tv PBS News Hour PBS July 14, 2021 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT
to learn more, visit safetyactioncenter.pge.com captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: the road ahead. critical infrastructure legislation moves closer to votes in congress, after a tumultuous weekend of negotiations. then, leaving afghanistan. an uncertain time for young people who grew up without taliban rule, as the infamous group continues its conquest amid the american withdrawal. and, raising the future. the struggle to find child care in rural areas prompts mulple innovative education initiatives. >> the national picture has been severely under-valued
infrastructure, to the degree that we say "it's just daycare." that's absurd. high-quality child care is good for children. >> woodruff: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: ♪ ♪ ♪ >> fidelity wealth management. >> bnsf railway. >> consumer cellular. >> johnson & johnson. >> financial services firm raymond james. >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's most pressing problems-- skollfoundation.org.
>> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention, in the u.s. and developing countries. on the web at lemelson.org. >> supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these 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: democrats in the u.s. senate have announced a sweeping government spending deal to fund some of president biden's top priorities, all aimed, they say, at improving the lives of ordinary americans. lisa desjardins has been following the action on capitol hill, which drew the president
himself today. >> desjardins: on capitol hill, the former senator arrived for an important first, as president biden's first hill lunch with senate democrats, following their agreement last night on a historic spendg deal. >> we're going to get this done! >> desjardins: majority leader chuck schumer lauded the democrats' proposal. a $3.5 trillion budget outline, calling for more spending toward health care, child care, education and climate. it would be paid for with taxes on corporations and wealthy americans. >> this budget resolution will allow us to pass the most significant legislation to expand support and help american families since the new deal. since the new deal! this is generational, transformational change, to help american families who need the >> desjardins: but the budget blueprint got a chilly reception from republicans. wyoming senator john barrasso, the chamber's number-three republican. >> there's not a single republican in the house or the senate who's going to support
this level of taxing and spending and regulations. >> desjardins: democrats hope to start voting on aspects of their plan in the next few weeks. >> woodruff: and lisa joins me now. so a big important moment on the hill. lisa, what cowe know about what's in here. >> reporter: it does haven't a name so that makes it harder to talk about, but we know a litle about what's in it. there are big items in the $3.5 trillion. government would fund two-year colleges, universals pre-k for three opened four-year-olds, medicare to expand dentistry, vision and hearing and also d.m.s plan to include plirgs reform. they have not decided how manien documented immigrants that would include and that needs to pass muster with the senate parliamentarian, but they're going to try it. and also climate change proposals. we need to see the details but that is encompassing a lot of
major problems and issues in this country right now. >> woodruff: lisa, as we know this is moving along a separate big infrastructure bill. it's separate but the two are connected. explain how that works. >> reporter: if reviewers take anything away from this conversation that you and i have i want them to understand there are two different bills here moving at the same time, and politically they're different but connected. first of all, start with the budget agreement we just talked about, the big historically largest spending bill we'll likely see in history. p .5 dollars trillion is the budget agreement. compare that to the infrastructure deal that's also being worked out separately, 1 trillion smaller but also relatively large historically. the budgets agreement is something that is going to be partisan in nature versus the infrastructure deal which is going to be bipartisan. that needs republican support to pass the senate versus again the
budget agreement which will likely pass with only democratic votes through the process called reconciliation. basically, judy, the issue is they're trying to navigate both bills at one time so that people who think, say the big democratic $3 trillion bill is too big, they might like the smaller infrastructure bill. by having these move at the same time they're trying to leverage votes on both sides and trying to thread very tricky needle. they also have to get both of these things through the house. there are 531 members of congress, so 531 ways it could fall apart. there are hope for the proposals. >> woodruff: a lot of moving parts for people to pay close attention to and a lot of work to be tone. tell us what happens next. >> reporter: we a waiting on the infrastructure deal -- roads, bridges, broadband -- that bipartisan plan, they're trying to actually write the language for today and tomorrow.
the senate could vote on that as soon as next week. the $3.5 trillion deal, that probably we won't see in its full language for many weeks if not months, but they will tart to vote on the procedure to get that going as soon as next week. what that means, judy, is this next week critical for both these items as they have a chance of moving this congress. they have to get their ducks in a row. >> woodruff: definitely something we wanted to speak to you about. another topic the majority leader chuck chuck announcing he is pushing to an end to the federal ban on marijuana. how significant? >> reporter: this is significant, this is the first time the leader of either chamber of congress has come out and supported an end to the federal ban of marijuana use in this country. he's floating a draft proposal. it is still a very initial first step. it is not a full bill yet. schumer says he doesn't have the
votes now even from democrats to pass this through congress but thinks there's momentum there. this is significant not only because there is a growing marijuana industry in this country which faces this federal criminalization at the moment and there's billions of dollars here who gets that, but there's also, of course, many thousands of americans in prison for having possession of small amounts of marijuana. this bill would decriminalize and also allow all americans to try and request that their sentences be put aside. that is a very popular issue and overall marijuana legalization is popular in american, about 60% of americans favor it. we see the plates shifting on the issue. this is symbolic. i don't know if this bill will pass anytime soon but means that down the road something could. >> a powerful figure to be announcing his position on this. >> that's correct, and he point out that, also, this idea of legalization is popular in some conservative states as well. >> woodruff: lisa desjardins, keeping track of all of it for us, thank you, lisa. >> reporter: you're welcome.
>> woodruff: in the day's other news, the chair of the federal reserve, jerome powell, stuck by his forecast that inflation will stay high for a few months, before easing. he told a congressional hearing that the problem is due largely to temporary fallout from the pandemic. we will take a closer look, after the news summary. covid-19 infections are surging again worldwide, after falling for nine weeks. the world health organization reports a 10% increase last week. cases in tokyo are higher than at any time since may-- at this moment, just nine days before it hosts the summer olympics. and, cases in california are the highest since march. in south africa, rioting and looting rocked parts of the country again overnight. police say that more than 70 people have been killed and 1,200 arrested since last week.
nick schifrin reports. ( chanting ) >> schifrin: it started as political protests... ...and devolved into chaos across two of south africa's largest cities, of looting, ransacked shelves, and malls turned into smoldering buildings. some looters admitted they stole, but said their crimes were born from poverty. >> ( translated ): i guess the real reason is because we have nothing, and when you see other people stealing, at some point you realize that shops will close and you will be left with nothing. ( gunfire ) >> schifrin: in response, police and soldiers firednto crowds, and tried to restore order. south african president cyril ramaphosa accuses looters of taking advantage of civil unrest. >> what we are witnessing now are opportunistic acts of criminality. >> schifrin: the short-term spark was the imprisonment of former south african president jacob zuma, for contempt of court. he's accused of fraud, racketeering, and money laundering. but the long-term embers are
trenched poverty and unemployment, nearly 30 years after the end of apartheid. >> it is the dehumanizing effect of the inequality, and also the reality that south africa just cannot continue the way in which we have been continuing, with >> schifrin: dr. ralph mathekga is a political analyst and a fellow at the university of johannesburg. he says the african national congress party has failed to deliver the dignity it promised to south africans, and is roiled by infighting. and, zuma himself became synonymous with corruption. the pandemic led to severe lockdowns that further increased unemployment. this is the worst violence since apartheid, and analysts warn, if the unrest leads to zuma's freedom, that could challenge the country's rule of law. >> if the court releases him, it will have meant that if you orhestrate chaos, you are going to be able to evade accountability. >> schifrin: today, parts of south africa are still on fire, and there's no sign anyone can douse the flames.
for the pbs newshour, i'm nick schifrin. >> woodruff: in afghanistan, the taliban captured a key border crossing with pakistan today. meanwhile, u.s. officials announced that evacuations of afghan interpreters and translators who helped american forces will begin later this month. and, former president george w. bush criticized the u.s. pullout, telling a german tv, "the consequences are going to be unbelievably bad." there is word that the opioid fentanyl helped to drive u.s. drug overdose deaths to a reco high lasyear. federal figures show 93,000 deaths, up nearly 30% from a year earlier. difficulties in getting addiction treatment during the pandemic contributed to the increase. the european union unveiled plans today to cut greenhouse gas emissions 55% from 1990 levels during this decade. among other things, e.u. leaders
want tariffs on imported goods, to tax the carbon emitted in their manufacturing. >> there are some who will say that we should go slower, that we should go lower, that we should do less. but when it comes to climate change, doing less or doing nothing literally means changing everything. >> woodruff: approval of the various measures could take two years. back in this country, fire crews in california have contained 70% of the state's largest fire this year. it is burning near the nevada state line. nearly 70 other fires are active in the west. one forced evacuation of a town on the colville indian reservation in washington state. a u.s. justice department review blasted the f.b.i. today for inexcusable delays in the larry nassar case. the former doctor for u.s.a. gymnastics was accused of sexually abusing hundreds of
women and girls. he is now in federal prison. the report says that the f.b.i. received complaints in 2015, but did nothing for eight months. and, it says nassar abused more victims during that time. in a statement late today, the f.b.i. said the actions described in the report were "inexcusable and a discredit to this organization." amazon founder jeff bezos will donate $200 million to the smithsonian institution. today's announcement is the institution's largest gift ever. it will upgrade the smithsonian's national air and space museum in washington, d.c. and add to the education programs. and on wall street, the dow jones industrial average gained 44 points to close at 34,933. the nasdaq fell 32 points, and the s&p 500 added five. still to come on the newshour: the taliban moves to fill the power vacuum created by the
departure of u.s. forces from afghanistan. the case of britney spears' conservatorship highlights their potential abuse. and, the struggle to find child care in rural areas prompts innovative education initiatives. >> woodruff: as we heard earlier, democratic lawmakers have high hopes for new spending. but, there are concerns about the notable hike in inflation in recent months. the consumer price ind rose 5.4% last month, compared to one year ago. it was the biggest one-month jump since 2008. prices for used cars drove a significant part of that increase, but costs for many
goods and services rose. during testimony on capitol hill today, federal reserve chairman jay powell gave his assessment. >> inflation has increased notably, and will likely remain elevated in coming months before moderating. inflation is being temporarily boosted by base effects as the sharp pandemic-related price increases from last spring drop out of the 12-month calculation. in addition, strong demand in sectors where production bottlenecks or other supply constraints have limited production has led to especially rapid price increases for some goods and services, which should partially reverse as the effects of the bottleneck's unwind. >> woodruff: chairman powell was asked a number of questions about the risks of inflation and how it might affect the economy. david wessel is the director of the hutchins center on fiscal and monetary policy at the brookings institution. he joins us now. david wessel, welcome back to the "newshour". so fill us in a little more on what is driving these price increases and how significant
are they? >> well, it's hard to argue that they're insignificant when you see 5% jump in prices in one year. what's driving them, in part, is that the economy has recovered faster than a lot of producers expected, so you've got demand going up and supply is not able to meet it, and that is leading to price increases, and there are also are some unusual bottlenecks -- the fact that rental car companies didn't buy a lot of cars so they're not selling a lot of cars on used car lots, is partly responsible for driving up the price of used cars. similarly, we have a chip shortage that's leading lots of things that use computer championships which is almost everything to suffer increases in prize because supply is restrained. was the federal reserve and the biden administration caught offford on this? >> yes. i think one of the things chairman powell said in the congressional hearing is inflation has been higher than
we expected and a little bit more persistent than we had expected and hoped. so they knew this was coming, but it's more than they anticipated, and i think that's got some of them a little bit worried. >> woodruff: but they still are arguing, for the most part, as i understand it, that this is not a long-term problem. what is the basis for their believing that? >> well, basically, what they say is that, to the extent that this is caused by temporary bottlenecks, by the fact that so many more people are getting on airplanes, that so many people are going out to eat, that we have these temporary supply shortages, that's going to abate, and indeed we've seen a little bit of that, already. lumber prices went up and came down. prices of containers, those things that go on big ships, went up and they've come down. so what they're counting on is this is all temporary and once things get a little back to normal, prices will fall and the average inflation rate will move close to the feds' 2% target.
>> woodruff: on the other hand, as you pointed out, there's another point of view on the part of people like the former treasury secretary larry summers and others who sayno, wait a minute, this inflation should be a big concern. >> right. so people like larry summers, larry fink who's the head of black rock, a big wall street you remember firm, the folks at bridgewater, a hedge fund, are all saying the fed is too complacent, that while some of this is temporary, they're worried some is not temporary, that housing prices will continue to rise because demand exceeds supply, that wages are going up, and they're afraid the fed will wait too long to raise interest rates and repeat the mistakes they made in the 1970s when they let inflation get out of control. on the other hand, other people look at a different historical period and said this is something like the end of world war ii, there is a lot of
disruption because we've come back from the pandemic, and they expect it to decline. an important thing is what happens to inflation expectations. if financial markets in particular begin to build in expectations then -- that we'll see much faster inflation, that could lead to a self-fulfilling problem. >> woodruff: what determines if that happens. >> does supply grow enough to meet the demand and, you know, there are a lot of people who are not working now who were working before the pandemic, do they all come into the job market and does that temper the pace of wage increases? so it really depends who these bottlenecks are long-term problems or just temporary as we get out of this very unusual period. i don't think anybody really knows for sure. the fed is definitely betting that this is temporary, and interestingly, the financial markets seem to believe that. the financial markets are not predicting the kind of big increase in inflation that larry summers or larry fink are talking about. >> woodruff: david, if the fed
is wrong, what are the consequences? >> well, if the fed decides it was wrong and jay powell made this point today, they may raise interest rates sooner than people are anticipating. if they don't do that and they're wrong, we could get more inflation. my opinion in my opinion, because inflation has been so low it might not be such a bad increase, but if it's a big increase and the fed overreacts, you can have a runup in inflation, increase in interest rates and a recession. historically it was quite common. it hasn't happened for a quarter of a century, but that's the risk. they let it get out of control, act abruptly by raising rates, and we have an unwelcome recession. >> woodruff: david wessel, director of the hutchins center on fiscal and monetary policy at the brookings institution. thank you, david. >> you're welcome.
>> woodruff: the former top u.s. commander in afghanistan arrived in washington today. general scott miller transferred commanyesterday, as the withdrawal of american forces continues. at the same time, the taliban continues its re-conquest of much of afghanistan. watching this from kabul, members of a young generation who've grown up with freedoms never permitted by the taliban are worried about what comes next. special correspondent jane ferguson reports. >> reporter: if you are in the government, or a public figure in afghanistan, taban ibraz will work to book you on her show, with as much focus as she does hosting, directing, and producing it. the 26-year-old has been working in broadcasting her entire adult life. a year ago, she launched this interview show on youtube, where
she speaks to the country's powerful and influential, while playing ten-pin bowling. >> ( translated ): i've always wanted to work in and on tv, ever since i was a teenager. i worked towards it and succeeded. for the last seven years, i've been a host, editor, director, and producer. >> reporter: we joined taban on one of her shoots, filming an episode of the show in this new bowling alley and snooker hall during kabul's quiet morning hours. today, it's the head of afghanistan's postal service who faces both her questions, and skills at the sport. >> ( translated ): i wanted to bring them on air to face the public in a new format, to talk to them about their personal lives, and how they got to be where they are now. >> reporter: inspired by figures like ellen degeneres, taban wanted to build a platform that was light enough for her to show the famous and powerful in a way they haven't been seen before. relaxed. she's faced numerous challenges building her career. after a 2016 bombing killed seven media workers, taban had to commute to work covered in a burqa. but she may face the greatest yet in the coming months. the u.s.'s military withdrawal from afghanistan has left the
afghan security forces struggling to hold on, and the taliban is advancing. as the group closes in on major cities across the country, they threaten to take over the capital, bringing with them their strict interpretation of islam. when the taliban ruled afghanistan from 1996 to 2000, women were publicly brutalized and imprisoned at home. when outdoors, they were forced to wear the burqa. few have more to lose than young women like taban, who have built lives and careers that could be taken away overnight. >> ( translated ): emotionally, it has been really difficult dealing with the fear of losing everything. i often think, okay, if they do come, what will happen? what will happen if i can't work anymore, as a woman? i will have to put on a veil and not leave the house. i have no idea if they've even seen my program. but i'm certain that if they ever got the chance, they wouldn't let me continue to have the show. >> reporter: she is far from alone. there are millions of young people here living lives the
taliban would not approve of. 70% of afghanistan's population of 40 million are under 25; too young to remember taliban rule. two decades later, if those same taliban commanders return to these streets, they may experience an extreme culture shock. if the taliban were to return to power in afghanistan and kabul, they would find a very different city from the one they once ruled over, and a very different young, more modern population-- one they are likely to get much pushback from. >> people think they will not have any rights if taliban take control of the country. >> reporter: khan agha rezayee is a parliamentary leader. as the biden administration announced an unconditional withdrawal from afghanistan, he argues, the taliban were emboldened to push for a military victory against the afghan government, no longer invested in any pretense for
peace talks. >> we were hoping the u.s. government will put conditions. taliban should move forward with the peace process, and then, gradually, according to the peace process progress, then we will have our withdrawal. >> reporter: but few are holding hope of that now. for the young men in this office, getting out of the country is the only way to survive. they are former interpreters working for the u.s. military, and this company helps them with the complicated paperwork involved in applying for a special immigrant visa, or s.i.v. the s.i.v. program was set up by the u.s. government in 2006 for afghans and iraqis who worked as interpreters for the u.s. military. it recognized that they would be putting themselves and their families in danger of reprisal by insurgents. interpreters in afghanistan have been murdered by the taliban, while waiting for years to get these visas. those like ts young man, whose identity we are protecting, need a letter from the human resources department of the
contracting company that hired them, and another from the american military supervisor they worked under, sometimes years ago. >> because you can't reach them you have to find due to facebook, linkedin, instagram. >> reporter: is this what everyone's doing? they are going on social media to find their supervisors? >> yes, yes. to find a recommendation letter. the problem is that some of the supervisor didn't answer. reporter: there are 18,000 afghan military interpreters like him still waiting for visas, not including their immediate families. the biden administration has been under increasing pressure to speed up the process, and has promised to evacuate them to a third country to process their applications in safety. >> i applied on 2016. i wait two years, or until 2019, but unfortunately i got denied. so that's why i had to find another supervisor to get another recommendation letter for me. >> reporter: why did they deny you? >> because my supervisor didn't reply to the email for the s.i.v., so that's a big problem for us. >> reporter: and how long did
you work for american forces? >> i was working since 2005 until now. right now i have another contract in the u.s. embassy in kabul. >> reporter: so you are working for the americans right now? >> yes, yes. >> reporter: and you are still struggling to get the visa? >> still struggling to get the visa, yes. >> reporter: for many young people in afghanistan, getting out of the country is the best future they can picture. if more war is on the horizon, they see little choice if they want to survive and provide for their families. >> the time that i just born, that time until here, the war is going on. >> reporter: as the bowling alley and snooker hall fills up in the afternoon, most of the young men here are just like 23-year-old ehsan ahmadzai. they have known only war their whole lives. has there been an increase in young people wanting to leave the country, like your friends? >> yeah, all of them, most of them. >> reporter: and are people applying for visas? how are people leaving? >> every way, everybody just want to go to europe, from the illegal way. not legal way, illegal way.
so they are just going out of the country because there is no job, money, there is no hope left here. >> reporter: and yet, he still has some hope, because life goes on, despite the war. what would be the ideal future for you? >> next 20 years? i just got engaged. >> reporter: congratulations! >> i just got engaged so also i hope i live happily here, peace will come, insha'allah. i also want to live with my family. >> reporter: it's better to stay? >> yeah, i don't want to leave my country. i love my country. >> reporter: taban also doesn't want to leave. >> ( translated ): that would be the absolute last option. only if i knew i had no other chance, no other hope. i don't want that to happen. the impact that my program, my existence, in society has on the youth, the ability i have to convey a message to my generation and my gender, i would never have that anywhere else. >> reporter: as she holds on, and steels herself for what may come, millions of other young
afghans also face the future with immense uncertainty. those like taban hope their remarkable young lives of innovation and freedoms will not turn out to have been a passing moment in the country's history. for the pbs newshour, i'm jane ferguson in kabul, afghanistan. >> woodruff: britney spears' public battle to regain control of her finances and personal life has brought a new focus on conservatorships-- a legal agreement that put her father in charge of her daily affairs and decision making. yamiche alcindor explores the latest on this case, and the broader issues it's raising about conservatorships and guardianships across the country. >> alcindor: judy, for the last 13 years, britney spears has been living under a
conservatorship. despite continuing to record and perform, spears has not controlled her finances, personal decisions or almost anything about her life. three weeks ago, spears spoke publicly for the first time about how the conservatorship has impacted her life. she told a judge she has been forced to perform, and claimed she is forbidden from getting married or having more children, despite that being her prerogative. her testimony brought changes to her legal situation. to unpack this and the broader concerns, i'm joined by ronan farrow, an investigative reporter and contributing writer to the "new yorker." and, jonathan martinis, senior director for law and policy at the burton blatt institute at syracuse university. thank you both for being here. ronan, i want to start with you. this was the development now britney spears can hire her own attorney. what more do we know about the the development, and what stands out to you about this case?
>> yamiche, obviously what we're learning today is this lawyer of spears' own choosing, mathew rosengard, a former federal prosecutor and prominent l.a. attorney, is going to be able to represent her. why that's significant is because, as we've laid out in the recent investigative report, in "the new yorker," britney spears has been trying to secure her own counsel of her own choosing for years. we document how again and again, essentially from the inception to have the conservatorship, she was setting clandestine meetings with contacts who might give her phones she could then use to call lawyers, including sophisticated plans where she would meet a contact in a hotel steam room to get a zip locked bag with a cell phone in it. couple of things from that, one, hiring her own counsel is a significant step and a long-time coming. two, those kinds of plans, that level of sophistication, reminds us this is a very high-functioning individual. that's apparent because of a
nuer of things. you mention the amount of money she's made and performing she's done, but that's pivotal in a fight she's locked into where her father and others who defend the conservatorship sll argue she has a level of incapacity that justifies this extraordinary level of control now coming under scrutiny. >> reporter: she's 39 years old, this has been going on for 13 years. talk about how little control she had over these years. her father has been a big influence hear in this arrangement. >> we lay out the motivatns of this conservatorship in the recent story which are uncomplicated to unpack. i think there is an element of sincere certainty about britney spears' well being. the society of ship was put into place when she was behaving erratically, where she was by her own admission letting people into her life that might not be a positive influence.
that said, what you also see when you go inside the rooms where this plot to place her in this extremely restrictive legal structure was hatched was this was motivated by a family locked in a poer struggle and who had been financially dependn't on her for a long time. that is in some ways distinctive to britney spears' fame and wealth, but in other respects is symptomatic in wider ways in which this kind of legal structure, particularly this variety of conservatorship, which is quite extreme, can be vulnerable to abuse. >> reporter: jonathan, ronan talked about this being an extreme case. she testified last month she also tinted know that she could get out of this, didn't know she could petition to get out to have the conservatorship. now that she can hire her on attorney, what impact would that have on her ability to get out of this and talk about how indicative this case is of how conservatorships operate overall. >> first of all, it's great
great news for britney spears she can finally hire her own attorney and we can celebrate that, but we need to think about what it is we're celebrating today. what we're celebrating is that, after 13 years, she is finally able to hire her own attorney. think about it this way, if, 13 years ago, britney spears had committed murder with an axe, if she was an axe murderer 13 years ago, she would have had the right to choose her own attorney them. so what we're doing today is we are celebrating that, after 13 years, britney spears final hi has the same rights as an axe murderer, and what we need to think about is this -- there are hundreds of thousands of people with disabilities today who do not have the same rights as axe murderers. so if we want to look at this from a larger sense, i think what we should be doing today is saying two things -- one, why. why do people with disabilities not have the stadium rights to do what anyone else could do? and, two, can't we do better?
the impact that having her own attorney can have on her own case is extreme. she can finally speak with somebody that she is confident that she's chosen that she knows, someone she can trust and get to know her so that she can, as ronan said, demonstrate to the court that which none of us should have to demonstrate, that we are capable of exercising our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. if this is someone who can arrange a meeting in a steam room to get a cell phone, this is probably someone who can work with other people to help her make decisions. >> reporter: such important points there, especially the point about the right that you have an axe axe murderer versus someone under a conservatorship. i want to ask you, with that said, these conservatorships and guardianships, they can be beneficial to some if handled correctly. talk a little bit about that. >> absolutely, i never say bad things about guardianship in general. myister is the guardian of my god son and thank god for it.
when guardianships work the way they should, they empower and help people. in fact the law in california and elsewhere says that guardians should work with people to build their abilities, to help them learn how to make decisions if they truly can't so that they can emerge from guardianship, if possible. and if guardianship worked that way, you would have no bigger fan than me because what better way to help someone than if they truly cannot make decisions empower them to do so, and when they've got it, when they have reached a level they can make decisions, if they're able to do that, when they're able to do what britney spears appears to have demonstrated she can do, to go back to the court and say, good news, judge, i did my job, fire me. i've seen people and judges celebrating people regaining their rights and it needs to happen more. we can do better. >> reporter: ronan, i want to
come back to you, you brought to light of new details of how it came to be that britney spears made the decision to speak out in court. talk about that and don't leave out the part she called 911 on the e on the eve of this hearin. >> britney spears was distressed about this arrangement dating back when she was placed into is it second of two different hospitalizations that provided the grist for her family to place her into this arrangement. even while she was still in the hospital and placed into this legal structure, she was, it appears, complaining in various ways about it, trying to find her own counsel, expressing distress about it, and we document some pretty alarming alleged remarks about the motivations mind this by her father and others and pretty alarming ways in which she was apparently treated where someone who, by many accounts, was in a an abusive controlling
relationship with her in a lot of ways was allowed to take control of her life. this sull mynated not just in court but days ago her going into a local police station where she lives and calling the 911 dispatch center from a phone there in the lobby when someone couldn't see her immediately. an officer did lter get dispatched to her home. no formal police complaint was filed out of that but she clearly was complaining about conservatorship abuse and that's relevant in light of today's news, yamiche, because she again in court today used that phrase and talked about how she would like to see her father charged with conservatorship abuse. >> reporter: jonathan, i think the thing that underscores all of this and what makes it so extraordinary is she's continue to work. she's continue to earn millions of dollars. she's an unusual case. how does that connect her ability to continue to function and make money, how does that connect to the way people are
disabled at times, come under these arrangements and the effect they have on their autonomy? >> with all due respect, it's not an unusual case. there is an article in today's "the washington post" that covers a client, a person i worked with, who had her own apartment, had her own job, had her own life, and then went into guardianship and lost it all. she wanted to go back to her job and was told, no, you work in a sheltered workshop where you make less than minimum wage, now get used to your life. she wanted to see her friends and was told get used to your new life, new friends. so there are people with disabilities now who are perfectly able to work and be able to function and be meaningful, productive members of society if given the supports and services that we all need to do so, and that's the key part here. there is not a person watching this show today who doesn't need help to do something. the difference is, if you don't have disabilities, if you're a
temporarily able-bodied person, because we're all one second away from having disabilities, if you are a temporarily able wood idea person, then you ask for help or get support, you're doing a smart thing. if you say i don't understand, please explain it to me, you're being wise and making an informed choice. unfortunately if you're a person with disabilities, historically speaking today, if you show any, quote, unquote, limitation or need, there's a very high probability that someone will say that means you can't do things. and as we've seen in britney spears' case and across the country, that too often results in you losing the right to do everything. >> reporter: mm-hmm. well, if this is an extraordinary case, we'll, of course, keep following it. thank you very much ronan farrow and jonathan martinis for joining us. we really appreciate it. >> thanks, yamiche.
>> woodruff: in the next report in our sers on child care, the lack of affordable child care is not just an issue in urban and suburban communities. in rural america, limited access can also take a toll on small town economies. special correspondent cat wise and producer kate mcmahon traveled to nebraska to see how two small towns there are working to solve problems. it's all part of our series, "raising the future: america's child care dilemma." >> reporter: it's a peaceful morning outside the coffey family home in shickley, nebraska. inside, the morning rush has begun. sadie coffey is a mother of four, ranging in age from 1.5 to 14. her husband heads to work most mornings by 5:30, so she's in charge of getting everyone up and ready. shickley is a small town, just 341 people.
agriculture drives the local economy and supports businesses along main street. about ten years ago, there was concern that those businesses, and the wider community, were facing a rocky future-- not because of falling crop prices, but for a lack of child care. a community survey revealed child care was a critical need for young families. worried they might move away and businesses would suffer, the town took action. in 2013, using state grant money, local tax dollars, and fees from parents, shickley created something the nation has seldom seen: an infant and toddler child care program owned and operated by a public school district. coffey has not only been a parent in the program, she's also been in charge of it the last three years as the superintendent of shickley public schools. >> here at schickley public schools, we are diapers to diplomas. that child care obstacle isn't
an obstacle anymore. and that's huge. >> reporter: as the country grapples with child care issues like access, affordability, quality, and workforce pay. shickley's public school model aims to address all of them. >> good morning! >> reporter: the school's program serves children from six weeks old through the age of two. 20 are currently enrolled, and another 20 are in the school's pre-k program for three- and four-year-olds. the infant and toddler program is open year-round and participation is optional. parents pay $27 a day per child: about $6,000 a year for full- me care. that's less than the typical rate for infants and toddlers around the state, but for families who need help, there is financial aid. coffey says the program is a grt value for the quality of care children receive. >> our certified teachers and paraprofessionals, just in the last three years, they have
clocked in over 360 hours of professional development. >> reporter: equally significant? those teachers' salaries and benefits. nationally, child care providers earn, on average, about $12 an hour, much less than their counterparts in k-12 public schools. >> i am on the same pay scale as the k-12 teachers. i get full benefits. and to me that is a wonderful thing. >> let's get you wrapped up shall we? >> reporter: infant lead-teacher sue loseke is using her degree in early childhood education rocking babies. she earns $53,000 a school year plus summer pay. >> i'm just as valuable as any other teacher that's getting paid the teacher wages. we do the exact same thing. >> reporter: kate gallagher agrees. she's the director of resear and evaluation at the buffett early childhood institute at the university of nebraska, one of the country's leading academic programs dedicated to studying early childhood learning and development.
>> you cannot educate children without caring for them, and you cannot care for children without educating them. they are inextricably linked. children need safe interactions, with warm, one on one, language- rich interactions with adults that can be provided by a variety of adults. >> can you find the duck? >> reporter: in shickley, loseke and her colleagues follow state- approved curricula for early learners, but she says that doesn't mean she's quizzing babies. >> i don't have set lesson plans. they are learning to stack and use their fine motor. we can count, we can do colors. they all like to be together. >> reporter: the public school here in shickley has provided a welcome child care solution for this small community. and some early childhood experts say public schools nationally
could play a larger role to addressing child care shortage but surveys indicate working parents want choices when it comes to where they put kids, especially when it comes to infants and toddlers, and that's why another nebraska town has taken a different approach. about 160 miles west of shickley, a meeting was recently held in the town of mccook. those in attendance included local community and business leaders. the topic of discussion? night-time child care needs for staff at the town's hospital and a manufacturing plant. >> what were the requirements to be able to do overnight care? >> reporter: andy long is mccook's economic development director. when he started his job three years ago, he was surprised that one of the first issues he needed to tackle was child care. >> very quickly i learned from a hospital c.e.o. that lack of childcare was really hurting our local workforce. >> reporter: long and his colleagues knew they needed some help, so they turned to a state-wide initiative called“ communities for kids.” developed by the nebraska children and families foundation, the program provides
three years of technical and financial support to help towns, like mccook, figure out their unique child care needs and develop local solutions. for mcco, a town of about 7,500 people, demand for more infant care was top of the list, according to long. >> right now in mccook, our average household income is around $45,000. so people can't afford a whole lot for child care services. our centers, they have to have a ratio of one staff member for every four infants. so on the business side, ifants are kind of their loss leader. so they can get more toddlers and preschool kids, which is where they make up the gap and what they lose with infants. >> reporter: the mccook child care task force came up with a way to bridge that gap and make the business of infant care more attractive for center and in- home care providers. last year, they pulled together a $50,000 fund from local taxes, donors and business. they offered monthly incentives to providers who added infant
slots, and one-time grants to start new child care businesses. >> we've probably created about an additional 20 infant spots and about 60 more additional total child care spots. >> reporter: i stopped by one of mccook's child care providers who used the fund to expand her business: chelsey eng. >> hi, hi, nice to see you. >> reporter: eng purchased a vacant church last year with the help of the business incentives. she now has slots for about 50 kids, including after school care. and, she's also caring for her own two children, who are one and five. the community fund gives her an extra $500 a month for two infants. >> when they put this incentive out, i think it gave people more incentive to like, okay, we need to step it up and do something with the infant care, because we had tons of people in the community calling and saying, do you have spots for infants? >> reporter: eng says even with the extra community support and some government covid assistance over the past year, it's still tough for her financially, and
she sometimes feels undervalued. >> i still don't think people realize that we are your backbone. likewithout us, you don't go to work, and if the schools, if the schools are closed, we're still here. >> the national child care system has been severely underfunded infrastructure, severe undervalued infrastructure, to the degree that we say, "it's just daycare." well, that's absurd! high quality child care is good for children. we have data. we know that. >> reporter: parent staci dack feels her little ones are getting good care when she leaves them with eng-- even when they have a few tears during dropoff. dack is a 24-year-old mother of two and family practice nurse. she was struggling to find child care when she was on maternity leave with her daughter and considered quitting her job. then she heard eng was opening a new center with more spots, and that was her bridge back to work. >> i think more people are
realizing that if us parents don't have daycare, then you don't get the food on your table. you don't get the health care that you need. everyone needs it to have some place for their kids to go while they work and make the world go around. >> reporter: back in shickley, the increased access to child care is a much-needed help for families today, but there is already a need for even more care options. the infant and toddler rooms are at full capacity for at least another year. for the pbs newshour, i'm cat wise in nebraska. >> woodruff: john zocolli is a visual artist who spent 25 years in prison, up until his release in june 2020. during his incarceration, he became involved in a program called "habilitation through the arts," which he says transformed his life. tonight, he gives his "brief but
spectacular" take on art and healing, part of our arts and culture sees, "canvas." >> when i was 19, i was, i was rather lost. i lacked direction and a solid moral compass. i was involved with a robbery, where a man's life was lost. and that's something that-- i can't take that back. and it's something i regret every day. it haunts me for the rest of my life. i wish i could be the voice of reason that would have stopped things, but i was a coward and i wasn't able to speak up. and i, even more than that, i participated. it's a good thing that incarceration happened to me. >> i went to trial facing 50 to life, and ended up receiving a 25 to life sentence, which was more time than i had lived. my initial adjustment at prison
was very difficult. it's an upside-down kingdom in there, where the rules, you know, just don't apply. and there's all these new sets of rules and standards and things you have to do or not do. and consequences. i was young, scared. i didn't want to let any of those things show. i had this realization. i don't want to be this cold- hearted, violent individual who can't feel and just shuts off all my emotions, like a fuse box, in order to get through it. if you can't express yourself or cry or feel, or love, who are you really? so i found ways to do that in there. r.t.a. is rehabilitation through the arts, from theater to dance, to visual arts, to poetry, to public speaking. the prisoners are in charge of it. i was trusted to teach a visual arts classo be given that responsibility is an honor,
because i didn't know if people would ever trust me again. learning how to deal with conflict, learning how to talk with someone who's doing something that you don't like and get through that without resorting to an argument or violence, and that becomes a springboard for success in all kinds of other areas, because if you can do that, it bleeds througinto every area of life. to be seen, not as a prisor or not as the worst thing i ever did, but to be seen as an artist, it transformed who i am. i can't undo what i did, but what i can do is make a choice to be better. my name is john zoccoli, and this is my "brief but spectacular" take on rehabilitation through the arts. >> woodruff: powerful story. you can watch all our "brief but spectacular" esodes at www.pbs.org/newshour/brief. and on the newshour online right
now, can celebrities persuade young people to get the covid-19 vaccine? we look at pop star olivia rodrigo's trip to the white house today, and how influencers can be helpful in public health campaigns. that is on our website, www.pbs.org/newshour. and that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> 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. >> fidelity wealth management. >> johnson & johnson. >> bnsf railway. >> financial services firm raymond james.
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