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

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    Library of Congress immigration

    Members of the U.S. Congress Joint Immigration Commission, which existed from 1907 to 1911 and studied the effects of immigration in the U.S., pose for this undated photo. Photo by Bain News Service/Library of Congress

    After Israel Bosak’s tailor shop was destroyed in 1906 in an outbreak of violence against Jewish people in Russia, he fled to America with a respectable $65, more money than most immigrants brought at the time. But the U.S. government criticized Bosak for his small physique, claiming he would not be an asset to the workforce, and sent him back.

    It was one of many racially-tinged institutional practices that empowered immigration officials to deny people of certain ethnicities or appearances — often people from South and Eastern Europe who were not considered “purely” white — by speculating about their ability to work. People with “poor physiques,” which was often said of Jewish immigrants, were “illy adapted” and would procreate “defectives,” a letter from a commissioner had warned the immigration and labor departments that year.

    “Just like in the early 20th century, people make assumptions about your worth, about your ability to contribute and your likelihood of being dependent.” — Douglas Baynton, University of Iowa professor

    More than a century later, historians of that era see echoes of those tactics in the administration’s efforts to cut in half the roughly 1 million immigrants who enter the country each year. And while the concept of whiteness has changed since the 18th century, they say that white nationalism has historically been a motivation behind U.S. immigration policy and the country’s social hierarchy.

    The Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment (RAISE) Act, introduced in February and upheld by President Donald Trump last month, prioritizes wealthy, highly-educated, English-speaking applicants over those who are trying to reunite with family through what is referred to as chain migration. Republican co-sponsors Sen. David Perdue of Georgia and Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas wrote in a statement that the majority of immigrants are “either low-skilled or unskilled” and “threaten to create a near permanent underclass for whom the American Dream is just out of reach.”

    And when Trump threw his weight behind it from the White House last month, he implied new immigrants strain welfare, despite a law that already bars them from collecting it the first five years they are in the country.

    “They’re not going to come in and just immediately go and collect welfare. That doesn’t happen under the RAISE act,” Trump said.

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

    Douglas Baynton, a professor of American cultural history at the University of Iowa who wrote about Bosak in his book, “Defectives in the Land,” says this emphasis on skills, education and language recycles early efforts to limit immigration based on ethnicity and race.

    “Just like in the early 20th century, people make assumptions about your worth, about your ability to contribute and your likelihood of being dependent,” Baynton said.

    And a merit-based system like the RAISE Act promotes is what the newest CEO of a white nationalist, “alt-right” organization Identity Evropa said he favors.

    “If you are an immigrant and you get a green card and you become a citizen, you can bring your entire extended family,” said Elliott Kline, who goes by Eli Mosley. “Diversity to us just means less white people, means putting diversity ahead of meritocracy.”

    Library of Congress immigration

    Terence Vincent Powderly, Terence Vincent Powderly, U.S. Commander, General Immigration, Chief Division from 1897-1902, poses in this photo from 1915. Photo by Harris & Ewing/Library of Congress

    ‘Nordic was the purest’

    People with political power in the Thirteen Colonies created a hierarchy of “whiteness” before the founding of the United States.

    While prejudices against darker skin existed in other regions, José Moya, a Professor of American history at Barnard College, said the concept of “whiteness” and its use in the U.S. likely emerged from Anglo-Saxons in their conquest of the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries.

    A clear divide existed: black people were kidnapped and brought to the Americas as slaves for free white landowners. But Moya said the Anglo-Saxons also openly declared that people who did not look, speak or practice religion like them were inferior in other ways.

    He referred to the late 1750s, when Benjamin Franklin, who would later become a founding father and abolitionist, had determined that the tens of thousands of German people in Pennsylvania were “palatine boors.” Franklin said in a letter to his friend, a scientist, that they could “no more adopt our ways than they can adopt our complexion.”

    READ NEXT: Electoral College is ‘vestige’ of slavery, say some Constitutional scholars

    At the time, Franklin was a printer, worried Pennsylvania would become a “colony of aliens.” So he helped in an effort to Anglicize German people, joining as a trustee for schools to teach German children English and religion.

    By 1790, a Naturalization Act declared that “all male white inhabitants” would become citizens, a time when the country started enforcing its hierarchy of whiteness.

    “Nordic was purest,” Moya said. “Eastern and Southern Europeans were ‘undermining the purity’ of the American stock.”

    In 1882, the U.S. passed the Immigration Act, which imposed a 50 cent a head tax for every person who the country deemed “undesirable” and was sent back. That same year, it passed the Chinese Exclusion Act, declaring a moratorium on Chinese labor immigrants.

    Public health inspectors would enforce this by making snap judgments at the border, picking out people who they thought looked peculiar, had the capacity for lunacy, criminality, or promiscuity or looked ugly. Italians, Slavs, and Jewish and Irish people were eyeballed for their ability to bolster the economy and either sent back or stigmatized.

    While Baynton said these judgements were not always inherently racist — immigrants also couldn’t be blind or deaf, for example — they often reinforced preexisting popular stereotypes.

    Those stereotypes said Italians were prone to violence because of their ties to mafias. They couldn’t control their tempers and were associated with feeblemindedness, like Slavs. Jewish people, like Bosak, had poor physiques and were greedy. Irish were characterized as alcoholics who were vulnerable to insanity, he said.

    “A lot of it really was just stereotypes that were just reproduced in flawed studies,” he said. “They would look at the first generation of people in institutions for mentally ill and find a lot of Irish or Jewish immigrants there, but it was because they just arrived and were poor … they used this as evidence.”

    These types of now-defunct, scientific studies supported the contagion of the eugenics movement, an era when it was a common to believe that social problems, intellect, morality, disability, beauty and even laziness were hereditary.

    Congress, worried about the efficiency of the inspection system, used the ideals behind eugenics to pass the 1924 Immigration Act, now seen as one of the most racist in American history. It only allowed for a two percent increase of any ethnic group entry based on census data from 1890. Meanwhile, the Ku Klux Klan, which was exclusively Protestant, was experiencing a revival of political power.

    “So then the English would have huge quotas that they couldn’t fulfill, then Italians, Jews and Russians had tiny quotas,” Moya said.

    Eugenics and the new immigration law were praised by Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also recalled it in a 2015 radio interview with Breitbart, an interview highlighted by the Atlantic.

    “In seven years we’ll have the highest percentage of Americans, non-native born, since the founding of the Republic,” he said. “When the numbers reached about this high in 1924, the president and Congress changed the policy, and it slowed down immigration significantly.”

    The quotas were finally erased in 1965 amid the civil rights movement, after people took to the streets and staged sit-ins, enduring beatings and showed they were willing to die just for equal rights. It was the same decade that the KKK reemerged again, with bombings at black schools and churches among other violence.

    White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S. August 11, 2017. Picture taken August 11, 2017. Photo by Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share via REUTERS

    White nationalists carry torches on the grounds of the University of Virginia, on the eve of a planned Unite The Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Aug. 11, 2017. Picture taken August 11, 2017. Photo by Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share via Reuters

    White nationalists are ‘trying to create something new’

    Kline helped organize the hundreds of men who rattled the country as they marched through the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville, Virginia, wearing polo shirts and khaki pants and carrying tiki torches on the night of Friday, August 11.

    It was a preamble to a “Unite the Right” rally, an effort to protest the removal of a statue of a Confederate general from a local park, that left a woman and two police officers dead.

    But he says history about the ranks of white people, and the exclusivity of the KKK, do not match with the ideals of his white nationalist movement.

    “I don’t know a single person who believes in a hierarchy among whites,” Kline said. “We don’t need to go backwards or look backwards. We’re trying to create something new … We haven’t said, ‘Screw our forefathers,’ but we are admitting that they ultimately failed.”

    His group includes German people and Irish people as well as atheists, Pagans, Catholics and people from other religions. But there are some similarities: It does not include Jewish people or biracial people and, “It’s not like an exact science. I do take it on a case-by-case basis and I don’t think it’s something we need to decide today.”

    “My opinion of what white is today, is people who are historically European racially and who share the same kind of story … oppression, in reality,” he said.

    Kline said his father has British, Catholic and an Irish Protestant heritage with ethnic Saxon from the Transylvania Mountains in what is now Romania on his mom’s side.

    He said his great, great grandfather returned to oppression in the Transylvania Mountains after fighting Russians in Siberia during World War I.

    “They were told they weren’t allowed to speak Saxon in public, then it started turning violent,” he said. “So my family gathered their things and came to America.”

    The post How a shifting definition of ‘white’ helped shape U.S. immigration policy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Child hands

    Parents who work outside traditional business hours are often lost in the national conversation around child care. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Vladimir Agafonkin

    LAS VEGAS — Heather Peele is just like any other mom rushing to pick up her child at day care after work. Except, it’s 2:30 a.m., and her 6-year-old daughter has been sleeping for hours at a 24-hour child care center near the Las Vegas airport.

    Parents like Peele, a casino cocktail waitress, who work outside traditional business hours often are lost in the national conversation about access to child care and early education.

    “I’m just in survival mode right now,” said Peele, who is thankful she found a safe, clean and affordable facility for her daughter while she works, sometimes until 4 a.m. She pays about $40 a day for 10 hours of care.

    In many cases, the children of shift workers are cared for by relatives or friends in unofficial capacities. Those without such a support network have few, if any, options.

    The National Survey of Early Care and Education said in a 2015 report that just 2 percent of the child care centers it surveyed offer child care in the evening. Six percent provide overnight care and 3 percent have weekend hours.

    “It’s a huge issue. We have an increasingly service-based economy with non-standard hours, that’s more heavily concentrated in lower income groups,” said Taryn Morrissey, a child development expert and professor at American University. “The child care sector hasn’t really caught up with the realities of hours parents are working.”

    Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., proposed legislation Thursday designed to increase access to affordable child care, including for families that work non-traditional hours. Murray called the bill “a smart investment in our children, our future and our economy,” but its future is far from certain in a Republican-controlled Congress.

    Child Care Aware of America said that last year at least 65,000 families in 28 states sought child care outside the usual workday. The other states don’t keep track, according to Yvette Sanchez Fuentes, deputy chief of public policy and research at the non-profit, which works with state child care referral agencies.

    “The systems that we have — day care, Head Start, Pre-K — a lot of that began years and years ago, when we had different needs,” Sanchez Fuentes said. “Families are changing and communities are changing.”

    Even in Las Vegas, an entertainment and gambling destination long notorious for blurring the hours of a day, the availability of 24-hour child care is limited.

    Peele, a 42-year-old single mother, was sent scrambling when the child care center at the MGM Grand casino-hotel property stopped offering 24-hour service. Day care centers at casinos off the Las Vegas Strip also have closed or cut back hours in recent years. In Nevada, about two dozen out of 450 licensed child care centers are open around the clock.

    “I was shocked,” Peele said of her few options. “I know I’m not the only one.”

    She enrolled her daughter at the McCarran International Child Development Center, adjacent to but unaffiliated with the airport and just minutes away from the Las Vegas Strip.

    The for-profit center opened last year, offering care 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for up to 12 hours a day per child. It requires just a day’s notice for babies, and two-hour notice for kids up to 12 years old. About half of the caregivers have some sort of college education, primarily two-year associates degrees.

    Peele’s daughter is one of 141 children enrolled.

    On a recent weekday evening, five caregivers cared for about two dozen children, ranging in age from infants to school-aged. The kids’ art adorned the walls, music played in the background and children ran around playing.

    The children were served a dinner of breaded chicken with potatoes. By about 9 p.m., they had brushed their teeth and changed into pajamas for bedtime.

    Owner Nicolas Del Balso, 64, who retired to Las Vegas after running day care centers in Canada, said staffing the facility is challenging. Many applicants say they’re willing to work odd hours only to insist on a daytime schedule after they’re hired.

    “The labor market is transient and that affects everything,” he said. “Your day care is a reflection of your society.”

    Del Balso said flexibility is critical for the center and its customers. Most day cares that close at a determined time demand promptness, charging by the minute for parents running late.

    Precyla Escobar, 24, said she’s dropped off her 2-year-old son, Zeke, at the McCarran center as early as 4 a.m., and picked him up past 7 p.m. If she has to stay late at the hospital lab where she works.

    “I feel like they’re my family,” Escobar said. “It’s really hard to find a place that will take care of your kid.”

    Peele’s daughter, Kiina Amado, said she doesn’t mind sleeping on a cot alongside a dozen other kids at night. The first-grader and aspiring dentist-dancer said it’s hard sometimes to be woken up in the middle of the night to go home. And then there’s that other, occasional, problem:

    “I forget my pajamas,” Kiina said.

    The post Child care choices limited for those working outside 9-to-5 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Okinawa, u.s. military

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un recently said his goal is to reach an “equilibrium of real force” with the United States and dissuade talk of U.S. military action against his regime. And that he wants to finish his nuclear weapons program despite sanctions.

    Kim’s comment comes after North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile over northern Japan for the second time.

    North Korea’s state-run media released this video, which shows the missile launch along with these photos of Kim watching it.

    The North Korean threat — and China’s assertiveness in the South China Sea — underscore how Japan still relies on the U.S. military for protection, just as it has since the end of World War II.

    Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the U.S. will work with Japan to enhance its missile defenses, and the U.S. commitment to defend Japan remains, quote, “ironclad.”

    In tonight’s Signature Segment, NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Amy Guttman reports from the Japanese island of Okinawa on how U.S. bases there are a cause of concern to many residents.

    MARK WAYCASTER: “And then, on April 1st at 0530 in the morning…”

    AMY GUTTMAN: U.S. Marine Mark Waycaster leads tours of the 1945 Battle of Okinawa every week.

    MARK WAYCASTER: “We dropped 4-thousand 5-hundred tons of ordnance on that beach.”

    AMY GUTTMAN: Okinawa was the bloodiest battle in the Pacific during World War II. Fourteen thousand Americans were killed, as were 150-thousand Japanese military and civilians. And U.S. troops never left. The American soldiers have been the cornerstone of the post-World War II pact to protect a demilitarized Japan. U.S. troops deployed from Okinawa to fight the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Soldiers came back for rest and relaxation. The troops also provide economic security. Nine thousand Okinawans work on the bases, and many more, at businesses supporting them. Emblems of the fused culture are all over the island.

    TOMOTERU TAMARI: In this area, there were more than 100 bars.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Tomoteru Tamari’s family owned a restaurant that thrived during the more lucrative years of the Vietnam War.

    TOMOTERU TAMARI: My father, he became so prosperous that all of us nine children were able to go to university, thanks to the U.S. base.

    AMY GUTTMAN: But those benefits are outweighed for most Okinawans by a feeling of endless military occupation. After Japan surrendered in World War II, Okinawa was kept under American military rule for more than two decades. Residents of the island only won the right to elect their own governor in 1968. Today, there are twenty-nine thousand troops on Okinawa, more than half of the 56-thousand U.S. troops still stationed in Japan. One of the U.S. military bases, Futenma Air Station sits in a dense urban area right in the middle of the island.

    LAWRENCE NICHOLSON: Marine Lieutenant General Lawrence Nicholson is the highest-ranking U.S. military officer on Okinawa. He says today’s global threats make the mission here as relevant as ever.

    We have China, North Korea, Russia and the violent extremism that is occurring today in Mindanao of the Philippines. The location here, a couple hundred miles south of Japan puts us centrally located to be able to to respond quickly. Very, very quickly to a Korean scenario from here to a defense of all of our allies.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Okinawa’s location within two hours flight time to the Korean Peninsula, three hours to Russia make it both vulnerable and valuable to the U.S.

    LAWRENCE NICHOLSON: Certainly, we’re concerned about the longer range missiles. Kim Jong Un has launched more missiles in his short time than his father and grandfather, combined. So the obsession with weaponizing and delivering nuclear weapons has caused us significant concern.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Japan shares the burden of the costs of U.S. deployment. It pays the U.S. $1.7 billion dollars a year for the protection, about a-third of the 5-and-half billion the military spends in the whole country. The Japanese government in Tokyo also sends Okinawa funds for hosting the Americans.

    Despite the government subsidies and spending by military personnel, the majority of Okinawans want the American troops to leave. One of the biggest complaints — nearly six thousand crimes committed by U.S. military personnel since 1972, according to police records. When three U.S. servicemen abducted and raped a twelve-year old girl in 1995, public outrage soared and propelled talks to reduce troop levels on the island. In 2014, the crime rate for the U.S military personnel on Okinawa reached a historic low. But last year residents were reminded of past brutalities when a U.S. military contractor raped and murdered a 20-year old woman.

    How do you explain these atrocities?

    LAWRENCE NICHOLSON: You can’t explain it. We were as shocked and horrified by the incident as anyone. The fact that it was an American civilian working on a base that had committed this was devastating. We have an obligation to be better.

    AMY GUTTMAN: That pledge is little solace for Kinjo Takemasa. His mother managed a bar near a base in the northern part of Okinawa. In 1974, she died when a U.S. Marine hit her in the head with a brick during a robbery.

    KINJO TAKEMASA: I used to think the U.S. Military was helping to revitalize our town. But it was an illusion, because I became a victim.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Six days a week, protesters gather outside this base to complain about the military presence, including the noise and the safety risks of U.S. aircraft flying above. V-22 Ospreys take off from Futenma Air Station every day. The controversial and accident-prone aircraft takes off like a helicopter and flies like a plane. They cruise over homes, hospitals, and schools. Practically next door, Professor Masa’aki Tomochi teaches international relations at the University of Ryukyu.

    How regularly do you hear planes taking off and landing?

    MASA’AKI TOMOCHI: Every day from the morning to the night time, actually.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Six months ago, one Osprey crashed in Okinawa. Okinawa Governor Takeshi Onaga is leading the fight to reduce the American military presence.

    TAKESHI ONAGA: We depend on security from U.S. Military bases in this country, but the Japanese Government, they are willing to locate all the bases in Okinawa. I can’t tolerate this over-concentration of U.S. bases.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Onaga calls it an over-concentration, because Okinawa represents less than one percent of Japan’s land. Yet, 64 percent of the Japanese land used for U.S. bases is on the island. Since his election three years ago, he’s tried to block construction in this picturesque, sparsely populated area in the northern part of the island called Henoko Bay, where a new base would replace Futenma Air Station.

    AMY GUTTMAN: So what do you see as the solution?

    TAKESHI ONAGA: I’d like all Japanese to shoulder the burden of hosting U.S. bases. When I speak with people coming from mainland Japan, I say, ‘why don’t you host U.S. military bases in your hometown?’

    AMY GUTTMAN: The U.S. has agreed to reduce its presence in Okinawa by relocating nine thousand Marines to bases in Guam, Australia, Hawaii and other American states. But there’s no fixed timeline for that to happen. The military has returned twelve-thousand acres of land once used for bases and training to the Okinawan government with three-thousand more acres promised. Professor Tomochi sees more risks than rewards in relocating Futenma Air Station.

    You don’t see its strategic value?

    MASA’AKI TOMOCHI: If the U.S. and Japan think that their potential enemy is China, for example, if China launched missile to U.S. military bases in Japan, including Okinawa, you know, it’s useless.

    AMY GUTTMAN: So do you feel more safe or less safe with the military here?

    MASA’AKI TOMOCHI: Less safe. It means we became a target.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Most Okinawans oppose a new airfield in Henoko Bay, but construction has begun, and the Japanese government is footing the bill. Kinjo Takemasa has been among those protesting the project and its environmental impact.

    KINJO TAKEMASA: This is sacred ocean for me. A sanctuary. I became a protester, because the U.S. base destroyed nature.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Businessman Tomoteru Tamari, whose father owned that thriving restaurant, is among the minority of Okinawans who support the new airfield as do local officials, hoping it will revive the area’s fortunes.

    TOMOTERU TAMARI: Some residents who had moved out are starting to move back. There’s hope the population will increase and create a better environment for children, better education.

    AMY GUTTMAN: But Okinawa’s government says the island would be better off with more private development. It says this town, built on land reclaimed from the U.S. military and now home to an entertainment and shopping complex, has an economic impact 100 times greater than the base that was here before. Okinawans would like to replicate that success, turning more prime real estate used by the military into valuable destinations for commerce and tourism like this beach, where the U.S. Marines first landed in 1945.

    The post On Okinawa, many locals want U.S. troops to leave appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Rohingya refugees

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    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Bangladesh accused neighboring Myanmar today of repeatedly violating its airspace with drones and helicopters. But Myanmar denied it, adding it’s been reporting rations to refugees near the border.

    Around 400,000 Muslims known as the Rohingya have fled mostly-Buddhist Myanmar into Bangladesh during the last month. The exodus began when Myanmar’s military crackdown on an armed resistance by the long-persecuted Rohingya minority and burning Rohingya villages.

    A United Nations official called the actions by Myanmar’s military a, quote, textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

    For more on the Rohingya refugee crisis, I’m joined by “Reuters'” Myanmar bureau chief, Antoni Slodkowski, via Skype from Bangkok in neighboring Thailand.

    Antoni, let me start with the scenes that we have witnessed over the past several weeks. We’re talking about hundreds of thousands of humans fleeing one country and going directly to Bangladesh, who don’t really have the capacity to host them.

    ANTONI SLODKOWSKI, MYANMAR BUREAU CHIEF, REUTERS: Yes, indeed. It’s a horrible humanitarian disaster of epic proportions. We’re seeing, as you said, hundreds of thousands of people who have fled Myanmar in a very short period of time, and the humanitarian agencies and the United Nations agencies in neighboring Bangladesh are struggling with the most basic supplies such as water, food, and sanitation. So, this is really a humanitarian disaster of huge proportions.

    SREENIVASAN: What do we know about the burning of these villages that is driving so many of these refugees to cross the border?

    SLODKOWSKI: So, the Myanmar government blames the Rohingya insurgents on the fires, but people who have crossed the border and organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, point the finger at the Myanmar military, saying that it’s the Myanmar military organizing a campaign of arson and intimidation to drive the Rohingya out of Myanmar.

    SREENIVASAN: Now, Aung San Suu Kyi, has chosen not to come to the U.N. General Assembly. Has she made many public statements about what’s going on?

    SLODKOWSKI: Many. She made a public statement in the immediate aftermath, praising the security forces and condemning attacks. And in subsequent appearances, she referred to these attacks as terrorism. But the silence is about to change because Suu Kyi is scheduled to deliver what’s billed as the state of the union address on Tuesday. So, all eyes will be on her during that address.

    SREENIVASAN: All right. Antoni Slodkowski, Myanmar bureau chief of “Reuters” joining us via Skype from Bangkok, Thailand, today — thanks so much.

    The post More than 400,000 Rohingya have fled to Bangladesh appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    federal court

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    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: For the past three years, ISIS has replaced al Qaeda as the primary terrorist concern in the United States and abroad. ISIS operatives or sympathizers have carried out horrific attacks in London, Paris, Brussels, as well as Orlando, Florida and San Bernardino, California. With investigations into possible ISIS suspects all over the country, the FBI and federal prosecutors have brought terrorism charges in 135 cases, with a 100 conviction rate in resolved cases.

    This week, the Center on National Security at Fordham Law School here in New York released a report on those cases, and the center’s director, Karen Greenberg, joins me now to discuss it.

    Let’s start with — you know, we’re talking in the context of another attack in London. What’s different about the attacks that are happening in the United States versus what’s happening in Europe?

    KAREN GREENBERG, DIRECTOR, CENTER ON NATIONAL SECURITY AT FORDHAM LAW SCHOOL: Specifically, what’s different is that we have not seen a lot of attacks the way Europe has in the past many months.

    The second thing is, is that in Europe, many of them have been highly organized attacks involving numerous individuals. Whereas, the plots in this country often don’t amount to attacks. Law enforcement often stops them before they even get to any kind of coherent plot. The attacks that we have seen have sort of been separate from what law enforcement is doing.

    But for the most part, the landscape looks very different in the United States in terms of number, complexity, and other things like that.

    SREENIVASAN: So, a lot of the times, I guess, in the U.S., it’s people that are plotting to and sometimes with the assistance of the government, and a kind of a sting operation?

    GREENBERG: You know, it’s interesting, there’s always been sting operations for terrorism. And what you’ve seen with the ISIS cases is a marked increase in the percentage of cases that the FBI is bringing that are informant cases. So, for example, this year, in 2017, where we’ve only seen 17 indictments so far, I think it’s over 80 percent of them are FBI stings. So, it tells you that they see this as a preventive model that they’re relying upon, but it’s got a lot of controversy around it.

    SREENIVASAN: Is there a profile of the type of person that does this?

    GREENBERG: There is no profile. The most frequent age is 20 years old. They’re usually men. They can — males. They can be from any ethnic background.

    Many of them are looking for their day in the sun. Many are looking for purpose or some kind of mission, but that is not something quantifiable and not something predictable. So, no.

    SREENIVASAN: One of the things that leapt out from the report is what, 78 percent of defendants are U.S. citizens.

    GREENBERG: Yes.

    SREENIVASAN: Sixty percent born in the U.S.

    GREENBERG: Yes, yes. These are Americans. They’re American kids who grew up and have — make a decision at some point in their late adolescence, for the most part, that they — they want to engage in violence or that they are fantasizing about violence.

    And many of them come to ISIS in their sort of wandering. Some of them tried to join militias first. Some of them tried to join the army first. You know, it’s different patterns.

    SREENIVASAN: Does Europe look at U.S. as a model then?

    GREENBERG: I don’t think so.

    Europe is much closer to the fight in the Middle East. The numbers of returning foreign fighters to Europe are, you know, staggering in terms of their numbers. That’s what they’re worried about. The numbers of Muslims in jail and in prison in Europe is very high. And so, prison radicalization is also very important.

    Our sample — not our sample, the 135 cases, very few of them had criminal records. Some of them may have engaged with police in the past, but they are not served time in prison, they have not been indicted. They haven’t been foreign fighters. So, it’s a different — it’s a different context.

    SREENIVASAN: You know, you show that the numbers have actually been decreasing year over year since 2015.

    GREENBERG: Yes.

    SREENIVASAN: What are we to make of that? That does mean that we’re — it’s working, our interventions or punishments, or has strategy shifted?

    GREENBERG: I think law enforcement has sent out a very clear message: don’t go there. Don’t think about it. That’s the first thing.

    The second thing is, during the first year, a number of these individual wanted to go abroad. They wanted to fight. They were foreign fighters.

    And the FBI intervened in a very strong way there, but I don’t think it was just that. I think the news headlines about what happened when these individuals went abroad, I think the amount of brutality and death has made individuals who want to go abroad, you know, much less. And it may be that some of the counter-extremist programs that are active in places like Minneapolis and other major cities around the country, may be working.

    SREENIVASAN: All right. Karen Greenberg from the Center of National Security at Fordham Law School — thanks for joining us.

    GREENBERG: Thank you for having me.

    The post What we know about ISIS-related crimes in the U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Roy Moore

    Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces the media after being removed from office in Montgomery, Alabama, U.S. November 13, 2003. Photo By Bob Ealum/Reuters

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on Saturday picked up the endorsement of Rep. Mo Brooks — who finished third in Alabama’s Republican Senate primary — as he heads to a runoff with Sen. Luther Strange.

    Brooks attended a Moore campaign rally in Huntsville, calling Moore a man of honor. He criticized attack ads that he said were trying to lead Alabama voters like “sheep.”

    “It’s time for us to fight back. This Senate race is down to this. We are in an epic battle between the people of Alabama who put America first and the Washington swamp that hopes to buy our Senate seat and put America last,” Brooks said. He then put on a Moore campaign sticker as he displayed a copy of his absentee ballot showing he had already voted for Moore in the Sept. 26 runoff.

    Moore, the state’s former chief justice who was twice removed from his duties, is in a heated runoff battle with Strange, who has the backing of both President Donald Trump and a super PAC with ties to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell that has put millions of dollars into the race.

    “Voters are going to decide this election based on who they think is the best conservative fighter who can support President Trump’s America-First agenda. President Trump, NRA, and National Right to Life say that choice is Luther Strange. We’re confident voters will agree,” Strange campaign spokesman Cameron Foster said Saturday.

    Moore was the top vote-getter in the August primary, finishing about 25,000 votes ahead of Strange. Brooks, as third-place finisher took nearly 20 percent of the vote.

    The Freedom Caucus member said he was uncertain how much his endorsement will help, since Strange and Moore are both known quantities to Alabama voters. However, Brooks said he thought his role could be to counter attack ads.

    With a little more than a week to go until the runoff, Strange and Moore campaigned on opposite ends of Alabama this weekend, urging their voters to get to the polls in an election that’s projected to have extremely low turnout. Both Strange and Moore have aligned themselves with Trump, who remains deeply popular in the blood red state.

    “I’m honored to have President Trump’s endorsement. I talk to him virtually every week. He’s all in. He wants someone in Washington he can work with. And why does he pick me? Because I’ve been in Washington for the last seven months working tirelessly to promote his agenda,” Strange told a meeting of the Baldwin County Young Republicans at a Fairhope restaurant.

    “All the polls that we’ve seen show that it’s a dead heat, very close within the margin of error one way or the other. The question will be who gets their voters out to the polls,” Strange said.

    At the rally in Huntsville, Moore said the Republican-controlled Senate is failing Trump. Along with the Huntsville rally where Brooks appeared, Moore made stops at a GOP club meeting and churches in north Alabama.

    “The Senate doesn’t want to change. They don’t want to do what President Trump was elected to do. I feel his frustration. I feel his anger in winning the Republican nomination and going to Congress and having Republicans turn their backs on him. We need to do something,” Moore said.

    The post Congressman backs Moore in tight Alabama GOP Senate runoff appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Protesters at U.S.-Mexico border in San Ysidro, California

    Immigrant-rights advocates protest near the U.S.-Mexico border wall over a visit to the border by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Homeland Security John Kelly in San Ysidro, a district of San Diego, California, U.S., April 21, 2017. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California lawmakers approved a “sanctuary state” bill on Saturday that would put new restrictions on interactions between local law enforcement and federal immigration authorities, drawing the ire of federal officials who argued the legislation prioritizes politics over public safety.

    The bill, known as SB-54, is intended to bolster the state’s immigrant protections, which are already among the toughest in the nation.

    The legislation will now be considered by Gov. Jerry Brown, who announced his support after the top state Senate leader agreed to water down the bill and preserve authority for jail and prison officials to cooperate with immigration officers in many cases.

    The legislation is the latest effort by Democratic lawmakers in California, home to an estimated 2.3 million immigrants without legal authorization, to create barriers to President Donald Trump’s campaign pledge to step up deportation efforts. They’ve also approved money for legal assistance and college scholarships for people living illegally in the U.S., and made it harder for businesses and government agencies to disclose people’s immigration status.

    California lawmakers are debating the measure as the U.S. Congress considers offering legal status to young immigrants whose parents brought them into the country illegally or overstayed their visas.

    “This comes as a relief that there are some legislators that are really listening,” said Pablo Alvarado, executive director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network.

    The measure cleared the Legislature with support only from Democrats over the objection of Republicans who say it will protect criminals and make it harder for law-enforcement to keep people safe.

    [Watch Video]

    Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de Leon, D-Los Angeles, introduced SB54 shortly after Trump’s election to cut off most interactions between federal immigration agents and local police and sheriff’s officers. Following sharp dissent from law enforcement officials and Brown’s intervention, it was scaled back significantly.

    The final version prohibits law enforcement officials from asking about a person’s immigration status or participating in immigration enforcement efforts. It also prohibits law enforcement officials from being deputized as immigration agents or arresting people on civil immigration warrants.

    Police and sheriff’s officials, including jail officers, will still be able to work with federal immigration authorities if a person has been convicted of one of some 800 crimes, mostly felonies and misdemeanors that can be charged as felonies. But they’ll be barred from transferring immigrants to federal authorities if their rap sheet includes only minor offenses.

    Immigration advocates generally applauded the latest version, even with de Leon’s concessions. For them, the bill delivers a rare victory during Trump’s presidency, preserving some protections for people in the country illegally and adding others.

    The bill will prevent local police from becoming “cogs in the Trump deportation machine,” de Leon said.

    California police chiefs dropped their opposition but sheriffs, who run jails where the biggest impacts will be felt, remain opposed.

    READ NEXT: Controversy over ‘sanctuary’ campuses is misleading, legal analysts say

    Los Angeles County Sheriff Jim McDonnell, who opposed initial versions of the bill, drawing protests outside his office, said he was pleased the approved legislation would still allow federal immigration agents to have access to the nation’s largest jail system.

    “While not perfect, SB 54 kept intact our ability to maintain partnerships with federal law enforcement officials who help us in the fight against gangs, drugs and human trafficking,” McDonnell said.

    The changes did not mollify U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Acting Director Thomas Homan, who said the bill will deliberately destruct immigration laws and will “make California communities less safe.”

    “By passing this bill, California politicians have chosen to prioritize politics over public safety,” Homan said in a statement. “Disturbingly, the legislation serves to codify a dangerous policy that deliberately obstructs our country’s immigration laws and shelters serious criminal alien offenders.”

    As lawmakers considered the bill Friday another high-profile killing in San Francisco spotlighted the sanctuary issue. Immigration and Customs Enforcement disclosed that two weeks ago, before 18-year-old Erick Garcia-Pineda was a murder suspect, the San Francisco Sheriff’s Department denied a request to hold him until federal authorities could take him into custody for deportation proceedings.

    California’s Democratic political leaders have positioned the nation’s largest state as a foil to Trump and his administration. They’ve passed legislation and filed lawsuits aimed at protecting immigrants, combating climate change and blocking any future attempt to build a registry of Muslims.

    Associated Press writer Michael Balsamo in Los Angeles contributed to this report.

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    Police officers stand in front of barriers forming a cordon around a property being searched after a man was arrested in connection with an explosion on a London Underground train, in Sunbury-on-Thames

    Police officers stand in front of barriers forming a cordon around a property being searched after a man was arrested in connection with an explosion on a London Underground train, in Sunbury-on-Thames, Britain, on Sept. 17, 2017. Photo by Peter Nicholls/Reuters

    LONDON — A senior British minister has renewed criticism of U.S. President Donald Trump for tweeting about the police inquiry into the bombing of a subway train in London.

    First Secretary of State Damian Green told Sky New on Sunday that it was “unhelpful” for Trump to have tweeted about the police investigation. The president tweeted hours after the attack Friday that U.K. police had had the perpetrators in their sights.

    Green says “I would urge anyone from the president of the United States on downwards not to tweet” about activities during an active police terror investigation.

    He stressed that intelligence cooperation between the United States and Britain is continuing and helps makes the British people safer.

    London police say a second man has been arrested in connection with the London subway attack.

    Police said Sunday that a 21-year-old man was arrested late Saturday in Hounslow in west London under the Terrorism Act. He is being questioned at a south London police station but has not been charged or identified.

    Two men are now in custody for possible roles in the bombing attack on a rush-hour subway train Friday that injured 29 people in London. An 18-year-old man was arrested Saturday in Dover, where ferries leave for France.

    The two arrests indicate authorities believe the attack at the Parsons Green station was part of a coordinated plot, not the act of a single person.

    Britain’s terror threat level remains at “critical” — the highest level — meaning that authorities believe another attack is imminent.

    The post UK rebukes Trump again for London subway tweet appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Members of the U.S. Marines raise the U.S. flag over the newly reopened embassy in Havana, Cuba, on Aug. 14. The American flag was raised for the first time in 54 years, symbolically ushering in an era of renewed diplomatic relations between the two Cold War-era foes. Photo by Pablo Martinez Monsivais/Pool via Reuters

    NEW YORK — The Trump administration is considering closing down the recently reopened U.S. Embassy in Havana following a string of unexplained incidents harming the health of American diplomats in Cuba, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday.

    Tillerson’s comments were the strongest indication to date that the United States might mount a major diplomatic response, potentially jeopardizing the historic restart of relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The two former foes reopened embassies in Washington and Havana in 2015 after roughly a half-century of estrangement.

    “We have it under evaluation,” Tillerson said of a possible embassy closure. “It’s a very serious issue with respect to the harm that certain individuals have suffered. We’ve brought some of those people home. It’s under review.”

    Of the 21 medically confirmed U.S. victims, some have permanent hearing loss or concussions, while others suffered nausea, headaches and ear-ringing. Some are struggling with concentration or common word recall, The Associated Press has reported.

    Some victims felt vibrations or heard loud sounds mysteriously audible in only parts of rooms, leading investigators to consider a potential “sonic attack.” Others heard nothing but later developed symptoms.

    Tillerson once called the events “health attacks,” but the State Department has since used the term “incidents” while emphasizing the U.S. still doesn’t know what has occurred. Cuba has denied any involvement or responsibility but stressed it’s eager to help the U.S. resolve the matter.

    The U.S. has said the tally of Americans affected could grow as more cases are potentially detected.

    The last reported incident was on Aug. 21, according to a U.S. official briefed on the matter. The official wasn’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and requested anonymity.

    Tillerson spoke on CBS’ “Face the Nation” as world leaders and top diplomats descended on New York for annual U.N. General Assembly meetings. President Donald Trump will give his first speech on the major global platform this week.

    Cuba is also represented at the U.N., but it’s not expected Trump will meet with any Cuban leaders or officials during his visit.

    The U.S. hasn’t identified either a culprit or a device. Investigators have explored the possibility of sonic waves, an electromagnetic weapon, or an advanced spying operation gone awry, U.S. officials briefed on the probe told the AP. The U.S. hasn’t ruled out that a third country or a rogue faction of Cuba’s security services might be involved.

    In Washington, lawmakers in Congress have been raising alarm over the incidents, with some calling for the embassy to be closed. On Friday, five Republican senators wrote Tillerson urging him to not only shutter the embassy, but also kick all Cuban diplomats out of the United States — a move with dramatic diplomatic implications

    “Cuba’s neglect of its duty to protect our diplomats and their families cannot go unchallenged,” said the lawmakers, who included Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, a prominent Cuban-American, and the No. 2 Senate Republican, John Cornyn of Texas.

    The incidents have frightened Havana’s tight-knit diplomatic community, raising concerns about the potential scope. At least one other country, France, has tested embassy staff for potential sonic-induced injuries, the AP has reported.

    The post Top U.S. diplomat says closing Embassy in Cuba ‘under review’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency

    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. Photo by KCNA via Reuters0

    SOMERSET, N.J. — Top advisers to President Donald Trump on Sunday warned North Korea to give up its missile and nuclear weapons programs and to quit making threats against the U.S. and its allies or face destruction.

    The warnings came a day after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un vowed to continue the weapons programs, saying his country is nearing its goal of “equilibrium” in military force with the United States. They also come as world leaders begin arriving in New York for the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly this week, where the topic of North Korea will be high on the agenda.

    Trump will be making his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, his biggest moment on the world stage since January’s inauguration. He is scheduled to address the world body, which he has criticized as weak and incompetent, on Tuesday.

    Trump tweeted Sunday that he and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed North Korea during their latest telephone conversation on Saturday. Trump spoke with Moon from his New Jersey golf club, where aides said he spent the weekend preparing for his U.N. debut.

    U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said Kim is “going to have to give up his nuclear weapons because the president has said he’s not going to tolerate this regime threatening the United States and our citizens with a nuclear weapon.”

    Asked if that meant Trump would launch a military strike, McMaster said “he’s been very clear about that, that all options are on the table.”

    [Watch Video]

    Kim has threatened Guam, a U.S. territory in the Pacific, and has fired two missiles over Japan, a U.S. ally in Asia, including one missile that was launched on Friday. North Korea also recently tested its most powerful bomb.

    The U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously twice in recent weeks to tighten economic sanctions on North Korea, including targeting shipments of oil and other fuel used in missile testing. U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said North Korea was starting to “feel the pinch.”

    But she also warned of a tougher U.S. response in the future, saying the Security Council has “pretty much exhausted” all of its options and that she would be happy to turn the matter over to Defense Secretary Jim Mattis “because he has plenty of military options.”

    Mattis said earlier this month, after Kim tested a hydrogen bomb, that the U.S. will answer any threat from the North with a “massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming.”

    Trump has threatened to rain “fire and fury” on North Korea. Haley said that wasn’t an empty threat from the president but, when asked, she declined to describe the president’s intentions.

    “If North Korea keeps on with this reckless behavior, if the United States has to defend itself or defend its allies in any way, North Korea will be destroyed and we all know that and none of us want that,” Haley said. “None of us want war. But we also have to look at the fact that you are dealing with someone who is being reckless, irresponsible and is continuing to give threats not only to the United States, but to all their allies, so something is going to have to be done.”

    In Sunday’s tweet, Trump said he asked Moon about “Rocket Man” — an apparent reference to Kim. Trump also tweeted that long lines for gas are forming in North Korea and called it “too bad.”

    The White House said after Trump’s tweet that he and Moon are committed to strengthening deterrence and defense capabilities, and maximizing economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea.

    Trump plans to sit down with Moon and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during the U.N. General Assembly session this week.

    Haley spoke on CNN’s “State of the Union” and McMaster appeared on ABC’s “This Week.”

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    aidindying

    Six states have aid-in-dying laws. But doctors and advocates say not all health care providers are willing to assist patients in dying. Photo by Flickr user Juan Munévar

    For tax payments, “nudges” have helped municipalities increase revenues and decrease collection-related costs. For energy consumption, “nudges” have helped homeowners save money and utilities preserve capacity.

    But in health care, the technique has been slower to catch on.

    First described by the pioneering economists Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein (who is also a legal scholar), a “nudge” is a way of framing a set of choices to essentially steer people toward a particular option without shutting out other options.

    Dr. Scott Halpern, a critical care physician at University of Pennsylvania who studies the ethics and effectiveness of nudges in health care, believes the technique can play a greater role in improving the patient experience. This is especially true, he said, for those living with serious illnesses, and who often struggle to make sound decisions at times of great emotional and physical complexity.

    Halpern, who is founding director of Penn’s Palliative and Advanced Illness Research Center, spoke with STAT recently by phone, from his office in Philadelphia. This conversation has been condensed and edited.

    Can you give us an example of how a nudge might function in your work?

    As med students, we are all taught it is important to have conversations about whether patients wanted a DNR (do not resuscitate) order. We’re told that the way to do that is to be neutral – to say something like, “In this situation, your loved one’s heart might stop. If so, would he want us to do chest compressions?” But that places an incredible burden on family members to feel like they have to know exactly what their loved one would want in this specific situation — something they rarely know with confidence. And in fact this isn’t all that neutral anyway — to say no to chest compressions requires giving up something, which is always hard to do.

    READ NEXT: 5 ways to improve care at the end of life

    That strikes me as problematic in cases where chest compressions would almost certainly do more harm than good. So as I developed more experience, I became comfortable saying, “In this situation your loved one’s heart may stop. If it did, we would not routinely do chest compressions, because they would be unlikely to work. Does this seem reasonable?” This way, I’ve set a default option, but I’ve not removed any options. I’ve now used this language several hundred times with the families of patients who were most certainly going to die, and only once has a family chosen CPR. Indeed, several families have thanked me for helping them understand what the norms are.

    How commonly are these approaches used?

    These ideas are still rarely considered in end-of-life setting, and yet that may be the space where they’re most powerful.

    Why would that be?

    Because most people only make end-of-life decisions once, and they don’t get feedback about what the alternatives might’ve felt like. We all may have deep-seated preferences about whether we prefer vanilla or chocolate ice cream, because we’ve made that choice hundreds of times and know what each tastes like. But it’s reasonable to posit that patients and family members and even clinicians don’t have deep-seated preferences about end-of-life choices because there’s no way they can be equipped with the same lived experiences. And choices about which we don’t have deep underlying preferences are exactly the ones on which nudges are likely to exert their greatest effects.

    Where else in the end-of-life context might be fertile ground for nudges?

    Clinicians frequently offer seriously ill patients the option of completing an advance directive, to help establish their goals of care. Most patients end up not doing so, because inertia gets in the way. But framing can help a lot.

    The normal way of motivating patients to complete advance directives is by extoling the virtue of being able to control your future care. But by instead helping patients see that by completing an advance directive they’ll reduce decision-making burdens for their loved ones, many more patients will end up doing it because that’s of such great importance to people.

    This approach obviously puts more of an onus on clinicians to develop a new skill set, at a time when a lot of them already feel like they’re barely treading water.

    It presents a huge responsibility for clinicians, because they’re now in the position of heavily influencing the choices their patients and family members will make. But clinicians already have that responsibility, whether or not they choose to recognize it or not, because there’s always an option that will be listed first, or that exists as the default. So the task for the conscientious clinician isn’t to avoid influencing choices, but rather to avoid restricting choices. And better to influence choice mindfully in a way that likely promotes good outcomes for your patients than to continue doing so haphazardly.

    READ NEXT: A lesson on life’s end: How one college class is rethinking doctor training

    At the same time, some clinicians worry about this possibly representing a return to the old paternalistic approach of medicine.

    Right. Clinicians appropriately wonder if something unethical is going on here. If nudges influence choice, how can we justify it? Traditionally, nudges have been justified when they help promote the things people actually want deep down. But as we’ve discussed, in the end-of-life space, it’s hard for patients to know what exact types of medical care will best help them achieve their goals. In such cases, clinicians should rely on a standard that they have historically relied on anyway: the “best interests” standard, where, absent compelling evidence about what a patient would truly want, we should act in a way that we believe — or know, based on evidence — would promote their best interests.

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on Sept. 14, 2017. Find the original story here.

    The post End-of-life decisions can be difficult. This doctor thinks ‘nudges’ can help appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    SnowdenHologram

    Members of activist group The Illuminator projected an image of Edward Snowden onto ash in a Brooklyn park. Photo courtesy of Emily Andersen/The Illuminator

    For about 10 minutes, in a Brooklyn park on a spring night, an image of Edward Snowden’s face hung in the air.

    The activists behind the spectacle, a group called The Illuminator, had come to the park on April 6, 2015, to see a statue of Snowden that another group had illegally erected in the park in honor of the controversial National Security Agency whistleblower. But by the time they arrived, city parks employees had removed it.

    So they got to work and created a projection to replace the statue with an eerie sight: Snowden’s face, made of light and beamed, ghostlike, onto a cloud of ash.

    “We thought it would be an interesting way to intervene … and keep the conversation about it going,” said Emily Andersen, a member of The Illuminator.

    Projections have long been used for social commentary, especially in theater — but in recent years, backed by cheaper technology and buoyed by protests against President Donald Trump’s administration, more artists than ever have taken them to the streets. The result is an attention-grabbing method of protest, one that has raised questions about legality even as it brings what activists call new opportunities for conversation.

    Projection artists take to the streets

    The Illuminator — a group of activist artists and filmmakers — formed alongside the Occupy Wall Street movement in 2011, when artist Mark Read created a projection reading, “99%,” and displayed it on the side of the Verizon building in New York City.

    For that display, a single mother living in a nearby housing project allowed Read to mount a projector in her home. But for subsequent demonstrations, The Illuminator outfitted a van with a projector and a 130-pound boat battery to power it.

    Andersen said the projections mark a new way to bring protest messages to the public in an accessible way. “I think it’s important to keep trying new tactics, to keep it interesting,” Andersen said.

    The use of light “as an alternative to graffiti” only became possible recently, said Glenn Shrum, assistant professor of lighting design at the New School. “As recently as three and four years ago, in order to have a projector that had enough light output … you were talking about a $10,000 piece of lighting equipment,” Shrum said. “That’s not the case anymore.”

    Wendall Harrington, who leads Yale’s graduate program in projection design, the only program of its kind in the country, said students began talking with her about using projections for this purpose a few years ago, and that she found the idea exciting. A group at Yale researched how to outfit a van with projection equipment and a power source, but the idea never materialized, she said.

    The type of projector and power required to mount a projection outdoors can vary, based on the size of the building and the image being projected. But in general, “we’re talking about something like a 7000-lumen projector,” Harrington said. “The power draw for that is not extreme. You can literally plug it into the charger port on a car … the simplicity of it is kind of beautiful.”

    Photo by Liz Gorman

    The words “We Are All Responsible to Stand Up and End White Supremacy” are projected on the side of Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., in a piece by artist Robin Bell. Photo by Liz Gorman

    And projection mapping software, which transforms designs to fit them to a physical space, has improved, said Robin Bell, an artist based in Washington, D.C., who has projected protest messages for more than a decade. Recently, he projected the message “WE ARE ALL RESPONSIBLE TO STAND UP AND END WHITE SUPREMACY” on the side of the Trump International Hotel, following a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and a response by the president that critics called insufficient.

    READ NEXT: This projection artist is using the Trump International Hotel to protest the president

    “It creates these moments in real time, on the street, where people will see it and you’ll get a real honest feedback,” Bell said. A protest message, shown in a large-scale projection, “transforms space, and it creates a kind of temporary venue to have these conversations,” he said.

    resist gif

    Photographer Ashton Worthington and artist George Del Barrio created this projection, which reads “RESIST” followed by a series of other words and poems and is displayed on 9th Street in Brooklyn, New York. Gif by Corinne Segal and Lisa Overton

    The ‘perfect storm’ of projection art

    Projection art is centuries old. Some of the earliest projectors, “magic lanterns,” consisted of a device that used a series of reflectors to project an image from a glass slide to a surface. From the 17th century until the development of electricity, magic lanterns were lit by oil or gas lamps.

    Various artists, photographers and scientists experimented with projected media throughout the 18th and 19th centuries. But in the early 20th century and following World War I, the rise of expressionism and related movements led some to experiment with projections more than ever before, Harrington said.

    This period was “a perfect storm of necessity and invention,” she said. “You had to be inventive because you didn’t have everything that you wanted, and there was a different way of looking at the world.”

    In the leftist theater circles of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, artists like Bertolt Brecht and Erwin Piscator developed this work as they pioneered the epic theater movement. In the mid-1920s, Piscator created a set for the play “Fahnen (Flags),” which followed the story of anarchists in Chicago who were executed after a bombing took place at a labor demonstration in 1886. Actor and director Judith Malina described the design in her book “The Piscator Notebook”:

    Piscator used a complicated divided set on a revolving stage with a treadmill street running through it, and images of the characters and documentary material projected on either side of the stage. A narrator spoke the prologue, and a balladeer commented in song. In this way Piscator intended “to connect the stage and the auditorium.”

    His peer, Brecht, also used projections in his work, often to show a title or other explanatory information about a scene. In one 1935 production of “Mother Courage and Her Children,” the late artist and Wake Forest University professor Darwin Reid Payne wrote, Brecht’s projections showed “illustrations and information” about the characters, such as “a list of food prices in Mother’s untutored hand.”

    In the mid-20th century, artists continued to develop projection art for a series of World’s Fairs. For the 1958 World’s Fair in Brussels, Swiss scenographer Josef Svoboda created “Polyekran,” a projection piece that used a series of screens showing images that interplayed with each other over the course of a 10-minute performance.

    At that World’s Fair in 1964, the IBM Pavilion, designed by Charles Eames and Eero Saarinen Associates, also heavily featured projections. Inside the pavilion, a movie entitled “THINK” played on 22 screens alongside a live host.

    As Svoboda continued to experiment with projections in the Lanterna Magicka theater in Prague, Czechoslovakia, throughout the 1960s and 70s, scenic artists in the U.S. began to incorporate the technology into their designs. Meanwhile, other artists were looking at ways to use projections in a public setting.

    Jenny Holzer

    A light projection by Jenny Holzer appears on the Elmer Holmes Bobst Library at New York University in New York City in “For the City,” (2005). The text consisted of U.S. government documents. Presented by Creative Time / © 2005 Jenny Holzer. Photo by Attilio Maranzano

    Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer created her “Truisms” series in the 1970s, printing a series of opinions and aphorisms on paper and posting them around New York City in an echo of advertising techniques. In 1982, “Truisms” took a new, electronic form as it appeared on the Spectacolor sign in Times Square. It was the precursor to her later, explicitly political work, projecting declassified government documents from the Iraq War onto various locations in New York City in 2005.

    attie

    Almstadtstrasse 5 (formerly Grenadierstrasse 24): Slide projection of former Jewish resident and hat shop, ca. 1930, Berlin, On-location installation and 33″X40″ chromogenic photograph, Shimon Attie, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    In 1992, artist Shimon Attie displayed projections on Berlin’s former Jewish quarter that showed photographs of “long-destroyed Jewish community life,” he wrote in “Art Journal” in 2003. The neighborhood later became a “chic quarter” that was ripe for gentrification, where the history of the neighborhood’s Jewish residents had fallen out of focus as expensive development took over.

    Attie described the work:

    The Writing on the Wall project was realized in Berlin’s former Jewish quarter, the Scheunenvierrrtel, located in the eastern part of the city, close to the Alexanderplatz. At the heart of Berlin, the Scheunenviertel was a center for eastern European Jewish immigrants from the turn of the century. The few historical photographs that remained after the Holocaust reflect the world of the Jewish working class rather than that of the more affluent and assimilated German Jews who lived mostly in the western part of the city.

    shimon attie

    Almstadtstrasse 43 (formerly Grenadierstrasse 7): A slide projection shows a former Hebrew bookstore in 1930 in Berlin, 1992. On-location installation and 33″X40″ chromogenic photograph, Shimon Attie, courtesy of Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

    Are projection protests legal?

    In recent years, some protests have raised questions about the legality of creating a light-based message or image on someone else’s property.

    On Sept. 9, 2016, police arrested three members of The Illuminator after they projected “KOCH = CLIMATE CHAOS” onto the exterior of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Met had recently named its redesigned plaza the David H. Koch Plaza.

    They were charged with “unlawful posting of advertisements,” using a New York law that states that anyone who “posts, paints or otherwise affixes to the property of another person any advertisement, poster, notice or other matter designed to benefit a person other than the owner of the property,” who doesn’t have the right to or “any reasonable ground to believe that he has such right,” is in violation of the law.

    Members of The Illuminator create a projection of Edward Snowden for a Brooklyn Park. Photo courtesy of Emily Andersen/The Illuminator

    Members of The Illuminator create a projection of Edward Snowden for a Brooklyn Park. Photo courtesy of Emily Andersen/The Illuminator

    The charges against The Illuminator’s members were dismissed for legal insufficiency, and they sued the NYPD on various constitutional grounds for their arrest. In an order addressing a motion to dismiss in that case, the court noted that the statue on unlawful advertising was “intended to cover only the physical placement of tangible objects or substances,” and did not cover the use of light. The city ultimately settled for $4,500.

    Julia Friedman, writing for art news website Hyperallergic in 2014, criticized the city for what she called the “selective enforcement” of this law to target protesters. “The city does very little to enforce the removal of illegal corporate and commercial signs and posters, choosing instead to fund plainclothes policemen to arrest graffiti artists and, in the case of The Illuminator arrests, protestors,” she wrote. The New York Police Department did not respond to a request for comment.

    The charge has not been used against other projection artists since then, said Sam Cohen, an attorney who represented members of The Illuminator in the case.

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    Illinois state capitol

    Fed-up and frustrated Illinois legislators are heading for the exits. Photo courtesy of Flickr user J. Stephen Conn

    CHICAGO — Illinois residents aren’t the only ones throwing up their hands at the gridlock and increasingly polarized politics that have defined state government in recent years. More and more, fed-up and frustrated Illinois legislators are heading for the exits.

    More than two-dozen legislators — about 15 percent of the General Assembly — have either resigned months into the current session or said they won’t seek re-election. They are Democrats and Republicans, rank-and-file moderates and those in leadership posts, including House Majority Leader Barbara Flynn Currie, who said last week that she’s ending her nearly 40-year legislative career when her term expires.

    It’s an exodus that longtime Statehouse observers say is unusual not just for the high number of lawmakers leaving, but for the reasons many legislators are giving: frustration with not being able to reach compromises, the stress of the two-year budget impasse that only recently ended, year-round campaigning and a public that’s grown more hostile and vocal.

    “There is a toxic environment. People seem to not be able to get along, even outside of the Capitol,” said retiring Republican state Rep. Steve Andersson. “That’s not a good environment, and that’s not an environment I want to be a part of.”

    Andersson received hate mail and even a death threat after he and about a dozen other Republicans broke with GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner to support a deal to end the budget stalemate that included an income tax increase. He also lost his position as the GOP’s House floor leader. A short time later, he announced he isn’t running again.

    Turnover in government isn’t new. Nor are politics that many may find distasteful — particularly in Illinois. Several governors have gone to prison, and multiple public-opinion polls have found Illinois residents are especially distrustful of their government.

    But what’s happened in recent years has been different, as a standoff dragged on between Rauner — a multimillionaire former businessman — and longtime Democratic legislative leaders, namely House Speaker Michael Madigan.

    With the two sides unable to agree on a budget, social service agencies and universities suffered, while the state racked up billions in unpaid bills. The 2016 legislative elections featured several bruising contests, including primary challenges bankrolled largely by Rauner and his wealthy friends, and labor unions determined to stop his anti-union agenda.

    As the fights stretched into 2017, more and more lawmakers started issuing resignation letters.

    Some are running for other offices — from water reclamation district commissioner to governor — though many say the job isn’t fun anymore, said Mike Lawrence, who has worked in and around state government for 50 years.

    “My sense is we’ve never seen anything quite like this,” Lawrence said. “I worry it’s becoming a trend.”

    Many of those calling it quits are Republicans like Andersson who helped Democrats override Rauner’s veto of the budget deal. They have either grown weary or see a primary challenge coming from those angered by the tax hike.

    In his resignation letter, GOP state Rep. Chad Hays said “dislike and distrust” between Rauner and Madigan “has paralyzed government in Illinois.”

    “Ego, money and power eclipse the desire of well-meaning and honest public servants,” Hays wrote. “Blame, press conferences and talking points have replaced governing. Voices of moderation and reason are increasingly being elbowed out by well financed fringe elements.”

    Democrats, too, say they’ve been worn down. State Rep. Elaine Nekritz, who is voluntarily ending her 14-year legislative career, said she cried multiple times while talking to constituents hurt by the budget crisis.

    State Rep. Carol Sente said solving problems became tougher to do as the dynamics of the General Assembly changed, with more legislators from the far right or left. Many lawmakers blame this on gerrymandering, in which political districts are drawn up to be safely Democratic or Republican.

    Sente also tired of the constant campaigning.

    “For those of us in competitive districts with races every two years, to spend five solid months every other year campaigning, working your butt off and eating drive-through meals, once you win that battle, you want to make a difference, to legislate, compromise and fix problems,” Sente said.

    “The impasse and the partisanship are cumulative and it adds up. So over time, I think there is a threshold for everyone when they say, ‘I need a break or I’m done.'”

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    MEGAN THOMPSON, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: The United Nations General Assembly, the annual meeting of the leaders of the U.N.’s 193-member states, begins tomorrow in New York. On Tuesday, President Trump will deliver his first speech at the U.N., and in the past, he’s accused it of weakness and incompetence and threatened to cut U.S. funding.

    To discuss what to expect, I’m joined by “Washington Post” White House correspondent David Nakamura.

    So, President Trump, this is his debut at the U.N. and as we mentioned, he has never been a huge fan.

    Can you talk about what his administration has been doing to kind of approach this meeting and what we think he might say on Tuesday?

    DAVID NAKAMURA, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, WASHINGTON POST: Sure, Megan.

    You know, I was at the White House the other day, when his top advisors, including U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, and H.R. McMaster, the national security advisor, gave sort of a briefing. And President Trump as you said, has not really been a fan of some of these international institutions, such as NATO and the U.N. and said they’ve not lived up to their billing and that they’re costing the U.S. too much in resources and relying too much on the United States to lead the way.

    But what’s interesting is that both of his aides said they really expect the United States and the administration to show a leadership role here on things ranging from North Korea’s nuclear threat, the Iran nuclear deal, terrorism and even human rights, which President Trump has not talked about a lot.

    But I think what’s interesting is if you look back to last year, President Obama in his final address really said the world was at sort of point where it had to make a choice between sort of continuing and sort of the multilateral engagement that marked the post-World War II, or retreating, President Trump said, to tribalism and building walls. And, of course, we had a president in President Trump who campaigned on building a wall, and we don’t know whether he’ll actually get that done.

    But the question is sort of a tone. Will Trump sort of paint a dark picture of the world in the way he’s talked about it in the past, or will he sort of reach out and sort of talk about the merits of this kind of world body?

    Nikki Haley said, the president, she’s seen the speech, we haven’t seen it, but that he said the president slaps the right people and he hugs the right people. In the end, the U.S. comes out stronger.

    THOMPSON: OK. Let’s talk about some of the specific issues. So, North Korea, obviously, is a big one. North Korea keeps testing missiles and nuclear weapons despite tougher U.N. sanctions. How do we think that might play out?

    NAKAMURA: It’s really interesting. Nikki Haley has really talked about the process at the U.N. She’s sort of dismissive, said they were worried about, you know, crossing — dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s on — in comments and periods on resolutions that were somewhat toothless. But these votes to enact broad sanctions on oil exports from — to North Korea and cuts on North Korea exports is really going to pinch Pyongyang but no one expects that to necessarily change the calculus for Kim Jong-un. And I think President Trump himself has said he doesn’t necessarily know how much these sanctions will do.

    So, I think what you’ll likely to hear from the president is continued tough talk. You know, he’s talked about military options being on the table and Nikki Haley said that as well, and I think the question is what would that mean? And what else would it take for there to be some direct engagement with the regime in the North?

    THOMPSON: What else? What else should we be looking for this week?

    NAKAMURA: On Iran, the president’s meeting on Monday with Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel, who’s certainly very vocal against this Iran nuclear deal. The administration has sent signals that they don’t think that the Iranian regime is complying with the spirit of that deal and suggested maybe that they would seek to maybe potentially enact more sanctions on Iran, which could unravel that deal.

    There’s a deadline in about a month for the administration to make a call whether Iran is complying. There’s a lot of stake here for the president.

    THOMPSON: David Nakamura of “The Washington Post”, thank you so much for joining us.

    NAKAMURA: Sure. Thanks. Anytime.

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    MEGAN THOMPSON, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: The special counsel investigating Russian meddling in last year’s presidential election has obtained, through a search warrant, records of Russia-linked ads posted on Facebook, some by inauthentic profiles. That disclosure first reported by “The Wall Street Journal” and CNN this weekend follows a story published Thursday by “ProPublica” that revealed how Facebook advertisers could target ads specifically at anti-Semitic users.

    Yesterday, NewsHour Weekend’s Hari Sreenivasan spoke with one of the authors of that article, “ProPublica” reporter Julia Angwin.

    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Most people don’t buy ads. How does ad buying work on Facebook?

    JULIA ANGWIN, REPORTER, PROBUBLICA: So, the way it works is you go in and you say, I want to buy an ad and they offer you all sorts of options. You can do it by age, and by the city, and you can even do it by the zip code. You can type in some thoughts, like I want people who listen to Bon Jovi or I want people who are wearing nose rings, or whatever you were interested in, they will tell you how many people they think they have like that in their system.

    SREENIVASAN: So, what did you guys do?

    ANGWIN: Somebody gave us a tip that there was a category called Jew haters. So, we went in and we type “Jew hater” and there are like, cool, there’s 2,200 of them you can target, and we thought, really? So, we bought an ad, because we thought maybe there would be an approval process like where it wouldn’t go through, but then it went through. Then we thought maybe the bugs, so we bought another on, and it went through. And we thought maybe it was really — maybe that was crazy, so we bought a third one just to be sure which went through, and then we decided that they did have an ad category called Jew hater.

    SREENIVASAN: You know, there is a screen that you have on your story, as you’re doing this, you see all these other sort of almost suggested categories.

    ANGWIN: Right. So, when you put in Jew space H, it suggests for you Jew hater, how to burn Jews, why Jews were in the world, and it suggested other things that were related. Their top suggestion was the Second Amendment which would be related.

    SREENIVASAN: Are these phrases or categories that people have assigned to themselves or?

    ANGWIN: Yes. It seems as though what happened here is these were described as fields of study and so, it seems as though people had put in their profile their field of study was these things. Everything you write in your profile where you fill out your interest, your movies, whatever, it just they just automatically turn it into an ad targeting category.

    SREENIVASAN: Companies in the Silicon Valley often said, listen, it’s not our job to censor. But that’s not necessarily Facebook said when you confronted them with this.

    ANGWIN: Yes. You know, they could have actually said, look, let and let live. But they actually didn’t. They took it down. They took down the categories that we mentioned, but then they also took down all self-identified categories. They said, you know, we need to figure out how we can sift through these to make sure there isn’t other stuff in here.

    SREENIVASAN: So, how is this even fixable? I mean, there’s no way that humans can sit there and look at every type of ad that every company across Facebook wants to buy.

    ANGWIN: It’s a big data problem for sure. But, you know, what’s interesting, you think about the big data problems Facebook has solved defectively, automatic catching of every nipple, automatic photo-tagging of all your friends’ faces, right? So, I feel like, I have faith if they tried, they could also figure out the big data algorithm solution to this one and just not sure that they had tried.

    SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk a little bit about the money at stake here. I mean, even if they shut the spigot off just for a few days or few weeks until they solve this problem, this is — this is serious money.

    ANGWIN: Yes. I mean, Facebook, they have the most, you know, advertising dollars of anybody online. And that’s because of this collection of all these teeny tiny micro-segments. And so, when you add up all their little micro-segments, it’s going to be significant revenues, whether it’s 1 percent or 2 percent of their revenues. It’s still big numbers.

    SREENIVASAN: Julia Angwin from “ProPublica”, thanks so much you for joining us.

    ANGWIN: It’s great to be here.

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    MEGAN THOMPSON: This summer, when President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the 2015 Paris climate accord — a voluntary pact to cut emissions of gases that cause global warming — some opposition came from what is perhaps a surprising place: big business.

    In response, hundreds of large U.S. companies publicly pledged to reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and increase energy efficiency. In tonight’s signature segment, NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Stephanie Sy reports on some big companies leading the way. This story is part of our ongoing series “Peril and Promise: The Challenge of Climate Change.”

    STEPHANIE SY: With sprawling supercenters and close to twelve thousand stores worldwide, Wal-Mart, may be best known for low prices that local stores can’t match. Now, the planet’s number one company, by revenue, wants to be known as a leader in the fight against climate change.

    KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN, CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER, WAL-MART: At Wal-Mart, Sustainability really is core to our mission.

    STEPHANIE SY: Kathleen McLaughlin is Wal-Mart’s Chief Sustainability Officer, she’s charged with selling Wal-Mart’s climate vision to shareholders.

    KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN: It’s critical for business. It’s important for customers and for communities. We’re seeing effects already in things like supply security of different food commodities.

    STEPHANIE SY: Wal-Mart’s response to climate change began more than a decade ago. In 2005, then CEO Lee Scott pledged to curb Wal-Mart’s emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, which cause the atmosphere to trap heat and warm the earth.

    Scott started moving the company toward clean power sources like wind and solar, with a goal of eventually getting 100 percent of its energy from renewables.

    KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN: It was a realization about capability and about scale and about how we can use that for good. Wal-Mart has unique assets as a retailer, just given the reach that we have across categories, the reach we have across countries and across suppliers, and the recognition that we could bring those capabilities to bear on the most pressing social and environmental issues that our customers face in ways that are really relevant for business..

    STEPHANIE SY: Wal-Mart, headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, began by improving the fuel efficiency of its vast fleet of trucks that deliver goods to its stores.

    ERIC BENGE, WAL-MART: So Mike, when you’re ready, we’ll crank it up…

    STEPHANIE SY: Using a simulator, Wal-Mart retrains its truck drivers on gear-shifting to increase their fuel savings. Operators can have up to a 30 percent impact on fuel efficiency based on how they drive, and their job performance is judged accordingly.

    The company says, improved driving and upgraded trucks have saved the retailer nearly $1 billion since 2005.

    MARK VANDERHELM, WAL-MART: Wal-Mart has been the driver of a lot of new technologies in the energy efficiency space.

    STEPHANIE SY: Mark Vanderhelm is Wal-Mart’s Vice President of Energy.

    Wal-Mart has saved energy and money in its store operations by demanding more efficient equipment from vendors that provide its lighting, refrigeration, and heating and cooling systems.

    In its push for more renewable energy, the company has installed solar panels on the rooftops of 364 Wal-Mart and Sam’s Clubs. That only about eight percent of all its stores in the U.S., but the panels make Wal-Mart the nation’s second biggest commercial generator of solar power.

    KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN: The biggest challenge in the U.S. is making it economic. We would love to see more availability of renewable energy sources that is at price parity with other sources.

    STEPHANIE SY: In other words, Wal-Mart’s ambitious energy goals aim also to save money.

    So, in its home base of Arkansas, where a lack of state government incentives for renewables make conventional fossil fuel power cheaper, you won’t see any solar panels on the local Wal-Mart stores.

    While the company has pledged to be 100 percent powered by renewables, it hasn’t said when, and right now only 17 percent of Wal-Mart’s domestic power comes from renewable sources.

    To provide guidance in achieving its climate change goals, Wal-Mart has partnered with the Environmental Defense Fund, or EDF. Fred Krupp is the group’s president.

    Is Wal-Mart doing enough?

    FRED KRUPP, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND: The scale of Wal-Mart is hard to wrap your head around. They have 220 million people shopping there every week. In the United States, they sell about a third of all the food that we buy at retail stores. They can always do more. But what they have shown so far is a serious commitment, and the journey is an ongoing one of improvement.

    STEPHANIE SY: Jenny Ahlen is an EDF supply chain specialist based in Bentonville, Arkansas.

    JENNY AHLEN, ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND: The things that we buy and consume and how they are made and used and disposed of have a huge impact on the planet. So grocery is contributing half of all greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. retail sector. And that’s due to both the volume, but also the high level of greenhouse gas impacts embedded in that food.

    STEPHANIE SY: And Wal-Mart is the largest grocer in the world.

    JENNY AHLEN: They are.

    STEPHANIE SY: So this is a hot spot.

    Wal-Mart’s mission has grown to not only reduce its own stores’ impact on climate change, but to compel its tens of thousands of suppliers to transform their practices.

    At Wal-Mart’s urging, EDF helped pork producer Smithfield to optimize fertilizer use on crops used to feed its pigs, reducing the amount of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide released into the atmosphere.

    The reductions by Smithfield and other suppliers contributed to Wal-Mart taking credit for meeting a goal, in 2015, of reducing emissions by 20 million metric tons, the equivalent of taking nearly four million cars off the road for a year.

    Wal-Mart’s newest initiative is called “Project Gigaton,” which aims to persuade suppliers to remove 50 times more greenhouse gases — or one billion metric tons — by 2030, about the same amount of pollution as Germany emits in a year.

    Wal-Mart, known for squeezing suppliers to keep prices low, is putting a green squeeze on them now, though one that’s voluntary.

    FRED KRUPP: It sends a message to their 100,000 suppliers all around the world: If you want your products on our shelves, cut your pollution.

    STEPHANIE SY: Ninety percent of Wal-Mart’s overall greenhouse gas impact comes from its supply chain, and dozens of its major suppliers have already signed on to project gigaton. Wal-Mart hopes that encouraging its suppliers to cut emissions will have a multiplier effect.

    One of those participating suppliers was already forging its own path to sustainability.

    The candy maker Mars, Inc, best known for M&M’s and Snickers bars, has set an aggressive target of using “zero carbon” in its operations by 2040, eliminating all greenhouse gas emissions.

    BARRY PARKIN, MARS, INC. CHIEF SUSTAINABILITY OFFICER: Field is actually 18 acres, so it’s pretty big…

    STEPHANIE SY: Barry Parkin, Mars’s Chief Sustainability Officer, showed us the vast solar farm in New Jersey the company built eight years ago.

    It now provides about five percent of the power used by the Mars chocolate factory in nearby Hackettstown, which churns out half of the M&M’s sold in the U.S.Parkin says the falling price of renewable energy technology, like solar, makes the investments pay off.

    BARRY PARKIN: We’ve done this at cost parity or better. In some cases, our costs are now lower as a result of using renewable energy.

    STEPHANIE SY:So we’re not going to see the price of M&M’s skyrocketing because Mars has made commitments to the environment?

    BARRY PARKIN: No, absolutely not. So this is not just good for the environment. It’s it’s good for Mars. It’s good for consumers, and it’s also good for the landowners that we’re working with.

    STEPHANIE SY: Mars has a long-term contract to buy the power produced by this massive wind farm in West Texas – enough to offset the electricity used in its entire U.S. operation.

    Parkin believes that global efforts to curb climate change will eventually lead to fossil fuels becoming more expensive.

    BARRY PARKIN: We believe there will at some point be a price on carbon. We’re thinking long term, we’re thinking that if we are ahead of the curve here and we’re reducing our carbon footprint in line with the science faster than our competitors, then we can have a competitive advantage.

    STEPHANIE SY: Food companies like Mars are also planning for disruptions to their agricultural supplies caused by climate change, including the cocoa for its chocolate.

    BARRY PARKIN: Seventy percent of the world’s cocoa comes from a small region in West Africa. And all of the climate models say that that region is going to become drier and that is not good for cocoa. So those millions of farmers there, all the predictions say is they’re going to start to struggle.

    STEPHANIE SY: This month, Mars announced it is investing a billion dollars over the next three years, in part, to help its suppliers reduce carbon emissions, including hundreds of thousands of small farmers around the world. Mars hopes the effort will help the company’s supply chain reduce emissions by 67 percent by 2050.

    The risks of climate change to business have now led half of the world’s 500 largest public companies to set sustainability goals. And a report released this April by several environmental researchers found energy efficiency projects saved these companies nearly $4 billion last year.

    In addition, after President Trump pulled the United States government out of the Paris Climate Accords, Wal-Mart and Mars were among the companies that signed a letter pledging to continue to meet their voluntary targets.

    But Wal-Mart’s growing business may be in conflict with its sustainability mission. Wal-Mart’s total retail square-footage has expanded by 43 percent in the past decade, and along with it, its self-reported carbon emissions went up 9 percent, even as the pace of its emissions slowed.

    Wal-Mart is still building new stores. It is still increasing its carbon footprint. How do you answer the broader question of whether Wal-Mart can ever be truly Earth-friendly?

    KATHLEEN McLAUGHLIN: We’re expanding our footprint, but we believe that our model, so the way we manage our own store operations, the way we work with suppliers, actually optimizes and lowers the footprint to deliver the same amount of product to people. If you look at the scale and ambition of our efforts and what we’ve actually achieved, I’m actually quite excited about it.

    STEPHANIE SY: By 2025, Wal-Mart says it plans to reduce its carbon emissions by 18 percent from its 2015 levels. As ever, the company that has transformed communities and consumers is striking a path… and expecting others to follow.

    Peril and Promise is an ongoing series of reports on the human impact of, and solutions for, Climate Change. Lead funding for Peril and Promise is provided by Dr. P. Roy Vagelos and Diana T. Vagelos. Major support is provided by Marc Haas Foundation.

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    A former bank executive, Helen Drinan, took over as president of Simmons College only to discover the university couldn’t make payroll. She has since used revenue from graduate programs to help restore financial health, an increasingly common strategy in higher education. Photo by Kate Flock for The Hechinger Report

    BOSTON — Josh Caouette was cramming for a test in the doctoral program he’s just begun in physical therapy at Simmons College, for which he’s relying on student loans to pay the $51,850-a-year tuition and fees.

    He took a break from his notes to consider the fact that schools like Simmons are increasingly banking on the considerable revenues from graduate programs to subsidize their undergraduate divisions.

    “I never really thought about it that way,” said Caouette, who already has student-loan debt he racked up getting his bachelor’s degree from the University of New Hampshire. “It’s interesting that my money is kind of funding someone else’s education.”

    But Caouette said he was resigned to the cost of his tuition. “I wish it were a little cheaper, obviously, but if it’s helping others, that’s fine by me.” He paused and shrugged. “I mean, I have to do it either way.”

    Cash-strapped private universities and colleges are relying on the money they take in from their graduate programs to stabilize increasingly wobbly budgets. Public institutions are using revenue from graduate offerings to make up for state cuts and undergraduate tuition freezes ordered by governors and legislatures.

    It’s an effective solution to a big problem. But it also means that higher education’s money problems are being balanced on the backs of graduate students who face escalating debt.

    It’s an effective solution to a big problem faced by institutions often accused of being financially unimaginative; the president who put it into place at Simmons is a former bank executive who inherited a school that could barely meet its payroll and has transformed it into one that now has tens of millions of dollars in annual surpluses.

    But it also means that higher education’s money problems are quietly being balanced on the backs of graduate students who face escalating debt.

    Related: Universities and colleges struggle to stem big drops in enrollment

    “It comes at a cost at the graduate level,” said Joseph Verardo, a master’s degree student in technology systems management at Stony Brook University and vice president of the National Association of Graduate-Professional Students. “The unintended consequence [of correcting colleges’ finances this way] is that it comes out of graduate students’ pockets.”

    Josh Caouette, a graduate student at Simmons College, crams for a test. Caouette is resigned to the cost of his degree. “If it’s helping others, that’s fine by me. I mean, I have to do it either way.” Photo by Kate Flock for The Hechinger Report

    Graduate education is a growth industry. As employers increasingly require master’s degrees, the number conferred per year has more than tripled from nearly 236,000 in 1970 to about 759,000 in 2015, the last period for which the figures are available from the U.S. Department of Education

    With increasing demand come higher prices. Average graduate and professional school annual tuition at all universities and colleges has also more than doubled from $6,603 to $14,398 between 1988 and 2010, when adjusted for inflation, according to the Department of Education. At private institutions, it’s grown from $12,301 to $20,172.

    That’s an irresistible source of revenue for colleges and universities, said Andrew Policano, a professor of economics and public policy and former dean at the Paul Merage School of Business, University of California, Irvine. He cites the famous quote attributed to the outlaw William “Willie” Sutton, when asked why he robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is,” Sutton purportedly responded.

    “Well, this is where the money is,” said Policano, author of the book “From Ivory Tower to Glass House: Strategies for Academic Leaders During Turbulent Times.” “If you can charge more money for graduate school, you do it.”

    That’s the course Simmons president Helen Drinan chose to take when she arrived on the campus in 2008 to discover, on her first day, that the university couldn’t make payroll. Weighed down by its small all-women undergraduate division, Simmons had lost nearly $30 million in just the previous three years.

    “We had no cash on hand. None,” remembered Drinan.

    Related: With consumers pushing back against increased tuition, colleges seek new revenue

    Unlike other all-women schools, Simmons decided not to go co-ed to solve its problems. “When you give up your mission, you start to drift,” said Drinan. “If you don’t have something that differentiates you, you can’t compete.”

    Instead, to improve its competitiveness and therefore its desirability, the university purposely reduced its enrollment, increased financial aid for its undergraduates (there are 1,790) and offered new full-tuition scholarships for the best applicants, which created buzz.

    The median combined undergraduate and graduate debt of graduate students rose from $43,966 in 2008 to $57,600 in 2012.

    Paying for that required laying off 90 employees and freezing salaries for the rest. Simmons had to borrow $20 million from its endowment to finish a half-completed building for the school of management. It took out a mortgage on its dorms.

    Then, said Drinan, it started looking at market data to see how to underwrite these obligations over the long term.

    “We needed a strategy,” she said. And so administrators began asking: What’s out there that people say they need?

    The answer was Simmons’ graduate programs, offered to both women and men. In addition to the in-person graduate classes it already provided, it teamed up with the digital higher-education provider 2U to sell its courses online.

    “We said, ‘This is where we’re going to make more money.’ We had established master’s degree programs we could market” in such high-demand fields as social work and nursing, Drinan said. In record time, she said, Simmons went back to 2U and said, “Where do we sign?”

    The partnership began in 2014, and Simmons made $5.4 million that year from its online graduate programs. In the fiscal year that ended last June, federal tax documents show, that was up to $56 million.

    The documents show that while its undergraduate division did a little better than break even in the fiscal year that ended last June, Simmons took in more than $98 million a year from its in-person and online graduate programs combined — nearly $24 million more than they cost to provide. The university’s total annual revenues from all sources have nearly doubled, from $109 million to $208 million, since Drinan took office.

    “I love looking at these numbers,” Drinan said, peering at a tablet on which she keeps the university’s financial data.

    She deflected the idea that Simmons’ turnaround was built on graduate students’ tuition.

    “You have to look at the whole picture,” she said. Rising prices threaten traditional residential undergraduate education. “We need that. How are we going to produce the leaders of the future if we lose it? If we give that up, the nation gives up a tremendous asset. But how are we going to pay for it?”

    Meanwhile, for their contribution, graduate students get something in return, said Drinan: higher pay. “This is about professional graduate education. This is about studying something that’s going to improve my ability to make a living or to change jobs.”

    Related: Placement rates, other data colleges provide consumers are often alternative facts

    And it does. Average earnings for 35- to 44-year-olds with master’s degrees are nearly 25 percent higher than for those with bachelor’s degrees, the Urban Institute reports.

    “The overarching data about graduate degrees is that they pay off in every single field of study in terms of lifetime earnings, in terms of employment rates,” said Julia Kent, spokeswoman for the Council of Graduate Schools.

    “The big growth in loans has been in graduate schools. Yet there’s just no heat on what are people getting for these degrees.”

    But paying for those degrees has gotten much, much harder. Fewer than 40 percent of master’s degree candidates get institutional financial aid — less that half the proportion of undergraduates who do. Also unlike undergraduates, they face no limits on borrowing toward their tuition. And they’re charged higher interest rates: 6 percent and 7 percent for the two principal kinds of federal graduate-student loans, compared to the 4.45 percent undergraduates pay.

    While attention is typically focused on undergraduate student debt, some 40 percent of the more than $1 trillion Americans owe for college is for graduate study, the think tank New America calculates.

    “The big growth in loans has been in graduate schools,” said Jason Delisle, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. “Yet there’s just no heat on what are people getting for these degrees. On the undergraduate side there are loan limits and concern around defaults and earnings. On the graduate school side, there’s none of that.”

    Graduate debt has been spiraling. The median combined undergraduate and graduate debt of graduate students rose from $43,966 in 2008 to $57,600 in 2012, New America says. That includes for such degrees as a master’s in education (up from $33,910 to $50,879) and arts (up from $43,247 to $58,539).

    Helen Drinan, president of Simmons College. Photo: Kate Flock for The Hechinger Report

    “Those are great degrees to have, but you don’t necessarily make huge sums of money with them,” said Verardo, of the graduate student association.

    Sixty percent of master’s students feel stressed about their finances, a survey by the Council of Graduate Schools and the financial services provide TIAA found. Nearly 40 percent drop out or still haven’t completed their degrees after 10 years, according to the Urban Institute.

    Simmons may have been unusually successful at maximizing graduate revenue, but it’s far from unique. Marygrove College in Detroit announced in August it was jettisoning its entire undergraduate program and preserving only its graduate program. “Grad studies are sustainable and in demand,” said Kay Benesh, the chair of the college’s board of trustees.

    Related: Golden parachutes for public college presidents burden already thin budgets

    “Everybody’s been forced to confront the business issues of higher education,” Policano said. And if that means using graduate revenues to balance budgets, he said — as long as graduate students are getting their money’s worth — “then full speed ahead.”

    Even he and other economists who admire the approach, however, worry about one other prospect: that colleges and universities may become so dependent on graduate programs that they could slip back into trouble if the growth in those programs — or the prices they’re able to charge — slows down.

    That’s already begun to happen. The rate of increase in graduate tuition has begun to slow since 2010, the Urban Institute reports. So has growth in graduate enrollment. Both trends have been driven by an improving economy that has sucked people back into the workforce and by a hemorrhaging of graduate students from private, for-profit universities.

    “In the short term, if there’s demand for this degree, that’s great. But it’s kind of like being addicted to heroin.”

    “As others around the country see that there’s demand for that specialized degree and more players get into the market, your market share starts to shrink and you may end up having to lower your price,” said Glen Nelson, an associate dean at Arizona State University who studies tuition policy. “In the short term, if there’s demand for this degree, that’s great. But it’s kind of like being addicted to heroin.”

    Back at Simmons, however, Drinan has no second thoughts about her strategy.

    “We now are in a place where we’re not worrying day to day,” she said. “If we’d waited, we’d be closed.”

    This story was produced by The Hechinger Report, a nonprofit, independent news organization focused on inequality and innovation in education. Sign up here for our higher-education newsletter.

    The post Graduate programs have become a cash cow for struggling colleges. What does that mean for students? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The White House is expected to offer insight into President Donald Trump’s priorities during his first U.N. summit in a news briefing Monday.

    Brian Hook, Director of Policy Planning, State Department, was scheduled to give an off camera press briefing at 5 p.m. ET. After the briefing began, the White House said the audio would be embargoed until the conclusion of the briefing. PBS NewsHour will post the briefing when it becomes available.

    Earlier Monday, Mr. Trump urged leaders from 193 nations to work with him to make the international body more effective, a criticism he echoed often as a presidential candidate. He’ll give a speech during Tuesday’s session.

    PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

    The post LISTEN LIVE: White House addresses U.N. summit in news briefing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Students walk on campus at Harvard Business School. Photo by Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    Students walk on campus at the Harvard Business School. File photo by Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

    Editor’s note: Professor emeritus Bruce Scott was a pioneer at the Harvard Business School, where he insisted that management training had to include the big picture, and helped craft the school’s now-mandatory MBA course, Business and Government in the International Economy (known colloquially as BGIE or “Biggie”) back in the 1970s.

    Harvard Business School is the subject of journalist Duff McDonald’s new book, “The Golden Passport,” which examines the school’s basic purpose and role in society. The book caused a stir at Harvard and beyond. It also struck a chord with Scott, who penned this open letter to the school and Harvard. It’s published here for the first time.

    — Paul Solman, economics correspondent


    To the Harvard Business School Community (Students, Faculty, and Alumni):

    “The Golden Passport” tells a well-researched story of how an important U.S. business institution “lost its way,” and contributed to the broader story of U.S. capitalism lost its way starting in the 1970s (and especially from 1980 onward). Let’s take the two stories in succession.

    In the opening pages of his important book, McDonald, using the popular acronym for the Harvard Business School, makes the crucial point that “If there’s a case to be made that HBS is failing to adequately address the spiritual (or societal) component of an education in business, there’s an even more damning one on top of that, which is that the School has failed to sustain engagement with the intellectual challenge which has been staring it in the face from the very start, which is to foster a meaningful ongoing discussion of the nature of capitalist society and the role of the firm within it.”

    McDonald focuses on the school’s “approach to the role of ‘social enterprise,’” arguing that ”it misses the point by treating it as a distinct field of study. That’s absurd. Every business is a social enterprise. Every single business ‘makes a difference’– the only question is whether they are making a positive or a negative one.”

    While his language may be too self-confident for some, McDonald’s identification of a fundamental problem seems laser sharp to me. He balances his critique fairly by recognizing that HBS used its case method to look within firms, and in so doing developed a “viable theory of the firm, which economics still has not been able to match.”

    The “science” of microeconomics has assumed that managers are rational economic actors who maximize their own incomes. It is a false presumption. Nobel prize winner Herbert Simon of Carnegie Mellon had it right when he said, in his 1947 book, “Administrative Behavior,” that we should recognize that much human behavior is oriented toward “satisficing” and not maximizing, and the study of satisficing requires sociology as well as microeconomics. Excessive emphasis on economics, and especially excessive emphasis on quantification, has been a huge source of distortion in understanding the theory of the firm; it has conflated math with science.

    I believe that HBS made another important contribution to business education which many other business schools still have not made — and which McDonald also missed in his analysis. In the 1973-74 academic year, HBS switched its first-year required course on the societal context for business from focusing virtually exclusively on the U.S. economy, in a required course on the “Manager in the US Economy”, and alternatively to “Planning in The Business Environment”, both of which focused on the US and were taught from the point of view of firms, not societies or economies; to a new course called “Business, Government, and the International Economy.”

    That move involved three changes, not just one. It redefined the relevant business environment as the global economy, not just the U.S. economy; it defined the relevant unit of analysis as the nation-state and not just an industry; and, crucially, it defined government as the relevant protagonist in the cases instead of a firm or a manager.

    We looked at countries in a “Chandlerian” way, i.e., in terms of what the business historian Alfred Chandler called “strategy and structure.” We lacked the background to understand something important, however: that we needed the concept of “capitalism as a system of governance” to understand the country analysis. In other words, we needed to learn that governance, rather than strategy, was the critical organizing concept for country analysis. Not many other schools, if any, have made such an attempt even today. But despite our efforts, Harvard Business School has not learned the lesson.

    McDonald recognizes much better than the HBS faculty that government has a constitutive role in all capitalist systems. He does not seem to recognize, however, just how far off the mark the mental models of most American businessmen — as well as American faculty — are when it comes to understanding the role of governments in market economies.

    McDonald makes a very unfortunate but all-too-common series of mistakes when discussing the declining performance of U.S. capitalism in the 1970s and the rise of mismanagement. He attributes it, rightly, to the teachings of Michael Jensen, who argued that firms should “maximize shareholder value” and firms “undervalued” by the stock price should be taken over by those intent on streamlining them and boosting their share price.

    What McDonald misses is the role of government. The 1970s and ‘80s were a period of profound change in U.S. financial markets, as then-Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker initiated a credit crunch to stem inflation that hit 13 percent in 1979.

    To get inflation under control, Volcker initiated a credit squeeze by raising interest rates to as high as 15 percent. This rate seems to have been a necessary economic evil, but a side effect was a punishing effect on stocks. If you could get 15 percent a year lending money to the U.S. government (by buying its bonds), why buy stocks, which weren’t likely to become anywhere near as valuable in so short a time? Thus the most common measure of stock value, the price-to-earnings ratio, or PE of the Dow Jones industrial average, fell from a previous high of almost 30:1 to less than 8:1 in 1981. That represented a decline of about 75 percent, at which point the shares of many and perhaps most U.S. firms were worth more if sold as “scrap” than valued as going enterprises. Firms could be bought on the cheap, and financial firms made sure they were. The merger boom was on; U.S. capitalism was “financialized.” So-called “investment banking” became the hottest game in town.

    This situation could and should have been dealt with by policy: a special tax regime, perhaps, where hostile takeover bids would have been subject to a very high tax for the duration of the credit squeeze and its collateral damage of artificially low stock valuations.. Unfortunately, policy makers had no such understanding of capitalism as a socially constructed system. Market outcomes were considered “right” by definition. There was no explicit recognition that market outcomes were the result of public policies as well as natural circumstances.

    There still isn’t. U.S. capitalism was and mostly still is understood as a natural system and not one that was and is socially constructed by government policy. It was also the core of the errors in the financial crisis in 2007, which could have been prevented had Alan Greenspan, as chairman of the Federal Reserve, acted to restrain the credit bubble in mortgages. His reluctance was based upon his flawed notion that markets were self-regulating systems; interest rates, as natural as planetary orbits.

    “Free markets” must be one of the most overused expressions in the English language. Stated bluntly, there are no free markets in organized capitalism. All of the so-called freedoms in capitalism are conditional freedoms, and that conditionality is established by, legitimated by, and ultimately regulated by, government. But this conditionality has never been made a clear teaching priority in the 50 years that I have frequented the halls of the Harvard Business School.

    When faculty talk about reconceptualizing capitalism, as some do, they still talk almost exclusively about voluntary changes in behavior led by firms, not regulatory changes legislated by government or some combination of the two — topics I’ve written about including in my book “Capitalism: Its Origins and Evolution as a System for Governance.”

    When HBS circulates its periodic reviews of the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, its reports routinely read as though the problems come from excessive regulation and taxes. The prescription: less regulation and lower taxes, both of which, in my view, are the opposite of what is currently called for. Completely free markets are not a recipe for prosperity; they are a recipe for plutocracy and corruption, as we are increasingly aware of every day.

    One of the biggest flaws in the HBS curriculum results from the switch in mental models from an inclusive stakeholder capitalism to the highly extractive new version called “shareholder capitalism” adopted in the 1970s. This model has played a crucial role in causing the rapidly increasing inequality of income and wealth in America — outsized incomes for those in the financial sector who manage the system, and outsized wealth for those lucky enough to be the shareholders.

    While the Dean of the Harvard Business School claims that the curriculum goes beyond shareholder value in its model of the firm, and has faculty discuss the problem, it has yet to reach the point where it influences what HBS was intended to be. An antisocial model of the firm still dominates the faculty mindset, to the neglect of the distribution of income and wealth generated by shareholder capitalism.

    I believe that there should be three high priorities for conceptual change at HBS. The first would be to admit that the school has failed to acknowledge or address the excessive deregulation of the financial market (and campaign finance law) that took place in the 1970s.

    The second priority should be to understand and acknowledge that the adoption of shareholder capitalism and agency theory were huge and very costly mistakes, as is well pointed out in McDonald’s book.

    The third priority: to admit that these mistakes were compounded by excessive use of incentive compensation for high level executives, which went hand-in-hand with the curtailment of compensation for employees starting in the mid-70s — changes that were influenced by free market enthusiasts like Michael Jensen.

    U.S. capitalism has lost its way, and the increasing anger of those disadvantaged by the reforms to U.S. capitalism and democracy since the 1970s are right to be angry. It was former President Calvin Coolidge who opined that “the business of the U.S. is business.” I believe it’s obvious that business leaders, and still more obviously U.S. business schools, have been leaders in justifying the path capitalism has taken since the reforms of the 1970s. Their focus on how to extract incomes from their stakeholders and transfer the proceeds to their shareholders — and in reality to the top 1 percent of the population through stock grants — have been, and remain, a fundamental part of what has gone wrong. In my view, U.S. business schools, Harvard included, have helped nourish the anger many Americans feel towards the economy — anger that was on vivid display in the 2016 election.

    Shareholder capitalism has been an intellectual swindle, on a par with the trickle-down economics of the Reagan era. If business schools, Harvard among them, want to make the world a better place to live, then as McDonald so nicely put it in his book, “it’s time they stopped pretending to make the world a better place and actually started doing [so].”

    Sincerely yours,

    Bruce R. Scott
    Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School

    The post Column: What’s wrong with the Harvard Business School and American business appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People continue to march after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters

    People continue to march after the not guilty verdict in the murder trial of Jason Stockley, a former St. Louis police officer, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo by Joshua Lott/Reuters

    On Friday, a Missouri judge acquitted a former St. Louis police officer in the 2011 shooting death of black motorist Anthony Lamar Smith, the latest in a series of acquittals or dropped charges for police officers involved in fatal shootings across the country.

    Protesters began to stage demonstrations almost immediately after the judge announced former officer Jason Stockley, who is white, was not guilty. The demonstrations started peacefully. But police say some protesters threw rocks through Mayor Lyda Krewson’s windows, and others have clashed with officers and caused damage to local businesses.

    Since Friday, authorities said they have made dozens of arrests and that several police officers have been injured by thrown objects like bricks.

    As protests continue for a fourth day, here’s a look at the original case and how Stockley’s role in Smith’s death has affected racial tensions in St. Louis today.

    Original incident:

    On Dec. 20, 2011, Stockley and his partner, Brian Bianchi, attempted to arrest Smith, who they believed was part of a suspected drug deal outside a fast-food restaurant in St. Louis. But Smith drove away, prompting Stockley to fire a single shot at the vehicle.

    During the high-speed pursuit that followed, Stockley is heard saying “Going to kill this (expletive), don’t you know it,” according to audio recordings filed in court.

    Dashcam footage indicates Stockley told his partner to ram into Smith’s vehicle, which was slowing on the opposite shoulder, resulting in a crash that ended the chase. After exiting the police SUV and pausing on the driver’s side of Smith’s vehicle, Stockley fired five shots at Smith, fatally wounding him, according to court documents. Smith was later pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. An autopsy report from a St. Louis medical examiner said Smith had five gunshot entrance wounds, including in his neck and chest.

    In a memo filed after the shooting, Stockley said Smith struck him with his car as he sped away from Stockley and Bianchi. “I observed, in plain view in the subject’s hands while resting on the passenger seat, a silver handgun. The handgun was pointing up and towards me,” Stockley added.

    Stockley resigned in 2013, after five years on the force. The city reached a $900,000 settlement in a wrongful-death lawsuit brought by Smith’s daughter in 2013. But the state didn’t pursue charges against Stockley until May 2016. Then-St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said new evidence had finally given prosecutors enough legal standing to file first degree murder charges against Stockley.

    The latest

    Stockley’s bench trial on first degree murder charges ended last month. On Friday, St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Timothy Wilson issued a 30-page ruling that said he was “simply not firmly convinced of defendant’s guilt.”

    Prosecutors had argued that Stockley planted a gun in Smith’s vehicle after the shooting, citing evidence that showed only Stockley’s DNA — not Smith’s — was found on the weapon. They also cited Stockley’s comments during the high-speed chase about his intent to kill the suspect.

    Wilson wrote that the court “agonizingly” reviewed the evidence, but that the state ultimately did not prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Stockley wasn’t acting in self-defense.

    Following Friday’s verdict, Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, who took over in January, said she was “confident that we presented sufficient evidence at a trial to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Jason Stockley was guilty of murder in the first degree.”

    In an interview with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after Friday’s verdict, Stockley said “it feels like a burden has been lifted, but the burden of having to kill someone never really lifts.”

    “I can feel for and I understand what the family is going through, and I know everyone wants someone to blame, but I’m just not the guy,” said Stockley, 36, who now lives in Houston.

    St. Louis officials said they had prepared for protests following the judges’ decision. But tensions escalated over the weekend when additional officers showed up in riot gear. Authorities said officers have been injured by objects thrown by protesters.

    On Sunday, the third day of protests, police made mass arrests, detaining more than 80 demonstrators. There have been at least a couple of reports from journalists that officers in riot gear chanted “whose street, our street” during the arrests. The phrase is commonly used by demonstrators protesting police misconduct and excessive use of force.

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

    The protests don’t show any signs of slowing down.

    Why it’s important

    Protesters fall as they are pushed back by police in riot gear during a protest after a not guilty verdict in the murder trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, charged with the 2011 shooting of  Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo taken Sept. 15, 2017. Photo by Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

    Protesters fall as they are pushed back by police in riot gear during a protest after a not guilty verdict in the murder trial of former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley, charged with the 2011 shooting of Anthony Lamar Smith, who was black, in St. Louis, Missouri. Photo taken Sept. 15, 2017. Photo by Lawrence Bryant/Reuters

    It’s been nearly six years since Smith’s death. It’s a case that predates the 2012 police killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida, which many see as helping to launch a national dialogue about race and police shootings, along with the Black Lives Matter movement. Tensions between local residents and city officials have existed ever since, strengthened in 2014 by the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown in nearby Ferguson.

    The not-guilty verdict last week is the latest in a line of high-profile police shooting cases that have ended this summer with no convictions, despite video and audio evidence used by state prosecutors in the courtroom. Convictions in officer-involved shootings are rare.

    Annie, Smith’s mother, told Fox2Now, a local television station that her son “wasn’t wrong. The verdict was wrong.”

    “The judge made the wrong decision,” she said. “No one speaks for Anthony but my family. I have no justice. I can never be at peace.”

    What’s next?

    In the years since Ferguson, St. Louis has tried to change the leadership of its police department and city council. And after Friday’s verdict, Gardner, the city’s first black circuit attorney, told CBS that she wanted to reform how investigations of police shootings are handled, “so that police aren’t investigating their fellow officers.”

    Community activists who had demonstrated in the streets have now become much more involved in city organizations. But Tony Messenger, a metro columnist for the Post-Dispatch, says “one of the things that hasn’t happened here that happens after many of these cases … is a meeting of the minds. The public officials meet with the protest leaders” after Ferguson happened. “I haven’t seen that yet” in St. Louis, he added.

    “I would expect that if that doesn’t happen then at some point soon this will continue,” he told the NewsHour. “You have a group of black activists who believes the police are out to get them and are unaccountable. I think they will continue in some sense until the feel they are heard.”

    NewsHour reporter-producer Mark Scialla reported for this story.

    READ MORE: Three years later, 5 lives changed after Ferguson

    The post What’s happening in St. Louis? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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