Skip to main content

tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 15, 2022 6:00pm-7:00pm PST

6:00 pm
♪ judy: mixed messages. president biden warns of russian invasion of ukraine, still distantly possible despite moscow's claims it is pulling back its troops. courting justice, we take a look at the life and legal work of a california state supreme court justice who appears to be on president biden's shortlist list for the u.s. supreme court vacancy. changing communities. as the black population of minnesota grows, african immigrants coalesce to amplify their voices. >> we have created this network of knowing who we are,
6:01 pm
respecting our differences, but also understanding thawe are powerful together. judy: that d more on the newshour tonight. ♪ >> major funding has been provided by -- >> consumer cellular has offered wireless plans for 25 years to help people do what they like. our customer service team can help find the plan that fits you. learn more at ♪ ♪ >> the john and james knight
6:02 pm
foundation fostering informed communities. more at ♪ >> and with the ongoing support of these individuals and 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: president biden has put the nation on notice, a war in ukraine, even without u.s. military involvement, could be expensive for amerin consumers. the president appealed to
6:03 pm
russia's leadership to pursue the path of diplomacy and laid out a stark warning for moscow not to threat in u.s. and its allies. he said russia's military has amassed 150 thousand troops on ukraine's border. able to invade at any moment. nick schifrin begins our coverage good -- coverage. nick: president biden warned russia and raleigh cried america. pres. biden: let there be no doubt if russia commits this breach by invading ukraine, responsible nations around the world will not hesitate to respond. we do not stand for freedom where it is at risk today, we will pay a steeper price tomorrow. nick: he spoke a few hours after russian soldiers loaded tanks onto flatbeds for what the russian military called relocation away from ukraine's border. >> units of the western and
6:04 pm
southern military districts that have completed our missions will start moving back to their garrisons today. nick: military analysts say the tanks were already away from the front and it is not clear where they are going. they represent a tiny number of russian troops deployed around ukraine's southern, eastern, and northern borders. president biden said the troops could still invade. pres. biden: we have not yet verified the military units are returning to their home bases in russia. indeed, our analysts indicate they remain very much in a threatening position. the fact remains right now russia has more than 150,000 troops circling ukraine and belarus, along ukraine's border. nick: for the first time, the president warned anymore in ukraine could increase gas and oil prices in the u.s. pres. biden: if russia decides to invade, it would have consequences at home. to the aunderstand defending dey and liberty is never without
6:05 pm
cost. nick: president putin suggested while the u.s. and nato have not >> there are some points we are not only ready to discuss, we suggested our partners discuss them regarding european security, certain weapon systems, missiles, military print -- transparency. nick: president biden urged putin to follow the diplomatic path. pres. biden: u.s. has put on the table concrete ideas to establish the security of arab. we are proposing arms control measures, transparency measures, strategic stability measures. we will not sacrifice basic principles, though. nations have a right to sovereignty and territorial integrity. they have the freedom to set their own course and choose with whom they will associate. nick: that is a reference to ukraine's nato ambitions. nato has reinforced its eastern
6:06 pm
flank with the u.s. and european soldiers, and attempted to tour --an attempt to deter ukrainian war from expanding and tomato -- into nato. pres. biden: the united states will defend nato territory with the full force of american power. we are not seeking to confront russia and want to make clear if russia targets americans, ukraine, we will respond forcefully. if russia attacked the u.s. or allies through asymmetric means like cyber attacks against our companies or critical infrastructure, we are prepared to respond. nick: ukraine fears russian cyber attacks and the websites of ukraine's largest things -- state banks and foreign and defense ministries were hacked. russia lawmakers baked age -- gave putin more leverage, recognizing eastern ukrainian regents where separatists have thought -- fought the ukrainian
6:07 pm
military since 2014. >> we do not trust the kiev regime. ukraine is led by fascists and supporters of anglo-saxon countries. we do only one thing by making this proposal, offer protection to the people. nick: u.s. officials claim that could be used for offensive action. putin was noncommittal but standing next to the german chancellor said russia mind what -- allies were being killed. >> in our assessment, what is happening constitutes genocide. as for the assessment of whether war is less likely today, u.s. officials call the russian messages mixed. from pbs newshour, i am nick schifrin. judy: we now get to perspectives on all of this. leon panetta, secretary of defense and director of the cia during the obama administration, white house chief of staff during the clinton presidency and earlier a member of congress.
6:08 pm
angelo was on the state department's policy planning staff and the clinton administration as a top u.s. intelligence officer, focusing on russia during the george w. bush administration. her latest book is "putin's world" and she is a professor at geortown university. the message president biden delivered today, how should the american people view that? mr. panetta: it is a very important message to send at this point. we are at a pivotal time. a dangerous time with regard to the united states, with regard to the ukraine, with regard to our allies and russia. what happens here will tell us a lot about the future. it was important for president biden to send a very tough, clear, concise, honest message to russia that the united states
6:09 pm
and our allies remain strong, unified, and if they decide to invade, they will pay a heavy price. that is a very important message for putin to hear at this point in time. judy: is it your sense that the president was doubling down on what he has said before/is he underlining it? how do you read what came from the president today that is different from what he has said before? mr. panetta: it is obvious that in dealing with putin, you have to deal with him from scratch. for too long, putin has read weakness on the part of the united states and took advantage of that in georgia and crimea and syria and against the united states in a cyber war. what's happening today is that
6:10 pm
the united states and our allies are drawing a lin that makes very clear to russia that if they decide to invade, they will pay a heavy price. that is a very important line to set with putin, and i think because of that, i think we have disrupted this strategy. he likes to operate in the dark and now he has to operate in the open. that makes it more difficult to have his right. judy: how do you believe he will receive this message that the west is drawing this crime -- line, that the u.s. is serious, that it is not going to meet aggression by just sitting back? ms. stent: i think president biden reiterated the message that he had sent to president putin.
6:11 pm
on one hand, we have responded to putin's agenda since he presented the treaties in december and demanded concessions on nato enlargement and withdrawing to where it was in 1997. he conceals running around and responding. he has interviewed errantly -- inadvertently united the alliance in a way it has not been for years. it is heartening to see nato unity on all of this and even on the questions of sanctions where there are differences with europe, we are united in a tough response. that may have caused him to think twice about what he wants to do, although there are some people he never meant to invade anyway and he did this to get us to the negotiating table. we are only going to know that in a week or a few days time. judy: again, your interpretation is that this message coming from president biden, nato, may have
6:12 pm
vladimir putin rethinking what he will do. ms. stent: it may hit --make him realize there are no negotiations. he sounded as if you took that seriously and may feel he can get more concessions, even though he may not get what he wants in terms of nato never enlarging. he may think this puts him in a bargaining position that could be advantaous for russia as well. judy: back to you, secretary patta, in terms of drawing a line, we have seen the united states draw lines before that it was not prepared to back up. how much does it matter that the west fulfills what it says now? will be the consequences if putin and the russians move aggressively, further aggressively into ukraine? mr. panetta: it is absolutely
6:13 pm
essential that when the united states with our nato allies have drawn a line, they stick to the line. implement what they say will though do ---they will do. i don't have any question the u.s. and our allies will implement tough economic sanctions that will impact russia and its economy, but they have already taken steps to provide defensive weapons to reinforce our nato position with our forces. and to continue to support the ukraine with training and other assistance at this moment. we are going to stick to what we are saying and that is an important signals are sent to russia and china and our other adversaries.
6:14 pm
judy: is this a message vladimir putin will be intimidated by? how much punishment is he prepared to take? ms. stent: i don't think he will be intimidated. i think the russians have factored in the sanctions. he may not realize the repercussions but they do have $600 billion in hard currency reserves. they have china to back them up, even though china would prefer there not be an invasion. i don't think he is intimidated by that. what kind of sanctions are opposed if there is an incursion will depend on what kind of military incursion it is. if it is more limited to the area you have russian forces, i do not think you will get the same robust reaction from all our allies. if it is an all-out assault on kiev, i think you would. judy: some people are looking at what is going on and have the
6:15 pm
sense that vladimir putin is holding the west by a string, threatening one thing, not moving, saying i will do this, leaving everyone guessing. how long -- much can the west afford to have that situation go on? mr. panetta: that's right out of putin's playbook. that is what he has been doing for years. you know, he is kgb, and he operates pretty much as a former kgb agent, which is to basically assume that everyone is after him and that what he is going to do is try to undermine the united states and allies. that is where he is coming from. we are not going to change putin. we passed that point a long time
6:16 pm
ago. when you deal with a bully, it is very important in dealing with the bully to make clear he cannot have his way. i think if we can do that, perhaps we might open up a period where russia and the united states and our allies can, in fact, negotiate some real important steps related to security, both for russia and the united states. judy: how possible do you think that is, knowing, having studied putin as much as you have? ms. stent: it is possible we could sit down with the russians and talk about more general security issues, but i think we should also recognize this will be a long, drawn out process. if there is no invasion this or next week, it does not mean the problem is over.
6:17 pm
the russians can continue to make demands and move troops back and forth. we are talking about a longer-term discussion about what european and security architecture look like over the next decades. that will take a lot of grit and attention and we will not be able to be distracted from it. judy: that has our attention right now. it looks like it will continue certainly for the near future. we thank both of you for joining us tonight. angela stent, secretary leon panetta, thank you. ♪ stephanie: we will return to the full program after the latest headlines. a trial began for russian opposition leader alexia navalny at a position he is jailed for parole violations.
6:18 pm
he faces fraud and contempt of court. he refused to back down at the proceedings today. >> i'm not afraid of the decision of the court. russia's federal security service, the prosecutor's office, or anyone else. i'm not afraid because i consider it humiliating to be afraid of this. it is bad to live and except all this. stephanie: his allies say he can get another 15 years in prison if he is convicted and the putin government wants to keep him locked up for as long as possible. the families of nine victims in the sandy hook school shooting agreed today to settle with gun manufacturer remington arms for $73 million. the company made the rifle used to kill 20 first graders and six teachers in newtown, connecticut, and 2012. the family sued over the marketing. we will take up closer look in the program. prince andrew will settle a sexual abuse lawsuit filed by an
6:19 pm
american woman, virginia giuffre. he has agreed to make a donation to her charity for victims rights. the prince has denied she was trafficked to him as a teenager 20 years ago by the late jeffrey epstein. ottawa's police chief resigned today amid criticism for failing to end protests over pandemic restrictions. truckers have tied up the city for more than two weeks. the border crossing at alberta reopened after protesters left voluntarily. police also said the blockade of a border crossing near emerson, manitoba, is ending. the u.s. senate narrowly confirmed dr. robert k left to lead the food and drug administration. the vote was 50-46 with most democrats in favor and most republicans opposed. both sides pointed to his stent as fda commissioner under president obama. >> as fda commissioner during
6:20 pm
the obama administration, he showed weighted disregard for the unborn and for their health and safety of women and girls when he weekend safety requirements for a dangerous chemical abortion drug. >> i urge all of my colleagues to give families across the country the peace of mind and the hard-working staff at the fda the experience, senate-confirmed leadership it needs by joining me in confirming the doctor today and working with him and fda to continue protecting families across the country. stephanie: the fda has not had a permanent commissioner in more than a year. a former minneapolis police officer accused of violating george floyd's civil rights testified in his own defense today in st. paul, minnesota. he is one of three men accused of failing to prevent floyd's murder. he testified his job was crowd control, so he did not intervene as floyd was pinned by the neck.
6:21 pm
a federal jury in new york has rejected sarah palin's libel suit over a new york times editorial. today's verdict came a day after the judge ruled against palin. he found she failed to prove the times acted maliciously when it wrongly linked her statements to a mass shooting. the former alaska governor said she is disappointed. her lawyer said they are considering an appeal. >> these are not the kind of decisions you will make overnight. if i had to guess, i think we will appeal. some issues related to the proces yes, but further down the road, you will find out when we file appeal. stephanie: the new york times said the verdict reaffirmed public figures should not be allowed to use libel suits to intimidate news organizations. the biden administration is reportedly preparing to reinstate california's authority to said stricter vehicle admission standards, reversing a trump era policy that stripped the state of the power. the biden administration is also
6:22 pm
reportedly drafting similar emissions limits on buses, tractor-trailers, and other heavy trucks, marking a return to california's influence on federal emissions standards. a federal report finds see levels along you -- americans coastlines could rise as much in the next 30 years as they did in the entire 20th century. the national oceanic and atmospheric administration projects increases of up to one foot as the planet warrants. along the gulf coast, the rise could be one and a half feet. at their winter limits, kamila valieva took the lead in figure skating after the short program. the 15-year-old was allowed to compete despite a positive drug test last december. the ioc says if she meddles, there will be no ceremony until her case is resolved. pj overwork has died. he wrote for rolling stone and edited the last -- national
6:23 pm
lampoon early in his career. he championed conservative and libertarian ideas. he died of complications from lung cancer at 74. what the sandy hook settlement with a major gun manufacturer might mean for gun control. the trump organization's accounting term cuts ties. western states facing -- the worst drought in 1000 years plus much more. >> this is the pbs newshour from the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. judy: filies of the sam lake -- sandy hook elementary school massacre reached a stlement with the manufacturer of the. . rifle used in the attack the $73 million settlement is a landmark development because the gun
6:24 pm
maker agreed to release documents for the first time. john: today is not about hono ring them. it is about how and why he died. today is about what is right and what is wrong. john: miss wheeler son benjamin was one of 26 students and educators murdered in 20 12 at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, saying today's element is the first piece of accountability in nearly 10 agonizing years. >> our legal schism has given us justice today, but david and i will never have true justice. true justice would be our 15-year-old healthy and standing next to us right now. john: the agreement ends litigation from families of nine victims, alleging gun maker
6:25 pm
remington, whose bushmaster ar 15 style rifle was used in the massacre, negligibly marketed military grade weapons to unstable people. remington filed for bankruptcy a second time in 2020. in addition to the financial settlement, it will release thousands of pages of internal documents including marketing plans. parents including nicole hockley whose six-year-old was killed said that was key. >> we have continued our fight to hold remington accountable for its role in prioritizing profit above safety and using reckless marketing techniques to appeal the at risk and violent-prone young men for eight years. john: while federal law has brought immunity to gun makers, there is an exemption for marketing practices. john calls off is a lawyer for the family. john: it was not about money. it was about finding out the
6:26 pm
answers, learning about these positions, and a linchpin of the settlement is that it allows these families the rights to share the information as to what they learned. john: as the families spoke today, deep pain of the dark day a decade ago remains. >> this is a picture of rachel. we still feel her spirit, but every single day, we miss who rachel would be. >> my little boy, noah, never came home from school that day. i invite you all to imagine one moment, we had this dazzling, energetic, six-year-old little boy, and the next, hope have left where echoes of the past. john: a past that haunts them as
6:27 pm
they hope they can prevent those suffering as they have. ♪ judy: the longtime accounting firm of former president donald trump has cut ties with them saying it could no longer stand by the financial statements they prepared for the trump organization. correspondent: the accounting firm told the trump organization financial statements from 2011 to 2020 should "no longer be relied upon" and said the company should inform others the documents are not reliable amid criminal and civil investigations into his financial assets. andrea bernstein is an investigative reporter and author of american oligarchs,
6:28 pm
questioners, trumps, and the marriage of money and power your she has long reported on trump's finances and joins me now. translate this for us. what exactly is this accounting firm saying in their accountg language and how significant is this in the long history with president and his organization? andrea: it is significant, because donald trump is no stranger to accusations of financial fraud. there have been congressional investigations. there have been previous investigations. there were indictments by the manhattan district attorney and his accountants have stood by him. we learned yesterday due to a court filing they are no longer stand by him and do not have a conflict of interest -- they have a conflict of inrest and cannot stand by decades worth of financial statements, a big
6:29 pm
deal. millions of dollars in loan decisions and other decisions were made on the basis of those statements and now the accountant says they are not reliable and you need to tell everyone who has seen them that same fact. correspondent: what does this mean for the multiple investigations facinghe former president and his organization, all of which enter around financial fraud? do we know what this means? andrea: well, not exactly, but it is a signal flare. we do know that members of this accounting firm have been pressed for information, documents, and there has been testimony before a criminal grand jury, suggesting they are under great deal of pressure and also it really says something that the president --the former president's longtime accountants are making this public statement about him at this moment, where we know the manhaan district
6:30 pm
attorney is actively engaged in an ongoing grand jury investigation issue, whether there was for -- furer criminality for the trump organization, and the new york attorney general is this -- investigating word -- whether the mily business failed to pay taxes. it is not a moment you want your accountants to stay -- say this. correspondent: the trump organization has not been shy about handling legal matters in the past. what are they saying about this? what is the former president saying? andrea: there was a key line in the letter. the accountant said we did not conclude the statements are not reliable. the spokesperson for the trump organization leaned into that and they said, well, that is of indication, it means both the district attorney and attorney general should drop their cases. this is of familiar-two-the trump organization and trump
6:31 pm
legal response to say something vindicates them that does not and they should move on. so far, that has not worked. correspondent: on other trump trademark is he has long bragged about his ability to brag, openly declared himself smart, finding ways around paying taxes. how hard is it to prove fraud against somee like former president trump or the trump organization? andrea: well, so we do not know what the new york attorney general will do. we don't know what steps the manhattan district attorney will take but from what has been charged, the district attorney has gathered a great deal of evidence that the chief financial officer for the trump organization into trump companies deliberately did not
6:32 pm
pay taxes according to the indictment. they pleaded not guilty but one of the charges is for 15 years including while he was head of government is the upon amiss company according to the indictment had been accused. they have denied all the charges . the president himself has not been charged with any crimes. correspondent: do you think, going forward, we are facing years before we understand what all this means or where are we in these cases? andrea: i do not suspect years. we do know we have already a great deal of information in the civil investigation. this was an investigation by letitia james, the new york attorney general, and because the trump organization resisted turning over information, her office has put a great deal of evidence into the public record. in addition, in the separate criminal matter onto -- brought by the men had an da, the judge indicated he wants a trial in
6:33 pm
september. we could see the specter of the chief financial officer of the trump organization and the former president companies being on trial for criminal fraud, just as we are turning into the 2022 midterm elections. correspondent: no shortage of fascinating drama in the business world surrounding former president trump. andrea bernstein, thank you for joining us. andrea: thank you so much. ♪ judy: as president biden examines the records of potentl supreme court nominees, we continue our series of profiles of the women we believe are on his short list. tonight, california supreme court justice leondra kruger, who unlike the other contenders
6:34 pm
has never faced questions from the senate judiciary committee. jeff bennett has our report. jeff: it is a title leondra kruger already knows well, justice. she would be the first black woman to join the court but being the first is a position she knows well. kruger grew up in the l.a. suburbs, both parents doctors, her mother emigrating from jamaica, her father the son of european jewish immigrants, attending a prep school where she played the cello and was editor of the school paper, leading to undergrad at harvard and yale law school where she became the first black woman to serve as editor in chief of the yale law journal. >> i did not understand what a trail blazing selection she was at the time. jeff: a former federal prosecutor attended law school with her. >> i did not imagine hurting a more difficult set of --en the yellow law journal. it speaks to her ability to build consensus.
6:35 pm
jeff: as she wrote barriers, the effects of racism were still very close -- clear. >> someone pastor up even though she was right in front of me and sat by me instead. i remember i opened the door for her to get into my cap that i had hailed. she gave me this look and i did not understand at the time. i can imagine it is just part of what had -- she has had to go through her entire life. jeff: her first job at the supreme court was as a clerk for john paul stevens, the long serving liberal justice. she later recalled the advice he gave his former clerks on his 99th birthday. >> always work hard and do your best. jeff: years later, she entered the courtroom again, this time as an advocate, representing the u.s. government in the solicitor general's office, for republican and democratic presidents. >> mr. chief justice, may please the court.
6:36 pm
. she argued 12 cases jeff: before jeff: the justices, more than any other black woman in history. >> she is so smart, so careful, so meticulous, so poised. jeff: he named her his deputy and served as acting u.s. solicitor general in the obama administration. he sat in the chambers during 10 of her cases. >> i was blown away by her ability to take withering criticism, pause, smile, and answer. she clearly had the respect of every justice on the supreme court. jeff: that poise under pressure was seen in one of the most high profile cases she argued for the government. at issue, religion and employment discrimination. the position she argued has become a red flag for conservatives who fear she could be hostile to religious liberty.
6:37 pm
a court decided against the obama administration. she was appointed to the state supreme court by jerry brown in california. her confirmation hearing lasted 35 minutes. >> i solemnly swear. jeff: when she took the bench in january 2015, she was 38 years old, one of the youngest justices in state history and the second black woman. >> it is the responsibility to -- jeff: she is seen as a derating voice.
6:38 pm
>> she writes unanimously so she is not always in disagreement but her reputation and addition to being brilliant and well accomplished is the more the semper -- center. jeff: an analysis from uc berkeley said she has been the median justice on the court and proceed from a mutual approach that produces liberal and conservative results. she is often opinion -- she has offered opinions on body camera footage, police searches of vehicles at traffic stops, and the death penalty. >> she is immensely talented and the right pick for this position. jeff: california chief justice, appointed by former republican governor arnold schwarzenegger, says kruger is respected by her colleagues on the bench and works to find common ground. >> she is consensus builder and she does it with an open mind and fairness and does it respectfully. even though there might come a time in the case where you may depart from her reasoning or she
6:39 pm
from yours, it is never unreasonable. it is never outlandish. it is always understandable. jeff: an approach that would benefit the u.s. supreme court. >> good luck with that. that will not happen. i think this court is very strongly divided. the best of consensusbuilding personalities will not be able to get over some passes in interpretations of the constitution. the divide is clearly there. jeff: one potential hurdle for a nomination, the rise from state court to the supreme court is rare. it hasn't happened since sandra day in 1981. >> the u.s. supreme court, like the california supreme court and others, is a court of last resort. jeff: for kruger, it is that experience in california that helps shape how she sees the role of the u.s. supreme court.
6:40 pm
>> the united states supreme court's job is to help provide answers in advancing understanding of the law. jeff: as the president considers who to appoint, this is the second time she has found herself on bidens radar. she was previously offered the job of solicitor general but turned it down. >> she thinks of herself more as a judge and less as an advocate. jeff: if she finds herself at the top of his list again, a lifetime appointment and a place in history might be harder to turn down. >> what is the significance as you see it? is kruger the first black woman to sit on the supreme court? >> and the judiciary, we rely on the public's confidence and to have that, i think we must reflect the diversity of the people whose lives we are intruding upon. it makes it important people know that we know what is happening to them we can understand. it is the first that will build
6:41 pm
dreams in the first that will be self affirming like yes. jeff: she would be the youngest nominee in more than 30 years and in a position to influence the direction of the supreme court for decades to come. for the pbs newshour, i'm jeff bennett. judy: in case you missed our report, you can learn more about leondra kruger and two other women we believe are likely on the president shortlist at ♪ judy: the so-called mega drought that afflicts the american west is the worst in 1200 years, according to a study published yesterday. it has dried up water supplies, threatening ranchers and fueling wildfires. william explains why. william: last summer, two of the largest reservoirs in north
6:42 pm
america reached their lowest ever reported levels. mega droughts have come and gone in the past but this current 1, 22 years long, is being driven largely by high test climate change. according to the study, our atmosphere has made this drought worse, 40% worse, and it is likely to continue. the new study was published in the journal of nature climate change and its lead author joins me now. great to have you back on the newshour. could you tell us a little bit more about the historic nature of this drought? 1200 years, this is the worst we have seen. how do you go about proving something like that? mr. williams: in the 1900s, scientists in arizona discovered tree rings correspond to drought in southwestern united states and after more work was done across most of western north
6:43 pm
america, trees are sensitive to drought the whiffs of the trees corresponds perfectly with the amount of water trees have available. the scientists realized back in the mirrored people -- mitty built period -- medieval period, there were major drought events they termed mega droughts. we use climate observations to tell how bad the 2000s have been relative to the mega droughts. william: how is it that when you say climate change makes this worse, how do you prove that part of it? mr. williams: we do an analysis called a counter analysis where we study the world without climate change and the way we do that is we use climate models to tell us what the human cause of climate change has been the last
6:44 pm
century. and then we recalculate what the climate efforts would have been without the human caused climate trends. we can calculate what the balance would have been in this world where climate change never occurred. william: if you took out humanity's impact on the atmosphere, all the gases we put their in the last several hundred years, would we still experience out west significantly drive period? mr. williams: it would be dry without climate change because of regular bad luck. the tropical pacific lotion has been in cold state the last 22 years, meaning la niña-like, meaning drop for the room -- west. those conditions have not been extreme. we show that of the droughts observed, 40% of that drought's severity is explained by human caused climate cnge.
6:45 pm
william: one oer thing i'm struck by in your report is even when the west gets significant snow or rain, because of the warming atmosphere, that water, each drop of rain and snowflake is not as effective as it used to be. can you explain that? mr. williams: we were familiar with this concept. if you have houseplants, if you turn up the heater and don't give your plants more water, they will dry out. the same thing happens in the real world. global warming is like turning on the heater in the atmosphere. the demand for moisture increases so plants and soil lose moisture more quickly than they would in cooler. william: for people who say december and january in california, they have a ton of rain and snow. that tone of rain and ton of snow did not do as much to replenish the aquifers and the landscape. mr. williams: the west has been
6:46 pm
experiencing dry conditions the vast majority of the last 22 years and the last 18 have been drier than average. 4 have been better-than-average so we might have a wet month or write year but it will take a sequence of several really wet years to make up for the giant water deficit that has accumulated the last couple of decades. william: i know the majority of your work is about the past but coming forward, what does this research indicate it means for us, if we know the temperatures continue to climb, greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb, what does that mean for the west? mr. williams: we have two important lessons. one from climate modeling and the other from tree ring records. the tree ring records say if the future looks like the past, water in the weswill be like a yo-yo with dry periods and wet periods. climate modeling tells us the
6:47 pm
average year is getting drier and drier. the yo-yo will be slowly sliding down an escalator toward drying conditions. that means future droughts will be increasingly likely to be worse than the ones we experience in the past. when it does get wet, the right -- wet periods will not last as long as they would have historically. william: park williams of ucla, the study is in the journal of nature climate change. thank you very much. always good to see you. ♪ judy: three police killings of black men in the past two years have led to ongoing conversations about racial justice in minnesota. there has been noticeable solidarity between the states african-american and african
6:48 pm
immigrant populations. special correspondent fred has reports. fred: hot sons second-grade classroom is not the first tapestry. students whose families are native american, nigerian, mexican, pakistani, the school located in the twin cities suburb of burnsville, less than 40% white. >> how would you describe the word culture? fred: today's lesson is about honoring that diversity. >> mi american? yes i am. fred: this was rare for much of her own upbringing as the daughter of somalian emigrants going to school in suburban columbus ohio. >> by teachers and students did not look like me. it was hyper visible. what i wanted for my teachers was for them to be affirming and caring and loving. i hardly found that in my school experience. >> make you hear something that is rist or that does not make sense, you can interrupt and say
6:49 pm
, stop, that is not ok. fred: she learned to embrace her dual identity as somali and black, something she is trying to instill in her students with similar black rounds. historically, there has been tension between african immigrants and african americans. >> we have really created this network per se of knowing who we are, respecting our differences, but also understanding that we are powerful together. fred: minnesota remains white bread its nonwhite population has grown over the past three decades, 24% today. blacks have been a large part of the growth, including substantial immigration and refugee resettlement from across the african continent. they have become far more engaged in politics and civic activism. he became the first nigerian american elected to the minnesota house of representatives.
6:50 pm
a harvard law school graduate, her work has social around social justice, particularly housing. >> this state has worked on what works best for might -- white middle-class people rather than thinking about what about everyone else if that is the only substance with me? fred: her parents moved to minnesota from nigeria and experienced america not only as foreigners but also as people of color. >> i grew up with the sense of knowing that there is different races across america and as a black person, you tend to have to prove yourself more, even as a foreigner. you have to work even harder to be able to be any spaces. fred: she says her parents, like other african immigrants, heard negative stereotypes about black americans. journalist and phd student abraham keirsey, somali immigrant himself, says those depictions were reinforced by a
6:51 pm
key american export, hollywood movies. >> sometimes, it is they don't want to work, they are lazy, people sometimes, majority of them are criminals or drug dealers. they live in dangerous neighborhoods and you should not go around them. fred: the negative stereotyping went both ways. >> we were watching tarzan and tarzan showed a white guy in the jungle of africa with africans who did not look like they were sophisticated. fred: james burrows has worked on diversity and equity issues for decades. he is with children's minnesota health system now. >> it was an all-out melee. fred: he was working for minneapolis public schools in -- in 2014 when abroad directed at a local high school. >> a student escalated a food fight into a physical altercation. there were a large number of somali and african-american
6:52 pm
students who seemed on opposite sides of the fight or altercation. at that time, we realized we needed to do something differently. fred: he had frequent and public meetings with somali leaders and community members. >> we talked about how we needed to work together and learn from each other about the misinformation we got as kids and learn about each other and our culture and business acumen and educational acumen and move forward together. fred: with time, he says the parents came from africa and began to forge their own identity. >> young people say maybe we are africans, right? we come from this different species, but at the end of the day, there are no differences between us and african americans. >> when people of color and black people face the police, it does not matter what country you may come from. they are not checking for your last name or your accent.
6:53 pm
they just black skin. fred: when minneapolis police killed george floyd in may 2020, >> you saw folks with their jobs in the march, folks like mariam in the march, folks from kenya in the march, lots of white people in the march, so it brought people together to say i don't want this happening to me. fred: a teacher went to the protests, too, in floyd's killing had an impact on her mother, who was raised in somalia, paid well -- relatively attention -- little attention to views of race. >> my mom was watching the video and was in tears because of how george floyd called out to her mother. that tugged at her heartstrings and it was a moment of realizing that students, kids, children, are ready for these conversations and they need places and spaces to unpack them. if we disregard their feelings and how they are processing
6:54 pm
information, we are doing them a huge disservice. fred: she won the minnesota teacher of the year award in 2020. >> receiving that title validated who i was and how i connect with students -- with all students, not just somali or rock or brown, and how i uplift and affirm their voices. fred: those voices are now being amplified at the state capitol by people like esther hologic. >> saying there is only one piece of the pie that we are about as white people, so we might. . not fight amongst ourselves. no, there is a whole pie we all can get a slice, we all deserve the slice. fred: she has joined other african immigrants and african americans in the people of color and indigenous caucus. now, more than 20 members strong. for the pbs newshour, i am fred in the twin cities. judy: fred's reporting is in
6:55 pm
partnership with the under told stories project at the unersity of st. thomas in minnesota. that is the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us as a pbs newshour, please say safe and we will see you soon. ♪ >> major funding for the newshour haseen provided by-- ♪ ♪ >> consumer cellular. bnsf railway. carnegie corporation of new york, supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security, at the target foundation, committed to advancing racial equity and creating the change required to shift systems and accelerate equitable economic opportunity.
6:56 pm
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! ♪ >> this is pbs newshour west, from w eta studios in washington and from our bureau at the walter cronkite school of journalism at arizona state university. ♪ ♪ >>
6:57 pm
6:58 pm
6:59 pm
7:00 pm
-oh, give a home where the vaqueros roam, where a ranch life still lives on today... where fresh corn is milled and pastries are filled... and i'll eat tamales and empanadas all day. mmm, it feels like i'm e. today, i'm getting a traditional taste of northern mexican cuisine at a historic sonora hacienda. this keeps getting better and better, maite. then, i bring those flavors back to my kitchen so that you too can get a taste of that norte hacienda life. and so does a very hungry vaquero of my own. this combination is a super winner. sweet and spicy, fresh corn chile verde and cheese tamales. grilled chili-rubbed pork chops topped with a pickled juicy grape salad.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on