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


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)
Loading...

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Loading...

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 223 | 224 | (Page 225) | 226 | 227 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0

    I watched the president's address to the Morehouse class of 2013 this week with special interest. Part of the reason was personal: I had a great time delivering the commencement speech there two years ago. A sea of promising, educated young black men stretched before me as far as the eye could see.

    I was certain these men would rule the world.

    The other reason I was interested in watching the president was professional, if not clinical. What would the president have to say to a black audience?

    In reporting for my 2009 book on President Obama, politics and race, I'd noticed the president was usually careful to sidestep the issue. It seemed enough to ask America to elect its first black president without stirring the race pot more than necessary.

    But people I respect who read an advance copy of this week's speech, declared it profound and revelatory, so I made a point to turn the channel to watch the president speak in an Atlanta downpour.

    The president spoke of the need for black men to be unafraid like Martin Luther King Jr., and talked about the hopeful future. But I discovered much of the subsequent commentary split along racial lines.

    This is what caught my ear when the president spoke about individual responsibility: "As Morehouse men," he said, "you now wield something even more powerful than the diploma you're about to collect -- and that's the power of your example."

    Yet what many white analysts took special note of was when the president talked about the potential for bad outcomes. He said:

    There but for the grace of God ... I might have been in prison. I might have been unemployed. I might not have been able to support a family. And that motivates me.

    I do understand it is rare, if not unprecedented, for a U.S. president to suggest an alternate universe for himself that included prison. But, still.

    On the flip side, some critics -- many of them black -- heard the president in the same speech say there is no time for excuses. They saw his comments as scolding.

    As with almost every word that the president utters -- about race or anything else, the filters snapped into place almost instantly. Yet most of the speech was devoted to uplift. It was a commencement speech, after all.

    Only days later, I would feel despair, this time over a life's opportunity lost.

    I was filled with immense pride the day I spent at Morehouse. Reveling in the promise of all that young black manhood, I wanted to hug everyone who crossed that stage for a degree. The president's speech brought that back.

    Only days later, I would feel despair, this time over a life's opportunity lost.

    Julian Dawkins, 22, a shy, soft-spoken colleague with velvet eyes and elaborate dreadlocks, worked at the PBS NewsHour as a driver -- shuttling people, tapes and mail back and forth between our two office buildings with a bright smile for everyone. He was allegedly shot and killed by an off-duty sheriff's deputy steps from his aunt's front door early Wednesday morning.

    The circumstances of his death remain murky, which has proved especially difficult for inhabitants of a newsroom that routinely traffics in hows and whys.

    But no matter the circumstance, a loss is a loss. For me, the contrast between the men in polished shoes, caps and gowns who heard from the first black president on Sunday, and the grieving family we tried to comfort when they came by to tell us why Julian wouldn't be at work on Wednesday, was almost too much to bear.

    So I went back to the president's speech to see if I could find a passage that addressed that aching chasm between promise achieved and promise unfulfilled.

    I may have found it in the portion where he appealed to the graduates to be role models.

    Those who've been left behind, who haven't had the same opportunities we have -- they need to hear from you. You've got to be engaged on the barbershops, on the basketball court, at church, spend time and energy and presence to give people opportunities and a chance. Pull them up, expose them, support their dreams. Don't put them down.

    There are a lot of men like Julian -- lives cut short. There a lot of men like those Morehouse graduates -- lives brimming with promise.

    Perhaps there's a bridge in there somewhere.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The president used a wide-ranging speech today to try to reframe America's approach to fighting terrorism. In so doing, he tackled some of the most controversial elements of his administration's national security policy.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: From our use of drones to the detention of terrorist suspects, the decisions that we are making now will define the type of nation and world that we leave to our children.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The president aimed to redefine not just the tactics, but the overall approach to countering terrorists, at the National Defense University in Washington.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Neither I, nor any president, can promise the total defeat of terror.

    What we can do -- what we must do -- is dismantle networks that pose a direct danger to us and make it less likely for new groups to gain a foothold, all while maintaining the freedoms and ideals that we defend.

    We must define our effort not as a boundless global war on terror, but rather as a series of persistent, targeted efforts to dismantle specific networks of violent extremists that threaten America.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Part of narrowing that effort is curtailing the use of unmanned drone strikes. The administration has relied heavily on drones to take out terrorist suspects in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia, but it faces mounting criticism.

    Just yesterday, in a letter to senators, Attorney General Eric Holder officially acknowledged drones have killed four American citizens in countries that are not war zones: radical Muslim cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who was directly targeted in Yemen, as well as his teenage son Abdulrahman along, with Samir Khan and Jude Kenan Mohammed.

    Today, the president defended the use of drones, but he acknowledged they are no cure-all and often kill the innocent.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: It is a hard fact that U.S. strikes have resulted in civilian casualties, a risk that exists in every war. And for the families of those civilians, no words or legal construct can justify their loss. For me, and those in my chain of command, those deaths will haunt us as long as we live.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Ahead of the speech, the president signed new guidelines that his aides said will curtail the use of drones. He also outlined new plans to close the prison facility at the Guantanamo Naval Base. He initially made that pledge in 2009, but he's encountered strong resistance from Congress and other countries.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: I know the politics are hard. But history will cast a harsh judgment on this aspect of our fight against terrorism and those of us who fail to end it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Illustrating the emotions on that issue, a protester repeatedly interrupted the president as he addressed Guantanamo.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Obviously, I do not agree with much of what she said, and, obviously, she wasn't listening to me in much of what I said. But these are tough issues.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham said afterward they could support closing Guantanamo if they see a plan for doing so. But they warn, the president's overall direction on terror policy is projecting weakness to the world.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And we explore the president's speech now.

    Harold Koh worked on many of these issues as legal adviser to the State Department under President Obama until January of this year. He's a professor of international law at Yale University. Pardiss Kebriaei is a senior staff attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. She and her group have led legal challenges to the administration over both drone strikes and Guantanamo. And Danielle Pletka is former staffer on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and now vice president of foreign and defense policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute.

    And, welcome, all.

    Harold Koh, a reframing, a rebalancing of how we see and fight terrorism, is that what we heard today, and did you think the president got it right?

    HAROLD KOH, Former State Department Official: I think there were two important things.

    The first was that he made the speech at all. This is a time when lot of other things are going on. He could have avoided it. But what he did was, he not only owned it, but he framed it and explained the strategy he needs going forward.

    The second thing was, he rejected the construct of a perpetual, global, boundless war on terror. And he narrowed it to what we're really trying to do, which is to fight and defeat al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated forces. And then he defined the role of Guantanamo and drones within that as a tool.

    And then he said that both of them need to be disciplined, that drones need to be subject to clearer standards rules and more transparent and that Guantanamo needs to be closed. And so I think that he did a very good job repositioning the policy back to his own values.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, let me ask you, Pardiss Kebriaei, pick up first on the drone issue because that was put in this larger context. The president talked of being more transplant, but he also made perhaps his strongest case for their use. What's your response?

    PARDISS KEBRIAEI, Center for Constitutional Rights: You know, I think that it was important.

    His description of a future where the United States responds to terrorism the way virtually every other country in the world does, which is through their ordinary domestic laws and ordinary international laws, was important, and where the laws of war, the use of military force under the laws of war is the exception and not the rule.

    But that was in the future. And as for today and for an indeterminate point moving forward, what I heard was a reassertion of a very flawed premise that supports the targeting killing program currently, which is of global war. He said that we are still, 12 years after the fact, at war with al-Qaida and undefined, unknown associated forces.

    And I think that seemed to be very much a continuation of the problem, of a program that has resulted in thousands of people dead.

    Yes, there were -- there was an outline of narrower standards for targeting individuals. That was important. It remains to be seen how those standards are interpreted. He referenced imminence and unfeasibility of capture. I don't know that prior interpretations that I have seen by the Justice Department of imminence, for example, necessarily engenders a great deal of confidence about how those standards will be interpreted.

    I hope they will be interpreted narrowly. But I think the fundamental premise of the program remains.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Danielle Pletka, coming at it from a different side of things, first pick up on the drone issue. What did you hear?

    DANIELLE PLETKA, Vice President, American Enterprise Institute: Well, I heard the president suggest that he issued a directive yesterday on a different use drones going into the future.

    I don't believe that any of us have seen it, so I don't know what the specifics are. What the president suggested was that they will not be using drones in the future if they cannot guarantee that there are no civilian deaths.

    If that is accurate, I don't think that that's a meetable standard.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You think he's crimping himself too much?

    DANIELLE PLETKA: Well, perhaps that's his intention.

    I don't -- I don't think it's a meetable standard. Obviously, I think that up until now, the president has made every effort, as any president would, to ensure that civilians aren't killed when we need to target and attack terrorists. On the other hand, people find themselves in bad places all the time, and these are the consequences of war.

    But the important thing to understand -- and I think that this is really what didn't come through in the speech -- is that the president seemed to imply that we somehow have chosen war, and that we can choose to end a war.

    And the reality is that war chooses us. That's what happened on Sept. 11th. And this war will end when we have defeated these groups. The problem is that we haven't defeated them. Rather, they have expanded rather dramatically over the last few years to countries where they were not operating before.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Harold Koh, you have heard both criticisms from two different directions here.

    HAROLD KOH: I think both are missing the forest for the trees.

    The question is, obviously, something extraordinary happened on Sept. 11th, and for 12 years, an extraordinary paradigm was used to combat that. The question the president was asking today is, is there an exit strategy or is it perpetual and boundless?

    And he said, I'm choosing exit strategy. And then he said, it's going to be narrower. The approach that's going to be sustainable going forward is going to combine some elements, like force, but with many other tools that have developed, because the nature of the threat has itself changed. So he will use law enforcement. He will use civilian courts. He will use military courts if necessary.

    But he will fix those pieces of it that he thinks have gone in the wrong direction. He thinks Guantanamo is unsustainable and a mistake, and he thinks drones need to be disciplined. And that's bringing this into the zone of a war that can be ended, not a war that will continue forever. That is a very, very significant announcement.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, let me -- Pardiss Kebriaei, I -- pick up on that, but particularly vis-a-vis Guantanamo.

    PARDISS KEBRIAEI: Well, just with respect to the war issue, the war paradigm, I mean, I think a point of disagreement is about whether the use of force under the laws of war or choosing to respond under law enforcement is a matter of a policy preference.

    I think there are many of us who believe that's a matter of law and fact. The administration cannot simply assert that we are in war. It depends on objective criteria under the law, and it depends on whether the facts meet those criteria. So, that's a basic point of disagreement.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Let me stop you there, if I could, before you get to Guantanamo, because, Danielle Pletka, you pick up on that, because that was addressing your question of when are we at war and how do we decide?

    DANIELLE PLETKA: Well, it's an interesting question. Honestly, it's not one that should be directed at me.

    You're the former legal adviser at the Department of State. The president is in fact operating under the authorities granted to him by Congress. And those assume that we are at war. Are we not?

    HAROLD KOH: He said that Congress had declared war against a very narrow group on Sept. 2001, al-Qaida, the Taliban, and associated forces. And he said he wants that war to end, and that at the very end of the speech, which is far and away the most important part, he said because the state of perpetual war distorts freedom, he wants it to end.

    And, therefore, his focus will be on not signing a new AUMF, or not a new -- and refusing to expand its mandate. So, the question is, again, exit strategy vs. perpetual war. And he says, I'm choosing exit strategy. We're not done, but we will be done, and we're shifting to a more normal paradigm for dealing with these problems.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Do you want to pick up on that?

    DANIELLE PLETKA: I just -- we have this -- we're having this strange clinical discussion about whether we're at war.

    I think that the sine qua non of most conflicts is that there is an enemy, and that that enemy still seeks to fight you and that that enemy still seeks to destroy you, and that that enemy continues to attack you. We saw that in Boston. We saw that in Benghazi. We see it in Afghanistan and in Pakistan. We see it in Yemen. We see it in lots of places I could continue listing.

    So, the notion that this is somehow a rhetorical exercise, did President Roosevelt come out and say, we need to end this war with Germany, or does he want us to win this war? Did President Reagan say, we need to end this Cold War because I'm sick of a perpetual war? I don't understand ...

    JEFFREY BROWN: Let me bring Pardiss back in, because I interrupted you earlier.

    Go ahead.

    PARDISS KEBRIAEI: I mean, I think that what the United States is dealing with is terrorism. It's acts of terrorism. There are allies of the United States, most countries in the world that have dealt with terrorism, on acts of -- mass acts of violence, of terrorist violence on their own soil before 9/11 and after 9/11.

    And the way that -- that countries typically deal with those threats is through their ordinary laws. The laws of war and armed conflict are exceptions, and that exception has now swallowed the rule. We have been talking about a war paradigm for 12 years.

    And it's -- again, though, it's a matter of objective criteria under international law that determines whether we're in armed conflict. It has to do with the nature of the groups and the intensity of fighting. It is not simply a political determination.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Harold Koh?

    HAROLD KOH: Yes, I don't think either of the previous speakers read the speech that closely.

    What it said -- what he said, quite frankly, was there is a particular enemy against whom we declared war in Sept. 2001. That is al-Qaida, the Taliban and associated forces. We are fighting them and our goal is to defeat them.

    There are other people who are coming along who are dangerous also, self-radicalizers, people who are involved in Benghazi. And he said, we're not at war with them. We can deal with them through traditional tools. So the challenge is, number one, how to end the first war, the one which we have declared, and, secondly, how to not extend that war paradigm to everybody who comes along.

    He described the ways in which counterterrorism now against other new foes is much more like it was before 9/11. So, he's talking about ending the aberrational paradigm, and shifting to a sustainable response that includes things like law enforcement tools and doesn't include things like Guantanamo.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, all of this to be continued, I promise.

    Harold Koh, Danielle Pletka, Pardiss Kebriaei, thank you, all three, very much.

    DANIELLE PLETKA: Thank you.

    PARDISS KEBRIAEI: Thank you. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Another head has rolled at the Internal Revenue Service over targeting conservative groups. The IRS announced today it has replaced Lois Lerner, the official in charge of the agents who did the targeting. The Associated Press reported she has been placed on administrative leave. Lerner has insisted she did nothing wrong. Yesterday, she refused to answer a House committee's questions, citing her right against self-incrimination.

    The U.S. House voted today to peg federal student loan rates to those set by financial markets. Republicans said it will forestall a doubling of the current rates set to take effect on July 1st and divorce the issue from politics. Democrats warned the move to variable-rate loans could lead to higher costs in coming years, if market rates rise.

    REP. JOHN KLINE, R-Minn.: We want to help students. We want to give them certainty, and we want them not to rely on the whims of politicians here, and we want also not to put a burden on the American people and the taxpayer, not add, not add to that debt.

    REP. DAVID CICILLINE, D-R.I.: This bill will hurt young people and middle-class families who are already struggling with crushing student loan debt. The idea that as a country we make money on the pursuit by young people of their education is plain wrong.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Democrats want to keep the subsidized rates at 3.4 percent for another two years, at a cost of nine billion dollars. The House bill is given little chance in the Senate, where Democrats have the majority.

    House Republicans pushed through another bill last night to speed approval of the Keystone oil pipeline, bypassing President Obama. It applies to a stretch of pipeline from Canada to Nebraska. The president has delayed approval of that section, but he did approve work on the southern portion of the pipeline extending to Texas. That bill, too, is expected to fail in the Senate.

    The Boy Scouts of America will allow openly gay Scouts to join the organization. The policy change today followed a close vote by the Boy Scouts' national council in Texas. The decision came after the national executive board deferred in February. The change is effective in January. A ban on gay adult leaders remains in place.

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 12 points to close at 15,294. The Nasdaq fell nearly four points to close at 3,459.

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


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: British investigators continue the search for answers after the brutal murder of a soldier yesterday. The daytime attack took place in the Woolwich area of South London; 25-year-old Lee Rigby was hacked to death by two men armed with knives. The attackers stayed at the scene, one even speaking to a bystander filming the aftermath.

    A warning: The images are graphic. The video shows the man holding two knives, his hands covered in blood.

    After that, police arrived and shot the men, who were then taken to a hospital.

    We begin with a report from Lucy Manning of Independent Television News.

    LUCY MANNING, Independent Television News: To those leaving flowers at the barracks, he was the unknown soldier. But drummer Lee Rigby of the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, is the soldier whose death has shocked the country.

    The 25-year-old from Manchester, known as “Riggers,” witty, cheeky, humorous, and a loving father to his son, Jack, just two years old, a British soldier killed not in war, but at home.

    DEFENSE SECRETARY PHILIP HAMMOND, Britain: This was a senseless murder of a soldier who served the army faithfully in a variety of roles, including operational tours in Afghanistan. And our thoughts today are with his family and loved ones who are trying to come to terms with this terrible loss.

    LUCY MANNING: We also learned the name of one of the men suspected of killing him. Michael Adebolajo, born in Britain with a Nigerian background, he studied at Greenwich University, the 28-year-old, a convert to Islam.

    MICHAEL ADEBOLAJO, Suspect: We must fight them as they fight us, an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.

    LUCY MANNING: His views known now, but sources confirm both suspects were already known to the security services.

    Although sources say both the suspects' names did feature in security service investigations, they say there was no assessment they were planning an attack, and many names do come before the security services in their investigations.

    There will be questions for the police and security services. One suspect, sources say, was stopped last year trying to go to Somalia. But, for now, this is all about the investigation into drummer Rigby's death. So the police searched houses across the country linked to the suspects, a flat in Greenwich where he'd studied. In Lincoln, believed to be the home of Michael Adebolajo's father, the police arrived, his parents said to be devout Christians -- and in Romford, where he grew up and went to school.

    At the Woolwich barracks, the flag at half-mast, the prime minister arrived to meet the soldiers who said drummer Rigby was at the heart of the platoon, always with a smile on his face.

    Earlier, at Downing Street, a resolute prime minister insisted we will never give in to terror.

    PRIME MINISTER DAVID CAMERON, Britain: On our televisions last night, and in our newspapers this morning, we have all seen images that are deeply shocking. The people who did this were trying to divide us. They should know something like this will only bring us together and make us stronger.

    LUCY MANNING: Lee Rigby was a drummer, a man who entertained with music, a true warrior who came home from Afghanistan, but met his death on the streets of the country that he served.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Prime Minister Cameron singled out a bystander, 48-year-old Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, for her bravery. The French-born former teacher came face-to-face with one of the suspects just moments after yesterday's attack.

    She told ITN's Mary Nightingale he had a revolver and knives.

    INGRID LOYAU-KENNETT, Eyewitness: I looked at him and I saw he was -- had a revolver and a butcher's knife and a butcher's hatchet, something you say when you cut the bones out. So, I said, OK, what happened?

    MARY NIGHTINGALE, Independent Television News: But you were speaking directly to him at this point?

    INGRID LOYAU-KENNETT: Oh yes. I said, OK, what happened? He said, “He's a British soldier. He killed people in Muslim lands.”

    MARY NIGHTINGALE: I can imagine that some people would have thought it was more sensible to keep back.

    INGRID LOYAU-KENNETT: What for, to have them being upset and rushing somebody?

    Do you know, my thing is the better defense is the attack. So, if you want to keep things calm, go first. Do things yourself first. Don't wait for something to happen, because you lose control at the -- at that moment. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: And we return to Oklahoma now.

    The people of Moore began saying farewell today to the victims of Monday's tornado disaster. At the same time, cleanup crews dodged more bad weather.

    Hari is back with our report on day three since the twister hit.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Hundreds of people turned out for the first of 24 funerals, this one for nine-year-old Antonia Candelaria. She was one of seven children killed at the Plaza Towers Elementary School. Six of those children suffocated after being buried under bricks and steel. Another was hit and killed by a heavy stone or beam.

    Today, on what would have been the last day of school, students gathered at Moore High School hoping to find a sense of closure.

    ASSISTANT SUPERINTENDENT BRAD FERNBERG, Moore Public Schools: We think it's important for the kids to be able to see their classmates, to see who's doing all right, to be able to talk to their friends again and be with their teachers. It was quite an experience on Monday afternoon, and once the tornado was over, students went home. So this is the first they have had an opportunity to come back to the school.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Thousands of others are also trying to come to grips with the aftermath of a tornado that topped the scale, as an F-5, and damaged or destroyed up to 13,000 homes.

    Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin says the enormity of the loss has turned day-to-day life into a struggle.

    GOV. MARY FALLIN, R-Okla.: I have had people come up and say, I have lost my purse, I have lost my billfold, I don't have identification. We have been working with our Health Department for those that have lost their birth certificates, those that need death certificates. There are many different issues facing people.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: One of the hardest-hit areas is the district of state Representative Mark McBride; 80 percent of his constituents were in the path of the tornado, as he heard Wednesday.

    STATE REP. MARK MCBRIDE, R-Okla.: Hey man, you live here?

    MAN: No. A guy I worked with did.

    MARK MCBRIDE: Oh, yea?

    MAN: Yes. His girlfriend rode it out in there.

    MARK MCBRIDE: Rode it out in that?

    MAN: Yes, she crawled out where that guy's carrying that coat?

    MARK MCBRIDE: Yeah.

    MAN: She crawled out of there.

    MARK MCBRIDE: Really?

    MAN: Really.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The Plaza Towers school is also in McBride's district. On Monday, he helped dig through the wreckage in search of children.

    MARK MCBRIDE: We got in here as quick as we could, and when we were in here, the firefighters, everybody had jackhammers going and cutting torches and loaders and trying to just take bits and pieces away at a time.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Danny Silva's little girl attends second grade at Plaza Towers. He got her out of school before the storm hit and into a neighbor's shelter.

    DANNY SILVA, Tornado Survivor: I said, let's go. Let's go. And we are just pushing. And I was like pushing. Let's go, go, go.

    There was nine kids in there and five adults. And within -- we had a problem -- excuse me -- we a problem moving the -- shutting the hatch.

    And once we closed it and locked it up, it took about 30 seconds and then it was like the space shuttle was above us.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: They all survived, but Silva said he knew all seven of the children who died at the school.

    DANNY SILVA: It's heartbreaking. And then I saw the names today. It's horrible, because I know those kids, and one of them is my daughter's best friend. And just -- it's horrible.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Neither Silva nor state Rep. McBride believe a storm shelter at the school would have made a difference.

    DANNY SILVA: I don't think anybody could prevent this. I really don't, unless you put the school underground. There's really nothing. They did everything they could.

    MARK MCBRIDE: Well, you know there is nothing you can do about an F-5 tornado. I mean, it is one -- it's the big daddy. I mean, it came in here. I don't know if a storm shelter or anything would have stopped it. I mean, it was coming through and tearing anything in its path, not a normal F-2, 3, something like we normally get.

    It was -- I mean, you can just look around and see it wiped everything off the foundation.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Despite the destruction, Susan Pierce, the local superintendent of schools, promised today that the system will work all summer to be ready for the new school year.

    SUPERINTENDENT SUSAN PIERCE, Moore Public Schools: We will rebuild and we will reopen. And we will have school in August. We will do whatever it takes to take care of our students, their families and our school staff.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: For now, cleanup crews are still coping with bad weather, a new band of thunderstorms that dropped more rain today, renewing fears of another twister.

    But, despite the weather, Gov. Fallin says workers are attacking the mountains of debris that extend as far as the eye can see.

    MARY FALLIN: Our main task now is to work on recovery for the various communities, the debris removal itself, to get the utilities back up and operational streets opened, businesses opened, to help the families certainly get into their communities to be able to retrieve their personal items and goods.

    We have professional debris removal crews that are stationed. And there are also a lot of volunteer organizations that have come forward saying, what can we do to help?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Hundreds of volunteers have already cleaned the cemetery in Moore for Memorial Day. The weekend will also bring more funerals for the tornado's victims, President Obama's visit on Sunday, and a community prayer service on Sunday night.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And there's much more online, where one of our reporters on the ground has written of her experience and posted photos she shot of the destruction. 


    Loading...
    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: On Capitol Hill today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced a comprehensive immigration proposal will be debated in June. And House Republicans said they won't vote on the Senate version, but will pull together their own legislation instead.

    We continue our conversations about the issue in our series “Inside Immigration Reform.”

    Ray Suarez has that.

    RAY SUAREZ: Tonight's focus: the number of highly skilled foreign workers allowed to enter the U.S.

    We examine how the visa program known as “H-1B” is structured now and the proposed changes with Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Stanford Law School and author of the book "The Immigrant Exodus: Why America Is Losing the Global Race to Capture Entrepreneurial Talent," and Ron Hira, Associate Professor of Public Policy at Rochester Institute Of Technology.

    And, Professor Hira, the United States admits about a million immigrants a year. Is it a relatively small share of that million that we're talking about with the H-1B visas?

    RON HIRA, Rochester Institute of Technology: Well, actually, we admit about a million permanent residents each year, and about 140,000 or so are high-skilled permanent residents. That's Green Cards.

    The H-1B is actually a guest-worker program, and in there, in the guest-worker program, we admit about 115,000 a year. There's a cap of 85,000. So, these are actually two separate numbers and separate programs. One is a guest-worker program. One is a Green Card program.

    RAY SUAREZ: Vivek Wadhwa, why do companies need these workers? Are Americans preparing to do these jobs in sufficient numbers?

    VIVEK WADHWA, Stanford University: Well, companies need these skills that these foreign workers provide.

    Right now, technology is driving our economy. We're solving major problems using technology. We're advancing U.S. competitiveness using technology. The technology industry needs all the bright people it can get that can help it build these new technologies and improve our economy.

    RAY SUAREZ: Is there any burden on the companies, Vivek Wadhwa, to demonstrate that they first tried to locate Americans to do these jobs?

    VIVEK WADHWA: The anti-immigrant groups and people like Professor Hira have been haranguing companies for hiring foreign workers, as if hiring foreign workers is evil. So they're on the defensive.

    And the new bills raise the barriers, so then they require a lot of extra documentation. They have to prove that they're not taking the jobs of American workers away. And it's really leading to a lot of negativity about hiring foreigners, as, again, American companies are trying to compete. They're trying to make America a better place. They're trying to make -- create more jobs for Americans.

    And we're holding them back because of our flawed immigration policies.

    RAY SUAREZ: Ron Hira, how do you respond to that accusation from Vivek Wadhwa?

    RON HIRA: Well, I think the facts are pretty clear that, in fact, American -- these companies don't have to look for Americans workers first.

    They have -- actually, in the bill, the way it's written right now, they would have to collect resumes, but they don't actually have to hire Americans, and they could displace Americans. So they can clearly bypass American workers. And there's an incentive for them to do so.

    Even though the bill does raise the wage floors for H-1Bs a little bit, they're still below-market wages. They're still cheaper. So there's a real incentive to bring in these guest workers, because they can be paid lower, below-market wages, less than American workers. Plus, they're tied to the employer. The employer controls the visa program.

    RAY SUAREZ: So, looking back over the history of this program, Professor, what effect have those H-1B workers had on the tech job market in the United States, in your view?

    RON HIRA: Well, I think it's had a significantly negative effect overall. I think there are some really highly talented workers who come in on H-1 visas, a really good part of it. And many of the companies do sponsor them for permanent residence.

    But there's a large, increasing share of employers who really are using it for cheaper labor. And what that does is it has a negative effect in terms of undercutting American wages and job opportunities for incumbent workers. It also discourages American students from studying in these fields.

    The typical H-1B worker who really has ordinary skills is working in a back office area in I.T., and oftentimes they're taking these jobs that Americans are already doing, so they're actually displacing American workers in many cases.

    RAY SUAREZ: Vivek Wadhwa, is that not the case? Aren't American workers who do these kinds of jobs disadvantaged by the entry of people from the places in the world where that kind of work just costs less?

    VIVEK WADHWA: Ray, I live in Silicon Valley.

    If you talk to any executive in Silicon Valley, you talk to any company, they will tell you they are starved for talent, they can't find enough workers who can help them build competitive technologies. There is a dire shortage of skills over here.

    Now, yes, there are some unemployed workers in parts of America who have the wrong skills. Sadly, that's a big problem. And these are the people who Professor Hira is talking about. But, in the tech world, we need more innovators. We need more entrepreneurs.

    We need more people who can solve global problems. And companies are desperately looking for them. Are they cheaper to bring -- is it cheaper to bring in foreign labor? I don't know about that. If you look -- you know, look at Facebook, Google. These companies don't care about the cost of labor. They care about the quality of labor.

    They're looking for people who can build world-changing technologies and help them become competitive. So what you hear on that side and what you hear in Silicon Valley is completely different. It's like a different universe talking to us here in the Valley. We're starved for talent here. That's as simple as it is.

    RAY SUAREZ: So, Vivek Wadhwa, you have been advocating for a different regime here. Does the Senate proposal address some of your misgivings about H-1B as it has existed?

    VIVEK WADHWA: It's a highly imperfect bill, but it's better than nothing and I support it, yes.

    So, the answer is, yes, it does. It does create more visas. It does allow the brilliant students that come here to study to stay. It does go a long way in fixing the problem, so -- and we need it badly.

    RAY SUAREZ: And, Ron Hira, same question. Does the new Senate proposal address some of the misgivings you have had about H-1B over the years? RON HIRA: It did more, until the final part of the markup, where Sen. Hatch really and the technology industry really used its political muscle and campaign money to really change the bill significantly.

    I think there are some safeguards in the bill, but there's a really large increase of H-1Bs, and I think the reality is it doesn't fix the fundamental flaws, which is that H-1B guest workers can be paid below-market wages, so the wage floors are still too low, and that companies can bypass American workers and even displace American workers with guest workers.

    RAY SUAREZ: So, quickly, how would you do that? What would do you to change it?

    RON HIRA: Well, I think there's two really pretty easy fixes, straightforward fixes.

    One is, you raise the wage floor to at least the average wage. These are the best and brightest, as Mr. Wadhwa calls them. They should at least be paid average American wages. So, you raise the wage floor to that average level. And then the second thing you do is you require them to actually recruit, and if they find qualified American workers, that they actually hire American workers.

    And, secondly, you don't displace American workers. And look for American workers first, give them a legitimate shot, and then you turn to the H-1B guest workers.

    RAY SUAREZ: And final suggested fix from Vivek Wadhwa?

    VIVEK WADHWA: These are not like McDonald's workers, where one worker is equal to another.

    When you're talking about talent, the person who can build an iPhone or build a world-changing app is completely different than the people that Ron here is describing. We're talking about premier talent. I don't know why he says the average people. I was one of the people who came here on a temporary visa and I ended up creating one company that hired 1,000 workers and made America more competitive, another one that hired 250.

    These people are like me. They come here to work hard and innovate and make this country what it is. So, I don't know why he harangue our companies. Our companies aren't evil. Our senators aren't evil. Our companies are trying to just survive in the global competitive landscape and create more jobs for Americans.

    So, there's no evil conspiracy. We have to get beyond this negativity. We have got to make the pie bigger for everyone, so that we can create more jobs and fix this economy. That's what these technology companies in Silicon Valley are doing. And that's what we have to focus on right now, not the negativity.

    RAY SUAREZ: Gentlemen, we will continue this debate.

    Vivek Wadhwa, Ron Hira, thank you both.

    RON HIRA: Thank you.

    VIVEK WADHWA: Thank you. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: Next, an update on the mounting problem of sexual assaults in the military.

    A recent Pentagon survey estimated 26,000 service members were victims of sexual crimes last year, up 35 percent from 2010. Only 3,400 of those assaults were actually reported to authorities. The latest case came yesterday. An Army sergeant at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point was charged with secretly videotaping female cadets in the bathrooms and showers.

    No one disputes the gravity of the problem. The military's top official, Gen. Martin Dempsey, has called it a crisis. But there are arguments on what to do.

    Kwame Holman reports on efforts to prosecute the crimes and keep the assaults from happening in the first place.

    KWAME HOLMAN: At a Naval base in Washington, the emphasis is on prevention. Senior officers participate in a training program.

    The 90-minute class is called “Take the Helm.” The teachers, some of the Navy's most experienced instructors and lawyers, show a movie depicting what might be a typical experience for off-duty sailors. In one scene, they're drinking and partying, carousing that could end with a sexual assault.

    WOMAN: This is not my room.

    KWAME HOLMAN: In another, sailors on board ship engage in sexually suggestive behavior. The officers are given pointers on how to recognize potentially dangerous situations and how to intervene to stop them.

    MAN: Think back to the hotel party. We know that alcohol was involved. How does alcohol play a role in sexual assault? What does it do for us?

    WOMAN: It lowers our judgment.

    MAN: OK.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Classes such as these are a high priority. Everyone in uniform is required to attend at some point.

    Senior Chief Ronald Shasky is a Navy instructor.

    SENIOR CHIEF RONALD SHASKY, U.S. Navy: We have evidence that, through bystander intervention where our new sailors coming into the Navy are acclimated and educated on being empowered to step in when sailors are in bad situations.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Lt. Commander Nell Evans is a Navy lawyer.

    LT. COMMANDER NELL EVANS, U.S. Navy Lawyer: We have a raised awareness level. People are now familiar with what these crimes actually are, especially those contact crimes, where primarily they wouldn't have considered that sexual assault a long time ago. So I think we see this increase.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Grabbing, inappropriate touching.

    NELL EVANS: Grabbing, inappropriate touching in the bathing suit area.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Another part of the Navy's effort involves intervening with sailors off-duty. In one small-scale experiment, senior non-commissioned officers on shore patrol in San Diego look out for drinking that might get out of hand.

    The Defense Department estimates half of female service members who were assaulted said they or their assailant had been drinking. But is better training up and down the ranks and awareness of the problem of sexual assault enough to solve the problem? Many outside the military say no.

    KWAME HOLMAN: A bipartisan group of senators wants another response.

    New York Democrat Kirsten Gillibrand says it's time to change how military justice is administered. Men and women in the military operate in close proximity and under the strict control of their commanders. Currently, those commanders have sole authority to decide whether a sexual assault case is prosecuted and the power to reverse a conviction afterward.

    But commanders can be show favoritism and bias when handling sexual assault in their ranks, says Gillibrand. Her proposal would remove commanders from the judicial process any time a subordinate is charged with any serious crime.

    Instead, the decision whether to prosecute would be made by professional investigators and lawyers.

    SEN. KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND, D-N.Y.: Today, we are standing strong in united front to take on these issues with new legislation that will fundamentally remove the decision-making from the chain of command and give that discretion to an experienced military prosecutor, where it belongs. And this is the only way that we can provide the unbiased justice that our victims need.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Former Airman 1st Class Jessica Hinves was an F-15 mechanic. She recently was profiled in the Oscar-nominated documentary "The Invisible War." She says she was raped in January 2009 at Nellis Air Force base.

    RET. AIRMAN 1ST CLASS JESSICA HINVES, U.S. Air Force: He pinned me against a wall in front of everybody and was telling me all these sexual things he was going to do.

    I made it clear that I wasn't interested in him. The advancements were not flattering. And the next night, I don't know what indication he had to come into my room. So, I let him know even before the rape, when he was just touching me, that that's not what I wanted, that I wanted that to stop. I wasn't -- I didn't want him in my room.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Hinves' case was investigated by the Air Force for more than a year. And she said, during that time, some fellow service members blamed her for what happened.

    JESSICA HINVES: People were upset at me that I was getting him in trouble. That's what people were telling me. Why are you getting him in trouble? Why are you doing this? You know this is his life. This is his career. It's just sex. Just get over it. You know, move on. Move on from this.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Hinves says the Air Force investigation found enough evidence to warrant a court-martial on rape charges for the assailant. But the colonel in charge of Hinves' unit overruled that decision.

    JESSICA HINVES: Two days before the court hearing, his commander called me on a conference at the JAG office, and he said he didn't believe that he acted like a gentleman, but there wasn't reason to prosecute.

    So, we got -- I was speechless. I didn't even know that was an option. Legal had been telling me this is going to go through court. We had the court date set for several months. And two days before, his commander stopped it. I later found out the commander had no legal education or background, and he'd only been in command for four days.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Hinves' story is not an isolated case. At the Capitol Hill news conference last week, others said the chain of command had thwarted justice for them.

    RET.TECH SGT. JENNIFER NORRIS, U.S. Air Force: I am a veteran and a survivor of rape and harassment in the military.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Former Air Force Technical Sergeant Jennifer Norris:

    JENNIFER NORRIS: When I did come forward to my command, I became one of far too many who fall victim to manipulation and abuse of authority by perpetrators who are higher ranking and have more credibility than those who are in charge.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Men were the victims in more than half of the estimated 26,000 sexual assaults in the military last year. Brian Lewis was a petty officer 3rd Class in the Navy.

    PETTY OFFICER 3RD CLASS BRIAN LEWIS, U.S. Navy: A superior noncommissioned officer raped me while I was stationed aboard the USS Frank Cable in Guam. After the rape, I was told by my command not to file a formal report with the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.

    When I was reassigned to seek medical help, my psychiatrist told me that I was lying about my rape and diagnosed me with a personality disorder.

    KWAME HOLMAN: The new defense secretary, former Sen. Chuck Hagel, has vowed to tackle the problem.

    DEFENSE SECRETARY CHUCK HAGEL, United States: This department may be nearing a stage where the frequency of this crime and the perception that there is tolerance of it could very well undermine our ability to effectively carry out the mission and to recruit and retain the good people we need. That is unacceptable to me and the leaders of this institution.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Hagel has ordered rules requiring direct accountability from commanders for achieving a non-harassing environment and more help for sexual assault victims.

    And since only Congress can change military law, Hagel wants new legislation to prohibit commanders from reversing court-martial convictions for serious crimes. In March, it came to light that an Army general had overturned the conviction of a subordinate, fueling the drive to eliminate that power.

    A House bill introduced today by Ohio Republican Michael Turner would do just that. But Turner would not go as far as Sen. Gillibrand and take the cases out of the military chain of command. Instead, he would move adjudication up the chain for generals and admirals to decide, instead of lower-ranking colonels.

    REP. MICHAEL TURNER, R-Ohio: Our goal has been to raise it in the chain of command, making it so that you don't have the people who are actually all working together and have contact and bias, relationships, and also then at the same time making it a criteria for performance evaluation and promotion as to how they handle those cases.

    KWAME HOLMAN: But the Pentagon's director of sexual assault prevention and response says commanders can and should continue to have authority over serious cases such as sexual assault, Army Maj. Gen. Gary Patton.

    MAJ. GEN. GARY PATTON, U.S. Army: We need to have commanders more involved in the solution to this problem, not less involved. And we want them more involved because we know it's important to set the right climate. Commanders lead by example.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Sexual assault prevention trainer Lieutenant Commander Evans says taking away leaders' ability to decide punishments diminishes their authority.

    NELL EVANS: The commanding officer makes the ship go. He is the end-all/be-all. And if he doesn't have the authority to put his money where is mouth is, then chaos can break out and he has no backbone. He has nothing to fall back on. So it's so important that he be able to administer swift justice if necessary.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Sen. Gillibrand told us she would protect that authority for less serious offenses.

    KIRSTEN GILLIBRAND: We have made exceptions for military specific crimes, things like not charging up a hill, or going AWOL, absent without leave. Those are the kinds of crimes that we think a military commander should handle, because it does help them maintain good order and discipline.

    But for these violent, serious crimes like rape, and murder and sexual assault, they really need to be elevated to a criminal justice system that is run by trained prosecutors and judges.

    MAN: Together, we can beat this problem.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Meanwhile, sexual assault prevention training continues for every sailor in the Navy. The Army, Air Force and Marines all have similar programs.

    MAN: What are you doing?

    JEFFREY BROWN: You can read more about Jessica Hinves' story and how she's coping after leaving the Air Force. That's on our home page. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we come back to the hacking death yesterday of a British soldier.

    I'm joined now by Vikram Dodd. He's a senior reporter at The Guardian in London.

    Welcome to the NewsHour.

    First of all, what is known about the two men behind this? They're both British citizens?

    VIKRAM DODD, The Guardian: Good evening.

    What's known is not a lot about one of them, the person we suspect is 22 years old. The 28-year-old, the one you see in the dramatic video, the one brandishing the knives and justifying the murder or the attack as a strike against the West, we know a lot more about him. We have a name.

    We know that he was born a Christian to parents of Nigerian heritage. We know that his mother was concerned about him getting into trouble with a gang and so moved the family out of London into a rural area of England. We know he went -- came back to London. We know that he studied. We know that he was -- became a convert to Islam in about 2003.

    We know he was tutored by an extremist cleric, so extreme that he was banned from the United Kingdom. And we know there are reports that he was seen in recent handing out what would be considered extremist literature, pretty close to the area where the attack was carried out.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And there was one report of a woman who lived in the neighborhood who said that she thought she had seen the two of them out in the street preaching or handing out literature.

    I see that they are being charged with conspiracy, but, clearly, there's something very odd about the fact that they stayed around after this happened, they talked to bystanders. What are authorities saying about that?

    VIKRAM DODD: What authorities are saying about that is not a lot.

    Compared to where you work, your authorities are amazingly open compared to ours. What's -- I can tell you there's been some developments in the last few hours. What has happened is that the two suspected attackers were arrested at the scene, and then this evening, two more people have been arrested. A man and a woman have been arrested, and they are being -- on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

    So, part of the original thinking was that maybe it was just these two people who carried it out. At the moment, there is a suspicion which police are trying to bottom out, which is that a couple more people may have been involved.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Is there any -- how much experience has Britain, has London had in the last -- in the recent period with domestic terrorism, of anything that could be described as something like this?

    VIKRAM DODD: Well, this is the first terrorist attack since July 7th, 2005, to claim a life.

    Over here, we're extraordinarily used to terrorism. It used to be from an Irish origin, from the IRA, and then there have been multiple, 20 and counting, attempted plots since you suffered the 9/11 attacks. And almost straight after that, there started to be plots which were disrupted. There's been a few which got all the way through the net and only failed because the bombs weren't properly constructed.

    But this is a very, very new style of attack, certainly in the United Kingdom, I think in the United States as well, in which the West has experienced. Somebody described it as a sort of Baghdad-style attack of the alleged terrorists, not using explosives, but using something as easily available as knives to select a victim.

    In fact, one casualty which has a sort of almost a titanic significant, there has been repeated attempts and repeated interest by al-Qaida-inspired terrorists to try and attack a British soldier on British toil soil and kill him. There was a previous plot in 2007, I think, to kidnap and behead on a video, that particular episode, which was disrupted.

    But it's a new style of attack, I think, in the West.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Very quickly, Vikram Dodd, the authorities using the word terrorists, terrorism in connection with this?

    VIKRAM DODD: They certainly are. I think partly it's the -- it's that video of the man talking in rhetoric which you can absolutely see the linkages back to al-Qaida-inspired rhetoric, you know, until you leave our lands.

    There's a reference to the bin Laden foreign land speech, which is one of bin Laden's most famous/important speeches. That, I think, at this stage is what has made them treat this as if it was a terrorist incident. We have had the emergency crisis committee over here meeting.

    The investigation is at an early stage, but at this moment, they're treating it as a terrorist attack.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, gruesome, gruesome images.

    Vikram Dodd, we thank you very much for talking with us.

    VIKRAM DODD: Thank you. 


    0 0

    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call.

    The Morning Line

    House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has been saying for months it's up to the Senate to get the ball rolling on a major overhaul of the nation's immigration system.

    When that happens, he said, the House will take a look.

    But as Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., laid out the path forward for next month's Senate debate on a comprehensive bill that seems to have wide support, Boehner cautioned that his chamber won't just accept that measure, no matter how bipartisan.

    Boehner issued a statement Thursday signed by the members of his leadership team and Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., that takes a new approach and suggests Republicans want more ownership of the issue. Whether that will derail the fragile agreement forged across the rotunda remains unclear.

    "While we applaud the progress made by our Senate colleagues, there are numerous ways in which the House will approach the issue differently," they said. "The House remains committed to fixing our broken immigration system, but we will not simply take up and accept the bill that is emerging in the Senate if it passes. Rather, through regular order, the House will work its will and produce its own legislation."

    Translation: Get ready for a long summer.

    The GOP statement said it's incumbent upon them to engage in "a robust debate and amendment process" to fix a dysfunctional immigration system. It closed: "The House goal is enactment of legislation that actually solves these problems and restores faith in our immigration system, and we are committed to continuing the work we've begun toward that goal in the weeks and months ahead."

    Some activists fretted that House Republicans would halt -- or at least slow-walk -- what's seemed like a speedy process to deal with the nation's estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants.

    But Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the so-called Gang of Eight senators who crafted the legislation and helped shepherd it through a 13-5 Judiciary Committee vote this week to send it to the floor, suggested such a process would be just fine.

    In a statement Thursday, Rubio said that this is "the way our nation is supposed to solve problems."

    "Our republic works best when Congress solves problems through open and transparent debates, which is exactly how immigration reform will be addressed this summer," Rubio said. "Conservatives in both chambers of Congress agree the status quo on immigration is bad for our people, our security and our economy. And we agree we must end today's de facto amnesty, modernize our legal immigration system, deal with our illegal immigrant population by requiring that strict measures be achieved, and that we put in place tough border security and interior enforcement measures so that we never repeat this problem."

    Expect to hear that a lot as Rubio continues his push to sell the measure to wary conservatives on the talk radio and cable news circuit. He'll appear at a 9 p.m. EDT town hall meeting broadcast on Fox News' Sean Hannity show Friday night.

    Reid said on the Senate floor that the bill's negotiators are still hammering out amendments. Once that's done, he'll formally announce a schedule that would set up debate either the first or second week of June.

    Gang of Eight members expect to see the bill on the floor the week of June 10 after the farm bill is completed. Their strategy, writes The Hill's Alexander Bolton: Stick together. From his story:

    The group plans to meet daily when their bill hits the floor in June and will encourage giving colleagues free rein to offer amendments, according to a person familiar with their discussions.

    "Everyone is going to have to take tough votes," said a member of the group who attended a strategy session Thursday just off the Senate floor. ... The purpose of the daily meetings will be to give members of the gang a chance to discuss the amendments coming to the floor that day and how they will vote.

    The bipartisan coalition behind the 2007 Senate immigration reform bill splintered over controversial amendments. The 2007 bill suffered a death blow when the Senate voted 49 to 48 to adopt an amendment sponsored by former Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) to sunset a guest-worker program after five years.

    The Gang of Eight wants to avoid a similar debacle this summer. The group did not specifically discuss what vote threshold to set for amendments, but members expect it will require 60 votes to make changes to the bill.

    Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan write for the Washington Post that the IRS scandal may have helped immigration along, since the committee markup was "entirely drowned out by a series of House and Senate committee hearings on the IRS' acknowledged targeting of conservative groups."

    While the Senate side is looking easy, bipartisan negotiators in the House are still trying to strike a deal. One major sticking point is how immigrants granted provisional legal status will be able to use the health care system. They say they are close, but won't give a final sign-off until they return from the Memorial Day recess.

    On Wednesday's NewsHour, we began with a series of discussions aimed at explaining the main pieces of the proposed Senate legislation. It's called "Inside Immigration Reform."

    On Thursday, Ray Suarez looked at the temporary visa program for highly skilled immigrant workers, called H-1B, and its flaws and proposed changes. The issue was at the center of a key compromise in the Senate Judiciary Committee that enticed Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, to join Democrats and the Republican co-sponsors in support of the overall bill.

    Suarez spoke with two leading researchers on the issue, Ron Hira from the University of Rochester and Vivek Wadhwa of Stanford.

    Hira cautioned that more H-1B visas will mean less job opportunities for America, a perspective advanced by labor unions such as the AFL-CIO.

    "I think there are some safeguards in the bill, but there's a really large increase of H-1Bs, and I think the reality is it doesn't fix the fundamental flaws, which is that H-1B guest workers can be paid below-market wages, so the wage floors are still too low, and that companies can bypass American workers and even displace American workers with guest workers," he said.

    But Wadhwa's argument, to create more opportunities for highly skilled workers from other countries to come to the U.S., start companies and eventually stay as permanent residents, is sympathetic to the needs of the tech industry.

    "If you talk to any executive in Silicon Valley, you talk to any company, they will tell you they are starved for talent, they can't find enough workers who can help them build competitive technologies," he said. "There is a dire shortage of skills over here," Wadhwa said. "We have got to make the pie bigger for everyone, so that we can create more jobs and fix this economy. That's what these technology companies in Silicon Valley are doing."

    He wrote an op-ed in Thursday's Washington Post highlighting other countries' attempts to lure foreign entrepreneurs.

    And ComputerWorld tracked the top companies that sponsor H-1B visas and find many to be offshore outsourcing companies.

    Watch the segment here or below:

    Watch Video

    Follow along with each development on our immigration page as the NewsHour brings you the analysis you know and trust.

    DEBATING DRONES

    The nearly one-hour speech President Barack Obama delivered Thursday outlining his administration's counter-terrorism policy will surely not be the last words said on the topic.

    As we noted Thursday, the president defended the policy of using drone strikes and renewed his calls for Congress to allow for the transfer of detainees from Guantanamo Bay to U.S. "supermax" prisons, shutting down the facility.

    The Washington Post's Scott Wilson found the speech to have "reflected an unusual ambivalence from a commander in chief over the morality of his administration's counterterrorism policies."

    Code Pink's Medea Benjamin repeatedly interrupted Mr. Obama. The Defense Department said she got into the room by pretending to be reporter. The president used that as a hook to say he believes in free speech and, "Journalists should not be at legal risk for doing their jobs."

    The NewsHour examined the speech in detail. Watch Jeffrey Brown's report here or below:

    Watch Video

    And watch Mr. Obama's full speech here:

    Watch Video

    A trio of New York Times reporters took questions on drones ahead of the president's speech.

    LINE ITEMS

    The Senate unanimously approved, 97-0, principal deputy solicitor general Sri Srinivasan to serve as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

    USA Today's Richard Wolf notes Srinivasan's confirmation has generated buzz that he could be nominated as a Supreme Court justice. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., hinted at Srinivasan's future Court prospects, telling reporters on Thursday, "We may be seeing him coming before the Senate again soon."

    Rep. Jo Bonner, R-Ala., announced Thursday he would step down in August to take a job with the University of Alabama. The six-term lawmaker ran unopposed last year in a district Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney carried with 62 percent of the vote.

    The president's choice to be commerce secretary, Penny Pritzker, seems to be "in pretty good shape" for confirmation, Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., told reporters.

    The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would calculate student loan interest rates through a market-based formula. The 221-to-198 vote, which fell mostly along party lines, was aimed at preventing rates from doubling on July 1. Senate Democrats oppose the House GOP measure and instead want to extend current rates for two more years. The White House has threatened to veto the Republican measure, saying it would impose uncertainty on students.

    The IRS placed Lois Lerner on leave after her awkward non-testimony testimony before the House Oversight Committee.

    Republicans are sending staff to help Gabriel Gomez ahead of next month's Massachusetts Senate special election.

    Gomez sure sounds like he's not a huge fan of his Democratic rival Rep. Ed Markey.

    Amy Walter looks at our polarized nation and what that means for the Affordable Care Act in her latest Cook Political Report column.

    Arkansas Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor is the focal point of $350,000 worth of new ads from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's gun-control group.

    Do you remember how you looked at your high school prom? TIME has pictures of 17-year-old Barack Obama the night of his senior prom.

    Anthony Weiner's campaign website -- he's running for mayor of New York -- used a photo of the Pittsburgh skyline on its splash page. Go ahead, compare the shot from this story on the gaffe to the skyline toward the left of this photo taken from PNC Park, looking south toward the city across the Roberto Clemente Bridge.

    Maine Gov. Paul LePage is vacating his office in the statehouse because of ... a TV.

    Jay Newton-Small writes from Moore, Okla., about the plight of pets in the aftermath of the recent massive tornado.

    A teenage high school student from Wisconsin drew the poignant Google doodle on display Thursday.

    Obligatory softball post(s). It's for a good cause, so buy your tickets for the June 26 game now.

    Christina will be guest-hosting the Kojo Nnamdi show Tuesday and Wednesday. Tune in from noon to 2 p.m. EDT!

    NEWSHOUR ROUNDUP

    We're taking a Memorial Day week hiatus. This will be the last Morning Line until Monday, June 3. (And no, it's not because we'll be binge-watching "Arrested Development" on Sunday night. Well, maybe it is. (Friday night, the NewsHour will examine what the show's re-debut signals about the changing ways we watch television.)

    In Gwen's Take this week, Gwen Ifill writes about our colleague Julian Dawkins, killed this week at age 22. Police have officially declared his death a homicide.

    Kwame Holman reported on the legislative efforts to address sexual assault in the military. Watch:

    Watch Video

    NewsHour's Rebecca Jacobson writes of what she saw on a visit to Moore, Okla., this week.

    And Gwen answers crowdsourced questions in her regular live chat.

    TOP TWEETS

    Yahoo News: @terrymcauliffe brother "winced" at Terry's book and doesn't like use of word "extremist" is.gd/dLyN4L

    — Joe Pounder (@PounderFile) May 24, 2013

    New #FactChecker : @michelebachmann's absurd claim of a vast IRS healthcare database of private info gets 4 Ps. wapo.st/199M3Eg

    — Glenn Kessler (@GlennKesslerWP) May 24, 2013

    Wow! There's a virtual lovefest in my twitter feed! Thank you for the birthday wishes, everyone. HB also to @bobdylan!

    — rosanne cash (@rosannecash) May 24, 2013

    Thanks for all the love, folks.Means a lot.New handle: @jmartnyt

    — Jonathan Martin (@jmartNYT) May 23, 2013

    Couldn't be prouder of my husband @jmartpolitico headed to the great @nytimes as National Political Correspondent !

    — Betsy Fischer Martin (@BetsyMTP) May 23, 2013

    Congrats to Jonathan Martin on his new role with the @nytimes!

    — Bob McDonnell (@BobMcDonnell) May 23, 2013

    I think @jmartpolitico should keep his handle as is, just to mess with the Times' head.

    — gwen ifill (@pbsgwen) May 23, 2013

    I have to say, I never thought I'd see Rep. Steve King discuss vegetarianism/veganism. #HR1797

    — Sarah Posner (@sarahposner) May 23, 2013

    Obama: "I've seen the polling." Wait, he always says he doesn't pay attention to polls. #caught!

    — Christina Bellantoni (@cbellantoni) May 23, 2013

    Still the best FOIA'd memo of the year. scribd.com/doc/141222327/...

    — daveweigel (@daveweigel) May 23, 2013

    VIDEO: Code Pink's Medea Benjamin being escorted out of Obama speech #Guantanamoyoutube.com/watch?v=bTvoCz...

    — Ryan J. Reilly (@ryanjreilly) May 23, 2013

    Terence Burlij and desk assistants Mallory Sofastaii and 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

    Support Your Local PBS Station

    //

    0 0

    Watch Video Author Richard Haass describes how America is its own biggest threat.

    The United States' largest threat no longer comes from the outside -- the Soviet Union and Nazi Germany of yore -- but from within, says foreign policy analyst and author Richard Haass.

    Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, wrote the recently published book, "Foreign Policy Begins at Home: The Case for Putting America's House in Order." PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Margaret Warner spoke with him recently and you can watch that conversation above.

    U.S. policymakers face major domestic challenges, including a rising deficit and debt and an aging infrastructure, not to mention the need for immigration reform. But identifying the problems is much easier than fixing them.

    "We're going to basically need to see American politics work again," and proposals that Republicans, Democrats and independents can support, said Haass.

    To act as a guide, the president needs to be a little bit Franklin D. Roosevelt -- with his constant fireside chats informing the public -- and Lyndon B. Johnson -- with his ability to arm-twist -- to help recreate the center in politics, according to Haass.

    The United States can still be involved in the world, though "in a more disciplined and discriminatory way," with a handle on its problems at home, he said.

    Read More

    Is China Pivoting Toward the Middle East? Author Vali Nasr Says Yes.

    Watch for Warner's interview with Richard Haass next week on the NewsHour. On Friday, Vali Nasr talks about his book "The Dispensable Nation". View all of our World coverage.

    Follow @NewsHourWorld

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    Loading...
    0 0

    Editor's Note: This article is part of a series in which the PBS NewsHour and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, explore how health care and health policy in OECD's 34 member countries compare with the United States. Below, Francesca Colombo, an OECD expert on economic impact of ageing, examines the the rapid growth of the elderly population in many nations -- and what might be done to help alleviate some of the looming costs.

    As populations age and require expensive health care, we must find cost-effective ways to deliver it.

    By 2050, more than 32 million Americans will be over the age of 80, and the share of the 80-plus generation will have doubled to 7.4 percent. Across the 34 OECD countries, the share of people over the age of 80 is projected to grow even faster, from 4 percent today to almost 10 percent in the same time period.

    oecd.pngWhile more and more elderly people will still enjoy active, healthy lives and contribute to society, many are likely to have at least one chronic condition. Today, three out of four Americans aged 65 years and older have to cope with health concerns such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer or chronic respiratory diseases.

    The biggest impact will be on their families. Across OECD countries, more than one in 10 adults over the age of 50 takes care of aging family members. Almost two-thirds are women, and their work is usually not paid.

    These family caregivers are the backbone of any care system for elderly. In the U.S., the economic value of their service is estimated at $350 billion a year. However, family caregivers who spend at least 20 hours per week taking care of a relative are less likely to have a paid job and hence are more likely to be poor when they retire. They also run a high risk of developing mental health problems because of the stress of caring.

    Counseling, the possibility of taking a break and flexible work arrangements would help the families, employers looking for skilled and reliable workers and tax-payers who would otherwise have to finance professional health care services.

    Click on the graphic below to compare how the growing elderly population in the U.S. will compare with other countries in coming years:

    The growing number of elderly will also impact health and social care services. Expensive medical services such as diagnostic procedures, treatment of chronic conditions and hospitalization, combined with the cost of care services, will further strain both government and family budgets.

    The OECD estimates that public cost of providing care to the old and frail will more than double -- to 3 percent of GDP in 2050 -- driven largely by the cost of recruiting qualified personal. It is difficult to recruit workers to care for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses and even harder to keep them. In the U.S., more than two-thirds of home-health aides stay less than two years, and 70 percent of certified nursing assistants change jobs every year. The direct cost of this turnover is huge -- some $2,500 per worker. With the demand for care workers set to double by 2050, pressure on wages will rise, leading to even higher costs.

    To address this challenge, countries should take a three-prong approach: They should invest more in improving the quality of care and preventing the need for care. Regular exercise, combined with sufficient calcium and reducing hazards in the home can mean fewer broken bones. Among people over 65, falls -- many of them preventable -- are the most frequent cause of injury and hospital admissions due to trauma. The medical costs of falls in the U.S. represent an estimated $30 billion annually.

    A second strategy would be to encourage people who suffer from disabilities to continue to live in their homes, with a higher quality of life and lower costs for the health care system. Across OECD countries, only one-third of dependent elderly people live in residential care homes but they account for almost two-thirds of the costs.

    And lastly, staying active as long as possible is important, but when health fails, social systems should have a responsibility to pick up the extra costs. Because the pensions of even those in the middle class might not be sufficient to cover costs for care, sharing the burden is important. In addition to public systems, most OECD countries provide help for elderly in need of care, developing a private market with simple insurance products is also important as cost pressures continue to rise.

    Related Content

    Health Costs: How the U.S. Compares With Other Countries

    How U.S. Obesity Compares With Other Countries

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Do you know the name of this infamous puppet? Test your knowledge of characters and situations in our "Arrested Development" quiz below.

    "Now the story of a wealthy family who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep it all together."

    It's been seven years since we last heard that "Arrested Development" introduction. Sunday, the show will return for its much anticipated fourth season -- this time on the internet TV and movie streaming network Netflix. The show debuted in 2003 on Fox.

    What better way to prepare for the arrival of the bumbling Bluths than with a quiz on some of the show's greatest and most absurd characters and moments?

    Take the test below and find out how developed your "Arrested Development" knowledge is.

    Take Our Survey! polldaddy.add( { type: 'iframe', auto: true, domain: 'dcvanessa.polldaddy.com/s/', id: 'test-your-arrested-development-knowledge' } );

    Quiz created by Joshua Barajas, Meredith Garretson, Justin Scuiletti and Colleen Shalby

    On the next "Arrested Development": Where do you think we'll find the Bluths this season? Tweet @NewsHour your guesses and we'll feature some of our favorites on online.

    Related

    Does Technology Offer Anyone a Big Break in Entertainment Industry?

    Watch PBS NewsHour Friday for a conversation with "Arrested Development" producer Brian Grazer and Eric Deggans, Television Critic for the Tampa Bay Times. We'll post that interview online before the show airs.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    By Paul Solman

    Paul Solman answers questions from the PBS NewsHour audience on business and economic news here on his Making Sense Business Desk page.

    Paul Solman: Last hired, first fired. It's a cliché of the labor market that becomes an especially bitter reality during economic downturns. In both the Great Depression of the 1930s and the more recent Great Recession, the cliché held particularly true for African-Americans, as we pointed out in this broadcast story about East St. Louis from 2009.

    So how are African-Americans faring in the labor market these days? The question is prompted by this email from Dr. Napoleon N. Vaughn of Philadelphia:

    What is the unemployment rate for blacks 16-24 with less than high school, high school only, and four years of college?

    The answer to Dr. Vaughn's question: Dismal. Indeed, the numbers never cease to stun me.

    RELATED CONTENT Suicide and Unemployment

    Start with the overall unemployment rate for the category "Black or African-American" in Table A-2 of the "Employment Situation Survey" that is published at 8:30 in the morning on the first Friday of every month. May's Table A-2 reports a black unemployment rate for April of 13.2 percent. Astoundingly, that is slightly higher than the seasonally adjusted rate a year ago. For April 2012, the rate was officially 13.1 percent.

    The reason I write "officially" is that the real numbers are surely much higher. Every month on this page we calculate a more inclusive measure of un- and underemployment, what we call "U-7." The most recent post containing the U-7 data reports a U-7 of 16 percent, more than double the official overall unemployment figure of 7.5 percent. Admittedly, much of the difference is accounted for by part-time workers who say they want full-time work. But remember: if you worked just one hour in the past week, you're officially counted as "employed." Furthermore, the rest of the difference is made up of people who haven't looked for work in the past week, known as "discouraged" workers.

    Since the U-7 rate is more than double the official unemployment rate, the broader measure of African-American un- and underemployment would be more than 28 percent.

    Table A-2 also breaks down employment by age.

    There is no breakdown for 16-24 year olds, but there is one for 16-19 year old African-Americans, kids who obviously have no college degrees of any kind. Their official unemployment rate is -- I'm not making this up -- 40.8 percent. By comparison the so-called white rate for 16-19 year-olds is officially 21.8 percent.

    Again, adjusting for those who are barely employed or haven't looked for work in the past week, African-Americans aged 16-19 and not in school undoubtedly have an unemployment rate well in excess of 40 percent.

    As for educational attainment beyond age 19, the monthly data are not broken down by race or age. But you can see how much higher the numbers are for all Americans "25 years and older": an official unemployment rate of 11.6 percent for those who haven't finished high school; 7.4 percent for those with a high school diploma but "no college"; 6.4 percent for "some college or associate degree" from a community or junior college and only 3.9 percent for those in the category "Bachelor's degree and higher."

    What you might call "full employment," then, would seem to be about 4 percent. Young African-Americans have an unemployment rate more than ten times as high.

    In 2010 Paul Solman reported on African-American unemployment.

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


    0 0

    Changes in technology have opened up new opportunities in the entertainment industry, offering platforms for the most scrappy or eclectic of musicians, filmmakers and other creative artists. That's the argument of a new book, "The End of Big: How the Internet Makes David the New Goliath."

    "Today anyone can create just about any media at zero cost. ... Just about any cheap laptop and video camera can produce high-quality video suitable for broadcast television. My mobile phone even captures high-definition video," writes author Nicco Mele.

    Mele, who teaches at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, traces the beginning of this evolution to Napster, which came on the scene in June 1999 and allowed people to download music for free. He takes that line of history up through Louis CK's online comedy to Netflix's sudden boom in streaming television series, like the forthcoming Arrested Development. (The NewsHour will have more on that Friday night.)

    In a piece for Wired Mele notes that Netflix has just surpassed cable giant HBO in number of subscribers.

    The book raises the question as to whether people would rather have six mega movie studios or 800 million aspiring directors sharing their works on YouTube. "We're not at a place where we have to choose; right now we get both," Mele writes in a chapter titled "Big Fun."

    You can read that chapter below.

    NewsHour political editor Christina Bellantoni interviewed Mele about technology's impact on democracy. Watch that conversation:

    Excerpt from Nicco Mele's "The End of Big"

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    This artist's concept depicts Kepler-62e, a super-Earth-size planet in the habitable zone of a star smaller and cooler than the sun, located about 1,200 light-years from Earth in the constellation Lyra. It was discovered by the Kepler spacecraft. Image by NASA Ames/JPL-Caltech.

    NASA's Kepler planet-hunting telescope has found more than 2,700 possible exoplanets since it first launched on March 6, 2009. It taught us that beyond our solar system, our galaxy is crawling with exoplanets. And last month, it found two Earth-sized exoplanets possibly existing in a habitable zone -- a region neither too scalding nor too frigid to prevent life.

    Earlier this month, NASA reported that Kepler had gone offline, and was in "safe mode." In other words, the failure of one of its reaction wheels -- the second to go bad in the last year -- had derailed the spacecraft. The reaction wheels are a crucial component of the $600 million telescope. They precisely point it toward far flung planets and stars.

    This diagram of the Kepler spacecraft shows the location of two of the four reaction wheels that control the pointing accuracy of the vehicle. Reaction wheel 4 failed on May 11, 2013. Image by Ball Aerospace.

    A failed maneuver from mission control was "a clear indication that there has been an internal failure within the reaction wheel, likely a structural failure of the wheel bearing," according to the mission website.

    Engineers for the Kepler team in California say they are making plans to repair the telescope and revive the mission. But according to this Science News article, "they admit that a fix is a long shot."

    Here's a lovely excerpt on Kepler from Nature:

    NASA's Kepler spacecraft is not only the most prolific exoplanet detector ever; it is -- or was -- a marvel of engineering. Its 1.4-metre mirror funnels starlight to a 95-megapixel camera, capable of discerning dips in brightness as small as 10 parts per million -- clues to the mini-eclipses caused by an exoplanet crossing the star's face.

    Even if this latest blow means an end to the telescope and data collection, the Kepler team says, the mission has so much data on the ground still waiting to be analyzed, "and the string of scientific discoveries is expected to continue for years to come."

    QUICK BITES

    Very interesting column in this week's New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert on the Keystone Pipeline, and the effects it would have on carbon emissions, underground oil and natural gas reserves and consumption. Here's an excerpt:

    "Tar-sands oil is not really oil, at least not in the conventional sense of the word. It starts out as semi-solid and has to be either mined or literally melted out of the ground. In either case, the process requires energy, which is provided by burning fossil fuels. The result is that, for every barrel of tar-sands oil that's extracted, significantly more carbon dioxide enters the air than for every barrel of ordinary crude--between twelve and twenty-three per cent more."

    Heat wave deaths in New York city could rise by up to 22%, this Nature Climate Change study finds.

    Discovered: The Molecule Responsible for Itchiness

    Interesting piece from Ian Sample and the Guardian: "Languages spoken by billions of people across Europe and Asia are descended from an ancient tongue uttered in southern Europe at the end of the last ice age, according to research."

    The newest hotspot for micro-breweries? Prison. The ingredients and tools required for brewing your basic alcoholic beverage are readily available in most prisons: Sugar, water, some sort of plastic bag to create the anaerobic environment, heat, and "of course, time, which inmates have more than plenty of." One increasingly common, nasty side effect: Botulism. Discover Magazine reports.

    NOT SAFE FOR LUNCH

    Cockroaches evolve to not like sugar, rendering many roach baits unworkable. More in this Scientist article.

    The FDA moves forward on fecal transplants. As its name suggests, people with a stubborn, devastating infection named Clostridium difficile (or C. diff), are having remarkable success transplanting someone else's feces into their large intestine. Doctors performing the procedure say that the C. diff bacteria, otherwise all but invulnerable to medication, were overwhelmed by a new batch of bacteria from the healthy person's excrement. The FDA has decided that they will begin regulating the procedure, the first step to standardization and wider adoption, Wired reports.

    Patti Parson and David Pelcyger contributed to this post.

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    Loading...
    0 0

    Watch Video With sexual assaults in the military on the rise, Congress and Defense Department officials debate what should be done to prosecute perpetrators and prevent assaults from happening in the first place. Kwame Holman reports on efforts to subdue the crisis.

    As White House Advisor on Violence Against Women, Lynn Rosenthal is closely involved in the effort to get the U.S. military services to "exponentially step up their game" against sexual assaults in the ranks as President Barack Obama demanded early this month.

    "We're anxious to see the services get that message to every single level," Rosenthal told the PBS NewsHour Wednesday.

    The Defense Department survey released this month showing instances of unwanted sexual contact within the services rose by more than 35 percent from 2010 to 2012 -- to some 26,000 incidents -- still reverberates at the Pentagon, the White House and in Congress with members of all the institutions promising action.

    The survey estimated 12,100 of the 203,000 active duty women and 13,900 of 1.2 million men on active duty were sexually assaulted. But fewer than 3,400 victims were willing to come forward and report the crimes to their chains of command.

    Rosenthal said sharp statements from Mr. Obama and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel in reaction to the report can have an effect on the problem even though it has had such long standing in the military.

    "The president has [said] he has no tolerance for this. The secretary has said he has no tolerance for this. So they are setting the tone from the top," Rosenthal said by phone while vacationing in Massachusetts. "I think while cultural change takes some time most immediately you can set the tone and the standards of conduct and the expectation."

    And Rosenthal said the alarming survey results from last year may already have been overtaken by initiatives since then against sexual assault.

    "Last year, [former] Secretary Panetta put in place some very significant reforms some of which came into play in the last quarter of the year and so they wouldn't have been reflected in the 2012 survey results," she said. "We're anxious to see those reforms fully implemented. Particularly, for example, standardized core competencies and standardized training for command."

    Among other steps undertaken by the Pentagon are improvements to health care services provided to victims of sexual assault and standardizing the collection of forensic evidence of the crimes.

    New protections for victims against harassment after reporting a rape or other assault also have been announced.

    Meanwhile at the Capitol Thursday, a group of Democrats and Republicans from both chambers introduced legislation that would require dishonorable discharges of service members convicted of sexual assault and that would provide better legal assistance to victims.

    After a news conference on the bill, Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins, a co-sponsor, said in a brief interview, "We've got to have a series of dishonorable discharges and successful prosecutions that send a really clear message to everyone that this can't be tolerated."

    Collins also is part of another bipartisan group that wants military commanders to lose their current authority to decide whether sexual assault cases go to court martial, giving that job to independent military prosecutors instead.

    Many in the military high command have strongly resisted that idea, saying commanders can solve the problem and should be given time to do so.

    Collins is not so sure.

    "The military -- because it excels at training -- always thinks the answer to everything is training. In this case, we've got to go beyond training," she said.

    "I want faster action and I want results. And I don't want to just leave it up to the military to make the changes because I've heard this for years. The fact is I'm not seeing change. And the best example of that is when the sexual assault prevention officer turns out to be involved in sexual l assault. It's just mindboggling."

    Support Your Local PBS Station


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: For more than 1,000 Midshipmen at the Naval Academy, this was commencement day. For the president, it was also a chance to address key military and national security issues in his graduation speech at Annapolis.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The superintendent told me that Marines and folks in the Navy don't mind a little water.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Winds and rain pelted the future leaders of the Navy and Marines, evocative of stormy times facing the nation's military, especially sexual assaults. The commander in chief pushed the graduates to uphold the honor of the armed forces.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Those who commit sexual assault are not only committing a crime; they threaten the trust and discipline that makes our military strong. That's why we have to be determined to stop these crimes, because they have got no place in the greatest military on earth.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The president also acknowledged another major challenge, deep budget cuts, but he insisted military readiness will not suffer.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: The United States of America will always maintain our military superiority. And, as your commander in chief, I am going to keep fighting to give you the equipment and support required to meet the missions we ask of you and also to make sure that you are getting the pay and the benefits and the support that you deserve.

    JEFFREY BROWN: President Obama lauded the Navy SEALs who killed Osama bin Laden, but he spoke, too, of the changing nature of the fight against terror.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: For even as we have decimated the al-Qaida leadership, we still face threats from al-Qaida affiliates and from individuals caught up in its ideology. Even as we move beyond deploying large ground armies abroad, we still need to conduct precise targeted strikes against terrorists before they kill our citizens.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Just yesterday, in a major national security speech, the president spoke of transferring the secretive drone aircraft program from the CIA to military control and making it more accountable.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: The same progress that gives us the technology to strike half a world away also demands the discipline to constrain that power, or risk abusing it.

    And that's why, over the last four years, my administration has worked vigorously to establish a framework that governs our use of force against terrorists, insisting upon clear guidelines, oversight, and accountability that is now codified in presidential policy guidance that I signed yesterday.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Today, officials in Pakistan, where many of the U.S. drone strikes occur, welcomed the move to curtail their use, but they also argued that any strikes violate Pakistani sovereignty.

    The new approach to using drones and fighting terror that the president outlined yesterday will impact a number of national security and military forces, notably the CIA.

    Reporter Mark Mazzetti wrote on that in today's New York Times. He also documented the evolution of American warfare in the post-9/11 era in his recent book "The Way of the Knife."

    Well, Mark, welcome to you.

    Just to set the context a bit, take us back briefly. How and why did both the CIA and the military come to have their own drone programs? And what are the differences?

    MARK MAZZETTI, The New York Times: Well, the -- both the CIA and the military were working on Predator drones before 9/11.

    And shortly after the Sept. 11th attacks, President Bush gave the CIA this wide authority to go capture and kill around the globe. The CIA started using drones in Afghanistan, did a drone strike in Yemen, and then starting in 2004 began using drone strikes in Pakistan.

    And from there, what started as a real trickle of drone strikes really went into a -- sort of escalated dramatically, starting around 2008, to the point where there's been hundreds of drone strikes in Pakistan carried out by the CIA.

    The military has also done a parallel -- had a parallel drone program in Iraq and Afghanistan. And what we have seen in recent years, both the CIA and the Pentagon have both had programs in Yemen. So there's been a certain redundancy in these operations. And what we have -- what we heard both the president say yesterday and other aides to the president talk about on background was this need to sort of shift more of the resources to the Pentagon, although it should be pointed out that the CIA's not entirely giving up its part or its aspect of the drone program.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so what would this mean for the CIA in terms of how hard it would be to transition back to more of an intelligence-gathering from what I gather has really developed into more of a paramilitary service?

    MARK MAZZETTI: Right.

    So, for nearly 12 years, the CIA has been in many ways almost singularly focused on counterterrorism, capturing, killing, interrogating. And this is -- these are sort of very paramilitary functions that the CIA has been deeply involved in. This is maybe just the beginning of a shift back towards more traditional espionage operations and also the strategic analysis that the CIA has done in the past.

    Now, as I write about in the paper today, it's going to take some time. You can't just sort of change the agency overnight. The agency, as I said, has been doing this for about a dozen years, and a whole generation of CIA officers have been trained in this sort of tactical manhunting mission.

    And so going back to the sort of more traditional espionage that many people knew about and know from the Cold War and from spy movies, I mean, this does take time. It could take years. It could take another generation.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And in terms of this decision to move the drone program primarily back to the Defense Department, the theory that there is that it will be more accountable, more -- more what, open, more efficient? What's the idea?

    MARK MAZZETTI: Well, I mean, the idea is that missile -- missiles fired from airplanes should be the job of the -- should be done by the military, right? It's a military operation.

    And, in theory, the idea is that this will be more accountable and more transparent. Now, in practice, this doesn't always happen. As we said, the military has a drone program right now in Yemen, and it is very hard to get any information about that program, who is killed, where the strikes take place. And so just because it's in the Pentagon's hand doesn't make it necessarily more transparent or even necessarily more accountable.

    So, again, just by saying that there's going to be a shift, there's going to have to be more details about what the future is. And I thought it was interesting that actually in his speech yesterday, President Obama didn't even actually mention the CIA once, which does sort of indicate that this transparency only goes so far.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And how much can you tell at this point about reaction to all this from the CIA?

    MARK MAZZETTI: Well, it's hard to tell.

    You know, there are certainly constituencies within the CIA that would want to would have -- hold -- would have held on to the bulk of joint operations. The Counterterrorism Center, as I write about, has really dramatically expanded since 9/11 and sort of become the beating heart of the CIA. If the drone strikes leave the Counterterrorism Center and go to the military, then the Counterterrorism Center may find itself having less power within the agency.

    That being said, John Brennan, the new CIA director, has indicated that he wants this change to gradually happen, for paramilitary functions, many of them, to go to the Pentagon. So it is clearly a change that's coming from the top. And I also do think that there's elements within the CIA that are happy to give it up, because they see that there's been some opportunity costs for what they have not done by doing this counterterrorism.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, exactly. That's what I just wanted to ask you in our last minute, because of course the other part of the context since 9/11 and on is the criticism of U.S. intelligence-gathering overall.

    MARK MAZZETTI: That's right.

    There's a question of what are they not doing. Obviously, there was the famous failure of the Iraq WMD analysis, and then there's other issues, which are, for instance, you know, is the CIA assessing global trends? Was the CIA up to date on the Arab Spring? Was it behind the curve as these revolutions were going on throughout the Middle East? Were they providing policy-makers with analysis in order to make decisions?

    I mean, these are some of the things that the CIA was founded to do. And the question is, when you're doing a tactical manhunting counterterrorism operation, can you also see the big picture? And some of these moves, at least in theory, are designed to get the CIA back to seeing the bigger picture.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Mark Mazzetti, thanks so much.

    MARK MAZZETTI: Thanks very much. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Syria has agreed in principle to attend an international peace conference brokered by the U.S. and Russia. The announcement came today from the Russian Foreign Ministry. The proposed talks aim to establish the outlines for a transition in Syria without President Bashar al-Assad. But he has already said he won't step down without elections.

    Meanwhile, Iran denied it has fighters inside Syria supporting Assad. The Friends of Syria made that claim yesterday.

    In Afghanistan, a suicide car bomber and five heavily armed gunmen struck in the capital city of Kabul. Two guards were killed, as well as the gunmen. The target was a guest house used by an international aid group. After the bomb blast, a gun battle continued for hours as police traded shots with the attackers. The Taliban claimed responsibility.

    British fighter jets were scrambled today to divert a Pakistani airliner headed for Manchester, England. Instead, it landed at London's Stansted Airport, and two men were arrested on suspicion of endangering the aircraft. British officials said it's a criminal matter, and not terror- related. Still, the incident raised tensions just two days after Islamic extremists allegedly killed a British soldier on a London street.

    A major highway connecting Seattle, Wash., with Vancouver, Canada, was cut today after part of a bridge dropped into the Skagit River. It happened Thursday evening on Interstate 5 when a truck carrying an oversized load hit the upper part of the span. A section of the bridge collapsed, taking two vehicles with it.

    Dan Sligh was one of the three people who were plunged into the water. All of them got out alive, with only minor injuries.

    DAN SLIGH, Accident Survivor: You talk miracles. I don't know what you want to call it. When you're sitting down in the water and there's all that mangled metal and bridge, and you're looking around kind of pinching yourself and realizing that you're lucky to be alive, it's a pretty amazing day, to tell you the truth.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The bridge could be out for months, forcing more than 70,000 vehicles a day to find detours.

    Wall Street had a relatively quiet day going into the Memorial Day weekend. The Dow Jones industrial average gained eight points to close at 15,303. The Nasdaq fell a fraction of a point to close at 3,459. For the week, the Dow lost a third of one percent; the Nasdaq fell more than a full percent.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author Haynes Johnson died today at a hospital in Bethesda, Md., after a heart attack. Johnson was a Washington reporter for more half-a-century, and won a Pulitzer in 1966 for civil rights reporting. He also authored 11 books, and for years, provided historical insight and commentary on the NewsHour.

    Here he is in 2009 speaking with Judy about the book he co-authored on the 2008 presidential election.

    HAYNES JOHNSON, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist: We started on this book three years ago, not just to do another book on politics or presidents and so forth, but because we really did believe this was going to be a historic election. The stakes were so big for the country.

    And whatever happened, it would be a test, not only for the presidency, but for the people and our political system. And that's what we're seeing now. It's very tough. And whoever was going to be president was going to have one of the most difficult times since FDR in 1932, taking over all the issues before the country. And Obama is finding that. Is he handling it well? Is he trying to do too much? That's the story. That's the next phase. That's the next chapter.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Haynes Johnson was 81 years old.

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


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we turn to the aftermath of the tornadoes in Oklahoma.

    Funeral services were held today for two of the 24 people who were killed in Moore on Monday, including a boy who died at the Plaza Towers Elementary School. The governor also said today that she had signed a bill authorizing $45 million dollars in state aid for devastated communities.

    The day before the tornado flattened Moore, a less powerful twister leveled homes in rural Lincoln County, something that happens frequently in April and May in Oklahoma. In Shawnee, two people died when a mobile home park was wiped out. And the towns of Fallis and Carney were also hit hard. Residents in that area are now cleaning up.

    Our colleagues at Oklahoma Educational Television have been following their story.

    And correspondent Bob Sands reports on the resilience of the community.

    BOB SANDS, Oklahoma Educational Television: Nearly every home in Fallis suffered some sort of damage from the Sunday tornado. While attention is focused on the relief effort in Moore, those who live in the rural Lincoln County community are finding help from family, friends and in many cases total strangers.

    David and Cheryl Warrick's home suffered damage, and their property is a mess. They have had lots of help cleaning it up.

    CHERYL WARRICK, Tornado Survivor: This is a real close-knit area and there's been tons of people up and down the road offering help and bringing water, offering food.

    BOB SANDS: Just down the road, the tornado destroyed Allen and Becky Buchanan's home of 13 years, along with all their other buildings on their property. Like it did for the Warricks, help came quickly.

    MAN: Oh, a bunch of help.

    BECKY BUCHANAN, Tornado Survivor: Oh, my God. Our phones, we -- just ringing off the hook, I mean, voice-mails, e-mails. I mean, it's almost impossible to even answer the phone.

    MAN: There's actually some guys out there now cleaning up the shop.

    BECKY BUCHANAN: Yes. Yes, we don't even know who they are. Who is that?

    BOB SANDS: That guy is Jason Shaffer, who lives a couple of miles from the Buchanans.

    JASON SHAFFER, Volunteer: They needed help. That's just what us country boys do, I guess.

    BOB SANDS: Shaffer says the tornado just missed his home, so he felt the need to help those the storm didn't miss. And he expects nothing in return for his help.

    JASON SHAFFER: Give glory to God. That's all we have got to do. Going to do what we can clean this mess up.

    BOB SANDS: Health care even showed up in the form of the Lincoln County Health Department, ready with tetanus shots. And that included Jason. Standing in what was left of the Buchanan kitchen, the family remains thankful for what they do have and where they live.

    BECKY BUCHANAN: I'm glad to be an Oklahoman today, even though that you know one day it's hot, one day it's cold, one day it's, well, tornado weather.

    BOB SANDS: A few miles away in the Carney Senior Center, the Red Cross has set up operations. A small army of volunteers is serving three meals a day. Volunteers are smoking burgers, hot dogs and slabs of pork with all the fixings.

    CRAIG BUCHANAN, Site Director, Carney Red Cross: A lot of the people you see out here are workers that have come out, as well as the people that have been affected by this particular disaster.

    BOB SANDS: Craig Buchanan is the site director of the Carney Red Cross relief effort. He says it's another example of Oklahomans helping Oklahomans.

    CRAIG BUCHANAN: Community outpouring has just been amazing, the amount of people that are helping each other, the churches groups, the Kiwanis, all the other spontaneous volunteers.

    BOB SANDS: On a normal day, John Arnold runs an outdoor advertising company. But he's found a new purpose for some of that billboard material.

    JOHN ARNOLD, Owner, Arnold Outdoor: I went to my shop. I loaded up a bunch of vinyls that came off billboards, which make heavy-duty tarps.

    BOB SANDS: With all the roof damage in Fallis, Carney and other areas, Arnold knew those vinyls would come in handy, so after that first load, he went back for more.

    JOHN ARNOLD: A guy asked me if I could bring up another load back up today, so I went to the shop, loaded them up. I have got about 30 or 35 out in the truck. It makes me be proud to be from Oklahoma, to be a part of this spirit.

    BOB SANDS: The Sunday tornado nearly destroyed the Steelman Estates Mobile Home Park near Shawnee. Two lives were lost, and many people were injured.

    Faron Davis runs D&D Truck Sales and Service in Oklahoma City. But on this day, he is the primary supplier of hot meals to those who remain in the park and the people cleaning up.

    FARON DAVIS, Owner, D&D Truck Sales and Service: It missed our business by a mile, missed our farm by a mile, so we thought we better go take care of everybody else.

    BOB SANDS: And Davis is passing out more than just hot meals.

    FARON DAVIS: We try to give them a little money if we know it tore their house down, where they can go get them a room, or we try to give them a $100 bill if their house is down. And maybe they can get a good meal, a room or something out of the deal.

    BOB SANDS: There is still a sense of hope in Steelman Estates, a sense bolstered by the discovery of a survivor that spent three days under the debris. Michelle Hoke found him as she searched the wreckage of her home.

    MICHELLE HOKE, Found Dog: I went to go reach for something and I saw fur. I moved something else, and all of a sudden he moved, and I moved enough stuff and saw that it was my neighbor's dog, yelled for help, and we got him out.

    BOB SANDS: Saber had several injuries. You could see the stress of being buried on his face. He was dirty and very thirsty.

    From the smoker, Faron sent over some of his grilled hamburgers, Saber's first food in three days.

    WOMAN: Oh, hey. Yay, he's eating.

    BOB SANDS: Nearby, another family was going through the ruins of their home, as two young boys waited anxiously to see what they would find. For Caleb, the day got much better with the discovery of his baseball bag.

    BOB SANDS: As in many places across Oklahoma, there was spontaneous prayer, reaching out for the strength to keep going forward. 


    0 0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: Next: A new season and a new phenomenon hit computer screens this Sunday.

    Gwen Ifill looks at the latest evolution of the entertainment industry.

    JASON BATEMAN, Actor: Oh, dear lord. Because I'm looking to make a new start.

    Oh, mother of God!

    GWEN IFILL: Viewed one way, it's old-fashioned television, a situation comedy with familiar actors appearing on a screen. But those screens are increasingly found on laptops, cell phones and tablets, as shows like "Arrested Development" migrate to streaming video.

    DAVID CROSS, Actor: This is the sign I have been waiting for.

    GWEN IFILL: Cult favorite "Arrested Development," which was a critical hit for three seasons on FOX, before being canceled in 2006, is the latest online-only offering for viewers who are increasingly choosing when and where to get their entertainment.

    That includes canceled soap operas like "All My Children" and original programming like "House of Cards" ...

    KEVIN SPACEY, Actor: Welcome to Washington.

    GWEN IFILL: ... which may have single-handedly revived the video service Netflix.

    The programs lend themselves to on-demand binge-watching. Netflix's 33 million subscribers can dip in and out whenever they want. Nielsen even has a name for some of these viewers: “zero TV households,” up to five million now from two million in 2007.

    KEVIN SPACEY: Power is a lot like real estate. It's all about location, location, location.

    GWEN IFILL: "House of Cards" alone helped Netflix, which had been struggling, add three million new subscribers in three months, which pales when compared to conventional broadcast audiences, but is on the rise.

    Other projects are in the works. This fall, "Desperate Housewives" actress Eva Longoria is producing a 13-episode adult animated comedy on the online video site Hulu.

    As our viewing habits are shifting, so is the entertainment industry.

    For more on, that we're joined by Brian Grazer, chairman of Imagine Entertainment, which produces film and television, including "Arrested Development," and television and media critic Eric Deggans of The Tampa Bay Times.

    Welcome to you both.

    Brian Grazer, why did you decide to take this online, this cult favorite, as I think we called it?

    BRIAN GRAZER, Chairman, Imagine Entertainment: Well, I mean, there were other choices, but it turned out that Ted Sarandos, who's a huge fan of "Arrested Development," and happens to also at the same time run Netflix, asked us if we would like to do our series for Netflix, which would enable us to release it all in one night, and then enable audiences, kids in particular, because that's our big audience is 18 to 25, to binge-view it.

    And it's the kind of show that kids would watch four or five or six episodes either alone in their room or at a party, or it just becomes a social situation. And they would watch several of these episodes. And so it was just kind of the perfect situation for us.

    GWEN IFILL: Maybe some adults will be watching at the same time.

    BRIAN GRAZER: Well, adults will watch it as well. I don't want to eliminate adults.

    So ...

    GWEN IFILL: Eric Deggans, is there a business model for this now? We have seen this a couple different times with a couple of different program -- programs.

    ERIC DEGGANS, The Tampa Bay Times: Well, I think Netflix is creating the business model, which is what's so fascinating for those of us who cover television.

    They're pioneering a way of delivering television and spending the amount of money that they're putting forward to make this show, to make "House of Cards," to make "Hemlock Grove." These are big-ticket enterprises. They pull out all the stops with the production.

    And it's helped Netflix's stock price, but we don't yet know how all of this is going to play out. I don't think even Netflix knows how this is going to play out.

    GWEN IFILL: Brian Grazer, when you're trying to produce something like this, does it change knowing that people are going to watch all at once if they want to? Does it change the kind of program you put together? Does it change production?

    BRIAN GRAZER: It doesn't really change production.

    In fact, what it does, it changes production only in the most favorable way, because it enables us to make them all at once and have them experienced all at once. So what we did was, with the actors, because the actors on our TV series, "Arrested Development," they all became movie stars. Jason Bateman and Michael Cera, they -- they all became movie stars.

    So it enabled us to sort of figure out a schedule where each one of these stars would be sort of the primary focus of an episode, even though everybody else, too, will be on the episode. So it empowered us to board the show and make -- and once again enable the show to come back, because it might not have actually worked in terms of a production schedule for normal television -- normal television.

    GWEN IFILL: Eric, I'm curious.

    I know I watch very little television live anymore, and probably you don't either. But, of course, that's your job. But is that normal?

    Is that something which is spreading, or is that a very targeted audience we're talking about?

    ERIC DEGGANS: No, it's definitely spreading.

    And what we're finding is that younger people, of course, are less likely to watch television in the more traditional ways. They're more likely to use it online. They're more likely to be cord-cutters, people who don't use cable television, for example, and only get their television habit through online.

    And that's why it's interesting to see what Netflix is doing, because they seem to be targeting the way we're going to be watching a lot of our television in just a few years.

    GWEN IFILL: So, let's assume for a moment, Brian Grazer, that this is a cultural shift, that people are just changing the way they entertain themselves. Does it pay off creatively or financially for producers?

    BRIAN GRAZER: Well, OK, two things.

    One is, I do think -- I mean, nobody can really prognosticate what viewing habits are or what they're going to be. But it really does seem, because of DVR, that they're a cycle ahead of everybody else in terms of how they're going to allow viewers to see television shows, because it's just, I think, going to be the perfect situation for them.

    As far as financially, they ended up -- they, Netflix, and Ted Sarandos, their company, paid us what anyone else would have paid us, whether it be Showtime or HBO or possibly the network, for these episodes. So, in that way, it was quite comparable.

    And I think it just helps you build your show, get it to syndication, get it to other out -- you know, to other income streams quicker than maybe, you know, the alternative direction.

    GWEN IFILL: So, Eric, if you're the consumer in this formula, and you are thinking, well, maybe I can watch everything on my iPad, why should I bother to pay for cable anymore? Is this a threat to cable companies or to broadcast?

    ERIC DEGGANS: Well, one of the things that you can't get is, you can't get live news necessarily. That's harder. And you can't get live sports. You can't watch the Super Bowl, necessarily.

    There's a lot of live sporting events, football especially, that you can't necessarily see online. And so that's where cable companies are drawing people in. That's one reason why ESPN, for example, can charge so much per subscriber, a reported more than five dollars per subscriber for their service, because that's something that you can't necessarily get online yet.

    But there's a drive amongst consumers, I think, to have more control over their viewing, to watch shows when they want to watch them and how often they want to watch them. And that's breaking down both the cable TV model and the broadcast model.

    GWEN IFILL: And let me tell you guys both my problem with this, which is, of course, I watched "House of Cards" all online, and I couldn't talk to anybody about it.

    When you're binge-watching, Brian, you don't have a chance to say, did you see what happened last night? Is isn't that a risk for the way we communicate as a people at the water cooler the next day?

    BRIAN GRAZER: That's very interesting.

    No one actually presented that question to me. I don't know. I think we generate -- there's other ways to -- I mean, I think I understand exactly what you're saying.

    But I think excitement, curiosity and the explosive nature of how conversations work can still be applied, because you can say, I just saw five episodes of "Arrested Development." You might not be doing it on the water cooler the next day. You're going to be doing it on all your social media.

    So I -- actually, I hadn't thought of your question or its answer, but I do think that it leads to other conversations that live within the demographic of the audience, and that is even more scalable because of the Internet.

    GWEN IFILL: How about that, Eric?

    ERIC DEGGANS: Well, Gwen -- Gwen, I have got to say, you remind me of that "Portlandia" sketch where two couples are trying to have conversations about the TV shows they like, and everybody's: Spoiler alert. Don't talk. Don't talk.

    ERIC DEGGANS: We have already seen that people, they watch "Mad Men." They DVR it and they watch it when they can. They DVR various shows. And you try to talk to your friends about it, and they haven't watched it yet and they don't want to talk it.

    So, that is a little bit of a problem. But what I found with "House of Cards" especially, that was such a well-done series, that people tended to watch it in the big chunks. So you really could talk about it. Within a week or so, you could really talk about it, because a lot of fans of the show had already watched it.

    There's so much anticipation for "Arrested Development" that they're not even letting us critics see very many advanced episodes. I just found out today I may get to watch one episode in advance. Normally, we have been able to see three of them before the show debuts. So they're not even trusting us critics to not spoil things for people.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, I'm going to let you -- I'm going to let you take that up with Brian Grazer offline.

    Eric Deggans of The Tampa Bay Times and Brian Grazer of Imagine Entertainment, thank you both so much.

    ERIC DEGGANS: Thank you for having us.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, you can test your own "Arrested Development" knowledge by taking our online quiz. And we have also posted one author's take on how technology has cracked open the entertainment industry to just about anyone with a creative idea. 


    Loading...

older | 1 | .... | 223 | 224 | (Page 225) | 226 | 227 | .... | 1175 | newer


Loading...