tv PBS News Hour PBS March 7, 2017 3:00pm-4:00pm PST
captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening. i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight: republicans roll out a new health care plan to up-end the affordable care act. a look at how the new bill aims to replace president obama's signature law. also ahead this tuesday, wikileaks releases thousands of c.i.a. documents claiming to reveal the agency's hacking tools. and, we talk with the creators of "the americans" about how the tv series centering on russian spies in the united states in the '80s is more current than ever. >> what better time to humanize russian espionage than the time that we're the victims of it? you know, that's the time when you're most inclined to de-humanize it.
>> 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. >> woodruff: the battle over affordable care act, or obamacare is now joined, in earnest. house republicans pressed forward today, in the face of resistance from democrats, and from inside their own party. lisa desjardins reports from capitol hill. >> reporter: it was day one of republicans' push to sell their long-awaited replacement plan for the affordable care act, obamacare. greg walden chairs the energy and commerce committee and helped author the bill. >> introduction of this bill is just the first step in helping american families across the country obtain truly affordable health care and we're eager to
get started. >> reporter: named the "american health care act," republicans are keeping some and changing some of the affordable care act. the first big change: medicaid. obamacare expanded medicaid to include roughly 12 million more people-- lower-income adults. republicans would end that expansion in 2020, but allow those enrolled at that time to stay on medicaid. for the rest of medicaid-- some 55 million people-- there is potentially sweeping change. republicans would move from paying for all health care costs now to setting a limit on spending per person. democrats like kentucky congressman john yarmuth are outraged, saying that will cut benefits to millions. >> over the long-term, what it's going to mean is, the people who need the care the most, people who are working hard and need the coverage, will get less of it, and the states will have to
shoulder more of the burden. >> reporter: but republican leaders mounted an all-out offensive, with vice president mike pence visiting senators at the capitol, and president trump meeting with house leaders at the white house. >> i think, really, we're going to have something that's much more understood and much more popular than people can even imagine. >> reporter: the largest issue for the republican bill is what we don't know. we don't yet know if this bill will mean fewer people with health insurance, and we also don't know what anything will cost-- including the size of possible medicaid cuts or new tax credits. those tax credits are another big issue and change. the affordable care act gives direct tax subsidies for low-and middle-income americans; republicans would instead give refundable tax credits and rework who gets them. individuals making under $75,000 would get a full credit based on age: $2,000 dollars for the youngest, increasing by age to $4,000 dollars for those over
60. but those tax credits are raising concern from the right. republican congressman dave brat says the credits are more massive government spending. >> where is it coming from? it's coming from the federal government. and it's a new entitlement program. and so, for the folks out there they may not know-- go google it-- we have a $100 trillion entitlement problem. >> reporter: he's not alone. republican congressman justin amash called the bill "obamacare 2.0," in a tweet. and kentucky senator rand paul and other republicans held a news conference to push back. >> we are united on repeal. but we are divided on replacement. >> reporter: that could be a serious issue in the senate where the g.o.p. can afford to lose only two votes and still pass their bill without help from democrats. but, as some raised doubts, others in the party moved to aswer them, like health and human services secretary tom price. >> this is all about patients, and in order to provide that transition and in order to make
it so that nobody falls through the cracks, we've got to have a system that allows for individuals to gain the kind of coverage that they want. >> reporter: and house speaker paul ryan predicted the bill will have enough votes to pass. >> we will have 218 when this comes to the floor, i can guarantee that. >> reporter: tomorrow-- day two-- may be more important, as the bill heads to possible committee votes. for the pbs newshour, i'm lisa desjardins at the capitol. >> woodruff: in the day's other news: the nominee for the number two position at the justice department faced close questioning about investigating russian meddling in the 2016 election. rod rosenstein would oversee the probe if he is confirmed. that is because attorney general jeff sessions recused himself last week. at his senate confirmation hearing, rosenstein fended off democrats' urging that he recuse himself, too, and appoint a special prosecutor. >> i know this is the issue du jour on capitol hill. but i anticipate that if i were the deputy attorney general, we'd have a lot of matters coming before the department over time, and i would approach them all the same way. i would evaluate the facts and
the law, consider the applicable regulations, consult with career professionals in the department, and then exercise my best judgment. >> woodruff: at least one democrat, connecticut's richard blumenthal, said that he will try to block the rosenstein nomination, unless he does commit to a special prosecutor. president trump's pick to be the a new round of threats hit jewish community centers and the anti-defamation league today. some involved phoned-in claims of bombs. at least one warned of a sniper. the threats came in at least eight cities-- the latest in a wave of such incidents. in response, all 100 members of the u.s. senate wrote to leaders of the f.b.i. and the departments of justice and homeland security. they said "failure to address these and deter these threats will place innocent people at risk." a federal judge has refused to stop completion of the dakota access oil pipeline, as american indian tribes wanted. today's ruling coincided with the start of a four-day protest on the national mall. it will culminate in a march on the white house. the court fight will continue, but the pipeline builders say oil could begin flowing next
week. emergency crews struggled today to contain fast-moving wildfires that have killed six people in four states. the fires are sweeping across hundreds of square miles in kansas, oklahoma, texas and colorado. they've already forced more than 10,000 people to flee. elsewhere, hundreds of homes were damaged overnight by severe storms across the midwest. more than 30 twisters were reported in kansas, missouri, iowa and illinois. >> we're very lucky. small children and two adults. they were scared, everybody was scared, but we stuck together and we made it through it. >> woodruff: this afternoon, the governor of missouri declared a state of emergency in the wake of the storms. u.s.-backed forces scored gains against islamic state fighters on two fronts today. in syria, militia groups cut a main road out of raqqa, the de-facto isis capital,
and in iraq, army units pushed deeper into western mosul after a late-night commando raid. the troops battled into a complex of government buildings. that sets up an assault on mosul's "old city," where militants are dug in with thousands of civilians. the european union's top court ruled today that member states do not have to grant humanitarian visas to asylum seekers. belgium and other countries had warned it would mean another flood of migrants. meanwhile, hungary's parliament voted to confine migrants at border camps built from shipping containers, pending action on their asylum requests. a chinese telecom firm has agreed to pay nearly $900 million, for violating u.s. sanctions. the justice department says z.t.e. corporation illegally shipped american-made equipment to iran and north korea. on wall street, stocks slipped for the third time in four days.
the dow jones industrial average lost 29 points to close at 20,924. the nasdaq fell 15 points, and the s&p 500 gave up nearly seven. and, the white house is receiving visitors again. tours resumed today for the first time since the inauguration, and the first group got a presidential welcome. mr. trump greeted a crowd that included alabama fifth graders on a school trip. prominent in the background, a portrait of former first lady hillary clinton, his election rival. >> woodruff: still to come on the newshour: a republican senator weighs in on the ongoing russia investigation; wikileaks documents show c.i.a. efforts to hack into phones, tvs and cars; the military's model pre-k program, and much more.
>> woodruff: now, let's go back to the big debate emerging over the healthcare law, and explore some of the key ideas behind the republicans' plans. the house bill does keep some of the most popular provisions of the law, like preventing insurers from denying coverage for pre-existing conditions; it still has penalties for a lapse in coverage; but, it does not mandate coverage in the same way. it also shifts how the government would provide financial help, while eventually reducing the number of people on medicaid. john yang picks it up from there. >> yang: to help break down the impact of these proposed changes, i'm joined by two experts who watch healthcare closely. lanhee chen is a fellow at the hoover institution who advised mitt romney and marco rubio in their presidential campaigns; and sabrina corlette is a professor at georgetown university's health policy institute. thank you for joining us to you both. welcome to you both. i think you can both agree as this moves through the
legislative process, the details will change, but i think the philosophical changes in direction are clear now. lanhee chen, let me start with you. this shifts-- what we're seeing proposed is to shift from requiring that everyone have insurance to have a series of carrots, really, to get people to buy insurance themselveses will on the open market. why is that the better approach? >> well, one of the issues, frankly, with the affordable care act is that you had situation where's insurance was become unaffordable. in fact, if you look at 2015, as an example, 19.2 million americans either could not afford health insurance because they got what was known as a hardship exemption, or they paid the penalty relating to obamacare's individual mandate. so one of the things that this tries to do is to encourage the purchase of insurance. but as you say, to do it as an encouragement, rather than as a penalty. where a penalty does apply is when an individual does not make the decision to acquire coverage and that coverage lapses and
they would be subject to a penalty to get back into the system. but the approach, as you know, is fundamentally different. >> lanhee, how does this move premiums down? >> well, i think there's a couple of things. first of all, the idea is to create marketplaces that are healthier by providing more competition and a greater choice of plans. now, obviously, this provision alone doesn't do that, but the idea behind the republican approach is to move in that direction. now, some of that lowering of cost is constrained in this piece of legislation because it has to comply with this budgetary auditing, nope as reconciliation. but overall, the republican strategy is to lower cost by expanding choice and reducing the number of mandates on plans. >> sabrina corlette, is that effective? is that going to work? >> well, here's one of those things where details really do matter. and in fact, i would argue that this requirement they have in there that is an attempt to replace the a.c.a.'s individual mandate will actually drive
premiums up, because i think more young people will look at that and say, "i'm not going to face a penalty if i don't sign up for coverage, so i'm going to hold off on buying insurance." so the only people buying insurance will be those who are sick. and if insurers have to cover just sick people they will raise premiums and those will go up. >> lanhee chen, that gets to a point many critics are saying, the federal help to buy-- for these insurance premiums favors, they say, the young and the healthy over the sick and the old. what do you say to that? >> i have a tough time with that argument, john, frankly. because, first of all, the tax credits in the republican plan are based, first of all, on age. that is the primary factor-- which they're differentiated. therefore, those who are older will get more assistance than those who are younger. furthermore, the broader idea here is to lower cost of plans to get more people in. it is the case in the previous regime, under obamacare, that you did have fewer people in the
millennium, because premiums were inasing from 2015 to 20 taken scaeb by 25%. the goal is lowering the cost of plans so the help will provide more coverage. that is the idea behind the republican proposal. >> sabrina corlette, he's correct that the tax breaks go up with age, but, also, it allows the insurance companies to charge much higher premiums for older insured people. >> right, right. so this bill would allow insurance companies to charge older people up to five times the amountave younger person, but the tax credits only go up two times. so you're essentially handing an older person a two-foot rope to get themselves out of a 10-foot hole. the other thing is that overall, the tax subsidies are much less generous than they are under the affordable care act. and they're not-- so lower income people get less, relative to their intng, and many of them will not be able to afford this coverage. we don't have numbers yet from
the congressional budget office about how many people will end up losing coverage. but we do have numbers that-- from wall street analysts that estimate up to 10 million people will lose coverage under this bill? >> lanhee chen, how do you respond to that, about the number of people who will go uncovered by this? >> i think there are a couple of things. we'll have to wait and see what the congressional budget office ends up deciding on this. but it is the case, first of all, that the republican philosophy, the conservative philosophy has always been you expand access by lowering costs. so it is the case that if you are able to get some of these regulation out of the way-- granted, the house bill doesn't actually do a lot of that because it has to comply with these arcane budgetary rules. but would there be legislation in phase two as donald trump said of health reform that got these regulations out of the way, the idea would be to lower the cost of plans, expand access, and affect the number of uninsured. another thing they could do briefly is they could look at trying to create a steeper means test on the tax credits such
that poorer people would benefit more than they do under the current proposal. >> lanhee chen what, do you say to the conservatives who worry that these tax credits are essentially a new entitlement? >> well, i'd make a couple of arguments. first of all, we already have a tax code that subsidizes health care, largely through the purchase of health insurance through your employer. 160 million americans take advantage of this tax break already. what republicans are trying to do with this proposal is to equalize, to a certain degree, the treatment of health insurance purchased individually versus through employers. and i would also say it's just a reality that we've got to deal with questions of coverage. and if you don't help people who are outside the of the employer marketplace, are you going to see even more significant degradations in coverage so this is an important step forward this that regard. >> finally, sabrina corlette, what's your view on the changes that are coming in medicaid, or would be coming in medicaid if this plan is passed? >> this is one thing i think is really important for people ton, that this bill goes way beyond
repealing the a.c.a.'sa.'s medid expansion. this really is a radical restructuring of a program that's been around for 50 years. it's a financial lifeline not just for low-income families, but families who have qidz disabilities, older people who need long-term care. close to 50% of births in this country are funded by the medicaid program. so we are looking at potentially cutting this program that will affect far beyond the people that got coverage through the a.c.a. >> sabrina corlette, lanhee chen, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> woodruff: today, the chairman of the house intelligence committee announced that their first public hearing on the investigation into russian interference in the election would begin on march 20. at the same time, democrats in the senate are calling for a special counsel to investigate.
we've heard recently from democrats on the senate intelligence committee, and tonight, we turn to a republican: senator james lankford of oklahoma. senator lankford, thank you very much for being with us. the house committee has announced when its hearing beginnings. what about the senate, will it go first? >> we've done hearings for several months now, behind closed doors. these are dealing with highly classified documents, procedures, people that remain classified, and should remain classified. so a lot of work will be held behind closed doors, quite frankly, and we'll actually bring things out, when it's appropriate and when we have things to be able to contribute to the national conversation. >> woodruff: are you subpoenaing witnesses? >> we are working through the process of getting witnesses. i'm not going to say whether we have to subpoena any of them at this point. but i will say the witnesses we've asked for we will be able to get access to without having to do a subpoena. but we will work through that process. this is very similar. i know you remember in december, president obama in his press
conference was asked about the administrationing investigation into all this process, and he said at that time in december, the american people are going to be somewhat frustrated by an investigation that deals with intelligence because we can't put out all the sources and methods. we want to be able to guard what we're doing in foreign intelligence in the days ahead. we will put out what we can put out but a lot of the work will be quiet. >> woodruff: do you think it is a good idea to look at president trump's tax records in order to get an understanding of his possible business connections with russia? >> so that-- that's been an accusation that has sat out there that has had no validity. i have yet to have anyone who has been able to point to anything because the description is he had some sort of secret business dealings with russia. no one has stepped forward to be able to make that accusation. typically, it's people saying we want to go search. we want to go look. i know there are people who are frustrated that he didn't put his tax records out so i think this is their vehicle to get it
and leak it out. right now, there's no reason to even go do that. and there's a constitutional issue between the congress reaching to a sitting president and requiring him to turn over personal documents. >> wooduff: you're saying at this point, you and others, the majority on the committee, assume the tax records are not relevant? >> i have yet to see anything that says those are relevant. there are a lot of issues we have to delve delf into, but i've not seen that that's a relevant document to get. >> woodruff: president trump in connection with all this tweeted over the weekend that president obama ordered a wiretap of him during the campaign in his offices in new york. he suggests that he has evidence of this. are you aware of any evidence of that? >> i would say to the white house if they have evidence of that to turn that over to our committee and we will follow that up as part of our ongoing evaluation. but that is something they should turn over to congress. >> woodruff: do you take the president at his word, then, that there is indeed evidence.
i'm asking because the president has in turn called on congress to investigate this. >> well, it would help, obviously, if the white house turned those document overs so we could include that into our investigation. we're walking through a very thorough process, multiple differentages and in an extremely bipartisan way. the intelligence committee is not a bipartisan committee. we are not showboating. we're not trying to get leverage. this is a national security issue and this is an issue we dealt with with, with russia for decades. they have tried to manipulate elections all around the world. they go back in the united states as far as putting a k.g.b. person on to president carter's campaign decades ago but they've never done it so overt and so aggressive as they did this time. so it is to our national benefit to get this right and to be able to have a good investigation because this is not a partisan issue. this is a security issue for a very long time and we have to address it. >> woodruff: so have you asked the white house to turn such evidence over to the committee? >> yeah, i would say what you and i have just talked about before i have said plenty of
places publicly. i won't say what i've done privately. >> woodruff: do you think it's appropriate for president trump to say this without providing that evidence? >> i think it's difficult to say that because the natural question from everyone of the american people is really, when did that happen? how did that happen? and i think it's something the president is going to have to address in the dailz ahead but i'll allow the white house to be able to respond to that. >> woodruff: senator, there is a new story today you're aware of, wikileaks releasing thousands of pages of these documents which we're only beginning, really, to see what's in that material, looking at what the c.i.a.'s methods are for hack, allegedly hacking into everything from iphones to cars, televisions. what do you know about that? and how serious a security breach could this be? >> so, let me give you a siers of things to this. wikileaks is not saying where they got it. they were just saying they have this information and that it was out there. i would remind people, there's a tremendous amount of fake news out there, and i'm not making an accusation here, but there is quite a bit out there that
people create, be able to release out and say this look genuine so we'll put this out. quite a few of these documents like this, we get a chance to look at later and find out they're really not genuine after all. so i caution people, first, to be able to jump to conclusion of this. second, when we deal with any kind of what is actualliy an intelligence process, anytime anyone, wikileaks or anyone else, gets access to this, it does two things. it asks the question, how did it come from, where did it come from at any point? if ift proves to be genuine. that has to be corrected. the second part is any adversary out there anywhere in the world, whether it be any government, whether it be any terrorist organization suddenly gets information. that is toxic to the american people. the folks in the intelligence community are not targeting american citizens. they're very clear laws that protect u.s. persons from anyone in the intelligence, but i would be very frank with you. we are very aggressive to try to get information about terrorist
organizations, foreign entities that mean to do us harm and i'm glad nawe do. if someone means to do harm to the united states, to any united states citizen, we should try to find out first, rather than react to it ampt fact. and people who try to release out any methods that are out there are damaging the national security of the united states. >> woodruff: senator james lankford, republican on the senate intelligence commit. we thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: in what appears to be another stunning breach of security, wikileaks today published thousands of pages of what it says are files about c.i.a. hacking activities. jeffrey brown has the story. >> brown: the material comes from the c.i.a.'s center for cyber intelligence. it includes a range of documents from 2013 to 2016 which describe cyber tools for hacking cell phones, computers, television, and even vehicles. the documents also contain computer code.
one program, dubbed "weeping angel," entails infecting samsung smart tvs, turning them into bugging devices. another program is aimed at hacking apple and android cell phones, under-cutting encryption apps like "whatsapp," "signal," and "telegram." wikileaks also says these documents show that when the c.i.a. discovered flaws in computer code written by apple, google or samsung, they failed to notify those companies about the vulnerabilities to allow them to be fixed. mark mazzetti of "the new york times" has been covering this, and joins us now. mark, welcome to you. so the c.i.a. hasn't said much so far. what do we been the authenticity the the documents and where they came from? >> well, we're still trying to confirm the authenticity. we have several people we've speaken to today who say they believe they're authentic. we've heard nothing thus far from the government indicating that they are not. some people we have spoken to have said that some of the code
names that were cited in the documents are, indeed, legitimate, so it does appear and i moment-- and i should say at the moment-- that they are legitimate. >> brown: well, when you look at the totality, mark, of all of these cyber tools that being descrierkd help us understand what are they aimed at? what is this program about? >> well, they're a series of-- and we're talking about thousands of documents that are laying out some of the tools the c.i.a. allegedly has to carry out hack of any number of different devices-- as you you said, cars -- against foreign adversaries or people overseas. i should stress that there is, unlike the snowden discloarlzs, there were not specific mentions of where these have been used. but they're more sort of like the tool kit the c.i.a. has. and it's pretty expansive if the
documents are to be believed. and in terms of where they came from, you asked. i mean, that's another thing we're still trying to figure out. wikileaks said today they had a source come to them who was concerned about the use of these tools. we don't know anything about the source. and there's a lot of questions still at the moment. >> brown: wikileaks said it had redacted some names and some information in its release. but how potentially damaging is this to the c.i.a.? >> well, again, if they're confirmed to be true, any revelations about actual capabilities that the c.i.a. or any other intelligence agency has, would limit the ability of the agency to continue to do those activities. you saw that to a degree with snowden and others, so that is where the concern is, that you will have a lot of these tools
may not be used because they're now revealed. but, again, we have to-- we still have to report out exactly, you know, what has been used and to a large extent, how much of this is actual truth. >> brown: yeah, and i realize so much of that is going on. i mentioned one particular program, when is the weeping angel, using samsunsmart televisions as covert listening devices. but that's one concrete example that's come out today. >> yeah. and the-- and in a nutshell, the idea was that the samsung smart tvs have a feature that allow access to the internet, and by having this-- you're basically turning this smart feature on, the c.i.a. is turning it into a microphone and allowing eavesdropping in a home. and another thing you cited was questions about the ability of the agency's hackers to sort of-- sort of bypass traditional
encryption and very popular encryption software like signal or whatsapp. the idea is not the programs themselves are hacked or compromised. it's that if you're in the phone, if the c.i.a. were to be in the phone, they would be able to get the data before it was then encrimented by these applications. >> brown: and, mark, in 10 seconds, in a word here, so much of the attention has been on the n.s.a. programs in the past, is it a surprise to learn that the c.i.a. may have its own program? >> well, it's pretty well known that the c.i.a. has been building up this capability and are determined to because they see computer hacking, computer cyber warfare as the future. so they are very much in that game. >> brown: all right, tayloni mazyck of the "new york times." thank you. >> thank you.
>> woodruff: how childcare for the u.s. military came to be among the best in the country. it now serves an estimated 200,000 children. the average service member spends about 9% of their income on childcare. the average civilian spends 25%. special correspondent kavitha cardoza, with our partner "education week," traveled to north carolina to see what the civilian sector can learn, for our weekly series, "making the grade." >> reporter: discipline, strength, endurance: traits that define the marines corps. they're also known for... ...babies? marines do two things really, really well-- they shoot their guns, and they make a lot of babies! >> what does the next page say, logan? >> reporter: at camp lejeune, north carolina, marla talley oversees the childcare centers. >> we usually see a great increase in our request for infant care, nine months after a
unit comes back from a deployment. >> reporter: camp lejeune is one of the country's largest marine corps installations-- seven times the size of manhattan. the child development centers, or c.d.c.'s, can accommodate 1,800 children under the age of five. >> everything that we do as marines is linked with readiness. c.d.c.'s are a part of that. >> reporter: colonel michael scalise is deputy commander. >> when you think in terms of a marine that is focused, he's focused on training, he's focused on deploying. anything that he has to worry about from his family's standpoint, whether that's his children or his spouse, or her children or spouse, deviate from that marine's ability to focus. >> i start my day at 0545 at the barracks, which means i have to drop annabelle off at daycare no later than 5:30. >> reporter: staff sergeant kathleen hargrove is a single mother. >> i can't really use excuses to be late in the marine corps. that's not an acceptable answer.
they expect you to be there when you're told to be. >> reporter: across all branches of service, members of the u.s. military have about two million children, more than 40% of them under the age of five. but childcare in the military hasn't always been this good. >> in the '70s, the military childcare system was really a system in crisis. there were very few inspections done of the program, so even basic safety and health wasn't protected. >> reporter: deborah phillips is a professor of psychology at georgetown university. >> the childcare teachers in the military childcare centers were paid on a par with the garbage collectors in the military system. >> reporter: the dismal state of childcare led to congressional hearings, and eventually, the childcare budget increased 62%. barbara thompson recently retired from the pentagon as director of military family readiness. >> that was earth-shattering, i would say, for those of us in the military child development system.
it gave us the opportunity to hire training and curriculum specialists. it provided federal dollars so that the cost of care would be subsidized by the federal government. >> people have referred to what happened with military childcare as a cinderella story, because you had this system going from a system in crisis to a model for the nation in under five years. >> reporter: federal subsidies meant more teachers were hired, they were more qualified and they were paid better. it's no surprise then, 97% of military centers are independently certified as "high quality," compared to less than 10% of civilian centers. >> that's loft. i absolutely love these. >> reporter: unlike many civilian centers, where the focus is primarily on health and safety, the military goes one step further. >> we're in the business of building brains. it looks like the children are doing nothing but playing, and that couldn't be further from the truth. the activities that they have
are all designed to promote some portion of that child's growth and development. >> reporter: even infants have lesson plans. >> you want some bubbles? >> we like to watch the bubbles. it helps us work on our focusing and tracking skills. and learning that things are here one moment and they're gone the next. >> reporter: educators use every chance to teach, even during mealtimes. >> by pouring, that's measuring. they're learning how much milk, sometimes they'll say it's full or it's half. so they're learning math. >> reporter: because teachers are paid about a third more than their civilian counterparts, there's very little turnover. the military pays for all their training. this childcare system also focuses on the unique needs of military children. >> come here, i know, i'll be back later. it's all right. >> reporter: this is an age when children are forming and solidifying parental attachments. so, when a mother or father leaves for extended periods of time, it can be very upsetting. >> this is when mommies and daddies may leave and go far, far away.
>> reporter: most children here have had parents who've deployed more than once. >> now when your mommies and daddies go away, are you sad? >> a lot of kids will come back and say, "dad don't want to talk. dad is not home yet." >> reporter: each classroom has a safe space. and teachers help children identify emotions, breathing techniques, and how to ask for help. >> for a lot of young children, the childcare facility that they go to, especially here, becomes the one stable thing in their life during that period of time. they can come in here, and they can forget mom or dad has deployed or that things are a little topsy-turvy at home because when i come here, my same friends are going to be here, my teachers are going to be here, i have a routine. and that's really crucial then, because those children can then take that security back home with them. >> you ready? >> daddy! >> reporter: gunnery sergeant craig skinner and master sergeant bergen skinner, who
have three children in this childcare center, say they see evidence every day that their children are learning. >> about a week ago, preston came in, and actually just, he wrote his name down. we were doing something and he started spelling his name and we're like, "okay, you actually know how to do this." >> they actually helped potty train my children! >> yummy, yummy. >> reporter: these marines say childcare centers give them the assurance that their children are safe and loved. an assurance most civilian parents have a harder time finding. >> we both work really long hours and i can't explain the feeling that i get when i go pick up my children and they run to me because they're happy because they had such a great day. they love being there. >> there's only four targets out here, four individuals, make sense? >> yes, sergeant. >> reporter: for marines and other service members, this peace of mind means more than being just a satisfied parent. it means they can concentrate on their mission wherever it may take them. i'm kavitha cardoza of "education week," for the
pbs newshour. >> woodruff: now, a look at the intersection between fiction and reality. as investigations continue into russia, the highly acclaimed tv series, "the americans," has been giving an intimate, fictional look at the old cold war and the lives of two russian spies working undercover in the u.s. the show's fifth season gets underway tonight on the fx channel. william brangham recently went visited the set. >> we're gonna watch the olympics. wanna watch with us? >> no thanks. >> reporter: on the surface, they appear to be a typical american family from the 1980s: mom and dad, raising two kids in a house in the suburbs. but elizabeth and philip jennings are anything but typical. they're undercover k.g.b. ( gunfire )
agents, living in secret in america, gathering intelligence for the soviet union. ♪ ♪ they're the central characters in the fx series "the americans." set at the tail end of the cold war, ronald reagan is president, the soviet union is still intact, and nuclear tensions are at a peak. >> how does it feel to be alive, but know that you're going to die? >> reporter: as soviet spies, the jennings do whatever it takes-- lie: >> i can't see a thing without them, and i need to see you. >> reporter: seduce, or dispatch anyone that stands in their way. >> they're working to undermine america, to fight against ronald reagan, to promote the soviet cause and defend the motherland. >> reporter: "the americans" is the brainchild of former c.i.a. officer joe weisberg, who spent years working as a russia expert. he teamed up with long-time tv producer joel fields to create the series, which is loosely based around the true story of a
set of russian spies caught operating in the u.s. in 2010, and deported. >> it's about trying to live and work and prosper while working deep undercover, while lying to your family. and what that's like-- the strains that that puts on a marriage. it's very much a show about a marriage. the strains it puts on a family because it's very much about lying to your kids, and what that does to you as spies. >> most of what you've heard about the soviet union isn't true. >> it tries to say to the audience, look at these people who we think of as "the enemy," right? they're k.g.b. spies. there was nobody we hated worse than the k.g.b.-- those were the worst of the worst, most evil people you could find. and we're trying to take those people and say "well, is that all they were?" or can we actually relate to them? >> what we do isn't so different from what you do. >> it's also a show about how we're all spies in our own lives. how we all can't really know the other people in our lives, and have to trust what we see and what we experience with other people.
>> reporter: the struggle of living dual lives is a recurrent theme in the series, one beautifully portrayed by actors keri russell and matthew rhys. >> don't you ever like it? ever? the clothes? all those beautiful shoes? >> reporter: like here, when the comforts of capitalism test their communist beliefs. >> it doesn't make you bad at your job, it just makes you human. >> we have to live this way. for our cover. >> phillip and elizabeth jennings have both been in america for almost 20 years. and philip, he had become very americanized. although he's still faithful to the soviet union and faithful to the motherland, he had become very attracted to america. he had gone a little bit soft in that regard. his wife was not like that at all. she was 100% completely committed to communism and to the way things were, and to fighting for that cause, no matter what.
>> reporter: one of the things that's obviously key for both of you is to create characters that we want to keep coming back to, and see every day. but you also have them do awful, awful things-- oftentimes to innocent people. kill them, treat them terribly. have you ever felt a tension, thinking, "we can't have them go this far because it will turn the audience off?" >> well, first season, we-- we asked that question really overtly to ourselves as writers, and we can take all of those moral hypotheticals and just create the dramas for the characters. would you poison a child in order to save your country-- if you felt that you could and that tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of people could live in peace if you paid this sac-- if somebody made that sacrifice? >> well, a lot of the drama of this show has been about watching phillip's answers to those questions change, while elizabeth's have remained the same.
>> reporter: critics have since the show began filming, rhys and russell have become a couple in real life as well. russell's worked in both films and tv, first achieving fame as the lead in the tv series "felicity" in the late '90s. rhys is a welsh actor, having also spent a career in tv and movies. we talked at the premiere for the new season of the "americans," and i asked how they humanize characters who are forced to do such terrible things. you want us to love you, you want us to come back and see you every week and to portray yourselves as decent people, and yet, we also have to see you do these awful things. is it difficult to manage that balance? >> i think, i think, landing the, the show in a place that's credible has always been the challenge of it. for the exact reasons you say. and that's what i've always slightly struggled with, is that, you know, we kill people and then we make, you know, the school lunch and the school run. >> i think, at its core, it really is a relationship and family drama, and the spy stuff
makes it a television show. >> reporter: with a new tensions between russia and the u.s. triggering what many are calling a second cold war, the creators defend their nuanced portrayal of russian espionage. what has it been like to watch tensions between the u.s. and russia suddenly surge back to the fore when you've got this show underway? >> it's been disheartening, upsetting, shocking. i don't have any good words to describe it. i can't think of one good thing about it, you know, as we talked about endlessly at the beginning-- telling a show where you try to humanize the enemy and say they're just like us in so many ways is easy to do at a time when the enemy is no longer considered the enemy. that's a very fruitful environment to do that in. >> reporter: the soviet union is this distant thing that we know of from the reagan era. >> yeah. that's all-- that's all over. >> i actually think-- i can't believe i'm going to say this--
what better time to humanize russian espionage than the time that we're the victims of it? you know, that's the time when you're most inclined to de-humanize, and also-- and for me, one of the most dangerous things we can do when under attack is to dehumanize the enemy. >> because, as joel said-- they're soldiers. soldiers do horrible things, they kill people, they blow people up. how they deal with it, what they-- what happens in their own conscience is what was really interesting to us, and that's wat we've really continued to explore throughout the whole series. >> reporter: and that series continues. season 5 of "the americans" begins tonight on the fx channel. for the pbs newshour, i'm william brangham in new york. >> woodruff: and we'll be back shortly with a look at a man who lived in a boulder for the sake of art. 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. >> woodruff: for those stations still with us: as more states loosen restrictions on marijuana, one county in california is piloting a project to keep pot off the black market. sheraz sadiq, from pbs station kqed in san francisco, has our encore report. >> reporter: nearly 300 miles north of san francisco, thick redwoods reach to the sky. in this land of giants, the buzz of sawmills and the splash of fishing nets once signaled a booming economy. today, there's another industry in humboldt county that is thriving and driving up demand for goods and services. >> and your total will be
$3,023.99 after tax. >> reporter: from leaf trimming machines to water storage services and specialty soils, marijuana, or cannabis, as it's also known, is big business in humboldt county. >> humboldt county is the napa of cannabis. it is by far and away the largest production zone of high- quality cannabis in the world. >> reporter: and for the first time in nearly 50 years, it's coming out of the shadows, through a bold new experiment that allows people to legally grow medical cannabis for profit. >> i believe that, instead of complaining about the smell of cannabis, the people of humboldt county will realize that that's the smell of cultivating local prosperity. >> reporter: patrick murphy is the co-owner of emerald family farms, a collective of cannabis farmers. >> we would like to create an industry that is both environmentally and economically sustainable. >> reporter: farmers like murphy are now required to register with the county so they can get
permits to legally grow medical cannabis, just as they would for other agricultural crops. size limits apply, depending on how the crop is grown, and whether it's new or existing cultivation. >> the limit for new cultivation is 10,000 square feet, or about a quarter of an acre. existing operations, we have allowed all the way up to one acre in size, if they can meet requirements. >> reporter: steve lazar is a senior planner at the planning and building department in eureka. >> so, here, we're looking at a photograph from 2006. the photograph shows a forested area. but, by 2015, this area is now host to 20 to 30 different cultivation operations. so, here we can see every of greenhouse construction, water storage. one could easily estimate that there's over 10,000 cultivation sites in the county at this point. >> reporter: people from all over the world are rushing to humboldt to cultivate cannabis. but the lure of pot profits is straining local watersheds and threatening endangered salmon. >> marijuana cultivation is
probably the biggest issue facing the recovery of our salmon and steelhead. we put a million dollars into a watershed to restore fish there, and i go out on a site and i see a million dollars in habitat damage. >> reporter: scott bauer is a scientist with the california department of fish and wildlife. >> typically, on an enforcement activity, we see illegal road- grading, bulldozers pushing dirt into streams. we see people diverting water, and, in fact, taking most of the water out of the stream to cultivate marijuana. >> reporter: bauer and his team not only fine growers for breaking environmental laws, they also give permits to legally take water from rivers and streams. >> we would like every marijuana cultivator to get a permit from the department to divert water. we condition our permit to say, you can't have any water in the summertime. you need to take water in the wintertime, and store it for use later. >> reporter: cannabis has been legal to use in california for
medical purposes since 1996. >> it's got a great look, got a great smell. >> reporter: patients could also grow cannabis and supply it to dispensaries as long as they didn't profit from it. but all that will change in 2018-- that's when california will begin issuing licenses for commercial medical cannabis activities. until then, counties and cities are trying to regulate the cannabis industry at the local level. >> now, we can call a spade a spade. profit is part of being a farmer, whether you're growing cannabis or tomatoes. >> reporter: maybe so, but it's still illegal at the federal level to grow or sell cannabis. >> every cannabis cultivator lives with the fear of having their children taken away from them, having financial ruin. >> reporter: but in late august, 2,300 people, most of them existing growers, came forward to register under humboldt's new program. but, according to the local sheriff, only a fraction of the county's pot ends up legally in the hands of patients.
>> i would say 95% of the marijuana growing in humboldt county, and possibly higher, is actually going to the black market. >> reporter: the sheriff's office conducts roughly 100 raids a year, targeting massive illegal marijuana grows. >> what we have here is evidence that has been found in a marijuana grow, that's been seized by the humboldt county sheriff's office. these right here are processed marijuana in one-pound bags. and we have the typical firearms that are seized in a marijuana grow: ak-47 assault weapons, m-14 rifles. this is what they use to protect their marijuana. >> reporter: the county is now trying to keep cannabis out of the black market with a new track-and-trace program that gives each farmer a set of stamps bearing codes that are unique to them. in this demo, a bag of processed cannabis is sealed with a stamp and verified online as it moves through the supply chain. >> okay, now we can also check the proof of origin with the mobile application. >> reporter: for the first time,
a patient at a california dispensary will be able to quickly check that a product was grown in humboldt and be able to see its lab results. from farmers to dispensary owners, 15 people are taking part in this pilot program. but now that california has voted yes on the recreational use of pot, legalization could spell tough times ahead for farmers here in humboldt county. >> i believe that it will be grown all over the west coast. and i believe the price per pound is going to become so low that the industry is going to be driven out of humboldt county >> the fear is that the people that were a part of this, that started this movement will not have a place in the future. and it will only happen if we do not take part, if we do not stand up and make our voices heard as the heart and soul of the cannabis industry. >> reporter: for the pbs newshour, i'm sheraz sadiq in humboldt county, california.
>> woodruff: now to our "newshour shares:" something that caught our eye, that might be of interest to you, too. french artist abraham poincheval makes a living by performing unexpected feats of endurance and isolation. his latest work, "stone," which was presented at a contemporary art museum in paris earlier this month, was no different. the newshour's julia griffin explains. >> reporter: for an entire week, abraham poincheval was-- quite literally-- stuck between a rock and a hard place. in his latest solo act, the performance artist stepped inside a body-shaped nook carved into two halves of a giant limestone rock, and sealed himself in. the goal, he said beforehand, was to become the beating heart of a massive boulder. >> the purpose is to feel the aging stone inside the rock. there is that flow, that coming and going, between myself and the stone. >> reporter: to survive his confinement, poincheval lived off water, dried meats and
cartons of soup. his rock was outfitted with air holes, a heart rate monitor and, in case you are wondering, a small amount of storage for bathroom waste. for seven days, spectators viewed poincheval on a tv monitor, and responded with mixed reactions. >> ( translated ): it is rather extraordinary. we are asking ourselves: what will he do for a week? how will he live? >> ( translated ): it is a "happening." that is how i see it. there is no art present there. >> reporter: finally, his captivity complete, the artist emerged dazed, but happy. a quick medical check later, he reflected on his entombment. >> ( translated ): i thank the stone very much for having been so enthusiastic about welcoming, and i think that it took great care of me. there are very big moments of loss of oneself, where suddenly it is "bam," and you no longer know where you are, but you are there. that's what is great. >> reporter: in his next artistic endeavor, poincheval
plans to sit on a dozen eggs for 20 days, to see if they hatch. for the pbs newshour, i'm julia griffin. and we'll cover that. and that's the newshour for tonight. i'm judy woodruff. join us online, and again right here tomorrow evening. for all of us at the pbs newshour, thank you, and see you soon. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> patagonia. >> bnsf railway. >> xq institute. >> the ford foundation. working with visionaries on the frontlines of social change worldwide.
>> carnegie corporation of new york. supporting innovations in education, democratic engagement, and the advancement of international peace and security. at carnegie.org. >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions and indivials. >> 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