 15 years as doctors began treating pain more aggressively. is it quite simply easier to get opioids now than it used to be?
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>> i think that it is in that they have been prescribed so often. there is plenty of evidence in the literature that women are far more likely than men to be given prescriptions for opioids for chronic pain conditions, so i do think that a lot of it starts in a very well- meaning primary care office or pain provider's office. >> reporter: each year between 2008 and 2012, on average, more than one-quarter of reproductive age women with private insurance-- and more than one- third of those enrolled in medicaid-- filled a prescription for opioid painkillers. in 2014, 4.8 million women reported non-medical or illicit use of prescription opioids. and the number of pregnant women receiving treatment for opioid abuse more than doubled between 2000 and 2012. april, who lives in tennessee, is one of those women. she didn't want us to use her last name or show her face to protect her family's privacy.
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>> when you're an addict, all you can think about is getting that drug, getting that medicine, getting that relief. >> reporter: what began with a legitimate prescription for pain following a car accident quickly slipped into abuse. >> i knew i had crossed the line when i started running out of them, a couple days before my prescription was supposed to be gone. then, i found ways to get them without a prescription. >> reporter: did you go doctor shopping at all? >> if i didn't have a doctor and i had a pain flare-up, i would go to an e.r. i accrued tens of thousands of dollars in bills. >> reporter: eventually, when april tried to get more painkillers, a doctor checked a state database that tracks prescription use and confronted her. she got into treatment. now, at 32, she's pregnant and attends a clinic for pregnant opioid users. dr. jessica young started it four years ago at vanderbilt university medical center. young estimates two-thirds of her patients are like april, whose addiction started with a prescription for pain.
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when you have a woman come in who is addicted to an opioid and is pregnant, what kind of questions do they usually have for you? >> one of the first things is, "what will happen to my baby?" and they are so afraid of baby having any problems after delivery. and they want to know that they are doing whatever they can to get treatment in a safe way, in the safest way possible for baby. >> reporter: infants exposed to an opioid taken by their mothers during pregnancy can be become dependent on the drug in utero and be born going through withdrawal. the condition is called neonatal abstinence syndrome, or n.a.s. dr. stephen patrick is one of the top n.a.s. researchers and works in vanderbilt's neonatal intensive care unit, or n.i.c.u. >> we began to see more and more infants with neonatal abstinence syndrome in our n.i.c.u. and began to wonder, "is this becoming a problem everywhere?"
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>> reporter: in a study published last year, patrick found a nearly fivefold increase between 2000 and 2012 in the number of babies born with n.a.s. in the united states. >> here in tennessee and in the surrounding states, we have a rate that's about three times the national average, about 16.1 per thousand births, compared to the national average, which is about 5.8 per thousand births. >> reporter: why is that? >> it's linked pretty heavily to prescribing, to opioid prescribing. we know that about 80% of the cases of neonatal abstinence syndrome in tennessee, you know, have a prescription written for an opioid. >> reporter: are people writing more prescriptions in tennessee than other parts of the country? >> yes. tennessee has the second-highest rate of opioid prescribing in the u.s. >> reporter: at east tennessee children's hospital, nurse heather mishlick takes care of these newborns. >> typically, n.a.s. babies come in and they're screaming uncontrollably. >> i'm going to pick him up. >> reporter: n.a.s. babies need a lot of skin-to-skin contact to
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be soothed and are kept in dimly lit rooms to prevent overstimulation. that's not always enough. sometimes n.a.s. babies must be given a low dosage of an opioid like morphine to wean them off the drug. >> and what we do is, we control the symptoms. we make the infant more comfortable, and we do reduce the risk of having complications like seizures. and we slowly decrease that dose over a period of time. >> reporter: their mothers are put on a similar treatment while pregnant. it's called "maintenance therapy," a consistent dose of a safer opioid like the medication suboxone. dr. young says those medications keep a mom stable. >> maintenance therapy is a lot about harm reduction, and the misconception is that it's substituting one drug for another. but if maintenance therapy is done appropriately, moms aren't getting high from the medication; they're functioning normally. >> reporter: newborns of women in opioid maintenance therapy can still go through withdrawal, but dr. young emphasizes that if
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an addicted mother-to-be tries to quit opioids cold turkey, that can jeopardize the pregnancy. >> it can cause miscarriage. it can cause pre-term labor. we don't want moms delivering early because of all the complications that that can cause. >> reporter: april has been on suboxone throughout her pregnancy. >> it's a catch-22 all the way. you can't get off of it or then the baby will die. but if you stay on it, the baby could go through withdrawal. it's just scary, not to mention that the laws that are coming out that are criminalizing women for when their babies are born, going through withdrawals. >> reporter: if a baby in tennessee is born dependent on drugs, the mother can be charged with aggravated assault unless she can prove she is actively seeking treatment. tennessee has brought charges against at least 28 women under the new law. sponsors of the law say it's not meant to penalize women but to get them into treatment and protect the welfare of their babies. dr. young believes the law discourages women from getting treatment.
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>> what many of my patients tell me is that they spent many weeks and months trying to wean themselves or taper themselves off of these drugs at home without any medical intervention because they were afraid of whatever possible legal repercussions there could be. >> reporter: there are so few programs like the ones at vanderbilt and u.n.c. that offer treatment and prenatal care to pregnant addicts, so the women often end up on waiting lists. >> with addiction down there, though, they really don't understand. there's no rehabs, there's no places like this. >> reporter: at the university of north carolina horizon's clinic, elisabeth johnson says on average her patients drive an hour, mostly from rural communities. logistics are compounded by shame and stigma, which johnson says are hurdles for getting pregnant opioid addicts into treatment. after several months of maintenance therapy with the medication suboxone, sheena had her second son, rohan.
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he was born with n.a.s. and hospitalized for three weeks. >> he sounded like he was in pain. what was really hard was knowing what he was going through, because i felt it before. he was sick. he was withdrawing off the medicine i was taking. >> reporter: there's not enough research to know if there are any long-term effects of n.a.s. on a child. >> do you want to get out the blueberries or the carrots? >> reporter: sheena says the horizons program saved her life and her sons. their father was not as fortunate; he died of an overdose last year. after nearly two years in recovery, sheena looks forward to a day when she will no longer need to take a medication to feel normal. >> i look around me, and i'm just so grateful, you know. i've come so tremendously far. >> sreenivasan: how is new hampshire tackling the state's heroin crisis, and how are the presidential candidates weighing in? watch our report online at
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>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: the u.s. navy says iran fired rockets in the vicinity of u.s. ships patrolling the persian gulf on december 26. today, the navy released 45 seconds of black and white footage of the incident, videotaped by a u.s. helicopter. the navy says the video shows small iranian boats that fired the rockets as an oil tanker passed by. the incident occurred two weeks ago in the strait of hormuz, an important shipping lane between iran and the gulf nation of oman. there's been no comment from iran. a.p. and reuters are reporting mexico is willing to extradite mexican drug cartel leader joaquin "el chapo" guzman to the united states. the u.s. wants him to face charges for trafficking cocaine, heroin, methamphetamine and marijuana. mexican authorities have brought guzman back to the prison he escaped six months ago, following his capture yesterday.
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the escape was through an underground tunnel, guzman's second prison break in 14 years. mexico's attorney general said guzman's contacts to hollywood producers to make a movie about his life helped police locate him. in the philippines today, several million people turned out for a catholic ritual. the annual procession of the black nazarene features a 400- year-old wooden statue of jesus pulled on a carriage for four miles through the streets of manila. legend has it that the statue survived a fire aboard the ship that brought it from mexico to manila in the 17th century. nearly a thousand devotees were injured jostling to touch the statue with white towels. on pbs newshour weekend sunday: a look at the oldest voluntary school desegregation program in the country. >> that's the key, that it's voluntary-- no court mandates, that the suburban districts that are participating are doing so because they see the benefit.
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>> sreenivasan: and finally, the largest lottery jackpot in u.s. history is up for grabsdz in tonight's power ball's drawing, $900 million the prize started at $40 million in november and grown with steady ticket sales with no winner the twice weekly drawing. a $2 ticket gives you a one in 292 million chance at matching the numbers on five white balls and the red power ball, good luck. a $900 million prize will be paid in 30 annual installments of $30 million or in a lump sum of $558 million before taxes. that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend, thanks for watching, i am hari sreenivasan. have a good night. >> captioning sponsored by wnet
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captioned by media access group at wgbh >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: lewis b. and louise hirschfeld cullman. bernard and irene schwartz. judy and josh weston. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the citi foundation. supporting innovation and enabling urban progress. sue and edgar wachenheim, iii. 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 has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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