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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 23, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PST

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captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: lessons of the insurrection. law enforcement officials testify on the many security failures that allowed a violent mob of trump supporters to storm the capitol. then, getting the vaccine. manufacturers face questions about supply and efficacy of treatments, as the inoculation campaign accelerates. and, a generational gap. thpandemic exacerbates the many health and economic stresses of grandparents raising children in the u.s. >> it's just not something you economically plan for. i'm a single grandmother rolling the rock back up the hill.
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>> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> f 25 years, consumer cellular has been offering no-contract wireless plans, designed to help people do more of what they like. our u.s.-based customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. to learn more, visit >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> fidelity wealth management. >> the john s. and james l. knight foundation. fostering informed and engaged communities. more at
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>> and with the ongoing support of tse institutions: >> 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: the men who were in charge of security during the u.s. capitol assault have told their story in public for the first time. their testimony today at a u.s. senate hearing was a tale of bad communications, bad intelligence, and blame-laying. congressional correspondent lisa desjardins reports. >> desjardins: it began
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powerfully: capitol police captain carneysha mendoza, still with unhealed burns, told senators of hours of hand- to-hand combat to secure the capitol rotunda on january 6. >> i received chemical burns to my faces that still have not healed to this day. officers begged me for relief as they were unsure how long they could continually hold the door closed with >> desjardins: this in a capitol complex now surrounded by razor wire, where on january 6, a complete breakdown of security left five killed, another two deaths by suicide and some 140 people injured. senators heard from the top security officials during the attack. former house sergeant at arms paul irving pointed to an intelligence failure. >> based on the intelligence, we-- we all believed that the plan met the threat, and that we were prepared. we now know that we had the wrong plan. >> desjardins: as did former capitol police chief steven sund. >> we properly planned for a mass demonstration with possible violence.
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what we got was a military coordinated assault on my officers, and a violent takeover of the capitol building. >> desjardins: but sd also indicated other, internal problems. >> i acknowledge tha under the pressure of an unprecedented attack, a number of systems broke down. >> desjardins: and above it all, the question of why the national guard was not deployed sooner. d.c. metropolitan police chief robert contee, whose forces were ready, but waiting to be invited to respond to the riot. >> i was surprised at the reluctance to immediately send the national guard to the capitol grounds. in the meantime, by 2:30 p.m., the district had requested additional officers from as far away as new rsey. >> desjardins: everett sesker is a security consultant who directed the state police training commission in maryland. in video of the chaos, he sees training and leadership issues. >> i think what i saw was, i saw a lot of good officers trying to do their best. but on the other hand, i saw a lot of confusion. i saw a lot of officers with no re, i guess, direction.
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>> desjardins: some also raise a failure of structure-- that the lack of barriers, the breakable as great a problem. >> i mean, we got to think, when was the last time something like this happened at the capitol? not in my lifetime. not in your lifetime. 1812? i think. so, war of 1812. so now we're dealing with complacency. we have to battle that. >> desjardins: back at the hearing... >> did we have failure to communicate here? >> desjardins: of major internal issues. then-police chief sund says he raised the idea of calling in the national guard two days before the attack. >> i met with mr. irving in his office. that's where i made the first request for the nation guard. he had indicated that, "i don't know if i like the optics." >> desjardins: capitol police cannot request the national guard. they answer to a board, dominated by the sergeants at arms, and they didn't think the guard was necessary. irving says that was based on intelligence, not optics. then, on the day of the attack, those wires crossed again, sund says, delaying another national guard request at a critical hour.
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>> mr. sund, do you know when you asked for national guard assistance? was it 1:09 or 2:00 p.m.? >> it was 1:09, sir. >> 1:09. and who did you ask for assistance at 1:09? >> it was from mr. irving, i believe. >> no. i did not get a request at 1:09 that i can remember. georgia senator jon ossoff summed up the issue. >> the capitol police board, so there is no individual who has personal responsibility for the security of the u.s. capitol complex. >> that's the way i interpret it, yes. >> desjardins: another failure? an f.b.i. intelligence report the night before the attack clearly warned that trump supporters were “ready for war”" but, word never got through to either sergeant-at-arms or to the capitol police chief. >> i actually, just in the last 24 hours, was informed by the department that we actually had received that report. >> desjardins: the hearing is just part of the january 6 response. capitol police are investigating some of its officers. speaker nancy pelosi is calling
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for a 9/11 style commission, and she has launched a security review by retired army general russell honore. meantime, at least 5,000 national guard troops will remain at least a few more weeks. the temporary fencing and military-like zone for blocks around the capitol will stay up, though many members of congress want it to go. eleanor holmes norton represents washington d.c. in congress. she sayst hampers congress, harms nearby neighborhoods and is no longer needed. >> all of this should be done gradually. those national guards are needed at home. they certainly aren't needed now. if we have not had a deterrent effect by now, we'll never have one. and i think that deterrent effect has set in. >> desjardins: but others want it to stay. in a statement, acting capitol police chief yogananda pittman called for the fencing to become permanent. >> this was planned. we now know this was a planned insurrection. >> desjardins: the hearing is a first step in a potentially long
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look at the tangled security failures at the capitol. next week, lawmakers will talk with officials from the f.b.i. and the pentagon. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins. >> woodruff: for more on the hearing today, our yamiche alcindor joins me now from the white house. >> woodruff: she joins me from the white house, which is where you were on the day of the capitol attack. yamiche, there were other flashpoints at the hearing. you were following it closely. tell us what else you heard today. >> yamiche: that's right. this was a striking hearing on capitol hill, where lawmakers and law enforcement officials were going into details, at times reliving that siege on the capitol, talking about the lies and the failures that led to that attack. there was a big consensus, it seemed among lawmakers, that things need to get better. but there were also fireworks, and the fireworks centered on three republican senators in particular, josh hawley of missouri, ted cruz of texas, as well as ron johnson of wisconsin.
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for ted cruz and josh hawley, though senators are facing a lot of backlash because even after the attack, they voted against certifying the results of the election. there were some who really thought it was ironic and wrong that they were able to question law enforcement officials about what they could have done differently, when there are a lot of senators who think they could have done things differently. and they were saying that the election was stolen from president trump, which it was not. josh hawley also used his time questioning law enforcement officials to criticize lieutenant general russell honere, and he is a retired general who nancy pelosi tapped to do a rview of the attack. josh hawley, in the hearing, was saying that essentially he should not have said there were police officers who were, quote, unquote, complicit in the attack, and he was asking law enforcement officials whether or not they were complicit. and also senator ron
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johnson, he was spreading, at times, disinformation in this hearing. he was suggesting there were left-wing provoca, tors, and that is just not right. the large number of people who carried out this attack were wearing trump symbols, and going after some of the targets that former president trump had laid out, of course, former vice president mike pence. the white house is watching this closely and hoping merrick garland will be able to handle this once he guess into office. >> woodruff: we know the investigation into all of this is going to continue. yamiche alcindor at the white house, thank you. ♪♪ >> woodruff: in the day's other news, more world leaders appealed for fair distribution of covid-19 vaccines. mexican president andres manuel
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lopez obrador said wealthier countries are getting the lion's share. he called for the united nations to intervene. >> ( translated ): out of 80 countries that have the vaccine, ten are hoarding 80% of it. and the 70 remaining, which is where we and many others are, have 20% of the vaccines. but there are more than 100 countries that don't have a single dose. meanwhile, vaccine makers pfizer and moderna said they expect to ship 220 million doses for u.s. use, by the end of march. we'll return to vaccine issues ter the news summary. >> woodruff: the pandemic forced president bide and justin trudeau to meet by video link. it was the first meeting with a foreign leader. the agenda included covid-19, climate change, and economic recovery.
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u.n. nuclear inspectors confirmed today that iran is now enriching uranium to 20% purity, a big step closer to weapons- grade. it's iran's latest violation of the 2015 nuclear accord, after the u.s. left the agreement in 2018. tehran also, officially, began restricting u.n. inspections at its nuclear sites. the u.s. senate today easily confirmed linda thomas- greenfield to be u.n. ambassador. and, tom vilsack won confirmation for a second stint as secretary of agriculture. the interior secretary nominee, new mexico congresswom deb haaland, had her confirmation hearing. she addressed republican criticism of her opposition to oiland gas drilling. >> there is no question that fossil energy does and will continue to play a major role in america for years to come. but, we must also recognize that the energy industry is innovating, and our climate
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challenge must be addressed. >> woodruff: at a separate hearing, california attorney general xavier becerra made his case to be secretary of health and human services. he vowed to rebuild trust in public health institutions. >> science must come first. we must ensure that people trust what we say. we have a ways to go to regain the trust of the american people, but if we let the experts-- as we said, the scientists-- lead, i believe soon people will see the results. >> woodruff: a number of senate republicans have argued becerra is unqualified and overly partisan. a grand jury in rochester, new york has voted not to file criminal charges against police in the death of daniel prude. prude, who is black, was held down, naked and handcuffed, last march, until he stopped breathing. it touched off nightly protests. the state attorney general said today she was extremely
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disappointed in the grand jury decision. golfing great tiger woods is hospitalized in los angeles tonight, after he crashed his car and needed surgery for multiple leg injuries. authorities say crews had to pull woods out through the windshield of the mangled wreck. he was taken away in serious condition. late today authorities said there was no evidence of impairment on his part at the crash scene. in economic in economic news, the chair of the federal reserve gave a guarded outlook today. jerome powell told a senate hearing that recovery from the pandemic still has far to go. he also played down concerns that new stimulus spending could ignite inflation. >> inflation dynamics do change over time but they don't change on a dime. and so, we don't really think or see how a burst of fiscal support or spending that doesn't last for many years would actually change those inflation dynamics.
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>> woodruff: powell said the fed will continue with policies aimed at boosting economic growth and hiring, for the four leaders of the power grid operator for texas are resigning, in the fallout from last week's winter storm. all of them live outside the state. more than four million customers in texas lost power for days during frigid weather. others face astronomal charges for electricity. on wall street today, the dow jones industrial average gained 15 points to close at 31,537. the nasdaq fell 67 points, and the s&p 500 added four points. and, poet lawrence ferlinghetti, patron of the "beat" movement, has died at his home in san francisco. he had lung cancer. his "city lights" bookstore was a beat haven in the 1950s, and he published books by jack kerouac, allen ginsburg and others. his own works sold more than one
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million copies. lawrence ferlinghetti was 101 years old. still to come on the newshour: manufacturers face questions about supply as the vaccination campaign accelerates. europe struggles with shortages and appointment cancellations in its effort to inoculate. the pandemic exacerbates the many stresses of grandparents raising children. and, much more. >> woodruff: it is one of the most pressing questions in the pandemic right now: when can i and my loved ones get a shot? so far, 65 million americans have received at least one shot of either the pfizer or moderna
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vaccine. >> woodruff: as many as 700 million doses by this summer. there are concerns over just meeting supply and demand this spring. that was the subject of that was the subject of a congressional hearing today. john yang has the details. >> yang: judy, the leaders of five vaccine makers told congress today they'd be stepping up production and distribution in the coming days. the c.d.c. says moderna and pfizer have delivered a total of more than 82 million doses so far. the companies say they'll deliver nearly twice that many additional doses by the end of march. right now, about 1.6 million americans are vaccinated each day. at that rate, it will take about year to vaccinate all adults in the country. science correspondent miles o'brien has been covering all of this.
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>> miles, what is the hold-up. why is this not moving as fast as many people would hope it would? >> reporter: well, john, as i think a lot of people know by now, the two vaccines that had the emergency use authorization are an entirely different way of doing vaccines. messenger rna, it is a piece of genetic material that teaches our own body to produce what looks like the spikey coronavirus protein, and thus in turn teaches our body it is a bad thing and do go after it. it is a great way to treat the immune system. but if you just inject the rna into your system, it melts like a snowflake. it has to be in a package, tiny pieces of fat that enable the rnato do the work it needs to.
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the production of the lipids are customized, it requires something on the order of 10 steps, and machines which did not exist prior to this being approved. and so it has taken a lot longer to get all of the lipids in place to make these vaccines deliverable. the companies say they're past the worst part of this, and hopefully they can begin wrapping up. >> and will -- there are more vaccines in the piline that don't rely on this technology. will getting emergency approval for those, will th speed things up? >> reporter: yeah, that will help quite a bit. the companies have banded together. they have manufacturing agreements, and they're starting to ramp up production by using their competitors' facilities, which is a good thing. there is a third vaccine, the johnson & johnson vaccine, which should be approved pretty soon, really any day now. it is a single-dose vaccine and can be
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refrigerated instead of delivered at dry ice temperatures, and has a lot of promise. that is about to come into the mix. so that is going to help the picture significantly. it is interesting, john, before all of this, we were thinking it was going to be vials and syringes and cold storage, but those issues apparently have been pretty much solved. it is the little things like the lipids that can come to bite them you know where. [laughter] >> a lot of people are eager to get the vaccine because they want -- they think -- or they hope it will sort of return to normal life. but there is a scientific reason why we should want to pick up the pace as well, isn't there? >> yes. because the coronavus, like every c virus, is constantly mutating. and the more time it has to mutate, and we're still in an uncontrolled pandemic mode, the more likely the vaccines, currently in approval
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phase, won't be affective. we're running this race for a ton of reasons, as you allude to, but there is also a scientific component: we want to get these vaccines into people's arms as quickly as possible so we don't get an additional mutation that may be more virulent and might not be responsive to the vaccines. >> and with the slow pace, there is a bit of a vaccine envy is, isn't there? >> i think there is. if you and i wee talki about this a year ago, and said it was going to be a year and a half in theory before people wilbe vaccinated, we would say that is manageable. and considering the fact it normally takes a decade, we might conceptually say that is okay. but now we're in a period of time where our neighbors and friends and my father are getting vaccinated, and i'm not. and i would like to be vaccinated, too. there is a component of
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psychology which makes people a little -- they're building the airplane in flight, if you will. >> miles o'brien on the vaccine progress or lack of progress. thank you very much. >> you're welcome, john. >> woodruff: supply shortages, and thousands of appointments cancelled indefinitely-- europe's vaccination roll-out is in crisis. manufacturing delays have led to the bloc being left short of millions of vaccines. theuropean union wants to see 70% of its population inoculated by the fall. but, frustration is growing amongst its citizens, amid the realization those targets could be out of reach. special correspondent lucy hough has this report. >> reporter: it was a race to set up this vaccine facility in the suburbs of paris on time. by the first week of february, the center was due to welcome hundreds of people to receive
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their first dose. but the vaccine supplies never arrived, and those appointments: cancelled. the white tents here for now and empty, and for the staff, it's a waiting game. >> ( translated ): we have 800 people on a waiting list to get vaccinated here. the site was built in just 72 hours, ready to meet demand of those who wanted to get the jab and be protected. but now the government can't give us a date of when we might be able to open our doors, because they don't know how many doses they'll get and when. >> reporter: it's a story repeated across europe. a mass vaccination program that was due to begin with nursing homes, health workers and the elderly has now stalled due to manufacturing delays. the supply shortages have left many vulnerable citizens scrabbling to find an appointment. 78-year-old peter wilkitsky, in
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berlin, should have been one of the first in line in his country's roll-out. >> i cannot predict when it will be my turn to get vaccinated. i have no possibility even to apply. i must wait until i get the invitation from the health services. they'll probably inform me in the next two months, then i'll get a date. >> reporter: 26 million vaccine doses were delivered to the european union by mid-february, with around two-thirds of them used-- that's just a fraction of the e.u.'s population of 450 million. all three of the vaccines authorized for use, moderna, biontech-pfizer and oxford- astrazeneca, have cut deliveries in the first quarter. pfizer has not yet delivered around ten million doses that were due in december, leaving the bloc a third short. rates of production at european sites have been unable to meet demand. ursula von der leyen, european commission president, and german herself, has admitted mistakes were made.
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>> ( translated ): it is also a fact that today, ithe fight against the virus, we are still not where we want to be. we were late to authorize vaccines. we were too optimistic when it came to massive production. and perhaps we were too confident that what we ordered would actually be delivered on time. >> reporter: it's led to a stand-off between the e.u. and pharmaceutical giants, with delays set to continue for at least two months while production capacity on the continent is ramped up. tensions reached breaking point in january when astrazeneca cut its deliveries by tens of millions doses in the first quarter, due to manufacturing glitches at one of its european production sites. meanwhile, there appeared to be a smooth roll-out of the jab in the united kingdom, recently divorcedrom the e.u. and and forced the e.u. to turn increasingly inward. europe is a major vaccine manufacturing hub, and exports millions of doses each month; but the bloc has now placed export controls on vaccine
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deliveries to make sure that what's made here isn't being shipped overseas, at the expense of european citizens. those new export controls, coupled with the issues of supply, are beginning to be felt beyond the e.u.'s borders. vaccine exports to canada this month have been slashed. frustrated lawmakers in europe say global cooperation needs to improve, pointing their fingers directly at u.s. policy. peter liese, a member of the european parliament: >> we have a problem with the united states. donald trump made an export ban, and that's why the european union is supplying the world. canada ordered more vaccine than the e.u., but because there's a problem in the belgian plant, there is no vaccine going to canada.
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european union has to supply canada, and that's a problem. >> reporter: the e.u. is looking for cooperation, not just from the u.s., k., recently deptedoring from the bloc, unshackled from brussels, the u.k. has given a first shot to a third of the adult population, compared to less than 5% in france and germany. but the u.k. has taken a different approach, administrating the first dose amongst all high-risk groups, and delaying the second shot. >> our government have been excellent at ordering a variety and a large supply of many different vaccines, so we've been ahead of the game. we were the first country to approve the regulation of the pfizer-biontech and the oxford- astrazeneca, our regulators have been working very, very hard. we've been pretty nimble and bold in our strategy. >> reporter: the progress of the u.k. is being watched with envy from across the english channel,
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as europe's vaccination program grinds to a near halt. it's pushed some european countries to take matters into their own hands. hungary has become the first member state to unilaterally authorize the russian sputnik v shot, without e.u. regulatory approval. other european nations are being forced to wait, as they again shut borders to international travel and grapple with containing new covid-19 variants, now spreading fast. meanwhile, tens of millions of elderly european citizens await their first dose. weeks of idle and empty vaccine centers like this one in paris could come at a heavy economic and human cost. for the pbs newshour, i'm lucy hough in brussels. >> woodruff: and now from a continent in chaos to britain, whereas we just heard, vaccinations are proceeding at a great pace. but one of the worlds strict test lockdowns
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remains. british prime minister boris johnson announced yesterday a cautious timetable to end it. schools will reopen in two weeks, but the full lockdown won't end until june at the earliest. special correspondent malcolm braba reports. >> reporter: like a murmuration of starlings, the coronavirus has been swooping unpredictably around britain, changing shape, triggering alarm and frustration. some of these starlings migrated from abroad, as have new variants of covid, bringing death and prolonging the stagnation of lockdown. the casualty rate has fallen, but many restrictions will remain in place until the summer. wilting beneath a barrage of emergency legislation and lack of social interaction, the british are near the end of their tether. >> i'm a student. i had a part-time job and i lost my job because of the virus. the food i get here goes a long way. >> reporter: wanda, who came from nigeria ten years ago, is getting weekly supplies from a
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food bank specifically set up to help ethnic minorities in brighton. >> i'm just hanging by a thread. i think that's the right word to use. >> reporter: the food bank was founded by juliet ssekitoleko, originally from uganda. this week she's provided more than 70 food parcels. as lockdown dragged and schools remained closed, demand increased, especially for families with children. >> when the schools are open, that meal is covered at school. but now, being they're at home, more parents are struggling than before. >> if i don't have my children with me, i think it's going to affect me mentally. but with my children home, i look at them and say i have to be strong for them. >> reporter: lockdown stress does not discriminate. >> well, i miss school, because i have very good teachers, and now i'm very upset that i'm at home so i can't see them. >> i miss playing with my friends.
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>> reporter: jago and gus's mother is freelance writer flora watkins. their sister romy was born a few months before lockdown began, romy has cerebral palsy. >> we are very fortunate that the boys have each got a screen. we've got a nice house. there are people for whom it's immeasurablyorse. but when you see children like mine, who are, you know, nice, you know, privileged, middle class children, who are in their own way showing signs of anxiety and depression. i found my six-year-old just lying on the floor of his room the other day, and i'm saying wh's wrong and what's wrong? he said, mummy, i just-- i just don't know. >> reporter: watkinsut her career on hold in march last year when lockdown closed schools. like millions of other mothers,
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she shoulders the burden of educating her children at home. >> i don't know if anyone had told us that actually, a year later, they're still going to be doing this with still no end in sight. i think there would have been an epidemic of women sticking their heads in ovens. i can't believe we've lived like this for so long. ♪ ♪ ♪ >> reporter: for much of the past year, mike herbert has been marooned in a cramped student house in brighton. at 27 years old, he's clinging to the hope that music can save him from 9:00-5:00 tedium. herbert is currently furloughed from a part-time sales job that was funding his music degree. his lessons are remote. collaboration, vital for musical growth, is non existent. >> it's not quite depression, but it's nearly there.. it's almost... despondent.
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>> reporter: herbert takes a rare break from solitude, visiting a friend with a home studio to record vocals for his composition resist. strictly speaking, he's breaking the law. >> ♪ i can't resist. ♪ my dream is to become a successful musician. and then, this came and hit me like a train. >> reporter: herbert contemplated dropping out, but limited plans to reopen universities offer hope. >> there's still a chance for this to work for me. i'm determined. i want to get there. >> reporter: half a mile away, venos savvides scans the horizon for potential customers. savvides, who has greek cypriot heritage, manages the family fish restaurant. there's no chance of a table. sit-down service has been banned for months. >> we've lost half of our revenues over the year, and we're hoping that we're going to be open in summer. >> reporter: according to the planned timetable, that should
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happen. until then, take-outs will have to suffice. >> we're happy as long as we're paying our costs and we get the exposure to our customers so you don't lose them. >> i think they've done a brilliant job in the u.k. rolling out this vaccine, and i'm hopeful that by summer we're going to see some sort of normal working conditions. >> reporter: despite britain's vaccination program racing ahead, the government became increasingly authoritarian. virtually all foreign travel has been outlawed. hawkish ministers have threatened irisonment of up to ten years and fines of nearly $14,000 for those who breach lockdown laws. one newspaper compared britain to a prison island, on top of which prime minister boris johnson has been widely criticized for not resisting the government's cautious scientific advisors. >> i sympathize very much with the exhaustion and the stress that people are experiencing, and that businesses are experiencing, after so long in lockdown.
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buto them-- and to them all-- i say that today that the end really is in sight. >> the lockdown must be lifted so we can move on, to look for jobs, so we can survive. >> the thing that really, really mas me and a lot of my friends very, very angry, is that there is absolutely no acknowledgement from this government about how hard it's been on women. it's women who are shouldering the brunt of the schooling, whose careers are suffering, who have been refused furloughs for childcare reasons, women who are being made redundant. >> and we owe moms everywhere an enormous debt of thanks for doing the enormously difficult job of juggling childcare and work at this tricky time. >> there is absolutely no understanding of what it's like, inhabiting the working mother sphere. >> reporter: britain's road to freedom depends on the virus. if it emulates the starling murmuration and surges back, the country's lockdown blues will continue and possibly get worse. for the pbs newshour, i'm
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malcolm brabant in brighton. >> woodruff: it's an important change in parenting here in the u.s., more and more older adults are raising kids for the second time around because of illness, incarceration, addiction, or any number of reasons. stephanie sy reports on grandparents who are caring for their grandchildren and what they're up against in the pandemic. >> sy: joanne clough brought up two kids on her own. she never imagined that she'd have another child to raise at the age of 64. a very lively one. >> it's just not something you economically plan for. i'm a single grandmother rolling the rock back up the hill. >> sy: how old are you, carter? >> four! >> sy: no, there's no way you're four! you look like you're five!
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carter's mother emily, joanne's oldest daughter, died of a fentanyl overdose in 2016. >> i every day grieve emily's loss of carter because she'll do something cute or-- and i just think, oh my god, emily, i can't believe you're missing this. you know, i just can't believe you're missing this. >> sy: the opioid epidemic has contributed to the growing number of grandparents raising grandchildren, says gerontologist megan dolbin mcnab. >> there is a priority within the child welfare system to place children with relatives whenever that's possible and that's due to the fact that it's helpful to maintain those connections. >> sy: it also saves the system money, a cost that is often borne by grandparents who can't afford it. 19% of grandfamilies live in poverty. >> many of them are on limited for many grandparents, the addition of those expenses
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really kind of overwhelms the resources that they have. >> reporter: lisa lennon >> sy: lisa lennon was making it work. with a cleaning business that allowed her to support her grandkids: 12-year-old luke, and little jackson, still in diapers. but since the pandemic, she's lost most of her clients. >> you barely keep your head above the water and that doesn't feel very good. it doesn't allow me to feel like i can provide everything jackson needs, everything luke needs and also survive. >> sy: behind on rent, she's worried about getting evicted. how are you doing the food? >> we get food from the church. and we run short toward the end of the month, but we stretch it out, make it work. >> sy: since the start of the pandemic, almost 40% of grandfamilies say they struggle to pay for housing. a third have trouble accessing food. >> i was strong and confident in my ability to care for the children and my family and myself, for that matter.
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but this is at this point, i think psychologically i feel knocked down. just based on not being able to sustain myself and havg to ask others for help, because i'm used to helping everyone else. ( laughs ) so, i'm not used to that. >> i wish i had a sofa that i could lay on for two hours and just cry my eyeballs out. >> sy: having a good cry would be a luxury these days, says lisa banks. she's got three grandchildren at home doing virtual school. >> i'm trying to spread myself thin among three kids, which is difficult, a lot of the work i don't understand because i've been out of school so long and things have changed so much. >> sy: and with no school lunch, the dishes, and the bills, are piling up. >> it's like, i'm hungry, i'm hungry, i'm hungry. you hear it all day, so breakfast, it's snack, it's lunch, it's snack, it's dinner, it's snack. you're spending more on utilities because they're using more electricity, everything goes up. >> sy: banks recently found some
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help through a local nonprofit group called "gratitude for grandparents." every sunday, founder rhea kelsall distributes donated food and essentials from her basement. >> so many of the families had part-time jobs that lost their jobs, they have less income now than they had prior to the pandemic. gratitude for grandparents is here for them. >> sy: kelsall herself can relate. she and her fiancé are raising two grandchildren between them also because of substance addiction. >> carl's my fiancé's biological grandson and his dad is deceased. from an overdose. i do sometimes think that the big g had a plan and knew what was going to happen. and that's why big carl and i got together, because we understand what the other one is going through. >> sy: and they've gone through a lot. the latest hurdle, the pandemic forced kelsall to close the daycare she was running. >> totally lost my income and
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now we're on his fixed income. >> sy: because most grandparents raise their grandkids outside of the foster care system, it can >> it's your blood. you want to take them home and take care of them and love theand everything else. it is not even a reporter: but without legal custody or guardianship, it can be tough to tap into government support services. >> there can >> there can be eligibility requirementshat push some grandparents out. and i think with the pandemic, particularly for grandparents who may who might have been laid off or are not getting income from other family members that maybe they're used to, it can be very devastating. >> sy: nonprofits like kelsall's are trying to fill the need, which includes emotional support. we joined the group's monthly zoom meeting. >> i wanted to see if i could see a show of hands. >> reporter: i asked who thought the pandemic had compounded the challenges they faced. >> me.
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>> never did i think i would be this short of breath. >> sy: 61-year-old grandmother kim elia was recovering from covid-19. >> my oxygen was at 86 and i was truly afraid to die because what would happen to brooklyn. >> sy: brooklyn is the 11-year- old grdchild she's raised since she was a baby. >> it was absolutely mind- numbing fear that i had. >> sy: with the cloud of covid, there's worry. >> i wake up thinking about these kids and i go to sleep thinking about them. >> sy: with the shadow of the past, there's worry. >> they've experienced a great deal of trauma in their lives. i mean, what they ne, they can't have: their mother. >> sy: the grandkids' mental health weighs on paul and barb anderson. >> and this thing of the kids going to school on the computer and not having a social life just exacerbates the problem.
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>> sy: as heavy as the burden may sometimes be, the children, say lisa lennon, are also what lift her up. >> they're my inspiration and reason to wake up these days. >> sy: on good days and bad days, says lisa banks. >> you go through those moments, you go through those stresses, you cry, you fight, you argue whatever it takes, but you're still there at the end. >> sy: and that's what really matters. for the pbs newshour, this is stephanie sy. >> woodruff: it is a tumultuous time in the news business. significant percentages of americans fundamentally don't trust news sources that don't line up with their opinions. and the financial landscape is perilous. last week, tribune publishing-- which owns nine major daily metro newspapers including the
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"chicago tribune"-- announced it was turning over complete control to alden global capital, a hedge fund widely seen as guing editorial coverage at newspapers. only one of the tribune's papers, the "baltimore sun," will now be turned into a not-for-profit and owned by a maryland business executive and philanthropist. we examine some pressing questis of the moment with two who know this well. gregory moore is a former editor of the "denver post." he is now editor in chief at deke digital, a company that advises corporate executives. and radhika jones is the editor of "vanity fair." she also worked at the "new york times" and at "time" magazine before taking over the magazine. it is so good to see both of you. thank you for being here. let's start by talking about this business model. it used to be that newspapers, broadcast
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outlets sold advertising and people bought things. and somehow there was enough money to pay newspaper and broadcast reporters' salaries. gregory moore, what do we have now? >> well, you have a lot of uncertainty. google and facebook really changed the advertising landscape. they gobbled up somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 or 95% of the media advertising, and so local news organizations in particular have had to go looking for other ways to sort of finance the collection and dis sem dissemination of news. where have new foundations owning and supporting news operations, to taxpayer-supported formulas that will work, corporate donations and things of that nature tht 15 years ago we wouldn't even look at. but i think we have got to find a new model. the advertising one is
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broken, and it is really critical to the success of the local news environment. >> woodruff: radhika jones, you were telling us while we're figuring all of this out, local news coverage has taken a big hit? >> it has. there are certain national news outlets that have become a lot stronger in, say, the last decade, decade and a half, and local news has suffered in large part because of the collapse of things like classified ads, which are now such a relic of the past. but the irony is that local news often is nationale news. i think about what happened with the blackouts in texas, and the way that all of our eyes were trained on those events. and it was, you know, reporting from texas monthly and from the paper in houston, and places like that, that really helped bring clarity to that situation and held powerful people to account. >> woodruff: gregory moore, while all of this is going on, you have the
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deepest political p polarization. people gravitating towards news sources that reflect their own opinion. there was a pew study that said one quarter of republicans consistently turned to news sources with right-leaning audience. and the same for democrats. a quarter of the democrats doing the same. and then you have a half of democrats and a third of republicans turning to sources, news sources, that serve -- try to serve a mainstream audience. what has all this meant for the challenges facing journalists? >> well, one of the things that it has meant is, you know, sort of a lack of common sense or common set of facts. these -- particularly local news organizations have lost their ability to sort of more broadly cover issues. our collective sense of what is going on in our community has really been
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disrupted. i think the second thing that has happened, we've lost some credibility. that is the fake news assault over the last four, four and a half years, has really had some effect. we've lost somewhere in the neighborhood of 1800 newspapers to be specific. 1800 newspapers in probably the last 10 years. and we've lost a lot of national memory, and those newspapers had 150 years credibility, and they're being replaced by upstarts that really haven't earned the right to be where they are. and so the way that they're doing it is by appealing to what people already think they know, right? they're confirming the very limited sort of siloed existence that they have, and it is really contributing to a break down in the sense of community. we're at a perilous moment here. it doesn't mean it is going to last, but we're at a perilous moment where we can't even agree on a
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common set of facts because of the fractured nature of the media. >> woodruff: and radhika jones, how has that affected the journalism you can do at "vanity fair" and what you see others doing? and do you think this is a trust that can be regained? >> i do think it can be regained. i am an optimistic on that front. and i think that the mere fact that we are having these conversations and drawing attention to it, i hope is a helpful step in the right direction. i mean, one thing that has happened, especially in the last four years, the assault on the media and its credibility has been -- there has been a lot of hostility towards members of the press and reporters that i work with both at "vanity fair" and places in the past, and, you know, incredible hostility simply for doing their jobs. i think the more we can
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shine a light on that and start to reestablish, in a transparent way, the fact that people in the media are not the enemy; they are actually holding powerful people to account. they are providing clarity. they are providing a service. d often a very community-based service. i think the more we can show that, show our processes, and make decisions in transparent ways, the better off we will be. >> woodruff: i know that is something we think about every day, all the time, at the "newshour." the other thing i want to bring up with both of you, gregory moore, while all of this is happening, there is a generational change. there is a turnover in leadership at a number of major news organizations. there is an increasing call in this age of black lives matter, and within the last year the death of george floyd. there is a call for more
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diversity and more inclusion in newsrooms. journalists have talked about this for a long time, but we still have a long way to go. how do you see the progress that is being made? and how much difference does it make that there is progress? >> well, certainly having diverse newsrooms is hugely important to covering stories like black lives matter and policing in america, income inequality, having people who experienced some of that, who actually understand what is that is like, really contributes to how a story like that gets covered. we're -- you know, when the economy is bad, the rst thing that really goes in news organizations is diversity. and we are witnessing, you know, what i've described as the whitening of the media. we've lost a lot. and one of the ways that we get it back is to shine a light on it, and make sure that we explain that while we may be losing diversity that is so important in newspapers --
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you know, these new digital upstarts that are being created, they need to put an emphasis on diversity. if you look at a lot of the digital verticals that have been created, they're almost exclusively white. and that really affects the kinds of stories that get covered, who gets to tell the stories, and who gets included as sources, and things of that nature. i would say next to the financial stability of the media, the second most important thing is inclusion and diversity of voices, not just on the reporting level, but on the editing level, on the producer level, and certainly in the chief executive office. >> woodruff: and radhika jones, how do you see the imperative here? how much difference does it make that this happens? is it happening at the pace it should be happening at? >> i think one always wants it to happen faster. it is a work in progress. again, i think that the fact that we're having
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these conversations and that they are, in my experience, more robust than they have ever been, is cause for optimism. but i do agree that it is extremely important. and it does come back around to that local news question because often local news, where it exists, is able to serve otherwise marginalized or underserved communities. and so to be able to have a diverse group of reporters and writers and editors, and more than that, podcasters, audience development executives, everyone who contributes to multi-platform news, to be able to have those people come from different places, represent different modes of story-telling and different points of view is going to be critical for our success going forward. >> woodruff: and you raise a point that does get back to something i know we're all interested
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in as we democratize the coverage of news, the audience is more involved in what we cover. there are fewer editors. how much should we worry about that? how does that figure in to journalism as it moves into the future, greg moore? >> judy, i don't confuse citizens with being journalists. there is more to be a journaliing than johnny downs knows. there is accountability and verifying and things of that nature. but i do think that the people that we cover need to have a stronger voice. and what that coverage looks like, they should be able to interact. they should be able to give resolution to errors and omissions in realtime. you know, when i was coming up in this business, if we made a mistake, we basically
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tried to negotiate our way out of it. next time we'll do better. well, that's not good enough now. i think that the damage that can be done by, you know, by training individuals and communities incorrectly is much longer lasting with the web. being able to interact and being able to influence coverage and actually understanding how that is done i think is one of the most important reasons that women and people of color and other underserved and marginalized folks need to be a part of the media power chain in this country, to demystify it. >> woodruff: we thank you very much, radhika jones and greg moore. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by:
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>> fidelity wealth management. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the
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