Puerto Rico, Gert Berliner, FAA discussed on The Takeaway
Joining us now is NPR is Jim Sorolla. He's been watching all of this. And Jim, obviously, the crash investigations are still going on. But this is the first time senators could really put these questions to the FAA, right? And it was Daniel l well these acting head, and yeah, it was mostly polite here he spent much of much of his time. Trying to explain the FAA's system for inspecting. Certifying changes to plane design on this has been very controversial because both both of the planes that crashed seem to have trouble with this new computer system that Boeing installed that's supposed to stabilize the plane on the FAA has a program in which it sometimes delegates to aircraft companies the responsibility to kind of inspect themselves and what they do. The transportation department is now conducting an audit, and how how these changes were made in the case of the Boeing seven thirty-seven max, so Al well, he talked about that. He also tried to strive to ensure everybody about the overall safety of the aviation system. US regulators have been criticized for not grounding, the seven thirty seven max right after the second crash as other countries did did L address that. Oh, yeah. He did. He talked about how the after the first crash the agency was in the middle of investigating it. It'd been talking to Boeing about us potential software fix then. After the second crash. She said, yes, the US did take longer than other countries to take care of this issue. Because it wasn't wanted to see the flight data and understand exactly what happened. He said. Other countries didn't do that. And here's what he had say the important thing to know about using data. We may have been I think someone said the the last country to ground the aircraft, but the United States and Canada were the first countries to ground the aircraft with data. He said other countries actually came to the United States after after took this step and asked to see the data that the US had collected. So he was defending of slower pace that that his agency worked at the other question and all this has been about the pilots. Right. Whether they had enough training on the new software installed. Did he talk about that? Yeah. This is an issue that came up a lot. Because in both cases, the pilots seemed unable to control the planes, and they seem to have been caught by surprise when the stabilization system failed. The chairman of the committee is the subcommittee is Republican Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, and he read from this kind of hair-raising. Raider story about the last few minutes of the lion air flight when the pilots were frantically trying to consult a manual to figure out what was happening here was what cruise said that is not an image that instills comfort or confidence. And it does not suggest that the pilot is aware of how to correct for the system that is adjusting the nose down one in the FAA had replied by saying that the investigators were looking into what happened with these pilots? He said the agency actually has a flight stabilization board in which a group of international pilots trained on simulators of having deal with software changes. And in this case, they didn't feel the system was really any different than what they were used to. So the FAA decided no more training was needed. But that's something. The FAA's is looking into. That's NPR's. Jim zarroli? Thank you. You're welcome. Puerto Rico is pairing back food stamp benefits to the more than one million people who depend on them. That's because the island relies on Washington. To fund its food stamp program. And congress has still not reauthorized that money legislation is now moving through congress to provide that food stamp aid. But President Trump reportedly told Republican senators yesterday that he thinks Puerto Rico has gotten too much aid since hurricane Maria struck the island a year and a half ago. We're joined now by Melendez. She's mayor of the city of Ponce, welcome. Thank you very much. It's a pleasure to talk with you. And the people of our may. Well, thank you for taking the time to talk to us. You know, I was struck by the statistic that I read I understand forty three percent of Puerto Ricans depend on food stamps. I mean, that's like one point three million people what sort of impact have these cuts in aid had already. Well, let me tell you these about forty seven percent of the people of Puerto Rico are below poverty. So forty Jeepers those people need the food stem. I'm asking for for many moons. We have been asking and. Have to know that we the border region people American citizens, and we these search the Saint treatment after the rest of all the Americans from may do I white and everywhere in between. What kind of stories are you hearing from people in your city, and how are they getting through this time without enough food stamps right now. Yes, we really is boring because people said they don't have enough money. People know they need those money to buy the food either. Even though they have. So they care. In his stability to them right now. President Trump has suggested he does support the six hundred million dollars for food stamps for Puerto Rico that's included in the disaster aid legislation. But so he says he doesn't want any more than that for Puerto Rico, more broadly. I understand that you have traveled to Washington several times to ask for more funding after Maria hit, what do you think of the president's reluctance to give more aid? We need the government to release the assigned recovery funds to Puerto Rico and the federal government continues zainy funds through egency is for Puerto Rico recovery and investment will not only help the people. But we'll resolve is saving for the federal government because we are every six months. From universe December the first. Season. Resilient houses. If we have the power of flexibility, and we will not have to ask for more money for the helping if we have. I want to address what it seems like the president is concerned with a White House spokesperson told the Washington Post that the administration is just unwilling to put taxpayers on the hook to correct. A decades old spending crisis that has left Puerto Rico with big economic problems. Do you think there's any merit to that pushback? That taxpayers shouldn't be responsible for Puerto Rico's fiscal problems. We play more money than the Pacers are leading in mail. So. Some places. So people have to understand that we all support what we are watching received from FEMA up until now, but we cannot be left alone to fix this problem. We sat role new support we need that support. And we are suffering. You understand that we are suffering after five we have never saw we five Ziesel. So there is was unprecedented. I hope the president is going to change his mind before it's too late for the people. We need to continue to work together as a nation. We need to be treated equally as part of the nation. Migita Melendez is the mayor of the city of Ponce. Thank you very much for joining us. For me. It was a pleasure to talk with you. Thank you very much. We'd like to take a moment. Now to remember a man who story sparked an emotional response from many of our listeners the man was Gert Berliner, and the story was about Berliners cherished childhood. Toy a stuffed monkey smaller than the palm of your hand. I liked. He was in like, a good luck piece. This story aired last November was told by our NPR colleague early Berliner, the son of Kurt Berliner, Kurt died. This morning Gert Berliner had the toy monkey as child in Berlin back in the nineteen thirties in one thousand nine hundred thirty nine Gertz mother sent him to Sweden to escape the Nazis. He could only bring one small bag. So the only keepsake he took with him was that stuffed monkey can you? Remember it today's before leaving. What was going on what you did? I was only charge transvestite who. The marriage of my parents was not the best. I really I was my mother's all. And for her. To give up her child. Is. Loic. The. The pain that she must have been SU calendar. But she let me go. While Gert was living safely in Sweden. His parents back in Germany were sent to Auschwitz. They were murdered there after the war Kurt Berliner, moved to the US where he became a widely published documentary photographer and cinematographer all the while he held onto that stuffed monkey in two thousand three he donated it to the Jewish museum. Berlin. It was there. The monkey was discovered by another Berliner the descendant of one of Kirk cousins, the cousins had lost contact in their separate escapes from Nazi Germany, and it was the monkey that connected Gert with his family here. They are talking last year. Yeah..