News Wrap: DOJ report finds political bias did not affect FBI’s Russia probe


JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump says he doesn’t
expect to be impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, but would welcome a trial
in the Republican-controlled Senate. He said today that Republicans got nothing
from two weeks of congressional hearings. In fact, multiple witnesses testified that
he withheld military aid to try to pressure Ukraine’s leader for personal political gain. But the president had his own take at the
White House. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
I think we had a tremendous week with the hoax, you know, the great hoax. They call it the impeachment hoax. And that’s really worked out incredibly well. And we have tremendous support. JUDY WOODRUFF: We will take a closer look
at where all of this stands, and where it is headed, after the news summary. A Justice Department report, internal report,
concludes that political bias did not affect the FBI’s probe of links between the 2016
Trump campaign and Russia. The Washington Post, The New York Times and
others say the department’s inspector general makes that finding in a forthcoming There’s word that a former FBI lawyer allegedly
altered a document on surveillance of a Trump campaign adviser, in 2016. The Washington Post, CNN and others report
the Justice Department’s inspector general makes that finding in a forthcoming report. He does find that an FBI lawyer altered a
document on surveillance of a campaign adviser, but he says the surveillance still had a solid
legal basis. In Iraq, four more protesters were killed
in a second day of fighting near a key bridge in Baghdad. In all, 14 have died in the unrest in the
last 24 hours. Today, security forces opened fire again,
as protesters burned tires. At least 90 were wounded from live fire and
tear gas rounds. Iran says that it has stifled protests over
gas prices and arrested some 100 protest leaders. That news came as people in Tehran walked
past burned-out banks and gas stations today and Internet access was slowly being restored. Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
asked Iranians for videos of abuses, so that the U.S. can publicize them. Vast crowds in Algeria marked a 40th straight
Friday of mass protests today, demanding honest elections. Many thousands flooded the streets of Algiers,
waving flags and holding banners. They rejected next month’s planned presidential
vote, over fears that it will be rigged. NABILA, Protester (through translator): It’s
a peaceful protest. We came out to say no to the electoral mockery
they want to impose to us. People are right. We will keep protesting, and we refuse the
election with the same regime which destroyed Algeria. JUDY WOODRUFF: Demonstrators forced out longtime
President Abdelaziz Bouteflika last April. Since then, they have called for the rest
of the regime to quit. Tens of thousands of protesters also rallied
in Lebanon, marking the country’s independence day. Politicians attended a brief military parade. But the protesters held their own event, carrying
flags, singing the national anthem, and demanding that the ruling elite step aside. China’s President Xi Jinping injected a bit
of optimism today into trade talks with the U.S. He told a business forum in Beijing that China
does want an agreement. But he also said that his government would
fight back, if need be. Later, President Trump said that an accord
is — quote — “potentially very close,” but that it would have to favor the U.S. The president also confirmed today that Vice
President Mike Pence will be his running mate again next year. In a FOX News interview, Mr. Trump referred
to the vice president as — quote — “my friend” and said that he has done a — quote — “phenomenal
job.” A major donor to the president’s 2017 inaugural
will face new federal charges, including obstruction and failing to register as a foreign agent. Court papers say the case against Imaad Zuberi
is being filed in New York. He was already accused of campaign finance
violations and tax evasion in Los Angeles. Over the years, Zuberi has donated to both
major parties. And on Wall Street, stocks managed a modest
rally after three days of losses. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 109
points to close at 27875. The Nasdaq rose 13 points, and the S&P 500
added six. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: after two
weeks of hearings, what happens next in the impeachment inquiry into President Trump;
the White House weighs what to do on vaping — will they reach a deal?; Mark Shields and
David Brooks break down all the week’s political news; and much more.

PBS NewsHour full episode, Dec 26, 2019


AMNA NAWAZ: Good evening. I’m Amna Nawaz.
Judy Woodruff is away. On the “NewsHour” tonight: chaos in Iraq — fears
of continued violence, as the president and protesters reject a nominee for prime minister
linked to Iran. Then: long recovery. FEMA’s disaster relief
in U.S. territories like Puerto Rico lags behind recovery efforts on the mainland. And unconventional wisdom. Two Nobel Prize-winning
economists question the impact of immigrants on competition in the workplace. ABHIJIT BANERJEE, Nobel Prize Winner for Economics:
For low-income workers, there is no evidence that the influx of large numbers of outsiders
does anything to their wages. AMNA NAWAZ: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) AMNA NAWAZ: Wall Street extended its year-end
rally for another day. All three of the major indexes notched new record closing highs today,
thanks to a boost from retail and technology companies. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 106
points to close at 28621. The Nasdaq rose 69 points, to cross the 9000-point mark for
the first time, and the S&P 500 added 16. Businesses in parts of Hong Kong were brought
to a standstill today, as anti-government protesters targeted shopping malls for a third
day in a row. Riot police stepped up their presence, at times confronting crowds and
escorting several people out of the buildings. The unrest is part of a months-long campaign
for more democracy in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory. At least 20 people are dead, after a powerful
typhoon barreled through the Philippines, bringing misery to Christmas Day celebrations.
The storm made several landfalls across the country’s central region yesterday, with high
winds and pounding rains that forced thousands to flee their homes. Residents woke up today to see swollen rivers
had inundated entire villages. They waded through flooded streets and sorted through
piles of debris. Services were held across Indonesia and Thailand
today to mark the 15th anniversary of a devastating tsunami in the Indian Ocean. It claimed the
lives of some 230,000 people, making it one of modern history’s worst natural disasters.
Hundreds participated in mass prayers in Indonesia’s Aceh province, one of the hardest-hit areas. In Thailand, survivors visited memorials to
lay wreaths and flowers for their loved ones, and recalled the terror of that tragic day. SUWANNEE MALIWAN, Tsunami Survivor (through
translator): I am still scared, very scared. I want to go to live somewhere else, but it’s
not possible. Sometimes, I dream that a wave is coming. It’s an image that still haunts
me of when the wave was coming. I can still remember it. AMNA NAWAZ: A 9.1-magnitude earthquake off
Sumatra Island triggered that deadly tsunami. A dozen countries from Indonesia to East Africa
were hit. To this day, thousands of people are believed to still be unaccounted for. In Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu faced his first
major challenge to his decade-long rule as prime minister today. Voters cast their ballots
in a primary election to pick the leader of his conservative Likud Party. His main party
rival, veteran politician Gideon Saar, hoped to capitalize on a late surge in the run-up
to the vote. Netanyahu is widely expected to win, despite
facing corruption indictments and failing to form a coalition government twice this
year. He declared victory tonight, even though the official results won’t be announced until
tomorrow. And back in this country, Pennsylvania’s Roman
Catholic diocese have paid nearly $84 million to 564 victims of sexual abuse by clergy.
That is according to a new Associated Press review. Seven of the state’s eight dioceses
launched victims compensation funds after a Pennsylvania grand jury report on the abuse
and the church’s efforts to cover it up. The jury found that more than 300 priests
had molested over 1,000 children in the state since the 1940s. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: civil unrest
continues in Iraq, as protesters and the president reject the nominee for prime minister; FEMA’s
long-term disaster funding for U.S. territories lags far behind money for the mainland; Zimbabwe
faces famine after decades of financial and agricultural decline; and much more. In Iraq, months-long protests in major cities
led to the resignation of one prime minister, bowing to demands for reform. But political
leaders have been unable to name a replacement, leaving protesters as animated as ever. “NewsHour” correspondent Lisa Desjardins takes
a closer look at how the protests have led to the current political gridlock. LISA DESJARDINS: Basra tonight, streets lit
by the glow of burning tires. The nation has no prime minister, and protesters today have
sharply rejected the latest choice for the job by a leading political bloc. Asaad Al Eidani is currently a regional governor,
but protesters see another entrenched politician. MAN (through translator): What did Asaad Al
Eidani offer? Did he fight corruption? It’s still there. Has he brought back services?
There are no services. Regarding you, Asaad Al Eidani, whatever you do, you will not gain
the prime minister position. LISA DESJARDINS: Protesters have a pivotal
ally, Iraqi President Barham Salih. In the past day, he refused to designate the new
nominee as prime minister, saying it would cause more bloodshed. That refusal may violate
the Constitution, and President Salih has offered to resign over the issue. Key in this political uprising have been the
protests in Basra and surrounding Shiite areas in the south and in Baghdad itself. The map
shows another issue for protesters: the influence of neighboring Iran, which backs militias
and political blocs in Iraq. Rejection of Iran’s influence and an outcry
against Iraqi corruption sparked a firestorm of protests that began in October. That led
directly to the resignation of the last prime minister, Adil Abdul-Mahdi, last month. More than 450 protesters have died, largely
after security forces fired tear gas or live ammunition at them. This leaderless protest
is demanding a politically independent leader. MAN (through translator): We don’t want a
prime minister from these political parties. We want to topple the political regime, and
we want to change the constitution. LISA DESJARDINS: More fuel comes from the
economy, anemic overall, with high unemployment among the young, and concern from those who
do have jobs that their wages fall short. MAN (through translator): My mother passed
away at the hospital because there was no medicine, and I am a working man on daily
payment, and I couldn’t afford her treatment. LISA DESJARDINS: Tonight, in Iraq, a country
without a leader and a protest movement with no sign of backing down. For more, I’m joined by Abbas Kadhim. He joins
the — he leads the Iraq initiative at the Atlantic Council, a nonpartisan foreign policy
think tank. He is also the author of “Reclaiming Iraq: The 1920 Revolution and the Founding
of the Modern State.” Dr. Kadhim, thank you for coming back to “NewsHour.” ABBAS KADHIM, Atlantic Council: Thanks for
having me. LISA DESJARDINS: A lot of faces in that story
just now. And, obviously, this is the third time in
a month that Iraq has been unable to name a prime minister. Why is this so difficult
and how far out of the norm is this? ABBAS KADHIM: Indeed, there are so many candidates,
and all of them come from the same pool that is rejected by the protesters. The protesters are not protesting against
a government or a party or a bloc. They are protesting against the entire political elite
that has been in charge of Iraq since 2003 until now. The problems that have been accumulating in
Iraq are the accumulation of 15, 16 years of failures. And people are fed up with everyone
who was involved. So they are asking for faces that have not been involved in any stage of
the past 15 years, and people whose hands have been — have not been polluted by Iraqi
money or blood or dignity of the Iraqi people. And that’s why it is very hard to convince
the parties to bring an outsider. LISA DESJARDINS: And that leads to another
question too. The protesters, much like Iraq’s population
itself, are generally young. ABBAS KADHIM: That’s right. LISA DESJARDINS: You know, 60 percent, I think,
of Iraq is 24 years old or younger. They clearly, as you say, don’t — know what
they do not want. But do these protesters know what they do want? Is there anything
that will be acceptable to them? ABBAS KADHIM: That is the problem. So far, they have been only practicing their
veto power. The parties are presenting names or the media and others who are floating out
names, and they’re saying, no, we don’t want this person. Because the protesters do not have an organizing
committee or a central nerve that will coordinate every activity they have, they are dispersed
all over the south and Central Iraq. So it is very hard to speak to any group, or it
is very hard also to find a — again, a spokesperson or a spokes — an entity that will speak on
their behalf. And it is very hard to see them presenting
what they want. And it is easier to see that they will wait for the political elite to
present the name or the process to bring up a name, and then the action is normally automatic,
no, we don’t want this one, even though, in the last couple of days, we have seen some
kind of signs that they might be entertaining some of the names that are — been floating
around, like Faig Al-Sheikh Ali maybe, who is an M.P. and… LISA DESJARDINS: A member of Parliament. ABBAS KADHIM: A member of Parliament. And
he is a secular member of Parliament. And that is somehow in his favor, because
most of the parties that are blamed are the Islamist parties or the traditional parties.
He is kind of a new slant of a politician. LISA DESJARDINS: Do the average Iraqi agree
with the protesters? ABBAS KADHIM: Do they… LISA DESJARDINS: The average Iraqi, do they
side with the protesters? Is this sort of a general sentiment? ABBAS KADHIM: The protesters are speaking
on behalf of all Iraqis. Again, this is very hard on the de facto,
of course. They are the ones who are speaking. We don’t see any counterdemonstrations or
any counter voices that are discrediting them from the other side. But, of course, on the (INAUDIBLE) the only
way to know what the silent majority of the 40 million Iraqis want, if you have a referendum
or if you have a general election. That’s why we hope that the next government will
prepare for a general election to know exactly where the Iraqis are standing now. LISA DESJARDINS: Who could benefit from instability
in Iraq, however long this lasts? ABBAS KADHIM: A long list, of course. Certainly, the neighboring countries come
to mind first, because they are benefiting. The weaker Iraq gets, the more vulnerable,
the more they can settle their scores on the Iraqi territory, the more they can advance
their interests inside Iraq. Iraq is a trophy. LISA DESJARDINS: Iran? ABBAS KADHIM: Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey,
these are the ones that come to mind. And, also, of course, the terrorists — there
is a lot of terrorism sleeper cells and other terrorist organizations that are trying to
find any ungoverned space to expand and stretch and practice their malicious activities. So, that is that. Also, let’s face it. The
Iraqi political elite are — they are interested in this, because law and order and the rule
of law is hurting them more is curbing their ability to practice their corruption. LISA DESJARDINS: One more question for you.
How do Iraqis see the U.S.? Do they think the U.S. has any responsibility for the state
of their nation right now, or no? ABBAS KADHIM: The United States is the midwife,
if we can put it that way, that brought this change in 2003. So everything that we have
is based on the activity of the United States from 2003 to 2011. But there is a lot of blame to go around.
And I think a lot on the dysfunctionality of the government is on the Iraqis themselves,
because they cannot get their act together. But, also, I think it is not just the United
States. The Iraqi — average Iraqis — actually, there’s actually numbers that we presented
at the Atlantic Council recently. Iraqis, over 80 percent of them view the American
people in favorable way, and about 20 percent only they favor the United States government. LISA DESJARDINS: Government. ABBAS KADHIM: So, there is that… LISA DESJARDINS: Interesting. ABBAS KADHIM: … kind of dichotomy in the
Iraqi public opinion. LISA DESJARDINS: Abbas Kadhim from of the
Atlantic Council, thank you for joining us. ABBAS KADHIM: Thank you very much for having
me. AMNA NAWAZ: We’re just days away from the
start of a new year. And yet, in the U.S. territories of the Caribbean,
American citizens say they are still dealing with a painfully slow response by FEMA when
it comes to recovering from Hurricanes Maria and Irma. Those hurricanes, which flooded and leveled
parts of Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, hit more than two years ago, in September
of 2017. Now, journalists from The New York Times have
spent time on those islands in recent weeks, and found thousands of recovery projects have
yet to get the full money from FEMA that they need, and many buildings are in disrepair
since the hurricane or stalled from completion. Zolan Kanno-Youngs is homeland security correspondent
for The New York Times. He’s been covering this. And he joins me now from Boston. Zolan, welcome to the “NewsHour.” Your reporting was based on a number of documents
you got as part of a Freedom of Information Act request. Tell me what those documents
showed about the pace of recovery funds. ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS, The New York Times: Right. So when my colleague Mark Walker and I were
filing these public records requests, we really went in with this question. We know that the
territories, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are still struggling since those
two hurricanes devastated them, but is the recovery process actually slower for them,
rather than states in the mainland of the country? We wanted to know that specifically when it
came to federal funds, whether or not there was a system in place that made it harder
for the territories to receive that money, so that they could expedite their repair and
be resilient for the future. So we focused on critical infrastructure projects,
schools and hospitals, roads, the things that you need, really, for your home. And what we found is that the system for those
projects was cumbersome and often complex and often resulted in a debate between FEMA,
as well as the local government, over how much FEMA would cover and how much the local
government would cover. As — in regards to the exact — the exact
results of our reporting, what we found was that, as you said, over — out of thousands
of requests that these territories have made, just a fraction of them have actually been
approved, meaning that just a small amount of the money actually allocated for the territories
has made it down to people on the ground, which just isn’t the case for other states
that are prone to be hit by hurricanes. AMNA NAWAZ: Help me understand. How big of
a disparity are we talking about? You say the process is cumbersome when it comes to
the U.S. territories, that there were thousands of requests. Only a few have been fully funded. Is it vastly different when you’re talking
about mainland U.S. states? ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS: Well, yes. I mean, in Texas, there were more than 3,000
critical infrastructures approved thus far. In Puerto Rico, for example, there are about
190. So, right there, you can see the disparity. Now, what does that mean on the ground, right?
What it means is that, in a place like Saint Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where there
regularly is only one hospital for people to go to, it means that there’s still a hole
in their roof. It means that an entire floor has been shutdown due to mold that is still
spreading throughout the hospital, that nurses are still working in this area, and, as a
result of working there, have rashes as well, and are fighting through that in order to
provide care to the people on the island. At one point, they had no working operating
rooms there due to the damage that still exists. This is this season. This is this fall. This
is still the state of this place. And the way FEMA works, it’s important to
note, it is a reimbursement system. So, when you go and you talk to government officials
about this, they might say, look, it is the — it is on the local government to front
the money, and then we repay them for it. But when you talk to people in these communities,
they say, well, look, we are already at a disadvantage. Financially, you don’t receive
some of the same grants for a hospital, the same Medicare — that its Medicare system
is different. We’re already at a disadvantage that way. But then you add on top of that the FEMA funding
process for these territories also is different. Up until earlier this year, people on the
territories basically needed to prove that a certain percentage of these critical infrastructures,
that a percentage of the damage was caused by the hurricane, it wasn’t pre-disaster damage. Congress acknowledged that that was leading
to delays, and allowed FEMA to waive that requirement. But it still took months in order
for them to come to an agreement with the local government and decide whether or not
they would just partially repair or completely rebuild some of these facilities. That hospital that I was just referencing
on the Virgin Islands, they haven’t even moved into their temporary facility yet. That’s
scheduled for spring of 2020. Actually, I just heard recently that it might be summer
2020, which would mean that they would be in the thick of their third hurricane season
without even moving into their temporary facility. AMNA NAWAZ: In the immediate response to these
disasters, there was a lot of conversation about the fact that there are a lot of logistical
hurdles to surmount when you talk about getting aid to a place like Puerto Rico or to the
U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s a lot — easy to put a on a truck and
get stuff down to Texas, for example, than it is to go to islands. Is any of that, the
logistical hurdles, does any of that feed what you described as a more cumbersome process
for residents there? ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS: Oh, of course, of course,
absolutely. I mean, just transportation, for one, as you
acknowledged, I mean, that is a challenge to provide all the resources to these places
that are not a part of the mainland. Another one is, we have to acknowledge the fact that
these two hurricanes hitting back to back, just the damage was unprecedented. And it
was. It also was at a time that FEMA was dealing
with a lot of other natural disasters across the country, wildfires in California, flooding
as well. So, absolutely. And when you talk to certain
local officials in the territories, they would say, look, we didn’t — there were some things
we just didn’t know. Also, we have to provide paperwork for this process, some of which
got damaged. And some of our employees tasked with this were forced to flee as well as a
result of the hurricane. AMNA NAWAZ: It’s an incredible piece of reporting.
I encourage people to go to The New York Times to read in full. But, Zolan, while we have you, I want to ask
you about another report you have out just today, this one focusing on President Trump’s
border wall. You actually traveled to the area, much of
which is on private land, right, private landowners who control a lot of that land that the president,
the government would need to claim via eminent domain in order to see through his border
wall promise. What did those folks on the ground tell you? ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS: So, you’re right. In South Texas, most of that path for the
border wall goes through private land. Thus far, the administration has built about 93
miles, most of it being on federal land. And they have only acquired about three of the
144 miles that is on private land. Those individuals face a choice. Will they
voluntarily give up their land to the government for the exchange of a sum of money, or do
they risk being taken to court, in which the government can assert eminent domain and probably
get that land anyways? And those people, they have a range of views.
I talked to landowners who vocally support President Trump and believe what he’s saying
in regards to border security. But they want to remind people, the border wall is not being
built on the border. The border wall is being built — built about one mile within the United
States, meaning that they would now lose easy access, as they describe it, to much of their
land, for one individual, more than half of the farm — of the acres that he uses for
farming. So that’s kind of the real-world consequence
for them. But they don’t have many options when it comes to, like you said, the ability
of the government to use eminent domain. AMNA NAWAZ: That is Zolan Kanno-Youngs, the
homeland security correspondent for The New York Times. Thank you very much. ZOLAN KANNO-YOUNGS: Oh, thank you for having
me. AMNA NAWAZ: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: two Nobel Prize-winning
economists challenge the economic orthodoxy on trade and the impact of immigrant workers;
author Sarah Broom discusses her National Book Award-winning work, “The Yellow House”;
a Connecticut museum showcases a collection of rare watercolors by legendary British painter
JMW Turner. For over a month, the United Nations has been
sounding the alarm about the growing food crisis in Zimbabwe. It’s estimated that 60
percent of the population doesn’t have access to adequate food. We will talk with people with deep understanding
of the situation, but, first, we have this background report. In what used to be called Southern Africa’s
breadbasket, today, Zimbabweans are desperate for food. Facing a climate disaster and an
unprecedented economic meltdown, more than half of the population is food-insecure. The United Nations’ World Food Program is
sounding the alarm. BETTINA LUESCHER, World Food Program: We are
facing the worst hunger crisis in more than a decade. The situation is nothing short of
tragic. There is no other way of putting it. AMNA NAWAZ: Zimbabwe is enduring its worst
drought in decades. And for rural farmers, largely growing water-intensive maize, erratic
rain patterns have proven catastrophic. In Hwange National Park, herds of elephants
died of drought-related starvation earlier this year. But the crisis is largely manmade,
according to the WFP. BETTINA LUESCHER: The crisis is being exacerbated
by a dire shortage of foreign currency, runaway inflation, mounting unemployment, lack of
fuel, prolonged power outages, and large-scale living — livestock losses, and they inflict
the urban population just as well as rural villages. AMNA NAWAZ: The International Monetary Fund
says Zimbabwe’s inflation rate is the world’s highest, at 300 percent. Many blame the political
and economic turmoil on former President Robert Mugabe. The anti-colonial icon was at the forefront
of Zimbabwe’s independence in 1980. But he clung to power for nearly 30 years, presiding
over the decline of what was once one of the continent’s most prosperous countries. He
was ousted in 2017. Hope that Mugabe’s successor, President Emmerson
Mnangagwa, can reverse the decline is running thin. The government is now scrapping a plan
to remove grain subsidies next year, a move aimed at shielding Zimbabweans from the rising
food costs. For more on all of this, we turn to two men
who know Zimbabwe well. Gerry Bourke is the Southern Africa spokesman
for the United Nations World Food Program, the lead international agency working to alleviate
the food crisis in Zimbabwe. He was just there last week. And Harry Thomas Jr. had a 34-year
career as an American diplomat and served as the U.S. ambassador to Zimbabwe from 2016
to 2018. And welcome to you both. Thank you for being
here. Gerry, I do want to begin with you. Sixty percent of the country’s 14 million
don’t have the food to meet their basic needs. You were just there. Tell me what you saw
and heard from families on the ground. GERRY BOURKE, World Food Program: Well, it’s
really a national catastrophe, a calamity. People simply do not have enough food. The
larders are dry. The harvest comes in once a year, in April. Stocks from that are largely
exhausted. They’re looking forward to the next harvest in April. The rainy season has
arrived. It’s arrived two months’ late. There are patches of green, but the lack of
rain is really causing problems. Seeds put into the ground have not germinated. Some
re-planting will have to be done. And, in the meantime, people are struggling to get
by in a major way, taking kids out of school, selling off precious belongings, selling off
cattle, for example, lots of people really hurting. AMNA NAWAZ: Gerry, give me a specific example,
if you can, of the kinds of things people are telling you. What, for an example, is
an average people eating and subsisting on from day to day? GERRY BOURKE: Well, they’re eating less. They’re
skipping meals, a little bit of maize meal. But prices have skyrocketed. A loaf of bread
is now 20 times what it was six months ago. Maize, the staple food, has increased multiple
times. So it’s a huge struggle just to get by. AMNA NAWAZ: Ambassador Thomas, you heard mention
Gerry mention the rainy season coming late. There has been a drought. There’s a broader
climate crisis in the region. This isn’t just due to drought, though, is it? HARRY THOMAS JR., Former U.S. Ambassador to
Zimbabwe: No. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better. This
is because of massive corruption, mismanagement for many years. The government and leaders
of Zimbabwe are only interested in power accumulation and wealth maintenance. It’s unfortunate. It’s manmade, despite the
drought, as Gerry said. We’re very pleased, however, that the United States has stepped
up, has already put about $170 million toward food security. The British and the European
Union have as well. But the people of Zimbabwe deserve better. AMNA NAWAZ: That mismanagement, that corruption
you mentioned, it’s sort of alarming for people to think about how a country can go from being
the continent’s breadbasket, as we said in the report, to this downward spiral, where
people are struggling for basic needs. How does that happen so quickly? HARRY THOMAS JR.: It happens when its leaders
take all of the money that they earn through selling minerals, as they should, gold, plutonium
— they are a very wealthy country — and put it in their pockets. And you have to think. They had over 1,300
dams. They’re no longer maintained. The wells are no longer maintained. People are digging
boreholes to get water. And that puts — makes — they keep digging deeper and deeper. And there’s there’s less water. And it’s exacerbated
by the drought and climate change. AMNA NAWAZ: Gerry, you mentioned some of those
hard choices that people on the ground are having to make. We’re focused on the food crisis, because
that’s often one of the most visible among the crises. But Zimbabweans are dealing with
so much more. Tell me about some of the ripple effects you’re worried about this crisis could
have. GERRY BOURKE: Well, we’re very focused on
scaling up ourselves. We’re going to double within the next few weeks the number of Zimbabweans
we are supporting, those in crisis and emergency levels of food insecurity. So we’re going from about two million people
now to over four million. And we will be doing that through the peak of the lean season,
which is essentially January to March,ahead of next harvest in April. So, a major scale-up, requiring all hands
to the pump, and a significant amount of money, if we are to fully effect that scale-up. AMNA NAWAZ: And, Gerry, I was reading, the
previous World Food Program work there has been largely cash assistance going into Zimbabwe. That’s no longer the case, though, is it?
Tell me what’s happening on the ground now. GERRY BOURKE: In fact, what with hyperinflation
and very limited availability of local currency, we are having to do a wholesale switch from
a cash assistance to in-kind food assistance. So we are — and because much of the rest
of Africa has also suffered from drought and flooding, we are having to source food for
Zimbabwe much further afield, in Latin America, in Asia, and in Europe, some in Africa, but
most of it from elsewhere. So it’s a massive old-fashioned logistical
operation, shipping food into Durban in South Africa, in Beira in Mozambique, and then trucking
the food into landlocked Zimbabwe. AMNA NAWAZ: Ambassador Thomas, you mentioned
all the U.S. money going into Zimbabwe. And you also mentioned the corruption was part
of the problem that got people there where they are today. Is there any concern that continuing corruption
can mean that people of Zimbabwe don’t get the help they need? HARRY THOMAS JR.: Yes, there is. That is our concern, our government’s concern.
And it should be, but we need to hold the government accountable. For example, they
are trying to — they have imported wheat from Tanzania. The worldwide price is about
$240 to $250 a ton. They charge $600. So they have inflated the price, so the wealthy
and the cronies can buy it and sell it at a price over the double the worldwide price.
They’re trying to import some from Mozambique, as Gerry said. But Mozambique wants to be
paid in hard currency. This is another African nation that is saying,
you pay me in hard currency. And the people suffering — and these are a brilliant people.
I don’t if you know they — I was there for three years. This time, they had six Rhodes
Scholar. They always have Rhodes Scholars every year. I’m sure they will have more. And to see people have to not to send their
kids to school, to have to walk to work, not to have the ability to get secondary education
is heartrending. AMNA NAWAZ: We have less than 30 seconds left,
and I have to ask you a big question. With all this aid, is there a hope that things
will get better for the people of Zimbabwe? HARRY THOMAS JR.: Well, I have confidence
in the U.S. government, our European colleagues, the U.N. agencies who are stepping up to the
plate to help the people of Zimbabwe. What we need to do is have the government
of Zimbabwe be transparent. They have grains in their storage. Tell us how much they have,
so we can help them. AMNA NAWAZ: Be transparent and be accountable. HARRY THOMAS JR.: Yes. AMNA NAWAZ: Ambassador Harry Thomas, and,
of course, Gerry Bourke from the World Food Program, thanks very much to both of you. As Paul Solman reported recently, economists
Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee won this year’s Nobel Prize for their hard-nosed work
on poverty, conducting experiments in developing nations, like Banerjee’s native India. They wanted to see what actually works and
what doesn’t to improve the lives of the poor. But the married couple has also cast their
critical eyes on the developed world and economic orthodoxy in their new book, “Good Economics
for Hard Times.” Paul zeros in on the ideas of their book for
our series Making Sense. ESTHER DUFLO, Nobel Prize Winner for Economics:
We felt that there was a lot that economics could teach us about the important issues
that people are fighting about today. PAUL SOLMAN: Important issues, say Esther
Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, like immigration, which, they say, so many economists simply
get wrong. ABHIJIT BANERJEE, Nobel Prize Winner for Economics:
They say, oh, well, you know, it’s supply and demand. If supply goes up, price will
go down. PAUL SOLMAN: That, if there are more people
willing to work cheaply, then wages will go down. ABHIJIT BANERJEE: Exactly. There is no evidence
for it. In fact, there are many, many such episodes that have been studied, and for low-income
workers, there is no evidence that the influx of large numbers of outsiders does anything
to their wages. PAUL SOLMAN: Instead, he says, the influx
of workers stimulates the economy. ABHIJIT BANERJEE: They’re going to buy stuff.
And they often buy stuff that other low-income workers sell. PAUL SOLMAN: We actually saw this in immigrant-friendly
Utica, New York several years ago. Bosnian refugee Sakib Duracak, who came in
the 1990s. SAKIB DURACAK, Bosnian Refugee: At the time
when we came in Utica, it’s a relatively very dead and poor city. PAUL SOLMAN: But immigrants like Duracak revived
the city by working and spending. ELLEN KRALY, Colgate University: To have an
economy, you have to have workers, and you have to have consumers. PAUL SOLMAN: Professor Ellen Kraly teaches
demography at nearby Colgate University. ELLEN KRALY: The influx of refugees to Utica
allowed us to retain some smaller industries that were looking for highly motivated labor. PAUL SOLMAN: Moreover, say the newly-minted
Nobels, the work the immigrants do doesn’t compete with native workers, who, for the
most part, won’t take the same jobs. I was skeptical. But look at union construction workers. They
used to make a lot more money, adjusted for inflation, than they do now, due to, it seems,
the influx of immigrants. ABHIJIT BANERJEE: I think that — that’s a
very good example of something that hasn’t been commented on, which is, high-skilled
laborers do lose when there’s an influx of other comparable people. And in some sense, the political conversation
has it backwards. The high-skilled immigrants have actually an impact on the wages of comparable
people. The low-skilled immigrants are the ones who don’t. PAUL SOLMAN: Another chapter of the new book
is called “Pains From Trade,” playing off a supposed economic truism, gains from trade. ESTHER DUFLO: Economists repeat until they
are blue in the face that trade is good for you and that trade is good for the country.
But it’s based on one very strong assumption. PAUL SOLMAN: The assumption? That people who
lose jobs to foreign competition will simply up and move to get a new one. ABHIJIT BANERJEE: Except that, in the last
40 years, there’s been enormous decline in mobility. Seven percent of the people used
to move from county to county. PAUL SOLMAN: In the U.S. ABHIJIT BANERJEE: In the U.S. 40 years ago.
Now it’s 4 percent. That’s almost a halving of mobility. People have stopped moving. ESTHER DUFLO: It’s the emotional investment
in the community, your identity as someone who has been working in a factory for many,
many years. Maybe you have become a manager of your line or something like that. PAUL SOLMAN: Plus, in factories I have visited
over the years, workers develop specific skills that are non-transferable. At a Milliken textile mill in Jonesville,
South Carolina: RAYMOND HOOD, Textile Worker: You go through
about a 12-week training program, and then you need probably nine to 10 months of practical
experience on the machine before you get really competent and actually know what you’re doing
with the machine to be able to make it perform correctly. PAUL SOLMAN: Same story at a corn broom factory
in Alabama, which we visited back in the early ’90s on the eve of NAFTA, when debate over
trade with Mexico was raging. Technically, this was unskilled labor, but
it took me eight minutes to do what the average worker does in one. And I’m basically hitting myself on the index
finger at this point. No, that was the thumb getting hit, getting hit. Back then, it took a year or so to master
this skill, useless anywhere else. But when we returned 10 years later, the job was so
mechanized, said the CEO… ED PEARSON, CEO, Crystal Lake Manufacturing:
If you can screw in a lightbulb, you can make a broom. PAUL SOLMAN: Real expertise rendered obsolete.
Yes, we have trade adjustment assistance to supposedly teach new skills, but when you
bother to crunch the numbers, they show that what laid-off workers lose in wages alone
is far greater than what’s spent to reimburse and retrain them. A third and last example of where popular
economics has led us astray, say the economists, is taxes. Here’s the architect of Republican tax cuts,
Arthur Laffer, making the classic argument a few years ago. ART LAFFER, Former White House Economic Adviser:
If you raise tax rates, you collect more money per dollar of income. But then you have the
economic effect, which, if you raise tax rates, you reduce the incentives for people to do
the activity, and you will get lower income. PAUL SOLMAN: Arthur Laffer told me that he
moved from California to Tennessee, for example, because there was a lower tax rate. ABHIJIT BANERJEE: It would be really sad if
he didn’t move. A nice thing about economics is, we deal with large data sets. There’s
no clear evidence that, if you raise taxes, the rich stop working. PAUL SOLMAN: Nor is there any credible evidence,
say the laureates, that benefits keep the poor from working. Is there not — the welfare queen or welfare
king stereotype, it’s just not true? ESTHER DUFLO: There’s no evidence for it.
Neither in the U.S., nor in poor countries do we see that, when people are given more
generous help packages, they become lazy. PAUL SOLMAN: Evidence, much of it upending
the conventional wisdom in economics, which is what, applied to poverty alleviation, earned
Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee their Nobel Prize. This is Paul Solman in Boston. AMNA NAWAZ: Now Jeffrey Brown has another
title for the “NewsHour” Bookshelf. Author Sarah Broom’s memoir, “The Yellow House,”
won the 2019 National Book Award for nonfiction. Jeff began by asking Broom about the owner
of the Yellow house, her mother, Ivory Mae. SARAH BROOM, Author, “The Yellow House”: She
went on to raise me and my 11 siblings in this house. So beyond it being my mother’s
place, it’s a significant place emotionally for all of us. JEFFREY BROWN: It’s a personal memoir you
have written, but, interesting, you didn’t show up until about page 100. SARAH BROOM: That’s true. JEFFREY BROWN: You’re telling a much larger
story about not only your family, but this particular area of the city. SARAH BROOM: That’s true. And it felt completely natural to me to not
show up for 100 pages. I tried it the other way. I tried beginning the story with me,
but something about that felt like it lacked context. And I really wanted to make this
world that existed in context. And I wanted to talk about my grandmother
and how she made houses, how she was obsessed with making place, and how she passed that
quality on to my mother, and how my mother passed it on to me, so that, ultimately, when
this house is gone, what we feel is so much more intense, right, because it’s not just
a house, or — you really understand what made this place. “My mother, Ivory Mae, bought the yellow house
in 1961, when she was 19 years old. It was her first and only house. Within its walls,
my mother made her world.” Well, I really wanted to think about what
it means not just — so, not just for the person who doesn’t know New Orleans or isn’t
from a place, but for the person who really knows a place, to get very up close to something
and tell that story, but also think about and figure in what distance does, what it
means, for instance, if the story of New Orleans becomes for someone only Katrina, and they
only see that story or those images from 200 miles away, right, how that changes their
relationship to a place. So, I wanted to go very high up and present
that view, but then also say, look what you’re missing. You’re missing this 19-year-old who
bought this house. You’re missing my brother Carl, who goes there every single daily after
his job at NASA and tends to land. And then also to think about the innate taboo
for me of being the baby of 12 children telling this story. That felt painful to do. And it
was something I had to reckon with the entire time I was writing: How dare I tell this story?
It’s not my story to tell. And I’m telling too much. JEFFREY BROWN: And you told this — or you
figured your way into tell it through memories, through archival, through… SARAH BROOM: Sure. JEFFREY BROWN: I mean, there’s clearly a lot
of research, but you also interviewed family members and went as far back as you could? SARAH BROOM: I did. The foundation was a year, in 2011, when I
moved to New Orleans and actually lived in the French Quarter. JEFFREY BROWN: Moved back, you mean. SARAH BROOM: Moved back to New Orleans, and
lived in the French Quarter on the busiest corner in all of New Orleans. And during that year, I interviewed every
single one of my siblings. I recorded them, so I gained from that year hundreds of hours
of audio interviews, which I then transcribed. So those make the basis for the book. They’re
a kind of oral history. But then layered on top of that is — are hours and hours I spent
driving to various Louisiana towns, driving to cemeteries to get information, going to
archives, going to the local library, the Louisiana Collection, you know, interviewing
people, trying to interview people, and then reading everything I can, because there were
no books about New Orleans East. It’s just not that sexy, compared to the rest
of New Orleans. JEFFREY BROWN: Did you feel compelled to correct
that record, in a sense? I mean, Katrina plays a role, because Katrina is what ended up destroying
the yellow house, right? SARAH BROOM: Of course. Of course. JEFFREY BROWN: Katrina got so much attention.
Other parts of New Orleans got so much attention. SARAH BROOM: I felt moved and buoyed by the
idea that I could write something that didn’t exist, and that there’s a little girl right
now still living on the short end of the street in New Orleans East where I grew up. And I wrote it for her, so that there could
be some history already in existence. And, you know, one of the striking things about
New Orleans East is the way in which it doesn’t always appear on a map of New Orleans. So I wanted to quite literally put New Orleans
East on the map. JEFFREY BROWN: In this act of looking back,
right, did it make sense? I mean, do you see, from there, from then to now for yourself? SARAH BROOM: I think I actually grew up with
this feeling of being bifurcated as part of the way I thought about the world. I thought a lot about how our street was cut
off from the other end of itself, how New Orleans East was cut off by the Industrial
Canal from the rest of the city. I think it grew me into a person who noticed bifurcations,
who noticed disparities, who cared a lot about the ways in which injustice was baked into
the soil of a place. One of the things that intrigued me as a kid
was how soft the ground was. And, of course, when I was a child playing hide and go seek,
I didn’t understand that the ground was subsiding. JEFFREY BROWN: Right. SARAH BROOM: But I just knew and my friends
knew this is soft ground. It eats our basketballs, or — when it rains, the water pools for one
or two weeks, right? And so to sort of have been born out of this
place, where we were really thinking about environmental issues even then, but not knowing
what to call them — so, so much of, I feel, my composition and how I write and how I think
as a human is based on having come from that very specific place. JEFFREY BROWN: Who did you come to feel you
were writing this book for? SARAH BROOM: For my nieces and nephews, I’d
say… JEFFREY BROWN: Younger generation? SARAH BROOM: … primarily, yes. And the entire moment now, now that the book
exists in the world, and even the National Book Award win, is really for them. I mean,
they — many of them never heard of the National Book Award before this moment. And so to get the texts from them, screenshots
of them watching the National Book Award, is profound for me. I feel like it’s a step
toward making them better readers, even, and that makes me hugely proud. JEFFREY BROWN: All right, the book is “The
Yellow House.” Sarah Broom, thank you, and congratulations. SARAH BROOM: Thank you. Thank you so much.
Thank you. AMNA NAWAZ: British painter JMW Turner was
both prolific and wide-ranging in his work. He traveled throughout England and Europe,
often with a small watercolor case at his side. Now a rare show of watercolors Turner made
throughout his career is on view at the Mystic Seaport Museum in Connecticut through February.
And it’s the only North American stop these fragile works will make. Special correspondent Jared Bowen has our
report. It’s part of our weekly series on arts and
culture, Canvas. JARED BOWEN: JMW Turner moved from cathedrals
to coasts, from the bright light of day to the deep dark of night, and from the moody
tones of his native England to the luminescent glow of Venice, Italy. For the famed painter,
they were wanders in watercolor. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN, Senior Curator, Tate
Britain: I think some of his most original and expressive and experimental, groundbreaking
work was actually in watercolor on paper. JARED BOWEN: That medium is where his ideas
formed and flourished with a fervor. Starting with the first watercolor he painted of this
gorge at age 17, Turner painted more than 30,000 in his lifetime. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: Drawing and, indeed,
painting in watercolor was almost a compulsion. It was like a kind of a nervous tick. He just
wasn’t comfortable unless he was doing it. JARED BOWEN: Turner scholar David Blayney
Brown is a senior curator with Tate Britain, the London museum that holds the Turner bequest,
a collection of tens of thousands of works, including these watercolors, that went to
the museum after his death in 1851. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: He certainly had a high
opinion of himself. He wasn’t a modest man. He realized that he was a great artist, and
he wanted to leave a legacy to the nation, to the British nation. JARED BOWEN: Now that legacy is getting some
international burnishing. The watercolors, which are extremely susceptible to light damage,
can only be shown once in a generation. After stops in Italy and Argentina, the show
is making its only North American appearance at Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport Museum. STEVE WHITE, President and CEO, Mystic Seaport
Museum: This is the most significant exhibition, I believe, that we have had in our 90-year
existence. JARED BOWEN: So significant that, five years
ago, when the museum was building this new facility, its president, Steve White, says
he told the architectural team: STEVE WHITE: The conditions and the specs
for the space have to be good enough for Turner, because that’s the — that, for us, would
be the most defining exhibition. JARED BOWEN: So this, says White, is a dream
come true, to marry Turner’s lifelong interest in maritime painting with the Mystic River
flowing just outside. STEVE WHITE: This exhibition, because of Turner,
because of his expression of the sea, his expression of landscapes, he brings the spirit
of this place alive in a much different way. JARED BOWEN: Do we have a sense of how he’s
working with movement here, or is it strictly, do you think, about color? DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: I think it’s about movement
as well, because the color has to move, doesn’t it? I mean, this is a coastline. There’s a
storm approaching. The clouds are presumably moving quite fast. And the waves are crashing
on the beach. JARED BOWEN: Five years ago, in 2014, the
Mike Leigh biopic “Mr. Turner” painted the artist as a frenzied storm of creativity. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: That film was a movie,
is what I will say. JARED BOWEN: In truth, David Blayney Brown
says, Turner was likely much more methodical. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: He must have worked with
great care and great precision, certainly in some of the images in this exhibition.
They’re extraordinarily finely worked. Some are minutely detailed. And instead of broad, sweeping surges of paint,
there are just tiny little dots, you know, laid onto the paper, almost like setting tiny
diamonds into a ring. JARED BOWEN: While many of Turner’s works
appear ethereal and idealized, he was also fond of what art critics and historians have
come to describe as litter, the little figures, animals and general stuff that frequently
dot his foregrounds. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: They can look very untidy.
But, of course, the real world is often an untidy place. He wants to root things in reality. JARED BOWEN: As an inveterate traveler, his
work changed as often as his landscapes did, especially in Venice. The work he produced
during his third and final trip there in 1840 prompted one critic to proclaim Turner a magician,
with command over the spirits of earth, air, fire, and water. DAVID BLAYNEY BROWN: The real thrill of Venice
for him was probably the fact that it has this extraordinary aqueous light. For an artist
who’s very interested in luminous effects and how to bring light into pictures, the
effect the light has and the way it seems to merge the sea and the sky is something
I think that made an enormous impression on him. JARED BOWEN: And made for one of his myriad
masterstrokes. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jared Bowen of
WGBH in Mystic, Connecticut. AMNA NAWAZ: Tonight’s Brief But Spectacular
features singer and songwriter Mike Love, best known as one of the founding members
of the Beach Boys. The band won over fans around the world with
infectious harmonies and their unique California sound. MIKE LOVE, Beach Boys: For our original fans,
it’s nostalgic when we do “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” But if somebody is in grade school
and listens to the Beach Boys and hears “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” for the first time, it totally
relates to them at that stage of life. The Beach Boys have always emphasized harmony.
And what brought us together is the love of harmonizing, at Christmas parties and Thanksgiving. My earliest memories of my cousin Brian sitting
on my grandmother Wilson’s lap singing “Danny Boy,” and what an amazing voice he had. I
enjoy personally sing the bass parts, with all the other parts above. But the real specialness of it is when it
all comes together, all the various parts and blending. That’s the secret sauce there,
the blend, as well as the harmonies. I remember the first time we ever heard our
record on the radio in 1961. Our song, “Surfin'” was played on a radio station which played
like four or five brand-new singles by various groups. And the one that got the most call-in requests
would become the record of the week the following week. And we had cousins and uncles and aunts
and everybody phoning in. And we easily won the record of the week. The problem was started with my uncle Murry
not being very ethical. And he actually took and sold our publishing for a minuscule amount
compared to what it really is worth. That was a tough thing to deal with. I know it
was tough on Brian, Dennis, and Carl. It was tough on me, too. He also didn’t credit me with writing so many
of the songs that I created all the words for. I, unfortunately, because of that, had
to go into a lawsuit situation to establish my authorship. These are unfortunate things that happened.
But if you focus on that stuff, it loses sight on the incredible positivity that our music
has meant, transcended boundaries and borders and ethnic groups. To be able to just go out on stage and sing
these songs, and seeing that they’re so appreciated and people still love them, that is somewhat
of a precious miracle. My name is Mike Love, and this is my Brief
But Spectacular take on my life as a Beach Boy. AMNA NAWAZ: And you can watch additional Brief
But Spectacular episodes on our Web site. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. On the “NewsHour” online, our in-depth series
on the unrest that broke out across the globe this year continues. Tonight, we ask, what
happened to protests in Iran? You can find all that and more when you follow us on Instagram
@NewsHour. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m
Amna Nawaz. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening.
For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and we’ll see you soon.

News Wrap: China bars U.S. military from Hong Kong


JOHN YANG: In the day’s other news: There
were more demonstrations in Iraq, even after Parliament accepted the prime minister’s resignation. Women led a protest in the southern city of
Basra, demanding the entire government be dismissed. And, in Baghdad, protesters also insisted
on more changes. FAYIZA ABDUL HASSAN, Iraqi Protester (through
translator): We do not want the current government officials. They must go. The young people are in a deteriorating situation. The women are begging on the streets, no medications
in hospitals. All parties must go. We don’t want any one of them. JOHN YANG: Iraqi lawmakers say Prime Minister
Adil Abdul-Mahdi will stay as a caretaker until a new government is formed. That process could take weeks. Amnesty International said today it believes
more than 200 people were killed in Iran during November protests and the ensuing crackdown. The Iranian government has yet to release
a full account of those who died in the protests, which were over gasoline prices. China today indefinitely suspended U.S. military
ships and aircraft from visiting Hong Kong. That comes after President Trump signed legislation
supporting anti-government protests in the Chinese territory. Also today, hundreds of office workers rallied
in Hong Kong’s Central Business District. A day earlier, police fired tear gas to disperse
thousands of protesters. World leaders have begun a two-week climate
conference in Madrid. They convened today amid warnings that the
2015 Paris climate accord will fall short of preventing major consequences of climate
change. U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres opened
the conference by criticizing global efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions. ANTONIO GUTERRES, United Nations Secretary-General:
Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sense,
that fiddled while the planet burns? The other option is the path of hope, the
path of resolve, of sustainable solutions. JOHN YANG: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi led
an American delegation of Democratic lawmakers to the conference, voicing support for the
Paris accords. President Trump has moved to withdraw the
United States from the accord, effective next November. Back in this country, a storm system blew
into the Northeast, after making a mess across the Midwest. New Jersey’s state government largely shut
down, as did schools in several states. Parts of Eastern New York state were under
snow emergencies, and New York City warned commuters to brace for the worst. BILL DE BLASIO (D), Presidential Candidate:
The fact that we have got five to eight inches projected for some parts of the city should
make everyone aware quite that number could go up, and could go up quickly. We have all been down this road before. This could fluctuate a lot. But when I start to hear five to eight, I’m
like, you know, buckle your seat belts, because you’re never sure what’s going to happen next. JOHN YANG: The storm could dump up to 20 inches
of snow from Pennsylvania to Maine. Six-term Congressman from California Duncan
Hunter now plans to plead guilty to misusing campaign funds. The San Diego Republican said today he will
appear in federal court tomorrow to change his earlier not guilty plea. He said he’s doing it to protect his family. Hunter is accused of using campaign contributions
to pay for vacations, golf trips and other personal expenses. Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson
was fired today, a month before he was set to retire. In mid-October, he had been found passed out
in his car at a stop sign near his home. He acknowledged that he had had a few drinks. But Mayor Lori Lightfoot said today an inspector
general’s report showed that Johnson was not truthful with her. LORI LIGHTFOOT, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois:
Eddie Johnson intentionally lied to me several times, even when I challenged him about the
narrative that he shared with me. He maintained that he was telling the truth. I now know definitively that he wasn’t. Had I known these facts at the time, I would’ve
relieved him of his duties as superintendent then and there. JOHN YANG: Lightfoot gave no details, but
said the report could become public later. A new study out today finds one in four young
Americans aged 19 to 34 is living with pre-diabetes. The report comes from the Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention. It also finds that men are almost twice as
likely to have the condition as women. Pre-diabetes causes blood sugar levels to
spike, and can lead to Type 2 diabetes, as well as to kidney and heart disease. In economic news, President Trump declared
today he will reimpose tariffs on steel and aluminum from Brazil and Argentina. In a tweet, he accused the two nations of
manipulating their currencies to undercut U.S. farm products. The president had exempted Brazil and Argentina
from the tariffs in March of 2018. And on Wall Street, December got off to a
rough start amid new worries about trade tensions with China. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 268
points to close at 27783. The Nasdaq fell 97 points. And the S&P 500 dropped 27. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: arguments
before the Supreme Court in the first major gun case in a decade; Amy Walter and Domenico
Montanaro break down the week’s top political headlines; why young Americans are waving
goodbye to the cities and settling down in small towns; plus, trees take center stage
in our “NewsHour”-New York Times book club pick, “The Overstory.”

News Wrap: Iran warns people protesting 50 percent hike in gas prices


AMNA NAWAZ: In the day’s other news: Iran’s
powerful Revolutionary Guards warned protesters they will face — quote — “decisive action”
if nationwide unrest doesn’t stop. People occupied streets and set fire to cars,
banks and other buildings over the weekend. They were angered by a 50 percent hike in
gasoline prices. The government cut off Internet access in
an effort to smother the protests. ALI RABIEI, Iranian Government Spokesperson
(through translator): Today, the situation was calmer, more than 80 percent compared
to yesterday. Only some minor problems remain. And by tomorrow and the day after, there will
remain no riots. AMNA NAWAZ: The protests took place in dozens
of cities and put more pressure on Iran’s government as it struggles with an ailing
economy and U.S. sanctions. In Iraq, anti-government protesters again
seized a major bridge in Baghdad, burning tires to block traffic. They also held a funeral procession for a
protester killed by security forces. More than 320 demonstrators have been killed
in recent weeks, as they demand a new government and political and economic reforms. The Trump administration is softening its
policy on Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced today
he will abandon a 1978 State Department legal finding that the settlements are inconsistent
with international law. Pompeo said the finding had hindered the path
to peace. MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: We have
had a long time with the policy, the legal interpretation announced today being the other
way, and it didn’t work. That’s a fact in evidence. We believe that what we have done today is,
we have recognized the reality on the ground. We think, in fact, we have increased the likelihood
that the vision for peace that this administration has, we think we have created space for that
to be successful. AMNA NAWAZ: Today’s move is one of a series
of Trump administration decisions that weaken Palestinian claims to statehood. North Korea declared today it doesn’t want
— quote — “meaningless nuclear talks” with the U.S.. President Trump had hinted at a
third summit with Kim Jong-un. But North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said Kim
rejects any summit unless he gets something tangible. A senior official said — quote — “We will
no longer gift the U.S. president with something he can boast of.” Kim has demanded that the U.S. offer acceptable
terms by the end of the year, in return for him ending North Korea’s nuclear program. The city of Venice, Italy, struggled to begin
recovering today, after unprecedented tidal flooding. On Sunday, tourists and officials waded through
historic St. Mark’s Square, though some businesses stayed open despite the water. The mayor said the record flooding is a warning. LUIGI BRUGNARO, Mayor of Venice, Italy (through
translator): Venice is a way to give a signal that we need scientists here. They need to come here and create a permanent
place where they can study and then recount what is happening here because of climate
change, with all its effects. Venice is a frontier. We are in the trenches. AMNA NAWAZ: The water levels on Sunday reached
nearly five feet for the third time in the past week. That had not happened since record-keeping
began in 1872. Back in this country, a congressional watchdog
group says at least 60 percent of Superfund sites are prone to flooding or other effects
of climate change. Those sites contain hazardous industrial waste. The Government Accountability Office called
today for the Environmental Protection Agency to state explicitly that it will focus on
the problem. President Trump has often derided talk of
climate change. Seven people are dead after two shootings
in different parts of the country. In Duncan, Oklahoma, three people were killed
today outside a Walmart. Police said the gunman shot two people in
a car, before killing himself. Meanwhile, a manhunt is under way in Fresno,
California, for two men who shot and killed four people on Sunday evening. It happened at a backyard gathering where
about 30 people, including children, were watching a football game. Six more people were wounded in the shooting. ANDY HALL, Fresno, California, Police Chief:
They walked into the backyard and began immediately firing into the crowd; 10 of those 16 people
at that event were hit and struck by bullets. The unknown suspects fled the scene on foot. What I can tell you is, this wasn’t a random
act. AMNA NAWAZ: Police say some of the victims
may have been involved in an incident last week. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has
ordered a hold on letting House Democrats see President Trump’s tax records. A federal appeals court had ruled in favor
of enforcing a House subpoena for the documents. The Roberts order today blocks enforcement
for an unspecified time to give the high court time to issue a definitive ruling. President Trump is backing away from a plan
to bar sales of most flavored e-cigarette products. He had said in September he would announce
a ban to try and curb teenage vaping. But it was widely reported today that he changed
his mind after being warned that a crackdown could cost jobs and votes. And on Wall Street Today, the Dow Jones industrial
average gained 31 points to close at 28036. The Nasdaq rose nine points, and the S&P 500
added one point. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the latest
in the impeachment inquiry and what to expect in the second week of public hearings; how
President Trump’s latest pardons raise concerns about military justice; our Politics Monday
team breaks down the latest from the campaign trail; plus, a new exhibit of paintings by
Winslow Homer examines the artist’s fascination with the sea.

News Wrap: Deadly violence, anti-government protests continue in Iraq


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: High
winds fueled new fire dangers and new power blackouts in California. Stephanie Sy has our report. STEPHANIE SY: The winds across Northern California
are picking up, and, with them, fears that the fires will only get worse. Sonoma County Sheriff Mark Essick told evacuees
today not to go home yet. MARK ESSICK, Sonoma County, California, Sheriff:
With the winds, we’re going to get a lot of questions about repopulation, how people can
get back to their homes, with a lot of anxiety and anxiousness there. STEPHANIE SY: Communities across Northern
California are also facing more blackouts. The new high wind advisory prompted Pacific
Gas & Electric to begin cutting off power for the fourth time this month. It’s aimed at preventing downed lines from
sparking new fires. But the frequency of the widespread outages
are adding to frayed nerves and frustrations. More than 1.5 million people are affected,
on top of 2.5 million who lost power over the weekend. Then there are the many people living in evacuation
shelters, anxiously waiting for the all-clear. DAVE ASHMORE, Wildfire Evacuee: It’s quite
frustrating. I mean, all the resources and everything that’s
going on is great, but it’s very frustrating not knowing. STEPHANIE SY: And to the south, in Los Angeles,
daylight revealed damaged homes and scorched hillsides from a fire near the famed Getty
arts complex. L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti warned that smoke
clearing doesn’t mean the area is completely safe. ERIC GARCETTI (D), Mayor of Los Angeles: I’m
sure we all have gotten phone calls saying and had conversations with people saying,
well, there’s not a lot of smoke, it should be fine to go home. I want to continue to tell people, listen
to the professionals and the firefighters who are asking you to stay away and mandating
that you stay away. STEPHANIE SY: Wind speeds are expected to
peak with gusts up to 80 miles per hour overnight on both ends of California. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Stephanie Sy. JUDY WOODRUFF: In Iraq, a bloodbath overnight
sparked one of the largest anti-government protests yet. The attacks happened in Karbala, where masked
gunmen shot dead 18 people and wounded hundreds at a tent encampment. Hours later, thousands of people packed Baghdad’s
main square, as police fired tear gas. In Geneva, a United Nations’ spokesman called
the reports out of Karbala particularly disturbing. RUPERT COLVILLE, Spokesman, United Nations
High Commissioner for Human Rights: We call on the authorities to launch investigations
into the use of force, on these continued killings and injuries that are taking place,
and to really knuckle down to a meaningful dialogue to try and reduce the tension and
bring some satisfaction to the situation. JUDY WOODRUFF: In all, at least 240 people
have died in the protests that began October 1, demanding jobs and an end to corruption. Lebanon’s embattled prime minister resigned
today, after nearly two weeks of mass protests in that country. Saad Hariri handed his resignation to President
Michel Aoun, after saying that he had — quote — “hit a dead end.” Protesters in Beirut welcomed the news. IMAD SAMAHA, Protester (through translator):
It was expected, under the pressure of this people’s uprising. It is something joyful for the Lebanese people,
because he was one of the symbols of authority and of the authorities’ strength. They really should all be held accountable. JUDY WOODRUFF: Earlier, supporters of the
Shiite militia Hezbollah torched a protesters camp and beat people up. Hezbollah is part of Lebanon’s ruling coalition. The deadline ran out today for Syrian Kurdish
fighters to withdraw from near the border with Turkey. Turkey said that Russia confirmed that the
Kurds had complied an earlier agreement. The so-called safe zone extends 19 miles into
Northeastern Syria. Turkish and Russian forces now plan joint
patrols in a narrower zone. Late today, the U.S. House of Representatives
passed two measures to punish Turkey for invading Syria. It approved sanctions and it formally recognized
the Armenian genocide in Turkey a century ago, seen as a thumb in the eye to the Turks. The British Parliament agreed today to call
a December election to break months of deadlock over Brexit. Prime Minister Boris Johnson pushed to let
the public decide who can best deliver Britain’s departure from the European Union. BORIS JOHNSON, British Prime Minister: There
is only one way to get Brexit done, in the face of this unrelenting parliamentary obstructionism,
this endless, willful, fingers-crossed, not-me-guv refusal to deliver on the mandate of the people. And that is, Mr. Speaker, to refresh this
Parliament. JUDY WOODRUFF: The decision came after the
opposition Labor Party changed course and agreed to the early election. British police are now hunting two brothers
from Northern Ireland in the deaths of 39 migrants. The victims were found last week in a container
truck in Southeastern England. It’s now been confirmed that some were Vietnamese. The truck’s driver has already been charged. Back in this country, a federal judge in Alabama
has temporarily blocked a state law banning nearly all abortions. The measure is part of a wave of state laws
pushed by abortion opponents, who hope to get the issue back before the U.S. Supreme
Court. A major coal mining company filed for federal
bankruptcy protection today, the eighth in the past year to do so. Murray Energy is the largest private coal
miner, with nearly 7,000 employees. Demand for coal has plummeted as utilities
switch to cheaper natural gas and renewable energy. And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial
average lost 19 points to close at 27071. The Nasdaq fell 49 points, and the S&P 500
slipped two. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the CEO of
Boeing comes face to face with lawmakers a year to the day after a fatal crash; how a
school in one of Baltimore’s poorest neighborhoods graduates 95 percent of its students; and
much more.

News Wrap: Federal judge orders Justice Department to turn over Mueller information


JUDY WOODRUFF: Wildfires are burning out of
control across Northern and Southern California today. The state’s largest utility, Pacific Gas & Electric,
admitted that its electrical equipment could have sparked one of those fires in Sonoma
County. But the official cause has yet to be determined. William Brangham has the latest. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Once again, thousands of
California firefighters are battling fast-moving blazes across the state. Driven by strong winds and dry conditions,
the fires are forcing tens of thousands to evacuate their homes. Hundreds of schools were closed due to poor
air quality and closed highways. The Kincade Fire, in Northern California’s
Sonoma County, doubled in size in less than 24 hours. It’s already destroyed at least 49 structures
and burned more than 21,000 acres. It’s just 5 percent contained. MIKE PARKES, Incident Commander, Cal Fire:
We absolutely are up against the clock. The winds that are predicted over the next
couple days are currently expected to be worse than what we had just the other night. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Four hundred miles south,
just north of Los Angeles, the Tick Fire has burned more than 4,000 acres and several subdivisions. Officials say another 10,000 structures are
threatened. It too is just 5 percent contained. Two weeks ago, the California utility Pacific
Gas & Electric shut off power to hundreds of thousands of residents, trying to prevent
high winds from knocking over power lines and sparking fires. Investigators believe that’s what caused last
year’s deadly Camp Fire that killed 85. Yesterday, PG&E said a transmission tower
malfunctioned near the site where the Kincade Fire began, a blaze which continues to roar
across Northern California’s wine country. California’s governor, Democrat Gavin Newsom,
blasted the utility company yesterday. GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): It’s about decades of
mismanagement. It’s about focusing on shareholders and dividends
over you and members of the public. It’s a story about greed. And they need to be held accountable. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: PG&E warns they will have
to cut power to more homes throughout the weekend. And if high winds continue, it could turn
into the largest blackout yet for Californians, yet another new normal for a state grappling
with the growing impacts of climate change. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m William Brangham. JUDY WOODRUFF: A federal judge Washington
today ruled that the House impeachment inquiry is legal and ordered the Department of Justice
to give House investigators secret grand jury testimony from the Mueller report. House Democrats also issued three more subpoenas
as part of that inquiry to two top White House budget officials and a State Department official. Meanwhile, it was widely reported that the
Justice Department’s review of the Russia investigation’s origins has now evolved into
a criminal probe. President Trump said he anticipates the findings
will shed new light on the special counsel’s investigation. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
I think you’re going to see a lot of really bad things. And a lot of people think that — and they
know they have problems because they were very dishonest. And, again, I leave it all up to the attorney
general, and I leave it all up to the people that are working with the attorney general,
who I don’t know. But I will say this. I think you will see things that nobody would’ve
believed. JUDY WOODRUFF: Prosecutors will now have greater
authority to issue subpoenas and to file criminal charges. The Trump corporate organization acknowledged
today that it’s looking into whether to sell its Washington hotel. That comes amid ethics complaints and lawsuits
that accuse Mr. Trump of profiting off his presidency. The Trump Hotel, located just blocks from
the White House, has a 100-year lease on the historic building. It took in $41 million in revenue last year. A federal judge in California has held U.S.
Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos in contempt of court for violating an order related to
student loans. The ruling said that DeVos continued to collect
loans from students who attended Corinthian Colleges — that is a now-defunct chain of
for-profit colleges — despite being ordered to stop. The federal Education Department was also
fined $100,000. More children were separated from their families
at the U.S.-Mexico border than previously known. That’s according to a new count the Trump
administration submitted to the American Civil Liberties Union. Immigration authorities separated more than
1,500 additional children from their parents between July 2017 and June 2018, when a federal
judge ordered an end to the practice. That brings the overall number of children
separated since July 2017 to more than 5,400. In Iraq, security forces clashed with anti-government
protesters in Baghdad and across several southern provinces today, killing at least 30 people. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets
of the capital city to protest the country’s corruption and struggling economy. Police fired live rounds, rubber bullets,
and tear gas to try to disperse the crowd. We will take a closer look at anti-government
protests in two other countries, Lebanon and Chile, later in the program. Despite President Trump’s recent decision
to pull U.S. troops out of Northern Syria, the U.S. will strengthen its military presence
in one area in order to block Islamic State fighters from accessing oil fields. Defense Secretary Mark Esper confirmed plans
to deploy U.S. troops and armored vehicles, but he didn’t offer specifics. Esper spoke to reporters after meeting with
the Turkey’s defense minister today in Brussels. MARK ESPER, U.S. Defense Secretary: We are
now taking some actions — I am not going to get into the details — to strengthen our
position at Deir el-Zour to ensure that we can deny ISIS access to the oil fields, because
we want to make sure that they don’t have access to the resources that may allow them
to strike within the region, to strike Europe, to strike the United States. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Russia’s Defense
Ministry said that it sent about 300 additional military police to patrol the Turkey-Syria
border. They will help oversee the pullout of Syrian
Kurdish fighters. The European Union agreed today to grant the
U.K.’s request for another extension to the Brexit deadline. But it won’t decide just how long that delay
should be until next week. Britain was scheduled to leave the bloc next
Thursday. The move gives a divided British Parliament
time to decide on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s call for an early election to break the deadlock
over Brexit. Back in this country, the federal budget deficit
for 2019 soared to over $984 billion. That is its highest level in seven years. And, also, that is a $205 billion or 25 percent
increase over just last year. The Treasury Department reported the new figure
included lost revenue from President Trump’s tax cuts, as well as increased spending for
the military and domestic programs. Members of the united Auto Workers Union ratified
a new contract with General Motors today, bringing an end to their 40-day strike. About 49,000 auto workers had walked off the
job since mid-September. That halted production at more than 30 U.S.
factories. Stocks rallied on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 152
points to close at 26958. The Nasdaq rose 57 points, and the S&P 500
added 12. And the late Maryland Congressman and civil
rights leader Elijah Cummings was remembered today at a funeral in Baltimore. Thousands of mourners, including former Presidents
Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, came to pay their final respects to the Democrat who served
in the U.S. House of Representatives for 23 years. The final send-off for Congressman Cummings
began early today in his hometown of Baltimore, a wall of sound from organ and choir filling
the 4,000-seat New Psalmist Baptist Church, where Cummings himself worshipped for 40 years. BISHOP WALTER THOMAS, New Psalmist Baptist
Church: We prepare now for the requiem of a public servant, the Honorable Elijah Eugene
Cummings. JUDY WOODRUFF: A military honor guard covered
the congressman’s casket with an American flag. A favorite of Cummings, singer BeBe Winans,
remembered him with the song “Stand.” And political leaders, Democrats and Republicans
alike, sat with members of the Baltimore community, whom Cummings served for more than two decades. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
likened him to the biblical prophet whose name he bore. HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Former U.S. Secretary
of State: Like the prophet, our Elijah could call down fire from heaven. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: But he also prayed
and worked for healing. He weathered storms and earthquakes, but never
lost his faith. JUDY WOODRUFF: She was followed by the House
speaker, Nancy Pelosi, who remembered Cummings as welcoming to everyone he encountered. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Our Elijah always made
a seat at the table for others, for even new members of Congress, so that he could mentor
them, for all who wanted to be part of the American dream. JUDY WOODRUFF: Longtime friend and former
U.S. Congressman Kweisi Mfume spoke of Cummings as a faith-filled man, as profound as he was
funny. KWEISI MFUME (D), Former U.S. Congressman:
I would go on later that year to get elected to the city council, winning by three votes. And Elijah, who had met my grandmother, thought
it was funny. They came to me and said: “Now, Kweisi, as
long as you are black,” which meant the rest of my life, “You just remember those three
votes were the father, the son, and the holy ghost, and you can’t go wrong.” (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: Cummings’ daughter, Jennifer,
thanked him for life lessons and shared her memories of his famous voice. JENNIFER CUMMINGS, Daughter of Elijah Cummings:
Thank you for loving me unconditionally and teaching me what love and leadership are by
your example. I will miss your smile, your great big smile
that could light up a room. I will miss your booming voice that would
firmly sound, “Jennifer,” when I knew I was in trouble. JUDY WOODRUFF: And his wife, Maya, who chairs
Maryland’s Democratic Party, called her husband a public servant of integrity, and a walking
miracle. MAYA ROCKEYMOORE CUMMINGS, Wife of Elijah
Cummings: He was given six months to live more than 25 years ago, and he kept going,
he kept fighting, he kept standing, he kept working! (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: At the service were two former
presidents, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. Both urged those gathered to remember lessons
left by Cummings. BILL CLINTON, Former President of the United
States: But we should hear him now in the quiet times at night and in the morning, when
we need courage. When we get discouraged, and we don’t know
if we can believe anymore, we should hear him. (APPLAUSE) BARACK OBAMA, Former President of the United
States: His life validates the things we tell ourselves about what’s possible in this country,
not guaranteed, but possible. We have the capacity, the chance, as individuals
and as a nation, to root ourselves in good soil. JUDY WOODRUFF: The eulogy summed up Cummings
as a man of devout faith who did what he could to bring together a divided nation. That portrait came from the longtime pastor
of Cummings’ church, Bishop Walter Thomas. BISHOP WALTER THOMAS: He never wanted to lose
what was grounded in him. And I think he brought you to church because
too many in our country are forgetting where they came from. JUDY WOODRUFF: The organ sounded as the service
closed, while pallbearers wheeled Cummings’ casket out for final burial. Elijah Cummings was 68 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Lebanon and
Chile erupt in protest — what’s driving two waves of unrest a world apart?; filling the
bench — a close look at the new federal judges the White House is ushering to lifetime appointments;
Mark Shields and David Brooks break down a dizzying week of impeachment news; and one
of our favorite things, a conversation with Julie Andrews.

News Wrap: Israel’s government in limbo after close election


JUDY WOODRUFF: The Federal Reserve board has voted to cut short-term interest rates for the second time in three months. But the Central Bank held back today from
promising any further money moves this year. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said it all depends
on where the economy seems to be headed. JEROME POWELL, Federal Reserve Chairman: What
we think we’re facing here is a situation which can be addressed and should be addressed
with moderate adjustments to the Federal Funds Rate. As I mentioned, we are watching carefully
to see whether that is the case. If in fact the economy weakens more, then
we’re prepared to be aggressive, and we will do so if it turns out to be appropriate. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump took to Twitter
to criticize the Fed and Powell for not approving a larger rate cut. He said — quote — “No guts, no sense, no
vision.” We will take a closer look at the Fed’s moves
right after the news summary. The president today tapped Robert O’Brien
to be his new national security adviser, his fourth in that post to date. O’Brien had been special envoy for hostage
negotiations. Mr. Trump removed John Bolton as national
security adviser just last week over policy disputes. Saudi Arabia says it has mounting evidence
that Iran was behind weekend attacks on its key oil facilities. Saudi officials today displayed remnants of
drones and a cruise missile. They said the weapons were Iranian-made, but
Iran again denied any role. U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo arrived in
Saudi Arabia today. He said the attacks were — quote — “an act
of war.” We will talk about all of this, and the naming
of the new national security adviser, later in the program. The government of Israel was in political
limbo today, after two main parties deadlocked in Tuesday’s elections. Neither Likud nor the Blue and White Party
won enough seats for a majority in Parliament. Former Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman
leads a smaller party that could become the kingmaker. He underscored his position today. AVIGDOR LIEBERMAN, Leader, Yisrael Beiteinu
Party (through translator): The conclusion is clear. All that we have said during the election
campaign is coming true. There is only one option, a national unity
government, a liberal broad government. And we will indeed say again we will not join
any other option. JUDY WOODRUFF: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
of Likud insisted today that he will still try to form a ruling coalition anyway. The European Parliament has approved another
extension to the Brexit deadline, but with conditions. It would have to be used to prevent a no-deal
British departure from the European Union, or to allow for new elections or even a new
referendum on Brexit. Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson has
insisted on leaving the E.U. by the current deadline, October 31, with or without a deal. The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo
Duterte, is offering bounties of nearly $20,000 each for hundreds of convicted criminals. They include killers and rapists mistakenly
freed under a good-behavior program. Duterte said today they are wanted dead or
alive, but that he prefers them dead. The justice minister for the Philippines said
later that he shouldn’t be taken literally. In Bermuda, schools, transportation and government
offices closed today with Hurricane Humberto bearing down. The storm is on track to pass north of the
island tonight, with sustained winds of 120 miles an hour. Meanwhile, the remnants of Tropical Storm
Imelda were dumping up to 18 inches of rain in Southeastern Texas and parts of Louisiana. President Trump has confirmed that his administration
is revoking California’s power to set its own car mileage standards. He argued today that the move will lead to
cheaper and safer cars. But California’s attorney general, Xavier
Becerra, said that it will actually mean more pollution, and he vowed to file suit. XAVIER BECERRA (D), California Attorney General:
Our communities are screaming for help to address the climate crisis. Unlike the Trump administration, we don’t
run scared. And so whether it is climate change or an
administration recalcitrant in taking on its responsibilities, we’re prepared to lead. We will prepare to fight. We will do what we must. JUDY WOODRUFF: We will hear from California’s
Governor Gavin Newsom a little later in the program. Abortions in the United States have reached
the lowest level since 1973, when the procedure was legalized nationwide. A research group, the Guttmacher Institute,
says that there were 862,000 abortions in 2017, down from at 1.6 million back in 1990. The institute says the decline is due mainly
to fewer pregnancies and greater access to birth control under the Affordable Care Act. And on Wall Street, stocks plunged and then
rebounded as the Federal Reserve gave mixed signals about future interest rate cuts. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 36
points to close at 27147. The Nasdaq fell eight points, and the S&P
500 added one. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: what the
Federal Reserve cutting interest rates says about the economy; Secretary of State Pompeo
calling attacks on Saudi Arabia an act of war; the governor of California takes on climate
change and the gig economy; plus much more.

News Wrap: Cummings remembered by Congress as man of character


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Congress
put aside its divisions over impeachment to join in honoring the late Representative Elijah
Cummings. The Baltimore Democrat died last week. Today, an honor guard brought his flag-covered
coffin to Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol. Fellow lawmakers, friends and family looked
on as leaders from both parties remembered Cummings as a moral compass. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): Elijah was truly a master
of the House. He respected its history, and, in it, he helped
shape America’s future. I have called him our North Star, our guide
to a better future for our children. REP. MARK MEADOWS (R-NC): He is defined by the
character of his heart, the honesty of his dialogue, and the man that —
the man that we will miss. JUDY WOODRUFF: Cummings lay in state at the
Capitol into early evening. His funeral is tomorrow in Baltimore. A new wildfire spread new fear in Northern
California’s wine country. Flames raced across 15 square miles in Sonoma
County, pushed by winds gusting to 70 miles an hour. Some 2,000 people were ordered to evacuate. Meanwhile, Pacific Gas & Electric imposed
new blackouts to prevent downed lines from igniting fires. Governor Gavin Newsom condemned the outages. GOV. GAVIN NEWSOM (D-CA): It is infuriating beyond
words to live in a state as innovative and extraordinarily entrepreneurial and capable
as the state of California, to be living in an environment where we are seeing this kind
of disruption and these kinds of blackouts. It’s about corporate greed meeting climate
change. It’s about decades of mismanagement. JUDY WOODRUFF: PG&E filed for bankruptcy in
January, facing billions of dollars in damages from the fires of recent years. In Northeastern Syria, both the Syrian government
and Kurdish-led forces accused Turkish troops of cease-fire violations. But Ankara made no apologies. Instead, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan
warned Kurdish fighters to leave a border zone, or else. RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkish President (through
translator): Now our soldiers and the Syrian national army are patrolling the area of the
operation inch by inch. If any of these terrorists come across us
there, it is our natural right to crush them. JUDY WOODRUFF: Under a Turkish-Russian plan,
the Kurds must withdraw nearly 20 miles from the Turkish border. The president of Lebanon today urged protesters
to accept a promise of economic reforms and end days of mass demonstrations. Crowds in Beirut listened to the appeal on
speakers and rejected it. Protesters closed roads and lit fires for
an eighth day in an ongoing revolt over economic collapse and official corruption. Chile’s government has offered new concessions
after a week of unrest there that has left 18 dead. President Sebastian Pinera announced today
that he will freeze a hike in electricity rates. But protesters in Santiago were back on the
streets anyway, angered over living costs and inequality. Others returned to work a day after the latest
demonstrations and riots. MAN (through translator): This is a tragedy
for Chile. I think that the majority of the people, the
ones who do not go out and protest and destroy everything, I think they feel differently. These types of things don’t do anything good
for Chile. JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, protests in Honduras
turned violent. Hundreds of people demanded that President
Juan Orlando Hernandez step down over allegations that he aided his brother in drug trafficking. British police confirmed today that all 39
people found dead in a container truck were Chinese citizens. The truck was discovered early yesterday in
an industrial park about 25 miles east of London. The victims included 31 men and eight women. The 25-year-old driver is being held on suspicion
of attempted murder. And in Spain, the remains of the dictator
Francisco Franco were exhumed from a state mausoleum and reburied in a private crypt. Franco’s family carried the coffin away as
supporters gave the fascist salute. Others said the man who overthrew a democratic
government and persecuted his opponents didn’t deserve a place of honor. PEDRO SANCHEZ, Spanish Acting Prime Minister
(through translator): This decision puts an end to a moral affront, the exaltation of
the figure of a dictator in a public place, and takes another step in the reconciliation
, which can only rest in the freedom and democracy. JUDY WOODRUFF: General Franco took power after
the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s that killed half-a-million people. He ruled until his death in 1975. Back in this country, Ohio Congressman Tim
Ryan dropped out of the 2020 Democratic presidential race. He said he will run for reelection instead. Ryan’s departure leaves 17 Democrats vying
for the nomination. Former President Jimmy Carter went home from
a Georgia hospital today. He fell Monday night and fractured his pelvis. It was his third fall and injury since last
spring. Mr. Carter is 95. He has lived longer than any other American
president. The U.S. Census Bureau is now out with new
projections of dramatic change. They show a population of 400 million by the
year 2058, up from the current 326 million. It will also be more diverse, with non-Hispanic
whites dipping below 50 percent of the population. And there will be more senior citizens than
children in just 15 years from now. And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial
average lost 28 points to close at 26805. The Nasdaq rose 66 points, and the S&P 500
added five. And the Houston Astros have fired an executive
who shouted abusive language at female reporters. “Sports Illustrated” had reported that Brandon
Taubman used profanity, yelling about player who was once suspended over domestic violence. The firing came as Houston trails the Washington
Nationals in the world series two games to none. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: captive in
Turkey — Pastor Andrew Brunson on his two years imprisoned on false charges; Cambodia
cracks down on the growing orphanage industry; plus, privacy vs. precision — how data is
driving creative breakthroughs and novel legal challenges.

News Wrap: Nor’easter knocks out power to 400,000 in Maine, Massachusetts


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Britain
and the European Union reached a tentative agreement for the United Kingdom’s exit from
the bloc. They said the deal announced today would ensure
an open border between E.U. member Ireland and British Northern Ireland. In Brussels, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris
Johnson celebrated with handshakes, and urged Parliament to approve the deal. BORIS JOHNSON, British Prime Minister: I hope
very much now, speaking of elected representatives, that my fellow M.P.s in Westminster do now
come together to get Brexit done, to get this excellent deal over the line, and to deliver
Brexit without any more delay, so that we can focus on the priorities of the British
people. JUDY WOODRUFF: Parliament will convene a special
session Saturday to vote. But the deal already faces opposition, including
from within Johnson’s government. Britain is set to leave the E.U. on October
31. We will discuss all of this after the news
summary. New England — back in the U.S., New England
is cleaning up after a powerful nor’easter lashed the region overnight and today. The storm brought heavy rain and wind gusts
up to 90 miles an hour. In Roxbury, Massachusetts, storm surge washed
boats ashore. Elsewhere, trees fell on homes and cars and
downed utility lines. All told, 400,000 customers in Maine and Massachusetts
lost power. Meanwhile, a drought across the Southeastern
U.S. is worsening. More than 30 million people are affected from
Alabama to Virginia. But some relief may be on the way. Forecasters say that a tropical storm may
form tomorrow off the Gulf Coast, and move inland by the weekend. About 25,000 teachers and staff walked off
the job today in Chicago, the nation’s third largest public school district. They set up picket lines outside many of the
district’s 500 schools, demanding better pay and smaller class sizes, among other things. ANN O’BRIEN, Striking Teacher: The only way
that we get justice for our kids is by making sure that we, as teachers, who are their front
line for defense, stand up for their needs. So we will stay out as long as it takes for
us to be able to get the things that they need. JUDY WOODRUFF: The strike has canceled classes
for more than 360,000 students. The number of deaths related to vaping has
climbed again, to 33, since March. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported the new figure today. There is still no definitive cause for the
deaths. Meanwhile, Juul Labs announced that it will
stop selling vaping pods with fruit and dessert flavors. Juul is the country’s bestselling e-cigarette
brand. On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial
average gained about 24 points to close near 27026. The Nasdaq rose 32 points and the S&P 500
added eight. And veteran Congressman Elijah Cummings of
Maryland died early today after longstanding health problems. The Baltimore Democrat was a highly regarded
figure in both political parties and had been playing a central role in the impeachment
inquiry. Amna Nawaz looks at his life and career. AMNA NAWAZ: Elijah Cummings spent a lifetime
advocating for civil rights in his native Baltimore and beyond. After 13 years in the Maryland Statehouse,
he came to Congress in 1996. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS (D-MD): My mission is one
that comes out of a vision that was created long, long ago. It is a mission and a vision to empower people,
to make people realize that the power is within them, that they too can do the things that
they want to do. AMNA NAWAZ: Cummings pursued that vision as
a vocal advocate for causes ranging from gun reform to immigration, and always racial justice. In 2015, he worked to restore calm when riots
erupted in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, a young black man, in police custody. And at Gray’s funeral, he gave an impassioned
eulogy. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: I have often said that our
children are the living messages we send to a future we will never see. But now our children are sending us to a future
they will never see! There is something is wrong with that picture! AMNA NAWAZ: This year, Cummings was equally
fierce condemning the conditions in which migrant children were being detained at the
U.S.-Mexico border. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: We are the United States
of America. We are the greatest country in the world. We are the ones that can go anywhere in the
world and save people, make sure that they have diapers, make sure that they have toothbrushes,
make sure that they’re not laying around defecating. Come on. We’re better than that. AMNA NAWAZ: As chairman of the House Oversight
Committee, Cummings also launched investigations of President Trump. The president struck back, calling Cummings
racist and branding Baltimore a rat-infested mess. Today, Mr. Trump tweeted condolences, saying
— quote — “His work and voice on so many fronts will be very hard, if not impossible,
to replace.” In Congress, Cummings’ colleagues paid tribute,
including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA): In the Congress, Elijah
was considered a North Star. He was a leader of towering character and
integrity. He lived the American dream. And he wanted it for everyone else. AMNA NAWAZ: That sentiment crossed the political
aisle to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY): He counted close friends
and admirers from all across the political spectrum. AMNA NAWAZ: Cummings’ death deprives House
Democrats of a leading voice in the impeachment inquiry. But he left behind a legacy of clear-eyed
views on Congress’ duty. REP. ELIJAH CUMMINGS: When we’re dancing with the
angels, the question will be asked, in 2019, what did we do to make sure we kept our democracy
intact? Did we stand on the sidelines and say nothing? AMNA NAWAZ: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Amna
Nawaz. JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Elijah Cummings
was 68 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Britain and
the European Union reach a Brexit deal, but can it survive the British Parliament?; the
United Auto Workers move to end their strike with GM — what’s on the line?; and how data
is driving artists to create new work.

News Wrap: Mulvaney’s Ukraine comments prompt GOP criticism


JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: President
Trump faced new concerns and discontent in Republican ranks over the issue that launched
the impeachment inquiry. That is after acting White House Chief of
Staff Mick Mulvaney acknowledged the president did tie military aid for Ukraine to an investigation
of Democrats. Mulvaney later denied any quid pro quo. But, today, Republican Congressman Francis
Rooney of Florida said that Mulvaney cannot simply erase his initial comments or, as he
put it, “It’s not an Etch A Sketch.” REP. FRANCIS ROONEY (R-FL): Whatever might have
been gray and unclear before is certainly quite clear right now, that the actions were
related to getting some — the Ukraine to do some of these things. JUDY WOODRUFF: Another prominent Republican,
former Ohio Governor John Kasich, said today that he now supports impeachment. We will talk to him later in the program. Boeing is facing new questions about whether
it was up front with federal safety regulators over the grounded 737 MAX aircraft. At issue are instant messages from a Boeing
pilot who, in his words, lied unknowingly to officials about a new flight control system. That system is now linked with two crashes
that killed 346 people. We will examine this in full later in the
program. In Lebanon, thousands of protesters turned
out for a second day, angry over a proposed tax hike and general economic chaos. Crowds in Beirut faced off with police, demanding
the government resign. Later, the police fired tear gas and water
cannon, as Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri appealed for reforms. SAAD HARIRI, Lebanese Prime Minister (through
translator): I personally gave myself a very short time for our partners in the government
to give a clear and final answer that will convince those who are expressing their anger. All parties should make the decision to reform
and to stop overspending and corruption. JUDY WOODRUFF: Hariri said he was setting
a deadline of 72 hours for his coalition partners to agree. More than half-a-million people marched in
Barcelona, Spain, today demanding independence for Catalonia and freedom for jailed separatists. Vast crowds marched peacefully for the most
part. But, later, a few hundred masked youth set
trash containers on fire and threw rocks. Riot police fired back with rubber bullets. In Eastern Afghanistan, a bomb exploded in
a mosque during Friday prayers, killing at least 62 worshipers. Hospitals in Nangarhar province scrambled
to treat the wounded, including children. It underscored a U.N. report that Afghan civilians
are dying in record numbers. There was no immediate claim of responsibility
for the bombing. Back in this country, the brother of the president
of Honduras was convicted in New York on drug trafficking charges. Federal prosecutors said Juan Antonio Hernandez
smuggled more than 200 tons of cocaine into the U.S. since 2010. His brother, Honduran President Juan Orlando
Hernandez, was labeled a co-conspirator, but he wasn’t charged. In Chicago, public school teachers walked
picket lines for a second day. Schools stayed closed for more than 300,000
students in the country’s third largest public school system. With more than 26,000 teachers on strike,
union leaders reported some progress in negotiations. Mayor Lori Lightfoot said there needs to be
more. LORI LIGHTFOOT, Mayor of Chicago, Illinois:
We put a fulsome, comprehensive offer on the table. And as I have said now for many weeks, they
need to respond in kind with a comprehensive counteroffer. And we need to be at the table every single
day, seven days a week, at least 10 hours a day, until we get a deal done. JUDY WOODRUFF: Lightfoot said that the school
district has offered a 16 percent raise for teachers over five years, plus smaller class
sizes. Tropical Storm Nestor is threatening the Southeastern
U.S. after forming in the Gulf of Mexico today. It is expected to make landfall early tomorrow
near Mexico Beach, Florida, a town nearly destroyed by Hurricane Michael a year ago. This new storm could bring high winds, but
it also promises several inches of rain in a region suffering from drought. President Trump said today that he will nominate
Dan Brouillette to be the next secretary of energy. He is now deputy to Secretary Rick Perry,
who plans to leave the post by year’s end. Perry said today that his departure is not
related to the Ukraine impeachment investigation, but his department formally rejected House
subpoenas for documents. And on Wall Street, stocks closed out the
week on a down note. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 255
points to close at 26770. The Nasdaq fell 67 points, and the S&P 500
slipped 11. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: security
forces in Mexico clash with cartel gunmen; sending bystanders running for cover; flight
risk — new details on when Boeing employees knew about their plane’s deadly flaw; a conversation
with Republican John Kasich, who is now saying President Trump should be impeached; Mark
Shields and David Brooks break down a busy weekend political news; and much more.