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Analysis, background reports and updates from the PBS NewsHour putting today's news in context.

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    Reverend Al Sharpton delivers remarks to media regarding Sunday's presidential debate and its lack of attention on the situation in Haiti, in Manhattan, New York

    Reverend Al Sharpton delivers remarks to media in Manhattan, New York, on October 10, 2016. Photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    NEW YORK — The Rev. Al Sharpton on Saturday accused President Donald Trump of “encouraging police violence” during a speech this week on Long Island to an audience of uniformed officers.

    The activist preacher tore into the Republican at the weekly gathering of his National Action Network in Harlem.

    A day earlier, the president spoke to law enforcement professionals at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. Trump said violence and murder on U.S. soil by the MS-13 gang linked to El Salvador justify a strong police response.

    The president said his administration is removing gang members who’ve been terrorizing communities on Long Island and other parts of the country from the United States. He added, “Now, we’re getting them out anyway, but we’d like to get them out a lot faster, and when you see these thugs being thrown into the back of a paddy wagon, you just see them thrown in, rough, I said, please don’t be too nice.”

    That means, for instance, shielding their heads from being bumped while getting into a police vehicle, Trump said.

    READ NEXT: WATCH: Trump to police: Don’t worry about people in custody hitting their heads on squad cars

    Sharpton responded on Instagram: “As if the reprehensible statement by President Donald Trump encouraging police violence wasn’t enough, he used a slur against Irish regarding “Paddy Wagons.”

    That expression was used in 19th century New York, referring to impoverished Irish immigrants when they were arrested and placed in police vans.

    Sharpton called Trump’s comments “reprehensible.” They were “a reckless disregard for the law, and set a tone that is dangerous and biased in this country.”

    The Suffolk County Police Department said in a statement after Trump’s speech that it has strict rules and procedures about how prisoners should be handled. “Violations of those rules and procedures are treated extremely seriously. As a department, we do not and will not tolerate roughing up of prisoners.”

    James Burke, the department’s former chief, was sentenced to nearly four years in prison last November for beating a handcuffed man in an interrogation room.

    The post Sharpton: Trump comments encourage police violence appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    The White House is seen with the Washington Monument (L) behind it and the Jefferson Memorial (R) in Washington, May 1, 2011. Photo by Gary Hershorn/ Reuters

    SAN DIEGO — Elaine Duke, set to become acting U.S. homeland secretary on Monday, has the rare distinction of serving in high-level positions in three administrations.

    She was DHS undersecretary for management from 2008 to 2010, tapped by President George W. Bush and kept on by President Barack Obama. After she headed her own business consulting firm in the Washington area for seven years, President Donald Trump nominated her to return to government as deputy secretary and the Senate approved her appointment 85-14 without a hitch.

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, who was named Trump’s chief of staff on Friday, said at a conference last week that Duke was “a wonderful woman” with deep experience in government. He said her biggest assignment as the sprawling department’s No. 2 official was to bring more efficiency.

    Duke will manage an annual budget of more than $40 billion and 240,000 employees. Created in 2003 in the aftermath of the terror strikes on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, Homeland Security comprises more than 20 agencies, from the Coast Guard and Secret Service to the Federal Emergency Management Agency and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Customs and Border Protection is the nation’s largest law enforcement agency with 60,000 employees.

    Her positions and background have largely kept her out of the spotlight on some of the department’s most politically charged assignments, like deporting people in the country illegally and deciding who enters the country by air, land and sea.

    “She is a very experienced person when it comes to all aspects of management in the federal government,” Michael Chertoff, Homeland Security secretary during the final years of the Bush administration, said Friday night. “In terms of ability to understand all management elements in the department, you couldn’t find a better person.”

    Duke began her government career 28 years ago as an Air Force contracting officer and worked in the Navy, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Smithsonian Institution before joining Homeland Security in 2008.

    Sen. Rob Portman, a Republican who represents Duke’s home state of Ohio, said at her confirmation hearing this year that she was an expert on contracting, property management, organizational change and human resources.

    The post Incoming Homeland Security secretary has served 3 presidents appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    donald trump

    FILE PHOTO: Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly (L) listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 31, 2017. Photo By Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump wanted more discipline and structure in the West Wing, and expects to get that from the retired general taking over as the new chief of staff, a top White House official said Sunday.

    Department Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly is among the military officers past and present, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, with prominent roles in the administration.

    “You know that he enjoys working with generals,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said.

    Kelly was announced Friday as Trump’s second chief of staff and planned to begin work Monday, replacing Reince Priebus, a former Republican Party chairman who held the job for six months. The moved ended months of speculation about Priebus’ fate and came among infighting and turmoil in the early stages of the Trump White House.

    “I think Reince was terribly effective, but was probably a little bit more laid-back and independent in the way he ran the office,” Mulvaney said. “And I think the president wants to go a different direction, wants a little bit more discipline, a little more structure in there.

    READ NEXT: Here’s where Reince Priebus falls on the list of shortest-serving chiefs of staff.

    Trump, in his Friday tweet announcing the retired Marine four-star general’s new assignment, called him “a Great American … and a Great Leader. John has also done a spectacular job at Homeland Security. He has been a true star of my Administration.”

    Priebus held the post for fewer than 200 days, the shortest tenure for any president’s first chief of staff since the position was formally established in 1946. He was blamed by some within the White House for the failure of the Republican health care plan in Congress. Some Trump allies thought that Priebus’ longtime relationships with Republicans on Capitol Hill, including House Speaker Paul Ryan, also from Wisconsin, should have ensured the bill’s passage.

    The post Aide says Trump wants more West Wing discipline, structure appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    An international passenger arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia after the Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration's emergency request to put its travel ban into effect later in the week pending further judicial review. Photo by James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

    An international passenger arrives at Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia after the Supreme Court granted parts of the Trump administration’s emergency request to put its travel ban into effect later in the week pending further judicial review. Photo by James Lawler Duggan/Reuters

    SAN FRANCISCO — Tianna Rooney has already bought the poster board for the sign she’ll wave when the 16-year-old refugee boy her family is taking in arrives in the United States. Rooney knows the exact words of welcome she’ll write on it, in the teenager’s native language from the African country of Eritrea.

    But Rooney’s family is leaving the sign blank, for now. She and her husband, Todd, fear actually writing the words “Welcome Home” could break her heart.

    The foster son they’re waiting for is part of a small, three-decade-old U.S. program for so-called unaccompanied refugee minors that has been halted by a series of new refugee bans and travel limits imposed by the Trump administration in the name of fighting terrorism.

    By blocking the program, the U.S. travel bans have stranded more than 100 refugee children who were already matched to waiting American foster families. Without parents or other adult relatives, those kids are living on their own in countries of temporary refuge, in limbo while their U.S. foster parents hope for a court ruling that will allow the children to finish their journeys.

    Since the June day a refugee agency matched the Rooneys with their foster son, which turned out to be the same day of the first Supreme Court ruling barring him, “we have experienced this very unexpected ride of grief in our family,” says Rooney, a 39-year-old family therapist and mother of two from Brighton, a suburb of Detroit.

    [Watch Video]

    Meanwhile, the boy who fled his home country at 13 to avoid widespread forced military conscription of children continues to fend for himself on the streets in his temporary refuge in another African capital, with no phone or internet for the Rooneys to reach him to explain the delay.

    “There’s part of me that really hopes he knows a family wants him,” Tianna Rooney says.

    Since the 1980s, the program for orphaned refugee children has brought in more than 6,000 refugee children, including 203 last year.

    “These are kids on their own, and struggling to survive,” said Elizabeth Foydel, policy counsel with the International Refugee Assistance Project, a Washington, D.C., legal-aid group for refugees.

    “How long do you feel comfortable with your child not having a caregiver?” Foydel says she asks other Americans. “Trying to manage for themselves?”

    The program for orphaned refugee children from around the world is different from one started by the Obama administration in 2014 for Central American children fleeing a surge in violence there.

    In the program for unaccompanied refugee children, kids eking out a living by themselves in a refugee camp or elsewhere must first come to the attention of a U.N. agency, which may choose to refer them for the U.S foster program, especially if the children are deemed to be particularly vulnerable wherever they are now. The children must then pass U.S. security screenings and other requirements, and win a match with an American foster family or group home.

    But a series of Trump administration orders, and court rulings interpreting them, are now barring refugees with no close family in the United States. That requirement shuts out the refugee children in the foster program, who have no relatives they can turn to anywhere.

    The child refugees newly blocked from waiting American foster families include five Ethiopian sisters, ages 9 to 16. The girls lost both parents in 2009, and have faced abuse alone in the war zone of neighboring South Sudan and in Sudanese cities, said Jessica Jones, policy counsel for the Baltimore-based Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service. Along with the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Lutherans are one of two U.S. groups running the program on behalf of the U.S. State Department.

    Other waiting children include a 17-year-old couple originally from the Asian country of Myanmar and the baby they had together in a refugee camp, after fleeing attacks on their Rohingya religious minority in Myanmar.

    In her home in another Detroit suburb, Sharon Martin, 64, has bought a crib for the young refugee family from Myanmar. But the children’s books she bought, Martin said, are really for her. “If they come, I can finally read to a child again,” Martin says.

    Refugee workers say the family faces forced return to Myanmar if their U.S. arrangements fall through.

    In San Francisco, meanwhile, web designer Julie Rajagopal and husband Mike Gougherty, a senior planner for a regional ferry system, are two of the lucky ones.

    The 16-year-old boy they are fostering also fled a lifetime of forced military service in Eritrea, at 13. When he landed in March, a slight youth coming off the plane in an ill-made tracksuit, he was among the last refugee foster children to make it into the U.S.

    Rajagopal, 35, often had stayed up through the night calling government workers and charity officials in the faraway African hub of Cairo to speed her new foster son’s paperwork.

    On a clear day this summer, the teen strolled with the couple at a park overlooking San Francisco. In the city’s hip Mission District, he blended seamlessly in a red sweater and shoes he carefully matched himself, and jeans he insisted on lovingly ironing with each wear.

    Meanwhile, in Brighton, the Rooneys and their 10- and 12-year-old sons stack new socks and T-shirts in the bedroom they’ve set aside for the boy they nicknamed “Five,” meaning the eagerly awaited fifth member of their family.

    Tianna Rooney recently got out the poster board, thinking to work on the welcome sign. After a concerned look from her husband, she put it away.

    “We want to think positive thoughts” that their foster son will come safely, Todd Rooney said. “But without endangering ourselves. Without setting ourselves up for a heartache.”

    The post Trump’s travel ban keeps orphan kids from U.S. foster families appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Protesters gather outside the Capitol Building prior to an all night round of health care votes on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., July 27, 2017. Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/ Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The White House stepped up demands Sunday that the Senate resume efforts to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama’s health care law, suggesting that lawmakers cancel their entire August recess, if needed, to pass legislation after a stunning series of failed votes last week.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has declared that it was “time to move on” from health care, scheduling debate early this week on judicial nominations.

    But White House aides said President Donald Trump was not giving up on the health repeal effort. They indicated that he remained ready in the coming days to end required payments to insurance companies under the Affordable Care Act as part of a bid to let “Obamacare implode” and force the Senate to act.

    Trump is “going to make that decision this week,” White House adviser Kellyanne Conway said, regarding the insurance company payments. “The president will not accept those who say, quote, ‘It’s time to move on.'”

    For seven years, Republicans have promised that once they took power, they’d scrap Obama’s health law and pass a replacement. But that effort crashed in the Senate most recently early Friday — prompting McConnell to declare it’s time to focus on other policy matters.

    In a Senate where Republicans hold a 52-48 majority, no Democrats voted for the GOP bill and three Republicans defected in the final vote early Friday.

    Trump said in a tweet, “Don’t give up Republican senators, the World is watching.”

    Asked if no other legislative business should be taken up until the Senate acts again on health care, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney on Sunday responded “yes” and suggested the Senate continue working through August if necessary. While the House has begun a five-week recess, the Senate is scheduled to work another two weeks. McConnell has said the unfinished business includes addressing a backlog of executive and judicial nominations, ahead of a busy agenda in September that involves passing a defense spending bill and raising the debt limit.

    “In the White House’s view, they can’t move on in the Senate,” Mulvaney said. “They need to stay, they need to work, they need to pass something.”

    Trump over the weekend warned that he would end federal subsidies for health care insurance for Congress and the rest of the country if the Senate didn’t act soon. He was referring in part to a federal contribution for lawmakers and their staffs, who were moved onto Obamacare insurance exchanges as part of the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

    “If a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!” Trump tweeted Saturday.

    The subsidies, totaling about $7 billion a year, help reduce deductibles and copayments for consumers with modest incomes. The Obama administration used its rule-making authority to set direct payments to insurers to help offset these costs. Trump inherited the payment structure, but he also has the power to end them.

    The payments are the subject of a lawsuit brought by House Republicans over whether the Affordable Care Act specifically included a congressional appropriation for the money, as required under the Constitution. Trump has only guaranteed the payments through July, which ends Monday.

    Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, who was one of three Republican senators voting against the GOP health bill on Friday, said she’s troubled by Trump’s suggestions that the insurance payments are a “bailout.” She said Trump’s threat to cut off the payments would not affect her opposition to the GOP bill and stressed the insurance payments were critical to trim out-of-pocket costs for low-income people.

    “The uncertainty about whether that subsidy is going to continue from month to month is clearly contributing to the destabilization of the insurance markets, and that’s one thing that Congress needs to end,” said Collins, who wants Congress to appropriate money for the payments. “I certainly hope the administration does not do anything in the meantime to hasten that collapse.”

    Trump previously said the law that he and others call “Obamacare” would collapse immediately whenever those payments stop. He has indicated a desire to halt the subsidies but so far has allowed them to continue on a month-to-month basis.

    Conway spoke on “Fox News Sunday,” Mulvaney appeared on CNN’s “State of the Union” and Collins was on CNN as well as NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    The post White House to Senate: Pass health bill now or else appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    People protest U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City

    People protest U.S. President Donald Trump’s announcement that he plans to reinstate a ban on transgender individuals from serving in any capacity in the U.S. military, in Times Square, in New York City, New York, on July 26, 2017. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Adam was supposed to come out as transgender to the military last week.

    He had a doctor’s appointment set for late July — the culmination of years of therapy and efforts to suppress his identity alongside a military career where he flourished while wondering what would happen if anyone found out he was transgender. Now, he was ready to tell a doctor and begin his transition.

    But at the last minute, he was tapped for an assignment and had to reschedule the appointment for several weeks later. Then on Wednesday, July 26, President Donald Trump tweeted that transgender service members would not be allowed to serve “in any capacity.”

    “I felt a lot of despair … The timing of it, just the timing for my personal story couldn’t have been worse,” he told the NewsHour Weekend, adding that he wants to transition to female, but for now uses a male name and pronouns. (He asked us not to use his real name because he is still not out to the military.)

    In a string of tweets, Trump contradicted a groundbreaking announcement by the Pentagon one year ago that transgender people could serve openly, causing confusion and alarm for the estimated thousands of active trans troops. While Pentagon leaders, who were blindsided by the announcement, tried to assure transgender service members that nothing has changed, they are living in a grim limbo that has some questioning whether they should remain closeted.

    READ NEXT: After Trump announces ban, trans soldiers wonder what comes next

    Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford said on Thursday that, “There will be no modifications to the current policy until the President’s direction has been received by the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary has issued implementation guidance.”

    He added, “In the meantime, we will continue to treat all of our personnel with respect.” But Adam and other transgender soldiers told the NewsHour Weekend that the damage to their morale had already been done.

    “I know right now, sure, nothing has been legally or officially stated, but the chance of it happening has not gone away at all, and that’s what makes it hard. The fear of the unknown.” — Lt. Taylor Miller

    Many say that they feel that the military will inevitably enforce Trump’s announcement, even as some leaders in the community urged them to remain calm and keep doing their work. Others have changed their plans to transition or come out, some after years of anticipation, even though military policy still technically allows them to do so.

    Lt. Taylor Miller of the U.S. Coast Guard, a transgender woman who began her transition two and a half years ago, said Dunford’s statement “doesn’t provide much comfort.”

    She added, “I know right now, sure, nothing has been legally or officially stated, but the chance of it happening has not gone away at all, and that’s what makes it hard. The fear of the unknown.”

    Adam was more than a decade into his military career when then-Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the new policy on transgender soldiers last June.

    Carter said that transgender soldiers could serve openly and laid out a process for those already enlisted to medically transition. The new guidelines also established a one-year deadline for force-wide training on transgender issues and for the military to establish a process for recruiting trans people, who already serve in the military at roughly double the rate of the general population. UCLA’s Williams Institute estimates that about 15,000 troops are transgender.

    READ NEXT: Here’s what most people get wrong about the transgender community

    Adam, who had realized the way people saw him did not match the way he felt since the age of 6 but did not even know about the word “transgender” until years later, watched the announcement and cried.

    “I didn’t realize what a burden had really been on me ‘til I heard Ash Carter and Loretta Lynch get up to that podium and say, ‘Not only can you serve, but you’re wanted, and we see you, and we’ve got your back,’” he said. “I hadn’t realized what a big deal that was to me. … I was sitting in my cubicle crying at my desk, silently, because I didn’t want anyone to see me.”

    It did not take long for that relief to turn into hesitation. In June, under the new administration, Secretary of Defense James Mattis announced a six-month delay on accepting transgender recruits as the Department of Defense conducted research on how doing so could affect military “readiness or lethality.”

    “We have a mission to do. We have to compartmentalize it and continue to do the job we’ve always done.” — Navy Lt. Cdr. Blake Dremann

    Then this week, Trump’s announcement added to fears about the military reversing its year-old policy. It was lauded by Tony Perkins, the director of the Family Research Council, a conservative, Christian nonprofit, who said in a statement that “The military can now focus its efforts on preparing to fight and win wars rather than being used to advance the Obama social agenda.”

    Now, in the face of uncertainty, some are choosing to lie low, even if doing so means delaying transition. “I was so excited and so ready to take the first step,” Adam said. “But now I don’t know what to do.”

    Retired Staff Sgt. Shane Ortega said he had heard from transgender students in college Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) programs “who are even wondering if they should say that they’re trans,” he said. “They’ve asked me specifically, ‘Maybe I should reverse this part [of my] medical transition so that I can still serve. And maybe I should just stay closeted’.”

    Miller of the Coast Guard added that the inconsistency this week would likely be hardest on people who were poised to begin transitioning, or who had recently begun. About 250 people have begun that process since the policy change last summer, the Associated Press reported last week.

    “People not as far in their transition [as me] … they’re in a really bad spot, they kind of just put themselves out there to come out,” she said. “I feel terrible for them.”

    PBS NewsHour’s P.J. Tobia talks to Lt. Cmdr. Brynn Tannehill, a transgender woman who served as a Navy pilot for nearly a decade and is now director of advocacy for SPARTA, an LGBT military organization.

    J.M., who asked the NewsHour Weekend to use only her initials because she’s worried about being discharged, began taking estrogen and a testosterone blocker last July. She had ordered the medication online, since the idea of coming out to the military and starting hormone replacement therapy through a military doctor was “terrifying.”

    But about five months ago, she came out to the military and started getting hormones through a doctor. The experience was validating to her, she said. “I used to be pretty depressed and I was honestly just going to deal with it,” she said. “Being able to actually work on this slowly and explore the stuff that I actually like and what is actually me, that relieved a lot of it.”

    She said she plans to continue taking hormones, but fears that the military will eventually discharge her for being transgender.

    Navy Lt. Cdr. Blake Dremann, president of SPARTA — an organization for LGBTQ service members — said he has also received requests for guidance. “I’ve had a couple service members reach out that haven’t come out to their command yet and they’re asking advice,” he said.

    Some may not want to “‘become a target in the middle of a firefight,’” Dremann said, quoting a friend. But he also urged service members not to refrain from getting the medical services they need. “Don’t let this particular thing discourage them from getting proper medical treatment,” he said.

    None of the people who spoke to the NewsHour Weekend said they were considering leaving the service voluntarily.

    Ultimately, Dremann said, “We have a mission to do. We have to compartmentalize it and continue to do the job we’ve always done.”

    The post ‘Maybe I should just stay closeted’ — Trans troops weigh their options appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly hold their hands over their hearts for the U.S. National Anthem as they attend the Coast Guard Academy commencement ceremonies where Trump addressed the graduating class in New London, Connecticut, U.S., May 17, 2017. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is looking for a fresh start with a new White House chief of staff. But he’s still clinging to an old battle, refusing to give up on health care.

    Weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, a cabal of infighting West Wing aides and a stack of investigations, Trump is hoping that retired Gen. John Kelly can bring some order as his next chief of staff. Trump tapped Kelly, his Homeland Security secretary, last week to take over for Reince Priebus, who he ultimately viewed as ineffective.

    Starting Monday, Kelly must try to exert control over a chaotic White House, but his ability to do so will depend on how much authority he is granted and whether Trump’s dueling aides will put aside their rivalries to work together. Also unclear is whether a new chief of staff will influence the president’s social media histrionics or his struggle to keep his focus on policy.

    A battle-hardened commander, Kelly is entering a West Wing battered by crisis. Over the past week, Trump’s new communications director, Anthony Scaramucci, attacked Priebus in a profanity-laden tirade, Trump drew criticism for his public attacks on Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the latest effort by Senate Republicans to overhaul the nation’s health care law bombed.

    Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, White House budget director Mick Mulvaney praised Priebus, but said Trump “wants a little bit more discipline, a little more structure in there. You know that he enjoys working with generals.”

    Former Trump campaign manager Cory Lewandowski, who was ousted from the campaign in 2016, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he expected Kelly would “restore order to the staff” but also stressed that Trump was unlikely to change his style.

    “I say you have to let Trump be Trump. That is what has made him successful over the last 30 years. That is what the American people voted for,” Lewandowski said. “And anybody who thinks they’re going to change Donald Trump doesn’t know Donald Trump.”

    Kelly starts his new job as tensions escalate with North Korea. The United States flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean Peninsula on Sunday in a show of force against North Korea, following the country’s latest intercontinental ballistic missile test. The U.S. also said it conducted a successful test of a missile defense system located in Alaska.

    Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said on CBS’ “Face the Nation” Sunday that she hopes Kelly can “be effective,” and “begin some very serious negotiation with the North and stop this program.”

    But even with a new incoming chief of staff, Trump continued to push Republicans senators on health care over the weekend after their latest effort to pass legislation to overhaul “Obamacare” collapsed. On Twitter Sunday, Trump said: Don’t give up Republican Senators, the World is watching: Repeal & Replace.”

    The protracted health care fight has slowed Trump’s other policy goals, including a tax overhaul and infrastructure investment. But Trump aides made clear that the president still wanted to see action on health care. Mulvaney argued against Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s statement that it is time to move on, saying on CNN that senators “need to stay, they need to work, they need to pass something.”

    Asked if it was White House policy that nothing should be voted on in Congress until the Senate votes again on health care, Mulvaney said: “well, think — yes. And I think what you’re seeing there is the president simply reflecting the mood of the people.”

    On Saturday Trump tweeted that if “a new HealthCare Bill is not approved quickly, BAILOUTS for Insurance Companies and BAILOUTS for Members of Congress will end very soon!”

    Trump has only guaranteed required payments to insurance companies through July. The payments reduce deductibles and co-payments for consumers with modest incomes. Analysts have said that without the payments, more insurers might drop out of the system, limiting options for consumers and clearing the way for the insurers who stay to charge more for coverage.

    Asked about the payments going forward, Health Secretary Tom Price said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday that no decision has been made. He declined further comment, citing a lawsuit brought by House Republicans over whether the Affordable Care Act specifically included a congressional appropriation for the money, as required under the Constitution.

    White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on “Fox News Sunday” that Trump would make a decision on the payments this week.

    Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, who opposed the efforts to move a health bill forward this week, said on CNN that cutting the payments would “be detrimental to some of the most vulnerable citizens” and that the threat has “contributed to the instability in the insurance market.”

    The post Trump has new chief of staff, old health care fight appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    By Christopher Booker and Connie Kargbo

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: A tour through the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, passes through the bottling facility and brewhouse, before ending at the bar.

    New Belgium is one the largest craft breweries in the country, distributing beer to all 50 states.

    When you buy its best known brand, Fat Tire Belgian style ale, that “B” on the label doesn’t stand for beer, it’s stands for B Corp, a designation given to businesses dedicated to more than profit.

    KATE WALLACE: I think when you get together with people you realize you have a lot of the same values.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Katie Wallace is New Belgium’s assistant director of sustainability.

    KATIE WALLACE: If you’re running a business that’s not considering the impact that you have on the environment and society, or the impact that those things have upon your business, then you’re not operating a business that’s really going to be in existence in the future.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: New Belgium is privately owned and profitable, selling nearly a million barrels of beer a year and generating $225 million a year in revenue.

    KATIE WALLACE: For a long time we felt that we kind of stumbled into this for values-based reasons but then found that economically it was a really powerful business model and has been a key ingredient of our success over time

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: New Belgium took its dedication up a notch in 2013, when it became a certified B Corp, submitting to a rigorous audit of its community impact by the Pennsylvania based B Lab.

    B Lab likens the certification to “Fair Trade” for coffee and the “LEED” certification for buildings with environmental and energy-efficient design.

    Beyond charitable giving, companies can score more points for making eco-friendly products, offering robust benefit packages, and being transparent in their corporate governance.

    New Belgium earned its certification in large part because of its environmental practices: generating 12 percent of its electricity from solar panels and biogas, a fuel they create by the wastewater produced when they make beer. After one year on the job, employees are given bikes to commute carbon free and given shares in the company, which is now employee owned.

    KATIE WALLACE: B Corp has given us a way to measure things that aren’t inherently quantitative, but we know are important to us. Like providing 100 percent of our health care premiums for our co-workers or putting solar on site or biogas. It helps us to bring that into a measurement space where we can compare ourselves against other companies and see are we really being leaders in this area or is there a way we can improve?

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Believing business can function as “a force for good,” B Lab has certified 22,000 companies worldwide since 2007. Subjecting mostly small and medium-sized, privately held companies to a 200 point assessment.

    The list includes ice cream makers Ben & Jerry’s, eyewear manufacturer Warby Parker, and outdoor clothing giant Patagonia.

    There are 99 B Corps in Colorado. That includes businesses that don’t manufacture anything like Denver law firm moye white. Attorney Dominick Sekich oversaw its B Corps application.

    DOMINICK SEKICH: There are a lot of opportunities that, say, manufacturers have that, as a service organization, we don’t have. We can’t really point to a supply chain that we’ve improved, because our supply chain is fairly short and concrete.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Moye White acheived B Corp certification after it improved a number of employee benefits, expanding paid parental and family leave, increasing flex time, and starting an employee community service group that volunteers with organizations like Habitat for Humanity.

    Sekich says each time an employee takes advantage of their three-month paid family leave benefit, it can cost the firm between $20,000 and $50,000. But the firm believes it’s worth it.

    DOMINICK SEKICH: We’ve had some clients approach us asking us how we’ve committed to the environment, how we’ve committed to our communities, and we’re able to point to our certification as a B Corporation as part of that effort.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: When Moye White was working toward its B Corp certification, it turned to B Lab’s Kim Coupanous for assistance.

    KIM COUPANOS: If you look at society in general and all of the good things that capitalism has brought to civilization and humanity over the last hundred plus years, there’s been an equal number of really negative things. Massive income divides biotoxicity, greenhouse gases, you name your kind of social or environmental ill. Capitalism has kind of created that.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Before joining B Lab, Coupanous ran an outdoor clothing company for 16 years.

    KIM COUPANOUS: I agree with the profit motive and there’s no bones about that. I also know that the power of business to transform society is huge. And we are going into this new century facing some pretty challenging problems that haven’t been solved by the nonprofit sector or the government sector. And at the same time, there’s this kind of spirit of innovation and optimism, especially among Millennials who say we can do better than this.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Economically, Colorado is doing better than most states. Its 2.3 percent unemployment rate is the lowest in the country. The Denver skyline is filled with cranes constructing new apartment buildings for some of the 60,000 people who move to the state every year. Most settling in the relatively affluent greater Denver and Boulder areas.

    Will this be relegated to areas that are already populated by the upper middle class, the educated, the tech sector? I can think of many corners of America that they just want jobs. They’re not even having the ability to think about how does this save water.

    KIM COUPANOUS: Certainly it really can’t be relegated to the realm of upper middle class progressive city. Because if we are trying to create shared and or durable prosperity for all it means cities that are depressed. It means, you know, local businesses, nail salons, and moving companies, and the local garage.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: The B Corp movement is not without its skeptics.

    KENT GREENFIELD: It is a band aid on a cancerous patient.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Boston College law professor Kent Greenfield applauds the intent of b-corps but fears the B Corps movement may mask the need for far greater changes to the way American companies conduct themselves.

    KENT GREENFIELD: Let’s be honest the real bad actors in the corporate world are not those who are voluntarily opting in .

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Greenfield argues that there must be changes in corporate governance to legally support companies working to be better citizens.

    KENT GREENFIELD: As long as it’s voluntary, then it’s still gonna leave bad actors aside. So if you’re a Wall Street hedge fund manager, are you going to prefer companies that are B Corps? Are you gonna prefer companies who are saying, “no, we don’t think that being a B Corp is conducive to the shareholder value?” So I think our efforts need to be aimed at a more fundamental adjustment in the way we think about corporate obligation and the way we govern corporations.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Despite the lack of federal or state regulation compelling companies to function as better actors, there is a way for companies who pursue both profit and social good to be legally protected.

    With a push from B Lab, Colorado and 32 other states have passed legislation allowing companies to incorporate as a public benefit corporation, which enshrines their social mission into their articles of incorporation.

    This spring, food and beverage company DanoneWave became the largest public benefit corporation in the U.S., with 6,000 employees and $6 billion in annual revenue. A subsidiary of French multinational Danone, DanoneWave makes organic products like Horizon milk, Silk almond milk, and Wallaby yogurt.

    DEBRA ESCHMEYER: We encourage dietary practices that improve the health of people through food.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Deborah Eschmeyer is the vice president of communications and community affairs.

    DEBRA ESCHMEYER: When folks go to the grocery store, they want to know that the products are actually doing right by the employees and by the people and the planet.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Its production process is increasingly using natural ingredients and the company has spent money to reduce its waste and promote animal welfare.

    Eschmeyer says DanoneWave believes the upfront costs pay off in the long run.

    DEBRA ESCHMEYER: These are things that help the bottom line. Because waste reduction, for example, is great for the bottom line. It’s also great for the planet. We have this greater goal of showing that you can meet the financial shareholders’ interests and do right by the people and the planet.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: DanoneWave is arguably providing a test case for scale.


    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: How difficult is it to go through this process with such a large company

    DEBRA ESCHMEYER: Yeah, I mean, we’re definitely proving the case. We want to make sure that large companies can do this, and we can do this at scale. And DanoneWave is now one of the top 15 food and beverage companies in the United States. And so when we do this, it’s a challenge to other companies to step up as well.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Six more states are now considering benefit corporation legislation. B Lab says it will certify its 100 Colorado company as a B-Corp next week.

    The post Can some corporations become forces for good? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a May meet and greet in Great Falls, Montana. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Republican congressional candidate Greg Gianforte looks on during a May meet and greet in Great Falls, Montana. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    BOZEMAN, Mont. — Montana U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte will work off his sentence for assaulting a reporter by volunteering for an organization that builds custom wheelchairs for children.

    The Republican was ordered to perform 40 hours of community service as part of his sentence for attacking Guardian reporter Ben Jacobs the day before Gianforte was elected in the May 25 special congressional election.

    Gallatin County Court Services director Steve Ette says the congressman will work with ROC Wheels, a Bozeman nonprofit organization.

    Ette tells the Bozeman Daily Chronicle that Gianforte is working with ROC Wheels on when and how his hours will be completed. He has until Nov. 28.

    Gianforte also must complete 20 hours of anger-management counseling after he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor assault in June. He told the court he will be seeing a Bozeman therapist.

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    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks during an interview for Reuters

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt speaks during an interview for Reuters at his office in Washington, U.S., July 10, 2017. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt last week said he would seek to bolster the agency’s lagging Superfund program, after the release of a report recommending ways to expedite the cleanup of the nation’s most egregious toxic waste sites.

    A Superfund Task Force, created by Pruitt in May, tendered 42 suggestions on Tuesday to streamline the remediation of more than 1,300 Superfund sites, many of which have remained unaddressed for years.

    While Albert Kelly, who chairs the task force and is a senior adviser to Pruitt, said the plan would increase efficiencies, environmental advocates contest that it could protect the very industries behind the environmental problems in the first place, while emphasizing redevelopment and hurried fixes over sound remediation practices. More than 1,100 Superfund sites are privately owned.

    The pace of remediation at sites on the Superfund program’s National Priorities List has slowed to a crawl recently amid funding shortages, bureaucratic blockades, bankrupt businesses and decades-long court battles with companies deemed responsible for the pollution.

    The number of remediated Superfund sites dropped from 85 in 2003 to eight last year, according to the environmental advocacy group Center for Health, Environment and Justice (CHEJ). In 2016, 53 million people in the United States lived within 3 miles of a Superfund site, leaving them in danger of potential health risks.

    Kelly told NewsHour the EPA would move to work with the companies liable for the hazardous waste, called “responsible parties.” The agency wants to develop quicker solutions for remediating the sites and to avoid lengthy litigation and feasibility studies that can add years to clean-ups, Kelly said.

    “This administrator’s view is the responsible parties will step up and do what they’re supposed to do and we will work with them in all the ways that we can to minimize their costs,” Kelly said. “The less time that we can spend with them in court, delaying things for a decade in some cases, the more time we can spend remediating the site.”

    Among the task force’s five goals are spurring private investment, enticing redevelopment of the sites by working with lenders and offering financial incentives to the responsible companies, and communicating with surrounding communities on Superfund issues. Some of those actions would be put into play within 60 days, Kelly said.

    “The whole thing has so little to do with the core missions, which is protecting citizens and the environment we live in.” said Lois Gibbs, founder of the Virginia-based CHEJ. “It really is like a blueprint for redevelopment and investors, not ‘how do we protect the environment, how how do we make responsible parties pay.’”

    Gibbs pointed a section in the report that cites encouraging private investment as an example of this redevelopment blueprint, indicating it does not lay out how companies that were already reticent to get involved with clean-ups would change their minds, particularly with the Trump administration’s proposal to slash the Superfund budget that could hamper federal enforcement.

    “Why is company X suddenly going to play differently than they played in the past?” Gibbs said. “There is no money to use as leverage.”

    READ NEXT: As hundreds of toxic sites await cleanup, questions over Superfund program’s future

    The task force’s announcement comes as the Trump administration has proposed 30 percent cuts to the Superfund program and the EPA, and worked to undo environmental policies — such as clean air and clean water regulations — put into place during former President Obama’s two terms, even as many Republicans say they would not support those cuts.

    This month, the House Appropriations Committee reduced Trump’s budget cuts for the EPA from $2.6 billion to $528 million, stating that it would “rein in harmful and unnecessary regulations at the EPA and other agencies.”

    John O’Grady, the president of the EPA’s largest union and a former project manager for Superfund sites across six states from 1994 to 2004, said he worries that other portions of the report suggest the potential for reduced liability to responsible parties. One recommendation in the report would allow third parties to assume liability from the responsible party, potentially protecting the latter from legal action.

    “It’s not all bad, but I think it’s inherently flawed,” O’Grady said of the report. “They’re going to clean up the site their way and they’re going to ask for a limitation on liability. So if there’s a problem with the site after they clean it up, guess who’s on the hook? The American citizen.”

    Kelly said the transfer of liability for Superfund sites was a “very unique thing and can really only apply to properties that have value after the fact.”

    Richard L. Revesz, Lawrence King Professor of Law and director of Institute for Policy Integrity at New York University, said while he is encouraged by the EPA’s move to address Superfund sites, the report did not clearly describe how the agency would work with responsible parties.

    “The proposed EPA budget would significantly reduce the amount for enforcement, and without enforcement is might be harder to get companies responsible for the pollution to participate in cleanups and pay remediation costs,” Revesz said. “So there’s somewhat of a schizophrenic message being sent about the report. It purports to actually accelerate the pace of of Superfund cleanups, but with budget requests that don’t seem to back that up.”

    Kelly gave few specific details on how the EPA would work with potential responsible parties to orchestrate the expedited clean-ups of Superfund sites.

    “This administrator has high expectations of the goodness of the actions that the responsible parties are going to take,” Kelly said. “If they’re not going to take those, then we will take those actions for them, and we will then proceed and pursue them as hard as we can. However, that won’t be our first resort, our first resort will be dialogue.”

    Since his appointment as chair of the task force, Kelly has come under fire for his background as a banker and because he has no experience working with the Superfund program.

    “Given the enormous business influence on the administration and the fact that people that Pruitt has brought to this and other environmental tasks are coming from the unregulated sector, one worries about how the streamlining ends up working out in the ways that are inconsistent to the public interest,” Revesz said.

    When asked about those criticisms, Kelly dismissed them.

    “My job was to run the process, my job was not to come up with, ‘Well, this is the scientific reason to do this,’” Kelly said. “My background and experience allowed me a fairly high level of management experience, a fairly high level of working with a lot of people. And that’s what I bring to this.”

    The report also recommended creating a “Top 10 list” of the sites most in need of remediation. Pruitt has said he would personally oversee any Superfund site costing more than $50 million to remediate.

    Last week, Pruitt indicated the West Lake Landfill in St. Louis County, Missouri may be a potential target for the list. Filled with noxious fumes, radioactive waste and refuse, some dating back to the nuclear tests of WWII, the landfill was declared a Superfund site in 1990 and has yet to be remediated.

    Dawn Chapman, who lives less than 2 miles from the site, co-founded the group “Just Moms STL” three years ago, to push for action. The group’s Facebook page has more than 3,700 followers and hosts monthly meetings at a local church.

    Chapman said she’s met and spoken with Kelly during the last several months, but still remains skeptical, especially over the report’s suggestion that the EPA minimize the costs for some responsible parties and in light of the proposed EPA cuts she believes would lead to more delays.

    “Scott Pruitt is making some pretty strong promises, and I really hope he understands that minimal fixes at these sites — coming in on these sites with these little top-10 lists and putting a Band-Aid on these sites and trying to minimize the costs of the responsible parties — that’s just not going to fly,” Chapman said.

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    WASHINGTON — An Army medic who “ran into danger” to save wounded soldiers during a Vietnam War battle despite his own serious wounds on Monday became the first Medal of Honor recipient under President Donald Trump, 48 years after the selfless acts of bravery for which James McCloughan is now nationally recognized.

    McCloughan mouthed “thank you” as Trump placed the distinctive blue ribbon holding the medal around the neck of the former Army private first class. As the president and commander in chief shook McCloughan’s hand, Trump said “very proud of you” and then pulled the former soldier into an embrace.

    “I know I speak for every person here when I say we are in awe of your bravery and your actions,” Trump said after describing McCloughan’s actions for a rapt audience including numerous senior White House and administration officials.

    Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly, sworn in hours earlier to be the new White House chief of staff, attended.

    McCloughan said in a brief statement on the White House driveway after the ceremony that it was “humbling” to receive the medal. Now 71 and retired, he pledged to do his best to represent the men he fought alongside “as the caretaker of this symbol of courage and action beyond the call of duty.”

    McCloughan was a 23-year-old private first class who had been drafted into the Army when, in 1969, he found himself in the middle of the raging, dayslong Battle of Nui Yon Hill. McCloughan voluntarily entered the “kill zone” to rescue injured comrades, even as he was pelted with shrapnel from a rocket-propelled grenade, the back of his body slashed from head to foot.

    In its announcement last month, the White House said McCloughan “voluntarily risked his life on nine separate occasions to rescue wounded and disoriented comrades. He suffered wounds from shrapnel and small arms fire on three separate occasions, but refused medical evacuation to stay with his unit, and continued to brave enemy fire to rescue, treat, and defend wounded Americans.”

    McCloughan, who lives in South Haven, Michigan, told The Associated Press in an interview last month that the battle was “the worst two days of my life.”

    McCloughan described the shrapnel as “a real bad sting” and recalled, “I was tending to two guys and dragging them at the same time into a trench line.” He said he looked down to see himself covered with blood from wounds so bad that they prompted a captain to suggest that he leave the battlefield to seek treatment.

    “He knew me enough to know that I wasn’t going,” McCloughan said.

    The combat medic stuck around until the battle ended, coming to the aid of his men and fighting the enemy, even knocking out an enemy RPG position with a grenade at one point. In all, the Pentagon credits McCloughan with saving the lives of 10 members of his company.

    The Medal of Honor is given to Armed Forces members who distinguish themselves by going above and beyond the call of duty in battle.

    McCloughan left the Army in 1970 and spent decades teaching psychology and sociology and coaching football, baseball and wrestling at South Haven High School. He retired in 2008.

    In 2016, Defense Secretary Ash Carter recommended McCloughan for the Medal of Honor. But since the medal must be awarded within five years of the recipient’s actions, Congress needed to pass a bill waiving the time limit. President Barack Obama signed the measure in late 2016, but he didn’t get the opportunity to recognize McCloughan with the medal before his term ended this year.

    “President Donald Trump will be putting that on me for the first time in his experience of doing such a thing,” McCloughan said. “That’s pretty special.”

    Associated Press writer Mike Householder in Detroit contributed to this report.

    WATCH: How a Medal of Honor recipient confronted a suicide bomber

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    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump is swearing in Marine retired Gen. John Kelly as his new White House chief of staff.

    In an Oval Office ceremony, Trump predicts Kelly will do a “spectacular job.”

    The president denies there is “chaos” in the White House, despite a particularly tumultuous stretch. And he says things are going “very well.”

    Trump is declining to say just what Kelly will do differently from Reince Preibus, whom Trump ousted as chief of staff late last week.

    Kelly previously served as the Department of Homeland Security secretary.

    Trump has said he hopes Kelly can bring some military order to an administration weighed down by a stalled legislative agenda, infighting among West Wing aides and a stack of investigations.

    WATCH: Priebus gone, can Kelly bring discipline to the White House?

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    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks during a meeting with supporters in Caracas, Venezuela on July 30, 2017. Photo by Miraflores Palace via Reuters

    Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro (C) speaks during a meeting with supporters in Caracas, Venezuela on July 30, 2017. Photo by Miraflores Palace via Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The Trump administration is preparing to levy new sanctions on Venezuela, U.S. officials said Monday, in response to a weekend election that gives the South American country’s ruling party virtually unlimited powers.

    The officials said the new sanctions could be imposed as early as Monday and will likely target Venezuela’s oil sector, including possibly its state-owned petroleum company. One official said an announcement was imminent. The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The administration imposed sanctions on more than a dozen senior current and former Venezuelan officials last week, warning the socialist government that new penalties would come if President Nicolas Maduro went ahead with Sunday’s election for a constituent assembly.

    The assembly will draw up a new constitution that many believe is aimed only at securing Maduro’s increasingly authoritarian rule. On Monday, Venezuela’s government said the election had given it a popular mandate to dramatically recast the political system, despite widespread claims of low voter turnout.

    Police officers walk beside people shouting slogans during a protest held by Venezuelans in Mexico against Venezuela's Constituent Assembly election, near Venezuela's embassy in Mexico City. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters

    Police officers walk beside people shouting slogans during a protest held by Venezuelans in Mexico against Venezuela’s Constituent Assembly election, near Venezuela’s embassy in Mexico City. Photo by Henry Romero/Reuters

    The Trump administration was quick to denounce the vote.

    “Maduro’s sham election is another step toward dictatorship,” Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Twitter. “We won’t accept an illegit govt. The Venezuelan ppl & democracy will prevail.”

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said the new assembly “is designed to replace the legitimately elected National Assembly and undermine the Venezuelan people’s right to self-determination.”

    “The United States stands by the people of Venezuela, and their constitutional representatives, in their quest to restore their country to a full and prosperous democracy,” Nauert said in a statement. “We will continue to take strong and swift actions against the architects of authoritarianism in Venezuela, including those who participate in the National Constituent Assembly as a result of (Sunday’s) flawed election.”

    Venezuelan electoral authorities said more than 8 million people voted to create the constitutional assembly endowing Maduro’s ruling party with virtually unlimited powers. Independent analysts, though, estimated the real turnout was less than half that figure.

    Five days ago, the Treasury Department targeted four senior Venezuelan officials that the U.S. said were promoting that election or undermining democracy in Venezuela. Five others were hit with sanctions after the department accused them of involvement in violence or repression amid the country’s political crisis. Four more Venezuelans linked to Venezuela’s state oil company or other government-run institutions were also penalized.

    At the time, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin indicated more penalties could be coming unless Maduro’s government did not call off the election.

    WATCH: As Venezuela’s economy plummets, mass exodus ensues

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    Buildings are seen in heavy haze in Beijing's central business district, January 14, 2013. Photo by Jason Lee/REUTERS

    Buildings are seen in heavy haze in Beijing’s central business district, January 14, 2013. Photo by Jason Lee/REUTERS

    Climate change could choke parts of the planet. Global shifts in temperature and precipitation can create pockets of two air pollutants — ozone and fine particulate matter — around populated areas, according to a study published Monday in Nature Climate Change.

    In a business-as-usual scenario, the consequence would be 60,000 extra deaths annually by 2030 and more than 250,000 deaths per year by 2100. The investigation offers a sense of what places could see the greatest benefit by curbing climate change.

    What they studied

    What they found

    Estimates for mortality due to fine particulate matter in 2100. Photo by Silva RA et al., Nature Climate Change, 2017

    Estimates for mortality due to fine particulate matter in 2100. Orange and red shading indicate areas where mortality will increase by thousands or tens of thousands, respectively. Light blue and dark blue show where mortality will decrease by thousands or tens of thousands, respectively. Map by Silva RA et al., Nature Climate Change, 2017

    • A climate change-related boost in fine particulate matter would create an additional 55,600 deaths per year by 2030, and 215,000 by 2100 worldwide.
    • Ozone, meanwhile, could add 3,340 deaths by 2030 and 43,600 deaths by 2100.

    What’s driving this pollution?

    Ozone is not directly emitted by cars or power plants, but rather forms when human-made pollutants — like oxides of nitrogen (NOx) — react with other chemicals in the air.

    “The rates of those reactions are faster with the hotter temperatures and the more sunlight,” said J. Jason West, an environmental engineer the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who led the study. “So as climate change, we expect ozone to form faster.”

    Temperature and climate change can also elevate polluting emissions from trees.

    Infrequent rainfall becomes problematic for the future because it’s one of the important ways by which pollutants are removed. So in places due to get drier, West’s team expects more pollution because there’s less removal by rainfall.

    Temperature and climate change can also elevate polluting emissions from trees. “Trees emit organic compounds that react in the atmosphere to form ozone and particulate matter,” West said. “Under climate change, we expect that trees will release many more pollutants.”

    Why it matters

    • Mortality in the U.S. would see annual increase of 8,000 people by 2030 and 19,000 by 2100, primarily on the East Coast due to changes in temperature and rainfall.
    • East Asia and India are predicted to see the greatest jump in deaths caused by climate-driven air pollution. Africa is mostly spared by this facet of climate change, because increases in precipitation would drive air pollution downward, West said.
    • This mortality burden, studied by West’s team, is limited to just air pollution. Spikes in deadly heatwaves could threaten 75 percent of the globe by 2100, while global warming is already reinforcing severe storms. The number of U.S. storms resulting in at least $1 billion in damages has steadily increased since 1980.

    What happens next?

    West and his colleagues predict these negative impacts on global and regional mortality could be prevented by reducing long-lived greenhouse gas emissions.

    Prior work by their team found that up to 700,000 lives could be saved annually by 2030 if humans curb their production of air pollutants, including greenhouse gases.

    The post Here’s where climate change could generate toxic air pollution appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci speaks after an on air interview at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTX3CZ4P

    White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci speaks after an on air interview at the White House in Washington, U.S., July 26, 2017. Photo by Joshua Roberts and Reuters

    Anthony Scaramucci has been removed as White House communications director, according to the New York Times, just 11 days after President Donald Trump brought on the wealthy financier to help reshape the White House’s messaging.

    His departure is the latest in a series of shakeups at the White House.

    READ MORE: Here’s where Reince Priebus falls on the list of shortest-serving chiefs of staff

    Scaramucci’s selection as communications director was said to be part of the reason former Press Secretary Sean Spicer resigned July 21. On Friday, Trump fired former Reince Priebus as chief of staff, replacing him with John Kelly, who had been serving as secretary of Homeland Security. Kelly, a retired four-star general, was sworn in Monday.

    (Priebus told some reporters he had offered his resignation the day before).

    Some reporters suggest Scaramucci’s removal came at Kelly’s request, after being sworn in Monday morning.

    Last Thursday, Scaramucci blasted Priebus and other White House staff in interviews with CNN and the New Yorker, threatening to rid the staff of all leakers.

    READ MORE: Scaramucci, with vulgar language, signals internal White House fight

    “They’ll all be fired by me,” Scaramucci told the New Yorker. “I fired one guy the other day. I have three to four people I’ll fire tomorrow. I’ll get to the person who leaked that to you. Reince Priebus-if you want to leak something-he’ll be asked to resign very shortly.”

    In a statement, the White House said “Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team. We wish him all the best.”

    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a White House briefing that Scaramucci does not have a role in the White House at this time.

    When asked about Scaramucci’s departure, Sanders said Trump thought it was “inappropriate for a person in that position” to make those kinds of comments, and “he didn’t want to burden General Kelly” with that.

    She said Scaramucci and Kelly came to a “mutual agreement” on the exit.

    The Wall Street Journal reported that Scaramucci would retain a position at the U.S. Export-Import Bank, where he had previously been senior vice president and chief strategy officer.

    Sanders disputed that at Monday’s briefing.

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    PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

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    White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will likely address questions about White House Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci’s departure Monday in a news briefing at the White House.

    Sanders is expected to speak around 3:45 p.m. ET. Watch live in the player above.

    Hoping to turn the page on a tumultuous opening chapter to his presidency, Trump had insisted earlier Monday that there was “no chaos” in his White House as he swore in John Kelly, the former secretary of Homeland Security and a retired Marine general, as second chief of staff.

    READ MORE: Anthony Scaramucci removed as White House communications director

    Not long after, Scaramucci, who shocked many with his profane outburst last week against then-chief of staff Reince Priebus, was gone.

    In the words of the White House announcement, he was leaving because he “felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team.” The two-sentence release concluded, “We wish him all the best.”

    Earlier, in an Oval Office ceremony, Trump predicted Kelly, who previously served as Homeland Security chief, would do a “spectacular job.” And the president chose to highlight the rising stock market and positive jobs outlook rather than talk about how things might need to change in his White House under Kelly.

    PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

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    Actor Sam Shepard talks about Discovery Channel's

    Actor Sam Shepard, seen here during the Winter 2014 TCA presentations in Pasadena, California, died last week at the age of 73. Photo by REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and Oscar-nominated actor Sam Shepard died in Kentucky last week following a battle with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, a spokesperson for the family told news outlets. He was 73 years old.

    Shepard’s acclaimed plays, known for their surrealist elements, dark humor and keen observations of the American family, include “True West,” “Fool for Love” and “Buried Child,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Shepard was also nominated for an Academy Award for his role as Chuck Yeager in the 1983 film “The Right Stuff,” the story of the astronauts who made the first manned spaceflight by the United States. His final film, “Never Here,” premiered in June at the Los Angeles Film Festival.

    Shepard, whose official name was Samuel Shepard Rogers IV, was born on November 5, 1943 in Fort Sheridan, Illinois. At the age of 19, he moved to New York City to pursue life as an artist, after having spent his early life moving from place to place with his military family.

    “I just dropped out of nowhere. It was absolute luck that I happened to be [in New York] when the whole Off-Off Broadway movement was starting,” he told the New Yorker in a 2010 interview, referencing the trend toward plays and musicals unaffiliated with Broadway that are performed in smaller New York City venues.

    “It was wide open,” Shepard added of his early life in Manhattan. “You were like a kid in a fun park.”

    As a young artist in a big city, Shepard said he was willing “to be an actor, writer, musician, whatever happened.” Early on, though, he lacked connections and did not have a steady income; at one point, he even sold his blood to afford a cheeseburger. He eventually settled into a job as a waiter and wrote on the side.

    By the 1960s, Shepard’s avant-garde writing began attracting attention after his one-act play “Icarus’s Mother” won a 1965 Obie Award, the off and off-off-broadway equivalent of a Tony. His chiseled good looks and charisma also got him gigs as an actor, starting with a role in Robert Frank’s 1969 drama “Me and my Brother.” His big breakout was in Terrence Malik’s 1978 romantic drama, “Days of Heaven.”

    Still, Shepard maintained a love for off-off-broadway productions. He showed disdain toward the uptown theater scene, despite his increasingly complicated plays that required greater resources than small theaters could sometimes offer.

    In 1970, Shepard told Playboy Magazine that “Broadway just does not exist,” meaning that he would stick to the off-off-broadway scene. But that same year he staged “Operation Sidewinder” at New York’s famed Broadway venue the Lincoln Center. John Lahr described the transition as “a move that in Off-Off Broadway circles was the equivalent of Dylan going electric.”

    Over the course of his life, Shepard wrote more than 40 plays and published various short story and poetry collections, in addition to a few memoirs; he also acted in nearly 70 films.

    Despite continuing to write deeply personal plays about family, Shepard was an exceptionally private person, giving his first on-camera interview in 1998 for the PBS documentary “Sam Shepard: Stalking Himself.”

    The documentary emphasized Shepard’s identity as an “odd, contradictory presence on the American cultural scene.”

    “He’s well-known but unknown, handsome and seductive but willfully remote,” Will Joyer wrote in a New York Times review of the film. “He’s almost too easily the archetype of the authentic American, at home in the wide open spaces but not really at home anywhere.”

    In the documentary, Shepard also said he was uneasy about being too easily pinned down as a character he’d played on TV.

    “I think we’re faced with a dilemma now that’s terrifying. You can just get rid of you altogether and make you an image,” he said. “In fact, we prefer the image to the human being. We’d rather watch you on television than talk to you.”

    Shepard is survived by his three children and two sisters.

    The post Sam Shepard, Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and keen observer of American family life, dies at 73 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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