Articles on this Page
- 08/17/17--15:25: _Why are more Americ...
- 08/17/17--15:30: _Can online shopping...
- 08/17/17--15:35: _Steve Bannon gave a...
- 08/17/17--15:40: _How cities prepare ...
- 08/17/17--15:45: _News Wrap: Military...
- 08/17/17--15:50: _Barcelona tourist a...
- 08/17/17--15:54: _U.S. will help clea...
- 08/18/17--13:28: _The 4 coming-of-age...
- 08/18/17--14:40: _Uganda now houses m...
- 08/18/17--15:10: _Math is amazing and...
- 08/18/17--15:15: _Movies are more tha...
- 08/18/17--15:18: _Spotify has removed...
- 08/18/17--15:20: _We’re not close to ...
- 08/18/17--15:24: _WATCH: How have pas...
- 08/18/17--15:25: _How this educator i...
- 08/18/17--15:30: _Anticipating protes...
- 08/18/17--15:35: _Dionne and Ponnuru ...
- 08/18/17--15:40: _News Wrap: 2 stabbe...
- 08/18/17--15:45: _After attack, Barce...
- 08/18/17--15:50: _With Bannon out, ho...
- 08/17/17--15:25: Why are more American women dying after childbirth?
- 08/17/17--15:30: Can online shopping absorb traditional retail workers?
- 08/17/17--15:40: How cities prepare for tensions over Confederate statues
- 08/17/17--15:50: Barcelona tourist area targeted in deadly vehicle attack
- 08/17/17--15:54: U.S. will help clear ‘historic’ amount of explosives in Mosul
- 08/18/17--13:28: The 4 coming-of-age memoirs you need to read
- 08/18/17--14:40: Uganda now houses more than 1 million South Sudanese refugees
- 08/18/17--15:10: Math is amazing and we have to start treating it that way
- 08/18/17--15:15: Movies are more than screen deep. Here’s how to watch like a critic
- 08/18/17--15:24: WATCH: How have past presidents addressed race?
- 08/18/17--15:25: How this educator is keeping refugee children in school in Uganda
- 08/18/17--15:40: News Wrap: 2 stabbed to death in Finland attack
- 08/18/17--15:45: After attack, Barcelona comes to terms with new reality
- 08/18/17--15:50: With Bannon out, how will the White House change?
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now a troubling trend in women’s health.
Doctors and nurses have worked hard and successfully to reduce the U.S. infant mortality rate in recent decades. What’s less known and less understood is the rise in maternal mortality, mothers dying after pregnancy or from childbirth-related causes.
Renee Montagne of NPR and Nina Martin of ProPublica have teamed up for a series of reports on the subject.
Their latest installments came out today.
Judy Woodruff recently spoke with them both.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Renee Montagne, Nina Martin, thank you very much for talking with us.
So, Americans think we have the best health care, medical care in the world. How could it be, Renee Montagne, that we have this problem?
RENEE MONTAGNE, NPR: Well, there are a lot of reasons. And there are some underlying reasons that most people would recognize.
And that is — that is people, low-income women, women of color, women in rural settings have less access to the best possible medical care. But what we’re finding and what the numbers are showing is that there are — this could actually happen to just about anyone.
I mean, we’re finding women who had — who had what would have thought to have been the best of care.
NINA MARTIN, ProPublica: Right.
And that’s part of the problem is that a lot of doctors, a lot of nurses, a lot of hospitals think that maternal mortality is something that happens in other countries; it’s a thing of the past in the U.S.
And so, basically, there are two issues that have arisen. One is that there’s just a lack of recognition, a lack of awareness about what life-threatening complications look like.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And on the part of doctors, hospitals?
NINA MARTIN: All. All of the above, nurses as well, and patients a lot of times, because patients are not necessarily educated. We don’t want to worry the patients.
And so, when an emergency does happen, the next thing that sort of kicks in is that hospitals and doctors and nurses often are not prepared for the emergency, so there’s sort of a denial and then a delay.
JUDY WOODRUFF: There has been a lot of focus on making sure babies are born healthy.
RENEE MONTAGNE: Exactly.
One of the things that we came across in our different — in recent conversations, Bill Callaghan of the CDC, who has spent his life studying this, he had an article from 1950 that declared victory over maternal mortality. Women didn’t die in childbirth in great numbers anymore, they said.
And, basically, that was — you know, that sophisticated journal was the beginning of an emphasis on saving babies. And, of course, babies do die in much greater numbers. They are more vulnerable. But, basically, everybody turned their sights to the wonderful ways you could save babies, new technology and focusing — neonatal units in the next 20 or so years became part of a good hospital, a good birthing center.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You both have done so much reporting on this. The series, of course, is running over many months.
We have a clip right now of the husband of a woman. She was a neonatal nurse, so she worked in health care. But she ended up with either a lack of diagnosis, the wrong diagnosis. And this is a clip as I guess she’s going into surgery, but where her condition has severely deteriorated.
LARRY BLOOMSTEIN: So, they took her to the operating room, and the neurosurgeon operated for, I think, about four hours, and when he came out, he said that she’s still alive. She’s basically on life support, but she’s brain-dead. So, at that point, we decided to withdraw.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So this was Lauren Bloomstein, Nina, who — as we said, a nurse in New Jersey. They thought everything was fine. She delivered the baby, and then things went terribly wrong.
NINA MARTIN: Right.
So, Lauren Bloomstein is an example of the kind of person that everyone assumes doesn’t die in childbirth or pregnancy-related causes in the U.S. She had great health care. She was a nurse herself. Her husband, Larry, who we just heard, was a doctor. He was with her in the delivery room.
He basically never left her side, except to take the baby up to the nursery. She came in with a condition called preeclampsia, that is, pregnancy-induced hypertension. She had not had it. And she came in and her symptoms were not recognized from the moment she came to the hospital.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Are there lessons being learned, Renee, by hospitals, by medical care providers around the country as a result of situations like this?
RENEE MONTAGNE: There is something of a movement, in fact, among concerned medical professionals to actually address these problems.
But the lessons in the individual situation often come from the mother dying. And then that hospital may rethink what it’s doing. The doctors may learn a lesson.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, it’s a lack of training?
NINA MARTIN: It’s a lack of training, and a lack of education and a lack of recognition in some cases, but it’s also a lack of having a set of protocols and standards in place for where the rare emergency happens, so, a hemorrhage, for example, or, in Lauren’s case, preeclampsia.
There’s a very specific set of things that doctors and hospitals and nurses should be — start to do immediately as soon as they recognize the symptoms. But, often, those standards aren’t even in place in very good hospitals, until it’s too late and until the next time.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, again, it just seems stunning. Again, we think of the United States, Renee, being — having the most advanced medical care in the world.
How could it be that the medical team who are working with women giving birth don’t — aren’t prepared to deal with all these circumstances?
RENEE MONTAGNE: Well, when you see these stories, when you hear these stories, you actually ask that question every time. They’re almost unbelievable.
But the reality is, hospitals have protocols, but they’re not necessarily well-practiced. They’re not consistent. There are not lists for people to follow, when you see one thing, that means the other. You don’t think about it.
It’s a very — I think it’s kind of deeply embedded in the American medical system among obstetricians and even obstetrical nurses.
NINA MARTIN: And smaller and rural hospitals are less likely to have these protocols in place, because they’re smaller. They have had fewer less deliveries. And so they are less likely to encounter a life-threatening complication, so that’s another problem.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We started out, I think, also talking about whether there were other factors, socioeconomic status, whether women of — whether this was a planned pregnancy or not, whether the mom took care of herself during the pregnancy.
Renee, are those — even the race, age of the mother, are those not factors that you found?
RENEE MONTAGNE: To hear what people say — that researchers will say is, those are all factors, and they are all there, and, to some extent, they’re recognized in women who have high-risk pregnancies, and that’s recognized.
If you have — if you’re obese or if you have hypertensive — some kind of hypertensive disease to begin with, those things are watched if you’re in a good hospital. And, of course, the American medical system is such that there are enough people not in good hospitals.
So, yes, these are factors, but they’re — as researchers will say, they’re not the reason women die. Women die from these conditions, these complications. And there is a CDC Foundation analysis that has it that 60 percent of all these deaths could be prevented.
NINA MARTIN: The underlying conditions that women die from are not age. They’re not — it’s not being obese or being African-American, although African-American women do die at two to three times the rate of white women.
It’s heart disease, some sort of heart-related condition, or a hemorrhage, or preeclampsia, or an infection that is not diagnosed.
RENEE MONTAGNE: Or treated well.
NINA MARTIN: Or treated well. Exactly.
RENEE MONTAGNE: I mean, these are things they’re dying of. They don’t in all instances need to die of them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A wakeup call in so many ways.
Renee Montagne, Nina Martin, thank you very much.
RENEE MONTAGNE: Thank you.
NINA MARTIN: Thank you.
The post Why are more American women dying after childbirth? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But first: As more and more shopping is done online, what will become of the 16 million Americans who work in the retail industry?
Our economics correspondent, Paul Solman, takes a look. It’s part of our series Making Sense, which airs Thursdays on the NewsHour.
JENNIFER RICHTER, Former Regional Director, Macy’s: This is a great, great, great basic black top.
PAUL SOLMAN: This summer, Jennifer Richter opened her own clothing boutique online.
JENNIFER RICHTER: This is just the future of retail. The brick-and-mortar stores, they’re just going to keep trimming the fat and keep eliminating positions.
PAUL SOLMAN: Richter speaks from experience. In January, she was one of over 10,000 employees laid off from struggling department store chain Macy’s.
JENNIFER RICHTER: It just spiraled out of control with traffic down, people not coming in, online sales going up. And it just happened really fast.
PAUL SOLMAN: Richter worked at Macy’s in Manhattan as one of 14 regional directors for stylists. Every one of her colleagues was axed.
So, far as you know, 12 out of 14 still looking for work half-a-year later?
JENNIFER RICHTER: Yes.
And I was with Macy’s for two years, and the other 12 are 10 years-plus. Some of them had been with the company for 30 years. And when you get to the level we were at, it’s harder and harder. It’s scary. It really is.
PAUL SOLMAN: Unable to find work at another retailer, Richter is going it alone.
JENNIFER RICHTER: Really just using Instagram, social media to really market myself, and instead of fighting online, like I did for so many years, I’m just embracing it and joining them in doing what I feel there’s a need in the market for.
PAUL SOLMAN: As you have surely heard by now, the growth of e-commerce is wreaking havoc on traditional retail and its work force; 5,300 store closings were announced in the first half of 2017, empty storefronts you have probably seen somewhere near you.
More painful, the 64,000 job cuts said to be in the works.
Mark Cohen runs the retail studies program at Columbia Business School.
MARK COHEN, Columbia Business School: The retail worker is in a world of hurt. Retail employees, some 10 percent of the employed population of the United States, these are folks who are often tethered by way of employment to a shopping mall.
There’s no pathway from a part-time job in a mall, in a specialty store or department store to some other form of employment that’s local and available.
PAUL SOLMAN: Official statistics show the retail sector shedding only 26,000 or so jobs in the past 12 months, but Cohen says that may understate the case.
MARK COHEN: I think it’s going to be difficult to pinpoint the employment status of the folks being laid off. Many of them are part-time employees, so they don’t necessarily get captured in the employment numbers.
PAUL SOLMAN: Malcolm Skoop Hovis worked at old-time retailer Kmart.
MALCOLM SKOOP HOVIS, Retail Worker: Kmart got to compete with Wal-Mart, Target, Walgreens, with Amazon doing deliveries now, so it’s too much competition for Kmart.
PAUL SOLMAN: Hovis was hired as a temp at this Kmart outside Washington months before it closed.
MALCOLM SKOOP HOVIS: Half the store is empty. The inventory is getting smaller. And you can come in here and get little knickknacks.
PAUL SOLMAN: More than 300 Sears and Kmart stores are scheduled to close this year. Sears Holding Company, which also owns both Sears and Kmart, has shed some 180,000 jobs in the last seven years.
Mark Cohen was once a Sears executive.
MARK COHEN: I spent seven years at Sears, both here in the United States and in Canada. They are hanging on by a fingernail, at best. The genre that was legacy retail is, for the most part, in terrible trouble.
PAUL SOLMAN: The main reason will not surprise you. One-eighth of all retail sales were transacted online last year, up 16 percent over just the year before, more folks shopping on computers and phones, fewer driving to the malls, some of which have literally gone to seed.
There’s another threat to retail jobs as well, automation, as in cashier-less convenience stores, like those being tested in China and closer to home.
So, toll the knell for jobs in retail? Not just yet.
MICHAEL MANDEL, Progressive Policy Institute: Since 2007, we have seen about 400,000 jobs created in the e-commerce sector.
PAUL SOLMAN: Michael Mandel, chief economic strategist at the Progressive Policy Institute, thinks online may spawn more jobs than it whacks.
MICHAEL MANDEL: We have had a small decline in brick-and-mortar retail. We have had a large increase in e-commerce jobs. A lot of them are jobs in fulfillment centers.
PAUL SOLMAN: Mandel argues that much of the growth in warehouse employment is actually tied to online retail.
MICHAEL MANDEL: I have been able to track these jobs using government data down to the county level. And you can see, when a fulfillment center opens up in the county, you have a big jump in what the government classifies as warehouse jobs.
PAUL SOLMAN: On a recent morning in hot summer Baltimore, thousands of job-seekers lined up outside an Amazon fulfillment center for a one-day jobs fair held at a dozen sites across the country to recruit 50,000 workers to pick, pack, and ship orders.
PAUL SOLMAN: Amazon’s Lauren Lynch:
LAUREN LYNCH, Amazon Spokesperson: Here in Baltimore, we’re looking to fill 1,200 roles.
A few years ago, we didn’t have 70 fulfillment centers across the country. Now we have got more than 70, and we need associates to help us fill those orders.
PAUL SOLMAN: OK, maybe every retailer now calls its employees associates these days.
But no matter what they do, more than 382,000 employees work for Amazon worldwide, and the number is growing. In January, the company promised to create 100,000 more jobs in the U.S. alone.
CANDACE TAYLOR, Amazon Job Applicant: I think Amazon’s going to rule the world soon.
PAUL SOLMAN: Single mom Candace Taylor got a job offer after almost a year of unemployment.
CANDACE TAYLOR: I’m a little older, and for me to have a company that’s stable and to have something that can become a career is exactly what I need.
PAUL SOLMAN: Also, the above-minimum-wage pay and benefits, health insurance, retirement, are better than at the mall.
DAMION BROWN, Amazon Job Applicant: They say they’re starting off at $13 an hour.
PAUL SOLMAN: Damion Brown makes $10 an hour at Wal-Mart.
DAMION BROWN: Wal-Mart, it’s OK. It’s not — I wouldn’t say it’s the best. You’re not getting the pay, right? You might get the hours. You are not going get the payout that’s great. You’re not going to get paid time off.
PAUL SOLMAN: And Michael Mandel says it’s right there in the data.
MICHAEL MANDEL: On average, pay in fulfillment centers is about 30 percent higher than pay in brick-and-mortar retail in the same area. Not only that. Retail jobs tend to be part-time, maybe not paying benefits.
The fulfillment centers have a lot of full-time jobs, have the benefits. They seem to be better jobs, as far as I can figure out.
PAUL SOLMAN: D’Angelo Bryan, who’s been packing shipments at the Baltimore fulfillment center for a couple months now, even convinced his friends to apply.
D’ANGELO BRYAN, Amazon Employee: I got experience in just about a little bit of everything, and so far, I would definitely say Amazon is the best job that I have had so far.
PAUL SOLMAN: But let’s not romanticize here. The work is grueling.
D’ANGELO BRYAN: We’re packing really, really fast because we have shipments nonstop. The first couple of weeks, it was like, I don’t know how people do it. Being on your feet for 10 hours a shift, 44 hours a week, sometimes 50, you know, after those first two weeks, it’s like, whew.
PAUL SOLMAN: Now, warehouse work is dominated by men, while the retail economy is losing jobs that are mostly held by women. And fulfillment center jobs simply may not be feasible for laid-off brick-and-mortar workers for a host of reasons, among them, says Cohen:
MARK COHEN: These are folks who need flexible scheduling and are not able to commute 50 or 100 miles to an Amazon fulfillment center that’s open somewhere in the vicinity.
PAUL SOLMAN: But to Mandel, the net effect is positive, especially given America’s ever-widening inequality gap.
MICHAEL MANDEL: The rise of the fulfillment center jobs is having the effect of reducing inequality, because what you’re doing is you’re talking about raising the wages for people with a high school education by 30 percent. That’s significant.
PAUL SOLMAN: As automation takes over store jobs, though, won’t robots eventually displace the pickers and packers too?
Amazon already uses robots to move goods around. Not to worry, says Amazon’s Lynch: The company will simply keep growing and have to add jobs.
LAUREN LYNCH: Having robots in our fulfillment centers means that we can have more inventory, which means we need more associates to help us fulfill all that inventory, all those customer orders.
PAUL SOLMAN: But for how long will Amazon and others rely on humans to pick and pack?
And so we end with Cartman, a robot built to pick and stow items in a warehouse. It recently won a robotics prize sponsored by Amazon.
For the PBS NewsHour, this is economics correspondent Paul Solman.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Next week, Paul will look at how retailers both on- and off-line are responding to shifting consumer habits.
And on our Web site, the co-founder of eyeglass chain Warby Parker gives us his take on the transformation of retail. That’s at pbs.org/newshour.
The post Can online shopping absorb traditional retail workers? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now to a man often at the center of controversy in the Trump White House, whose outsized influence is often discussed, yet he is rarely heard from.
Our John Yang is here to help fill in the picture.
JOHN YANG: Hari, earlier today, I spoke with a journalist who got an unexpected phone call from Stephen Bannon, President Trump’s embattled chief strategist.
Robert Kuttner is the co-founder and co-editor of “The American Prospect,” a liberal magazine. He’s also a professor of social policy at Brandeis University. We were also joined by Joshua Green, a senior national correspondent for Bloomberg Businessweek and author of the bestselling book “Devil’s Bargain: Steve Bannon, Donald Trump, and the Storming of the Presidency.”
I began by asking Kuttner about how his conversation with Bannon came about.
ROBERT KUTTNER, The American Prospect: Well, I got an e-mail from someone at the White House who says that Mr. Bannon would like me to come into the White House and meet with him.
So, I double-checked the e-mail address, which looked legit, and I called the guy, and he seemed legit. And I said, look, I’m on vacation, but this is kind of a fast-moving story, so I would be happy to speak with him by phone, if he would like to.
And what had happened was, he had read a column I had written the day before basically making the point that, because we have been so passive in taking on illegal Chinese trade practices, that Beijing now has a huge amount of leverage over us, where we want them to help us with North Korea, but the price for that is we have got to fold our hand in terms of taking a hard line with them on trade.
So, Bannon apparently read that and felt he had a soul mate, and didn’t take the precaution of making clear whether we were on background or on the record, and called me up and sounded as if we were soul mates and best friends.
And it was like I was part of a private strategy session with Stephen Bannon, which was really quite bizarre. And about two or three minutes in, I said to myself, oh, wow, he is not putting this off the record. And I’m certainly not going to mention it if he doesn’t mention it.
And, of course, the ground rules are that when a government official calls you and doesn’t say whether it’s off the record or on the record, the default setting is that it’s on the record.
And so, 25 minutes later, I have this astonishing interview, which I recorded.
JOHN YANG: And this was the first time you had ever talked to him?
ROBERT KUTTNER: Absolutely.
And he made it sound like he’d been reading my stuff for years and thought it was great, you know, the usual kind of flattery stuff.
JOHN YANG: Josh Green, this is Mr. Kuttner’s first time talking to Steve Bannon.
You have been talking to him on and off since 2011, I think. How does this ring true to you? Does this ring true to you?
JOSHUA GREEN, Bloomberg Businessweek: Absolutely.
In fact, my introduction to Steve Bannon was much the same as Bob Kuttner’s. I had written an article about Sarah Palin. And, all of a sudden, one day, out of the blue, I get a phone call from a staffer, saying, I represent a guy named Steve Bannon, who at the time was a conservative filmmaker infatuated with Sarah Palin.
He said, Mr. Bannon read your latest article and he would really like to get together and talk with you. In this case, it was at a movie screening for Bannon’s film.
And I met him. And he’s a very interesting, smart, charismatic guy who had a distinct brand of politics that I thought was interesting and worth writing about. And so I got to know him and basically have been interviewing him ever since.
JOHN YANG: Bob, you mentioned two bits that he talked about.
He talked about contradicting the president’s strategy on North Korea. He said, “Until somebody solves the part of the equation that shows me that 10 million people in Seoul don’t die in the first 30 minutes from conventional weapons, I don’t know what you’re talking about. There’s no military solution here. They got us.”
What was your reaction when you heard that?
ROBERT KUTTNER: Well, I thought he was right on the merits, but the first thing I noticed was that this was not exactly the administration’s view, certainly not Donald Trump’s view.
So, I said to myself, huh, he’s being rather incautious and he shows no felt need to defend his president, and he’s just speaking his mind. And it certainly is not the president’s view.
JOHN YANG: He also talked about what he called ethno-nationalism. He called them losers. “It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much and we have got to help crush it, help crush it more. These guys are a collection of clowns.”
ROBERT KUTTNER: That was completely disingenuous, because, of course, he, as much as anybody else in America, is responsible for assembling this collection of clowns as a political force.
And people like Bannon and like Trump, they say what they need to say, and if they contradict themselves today relative to what they said yesterday, well, that’s how you do it.
And if he’s trying to ingratiate himself with somebody who’s an editor of a liberal magazine, “The American Prospect,” he’s going to say what he needs to say to try and persuade me that he’s not such a bad guy.
But you have to take that with a ton of salt. And I think it’s the usual dog-whistle stuff, where the alt-right is not going to think that Steve Bannon somehow has had a deathbed conversion and he now thinks they’re bad guys.
JOHN YANG: Josh, what do you think was going on here when he said those things?
JOSHUA GREEN: I think that he was trying to impress a credentialed journalist and somebody he admires.
He and I — Bannon and I had similar conversations in the research for my book. And I asked him, because he’s often charged with anti-Semitism and white nationalism. I said, well, if you don’t believe this stuff, why is it that you make common cause with these guys?
And his answer was that, while the types of you see marching in Charlottesville are — he called them freaks and goobers to me, he called them clowns to Bob — were individually ridiculous people, collectively, they represented a political force that he thought he could script into his larger America-first nationalism, into Trumpian politics, and use them, essentially manipulate them as tools to carry out his political goals.
JOHN YANG: Bob, he ended the conversation with you by saying that he was — wanted to see you at the White House after Labor Day to continue discussion of China and trade. Do you think that’s going to happen, Bob?
ROBERT KUTTNER: You know, I think, as long as Donald Trump is doubling down on the alliance with the far right, Bannon’s job may be safe, because he needs Bannon to guide him through that strategy.
So, I am certainly not going to predict whether Bannon’s job is safe, but I think the point is, a lot of other people in the White House may be furious at Bannon, but there’s only one person who counts. And that’s Donald Trump.
JOSHUA GREEN: I agree.
And if you listen to what Donald Trump had said in the wake of the Charlottesville attack, it has been precisely the sort of thing that Bannon says and believes, even though it’s something that is galling to Republican elected officials, to ordinary Americans, to many advisers within Trump’s own White House who are leaking to reporters their dismay and disgust, but don’t have the courage to come out and say it publicly or do what they ought to do and resign from their position in the White House, if they don’t agree with what Donald Trump is saying.
JOHN YANG: Joshua Green, Robert Kuttner, you both have fascinating insights into this guy Steve Bannon.
Thank you very much for joining us.
JOSHUA GREEN: Thank you.
ROBERT KUTTNER: Thank you.
The post Steve Bannon gave an ‘astonishing’ interview to a liberal magazine. Why? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now to the fallout from Charlottesville and the spotlight it cast on Confederate monuments.
The president spoke out in their defense today, even as the campaign to clear them from public spaces intensified.
Statues of Confederate leaders in Baltimore removed in the night. A monument to Confederate soldiers, in Durham, North Carolina, torn down by protesters Monday.
Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe joined in on CBS this morning.
GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE (D), Virginia: It’s time for these monuments to come down. It’s time for us to move together after what happened in Charlottesville.
HARI SREENIVASAN: On Twitter, President Trump lamented the loss of Confederate monuments. “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments, “he said. And he went on: “Robert E. Lee, Stonewall Jackson. Who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish.”
But in Durham, demonstrators turned out today to show support for the people arrested in Monday’s incident. And elsewhere:
MAN (through interpreter): The reality is that it never should have been there.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Protesters rallied in Tampa, Florida, after the local government said residents will have to raise money on their own to remove a Confederate monument there.
The cries for action echoed in Congress, with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi saying in a statement: “The Confederate statues in the halls of Congress have always been reprehensible.”
A spokesman for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan said it’s up to each state to decide whose statues will represent it in the Capitol.
Back in Charlottesville, hundreds gathered for a vigil last night at the University of Virginia. Plans for the march were spread by word of mouth. The crowd walked the same route the white supremacists had taken.
JERRY CONNOR, Vigil Attendee: We’re here to take back the lawn for this student generation, but all the previous and all the future generations of students who have walked the lawn. The lawn stands for liberty, equality, justice and freedom.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But Governor McAuliffe suggested President Trump should stay away from Charlottesville.
GOV. TERRY MCAULIFFE: I do not want the president to come here to continue on with the speeches he’s given the last couple of days.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The president, in turn, denied equating white nationalists with counterprotesters, and he tweeted that the news media — quote — “totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry, et cetera.”
He also dismissed Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina as publicity-seeking after Graham accused him of stoking tensions.
But Republican Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee went further today. He charged the president has not demonstrated the stability and competence needed for the White House.
Late today, President Trump decided to abandon a planned council of advisers on infrastructure.
We turn now for a closer look at the challenges cities have faced when trying to deal not only with controversial statues, but also the backlash that can bring protesters into the streets.
We spoke to two people who deal directly with these issues.
Jim Gray is mayor of Lexington, Kentucky. Tonight, the City Council there is debating how to handle their Confederate monuments. We spoke to the mayor before the council meeting began. And Lieutenant Ryan Lee is the executive officer of the Police Bureau Rapid Response Team of Portland, Oregon, where violent protests erupted earlier this summer.
Gentlemen, welcome to you both.
Mayor Jim Gray, this is something that your city may be facing sometime soon. It’s not exactly the same parallel, but there are Confederate monuments that you have wanted to move and relocate, and there’s some tension about that.
MAYOR JIM GRAY, Lexington, Kentucky: Yes, that’s right, Hari.
And for more than a year now, we have examined this issue. And on Saturday, with the regrettable and tragic events in Charlottesville, I made the decision to accelerate the putting before the City Council a resolution to relocate these monuments.
And that’s because it was the right thing to do. It is the right thing to do. These monuments today stand on really sacred — what amounts to sacred ground, ground where slaves were once auctioned, were sold into slavery, men, women and children were sold into slavery.
So this is the right thing to do to remove and to relocate these statues in a place where the full context and the full story of the tragedy of the Civil war could be shared and — shared and taught.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Mayor Gray, staying with you for a second, how is your police department preparing for the possibility that people who want to tear the statue down want to make Lexington another example?
JIM GRAY: Well, our police department is disciplined and prepared, but let me tell you about the requirements, the legal requirements.
The law in Kentucky requires that these statues, any movement of these statues first be put before what’s called the Kentucky Military Heritage Commission.
So, within the law today, we are operating within that law. Our police are prepared. We are a peaceful city. We are a city that’s a giving and compassionate city, but we’re also disciplined and prepared.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Lieutenant Ryan Lee, your city faced some very difficult protests. How did you get through them?
LT. RYAN LEE, Portland Police Bureau: It’s important for us when we’re approaching these situations to understand that there is an exercise, a lawful exercise of First Amendment rights.
And while I may personally find the content of somebody’s speech personally reprehensible, my role as a police officer is to facility that lawful and peaceful expression of somebody’s First Amendment rights, to try and help navigate for those people that wish to express lawfully their free speech, to try and give them a platform for it, while at the same time weighing out those governmental interests to keep the peace, to maintain law and order and to meet the public’s expectation of what they want from their police force.
It’s not an easy one-solution-fits-all. For us, it required reaching out to a variety of organizers from all sides of the political spectrum, trying to get them to self-police, and then developing plans in place to keep public order if necessary.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Mayor Gray, those are great suggestions that Lieutenant Lee has. Is that what your police department is doing? Tell me a little bit about the strategy on you’re planning these things through.
JIM GRAY: Sure.
Well, our police chief has reached out to Charlottesville, to those who are responsible in Charlottesville to try to gain lessons learned there.
Our police department is often set up as one of the finest in the country, an example in the country for its discipline, for its preparedness, dealing with crises, dealing with demands routinely.
So, we’re prepared. So, we’re reaching out to state and federal, also, of course, local jurisdictions who may provide help. And they’re doing a commendable job today of preparing.
But as the lieutenant said, this country founded — one of its, of course, founding principles is the right to free speech. But that — when it extends over into hatred and violence and those expressions in a violent way, of course, then that’s when we need to be prepared. And we are.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Mayor Gray, where is that threshold for you? One of the most striking images from Charlottesville were the police standing back and there were people fighting right in front of those officers.
Do you have instructions to your police department that say, get involved when X happens or Y happens?
JIM GRAY: You know, that’s the responsibility of our police chief, our command unit of our police. The lieutenant knows those protocols well.
We expect to deal with these issues, should they emerge. We expect and we will deal with them responsibly, but we will deal with them effectively and in a disciplined way.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Lieutenant Lee, looking back at what happened in Charlottesville, I’m not asking you to armchair quarterback, but if this happened in your city, what are the guidelines?
What is the strategy that you say? I realize there are case-by-case decisions that the officers have to make, but there seem to be very different approaches the departments take to try to cordon people off into different physical spaces, so that they can’t clash as easily, maybe use other tools like bicycles and so forth.
What do you do?
LT. RYAN LEE: Well, as you mentioned, we do try and cordon people off as appropriate.
We can put place reasonable time, place and manner restrictions upon free speech, if necessary. We have to allow for some alternative form of expression. So, the ability to set particularly opposing groups apart, whether it’s through fencing, whether it’s through physically locating officers between them, that’s an option. It’s a possibility.
What is legally possible from state to state and city to city changes, so some of the things that may be both legally acceptable here in the city of Portland and socially acceptable, with the expectations of the public, may vary from place to place.
So the options that were on the table for Charlottesville may not be the same for us. When we look at these groups, there’s often sort of a mistake, where people see — they just see it as a dichotomy. They look and they see what they think are homogeneous groups. This group represents one side, and another group represents another.
But what, from dealing with crowds, we have learned over the years is that there are a variety of like-minded clusters that sort of form out a plot point for a spectrum of opinion.
And so it’s recognizing those people in those groups that plot as wanting to carry out a lawful expression of their First Amendment rights, trying to communicate and coordinate with them, and trying to get them to sort of outgroup or excise those that really are just seeking a violent confrontation, so if the police can address the conduct there and keep it safe for all parties to express their free speech.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Lieutenant Lee, is it more complicated when it is groups of protesters attacking each other vs. when you know there is one specific group that’s out there?
LT. RYAN LEE: It makes the equation more complicated, but, ultimately, when we’re dealing with these violent protests, these violent confrontations, we’re really looking at conduct, not content.
It does change the equation, that, sometimes, we will have events where the animosity is focused towards the police. And now we have to be concerned with sort of a third party in multiple different groups who are really — again, when we’re talking about the conduct, there are those people in those groups that are seeking violence.
And, unfortunately, there are times that that violence can be directed towards somebody of an opposing political view or simply directed towards the police. It makes it a more complex equation to work through, but, ultimately, we’re dealing with conduct.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Lieutenant Ryan lee of Portland, Oregon, and Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington, Kentucky, thank you both for joining us tonight.
LT. RYAN LEE: Thank you.
JIM GRAY: Thank you.
The post How cities prepare for tensions over Confederate statues appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: Wall Street plunged on news of the Barcelona attack and worries about President Trump’s agenda. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 274 points to close at 21750. The Nasdaq fell 123 points and the S&P 500 slid 38.
The top U.S. diplomat insisted today that a potential U.S. military response to North Korea is still on the table, that after the president’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon, had said there is no military solution to the problem.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded after he and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis met with their Japanese counterparts in Washington.
REX TILLERSON, U.S. Secretary of State: A threat of proportions that none of us like to contemplate has to be backed by strong military consequences if North Korea chooses wrongly. And I think that is the message that the president has wanted to send to the leadership of North Korea.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said it would be unimaginable to let North Korea have nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles.
In Hong Kong, three young activists were sent to prison for leading pro-democracy protests in 2014. A court sentenced Joshua Wong, Nathan Law, and Alex Chow up to eight months. They helped start the so-called umbrella movement against Chinese curbs on elections. The three appeared outside the court before the sentencing and rallied supporters with a show of defiance.
JOSHUA WONG, Activist: Even though Nathan, Alex and I will be the ones who may get sent to prison immediately for half to one year, but what we believe is people united will never be defeated. Our courage and determination to fight for free elections and democracy will continue in this long-term battle.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The activists originally received much lighter sentences, but the court overturned those and imposed harsher penalties.
New warnings today about the refugee crisis in South Sudan. The U.N. says one million people have fled to Uganda, with 1,800 more arriving every day to escape civil war. Video from the charity World Vision shows the largest refugee camp in the world, and officials say Uganda is struggling to meet their needs.
And back in this country, drug maker Mylan will pay $465 million to settle federal allegations of price-gouging for the EpiPen. The device can stop allergic reactions in emergencies. The Justice Department says Mylan overbilled Medicaid by more than a billion dollars over a decade.
The post News Wrap: Military response to North Korea still an option, says Tillerson appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Thirteen killed, scores more hurt, two arrests, grim results of today’s attack in Barcelona, where a speeding vehicle vaulted a sidewalk and drove down its victims.
It follows similar attacks across Europe, and, last weekend, in Charlottesville, Virginia.
For more, we turn to Lorenzo Vidino, who leads the Program on Extremism at George Washington University.
Spain hasn’t been the — hasn’t been the site of these attacks. We have seen a lot of focus on London and also in France.
LORENZO VIDINO, George Washington University: Yes.
I think the last time Spain was hit was in 2004, when we had the Madrid bombings. But since the mobilization in Europe has been ISIS-linked, Spain has not been touched by the same levels of radicalization and mobilization and by attacks as some of the Central, Northern European countries have.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Why is that?
LORENZO VIDINO: It’s for a variety of reasons, but mostly mobilization in Europe for ISIS has been a second-generation phenomenon.
And the Southern European countries, like Spain, like Italy, do not have a large number of second-generation Muslims, people who are born and raised in those countries. So, I’m not saying that Spain has not been touched by the phenomenon of radicalization.
We have problems. If you are looking at the two enclaves, Spanish enclaves in Moroccan territory, south of Melilla, where apparently at least one of the attackers came from, those areas have had a lot of problems, but mainland Spain has not been hit with the same intensity in terms of numbers of people radicalized, in terms of foreign fighters, as, let’s say, France, or U.K., or Germany or Belgium.
HARI SREENIVASAN: How good are the security systems in place in Spain where the individuals that might have been behind this, were they on the radar? Do they have a radar keeping track?
LORENZO VIDINO: Since 2004, Spain has increased its counterterrorism capabilities.
Let’s also remember this is a country that has been hit by another form of terrorism, the Basque national terrorism, ETA, for a long, long time. So it is a country that has an experience in dealing with terrorism.
Obviously, as any other law enforcement or intelligence throughout Europe or in the United States as well, they can’t intercept everything, they can’t monitor everything. They have disrupted quite a few plots over the last few years. There have been hundreds of people been arrested, this, again, in a country that has not seen the levels of mobilization of other European countries.
In Barcelona itself, a plot was thwarted last year, pretty sophisticated one. Having said that, obviously, it’s the experience of everybody from Europe to the United States that something always falls through the cracks.
I think we will see over the next few hours whether those individuals who carried out the attack are known to law enforcement, as it is often the case, or not known, what happened, and I think that’s something we will pull have to see.
HARI SREENIVASAN: This particular area is very popular with tourists. But the method of attack now, using a car, using a van, using anything, it’s almost unstoppable.
LORENZO VIDINO: It is.
I think you have seen a lot of European countries have put barriers in pedestrian areas. To be honest, I’m a bit surprised that the city of Barcelona or Spanish authorities have not done that in an area that is hugely popular with tourists.
I think Barcelona is one of the top three destinations for tourists. And Las Ramblas is really the main pedestrian area. So, any time of the day or night, it is flooded with tourists.
And the fact that a van could go in, I think it’s probably something that will need to be discussed in the aftermath of the attack. But, obviously, you can’t stop everything. You can’t block city centers. You can’t close down places like arenas. We had an attack in Manchester. Or any kind of social life.
So, obviously, as any country, and I think we have seen that in the States as well, certain precautions have been taken, but you cannot stop life. You cannot militarize our cities.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What about the coordination between Interpol, other European countries? Are they sharing information fast enough between countries to say, you might have a threat here, here are three or four people that just crossed our border into yours?
LORENZO VIDINO: It has gotten much better compared to a few years back. It is not perfect.
Interpol does a good job. But there are a lot of limitations in what can be done. And I think you still have political jealousies, diffidence, even in some cases within individual countries. I think, to some degree, that would apply to Spain.
I’m not saying this is the case right now, but there are political tensions between Catalonia, which wants to be an independent country, and it’s an autonomous region inside Spain, and the Spanish central government. And, sometimes, that’s has repercussions also on counterintelligence and intelligence-sharing. Sharing information in real time is problematic at the European level, at the international level.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Lorenzo Vidino, who leads the Program on Extremism at George Washington University, thanks so much.
LORENZO VIDINO: Thank you.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In a series of tweets, President Trump condemned the attack and offered help to the people of Spain. He also raised again a claim that the U.S. Army used bullets dipped in pig’s blood to quell Muslim rebels in the Philippines years ago. The story has been widely debunked.
The post Barcelona tourist area targeted in deadly vehicle attack appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
BAGHDAD — The wires protruding from the small, misshapen stuffed animal revealed the deadly booby-trap tucked inside.
For the people of Mosul, the sophisticated bomb was a reminder of how difficult it will be to return to homes littered with hidden explosives by Islamic State militants and dotted with the remnants of undetonated bombs dropped by the U.S.-led coalition that still could blow up.
Washington at least is trying to ease a bit of the massive clean-up burden.
On Thursday, the top U.S. commander in Iraq said for the first time that the American military will help contractors and other officials locate unexploded bombs dropped by the coalition. U.S. Embassy officials have asked the coalition to declassify grid coordinates for bombs dropped in Iraq to help clear the explosives.
It may not be that simple, Gen. Stephen Townsend told a small group of reporters, “but we’ll find a way through that.”
“We’ll find a way to help them,” he said.
The coalition’s unexploded bombs are only a small part of Mosul’s problems. The bulk of the explosives have been hidden by IS fighters to be triggered by the slightest movement, even picking up a seemingly innocent children’s toy, lifting a vacuum cleaner, or opening an oven door. The effort could continue wreaking destruction on Iraq’s second largest city even as IS was defeated after a nine-month battle.
U.S. Embassy officials and contractors hired to root out the hidden explosives use the same words to describe the devastation in western Mosul: Historic. Unprecedented. Exponentially worse than any other place.
“We use broad terms like historic because when you enter a dwelling, everything is suspect,” said the team leader in northern Iraq for Janus Global Operations, a contracting company hired to find and remove hidden explosive devices and unexploded bombs from Iraqi cities recaptured from the Islamic State group. “You can’t take anything at face value.”
The team leader asked that he not be identified by name because he and his teams continue working in Mosul and the company fears for their safety.
Some estimates suggest it may take 25 years to clear West Mosul of explosives. The bomb-removing team leader said those understate what is sure to be a long, enduring problem.
Normalcy may return to parts of west Mosul in a year, and perhaps after a decade many of the obvious explosives will be found. But other unexploded bombs and hidden devices will surface at construction sites and other locations for years and likely decades to come, he said.
As much as 90 percent of west Mosul’s old city has been reduced to ruins, destroyed by the IS militants who occupied it for nearly three years and by the campaign of airstrikes and ground combat needed to retake the city.
For Muhammed Mustafa, a restaurant owner from west Mosul, the disaster is very personal.
“In the beginning we thanked God we had been liberated from our oppressor,” said Mustafa, 54, who had lived in Mosul’s old city.
Mustafa escaped IS territory as Iraqi forces pushed through western Mosul earlier this year and is now living with extended family in the city’s east.
“When my neighborhood was liberated, I wanted to return and gather some belongings. On my street all I saw was destruction, except my home, thank God, but I found a written statement on the wall warning it was bobby-trapped,” he told The Associated Press in a phone interview. “When I saw it, I couldn’t stand. I fell to the ground.”
Security forces in the area barred him from entering due to the risk.
“They said there were many houses like it and many people had already died trying to inspect their homes when a bomb inside exploded,” he said. “Can you imagine, the house I grew up in, now I can no longer enter?”
David Johnson, vice president for the Washington office of Janus Global Operations, said his workers are finding explosives where local residents would be most likely to trigger them, and are “seeing a level of sophistication and a number of improvised explosive devices that is literally without parallel.”
Over time, the officials said, the improvised explosive devices — or IEDs — have become far more innovative and sophisticated. They range from basic pressure plates in the roads or doorways to small devices, similar to ones that turn on a refrigerator light when the door is opened. They’re tucked into dresser drawers or smoke detectors, or buried under large piles of rubble that were pushed aside as Iraqi forces cleared roads to move through the city.
The devastation is so extensive and the danger so high that government and humanitarian agencies have been unable to get a full assessment of the explosives threat or a solid estimate of how much money and effort is needed to make the city safe and livable again.
The team leader painted a grim picture of the city where his workers have spent the last two weeks trying to clear explosives from critical infrastructure, including the electric grid.
A retired Navy explosives specialist who served multiple tours in Iraq and Syria, he said his team is “facing something we’ve never seen before.”
In the Navy, he said, his worst day involved finding 18 explosive devices. On Wednesday, on the outskirts of Mosul, his team cleared 50 explosive devices out of a pipeline. He estimated as many as 300 in that one area alone.
There are five such teams, totaling 130 people, working in Mosul. So far, no one has been injured. In Ramadi, however, company workers were killed and injured as they tried to eliminate explosives. Janus wouldn’t provide details.
Associated Press writer Susannah George contributed to this report.
The post U.S. will help clear ‘historic’ amount of explosives in Mosul appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
“Catcher in the Rye.” “To Kill A Mockingbird.” “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.”
We can all probably name our favorite coming-of-age novels, which explore through fiction what it means to grow up. Perhaps lesser-known are the best real-life stories of that often-rocky transition from youth to adulthood, a topic about which author Tom Perrotta happens to know something.
Perrotta has written seven novels, including “Election,” “Little Children” and “The Leftovers,” all of which have been adapted for film or TV. Though he writes fiction, each book Perrotta has written has tracked the stage of life he was then in.
“I don’t often write about myself or people I know, but I do write about the life passage that I’m going through,” Perrotta told NewsHour correspondent Jeffrey Brown in a recent interview. “And it helps in a way because I’m very close to it when I’m writing, so it’s not seen through that mist of nostalgia.”
Now, Perrotta is out with a new coming-of-age tale, “Mrs. Fletcher,” about a mother and her son who’s gone off to college, and the sexual boundaries both explore. Below, Perrotta shares his favorite coming-of-age memoirs, in his own words:
“This Boy’s Life: A Memoir” by Tobias Wolff
I love books that combine humor and pathos, and Wolff’s memoir manages this balancing act with unusual grace. It’s the story of a boy who outwits an abusive stepfather, and finds his calling as a writer in the process.
“Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic” by Alison Bechdel
The source of the excellent Broadway musical, Bechdel’s graphic novel about growing up and coming out is introspective and sophisticated, but also enormously entertaining. Anyone who thinks graphic novels aren’t “literature” should check this out.
“Born a Crime: Stories From a South African Childhood” by Trevor Noah
One of my favorite books in recent memory, Noah’s account of his mixed-race childhood in apartheid South Africa (where he was literally “illegal,” according to that country’s absurd racial laws) is full of amazing anecdotes and hilarious digressions. Like “This Boy’s Life,” it’s a story of resilience and escape.
“The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts” by Maxine Hong Kingston
A remarkable hybrid of memoir and folktale, Maxine Hong Kingston’s meditation on her ancestors and her Chinese-American childhood is like no other book I’ve read. It’s a daring work of literature and a classic immigrant tale, playful and deeply thoughtful at the same time.
Soon on the NewsHour, watch correspondent Jeffrey Brown’s full interview with Tom Perrotta on “Mrs. Fletcher.”
Uganda is now home to more than a million South Sudanese refugees, the United Nations said Thursday, as a result of an ongoing civil war in the world’s youngest nation.
The report from the UN Refugee Agency stated an average of 1,800 refugees had entered Uganda each day over the past 12 months. The number of migrants increased rapidly after deadly fighting erupted in the South Sudan capital of Juba in July 2016, the Associated Press reported.
Eighty-five percent of the new arrivals are women and children fleeing the violence. The UN said refugees have relayed stories of women and girls being sexually assaulted, armed groups burning down houses with people inside and boys forced to become soldiers.
“The UN is urgently calling on the international community, one for funding and two, for political support so that leaders can help bring them (warring sides) to the negotiating table,” said Charlie Yaxley, a spokesman for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Uganda.
Uganda needs $674 million to assist South Sudanese refugees this year, according to the UN. The nation is receiving about one fifth of that amount.
Uganda is an attractive destination for refugees because of a welcoming policy toward migrants. Refugees are placed in settlements — or provided with land in the same communities as locals — instead of camps. Refugees are also issued a legal I.D. that allows them to move freely throughout the country.
In recent years, that policy has been tested, as Uganda’s neighbors experience unrest. More than two million people from South Sudan overall have fled since the country’s crisis began in 2013. Along with Uganda, South Sudanese refugees have also migrated into the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Kenya and Ethiopia.
“Refugees have seen their food rations cut in half, and there aren’t enough doctors or medicine,” Yaxley said. “Many of the refugees are arriving sick and starving. They have been forced to walk through the bush lands because armed groups are located on the major exits, preventing people to leave from traditional routes.”.
As a result, he said, people are being forced to eat grass and poisonous berries. Many are turning to polluted rivers for drinking water, where the chances of contracting malaria are also higher.
The report called on countries around the world to increase their funding for relief efforts.
The post Uganda now houses more than 1 million South Sudanese refugees appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Why is it that people have no qualms about confessing, I’m terrible at math, yet you rarely hear anyone saying, I’m awful at English?
Eugenia Cheng is the scientist in residence at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and author, whose latest book is “Beyond Infinity.”
Tonight, we hear her Humble Opinion on why math is in need of a makeover.
EUGENIA CHENG, Mathematician: Hi. I would like you to meet a friend of mine. He’s really useful. Wait. That doesn’t make him sound very interesting, does it? Or fun.
Wouldn’t it be better to say, hi, I would like you to meet a friend of mine, she’s amazing. she’s brilliant?
We’d never introduce a friend by saying they’re useful. So, why are we doing that to math? Why do we keep going on about how important it is for everyone to learn math because it’s useful? Has that ever got a young person interested in anything?
I think math is fascinating and fun. Otherwise, I wouldn’t be a mathematician. Some math began life without any sign of practicality. Like, babies, they’re not exactly useful.
For example, Internet cryptography. It means we can do online shopping, online banking, and send e-mails. This comes from some number theory that existed just for its own sake 300 years ago. Most of engineering, medicine, lab science, weather forecasts and technology depends on calculus.
Calculus depends on irrational numbers that the Egyptians started wondering about thousands of years ago. The icosahedron is a satisfyingly symmetrical shape that was dreamt up by ancient Greek mathematicians.
Two thousand years later, it was finally applied to the study of viruses and the structure of carbon and designing soccer balls.
But imagine if we only did math that was directly applicable, rather than stimulated by sheer curiosity. We’d still be building houses by hand and communicating on paper delivered on horseback and dying of the Plague.
The usefulness of math is a burden, and we’re perpetuating this burden in a cycle. We require elementary school teachers to teach everything, but what if math wasn’t their favorite subject at school? Math-y people are more likely to be specialist math teachers at higher levels.
So, if elementary school teachers remember math as important, but not fun, they’re likely to teach it as important, but not fun. And the cycle goes on. We need to break it.
Some elementary schools have specialist teachers for art, music or languages. Let’s have specialist elementary math teachers too. Let’s allow them to teach math in imaginative and creative ways. Let’s teach children how to think, rather than just how to pass standardized tests.
I think math is fun and exhilarating. I enjoy understanding things. I enjoy thinking clearly. That’s what math is about.
The post Math is amazing and we have to start treating it that way appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Next: Jeffrey Brown picks the brain of a lifelong movie critic on how to get the most out of the moviegoing experience.
It’s the latest installment of the NewsHour Bookshelf.
JEFFREY BROWN: A movie will teach you how to watch it, and while you can always eat your popcorn and enjoy the show, those lessons can be illuminating, entertaining, rewarding.
That’s the guiding spirit of a new book called “Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.”
Author Ann Hornaday is chief film critic at The Washington Post. She’s joined me often here to help us watch current movies. And she’s back to talk pictures.
ANN HORNADAY, Author, “Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies”: Hello.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, we can watch for fun. Right?
ANN HORNADAY: Absolutely.
JEFFREY BROWN: We can just enjoy.
But what is this? What are you trying to offer us?
ANN HORNADAY: Well, we live in an age of instant movie reviews, with social media and Web sites and aggregators. Everybody — literally, everybody is a critic.
JEFFREY BROWN: We all are.
ANN HORNADAY: We all are.
And everyone loves to weigh in. And that’s a lot of fun. And this book is really designed for those people who are casual viewers and who do have a lot of fun weighing in, but might want to take their game up a notch.
And so what I have done with the book, I hope, is to guide readers through my process in evaluating a movie as a professional critic.
JEFFREY BROWN: The way you think about it as a critic. Right?
ANN HORNADAY: Exactly.
As I explain it in the book, I didn’t start out as a movie buff. I kind of came to this sideways as a freelance writer. So I have actually learned to watch movies sort of on the job. And in many cases, that means through my interviews with filmmakers like writers, directors, and actors and different craftspeople.
And they have really taught me a great deal about this medium and how to appreciate it. And so a lot of their wisdom is included in the book.
JEFFREY BROWN: OK, so the fun of this — and we’re going to have some fun with this.
ANN HORNADAY: Oh, yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: Is go through the categories of filmmaking.
I asked you to pick a few examples. We are going to start with screenwriting. This is the great opening scene from the 2007 film “Michael Clayton.” OK? Let’s take a look.
ANN HORNADAY: Yes.
ACTOR: Two weeks ago, I came out of a building, OK? I’m running across Sixth Avenue. There’s a car waiting. I have got exactly 38 minutes to get to the airport, and I’m dictating.
There’s this panicked associate sprinting along beside me, scribbling in a notepad. And suddenly she starts screaming. And I realize we’re standing in the middle of the street, the lights change, and there’s this wall of traffic, serious traffic spinning towards us. And I freeze. I can’t move.
And I’m suddenly consumed with the overwhelming sensation that I’m covered with some sort of film. And it’s in my hair, my face. It’s like a glaze.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, that’s how a film opens, right, an unseen character, monologue, empty building.
ANN HORNADAY: Exactly.
It’s just incredible. It’s one of the great scenes of recent memory.
What I say in the book is, a movie — as you said, a movie teaches us how to watch it really within those first few moments. That’s when we’re hooked. That’s when we know where we are, we’re oriented, we’re in an environment, we’re in a world.
We have no idea how that voice-over narration relates to that scene that we’re watching, but we have such a strong idea of the environment and the atmosphere. And we want to know more. And that’s the great Tony Gilroy, the great screenwriter, making his directing debut with that movie.
And it was — it kept up that pace and that degree of intensity all the way through.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, our second example, I’m going to call this section visual storytelling, but it’s about cinematography and design.
This is from 1976, “All The President’s Men.” Now, this is Robert Redford as reporter Bob Woodward. And it’s a very subtle — you can — let’s watch and you will explain it, but subtle.
ANN HORNADAY: Yes, one of my favorite scenes. Yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: OK. Here it is.
ROBERT REDFORD, Actor: This is Bob Woodward of The Washington Post.
ROBERT REDFORD: About that $25,000 check deposited in the bank account of one of the Watergate burglars, Mr. Bernard Barker. As you know, sir, the check has your name on it.
We were doing a story on this, and I was wondering if you would care to comment or explain.
ACTOR: I turned all my money over to the committee.
ROBERT REDFORD: What committee is that, sir, the Committee to Reelect?
JEFFREY BROWN: It’s an almost imperceptible push into Redford. Right?
ANN HORNADAY: Exactly. Think about …
JEFFREY BROWN: But something is happening.
ANN HORNADAY: Something is definitely happening.
That is such a masterful shot, for many reasons. One is that the filmmakers, Alan Pakula, and Gordon Willis, his cinematographer, you know, if you think of a guy on a phone making a phone call, what could be more boring, what could be more static and more inert, right?
And so what they have done is, they pull back to get a sense of that environment, that highly charged environment in the newsroom. And they use..
JEFFREY BROWN: All those people on the left.
ANN HORNADAY: Exactly, who are in perfect focus, by the way. So, we can see them. And we see what they’re doing and that they’re reacting to what’s on the news on television.
They did that by a way of split diopter. It’s very technical. But they remain a very deep focus to take in that environment and that sense of tension.
And then, like you said, they just push in bit by bit in the course of this phone call. And it’s followed by another one, where the tension is ratcheted up, as it starts to zoom in on Redford’s face.
So, it’s just a masterful example of how a very finely detailed production design, such as that was for “All the President’s Men,” where they literally reproduced The Post newsroom on an L.A. set, how a production design interacts with an actor and his performance to create — and then a camera move like that just to create this amazing sense of tension.
JEFFREY BROWN: The category that gets most attention usually is acting. Right?
ANN HORNADAY: Indeed.
JEFFREY BROWN: And so I want to watch a scene that is even from last year, and it’s one I did on this program, “Manchester By the Sea.” It’s written and directed by Kenneth Lonergan.
And this is Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams. Let’s take a look.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS, Actress: We couldn’t have lunch?
CASEY AFFLECK, Actor: I’m really sorry. I don’t think so. But thank you for saying everything that you said.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: You can’t just die.
CASEY AFFLECK: I’m not. I’m not. I’m not. And I’m …
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Honey …
CASEY AFFLECK: I want you to be happy.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Honey, I see you walking around here, and I just want to tell you …
CASEY AFFLECK: I would want to talk to you …
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: Please.
CASEY AFFLECK: Please, I — I …
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: You have got to — I don’t know what …
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: I don’t want to torture you.
CASEY AFFLECK: You’re not torturing me.
MICHELLE WILLIAMS: I just want to tell you that I was wrong.
CASEY AFFLECK: No. No. No. You understand there’s nothing — there’s nothing there.
ANN HORNADAY: Oh, my gosh.
JEFFREY BROWN: There’s very few words even spoken in this film.
ANN HORNADAY: Exactly.
JEFFREY BROWN: In that scene, I don’t think anybody finishes a sentence. Right?
ANN HORNADAY: That’s right.
And that’s by design. I actually — you interviewed Kenny Lonergan. And I interviewed Casey and Michelle about him as a writer, saying, what is it about his screenplays that makes them different?
And they said, he spells everything out, including all of those um’s and uh’s out.
What people are saying on the surface is just surface. And it’s really the tip of a very, very deep and fraught emotional iceberg. And so he’s giving those actors something to play that, in the hands of a good actor, they can invest all that subtext in.
And so that’s just a great example of screen acting at its finest, which is really all about just honesty and truth in the moment and playing that subtext.
JEFFREY BROWN: Pulling all of this together, of course, is the director. How did you come to see the director’s role?
ANN HORNADAY: Well, in interviewing the filmmakers that I did over the years, the two words that kept coming up were taste and tone.
So, if we go back to that screenplay as the founding document of a movie, it’s the director’s job to realize that to its fullest potential.
So, when you mention somebody like a Kathryn Bigelow, the way that she tells the story of the Algiers Motel incident in the movie “Detroit” is very unique to her. I don’t think any other filmmaker would have approached the story quite the way that she does in this film.
And you can say the same about Patty Jenkins. Her vision for “Wonder Woman” was very much, I think, a product of her personal taste and her predilections. And, in both those cases, they work wonderfully well.
“Dunkirk” is another great example. I mean, we could go on and on.
JEFFREY BROWN: We could go on and on.
ANN HORNADAY: It’s been a good summer for directors, I will say.
JEFFREY BROWN: The new book is “Talking Pictures: How to Watch Movies.”
Ann Hornaday, thank you very much.
ANN HORNADAY: Thank you.
The post Movies are more than screen deep. Here’s how to watch like a critic appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
In the wake of the white nationalist rally and ensuing violence in Charlottesville last weekend, Spotify announced it would remove music that promotes white nationalism from its libraries, as Apple had done several years before.
Before the move, Digital Music News had found that 37 bands associated with neo-Nazi and other hate groups, as defined by the Southern Poverty Law Center, were available on the streaming platform.
A spokesperson for Spotify told Billboard after the removal that “material that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion and sexuality or the like is not tolerated by us.”
But, much like the white nationalist site Daily Stormer’s move to the dark web this week after GoDaddy and Google denied its domain registration, removing white power bands from Spotify may be a little like playing whack-a-mole, with these bands simply popping up on different platforms. And “white power” bands themselves — as well as those who study them — say that music was never really found on Spotify and Apple to begin with.
“We never used their services,” Cybernazi, an instrumental electronic band that’s part of a new “fash wave” genre of music favored by the next generation of white nationalists, wrote in an emailed statement. The band said “we realized that our surveillance depends on building our own virtual infrastructure.”
Cybernazi’s music, much of which adulates Adolf Hitler, was previously available on Bandcamp, but has since been removed there; it is still available on SoundCloud and YouTube, where the band’s songs have hundreds of thousands of views.
A YouTube spokeswoman told the New York Times that the service has “clear policies that prohibit content like hate speech” and that it removes content flagged by users.
Freedom of speech advocates have criticized moves like these after Charlottesville, saying that tactics used to clamp down on speech by neo-Nazis could later be used against others.
But C. Richard King, a culture, a gender and race professor at Washington State University who studies white supremacist movements, said the removals “do not and cannot stop the circulation of the music, stop its use for recruitment, community building, and financing of the movement, or eradicate the ideology, anymore than it can snuff out the desire of some to produce and consume it.”
He added, however, that the moves by Spotify and Apple “may make [the music] harder to find, driving it to other sites.”
In addition to SoundCloud and YouTube, white power music can be bought from independent music labels like the Maryland-based Label56, which sells a wide range of white nationalist music, including Oi! and RAC (Rock Against Communism), two punk rock genres that have historically attracted skinhead fans.
Label56 also reportedly signed Wade Michael Page, the gunman who killed six people at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin in 2012, to a music contract before the attack. Label56 did not respond to NewsHour’s request for comment.
Label56 has a mobile app that was previously available on the Google Play store, but it was taken down from the store earlier this year after a complaint from the Anti-Defamation League. That app, which includes not only white power music but also messaging about a supposed “war on whites,” is now available instead on apps.appmakr.com, where it can be downloaded for iPhone, Android and Blackberry.
And white power music can also be bought from independent music distributions stores such as the New Jersey-based MiceTrap Distribution LLC, which sells “Angry Aryan” T-shirts and MP3s from the white power bands Aggravated Assault and Chaos 88, whose music is regularly shared on Stormfront and the website of the National Socialist Movement, an American neo-Nazi party.
When contacted by the NewsHour in February, a representative from MiceTrap said that after seeing declining sales for more than a decade, the company had seen a “dramatic” uptick in interest over the last four years.
The representative, James, who asked that the NewsHour not use his last name for fear of personal attacks, wrote that along with fewer competitors, the “biggest driving force for the sales increases seem to be the constant leftist media propaganda and liberal attacks on free speech that drive people to become more extreme than they normally would be like to be.”
“When people are told they aren’t allow to have access to music (or any content for that matter), human nature drives them to seek it out,” he wrote.
NewsHour could not independently verify that MiceTrap sales had increased.
Most of the music available on MiceTrap is made by older white power bands, James said, in large part because there are few new or active bands on the scene. The top-selling item at MiceTrap in February was the German neo-Nazi singer Hassgesang’s “B.Z.L.T.B.” album, which was recorded in 2003. (That album is also currently available on Amazon.)
In a follow-up conversation Thursday, James wrote that he was appalled by the violence in Charlottesville and that MiceTrap was “a business, nothing more.”
“I’m not a white supremacist or a racist,” he added. “The business has merchandise that is 100% legal.”
Available items on the site as of Thursday included the CD “Blood and Honour” by Skrewdriver, once the most prominent white nationalist rock band in the world, along with MP3s of the song “Triumph of the Will” by RAC band Das Reich, whose name is presumably taken from the Das Reich armed division of the Nazi party.
But two other people who track hate groups said that keeping white power music off Spotify and Apple does make a difference. Oren Segal, director of the Center on Extremism at the Anti-Defamation League, which filed the complaint to Google Play against Label56’s app, said removing the music from streaming platforms could make it less convenient to “accidentally come across it, and potentially get turned on to it, especially younger audiences.”
Mark Potok, a fellow at the Southern Poverty Law Center, echoed that sentiment, stressing that it could prevent “naive listeners” from getting interested.
“The flip side, of course,” he said, “is that prohibition can make it seem more sexy and appealing to many.”
HARI SREENIVASAN: Next: After the containment of the Ebola outbreak, scientists are looking around the corner for the next serious threat to global threat.
Judy Woodruff recently sat down with Liberian-Born Dr. Raj Panjabi at Spotlight Health in Aspen, Colorado, to discuss the challenges of preventing the next pandemic.
Warning: Some of the images in this report may be disturbing.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Dr. Raj Panjabi, thank you very much for joining us.
What do you think the world learned from the last Ebola outbreak of just a couple of years ago, and do you think we’re ready, the world is ready for the next one?
DR. RAJ PANJABI, Last Mile Health: You know, I think there are many lessons that have been learned from the crisis and still are, but probably one of the most central, fundamental lessons is this basic notion that illness is universal and access to care isn’t, and that that actually places all of us at greater risk.
We have known this from even the first boy who died in the Ebola crisis, Emile, a 2-year-old in the rain forest in Guinea. He died after having vomiting, fever and diarrhea in December of 2013.
It took three months for the world to realize that this was an outbreak. He lived in a forest community that — in rural parts of West Africa where the forest is dense, but health workers are sparse. And so the virus spread during that time out of control, led to tens of thousands of people dying.
JUDY WOODRUFF: One of the things you did was employ what you call community health workers to go out and do what you’re talking about. What exactly did they do?
DR. RAJ PANJABI: Well, community health workers are people from villages like Emile’s where a middle- to high school-educated person would be trained for a matter of months and equipped to provide medical care door to door to their neighbors.
Those workers are critical, in addition to nurses and doctors, because nurses and doctors are concentrated in cities. They don’t reach rural areas. When I first came back, I grew up in Liberia. I fled during the civil war. I came back as a medical student.
And what I found is that there were just 51 doctors for four million people. It would be like the city of San Francisco having just 10 physicians for the entire city. So, if you got sick in the city, you might stand a chance.
But, in rural areas, you didn’t. So, community health workers have been critical to providing health care, where doctors don’t reach, and linking patients to care.
What we did, for instance, when an outbreak happened in a rural part of the country, was to train and equip health workers from those communities to go door to door to work with doctors and nurses to find the sick and get them into treatment units.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We have been hearing about community health workers for a long time. What’s different about how they work now, the role that they play?
DR. RAJ PANJABI: I think what’s new now is a recognition that this is perhaps one of the most undervalued labor assets in the health work force.
Long-term, they have been treated as volunteers. So, in other words, they don’t get paid to do their work. Most are underequipped and many have been barely trained.
What’s different now is the recognition, as in the case of Liberia, after the Ebola crisis, taking a former volunteer community health work force and upgrading it, hiring those workers, employing them, training them, equipping them with the right gear and medicines to go door to door and provide health care.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A larger question of epidemic pandemics. It seems we pay a lot of attention to them when we’re in the middle of the crisis and it’s on everybody’s mind, people are dying. It’s a very visual thing. But then we quickly forget. We move on. Our attention span is short.
How confident are you that the world is truly prepared for the next pandemic and the one after that?
DR. RAJ PANJABI: Well, we have done more to become prepared after the Ebola crisis.
We’re not yet close to where we need to be to be prepared for the next epidemic. The data shows this. We know that the cost of inaction is larger than the cost of action; $6 trillion is the estimated potential economic loss of a pandemic. But we’re only spending 50 cents per person per year in providing surveillance and preparedness against preventing the next epidemic.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We know that this is one of the things that funding by the United States can make a big difference, as to your point.
DR. RAJ PANJABI: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The legislation that is moving through the Congress right now, or what appears to be moving through the Congress, could make some significant cuts in that area.
DR. RAJ PANJABI: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What effect would that have?
DR. RAJ PANJABI: Well, I think, make no mistake, the cuts would be devastating.
And one of the untold stories of U.S. foreign aid is that it’s had such a dramatic impact, largely because of investments in health care systems like Liberia’s and poor countries. If there had not been an effort to invest U.S. foreign aid before, during and now after the Ebola crisis, you wouldn’t have been able to surge front-line local health workers who went door to door to find the sick and get them into care.
At that very moment when the CDC told us that there could be as many as 1.4 million cases of Ebola in Liberia and Sierra Leone, in the country I grew up and the one next to it, that very week, in Dallas, Texas, America diagnosed its first case of Ebola.
So it’s not a theory that epidemics that happen to people across the world can impact us at home quite literally. So I think this is the real story about foreign aid is, it’s actually not aid. It’s investment. It’s a win-win. It saves lives abroad and it keeps us safer at home in America.
And that’s something we should all be proud of, actually, as Americans.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Dr. Raj Panjabi with Last Mile Health, thank you very much.
DR. RAJ PANJABI: Thank you, Judy.
The post We’re not close to being prepared for the next pandemic, says this doctor appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
President Donald Trump drew criticism on Tuesday for his comments about the race-fueled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“You think there’s blame? Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides. You look at, you look at both sides — I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it,” he told reporters.
His handling of hate and bigotry have prompted comparisons to how other U.S. presidents have handled race during their time in office.
In the player above, watch how presidents have called out racism and violence — from Dwight D. Eisenhower’s 1957 speech about desegregation in Little Rock, Arkansas to Barack Obama’s remarks after the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But first: trying to meet the education needs of refugee children in a resource-poor country overwhelmed by new arrivals.
Just yesterday, the United Nations announced one million South Sudanese refugees had arrived in Uganda over the past year. Many have ended up here at the Bidi Bidi camp, the largest in the world.
Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports, part of his series Agents for Change.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: It’s not often you will find a school in Africa that provides meals to its students.
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA, Educational Entrepreneur: We give them breakfast and lunch.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: You didn’t get this when you went to school?
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA: No.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: It not only helps students focus on learning, but this simple plate of corn, or maize, and beans may also be the reason many show up at all.
The school’s 30-year-old founder remembers packed classrooms when he started primary school, but they didn’t stay that way for long.
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA: Over 150 children, but I remember, by the time I was in primary seven, we had about 15 children left.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Lots of children drop out?
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA: They drop out, and the problem is connected to food.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Joseph Munyambanza was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, but his parents, like tens of thousands of others, fled to Uganda when he was 6.
For decades, Uganda has welcomed refugees from its war-torn neighbors, but even with United Nations’ help, its resources are very limited.
Last year, I visited a school in Nakivale, a refugee settlement in southern Uganda. No lunch here, and not much learning, in classrooms crammed on average with 120 children. Few of the hundreds of thousands of refugee children in Uganda make it into high school, for which they must pass a national entrance test.
Joseph Munyambanza was one of those few. He completed high school, and received a scholarship to the prestigious African Leadership Academy in South Africa founded by a group of Stanford alumni. Another scholarship from the MasterCard Foundation got him to Westminster College in Missouri, where he got a degree in biochemistry.
It was a heady journey, far from his humble beginnings, but he says, he never forgot them.
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA: When I finished my degree, I already had my ticket to come back, and most kids say, you’re crazy. You’re not serious, because that standard is, you go there, you finish your degree, and you get a job and start getting money.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: One big reason he returned was an organization he’d founded while still in high school with a few friends. They volunteered to mentor and tutor younger refugee school children.
And as Munyambanza traveled in the West, he was able to network with donors, raising funds for their group, called Coburwas, and for a primary school it runs in the refugee settlement of Kyangwali.
The 433 students are urged to think critically, in a country where rote learning is the norm. And they’re taught farming on land adjacent to the school. In Uganda, refugees are provided small plots of land and school parents also contribute produce.
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA: We raise around five tons of maize, and part of it has to be eaten, but a bit part of it has to be sold to bring money to support the projects.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: So far, Coburwas has helped some 1,600 students pass the high school entrance exam, and placed many of them in better-resourced high schools, away from their refugee settlements, where they now attend alongside Ugandan children.
Coburwas pays their tuition room and board. We visited this school in the town of Hoima, about two hours from the refugee camp, and talked with Coburwas scholars about their goals.
STUDENT: I would like to be a genetic engineer.
STUDENT: A civil engineer.
STUDENT: I would like to become a doctor, because I have seen people suffering a lot.
STUDENT: I would like to be a lawyer.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: A lawyer?
One of their biggest problems, they said, is the stigma of being refugees, often taunted that they are freeloaders.
STUDENT: Some of them also don’t feel well when they see us studying, yet we are not Ugandans.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: So they feel somewhat resentful that you are being paid for, supported, and Ugandans are not?
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Joseph Munyambanza says he faced the same problem when he went to school. That’s why a Coburwas counselor is always on hand.
WOMAN: We have a big vision for you. We do this because we believe you are the leaders of Africa tomorrow.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: Several alums have been launched toward leadership roles, attending universities across Uganda and as far away as Arizona State and Munyambanza’s alma mater in Missouri.
Twenty-three-year-old Favourite Regina just received her degree in development studies from the United States International University in Nairobi, Kenya, a stint that took her to France and could have landed a well-paid job in a lot of places. But she returned home to teach at the Coburwas primary school.
FAVOURITE REGINA, Primary School Teacher: We feel like coming back to our communities and helping the other people grow, it’s very important, so that we come together as a collective community.
JOSEPH MUNYAMBANZA: Those who are given, those who are trusted, much more is expected from them.
FRED DE SAM LAZARO: He says improving the education system is the first step in rebuilding communities defined and created by war, to open the eyes of children who have known little more than life in a refugee settlement.
For the PBS NewsHour, this is Fred de Sam Lazaro, in Kyangwali, Uganda.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Fred’s reporting is a partnership with the Under-Told Stories Project at University of St. Thomas in Minnesota.
The post How this educator is keeping refugee children in school in Uganda appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Echoes of last weekend’s protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, continued to reverberate today.
Counterprotesters took to the streets in Durham, North Carolina, even before a rumored white supremacist march got under way there. And in Boston, police and city officials are preparing the city for a self-titled free speech demonstration slated for tomorrow.
John Yang takes it from here.
JOHN YANG: Thanks, Hari.
To talk about how Boston authorities plan to deal with tomorrow’s rally, I’m joined from Boston by Phillip Martin, a senior investigative reporter at PBS station WGBH.
Phillip, thanks for joining us.
First of all, help us understand this. Is there any connection between the people organizing tomorrow’s event in Boston and the people who organized last week’s event in Charlottesville?
PHILLIP MARTIN, WGBH: Well, the people who are organizing tomorrow’s event would like to say there’s no connection. They call themselves the Free Speech Coalition. And I can talk about that later, what the Southern Poverty Law Center says about the Free Speech Coalition.
But some of the same speakers, some who have now been disinvited or dropped out altogether, are some of the same people who are connected to the Charlottesville rally. We’re talking about people like Augustus Invictus, a renowned white supremacist, someone who believes that there should be a second civil war, and a fellow named Joe Biggs, notorious also within extreme right circles who also has an association with what many call the alt-right, what others simply call white supremacists.
JOHN YANG: So, given that, what are Boston police and others doing to try to — or what lessons do you think they have learned from Charlottesville? What are they doing to make sure there isn’t another Charlottesville?
PHILLIP MARTIN: Well, they are intent on guaranteeing that there’s not another Charlottesville.
You could start with the deployment. We’re talking about 500 police officers tomorrow. None of them will simply be sitting around, which is what they believe is one of the lessons from Charlottesville, not that they were super critical of what happened in Charlottesville, but they’re aware of it.
And so they’re talking about blocking off streets, the entire perimeter that borders the Boston Commons. So, you won’t see cars driving into a crowd. They’re very much aware of what happened in Virginia and very much aware of what happened in Spain, in Barcelona, the use of cars as weapons.
You will also see a huge deployment of state police officers playing a secondary role. And what you won’t see are undercover police officers who will be dispersed throughout the crowd ready to take away sticks that might be — were attached to placards, ready to take away bottles, ready to take away spray cans.
Anything that might be used as a weapon or construed as a weapon will be taken away by police officers. They’re also working with the Joint Terrorism Task Force. They have been looking at the organization, again, that’s sponsoring this, a coalition of actually young people who call themselves libertarian, but whose speakers roster and some of their rhetoric reflects some of the extreme right-wing events that we have seen around the country, including in Virginia.
JOHN YANG: Phillip Martin from WGBH in Boston, thanks so much for helping us out understand what’s going to happen tomorrow.
The post Anticipating protests, Boston hopes to prevent another Charlottesville appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to the analysis of Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne — he’s also co-author of the upcoming book “One Nation After Trump” — and “National Review” senior editor Ramesh Ponnuru.
Mark Shields and David Brooks are away.
Let’s start with the big news first, your reactions to the ouster of Steve Bannon.
RAMESH PONNURU, National Review: Well, it’s been rumored to be happening for several weeks now. And I think this is just another example of the volatility and turnover in this administration, much of it based on petty jealousy and resentment of people who are getting, in President Trump’s view, too much press.
HARI SREENIVASAN: E.J.?
E.J. DIONNE, The Washington Post: I think that’s all true.
I also think it’s the case a lot of this talk about Trump as populist was always phony, that Bannon was the one guy in there who on economic issues represented the kind of populism. And his being pushed out, I think means that the Trump administration becomes much more of a kind of corporate Republican place.
He was also obviously radioactive on racial questions because of the alt-right’s — Breitbart’s history of kind of ethno-nationalism. And so I think the two forces came together to force him out of there.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Does this change anything at the White House? We have already had reports tonight that he’s headed back to Breitbart, that there could be a way where he ends up forcing more change in the White House from the outside than the inside.
RAMESH PONNURU: One of the interesting things, although E.J. was talking about this corporate Republican Party, you see the corporate side of this White House, it doesn’t have much institutional Republican presence.
Of course, Trump is a fairly recent Republican himself. Reince Priebus, the chief of staff, former chief of staff, who had been chairman of the RNC, was pushed out.
And one of the really interesting things here is that how many New York Democrats are now influential in this administration? Where it goes from now, it all depends on Trump, all of this. You know, we all obsess in Washington too much about the personnel. He’s the person who sets the tone. He’s the person who sets the policies.
E.J. DIONNE: Ramesh has just come up with a brilliant Republican strategy. Blame the Democrats for Donald Trump.
E.J. DIONNE: I think that you will see some change, but not a lot of change.
If you really want to change the Trump administration, you have to change the guy at the top. And that’s not happening anytime soon. But, again, where I do think where you will see some movement is on this economic side, where I suspect, for example, this is a victory for China, because Trump was — I mean, Bannon was the hawk on China trade.
And as he said in that interview with Bob Kuttner — and, by the way, a Trump administration official will never again give an interview to a liberal columnist — is that he was fighting Gary Cohn, the chief economic adviser, great victory for him — he was fighting the Treasury Department.
And so I think that’s an area where you will see change. And I think, by the way, it’s obviously a victory for John Kelly, who wanted to impose order, and Bannon was clearly a threat to order in the White House.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk a little bit about the reactions after Charlottesville.
They have been coming from all over. It sparked another national conversation. When you look at, for example, the magazine covers “The New Yorker,” and “TIME,” and even “The Economist,” they are covers that are about President Trump’s reaction to this, not necessarily the entire conversation.
We just put those up on screen. If you were designing the cover today, your thoughts?
RAMESH PONNURU: Well, look, I think that my cover would be the incredible shrinking presidency, that the White House is smaller than it used to be.
For decades, people right, left, and center complained that the presidency is too powerful. This administration is shrinking the presidency. This president has less and less influence over Congress. This president is not fulfilling the usual role of the president in being the moral leader and the spokesman for the country. He’s just not being looked to for leadership.
HARI SREENIVASAN: E.J., speaking of leadership here, we have a rare occasion where the military leadership in unison on their private social accounts say, you know, we stand for tolerance and not for racism.
You have got entire swathes of CEOs on his different economic and business councils abandoning him completely. How isolated is the president?
E.J. DIONNE: I think in sort of this moral equivalence about the KKK and neo-Nazis and those opposed to him, he really is isolated.
But I think you’re seeing different behavior at different sectors. The U.S. military has probably done a better job than any other American institution at integrating itself racially, at guaranteeing equal opportunity.
And the American military wasn’t going to let a president’s statement get in the way of that. They needed to send a message. CEOs appeal to a very broad audience. The companies sell their products to all Americans. They were not going to alienate African-Americans and Asians, people of color of all kinds, as well as the people who are white who really hated what President Trump said.
The Republicans, on the other hand, have a very different audience that they’re thinking about. They’re thinking about their primary electorate. And with some exceptions — and a notable one this week with Senator Corker, who really went after Donald Trump — they are still too worried about losing primaries to take him on.
So, on the one side, you have the military and CEOs responding forcefully.
On the other hand, you still have Republicans very reluctant to take on Trump.
RAMESH PONNURU: One thing, though, that I think President Trump has been very shrewd about is seizing on this issue of the Confederate statues, Confederate memorials and so forth.
All the polling suggests that Robert E. Lee is more popular than Donald Trump is right now.
E.J. DIONNE: You and I might be more popular than Donald Trump.
RAMESH PONNURU: But he’s in a much stronger position defending those statues and saying they shouldn’t be taken down than he is appearing to defend neo-Nazis and the KKK.
E.J. DIONNE: Although it’s interesting you raise that, because I think the cause of keeping those statues up suffered a huge blow this week.
There is now more support for taking those statues down. The mayor of Baltimore arranged at nighttime to have them take all the ones that were in Baltimore taken down. And I think many more people now realize that those statues aren’t about the Civil War past. They were put up for political reasons to support Jim Crow, and so I think…
RAMESH PONNURU: Look, I think, in the long run, that’s right, but I think the short-term politics of this do work for President Trump, and they work for the neo-Nazis.
There is a reason why they chose this issue. They chose an issue that would have somewhat wider appeal than they themselves normally would.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, let me just interrupt here.
Even if you succeeded in taking every statue and putting it into a museum, right — I mean, we had a black nationalist and a South Carolina secessionist on the program sitting next to each other.
And one of the things that he actually said was, listen, we had that South Carolina Confederate Flag thing resolved a couple years ago. Where did that get us?
Does the conversation about the statues paper over the deeper underlying issues of race and class that still are unaddressed?
E.J. DIONNE: Well, if you’re asking does taking down a statue down solve deep inequalities in the country, of course that won’t happen, and that we need much more fundamental action on both the fronts of race and class, inequality.
On the other hand, symbols matter, symbols teach, symbols represent how we think about both our past an our future. And so, I agree, I don’t want politics to be all about symbols. I want politics to be about action, but I think the debate we’re having around these symbols can sometimes propel action in the right direction.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Speaking of action, what do Republicans do? Right now, it seems that they are very good at marking out, hey, here’s my tweet, I’m not a racist, OK? It’s on the record. I said it this day.
And this is also recess. When they come back, is there some action that they can take to show the country, this is actually where I stand, this is actually what I support?
RAMESH PONNURU: I think what you’re more likely to see is the Republicans starting more and more to ignore President Trump.
I think they have realized — it’s taken a while, but I think a lot of them have realized there isn’t going to be a change, he is who he is, there’s not going to be some pivot or some growing in office, and they have to deal with that.
I don’t think they have come together to figure out how exactly they move forward, but I think they are at least beginning to get a grip on the problem.
E.J. DIONNE: I think they could send a really powerful signal by passing the Voting Rights Act.
Voting Rights Act was gutted by the Supreme Court. There was talk in the last Congress among some leading Republicans that they were going to restore the Voting Rights Act. That’s something they could do.
I think they could stop these voter suppression efforts and challenge President Trump’s commission, which I think is much more about voter suppression than voter fraud.
There are concrete steps they could take if they wanted to put real policy behind these claims that they have put out there. I welcome the fact that they’re against the KKK and the Nazis, but I think they need to do more.
HARI SREENIVASAN: One of the things that now Breitbart’s Steve Bannon has said repeatedly when he was in the White House in different interviews is that, you know what? The left in its frenzy right now to talk about identity politics and about race, that is great, that is a winning strategy for us, because we will talk about economic nationalism.
E.J. DIONNE: Right.
And I think if — I think that he is trying to encourage and Trump is trying to encourage the left to split on this, that you’re either about identity politics or you’re about economics.
The fact is, if you look at the broad, progressive movement since the 1960s, progressives have always been committed to equal rights for people of color. They can’t back away from that. They shouldn’t back away from that.
At the same time, they have been committed to greater economic equality, and we have had a long period of growing economic inequality. And I think on the progressive side you have to pursue both agendas simultaneously. You can’t just cast one against the other, but I think that’s very much what Trump and the Republicans would like to have happen.
RAMESH PONNURU: He’s not wrong, Steve Bannon, in suggesting the Democrats could well overreach on some of these symbolic questions.
The problem is with the other side of the equation. This administration is not going to be able to move toward a working-class agenda on economics, mostly because it’s underdeveloped.
They don’t really have much of a sense of what they want to do for working-class people. Their protectionism is only going to take them so far, and, as E.J. noted, it’s something that divides the administration internally.
E.J. DIONNE: And I think underscores what Dinesh — what Ramesh said is that the Republicans didn’t know what to do about health care.
Their failure on health care reflects the fact that they really weren’t willing to take the steps to help working-class people get health care. They cut away health coverage. And that proved to be very unpopular among parts of their own base.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Does this conversation delay or completely derail the agenda that is still on the docket when they come back?
RAMESH PONNURU: So, people talk about this Republican agenda. Why is it having so much trouble getting through? What’s the obstacle to it?
And the basic problem is, there isn’t an agenda. There is no consensus of the Republican Party on what the basic outlines of the policies ought to look like. They are in favor of tax reform, as long as you just call it tax reform.
When you actually spell out what it’s going to involve piece by piece, they are nowhere near where they need to be to actually pass something.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Ramesh Ponnuru from “The National Review,” E.J. Dionne from The Washington Post, thank you both.
E.J. DIONNE: Delight to be with you. Thanks.
RAMESH PONNURU: Thanks.
The post Dionne and Ponnuru on Bannon’s White House exit, Trump’s Charlottesville isolation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news: Violence erupted in Finland when a man stabbed two people to death and wounded six others. It happened in the Western city of Turku, about 95 miles outside Helsinki, the Finnish capital. The attacker was shot in the leg and captured. There was no word on his identity, and police said it’s too early to know if the attack is linked to international terrorism.
In Virginia today, another funeral in the wake of the Charlottesville violence. State Trooper Berke Bates and a second officer died in a helicopter crash last Saturday, after monitoring a white nationalist rally. Bates’ funeral was held in Richmond, where the governor and other speakers remembered him as a devoted family man and proud officer.
Separately, the mother of Heather Heyer insisted she will not speak with President Trump. Her daughter was killed Saturday when a car rammed counterprotesters.
SUSAN BRO, Mother of Heather Heyer: I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like Ms. Heyer with the KKK and the white supremacists. You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying, I’m sorry.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer urged state lawmakers to allow removal of the Robert E. Lee statue that sparked Saturday’s rally.
And before dawn today, officials in Maryland removed the statue of former U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger Taney from the statehouse grounds. In 1857, he authored the Dred Scott decision that upheld slavery.
The CEO of 21st Century FOX, James Murdoch, is criticizing President Trump’s comments on Charlottesville. In an e-mail to friends, he says — quote — “Standing up to Nazis is essential. There are no good Nazis.” He also pledges $1 million for the Anti-Defamation League. Murdoch’s company is parent to the FOX News Channel.
President Trump convened his national security team today to focus on a new strategy in Afghanistan. Mr. Trump flew from Bedminster, New Jersey, to Hagerstown, Maryland and traveled to Camp David for the afternoon gathering.
And the Pentagon announced joint military exercises with South Korea will begin Monday, amid sharply higher tensions with North Korea.
In Sierra Leone, authorities now say the toll from Monday’s mudslide disaster is approaching 450 dead. Flooding that triggered the slide continues after heavy rain. Meanwhile, survivors are burying the victims in hurriedly dug mass graves, and they’re struggling with daily life.
WOMAN (through interpreter): I cannot locate the house where we used to live, more than just pointing in that area. Since we came here, even to have water is a problem. To wash my baby, I had to beg a neighbor for water, and they even had to give me clothes to dress him.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Some residents are evacuating the region, fearing another mudslide.
Venezuela’s political crisis took a dramatic new turn today. The newly installed pro-government assembly voted to give itself full authority to pass laws and override the opposition-led Congress. Opposition lawmakers charged it moves President Nicolas Maduro one step closer to dictator status.
The U.S. Navy is dismissing sailors on a destroyer involved in a fatal collision off Japan. Seven American sailors died when the U.S. Fitzgerald was struck by a commercial container ship in June. A Navy statement blames poor seamanship and flaws in keeping watch. The destroyer’s captain and two other top officers will be removed, and more than a dozen others will also be punished.
And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 76 points to close at 21674. The Nasdaq fell five points, and the S&P 500 slipped four.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to the terror in Spain.
As of tonight, there are 14 dead, including one American, in Thursday’s attacks on Barcelona and a coastal town. Both attacks were claimed by the Islamic State group.
Jack Parrock is in Barcelona, and filed this report.
JACK PARROCK: A minute of silence, then a chant of defiance, “I am not afraid” in Catalan.
Spain’s king and prime minister joined thousands of mourners at Barcelona’s Plaza de Cataluna. The historic pedestrian boulevard Las Ramblas was strewn with flowers and signs in memory of the victims.
Yesterday, it was a scene of carnage, after a van plowed through the tourist-packed promenade, leaving 13 dead and more than 100 injured. Cell phone video captured crowds running, and the van, abandoned at the end of its rampage.
AAMER ANWAR, Eyewitness: I heard this crashing noise. I heard screams and I turned around and looked, and it just looked like avalanche of hundreds of people starting to run. So, instinctively, I started to run.
JACK PARROCK: Early this morning, a second attack, in the resort town of Cambrils, some 60 miles outside Barcelona. A car drove through a security checkpoint and into a crowd of pedestrians, killing one woman and injuring several others.
Five men with knives and what appeared to be suicide belts jumped from the car. All were shot dead by police in a gun battle captured by club-goers at a nearby bar. Spanish media reported one of the five was the driver of the van in the first attack. The explosive belts turned out to be fakes, a ploy used by terrorists in another van attack that killed eight people on London Bridge in June.
Four other suspects have now been arrested in the Barcelona attack, three Moroccans and a Spanish national. None were on the radar of authorities, but one was a man injured in an explosion a day earlier in the nearby town of Alcanar.
JOSEP LLUIS TRAPERO, Catalan Regional Police (through interpreter): We are working under the belief that this attack or attacks had been prepared for a while at that house in Alcanar by a group, the size of which is yet to be determined, and they had been preparing one or several attacks in Barcelona.
JACK PARROCK: In Barcelona, locals and tourists alike are trying to come to grips with a new reality, as the latest European city to be struck by a terrorist behind the wheel of a vehicle. The mood today was mostly calm, but somber.
MAN: Every city, big city is attacked now. It’s hard for me, though, to be here. It was really terrifying. But I don’t think it’s going to stop me to be here.
WOMAN: There’s police, obviously, everywhere. And it’s comforting in a way, because you feel safe when you’re walking down the street. And I think it’s amazing how many people there actually are today. I thought everybody was going to be scared on the Ramblas was going to be closed.
JACK PARROCK: And Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy agreed terrorism is now the main problem facing Europe.
MARIANO RAJOY, Prime Minister, Spain (through interpreter): This is what is concerning people the most in Europe today, and this is justified in the wake of the attacks we have witnessed in cities around us, like Paris, Nice, London, Berlin, and Sweden.
JACK PARROCK: It’s all calm here on the Plaza Cataluna now, but when there were demonstrations earlier and far-right protesters flared up against anti-fascist demonstrators, people were running for their lives, and there was real terror in their eyes.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Jack Parrock.
The post After attack, Barcelona comes to terms with new reality appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Two major stories tonight: the fall of Steve Bannon and the fallout in Barcelona.
We begin with the news that Bannon’s tenure as White House chief strategist is over. It came three days after President Trump praised him, but left his fate in doubt.
PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I like Mr. Bannon. He’s a friend of mine. But Mr. Bannon came on very late. You know that. And I like him. He’s a good man. He is not a racist, I can tell you that. He’s a good person.
He actually gets a very unfair press in that regard. But we will see what happens with Mr. Bannon. But he’s a good person, and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Joining me now to discuss the ouster of President Trump’s chief strategist is Robert Costa, national political reporter with The Washington Post and host of “Washington Week.”
ROBERT COSTA: This was a long, simmering problem inside of the White House, at least according to my sources there.
Bannon was someone who came in, like President Trump, as an outsider, and working in the federal government, inside the confines of the West Wing just was never a fit for this populist, nationalist hard-liner who wanted to disrupt the entire system.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What were the camps that were solidifying, considering, just in the last four weeks, how many different factions of influence have disappeared?
ROBERT COSTA: One of the main reasons Bannon is departing the White House tonight is because of General Kelly, the new chief of staff. He’s tried to implement this new system of order, make sure that people like Bannon even at the senior level in the White House are not outside of their lanes.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What happens after, when he leaves?
It seems that there are people who leave the White House, but still retain some influence with President Trump.
ROBERT COSTA: You asked about these factions. And there are many factions within the White House, the Jared Kushner wing, which is the more moderate side, the Bannon wing, which was the hard-core Trump nationalist wing.
They are going to continue their fights even if Bannon is outside of the White House. Bannon’s been already talking to his billionaire ally Robert Mercer about starting maybe a new media venture. And Bannon is furious, I’m told by his friends today, because he thinks he represents the Trump base, he represents the spirit of what the Trump campaign was.
And he thinks General Kelly, even though he respects General Kelly, Jared Kushner and others are bringing the president in the wrong direction.
HARI SREENIVASAN: When you see some of the alt-right or at least the hard conservatives, they use #War, that this is on now. Is President Trump now going to be basically seeing enemy fire from the far right and the left?
ROBERT COSTA: So far, many Bannon associates are trying to separate their support of President Trump from their dislike of the moderates inside the White House.
There is a fear in the Trump base that, because Gary Cohn, the national economic director, former president of Goldman Sachs, is a Democrat, you have Jared Kushner, who is a former Democrat, and these different voices are around the president who aren’t like — who aren’t Breitbart readers, aren’t people from the conservative movement, that maybe the president will go in a more centrist direction.
That alarms the Bannon crowd.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Did he feel like he wasn’t having enough influence? Because a lot of people look back at the events after Charlottesville and say, well, that’s Steve Bannon’s influence on President Trump.
ROBERT COSTA: It wasn’t really about Bannon’s influence on President Trump.
President Trump’s always governed and led on his own instincts. Bannon was an echo of Trump’s instincts. That’s what he always was inside the administration. That’s why he had power. It wasn’t because he had this grand strategy to win over President Trump. He was with President Trump in spirit. That’s why he remained so long, even as others fell away.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What about the point of view that Bannon represents? Just because he’s gone doesn’t mean that the White House is clear of it.
ROBERT COSTA: Well, President Trump remains there, and he’s a Bannon-style Republican.
And you still have Stephen Miller, the former aide to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, writing the speeches for President Trump, so that element remains. But John Kelly, the new general command, 45-year Marine, he’s a non-ideological figure. So, I think Bannon’s — based on my reporting, Bannon’s grip on the ideology of the Trump administration may start to fade away as he goes away.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And, finally, whose idea was it? We have seen reports that the registration was handed in maybe a week or two ago?
ROBERT COSTA: The timeline is a bit fuzzy.
Bannon’s known he’s been on thin ice for a long time. The decision came down to President Trump. But it’s worth noting that a lot of people close to President Trump said part of the reason Bannon is gone, he took too many away from President Trump when it came to the campaign last year, this new bestselling book by Josh Green.
There’s a lot of talk among those who are close to President Trump that he’s frustrated that Bannon’s profile just got too high.
HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. You’re going to talk about this and much more on “Washington Week” tonight. What else you got?
ROBERT COSTA: We’re going to start off with the Bannon discussion, but I really want to dive in to Charlottesville and race in America.
That, to me, is the defining issue of the week.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, “Washington Week” on most PBS stations right after this.
Thanks so much, Robert.
ROBERT COSTA: Thank you.