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PBS NewsHour for August 26, 2016 - Part 2



Livesay, Martin Geissler, Hari Sreenivasan, Mark Shields, David Brooks>

toll rises to 281. In the pivotal battleground state of Virginia, what are

residents saying about the election? Mark Shields and David Brooks analyze

the week`s news. How could robots stop the invasive lionfish?>

Clinton; Elections; Italy; Earthquakes; Disaster; Politics; Government;

Race Relations; Minorities>


DAVID BROOKS: But, yes, I`m really shocked. Like a lot of people one runs across, a lot of people in that focus group were -- just couldn`t imagine a Trump presidency, but found Clinton distrustworthy.

And then say she wins -- and according to the upshot out of my newspaper, it`s like an 88 percent chance or something like that. But say that we go to an inaugural or we go into an administration with someone the country fundamentally doesn`t trust.

And what does that do to the morale of the country? And is there a way she can become more trustworthy, where she can reintroduce herself in some way, maybe after an election, not in the heat of a campaign? Somehow, it just seems so dispiriting, if she does win, that we would go through four years where people feel this personal distrust for the commander in chief.

That can`t be good for the country, if it stays like that.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Today, there was even a tepid endorsement by Bush adviser Paul Wolfowitz, saying that he would vote for Clinton, but really it just came down to this choice between the lesser of two evils. It seems so much that these campaigns right now is positioning about not that our candidate is not so great. It`s just that the other candidate is worse.


But the last endorsement in the world that Hillary Clinton wants at this point is the man who made the case publicly to go to war in Iraq and admitted that the argument was -- consensus argument was on weapons of mass destruction, because that was what everybody could get behind.

So, the cause -- cause for going to war was just, you know, a contrivance. So, it`s not -- Hillary Clinton probably doesn`t want to be reminded of her support for that venture. And I think she probably now has enough Republican foreign policy endorsements.


HARI SREENIVASAN: Also this week, we talked a little bit about the rise of the alt-right movement, the white supremacist movement.

We have got this week one candidate calling the other a racist, and then him responding back that she`s a bigot. Where are we here?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, I guess we`re getting it out in the open.

I happen to think Donald Trump`s campaign began with an act of ethnic signaling, or more. When the San Bernardino thing happened, and he wanted to ban Muslim immigration into the country, entrance into the country, that is -- that was blanketing an entire ethnic group or an entire religion. And that`s bigotry.

And so that was the thing that exploded his campaign. And there have been just signals all along the way between alt-right and the Trump campaign.

And it just seems to me there is always a danger in every party to be taken over by some radical, angry fringe, the John Birch Society for the Republican Party in the 1960s. Hubert Humphrey was -- spent -- and Eugene McCarthy and other people spent a lot of time trying to get the communists out of the Democratic Party in the 1940s.

There was a famous confrontation in Minnesota where Humphrey`s suit was wet -- was -- he was spit upon so much, it was soaking wet. And parties have to control themselves so some vicious element doesn`t take over.

And the Republican Party has not controlled the alt-right movement. And, therefore, it has come into the movement. Trump has welcomed it in with a wink and a nod.

And it is a long-term problem for the party. It is a long-term problem that you`re basically an all white party. And so that`s just a core problem that Trump has now exacerbated and blown up.

HARI SREENIVASAN: I mean, Secretary Clinton might have not called him specifically a racist, but she`s basically pointed instance after another after another where -- and this is during a week where Donald Trump goes out and tries to lure African-American votes, Latino votes.

MARK SHIELDS: To be very blunt, I will state my case.

Donald Trump has gone to, on a consistent basis, the meanest corners of the American soul, appealed to the basest and darkest side of all Americans. He began his presidential bid publicly by charging falsely, by alleging libelously that the president of the United States wasn`t an American: My people are out there. They`re finding all of this stuff.

He began his candidacy with, they`re rapists, they`re murderers, they`re coming here for that purpose, speaking of Mexican immigrants to this country.

David said about the Muslim ban. He`s going to build the wall. I mean, it`s -- everything about it has been dark and mean-spirited.

But let me just say one caveat. And I thought Hillary Clinton delivered the speech well. She wasn`t strident. But this is the worst course for her to win a campaign, because you win a campaign this way -- and he`s not a dog whistle. He`s a canine choir, OK, of dark impulses.

But you win a campaign this way, and you have agreed upon nothing about where we are as a people, what we ought to do next, what we ought to think about as the great challenges facing our country in the next generations.

All you have greed upon is that the person is unacceptable. And your political honeymoon, your presidential honeymoon basically ends on Tuesday -- about midnight of election night. There is no agreement on who we are as a people, what we ought to do as a people.

So, I would just say, if this is where we`re going in this campaign -- it`s obviously where he is and where he continues to go -- but if she goes that way, and just to drive him down further, it`s going to be a terrible, terrible result.

DAVID BROOKS: I also do think one has to -- and she wasn`t too guilty of this, I don`t think.

One has to continually distinguish between Trump and the Trump supporters. And it`s too easy to say, oh, they`re all a bunch of racists.

MARK SHIELDS: That`s right.

DAVID BROOKS: Which is -- we don`t know. And it`s probably -- it`s not true in our experience.

MARK SHIELDS: It`s not fair. Yes.

DAVID BROOKS: It`s unfair.

And so I think my answer has always been, he`s the wrong answer to a right question, that a lot of people feel a lot of anxiety. They feel they have lost dignity, they have lost a role.

And, sometimes, in those cases, they do go to a little ethnic tribal fear. But the way to ease that fear is not to say, oh, they`re all a bunch of racists. And she`s not guilty of that, but it`s something that is floating around in the conversation.

MARK SHIELDS: Well, she did a pretty good job of separating, tactically and strategically, the Republican Party, the Paul Ryans, the Bob Doles, the John McCains, that he`s an aberration, he`s an anomaly.

I thought that was a well-crafted part of the speech.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Let`s talk a little bit about immigration.

If you`re a Trump supporter, you call it a pivot. If you`re a critic, you say this is a flip-flop, but what to make of this particular change in his stance?

DAVID BROOKS: Yes, well, the change -- the fact that he`s changing stance is not surprising, because the man has a severe problem with impulse control.

The fact that he was consistent for a little while is the odd situation for him. The only thing he`s been consistent upon is narcissism so far. And so this was him responding to different audiences.

And so a new campaign team comes in, and they look at a bunch of poll numbers, and they see he`s not doing well, and he`s especially not doing well among moderate Republicans. They are not doing well among Latinos. And so there is this very crude pander both on him saying he will be great for African-Americans, and then on the immigration, the pander.

And the crudity of it is what is so striking. Here`s a guy who actually -- to the extent that people really did like him, or do like him, it`s because he speaks his mind. And to throw that away on such a blatant flip-flop is a sign not just that he made some strategic pivot or something. It`s a sign that he has attention span problems, and that he has -- he just wants to please whatever audience he happens to be in front of at that moment.

And there is just not a lot of competency he has shown.

MARK SHIELDS: The defense of Donald Trump consistently has been, look, he may be a bully, he may be a blowhard, but at least you know where he stands, he`s not your typical politician. You get -- he is who he says he is.

And he turns out not to be who he says he is. He began the campaign, that was the raison d`etre for his candidacy was building the wall, and rounding up these 12 million undocumented immigrants, or illegals, as he called them, and banishing them to the outer darkness of the netherworld, or wherever.

And now -- now the ban on all Muslims was just a suggestion, he says. Now he`s backing off on this. So, what is it? To me, I`m always skeptical about motives, but I have to look at it and say, Mitt Romney carried white women by 56 to 42 over Barack Obama for his vote.

He`s getting murdered among white women right now, especially college- educated white women. Why? Because he is who he is. And it`s an embarrassment to say you`re for Donald Trump. You can`t do it. You can`t look at your kids in self-respect.

So, to make him somehow, I think -- make them less uncomfortable in somehow supporting him, I think it`s a vote to try and appeal to the moderate Republicans David`s talking about to come home. It`s OK. He`s really not as bad as we thought he was or he seemed to be. See, he`s really moderating.

To me, that`s what this...

DAVID BROOKS: In this cosmos of Trump bashing, I feel like I want to say some nice thing about Donald Trump.

And the Wollman ice rink in Central Park, which he built, is a fantastic ice rink.

MARK SHIELDS: It is. And he built it when it wasn`t being built. That`s right.


HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, let`s try to get through a couple of non-Trump-related topics then.


HARI SREENIVASAN: Bernie Sanders` new political organization about the revolution had a bit of a rocky start. A bunch of his aides decided to leave en masse because they were concerned about the direction that it was going and who was leading it.

Does this mean the end of the revolution, or is this just a step?

MARK SHIELDS: This means that putting together an organization after a campaign based on a campaign is always difficult. It`s frequently attempted, rarely pulled off.

But I don`t think there is any question that constituency is still there. This is very much a change election. This is a change -- you heard it in Judy`s piece. People want a change. This is not a status quo election.

The problem is that Trump, we mentioned him, represents a change that is chaos to people and scary.


And with Sanders, when you get an outsider, you`re not going to get -- you`re usually not going to get a lot of competence. What you want are insider`s competence with an outsider`s perspective. And that`s a rarity. Usually, when you get somebody who has not been in the system, just putting together organizations, a lot of the management stuff has not been their bailiwick.


MARK SHIELDS: Howard Dean did a pretty good job after 2004.

HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, New York Times columnist David Brooks, thank you both.

MARK SHIELDS: Thank you.

HARI SREENIVASAN: The Syrian conflict is in its fifth year, making Jordan home to more than 1.3 million Syrian refugees, many struggling with trauma and the psychological costs of war.

With fewer than 100 psychologists in Jordan, doctors and social workers are struggling to fill the mental health care gap.

University of California Berkeley journalism students bring us this story.

It`s narrated by Lacy Jane Roberts.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: The war in Syria led Nisreen Katbi to flee her home country four years ago. Now she runs a center in Amman, Jordan, that cares for refugees fleeing from Syria.

They`re recovering from the trauma of war. Souriyat Across Borders is a home away from home for refugees suffering from both physical and emotional disabilities. They get rehabilitative care and live full-time at the center, all free of charge.

NISREEN KHAZNA KATBI, Souriyat Across Borders: This is where they have their physical therapy training.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Nisreen and her staff care for a rotating group of 30 men, women, and children. The residents can stay at the center until they`re rehabilitated, after which many return to their families in war- torn Syria.

Nisreen sees people with amputations, spinal cord injuries, and head traumas. But she says the injuries aren`t only physical.

NISREEN KHAZNA KATBI: They faced some frightening situations, like the bombings, the killing, losing their limbs or had these severe injuries.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: But Souriyat Across Borders has no full-time mental health professionals on staff. So, when a mental health training project run by a group of California-based doctors came to Amman, Nisreen signed up.

Dr. Saad Shakir leads CPR, or Care Program for Refugees. At first, CPR`s goal was to give direct mental health care to Syrian refugees, but after seeing the overwhelming number of people needing help, they instead began offering mental health first aid training to clinicians, counselors, teachers, and even legal consultants, anyone who works with refugees.

DR. SAAD SHAKIR, Care Program for Refugees: While being a physician, I`m a humanitarian. So, seeing all the devastation going on, it`s like I want to have an impact in a positive way.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Dr. Atef Al-Qasem is CPR`s on-the-ground partner and training manager for the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation`s Institute for Family Health. He was eager to partner with Dr. Shakir after seeing an increase of refugees needing quality mental health care.

DR. ATEF AL-QASEM, Noor Al-Hussein Foundation Institute for Family Health (through translator): The goal of the training is to have anyone dealing with refugees be able to provide psychological first aid; 19 percent of people we see have been victims of torture. We also see PTSD, depression, anxiety. All of them need immediately treatment.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Dr. Al-Qasem says that it is hard to provide individual treatment, with so many patients and so few professionals.

So, he is encouraging caretakers and mental health workers to apply group therapy. At their field clinic in the Zaatari refugee camp, the counselors with the Noor Al-Hussein Foundation try to see as many people as possible in group therapy. The camp is one of the biggest in the world, home to 70,000 refugees.

Am Sanad Al-Badi works as a counselor in the camp, where he says he confronts mental health stigmas.

AM SANAD AL-BADI, Counselor (through translator): We have a mobile team which make visits to refugees to talk about the need of psychosocial counseling because the psychological support is necessary.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Once individuals start coming to group therapy, counselors help them cope with trauma and loss.

AM SANAD AL-BADI (through translator): Common trauma we see is loss trauma. I ask them to remember their happy memories and encourage positive thinking about the future.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Back in Amman, Doctors Without Borders is treating refugees who have been physically disfigured from Syria, Yemen, and Iraq.

Dr. Gwenola Ghanes manages the hospital`s mental health program. She says there is no way to predict how people will react to a traumatic event.

DR. GWENOLA GHANES, Doctors Without Borders: On a psychological point of view, there is no rules. It`s not a mathematical equation. Most of the people will develop symptoms such as depression or anxiety disorder, and a small percentage of PTSD.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Children especially can be affected by the trauma of war.

Talha Al-Ali is a pediatric counselor. He works with young victims to rebuild trust.

DR. TALHA AL-ALI, Pediatric Counselor: They start at the beginning to have the small social networks while playing or while doing activities together. Like, a child will start to adapt again with building relationships, and especially to build trustful relationships. But to protect them from the trauma, no one will be able to protect them while they are living in a war.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: After the training, Nisreen Katbi says she will be able to provide better care for the patient-residents.

NISREEN KHAZNA KATBI: I have learned how to deal with certain cases, like if he is having constant nightmares, or if he is aggressive in a certain way or depressed.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: Dr. Ghanes agrees that, while this kind of training is useful, much more is needed.

DR. GWENOLA GHANES: It`s useful, but it`s not enough. On a humanitarian point of view, we need to train a lot of people in a short time.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: CPR hopes to return to Amman once a year. And Nisreen hopes she will eventually be able to train her whole staff.

NISREEN KHAZNA KATBI: This is the most important thing for us to do.

We have to raise an awareness about how to deal with victims of war.

LACY JANE ROBERTS: For the "PBS NewsHour," I`m Lacy Jane Roberts in Amman, Jordan.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Lionfish have voracious appetites that are upsetting coral reef ecosystems from Rhode Island to Venezuela.

But a new nonprofit company has an unusual plan to restore balance to those environments before it`s too late.

In the latest edition of our online series "ScienceScope," science producer Nsikan Akpan has the scoop.

NSIKAN AKPAN: The lionfish is an invasive species. It`s also Darwin`s nightmare.

In its native home of the Indo-Pacific, the lionfish is a fierce, unrelenting predator. In the mid-1980s, exotic pets, including lionfish, became popular in the U.S. Scientists suspect pet owners eventually dumped their adult lionfish in the Atlantic.

The lionfish now threatens ecosystems up and down the Atlantic. But they should watch out. A new robot is entering the fray. Meet the lionfish terminator.

To learn about this robot, we traveled here to Bermuda, where we teamed up with the Nekton mission. This 30 scientific organizations and companies wants to conduct one of the largest marine life surveys in history.

OLIVER STEEDS, Mission Director, Nekton: These divers are the first 1,900 meters. And then these extraordinary submersibles go down even further. We have adapted some with some of the latest filming and scientific equipment, so, we can sample, we can study, and we can research, as welcome as taking scientists down into those depths.

NSIKAN AKPAN: Of the earth`s oceans, only 5 percent have been explored. That means we know more about the moon than the water that covers 70 percent of the Earth.

Nekton wants to fill the knowledge gap by making a baseline measurement of ocean health. That`s because our are facing threats, including the spread of invasive species like the lionfish.

Chris Flook is a collector of marine specimens for the Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo. And he was one of the first to notice the region`s lionfish invasion 16 years ago.

CHRIS FLOOK, Bermuda Aquarium Museum and Zoo: But then very quickly, I started to notes that, over time, we were losing small fish from these areas where I traditionally went and found lots of small juvenile fish. And lionfish were becoming more and more common.

So, by about 2007, we actually started a culling program in Bermuda to tackle these invasive species.

NSIKAN AKPAN: Now known as the Bermuda Lionfish Task Force, the team holds daily dives and fishing tournaments to rid their waters of these invaders. Its members consist of recreational swimmers, professional divers and even local scientists like Dr. Gretchen Goodbody-Gringley.

DR. GRETCHEN GOODBODY-GRINGLEY, Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences: The lionfish are a threat to the ecosystem because, first and foremost, they`re voracious predators. So, they consume an exorbitant amount of food, more than any other potential predator out there right now.

All of the white part is solidified fat, because it`s unique to lionfish that they overconsume, to the point that they get fatty liver disease.

NSIKAN AKPAN: This is because smaller fish in this region don`t recognize the lionfish as a threat. They swim right up to it and get gobbled up.

Basically, the lionfish just opens its mouth. It`s a big dilemma, because the task force can tackle lionfish only in shallow water. But in Bermuda, Goodbody-Gringley has found most lionfish live 200 feet below the surface. That depth is largely inaccessible to the average sport diver. But that`s not too deep for a robot.

Goodbody-Gringley and Nekton have teamed with a new nonprofit called RISE, or Robots in the Service of the Environment, that is developing a lionfish-hunting robot.

GEOFFREY GARDNER, Robots in the Service of the Environment: The leading candidate is based on an electrofishing techniques, where if you put the lionfish between two electrodes and apply an electric current, that current voltage kills the lionfish or stuns the lionfish.

NSIKAN AKPAN: The device is in its development stage. And dive teams are testing how lionfish might react to a robot arm with two metal electrode plates.

The lionfish have few predators in the Atlantic. As a result, they`re not conditioned to flee anything. Notice here, when the probe approaches from behind, the lionfish stay still. Saltwater is highly conductive, so it should act almost like a straight wire between two electrodes. That should keep other nearby fish from being stunned.

But is the mass killing of lionfish ethical? The lionfish is a pest, but it`s also a living creature.

We spoke with ocean ecologist James Morris.

JAMES MORRIS, Ocean Ecologist: We harvest fish all over the U.S. and the planet. So, I don`t think there is really any ethical issues with, you know, utilizing the resource.

But if we`re looking for an ethical question, it`s one around introducing non-native species and the impact that it has on the region and specifically the biodiversity.

NSIKAN AKPAN: That`s it for now.

I`m Nsikan Akpan, and this is "ScienceScope" from the "PBS NewsHour."

HARI SREENIVASAN: Now to our "NewsHour" Shares.

Tonight, an update to a story we brought you earlier this year. Last June, Darius Nabors set out to visit all 59 national parks in 59 weeks to commemorate the Park Service`s centennial anniversary. We spoke with Nabors on the National Mall recently, as he prepared to finish his tour at Maine`s Acadia National Park this week.

DARIUS NABORS, Visiting National Parks: My name is Darius Nabors, and I`m visiting all 59 national parks in 59 weeks.

It`s been a little crazy. I have essentially been all over the country visiting all the national parks, and just spending time in beautiful places. So I like to say that I traded the modern conveniences of life, like a microwave and a coffee maker and things like that, for beautiful sunrises, beautiful sunsets and just beautiful views of our country.

Most recently, kind of coming west, I went from Badlands National Park in South Dakota, to Hot Springs in Arkansas, mammoth cave in Kentucky, and then all the way down to Florida, where there`s Biscayne National Park, Everglades National Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park.

There`s additionally a park in the U.S. Virgin Islands, so we did have to go out there. They actually have an underwater trail. So they have little signs that are kind of put down into the ground that when you`re snorkeling, you can pass over them.

The thing I love about the parks is there`s such -- well, it showcases the diversity of the country in terms of geology or environment. And so those underwater ones are just totally different. You get to see alligators. You get to see fish. You get to see manatees.

So we`re going to Acadia last for our 59th park, and it`s one that I haven`t been to, so I`m very excited about that. They always say you got to watch a sunrise on Cadillac Mountain, so I will go and do that. It`s the first one on the East Coast, and so it`s kind of special in that sense.

And then I think, for the trip, it`s been a trip of going to bed and waking up with the sun. And so it`s just going to be another beautiful sunrise. It`s wonderful that we have all 59 of these parks. I always say that, if you can get Congress to agree on something, like the beauty of a natural place, then it means it`s pretty special.

And so I`m just super thankful that we have set aside these places for other people to enjoy. Just get out there and see it. You don`t have to go camp in the backcountry, like I do. That`s what I love, but I think it`s important for other people to do the things that they love. If they want to go to an overlook and look there, if they want to go and do a hike, if they want to spend time with family or friends, I think that`s the wonderful part about the parks, is it provides so many experiences for so many people to enjoy it in ways that they like.

HARI SREENIVASAN: On the "NewsHour" online right now: It`s National Women`s Equality Day. But a new survey by Forbes finds that pay for Hollywood`s top female actresses is much lower than their male counterparts.

Find that and more on our Web site,

Once again, we turn to our honor roll of American service personnel killed in Iraq and the Afghanistan. We add them as their deaths are made official and photographs become available. Here, in silence, is one more.

A reminder about some upcoming programs from our PBS colleagues.

Tonight on "Washington Week": The presidential race gets personal, as Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton trade accusations of racism and bigotry. Plus, Clinton defends her family foundation after questions of money and access. "Washington Week" will sort out the week in politics later tonight on your PBS station.

And on "PBS NewsHour Weekend" Saturday: Both presidential candidates have pledged to bring manufacturing jobs back to American shores, but have some jobs once thought to be lost forever already returned?

That`s the "NewsHour" for tonight. I`m Hari Sreenivasan.

Have a great weekend. Thank you, and good night.


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