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

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    GWEN IFILL: Twenty-seven thousand runners and thousands more spectators had turned out for the Boston Marathon today when terror erupted. Two bombs exploded, and authorities said two people were killed and more than 50 others were wounded.

    Within minutes of the blast, wheelchairs and stretchers were ferrying victims up and down Boylston Street, homestretch of the oldest marathon race in the world. Amid the chaos, competitors, race volunteers and spectators ran from the scene in shock.

    MAN: And I run over there, and there's body parts. People have been blown apart. They're dead. I mean, there's -- where the window is, the windows are all blown out.

    GWEN IFILL: The attack came about three hours after the winners had crossed the finish line. A loud explosion on the north side of the street went off first, followed by a second blast a few seconds later. A number of people were bloodied and had wounded arms and legs.

    MAN: They said put him in a wheelchair. We couldn't put him in a wheelchair. There was no way. He was getting really cold.

    We were trying to just keep talking to him and keep him alert as possible, as well as the other people laying there. And we wheeled him, you know, on the board, walked him in the stretcher, met us halfway, and took him in the ambulance.

    GWEN IFILL: NewsHour production assistant Noreen Nasir was a few blocks away at the time.

    NOREEN NASIR, PBS NewsHour: I saw two clouds of smoke go up and heard them -- you know, it was just a matter of seconds in between the two explosions that happened.

    And at first, there was confusion. You know, people immediately looked in that direction and started taking photos. And there was a bit of a confusion.

    GWEN IFILL: There were several thousand runners still on the course at the time. Marathon organizers sent buses to pick them up.

    Meanwhile, police said the motive for the bombings remained unclear. They also reported a third explosion at the John F. Kennedy Library, but it may not be related.

    ED DAVIS, Boston Police Commissioner: We have at this point in time determined that there has been a third incident that has occurred. There was an explosion that occurred at the JFK Library. So this is very much an ongoing event at this point in time.

    We are not certain that these incidents are related, but we are treating them as if they are. We're recommending to people that they stay home, that if they're in hotels in the area, that they return to their rooms, and that they don't go any place and congregate in large crowds. We want to make sure we completely stabilize the situation.

    GWEN IFILL: In the wake of the attack, police in London, Washington, and New York stepped up security.

    President Obama was notified. And White House officials said he offered whatever assistance is needed in the response of the ensuing investigation.

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    GWEN IFILL: For more, we turn to Scott Malone of Reuters, who was on the scene in Boston. I spoke with him a few minutes ago.

    Scott Malone of Reuters, thank you so much for joining us.

    What is the best, most recent information we have on what happened today?

    SCOTT MALONE, Reuters: Well, what we're hearing from Boston Police Department at this point in time confirmed is two people dead, 23 injured, getting unconfirmed reports that Boston hospitals have admitted significantly more people than that.

    Right now, they say that there were two devices that went off at the finish line of the marathon. There was a third incident. It's not clear yet if it was related, which happened at the John F. Kennedy Library. That's located about three miles away from the marathon site.

    GWEN IFILL: Scott, where were you when this happened?

    SCOTT MALONE: I was in the press room at the hotel which is kind of the staging area for the marathon. We heard two blasts. One was relatively loud. The other one was somewhat softer.

    At first, didn't know what to make of them, and then very quickly it became clear what had happened.

    GWEN IFILL: The police commissioner said that there was also at least one controlled detonation that happened after the first two explosions. What was that for?

    SCOTT MALONE: We don't know. They're not giving a lot of information out on that. The one point that they did make is once the blasts started, people tried to escape quickly, as you would imagine they would in such a situation.

    And many people who might have been carrying a backpack or something like that just decided they didn't need that extra weight as they got out of there. So there's a lot of luggage and small parcels that have been left around. And the police are treating all of them as suspicious devices until proven otherwise.

    GWEN IFILL: Have the police said anything about how they're gathering information, videotape, any eyewitness that may have seen someone planting any of these devices?

    SCOTT MALONE: They haven't offered a lot on that.

    I mean, this is a public place. There were tens of thousands of people probably, you know, passing through the area through the course of the day. So it's just a tremendous number of people who, you know, could have had the opportunity to see something.

    GWEN IFILL: In the immediate aftermath of the explosions, did people just -- did people understand what was happening? Did they scatter? Was it chaotic or people just calmly file away? You're talking about tens of thousands of people.

    SCOTT MALONE: They got out of there, you know, fairly, fairly quickly.

    I think, you know when you have the first blast, it's a little bit, you know, people don't necessarily know what had happened, but when you have got two in fairly quick succession, that is a very different matter, I think, for the average person. We saw people -- you know, many people were injured. We saw people running -- you know, running from the scene. I wouldn't -- yes.

    GWEN IFILL: Where did all the runners go?

    SCOTT MALONE: They have just dispersed into the area.

    Typically, at the end of the race, there are buses that bring their spare clothing to the finish line. And those are all locked down and being secured, so -- and being checked. So, runners are just left kind of to kind of make their way to someplace warm.

    GWEN IFILL: And if you were a relative or a loved one or someone who is just a spectator at the race, how did you go about finding the person, the people who were running? Was there a local place where they were all directed, where you could find each other?

    SCOTT MALONE: There were -- early on, I believe that some people -- they were -- the race officials said that they were continuing to direct runners to the family reunion area, a different route from the race route. Some people may have done that. Others may have simply tried to return to their homes.

    GWEN IFILL: And, finally, Scott, do we know anything tonight about a suspect or a motive or any other explanation for what we saw happen today?

    SCOTT MALONE: No. We have heard -- we have heard nothing from the police on any of those matters yet.

    GWEN IFILL: OK. Scott Malone of Reuters, thank you so much.

    SCOTT MALONE: Thank you for having me. Good night.

    JEFFREY BROWN: We will have more on this still developing story later in the program. 

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: At least 55 people were killed in Iraq today in a string of coordinated bombings and other attacks. Dozens of others were wounded. Explosions rang out from Baghdad and Fallujah to Kirkuk and Tikrit. The force of the blasts reduced city blocks to rubble, caused chaos in the streets and left bystanders bewildered.

    MAN: What have those innocent people done to deserve this? Lives of innocent people don't mean anything? We are only asking for security and safety. Is this safe? No electricity, no cars. They are targeting everything, even people. Everything is targeted. Why? Why are they doing that?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The violence came less than a week before Iraqis hold local elections, their first vote since U.S. troops withdrew in 2011. There was no immediate claim of responsibility, but such attacks are often a trademark of al-Qaida's Iraqi wing.

    A major sell-off hit Wall Street today. Stocks plunged after China reported its economic growth slowed in the first quarter, and commodity prices took a hit. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 266 points to close at 14,599. The Nasdaq fell 78 points to close at 3,216.

    There was relative quiet out of North Korea today, as the communist state celebrated the birthday of its founder with a flower festival. Celebrations were focused in Pyongyang, and residents dressed in their finest clothing to lay flowers before statues of former North Korean leaders. A day earlier, North Korea rejected the South's offer of dialogue, calling it -- quote -- "a crafty trick."

    A federal judge in Washington has refused to intervene in a detainee hunger strike at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He ruled today that federal law bars judicial review of enemy combatant claims of mistreatment. A Yemeni prisoner, Musaab al-Madhwani, had said he and other hunger strikers are denied drinking water and medical care and kept in extreme cold. In another development, some of the 166 detainees fought with military guards on Saturday over being moved to new cells.

    The New York Times won four Pulitzer Prizes today, as the 2013 awards were announced, among The Times' honors, the prize for investigative reporting on allegations that Wal-Mart bribed officials in Mexico. The Denver Post won for breaking news reporting on the mass killing of 12 people at a movie theater. In the arts, Adam Johnson won the fiction prize for "The Orphan Master's Son." And the poetry prize went to Sharon Olds for "Stag's Leap." We will have an encore presentation of a profile of Sharon Olds later in the program.

    Those are some of the day's major stories -- now back to Jeff.

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    JEFFREY BROWN: And now back to the Boston bombing story.

    President Obama went to White House Briefing Room this evening to make a statement on developments.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Good afternoon, everybody.

    Earlier today, I was briefed by my homeland security team on the events in Boston. We're continuing to monitor and respond to the situation as it unfolds. And I have directed the full resources of the federal government to help state and local authorities protect our people, increase security around the United States as necessary, and investigate what happened.

    The American people will say a prayer for Boston tonight, and Michelle and I send our deepest thoughts and prayers to families of the victims in the wake of this senseless loss.

    We don't yet have all the answers. But we do know that multiple people have been wounded, some gravely, in explosions at the Boston Marathon. I have spoken to FBI Director Mueller and Secretary of Homeland Security Napolitano. And they're mobilizing the appropriate resources to investigate and to respond.

    I have updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirm that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats. We are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens.

    I have also spoken with Gov. Patrick and Mayor Menino and made it clear that they have every single federal resource necessary to care for the victims and counsel the families. And, above all, I made clear to them that all Americans stand with the people of Boston.

    Boston police, firefighters, and first-responders as well as the National Guard responded heroically and continue to do so as we speak. It's a reminder that so many Americans serve and sacrifice on our behalf every single day without regard to their own safety in dangerous and difficult circumstances. And we salute all those who assisted in responding so quickly and professionally to this tragedy.

    We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake. We will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this. We will find out why they did this.

    Any responsible -- any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. Today is a holiday in Massachusetts. Patriots' Day. It's a day that celebrates the free and fiercely independent spirit that this great American city of Boston has reflected from the earliest days of our nation. And it's a day that draws the world to Boston streets in a spirit of friendly competition.

    Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people. I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other and move forward as one proud city. And, as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way.

    You should anticipate that, as we get more information, our teams will provide you briefings. We're still in the investigation stage at this point, but I just want to reiterate we will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.

    Thank you very much.

    GWEN IFILL: President Obama in the White House Briefing Room a short time ago.

    Now we get another eyewitness account from the president of the Boston City Council. Stephen Murphy was near the finish line this afternoon. And he joins us now on the phone.

    Councilman Murphy, tell me -- Councillor Murphy, tell me what you saw.

    COUNCILLOR STEPHEN MURPHY, Boston City Council: Well, I was about 30 feet from the corner of Boylston and Exeter streets when a loud explosion went off. It was almost like a mushroom cloud went up into the air.

    And people started running and screaming. And it was very quick -- quickly that the Boston police, Boston EMS, and Boston fire, as well as volunteers from the Boston Athletic Association, the BAA, that runs the race, moved right in and cleared the area and began to restore order right away.

    So, it was a very good team effort on behalf of those who were representing officials of the city, the official police, fire and ambulance, and also the BAA volunteers, the race volunteers. They worked swiftly to move in to the area and to bring -- Boston EMS brought their ambulance folks over and to try to take care of injured and sick.

    And they moved very, very quickly. So, I was proud as a Bostonian to watch our emergency services people work so well.

    GWEN IFILL: Councillor Murphy, when that first blast went off, did you immediately think it was a bomb or did you think perhaps it was a pothole cover or a manhole cover exploding?

    STEPHEN MURPHY: That's what I thought; it was a manhole cover. We have had a few of those, usually in colder weather than this.

    The first time, I thought it was a manhole cover, but the size of the cloud and the fireball gave us pause. And then another one happened maybe 15, 20 seconds later probably 100 yards further down Boylston Street. And that's when everybody knew that it was something more than just a random incident. So people were evacuated from the area quickly. And medical people were responding just as quickly to those that were injured and hurt.

    GWEN IFILL: As president of the Boston City Council, have you been informed of what that -- what that something more might be?

    STEPHEN MURPHY: I have not.

    I mean, I talked to our police commissioner, and I know that the governor and his folks, everybody is working as a team, the state and local officials. And they have been -- the Boston Regional Intelligence Center, which is just a few years old, is working right now to try to coordinate efforts on all law enforcement and public safety personnel in the area.

    GWEN IFILL: Councillor Murphy, as you well know, Patriots' Day is a big holiday in Boston. And the Boston Marathon is a big moment, 27,000 people running down the streets.

    How off-putting, how upsetting, how much was it a blow to you standing there in the middle of this on this kind of day?

    STEPHEN MURPHY: It was an attack on freedom itself, again, by whoever did it.

    They're trying to -- there's a psychological component to it. And I know that everybody has been psychologically scarred by it that was part of it. I was just one of a bunch of people that were within 30, 50 feet of the explosion. And, you know, it's off-putting. It is.

    But there was -- I'm very happy at the way our response people responded. They did a tremendous job. So, there's some solace in that.

    GWEN IFILL: Did you witness any actual carnage nearby you? Was there blood nearby you or was this something that seemed to happen at a distance?

    STEPHEN MURPHY: No, I was a little bit further away than -- it wasn't right at my feet or anything like that. But I did see people running by with clothes torn off and burn marks on them and blood.

    There was that. I mean, I did see enough of that at the -- right by the finish line. There was a lot of media right there. There was a media bridge ...

    GWEN IFILL: Yes.

    STEPHEN MURPHY: ... right there. And they were photographing everybody coming across the finish line.

    And it was right at the corner of Exeter and Boylston streets, right by that media outpost when it happened. So ...

    GWEN IFILL: Well, our concerns go out to you and the city of -- the people of the city of Boston.

    City Council President Steve Murphy, thank you for calling in. 

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    JEFFREY BROWN: We will continue to follow developments in Boston, but for now to another story.

    Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case at the intersection of law and science, specifically, genetic research, one that may well have major consequences for the future of medicine. The question, can human genes be patented?

    We turn, as always, to Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal, who was in the courtroom today and is back with us tonight.

    Marcia, first, some background on this case.

    MARCIA COYLE, National Law Journal: OK.

    Myriad is a Utah-based genetic research company. And Myriad holds patents on two genes with mutations that are linked to a very high risk of breast and/or ovarian cancer. Its patents also give it exclusive control over diagnostic testing for those genes.

    About four years ago, a group of scientists, researchers, civil rights organizations, women's health organizations decided to challenge Myriad's patents in federal court. They filed a lawsuit. They lost. Two courts, two lower courts have upheld Myriad's patents. Today, they brought -- the challengers brought the case to the Supreme Court.

    JEFFREY BROWN: OK. So the legal issue here is, what can be patented?

    Now, we made a graphic of patent law just to help you out here.

    MARCIA COYLE: OK. All right.

    JEFFREY BROWN: We will put that up.

    Tell us -- tell us what the law says. And then we can go into this case.


    Well, the law says that you can get a patent for any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, and composition of matter or any new and useful improvements on that invention. But what you can't get a patent for is the application of a product of nature or natural phenomenon.

    And I think Justice Breyer today put the case in context in explaining the law by saying, if you develop a process for extracting sap from a plant in the Amazon, you can get a patent for the process. If you take the sap and you manipulate it and you come up with a new use, you can get a patent on the use. But what you can't get a patent on is the sap itself.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So the justices reaching for an analogy, I guess, to help them understand it.

    MARCIA COYLE: Right. Exactly.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So what happened in these arguments? What kind of questions were they pursuing?

    MARCIA COYLE: Well, the question for the court is whether these genes are products of nature or a human-made invention.

    And so first up at the lectern today was the attorney for the challengers, Chris Hansen of the American Civil Liberties Union. And he said, basically, Myriad has invented nothing here. He said Myriad deserves credit for unlocking the secrets of these two genes. But the isolation of these genes from a strand of DNA is something that is routine and done all across the country.

    But the genes themselves, how they work, what they do, what they fail to do, those are decisions made by nature. And while Myriad deserves credit for unlocking the secrets, it doesn't deserve patents.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And what reaction did that get from the justices?

    MARCIA COYLE: The justices are concerned about the inherent tension in patent cases.

    And that is, on the one hand, we want to encourage investment in research and invention. Myriad, for example, spent roughly $500 million dollars until it found these two genes. And then, on the other hand, you don't want to lock up that invention for years to prevent further research and new uses.

    So the justices were asking Mr. Hansen, well, what incentive will Myriad have to do this or any company have to do this kind of research? And he said there are lots of researchers who want these genes in order to do research. And also, he said, Myriad and other companies can issue licenses to researchers to do that kind of work.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And the attorney for Myriad was able to make those arguments himself, I guess, about why it is important for the company to have the patent.

    MARCIA COYLE: Absolutely.

    Myriad's attorney was Gregory Castanias. And he told the court that the human invention here is -- was in Myriad's identifying and isolating these genes from the strand of DNA. And he gave as an analogy of a baseball bat. He said a bat doesn't exist until it's isolated from a tree. But the invention is in deciding where to begin the bat and where to end the bat.

    But he faced skeptical questions from Chief Justice Roberts, who said, well, now, wait a minute. What's involved here is snipping this strand of DNA. You cut here, you cut there, and you have got the genes. But a bat is different. You don't -- you have to invent the bat. You don't look at a tree branch and say, if I cut here and cut there, I have a baseball bat.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And what is the feeling among the interested parties -- because a lot of people joined into this -- about the implications here for the outcome beyond this case, right?

    MARCIA COYLE: This case has really pitted biotechnology, agricultural, a whole slew of research organizations against civil rights groups, individual scientists.

    They're all concerned about how broadly the court might rule here. Lots of genes have been patented. And what the court says in terms of this type of gene vs. maybe a more narrow decision will have many implications for how research is done in the future, as well as for individualized medicine.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Marcia Coyle, thank you, as always.

    MARCIA COYLE: My pleasure, Jeff.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And we continue our look at this case and the larger implications with Ellen Matloff, director of cancer genetic counseling at Yale -- Yale Cancer Center -- excuse me. She's a plaintiff in today's case. And Kevin Noonan, an intellectual property attorney and founder of the blog PatentDocs.org.

    Ellen Matloff, you heard Marcia talk about the legal arguments. As someone involved in genetic counseling and research, what's the essence of this case for you? What's at stake?

    ELLEN MATLOFF, Yale Cancer Center: Well, I have really seen from the ground floor what this has done to patient care over the last 15 years.

    And keep in mind that when these genes were cloned, many laboratories were offering this testing. There was nothing novel here, no invention, no special process, no special machine. We were doing this testing in our laboratory at Yale. And then, when the patents became -- when they clamped down on the patents, our labs and all others were shut down.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Kevin Noonan, same question to you. As someone involved in the patent world and research, what do you think is the essence of this?

    KEVIN NOONAN, PatentDocs.org: Well, I think that that is true, that you're looking at what is going to enable the technology to get to the most patients the quickest and the most reliably.

    And, frankly, Myriad has done a great job of doing that because there are more people who have gotten this test than I think would have gotten it otherwise more consistently and more reliably than if it had been scattered among hundreds of thousands of individual research labs.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Ellen Matloff, address that specifically, because that claim has been put out there, that scholarly work has hardly been stopped. There's been plenty of research done -- I mean, studies of the research done on this.

    ELLEN MATLOFF: Yes. I think those of us in the know will tell you that this has had a chilling effect on research, and not as much research has been able to be done.

    One company has had a monopoly on this testing. And so for companies and laboratories that wanted to find better ways to look for mutations, faster ways, less expensive ways, they have been stopped. And, yes, Myriad has done a great job of marketing this test to a lot of people because they have a huge financial incentive.

    But many patients who really didn't need the tests were frightened into thinking they did by Myriad's marketing. And insurance companies clamped down on who could have the test. And it's made it difficult for some of my patients who need the test to actually get it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so, Kevin Noonan, where should the line be drawn that Marcia Coyle just raised and the justices clearly raised today between allowing the company to reap a reward from its investment and getting the information out to those who need it?

    KEVIN NOONAN: Well, I think what you have to realize is what happens in these instances is that, if you don't permit people to patent, which is something that will end up with full disclosure of what the invention is so that when the patents expire, which will happen in about two years, everybody gets to use the invention, if you don't do that, for most genes, for most diseases, it won't be as simple or straightforward as it with the BRCA genes, and what will happen is that people won't disclose it.

    And then they will hide it. They will figure out ways that they can do this testing without disclosing what the basis is. And if they did that, then the monopoly, if you will, would last for a much longer time.

    One thing I will say is that there have been more than 10,000 basic research papers that have been published since the Myriad patents were issued, and -- in about 12 or 15 years. That sounds like a lot to me. I think basic research is being done. What's not being done is clinical work charging patients for the tests in the face of Myriad's patents.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What about that, Ellen Matloff, I mean, about the argument that the work might not get done if the patent isn't given?

    ELLEN MATLOFF: I think those of us who work in genetics know that that just isn't true.

    Before BRCA1 and 2, there were hundreds and hundreds of genes discovered, and patents on many of those genes. None of them were used in this way.

    Testing was available for all of those genes. This is just a company that has done something unprecedented in the way they have clamped down on this patent.

    And, quite frankly, there is no invention here. They didn't invent anything.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Staying with you, Ellen Matloff, if you go beyond this case, where else in the world of research and testing would this have consequences?

    ELLEN MATLOFF: Huge consequences.

    We have really come to a fork in the road here. And moving forward, we're going to be able to do whole genome sequencing on one DNA sample, a tiny tube of blood. We're going to be able to look at 30,000 genes. And people are estimating that that might even cost $1,000 dollars to look at 30,000 genes.

    With Myriad and their monopoly, they're charging $4,000 dollars per patient for two genes. Imagine if every one of those genes was patented. Think about the cost of this testing. It wouldn't reach the average consumer. It wouldn't reach anyone.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Kevin Noonan, what about that?

    KEVIN NOONAN: First of all, that's probably not going to be the case.

    Secondly, the whole genome sequencing wouldn't infringe the patents at issue here. In fact, the sad thing is that the genes -- the gene claims at issue, even if the Supreme Court were to rule in its entirety that the petitioners win, if a doctor were to or if Yale started to do this testing the day after that decision, Myriad has lots of other patents with lots of other claims that are directed not to the genes, but to the methods themselves, and things that the court seemed not to think were a problem.

    And they would be able to sue them for those -- on those patents. So the problem is that the answer you get, that our genes are patentable or not, are really not -- is really not going to impact the issue that's been raised about whether patients will get care.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Kevin Noonan, just to stay with you, one of the issues, questions I have seen raised is whether the pace of change in the field of genetic research is outstripping the law. How relevant is a case like this?

    You watch these developments. What is your answer to that?

    KEVIN NOONAN: Well, I would say that the case is about 30 years too late.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Thirty years?

    KEVIN NOONAN: Yes, because that's when genes were first patented. It was 1980 or so.

    And so, right now, if you look at just the procedural aspects of patent law, a patent is granted with a term of 20 years from when the application was filed. Most of the gene patents that are out there, most of the new ones, were filed around the turn of the century. So, by 2020, they will all expire just by the nature of the way that the patent system works.

    And so many of the -- for these claims, many -- or these types of claims, many of the putative problems, many of the things that people are afraid of just won't come to pass.

    JEFFREY BROWN: A brief last word from you, Ellen Matloff, on that very issue, whether the science is outstripping the law.

    ELLEN MATLOFF: I think we're finding new ways around things like isolated DNA, but moving forward, this is a bigger issue.

    Are we going to let people patent things that occur in the human body that they didn't invent, because, if we do, do that, it's going to hinder the future of personalized medicine? I don't think we want that.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Ellen Matloff and Kevin Noonan, thank you both very much.

    ELLEN MATLOFF: Thank you.

    KEVIN NOONAN: Thanks very much. 

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    GWEN IFILL: The political push for overhauling the nation's immigration system gains new momentum.

    REP. XAVIER BECERRA, D-Calif.: I suspect we're all here to send a very clear message: We are ready.

    GWEN IFILL: California Democrat Xavier Becerra led other supporters of comprehensive immigration reform in a Capitol Hill rally today.

    Inside the Capitol, a bipartisan group of eight senators put the finishing touches on legislation to overhaul the system expected to be unveiled tomorrow.

    Florida Republican Marco Rubio, one of the members of the so-called gang of eight, described the plan Sunday on seven talk shows.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO, R-Fla.: I think it's important to understand it doesn't give anything. It allows people access to the legal immigration system.

    Number two, some people won't qualify. They haven't been here long enough. They have committed very serious crimes. They won't be able to stay. Number three is, all people will get is the opportunity to apply for thing, to apply for a legal status, which isn't awarded on day one. I mean, there's a process for that.

    GWEN IFILL: Although it has not been formerly introduced, it's been widely reported that the legislation would provide a pathway to citizenship for the estimated 11 million undocumented people now in the country and establish a 10-year process for obtaining a green card. Gaining full citizenship would take another three years.

    Applicants would have to pay a fine and back taxes, learn English, and pass a criminal background check, among other hurdles. Rubio says that system would be triggered only if certain border security benchmarks are met.

    MARCO RUBIO: That means securing the border, universal E-Verify and the universal entry-exit tracking system. If those three things are not in place, that green card process won't begin even if the 10 years has elapsed.

    GWEN IFILL: But even with those assurances, some Republicans were skeptical, including Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions.

    SEN. JEFF SESSIONS, R-Ala.: No, I'm not convinced. I know Sen. Rubio's heart is exactly right. And I really respect the work of the gang of eight. But they have produced legislation, it appears, that will give amnesty now, legalize everyone that is here effectively today, and then there's a promise of enforcement in the future.

    GWEN IFILL: White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said today the administration believes it's possible to satisfy concerns on both sides.

    JAY CARNEY, White House Press Secretary: These are compatible ideas, enhancing border security, allowing for a clear path to citizenship that requires a number of very specific steps. So, the president is very pleased with the progress we have seen thus far.

    GWEN IFILL: Once the bill is formerly rolled out tomorrow, the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold its first hearing later this week.

    To help us sort through the next steps, we're joined by Brian Bennett. He covers immigration for the Los Angeles Times.

    Brian, what was it that the bipartisan group has now agreed to and what are the issues that are still outstanding?

    BRIAN BENNETT, Los Angeles Times: So, the bipartisan group plans to unveil their bill tomorrow, on Tuesday probably, maybe as soon as tomorrow.

    And they have agreed on almost all the major points. They're still fine-tuning the bill today will unveil what they have decided on tomorrow. And so the main points are that there will be a legalization program for the 11 million people who are here without papers or who have overstayed their visas. And this program would start about six months after the bill is passed, after the Department of Homeland Security has outlined a way to secure the border.

    And people will be able to apply, pay a fine, go through a criminal background check and apply to get legal status. And over the next 10 years, the U.S. would spend a lot of money on enhanced border security. And there would be a requirement that a certain certification was made on border security.

    And, after that point, if those requirements were met on border security and a few other factors, then those people who were legalized would be eligible to apply for green cards and eventually become citizens.

    GWEN IFILL: I want to circle back to some of the points you made. But let's start by talking about visas, this whole question of work visas.

    Is that only for high-tech workers, or also for agricultural workers? That's been a sticking point along the way.

    BRIAN BENNETT: This has.

    So, one of the main things that the senators wanted to tackle in this bill was, how do you manage the future flow of immigrants so that you don't have as much pressure on the border of people wanting to come over illegally to find work? And so they have created a couple of work visa programs in the bill.

    And one is for farmworkers. Over 50 percent of farmworkers in the United States came here illegally or overstayed their visas. And the bill would create a new visa system that would allow farmers to hire farmworkers from overseas.

    Also, for the farmworkers who are already here, they would have a -- if they stayed in agriculture work, they would have an expedited path to legal -- to get a green card. And then when it comes to low-skilled workers, people like housekeepers, meat-packers, janitors, there's another new visa program that would be established as well to accommodate work shortages here in the United States.

    GWEN IFILL: And that's different from the highly educated workers who the tech companies have been agitating to allow more of them in the country, right?

    BRIAN BENNETT: And then there are also provisions in the bill to bring in more tech workers.

    So, it would approximately double the number of slots that are currently available for high-skilled workers to try to satisfy the needs of Silicon Valley and other tech companies that want to hire more workers with advanced degrees.

    GWEN IFILL: So, let's go back to the border security issue. That's been one thing that everybody, at least rhetorically, agrees about, that there ought to be, if not higher fences, at least higher enforcement along -- tougher enforcement along the border.

    Is that something which is now settled?

    BRIAN BENNETT: It is essentially settled for this group of senators. We will see what happens when they roll it out to the other 92 senators in the Senate.

    But this group of senators has decided that they have come up with a solution for border security and that they feel will help secure the border and prevent illegal immigrants from crossing in the coming years.

    And what it essentially does is increases dramatically the amount of surveillance on the border and tries to get to a point where border security can respond to people crossing the border in a very quick way.

    GWEN IFILL: Isn't there some disagreement at this point about how severe a problem it really is at this point?

    BRIAN BENNETT: There is.

    The White House and the Obama administration says that the border is more secure than it's been in 40 years and that spending more money on border security is not really necessary. And their also -- their follow-on point would be that by creating a legalization program and also by creating a way for people to come legally into the U.S. to work, that you take some of the pressure off the border.

    And, you know, that said, there's been frustration among people who have seen these efforts go before without really trying to clamp down on the border and create a legalization program.

    GWEN IFILL: And, Brian, what also feels different this time is we have gotten used to seeing rallies like the one we saw on Capitol Hill today with the same usual suspects saying it's time for immigration reform.

    But it feels like this time like other people are on that bandwagon, including members of the larger faith community.

    BRIAN BENNETT: The political environment is a lot different than it was, say, in 2007, the last time Congress took up an effort to overhaul the nation's immigration laws.

    Right now, we have evangelical leaders who have signed on and said, look, there's a religious imperative to embrace the stranger and to reach out and help people who are in our community. And, on the Republican side, you have what they call a coalition of Bibles, badges and business. You have faith leaders. You also have law enforcement leaders, attorney general from the states, and other sheriffs, and business leaders who are saying, look, it's time to come -- our system is broken. It's time to come and fix the system.

    So, on the Republican side, they're getting pressure from some of these core constituents to come up with a solution.

    GWEN IFILL: And is it fair to say, after seeing his kind of tour de force on the Sunday talk shows yesterday, that Sen. Marco Rubio, the Florida Republican, is the face of this? Or are there other -- is there other agitation going on, especially over in the House?

    BRIAN BENNETT: So, Marco Rubio is seen as essential to presenting this bill to conservative members of the Republican Caucus, because here's Marco Rubio. He was elected to his Senate seat in 2010 on a wave of Tea Party support.

    And we will see if he's successful at trying to bring a lot of the conservatives in the Republican Caucus along board. There's a big hurdle in the House going forward. And the effort in the Senate is to try to get a bill passed with a lot of bipartisan votes to try to put pressure on the House to come up with either their own bill or to take up the Senate version.

    GWEN IFILL: Which some members of the House are working on, I gather?

    BRIAN BENNETT: That's right. So, there are about eight members of the House, four from each party, that have been working for several months on drafting their own legislation.

    And that bill, they're going to take a look at what the Senate came up with, and they may present their own version of an immigration overhaul in the coming weeks.

    GWEN IFILL: OK. Brian Bennett of the L.A. Times, we know you will be watching, and we will too.

    BRIAN BENNETT: Happy to be on. Thanks.

    GWEN IFILL: Online, we're kicking off a week of conversations on the evolving immigration debate. First up, Hari Sreenivasan talks to Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council. 

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    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick and others, including an FBI Special Agent-in-Charge, gave a press conference Monday evening updating the situation on the explosions at the Boston Marathon that killed three and injured more than 100. The FBI was now in charge of the investigation.

    Explosions rocked the finish line of the Boston Marathon on Monday, turning the festive scene into one of carnage and chaos. The two blasts killed three people and injured more than 100 in a terrifying scene of shattered glass, bloodstained pavement and severed limbs, authorities said.

    Within minutes of the blasts, wheelchairs and stretchers were ferrying victims up and down Boylston Street -- home stretch of the oldest marathon race in the world. Amid the chaos, competitors, race volunteers and spectators ran from the scene in shock.

    "I run over there and there are body parts, people have been blown apart. Windows all blown out," one man said.

    The attack came about three hours after the winners had crossed the finish line. A loud explosion on the north side of the street went off first, followed by a second blast a few seconds later.

    NewsHour production assistant Noreen Nasir was a few blocks away at the time.

    "I saw two clouds of smoke go up and heard them," she said. "It was just a matter of seconds in between the two explosions that happened. And at first, there was also a sense of confusion."

    Nasir tweeted this photo near the Boston Public Library:

    NewsHour correspondent Hari Sreenivasan spoke with Nasir shortly after the blasts. Listen to their conversation below:

    Watch Video

    Twenty seven thousand runners and thousands more spectators had turned out for the marathon and several thousand runners were still on the course at the time. Marathon organizers sent buses to pick them up.

    Meanwhile, police said the motive for the bombings remains unclear. They also reported a third explosion -- at the John F. Kennedy Library -- but it may not be related.

    In the wake of the attack, police in London, Washington and New York stepped up security.

    President Obama was notified and White House officials said he offered whatever assistance is needed in response and ensuing investigation.

    Tune in to Monday evening's NewsHour broadcast for full analysis, including a discussion with Scott Malone, the Boston correspondent for Reuters. He was covering the marathon when the blasts occurred.

    Then, Gwen Ifill hears more about the emergency response from Stephen Murphy, the president of the Boston City Council who was 30 feet from the explosions. The aftermath of the blasts looked like "a large mushroom cloud," he told the NewsHour earlier this afternoon.

    Here are the locations of the two blasts at the finish line:

    View Boston Explosions in a larger map

    PBS NewsHour will be providing more updates and analysis as the story develops in the Storify blog below:

    [View the story "Explosions Rock Finish Line at Boston Marathon" on Storify]

    The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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    JEFFREY BROWN: And now to Venezuela. The South American country voted on Sunday for a new president to succeed the late Hugo Chavez.

    And, as Ray Suarez reports, the results were far closer than many expected.

    RAY SUAREZ: The streets of Caracas were mostly quiet this morning, as Venezuelans digested the photo finish election and the immediate calls for a recount.

    MARGLELIS QUINTERO, Venezuela: The gap was very small. Actually, I was expecting it to be bigger. But, well, the people expressed their will and it was the popular will, so it's necessary to respect the results.

    GILMAR DOMINGUEZ, Venezuela: The difference was very, very little. And it's possible that there were mistakes during the counting. I agree they should have asked for a recount so we can clear the doubts.

    RAY SUAREZ: Venezuela's electoral authority declared acting President Nicolas Maduro had won by a whisker, with just 50.7 percent of the vote.

    TIBISAY LUCENA, Venezuela Electoral Authority: These are the irreversible results that the people of Venezuela have decided with the electoral process.

    RAY SUAREZ: Maduro is the handpicked successor of President Hugo Chavez, who died of cancer last month after 14 years in power. Under Chavez, relations with Washington were strained, even as Venezuela became America's fourth largest supplier of crude oil.

    Instead, Chavez transformed his country into a socialist ally of Cuba's Castro regime. Last night, with the vote in, Maduro told supporters they have done the will of the late leader.

    PRESIDENT-ELECT NICOLAS MADURO, Venezuela: Long live Chavez, long live Chavez, long live Chavez, until victory forever. Let's go to the streets to defend this victory, to defend the triumph in peace, and in order to celebrate with the people and to remember that we have complied with the commander.

    RAY SUAREZ: Still, opposition candidate Henrique Capriles said today Maduro's margin of just 235,000 votes demands a recount.

    HENRIQUE CAPRILES RADONSKI, Venezuelan Presidential Candidate: I want to say to the government's candidate, the loser today is you. And I say that firmly. You are the loser, you and your government. We will not recognize the results until each and every Venezuela vote one by one has been counted.

    RAY SUAREZ: Maduro said he's open to that idea.

    And, in Washington, the State Department also endorsed it.

    PATRICK VENTRELL, State Department Deputy Spokesman: The results reveal a Venezuelan electorate that is roughly evenly divided. In order to meet all of Venezuelans' democratic expectations, it makes sense that such a recount should be completed before any additional steps, including official certification of the results, occurs.

    RAY SUAREZ: The poor showing for Maduro, who campaigned with all the advantages of government backing, may signal Venezuelans are weary of chronic inflation, shortages of basic goods and high levels of violent crime. 

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    RAY SUAREZ: For more on the election and what it means for Venezuela and the United States, I'm joined by Cynthia Arnson, director of the Latin America Program at the Wilson Center, and Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

    Cindy Arnson, let's start with you.

    Henrique Capriles has formally requested the cancellation of the official event to certify the results. Given the state of play in Venezuela, is that result as far as we know it now likely to hold up?

    CYNTHIA ARNSON, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars: I think the result is likely to hold up, but the real question is under what process and whether there will be a recount that will be accepted by the opposition as legitimate.

    One of the difficulties in this is that the institutions of the government have been so stacked over the years by Chavista supporters that their independence I think is really called into question, certainly by the opposition, as well as a lot of people in the international community.

    The very electoral council that ratified the vote last night is four out of five members, you know, who are considered Chavistas. Whether they're hard-line Chavistas or Chavista-lite, they are still people who are close to the PSUV.

    There's one opposition person. So, the real question is how do you affirm the legitimacy in the eyes of the Venezuelan people of this very narrow victory, quite surprising given the polls?

    RAY SUAREZ: Mark Weisbrot, the opposition candidate has requested a full recount. Given what it says in Venezuelan electoral law, is he likely to get? Is it hard to get?

    MARK WEISBROT, Center for Economic and Policy Research: Well, let me give you some context here I think for your listeners and viewers.

    I think the only reason we're having a discussion about the legitimacy of the Venezuelan election or having all this news and all the negative news really that you hear about Venezuela almost every day -- it's about 90 percent negative -- is -- there are two reasons.

    One is that this is probably the most important target for regime change from the United States government. And, two, it has 500 billion barrels of oil approximately. And those two things are reeled. And I think that's why we're having this.

    Let's face it. In 2006, there was an election in Mexico where Calderon won by 0.6 percent, about a third of the margin that Maduro had. And what did the U.S. government do? They congratulated him before there was any kind of even announcement or official announcement that he won. And then they organized an international campaign to legitimate his election.

    And they supported them when they not only refused a recount, but refused to even divulge ...

    RAY SUAREZ: Absent American congratulations or not, what does Venezuelan law say about whether or not Capriles can get a recount? Is he likely to get one?

    MARK WEISBROT: Oh, he doesn't have any entitlement to a recount.

    And you already have -- the Venezuelan system is very secure. That's why Jimmy Carter called it the best in the -- electoral process in the world. They already audited 54 percent of the votes. Statistically, they do that right there. They take -- you know, there's two copies of every vote. You push a touch-screen. You get a receipt. You get to look at it. You put it in a ballot box.

    So, unlike our system, where we don't really know who won when it's a close election, they know. They have 50 -- I mean, they take a random selection of 54 percent for an audit. And they look at the machine and they make sure it counts up with the ballot and they do it in front of the opposition witnesses. And that's already been done.

    That's done at the election. You know, the difference between 100 percent and a 54 percent random sample in this situation is statistically not really that much. It's almost trivial.

    RAY SUAREZ: Cynthia Arnson, if that margin does hold up, as both of you suggest it's likely to do, is Maduro a weakened president because of the closeness of the election? The president of the national assembly, one of his rivals, said the results oblige us to make profound self-criticism.

    It's a divided country, huh?

    CYNTHIA ARNSON: It's a very divided country.

    And I think that as a result of the narrow margin, Nicolas Maduro has nowhere the mandate that he had been hoping for. Last October, President Chavez won that election with close to 11 percent of the popular vote. And all of the polls going into these last days, you know, before the election show that Maduro continued to enjoy a reduced, but still a six or seven percent lead.

    And to have that down to the point that the opposition is calling for a recount because they don't trust, you know, the final count shows that the country is far more divided and there were far more defections from the governing party, from the PSUV, than anyone had anticipated, including the pollsters that over time have shown themselves to be the most credible.

    So he goes into this with a very weakened mandate, with difficulty in keeping together the Chavista coalition, in resolving the deep problems of the economy in light of a devaluation, in resolving the atrocious situation of crime and violence in the country. How he will keep those various factions of the party together and at the same time tackle these very deep-seated problems is really a big question.

    And I think it leaves open the possibility for a great deal more instability.

    RAY SUAREZ: It sounds like it's going to be difficult to run Venezuela, whoever takes the oath of president, given 30-plus percent inflation, high crime. Those facts are ...

    MARK WEISBROT: It was 20 percent last year. And it's picked up a little in the last few months, but -- or significantly in the last few months.

    And I think that was part of the problem for Maduro. No, I think there are serious challenges ahead. But we don't want to exaggerate them too much. For 14 years, the business press has been saying that the Venezuelan economy is going to collapse. And it never did. And it won't either. They always say it's unsustainable.

    I mean, unsustainable is what we had in 2006 here, when you have an $8 trillion dollar housing bubble. And anybody who was looking at it, which unfortunately didn't include the majority of the economics profession, knows that when it collapses, it's going to collapse and you're going to have a terrible recession.

    They don't have those kinds of imbalances. What they have is a problem of stabilizing the exchange rate. They had growth. They have had growth now for almost three years. For two-and-a-half of those years, right up to the last quarter of last year right up to the election, they were growing quite rapidly, accelerating, 5.6 percent last year.

    And inflation was falling during all that time. It's just picked up in the last few months. So, it is possible for them to resolve those problems. And the collapse that all the people who don't like Venezuela are waiting for is really very unlikely to happen.

    RAY SUAREZ: Let me get a quick back-and-forth from you both before we close on what's at stake for the Venezuelans and the Americans in the U.S.-Venezuela relationship.


    CYNTHIA ARNSON: Well, the United States continues to be Venezuela's largest export market.

    And that will probably continue. It's not been very successful in diversifying its purchasers of Venezuelan oil. It's a very heavy sulfur-laden kind of crude. And it's very difficult to ship it for, you know -- at great distances.

    I think the biggest problem in the relationship is going to be the continuing rhetorical attacks on the U.S. government as having caused the cancer of Hugo Chavez and plotting to assassinate the opposition candidate, Capriles, to blame the government. I mean, the constant barrage of attacks on the United States would suggest anything but -- suggests that there will be a very difficult moment ahead.

    RAY SUAREZ: And, Mark, quickly.


    Well, The New York Times reported today that Maduro reached out through Bill Richardson to the U.S. government to try to improve relations. And I think you saw the answer today. The statement from the White House was much worse than the one from the State Department that you played. They actually said, we believe it's necessary for you to have 100 percent audit of your vote.

    That is a very, very rude, nasty thing to say. It's basically hate speech, tell another government, one that you supported a military coup against, and I won't even talk about our own elections here, and to tell them how their elections should be run and to take openly the side of the opposition.

    And it's very disturbing, because if they just wanted that, they wouldn't say it publicly. They did it knowing that it would cause trouble. And that's what I'm really worried about right now.

    RAY SUAREZ: Mark Weisbrot, Cynthia Arnson, thank you both.

    MARK WEISBROT: Thank you. 

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    Watch Video Hari Sreenivasan spoke with Dr. Albert Pendleton who was one of the first doctors on the scene of the explosions that killed three people and injured several others near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday.

    Dr. Albert Pendleton was 5 feet from the finish line at the Boston Marathon when two explosions ripped through the street, killing three and injuring more than 130, "in a bloody scene of shattered glass and severed limbs that raised alarms that terrorists might have struck again in the U.S.," the Associated Press reported.

    As a volunteer M.D., Pendleton was expecting to help runners with a variety of injuries and trauma that can regularly occur after a race. Instead he was knocked to the ground by the force of the bombs, and was able to recover in time to help the injured around him. He ferried victims of the blast into medical tents nearby where he could dress and treat the wounds.

    "Almost all of (the injured had) lower extremity injuries. I think the blast just basically ... blew out the legs of everybody," he said over the phone from Boston. "Almost everybody had open tibia and ankle fractures. ... There were tons of mangled extremities on the ground."

    Luckily, volunteer doctors and first responders were ready on the scene where a "mobile hospital" was set up to be able to treat anything from dehydration to more severe trauma. Pendleton said it included a "mini ICU" equipped with supplies, beds and several doctors.

    "We have tons of field dressings and gauze ... and IV fluids, which is what you need for right-away stuff. We had probably 200 beds," he said.

    As an orthopedic surgeon, Pendleton has seen his share of wounded limbs, but hours after the blast, he hasn't completely processed the weight of the tragedy.

    "I've seen a lot of mangled extremities, I've seen things like that a lot, but not ever in that number all in one spot."

    Pendleton is currently a fellow focused on pediatric sports medicine at Harvard's Children's Hospital Boston.


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    Hari Sreenivasan talks with South Carolina peach farmer Chalmers Carr about the changing debate over immigration.

    The last time the nation heard the terms "amnesty" and "pathway to citizenship" batted around with such frequency was seven years ago, in the year leading up to the ultimately doomed Immigration Reform Act of 2007. The bill was a compromise championed by then-President George W. Bush that called for stronger border security and workplace enforcement laws, and would have led to legal status for immigrants in the U.S. without documentation.

    The arguments on both sides sounded a whole lot like they do today. At the time, the NewsHour ran a series of one-on-one discussions, called "Immigration Insights," with individuals exploring the concept of reform through the lens of their own involvement with immigrants.

    Today, with comprehensive reform once again reportedly around the corner, we decided to go back to some of the same individuals (along with some new faces) and ask what's changed -- and what hasn't -- seven years later. Does today's political landscape feel like history repeating itself? Have their attitudes toward immigration changed?

    The guest worker program in the U.S. is one of the key factors members of Congress are examining in their quest to find common ground on immigration reform legislation. And it's an issue that impacts South Carolina peach farmer Chalmers Carr every day.

    When Ray Suarez spoke to Carr in 2006, he was feeling bogged down by the amount of paperwork required to employ foreign migrants to work the land on his Ridge Springs, South Carolina farm -- the largest commercial peach operation in the southeastern United States. Carr called the nation's H-2A guest worker program "very expensive and very cumbersome to use."

    Carr went on to explain why the vast majority of the hundreds of workers he hires each year are foreign-born. He said that in the last eight years, out of about 2,400 jobs, only 30 U.S. citizens had applied, and "only two of them" lasted more than a day.

    Carr was cautiously optimistic about the ongoing debate in Washington at the time: "We're hoping to get some true reforms to these guest worker programs that will allow employers to use legal workers and not force them to use underground workers." Seven years later, Carr tells Hari Sreenivasan that he still uses the H-2A program, bringing in foreign migrant workers for about 10 months at a time and paying them approximately $9 an hour. But he says the program continues to be "riddled with bureaucratic procedures that make it unfriendly to use." And he maintains that because American citizens are still "not willing to do these jobs," there is "obviously" a demand for this labor force.

    "Any new effort, if it has a good mandatory employment verification law in it ... will stop the access or the desire to come over." -- Chalmers Carr

    What would he like to see happen this time around? "Any new effort, if it has a good mandatory employment verification law in it ... will stop the access or the desire to come over," Carr says.

    Watch Video

    Ray Suarez speaks to peach farmer Chalmers Carr on Aug. 17, 2006.

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    The Evolving Immigration Debate: Border Security

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    Unclaimed finish line bags at the Boston Marathon; photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Unclaimed finish line bags remain at the scene of the blasts. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

    The Morning Line

    And sometimes, politics just takes a pause.

    With more questions than answers in the hours since two explosions rocked the scene at the finish line of the Boston Marathon Monday, it's unclear just yet how far-reaching the implications of the Patriots' Day incident will be. Officials investigating the nature of the attack, and whether terrorists are responsible, have asked that metropolitan cities take precautions and be on alert.

    The Boston Globe headline Tuesday morning reads: "3 killed, more than 130 hurt by bombs at Marathon," followed by metro reporter Mark Arsenault's lede:

    Two bomb blasts, 12 seconds apart, rocked the finish line of the 117th running of the Boston Marathon Monday, killing at least three people, including an 8-year-old Dorchester boy, wounding more than 130, and leaving the sidewalks of Boylston Street covered in blood.

    The explosions will almost certainly overtake whatever political developments might have been expected Tuesday as the nation continues to mourn the loss of life and laments the scores wounded, and as officials provide updates on the investigation that's been described as "very active and fluid."

    All five candidates competing in the Massachusetts Senate special election primary contest scheduled for April 30 announced they had suspended their campaigns following the explosions. Republican candidate Gabriel Gomez, who ran in Monday's marathon, finished before the blasts went off and was unharmed.

    A planned news conference to reveal immigration reform legislation was postponed, and many events related to gun control votes on Capitol Hill were either delayed or called off.

    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, led members in a moment of silence Monday evening, and President Barack Obama told the nation that politics would be pushed aside, for the time being.

    "I've updated leaders of Congress in both parties, and we reaffirmed that on days like this there are no Republicans or Democrats -- we are Americans, united in concern for our fellow citizens," Mr. Obama said Monday night.

    As it has following so many tragedies, the nation came together online for displays of tribute, from Boston-sports-themed images on Facebook to these images from the side of the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York City put up by a public art group that sprang out of Occupy Wall Street in honor of Beantown and a thoughtful message once given by Fred Rogers.

    Reports of runners heading immediately to the hospital to donate blood were among the most-shared, along with somber statistics like this one in the New York Times: "More than 23,000 people started the race in near-perfect conditions. Only about 17,580 finished."

    Mr. Obama was tested by a national incident once again, and the White House made sure reporters knew about a series of briefings, and released this photo of Mr. Obama speaking with FBI Director Robert Mueller.

    An official told reporters that the president was updated about the response and investigation overnight by his assistant for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Lisa Monaco. "The president made clear that he expects to be kept up to date on any developments and directed his team to make sure that all federal resources that can support these efforts, including the investigation being led by the FBI, be made available," the official said. The president will get a briefing on the situation Tuesday morning and could address the American people once more.

    In his brief, grim statement from the White House Monday, Mr. Obama thanked first responders and volunteers and lauded the New England city as "fiercely independent."

    "Boston is a tough and resilient town. So are its people," Mr. Obama said. "I'm supremely confident that Bostonians will pull together, take care of each other, and move forward as one proud city. And as they do, the American people will be with them every single step of the way."

    The president stressed the situation is fluid and urged Americans seeking answers to be patient.

    We still do not know who did this or why. And people shouldn't jump to conclusions before we have all the facts. But make no mistake -- we will get to the bottom of this. And we will find out who did this; we'll find out why they did this. Any responsible individuals, any responsible groups will feel the full weight of justice. ... [W]e will find out who did this and we will hold them accountable.

    You can watch Mr. Obama's statement in full here and watch our full and thoughtful coverage from the evening.

    NewsHour production assistant Noreen Nasir was in Boston and spoke with us via telephone from the scene. Listen to that here. And Hari Sreenivasan interviewed a doctor who was five feet from the finish line about the horrific scene.

    The NewsHour will keep you informed throughout the day and on the broadcast Tuesday night.


    Can human genes be patented? That's the central question before the Supreme Court as it considers arguments in a case involving genetic research for breast cancer that could have far-reaching consequences for medical research.

    The NewsHour took a two-tiered look at the case. Marcia Coyle of the National Law Journal explained how the arguments evolved. Jeffrey Brown also spoke with Yale Cancer Center geneticist Ellen Matloff, one of the plaintiffs in the case, and Kevin Noonan, an intellectual property attorney.

    Watch here or below:

    Watch Video


    Although the Boston bombing has delayed Tuesday's official rollout of the senate Gang of Eight's immigration legislation, Sens. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., and John McCain, R-Ariz., are expected to meet with Mr. Obama at the White House to discuss the deal Tuesday. Official unveiling of the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013" is now slated for later this week with a Judiciary Committee hearing Friday.

    Still lacking the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster, Senate lawmakers have pushed back a vote on the bipartisan background check compromise to late this week or early next week, Roll Call's Meredith Shiner reports. The Washington Post has more here on the difficult path for the measure to succeed.

    The Constitution Center is releasing an independent and nonpartisan review of post-9/11 interrogation and detention practices Tuesday, which implicates former President George W. Bush and top advisors in the usage of torture. The report also faults the Obama administration for "excessive secrecy."

    A new Washington Post poll looks at sentiment on immigration and gun control.

    Mr. Obama on Monday "quietly signed" a rollback of one of the STOCK Act's key provisions, which would have required high-ranking federal employees to disclose financial information online.

    Rep. Peter Roskam, R-Ill., told Roll Call's David Drucker immigration reform has slim chances in the House.

    Capitol Police will now help the FBI investigate the secretly recorded audio of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's strategy session in which he and aides plotted against Ashley Judd.

    Eighty-nine-year-old Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., recovering from leg weakness for more than a month, will try to make it to Washington for a vote on expanding background checks for gun purchases.

    Hotline's Sarah Mimms recaps South Carolina's 1st Congressional Distirct Democratic nominee Elizabeth Colbert Busch's private Washington fundraiser Monday night, where DCCC chair Steve Israel and her comedian brother Steve Colbert lent their support.

    On Wednesday, the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity will open in Washington.

    Former Sen. Dick Lugar, R-Ind., will be knighted Tuesday at the British Embassy for his leadership on nuclear non-proliferation.

    Mr. Obama may have won in November, but that doesn't mean his campaign stopped raising money during the first quarter of 2013.

    Stuart Rothenberg highlights the most vulnerable House incumbents for 2014. Leading the pack: Rep. Gary Miller, R-Calif.

    ABC's Michael Falcone looks at the powerhouses getting involved in a Hillary Clinton super PAC.

    Herman Cain is making a political comeback, or something.

    Our own Katelyn Polantz is profiled and dishes on print versus broadcast journalism.


    Ahead of the Gang of Eight's release, Gwen Ifill took a look at how the immigration measure is taking shape. She spoke with Brian Bennett of the Los Angeles Times. Watch that here or below. Watch Video

    The NewsHour ran a series of one-on-one interviews with people directly impacted by the immigration debate seven years ago. At the time, there were questions about how to deal with the estimated 11 million immigrants living "in the shadows," photo ops for members of Congress along the Mexican border, and a president insisting the time was ripe for comprehensive reform. In short, the atmosphere in the lead-up to the ultimately doomed Immigration Reform Act of 2007 looked a lot like it does today. Now, with comprehensive reform once again reportedly around the corner, Hari Sreenivasan is checking in with the same individuals (along with some new faces) to find out what's changed -- and what hasn't -- seven years later. You can watch Hari's interview with Shawn Moran of the National Border Patrol Council here, and his interview with South Carolina peach farmer Chalmers Carr here. Stay tuned for more then-and-now interviews all this week.

    Cindy Huang produced this piece on artists' efforts to highlight gun violence.

    Our roundup of the Pulitzer Prizes awarded Monday.

    Ray Suarez held a feisty discussion about the implications of Venezuela's election and the forthcoming Nicolas Maduro presidency.

    Team Politics delivers This Week on the Hill.


    Following events in Boston, planners of GW Parkway Classic in VA this Sunday say "additional enhancements" will be made to safety plan

    — Terence Burlij (@burlij) April 16, 2013

    During hard time like this the stronger stay together and our nation is the best at it... twitter.com/davidortiz/sta...

    — David Ortiz (@davidortiz) April 16, 2013

    Today's front page of the Boston Globe: twitter.com/wsbtv/status/3...

    — WSB-TV (@wsbtv) April 16, 2013

    Public claims to the contrary notwithstanding, there's not much evidence of higher security today on DC's subway. twitter.com/SimonMarksFSN/...

    — Simon Marks (@SimonMarksFSN) April 16, 2013

    Hundreds feared dead following 8.0 earthquake in Iran-Pakistan. tinyurl.com/cg6d7be

    — Lisa Goldman (@lisang) April 16, 2013

    ‏Smart approach MT @scontornoDown ballot candidates in #VA set sights on Cuccinelli, McAuliffe, not each other. bit.ly/17BKle0

    — Tucker Martin (@jtuckermartin) April 15, 2013

    The Gitmo detainee essay is the most-viewed article on NYTimes.com this morning. nyti.ms/11eAfvT

    — Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) April 15, 2013

    Join me online Sun May 26th 5pm ET @firedoglake Book Salon to discuss #endofbig - a.nicco.org/YtdjJG (preorder: a.nicco.org/15ATaUm

    — nicco mele (@nicco) April 15, 2013

    "Single journalists went on the most dates of any other surveyed occupation, with 25% going on four or more first dates in 2012" -@match

    — Bianca Bosker (@bbosker) April 15, 2013

    Politics desk assistant Simone Pathe contributed to this report.

    For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

    Sign up here to receive the Morning Line in your inbox every morning.

    Questions or comments? Email Christina Bellantoni at cbellantoni-at-newshour-dot-org.

    Follow the politics team on Twitter:

    Follow @cbellantoni

    Follow @burlijiFollow @kpolantzFollow @elizsummersFollow @indiefilmfanFollow @tiffanymullonFollow @dePeystahFollow @meenaganesan

    Support Your Local PBS Station


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    Click to enlarge. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images.

    "La la la la, la la la la, Elmo's World! Hi everybody, it's Elmo! Everybody? Why are you ignoring Elmo?"

    Poor Elmo. It looks he might be lost. Or panhandling. Poor, poor Elmo. Times are tough, after all, but we hope not. What do you think our favorite red monster is up to? Write a caption to the photo above, and we'll send the author of the one that tickles us the most a NewsHour mug.

    How it works: Every other Tuesday, we post a photo. You compose a caption, submit it in the comments section below or on NewsHour Art Beat's Facebook page by 5 p.m. ET Friday.

    We'll announce the best caption on Art Beat the following Tuesday and send the winner an official NewsHour mug. The tiebreaker for similar or identical entries will be earliest time of submission.

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    By Nick Corcodilos

    When interviewing for a job, you may feel intimidated to contact your potential boss and follow up on any remaining questions. Headhunter Nick Corcodilos says don't be scared. Plus, once you have the job, learn how to ask for a performance review when your boss doesn't seem to think it's very important. Image by Gary Bates/Getty Images.

    Nick Corcodilos started headhunting in Silicon Valley in 1979, and has answered over 30,000 questions from the Ask The Headhunter community over the past decade.

    In this special Making Sense edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards, or salary negotiations. No guarantees -- just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.

    Question: I had a second interview that went well. The manager walked me to the elevator and said to feel free to call him if I had additional questions. He mentioned this during the first interview as well and I have his cell number.

    How should I interpret this? It's been three days and I haven't heard back yet. Should I call the manager and follow up with some questions just to see whether I'm still being considered? Or should I hold off? It just seems a bit awkward to call with more questions following a second interview. At this point I should have asked all the necessary questions and it should really just boil down to a yes-or-no decision on the hiring manager's part, right?

    Nick Corcodilos: You're giving me a chance to talk about a much bigger issue than your question: Job interviews create artificial barriers between two people who want to get a job done. If you can step out of the interview situation, you can gain a big edge over your competitors.

    MORE ANSWERS How New Grads Can Get in the Door for a Job Interview

    Convention says the interviewer asks the questions, and the candidate answers them. Then the interviewer makes a decision. How lame! Some of the most productive dialogues between managers and candidates happen in-between interview meetings. Freed from the constraints of the interview, manager and candidate can explore the side topics that reveal much about how they would work together.

    Think about your notion that all questions have been asked. When is that ever true in business? To me, thinking that all questions have been asked suggests complacency. Do you think the manager might see it that way, too?

    I'm not suggesting the manager is testing you, but I'd take him up on his offer. Call. It indicates that you are engaged, motivated, and thinking about his company and the job. For some ideas about the attitude you might want to project, see Journeyman, Or Partner?

    If you don't have a question, consider this very important one: "I've been thinking about how this job contributes to the company's business. It's just one job, but every job affects the bottom line. As manager, how do you expect this job to contribute to the business? It's important to me to know what role I'd play on that level. And by the way, having talked with several potential employers, I've concluded your company is the one I really want to work for."

    To the manager, that call might reveal the difference between who gets hired, and who comes in second, because it reveals your focus on the job, and it offers a commitment.

    I think this manager is giving you an opening to influence his decision, and I'd take advantage of it. Of course, it's best to be ready to ask those questions during your interview. Learn about The Basics before you venture into your next meeting with a manager.

    Question: What about "old-fashioned" bosses who are reluctant to give feedback to employees? I have worked in two positions where my baby-boomer bosses did not give feedback even in the yearly review. In fact, in my current position, I have not had a review since I came off probation over four years ago -- and I've been asking!

    I'm a responsible employee. I work hard. I'm not looking for pats on the back, but I could probably perform better if I had some useful feedback. Why don't these people care?

    Nick Corcodilos: Unfortunately, this is all too common. Bosses might put reviews off because they're busy and because (I'm afraid) many of them just don't know how to do a proper review.

    While I know bosses who give proper reviews and many that don't, I don't think there's a generational component to this. Some managers, of any age group, just see performance in black and white: Either you're doing well and you're a keeper; or you're not doing well and you're being fired. Who needs reviews? Sorry for the sarcasm, but I think in the rush (and under immense pressure to produce), some bosses often don't see the value of reviews.

    I suggest two courses of action. First, check your company's employee manual. It will tell you what the obligatory review policy is. Then go talk to the head of human resources. Ask for a review. If you don't get any cooperation, submit a written request to HR and insist that your letter be put in your personnel file. That will get their attention. And it's what HR is for.

    Second, do your own review. Put together a list of what your objectives were for the past year, and then show how you achieved them. Make another list of your objectives for next year, and your plan for achieving those. Ask your boss for a meeting to "talk about the work I do." Don't say it's a home-brewed review. When you arrive for the meeting, take out your materials and present them. Ask the boss for input, comments, and suggestions. Then ask for the raise you want based on your projected achievements. Provide a copy to HR.

    This article will tell you much more: How to Perform in A Performance Review.

    If your work is not acknowledged, you must decide whether to stay or go.

    Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth "how to" PDF books are available on his website: "How to Work With Headhunters...and how to make headhunters work for you," "How Can I Change Careers?" and "Keep Your Salary Under Wraps."

    Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!

    Copyright © 2013 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark. This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown -- NewsHour's blog of news and insight. Follow Paul on Twitter.Follow @PaulSolman

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    A major earthquake hit the Iran-Pakistan border early Tuesday morning. The 7.7 magnitude earthquake, the second deadly quake to hit Iran in less than a week after a 6.1 struck near Bushehr, has killed at least 46 people.

    This is also the strongest earthquake to have hit Iran in more than 50 years.

    With help from Rebel Mouse, we're tracking reaction to the earthquake and updates on its aftermath:

    Support Your Local PBS Station

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    Monday's Boston Marathon bombings left three dead, and more than 150 people injured.

    Almost immediately people across the country and the world began paying tribute to the city of Boston and the victims of yesterday's tragedy. Below, we're tracking these photos and memorials as they continue to surface.

    Share your tribute to Boston in the comments below.

    [View the story "Tributes for Boston Marathon Tragedy" on Storify]


    Latest Reports, News Conferences from Boston and the White House

    On-the-Ground Reports from Boston's WBUR

    Doctor on the Scene: 'Tons of Mangled Extremities on the Ground'

    Teacher Resources

    Reading Assignment and Discussion Questions on Boston Marathon Attack

    Mental Health and Disasters: How Your Body Reacts During and After a Tragedy

    Support Your Local PBS Station

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    PBS NewsHour will live stream briefings and press conferences from Boston and the White House in the player above. Check back all day for updates.

    2:29 p.m.: The Associated Press has identified 29-year-old Krystle Campbell of Medford, Mass., as one of the three people killed in the bombing at the Boston Marathon.

    William Campbell told the AP that his daughter was a "very caring, very loving person, and was daddy's little girl." He said the loss has devastated the family.

    Boston.com reports Krystle Campbell "went to watch the Marathon every year and was there with a friend this year. The friend is hospitalized with serious injuries."

    Martin Richard, 8, was also killed in Monday's explosion. His father Bill Richard released a statement Tuesday. Richard's wife Denise and 6-year-old daughter Jane also suffered significant injuries in the blasts:

    "My dear son Martin has died from injuries sustained in the attack on Boston. My wife and daughter are both recovering from serious injuries. We thank our family and friends, those we know and those we have never met, for their thoughts and prayers. I ask that you continue to pray for my family as we remember Martin. We also ask for your patience and for privacy as we work to simultaneously grieve and recover. Thank you."

    The third victim has not yet been identified.

    12:54 p.m. ET: The Associated Press reports:

    The explosives used in the deadly Boston Marathon bombing were contained in 6-liter pressure cookers and hidden in black duffel bags on the ground, a person briefed on the investigation told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

    One of the explosives contained shards of metal and ball bearings, and another contained nails, the person said.

    A second person briefed on the investigation confirmed that at least one of the explosives was made out of a pressure cooker. Both spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation.

    12:32 p.m. ET: Doctors in Boston described objects "clearly designed to be projectiles" removed from patients injured in Monday's Marathon explosions.

    The Boston Herald reports: "There's no question some of these objects were implanted in the device for the purpose of being exploded when the device went off," said Dr. Ron Walls, Brigham & Women's chair of emergency medicine.

    Walls described "ball-bearing type" objects, "just a little larger than a BB," metallic beads about two to three millimeters in diameter. Surgeons also removed more than a dozen small "carpenter-type nails" about a centimeter to an inch in length from one patient, he said.

    The Boston Globe:

    "My opinion is that most of them were in the bomb," said Dr. George Velmahos, trauma chief at Massachusetts General Hospital. "I think it's unlikely they would be so consistent if they were pulled out from the environment."

    Dr. David P. Mooney, Boston Children's Hospital trauma director, described deep shrapnel wounds in a 10-year-old being treated there who is in critical condition.

    At Boston Medical Center, Dr. Andrew Ulrich said the shrapnel "could be described as buckshot."

    12:21 p.m. ET: The Associated Press, citing a person briefed on probe: Boston explosives made of pressure cookers with metal, ball bearings.

    12:06 p.m. ET: In an appearance Tuesday morning at the White House, President Barack Obama called Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon an "act of terror," but said it is not clear whether the twin blasts were the work of a foreign or domestic group or a "malevolent individual."

    (Read Mr. Obama's full statement here.)

    The two explosions have killed at least three people and wounded more than 170.

    The Associated Press reported that Dr. Stephen Epstein of the emergency medicine department at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center said he saw an X-ray of one victim's leg that had "what appears to be small, uniform, round objects throughout it -- similar in the appearance to BBs."

    On Capitol Hill, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel called the bombings "a cruel act of terror" and said "a thorough investigation will have to determine whether it was planned or carried out by a terror group, foreign or domestic."

    Richard DesLauriers, the FBI agent in charge in Boston said, "We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice." He said investigators had received "voluminous tips" and were interviewing witnesses and analyzing the crime scene.

    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick said that contrary to earlier reports, no unexploded bombs were found. He said the only explosives were the ones that went off.

    FBI agents searched a home in the suburb of Revere, Mass., overnight, the Associated press reported. Authorities gave no details, but investigators were seen leaving a building there early Tuesday carrying brown paper bags, plastic trash bags and a duffel bag.


    On-the-Ground Reports from Boston's WBUR

    Doctor on the Scene: 'Tons of Mangled Extremities on the Ground'

    Teacher Resources

    Reading Assignment and Discussion Questions on Boston Marathon Attack

    Mental Health and Disasters: How Your Body Reacts During and After a Tragedy

    Support Your Local PBS Station

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    The 2013 Boston Marathon was marked by blood and chaos when two explosions went off near the finish line.

    Boston Marathon at 117

    April 15, 2013, marked the day of the 117th Boston Marathon.

    More than 23,000 athletes start the race between 10 a.m. and 10:40 a.m. ET. Photo: Aaron Tang/Flickr

    First Man Crosses Finish Line

    Lelisa Desisa Benti of Ethiopia crosses the finish line to win the men's division. He completes the 26.2 mile race in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds. Photo: Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    Crowds Gather to Cheer Racers

    People crowd along the sides of the finish line to cheer on family and friends as they finish their grueling race.

    The Boston Marathon is the world's oldest annual marathon still in existence and is one of six of the world's "major marathons." Photo: Aaron Tang/Flickr

    Explosions in Boston

    Two explosions go off near the finish line of the 117th Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

    Crowd Falls to Ground

    The attack came about three hours after the winners had crossed the finish line. A loud explosion on the north side of the street went off first, followed by a second blast a few seconds later.

    A number of people were bloodied. Dr. Albert Pendleton, who was stationed five feet from the finish line, described to the PBS NewsHour what he encountered: "almost all of (the injured had) lower extremity injuries. I think the blast just basically ... blew out the legs of everybody." Photo: Tim McGagh/MetroWest Daily News.com

    Chaos and Confusion

    Police and runners react while confusion and chaos ignite.

    Twenty-seven thousand runners and thousands more spectators had turned out for the Boston Marathon when terror erupted. Photo: Tim McGagh/MetroWest Daily News.com

    Tending to the Injured

    People tend to an injured woman on the corner of Exeter and Newbury Streets.

    Brigham & Women's Dr. Ron Walls described "ball-bearing type" objects, "just a little larger than a BB." Surgeons also removed more than a dozen small "carpenter-type nails" about a centimeter to an inch in length from one patient, he said. Photo: Bill Greene/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

    Firefighter Rescues Victim

    Boston firefighter Jim Plourde carries an injured spectator from the scene.

    Volunteer doctors and first responders were ready on the scene where a "mobile hospital" was set up to be able to treat anything from dehydration to more severe trauma. Photo: Tim McGagh/MetroWestDailyNews.COM

    Prayers at the Crime Scene

    A woman kneels and prays at the scene of the first explosion on Boylston Street. Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

    Injured Taken to Hospitals

    A person who was injured in the explosion is taken away from the scene on a stretcher.

    More than 170 are wounded and three died as a result of injuries sustained by the explosion. Photo: David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe/Getty Images

    Standing Guard at Hospital

    Armed police officers secure the main entrance to Brigham and Women's Hospital where many of the casualties are taken to be treated for their wounds. Photo: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

    Boston on Edge

    National Guard soldiers guard a roadblock near the scene of a twin bombing at the Boston Marathon on April 16, 2013 in Boston, Mass.

    State and city police close off 12 blocks in the ongoing investigation of the crime scene. They encourage Monday's marathon spectators to submit photos or video taken for potential leads. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Unclaimed Bags

    Unclaimed finish line bags remain at the scene of the blasts the day after the marathon. Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Bombing Tributes on Streets

    A tube of Bengay, a pain relief medecine, lays nears flowers at a memorial site at Boylston and Arlington streets along the course of the Boston Marathon on April 16. Photo: Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: The investigation of the Boston Marathon bombings ramped up today, as police and federal agents pored over the crime scene. Three people are dead, including an eight-year-old boy, and more than 170 others were injured. A handful of those remain in critical condition at various Boston hospitals.

    NewsHour correspondent Kwame Holman begins our coverage of the day after.

    KWAME HOLMAN: The morning sun filtered across an empty Boylston Street today, littered with the remnants of yesterday's marathon and the double bombings that brought it all to an end.

    KEVIN HERVERT, Boston Marathon Runner: Well, it kind of looks like a war zone. It's all cordoned off over here where they have a crime scene. And so it's pretty shocking to know that there's some kind of a terrorist act occurred here and there were bombs right by the finish line that I had just run across.

    KWAME HOLMAN: With a new day came new revelations and new perspective on the bombings. This runner wearing a head camera captured the moment the first bomb exploded as she neared the finish line.

    MAN: Get out of the stands.

    KWAME HOLMAN: More amateur video from a spectator showed the second blast and the ensuing chaos in the bleachers lining the street.

    At a briefing this morning, federal, state, and local authorities said all such videos and photographs are vital to their investigation and they asked bystanders to submit whatever they have.

    TIMOTHY ALBEN, Massachusetts State Police Superintendent: Hundreds, if not thousands, of photographs or videos or observations that were made down at that finish line yesterday and they're sitting out there amongst everyone that's watching this event this morning. And I would encourage you to bring forward anything. You might not think it's significant, but it might have some value to this investigation.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Overnight, the FBI did search an apartment in a Boston suburb, and conspiracy theories grew online, some of them involving a shadowy figure seen yesterday on a rooftop. But for now, officials said they have no suspects and no motive.

    Instead, the FBI's special agent in charge said the case is wide open.

    RICHARD DESLAURIERS, FBI Special Agent in Charge: This will be a worldwide investigation. We will take -- go where the evidence and the leads take us. We will go to the ends of the Earth to identify the subject or subjects who are responsible for this despicable crime, and we will do everything we can to bring them to justice.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Federal agents also set the record straight on some widely circulated misinformation about the bombings.

    GENE MARQUEZ, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives: To dispel any rumors, there were -- there were rumors floating around that there were seven devices -- up to seven devices at one point. That's not true.

    I think that happened as a result of some devices -- some suspect packages that were disrupted. But we only have two devices that we're aware of, and both of those devices were the ones that involved in the -- that did the damage and were involved in the explosives incident.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Evidence recovered at the scene indicated the bombs possibly were composed of pressure cookers stuffed with shrapnel and left on the ground in black duffel bags. Doctors from local hospitals said the devices were built to do severe bodily harm.

    DR. RON WALLS, Chief of Emergency Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital: We have removed objects from at least three patients that clearly were designed to be projectiles and were built into the explosive device. These objects are ball bearing-type or small shot-type, just a little larger than BB round metallic beads. They are about two to three millimeters in diameter. And we have also removed over a dozen small carpenter-type nails.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Dr. George Velmahos is head of trauma surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital, where 34 victims were taken.

    DR. GEORGE VELMAHOS, Massachusetts General Hospital: They have undergone major operations, predominantly, unfortunately, amputations because of the devastating effect of the bombs. Many of them have severe wounds, mostly in the lower part of their body, wounds related to the blast effect of the bomb, as well as small metallic fragments that entered their body, pellets, shrapnel, nails that these bombs had.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Nicholas Yanni and his wife, Lee Ann, were standing about 10 feet from where one of the bombs went off. He spoke today from Tufts Medical Center.

    NICHOLAS YANNI, Spectator: I think I had a pierced drum, but nothing major. My eardrums are intact and so no major issues on my end. My wife had shrapnel that went through her lower left leg. And I think it shattered her fibula. And they had to do some work with her. And she's got to go in for surgery again tomorrow.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Inquiries about the victims lit up social media in the immediate aftermath of the blasts, as did eyewitness posts about the bombings and other information.

    And, in Washington today, the flag over the White House was lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims. And the president made a new statement, this time equating the attack with terrorism.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This was a heinous and cowardly act. And given what we now know about what took place, the FBI is investigating it as an act of terrorism. Any time bombs are used to target innocent civilians; it is an act of terror.

    KWAME HOLMAN: But Mr. Obama said the response proves the attackers will not get their way.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: If you want to know who we are, what America is, how we respond to evil: selflessly, compassionately, unafraid. In the coming days, we will pursue every effort to get to the bottom of what happened and we will continue to remain vigilant.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Here at the Capitol, members of Congress put aside partisan differences to mourn the victims and praise the first-responders, and they vowed the nation will have justice and will not give in to terror.

    SEN. HARRY REID, D-Nev.: The Federal Bureau Investigation, Department of Homeland Security are investigating this attack as aggressively as possible. As the president said last night, rest assured that the perpetrators will feel the full weight of justice for this terrible crime.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, R-Ky.: For most of us, it's hard to imagine now anyone could even contemplate doing something like this. But, as always, as a nation, we face this sad reality head on and show the world that America doesn't cower in the face of it.

    KWAME HOLMAN: The secretary of homeland security, Janet Napolitano, said there's no evidence of a wider plot, but extra security measures will stay in effect for now.

    That was apparent across the country with a heightened state of vigilance. Canine teams were out in force at Los Angeles International Airport. A terminal was evacuated at New York's LaGuardia Airport because of a suspicious package. And a plane turned back to the gate at Boston's Logan International Airport because a bag wasn't screened properly. 

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: This afternoon, the White House confirmed the president will attend a memorial for the victims in Boston on Thursday.

    And joining us from Boston now is David Boeri, senior reporter for WBUR Public Radio.

    David, what, if anything, can you add to where the investigation stands now? What leads might be being followed?

    DAVID BOERI, WBUR Public Radio: We have a 12-acre crime scene here, so they're still poring through that scene.

    There's going to be problems tonight because we're expecting rain, and it is windy as well, so some of those fragments are moving and blowing out. But they are working this scene as intensively, they say, as they have worked any crime scene.

    Meanwhile, they're exploring their theories. We had a visit last night to an apartment in Revere. It's because one of the people that was hospitalized yesterday had injuries on his hands, burns on his hands that were considered inconsistent with the other injuries of other people, so they followed him. He was a Saudi national. He was in the hospital.

    They went to his residence in Revere and found two other Saudi nationals. It turns out -- and they had visa problems, so Immigration and Customs Enforcement took them into custody. But it seems as if this is a -- this is not where the investigation is going.

    But you get a sense that, in fact, they're casting a wide net looking for people. Evidence has a shelf life, and so that saves them from spending more time by dealing with those quickly and moving on. That's past us, but they're looking for more.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And what about the reports that the bombs were composed of pressure cookers?

    DAVID BOERI: Yes. Pretty clearly, they are pressure cookers, a gallon-and-a-half pressure cookers.

    Now, pressure cookers make both rice and, as it turns out, devastating bombs. You can see recipes for them on jihadi websites and on anarchist websites that call them hellhounds. It's a popular explosive device.

    What seems to have happened here, by putting it in the duffel bag and the duffel bag being put on the ground, according to sources that we have talked to, it made the devastation less than it might have been. It blew outwards. Most of the injuries on the legs were from the knee downward. It could have been much worse had it been in a tight container, I'm told.

    JEFFREY BROWN: We saw, David, that the law enforcement is asking the public for help in the form of videos, photos, anything. Do you have any sense yet of what kind of response they're getting?

    DAVID BOERI: They're getting a great response.

    There are hundreds and thousands of pictures and videos that were taken. You know, the social media since 9/11 has expanded. Everybody has phones and cameras now. And so this is going to take an enormous amount of work if they're trying to go through these. This could be very complicated.

    Some people suggest it indicates that they don't have a lot of leads otherwise. But, certainly, that's one thing that they're looking for. JEFFREY BROWN: Speaking of 9/11, I wonder -- just tell -- give us a sense of the mood there today, and maybe you can compare it to what happened after 9/11.

    DAVID BOERI: Absolutely.

    I remember it well. I remember 9/12. And 9/12 was a day much like today, brilliant sky, warm. On 2000 -- in 2001, on 9/11, Boston was a crime scene that had no evidence. There were no victims here, and so it had been robbed in that sense -- today, just the opposite, a terrible number of victims and a lot of devastation at that scene.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And we said the president is coming Thursday. What else? Are you expecting other services and memorials in the coming days?

    DAVID BOERI: Yes, there are going to be lots of -- well, right now, we have three dead as -- that's the latest. There's going to be just an outpouring in this city.

    This is -- to understand just the impact here, you have got to remember, I mean, this is the celebration of Patriots' Day. It's a longtime New England ritual. And, of course, it's one of the premier, some call it the premier running event. And the fact that a running event, the premier running event had this devastation that resulted in many people's legs being blown off is sadder and ironic more.

    JEFFREY BROWN: David Boeri of WBUR Boston, thanks so much.

    DAVID BOERI: You're welcome. 


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