PBS NewsHour Weekend live show August 25, 2019

PBS NewsHour Weekend live show August 25, 2019


Captioning sponsored by WNET>>Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION FOR SUNDAY, AUGUST 25: WORLD LEADERS GATHER IN FRANCE FOR THE G7 SUMMIT. A LOOK INTO FINDINGS FROM THE D.E.A. OPIOID DATABASE. AND AN AUTHOR’S EXPLORATION OF CONFLICT– THROUGH FOOD. NEXT ON “PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.”>>PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND IS MADE POSSIBLE BY: BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ. SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III. THE CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY. THE J.P.B. FOUNDATION. ROSALIND P. WALTER, IN MEMORY OF GEORGE O’NEIL. BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG. CORPORATE FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA– DESIGNING CUSTOMIZED INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP RETIREMENT PRODUCTS. THAT’S WHY WE’RE YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY: AND BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. A PRIVATE CORPORATION FUNDED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR PBS STATION FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THANK YOU. FROM THE TISCH WNET STUDIOS AT LINCOLN CENTER IN NEW YORK, HARI SREENIVASAN.>>Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. AT THE G-7 SUMMIT IN BIARRITZ, FRANCE TODAY, PRESIDENT TRUMP MADE A WHIRLWIND OF COMMENTS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS ON EVERYTHING FROM THE TRADE WAR WITH CHINA TO BREXIT TO A NEW TRADE AGREEMENT WITH JAPAN TO NORTH KOREA’S LATEST MISSILE LAUNCH. AT A BREAKFAST MEETING WITH THE BRITISH PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON AND AIDES, THE PRESIDENT APPEARED TO WAVER ABOUT HIS RECENT DECISION TO INCREASE TARIFFS AGAINST CHINA AGAIN.>>MR. PRESIDENT, ANY SECOND THOUGHTS ON ESCALATING THE TRADE WAR WITH CHINA?>>YEAH, SURE. WHY NOT?>>SECOND THOUGHTS? YES?>>MIGHT AS WELL. MIGHT AS WELL.>>YOU HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT ESCALATING THE WAR WITH CHINA?>>I HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS ABOUT EVERYTHING.>>Sreenivasan: HOURS LATER THE WHITE HOUSE ISSUED A STATEMENT SAYING THE PRESIDENT¡S WORDS WERE “MISINTERPRETED.” NEWSHOUR WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT YAMICHE ALCINDOR IS COVERING THE G-7 MEETING AND SHE JOINS US NOW FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE.>>HE JOINS US NOW FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE. WHAT’S THE MISINTERPRETATION? HE SAID HE HAD SECONDfá THOUGHT.>>THE WHITE HOUSE HAS BEEN TRYING ITS HARDEST TO WALK BACK THE PRESIDENT SAYING THAT HE’SxD HAD SECOND THOUGHTS WHEN IT CAME TO THE ESCALATING TRADE WAR CHINA, BUT REPORTERS ASKED THE PRESIDENT THREE TIMES ARE YOU U)jáQ(J SAID VERY CLEARLY, I%90QHOUGHTS. NOW, SOON AFTER THE WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY SENT OUT A STATEMENT SAYING THE PRESIDENT IS HAVING SECOND THOUGHTS BECAUSE HE WANTS TO ESCALATE THE TRADE WAR WITH CHINAw3 EVEN MORE INSTEAD OF DIALING IT BACK, HE WANTS TO DIAL ITt( UP. ALSO TREASURY SECRETARY — HE SAID THAT THE ROOM WAS VERYlp LOUD, THAT THE PRESIDENT MIGHT NOT HAVE HEARD THE QUESTION RIGHT, BUT IT GOES BACK TO THEÑi IDEA THE PRESIDENT REPEATED THE QUESTION, I HAVE SECOND THOUGHTS ONq SO IT’S VERY RARE FOR THE PRESIDENT TO EXPRESS ANY SORT OD SELF-DOUBT,fá VERY RARE FOR THE PRESIDENT TO/5/ HAS SECOND THOUGHTS ON SOMETHING, BUT IN THIS CASE, HE MIGHT HAVE BEEN WHERE HE WANTS TO HAVE SOMEc SELF-REFLECTION, BUT THE WHITE HOUSE IS QUICKLY PIVOTING AWAYxm>>ALL RIGHT. SORT OF ONE-ON-ONE CONVERSATIONS WITH THESE LEADERS, PRIMEt( MINISTER ABE OF JAPAN AND THE PRESIDENT e CONVERSATION?>>THE U.S. AND JAPAN ANNOUNCED A PRETTY SIGNIFICANT POTENTIAL TRADE DEAL HERE INxD THE SOUTHõK THE TWO LEADERS SAID JAPAN IS GOING TO BE POTENTIALLY BUYçó BILLIONS OF DOLLARS OF CORN FROM THE U.S. AND THAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT BECAUSE THE ESCALATING TRADE WARr THAT A LOT OF U.S. FARMERS HAVEN’T HAD A MARKET TO SELL THEIR CORN. I TALKED TO A U.S. OFFICIAL WHO TALKED ABOUT THIS TRADE DEAL IS A BIG WIN FOR FARMERS AND RANCHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. A LOT OF THOSE PEOPLE ARE THE BASE OF PRESIDENT TRUMP, HE SAID HE WANTS TOxD DO SOMETHINGúP HE’S HAVING A WIN FOR THEM. THAT SAID, THE PRIME MINISTER Oi JAPANxDx#U(áHP LOT LESS CONFIDET THAN PRESIDENT TRUMP. PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS TALKING AS IF THE DEALKo?H ABE,xD THE PRIME MINISTER OF JAN SAIDok IT’S A POTENTIAL DEAL. THEY WANT TO TRY TO SET A GOAL OF SIGNING IT AT THE NEXT MONTH OF THE U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK, BUT THE DEAL IS NOT ALL THE WAY SET.>>LET’S TALK ABOUT ONE OF THE PARTIES MISSING FROM THE TABLE, RUSSIA. THE PRESIDENTçó WANTS RUSSIA THERE. THE ALLIES DO NOT.>>THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN PUSHING TOw3 HAVE RUSSIA ADDED BACK TO THE G7 WHICH USED TO BE THE G8, BUT THE PRESIDENT HAS BEEN LYING ABOUT RUSSIA WASñr KICKED OUT OF WHAT USED TO BE THE G8 ! PRESIDENT TRUMP IS SAYING THExD GREEN WHYfájgN RUSSIA WAS KICKET WAS BECAUSE HIS PREDECESSOR PREPy BY VLADIMIR PUTIN. RUSSIA WAS KICKED OUT BECAUSE THEY ANNEXEDt( CRIMEA AND WORLD G8. THE PRESIDENT TODAY SAIDt( ADDIG RUSSIA BACK INTO THEe1 G7 IS A WORK IN PROGRESS AND HE WAS PRETTY CLEAR THAT THERE ARE A LOT DOr IT’S STILLqJáA WILL HAPPEN WITHr>>THIS WAS THE — E MEETING BETWEEN BORIS JOHNSON THE NEW PRIME MINISTER OF THEñrfá U.K. AND PRESIDENT TP 20 PRETTY WARMLY. THE PRESIDENT PRAISED BORISlp JOHNS COMES TO THE U.K.çó ANDÑi BREXI, BUT JOHNSONZv■ SAID THAT HE REAY LIKED THE IDEA OF FREE TRADE AND HEt( SaI) THE U.K. HASw3 BENEFID FROM 200 YEARS OF FREE TRADE WHILEÑi THE PRESIDENT HAS PUSHED BACK ON THAT. BORIS JOHNSON ALSO SAID THAT HE IS NOT A FAN OFlp TARIFFS SO IN SOME WAYS WHILE BORIS JOHNSON WAS SMILING AND IT SEEMED AS THOUGH IT WAS A VERY WARM MEETING, THERE WAS SOME PUSHBACK GOING ON THERE AND WE’VE SEEN WORLD LEADERS THROUGHOUT THISÑi7 PUSH BACK ON THE PRESIDENT WHILE KEEPING THINGS POSITIVE.>>WE ALSO HAD A SURPRISExD GUET OF SORTS NOT AT THE TABLE BUT IN THE TOWN. IRAN’S FOREIGN MINISTER :PAR# SHOWEDxDr G7. IT COMPLETELY BLIND SIDED PRESIDENT TRUMP AND U.S. OFFICIALS HERE.4B] TOLD THAT THS STILL WEIGHING WHETHER OR NOT HE MIGHT MEET WITH THE FOREIGN MINISTER ZARIF, BUT WHAT WE DO KNOW IS THATÑi THE PRESIDENT IS FEELQg BLIND-SIDED, AND HE FEELS AS THOUGH THIS IS — NOT DOING THEIR DUE DILIGENCE ABOUT TELLING THEM WHAT’S GOING TO BE HAPPENING HERE. THE PRESIDENT IS GOING TO BE ADVI. POMPEO. IT’S 100% GOING TO BE PRESIDENT TRUMP’S DECISION IF HE MEETS WITH ZARIF. RIGHT NOW, ZARIF IS EXPECTED TO ONLY MEET WITH FRENCH OFFICIALS HERE. PRESIDENT MACARONok SAID HE WAS GOING TO TRY TO — THAT MIGHT BE WHY ZARIFq VISIT.>>ALL RIGHT, HOW IS THIS G7 COMPARED TO PREVIOUS ONES?>>THE BIG LOOMING QUESTION OF THIS G7 WASxD REALLY IS PRESIDET TRUMP GOING TO BE UNPREDICTABLE? IS HE GOING TO GET INTO CONFRONTATIONS? WHAT WE SAW WAS A LESS CONFRONTATIONAL G7. THE PRESIDENT’S TOP ECONOMIC ADVISOR SAID THAT THERE ARE QUOTE GOOD VIBES HERE. ALSO, WE’VE SEEN THE PRESIDENTxD HAVE WARM MEETINGS WITH WORLD LEADERS HERE. THAT SAID IN MEETING AFTER MEETING WE’VE SEEN LEADERS GENTLY PUSH BACK ON THE PRESIDENTz( WITH ABE THE PRIME MINISTÑ$8 OF JAPAN, AS I SAID, THERE WAS THE ISSUE OF THE TRADE DEAL. ALSO, THE PRESIDENT SAID THAT HE DIDN’T THINK NORTHe1 KOREA WAS VIOLATING ANY SORT OF AGREEM WHEN IT WAS TESTING ITSñrçó MIS, WHEREAS ABE SAID HE SEESq COMPLETE VIOLATION BY NORTH KOREA BECAUSE OF THOSE MISSILE TESTS SO WE SEE SOMEt( PUSHBACK THERE.xD BORIS JOHNSON AGAIN WAS REALLY TALKING ABOUT FREE TRADEXA EMBRACING IT WHILE PRESIDENT TRUMP WAS NOT.4′ THAT’S BECAUS PRESIDENT DOESN’T WANT TO HAVE A COMMUNIQUE THAT THE U.S.q WANT TO SIGN SO THEY’VE DONE AWAY WITH IT COMPLETELY. OVERALL, IT’S BEEN A PRETTY CALp G7, BUT THERE HAVE BEEN FUNDAMENTAL CHANGES BECAUSE OF PRESPRESIDENT TRUMP’S UNPREDICTD BEHAVIOR.>>ALLfá RIGHT, JOININGr FROM THE SOUTH OF FRANCE. THANKS SO MUCH.>>THANKS, HARI.>>Sreenivasan: VIOLENT POLITICAL UNREST CONTINUED IN HONG KONG FOR THE SECOND DAY IN A ROW TODAY. FOR THE FIRST TIME IN THE 12 WEEKS OF DEMONSTRATIONS THERE WERE REPORTS OF POLICE OFFICERS DRAWING THEIR GUNS AND FIRING AT LEAST ONE WARNING SHOT ABOVE A CROWD OF PROTESTERS. POLICE ALSO USED WATER CANNONS ON PRO-DEMOCRACY DEMONSTRATORS WHO ATTACKED OFFICERS USING STICKS AND RODS. BRAZIL’S MILITARY IS NOW PART OF THE BATTLE TO CONTAIN MASSIVE FIRES IN THE AMAZON RAINFOREST. OFFICIALS REPORTED NEARLY 77,000 WILDFIRES ACROSS THE COUNTRY SO FAR THIS YEAR, THAT’S UP 85% OVER THE SAME PERIOD LAST YEAR. FARMERS SET MANY OF THE FIRES TO CLEAR LAND FOR PLANTING DURING THE DRY SEASON FROM JULY TO SEPTEMBER. MINING AND COMMERCIAL COMPANIES ALSO ILLEGALLY CLEAR-CUT AND BURN AREAS FOR DEVELOPMENT. BRAZIL’S PRESIDENT JAIR BOLSONARO IS FACING INTERNATIONAL CRITICISM FOR DELAYING A RESPONSE TO THE GROWING NUMBER OF FIRES AND FOR ENCOURAGING MORE DEVELOPMENT OF THE RAINFOREST REGIONS. THE FIRES HAVE ALSO SPREAD INTO NEIGHBORING BOLIVIA, BURNING CLOSE TO TWO MILLION ACRES AND FORCING EVACUATIONS. FORMER ILLINOIS CONGRESSMAN JOE WALSH IS NOW THE SECOND REPUBLICAN TO CHALLENGE PRESIDENT TRUMP FOR THE PARTY’S 2020 WHITE HOUSE NOMINATION. TODAY ON ABC’S ¡THIS WEEK’, WALSH SAID HE IS RUNNING BECAUSE MR. TRUMP IS “UNFIT” AND THAT“ SOMEBODY NEEDS TO STEP UP.” HE ALSO CALLED THE PRESIDENT A BULLY AND A COWARD. WALSH WAS ELECTED TO CONGRESS IN 2010 AS PART OF THE TEA PARTY MOVEMENT. HE LOST A BID FOR A SECOND TERM TO DEMOCRAT TAMMY DUCKWORTH IN 2012. AFTER LEAVING CONGRESS, WALSH BECAME A CHICAGO-AREA RADIO TALK SHOW HOST. FORMER MASSACHUSETTS GOVERNOR BILL WELD IS ALSO RUNNING FOR THE REPUBLICAN NOMINATION. FOR THE LATEST DEVELOPMENTS FROM THE G-7 SUMMIT, VISIT pbs.org/newshour.>>Sreenivasan: THE MANUFACTURERS AND DISTRIBUTORS OF OPIOID PRESCRIPTION PAINKILLERS SUPPLIED BILLIONS OF PILLS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY, AND IT LED TO ADDICTION, ABUSE AND DEATH. YOU CAN SEE HOW AND WHERE THE EPIDEMIC GREW IN A NEW “WASHINGTON POST” REPORT, PART OF THE INVESTIGATIVE SERIES “THE OPIOID FILES.” USING A NEWLY-PUBLIC DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION DATABASE THAT TRACKS EVERY PAIN PILL SOLD TO PHARMACIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY, REPORTERS ANALYZED MILLIONS OF TRANSACTIONS AND SHIPMENTS OF OXYCODONE AND HYDROCODONE PILLS FROM 2006- 2012. I RECENTLY SPOKE WITH STEVEN RICH, DATA EDITOR FOR “THE WASHINGTON POST,” ABOUT HOW THE NEWSPAPER’S TEAM GOT THE DATABASE AND WHAT THEY FOUND. CASE IN OHIO IN WHICH THIS DATA BECAME AN EXHIBIT IN ORDER TO TRY TO FORCE ITS RELEASE. WE DID SO WITH THE CHARLESTON GAZETTE MAIL IN WEST VIRGINIA AND OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST YEAR, WE MANAGED TO FIGHT AN APPEAL AND MAKE IT PUBLIC. AND WHAT WE LEARNED WAS THAT THERE ARE WAY MORE PILLS FLOWING INTO THE PHARMACIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY THAN WE HAD EXPECTED. THERE WERE 76 BILLION PILLS OVER THE SEVEN-YEAR TIME FRAME ALL OVER THE COUNTRY, BUT THE PILLS THEMSELVES WEREN’T EQUALLY DISTRIBUTED. THERE WERE FAR MORE PILLS PER PERSON IN PLACES LIKE APPALACHIA, IN WEST VIRGINIA, IN KENTUCKY.>>AND YOU CAN GO ON THE SITE AND BASICALLY PLUG IT IN BY COUNTY ON A COUNTY BY COUNTY LEVEL AND SEE, AND ONE OF THE BREAKDOWNS THAT YOU HAVE WAS REALLY FASCINATING IS YOU’VE KIND OF DIVIDED IT BY THE POPULATION THERE, YOU SAY HOW MANY PILLS PER PERSON ACTUALLY SHOWED UP AND THE NUMBERS ON SOME OF THESE COUNTIES ARE STAGGERING.>>YES, SO ACROSS THE COUNTRY, THE NATIONAL AVERAGE WAS 36 PILLS PER PERSON PER YEAR. BUT SOME OF THESE COUNTIES, ESPECIALLY IN SOUTHWEST VIRGINIA HAVE UPWARDS OF 200 PILLS PER PERSON PER YEAR. AND THIS IS NOT JUST FOR PEOPLE WHO WERE PRESCRIBED THE PILLS. THIS IS 200 FOR EVERY MAN, WOMEN AND CHILD LIVING IN THAT COUNTY.>>AND, YOU KNOW, IN THIS, YOU’RE ALSO UNCOVERING E-MAILS AND PART OF THE REPORTING AND PART OF THE OPIOID FILE STORY AND WHAT IS THE CULTURE THAT’S HAPPENING AT THE COMPANIES THAT ARE DISTRIBUTING THIS DOWN TO THE PHARMACY LEVEL? INSTEAD OF SAYING HEY, WAIT THAT SEEMS LIKE A REALLY LARGE NUMBER, WHAT WERE THE CONVERSATIONS?>>SO I THINK ONE E-MAIL SORT OF SUMS IT UP PRETTY WELL FOR ME, WHICH IS ONE SALES MANAGER E-MAILED AND JUST SAID SELL, SELL, SELL. THE CULTURE WAS, YOU KNOW, THE PEOPLE WHO SOLD THE MOST OF THESE DRUGS INTO THESE PHARMACIES WERE THE ONES WHO WERE GETTING THE BIGGEST BONUSES AND THERE WAS A LOTñr OF, YOU KNOW, IN MANY OF THESE E-MAILS, THERE WAS A CALLOUS NATURE AROUND THE ADDICTION ASPECT OF THIS. AND SO REALLY WHAT WE’RE STARTING TO SEE FOR THE FIRST TIME IS HOW THESE COMPANIES HANDLED THESE UNUSUAL SHIPMENTS TO THESE PHARMACIES. FOR EXAMPLE, IN ONE CASE WE FOUND A PHARMA EXECUTIVE WHO GOT A SUSPICIOUS ORDER E-MAILED TO HIM AND ONE MINUTE LATER HE APPROVED IT. AND SO THEY ARE REQUIRED TO REPORT THESE SUSPICIOUS ORDERS TO THE D.E.A. AND SO THAT’S WHY THEY HAD THE SYSTEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, BUT IF SOMEBODY IS APPROVING THINGS THAT QUICKLY IT’S HARD TO TELL WHETHER THEY’RE ACTUALLY TRYING TO FIGURE OUT IF THE ORDER IS SUSPICIOUS OR THEY’RE JUST APPROVING EVERYTHING.>>DEPENDING ON THE CASE, SOME OF THE COMPANIES SAY LISTEN IT WASN’T OUR FAULT, WE’RE NOT RESPONSIBLE, EVEN GIVEN ALL THESE E-MAILS THAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT, BUT WHAT IS THE CONSEQUENCE? WHAT IS THE REPERCUSSION? WHAT CAN CONGRESS DO?>>IT’S HARD TO SAY. I MEAN, WE ARE SORT OF PAST THE HEART OF THE PRESCRIPTION PILL CRISIS AND INTO THE FENTANYL CRISIS. SO TRYING TO STOP THIS WAVE OF OPIOIDS IS SORT OF WHERE THEY NEED TO BE. RIGHT NOW, THE CURRENT SOLUTION TO THAT IS USING THESE OVERDOSE REVERSING DRUGS LIKE NARCAN AND THAT IS SORT OF STEMMING THE PROBLEM A LITTLE BIT IN PLACES LIKE OHIO, BUT IT’S SORT OF A BAND-AID OF A SOLUTION. AND SO THERE REALLY NEEDS TO BE AN EMPHASIS ON STOPPING FENTANYL FROM GETTING INTO THE COUNTRY AND ALSO IN TREATMENT FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE ADDICTED TO IT.>>YOU KNOW, EVEN THOUGH WE’VE SEEN SOME SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT IN THE NUMBERS WE’RE STILL TALKING 60,000 PLUS PEOPLE DYING EVERY YEAR AS PART OF THIS CRISIS. SO WHEN — I WONDER YOUR NUMBERS 20 TO 2012. DID YOU THINK THAT THE PROBLEM IS WORSE OR DID IT GET WORSE IN THOSE LAST THREE OR FOUR YEARS AND WE DON’T HAVE THE DATA FOR IT YET?>>SO WE THINK THAT IT PROBABLY GOT A LITTLE WORSE IN 2013 AND 2013 AND AROUND THAT TIME IS WHEN THE D.E.A. REALLY STARTED TO CRACK ON PRESCRIPTION PILLS AND SO WE THINK THAT IT PROBABLY STARTED TO GET A LITTLE BETTER IN 2015 AND 2016. BUT AROUND THAT SAME TIME, PEOPLE WHO WERE ADDICTED TO THESE AND UNABLE TO GET THE PILLS ANYMORE STARTED TO SWITCH TO HEROIN AND AS A RESULT OF THAT THEY ENDED UP GETTING HOOKED AND MANY OF THEM SWITCHED OVER TO FENTANYL AND THAT’S HOW WE’VE ENDED UP WHERE WE ARE TODAY.>>AND FINALLY, WHAT IS THE KIND OF REVOLVING DOOR IN GOVERNMENT ABOUT THIS? I MEAN, ESPECIALLY CONSIDERING THAT THIS IS A D.E.A. DATABASE THAT YOU FOUND ALL OF THIS THREW. WHAT’S HAPPENING TO SOME OF THOSE EMPLOYEES NOW?>>WE KNOW THAT A LOT OF THE D.E.A. EMPLOYEES WHO WORK SPECIFICALLY IN THE DIVISION TO PREVENT DIVERSION OF THESE DRUGS TO THE BLACK MARKET ARE NOW WORKING AT MANY OF THESE DRUG COMPANIES IN THEIR DIVERSION DEPARTMENTS AND SO THEY’RE LITERALLY SITTING ACROSS THE TABLE FROM WHERE THEY USED TO SIT WHERE THEY WERE TRYING TO STOP IT, NOW THEY’RE TRYING TO CONVINCE THE D.E.A. THAT THESE COMPANIES ARE DOING WELL WITH STOPPING IT AND SO WE’VE SEEN DOZENS OF EMPLOYEES IN RECENT YEARS MAKE THE JUMP DIRECTLY FROM THE D.E.A. TO THESE DRUG COMPANIES FOR MUCH MORE LUCRATIVE JOBS.>>STEVEN RICH, DATA EDITOR OF THE WASHINGTON POST, THANKS SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU FOR HAVING ME.>>Sreenivasan: NEWS IN AND AROUND THE MIDDLE EAST THESE DAYS IS USUALLY ABOUT CONFLICT. BUT FOOD WRITER YASMIN KHAN SET OUT TO EXPLORE THE REGION. THROUGH FOOD. SHE COLLECTED RECIPES AND TELLS THE STORIES OF PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK AND GAZA IN HER COOKBOOK “ZAITOUN: RECIPES FROM THE PALESTINIAN KITCHEN.” I SPOKE WITH HER PREVIOUSLY ABOUT HER BOOK AND WHY SHE FEELS FOOD CAN HELP FOSTER CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING.>>I’VE WORKED IN HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ABOUT 15 YEARS. I TRAINED IN LAW AND IN MY PAST CAREER. THAT WAS MY VOCATION, AND MY BRIEF FOR SEVERAL YEARS WAS ISRAEL-PALESTINE AND IT REALLY GOT ME INTERESTED IN THE REGION. AND YOU KNOW I’M REALLY INTERESTED IN SHARING PEOPLE’S STORIES. THAT’S THE COMMON THREAD THAT I HAD IN HUMAN RIGHTS CAMPAIGNING AND NOW IN MY COOKBOOKS, AND FOOD CAN BE SUCH A USEFUL VEHICLE FOR EXPLORING PLACES OF CONFLICT BECAUSE AS A NEUTRAL SUBJECT THAT EVERYONE ENJOYS FOOD CAN OFFER A VEHICLE THAT WE CAN BETTER UNDERSTAND EACH OTHER.>>Sreenivasan: RIGHT THE OLD IDEA OF BREAKING BREAD WITH YOUR NEIGHBOR OR YOUR ENEMY, RIGHT? DO YOU FIND THAT EVEN FOOD IS CHARGED IN THAT REGION?>>I MEAN, EVERYTHING IS CHARGED IN THAT REGION. AND, AND CERTAINLY, YOU KNOW, FOR MANY PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES YOU KNOW THE FOOD THAT THEY EAT AND HOW THEY EXPERIENCE FOOD CAN’T BE SEPARATED FROM THE POLITICAL SITUATION, YOU KNOW FROM THE WALL BEING BUILT BY THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT IN THE WEST BANK THAT CUTS OFF WATER SUPPLIES AND CUTS THROUGH PALESTINIAN AGRICULTURAL LAND TO THEIR BLOCKADE OF GAZA THAT’S LEFT OVER 80% OF GAZANS DEPENDENT ON U.N. FOOD AID TO SURVIVE. YOU KNOW, FOOD AND THE OCCUPATION ARE INCREDIBLY LINKED FOR THE PALESTINIAN COMMUNITY.>>Sreenivasan: AND EVEN THE WORD OLIVE, OR “ZAITOUN,” IT MEANS “OLIVE,” RIGHT? AND YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THE OLIVE TREES THAT ARE IN THE REGION.>>THAT’S RIGHT. ABOUT 80% OF THE WEST BANK IS AGRICULTURAL LAND. AND THE PREDOMINANT THING THAT IS GROWN ARE OLIVES AND I CHOSE “ZAITOUN” AS THE TITLE FOR THE BOOK BECAUSE OLIVES REALLY REPRESENT BOTH THE ESSENCE OF PALESTINIAN COOKERY. YOU ALWAYS HAVE A BOWL OF OLIVES AND THEN YOU ALWAYS FINISH MEAL WITH DELICIOUS EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL, BUT OLIVE TREES HAVE ALSO COME TO REPRESENT THE PALESTINIANS AND THEIR CONNECTION TO THE LAND AND THEIR STEADFASTNESS. AND WHEN THEY’RE UPROOTED AS THE U.N. REPORTED LAST YEAR THEY ROUTINELY ARE BY ISRAELI, ILLEGAL ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK. THEY’VE COME TO REPRESENT PALESTINIAN DISPLACEMENT. SO OLIVES REPRESENTED EVERYTHING THAT THIS PROJECT WAS ABOUT.>>Sreenivasan: I MEAN, HOW DO YOU WRITE– TECHNICALLY THIS IS PALESTINIAN FOOD, THIS IS A STATELESS AREA, RIGHT? I MEAN, YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT A PEOPLE THAT DON’T HAVE A COUNTRY. BUT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT THAT FOOD AND THAT IS DISTINCT IN SOME WAYS FROM ISRAELI FOOD. I MEAN, TO AMERICANS IT’S ALL MIDDLE EASTERN FOOD, WHICH IS OUR PROBLEM.>>YEAH, I MEAN, IT’S SUCH A FUNNY– I’D LOVE US TO GET TO THE STATE WHERE IN THE U.S. WE CAN BREAK DOWN THE DIFFERENT MIDDLE EASTERN CULINARY TRADITIONS, YOU KNOW. YOU KNOW, WHEN WE SAY EUROPEAN FOOD WE KNOW THAT GERMAN FOOD IS DIFFERENT TO FRENCH FOOD WHICH IS DIFFERENT TO ITALIAN FOOD. AND IT’S THE SAME IN THE MIDDLE EAST. YOU KNOW, I MEAN UNDOUBTEDLY BECAUSE THERE HAVE BEEN JEWISH AND CHRISTIAN AND MUSLIM COMMUNITIES LIVING TOGETHER FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS IN THAT REGION. THERE ARE MANY SIMILARITIES, BUT PALESTINIAN FOOD HAS ITS OWN UNIQUE FLAVOR, ITS OWN UNIQUE RECIPES BECAUSE YOU KNOW PALESTINIAN IDENTITY HAS, IS A RICH CULINARY AND CULTURAL TRADITION.>>Sreenivasan: SO IS THERE, IS THERE SOMETHING THAT’S QUINTESSENTIALLY PALESTINIAN THAT WE JUST FOR, TAKE FOR GRANTED AS MIDDLE EASTERN IN GENERAL? WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT IS, YOU KNOW, WHAT’S A RECIPE THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE, THAT SAY NOW IF YOU’RE EATING THIS, THIS IS ACTUALLY SOMETHING THE PALESTINIANS HAVE EATEN FOR WHATEVER, THOUSANDS OF YEARS?>>I THINK IT’S MUSAKHAN, WHICH IS ONE OF MY FAVORITE RECIPES IN THE BOOK, AND IT’S PIECES OF CHICKEN THAT YOU MARINATE IN SUMAC WHICH IS THIS ASTRINGENT SPICE, AND RED ONIONS, AND YOU ROAST IT AND THEN YOU GET SOME BREAD AND PUT THE CHICKEN ON TOP AND POUR THE CHICKEN JUICES ON TOP SO IT SOAKS INTO THE BREAD, AND IT’S A BIG SHARING DISH THAT YOU’D KIND OF TEAR APART WITH YOUR HANDS AND THAT IS A DISH THAT YOU’LL FIND IN ALL PALESTINIAN COMMUNITIES. AND FOR ME REALLY CAPTURES THE ESSENCE OF SHARING THAT IS SO INTEGRAL TO PALESTINIAN FOOD.>>Sreenivasan: WAS IT LOGISTICALLY DIFFICULT FOR YOU TO GET AROUND WHEN YOU DID THE RESEARCH TO TALK TO ALL THESE PEOPLE?>>IT WAS VERY HARD. I MEAN AS, AS A JOURNALIST, YOU KNOW, AND A WRITER I WAS DETAINED AT TEL AVIV AIRPORT WHEN I WAS ENTERING THE COUNTRY ON BOTH OCCASIONS. AND ALSO JUST, YOU KNOW.>>Sreenivasan: DID THEY BELIEVE YOU THAT YOU’RE WORKING ON A COOKBOOK?>>WELL, YOU KNOW, THEY– AFTER SIX HOURS OF DETENTION THEY, THEY CERTAINLY DID, AND MY, MY INTERVIEWER WENT ON OVER AND OVER EVERY ASPECT OF MY LIFE MY HISTORY MY WORK MY FAMILY AND AT THE END OF IT I WAS LIKE, LOOK, IF YOU KNOW EVERYTHING ABOUT ME YOU KNOW I’M JUST WRITING A COOKBOOK. YOU KNOW, WHY DON’T YOU JUST LET ME IN OR SEND ME BACK? I’M NOT THAT INTERESTED. AND MY INTERVIEWER WHO HADN’T INTRODUCED HIMSELF IN THE WHOLE TIME WE WERE TALKING JUST LOOKED AT ME WITH THIS DEAD FACE AND WAS JUST LIKE, BUT DO YOU KNOW ANYONE IN HAMAS? AND I WAS LIKE, OH, YOU KNOW THE, THE LEVELS OF, OF I THINK INTIMIDATION THAT MANY, MANY PEOPLE OF MUSLIM HERITAGE HAVE WHEN THEY’RE ENTERING ISRAEL IS ALONG THOSE LINES OF JUST EVERY BIT OF THEIR LIVES QUESTIONED.>>Sreenivasan: WHAT ABOUT THE RESPONSE FROM THE SOURCES WHEN YOU’RE ACTUALLY HAVING THIS CONVERSATION WITH THEM, DO THEY, HOW DO THEY PERCEIVE YOUR ATTEMPT TO CHRONICLE THIS?>>WELL AS AN OUTSIDER AND I THINK THAT THERE IS A VERY IMPORTANT ROLE THAT TRAVEL WRITERS HAVE ALWAYS PLAYED, AND JOURNALISTS, IN BEARING WITNESS TO SITUATIONS AND JUST AS IN MY FIRST BOOK, “THE SAFFRON TALES.” I’VE HAD A VERY SIMILAR REACTION IN THE RESPONSE FOR “ZAITOUN” BECAUSE PEOPLE IN THE MIDDLE EAST ARE SO FRUSTRATED AT ONLY BEING DEPICTED AS EITHER TERRORISTS OR VICTIMS YOU KNOW THE IDEA THAT THIS WAS A BOOK THAT WAS ABOUT CELEBRATING PALESTINIAN CULTURE ABOUT SHARING SOME OF THE JOY AND BEAUTY THAT EXISTS WITHIN THIS FRAUGHT SITUATION WAS SOMETHING THAT YEAH, I MEAN, IT MEANT THAT WE WERE CONSTANTLY GETTING INVITED INTO PEOPLE’S HOUSES FOR DINNER YOU KNOW I GOT INVITED TO A WEDDING YOU KNOW HAVING JUST NEVER MET THE PERSON BEFORE.>>Sreenivasan: HEY THERE’S A FEAST YOU SHOULD CHECK THIS OUT.>>EXACTLY. BUT ALSO, YOU KNOW, PALESTINIANS ARE INCREDIBLY HOSPITABLE AND GENEROUS PEOPLE AND THAT ISN’T SOMETHING YOU GET TO HEAR ABOUT VERY OFTEN AND THAT’S WHAT I WAS, YOU KNOW, IT’S REALLY DRIVEN ME TO WRITE THIS BOOK. I MEAN THERE WAS THIS OLD JEWISH PROVERB THAT I LEARNT DURING THE RESEARCH FOR THE BOOK THAT IS “MY ENEMY IS JUST A PERSON WHOSE STORY I HAVEN’T HEARD YET.” AND THAT FOR ME REALLY IS SUCH A MOVING PHRASE AND REALLY ENCAPSULATES EVERYTHING THAT I’M TRYING TO DO IN MY WORK JUST SHARE STORIES AND TRY TO BREAK DOWN THIS, THIS DEHUMANIZATION THAT TOO OFTEN HAPPENS WHEN WE’RE REPORTING ON THE MIDDLE EAST, AND BUILD CONNECTION BECAUSE I REALLY BELIEVE AT THE END OF THE DAY, HUMANS, NO MATTER WHERE WE ARE IN THE WORLD, HAVE GOT MORE TO UNITE US THAN DIVIDE US.>>Sreenivasan: ALL RIGHT. THE BOOK IS CALLED “ZAITOUN.” YASMIN KHAN, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US.>>THANK YOU.>>Sreenivasan: FINALLY TONIGHT, WHILE LEADERS OF THE G-7 NATIONS MET IN THE SOUTH OF FRANCE TODAY, IN PARIS PEOPLE LINED THE STREETS TO CELEBRATE THE 75th ANNIVERSARY OF THE CITY’S LIBERATION FROM THE NAZIS. CHEERING CROWDS WAVED FRENCH FLAGS DURING A PARADE FEATURING VINTAGE CARS AND MILITARY VEHICLES AND PEOPLE DRESSED IN 1940’s COSTUMES. TWO MILLION PEOPLE FILLED THE STREETS OF PARIS ON AUGUST 25, 1944 TO CELEBRATE. THAT’S ALL FOR THIS EDITION OF“ PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.” I’M HARI SREENIVASAN. THANKS FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT. Captioning sponsored by WNET Captioned by Media Access Group at WGBH access.wgbh.org>>PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND IS MADE POSSIBLE BY: BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ. SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III. THE CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN FAMILY. THE J.P.B. FOUNDATION. ROSALIND P. WALTER, IN MEMORY OF GEORGE O’NEIL. BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG. CORPORATE FUNDING IS PROVIDED BY MUTUAL OF AMERICA– DESIGNING CUSTOMIZED INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP RETIREMENT PRODUCTS. THAT’S WHY WE’RE YOUR RETIREMENT COMPANY. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT HAS BEEN PROVIDED BY: AND BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING. A PRIVATE CORPORATION FUNDED BY THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. AND BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOUR PBS STATION FROM VIEWERS LIKE YOU. THANK YOU. BE MORE. PBS.

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