Quantcast
Loading...
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)
Loading...

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Loading...

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 207 | 208 | (Page 209) | 210 | 211 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: The Chechen-American teenager accused in the Boston Marathon bombings now faces a possible death sentence. The filing of charges today officially moved the case into the federal courts, even as the city began returning to normal.

    Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was arraigned this morning at Boston's Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital, where he remained in serious condition. A short time later came word of the complaint filed by the U.S. Justice Department. It formally charged the 19-year-old with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction, potentially a capital crime punishable by the death penalty, and of destruction of property by explosive device causing death.

    Tsarnaev had been able, sporadically, to answer questions in writing, but a gunshot wound to the neck left him unable to speak. It was unclear if he was read his Miranda rights.

    But, in Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney said he's a naturalized U.S. citizen, so will not face a military tribunal.

    JAY CARNEY, White House Spokesman: He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice. Under U.S. law, U.S. citizen cannot be trialed -- tried, rather, in military commissions. And it's important to remember that since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Tsarnaev was also likely to face state charges in the shooting death of a police officer at MIT.

    It all followed his dramatic capture Friday evening, when he was found hiding and wounded in a boat behind a home in the Boston suburb of Watertown. His older brother Tamerlan died hours earlier in a shoot-out with police that triggered the all-day manhunt and shut down the city.

    Yesterday, on CBS, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick stood by the unprecedented measures.

    GOV. DEVAL PATRICK, D-Mass.: I think people understood that we were making decisions in the face of a rapidly developing investigation and that we were making them in the best interests of people's public safety, or the public's safety. I think there won't be political backlash. And, frankly, I'm not thinking about that anyhow.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In Boston today, it was a time of remembrance and reflection. Bells tolled as people observed a moment of silence at 2:50 p.m., the time one week ago that twin bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

    Elsewhere, friends and family gathered at St. Joseph's Catholic Church for the funeral service of 29-year-old Krystle Campbell, one of three people killed in the bombings. A memorial service for another victim, Chinese graduate student Lu Lingzi, was set this evening.

    Back in Washington, President Obama also observed a moment of silence at the White House, as did the U.S. Senate. But tempers flared at a Senate hearing. Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley was one of several Republicans who've said the bombings, allegedly by two Chechen immigrants, raised questions about immigration reform.

    SEN. CHARLES GRASSLEY, R-Iowa: I think we're taking advantage of an opportunity when once in 25 years we deal with immigration to make sure that every base is covered.

    JEFFREY BROWN: That sparked a heated exchange between Grassley and New York Democrat Chuck Schumer.

    SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER, D-N.Y.: I say that particularly those who are pointing to what happened, the terrible tragedy in Boston, as a, I would say, excuse for not doing a bill or delaying it many months and years.

    CHARLES GRASSLEY: I never said that.

    CHARLES SCHUMER: I didn't say you did sir.

    CHARLES GRASSLEY: I never said that.

    CHARLES SCHUMER: I didn't say you did, sir.

    CHARLES GRASSLEY: I didn't say anything about ...

    CHARLES SCHUMER: I don't mean you, Mr. Grassley.

    MAN: Mr. Chairman ...

    CHARLES SCHUMER: Those remarks were not aimed at anyone on this committee or the three witnesses. There are people out there -- you have read it in the newspapers -- who have said it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: There were also questions about the FBI's investigation last year of Tamerlan Tsarnaev, after he spent six months in Russia. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, chairing the Intelligence Committee, said senior FBI may testify tomorrow about why they didn't pursue the matter further.

    And I misspoke in that setup piece. Tsarnaev was read his Miranda rights in his hospital room today. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: And we're joined now by a reporter who has been following developments closely.

    Dina Temple Raston is NPR's anti-terrorism correspondent.

    Dina, welcome to you.

    Do we know how much or what investigators are learning from Tsarnaev in the hospital so far?

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON, National Public Radio: Well, there's been very little that they have learned because he can't -- we understand that he can't speak, that he has actually a tube in his throat. And he has some sort of a wound on his neck and his hand and apparently to his jaw. There's some question as to whether or not it was a self-inflicted wound.

    So as a result, apparently, they're writing notes back and forth. And it's unclear if those notes are rapport-building, so that he learns to trust these people who are trying to question him or whether they're getting substantive information from him.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, what can you tell us about the focus of the investigation right now? What do investigators see as the most important leads?

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, one of the things is they can't really question the younger suspect, suspect number two, the one who had that white basketball cap on, until he is really lucid.

    And because of that, they have sort of concentrated their efforts on what his older brother was up to over the past sort of couple of years. You mentioned in your piece that there was a 2011 interview that the FBI had with the older brother at the request of the Russian government. They basically said they thought he had links to radical Islamists in Russia and wanted the FBI to sort of investigate that.

    The FBI couldn't find anything that he had done illegal. So they allowed him to leave. And then we subsequently learned that he went to Russia last year. And he was there for six months. What they're looking for now is, what was he doing while he was in Russia? Was he training, for example? Was he meeting with radical Islamists who might have help radicalize him?

    Those are the sort of threads that they're pulling now to try to put something some sort of motif about what happened leading up to these bombings.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And in response to the questions that have come about whether the FBI did enough to check out -- to check him out at the request of the Russians, what's the response so far?

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, you know, if he wasn't doing something illegal, there's only so much that the FBI can do in terms of an investigation.

    They went to his house. They asked questions. Apparently, they had tea with his family. But if he wasn't doing anything illegal, they're not allowed to follow him. And this has been the back-and-forth that has been going on now, as there's been finger-pointing because this happened. They're asking why the FBI didn't follow up.

    Well, if he's not doing something illegal, they're not allowed to follow him.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, they're looking over there. They're also looking of course in Boston into the lives of these two.

    And one of the questions is about the turn to religion, if you will, by Tamerlan and the possible turn to radicalization by both of them. How much is known?

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: Well, what we understand -- and there was a great article in The Wall Street Journal this morning that really pieced a lot of this together by a huge team at The Wall Street Journal -- basically, what we understand is that his mother became more devout.

    And then the older brother, Tamerlan, sort of followed in her model and became more devout as well and became quite radical in his beliefs. We know that he was visiting jihadi websites. We know that he actually posted some things, it seems, some pro-al-Qaida or at least pro-radical Islam.

    What it seems to be -- and again this is very early days in the investigation, and so, you know, they keep saying that in the early days of the investigation, you're almost always wrong when you jump to conclusions. But in these early days of the investigation, it appears that the older brother had a tremendous amount -- or held great sway over the younger brother, and that the younger brother didn't seem to have any outward signs of this sort of radical Islam -- Islamic belief, but followed in the footsteps of his older brother.

    So that's what investigators are going to try to find out when they finally get to talk to him in the hospital. And, as you mentioned in your piece, they did end up Mirandizing him, reading him his rights. And there was some question as to whether or not they would use something called the public safety exception, which basically says you don't have to read someone their Miranda rights if you believe that the public safety is in danger.

    So, in other words, you know, if you thought that if you read him his rights, he might remain silent about co-conspirators or bombs that might be elsewhere in Boston or in the surrounding area -- and I guess they made the determination that that wasn't necessary, and so they read him his rights right away.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, a couple other areas of the investigation that continues. One, of course, they're still looking at the bombs, right, bomb fragments that they pick up from the site. Another one is that apparently federal investigators are trying to interview the older Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife at this point, and I gather get have been in touch with his -- with her attorney.

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: That's right. Yes.

    And in addition to that, I mean, they have more than just bomb fragments. What they found in the apartment and in the back of a car that they carjacked on Thursday night was something that looked -- bombs that looked very much like the fragments that they had found at the sites -- at the two bombing sites at the Boston Marathon. And these were bombs that had a low-grade explosive.

    And we know this from the criminal complaint that was released today. The bombs were a low-grade explosive that were inside these rice cookers or pressure cookers. And, in fact, at one point during this car chase on Thursday night, they actually lit one of these kinds of bombs and threw it at police. And it became -- you know, and it was partially exploded, so it became more evidence in the case.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And, Dina, let me just ask you finally, briefly, one of the strange aspects to this, of course, is that in the days after the bombing, it looks as though the two brothers went back to life, went back to business as usual?

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: That's right.

    Well, we know and we have been reporting for a while that the younger brother was tweeting. And one of the last things, he tweeted a Jay-Z lyric on Wednesday and then actually tweeted, "I'm a no sweat kind of guy" or something to that effect, or "I'm a no-stress guy" is what he said on Wednesday. He went to a party. He was hanging out with his friends.

    So clearly they were trying to act as if nothing had happened. And clearly they didn't understand just how much surveillance there was around the finish line at the Boston Marathon. What we found out is they have surveillance video that is very clear and seems to completely have the younger Tsarnaev dead to rights on being there at the second bombing site dropping his backpack, and having the bomb blast just minutes -- just actually seconds later.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, NPR's Dina Temple-Raston, thanks so much.

    DINA TEMPLE-RASTON: You're welcome. Thank you. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    KWAME HOLMAN: Police in Canada say they have broken up a plot to derail a passenger train. They announced today two men have been arrested and charged with planning a terror attack. The suspects live in Toronto and Montreal, but are not Canadian citizens. They allegedly had direction and guidance from al-Qaida, but the plot still was in the planning phase.

    JAMES MALIZIA, Assistant Royal Canadian Mounted Police Commissioner: While the RCMP believed the accused had the capacity and intent to carry out these criminal acts, there was no imminent threat to the general public, rail employees, train passengers, or infrastructure.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Authorities said the plot had no connection to the Boston bombings.

    So far, there's no sign of the poison ricin at the home of a Mississippi man accused of sending tainted letters to President Obama and a U.S. senator. Paul Kevin Curtis has denied involvement with the suspicious mailings. At a hearing today, an FBI agent testified a search found no ricin or materials used to make it. A defense lawyer suggested Curtis might have been framed.

    The death toll from six days of heavy fighting in and around Damascus, Syria has grown to at least 100. And anti-government activists warned today the number could be closer to 500. Meanwhile, dark plumes of smoke rose over the capital city as government troops pressed an offensive. They're trying to push back rebel forces.

    There was word today fierce fighting in northeastern Nigeria killed at least 185 people over the weekend. The Red Cross reported the death toll, based on local accounts. Nigerian authorities said the number was terribly inflated. The fighting erupted Friday between government soldiers and Islamist extremists known as Boko Haram. In Afghanistan, the Taliban took at least 11 civilians hostage after a transport helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing. Officials said eight Turks and a Russian were among the captives. The civilian helicopter landed in strong winds and heavy rain in Logar province. The Taliban largely control that region.

    Flight delays hit airports up and down the East Coast today as 1,500 air traffic controllers were required to take unpaid leave. Airports in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington had delays of 15 minutes to two hours.

    In Washington, transportation Secretary Ray LaHood blamed federal budget cuts from the ongoing sequestration.

    SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION RAY LAHOOD, United States: Safety is not compromised. Planes are going to be guided in and out of airports safely. We will never compromise safety. This is a people-centric system. Planes are guided by people. Planes are guided by pilots. And when you furlough some people, there will have to be slowdowns. And that's what we warned about several months ago.

    KWAME HOLMAN: The Federal Aviation Administration has ordered furloughs for all 47,000 agency employees. Each employee loses one day of work every other week.

    Flooding in the Midwest eased slightly today, but prospects of more rain and snowmelt raised concerns for the days ahead. The heavy rain of last week already has caused a number of swollen rivers to burst their banks. Two levees failed early today along the Wabash River in southwest Indiana. Crews also worked to recover more than 100 barges that broke free in the Mississippi River. The flooding is blamed for at least three deaths.

    President Obama will attend a memorial service Thursday for the 14 people killed in the Texas fertilizer plant explosion. White House officials said today the president already planned to be in Texas to help dedicate the George W. Bush Presidential Library. Most of the victims in the explosion in West, Texas, were firefighters and medical technicians.

    A U.S. Army sergeant pleaded guilty today to killing five other Americans in Iraq in 2009. Sgt. John Russell admitted he gunned down four U.S. soldiers and a Navy officer at a mental health clinic near Baghdad. At the time, Russell was nearing the end of his third tour in Iraq. The guilty plea means he will avoid a death sentence.

    Folk singer and guitarist Richie Havens has died. His family said he suffered a heart attack today. Havens came from the New York folk scene in 1960s. And in 1969, he performed at the original Woodstock festival, welcoming thousands of people to the event. Richie Havens was 72 years old.

    Wall Street managed to rally a bit today, after big losses last week. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 19 points to close at 14,567. The Nasdaq rose 27 points to close at 3,233.

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


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: And we pick up on some of the legal questions being asked about the criminal case against Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. If Tsarnaev is found guilty as charged of using a weapon of mass destruction, he could face the death penalty. But what else does he, and should he face?

    For that, we turn to, David Rivkin, who served in the Justice Department in the Reagan and Bush administrations, and Laura Murphy, director of the Washington legislative office for the American Civil Liberties Union.

    David Rivkin, start by explaining to us what this means, using a weapon of mass destruction. Is it a term of legal art?

    DAVID RIVKIN, Former Associate White House Counsel: It is a term of art, Gwen. And good to be with you.

    It is obviously a manifestation of the seriousness of the attack. It is a charge that carries a death penalty. And I for one, given the wealth of physical evidence and evidence that the prosecution will be able to bring to bear, would be quite comfortable predicting that he would be convicted and sentenced appropriately.

    GWEN IFILL: Laura Murphy, that term weapon of mass destruction, is that a relatively new kind of charge?

    LAURA MURPHY, American Civil Liberties Union: Yes, that's in statute. Congress created that term. And it's a very broad term. And it's been broadly interpreted.

    GWEN IFILL: Is part of the broad interpretation what the penalty would be?

    LAURA MURPHY: I don't understand your question.

    GWEN IFILL: As David Rivkin just said, part of the reason why that kind of charge is brought is because it makes you liable for the death penalty.

    LAURA MURPHY: Well, we don't know whether the federal prosecutors are going to charge this suspect with the death penalty. So it is a prosecution that can result in a death sentence.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me ask you and then David Rivkin this question. Were there other options besides this particular charge for charging this young man?

    LAURA MURPHY: Oh, there are many options.

    But we don't know that the charges that are brought have been completed. This individual could be prosecuted in state court. This individual could face further federal charges. So this, by no means, means the end of the charging process.

    GWEN IFILL: David Rivkin, what else would you imagine that he could be charged with, based on what we know?

    DAVID RIVKIN: If I might, Gwen, it's not just a question of what he will be charged with. There are other charges. I agree with my colleague about the possibility of state prosecutions.

    I think what's important, this administration has made a serious mistake in not considering, completely taking off the table the possibility of classifying him as a potential enemy combatant and subjecting him to the interrogation process that would have frankly yielded a lot more in terms of intelligence than the standard criminal justice-type interrogation process.

    And it has nothing to do with Miranda, on which everybody has been focusing. It is simply the case that an interrogation process that would last for a period of weeks and maybe months and enables the interrogation team to develop without any interruptions a full intelligence take is not something you can do in the criminal justice system, because once he's charged, he's entitled to a lawyer. And his lawyer, even if he doesn't tell him not to cooperate, you just wouldn't be able to structure the interrogation in the same process. That's a loss. That's very unfortunate.

    GWEN IFILL: Laura Murphy, in fact, he has now been assigned a lawyer. And this enemy combatant option was pretty vigorously taken off the table today by Jay Carney at the White House. What did you think about that?

    LAURA MURPHY: We thought it was an excellent idea to prosecute this individual in the criminal justice system in our federal courts.

    GWEN IFILL: Why?

    LAURA MURPHY: Because the enemy combatant status doesn't allow for due process, doesn't allow for right to counsel, doesn't have the same presumption of innocence.

    And we hold our system out to the world as being the model for justice. That is a very different, secretive process. And, in fact, John Brennan, who is now the director of the CIA, when he was national security adviser, argued against holding people as enemy combatants and in military detention for the purposes of interrogation, because he cited at least three major terrorism cases where the individuals were tried under our federal criminal court system, and they cooperated even after having counsel.

    And this system, this criminal justice system of our federal government, has prosecuted over 400 terrorism-related cases. You have the blind sheik in custody. You have Moussaoui in custody. You are Terry Nichols, who was part of the Oklahoma City bombing. You have Eric Rudolph, who was part of the Atlanta terrorism bombings related to the Olympics. So there's no problem in our criminal justice prosecuting alleged acts of terrorism.

    GWEN IFILL: What about that, David Rivkin?

    DAVID RIVKIN: Let me just jump in.

    This is a straw man. Nobody is suggesting that Dzhokhar cannot be prosecuted in the criminal justice system. But prosecuting him is just part of the equation. The real question for us is this: This is not just an act of terror. This is an act of war, at least potentially an act of war, on the theory that his brother was inducted in an al-Qaida affiliated entity and then he came back -- during his stay in the Caucasus -- he came back to the United States, he inducted his brother.

    GWEN IFILL: So far, we know that all to be -- but so far, we know that all to be a theory, right, not part of the charge?

    DAVID RIVKIN: Of course. But that's the whole point. But the whole point of enemy combatants is that you hold people and you build information in part based upon interrogation results.

    By the way, apropos of a point made by my colleague, there's nothing wrong with the military justice system. And if she feels otherwise, she should take issue with the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court in a number of key decisions both prior to 9/11, but also after 9/11 in a case called Hamdi, very much affirmed the continuing viability and constitutionality of the laws of war paradigms.

    Let me just say briefly, I'm not suggesting, by the way -- forgive me, just one second.

    I'm not suggesting he would have been prosecuted in the military commission. The existing law doesn't allow for it. It specifically is off the table. But he could have been interrogated and held for a number of months as an enemy combatant and then, just like happened with Padilla, just like happened Hamdi, Mr. Hamdi, he could have been transferred to the criminal justice system to be prosecuted.

    GWEN IFILL: Excuse me.

    But since we now know that is not going to happen and that the administration has made very clear what their approach will be, I would like to focus a little bit on what the challenge is that now ahead for the prosecutors and for the defense in a case like that, Laura Murphy.

    LAURA MURPHY: Well, first of all, they have to get their facts together. We just don't know what the facts are in this case.

    And we cannot say that this individual agreed with his older brother's ideological beliefs. We don't know that. And so this person has counsel. Counsel is going to meet with this person to make sure that the charges are fair and build a case based on the facts. We can't predict how this case is going to go.

    We know that the federal government has to conform with rules of evidence. And we think that they are going about this prosecution in the manner that really comports with our American values and our constitutional rights.

    GWEN IFILL: David Rivkin.

    DAVID RIVKIN: I'm surprised, actually, to hear you say that because, quite frankly, in an effort to avoid dealing with the option that I mentioned, by not Mirandizing him, they have actually created some problems for themselves.

    LAURA MURPHY: He was Mirandized. He was Mirandized.

    GWEN IFILL: Actually, as of today, when he was charged, he was.

    DAVID RIVKIN: Yes.

    GWEN IFILL: But there was a delay, you're right.

    DAVID RIVKIN: There was a delay. And I agree with Professor Dershowitz, who points out the danger of this kind of a blending of the two paradigms.

    Because he wasn't Mirandized initially, it may be difficult for the prosecution -- lots of physical evidence, as I said. But as far as his state of mind, as far as what made him do this -- and I agree with Laura -- there might be some difficulties, which again underscores the proposition that you pay a price when you take some options off the table. You make other options more difficult for you.

    GWEN IFILL: Even though he wasn't Mirandized right away and apparently was in communication with the investigators, are you OK with that?

    LAURA MURPHY: No, we're not OK because we don't know the facts. We don't know what he was compelled to answer. We don't know whether he knew what was going on, whether he was of sound enough mind.

    We think the public safety exception should be very, very limited. We don't know whether they abused the public safety exception. So, we're not prepared to say everything is OK just because he's been Mirandized. But we are relieved that he's being tried in federal court and that he was Mirandized.

    GWEN IFILL: Laura Murphy of the American Civil Liberties Union ...

    DAVID RIVKIN: Actually ...

    GWEN IFILL: ... and David Rivkin, Baker Hostetler, thank you both so much.

    LAURA MURPHY: Thank you.

    DAVID RIVKIN: Thank you. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: And we turn now to the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where a protest by prisoners continues to grow.

    Ray Suarez reports.

    RAY SUAREZ: More than half the detainees at the Guantanamo prison are now on hunger strike. Government figures disclosed this weekend show 84 of the 166 captives at the facility are now participating. A smaller number began the protest in early February. They objected to their living conditions and to alleged mishandling of the Koran by military guards.

    They also cited the legal limbo many have been held in for a decade or more, not charged with crimes or placed on trial. On April 13th, there was a brief, violent confrontation. The military said guards raided a communal area to uncover security cameras and windows that had been shrouded for weeks.

    COL. JOHN BOGDAN, COMMANDER, Guantanamo Bay Joint Detention Group: We were trying to be patient and work with them, give them the opportunity to comply. We hit the point where, you know, I felt we were accepting too much risk and it was time to take action.

    RAY SUAREZ: The guards say the prisoners attacked them with homemade weapons. There were no reported serious injuries, but the prison was put on lockdown, and the number of hunger strikers skyrocketed; 16 are being force-fed, with tubes inserted through the nose and into the stomach. They are typically shackled in chairs like this for the procedure.

    An American Naval medical officer described the process in 2009.

    MAN: These are the feeding tubes that we use whenever it is determined at a very high level that somebody has reached that point in the hunger striking. Everyone is allowed to hunger strike; that is their right to protest. But if somebody gets to that point where they need additional medical care or it's reached the point where it's threatening their life, that's where the decision is made way above me to step in.

    RAY SUAREZ: Among those being force-fed is Samir Naji al Hasan Moqbel of Yemen. In a recent New York Times op-ed transmitted to his lawyers through an interpreter, he wrote: "I've been detained at Guantanamo for 11 years and three months. I have never been charged with any crime. I have never received a trial."

    In all, 86 men remain at Guantanamo who have been cleared for release from the facility, 56 without restrictions, another 30 with conditions, all this despite the fact President Obama signed an executive order to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, more than four years ago.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And promptly to close the detention facility at Guantanamo.

    RAY SUAREZ: But Congress has blocked the transfer of any detainees to the mainland U.S. And some, like the Yemeni Moqbel, are men without countries. Their native nations have refused to take them back.

    Several high-level al-Qaida detainees, like 9/11 planner Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, are among the few facing military trial at the prison. 


    Loading...
    0 0

    Watch Video PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez talks to the Miami Herald's Carol Rosenberg on the 9/11 Guantanamo hearing delays, the uncertain status of 86 detainees at the detention center and the men leading the latest hunger strike.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    RAY SUAREZ: For more on the hunger strike, I'm joined by a reporter who's logged more hours in Guantanamo than any other journalist, Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald.

    Carol, welcome.

    More than a dozen are now being force-fed. How is the determination made which prisoners are restrained and fed by force?

    CAROL ROSENBERG, Miami Herald: The military says they have a calculus that looks at how much weight has been lost, how much malnutrition exists in an individual, and basically how sick they are.

    They can skip meals for days on end, but there's a point at which when their weight drops down to a certain percentage below healthy body weight that they start the force-feeding.

    RAY SUAREZ: Of the scores who are on hunger strike, how long have the longest prisoners been denying themselves food?

    CAROL ROSENBERG: Well, Ray, there's one man down there who has been doing this hunger strike since about 2005.

    He's been living off these tube-feedings for years and years. This has been a singular protest. What's going on now is that this current hunger striker -- hunger strike started probably in February, when the detainees say that they had a particularly aggressive search by the guards in which they perceived that the guards were having the linguists inspect their Korans, which apparently just uncorked all sorts of frustration and led to this latest hunger strike.

    RAY SUAREZ: Are there in the international treaties that govern the way prisoners are treated areas that -- parts, chapters, whatever, that cover force-feeding?

    CAROL ROSENBERG: Well, you know, the head of the International Red Cross tells us that they oppose force-feeding, that actually prisoners do have the right to a certain measure of self-determination. And one of the things that they can do is choose not to eat.

    The Pentagon has a different policy. And what they say is that they have developed these force-feeding protocols from the Federal Bureau of Prisons years ago when they were first confronted with the hunger strikes. So there are international human rights and medical organizations that say what the U.S. is doing down there, feeding them twice a day with these tubes tethered up their nose, down the back of their throat and into their stomach, a can of Ensure twice a day, there are organizations that say this is wrong, that they should be allowed to choose to starve to death if they want to.

    RAY SUAREZ: Recently, there was a raid in the prison itself. What were the conditions that prevailed in the so-called communal areas? What had the authorities at Guantanamo allowed life to become for many of the detainees?

    CAROL ROSENBERG: This raid took place in the showcase communal prison, camp six. This was a place where -- which was closest to a POW camp than anything that had ever existed at Guantanamo.

    Detainees lived in groups of 10, 12, maybe 18 at a time. They ate together at picnic tables. They prayed together. They were able to sit around and watch television together. They had free movement from inside the building where the picnic tables were out to enclosed recreation yards outside. So this was a fair amount of enclosed freedom with the guards on the outside looking in.

    They would watch through cameras, monitors and they would watch from outside the fences, some of them which were actual fences. And what we were told when we went down there last week is that the detainees began to defy their guards in many, many ways over the months.

    Among other things, I was told last week, to my surprise -- because I had been there the month before -- some of the prisoners had taken sticks and were poking the guards through the fences. You know, they had brooms there which they could use to sweep out their cells, so they apparently took these broom sticks and were poking the guards and provoking them.

    They refused to eat. They refused to allow the food carts to come inside these communal areas. They controlled what came in and went out. And, most importantly, they took old cereal boxes and they covered up the cameras in their individual cells. And this was the thing that most concerned the Pentagon and the military that was running the place.

    If they couldn't look inside individual cells, if they couldn't keep an eye on detainees in the corners of these collective areas, they feared that somebody would try to suicide or that somebody was starving himself and wasting away, and that they couldn't keep eyes on him to realize that they had to force-feed him.

    So they made a decision. After several months of this kind of defiance of the rules, they went in on April 13th right before dawn with these, frankly, strike forces. There -- two of the teams had shotguns with rubber pellets. They all had shields and they had helmets. And they charged inside the recreation yards, where according to the military they might some resistance.

    It wasn't long. And they described injuries to both sides that were not serious, but people on both sides got hurt. And the guard force came in and pushed each one into individual cells. And they are now in lockdown. They are now inside these roughly 8-by-12 cells up to 22 hours a day being moved and shackled from these cells to small recreation yards, being moved from these cells to showers.

    They have lost the ability to control their lives inside these communal blocks. And they're in what they call lockdown. It's a very different Guantanamo than the one we had seen throughout much of the Obama administration. This is much more of a doctrine of keeping people in individual cells, similar to what went on during the Bush years.

    RAY SUAREZ: Carol Rosenberg of the Miami Herald, thanks for joining us.

    CAROL ROSENBERG: Thank you, Ray.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Online later tonight, you can see additional excerpts from Ray's interview with Carol Rosenberg, including more on those 86 detainees cleared for release who remain at Guantanamo.


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Now economics correspondent Paul Solman reports on late-blooming self-starters. It's the latest chapter in his look at older workers in the American economy and all part of his ongoing reporting Making Sense of financial news.

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND, Mannequin Madness: Look at this nice tight stomach with the abs that you could grate cheese on.

    PAUL SOLMAN: At 55, Judi Henderson-Townsend is working with a much younger crowd.

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND: You're just like living in the land of Dorian Gray here. Nobody ever ages.

    PAUL SOLMAN: After a career spent working with more than a few stiffs in the corporate world, says Townsend, she started Mannequin Madness.

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND: I sell mannequins, I rent mannequins, I repair mannequins, I blog about mannequins. Here in our warehouse, we recycle them for the stores for free, and then we resell them or rent them to other people.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, you mean all those good-looking folk back there were going to be dumped?

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND: Those were going to be tossed into the landfill because the store didn't need them anymore. They're just maybe a few years old, but, structurally, nothing is wrong with them. It's like having a pre-owned Lexus.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Townsend thinks she's modeling a trend: the rise of the mature entrepreneur. And, indeed, since 1996, the share of business owners age 55 to 64 has grown more than nine percent. And whereas just one-tenth of the total U.S. work force is self-employed ...

    JULIE ZISSIMOPOULOS, University of Southern California: You look at workers in their mid-50s, it's 15 percent. You look at workers 65, 66, 67, 68, you're up at 25 percent.

    PAUL SOLMAN: University of Southern California economist Julie Zissimopoulos has studied oldish entrepreneurs.

    JULIE ZISSIMOPOULOS: They're more educated. They have higher income and wealth. They are more willing to take on risks. They have had lots of on-the-job training, lots of work force experience. They can bring all of this into the development of a new business or a new service.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Townsend's penchant for dummies began as a hobby. She looked on Craigslist for a mannequin to put in her garden, ended up buying 50 of them, and started renting them out as a side gig. Soon, her unlikely business was booming. So the longtime sales executive decided to give full-time self-employment a try.

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND: I think being the age I am is an advantage. Number one, I would have never had the confidence to step out on such a crazy venture like this in my youth, and also because I bring a lot of my previous experience. It's just about marketing and sales, right? I just happen to have a kind of an unusual product.

    PAUL SOLMAN: It's taken plenty of legwork, but Mannequin Madness now sells or rents more than 200,000 bodies and limbs annually and is an environmental leader, recycling 100,000 pounds of non-flesh a year.

    One key to growth: marketing the mannequins online with help from consultant Cynthia Mackey.

    CYNTHIA MACKEY, Baby Boomer Business Owner: What I like to recommend is know where your audience is and what do they like to do online? So, with you, Pinterest has been wildly successful.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Now, you might expect the social media guru to be on the young side. But Mackey too is in her 50s, as is the target audience for her business.

    CYNTHIA MACKEY: Baby Boomer Business Owner workshops, and they're designed to help those who are non-technical or feel overwhelmed by tech to do their jobs better online.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Cynthia Mackey is capitalizing on the late bloomer self-employment boom. Self-employed herself, she knows the draw.

    CYNTHIA MACKEY: You're not working for someone else and you get to take that value for your own benefit. If I want to take my mom out for breakfast, I can schedule that and then work longer hours in the evening. So having control of my time or the ability to schedule things, that -- that's wonderful as you get older, I think.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But not everyone chooses self-employment. To many, the great recession offered few other options.

    MICHAEL GROTTOLA, MGG Consulting: On my 65th birthday, my boss comes into my office and tells me I'm no longer needed. And that wasn't the birthday present I expected.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Michael Grottola was one of thirty senior-level employees cut loose from auditing firm KPMG. His outplacement counselor's advice?

    MICHAEL GROTTOLA: He said, Mike, there are just so many thrones and there's too many princes. That's the state of our economy in 2009. And he was in no way encouraging that I should even try to look for work, the gray hair, the high salary, all that stuff. I mean, they can't say those things, but don't tell me they're not thinking those things, and that's how the real world is.

    PAUL SOLMAN: With a wife and two adopted daughters to support, Grottola couldn't just hang it up. So he decided to go it alone, founding MGG Consulting to advise other small businesses.

    MICHAEL GROTTOLA: Hanging up a shingle and rolling your own business and opening up the bank accounts, and getting the company name, and promoting, and all that stuff is not for everybody. But if it's for you, it's a lot of fun. I had no job, no money, no customers, no nothing. And today I have 40 clients. I have hired someone full-time. I have grown, but it's been hard work.

    PAUL SOLMAN: How old is too old?

    MICHAEL GROTTOLA: I think I can do this until 80 or 90, all right? And the reality is, I don't think you can think in terms of too old. It's how you feel, it's how much fire you have. And if you're smart and you realize you're getting older, well, then get into a business where you leverage the younger people, and eventually you become the great gray god.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Marc Freedman runs a nonprofit called Encore.org. He has long seen entrepreneurship as an answer to the challenges posed by the mass of ripening boomers approaching traditional retirement age.

    MARC FREEDMAN, Encore.org. As a society, we need to take the full productive potential of this population and use it in ways that will help everybody benefit, especially as the demographics change. You can't just have 30- or 40-year retirements. And so these entrepreneurs and the others who are working longer are fashioning a new stage of life that's much more sustainable.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But others doubt that older entrepreneurship is the answer.

    VINOD KHOSLA, Venture Capitalist: I find that people fundamentally stop trying new things after the age of 30.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla:

    VINOD KHOSLA: After 45, people basically die.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Khosla was being provocative, says he invests in several firms run by folks over 45. But Freedman says he's voicing the conventional wisdom, that, after a certain age, folks are thought to be well past their useful prime.

    MARC FREEDMAN: It turns out that creativity has a life that's very different from the popular assumption. Cezanne's most valuable work is done in his late 60s. Louise Bourgeois, the great sculptor, does her most valuable work in her 80s. And economists have shown over and over again that there is this late blooming burst of creativity that I think is showing up not just in the arts, but also in entrepreneurship, in social innovation.

    And I think it raises the question that an older society doesn't necessarily have to be a less innovative one.

    PAUL SOLMAN: In fact, one much-cited study showed the average age at which people produce great innovations has risen substantially over the last century. Encore.org was founded to encourage innovation, awarding the annual Purpose Prize to seniors doing social good.

    MARC FREEDMAN: They don't set out with a grand notion and identity as entrepreneur. They set out a step at a time to solve a problem that's in front of them, and in many ways leads to very creative new ventures.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Mike Grottola's client Paul Jetter, for example, his business was inspired by compassion for his father.

    PAUL JETTER, Safely Back Home: One day he was driving to work, and he became disoriented. And even though he's worked every day that I have known him, he decided that he could not go in.

    PAUL SOLMAN: At 85 he had Alzheimer's -- a common symptom of the disease, wandering.

    PAUL JETTER: I looked into what were the programs out there for wandering. And nearly all of them required that you wear a bracelet, whether it's tracking or an I.D. And I knew he wouldn't wear a bracelet.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, with a little help from Grottola, Jetter is setting up Safely Back Home to make garments to help identify and find quick care for lost loved ones, a second career at age 59.

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND: Not your typical kind of mannequin, of course, more like a paper doll.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Thanks to Judi Henderson-Townsend's rental business, senescent fashion models are getting a second life too.

    JUDI HENDERSON-TOWNSEND: I have given them an opportunity to have an encore career. We're seeing that with seniors, right? They still have a lot of great things that they can contribute, but they're old.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Old, sure, but, with vision and a body of work to draw on, not too old to start something startlingly new.

    GWEN IFILL: Online, Judi Henderson-Townsend describes the unusual reasons customers need mannequins. You can also find tips for senior entrepreneurs. That's on our Making Sen$e page. 


    0 0

    Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: And finally: the murder trial of an abortion provider that has captured national attention.

    Judy Woodruff has the story.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A judge and jury in Philadelphia began hearing testimony in the case of Dr. Kermit Gosnell more than a month ago. But over the past two weeks, the trial has received more coverage from national news organizations after both sides of the abortion debate began fighting over its significance.

    Gosnell is being tried on eight counts of murder, seven of them for allegedly killing babies that prosecutors say were born alive and viable. The eighth count is for his role in the death of an immigrant from Bhutan. Attorneys say she died of an overdose from a sedative she was given. The case stems from an FBI raid on his Philadelphia clinic in 2010.

    Investigators found horrific conditions and say he performed some abortions after the 24-week legal limit in Pennsylvania. Gosnell's defense is scheduled to begin this week, and observers are waiting to see if he will testify.

    Reporter Maryclaire Dale of the Associated Press has covered the trial since it began. And she joins us tonight from Philadelphia.

    Welcome to the program.

    Maryclaire Dale, what, first of all, tell us are the charges against Dr. Gosnell?

    MARYCLAIRE DALE, Associated Press: Good evening.

    The charges include eight counts of murder. Seven of them are first-degree murder and could bring the death penalty. Those are the charges involving the babies who were allegedly born alive. The eighth murder count is a third-degree murder count involving the overdose death of the 41-year-old patient, Karnamaya Mongar.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And this all stemmed, as we said, from investigators coming into the clinic a few years ago. They were actually looking for something else.

    MARYCLAIRE DALE: Yes, indeed.

    They were responding, we think, to a tip about drug, his prescribing of prescription drugs, including OxyContin. He was apparently one of the more high-volume prescribers in the state of Pennsylvania. And the raid was intended to examine that. Allegedly, he was freely writing prescriptions for addicts and drug dealers, et cetera.

    But what the FBI and other federal and state authorities stumbled upon when they were there was that abortions were going on that evening. They were expecting to arrive at the clinic in the evening and find that -- they were hoping that they wouldn't encounter the abortion going on. They didn't want to interrupt that.

    But, in fact, Gosnell tended to perform the surgeries that night after the patients had been there during the day. And they found, they said, very unsanitary, filthy conditions, somewhat macabre findings, including fetuses that were stored in the freezer. During the trial, we learned that that was perhaps because he was in a billing dispute with his medical disposal company and had nowhere to -- they were not being picked up.

    So that actually provided evidence for prosecutors. They could perform autopsies and, you know, learn whether or not they believed the babies were late-term and, you know, conduct other investigation on the findings in the clinic.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, in fact, much of the testimony has been pretty graphic.

    What kinds of things have you been hearing, including from his former employees?

    MARYCLAIRE DALE: Right.

    Much of the prosecution testimony does come from former employees, eight of whom have pleaded guilty in the case. Three of them indeed pleaded guilty to third-degree murder and await sentencing. Of course, they will get credit for their cooperation.

    They have testified to a number of things, including about themselves that they were often unlicensed or untrained. Some of the women who were doing I.V. drug administration, as well always ultrasounds and indeed assisting with abortions, had merely a few months of training from a medical -- to be medical assistants.

    Another young woman was a 15-year-old teenager when she began working there through some sort of a school externship program. And she too came to work in the procedure room. And then there were two unlicensed doctors who were working there, one who dealt mainly with non-abortion patients, often geriatric patients who were there just for basic medical care, but another, Steven Massof, who has testified that he himself performed many of these abortions. And he admits that he killed babies after they were born alive.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: That -- some of the testimony has been about that, about babies being born alive, and then being put to death there in the delivery room.

    MARYCLAIRE DALE: Right. That is true.

    And so the jury has heard quite graphic testimony, in addition to some photographs that employees took, some cell phone photographs and other photographs. Of course, we have the investigative photographs of the clinic and some of the fetuses that were found that night.

    So, the testimony is quite jarring. But there was about two weeks of jury selection. And the judge did make sure that he found jurors who thought that they could tolerate that and still judge the case fairly.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what are you expecting? I know the defense is supposed to be getting under way. What are they expected to say?

    MARYCLAIRE DALE: Well, much of the defense has really already been taking place on cross-examination, as is often the case in trials.

    The defense lawyer for Dr. Gosnell, Jack McMahon, has argued through his questioning and through his opening statements that there were no live births at the clinic, in his view of the case. He says that staff members who saw babies or thought they saw babies move were merely witnessing some involuntary responses amid the death process.

    And so that is his argument to the staff testimony. Also, in opening statements, prosecutors had said that they would be able to prove at trial that -- from the fetal remains that two babies took breaths -- took a breath based on the autopsies, but when the medical examiner for the city of Philadelphia came on, he stopped short of being able to confirm that. He says that he actually could not confirm that because of the deterioration of the cells once they were able to do the autopsies on some of these aborted fetuses.

    So the defense is -- you know, plans to also bring character witnesses. And we are not yet sure whether Dr. Gosnell will testify. He did do an interview while he was under investigation. He did a media interview. He seems not shy about talking. So we will see. We expect that he might well come on.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Maryclaire Dale, one final question. We mentioned the dispute about the media's focused attention. How much media attention has there been on this trial?

    MARYCLAIRE DALE: Well, there was quite a bit when the grand jury report came out in 2011. That was almost a 300-page report. There was both local and national media.

    And there has been coverage throughout the trial. There was more once there was some back-and-forth about whether enough media outlets were covering it. The one thing is, they're -- cameras are not allowed in courtrooms in the state of Pennsylvania. There's a gag order in this trial which prevents lawyers from speaking outside the courtroom, so it is a bit tough for broadcasters to, you know, get the kind of footage that they typically might wish to get.

    There are more people here now covering the trial. And so we will see from here on out.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Maryclaire Dale covering the trial of Dr. Kermit Gosnell in Philadelphia, thank you very much.

    MARYCLAIRE DALE: Thank you. 


    0 0

    By Nick Corcodilos

    Jobless veterans Jobless veterans take a class at the new Workforce1 Veterans Career Center in New York. The center offers area veterans assistance in their job search, help with resumes and classes on how to perfect the interview process. Photo by Spencer Platt/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 am retiring from the U.S. Army after 24 years as a senior commissioned officer and rated aviator, but I want to work outside the defense industry. My skill set is very broad and leadership-focused. I've been looking for jobs at the executive level, and over the last three months I've selectively submitted resumes for jobs (seven total) that I think would rock my world. My evaluation of these job postings puts them right in my roundhouse. I'm not getting any responses to my resumes, though, and I don't know how to break through. Any advice you have would be appreciated.

    Nick Corcodilos: Thanks for your service to our country. I'm particularly troubled by how difficult it can be for military folks to transition into the civilian world. I'll try to offer a few suggestions.

    First, please keep in mind that the average manager spends an average of 30 seconds reading a resume. That means you need to tell managers quickly how you're going to address their specific problems and challenges. Here are a couple of short articles that might drive this home:

    "Tear Your Resume In Half"

    "Resume Blasphemy"

    I recently gave a presentation to Cornell University's Executive MBA Program -- these are executives who've been running companies for seven to 15 years and invest about $145,000 for an advanced two-year business degree. I'll tell you what I told them.

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

    When you hand your resume to an employer, what you're really saying is this: Here's everything you need to know about me. My education, my credentials, my work history, my accomplishments, my skills. So go figure out what the heck to do with me!

    Most managers are terrible at figuring this out. And consider that they're looking at hundreds of resumes -- not just yours. A resume does not address an employer's specific problems or challenges. If offers no plan. It's basically a bucket of nuts and bolts. What's the employer to do with it? You've left it up to the employer to figure it out. It's so bad in corporate America today that employers let software algorithms "figure out" what to do with you! Why would you want to play that game?

    In my PDF book, "How Can I Change Careers?" I talk about how to show a manager that you're the profitable hire for his or her specific organization. This process can be used to produce a "blasphemous" resume -- but the work to produce it essentially eliminates the need to use a resume at all to get in the door.

    Rather than submitting your information, this is all about talking shop with people connected to the company. It's about studying the problems and challenges the manager faces. In the course of talking to insiders, you'll not only learn about the ins and outs of the business; by talking shop with them, you can get introduced to the manager, and you'll know what to say when that meeting occurs.

    The objective is to get a customized, insider education about what the manager needs, and to let your new friends lead you directly to the manager, while your competition is sending in resumes.

    "The Basics" will help you get started.

    You've already selected your target companies, so you're ahead of people who insist on applying for jobs they find. It's critical to "Pursue Companies, Not Jobs." Having specific targets is more than half the challenge. Homing in on them is the rest. If you do it this way, it almost doesn't matter if they have open jobs. Managers will create or open jobs when they meet someone who can drop profit to their bottom line. It's what a consultant does when pitching services to a prospective client. She shows up with very specific plans to fix something or to make something work better.

    One caution: Don't deliver so much up front that you're doing free work they can poach from you. Offer a plan for solutions, but leave them hanging a bit, until they make a commitment to you.

    The best way to "break through" is not to mail in your information on a resume, and then wait for someone to figure out how your military experience fits their commercial needs. It's to triangulate so you can actually talk with the hiring manager so you can explain it to him in a dynamic dialogue. (We discussed this briefly in "How New Grads Can Get in The Door For A Job Interview.")

    Find and talk to people near the operation: customers, vendors, other employees, consultants -- anyone who touches the business. Never ask for job leads or to "take my resume in." Instead, ask for advice and insight about the manager and his department. Then, close by asking if there's someone on the team you might talk with to learn more. This chain of contacts can lead you directly to the manager.

    Finally, avoid HR at all costs. I explain why in this audio segment from KKSF talk radio: "What's HR got to do with it?" I think your bridge from the military to the private sector is your acumen. Use it to show you can ferret out the nature of a manager's challenges -- and that you can tackle them. I hope this helps you land the job that rocks your world!

    NOTE TO READERS:

    I'll be hosting a live "Ask The Headhunter" chat April 30 at 1 p.m. ET. Join me, and pound me with questions till I drop! You can post your questions below or use the hashtag #AskTheHeadhunter on April 30. And we'll have a link to the chat soon.

    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


    Loading...
    0 0

    Terrorism has been in the headlines in Boston before. Ten al-Qaida hijackers departed from Boston's Logan airport on Sept. 11, 2001. And in 2012, Tarek Mehanna of Sudbury, Mass., a Boston suburb, was convicted of conspiracy to provide material support to al-Qaida.

    But when the Department of Homeland Security originally assessed the threat of terror to 65 American metropolitan areas in 2003, Boston barely made the top 10. As a result, the city did not initially receive a security seed grant for $100,000,000, designed to help metropolitan areas acquire personnel, equipment and training to prevent and recover from acts of terrorism. Then Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and the state legislature lobbied DHS to include the city in the program. On April 11, 2003, the Boston Herald reported:

    All 12 Massachusetts lawmakers sent a letter yesterday to Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge requesting information about why Boston was not one of the cities that received $100 million as part of the Urban Area Security Initiative.

    In 2009, Boston was re-classified as one of ten "tier 1" cities, making it eligible for more funds than metropolitan areas that face a lesser risk of terror. From 2003 to 2012, Boston received a total of $173,318,428 from the Urban Area Security Initiative program, or UASI, according to data compiled by Oklahoma Sen. Tom Coburn.

    According to 2010 U.S. Census data, Boston's metro area comes in 10th, with a population of 4,552,402. By comparison, the No. 1 region New York has a population of 18,897,109.

    The UASI is currently the largest DHS grant program. Congress authorized $500.4 million for UASI allocations in the 2013 fiscal year.

    In 2011, the DHS cut 31 cities from the UASI program in an effort to control costs.

    Correction: The chart above misidentified Seattle, Washington as Seattle, Oregon.

    Follow Travis Daub on Google Plus.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Did this week's photo tickle you with laughter? Or did it leave you with the same expressions of confusion that the photographed passersby are sporting? Here's the original caption to the photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images:

    "A person dressed as Elmo waits for people to pose with him for tips in Times Square, NY. Part of a growing trend of street performers and hawkers, dozens of individuals can be found around Times Square dressed in costume asking for money. The behavior of many of these individuals has come into question lately as incidents of fights, smoking and swearing have resulted in confrontations and arrests. As the characters classify themselves as street performers, they are protected by First Amendment rights and cannot be forcibly removed from the streets."

    This week's photo proves that our Art Beat fans are also Sesame Street experts. It seemed that every other caption submitted included some form of the "Sesame Street" or "Elmo's World" theme song. Others turned giant Elmo into a much edgier version of the character. But this week's winner was able to connect a packed Times Square with Sesame Street's grouchiest resident. Congrats to Josh Osborn! You've won a NewsHour mug for your winning caption:

    Elmo; photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    "At least Oscar had a trash can to live in..."

    Thank you all for playing along. Join us next week for another Tuesday Cutline.

    About the Tuesday Cutline: Every other Tuesday, we post a photo. You compose a witty/ funny/ creative caption, submit it by Friday at 5 p.m. ET in the comments section or on the NewsHour's or Art Beat's pages. The following Tuesday we pick one winner. Everyone celebrates.


    0 0

    Evangelical leaders rallied in Washington to gather political support for comprehensive immigration reform. Photo by Sarah McHaney/PBS NewsHour.

    WASHINGTON -- "We desperately need comprehensive immigration reform," Richard Land, a prominent Southern Baptist leader, boomed to a packed church two blocks from the U.S. Capitol.

    Hundreds of evangelical leaders recently gathered in the nation's capital to take the message of comprehensive immigration reform from the pews in their churches to the politicians in the Capitol. The day was organized as the "Evangelical Day of Prayer and Action for Immigration Reform."

    "They know where our steeples are, but they don't know where our hearts are -- that is what we are here to change, " David Uth, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Orlando, Fla., told reporters at a press conference staged with the familiar dome as his backdrop.

    The Evangelical Immigration Table, a coalition of diverse evangelical leaders, formed a couple of years ago to push immigration reform through a grassroots movement in churches across the country. In their mission statement they write, "Our national immigration laws have created a moral, economic and political crisis in America."

    In January they launched a 40-day challenge encouraging churches to read what the Bible has to say on immigration. Specific verses about "welcoming the stranger" were read by churches in all 50 states. A diverse group of pastors from states such as Florida, Ohio, Colorado and California came to Washington to say their congregations had an overwhelming response to the challenge.

    Rich Nathan is the senior pastor at Vineyard in Columbus, Ohio, where at least 9,000 people gather to worship on Sundays. His congregation includes members from 120 different countries.

    "I've had multiple conversations with members whose lives have been directly impacted by current immigration policies," Nathan told PBS NewsHour. "Many of our people had gotten their information on immigration from the news and had not put it in a Biblical and moral context."

    In Washington, these leaders hope to sway conservative politicians who hold many of the same values as evangelicals to support the bill proposed by the "Gang of Eight" senators. The Evangelical Immigration Table is a strong advocate of a pathway to citizenship. In a letter explaining their position they wrote, "This call is rooted in our biblically informed commitment to human freedom and dignity."

    Nathan has tried to change his parishioners' perspective over the past several years through forums, leading parts of his service in multiple languages, and recently bringing his church into the "I was a Stranger" challenge.

    More importantly, Nathan said he has tried to communicate the complex plights of undocumented immigrants and show his congregation that they worship with people in these situations.

    "A lot of folks didn't realize the scope of the problem. They had a view that there were easy ways for people to get into the country legally ... hearing people's stories really helped. Folks started to get to know immigrants and their hearts began to change," Nathan said.

    Such stories about an immigrant's plight are not new, nor are the Bible verses leaders are using to lobby for comprehensive immigration reform. Evangelicals could have stormed the Capitol in 2005, but they didn't.

    "It just wasn't on our radar," Barrett Duke, vice president of the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and other leaders told the NewsHour.

    "Clearly there were millions of undocumented immigrants at the time, but evangelicals were not consciously aware they were crossing paths with them," Duke continued. The Pew Research Center found in 2010 that just 12 percent of white evangelicals said that their views on immigration are primarily informed by their Christian faith, and only 16 percent had even heard the topic of immigration discussed by their pastor or other clergy.

    Although the Evangelical Immigration Table has seen recent support from all denominations, many individual evangelicals remain unconvinced.

    A March Pew survey found 55 percent of white evangelicals still considered immigrants a burden on society.

    Mark Tooley, president of the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a faith-based alliance of Christians, has been outspoken against using the Bible to advance immigration reform. In March, he wrote, "Jesus was not an illegal immigrant, ancient Hebrew laws about 'sojourners' and 'strangers' don't relate directly to modern illegal immigrants, and caring for the 'least of these' can't thoughtfully apply to every political push for expanding the federal leviathan."

    Back in Washington, the evangelical leaders said they think they are on God's side, which happens to be favoring immigration reform.

    Praying over the service before evangelical leaders headed to meetings with members of Congress, Willow Creek Community Church's Bill Hybels, the senior pastor of the third largest congregation in America, told PBS NewsHour he was looking ahead: "We have to move from here to the future."

    Related Content:

    Gang of Eight Senators Say Immigration Bill Is 'Common Sense Law

    'Stars Have Definitely Lined Up' On Immigration Reform, Says Christian Leader

    Progress on Immigration Reform Leaves Rep. Gutierrez Elated and Wary

    Evangelicals Use Bible to Champion Immigration Reform

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video

    Ray Suarez spoke with Jenny Hwang, the co-author of "Welcoming the Stranger," a book published in 2009 urging evangelicals to look at comprehensive immigration reform based on biblical principles.

    Recently, there has been a wave of support from this largely conservative community for immigration reform, including a pathway to citizenship. It was a hard argument to win over hearts and minds.

    Hwang discusses the challenges she faced when approaching churches on immigration reform.

    Ray Suarez: This is a conversation that has was a long time in coming, but I think is also right on time. What are you telling people who are not necessarily used to hearing this argument?

    Jenny Hwang: Well, one of the things we've been saying especially for the evangelical community has been is that this is not an issue about them; it's an issue about us. This is because one of the fastest growing demographics in the evangelical church is actually the immigrant church.

    In fact, what they say is that if it weren't for immigrants coming to our churches then our churches would be completely dying off. There is also a Biblical call to have those principles reflected in public policy and law.

    Ray Suarez: When you look at a map of the ancient Near East -- the nations, the peoples are tiny and constantly intermingling with each other so there's a lot in scripture of people who are strangers in a strange land, taken captive by another people and what it means to be a foreigner in a place that's not your own. How come it took so long for a scripture-centered community to start looking at the Bible in that way?

    Jenny Hwang: Well I think there are a lot of challenges because on any tough social issue like immigration often times the only way you're hearing about it is through the news or from your friends, but you really don't hear talk about immigration from the church.

    What I think has shifted especially for a lot of pastors and evangelical leaders has been "if I am responsible for my congregation and my community then I have to look at who is in my community" and often time there are immigrants.

    Ray Suarez: But it's not news to you that on any number of issues if you take the self-described evangelical population as a group they tend to skew conservative on issue after issue and have let's say a fairly legalistic view of the law so when someone says to you what part of illegal don't you understand? Or this is what the law says and you're either with the law or you're breaking the law?

    Jenny Hwang: I think it is. I think the biggest question that a lot of Christians is how do you reconcile the desire to show compassion to immigrants with the desire to follow the rule of law?

    What we're seeing is that it shouldn't be necessarily either or, but that there is a middle ground that we can take. For a lot of Christians there is nothing illegal you can do when showing compassion and really welcoming immigrants into your communities, but our government also has a responsibility to create good laws and when laws are not working for the common good they have to be changed.

    Ray Suarez: One of the most uniformly evangelical parts of the country is the southeast quarter of the United States, which also was the place where the least immigrants went, historically.

    But now, Alabama, Georgia, North and South Carolina are filling up with immigrant communities, hiring English as a second language teachers for the first time in their history. Is that more than coincidence that maybe people in this part of the country are also-- now that they know people that are in this fix, they may take a different view of the law?

    Jenny Hwang: I think that part of the reason why so many people feel so strongly about this now in support of reform, is that they're not just talking about an issue that's foreign to them, it's actually about the person that they're worshipping together with on a Sunday.

    It's about the person that they play soccer with, or kids that they know in their communities that are actually real leaders, but can't go further in their education because they're here undocumented. So it's about all those issues. And in fact some of the most educational and transformative events that we've had has been in the Southeast.

    Related Content:

    Former Activist Says Pathway to Citizenship Is Possible in 2013

    Former INS Chief Talks Politics of Immigration Reform

    Evangelicals Rally for Pathway to Citizenship and Immigration Reform

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video

    Doris Meissner, director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, says 40 percent of non-citizens living in the U.S. are "visa overstays."

    A major portion of a bipartisan immigration reform proposal that U.S. senators introduced last week focuses on securing the southwestern border between the U.S. and Mexico. The bill would appropriate a total of $4.5 billion for a border security and fencing strategy.

    Many conservative lawmakers have said that this is key to passing immigration reform legislation. At an April 17 press briefing, Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky, said he would offer at least one amendment to the bill that would require detailed reporting on surveillance at the southwestern border.

    In a recent chat with NewsHour's Kwame Holman, Doris Meissner, director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, said that illegal immigration across the southwestern border has slowed and is at a "net zero." Many of the 11 million non-citizens living in the U.S. initially came to the country on a visa, she said.

    "People that came with visas are probably about 40 percent of that 10 to 11 million that are in the country illegally," Meissner said.

    "They are often people who came here for short-term work on properly issued visas, but their employer wanted them to stay ... They are often foreign students who finished their education and decided to stay without being able to renew their visas," says Meissner, who between 1993 and 2000 served as the head of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

    "There are a whole range of circumstances that lead to visa overstays, but they also are in violation of the law."

    Related Content:

    'Stars Have Definitely Lined Up' On Immigration Reform, Says Christian LeaderIncreased Border Security Is 'Window Dressing,' Says Border Patrol UnionU.S. Guest Worker Program Still 'Riddled With Bureaucratic Procedures," Says FarmerUndocumented Individuals 'Deeply Rooted' in U.S. Communities, Former INS Chief Says

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    Loading...
    0 0

    Watch Video

    PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Margaret Warner talks to Pulitzer Prize winning author Mark Mazzetti on his new book "The Way of the Knife: The CIA, a Secret Army, and a War at the Ends of the Earth." Mazzetti talks about the competition between the CIA and the Pentagon in the years following 9/11 as the global manhunt for terrorists intensified.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video Ray Suarez spoke to FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith on "The Retirement Gamble," a documentary that reveals the inner workings of 401(k) plans, a product millions of Americans buy, but few understand. "The financial services industry isn't necessarily looking out for your best interest," Smith said.

    Tonight on FRONTLINE, we're taken to a place far from the happy and fulfilled senior citizens living out their dreams in robust and ruddy health that we see in a thousand commercials for financial services companies. In "The Retirement Gamble," the program brings us face to face with ... ourselves. Millions of Americans are on the verge of retirement without anything near enough money to stop working, and countless others in their 30s, 40s and 50s look destined to make many of the same mistakes their boomer counterparts did.

    And FRONTLINE reminds us, it was all kind of an accident. A group of executives looking for a tax shelter for their highly-compensated employees found a way to exploit a little-known and perhaps even less-understood clause in the tax code, 401(k), that provided a way to augment income and augment retirement savings without incurring a big tax bill. At the same time, companies were desperate to unload the massive obligations they looked set to take on in a work world still largely built around defined benefit company pension plans.

    The market was taking off around the same time (there was jubilation on the trading floor when the Dow closed above -- wait for it -- 1000 in the 1980s) and financial services companies began their decades-long journey from a reflection of the economy to the economy itself. Now a tiny minority of American workers can expect to retire with a defined benefit pension, and tens of millions more are trying to figure it out for themselves.

    Rather than stacking the deck with what you might call "low-information investors," FRONTLINE producer Martin Smith brings us to fairly typical middle- and upper middle-class families trying to get ready for retirement following one of the worst financial crises in American history. Unemployment is high, their savings were beaten down by the market collapse and the messiness of real life intrudes ... kids who need to be educated, parents who need to be cared for, homes that are no longer worth their original purchase price. Smith goes a step further, putting his own finances under the microscope, and a financial adviser breaks the bad news: He'll have to work full time until 70, and then part time until he's 75, in order to fund a secure and comfortable retirement.

    You will likely see aspects of your own family's story in parts of "The Retirement Gamble." All those people who populate the TV commercials may be getting ready to take their grandchildren on a dream vacation, or putting the last touches on a restored antique car ... while you might take a moment to pull out your last quarterly 401(k) statement just to get a reminder of where you stand.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: New details emerged today in the investigation of two Chechen-American brothers in the Boston bombings. And as authorities worked to build their case, two more victims of the city's week of terror were laid to rest.

    Family and friends paid final respects today at funerals for MIT police officer Sean Collier and eight-year-old Martin Richard. At the same time, the medical condition of the surviving suspect, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was upgraded to fair from serious. He's now facing federal charges that he and his older brother, Tamerlan, planted pressure cooker bombs near the finish line for the Boston Marathon. Tamerlan later died after a shoot-out with police.

    In Providence, R.I., lawyers for Tamerlan Tsarnaev's wife, Katherine, said she had been unaware of the bombing plot.

    MIRIAM WEIZENBAUM, Attorney for Katherine Tsarnaev: The reports of involvement by her husband and brother-in-law came as an absolute shock to them all.

    As a mother, a sister, a daughter, a wife, Katie deeply mourns the pain and loss to innocent victims, students, law enforcement officers, families, and our community. In the aftermath of this tragedy, she, her daughter and her family are trying to come to terms with this event.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, both The Washington Post and The New York Times have reported that the younger Tsarnaev admitted his role in the attack. The Post also reported he told investigators that U.S. involvement in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were motivating factors. Other accounts said there appeared to be no links to larger terrorist groups.

    In Russia today, their mother said FBI agents talked to her about Tamerlan Tsarnaev's trip back home last year, but she told them he was no radical.

    ZUBEIDAT TSARNAEVA, Mother of Suspects: What happened is a terrible thing, but I know that my kids had nothing to do with it. I know it. I'm a mother. I have -- you know, I know my kids. I know my kids. I -- really, my kids would never get involved into anything like that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in Boston, there were mixed feelings today among people returning to homes and businesses along reopened sections of Boylston Street, the site of the bombings.

    MAN: I don't want to get in anyone's way, you know? It's pretty weird being back here. I don't really know what to do.

    MAN: It's fantastic, yes. It feels like home. So, we're ready for it to be busy again.

    FEMALE: Get back to normal?

    MAN: Exactly.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: At the same time, the Boston Public Health Commission upped the number of people injured in the marathon bombing from 180 to 264. The new total takes into account individuals who delayed treatment for minor injuries; 51 of the victims remain hospitalized. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: This afternoon, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced that the biggest charitable fund for the bombing victims, The One Fund, is up to $20 million dollars so far. Corporate donors committed $15 million dollars. The rest came from some 50,000 individuals. Payments are expected to be distributed starting in July.

    We have more now on some of the questions surrounding the investigation and what's been learned in the last 24 hours.

    I spoke with Devlin Barrett of The Wall Street Journal a short time ago.

    Devlin Barrett, welcome.

    Let me ask you first about this younger brother, Dzhokhar. We know that he's in the hospital bed communicating. What do we know about his injuries and how he's talking to, communicating with investigators?

    DEVLIN BARRETT, The Wall Street Journal: His medical condition was upgraded from serious to fair, which means that he is improving, but he still has some pretty major injuries which are affecting his ability to communicate.

    Specifically, he's been shot in the head, some sort of head wound, also a pretty serious gunshot wound to the neck which is affecting his throat. And also he's got gunshot wounds to his legs and his hand. So our understanding is that he can basically communicate by writing a little and by nodding and a little bit of sort of grunting yes or no at times, but it's very limited, is what's been described to us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what have you learned about what they are -- what he's saying to them, what he's communicating?

    DEVLIN BARRETT: What we're told is that he's telling his FBI questioners that he and his brother acted alone, that they did so out of a jihadist sentiment, an anti-American sentiment, but that they weren't directed by anyone, certainly not a terror group overseas.

    And he's also told them that there aren't any other bombs and there aren't any other bombers out there that they have to worry about. Now, what I'm told is investigators aren't taking any of that at face value, but so far they have not found other evidence to prove those assertions wrong.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what's your understanding of whether he has taken responsibility for what's happened?

    DEVLIN BARRETT: As -- what we have been told is that he essentially acknowledges his role in this.

    There are differing accounts of how much of the direction he cites to his brother. I think that's still to be determined, but he acknowledges that he essentially did this and was part of this.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that's what I wanted to ask you about, because there have been reports that he is saying in so many words and communicating to investigators that this was mainly his brother's idea, that his older brother was the driving force here.

    DEVLIN BARRETT: I have seen those reports. And I will be honest, that's not how it's been described to me. I think we also have to be careful in -- when you hear different things. That's going to be a big part of the legal fight over this guy's ultimate sentence.

    He's facing the death penalty. One of the -- maybe the only mitigating factor for him in all this may be that if he's able to claim that he was essentially a pawn or a tool of his older brother. I think, frankly, whatever the truth is, it's going to take more than his word to determine it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, in so many words, again, he's saying that they were not in connection with outside groups, but that they were looking at jihadist websites?

    DEVLIN BARRETT: Right.

    This seems to be -- everything that he's telling them and everything that the FBI has found so far really suggests the sort of classic nightmare scenario for counterterrorism officials, which is self-motivated, self-indoctrinated and self-trained, essentially. That doesn't mean that they won't find something in the course of the investigation that points to some direction or training or ideological involvement by another party, but right now what they have is two young men who seem to have taken it upon themselves to conduct some pretty atrocious acts of violence.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Devlin, we -- it's been reported that investigators also are talking to the widow of the older brother, Tamerlan. What's known about what she's saying?

    DEVLIN BARRETT: Well, that's a very interesting piece to this case, because one of the things investigators are trying to determine is, did anyone either wittingly or unwittingly help them accomplish this?

    And the widow has been an interesting focus for the bureau for a number of days, because she immediately got a lawyer. And the lawyer has been negotiating terms for her to come in and talk. And I believe that conversation began today. And I think that's someone that the FBI has been very interested in talking to, and really wants to understand better what that relationship was, what she saw or didn't see, and what she thought or didn't think once the attacks happened.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we know that her attorney is saying that she didn't know anything about it.

    Do you know who else they are talking to?

    DEVLIN BARRETT: Well, they're talking to basically every single person who ever had contact with them.

    I know another piece of this that they're looking at is, the older brother -- there are records showing that the older brother purchased some fairly large pieces of fireworks in New Hampshire. We have been told by experts that, in theory, you could take out the black powder from those fireworks, and if you had a whole bunch of them, certainly more than there are records for the brother purchasing, but if you had a bunch of other purchases, you could amass enough black powder, technically, to build these types of bombs.

    It's just an avenue the FBI is pursuing at this point. They think it's possible that that's where the black powder for these bombs came from, but they also haven't ruled out other potential sources for the black powder, such as gunpowder or other things.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Devlin Barrett with The Wall Street Journal, we thank you.

    DEVLIN BARRETT: Thank you. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Federal prosecutors today dropped the charges against a Mississippi man accused of sending ricin-tainted letters to President Obama and a senator. Paul Kevin Curtis went free a day after an FBI agent testified that authorities found no incriminating evidence at his home.

    He spoke to reporters after leaving jail.

    PAUL KEVIN CURTIS, FORMER SUSPECT: The last seven days staring at four gray walls like "Green, Green Grass of Home" tune, not really knowing what's happening, not having a clue why I'm there, just being in a state of overwhelmed is the best way I can describe it.

    When you have been charged with something and you just -- you never heard of, ricin or whatever -- I thought they said rice, so I said I don't even eat rice.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, federal agents searched the home of a second Mississippi man today. And another package, possibly containing ricin, was found at a military mail facility in Washington.

    The two suspects accused of plotting to derail a passenger train in Canada had their initial court appearances today. Both men denied the allegations, and one said he has been unfairly accused. Canadian investigators say the pair received -- quote -- "direction and guidance" from al-Qaida elements in Iran. But a spokesman for Iran's foreign ministry rejected the claim.

    RAMIN MEHMANPARAST, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman: No firm evidence has been released regarding the individuals who are claimed to have been arrested in Canada. Views of extremist groups, especially al-Qaida, have no compatibility with Iran either politically or ideologically. We oppose any terrorist and violent action that would jeopardize the lives of innocent people.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The two suspects are not Canadian citizens, but authorities have not named their home countries. They have been under surveillance since last fall, when members of Toronto's Muslim community tipped off police.

    The U.S. secretary of homeland security argued today that immigration reform would help prevent terrorism. Opponents of the bill are trying to slow its progress in the wake of the Boston bombings. But at a Senate hearing, Janet Napolitano said people here illegally might come forward for a chance at citizenship, making immigration control more effective.

    HOMELAND SECURITY SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO, United States: The existing bill builds on that. And one of the important things the existing bill does, quite frankly from a law enforcement perspective is bringing all of the people out of the shadows who are currently in the shadows.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The brothers who allegedly carried out the Boston bombings came to the U.S. from Chechnya about 10 years ago and received asylum.

    The murder trial of an abortion provider in Philadelphia took a sudden turn today. A state court judge dismissed charges that Dr. Kermit Gosnell murdered three babies during late-term abortions. Prosecutors alleged that he killed them after they were born alive. Gosnell still faces charges that he murdered four other babies, as well as a patient who died after an abortion.

    In Iraq, at least 56 people died after government forces raided a Sunni protest camp before dawn. The raid sparked fierce fighting in Hawijah, about 160 miles north of Baghdad. Later, militants stormed a nearby army post, where six other people were killed. News of the violence also led to clashes elsewhere between Sunni demonstrators and police.

    There were new accusations from Israel today that Syria is using chemical weapons against rebels. In Tel Aviv, a senior military official said visual evidence shows that government forces has engaged in chemical attacks more than once. The latest was last month, near Damascus.

    BRIG. GEN. ITAI BRUN, Head of Research, Israeli Military Intelligence: To the best of our professional understanding, the regime used lethal chemical weapons against militants on a number of occasions in the past few months, including the most reported incident on March 19th. The pupils narrowed, the foam coming out of their mouths and other signs show in our eyes that they made use of lethal chemical weapons. Which chemical weapons? Probably sarin.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Britain and France announced in March they had evidence Assad was using chemical weapons. President Obama has said any such action would be a game-changer. But a White House spokesman said today the U.S. still wants to see conclusive evidence.

    France has become the latest country to legalize same-sex marriage. The legislation easily passed today, after a disruption on the floor of the National Assembly. The Assembly president had a protester ejected, and the vote went ahead. This came after weeks of demonstrations against the proposal and an increase in hate crimes against gays. France has had civil unions since 1999.

    The wealth gap in America has widened even more. A Pew Research Center report finds the wealthiest seven percent of Americans grew even richer during the first two years of the economic recovery. At the same time, the average net worth for the remaining 93 percent was down. Part of the explanation is that the wealthy hold more stocks that increased in value. The findings were based on U.S. census data.

    Wall Street briefly plunged today after a fake tweet said there had been explosions at the White House, and that the president had been wounded. It turned out someone had hacked Twitter accounts of the Associated Press and posted the bogus message. The FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission planned to look into the incident. Stocks quickly recovered, and the Dow Jones industrial average gained 152 points to close above 14,719. The Nasdaq rose more than 35 points to close at 3,269.

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


    Loading...

older | 1 | .... | 207 | 208 | (Page 209) | 210 | 211 | .... | 1175 | newer


Loading...