PBS NewsHour full episode November 7, 2019

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: a clearer picture. Testimony from the State Department official
who raised concerns about the Bidens is made public, as he accuses the president’s personal
lawyer of waging a campaign based on lies to oust the U.S. ambassador to Ukraine. Then: The fires are contained, but the anger
still burns, with California officials weighing a breakaway from the energy giant implicated
in the crisis. And as genetic genealogy allows law enforcement
to reopen cases long gone cold, investigators see a triumph for justice, while the wrongly
accused see an invasion of privacy one that cannot be undone. ERIN MURPHY, New York University School of
Law: You can change your phone number if someone starts harassing you. You can change your address if things get
really dark. But you can’t cancel your genome. You can’t edit your genome. JUDY WOODRUFF: Plus: from the silver screen
to the streets, legendary actress Jane Fonda on her lifetime of activism and the fight
against the climate crisis. JANE FONDA, Actor/Activist: We have to not
be afraid. And we have to see this as the way good citizens
of the United States need to act. We need to be in the streets making our demands
heard. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: A career State Department official
is the latest to say President Trump pressed Ukraine to investigate his political foes. Impeachment investigators released George
Kent’s private testimony today. In it, he also says that the president’s lawyer
Rudy Giuliani waged a campaign of lies to oust the U.S. ambassador to Kiev. Meanwhile, Vice President Pence again defended
his boss, in New Hampshire. MIKE PENCE, Vice President of the United States:
The American people have the transcript of the president’s call, and they can see there
was no quid pro quo and the president did nothing wrong. What’s going on in Washington, D.C., today
is a disgrace. JUDY WOODRUFF: Also today, the president denied
asking U.S. Attorney General William Barr to defend his July phone call with Ukraine’s
leader or that Barr refused to do so. We will get details after the news summary. A state judge in New York has ordered President
Trump to pay $2 million over claims that he misused his charitable foundation. The state charged that the Trump Foundation
funneled money to his 2016 campaign. The foundation denied wrongdoing, but it has
closed its doors and will disburse remaining funds to other nonprofits. There is news tonight that former New York
City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is close to entering the Democratic presidential race. The “NewsHour” confirmed that he is seriously
exploring and is expected to enter the Alabama primary next march. The 77-year-old billionaire had said that
he wouldn’t run, but his political adviser now says that Bloomberg believes the 16 Democrats
whether running are not well-positioned to beat President Trump. In Iraq, security forces killed at least six
more protesters today and wounded 35 in Baghdad. They were shot as they tore down part of a
barrier built to keep them from government offices in the so-called Green Zone. But the demonstrators remained defiant. MAN (through translator): You politicians
have destroyed the country. The security forces of both the Ministries
of Defense and Interior are with you, hitting us. Why? Are you subordinate to these parties? These parties should be rooted out. No party will remain. JUDY WOODRUFF: Later, four protesters were
shot dead as security forces broke up a sit-in the southern city of Basra. Tensions over Iran’s nuclear program intensified
today. Tehran has now resumed enriching uranium gas,
violating a nuclear accord that the U.S. renounced last year. Today, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo condemned
what he called nuclear extortion. Meanwhile, Iran claimed that it barred a U.N.
nuclear inspector last week because she had traces of explosives on her. The U.N. nuclear agency denied it. The International Criminal Court handed down
a maximum sentence of 30 years today for a Congolese warlord known as the Terminator. Bosco Ntaganda showed no emotion during his
sentencing at The Hague in the Netherlands. He’d been convicted of war crimes and crimes
against humanity. The case stemmed from Congo’s bloody ethnic
conflict in 2002 and 2003. Police in France have dismantled two makeshift
camps in Northern Paris, where more than 1,600 refugees had been living in tents. The migrants, mostly from sub-Saharan Africa,
were escorted into buses. Authorities said they would be taken to public
shelters, but support groups voiced concern. JULIE LAVAYSSIERE, Utopia 56 (through translator):
We don’t know yet what solutions are proposed, besides temporary housing in a sports hall. We knew that the situation in these camps
was worsening and that nothing was done about that. But we regret that these are still temporary
solutions and not preventive measures. JUDY WOODRUFF: France has seen an influx of
migrants and refugees, but the government has now pledged to — quote — “take back
control” of immigration. Funerals began in Northern Mexico today for
nine Americans killed by drug cartel gunmen. About 500 mourners gathered in the farming
town of La Mora 70 miles south of the Arizona border. A mother and two of her sons were the first
to be laid to rest. Meanwhile, the investigation continued. Officials say the killers may have mistaken
the Americans for a rival gang. Back in this country, Chicago Police Superintendent
Eddie Johnson announced that he is retiring at year’s end. He had acknowledged drinking before falling
asleep at the wheel of his car at a stop sign. He had also been heavily criticized by President
Trump over crime in Chicago. Today, Johnson brushed aside the criticism,
but acknowledged the wear and tear of three years as superintendent. EDDIE JOHNSON, Chicago Police Superintendent:
This job has taken its toll. It’s taken a toll on my health, my family,
my friends. But my integrity remains intact, and I’m proud
of what the department has accomplished during my tenure. JUDY WOODRUFF: Johnson took the post in 2016
amid an outcry over a white officer shooting a black teen 16 times. The number of people with illnesses linked
to vaping in the U.S. has passed the 2,000 mark, including 40 deaths. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
reported the numbers today. Separately, Juul Labs, the country’s leading
e-cigarettes-maker, said that it will halt sales of its mint-flavored products. On Wall Street today, stocks rose after China
said that any phase one trade deal with the U.S. would eliminate some tariff hikes. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 182
points to close at 27674. The Nasdaq rose nearly 24 points, and the
S&P 500 added eight. And the National Toy Hall of Fame has named
its class of 2019. The new inductees are Matchbox cars, which
debuted in 1953, the coloring book, first produced in the 1880s, and the collectible
card game Magic: The Gathering, introduced in 1993. We’re familiar with all of them. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the next
transcript in the impeachment inquiry is released; the kingdom comes to Silicon Valley — former
Twitter employees are charged with spying for Saudi Arabia; anger flares at the energy
company at the center of the latest California wildfires; what’s driving down this year’s
signups for Medicaid?; and much more. Just how far did the president’s personal
lawyer go to undermine America’s normal diplomatic channels with Ukraine? That was one of the major focuses last month
when impeachment investigators in the U.S. House of Representatives interviewed career
State Department official George Kent. The full 355-page transcript of Kent’s testimony
is public today, the sixth such transcript to be released this week. And our own Nick Schifrin is here with me
now to break it all down. Nick, so, you have been looking at this all
day long. So much to follow. First of all, who is George Kent, and what
did he say of significance? NICK SCHIFRIN: Yes. So, George Kent is a career diplomat. He is currently the deputy assistant secretary
of state for European and Eurasian Bureau, which makes him in charge of European — Ukraine
policy. And since he joined the State Department in
1992, he has served Democratic and Republican administrations. And here are the two main takeaways from his
testimony today. He was very explicit about calling out Rudy
Giuliani, what he said was Giuliani’s — quote — “campaign full of lies against the former
U.S. ambassador to Ukraine.” And unlike other diplomats who have testified,
he expressed concern about Hunter Biden, who was on the board of a notoriously corrupt
Ukrainian company while his father, the vice president, was trying to get Ukrainian officials
to tackle corruption. So both of those are at the core of this impeachment
battle. For the Democrats, Giuliani is the beginning
of the story they want to tell, that the president withheld aid to benefit politically. And for Republicans, they want to talk about
how Hunter Biden was on the board right as Vice President Biden was working in Ukraine. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, let’s take both the things
— both of those. But let’s start with Giuliani. We have heard a lot from different people
about Rudy Giuliani’s role. What is Kent saying that goes beyond what
anybody else has said? NICK SCHIFRIN: Kent’s words are much more
pointed. And he went further in his language than most
people. And he’s really angry about one incident. And that is the ouster of former Ukrainian
Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Now, just a reminder, Yovanovitch was the
Trump administration’s ambassador to Ukraine, spent 33 years as Foreign Service officer,
nominated by both Democratic and Republican administrations. She lost her job after Rudy Giuliani convinced
the president that she was anti-Trump. And this is what Kent said about that campaign
that Giuliani led. He said: “Giuliani at that point had been
carrying on campaign for several months full of lies and incorrect information on Ambassador
Yovanovitch. His assertions and allegations, when against
former Ambassador Yovanovitch, were without basis, untrue, period.” What Democrats say is that this is important,
not only because Giuliani helped oust her, Yovanovitch, but that, after that, Giuliani
convinced the president to withhold that aid to Ukraine in order to investigate before
Ukraine investigated three things, 2016, Clinton and Biden. Those are the words that Kent said. That means investigate 2016 hacking and investigate
the company that Hunter Biden was on the board. JUDY WOODRUFF: So very, very specific. So now let’s talk about Hunter Biden, Joe
Biden, his father. You’re telling us that George Kent very critical
of them as well. NICK SCHIFRIN: Absolutely. This is a point where Hunter Biden was on
the board of a company called Burisma. It’s a Ukrainian oil and gas company that
is notoriously corrupt. Both U.S. and British officials were actually
wanting to investigate Burisma. And this was exactly as Vice President Biden
was leading U.S. policy in Ukraine and trying to root out corruption. So let’s listen — let’s look at what Kent
said about this. “I raised my concerns that I had heard that
Hunter Biden was on the board of a Ukrainian gas company that could create the perception
of a conflict of interest. The message that I recall hearing back was
that the vice president’s son, Beau, was dying of cancer” — this was in 2015 — “and that
there was no further bandwidth to deal with family-related issues at that time.” So, I talked to a couple of officials who
used to work for Vice President Biden at this time. And they are admittedly unsure whether that
particular conversation took place. But here’s their larger point. They say that Vice President Biden’s push
to tackle corruption would have increased the exposure of Burisma, where his son was
on the board, rather than decrease or somehow shield the exposure to Burisma. And what they argue is that, even if there
were some optics problems, the fact is that it didn’t affect U.S. policy, didn’t affect
Vice President Biden’s policy to try and get Ukraine to try to crack down on corruption. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, coming back to who George
Kent is, he is an employee of the State Department. And you were telling us the secretary of state
had something to say about all this. NICK SCHIFRIN: Yes, absolutely. So, he is one of eight State Department employees
who have testified, mostly because they have been subpoenaed by Democratic-led committees. And one of the most critical of those employees
all week or all over the last few weeks has been former Ambassador Mike McKinley. Just as a reminder of who this is, he’s former
senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a four-time ambassador and, again,
nominated by both Republican and Democratic administrations. McKinley’s accusation was that Secretary of
State Pompeo didn’t defend Yovanovitch during that campaign that Giuliani was leading, that
campaign Kent called a campaign of lies. And that ended, of course, with Yovanovitch
being fired. Pompeo was asked about that today for the
first time. And this is what he said: MIKE POMPEO, U.S. Secretary of State: With
respect to Ambassador McKinley, I think he said at the opening statement that he put
out that he wasn’t particularly involved in the Ukraine policy. So it’s not surprising that, when Ambassador
Yovanovitch returned to the United States, that he didn’t raise that issue with me. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that, in May,
when that took place, he didn’t say a thing to me. NICK SCHIFRIN: So Pompeo is right. McKinley didn’t bring that issue up in May,
but he did in September after the president disparaged Yovanovitch using pretty specific
words. In September, McKinley says Pompeo chose not
to defend Yovanovitch. That’s why McKinley resigned. Very quickly, separately, a State Department
official tonight tells me that the State Department is going to pay for all these attorneys that
are appearing inside these deposition rooms, because the committees are not allowing any
government officials inside those rooms. JUDY WOODRUFF: So you have been working on
that story, but you have also been following a very different story today. And that is, Nick, this extraordinary indictment
yesterday by the Department of Justice against Twitter, Twitter employee who were working
for Saudi Arabia. NICK SCHIFRIN: This is an extraordinary story,
Judy. This is the first time that U.S. prosecutors
have accused Saudi Arabia of surveilling people inside the United States. The story is basically two Twitter employees,
one of whom is a U.S. citizen, accused of accessing info that we give to Twitter, our
private information, basically, and sending that to the Saudi government. And the specific users’ info they accessed,
those were activists, those were dissidents, those were people critical of the Saudi government. So, bottom line, this is Saudi — the Saudi
Arabian government basically infiltrating Twitter to contact and persecute its critics. Earlier this year, my colleague Layla Quran
and I, we sat down with multiple of these Saudi critics. We interviewed actually dozens of people about
this crackdown. And that crackdown went not only on Twitter,
but used Twitter to go beyond Twitter. So we talked about the real-life ways that
Saudi was pressuring some of its critics. And we talked to one critic, Abdullah Alaoudh,
here in D.C. And how has the Saudi government targeted
you while you’re in the United States? ABDULLAH ALAOUDH, Saudi Activist: I get threats
every day from Twitter accounts that a lot of people think are somehow associated to
the Saudi government. I mean, just today, I got, for example, a
threat from a Twitter account, saying that, we’re going to lock you up, and we’re going
to find you, and we’re going to bring you back and put you in a cell next to your father. NICK SCHIFRIN: Alaoudh’s father, Salman, is
an outspoken activist and scholar who’s released his own videos and called for a change in
the Saudi government. He was arrested and now faces the death penalty. Alaoudh said his father’s interrogators mention
him during interrogation ABDULLAH ALAOUDH: Talking to somebody about
his son and saying that, we are going to arrest him, we’re going to torture him, we’re going
to do this and that to him, it’s a way of intimidation and pressure. NICK SCHIFRIN: And have they also tried to
pressure you? ABDULLAH ALAOUDH: Yes, because they try to
send the message that whatever you do is going to be reflected on my father and how they
deal with my father. NICK SCHIFRIN: Alaoudh says how the Saudis
deal with him here is surveillance. He says, in 2016, before a public event, he
was approached by another Saudi citizen, who said he was there to spy and report back. ABDULLAH ALAOUDH: The Saudi government has
no limits. So, if you’re dealing with somebody like this,
it’s just scary. NICK SCHIFRIN: And we spoke to Abdullah Alaoudh
today, Judy, and he was still receiving threats just today. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Nick, what is the evidence,
is there evidence that this online surveillance is actually being conducted by the Saudi government? NICK SCHIFRIN: The indictment is very specific. It says the main recruiter of these two Twitter
employees was a Saudi official and heads the private office of Mohammed bin Salman, the
crown prince of Saudi Arabia. He is basically described as a secretary of
Mohammed bin Salman and one of the people who control Mohammed bin Salman’s private
money. Bottom line, Judy, this is part of a global
campaign by Saudi Arabia to silence its critics. And I should just mention, Twitter sent us
a statement. They understand, according to them, that there
are bad actors. They are trying to limit some of their employees’
access to sensitive information, and they are committed to protecting users’ freedom
of speech. But, obviously, that failed in this case. JUDY WOODRUFF: Remarkable. Just remarkable. Two really important stories. Nick Schifrin, thank you. NICK SCHIFRIN: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: When wildfires broke out again
in California last month, residents weren’t just worried about the fires themselves. Many were angry and frustrated over intentional
blackouts that were designed to reduce the risks of even more fires. The state’s largest utility, PG&E, was the
target of much of that anger. The company’s maintenance of its infrastructure,
or, often, the lack of it, in recent years has contributed to and sparked at least five
previous wildfires, with deadly consequences. Now, as William Brangham tells us, political
leaders in Northern and Central California are saying it’s time to push PG&E aside for
a different solution. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s right Judy. PG&E is the largest investor-owned utility
in any one state. They serve 15 million customers. Last year, PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection
because it’s $30 billion in debt because of liabilities from last years fires. Because of the company’s poor record, mayors
of more than a dozen cities and towns in California are calling for a buyout of PG&E. They want to turn it into a customer-owned
cooperative instead. This coalition of mayors, representing a third
of all of PG&E’s customers, is asking the state’s utility commission to consider their
proposal before approving any bankruptcy plan. How this all would work is the subject of
many questions. San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo is the mayor who
first proposed this. And he joins me now via Skype. Mayor, thank you very, very much for being
here. For those of us who do not live in California
and have not been experiencing these fires and these blackouts, can you just give us
a sense of the anger and the discontent that you’re hearing from people about PG&E? SAM LICCARDO, Mayor of San Jose, California:
I hear a lot of frustration from residents, and I know a lot of my mayoral colleagues
feel the same way. And they’re hearing it because the wildfires,
the power safety shutoffs are displacing millions of Californians, leaving millions of us in
the dark. This is no way for people to live, particularly
in the most advanced economy in the planet. We can do better, and people are very frustrated
about where we are. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So you’re spearheading this
to transform from an investor-owned utility to one owned by ratepayers, just ordinary
Californians. Why is that the solution? SAM LICCARDO: A customer-owned utility provides
two advantages. One, it enables us to ensure that the financial
interest of the company will be aligned with the public interest. And, secondly, it enables the company, when
it emerges from bankruptcy, to have better access to capital markets, which will be really
critical, because we will need billions of dollars of investment in maintenance and infrastructure
upgrades to ensure that electrical power can be safely and reliably delivered to California. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Isn’t it a matter of incentives,
though? Meaning, if you’re trying to please shareholders
and investors, then maybe that’s not the best incentive structure to deliver reliable energy
to people. SAM LICCARDO: Well, that’s certainly part
of it. PG&E has provided, I believe, $7 billion in
dividends to shareholders over the last decade, at a time which it has significantly underinvested
in basic maintenance for vegetation and upgrades of infrastructure that, in some parts of the
state, are a century-old. So, clearly, we need to ensure that dollars
go where they’re most needed. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But why are you confident
that cities and states and counties can run that more efficiently, this enormous utility? SAM LICCARDO: Well, I certainly am not going
to be running the utility, and I don’t want any elected officials on the board either. We see plenty of examples of customer-owned
businesses, particularly the financial industry, for example, credit unions or mutual insurance
companies, that are very competently run. They simply have, as their boss, the customers. And this is not a new concept in the utility
context either. There are hundreds of customer-owned utilities
in this country. Most of them are very small and rural, but
there are some larger ones as well. And, obviously, they will need professional
management and professional boards. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Mayor, how do you deal with
the thorny issue of liability? As you know, PG&E was saddled with $30 billion
in liabilities from last year’s fires. Are cities and counties and the state ready
to take on that kind of risk? SAM LICCARDO: This wouldn’t change the question
of who’s responsible for liability, beyond the fact that shareholders who might see their
equity go to zero, as they — I think they are today at PG&E. I think they have lost about 90 percent of
their stock value. And so it would be customers who lose equity. There’s no contribution that’s required from
cities and counties simply because we’re urging a customer-owned utility. The liability questions are thorny, no matter
what. And, ultimately, I think we all recognize
that ratepayers are paying more to deal with much of this. For example, we just had a $21 billion wildfire
fund that was created by the governor and legislature. About half of that is funded by rate increases. So, we all know, ultimately, the ratepayers
are on the hook. And if the ratepayers are on the hook, then
the ratepayers should own the company. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Regardless of what happens
with PG&E, you still have an enormous set of challenges. I mean, you have got to deal with housing
and zoning hardening and making the existing grid more safe. Plus, you have got a warming state, you have
got climate change and droughts. I mean, that is a colossal set of issues to
deal with. SAM LICCARDO: Oh, absolutely. And there’s no question that it’s going to
require a lot of investment, including investment in our own cities. In San Jose, we’re looking at, how can we
better build microgrids to ensure we have fire stations and hospitals that can be taken
off the grid when problems come up? We will be doing a lot of that. And I know a lot of other cities will as well. And this is not going to be cheap. That’s why it’s important for us to have — at
least to have a utility that has the ability to get access to capital markets and make
those critical investments. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: PG&E earlier this week,
in response to your proposal, said that it is firmly convinced that a government or customer
takeover is not the optimal solution. How do you respond to that? SAM LICCARDO: Well, obviously, I disagree. And I think a lot of other folks disagree
as well. 4
PG&E also said that they’re not for sale, but, in fact, they’re in bankruptcy court. So they are. And it’s going to be up to a bankruptcy judge
and the state public utilities commission to determine really what this company looks
like, ultimately. And I appreciate, obviously, there are folks
within PG&E who would like things to say just as — the way they are. But, right now, the status quo is not acceptable. We can’t continue in this way. And the cost of doing nothing is far, far
greater than the cost of taking a hard look about how we can transform this company into
one that would be both more responsive and more responsible. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Mayor Sam Liccardo
of San Jose, California, thank you very much. SAM LICCARDO: Thank you. It’s a pleasure, William. JUDY WOODRUFF: One of the biggest issues in
the 2020 presidential campaign is about expanding health coverage or not. Millions of Americans are at that time of
year when they have to decide whether to get their coverage through the marketplaces created
during the Obama years. Amna Nawaz looks at this moment. AMNA NAWAZ: Judy, several reports find the
percentage of uninsured Americans is rising for the first time since the Affordable Care
Act took effect. That increase is backed up by Census Bureau
data. But experts are asking, why are those numbers
rising? We’re going to look at that question and this
enrollment season. But, bear in mind, as this plays out, President
Trump says he remains committed to killing the Affordable Care Act and has backed a state
lawsuit to do so. At the same time, it’s the law of the land. The president also says he wants to cover
people with an alternative that would offer some of the same consumer protections and
lower health care premiums. But he has not offered any new plan yet. For more on this, Margot Sanger-Katz joins
me here now. She reports on all of this for The New York
Times. Welcome back to the “NewsHour.” MARGOT SANGER-KATZ, The New York Times: Thanks
for having me. AMNA NAWAZ: So, let’s just start with where
we are. We’re a couple of days into the enrollment
season. How are things looking so far? MARGOT SANGER-KATZ: So, despite everything
you said, the Trump administration is no fan of Obamacare, but this year looks pretty good. Compared to last year, there are more choices
in a lot of parts of the country, and premiums actually have come down a little bit. And it’s been this interesting sort of boomerang. When the Trump administration came in, they
did a whole bunch of things that made those markets really bumpy and problematic. Prices went way up. A lot of insurers left the market. There was a lot of concern and policy uncertainty. And then, over time, things have kind of stabilized,
and so we’re kind of correcting back to a more normal, stable place. AMNA NAWAZ: Let me ask about this number that’s
catching everyone’s attention now, the overall number of Americans who are uninsured. Take a look at this number and the increase. From 2017, it was 7.9 percent of the American
public who were uninsured. That went up in 2018 to 8.5 percent. That’s about 27.5 million people. The economy is doing well. You wouldn’t expect to see these numbers. What’s happening there? MARGOT SANGER-KATZ: Yes, I mean, I think this
is a pretty troubling development. It’s been about a decade since we have really
seen the uninsured rate go up. So it’s not just Obamacare, but even before
then. And, generally, as you say, when the economy
is doing better, more people have jobs that give them coverage. And I think there are a couple of different
things that are going on here. One has to do with things that states are
doing in their Medicaid programs, where they’re making a little bit harder for people to get
enrolled and stay enrolled. And that’s something that is not an explicit
federal policy, but the Trump administration has made it a little bit easier for states
to do those sorts of things. I think another major possible source of these
coverage losses are concerns about immigration policy, where a lot of families where there
might be children who are U.S. citizens and parents who are either undocumented immigrants
or even legal immigrants who are in the process of getting their green card or their citizenship,
they may be more reluctant to sign up for public coverage because they’re worried that
it may affect their immigration status. And then I think there’s this third category
that’s linked to the Obamacare markets that we talked about earlier. The premiums for Obamacare plans are really
high. They have risen a lot over the course of the
program. And there are people who do not qualify for
any financial assistance buying those plans. And we can see that more than a million people
have basically left that market because they have decided that it’s too expensive. AMNA NAWAZ: There’s another subgroup you have
looked at in your reporting that caught my attention because of another alarming number. You looked at the number of children who no
longer have health insurance. And this is, as you reported, the number of
children without Medicaid or health insurance. That number increased by more than a million
between 2016 and 2018. What is happening there? Why children? MARGOT SANGER-KATZ: So, again, I think this
is a little bit of a complicated portrait, but it is a really, really worrisome sign,
more so even then insurance coverage for adults. We know that there are huge public health
and economic benefits for children having health insurance. So kids that have Medicaid are more likely
to be healthy when they’re older. They’re more likely to finish high school
and college. They’re less likely to have children themselves
as teenagers. And there’s even some evidence that they earn
more income as adults. So I think it’s a combination of various factors. As I said, I think some states are taking
actions that is making it harder for families to enroll their children in Medicaid or to
keep them enrolled. And I do think that there’s a lot of concern
among immigrant families. My colleague Abby Goodnough went to Houston,
Texas, and talked to some immigrant families where they had kept their kids in Medicaid
for many years, and then were starting to disenroll them because they were worried it
could affect their legal status. AMNA NAWAZ: So the question everyone has after
all of this — this is the question everyone’s asking right now in this political climate
— is, what plan and what kind of health care system should we have? You and your colleagues at The New York Times
partnered with the Commonwealth Fund and with Harvard, and you asked that question of a
number of Americans. You surveyed a number of people and said,
what is the kind of plan that you think you would like? What you found was basically a three-way split
between a Medicare-for-all-type plan and Obamacare-plus, right, Affordable Care Act-enhanced, and then
a Republican plan, which would be less federal government involvement, more money and more
resources to states. And that — I should say, those numbers all
fall within the margin of error. So it’s basically a three-way split. What does that tell you? MARGOT SANGER-KATZ: I think, first of all,
it tells us there about two-thirds of Americans or at least 60 percent of Americans that favor
sort of Democratic solutions. And that’s consistent with other polling,
where we see that people tend to trust the Democratic Party a little bit more on health
care. There’s only a third that are really enthusiastic
about the plan that President Trump is talking about. But among people favoring those more Democratic
options, there is a real divide. And I think we see that in the Democratic
primary contest, where some candidates really want to do Medicare for all, a sort of single-payer
system where everyone gets their insurance from the government. And then there are some candidates that want
to try to figure out, how do we work within the existing system to fill in holes and to
cover some of these people that are falling through the cracks? And I think we’re going to continue to see
that debate going on through this primary and probably into the general election as
well. AMNA NAWAZ: It remains a top issue for American
voters out there. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times,
thanks so much for being here. MARGOT SANGER-KATZ: Thank you so much for
having me. JUDY WOODRUFF: As we reported last night,
genetic genealogy, the technique millions of people use to learn about their family
history, has now become a potent tool for police to crack previously unsolved crimes. Tonight, William Brangham is back to explore
the growing privacy debate around this new technique and why some people are urging that
we slow down. This is part of our regular series on the
Leading Edge of science and technology. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: After her dad died, Brandy
Jennings, like millions of Americans, used one of those DNA testing kits to learn more
about him and other relatives. BRANDY JENNINGS, Used DNA Database: I didn’t
have a close relationship with my dad, so maybe to find some family members and just
kind of learn about his side, you know? WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But when she got her results,
she tried something new. She uploaded them to a free public DNA database
to find out more about her dad’s side of the family. BRANDY JENNINGS: I uploaded it. And then it takes a few days for it to upload
and analyze, and I just kind of forgot about it. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But, months later, Jennings
was shocked to learn that police had used her DNA information from that public Web site,
and used a technique called genetic genealogy to identify the killer in a 40-year-old cold
case in Iowa. WOMAN: Authorities arrested 64-year-old Jerry
Lynn Burns of Manchester this morning. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Turns out the murderer was
a distant, distant relative of Jennings. She thinks this new crime-fighting tool is
a great thing BRANDY JENNINGS: I mean, I think that every
person that has ever died or been killed or raped or whatever deserves to have justice
done. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But not everyone is so eager
to have their DNA end up in a police dragnet. Five years ago, Michael Usry Jr., largely
because his father had done DNA testing, ended up in a police station in downtown New Orleans. Police suspected he’d been involved in the
brutal 1996 rape and murder of an Idaho woman named Angie Dodge. MICHAEL USRY JR., Arrested Due to DNA Test:
In fact, almost the entire time they had me in the interrogation room with the one-way
mirror and all, they really didn’t want to give me any information. I kept asking questions, like, did somebody
I know do something horrible? And, finally, after maybe about an hour or
two, they had to just basically go, no, we think that you — you were involved with this
crime. And I’m like, me? WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Usry was targeted because
investigators, using an early form of genetic genealogy, linked his father’s DNA to DNA
from the murder scene. Usry’s dad seemed too old to be the killer,
but Michael was not. And then police learned Usry had traveled
through Idaho. Plus, he made these grisly, violent low-budget
films. But Usry knew he hadn’t done anything wrong. MICHAEL USRY JR.: It was almost like a dream. When it came crashing down was when they walked
out of the room and the biggest state policeman that I have ever seen in my life came in with
latex gloves and a cotton swab and said, I’m going to take your DNA now. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: It took around a month for
police to process Usry’s DNA to see if it matched the DNA from the crime scene. So, you spend three or four weeks thinking,
I’m a suspect in a brutal murder. What were those weeks like for you? MICHAEL USRY JR.: It was scary. It was really scary, those three or four weeks,
just because I knew that I had not been involved in any crime. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: When the DNA test results
came back, it wasn’t a match. Michael Usry Jr. was cleared. New York University’s Erin Murphy, who studies
genetics and the law, sees Usry’s ordeal as a cautionary tale. She says, remember, Michael Usry never tested
his own DNA. He was ensnared because his father had. And Murphy says those decisions, made by others,
cannot be undone. ERIN MURPHY, New York University School of
Law: You can change your phone number if someone starts harassing you. You can change your address if things get
really dark. You can do a lot of credit card cancellations
if things get into the wrong hands. But you can’t cancel your genome. You can’t edit your genome. And, more importantly, the decisions that
you make about your genomic privacy can be overridden by anybody, not only in your immediate
family tree. It’s not just, oh, my brother chooses to do
this, but my sixth cousin I never met chose to do this. That decision essentially erases the genetic
privacy of everyone else. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Curtis Rogers created the
biggest public database, called GEDmatch, that’s now used by police to solve crimes. Rogers initially built it so people like Brandy
Jennings could use their DNA results to build out their family tree. But after authorities in California used GEDmatch
to catch the Golden State Killer, Rogers began to slowly welcome police into the database. And, recently, a Florida judge granted a warrant
on one case to let police in even more. CURTIS ROGERS, Co-Founder, GEDmatch: For some
reason, people really get upset about serial killers, mass killers and serial rapists being
caught. I don’t know why this upsets people. But there’s some… WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But they’re not upset about
people getting caught. They’re upset about somehow that they are
going to be roped into an investigation, they would feel unfairly, or that their privacy
would somehow be violated, right? CURTIS ROGERS: If they could see some of the
e-mails from these families that have had some closure, I can’t imagine that anyone
would say it’s the wrong thing to do. I can’t imagine anyone saying, I don’t want
to help these families. MICHAEL USRY JR.: Of course I want those people,
serial killers and murderers and terrible rapists, to be caught. It’s becoming such a powerful crime-fighting
tool. It’s also kind of — it scares me, personally,
because we see that it’s being used for other purposes besides finding your uncle. In my case, it’s used by the police to try
to link me to a crime. WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Years after Michael Usry
Jr. was cleared, further genetic genealogy helped authorities identify the man they believe
is Angie Dodge’s real killer. A man named Brian Dripps, who was her neighbor,
was charged with rape and murder and will go on trial in 2021. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m William Brangham. JUDY WOODRUFF: There is a toxic brew in much
of the air over India, sparked by everything from farmers burning their fields to industrial
pollution. Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro examined
this problem for the last two years and now he has this update. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Smoke billows from the
fields of Northern India, as farmers burn remnants of their crops after harvest. They say it’s the easiest and quickest way
to get their fields ready for the next planting. But what is convenient for the farmers is
wreaking havoc in nearby cities. The smoke from thousands of fields mixes with
the pollution from millions of cars and trucks. Those noxious clouds of smog make it hard
to see during the day and hard to breathe. Sakshi Chauhan is recovering from a severe
throat infection. SAKSHI CHAUHAN, India (through translator):
I was told that I have an infection. Because of this, I cannot eat anything from
outside. The doctor told me not to go out, told me
not to go out because of smog. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The smoke is so thick
that, earlier this week, flights at New Delhi’s international airport were delayed or canceled
due to poor visibility. The city declared a public health emergency,
restricted the number of cars allowed on the road, and ordered all construction work to
stop. MUKESH KUMAR, Construction Project Chief (through
translator): The pollution has risen to great levels. Our company has halted construction since
November 1. We had it shut even before that. We are following the official order. We have stopped all work, and all the precautions
and initiatives are being taken to curb pollution here. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Also contributing to the
rampant smog, plumes of smoke generated by fireworks during the recent festival of Diwali,
a celebration of light where, now, during the day, there is less. Weather and wind patterns are also blamed
for trapping pollutants over India’s capital. Dirty fuels are the culprit from several sources. Automobiles are the major one. On average, 1,400 new vehicles are added to
Delhi’s streets every day, most now burning a highly polluting diesel long outlawed in
Europe and the United States. By 2021, diesel fuel here will meet European
standards. The government has also promised to shut down
old coal-fired plants and restrict new ones. But pollution has been worsening for years. Two years ago, to get an idea of how dirty
the air is, we went to one of the cleanest places in Delhi, the American Embassy School. It serves the children of American and other
expats and diplomats. Many don face masks, but only until they’re
inside. Ellen Stern was the school’s director. ELLEN STERN, Former Director, American Embassy
School: We have an air system that goes all the way through the school. We now have four different kinds of filters
on it that filter out various kinds of things. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Barun Aggarwal showed
me the elaborate system his company, BreatheEasy, has set up in the school, pulling out the
first layer of filter, thickly coated with a grimy soot. So, if you were to walk outside today, this
is what is coming into your lungs? BARUN AGGARWAL, BreatheEasy: Absolutely. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: The fine particle filters
also show stark before-and-after evidence of the harmful air outside. You would think such systems would be in strong
demand, but Aggarwal says, aside from a few buildings mostly occupied by expats, its been
a hard sell. Among India’s growing middle-class, he says,
there’s denial or indifference, a sense that pollution is the price of India’s rapid economic
progress. BARUN AGGARWAL: The number of myths that are
there with regards to air pollution in India are incredible. The first one that I get by mostly Indians
is that, if I breathe clean air for eight hours, then my immunity will come down, and
when I go out, I will fall sick. Completely wrong, because this is — if you
believe that, then you should be giving your children two packets of cigarettes to smoke
every day. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Kamal Meattle is an environmental
activist who also designed the embassy school’s filtration system. It works well, he says, but it is no panacea
for a city of 20-plus million residents. KAMAL MEATTLE, Environmental Activist: You
cannot have just air purifiers and cleaning systems for the people who can afford them. It has to be for the people who are on the
road, who are in (INAUDIBLE) or slums. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Meattle, who trained at
MIT, has developed lower-cost ways to cope with the pollution, plants, thousands of them
in this rooftop greenhouse of his six-story office building. Clean air is produced, and each floor is pulling
in the air as needed. KAMAL MEATTLE: And there are plants on each
floor also. This is a central air cleaning system for
the whole building. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Plants do more than produce
oxygen, he says. They are natural air purifiers. Their roots eat bacteria and fungi and they
absorb chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene produced by office products. KAMAL MEATTLE: Areca palms for the daytime,
bamboo palm. FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Installing plants is a
small step people can take indoors, but he acknowledges there’s a huge complex problem
outside these clean air bubbles, not easily solved in India’s chaotic democracy. The Indian government says it’s taken steps
to reduce pollution. But, in the meantime, for years to come, India’s
capital and, for that matter, most of its major cities will continue to be among the
most difficult places on Earth to breathe. For the “PBS NewsHour,” this is Fred de Sam
Lazaro in New Delhi. JUDY WOODRUFF: Fred’s reporting is a partnership
with the Under-Told Stories Project at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. Finally tonight: Jane Fonda has been a household
name for decades due to her prolific work on screen and stage, and to her enduring activism
as well. Her cause now? Taking on climate change. JANE FONDA, Actor/Activist: You obviously
know what this is like, but I have never felt it before. WALTER MATTHAU, Actor: The winner is Jane
Fonda. (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE) JUDY WOODRUFF: Two Academy Awards, seven Golden
Globes, a prime-time Emmy. The list goes on. From her start in 1960, on stage and then
on screen, Jane Fonda quickly won recognition and stardom, movies from “Barefoot in the
Park” and “Barbarella” “They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?”, “Klute,” and “Coming Home.” She became a household name. JANE FONDA: I’m so happy. JUDY WOODRUFF: Followed by “The China Syndrome,”
“On Golden Pond,” and “9 to 5.” After a break in the ’90s, she relaunched
her career in film, on stage and TV. LILY TOMLIN, Actress: We made a hell of an
accident, didn’t we? JANE FONDA: We did. JUDY WOODRUFF: As Grace Hanson in her current
Netflix comedy series “Grace and Frankie” with Lily Tomlin. But all the while, activism has been threaded
through Fonda’s career, civil rights, women’s rights, the Vietnam War. When she was photographed in Hanoi in 1972
sitting on a North Vietnamese anti-aircraft gun, detractors called her Hanoi Jane and
accused her of undermining U.S. troops. Years later, she apologized and went on to
protest the Iraq War and other causes. Today the now 81-year-old actress is still
at it. She moved to Washington to focus on civil
disobedience around climate change, inspired by 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg. WOMAN: Love you, Jane. JUDY WOODRUFF: Fonda has been arrested four
times in the last four weeks in what’s become known as Fire Drill Friday. JANE FONDA: What we have to do is unprecedented. JUDY WOODRUFF: She’s pushing for legislation
advocated by Democratic Party progressives. JANE FONDA: The Green New Deal is going to
do more than the New Deal did. It’s going to bring everyone to a fair playing
field. We’re going to make it happen. JUDY WOODRUFF: Jane Fonda, welcome to the
“NewsHour.” JANE FONDA: It’s good to be with you, Judy. We have known each other a long time. JUDY WOODRUFF: We have. We’re so glad that you’re here. So, arrested four times in the last month,
spent a night in jail, but not your first time. JANE FONDA: No, I was arrested in Cleveland
in 1970. JUDY WOODRUFF: And this time in Washington,
in a Washington, D.C. jail. What was it like? JANE FONDA: In Cleveland, all the people that
were in jail were white, and they were all black here. And it was pretty clear that they were in
there because of poverty and racism and what grows out of that, mental health issues. I was treated fine, you know? But it made me very sad. JUDY WOODRUFF: What is driving you to do this? You speak about the climate crisis. What was it that sparked this? JANE FONDA: You know, I made all the personal
lifestyle choices, drive electric car, eat less meat, eat less fish, get rid of single-use
plastic, and all that. And that’s good and it’s important, but it’s
not enough. And I knew what I had to do. I had to get out of my comfort zone and put
myself on the line, in coordination with the young student climate strikers, the Sunrise
Movement and those kids. JUDY WOODRUFF: What’s different about these
young activists and what they’re saying? JANE FONDA: Well, their lives are on the line. I mean, they’re — they recognize that older
people, we’re robbing them of a future that’s livable, and we don’t seem to be paying though
attention. Kids have been out front of this movement
for a long time, you know, the Standing Rock young people and so many of them. But there’s something about Greta Thunberg. It’s the fact that she’s on the spectrum. JUDY WOODRUFF: Right, autism spectrum. JANE FONDA: Yes, Asperger’s, and that gives
her a focus. She doesn’t get distracted. And when I read what happened to her — she
had been studying in climate. And when she read the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change that said, we have very little time left, and this is what we had
to do, and then she looked around, and nobody was behaving the way they should be behaving. I mean, she said, if this is happening, people
wouldn’t be talking about anything else. And she was traumatized and stopped eating
and speaking. And that really got to me. I knew that what she had seen was the truth. JUDY WOODRUFF: At the same time, what do you
say to the skeptics, I mean, the people who are outright saying, this is hysteria, we
can’t move this far this fast, we need to be sensible about this, yes, climate is an
issue, but… JANE FONDA: There’s only one way to be sensible,
and that is to read — is to study the science. The scientists know. And just the other day, 11,000 of them issued
a warning, saying there is no question that the Earth and its population is facing a dire
catastrophe. JUDY WOODRUFF: Even with that, just this week,
President Trump formally pulls out of the Paris climate… JANE FONDA: Well, I mean, he’s the fossil
fuel president. His Cabinet is a fossil fuel Cabinet. He’s — they have been bought off by the fossil
fuel industry, which tends to do that, and subverts our democracy in the process. But our goal here with our Fire Drill Fridays
is not to try to convince those kind of people. We’re trying to get people who are not used
to going into the streets and engaging in civil disobedience and risking getting arrests. JUDY WOODRUFF: Think back to Vietnam. How is this period of activism different from
back then? What’s changed? JANE FONDA: What’s changed is that everyone,
not just our soldiers who are in a country fighting the people in that country, but the
entire world is being threatened. It’s an existential umbrella hanging over
everything. That’s what’s changed. This has never happened before in the history
of civilization. JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s what’s driven Jane
Fonda to move to Washington and do what… (CROSSTALK) JANE FONDA: I mean, if you’re a celebrity,
and you’re almost 82 years old, and you have young grandchildren, I mean, I don’t know. I don’t know what would happen to me if I
didn’t do it. I — what would I think about myself? JUDY WOODRUFF: We said it. You are an 81-year-old woman who still has
a phenomenally successful career in entertainment and television. You’re as active as anybody could be in the
environmental movement. Is there a message for older women today? JANE FONDA: When you’re older, what have you
got to lose? You’re not in the marketplace for some guy
who’s scared of a strong woman, so you can rise to yourself and become who you are meant
to be, and you can be brave. I mean, there are older people with gray hair
out there every Friday that get arrested with me that are just so great. And some of them are nuns, and some of them
are rabbis, and some of them just people who have come from different parts of the United
States. And they’re old, and it’s just beautiful. JUDY WOODRUFF: And is there more — you think
there’s more acceptance of that today than there used to be? JANE FONDA: There’s always been. Older people have always been — older women
have always tended to be the bravest. JUDY WOODRUFF: And so what’s your message
to other women who are out there wondering, should I step into this or that, that I have
been afraid to get involved in? JANE FONDA: Well, one of my purposes with
Fire Drill Friday is to show people the new normal. This is the kind of thing that has to become
normal, given what is going to have to happen. No matter who we elect in November, no matter
how progressive and brave they are, it won’t work unless we are going to hold their feet
to the fire. Back in the — during the New Deal, Franklin
Delano Roosevelt, he said to the people who were in the streets rioting and demanding
that he help them rise out of despair, because they were starving and they were so poor,
and he said: I agree with you. Now go out and make me do it. And whether it’s Obama or Jerry Brown, so
many progressive politicians say to people: Make me do it. Make me do it. So, that means they can throw up their hands
and say: Look, it’s not my fault. Look what the constituents are making me do. We have to be in the streets and shutting
down governments, if necessary, not just at the federal level, but state governments,
local governments, town councils. We have to be very brave. And, for 40 years, we have marched and rallied
and written and spoken, and not enough has happened. So we have to up the ante a little bit and
risk getting arrested through civil disobedience. But we have to not be afraid. And we have to see this as the way good citizens
of the United States need to act. We need to be in the streets making our demands
heard. JUDY WOODRUFF: Jane Fonda in… JANE FONDA: Judy Woodruff. (LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: … in Washington, making the
case to fight climate change. Jane Fonda, thank you very much. JANE FONDA: Thank you, Judy. It’s good to see you. Thanks… JUDY WOODRUFF: And you. JANE FONDA: … for having me. JUDY WOODRUFF: And we heard her say, what
have you got to lose? And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we’ll see you soon.

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *