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

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    Boston Marathon bombing victim Roseann Sdoia talked to WGBH Greater Boston host Emily Rooney about the day of the bombings, her recovery and her plans to move forward.

    Roseann Sdoia was waiting for a friend at the Boston Marathon finish line when the second blast knocked her to the ground.

    Unable to get up, a man carried her to the middle of Boylston Street and helped apply a tourniquet to her leg to stop the bleeding. But her right leg was beyond rescue; it was later amputated above the knee.

    For now, Roseann Sdoia can only call the experience "surreal."

    "I still don't comprehend what happened," she said. "I have to say it numerous times that I was in a bombing. I still don't realize I don't have a leg. I still don't realize this [will last] a lifetime."

    Three weeks after the bombings, Sdoia has joined other victims at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she undergoes hours of physical therapy. Soon, she'll walk with a prosthetic leg.

    Sdoia talked to WGBH Greater Boston host Emily Rooney about the day of the bombings, her recovery and her plans to move forward. For WGBH's latest news reports on the Boston Marathon bombings developments can be found here.

    Related links:

    Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick Glad Tsarnaev Burial 'Circus' Is Over

    Big Payments from One Fund Will Cover Big Expenses for Bombing Victims

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: It verges on the miraculous -- rescuers in Bangladesh found a survivor today in the ruins of a garment factory that collapsed on April 24th.

    The discovery came long after hope had faded.

    We begin with a report narrated by Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News.

    , Independent Television News: Amid thumbs up and astonished cries of "God is great!" a woman called Reshma emerged into the daylight after 17 days trapped beneath the rubble. Her remarkable survival broadcast live to a disbelieving Bangladesh. Almost two weeks since anybody here was found alive.

    The seamstress had found water and biscuits in the rucksacks of her fellow workers who died.

    "Sir, please help me," she had cried out, just as demolition men were about to knock down more of the concrete and twisted metal on top of her.

    "Not much hurt," she said, but she was taken away by ambulance, her 408 hour ordeal finally over.

    Reshma was apparently trapped on the second floor of the eight story building. Over 1,130 dead, yet she was well enough to describe how she survived when the biscuits ran out.

    , Survivor: I survived on water, nothing else. I could breathe, but not a lot. I managed to find a bottle of water, but then I could not find anymore. I shouted out for help, but nobody heard me.

    Bulldozers began clearing the site on Monday and they were busy helping recover bodies from the wreckage this morning when a demolition worker saw a metal rod moving amid the rubble.

    While I was cutting iron rods, suddenly I found a silver-colored stick just moving from a hole and I looked through and I saw someone calling, "Please save me."

    Nobody knows precisely how many were inside on April the 24th, but the death toll keeps rising. Almost 30 Western brands had goods manufactured here, but very few have spoken about it.

    The building's owner, Sohel Rana, has been arrested, after he had claimed these were just hairline cracks. An engineer had warned him to close the building. A day later, it collapsed.

    The Bangladeshi government says it's closed 18 factories and Disney says it will stop clothing manufacture there. But 14 million Bangladeshi families depend on the industry for their livelihoods. Among them, the mother-in-law of today's miracle survivor, who said her children were overwhelmed to get their mother back.

    Reshma the seamstress now a national heroine, entombed in concrete and steel for 17 unimaginable days, but still very much alive.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, joining me now to talk about what's being done about working conditions and safety standards in Bangladesh is Steven Greenberg of The New York Times.

    Welcome to the program.

    This is an incredible story, but bring us up to date on anything more that's known, after all this time, about why this happened in the first place.

    STEVEN GREENHOUSE, The New York Times: There were two incredible stories today. One, you know, the miraculous rescue of Reshma and the other incredible story was the death toll count rose over 1,000. Now, we in the United States talk about the horrendous Triangle Shirtwaist fire of 1911, 146 people died then and that changed the United States and made us take workplace safety far, far more seriously.

    Here, more than 17 -- seven times that number have died. You know, the latest death count is 1,039. And, you know, what's changed over the past week is the death count has risen from 200, 300 to over 1,000. We know more that the owner of the building, you know, acted illegally, was adding three illegal floors onto the building. I think everyone says that's one of the main reasons the building collapsed, because of all this additional weight without the proper structure to support it.

    And, you know, far more pressure has been brought on the Bangladeshi government, on the country's apparel manufacturers ...


    STEVEN GREENHOUSE:… and on Western companies like Walmart and The Gap to -- to do more to assure fire safety.

    The Bangladeshi government announced an agreement with the International Labor Organization this week that would -- it would vastly increase the number of inspectors. Its said things like that before. We'll see whether something really changes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We heard in that ...

    STEVEN GREENHOUSE: The Bangladeshi ...

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I was going to say, we heard in that report something like 30 Western clothing manufacturers were using either this building or plants like it.

    What is known about who those manufacturers are and whether they're taking any responsibility for this?

    STEVEN GREENHOUSE: Good question. Some -- among the Western companies that were using the factory were Benetton of Italy, El Corte Ingles of Spain, Primark of the United Kingdom.

    Here in the United States, custom records show that two American companies, Children's Place and Cato Fashions, had sourced a lot from that factory over the past year. I believe one -- one or two JCPenney labels were found, as well.

    It's interesting that, you know, Loblaws of Canada, Primark, El Corte Ingles, they've all announced that they were going to participate in a fund -- a victims' fund to help the families of the victims. As far as I know, no United States company has stepped up and said it would participate in the fund.

    The other thing, Judy, is a lot of -- there's a lot of pressure being brought by NGOs, anti-sweatshop groups on the Western retailers to really get more serious about doing something to make sure something like this never happens again.

    You know, one -- one surprise development over the past week is that there was another factory fire two nights ago where eight people died and one of those who died was the factory owner, who was a leader of the garment -- of the Bangladeshi Garment Manufacturers Association, which has often sought to reassure the world that, hey, don't worry, things aren't so bad.

    And so I think much more pressure is being brought on the Bangladeshi government and the manufacturers to really do something, because this ...


    STEVEN GREENHOUSE:… has happened too many times.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You mentioned that there are efforts by these outside groups, independent groups, to get all these companies to go -- abide by standards that would make sure things like this don't happen again.

    Why is that not making more -- having more success at a time like this, with -- with this sort of a tragedy?

    STEVEN GREENHOUSE: That's -- that's the question that everyone is asking. There was a horrible tragedy in November in Bangladesh, where 112 workers died in a factory fire. And a lot of us journalists and others were saying that's going to change things. We're going to see Western companies really step up. We're going to see the Bangladesh government really step up to improve things.

    And here we are, six months later, with a far more horrific tragedy. And I am told -- you know, I've interviewed a lot of people with various companies. They seem to be scurrying to do something. I think companies often suffer from inertia and they're not rushing to spend more money to -- for safety.

    But I think now there really is immense pressure on them to do more. And the specific push is for them to sign onto a plan in which they would make a binding commitment to help finance the fire safety improvements, the building safety improvements, that would be would be needed for the more than 3,000, 4,000 garment factories in Bangladesh to help ensure that the -- that when workers go to work, when these women go to work in the morning, that they'll be able to come home to their families at the end of the day.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it is a story that we all need to keep coming back to. Steven Greenhouse, The New York Times, thank you.


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    HARI SREENIVASAN: Carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere has now reached levels not seen for two to three million years. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reports that concentration topped 400 parts per million yesterday at a measuring station in Hawaii.

    Before the Industrial Revolution, carbon dioxide levels were far lower. But levels of the greenhouse gas have risen steadily, despite recent efforts to slow emissions.

    The last of three women who had been held captive in Cleveland was released from the hospital today. 32-year-old Michelle Knight was abducted in 2002. She has told police that her alleged captor, Ariel Castro, starved and beat her to make her miscarry at least five times.

    Meanwhile, DNA tests confirmed that Castro fathered a six-year-old girl found at his rundown house. Her mother is Amanda Berry, another of the women held captive.

    The Obama administration faced new challenges today to its statements on the deadly attack at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died there last Sept. 11th.

    The latest twist in a who-knew-what-and-when about Benghazi came in the form of an ABC News report. It said the official talking points on the incident were heavily edited to delete any reference to al-Qaidaprevious terror warnings.

    Five days after the attack, U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice drew on the talking points, saying the incident was a Muslim protest that got out of hand.

    This week, at a House hearing, Gregory Hicks, the former deputy chief of mission in Libya, said he was shocked by Rice's statement.

    GREGORY HICKS, Former Deputy Chief Of Mission, Libya: I was stunned. My jaw dropped and I was embarrassed.

    REP. TREY GOWDY, R-S.C.: Did she talk to you before she went on the five Sunday talk shows?

    GREGORY HICKS: No, sir.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: White House officials -- from spokesman Jay Carney to Vice President Biden -- have maintained the talking points came from intelligence agencies. The ABC account says the CIA's initial talking points draft did mention a spontaneous protest, but it also said Islamist militants were involved.

    It was revised at least a dozen times, mainly at the behest of the State Department. Spokeswoman Victoria Nuland e-mailed White House officials and the intelligence community, urging that references to terror and al-Qaidabe removed. Nuland argued that it could be abused by members of Congress to beat up the State Department for not paying attention to warnings.

    But today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney faced a battery of new questions, and he insisted again there was no effort to hide anything.

    JAY CARNEY, White House Press Secretary: We believed based on the intelligence assessment that extremists were involved, and there were suspicions about what affiliations those extremists might have. But there were not -- there was not hard, concrete evidence.

    And so Ambassador Rice, in those shows, talked about the possibility that al-Qaida might be involved or other al-Qaidaaffiliates might be involved, or non- al-QaidaLibyan extremists, which I think demonstrates that there was no effort to play that down.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Republicans have insisted the administration botched security in Benghazi and the response to the attack, and ever since have tried to cover it up. They're promising more hearings to come.

    The Internal Revenue Service has admitted it flagged some conservative groups for more aggressive reviews during the 2012 election. They were singled out if their applications for tax-exempt status included the words “Tea Party” or “Patriot.”

    The head of the IRS division overseeing tax-exempt groups said today the practice was wrong. She said no high-level IRS officials knew it was happening at the time.

    The creator of the world's first fully functioning 3D printable handgun has removed the blueprints from its website. Federal authorities ordered the action. They say Defense Distributed may have violated export control laws by posting the design files for its Liberator gun online. The organization says by the time the blueprints were taken down, they had already been downloaded more than 100,000 times.

    The new skyscraper at Ground Zero in New York now stands its full height. Applause erupted as construction workers hoisted the final portion of a 408-foot silver spire to the top of One World Trade Center. It tops out the building at a total of 1,776 feet. The new structure will be the tallest in the U.S. and the third tallest in the world. It's being built at the northwest corner of where the Twin Towers stood before the 9/11 attacks.

    Wall Street finished today with its third straight week of gains. The Dow Jones industrial average added nearly 36 points to close at 15,118. The Nasdaq rose 27 points to close at 3,436. For the week, the Dow gained one percent. The Nasdaq rose 1.7 percent.

    Those are some of the day's major stories. Now, back to Jeff.

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    JEFFREY BROWN: And we turn to a major cyber-theft, global in scope and raising new questions about our vulnerabilities in the digital age.

    The thefts took place in broad daylight at ATM machines, and the thieves wore no disguises.

    U.S. ATTORNEYLORETTA LYNCH, Eastern District Of New York: This was a 21st century bank heist that reached through the Internet to span the globe.

    JEFFREY BROWN: U.S. authorities say the reach of the international cyber-crime was wide: 27 countries -- Russia, Japan, Egypt, Colombia, Canada and beyond.

    The criminals hacked into companies that process prepaid debit cards for two banks in the Middle East, stole the data and then copied it onto doctored cards with magnetic strips. Yesterday in New York, U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch explained what happened next.

    LORETTA LYNCH: They become a virtual criminal flash mob, going from machine to machine, drawing as much money as they can before these accounts are shut down.

    JEFFREY BROWN: On Dec. 21st, thieves hit 4,500 ATMs in some 20 countries, stealing five million dollars. Then on Feb. 19th, they upped their game. In 10 hours, they stole $40 million dollars in 36,000 transactions worldwide.

    In Manhattan alone, a team of eight so-called "cashers" allegedly made their way from ATM to ATM making 2,900 withdrawals totaling $2.4 million dollars.

    Two of the suspects took photos of themselves and the stacks of cash they allegedly stole. To round out the crime, authorities say the suspects laundered the money by purchasing luxury goods in the form of Rolex watches, Gucci bags and expensive cars.

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    JEFFREY BROWN: And we're joined live now by the federal prosecutor in the case. Loretta Lynch is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

    Well, thanks for joining us. When you call this a 21st century bank heist, before we go through some of the details, explain what you mean by that.

    LORETTA LYNCH: Well, Jeffrey, this was a situation where numerous banks were hit several times; in fact two banks in these two attacks, but using thousands and thousands of ATMs. So the banks were literally robbed in broad daylight without anyone entering their specific branches, the Bank of Muscat and the RAKBANK that were involved.

    It was one of the largest attacks of this type that we've seen, using this type of cyber attack.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It's a global operation but one thing you have not said yet is who is behind it. What can you tell us? What do we know so far?

    LORETTA LYNCH: Well, it is a global operation. The investigation is ongoing. We, obviously, are hoping to make inroads there, so we're not going to be able to give a lot of detail about who we think is behind it at this point in time.

    What we do know, however, is that it was a very sophisticated operation, that it had to have financial backing, that it had to have people with a great deal of computer expertise and a great deal of patience.

    It takes a long time to hack your way into the processors that were used here and essentially lie in wait, gathering data, increasing your access bit by bit, until you can literally take over the processor's functions.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So just explain a little bit more the mechanics here. They were hacking into the processing companies, not the banks themselves, right? And they were -- they were getting --

    LORETTA LYNCH: That's correct.

    JEFFREY BROWN:… and they were getting into these debit cards and upping the limit that was -- the people could take out.

    LORETTA LYNCH: Yes, absolutely. In fact, in the New York crew, during the second attack in February, those eight guys only had one account among them. And that account limit had been raised to $40 million dollars. They look at prepaid debit cards because they're not tied to an individual, they're not tied to an individual's checking or savings account. People tend to check those.

    You would notice if your own personal debit card limit shot up to $40 million dollars. And you'd probably call somebody.

    But the most sophisticated part of this attack is the hack itself. These are patient cyber criminals. It takes anywhere from two to 18 months to execute the kind of control needed to really get inside these credit card processors.

    As you mentioned, it's not the actual banks, it's the middlemen, the people who process the cards. And the money flows through them as someone uses a prepaid debit card. It's a very standard practice in the financial industry.

    The hackers, using malware, work their way into the processor's own systems. They essentially gain more and more security access, sort of like becoming a secret system administrator. They are hiding almost in plain sight in these computer systems.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And the people -- and the people that you -- that you did arrest, that you announced yesterday, especially the eight in New York, say they're low level, right?

    I mean they're not doing the high tech stuff, they're essentially street criminals?

    LORETTA LYNCH: Well, they're not doing the high tech stuff and -- but we wouldn't call them low level, because without them, you could not plunder the bank accounts the way in which they were plundered. They were actually a vital part of the organization.

    Everyone seems to have equal importance, just a very, very different role in this.

    But these guys were the feet on the street, so to speak. They were the ones who were commanded and directed to go to the ATMs, to wait for that code, to spring into action and cash out as much money as they could before the credit card processor or the bank or someone else discovered what they were doing.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Now, I know your investigation is still ongoing. We've talked about two Mideast -- Middle East banks, but one -- today, the head of one of those banks suggested that the fraud may have gone beyond those banks to many others around the world, including in the US.

    What -- what can you say at this point?

    LORETTA LYNCH: You know, what I can say is that certainly this is one of the largest of the unlimited operations that we've seen. And we're seeing more and more of them.

    It is a change in the way cyber criminals operate, and so we're watching them very carefully and we're shutting them down where they can.

    I think the message, you know, whether from that bank or certainly from us, is that every financial institution needs to remain vigilant.

    They need to work with law enforcement. There's been a great deal of cooperation so far, but everyone has to remain vigilant, because cyber criminals are changing their method of attack as we adapt to follow them.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Who is responsible for money that was lost in these cases?

    I mean is it actual money that was lost, somebody's money?

    So who's responsible?

    Is it the -- is it the banks, the credit card companies, the individuals?

    LORETTA LYNCH: Right now, it's the banks. And certainly, they'll be looking to their insurance carriers and they'll be working out those details as the time goes on.

    No individual accounts were compromised in this. And that's actually very important to say. So no individuals lost this sum total of $45 million dollars.

    We have, of course, in the past, seen other hacking operations where individual accounts have been compromised.

    So people should not feel that because the cyber criminals have morphed into this direction that they're going to ignore those individual accounts.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, let me just ask -- that's what I want to ask you just briefly here, at the end, is is there any message for individuals as consumers as to their vulnerability and for you, in law enforcement, as -- as a -- as you said, the criminals find new ways to do this in cyberspace?

    LORETTA LYNCH: Well, I think there are several messages here. In terms of law enforcement, we work very closely with the financial industry to watch the types of attacks that are being launched and to help them protect themselves.

    But we need their help, as well. We urge all financial industry companies, as, frankly, all of -- of private industry, to remain vigilant. When they spot a problem, notify us.

    Often, companies think that because a lot of the hacking occurs overseas, it may be too late to do something. But we've actually had a great deal of success working with our overseas counterparts.

    For individuals, they, too, have to remain vigilant.

    It's a great thing to live in a digital age. It's convenient, it's fast. You know, we haven't quite hit that cashless society yet, as the pictures illustrate. But people are very used to the convenience of being able to electronically live their lives.

    But they have to recognize that a lot of that comes at a cost. And there may be times when we ask them to step back a bit and to bear with us as we work out trying to make them as safe as possible.

    JEFFREY BROWN: U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch.

    Thanks so much.

    LORETTA LYNCH: Thank you, Jeffrey.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Next to Pakistan. The country's citizens head to the polls this Saturday for an historic vote, despite threats of attacks from the Taliban.

    Ray Suarez reports.

    RAY SUAREZ: There's been no shortage of enthusiasm as Pakistanis approach tomorrow's critical parliamentary elections. But the political rallies have unfolded in the shadow of almost daily violence.

    Since April, attacks by the Pakistani Taliban have left more than 100 people dead and the group warns of suicide bombings on Election Day.

    ANDREW WILDER, United States Institute Of Peace: So they're much more specifically targeting election-related targets -- candidates, political party workers, political party offices, election commission offices.

    RAY SUAREZ: Andrew Wilder is director of Afghanistan and Pakistan programs at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington. He recently traveled to Pakistan, where attacks have most often targeted liberal and secular parties, forcing some top candidates to curtail campaigning.

    Yesterday, gunmen even kidnapped the son of former Prime Pinister Yousaf Raza Gilani. Wilder says there's a long list of motives.

    ANDREW WILDER: Some of the separatist groups are very opposed to the elections period. Some of the more extreme militant groups are also, I think, just trying to prevent the elections from happening, including targeting some of the other Islamic parties in the campaign.

    However, some of the other candidates seem to -- some of the militant groups have been pretty explicit that they have particular parties that they want to disadvantage in the election. So presumably, there are parties that they would like to advantage in the election, as well.

    RAY SUAREZ: All of this comes at an urgent moment in Pakistan's 65-year history. The country is beset -- corruption, widespread poverty, Sunni-Shiite divisions and a constant struggle against the Taliban and its allies.

    Pakistan has played a critical role in the war on terror. And as Wilder notes, Washington will be watching closely to see what happens this weekend.

    ANDREW WILDER: I think the general sense is that there's not going to be dramatic changes. It's not like we've had a great U.S.-Pakistan relationship in the past couple of years. And so it doesn't have that much further south that I think that it can go.

    There is a hope that with the new government, really, to some extent, whoever is elected, there will be an opportunity to try to tackle some of the main problems facing Pakistan.

    RAY SUAREZ: According to the polls, Nawaz Sharif and his Pakistan Muslim League, Nuwaz, the PMLN, are making a strong bid. Sharif has served as prime minister twice before, during the 1990s.

    NAWAZ SHARIF, LEADER, PAKISTAN MUSLIM LEAGUE-NUWAZ: Pakistan needs a strong government to pull it out from the quagmire of problems. It needs a strong writ of a powerful government which can end turbulence, which can end terrorism and which can make a peaceful country and also which can allow the country to develop and progress.

    RAY SUAREZ: Sharif has campaigned hard on the theme of economic development. His backers in Lahore, inside the populous Punjab Province, point to the city's newest metro bus system as an example of what they could bring to the entire country. Opened earlier this year, the rapid transit project runs through various residential and commercial parts of Lahore. It was pushed by Sharif's brother, the former chief minister of Punjab Province, and it's helped garner new support from voters.

    MAN: I myself have been a very strong supporter of Pakistan People's Party all my life. But now, in this election campaign, I think I'm going to cast my vote in favor of Pakistan Muslim League. And it's all because of the works, the developmental works which they have done, like this metro bus service. They speak for themselves, whereas Pakistan People's Party has not been able to deliver anything in the last five years.

    RAY SUAREZ: Still with no political party expected to win a majority, a coalition government is the likely result. The man that may become kingmaker in the forming of a new government is Imran Khan, an international star cricket player turned politician. The 60-year-old heads the Tehreek-e-Insaf, or Movement for Justice, Party, which he founded in 1996.

    IMRAN KHAN, Leader, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf: While casting your vote, you should not follow the advice of your relatives or the community. You should not follow the advice of your friends. You have to take into account one thing only, the ideology. We are bringing ideology back in politics, the ideology of a new Pakistan.

    RAY SUAREZ: Part of that ideology is khan's criticism of U.S. drone attacks inside Pakistan. Supporters also hope to capitalize on frustration with the Pakistan People's Party, which has governed for the past five years.

    MUHAMMAD ALI: They've completely ruined our country. They completely ruined our lives. There is no electricity. There are no jobs.

    MAN: But while Khan's backers keep up their efforts, the candidate has been unable to campaign since Tuesday, when he fell 15 feet off a forklift as it raised him to the stage at a rally in Lahore.

    He fractured three vertebrae and a rib and remains hospitalized, but he addressed a rally on Thursday from his hospital bed.

    Who wins and who loses tomorrow will be determined in large part by a growing segment of the Pakistani population -- the young.

    SIMBAL KHAN, WOODROW WILSON CENTER: It's sunk in that how they've been left behind and how these various crises, unless they are addressed, completely, you know, darken the prospects for the future.

    RAY SUAREZ: Simbal Khan is the Pakistan Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington. She points to the enormous power of younger voters with more than 100 million Pakistanis under the age of 30.

    SIMBAL KHAN: There is this huge push and urge in the young to kind of get the change message across. This election is that change message, and I think that change would, with Imran Khan or PML-N, you know, basically it is catalyzing this kind of a desire for change. And it is being felt.

    RAY SUAREZ: This election will mark the first time in Pakistan's history that one civilian government hands over power to another. There's a history of military coups, but last month the army chief pledged to support the outcome of the vote, no matter who wins.

    GEN. ASHFAQ PARVEZ KAYANI, CHIEF OF ARMY STAFF: I assure you that we stand committed to wholeheartedly assist in the conduct of free, fair and peaceful elections.

    RAY SUAREZ: Meanwhile, the wide array of candidates and parties has campaigned to the wire, putting up posters, handing out flags by the dozens. But with hundreds of candidates competing, Pakistanis may have other reasons to be nervous, as Andrew Wilder points out.

    ANDREW WILDER: Where there is concern that if they do have a hung parliament and lots of wheeling and dealing and compromises have to be made and half the assembly has to be given a cabinet portfolio to get them on board, it's not necessarily going to lead to a picture of good governance and effective government.

    RAY SUAREZ: Polls open tomorrow morning, amid high security and hopes that neither violence nor corruption will mar the results.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to the analysis of Shields and Gerson. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. David Brooks will return next week.

    Welcome, gentlemen. Let's talk about immigration.

    Mark, huge bill; 800 pages, 300 amendments started moving through the Senate yesterday. What do the prospects look like?

    MARK SHIELDS: The prospects, Judy: it's fragile. I mean, the 844 pages represents something we don't see a lot of in Washington, which is compromise, consensus, pulling something together, both sides of the aisle, eight senators submerging their own high profiles and healthy egos for a work product.

    And what we see are people who would like to sabotage those -- that effort in the committee. Sen. Cruz of Texas has an amendment that anybody who has ever been in the United States illegally at any time cannot be eligible for citizenship.

    That, of course, would preclude a six-year-old, who was brought to this country by his parents, joining the Marine Corps, going to Iraq, serving honorably, being wounded, and coming back and being ineligible.

    But this is the sort of amendments that we're going to see that will be intended, some to strengthen the bill, others, quite frankly -- Mr. Sessions of Alabama, Mr. Grassley of Iowa -- to sabotage the bill.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The last time they tried to do big immigration reform, it didn't go anywhere.

    What does it look like to you?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, I agree. I mean, we have a comprehensive bill. There's something for everyone not to like. That's the nature of this kind of bill.

    But I actually think it's on a pretty good track. I don't think we're going to see big changes in the bill in a fairly partisan committee.

    But Sen. Rubio, who's the Republican leading this effort, believes that it's likely to move to the right on the floor, that it would appeal to some undecided Republicans.

    You need to look at people, bellwethers like Sen. Grassley, who is critical, but open; Rand Paul, who would, I think, have a lot of sway with the grassroots.

    If Sen. Schumer, who's leading the Democratic effort, can appeal to them and peel them off, I think you could get a large majority in the Senate and then it would put Speaker Boehner really on the spot, on whether he moves forward with a bill with Democratic support and passes something and goes into conference.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But you have this real interesting division among Republicans.

    How does that affect what happens?

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, in fairness, it's not just Republicans. I mean, Pat Leahy, the president pro tem of the Senate, from Vermont, senior member of that body, has an amendment. And that amendment is that a gay person in this country, a citizen, can bring to this country a partner from a foreign country, just like a husband or wife is eligible to under existing law.

    That is not something -- it's -- appeals to Democrats in the sense of antidiscrimination and equity and justice. But it's probably a game wrecker for the Republicans.

    MICHAEL GERSON: If it passes.

    MARK SHIELDS: It's hard for me to believe that Marco Rubio could support legislation that included that. So it is on both sides, quite frankly. I mean, the Democrats are overwhelmingly for the legislation, as written, but this is the sort of amendment that could be complicating.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Michael, you do have this division, again, on the Republican side. You've got, on the one hand, former Sen. Jim DeMint now with The Heritage Foundation, putting out this study, talking about the cost of immigration reform. But his fellow Republican, Marco Rubio, is behind this.

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, the conservative movement is split on immigration, and that's a huge improvement over 2007, when -- you know, I remember those days. There was a huge conservative wave, which we really haven't seen materialize.

    Marco Rubio does not need to convert all his opponents. He just needs to assert credibly that there are two sides to this issue in the conservative movement; give enough Republicans the cover to vote for this.

    The Heritage study that you mentioned actually contributes to his argument. This was a shoddy study, and there was an immediate, comprehensive response of a bunch of conservative, pro-immigration reform groups. They seem to have learned some of the lessons from 2007.

    They're more organized. They're more aggressive. And so, you know, this is a feud within conservatism, but at least it's not a rout like it was last time.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And one piece of it was the -- part of the Heritage report that talked about lower IQs among individuals who were Hispanic and lingering for generations. Now I gather the person behind that has left the foundation.

    MICHAEL GERSON: I don't think that was in the report but it was in some of the research by one of the researchers.

    MARK SHIELDS: That's right, yes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But now that's set aside and is no longer a distraction.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes, and I agree, Judy, that I think, even more significant, or as significant as the groups, were that leading Republican politicians -- I mean, there are probably very few Republican -- or Democratic politicians in the country -- who have better feel for the political process than Haley Barbour, the former governor of Mississippi, and the former Republican national chairman.

    He called the Heritage report a political document right out of the box. And so did Paul Ryan, the chairman of the House Budget Committee, and the chairman for vice president.

    So I mean, he didn't call it a political document, but he was critical of the Heritage report. So I think that there is more organized and emboldened conservative opposition.

    But six years ago, it was John Cornyn of Texas, you'll recall, up for reelection in 2008, who offered those poison pill amendments against President Bush's and Ted Kennedy and John McCain's immigration bill. I just point out that Sen. Cornyn is up for reelection next year as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let's talk about Benghazi.

    Very much in the news the last few days, Michael. This is, of course, the outpost in Libya. It was overrun. The U.S. ambassador was killed along with three others. New information today about the State Department changing the so-called talking points that were going to be given to administration officials.

    What -- where is all this headed now?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, it's worth pointing out, at the outset, that, even at the worst, this is not Watergate. What we're talking about is a cover-up -- if there is a cover-up -- of negligence and incompetence, not of criminality and I think that is the difference.

    But this is an unfolding, rapidly moving problem for the administration. The testimony this week showed that the people who were closest to the crisis, that were in Libya, knew exactly what was happening, and they reported it up the chain of command.

    People like Jonathan Carl of ABC reported this week that those talking points were changed dramatically by major players at the State Department and in the interdependent --

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Which is not what the White House had said.

    MICHAEL GERSON: Exactly, and that it ended up being much less accurate. And you also have the dynamic of David Petraeus in some of these stories that are coming out now, saying that he wasn't happy about the changes that were made.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: He was CIA director.

    MICHAEL GERSON: He was the head of the CIA at the time. So it's increasingly difficult for the administration just to say nothing to see here, move along.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Where do you see this headed? 

    MARK SHIELDS: I think it's a legitimate investigation. I thought the hearings were authentic. For the first time, instead of the grand conspiracy theories we've heard hatched on the right, we did have real people, career diplomat, who alleges, testifies that he lost his job and was demoted and is now a desk jockey back here. He was the deputy chief of mission. The first person -- the person that Ambassador Stevens was under attack called.

    I mean, it was quite moving, it was quite emotional, his testimony, I felt. At the same time, Judy, the Republicans on the committee cheapen it. Thirty-two times by actual count they have mentioned Hillary Clinton. I mean, you can see -- is there a legitimate inquiry here? Yes. Are they trying to turn it in -- especially Darrell Issa, the chairman, and several of the other members, trying to turn it into a political gotcha show? Yes.

    And I think it weakens the case. I think there's a legitimate investigation to be held here, and I just wish it were being held by more senior, more thoughtful people.

    MICHAEL GERSON: And I agree with that, by the way. The best way to undermine this argument is to overstate this argument. Republicans should be in a mode of gathering facts and following them where they lead. And that I think is their best strategy, as well as the right thing to do.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But the fact, Mark, the talking point being changed by the State Department, what …

    MARK SHIELDS: I don't think there's any question it was an attempt, Judy, and they point out that it was ultimately issued by the CIA, the report was, and the talking points, so Gen. Petraeus has some explaining of his own to do.

    But I don't think there's any question that it was a way of saying the advantage that Barack Obama had over the Republicans at that point in the campaign was the Republicans had squandered in the invasion, occupation, failed, of Iraq, they had squandered what had been their historical advantage on national security and foreign policy.

    And this was a chance, I think, a vulnerability on that count for Obama and to dismiss or minimize the evolvement of al-Qaida, to minimize the threat of terrorism …

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Didn't want any references to terrorism.

    MARK SHIELDS: I think that's pretty obvious.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let's finally turn to right here at home, South Carolina politics. The former governor of the state who was involved in his own personal, shall we say, colorful episode where he went off with a mistress in South America, Mark Sanford has now come roaring back.

    He won his congressional seat against a well-funded Democratic opponent. What does that say about American politics? What does it say about the Democrat?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, they say we get the Congress we deserve, and if this is true in this case, then God help us. This is a case where -- you know, this was a genuinely creepy circumstance. You know, during the campaign, he had his mistress meet his teenaged son at a public event in front of a crowd of people.

    MARK SHIELDS: Cameras.

    MICHAEL GERSON: You know, with cameras around. It was a very strange circumstance.

    MARK SHIELDS: It was.

    MICHAEL GERSON: This is really a case where everyone deserves grace, but grace takes time and healing and penance in most religious traditions. The philosopher and theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer talked about cheap grace. This was cheap grace.


    MARK SHIELDS: Well, I can't argue with that. I'd simply point out, Judy, that Mark Sanford is a man of great consistency. He said I think it would be much better for the country if Bill Clinton resigns, I come from the business side, if you had a chairman or president in the business world doing what he did, he'd be gone.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Back during the impeachment.

    MARK SHIELDS: That's exactly right. He also stuck a knife into Bob Livingston, the Republican speaker-designate in the House, saying that he had to resign because he had lied to his wife. I just think it's a great tribute to the compassion, decency of the Republican voters of South Carolina that they last chose Newt Gingrich in the presidential primary. So serial adultery is apparently not a disqualification. They are a forgiving and really compassionate people.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we appreciate the compassion.

    MARK SHIELDS: And he's a jerk. He's a jerk. I mean, what he did to his son -- what he did to his son at that moment, as any parent, it's just unforgivable what he did. I mean, introducing, this is your new stepmother, my girlfriend, I want to you to meet her in front of 12 television cameras and 1,000 people who he had never met before. It was unforgivable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, on that note we will thank the two of you, Mark Shields, Michael Gerson. Thank you.

    MARK SHIELDS: Good to be here.

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: And finally tonight, one victim's road to recovery after the Boston attacks. Roseann Sdoia was waiting for a friend to cross the finish line when the second bomb exploded just a few feet away. Her right leg was so badly damaged it had to be amputated above the knee. She will soon be fitted for a prosthetic leg and is currently being treated at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown.

    Emily Rooney of WGBH Boston sat down with her this week for an interview about her experience and road to recovery. Here's an excerpt.

    EMILY ROONEY, WGBH Boston: Roseann, first, tell me what physical therapy is like.

    ROSEANN SDOIA, Boston Bombing Victim: It all is very physical, even the occupational therapy, making sure I could do the typical things that you would normally do every day, brush your teeth, shower, get around in the bathroom.

    This new facility here is phenomenal. They have a mock apartment that you go to and you can see how to move stuff along the counters in the kitchen, if you're on crutches, getting in and out of the shower, out of like an actual tub, get up and off the bed if you need to.

    WOMAN: How bad is the pain?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: Right now?

    WOMAN: Yes.

    ROSEANN SDOIA: It's like a three to four.

    They take you through doing weights and building your core muscles. And then physical therapy does that. There's some stretching that we usually start with, making sure that the muscles are limber, and then go through doing different arm exercises and balancing to make sure that I can balance on my left leg. It's a lot. It's a lot.

    EMILY ROONEY: Is some of it directed at your right leg, too?


    EMILY ROONEY: And what do they do for that?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: Yes. A lot of lifting. They'll put weights on it and we'll do side lifts, make sure that this stays in shape as well.

    EMILY ROONEY: So take me back to marathon day. What had you been doing earlier in the morning?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: Same thing I've done for, like, the last 15 years. It has been one of my favorite days in Boston. And I get a little emotional about it because I don't know if it will be my favorite day next year, but same thing I've done every year, go to the Red Sox game with friends and it was a beautiful, sunny day.

    We walked over to Boylston Street, and went to one of the local bars there that we've gone to, again, for years, and knowing that different friends were going to meet up there later.

    And got notification that one of our friends was close to coming down Boylston Street, so we ended up going out to watch the race, and were standing along the road, and just cheering on the runners and waiting.

    And it was just really weird. Within a matter of a couple of minutes, the first bomb went off. And it was just really strange because, again, I've done this for so long, we've never had guns or cannons or, you know, something to salute the runners, and there was just the pop, pop, and it was literally at my feet.

    I just -- I thought they were more like grenades being kind of thrown in but -- just because it was -- I thought it was, like, hitting the ground or it came from the ground. And then I just remember kind of not knowing what was going on.

    EMILY ROONEY: So the second one was what hit you.

    ROSEANN SDOIA: Exactly, yes, I was in the second one. And it was …

    EMILY ROONEY: Did you realize right away you were hurt?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: I want to say yes and no. Because I think it was just so surreal that I think my brain said, you're hurt, but then I wanted to run. But I was on the ground and couldn't run. And I knew I couldn't run. I guess I must have yelled for help but it was kind of like a dream where you think you're yelling for help but you don't hear it come out.

    And I probably didn't hear it because of the explosion and the bomb because I have hearing loss in one of my ears. So kind of like looking around, it was people -- people were running. People were like zombies. People -- it was like you were immediately in a bad movie and starring in it.

    EMILY ROONEY: Are you planning to go back to work?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: Yes. I just don't know when. I -- my work has been fantastic. I work for a phenomenal company. I've been there 10 years. And they've all come to visit me. They took a great group photo out in front of building, hung a banner for me. And I'll go back. I just don't -- I haven't decided yet.

    I need to get to my apartment. I need to get home and really see where I am with that and then get back into my routine and work will be a routine. But I need to do it in baby steps.

    EMILY ROONEY: So I'm sitting here looking thinking what would terrify me most, learning to drive again or not being able to play tennis? Do you have something?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: The driving is a little scary, but I've had numerous people tell me that I can use my left foot. And then I've heard of different things that you can put in your car to adjust the driving or have it altered. So I'll drive at some point, but I think to me that's the scariest thing.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And is there something you're just going to say, well, I won't be able to do that again?

    ROSEANN SDOIA: No. I haven't really thought of anything that I won't be able to do. I think -- I think there will be and I think that will be a down time when I hit it.

    But everything has been -- I've been so positive just because I have to move forward. I can't -- there's no way to look back and say anything negative about it, or "I can't do that" or "I can't do this." I'm going to try to do whatever I can do.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And you can watch the full interview from WGBH. That's on our homepage.

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    José Efraín Ríos Montt inside the courtroom where he was tried and convicted for genocide and crimes against humanity. Photo by Xeni Jardin.

    A Guatemalan court found José Efraín Ríos Montt guilty on Friday of genocide and crimes against humanity and sentenced him to 80 years in prison. That was confirmed by Boing Boing's Xeni Jardin, reporting from the courtroom in Guatemala City, where she's been following the trial for her website and for the PBS NewsHour. It was the first time a former head of state has been found guilty of genocide in his or her own country, according to the Associated Press.

    Ríos Montt ruled Guatemala from 1982 to 1983 during the most violent period of the country's 36-year civil war. The 86-year-old former general was sentenced to 50 years in prison for genocide and additional 30 for crimes against humanity. He was responsible for massacres that killed thousands of Ixil Mayans during that time.

    Judge Yasmin Barrios, who has presided over the trial, said Ríos Montt knew exactly what he was doing and did nothing to stop it, according to Jardin. The judge also said that the court was completely convinced that the intent to commit genocide had been proven, according to her tweets.

    Minutes ago Jardin tweeted the news from the courtroom:

    Guilty of Genocide. Judge Yassmin Barrios delivers verdict in the case of José Efraín Ríos Montt. In otras palabras, "Sí hubo genocidio."

    — Xeni Jardin (@xeni) May 10, 2013

    Jardin has been capturing the drama in the courtroom that included shouts from the defense attorney and pleas from the judge to keep order. Celebration and cries of "Justice" from onlookers overwhelmed the proceedings.

    Courtroom erupts into incredible cheering. "JUSTICIA JUSTICIA JUSTICIA JUSTICIA JUSTICIA"

    — Xeni Jardin (@xeni) May 10, 2013

    Jardin was co-producer on a NewsHour piece by Science Correspondent Miles O'Brien that aired this week on the key role that science and forensics played in the trial. That involved analyzing bodies unearthed from graves and DNA of skeletons buried en masse during the war and studying satellite data of the countryside during the bloody regime. Watch the full report here:

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    President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron speak to reporters in a joint press conference Monday at the White House.

    Updated 12:45 p.m. EDT: Video from the press conference added to the post. See the original story below. The Morning Line

    There are two topics on the minds of White House reporters heading into Monday's joint news conference with President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron, and neither has to do with U.S.-U.K. relations.

    The 11:15 a.m. ET session in the Rose Garden will instead be consumed by questions regarding the targeting of conservative groups by the Internal Revenue Service and the Obama administration's handling of last year's attacks on U.S. diplomatic facilities in Benghazi, Libya.

    It will provide the first opportunity for Mr. Obama to directly address the actions of the IRS, which singled out for extra scrutiny groups with "tea party" or "patriots" in their names that applied for tax-exempt status. Since the news first broke on Friday there has been a steady flow of new information that has come to light, further adding to criticism of the IRS's conduct.

    The Associated Press reported Saturday that senior officials at the IRS knew agents were targeting tea party groups as early as 2011, according to a report from the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration.

    The Wall Street Journal's John McKinnon and Siobhan Hughes wrote Sunday that the inspector general's probe uncovered that the IRS also had expanded its analysis to groups "worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to 'make America a better place to live.'"

    McKinnon and Hughes note:

    The inspector general's office has been conducting an audit of the IRS's handling of the applications process and is expected to release a report this week. The audit follows complaints last year by numerous tea-party and other conservative groups that they had been singled out and subjected to excessive and inappropriate questioning. Many groups say they were asked for lists of their donors and other sensitive information.

    On Sunday, a government official said the report will note that IRS officials told investigators that no one outside the IRS was involved in developing the criteria the agency now acknowledges were flawed.

    On Friday, White House press secretary Jay Carney called the actions "inappropriate" and said they deserved to be "thoroughly investigated." But by Sunday, Republican lawmakers were demanding Mr. Obama personally get involved with the matter.

    "It is absolutely chilling that the IRS was singling out conservative groups for extra review. And I think that it's very disappointing that the president hasn't personally condemned this and spoken out," Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said during an appearance on CNN's "State of the Union."

    "The president needs to make crystal clear that this is totally unacceptable in America," she added.

    At the same time, Mr. Obama is confronted with mounting questions from congressional Republicans about his administration's response to the assaults on U.S. diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya, which left four Americans dead, including U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.

    An ABC News report last Friday showed the State Department edited the talking points prepared by the CIA for use in the days following the attacks. Carney on Friday said changes proposed by the White House were "extremely minimal and non-substantive."

    Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., took aim at that claim Sunday on ABC News' "This Week." "For the president's spokesman to say, that, 'Well, there was only words or technical changes made in those emails' is a flat-out untruth," McCain said. "That's just not acceptable."

    McCain also said described the administration's handling of the Benghazi attacks as a "cover up."

    "I'd call it a cover-up," McCain said. "I would call it a cover-up in the extent that there was willful removal of information which was obvious."

    McCain said he did not agree with Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., who suggested Benghazi is an "impeachable" offense in an interview on conservative talk radio.

    What remains to be seen is how much the dual controversies will hamper Mr. Obama's attempts to court Republican members of Congress on policy goals, such as immigration reform and long-term deficit reduction, for his second-term agenda.


    The BBC highlights two of the issues U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron will likely address on his U.S. visit: Syria and an EU trade deal.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., went to Iowa and is courting support from social conservatives, especially evangelicals.

    NewsHour deputy politics editor Terence Burlij crafts this detailed primer of early 2016 action.

    Reuters has a long profile of Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and his unlikely alliance with Internet advocates.

    A new poll of the Massachusetts Senate special election conducted for Republican nominee Gabriel Gomez's campaign finds Democratic Rep. Ed Markey ahead by just three points. Other polls also have shown a close race.

    On Bloomberg Government's Capitol Gains show, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., gives immigration reform a 70 percent chance of passing the House. "I think the Senate's going to pass the bill. I think there's bipartisan support for that bill. And when it comes here, I'm hopeful that we will put it on the floor, and I think it can pass. I'd give it 70 percent," he says.

    Amy Walter asks for the Cook Political Report if Republicans can unlock the vote in Pennsylvania in 2016.

    Hosting a lunch for the spouses at the National Governors Association gathering last summer, Virginia GOP Gov. Bob McDonnell's wife distributed goodie bags with Anatabloc, the dietary supplement manufactured by Star Scientific, whose CEO Jonnie Williams is a major McDonnell campaign donor and gift-giver. The company's ties to McDonnell have prompted questions about the governor's political ethics in recent weeks.

    Virginia Republicans are ready to finalize their candidates at the state convention in Richmond this weekend. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a possible 2016 hopeful, will speak.

    Virginia GOP Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli debuts his second television ad Monday in which he promotes the plan he announced last week to cut corporate and individual income tax rates.

    Jason Richwine, the co-author of a controversial Heritage Foundation report critical of the Senate's comprehensive immigration reform bill, resigned Friday. The move came after the senior policy analyst had come under scrutiny for writing in a 2009 doctoral dissertation that immigrants had lower IQs than white Americans.

    New Jersey GOP Gov. Chris Christie is set to air his first negative attack ad Monday. The spot, part of an $800,000 buy, ties Democratic State Sen. Barbara Buono to former Gov. Jon Corzine.

    Outgoing Boston Mayor Tom Menino offers a few compliments -- but no endorsement yet -- on the city's 24 mayoral candidates.

    Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld publishes a Wall Street Journal piece advising business leaders how best to hold meetings. It's adapted from his new book, "Rumsfeld's Rules: Leadership Lessons in Business, Politics, War, and Life."

    Roll Call's Neda Semnani writes this beautiful piece for "The Week" about losing her mother and the evolution of grief.

    Public Policy Polling finds that party divides apparently extend to voters' favorite Beatle: Republicans like Paul McCartney and Democrats like John Lennon.

    This happened. Just asking: Is it still considered a flash mob if everyone is off rhythm?

    You can buy your tickets now for the June 26 Congressional Softball Game, the Bad News Babes versus female members of Congress.


    Mark Shields and Michael Gerson talk about immigration and Benghazi, and don't miss Mark's take on Rep.-elect Mark Sanford.

    Watch here or below.

    Watch Video

    NewsHour's science team covers the forensic evidence used in the genocide trial of José Efraín Ríos Montt in Guatemala. A court found Ríos Montt guilty Friday.

    Financial adviser Zvi Bodie outlines the benefits of buying U.S. Treasury Series I Saving Bonds on the NewsHour's Making Sense page.

    How did Watergate affect you? Let us know ahead of our Friday night special looking back at the scandal that changed American politics and made the NewsHour what it is today. And don't miss the special Newseum event with Judy Woodruff, Jim Lehrer and Robert MacNeil.


    Today 1607, British settlers arrived at Jamestown, Virginia: twitter.com/BeschlossDC/st...

    — Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) May 13, 2013

    RT "@alroker: @savannahguthrie and her engagement ring. Congrats to her and fiancé'Mike Feldman instagram.com/p/ZP_noGQCB5/" // Thanks, Al!

    — Mike Feldman (@feldmike) May 13, 2013

    Politifact rates this "mostly true." RT @jamesddetroit: In politics they wear a thicker skin than we are forced to in journalism. #Boss

    — Ellen Carmichael (@ellencarmichael) May 13, 2013

    Must have: Franklin Pierce Pez dispenser. #priceless RT @benleubsdorf: #HandsomeFranktwitter.com/BenLeubsdorf/s...

    — Susan Page (@SusanPage) May 13, 2013

    Remember when Sandy Berger shoved classified documents down his pants? That was fun.

    — Jonah Goldberg (@JonahNRO) May 13, 2013

    "Um, I would like to hand this briefing over to CJ Craig!"- Carney

    — Rob Lowe (@RobLowe) May 10, 2013

    In light of President Obama's TX visit to talk job creation, I thought I'd meetw/ Rahm Emanuel in Chicago to share tips on bullying.

    — Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) May 10, 2013

    It's official! Someone whip us up a Sazerac because #TopChef Season 11 is heading to the Big Easy! Here's the scoop: bravo.ly/1356iN6

    — BravoTopChef (@BravoTopChef) May 10, 2013

    Christina Bellantoni and desk assistant Simone Pathe contributed to this report.

    For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

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

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

    Follow the politics team on Twitter:

    Follow @cbellantoni

    Follow @burlijiFollow @kpolantzFollow @elizsummersFollow @tiffanymullonFollow @meenaganesanFollow @ljspbs

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  • 05/13/13--06:49: The Daily Frame
  • Click to enlarge.

    A car is displayed last week during the 26th annual Houston Art Car Parade. Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images.

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    Watch Monday's full news conference with President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Updated 12:45 p.m. ET:

    President Barack Obama said Monday that if an inspector general review of the Internal Revenue Service shows the tax agency gave conservative groups more intense scrutiny, "then that's outrageous and there's no place for it."

    The Treasury Department's inspector general is expected to release a report this week.

    Mr. Obama said the IRS personnel responsible for the targeted scrutiny of the groups have to be held fully accountable for the sake of the public's trust. "People have to have confidence that they're ... applying the laws in a non-partisan way," he said. "So we'll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are. But I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it."

    He also criticized the focus by some lawmakers on how the White House and State Department helped shape the administration's talking points on the Benghazi, Libya, consulate attacks, calling it a "sideshow" and drain on efforts to make sure similar attacks never happen again. (Read more.)

    The president's comments came at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron, who just came from meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the civil war in Syria.

    On Syria, Cameron said he welcomed Putin's agreement to join a diplomatic effort to find a solution, but he said there could be no political solution until the opposition shows Syrian President Bashar al-Assad that there is no military solution. Anti-government forces have been fighting the regime there for more than two years.

    "Syria's history is being written by the blood of its people," said Cameron.

    An EU arms embargo on Syria was amended to allow technical support and advice to the opposition, but Cameron said more should be done to help the opposition, such as delivering body armor and chemical weapons detectors.

    "If we don't help the Syrian opposition, who we do recognize as being legitimate ... then we shouldn't be surprised if the extremist elements grow," he said. Cameron said he and Putin might have different perspectives on how to handle Syria but they both agree that extremism shouldn't be allowed to take root there.

    Original Story:

    President Obama meets with British Prime Minister David Cameron at the White House Monday, where the two are expected to talk about the more than two-year-old civil war in Syria. Britain is pushing for a stronger response to Syria's Bashar al-Assad regime but like the United States doesn't want to send ground troops.

    They will address reporters' questions at a press briefing at 11:15 a.m. EDT.

    White House spokesman Jay Carney said last week that the two probably also would discuss Iran and the Middle East peace process, along with other matters.

    In addition, President Obama likely will be asked about reports the IRS was giving extra scrutiny to tea party and other groups targeting government spending. An inspector general report is expected to come out on the issue later this week. Congress intends to hold hearings.

    Cameron is experiencing his own problems at home after members of his Conservative Party said the U.K. should leave the European Union, instead of waiting to see what could be done to improve Britain's relations with the EU. "The idea of throwing in the towel before the negotiation's started I think is a very, very strange opinion," Cameron told reporters on his way to the United States.

    The two world leaders will meet again in June when Cameron hosts the G8 summit of industrialized nations in Northern Ireland.

    The last time Cameron visited the United States was in March 2012, when he and President Obama discussed security issues in Afghanistan after U.S. troops leave in 2014:

    Watch Video

    View more of PBS NewsHour's World coverage.

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  • 05/13/13--10:16: Weekly Poem: 'The Eaves'
  • By Caroline Knox

    The eaves drip in dreams and for real too in constant delicate falls of dew condensing and recondensing. The trees drip always at night, dreams or not, hung down with diamonds, and both water sounds and animal sounds recur in the dark, as borrowed and leftover light glances off the textured, mushy, or glazed surfaces of nature, manufacture. The trees overdrip the eaves and onto smaller trees and over large obscure weeds reaching up, ombré shadows. These sounds echo in the root cellar. The least air lifts other weeds out of sand and silt—jagged serrate species, ikat blades. The weeds are ransacked by unexpected new rain contributing to the passive dew and riding on a heavy wind now pulling loose and detaching a gutter which, falling, scrapes along the quoins, clattering into the catch-basin; in the drywells, gutter and sash fragments, with runnels of swill gathering leaves and filth, trellis lath and vines. And the rusted gate, hinge and hasp buckling backward, shaken off its old posts, is swept away too, from a dwelling-place destroyed not by fire but deliberately by water, the abraded house half asphalt shingles and half cedar shakes, luminous cedar shakes on the roof down the deep eaves, asphalt shingles on the ell, in the open yard.

    Caroline KnoxCaroline Knox is the author of eight volumes of poetry, including "Flemish" (Wave Books, 2013) and "Quaker Guns" (Wave Books, 2008), which received a Recommended Reading Award 2009 from the Massachusetts Center for the Book.

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    By Larry Kotlikoff

    If Social Security benefits increase, will they rise enough to give beneficiaries more money in hand? Expert Larry Kotlikoff answers this question, along with others from readers. Photo by Flickr user 401(K) 2012.

    Larry Kotlikoff's Social Security original 34 "secrets", his additional secrets, his Social Security "mistakes" and his Social Security gotchas have prompted so many of you to write in that we now feature "Ask Larry" every Monday.

    We are determined to continue it until the queries stop or we run through the particular problems of all 78 million Baby Boomers, whichever comes first. Kotlikoff's state-of-the-art retirement software is available, for free, in its "basic" version. His considerable and often very useful output is available on his website.

    Gwendolyn Miller -- Wilmington, Del.: I am 73 years old, still working, and have been collecting my Social Security since age 65. I plan to fully retire this year and want to know: will my Social Security monthly amount increase?

    Larry Kotlikoff: If your highest 35 years of covered earnings have continued to rise because you've continued to work and get raises, as I recently urged, your benefits have increased. But once you retire, you will no longer be raising what's called your Average Indexed Monthly Earnings (AIME) computed (as I said) on the basis of your 35 highest years of covered earnings.

    Your monthly check will, however, continue to go up if the Consumer Price Index does. That's because of the automatic inflation adjustment that's part of the Social Security formula, the inflation adjustment President Obama has recently offered to make less generous by tweaking the formula to account for consumers substituting cheaper goods and services for more expensive ones. As of Jan. 1, 2013, your Social Security check increased by 1.7 percent to reflect inflation.

    Currently, inflation is running at an annual rate of 1.5 percent over the past 12 months; 1.4 percent if the President's proposal of the so-called "chained" consumer price index (CPI) is used instead. If it remains at the current rate of inflation, you will get another cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) of 1.5 percent in 2014 -- or 1.4 percent if the chained CPI should by some chance become the measure.

    Bob D. -- Southport, Maine: I'm 59. My wife of 16 years died four years ago at 68. I'm still working and plan to continue, though making less than $15,000 a year. Can I apply for survivors benefits? How do I do it, and what percentage of her benefit would I receive?

    Larry Kotlikoff: First, I'm sorry for your loss. Second, you can apply for survivor benefits starting at age 60. But take heed of what has come to be my almost weekly warning in this column: survivors benefits will be permanently reduced if you take them prior to full retirement age.

    At your full retirement age, your survivors benefits will equal your wife's full retirement benefit, assuming she died prior to full retirement age, but before taking benefits. If she was taking benefits and you wait until 66, you'll get what she was getting, adjusted for inflation. If you wait until 66 and she was beyond full retirement age but hadn't taken her retirement benefit yet when she passed, you'll get her full retirement benefit, adjusted for the delayed retirement credit.

    But, if you take your own retirement benefit while also taking your survivors benefit, you'll only get the larger of the two. So, by taking both benefits simultaneously, you can wipe out your survivors benefit entirely.

    What's the smart move here? To take one benefit first and let the other grow. For example, Social Security benefit maximization software might show that taking your survivors benefit at 60 and your own retirement benefit at 70 is best. Or it might show that taking your own retirement benefit starting at 62 and your survivors benefit at full retirement age -- 66 in your case -- is best. Given the complexity of Social Security's rules, what's best for people in your situation depends on both their own earnings record and the size of the survivors benefit to which they are entitled.

    MORE SOCIAL SECURITY ANSWERS: How Underfunded Is Social Security and How Might It Be Fixed?

    Marie -- San Diego, Calif.: In my mid 70s. How to arrange my money so that it goes to two kids in "stages," not all at once, when I die?

    Larry Kotlikoff: This question ventures beyond, Social Security, the usual compass of this column. But as I've devoted a fair portion of my career to retirement planning and the NewsHour's Making Sense page has offered my free ESPlanner Basic software for years, I suppose I'm as qualified as anyone to answer your question.

    One approach is to buy your children simple, single-life, inflation-indexed annuities. Annuities will continue to make payments that will be adjusted for inflation throughout your children's entire lives. Make sure you trust the insurance company. Better yet, buy from multiple companies to spread the risk that any given company might fold.

    Carolyn Weinzapfel -- Wilmington, N.C.: My husband is 62 and just started collecting Social Security. I am 54. When I turn 66, can I collect a spousal benefit even though I make a lot more than my husband? His Social Security benefit is $1,572 a month. My projected Social Security benefit is $2,465 a month if I take it at 66 or $3,150 if I wait until 70. If I can get a spousal benefit, would it be half of what my husband would have received if he had waited to take his Social Security? I'm assuming -- from reading some of your other answers -- that I can't do this at 62.

    Larry Kotlikoff: You are correct. If you wait until full retirement age, you can apply just for a spousal benefit and receive half of his full retirement benefit. Then at 70, you can apply for your own retirement benefit.

    Don B. -- Northport, N.Y.: I started receiving reduced Social Security benefits at age 63 and 5 months. My wife stopped working this year, 2013, and will turn 63 in June. Is it better for her to apply for spousal benefits on my Social Security retirement benefit or to apply for her own reduced benefit? Thanks for your time.

    Larry Kotlikoff: Since you have already filed for your retirement benefit, if your wife applies for either a spousal or a retirement benefit before full retirement age, she'll be deemed to be applying for both. In this case, she'll get the sum of her own reduced retirement benefit and her reduced excess spousal benefit, which could be zero. The excess spousal benefit is the difference, if positive, between half of your full retirement benefit and 100 percent of her full retirement benefit.

    A better strategy may be for her to wait until full retirement age (66) to start collecting her full spousal benefit and then wait until age 70 to collect her retirement benefit, when it will start at its largest possible level, a strategy that I have urged again and again.

    A full spousal benefit is available for someone who hasn't filed or been forced to file, via Social Security's deeming provisions, for her retirement benefits. And the full spousal benefit is calculated as 50 percent of your full retirement benefit, so it's clearly larger than the excess spousal benefit.

    Rosemarie Smith -- Eugene, Ore.: My husband is 61 and receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI). I am 59 and working. How does SSDI work in terms of spousal benefits when I turn 62?

    Larry Kotlikoff: When you turn 62, you can collect spousal benefits, but they will be reduced for every month you start collecting them prior to full retirement. Also, due to Social Security's deeming provisions, you will be forced to apply early for your own retirement benefit, which will be permanently reduced.

    And because you are going to be forced to file for a retirement benefit, your spousal benefit will be calculated as an excess spousal benefit and then reduced because you are taking it early. The excess spousal benefit is the larger of A., the difference between half your husband's disability insurance benefit and B., 100 percent of your full retirement benefit.

    So, I don't think collecting at 62 is likely to be your best strategy. Software would likely suggest that you wait until full retirement age, take just your spousal benefit at that point, and then go for your full retirement benefit age 70, at which point it will start at an inflation-adjusted value that's up to 76 percent larger than if you start it at 62.

    Also, your spousal benefit will be calculated as your full spousal benefit, which is half of your husband's disability benefit. And there will be no reduction, since you are starting to take your spousal benefit at full retirement age. The reason that you get the full spousal benefit and not the excess spousal benefit under this strategy is that the excess spousal benefit formula is only used if you have filed or, via the deeming rules, been forced to file for your own retirement benefit.

    This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown -- NewsHour's blog of news and insight. Follow @paulsolman

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    Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen talk about their new book, "The Digital Age," with PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff.

    Earlier this month, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas, spoke with Judy Woodruff about their new book, "The Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business." The book explores the intersection of technology and democracy and how the digital world will continue to affect and shape the future.

    And what about the 5 billion people who aren't yet engaged with the Internet? Schmidt and Cohen discussed what alternative solutions these people are finding to share information during this era of constant online connectivity.

    Do you have questions about the future of the digital age? Join Woodruff as she chats with Schmidt and Cohen for an upcoming live Google Hangout. Leave your questions in the comments below or Tweet #DigitalAge !function(d,s,id){var js,fjs=d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0],p=/^http:/.test(d.location)?'http':'https';if(!d.getElementById(id)){js=d.createElement(s);js.id=id;js.src=p+'://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js';fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js,fjs);}}(document, 'script', 'twitter-wjs'); to @NewsHour. Come back tomorrow to watch their conversation live.

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    Charles Henry Rowell; photo by Samantha Iyer

    Charles Henry Rowell. Photo by Samantha Iyer.

    For nearly four decades, Charles Henry Rowell has been a talent scout of sorts, looking for young and often ignored African-American artists. His mission is to identify, nurture, promote and publish new black writers.

    It began with a literary journal he started in 1974, when Rowell says Southern black writers were mostly ignored by publishers. He called the magazine "Callaloo," after a popular Caribbean stew, hoping the journal would be a spicy mixture of poetry, fiction and essays. At age 74, Rowell has had remarkable success. His journal has helped introduce several generations of now high-profile writers, including many who have been featured on the PBS NewsHour.

    Rowell's latest project is a Norton anthology of contemporary black poets called "Angles of Ascent." It includes the work of more than 80 writers who Rowell says showcase a wide variety of voices, content, style and ideas in contemporary African-American poetry.

    The anthology begins with the poems by two literary giants: Gwendolyn Brooks and Robert Hayden. It's followed by poets writing at the height of the Black Power movement, including Amiri Baraka and Nikki Giovanni. But the majority of the book focuses on poets writing after the turbulent Civil Rights Era.

    "What fascinated me is that they turn from the external world into the interior world. It's not the obsession with quote 'the struggle,'" Rowell says. "Not that that isn't a valid subject. But that has been written about over and over. These writers were not committing themselves to the struggle. They were committing their poetry to itself, to its craft, to its beauty."

    Rowell says an anthology of black writers as well as his journal Callaloo remain necessities, because young black writers still have a more difficult time getting published than their white colleagues. He says he has no plans to retire from his mission any time soon.

    "I'm prepared to do battle," he says. "And that has been my whole life: to do battle with whatever I confront that is anti-me or anti-community. Not with a loud screaming voice, mind you. Or sounding revolutionary. But doing the work that's necessary to do."

    Here is a sample of the poets included in "Angles of Ascent" who have been profiled previously on the NewsHour.

    Elizabeth Alexander, who composed a poem for President Barack Obama's first inauguration:

    Rita Dove, former U.S. poet laureate:

    Watch Video

    Tracy K. Smith, 2012 Pulitzer Prize winner:

    Watch Video

    Terrance Hayes, 2010 National Book Award winner:

    Natasha Trethewey, current U.S. poet laureate:

    Kevin Young, professor at Emory University:

    For more poetry coverage by the PBS NewsHour, visit our Poetry Series page.

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    When Dr. Kermit Gosnell was accused of multiple counts of murder relating to illegal late-term abortions, his six-week trial became a media frenzy, as abortion rights and anti-abortion advocates weighed in. Gosnell was found guilty Monday and may face the death penalty. Revisit PBS NewsHour's April 22 story on the trial and testimony.

    A jury found Dr. Kermit Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for performing late-term abortions on three babies by delivering them alive and then deliberately severing their spinal cords.

    Pennsylvania law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks, but former employees at his now-closed clinic in West Philadelphia testified he regularly ignored the limit to perform illegal late-term abortions.

    Prosecutors accused, and witnesses testified, that the three babies delivered by Gosnell were still moving, whimpering or breathing before they were killed. The doctor was also found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for an abortion patient who overdosed and died in his care. Gosnell was acquitted in a murder charge for a fourth baby.

    Both abortion rights and anti-abortion organizations endorsed the verdict, saying it validates their positions on the issue. Anti-abortion organization United for Life's CEO Charmain Yoest told The Associated Press that the ruling was a "triumph for justice." Ilyse G. Hogue, president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, said that Kermit Gosnell "will get what he deserves."

    While anti-abortion activists said the case shows the real details of the procedure, abortion rights advocates argue that further restriction of abortions will only push the practice underground where it cannot be monitored for proper safety controls.

    Gosnell could face the death penalty. The jury will return to court May 21 to hear evidence that could affect the Gosnell's sentence.

    Related Content:

    The Debate on Abortion, Four Decades After Roe v. WadeWhy U.S. Views on Abortion Haven't Changed MuchVirginia Proposal Mandating Ultrasound Before Abortion Debated

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    PBS NewsHour recently aired a report on prescription drug abuse that led viewers to ask many questions. We asked the CDC to answer them, below.

    One in 20 people in the United States say they've used prescription painkillers for non-medical reasons in the last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many ended up addicted.

    In fact, overdoses tied to common opioid or narcotic pain relievers -- like Vicodin (hydrocodone), OxyContin (oxycodone), Opana (oxymorphone), and methadone -- killed more than 16,500 people in 2010. That's roughly 45 deaths per day -- quadruple the amount killed from those drugs in 1999.

    Enough painkillers were prescribed in 2010 to medicate each American adult every four hours for a month, CDC officials say. The quantity sold to pharmacies, hospitals and doctors offices in 2010 was four times higher than a decade earlier. And when doctors prescribe more than a patient needs, the drugs often make their way into the wrong hands.

    Recently on the PBS NewsHour, health correspondent Betty Ann Bowser traveled to Oklahoma to profile the personal consequences of this addiction for people like University of Oklahoma linebacker Austin Box, who died suddenly after an accidental overdose in 2011. The Box family was stunned. They saw Austin regularly and had no idea he had a problem, let alone one that would kill him at age 22.

    After the NewsHour story aired, we received dozens of questions about this growing problem. Below, CDC officials answer many of them.

    Need a review of the basics first? Read the "Top 10 Things the CDC Says You Should Know About Prescription Drug Abuse" and watch Bowser's full NewsHour segment here:

    Watch Video

    Prescription Drug Abuse: CDC Answers Your Questions

    Viewer Question 1: Many states have prescription limits. Are doctors simply ignoring these? Or do they prescribe more doses per patient than is required for relief?

    CDC: Thirty-five states had some kind of prescription limit laws by August 2010. However, most such laws are restricted to certain schedules of drugs, to emergency prescriptions or to members of certain benefit plans (such as Medicaid). Very few states have laws requiring specific steps when exceeding daily dosage limits for all prescription painkillers (also called opioid pain relievers). The existing limits do not place major constraints on prescribing.

    Viewer Question 2: Do physicians make any money when a patient fills his or her prescription for narcotics? Do they have other incentives or fears that may cause them to over-prescribe opiates?

    CDC: No, physicians do not receive a fee when a patient fills an opioid prescription unless that physician is also authorized to dispense those drugs. They might charge an extra fee in that case, just as a pharmacy does. But only a small minority of prescribing physicians also dispense medications. It's also important to examine other potential incentives for prescribing decisions, like insurance coverage of certain drugs or inadequate coverage for physical or behavioral therapy.

    Viewer Question 3: My son is addicted to opiates and is desperately seeking inpatient treatment. He was initially prescribed them for treatment of Piriformis Syndrome. He has no insurance and very little money, but we will find a way to pay for this treatment. He is currently living in North Carolina, but he is willing to go anywhere for treatment. We are all fully aware that his life is in danger. Is there somewhere you can direct me to find help for him? A place that effectively treats addiction as soon as possible?

    CDC: We do not recommend specific facilities. It would be best to contact a service that helps find treatment resources. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides such a source. You can reach their treatment referral line by phone at: 800-662-HELP. You can also click on the "treatment locater" link at: http://www.samhsa.gov.

    Viewer Question 4: Does CDC have data on the percentage of prescription overdose deaths that also had illegal drugs like marijuana in their system? Or alcohol? How do these substances interact with prescription drugs?

    CDC: In 2010, marijuana was involved in less than 1 percent of prescription painkiller overdose deaths. Illegal drug involvement is much lower than other prescription drugs, like benzodiazepines (anti-anxiety medications like alprazolam [Xanax] or lorazepam [Ativan]). Benzodiazepines are recorded as contributing causes in 30 percent of prescription painkiller overdose deaths. Alcohol is recorded as a contributing cause in about 20 percent of prescription painkiller overdose deaths. Alcohol is also a depressant to the central nervous system. So the combined effect of alcohol and prescription painkillers can cause breathing to slow down so much that it stops.

    Viewer Question 5: What is the correct way to dispose of prescription painkillers prescribed after surgery and no longer needed? I have heard some talk of putting them in coffee grounds and then putting them in the trash. Is that true? Is there a better method?

    CDC: FDA has published guidelines on disposing of unused medicines -- including steps for home disposal and information on drug take-back programs -- which can be found here.

    Viewer Question 6: How many people who end up addicted obtain these drugs legally through prescriptions? Or do people get them from people who obtain the pills illegally, i.e., drug dealers?

    CDC: We know from national surveys, that most people (about 60 percent) who report using prescription painkillers non-medically (without a prescription or for the feeling they cause) obtain them from family or friends. More than one in six people (17 percent) who report using prescription painkillers non-medically said that they got the drugs they most recently used through a prescription from one doctor.

    The more often people use such drugs non-medically, the more likely they are to turn to other sources such as drug dealers. We also know that a large number of people who die of prescription painkiller overdoses obtain their drugs without a prescription. It is difficult to estimate these numbers exactly because the source information is often not available or not accurate. We do know that women are more likely to start with a prescription and then move to nonmedical use than are men.

    Viewer Question 7: My husband takes at least two Hydroco/Acetamin 10-325 (that is what it says on the label) every morning. He sometimes takes more during the day for pain. He had a car accident over 10 years ago and has pain from his injuries. When he takes a lot of the medication he acts goofy and slow. How do I know whether he is addicted or whether he really needs it for pain?

    CDC: We can't provide medical advice in individual cases. To ensure proper medical care, patients should discuss any and all drug use -- including prescription and over-the-counter medications -- with their doctors. You can find information about specific drugs, including their side effects, here.

    Addiction can be defined using the ABCDE mnemonic as:

    A) Inability to consistently Abstain;

    B) Impairment in Behavioral control;

    C) Craving; or increased "hunger" for drugs or rewarding experiences;

    D) Diminished recognition of significant problems with one's behaviors and interpersonal relationships; and

    E) A dysfunctional Emotional response.

    Viewer Question 8: What sort of income patterns do you see among abusers and which are more likely to end up dead? I know that hydrocodone is being talked about a lot by the FDA for possible C2 classification. Does C2 classification significantly reduce abuse and death or does the damage just shift to a new drug?

    CDC: Prescription painkiller overdose deaths are more likely among people with lower education and income levels, people on Medicaid and the unemployed. It is difficult to predict what the effects of C2 classification of hydrocodone would be.

    Viewer Question 10: I bet the real stats are much worse. They are only looking into a few pills, not all the new sleeping aids or ADHD meds, liver damage and suicide. They are looking at overdoses from a few of the big name downers ... pills are a mess in this country. Are overdoses from other legal drugs -- or in combination with some of the main opiates -- being examined?

    CDC: Yes, the CDC is looking at other types of pharmaceuticals. A recent CDC report published in the Feb 20, 2013, issue of the Journal of American Medical Association, for example, shows the number of overdose deaths involving 21 different types of pharmaceuticals. In particular, it shows the high involvement in overdose deaths of drugs prescribed for mental health conditions such as benzodiazepines, antidepressants and antipsychotics.

    Viewer Question 11: Is there fear in the medical community that hesitancy over prescribing prescription drugs on the part of some doctors will lead to more pain for those who truly need these drugs?

    CDC: The appropriate management of pain, including the use of prescription painkillers when necessary, remains a national goal. To date, there is no evidence that the legitimate use of prescription painkillers in the United States is declining as a result of attention to the overdose problem. Doctors should take precautions such as screening, urine drug tests and checking prescription drug monitoring programs before initiating prescriptions painkiller treatment in a patient and when deciding whether to continue their use. Prescription painkillers are powerful, addictive drugs, and should only be taken if necessary.

    Top photo by flickr user ep_jhu.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: There were stern words at the White House today over IRS targeting of tea party and other conservative groups. President Obama said he first learned about it last week, and he warned it won't go well for those responsible.

    The president's rebuke came as he answered a question at a joint news conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you've got the IRS operating in anything less than a neutral and nonpartisan way, then that is outrageous. It is contrary to our traditions. And people have to be held accountable, and it's got to be fixed.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The news broke last Friday that IRS agents had applied extra scrutiny to groups with “tea party” or “patriot” in their names when they applied for tax-exempt status.

    The head of that IRS division apologized on Friday. Lois Lerner said it took place during the 2012 campaign. And she blamed low-level officials in the agency's Cincinnati office, which handled the applications. But additional reports over the weekend said Lerner herself was informed of the targeting as early as 2011.

    Other reports claim that the IRS also zeroed in on groups that focused on government spending or educating Americans about the U.S. Constitution. That information was based on a draft report from a Treasury Department inspector general. The president said today he will wait for that investigation to be completed before making a final judgment.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: This is something that I think people are properly concerned about.

    The I.G. is conducting its investigation. And I am not going to comment on their specific findings prematurely. So we'll wait and see what exactly all the details and the facts are. But I've got no patience with it. I will not tolerate it. And we will make sure that we find out exactly what happened on this.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Lawmakers from both parties also demanded answers. On Sunday, Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine told CNN that she doubts the misconduct was limited to low-level IRS staffers.

    SEN. SUSAN COLLINS, R-Maine: I just don't buy that this was a couple of rogue IRS employees. After all, groups with progressive in their names were not targeted similarly. There's evidence that higher-level supervisors were aware of this. And the IRS wasn't forthcoming in telling Congress about the problem.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio went further. In a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew today, he called for the resignation of acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller.

    The Senate's Democratic majority leader, Harry Reid, also spoke out.

    SEN. HARRY REID, D-Nev.: The alleged actions of IRS employees in the Cincinnati field office would be a terrible breach of the public's trust. Whether investigating conservative groups or liberal groups, they should not be involved in this. Targeting any group based on its political stance is completely inappropriate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The chair of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana Democrat Max Baucus, has said his panel will look into the matter. And two Republican committee chairs in the House also have vowed to investigate. 


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