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PBS NewsHour for April 28, 2016 - Part 2

NEWSHOUR-00

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Woodruff>

Montanaro, Pablo Marco>

airstrike hits a Doctors Without Borders hospital, further threatening a

fragile cease-fire. The presidential primaries enter the final stretch. A

new North Carolina law requiring people to use bathrooms of their birth

gender has set off a business boycott. The Justice Department offers a new

plan to help ex-convicts reenter society. A biologist argues we should set

aside half the Earth for conservation. How can someone be unapologetically

black?>

North Carolina; Protests; Syria; Violence; War; Bernie Sanders; Donald

Trump; Hillary Clinton; Ted Cruz; John Kasich; Indiana>

JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Brandon Smith, what about in terms of organization, money? Who has got the state, would you say, better wired for their campaign?

BRANDON SMITH: That`s tough to say. Certainly, in terms of money, the Cruz campaign has spent the most on the Republican side and Hillary ha spent the most on the Democratic side.

And if you look at organization, maybe Hillary has been the best. But in terms of statewide organization, Donald Trump has been fairly good, which we haven`t always seen in a lot of other states. But in terms of working with the press at least, they have probably the best.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Indiana is not a state that`s used to getting a lot of attention in the primary period. How much interest is there in these primaries?

BRANDON SMITH: There`s been a ton.

As you just said, this is just something that Indiana isn`t used to. We had it in 2008 on the Democratic side. It`s been a lot longer than that that we have had it on the Republican side. And we don`t even know when the last time both parties were competitive in the state in the same time.

So, you have seen it in the crowds. You feel it in the crowds, that they`re just so excited to see any presidential candidate actually spending time in Indiana.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we`re sure all going to be watching on Tuesday night.

Brandon Smith with Indiana Public Broadcasting, we thank you.

BRANDON SMITH: Thank you.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Stay with us.

Coming up on the "NewsHour": the Justice Department`s new plan to help ex-convicts reenter society; a biologist who says we should set aside half the Earth for conservation; and how to be unapologetically black.

But, first, there`s been no letup in the anger, battles and protests in North Carolina over its new LGBT bathroom law. The fallout is not just political, but increasingly financial, as the backlash among business and companies keeps growing.

Special correspondent Roben Farzad filed this report from North Carolina for our weekly series Making Sense, which airs every Thursday.

ROBEN FARZAD: High Point Market, the biannual furniture trade show, is the biggest in the world, with almost 12 million square feet of show space.

MITCHELL GOLD, Manufacturer: This is one of our most interesting and exciting new pieces. This is the Sophia collection with the Duke chairs.

ROBEN FARZAD: Here, manufacturers like Mitchell Gold preview new products to retailers and designers, that is, if they show up. Weeks before market, the North Carolina legislature passed House Bill 2, directing people to use public bathrooms that match the gender on their birth certificate.

It also excludes gay and transgender people from state anti- discrimination protections. In response, some customers boycotted High Point Market.

MITCHELL GOLD: It`s not just that the attendance is down. It`s the buying power`s down. Williams-Sonoma, who owns Pottery Barn and West Elm, they`re not coming to market. And what I have asked people to do is, buycott, B-U-Y-C-O-T-T, us at the market, because we`re a company that doesn`t support this legislation.

ROBEN FARZAD: The economic stakes at High Point are, well, high. According to Duke University`s Lukas Brun, the market generates over $5 billion a year making it North Carolina`s biggest money-maker.

LUKAS BRUN, Duke University: And $600 million out of that is from visitor and tourism. And so take 10 percent off of the market, and then suddenly you lose $60 million.

ROBEN FARZAD: Industry consultant Mike Moore had planned to be here four days, but cut his trip to just one night. He thinks even more firms will boycott the next market in the fall.

MIKE MOORE, Industry Consultant: This happened much too close to market. People couldn`t pull out. Most people, their goods for these exhibits were already here. They had already arrived and were ready to be set up into displays. They signed their contract six months ago. And they paid in full when they signed those contracts. There was no reaction time.

ROBEN FARZAD: Still, signs of opposition to HB2 were on display. Moore, who`s based in Asheville, North Carolina, has opted to start a new firm out of state.

MIKE MOORE: Our Series A funding is several million dollars, and that money could be here in North Carolina. And we made a decision it`s going to Florida. I don`t love Florida particularly.

(LAUGHTER)

MIKE MOORE: I mean, I sweat the whole time I`m there, but North Carolina as a whole is not a progressive state. And that`s why I unfortunately say it is the money that will make the difference.

ROBEN FARZAD: Of course, the business backlash to HB2 goes beyond High Point. Almost 200 executives have called for a repeal. PayPal scrapped plans for a new operations center and 400 new jobs, while canceled conventions have cost the state some $8 million and counting.

And then there are the shows that didn`t go on, from the Boss, to Cirque du Soleil, to Pearl Jam, and Ringo Starr.

HAROLD WEINBRECHT, Mayor of Cary, North Carolina: I was very much a Beatles fan, and I was looking forward to seeing Ringo Starr.

ROBEN FARZAD: But an even bigger blow to mayor Harold Weinbrecht of Cary, North Carolina, Deutsche Bank`s decision to freeze 250 new jobs at this software development center.

HAROLD WEINBRECHT: We have rumors of other companies looking at not coming here, putting jobs on hold in the future, and that`s the biggest concern. Who`s in the pipeline that we don`t know about that had Cary and someone else in their minds, and now are giving second thought to that, well, maybe that`s not the best place for us?

ROBEN FARZAD: State lawmakers passed HB2 to nullify a Charlotte ordinance permitting people to use public bathrooms based on their gender identity.

Dan Forest is North Carolina`s lieutenant governor.

LT. GOV. DAN FOREST (R), North Carolina: It would allow any man to go into any women`s restroom, girls` locker room, women`s shower, girls` shower facility, and be able to get away with it. We have seen that happen in Washington state that has a similar ordinance.

MAN: If we`re not willing to stand now, 20 years from now, my kids aren`t going to be able to stand. They`re going to go to jail.

ROBEN FARZAD: So, Forest and other backers insist HB2 must be upheld for safety`s sake, no matter what the cost.

LT. GOV. DAN FOREST: The life and the protection of one woman, one child related to this is so important, you can`t put a price tag on it.

ROBEN FARZAD: Besides, conservative lobbyist Tami Fitzgerald says almost 400 companies have signed a letter of support for HB2. But we could not find a firm to talk to us.

TAMI FITZGERALD, Conservative Lobbyist: The press has intensely badgered these people. These businesses get bullied by the other side, and they get threatened, and they just don`t want to go through the hassle.

ROBEN FARZAD: North Carolinians have mixed views on HB2; 38 percent support it in general, but more than half believe people should use the bathroom of their birth.

BOB PAGE, Owner, Replacements LTD.: This plays out very well in the rural areas of North Carolina.

ROBEN FARZAD: Bob Page is the owner of Greensboro-based tableware retailer Replacements LTD. He`s long championed LGBT rights and has been vocal in his opposition to HB2. But his advocacy has driven some patrons away.

BOB PAGE: We have had hundreds of customers who say they will no longer do business with us, one who voiced, you know, about his Christianity, and that he hoped that the cesspool of sin that San Francisco is, where our brethren gay and lesbians live, that he hopes that they will slide into the ocean after a catastrophic earthquake.

And I thought, you know, those just don`t sound like very Christian views to me.

ROBEN FARZAD: Page has a number of transgender employees who are directly affected by HB2; 24-year-old Ty Little hasn`t used the men`s room since she was 17.

TY LITTLE, Replacements LTD.: I remember, specifically I was at a bookstore, and I went in. And someone saw me go in and then mentioned to a manager, and they approached me about it, and told me not to do that in the future. And so I -- it worries me a lot, for my safety.

ROBEN FARZAD: Page hired 20-year-old college student Payton McGarry part-time after he was fired from another position.

PAYTON MCGARRY, Replacements LTD.: I have lost three jobs because I`m a transgender man.

ROBEN FARZAD: McGarry has joined a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of HB2.

Tell me how this law affects your day to day.

PAYTON MCGARRY: I can walk into any business now and they can say, oh, we don`t serve trans people. Sorry.

The last time I have used the women`s bathroom was in high school. And it got to a point where it was so bad, I was being verbally and physically harassed every time I went into a women`s restroom, that they had to give me permission to use faculty restrooms, so I could avoid assault by my female peers.

ROBEN FARZAD: Both critics and defenders of HB2 rallied in Raleigh when the legislature reconvened this week; 54 protesters were arrested. But the law still stands and the financial fallout continues.

Back in High Point, organizers say it will be at least a week before attendance numbers are in and the effect of HB2 can be assessed.

For the "PBS NewsHour," this is Roben Farzad reporting from North Carolina.

JUDY WOODRUFF: On Capitol Hill today, a group of top senators unveiled a bipartisan bill to reform the nation`s criminal justice system.

Among other things, the legislation would reduce prison sentences for some nonviolent drug offenders, and create programs to help offenders reenter society. The move comes at the same time the Obama administration is pushing a series of criminal justice initiatives.

Spearheading that effort is Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, who joins us now.

Deputy Attorney General Yates, thank you for being with us.

SALLY YATES, U.S. Deputy Attorney General: Well, thank you for having me.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, tell us what the thrust of the administration`s criminal justice reform efforts are. What are you trying to fix?

SALLY YATES: Well, we`re trying to accomplish a number of things.

First, with the sentencing reform bill, we`re really trying to bring proportionality back to sentencing, and specifically for lower-level nonviolent drug offenders. And then with our Reentry Week this week, we`re really trying to highlight the importance of assuring that those who are returning from prison have just those basic tools they need in order to be able to be successful.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what are some examples of that? What are some things that they need that they aren`t getting right now, most of them?

SALLY YATES: Well, just imagine right now that you`re leaving prison. You may or may not have a family to go back to. Particularly if you were incarcerated a long way from where your family lives, your wife may have divorced you at this point, so you may or may not have a family to go back to.

And you may or may not have had a chance to stay in touch with your children during this time as well. It`s expensive for people to travel. So, you have got to find a place to live. Public housing is difficult. Some public housing operations will not allow convicted felons. Then you have got to find a job. And finding a job is really difficult at all right now, but just imagine if you have to add convicted felon to your resume.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, just to be clear, you`re working just on prisoners in the federal system? Is that right?

SALLY YATES: Well, we`re looking at both. We`re trying to help both prisoners that are leaving the Federal Bureau of Prisons, but also working through our grant program with state facilities as well.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, it`s a big job.

SALLY YATES: Yes.

JUDY WOODRUFF: I mean, we`re talking a lot of prisoners around the country.

SALLY YATES: Yes.

JUDY WOODRUFF: You said this week, I believe, our criminal justice system is not equipped to deal with what is fundamentally a health crisis.

What did you mean by that?

SALLY YATES: Well, I was referring to mental health there.

And there`s one of the problems that our law enforcement officers have been encountering. There are a lot of people on the street right now that have serious mental health issues. Going back to the `70s, when many of our mental institutions were closed, unfortunately, states didn`t pick up and provide the kind of community mental health care that`s really needed.

And that has just snowballed over the decades. And now we`re in a situation where mentally ill people are encountering law enforcement and going into prisons and getting -- ostensibly getting treatment there, but prisons really aren`t equipped to be providing the kind of mental health treatment that most people need.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, how do you fix that? What do you do about it?

SALLY YATES: Well, there are a variety of things.

With respect to mental health, one of the things that we`re doing there is, first of all, trying to train our law enforcement officers in how to identify signs of mental illness.

JUDY WOODRUFF: This is before these individuals are arrested or get in trouble in the first place?

SALLY YATES: Before they`re even arrested, exactly, and to be able to divert them to mental health services, instead of necessarily going to prison.

Then, even within our prisons, we`re providing funding and training and trying, when we do have folks that are actually in the prisons, to make sure that we are providing the kind of mental health treatment that they need. But, really, diversion is the key here, out of the prison system to begin with.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you have a sense of what proportion, what percentage of prisoners today have mental health problems or other emotional, however you want to describe it, issues?

SALLY YATES: You know, there are varying estimates out there, and I think it`s really hard to know what the true figures are, because some prisons will only count those people that are so mentally ill that they are a danger to themselves or others while they`re in a prison setting.

And that doesn`t really necessarily capture the full scope of mental health issues.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you feel you can make progress? You mentioned working with police, with corrections officers. How do you make progress in that arena? Again, you`re talking about individuals across the country in many different settings, local, state and federal.

SALLY YATES: Well, one of the things that we have done is started training crisis response teams for local law enforcement agencies.

And that`s a group of law enforcement officers within a police department that are trained to identify not only the signs of mental illness, but de-escalation strategies, so that when they encounter someone who is mentally ill, they can de-escalate the situation and take them to mental facilities.

Now, we can`t train every single law enforcement officer, but we can have teams that are available in our law enforcement all over the country. So, when someone`s out there on the street and they encounter this individual, they can then call out for one of their crisis intervention teams.

JUDY WOODRUFF: We mentioned coming in today from the Hill a bipartisan senators announced this revised proposal, criminal reform proposal. What`s the administration`s take on that?

SALLY YATES: We are so encouraged by this.

I haven`t been in this town for very long, but one thing I have learned in the relatively short time that I have been here is, there is not much that has bipartisan support. And this has strong bipartisan support from both ends of the spectrum and in between.

You know, the bill today now has 36 co-sponsors, split evenly with Democrats and Republicans. And I think that`s just a reflection of the recognition that the time has come for us to recalibrate our drug sentencing for lower-level nonviolent drug offenders.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But, you know, as I know you know, Deputy Attorney General Yates, that there are conservatives in the Senate and elsewhere who are saying, if you make a mistake, if you let someone out early who shouldn`t have been let out early, they can go out and commit a violent crime, they may be susceptible to doing that.

What`s the answer for people with that concern?

SALLY YATES: And that`s why this legislation is really targeted at the nonviolent drug offenders.

But, look, any legislation is compromise. There are some who would like this to go a lot farther. There are others who it goes too far. We have worked really hard with folks on the Hill to try to find the right balance here.

Now, what we`re trying to do is to make sure that the punishment fits the crime and to ensure that we are protecting the public and public safety comes first, but that we`re not keeping people in prison for longer than necessary for public safety purposes, because that`s not fair either.

JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you assure -- finally, how do you assure the American people that this is the right thing to do? Because there are still people who are wary of how they deal with, how they work alongside individuals who have done time.

SALLY YATES: Right.

Well, I can tell you, I`m a career prosecutor. I have been doing this for 27 years. And my focus in all of this is first on public safety, but also on ensuring the fairness of the criminal justice system. That`s absolutely essential for the public to have confidence in their criminal justice system.

And when individuals have paid their debt to society, and they have come out into our communities, I think all of us, not just the Justice Department, but all of us have a responsibility to give them just a fair shot at being able to live the kind of lives we have.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Sally Yates, the deputy attorney general of the United States, thank you very much.

SALLY YATES: My pleasure.

HARI SREENIVASAN: Next: Scientist and two-time Pulitzer Prize- winning author Edward O. Wilson first gained fame for his study of ants. Through the years, he`s moved from small insects to big ideas, and now a very big one, one made more urgent by the problems of climate change.

Jeffrey Brown has our profile in his second report from Southern Alabama.

EDWARD O. WILSON, Biologist: I was just a 12-, 13-year-old boy, and it was just a wonderland to me.

JEFFREY BROWN: Edward O. Wilson spent his formative years in Mobile, Alabama, looking for snakes and insects in the surrounding delta.

EDWARD O. WILSON: If I could, I would just do the same thing today that I did then, but it would look funny.

(LAUGHTER)

JEFFREY BROWN: The experience would shape him, as biologist, evolutionary theorist, naturalist, and at age 86 perhaps most important to him now conservationist.

EDWARD O. WILSON: What is man? Storyteller, mythmaker, and destroyer of the living world.

JEFFREY BROWN: His new book, "Half Earth: Our Planet`s Fight For Life," takes on nothing less than the survival of plant and animal life on earth.

EDWARD O. WILSON: Yearning to be more master than steward of the declining planet.

JEFFREY BROWN: Wilson`s solution is in the title, setting aside half the Earth as natural habitat.

We spoke beneath the old live oak trees at Fort Blakeley Historic Park, where Wilson`s great-grandfather fought in one of the last battles of the Civil War.

Half Earth. Are you serious?

EDWARD O. WILSON: I`m serious. I know it sounds radical, but we must have it if we`re going to save most of the species remaining on Earth. And it`s easier to do than most people might think.

JEFFREY BROWN: It sounds impossible. It sounds for some people crazy.

EDWARD O. WILSON: I was just going to use the word insane.

JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

EDWARD O. WILSON: Yes, it sounds that way, because they envision cutting the Earth into two hemispheres, one for us and one for the other 10 million species. But, no, we mean giving 50 percent or setting it aside, patches, some large wilderness areas, others far, far smaller, in order to make that amount of reserve area.

JEFFREY BROWN: Your ideas on this and what should happen have gotten bigger and bolder.

EDWARD O. WILSON: Well, they have.

My alarm went from yellow to red when I read the papers authored by large numbers of scientists and team efforts that showed just how far off the goal the conservation organizations were, how -- all our efforts around the world in slowing down extinction rates.

JEFFREY BROWN: One key to Wilson`s argument is how little we know of life on Earth, only two million species identified out of a total probably closer to 10 million, even as species go extinct at 1,000 times the normal rate, thanks chiefly to human population growth and corresponding habitat loss.

Conservation efforts worldwide have thus far set aside a little more than 15 percent of the Earth for habitat. Wilson would triple that.

EDWARD O. WILSON: We would be taking a first step towards securing enough space and natural habitat to preserve, by my estimate, more than 80 percent of the species left. If we don`t do this, we`re going to go down to 50 percent or more in a fairly short period of time in this century.

JEFFREY BROWN: Wilson is attempting such a thing right here, to give national protection, either a park or wildlife refuge status, to parts of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta, one of the most biologically diverse areas in North America.

There`s opposition in this conservative state. But Wilson is not deterred.

EDWARD O. WILSON: I think it`s a moral thing to do. I believe morality is going to enter very strongly into what I hope will be a shift of perception and precepts and reasoning about this, that we really should take extra measures to save the rest of life on Earth.

And who are we, one species, to wipe out a majority of the species remaining that live with us on this planet just for -- without even thinking about it, for our particular selfish needs?

JEFFREY BROWN: Wilson acknowledges that the world`s population will continue to grow from its current 7.3 billion to around 11 billion, before leveling out. But he thinks advancements in technology will help shrink our ecological footprint.

So what are the stakes?

EDWARD O. WILSON: The stakes are the future of life, the future of the living part of the environment.

Mind you, we are beginning to make meaningful progress toward controlling the forces of climate change and of pollution. And the other parts of the nonliving environment that have been causing a large part of the destruction.

If we allow the living part of the environment to disappear, for me, it would be by future generations regarded as one of the most catastrophic, even evil periods in human history, for our descendants to look back and say, they wiped out half or more of all of the rest of life on Earth, the variety of life on Earth.

JEFFREY BROWN: A thoroughly depressing prospect. But to spend a day with Edward Wilson is anything but depressing.

EDWARD O. WILSON: Science needs to have a goal and actually achieve that goal. We really want to see on the front page of the newspaper scientists announce cure for cancer, or cure for lung cancer, shall we say?

What galvanizes public support and puts spirit into it is to say, this is the goal that we must reach. Let`s set that goal, and let`s get there.

JEFFREY BROWN: From Fort Blakeley Historic Park outside Mobile, Alabama, I`m Jeffrey Brown for the "PBS NewsHour."

JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, another installment in our Brief But Spectacular series, where we ask interesting people to describe their passions.

Tonight, we hear from Heben Nigatu and Tracy Clayton, the hosts of BuzzFeed podcast "Another Round," which covers everything from race, gender, pop culture, and more.

As Nigatu and Clayton explain, their show has carved out a new and important space in the growing podcast landscape.

HEBEN NIGATU, "Another Round": We have good sound effects. Give them your air horn. Beautiful.

(LAUGHTER)

TRACY CLAYTON, "Another Round": It`s not so much that we wanted to fill a space. We wanted to create a space that wasn`t there before.

HEBEN NIGATU: A lot of podcasters tend to come from the same places, same universities, same, like, NPR-style training, so it all kind of often tends to sound uniform. And, like, Ira Glass is our god.

TRACY CLAYTON: I saw a comic once, a cartoon, and it was, like, a foot race between white folks. You had a white person in this lane and then a black person in this lane.

And it`s like you have the same start as everyone else, blah, blah, blah, but in the black person`s lane, there is like alligators and barbed wire. We have to be like the right kind of black for people to pay attention to us.

We can`t make white people too uncomfortable when we talk about race. And that is exhausting. It is exhausting to have to pick and choose.

HEBEN NIGATU: I do not have the energy for that.

TRACY CLAYTON: Yes. Yes. We have so much going on.

HEBEN NIGATU: We have a life to live.

Appealing to white people`s consciousness has a rough history in America, but appealing to capitalism does well. Hence, I like to make the diversity argument about larger markets, untapped audiences. There are swathes of people you are not reaching. So, if you are just not here for the moral reason...

TRACY CLAYTON: Then be here for the money.

HEBEN NIGATU: Yes.

TRACY CLAYTON: As black women, we know what it feels like to be overlooked and ignored. And we were finally like, hey, we have the microphone.

HEBEN NIGATU: We want this to be a space, all of it is on our terms.

TRACY CLAYTON: Yes. Yes.

HEBEN NIGATU: We can have conversations with people, like even like Hillary Clinton, and have it be on our terms.

TRACY CLAYTON: Ben Smith, our editor in chief, really encouraged us to ask her for the things that we really, really wanted to know.

He was like, you will probably never interview her again. You`re not trying to make a best friend, so who cares if she gets uncomfortable? She had to meet us where we were. And we talked to her the same way we talked to everybody else. We`re like, you`re in our house.

HEBEN NIGATU: We didn`t say that.

TRACY CLAYTON: No, we didn`t at all.

It feels amazing to not have to be someone`s diversity coach.

(CROSSTALK)

HEBEN NIGATU: Or just even like filter all your thoughts about culture through the prism of, like, one very specific outlook.

TRACY CLAYTON: Yes, and just, like, not having to worry, like, what are white people going to think? Who cares?

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