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

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: From Mexico to the Caribbean, natural disasters dominated this day.

    First, the earthquake that rocked Central Mexico on Tuesday. The death toll rose to 223 today, and the nation’s president warned, every minute counts to save lives.

    A desperate search for life today in Mexico City, police, firefighters and volunteers digging into a collapsed school. Sometimes, they found survivors, sometimes not, but the search went on.

    GABRIEL URIBE, Volunteer (through interpreter): People are helping. We are gathering at the collection center and managing as we can. People are showing a lot of solidarity.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The quake hit Tuesday afternoon near the Puebla state town of Raboso, 76 miles southeast of Mexico City.

    The violence of the shaking was evident: Buildings swayed and convulsed, and at least 44 collapsed, lost in plumes of smoke. Pleasure boats were tossed like toys in a bathtub. Terrified people streamed from homes and offices.

    JESUS ARIAS, Resident (through interpreter): Horrible, horrible, frighteningly horrible.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A wing of a school pancaked into concrete slabs. Rescuers dug frantically, some with bare hands. At times, raised arms signaled the crowd for silence as they listened for sounds of life. The search went on through the night, under the glare of floodlights and the watchful eye of anxious parents.

    DIANA LIMON, Resident (through interpreter): My kids go to school on the next street, and when I saw the school, I panicked, and I ran and I ran for my children. I spent all afternoon here watching them rescue people.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Crews brought in wooden beams to shore up the school building. And, ultimately, they spotted one survivor, but pulled 25 bodies from the rubble, all but four of them children.

    The same scenes were repeated over and over across the region, hundreds of people hunting for the living and dead, and survivors telling of narrow escapes.

    ALMA GONZALEZ, Resident (through interpreter): It was a very hard hit that went down. I went to find my child and I couldn’t. I was trapped on the third floor, and the people in the house next door helped me get out with a ladder. I am just grateful to God that we are here for something.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In Morelos state, where 60 percent of residents lost power, they began burying their dead and surveying the damage today.

    SILVESTRE TINOCO, Resident (through interpreter): The good thing is that my wife and my grandson were the only ones there. She’s injured a little, but she’s there alive.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The quake hit less than two weeks after even stronger tremor struck Southern Mexico, and killed nearly 100 people. It also came on the 32nd anniversary of the 1985 earthquake in Mexico City that killed thousands. There had even been earthquake drills yesterday morning.

    In a national address last night, Mexico’s President Pena Nieto spoke of his country’s resilience in the face of repeated disasters.

    PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, Mexico (through interpreter): This earthquake is a hard test and a painful one for our country. Mexicans have had very difficult experiences with earthquakes in the past and we have learned how to respond to these incidents with a spirit of solidarity.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: From New York today, President Trump spoke to Pena Nieto at length. And at the Vatican, Pope Francis led thousands of people in prayer for the earthquake victims.

    For more, joining us from Mexico City is Gus with the Associated Press.

    Gus, tell us where you are and what you have been seeing today.

    GUS VALCARCEL, Associated Press: Hi, Judy.

    I am in the Roma North district of Mexico City, a residential commercial area, and right behind me, as you can probably see, is an apartment building that came crumbling down.

    This obviously happened yesterday in the afternoon, and at least 20 bodies have been pulled out of the rubble, Judy. A very sad moment for Mexico and for this community. The good news is, apparently, they are hearing some noises that the experts believe are people who may still be alive inside those rubble.

    So, they are not losing hope that they will find more survivors.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Gus Valcarcel reporting for us from Mexico City, thank you.

    The post Rescue crews rush to search collapsed buildings after Mexico earthquake appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) speaks during a news conference on "the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal to reform healthcare" on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RC11F81EA650

    U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., speaks during a news conference on “the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson proposal to reform healthcare” on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.on Sept. 13, 2017. Photo by REUTERS/Yuri Gripas.

    WASHINGTON — There’s plenty of fog in the health care debate over whether the latest Republican health bill risks protections for people with pre-existing conditions.

    President Donald Trump says the bill ensures coverage for them. But an AP Fact Check finds that the legislation could leave them vulnerable.

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

    The bill allows states to get a waiver from “Obamacare” requirements that insurers charge the same to people with health problems as they do to healthy people. Sen. Bill Cassidy is a sponsor of the bill and he has made claims similar to Trump’s. He was pointedly challenged on those claims by the late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.

    AP’s Fact Check finds that none of those three has really captured the complexity of the issue. But Kimmel’s point about pre-existing conditions is hard to refute.

    The post AP FACT CHECK: President Trump’s tweets on GOP health bill and pre-existing conditions appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington DC. Photo by Loop Images/UIG via Getty Images.

    WASHINGTON — Employees at the Environmental Protection Agency are attending mandatory training sessions this week to reinforce their compliance with laws and rules against leaking classified or sensitive government information.

    It is part of a broader Trump administration order for anti-leaks training at all executive branch agencies. The Associated Press obtained training materials from the hourlong class.

    Government employees who hold security clearances undergo background checks and extensive training in safeguarding classified information. Relatively few EPA employees deal with classified files, but the new training also reinforces requirements to keep “Controlled Unclassified Information” from unauthorized disclosure.

    The EPA occasionally creates, receives, handles and stores classified material because of its homeland security, emergency response and continuity missions. EPA employees also work closely with contractors and other federal agencies that more regularly handle classified information.

    President Donald Trump has expressed anger repeated leaks of potentially embarrassing information to media organizations in recent months.

    In a speech last month, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said those responsible for the “staggering number of leaks” coming out of the administration would be investigated and potentially prosecuted.

    “We share the White House’s concern with the unlawful leaks throughout the government,” Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said Wednesday.

    EPA officials did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment Thursday.

    A three-page fact sheet sent to EPA employees as part of the training warned that leaks of even unclassified information could have serious consequences to national security.

    “Enemies of the United States are relentless in their pursuit of information which they can exploit to harm US interests,” the document said.

    The document recounted past circumstances where government secrets had been spilled either through espionage, computer hacks or leaks to reporters.

    The examples included the 1980s spying case involving CIA counter-intelligence officer Aldrich Ames on behalf of the Soviets and a 1972 leak to columnist Jack Anderson about spying on members of the Soviet Politburo, which he disclosed in The Washington Post.

    The sheet also cited the 2015 hack of computers at the Office of Personnel Management, a data breach that compromised the names, Social Security numbers, birthdates and home addresses and other sensitive personal information for 18 million people.

    EPA staff was reminded of the whistleblower protections afforded to federal employees who expose wrongdoing. The training materials directed them to do so through proper channels for reporting fraud, waste and abuse, including the inspector general’s hotline.

    The post EPA employees attend mandatory anti-leaks classes appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Emergency workers stand in front of the plane carrying U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after it skidded off the runway after landing in the rain at New York City's LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, in this still image taken from video October 27, 2016. COURTESY US TV POOL/via Reuters

    Emergency workers stand in front of the plane carrying U.S. Republican vice presidential nominee Mike Pence after it skidded off the runway after landing in the rain at New York City’s LaGuardia Airport on Thursday, in this still image taken from video October 27, 2016. COURTESY US TV POOL/via Reuters

    NEW YORK — Pilots landing a plane that overran a runway at LaGuardia Airport while carrying then-vice presidential candidate Mike Pence made “several failures in close succession” that caused the plane to end up in a field of arrestor beds close to a highway, investigators said Thursday.

    The Boeing 737-700 charter flight carrying the Republican and 47 other people from Fort Dodge, Iowa, to New York landed in the rain on Oct. 27, 2016, and slid sideways. No one was injured.

    The National Transportation Safety Board noted that the plane “floated” for thousands of feet (hundreds of meters) before touching down more than 4,200 feet (1,280 meters) past the threshold of the 7,001-foot (2,134-meter) runway, leaving less than 2,800 feet (850 meters) of runway surface for the plane to decelerate and stop.

    When the first officer, who was at the controls, failed to get the jet’s wheels on the ground within the first third of the runway, the NTSB said, he should have executed a go-around maneuver instead of continuing the landing.

    The report also said that during the landing the captain didn’t announce he was assuming control of the airplane, which is contrary to procedure. It said that resulted in the two pilots attempting opposing maneuvers to control the plane.

    “Eastern, stop! Stop, Eastern!” an air traffic controller said to the pilots, before immediately relaying instructions to an incoming JetBlue plane to abort a landing.

    The pilots, who were not identified by name, said in a recording released by the NTSB last June that they were aware they were going to be in the news because of their high-profile passenger.

    Moments after the plane came to a stop, the captain is heard saying “my career just ended” followed by the first officer saying “mine, too.”

    When the dust settled, the first officer is heard saying in the cockpit, “We’re gonna be in the news.”

    A spokesman for the charter flight operator did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment, but the NTSB said in its report that “it has since developed specific flight crew training to address the safety issues identified during the investigation.”

    Pence, Donald Trump’s running mate at the time, said after the landing he was thankful that everyone was OK.

    “Grateful for our first responders & the concern & prayers of so many,” he wrote on Twitter. “Back on the trail tomorrow!”

    The post ‘Several failures’ led to 2016 plane crash with Vice President Mike Pence, investigation says appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley gave an update Thursday on the latest developments emerging from the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, telling reporters that countries at the UN responded “very positive to [Trump’s] speech” earlier in the week.

    “They appreciated how blunt and honest he was. I think that’s been the overall theme from the international community this week is how straightforward he was and how refreshing it was as they heard him speak,” Haley said.

    In Trump’s speech Tuesday, he denounced North Korea, vowing to “totally destroy” the country if the U.S. was provoked. In response, North Korea’s foreign minister said the president’s slight was akin to “the sound of a dog barking.”

    The strongly worded barbs between the two countries continue as North Korea continues to build up its nuclear program. Today, Trump announced new, expanded sanctions against any financial institutions and companies that helped fund North Korea’s nuclear development.

    “North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile development is a grave threat to peace and security in our world, and it is unacceptable that others financially support this criminal, rogue regime,” Trump told reporters, before he signed the new executive order.

    The president also praised China in disrupting their trade with North Korea, although several media outlets said it has yet to be confirmed from Chinese officials that this was the case.

    Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said he had spoken at length Thursday with the head of China’s central bank but “I am not going to comment on confidential discussions.” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said today he had discussions with China’s bank officials, but also didn’t confirm Trump’s statement.

    According to the Associated Press, China accounts for about 90 percent of North Korea’s trade.

    WATCH: At UN, Trump threatens to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea

    The post WATCH: Haley says world leaders ‘appreciated how blunt and honest’ Trump was in UN speech appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Yoko Ono pauses at one of the entry points to her art work "Entrance" at the Teatro Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo taken in 1998. Photo by Reuters

    Yoko Ono pauses at one of the entry points to her art work “Entrance” at the Teatro Nacional in Brasilia, Brazil. Photo taken in 1998. Photo by Reuters

    The instructions were simple, but take years to complete.

    One night in London more than 50 years ago, Yoko Ono broke a vase on stage before her audience. She then asked them to pick up a piece, one by one, to carry home.

    As retold in her subversive book of instructions “Grapefruit,” which came out in 1964, anyone who took a fragment of the vase would promise to meet again in 10 years to reassemble the smashed object.

    At a one-night-only tribute Sunday at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., Ono’s “Promise Piece” was once again orchestrated, this time by experimental artist and musician Kim Gordon.

    At the end of the night, a white-and-blue vase that stood as high as Gordon’s thighs was hoisted on stage next to her. Gordon explained that she and Lizzi Bougatsos and Camar Ayewa — the other artists who performed in the museum’s central courtyard — had planned to shatter the vase in front of the hundreds of people who gathered for the Ono tribute. But due to “conservationists,” “it had to be broken in a very special way,” Gordon told the crowd.

    Musician Kim Gordon performs at a one-night tribute concert in honor of Yoko Ono at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. Photo by Joshua Barajas/PBS NewsHour

    Musician Kim Gordon performs at a one-night tribute concert in honor of Yoko Ono at the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. this past weekend. Photo by Joshua Barajas/PBS NewsHour

    “So, it’s been pre-broken,” Gordon said to laughs in the audience. Black-clad handlers had unfurled a cloth that held hundreds of white and blue fragments and placed them next to the unbroken vase.

    “This is what the vase looked like,” Gordon said.

    Gordon, who headlined the performances that night, didn’t specify a 10-year deadline, opting instead to say that everyone would meet again “at a certain time.” Online, there are people asking whether Ono would let them know when the time comes.

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

    Sunday’s concert was the culmination of the Hirshhorn’s “Summer of Yoko,” an exhibition that celebrated, and in some cases recreated, four of Ono’s works, two in the participatory style of art that became the focus of “Grapefruit.”

    As soon as you walk through the doors of the museum, you’re greeted with Ono’s “My Mommy Is Beautiful” participation piece. It’s a white canvas blanketed with layers and layers of personal messages to mothers. I leave a message about Amanda, mentioning all the times she sheltered me and my siblings during tornado warnings in Texas. From there, I decide revisit my own copy of “Grapefruit,” which was bookmarked to the “Water Piece” page. It has a one-word instruction: Water.

    Recognition didn’t come easily to Ono. She often described herself as a “misfit” despite being known in the art world at the time. “Grapefruit,” as a conceptual art book, itself received a lukewarm response upon its introduction to the public and critics in 1964. Ono tried selling her earliest copies on the streets of Tokyo, lugging them around in an orange box, but the interest was minimal.

    Ono, who witnessed the horrors of the second world war in Japan, often speaks of the heart’s role in dealing with atrocities in life. Her activism has long focused on recognizing the ability to repair in the wake of destruction. The broken piece of vase is a license for anyone to take part in that rebuilding — a promise to engage.

    Before any performers took the stage Sunday, Ono’s recorded voice boomed through the darkened courtyard of the Hirshhorn, telling people to “Imagine peace.” It was repeated enough times that I lost count. Then Ono’s 1994 song “Rising” was heard with the lyrics: “Listen to your heart. Respect your intuition,” repeated. During the song, a clip of fire and charred, silicone bodies played. The woman next to me cried. The video made me think of the fact that Ono was in Tokyo when hundreds of American B-29s firebombed the city in 1945. And to drive the point about the heart’s power home, a new Ono mural was painted last week on the side of the Union Market in D.C., three miles away: “Relax. Your Heart Is Stronger Than What You Think!”

    “[Ono] is the meeting point of the popular and the avant-garde,” said Mark Beasley, curator of media and performance at the Hirshhorn. The Japanese-American artist’s experimental installations and music predated the kinds of performative art pop artists regularly produce these days. Beasley cited the German electronic band Kraftwerk mixing art with music at the Museum of Modern Art and Kanye West’s performance art turning up, well, wherever.

    “[Ono] was doing this and presenting those ideas when it was more difficult,” he said. “Now, it’s standardized.”

    Yoko Ono's "Grapefruit," first published in 1964.

    Yoko Ono’s “Grapefruit,” first published in 1964.

    Ono published “Grapefruit” on July 4, partly as a declaration of her own independence, according to Beasley. The title may reflect Ono’s divided time in both Japan and America, a hybrid identity just as a grapefruit is a hybrid fruit.

    Ono, as a divisive figure, also had a way of infiltrating the mainstream. According to a newspaper clipping I found from 1985, the artist was once courted to star in a television series styled after the soap “Dynasty.” “Ono reportedly has been offered — and is acting very receptive to — the role of the Japanese wife of a rich and powerful Englishman.” (The show didn’t happen.)

    “Grapefruit” is a quick read, but the delight comes from Ono’s short, imaginative instructions. Some are straightforward: “Laugh Piece” tells the reader to “Keep laughing a week.” It gets weirder from there. “City Piece” instructs someone to “Walk all over the city with an empty baby carriage.” Or funny: “Dance Piece” says to “Have a dance party. Let people dance with chairs.”

    Artist Yoko Ono performs during her installation  entitled "Anton's Memory" at the Arsenale during the 53rd Biennale Internazional Art Exhibition in Venice in 2009. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

    Artist Yoko Ono performs during her installation entitled “Anton’s Memory” at the Arsenale during the 53rd Biennale Internazional Art Exhibition in Venice in 2009. Photo by Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters

    During the Hirshhorn’s one-night tribute, Gordon chose to perform “Voice Piece for Soprano.” She screamed “against the wind” facing the audience. Then, to her left, she screamed “against the wall.” To her right, she screamed “against the sky.”

    The artist Ayewa, also known as Moor Mother, performed “Beat Piece,” and with her electronic thumps, played with the pace of an erratic heartbeat.

    I’m still trying to figure out how to best do “Cloud Piece,” which says to “Imagine the clouds dripping. Dig a hole in your garden to put them in.” I don’t have a garden yet.

    Beasley said the idea that we’re all inherently creative and can make art is something that the public understands a little more now. And when the artist Lizzi Bougatsos of Gang Gang Dance did her best to mimic and build upon Ono’s trademark groans and throaty yelps at the tribute concert, it seemed to me that Ono was finally getting her due.

    But if “Grapefruit” was a tough sell all those decades ago, it did at least have a fan in her husband John Lennon. The Beatles member told Rolling Stone in 1971 that he first met Ono at one of her shows in London, where he came across an apple on display.

    “There was an apple on sale there for 200 quid, I thought it was fantastic – I got the humor in her work immediately. I didn’t have to sort of have much knowledge about avant garde or underground art, but the humor got me straight away,” Lennon said.

    Artist Yoko Ono interacts with the artwork "Apple" at the 2015 Museum of Modern Art exhibition dedicated exclusively to her work, titled "Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971", in New York. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Artist Yoko Ono interacts with the artwork “Apple” at the 2015 Museum of Modern Art exhibition dedicated exclusively to her work, titled “Yoko Ono: One Woman Show, 1960-1971”, in New York. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    At an Ono respective at the MoMA in 2015, a Granny Smith apple greeted museum-goers. A plaque below read: “APPLE.” Or, as Ono herself has said about the artwork: “There is the excitement of watching the apple decay, and the decision as to whether to replace it, or just thinking of the beauty of the apple after it’s gone.” The MoMA retrospective also included many of Ono’s own interpretations of her instructions in “Grapefruit.”

    “I think now more than ever, humor is a way to talk about things difficult to talk about,” Beasley said of Ono’s work. “Yoko’s humor is smart. It’s not slapstick, it’s a refined form of humor.” It’s as if she’s inviting people to “turn the world upside down and stare in the crack on the side of it,” he said.

    Lennon himself was directly inspired by “Grapefruit.” The book’s instructions often used “Imagine” as a directive and, according to the late Beatles member, was the foundation for the 1971 song of the same name. But Ono wasn’t officially recognized as a co-songwriter until 46 years later.

    When the couple sat down for an interview with the BBC in 1980, Lennon explained why, citing his own sexism prevented Ono from being properly credited for the song’s lyrics and concept:

    “Those days I was a bit more selfish, a bit more macho, and I sort of omitted to mention her contribution. But it was right out of “Grapefruit,” her book … But when we did [“Imagine”] I just put “Lennon” because, you know, she’s just the wife and you don’t put her name on, right?”

    When “Grapefruit” was redistributed almost 30 years later, the book jacket added an instruction from Ono: “Burn this book after you’ve read it.” Right below is Lennon’s ringing endorsement: “This is the greatest book I’ve ever burned.”

    I haven’t burnt my copy of “Grapefruit” yet. And I’ve placed my broken vase fragment in a shadow box frame, ready to open in about 10 years.

    The post Burn this story about Yoko Ono after you’ve read it appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to another in our Brief But Spectacular series.

    Tonight, we hear from Janet Iwasa, an assistant professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah, who is trying to increase the public’s understanding of science at a molecular level using computer animation.

    JANET IWASA, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, University of Utah: I was in a lab that studied the act inside a skeleton.

    So, this is looking at the way cells crawl. And we were right next door to a lab that studied how proteins move along microtubules, so this is considered kind of the highway of the cell.

    I never really got it, until I saw this 3-D animation that showed all of that detail. And so it made me think, why aren’t we all doing this? We should all be animating the things that we study.

    The traditional way for a scientist to visualize their hypothesis is using something called a model figure. And it’s kind of like a stick drawing representation of cells and molecules where you have one protein that’s a circle and then another protein that’s a square, and then you draw an arrow to show these things come together.

    Animation can take a lot of that information and really convey it in a way that’s more dynamic and true to what we actually understand.

    I had this incredible postdoctoral fellowship from the National Science Foundation. I basically said, I need to learn animation to do this. And so I wrote into the grant that I needed to go to Hollywood and learn the best animation software I could learn.

    The things that a lot of cell biologists and molecular biologists study are basically smaller than the wavelength of light. The animation is a way to tell that story.

    I think the kind of the depth of our understanding of HIV and how HIV works hasn’t been communicated, partially because it’s really hard to tell those kinds of stories.

    We have a vast amount of information about how HIV works. Almost every single part of the HIV life cycle has been very clearly defined, but I think the problem is, all of this information is locked away in the way that scientists normally share data, which is in publications. And the publications are hard to read, but they are also generally not that accessible.

    My idea is to use to use animation to basically take all of that data and to create this visual hypothesis of how we think HIV gets into cells and what it does inside cells and how it gets out. We just know so much. And I want to be able to tell that story.

    Historically, art and science were not two things that were separate. A lot of really famous scientists, people who did early microscopy were actually artists, too. They had to be able to depict the things that they saw under the microscope or through a telescope on a piece of paper to actually do that communication and to show what they were seeing.

    And we still do need to have these artistic skills and be able to convey our ideas visually in order to actually really do good science.

    My name is Janet Iwasa, and this is my Brief But Spectacular take on molecular animation.

    The post Animating what’s under the microscope appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now we continue our look at the Southern U.S. border, a series in partnership with the USA TODAY NETWORK.

    Titled “The Wall,” it explores the complex world of those who live along the border, and how President Trump’s proposed wall might affect them.

    Tonight, a visit to some ranches in Arizona whose owners have seen plenty of changes over the decades.

    JOHN LADD, San Jose  Ranch: Well there’s probably no better way to grow up than growing up on a ranch.

    By God, there’s a cow.

    But growing up on the border, it was just interesting to never really see or hear or think of anybody being out there in that remote ranch. And then, as I was getting older, I realized there’s 200, 300 people a night going through there.

    DAVE LOWELL, Atascosa Ranch: Backtracking to a time, say, 30 years ago, there was a steady flow of illegals coming through the ranch. And they usually would ask if we could give them a couple of days’ work.

    JOHN LADD: Whether or not they were going to go further north or not, but they’d come over and work for you. And there was nothing extraordinary about it. It wasn’t a big deal to go across the line. It wasn’t a big deal for them to come over here.

    And then, in the ’80s, it started changing. It was 300 a month. And every one of them wanted a drink of water and directions.

    DAVE LOWELL: And we always did. We kept a can of spam and bread.

    JOHN LADD: Then, in the ’90s, it was 300 a day. And they just stole stuff and broke stuff and truck stolen, cars stolen, saddles. Had two horses stolen. Got one back. But what’s happened since the mid-2000s is the cartels took over the human trade, as well as the drug trade.

    That’s what the whole border’s about now, is just money. It isn’t about immigration. It’s about smuggling.

    DAVE LOWELL: Smugglers are not people you want to run into in the middle of the ranch.

    We think, on our ranch, there were six murders on the ranch itself. We have a tree that was previously called locally a rape tree. A high percentage of the women are raped in the process of crossing the border.

    And their underwear is draped on trees to demonstrate how macho the Mexican was that led them across the border. It takes a particular bad mind-set to do things like.

    JOHN LADD: Yes, they cut both sides in.

    Down here a little bit, they were — well, here it is. They’re just cutting it tall enough to get a truck through. Instead of cutting all the way up, they do it here. Wouldn’t need a ladder.

    These are concrete, but they’re no rebar. So they’d score the edge of it, and then put a tow strap, and break it. So I haven’t had any positive effect from having a fence.

    We have got permanent cameras. We got radar units. We got portable cameras. And none of that has worked, because there isn’t enough Border Patrol to respond to the traffic that’s coming through it.

    This isn’t a humanitarian deal anymore. You know, this is securing the border. And you have to act like it’s a military exercise.

    REED THWAITS, Atascosa Ranch: Yes, there’s definitely two sides to it. Yes, there definitely is. The two sides are what we did today, working outside with my hands and actually producing something every day.

    I don’t know. It’s kind of living the dream. I mean, that’s what I always wanted to do, so that’s what I do. It doesn’t get — it doesn’t get a whole lot — a whole lot better than that, so…

    The other side of that is the — you know, there’s criminals coming through here and smuggling drugs and smuggling people, all the criminal activity that goes along with it.

    DAVE LOWELL: We’re waiting with interest to see what happens with President Trump. The number of illegals coming through now is — there’s been a big drop at the time of Trump’s election.

    JOHN LADD: This is the best it’s been in 30 years.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can find additional videos and stories at TheWall.USAToday.com.

    The post How ranchers say Trump’s wall would change the border appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: This week, as President Trump addressed the U.N. General Assembly in New York, repeating his America-first approach to world affairs, Bill and Melinda Gates were also in town, hosting a conference to unveil the results of a three-year Gates Foundation study assessing progress on some of the world’s major health issues.

    I spoke with Melinda Gates yesterday, and began by asking whether her foundation’s priorities were compatible with those of the Trump administration.

    MELINDA GATES, Co-Founder, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation: Well, I think the messages you are hearing there are different than the messages we’re giving.

    We’re really trying to reinforce what 193 nations set out to do two years ago. They set the set of sustainable development goals that — and if we follow those goals, just like the previous goals that they set the previous 15 years, we will see incredible progress around the world.

    But Bill and I really believe that that takes nations reaching out to one another. We know that progress is possible. We have seen it. Childhood deaths have been cut in half. Poverty has been cut in half. Maternal mortality has been cut in half.

    But that’s because of people working together. And that’s really the message that we’re giving. We need to keep up this progress. But this progress is not inevitable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you — as you say, you have seen progress. You have called on world leaders to step up their global giving.

    But you have also cited a loss of U.S. leadership in this field. You have talked about it contributing to confusion and chaos and, in particular, affecting those most vulnerable populations around the world.

    Expand on that a little. What do you mean by that?

    MELINDA GATES: Well, if we want peace and security and stability around the world, we have to make investments in people around the world.

    Bill and I travel the globe all year long. We’re in some of the most remote rural places in Africa, and India and Bangladesh. People don’t want to get up on the high seas and get in a life-threatening dinghy to go to Europe if they have a prosperous society where they are.

    And that means we have to keep up these investments in foreign aid. For the U.S., it’s less than 1 percent of our American budget goes to foreign aid. But those investments are what means people have health and they have prosperity around the world.

    It also means, if we make the right investments, we won’t have things like Ebola show up on our doorstep or Zika. We have to make these investments. And even the generals are talking about the fact you make these health, you make education investments, they lead to the right things, and, frankly, you buy less bullets.

    And so that’s the thing that’s right for the American people to do.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How worried are you, though, that the investments on the part of the United States may be cut significantly?

    MELINDA GATES: Well, this administration has proposed significant cuts to foreign aid.

    But what I am very optimistic about is Congress. We have had very good bipartisan support for these issues for a very long time. President Bush was the one that came up with the first emergency AIDS plan for relief. It’s why we have had a substantial cut in HIV deaths over the last many years.

    We have seen the last administration come forward and do a whole program around malaria. So, we know on the Hill there is really great bipartisan support for things like maternal and child health. And we’re counting on Congress to keep up that funding. And Bill and I are having a lot of conversations with Congress about that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what do you say to those who are still out there criticizing some foreign aid, saying much of it is just not as effective as it should be?

    MELINDA GATES: I would say I wish you could go where Bill and I travel.

    If you saw the difference in Tanzania today vs. when I traveled there for the first time 15 years ago, or Ethiopia, or Rwanda, or India, these investments are what puts a country on a path of prosperity.

    If you look at investments in South Korea, they moved from a low- to middle-income country. They now give aid to the rest of the world. We can put all countries on that trajectory, but we have to make these investments up front.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Melinda Gates, a few other things I want to ask you about.

    One is something you have written about recently, the effect of technology on children. You wrote a column for The Washington Post in which you said, despite the fact you have spent most of — much of your life, your career in tech and in the tech world, you were not prepared for what it meant to try to parent children in this environment.

    What have you learned about that? What advice would you share for parents?

    MELINDA GATES: Yes.

    So, I’m a fundamental believer in technology. I think it does incredible things for society. But it means we have to be on top of it as parents, and we have to really think about what it means for our children.

    And what really struck me to write that article was, I have a daughter who is going to graduate from college in a year, and I have a daughter who just graduated from eighth grade. We just finished middle school.

    The difference in just that span of time, from my oldest to my youngest daughter, was profound in terms of technology. And so, as parents, I think we have to be incredibly thoughtful about what our children are doing on that computer that’s literally in their pockets.

    Some parents are putting that computer in kids’ pockets age 5. I think that’s far too young, but even what rules we have and being on the same media that they’re on. It means we have to learn and keep up with them and be thoughtful about our rules and also thoughtful about when they shouldn’t be on their phones, so they have real conversations with people, and they can empathize with others and not just be online on their phones.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: More broadly, some of the biggest companies in the tech world are increasingly being seen in a negative light. They’re being seen — and this includes Microsoft — being seen as taking on greater — having more and more power, but not taking on and accepting the responsibility that goes with it.

    And that includes issues like privacy, fake news. You and your husband have obviously been deeply involved in that in the past. What’s your take on it?

    MELINDA GATES: Well, my take is that the technology is moving really fast.

    And I think that a lot of these companies are trying to do the right thing. They’re also keeping up with it. They’re hearing — if I talk to people inside of Microsoft, or I talk to Satya, or I talk to many of the other leaders at Microsoft, they’re actually hearing their employees, the millennials, saying to them, hey, there are things we want you to do as a company to do the right things for the world.

    And so a lot of tech companies are trying to catch up themselves. I ultimately trust that they will do the right thing, but the tech is going so fast that everybody is looking at this.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: One other aspect of the technology field, and that is women.

    There has been a lot of reporting in the last few years about how women are simply not as represented as they should be and they’re not being given a fair shake, and even worse in the field of technology.

    You worked in that field. How do you see that?

    MELINDA GATES: Sure.

    So, I’m a computer science graduate. I had a fantastic career at Microsoft. And I think, though, what you’re seeing is, at the time I was in college, we were on the rise; 37 percent of graduates were women in computer science. Same — we were on the uptick, like law and medicine.

    Those fields have gone up, but computer science has gone down now; 18 percent of graduate in computer science are women. That means you have a problem.

    And yet this is an industry that should be incredibly welcoming to women. Tech is pervasive for us in society now. It’s going to be an industry that is going to pass financial services as the biggest industry. So they need to look at things about, what do we need to do to make industry more welcoming for women?

    What is it — why do women drop out in — all the way through K-12 and college? How do we create pathways through computer science, like that opening computer science course in college? Some of the best places, community colleges, colleges, universities, they’re doing great things to welcome women in, giving real-world problems, explaining to women, you can be a computer scientist.

    So, I think we have to lean into this and figure out what solutions are working and then spread those across the field. And there are. You’re hearing more conversation about this, and you’re hearing some of the things that are going on in the Valley that aren’t good. You’re finally seeing the transparency come to light.

    And once something becomes more transparent, then you can start to really work on the solution. So, I’m cautiously optimistic that things are actually going to get better.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Melinda Gates, who did work in the field and now with her husband, Bill, runs the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, thank you very much.

    MELINDA GATES: Thank you, Judy.

    The post Why Melinda Gates thinks the U.S. must protect foreign aid appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: This hurricane season has seen one devastating storm after another. Harvey, Irma and now Maria have left communities in ruin in their wake and put a spotlight on the problems plaguing the U.S.’ National Flood Insurance Program.

    That’s the subject Paul Solman tackles on our weekly economics series, Making Sense.

    LENI SHUCHTER, Pequannock, New Jersey Homeowner: And, in 1984, that’s the roof we were taken off of.

    PAUL SOLMAN: You went up onto this roof?

    LENI SHUCHTER: Yes.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Leni Shuchter lives in Pequannock, New Jersey, a little too close to the Pompton river, a tributary of the Passaic.

    LENI SHUCHTER: We had — it was a 24-foot boat pulled up alongside the roof.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And how long were you up there?

    LENI SHUCHTER: About four hours.

    PAUL SOLMAN: The spring storms of 1984 were a once-in-a-century event, which is why Shuchter had no flood insurance.

    LENI SHUCHTER: It wasn’t classified a flood zone in 1972, when I bought the house.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So then, after ’84, did you then get flood insurance?

    LENI SHUCHTER: Yes. We had to, because what we were eligible for is a loan that was put out by the Small Business Administration, and part of that was you had to have flood insurance.

    PAUL SOLMAN: As it turned out, the so-called 100-year floods moved up their schedule.

    LENI SHUCHTER: We have had five occurrences since 1999.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Five?

    LENI SHUCHTER: Five. Four of them were I guess what they would call, 25-year floods. You know, they’re the ones that just went in our basement.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, that’s four 25-year floods in…

    LENI SHUCHTER: Well, from ’99 to ’11, so in 12 years.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And three 100-year floods in 27 years.

    LENI SHUCHTER: Correct.

    PAUL SOLMAN: She now had flood insurance and has received more than 110,000 federal dollars over the years, most recently $72,000 in 2011, after Hurricane Irene.

    So how high did the water get here in the house?

    LENI SHUCHTER: It came within an inch of the waterlilies.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Too bad you didn’t have the bridge.

    LENI SHUCHTER: Yes, let me tell you, the bridge would’ve been a savior, for sure.

    PAUL SOLMAN: As Claude Monet himself would have known, his iconic pond at Giverny created by water diverted from local floods.

    But here in New Jersey, the increasingly troubled waters have helped imperil the National Flood Insurance Program itself, which started sinking back in 2005, when Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Wilma forced it to borrow $17.5 billion from the U.S. Treasury to pay claims.

    Interest payments and later storms have since submerged the program, so that it’s now nearly $25 billion underwater, and that’s before Hurricanes Irma and Harvey.

    The Gulf states, Texas, Louisiana top the list of repetitive loss claims, but the so-called Garden State is no slouch, ranking third in homeowners who file again and again.

    JOHN A. MILLER, Water Resources Engineer: And again and again.

    PAUL SOLMAN: On the banks of the Passaic River in Little Falls, New Jersey, flood expert John Miller.

    JOHN A. MILLER: This is one of the ground zeros for flood repetitive claims. In this area, we had flooding in 2007, 2010, and 2011 twice.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So how high did the river rise?

    JOHN A. MILLER: The water’s about one foot right now. It came up another 13 feet, twice as high as I am tall.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So the water came up — well, it would be almost to the second story of houses like that, right?

    JOHN A. MILLER: Yes, certainly well over the first floor of those homes.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Around Houston, only 15 percent of homeowners were insured against Harvey’s water damage, partly because the government’s outdated flood maps didn’t reflect the true risk.

    In the Passaic Watershed, though, which has been flooding famously since 1903, about a third of homes are covered. And if built before the government started publishing flood zone maps in the 1970s and’ 80s, owners get a hefty discount.

    Leni Shuchter pays only $200 a month for a risk that no private insurer would cover at anywhere near that price.

    LENI SHUCHTER: The shed back here is 12-by-32. In 2011, that became an ark. And it floated. It broke down the fence.

    (LAUGHTER)

    PAUL SOLMAN: I don’t mean to laugh.

    LENI SHUCHTER: And it ended up in the driveway.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And this raises the question that prompted our trek to the Garden State: In bailing out homeowners like Leni Shuchter, are we taxpayers encouraging them to buy, and stay put, in places so flood-prone, it puts them, and taxpayers, at inordinate risk?

    JOHN A. MILLER: Back in the 1960s, when the National Flood Insurance Program was created, the private market wasn’t insuring flood-prone areas.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Because they were going to lose money on it, because…

    JOHN A. MILLER: Because they were going to lose money. Flood risk is different than auto. It’s different than homeowners, fires.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Because if insurers pay out more in claims than they get in premiums, they go broke. But in places like Pequannock or Little Falls:

    JOHN A. MILLER: You’re in a floodplain, right? The people that are purchasing flood insurance are flood-vulnerable.

    PAUL SOLMAN: That is, the people who are most vulnerable are the ones buying the insurance.

    JOHN A. MILLER: Absolutely.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And we’re talking up to $350,000 per claim. But then, if you provide insurance at below market rates, you’re encouraging people to come live in a dangerous place?

    JOHN A. MILLER: That’s why the flood insurance program is not just an insurance product.

    PAUL SOLMAN: From the get-go, that is, federal flood insurance included money for mitigation, measures to prop up substantially damaged homes, or tear them down.

    JOE GOLDEN, Pequannock Township Engineer: We bought out approximately 75 homes here on both sides of the highway.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Engineer Joe Golden, Pequannock’s point man for flood insurance. After Irene, the town, well, wised up, and secured funds to buy out the most flood-prone homes.

    So, this is housing lot after housing lot reclaimed by nature.

    JOE GOLDEN: Right.

    PAUL SOLMAN: The other form of mitigation, elevating homes, at $100,000 to $200,000 a pop.

    JOE GOLDEN: The larger holes up on the second story, that’s where they put the steel beams through, and where they put the jacks to jack the home up.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Federal grants reimburse homeowners for the cost of raising their houses, and living expenses for several months while the work is being done.

    JOE GOLDEN: Those openings that are near the ground, those are flood vents that allow water to go in and out during flooding. And that prevents the block from collapsing. That’s why FEMA’s giving us the money. They don’t want to pay out $80,000, and then we have another flood, and they pay another $80,000, we have another flood, and they pay another.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So Pequannock now boasts a home with a Roman aqueduct.

    JOE GOLDEN: This is particularly good for floodplain management because of the openness.

    PAUL SOLMAN: A French chateau.

    JOE GOLDEN: The whole bottom floor, they have made it look as if it’s living space, whereas it really is just storage space.

    PAUL SOLMAN: A country cottage.

    JOE GOLDEN: In my opinion, it’s probably the nicest elevation in the community.

    PAUL SOLMAN: A colonial on steroids.

    And how much is this house worth now?

    JOE GOLDEN: This house recently sold, I’m told, for $490,000.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Four hundred and ninety thousand dollars?

    JOE GOLDEN: Yes, $490,000.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Because it’s supposedly protected.

    JOE GOLDEN: In a floodplain, yes. But it is protected. Their insurance is going to go way down.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Down to about $600 a year, vs. up to $9,000 for the un-elevated, once federal subsidies are phased out.

    But that still begs the big question: the continued role of government flood insurance even in the face of rising tides.

    JOHN A. MILLER: Some do say that it encourages development in the floodplain. Some would say that it’s an affordability issue. Floodplains are some of the affordable properties.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Well, but they’re affordable because they’re dangerous.

    JOHN A. MILLER: That is right.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Leni Shuchter wishes she’d been offered a buyout, but has applied for a grant to elevate instead.

    The grant is for $196,000, more than her house is now worth.

    So, if you didn’t have flood insurance, would you just leave?

    LENI SHUCHTER: Probably not, because I wouldn’t be able to sell it.

    JOE GOLDEN: Now, here’s our map that shows the areas that have been redefined as floodways.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Pardon the metaphor, but a lot more people are going to be in Leni Shuchter’s boat once new government flood maps take effect.

    JOE GOLDEN: We went from 250-feet floodway to now 3,000.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Wow.

    An additional 284 homes in tiny Pequannock, says engineer Joe Golden, hiked to the highest risk category of flooding just two weeks ago.

    And in a hitherto dry part of town:

    JOE GOLDEN: This purple area was added into the floodplain.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And hadn’t been there before?

    JOE GOLDEN: Hadn’t been there in the history of Pequannock. There’s 229 houses in that area. Any of these people go to sell their home, the buyer won’t be able to get his mortgage unless he purchases flood insurance. That house just lost $100,000 in value, just from producing these maps.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And none of the people in these houses know that yet?

    JOE GOLDEN: Not yet, no.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Joe Golden believes the new maps go overboard, and has vowed to fight on behalf of affected homeowners.

    RADLEY HORTON, Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory: The maps are showing you sea level rise in the New York region.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Fact is, says climate scientist Radley Horton, even if Pequannock wins, its victory will probably be Pyrrhic. Though it’s away from the coast, where rising ocean levels would make it even more vulnerable, property values are at risk of plunging here, insurance of shooting up to reflect the true economic risk.

    Is that fair, given all the uncertainty around the science of this?

    RADLEY HORTON: Well, it’s probably not fair to the individuals. But with rising seas, more moisture in the air, we do expect to see areas that aren’t currently in the flood zone becoming vulnerable in the future.

    And, in fact, we could see property values fall, not because water touches or doesn’t touch some of these homes, but because of systemic risk, the inability of insurance to cover all these assets, or investors finally realizing that a lot of critical infrastructure isn’t going to be fundable.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And this prompted my last question: Why doesn’t someone like Leni Shuchter just move on, and out?

    LENI SHUCHTER: Where would I move to?

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, you’re stuck?

    LENI SHUCHTER: Pretty much.

    PAUL SOLMAN: For the PBS NewsHour, this is economics correspondent Paul Solman, reporting from the floodplains of New Jersey.

    The post After Harvey and Irma, what’s the future of flood insurance? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Separate from North Korea, President Trump has made no secret of his disdain for the Iran nuclear agreement, which was struck by the Obama administration, five other world powers and Iran.

    He’s long said he wants to renegotiate the 2015 accord, and he soon faces another deadline on how to proceed.

    The president denounced the agreement again Tuesday at the United Nations.

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: The Iran deal was one of the worst and most one-sided transactions the United States has ever entered into.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Every three months, the president must decide whether to recertify that Iran is in compliance with the nuclear agreement. Mr. Trump did so in April and July, and must decide again by October 15.

    Yesterday, in New York, amid shouted questions from reporters, he said he’s made up his mind.

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I have decided.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: International monitors say Iran is holding to the letter of the deal. But the Trump administration says Iran’s continued ballistic missile development and its destabilizing activities in Syria, Yemen and elsewhere violate the spirit of the agreement.

    Secretary of State Rex Tillerson met with all parties to the deal last night, including Iran’s foreign minister, and aired another concern afterward.

    REX TILLERSON, Secretary of State: And that is the sunset clause, where one can almost set the countdown clock to when Iran can resume its nuclear weapons programs, its nuclear activities.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Trump White House is now pushing to reopen and renegotiate the accord known by the acronym JCPOA. That’s a nonstarter for the Iranians.

    President Hassan Rouhani yesterday in New York:

    PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, Iran (through interpreter): This agreement is not something that someone can touch. Either the JCPOA will remain as is in its entirety, or it will no longer exist.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: For its part, Tehran says the U.S. is violating the deal by discouraging investment in Iran. Rouhani also said that if the U.S. pulled out of the agreement, Iran could restart its uranium enrichment.

    For more on this, I’m joined from New York by Rob Malley, a special assistant to President Obama. He was the lead senior White House negotiator for the agreement. He is now a vice president of the International Crisis Group. And by Stephen Rademaker, he was the head of the State Department’s Bureau of International Security and Nonproliferation during the George W. Bush administration.

    And, welcome, gentlemen, to both of you.

    Rob Malley, I’m going to start with you.

    So, what do you make of the president’s now suggestion once again that he may be ready not to recertify this deal?

    ROB MALLEY, Former Obama Administration NSC Staff: Well, I thought the writing is on the wall, because, with the president, he could change his mind, but I think all indications from him and from members of his Cabinet are that he’s determined not to certify Iran’s compliance come mid-October, which is a decision which would be based on no evidence, since the Atomic Energy — International Atomic Energy Agency eight times has certified that Iran is in compliance.

    The U.S. State Department has agreed that Iran is in compliance. Secretary Tillerson himself has said that, technically speaking, Iran is in compliance. And all the other signatories of the agreement say that Iran is in compliance.

    So that would be a faith-based or a political decision, not an evidentiary decision, which would have very, very negative consequences not just in terms of Iran perhaps resuming its nuclear program at a much more rapid pace, but also the credibility of the United States and the word that it gives when it agrees to a deal, that credibility would be seriously undermined.

    And then we just heard talk about North Korea. And it’s quite extraordinary that we would not only creating a new nuclear crisis, when we don’t need one, when we have one with North Korea today…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    ROB MALLEY: … but that we would be sending the message to the North Koreans, don’t believe our diplomacy, don’t believe any deal we enter with you, because we could revisit it the next month.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Stephen Rademaker, what do you make of the fact the president may just go ahead and not recertify?

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER, Former George W. Bush Administration Official: Well, I think it’s important first to point out that the certification that he’s required to make is not just that Iran is in compliance with the deal, but also that it continues to be in the national interest of the United States to remain within the deal.

    And that’s a judgment that the president is supposed to make. And he’s made clearly, in his opinion, it’s not in the national interest to remain in the deal.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And he’s talking about Iran or what he says is that Iran is violating the spirit of the agreement. Do you agree with it?

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER: Well, I think, if one wants to make a case, there are things to point to that I think actually go beyond violations of the spirit of the agreement.

    Iran has been testing ballistic missiles, in violation of U.N. Security Council 2231, which calls on Iran not to test ballistic missiles. T.’s a related agreement to the JCPOA.

    So, that — and I think there are some other examples that could be pointed to by the president to conclude Iran is not in compliance. That said, I think it’s a very risky road to go down.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you mean? Risky road in what sense?

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER: Well, because it sets in process a chain of events that probably leads to the termination — or actually the reimposition of U.S. sanctions on Iran.

    And it puts the United States in a position where we may be in conflict with some of our allies over how to proceed.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, and I want to get to that.

    But, Rob Malley, you just — on the basic point of whether Iran is in compliance or not, you have a different view?

    ROB MALLEY: It’s not a matter of a view.

    Everyone who has looked at it — and I’m not just talking about foreign countries, the French, Germans, the Brits, the European Union, the Atomic Energy that does the monitoring, but the United States, the State Department, has certified several times that Iran is in compliance.

    And Secretary Tillerson said it himself. So, I don’t think it’s a matter of debate. Iran is in compliance. The deal is working. And the deal has worked in ways that has put us far further from the risk of a nuclear-armed Iran than we were when the deal was first entered into.

    So we are in a better position, and Iran is living up to the deal. Now, on this question of the spirit and the technical adherence to the deal, I think when it comes to an issue as serious as a nuclear deal that is supposed to prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear bomb, we should deal with technical facts, not with spirits. I don’t know what these spirits mean.

    The other issues, ballistic missiles, Iran’s support for terrorism, those are divorced from the JCPOA. They should be dealt with. They can be dealt with sanctions and other means. But they have nothing to do with the JCPOA. And that was very clear to us. It was very clear to the Iranians and to all the other negotiators.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you want to respond?

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER: Well, we haven’t seen the president’s certification, so we don’t know what he will say.

    AS I pointed out, part of the certification is that it’s in the U.S. national interest. And that’s not an international judgment that’s to be made. It’s not a State Department judgment. It’s a judgment by the president. So, I mean, that certainly would be one basis upon which he could withhold a certification.

    I do think Iran has engaged in a variety of activities since previous presidential certifications that the president could point to as more than just violations of the spirit. He could claim they are violations of the letter.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Stephen Rademaker, let’s come back to that point I think you were getting at a moment ago that, if this happened, what would it mean for the deal? Would the whole deal collapse? There are other countries who have signed on to this. What would happen?

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER: Well, it’s a little bit unclear.

    Secretary — or — I’m sorry — Ambassador Nikki Haley gave a speech recently in which she outlined this — procedurally what will happen. And in the first instance, all that happens, if the president fails to certify, is that a process is triggered where Congress gets to consider whether to pass legislation to reimpose sanctions.

    We don’t know whether Congress will pass that legislation or not. So, but, in the first sense, what this does is, it puts Congress on the hook to consider whether it wants to reimpose sanctions.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What would you think would happen, Rob Malley? I know you don’t want it to happen, but if the president says, we’re not — I’m not recertifying this, what happens to the deal?

    ROB MALLEY: So, first, I think it is important. We do agree that not certifying would be a mistake for all the reasons that Stephen just mentioned earlier.

    If the president doesn’t certify, and it is true that then the ball is in Congress’ court. Congress has 60 days then to pass expedited sanctions legislation, which would reimpose all of the sanctions that had been lifted. That would be a clear-cut violation of the deal and that would really isolate the United States and really let Iran off the hook to do what it deems it wants to do because Iran — or the U.S. would have been in violation, in breach of the deal.

    Congress could also decide to pass other sanctions to try to pressure Iran to try to change the deal. Who knows what they will do. But the problem, we then would be on a pathway where the world would believe, as they already do, most of them, that the U.S. is determined to scuttle the deal, to torpedo the deal.

    That creates a crisis in our relations with Europe. It creates a crisis with Iran, where Iran again could feel entitled to rush to its atomic, its nuclear program.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    And let me just quickly, finally, ask you, Stephen Rademaker. Under what scenario does the U.S. come out of this, if the president decertifies, with a better deal with Iran and its nuclear program?

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER: I think that will be a real diplomatic challenge.

    But, you know, he’s made clear that he has problems with the deal. I think a lot of people — a majority of the U.S. Congress disagreed with this deal. That was clear from the votes that were cast at the time.

    So I think the president is struggling with the question of how does he reopen the matter and try to get a better deal for the United States. He’s got quite a difficult road ahead of him. Congress perhaps can find a way to be helpful, if it considers legislation that imposes additional sanctions that pressure.

    It would be conceivable, for example, for Congress to adopt new sanctions that are consistent with the JCPOA, but still pressure Iran.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    STEPHEN RADEMAKER: And maybe that would provide some leverage to bring about further agreements with Iran that would address some of the U.S. concerns.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we will see what happens. Again, the president is saying he has made a decision, but he is not disclosing what it is. I know we’re going to continue to follow it.

    Stephen Rademaker, Rob Malley, thank you both.

    ROB MALLEY: Thank you.

    The post Will Trump walk away from the Iran nuclear deal? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Donald Trump's then-campaign chair and convention manager Paul Manafort speaks at a press conference at the Republican Convention in Cleveland last year. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And in the day’s other news: President Trump’s one-time campaign chairman Paul Manafort is acknowledging that he offered private briefings to a Russian billionaire tied to the Kremlin. But a spokesman says that the offer was — quote — “innocuous” and that no briefings ever occurred.

    The Washington Post reports that it happened just before last summer’s Republican National Convention. Manafort left the campaign a month later.

    Facebook says that it will give Congress the contents of some 3,000 ads bought by a Russian agency last year. They appeared during the U.S. presidential campaign. Congress has been pressing for details of the ads as part of probes into possible Russian meddling in the election.

    There’s word that one-time pro football star Aaron Hernandez had severe signs of the brain disease CTE. Boston University confirmed it today based on a study of his brain tissue. Hernandez played for the New England Patriots before being convicted of murder. Last April, he hanged himself in his prison cell.

    And on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 53 points to close at 22359. The Nasdaq fell 33, and the S&P 500 slipped seven.

     

    The post News Wrap: Manafort offered ‘private briefings’ to Russian billionaire connected to the Kremlin appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    North Korean leader Kim Jong Un inspects the intercontinental ballistic missile Hwasong-14 in this undated photo released by KCNA

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: From natural disasters to nuclear diplomacy, President Trump ordered new sanctions today aimed at crippling North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programs. The order allows for targeting individuals and companies that trade with North Korea, including foreign banks.

    The president made the announcement during a lunch with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: For much too long, North Korea has been allowed to abuse the international financial system to facilitate funding for its nuclear weapons and missile programs. Tolerance for this disgraceful practice must end now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Later today, North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, called President Trump — quote — “deranged” and said that he — quote — “pay dearly for his threat.”

    We get more on today’s move with David Cohen, who served as deputy director of the CIA and undersecretary for terrorism and financial intelligence at the Treasury Department during the Obama administration.

    David Cohen, welcome back to the program.

    DAVID COHEN, Former Treasury Department Official: Good to see you..

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, how significant is this move by the president?

    DAVID COHEN: I think it’s actually quite significant.

    These new sanctions that the president issued today with an executive order creates new, real and meaningful authorities for the United States to impose sanctions both on businesses that are working with North Korea and what is I think quite significant, financial institutions that are working with North Korea.

    It is a combination really of what had been imposed on Russia and what we had done with respect to Iran that really ramped up the pressure there.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So there have been sanctions against North Korea. How is this different from what had been done before?

    DAVID COHEN: Well, most significantly, this authority allows what are called secondary sanctions on foreign financial institutions, which mostly are Chinese banks.

    So, what it says is, any Chinese bank or any foreign financial institution that is working with designated, so sanctioned, North Korean entities can be cut off from the United States. That puts real pressure on those banks, and the president today said that they need to make a choice between working with North Korean institutions or working with the United States.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, meantime, David Cohen, the Chinese government announced today that it is ordering its banks to cease doing any business with North Korea. So what does that tell you?

    DAVID COHEN: That tells me that the Chinese may have known this was coming, and are taking steps to protect their financial system from the risk that one of their banks will get caught in these secondary sanctions.

    They’re telling their banks, back off from North Korea, don’t do business with North Korea. That will protect them from the possibility that they will be sanctioned by the U.S.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what does all this mean for North Korea? I just read the quote, the comment today from Kim Jong-un. What does it really mean for their country?

    DAVID COHEN: Well, you know, Kim Jong-un is a master of over-the-top rhetoric. And we should look at what they do, not what Kim Jong-un says, because he is very practiced in that sort of rhetoric.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    DAVID COHEN: What these sanctions, I think, means is, I think it’s a signal to the North Koreans that the United States is trying to maximize pressure.

    But with that, and in all the statements from the White House today, came the hint that, if there was a potential negotiation here about the nuclear program, the United States was open to hearing that out. So I think it’s a possibility for a negotiation.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So potential pain for them not having this business, but an opening, is what you’re saying?

    DAVID COHEN: Exactly, and real significant pain if the United States follows through on imposing sanctions under these new authorities.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, David Cohen, thank you again.

    DAVID COHEN: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Appreciate it.

    The post What will new U.S. sanctions mean for North Korea? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to Hurricane Maria. The confirmed death toll across the Caribbean rose to 19 today, nearly all of them on the island of Dominica. Reports also began coming in of widespread damage on Puerto Rico, after it took an all-day pounding on Wednesday.

    John Yang has that story.

    JOHN YANG: Across Puerto Rico today, more rain. In some spots, as much as three feet is forecast to fall by Friday. Flood warnings cover the entire island.

    Parts of San Juan were under several feet of water after the storm surge rushed in. Residents emerged from an overnight curfew to face the first clear view of the devastation: clothes and belongings strewn about, trees and power lines downed, red tile roofs splayed across streets.

    PATRICK GEORGE, San Juan Resident (through interpreter): Eighty-five percent of the houses are gone in the neighborhood.

    JOHN YANG: Hardest hit, Puerto Rico’s smaller coastal towns, like Guayama, near where Maria made landfall. It’s lost all communications.

    In New York today, President Trump used apocalyptic terms, saying the U.S. territory has been obliterated.

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Puerto Rico is in very, very, very tough shape. Their electrical grid is destroyed. So we’re starting the process now, and we will work with the governor and the people of Puerto Rico.

    JOHN YANG: Governor Ricardo Rossello met with FEMA officials, already spread thin by a series of powerful storms, to discuss a recovery plan. He warned it will take months to repair the island’s long-neglected electrical grid and restore power.

    To the east, word of even worse devastation on tiny Dominica, where British aid and military teams landed today. Officials say 95 percent of the buildings are damaged.

    ROOSEVELT SKERRIT, Prime Minister, Dominica: Every village in Dominica, every street, every cranny, every person in Dominica was impacted by the hurricane. We have no running water now. We have no electricity, no power.

    JOHN YANG: St. Croix, in the U.S. Virgin Islands, also reported near-total communications and power outages; 65 percent of the buildings suffered damage. Today, Maria lashed the Dominican Republic with heavy wind and rain.

    The storm is forecast to reach Turks and Caicos overnight, then pass the Eastern Bahamas by Saturday morning. But a sharp turn to the north will take it toward the open Atlantic by Monday. As of now, Maria is not expected to pose a direct threat to the U.S. mainland, having already ravaged U.S. territories in the Caribbean.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m John Yang.

    The post Hurricane Maria’s destructive tear across the Caribbean appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Members of a rescue team hold a fellow volunteer's feet during the search for students at the Enrique Rebsamen school in Mexico City. Photo by Daniel Becerril/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Grasping for a sliver of hope. A life-and-death drama played out today, two days after a 7.1 earthquake struck Mexico City and the surrounding region. The death toll stood at 245, with more than 2,000 hurt.

    Our William Brangham is there, and filed this report.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: From dusk to dawn, and all through the day, they dug, trying to reach what they thought was a young girl trapped in the ruins of a collapsed school. The tale of the girl called Frida Sofia has gripped the country since early yesterday, when rescuers first heard her voice coming out of the wreckage.

    RODOLFO RUVALCAVA (through interpreter): Yes, she told me her name. Apart from just her name, she told us there were two other kids, and that there were other bodies. We don’t know if the others are alive.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Then, at mid-afternoon, word from the Mexican Navy: There is no missing child at the school.

    ANGEL ENRIQUE SARMIENTO (through interpreter): We are sure it wasn’t real, because, I repeat, we collaborated with public education, with the delegation and with the school, and all the totality of the children, regrettably, some are deceased. Others, I repeat, are at the hospital, and the rest are safe in their homes.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: At least 26 bodies have been recovered from the school. All but five of them were children. But on the day of the quake, a girl and a boy were pulled alive from the rubble.
    A man had called to them to crawl through an opening in the side of the building, and they found their way out. Those small victories gave the rescue crews and volunteers the hope and strength to keep going. The quake hit Tuesday afternoon near the Puebla state town of Raboso, 76 miles southeast of Mexico City.

    Since then, officials say more than 50 survivors have been freed in dramatic rescues across the area. Last night in the Del Valle neighborhood of Mexico City, rescuers were met with applause as they carried out a man who’d been trapped in a toppled apartment building. The scene was similar in the La Condesa neighborhood. Hundreds of rescuers searched to find four women believed to be trapped in this rubble, the remains of a seven-story apartment building.

    We spoke with one volunteer who arrived just 30 minutes after the quake struck and hasn’t left.

    Have you been sleeping at all?

    FABIAN COSSIO ORTEGA, Volunteer: Just on the corner of the street, yes. Some people haven’t left. It’s just, we cannot leave, you know? We have to stay.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Throughout the night, the work went on, removing dirt by the bucketful to prevent further collapse.

    LEON DEL VALLE DIAZ, Rescuer (through interpreter): I believe people need help, and I would like to think there are still survivors. And, honestly, I have always helped when there have been disasters. My family and I have always helped in some way, either with provisions or by supporting them, like right now with the debris.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: In the center of the city today, rescuers dug through the remains of this textile factory. It’s estimated that about 100 workers, mostly Japanese, were inside when the quake hit.

    There’s no official count of actually how many people were inside this building. It’s estimated that about 30-some bodies have already been brought out. But rescue workers here are working frantically because they believe that there is still at least one other people who is alive inside the rubble who has been texting rescue workers on the outside, asking for help.

    Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto has declared three days of national mourning. In a televised statement last night, he offered his own condolences.

    PRESIDENT ENRIQUE PENA NIETO, Mexico (through interpreter): The whole of Mexican society is with you. We’re with you in your pain. I reiterate to the residents of affected zones that you are not alone. Working together, we are going to make it through.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Nieto said aid is also coming in from Japan, the United States and other countries.

    The help cannot come too soon. Several buildings in Mexico City are feared to be near collapse, and officials face the competing demands of trying to save lives, and beginning demolition work to ensure public safety.

    For now, though, every single person we have talked to here is determined 100 percent to keep this solely a search-and-rescue mission — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, William, you have now been to a couple of these collapsed sites. Tell us what it’s like.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The overwhelming response here is pretty incredible. There are hundreds of people from all over the country and from other countries as well volunteering their time.

    They are taking time off work. They’re coming from all walks of life, and shopkeepers, construction workers. I met a guy who runs a shop. Everyone just feels an incredible pull to come out here and try to do something, anything to help find anyone that might be left in this wreckage.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And how are these rescuers holding up themselves? This can be very emotional.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: It can be emotional. There are enormous false starts that happen all the time.

    People get their hopes up, they hear a rumor, the crowd is suddenly silenced because they’re told that there’s a sound that’s come out of one of the rubble piles, everyone gets silent immediately. It’s an incredible sight to see, where hundreds of people who have been working in very chaotic circumstances get this upraised fist signal to be quiet, and they all do.

    So, the fact is, though, most of the places we have been to, they have only been just that, false alarms. We haven’t seen anyone come out of the wreckage alive in over a day.

    One of the great disappointments here, of course, has been the news that the girl that was thought to be inside this collapsed school may have turned out to simply be just hope or a rumor or wishful thinking. There are recriminations now afterwards on social media. Everyone is now blaming one of the big television stations here for feeling like this story got hyped, and so there is a lot of disappointment there.

    But, still, people are eager and hopeful that they still might find survivors somewhere in this country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: That’s so tough.

    And, William, is it your sense that the teams who are doing the rescuing have the supplies they need?

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: They absolutely do.

    In fact, there is — again, characteristic of the response here in Mexico City, volunteers have been overwhelmingly donating food, water, medical supplies, masks, goggles. I mean, we have heard from several people that they don’t need any more of that. They are more than well taken care of here.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, William Brangham reporting for us from Mexico City, where they’re still dealing with this terrible earthquake, thank you, William.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You’re welcome, Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just moments ago, Mexico’s president confirmed that the death toll from the earthquake has now risen to 273.

    The post In Mexico, a race against time to rescue earthquake survivors from the rubble appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Vice President Mike Pence is in his home state of Indiana today to deliver a speech on the GOP’s plan to overhaul the federal tax code.

    The vice president is expected to make remarks on the tax code and health care today at 3 p.m. ET. Watch his remarks in the player above.

    The Trump administration’s focus on Indiana is in part a way to pressure Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly into supporting the Republican’s tax code plans. Donnelly, who is one of the few Senate Democrats who’s up for re-election in 2018, was invited to the White House last week to discuss tax reform. Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia were also in attendance.

    All three senators represent states that Trump handily won in the past election. They all also declined to signed a letter penned by Democrats that denounced GOP plans to revamp the tax code in three decades.

    “It is an honor to welcome the Vice President back home to Indiana,” Donnelly said in a statement a day before Pence arrived. “As we discuss tax reform, I believe that any reform effort should include policies that will create new jobs, protect existing jobs, and benefit middle class and working families. That is what I’ve discussed with President Trump, and I’m pleased he has been supportive of my proposals to prevent the outsourcing of jobs,” he added.

    PBS NewsHour will update this story as it develops.

    The post WATCH LIVE: Pence to speak about tax reform in Indiana appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Hundreds of rescuers worked Wednesday night to find four women believed to be trapped in the rubble of a collapsed apartment building in the La Condesa neighborhood in Mexico City. Volunteers removed the rubble by hand, carrying it away in bucket brigades, to avoid moving heavy equipment in to areas where people may be trapped. PBS NewsHour’s William Brangham recorded this 360 video of the rescue effort.

    Watch William’s full report from Mexico City below.

    The post Watch in 360: Rescuers search for survivors in collapsed apartment building in Mexico City appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra walks along the U.S. Mexico border after announcing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its plan to begin construction of border wall projects in San Diego and Imperial Counties in San Diego, California, U.S. September 20, 2017.     REUTERS/Mike Blake - RC1A1F5B3F80

    California Attorney General Xavier Becerra walks along the U.S. Mexico border after announcing a lawsuit against the Trump Administration over its plan to begin construction of border wall projects in San Diego and Imperial Counties in San Diego, California, U.S. September 20, 2017. Photo by REUTERS/Mike Blake

    The 24-hour news cycle is filled with politics coverage, but not everything gets the attention it deserves. Here are five politics stories you may have missed in the past week.

    1. Trump’s DACA Moves Aren’t Shaking His Most Loyal Supporters — 9/18. At a dinner for conservative Iowans, Trump supporters appear unbothered by the president negotiating a deal on DACA. — Iowa Public Radio
    2. Risky move by Trump in Alabama perplexes supporters, pundits — 9/19. On Friday, President Trump will campaign for Sen. Luther Strange, although the incumbent trails former judge Roy Moore in the runoff election. — Alabama Media Group
    3. Ryan to impanel informal GOP working group on DACA — 9/14. Both moderates and conservatives will meet to find a solution that will enjoy the support of the majority of the Republican conference. — Politico
    4. ‘California versus Trump’ became an instant rallying cry. But ‘resistance’ has been more complicated — 9/17. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has sued the Trump administration six times since April. — LA Times
    5. Indiana a target in Trump administration’s push for tax reform — 9/13. Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have plans to visit Indiana in the next week, and Trump hosted Sen. Donnelly for dinner to talk tax reform last week. — Indianapolis Star

    READ MORE: 5 overlooked politics stories that are worth your time (Sept. 6)

    The post 5 overlooked politics stories that are worth your time appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    An image from "We the People," ThoughtMatter's project to make the U.S. Constitution visible to more people. Courtesy of ThoughtMatter

    An image from “We the People,” ThoughtMatter’s project to make the U.S. Constitution more accessible. Courtesy of ThoughtMatter

    Americans don’t know the Constitution.

    More than half of those surveyed can’t name any of the rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. Only a quarter can name all three branches of government. More than half think (incorrectly) that immigrants who are in the U.S. illegally do not have any rights protected by the Constitution.

    These startling stats come from a new study from the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania. And now a group of America’s top designers, a design agency and a constitutional nonprofit are hoping to inspire Americans to think more deeply about the founding document.

    In “We the People,” a collaborative poster exhibit up this week and next at The Cooper Union Gallery in New York, designers have reimagined the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Many of the 11 posters focus on the darker side of American history.

    A poster reimagining the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution. Credit: Paul Buckley

    The Preamble to the U.S. Constitution, as reimagined by Paul Buckley

    The preamble image, for example, highlights the American slave trade and mistreatment of Native Americans, while the poster depicting the Second Amendment (the right to bear arms) shows a man in a suit talking out of both sides of his mouth about gun rights and gun control. The poster representing the Third Amendment (quartering of soldiers) includes a hand grenade resting on a recliner chair with the words “Home Sweet Home” emblazoned over it, and the poster for the Eighth Amendment (cruel and unusual punishment) emphasizes solitary confinement and overcrowding in U.S. prisons.

    Among the designers who participated in the exhibit are Edel Rodriguez, a Cuban-American artist whose work is often seen on the cover of The New Yorker, Time and Rolling Stone magazines, Milton Glaser, a renowned graphic designer who created the I ❤ NY logo, and Jessica Hische, a letterer known for her viral flowcharts like “Should I work for free?

    ThoughtMatter, the design agency that spearheaded the project, said it assigned amendments to the graphic artists at random. Rodriguez, who was assigned the 10th Amendment (reserved powers), said he was initially unhappy to have to depict this particular amendment, because of how it had been used throughout history to justify segregation and anti-abortion laws.

    But as he learned more about the amendment, he said, he found that it had also been recently used to fight back against some of the Trump administration proposed policies on immigration.

    Poster for the 10th amendment. Credit: Edel Rodriguez

    Amendment X, as reimagined by Edel Rodriguez

    “The Constitution changes depending on the time,” Rodriguez said. His interpretation depicts arms crisscrossed in the shape of an X with hands in fists, which he said represents “that these arms are bound by federalism but branching out in different depictions, so they can also fight back against the binds of the government.”

    Tom Jaffe, founder of ThoughtMatter, said the agency velieves the principle of good design can “make something beautiful, powerful, or bring out a message. And when there already is meaning” — such as in the Constitution — “it can make that message stronger.”

    ThoughtMatter previously made and distributed posters for the Women’s March on Washington.

    Yue Chen, the graphic designer who created the poster depicting the Second Amendment, said that part of his aim was to put one of the more controversial amendments in context. “The amendment says that people should have the right to keep and bear arms, but what about the first part?” he said. (The first half of the amendment speaks about the “security of a free state”). “To me the common goal is really the security… And I feel like a lot of the talking points are being peddled by the politicians that are not necessarily beneficial to finding the better solution to keeping everybody safe.”

    Poster for the second amendment. Credit: Yue Chen

    Amendment II, as reimagined by Yue Chen

    Julie Silverbrook, the executive director of the Constitutional Sources Project, the nonprofit that co-sponsored the exhibit, said she hoped the posters will reach people who otherwise might not be interested in learning about the Bill of Rights.

    Silverbrook first connected with ThoughtMatter after noticing an earlier project in which they redesigned the pocket Constitution in an effort to make it more accessible and easy to read. ThoughtMatter, the Constitutional Sources Project and another nonprofit called the Civics Renewal Network now hope to get that redesigned constitution into the hands of as many students as possible. Some 1,000 copies have already been sent to teachers at the grade school and high school levels.

    ThoughtMatter's redesigned pocket Constitution.

    ThoughtMatter’s redesigned pocket Constitution.

    “We have a real civic knowledge deficit in this country. And the grand American experiment in self-government only works if our citizens are informed,” Silverbrook said. “So it is so important to get people excited about studying the Constitution and its history.”

    The “We the People: Poster Exhibition” is on display at Cooper Union until September 30. See more of the images from the exhibit below.

    Amendment III. Credit: DJ Stout

    Amendment III, as reimagined by DJ Stout

    Poster for the eighth amendment. Credit: Kit Henrichs

    Amendment VIII Credit, as reimagined by Kit Henrichs

    Poster for the ninth amendment. Credit: Elizabeth Resnick

    Amendment IX, as reimagined by Elizabeth Resnick

    The post These provocative posters will make you think differently about ‘We the People’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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