– Isn’t the system we use to nominate Presidential
candidates broken? It’s safe to say that the 2020 Iowa Caucus was the very definition of a hot mess. It was certainly the most
contentious Iowa Caucus since the 2016 Iowa Caucus. Every Primary Election cycle, we revisit the same
conversations about reform. Should Caucuses be scrapped? Should Primaries be reordered? Should Primaries even exist? (bright music) What’s so special about
Iowa and New Hampshire, that they always get to go first? Bare in mind, these
largely white, rural states are simply not representative of the Democratic party or of America. So what? Well, these voters have
outsized power in the process. They determine which candidates
deserve a closer look. They say sayonara to losers
and they narrow the field. Votes casted by Iowans
and New Hampshirites may have five times more
impact than all others. Why is this bizarre system in place? Well, it wasn’t always. At the turn of the 20th Century, states started implementing
State Primaries to gage the opinions of voters, but they were largely symbolic because party leaders
still have the final say. Then came chaos at the
1968 Democratic convention when Hubert Humphrey
secured the nomination without a single Primary vote. After he lost to Nixon,
Democratic voters were indignant, and so the party reluctantly yielded some elective power to the people. They instated binding Primaries
and Caucuses nationwide, and the Republicans soon followed suit. Iowa’s Caucus process was so
much more complex than others that they’d need more
time to process the vote, so they moved it to January. Ever since, Iowa has had
first in the nation privilege. It’s written in their state laws that Iowa and New
Hampshire must come first. The DNC protects their positions. If the DNC can do that, surely it can command
more significant changes? Illinois is often touted
as an ideal starter with it’s diversity
and urban rural divide, but it’s a big state, and that means it’s harder for campaigns to reach voters organically. That’s pretty much the same argument against a National Primary. It’s virtually impossible
to make Grassroots inroads across 50 states. It’s difficult enough
campaigning for Super Tuesday, the closest thing we
have to National Primary. It would likely favor big personalities and rich candidates with budgets for ads and stadium-sized rallies. Other plans include
rotating the small states and letting all the small states go first, but small states tend to be less diverse, and so, we’re back to square one. What about increasing turnout to get a fuller, more accurate sample of the will of the people? Mandatory voting is, well, mandatory in other democracies
like Australian, Belgium. While this would increase
voter turnout to the maximum, you may have uninformed or
indifferent voters participating. A better route may be to
make Election Day’s holidays to allow those who are
restricted or pressured by work to freely cast their
ballots like everyone else. What about rank choice voting? Which would ensure winners have the approval of the majority. Maine will be using it
for the general election, so we know it can be done. The main issue is that all these scenarios would need a buy-in for lots of players, not only the two national
parties would make the rules, but also the states,
which implement the rules. – Primaries are voted on and funded by the state legislatures, so in trying to shape them
into some rational shape, you have to deal with
50 state legislatures. – That’s Elaine Kamarck. She’s a member of the DNC rules committee. She says Democratic party insiders are not so concerned with
the changes we’ve discussed. They’re increasingly
favoring Primary reform that’s much more sweeping and controversial and which is slowly gaining
steam inside the machine. – Ultimately, we do want the
voters to make the choice, but we also want the input from the people who govern with a President
of the United States. – The proposal is this. Party leaders, governors
and other stakeholders would vet candidates before they ran and issue them a vote of
confidence or no confidence before voters head to the Primary polls. It would serve as a reality check to make Primaries serious again. – We have come in the 21st Century into an era of celebrities
getting into Primaries, either people who are celebrities or people who want to be celebrities. In 2012, in the Republican side, we saw a pizza entrepreneur. – Running for President, we also had a reality television
star, he had a simple idea, make Mexico pay for a wall
on the southern border. This time, we have people
like Marianne Williamson, a spiritual guru. You have a nice young
man named Andrew Yang who puts out this idea that he’s gonna give
everybody $1000 a month. Neither of those two people belonged on a Presidential stage. – Don’t let the Yang gang hear that. Those candidates would
probably still be able to run, but they’d have red
flags against their names for voters to consider. It’s a kin to peer reviews
in other industries. – If you’re gonna have
a surgery on your brain, you want not a neurosurgeon
whose the most popular and who says the cutest things, you want a neurosurgeon, who
other neurosurgeons have said, oh yeah, this guy is qualified
to crack your skull open. – Even more critical, it would gate keep against
dangerous Demagogues. In 1924, Henry Ford of Ford Motors started campaigning for President. He ran his mouth a lot. He said unsavory things,
many of them antisemitic, and had links to the KKK. He was incredibly popular with the public, but because the Primaries had such little binding power then, he knew he had no path
forward and bowed out. If any of that sounds at all familiar, scholars have compared Ford’s core ideas to making America Great Again. Many Americans may find party
intervention deeply troubling. Would Barack Obama, a relative upstart, have gotten the blessing of party leaders and would he have found
his footing without it? Would party insiders
have given Bernie Sanders the stamp of approval this cycle? Wouldn’t the status quo always win out? So, maybe it’s the very
essence of American Democracy for contenders to duke
it out state by state while hoping for somewhat as to reform at least to increase voter turnout. Most would agree that that
starts with ditching Caucuses, and that’s already underway. With 10 Caucus states from 2016 switching to Primaries this time around. But, until then, maybe
this uncomfortable metaphor for the Primaries from the
DNC Chair actually, kind of, should give us some faith
in the process we have. – We’ve got a remarkably
defense of candidates, and I encourage you to
continue to get to know them, kick the tires, speed date, date multiple people at the same time, fall in love, fall in
love with multiple people, but in the end of the day,
we will have one nominee. – We’ll leave you to
digest that awkward image until we see you next time.
-Now, here is how it works. I’m going to
press this button here, which activates the
Impression Generator. It’ll land on one random
politician and one random topic. You have to improvise.
-Okay, okay. -Whoever’s turn it is
has to do an impression of that politician or the
political figure and talk about what the topic is
until we hear this sound. [ Ding ]
Trevor, you’re up first. Go ahead and press the button.
-Oh, okay. Oh, man. All right. -And you can look on
the screen there. [ Beeping ] Barack Obama. Barack Obama
giving the sex talk. -Okay. Okay.
First, you got to get the thing. [ As Obama ] Uh, right. Um, this isn’t going to be easy,
but progress rarely is. So listen up. Uh, when a man loves a woman, uh, sometimes he wants to
stimulate, uh, her economy. Now, let me be clear.
Let me be clear. I’m talking about
consensual sex. It’s completely natural
and, uh… fun. [ Ding ]
-Thank you, dad. ♪♪
[ Cheers and applause ] Wow! Wow!
Thank you, dad. You can go now.
This is so embarrassing, dad! All right, this is —
That was fantastic. It’s my turn. Here we go.
[ Beeping ] Bernie Sanders. -Oh, yes.
-A Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through. Okay. Bernie Sanders,
Dunkin’ Donuts drive-through. All right. [ Imitates static crackling ]
“Welcome to Dunkin’. Can I take your order?” [ As Sanders ] Hello.
Yes, I would — I’d like a number 7.” “I’m sorry, sir.
We don’t do that here. Like, we’re a Dunkin’ Donuts.” [ As Sanders ] What do you sell?
You sell donuts? “We have donuts. We have coffee.
Can you please speak louder?” [ As Sanders ]
How much louder can I yell?! “Would you like
a donut or a coffee?” [ As Sanders ]
I would not like a coffee. I would like
a cup of steamed milk. And make sure that it’s not 1%. [ Ding ] ♪♪
[ Cheers and applause ] I don’t know
where to go from there. I was trying to get to 1%.
Trevor, you are up. Here we go.
-All right. [ Beeping ] Beto O’Rourke? -Beto O’Rourke reading
cereal-box ingredients. -How does Beto O’Rourke
even sound? -He’s very, he’s very — -Yeah, like, I mean,
I know he does — Oh, he holds the mic
like a rapper. I know that. He holds it —
Oh, yeah. Yeah, like, he’s got, like,
this thing over here. And he’s got a lot of energy. [ As O’Rourke ] All right, let’s
see what we’ve got. We’ve got rice flour. Yes!
Sugar! Frickin’ yes! Flaxseeds!
I was born to eat flaxseeds! Man, I’m passionate. I’m passionate about fiber,
you guys. You know, go eat cereal. I’m Beto O’Rourke,
and I approve of these Mini-Wheats, everybody.” [ Ding ]
[ Cheers and applause ] -That’s all it is. -He’s that excited.
-That’s all he is. -For this last one here —
Should I go one more? Do we have time?
-Yeah. -All right. I’ll do one. [ Beeping ] -Ooh! -Vladimir Putin reviewing
“Child’s Play,” the movie “Child’s –” Okay. [ As Putin ] Let me say this. “Child’s Play” is funniest movie
I’ve ever seen in life. I laugh so hard, I pee pants. Someone was killed by
the little doll, and it wasn’t me who did that. Everyone’s looking at me.
It wasn’t me. It was the doll. Anyway, you should go see little
Chucky in “Toy Story 4.” [ Ding ] I cried. I cried so much.
Cried laughing. The last one?
-All right. This is it. Let’s make it count. -All right,
let’s play with this one. [ Beeping ] -Oh! Oh, wow!
[ Cheers and applause ] -Donald Trump smoking weed
for the first time. -Smoking weed
for the first time. Okay. All right. Let me think.
Smoking weed. Just get into the thing.
Smoking weed for the first time. So he’s… -[ Laughs ]
Oh, my God. -[ As Trump ] Wow! So amazing! So amazing! I can feel it…hitting me…in
all different places. So many places. Are there two of us right now? -[ As Trump ] You’re looking
at yourself right now. -Oh, my God! -It’s been a pleasure
to meet you. -It’s like I’m here.
-It’s a pleasure. It’s like I’m there,
but I’m here, as well. -Oh, my God!
-Oh, it’s an unbelievable thing. -This is so crazy.
-Let’s make spliffs big again. That’s what I’m saying.
-So amazing. Make weed great again.
-Make weed great again. -Make everything great again. -Who is it? Who is it? -[ As Melania ] Donald, are you
smoking weed in there again? -Oh, my gosh! Oh my gosh!
Quick, hide it. -Donald, what did I tell you about you smoking weed
during the day? [ Normal voice ] I was going
Italian with this. I don’t know why.
[ Indistinct shouting ] -All right, there we go.
That’s it. That’s all the time we have for “Wheel of
Political Impressions.” Give it up for Trevor Noah!
Our Townhall colleague Stephen Moore has an interesting analysis of why we should end the credit rating agency racket. While I have some thoughts on a different aspect of this “industry” below, Moore is focused on the role that some of the major entities such as Moody’s and S&P played in the financial collapse of 2007 and 2008. The problem isn’t just the mismanagement of the ratings game and how that led to huge amounts of unsupported credit risk, but the fact that virtually nothing has changed since then and it could all happen again. [I]t is worrisome that a decade later Washington is engaged in the same derelict behavior that caused the crisis. Government agencies are still issuing taxpayer guarantees on more than 90 percent of mortgages — many with less than 5 percent down payments. Yikes. Worse, the biggest conspirators in the meltdown, the duopolistic credit rating agencies Moody’s and S&P, which gave sterling AAA grades on these bonds up nearly to the date they collapsed into financial rubble, are still dominating 80 percent of the credit rating market. Why are they even still in business? Throughout 2007 and 2008, these agencies encouraged investors to snatch up hundreds of billions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities. They told investors these mortgages were “virtually risk-free” and stamped them with AAA ratings. Thanks to this incompetence, millions of Americans lost their life savings, and America suffered one of the greatest financial disasters in our history. The author has plenty more at the link and it’s worth a read. We are no more protected from such a widescale collapse today than we were ten years ago. But today, I’d like to add on to what Moore is writing about and touch briefly on something that affects most of you on a more personal level. What about your own personal credit rating? Do you know what it is? And even if you do, can you explain why you have the score that’s attached to your entire fiscal existence? Right off the bat you can consider the fact that the federal government recently concluded that two of the three major consumer credit reporting agencies were blatantly ripping people off and preventing you from seeing the same information that lenders access when evaluating you. Also, they didn’t bother trying to generate a score for most people of more modest means. Those are just examples of garden-variety greed and corruption. None of that is the main issue. The bigger problem is the way they calculate your score even when the system is supposedly working as intended. Let’s take two hypothetical people here as an example. Mary is a diligent worker and saver who has never been late on the rent, pays all of her utilities on time and promptly meets her other obligations. She has a credit card, but any bills she runs up there are paid promptly at the end of the month. She’s been saving money since graduating college and already has more than 20K in the bank, plus her 401K. Bob, on the other hand, is living far beyond his means and has been for a couple of years. He’s never been evicted but he has been late on several payments. Each one is essentially maxed out or close to it. He has a collection of multiple credit cards. Each time he reaches a limit, the credit card companies raise his limit a bit more. He makes the payments, but barely, juggling them back and forth. He has no savings. Who do you think has the better credit rating? Surprise! It’s Bob, and he leads Mary by a mile. That’s because Mary has an established history of covering her obligations, but she hasn’t racked up a lot of debt allowing the credit card company to soak her for fat interest payments every month. Bob, on the other hand, sits on large piles of debt and sends a significant amount of his pay every month to the credit card companies, making the minimum payments. Mary is clearly the more responsible party, but Bob is the horse those companies like to ride to maximize the amount of money they can get out of him. Thus, Bob has a better credit rating even though he is on the verge of total collapse any day now, just like our economy was in 2007. Credit ratings are not in place to help you. Nor are they any sort of indicator of your level of fiscal responsibility (unless you’re the sort of person who actually is perpetually broke and misses payments all the time). Those credit rating companies exist to serve themselves and the banking industry. They’re looking for suckers they can soak for the most interest possible. They aren’t looking to give anyone a leg up.
>>Sreenivasan: ON THIS EDITION FOR SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 1…>>WE ARE ADJOURNED.>>Sreenivasan: …THE SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL DRAWS TO AN END; BREXIT IS OFFICIAL AS BRITAIN CHARTS A NEW COURSE; AND IN OUR “FUTURE OF FOOD” SERIES, A LOOK AT HOW TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION IS HELPING TO FEED DISPLACED SYRIANS. NEXT ON PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND.>>PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND IS MADEPOSSIBLE BY:BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ.SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.THE CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEINFAMILY.ROSALIND P. WALTER.BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.CHARLES ROSENBLUM.WE TRY TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT,TO NOT MISS WHAT’S RIGHT INFRONT OF US.AT MUTUAL OF AMERICA, WEBELIEVE TAKING CARE OF TOMORROWCAN HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OFTODAY.MUTUAL OF AMERICA FINANCIALGROUP, RETIREMENT SERVICES ANDINVESTMENTS.>>CONSUMER CELLULAR OFFERS NO- CONTRACT WIRELESS PLANS THAT ARE DESIGNED TO HELP YOU DO MORE OF THE THINGS YOU ENJOY. WHETHER YOU’RE A TALKER, TEXTER, BROWSER, PHOTOGRAPHER, OR A BIT OF EVERYTHING, OUR U.S.-BASED CUSTOMER SERVICE TEAM IS HERE TO FIND A PLAN THAT FITS YOU. TO LEARN MORE, GO TO www.consumercellular.tv.ADDITIONAL SUPPORT HAS BEENPROVIDED BY:AND BY THE CORPORATION FORPUBLIC BROADCASTING, A PRIVATECORPORATION FUNDED BY THEAMERICAN PEOPLE.AND BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOURPBS STATION FROM VIEWERS LIKEYOU.THANK YOU.FROM THE TISCH WNET STUDIOS ATLINCOLN CENTER IN NEW YORK,HARI SREENIVASAN.>>Sreenivasan: GOOD EVENING, AND THANKS FOR JOINING US. THE SENATE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL OF PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP IS NEARING ITS END.>>THE MOTION IS NOT AGREED TO.>>Sreenivasan: A NARROW 51-49 VOTE AGAINST CALLING WITNESSES OR ADDING NEW DOCUMENTS YESTERDAY SET THE STAGE FOR WHAT IS EXPECTED TO BE A PARTY-LINE DECISION TO ACQUIT THE PRESIDENT NEXT WEDNESDAY.>>WITHOUT OBJECTION, SO ORDERED. WE ARE ADJOURNED.>>Sreenivasan: AFTER TWO WEEKS OF ARGUMENTS, AMENDMENTS AND QUESTIONS, SENATORS AGREED TO TAKE A BREAK FOR THE WEEKEND. THEY WILL RETURN MONDAY TO HEAR FOUR HOURS OF CLOSING ARGUMENTS. THEN, THEY WILL GET A CHANCE TO MAKE STATEMENTS EXPLAINING THEIR DECISIONS BEFORE VOTING ON THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT. THE VOTE, NOW OFFICIALLY SET FOR 4:00 PM WEDNESDAY, WILL HAPPEN AFTER THE PRESIDENT GIVES HIS STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS ON TUESDAY NIGHT. FOR MORE ON THE IMPEACHMENT TRIAL AND WHAT’S NEXT, ALEXIS SIMENDINGER, NATIONAL POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT FOR “THE HILL,” JOINS US NOW FROM WASHINGTON, D.C. SO, HERE WE ARE, AN OFFICIAL WEEKEND OFF BECAUSE THINGS ARE ALMOST DONE, RIGHT?>>THEY’RE ALMOST DONE. WE’RE JUST A FEW DAYS AWAY FROM THE END OF A DRAMA THAT STARTED IN… IN AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER.>>Sreenivasan: IF THE VOTES LAST NIGHT INDICATED A COUPLE OF DIFFERENT THINGS, ONE IS THAT THE WHITE HOUSE AND MITCH McCONNELL WERE ABLE TO GET SENATORS IN LINE AND MAKE SURE THAT NOT ENOUGH VOTED FOR WITNESSES. BUT ALSO A COUPLE OF KIND OF INTERESTING COMMENTS FROM, SAY, LAMAR ALEXANDER AND MARCO RUBIO. ON THE ONE HAND, THEY SEEM TO AGREE WITH THE HOUSE MANAGERS THAT THE PRESIDENTDIDDO THESE THINGS AND THEYWEREWRONG. BUT ON THE OTHER HAND, THEY’RE NOT VOTING TO WANT TO HEAR MORE ABOUT IT.>>IT WAS VERY INTERESTING TO SEE THE LOGIC BEHIND SOME OF THE SENATORS WHO WERE CONSIDERED TO BE POTENTIAL SUPPORTERS OF THE IDEA OF HEARING FROM WITNESSES AND TO SUBPOENA DOCUMENTS. YOU MENTIONED LAMAR ALEXANDER OF TENNESSEE. HE’S RETIRING FROM THE SENATE, SO THERE WAS SOME THOUGHT THAT PERHAPS ON HIS WAY OUT, HE MIGHT THINK THAT WITNESSES WAS A GOOD IDEA. BUT, IN THE END, WHAT HE SAID WAS INTERESTING. HE SAID THAT HE BELIEVED THAT THE HOUSE MANAGERS HAD ACTUALLY ESTABLISHED THE FACTS, THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD DONE SOMETHING THAT HE CONSIDERED INAPPROPRIATE IN HIS EFFORT TO TRY TO PERSUADE UKRAINE TO START AN INVESTIGATION INTO FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN AND HIS SON. BUT HE SAID, IN HIS VIEW, IT WAS NOT IMPEACHABLE, AND, THEREFORE, IF HE HAD DECIDED IT WAS NOT AN IMPEACHABLE OFFENSE, THERE WAS NO POINT IN HEARING FROM ADDITIONAL WITNESSES. SENATOR MARCO RUBIO OF FLORIDA, WHO WE REMEMBER HAD ACTUALLY CHALLENGED DONALD TRUMP IN THE PRIMARY IN 2016, ALSO SUGGESTED THAT, IN HIS VIEW, THERE MIGHT HAVE BEEN MERIT TO THE SUGGESTIONS THAT THE PRESIDENT HAD ACTED INAPPROPRIATELY, BUT IT WAS NOT IMPEACHABLE. SO, WHAT WE’RE GOING TO BE GOING INTO IN THESE SPEECHES EARLY THIS WEEK AND LEADING UP TO THE VOTES ON THE TWO ARTICLES OF IMPEACHMENT ARE ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS FROM LAWMAKERS ABOUT WHY THEY’RE VOTING IN PARTICULAR WAYS. AND WE KNOW WHAT DEMOCRATS THINK, BUT THERE THERE’S STILL SOME DEMOCRATS WE WANT TO HEAR FROM. AND THEN, OF COURSE, THESE REPUBLICANS ARE VERY MUCH EAGER TO EXPLAIN TO THEIR ELECTORATE IN THEIR STATES. SUSAN COLLINS FROM MAINE IS A REPUBLICAN WHO DEFINITELY WANTS TO TALK TO HER CONSTITUENTS IN MAINE. SHE’S UP FOR REELECTION, AND SHE VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE IDEA OF WITNESSES.>>Sreenivasan: WERE THESE SENATORS CONCERNED OVER TIME THAT THIS INCREASES THE POWER OF THE PRESIDENCY, THAT THIS CREATES A SITUATION WHERE CONGRESS IS LESS OF A CHECK ON THE PRESIDENT’S POWER?>>IT WAS THE CASE IN LISA MURKOWSKI’S SITUATION. SHE’S THE REPUBLICAN FROM ALASKA. WHEN SHE PUT OUT A STATEMENT ABOUT WHY SHE WAS VOTING AGAINST WITNESSES– SHE WAS CONSIDERED A SWING VOTE ON THAT… THAT QUESTION– SHE TALKED ABOUT HOW THE CONGRESS HAD FAILED. THE SENATE HAD FAILED. SO, THE QUESTION YOU’RE ASKING IS AN IMPORTANT ONE THAT LAWMAKERS IN BOTH PARTIES, CANDIDATES IN BOTH PARTIES ARE ASKING BECAUSE THE CONCERN THAT’S BEING RAISED IS ON BASIC OVERSIGHT. IS THIS NOW A PRESIDENT WHO FEELS SO UNFETTERED AND SO UNBOUND BY THE LEGISLATIVE BRANCH, AND SO SUPPORTED BY THE ARGUMENTS THAT THE CONSTITUTION GIVES HIM VAST POWERS, THAT HE WILL CONTINUE TO FLOUT OR SEEK WAYS TO EXERT HIS EXECUTIVE AUTHORITY IN WAYS THAT THE CONGRESS IS INCAPABLE OF CHALLENGING. AND THAT’S COMING UP FROM NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISERS AND NATIONAL SECURITY EXPERTS, TOO, BECAUSE THE TERRAIN OF THIS IMPEACHMENT WAS UNIQUE. IT DEALT WITH INTERNATIONAL AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS AS OPPOSED TO DOMESTIC ISSUES. AND SO, THE CONCERNS IN BOTH PARTIES ACTUALLY ARE REAL GOING FORWARD.>>Sreenivasan: ALL RIGHT. AND WE WILL HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO HEAR FROM THE PRESIDENT OVER THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS. WELL, MULTIPLE OCCASIONS, REALLY. THE FIRST STARTING IN… IS THE PRE-SUPER BOWL CONVERSATION THAT HE HAS SCHEDULED WITH SEAN HANNITY.>>WE’RE GOING TO HEAR A LOT FROM PRESIDENT TRUMP, AS YOU MENTIONED. HE’S GOING TO BE DOING A PREGAME INTERVIEW THAT WILL BE PRETAPED. SEAN HANNITY IS A… AN ENORMOUS SUPPORTER OF THE PRESIDENT’S. THE PRESIDENT AND HIS CAMPAIGN HAVE PAID AT LEAST $5 MILLION FOR AN AD DURING THE SUPER BOWL, SO WE’RE GOING TO HEAR HIS PITCH FOR REELECTION. THE PRESIDENT IS ALSO GOING TO BE GIVING US THE STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS ON TUESDAY EVENING. AND THAT SPEECH, OFTEN WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP, IS VERY MUCH A TELEPROMPTER-PREPARED SPEECH, BUT IT’S AN INTERESTING DYNAMIC OF STANDING IN THE… BEFORE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND TALKING WHILE THE TRIAL IS ACTUALLY STILL TECHNICALLY GOING ON.>>Sreenivasan: ALEXIS SIMENDINGER FROM “THE HILL,” JOINING US FROM WASHINGTON. THANKS SO MUCH.>>THANK YOU SO MUCH.>>Sreenivasan: TODAY MARKS THE FIRST DAY AFTER BREXIT. THOUSANDS OF BREXIT SUPPORTERS GATHERED IN LONDON LAST NIGHT TO COUNT DOWN TO THE EXACT MOMENT THE UNITED KINGDOM LEFT THE EUROPEAN UNION. (BELL RINGS) THE OFFICIAL DEPARTURE COMES THREE AND A HALF YEARS AFTER THE COUNTRY VOTED TO LEAVE THE E.U. BY A NARROW MARGIN OF 52%-48%. STARTING TODAY, THE U.K.’S OFFICE IN BRUSSELS IS JUST AN EMBASSY. WITH BREXIT, THE 62-YEAR-OLD E.U. NOW HAS 27 MEMBERS. IN A VIDEO MESSAGE ON SOCIAL MEDIA, PRIME MINISTER BORIS JOHNSON PROMISED TO BRING THE COUNTRY TOGETHER.>>IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT SOME LEGAL EXTRICATION. IT IS POTENTIALLY A MOMENT OF REAL NATIONAL RENEWAL AND CHANGE.>>Sreenivasan: THE U.K. NOW HAS TO NEGOTIATE NEW TRADE DEALS, INCLUDING WITH THE E.U. DESPITE THE FORMAL DEPARTURE FROM THE E.U., THERE ARE STILL SIGNS OF DIVISION. IN SCOTLAND, WHERE BREXIT WAS OPPOSED BY A WIDE MARGIN, THERE WERE PROTESTS AND SIGNS SUPPORTING SCOTTISH INDEPENDENCE. JOINING US NOW VIA SKYPE IS NPR’S LONDON CORRESPONDENT, FRANK LANGFITT. FRANK, YOU WERE OUT THERE ON THE STREETS YESTERDAY WHEN PEOPLE WERE OUT THERE ON THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION. WHAT WERE THEY SAYING?>>WELL, IT REALLY DEPENDED ON WHO YOU TALKED TO AND WHERE YOU WENT. I WAS DOWN AT PARLIAMENT SQUARE LAST NIGHT RIGHT IN FRONT OF BIG BEN, WHERE THERE WAS THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE. SOME OF THEM WERE WEARING UNION JACKS AS CAPES AROUND THEIR SHOULDERS. THEY WERE THRILLED BY THIS. THEY FELT THAT THIS WAS THEIR INDEPENDENCE DAY. OTHER PLACES YOU WENT, THERE WERE CANDLELIGHT VIGILS OF PEOPLE, I THINK, SAD, BUT ACCEPTING THIS, KNOWING THAT REMAINING IN THE E.U. IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. AND EVEN A FEW CLASHES I SAW BETWEEN REMAINDERS AND LEAVERS. SO, THERE’S STILL… YOU COULD REALLY SEE A LOT OF THE DIVISIONS STILL IN THIS COUNTRY.>>Sreenivasan: OKAY, SO HERE YOU ARE WAKING UP IN THIS POST-E.U. BRITAIN, AND, IF YOU’RE A LEAVER, WELL, THE ROSES HAVEN’T STARTED TO BLOOM; AND IF YOU’RE A REMAINER, THE EARTH HASN’T OPENED UP AND SWALLOWED THE ENTIRE ISLAND. SO, WHAT IS THE ACTUAL IMPACT ON A DAY-TO-DAY BASIS?>>RIGHT NOW, ALMOST NOTHING. NOTHING HAS CHANGED THIS MORNING. AND THE REASON FOR THAT IS THE LAST THING THAT THE UNITED KINGDOM OR THE E.U. WOULD NEED IS SOME SORT OF ABRUPT, YOU KNOW, SEVERING OF THE RELATIONSHIP. THEY NOW HAVE 11 MONTHS IN A TRANSITION PERIOD TO TRY TO WORK OUT A NEW FREE TRADE ARRANGEMENT BETWEEN THE BOTH SIDES. AND THAT’S GOING TO BE VERY DIFFICULT– IN FACT, MUCH MORE DIFFICULT, IF YOU CAN IMAGINE IT– THAN THE LAST THREE AND A HALF YEARS THAT LED TO PARALYSIS IN THE GOVERNMENT HERE. THE EUROPEAN UNION WOULD LIKE A MUCH CLOSER RELATIONSHIP. THE UNITED KINGDOM, THEY WANT INDEPENDENCE, AND THAT MEANS THEY’LL PROBABLY HAVE TO PAY FOR IT WITH TAXES AND TRADE BARRIERS.>>Sreenivasan: AND THAT MEANS THAT ALSO WHEN YOU SAY RENEGOTIATE, THAT MEANS WITH EACH MEMBER NATION?>>NO, THEY’LL BE DOING IT ENTIRELY WITH THE E.U. BUT WHAT’S REALLY IMPORTANT HERE, HARI, THAT’S IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER, IS THE E.U. WILL NOW BE 460… 450 MILLION CONSUMERS AND ABOUT 60-SOME HERE. SO, THIS IS A VERY IMBALANCED RELATIONSHIP. THE E.U. HAS A LOT OF LEVERAGE. ALSO, THERE’S THIS SHORT WINDOW TO DO THIS. SO, THAT’S A LOT OF PRESSURE ON THE UNITED KINGDOM IF THEY DON’T WANT EVENTUALLY CRASH OUT AT THE END OF THIS YEAR.>>Sreenivasan: RIGHT. AND THEN, WHAT ABOUT SCOTLAND IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS?>>THIS IS ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING. WHAT’S GOING ON WITH SCOTLAND RIGHT NOW IS, AS YOU HAVE THE BREXITEERS CHEERING, YOU KNOW, IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE, YOU HAVE PEOPLE UP IN SCOTLAND SAYING, “WE NEVER VOTED FOR BREXIT. WE DON’T WANT TO LEAVE THE E.U. WE WANT INDEPENDENCE. WE WANT A REFERENDUM AS SOON AS WE CAN GET ONE.” BORIS JOHNSON HAS SAID THE PRIME MINISTER WILL NOT DO THAT ANYTIME SOON. BUT IT’S CONCEIVABLE WITHIN IN THE NEXT TWO OR THREE YEARS, THERE COULD BE AN INDEPENDENCE REFERENDUM. AND I THINK THE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO FOR THE U.K. IS, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE LIKE BORIS JOHNSON, THE BREXITEERS, THEY GET BREXIT, THEY LEAVE THE E.U. AND THEY LOSE SCOTLAND IN THE PROCESS.>>Sreenivasan: AND HOW IMPORTANT IS SCOTLAND IN THIS, AND WHY DOES THIS MATTER?>>WELL, I’VE ALSO SPENT QUITE A BIT OF TIME IN NORTHERN IRELAND. THEY’RE WATCHING SCOTLAND. THERE’S A MOVEMENT NOW, MORE… MORE ENERGY TO EVENTUALLY REUNIFY WITH THE ISLAND OF IRELAND. SO, YOU CAN FEEL THINGS REALLY STRAINING HERE UNDER BREXIT, AND THERE COULD BE A DOMINO EFFECT. IT’S NOT OUT OF THE QUESTION.>>Sreenivasan: ARE THERE PARALLELS BETWEEN WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING IN THE U.K. IN THE PAST COUPLE OF YEARS AND WHAT’S PERHAPS HAPPENED IN THE UNITED STATES QUITE SOME TIME AGO?>>TONS OF COMPARISONS IN TERMS OF 2016 ELECTION AND HERE. I FIND OFTEN AS I TRAVEL– PARTICULARLY, I SPENT A LOT OF TIME IN THE NORTH OF ENGLAND– THESE ARE POST-INDUSTRIAL COMMUNITIES. AND WHEN YOU HAVE CONVERSATIONS WITH PEOPLE UP THERE, HARI, I MEAN, THEY SAY THE SAME SORT OF THINGS YOU WOULD HEAR IN MICHIGAN AND PENNSYLVANIA. THERE IS A… A SENSE OF A COUNTRY CHANGING TOO FAST, SUFFERING FROM GLOBALIZATION. THEY FEEL THAT THEY’VE BEEN LEFT BEHIND BY ELITES IN LONDON. IT’S ALL THE SAME KIND OF LANGUAGE, BUT IT IS VERY HEARTFELT. AND WHAT BORIS JOHNSON WAS ABLE TO DO IN DECEMBER WAS TO GO UP THERE AND SPEAK TO PEOPLE, PROMISE TO GET BREXIT DONE AND THEN REINVEST IN THE NORTH. AND THAT WAS THE WAY HE WAS ABLE TO WIN A BIG ELECTION. SO, WHAT HE DID UP THERE IS NOT DISSIMILAR AT ALL TO WHAT DONALD TRUMP DID IN THE UPPER MIDWEST IN 2016.>>Sreenivasan: SO, HERE HE IS NOW, AT LEAST PART ONE OF GETTING BREXIT DONE– MAKING THE OFFICIAL PAPERWORK, MAILING THAT IN– IS OVER. BUT REALLY, YOU’RE SAYING THAT THE NEXT 11 MONTHS COULD BE HARDER THAN THE LAST THREE YEARS.>>MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. NEGOTIATING OVER… RENEGOTIATING ALL OF THESE SECTORS, WHETHER IT’S AGRICULTURE OR AUTOMOTIVE. I THINK IT IS GOING TO BE MUCH MORE DIFFICULT. AND… AND THE WORST PART ABOUT IT IS, THERE’S SUCH A NARROW WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY. NORMALLY WITH THESE COMPLEX TRADE DEALS, THEY TAKE YEARS AND YEARS.>>Sreenivasan: YEAH.>>BORIS JOHNSON HAS SAID, “11 MONTHS, AND WE’RE OUT.”>>Sreenivasan: AND WHAT ARE THE ECONOMIC IMPACTS? ARE THEY BEING FELT YET IN THE U.K.?>>THEY’VE ALREADY… YOU KNOW, IN A SENSE, HARI, THE… THE UNITED KINGDOM IS ALREADY POORER. RIGHT NOW, THE POUND IS STILL 10% BELOW THE HIGHS THAT IT HAD JUST BEFORE THE BREXIT VOTE. SO, PEOPLE HAVE ALREADY FELT THAT. I WILL SAY EMPLOYMENT IS VERY GOOD. UNEMPLOYMENT IS VERY LOW, BUT GROWTH IS VERY LOW. AND THERE ARE… ECONOMISTS THAT I TALKED TO ARE CONCERNED SINCE THERE’S STILL SO MUCH UNCERTAINTY ABOUT WHAT KIND OF TRADE DEAL THAT THEY GET HERE THAT THEY COULD SLIP INTO RECESSION SOMETIME LATER THIS YEAR.>>Sreenivasan: NPR’S LONDON CORRESPONDENT, FRANK LANGFITT, JOINING US VIA SKYPE TONIGHT. THANKS SO MUCH.>>YOU’RE VERY WELCOME, HARI.>>Sreenivasan: TODAY, MORE COUNTRIES EXPANDED TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS TO TRY TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF THE NEW CORONAVIRUS. AUSTRALIA WILL DENY ENTRY TO NON-CITIZENS WHO TRAVELED TO CHINA IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS. THIS COMES ONE DAY AFTER THE UNITED STATES DECLARED A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY AND ANNOUNCED A SIMILAR TRAVEL RESTRICTION FOR NON-CITIZENS. JAPAN ALSO ANNOUNCED RESTRICTIONS FOR FOREIGNERS WHO VISITED CHINA’S WUHAN PROVINCE, THE AREA AT THE CENTER OF THE OUTBREAK. CHINA SAID TODAY THAT THE DEATH TOLL THERE HAS NOW REACHED 259 AND THE NUMBER OF CONFIRMED CASES HAS RISEN TO 11,791. AS THE EPIDEMIC HAS SPREAD, AIRLINES ARE SUSPENDING FLIGHTS AND COUNTRIES, INCLUDING THE UNITED STATES, ARE EVACUATING CITIZENS. NEARLY 200 AMERICANS WHO WERE EVACUATED FROM WUHAN EARLIER THIS WEEK REMAIN QUARANTINED AT A MILITARY BASE IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA. TO DATE, AT LEAST EIGHT PEOPLE HAVE BEEN CONFIRMED TO HAVE THE VIRUS IN THE U.S. PALESTINIAN LEADER MAHMOUD ABBAS REJECTED PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PROPOSED MIDEAST PEACE PLAN TODAY AT A MEETING OF THE ARAB LEAGUE’S FOREIGN MINISTERS. PALESTINIANS CALLED THE MEETING TO DENOUNCE THE NEW PLAN WHICH THEY SAY FAVORS ISRAELI DEMANDS. THE PLAN, ANNOUNCED ON TUESDAY, WOULD ALLOW ISRAEL TO ANNEX SETTLEMENTS IN THE WEST BANK AND KEEP MOST OF EAST JERUSALEM. PALESTINIANS WOULD BE GRANTED LIMITED SELF-RULE IN PARTS OF THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK AND STATEHOOD IN GAZA. IN HIS SPEECH TODAY, ABBAS THREATENED TO CUT SECURITY TIES WITH BOTH ISRAEL AND THE U.S. THAT WOULD MAKE ISRAEL RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING BASIC SERVICES TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PALESTINIANS IN THE WEST BANK AND ELIMINATE PALESTINIAN COOPERATION WITH U.S. INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES COMBATING EXTREMISM. THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION’S ENVOY TRYING TO NEGOTIATE A PEACE DEAL WITH THE TALIBAN IN AFGHANISTAN ARRIVED IN KABUL TODAY. ZALMAY KHALILZAD REPORTEDLY TOLD AFGHAN PRESIDENT ASHRAF GHANI THAT THERE HAS BEEN “NO NOTABLE PROGRESS” IN THE TALKS WITH THE TALIBAN. KHALILZAD WAS IN PAKISTAN YESTERDAY. IN A STATEMENT, THE U.S. EMBASSY IN ISLAMABAD SAID KHALILZAD WAS THERE TO RALLY SUPPORT FOR AN AGREEMENT WITH THE TALIBAN TO REDUCE THEIR ATTACKS. THAT IS CONSIDERED A FIRST STEP TOWARD ENDING THE 18-YEAR U.S. WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. IN AUSTRALIA, NEW WILDFIRES ARE THREATENING THE CITY OF CANBERRA. THE REGION AROUND THE CAPITAL CITY IS NOW UNDER A STATE OF EMERGENCY DECLARATION AND RESIDENTS ARE BEING WARNED TO SHELTER IN PLACE IF THEY HAVE NOT EVACUATED. THE FIRE HAS BURNED MORE THAN 88,000 ACRES OF FOREST AND FARMLAND SOUTH OF CANBERRA. SIX FIRES IN THE SOUTHEASTERN REGION OF AUSTRALIA ARE BURNING OUT OF CONTROL. HOT AND WINDY CONDITIONS ARE EXPECTED TO CONTINUE THROUGH THE WEEKEND. FOR MORE ON WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE U.S. AND AROUND THE WORLD, VISIT www.pbs.org/newshour.>>Sreenivasan: ACCORDING TO THE UNITED NATIONS, THERE ARE NEARLY 26 MILLION REFUGEES WORLDWIDE. NEARLY SEVEN MILLION OF THEM ARE SYRIAN. EVEN AFTER THEY HAVE LONG FLED CONFLICTS IN THEIR HOME COUNTRIES, HIGH POVERTY AND UNEMPLOYMENT MEAN THEY ARE STILL STRUGGLING TO FEED THEMSELVES. IN THE FIRST OF TWO REPORTS FROM THE MIDDLE EAST, SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT CHRISTOPHER LIVESAY TAKES US TO JORDAN, WHERE THE UNITED NATIONS WORLD FOOD PROGRAM IS USING TECHNOLOGY AND DIGITAL INNOVATIONS TO BETTER PROVIDE FOOD TO HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SYRIAN REFUGEES. THIS REPORT IS PART OF OUR ONGOING “FUTURE OF FOOD” SERIES WITH SUPPORT FROM THE PULITZER CENTER.>>Reporter: JORDAN IS HOME TO NEARLY THREE MILLION REFUGEES, WHICH MAKES UP ROUGHLY 30% OF THE COUNTRY’S POPULATION. THE REFUGEES HERE COME FROM VARIOUS COUNTRIES INCLUDING IRAQ, PALESTINE, LIBYA, IRAN, AND MORE THAN 650,000 OF THEM ARE SYRIAN REFUGEES THAT FLED THEIR COUNTRY’S CIVIL WAR. 80% OF SYRIAN REFUGEE HOUSEHOLDS HERE STRUGGLE WITH WHAT’S CALLED “FOOD INSECURITY,” THE INABILITY TO SECURE RELIABLE ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE, NUTRITIOUS FOOD. THIS SURGE IN POPULATION, COMBINED WITH THE DRY, HARSH WEATHER, MAKES GROWING ENOUGH FOOD HERE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT. IN ORDER TO FEED THE ENTIRE POPULATION, JORDAN HAS TO IMPORT 90% OF ITS FOOD. AND, AS FOR WATER, IT’S RUNNING OUT.>>(translated): JORDAN FACES WATER SCARCITY. EVEN DRINKING WATER IS NOT ALWAYS AVAILABLE.>>Reporter: JORDAN IS ONE OF THE MOST WATER-SCARCE COUNTRIES IN THE WORLD. KHALED AL-HISA IS A DIRECTOR IN JORDAN’S MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE.>>(translated): SYRIAN REFUGEES HAVE INCREASED THE DEMAND AND PRESSURE ON THE NATURAL RESOURCES WE HAVE IN JORDAN. THE GOVERNMENT HAS TO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX.>>THIS IS DEFINITELY ONE OF THE FIRST…>>Reporter: IN THIS CASE, THAT MEANS TRYING TO FIND A BETTER WAY OFGROWINGFOOD. TO DO IT, THE COUNTRY IS WORKING WITH THE UNITED NATIONS’ WORLD FOOD PROGRAM. JACQUELINE DEGROOT IS HEAD OF W.F.P.’S JORDAN PROGRAM. THIS UNIT GROWS BARLEY HYDROPONICALLY, USING WATER BUT NO SOIL. THE BARLEY IS USED AS ANIMAL FEED.>>SO, THE SEEDS ARE PUT HERE IN ONE OF THE TRAYS. AFTER A COUPLE OF DAYS, THE SEEDS IMMEDIATELY START GROWING. YOU CAN ALREADY SEE SOME SPROUTING HAPPENING.>>Reporter: THE SEEDS ARE PLACED IN TRAYS AND WATERED FOR JUST 30 SECONDS A DAY. IN SEVEN DAYS, THE BARLEY IS FULLY GROWN. AND IN A COUNTRY GIVEN TO DROUGHTS, THIS USES 90% LESS WATER THAN TRADITIONAL METHODS DO.>>SO, THIS IS AT THE END OF THE CYCLE. SO, THIS IS READY TO BE EATEN BY THE ANIMALS.>>Reporter: SO, YOU’RE TRYING TO ROLL THIS OUT FOR REFUGEES LIVING IN TENTS?>>THIS HIGH-TECH UNIT IS REALLY MEANT TO DO THE RESEARCH. SO, WE KNOW THE BEST WAY TO ROLL IT OUT INTO A MUCH SMALLER LOW- TECH UNITS THAT ARE LOCALLY SOURCED THAT ARE MUCH CHEAPER, OBVIOUSLY, AND THEREFORE IT’S GOING TO BE ROLLED OUT IN THE WHOLE COUNTRY.>>Reporter: GOT IT. SO, IT’S HIGH-TECH NOW SO IT CAN BE LOW-TECH LATER.>>EXACTLY.>>Reporter: THE LOW-TECH HYDROPONIC UNITS CONSIST OF SIMPLE PLASTIC WALLS WITH ROWS OF BINS INSIDE. THEY PRODUCE LUSH, GREEN FODDER USED TO FEED ANIMALS INCLUDING COWS AND CAMELS. ONE KEY COMPONENT OF THIS PROGRAM IS TEACHING LOCAL REFUGEES HOW TO GROW THE FOOD AND MAINTAIN THE UNITS THEMSELVES.>>(translated): WE WASH THE SEEDS, WE PLANT IT, AND WE HARVEST IT ONE WEEK LATER. WE SELL THE BARLEY, AND WE MAKE MONEY. WHEN I FIRST CAME TO JORDAN, THE LIVING CONDITIONS WERE VERY DIFFICULT. THANKFULLY, THINGS GOT BETTER. I STARTED WORKING IN HYDROPONICS, AND THEN THINGS AT HOME IMPROVED.>>Reporter: SO FAR, W.F.P. IS RUNNING ITS HYDROPONICS PROGRAM FOR REFUGEES IN SEVEN COUNTRIES. THE INFLUX OF REFUGEES INTHISCOUNTRY HAS PUT A BURDEN ON THE ALREADY-TIGHT JOB MARKET, SO CREATING EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES IS CRITICAL. IN JORDAN, THE HYDROPONICS PROGRAM HAS CREATED 177 JOBS. DID YOU EVER IMAGINE THAT YOU’D ONE DAY BE FARMING WITH HYDROPONICS?>>(translated): NO. I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD WORK IN HYDROPONICS OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT.>>Reporter: DID YOU HAVE ANY EXPERIENCE IN FARMING IN YOUR LIFE?>>(translated): YES. WE USED TO PLANT IN OUR HOME IN SYRIA, BUT THAT WAS TRADITIONAL FARMING, NOT HYDROPONICS. WE CAME HERE, AND THERE WERE PEOPLE ALREADY WORKING ON THE PROJECT. THEY TRAINED US WELL, SO I DIDN’T FACE ANY DIFFICULTY AT ALL.>>Reporter: THIS 21st CENTURY SYSTEM OF GROWING FOOD REPRESENTS W.F.P.’S PUSH TO USE NEW TECHNOLOGICAL APPROACHES TO PROVIDING FOOD AID. MORE THAN 100,000 SYRIAN REFUGEES LIVE INSIDE CAMPS. THE CAMPS ARE SO BIG, IN FACT, THAT THEY HAVE REGULAR SUPERMARKETS WHERE PEOPLE GO TO BUY FOOD WITH MONTHLY STIPENDS PROVIDED BY W.F.P. PEOPLE CHOOSE WHAT THEY WANT AND MAKE THEIR WAY THROUGH THE CROWDS. BUT IT’S THE CHECKOUT LINE THAT MAKES THIS SUPERMARKET UNUSUAL; THE REFUGEES USE THEIR EYES TO PAY THROUGH IRIS SCANS. THE SCANS ARE VERIFIED REMOTELY BY W.F.P., WHICH KEEPS TRACK OF EVERYONE’S ACCOUNTS.>>SO, THEY LOOK INTO A LITTLE CAMERA, WHICH IS AN IRIS SCAN. THE CAMERA RECORDS THEIR IRISES, VERIFIES THIS IS INDEED THE PERSON THAT IS ALLOWED TO DO THE SHOPPING, AND THEN THE PAYMENT IS DONE. SO, IT’S BASICALLY THE SAME THING THAT YOU… THAT PEOPLE USE IN AIRPORTS WHERE YOU HAVE THE IRIS SCAN SYSTEM. SO, NOW, IT’S ALSO DEVELOPED IN A WAY THAT, FOR EXAMPLE, WE USE IT IN SUPERMARKETS. IT’S BIOMETRICS. IN A SENSE, IT’S… IT’S FUTURISTIC. ITISTHE FUTURE. WE SEE IT MORE AND MORE.>>Reporter: IT ALSO MAKES IT HARDER FOR PEOPLE’S MONEY TO GET STOLEN BECAUSE THEY ARE THE ONLY ONES THAT CAN ACCESS IT WITH THEIR EYES.>>IT IS A SAFE AND SECURE WAY TO ENSURE THAT THE PEOPLE THAT HAVE RECEIVED THE MONEY ARE ALSO THE PEOPLE THAT ARE BUYING THE FOOD.>>Reporter: NEARLY 500,000 REFUGEES ARE USING THIS IN JORDAN. DEGROOT SAYS THAT THERE IS NO SILVER BULLET FOR PROVIDING FOOD AID TO REFUGEE POPULATIONS, BUT USING ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY IS AN IMPORTANT STEP TOWARDS ENSURINGEVERYONEHAS ACCESS TO FOOD.>>IN A PLACE LIKE THIS, WHERE YOU CAN SEE THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING ELSE, NOTHING GROWS HERE, PEOPLE HAVE NOTHING ELSE BUT THE AID THAT THEY ARE GETTING. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TO KEEP INNOVATING. INNOVATIONS REALLY HELP US BEING EFFICIENT, BEING RELEVANT AND MAKING SURE THAT WE CAN PROVIDE THE BEST AID THAT WE POSSIBLY CAN.>>THIS IS PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND,SATURDAY.>>Sreenivasan: THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN NATION OF ZIMBABWE IS ANOTHER COUNTRY WHERE HARNESSING THE POWER OF HYDROPONICS IS HELPING TO LIMIT FOOD SHORTAGES AND IS PROVIDING ONE LOCAL WOMAN AN OPPORTUNITY TO GROW A NEW BUSINESS IN HER OWN BACKYARD. IN A SMALL GREENHOUSE IN ZIMBABWE’S CAPITAL, HARARE, VENENSIA MUKARATI IS PREPARING HER LETTUCE FOR HARVEST. AN ACCOUNTANT BY DAY, MUKARATI WAS LOOKING FOR A WAY TO EXPLORE HER PASSION FOR FARMING. BUT WITH NO ACCESS TO FARMLAND, SHE LOOKED FOR OTHER OPTIONS AND STUMBLED ACROSS HYDROPONICS. INSTEAD OF PLANTING CROPS INTO SOIL, THEY’RE GROWN IN WATER AND DRAW NUTRIENTS FROM THE LIQUID. MUKARATI ORDERED A HYDROPONICS SYSTEM AND SOON BEGAN FARMING IN HER OWN BACKYARD.>>HYDROPONICS FARMING SAVES WATER, AND I REALLY ENJOY IT BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT THE WATER. I DON’T HAVE WATER HERE, SO I HAVE TO BUY WATER. BUT BECAUSE IT’S HYDROPONICS, I’M SAVING WATER BY 90%.>>Sreenivasan: WATER IS CONSERVED BECAUSE IT’S REUSED SEVERAL TIMES. THIS MEANS IN A COUNTRY LIKE ZIMBABWE THAT’S EXPERIENCING DROUGHT, WATER GOES FURTHER. AND THERE’S ANOTHER BENEFIT.>>WHEN YOU ARE DOING HYDROPONIC FARMING, YOUR CROP GROWS FASTER BY A THIRD, AND YOU TEND TO HARVEST IT IN A SHORTER PERIOD THAN WHEN YOU ARE DOING CONVENTIONAL FARMING, WHEN YOU ARE FARMING IN THE SOIL.>>Sreenivasan: IT TAKES ABOUT SIX WEEKS FOR MUKARATI TO HARVEST HER VEGETABLES, COMPARED TO ABOUT TEN FOR PLANTS GROWN IN SOIL. THAT MEANS HER CUSTOMERS– RESTAURANTS AND MARKETS IN HARARE– GET THEIR PRODUCE QUICKER. HER BUSINESS NOW MAKES MORE THAN $1,000 A MONTH. THIS IS IN A COUNTRY WHERE THE AVERAGE GOVERNMENT SALARY IS LESS THAN $80. AND THIS NEW INCOME HAS MUKARATI LOOKING TO EXPAND HER BUSINESS. SHE ALREADY TRAINS OTHERS IN HYDROPONIC TECHNIQUES, AND SHE HOPES TO BE IN A LARGER GREENHOUSE BEFORE THE END OF THE YEAR.>>Sreenivasan: AMERICAN SOFIA KENIN WON HER FIRST GRAND SLAM TITLE AT THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN TODAY. THE 21-YEAR-OLD, WHO MOVED FROM RUSSIA TO THE UNITED STATES AS A CHILD, DEFEATED TWO-TIME MAJOR CHAMPION GARBINE MUGURUZA. KENIN BECAME THE YOUNGEST PLAYER TO WIN THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN SINCE MARIA SHARAPOVA, WHO WON IN 2008 AT THE AGE OF 20. KENIN’S WIN WILL MOVE HER TO 7th IN THE WORLD, SURPASSING SERENA WILLIAMS AS AMERICA’S TOP PLAYER. THAT’S ALL FOR THIS EDITION OF PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND. I’M HARI SREENIVASAN. THANKS FOR WATCHING. HAVE A GOOD NIGHT.>>PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND IS MADEPOSSIBLE BY:BERNARD AND IRENE SCHWARTZ.SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III.THE CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEINFAMILY.ROSALIND P. WALTER.BARBARA HOPE ZUCKERBERG.CHARLES ROSENBLUM.WE TRY TO LIVE IN THE MOMENT,TO NOT MISS WHAT’S RIGHT INFRONT OF US.AT MUTUAL OF AMERICA, WEBELIEVE TAKING CARE OF TOMORROWCAN HELP YOU MAKE THE MOST OFTODAY.MUTUAL OF AMERICA FINANCIALGROUP, RETIREMENT SERVICES ANDINVESTMENTS.ADDITIONAL SUPPORT HAS BEENPROVIDED BY:AND BY THE CORPORATION FORPUBLIC BROADCASTING, A PRIVATECORPORATION FUNDED BY THEAMERICAN PEOPLE.AND BY CONTRIBUTIONS TO YOURPBS STATION FROM VIEWERS LIKEYOU.THANK YOU.>>YOU’RE WATCHING PBS.
(audience applauds) – All right, so we found some footage, that looks like on tour, where
you’re at a grocery store, and then you just start
going at it with a friend. (YG laughs) I mean, let’s watch this, and you explain what
happened here, go ahead. (audience laughs) Oh, this is when it, oh it got serious. Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh. (man hits floor) (slapping sound) Oh, oh man. (audience laughs) And what happened? Where’s that, what’s that from? When you on tour or something? – Yeah, we on tour, we
in the grocery store getting (mumbles) noodles,
and chips, and all types of. (audience laughs) You feel me? I’m drunk, I can’t go to sleep like this. (audience laughs) – Well, this is what happens to people when they get aisle fever,
take a look at this. (upbeat rock music) What’s up, bitch? Oh! (audience laughs) – So they all go they separate ways. – Oh, and that’s what I’m
saying, all the food is, whenever you get crazy, cause
it’s so bright in there, you just assume there’s cameras. Any time something happens,
everybody scatters. (all laugh) – On your marks, get set… – [Rob] Freedom! (audience laughs) – He was so impressed
though, look at his face. – Oh my God! (audience laughs) Mike’s amazing. Uh, looking for floss, anyone seen floss? What aisle floss is in? – Oh, word. (audience laughs) Oh, man. – All right, pause it, pause it. You’re in the grocery store, you run into that, what do you do? – I’d probably run for my life, she look like she about
to get what she want. (all laugh) – Oh, you gonna fire me, huh? (audience laughs) And you just know like,
I’m sick of this job, you wanna know what? You restack the towels! (audience laughs) – God damn. – [Rob] Ope, just gotta
knock this out real quick. – [Chanel] Oh no! – [Rob] Hold up now, hold up now. (audience exclaims in disgust) – Oh! It ain’t never that bad. – [Rob] Attention shoppers, we’re having a sale on human pudding in aisle five. – Oh, that’s nasty right there. – Look, when you’re old you gotta go, you gotta go, it is what it is. (audience laughs) There you have it folks, the most disgusting
clip we’ve ever played. (audience applauds) All right, so when you hear the phrase, rollin’ fatties, what
does that mean to you? – Rollin’ fatties? – [Rob] Yeah. – Um. – What kind of question is this? (audience laughs) – All right, well here on Ridiculousness, we have a new version of rollin’ fatties. – Uh-oh. – It’s a little bit bigger,
a little bit faster, and a whole lot more fun. Take a look. Rollin’ fatties. Get there, big fella, you got it! Roll it out, roll it out, yes! (Chanel laughs) Man, if you’re that big,
don’t try to run downhill, just roll from the top. (audience laughs) Rollin’ fatty coming through! – [Chanel] Oh, tuck and roll! (audience laughs) – Hey, you know he’s just
like, “I did not push her.” – I mean, it looked
like a commercial like, “You wanna get away?” (audience laughs) – [Man] Push her, there you go! (all exclaim) – [Rob] Oh, man! – But you’re still on
top of your kid, get up. (audience laughs) – Man, it, I feel, I think it’s pretty obvious
you’re too big to be in that. (audience laughs) Somebody roll the garbage to the curb. (audience laughs) Perfect. (audience laughs) – [Chanel] Aww! (audience awws) – [YG] How you gonna throw this
one in there, it’s too cute. – [Rob] Aww, man. (Chanel laughs) – That’s cute. – It warms my heart every time. Just like this, “Oh,
I’m too fat for this!” (audience exclaims) Roll outta here, roll
outta here, roll out! Roll outta here man! (audience laughs) – Is that a hole in his pants? What the hell happened to him? – Look like he wearing
a thong or something. (audience laughs) – When you’re getting
mowed down by a bull, the only thing you can do is roll away. We’ll be right back with
more Ridiculousness. (audience applauds) (upbeat rock music)