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

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    Like many presidents before him, President Donald Trump spent part of the summer away from the White House, taking a 17-day “working vacation” at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

    President Abraham Lincoln could relate. To get away from the squelching streets of Washington, D.C., Lincoln often retreated to his own summer cottage.

    Lincoln’s Cottage, now a historic site, lies just three miles north of the White House but is 300 feet above sea level, creating a much more pleasant climate than downtown in the nation’s capital.

    Located on the grounds of a veterans’ home and a short walk away from a cemetery for Civil War soldiers, the cottage is where historians speculate the 16th president formed many of his ideas about how to preserve the Union. They also think it is where he wrote the Emancipation Proclamation.

    Take a 360-degree tour of the summer retreat that shaped one of our nation’s most beloved presidents with Erin Carlson Mast, the executive director and CEO of President Lincoln’s Cottage.

    The post Take a 360° tour of President Lincoln’s summer retreat appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    President Donald Trump waves Feb. 3 as he arrives on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport for a visit to his Mar-a-Lago Resort. Trump will visit the resort again this weekend after his campaign rally at an airport hangar in Melbourne, Florida. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

    President Donald Trump waves Feb. 3 as he arrives on Air Force One at the Palm Beach International Airport for a visit to his Mar-a-Lago Resort. He travels tonight to Phoenix for a campaign rally. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.

    Fresh off three weeks of what the White House called a “working vacation,” President Donald Trump is out west for a trip to Arizona and Nevada before Congress returns from its August recess. The president is known to fly home late at night rather than not sleep in his bed, but this trip is the first in the U.S. in which he’ll stay overnight (as president) in a non-Trump-owned property.

    We’ve seen some good reporting in recent days on the president’s trips.

    The New York Times has tracked his travel since Inauguration Day, and as of Aug. 21, the newspaper reports he has spent 74 days at his own golf clubs and homes. While staying at his resorts, the president is often photographed by fellow putters on the golf course; a quick Instagram search reveals that he revels in making cameo appearances at weddings at his properties.

    The visits have raised unique questions for ethics experts.

    After leaving his job in July, former Office of Government Ethics chief Walter Schaub told CBS News that “there’s an appearance that the [Trump] businesses are profiting from his occupying the presidency.”

    In addition, a USA Today report suggests Trump’s frequent travel is putting a burden on the Secret Service, with more than 1,000 agents already maxxed out on their federally-mandated salary caps. This is partly due to the unprecedented 42 of Trump’s family members under Secret Service protection.

    By comparison, there were 31 Secret Service protectees in the Obama administration. The agency cites the extensive Trump family and the number of Trump properties as the reason for increased protection. Since Inauguration Day, the President has spent 28 days at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, 25 at Mar-a-Lago — which he dubbed the “Winter White House” — in Palm Beach, Florida, and 15 days at his golf club in Sterling, Virginia.

    Trump’s rally Tuesday in Phoenix will be his 17th “Make America Great” rally since he won the election in November. There are no signs that he plans to slow down his travel schedule: He is set to visit a slew of states this fall for fundraising events.

    The post Trump’s travel, by the numbers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Are the United States and China heading toward war? It’s a theoretical question, but one with its roots in the writings of an ancient Greek historian. In this latest addition to the NewsHour bookshelf, Margaret Warner talks to Professor Graham Allison of Harvard University about his new work, “Destined For War: Can America and China Escape Thucydides’s Trap?”


    MARGARET WARNER: To what degree do you think the United States and China fall into this trap that this historian Thucydides set up 25 centuries ago?

    GRAHAM ALLISON, Harvard University: I would say almost precisely. Thucydides observed a competition between Athens and Sparta, and wrote famously about the rise of Athens and the fear that this instilled in Sparta. So, when a rising power threatens to displace a ruling power, in general, bad things happen.

    In this case, we see almost a prototypical rising power in China, which is restoring — being restored, as some think of it, to its natural place at the center of the universe, and is the dominant power. And no ruling power has ever been sure that it belongs as number one than the USA. So, I would say, this is an almost perfect lucidity dynamic, and I think we’re seeing the syndrome in both cases, and the behavior of both parties.

    MARGARET WARNER: You call about the ruling power syndrome and the rising power syndrome. The sort of habit of mind that takes place.

    GRAHAM ALLISON: So the rising power thinks: I’ve become bigger. I’ve become stronger. My interests deserve more weight.

    I deserve more say. I deserve more sway. The current arrangements are confining because they were set in place when I didn’t really matter. So, things should be adjusted.

    And the ruling power thinks: the status quo is terrific, in which I’m the ruling power and you’re a lesser power. And the status quo has been so effective, it provides an order that’s allowed you to grow up, to become big and strong.

    So, if you look at companies, when you have an incumbent and disruptive upstart, Uber versus the taxi industry, or Google and Apple versus established industry — generally what happens in this, is both of the parties, each, almost to the fact, act out this syndrome.

    And you can certainly see this in the U.S., thinking: Wait a minute. China, as President Trump said, is eating our breakfast, eating our lunch, eating our dinners, all everywhere.

    And China thinking: The U.S. is trying to keep us down.

    MARGARET WARNER: What role does the — do the sort of personalities, temperaments, governing styles of the leaders play in this?

    GRAHAM ALLISON: Well, they can be substantial. And I think, I look at the last 500 years. I find 16 cases which a rising power threatens to displace a major ruling power. Twelve of them end in war, four of them not in war.

    We take a war case, which is particularly instructive, World War I. Now, how could the assassination of an archduke, who otherwise nobody cared much about, in Sarajevo by a Serbian terrorist, have produced a spark that created a fire that burned down the whole house of Europe? So devastating, that by the end of the war, historians had to invent a whole new category, World War.

    I mean, it seems incredible, but Germany had risen great fear in Britain. Germany was being ruled by the kaiser. The kaiser, as Bismarck said about it, is like a balloon fluttering in the wind on the end of a string. And if anybody ever let go of the string, which they did, watch out.

    Each of the parties distrust the other hugely. Everything each other does is misinterpreted. External events can have impacts that would otherwise be inconsequential. The role that the leaders play can be very important. And in the German case, Germany versus Britain, the kaiser is a particularly instructive case.

    MARGARET WARNER: President Bush and President Obama have worked very hard with the Chinese. The Chinese leader, President Xi, has even talked about avoiding the Thucydides trap. So, given all of that, is it inextricable?

    GRAHAM ALLISON: It’s not inextricable. And if, God forbid, we find ourselves in a war with China in the next year, or several years, leaders will not be able to blame some iron law of history. But if we look at what’s happening on the North Korean peninsula today, that’s the fastest path to war. Not a war China wants, not a war the U.S. wants. But if the only way to stop Kim Jong-un from testing ICBMs that can deliver nuclear warheads against San Francisco and Los Angeles is to attack them, President Trump has said he’s going to do that.

    And if the U.S. attacks North Korea in order to prevent this test, it’s quite possible, that will be a trigger to what will ultimately end in a war between the U.S. and China. So, I think it’s extremely dangerous.

    MARGARET WARNER: What can these two powers do now to avoid that track?

    GRAHAM ALLISON: What you would wish and hope, is that there was like adult supervision. Now, of course, we know in international affairs, there’s not adult supervision. It’s an anarchy and there’s nobody on top of Xi Jinping or Donald Trump.

    But if they should sit down and just say, let’s for a moment, stand back from the situation. We — neither of us want war, there’s a little pipsqueak country between us that’s taking actions that may drag the two of us somewhere where we don’t want to go. Let’s think about it and look at it.

    And apart from the Thucydidian dynamic, apart from the fact that there’s zero level of trust between the two parties, because when the Chinese look at this situation, they think, well, you shouldn’t even be in the Korean peninsula. If you weren’t there, there wouldn’t be a problem.

    And we look and say, Korea’s one of the most successful countries in the world. It’s really a poster child of the post-World War II project to build a new international order. It’s a democracy, market economy, so we think we need to be there.

    But you would wish that people would still stand back and say, look, war would be catastrophic. We should become much more imaginative about willing to adapt and adjust in order to find a way around this.

    MARGARET WARNER: So, in making adjustments, is it the United States that’s going to have to make more adjustments?

    GRAHAM ALLISON: I would say both parties would have to make very substantial adjustments, but historically, the ruling power has to make more painful adjustments than the rising power.

    MARGARET WARNER: Graham Allison, author of “Destined For War: Can America and China Avoid the Thucydides’s Trap?” Thank you so much.

    GRAHAM ALLISON: Thanks for having me.

    The post Are the U.S. and China heading toward war? What ancient Greek history can teach us appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Very small houses have become all the rage in recent years, as some people trade in their traditional lifestyles for an ostensibly simpler option: places that are less than 400 square feet. Well, today, there’s a twist. Tiny houses are being seen as a way to give homeless and low-income people the chance at homeownership.

    Jeffrey Brown visited Detroit to find out more for our ongoing series on poverty and opportunity in America, “Chasing the Dream.”

    JEFFREY BROWN: They may be tiny, but they have lofty goals: putting roofs over the heads of people who never dreamed they could own a home.

    The idea for Detroit’s Tiny Home Project was born in an unlikely place — the floor of an old warehouse.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER, Executive Director, CASS Community Social Services: People couldn’t imagine what 300 square foot would look like.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, could you?

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: I couldn’t.


    REV. FAITH FOWLER: So we came out and measured it out and taped it out and thought, where would I put the sofa and my bed and is this enough room? And we decided it would be.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And now it is.

    All right. Here it is.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: So, this is one of our studios.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Studio, meaning there’s no bedroom.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: Correct.


    Reverend Faith Fowler is a pastor and community activist working to create jobs and provide homes for the city’s most needy.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: Some have large front porches, some have decks or patios in the back. All have a nice backyard, so they could have a dog or a barbeque or just sit outside and listen to the traffic.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Each of the seven homes built so far has a kitchen, living room, washer/dryer, and bathroom. Several have separate bedrooms.

    Fowler’s non-profit Cass Community Social Services purchased 25 vacant lots from the city for $15,000. They’re bright spots, literally, in a neighborhood with many vacant, crumbling houses, next to one of Detroit’s busy freeways.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: We wanted this to be a part of a larger neighborhood, rather than being segregated, or separated, or isolated outside of a neighborhood.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, because you drive around, and much of this neighborhood is still very blighted, right?

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: It — often people are worried about gentrification, I’m not so concerned yet.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Not an issue here, right?

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: No. There hasn’t been a new building in this neighborhood since 1974, and it was a garage. So, you can imagine the excitement of seeing houses go up, like a barn raising here, as people are coming to watch, and sometimes even offering to volunteer.

    JEFFREY BROWN: A volunteer workforce built each home in about five weeks, using donated goods and services. That kept the cost to around $40,000 to $50,000.

    The idea here is how to overcome something many of us take for granted — how to buy your own home when you have few or no financial assets, and when the whole notion of owning a home seems impossible.

    For those living below the poverty line, and 40 percent of Detroit’s residents do, Fowler says there are plenty of barriers to homeownership.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: They don’t have enough money to get them through a crisis, so your car breaks down, or your hours get cut, or you get laid off, or somebody in your family gets sick, all of a sudden, you don’t have enough financial security to get through it, and so all of a sudden, you’re in a crisis that you may not recover from for years, and decades to come.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But this gives people something that they own.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: Right, that they can have the pride of ownership, that they can have the dignity of using as a home even while they’re renting, and ultimately something they can use as collateral if they have a crisis.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The new inhabitants here will rent to own. They’ll pay a dollar per square foot in rent. They’re also required to take monthly financial literacy classes and volunteer for the neighborhood watch.

    After seven years, they’ll own their homes.

    The tiny home trend is booming, fueled in part by cable design shows. But in those shows, people have made a choice to downsize and live simply.

    The Detroit project has a different purpose.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: We were really looking for a way to give them a ladder. I mean, they’ve got to climb it, they’ve got to do the work, but we’re providing the ladder.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The tiny homes are also smack in the middle of a built-in support structure. Fowler’s non-profit runs apartment buildings for people transitioning from being homeless. There’s a bike borrowing service to help people get around. And there are jobs at Green Industries, for people re-entering the workforce.

    The company recycles abandoned tires and more to fashion doormats, flip flops and key chains, with the old English “D” for the Detroit Tigers.

    Kevin Taylor makes coasters out of recycled glass. He credits his job here as a lifesaver, after struggling with addiction and spending time in prison.

    KEVIN TAYLOR, Green Industries Employee: Well, it changed my life. I’m employed. I have my own apartment at this point in life, which is a wonderful thing. Learning how to live again.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What does that mean?

    KEVIN TAYLOR: Well, that means waking up in the morning, doing normal things that normal people do, having coffee, breakfast, get ready to go to work, and go to work, come home.

    JEFFREY BROWN: That’s the idea behind the tiny homes as well. And there’s one more idea: that each should look and feel different.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: So often when you’re considering affordable housing, it’s ugly.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes, yes.

    REV. FAITH FOWLER: It’s a box, or a rectangle. It’s identical. There’s no colors. There’s no design. So, again, we wanted it to be attractive, and to instill pride in people.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And so, different architectural styles, including so far, Cape Cod, Modern, and Shotgun.

    Ed Wier, an architect from Ann Arbor, donated his services to help design a future home in a Victorian style.

    ED WIER, Architect: Victorian, it’s a classic residential — American residential style, and, you know, a lot of people are drawn to a very ornate, a lot of detailing, and so, people just are attracted to it, it appeals to them.

    So, obviously we had to scale it back, and kind of, how do we draw these things into a small house, into a small format?

    JEFFREY BROWN: It’s hardly the norm for low-income housing. But, says Wier, that’s the point.

    ED WIER: It’s a refined, elegant tiny house that somebody would love to live in. And it feels like home. What says home to you?

    JEFFREY BROWN: That’s the final question, really, right?

    ED WIER: That’s the final question. And I think the goal was that in that, we created something that says home.


    And who will call it home? After a series of open houses, 122 people applied to live in the tiny homes. Fowler is waiting on the city to give the green light before announcing the seven chosen to move in.

    In the meantime, 18 more tiny homes are on the way. It’s a small number of small homes, but a big idea.

    ED FOWLER: It’s really about home ownership and the American dream for people who stopped dreaming. We really were looking at not only eliminating homelessness, but with dealing with poverty for people.

    JEFFREY BROWN: For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Jeffrey Brown in Detroit, Michigan.

    The post Detroit’s tiny houses give residents a home to rebuild their lives appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But first, President Trump has repeatedly positioned himself as the kind of president who would have a unique connection with CEOs and corporate chiefs. But some business leaders publicly broke with him in the past week after his remarks about the violence in Charlottesville.

    One question now is, what happens next with Mr. Trump and the business community?

    William Brangham has a conversation about that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Thanks, Judy.

    After the president was inaugurated, he proudly assembled several advisory councils where CEOs from some of the nation’s biggest corporations could come, give advice, and help steer national policy. But even before the president’s remarks about Charlottesville, a few of them had already quit, including Walt Disney CEO Robert Iger, and Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla. They quit because of the president’s stance on climate change.

    But after Charlottesville, the CEO of Merck, Ken Frazier, also broke with the president, saying, quote: America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.

    Within two days, other CEOs announced that they too would quit the council. The president then declared via Twitter that he was disbanding the groups entirely.

    Andrew Ross Sorkin has been covering this for the New York Times, where he’s a columnist and editor. He is also co-anchor of “Squawk Box” on CNBC.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Welcome to the NewsHour.

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN, The New York Times: Thank you for having me.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, tell me, why — were you surprised by this exodus of CEOs?

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: I was surprised only in so far of the timing. I always imagined at some point there would be a break with this president. What I didn’t know was what it was going to take for some of them, if not in this case, all of them to stand up and effectively rebuke the president.

    When they got involved with the president early on in his tenure, within first month really going to these meetings at the White House, going to these photo ops, having these council-like sessions, there was always a question as to what they were going to do if the president didn’t do some of the things they wanted to see, whether it be the climate change issue, whether it be how he was treating immigrants and immigration as a policy issue.

    Clearly, they have an issue with taxes, and they want to reform taxes, but I think on this issue of — on the violence that took place in Charlottesville, it became a moral issue, and to some degree, it was a commercial issue.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: A moral issue, really? I mean, do you get the sense, were they getting pressure from customers? Were they worried about the profits? I mean, how do you apportion a percentage there of what drove it?

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: If you look at — if you look at the councils and the number of executives on it, many of them privately were not Trump supporters. And so, when I said it was a moral issue for them, I can’t tell you how many of them privately will tell you that their family was upset with them about being on these councils and what it said about them and what it said about their companies and the idea of affiliating with the president in a formal way.

    And that’s different than some of the relationships that businesses had with presidents in the past. President Obama didn’t have councils like, this but there were meetings. This was different. This was a formal council that you were signing on to, and a lot of people looked at it as an explicit or explicit endorsement of the president.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I know that you believe that Merck CEO Ken Frazier was really the one who deserves some credit for taking a pretty risky stance when he did.

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: So many of these CEOs either wanted to get off or find a way out, and virtually all of them were unwilling to do so, because they truly did fear the president. They feared the — what he was going to say on Twitter about them. He feared or they feared what and how he might retaliate against them.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And Frazier got beat up for it.

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Not only did he get beat up for it. I would suggest there was more courage in Ken Frazier’s decision, in part because if you think about who the largest customer in the world is for Merck, it is the U.S. government. And so, to the degree that you would have anxiety about the CEO of the U.S. government, if you will, in President Trump and taking a position that would be on the other side, and to do so so publicly.

    But that move really did lead the other CEOs to stand up, and they were able to stand up, though, in large part because there was safety in numbers at that point.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, going forward, what does this mean for the business community’s relationship with the administration?

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Well, that is the big question. And part of it is — you know, part of it we saw last week to some degree was symbolic. It was symbolic about the way the business community relates to the president. But in truth, I would suggest, and I don’t want to say it’s been overstated what happened last week. What happened last week was important, very important.

    But I do think that beneath the surface, a lot of these companies still are going to be engaged in policy. They’re still going to be advocating and lobbying for some of their both pet issues and larger issues, whether it be tax reform or how healthcare gets or doesn’t get reformed, or how an infrastructure project or plan gets implemented and how that therefore relates to their businesses. They will still be at that table. They just may not be at the table personally with President Trump with cameras in the room.

    But have no illusion. Business is not walking away from Washington, D.C., any time soon, in part, and I hope this doesn’t sound too cynical, because that’s where the money is.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, business as usual, except no more photo-ops with the president?

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: I think that’s going to be part of it. And I think there’s going to be a sensitivity at least for some period about what kind of relationship there is. Can you go to the White House at all? Can you communicate with the president? Can you communicate with his people? Are they going to use intermediaries?

    You know, the president over the next several years, I imagine, will take trips to China and other places where historically oftentimes CEOs and other business leaders have gone to conferences and such. Will they — will they still go to those things? Or will they send delegates there?

    These are some real questions, and does President Trump continue to hold it against them?

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We’ll keep watching. Andrew Ross Sorkin, thank you so much.

    ANDREW ROSS SORKIN: Thank you.

    The post Why CEOs will still come to the table to work with Trump despite quitting councils appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: In his address to the nation last night, President Trump also stressed the need for unity, and urged Americans to, quote, heal our divisions within. But those divisions could be on full display tonight in Phoenix, Arizona.

    Our Lisa Desjardins joins us to explain — Lisa.

    LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right, Judy.

    This will be the president’s first campaign-style rally since the tragic events in Charlottesville. He’ll be talking to some of his most faithful supporters inside the Phoenix Convention Center, even as, outside, officials are bracing for thousands of protestors to greet President Trump.


    LISA DESJARDINS: Walking out into the Arizona heat, in his first trip to the sate as commander-in-chief, President Trump toured a Customs and Border Protection facility and visited with Marines in Yuma ahead of a planned campaign rally in Phoenix.

    But not everyone in the western state is welcoming Trump. On Monday, Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton, a Democrat, called for Trump to delay his visit in light of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    MAYOR GREG STANTON, Phoenix, Arizona: I did not feel it was the right time to do it. It was too close after Charlottesville. That was such a difficult situation, not only for the people in Charlottesville, but for all Americans. And so a campaign-style rally so shortly thereafter, I did not think was appropriate.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Trump’s fellow Republican, Governor Doug Ducey, plans to greet him at the Phoenix airport, but not attend the Phoenix rally, saying he needs to focus on working with law enforcement toward a safe event.

    And the president is on shaky ground with both of Arizona’s senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake. Most recently, the Republican senators condemned the president’s response to Charlottesville. In turn, President Trump tweeted support last week for Flake’s primary opponent, adding that the senator is weak on borders and toxic.

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Look at all these women for Trump, you know?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Arizona is also a state where candidate Trump saw large crowds of both supporters and protesters during the campaign.

    PROTESTERS: Dump Trump, dump hate. Get the fascists out of our state.

    ANNOUNCER: From Maricopa County, Arizona, please welcome Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Among his prominent Arizona supporters, former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio, a figure known for his controversial approaches to law enforcement.

    SHERIFF JOE ARPAIO, Maricopa County, Arizona: I have fought on the front lines to prevent illegal immigration. And I know Donald Trump will stand with me and other proud Americans to secure our border.

    LISA DESJARDINS: In July, Arpaio was convicted of a misdemeanor for ignoring a judge’s order to stop his anti-immigrant traffic patrols. He is scheduled to be sentenced in October. But the president told FOX News he is seriously considering a pardon of the divisive sheriff.


    LISA DESJARDINS: And late today, a White House spokeswoman said Mr. Trump will not use tonight’s rally to announce a pardon for Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

    Joining us now outside the Phoenix Convention Center, where the president will speak tonight, is Vanessa Ruiz, of Arizona PBS.

    Thank you so much for joining us.

    Can you just set the scene for us, the size of the crowd, the temperature of people, and of the air? It’s incredibly hot there today, isn’t it?

    VANESSA RUIZ, Arizona PBS: Yes, it is, Lisa. In fact, it’s 107 degrees right now here in the city of Phoenix. But so far, it seems that cooler heads are prevailing.

    I’m going to step outside for just a quick second so you can see behind me. That is the Phoenix Convention Center. It’s located in downtown right in the heart of the city. And as you ses there, there’s already a huge line wrapping around the entire building. People lining up since about 9:00 this morning, waiting to enter the convention center to go ahead and be part of that rally that is being held by President Donald Trump.

    At this hour, I can tell you I have been here on the scene now since about noontime, and there’s been no major incidents reported. I can tell you the area where the counterprotests have been set up, that’s located on the north side of the building here of the convention center. And until about 40 minutes ago, I would say there were about two dozen people there tops.

    Certainly, I can tell you also that Phoenix police have made it a point to say that, today, they are what they are calling in maximum staffing mode. They’ve also been working with the National Guard and also with the Secret Service to make sure that those who do want to come out here and let their voices and opinions be heard can do so safely and securely. What they really do not want, of course, Lisa, is to see a repeat of what we saw unfortunately happen in Charlottesville, Virginia.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Vanessa, I saw the “Daily Mail” editor tweet out shortly ago that he thought there were at least 4,000 people there already. They’ve been waiting in that heat all day.

    You know, we know the mayor wanted this canceled. We know that the top Republicans in the state, a governor and two senators, are not expected to be there.

    But what can you tell us about Trump supporters, the ones showing up? What do they think of his Charlottesville remarks? And what do they think of this rally tonight?

    VANESSA RUIZ: Listen, I think it’s very clear when you look at the images that are happening right now around this convention center — Trump supporters here, they follow him. They’re still with the president. Arizona has been a red conservative state for many, many years, although I do have to mention that in the 2016 election, Hillary Trump (ph) was behind Donald Trump just by 3.5 percent.

    So, right now, you know, some say at some point, Arizona could actually turn purple. But again, those people here today are with their water bottles, their umbrellas, their signs. They’re here to say, I stand with my president. And to them, the criticism he has received, at least from what I have been heard and from the people I’ve been speaking to out here, they say he’s simply just a man who is misunderstood. But again, they are standing by whom they call their commander-in-chief.

    And for them, you know, Arizona people, they’re tough. They’re going to come out here. They’re used to this heat. They’re coming prepared. They want to hear what he has to say during that rally.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Vanessa, what can you tell us about police preparations for this? There’s a lot of concern around the country at events just like this one tonight.

    VANESSA RUIZ: Well, you know, certainly, it’s caught some people off guard that Arizona was going to be that first place where President Trump was going to be having one of his public rallies. It’s his first visit as commander-in-chief here in the state of Arizona. But he was here seven times as a candidate during the campaign. He knows he has a strong base here in Arizona.


    LISA DESJARDINS: Do you have a sense of how the police are prepared for this enough? I’m just checking. It looks like they feel pretty good about the situation. Yes.

    VANESSA RUIZ: Yes, barricades, they have people on staff both on foot, bicycles, inside the convention center, outside the convention center.

    Phoenix Police Chief Jeri Williams has very clearly said, we are here to allow people to voice their opinions, but we’re going to do so in a safe and security manner, and no kind of violence will be tolerated.

    LISA DESJARDINS: All right. Vanessa Ruiz of Arizona PBS, try and get some shade, and thank you for talking with us.

    VANESSA RUIZ: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And a reminder, you can live stream President Trump’s rally this evening on our Website, pbs.org/newshour.

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    Find all of our stories in our Rethinking College series

    JUDY WOODRUFF: As students are heading back to campus, we kick off a special series we do each year on innovative ideas in higher education. It’s called “Rethinking College.” We start with a look at how one university is fighting the rising costs of tuition by investing in its students.

    Hari Sreenivasan has our report. It’s part of our weekly segment, Making the Grade.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: College graduation, a time for celebration. But for those with student loans, it’s also a time of financial anxiety, because the repayment clock just started ticking.

    Last year alone, U.S. student debt reached $1.3 trillion. The average amount owed was $37,000 dollars.

    The sobering statistics led Purdue University in Indiana to offer students a new way to pay for their degrees.

    MITCH DANIELS, President, Purdue University: I just know you are bound for exciting places, great achievements, thrilling moments.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This year, Purdue began funding students who agreed to pay back the university a percentage of their future earnings.

    READ MORE: Georgia students drop out with high debt despite state surplus

    MITCH DANIELS: We’re so very, very proud of you.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: President Mitch Daniels says the new funding model, called an income share agreement, can be viewed as an investment, much like investing in the stock market.

    MITCH DANIELS: Unlike student debt, it shifts the burden — or the risk, I should say — entirely from the student to the investor.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s because the terms of the agreement, called an ISA, are made well before students launch their careers. So, even if a student ends up in a low-paying job, the pay-back percentage stays the same.

    MITCH DANIELS: If the student’s career doesn’t pan out too well during those early years, then the student is not on the hook and the loss falls on the investor. The investor is banking on the fact student is going to do well. And they’ll get their money back and maybe a little more.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In this case, the investor is Purdue’s Research Foundation, which funded all 160 students who applied.

    Throughout the year, Purdue sponsored workshops to explain income share agreements.

    WILLIAM NELLIGAN, Jain Family Institute: We think education financing should be based on your potential.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Will Nelligan, who helped create Purdue’s ISA model, explained how the agreements work.

    WILLIAM NELLIGAN: Freedom from debt. You don’t have a fixed amount that you need to repay, there’s no interest attached to it.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Not having to pay interest caught the attention of Purdue junior Alek Ventorino.

    ALEK VENTORINO, Purdue University Student: The worst fear is, even if I graduate and have a good job, because of the interest, it’s not like you’re just paying off a certain amount and it goes away. No, it’s going to take many years.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Proponents of income share agreements say universities haven’t been held accountable for graduates who fail to repay their loans.

    MITCH DANIELS: I think it would be a good thing if schools were more, had more, as they say, skin in the game.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In 2016, 11 percent of the nation’s former students defaulted on federal loans.

    MITCH DANIELS: I personally think that it’s been a mistake that universities, and ours included, are not at risk when a student doesn’t pay back their student loan. I very much favor the accountability that would come from the school owning a little bit of the — taking a little bit of the hit.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This year, senior Melissa Gillbanks signed up for Purdue’s ISA. Until last year, she relied on private loans to pay her out-of-state tuition.

    (on camera): How deep in debt are you to —

    MELISSA GILLBANKS, President, Purdue University: A lot. I think currently, my Sallie Mae loans are sitting at like 80K without — that’s like without interest on top of that. You get to learn a lot of different types of manufacturing —

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In exchange for an additional $30,000 from Purdue, Gillbanks agreed to share 5 percent of her future earnings for 10 years.

    (on camera): Would you have done an income share for the whole thing if you could have?

    MELISSA GILLBANKS: Absolutely.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, it’s what you do your spare time.


    HARI SREENIVASAN: Build a Thor hammer.


    HARI SREENIVASAN: Gillbanks is a digital design engineer, and feels pretty confident she’ll land a good salary.

    MELISSA GILLBANKS: I try not to think about it, because it’s a little daunting, because I know I’m going to have a good job — well, OK, fingers crossed I’m going to have a good job.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Each agreement is different. The percentage of a student’s future income and the number of years a student must pay back Purdue is based on how much money that student is likely to earn.

    So, who are you going after? Are you going after the ones who are going to be engineers, doctors, lawyers, bankers?

    MITCH DANIELS: Oh, yes. It’s a common misunderstanding. But we had 70 different majors in the first cohort of 160 ISAs, and STEM graduates, all the way down to philosophy students and historians and so forth.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Critics argue that universities should not be in the business of making bets on financial outcomes based on fields of study. And, questions have been raised about how this could impact a student’s choice of majors.

    ADAM WILLIAMS, Purdue University Student: Wouldn’t this kind of program push incoming freshman or sophomores to a more lucrative field? The earning potential of an art major just isn’t that of a computer science major. So, do you think this income agreement could push students to pursue something that they’re not interested in, simply because they can get funded for that major?

    WILLIAM NELLIGAN: The way that we account is again in adjusting those terms, right? A more professional major might pay a smaller share of their income for a shorter period of time, and someone, say, an art history, to use your example, pays a slightly larger share for a longer period of time.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Senior Zach Meyer will pay a smaller percentage than fellow student Gillbanks, the design engineer. That’s because Meyer is majoring in financial counseling and likely to have a lucrative career. For $10,000, he’s agreed to pay 3.8 percent of his future income for 10 years. But before Meyer’s signed, he had one question.

    ZACH MEYER, Purdue University Student: If I’m making a lot of money, am I going to have to pay back just a ton of money?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The answer was no.

    ZACH MEYER: They cap at two and a half times whatever you borrow, so the most I’ll be paying back is $25,000. So, I guess it’s not a big deal.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Purdue also sets a minimum income threshold. If, in the future, you are out of work, or earning very little, you don’t pay.

    WILLIAM NELLIGAN: What feels most important to you?

    PURDUE UNIVERSITY STUDENT: The protection when times get tough, so that way if you are unemployed, rather than interest piling up, you’re already struggling to get back on your feet, you don’t need interest on top of that.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Is it a good investment for the university?

    MITCH DANIELS: Well, we’ll find out. Frankly, I’ll be disappointed if this new instrument doesn’t grow over time, so that it attracts all kinds of investors, people who see a chance, maybe to — yes, help a student, but also make some kind of a return.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This fall, Purdue University is expanding their income share agreement program from juniors and seniors, to incoming sophomores.

    In Indiana, for the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan.

    The post Purdue invests in students’ futures with new model of financing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: As we’ve reported, President Trump last night laid out several new approaches to the conflict in Afghanistan, including proposals for how to involve neighboring countries. He offered few details, but he singled out Pakistan’s support for the Taliban as being particularly problematic.

    We get two views about what was new in the address and what this all means from Husain Haqqani. He was Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States from 2008 to 2011. He’s the author of several books about the history of Pakistan. He is currently the director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute.

    Laurel Miller was the deputy and then acting special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan from 2013 until June 2017. She served on the National Security Council staff and at the State Department during the Clinton administration. She is now a senior political scientist at the RAND Corporation.

    And we welcome both of you to the program.

    Ambassador Haqqani to you first. Overall, what was new and different about this speech, and in particular the fact that the president said the focus is now going to be on rooting out terrorists and it’s going to be conditions based. What did that mean to you?

    HUSAIN HAQQANI, Former Ambassador, Pakistan: Well, the two most important things that I saw in President Trump’s address were a removal of deadlines. That to me is very important, because the Taliban have had a saying for years that the Americans have watches and we have the time. When you set deadlines and show urgency about leaving Afghanistan, they really know they can wait you out, and so can the Pakistanis who support them.

    So that I think is the change. It might actually be easier for the United States to get out of Afghanistan by saying, we do not intend to get out without doing what we really came here to do, which was to eliminate a terrorist safe haven.

    The second thing I found interesting was that instead of offering a carrot to Pakistan, which has been the past practice, and a little bit of reprimanding Pakistan, there was a clear acknowledgment of the fact that Pakistan is not a good actor in Afghanistan.

    It pains me to say that. I am a Pakistani. I served Pakistan as ambassador, but Pakistan has never been transparent about its attitude towards Afghanistan. And it has had an imaginary fear of India having a strong presence in Afghanistan.

    President Trump has implied that he will invite India into Afghanistan, bringing Pakistan’s nightmare to reality. And that may have some effect in changing Pakistan’s calculus that several billion dollars in American assistance did not do.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right. Let’s take those one at a time. Laurel Miller, what about this notion that the president is talking about conditions? He pointed out last night that the U.S. gives Pakistan billions of dollars, he said to a country that is supporting the terrorists we’re trying to get rid of. And today, we heard Secretary Tillerson saying we’re going to be looking at whether Pakistan delivers, and there are going to be results if it doesn’t.

    LAUREL MILLER, Former State Department Official: Over an extended of period, the U.S. has provided substantial support the Pakistan, primarily security related, but that’s been dwindling quite considerably over past years and is expected to dwindle further. And s a consequence, it’s not really a major point of leverage with the Pakistanis anymore. The U.S. is not providing billions of dollars any longer to Pakistan.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, that was incorrect to say billions —

    LAUREL MILLER: If you calculate the amount that has been provided over a long stretch of time, it’s billions of dollars. But on an annual basis now, it’s nowhere near that. It’s well under a billion dollars a year. By contrast, the Chinese provide much, much greater levels of support to the Pakistanis. And so, it’s quite notable that the Chinese have come out today, giving a boost of support for the Pakistanis.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Ambassador Haqqani, is it really that serious leverage then? Because we hear Laurel Miller saying it’s not that much money.

    HUSAIN HAQQANI: Well, with all due respect to Laurel, here are the facts: Pakistan has received $43 billion since 1954. Pakistan built its nuclear program while promising not to build it. A long track record, Pakistan offered bases in which return Pakistan was supposed to have been compensated way back in the ’50s and ’60s. Only provided an intelligence base, didn’t provide the air base that was promised.

    The point is there is a pattern here. And that pattern is enabled by arguments like the one that, this is not as much money.

    China on the other hand gives Pakistan loans, which is what they are offering, and they have investment schemes which the Pakistani government is facilitating. Pakistan has not made those kind of offers to United States investors, which investment from the United States will have to be from private sector.


    HUSAIN HAQQANI: But what is more important is that what is Pakistan doing basically that is — amounts to coincidence of U.S. and Pakistan interests. Pakistan wants the Taliban back in Afghanistan. The U.S. does not. Pakistan is a major nuclear proliferator. The U.S. does not want that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me just stop you there.

    HUSAIN HAQQANI: What is the interest that we are paying — that the United States is paying Pakistan, whatever, hundreds of millions of dollars? And the money is important to Pakistan, because Pakistan is a hard currency poorer country, and Pakistan’s government does not raise enough taxes. So, for that reason —


    JUDY WOODRUFF: I’m going to turn — I’m sorry.

    HUSAIN HAQQANI: — has been the government — yes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I have to interrupt because I want to give Ms. Miller some time to speak, as well.

    I think bottom line here is, is there leverage that the United States has to get Pakistan to close that border?

    LAUREL MILLER: There is some leverage. I mean, look, the border can’t be closed. It’s a very porous border. It’s very difficult territory.

    So, the idea of literally closing the border is an impossibility. But certainly, there’s much more that the Pakistanis could do to close down the sanctuaries that Taliban leadership in particular enjoy in Pakistan.

    But, you know, it’s not that there’s no leverage on the Pakistanis. But the Pakistanis are not going to change their perception of their own national security interests based only on American pressure. There has to be something that attracts the Pakistanis to cooperate in a positive way with the United States.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And do you see that as part of what the president has proposed?

    LAUREL MILLER: I don’t. I mean, to the contrary, one of the key missing elements of what the president announced last night is any semblance of a political strategy for Afghanistan, a political end game in Afghanistan that could bring stability to the country and that could give the Pakistanis and other regional players an opportunity to see the potential for their own interests to be satisfied.

    Moreover, one of the few new elements in what the president announced last night was an invitation to India to play a more significant role.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And can that have a — can that have a salutary effect?

    LAUREL MILLER: That is going to significantly antagonize the Pakistanis. That pushes the Pakistanis’ most sensitive buttons. What Pakistan is most concerned about with respect to an Indian role in Afghanistan is the prospect for Afghanistan to become a more India-friendly place and more Pakistan to be encircled in that way.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, s many threads here to follow. We will continue to look at all of this.

    Laurel Miller, thank you very much.

    Ambassador Husain Haqqani, we thank you.

    HUSAIN HAQQANI: Thank you.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news, tensions eased just a bit in the war of wills between the U.S. and North Korea. Secretary of State Tillerson said the North is showing new signs of restraint. He pointed to the fact that the regime has not carried out any missile or nuclear tests since the U.N. adopted new sanctions, earlier this month.


    REX TILLERSON, U.S. Secretary of State: We hope that this is the beginning of this signal we’ve been looking for. That they are ready to restrain their level of tensions, they’re ready to restrain their provocative acts, and that perhaps we’re seeing our pathway to, some time in the near future, having some dialogue. We need to see more on their part but I want to acknowledge the steps they’ve taken thus far.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: At the same time, the U.S. imposed new sanctions on more than a dozen Chinese and Russian companies for supporting North Korea’s weapons programs. China called it a mistake, and warned the U.S. to correct it immediately.

    The head of Iran’s nuclear program now says Tehran could ramp up uranium enrichment within five days if President Trump abrogates the 2015 nuclear deal. The president has charged Iran is violating the spirit of the deal. Ali Akbar Salehi says that the Islamic republic could quickly resume enriching uranium to the 20 percent level. From there, it could quickly be concentrated to levels used in nuclear warheads.

    U.S. Navy divers today found human remains in a destroyer damaged off the coast of Singapore. They were looking for the 10 sailors who were missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with an oil tanker early Monday. As rescue crews continued their search today, officials said they are also working to determine what went wrong.


    ADM. SCOTT SWIFT, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet: From my visit in John S. McCain today, I can tell you that she has sustained significant damage through her port side aft. The flooding was halted but the extent of the damage is still being determined. We will conduct a thorough and full investigation into this collision.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: This was the second major collision this summer for the Navy’s 7th Fleet.

    The Trump administration today defended a decision not to exempt coal-fired plants from environmental laws. The coal industry wanted an emergency order, but the federal Energy Department declined. The head of Murray Energy claimed that President Trump had personally promised to take action.

    The White House did not respond directly, but it did say: President Trump continues to fight for miners every day.

    The wife of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, Louise Linton, has apologized for a scathing online attack. Yesterday, she had posted a picture of herself and Mnuchin getting off a government jet, and pointed out the brand names of her designer outfit. When a commenter criticized the post, Linton shot back, quote: Have you given more to the economy than me and my husband? I’m pretty sure we paid more taxes than you did.

    Today, Linton said her response was highly insensitive.

    Wall Street shot higher today after reports of progress toward a tax-reform package in Congress. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 196 points to close just short of 21900. The Nasdaq rose 84 points, and the S&P 500 added 24.

    And, the supreme court of India has struck down a Muslim practice allowing men to instantly divorce their wives. A group of Muslim women challenged the religious law. It lets a man terminate a marriage simply by saying a single word, “talaq,” three times. The rule has already been banned in more than 20 other countries.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: U.S. military and diplomatic leaders are moving ahead on the Afghanistan strategy that President Trump laid out in a speech to the nation last night. His remarks brought reaction today from the region, and the world.

    Nick Schifrin begins our coverage.


    NICK SCHIFRIN: Today, in the birthplace of the Taliban, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani praised President Trump’s decision to deploy more U.S. troops without an end date.

    ASHRAF GHANI, President, Afghanistan (through interpreter): From now on, there will not be any timetable or conditions. America will stand with the Afghan nation until the end.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: Afghan chief executive Abdullah Abdullah, who came to prominence fighting the Taliban, said the new strategy should serve as a warning.

    ABDULLAH ABDULLAH, Chief Executive, Afghanistan: The message is very clear, that if there are groups that they think that they can win militarily, they should give up their thinking.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: But Afghan officials say that statement also applies to U.S. The U.S. has been targeting the Taliban for 16 years, and the 4,000 or so troops that will newly deploy is a fraction of the 100,000 troops who didn’t break the Taliban’s back during the war’s peak.

    So, U.S. officials say most of the new U.S. troops won’t be firing their own weapons, but teaching Afghans how to fire theirs. That’s a mission that NATO trainers have been doing since the war began, like these near the border of Iran earlier this year. The Afghans attach GoPros to their guns as they train raiding a target. The American trainers will embed in lower level Afghan units, trying to instill confidence in a force responsible for the vast majority of the fighting.

    WATCH: President Trump addresses the nation on Afghanistan

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The stronger the Afghan security forces become, the less we will have to do. Afghans will secure and build their own nation and define their own future.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: President Trump’s speech last night largely echoed the military establishment’s thinking, and he tried to increase the pressure on Afghanistan’s neighbor, Pakistan. U.S. officials have long accused Pakistan of allowing some of Afghanistan’s fiercest militants to go back and forth across the porous 2,600-mile border freely, an accusation Secretary of State Rex Tillerson repeated this afternoon.

    REX TILLERSON, U.S. Secretary of State: We have witnessed terrorist organizations being given safe haven inside of Pakistan, to plan and carry out attacks against U.S. servicemen, U.S. officials, disrupting peace efforts inside of Afghanistan. Pakistan must adopt a different approach. We are going to be conditioning our support for Pakistan and our relationship with them on them delivering results in this area.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: Pressure on Pakistan isn’t new, but the administration’s language is stronger than its predecessors. Pakistan didn’t respond publicly today, but China came to its defense, a sign of China’s desire to increase its regional diplomacy and protect major investments in Pakistan, like this Arabian seaport.

    HUA CHUNYING, Spokesperson, Chinese Foreign Ministry (through interpreter): Pakistan is on the front line in the struggle against terrorism, has actively made efforts and great sacrifices to combat terrorism for years.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: President Trump’s strategy hinges on a regional approach. But many of the diplomats who would execute that strategy are not in place, including ambassadors in Kabul and New Delhi. And critics of the president’s speech described it as a rehashing of already failed strategies. From the right, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul said: The mission in Afghanistan has lost its purpose, and I think it is a terrible idea to send any more troops into that war.

    READ MORE: Trump’s Afghanistan strategy makes new demands on India

    And from the left, Maryland Senator Ben Cardin on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

    SEN. BEN CARDIN, D-Md.: We know that a military surge — we’ve tried two under the Obama administration. That did not work.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: The political center praised the president:

    REP. PAUL RYAN, R-Wis., Speaker of the House: I’m pleased with the decision. I’m actually pleased with the way he went about making this decision.

    NICK SCHIFRIN: It was a decision Mr. Trump said will produce immediate results. But it’s been 16 years, and right now, commanders admit they consider Afghanistan a stalemate.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Nick Schifrin.

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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump addresses a campaign rally in Macon, Georgia on Nov. 30, 2015. Several GOP leaders told the Associated Press that the early work for a brokered convention was a necessary contingency given the deeply divided Republican field. Weeks before the Feb. 1 leadoff Iowa caucuses, there are still a dozen Republican candidates in the race. Photo By Christopher Aluka Berry

    President Donald Trump’s long history with race is complicated. Photo By Christopher Aluka Berry

    President Trump’s long history with race is complicated.

    He is a man who was accused of racial discrimination multiple times at his businesses but who used his Mar-a-Lago resort to smash white-only membership policies in Palm Beach, Florida.

    He was among the loudest voices attacking the legitimacy of the nation’s first black president, but launched one of the most public Republican efforts in modern history to reach out to the African-American community.

    He has a Jewish daughter and grandchildren, yet left Jews out of a Holocaust remembrance statement.

    He fired a longtime aide for using a racial epithet, but secretly funded ads that associated Native Americans with drug use and crime. And he has repeatedly called Mexicans rapists and criminals while insisting that he loves them.

    While Trump’s actions have landed on both sides of racial currents, his public record depicts a man who most often moves in one direction: overlooking racial sensitivity and concerns in the name of fighting “political correctness.” That’s something his base likes, but he also something that has caused him problems within his party and with voters at large.

    To understand this side of the president, especially after his remarks about the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, we combed the archives (and Internet) for more of Trump’s words and actions on race. We found nearly 100 critical moments.


    Discrimination charge. Donald and Fred Trump are accused of violating the Fair Housing Act by discriminating against potential minority renters. They insist they are innocent and fight the sweeping charges.


    DOJ settlement. The Trumps settle with the Department of Justice over housing discrimination charges, agreeing to meet certain standards while not admitting any wrongdoing.


    Renewed discrimination charge. The Department of Justice accuses the Trumps of continuing to discriminate in spite of their settlement.


    Report: disproportionately white tenants. The New York Times reports that two Trump properties have populations that are 95 percent white.


    Central Park Five Ads. After five young men of color — known as The Central Park Five — are arrested for a brutal attack on a jogger, Donald Trump buys full-page newspaper ads  stressing law and order and urging return of the the death penalty. He writes that white, black, Hispanic and Asian families have lost a sense of security in their neighborhoods. (The five men, who Trump called “crazed misfits,” were exonerated 13 years later.)


    Criticizes a whites-only club. Trump tells Vanity Fair he did not want to join a Palm Beach, Florida, club because it does not allow black or Jewish members.


    Trump hotel penalized for discrimination. A judge rules against the Trump Plaza Hotel in New Jersey, concluding the hotel discriminated in removing a African-American dealer from a table at the request of a wealthy player.


    “They don’t look like Indians to me,” Trump says during a Congressional hearing when talking about Native American casino officials, accusing them of working with organized crime. He adds that political correctness have given Native American status to some people who don’t “look like Indians.”


    Opens racially-inclusive club.  Trump turns his Mar-a-Lago resort into a private club open to Jews, African-Americans and all races, breaking with many other local elite clubs in Palm Beach, Florida.


    Sued by 20 African-Americans. Twenty people from Indiana sue Trump, alleging he did not make good on promises to hire a large number of local minorities for his new casino.

    Feb. 14, 2000

    Calls David Duke a racist. In a “Today Show” interview, Trump calls David Duke a “bigot, a racist, a problem” and separately sends a statement to the New York Times, saying the Reform Party’s inclusion of Duke makes it a party he does not want to join.

    Oct. 6, 2000

    Secretly funds anti-Native American ads. Trump agrees to apologize and pay a fine for secretly financing sharp ads opposing a Native American gambling proposal. The ads included pictures of syringes and cocaine and asked “Are these the new neighbors we want?”

    Feb. 10, 2011

    First publicly doubts Obama. Trump tells conservative CPAC that President Barack Obama’s classmates never saw him at school. Politifact rated this statement “pants on fire.”

    March 23, 2011

    Birtherism begins. Trump goes on “The View,” says that President Obama must show his birth certificate.

    April 21, 2011

    Questions Obama’s place at Harvard. In an interview with the Associated Press, Trump questions how President Obama got into Columbia and Harvard.  Later, he tells reporters Obama should “get off the basketball court.”

    May 9, 2011

    “I am the least racist person there is,” Trump says to FOX News, pointing to the fact that an African-American won “The Apprentice.”

    April 14, 2011

    “I have a great relationship with the blacks,” Trump tells an Albany, New York radio show.

    Nov. 1, 2011

    Claims there are double standards when it comes to racism. In a YouTube video (now marked private), Trump accuses Jon Stewart of racism and says there is a double standard (Stewart seemed to use a voice imitating Herman Cain).

    April 24, 2013

    Disputes innocence of The Central Park Five. Trump tweets that a documentary about the full exoneration of the five men of color in the Central Park jogger case is “one-sided” and didn’t explain their “horrific crimes.”

    April 24, 2013

    Calls Jon Stewart by his Jewish birth name. Trump tweets that he’s smarter than “Jonathan Leibowitz – I mean Jon Stewart …”

    June 5, 2013

    Repeats falsehoods on minorities and crime. During the ramp-up to George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin trial, Trump tweets that “the overwhelming amount of violent crime in our cities is committed by blacks and Hispanics.” This seems to come from a New York City report showing blacks and Hispanics were also the majority of crime victims. An FBI report disputes Trump’s claim nationally.

    Aug. 5,


    Claims double-standard on “n—–”. On FOX News, Trump responds to Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel’s use of the word “cracker” for white people by saying there is unfair and greater backlash against Republicans who use “n—–” to describe black people.

    June 21, 2014

    The Central Park Five settlement is a “disgrace,” Trump writes in an Op-Ed for the New York Daily News. He wrote that the five men falsely jailed were no “angels” and the city’s $40 million dollar settlement with them is a “heist.”

    Feb. 25, 2015

    Mexico “sending criminals.” Trump tweets that Mexico is corrupt and sends criminals over the U.S. border.

    April 28, 2015

    “Thugs.” In midst of violent reaction to the death of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Trump tweets that “thugs” are happily and openly destroying the city.

    June 16, 2015

    Mexico sending “rapists.” In the speech announcing his candidacy for president, Trump charges that Mexico is sending rapists and criminals to the U.S.

    June 23, 2015

    African-American youth “have no spirit,” Trump told a Republican luncheon in Baltimore, adding “they’ve just about never done more poorly.”

    June 30, 2015

    “I love the Mexican people,” Trump tweets, but adding “Mexico is not our friend.”

    July 1, 2015

    Stands by Mexican “rapists” remark. In an interview with CNN, Trump insists Mexico is sending rapists to America. He does not seem to accept research showing that rapes of women crossing the border are largely done by traffickers.

    July 5, 2015

    Swipe at Jeb Bush’s Mexican-American wife. In a tweet he later deleted, Trump writes that Bush “has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife.” Columba Bush was born in Mexico and legally immigrated to the United States.

    Aug. 2, 2015

    Trump campaign fires aide for use of racial epithet. After saying it found use of a racial epithet to describe African-Americans on his Facebook page, the Trump campaign fires longtime Trump aide Sam Nunberg. Nunberg denied he wrote such posts.

    Aug. 19, 2015

    “Passionate” Trump supporters beat Hispanic man. After two white men indicated Donald Trump inspired them to beat and urinate on a homeless Hispanic man, Trump initially calls it a “shame” but says his supporters are “passionate.” He later tweets that the incident was terrible and he does not condone violence.

    Aug. 25, 2015

    Mimicking Asians? Talking about Japanese and Chinese negotiators, Trump, seeming to use an accent, says their approach is “we want deal.”

    Aug. 26, 2015

    Would not want David Duke’s support. Trump tells Bloomberg he doesn’t want David Duke’s endorsement and doesn’t need any endorsement. Asked if he would repudiate Duke, Trump said, “sure … if it made you feel better.”

    Nov. 2015

    False statistics about African-Americans. After a black protester chanting “Black Lives Matter” at his Alabama rally was pushed and punched, Trump tweets (and later deletes) false statistics about the percentage of whites killed by blacks. Politifact rated one claim as “pants on fire.”

    Dec. 3, 2015

    Jews as “negotiators.” Speaking to the Republican Jewish Coalition, Trump discussed Israeli-Palestinian talks and then said “I’m a negotiator, like you folks” and “this room negotiates perhaps more than any room I’ve spoken to, maybe more.” (In February, Trump would tell CNN the “Persians are great negotiators.”)

    Dec. 8, 2015

    Compares his Muslim ban to Japanese internment, World War II policies. In an interview with ABC, Trump says his Muslim ban proposal is no different that President Franklin Roosevelt’s orders regarding Japanese-, German- and Italian-Americans during WWII.

    Feb. 25, 2016

    David Duke supports Trump. On Facebook, the former Klansman urges his followers to vote for Trump, saying it is “treason to your heritage” to vote for others.

    Feb. 26, 2016

    Trump disavows David Duke. At a news conference, Trump says he didn’t know about Duke’s announcement and responds “I disavow. OK?”

    Feb. 28 – 29, 2016

    Trump non-answer on David Duke. On CNN, Trump is asked in multiple ways if he condemns David Duke and does not directly answer. The following day, Trump says this was because he had a bad earpiece.

    May 5, 2016

    Taco salad. Trump tweets photo of him eating a taco salad, tweeting “I love Hispanics” and “Happy #CincoDeMayo.”

    May 26, 2016

    First criticizes Mexican-American judge. In a San Diego, California speech, Trump criticizes Judge Gonzalo Curiel hours before Curiel’s court announces he has cleared the public release of some controversial Trump University documents. Trump said Curiel “happens to be, we believe, Mexican.” He also states “Mexicans are going to end up loving Donald Trump.”

    June 2-3, 2016

    More on judge’s Mexican heritage.Speaking with the WSJ and CNN, Trump says Judge Curiel’s Mexican heritage is an absolute conflict in his oversight of the Trump University case and he cannot be fair. On CBS, Trump calls his inference that Curiel is biased because of his race “common sense.”

    June 3, 2016

    “My African-American”; Chinese-American support. In Redding, California, Trump stresses support from African-Americans and points to a black man in the crowd, saying, “Oh look at my African-American over here!” In the speech, he also spoke of support from a group of Chinese-Americans.

    June 11, 2016

    Misleading claim on black unemployment. In Richmond, Virginia, Trump says he will expand his campaign theme to include “everyone.” Then, around the 25 minute mark, he argues America is in decline, saying “African-American youth is an example: 59 percent unemployment rate; 59 percent.” Politifact rated the claim “mostly false.”

    June 25, 2016

    Muslim ban, but not for certain Muslims. Trump tells reporters with him in Scotland that it wouldn’t bother him for a Scottish Muslim to enter the United States. This, after he had pledged in December to ban all Muslims from arriving in the U.S.. Advisers try to walk back the comments and say the ban would focus on countries associated with terrorist groups.

    July 11, 2016

    The law and order president. Days after a racially-motivated black gunman killed five Dallas police officers at a protest march, Trump gives a Virginia Beach speech supporting law enforcement, declaring, “I am the law and order candidate” and “the candidate of compassion”.

    July 12, 2016

    Blacks not necessarily wrong about police. In wake of police shootings of black men in Louisiana and Alabama, Trump tells FOX News that blacks are not necessarily wrong about police mistreatment and that police shootings “could be” part of systemic racism. In the same interview, he criticizes the Black Lives Matters movement.

    July 15, 2016

    “…the South overplayed its hand,” Trump says of the Civil War in an interview with Time. Trump indicates he thinks the South could have settled without war.

    July 30, 2016

    Ghazala Khan. Trump questions why Gold Star mother and Pakistani-American Ghazala Khan was silent when her husband spoke at the Democratic convention. “Maybe she wasn’t allowed to have anything to say,” Trump suggested. Mrs. Khan later said she did not speak because she was overcome by emotion.

    Aug. 16, 2016

    Direct appeal to African-Americans. Trump directly asks for African-American votes in a speech about law and order. He vows to protect minorities from immigrants who could take their jobs and accuses Hillary Clinton of bigotry.

    Aug. 18, 2016

    Appeal to African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans. In Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump promises “jobs, safety” and “fair, equal representation” to “African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and all Americans.” (Note: he also expressed regrets for some of his recent words, though did not specify which words.)

    Aug. 19, 2016

    “What do you have to lose?” Trump asks African-Americans as he argues that Democrats have failed them and they should give him their vote. “You live in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs.” These less-scripted remarks were in Dimondale, Michigan, which critics pointed out is 93 percent white. He also repeated incorrect statistics about black youth unemployment.

    Aug. 20, 2016

    Trump says GOP should be home for African-Americans. At a Fredericksburg, Virginia rally, Trump says he wants the Republican Party to “be the home of the African-American vote once again.”

    Sept. 2, 2016

    Philadelphia black roundtable. Trump participates in a roundtable discussion with black leaders and community members affected by crime in Philadelphia.

    Sept. 3, 2016

    Detroit black church visit. Trump attends event at African-American church in Detroit. He did not originally plan on speaking, but said in an address that “I’m here to learn.”

    The NYT obtained a proposed campaign script for an interview with the church’s pastor. Trump also visited Ben Carson’s boyhood home.

    Sept. 15, 2016

    Continues birtherism. In an interview with the Washington Post, Trump refuses to answer whether he believes President Obama was born in the United States.

    Sept. 16, 2016

    Ends birtherism. In a 10-word statement at his D.C. hotel, Trump tells a room of supporters and media that “President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.”

    Sept. 20, 2016

    African-American communities are in “the worst shape ever,” Trump says at a rally in Kenansville, North Carolina. Politifact gives that a “pants on fire” rating.

    Sept. 21, 2016

    Stop and frisk. While recording a town hall with FOX News’ Sean Hannity, Trump is asked about his solution to black-on-black crime and responds that he supports “stop and frisk,” which allows police to question and temporarily detain anyone. Studies have shown minorities are disproportionately detained in “stop and frisk.”

    Sept. 24, 2016

    Praises African-American museum but gets name wrong. While speaking in Roanoke, Virginia, Trump praises the recently-opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington as “beautiful” but mistakenly calls it the “Smithsonian national Museum of American History, African-American Art”.

    Sept. 26, 2016

    “Living in Hell.” At the first presidential debate, Trump states that “African Americans and Hispanics are living in hell. You walk down the street and you get shot.” He again calls for “law and order.”

    Oct. 6, 2016

    Still believes Central Park Five are guilty. Trump gives CNN a statement about the five men falsely imprisoned for a 1989 rape, saying “they admitted they were guilty.” Experts point to the men’s confessions as an example of police coercion. DNA evidence concluded another man committed the crime.

    Oct. 9, 2016

    Wrong on black poverty and narrow idea of where blacks live. During the second presidential debate, Trump equates inner cities with African-Americans and falsely states the urban black poverty rate (inflating it by nearly 20 percentage points).

    Oct. 11, 2016

    Apprentice contestant claims racist comment. Randal Pinkett, the first-African American champion of the show, tells the Hollywood Reporter that Trump asked him if he would share his title with the runner-up — a white woman.

    Oct. 26, 2016

    A new deal for black America, “uneven justice.” In Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump unveils his “new deal for black America,” pledging to push for tax holidays in U.S. cities and incentives to move foreign jobs to urban centers. He also declared there is “uneven justice.”

    Oct. 27, 2016

    “Ghettos.” At a rally in Toledo, Ohio, Trump refers to problem urban areas initially as “ghettos” then as the “inner city.”

    Nov. 11, 2016

    Specific plan for black America. A list of 10 specifics for Trump’s “new deal for black America” appears on the celebrity website Media Take Out. The site says the list came from the Trump transition team.

    Dec. 5, 2016

    Ben Carson nominated to a mostly-white cabinet. Trump announces Ben Carson as his choice to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Carson was the only African-American on the president’s initial 22-person cabinet slate and one of three minorities, along with Elaine Chao (Transportation) and Nikki Haley (United Nations). Alexander Acosta, of Hispanic descent, was later nominated to be labor secretary.

    Dec. 9, 2016

    Thanks African-Americans who did and didn’t vote. At a “thank you” rally in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Trump says African-American voters came through for him, arguing that those who stayed home did it in order to help him.

    Dec. 13, 2016

    Meetings with Jim Brown, other African-American celebrities. Trump meets with former NFL star Jim Brown to talk about a program serving African-Americans. The same day he meets with two other high-profile African-Americans: former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Lewis and hip hop artist Kanye West.

    Dec. 15, 2016

    Trump again thanks blacks who did not vote, this time at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

    Jan. 15, 2017

    Changes African-American museum visit. ABC and others report the president would not visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 16) as previously discussed.

    Jan. 27, 2017

    Doesn’t mention Jews on Holocaust Remembrance Day. President Trump’s written statement calls for remembering “victims, survivors, heroes” but omits mention of Jews, who were the largest ethnic group affected. Politico later reports the State Department had drafted a version which did mention Jews, but the White House blocked its release.

    Feb. 1, 2017

    Black History Month kickoff and Frederick Douglass. Trump begins Black History Month with a White House breakfast. He praises Martin Luther King Jr. and African-Americans in general. He also seemed to speak as if 19th-century abolitionist Frederick Douglass were a living person.

    Feb. 16, 2017

    “Are they friends of yours?Trump asks American Urban Radio reporter April Ryan, who is African-American, in response to her question about whether he would meet with the Congressional Black Caucus. He said he would love to meet with the CBC and asks Ryan to set up a meeting. (She later tweeted that’s not her job).

    Feb. 16, 2017

    “I am the least anti-Semitic person that you’ve ever seen,” Trump says in the same news conference. He has a tense exchange with a young Jewish reporter asking about an increase in anti-Semitic acts.

    Feb. 21, 2017

    Visits African-American museum, denounces anti-Semitism. Trump toured and spoke at the National Museum of African American History and Culture, pledging to unite a divided country. He also denounces racism and anti-Semitism (following a rise in vandalism and threats nationwide).

    Feb. 25, 2017

    Black History Month ends. Trump uses his last weekly address of the month to praise the African-American community. He again pledges to improve education, jobs and safety.

    Feb. 27, 2017

    Meets black college presidents. Trump speaks with and takes an Oval Office photo with a large group of Historically Black College and University presidents.

    Feb. 28, 2017

    HBCU executive order. Trump signs an executive order moving the Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities to the White House and calling for greater efforts to find funding.

    Feb. 28, 2017

    Speech to Congress. In his first address to Congress, Trump begins by speaking about African-American history month and recent anti-Semitic crimes. He calls for unity. Black female lawmakers wear black flowers to represent concern for his stance toward minorities.

    March 8, 2017

    Trump language has been “hurtful” to African-Americans. Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., tells the president in a White House meeting that his words have been “hurtful,” “offensive,” and not helpful to the black community.

    March 22, 2017

    Trump meets with the Congressional Black Caucus at the White House. Leaders of the group present him with a 130-page document outlining issues and ideas for the black community.

    April 17, 2017

    White nationalist says he acted because of the president. A white nationalist leader facing charges he assaulted an African-American protester in 2016 defends himself in a court filing by claiming he was acting based on the words of then-candidate Trump.

    April 27, 2016

    Aide: The president is trying harder than black activists.  Trump’s liaison to the black community tells the Associated Press the White House “is waiting, willing to work with [the black] community” but “it’s not a one-way street.”

    May 1, 2017

    “Why was there a Civil War?” Trump asks in an interview on Sirius/XM, questioning why the Civil War couldn’t have been avoided.

    May 5, 2017

    Questions HBCU funding. In a signing statement for $1.1 trillion funding bill, the president points to $20 million in funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities as potentially being unconstitutionally based on race.

    May 8, 2017

    Supports HBCU funding. The president seemed to walk back an earlier signing message with a new statement stressing “unwavering” support for black colleges and universities.

    July 6, 2017

    “The West.” In a sweeping foreign policy speech in Poland, Trump stresses the need to protect “the West, “civilization” against forces from “the South and East” that threaten western values.

    June 9, 2017

    Invitation to black leaders. The White House invites the entire Congressional Black Caucus for a meeting with the president.

    June 21, 2017

    Invitation declined. The Congressional Black Caucus declines Trump’s invitation. CBC Chairman Rep. Cedric Richmond, D-La., writes Trump a letter charging that his administration responded to neither their policy ideas nor seven other letters or documents from the group.

    July 25, 2017

    Flip on minority jobless rate. In a speech in Toledo, Ohio, Trump says that unemployment for African-American and Hispanic youth is at its lowest since “just after the turn of the millennium.” The Washington Post calls this a flip-flop from Trump’s remarks in June 2016 calling the same rate a sign of American decline.

    Aug. 12, 2017

    Condemns “many sides” for Charlottesville racial violence. After a white nationalist attending a rally drove a car into a crowd, killing one protester and injuring many more, Trump condemns “this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence, on many sides.” He did not mention white supremacists or nationalists specifically.

    Aug. 13, 2017

    White House tries to clarify Trump’s words. A White House statement says “of course” the president included white supremacists in his condemnation.

    Aug. 14, 2017

    Trump condemns KKK, neo-Nazis. Speaking from the White House, the president says, “racism is evil” and goes on to specifically name the KKK., neo-Nazis and white supremacists.

    Aug. 15, 2017

    Trump again blames “both sides.” During an impromptu news conference, Trump again condemns neo-Nazis but also insisted “both sides” deserved blame for violence in Charlottesville and that counter-protesters had acted “very, very violently.” He incorrectly said protesters were “quietly” supporting the Robert E. Lee statue.

    The post Every moment in Donald Trump’s long and complicated history with race appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    "Dressing Room," taken by Lucia Moholy. Courtesy of a private collection

    “Dressing Room,” by Lucia Moholy. Courtesy of a private collection.

    The Bauhaus German art school of the early to mid-20th century is today associated with several things: its stark white modernist buildings, its emphasis on re-combining arts and craft, and the male artists and architects who taught there, including Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. Often overlooked are the influential women of the movement, especially photographer Lucia Moholy, who took many of the iconic photographs we associate with Bauhaus architecture.

    But Moholy is now getting her due, both in an upcoming celebration in Germany of the Bauhaus centenary, and also in a new book of prose poetry by Mary Jo Bang called “A Doll for Throwing.”

    Bang said she became interested in Moholy after she first began learning about the Bauhaus movement and discovered that Moholy “took all those iconic photographs of the pristine white [Bauhaus] buildings in Dessau [in Germany] right after they went up, and yet her name had been virtually erased from history, as is often the case when women collaborate with men in earlier era.”

    Moholy was married to Bauhaus master László Moholy-Nagy, and often collaborated with him. Her work has often been overshadowed by his, and for years was also claimed by Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius as his own.

    The poet Mary Jo Bang. Credit: Matt Valentine

    The poet Mary Jo Bang. Credit: Matt Valentine

    Bang’s poetry puts the focus back squarely on Moholy and other women of the Bauhaus movement, and also draws from her own life to find parallels between those years and the present day.

    “The [Bauhaus] school was started in 1919 just after WWI, and closed by Hitler in 1993 at a time of high unemployment and extreme xenophobia, so there was a kind of bitterness about lost opportunities,” Bang said. “As I was doing this project, there were all these glimmers and echoes of what’s going on in this country now.”

    The Bauhaus school sought to respond to the social ills of the time by designing buildings that offered some humanity, making artworks of practicality and beauty and respecting the power of machines — efforts that continue in today’s art and design field.

    But Bang said she also found herself thinking about how architecture was not the solution to social problems, “unless you also do something with discrimination and education,” including the discrimination of women.

    In Bang’s poem “Two Nudes,” she draws inspiration from a photograph taken by László Moholy-Nagy of Moholy and another woman, and collapses it with details from her own life. “One day I went with a friend on a walking tour,” the poem begins; it ends with the 1925 photograph: “One day we were lying in the sun / dressed in nothing but our skin when a camera / came by and devoured us.”

    Read Bang’s full poem “Two Nudes,” or listen to her read it aloud, below.

    Two Nudes
    By Mary Jo Bang

    I was working in a bookstore and as an antidote
    to the twin torment of exhaustion and boredom,
    one day I went with a friend on a walking tour.
    We made it as far as Berlin and there I met the
    man I would move with to a boarding house, then
    to furnished rooms in the flat of a civil servant,
    and from there one morning in January to the
    Registry to be married. We then moved to a
    studio apartment and two years later from there
    to where boys returning from the war would
    remove their collars and sew them back on with
    red thread to demonstrate the end of their
    allegiance to the cruel and fastidious past.
    Everyone wanted to be launched into a place
    from which you could look back and ask whether
    the red was also meant to enact spilled blood.
    You could say so, but only if you want to insist
    that history’s minutia is best read as allegory. The
    fact is, history didn’t exist then. Every day was a
    twenty-four-hour standstill on a bridge from which
    we discretely looked into the distance, hoping to
    catch sight of the future. It’s near where you’re
    standing now. One day we were lying in the sun
    dressed in nothing but our skin when a camera
    came by and devoured us.

    Mary Jo Bang, “Two Nudes,” from A Doll for Throwing. Copyright © 2017 by Mary Jo Bang. Reprinted with the permission of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, www.graywolfpress.org

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

    Mary Jo Bang is the author of eight books of poems, including “The Last Two Seconds,” “Elegy,” winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award, and “A Doll For Throwing,” out now from Graywolf Press. Her translation of “Dante’s Inferno,” with illustrations by Henrik Drescher, was published by Graywolf in 2012. She’s been the recipient of a Hodder Fellowship from Princeton University, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Berlin Prize fellowship at the American Academy in Berlin. She teaches creative writing at Washington University in St. Louis.

    The post This poet is making sure women of the Bauhaus movement get their due appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Members of the Senate Judiciary Committee cast their votes to advance Judge Neil Grouch's nomination to the Supreme Court to the Senate floor on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., April 3, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein - RTX33X7G

    The co-founder of a Washington opposition research firm that produced a dossier of salacious allegations involving President Donald Trump met for hours with congressional investigators Tuesday in a closed-door appearance that stretched into the evening. File photo by REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein.

    WASHINGTON — The co-founder of a Washington opposition research firm that produced a dossier of salacious allegations involving President Donald Trump met for hours with congressional investigators Tuesday in a closed-door appearance that stretched into the evening.

    Glenn Simpson’s lawyer emerged from the daylong private appearance with the Senate Judiciary Committee and said his client had “told Congress the truth and cleared the record on many matters of interest.”

    The lawyer, Josh Levy, noted that Simpson appeared voluntarily and said he had so far been the only witness to participate in a private interview with the Senate Judiciary Committee as the panel looks into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.

    The sheer length of Simpson’s appearance — far longer, for instance, than Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, spent earlier this summer before Senate and House intelligence committees — reflected the intrigue on Capitol Hill surrounding the dossier and the origins of the document.

    READ MORE: All of the Russia investigations, explained

    Simpson’s firm, Fusion GPS, hired a British intelligence officer who produced a dossier containing allegations of ties between Trump and his associates and Russia. Simpson kept the identities of the firm’s clients confidential during his appearance before Congress, his lawyer said.

    The document attracted public attention in January when it was revealed that FBI Director James Comey had briefed Trump about its existence soon before he was inaugurated as president. It’s unclear to what extent the allegations in the dossier have been corroborated or verified by the FBI since the bureau has not publicly discussed it.

    “Fusion GPS is proud of the work it has conducted and stands by it,” Levy, Simpson’s lawyer, said in a statement.

    He said the “investigation into Mr. Simpson began as a desperate attempt by the Trump campaign and its allies to smear Fusion GPS because of its reported connection to the Trump dossier.”

    READ MORE: What we know ― and what we don’t ― about Mueller’s grand jury

    Leaders of the Judiciary Committee said last month that they were negotiating private appearances for Donald Trump Jr., who has attracted scrutiny for accepting a June 2016 meeting with Russians at which he expected to receive damaging information about Hillary Clinton, and for Paul Manafort, the former Trump campaign chairman.

    Yet no dates have been announced for their appearances.

    “Following up on comments from certain Senate Judiciary Committee members who have noted Mr. Simpson’s cooperation with this investigation,” Levy said in a statement, “I would like to add that he is the first and only witness to participate in an interview with the Committee as it probes Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

    Follow Eric Tucker on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/etuckerAP

    The post Founder of firm tied to Trump dossier meets with Senate committee in Russia probe appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    A U.S. soldier climbs a hill in Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan. File photo by Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

    A U.S. soldier climbs a hill in Paktika province in southeastern Afghanistan. File photo by Goran Tomasevic/Reuters

    KABUL — The Trump administration’s announcement of a new Afghanistan policy turned out to be a bit of an anticlimax. President Donald J. Trump was desperate for a fresh approach. He did not find one for the simple reason that one does not exist.

    The president began his speech Monday night by venting his “frustration over a foreign policy that has spent too much time, energy, money — and most importantly, lives — trying to rebuild countries in our own image instead of pursuing our security interests above all other considerations,” and he admitted that his “original instinct was to pull out.” But his national security team stressed to him the dire consequences of a U.S. pullout.

    Simply leaving Afghanistan would risk squandering all that American troops have fought for since 2001. “Our nation must seek an honorable and enduring outcome worthy of the tremendous sacrifices that have been made, especially the sacrifices of lives,” Trump said. Clearly his advisers had counseled Trump to avoid the mistake that President Obama made in 2011 when he pulled out U.S. forces from Iraq, allowing the rise of the self-proclaimed Islamic State. “A hasty withdrawal,” Trump said, “would create a vacuum” that terrorist groups like the Islamic State and al-Qaida would fill, much as al-Qaida did when it used Afghanistan to plot the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States. Trump went on to repeat a point often made by U.S. generals: “Today, 20 U.S.-designated foreign terrorist organizations are active in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the highest concentration in any region anywhere in the world.”

    The private military option

    Trump did not mention it in his speech, but he had seriously entertained the possibility of pursuing the mission in Afghanistan not with U.S. troops but instead with contractors, a proposal made by Erik Prince, founder of the private security firm Blackwater, and pushed by White House strategist Steve Bannon. But Bannon’s recent departure from the administration undercut support for that option, which was resisted by National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph F. Dunford Jr., and all of the other generals involved in Afghanistan policy.

    Trump adopted the strategy crafted by McMaster and Mattis, both of whom served in Afghanistan.

    Given that there are already far more contractors in Afghanistan (some 26,000) than U.S. troops (10,000), and given the spotty track record of contractors, including Blackwater, in both Afghanistan and Iraq, there is no reason to think that turning the Afghanistan mission over to them would have increased the odds of success. And it would have added fresh hazards, since it would be unclear under what authorities contractors would operate, how they would be disciplined for illegal conduct, and who would rescue them if they were in danger of being overrun or killed.

    Trump adopted the strategy crafted by McMaster and Mattis, both of whom served in Afghanistan. The most important commitment that Trump made was to shift from a time-based approach on troop withdrawals to one based on conditions — meaning that the U.S. will only take out troops if the security situation improves. This was a sharp and welcome break from what President Obama did: In 2009, he ordered a surge that brought the number of troops to 100,000, nearly three times as many as when he took office, but he also announced that the reinforcements would start coming home within 18 months. And he stuck with that timetable despite the real progress underway in the Taliban’s strongholds in Helmand and Kandahar provinces. By telegraphing the troops’ departure so far in advance, the president simply encouraged the Taliban to wait them out.

    A modest surge

    In keeping with his vow to be vague, Trump did not spell out how much of an increase in U.S. force levels would take place under his watch. But by endorsing the Pentagon’s plans, he is widely expected to send an extra 3,900 troops — the number requested by General John W. Nicholson Jr., the senior U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organization commander in Kabul. Other allies are likely to send a smaller number of reinforcements, as well, to join NATO’s Resolute Support mission, which advises and supports the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces. (Another 2,000 or so U.S. troops, primarily Special Operations forces, are pursuing a unilateral counterterrorism mission known as Operation Freedom’s Sentinel.)

    President Obama had been focused on initiating peace talks with the Taliban, another pillar of policy that Trump repudiated. “Someday, after an effective military effort, perhaps it will be possible to have a political settlement that includes elements of the Taliban in Afghanistan,” he said, “but nobody knows if or when that will ever happen.” This was a welcome signal of resoluteness, even if it was somewhat undercut by Trump’s past flirtation with complete withdrawal and his evident reluctance to endorse his generals’ plan.

    File photo of U.S. soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    File photo of U.S. soldiers in Kandahar, Afghanistan, by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Trump was in agreement with Obama on one major point, eschewing nation-building. Trump put this bluntly: “We are not nation-building again. We are killing terrorists.” Those words ring hollow, however, given the reality that neither Obama nor Trump had any interest in having the U.S. military carry the full burden of fighting the Taliban. Both presidents have put their faith in supporting the ANDSF to make them the primary combatants against the insurgency. But to have soldiers and police capable of sustained operations, Afghanistan must also have Defense and Interior Ministries capable of supporting them, along with training camps, supply depots, logistics systems, intelligence capabilities, and all the other instruments of power that can only be supplied by a functioning government. In effect, Trump was continuing an unstated commitment to nation-building when he said, “America will continue its support for the Afghan government and the Afghan military as they confront the Taliban in the field.”

    Pressing Pakistan

    Trump also continued the ritual started by President George W. Bush’s administration of demanding that Pakistan end its support for insurgents in Afghanistan without having any clear idea of how to accomplish that. The Trump administration has already held up $350 million in military aid, but there is no evidence that this financial pressure will cause a change in Pakistan’s fundamental policy, which it has been pursuing since the 1990s, of supporting the Taliban as a proxy for its interests in Afghanistan.

    The Trump administration is now considering other steps, including sanctioning individual Pakistani officials and more freely bombing insurgent groups in Pakistan, but Trump did not announce either measure on Monday night. This is a sign of how controversial such policies remain. There have always been powerful countervailing arguments that the United States cannot afford to alienate Pakistan, because it is a supply route for U.S. forces in Afghanistan and because it cooperates with the United States against some transnational terrorist groups, such as al-Qaida and the Islamic State. Trump thus essentially left U.S. policy toward Pakistan unchanged.

    The final policy pillar that Trump announced was a bit more of a break with Obama’s. Trump vowed not to micromanage the fight from Washington and to “expand authority for American armed forces to target the terrorists and criminal networks that sow violence and chaos throughout Afghanistan.”

    This was a reference to the rules that Obama imposed as he withdrew U.S. forces; he mandated that the United States could only undertake offensive air strikes against transnational terrorist groups, such as the Haqqani network and al-Qaida, not the Taliban, unless U.S. troops were in harm’s way. More recently, Obama granted U.S. forces the authority to hit the Taliban if Afghan military units were in extreme danger, but Trump’s speech suggests that military commanders may soon be granted the authority to bomb the Taliban as part of offensive operations. Other rules, such as those restricting counterbattery fire in response to attacks on U.S. bases, may also be relaxed.  Trump would no doubt be happy to scrap rules designed to limit collateral damage from air strikes. But the generals are not seeking a return to the free-fire zones of the Vietnam War: They remain committed to the calibrated and careful use of force, so, in practice, this pillar of Trump’s strategy will make a difference only at the margins.

    Battlefield stalemate

    Trump’s speech represents more a minor recalibration than a wholesale rethinking of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. The changes that will result are minimal. General Nicholson is likely to increase the number of U.S. advisors who will work with Afghan brigades and battalions in the field rather than simply with the corps-level headquarters, which are far removed from combat. Nicholson is also likely to increase the U.S. airpower available to support Afghan forces while continuing to expand Afghanistan’s own air force and double the size of its special operations forces. This should increase the capacity of the ANDSF, but it will not lead to a radical realignment on the battlefield. The Taliban today control 11 percent of the country’s population and contest another 29 percent, comprising some 14 million Afghans, and, absent a far more ambitious U.S. surge, the insurgency cannot be significantly rolled back. At best, the modest Trump buildup will prevent further deterioration of the government’s position. It will not allow the president to achieve his fervent desire to “win” the war.

    Trump’s speech represents more a minor recalibration than a wholesale rethinking of U.S. policy in Afghanistan.

    Trump seemed to acknowledge as much in his carefully worded speech: “From now on, victory will have a clear definition. Attacking our enemies, obliterating ISIS, crushing al-Qaida, preventing the Taliban from taking over Afghanistan, and stopping mass terror attacks against America before they emerge.” Note that while vowing to “obliterate” the Islamic State and “crush” al-Qaida — terms that have no strict military definition — Trump pointedly did not promise to defeat the Taliban. The most he said is that he would prevent them “from taking over Afghanistan.”

    The Trump administration has concluded that it can live with a situation that even U.S. generals describe as a “stalemate,” because the cost of victory — sending hundreds of thousands of additional troops — is too high for the United States to pay and might be impossible to achieve in any case, given that the Taliban continue to enjoy outside support, not only from Pakistan but also from Iran and Russia. In short, a war that started 16 years ago will continue indefinitely with no victory in sight, because from Washington’s perspective there is simply no viable alternative.

    This column first appeared on Aug. 22 on the Council on Foreign Relations’ website.

    The post Column: Trump’s plan for Afghanistan isn’t fresh, and here’s why appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Six in 10 Americans say they have little to no confidence in President Donald Trump’s ability to guide the nation during times of international crisis, according to a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.

    Six in 10 Americans say they have little to no confidence in President Donald Trump’s ability to guide the nation during times of international crisis, according to a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.

    Six in 10 Americans say they have little to no confidence in President Donald Trump’s ability to guide the nation during times of international crisis, according to a recent PBS NewsHour/NPR/Marist poll.

    For most Americans, “Trump does not pass the test of commander-in-chief,” said Lee Miringoff, who directs the Marist Institute for Public Opinion.

    Few respondents in the poll conducted last week said they had a great amount of confidence in Trump’s leadership on the world stage, unless they belonged to the GOP. Nearly half of Republicans — 48 percent — said they had faith in the president’s global leadership, compared with 3 percent of Democrats and 15 percent of those who identified as politically independent.

    Most U.S. adults saw diplomacy as the solution for dealing with North Korea, which is working to develop a nuclear missile that could reach American soil.

    MORE: Does Kim Jong Un’s latest statement signal he’s open to diplomacy?

    Nearly three-quarters of Americans prefer some form of diplomacy over warfare to diffuse tensions between the United States and North Korea.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Tuesday that North Korea had in recent days “demonstrated some level of restraint that we have not seen in the past,” opening a door for possible dialogue. It was a stark contrast to hostile exchanges between Trump and North Korea earlier this month.

    READ MORE: Do U.S. Navy collisions weaken our defense against a North Korean missile attack?

    Four out of 10 Americans — 40 percent — said they think the United States should continue to pursue negotiations with North Korea. More than half of Democrats, 40 percent of independent voters and nearly a quarter of Republicans said they supported direct negotiations.

    Another 33 percent of Americans said the United States should persuade China to intercede and put a stop to nuclear programs.

    Four out of 10 Americans -- 40 percent -- said they think the United States should continue to pursue negotiations with North Korea.

    Four out of 10 Americans — 40 percent — said they think the United States should continue to pursue negotiations with North Korea.

    Just 16 percent of U.S. adults said they preferred more aggressive action. When asked, 9 percent of respondents said the U.S. should deploy air strikes to destroy North Korean nuclear facilities, while an additional 4 percent said U.S. troops should march into North Korea and overthrow the dictatorship of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

    MORE: Does Kim Jong-un’s latest statement signal he’s open to diplomacy?

    Only 3 percent of Americans said the United States should be the first to launch a nuclear attack against North Korea. Support was anemic at best even along political party lines: 5 percent of Republicans said they supported Trump striking first, along with 2 percent of Democrats and 1 percent of people who identified as politically independent.

    One out of 10 Americans — 11 percent — aren’t sure how the nation should proceed in handling North Korea.

    The NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Poll contacted 1,125 U.S. adults using landline and mobile phones between August 14 and August 15. There is a 2.9 percent margin of error.

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    Girls walk on a street in Maiduguri, Borno, Nigeria August 30, 2016. REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

    Girls walk on a street in Maiduguri, Borno, Nigeria August 30, 2016. Photo by REUTERS/Afolabi Sotunde

    The radical militant group Boko Haram has already used four times as many child suicide bombers in northeast Nigeria this year than it did in 2016, the United Nations Children’s Fund reported Tuesday.

    Eighty-three children have been used as “human bombs” since the start of 2017. Fifty-five were girls, and 27 were boys, UNICEF said. In once instance, a baby was also strapped to a girl.

    WATCH: A rare glimpse into the brutality of life under Boko Haram

    The number of children has been increasing since the militant group first began using children as suicide bombers. In 2014, four girls were used to detonate explosives. In 2015, 21 girls were used and in 2016, 19 children were used – 15 girls and 4 boys.

    Militants spot girls in markets and then drag them from their beds during nighttime raids. In some cases, parents are killed during the process.

    “The use of children, especially girls, as human bombs, has now become one of the most defining and alarming features of the conflict in northeastern Nigeria,” said Milen Kidane, UNICEF’s chief of child protection.

    The Boko Haram insurgency is fueled largely through systematic abduction of children, according to UNICEF. Militants spot girls in markets and then drag them from their beds during nighttime raids. In some cases, parents are killed during the process.

    Many captives are then forced into early marriage and sexual slavery. Boys are typically forced to become child soldiers, according to UNICEF.

    UNICEF speculates that Boko Haram uses children because they can be easily manipulated, and enter public spaces with very little suspicion.

    Most children do not realize they are carrying explosives, and those that do have been brainwashed to carry out the attack, according to UNICEF.

    UNICEF assumes that young girls are used more often because they are seen as the least suspicious.

    “In these mostly Muslim communities, their attire, their dress code, its very easy to hide some of the bombs within their clothes,” Kidane said. “So it’s very convenient, in that sense, to use a girl child.”

    Because of the increased use of children as “human bombs,” people are becoming fearful of the young, which has a devastating impact on children who are returning from abduction.

    Additionally, young girls who return after being sexually abused often face discrimination, especially if they are pregnant.

    Because of the increased use of children as “human bombs,” people are becoming fearful of the young, which has a devastating impact on children who are returning from abduction.

    In an effort to re-acclimate children who have escaped and returned home, UNICEF is hosting interventions and reconciliation activities with entire communities, not just the children in northeast Nigeria, led by respected community and religious leaders, and influential women.

    “We try to bring the communities together, so that they understand, in fact, that these children are victims whether they spent time with Boko Haram or not,” Kidane said. “We’re trying to bring everyone together, working together and trying to heal as a collective rather than to further separate the victims versus the perpetrators.”

    READ MORE: What Is Boko Haram?

    As a result of its offensive, the terrorist group has displaced over 2.3 million people since May 2013, making it one of the fastest growing displacement crises in Africa. The number of displaced children increased 60 percent over the last year, from 800,000 to 1.3 million children.

    More than 670,000 of those children are no longer in school. More than 1,500 schools have closed after being attacked, looted, set on fire or used as shelter by displaced people.

    UNICEF speculates that decades of extreme poverty in the region and inadequate education may have attributed to high number of recruits, who are offered food, power and the promise of spiritual rewards.

    “Sometimes they’re told, ‘If you do this, you’ll get to heaven,’ or, ‘If you do this, it’ll help your family members.’ They’re told whatever it is that they need to hear in order to be convinced to do this,” Kidane said.

    Nigeria is also one of four countries experiencing famine, leaving up to 450,000 children at risk of severe malnutrition this year, according to a UNICEF statement.

    The post Boko Haram has used 83 children as human bombs so far this year appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    More than 108,000 students who had taken out federal loans withdrew from Georgia’s public colleges and universities between 2013 and 2015. Photo by bearsky23/via Adobe

    More than 108,000 students who had taken out federal loans withdrew from Georgia’s public colleges and universities between 2013 and 2015. Photo by bearsky23/via Adobe

    ATLANTA – Alduha Leon and Jared Sanders, roommates at Savannah State University, dined on hot dogs in their apartment on Thanksgiving Day of their sophomore year. They had decided to skip feasting with family in Atlanta to pick up extra hours at their airport jobs loading luggage onto planes. Payday wasn’t until Friday, though, and Leon only had $5 left on his food stamps card.

    During the three years they spent at Savannah State, Sanders and Leon struggled to pay their tuition, fees and living expenses. They accumulated more than $50,000 in loans between the two of them, despite working up to 40 hours a week. After exhausting themselves working late or overnight shifts so they wouldn’t have to miss class, and finding their grades suffering, they both dropped out in 2015, joining a growing pool of Georgians who have debt but no degree.

    More than 108,000 students who had taken out federal loans withdrew from Georgia’s public colleges and universities between 2013 and 2015, the most recent time period measured in federal data. The problem is particularly acute for those seeking a bachelor’s degree: Median federal loan debt for these Georgia students who withdrew has more than doubled over the last decade at most four-year schools, ranging from $5,500 at the University of North Georgia to more than $18,000 at Albany State University.

    Related: Twitter chat: How do we solve the student debt crisis? Aug. 24 at 1 p.m.

    Without a degree, those who leave college often can’t get decent-paying jobs to make a dent in their loans, hurting their economic futures and that of the state as a whole.

    State actions have contributed to the growing financial pressures on students. Budget cuts during the recession caused per-student funding to plummet, so Georgia students and their families have faced rising tuition costs. The HOPE scholarship program covers less than it did six years ago, and fees – which can cost thousands of dollars a year – have increased. Regulations prohibit state colleges and universities from spending money from the Georgia budget on needs-based financial aid, and schools have limited campus-based resources to help.

    This has happened as Georgia officials – like those in many other states – are pushing to increase the number of young residents who have some kind of post-secondary education. They say that by 2025, more than 60 percent of Georgia jobs will require such credentials, and today only 45 percent of the state’s young adults have them. But experts say dramatic improvement is impossible unless the government does something to make college more affordable.

    “That can be funding the institutions themselves; it also can be investing in financial aid,” said Debbie Cochrane, vice president of The Institute for College Access and Success, a national nonprofit. “Folks aren’t just asking for higher education to be supported because it’s a nice thing. We know that our society, our workforce, our health – our societal health – requires that we have an educated population.”

    Although Georgia’s tuition at public colleges and universities is relatively low compared to national averages, it has had some of the fastest growth. Since 2008, average tuition increased from $4,700 to $8,400. A December state audit found the annual average total cost of attendance grew 77 percent between 2006 and 2015, from $8,361 to $14,791, including mandatory fees and room and board.

    “The more I had to work, the more I went downhill.”

    Many legislators have introduced bills in recent years that would require the Board of Regents to keep costs down, by limiting tuition increases to not exceed inflation, for instance.

    The state has hired the Southern Regional Education Board to examine affordability in Georgia’s higher education system and how efficiently universities are spending state funding. The research is being paid for with a $378,000 grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. (The Gates Foundation is among The Hechinger Report’s many funders.)

    The public has a perception that tuition is rising because schools aren’t managing their money well, said Claire Suggs, a senior education policy analyst at the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. But the primary reason for the spikes in tuition and fees, she said, is declining per-student funding to the university system.

    The recession in 2008 caused state tax revenue to plummet and accelerated a decline in higher education funding. State spending on the University System of Georgia fell from more than $15,000 per student in 2001 to about $6,000 during the recession, adjusted for inflation, and has only climbed back to about $8,000, Suggs’ analyses found.

    READ MORE: Georgia students drop out with high debt despite state surplus

    Other financial measures also show the cost-shift to students. In 2009, state appropriations made up 61 percent of the general funding for USG institutions, while tuition accounted for nearly a third of it. By 2017, tuition brought in 46 percent of these schools’ general revenue, and state appropriations had shrunk to 43 percent.

    “If we’re going to talk about affordability, we have to talk about the state’s investment in higher education,” Suggs said. “We have to acknowledge that there’s been this real disinvestment by the state.”

    Many colleges agree, particularly those that face declining enrollments. “I don’t think there is a huge amount of waste on our campus,” said Kim Brown, senior associate vice president of business and financial services at Georgia Southern University. “Our operating budgets on this campus have not had an increase in more than 10 years, and staff haven’t had a raise in six or seven years.”

    Leon and Sanders were caught in this downward trajectory, too. In their freshman year, 2012-13, tuition and fees at Savannah State were about $3,000 per semester, more than $800 higher than they’d been in 2009-10.

    Leon, the first in his family to go to college, enrolled as a marine science major and was getting mostly As and Bs. He had a federal Pell grant for low-income students, but that barely covered tuition, let alone room and board, fees and books. His grades didn’t qualify him for a HOPE scholarship, so he had to turn to loans.

    Georgia and New Hampshire are the only states without a need-based aid program for students attending state public schools. And Georgia prohibits its public colleges and universities from using state or tuition money on financial aid (whether merit-based or need-based). Schools must rely on their endowments and raising money from private donors to provide scholarships. Those with lower endowments and less affluent alumni have a harder time.

    During the 2013-2014 school year, USG institutions awarded $28.8 million in need-based aid. Students’ unmet need totaled about $660 million, according to the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute.

    “I don’t think anybody’s against [needs-based financial aid]. It’s just a question of where we’re going to come up with money. We have to look at our priorities.” — Georgia State Senator Fran Millar

    An analysis by The Hechinger Report of 11 universities that make such data publicly available found that more than 83,000 students were determined by federal calculations to need help paying for school. Just two in 10 students received all the funding they needed through federal, state and institutional aid and loans.

    Some students drop out when they can’t come up with their tuition and fees payments. In 2014 and 2015, about 13,000 students were removed – or purged, as officials say – from university rolls when they were unable to pay.

    Other students may be able to make their payments, but have to take jobs to do so, which can make it harder for them to graduate. Working for more than 25 hours per week can get in the way of passing classes, especially for low-income students, according to a new study by the Georgetown Center for Education and the Workforce.

    “The best thing that schools and states can do is make sure that students who can’t afford the cost of college have a reasonable path towards paying for school, so they don’t have to drop out and they don’t have to prioritize work,” Cochrane said.

    Leon got a job at the Savannah airport. Breathing fuel fumes the first week made him so sick he wound up in the hospital and missed several days of class. Even when he was healthy, a draining work schedule – typically from 7 p.m. to as late as 3 a.m., Wednesday or Thursday through Sunday – made it hard to keep up with school.

    He began dropping some harder classes, and his grades slipped. “The more I had to work, the more I went downhill,” he said.

    He thinks a needs-based aid program is a great idea. “If it’s cheaper, people will take more initiative and go to school,” he said.

    Georgia officials have been discussing a needs-based aid program for at least a decade. In 2008, a Board of Regents study estimated the state could feasibly establish a needs-based aid program for $40 million that would benefit 26,000 students. The report was published during the height of the recession, however, and nothing was done with its findings.

    State Sen. Fran Millar, chairman of the Senate Higher Education Committee, views the coming college affordability study as a possible first step on the road to needs-based aid. He says creating such a program in a state where 17 percent of the population lives in poverty is vital for Georgia’s economic future.

    “I don’t think anybody’s against it,” Millar said. “It’s just a question of where we’re going to come up with money. We have to look at our priorities.

    “I think we’ll get there eventually,” he added, but said any needs-based program would likely have to include some kind of academic requirement, like maintaining a certain GPA.

    Kelly McCutchen, president of the right-leaning Georgia Public Policy Foundation, recommends that the state look at providing needs-based aid for studies related to 11 industries identified as needing workers; or, he said, Georgia should do a better job of recruiting students to technical colleges instead of four-year schools where they’re likely to take on more debt to earn a degree that may not lead directly to a career.

    “If you’re subsidizing that, you’re not really helping the student much,” he said. “I don’t think it’s one solution of ‘let’s just throw money at the problem.’ ”

    “If we’re going to talk about affordability, we have to talk about the state’s investment in higher education. We have to acknowledge that there’s been this real disinvestment by the state.” — Claire Suggs, senior education policy analyst, Georgia Budget & Policy Institute

    The state does have a small, primarily needs-based aid program funded through public and private dollars, called REACH. Five low-income middle schoolers in most school districts – and eight in larger districts – can enroll. If they keep up their grades in high school and meet other requirements – such as meeting regularly with a mentor and academic coach – they’ll receive a $10,000 scholarship for Georgia public colleges and universities.

    REACH was launched in 2012 and currently serves 685 students. It’s slated to be expanded to more than 800 students next year.

    In the meantime, it’s up to institutions to find money to help defray student costs. Valdosta and Columbus Universities are both in the middle of capital campaigns, some of which will go to needs-based scholarships. Clayton State and Savannah State are mimicking a successful program created by Georgia State that gives emergency grants to students who are close to graduation but needed a small amount, typically less than $1,000, to pay their final tuition bill.

    Leon never made it to that point. By the end of his third year at Savannah State, he had earned just under half of the credits he would need to complete his degree and was already almost $30,000 in debt. He was starting to see older friends graduate and struggle to find jobs and pay back their own loans, despite having a bachelor’s degree.

    “Do I really want to be $50,000 in debt?” he asked himself. The answer was “no.” He withdrew. Sanders did as well, for similar reasons.

    Both have started their own businesses in the last year; Leon has set up an event planning company, and Sanders is establishing a video production business. They’re unable to pay back their loans right now, despite frequent calls from collection agencies.

    They have no regrets about the decision to drop out and save themselves from even more debt. But both agree – they would go back if they could afford it.

    This story was produced by The Hechinger Report in collaboration with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The Hechinger Report is a nonprofit, independent news website focused on inequality and innovation in education. Read the original story here.

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    A woman walks with a child along Crissy Field in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in San Francisco, California March 1, 2013. Photo by Robert Galbraith/REUTERS

    A woman walks with a child along Crissy Field in The Presidio of San Francisco, part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, in San Francisco, California March 1, 2013. Photo by Robert Galbraith/REUTERS

    SAN FRANCISCO — Federal authorities on Wednesday issued a permit to a politically conservative group for a Saturday afternoon rally in San Francisco that local officials fear could turn violent.

    The National Park Service had earlier told Patriot Prayer leader Joey Gibson that he had permission for the event, but withheld issuing the permit until the group agreed to several conditions, which include banning guns, tiki torches and other items that can be turned into weapons.

    The park service said denying Patriot Prayer a permit would violate the organization’s free speech rights. San Francisco’s mayor, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi were among the Democratic politicians who had called on the federal agency to reject the permit.

    Mayor Ed Lee said Wednesday he was “disappointed” with the park service’s decision to issue the permit.

    Cities across the United States are on high alert following an Aug. 12 rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where Neo-Nazis, KKK members and various white nationalist factions carrying tiki torches clashed with counter-protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman. A week later, tens of thousands of people shouting anti-Nazi and anti-KKK slogans showed up at a conservative “free speech” rally in Boston, dwarfing participants.

    The San Francisco event is scheduled to start at 2 p.m. Saturday at Crissy Field, a federal park along the San Francisco Bay.

    Patriot Prayer says the rally is scheduled in support of free speech and that hate groups aren’t welcome.

    Nonetheless, extremist groups have attended previous Patriot Prayer events. One of its scheduled speakers, Kyle Chapman, was charged in nearby Alameda County last week with possession of an illegal baton. Chapman was captured on video swinging a baton at counter demonstrators protesting a Berkeley, California rally in support of President Donald Trump earlier this year.

    Gibson said he launched Patriot Prayer after several Trump supporters were beaten at a Trump campaign stop in San Jose, California last year.

    Several groups that oppose Trump are organizing counter-demonstrations Saturday in San Francisco.

    The post Parks Service issues permit for ‘alt-right’ rally in San Francisco appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Travis County residents vote at a shopping mall in north Austin, Texas.  Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images.

    Travis County residents vote at a shopping mall in north Austin, Texas. Photo by Robert Daemmrich Photography Inc/Corbis via Getty Images.

    AUSTIN, Texas — A federal judge has once again thrown out Texas’ voter ID law in the latest court defeat for state Republican lawmakers over voting rights.

    U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos on Wednesday rejected a weakened version of the law signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott earlier this year. Texas had made the changes after the same judge compared the original version to a “poll tax” on minorities.

    Republican Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton called the ruling “outrageous” and said an appeals court should void the ruling.

    Since President Donald Trump took office this year, the U.S. Justice Department has supported Texas’ voter ID law.

    A separate federal court earlier this month also found racial gerrymandering in Texas’ congressional maps and ordered voting districts to be partially redrawn.

    The post Federal judge again throws out Texas’ voter ID law appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, a British rock star with a new take on the birth of rock and roll. Jeffrey Brown has the story.


    JEFFREY BROWN: Billy Bragg first rose to fame as a punk rock and folk musician in the early 1980s.

    Now nearing 60, he’s still singing hard-edged songs of protest and passion, here recently at the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia.

    In a new book “Roots, Radicals and Rockers”, he’s also looking back to an even earlier, lesser known but important moment in music history.

    When a pop star named Lonnie Donegan and others took Britain by storm in the mid-1950s with a phenomenon called skiffle music.

    BILLY BRAGG, Musician: What Donegan does, he’s the first British artist to get in the charts playing a guitar, and he begins the process of turning into a guitar-led — British pop into a guitar-led music for teenagers. As the guitar becomes a kind of way that youngsters express the fact that they’re different from their parents, as the guitar becomes that way they start to try and make the future happen.

    JEFFREY BROWN: They did it, though, by listening to the past, to skiffle’s roots in African- American culture, including traditional New Orleans jazz and the great American folk and blues musician Huddie Ledbetter, known as Lead Belly.

    Lonnie Donegan had a hit in 1956 with Lead Belly’s “Rock Island Line,” and British kids picked up cheap acoustic guitars, homemade tea chest basses, and washboards to play something akin to American jug band or rockabilly music.

    Bragg says it was a turning point for British culture, still coming out of its post-war depths.

    BILLY BRAGG: Just a month before Lonnie Donegan records “Rock Island Line,” food rationing ends in the U.K. It goes on after the Second World War because we have a huge balance of payments problem. Some things were rationed after the war that were never rationed during the war. Bread, for instance, was rationed for a short while after the war.

    So, the kids who were playing skiffle have grown up not being able to go into a sweet shop and buy whatever they want. All of a sudden, they’re 14, 15, 16. They’re leaving school to go into work. They’re getting paid reasonably well in the post-war boom and they want something that identifies them as different. And skiffle becomes that thing for the young men.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Among those young men: 14 year old James Page, here on the BBC with his skiffle band.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You play anything except skiffle?

    JIMMY PAGE, Musician: Yes, Spanish and dance.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you? Well.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Jimmy Page would later become one of rock’s biggest stars as the guitarist for Led Zeppelin. And he was hardly the only rocker to start out in skiffle.

    BILLY BRAGG: Van Morrison was 12, you know? George Harrison was 13 when he saw Donegan. McCartney, 14. Lennon, 16.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Those are big names later on.

    BILLY BRAGG: Yes, yes. Teenagers, when they saw that, they knew that this was the future, that they needed to get ahold of one of those guitars. I mean, the sales of guitars, when — acoustic guitars, that is, went from 5,000 in one year, two to three years later to 250,000 guitars in a year.

    And they’re all — you know, they’re not doing — it’s not a scene. They’re playing in back rooms and church halls. But it’s what they do subsequently, when they’re 20, 25, that really makes a difference.

    JEFFREY BROWN: John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s first group, The Quarrymen, started as a skiffle band. The rest, as they say, is history.

    UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Three thousand screaming teenagers are at New York’s Kennedy Airport to greet, you guessed it, the Beatles.

    JEFFREY BROWN: As young British musicians plugged in, threw out the old- timey skiffle sounds to create their own, and brought that back across the Atlantic, in the British invasion.

    BILLY BRAGG: From January 1964 to December 1965, there’s a British group at number one in the American charts for 52 weeks out of 104. Every single one of them begins as a skiffle group. The only exception is Petula Clark, and she didn’t need Donnie Donegan to help. She (INAUDIBLE) singles before skiffle started.

    But everybody else, Chad and Jeremy, the Rolling Stones, the Tremolos, the Animals all have their roots in skiffle. Skiffle liberates those bands to get out there and play music at such a young age that when the Beatles break the charts in America in January ’64, there’s a whole cohort of British bands who’ve been playing for years, who are ready to go. And it takes American youth a little longer to catch up.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Skiffle gave them the means, the something, to get up with a guitar.

    BILLY BRAGG: It’s the sense of empowerment that came with skiffle to very young people, to make them think they can make their own music, to not wait for someone else to make it. That’s a very similar impulse to punk rock. And I think that’s what drove the Beatles and all those other bands to write their own material.

    JEFFREY BROWN: For his part, Billy Bragg has continued to write his own songs while also working within traditions of the past. His most recent album, “Shine A Light,” with the American singer-songwriter Joe Henry, was largely recorded in railway stations around the U.S.

    And at the Birchmere concert, Bragg offered a beautiful version of a Woody Guthrie song.

    But when I asked about his own coming-of-age, skiffle-style moment, he turned to his punk rock roots.

    BILLY BRAGG: The Clash.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The Clash?

    BILLY BRAGG: More or less, yes. I saw the Clash when I was 19. Me and some friends of mine had been really interested in bands like Dr. Feelgood and the Jam, it was stripping it back. And we went to see the Clash at the Rainbow in 1978. And it seemed to, it’s one of those watershed moments. It’s like when the skifflers heard Donegan and had that it’s that sort of ability to make your own culture that came with punk rock that really keeps me going. That’s why I thought I could sit down and write a book about skiffle, rather than wait for someone to ask me.

    JEFFREY BROWN: For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Jeffrey Brown from the Birchmere Music Hall in Alexandria, Virginia.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we thought we knew all about rock ‘n’ roll. So that’s the NewsHour for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff.

    The post How old-timey ‘skiffle’ music liberated British rock appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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