PBS News Weekend full episode, Feb. 4, 2023
♪♪ >> Tonight, the U.S. Air force shoots down a Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina. The spiral ring -- spiraling crime and violence in beatty -- Haiti. We begin our black history month series with the story of a woman who took down one of America's most notorious mob bosses.
>> What makes her story so incredible is her career was in the face of overt racism and sexism. Her achievements were all against the odds. ♪♪ >> Major funding for pbs news weekend has been provided by -- >> Consumer cellular provides wireless service that helps people communicate and connect. We offer a variety of plans and our customer service team can help find one that fits you. ♪♪ >> And with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions. And friends of the newshour.
This program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. Thank you. >> Good evening.
Late this afternoon, the U.S. Air force fighter jet shot down a Chinese surveillance balloon that had made its way across the country. It plunged about 60,000 feet into U.S. Waters off of south Carolina. Operations have begun to try to retrieve as much as possible of the apparatus the balloon carried, which is roughly the size of three buses. President Biden said he ordered the shoot down on Wednesday.
>> I ordered the Pentagon to shoot it down as soon as possible. I decided the best time to do that was when it got over the water. Over the 12 mile limit. They successfully took it down. >> This is the latest flashpoint between the U.S. And China. Pentagon officials were able to collect intelligence on the balloon as it flew over the country.
Across the northeast of the U.S., it is dangerously cold. In northern New Hampshire, the wind chill overnight reached -108. That is the coldest on record in the U.S. It is so cold that some new England ski areas closed or limited operations. Tens of millions of people remain under windchill alerts. Warmer ventures are expected tomorrow.
The mayor of Memphis is asked to the justice department to evaluate the city's police department and special units and use of force policies. Memphis police fired a sixth officer as they investigate the beating death of tyre Nichols. The officer was involved in the initial traffic stop.
The department said he violated several policies including the use of his taser. Officials say multiple officers remain under investigation. State officials the -- suspended the licenses of two fire departments emts for not giving care. New Hampshire could be toppled from its first place as a presidential primary. In order to involve more voters of color in early contest. The it would put South Carolina as the first state.
Georgia and Michigan will now move ahead of super Tuesday. This will require Republican cooperation. In New Hampshire and Georgia, the primary dates are control by Republicans. A galactic distinction for our solar system's largest planet, Jupiter. Astronomers discovered 12 new moons.
It surpasses Saturn for the most moons in our solar system. Still to come, can technological advances be a threat to democracy? And how a trailblazing lawyer fought the New York mob and won. >> This is pbs news weekend from our studios in Washington.
Home of the pbs newshour, weeknights on pbs. >> The island nation of Haiti is moving closer to the brink of collapse. Since early January, the country was left without a single elected official, leaving heavily armed gangs in control. Much of port-au-prince is under control of gangs who have been targeting police.
Patients are living -- Haiti ans are living in fear and chaos. Families grieved as coffins were saluted. In the last month, gangs have killed nearly 20 officers.
They lamented the lives lost and the turmoil that has engulfed the country. >> Are police are being slain again. We will not accept that bandits rule and they say the government is theirs. >> Elsewhere, rage.
Armed protesters set fires in the streets, broke through the Gates to the airport, and lowered the flags to half staff to mark the deaths. >> There has to be a revolution. There has to be a bloodbath. All of these policeman have been killed. The prime minister has not reacted. >> Violent protests have persisted for months.
Many are angry that the government cannot keep them safe. >> We have been suffering for a long time. People are dying of bullets.
My mother, my child, my sister. We will not be able to continue. >> The term of the prime minister, who was appointed to office, expired February of 2022. But he has yet to schedule new elections.
>> No one voted for him. He was not elected. He has no legitimacy. He has no right. He is not the president. >> With no president, no legislative quorum, and a high court dysfunctional, lawlessness rains.
-- Reigns. The U.N. Imposed sanctions on one of the most powerful gang leaders, a former police officer known as barbecue.
He is accused of numerous atrocities, including massacres and sexual violence. But he considers himself the lesser evil. >> You and your country, if you are living in these conditions, if you saw the conditions, wouldn't you revolt? >> Haiti and the U.N. Have called for international peacekeepers to bolster the beleaguered police force.
>> It is our obligation to act fast. If we overcome the gangs, we will restore order and peace. >> But so far, only Jamaica has offered to help, leaving 80 two fall deeper -- Haiti fall deeper into chaos. I spoke with the Miami herald's caribbean correspondent. I asked her what she saw her related -- recent trip to the country.
>> I had two very different trips. The first trip I went to the north part of the country to see the historic capital. I went for international jazz festival.
Fast forward a couple of days later, this time I am in port-au-prince. It is chaos. Police who are protesting. They are armed. They are putting up barricades, blocking roads. We were coming off of the latest killings of police officers.
There have been 14 in the month of January. 78 since July when the interim prime minister came into power. Police officers are enraged. They were joining these protests by fire cops and gang members, according to sources. All of that tells you about the volatility of this country.
One minute you could be walking into the city and enjoying beautiful jazz and the next minute the streets are blowing up because those protests were also in the north, the very places where I was just walking freely a few days earlier. >> Who is in charge of port-au-prince? >> That depends on who you asked. The U.N. Will tell you that
today gangs are in control of over 60% of the capital. Where the U.S. Embassy is located. It is between two gang strongholds.
They do not have one elected official. As your audience may recall, the president was assassinated in July of 2021. In January, the last 10 remaining elected officials of parliament were fired. They could not really do anything. Symbolically, at least there were 10 elected people. Today there is not one.
There has been ongoing debate and differences in terms of who should be in charge, who should take control of this country, what should it look like? Should there be a long transition or a rush to elections? >> Wire the police the target? >> You have a country with a police force set is one fourth the size of the NYPD. 9000 police officers who are active and ready to go at any moment. They are not all in port-au-prince. They have to try to battle against. But it is very difficult to sustain.
Kidnappings last year went up 104%, according to the U.N. That was one kidnapping every six hours. The homicide rate also climbed 35.2%. This is the reality Haitians are living with. Their number one concern is safety. >> We have seen Haitians turmoil -- try to flee this turmoil.
>> They are actually doing it. The Biden administration recently announced a two-year parole program for poor countries including Haiti. As long as someone has a sponsor in the U.S. And that sponsor is able to show that they have the financial ability to the care of someone and they pass a background check and they have a valid passport, they are being paroled in.
We are seeing long lines of people, including hundreds of police officers who have applied for passports so they can qualify for this program. Everybody wants to leave the country. They are saying, who will help us rebuild? For them this chaos cannot last forever.
>> What will it take to restore order? Is that within sight? >> The interim government has asked for the deployment of an international force to assist the national police with combating the gangs. Everyone I talked to says this is a police force that is very well-trained but they do not have the equipment. Something as basic as ballistic vests. I did a ride along with the police shortly after a massacre. They took me out and I saw young guys just fresh out of the police academy standing guard about a mile down from the U.S. Embassy.
They did not have a vest. Or a bulletproof plate. They are underpaid. They really need help. It is becoming very political. The United States supports this request but it does not want to give support.
They are asking candidate to take the lead -- Canada to take the lead. Jamaica said they were willing to participate. They actually have the experience. Their military do antigang raids and operations alongside police. That is what everybody is waiting for. When you talk about Haiti, people say, what is it going to take? They are also asking that question.
What is rock-bottom? How bad do things need to get? When I tell you right now that things are bad, they really are. >> Thank you very much. >> Thank you.
♪♪ >> Artificial intelligence in the popular new ai tool chat gpt has the potential to influence our lives, dramatically changing how we communicate and how we work. There are also questions about how it will affect government and what it means for the future of our democracy. This is part of our periodic series, the ai frontier.
>> Could ai be used to distort democracy? Not through voting but using the technology's ability to mimic human communication and language through lobbying? That is a question raised in a recent New York Times opinion piece. A security expert is a fellow at Harvard university's center for internet and society. He is the author of a new book just out called a hackers mind.
Great to have you on the program. When you look at these technologies, what is it that most troubles you about the potential threat to democracy? >> Really where it mimics humans. Democracy is fundamentally a human way of organizing ourselves. Ai, whether it is chat gpt that is writing human text or another ai that is figuring out human strategy, can do that at a speed and scale that humans cannot.
It could take over processes and really subvert the intent of this very human system. >> Can you give me some examples? How would this be used to corrupt the system? >> One of the things we have in our system is the ability to submit comments. When federal rulemaking agencies make rules, we are allowed to submit comments.
Human specific comments. If an ai can submit thousands or millions of comments, it could overwhelm human comments. >> This is sort of the ultimate fake astroturf campaign. For the department of justice accuse the Russians of doing the 2016 election. >> The Russians had hundreds of people with a million dollar a month budget to do it. This brings that capability down to a lot of other actors.
That is exactly that same thing. >> Your assertion is that if you could suddenly flood the zone with all of these fake comments or opinions, you could distort what popular will really was at any given time. >> That is how we figure out what people want. We ask them and they tell us.
We don't ask them in person, we ask them remotely, and they tell us remotely. Having an artificial agent mimic people subverts that process. Other types of analysis could figure out what legislators are more susceptible to having their minds changed. These are very human actions. Lobbyists do this. Having an automated process supplanting that just gives that capability more power.
>> What do you imagine happens if these tools are deployed and suddenly there is this overwhelming ocean of comments and notes bombarding our government officials? >> The first way that could go is government official start ignoring everything. Unless it is face-to-face, we assume it is a bot. The other way could go is we require people to interact in ways that we know we -- they are actual people. >> Has this happened? >> We know that bots have generated fake tweets. Saudi Arabia did that to support its ruler.
The FCC got millions of fake, pretty lousy fake comments for rulemaking. They were obviously generated automatically. What chat gdd does is -- gpt does is make a scene human and you cannot do otherwise.
>> Do you think government officials are prepared for this potential onslaught? Are there any guardrails or protections they can put up against this? >> I don't think anyone is prepared. We are used to humans being the only agents who can do human things. We were all surprised when chat gpt was writing funny songs and smart commentary on things.
I think we will be surprised again and again. >> There are school officials right now at high schools and colleges that are trying to develop technologies or deploy technologies that can spot the fake from the real. Do you think as ai develops, there are abilities to detect Aiava? -- Ai? >> I think the detectives are going to lose. The capability to use the technology will outpace.
>> I have a devil's advocate question. Can this also be used for good? Let's say I really care about renewable technologies, the second amendment. Couldn't this technology be used to help me get my opinion to legislators and as you describe, help me figure out the right people, the most important people, to get my opinions to? >> I think that is right.
I think we want that. A tool that uses -- helps people write or translate or put their ideas down would be phenomenal. To the extent these tools help humans, it is good for society, good for democracy. Where goes wrong is where it supplants humans. Where it is a million fake people with fake opinions. Rather than a million real people using these tools to be more articulate.
That would be a great thing for society. >> The new book is called a hacker's mind. Thank you so much for being here. >> Thanks for having me. ♪♪ >> Since president Gerald Ford first recognized it in 1976, February has been celebrated as black history month. For the next four weekends we will bring you stories of black Americans whose lives and work are lesser-known.
Their contributions all the more significant because they were accomplished in the face of injustice and discrimination. Tonight, the story of a woman who helped down -- take down one of America's most notorious mob boss. It is part one of our series, hidden histories. She always understood the power of public service. When she was seven years old, her parents, both social activist, fled the south after race riots, moving the family to Brooklyn. >> She was ahead of her time.
>> She is the director of public programs at a museum in las Vegas. >> Her father founded the black division of the ymca and her mother was a social worker and activist and a political organizer. She also worked for the ymca's war efforts during World War I. She was one of the women assigned to work with about 200,000 segregated black troops who were stationed in France at the time.
Her family history holds a lot of depth and a lot of history when it comes to civil-rights. >> This is the example that she is growing up in. Who she looks to for inspiration.
>> He is the author of the humanity archive, which highlights achievements of black Americans that history books have long ignored. Her family made sure she got a good education. >> She went to Smith college.
She was only the second black woman to receive a bachelors and masters degree. She entered Fordham law school as the first black woman to graduate. . From that school >> She became an assistant district attorney working in women's court, prosecuting sex workers. Her talents came to the attention of Thomas Dewey, beginning his rise to national prominence as a New York state special prosecutor going after organized crime. Carter joined his all-white, all-male team. >> They have this unconventional relationship.
Do we -- Dewey clearly knew how talented as it -- an educated Ms. Carter was. A lot of people were talking to her. They may have not felt as comfortable talking to the men about what they were doing.
>> She was paid less than her male counterparts and passed over for promotions. But her experience in women's court gave her knowledge they did not have. >> She noticed that women being arrested for prostitution from all over New York City were being represented by the same lawyers and same bell bondsman. -- Bail bondsman. >> She connected it back to the boss of the mafia.
>> He was a very savvy businessman. He was also a ruthless mafioso. What we know as the mafia today was started by him. He consolidated through gangster families during the prohibition era to one century supervised -- centrally supervised criminal organization. >> Carter and her colleague at the time convinced Dewey that organized crime control the brothels. They would pocket about $40 of their $200 weekly earnings and in contrast but mob boss earned millions every year.
>> Carter spearheaded an investigation that included raids on brothels across new York City. This led to a conviction on more than 60 counts of forced prostitution. He was sentenced to 30-50 years in prison. This episode really helped establish Thomas Dewey nationwide. He was a presidential candidate.
How much credit did Eunice Carter get in this? >> It is just within the last few years of covering -- recovering her legacy and her contributions to this place and this grand place that she holds in American history in going against organized crime. >> After leaving the government, Carter entered private practice. She was active in the ywca, naacp, and was an advisor to the united nations.
It was her work in the luchiano case that cemented her legacy and earned her the title lady racket buster. >> She was able to really hone in and really put this case together in a way that only she could do. ♪♪ >> That is pbs news weekend for this Saturday.
For all of my colleagues, thank you for joining us. See you tomorrow. >> Major funding for pbs news weekend has been provided by -- >> Consumer cellular has been offering wireless plans designed to help people do more of what they like. Our customer service team can help find a plan that fits you. ♪♪ >> And with the ongoing support of these individuals and institutions.
This program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. Thank you. [Captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy.
Visit ncicap.org] ♪♪