November 18, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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November 18, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
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11/18/2021 | 57m 46s | Video has closed captioning.
November 18, 2021 - PBS NewsHour full episode
Problems Playing Video? | Closed Captioning
JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening.
I'm Judy Woodruff.
On the "NewsHour" tonight: the Biden agenda.
The House of Representatives is on the verge of passing the president's priority Build Back Better bill.
Then: America addicted.
Drug overdose deaths in the U.S. hit an all-time high in what the Biden administration calls a national crisis.
And searching for justice.
Many incarcerated women are victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse.
We look at their unique struggles adjusting to life after prison.
SUSAN BURTON, Founder, A New Way of Life: Their experiences of coping with abuse, coping with trauma, coping with ill treatment is criminalized.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight's "PBS NewsHour."
(BREAK) JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. House of Representatives is on the cusp of passing President Biden's sweeping Build Back Better legislation.
The $1.7 trillion bill would touch issues from child care and health care to climate change.
While Democrats are ready to vote yes, Republicans are lining up in opposition.
REP. JOHN YARMUTH (D-KY): Enacting this legislation will be a momentous achievement for Congress, but, more importantly, it will change lives, it will save lives, and deliver on the promise of the American dream for generations to come.
REP. JASON SMITH (R-MO): It's transformational.
It will completely change America as we know it, all at the expense of working-class families.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins is again on Capitol Hill tonight with the latest.
So, Lisa, it looks like it's about to happen.
Tell us where we are.
What have been the last-minute hangups?
LISA DESJARDINS: Two things the House of Representatives was waiting for.
One was what is called a privileged scrub by the Senate to make sure that this bill just passes the entry requirements, essentially, for the reconciliation budget process that's needed in the Senate, so that it can get through with just 50 votes.
It has done that.
The second thing that the House was waiting for was the cost of this bill.
The estimate from the Congressional Budget Office just came in minutes ago, Judy.
Let me tell you what the Congressional Budget Office found, that the total spending in this bill is $1.7 trillion.
That's about what we expected, however, something that we did not necessarily expect, that the bill would add $367 billion to the deficit.
That is something that I think you could expect Republicans to talk about in coming days.
Now, there are some highlights from what CBO found.
Some of the bigger issues, some of the bigger chunks of this, child care, pre-K universal, that's about $382 billion worth of this bill.
Also, another big-ticket item, Medicaid expansion, $167 billion.
Both of those items, Judy, among those in this bill that would affect hundreds of millions of people in this country.
As you heard, both parties agree this bill would be transformational.
They just disagree over whether that would be good or bad for this country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Lisa, tell us a little more about what the scope of this bill is, what the Democrats are actually trying to do here, and why it's been so hard, why it's taken so long.
LISA DESJARDINS: This has been a long time in coming for many different parts of the Democratic Party, who have seen needs in this country that they say have been unaddressed.
So, for example, let's take this out and talk more broadly about what's in here.
When you talk about child care, what this bill aims to do is cover the care of a child all the way, and the education of that child, from birth through age 5.
That is for almost every parent in this country.
Some will be subsidized more than others, but it deals with child care from that -- in that entire age group.
Now, it also would expand the Affordable Care Act coverage to include millions of people who fell into different coverage gaps, as well as expanding Medicaid in the out-years to include things like hearing aids.
So it would transform how health care provided by the government works.
In addition, there are climate incentives in this bill more than in any other bill we have ever seen in American history.
Of course, climate advocates wanted more in this, but this is something that would provide, they say, the kind of carbon reduction that gets us on the way toward their goal.
Then, of course, there also are higher taxes for the wealthy and for corporations.
That is how this bill is paid for.
But, as we have just reported, the Congressional Budget Office found that it didn't go far enough in paying for the full content of the bill, which is what Democrats have promised to do.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Lisa, I mean, what are Democrats going to do about that?
How are they going to explain it?
As you said, it appears, if it does add to the deficit, Republicans are going to criticize that.
So what's the plan?
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
Well, I'm right now in texting with a lot of my Democratic sources to make sure this vote is going to happen tonight.
They can only spare three votes.
Everyone is feeling confident, including moderates.
But I will say they're going to have to pay attention to Republicans, who will raise the cost of this bill.
There will be opportunity for this bill to change.
In fact, we expect it to change once it reaches the Senate.
But this is a major mile marker, a big achievement for Democrats, not the endgame yet, but a very big hurdle that they look like they will be getting over.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And it may be about to happen.
We will see.
Lisa Desjardins, as always, reporting, thank you very much.
LISA DESJARDINS: You're welcome.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And for more on what is being debated, I spoke just a short time ago with Democratic Representative Veronica Escobar of Texas.
Congresswoman Escobar, thank you very much for joining us.
You were just telling me you think the Build Back Better bill is just about to pass the House in the next few hours.
What has taken it so long?
What is -- what are the last knots that had to be untied?
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR (D-TX): Well, it was a very complicated process.
So, on the one hand, there was the issue of what we could rally around, what provisions we could all actually support that would go into the bill.
And by all of us, I mean Democrats, because, of course, we know that this is -- this had to be a go-it-alone process.
And we have a very diverse caucus, so there were a lot of different demands.
And I know, for the American public, they had to watch the sausage-making.
But we were all unified in wanting to get the most possible for the American public.
And I could not be more excited about voting on it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Congresswoman, we know Democrats are united, at this point, finally, as you approach the vote on passage, but Republicans are united against it.
Just last night on the program, I interviewed a congresswoman, Republican Nicole Malliotakis from New York.
She and other Republicans say this is just a lot of socialism in this bill.
What do you say to them?
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR: You know, I think, Judy, we have got to look at what they have done over the course of the last several months.
Every piece of legislation that we have delivered for the American public, they will vote against it on Capitol Hill, and then they will go into their districts and try to take credit for it.
I have absolutely no doubt that, as these provisions begin to continue to boost our economy and uplift American families, these very same Republicans are going to be doing everything they can to try to take credit for the work that we did and the work that we had to do on our own because they were MIA.
They prefer to focus on very divisive issues.
They are fetishizing violence, as Paul Gosar has.
They are pushing xenophobia as hard as they can.
We're hard at work.
And we're not going to let them take credit for the work that we did.
We would love their votes of support.
We would love for them to join us in supporting this, and then they can help take credit.
But I think you're going to see that, as this benefits their constituents, they're going to be singing a different tune.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You do represent a border district in the state of Texas.
You wanted more generous language in there now offers work permits, and there's some time limits.
You're dealing with criticism from the left and the right on this.
The left is saying it's been too watered down.
What are you saying to them?
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR: I agree with them.
However, there were massive constraints on our ability to get what we wanted done and across the finish line.
But what I would say to the American people is that it's about time that we recognize the value that immigrants provide to our country, not just the value in terms of their rich history and the way that they contribute to the fabric of who we are as Americans, but there is a literal fiscal value to immigration and to offering a path to citizenship.
So, while, hopefully, we will get this across the finish line, the work permits and the protections, that's not the end of the work that we need to do on immigration.
We have got to open up more legal pathways, especially if we want to see a reduction in irregular migration, some of the things that we're seeing at the border.
The only way we can do that is opening up legal pathways.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And I should say, when you refer to issues in the Senate, that has to do with how narrow the vote is in the Senate - - it's 50/50 -- and also with Senate parliamentary rules.
But I do want to ask you further on immigration.
If, when it gets -- if this language gets to the Senate, and it falls out, because you just don't -- you don't have the support or the Senate parliamentarian says it doesn't belong there, are you still going to support this legislation finally?
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR: I am still going to support this legislation, even if, unfortunately, we don't meet the guidelines as set out by those Senate rules.
I think those Senate rules are terrible for democracy.
I think the filibuster is terrible for democracy.
But they are what we have to operate within.
I am confident though, Judy, that we are going to get this language in through the Byrd Rule.
It is very narrow, very tailored.
And it was done specifically so that it can get past those two hurdles.
So I am confident that we will get this done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And we will, of course, watch to see what happens.
But very quickly, again, on the right, from Republicans, you have the argument this is no time to be giving special benefits to immigrants, when American citizens are dealing with inflation and other challenges in the work force.
How do you answer that?
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR: You know, if my Republican colleagues think that there's a labor shortage - - and, Judy, what we have -- we are seeing unemployment numbers trending and almost at pre-pandemic levels -- then they should welcome the ability for migrants, immigrants who've been living in our communities for decades, they should welcome them having access to work permits.
If they're concerned about inflation, as we all are, then we want to get productivity back up.
That means that this will help in that capacity as well.
At the end of the day, Judy, the unfortunate reality is that most of my Republican colleagues actually prefer chaos over solutions.
And this is why they stand in the way of every solution we bring forward.
Thankfully, reconciliation, with that process, we don't need them.
We're going to get those solutions to the American public with or without them.
We'd prefer it be with them, but we will do it without them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Last question.
The House censure of Congressman Gosar of Arizona yesterday for that violent video showing him attacking Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez, what message did you believe that sent, that censure in the House?
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR: We have seen -- I have been in Congress for three years, Judy, and I will tell you, decorum and dignity among the members and the way that we treat one another, it's really sorely lacking.
And it is terrible.
In any other environment, behavior the likes of which we have seen from Paul Gosar, and, frankly, from a number of other Republicans, that would have meant immediate termination.
The more that we are silent and allow really egregious behavior, in fact, again, the fetishizing of violence against - - frequently, it's women of color in Congress.
The more that we allow it, the more that we normalize it, and we allow that bar to continue to be set lower and lower and lower.
We should not allow for that kind of behavior.
We need to stand up to it.
And, as I said on the floor yesterday, when you give racism and hatred and violence cover, you give it life.
Not on our watch.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congresswoman Veronica Escobar of Texas, we thank you very much for joining us.
REP. VERONICA ESCOBAR: Thank you.
Appreciate it, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day's other news: The U.S. Army issued a memo to all soldiers effectively warning they will have no future in the service if they refuse COVID-19 vaccinations.
It says they will be barred from reassignment, reenlistment, promotion and awards.
So far, 92 percent of active-duty soldiers are fully vaccinated.
The Army policy could serve as a model for the other services.
A judge in New York City today exonerated two men in the assassination of Malcolm X.
The iconic civil rights figure was gunned down in Manhattan in 1965.
Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam were convicted and imprisoned until the 1980s.
But a new investigation found that there was no evidence that they were involved.
We will get the details later in the program.
The defense has rested in the trial of three whites accused of chasing down and murdering Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia.
That came after one of the three, Travis McMichael, acknowledged today there was no overt threat before he shot Arbery.
On cross-examination, a prosecutor walked McMichael through video of the confrontation.
LINDA DUNIKOSKI, Cobb County, Georgia, Assistant District Attorney: At this point right here, hasn't said anything to you.
TRAVIS MCMICHAEL, Defendant: No, he has not said anything yet, no, ma'am.
LINDA DUNIKOSKI: And hasn't -- hasn't shown you a weapon this entire time TRAVIS MCMICHAEL: He has not.
LINDA DUNIKOSKI: Hasn't said a word the entire time.
TRAVIS MCMICHAEL: Not one time.
LINDA DUNIKOSKI: All he has done is run away from you.
TRAVIS MCMICHAEL: Run past me, yes, ma'am, LINDA DUNIKOSKI: And you pulled out a shotgun and pointed it at him.
JUDY WOODRUFF: McMichael said that Arbery struck him and grabbed the gun and that he had to make a split-second decision to shoot.
On the video, McMichael's truck blocked any view of that moment.
The jury in the Kyle Rittenhouse murder trial deliberated for a third day in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and went home without reaching a verdict.
Rittenhouse killed two men and wounded a third during racial justice protests last year, but he says he acted in self-defense.
The leaders of Canada, Mexico, and the United States held a trilateral summit today for the first time since 2016.
At the White House, President Biden met separately with Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador.
Later, all three met, discussing everything from migration to climate to trade.
The summits had lapsed during the Trump administration.
Vice President Kamala Harris is brushing aside talk of tensions between her office and the president's.
There've been news stories that Biden aides are questioning her job performance and that she feels sidelined.
But, today, the vice president told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that it's not true.
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, ABC News: So you don't feel misused or underused?
KAMALA HARRIS, Vice President of the United States: No, I don't.
I am very, very excited about the work that we have accomplished, but I am also absolutely, absolutely clear-eyed that there is a lot more to do, and we're going to going to get it done.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The White House has also denied any tensions.
Two suspected computer hackers from Iran are now charged with trying to intimidate U.S. voters before last year's presidential election.
A federal indictment unsealed in New York today says that they sent threatening e-mails and spread disinformation.
It's believed that the two are still in Iran.
There are signs the migrant crisis centered in Belarus may be easing.
Hundreds of Iraqis were flown home today from Minsk.
They and thousands of others had camped out for weeks along the Belarusian frontier with Poland.
The European Union says that Belarus used the migrants to retaliate for E.U.
The flood danger in Canada and the U.S. Pacific Northwest has begun to ease.
Most flood warnings had ended today in Washington state.
In British Columbia, crews were still trying to reach thousands of people stranded by water and mudslides, after record rains on Sunday and Monday.
Congressman G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina announced today that he will not seek reelection next year.
That makes 15 Democrats who've said they will retire from the U.S. House of Representatives.
Butterfield is Black.
He says Republican state lawmakers redrew his district to make it harder for a Black candidate to win.
And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 60 points to close below 35871.
The Nasdaq rose 72 points.
The S&P 500 added 15.
Still to come on the "NewsHour": the integral role that the president of one key country plays in trafficking cocaine to the United States; why two men convicted of killing Malcolm X are now being exonerated, after more than 50 years; many women parolees are victims of domestic abuse, but few have resources to aid their post-prison life; plus much more.
The nation's opioid epidemic has never been deadlier.
The CDC says that 100,000 people died of drug overdoses over the past year.
That's a 30 percent increase from the year before and an all-time high.
As William Brangham reports, these deaths are fueled by the rise of the extremely potent synthetic opioid, fentanyl.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Judy, the deadly rise of fentanyl is prompting calls for more to be done to battle this crisis.
The Biden administration has announced it will increase federal support for so-called harm reduction strategies and increased funding for medically assisted addiction treatment.
Joining me now is Dr. Andrew Kolodny.
He's the medical director of opioid policy research at Brandeis' Heller School For Social Policy and Management.
Dr. Kolodny, great to have you back on the "NewsHour."
These are just unprecedented numbers.
One of the statistics was that one American is dying every five minutes from an overdose.
I mean, you have been studying these trends throughout this entire epidemic.
Did these numbers surprise you?
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY, Brandeis University: They did.
I had expected that we were going to be receiving bad news, but I didn't anticipate they would get this much worse; 100,000 deaths in a 12-month period is a new very grim milestone in this very long crisis.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I mentioned that the rise of fentanyl is one of the issues driving this.
Can you help us what else is part of it?
Is it largely fentanyl?
And what else is driving this?
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: Overwhelmingly, these deaths involve illicitly synthesized fentanyl.
And before COVID hit, the fentanyl problem had mainly been affecting the eastern half of the United States.
After COVID hit -- and this may have been related to less cross-border traffic, which would favor the smuggling of the more potent opioid, fentanyl vs. heroin - - we started to see more fentanyl impacting the western half of the United States.
And so regions of the country that experienced some of the greatest increases over the past 12 months have been the states that didn't experience the earlier skyrocketing in fentanyl deaths.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And I understand that it is men disproportionately.
I think it's 70 percent of these overdose deaths are amongst men 25 to 50 years old.
Is it the assumption that these people are also prior to their death suffering from substance abuse disorders, addiction issues?
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: That's absolutely right.
The vast majority of opioid overdose deaths are occurring in people suffering from opioid addiction.
And among the populations of Americans who are opioid-addicted right now, we have two groups that have been relying primarily on the black market, on heroin.
We have a younger white group, disproportionately white, people in their 20s, 30s, early 40s, that have been relying on heroin, actually switching to heroin, after having first been addicted to prescription opioids.
And we have an older disproportionately black and Latino group.
In these heroin-using groups of opioid-addicted Americans, the deaths have been skyrocketing because the heroin supply is now so much more dangerous because of fentanyl.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And, of course, this is all happening in the midst of a viral pandemic that is also impacting every aspect of our society.
In what ways does that pandemic affect this epidemic?
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: So, we understand that most of these deaths are occurring in people who are addicted, not in individuals who are saying, gee, using heroin or fentanyl would be a fun thing to do.
These are people who are really suffering and who need help.
And, unfortunately, it's been much easier for these individuals to access heroin or fentanyl than to access effective treatment.
And it does appear that, as COVID hit, the ability to access effective treatment for opioid addiction became even more difficult.
So, if someone's waking up in the morning, and they're already feeling sick, and they know that, if they use heroin or fentanyl, they can start to feel better, that's what they're going to do, rather than seek treatment.
The other problem has been, for people who are opioid-addicted, we know that psychosocial distress, social isolation can contribute to relapse.
And years ago, a slip or a relapse might not be the end of the world.
But now all it takes is one slip.
With such a dangerous illicit opioid supply, one slip can easily lead to an overdose death.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: President Biden campaigned on ramping up federal support for drug prevention and drug treatment.
Is it your sense that he has lived up to that promise?
And what kinds of strategies going forward should the federal government be doing to try to address this?
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: When President Biden was campaigning, in his platform, he put together a really good plan on how to address the opioid crisis, but he has not yet implemented that plan.
One of the things that we have to do, and do immediately, is make sure that effective treatment is easier for people to access.
It has to be essentially free.
During the AIDS crisis, as a nation, we made a decision that, if somebody was HIV-positive, they should have access to antiretroviral therapy regardless of their ability to pay for it.
That's what we need to do for the opioid crisis today.
Instead, what we're hearing from the Biden administration is about more one-year or two-year federal appropriations to states.
That's not adequate.
For states to build out the treatment programs we need, they have to have a commitment to long-term funding or the new funding streams.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Dr. Andrew Kolodny of Brandeis' Heller School, thank you very much for being here.
DR. ANDREW KOLODNY: Thank you for having me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The drug crisis touches so many parts of our world.
Here now is a look at a related story about drug trafficking through Honduras.
That country will hold its elections in 10 days.
And while its current president, Juan Orlando Hernandez, is not on the ballot, he may soon be in the running for something else, a U.S. federal indictment for trafficking cocaine to the United States.
As special correspondent Tania Rashid and producer-videographer Neil Brandvold report, the Central American nation is a way station for violent drug cartels, and the first family of Honduras appears to be deeply involved.
Tania begins her report in a section of the deadly city San Pedro Sula.
TANIA RASHID: It's after dark in Rivera Hernandez, one of the most dangerous towns in Honduras, a country with the highest homicide rate in the world outside of a war zone.
The streets are deserted.
Residents cower in their homes.
Ahead of our ride-along with the military police, we learned that there's been a recent spike in homicides, with 10 to 15 murders a day, much of the violence fueled by drugs.
So, this is a heavily gang-controlled area.
There are numerous gangs operating here.
They all have guns and are also selling drugs.
The most prominent drug that is sold in this area is cocaine.
Despite a police show of force against MS-13 and 18th Street, the most powerful gangs here, there are allegations that the police, cartels and gangs are working together.
This violence has forced tens of thousands of people to flee north toward the United States.
Honduras has become an international transit point for cocaine trafficking to the United States.
In one of the largest drug conspiracy cases ever prosecuted in U.S. federal courts, Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez has been accused of accepting millions of dollars in bribes from drug cartels to provide safe transit of cocaine through the region.
In his most recent statement on Twitter, he denied both involvement with the cartels and allegations against him made by U.S. prosecutors and key witnesses.
The president claims those testifying against him are cartel members seeking a deal to reduce their sentences.
This March, the president's brother, former Honduran Congressman Tony Hernandez, was sentenced in the United States to life, plus 40 years in prison, after being convicted of state-sponsored drug trafficking.
Trial evidence revealed that he had smuggled 185 tons of cocaine into the U.S.
So, for days, we have been walking through the streets of San Pedro Sula, and we have seen signs like this that say "Fuera JOH," which basically means out with President Juan Orlando Hernandez.
And that basically speaks to the sentiments of a lot of the people here, who are fed up with the government and its corruption and its connections to the drug trade.
Social activist Hugo Ramon Maldonado has investigated thousands of disappearances linked to drug violence and fears he could be murdered at any moment.
He says a culture of silence and fear permeates the region HUGO RAMON MALDONADO, Social Activist (through translator): Look, when we talk about drug trafficking, organized crime, and violent deaths in the country, it's a critical situation in Honduras.
The police, military, politicians, and businessmen that are involved, we have to make them accountable.
But each one of them has to take responsibility for the damage caused to the country.
Every single family in the country has been affected by drug trafficking, organized crime, gangs, poverty, and the misery we live in.
TANIA RASHID: Samuel Madrid, a leader in the opposition against President Hernandez, says the government structures with direct ties to the cartels aren't going anywhere.
SAMUEL MADRID, Opposition Leader (through translator): The entire state structure is on the cartels side.
That is why this criminal structure that governs the country is more dangerous than the gangs.
I believe we have a narco-state.
They have used all of the state institutions for the drug trade.
TANIA RASHID: Three of the most powerful cartels operate here.
These cartels are responsible for the trafficking of several tons of cocaine into the United States, with Honduras serving as the main transit point between Colombia and the United States.
After weeks of waiting, our team was granted exclusive access to an active ranking member of a Honduran cartel in the mountains of Copan.
So, we have driven through windy roads deep in the mountains about four to five hours away into this remote area that is dominated by the cartels.
There's no cell phone service here.
And, just days earlier, three people were shot to death in this small rural village.
U.S. intelligence reports confirm this is a key operational center for drug trafficking from several Honduran cartels.
Here in the Honduran heart of the drug trade, the cartel has everything under their control.
From the moment we arrived, our every move is being monitored.
Groups of young men took pictures of our car's license plate.
Julian Pacheco, the minister of security, says the cartels control the entire village with state-like structures in place, including intelligence, and counterintelligence security.
Even Security Minister Pacheco is under investigation by the DEA for his alleged ties to the cartels.
According to reports published by the U.S. State Department, an estimated 86 percent of the cocaine that arrives in North America goes through Central America.
Most of the cocaine passes through Honduras in light aircrafts.
This town is one of the main drug routes, housing many of Honduras' estimated 200 clandestine airstrips, established by El Chapo Guzman, a notorious Mexican drug lord who in 2019 was sentenced to life in prison, plus 30 years at Colorado's Supermax facility.
After hours of waiting, we were guided to a secret location where the cartel leader agreed to meet with us, as long as his identity was concealed.
How many years have you been working in this business?
MAN (through translator): 18 years.
TANIA RASHID: How did you get involved?
MAN (through translator): I used to work with cattle, feeding them and cleaning, also farming.
And the next thing I knew, I was dealing with the high ranks.
Next thing, you needed to be armed.
There's distrust because this is a dangerous business.
TANIA RASHID: How does this business work?
MAN (through translator): We receive the orders from the high ranks.
They send you on missions.
And you go as an employee, drug shipments and all of that, right?
TANIA RASHID: Is it an international operation?
MAN (through translator): Yes, it is international, international and very dangerous.
What we are doing here right now is very dangerous.
TANIA RASHID: Does the police or the military help you?
MAN (through translator): Yes.
In Honduras, there are top-ranked police organizations.
They are the ones who protect the shipments the most.
They have that respect with the cartels in Mexico, the strongest ones.
They did business with Chapo from Sinaloa.
Chapo Joaquin Guzman, he came here.
TANIA RASHID: How many cartels are there in Honduras right now?
MAN: Right now, the biggest cartel is within the Hernandez family, the president, Tony, Juan Orlando, there, the two cartels, the Hernandez family.
TANIA RASHID: This is the first time an active member operating within a major Honduran cartel admits the president and his family has direct ties to the drug trade.
Samuel Madrid says he sees a difficult future ahead under the current regime.
SAMUEL MADRID (through translator): People are hopeful this government will change.
With popular struggle on the streets, will be hard.
They crush us with the military boot, with bullets, with tanks.
They crush and humiliate the people.
It will be hard.
Our only option is to vote this government out during the elections in November.
However, I feel this government pretends to stay longer, no matter what.
TANIA RASHID: Recently, Santos Rodriguez Orellana, an independent candidate who publicly accused President Juan Orlando Hernandez's brother of connections to drug trafficking, was arrested on money laundering charges.
Elections are currently scheduled for the end of this month.
And with Hernandez ending his final term, many American officials believe that he may be indicted in New York for drug trafficking as soon as he leaves office.
It remains unclear if he will try to circumvent the constitution and run again or will even cancel these elections.
For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Tania Rashid with Neil Brandvold, reporting from Honduras.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Earlier today a judge threw out the verdict against two men wrongfully convicted of assassinating civil rights leader Malcolm X in 1965.
The hearing came after a 22-month review of the convictions by the district attorney's office and lawyers for the two men.
John Yang reports.
WOMAN: The joint motion is hereby granted, and the record... (APPLAUSE) JOHN YANG: In a New York City courtroom today, justice delayed for Muhammad Aziz and the late Khalil Islam wrongly convicted for the 1965 of civil rights leader Malcolm X.
From New York district attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., an apology: CYRUS VANCE, Manhattan District Attorney: I apologize on behalf of our nation's law enforcement for this decades-long injustice, which has eroded public faith in institutions that are designed to guarantee equal protection under the law.
Your Honor, we can't restore what was taken away from these men and their families.
But, by correcting the record, perhaps we can begin to restore that faith.
JOHN YANG: From Aziz, relief that the legal system has acknowledged what he's known all along.
MUHAMMAD AZIZ, Exonerated: While I do not believe this court, these prosecutors, or a piece of paper can tell me I'm innocent, I am very glad that my family, my friends and the attorneys who have worked and supported me over these years are finally seeing the truth that we have all known officially recognized.
MALCOLM X, Civil Rights Leader: I probably am a dead man already.
JOHN YANG: The reevaluation of the case followed a six-part Netflix documentary, "Who Killed Malcolm X?"
Malcolm X was cut down a year after his bitter break with the Black nationalist Nation of Islam.
His speech at the Audubon Ballroom in New York that day was to outline the mission of a new group he was organizing.
MALCOLM X: To address the first Congress of the Council of African Organizations.
JOHN YANG: Shortly after he began speaking, three men rushed the stage, weapons drawn and opened fire, killing Malcolm, who was only 39 years old.
RAY SIMPSON, Reporter and Witness: Just then, the gunfire went off.
And his hand was up.
I remember this.
I turned around quickly.
And the next thing I saw was Malcolm falling back in a dead faint.
JOHN YANG: Mujahid Abdul Halim, then known as Talmadge Hayer, was arrested on the spot.
Aziz, then known as Norman 3X Butler, and Islam, then known as Thomas 15X Johnson, were arrested days later.
All three were convicted and spent decades in prison.
Halim was paroled in 2010, Aziz in 1985, and Islam was released in 1987 and died in 2009.
For years, Aziz and Islam said they were innocent of the crime, and a number of historians and writers agreed, saying New York police and the FBI covered up essential evidence.
Today's hearing was the culmination of a 22-month joint investigation by the Manhattan District Attorney's Office, The Innocence Project and civil rights lawyers.
Mujahid Halim, who acknowledged his role in Malcolm X's death and always said that Aziz and Islam were both innocent, told a reporter from The New York Times today: "God bless you.
Historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad is a scholar of Malcolm X's life and legacy and was host of the Netflix documentary series "Who Killed Malcolm X?"
Mr. Muhammad, thanks for joining us.
You were in the courtroom today.
As someone who has spent a lifetime studying Malcolm X's life and also his death, and having played such a prominent role in that Netflix documentary that renewed interest in this issue, what was it like for you to see these convictions wiped away today?
ABDUR-RAHMAN MUHAMMAD, Historian: Well, first of all, it was unbelievable.
It was absolutely incredible.
It's such a long time coming that I couldn't believe what was happening.
It was actually surreal.
But I was filled with gratitude and happiness that this day had finally arrived.
After so many years of studying this issue and trying to get it in front of the public, for it to culminate in the exoneration of these two men, Muhammad Abdul Aziz and Khalil Islam, after 55 years was absolutely incredible.
And I was filled with happiness and gratitude.
JOHN YANG: Did you think this day would come?
ABDUR-RAHMAN MUHAMMAD: I wanted it to come.
I didn't know if it would come.
I knew that the story was too powerful to be denied, and that I think that was my driving motivation and passion all of these decades to finally bring it to the public.
But I didn't know what the end result would be.
It was always a very steep mountain to climb.
And so to see it actually take place today before my very eyes was just an unreal -- an unreal experience.
JOHN YANG: Now, the investigation did not find a police or government conspiracy against Malcolm X, as some have speculated.
It also did not explain why the police and officials were unable to protect him, even though he was a marked man, that his house had been firebombed.
But it did find that the FBI and the New York police had withheld evidence that would have cleared these two men.
What does that say to you about the relationship between the police at that time and the community?
ABDUR-RAHMAN MUHAMMAD: Well, the police at that time had a very strained relationship with the community.
I would even go so far as to say a hostile relationship with the community, and for good reason.
I mean, you have these two innocent men who could have just been any two Black men.
It was this -- the capriciousness and the -- just what you could say, just the random, just random choice of anyone could be thrown away in prison, throw away the key, and be forgotten about.
It was absolutely outrageous, appalling.
And this is the reason why African Americans historically have had such a troubled and often conflicted relationship with the police departments.
JOHN YANG: Continues to this day.
And what does it say about how they thought of Malcolm X that they would take this approach to the investigation of his killing?
ABDUR-RAHMAN MUHAMMAD: Well, if you study what happened that day, after they mopped everything up, later that evening, around 7:00 or so, there was a dance in the very ballroom in which he was cut down by a sawed-off shotgun, a .45 and a Ruger.
The bullets were still in the walls, and, that evening, there was a dance on the very site where Malcolm X was gunned down.
So, that should tell you about how diligent they were in that investigation.
JOHN YANG: And not only were the two men who were cleared today, one who has subsequently died, not only were they in prison for a crime they didn't commit for decades, but, for all this time, the people who did commit the crime have been free.
ABDUR-RAHMAN MUHAMMAD: These men could have been exonerated four decades ago, and that's really the outrage of the whole story.
It's really outrageous that these men were allowed to walk the streets, killers, OK, who were acknowledged by their accomplice.
He gave the government their names, where they lived, what they did for a living, so on and so forth, and nothing ever became of it.
And I believe it's just because there was no political will to get to the bottom of the assassination of Malcolm X.
And there may be some secrets that the government doesn't want revealed.
This is -- how else do you explain convicting two men who had nothing to do with it?
Why do that, when you could have actually convicted the real assassins, right?
That's the question that needs to be answered.
JOHN YANG: Historian Abdur-Rahman Muhammad, thank you very much.
ABDUR-RAHMAN MUHAMMAD: It's my pleasure.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The number of women behind bars has risen dramatically in the U.S. over the last four decades.
And many of those women are survivors of domestic violence.
Tonight, Amna Nawaz and producer Lena Jackson examine that connection and the scars that remain for many.
It's part of our ongoing series Searching For Justice.
ROSEMARY DYER, Domestic Violence Survivor: I was afraid.
And after so many years of conditioning, you just don't do -- I didn't sing, I didn't laugh, I didn't whistle, because it was forbidden.
AMNA NAWAZ: For more than eight years, Rosemary Dyer says she was relentlessly and brutally abused by her husband.
ROSEMARY DYER: I wasn't allowed to talk with my husband.
Speak when spoken to.
AMNA NAWAZ: What would happen if you did speak?
ROSEMARY DYER: Oh, I got beaten.
AMNA NAWAZ: After another violent episode in 1985, Dyer says she feared for her life, she fought back, and ended up shooting and killing her husband.
ROSEMARY DYER: I am extremely sorry that my life came to that, that I had to take his life, because he had been the love of my life.
AMNA NAWAZ: At 33 she was sentenced to life in prison, served 34 years, and was released in 2020, when her sentence was commuted.
At the age of 69, Dyer is now free.
But three decades in prison did little to address the trauma of the abuse that put her there.
ROSEMARY DYER: I didn't know that there were battered women.
I didn't know that there was a term for it.
I didn't know that other women were being treated like this.
I thought it was just me.
AMNA NAWAZ: Dyer's story is one of many.
According to the National Resource Center on Domestic Violence, an estimated 70 to 80 percent of incarcerated women are survivors of domestic violence.
And experts say very few services exist for these women in prison or when they're released.
WOMEN: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
AMNA NAWAZ: This program is one of the few, part of a network called A New Way of Life.
It offers subsidized housing, legal help, and therapy.
Sixty women live in 10 different homes across Los Angeles County.
All are formerly incarcerated.
Many are survivors of domestic violence.
It's a safe place for survivors like 33 year-old Vanessa Soto to come after incarceration and a chance to heal.
VANESSA SOTO, Resident, A New Way Of Life: I have been through a lot in my life.
You know what I mean?
But one thing I can tell you, I am a good mother and I'm a proud mother of six.
AMNA NAWAZ: Soto has been here seven months.
For seven years before that, she struggled with an addiction to crystal meth, cycling in and out of prison for drug and theft-related charges.
Here, Soto says she has the support she needs to get her life back on track.
She's found a job and now has legal support to try to regain custody of her children.
VANESSA SOTO: I love my kids.
And I'm determined to get my kids back.
AMNA NAWAZ: Experts say the kind of services provided here are rare, but badly needed.
Women not only make up the fastest growing segment of the U.S. prison population, but the vast majority of them report having suffered some kind of abuse, either as children or adults.
SUSAN BURTON, Founder, A New Way of Life: These are women who are really struggling just to survive, and survive through these different experiences, different abuses.
AMNA NAWAZ: Susan Burton founded A New Way of Life in 1998.
She knows the struggles of these women because she's lived them.
After her 5-year-old son was run over and killed by a police car, she says she started drinking heavily and began using crack cocaine.
She went to prison on drug charges, before turning her life around.
Burton says poor women of color are especially vulnerable.
In fact, more than 40 percent of Black women experience physical violence by an intimate partner, compared with about 30 percent of women overall.
SUSAN BURTON: Their experiences of coping with abuse, coping with trauma, coping with ill treatment are -- is criminalized.
It would be so much more effective to support people to recover from abuse, to learn how to navigate around abuse, to support them to live full and hopeful and satisfied lives.
RENEE WYATT, Social Worker, A New Way of Life: I know you have been having some struggles with some issues in your family.
AMNA NAWAZ: Social worker Renee Wyatt meets with every single resident here.
When you finally have a chance to sit down with them one-on-one, how many of them have ever had a therapy session, have been able to talk to someone like you before?
RENEE WYATT: Oh man.
AMNA NAWAZ: Very few?
RENEE WYATT: Very few, because a lot of the ladies that we have weren't safe.
They have been molested.
They have been trafficked.
They have been homeless.
They have been beat up.
They have been everything.
AMNA NAWAZ: Many struggle with depression, anxiety, and PTSD from their abuse.
For Wyatt, it's familiar ground.
RENEE WYATT: I was a heroin addict, and I'm a domestic violence survivor.
I was homeless in downtown L.A. on Skid Row for 15 years.
So, I know.
So, my passion is real.
I really, really want to help.
AMNA NAWAZ: In fact, most of the staff here have walked similar paths.
Ingrid Archie was abused as a child.
As an adult, she fled an abusive relationship, taking her baby with her.
INGRID ARCHIE, Domestic Violence Survivor: So, trauma on top of postpartum depression.
And I made the mistake of leaving my child in the car, because I couldn't take her in a store because it was too overwhelming.
I had been asking for help, and it seems like I wasn't getting it.
And the response was to remove all of my children and to punish me by incarceration.
AMNA NAWAZ: Archie first served time for a drug charge, later for shoplifting and child endangerment, then landed here when released in 2015.
INGRID ARCHIE: A New Way of Life was like, we're not going to let the system do this to you.
AMNA NAWAZ: The organization helped Archie get her kids back.
She now lives with her fiance and two youngest children.
She worked in advocacy for a new way of life for five years.
And just this month, she left the organization for a new opportunity.
INGRID ARCHIE: When you're around people who have been through some of the same things and you have overcome it, it allows for healing much easier.
It allows for you to not feel so much as a victim.
It allows you to take accountability, and it allows for you to move forward in your life and make better decisions, and then go pull in other people.
AMNA NAWAZ: But reentry programs like this are the exception, and more are needed, says UCLA Professor Jorja Leap.
Studies show roughly a third of formerly incarcerated women return to prison within three years of their release.
Leap's upcoming book, "Entry Lessons," examines the experiences of women released from prison.
JORJA LEAP, Author, "Entry Lessons": The best programs give women a sense of community, that they're not alone, that there are others who have been victims of sexual abuse, victims of domestic violence, that other women know and understand what they have gone through, and they support one another.
AMNA NAWAZ: And without those services, what could happen?
JORJA LEAP: If they don't have a home to go to, they often go back to the home of the perpetrator.
The domestic violence starts again.
The self-medication starts again.
The criminalization of trauma starts again.
And it is a revolving door.
AMNA NAWAZ: Rosemary Dyer is ready to move on with the help of another program, Five Keys Home Free, for women like her.
She's now in free transitional housing near San Francisco.
What kind of a difference does it make having a place like this?
ROSEMARY DYER: I can breathe.
I can lay my head down on the bed and sleep.
I am proud of my freedom.
AMNA NAWAZ: For the "PBS NewsHour," I'm Amna Nawaz.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So moving, these extraordinary women.
And, tomorrow, we will conclude our weeklong Searching For Justice series with a look at one man's efforts to rebuild his life after being wrongly imprisoned for more than two decades.
And online right now: What were the big takeaways from the U.N. climate change conference?
We break down key parts of the COP 26 agreement on our Instagram feed.
And that's 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, please stay safe, and we'll see you soon.