tv PBS News Hour PBS November 28, 2016 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> yang: good evening. i'm john yang. judy woodruff is away. on the newshour tonight, a deep dive into the president-elect's overseas businesses, and how those economic ties could influence the trump administration. then, as cubans mourn the death of communist leader fidel castro, how newly-restored relations between u.s. and cuba could change under a trump presidency. and, the costs of moving on: abandoned coal sites wreak havoc on the environment and country's checkbooks. >> yang: all that and more, on tonight's pbs newshour.
>> and the william and flora hewlett foundation, helping people build immeasurably better lives. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the well-being of humanity around the world by building resilience and inclusive economies. more at rockefellerfoundation.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: and individuals. >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> yang: president-elect trump returned to work at the trump
tower in new york city today, where he's at work assembling a cabinet. mr. trump's team got back to business after the thanksgiving holiday. >> going to be a busy week. be ready. buckle up. >> yang: perhaps keeping an eye on wisconsin, where election officials approved a recount. in less than a week, green party nominee jill stein raised more than $6.5 million for recounts in wisconsin; in pennsylvania, where stein filed paperwork today; and in michigan, which just today certified its election result: an 11,000 vote win for mr. trump. hillary clinton's campaign is now part of the recount effort. last week, stein told the newshour, the point isn't to change the outcome. >> i don't think that's likely, and this is not being done to benefit one candidate at the expense of the other. >> yang: the president-elect made his own election claim, tweeting "millions of people voted illegally," but offered no evidence. today, the focus was on the transition. former c.i.a. director david petraeus visited.
tomorrow, a second meeting with mitt romney, once a vocal trump critic. both are among those mentioned for secretary of state. one top trump adviser is openly campaigning against romney: >> the number of people who feel betrayed, to think that governor romney would get the most prominent cabinet post, after he went so far out of his way to hurt donald trump... >> yang: a message, she said, she's also delivered in private. in the day's other news, russia's defense ministry estimates that the syrian regime forces now control about 40% of rebel-held eastern aleppo, after days of heavy fighting. government troops, backed by russian airstrikes, captured a key neighborhood today, putting much of the city's north in their hands for the first time in four years. meanwhile, thousands of residents have fled the area, as aid groups warn of an ever- worsening humanitarian crisis.
cuba is in mourning today for its late leader, fidel castro. the 90-year-old died friday night, after being in ill health for years. today, thousands lined up in havana's plaza of the revolution to pay their final respects, at a memorial for the man who ruled their country for nearly half a century. we'll have more on castro's death, and what it may mean for cuba's future, later in the program. back in this country, a knife- wielding attacker wounded at least 11 people at ohio state university in columbus. authorities said the man was a student there, and of somali descent. he rammed his car into a crowd, and then stabbed people with a butcher knife, before being shot dead by police. dozens of officers rushed to the scene, while the campus of some 60,000 students was put on lockdown for several hours.
>> yang: police are now investigating the suspect's motive, including whether it was an act of terrorism. the suspect in the charleston church shooting will be allowed to represent himself at his trial. dylann roof made that request against his lawyers' advice. the trial judge granted it, but called roof's decision "unwise." the 22-year-old is accused of killing nine black parishioners last year. meanwhile, jury selection also got underway. federal prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. and, stocks tumbled on wall street today, as the post- election market rally appeared to ease. the dow jones industrial average lost 54 points to close just under 19,098. the nasdaq fell 30 points, and the s&p 500 slipped 11. still to come on the newshour: a look at president-elect trump's business interests across the globe; our "politics monday"
team on the pending election recount; france moves to the right in its own presidential contest, and much more. >> yang: next, to a closer look at president-elect trump's business interests and potential conflicts that may arise when he takes office. william brangham has more. william? >> brangham: thanks, john. indeed, many analysts believe we are in unprecedented territory here, where a man with active financial dealings in at least 20 different countries is about to become president of the united states. "the new york times" just did a deep dive into donald trump's global businesses, and how it could intersect with his presidency. eric lipton is one of the reporters on that story, and he joins me now. eric lipton, thank you very much for having here. i mentioned this term "unprecedented." is that a fair characterization, in your mind, where we have a
businessman who is so well connected in so many nations moving into the white house? >> i think so. i've spoken with quite a number of presidential historians who said they see nothing like this in american history. eth not just the assets he owns, because the list of properties he owns 100% is not that huge, but it's the relationship he is has with businesses globally through branding arrangements where he paid a fee for those deals so he still has a financial relationship and business partners in many countries especially in the developing world, where in the developing world you have corners cut by powerful people with economic interests. that's where the real problem, is less so in western europe, for example. >> yang: before we get into the details of some of the countries, specifically, broadly speaking, what do you see as the main conflicts of interests here? what's the problem? >> to me, there's two primary things. one is sort of a broad thing.
the united states for decades has played a leading role globally to try to encourage nations to separate political from economic power so there is greater transparency that everyone has equal shots at contracts so there aren't paints for contracts. it's been something both democrats and republicans have rallied and pressured other foreign governments. there is the foreign corrupt practices act, all kinds of prosecutions of companies that have been involved in any type of payment to get a contract. the united states has been a preacher on this, and the fact, now, that you have a president who sexual misconducting financial matters with political matters and his business interests are going to overlap with u.s. foreign policy, really undermines the message that the united states has worked so hard across bipartisanly. the second thing is, no matter how ethical the trump family is and president trump himself,
there will be intense pressure on officials in foreign places to do things for him even if he doesn't ask for it in a way to express president trump tore white house to get some special treatment. they may not succeed, but there is incentive for them to accelerate a permit, to grant access to a piece offland he really wants that's going to help his company, to buy memberships at a golf club, to do various things. he says, how can you blame me if people do things i haven't asked him for, but he and his family will be potentially enriched by favors granted to them even if they don't request it. so even though they're completely moral, the relationships, it could present a problem. >> yang: you document so many interesting examples of the possible conflicts. one of them, the philippines. you introduce us to joseé e.b. antonio. who is he and why is he important in this story? >> he is essentially the brand representative for the trump
family in the philippines. often when they have major projects in certain countries, they have essentially a person who helps represent their whole business enterprise there. so he is in charge of building a major new skyscraper outside manila. so he is -- but the problem for donald trump and for the questions of potential conflicts is he was recently appointed by the president of the philippines to simultaneously serve as the philippines-ep voi to the united states. so here you have a guy who is the business partner of donald trump and the government official that is helping represent the government of the philippines and its relationship with the united states. and the philippines' relationship with the united states is a very complicated one right now. you've got a president who's ordered essentially the exjudicial killing of drug dealers in the country to crack down on crime. you certainly want them arrested but you don't go kill them before they have a trial. the state department has been
incredibly critical with regard to what's happening in the philippines with respect to these people being shot down and killed on the streets. what's going to happen when you have president trump who his business partner is an official in the government of the philippines, is trump going to be potentially willing to alienate his business partner, complicate his business dealings in th the fill peensz and challe the government of the file. will that influence foreign policy because he's a business associate in how's that not going to be a factor? >> yang: eric lipton of the "new york times." thank you so much for the reporting and being here. >> thank you. >> yang: time now for "politics monday." here to discuss the latest developments: amy walter, of the cook political report, and
tamara keith, of npr. welcome to you both. for two weeks, no one questioned the outcome of this election, now all of a sudden we have recounts jill stein wants even though she says she doesn't think it will change the outcome, and now president trump are saying there are millions of illegitimate votes even though he offers no evidence. tam, what's going on? >> he's not dispute heg won, he's just saying maybe i would have won the popular vote, too. so i was on a call this morning with the trump transition team. i asked them for evidence -- actual evidence -- of millions of illegal votes where also he was claiming election fraud in three states, where is the evidence in those states? what they presented because report, a study from 2014 that has been thoroughly debunked, and they also presented a pew research study that was about
voter roles and housekeeping that could be done in voter roles. neither of those things point to widespread voter fraud in 2016. so his transition team has been unable to offer any evidence of what is clearly nonexistent voter fraud they're talking about. jill stein, for that matter, hasn't been able to offer any evidence of voter fraud. it's more like this happened, this happened, and this happened, so we should look into it, is all she's saying. >> right. and that goes to, i think, the heart of matter here, where you have two people, one the president of the united states, the other a green party candidate who didn't win many votes, both suggesting the voting system itself is illegitimate or rigged without any proof of this. jill stein's case is maybe it's been hacked by foreign influencers, russia, for example. that is a big charge to make, and when you undermine our voting process, you are undermining the cornerstone of our democracy.
people trust their votes will be counted correctly, and then you also delegitimize winners of every election, whether president or city council or whatever it is. well, how do i know john yang really won? because the system could have been rigged. >> yang: jill stein and her campaign for presidency raised $3.5 million i. >> right. in a week about $6.5 million for the recount. what do you make of that? >> controversy sells. there is a big segment of the electorate that believes and has believed for some time that the system itself should be put into the question. after the 2000 election and the hanging chads and the butterfly ballots, congress dealt with. this there were real concerns there were problem with the machines that were old and broken and congress passed the "help america vote" act, donated monio or gave federal funds to the states to update their
machines, but it doesn't mean people feel better about the machines just because congress has appropriated more money to make them more up to date. >> yang: another what's going on moment, over the weekend kellyanne conway goes on twitter and national television to essentially campaign against her boss the president-elect picking donald trump. >> picking mitt romney. >> yang: i'm sorry, picking mitt romney. >> it hasn't happened but mitt romney does have another meeting scheduled and trump tower with donald trump. he's one of several people in themarkthe mix. mitt romney was a very outspoken critic of donald trump in the election process and said many things about donald trump m of which were true. kellyanne conway expresses a view many trump loyallests have which is why would you bring in
this guy who insulted you? but it is odd to have someone who speaks for donald trump seemingly on television both speaking for him and to him? but leading up to the election, kellyanne conway did some of this as well. she, at times, was tweeting things that seemed to be a sub sweet tweet of something her boss was saying and at others times seemed to be directly communicating through him through television because h he is an avid viewer of television, cable news and the sunday shows. but the thing that is also interesting is that this morning there was a leak from somebody else in the campaign saying, well with, donald trump was very upset about what kellyanne conway said. we don't know which of -- we don't know whether kellyanne conway was coordinating with donald trump or whether he really was upset or whether all of these leaks and statements are part of, you know, an elaborate effort to make sure
that mitt romney isn't secretary of state. >> and this is the bigger challenge, with we have a president-elect who's yet to hold a press conference, hasn't held one since july and certainly not since wing. we haven't heard about his policies, his legislatively agenda. so all we have in front of us is this "apprentice"-style game about who's going to be in his cabinet. some of them will make a big difference, many we'll never talk about again. his policies are the thing we should be spending the most time talking about and yet it seems as if we won't get any indication of that until he's sworn in as president and even then it's unclear if we'll see this same behavior occur. well, he thinks this, but somebody goes on tv and says that and somebody is countering over here. >> yang: and whether we'll have cabinet officers going on tell vies to lobby him. >> right. >> yang: from the name he's picked so farerring what does that suggest or what can you con clues about how he's going to govern as president? >> i don't want to be careful to
read too much into it because, again, the cabinet picks are often not as big a deal later than as they are now when we don't have much to talk about. but he has four people -- jeff sessions, reince priebus, michael flynn, ben carson -- who are on the campaign trail with him always. a person who is a rival type would be nikki haley, of course, who is going to be the u.n. secretary. it's interesting with mitt romney as well, these are the people that are outfacing, you know, the people we're showing to the rest of the world -- haley, mitt romney -- versus the people closest to him, his chief of staff or attorney general. >> in sessions, he's a hard liner or immigration and helped donald trump develop his immigration policy which is definitely not in line with what the establishment republicans thought would be the gang of eight immigration reform.
this is definitely a very hard line. so there is a mix of hard liners and slightly more establish meant, people like betsy devos for education. >> yang: thank you for joining us. >> yang: stay with us. coming up on the newshour: the future of cuban-american relations after fidel castro; and the cost of cleaning up abandoned coal mines. but first, france's center-right party has chosen social conservative francois fillon as its presidential candidate in next spring's elections, when he could face marine le pen, leader of the far-right national front. the deeply unpopular current president, francois hollande of the socialist party, has not yet said whether he'll seek re-election. le pen's national front hopes to
benefit from the so-called trump effect, as special correspondent malcolm brabant discovered when he visited one of their strongholds in northern france. >> reporter: despite being labeled a medieval conservative, francois fillon won the republican nomination in france's first ever u.s.-style primary by more than two to one. >> ( translated ): victory is mine, and it's a substantial victory built on convictions. france wants the truth, and it wants action. >> reporter: according to analyst alexandra de hoop scheffer, fillon is a fiscal conservative with a record of consistency. >> he has strong positions, in terms of reducing french public spending. he wants to suppress 500 500,000 public sector jobs. he has always stuck to the same positions on many issues, including on foreign policy issues. he's pro-russian, he says this very clearly.
>> reporter: most french commentators expect the socialist presidential candidate to be eliminated early in next year's election. at this bastion of the national front, henin beaumont, they now know who their main opponent is. steeve briois is the town's mayor and the second most important person in the party. >> ( translated ): there's a global phenomenon today, an awakening. the people are rebelling against the elite. so it's a good thing that mr. trump was elected. it's a good thing that brexit happened in britain, because that bodes well for us for france. >> reporter: this is france's rust belt, north east of paris. slag heaps and heavy machinery preserved in industrial museums are all that remain of coal mines shut down two decades ago. there's high unemployment. the working class here have followed a familiar political route of abandoning socialists like president francois hollande for right wing populists. >> ( translated ): the front national is like a vulture party.
that is, it chooses something that is decreasing, poor, complicated, and tries to seize it, which is exactly what they did here. >> ( translated ): there is a wall of silence that's descended on the town. we think we're being observed by the national front, and anything you say can come back and bite you. >> reporter: the national front was founded by jean marie le pen, who famously described the holocaust as a detail of history. he was expelled from the party last year, by his daughter marine, as she sought to soften its image as one of the most extreme right-wing groups in europe. france has the largest muslim population in western europe, estimated at between 5%-10% of the population. in beziers, a national front stronghold in the south, the administration counted muslim children, contrary to strict secularist laws. but according to marine tondelier, a councillor in henin beaumont, the mayor here has not conformed to expectations. >> here, you don't have the immigration question so much.
even the front national mayor is helping the mosque. when we had the terrorist attacks in charlie hebdo, they did a demonstration with the muslim people to show they were united, so it's not so much a problem. it's a problem with the front national in the south of france. but the front national, it's like a chameleon party, so they adapt to the city in which they are. >> reporter: actually, your critics say you're being very nice to immigrants here, but is that because you're trying to show a nice face now? and will things change, if you get into power nationally? >> ( translated ): because the state has capitulated, foreigners who come to france do whatever they want today. we're now witnessing them retreating into their own communities, and that's not good for france. it's not good for the republic. that creates disorder. that's why one has to have the courage to limit immigration to the absolute minimum, because we can't welcome any more. >> reporter: but while some may find this rhetoric
disconcerting, it doesn't trouble abdelatif kouba, a french national of algerian origin, who runs a halal butchers in the main square. >> ( translated ): why be afraid? i don't understand. i think the national front is like any other party. the media exaggerate everything. >> reporter: but pascal wallart does have a problem. he runs the district office of the "voix du nord," a newspaper that supported the resistance during the second world war. last year, the paper published an editorial saying that marine le pen would be dangerous for france. the national front administration in the town hall cut off relations immediately. >> ( translated ): they want to control the entire communication process, so they only have one- way communication. i will not use the word fascist, but we're not far from it. but there's a totalitarian attitude to muzzling communication. here, evil has been done, and it will remain for a long time. >> reporter: although henin beaumont is national front territory, it was hard to find people at the market who were willing to support them on
camera. >> ( translated ): i don't think we should be more afraid of the national front than any other party. no one's worse or better. >> reporter: france's socialist prime minister manuel valls believes the world has changed since donald trump's victory. he believes it boosts the chances of national front leader marine le pen winning the french presidential election next may. now, valls has said trump's success and the brexit vote demonstrated how important it was to listen to the concerns of angry citizens, especially on immigration. he warned the rise of populists and the far-right is being made possible by politicians who are too scared to take tough decisions. but francois fillon has convinced voters in the primaries that, as president, he will back up his tough talk with action, by disbanding extreme islamic groups. >> ( translated ): my friends, radical islam is undermining our fellow muslim citizens. it infiltrates them, takes them
hostage. they hate what we are, so i tell you, i will fight them without respite and without mercy. >> reporter: analyst de hoop scheffer believes the national front's marine le pen may suffer because of a french backlash against donald trump. >> ( translated ): i don't think that donald trump's election in the u.s. will help her. i believe that it's maybe the contrary, it might undermine her. and the fact that a significant part of the french population actually went out and voted in the center-right primaries was, to me, a very strong signal, in terms of the french not wanting to see marine le pen run france in 2017. >> reporter: historically, the far-right has been squeezed out by the center-right and left, combining and voting tactically. some analysts believe francois fillon's brand of conservatism may repel socialists. at the town hall in henin beaumont, they hope this will
create an opening for the national front. for the pbs newshour, i'm malcolm brabant in france. >> yang: the last two years have seen a thaw in u.s.- cuba relations. but could the death of fidel castro and the election of donald trump jeopardize the warming trend that president obama started? here's jeffrey brown. ( gunfire ) >> brown: in havana, a 21-gun salute marked the official start of a week of mourning for cuba's revolutionary leader. ( chanting "fidel" ) university students took to the streets, chanting his name, and long lines snaked around havana's plaza of the revolution, as cubans waited their turn to pay tribute to the man who brought a communist-run state within 100 miles of the u.s. >> ( translated ): fidel has
been the biggest thing in my life, for me and for all cubans. the new generations have to learn to be like him, because he gave everything to us. everything. >> brown: damien cave is in havana, reporting for "the new york times." >> it's a mix of sadness, and then also a relief, to some degree, for many. it almost feels like the whole city and whole country has just exhaled, and is both trying to kind of make sense of the past, and then also trying to move forward. one chapter closed and another chapter opens, someone said to me. it's not the full tale, but it definitely feels like a turning point, at least symbolically. >> brown: in miami's little havana neighborhood, a very different scene, one of jubilation, as the children and grandchildren of those who fled castro's rule say his death marks a new beginning. >> i don't celebrate death, but i celebrate the death of a tyrant. >> brown: whatever comes next for cuba and the u.s., there was one new link formed today: the first commercial flight from
miami to havana. and now to that question of future u.s.-cuba relations. we're joined first by senator amy klobuchar, democrat from minnesota. welcome to you, senator . is it time to move ahead with the reengagement that president obama began or a time to talk a pause with the death of fidel castro? >> well, i think it's time to move ahead. this has been 50-some years of a failed policy, and both the cuban and american people are really ahead of many of the people in their own government. congress has sat on this for years, and i think it's time to lift the embargo. the death of fidel castro, of course, is not as significant when you it because raul castro, his brother, has been in power for years but even a looming figure during his illness that i think has made a difference in holding us back in trying to opening up
negotiations and moving ahead between the two countries. >> yang: isn't it likely president trump will be under pressure to keep some campaign promises? >> i hope the death of fidel castro causes him to pause and take a look at this because you have so many americans now, wanting to visit there or visiting there. you have ag interests down there, and you have the cuban people. everywhere i went on my visits with the president and with secretary kerry, there was artwork, and it would have the number and date december 17, and i thought what's that? is that some castro birthday? it's actually the date president obama and rauúl castro started o open diplomatic relations, and that is so significant to the cuban people because many are entrepreneurs and very friendly to america.
i think this is an opportunity for the cubans, the only way we'll change the democratic and human rights situation and certainly an opportunity for americans. 11 million people 90 miles off our shore forecast 5 million americans would visit every year and we would be able to export products as well if we lifted the embargo with our bipartisan bill. >> yang: but i wounder, also, in countering the critics, can you point to specific political changes in cuba to say this reengagement has at least started to work, that we should continue with it? what would you say? >> well, i think there is a lot more interest between our countries. there are still people who have been held for human rights that should not be held for just speaking their mind. of course, there were some releases immediately -- alan gross and others were released -- but there are still people being imprisoned. so i don't want to be a pollyanna about this, i just think what we have been doing hasn't been working, and when we
are this close to the country and there is so much cross interest between the two countries -- you've got the catholic church playing a major role, the pope a force behind this and wanting to lift the embarring o i think all these things are on our side and that's why president obama has been leading the way because, otherwise, the people will get in front of us here and i think it's time to change his policy. >> yang: very briefly, how do you see the legacy of fidel castro now? >> well, obviously, it is a legacy of very difficult situations for many people in his own country. there are still a lot of people living in poverty. they have major issues with not having enough food. that's why we're able to send some food down there under a humanitarian exemption, and he's killed people, basically, in order to support the dictatorship that he ran for so long. so i don't see that has a positive legacy, but what i do
see are the cuban people who want to see change, they are vibrant, they are trying to fix up old cars so they can start their tourism businesses, there is hundreds of thousands of small companies that have already started under some exceptions rauúl castro has put into place. so i see a country on the cusp of change, and we should be helping that change instead of continuing an old palsy that hasn't worked. >> yang: senator amy klobuchar of minnesota, thank you so much. >> thank you. it was great to be on, jeff. >> brown: and now for a very different view, from ana quintana, a policy analyst at the heritage foundation, and herself a first-generation cuban american. >> brown: your description of the legacy of fidel castro? >> well, mine isn't quite as positive. i believe it's one of tyranny. it's one of tens of thousands of people being murdered. i mean, it's two million people who have been displaced and lost their country. >> brown: so you have opposed president obama's engagement from the beginning. what should happen now that
fidel castro is dead? >> well, now i think it's time to reassess these past two years and recognize this policy has been a failure, and notwithstanding the death of fidel castro, but this year alone there have been over 10,000 politically motivated arrests, persecution against religious community is on the island and churches have been pull dozed. so president trump has a significant opportunity to revert back these unilateral concessions, these unilateral executive actions that president obama implemented and really put the ball back in the united states' court and say, you know what, cuba? you should free all your political prisoners, and before we continue normalizing relations. >> brown: well, how far do you push this? for example, should president-elect trump -- well, there is a recently opened embassy. >> yeah. >> brown: should that be closed again? >> president obama has implemented 52, 53 executive
actions, a lot allowing for military and state-owned enterprises. i think we should put a cap back on remittances for cuban military and intelligence officials. these are the same security officials using this money to arrest and conduct significant repression against the dissidents on the island. >> brown: to the the extent things are happening -- the case of starwood who tells own by marriott has taken a deal with the cuban government to take over a government-run hotel, should we roll back those kind of things? >> that's something owned and operated by the cuban military, so any company that wants tone gauge in financial commercial exchanges with the military is taking a very big risk. but i think the purpose of president obama's cuban policy was not to enrich the cuban military or security apparatuses of the country. it was to improve the economic conditions and political
conditions for the cuban people. that's exactly what the senator just said. two years later we're recognizing the only people benefiting is the dictatorship. there is no such thing as dictator-down economics. the people are not benefiting. >> brown: right but the senator said this all happened after many, many years of a policy that wasn't working. that was the argument for reengagement. >> well, i think that's false. the policy -- we can't say the policy didn't work. the policy was not meant for regime change. the policy was meant to protect the american citizens that are now owed upwards of $8 billion in uncompensated assets and money that was seized of theirs by the regime, and that's why the policy was put in place. and moving forward, that's something that should be kept in line. i mean, these americans have not ben repaid the money that was taken from them. >> brown: briefly, the impact of u.s. businesses that do want to go over there, that are already there or itching to get in? >> i think what's happening is
we are replicating -- the united states government is allowing for american businesses to dictate its foreign policy against cuba, so web replicating the situation exist before castro where u.s. businesses had a great relationship with the dictator battista and this is what's dominating u.s.-cuban relations and the people suffering are the 11 million people still on the island and cuban dissidents. >> brown: ana quintana, thank you so much. >> thank you. >> yang: and now to coal, and the challenges of cleaning up old mines. with some coal companies in bankruptcy, the money needed to pay for cleanup is not always available. public media's "inside energy" and the "allegheny front" teamed up to report from two of the country's largest coal producing states. leigh paterson takes us first to
western pennsylvania. >> reporter: it is a nice day for a walk in the woods. but this is not a hiking trail. >> this site is known as the fredericktown refuse pile. some people call it the black dog hollow refuse pile, as well. >> reporter: a coal refuse pile. made up of rocks and low quality coal. >> the reject material was just trammed and conveyored up on the hill, and dumped on this giant pile, and left. >> reporter: that was over 70 years ago. the coal mine nearby changed hands as companies went bankrupt. now, the pile is a hazard. there are hundreds of sites like this one in pennsylvania, and there are tens of thousands of abandoned mine sites scattered across the country. >> they can catch on fire. this particular pile isn't burning that we are aware of, but many do catch on fire. >> reporter: like one in eynon, pennsylvania, that was put out in 2015. cavazza once fell into a burning pile himself while investigating a fire, years ago.
>> it was very scary. it was like walking onto a trap door and having somebody pull a string, because you just dropped. i was in over my head in a hole. there was smoke all around me. >> reporter: so not all problems with abandoned mine sites are straight out of an action movie, but they're still significant. when it rains, these coal refuse piles can discharge some nasty stuff-- this so-called acid mine drainage can contaminate streams and sometimes even impact the local water supply. homeowners, like the ones who live around this pile, deal with pipes and sewers that get clogged with runoff. >> so it's a big maintenance issue for the township. >> reporter: cavazza, as the head of the bureau that deals directly with abandoned mine remediation, wants these piles cleaned up. but it's expensive, and money to do the clean up is tight. a lot of it comes from something called the abandoned mine land fund, or a.m.l. >> the fund is generated by the active mining industry and the
country is beginning to move away from coal as a primary source of electricity generation. >> reporter: and with coal production at its lowest level in 30 years, there's simply less money coming in. in pennsylvania alone, a.m.l. funding has dropped by over 25% since 2013. in wyoming, the worry is about future clean up costs. how thick is that seam right there? >> 35 feet thick. >> reporter: these pits are huge, and are generally filled in as mining operations progress. >> the area that you see mining right now will look like this in approximately two years. >> reporter: this green, grassy area right next to the mine was a mine itself just a few years ago. it has since been filled in and reseeded, as part of the complicated, lengthy clean-up process known as reclamation. >> for part of the leasing process, before any mining begins, mines are required to have a reclamation plan. >> reporter: and something called reclamation bonding. >> that's a guarantee, an
insurance that we will accomplish the reclamation that's outlined as part of that lease. >> reporter: so basically, a payment to make sure future mine clean-up gets done. regulations in some states allow coal producers to self-bond, which means a company promises to pay for cleanup based on its financial strength. the problem comes when those companies become financially shaky and those cleanup money gets tied up in bankruptcy. in wyoming, over the course of this year, we're talking about over a billion dollars. pat sweeney has been working on western land issues for decades and even lobbied for the 1977 federal law that regulates coal mine clean up. he puts this problem into perspective: >> remember, the circumstances were so different then. because you had viable companies that, at the time, no one ever thought there would be companies going bankrupt.
nobody thought, in some respects, there would be a change in energy policy. >> reporter: cloud peak energy, the coal company that took us on the reclamation tour, is not one of the companies in bankruptcy, and is moving away from the practice of self-bonding. but with some of the largest coal companies in the country working out reclamation details during and after bankruptcy, the future of cleanup is uncertain. >> yang: we'll be back with an >> yang: we'll be back with an excerpt of a 1985 interview with fidel castro, by our own robin macneil. but first, take a moment to hear from your local pbs station. it's a chance to offer your support, which helps keep programs like ours on the air.
>> yang: for those of you still with us, we take a second look at a once-thriving jewish community in one of the diaspora's farthest-flung places. fred de sam lazaro has our report from india. a version of this story aired on "religion & ethics newsweekly." >> reporter: in its nearly 900- year history, this synagogue had never seen an observance like this one. they came from four continents to this unlikely location, the coastal indian city of cochin, for the first sabbath service in decades, and possibly the last one ever. a once-thriving jewish community of several thousand has mostly faded into a bittersweet history in the age of modern day israel, said yeshoshua sivan, a british-born israeli. >> i'm very sad to see communities disappear.
on the other hand, i'm very happy to see that after all these years of dispersion, the prophecy of the return to the land of israel is in my time. i'm part of it, it is being realized. at least we see the synagogues, we see the streets, we see how life was once here. >> reporter: jewish life along india's malabar coast dates back to the ancient spice trade that drew explorers from across the sea. they comes now as tourists, but they came in ancient times to trade and, in the case of some jews, to settle, from yemen, mesopotamia, and later, a few from spain and portugal after the inquisition. away from tourist enclaves, there's a struggle to preserve what remains of the jewish heritage here. i'm standing in what was the women's section of a synagogue in mala, about four or five miles in from the coastline. there was a thriving jewish community here until 1955,
when they decided, all of them, en masse, to emigrate to israel. and they turned this building over to local municipal authorities. >> they were very good friends, they were very good neighbors, they were very good traders. >> reporter: some left for religious fulfillment in the new jewish homeland, says retired professor c. karmachandran, who heads a local historic preservation committee. others thought israel had better economic prospects, he adds, but none left in fear. scholars agree there's little history of anti-semitism in india. >> they were given all the protection by the rulers as well as the local people to maintain their culture, their religion, their belief and their practices, and this is fact is the living symbol of that particular lofty tradition. >> reporter: but even lofty traditions come under development pressure or suffer neglect. already, half the old jewish
cemetery has been appropriated for a stadium, karmachandran complains. the rest is overgrown with weeds, where livestock graze. fading memories breed indifference, he says, but in a time of growing religious tensions in india, its critical to preserve the heritage here. >> to keep it up for posterity. >> reporter: for posterity? >> this is a lesson of tolerance. >> reporter: 60-year-old elias josephai was made caretaker of the synagogue in cochin. he's one of the last remaining members of a community that numbers no more than a handful today. this is where school children sat? in the space where children once studied on the shabbat, he runs a nursery and aquarium supply business. the synagogue proper served as a dusty warehouse when i first visited josephai. and the scrolls from here are? >> in israel. >> reporter: its sacred scrolls were donated years ago to a museum in israel.
lacking the minyan, or quorum of ten men required for a shabbat service, there hadn't been one since 1972. >> i cry every shabbat, every holiday. i cry in my heart. >> reporter: about a year ago, josephai shared that lament with some israeli tourists who stopped by. >> and when he told us that they hadn't prayed in that synagogue since 1972, i said to myself, i've got to come back with a group, with a quorum of ten men. >> reporter: brooklyn native ari greenspan, a dentist and amateur chef now in israel, did indeed organize a return tour of india's jewish communities, complete with a kosher menu. >> so here we have a traditional jewish cook and a traditional indian cook, ravi, making sure we have both strictly kosher, and amazingly tasty kosher indian food. >> reporter: as they prepared
the shabbat meal, some of the 35 visitors took time for pre- shabbat prayers. most came here under the auspices of the u.s. and israel- based orthodox union, which encourages jewish heritage tours. >> it's still wonderful to go into a building which hasn't been used in a very long time. at least you're able to have it function again for the purpose a synagogue was meant, namely to hold a prayer service. it's kind of a revitalization, even for a short time. >> reporter: for josephai, it was a dream 44 years in the making, as the visitors entered a sanctuary that had been spiffed up. they heaped praise on their host. >> you're sort of on the cusp. he's the last guy here, and when he goes-- he should live to be 120 years old, right, but, when he goes, that's it. 2,000 years of cochin is gone. >> reporter: josephai actually plans to be gone in four years, retiring and settling, like all the rest, in israel. it's not an easy decision, leaving a land he holds dear and a place so influential in
forming who he is. >> i'll keep my heart over here and then go. always i love india, but it is inevitable. one day, today or tomorrow, i have to leave the country, not because of the discrimination, but as a jew, to live as a jew. >> reporter: elias josephai may well be that last jew, the one who'll turn out the lights on nearly a millenium of history in this place. for the pbs newshour, this is fred de sam lazaro, in cochin, india. >> yang: finally tonight, an excerpt from an interview done by our own robert macneil with
the late fidel castro. conducted in 1985, macneil asks castro to describe how the cuban missile crisis began. castro said that after the bay of pigs invasion in 1961, cuba and the soviet union feared additional invasions into cuba by the u.s. >> ( translated ): the soviets had that concern and we naturally had the same concern. >> reporter: this is after the bay of pigs? >> ( translated ): yes, after the bay of pigs. they asked us what measures we thought could offer cuba some guarantees. the most sure one was the fact that an aggression against cuba mean an aggression against the soviet union. that was the thesis that we put forth. the concrete idea of the missiles was theirs. i explained it and we accepted
it, but without any hesitation because we were being harassed. an invasion had just taken place. the pirate attacks were continuing, constantly. constant mention was being made of an invasion against cuba. >> reporter: when the crisis was at its very height, did you personally think-- did you believe that nuclear war was a possibility on one of those days? >> ( translated ): yes. yes, i believed that as a possibility. >> reporter: what did you feel about your role in having brought it to that point? >> ( translated ): it was not me. it was the united states, the one that led us to that point. it was the united states that initiated the blockade, that organized the invasion, the sabotage, the pirate attacks, the mercenary regiment and those that spoke of an invasion against cuba. it was the united states; it was
not us. and i believe that we answered correctly. i have no doubt whatsoever. >> reporter: after khrushchev decided to withdraw the missiles, which you protested, what did he say to you? did nikita khrushchev, did he say to you, "we've made a big mistake, we shouldn't have done this"? what did he say? >> ( translated ): look, we would not have opposed seeking a solution, no. when the war came very close, then the leaders of the two big powers became more aware about the danger. they worked, they were able to achieve detente. but at that time we were not in conformity. we were not pleased. now then, after 15 years elapsed it was proven that they were right, that a war, a nuclear war, was avoided and that cuba
was not invaded. >> yang: online, pbs newshour special correspondent spencer michels recounts the day in 1959 when fidel castro delivered a lecture to his class at princeton. fresh off the success of his revolution, castro promised he'd hold elections, but, of course, they never came. read more about his speech on our website, at www.pbs.org/newshour. and again, to our honor roll of american service personnel killed in the middle east conflicts. we add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. here, in silence, are three more.
>> yang: and that's the newshour for tonight. on tuesday, a look at charter schools and the controversy surrounding their expansion within african american communities. i'm john yang. join us online, and again here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and good night. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> bnsf railway. >> lincoln financial-- committed to helping you take charge of your financial future. >> xq institute. >> and by the alfred p. sloan foundation. supporting science, technology, and improved economic
performance and financial literacy in the 21st century. >> supported by the rockefeller foundation. promoting the wellbeing of humanity around the world, by >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc captioned by media access group at wgbh access.wgbh.org
>> this is "bbc world news america." funding of this presentation is made possible by the freeman foundation. newman's own foundation, giving all profits from newman's own to charity and pursuing the common good. kovler foundation, pursuing solutions for america's neglected needs. and aruba tourism authority. >> planning a vacation escape that is relaxing, inviting, and exciting is a lot easier than you think. you can find it here in aruba. families, couples, and friends can all find their escape on the island with warm, sunny days, cooling trade winds, and the