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- 08/05/13--15:34: _Prosecution Present...
- 08/05/13--15:41: _Portraits of Compas...
- 08/05/13--15:48: _Mandolin Master Chr...
- 08/06/13--07:54: _Ask The Headhunter:...
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- 08/06/13--14:55: _Defense Official: S...
- 08/06/13--15:02: _Non-Essential U.S. ...
- 08/06/13--15:04: _Yemen Scholar Says ...
- 08/06/13--15:10: _News Wrap: McCain a...
- 08/06/13--15:15: _'Our Future Is Digi...
- 08/06/13--15:27: _Fort Hood Suspect C...
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- 08/06/13--15:40: _Phish's Trey Anasta...
- 08/06/13--15:47: _With Little Hope of...
- 08/07/13--08:37: _Ancient, Slippery, ...
- 08/07/13--08:25: _Golden Retrievers G...
- 08/07/13--08:44: _The Fed's Terminal ...
- 08/05/13--15:48: Mandolin Master Chris Thile Plays Bluegrass and Bach Outside the Box
- 08/06/13--07:54: Ask The Headhunter: Should You Disclose Your Salary to a Headhunter?
- 08/06/13--11:08: Dan Balz: Christie Had to Resist 2012 Overtures
- 08/06/13--15:33: Deputy Defense Secretary: Spending Must Be 'Driven by Strategy'
- 08/06/13--15:40: Phish's Trey Anastasio on Community, Commitment and Classical Music
- 08/07/13--08:25: Golden Retrievers Go 'Home' for Gathering in Scottish Highlands
- 08/07/13--08:44: The Fed's Terminal Dilemma: When to Begin 'the Great Unwind'
JEFFREY BROWN: Now: a reputed mobster's trial replete with threats, profanity, and courtroom drama winds down in Boston.
Margaret Warner has that.
MARGARET WARNER: Both sides made their closing arguments today in the eight-week-long murder and racketeering trial of Whitey Bulger, the notorious chief of an Irish mafia, the Winter Hill Gang, active in South Boston in the 1970s and '80s.
Bulger fled Boston in 1994 after being tipped off he was about to be indicted, living underground until his arrest by the FBI in California in 2011. Jurors have heard testimony from more than 70 witnesses related to 33 charges of murder, extortion, money laundering, and illegal weapons possession.
Columnist Kevin Cullen, who co- wrote the book "Whitey Bulger," has been following on the story for The Boston Globe, and joins us now.
And, Kevin, welcome back to the program.
KEVIN CULLEN, The Boston Globe: Thanks, Margaret.
MARGARET WARNER: So, first of all, give us a feel for what it was like in the courtroom today after what has been eight weeks of really gruesome testimony, as the case nears -- is entering this final phase.
KEVIN CULLEN: Well, one thing I think is that people walked out of court today tired, because the court had been running basically from 9:00 to 1:00 every day.
And we didn't get out of there until about quarter of 5:00 because the closings went on very long. And as -- I was actually just playing with the top of my column for tomorrow's Boston Globe, and I said if you begin with the premise that all closing arguments are theater, this was much more like Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" than like Edward Albee's "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" because the characters weren't shouting at each other as much as circling each other and trying to outdo each other.
And the prosecution...
KEVIN CULLEN: I'm sorry.
MARGARET WARNER: Well, tell us about the prosecution. What was the nub of their case? I know they had nearly three hours to make it. And what was the defense sort of counterargument? Because I gather the defendant has admitted he has committed many of these crimes.
KEVIN CULLEN: Correct.
The prosecution had so much to lay out there that they actually went over those three hours. They went about three-and-a-half. And it was a -- I guess the best way to -- it was a workmanlike performance by Fred Wyshak. It was a -- sort of a more or less straightforward recitation.
And when you sit there and listen to it, you realize that they are assembling what would be described as a mountain of evidence against Whitey Bulger. He talked about -- he went through each of the 32 counts of the indictment. And 19 of those were for murders.
And so he went through who was murdered, why they were murdered, if in fact they knew why they were murdered, and how Bulger played a role, whether it was hands-on as a killer, whether he was driving what they call the crash car, which is the backup car in a hit, so you could crash into anybody that might get in the way of the assassination team, whether he was driving the car when somebody killed somebody.
And it was gruesome to listen to, to be frank. And then when the government was done presenting its case, Hank Brennan and then Jay Carney as the defense counsel got up and gave their recitation.
And I think, Margaret, what was noticeable about the defense is that they never basically said anything about the direct charges against Whitey Bulger. They put the government on trial. They were basically saying, don't look at my client. Look at the government. Look at the FBI. Look at the Justice Department that enabled him.
And so there was, I guess -- what a government person would say, they were trying to engage in jury nullification or to encourage the jury to engage in jury nullification. Both defense lawyers, when they finished up with their summations, basically said, acquit my client. If you want to send a message to the government that was corrupt and protected this guy and helped get people killed, acquit my client.
But they didn't say that. They basically said, you can send a message to the government. It was left unsaid. What I found amusing about that is so much of what we have been hearing in testimony is that so much of the things that the government passed on to Whitey Bulger wasn't explicit. It was wink, wink, nod, nod.
And as Steve Flemmi, his partner in crime, said, if you tell us information about people and we kill one guy, and then you tell us information about another guy and we kill him, and then you tell information about a third guy and we kill him, everybody knows what's going on.
MARGARET WARNER: And you mentioned Steve Flemmi. He was one of the three star witnesses against Bulger, gangsters who had been part of his operation, turned on him.
Does the prosecution -- does the outcome of this case rest on that or on what the jurors -- that is, them -- the jurors believing those three men in particular? Or does it rest more on whether they think the FBI, which was in this sort of corrupt relationship with Bulger, is to be believed at all?
KEVIN CULLEN: Well, I think unless we get inside the head of the jurors, we can't answer that question accurately.
But clearly the prosecution saying, admitting the government was wrong in these cases and the FBI agents, specifically John Connolly, who was a handler of Whitey Bulger, that he's serving time now for actually helping Bulger kill somebody, and they're saying, look, the guys that surrounded themselves around Bulger were bad people. They were sadistic people. They were killers. They were thugs.
And in Steve Flemmi's case, they were quite depraved. Now, the defense is saying you can't believe any of these guys because they're such bums. They're such sociopaths. They're such evil people. And then the government gets back up there in rebuttal and says, wait a minute. It's not about the witnesses. It's about, who were the witnesses friends with? Who was their boss? Who did they associate with? And that's the man sitting at the table here.
So, yes, it does come down to whether you believe -- I don't even think it's believe the witnesses. The question is, do you believe that the witnesses really were in cahoots with Whitey Bulger? And I have to be honest. Sitting where I sat, the evidence was pretty overwhelming.
MARGARET WARNER: Well, Kevin Cullen of The Boston Globe, thank you. And I'm sure we will be back to you as this case goes to the jury. Thanks.
KEVIN CULLEN: Thanks.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: the stories of those at the forefront of health care, the nurses who serve as healers in communities from coast to coast.
We turn again to Hari, who recorded this conversation recently.
HARI SREENIVASAN: There are more than three million registered nurses in the U.S., and that will not be nearly enough in the coming years, as baby boomers begin to need more assistance and the Affordable Care Act kicks in.
A new book called "The American Nurse" looks behind the numbers in a very personal way, through portraits and essays of more than 75 men and women in several different caregiving capacities.
Photographer and documentarian Carolyn Jones spent the last two years chronicling the changes in the health care system and the compassion of those on the front lines. She interviews nurses who care for prisoners at Angola prison in Louisiana, the coal miners in Kentucky, to wounded soldiers in California, and hospice patients in Florida, among many others.
Carolyn Jones joins me now, along with Rhonda Collins, who is a registered nurse and vice president of Fresenius Kabi USA, the health care company that funded the project.
Thanks for being with us.
CAROLYN JONES, author, "The American Nurse": Thank you.
HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. So most of us are born with a nurse nearby and many of us may have a nurse near us at the end. Why this project?
CAROLYN JONES: Rhonda really wanted to celebrate nurses and to shine a light on a portion of the population that we really don't know very much about. So we will all need a nurse eventually in our lives and we need more of them, so we wanted to give them a voice.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, you were a breast cancer survivor. You had a very long relationship with a nurse through a very painful portion of your life. What didn't you understand about nursing when you took on this project?
CAROLYN JONES: Well, I have to say, even though I went through breast cancer experience, I really thought a nurse was a nurse was a nurse. You know, I mean, they take your blood pressure and your temperature.
And, in my case, I had an extraordinary relationship with a woman who gave me chemotherapy. But I didn't know about all different kinds of nurses and everything that they do and how many different ways they touch our lives. I mean, they look at us really holistically.
So my experience with the chemotherapy nurse was a really personal and emotional one. She got me through because of how she made me feel during that time.
RAY SUAREZ: Did your perceptions change when you finished this book?
CAROLYN JONES: Well, yes. I saw nurses doing things I had no idea they did.
I mean, first of all, I saw nurses go into places -- in Kentucky, for example, we went to visit a gentleman named Sidney who was living in a trailer at the end of a long road. And we got to his door, and I think that the nurse that was coming to visit him had, he hadn't seen anyone for weeks, and his home hadn't been cleaned in weeks and neither had he.
I stopped at that door just thinking, oh, my gosh, I don't even think I can walk in there. And the nurse, Robin McPeek, blew by me, walked in, found a little area, moved some stuff away, put down a sterile area, and took his blood pressure and his -- took his temperature and gave him kind of the warmest hello that I had ever seen.
And I thought, you know, that's a quality I would like to get. So, I think nurses spend an enormous amount of time doing things that are outside of the box of what we think normal nursing is.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, give me an example of care that a nurse might be providing that you might not know is coming from a nurse?
RHONDA COLLINS, vice president, Fresenius Kabi USA: You look in ICUs or trauma patients who come in, they're comatose.
Really, nursing then is caring for the family. And it's caring for those around them to help them cope with what you know is a life-changing event. Whether it's a spinal injury or neurological injury, something like that, you know that this child or this loved one will never be the same.
And, as nurses, we work very hard to educate the family, to prepare them for the future, to give them all the tools and resources that they need to take that loved one home and have a quality of life.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So let's talk a little bit about the health care system now. How is the role of nursing changing?
RHONDA COLLINS: I think that nurses are taking a more prominent role as we look at how to care for our communities and provide primary care.
There's approximately 210,000 primary care physicians in the U.S. There's over three million registered nurses. We believe that nurses should practice to the full extent of their education and their experience, and advance nurse practitioners can provide some of the primary care.
We do have a role in this changing landscape of moving us from a sick model of health and just treating the illness to focusing on growing healthy communities through education and access. That's been one of the issues that we have had in this country is just the access to care.
You get into rural areas where primary care providers are very lean and sparse, folks don't have anywhere to go. Nurses can be that gap. And we work together as a team with physicians and provide that care.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And did you see any themes emerging as you crisscrossed the country and talked to all these different types of nurses? What is it that makes someone want to do this? Is there a common thread?
CAROLYN JONES: I was looking for that.
I was looking for whatever that secret mix of ingredients is that would kind of lead someone to this profession. I want some of that. I want to know what those qualities are. So sometimes it was that they were the eldest of six kids and they took care of their younger brothers and sisters and they knew they had a capacity to care. Or maybe there was a grandparent that was in the home that they cared for at the end of life. That was a really big influence on people, I found.
But, in each instance, I think that there's this kind of personal well that they're just able to draw upon that the rest of us don't necessarily have. I told Rhonda in the beginning I was always looking for wings on the back of these -- the people that I was meeting, because I was expecting them to kind of sprout wings at some point along the way, because I thought they were saints.
But they're not. They're people just like us. But they are driven to care for other people.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, the book is called "American Nurse."
Carolyn Jones, Rhonda Collins, thanks so much for your time.
RHONDA COLLINS: Thank you.
CAROLYN JONES: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We have assembled a list of eight types of nurses you have probably never heard of, a roller derby nurse, for example. Find that online.
RAY SUAREZ: Next: a mandolin virtuoso who defies musical boundaries.
Chris Thile has recorded bluegrass, country, folk, and jazz. Tomorrow, he releases a new album of Bach sonatas.
Jeffrey Brown has our report.
JEFFREY BROWN: The final movement of Sonata No. 1 in G Minor by Johann Sebastian Bach, written in the early 1700s for solo violin. Now this and other works by Bach are being given a new treatment for the mandolin by one of that instrument's modern masters, Chris Thile.
Why Bach? Well, when we met recently at the Rockwood Music Hall, a tiny bar near his home in Manhattan, Thile told me, it's simple.
CHRIS THILE, musician: When you talk about Bach, I mean, you're talking about the greatest musician who ever lived. You will find...
JEFFREY BROWN: You think that?
CHRIS THILE: Absolutely.
Most of my buddies and great musicians that I talk to, people are pretty -- it's like Bach, and then you start having arguments.
JEFFREY BROWN: But once those arguments start, Thile says, the issue is musicianship, not genre.
At just 32, Thile, who often sings as well as plays mandolin and guitar, has already made a name for himself as a genre-bender. In his best-known format, bluegrass, he and his colleagues in the band Punch Brothers have expanded the form well beyond traditional tunes.
He's also collaborated with classical cellist extraordinaire Yo-Yo Ma in a recording called "The Goat Rodeo Sessions" that won a Grammy earlier this year for best folk album. When the MacArthur Foundation awarded Thile the so-called genius grant last year, it cited his creation of a -- quote -- "distinctly American canon for the mandolin and a new musical aesthetic for performers and audiences alike."
This is a man who clearly loves all kinds of music, and doesn't like boundaries.
CHRIS THILE: They're just not helpful. They don't -- they don't -- if you sit down and say to yourself, I want to write a bluegrass song, instantly, you're limiting yourself.
JEFFREY BROWN: It was bluegrass, though, that started it. Thile, who grew up in Carlsbad, California, began lessons at age 5, formed a band called Nickel Creek with two friends at 8, and released albums with the band and solo at age 13.
He says he loved the challenge of the instrument right away.
CHRIS THILE: It's so precise, painfully precise. Like, you know, you get the plastic pick hitting metal strings, and so there's no doubt when the note happens.
JEFFREY BROWN: And that precision, limiting and freeing, he says, informs his approach to Bach.
So when you're playing your bluegrass music and you start doing whatever, you make a mistake, you just continue, right?
CHRIS THILE: Oh, yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: What about Bach?
CHRIS THILE: In bluegrass, a mistake can become the rightest thing you do.
JEFFREY BROWN: Right, but not with Bach?
CHRIS THILE: Not with Bach.
JEFFREY BROWN: Thile's been playing Bach pieces for himself for years. He's also listened to numerous recordings of great violinists who've taken them on. I asked him to explain what his instrument can bring to the music.
CHRIS THILE: It's easy with these big -- the fugal pieces, where they're all about precision, and these secondary voices come in. There's a third voice.
And I have options there, where violinists have to crunch those things, you know, where you get to these four voice chords and violinists have to go -- and so I might choose to play these -- it's an opening and it's, of course, like, emphasis. But how fun is it then to kind of, like, back off this next phrase? It's almost like this kind of...
JEFFREY BROWN: So, that's how you get out the expression of the instrument, yes.
CHRIS THILE: Yes. You have got this guy going, like, let me tell you something. And then the other guy goes, well, you know, actually...
JEFFREY BROWN: And that's another thing. Thile wants his audience to have a great time experiencing Bach, just as they would anything else he plays.
It's another musical box he doesn't like: the formality of attending a classical music concert and the distance we have put between, say, a fiddle tune and a Bach partita.
CHRIS THILE: Maybe like, you know, something like that. And, you know, that's -- you're not going very far afield there...
JEFFREY BROWN: Not that far off.
CHRIS THILE: ... to get to those two places.
JEFFREY BROWN: Although most people don't think of it that way.
CHRIS THILE: Partially because, like, we're so far removed from someone being in a situation where they could dance to Bach.
JEFFREY BROWN: Thile wants us all tapping our toes and nursing our drinks to both bluegrass and Bach. And he's scheduled to perform both around the world in the coming months.
CHRIS THILE: You want to contribute. You want to make a -- you just want to leave the world with more good music than it had before you got there.
So, if I got to actually make some of it, then I could -- regardless of what comes next, maybe in that last moment of consciousness, I would go, like, you know, OK, OK.
JEFFREY BROWN: This was pretty good.
CHRIS THILE: Yes, not bad.
By Nick Corcodilos
Employers who harp on your previous salary aren't worth your time -- and neither are headhunters who do the same. Photo illustration courtesy of Katrina Charmatz via Getty Images.
In this special Making Sense edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards, or salary negotiations. No guarantees -- just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.
Question: I am a great fan of your newsletter and just read your guides, "Keep Your Salary Under Wraps," "How to Work with Headhunters," and "How Can I Change Careers?", so I suppose I already know your answer to my question.
I recently had an initial interview with a recruiter to discuss my interests and to find out about the recruiting company. After discussing everything, there was this dreaded, but rather expected, question regarding my current salary. I advised that it is private and confidential, just like the hiring manager's salary. I know that recruiters and employers will still ask for my salary history, but that does not make it right. I want to make sure I am considered for the role. Is there a better way or another way I can protect myself?
Nick Corcodilos: We have discussed the importance of protecting your salary history before, but it's worth talking about it again from time to time. Clearly, you already have the answer to your question. Just because recruiters and employers keep insisting and pretending you must hand over your salary information doesn't mean you must keep coming up with new ways to answer them. The same polite but firm response, even if repeated again and again, is the best you can do without compromising yourself.
How to handle the salary history question when a headhunter asks it is quite different from how to handle it when an employer asks it. It can be beneficial to share your salary history with the headhunter if you trust him or her completely. In a moment, I'll share an excerpt from the book and tell you how to say it and how to protect yourself.
First I'll give you a warning: Keeping your salary confidential can lead some employers (and recruiters) to stop the interview process. So you must decide how to deal with this risk. I strongly believe the right approach is to withhold salary history, even if it costs you a job opportunity, simply because sharing your old salary will almost always result in a lower job offer. But you must decide if that's a level of risk you are willing to accept. Never take anyone's advice as gospel -- even mine -- if you are not comfortable with it.
When an Employer Asks for Salary History
After you decline to reveal your salary to an employer, it's up to you to shift the discussion to support your position. It's not going to buy you anything to say "no" without helping the employer assess your value.
MORE FROM NICK CORCODILOS: No Need to Get Lucky: Ask The Headhunter's Best Advice for Getting the Offer You Want
How to Say It
"I'd like to help you assess what I am worth to you with respect to this job. If you'd like to lay out a live problem you'd want me to tackle if you hired me, I'll show you how I'd go about it. If I can't show you how I'd do this job profitably, then you should not hire me. But I think you'll be pleased. Can you lay out a live problem or challenge that's part of the job?"
This might be as simple as working through a live problem in the interview, or it might mean spending half a day shadowing the manager or someone on the team. I find that when managers see such motivation and willingness to work together during the selection process, they drop the silly demand for salary history in favor of an actual demonstration of your value.
Again, you must decide for yourself how to handle each situation, because standing firm may cost you some opportunities. That's a problem not just for you, but also for the employer, because your past salary has nothing to do with the job at hand; it's your ability to do the work that's the question. Too many human resources people avoid the work of thorough assessment, using your old salary to determine your value.
(For in-depth discussion of salary tactics, see "Fearless Job Hunting, Book 7: Win The Salary Games (Long Before You Negotiate an Offer)".)
When a Headhunter Asks for Salary History
While a headhunter's first duty is to the client who is paying the fee, a headhunter's livelihood depends on being able to place lots of candidates and on getting good referrals from those candidates for future assignments. A good headhunter would never compromise a candidate's satisfaction just to close a deal. It's far better to have lots of very happy placements who refer lots more great candidates than to selfishly talk a candidate into a lower salary. A good headhunter's reputation and future earnings depend on doing right by both the client company and the candidate. It's a delicate balancing act, but every good headhunter can do it.
So, assuming you're working with a good headhunter, here's what to say when she requests your salary history. This is an excerpt from "How to Work With Headhunters," which provides more elaborate advice if you need it (including about how to judge headhunters):
How to Say It
"My policy is not to divulge my salary for the simple reason that it could adversely affect a job offer. I am willing to walk away from any opportunity if that's a deal breaker. No offense intended. I may be willing to divulge my salary to you under two conditions. First, you would have to agree not to divulge it to your client. That's up to you. Second -- and I say this respectfully -- you would have to show me how it would benefit my career to tell you what I earn now."
If a headhunter's response doesn't satisfy you, then don't tell him your salary.
A good headhunter will have good answers for you and respect your position, even if she disagrees with you. If the headhunter hems and haws and chants excuses and rationalizations, she cannot work with you candidly and cooperatively, and my advice is to move on to another headhunter or another opportunity.
Do you disclose your salary to headhunters? What's the effect? Have you missed out on opportunities by withholding your salary? How do you manage headhunters? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth "how to" PDF books are available on his website: "How to Work With Headhunters...and how to make headhunters work for you," "How Can I Change Careers?", "Keep Your Salary Under Wraps" and "Fearless Job Hunting."
Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!
Copyright © 2013 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark. This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown -- NewsHour's blog of news and insight.
Gwen Ifill, left, and Judy Woodruff co-anchored all PBS NewsHour's special election coverage during the 2012 season. The veteran correspondents will expand their roles for the NewsHour and Ifill will continue her role as the host of the weekly news program Washington Week. Photo by PBS NewsHour
On Tuesday, Paula Kerger, president and CEO of PBS, announced that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff have been named co-anchors of the PBS NewsHour. The veteran correspondents were also named managing editors of the weekly news program. Kerger made the announcement at the Television Critics Association Press Tour in Los Angeles.
The news comes about a month after the announcement of the launch of the PBS NewsHour Weekend, which is set to begin airing Sept. 7.
Read the press release below for more details:
PBS NEWSHOUR NAMES GWEN IFILL AND JUDY WOODRUFF CO-ANCHORS AND MANAGING EDITORS
Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner Named Chief Correspondents; Hari Sreenivasan Named Senior Correspondent
Los Angeles, Calif. -- Aug. 6, 2013 -- Today at the Television Critics Association Press Tour, it was announced that Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff will be co-anchors and managing editors for the PBS NEWSHOUR. Ifill and Woodruff will anchor the broadcast together Monday through Thursday each week. On Fridays, Woodruff will anchor solo as Ifill hosts WASHINGTON WEEK that evening. This will mark the first time a network broadcast has had a female co-anchor team.
It was also announced that Hari Sreenivasan will serve as Senior Correspondent for the PBS NEWSHOUR with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff, reporting several times a week from WNET's Tisch Studios in New York, along with his duties anchoring PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND Saturdays and Sundays beginning September 7.
In addition, three PBS NEWSHOUR correspondents have been given specific areas of content responsibility and will be contributing on a daily basis to both the broadcast and online operation. Jeffrey Brown was named Chief Correspondent for Arts, Culture, and Society. Ray Suarez was named Chief National Correspondent. And Margaret Warner was named Chief Foreign Correspondent.
"This marks an exciting new chapter in the history of PBS NEWSHOUR," said Linda Winslow, executive producer for PBS NEWSHOUR. "Gwen and Judy have been the heart and soul of NEWSHOUR for years, so it's wonderful to formalize these new roles and give them an opportunity to provide even more input on the content and direction of the show. It's also great to have talented correspondents like Jeff, Ray, Hari and Margaret available to help us get out in the field to explore topics that point up their in-depth knowledge of the subjects they'll be covering."
"I am so pleased to be taking on this new role alongside my colleague and dear friend Judy Woodruff," Ifill said. "We've successfully worked side-by-side for many years covering conventions, elections and countless other news events. We make a great team."
"Gwen and I love working together and appreciate the trust viewers put in the PBS NEWSHOUR, both on TV and online," said Woodruff. "Working with Linda and this entire terrific team, we'll do our best to make sure the next chapter for the NEWSHOUR upholds its reputation for excellence, independence and integrity."
"We are so pleased about these new roles for Gwen, Judy and the NEWSHOUR team," said Beth Hoppe, PBS Chief Programming Executive and General Manager, General Audience Programming. "Together with the weekend edition from New York, PBS NEWSHOUR is solidly positioned to continue its long track record of providing context, in-depth reporting and analysis as one of the most important programs in public broadcasting."
This announcement follows the recent announcement of PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND, which will feature a summary of the day's national and international news, using renowned experts to offer analysis. Each weekend broadcast will contain original, in-depth field reporting on topics including education, healthcare, the economy, energy, science and technology, religion, finance and the arts. PBS NEWSHOUR correspondent Hari Sreenivasan will anchor PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND every Saturday and Sunday from the Tisch WNET Studios at Lincoln Center.
These changes will go into effect in September.
About The PBS NEWSHOUR with Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff PBS NEWSHOUR is seen by over five million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets and via podcast. The program is produced with WETA Washington, D.C., and in association WNET in New York. Major corporate funding for the PBS NEWSHOUR is provided by BAE Systems and BNSF Railway. Funders include: Carnegie Corporation of New York, the MacArthur Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Starr Foundation, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, The California Wellness Foundation, Gruber Family Foundation, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Joyce Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, National Science Foundation, Orfalea Family Foundation, Park Foundation, Poetry Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, Skoll Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, George and Camilla Smith, Starr Foundation, The Summit Fund of Washington, Wallace Foundation, The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation and the John And Wendy Neu Family Foundation with additional support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting , the Friends of the NewsHour and others.
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More than 70 percent of methamphetamine illegally trafficked into the U.S. passes through San Diego ports of entry. The amount of meth seized at the border has increased dramatically over the past five years. And meth use is also up in that county. As Jill Replogle from the Fronteras Desk reports, that's despite laws in both countries designed to crack down on the drug. Video by Katie Euphrat/KPBS.
During the last five years, three times more methamphetamine was seized at San Diego ports of entry than all other U.S.-Mexico border crossings combined. And meth seizures this year are on track to far surpass 2012.
That's despite laws in both countries designed to crackdown on the drug.
San Diego has a long and troubled history with meth. During WWII, meth spread among many American service members stationed in the Pacific theater.
When they came back to the U.S. -- primarily through San Diego -- they brought their addictions with them and they helped spawn a domestic meth industry.
"Gangs, biker gangs usually controlled the meth production and distribution, and Mexico used to provide the precursors," said Joe Garcia, Deputy Special Agent in Charge for ICE Homeland Security Investigations in San Diego. Precursors are the chemical ingredients that go into meth.
In the 1990s, San Diego became known as the meth capital of the country.
Rampant abuse led to several high profile crimes, like the man who hijacked a tank and drove it down the highway, and the couple who scalded their four-year-old niece to death in a bathtub.
The damage caused by the highly addictive drug spawned a crackdown on domestic meth production. With continued demand and restricted supply, organized crime saw a big opportunity, Garcia said.
"Especially the Sinaloa cartel has looked at this and said, 'Why are we the middle man? Why aren't we producing this ourselves?'" he said.
Now, more than 80 percent of the meth seized in the U.S. is made in Mexico, Garcia said. That's despite Mexico's own attempts to curb its production.
Much of that meth comes through San Diego in part because it's home to the busiest land crossing between the U.S. and Mexico: San Ysidro. More legal traffic tends to come with more illegal traffic, but history and geography also play a role.
"One of the major criminal organizations working with meth has historically been based in the Pacific Coast area of Mexico, the Colima region," said David Shirk, an expert on Mexican drug trafficking at the University of San Diego.
In the late 1990s, the so-called Colima cartel established a major meth trafficking route north, 1,500 miles up the coast to the California border. Now, the powerful Sinaloa cartel controls the majority of the meth trade.
"So it makes a lot of sense that this would be moving through San Diego," Shirk said, "through the newly established, or newly consolidated networks of the Sinaloa cartel."
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reports a 300 percent rise in methamphetamine seizures at San Diego's ports of entry since 2008.
Most meth comes across the border in passenger cars, in ever more elaborate hiding places.
On a recent morning at San Ysidro, CBP agents called in a mechanic to detach and slice open the gas tank of a white Jeep Cherokee. Inside, they pulled out 23 packages of marijuana, some of them soaked in gasoline.
In all, the stash weighed 52 lbs.
At the San Ysidro Port of Entry, U.S. Customs and Border Protection found nearly 53 pounds of marijuana hidden inside a car's gas tank. Video by Katie Euphrat and John Rosman/KPBS
Heightened border security has made smuggling riskier, but the profits are extraordinary, said Linda Frakes, Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego.
"We've had expert testimony in our cases where the range is, at a conservative level, between $14,000 and $19,000 a pound when it comes into San Diego," Frakes said. "And that price pretty much doubles from what a pound is in Mexico to what a pound is in the United States just by crossing the port of entry."
It's very difficult to know just how much Mexican meth is making it through San Diego ports of entry, but public health workers say meth use in San Diego County is on the rise in the last few years.
Border authorities think part of the reason drug seizures have increased is because they're doing a better job of detecting drugs.
The long lines at San Ysidro give drug sniffing dogs time to weave in and out of the cars and alert officers to hidden stashes. Powerful x-ray machines can spot packages hidden in secret panels and gas tanks.
Still, Garcia is realistic about authorities' chances of finally beating the traffickers.
"They're not going to go away, they're going to do something else," Garcia said. "But we're trying to get them to go away from meth because meth just ravages any user."
This story was reported by the Fronteras: Changing Americas Desk, a multimedia collaboration among seven public radio stations. It is led by KJZZ in Phoenix and KPBS in San Diego and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting as part of its Local Journalism Center initiative.
The 2012 presidential campaign lasted nearly two years, cost billions of dollars and featured innumerable twists and turns, which ultimately led to President Barack Obama's victory last November over Republican nominee Mitt Romney.
That election -- from the bruising GOP primary fight, to the convention moments that took the country (and the campaigns) by surprise, to the voting on Election Day -- is the subject of the new book "Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America," written by Washington Post chief correspondent Dan Balz.
One of the most fascinating chapters in the book involves someone who wasn't on the ballot in 2012: New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. As Romney struggled to connect with a broad swath of the GOP base, leading voices within the Republican Party reached out to the first-term Garden State governor to recruit him into the race.
Balz recounts his conversation with Christie about the outreach in a chapter titled "Chris Christie's Story," and shared some of the details when he sat down recently with Gwen Ifill to talk about the book.
Be sure to tune in to the NewsHour this week to see the rest of Gwen's conversation with Balz about "Collision 2012."
In the meantime, Balz also joined Gwen on July 31 for a live chat with readers. Replay that here. Or take a look back at the 2008 presidential campaign by watching Balz and the late Haynes Johnson talk with Judy Woodruff about their book "The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election."
The Obama administration hopes to attract more than 2.5 million young, healthy people to enroll through the health insurance exchanges that open on Oct. 1. Photo courtesy of Flickr User will1ill/Alex Wong Getty Images
Aside from House Republicans' 40th attempt last week to repeal or revise the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as "Obamacare," and their threat to shut down the government on Oct. 1 if the program is not defunded, the Obama administration's implementation of the health care reform law faces another roadblock -- getting young people to enroll. Open enrollment for health insurance exchanges kicks off Oct. 1 and in order for the program to be a success, young adults need to sign up.
Seven million people is the magic number the Obama administration hopes to have enrolled by the end of March. Of that, they want more than 2.5 million to be made up of young, healthy people to offset the costs of caring for the old and sick.
That goal may not be an easy feat. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, 51 percent of 18-29-year-olds are unaware that the Affordable Care Act is still the law. And with outside parties' campaigns to dissuade this key demographic, convincing them to choose coverage over a fine could be a tough sell.
Despite the challenge of mobilizing this demographic to sign up for Obamacare, they are a group that appreciates the importance of health insurance. Another Kaiser poll showed that around 74 percent of people age 30 and younger feel it's very important to have coverage.
PBS NewsHour and Public Insight Network conducted its own query to hear directly from young adults impacted by the new law:
Garret Walter, 27, New York: As a self-employed artist, the only real option I have for affordable health insurance is through the local freelance union here in New York City. While the options and affordability of the union's plans are quite good, I personally am looking forward to having more options available to me through the exchanges.
Young adults make up almost a third of all uninsured Americans, but come January, everyone will be required to purchase health insurance coverage or face a fee from the federal government. That's a $95 opt-out fee or 1 percent of your respective income, whichever is greater. In 2015, the penalty goes up to $325 per adult, or 2 percent of family income. And in 2016, the penalty will be $695 per adult, or 2.5 percent of family income.
Kirsten Taggart, 22, New York: For me personally this is a huge deal because it gives me time to transition from college student to first salary job without worrying about heathcare costs because I'll be on my parents plan until 26. A lot of my friends are either unemployed, have paid internships, freelance or are in other positions that don't offer full benefits. I think in a time where young adults are struggling to find their footing in a tough economy and overpopulated world it's impossible not to offer a safety net that won't make this generation even more broke beyond college debt.
One of the first provisions put into effect under the Affordable Care Act was to allow young adults to stay on their parents' health insurance until age 26.
Amanda Boddy, 23, Atlanta: I feel it will impact my life less than those who wouldn't be able to get health insurance otherwise. I appreciate that the law will allow people with pre-existing conditions to receive healthcare more easily.
Starting in 2014, an insurance company cannot refuse to cover you or charge you more because of a pre-existing health condition.
Christina Scavone, 23, Atlanta: I'm not looking forward to a tax increase or paying a higher premium on my health insurance. I am not a fan of this law and am worried for the long-term effects it will have on doctors/quality of health care professionals in this country.
The American Academy of Actuaries published a study estimating that young, single adults ages 21 to 29 could see premium increases of more than 40 percent.
Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio has been vocal about exposing inadequacies of the bill. "President Obama's big government health care bill was supposed to bend the cost curve down," he said in a statement last week. "Instead, the average individual premium payer is out nearly an extra $100 a month. That's money that could be going toward retirement, groceries, and their children's higher education; instead it's going to cover President Obama's costly mandates."
While there's a difference in the price tag, there's also a difference in who's supplying the health insurance coverage plan. A reason private health insurance companies are able to keep costs lower is by denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. They also have the power to raise rates based on gender. Under Obamacare the health care exchanges cannot refuse coverage to anyone and cannot raise prices based on a person's medical history.
Also, premium prices vary by state and age and the premium changes will most likely only affect people who buy their own insurance -- individuals currently covered by their companies will experience little change.
Stephanie Ajello, 26, Washington: If I did not have coverage, I would definitely enroll. Not only is it very important to have insurance as a motivation to maintain good health, but there's no sense in paying the fine when one could just pay and receive something in return!
If you already have insurance, you most likely won't be impacted when the new law takes effect. In a speech in June, President Obama reiterated that the nearly 85 percent of Americans who already have insurance, either through Medicare or Medicaid or an employer-provided plan, won't have to do a thing. This does not take into account an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office that 7 million people could be dropped from their employer-based plans within 10 years.
Merideth Smith, 30, Charleston, W.V.: It's a good start to changing how we approach health care in our country, and it provides better coverage for women's health.
Under the new law, in 2014, women cannot be charged higher premiums because of their gender. Also, birth control, mammograms and domestic and sexual violence screenings will be covered without a co-payment. And pregnancy is no longer considered a pre-existing condition.
In addition, young adults making less than $43,000 a year qualify for premium tax credits and a hardship waiver to help them afford coverage. The Affordable Care Act covers a number of preventative services at no charge. Insurers won't be able to deny, cap, or limit your coverage, with lifetime or yearly dollar limits ending this year. And any insurance company wanting to raise premiums by 10 percent or more must publicly justify their actions.
Ray Suarez recently got two views on how the healthcare reform law will affect young adults. Jen Mishory of Young Invincibles says that Obamacare will create better healthcare options for young adults and Evan Feinberg of Generation Opportunity says the law is a bad deal for young people. The two were featured on the July 24 edition of the NewsHour:
Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter talks with PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter said Tuesday that as the military is opening more roles to women, it is not waiting to combat the scourge of sexual assaults. "This is an enemy that must be defeated," he told PBS NewsHour senior correspondent Ray Suarez.
More of their interview airs on Tuesday's broadcast.
"Our attitude and culture in the Department of Defense is to look a problem in the face, understand it and be forthright about taking it on," Carter continued. Therefore, the military is not waiting for Congress to act to address the problem, he said.
A proposal Congress is considering from Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., would take all serious crimes including sexual assault investigations in the Armed Forces out of the control of the chain of command and instead have military prosecutors decide which cases to try.
Carter said in Tuesday's interview that those who feel the problem the most are the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who "embody the ethos of the institution," and sexual assaults are not part of that ethos, he said.
Carter also commented on the $37 billion in spending cuts that the Defense Department had to make by September under sequestration. To help reach its cost-cutting goals, the department in May ordered civilian employees to take 11 unpaid days of leave, but on Tuesday reduced the number of days to six.
"We should look at this as an opportunity" to shift from the era of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to new security demands, including counterterrorism, the growing importance in the Asia Pacific, and cyber threats, he said.
But having to make snap decisions under sequestration is not the best use of taxpayer money, he added.
View all of our Military coverage.
MARGARET WARNER: The terror threat that's already shut down U.S. embassies across the Muslim world zeroed in on Yemen today after the State Department urged American citizens and many U.S. government personnel to depart.
Americans and other foreigners streamed to the airport in Sanaa after the State Department warned of an extremely high threat level. And at the fortified U.S. Embassy, nonessential staffers were ordered to leave, flown out by the U.S. military.
But, in Washington, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki wouldn't call it an evacuation.
JEN PSAKI, State Department: Let me just make clear what this is and what this is not. This is a reduction in staffing. This is -- we still have a presence in Yemen. But -- and we are -- we will continue to evaluate. I don't have any updates on when staff may return.
MARGARET WARNER: It was reported that today's order to leave, coming after widespread embassy closings and a worldwide travel alert, was triggered by a communication between al-Qaida's leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, and Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the chief of its affiliate, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, or AQAP. The Yemeni government objected to today's U.S. order, but did cite specific intercepted threats.
RAJEH BADI, Yemeni government spokesman (through interpreter): There were attempts to control key cities in Yemen. The plot was planned by al-Qaida for the 27th day of Ramadan. The aim was to control two important ports by dropping in al-Qaida members wearing military uniforms who would pretend to ask for Ramadan tips owed to them. Then they would attack.
MARGARET WARNER: AQAP has tried to mount operations outside Yemen, too, the failed 2009 Christmas Day bomber and the 2010 plot to ship explosives in printer cartridges to the U.S. The U.S. has launched multiple drone strikes in Yemen, including one today that killed four suspected al-Qaida operatives.
MARGARET WARNER: And for more on the threat posed by Yemen and emanating from Yemen, we turn to Gregory Johnsen. He was a Fulbright scholar based in Yemen, now at Princeton University.
And, Gregory Johnsen, welcome.
The U.S. has been pounding away at AQAP, certainly intensively ever since the Christmas Day bomb attempt of late 2009. Is al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula stronger or weaker than it was then?
GREGORY JOHNSEN, Princeton University: Right.
I think this is one of the really frustrating things for the United States. It's because, as you point out, they have been carrying out several air and drone strikes. They have killed people like Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric there in Yemen. They killed AQAP's number two.
And yet what we have seen over the past three-and-a-half years is that AQAP has gone from a group of about 200 to 300 people on Christmas Day 2009 to, according to the U.S. State Department, more than a few thousand fighters today.
MARGARET WARNER: And what explains that?
GREGORY JOHNSEN: Well, I think one of the things that explains it is that the U.S. -- not all of these strikes that the U.S. carries out are successful. So there are some mistaken strikes. There are strikes that kill civilians. There are strikes that kill women and children.
And when you kill people in Yemen, these are people who have families. They have clans. And they have tribes. And what we're seeing is that the United States might target a particular individual because they see him as a member of al-Qaida. But what's happening on the ground is that he's being defended as a tribesman.
So you have people flowing into al-Qaida, not necessarily because they share the same ideology of al-Qaida, but just so that they can get revenge for their tribesman who has been killed in a drone or airstrike.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, how widely can AQAP operate outside of Yemen?
GREGORY JOHNSEN: Well, this is a group that, as your report, showed, I mean, they were able to Christmas Day 2009 to send a would-be suicide bomber from Yemen on to a plane bound for the U.S. In 2010, they sent a pair of cartridge bombs which were thankfully uncovered before they could be exploded.
And just last spring in 2012, the organization developed almost an underwear bomb 2.0, one that was generations beyond what they had created in 2009. Thankfully, that one, they gave to an undercover agent. This is a group that has shown itself to be determined and also to have the technical capability to ship bombs to the United States.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, reportedly this latest iteration of the threats and the warnings came from some sort of intercepted communication between the head of AQAP and Ayman al-Zawahri, head of al-Qaida central, of course, believed to be based in Pakistan.
To what degree does the head of AQAP take direction from the central al-Qaida?
GREGORY JOHNSEN: Right.
That's an excellent question, Margaret. So Nasir al-Wuhayshi, the head of the organization in Yemen, the head of AQAP, he has a great deal of operational independence. And so he's deciding when these plots are going to be launched, when they're not. What it appears that Ayman al-Zawahri is doing is that Zawahri is putting pressure on Nasir al-Wuhayshi and saying, look, you need to carry out a strike. You need to do this.
This is something that Ayman al-Zawahri did just last week in an open video to groups in Egypt as well. And it's something quite common in al-Qaida. We often saw Osama bin Laden putting pressure on affiliates in different places to carry out attacks, but the final word on something like this is going to come from the people on the ground, the people in Yemen, people like Nasir al-Wuhayshi, for the reason that we're seeing today.
Communication back and forth between Yemen and Pakistan is easily intercepted.
MARGARET WARNER: And that probably explains the intensified U.S. drone strikes in Yemen over the past week.
Finally, how aggressively is the government of Yemen and this new President Hadi going after AQAP both on its own and in concert with the U.S.?
GREGORY JOHNSEN: Right.
Well, the new government under President Hadi, who was just in the U.S. last week meeting with President Obama, President Hadi has given the U.S. essentially a green light to carry out strikes in a variety of different places at the times of the U.S. choosing.
And he's doing this because he has a lack of domestic support within Yemen. And so he needs the U.S. to make up for that lack of domestic support. And so there's an open communication which is much different now than it was from when the former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, was in charge.
But we have to remember that the central government in Yemen is incredibly weak. There's a separate insurrection that's going on up in the north. There's calls for secession in the south. There's the al-Qaida threat. The economy continues to collapse. And people in Yemen are struggling on a daily basis to put food on the table and water into their pipes.
And when that -- when all of that is taking place, al-Qaida tends to drop down on the list of priorities for a country like Yemen.
MARGARET WARNER: And at the same time makes it fertile ground for al-Qaida.
Well, Gregory Johnston of Princeton, thank you so much.
KWAME HOLMAN: Two U.S. senators urged Egypt's interim leaders today to release jailed members of the Muslim Brotherhood. Republicans John McCain and Lindsey Graham visited Cairo in a bid to help resolve the standoff between the military-backed government and supporters of ousted President Morsi.
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, R-Ariz.: We believe they should treat each other with respect. We also urge the release of political prisoners. We also urge strongly a national dialogue, a national dialogue that is inclusive for parties, including the Muslim Brotherhood.
KWAME HOLMAN: Sen. Graham said the interim government risks jeopardizing relations with the U.S. if it excludes Brotherhood members from political negotiations.
A spate of car bombings around Baghdad killed more than 50 Iraqis today, as the recent surge of violence showed no signs of easing. The attacks began just before sunset and continued into the night. More than 650 people have been killed in Iraq during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
In Syria, rebels claimed they have captured a key air base in the northern part of the country. The base is in the northern Aleppo province and has been under siege since last year. Video from the site showed rebels apparently inspecting the area near the Turkish border. Syrian state TV insisted government troops still are fighting there.
The new president of Iran announced today his country is ready for serious talks on its nuclear program. Hassan Rouhani held his first news conference since taking office Sunday.
We have a report narrated by Alex Thomson of Independent Television News.
ALEX THOMSON: Transparency is a favorite Rouhani buzzword, so he duly appeared in front of the packed media.
The national anthem, prayers, and the foreign media got down to business, Iranian and foreign journalists asking about the nuclear deadlock on the anniversary of Hiroshima. Russia said today she wants talks next month. President Rouhani says a deal is doable and doable soon if the West, as he put it, stops the threats and starts engagement.
PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, Iran (through interpreter): We are willing with seriousness and without time-wasting to enter serious and substantial negotiations with our counterparts. If our counterparts have the same willingness, I am certain that the concerns of both parties will through talks be eliminated, and in the not-too-distant future. The root of this achievement has to be discussions, not threats. That is the key to this issue.
ALEX THOMSON: The man who spent years as a key Iranian negotiator on the nuclear deadlock said the war-mongering of another state was imposing its agenda on America. He didn't mention Israel by name, but he did send them a message today, saying Iran is not interested in threatening or intimidating any other country.
HASSAN ROUHANI (through interpreter): The worst approach is to shout sharply, then act slowly. We hope to make long strides in action, but calm ones in expressing ourselves logically, politely, with wisdom, with all of the world, so that the world believes we have no intention of threatening anyone.
ALEX THOMSON: He spelled out yet again Iran seeks nuclear power, not nuclear weapons. This is a man who has persuaded his own country in the past to suspend the nuclear program to help talks in 2005. It got nowhere, Iran since then has been repeatedly accused of hiding elements of its nuclear program.
KWAME HOLMAN: In Washington, a State Department spokeswoman said Iran now has a chance to act quickly on concerns about its nuclear program.
The latest look at rising military suicide rates concludes there is little or no connection to combat. Instead, the study at the Naval Research Center in San Diego blames depression and alcohol problems, among other things. Researchers tracked more than 145,000 active-duty troops and veterans from 2001 to 2008. The findings were published today in "The Journal of the American Medical Association."
Former President George W. Bush underwent a successful heart procedure today in Texas. Doctors at a Dallas hospital placed a stent in a blocked artery. The blockage was discovered on Monday during the former president's annual physical. Mr. Bush is 67 years old. He's expected to be released tomorrow.
President Obama has renewed his push for mortgage reform. In Phoenix today, the president called for phasing out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-backed mortgage giants. He said taxpayers shouldn't have to suffer when lenders make poor decisions.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have got to encourage the pursuit of profit, but the era of expecting a bailout after you pursue your profit and you don't manage your risk well, well, that puts the whole country at risk. And we're ending those days. We're not going to do that anymore.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
KWAME HOLMAN: The president said he wants the private sector to assume most of the risk, while continuing to offer the popular 30-year mortgage.
Wall Street gave up ground today over warnings of weaker corporate profits. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 94 points to close at 15,518. The NASDAQ fell 27 points to close at 3,665.
Those are some of the day's major stories.
GWEN IFILL: People in newsrooms and at watercoolers across the country were abuzz today with word that the flagship paper in the nation's capital is about to be sold to an Internet pioneer.
MAN: It was surprising. Nobody knew it was for sale.
GWEN IFILL: Washington residents and the newspaper industry were still reeling today over news about the news that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is buying The Washington Post. Publisher Katharine Weymouth, part of the family that owns the paper, said Bezos will pay $250 million for The Post and its smaller publications.
Today, she explained the decision to a Washington Post interviewer.
KATHARINE WEYMOUTH, The Washington Post: This is a transition to a good owner who has a lot he could bring to us, and that we weren't on the auction block and just auctioned to the highest bidder.
GWEN IFILL: The purchase will end nearly eight decades of ownership by the Graham family. Patriarch Eugene Meyer bought The Post at auction in 1933. His daughter, Katharine Graham, led the paper as it rose to national prominence beginning in the 1970s, first with its coverage of the Pentagon Papers under executive editor Ben Bradlee and then Watergate and Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's Pulitzer Prize-winning reporting that brought down President Richard Nixon.
PRESIDENT RICHARD NIXON: I shall resign the presidency effective at noon tomorrow.
GWEN IFILL: Her son Donald Graham followed in her footsteps. Subscriptions peaked in 1993 at more than 800,000, but like many other papers, The Post has faced declining circulation and ad revenue in the digital age.
WOMAN: I have been a subscriber before, but I don't really subscribe to anything any more. I read everything online.
GWEN IFILL: Enter digital giant Bezos. Former executive editor Leonard Downie says the bet is that the online shopping pioneer can ensure The Post's survival.
LEONARD DOWNIE, The Washington Post: Jeff Bezos understands this new world that we're in and that all news organizations have to adapt to, whether its Channel 7 or The Washington Post.
GWEN IFILL: The Post is hardly alone in seeking buyers with deep pockets. Over the weekend, Newsweek magazine was sold to IBT Media, the publisher of International Business Times.
Red Sox owner John Henry bought The Boston Globe from The New York Times Company for $70 million. And The Tribune Company's newspaper division, which owns the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune and The Baltimore Sun, is also on the block.
Donald Graham is chairman and CEO of The Washington Post Company.
He joins me now.
Full disclosure, I worked for you, for The Washington Post.
DONALD GRAHAM, The Washington Post Company: I was going to ask if you were going to disclose your terrible conflict.
GWEN IFILL: My terrible conflict for seven great years in the 1980s.
Ruth Marcus, one of your leading columnists, who sat at this table last Friday night with David Brooks, said that this is a brave and painful decision for your family to make.
Was it also a necessary one?
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, I thought -- we thought so.
The publisher of The Post now is Katharine Weymouth. That's a job that I held when you were on the paper. And I held it for 21 years. But Katharine and I sat down at the end of last year, the end of 2012, looked at how the paper had done in 2012 and what we could reasonably expect going forward.
We -- 2013 is the seventh consecutive year the paper has been down in revenues. So what do you do when you have less money coming in the door? You try to start new businesses. You try to innovate. And we have been pretty successful at that. But the decline -- not -- not successful enough that the total decline didn't continue.
GWEN IFILL: A 44 percent decline.
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, you're going back over several years there. But that's right.
GWEN IFILL: Yes.
DONALD GRAHAM: And, mostly, we have had to cut costs. The year of the financial crisis, 2009, was a very challenging year for us.
Katharine and her team then brought the paper back to cash flow profitability the last three years. We certainly wanted to remain profitable, but last -- around New Year's Day of this year, we started to ask yourselves for the first time whether it was possible that there was another owner who would be better for The Post than our company had been.
GWEN IFILL: When you say that, does that mean that there are things that you did or didn't do over the last several years you wish you had that you didn't have the vision to see?
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, the one sentence that I think everybody in our building and everyone in this building would agree with, Gwen, is every year in the future, a few more people, a higher percentage of people, will read their news online or on mobile devices, just like the woman whose video clip you showed at the start of this segment, and slightly fewer people will read in print.
The Post print circulation remains abnormally high for a metro daily. We're the number eight TV market in the country, but our paper is basically tied for first in circulation, print circulation, with The Los Angeles Times, which is in a much better market.
GWEN IFILL: If you're...
GWEN IFILL: Go ahead.
DONALD GRAHAM: But, you know, we started to think to ourselves, for example, the technology sophistication of somebody like Jeff Bezos far surpasses mine.
When I started on the paper when we were still using Linotype machines and lead type, not altogether dissimilar from what Ben Franklin was doing in the 18th century. So, Jeff's technology skills may be a little greater than mine.
GWEN IFILL: So, among your suitors, of which there were more than a few, Jeff Bezos was appealing to you because he's a digital native. Is that a part of it?
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, I have known Jeff Bezos for 15 years.
He is -- is and is known to be an extraordinarily decent man. I know him. And I have got the joy of getting to know his wife a bit. And it starts with that. He's principled. He's also a reader and a very good writer, as his statement to our staff, which has been widely quoted, reflects. He wrote that himself. He writes Amazon's annual shareholder letter by himself.
He's known for being a very patient long-term investor, as he was with Amazon itself, as he was with the Kindle and as he has been many other times, so -- and he -- I don't want to appear to be speaking for Jeff, but he did speak for himself in his letter yesterday. He's not going to walk in the door with solutions. But he will walk in the door ready to try things.
And Jeff -- if you're Jeff Bezos or his peers, the founders or CEOs of great Internet companies, you know a lot of great technologists.
GWEN IFILL: And, in fact, your publisher and your editorial page editor and your executive editor will stay in place for now.
DONALD GRAHAM: Oh, Jeff has asked the whole management team to stay on. And that includes Katharine Weymouth, but it also includes Marty Baron, the editor of The Post, and Fred Hiatt, the editorial page editor, who has been on your program.
GWEN IFILL: You know, I worked with four newspapers altogether over time. And I'm not the only one in the business and out of the business who wonder whether this isn't a turning point, when a great family-owned newspaper hands itself over to someone who doesn't have anything to do with journalism, at least doesn't have any history in that.
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, I hope it is.
Jeff had fully as much to do with journalism in his previous career as Eugene Meyer, my grandfather who bought The Post in 1933, having never worked a day on a newspaper and never having owned a business. But he had great mid-20th century skills. His skills were financial. He had made -- he had been an investor. He had made a lot of money on Wall Street.
And then he had been a senior government official, and because his ethics were pretty high, he had stayed in government bonds during the depression. So his ethics got him, not his investing skill, got him through.
But he tried things. He tried to improve the paper. He tried to make it better, tried to grow circulation, tried to grow advertising. Jeff, who is also a very skilled businessman, is going to come in and as he -- the word he used was experiment.
GWEN IFILL: I heard you tell your staff that you have been in that building one way or the other, in some job or the other, for 42 years. So...
DONALD GRAHAM: I first was in The Washington Post building in January 1949 to see Harry Truman's inaugural parade when I was 3.
GWEN IFILL: Well, there you go.
So, tell me, what do you think this means or what any of this means, not just you, but what's happening with Tribune, what's happening with these other papers? What does this mean for the future of newspapers as we have come to know them?
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, I think, obviously, the Post is in a different position from other newspapers.
We have a slightly different business than they do, because we're in the nation's capital. We have an Internet following that's pretty large relative to the size of Washington as a market, because we're in the capital free world. And we try to report on what goes on here and what goes on around the world that is relevant to decisions in Washington.
We're an independent newspaper. Our editorial page is not consistently down the line with either the Democratic or Republican parties. And so we're -- our business is a little bit different. But I think what it means is that The Post is going to be an extraordinarily exciting place to be. I can't imagine a news organization being a more exciting place in the immediate future.
GWEN IFILL: What does it mean that we see so many print properties being sold to wealthy individuals, rather than to multigenerational families?
DONALD GRAHAM: Jeff is more than a wealthy individual. He is somebody who had an idea 15, 20 years ago, crazy idea that he could successfully sell books on the Internet.
He's a reader and he's a writer. Unusually, out at Amazon, meetings don't start with slide presentations or PowerPoints. At Jeff's request, they start with whoever convenes the meeting writing an essay. The first 10 minutes, everybody sits down and reads what the person convening the meeting wrote.
Why? Because he thinks writing requires thought. So that is a little tribute to the power of the written word. This is a very fine business executive. The Post's great friend Warren Buffett has called Jeff the best CEO in America. And he's also an extraordinary -- he's extraordinarily thoughtful. But obviously, Gwen, for you and for me, we know a ton of our future is digital. And that's what Jeff brings.
GWEN IFILL: Well, then I want to put on your big think hat and tell me whether you think there is a generational shift going not only among readers of the newspaper, but also owners of newspapers.
DONALD GRAHAM: Well, again, I hope so.
I'm 68 years old, so I'm not going to be -- you know, I'm going to be at the soon-to-be-named -- renamed Washington Post Company for quite -- for some time, I hope. But it's -- you know, by bringing somebody like Jeff Bezos in as the owner of The Washington Post, we're, I think, creating an opportunity for the readers of The Post, for those who work there.
It could become -- I think it will become -- a very exciting place. We're going to keep doing what we have done. We have got the skills of the people in the building, plus the skills of Jeff Bezos.
GWEN IFILL: Let me ask you a blunt question.
DONALD GRAHAM: Do you want to know about your pension plan?
GWEN IFILL: Not really.
GWEN IFILL: I want to ask you the question that one media analyst said, that you lucked out in getting Jeff Bezos, because it may save the paper. Is that what you're doing now? Are you saving the paper? Are you saving the journalism?
DONALD GRAHAM: No, I think the paper would have survived. If we had not sold it, the paper would have survived fine under our ownership under the current company.
We would have had to keep cutting expenses as long as revenue fell. And our aspirations for The Post have always been way more than survival. We want to succeed. We want to expand. We want it to be a great place, in the way that I think means something to you.
GWEN IFILL: Don Graham, CEO of the soon-to-be-renamed Washington Post Company, thank you so much.
DONALD GRAHAM: Thank you so much, Gwen. Good being with you.
MARGARET WARNER: The court-martial of the Army psychiatrist who opened fire on scores of fellow soldiers in 2009 got under way today at Fort Hood in Texas.
Major Nidal Hasan is charged with many counts of murder and attempted murder for the attack that killed 13 people and wounded more than 30. In an opening statement, the prosecutor said Hasan had tried to kill as many soldiers as he could.
In his opening statement, Hasan, who is representing himself, said, "The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter."
Los Angeles Times reporter Molly Hennessy-Fiske is covering the trial and joins us now from Fort Hood.
Let's start with that, the most dramatic moment of today, which is Colonel Hasan admitting he was the shooter.What was that moment like?What else did he have to say?
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE, Los Angeles Times: Well, there were a lot of open questions going into these opening statements.
It wasn't clear, since Major Hasan, as you mentioned, is representing himself, what he was going to say, whether he was going to use opening statements as an opportunity to make a statement and go beyond acting as his own attorney. But he kept it brief. He only spoke for several minutes.
He did talk about the facts pointing to him being the shooter. He made some other statements about his allegiances on having been in the Army, but switching sides, and then talked about viewing himself as a mujahideen, but was very brief. And then later on in the day, we saw several witnesses speak, but Major Hasan declined to take the opportunity to cross-examine largely.
There were some instances where he did, but, again, that was fairly brief.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, he was responding, of course, to the opening statement by the military prosecutor. What kind of a case did that prosecutor lay out against him?
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: Well, the prosecutor talked -- one of the prosecutors talked in opening statements about wanting to prove not only that Major Hasan committed the shooting, but also his motive, that these shootings -- the charges, premeditated murder and attempted premeditated murder, that it was premeditated, that he had motive.
And so some of the witnesses that we saw earlier in the day had to do with that, the individual who the prosecutors were saying had sold the weapons, the guns to Major Hasan, a gentleman from the shooting range where he apparently had practiced target shooting with silhouettes in -- the silhouette shapes instead of target shapes, and then some individual who had known him from his apartment complex and also from the mosque that he attended here in Killeen.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, if Major Hasan is admitting he was the shooter, why was there -- why didn't he just plead guilty or negotiate an agreement there?
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: Well, in military court in capital cases, like this one, where he is facing the potential, if convicted, of facing the death penalty, he's not allowed to plead guilty.
He had also tried to mount a different kind of defense once he took over as his own attorney and argue -- it's called the defense-of-others defense, where he was arguing that he had done the shooting, but that he had done it in order to protect individuals overseas. He targeted -- he said he targeted soldiers who were preparing to deploy because he wanted to protect members of the Taliban, who he saw as sort of allies.
But the judge thus far has rejected that defense, so it's sort of unclear what defense he's going to pursue, what defense strategy.
MARGARET WARNER: And then how did it come about that he is representing himself?
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: Well, he had had a civilian lawyer in the beginning. And he had fired his civilian lawyer. Then he had military lawyers, and he had requested to represent himself in recent months. And the judge allowed that.
He had not initially wanted his military lawyers to stay on, but the judge had asked that they stay on as standby counselor or military legal advisers. So those lawyers are there. Two of them sit at the defense table with Major Hasan and a third sits in the gallery.
And they are there to sort of offer him advice on military law. And there was one point today where he sort of paused to consult with them on a particular matter.
MARGARET WARNER: And was there a determination made about his mental competence to serve as his own lawyer, I guess, to stand trial?
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: There was. That happened early on.
And there was also a sort of secondary evaluation done where they took into consideration his physical status in terms of being able, physically able to represent himself, because he is -- he's in a wheelchair. He was shot during the attack and is paralyzed from the chest down. That was a consideration. But he insisted that he was strong enough to do it, that he could take breaks, but is OK with sitting for long periods of time that it's going to require for this trial, because the judge has already estimated that it's probably going to take at least a month and possibly several months
MARGARET WARNER: And, finally, of course, this is a military trial, not a civilian criminal trial. What difference does that make in the way the trial is conducted, the rules of evidence and, of course, the jury?
MOLLY HENNESSY-FISKE: Well, there's a lot of differences.
You have a jury that is made up of 13 individuals who are of Major Hasan's rank or higher. So you have a major, similar to Major Hasan, but then you also have a colonel -- three colonels and nine lieutenant-colonels, which is a high-ranking crowd. These are elite individuals who have served in command posts. I think 11 of them, 11 of the 13 have served in command. A number of them have served overseas in Afghanistan and Iraq.
These are, you know, skilled individuals with a lot of, you know, burnished records. One of them, at least one of them attended West Point. A lot of them have advanced degrees. And in terms of a verdict, they have to have a unanimous verdict in order to have a death sentence.
And if they -- what happens is they make a vote by secret ballot on what their verdict is going to be. And if they can't achieve a two-thirds majority, then they end up quitting. So it's significantly different from a civilian trial.
MARGARET WARNER: Well, Molly Hennessy-Fiske of the Los Angeles Times, thank you.
GWEN IFILL: The Pentagon pushes back against what they describe as crippling budget cuts.
Ray Suarez has the story.
RAY SUAREZ: The Defense Department announced today it was reducing the number of days its employees would have to take as unpaid furlough from 11 to six.
Earlier this year, the Defense Department launched a review to figure out what to cut to live within the budget constraints imposed by sequestration and federal budget cuts. The Pentagon has completed that review.
With me now is Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, who led it.
Welcome to the program.
DEPUTY SECRETARY OF DEFENSE ASHTON CARTER: Good to be here.
RAY SUAREZ: Before we talk dollars and cents, earlier in the program, we talked about the closure of foreign missions, the evacuation of American personnel. We have been pounding -- the United States has been pounding al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula from the air for years.
How come they're still so able to launch attacks against American interests and assets?
ASHTON CARTER: Well, we have been pounding them for years.
And -- but we're taking the situation we face right now very seriously. You see that in the posture that we have. And this problem of terrorism, you know, al-Qaida and so forth, is something that is going to be part of our strategic future -- and that's one of the things we considered in the review -- as long as there's human society.
Now, there's always going to be the problem of the few against the many. And so those of us who have the responsibility for security are always going to need to be concerned about counterterrorism. It is an enduring mission of the Department of Defense. And as we in the review looked at all the things we needed to do in the future and began this great reorientation of the Department of Defense from Iraq and Afghanistan, which had been the principal things preoccupying us for the last decade, to the future, as we look at those problems, you see, yes, terrorism.
We will need to stay good at countering terrorism. You see the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific theater. And we're spending a lot more attention as a Department of Defense on that. You see new things like cyber, entirely new things. So, that's why our strategy -- our effort to deal with the current budget situation, we believe, has to be driven by strategy, that is, a view of the future.
And terrorism is one of those things that's going to be around.
RAY SUAREZ: Now that the review is completed, you still don't know exactly how much money you're going to have to spend in the years to come. But what effect does sequestration have on the day-to-day operations, what you have been given to do by the American people?
ASHTON CARTER: Well, unfortunately, sequestration is the worst way to cut our budget.
We have taken reductions already in our -- in the defense budget. And what the review showed clearly was that we can over time get to the budget cut levels called for by sequestration. And we can do that in a strategically and managerially sensible way, but it takes some time.
Now, why is that? Well, it takes some time to cut things, to let people go, to stop doing things, all the sensible things you do. What happens in sequestration is, boom, we're hit very hard, very steeply. And that drives you to do things that aren't strategic and managerially sound, like stand down readiness, just stop flying, because you can't afford to do the flying.
Well, if we stand down the Air Force units that are supposed to be flying, that means that they're not training for the contingencies for which we might need them. That's a serious step to have to take. It's one you would never take from a strategic or managerial point of view, but it is forced upon us by sequester.
So, if we can get some time, then we can deal with these budget cuts much better than if they just come down on us in a way that thwarts good management.
RAY SUAREZ: There are people sitting in their homes around the country watching this broadcast who think, well, if they take a small haircut, like every federal department had to, that's from a very high level.
We spend a multiple of the amount of money of the next several militaries in the world behind us. Give us some examples, specific examples of what you had to do without in the near term because of these budget cuts.
ASHTON CARTER: Because of sequestration, very specifically, we have had to stop training for both ground units and air units, stop sending ships on patrol and having them train and be ready for conflict.
What we have tried to do is take all of the money we have got and put it into things that are most obviously and immediately necessary, like the war in Afghanistan, nuclear deterrence, taking care of wounded warriors and so forth.
And what that means is all the rest of the bill has bulged into other things. These things aren't unnecessary. They're just places where we can get our hands on the money very quickly. And the principal one that concerns us has been training. And the second one is furloughing civilians.
Our civilians are very important to us. These are great people, great patriots. More than half of them are veterans. We have had to furlough them. Now, again, these are not things that you would do if you had the time to make a budget change in a sensible way.
It's the speed of sequester that makes it so difficult. And you mentioned other agencies in government. I'm not the only manager around town who is trying to do these things. And, you know, we depend upon science and engineering in defense to keep the technological edge. We depend upon an educated work force because we have an all-volunteer military.
We depend upon sound infrastructure. We depend on all these other things, all the other parts of government. So, the fact that everybody is being forced to do these things that are managerially nonsensical is a shame for us.
And the other thing is, you know, the taxpayer, they only should give us the amount of money that we need to protect them. I understand that. And also, very importantly, we should only -- we should make sure that we make good use of every dollar they give us. And sometimes we don't. And that's something very serious to me. And that's why an important part of our review was to make better use of the taxpayer dollar.
So, we're prepared to change. We actually have to change, Ray, because the war in Iraq is over and the war in Afghanistan is winding down. We have to change and face the problems that are going to define our future. So, we're ready to change and know that we need to change strategically, but, unfortunately, sequester is not the way to do it.
RAY SUAREZ: I want to continue this conversation online.
But Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, thanks for joining us on the program.
ASHTON CARTER: Good to be with you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: how a front man of rock is charming new fans in the world of classic music, and yet still jamming for his adoring base after three decades on the road.
Jeffrey Brown has our profile.
JEFFREY BROWN: It's not where you expect to see the lead guitarist of what's widely seen as rock 'n' roll's leading jam band. But there was Trey Anastasio recently, best known for his work with the band Phish, performing arrangements of his music with the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington. And even for a man used to playing for thousands in huge arenas, this was exciting.
TREY ANASTASIO, Musician: When you stand in that spot next to the podium and an orchestra is playing, the sound is ...
JEFFREY BROWN: It's pretty amazing, isn't it?
TREY ANASTASIO: Oh, my God, it's in 3-D, and it's coming in every direction. My knees get weak.
JEFFREY BROWN: It turns out that Anastasio's love for classical music is longstanding, going back to his youth. He credits a college composition teacher for showing him how to write large-scale pieces modeled on symphonies, big band arrangements, and more.
TREY ANASTASIO: We used to talk a lot about not getting so hung up on styles, but being much more focused on content, so that you could sneak harmonic elegance into rock 'n' roll.
JEFFREY BROWN: You felt that from the beginning?
TREY ANASTASIO: From the beginning, absolutely.
JEFFREY BROWN: In 1983, Anastasio formed the band that would become Phish with three other musicians in Burlington, Vt. And over 30 years, with a brief breakup in 2004, the band has developed one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in rock 'n' roll, making their name not on number one hits, but for their live performances featuring extended improvisations, “the jam.”
Rolling Stone magazine dubbed Phish the most important band of the 1990s, and Anastasio himself one of the 100 greatest guitarists in rock history. And the community of hundreds of thousands of Phish fans is as rabid as ever, many following the group from concert to concert.
And that, says Anastasio, is fundamental to the band's identity.
TREY ANASTASIO: A lot of the people who come see us have been coming for 20, 30 years. I have, as strange as this sounds, relationships with people who stand, like, 10 rows back and dance that I recognize and I walk on stage, and I say, hi, and it's a good feeling, and we start playing. I have never spoken a word to them.
JEFFREY BROWN: But what many fans may not realize, Anastasio says, is all the hard work that goes into what they see on stage. For one thing, Phish is addicted to practicing.
TREY ANASTASIO: The way I see it, the freedom comes with an enormous amount of discipline first.
There's lots and lots of hidden work and practicing that gets you to the point where you can play like that. And one of the things that we used to do as a band with Phish is that we would do jamming exercises.
JEFFREY BROWN: Jamming exercises.
TREY ANASTASIO: We didn't want it to be a big mush of, you know, navel-gazing, self-indulgent solos.
JEFFREY BROWN: You wanted organized jam?
TREY ANASTASIO: We wanted organized jamming, yes.
So we would do very elaborate listening exercises where we would go around in a circle, and each musician would start a phrase, and then the other three would have to join in harmony or rhythmically.
We used to do rushing and dragging tempo exercises in a circle. It would be each person's turn to drag, and if they dragged, we would have to go with them fearlessly. And if they rushed, we'd go with them fearlessly. So a lot of it had to do with being in a group of people and coexisting and being a community.
JEFFREY BROWN: That word, community, is clearly important to Anastasio and his bandmates. And the security of the band has allowed him to pursue other interests.
In addition to his appearances with many leading orchestras around the country, he tours with his own band and recently wrote the music for a Broadway production.
TREY ANASTASIO: I always like to keep in the child mind, I mean, childlike, but not childish, meaning a beginner's mind. I like learning. I like being the beginner.
JEFFREY BROWN: You do?
TREY ANASTASIO: Yes. And I like the challenge. I like getting up in the morning and learning something new. The other thing is that you learn stuff that you then take back to Phish.
JEFFREY BROWN: Oh, really? It works that way?
TREY ANASTASIO: Definitely. So, you might be in a big arena, and there is some kind of music going on or some kind of guitar solo or something, and I think, wow, I wish I could get to the level that I heard with, you know, the Pittsburgh Symphony that night, when the brass section was playing, that kind of thing. So, you know, it opens your mind.
JEFFREY BROWN: Performing with the orchestra, Anastasio says, is a way to re-imagine pieces he wrote for Phish, but to do so in a way that's challenging and fulfilling for the musicians as well.
TREY ANASTASIO: The idea is that there is nothing as rhythmically tight on God's green earth as an orchestra. The strings usually act in a percussive way, so we didn't want to put a drum set up there.
There is nothing as harmonically elegant and there is nothing as texturally elegant as an orchestra. And we wanted to take advantage of all those elements.
JEFFREY BROWN: In the meantime, Phish goes on, having survived decades of incredible change in the music business.
TREY ANASTASIO: It's probably hard for a young band right now to break through that.
But I will say one thing here. This is going to be -- sound insensitive or whatever. There is no free ride, you know?
JEFFREY BROWN: Meaning?
TREY ANASTASIO: Sometimes, I think people think they are going to get into music because it's a way to not work, which is completely the opposite of the way that I have always looked at it. If you love it, you are going to get up at 7:00 every day and play all day long and work and find gigs. And ...
JEFFREY BROWN: So, this is a job. It's something you work at.
TREY ANASTASIO: Yes. So, you have got to love it.
JEFFREY BROWN: You have got to put in your 10,000 hours.
TREY ANASTASIO: You have got to put in your 10,000 hours.
JEFFREY BROWN: And then you have got to keep ...
TREY ANASTASIO: And then you have got to put in another 10,000 hours. But, you know, if you love it, which I do, it's easy.
JEFFREY BROWN: The band is once again on the road this summer, touring the country. And Phish fans everywhere will be glad to hear that a new album is in the works.
GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight to Syria.
More than 100,000 people have died in the two-year civil war, according to the United Nations. And the conflict has caused misery beyond the country's borders. More than a million people have fled the fighting, many of them to Jordan and the world's second largest refugee camp, known as Zaatari.
Lindsey Hilsum of Independent Television News spent 24 hours there reporting firsthand on the human cost of the war.
LINDSEY HILSUM: It's Ramadan, and dusk is falling over the biggest refugee camp in the Middle East. A year ago, this was a dusty patch of desert. Today, it's home to 120,000 people.
I'm with Kilian Kleinschmidt, the man who is trying to turn chaos into order.
KILIAN KLEINSCHMIDT, United Nations: Well, you're seeing here this cable, which is pulled by somebody who has been selling it to the people in this area, because they technically don't have electricity.
LINDSEY HILSUM: The camp has grown more quickly than the U.N.'s capacity to connect all the tents and trailers. They have no idea what the bill's going to be. So now he's put in a new transformer and got the bootleg engineers to protect it.
The guys who were doing all these things illegally, you're getting them on your side?
KILIAN KLEINSCHMIDT: We're getting them on our side because we're not saying stop it; we're saying, let's work together in improving it.
LINDSEY HILSUM: Bright lights, almost big city. They call this the Champs Elysees. The goods on sale might be a bit different, but the point is that this is a street in what increasingly looks like a town.
In the last couple of months, Zaatari has taken on an air of permanence. The Syrians here might not want to admit it, but they know they're not going back tomorrow or next week -- not next year either.
KILIAN KLEINSCHMIDT: In the winter, this will all get muddy and full with...
LINDSEY HILSUM: Yes, and horrible, yes.
Walking around, we came across a group of 16-year-old girls. They told me they hated life in Zaatari, but had no hope of going home to Daraa in Syria.
GIRL (through interpreter): What can we do? Assad is still going strong.
LINDSEY HILSUM: The boys, like boys everywhere, were playing shoot-'em-up computer games. But, for them, violence isn't abstract. In fact, they see this as practice.
BASSEM MANSOUR, graduate from Daraa (through interpreter): These kids were bombed and saw battles and destruction, so ideas began to develop in their minds. They started dreaming of becoming part of the resistance, of fighting and defending their country.
LINDSEY HILSUM: Kilian is talking to the elders. Now it's dark, they have broken the Ramadan fast.
KILIAN KLEINSCHMIDT: Yes, and I would like to do more. We can do more, but we need to work together more.
LINDSEY HILSUM: They complain to him about water pollution, although, on occasion, refugees have smuggled out mud-covered stolen tents inside the tankers.
It's not always easy to build trust. Early morning, and the bread van arrives. Bread's distributed for free, but now bakeries are springing up in the camp. It's usually the children's job to collect the family supply. There are 60,000 kids in the camp. Only a quarter of them go to school. They roam around chucking stones.
JANE MACPHAIL, United Nations: When you want to be happy, when you want to be happy, what do you do?
A project to help children reconnect with their emotions. War and exile have robbed them of all sense of risk, for themselves or anyone else.
JANE MACPHAIL: These children have lived for a particularly long time in levels of stress that are incredibly profound. So, when that happens, there's a part of your brain that goes, you have experienced too much. And it's like a SIM card in a phone. It turns itself off. You go into survivor mode.
LINDSEY HILSUM: As if to prove the point, one lobbed a stone at the aid workers' vehicle as they left.
Water is a scarce resource in the camp, but the kids aren't worried. Dusk is falling again. For the children, the years stretch ahead in a camp that became a town in the desert in Jordan. Soon, Syria will be just a dream.
Hellbender salamanders are as old as the dinosaurs, but scientists know very little about these ancient amphibians. Scientists need to know how many live in the Midwest and Appalachian regions of the United States and how healthy the population is, but finding and studying these animals is no easy feat.
For more on this story, check out our blog post.
Matt Neff from the Smithsonian's National Zoo holds a large -- almost two feet long -- hellbender salamander, caught in the rivers of southwestern Virginia. These amphibians are endangered in parts of the United States, but scientists want to know how healthy and viable the population is. They have a wide mouth full of sharp, tiny teeth like a catfish, capable of crushing a crayfish shell. Beware their bite, warns Kim Terrell. They aren't aggressive or poisonous, but their bite can break the skin. Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
Snot Otters and Devil Dogs
Kim Terrell from the Smithsonian's National Zoo holds a large male salamander. Locals also call them "snot otters", "devil dogs", and "mud cats." She's been studying these animals to understand how they will be affected by climate change and changes in water quality. They are a "canary in the coal mine," Terrel says. A decline in the hellbender population means a decline in water quality. Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
In Search of Salamanders
Matt Neff, left, and Kim Terrell from the Smithsonian's National Zoo trudge through the rivers of southwestern Virginia in search of hellbender salamanders. In the eastern United States they range from Midwestern states like Ohio and Indiana to Pennsylvania and as far south as Georgia. But the salamanders are disappearing. The Missouri Department of Conservation estimates that the population in their region has declined by 75 percent since the 1980s due to decline in water quality, loss of habitat and poaching. Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
Derek Wheaton, a natural resource specialist at Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, holds a pair of crayfish, hellbenders' favorite food. The first river the team surveyed that day turned up lots of crayfish and plenty of flat rocks for salamanders to hide under, but no hellbenders. Hellbenders eat crayfish, small fish, worms and, sometimes, their own young. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
A team of eight biologists and volunteers lift heavy rocks in a river in southwestern Virginia looking for hellbender salamanders. Hellbenders live under wide, flat rocks that can weigh up to 1,800 pounds. Survey teams can have up to 15 people just to scour the river for the animals. Two or three people lift the rock, while others wait with nets to catch the salamanders as they bolt from their hiding spot. Kim Terrell dives under the water, reaching for the squishy, slippery body of a hellbender. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
Between tests, volunteers hold the salamander in a mesh bag in the water. It lives underwater all the time and breathes through its skin. The wrinkly folds of skin along its sides gives the salamander more surface area to breathe without weighing it down, Kim Terrell explained. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
Catch and Release
Kim Terrell from the Smithsonian's National Zoo holds a hellbender salamander. The hellbender has to be released under the same rock where it was found. Late summer is the start of breeding season for the salamanders and males, like this one, will start building nests soon. Hellbenders live a long time -- up to 30 years in the wild -- and take years to reach sexual maturity. Removing even one breeding adult from its habitat can damage the population's ability to reproduce. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
Kim Terrell draws a blood sample from a hellbender salamander while two volunteers hold the animal still. Timing this task is critical. Terrell needs to get a blood sample as close to the time of its capture as possible. Waiting elevates the level of stress hormone -- a result of its surprise capture -- in the salamander's blood. Photo: Rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
Hellbender Bath Time
After taking a blood sample, the hellbender is bathed with distilled water. This washes the river water off its skin so the biologists can test it for diseases. Volunteers hold the hellbender in a plastic container and drain the water from the tub. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
The Big One
Matt Neff measures one of the hellbender salamanders the team has caught. Almost two feet long, it barely fits in the measuring tray -- one of the longest the team has ever found. Hellbender salamanders are the third largest species of salamander in the world, growing to over two feet long and weighing over four pounds. Photo: REBECCA JACOBSON/PBS NEWSHOUR
Checking for Chytrid Fungus
Kim Terrell swabs a hellbender and checks for deformities and skin diseases. This swab will later be analyzed for diseases like chytrid fungus, a serious threat to amphibians around the world. While chytrid hasn't been known to kill hellbenders, they can still carry the fungus and infect frogs, toads and other salamanders in the river. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
Kim Terrell holds the microchip that she injects into the salamanders so biologists can identify individuals that have been caught and tested. This is the same chip that vets use in dogs and cats to identify lost pets. If the same salamander is caught in the future, scientists can track changes in its health, range and habitat over time. Photo: rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
Threatened and Endangered
In 2011, Ozark hellbenders were listed as endangered. The salamanders also appear to be declining in parts of Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Hellbenders are threatened by siltation, where sediment from land development washes into the stream and chokes the salamanders. They are also threatened by habitat loss, poaching and pollution. But there is hope. Some pockets of eastern hellbenders are surviving, even thriving, in places that biologists previous thought uninhabited. Photo: Rebecca jacobson/pbs newshour
TOMICH, Scotland -- Around 11 p.m. the crowd raised their glasses as the last of the light faded from the Highland sky to toast Lord Tweedmouth. Dogs were everywhere, and nearly all of them were golden retrievers. They came from around the world to pay tribute to the man who first bred them here in the mid-1800s. Some were almost white; some had a more reddish hue and others fell somewhere in between.
The dogs and their owners strolled down the very same lane that British Prime Minister Winston Churchill once reputedly learned to drive on. Their destination, Guisachan House (pronounced Goose-a-kin), was brightly lit in a changing array of colored lights against the darkening Scottish sky. It was a mostly quiet affair.
Almost unbelievably, the dogs didn't bark, and their owners spoke in hushed, reverential tones as they made their way along the drive up to the now-ruined house.
It was one of the opening events to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the founding of Britain's Golden Retriever Club. And because Scotland is the birthplace of the breed, hundreds of dogs -- a new record of 222 dogs, to be exact -- and dog owners from around the world made the pilgrimage to the tiny conservation village of Tomich, next to the Guisachan Estate, about a 200-mile drive north from Glasgow. Some came from as far away as Australia. Others traveled the length of the United Kingdom to attend. And there were also Spaniards, Danes, Austrians, Japanese, Italians, Canadians and a contingent of about 50 Americans on hand, among others.
Guisachan was the home of Dudley Coutts Majoribanks, the first Baron Tweedmouth, from 1854 to 1894. It was here he famously bred the first golden retriever. Crufts catalogue, considered the historical British authority on all things canine, cites Lord Tweedmouth's stud book. Tweedmouth notes the mating took place in 1868 between a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever named Nous and a somewhat rare, and now extinct, Tweed Water-Spaniel named Belle. That breeding produced four yellow puppies: Crocus, Cowslip, Ada and Primrose. It took another 64 years before the breed was officially recognized in the United States by the American Kennel Club.
Golden retrievers are the third most popular breed of dog in the United States, according to the American Kennel Club.
Carol Nolte came all the way from Maineville, Ohio, for what she calls her "golden retriever mecca." Nolte's love affair with the dog began when she was a little girl and started showing and breeding, even winning the right to compete at Westminster's junior show in New York City.
Nolte and her husband Joe keep about a dozen dogs of their own in Ohio. The dogs didn't make the transatlantic trip, but Nolte and her husband wouldn't miss it. "For years golden enthusiasts have been coming here," Nolte said. "I'm guilty. We came here about 10 years ago for the first time. It's a good reason to get together to have a party."
Buckets of water sit in the fields ready for the golden retrievers to quench their thirst.The party lasted for three days in July, with haggis hurling, tug-of-war and a dog show all on the agenda. Under warm, sunny skies, the dogs watched as their owners donned kilts, stepped onto overturned half-whiskey barrels, raised a wee dram (for the uninitiated, a shot of whiskey), and then hurled the frozen haggis down a long, grassy lane. Visitors from around the world tried their hand, but as might have been expected the winners were both Scottish. The male winner, Warwick Lister-Kaye, was actually born in a house that was once the old kennels at Guisachan. Tug-of-war was a hit too, with the Scottish women handily beating the American women and other nations pairing up against each other in raucous but jovial battles.
Spectators watch as a woman launches a frozen haggis down a grassy lane in the haggis hurling competition. Haggis is the national dish of Scotland, a mix of sheep's heart, liver and lungs encased in the animal's stomach.
The culmination of the gathering was reserved for the dogs with the Club's championship show, held in the nearby village of Cannich. And then the dogs and their owners began their journeys home, many saying they would be back to the birthplace of the breed they love so much.
By Jon Shayne
Merle Hazard performs "The Great Unwind," his latest economics music video, produced by Nashville Public Television.
Paul Solman: The most financially savvy country and western crooner in America, Merle Hazard, returns to the Making Sen$e Business Desk with the release of a new economics chart-topper: "The Great Unwind," produced by Nashville Public Television (WNPT-TV).
Merle's real-life alter ego, money manager Jon Shayne, prefaces the video with a bit of background. We'll follow in our next posts with reactions to the song and subject from economists Ken Rogoff, Jamie Galbraith, Arthur Laffer, Simon Johnson, Greg Mankiw, John Taylor and Justin Wolfers. And Jon/Merle will get a chance to respond at week's end.
Jon Shayne: Paul asked me to comment on what the heck inspired my musical alter-ego, Merle Hazard, to put together the music and video for "The Great Unwind."
Well, my muse was Warren Buffett, also known as the Wizard of Omaha, who runs Berkshire Hathaway Inc. Specifically, what got me was an interview Buffett gave on CNBC in March. The topic was central bank policy, which, to a money manager, is nearly as interesting as pickup trucks, whiskey and boot scootin' boogies. The part of the interview that I like starts at 45 seconds and continues until just after the 3-minute mark:
Warren Buffett considers the unwinding of the Fed's stimulus policy in this March CNBC interview.
Buffett says in the clip that he thinks it will be "interesting" when the Federal Reserve gets to the unwinding stage of the stimulus it has applied. Prompted by the interviewer, he admits that "interesting" is just a euphemism.
"It's very easy to buy," Buffett says, referring to the trillions of dollars worth of bonds that the Fed has purchased to support the economy since the 2008 crisis.MORE FROM MERLE HAZARD: Merle Hazard Hurtles Over the Fiscal Cliff
"Now when you start selling, you know, you, at that point, you start sopping up reserves," he adds. "And that's a much different action than buying." (The reserves are the trillions of dollars that the Fed has printed, or rather, created de novo, to buy bonds since the crisis.)
"All over the world, everybody that manages money is waiting to catch the signal that the Fed will reverse course," Buffett says. "In the end, there are an awful lot of people (wanting) to get out of a lot of assets if they think the Fed is going to tighten a lot... (W)e've never had the degree of disgorgement that might be called for down the line, and who knows how it'll play out. But it'll be noticeable..."
Well, that may seem a little dry, but I loved it enough to write the song.
To put some meat on the bones of what Buffett is saying, take a look at this chart from the Cleveland branch of the Fed:
Assets held by the Fed have soared to $3.4 trillion today. Graph courtesy of the Cleveland Fed.
The chart reflects that early in 2007, before the crisis, the Fed held $860 billion in assets. You can see, as you follow it to the right, that the Fed's portfolio has grown to over $3.4 trillion today. In other words, the Fed has quadrupled in size. This is why my alter ego, Merle Hazard, croons that the Fed has been "buyin' assets, by the trillion."
What will happen if, in order to forestall inflationary pressures, the Fed needs to reverse course and, over a short period of time, sell a meaningful part of the trillions in bonds it has bought? As Buffett intimates, it would be ugly: interest rates would spike, and this could pull the stock market down sharply. We had a hint of that kind of market decline already. In June, the Fed suggested that it would start to taper off new bond purchases within several months, which means buying less, not actually selling, and this led to a temporary dip in stock prices and a rise in interest rates.
Because the effect on markets would be so negative, it is a pretty safe bet that the bonds will stay where they are, i.e., on the Fed's balance sheet, as long as inflation stays low.
But will inflation always stay low? Maybe not. And the necessity of choosing between the risk of inflation, on the one hand, or knocking down markets, on the other other, is the dilemma that my music video is all about. As Merle puts it in the song:
Our Fed's the central bank to a deeply troubled nation. If they sell off bonds, the markets tank. If not, some day, inflation. Now the money has been flyin', but has the Fed been flyin' blind? That's why I'm worryin' about...The Great Unwind.
There is one other option that the Fed has. Merle sings about that in the second verse:
Some say the Fed can manage this without sellin' off its bonds; That they'll pay high interest on reserves, and bankers will respond. But payin' bankers not to lend ain't how the system was designed, So I'm still worryin' about...The Great Unwind.
In other words, instead of selling bonds off to suck dollars back into the Fed, the Fed can simply pay banks to deposit money at the Fed that would otherwise be used for lending. It started using that technique in October 2008. Currently banks have $2.1 trillion deposited there, up from about zero before the crisis, and they are making 0.25 percent annually on it. That does not sound like a high rate of interest, but my clients and I are making only about a fifth of that on our U.S. Treasury bills. So the bonus rate that the Fed pays to banks raises a fairness issue.
I worry about the politics of paying bankers not to lend and the Fed's lack of experience with this technique. Paul Solman, the proprietor of this page, has been concerned, too. As the song says, it "ain't how the system was designed," at least not until 2008. Granted, we have, at least in the past, paid farmers not to grow certain crops. But bankers are not quite as popular as farmers.
Paying banks interest on their reserves is also mildly inflationary in the long run, at least in the very long run, once rates move up from the floor. This is because the interest the Fed pays on bank reserves is new money.
One last point: you may be thinking that it is a bit odd for a value investor to dress up in a costume and sing. Value investors are known to be not simply boring, but proudly and intentionally boring. So I guess it is a little unusual. But I'm not the only one who sings. Just check out this GEICO commercial, in which my muse for this project, the Wizard of Omaha himself, makes an appearance, well-costumed and excessively auto-tuned, as Axl Rose in the last 45 seconds of the video:
Watch Merle's muse, Warren Buffett, do some crooning of his own in this GEICO commercial. (Look for Buffett's appearance around 1:40 in the video.)
Editor's Note: Jon Shayne holds Berkshire Hathaway shares both personally and in client accounts he manages.