PBS NewsHour full episode September 16, 2019

JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff. On the “NewsHour” tonight: on strike. Nearly 50,000 autoworkers are walking the
picket lines to force General Motors to improve wages. Then: targeting oil. Strikes on Saudi Arabia raise questions about
who was behind the attack. And how will the U.S. respond? Plus a new face for late night. Lilly Singh breaks boundaries of all sorts,
moving from YouTube to national television. LILLY SINGH, Talk Show Host: I want to go
out there and be like, this is my point of view, this is what I’m going through, these
are my thoughts and feelings, this is the person I am, this is the person I want you
to get to know, not just talk show host, but, like, I want you to get to know Lilly. JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s
“PBS NewsHour.” (BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: More than 49,000 workers at
General Motors plants across the country are on strike tonight after contract talks broke
down. It’s the first nationwide walkout at GM since
2007, and it affects 33 manufacturing plants and 22 distribution warehouses across nine
states. We will take a closer look after the news
summary. Besieged drugmaker Purdue Pharma had filed
today for federal bankruptcy protection. It was part of plan by the maker of OxyContin
to settle thousands of lawsuits stemming from the opioid crisis. The tentative settlement could be worth $12
billion. President Trump now says it is — quote — “looking”
like Iran was behind a weekend drone attack on crude oil facilities in Saudi Arabia. But he also says he’s waiting for definitive
proof. Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility,
and Iran has denied any involvement. The U.N. Security Council convened today in
New York, as the special envoy to Yemen sounded the alarm via video link. MARTIN GRIFFITHS, U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen:
This extremely serious incident makes the chances of a regional conflict that much higher
and of a rapprochement that much lower. And with Yemen in some way or other linked,
none of that, none of that is good for Yemen. JUDY WOODRUFF: The cost of oil surged today
in the wake of the attack. Prices in New York jumped $8 a barrel, or
nearly 15 percent. We will focus on the attack and its potential
consequences later in the program. The spike in oil prices pushed stocks lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 142
points to close at 27076. The Nasdaq fell 23 points. And the S&P 500 slipped nine. In Afghanistan, NATO reports that a U.S. service
member was killed in action today, the 17th so far this year. Earlier this month, President Trump called
off peace talks with the Taliban after an attack that killed another American soldier. Businesses and subways in Hong Kong reopened
today, after another weekend of protests that saw some in the crowds throwing bricks and
firebombs. Police on Sunday fired tear gas and water
laced with blue dye to mark demonstrators, who used umbrellas to shield themselves. Today, in Geneva, a pro-democracy legislator
from Hong Kong appealed to the U.N. human rights body to investigate. TANYA CHAN, Pro-Democracy Hong Kong Legislator:
The police call protesters cockroaches. Brutal crackdowns and preemptive violence
against them are hence regarded as acceptable pest control to curb free speech. Today marks the 100th day of the movement,
but there is no sign the police will exercise restraint. This is a result of the lack of democracy
in Hong Kong. JUDY WOODRUFF: The police, in turn, blamed
what they called radical protesters. They have arrested now more than 1,400 people
since the demonstrations began in June. A storm that hit the Bahamas this weekend
could grow into a major hurricane, but it is veering away from the U.S. mainland. Humberto had sustained winds of 90 miles an
hour late today. Officials warned of rip currents along the
East Coast. By Wednesday, the storm could lash Bermuda
with dangerous wind and rain. President Trump charged today that U.S. Supreme
Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh is under assault by charges that are lies, after a new allegation
of sexual misconduct. The New York Times reported over the weekend
that it happened during Kavanaugh’s student days at Yale. The Times later added that friends of the
alleged victim say that she cannot recall the incident. Prosecutors in New York City have subpoenaed
the president’s tax returns. Reports today said the subpoena went to Mr.
Trump’s accounting firm. It seeks the last eight years of state and
federal returns for the president and for his business, the Trump Organization. Meanwhile, the U.S. House Oversight Committee
is asking Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao for documents involving her family’s
shipping company. Democrats say they want to know if any of
her official actions were designed to benefit Foremost Group. Chao’s father founded the firm. New York Yankees great Mariano Rivera was
awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom today. The Hall of Fame pitcher was a five-time World
Series champion and regarded by many as the best closing pitcher in baseball history. And the famed front man of The Cars, Ric Ocasek,
has died of heart disease. He was found Sunday in his New York apartment,
a year after The Cars were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. They had a string of hits in the 1970s and
’80s, including “My Best Friend’s Girl.” Ric Ocasek was 75 years old. Still to come on the “NewsHour”: autoworkers
take to the picket lines for better wages; questions surround attacks on Saudi Arabian
oil; on the ground in Israel before a critical election; and much more. Nearly 50,000 workers at General Motors plants
across the country went on strike at midnight, bringing production to an immediate halt. John Yang has the details. JOHN YANG: It’s the first national work stoppage
by the United Auto Workers since 2007. As negotiations resumed today, the union said
it had been unable to reach a deal with GM over several key issues, including higher
wages and limits on the use of temporary workers. The UAW also wants to end some of the concessions
it made in 2009 to help GM through its government-led bankruptcy, including lower pay and benefits
for new workers. James Cotton was on the picket line today
in Detroit. JAMES COTTON, General Motors Employee: A few
years back, we gave up a lot to keep this house open and all the houses around General
Motors. And now that they’re making more money than
they ever have, we feel like we should get some of that stuff back, like cost of living
and things of that nature. JOHN YANG: GM posted nearly $12 billion in
profits, but the automaker says it needs to slash costs as it pivots to future technologies
like electric cars and as sales decline. Last year, it said it was closing several
plants, including this one in Hamtramck, Michigan, a decision that President Trump heavily criticized. Late last year, the “NewsHour”‘s Yamiche Alcindor
went to Hamtramck and spoke to one autoworker who said her job was her ticket to the middle
class. D’NITRA LANDON, General Motors Employee: I
have never made this much money hourly before in my life. I have never had these great health benefits
before in my life. JOHN YANG: In a statement, GM said it had
offered new investments in plants that improves wages, benefits and grows U.S. jobs in substantive
ways. The strike comes as top UAW leaders, including
current president Gary Jones, are under federal investigations for allegedly misusing union
money. The auto industry remains crucial to the U.S.
economy, with some 220,000 people employed making cars. Many more make the parts that go into them
and work in other sectors of the industry. Nathan Bomey is a business reporter with USA
Today. He previously covered GM for The Detroit Free
Press. He’s author of “Detroit Resurrected: To Bankruptcy
and Back.” Nathan, thanks so much for joining me. NATHAN BOMEY, USA Today: Thanks for having
me. JOHN YANG: Let’s begin. They do this every four years. And the UAW and the Big Three automakers negotiate
new contracts. Going into this year’s negotiations, broadly
speaking, I want to ask you what the goals were on each side. Let’s begin with the UAW. What did they hope to achieve? NATHAN BOMEY: Well, I think the biggest thing
that they wanted was to basically end this two-tier wage system that started about 10
years ago during the bankruptcies of General Motors and Chrysler, when the auto companies
were on their knees. The autoworkers helped them get through it
by basically giving concessions. And so what the UAW wants is to get some of
that back. On the other side, you have GM and, of course,
the other auto companies that also — they basically want to eliminate the gap between
them and the foreign automakers, because it’s still more expensive for the American automakers
to produce vehicles in this country than it is for Toyota and some of the other foreign
automakers. JOHN YANG: In their offer that GM released
last night, which is unusual to talk about what they — what’s on the table while the
talks are still going on, they said that they made some — offered some investments into
two of the biggest plants that are being idled, Hamtramck and Lordstown. Hamtramck, they want to build electric pickup
trucks. Lordstown, they want to build new battery
cells there with union workers. Are these going to be able to really get to
the numbers and have comparable jobs that were there before? NATHAN BOMEY: Yes, I think it’s unlikely. If you look at when they made the announcement
that they were idling these plants, the one in Ohio and the one in Michigan, I mean, these
are political footballs in some sense, because you’re talking about thousands of workers,
and you have got politicians on both sides of the fence who have a significant interest
in preserving those jobs. So I think GM understood that from the beginning. And now they’re looking and saying, hey, maybe
we can bring some jobs back here. But the reality is, if they bring batteries
to Ohio, for example, Lordstown, that’s simply not going to be as many jobs as you would
see with a typical assembly plant. JOHN YANG: How long is it going to take before
this starts to squeeze each side? GM is said to have healthy inventories on
hand. The UAW has a strike fund that they started
beefing up earlier this year. But when is this going to start to squeeze? NATHAN BOMEY: If you look at GM’s inventory
levels, they have a few months’ worth of vehicles at this point. But that doesn’t mean they have a few months
to spare. After a couple weeks, they’d run into trouble
because then you would have certain vehicles or certain trim levels would run into issues,
and then you have people walking into the dealers and not being able to get those vehicles. On the other hand, UAW workers only get $250,
$275 a week in strike pay. So that’s far below what your average worker
is making on a given week. So they really can’t last too long — too
long as well. I think you’re looking at a few days, maybe
weeks, before this reaches a head. But you never know. There have been strikes in the past that have
gone a couple months. JOHN YANG: And also not only GM itself, but
the supply chain, their suppliers, the parts makers start getting squeezed. NATHAN BOMEY: There is a ripple effect here. When the automaker can’t make their cars,
then the suppliers can’t make their parts, and the other automakers can be affected. JOHN YANG: In the report, I talked about the
federal investigation going into the spending habits of — or practices of current and former
UAW officials. Is that a factor in these talks? NATHAN BOMEY: Well, this is a significant
federal corruption investigation. And I think the UAW at this point has to fear
a federal racketeering case that could come on top and basically have the federal government
taking control of the UAW. That’s what happened to the Teamsters, and
oversight lasted for a couple decades. So you have to wonder, is the UAW trying to
get this contract done before that kind of thing happens? JOHN YANG: And, also, on the other side, what
is GM’s approach to this? Where they’re seeing this union under investigation,
does that affect their position? NATHAN BOMEY: GM is walking a tightrope here. I think you see they’re being very careful
not to be too vocal in their criticism of the UAW. At the same time, they have said a few times,
hey, this is a little questionable, but, hey, UAW, it’s represents tens of thousands of
workers and maybe this isn’t reflective of the entire organization. But it is very uncomfortable for them to be
negotiating at the same time they’re under investigation by the federal government. JOHN YANG: Earlier today, the UAW said, GM,
if you had given us this offer earlier, we might have avoided this strike. Any sense of how long this might go on? NATHAN BOMEY: Well, you always have to ask
yourself if this is a case of an unreliable narrator on both sides. I’m not sure when the official best offer
was really made on each side, who came to the table first. It’s tough to say. But I think, at this point, it doesn’t seem
like they’re miles apart, but they’re not inches apart either. I think you got a little time to go still. JOHN YANG: Nathan Bomey of USA Today, thanks
so much. NATHAN BOMEY: Thanks, John. JUDY WOODRUFF: As we reported, airstrikes
on two major Saudi Arabian oil facilities over the weekend are disrupting financial
markets. It is also heightening tensions between the
United States and Iran. The U.S. blames Tehran for the attacks, despite
claims by Houthi rebels in Yemen that they were responsible. The “NewsHour”‘s Lisa Desjardins has details. LISA DESJARDINS: A war of words and images
after weekend aerial attacks left two Saudi oil sites in flames and smoke. A U.S. official shared these images showing
damaged facilities and blackened, scorched areas. Today, a spokesman for a Saudi-led military
coalition said the firepower responsible was Iranian-made, and wasn’t launched in Yemen,
contrary to claims by rebels there. COL. TURKI AL-MALIKI, Saudi-led Coalition Spokesperson
(through translator): Initial evidence shows that these weapons are Iranian weapons, and
we are investigating. And we will announce the findings. Initial findings show that the terrorist attack
didn’t originate from Yemeni territories, as claimed by the Houthi militia. LISA DESJARDINS: The U.S. also pointed to
Iran. Secretary of State Pompeo tweeted Saturday
that: “Iran has now launched an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply. And there is no evidence the attacks came
from Yemen.” But that is precisely who has claimed responsibility,
Houthi rebels in Yemen. They are backed by Iran, but a spokesman said
Saturday the rebels themselves launched 10 drones at the oil facilities and threatened
more to come. YAHYA SAREA, spokesperson, Houthi Military
(through translator): We promise the Saudi regime that our coming operations will only
grow wider and will be more painful than before, so long as their aggression and blockade continues. LISA DESJARDINS: All of this follows 4.5 years
of war between the Houthis and a Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, one that has destroyed
Yemen’s economy and has led to mass starvation and disease. The map here is especially important. The two strikes hit critical oil facilities
in Eastern Saudi Arabia. One is the world’s largest crude oil stabilization
plant. The other is the second largest oil field
in the kingdom. Yemen sits south on the other side of vast
desert with Houthi-held territory to the southwest. Iran is on the other side, directly northeast. Oil markets have felt this latest blow. The attacks knocked out 5 percent of the world’s
output and triggered a spike in early trading today. It could take months to repair the facilities. In Vienna today, U.S. Energy Secretary Rick
Perry aimed to calm traders. RICK PERRY, U.S. Secretary of Energy: Despite
Iran’s malign efforts, we are very confident that the market is resilient and will respond
positively. LISA DESJARDINS: The attacks are also superheating
already boiling tensions between the U.S. and Iran, after the U.S. pulled out of a nuclear
deal and instead ratcheted up sanctions against Iran. Iran shot down a U.S. drone and has been blamed
for bombing other country’s oil tankers, with all sides disputing the details of those incidents. For his part, President Trump minced no words,
tweeting Sunday that the U.S. is locked and loaded, but not indicating what that might
mean. Mr. Trump also met with the crown prince of
Bahrain today. The president told reporters it is certainly
looking like Iran is responsible for the attacks, but he added: DONALD TRUMP, President of the United States:
Do I want war? I don’t want war with anybody. Well, we have a lot of options, but I’m not
looking at options right now. We want to find out definitely who did this. LISA DESJARDINS: Others may weigh in quickly
as well. Congress returns to Washington today, and
the U.N. General Assembly session opens in New York tomorrow. For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins. JUDY WOODRUFF: President Trump had said earlier
he would be willing to meet with Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani at the U.N. General Assembly,
but Rouhani rejected that offer days before this attack. To break down what this all means is Frederic
Wehrey. He’s a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment
for International Peace. It’s a global research group. And he has 20 years of Middle East experience
from his time in the Air Force. Fred Wehrey, welcome back to the “NewsHour.” FREDERIC WEHREY, Carnegie Endowment for International
Peace: Thanks for having me. JUDY WOODRUFF: So what do you make of the
Trump administration claim that they’re confident that Iran was behind this attack? FREDERIC WEHREY: I think it’s to be expected,
given this administration’s focus of Iran as sort of the root of all evil in the region. I do think, given the president’s recent comments,
they’re still walking back some of that initial certainty about Iran. I think they want to leave room perhaps for
some negotiation. This is a president that has stated he doesn’t
want war in the region. He doesn’t want to get back into some sort
of corner where war is… (CROSSTALK) JUDY WOODRUFF: And, in fact, he said that
again today. FREDERIC WEHREY: Exactly. JUDY WOODRUFF: That he didn’t want war in
the region. So what will it take it? Will we know ever who was behind this? What will it take? FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, no, I mean, the forensics
analysis of the projectile. There’s obviously a probably additional intelligence
about launch activities, about the origin. What we saw was the actual impact point. But, again, this comes down to sort of theatrics. There’s what’s called escalation management. You don’t want to box yourself into a corner. I think the Saudis as well are very worried
about a potential escalation and break into open war. And we have seen them dial back a bit in terms
of, was Iran really responsible for this? JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, they seem reluctant to
say that. They say they want more information. So, as you know, the Houthis, the rebel group
in Yemen, they’re claiming responsibility. Why would they be claiming that they’re the
ones behind this, if they weren’t? FREDERIC WEHREY: I think it paints them as
a formidable opponent of the Saudis. They have been fighting this Saudi invasion
of their country. They have an interest, I think, in creating
that level of uncertainty. They have said they received help from within
the kingdom. It’s probably unlikely, but, again, stirring
that uncertainty. There’s been an increasing convergence between
Iran and the Houthis, but it’s important not to paint the who the Houthis as really proxies
of Iran. JUDY WOODRUFF: Are they — are the Houthis
capable doing this without Iran’s involvement? FREDERIC WEHREY: My understanding is no. Again, we’re talking about a qualitatively
different sort of operation in terms of the planning, the actual technical equipment that
was used. They have certainly been increasing in the
audacity of their attacks, both with drones and missiles. But my understanding is, this is a — this
would require Iranian assistance. JUDY WOODRUFF: So you have pointed out — and,
in fact, you said it again just now — that there’s no evidence that the U.S. wants — I
mean, President Trump is saying — and he said it again today. He doesn’t want to see war with Iran. But he’s also said over the weekend — he
talked about being locked and loaded, suggesting the U.S. is ready to launch a military attack. What would the consequences be if that happened? FREDERIC WEHREY: You would have, I think,
I mean, open war. There’s there’s no way to sort of punish Iran
discreetly, to keep this compartmentalized. I think, in this sort of situation, you would
have the gloves come off, right? Iran can retaliate in different theaters against
Iraq — U.S. forces in Iraq and Lebanon. So this could really spiral out of control. Now, I think there are ways to reestablish
deterrents with Iran short of a total war. There’s probably some clandestine signals
that could be sent. But I think the great tragedy of this is that
Trump has really squandered a lot of the international diplomacy that historically the U.S. has used
to keep Iran in a box. So he’s left himself with fewer options to
send that kind of signal to Iran. JUDY WOODRUFF: So what are the other options? I mean, what can they — what could the administration
do if they decide a military — frontal military action is not called for? FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, they’re going to try
to harden, I think, Saudi Arabia’s defenses against a future attack again. So this is not going to go — this is not
going to be easy for Iran to do again. We have seen Trump already saying he’s going
to provide intelligence to the Saudis. Again, there are probably going to be some
other signals that are sent. Again, potential clandestine means are an
option as well, show of force within the Gulf. We have already got an aircraft carrier there. And, again, I think this comes down to very
careful, delicate balancing act. JUDY WOODRUFF: And what about the fact that
the president’s former National Security Adviser John Bolton, who’s known to be a hawk when
it comes to Iran, is no longer in the administration? FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, I mean, he was certainly
central to setting a very bellicose tenor to U.S. policy toward Iran. And I think — I think it could reduce some
of the escalation. But, again, you had counsel coming from the
Pentagon, you know, de-escalation. So you had a number of other, I think, influences
and pressures on the president that are coming from other sources within the U.S. government. JUDY WOODRUFF: And then the president’s own
instincts. FREDERIC WEHREY: Of course, toward dealmaking. JUDY WOODRUFF: And, in fact, you mentioned
intelligence-sharing. In fact, the United States has been reluctant
in the past to do that, has it not, with Saudi Arabia, I mean, to go all in sharing intelligence? FREDERIC WEHREY: Right. Well, this, I think, evolves from the criticism
over the Saudi conduct in the Yemen war. Again, I think there was some degree of, obviously,
logistics and intelligence there. But there’s been huge congressional opposition
to this. Of course, the Saudis are delighted that Trump
is now stepping up with this sort of intelligence. I mean, their game is to keep the U.S. in
the region to counterbalance Iran, but not enough so it provokes an open conflict, because
that would be bad for them. They would be in the line of fire were there
to be an open war between Iran and the United States. JUDY WOODRUFF: You’re saying Saudi Arabia
doesn’t want a war, out-and-out war with Iran either. FREDERIC WEHREY: No. JUDY WOODRUFF: Fred Wehrey, watching this
very delicate situation, thank you very much. FREDERIC WEHREY: My pleasure. Thank you very much. JUDY WOODRUFF: Stay with us. Coming up on the “NewsHour”: how the race
for 2020 is shaping up after the last debate; and how Lilly Singh is breaking boundaries
as the first female face of late-night TV. Israelis head to the polls again this week
for the second national election in less than a year. Their vote will potentially reshape the country’s
political landscape. At stake, Benjamin Netanyahu’s place as the
country’s longest serving prime minister. Special correspondent Ryan Chilcote is there
with the story. HADAR DOR-ON, Winemaker: Being here in the
vineyards makes me feel far enough from politics. I’m a sad Israeli these days, because I don’t
see values. RYAN CHILCOTE: Hadar Dor-On is a fifth-generation
farmer and winemaker. He has always voted for Likud, the party most
aligned with his Zionist views, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This time, he has reservations. What do you think about Benjamin Netanyahu? HADAR DOR-ON: He’s very intelligent. He’s very clever. So it looks so fine, it looks so good. But it isn’t. So many suspicions. RYAN CHILCOTE: Jerusalem’s main market is
a busy, festive place. Long gone are the days of suicide bombings. The economy has been strong. And yet, when it comes to politics, there’s
division and deadlock. After Israel’s longest serving prime minister
failed to build the necessary coalition in Parliament and form a government after elections
in April, Netanyahu called for another one just one month before he’s to face legal proceedings
for bribery and breach of trust. The Mahane Yehuda Market is a stronghold of
support for the Likud Party and Benjamin Netanyahu himself, but the allegations of corruption
that have dogged this prime minister for years may be chipping away at that support, just
like the tactics his critics say he uses to stay in power. Whether those concerns are enough to topple
him, that’s something this election will show. Netanyahu is, by far, Israel’s most popular
politician, but his party is leaving nothing to chance. Today, they’re out rallying the troops. Gilad Erdan is Netanyahu’s minister for public
security. Some voters could be put off by the allegations
against the prime minister, he says, but Netanyahu is innocent until proven guilty. We have talked to a lot of Likud supporters. They say everything that Likud is doing is
great. They have an issue with the prime minister
and the allegations of corruption. What do you say to that? GILAD ERDAN, Israeli Minister of Public Security:
We have to remember that all the achievements of the Likud and the government in the last
decade was under the leadership of Prime Minister Netanyahu. This is — we have to respect the principles
of democracy. They voted for him to lead the Likud and the
country. And he strengthened the state of Israel. Unless he will be convicted in a final verdict,
he can continue to run the country. RYAN CHILCOTE: Israel’s once-dominant left-wing
parties have been sidelined, but members of one turn up. As the two collide, it becomes clear just
how heated Israeli politics can get. Laura Wharton is a member of the city council. LAURA WHARTON, Meretz Party: He attacks the
justice system. He attacks the free press. He attacks his own message. And he’s ruining the basic democracy. RYAN CHILCOTE: Netanyahu’s biggest challenge
in this election comes from this man. Benny Gantz served as Netanyahu’s military
chief of staff until just before the April election, when he and the Blue and White Party
he leads sprang onto the political stage and got the same number of seats in Parliament
as Likud. His supporters say it’s time for another kind
of politics without Netanyahu. MARINA SMOLYANOV, Blue and White Party: At
this point, he is all about survival, his personal political survival. I think Benny Gantz, he represents the new
style of leadership, a leadership of values, of fair morals, of ethics. RYAN CHILCOTE: Not to be outdone, Netanyahu,
too, was in the limelight, holding a Cabinet meeting in the Jordan Valley, an area that
accounts for a full third of the West Bank. Just days after announcing Israel will annex
the occupied territory after the election, he declared the government will also add another
settlement to the more than 130 Israel already has. GIDEON RAHAT, Hebrew University: You want
me a prophet. OK. Yes, in Jerusalem, after — we’re not allowed
to be prophets anymore. RYAN CHILCOTE: Hebrew University’s Professor
Gideon Rahat has been watching Israeli elections for more than two decades, but don’t ask him
who will come out on top. It may not even be up to them. GIDEON RAHAT: I think that seeing the election
in Israel as only a horse race is a mistake, because, at the end of the day, the third
horse, the small horse, might decide what the two big horses will do at the end of the
day. RYAN CHILCOTE: That small horse and potential
kingmaker is Avigdor Lieberman and his right-wing secular party, Yisrael Beiteinu. A former bouncer, Lieberman became something
akin to Netanyahu’s personal assistant, then did stints as foreign and defense minister,
before breaking ranks. After the last election in April, Lieberman
declined to join a Netanyahu-led coalition with the ultra-orthodox religious parties,
leaving his former boss short of the seats needed to form a government, a first in the
history of Israel. Ynon Shahar is a Lieberman volunteer. The objective, he says, is to force Likud
into a government of national unity. YNON SHAHAR, Lieberman Volunteer: What kind
of government will we have? Will our prime minister be, you know — hold
hostage by ultra-right parties or ultra-orthodox parties? Or will we have governance of the majority
of the people who can do good for the majority of Israel? RYAN CHILCOTE: Israeli Arabs may also have
a hand in shaping the next government. They make up a sixth of the electorate, but
many abstain from voting. If they turn out in larger numbers, they will
weaken Netanyahu’s hand. General Amos Yadlin headed Israel’s military
intelligence. Today, he runs the nation’s most influential
think tank on national security. When it comes to Israel’s relations with the
Palestinians and Israel’s adversaries, there’s little disagreement amongst the candidates. What’s at stake in this election? AMOS YADLIN, Institute for National Security
Studies: Let me tell you what is not at stake in this election. Most of Israelis agreed on Iran. There is no left and right on Iran. Most of the Israelis agreed on how to deal
with Hezbollah. There is no left and right on it. Most of the Israeli agree on Gaza. RYAN CHILCOTE: That hard line is popular with
most Israelis. It’s also supported by President Trump, something
Netanyahu likes to highlight any chance he gets. GIDEON RAHAT: In Israel, it is smart, because
Trump is seen as the best friend of Israel. What I mean, with his recognition of our annexation
of the Golan Heights, moving the embassy to Jerusalem, all of these things are seen by
many Israelis as very good signs for the best friend we ever had. RYAN CHILCOTE: Likud’s top leaders are out
rallying the nation’s farmers. No mention of the corruption allegations here. Many voters already have an opinion. In a recent poll, 52 percent of Israelis said
they trust the legal system; 34 percent agree with Netanyahu, who claims the courts are
out to get him. BECKY BURGER, Likud Supporter: I checked it,
and it’s all b.s. Sorry about that. RYAN CHILCOTE: Do you ever get sick of wine? Back on his vineyard north of Tel Aviv, Hadar
Dor-On isn’t so sure, but the veteran Likud supporter says he will put his ideology first. HADAR DOR-ON: I hope very much it’s all fake
news. RYAN CHILCOTE: But you have your concerns? HADAR DOR-ON: I’m worried. I’m a father first of all. I’m a father who grows grandchildren and children
in what country? In a corrupted one or in an honest one? RYAN CHILCOTE: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m
Ryan Chilcote in Binyamina, Israel. JUDY WOODRUFF: The crowded field of Democratic
presidential candidates have new dividing lines this week, from preventing gun violence
to impeaching Supreme Court Justice Kavanaugh. Here to look at the Democratic field midway
through September, I’m joined by Stu Rothenberg, senior editor of Inside Elections, and Domenico
Montanaro. He’s senior politics editor from NPR. Hello to both of you. Thank you for being here for Politics Monday. Let’s talk about guns first. We saw, Stu, at last week’s Democratic debate,
some real division. We saw Beto O’Rourke stake out some territory
we hadn’t seen Democrats speak about recently. STUART ROTHENBERG, Inside Elections: Yes. (CROSSTALK) STU ROTHENBERG: Everything seems to be about
the Democratic divide, doesn’t it, between the various wings of the party? And it’s showing up on guns, as it showed
up on impeachment and other issues. You have the Democrats who want to go as far
as they can, and those who are thinking more about the general election. And that’s a division in the party that they’re
going to have to figure out how to deal with this, to keep the progressive populists enthused
and excited and behind the party’s nominee, and yet also reach out to — remember that
the general election is about swing voters. JUDY WOODRUFF: So — and his talking about
buying back assault-style weapons, again, this is a place that even Democrats haven’t
gone. DOMENICO MONTANARO, Political Editor, NPR:
Yes. I mean, the fact is, you have someone like
Beto O’Rourke, who had to reboot his campaign, right? So, of course he’s going to go on the campaign
stage and want to be on the debate stage and be as bold as possible. So he says, hell, yes, we’re coming for your
guns. Well, maybe pump the brakes for a second,
because when you look at the polling on this, something like mandatory buybacks is one of
the more divisive issues in our NPR/”PBS NewsHour”/Marist polling. The country is split on whether they approve
of those things. Much more in favor of things like those red
flag laws, universal background checks, even high-capacity ammunition clips, banning those
and assault-style weapons, majorities of people overall in favor of those, but not Republicans. And that’s where the big difference is and
why Congress isn’t acting on them. JUDY WOODRUFF: So this is a risk for somebody
like O’Rourke? STU ROTHENBERG: Well, look, he needs to take
risk because where he is in the race. So, yes, it’s a risk. But more it’s a risk for the Democratic Party
in the general election if they appear to be too extreme, too radical, too — too liberal,
frankly. JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, one other thing that
we’re hearing now from the Democrats and is weighing in on a story that came out over
the weekend, The New York Times reporting, Domenico, that there is a new accusation of
sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who, of course, went through
hearings. A lot of information or allegations were aired. He was ultimately confirmed. He’s sitting on the court. Here we are many months later, this story
comes out. We should say the woman who is cited, not
by name, reportedly doesn’t have a memory of what happened. So the whole thing is a little muddy. But, having said this, you have already got,
what, several, a half-a-dozen Democrats running for president, saying that Brett Kavanaugh
should be impeached. DOMENICO MONTANARO: And there’s the key phrase,
running for president, because they know that the base very strongly is in favor of impeachment
generally. The rest of the country, not so Much. independents have tracked with Democrats all
throughout the Trump presidency on almost every issue, except for impeachment, when
you look at it in the polling. And this is another one of those areas. We don’t have specific polling on Kavanaugh
himself. But when it comes to President Trump, independents
think it’s not a great idea to go and do that. So that’s why you see a lot of these Democrats
going and doing this, because three-quarters of Democrats said they’re in favor of impeaching
President Trump, for example. And, by the way, a lot of these Democrats
think the FBI did a very cursory investigation of Kavanaugh, didn’t vet him very well. In fact, one of these allegations was sent
by Senator Chris Coons of Delaware to the FBI, with the name redacted, that was then
named in this New York Times essay. That was October 2, and he was confirmed October
6. So, you have a lot of Democrats still upset
strongly about Kavanaugh, not really, they feel, being vetted very strongly. But instead of moving on from that, they — you
have some of these presidential candidates trying to rile it up, something that President
Trump loves to have front and center. JUDY WOODRUFF: Because he’s now — it’s given
him an opening, Stu, to take his own position and saying, it’s all lies, and painting them
as extreme. STU ROTHENBERG: And you have one impeachment
inquiry. And are you going to have a second one? And then does it not look like Democrats want
to overturn the elections and overturn the Supreme Court nominations? So it just looks very messy. And, as you say, it gives the president a
talking point to talk about how the Democrats are — didn’t like the election results, and
they will try to change it now. JUDY WOODRUFF: And we should say these allegations
are part of a new book that is coming out about the Kavanaugh case. Let’s look at the — I guess you would say
the far left, Stu, of the Democratic field, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren. A lot of — there has been conversation about
the two of them, that are they fighting over the same territory? Just today, a small progressive labor group
in New York City called the Working Families Party, which endorsed Bernie Sanders in 2016,
this year says it’s supporting Elizabeth Warren. So, yes, it’s a small group. It’s in the Northeast, as far as we know,
and perhaps other parts of the country. But is — does Bernie Sanders have something
to worry about? DOMENICO MONTANARO: Absolutely. And, actually, he should have started worrying
weeks ago about this. There’s always been questions about, would
he sell a second time? Because, remember, he was the alternative
to Hillary Clinton. He was the populist. She was the kind of corporatist Democrat. And now the Democratic field is very different. Elizabeth Warren uses much of the same rhetoric,
language, and imagery that Sanders does. And I think some people think that Bernie
isn’t selling over the long haul the way he did last time. JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see it? DOMENICO MONTANARO: But you have Elizabeth
Warren is somebody who a lot of Democrats have taken to. They see her on the campaign trail. They see the way she makes the message, this
sort of left-wing populism, and she doesn’t go as far as Sanders, right? So I thought was interesting during the debate
how both Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren seemed to use Bernie Sanders as very useful kind
of foil. JUDY WOODRUFF: Foil. DOMENICO MONTANARO: For Biden, it was on socialism
to paint his politics as too extreme and tying Elizabeth Warren to that. But Elizabeth Warren was sort of able to escape
by unscathed because she was able to use Bernie Sanders as a heat shield. She doesn’t have to say that she’s totally
in favor of what he’s in favor of too. STU ROTHENBERG: Sanders doesn’t fight the
description of himself as a Democratic socialist. He will explain what that means, where, on
the other hand, Elizabeth Warren said, no, she’s not a socialist. Well, there are lots of Republicans that doubt
that. But it’s an interesting difference that appears
that I think points out differences between the two candidates. DOMENICO MONTANARO: The fact is, they have
maintained this sort of nonaggression pact, where I have had people close to Bernie Sanders
tell me that they’re not going to attack Elizabeth Warren, because they view her as an ally for
the kind of country and the kind of change they want to see. And they want to make sure that Bernie Sanders
maintains a level of at least 15 percent in the polls and in delegates, because that’s
the key threshold number to get those delegates to stick to go to convention. So then Bernie Sanders can still be relevant
at that convention. JUDY WOODRUFF: But you both — we asked you
both to take a look again at whether they are going after the same voters, I mean, considering
all this. What do we see about that? STU ROTHENBERG: I think they largely are. They are going after populist progressives,
people on the left, at the left end of the party, who are frustrated with corporate America
and big institutions. And, yes, I think they are. Now, there are differences. DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes. STU ROTHENBERG: But look at their rhetoric. It’s very similar. JUDY WOODRUFF: When you break it down. DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes, I mean, look, when
you look at their similarities and differences, when you look at very liberal voters, there’s
a big Venn diagram. But Bernie Sanders is very strong with younger
voters in particular, men, people who make less than $50,000 a year. Warren, on the other hand, people who are
paying close attention to the election, women, she does better with whites than African-Americans,
whites with college degrees, traditional Democrats and people who make a little bit more money. She — her deficits aren’t quite as glaring. And a lot of Democratic strategists think
that she can make up some of those deficits, particularly with African-Americans, if there
is this supposed Biden implosion that were to happen, because she has worn very well
in front of black audience, in particular in front of — with black women. JUDY WOODRUFF: And just finally, very quickly,
less than 30 seconds, are these debates helping us figure all this out? STU ROTHENBERG: Not as much as we said they
would help us six months ago, when supposedly these are — each debate was going to be critical,
do or die for everybody. It hasn’t been — it hasn’t been that way. DOMENICO MONTANARO: It’s still a big audience. A lot of these candidates have to get in front
of it. But a clear top tier has emerged. JUDY WOODRUFF: And Democrats paying very close
attention. Domenico Montanaro, Stu Rothenberg, thank
you both. STU ROTHENBERG: Thanks, Judy. DOMENICO MONTANARO: You’re welcome. JUDY WOODRUFF: There’s a new face on late-night
television, and she is breaking all sorts of ground to get there. “A Little Late With Lilly Singh” will premiere
on NBC, making the 30-year-old the only woman and person of color to get that slot on a
major network. Amna Nawaz sat down with Singh on her Los
Angeles set. It’s the latest in our series Race Matters
Solutions and a part of our ongoing arts and culture series, Canvas. LILLY SINGH, Talk Show Host: The 10 stages
of diet grief. AMNA NAWAZ: She’s one of YouTube’s biggest
success stories ever. LILLY SINGH: What up, girl, Superwoman? AMNA NAWAZ: Lilly Singh, AKA Superwoman, first
dipped a toe into Internet waters 10 years ago with basic video blogs. LILLY SINGH: When it comes to a boyfriend,
we want all the attention we can get, which makes us, OK, a little bit of needy. AMNA NAWAZ: But she quickly dove deeper in,
developing her comedic skill. LILLY SINGH: No, girl, I’m wearing slats. Ain’t nobody got time for heels tonight. Wait, what? AMNA NAWAZ: And over the years, upping her
production game, translating both into four million subscribers and over three billion
video views. She’s now going where no YouTuber has gone
before, network television. Tonight, she will make her debut on NBC as
host of “A Little Late With Lilly Singh,” taking over the late-night time slot for Carson
Daly. Singh made the announcement in march, welcomed
by her fellow NBC late-night hosts Jimmy Fallon and Seth Meyers. LILLY SINGH: Indian Canadian woman also. JIMMY FALLON, Host, “Late Night With Jimmy
Fallon”: Breaking records. LILLY SINGH: So, I’m super honored and humbled. AMNA NAWAZ: She built her fame by standing
out online. And in her new role, Singh will definitely
stand apart. When your show premieres, you are going to
be the only woman on the major networks in late night in a sea of white male hosts. How are you thinking about that? LILLY SINGH: Honestly, it’s exciting and nerve-wracking
at the same time. I mean, it’s a huge honor. I’m so humbled to be part of creating that
path, because let’s be real, I wouldn’t be here without the women that paved the path
before me. But I think that’s — for the same reason,
it’s so important for me to bring that authentic point of view, you know? AMNA NAWAZ: She will also be the only woman
of color on late-night television and the first LGBTQ host of any network late-night
show ever. Singh came out as bisexual to her family last
year, and to her fans just six months ago. LILLY SINGH: It’s been tough, but, at the
end of the day, I always think there’s two ways that you can go. You can go the route that is scared. I’m scared. Or you can go the route of, I’m going to lead
with love. And I think the route of leading with love
is, even though this is scary, I’m going to share this about myself because it will help
people. And all I want to do is encourage more people
in our community, especially our South Asian community, to, even if something is scary,
and you’re not supposed to talk about it, talk about it. Talk about it. Lead with love. AMNA NAWAZ: That lesson was years in the making,
tracing back to 2010, when Singh posted her first video on YouTube, with no clear career
plans, struggling with depression, and living in her parents’ suburban Toronto home. But right away, Singh says, she knew this
was her path. And what was that conversation with your parents
like? What is the line you deliver? LILLY SINGH: OK. It was like, hey, I don’t want to go to grad
school. I would like to make videos on YouTube. AMNA NAWAZ: That sounds reasonable. LILLY SINGH: Yes. They had a lot of questions. (LAUGHTER) LILLY SINGH: But I think, in their mind, they
were like, this is a phase. She’s going to grow out of it, and next year
she’s going to do these essays, get into graduate school. I do not think they were expecting me to make
a career out of this. I don’t think anyone was, to be fair. AMNA NAWAZ: Branding herself as Superwoman,
Singh set herself part on a crowded Internet by leaning into her view of the world. LILLY SINGH: Why you the bloody hell you wake
up so late, huh? Good morning to you too, mom. AMNA NAWAZ: Posting campy impersonations of
her parents, writing and performing hip-hop parodies, and delivering a steady stream of
all observational humor in her signature over-the-top style. As her followers and her fame grew, Singh’s
reach extended far beyond the Internet. In just under 10 years, she ascended into
entertainment’s upper echelon, collaborating with Hollywood royalty like the Rock, pop
culture stars like Selena Gomez, even interviewing then first lady Michelle Obama. WOMAN: No, you hang up. AMNA NAWAZ: The Lilly Singh empire has now
unfurled across media platforms. In 2017, she published a self-help book called
“How to Be a Boss,” or, as she would say it: LILLY SINGH: How to be a boss. AMNA NAWAZ: The book went on to become a New
York Times bestseller. Her world tours sold out in dozens of countries. And her journey so far has even been documented
in a 2016 film, “A Trip to Unicorn Island.” LILLY SINGH: I’m going to take you all on
a trip to Unicorn Island. AMNA NAWAZ: Unicorns, by the way, are sort
of a thing for Singh. LILLY SINGH: I just like unicorns. Honestly, I am obsessed with them, because
I feel like any time I talk about unicorns, people are so fixated on if they’re real or
not, and I feel like that misses the whole point. I feel like, if I want to say I’m a unicorn,
then I’m a unicorn, and you can just believe and be. And, also, it’s because my synonym for a happy
place is Unicorn Island. AMNA NAWAZ: For her next chapter, Singh has
brought along the team from some of her biggest viral hits, hoping they can create the same
success for NBC. LILLY SINGH: Social media people are mine. The editor is mine. AMNA NAWAZ: Equally important, she says, is
the history she’s carrying forward. In 1986, Joan Rivers became the first woman
given a shot at the late-night chair, but she failed to gain traction and was quickly
taken off the air. It took decades before another woman was given
another chance, and since then, no woman has made it past a single season in late-night
on any major network. LILLY SINGH: And so it’s a lot to deal with. But I always just remind myself that it’s
part of chipping away that path. And so regardless of what the outcome is,
if I’m being super candid with you, it’s kind of not going to matter, because it’s going
to help continue pave that path. And that’s what my priority is. AMNA NAWAZ: You’re saying, regardless of how
this goes, the fact that you are here… LILLY SINGH: We want it to go well. There’s no doubt we want it to go well. What I’m saying is like, my actual presence
and everyone else being a part of this is already going to contribute to paving that
path. AMNA NAWAZ: In some ways, Singh is uniquely
qualified to succeed in the new world of late-night, one in which hosts are scrambling to turn
television segments into Internet sensations. LILLY SINGH: When I’m sitting with my writers,
and we’re going through the show format, I think, great, that’s a great show. And I think, by nature, my brain automatically
goes, that’s going to be the YouTube part of it, and this is what the title is going
to be, and that’s going to be great. AMNA NAWAZ: You can just see that? LILLY SINGH: So, it’s kind of just — it’s
already built in. Like, I’m already sitting with my writers
being like, perfect, and we will call it this, and we will frame the question like this,
it will be done. So, I think it’s just a different way of thinking. It’s about thinking about two formats, rather
than just one. Come on. We’re out here making statements, statements
on statements out here. I love it. AMNA NAWAZ: When her show premieres tonight,
Singh says she knows she will be speaking to a largely new television audience, one
she won’t have much time to win over. LILLY SINGH: I want to go out there and be
like, this is my point of view, this is what I’m going through, these are my thoughts and
feelings, this is the person I am, this is the person I want you to get to know, not
just talk show host, but, like, I want you to get to know Lilly. AMNA NAWAZ: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Amna
Nawaz in Los Angeles. JUDY WOODRUFF: And for those of you who like
to get to sleep a little earlier, you can stream the premiere of “A Little Late With
Lilly Singh” tonight at 10:00 p.m. Eastern on YouTube, before it airs on NBC. JUDY WOODRUFF: Artist Angel Otero’s brand
of visual storytelling is a unique one. He pours paint onto glass and then peels it
off in sheets once it dries. Tonight, Otero gives his Brief But Spectacular
take on that process and how his roots help shape his work. It’s also part of our Canvas series. ANGEL OTERO, Artist: My name is Angel Otero. I grew up in the island of Puerto Rico, very
working-class, middle-class family. My father was very pushy with the idea that
I could follow his steps of being an insurance agent. And I did. I was a horrible salesman. I kept dreaming about being an artist, a painter. So I quit the job. On a Saturday morning, I remember telling
him, like, hey, this school called the School of the Art Institute of Chicago saw my artwork. They offered me a scholarship to start studying
painting. At a young age, I came across a book by Jackson
Pollock. What I had learned as a child was that art
has to be something that you recognize, that tells a story, all these things. And looking at images of this work felt very
liberating and felt that they were paintings made with the idea of just the movement of
painting and, you know, the physical part of it. Then, when making art in Chicago, I didn’t
know how to find my own voice. I had around my studio a big pile or a big
mountain of dry oil paint that I didn’t want to throw away. I decided that I wanted to collage it on the
canvas. Most of the professors were kind of laughing
at the ideas or think that I was coming up with saying that my paintings are about the
warmth of Puerto Rico, about the Caribbean colors. That was when I started going back to those
memories of growing up with my grandmother. And from there, I departed with the idea of
composing all this imagery, collaging dry oil paint. I started having quite a good response to
it. I started painting small pieces of glasses
with different colors, scraping the paint off that glass, using those new skins to make
new works. Some of those old stains of old colors that
were in the glass were reflecting themselves on the new skins almost like print. I said, whoa, wait a minute, I can make a
painting on a glass, and it can be figurative or abstract, and, eventually, I can paint
another thing on top of it. The blurriness of how things change as our
life changes over time is very interesting to me. My grandmother passed away four years ago. I know she would still not understand at all
nothing of what I do, but it would have been very amazing to see her face or her thoughts
about many of the works. My name is Angel Otero, and this is my Brief
But Spectacular take on my body of work. JUDY WOODRUFF: Very sweet. And you can find additional Brief But Spectacular
episodes on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief. And that is the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank
you, and we’ll see you soon.

Maurice Vega

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