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- 07/21/17--15:30: _How the 1967 riots ...
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- 07/21/17--15:01: WATCH: Inside Putin’s Russia
- 07/21/17--15:20: What a scientist suggests you tell your kids about legal marijuana
- 07/21/17--15:25: How the Barefoot Contessa became one of America’s best loved cooks
- 07/21/17--15:40: The great struggle of getting anything done when partisanship reigns
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Finally tonight: With marijuana legal in some form in 26 states and the District of Columbia, many of our kids have questions about pot.
RAND Corporation behavioral scientist Elizabeth D’Amico offers her humble opinion on how to answer their queries.
ELIZABETH D’AMICO, RAND Corporation: Among family and friends, I’m regarded as the Dear Abby of adolescent so-called bad behavior.
Here’s the reason why. Because I have researched alcohol and drug use among teens for more than 20 years, and I’m a parent, people always assume I have devised a foolproof strategy for talking to kids about such issues.
Lately, I have been fielding a lot of questions about marijuana legalization.
I do feel like I have an edge when it comes to talking to my kids about marijuana. But, sometimes, it seems like I am sharing information on the fly, as I drive my kids down a busy L.A. street to school.
Since recreational marijuana was legalized in California last fall, a new billboards pop up all the time to advertise the fine art of smoking weed and where to buy it.
This leads my kids, 11 and 13, to ask a lot of questions: Why do people smoke marijuana? It can’t be bad if it’s legal and they can advertise, right, mom?
As always, it is best to give balanced, honest answers based on facts. Why do people smoke marijuana? Some may smoke it for medical reasons, to help with pain. Others may smoke it recreationally.
Parents might liken it to alcohol. You know how some people have a glass of wine with dinner to relax? Now some may smoke pot for the same reason.
But it’s also important that your kids know that getting can change their mood and behavior. And just like alcohol, tell your kids it’s illegal to drive after you have smoked pot.
I tell my kids the main reason that marijuana is illegal for those under 21 is because their brains are still developing, and marijuana can affect their concentration and memory. It may mean you don’t do as well in school. That can mean fewer opportunities, like getting a good job.
Given this changing legal landscape, my kids and yours are going to be exposed to marijuana as frequently as they are to alcohol. And now that it’s legal, here come the marketing campaigns, which all make smoking pot seem normal.
And just like alcohol and tobacco ads, marijuana ads may influence their choices. My own research has shown that middle school kids who reported seeing ads for medical marijuana were more likely to report smoking pot one year later.
You can’t just say, don’t do it. But you can get the facts, share them with your kids, and help them make a healthy choice.
The post What a scientist suggests you tell your kids about legal marijuana appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now we visit one of the most successful, prolific women in America, the creative force behind the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks and TV shows.
William Brangham recently went to see Ina Garten at her home on Long Island, New York, and has this look at her life and career.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Can I have another bite?
INA GARTEN, Best-selling Cookbook Author: You can have as much as you like.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This is the best job.
INA GARTEN: Isn’t it? This is what I get to do for a living. Isn’t it unbelievable?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: It’s fantastic.
Ina Garten is one of the most famous and beloved cooks in America today. Better known as the Barefoot Contessa, she sits atop a culinary empire built on her bestselling cookbooks, with millions of copies sold, a string of hit TV shows.
INA GARTEN: Just because it’s a weeknight dinner doesn’t mean it has to be boring.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And a legion of devoted fans.
INA GARTEN: This is my little secret garden.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We visited Garten at her home and headquarters in East Hampton, New York. We talked in the huge barn she had built next to her House that’s now her office, test kitchen and TV studio, all in one.
INA GARTEN: This is where the show is shot, and this is where we test recipes. And every morning, I walk across the lawn and I meet the two people, Barbara and Lidey, who work with me. And we just go, OK, what are we going to do today?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s the extent of your commute?
INA GARTEN: That’s my commute.
INA GARTEN: It’s like 100 yards, I think, maybe less, maybe 50.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Pretty amazing.
INA GARTEN: It’s pretty amazing.
I usually just put it right in the middle.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Garten’s career began 40 years ago. But, at first, she gave no hint as to how she’d evolve. In the 1970s, newly married to husband Jeffrey, Garten was a budget analyst in Washington, D.C.,
INA GARTEN: I was working at OMB, Office of Management and Budget.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: For the federal government?
INA GARTEN: Yes, for Ford and Carter. And I worked on nuclear energy policy. How’s that for precedent for the food business?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: It makes no sense whatsoever.
INA GARTEN: I ran from it.
And by the late ’70s, I thought, I have been working here for four years, and nothing has happened. And I just didn’t feel like I had any impact on anything. And I hit 30, and I thought, I want to do what I want to do. And I thought, I want to be in the food business.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: One day, she saw an ad for a specialty food store for sale in the Hamptons, the exclusive beach destination for New Yorkers.
INA GARTEN: I went home and I told Jeffrey about it, and he said, pick something you love to do. If you love doing it, you will be really good at it. And so I made her a very low offer, the woman who was selling it, thinking, well, we will come back. We will negotiate. We drove back to Washington.
I was in my office the next day and the phone rang. And she said, thank you very much. I accept your offer. And I just remember going, oh (EXPLETIVE DELETED).
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: What have I gotten myself into?
INA GARTEN: What have I done?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And that was it?
INA GARTEN: That was it. Two months later, I was behind the counter of a specialty foods store, trying to figure it out.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The store she bought was called the Barefoot Contessa. That was the nickname of the prior owner.
It was 1978, and this was Garten’s very first job in the food industry.
So, had you been a cook before?
INA GARTEN: No.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Not at all?
INA GARTEN: I’d never worked in a store. I never worked in a restaurant. I mean, I cooked at home, but that’s not really the same thing. I taught myself how to cook when I worked in Washington using Julia Child’s cookbooks.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And you have had no training beyond that?
INA GARTEN: No. No.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s amazing.
INA GARTEN: Thank you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The store was a smash, and later moved to a bigger location in East Hampton.
After 18 years, she sold the store and tried her hand at a new venture. In 1999, the Barefoot Contessa cookbook was published, and it quickly became a bestseller. Nine additional books have followed, each a bestseller. All contain her trademark simple and accessible recipes.
INA GARTEN: I think that I had a very clear vision when I started writing cookbooks what I wanted it to be, and that you would open the book, that you would look at the photograph and go, that looks delicious. And then you would look at the recipe and say, I can actually make that and I can make it with ingredients I can find in the grocery store.
I don’t think that’s changed at all.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Having taught yourself how to cook, does that inform the recipes that end up in your book, because you’re thinking of them not from a professionally trained mind, but someone who did this on her own?
INA GARTEN: That’s really smart.
Actually, when I first started writing cookbooks, I remember thinking to myself, what makes me think I can write a cookbook? There are these great chefs who are really trained. And, as I started, I realized, actually, what is my lack is actually exactly right, because I can connect with — cooking’s hard for me. I never worked on…
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Cooking is hard for you?
INA GARTEN: It is so hard for me. Anybody that works with me will tell you. It’s so hard for me. And that’s why my recipes are really simple, because I want to be able to do them.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Soon, executives at the Food Network came calling, and calling, and calling.
I understand you were reluctant at first to do television?
INA GARTEN: Reluctant is the understatement.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Really?
INA GARTEN: I just said no over and over and over again.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Why?
INA GARTEN: I just didn’t think I’d be good on TV. I just couldn’t imagine why anybody would watch it.
And Food Network, fortunately, kept coming back again and again. And they said, just try it. And I thought, well, I will just do 13 shows, and then they will leave me alone.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And that was how many shows later?
INA GARTEN: And, happily, that was 15 years later.
INA GARTEN: I’m still doing it.
I’m going to show you my recipes and my techniques.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The Barefoot Contessa series is now 13 seasons’ strong.
INA GARTEN: You too can cook like a pro.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Her latest version, “Cook Like a Pro,” shows tips and techniques aimed at helping viewers become more comfortable in the kitchen.
INA GARTEN: Everything you need to know, from trussing the bird to carving it.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: What do you know of your audience? Who is watching it?
INA GARTEN: You know, there’s this moment in time when I really got a vision of who the audience was. I was walking up Madison Avenue, and there was a woman in a big fur coat. And she said, “Oh, darling, love your cookbooks.”
And I thought, that’s very nice. Then I kept going.
About a half-a-block later, a truck driver pulled over and said, “Hey, baby, love your show.”
INA GARTEN: And I thought, that’s food.
I think my cookbook audience might be slightly different from my TV audience, but I think they’re people that are interested in food, and that’s everybody.
You’re doing a beautiful job, I have to tell you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You’re just saying that.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: During our visit, Garten showed us a few simple recipes. You can see her demonstrate them on our Web site.
Meanwhile, she says her days are now spent testing new recipes for her upcoming 11th cookbook. It’s due in the fall of next year.
INA GARTEN: I love what I’m doing. I’m really happy doing it, and I hope I can do It forever. And I’m having a ball.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Ina Garten, so great to talk to you. Thank you very much.
INA GARTEN: Well, it was so much fun to talk to you too, William.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Online, one NewsHour staffer shares what Ina Garten taught her about life, love, and dijon vinaigrette. That’s at pbs.org/newshour.
The post How the Barefoot Contessa became one of America’s best loved cooks appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Tonight, we begin a look back, over the next few weeks, at the unrest that hit cities across America in the summer of 1967.
Detroit particularly captured the nation’s attention.
Fifty years later, special correspondent Soledad O’Brien reports on what sparked it all and the scars that remain today.
MAN: On July 23, 1967, Detroit was hit by a riot.
LORETTA HOLMES: Everything broke loose.
MAN: Forty-three dead, thousands injured, and the city in flames.
WOMAN: All we could hear is fire engines and police sirens.
JAMES CRAIG: I guess, when I’m being politically correct, I will say unrest. It’s a riot. It’s a straight-out riot.
MAN: It was just pure rage.
WOMAN: Detroit had been what some people thought was a model city, a place where blacks and whites had found a way to get along.
MAN: There was a lot of enmity and anger between the young black guys and the young white police officers. I think we locked up about 7,000 people total.
WOMAN: A lot of people hollering and screaming and saying, why do you keep messing with us and not go to your neighborhoods?
WOMAN: There were more than 2,500 buildings that were destroyed, looted or burned to the ground, over 1,200 injured.
MAN: A rebellion.
MAN: The white community was calling it a riot.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Detroit 1967, a riot or rebellion? To this day, they still debate what it was.
DAN MCKANE, Retired Detroit Police Department Tactical Mobile Unit: A lot of the smoke was on 12th Street, which is what it was called then.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: The disturbances began on 12th Street, since renamed Rosa Parks Boulevard. They started spontaneously after a routine police raid on an illegal bar or what locals called a blind pig.
Dan McKane was a young street cop in Detroit’s tactical mobile unit.
DAN MCKANE: Each precinct had a vice crew, and they would arrest the proprietors, and then probably write tickets to the rest of the guys.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: How would you have described the Detroit Police Department back in 1967?
DAN MCKANE: Well, it was majority white male.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Tensions between the police and the African-American community appeared to have reached their limit.
LORETTA HOLMES: It came to a boil. People were just tired of being hassled. They was tired of them coming into their neighborhoods.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Loretta Holmes was in that blind pig that night, to welcome back soldiers coming home from Vietnam. Suddenly, police burst in.
LORETTA HOLMES: And then I saw a sledgehammer come through the door. Next thing we know, the police were in there. They took us downstairs. About four — I would say three or four paddy wagons parked.
And oh, my God, it was a million people out there. It’s like somebody got on the bullhorn and said, come to 12th and Clairmount.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: The angry crowd outside exploded into five days of full-out violence. “LIFE” magazine captured 15-year-old Frank Robinson playing in the rubble that was left of 12th Street.
FRANK ROBINSON, Eyewitness: They threw a couple bricks through windows, and the police didn’t come. People saw an opportunity.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: And the opportunity was to do what?
FRANK ROBINSON: To loot. It may have turned into a racial situation later, but from the beginning, it was just people seeing an opportunity to loot.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Detroit’s violent unrest was the largest in the U.S. in about 100 years. Violence had also erupted earlier in Newark and Los Angeles.
Quickly, President Lyndon Johnson named a commission to explore the causes. Named for its chair, Illinois Governor Otto Kerner, the Kerner Commission’s only surviving member is former Oklahoma Senator Fred Harris.
FRED HARRIS, Former Oklahoma Senator: What we said was, we can describe with particularity the conditions that exist in the places where these riots occur, almost criminally inferior schools, no jobs, housing really terrible, and we have to get at these kinds of basic problems.
And that’s certainly true again.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What was the biggest finding of the Kerner Commission report?
FRED HARRIS: Our nation is moving towards two societies, one white, one black, separate and unequal.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: The report was rejected by the president. None of its recommendations were ever adopted.
SHEILA COCKREL, Former City Council member, Detroit: The fact that it never went anywhere, that it really didn’t drive the level of policy and drive the level of people dealing with race, is a testament to how deep-seated and how tough it is to not only have the conversations, but to make the change that would be required.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Sheila Cockrel, who served on the Detroit City Council for 15 years, says white flight already plaguing Detroit escalated rapidly after the unrest.
Other forces were at play. The auto industry was hit by an oil crisis and foreign competition. There were two decades of government corruption. In 2008 the global financial crash hit Detroit particularly hard.
And, then, in 2013, Detroit became the largest municipality ever to file for bankruptcy. Today, Detroit police are adamant that they are trying to repair their relationship with the public. They have trained police officers in all 12 precincts to build stronger community ties.
Officer Donald Parker.
How do you build trust in a neighborhood?
OFFICER DONALD PARKER, Detroit Police Department: Building now is us filtering into the community, saying hi to Ms. Jones, and saying, hey, we’re here, we’re here, we’re touchable, we’re reachable, to let them know not to be afraid of us.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: The composition of the force has also changed. In 1967, it was 5 percent African-American. Today, it is about 65 percent African-American, including the chief, James Craig.
JAMES CRAIG, Chief, Detroit Police Department: Well, what happened 50 years ago, I can’t say would never happen in Detroit, because there’s still issues.
We have one of the highest poverty rates, and while we have an above-average relationship with the community, there’s the issue of opportunities. And while that’s getting better and while the city has made a major turnaround, there’s still this belief that, while the turnaround is happening in certain parts of the city, it’s not in others.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: A sign of the work remaining to be done: Detroit’s poverty rate is double what it was in 1967. The city struggles with segregation, inadequate housing and has the lowest school test scores and graduation rates in the nation.
Anika Goss-Foster is with Future City Detroit, which imagines modern-day uses for blighted properties. Goss-Foster’s focus is the next 50 years.
ANIKA GOSS-FOSTER, Executive Director, Detroit Future City: We call them dinosaurs, where there are old monster plants that are now sitting vacant in the middle of residential neighborhoods.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: The old Packard plant, a dinosaur, abandoned since the 1990s, is being developed into the shops and galleries in hopes of reviving the neighborhood.
ANIKA GOSS-FOSTER: Things aren’t happening the way as quickly as they want it to happen. And they certainly aren’t happening at a rate where it should happen. But if you really pushed, there are a lot of good things happening all over the city. There are parks that are being taken care of that have never been taken care of bore. The city is completely lit. People are much more involved in their neighborhoods than they have ever been.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Entrepreneurs and business leaders have transformed 7.2 miles of downtown into a booming neighborhood that has attracted tourists, tech start-ups and new businesses.
But the boom hasn’t yet trickled down into the neighborhoods that Goss-Foster is trying to develop.
ANIKA GOSS-FOSTER: I think that there are a lot of black people that would say they do feel left out. I wouldn’t say that they feel ignored. I think they feel like, when is it my turn?
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Right, to get investment.
ANIKA GOSS-FOSTER: To get the same kind of attention and investment.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Neglect felt firsthand by Loretta Holmes.
LORETTA HOLMES: We don’t have anything. There’s nothing there anymore.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: So, what happened to the neighborhoods?
LORETTA HOLMES: People moved out. People moved out. They left. They walked away. No one kept the property up.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Loretta Holmes stayed behind.
LORETTA HOLMES: We were in Central. We were totally a community. We were a community. This is what we did. We took care of each other.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: She mentors students at her alma mater, Detroit’s Central High.
LORETTA HOLMES: We give scholarships. We go ahead and we will buy the jerseys for the football team. Kids that doesn’t have a coat, we do it undercover, because we don’t want the other kids to know.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Her investment in kids is what gives her hope for a better future for Detroit.
Is the city of Detroit better off today than it was?
LORETTA HOLMES: Heck no.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: In the ’60s?
LORETTA HOLMES: No. No. No, because it’s …
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Better off than five years ago?
LORETTA HOLMES: Than five years ago? Yes, because now I can see the change. I really can.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Change that, for a city with a history of racial conflict and struggle, is long overdue.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Soledad O’Brien in Detroit.
The post How the 1967 riots reshaped Detroit, and the rebuilding that still needs to be done appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But, first, the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
It’s good. It looks like you’re paying attention.
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: Yes, Hari.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right.
So, let’s start with health care. This week, we started with repeal and replace. And then it went to repeal now, replace later. Neither of those seem to be going anywhere.
MARK SHIELDS: The Republicans’ health care plan had three problems. It wasn’t healthy, it wasn’t caring, and there was no plan.
MARK SHIELDS: It was just that simple.
I mean, you can’t get people to vote for something when they don’t know, A, what it is, there’s no public case for it, but, beyond that, it just — the conservatives, led by Rand Paul, objected that it didn’t root out and repeal Obamacare. That was correct.
And the moderates, embodied by Susan Collins, who we just saw in the previous piece, objected that it was going to hurt, unnecessarily and gratuitously, millions of Americans who are needy and depend on Medicaid. True.
So, the two were almost irreconcilable. And I think they can’t figure out now how to leave the field without embarrassment. Ideally, if you’re a Republican, you do not want to vote on this. You do not want to vote Tuesday, because it’s going to be used against you.
It is incredibly unpopular. It’s got 16 percent support in the country. There is not one person of the 213 in Republican — in the House of Representatives voted against it who regrets having voted against it.
And there are scores of House members in the 217 who voted for it who are nervous that they voted for it. So, that’s where it is.
DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: Yes, I don’t think it’s dead.
I think, from what I hear, they’re leaning on Mike Lee, the senator who has been a no vote who is the decisive no vote, to change his mind, to buy him out with something and offer him something. And then they figure, once they get him on board, there are probably another Republican 15 senators who would like to vote no, but they don’t want to be the one person who kills it.
And so the feeling, if you can get Mike Lee, you can get some of the others. And they might pass it. I wouldn’t say it’s likely, but I think — I just think it’s too early to say it’s dead now.
The second thing to say is, Mitch McConnell has two parts of his job. The one is to create a process where reasonable legislation gets promoted. And the second is to whip for that legislation.
I think he did an abysmal job on one job and a pretty good job on job two. As Mark said, you have got a plan with 16 percent approval. Nobody in the Senate likes it, including the Republicans. They all hate having to vote for it. And he still got 48 votes. That’s kind of impressive.
But the underlying problem is, you have a chance to change, to reform health care. There are a lot of conservative ideas to reform health care. And it would solve some problems. You could pick some things that a lot of people would like. You could have catastrophic coverage for the 20-odd million people that are still uninsured after Obamacare.
You could do a lot of — offer a lot of things to a lot of people and do it in a conservative way. But that’s not what this Republican Party does. They just say, we want to cut Medicaid.
And they’re unwilling to talk about anything positive, though there are some things in the bill. It’s just, what can we take away from you? And what can we take away from the poor and the needy and the children?
And it’s a publicity and a substantive disaster area that they’re just trying to live with.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What about the president’s role in this?
MARK SHIELDS: The president’s role in it is mercurial.
He said let Obama founder and burn. Then the next day, he says no, within 24 hours to the Republican senators, you have got to come up with a plan. He knows nothing about the specifics. He knows nothing about the substance. He’s made no public case for it.
I don’t — I think David makes a very compelling point. I would just say this, that Mitch McConnell had a reputation as this master strategist. And what Mitch McConnell’s greatest accomplishment as leader has been is that he denied a hearing to one of the sixth most qualified nominees to the Supreme Court in the last century. That’s it.
There’s a big difference between obstruction and construction and putting together a coalition. And it’s a lot easier to get people to vote against something than it is to vote for something and to take a chance.
And when you’re denied the individual mandate, that is you let healthy young people not pay anything, you leave as a pool of people for insurance who are older and sicker. Therefore, it’s going to be more expensive.
I mean, you know, this isn’t rocket scientists, in spite of the president saying it’s a lot more complicated than it is.
DAVID BROOKS: I thought something important happened with the Republican views with the president.
They were having all these meetings in the White House. And, apparently, they’d have these substantive meetings with Mike Pence or with somebody else, with staff. And they would talk through things. They would try to make some progress.
And then the president would dip in and do something, say something extremely stupid, extremely ill-informed. And then they would all groan and live through it and wish he would leave. And then he would go.
And so that could be a change in psychology. Everybody in the Senate has problems with the president. But if you begin to have, oh, he’s just the crazy uncle, like an attitude of contempt, then relationships between the Republicans on the Hill and the White House really do begin to change.
It’s not some guy, oh, he has some political magic. It’s some guy who really just is annoying and gets in the way.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk about the interview that he gave to, some people would call it the paper of record, and the President Trump calls it the failing New York Times.
In this conversation, which is worth reading in its entirety, it’s just fascinating, he lashes out at lots of his supporters. He undermines his own attorney general. He goes after almost a broadside to Robert Mueller. He talks about blackmail and Comey.
What did you glean out of that?
DAVID BROOKS: First, our subscription levels have been way up since the Trump era. And one of our journalists tweeted out, we even fail at failing. That’s how bad we are.
DAVID BROOKS: And there are a couple things to say about the interview.
One, I was shocked by the lack of just articulateness. We all hate it when we read a transcript of ourselves. It’s always embarrassing, but not that embarrassing. These really are random — they’re not even thoughts. They’re just little word patterns, one following another, about Napoleon, about this and that. It’s a disturbing level of incoherent thinking.
Second, it is — you know, people who work for the White House work for the guy 16, 20 hours a day, And Jeff Sessions in the administration among them, and to dump over everybody.
And then what is interesting to me psychologically, usually, when someone is corrupt or — they are clever. They try to dissemble. They mask their corruption with some attempt to be dishonest.
Donald Trump, give him credit, he’s completely transparent. He basically said in that interview, my corruption can be found in my tax returns. If you look into my tax returns, I will fire you.
He transmits everything that he’s thinking out in public in an incredibly transparent way. So we’re looking at a fact where Bob Mueller will probably go to the tax returns. Donald Trump will probably fire Bob Mueller. And then we will be in some sort of constitutional crisis. And it’s all telegraphed right there out in the open.
MARK SHIELDS: I was amazed by it.
I mean, first of all, I guess just on a personal level, this is a man for whom there is no loyalty, no sense of loyalty in anybody. I mean, Jeff Sessions, whatever one thinks of him, was a Republican senator from Alabama, the first senator in the country to endorse Donald Trump, and a strong supporter.
And, as attorney general, all Donald Trump cares about, is Jeff Sessions going to protect me? And it shows I think a couple things. It shows the obsession he has with the Russian investigation. There’s no two ways about it.
I mean, again, he recycles these baseless charges about Jim Comey, that he perjured himself in testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which he didn’t, that he leaked confidential information, which he didn’t.
And — but there’s absolutely no sense of loyalty that he has to anyone else, Donald Trump. And I just find that — you know, we talk about, is there smoke there or whatever? His obsession with the Russian investigation, now he’s back blaming Rod Rosenstein for firing Comey.
But he went on Lester Holt on NBC News and took credit for it, said, didn’t make any difference what Sessions and Rosenstein recommended. I was going to fire him anyway.
So, I’m just — there’s no coherence to the man, but there’s an obsession.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Well, let’s talk a little bit about somebody who has been loyal to the president, Sean Spice, who stepped down today. He resigned over the announcement that Anthony Scaramucci was going to be named communications director.
Scaramucci played it down. He and Spicer and I think Reince Priebus were all scheduled to go on FOX tonight in a sort of unified show, right?
But what do you make of it?
MARK SHIELDS: Well, I mean, Sean Spicer, prior to going to work at the White House, those of us who had dealt with him over the years, he was likable, he was helpful, he was a loyal Republican, but a square shooter.
As soon as he made the bargain to go to work for Donald Trump, you know, I don’t know if he sold his soul, but he sold part certainly of his self-respect.
The very first thing Trump demanded that he do was to go out and lie about the size of the crowd on inauguration. And Sean Spicer did it. And then he lied about the orders that Barack Obama had, in fact, bugged, wiretapped, President Obama had, the headquarters of Donald Trump’s building.
And then it was that three million undocumented immigrants had voted on Election Day, and that’s why Donald Trump — I mean, so, it was tragic to watch this erosion of his own integrity.
And he’s not a bad guy or anything of sort. But everybody, I can honestly say, with rare exception, who has been associated with this administration and this president has been diminished by it.
Their reputation has been tarnished. They’re smaller people as a result of it. And that’s tragic.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Does it give you a glimpse into the state of Twitter?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, that’s the exact point I was going to make.
Yes, I can’t think of anybody whose reputation has been enhanced by going into the Trump administration. Rex Tillerson was a serious businessman, well-respected. Jeff Sessions was a serious senator, pretty conservative, quite serious. Sean Spicer was a normal communications guy in Congress — or in Washington.
So he’s like an anti-mentor. He takes everybody around him and he makes them worse. And so that’s what Spicer had to face. And he will have to live with that and live with the reputational damage that he’s incurred.
Scaramucci is a very interesting case. He’s a guy from Long Island. Trump is from Queens. They made it big financially in the big city. They have some sort of parallel careers. Scaramucci is a very friendly guy. Everybody is sort of like a fun game to him.
And I thought his performance today was quite good, actually. And so it could be that he will flourish in this White House. He’s very smart. He’s not to be intellectually underestimated. It could be he’s chief of staff before long. And we will see.
But he’s someone who has a much more deft personal manner, as well — while being kind of a wild guy, than anybody else in there right now.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Finally, John McCain, this past week, it was — the entire Senate vote was delayed because of a surgery. And it turned out what they found in that surgery was much more serious.
MARK SHIELDS: Yes. I mean, I just think that John McCain stands alone. And I make no apologies for thinking that highly of him.
At a time when you look at these people on television, starting with Scaramucci, a bad guy who has a good performance, they’re flag lapel pin patriots.
John McCain never wore a flag lapel. John McCain didn’t wave the flag. He defended it. And he’s been a leader in the United States Senate on so many issues, and especially, I mean, not just simply taking on big tobacco and big money, but reaching across the aisle.
And de Gaulle said that the cemeteries of Europe are full of indispensable men. I would say John McCain is irreplaceable in our national life. And I just pray that he recovers.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Very briefly to just his position in the Senate?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes. We have covered him a long time. And I think we both think more highly of him.
He’s a man with intense internal honesty. He sometimes did stuff that was political, but he always seemed to — he never, never lied to himself.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, David Brooks, Mark Shields.
The transcript of this will be very clear.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Thank you both.
MARK SHIELDS: Thank you.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: From the White House to Capitol Hill.
For seven months, congressional Republicans have taken a sharply partisan route on health care. They have made several attempts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, which have failed. But why did Republicans go partisan in the first place?
It’s part of a cultural shift in Congress years in the making for both parties.
Our Lisa Desjardins explains.
LISA DESJARDINS: Congress these days has an obvious theme.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, I-Vt.: I should think that every Republican should be embarrassed.
MAN: Our Democratic friends are trying to make it more difficult for President Trump to do his job.
SEN. CHUCK SCHUMER, D-N.Y., Minority Leader: We urge our Republican colleagues to change their tune.
LISA DESJARDINS: More blame than legislation on the floor. Veteran GOP Senator Susan Collins of Maine has long been considered one of its most bipartisan members, but she admits it’s becoming harder.
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, R-Maine: We are in a time of hyper-partisanship that is unlike any other that I have seen in my time in the Senate.
LISA DESJARDINS: Some examples this year? Republicans going it alone on health care, with a partisan House vote and a Republican-only closed-door process in the Senate, Democrats forcing symbolic late-night sessions and boycotting committee hearings, slowing the legislative process to a near stop.
And this month, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed Democrats for his decision to postpone the Senate’s August recess.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-K.y., Majority Leader: Due to this unprecedented level of obstruction that we have been experiencing, we will be in session the first two weeks of August.
LISA DESJARDINS: All just five weeks after this: a gunman opening fire on a Republican baseball practice, leaving House Majority Whip Steve Scalise initially in critical condition, and still recovering.
The attack brought a chorus of calls for bipartisanship.
REP. NANCY PELOSI, D-Calif., House Minority Leader: We are not one caucus or the other in this House today.
REP. PAUL RYAN, R-Wis., Speaker of the House: We are united.
LISA DESJARDINS: Later that day, the managers of the Republican and Democratic teams urged an end to the sharp divide.
REP. JOE BARTON, R-Texas: We have an R or a D by our name, but our title — our title is United States representative.
LISA DESJARDINS: We caught up with Representatives Joe Barton and Mike Doyle again, and asked if things have changed.
REP. MIKE DOYLE, D-Pa.: There’s no cure for this. And it’s not just our responsibility. Bipartisanship either gets fanned or, you know, encouraged by outside forces, too.
LISA DESJARDINS: But both say too many members get attention now with sharp words.
REP. JOE BARTON: At the end of every two years, do you want to go home and say, man, I gave a heck of a press conference, or do you want to put something else on your wall, that you have got a bill signed into law?
LISA DESJARDINS: Barton admits he was once a young bomb thrower, and accepts some blame for his party.
REP. JOE BARTON: When I got elected, I joined the Gingrich group. So I was a part of the problem at the time.
LISA DESJARDINS: In the 1994 Republican Revolution, then-new Speaker Gingrich made partisan battles a central strategy. Years later, in 2013, Democrats upped the partisan ante, changing Senate rules to push through some nominees with no Republican votes.
Of course, partisanship, even partisanship, is as old as Congress itself, from duels, to a near fatal beating inside the Senate chamber, to this staircase outside the House chamber, where you can still see what is said to be blood stains from where a newspaper reporter shot a former member of Congress in 1890.
But divide can have a purpose, says Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.
AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: I don’t think partisanship in and of itself is a bad thing. The challenge is when that alone is what prevents people from working together to do other things.
LISA DESJARDINS: Part of the trouble, fewer moderates. Data from The Cook Political Report shows that, 20 years ago, more than a third of all House districts were moderate, voting similarly to the nation as a whole. But, since then, House districts have become more partisan, red or blue, and the number of moderate or swing seats has fallen by half.
AMY WALTER: And they have all been replaced by ideologues either on the left or the right.
LISA DESJARDINS: One reason, special interest groups on the left and the right are spending record amounts of money in ads, and increasingly scoring lawmakers’ votes on sometimes narrow issues.
Again, Susan Collins:
SEN. SUSAN COLLINS: Unfortunately, there’s a lot of pressure from outside special interest groups to toe the party line. They want 100 percent fidelity, 100 percent of the time, to 100 percent of their views. And, if you deviate, you are going to feel the consequences.
LISA DESJARDINS: All this underscores how a major issue like health care remains unresolved, and it sets up a great struggle. To get anything done, Republicans in power may soon have to work with Democrats.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Lisa Desjardins.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: It was a tumultuous day in the Trump administration, with a major shakeup involving the public faces of the Trump presidency.
All this came among new reports of conflict within Mr. Trump’s legal team, as they prepare to respond to the investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller.
We break it down now with Rosalind Helderman, political enterprise and investigations reporter for The Washington Post.
Thanks for joining us.
What’s the Trump legal team’s strategy to deal with this investigation?
ROSALIND HELDERMAN, The Washington Post: Well, we reported today that the legal team is examining a broad array of options that would allow it — or would lead to the restraining or restricting of the special counsel’s investigation.
At present, they say they are cooperating with special counsel Bob Mueller, but we understand that they are doing research into possible conflicts by Bob Mueller himself, conflicts of interest or members of his staff that he is assembling.
Keep in mind that conflict of interest is one of the only things in the regulations establishing the special counsel that can be used by the attorney general or in this case the acting attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, to dismiss the special counsel.
So they are looking at that and a number of other things that would try to curb this sort of scope of this expanding investigation.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Did any of these conflicts of interests come up when Mueller was originally assigned to the task? Did Jeff Sessions or anyone else give him a pass on these?
ROSALIND HELDERMAN: Yes, that’s a good question that we don’t entirely know yet.
We do know that President Trump himself has said that he interviewed Bob Mueller to be FBI director very shortly before his appointment as special counsel.
One of the conflict that we reported today the White House has been examining is, of all things, Bob Mueller’s membership at the Trump National Golf Course in Northern Virginia. Apparently, White House advisers tell us there was some variety of dispute over his membership fees at that club.
Now, Mueller’s office has told us that’s not true. There was no membership fee dispute, so we’re continuing to try to learn more about that. But whatever happened at the golf club, President Trump clearly didn’t see it as an impediment to potentially appointing Bob Mueller to be FBI director, so it’s interesting that they’re now returning to that topic.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk a little bit about the legal team that seems to be changing, at least faces, in the past few days.
ROSALIND HELDERMAN: That’s right.
We saw today the resignation of Mark Corallo, who had been sort of the spokesman for the team. He had been officially the spokesman for Marc Kasowitz. He’s a New York-based attorney who had worked with Donald Trump on various matters for many years who has been until today the leader of this team.
There have been some reports that he is leaving the team altogether. Our reporting is that Kasowitz is remaining aboard, but is going to take a reduced role. The leader now is John Dowd, who was hired last month, a veteran Washington litigator. He had been involved in the investigation of Pete Rose of baseball fame.
He’s leading the team. Jay Sekulow, familiar to television viewers, remains on the team as sort of its public face.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The individual that you mentioned, Mr. Dowd, actually came out in The Wall Street Journal and kind of questioned this reporting that The Washington Post had done and said that it’s not true that President Trump and his team were looking into the act of possibly pardoning his aides or himself.
There are multiple lawyers. Is it just the lawyers that you spoke to vs. Mr. Dowd?
ROSALIND HELDERMAN: So, we feel very comfortable in our sourcing for our story. When he said that this morning, we did add those comments — they were on the record — to our story to reflect his denial.
We feel comfortable that our story was accurate and accurately reflected conversations that have been going on amongst this large legal team.
I would note Mr. Dowd gave an interview to The Wall Street Journal in which he said that in fact the legal team is not at all interested in the topic of conflicts of interest. Well, Jay Sekulow was quoted in that very same story as saying they are looking at conflicts, that any reasonable lawyer would do so.
So there was a conflict right there in the same story from two different lawyers for the team.
HARI SREENIVASAN: If I’m a lawyer representing somebody like the president, wouldn’t it be normal for me to say let’s look at the tools that my clients have? If one of the tools includes a presidential pardon, shouldn’t I just investigate what the parameters of that pardon are?
ROSALIND HELDERMAN: Yes, absolutely.
And as we reported, we do believe that this was a conversation about legal options, that this wasn’t the president saying that he plans to pardon himself or that he believes he is ultimately going to need a pardon, which is to say he believes he’s going to be accused of a crime.
This was a conversation about legal options and the powers of the presidency. How does the president go about or what’s the breadth of his authority to pardon staff, to pardon family members, and indeed what does the Constitution say and the law say about a president pardoning himself, which actually is a question of rather distinct dispute in the legal community?
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, and, finally, briefly, in the sources that you have spoken with, is the shakeup or at least the changeover in the legal team, as well in the communications department ,part of something bigger?
ROSALIND HELDERMAN: I think there’s a sort of sense of a White House on edge right now. There’s a lot of turmoil.
I certainly wouldn’t guarantee that we have seen the end of the changes. Of course, we will all note that the president had those very harsh words for Attorney General Jeff Sessions earlier this week in an interview with The New York Times. We’re told that people in the White House were quite surprised that those comments didn’t result in Jeff Sessions resigning. He instead came out and said he planned to stay on the job.
So, that’s in the air. The chief of staff, Reince Priebus, there’s been many, many rumors that he’s on his way out. So, I don’t think that the team is settled by any means.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Rosalind Helderman at The Washington Post, thanks so much for joining us tonight.
ROSALIND HELDERMAN: Thank you for having me.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: Moving and shaking today in the White House communications staff. Sean Spicer resigned as press secretary after just six months, saying the president needs a — quote — “clean slate.”
But it was widely reported that he objected to the naming of Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci as communications director.
At a White House briefing, Scaramucci sought to play down talk of any discord.
ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, White House Communications Director: For me, as it relates to Sean, it speaks volumes to who he is as a human being, who he is as a team player. OK? So his attitude is, if Anthony’s coming in, let me clear the slate for Anthony. And I do appreciate that about Sean, and I love him for it. But I don’t have any friction with Sean.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Scaramucci also named Spicer’s deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to be the new press secretary.
In a statement, President Trump praised Spicer’s work, and said — quote — “Just look at his great television ratings.”
The spokesman for the president’s legal team, Mark Corallo, also resigned today. That came amid reports that the lawyers are hunting possible conflicts of interest by special counsel Robert Mueller. Mueller is investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The White House would neither confirm nor deny the reports. The president’s lead lawyer did deny a Washington Post account that they’re examining whether Mr. Trump could pardon relatives, aides and even himself.
We will take a closer look at all of this after the news summary.
Israeli-Palestinian tensions erupted into street battles today between police and protesters in Jerusalem and the West Bank. At least three Palestinians were killed, and nearly 400 hurt.
Exploding stun grenades drowned out Friday prayers in Jerusalem, as ambulance sirens wailed. Palestinians called it a day of rage, protesting Israel’s installation of metal detectors at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews.
RAFIQUE HAYAT, Muslim Resident of Jerusalem (through interpreter): This place is made for worshipping God. They cannot prevent Muslims from entering to pray. They are acting against God.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Israelis put up the metal detectors after Arab-Israeli gunmen killed two police officers last Friday. It happened at the complex known as the Temple Mount to Jews and the Noble Sanctuary to Muslims.
Inside, Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam, and the Dome of the Rock, they’re bordered by the Western Wall, the holiest site in Judaism. Tensions have been building ever since the shooting. Overnight, the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City were filled with protesters throwing stones and security forces firing back with grenades.
Today, police refused to remove the metal detectors, and barred Muslim men younger than 50 from entering the holy site. Security checkpoints also blocked busloads of Muslims traveling to Jerusalem.
MICKY ROSENFELD, Israeli Police Spokesman: The security measures will continue in and around the area of the Old City and the Temple Mount, in order to prevent any further terrorist attacks.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But the grand mufti of Jerusalem rallied thousands of Muslims to pray outside the gates of the old city, under the watch of Israeli forces. He predicted a long test of wills.
AMIN AL-HUSSEINI, Grand Mufti of Jerusalem (through interpreter): We do accept any restrictions on the door of the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Therefore, all the Palestinian people reject these gates and refuse to accept or enter through them.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The violence broke out after prayers, and spilled over to towns across the West Bank. Later, the day of rage turned to grief, as mourners held a funeral for one of the Palestinian dead. And a Palestinian stabbed three Israelis to death in a West Bank settlement.
Tonight, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced he’s freezing contacts with Israel on all levels.
In Afghanistan, the U.S. military confirms that a NATO airstrike mistakenly killed Afghan troops today. Officials say it happened during an operation against Taliban fighters in Helmand Province in the south. The provincial governor says at least two Afghan commanders died.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is urging Gulf nations to lift their economic blockade of Qatar. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and the UAE have imposed sanctions on Qatar over charges of financing terror groups. Today, Tillerson met with the Omani foreign minister. He commended the oil state’s efforts to comply with an agreement on curbing terror financing.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. Secretary of State: They have been very aggressive in implementing that agreement. So we are — I think we’re satisfied with the effort they are putting forth. I think they also have indicated a willingness to sit with the four parties and negotiate, discuss the demands.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, Qatar’s emir denounced the blockade as a smear campaign, but said he’s open to dialogue.
President Trump is demanding that Iran release the American citizens it is holding. In a statement this evening, the White House warned of new and serious consequences unless Tehran frees all unjustly imprisoned Americans. At least three U.S. citizens are currently jailed in Iran.
A powerful earthquake shook the coasts of Turkey and Greece early today, killing at least two people. The quake was centered near the Greek island of Kos, and the Turkish tourist hub of Bodrum. Nearly 500 people were injured, and the tremor caused heavy damage to buildings, roads and historical sites. Thousands of tourists were forced to sleep outdoors. Some tried to leave, but got stranded.
MIREILLE COUZEIDAKIS, French Tourist (through interpreter): We were woken up at 1:30 in the morning. We were wondering what happened. Everything was shaking. We panicked and didn’t know what was going on. So, we quickly gathered our stuff and went out of the hotel, because, as it was several floors high, we didn’t want it to fall on our heads. Everyone was out in the street. It was a massive panic. In the hotel lobby, vases and lamps were upside down.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The two people killed were identified as tourists from Turkey and Sweden.
The State Department has announced a ban on Americans traveling to North Korea. A statement today cited the serious risk of arrest and long-term detention in the North. The move follows the death of college student Otto Warmbier. He was jailed in North Korea on a charge of stealing a propaganda poster, then sent home in a coma. He died last month.
And on Wall Street, stocks ended the week in retreat. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 31 points to close at 21580. The Nasdaq fell two points, and the S&P 500 lost about one point. For the week, the Dow was down a fraction of a percent. The Nasdaq rose more than 1 percent, and the S&P was up half-a-percent.
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner “inadvertently omitted” more than 70 assets worth at least $10.6 million from his personal financial disclosure reports, according to revised paperwork released Friday.
The previously unreported assets were included in updated disclosure reports certified by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics on Thursday as part of the “ordinary review process,” according to Kushner’s filing.
Among the new set of assets Kushner disclosed, which could be worth as much as $51 million, he reported owning an art collection worth between $5 million and $25 million. The new forms also reflect that Kushner sold his interest in an aging shopping mall along the Jersey Shore, and no longer has a stake in a company that had held an interest in apartments in Toledo, Ohio.
Kushner also clarified his $5 million to $25 million stake in a holding company that owns Cadre, a real estate tech startup he co-founded with his brother, Joshua, that investors valued at $800 million.
Kushner’s wife and the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, also filed new federal disclosures. She reported assets of at least $66 million and earned at least $13.5 million in income last year from her various business ventures, including more than $2.4 million from the new Trump hotel near the White House.
The filings reflect the extraordinary wealth of Trump and her husband, who jointly made at least $100 million since the beginning of 2016 and hold at least $206 million in combined assets, including some that they report are being sold off. The couple stepped down from running their companies and left behind their lavish Manhattan apartment to move their three small children to Washington earlier this year.
The new disclosures come as Kushner faces renewed questions about his vast business holdings and how they may conflict with his role shaping public policy.
A lawyer advising Kushner said that federal officials are allowed to amend their initial financial disclosures before they are certified, and stressed that Kushner had complex finances.
“Jared and Ivanka have followed each of the required steps in their transition from private citizens to federal officials. The Office of Government Ethics has certified Jared’s financial disclosure, reflecting its determination that his approach complies with federal ethics laws,” said Kushner attorney Jamie Gorelick. “Ivanka’s financial disclosure form is still in the pre-certification stage, as she began the process later.”
Clay Johnson, who served as President George W. Bush’s director of presidential personnel, said he was surprised by the sheer number of updates six months in.
“The way we ran it … is that the general direction to all nominees is tell us what we ask for now. We will then stand behind you whatever may come in. But there are to be no surprises,” said Johnson, who also served as Bush’s deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget.
The federal disclosures filed by Ivanka Trump were her first since taking on an official, unpaid role at the White House.
The bulk of her assets came from the $50 million value she placed on her business trust, formed to hold a collection of her businesses and corporations. The trust produced between $1 million and $5 million in income.
Trump got $2.5 million in salary and severance when she resigned from the Trump Organization in January. She received $787,500 as an advance for her book, “Women Who Work.”
In addition, Trump also revealed that she will be receiving recurring annual payments totaling $1.5 million from some of her real estate and consulting interests, according to agreements she worked out in consultation with the Office of Government Ethics. Her filing notes that the fixed payments were necessary to reduce her interest in the performance of the businesses.
The documents also show that the young couple resigned from a wide array of corporate positions: Kushner stepped down from 266 such posts, while Trump resigned from 292 positions. The form requires officials to report their income within ranges, which makes it difficult to determine the couple’s exact wealth.
A White House spokesman said Kushner sold his interest in the Monmouth Mall in Eatontown, New Jersey, in May. His family company recently received approval from town officials to greatly expand the mall in the face of opposition, and now is embroiled in a related lawsuit filed by four residents. Kushner reported receiving at least $2.1 million in income from the property.
He also no longer owns a company holding an interest in several apartment complexes in Toledo, Ohio. Those complexes are part of the Kushner Cos.’ garden apartment business that includes more than 20,000 units in six states. The Toledo apartments are no longer listed on the Kushner Cos. website, suggesting that the company may have sold them off.
Representatives of the Kushner Cos. did not immediately respond for comment.
Burke reported from San Francisco and Condon from New York. Reporter Jonathan Lemire and researcher Jennifer Farrar in New York contributed to this report.
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WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump helped commission the USS Gerald R. Ford on Saturday and declared that the most advanced aircraft carrier to join the Navy will cause America’s enemies to “shake with fear” whenever they see its form cutting across the horizon.
“I hereby place United States Ship Gerald R. Ford in commission,” Trump said after delivering a speech in which he praised the U.S. military and the American labor that went into building the 100,000 ton, $12.9 billion warship.
“May God bless and guide this warship and all who shall sail in her,” Trump said.
He was followed shortly by Susan Ford Bales, the ship’s sponsor and daughter of the 38th president, whom the ship honors.
“There is no one, absolutely no one, who would be prouder of the commissioning of this mighty ship than the president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford,” she said. “I am honored to give the command: ‘Officers and crew of the United States Gerald R. Ford, man our ship and bring her to life.'”
And with those few words, the ship was brought to life. “Anchors Aweigh” played and sailors who stood in formation in their crisp, white uniforms began filing off to their stations.
Sirens and bells sounds. Horns blared. The U.S. flag was raised to full mast.
Within minutes, the captain was informed that “the ship is manned and ready and reports for duty to the fleet.”
Trump arrived aboard the carrier’s steamy flight deck by the Marine One presidential helicopter and was greeted by Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and other officials.
Trump, who visited the carrier in March to promote his plans for a military buildup, told Time magazine this year that the Navy should revert to using steam catapults to launch fighter jets because some of the state-of-the-art systems and technology aboard the USS Ford “costs hundreds of millions of dollars more money and it’s no good.”[Watch Video]
Construction on the USS Ford started in 2009 and was to be completed by September 2015 at a cost of $10.5 billion. The Navy has attributed the delays and budget overruns to the ship’s state-of-the-art systems and technology, including electromagnetic launch systems for jets and drones that will replace steam catapults.
The warship also has a smaller island that sits farther back on the ship to make it easier and quicker to refuel, re-arm and relaunch planes, and a nuclear power plant designed to allow cruising speeds of more than 30 knots and operation for 20 years without refueling.
The vessel completed sea trials in April but still will go through a battery of tests and workups at sea before becoming operational and ready for deployment, work that is expected to cost nearly $780 million and take more than four years to complete, congressional auditors said in a report this month.
The USS Ford is named after the country’s 38th president, who rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy during World War II. After military service, Ford was elected to the House of Representatives, serving Michigan until he was tapped by President Richard M. Nixon to become vice president.
Ford became president after Nixon resigned during the Watergate scandal.
Docked at Naval Station Norfolk, the USS Ford eventually will house about 2,600 sailors, 600 fewer than the previous generation of aircraft carriers. The Navy says that will save more than $4 billion over the ship’s 50-year lifespan.
The air wing to support the Ford could add more personnel to the ship, which is designed to house more than 4,600 crew members.
“I was with you four months ago and I knew that I had to be here today and I told you I’d be back to congratulate you and the crew and everybody involved in commissioning the newest, largest and most advanced aircraft carrier in the history of this world,” Trump said Saturday. “That’s a big achievement.”
The return visit Saturday fell during what the White House has coined as “Made in America” week, during which Trump and other administration officials highlighted a wide assortment of products — ranging from trucks and helicopters to baseball bats and glass bottles for pharmaceuticals — that are manufactured in the United States.
“This is American craftsmanship at its biggest, at its best, at its finest,” Trump said aboard the carrier during his previous visit. “American workers are the greatest anywhere in the world. This warship, and all who serve on it, should be a source of shared pride for our nation.”
The Ford was built at Newport News Shipbuilding, the giant Navy contractor in Virginia. Trump tweeted before departing Saturday for the ceremony that the Ford is the largest aircraft carrier in the world.
Associated Press writer Steve McMillan in Richmond, Virginia, and Ben Finley in Norfolk, Virginia, contributed to this report.
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Homemade salad dressing seems difficult to make, but it’s actually easy — and much tastier than anything you can buy at a store, Ina Garten says. The “Barefoot Contessa” says it’s the one recipe everyone should know how to make. Here’s how to make her favorite creamy mustard vinaigrette. Watch the video below for her tips and tricks.
In a small bowl (or large measuring cup), whisk together the vinegar, mustard, garlic, egg yolk, salt and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil until the vinaigrette is emulsified. Toss the greens with enough dressing to moisten and serve immediately.
Reprinted from Barefoot Contessa: Family Style. Copyright © 2002 by Ina Garten. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.
Watch Garten’s interview with PBS NewsHour’s William Brangham here.
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U.S. airstrikes mistakenly killed at least 12 members of the Afghan National Police force during an operation against the Taliban on Friday, Afghan officials said.
The strikes were targeting a security compound in support of Afghan forces who were fighting Taliban militants, U.S. officials said. At least two other police officers were wounded.
Afghan’s government has intensified a push to gain back territory in Helmand province from the Taliban with the support of NATO and the United States.
Helmand provincial police chief, Abdul Ghafar Safi, told the Associated Press on Saturday that the police officers killed in the strike were working alongside the Afghan army and had taken a post that was previously held by the Taliban before the strike took place. The police officers were reportedly not wearing uniforms, which could have resulted in the errant strike.
Hayatullah Hayat, governor of Helmand province, said the Taliban had recently taken police posts in the area, which could have added to the confusion that led to the errant strikes.
“The police had recaptured a post from the enemy, and it was hit by mistake with the belief that the Taliban fighters were still dug in there after they took the post on Thursday,” Hayat told the Washington Post.
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Imagine you wanted to find books or journal articles on a particular subject. Or find manuscripts by a particular author. Or locate serials, music or maps. You would use a library catalog that includes facts – like title, author, publication date, subject headings and genre.
That information and more is stored in the treasure trove of library catalogs.
It is hard to overstate how important this library catalog information is, particularly as the amount of information expands every day. With this information, scholars and librarians are able to find things in a predictable way. That’s because of the descriptive facts presented in a systematic way in catalog records.
But what if you could also experiment with the data in those records to explore other kinds of research questions – like trends in subject matter, semantics in titles or patterns in the geographic source of works on a given topic?
Now it is possible. The Library of Congress has made 25 million digital catalog records available for anyone to use at no charge. The free data set includes records from 1968 to 2014.
This is the largest release of digital catalog records in history. These records are part of a data ecosystem that crosses decades and parallels the evolution of information technology.
In my research about copyright and library collections, I rely on these kinds of records for information that can help determine the copyright status of works. The data in these records already are embodied in library catalogs. What’s new is the free accessibility of this organized data set for new kinds of inquiry.
The decision reflects a fresh attitude toward shared data by the Library of Congress. It is a symbolic and practical manifestation of the library’s leadership aligned with its mission of public service.
To understand the implications of this news, it helps to know a bit about the history of library catalog records.
Today, search engines let us easily find books we want to borrow from libraries or purchase from any number of sources. Not long ago, this would have seemed magical. Search engines use data about books – like the title, author, publisher, publication date and subject matter – to identify particular books. That descriptive information was gathered over the years in library catalog records by librarians.
The library’s action sheds light on this unseen but critical network. This infrastructure is invisible to most of us as we use libraries, buy books or use search engines.
For many, the idea of a library catalog conjures up the image of card catalogs. The descriptions contained in catalog records are “metadata” – information about information. Early catalog records date back to 1791, just after the French Revolution. The revolutionary government used playing cards to document property seized from the church. The idea was to make a national bibliography of library holdings confiscated during the Revolution.
For many years, library collections were organized individually. As the number of books and libraries grew, the increased complexity demanded a more consistent approach. For example, when the Library of Congress purchased Thomas Jefferson’s personal library in 1815, it arranged its collections around Jefferson’s personal system organized around the themes of memory, reason and imagination. (Jefferson based this on Francis Bacon’s own model.) The library sought to arrange its collections on that model into the 19th century.
As the number of books and libraries grew, a more systematic approach was needed. The Dewey Decimal System appeared in 1876 to tackle this challenge. It combined consistent numbers (“classes”) with particular topics. Each class can be further divided for more specific descriptions.
In the 1890s, the library developed the Library of Congress Classification System. It is still used today to predictably manage millions of items in libraries worldwide.
Catalogs, cards and computers
By the 1960s, systematic descriptions made the transition from analog cards to online catalog systems a natural step. Machine-Readable-Cataloging (or MARC) records were developed to electronically read and interpret the data in bibliographic cataloging records. The structured categorization coincided naturally with the use of computers.
The Library of Congress remains a primary – but not the only – source for catalog records. Individual libraries produce catalog records that are compiled and circulated through organizations like OCLC. OCLC connects libraries around the globe and offers an online catalog. WorldCat coordinates catalog records from many libraries into a cohesive online resource. Groups like these charge libraries through membership fees for access to the compiled data. Libraries, though, typically do not charge for the catalog records they produce, instead working cooperatively through organizations like OCLC. This may evolve as more shared effort and crowdsourced resources can be combined with the library’s data in ways that improve search and inquiry. Examples include SHARE and Wikipedia.
One month later
In the short time since the Library of Congress’ data release, we see inklings of what may come. At a Hack-to-Learn event in May, researchers showed off early experiments with the data, including a zoomable list of nine million unique titles and a natural language interface with the data.
For my part, I am considering how to use the library’s data to learn more about the history of publishing. For example, it might be possible to see if there are trends in dates of publication, locations of publishers and patterns in subject matter. It would be fruitful to correlate copyright information data retained by the U.S. Copyright Office to see if one could associate particular works with their copyright information like registration, renewal and ownership changes. However, those records remain in formats that remain difficult to search or manipulate. The records prior to 1978 are not yet available online at all from the U.S. Copyright Office.
Colleagues at the University of Michigan Library are studying the recently released records as a way to practice map-making and explore geographic patterns with visualizations based on the data. They are thinking about gleaning locations from subject metadata and then mapping how those locations shift through time.
There’s a growing expectation that this kind of data should be freely available. This is evidenced by the expanding number of open data initiatives, from institutional repositories such as Deep Blue Data here at the University of Michigan Library to the U.S. government’s data.gov. The U.K.‘s Open Research Data Task Force just released a report discussing technical, infrastructure, policy and cultural matters to be addressed to support open data.
The Library of Congress’ action demonstrates an overarching shift in use of technology to meet historical research missions and advance beyond. Because the data are freely available, anyone can experiment with them.
The post The Library of Congress opened its catalogs to the world. Here’s why it matters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — Congressional Democrats announced Saturday that a bipartisan group of House and Senate negotiators have reached an agreement on a sweeping Russia sanctions package to punish Moscow for meddling in the presidential election and its military aggression in Ukraine and Syria.
Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland, the No. 2 House Democrat, said lawmakers had settled lingering issues with the bill, which also includes stiff economic penalties against Iran and North Korea. The sanctions targeting Russia, however, have drawn the most attention due to President Donald Trump’s persistent push for warmer relations with President Vladimir Putin and ongoing investigations into Russia’s interference in the 2016 campaign.
Passage of the bill, which could occur before Congress breaks for the August recess, puts Congress on possible collision course with Trump. The White House had objected to a key section of the bill that would mandate a congressional review if Trump attempted to ease or end the sanctions against Moscow. But if Trump were to veto the bill, he risks sparking an outcry from Republicans and Democrats and having his decision overturned. The sanctions review was included in the bill because of wariness among lawmakers from both parties over Trump’s affinity for Putin.
The precise mechanics of how involved House Democrats would be in the review process had been a key sticking point, but Hoyer said he was pleased with the outcome.
“The legislation ensures that both the majority and minority are able to exercise our oversight role over the administration’s implementation of sanctions,” Hoyer said.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the sanctions legislation “strong” and he expected the legislation to be passed promptly.
“Given the many transgressions of Russia, and President Trump’s seeming inability to deal with them, a strong sanctions bill such as the one Democrats and Republicans have just agreed to is essential,” Schumer said.[Watch Video]
Early Saturday morning, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy posted a legislative business schedule that shows the sanctions bill will be considered Tuesday. McCarthy had pushed to add the North Korea sanctions to the package. The House had overwhelmingly passed legislation in May to hit Pyongyang with additional economic sanctions, but the Senate had yet to take up the bill.
The Senate last month passed sanctions legislation that targeted only Russia and Iran. Congressional aides said there may be resistance among Senate Republicans to adding the North Korea penalties, but it remained unclear whether those concerns would further stall the legislation. The aides were not authorized to speak publicly and requested anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.
“A nearly united Congress is poised to send President Putin a clear message on behalf of the American people and our allies, and we need President Trump to help us deliver that message,” said Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, the top ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee.
The House and Senate negotiators addressed concerns voiced by American oil and natural gas companies that sanctions specific to Russia’s energy sector could backfire on them to Moscow’s benefit. The bill raises the threshold for when U.S. firms would be prohibited from being part of energy projects that also included Russian businesses.
Although there is widespread support for the legislation, the bill stalled after it cleared the Senate over constitutional questions and bickering over technical details. In particular, House Democrats charged that GOP leaders had cut them out of the congressional review that would be triggered if Trump proposed to terminate or suspend the Russia sanctions. But Republicans rejected the complaint and blamed Democrats for holding the bill up.
The review requirement in the sanctions bill is styled after 2015 legislation pushed by Republicans and approved in the Senate that gave Congress a vote on whether then-President Barack Obama could lift sanctions against Iran. That measure reflected Republican complaints that Obama had overstepped the power of the presidency and needed to be checked by Congress.
According to the bill, Trump is required to send Congress a report explaining why he wants to suspend or terminate a particular set of sanctions. Lawmakers would then have 30 days to decide whether to allow the move or reject it.
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Minneapolis police chief Janeé Harteau resigned on Friday in the aftermath of the death of Justine Damond, an unarmed 40-year-old Australian woman fatally shot by a police officer.
“I have to put the communities we serve first. I’ve decided I am willing to step aside to let a fresh set of leadership eyes see what more can be done for the MPD to be the very best it can be,” Harteau said in her resignation statement.
Harteau worked with the Minneapolis police department for 30 years and had served as the city’s police chief since 2012. She was the first woman, first Native American and first openly gay person to serve as chief in Minneapolis.
“I’ve lost confidence in the Chief’s ability to lead us further,” Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges, who asked Harteau to step down, said in a statement on Friday. “This just means that the time has come for new leadership at MPD to get us where all we know we need to be.”
On the night of Saturday, July 15, Damond called 911 to report a possible sexual assault after hearing a woman screaming in an alley near her home. Officer Matthew Harrity, who responded to the call with Officer Mohammed Noor, reported hearing a loud sound as the pair drove around the scene of the reported assault.
Damond approached the driver’s side of the vehicle. Noor then shot Damond from the passenger’s seat. The officers were wearing body cameras that were not turned on at the time of the shooting.
The Star Tribune reported that a witness bicycling around the area before the shooting later saw officers performing CPR.
In a news conference on Friday at Minneapolis City Hall, Hodges announced the new police chief was Medaria Arraondo, a African American man who has worked for the Minneapolis police force since 1989. Protesters who disrupted the conference demanded Hodges’ resignation, though Hodges said that she would not resign.
“Your police department has terrorized enough,” one protester yelled, while others held a banner that read “Communities Against Police Brutality.”
The local government’s response to and media coverage of the shooting have led to online backlash by critics who speculate whether the response was greater because the victim of the shooting was a white woman.
In response to the police chief’s resignation, activist and writer Shaun King tweeted, “Police kill a white woman and heads are rolling like never before.”
There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.
In a piece for the New York Daily News, King wrote, “Maybe, just maybe, with the shooting death of Justine Damond, millions of white people, for the very first time, will now see a victim of police brutality, and see themselves.”
Robert Bennett, the attorney appointed to represent Damond’s family, said she was “‘the most innocent victim’ of a police shooting he has ever seen,” the Star Tribune reported.
Minnesota has seen high-profile cases of police violence before. In 2015, Jamar Clark was shot and killed after an altercation with two Minneapolis police officers. No charges were brought against the officers.
In 2016, Philando Castile was shot and killed by Officer Jeronimo Yanez during a traffic stop in Falcon Heights, a suburb of St. Paul. A jury acquitted Yanez of involuntary manslaughter charges in June.
The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension continues its investigation of the shooting of Damond.
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This is part of an ongoing series of reports called ‘Chasing the Dream,’ which reports on poverty and opportunity in America.
MUSTAFA WILLIS: Yes, coming from the store, on the way to my grandmother’s house…
MEGAN THOMPSON: One evening in 2010, Mustafa Willis was walking to visit his grandmother in Newark, New Jersey, when police stopped him on the street.
MUSTAFA WILLIS: Put your hands up. I put my hands up, he said, don’t move. Checked me, placed me under arrest, the sergeant said, tell me whose gun this is and we’ll let you go. I said, officer, I don’t know nothing about no gun, I’m not from around here.
MEGAN THOMPSON: He was arrested and for having a stolen gun, a charge he denied.
He says bail was set at $50,000, which meant he had to come up with $5,000 – or 10% – for a bail bond, in order to go free. But at the time, he was making only about $1,200 a month after taxes as a truck driver’s assistant.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Could you afford to pay $5,000 to get out of jail?
MUSTAFA WILLIS: No, ma’am.
MEGAN THOMPSON: How long did you sit in jail for?
MUSTAFA WILLIS: Three months.
MEGAN THOMPSON: During those three months, Willis lost his job, missed the funeral of a cousin, and developed high blood pressure, he says, from the stress of being in jail.
MUSTAFA WILLIS: I just wanted to be home with my family. Like that was really it. Like it was just hell for me.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Willis got out after the judge reduced his bail. Eventually, prosecutors dropped the charges but Willis and his family still had to pay back the $3000 bond.
JAMES LUMFORD: Bail was originally set for, I think $200,000 or $250,000.
MEGAN THOMPSON: In 2015, James Lumford spent eight months in jail in Newark, because he couldn’t make bail, after, he says, he was falsely accused of armed robbery.
JAMES LUMFORD: Being locked up into that situation, you never know what you can get into in there, an altercation can happen at any point in time.
MEGAN THOMPSON: While he was in jail, his partner and her children were evicted from their apartment. Desperate to get out and support his family, he pled guilty to a crime he says he didn’t commit. He now works as a plumber but says other jobs may be hard to get.
JAMES LUMFORD: A decent paying job – I can’t pass a background check, because that’s gonna pop up.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Across New Jersey, nearly 40 percent of the people held in jail were there simply because they could not afford bail, according to a 2013 study. Across the nation, black and latino defendants are often the least able to pay.
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: I found probable cause, it’s provable…
MEGAN THOMPSON: At the same time, potentially violent people who had money easily posted bail and walked free, says New Jersey Superior Court Judge Ernest Caposela. Because the state constitution used to require bail for most cases, Caposela says judges did something problematic – setting bail extremely high in order to keep some defendants behind bars.
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: So, you know, half a million dollar bail. A million dollar bail. If I set a bail on you, and I know you can’t make it, that’s an excessive bail. That violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. It violates the presumption of innocence. It wasn’t in my opinion an honest, intelligent, system.
MEGAN THOMPSON: In 2014, spurred by judges and criminal justice reform advocates, New Jersey changed its pretrial justice system in two ways. One, voters approved an amendment to the state constitution giving judges the power to detain without bail anyone who poses a threat or a flight risk.
Two, the New Jersey state legislature passed a bill to abolish cash bail for most nonviolent defendants. It also set up a new system to monitor released defendants, and required prosecutors to try cases more quickly.
The bill passed with bipartisan support, was signed by Republican Governor Chris Christie, a former federal prosecutor, and went into effect in January.
GOVERNOR CHRIS CHRISTIE: We now have a criminal justice system that will permit our judges to keep the truly dangerous sociopath behind bars, will release those non-violent offenders who have only remained in jail because they are poor.
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: This is a detention hearing. Used to be called a bail hearing, but we have a new system now.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Judge Caposela presides over the Passaic County Court in Paterson, New Jersey’s third-largest city. It’s a low income area with one of the state’s highest crime rates.
In the new system Caposela helped devise, judges and attorneys now rely on a “public safety assessment,” or PSA, to predict the risk a defendant poses. A computer algorithm evaluates nine risk factors – like whether defendants have prior violent convictions or failures to appear in court. John Harrison oversees the new pretrial services program for Passaic County.
JOHN HARRISON: If someone fails to appear in the last two years, it goes up.
Defendants receive two scores, from one to six…. She results as a 5, 4.
MEGAN THOMPSON: The scores predict the likelihood the defendant will fail to appear and commit new criminal activity. The lower the scores, the better the chance the PSA will recommend the defendant be released.
BAILIFF: All rise.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Later, when the defendant appears in county court- in this case by video from jail- the judge uses the PSA score to decide how she’ll be monitored after release.
JUDGE JOHN MEOLA: You have to report one time per week to pretrial services. One week by phone, one week in person.
MEGAN THOMPSON: If there’s a serious crime or a high PSA score, the prosecutor can file a motion to detain. That triggers a second hearing, held within about a week. Lawyers present evidence arguing whether the defendant should be jailed or let go.
PROSECUTOR: There was a pair of scissors covered with what appeared to be blood…
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: This man, charged with aggravated manslaughter, had a high PSA score of 5 and 5, and he’s flagged as being prone to violence.
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: So for all those reasons, he will be remained detained.
MEGAN THOMPSON: This man was accused of drug possession and has a history of other charges and failing to appear. He got the highest PSA scores possible, 6 and 6. But Judge Caposela has the discretion to weigh other factors.
JUDGE CAPOSELA: I’m also sensitive to the fact that he’s working and he’s supporting four children. So, I am satisfied that I will release him on level three, condition of your lease though, and I very rarely do this, you have to be employed. Alright? We’re going to monitor you now. You alright?
MEGAN THOMPSON: He will have to check in regularly with the court before his trial, part of the new monitoring system.
JUDGE CAPOSELA: Don’t let me down, Mr. Lighty.
JAMES LIGHTY: I won’t.
MEGAN THOMPSON: The most high-risk defendants get electronic bracelets. Defendants also receive phone calls, texts, and emails to remind them of court dates.
Before, under the old system, did you have the option to just to waive bail?
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: The problem with that was we didn’t have monitoring back then. So now when we do it, there’s a great comfort level because we’re gonna be monitoring those folks.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Since New Jersey ended cash bail, 17,550 defendants were charged with state crimes during the first five months of this year. Almost three quarters were released with monitoring. Close to 10 percent were released with no monitoring, and 13 percent were detained in jail. The state jail population has dropped by 19 percent since the start of the year, due to bail reform and also the fact that police are issuing more summonses with no arrest for some low level crimes.
DANIEL PALAZZO: I think the new system is working.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Passaic County public defender Daniel Palazzo says cases were harder to win when his low income clients sat in jail because they couldn’t post bail. The new speedy trial requirements weren’t in place, and prosecutors had leverage to obtain a guilty plea.
DANIEL PALAZZO: And the case just sits and it gets longer and longer and longer. And eventually, somebody says, “I give up. I want my freedom back.”
MEGAN THOMPSON: Just like what happened to James Lumford, who pled guilty to a crime he says he didn’t commit. But the new “no bail” system has vocal opponents. Bail bondsmen say it’s putting them out of business. And in May, after complaints from law enforcement, NJ state courts changed the PSA algorithm to automatically recommend detention for an expanded list of crimes, like gun possession and for defendants who reoffend while on release.
JOSEPH WALKER: I’ve not heard one chief say anything positive about this bail reform.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Joseph Walker is the police chief in Ringwood, a town in Passaic County.
JOSEPH WALKER: It treats offenders as if they were victims. They have no concern for the victims that we are sworn to protect and serve.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Walker says police officers are frustrated seeing suspects they arrest back out on the streets so soon.
JOSEPH WALKER: It’s a shame that we waste time arresting people over and over again, and they keep on releasing them. I mean, our officers feel like it’s a slap in the face because they’re working hard to do a good case, whether it be drugs, or car burglaries, or whatever. They get down there, and they get released. Then they’re out probably doing it again.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Under the old system, that person could’ve posted bail and also been released, right?
JOSEPH WALKER: Yeah, but if he was released and rearrested, the bail that he was released on would be revoked. So there’s a monetary penalty right off the bat. Now they don’t have to post anything. They don’t have to secure anything. They just walk free.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Walker points to news reports of freed suspects committing crimes, like the case of a released man who allegedly murdered his girlfriend before committing suicide. The state has no data yet on how many people have committed crimes while out before trial.
There have been instances of people who’ve gotten out under a bail reform and committed some very serious crimes.
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: That’s right.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Is there a risk to public safety?
JUDGE ERNEST CAPOSELA: The answer is no more than the monetary bail because, one, we’re monitoring these folks. And we hope that the public, once they start to understand it will, you know, approve of it and become accepting of it. We did not institute criminal justice reform to put bail bondsmen out of business and to clear out the jails. It was to respect the presumption of innocence, to design, you know, a system that was fair and honest.
Chasing the Dream: Poverty and Opportunity in America is a multi-platform public media initiative that provides a deeper understanding of the impact of poverty on American society. Major funding for this initiative is provided by The JPB Foundation. Additional funding is provided by Ford Foundation.
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It’s shark season — primarily on cable TV. As the decades-long tradition of “Shark Week” approaches, you can expect once again to hear of “serial killer” sharks, attacks near major coastal cities, and menacing, massive shark swarms.
But, as you probably also know, shark attacks are incredibly unlikely. You’re 75 times more likely to be killed by lightning than by a shark. On average, one person dies of a shark attack every other year in the United States.
But just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water … just kidding, it’s still mostly safe. But swimmers face real risks that are of a much less telegenic variety.
Here, seven things swimmers should actually be afraid of — and how to avoid them.
Outbreaks of this parasite, known as crypto, have doubled over the past couple years. Crypto spreads through the feces of infected animals, including humans — a running theme of this list. It takes just 10 crypto parasites to get sick, and an infected person sheds 10 to 100 million in a single bowel movement. Crypto is the most common infection at recreational water sites like pools and water parks, since the parasite’s tough outer shell makes it resistant to chlorine.
Outbreaks are typically small, but, in 1993, over 400,000 people in the Milwaukee area got infected when crypto entered the local water supply — the largest waterborne illness outbreak in U.S. history.
After reading about crypto, you might be tempted to take a dip in hot water to ward off microbes. After all, boiling water is a common sterilization technique. But the average hot tub is 102 degrees F — not hot enough to kill germs, but warm enough to break down chlorine. This makes hot tubs harder to disinfect.
One of the most common infections for hot tubbers is pseudomonas, a rod-shaped bacterium that burrows into hair follicles and causes “hot tub rash.” Just days after a relaxing summertime dip, you may notice red, itchy bumps across your skin, especially in areas covered by your swimsuit. A 2011-2012 study found that all six pseudomonas outbreaks reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention occurred in hot tubs. The bacteria can also infect the ear canal, leading to the painful and itchy “swimmer’s ear” that children often get.
Let’s get back to poop. Shigella — which includes four different types of bacteria — causes 500,000 cases of diarrhea in the United States each year. Other symptoms include fever, abdominal pain, and the nagging feeling that you need to go to the bathroom. These symptoms usually start a couple days after swallowing a bit of contaminated water — usually at a lake or pond, but also at beaches. In most cases, rest and fluids do the trick, but antibiotic-resistant shigella strains are also out there, making some cases require heavy-duty treatment.
Unlike other members of this list, legionella infects your airways and not your gut. Hot tubs — with that warm, steamy air we all just love — are a common place to get infected. Infection leads to one of two illnesses: Legionnaires’ disease or Pontiac fever. Legionnaires’ is a form of pneumonia that tends to affect smokers, those over 50, and others with weak lungs or immune systems. The disease is serious, leading to severe coughing, fever, and shortness of breath, and requires antibiotic treatment. Pontiac fever is milder, and leads to a fever and muscle aches that usually subside without treatment. Only 5 percent of those exposed to legionella develop Legionnaire’s, while over 90 percent develop Pontiac fever.
This virus, shed through stool (of course), infects and causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Norovirus is sometimes mistakenly called the “stomach flu,” but is not related to influenza. As few as 18 microscopic viruses are enough to get you sick, leading to a bad case of diarrhea and vomiting that is sure to keep you away from the water. Seventy swimmers at a lake in Oregon found that out for themselves when they got infected during the summer of 2015.
There’s no vaccine for norovirus — not yet, anyway. Scientists are actively working on that, and, last year, a group of scientists at Baylor College in Texas figured out how to make the virus infect human cells in a dish. Researchers have tried — and failed — to do this for decades, and the feat may lead to a better understanding of how the virus works and how to stop it.
These blue-green bacteria thrive during the summer — sometimes to a dangerous extent. Runoff of fertilizers promotes explosive growth of the bacteria, which coat beaches, lakes, and rivers like a thick pea soup. These bacterial blooms can also contain toxins that are harmful on contact, irritating the skin, eyes, and throats of swimmers. And, if you swallow any of the water, you can suffer from headaches, vomiting, and, in severe cases, liver damage. Currently, there are no specific treatments for cyanobacteria toxins, but doctors can manage symptoms as a patient recovers.
In 2016, over 100 people got sick from a toxic cyanobacteria bloom at Utah Lake during a summer heat wave. With rising temperatures, outbreaks may become more common; the National Ocean Service reports that harmful blooms are on the rise along the coasts.
7. Naegleria fowleri
This parasite is known as the “brain-eating amoeba.” Do we need to say anything more? These amoebas lives in warm bodies of fresh water and infect you when you get contaminated water up your nose. The parasite travels into your brain and triggers a deadly inflammatory response about five days after exposure. The result: an excruciating headache and fever spiral into seizures, hallucinations, and coma.
This is usually where we’d list effective treatments or describe how long it takes to recover. But over 97 percent of those infected die. Only four people have survived in the past 50 years in the United States, and scientists are still working to develop an effective treatment. The upside? Only three to four people get infected each year, a rate that’s held steady over time. This is the one item on this list that’s rarer and deadlier than a shark attack.
Some practical tips
These microbes might sound terrifying, but a couple simple, commonsense measures can help keep you and your family safe. Don’t swim at the beach after it rains, as contaminated sewage runs into the oceans and can contain germs. If you have a cut, open wound, or have had diarrhea in the past two weeks, stay out of the water. And the CDC strongly recommends showering before you take a swim. Research shows that the average adult has 0.14 grams of feces attached to their bottom. And children are worse, carrying a whopping 10 grams — the weight of four pennies. Beaches and swimming pools are not wishing wells, and a quick shower beforehand can help ensure that those “pennies” don’t join you.
Once you’re in the water, step out every hour to reapply sunscreen and use the restroom. Be careful not to swallow water — the average adult swallows one tablespoon of water and the average kids swallows 2 1/2. A nose clip can also help keep water from splashing up your nose. When you’re done, dry yourself off, especially around the ears. And, for those who own a pool or hot tub, check chlorine and pH levels twice a day, as per CDC guidelines.
Germs are a fact of life — more so than sharks. But there’s no need to let them stop you from enjoying the water this summer.
Jonathan Wosen is STAT’s 2017 AAAS Mass Media Science & Engineering Fellow. This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on July 21, 2017. Find the original story here.
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A federal judge in Houston ordered a geriatric prison in Texas to help inmates overcome extreme heat and rising summer temperatures, referencing climate change in a groundbreaking ruling this week.
U.S. District Judge Keith Ellison deemed it cruel and unusual that state corrections are aware of dangerous and lethal heat risks — at least 23 men in Texas prisons have died from the heat in the last 20 years — yet have failed to impose safeguards.
Ellison slammed the Texas Department of Criminal Justice for continuously violating the Eighth Amendment by subjecting inmates at the Wallace Pack Unit south of Navasota to heat indexes that regularly exceed 100 degrees in summer.
Texas has the largest state-run prison system in the country, with over 150,000 inmates, approximately 18,000 of them over the age of 55, having expanded from 18 prisons in 1978 to the current 106. Of those, 28 have air conditioning in all housing areas while the rest often only have it for staff, if at all, according to corrections.
The six plaintiffs in the case testified that they get headaches and excessively sweat, become lethargic and are debilitated, some while working and some with health issues and on medications that prevent their bodies from adjusting to high temperatures.
“The Eighth Amendment imposes a duty on prison officials to provide ‘humane conditions of confinement’,” Ellison wrote in a 100-page ruling. “Plaintiffs have shown a substantial risk of serious injury or death as a result of the conditions at the Pack Unit.”
While he does not use the words “climate change” in his order, he refers to a report called “Heat in U.S. Prisons and Jails, Corrections and the Challenge of Climate Change,” by Columbia Law School.
The reference comes as a footnote after the sentence, “The Court and the parties have no way of knowing when a heat wave will occur, but it is clear that one will come.”
Michael Gerrard, a professor at the law school, who teaches about climate and environmental law and supervised the report, said that he believes it is the first time a judge has referred to the threat climate change poses to inmates.
“The next lawsuits about heat in prisons will probably cite this decision, both in general and in support of the proposition that heat will get even worse moving forward,” Gerrard said.
This is the second preliminary ruling in the class-action lawsuit, which followed a record-breaking heat wave in 2011 that killed 10 people inside state prisons.
About one year ago, the court ordered corrections to provide safe drinking water for inmates at the Pack unit after tests revealed arsenic in the water at two-to-four times the standard level permitted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Inmates recently filed a similar complaint at the state’s oldest maximum security prison, the Eastham Unit in Lovelady. Eastham was built on top of land where slaves were forced to work before the Civil War. After the war, it was maintained by many newly-freed slaves who were convicted of crimes during the Jim Crow era and leased back to landowners, according to the book “Texas Tough” by historian Robert Perkinson.
People at Eastham are claiming in federal court that the water there is foul, that it smells and leaves gritty residue in their mouths and has caused untreatable and relentless stomach problems, as well as black mold in their cells.
“I understand this is prison and I’ve paid my dues for my crime, but does that justify me being subjected to live in unsanitary conditions?” wrote Keith “Malik” Washington, an inmate at Eastham who is helping with the case, in a letter to the NewsHour Weekend.
The suit cites “boil water” notices that have been posted in the facility by the state’s environmental agency and reminds the court that inmates are not allowed to boil the water and are forced to drink it in the scorching heat during summer months.
But the judge in that case said the claims are “rather routine” and did not permit the plaintiff a lawyer to represent the case, significantly decreasing the chances it will play in their favor.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice denies that water is unsafe at any of its facilities and has stated it will appeal Ellison’s ruling.
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And in an interview before the ruling, vice president for offender health services Dr. Owen Murray also denied that there are any water or heat-related health issues.
These issues in Texas prisons have been under a scrutinous eye since the summer of 2011. In the middle of the state, more than 100 days were 100 degrees or more, shattering all previous records dating back to 1907, according to the National Weather Service.
Inside facilities, which are rarely air conditioned, it feels a lot hotter because massive groups of people are confined to small spaces with little ventilation. This makes the heat index — the combination of temperature and humidity that projects what the weather feels like — skyrocket.
And while county, juvenile and federal prisons as well as states such as Alabama, Ohio and Delaware all have regulations on heat, Texas state corrections does not.
Lance Lawry, the president of a union representing 4,000 correctional officers statewide, described the inside of state prisons during the summer as “hell on earth.”
“They’re kind of like a big bathroom, they have toilets, they have sinks, showers going and there’s a lot of humidity produced in there,” Lance said. “It’s not uncommon for them to get 120 or 130 degrees in there with the high degree of humidity.”
A senior medical director in August of 2011 had also written in an email to colleagues after two inmates had to be airlifted, “With our aging and sicker population, we really need a better long term strategy for dealing with this type of weather.”
Several families of inmates who died have also issued wrongful death lawsuits related to heat, supported by the union.
In Ellison’s ruling, he was taken aback that corrections had not made any new substantive policies about heat wave since then. He also said that indifference has permeated all aspects of handling extreme heat — from refusing to consider air conditioning to using cooling units that can sometimes make humidity worse.
“In some cases Defendants’ actions have risen beyond indifference to obstruction, such as when, after this lawsuit was filed, [the warden] ordered his staff to stop measuring the indoor heat index during the summer months,” he wrote.
He ordered that the inmates who are most vulnerable to heat-related illnesses be housed in units that do not exceed 88 degrees on the heat index.
An expert for Texas corrections testified that it could cost $1.2 million to air condition for three months or $22 million to install a permanent system at Pack, but Ellison pointed out flaws in the testimony, saying it was “needlessly high and does not accurately reflect the true cost.”
Inmates can buy a fan for about $20 at their commissary, but not all facilities have the proper outlets and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does not recommend them above heat index of 95 degrees because using them can make people even hotter.
Still, Joan Covici, who runs a nonprofit that allows people to donate fans to inmates, said, “There have been many years we have not been able to serve all the people on the waitlist.”
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HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Tomorrow, U.S. immigration officials are expected to begin four days of nationwide raids targeting teenagers suspected of belonging to gangs. The plan is outlined in a Department of Homeland Security documents seen by “Reuters”.
Reporter Julia Edwards Ainsley broke the story and joins me now from Washington.
So, what’s the plan and how is this different?
JULIA EDWARDS AINSLEY, REPORTER, REUTERS: The document outlined several key demographic groups that they want to be targeted in these raids by ICE agents. The one that was the most striking departure from policy that we saw under the previous administration is the targeting of 16 and 17 year olds who are suspected of gang activity.
U.S. immigration told me that they can meet two or more criteria. Those criteria could be things like a gang tattoo, wearing gang apparel, or just hanging in an area that’s frequented by gangs. So, of course, there are a number of immigration lawyers and civil rights and civil liberties lawyers who are saying that that is not enough to find someone — to make someone a target for deportation, especially a minor.
SREENIVASAN: How different is this from the Obama administration’s interest? And what was the threshold there versus what this is?
AINSLEY: So, it’s interesting. As I went back and I read the November 2014 priorities for deportation that Obama set out and that did mention 16 and 17 year olds, but they were people who had been convicted of a gang-related crime. That was his way of saying that all of those people are, although these people are minors, they’ve entered into another category by committing a crime, like we see when a juvenile gets an adult kind of sentence in court. This changes that, of course, though, because these are people just suspected of gang activity.
SREENIVASAN: If you are in the neighborhoods, because you live there, that already kind of checks up one of the boxes, right? So, basically, you can escape the neighborhood and move somewhere else tomorrow to get away from these raids?
AINSLEY: I know. I think that was probably the most striking thing that I saw on that list, was hanging out in these places that are notorious for gang activity. I mean, that could be a schoolyard. That could be right outside of your public school. That could be a parking lot of a grocery store where your family would frequent. I mean, for a lot of people, there’s really no way to get around that. And as I was told, there are a lot of people who — particularly those who have fled violence in places like El Salvador, with the notorious MS13 gang, that has strong roots in the United States, a lot of times, those people come here, live in communities of other El Salvadorians, with people with strong ties with that gang and they have no choice but to get a tattoo, or their lives could be threatened.
SREENIVASAN: And apparel. I mean, this is something that goes back to back when this conversation was between the Crips and Bloods in L.A. in, you know, ‘80s and ‘90s, oh what are the colors, what’s the uniform?
AINSLEY: Right. I mean, I do actually remember being in a public schools where there was a rule in my public school I thin against wearing all blue or all red, because those were days were that was seen as a gang affiliation. Some of these also could have changed. There are a number of gangs that aren’t as overt.
But the bottom-line is that these aren’t legal definitions of what makes someone a gang member and that’s not even illegal to be a gang member. But at this point, ICE, U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, can really write the rules over whoever they want to target because it is already a crime to be in the United States illegally. And so, therefore, they can come up with different categories of who they want to target that really isn’t based on U.S. Criminal Code in any way.
SREENIVASAN: All right. Julia Edwards Ainsley of “Reuters” — thanks so much.
AINSLEY: Thanks for having me.
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HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: A new investigative series from “ProPublica” called “Bombs in Our Backward” looks at the disposal of military waste and how it’s affecting communities around the United States. yesterday, I spoke with the author of the series, Abrahm Lustgarten, from the NewsHour studios in Washington, D.C.
Give us an overview how significant is he problem of military waste disposal in the United States.
ABRAHM LUSTGARTEN, PROPUBLICA: Well, I mean, starting at, you know, World War I, you know, every bomb, every bullet, every weapon that we have developed for defense purposes has been developed, designed and manufactured through industrial processes and then tested and eventually in many cases disposed off as they get old and expire on American soil.
SREENIVASAN: Aren’t there already environmental regulations from the EPA or other places that would protect water or air quality? I mean, does the military have an exemption from those?
LUSTGARTEN: Yes. I mean, there are stringent Environmental Protection Agency regulations. Some of which apply to the Pentagon and some which don’t. In the case of open burns, the Pentagon is essentially burning what’s defined as hazardous waste and the EPA regulated the burning the hazardous waste back in the 1980s. So, 30 or so years ago. Explosives were admittedly difficult to deal with.
So, at the time, they created a little bit of a loophole. It said that the Pentagon and other specialized companies that deal only in explosive can continue to burn that stuff if that’s the only way they can get rid of it, but only until the improved technology figure out a better way to deal with it, at which point they would be required by the regulations to move to those alternatives.
Those now exist. They have for a long time, but the Department of Defense still leans very heavily on burning as their stand by process.
SREENIVASAN: Yes. How widespread is this around the country? I mean, you’ve got a map on one of your stories. How many different sites are there that are doing this that could be of concern to the neighborhood that they’re in?
LUSTGARTEN: So, we obtained the list that had been compiled internally within the EPA and it listed just about 200 sites, 197 sites across the country where burns had been documented, not all those are still operating now. There are about 60 sites that are still operating now, about 51 of which are operated directly by the Department of Defense or its contractors, as opposed to NASA and a couple of other private companies.
Those sites still today burn anywhere from a couple of hundred thousand pounds of explosives a year, up to 15 million pounds of explosive a year.
SREENIVASAN: So, one of the places that you profiled actually had an elementary school not too far away and there were people that were in adjacent farms. What are the kind of health consequences that they’re having?
LUSTGARTEN: It’s really difficult to know what the direct consequences are of the burning. What we know is that in the place that I looked at, Radford, Virginia, Colfax, Louisiana, is another town and in other places, there are people who appear to have unusually high rates of illnesses. They’re concerned about what’s causing those illnesses. They suspect that it could be tied to the pollution.
And on the other hand, it’s well-documented and disclosed that there is substantial pollution, that the pollution poses a substantial health threat. But part of what we focus on the story this week is the lack of an effort to try to bridge that question and that answer. There’s really been remarkably little attention paid to trying to determine whether people are actually getting sick from these operations.
SREENIVASAN: All right. Abrahm Lustgarten from “ProPublica”, joining us from San Francisco today — thank you so much for your time.
LUSTGARTEN: Thank you.