PBS NewsHour full episode August 8, 2019

PBS NewsHour full episode August 8, 2019


NICK SCHIFRIN: Good evening. I’m Nick Schifrin. Judy Woodruff is away. On the “NewsHour” tonight: a dire warning
from the United Nations. Climate change threatens a food and water
crisis around the world. Then: a massive raid. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers
arrest more than 600 undocumented migrants at food processing plants across Mississippi. Plus: Five years after the police killing
of Michael Brown, we examine efforts to reform Ferguson, Missouri. FRAN GRIFFIN, Ferguson City Council: When
Michael Brown Jr. was killed, it changed the lives of so many people, not just here in
Ferguson, but throughout the entire world. It changed my life. I never, ever would have thought that I would
have been a politician, but I found something that I could do that would help my community. NICK SCHIFRIN: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) NICK SCHIFRIN: The United Nations is sounding
a dire new warning about how the way we use our land is increasing the effects of climate
change. A report out today from an international panel
of more than 100 scientists found that the world’s land and water resources are being
exploited at — quote — “unprecedented rates.” And it said large-scale farming, along with
the global consumption of meat and dairy, are fueling climate change in a way that could
result in a food crisis. We will take a closer look at these findings
after the news summary. More than 200 former altar boys, students,
and Boy Scouts in Guam are suing the U.S. territory’s Catholic diocese for sexual abuse
that dates back to the 1950s. The Associated Press reported they were assaulted
by clergy, teachers, and Scout leaders linked to the church. The island’s former Archbishop Anthony Apuron
is one of those named. The Vatican convicted him of sex abuse in
2016. But he still remains a bishop and still receives
a stipend from the church. In the wake of two deadly mass shootings,
more than 200 U.S. mayors are urging senators to return to Washington and pass gun safety
legislation. In a letter addressed to Senate leaders today,
the mayors called for a vote on two bills that have passed the House that expand background
checks for gun sales. Among them was Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton,
Ohio, where nine people were shot dead this weekend. She spoke to reporters alongside Ohio Governor
Mike DeWine. NAN WHALEY (D), Mayor of Dayton, Ohio: My
focus is getting something done around gun control, so this terrible tragic issue incident
in Dayton may not have to happen in other places. NICK SCHIFRIN: President Trump has said he
supports background check legislation, but those words have yet to translate to action. And Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell
has resisted pressure to call senators back from their August recess, over concerns the
bills won’t have enough Republican support. The State Department lashed out at China today
for disclosing the photograph and personal information of a U.S. diplomat who met with
leaders of Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. The state Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus
insisted China’s actions were — quote — “completely unacceptable.” MORGAN ORTAGUS, U.S. State Department Spokesperson:
I don’t think that, that leaking an American diplomat’s private information, pictures,
names of their children, I don’t think that that’s a formal protest. That is what a thuggish regime would do. That’s not how a responsible nation would
behave. NICK SCHIFRIN: Pro-democracy protesters have
filled Hong Kong’s streets for the last few months, demanding democratic reforms. Mainland China has criticized them. And Hong Kong police have arrested nearly
600. The demonstrators plan to hold another major
protest at Hong Kong’s international airport this weekend. Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe filed
a lawsuit today against the bureau and the Justice Department over his firing. McCabe insisted his termination last year
was in retaliation for his — quote — “refusal to pledge allegiance” to President Trump. He was fired after a Justice Department inspector
general found he leaked information to the media, and then lied about it to investigators. McCabe played a key role in the FBI’s probe
into Russian interference in the 2016 election. And stocks rallied on Wall Street today, boosted
by gains in the technology sector. The Dow Jones industrial average soared 371
points to close at 26378. The Nasdaq rose 176 points and the S&P 500
added 54. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: a U.N. report
paints a dire picture of the impact of human land use on climate change; hundreds are arrested
in immigration raids at Mississippi food processing plants; and much more. It is a dire warning. The latest science paints a picture of a future
in the grips of extreme weather. William Brangham reports on how much impact
climate change and the way we use our land will have on the very basics of life. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: If we don’t quickly change
the way we grow our food and manage the land on Earth, we will not be able to avoid the
worst damages from climate change. That grim assessment comes from a new report
issued today in Geneva by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Over 100 experts from 53 nations contributed
to the report. The report details a global feedback loop,
where our land management makes climate change worse, and then climate change impacts the
land even more. Right now, how we grow food, chop down forests
and drain wetlands contributes about 23 percent of human greenhouse gas emissions. For example, the report notes that soils essential
for growing food are being lost 10 to 100 times faster than they’re replenished. As that soil degrades, crop yields will fall,
and the soil itself loses its natural ability to absorb greenhouse gasses, which then makes
climate change worse, and perpetuates the cycle. According to the report, about 500 million
people live in areas that are turning quickly to desert. These millions of people are increasingly
vulnerable to heat waves and floods, and may soon find their homes unlivable. The report does offer some hope, pointing
out how better land management could reverse some of these trends. It also suggests things like reducing food
waste, because one-third of all food that’s produced gets wasted, and shifting our diet
away from meat, which requires far more energy to produce than a plant-based diet. For more on what this report says and how
we ought to respond, I’m joined by Janet Ranganathan. She’s the vice president for science and research
at the World Resources Institute. Welcome to the “NewsHour.” This report seems to lay out the essential
paradox of modern life, which is the way we have grown food and managed the lands all
over the planet have built this incredible society that we live in, but now we realize
that those exact methods imperil that society, right? Isn’t that what this is saying? JANET RANGANATHAN, World Resources Institute:
Yes, exactly. One of the key messages of this report is
that the food system and the land use changes associated with that food system are a significant
factor in contributing to climate change, and these other factors, such as deforestation. In fact, you know, it is impossible to achieve
the Paris climate agreement without significant changes to the food system. And that includes both production and consumption. So this report puts that issue squarely on
the table. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: What are the specific things
that we do globally to the land that are problematic, as detailed in this report? JANET RANGANATHAN: Well, the first thing is,
we need to use land to produce food. That’s a good thing. We haven’t developed another substitute for
land yet. But how much land we use, and at the expense
of natural ecosystems like forests, has become quite problematic. So, food, the expansion of the agriculture
frontier, is the major driver of deforestation, which contributes — releases carbon dioxide
into the atmosphere, creates climate change, which, in turn, impacts agriculture. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But changing the way in
which we manage lands all over the world is such a fraught process, I mean, just getting
the political will and the governments to do this. I mean, just simply look at Brazil. The Amazon is one of the most essential parts
of our environmental ecosystem, and yet they have elected a president who’s ready to fire
up the chain saws. JANET RANGANATHAN: Yes. So there are very compelling arguments why
countries should be managing the agricultural footprint in ways that sort of minimize that
and protect forests, not just for climate reasons. I mean, the Amazon, it is a climate regulation
system, but, moreover, it’s actually a water regulation system for that whole region there. So if you keep chipping away at the Amazon,
not only are you going to contribute to climate problem, but, at some point, the scientists
say that Amazon could reach a tipping point where it sort of suddenly switches over and
becomes a more savanna-like vegetation. If that happens, the whole rainfall system
in that region, which is a large breadbasket of the world, will be severely affected. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So what are some of the
other things that we could do? I mean, as you say, we still have to grow
crops and food out of the land that we live on. JANET RANGANATHAN: Yes. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: What are the other things
that they suggest we ought to do? JANET RANGANATHAN: So, one of the things it
correctly noted was that food loss and waste is a massive thing. Globally, it’s about a quarter of calories
between field and fork are either wasted or lost. In the U.S., it’s probably a significantly
amount higher. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: How does that happen? How does — is that it’s lost in transport,
it’s lost in — after we purchase it? How does that… JANET RANGANATHAN: All of those. In developing countries, low-income countries,
it tends to be the lack of infrastructure, refrigeration, packaging. In developed countries, which countries like
the U.S., it’s more you purchase something, you put it in your fridge, you decide to go
out for dinner. You are confused by the sell-by date. You think eat by means it’s no good anymore. You toss it in the trash. So, cutting food loss and waste, food loss
and waste — I mean, food waste is wasted land, it’s wasted water, it’s wasted greenhouse
gas emissions, and it’s wasted money. So taking a bite out of that land that we
need to produce agriculture, this is a very effective way. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The report also suggests
that, globally, we ought to change our diet, eating less meat and more plants and vegetables
and fruits. How important is that in this process? JANET RANGANATHAN: Critical. And I’m very glad to see that in the report. The World Resources Institute report came
out with a report quite recently, creating a sustainable food future. There was also the EAT-Lancet report all put
this issue of diets on the issue. And the reason is that not all foods are equal
in terms of their greenhouse gas impact. So, beef, for example, produces 22 — produces
20 times as much greenhouse gas emissions per an ounce of protein as, say, a plant-based
protein like beans or lentils, so 20 times more. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s a huge dichotomy. JANET RANGANATHAN: Yes. People think about, oh, where does my food
come from, how was it produced? Yes, that does affect greenhouse gas emissions. But more significant is, what do I choose
to eat? That is probably going to have the most profound
impact on the diet-related emissions that you have. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But changing, again, the
global diet, you think about India and China and all of those populations moving into the
middle and upper middle class. What do they do? They adopt American habits. They eat more meat. Again, it seems like the — we’re moving in
the opposite direction. JANET RANGANATHAN: Yes. And there’s things we can do to shift that. I mean, here in the United States, since the
’70s, there’s been about — the per capita consumption of beef has fallen by about a
third. So it’s already starting to happen. I mean, and there are health reasons to do
that. There may be cost reasons. So, there are strategies that we can use in
developed countries to shift diet. Food services companies are starting to use
some of these. And in developing countries, where they’re
worried about spiraling health care costs, I actually think they can start to put in
place the right public education incentives and educational programs to nip this in bud
and allow them to sort of peek at a lower meat, maximum meat, than what’s happened in
which countries,. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Lastly, there’s been a lot
of talk, especially in the presidential campaign here in the U.S., about the time frame for
action. Do we have 10 years, 12 years in order to
act? Does this report address that at all? JANET RANGANATHAN: No, it doesn’t specifically
address the window that we have to try and stabilize or limit global average temperature
rise. But other IPCC reports have. We’re talking about a very short, narrowing
window of around 10 to 15 years now. So, action really needs to have happened yesterday. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Janet Ranganathan from the
World Resources Institute, thank you. JANET RANGANATHAN: My pleasure. Thank you for having us on the show. NICK SCHIFRIN: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: international
tensions rise in Kashmir, as India revokes the region’s special status; five years after
the death of Michael Brown, we examine the efforts to reform Ferguson, Missouri; and
one Alaskan artist looks to glaciers for musical inspiration. President Trump has made immigration a centerpiece
of his presidency. And Immigrations and Customs Enforcement,
or ICE, has been on the front lines. Today, ICE officials released 300 of the nearly
700 people they arrested yesterday in workplace sweeps across Mississippi. Authorities called it the largest single state
action of its kind in U.S. history. As Jeffrey Brown reports, the raids targeted
immigrant workers employed in local food processing plants. JEFFREY BROWN: The raids involved more than
600 federal officers in an action authorities said had been in the planning for more than
a year, and fell on the second day of school in the area. For more on the raids and what has happened
since, we turn to Hamed Aleaziz, immigration reporter for BuzzFeed. Hamed, thanks for joining us. What do we know about why these particular
plants were raided? HAMED ALEAZIZ, BuzzFeed: Well, ICE officials
are unwilling at this point to give any details on the investigation. They say simply that this was a matter of
a long time coming. This investigation had been going on for nearly
a year, and they just simply carried out search warrants and that the investigation is ongoing
and they can’t say much more. JEFFREY BROWN: What happened to those taken
into custody? We know that many were already released, but
under what conditions? HAMED ALEAZIZ: Yes, so, at this point, around
300 individuals have been released and given orders to return to immigration court. So these individuals will have to appear for
their first hearings, perhaps, to begin the deportation proceedings. JEFFREY BROWN: And what about those still
in custody? HAMED ALEAZIZ: Those in custody, ICE has yet
to tell us where they have been detained. But they do say that these around 370 individuals
will be sent to detention centers in Mississippi and Louisiana, where ICE has expanded its
detention space. JEFFREY BROWN: Is there a sense that these
companies knew full well that the workers were illegal and couldn’t otherwise fill the
jobs with citizens? What do we know? HAMED ALEAZIZ: We don’t know anything at this
point. I mean, that’s a tough thing about this situation,
is, all we have is nearly 700 undocumented — suspected undocumented workers were arrested. And that’s all ICE willing to give us at this
point. We should learn more as the days come, as
search warrants and — when the documents surrounding the search warrants become unsealed. But at this point, this — we are left with
only the arrests of the unauthorized workers. JEFFREY BROWN: As you said, the government
has said this was long in the works. There were people who noted that it occurred
right after the El Paso shootings. What — have you heard any connection? Or what have you been hearing? HAMED ALEAZIZ: No, again, they say — ICE
officials say that the search warrants were ready to go, they got signed and delivered
from a judge, and they executed them simply because they got those warrant; it wasn’t
at all tied with the shooting. Obviously, local advocates and other individuals
have said that they were disturbed at the timing, so close to that shooting in El Paso. JEFFREY BROWN: So what happens next? HAMED ALEAZIZ: What happens next is, these
communities are going to be left with trying to pick up the pieces. Kids potentially have parents in detention,
one parent at home. And already today, we’re seeing the effects. I have spoken to several school districts
who’ve said that they have seen a pretty substantial drop in school attendance. So, at this point, much will be remain to
be seen is whether these communities have continued to thrive. JEFFREY BROWN: I know you’re watching this
issue all around the country. Is the expectation that there are other ongoing
investigations and other very large raids like this coming? HAMED ALEAZIZ: Yes, I mean, I think we should
expect that. The administration has said, starting at the
beginning of last year, that they would ramp up these so-called work site enforcement operations. We have already seen some pretty big operations
last year, with a couple hundred people being arrested in one facility. But this is really just so massive in scope,
nearly 700 people. So I think perhaps this could be the beginning
of a new era of major work site operations. JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Hamed Aleaziz of
BuzzFeed, thank you very much. HAMED ALEAZIZ: Thank you. Appreciate it. JEFFREY BROWN: And now a closer focus on how
Wednesday’s raids are affecting the community, especially children with a parent in custody. Tony McGee is superintendent of Scott County
Public Schools. And thank you for joining us. So what did happen in the classrooms and after
school yesterday? TONY MCGEE, Superintendent, Scott County Public
Schools: Well, we get notified somewhere around 8:30 yesterday morning that there was a potential
ICE raid at some of the processing plants in Scott County. We knew from that potentially some of our
parents might be those detainees. We had parents started coming into school
somewhere around 9:00 to check children out of school. Had some neighbors and friends come to children
of school. So we started a process of trying to identify
maybe those students and those parents that may have been detained. JEFFREY BROWN: So, what’s the situation today? We have heard of a number of people being
released from custody, but what’s the situation in the schools? TONY MCGEE: We had approximately 154 students
across our district, mainly Hispanic and Latino of nature, that were absent from school today. And so we have started reaching out to those
families to find out about boys and girls, where they’re at or how they’re doing, just
making sure that they know school is a safe place for them, it can be a safe harbor for
boys and girls, and that we’re here to care for those kids. JEFFREY BROWN: What kind of response did you
see from volunteers or the larger community? TONY MCGEE: We have had a tremendous response,
honestly. It started early yesterday once the word got
out. People started calling, coming. We have a lot of organizations in Scott County
that are deeply rooted into the Hispanic community. And so they came to lend support to our school
people, as we try to translate a different language and making sure that everybody felt
safe. We have had a tremendous amount of support
across the nation today, everything from California to New Jersey. People have contacted us about what can they
do for — not only in monetary, but what can they do for boys and girls to provide an environment
to them? On our end, especially in the community and
the school, we had no prior knowledge. And so it was — it was pretty — pretty shocking. It was really a tough day emotionally for
our educators and students and families. As far as local law enforcement, as far as
I understand, they had very limited knowledge or no knowledge of it too. So it was one of those things that we found
out about it after it happened. JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Superintendent Tony
McGee, thank you very much. TONY MCGEE: Yes, sir. Thank you. NICK SCHIFRIN: Following two mass shootings
in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, mental health is again in the spotlight. As more Americans seek treatment, the health
care system and lawmakers can’t keep up. For some Californians who have struggled with
a severe mental illness, the road to long-term care sometimes begins with a stop behind bars. The largest mental — the largest mental institution
in California, rather, is the Los Angeles County Jail. Byrhonda Lyons of CALMatters, a nonprofit,
nonpartisan media organization, examines how the mental health system is failing some of
the most vulnerable. JOANNA JURGENS, Mother: Keep tapping me on
the shoulder: “Mom, look at that white car. That white car is following us. That’s the government. That’s the CIA.” BYRHONDA LYONS: Joanna Jurgens noticed something
wrong with her son Jeffrey on a family trip to Tahoe, California. JOANNA JURGENS: This is him in junior high. BYRHONDA LYONS: He was 17. It was his first psychotic break, and the
beginning of his years-long struggle with schizoaffective disorder. Over the next four years, Jeffrey landed in
jail frequently. JOANNA JURGENS: I remember saying to the judge
in El Dorado County judge: “I need help. He needs help, and I don’t know what to do,
but I — we’re waiting for a disaster to happen.” But he said: “The law — my hands — there’s
nothing I can really do.” BYRHONDA LYONS: His time in jail and on the
streets gave him an unlikely friend, Officer Michelle Lazark. MICHELLE LAZARK, Sacramento Police Department:
I saw Jeffrey sitting on a bench. He didn’t have any clothes on. He was all disheveled. And I said, “Hey, are you a new guy?” And he says, “Well, yes, I am.” BYRHONDA LYONS: Across the country, more than
90 percent of patrol officers encounter about six people experiencing a mental health crisis
each month, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. MICHELLE LAZARK: OK, great. This is going to be great. You’re going to get treatment. You’re going to get the help you need. You’re going to get housed. And they just can’t keep it together. BYRHONDA LYONS: Following Jeffrey’s arrest
from stealing a car, a judge finally witnessed what Jurgens’ mother had been saying for years,
that he was sick. JOANNA JURGENS: The judge was trying to talk
to him. And then he — my son just started yelling
out. “Who do you — who the F do you think you
are? And I’m Jesus Christ.” BYRHONDA LYONS: Instead of jail, he was sent
to the Atascadero state mental hospital, where he’s been for the past five years. LA’TANYA DANDIE, Mother: We’re here talking
about mental health. And that’s my little 27-year-old son. BYRHONDA LYONS: La’Tanya Dandie’s son Kristopher
had his first psychotic break at 19. Since then, when Dandie has turned to law
enforcement for help, officials say their hands are tied. LA’TANYA DANDIE: So they say, ma’am, we can’t
do anything, because it will violate his civil rights. BYRHONDA LYONS: California, like most states,
makes it difficult to compel people to get treatment. LA’TANYA DANDIE: Well, my civil rights. Your officer just heard him screaming like
somebody was attacking him. And I’m on the phone with him a few seconds
ago. He was like, “Well, we can’t do anything.” BYRHONDA LYONS: But Dandie’s son was now in
more desperate straits. At the time, he was homeless. For those with mental health issues, finding
affordable housing is nearly impossible. For the few who have found a place to live,
the options are dwindling. Nationally, about a third of people with a
serious mental illness are homeless. TOM GRAY, Resident: I hate being homeless
again. I was homeless about 20 years before I came
here. BYRHONDA LYONS: Tom Gray has schizophrenia. For the past 11 years, the Vietnam vet has
lived at this San Francisco boarding care home. Since 2012, more than a quarter of residential
facilities in San Francisco serving people under 60 have closed their doors. Nationwide, small boarding care homes like
where Tom lives have lost about 15,000 beds between 2010 and 2016, according to a survey
by the National Center for Health Statistics. TOM GRAY: Not knowing where I’m going to go
next. That’s how I feel, kind of lost. BYRHONDA LYONS: Gray has found a temporary
house in San Francisco, but he will have to move again in a few months. A bill winding through the state legislature
would triple the number of people who can use Medicaid dollars to live in boarding care
homes, but it still has a long way to go. JIM BEALL (D), California State Senator: There
isn’t a big political action committee well-funded for mentally ill people, OK? It doesn’t exist. BYRHONDA LYONS: State Senator Jim Beall of
San Jose, California, created the state’s first mental health caucus. He’s trying to not only increase housing options,
but also create avenues for the judicial system to deal with those with mental health issues,
its mental health court. JUDGE STEPHEN MANLEY, Superior Court of Santa
Clara County: Our jails are overcrowded. Our prisons are overcrowded. The crime rate has really not changed dramatically. Yet we have more and more people incarcerated. And so we have to do something different. BYRHONDA LYONS: There are more than 300 mental
health courts across the country in nearly every state. Instead of jail time, Judge Stephen Manley
orders people to take their medication, stay sober and sends some to community treatment
programs. JUDGE STEPHEN MANLEY: You’re not in jail anymore. See, it’s so much better. Breathe the clean air. Ah, just keep it up. BYRHONDA LYONS: While Judge Manley works to
keep people out of prisons and state hospitals, for people like Jeffrey Jurgens, the trip
and structure at the hospital is often the best option. Once a month, Joanna Jurgens makes this four-hour
drive to visit her son. JOANNA JURGENS: It’s good and bad to say that
your kid is happy in a state hospital. BYRHONDA LYONS: For parents like Joanna Jurgens,
La’Tanya Dandie, and many others, state laws and resources continue to be a challenge for
getting their children help. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Byrhonda Lyons
in Sacramento, California. NICK SCHIFRIN: Today, in a part of the world
that has helped spark three wars, tens of thousands of troops are patrolling the streets. They are Indian government forces in Indian-controlled
Kashmir. And it’s been four days since the Indian government
changed the status of Kashmir, which is India’s only Muslim-majority region. Up until this week, Kashmir had a large degree
of autonomy. The government’s decision has sparked protests
over a long-disputed area claimed by both India and Pakistan, where fighting has killed
tens of thousands of people over the last few decades. Today in Kashmir, the streets are empty. Soldiers enforce a strict military curfew. Hundreds have been arrested. Fear has driven many inside, and many others
are trying to leave, but are stuck with limited transport. SAGIR ALAM, Migrant Worker (through translator):
The government made the situation worse. There are no arrangements for us to leave,
nor is there is any arrangement for food. We have been lying here, hungry. NICK SCHIFRIN: In an unprecedented clampdown,
India has blocked Internet and phone in the primarily Muslim region. And, today, Indian Prime Minister Narendra
Modi called this — quote — “the beginning of a new era.” NARENDRA MODI, Indian Prime Minister (through
translator): I and the whole nation have taken a historic decision. An arrangement in which our brothers and sisters
from Jammu, Kashmir, and Ladakh had been deprived of their rights, which had been a great obstacle
in their development, has been removed as a result of all our efforts. NICK SCHIFRIN: On Monday, Modi’s government
lifted article 370 of the Indian Constitution, which enabled Kashmiris to write their own
laws. India says it’s a national security decision,
because Pakistan has supported militant groups who have launched many attacks inside Kashmir. NARENDRA MODI (through translator): We will
all get together and rid Jammu and Kashmir of terrorism and separatism. Ease of living will increase for our citizens. NICK SCHIFRIN: But critics describe the Modi
government as overtly biased in favor of the majority Hindu population, at the expense
of India’s 180 million Muslims. Protesters demonstrated in New Delhi and in
Karachi, Pakistan, where they burned an effigy of Modi. Pakistan halted trade with India and downgraded
diplomatic relations, and criticized India for its move in what Pakistan calls Indian-occupied
Kashmir, or IOK. Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry spokesman: MOHAMMED FAISAL, Spokesperson, Pakistan Foreign
Office: IOK has been converted into the largest prison in the world and in the history of
mankind. More than 14 million humans are incarcerated
in their homes. NICK SCHIFRIN: Last month, President Trump
met with Pakistan’s prime minister and offered his assistance. DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
If I can help, I would love to be a mediator. NICK SCHIFRIN: But there’s a reason why prior
presidents have avoided that offer. Kashmir is located at the northernmost tip
of the Indian subcontinent, at the nexus of India, Pakistan and China. Kashmir has been in dispute since the 1947
partition. India now controls the larger portion. The two sides are separated by the line of
control. The countries fought over control of Kashmir
in 1947, and in a larger war in 1971. Conflict sparked again in 1999. The two nuclear nations were pushed into a
cease-fire over concerns of a nuclear war. But the conflict has long simmered. Today, Pakistan suspended the Friendship Express
train that runs across the border, and warned that tensions could remain high. And we examine where things go from here with
Ambassador Frank Wisner. He had a nearly-40-year diplomatic career
and served in senior positions in both the state and Defense Departments during Republican
and Democratic administrations. He was ambassador to India during the Clinton
administration. Ambassador, thank you very much for coming
on the “NewsHour.” Fundamentally, what does it mean that Kashmir’s
status has been shifted? FRANK WISNER, Former U.S. Ambassador to India:
Well, it means a great deal. The regime under which Kashmir has lived since
the late 1940s has given it a measure of autonomy that mixes very deeply with the psychology
and sense of belonging of the overwhelming majority of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. Removing that is going to understandably create
a great deal of ruction. It will create a lot of emotion across the
border with Pakistan. And it will create a certain amount of attention
on the global stage. NICK SCHIFRIN: And we have seen that emotion
both in India and Pakistan and global stage. Here we are talking about it. The BJP, the ruling party in India, and its
prime minister, Narendra Modi, have been talking about this move for a long time. But why do you think they have made it now? FRANK WISNER: Well, that’s precisely the point. They have signaled well in advance that the
party, if returned with a new mandate, would go to Parliament and seek a change that would
not only end the special status, but would sever the territory of Jammu and Kashmir into
two portions and have them both centrally ruled. They chose this time, and they chose it very
carefully, once they had in place a comprehensive plan to control the consequences of a political
decision that the government made very carefully. They deployed forces. They closed off telecommunications. They have closed down radio. They have picked up people who might be in
opposition. It was a carefully set out and very carefully
deployed plan. NICK SCHIFRIN: And you said they would be
able to accept or manage the political consequences. Will there be political consequence for them
for this move? FRANK WISNER: They have taken all the legal
steps the Indian system would call for. Will that calm the passions of those on the
ground in Kashmir? No, it won’t. Will it make others uneasy, Indian Muslims? Will it calm those in Pakistan who continue
to claim that Pakistan has a legitimate say in the future of Kashmir? None of those will happen. The government is not trying to satisfy those
audiences. NICK SCHIFRIN: We saw in the story that played
just a few minutes ago President Trump weighing in on this when he was asked by Pakistani
Prime Minister Imran Khan in the Oval Office. He said that he wouldn’t mind being a mediator. Did that statement impact the timing of this? FRANK WISNER: In my view, it did not. This was much too carefully planned. There were too many moving parts in play. I can’t say that the president’s statement
received anything but negative reactions in India, but I don’t think it was a triggering
event. NICK SCHIFRIN: You talk about the emotions
running high. We saw protests both in Delhi and, of course,
in multiple places in Pakistan. How fundamental is this for Pakistan? These countries have fought three wars in
the past. Is this something that could cause there to
be more conflict? FRANK WISNER: Well, I do not predict that
there will be open conflict between India and Pakistan. I think that’s probably unlikely. But will there be a rise in the short run
in jihadi terrorist attempts to cross the border from Pakistan into Indian — the Indian
side? I think that’s highly possible. Can you imagine circumstances in which there
will be a higher level of militancy within Kashmir — Jammu and Kashmir? I can imagine that as well. But I don’t see overall warfare between the
two sides. What one must worry about, though, is with
an increase in low-level jihadi violence, that India retaliates, Pakistan retaliates,
and you can have a very unpleasant circumstance. NICK SCHIFRIN: And, fundamentally, is that
the main U.S. interest here, that these two countries’ conflict doesn’t happen and tensions
decrease? FRANK WISNER: Well, clearly, that’s in American
interests. But I would underscore a separate point. India is a great nation. It is a major factor on the world stage. We are moving into a world order in which
large nations have to keep some sense of balance. We need a balanced relationship with India. We are not in a position to tell India what
to do one way or the other. India will pursue its own ambitions. And its government, elected with an overwhelming
majority, has taken this decision. Whether that’s a popular one outside of India
or inside Kashmir or Pakistan, it is the decision of the Indian government, and they intend
to make it stick. NICK SCHIFRIN: Ambassador Frank Wisner, thank
you so much. FRANK WISNER: Thank you. NICK SCHIFRIN: Tomorrow marks the fifth anniversary
of the day Michael Brown Jr. was shot and killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. His death touched off months of protests and
raised questions about the police’s use of force, race relations and criminal justice
in the U.S.. Political correspondent Yamiche Alcindor traveled
back to Ferguson to see what progress has and hasn’t been made. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: A typical summer barbecue
near what some see as hallowed ground. It was here five years ago that officer Darren
Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown. FRAN GRIFFIN, Ferguson City Council: To me,
that just — little patch just reminds me of exactly where it happened at. I can’t drive over it. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know how to explain it or why, but
I can’t. I drive around it. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Fran Griffin helped organize
this event as part of the Southeast Ferguson Community Association. The group was formed in the wake of Brown’s
death to provide community services. Like many others, Griffin was spurred to protest
after Brown was killed. And, earlier this year, she won a seat on
Ferguson’s City Council, becoming the first black woman to represent her ward. FRAN GRIFFIN: When Michael Brown Jr. was killed,
it changed the lives of so many people, not just here in Ferguson, but throughout the
entire world. It changed my life. I never, ever would have thought that I would
have been a politician, but I found something that I could do that would help my community. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Brown’s death thrust Ferguson,
a city of 22,000, into the national spotlight. Images of police in armored vehicles firing
tear gas at protesters and demonstrators setting fire to businesses fueled intense debate. Now, as another anniversary approaches, many
are taking stock of what has changed. JAMES KNOWLES III, Mayor of Ferguson, Missouri:
We have a lot of new staff members around City Hall. We have a lot of new staff people especially
in the police department. We have a lot of new council members. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: James Knowles is mayor of
Ferguson. He’s one of the few remaining city officials
from 2014. He remains the target of intense criticism
but insists the city has made meaningful strides. JAMES KNOWLES III: We have a tremendous amount
of new officers in our police department, a much more diverse police department than
we had in the past. Our courts are much more focused on working
with people to not get caught in that trap of that kind of cycle of being in the court
system through traffic tickets or housing fines. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Of course, many of those
reforms were mandated by a Justice Department consent decree. In 2015, the DOJ concluded law enforcement
practices in Ferguson were — quote — “shaped by the city’s focus on revenue, rather than
public safety needs.” It also determined that African-Americans
were arrested at disproportionate rates, and some without probable cause. Statewide, black drivers are still nearly
twice as likely as others to be stopped. In Ferguson, the disparity in traffic stops
of black drivers has also increased by 5 percent since 2013. Yet Ferguson has reduced its ticketing. In 2014, the city issued nearly 12,000 tickets. Most were for minor municipal code violations. In 2017, that number was under 2,000. Now revenue has fallen from nearly $2 million
in 2014 to just under $400,000 in 2017. The municipal court has also vacated nearly
10,000 arrest warrants. There have also been broader changes. WESLEY BELL, Saint Louis County Prosecutor:
We know this issue isn’t limited to the borders of Ferguson. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Last year, Wesley Bell was
elected Saint Louis County prosecutor. The former Ferguson city councilman defeated
longtime Republican Bob McCulloch, who declined to indict Officer Wilson. WESLEY BELL: It was more of the typical incarcerate
your way out of every problem. Someone is struggling to pay child support,
put him on probation or lock them up. Someone has a drug issue, put him on probation
or lock them up. And that exacerbates the problem. Any of you who work the streets know you’re
seeing the same people over and over who just need treatment. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Instead, he is prioritizing
pre-trial diversion programs, cash bail reform, and decriminalizing low-level drug charges. WESLEY BELL: We want to make sure that people
who are incarcerated need to be incarcerated, and those that do not need to be shouldn’t
see the inside of a jail. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Since Bell has been in office,
Saint Louis County’s jail population has dropped by 20 percent. There are still serious questions over just
how much change has come to Ferguson. Storefronts like these remain shuttered and
development is slow. And there are still stark racial divisions
and deep tensions between the community and police. Councilwoman Griffin worries the Third Ward,
which has the highest percentage of black residents and the lowest income levels, is
not getting enough resources. FRAN GRIFFIN: In terms of just the little
small mom-and-pop stores, like, those aren’t existing. You have got a few beauty supply houses. You have got a few beauty salons and nail
shops. But in terms of actually providing resources
to people where they can get — in walking distance where they can go and shop, I would
say no. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Last week, a Missouri nonprofit
announced plans for a new development project. It will include a health care center and possibly
a grocery store. Still, some in the city remain deeply worried
about interactions with the police and racial profiling. MARCUS HICKS, Ferguson Resident: If anything,
it feels the same. I don’t feel like nothing different. I don’t feel like it’s enhanced or anything
like that. I don’t even feel like I can call the police
to save myself. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Marcus Hicks and Travis
Bowl, both 22, live in Ferguson and saw the protests here in 2014. TRAVIS BOWL, Ferguson Resident: Like, being
a black male, it’s just — like, I feel like it’s — it’s just like it’s never going to
change. Like, they’re going to forever think we’re
on some type of B.S. or some type of gangbanger stuff and stuff like that. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Yet some wrongly believe
black residents deserve extra scrutiny. JUDY MCCARTY, Ferguson Resident: If you watch
how some of these people drive, you know what — you know what color they are. I’m not prejudiced, but we can tell by the
way they drive. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Judy McCarty has lived in
Ferguson since she was 2 and lives just blocks from where Brown was killed. And while her husband William says some court
reforms were needed: WILLIAM MCCARTY, Ferguson Resident: When you
come in to pay a ticket, and you have got four other outstanding warrants, and they
put you in jail, you can’t pay your fine if you’re in jail. You’re not going to be working. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Still, they worry things
have gone too far. JUDY MCCARTY: Let’s not go the opposite way,
where the — the way there seemed to be going now, and there’s no punishment for abusing
the law. WILLIAM MCCARTY: Right. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: At the same time, Ferguson’s
independent monitor testified the city needs to do more to actually implement policy changes,
including new police training. But Mayor Knowles says the costs are too high,
which has rankled many activists. JAMES KNOWLES III: There is no police department
in Missouri, very few in this country, that do all of the things that are required by
our consent decree. We have to go through more hoops. We have to endure more training, more scrutiny. FRAN GRIFFIN: To them, the mind-set is, it’s
not fair that we’re being penalized because of what happened here, because everybody else
was doing it. That’s the wrong mind-set to have. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: Griffin says it’s that kind
of sentiment that makes her concerned the city may revert to its old practices. But she’s also confident in the momentum of
the last five years. FRAN GRIFFIN: Whenever I pass up the space,
like, it’s a constant reminder of the — what my responsibilities are. It’s a constant reminder of the pain that
an entire community felt. And it’s just a constant that we have got
to keep fighting. YAMICHE ALCINDOR: For the “PBS NewsHour,”
I’m Yamiche Alcindor in Ferguson, Missouri. NICK SCHIFRIN: We return to climate change,
but on a very different note. Valerie Kern of Alaska Public Media explores
how one artist is examining the melting of glaciers to create music. It’s part of our ongoing arts and culture
coverage, Canvas. MATTHEW BURTNER, Composer and Eco-Acoustician:
I was out recording the wind sounds, and I was — it was really snowy and icy. And I came back down into the building, and
I was just covered in like ice on my beard and snow. And, you know, my — everything was frozen
up. And someone said: “Matthew, what are you doing?” And I said: “I’m composing.” Well, I’m a composer, and a sound artist,
and an eco-acoustician. So I work with environmental sounds, and I
create music and sound art in dialogue with nature. So I particularly focus on climate change. So, you know, I’m interested in composing
music that reflects changes in our climate, and I try to bring attention to that and work
with the natural world as a musical instrument. So I’m very often composing with glaciers
and with the snow or the wind, and things — any way that I can discover how we hear
climate change. By thumping it, I hear like the snow bank
as a bass drum. You know, some days, I’m out in the mountains,
listening and recording sounds. There are days where I sit at the computer
programming. There are days when I sit at a music paper
writing music. No, it’s never dull. I made an album called “Glacier Music.” It’s published. So it kind of fixes in time snapshots of these
glaciers. As the glaciers are retreating, they go through
a rapid kind of time of retreat, and that has a certain sonic signature. And then the glacier goes through a period
of thinning. And you can hear that too, because the water
that’s thinning comes out of the glacier on the sides, and usually makes these rushing
rivers on the sides of the glaciers. That sound, to me, is a signature sound of
a glacier that’s in advanced retreat. When I was studying music, I was impressed
by the sounds of the natural world, and, in general, the power and the presence of the
Alaskan wilderness. And so I naturally made music with those things. As I got older the — you know, the environment
started changing, and I started hearing those changes in the sounds that I loved. I want people to feel something. If the music is made by a glacier, for example,
will we feel more connected to the glaciers and think about them in a different way? Through composing these pieces, we’re kind
of documenting the world now. And, in the future, maybe a glacier like Matanuska
will sound very different, if it sounds at all. And I still hope that we can change that,
that the glaciers won’t disappear. It’s stressful to think about, you know, a
million species of animals being — becoming extinct in the next few years. You know, to think about all the Arctic animals
that are among those million, like what can I do to help with that? Is the music really going to stop the extinctions? No, it’s not. Maybe the music can be used in a kind of joint
science, policy, art discourse that does change that in some way. NICK SCHIFRIN: Finally tonight, a Brief But
Spectacular on taking on stereotypes in Hollywood. Actor and singer Utkarsh Ambudkar’s latest
film is “Brittany Runs a Marathon.” Once again, as part of our Canvas series,
he reflects on how he has adopted to Hollywood and Hollywood has adopted to him. UTKARSH AMBUDKAR, Actor and Rapper: As a South
Asian man, the roles that we get are very finite. And I say no to quite a few things. Like, we don’t do computer nerds and we don’t
do sidekicks. So, music and acting have always gone hand
in hand for me. I was in a hip-hop group, a trio, much like
the Beastie Boys. How did “Pitch Perfect” happen? Let’s rewind, guys. Mindy Kaling saw “Pitch Perfect.” I got offered the role of her little brother,
Rishi, on “The Mindy Project.” “White Famous” was for Showtime. That role was written for a light-skinned
black actor. I improvised an Indian South Asian spin on
that role in the room. I have been acting professionally since 2005. Around 2018 is when people realized, asking
me to do an accent when it wasn’t period or geographically appropriate was offensive. Now I can walk into a room and call it out,
and people kind of have to — they accept it. QUESTION: What does that conversation sound
like in the room? UTKARSH AMBUDKAR: So I have been in auditions
where they wrote a line in their show about an Indian teacher with a strong accent saying
that he would sell 10 goats to get a woman like that in his classroom. So this is offensive. And I told my manager, no, there’s no way
I’m going to do this. My manager said, OK, go in. You can put your own spin on it. They’re fine. So I go and I do my no accent and my improv. He said, “Can you just do it the way that
I wrote it?” “You want me to do it the way you wrote it,
like, even this line about the goats?” The sauce on what I said was so thick that
there was only one interpretation to take from it. And that’s not how you do business and it’s
not how we should communicate with each other. In any case, that’s my responsibility, but
his responsibility is to not write a piece of (EXPLETIVE DELETED) that’s offensive, right? Now, when I walk into a room — and it just
happened on “Mulan.” I just went and did this Disney movie, and
there were some challenges with sort of the way that our ethnicities were being portrayed. And I was able to go into the room with Disney. I mean, it’s a giant conglomerate. And the script was changed and moved around
and built and enhanced to sort of speak to some of the concerns that we had. You would think that’s just how it’s supposed
to go, but it’s one of the first few times that it’s starting to happen for me where
I can be like, hey, I see a problem here, and people actually listen. My name is Utkarsh Ambudkar, and this is my
Brief But Spectacular take on making it up as I go along. NICK SCHIFRIN: You can find additional Brief
But Spectacular episodes on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. And a news update before we go. President Trump confirmed this evening the
deputy director of national intelligence, Sue Gordon, is resigning effectively next
week. It is the latest shakeup at the top of U.S.
intelligence agencies. Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence,
is also leaving his post-next week. Congressman John Ratcliffe withdrew from consideration
to be the next DNI after concerns he inflated his resume and didn’t have enough intelligence
experience. It is unclear who will be named acting head. The job oversees the nation’s 17 intelligence
agencies. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Nick Schifrin. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening,
where our series on Ferguson five years later continues on the personal toll of Michael
Brown’s death. Plus, David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart break
down the latest in the 2020 race for president, as the Iowa state Fair kicks off. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” I hope
you had a good day. Thank you, and see you soon.

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