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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 15, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. gwen ifill is away. on the newshour tonight: what the death of justice antonin scalia means for the future of the supreme court, and the race for the white house. also ahead, we look at justice scalia's three-decade legacy on the court. and, why the residents of freddie gray's baltimore neighborhood don't trust the city's big hospitals. >> it takes a long time, i think, for people to understand that the days of hidden experimentation are over. >> woodruff: all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour.
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>> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ moving our economy for 160 years. bnsf, the engine that connects us. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take
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>> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> woodruff: deadly attacks blasted hospitals and schools across northern syria today, killing nearly 50 civilians, many of them children. it signaled again there's no end in sight for the war, despite plans for a temporary cease- fire. activists blamed russian air strikes, and the white house condemned the attacks. we'll get a detailed account, later in the program. amid tensions across the middle east, saudi arabia today launched its largest war games ever. the drills involve 20 mostly arab and african countries. the saudis are already fighting shiite rebels in yemen, and
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they've offered to help fight the islamic state group in syria. in mexico, pope francis praised the country's indigenous people and denounced their exploitation today. the first latin american pontiff traveled to san cristobal de las casas in chiapas state midway through his five-day visit. francis celebrated mass in three languages native to the region before a crowd of thousands. and, he condemned centuries of ill treatment of mexico's indians. >> ( translated ): on many occasions, in a systematic and organized way, your people have been misunderstood and excluded from society. some have considered your values, culture and traditions to be inferior. others, intoxicated by power, money and market trends, have stolen your lands or contaminated them. >> woodruff: the pope's foray into southern mexico is aimed in part at boosting the catholic faith in a region where protestant denominations have made inroads. four american journalists are in
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custody in bahrain after being detained on sunday. police say they were rounded up in the shiite community of sitra, having entered the country illegally. it happened during protests that marked a shiite uprising in the arab spring of 2011. the family of one of the americans denies they did anything illegal. steelworkers from across europe converged on brussels today to protest imports of cheap steel from china. thousands carried flags and banners warning the european union not to grant china market economy status. they said that would let beijing flood the market with even more steel. >> we are protesting because we want fair competition for the steel industry in europe. nowadays huge amounts of steel are being brought in, imported in europe from china, and we cannot compete with this because the prices that are now paid in
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europe are very low. >> woodruff: the european steel industry accuses china of using illegal export subsidies to sell products at below production cost. and, here in the u.s., wall street was closed for the president's day holiday, but world markets shot higher. the rally was led by stocks in japan and hopes for more stimulus in europe. investors also welcomed news that china's central bank has fixed the value of the chinese currency at a stronger rate. still to come on the newshour: the grueling battle over the next supreme court nominee takes shape, in congress and on the campaign trail. a hospital targeted in syria, just days after a cease-fire. plus, efforts to reverse grim health outcomes in one of the nation's poorest cities.
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>> woodruff: the death of justice antonin scalia not only complicates the upcoming supreme court term but also has enormous ramifications on the political landscape. the senate is ramping up for a battle of epic proportions as president obama plans to fulfill his constitutional obligation and nominate a justice to the court. to help us understand what is next, we are joined by our regular court-watcher, marcia coyle, chief washington correspondent for the "national law journal," and john stanton, washington bureau chief for buzzfeed. >> and we welcome you both to the program. marcia legality me start with you -- let me start with you. before we got to what i was just saying, you covered justice scalia for more than 20 years. what is your most enduring impression of him? >> judy i think the public will
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remember him most for some of his angry bombastic funny comments in his opinions. but i 30 that sort of diminishes the man. when i think of justice scalia i remember his quick wit, how in private he was charming almost humble, passionate, as passionate about his love of his country as he was in his opinions. >> let's talk about what the constitution says first of all, about what the president's responsibility is after there is a vacancy on the court. is there any doubt, marcia that the president is supposed to nominate someone? >> no, no doubt at all. the constitution says, the appointments clause, says the president shall appoint by and with the advice of the senate, judges to the court, the supreme court. >> woodruff: and is there any leeway, any exceptions through precedent or history? >> for president not to do that?
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>> woodruff: exactly. >> not to my many, no. >> woodruff: and john, you know, from once the president names someone, it's the senate's responsibility to consider that nomination. any leeway that the senate has in terms of what it's supposed to do? >> well, by precedent, they are kind of a little bit, they are required to do something at some point. that said, there is no rule that says that they have to take up the nomination, they have to hold hearings. it's never been done before. but they could very easily essentially wait out the president to see who becomes the new president. that's kind of what the mitch mcconnell senate majority leader said he wanted to do. >> woodruff: who are they what are they saying? >> ones to look at are mcconnell and grassley and ted cruz, and they all three said they do not want to have a nominee come forward. they have asked president obama
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not to do it. if cruz were to become a nominee you might see situation where he would want to have a nominee, a free press in a platform in which to top the president and show he's very tough on this stuff for his people and that could actually work for his people. you could in theory see that kind of plaqu machiavellian mov. >> woodruff: has the president made appointments that were just set aside? >> there is really no tradition of leaving a seat open in the supreme court during an election year. there have been nominations and confirmations during presidential election years, there have been confirmations during presidential election years with the nominations domg year -- coming the year before. in fact just anthony kennedy
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republican nominee confirmed by a democratically controlled senate. so it's important to know that this process can go forward if both sides are willing to do it. >> woodruff: a lot of discussion about whether the president could make a recess appointment. what are the option he there? >> the white house says they're not going to do that. that could potentially change. he could legally do that, nothing to stop him from doing that. >> woodruff: meaning when the senate is in recess name somebody? >> just not go into recess, basically until next january right before the inaugust ration of the new president. they could have a session every few days, the president can't do it in a recess that is longer or shorter than ten days i believe. >> the court actually very recently gave both the president and congress something on this issue. it said that the president can nominate during a recess but the senate determines when it is in
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recess and even though the senate may leave and continue to thwart a recess appointment by just doing some nominal business so that leaves it in the senate's hands to decide whether they go forward. but there is precedent as you asked judy for a recess appointment to the supreme court. president eisenhower nominated one of the most influential justices of the 20th tremendous, william brennan. he also nominated as a recess appointment potter stewart. so there is precedent for that. >> woodruff: assuming marcia that we're headed for a showdown a collision with no solution in the coming year what are the cases that are at stake this year? what is it that the court is going to be deciding that may not be decided because of a lack of that 9th justice? >> well, i look at the cases in two groups. first cases that have already been argued and the justices have sat down and voteon the
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outcomes of those cases. if justice scalia had voted and was actually writing an opinion that could have been announced say even next week when the court comes back to the bench, that is his vote, his opinion is void. the court does consider those opinions that have not been announced by the court, draft opinions. so those opinions if he was doing them would be possibly assigned to another justice to do, it would be a brand-new opinion. those case he right now that we are looking at include for example the affirmative action challenge the big union challenge. the sec group of cases that are going to be argued between now and april very big cases involving abortion clinics, president obama's and challenges to contraceptive health insurance, the court could have
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four-four splits, clearly not what the court would like to see go on for any length of time. >> woodruff: john what about the republicans in the senate who are saying there should not will not be a confirmation take place this year, are they prepared for that, for the outcome of these cases to be in limbo? >> i think so. i think as far as they're concerned, this is something they very much care about, the base very much cares about it, how on both sides, the members on both sides but particularly the republican side, are being elected to stand up to something, the president, the status quo and we are not going to give this guy another nomination to the supreme court, we want to wait until we hopefully get our guy into the presidency. i think a lot of them see that as a political win for them and for an ideologic win, they don't want to see obama nominating
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anybody, i would agree with them, if he's not going to nominate a conservative to the bench to replace scalia, has to be conservative. >> woodruff: if they were to be 4 to 4 essentially without a decision is there a sense that one side or another is going to be predominantly favored by that? >> well, it depends on whether you won or lost in the lower court. for the president's immigration action if it was a 4-4 split that would be a major defeat for president because he's challenging the lower court decision. it would be a major defeat for abortion clinics who are challenging the texas restriction. it would be a major victory for unions who won in the lower court on fair share fees. so it really depends. also, we need to take something of a longer look here. this appointment if it is by a democratic president is a major -- could be a major shift. there are many areas of the law that could be affected not just
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citizens united and the second amendment but voting rights, discrimination cases, many areas. >> woodruff: enormous implications. >> yes. >> woodruff: just beginning to look at them. marcia coyle, john stanton. >> woodruff: now, let's look in depth at justice scalia's legacy: not what's next, but what was left behind. what was his impact on the court, how the constitution is interpreted and how cases are decided? jeffrey brown gets an assessment and starts with some of justice scalia's own thoughts and comments in prior interviews. >> woodruff: over the years, antonin scalia spoke of his judicial policy, reading law the interpretation of legal tech he said this to charlie rose. >> the key question is simply this, would the american people have ratified the document if it said, the application of this document and what it means shall
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be whatever the supreme court says it means. from age to age. nobody would have ratified that document. >> it's a dead document to you. >> i'd like to say an enduring document. >> but you don't say it's a living document. >> not a living document. >> brown: the justice also described his opinions on pivotless and dissents. also the 2002 bush v gore. >> the politics of the country made you say we got to do this the way we did it in order to get this over with. the court decided that in the interest of the nation they got to get this over with. >> the remedy of the court is subject on discretion, always depends on realities on the
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ground. not the law. but what the remedy will be. whether you tell them do it immediately, give them another two weeks. that's not an issue of law. it's an issue of practice capital. >> brown: earlier that year, justice scalia talked to margaret warner. sited the government's power to tax and impose penalties. >> the issue is not whether congress has the power to tax. the issue is whether in this particular law congress was exercising the power to tax. and in all of our prior cases, we said that even if you -- even if you call it a tax, if it is being imposed for the violation of a law, it's a penalty. and this one wasn't even called a tax. it was called a penalty. >> brown: justice scalia, the child of italian immigrants and first italian-american on the court also spoke of his heritage
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as here in a 2015 pbs documentary. >> i think for italian americans given what they most abhor which is their identification with crime and the mafia, i wouldn't be surprised if they would be more proud to have an italian american justice. than to have an italian american president. >> brown: >> brown: and now reflections from three legal scholars who head research groups. edward whelan of the conservative ethics and public policy center. he worked as a law clerk to justice scalia in 1991 and '92. elizabeth wydra heads the progressive constitutional accountability center, and jeffrey rosen of george washington university and the non-partisan national constitution center in philadelphia. i want to start with his, justice scalia's influence on jurisprudence. how cases are talked about how they're decided. ed whrenl you worked wit whelant
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what exacwhat impact did it hav? >> he pushed it through his contact and his opinions, principles of textualism, that text has a meaning to be discerned, originalism provides, at the time it was adopted likewise with statutes. one looks to decide to figure out what a meaning of a text is there. he had tremendous influence on the supreme court in moving away from reliance on legislative history and the look to ladies and gentlemen history first to determine what a statute means and he also had considerable influence on constitutional determination, the heller second amendment case in 2008. >> elisabeth iowa dra wydra, die change the way you think about
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the law the way you argue it? >> absolutely. as a progressive i disagreed on justice scalia on many if not most of the outcomes. i absolutely agree with his embrace of the constitution's history, accountability center was very much informed by, or i guess formed almost a reaction to justice scalia's -- >> brown: a reaction right? >> certainly, as he strongly advocated for conservative outcomments based on the text and history of the supreme court, progressives like me and like cac my organization were inspired to say no from our perspective. let's disagree on this but let's talk about that text and history. we think it supports progressive outcomes. we were having a debate, not argue past each poarpt. >poarpt. -- each other. >> you think. >> we are arguing on the same
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terms. which belongs to everyone. americans can argue about the meaning of the constitution and really go toe to toe on whether this is a progressive document as i think or a conservative one. >> brown: jeffrey rosen what would you say? he said i was an originalist and a texturist not a nut. what do you think he would think about that? >> unlike justice thomas i wouldn't overturn every case, i'm not anut, he meant that very affectionately. like the wonderful constitutional accountability center, were founded, is a sign of scalia's incredible influence. he must be counted one of the most influential and significant justices of the 20th 03, he forced progress toifs make those -- arguments, because
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sometimes progress ifers argue that justice scalia was inconsistent, ignoring history, brown versus board of education, or not be able to justify everything but basically i'm pretty good but it's really important to note, too, the series of cases where scalia's preferences diverge from his constitutional preferences, flag burning, the rights of criminal defendants, the right to confront your accusers, liberal results because scalia felt the constitution demanded it. for constitution arguments you believe he deserves great respect. there we asked you all to come one a few key lines. ed whelan you chose something from the famous casey case. the lines are by foreclosing all democratic outlet, by ban irk the issue from the political
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forum that gives all participants teen losers the satisfaction of a fair hearing and honest fight, by continuing the rigid national rule instead of allowing for regional differences the court merely prolongs and intensifies the, why did you. >> left to the political processes to decide, one way or the other. people are often caricatured justice scalia as a conservative when in fact on a whole host of issues whether it's abortion, the death penalty, same sex marriage, his position is not that the constitution entrechess his own views, it's his ultimate humility about the judicial role, the sharp line drawn between role of the courts and
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the role of the elected branches. >> and you say that role through all his decisions and dissents? >> the key challenge i think of any justice is to discern the line between what the constitution allows and what it forbids and allowing person plercheses. >> brown: elisabeth, you picks crawford v washington. because testimony is obviously reliable akin to dispensing a jury trial because the defendant is obviously guilty. this is not what the sixth amendment privacy. why that, what does that tell about his thinking? >> justice scalia was a conservative justice but there were areas in which progressive
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and conservatives could agree. that case shows that in some cases he was quite the froand criminal defendants. and -- the friend to criminal defendants and to assure that jury trials were afforded and the fourth amendment search and seizure context where he struck down law enforcement techniques that invited the privacy and the founder's original dwhraid yurn e-your personal effects should be kept private. he isn't generally thought of as a friend to the less powerful, certainly in the criminal defense area he was from time to time a very important defender. >> brown: from a dissent in the dickerson case, in today's judgment confirmed miranda from a milestone of overworking or perhaps the sphing sphings woul-
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>> i thought it was chiops pyramid, it's chiops pyramid. >> brown: that was in reference to the great pyramid. >> this was a smaller one he was talking about. maird you rush happily to the dictionary to find out these words was a sign of how much he taught us and made constitutional law exciting. i didn't know what quilterkamph was, it was just he was a deeply literate man who had such a joy in writing or beautiful writer, the greatest since holmes and robert jackson. the reason his writings were so affable. >> brown: very briefly did he have an impact on the law?
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>> absolutely as jeff has mentioned. really transformed the approach that the court has taken and forced his opponents to define themselves against him. to be sure some of his greatest opinions aropinions are dissent. over the years, i think everyone has recognized the wisdom of that solo dissent and i think likewise, when we get past the heated controversies of the moment, they'll welcome the deep which dox there and law students will read his opinions as long as anyone reads supreme court cases. >> brown: i'll ask you for a brief end, he was also on the losing side of many key issues of the day. >> absolutely. legacy will be his text of constitution, but progressive supported progressive outcomes
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like the marriage equality cases, where he is simply on the wrong side of history in my opinion. elisabeth, jeffrey >> woodruff: less than 48 hours after the death of supreme court justice antonin scalia, his vacant seat was already an issue on the campaign trail. today republican candidates said president obama should not be the person to chose the next supreme court justice- while former secretary of state insisted scalia's seat must be filled immediately. >> if the republicans in the senate act as if they have no responsibility to work with the president to fill that vacant position because they want to wait to see how the election comes out, people of this country should send a very clear message. that is not how our constitution works. you have a duty and we expect you to fulfill it. >> i can tell you if hillary clinton or bernie sanders wins, they are not going to nominate people who look or act or behave
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or believe any way like justice scalia. that's not what they're gonna nominate. they are going to nominate people that want to expand the constitution in a way that goes well beyond its original meaning. so we can't afford that as a country. >> woodruff: and to dissect all that, it's time for politics monday with tamara keith of npr and amy walter of the "cook political report." tamara how does this change the race? >> the stakes were very high and everyone disagreed on that. candidates were already talking about the supreme court. the next president could name some supreme court justices, now it's not abstract anymore, it's very real, and once president obama nominates someone, there will even be a face for this fight. >> how do you see that amy? >> i absolutely agree with that, i also know it is one piece of what we know will be a big complicated election coming up.
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i still think issues like the economy and what's happening in syria those are events that are really going to drive this election, the role of america and the world. but this is going to be an important sort of milestone for these candidates. again, a way especially in the primaries to rev up their base. this is right now about taking advantage of the very polarized partisan environment for democrats to get their side exieded, republicans to get their side excited because of the controversial issues in front of the supreme court, include abortion labor rights immigration. >> woodruff: tamara, is one side advantaged over the other or is it about the same? >> people who are worried about gun rights and concerned about abortion, but right now, as amy said there are all of these things that are part of president obama's agenda. that part of his legacy that are before the supreme court. now before the supreme court, so
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it is possible that this could motivate democrats in a way that they haven't always been moaivetted -- motivated before. president obama could nominate an african american, asian american, that could add to the politics and motivate voters who see themselves in that nominee. >> woodruff: amy, one side or the other, get more of a bump out of this and this? >> look we have only seen on the republican debate the other night that a supreme court justice who was named by a republican was controversial in john roberts, there was debate whether he was conservative enough. this issue certainly resonating with republicans, i think it still speaks to the audience that all the candidates are speaking to very narrow very polarized very partisan. >> woodruff: they don't want to see anybody confirmed, any
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risk for them -- >> the risk these senators are in swing states in 2006, ohio, pennsylvania, new hampshire, all agreed with senator mitch mcconnell, that the president shouldn't nominate somebody, it should go to the next president, the democrats are thinking this is going to turn off swing voters in these states, quite frankly balancing act, one worried about a primary, can't upset their conservative face and number 2, i don't know that this is an issue front and center burning in the fall of 2016 as it is at this moment. >> woodruff: meantime, tamara, you have the south carolina primary coming up this saturday, the republican race has become even more caustic if that was possible. >> yes. >> woodruff: i want to show everybody right now donald trump how he has reacted to a tv spot that ted cruz has started to run. but first let's see the tv spot
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itself. >> life, marriage, religious liberty, the second amendment. we're just one supreme court justice away from losing them all. >> would president trump ban partial-birth abortions? >> well look, i'm very pro- choice. >> but you would not ban it? >> no. >> or ban partial birth abortions? >> no, i am pro-choice in every respect. >> we cannot trust donald trump with these serious decisions. >> i think he's a very unstable guy, and i must tell you one thing about ted cruz that i can say, only to a minor extent by comparison for the other politicians: i haven't been doing this long-- i've been in it since june 16-- but i will tell you, i have never, ever met a person that lies more than ted cruz. >> so tamara, is this squabble this heightened squabble between trump and cruz the main act on the republican side or just one of several? >> it's one of several. isn't going nine. ted cruz responded to donald trump you can't say liar liar
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pants on fire and not respond to the direct charges. it goes on and on and on. trux is also going after jeb bush, still hitting guc hit goir george w. bush and it's unclear whether that is even a problem. >> woodruff: amy, george w. bush is hitting south carolina for his brother. >> the bush name is as much of an albatross as it is a benefit. the polling, the challenge for jeb bush, they don't like george w. bush. this is a conservative sait, a
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state that gave his brother a very important victory in 2000. but i think to the point about the iraq war, it's not also clear that this division isn't important within the republican primary. remember this is the lane that rand paul was in for a while. a libertarian point of view that the republican party neoconservatives got ahead of themselves on this war and foreign policy in general. there is a segment of the republican electorate that thinks the iraq war was a mistake and doesn't want to see that repeated. >> woodruff: a little more, the causes of action nevada, democratic caucuses there, hillary clinton and bernie sanders supposed to be focusing. what is it look like? >> it doesn't seem like it's the beginning of the fire wall anymore. the sense of way she's running that campaign now, she stayed an
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extra day, there is a sense this is close and her campaign has been down playing expectations. meanwhile, sanders campaign shipped if a bunch of people from iowa and new hampshire and they're playing up expectations. >> woodruff: looks like more pressure on her. >> which is why we're going to hear more from her about south carolina which is another week from now than we are in nevada. >> and she goes to texas the night of the nevada caucuses. >> and the african-american votes which she is counting on to beat that fire wall in south carolina. >> woodruff: she would like to have a win. >> oh yes. a resounding one. >> tamara keith amy walter watching it all. >> woodruff: we return now to syria, and the series of attacks that killed dozens in the country's north.
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late today, the turkish foreign minister called the strike against a hospital, allegedly by russian forces, an "obvious war crime," and he threatened serious consequences if the russian air campaign does not stop. william brangham takes the story from there. >> brangham: joining me now to discuss today's attacks in northern syria, and the state of the larger war there, is the "new york times" beirut bureau chief, anne barnard. thanks for being here. we've seen these recent attacks against medical facilities and hospitals. allegedly these are by the russians. what can we tell what's going on there? >> there was somewhat of a pattern even by the syrian government, there has been a pattern of attacks against hospitals and schools, and since the russian air strikes began, it continued the russian air strikes as well. it seems that there may be a strategy of trying to depopulate areas, areas that are not likely
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to come back into the government fold, seems to be preferable from their point of view to either drive those people away, or make the areas difficult to live in. we saw this in the city of homs, in the center of the city was occupied for a long time by insurgents. and finally the solution was to evacuate them and still much of the city is not really inhabited. >> now amidst all of this bombing we have been seeing kurdish forces kind of coming behind the bombing and retaking some of the space created there. why is that important? >> first of all it shows the complicated battlefield in northern aleppo where we're seeing that the enemy of my enemy is often also my enemy. this means there are groups which are backed by the americans who are actually fighting each other and turkey who is an american ally and a nato member, is getting
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increasingly vociferously angry at the kurdish advances. the turks consider the kurds to be the biggest threat to them because of their history of struggles with their own kurdish population. and so to see kurdish militias taking over land from turkish backed insurgents is new and very fast moving development in this battle. >> so the kurds are sort of using this opportunistically, to take back some of their ancestral home land? >> the main kurdish areas are separated by this area which is being fought over right now. so this is not really a kurdish area. the curds are to the west and -- the kurds are to the west and to the east of it. the kurdish aim seems to be to connect the two areas. although they would also have to take an even larger area which is now controlled by slaict sal.
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the russians have backed the kurds politically, trying to get some of the big are seat at the table in peace negotiations, and right now you have a scenario where both the russians and the americans, normally on opposite sides of this fight, are both backing kurdish militias in one side or the other. >> we seem to be having a cease-fire soon but things seem to be getting more and more violent close to that deadline. >> that is to be expected ahead of any peace negotiations or parties on the ground trying to maximize their position he but it seems something more. the balance of power is pretty lopsided and the russians and the syrian government are trying to sproing the victory at -- spring to victory at least to
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this field of battle. why wouldn't they if they see an opportunity to do that. >> anne ber nard, thank you. >> woodruff: the neighborhoods where people live and work often determine their health. nowhere is that more true than in west baltimore, where violence, food deserts, and homes filled with mold, lead paint and toxic stress translate to drastically lower life expectancies than almost anywhere else in the state. that history has also led to a frayed trust with the medical establishment there, one that hospitals are working to restore. special correspondent sarah varney has our report from baltimore. this story was produced in collaboration with our partner kaiser health news.
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>> reporter: the street protests that erupted in west baltimore after 25 year-old freddie gray died while in police custody brought attention to the staggering poverty and violence in the city's impoverished neighborhoods. in sandtown-winchester, where gray lived, the dismal health and low life expectancy rivals some of the world's poorest countries. that's especially striking in a city world renowned for its prestigious medical schools and public health research. men and women in sandtown live, on average, just 69 years, a decade below the rest of the country. health officials say infants here die at almost twice the national average. >> ♪ we shall overcome. >> reporter: and adults are felled by heart disease, prostate cancer and aids with shocking frequency. pastor derrick dewitt of first mount calvary baptist church in sandtown prays for an end to his neighborhood's ill health but preaches self-reliance.
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>> you have to make sure that you are getting the health care that you need. things are not equal and they probably never will be equal. >> reporter: pastor dewitt, like many residents here, is deeply distrustful of baltimore's hospitals. he learned to be wary of nearby bon secours hospital early on from his grandmother who was a member of the church he now leads. >> all of our family who went to bon secours never came out of bon secours. she kind of instilled in us, 'never take me there, if i ever have to go to the hospital, never take me there! and that attitude still exists today. >> reporter: but in an emergency, bon secours is one of the closest hospitals to sandtown-winchester. >> my directive is, if you have to put me in the car, then take me to a hospital other than bon secours. because the nickname for bon secours, do you know what that is? >> tell me. >> bon se-killer. >> reporter: bon secours is working mightily to change that reputation, but the distrust goes beyond just one hospital.
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stories dating back to the 1800s that so-called "night doctors" kidnapped black children for medical experiments are vividly remembered. experimentation was, in fact, happening to black americans nationwide. at johns hopkins, researchers famously took tissue cells from henrietta lacks, a black cancer patient, without permission in 1951. >> to me, they've always been like that. never did like johns hopkins. >> reporter: eddie reaves, age 64, is a member of pastor dewitt's church. his partner died two years ago after doctors at johns hopkins operated on her heart. >> from day one, before she even went in, i never liked 'em. because that's all they do is experiment, to me, on people >> reporter: reaves is equally skeptical of other baltimore hospitals. he spent much of his life addicted to drugs, and when his diabetes and asthma spiraled out of control, he would end up in the e.r. but even after he got off drugs and signed up for health insurance, reaves found the medical system was a maze of doctors who charged too much and didn't listen to him.
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>> when the doctor give me something that give me side effect, i don't take the medication. he said, 'why are you not taking it?' i said, 'cause it give me side effects.' and sometimes they think it's a big joke, but i ain't taking nothing that give me side effect. >> reporter: dr. samuel ross, the c.e.o. of bon secours, is well aware of his hospital's reputation in the neighborhood, and what it's going to take to earn people's trust. >> you often find out that a lot is urban myth. we often have to sit down and say, 'well, tell me why you feel that way?' and then, 'let me show you some things that may cause you to feel a different way.'" >> reporter: nearby, at the university of maryland, baltimore president dr. jay perman says repairing the relationship with black baltimoreans will take a long time. >> i think there's still too much of a perception that we experiment. now, that is not the case! care is rigorously delivered with consent from the patient always.
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but it takes a long time, i think, for people to understand that the days of hidden experimentation are over. >> reporter: making that case is not only a moral imperative, but now a financial one too. while freddie gray's death and the street protests called attention to the health problems in baltimore's poorest neighborhoods, sweeping changes to the health care system have forced hospitals to go after their root cause. because of the affordable care act and a change to the way maryland pays for medical care, health professionals are being pushed to look more closely at the details of their patients lives. public health researchers say it's when patients are in their neighborhoods, in crowded homes or decaying public schools, with no grocery stores or reliable buses that health problems fester. >> in the past, we've always thought about making correct diagnoses, and preparing the right prescription or therapeutic plan, and then sending the patient out. and i think it's the fact that
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we didn't focus-we in general in the american healthcare system- didn't focus on what happens to the patient when they're not directly in our care and in front of us. >> reporter: so hospitals are aiming to fix the everyday problems that are making their patients sick. and there's renewed urgency: hospitals can now face financial consequences from the federal government and the state of maryland for failing to prevent their patients from returning to the e.r. for avoidable problems. the maryland legislature has pressed for changes too. a 2012 law established five health enterprise zones which offer tax credits and grants to bring health care resources to poor communities. >> hey mrs. settles, how are you? >> reporter: driving that effort are groups like the coordinating center which are paid by the health enterprise zones to visit high-risk patients, like toni settles, just after they leave bon secours, the university of maryland and other baltimore hospitals. advocates go into patients' homes to figure out how to keep
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their recovery on track. >> will you need help with planning finances to afford those things. >> reporter: jenn sulin-stair is part coach, part confidant, part fixer who first had to earn settles' trust. >> it wasn't a whole lot of talk. she put action to it. set up appointments for me and set up dates and she was going and that's the difference. i never had nobody one on one. they say one thing and do another. >> reporter: the health enterprise zones pay for this kind of help for two months. senior vice president carol marsiglia says without an intervention, half of high risk patients return to the hospital within twelve days. although mental illness and substance abuse can play a big role, marsiglia says the grinding realities of poverty often derail recovery-- a broken wheelchair or no money to fill a prescription or get a needed oxygen tank. >> so, we do work to try to find some financial resources, get that copay paid, so that the person can get the oxygen they need. otherwise they may likely be
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back in the hospital early the next week. >> reporter: but for many, the obstacles just keep on coming. david kelly jr., an outreach worker from light health and wellness, a west baltimore community center, has been counseling anthony chase for years. the two drive to a mall parking lot to have a private and frank conversation about keeping chase's h.i.v. and bipolar disorder under control. >> i'm working on myself right now. i'm working on all of me. >> well a big part of that is going to be maintaining your treatment adherence, i think. think if you use that as a foundation and build from that, you know everything else sort of falls on top of it. >> reporter: the hospitals, too, have renewed their focus on west baltimore. a well-respected homeless clinic recently opened up inside bon secours, and the hospital is converting a church near sandtown into a clinic that will offer primary care, mental health counseling and social services. >> first step we pour the milk into a bag and then we measure the vanilla. >> reporter: and the university
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of maryland, baltimore is partnering with public schools to inspire young african americans to become healthcare professionals, and training current medical students to delve more deeply into the social conditions that perpetuate poor health. at pastor dewitt's church, johns hopkins recently held focus groups to ask residents why they used the emergency room instead of going to a doctor's office. but it's not clear if these intensive efforts will be sustained. funding for the health enterprise zones expires next year. and many here are asking how far hospitals can go, even when threatened with financial penalties to fix toxic neighborhoods? for his part, reaves remains unconvinced that all the attention the protests brought to his neighborhood over this last year will do much good. >> things'll get worser and worser to me, but you gotta keep on living, do what you gotta do. >> reporter: it's a fatalism hard earned. for the pbs newshour and kaiser health news, i'm sarah varney in baltimore.
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>> woodruff: a postscript to our report: johns hopkins officials officials say they are committed to the baltimore that includes a series of community events on issues about the henrietta lack story, including a program and scholarship for high school students and a symposium that attracts over 1,000 people from the community. events are planned in cooperation with the lack family and they address the ethical issues related to biomedical research >> woodruff: finally tonight, we close with an unusual work of art about antonin scalia. last year, arena stage in washington, d.c. mounted a production of the play, "the originalist." it offered a distinct portrait of scalia.
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and our jeffrey brown profiled that show and what it conveyed about the man. here's an excerpt. >> the court has been my theater and i have the costumes. >> brown: in the new play, "the originalist," the first thing you notice about actor edward gero is his striking physical resemblance to the character he's playing: the real-life supreme court justice, antonin scalia. >> i tell people what they don't want to hear. that's what makes me a monster. that's how half the country see me: combative, law and order conservative. and that's what the other half sees me as a hero. which am i? >> brown: as it happens, both the justice and the actor trace their heritage to nearby villages in southern italy, both are from new jersey, raised in catholic homes and schools. to really "be scalia," all gero
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had to do was take a short ride over to the supreme court, to watch him in action, to get the mannerisms down. >> he sort of closes his eyes a little bit, and heightens his sense of listening. >> brown: show me. >> well, you know, he will, he'll listen, and then when he hears something then he'll pounce, right? so he gathers up and searching for the right word, or for the logic of the argument, and once he grabs onto it, he'll launch and have a question. >> brown: antonin scalia, of course, is the famously combative leader of the court's conservative wing, and currently its longest-serving member. a lover of opera, which the play uses to great effect and operatic himself in both charm and bluster. he's an intellectual powerhouse. >> look, i'm not an ideologue. i am an originalist. >> brown: and a firm proponent that judges should look only to the original text and meaning of the constitution. >> to interpret the constitution
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as written and as it was understood by the authors. the other side of the argument is obvious and wrong! those who say it must change with the times: it's not living, fashions change with the times, the constitution stands! >> woodruff: you can watch jeff's full story on our website at also on the newshour online right now, how many people does it take to keep a major conspiracy under wraps? while some believe that the apollo 11 moon landing was staged, a new mathematical equation calculates that hundreds of thousands of people would have to be really good at keeping secrets for that theory to be true. all that and more is on our web site, and that's the newshour for tonight.
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on tuesday, malcolm brabant reports on the recent rise of anti-semitism in europe. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> lincoln financial-- >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic performance and financial literacy in the 21st century.
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>> this is "bbc world news." >> funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation, newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good, kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs, and sony pictures classics presenting "the lady and the van." > an educated woman and living like that. >> merry chiss mass. >> shut the door. i'm a business question


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