tv PBS News Hour Weekend PBS April 3, 2021 5:30pm-6:01pm PDT
captioning sponsored by wnet >> sreenivasan: on this edition for saturday, april 3: georgia's governor stands behind the state's new voting law. controversy over covid-19 vaccination passports. and, in our signature segment: "exploring hate:" the spread of disinformation and false narratives online. next, on pbs newshour weekend. >> freedom! >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: sue and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson fily fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the sylvia a. and simon b. poyta programming endowment to fight antisemitism.
barbara hope zuckerberg. the leonard and norma klorfine foundation. the peter g. peterson and joan ganz cooney fund. we try to live in the moment, we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. >> for 25 years, consumer cellular's goal has been to provide wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. we offer a variety of no-contract plans, and our u.s.-based customer service team can help find one that fits you. to learn more, visit www.consumercellular.tv. additional support has been provided by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your
pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> sreenivasan: good evening, and thank you for joining us. georgia's republican governor, brian kemp, defended his state's new voting law today, after major league baseball's announcement yesterday that this year's all-star game would be moved out of the state. major league baseball commissioner rob manfred said in a statement yesterday that“ the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport is by relocating this year's all-star game and m.l.b. draft,” and that the league “fundamentally supports voting rights for all americans, and opposes restrictions to the ballot box." kemp said the bill is being mischaracterized, and today he claimed it “expanded voting,” with more in-person voting days added on weekends. >> we will not be intimidated. major league baseball, coca cola, and delta may scared of joe bidstacey abrams, and the left, but i am not, and we are not. ( cheers and applause ) >> sreenivasan: georgia's
republican-majority state legislature voted to overhaul the state's election law last week. critics argue the new law is an attempt to suppress democratic votes by imposing restrictions on mail-in ballots, adding identification requirements, and adding more state control over how elections are run. major corporations based in georgia, including coca-cola and delta airlines, called the new law “unacceptable,” but took no actions. in florida, an order banning the use of so-called covid-19 vaccination passports is in effect today. governor ron desantis issued an executive order late yesterday that prohibits businesses from requiring customers show proof of vaccination, and barring state agencies from issuing vaccination documents. the order cites privacy concerns, and states that requiring proof of vaccination will reduce individual freedom”" the issue of requiringcine documents is an emerging controversy, as private companies work on creating digital verification, and some countries roll out the so-called
covid passports. the biden administration has said the federal government will not require proof of vaccination. police in washington d.c. are still searching for a motive in yesterday's attack at a checkpoint outside the capitol that killed a police officer and injured another. the driver of a car rammed a barricade and was shot and killed by police after he reportedly emerged from the car wielding a knife. capitol police officer william "billy" evans, an 18-year member of the force, was killed in the attack. late yesterday, senior law enforcement officials identified the suspect as 25-year-old noah green. initial reports indicate the suspect was struggling with mental health issues, and the attack is not considered to be terrorism. president biden and house speaker nancy pelosi ordered flags at the white hse aou the capitol complex to be lowered to half-staff in honor of officer evans. for the latest national and international news, visit www.pbs.org/newshour.
>> sreenivasan: the trial of former minneapolis police officer derek chauvin, charged with murder and manslaughter in the death of george floyd last year, wrapped up its first week of testimony yesterday. the prosecution opened its case with testimony and video from eyewitnesses, emergency responders, and police officers. minnesota public radio reporter brandt williams is covering the trial, and he joined us from minneapolis today. so, brandt, let me ask, on behalf of the people who know the importance of the trial but haven't been paying attention all week-- what did we learn from how these two sides are going to be making their cases this week? >> so, the prosecution started off with laying out three or four kind of areas that they're going to focus on, with medical testimony to show that chauvin was primarily responsible for george floyd's death. they're going to rely on use-of- force experts to show that the force that chauvin used was not
approved by the minneapolis police department and was actually dangerous force. and, they're also relying on the video and eyewitness testimony. now, the defense also laid out a plan. they're going to try to show that, you know, it was actually drugs and prior heart conditions of george floyd's that was partly responsible for his death, and also that chauvin was also following what police officers are supposed to do. >> sreenivasan: and how is the city reacting, responding, to the events that are happening on a daily basis? considering that it is the sort of epicenter that has had to deal with the ramifications from this event for so long? >> well, it appears there's an extra layer of trauma involved here. obviously, the young people, and people who were at the scene, expressed their feelings of trauma and how it impacted them. but we're also seeing that outside of that sphere, there are people around the city
who are expressing their own feelings of re-traumatization, of not only just that initial event in may, the 25th of 2020, but just seeing the video play it again over and over throughout the courtroom. >> sreenivasan: and what do we know about what happens this coming week? >> so, this week we're expecting to see more testimony from law enforcement, particularly the chief of police. medaria arradondo is expected to testify early this week. and we're also likely to start seeing some medical testimony and perhaps even from doctors who treated george floyd when he was taken to the hospital. >> sreenivasan: do we know what's happening inside and outside the courtroom? i mean, are the jurors paying attention, or how much attention are they paying? and what's the scene like outside on-- on an average day? >> so this past week, we heard from pool reporters that jurors particularly took note of a couple different bits of testimony. one was some of the store video
from cup foods of george floyd in the store about 40 minutes before he would be basically declared-- or basically, you know, found to be unresponsive, in cardiac arrest. and apparently the jurors took notice of, just, appeared just to be remarkable to them, just seeing george floyd alive and walking around, and interacting with people in the store. there was also testimony from lieutenant zimmerman yesterday, richard zimmerman, the longest- serving member of the minneapolis police force, who basically said the force used by chauvin was totally unnecessary, and it seemed the jurors were particularly taking notice of that. >> sreenivasan: brandt williams from mpr news. thanks so much for joining us. >> you're welcome. >> sreenivasan: last week, the heads of facebook, twitter, and google testified before congress on how their platforms handle disinformation and the spread of extremism online. the tech giants all say they do
attempt to limit the spread of extremist speech and conspiracy theories, and block accounts trafficking in hate and violence. but, special correspondent simon ostrovsky found some of these grou are finding new ways to push their false narratives. this report is part of our ongoing initiative "exploring hate: anti-semitism, racism and extremism." >> freedom! >> reporter: for many, the failed january 6 attack on the u.s. capitol seemed like the high-water mark for a dangerous cocktail of right-wing ideologi that flourished during the trump era. but for hardcore supporters of the 45th president, the insurrection represented the beginning of a new resistance movement, a movement that's found new life on a platform all too familiar in the age of the lockdown: zoom. >> hi, i'm judy from nebraska. president trump is going to act, and you need to help him act. you need to get yourself ready.
get food, water, and get your households in order. the military is getting called up. >> reporter: conference calls like this one, recorded a week before the inauguration, feature both leaders of the so-called "patriot" movement... >> can you guys hear me? hello? >> reporter: ...as well as thousands of rank-and-file adherents of the conspiracy theories that once teemed on twitter and facebook, dialing in from home. >> we're ready to take action. >> thank you. >> y'all need to get ready. >> okay, just hold on. hold on. we're going to do this... we're going to do this orderly. >> reporter: moderating it all is karladine graves, an unassuming kansas city family doct, and self-professed member of the anti-government john birch society, who first started organizing these "standing strong together" conferences as joe biden emerged as winner of the 2020 race. >> thank you so much. i want to tell everyone who is
on the zoom, we have almost 1,000 now. >> reporter: jonathan greenblatt is the c.e.o. of the anti- defamation league. he told newshour weekend that while necessary, the crackdown on hate speech and conspiracy groups on social media could have the unintended consequence of pushing extremists onto less- monitored forums. >> we think it's very likely that you will see-- while they move to other social media platforms because the large ones, finally, now after years, are taking some degree of action-- those seeds have already been planted. and so they will organize through different media. they will find new ways to connect. >> reporter: while most americans were appalled by the violent attempt to stop congress's certification of the election results, participants of this call, which took place the night before biden's inauguration, continued to discuss ways to derail his presidency. >> now, i believe what general
flynn said, and i believe what sydney powell said. this still could be won by tomorrow. i don't want to go into the details, but president trump, if he betrays us and he doesn't listen to those people, and they don't do what can be done using the military, then he has betrayed us. >> we want him courage to go on and fight this thing. invoke the insurrections act, martial law, if he has to, that's what general mcinerney and i have been saying. i was in contact with general flynn this morning. he's frustrated. >> reporter: retired high- ranking members of the armed forces are a mainstay of the zoom conferences, and something akin to celebrities of the patriot movement. they talk about politics using the uage of an armed insurgency. >> the nature of the war that we're fighting has changed. we had air superiority prior to
a few months back. we no longer have that. we don't have air superiority. we're fighting almost a guerrilla warfare. we're fighting a civil rights movement as an oppressed minority. and we've got to have the same persistence and consistency over time that others have demonstrated. >> reporter: all pay deference to this man: trump's former national security advisor, retired general michael flynn, who on january 5, the eve of the insurrection, told a crowd-- part of which would go on to attack the capitol the next day-- not to accept the election results. >> the members of congress, those of you that don't have the moral fiber in your body, get some tonight, because tomorrow, we the people are going to be here, and we want you to know that we will not stand for a lie. >> reporter: guests frequently claim to have a direct line to flynn, and before trump left office, people inside the white house itself. this burnishes their standing among listeners.
>> people wonder how were people drawn into, you know, the qanon mythology? and the fact of the matter is that there is a lot of people with, you know, what sound like very credible resumes, you know, military intelligence, you know, f.b.i., c.i.a., all of this, who had been promoting this. >> reporter: dave troy is an independent network analyst who tracks disinformation on social media. he believes high-profile retired security officials play a major role in popularizing some of the more outlandish online narratives, especially among military veterans. >> and when somebody has c.i.a. after their name, they seem like they know what they're talking about, and they're talking about child trafficking and adrenochrome or whatever else. and it becomes a very compelling argument to people to take this messaging seriously. >> reporter: this is concerning to the wider intelligence community, which has long warned that radical groups target veterans because of their
military training. security expert elizabeth nuemann served in the trump administration as assistant secretary of counterterrorism and threat prevention at the department of homeland security. >> we really need to do a better job of both educating military members when they leave-- they usually go through a whole series of classes when you leave the military. we need to make sure that we are educating them about t fact that they get targeted for recruitment, and what to do if they do get targeted for recruitment. we also need to help, i would argue, not just the military members, but their spouses and family members, to learn the signs and indicators of an individual that might be being recruited into radicalized thought or mobilizing to violence. and if we can better equip the bystanders in their life, their spouses, their family members or loved ones, we may be able to prevent that radicalization process from getting fulfilled. >> you can hr general flynn,
our leader, the people's general, is putting out information to let us know that this election fraud is not over with. >> reporter: while january 6 may have made it harder for anti-government groups to organize on some social networks, their adherents have migrated tother platforms like teleconferencing, crypted apps and niche video streaming sites. on that side of the looking glass, the war against reality grinds on. >> sreenivasan: we reached out to zoom about this segment, and in a statement, a spokesperson said company policy prohibits abuse, thrtening conduct and the promotion or glorification of violence and violent extremism on the platform. they are going to review the facts and take appropriate action consistent with their policies. the full statement can be found on our website.
>> sreenivasan: for nearly 15 years, journalist lionel barber was editor of the london-based "financial times," a newspaper sold and read widely in global centers of power. his access to world leaders gave him a front-row seat to some of the decision-making amid what he calls turbulent times. since leaving his position last year, barber has published a book based on his notes from his time as editor. he recently spoke with newshour weekend reporter, and former "financial times" colleague, christopher booker. >> reporter: the photo album lionel barber managed to assemble during his tenure as editor of the "financial times" is like a flip-book of global power. his 15 years running one of the world's most well-known financial newspapers brought a steady stream of interactions with c.e.o.s like disney's bob iger, and world leaders like gordon brown, vladmir putin, and donald trump. no longer sitting in the captain's chair of the pink business paper, he's published a book, "the powerful and the damned: private diaries in turbulent times."
from the financial crises, to brexit, and the election of donald trump, barber's notes not only peel back a bit of the curtain that surrounded the individuals at the forefront of these moments, but offer an unflinching analysis of how he, as editor of a newspaper charged with covering them, responded. you detail a phone call early in your editorship, with-- from hank paulson. hank paulson is calling you from an airplane. he's just been nominated to be treasury secretary. you say this was a-- this type of relationship would be, play a vital role in, during your time as editor. why? >> i saw this, number one as, look, he's the treasury secretary, i run one of the most important newspapers in the world. knowing what is on his mind is very important. but i'm never going to be solely reliable on him. but i am going to get some information, and i'll be able to pass that on to reporters and i can tap in, in effect, to his
network. >> reporter: barber notes that paulson was calling him as the treasury secretary wanted to use the financial times as a means of communicating to an influential worldwide audience. as you went through your-- your notes, did your impression of power go through a dramatic change, or transformation? >> i understood better, reading my notes, how power had fragmented. there's a fundamental change in the, in media power in the 14 years-plus that i was editor. and then, of course, the other big change was that liberal democracies really were under threat, from the populace, and from those-- the enemies of liberal democracies, like putin, who are employing completely different methods, cyber attacks, counter insurgency, propaganda, what donald trump likes to call "fake news." >> reporter: what do you think holds more weight for your story-- those big giant moments:
brexit, donald trump's election, the financial crisis, or all the moments in between that help kind of build the context of what it was to be the editor at this institution? >> i was constantly aware of the big picture. and this book tries to convey that, you know, globalization, and then the financial crash, the reaction, and the political legacy, if you like, the backlash, the rise of populism. and then, another sort of story and theme was the-- the rise of digital. the digital revolution, which transformed media. but within that, i had access, and you mentiod some of the people, and i hate dropping names, like putin and trump, that i interviewed. so when i did that, i took extensive notes, so that i had a cinematic sort of diary on big moments. >> reporter: what areas--
if you were at the helm, where would you be telling your journalists to focus? >> i would be looking at the threat of inflation. with all this debt around, you know, what point is monetary policy going to change? and even if it's a small change, uptick in inflation, it's likely to have a disproportionate impact on financial markets. so i'd certainly be looking for that. you've got to think about how far covid has really changed the way societies are organized and the way we work. so it could be anything from offices, office space, to virtual working, to education, all these things. i tend to think that some of the legacy of covid will-- it will last. it's not going to-- we're not going to go back to where we were. and then you've got to just be focusing on china, xi's china.
the-- the power of the communist party now picking-- beginning to start squeezing the giants, the commercial business giants, like jack ma, and the whole u.s.- china-- it's not necessarily a cold war, but it's an age. this is the two superpowers are now facing off, and how that plays out. >> reporter: are you anticipating another debt crisis, particularly as it relates to, say, commercial real estate, as these offices don't fill up, as you have fewer tenants across all of these mega, fantastic cities? >> i tend to think that, you know, history doesn't repeat itself. it might rhyme sometimes, but it's not the same. so we shouldn't look at a replica of 2008, but when people say to me, "inflation has been banished, it's a new model." any time people talk about "new paradigm," i start running for the hills, or at least my old editor's office.
>> this is pbs newshour weekend, saturday. >> sreenivasan: and now an update on a report we brought you back in november, a family separated due to covid-19 shutdowns. newshour weekend's laura fong s the story. ( children giggling ) >> reporter: it was a reunion eight months in e making. just two weeks ago, fiti aina finally returned to his home in american samoa after being separated from his wife danielle and six kids. >> it was a very exciting moment to see him home. even the kids, the looks on their faces were priceless. >> it was a sacrifice that i had to make. >> reporter: in july, aina made the difficult decision to leave the island to get emergency gabladder surgery in hawaii. last november, when we first interviewed him, aina was waiting for word on when he could return home. he is one of at least 1,800
residents of the u.s. territory who has registered to get on a repatriation flight. on february 1, the first repatriation flight arrived in american samoa with 159 residents. that didn't include fiti aina. but in march, aina was one of the 188 residents on the second flight. aina had a ten-day quarantine in honolulu, and took multiple covid tests before his flight. and then he had another 12 days of quarantine when he landed in american samoa before he could be reunited with family. >> when i was in quarantine in hawaii, i had nothing in mind. the only thing that was on my mind was my wife and my kids. >> reporter: and when he was finally reunited with his youngest daughter, jolizabeth, who turned a year old just last year, aina wondered if she would still recognize him. >> she was looking at me like, oh, who's this? jola, say hi! >> hi!
>> oh, man, it's so good to be home, you know? >> sreenivasan: that's all for this edition of pbs newshour weekend. for the latest news updates, visit www.pbs.org/newshour. i'm hari sreenivasan. thanks for watching. stay healthy, and have a good night. captioning sponsored by wnet captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org >> pbs newshour weekend is made possible by: e and edgar wachenheim iii. the anderson family fund. bernard and denise schwartz. the cheryl and philip milstein family. the sylvia a. and simon b. poyta programming endowment to fight antisemitism. barbara hope zuckerberg. the leonard and norma klorfine foundation. the peter g. peterson and joan ganz cooney fund.
the estate of worthington we try to live in the moment, to not miss what's right in front of us. at mutual of america, we believe taking care of tomorrow can help you make the most of today. mutual of america financial group, retirement services and investments. additional support has been provided by: consumer cellular. and by: and by the corporation for public broadcasting, a private corporation funded by the american people. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. you're watching pbs.
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