PBS NewsHour full episode November 29, 2019

PBS NewsHour full episode November 29, 2019

November 30, 2019 0 By Kailee Schamberger


JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: The prime minister
of Iraq announces he’s resigning, after weeks of protests that have left hundreds dead. Then: on the ground in Afghanistan — as the
U.S. resumes peace talks with the Taliban, what Afghan women stand to lose if the militant
group returns to power. And a death in the Amazon warehouse, an accident
and an investigation at one of the world’s largest companies. Plus: Waste not — finding sources of renewable
energy in surprising places. DENISE BARSTOW, Barstow’s Longview Farm: A
hundred pounds of cow manure per cow per day, and we’re treating it through this system
and getting electricity. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: The growing protest movement
in Iraq has claimed dozens more new casualties today. The prime minister says that he will step
down, giving in to public demands. But, in the streets, the killing goes on,
security forces shooting down scores more protesters. Foreign affairs correspondent Nick Schifrin
reports on this critical day. NICK SCHIFRIN: On the streets of Baghdad,
protesters today declared victory. They have demonstrated for two months, and
many gave their lives. They warned that sacrifice would be worth
it only if today sparked fundamental change. MAN (through translator): We consider this
as the first step. We demand the resignation of all lawmakers. NICK SCHIFRIN: Adil Abdul-Mahdi was a consensus
candidate who struggled to deliver promised reforms. In early October, leaderless demonstrations
rallied against 15 years of failed governance, unemployment, and corruption, and called for
the entire political class’ ouster. They also criticized Iran’s influence. Today, they burned the Iranian flag, and Wednesday
night torched the Iranian Consulate in Najaf. In response, security services have used deadly
force. More than 400 protesters have been killed. The violence spread to Iraq’s south, threatening
to destabilize the country. That’s why, today, the spokesman for Iraq’s
most powerful Shiite religious leader, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, spoke to followers
and strongly suggested the government step aside. AHMED AL-SAFI, Spokesman for Grand Ayatollah
Sistani (through translator): We call upon the House of Representatives, from which this
current government has emerged, to reconsider its options. NICK SCHIFRIN: A few hours later, Abdul-Mahdi’s
office released a statement saying he would step down, so Iraq could — quote — “avoid
slipping into a cycle of violence, chaos, and devastation.” FEISAL ISTRABADI, Former Deputy Iraqi Ambassador
to United Nations: The initial response of some security forces or militias to begin
to engage the demonstrators with violence really caused things to spiral out of his
hands very quickly. And so his remaining an office seemed to have
no particular logic to it. It seemed to be a situation where he could
not control the streets anymore. NICK SCHIFRIN: Feisal Istrabadi is an academic
and former Iraqi diplomat. He says Abdul-Mahdi’s resignation is unprecedented,
and will spark difficult horse-trading in a deeply divided Parliament. FEISAL ISTRABADI: You have the same political
parties who have been at an impasse for the last year-and-a-half having to form another
government. We are in a state of deadlock probably for
sometime to come. NICK SCHIFRIN: Protesters will be watching
to ensure today was the beginning, not the end, of the reforms they demand. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Nick Schifrin. JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Stabbing
attacks jolted Britain and the Netherlands at the start of the holiday season. In the first incident, a man killed two people
near London Bridge, before he was shot and killed by police. Officials said the man was wearing what looked
like a suicide bomb vest, but it turned out to be a fake. What drove the attack was unclear. NEIL BASU, U.K. Head of Counterterrorism Operations:
I’m now in a position to confirm that it has been declared a terrorist incident. But I must stress, we retain an open mind
as to any motive. It would be inappropriate to speculate further
at this time. JUDY WOODRUFF: Hours later, in The Hague,
three people, including children, were stabbed on the Dutch city’s main shopping street. Police said that at least one attacker was
at large and the motive was unclear. In Afghanistan, thousands of people protested
amid alleged fraud — or protested alleged fraud, that is, in a recount of September’s
presidential election. Supporters of candidate Abdullah Abdullah
marched in Kabul. They claimed that fake ballots are being counted. Abdullah is challenging the incumbent President
Ashraf Ghani. But, so far, no results have been announced. Environmental protesters staged new rallies
around the world today, calling for tougher action on climate change. Thousands marched in 153 countries. Activists in Berlin even swam in a cold river
to protest a government proposal they say is too weak. In East Texas, officials declared that fires
at a chemical plant are now isolated and contained, and they lifted evacuation orders for 50,000
people. Major explosions erupted at the site on Wednesday,
touching off fires and heavy smoke. The plant owners say that it could take some
time to extinguish the flames entirely. TROY MONK, TPC Group: There’s still going
to be smoke in the air. There are still going to be flames visible
at night. That’s going to be addressed as quickly and
as safely as we possibly can. I would love to tell you that we’d be done
by the end of the day. I wouldn’t be telling you the truth if I made
that statement. JUDY WOODRUFF: The Texas Gulf Coast has suffered
a series of major accidents this year. The region has the nation’s highest concentration
of oil refineries and related plants. The holiday shopping season is officially
under way on this Black Friday, and online shopping is setting records. Retail trackers estimate that shoppers could
spend $7 billion today alone. But critics of consumerism clogged department
stores across Europe today. And protesters rallied outside Amazon’s headquarters
in France. On Wall Street, doubts about traditional retailers
hurt stocks, as trading ended early for the holiday weekend. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 112
points to close at 28051. The Nasdaq fell 39 points, and the S&P 500
slipped 12. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: what the
women of Afghanistan could lose if the Taliban returns to power; investigating the death
of an employee at an Amazon warehouse; waste not, want not — finding renewably energy
in unlikely places; Mark Shields and David Brooks examine the White House response to
the impeachment inquiry; and much more. President Trump returned early this morning
from a surprise trip to Afghanistan, where he said that talks between the U.S. and the
Taliban had restarted. At stake, the prospects for peace in this
conflict-racked nation, but also at stake progress for women there who, when ruled by
the Taliban, could not work, study or even leave the house without a male escort. Special correspondent Jane Ferguson reports. JANE FERGUSON: In one of the toughest countries
in the world to be a woman, this clinic offers a refuge. The Afghan women visiting Dr. Najmussama Shefajo
this morning will get some of the best care in the country. DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO, OB-GYN: This is X-ray
of the uterus and the fallopian tubes. JANE FERGUSON: She is one of Afghanistan’s
top gynecologists, an expert on women’s reproductive health. Dr. Shefajo gave us a tour of her clinic,
full of the latest technology that she imported herself. For the patients that you see, how important
is this sort of equipment? DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: For the patient, we reach
to the diagnosis soon, and there is no need to go out of the country. JANE FERGUSON: So it saves lives? DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: Yes, of course. This is the nose. This is the mouth JANE FERGUSON: To Dr. Shefajo, interaction
with her patients is important. DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: Here, the mother sees
the baby, her own ultrasound. JANE FERGUSON: How do they react? DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: Yes. They are very happy. Right now, they know this is the head, this
is the heart, this is the stomach, because I teach them. JANE FERGUSON: That’s one reason women love
coming here. It would have been absolutely unthinkable
for Afghan women just 20, even 10 years ago to have had this kind of technology. Dr. Shefajo knows that all too well. She began her career delivering babies on
mud floors in Taliban-controlled parts of the country. When you were working under Taliban rule,
did you ever imagine that one day you would have a clinic like this, equipment like this? DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: I was a — I had a hope. JANE FERGUSON: You pictured it? DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: Yes. Yes. JANE FERGUSON: Since the U.S. invasion, Afghan
women like Dr. Shefajo have, through their own hard work and self-belief, built incredible
new lives. That’s why, today, they watch the news anxiously. A major campaign promise by President Trump
was to bring American troops home. And in September, he came close to making
a deal with the Taliban, after more than nine months of negotiations in Qatar, negotiations
where Afghan women quite literally had no seat at the table. The Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 until
their ouster by U.S.-led forces in 2001. That was a deeply cruel time for Afghan women. The Taliban’s harsh interpretation of Islamic
law afforded them virtually no rights. Trump’s deal has fallen apart for now, but
women like Freshta Karim are afraid their rights could still be pushed aside to make
it happen. She’s part of a new generation, educated Afghan
women completely invested in this country’s future. She discovered Afghan children had trouble
getting hold of books to read, so she gathered donations and bought a few old buses, turning
them into mobile libraries. We joined Freshta in one poor neighborhood
of Kabul on her way to a school. FRESHTA KARIM, Activist: It allows them to
have general knowledge and broaden their horizons of life and understanding of world, and inspire
them, inspire them to think about what they want to be, and also understand different
characters’ roles, to put themselves into different characters’ shoe, and start having
an understanding of complex human feelings. And I think this all adds to one’s critical
thinking. JANE FERGUSON: Freshta won a scholarship to
study for a master’s degree in public policy at Oxford University in England. After returning to Afghanistan, she took a
job as an analyst with the government. But her heart was elsewhere. FRESHTA KARIM: And whenever I would work with
children, that would make me happy, because Afghanistan is one of the youngest countries
in the world. And it made so much sense to me to work with
people who will be the future of this country. JANE FERGUSON: How do you keep hopeful and
keep motivated and keep inspired to keep doing this work? FRESHTA KARIM: I think children. We have the responsibility to create that
opportunity for them to meet their potential. JANE FERGUSON: Her potential is at stake,
however, if the Taliban returns to power. FRESHTA KARIM: I think many of us — or at
least I can talk about myself. I might push back for as long as I can, to
resist and to fight for the city that we have built it ourselves. JANE FERGUSON: Outside major cities, much
of life looks similar to the way it did under Taliban rule. Child marriage is rampant, as is violence
against women. It’s in the home that women are most at risk. Those that escape abusive husbands are the
lucky ones. WOMAN (through translator): The day I left
home, my husband had beaten me very badly, and I had injuries on my head. So I left with my children and ran to the
police station. JANE FERGUSON: This young woman, whom we won’t
name for her own safety, is one of them. The police brought her to this shelter. Her husband, she tells us, is a violent drug
addict. WOMAN (through translator): When he was beating
me, I was thinking about how I could run away. But how would I raise the children and keep
them in school? JANE FERGUSON: Amid a climate of fear and
intimidation, even the shelters can be vulnerable places. This one is managed by a U.S.-based charity. And those who run it tell us people in the
community still opposed to women’s rights spread lies about the shelters, and the facilities
come under attack. Even the location is kept secret, and we are
not allowed to film anything that could betray where it is. But for thousands of battered women who have
come through here, it’s a lifeline, women like this 22-year-old, who escaped her abusive
husband six months ago. WOMAN (through translator): My husband was
a drug smuggler, and he always used to keep knives and guns. Every night, I thought he might kill me. JANE FERGUSON: If this shelters had not been
here, if this facility did not exist, where would you have gone? WOMAN: If there had not been a shelter like
this, I might have killed myself, because there is no place for a woman to go if there
are not these shelters. JANE FERGUSON: Elsewhere in Kabul, we see
what she means. The burns unit at Istiklal Government Hospital
is a depressing place, not just because of the power cuts and poor hygiene. Dr. Abdul Khaled Waqila has seen an increase
in self-immolation, women pouring gasoline over themselves and lighting a match. DR. ABDUL KHALED WAQILA, Istiklal Government Hospital
(through translator): It is only the burns patients who come to us. Those who eat poison or do something else
to themselves go to another part of the hospital. So I can only say that the easiest thing for
them to use is gasoline. They have access to it. JANE FERGUSON: Sat on the end of her bed,
and completely alone, this young woman has burns across much of her body and a deep gash
over her throat. She responds to questions with just a whisper. At first, she told the doctor it was an accident,
but later confided it wasn’t. There are laws to protect women in Afghanistan,
but where the letter of that law becomes enforcement is the bigger challenge. SHAHARZAD AKBAR, Afghanistan Human Rights
Commission: There is a huge distance between laws and implementation. JANE FERGUSON: Shaharzad Akbar is the new
head of Afghanistan’s Human Rights Commission. SHAHARZAD AKBAR: It requires not only changing
the legal framework, which there have been improvements in the legal framework, but also
it’s changing the mentality and behavior of people who deliver justice across Afghanistan,
you know? JANE FERGUSON: Akbar won a scholarship to
study abroad, and completed a master’s degree at Smith College in Massachusetts. She wanted to apply that education to making
life better for women in Afghanistan. SHAHARZAD AKBAR: For many women I know, they
aspire to lives different and better than their mothers. For some, it’s as simple as saying, you know
what, I want to have access to a clinic when I give birth. That’s it. I’m not interested in education. I’m not interested in becoming a pilot. I want to marry. I want to have children. But I know that it’s my right to have access
to health care when I give birth. JANE FERGUSON: At just 31 years old, she feels
huge pressure to lead the way for other Afghan women. SHAHARZAD AKBAR: It changes a lot for the
young — the younger girls who are watching us. I am — every day, I am conscious of being
watched. JANE FERGUSON: They also watch to see what
choices powerful politicians are making. If the Taliban were to return to power, she
says, Afghanistan’s women risk losing everything. SHAHARZAD AKBAR: Women were stoned by them. Women were flogged by them, and this continuously
happening in areas under their control. Now imagine the possibility of them not only
coming back to power, but also determining what the laws of Afghanistan will look like. That’s really scary. JANE FERGUSON: Flying up to Badakhshan province
in the rural north of Afghanistan, we met with a group of 83 Taliban fighters who had
surrendered to government forces just a few days before. We challenged them on their attitudes. If the Taliban come back into power, how will
things be different for women this time around? MAN (through translator): There should be
some changes, like in university with co-education. There shouldn’t be things like that, like
you standing here and not covering yourself, wearing this kind of tight clothing. It’s not allowed. JANE FERGUSON: Would you work with female
leaders in government? MAN (through translator): We are not against
women’s education, because we do need doctors. We need educated females. But it should be in a framework of Islamic
principles. JANE FERGUSON: But back in Kabul, Dr. Shefajo
tells us she sees Islamic principles already being applied by women in their lives every
day, with the services they provide through their professions. DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: We want our right as a
woman, as a doctor, as a mother, and as an Afghan, as a Muslim. JANE FERGUSON: You have daughters. What do you hope for their future? How do you picture it? DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: For my elder daughter,
I want her to be a pilot. (LAUGHTER) DR. NAJMUSSAMA SHEFAJO: She is also interested
to travel a lot. But for the others, they are interested to
be a doctor. JANE FERGUSON: Like their mom. (LAUGHTER) JANE FERGUSON: As politicians negotiate with
the Taliban to end the war, Afghan women risk losing their hard-fought freedoms and rights. They could end up paying a devastating price
for peace in Afghanistan. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jane Ferguson
in Kabul, Afghanistan. JUDY WOODRUFF: On Wednesday, we examined safety
rates at Amazon facilities using never-before-public injury records from 23 warehouses across the
country, representing about 20 percent of Amazon’s fulfillment centers. Most of those sites had higher injury rates
than the industry average, from two to as much as six times higher. Tonight, Will Evans of Reveal from the Center
for Investigative Reporting looks into one particular case that raises questions about
how regulators and government officials deal with potential safety violations at the global
company. WILL EVANS: John Stallone has been a safety
professional for nine years. JOHN STALLONE, Former Indiana OSHA Inspector:
These are from all my years doing construction and in industrial safety. WILL EVANS: In a way, it’s the family business. His father worked as a top state government
safety official. JOHN STALLONE: I think it runs in our blood,
in the fact that we want to help people when we can. WILL EVANS: Two years ago, he was working
for the Indiana state branch of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA,
when he was called to investigate an accident at an Amazon warehouse outside of Indianapolis. MAN: There’s an emergency in the maintenance
area — I’m sorry — at Amazon. 911 OPERATOR: Is he conscious and breathing? WILL EVANS: Phillip Lee Terry had been doing
maintenance on a forklift. A security camera captured the accident. JOHN STALLONE: Clearly, you could see he’s
underneath this. There’s nothing protecting him. WILL EVANS: The heavy forks and metal platform
suddenly fell, crushing Terry and killing him. His body lay there nearly two hours before
a co-worker found him. Stallone realized that about five feet from
where the accident took place was a safety device that should have been used. JOHN STALLONE: The thing that was most bothersome
to me was that right there is the stand. That’s the jack. You would actually put this underneath the
fork to make sure that they don’t come down. Nothing was used. Why don’t they know they need to block those
forks, so they don’t fall down? WILL EVANS: Stallone concluded that Amazon
failed to provide adequate training. In interviews with Terry’s co-workers, Stallone’s
notes show one employee even said there was no training, no safety. “It’s get ‘er done.” JOHN STALLONE: It was shocking. I was under the assumption that they would
have had a really good safety culture to begin with. WILL EVANS: Amazon declined repeated requests
for an interview, but sent a written statement saying it could not comment on the specifics
of Terry’s death due to privacy concerns. It would only say that: “During the inspection
and follow-up discussions with Indiana OSHA, we provided Mr. Terry’s training records.” But Stallone said the training records Amazon
gave him didn’t relate to the forklift Terry was working on. ZACH TERRY, Father Killed in Accident at Amazon:
It was devastating to all of us, because he meant so much to each and every one of us,
being the patriarch of our family. Losing him was indescribable. WILL EVANS: Zach Terry, Lee’s son, says his
father was very organized and responsible. ZACH TERRY: You know, I have a lot of anger
built up because of everything that’s happened. But, you know, my big thing is honoring my
dad’s memory and who he was as a person. WILL EVANS: Indiana OSHA gave Amazon four
citations for serious workplace safety violations, with fines totaling $28,000. But the case didn’t end there. Soon after, Stallone’s boss held a conference
call with Amazon’s lawyers and discussed ways the company could reduce its fines. One strategy would be to blame the accident
on employee misconduct. JOHN STALLONE: It’s very unorthodox to have
someone that is in that kind of a management position. It’s like being at a card table and having
a dealer teach you how to count cards. WILL EVANS: Right after the call, Stallone’s
boss, Indiana OSHA Director Julie Alexander, told him they might change his citations. Stallone secretly taped the conversation,
which is legal in Indiana. JULIE ALEXANDER, Indiana OSHA Director: I
hope you don’t take it personally if we have to manipulate your citations any, or… JOHN STALLONE: I think they should all — I
mean, I think they’re all pretty — I think all four of them are pretty strong on their
own. But I’m just — I get paid by the hour. You do what you got to do. WILL EVANS: Stallone was especially upset
that she speculated on the worker’s responsibility for his own death. JULIE ALEXANDER: I’m guessing the guy was
probably on drugs or something. WILL EVANS: To be clear, the toxicology report
shows that Phillip Lee Terry had nothing in his system, other than nicotine and caffeine. OSHA Director Alexander ignored repeated requests
for an interview. A former Amazon safety manager, who asked
not to be identified, says that Terry’s death should have been a wakeup call. MAN: There’s nobody checking up on a guy that’s
doing dangerous work under elevated forks like that. That, to me, like, there’s several breakdowns
there. WILL EVANS: He says it’s wrong to blame Terry’s
death on employee misconduct. MAN: There’s no way that would be misconduct. If there’s any misconduct there, it’s putting
a person that has little to no experience in working on this piece of equipment. There’s your misconduct. Whoever allowed that to happen, that’s the
misconduct. WILL EVANS: When OSHA inspector Stallone pushed
for Amazon to face penalties, he says he found himself called into a meeting with state officials. Those officials deny this meeting took place. Can you remember what they said exactly? JOHN STALLONE: You need to back off. You need to back off in this case. You don’t need to push this. And if you feel — if you’re going to, then
you need to resign. WILL EVANS: And they specifically brought
up the fact that Amazon might bring its second headquarters to Indiana? JOHN STALLONE: Correct. WILL EVANS: State officials deny that meeting
took place and declined repeated requests for an interview. A state Labor Department spokesperson even
called the claim bizarre and fantastical. But we saw an e-mail Stallone sent to a federal
government OSHA official after the meeting, sounding the alarm about political interference
in the case. Stallone says he quit. The state says he was fired for poor performance. Documents show the Indian Labor Department
dropped all penalties against Amazon. The department said Amazon provided proof
that Terry was properly trained and the accident was the result of employee misconduct. The former Amazon safety manager feels that,
even from the company’s standpoint, this was the wrong outcome. It bothers you that those citations were deleted? MAN: It does. It bothers me a lot, because somebody lost
their life. Fighting the citation vs. saying, hey, I’m
going to acknowledge that we have a problem, and we’re going to fix it, are two different
things. It sounds to me like we took an easy path,
instead of taking the difficult path. WILL EVANS: Three weeks after the citations
were dropped, the governor appeared in an Amazon roundtable event. MAN: But the governor said he’s still working
with the major online retailer, trying to land the second headquarters by answering
any questions the company might still have. GOV. ERIC HOLCOMB (R-IN): Obviously, our tax and
regulatory climates are very, not just attractive, but enticing. And we want to grow together. WILL EVANS: Ultimately, Indiana lost its bid
for Amazon’s headquarters. But Stallone believes the way regulators bent
over backwards to help Amazon just makes accidents more likely to happen in the future. JOHN STALLONE: You are gambling with people’s
lives every day. And that doesn’t seem like you should get
a pass. You have to hold people’s feet to the fire. You have to be accountable for what they did
or didn’t provide. WILL EVANS: This is Will Evans for Reveal
and “PBS NewsHour” in Plainfield, Indiana. JUDY WOODRUFF: In the final episode of our
special series this week on food waste, we look at some innovative solutions being developed
to deal with the growing problem of spoiled and surplus food in this country. Special correspondent Allison Aubrey visited
a state where dairy farmers are using it to power their farms and more. ALLISON AUBREY: It’s burger night at Barstow’s
Dairy and Bakery at Longview Farm in Hadley, Massachusetts, and the Pioneer Valley String
Band has drawn a crowd. As advertised, the burgers are born and raised
here. But the cows on this farm produce more than
just meat. DENISE BARSTOW, Barstow’s Longview Farm: Our
cows are producing about a hundred pounds of cow manure per cow per day, and we’re treating
it through this system and getting electricity, renewable energy that’s coming right here
from the farm. ALLISON AUBREY: The system that seventh-generation
farmer Denise Barstow is talking about is an anaerobic digester. Those green towers are part of it. She’s one of a handful of dairy farmers in
Massachusetts using this technology. Just down the road, dairy farmer Peter Melnik
is using it, too. STEVEN MELNIK, Bar-Way Farm: We are taking
food waste from all over the greater Boston area and our very own cow manure. We mix them together in the digester vessel
and make electricity. ALLISON AUBREY: This land has been in Melnik’s
family for four generations. But times are tough for dairy farmers, so
Melnik has diversified. His land is now part farm, and part renewable
energy plant. The process starts here. STEVEN MELNIK: This is the manure pit, as
we like to call it. ALLISON AUBREY: But he needs more than manure. The trick to making this waste-to-energy system
profitable is volume, and Melnik has found an abundant source. Millions of pounds each year of surplus and
spoiled food that would otherwise be destined for a landfill now arrives at his farm in
trucks like this. The food scraps are ground up into a liquid
slurry that gets pumped into this pit. The more you add, the more electricity you
can make. The waste comes from all over. There’s unsold produce from whole foods, scraps
and whey from a Cabot butter plant, and spent grain from a local brewery. STEVEN MELNIK: Inside the digester, it’s about
almost a million gallon tank. It’s heated to 105 degrees. And inside there are tiny microbes. ALLISON AUBREY: Microbes from these cow’s
digestive tracks and the rotting food produce methane, which is usually released into the
atmosphere, playing a role in climate change. But, here, when the gas is captured, it’s
stored in these big black bubbles, and Melnik can actually generate power from it. STEVEN MELNIK: We produce a megawatt of electricity
every hour. ALLISON AUBREY: How much is that? STEVEN MELNIK: A megawatt is enough to power
the digester and the dairy farm, our houses and outbuildings out here, and we still have
90 percent of our electricity left over to be put back on the grid. ALLISON AUBREY: And the other 90 percent? It powers some of the businesses that send
their food waste to the digesters. It also powers two local towns. They’re able to purchase the electricity at
a 10 percent to 15 percent discount. So, what is it that you get from this? How does this help your bottom line? STEVEN MELNIK: We are getting about $100,000
a year in savings. ALLISON AUBREY: The digesters are built and
run by a company called Vanguard Renewables. The company pays farmers a fee for the use
of their land and gives them free electricity to power their farms and houses. In addition to the economic boost, Melnik
says he likes the environmental benefits. STEVEN MELNIK: I don’t need an app or an environmental
calculator to tell me that this thing just makes sense. Having such a closed-loop system, it’s really
been neat to see the connection between all the food companies. ALLISON AUBREY: One player in this loop is
Whole Foods. Seventeen of their stores participate. They ship 50 to 100 tons of food waste every
week to their digesters. At the stores, they grind up food they can’t
sell or donate, and then truck it to Melnik’s farm. Whole Foods’ Karen Franczyk explains. KAREN FRANCZYK, Whole Foods: Anything that
ends up going to landfill or incineration costs us more money. That is the most expensive way to get rid
of waste in our stores. ALLISON AUBREY: So, sending the waste to the
anaerobic digester is cheaper, and can help reduce the ecological footprint. Up to 10 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions
are linked to food waste. And in 2014, Massachusetts passed a law to
ban food companies from sending their waste to landfills. It applies to all businesses that generate
over a ton of food waste a week. So far, four other states in the U.S. have
passed similar bans. JOHN MAJERCAK, President, Center for EcoTechnology:
Each part of the food waste stream. ALLISON AUBREY: John Majercak is president
of the Center for EcoTechnology, a nonprofit that helps businesses in Massachusetts save
energy and reduce waste. JOHN MAJERCAK: To transport food waste super
long distances is very expensive and also wasteful. So the idea was to try and put dots on a map
all across the state close to where the waste is produced, so that it could be used to produce
energy. And the state did this by incentivizing the
development of these digesters. ALLISON AUBREY: Those dots are now sprinkled
across the state, and incentives came in the form of grants given to the companies to build
the digesters. John Hanselman is Vanguard’s CEO. He says he is inspired by what has happened
in Europe, where there are over 17,000 digesters and government policies to promote renewable
energy. JOHN HANSELMAN, CEO, Vanguard Renewables:
So we saw what was happening in Europe, where anaerobic digestion is extremely widespread. Across the United States, we don’t have that
incentive program. We don’t have the federal energy policy or
any federal benefits for anaerobic digestion. I think we are at the cusp. We are at the early days. We have finally got the economics to work. ALLISON AUBREY: Hanselman says, after six
years in the making, he expects to make a profit this year, and he’s optimistic about
the growth. This waste-to-energy approach is new in the
U.S., and the extent to which it can take off may depend on how much states or the federal
government are willing to incentivize it. In Massachusetts, it took two new laws, a
food waste ban, and a renewable energy law, plus grants to make it happen. Farmer Denise Barstow is glad it’s all worked
out. DENISE BARSTOW: You can’t just work really
hard anymore and make it in the dairy industry. You have to work smarter, not just harder. And part of that is diversifying in a way
that is better for the land, better for the animals and better for the next generation. ALLISON AUBREY: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m
Allison Aubrey of NPR News in Hadley, Massachusetts. JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can see all of our
stories on the topic of food waste on our home page. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour. Now here to analyze the politics of this Thanksgiving
week, as always, are Shields and Brooks. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields
and New York Times columnist David Brooks. Hello to both of you. MARK SHIELDS: Hi, Judy. JUDY WOODRUFF: So, the impeachment process,
we are seeing the Judiciary Committee marching ahead, David. There’s a hearing next week where they are
going to talk to constitutional scholars about impeachment. The committee sent a letter to the White House
saying the president has until next Friday to say whether he’s going to call witnesses
and provide evidence. Meantime, the president is out on the campaign
trail saying the whole thing is a witch-hunt, and he’s not going to cooperate. And is he making some progress, because we’re
seeing the polls show some slipping in support for impeachment? DAVID BROOKS: Yes, especially in swing states. And so I think the contrast for the coming
week will be that the Democrats will be ever more treating this like a legal matter, and
Donald Trump will be ever more treating it like a political matter, and them trying to
close it in on the exact events and him trying to widen it, see, this is just what they have
been doing at me. They have been — this is an attack on you. And they will both win. And the impeachment now numbers are just like
every other numbers in our politics, completely divided right down the middle, and with nobody
moving on either side. And so I suspect Trump will see this as a
tremendous way to get his base, and Democrats will see the same way. And we will march forward. And eventually it’ll end. And then we will turn our attention the Democratic
Party, and I’m not sure what will have been achieved. JUDY WOODRUFF: His best defense, go out and
call it a witch-hunt? MARK SHIELDS: David is such a Pollyanna. (LAUGHTER) MARK SHIELDS: Look, Judy, I think continues
to slide is just a little bit of an overstatement. If you think — compare this to Watergate,
it took 26 months after the break-in at Watergate, 14 months of hearings, to get to the point
where we are now with Richard Nixon. That was the summer of 1974, one month before
he resigned, to the point we are with Donald Trump right now. And as far as — I mean, you can look at all
the polls. Ipsos does it — has done six since the end
of October. It’s gone from 47 percent in favor of impeachment,
to 41 against, to 47 percent in favor of impeachment, 41 — 40 against. I mean, it’s been next to — next to no movement. I just I just think that we have, quite frankly,
is early stages. And we’re very much in the early stages. And I think for us to rush — Jeff Horwitt,
the Democratic pollster who does The Wall Street Journal/NBC poll with Bill McInturff,
the Republican, compares it, the impeachment and conviction in the Senate, as to the criminal
part of a trial. And the civil — the civil trial will be the
election of 2020. Donald Trump may very well be not guilty in
the criminal part, but, right now, he’s in just terrible, terrible shape looking at November
2020. Have 47 — 6 percent of Americans who say
they would vote for anybody except Donald Trump. And 34 percent say they will vote for Donald
Trump, regardless of who runs against him. DAVID BROOKS: Yes. MARK SHIELDS: So, I mean, he’s really just
in worse shape than any incumbent in my lifetime. JUDY WOODRUFF: So are you saying — and I’m
going to turn to David on this. Are you saying that this is not about impeaching
him and removing him from office by the Congress, but doing it — but damaging him enough so
that it happens at the polls next November? DAVID BROOKS: Well, that’s not the way it’s
supposed to be. MARK SHIELDS: No. DAVID BROOKS: It’s supposed to be a legal
thing to see if he did high crimes and misdemeanors. I don’t — I agree, I think Donald Trump is
in serious trouble, more than — more than most of my Democratic friends do. That having said, in swing states, The Times
had a poll that gave everybody anxiety on the Democratic side about two weeks ago showing
Trump winning all these swing states. And we have, surprisingly, shockingly little
data on how he’s doing in swing states or how impeachment is doing in swing states. The one thing we do have is a poll that Marquette
did in Wisconsin, which was 40 percent support, 55 percent oppose. And so if that’s the way the swing states
are reacting, then that’s not a good thing, because this is not going to be about looking
at how the whole country views this. This is about how those swing voters are viewing
it. And whether the Democrats want to go and do
Watergate style or Watergate length set of hearings, it seems to me that’s highly problematic. I think there’s a case, as we discussed last
week for bringing in Mike Pompeo, and trying to ask him some questions. But the Democrats so far seem loath to do
this because they want to rush this thing. And so that — that’s just a big philosophical
difference. Do they go big and try to engineer that, or
do they say, let’s just get this over with? JUDY WOODRUFF: The calendar is working against
them, isn’t it, Mark? MARK SHIELDS: The calendar — the calendar
is the calendar. I mean, it’s a reality. We’re in dual realities, that the nominating
process is going. But you’re talking about Donald Trump’s counteroffensive. And I think the worst mistake that the Democrats
could make is to look for a Democratic Donald Trump, I mean, somebody who can go toe to
toe with them in insult to insult with him. American voters, after a president lets them
down and disappoints, go looking for the exact opposite of what was missing. They went after George Bush and sort of the
off-the-cuff anti-intellectualism. They sought the cerebral, almost removed presence
of a Barack Obama. After Watergate and Vietnam and Lyndon Johnson
and Richard Nixon and all that experience, they wanted the outsider, Jimmy Carter. And I don’t think they want more of somebody
who can go elbow to elbow and insult to insult. I think, quite frankly, that’s the appeal
of Pete Buttigieg, is that he lowers the temperature, he lowers the thermostat, he lowers the rhetoric. He is — he’s the Mr. Rogers of this campaign. JUDY WOODRUFF: Whoa. MARK SHIELDS: And I say that in the most — in
the most appealing and most flattering of ways. I mean, he’s reasoned, he’s reasonable, and
he listens. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, that’s the segue. You’re giving it to us, Mark. But, David, I mean, there has been a little
bit of shifting in the presidential landscape on the Democratic side this week, Elizabeth
Warren slipping a little bit in the polls. And we have seen some critical stories about
Kamala Harris’ campaign. Where are we? Michael Bloomberg is in there spending a lot
of money to get his name and message out. DAVID BROOKS: Yes. It could — well, what we’re seeing is, we
in the pundit class often put people in buckets, which are based on ideology. And voters are not quite in the buckets that
we think they’re in. And so we had the Warren-Sanders bucket, and
then we had the moderate bucket. And — but people are moving straight from
Warren to Buttigieg. There’s a lot of people — votes between one
of those two. And they’re somewhat similar. They’re analytical, a little academically,
and so they said, let’s get a technocrat. Let’s get an expert with plans. And I think a lot of people, at least the
ones I talk to, like Elizabeth Warren. They just think she’s poisoned herself with
Medicare for all. And they just say, we can’t go for that. So let’s go for Buttigieg. And Buttigieg is doing well, just a slow,
gradual rise. The Kamala Harris thing, I think, is just
remarkable. My newspaper had a story on the deconstruction
of that campaign, where they spoke to 50 current and former members of that campaign who were
willing to go off the record criticizing the campaign and the candidate. That’s just amazing. And they had the resignation letter from a
senior official. And it was as poorly structured a campaign
as I have heard of. Like, they had — part of the headquarters
was in Baltimore and part of the headquarters with her sister in California. Like, who structures anything like that? So, that’s just a remarkable incident. And it’s hard to see how she turns around,
if her machinery is so bad. JUDY WOODRUFF: A lot of talking from inside
— from inside that campaign. MARK SHIELDS: You find that people are far
more voluble in losing campaigns. That is the poll, when people start talking
about what went wrong and who to blame. It’s the cover your own area aspect. It’s not the most attractive feature in American
politics. And as far as Elizabeth Warren is concerned,
I think what happened, there’s a real cold shower of reality into it, Judy. It was 1949, 70 years ago, Harry Truman proposed
national health care. It was defeated by calling it socialized medicine. Every Democratic President Trump that point
forward fought for it, from — and they were talented people, jack Kennedy and Jimmy Carter,
Bill Clinton. And they did their best effort. And the only time it broke was Medicare and
Medicaid in ’65. That’s 54 years ago, all right? And that was Lyndon Johnson because of the
Goldwater landslide. Other than that, there’s been resistance. Finally, in 2010, the Democrats get it. Give Barack Obama credit. Give Nancy Pelosi, people who voted for it
credit. It costs a lot of people their careers and
their seats. It cost the Democrats their Majority. And it took seven more years before people
said they were favorable. Now, the idea that you’re going to pass Medicare
for all with the whisk of your hand is just absolutely blowing smoke. It is self-delusion. It’s self-deception. It’s going to require careers. It’s going to require the same kind of effort
Bill Bradley put into four years of working on tax reform, which was, if anything, a lot
less tough… (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: But you’re saying that’s what’s
hurt Warren? MARK SHIELDS: Yes. JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes. MARK SHIELDS: We found out the cost, I mean,
the reality. It’s a cold shower. I mean, nice to talk about it. It ain’t going to happen. JUDY WOODRUFF: You heard it here. So, we are in Thanksgiving week. And I can’t let you get away without asking
both of you, what do we have to be thankful for? (LAUGHTER) JUDY WOODRUFF: David? (LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: I’m thankful that this is — we
didn’t begin our career in the Trump era. (LAUGHTER) DAVID BROOKS: We got to see what real politics
is normally like. Actually, I have been thinking about the quality
of Thanksgiving that we give this year. We have been having a very healthy exercise
in the country of going through our history on racial injustice, on treatment of the Native
Americans. And so we have laid open the sins which have
to be laid open. But I think it’s still possible to love your
country equally, even after being aware and paying a lot of attention to these sins. And so giving thanks to be born and — or
grown up or living in what, to me, is still the most lovable, amazing country on the face
of the Earth is something you can still say, even after looking at the history of slavery,
the history of genocide and all the other stuff. It’s possible to have a mature love for your
country. JUDY WOODRUFF: A country that keeps renewing
itself. MARK SHIELDS: Good. JUDY WOODRUFF: Keeps working on its problems. Mark. MARK SHIELDS: After standing in awe of Marie
Yovanovitch, and William Taylor, David Holmes, and George Kent, and David Hale, and Fiona
Hill, my admiration, gratitude for public employees of integrity, of decency, of commitment,
of patriotism, who put their careers at risk to speak truth to power and to the American
people is — I’m grateful for it. I’ll say this. This is the 19th Thanksgiving that David and
I have been lucky enough to spend on the “NewsHour” together. JUDY WOODRUFF: Ah. MARK SHIELDS: I have misspoken. I have contradicted myself. I have said stupid things. And never once in those 19 years has David
taken a cheap shot. And for his friendship and decency, I thank
him. DAVID BROOKS: And I thank you. MARK SHIELDS: Thank you. JUDY WOODRUFF: This is a place where people
treat each other with more than respect. And we are thankful at the “NewsHour” for
the two of you, Mark Shields, David Brooks. Thank you. Five years ago, the U.S. Senate Select Committee
on Intelligence released a report on the torture tactics the CIA used on terror suspects after
the 9/11 attacks. That investigation is now the subject of a
new film, “The Report.” Jeffrey Brown has a look. It’s part of our ongoing arts and culture
series, Canvas. ACTOR: Why did the CIA torture people, lie
about it, and then hide it from history? JEFFREY BROWN: The story is straight from
the headlines. MAN: Better intelligence could have been obtained
by more humane methods. MAN: Their report, released by Democrats,
contends the tactics failed to produce useful information. GWEN IFILL, “PBS NewsHour”: A sweeping Senate
report leveled damning charges against the Central Intelligence Agency. JEFFREY BROWN: “The Report” portrays the real-life
six-year effort by the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence to uncover the CIA’s use of
so-called enhanced interrogation techniques used on terrorism suspects following the 9/11
attacks. Those were implemented at the suggestion of
two U.S. Air Force psychologists. The torture proved ineffective, but remained
in practice at CIA black sites around the world. Daniel Jones was lead investigator on Senator
Dianne Feinstein’s Intelligence Committee staff. Actor Adam Driver, known for recent roles
in “BlacKkKlansman” and the “Star Wars” sequel trilogy, portrays Jones. ADAM DRIVER, Actor: After 9/11, everyone was
scared, scared it might happen again. It was my second day of grad school. The next day, I changed all my classes to
national security. JEFFREY BROWN: Jones is the primary author
of the report on torture. DANIEL JONES, Former Senate Intelligence Committee
Investigator: Well, there are 20 findings and conclusions in the overall report, which
can boil down into three key findings, overall findings. One is that the techniques the CIA used, which
most refer to as torture, resulted in false answers and didn’t result in unique information. MAURA TIERNEY, Actress: Why are so many of
these guys still lying to us after you work on them? Where’s this special sauce? You have to make this work. It’s only legal if it works. DANIEL JONES: Two is, the techniques were
far more brutal than the CIA had described to Congress, to the president, to the Department
of Justice. ACTOR: We improve his treatment for a week
or two, give him some hope. And then we go back at him hard and create
a sense of helplessness. DANIEL JONES: And three is, the program was
grossly mismanaged. The CIA didn’t hold officers accountable for
wrongdoing. They didn’t set up appropriate guidelines. Over and over again, we saw some significant
management failures. JEFFREY BROWN: Scott Z. Burns wrote and directed
the film. Best known for his screenplay “The Bourne
Ultimatum,” Burns also produced the Academy Award-winning documentary “An Inconvenient
Truth.” Why did you think this might be a movie? SCOTT Z. BURNS, Director, “The Report”: You
know, for me, it started out that both my parents are psychologists, and I grew up with
some awareness of that profession as a thing that exists to help people. And so when I read that people had figured
out a way to weaponize psychology, I found that appalling. ACTOR: We fundamentally disagree with the
assertion that the program was poorly managed and executed, and that unqualified officers
imposed brutal conditions, used unapproved techniques, and were rarely held accountable. SCOTT Z. BURNS: I also felt that my country
had tortured people, and that that was antithetical to everything I had thought. And I know that may sound naive, because the
CIA had done that at other points in history. JEFFREY BROWN: Jones and his team set up a
secure room within a CIA facility to go through the evidence. ADAM DRIVER: No paper? ACTOR: Paper has a way of getting people in
trouble at our place. ADAM DRIVER: At our place, paper is how we
keep track of laws. JEFFREY BROWN: Investigators would face multiple
hurdles put in the way by the CIA and other officials, including threat of legal action
against Jones. COREY STOLL, Actor: They can go after the
next best thing, you. JEFFREY BROWN: The film’s narrative follows
Jones as he puts the puzzle pieces together. DANIEL JONES: When Scott first described to
me his idea, which was this — almost this dark comedy of errors, in some ways, that
was the only thing that made sense to me. SCOTT Z. BURNS: I think it’s the struggle
of somebody to get — to get the truth out. And I think what happened with Dan I think
is kind of a tracer bullet through our political system right now, that there are these systems
and institutions that exists to provide oversight and accountability, and yet it took really
Herculean effort on Dan’s part and the other people, the senators on the committee, to
get this story out. JEFFREY BROWN: According to the film, the
CIA and the Obama administration actively tried to keep the findings from being made
public amid other national priorities. Actor Jon Hamm portrays Denis McDonough, President
Obama’s chief of staff. Annette Bening is Senator Dianne Feinstein. JON HAMM, Actor: When this administration
took office, we faced the very real possibility of economic collapse. Do we spend our political capital on going
around trying to find people to blame, or do we solve the problem? ANNETTE BENING, Actress: Maybe the way to
solve the problem is to hold people accountable. Do you ever wonder why history repeats itself? Well, I think maybe it’s because we don’t
always listen the first time. JEFFREY BROWN: Director Burn says he felt
it was important to depict acts of torture. You had to make some decisions about what
you were going to show us, right, especially when it came down to those interrogation torture
scenes. SCOTT Z. BURNS: Right. JEFFREY BROWN: How did you decide? SCOTT Z. BURNS: Well, it was probably the
part of the film that I worked and agonized the most over through the edit and through
writing, through every aspect. I mean, there were early drafts where I wondered
if we could tell the story without showing anything. ADAM DRIVER: They water-boarded him 183 times,
and then concluded KSM may never be forthcoming or honest. Everything they got from him was either a
lie or something they already had. ANNETTE BENING: Well, OK. So my first question is, if it works, why
do you need to do it 183 times? ADAM DRIVER: Maybe, when the report comes
out, people will finally see that. SCOTT Z. BURNS: The reason why Abu Ghraib
was such a sea change in this whole story is, people saw these things. And, obviously, someone who works in a visual
art form, pictures do paint thousands of words. And I felt, unless I show the audience enough
of what really happened, they wouldn’t truly understand the trespasses against the law
and against human dignity. But when I shot it, I tried to make it more
about the torturers than the torture, because a lot of these people did do criminal acts. And it wasn’t to elicit sympathy for al-Qaida. JEFFREY BROWN: In the end, after the years-long
drama, Daniel Jones says the system worked. DANIEL JONES: We did get a report out. It’s 525 pages. It has redactions, but we did get the report
out. The report was released. And I think that’s really to the testament
of what the senators did of that committee. They really were committed to this and committed
to getting it out in public. JEFFREY BROWN: Do you feel that you told a
positive story or a warning story? What is it? SCOTT Z. BURNS: Well, as a filmmaker, I don’t
feel like I get to decide what the audience should feel at the end. I know how I feel, which is I am — I’m greatly
buoyed by the fact that this country did put that report out. And Steven Soderbergh, who’s a producer on
this, has always said, I don’t — I don’t know that there’s another country, other than
maybe Canada or the U.K., that would — that would have even allowed this kind of investigation. JEFFREY BROWN: “The Report” is now streaming
on Amazon Prime video. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Jeffrey Brown
at the Toronto International Film Festival. JUDY WOODRUFF: Another movie to put on your
list for this holiday season. And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here on Monday. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we hope you have a great Thanksgiving weekend.