tv PBS News Hour PBS July 14, 2021 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
judy: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the "newshour" tonight, the road ahead. critical infrastructure legislation moves closer to a vote in congress after a tumultuous weekend of negotiation. then, leaving afghanistan, an uncertain time for young people who grew up without taliban rule, as the islamist group continues its conquest under american withdrawal. and raising the future, the struggle to find childcare in rural areas prompts multiple innovative education initiatives. >> the national picture has been severely undervalued infrastructure to the degree that we say it's just daycare.
that's absurd, high-quality childcare is good for children judy: all that and more on tonight's "pbs newshour." ♪ announcer: major funding for the "pbs newshour" has been provided by -- ♪ announcer: 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. announcer: the limilson
foundation. supported by the john d. and catherine t. macarthur foundation, committed to building a more jt, verdant and peaceful world. 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. judy: 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 aption -- action
on capitol hill. lisa: on capitol hill, the former senator arrived for an important first as president. biden's first hill lunch with senate democrats, it followed their agreement last night on an historic spending deal. majority leader chuck schumer lauded the democrats' proposal, a $3.5 trillion budget outline calling for more spending towards healthcare, childcare, education and climate. it would be paid for with taxes on corporations and wealthy americans. sen. schumer: 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. lisa: but the budget blueprint got a chilly reception from republicans. wyoming senator john barroso, the chamber's number three republican. >> there's not a single republican in the house or senate who will support this level of taxing and spending and
regulations. lisa: democrats hope to start voting on aspects of their plan in the next few weeks. judy: lisa joins me now. big important moment on the hill. tell us what more do we know about what's in here? lisa: starting with the budget agreement. it doesn't have a name yet so that makes it harder to talk about but we know a little bit about what's in it. very big items included in the $3.5 trillion idea. two years of community college for most americans to be funded and universal pre-k for 3 and 4-year-olds. medicare would include dentistry, vision and hearing and democrats plan to include immigration reform. they've not decided how many undocumented immigrants that would include and obviously that needs to pass muster with the senate parliamentarian but they're going to try it and also in this important 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. judy: lisa, we know this is moving alongside a separate big infrastructure bill. it's separate but the two are connected. explain how that works. lisa: if your viewers taking anything away from this conversation, understand there are two bills moving at the same time and politically there different but connected. let me go through those. starting with the budget agreement we talked about, the big, historic, perhaps largest spending deal in american history. say that was depicted in a circle. $3.5 trillion is the budget agreement and the infrastructure deal is $1 trillion, smaller but still large historically. the budget agreement is something that will 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 of these 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. they're trying to leverage votes on both sides and thread a tricky needle. they also have to get both of these through the house. there e 531 members of congress so that's 531 ways this thing could fall apart but it's come farther than most people think so there is hope for both of these democratic proposals and bipartisan proposals right now. judy: a lot of moving parts, for people to pay attention to and work to be done but tell us what happens next. lisa: we are waiting on the infrastructure deal. we're talking roads, bridges, broadband -- that bipartisan plan, they're trying to actually write the language for today and tomorrow. the senate can 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 start to vote on the procedure to get that going as soon as next week. what that means, is this next week is critical for both of these items, if they stand a chance of passing this congress, they've got to get their ducks in a row and start moving in the next week or so. judy: so that is one thing we definitely want to speak to you about. but another topic on the hill today, the majority leader in the senate, chuck schumer, announced he is pushing for an end to the federal ban on marijuana. how significant? lisa: it's significant. this is the first time the leader of eitr chamber of congress has come out and publicly supported an end to the federal ban on marijuana use in this country. he's floating a draft proposal. it is still a very initial first step, it's not a full bill yet. schumer has said he doesn't have the votes even from democrats to pass this through congress but
he 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 many thousands of americans in prison for having possession of small amounts of marijuana. this bill would then decriminalize and also allow all of those americans to try and request that their sentences be put aside. that is a popular issue and overall marijuana legalization is popular in america. 60% of americans favor it. the plates are shifting on this issue. this is symbolic. i don't know if this bill will pass soon but down the road something could. judy: a powerful figure to announce his position on this. lisa: that's correct. he points out that the idea of legalization is popular in conservative states, as well. judy: lisa desjardins keeping track of all of it, thank you. lisa: you're welcome.
vanessa: i'm vanessa ruiz at "newshour" west in for stephanie sy. we'll return to judy woodruff after the latest headlines. the chair of the federal reserve, jerome well, said inflation will stay high for a few months before easing, telling a congressional hearing that the problem is due to temporary fallout from the pandemic. 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, just nine days before it hosts the summer olympics. cases in california are the highest since march. in south africa, rioting and looting rocked parts of the country overnight.
police say more than 70 people have been killed and 1200 arrested since last week. nick schifrin reports. nick: it started as political protests and devolved into chaos across two of south africa's largest cities with looting, ransacked shelves and malls turned into smoldering buildings. some admitted they stole but said their crimes were borne from poverty. >> i guess the real reason is because we have nothing and when you see other people stealing at some point you realize shops are closed and you will be left with nothing. nick: in response, police and soldiers fired into crowds, trying 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. nick: the short-term spark was the imprisonment of jacob zuma
for contempt of court, accused of fraud, racketeering and money laundering but the long-term embers are entrenched poverty and unemployment nearly 30 years after the end of apartheid. >> it is the dehumanizing effect of inequality and also the reality that south africa just cannot continue the way in which we have been continuing. nick: ralph matahi is a political analyst and fellow at the university of johannesburg. he says the african party has failed to deliver the dignity it promised south africans. 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 troim, that could challenge the rule of law. >> if the court releases him, it will have meant that if you orchestrate chaos, you will be able to evade accountability.
nick: today, parts of south africa are on still fire and there's no sign anyone can douse the flames. for the "pbs newshour," i'm nick schifrin. vanessa: in afghanistan, the taliban captured a key border crossing with pakistan today. meanwhile, u.s. officials announced 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 german tv that, "the consequences will be unbelievably bad." there is word the use of the opioid fentanyl helped drive u.s. drug overdose deaths to a record high last year. 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. and 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 of them 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 the f.b.i. received complaints in 2015 but did nothing for eight months. it says nassar abused re victims during that time. in a statement, the f.b.i. said the actions described in the report were, quote, inexcusable and a discredit to this organization. the national highway safety administration is recommending that owners of some chevy bolt models park their cars outside after charging. general motors added that the
vehicles should not be charged overnight. the vehicles from model years 2017 to 2019 had been recalled by general motors. the bolt's battery cells are prone to smoke and ignite internally. u.s. auto regulators say almost 51,000 bolts are affected and the recommendation applies even if they had been serviced in the recalls. 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 childcare in rural areas prompts innovative education initiatives. announcer:this is the "pbs newshour" from weta studios in
washington and in the west from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: as we heard earlier, democratic lawmakers have high hopes for new spending. but there are concerns about the notable hike in inflation in cent months. the consumer price index 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 powell gave his assessment. >> inflation has increased notably. inflation is being temporarily boosted by base effects as 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 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 bottlenecks unwind. judy: 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 and he joins us now. david wessel, welcome back to the "newshour." fill us in a little more on what is driving these price increases and how significant are they? david: 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 also are 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. and similarly, we have a chip shortly leading lots of things that use computer chips -- almost everything these days -- to suffer increase in price because supply is constrained. judy: was the federal reserve an administration caught off guard? david: yes. one of the things that chair powell said today in the hearing is that inflation has been higher than expected and more persistent than we expected and hoped so they knew this was coming but it's more than they antipated and i think that's got some of them worried. judy: 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? david: basically, what they say is that to the extent this is
caused by temporary bottlenecks, by the fact that so many more people are getting on airplanes, so many people are going out to eat, that we have temporary supply shortages, that will abate. we've seen a little bit of that already. lumber prices went up and then came down. prices of containers went up and they've come down. what they're counting on i this is temporary and once things get back to normal, prices will fall and the average inflation rate will move closer to the fed's 2% target. judy: but 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 say, wait a minute, this inflation should be a big concern. david: right. people like larry summers,ulary summers,ulary -- larry fink,
head of blackrock, they're sayinged fete -- saying the fed is too complacent. they're saying some of this is not temporary and housing prices will continue to rise and wages are starting to go up and they're afraid that the fed will wait too long to raise interest rates and repeat the mistakes made in the 1970's when inflation got out of control. on the other hand, other people look at a different historical period and said this is like the end of world war ii. there was a lot of disruption coming back from the pandemic and they expect this to climb. one really important thing is what happens to what economists call inflation expectations. if financial markets in rticular begin to build in expectations that we'll see faster inflation, that could lead to a self-fulfilling problem. judy: and what determines whether that will happen or not? david: does supply grow enough to meet the demand, and 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 whether these bottlenecks are long-term problems or just temporary, as we get out of this unusual period. i don't think anybody really knows for sure. the fed is definitely betting this is temporary and that, 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. judy: david, if the fed is wrong, what are the consequences? david: 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. 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 run-up in inflation, an increase in interest rates and then recession. historically, that was quite common. it hasn't happened for the last quarter century but that's the risk. if they let it get out of control, they have to react abruptly by raising interest rates and then there's an unwelcome recession. judy: watching it all closely, david wessel, director of the hutchins center on fiscal and monetary policy at the brookings institution. thank you, david. david: you're welcome. judy: the former top u.s. commander in afghanistan arrived in washington today. general scott miller transferred command yesterday 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 the young generation who have grown up with freedoms
never permitted by the taliban, they're worried about what comes next. special correspondent jane ferguson reports. jane: 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 an interview show on youtube where she speaks to the country's powerful and influential while playing 10-pin bowling. >> i've always understand to work on tv since i was a teenager. i succeeded. for the last seven years i have been host, editor, director and producer. jane: we joined taban on one of her shoots, filming an episode of the show in this new bowling alley and snooker hall. today it's the head of afghanistan's postal service who faces her questions and skills at the sport. >> 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 where they are now. jane: inspired by figures like ellen degeneres, taban wanted to bottomed a platform that was light enough to show the famous and powerful in a way not seen before -- relaxed. she faced numerous challenges building her career. after 2016 bombing killed seven media workers, taban had to commute to work covered in a burqa. but she may face the greatest challenge yet in the coming months. the u.s.' military withdrawal from afghanistan has left 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. >> emotionally, it's been really difficult dealing with the fear of losing everything. i often think, ok, if they do come, what will happen? what will happen if i can't work anymore as a woman? i'll have to put on a veil and not leave the house. i have no idea if they've seen my program but i'm certain if they got the chance, they wouldn't let me continue to have the show. jane: 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 here in kabul, they would find a very different city from the one ty once ruled over.
they would also find a very different young modern population. one they would likely feel much push-back from. >> people think they will not have any right if taliban take control of the country. jane: khan agha rezayee is a parliamentary leader, as the biden administration announced unconditional withdrawal from afghanistan, he argues the taliban were emboldened to push for military victory against the afghanistan government. >> we were hoping u.s. government would put condition taliban should move forward on the peace process, toward the peace process, and then gradually, according to the peace process progress, then we will have our withdrawal. jane: but few hold hope of that now. for the young man 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 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 they would be putting themselves and families in danger of reprisal by insurgents. interpreters in afghanistan have been murdered by the taliban while waiting for years to get the visas. those like this 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. >> you have to find them, facebook, linkedin or instagram. jane: is everyone going on social media to find their supervise? >> yeah, to get their supervisor. jane: there are 18,000 afghan military interpreters like him still waiting for visas, not including their immediate
families. e biden administration announced today they will begin evacuating those visa applicants later this month in operation allies refuge. >> i applied in 2016. i wait two year almost 2018 but unfortunately i got denied so that's why i have to find another supervisor to get another recommendation letter for me. jane: why did they deny you? >> because my supervisor didn't reply to the email so that's a big problem for us. jane: how long did you work for american forces? >> since 2005 till now. right now i have another contract. jane: you're working for the americans right now? >> yes, yes. jane: and you're still struggling to get that visa. >> still struggling to get the visa. that's a big problem for us. jane: 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 till here, the war is going on. jane: 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? >> yeah, most. jane: people applying for visas? >> everywhere. everybody want to go to europe, legal way, illegal way. they are going out to the country because of the jobs, because there's no money. there's no hope left here. jane: and yet he still has some hope because life goes on despite the war. what would be the ideal future for you? the next 20 years? >> next 20 years, i just got engaged. jane: congratulations? >> yeah. i just got engaged so i hope also i live happily, peace will
come. i want to live with my family. it's better to stay here. i love my country. jane: taban doesn't want to leave. >> that would be the absolute last option. 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 t convey a message to my generation and my gender, i would never have that anywhere else. jane: as she holds on and saless herself for what may come, millions of other afghans also face a future of immense uncertainty. those like taban hope their remarkable young lives of innovations and freedoms will have not turned out to have been a passing moment in the country's history. for the "pbs newshour," i'm jane ferguson in kabul, afghanistan.
♪ judy: britney spears' public battle to regain control of her finances and personal life has brought a new focus on conservatorships, legal agreements that in her case put her father in charge of her financial affairs and daily decision making. yamiche alcindor explores the latest on this case and the broader issues it is raising about nservatorships and guardianships across the country. yamiche: for the last 13 years britney spears has been living under a conservatorship. she's continued to perform, to put out album and earn millions of dollars but she's not controlled her finances, personal decisions or almost anything about her life. three weeks ago she complained publicly for the first time about how this has impacted her life. she told a judge that she's been forced to entertain. she said she's forced to use a form of birth control although she wants more children. during her hearing this
afternoon, that same los angeles judge said spears can now hire her own attorney to represent her, something denied from her until now. i'm joined by ronan farrow, investigative reporter to "the new yorker" and jonathan martinis, senior director for center for disability rights at syracuse university. ronan, there was this development, britney spears can hire her own attorney. what more do we know about that development? as you've done extensive reporting on this case, what stands out to you about the case? ronan: obviously what we're learning today is this lyer of spears' own choosing, matthew rosengard, former federal prosecutor, is going to be able to represent her. why that's significant is because as we laid out in this recent investigative report, in the new new "the new yorker," britney spears has been trying to secure her own counsel for years.
we document how again and again from the conception of the conservatorship she was setting clandestine meetings with contacts that might give her phones that she could use to call lawyers up to sophistated plans where she would mee with a contact in a hotel steam room to get a zip locked bag with a phone in it. so hiring her own counsel is a significant step and a long time coming. two, those kinds of plans, that level of sophistication reminds us that this is a very high-functioning individual. that's apparent because of a number of things. you mentioned the amount of money she's made, the amount of performing she's done but that's pivotal in a fight she's locked into legally where her father and others who defend the conservatorship still argue she has a level of incapacity that justifies this extraordinary level of control that's now coming under scrutiny. yamiche: ronan, she's 39 years old. this has been going on for 13 years. talk a bit about how little
control she had over these years, her father has been a big influence here in this arrangement. ronan: we lay out the motivations of this conservatorship in our recent story which i think are complicated to unpack. there is an element of sincere concern about britney spears' wellbeing. the conservatorship was put into place at a time when she appeared to be under distress, behaving erratically, why 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 g inside of those rooms where this plot to place her in this extremely restrictive legal structure was hatched, is that there was an element of this that was motivated by a family locked in a power struggle and that had been financially dependent on her for a long time and that is in some ways distinctive to britney spears' level of fame and wealth but in other respects, is symptomatic of the
wider ways in which this particular kind of legal structure, particularly this variety of conservatorship, which is quite extreme, can be vulnerable to abuse. yamiche: jonathan, ronan talked about this being an extreme case. she testified last month that she also didn't know she could get out of this, didn't know she could petition to get out of the conservatorship. now that she can hire her own attorney, what impact might that have on her ability to get out of this and talk about how indicative this case is of how conservatorships operate overall. jonathan: it's great news for britney spears that 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 then. what we're doing today is that we are celebrating that after 13 years, britney spears finally has the same rights as an axe murderer. 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 same 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 case is extreme. she can finally speak with somebody who she is confide that she has chosen that she knows, someone who 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. yamiche: such important points there especially the point about the rights that you have as an axe murderer versus someone under conservatorship. i want to ask you, with that said, these conservatorships and guardianships can be beneficial to some if handled correctly. talk about that. jonathan: absolutely. i never say anything about guardianships in general. when guardianships work the way they should, they empower people and help people. 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 the level where they can make decisions, if they're able to do that, when they're able to do what britney spears appears to have demonstrated that she can do, to go back to the court and say, good news, judge, i did my job, fire me. i've seen it happen. i've seen happiness in courtrooms. i've seen judges celebrating people regaining their rights and it's something that needs to happen more. we can do better. yamiche: ronan, i want to come back to you. you brought to light new details of how it came to be that britney spears made that decision to speak out in court. talk about that and don't leave out the part that she called 9-1-1 on the eve of this hearing. tell us about it. ronan: we document a long history of britney spears being distressed about this arrangement dating back to when she was first placed in the second of two involuntary hospitalizations that ultimately provided the grist for her
family to place her into this arrangement. even while she was still in the hospital and was being 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 behind this by her father and others and some pretty alarming ways in which she was apparently treated where someone who by many accounts was in an abusive controlling relationship with her in a lot of different ways was allowed to take control of her life. this obviously culminated in not just her remarks in court but as you pointed out the day before those remarks several weeks ago, her going into a local police station near where she lives and actually calling the 9-1-1 dispatch center from a phone there in the lobby when someone couldn't see her immediately and an officer did later get dispated 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. yamiche: jonathan, she's also -- i think the thing that underscores all of this is, and what makes this so extraordinary is that she's continued to work, she's earned 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 that people that are disabled at times come under these arrangements and the impact they have on their autonomy? jonathan: with all due respect, it's not an unusual case. the is an article in today's "the washington post" by theresa vargas that covers a client, someone i worked with, who had her own apartment, had her own job and life and 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. she wanted to see her friends and she was told make new friends so there are people with disabilities right now who are perfectly able to work, perfectly 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. e 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-bodied person and you ask for help or you 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 and today, if you show any quote/unquote limitation, any quote/unquote
need, there is a very high probability that someone will say that means you can't do things and as we've seen in britney spears' case, as we see across the country, that too often results in you losing the right to do everything. yamiche: if this is an extraordinary case, we're going to, of course, keep following it. thank you so much ronan farrow and jonathan martínez for joining us. we really appreciate it. ♪ judy: in this next report in our series on childcare, the lack of affordable childcare is not just an issue in urban and suburban communities. in rural america, limited access can 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 childcare dilemma. >> it's a peaceful morning outside the coffey family home in schickley, nebraska. inside, the morning rush has begun. >> getting hank ready, homework. there you go. >> sadie coffey is a mother of four ranging in age from a year and a half to 14. her husband heads to work most mornings by 5:30. she's in charge of getting everyone up and ready. schickley is a small town, just 341 people. agriculture drives the local economy and supports businesses along main street. about 10 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 childcare. a community v.a. survey revead childcare was a critical need
for young families. worried they might move away, the town took action. in 2013, using state tax money, schickley created an infant and toddler childcare 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 schickley public schools. >> here at schickley public schools, we are diapers to diplomas. that childcare obstacle isn't an obstacle anymore and that's huge. >> as the country grapples with childcare issues like access, affordability, quality and workforce pay, schickley's model aims to address all of them. the school's program serves children 6 weeks old through the age of 2. 20 are currently enrolled and another 20 are in the school's
pre-k program for 3 and 4-year-olds. the infant and toddler program is open year-round, participation is optional. parent pay about $6,000 a year for full-time 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 great value for the quality of care children receive. >> our certified teachers are paraprofessionals. in the last three years they've had and clocked in over 360 hours of professional development. >> equally significant, those teacher salaries and benefits. nationally, childcare providers earn on average about $12 an hour, much less than their counterparts in k through 12 public schools. i am on the same pay scale as the k through 12 teachers. i get full benefits and to me that is a wonderful thing.
>> infant lead teacher sue losky is using her degree in early childhood education, rocking babies. >> i'm just as valuable as any other teacher paid teacher wages. we do the exact same thing. >> kate gallagher agrees. she's the director of research and evaluation at the buffett early childhood institution 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 will can be provided by a variety of adults. what do you see? >> in schickley, losky and her
colleagues follow straight 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 fine motor. we can count. we can do colors. they all like to be all together. >> the public school in schickley has provided a welcome childcare solution for this small community and some early childhd experts say public schools nationally could play a larger role to address childcare shortages but studies show working parents want choices when it comes to where they put children, especially infants and toddlers. another nebraska town is taking a different approach. about 160 miles west of schickley, a meeting was held in the town of mccook. those in attendance included local community and business leaders. the topic of discussion, nighttime childcare needs for the staff at the town's hospital
and a manufacturing plant. >> what were the requirements to be able to do overnight care? >> 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 childcare. >> quickly i learned from a hospital c.e.o. that lack of childcare was really hurting our cal work force. >> long and his colleagues knew they needed help and turned to a statewide 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 childcare needs and develop local solutions. for mccook, a town of about 7500 people, demand for more infant care was top of the list according to long. >> right now mccook, our average household income is around $45,000 so people cannot afford a lot for childcare services.
our cente have to have a ratio of one staff member for every four infants so on a business side, infants are their loss leader so they can get more toddlers and preschool kids where they make up the gap. >> the mccook childcare 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 businesses. they offered monthly incentives to providers who added infant slots and one-time grants to start new childcare businesses. >> we've probably created additional 20 infant spots and 60 more additional total childcare spots. >> i stopped by one of mccook's childcare providers who used the fund to expand her business. she 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 is also caring for her own two children, 1 and 5. the community fund gives her an extra $500 a month for two infants. >> >> the incentive gave people more incentive for people to step it up and do something with infant care because we have tons of people asking for spots for infants. >> she says even with extra community support and government covid assistance, it's tough for her financially and she sometimes feels under-valued. >> i still don't think people realize that we are your backbone. without us, you don't go to work. and if the schools close, we're still here. >> the national picture has been severely under-funded infrastructure, severely under-valued infrastructure, to the degree that we say it's just daycare. that's absurd.
high-quality childcare is good for children. we have data. we know that. >> parent stacy dack feels her little ones are getting good care when she leaves them with ing. even when they have a few tears during drop-off. dack is a 24-year-old mother of two and family practice nurse. she was struggling to find childcare when she was on maternity leave with her daughter and considered quitting her job. then she heard ing 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, you don't get the food on your table and the healthcare you need. evyone needs to have somewhere for their kids to go while they work and make the world go around. >> back in schickley, increased access to childcare is a much needed help for families today but there's already a need for 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. ♪ judy: john zocolli is a visual artist who spent 25 years in prison up until his release in 2020. during his incarceration, he became involved in a program called rehabilitation through the arts which he says transformed his life. tonight he gives his brief but spectacular take on art and healing as part of our arts and culture series, canvas. >> when i was 19, 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. an 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 to 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 t be this coldhearted
individual who can't feel and shuts off 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 you are, really? so i found ws 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 class. to 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 through into every area of life. to be seenot as a prisoner 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 zocolli and this is my brief but spectacular take on rehabilitation through the arts. judy: powerful story. you can watch all of our brief but spectacular episodes at pbs.org/ brief. on the "newshour" 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, pbs.org/newshour. i'm judy woodruff. join us tomorrow night. please stay safe. we'll see you soon.
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