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

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we turn to a strict new voter I.D. law in North Carolina, which is putting a spotlight on the broader national fight over when and where people can cast ballots.

    GOV. PAT MCCRORY, R-N.C.: Protecting the integrity of every vote cast is among the most important duties I have as governor. And it's why I signed these commonsense, commonplace protections into law.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Pat McCrory, North Carolina's first Republican governor in more than two decades, defended the new law last night in a statement posted on YouTube.

    Under the statute, voters will have to present a government-issued photo I.D., such as a driver's license, at the polls. The law also ends same-day voter registration, and it shortens the early voting period by a week.

    Republican State Senator Bob Rucho argued the measure will help prevent voter fraud when it takes effect in 2016. He said: "It's going to have a huge dividend for the state of North Carolina as far as restoring a level of confidence in government by making the electoral process secure."

    Opponents insist the real intent is to suppress turnout among Democratic constituencies, minorities, young voters and the poor. In Raleigh today, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People announced plans to challenge the law in federal court.

    REV. WILLIAM BARBER, North Carolina NAACP: This bill is not about voter I.D. It is 57 pages of regressive, unconstitutional acts to rig and manipulate elections through voter suppression.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Possible presidential contenders are weighing in as well. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, sharply criticized the law last night in San Francisco.

    HILLARY CLINTON, former U.S. Secretary of State: Citizens will be disenfranchised, victimized by the law, instead of served by it. And that progress, that historical progress toward a more perfect union will go backwards, instead of forward.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In fact, North Carolina is the latest of several states with Republican-controlled legislatures moving to tighten voter rules.

    Just today, the American Civil Liberties Union warned Kansas that it must comply with federal voter law or face legal action. And U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder signaled last month that the Justice Department will challenge such laws, but that will be far harder now since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down part of the Voting Rights Act in June.

    We get two takes now on the voter I.D. law in North Carolina. Republican State Representative Tom Murry is a co-author of the measure, and Democratic U.S. Representative G.K. Butterfield is a former North Carolina Supreme Court justice and critic of the new law.

    Gentlemen, we welcome you both to the NewsHour.

    REP. G.K. BUTTERFIELD, R-N.C.: Thank you.

    TOM MURRY, R-N.C.: Thanks for having us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Representative Murry, let me start with you.

    Why was it necessary to reform the state's voting law?

    TOM MURRY: I think that voter I.D. one of those subjects that is so common sense that it -- most people in North Carolina wondered why we didn't do in the first place.

    I'm proud that North Carolina has joined the 34 other states to enact a common sense voter I.D. law that isn't going to impact a significant amount of North Carolinians. What we identified when we were analyzing this bill is that 97 percent of the people that voted in 2012 had a direct match in the Division of Motor Vehicles database.

    And so we're willing to work over the next few years towards 2016 to make sure that anyone that needs a photo I.D. can get one and we're willing to give them one for free as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But why was it necessary?

    TOM MURRY: I think that's a question that you should ask the public.

    The public, if you ask -- and that's what I did. I went door to door in my campaign. We did focus groups and talked to folks. And it's just one of those commonsense things that voters in North Carolina thought that we already had. I have seen numerous people come to the polls in North Carolina and present their I.D., expecting to be asked for it.

    And so it's just kind of one of those common sense things that make sense to 60 percent to 70 percent of the voters in North Carolina, and so it's a good commonsense policy for our state.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Butterfield, he's saying it's just common sense and it's something most North Carolinians want.

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: Well, first, let me thank you for putting the spotlight on this issue in North Carolina.

    It's very shameful that our legislature in North Carolina and the governor have decided to make these radical changes in the election laws. There is no need for a voter I.D. law in North Carolina. We have four million people who vote in every presidential election and less than a dozen reports of voter fraud.

    We can see right through this. We know exactly what it is. It's a political power grab on the part of the Republicans. For years and years, Republicans were shut out of the political process in North Carolina. And so they are determined now to control the legislature. They won the elections in 2010. And Government McCrory was elected in 2012.

    And it's now their determination to hold onto this power that they have acquired. It's discriminatory. It disenfranchises so many groups of people in our state. It's going to cost a lot of money to enforce it, and shame on North Carolina for making this happen.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you, Representative Murry, about several of those points, number one, that it's a political power grab, that there really are very few examples of voter fraud, and that this is just an overreaction.

    TOM MURRY: I don't think it's an overreaction.

    And what we have seen from other states that are similarly situated to North Carolina -- and probably the state to look at the closest that resembles North Carolina is Georgia, where we have seen their voter I.D. law be in place since 2008, and we have seen turnout amongst minorities, including African-Americans and Hispanics, go up since the voter I.D. law went into place.

    Another thing about the Georgia experiment that we have seen is over the five years that they have had the law in place, less than -- between 30,000 and 40,000 free I.D.s have been issued by the state of Georgia. So the impact hasn't been that great. That's less than -- that's around -- that's less than 1 percent of the registered voters in the state of Georgia.

    And I think you're going to see a similar experience here in North Carolina. And so when you're talking about a commonsense measure like voter I.D. that 60 percent to 70 percent of the voters in North Carolina approve of, I think it's a step in the right direction to improve the voting process and improve everybody's sense of integrity and have confidence in the election results.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Butterfield, I think I heard Representative Murry say that in the state of Georgia, when the voter I.D. act was passed, turnout among African-Americans actually increased.

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: Well, let me tell you, North Carolina has had a good participation rate over the years.

    The former governor and the North Carolina legislature have worked hand in hand to liberalize and to make the ballot box accessible and to minority groups and to women and to students and senior citizens. We have been a model for the nation.

    And now to implement a voter I.D. law is going to result in 300,000 people who do not have any form of government-issued identification to be disenfranchised. The legislature says, well, they can get a special I.D. card. Well, many people will not do that. They will choose not to vote, and that's very sad.

    And the state's even saying now they will pay for a voter I.D. card. And the statistics show it's going to cost $800,000 to implement a voter I.D. card program. Completely unnecessary.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Another aspect of this law, I want to ask you about, Representative Murry, is the fact that it does away with not only -- it does away with same-day voter registration, but it also shortens the early voting period by a week. It was 17 days. Now it is 10 days. Why make it harder for people to vote early?

    TOM MURRY: Early voting is extremely popular.

    And what we have done with this measure is to make sure that the same number of hours of early voting were that were available in 2010 and 2012 are going to be available going forward. And so what we're doing is actually -- it's broadening the number of locations that people will be able to access early voting, because one way that some enterprising election officials were trying to game the system was to have one location only accessible to a certain voter bloc.

    And that cuts across both party lines. And so the best way to stop the gaming of the system is to make sure if you're going to have multiple early voting locations, you open them up all at the same time, all with the same number of hours. And so it's going to be more fair for our voters to have multiple locations for early voting.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Congressman...

    (CROSSTALK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You hear what he's saying.

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: That's nothing but a pretext for voter suppression.

    Let me tell you, the early voting days have not been sufficient. The lines have been long. And we actually need more voting dates, not less. And cutting it back to 10 days is nothing but a move to suppress the African-American vote, the youth vote.

    TOM MURRY: What we need is more voting locations.

    (CROSSTALK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let's let him finish.

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: And let me tell you, what the representative didn't say is that they have also eliminated Sunday voting.

    And we know that in all of the -- particularly all the Southern states, African-Americans vote in higher numbers on Sunday before the election.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What about his point that they -- though, that they are adding more places to vote?

    TOM MURRY: That's right.

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: Well, no, they are giving the discretion to add more places. They have not established more early voting sites. It is enabling more voting sites, at the same time reducing it to a 10-day window.

    This is not -- this is not giving the right to vote. It's taking away the right to vote. The Republicans have been doing this for a long time. The thing that has stood in their way has been the Voting Rights Act. And on June the 25th, the Supreme Court struck down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act.

    And 30 days later, July 35, that's when the legislature passed these sweeping changes. And now there's no oversight from the Justice Department. That's why I'm calling on Attorney General Holder to look at this case very carefully and to consider filing a lawsuit.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Representative Murry, just quickly, it is -- we know that in voting last year that of the early voting, something like 70 percent of African-Americans took advantage of early voting in the last few elections, larger than the other voters.

    So, you can understand why this looks like an effort to cut back on minority voting.

    TOM MURRY: What we want is more locations for everyone to vote early, and that's what we're trying to achieve.

    And I will issue a challenge to Congressman Butterfield. I would like to join with him to make sure that they're -- if we can identify anyone that need a photo I.D. between now and January 1 of 2016, I hope his congressional office and my legislative office can work together to make sure that anybody that needs an I.D. get one by January 1, 2016.

    Will you work with me on that, Congressman?

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: Well, Representative, we're going to try to get this law overturned.

    The Voting Rights Act is still enforceable. We're going to try to pursue a Section 2 claim under the Voting Rights Act. This is clearly not only a discriminatory impact on minority voters, but it has a discriminatory intent. And we're not going to just sit by and watch it happen.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Butterfield, Representative Murry, we thank you both.

    TOM MURRY: Thank you.

    G.K. BUTTERFIELD: Thank you. 


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    JEFFREY BROWN: And we turn now to the New York Police Department's stop and frisk program, a policy that a federal district judge yesterday said unfairly targets minorities.

    NewsHour special correspondent William Brangham spoke with New Yorkers about the ruling and how the program has impacted their communities.

    Here is his report.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: It was the middle of a summer night, seven years ago, on New York City's Upper West Side. Nicholas Peart was out celebrating his 18th birthday with a friend and a cousin. They'd gone to get a burger at the local McDonald's, but it was closed, so they sat down on this bench. That's when the trouble started.

    NICHOLAS PEART, plaintiff: Suddenly, and out of nowhere, these squad cars, three squad cars pull up to us. And cops came out of those squad cars and demanded that we get on the ground.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But you weren't doing anything wrong?

    NICHOLAS PEART: Wasn't doing anything wrong. We had not been drinking. We hadn't been doing anything but sitting on the benches late at night.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Nicholas is now 24, a college graduate and working for a nonprofit group in Harlem. He says he's been stopped maybe 10 times in his life, he says all of them for no reason. He says he's never been arrested, never been charged with any crime at all.

    NICHOLAS PEART: I have pretty much lost track of how many times I have been stopped. It's sort of like rites of passage for a lot of black and brown boys in different neighborhoods around the city.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: How many times have you been stopped by the police?

    DAVID OURLICHT, plaintiff: Well in the double digits, like three, four times a year.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Twenty-five-year-old David Ourlicht, also a college graduate who's now applying to law school, says he's also lost track of how many times he's been stopped and frisked by New York City police officers.

    DAVID OURLICHT: A lot of these stops have been me walking home from school when I was going to St. John's, or me helping a friend move, or just me walking outside my house.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: How do you explain that?

    DAVID OURLICHT: How do I explain being -- I don't know. I don't know. It's hard to explain it.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Both of these men were among the plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit brought against the city of New York's stop and frisk policy.

    DAVID OURLICHT: When I got the call this morning, the first thing I did was cry.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Yesterday, a federal district court judge ruled that police officers in New York City have for years been unfairly stopping young minority men without reasonable suspicion that those men were doing anything wrong.

    Judge Shira Scheindlin said New York's stop and frisk policy violated the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable search and seizure, and amounted to racial profiling. "No one should live in fear of being stopped whenever he leaves his home to go about the activities of daily life," the judge wrote.

    "During these stops," she added, "minorities were more likely to be subjected to the use of force than whites, despite the fact that whites are more likely to be found with weapons or contraband."

    While not banning stop and frisk outright, the judge ordered a series of changes. Officers in some precincts will now wear mini-cameras on their vests to document encounters. She ordered a series of community meetings to get input about possible changes to the policy, and she appointed a federal monitor to oversee those changes.

    The judge's ruling prompted an angry response from New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

    RAYMOND KELLY, New York City Police Commissioner: What I find the most disturbing and offensive about this decision is the notion that the NYPD engages in racial profiling. That simply is recklessly untrue.

    We do not engage in racial profiling. It is prohibited by law. It is prohibited by our own regulations. We train our officers that they need reasonable suspicion to make a stop, and I can assure you that race is never a reason to conduct a stop. The NYPD is the most racially and ethnically diverse police department in the world.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: At the same news conference, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said stop and frisk has played an important role in the city's dramatic reduction in violent crime, including murder, since the practice began a decade ago.

    MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, New York City: Every day, Commissioner Kelly and I wake up determined to keep New Yorkers safe and save lives. And our crime strategies and tools, including stop, question, frisk, have made New York City the safest big city in America.

    In fact, murders are 50 percent below the level they were 12 years ago, when we came into office, something no one thought possible back then. Stop, question, frisk, which the Supreme Court of the United States has found to be constitutional, is an important part of that record of success.

    It has taken some 8,000 guns off the street over the past decade and some 80,000 other weapons.

    SHENEE JOHNSON, mother of victim: Kedrick was an innocent kid that got caught in the crossfire.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Shenee Johnson lives in Jamaica, Queens, the same neighborhood where David Ourlicht says he was stopped and frisked several times. She wants the police to treat everyone fairly, but she wishes stop and frisk was even more vigorously enforced. Had it been, she thinks it might have saved the life of her 17-year-old son, Kedrick. He was shot and killed at a party three years ago.

    SHENEE JOHNSON: If the murderer, the guy that killed my son, was stopped and frisked, he might have -- Kedrick might be alive today.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Johnson believes the views of people like her, people who have seen the impact of violent crime up close, are often ignored in the debate over the constitutionality of stop and frisk.

    SHENEE JOHNSON: Complaining is easy, but just sitting back and doing nothing, that's a whole other thing. You do have a lot of cases where the police department have gone overboard, but, like I said, it's all about communication, being fair to the people, not taking people rights away, but at the same time protecting the innocent ones like Kedrick.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Defining what's fair and what's effective, balancing public safety with individual rights is the heart of the debate over stop and frisk.

    Critics point out that only a very small percentage of stop and frisk actions result in the seizure of weapons or drugs or other contraband. For example, this study showed that for the hundreds of thousands of stops that occurred in 2008, only 6 percent resulted in arrests. Under 2 percent yielded any contraband. And only about one-tenth of 1 percent of stops turned up guns. More recent data showed similar results.

    Despite that, the number of stop and frisks have gone up significantly since the program began. The city counters by saying that the number of stop and frisks have dropped sharply in the last year after new training was given to officers about what constitutes reasonable suspicion for stops and searches.

    Mayor Bloomberg says the practice has taken thousands of guns off city streets, and, he argues, the very existence of the program discourages would-be criminals.

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Today, we have the lowest percentage of teenagers carrying guns of any major city across our country, and the possibility of being stopped by -- acts as a vital deterrent, which is critically important by -- a critically important byproduct of stop, question, frisk.

    The fact that fewer guns are on the street now shows that our efforts have been successful, and there is just no question that stop, question, frisk has saved countless lives. And we know that most of the lives saved, based on the statistics, have been black and Hispanic young men.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The mayor and the police chief both argue that stop and frisk is an essential part of their -- of them doing their job of keeping New Yorkers safe, and they say that stop and frisk might be hard for a lot of young men who get caught up in this, but that that's an OK price to pay for the drop in crime. That's their argument. What do you make of that?

    NICHOLAS PEART: I think the crime rate is down in all the major cities, you know, without stop and frisk. I think it's important to note that these are not just minor inconveniences. It's not just minor inconveniences. These are -- these stops are very hostile. It's very damaging to the community.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: David Ourlicht, the young man who's lost track of how many times he's been stopped by New York City police, says these experiences have poisoned his relationship with authority, and he says it's done the same for thousands of young men in the city.

    DAVID OURLICHT: I think that that creates distrust within the community, because I think these communities, like, yes, we all want safe things, but I also don't want my son or my child or my uncle or my niece or my nephew or anybody in my -- or family and friends to have to be abused.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But Mayor Bloomberg, the man who presides over the nation's biggest city, says that putting restrictions on stop and frisk poses its own dangers. He says citizens shouldn't feel like targets of the police, but they also shouldn't be victims of violent crime.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Mayor Bloomberg also vowed the city would appeal the judge's ruling.

     


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: We return now to Egypt, where there were clashes again today, as the stalemate over protest camps continued.

    Margaret Warner reports.

    MARGARET WARNER: Tensions boiled over in the streets of Cairo again today, as fighting erupted between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. A few thousand Morsi supporters marched to the Interior Ministry, and before long, both sides were throwing rocks, as police fired tear gas to try to quell the fracas.

    It came as the standoff continued over two massive sit-in protest camps of Morsi followers. They remained defiant after security forces failed to move against them as expected again today.

    ALY SALAH, Morsi supporter (through interpreter): We will not leave the camp. We are here until we achieve our demands, freedom, legitimacy, and that Morsi be returned to power, or we die here.

    MARGARET WARNER: The military-backed interim government vowed last week to use force if needed to clear the camps, but it has yet to follow through on the threat.

    The state-run Al-Ahram newspaper reported today that the national security council met late into the night, but was still divided on how to handle the protests. Meanwhile, the Muslim Brotherhood's spokesman said it is ready to take part in political talks mediated by Al-Azhar University, Egypt's leading religious authority, but he insisted any such talks must be based on what he called the restoration of constitutional legitimacy, a clear reference to Morsi's status as the country's elected president. 


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    MARGARET WARNER: I'm joined now by Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy from Cairo.

    And, Minister Fahmy, thanks for being with us.

    It appears that your government is holding off for now using force to disperse these two sit-ins. Is that the case? If so, why?

    FOREIGN MINISTER NABIL FAHMY, Egypt: Well, the decision taken by the government even two weeks ago was that the minister of interior would act when he sees it is necessary in accordance with the law. That's really the objective.

    There's no desire to curtail any effort to find a solution to this. But, ultimately, it has to be resolved, either through dialogue or through the enforcement of the law.

    MARGARET WARNER: How long remains before it has to be resolved?

    NABIL FAHMY: Not very long.

    MARGARET WARNER: Days?

    NABIL FAHMY: Well, I'm not going to get into days or weeks, but I can tell you that we have been trying to resolve it for quite a while now.

    Every effort will continue to be exerted to resolve it. This ultimately is something that will help Egypt move on. But, also, the country needs to -- the government needs to exert its authority and provide the layman on the street free access to their homes, their facilities and so on and so forth.

    We need start -- start up the economy and preserve a sense of security for people as a whole. That can't happen when there is this problem with security on the ground.

    MARGARET WARNER: Is there a split within the coalition government on how to proceed with this?

    NABIL FAHMY: Before, saying that the minister of interior was mandated to take actions in accordance with the law, that's a decision. And at the same time, it didn't preempt efforts being made by good offices from different countries, including U.S. and E.U. and to Arab countries, to find a solution through dialogue.

    So there's no contradiction between the two. But the only thing that has to be affirmed quite clearly is that we need to resolve this, so we can move on and build the country in accordance with the road map adopted.

    MARGARET WARNER: What have the United States and the Europeans been telling your government privately? Are they warning that a violent crackdown could cost you international support, maybe even U.S. military aid?

    NABIL FAHMY: What they have been telling us privately is very similar to what they have been saying publicly, that a best effort should be made to resolving this peacefully, that that would be the best solution for everyone.

    And they have been urging us to be patient in trying to do that. They were here trying to do it. Those efforts, regrettably, didn't lead to a successful conclusion. We're not -- there's no real challenge to the logic that they're presenting. We understand it is better to resolve it peacefully. But it cannot be a stalemate that ends -- that continues endlessly. That also has to be dealt with.

    MARGARET WARNER: Meanwhile, has your government made any concrete progress on the steps needed to restore civilian democracy, or is this standoff over the protest camps getting in the way?

    NABIL FAHMY: The committee on the constitution, the legal aspect of it, has started its work already.

    The committee on reconciliation has started its work already. And the government itself is going through a process of reviewing different laws and different programs and projects. But I admit, to get a true reconciliation, we are trying to encourage all the different factors -- factions -- excuse me -- including the Islamists, to participate in this.

    And resolving the stalemate on the ground would facilitate, in my view, the reconciliation process. And that's why it has to be done in a reasonably short period of time. Don't forget that the road map itself has a time limit of seven to nine months. That's a very short period of time, to write a Constitution, have reconciliation, and hold two elections.

    MARGARET WARNER: Today, a Muslim Brotherhood spokesman was quoted as saying they would take part in reconciliation talks "under certain conditions" -- quote, unquote.

    Is there movement on that front?

    NABIL FAHMY: Well, I know that Azhar was trying to bring together different ideas and different proposals to come up with a process to move forward based on the road map and moving forward from the 30th of June, not moving backwards.

    I can't address what the proposals are that are being discussed presently, and hopefully there will be a solution, because we do need to resolve this one way or the other.

    MARGARET WARNER: One of the ideas being floated is to give Morsi some sort of a fig leaf, to recognize his authority as the elected president before he hands it over.

    Is something like that a workable compromise?

    NABIL FAHMY: Well, again, Margaret, I'm not -- I'm the minister of foreign affairs. My focus is on foreign policy. That's my first point.

    The second point is, talks are ongoing. But anything that attempts to rewrite history, rather than to move forward from the 30th of June onwards, wouldn't carry much water, frankly.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, U.S. Senators McCain and Graham said in Cairo last week that it's unrealistic to expect any kind of real dialogue as long as Morsi and other political prisoners are being detained. Are they right about that? Why hasn't he been released?

    NABIL FAHMY: The cases that have been brought against different Muslim Brotherhood leaders, including the president, are cases related to criminal offenses, not to political offenses.

    MARGARET WARNER: But if somebody is only being investigated and hasn't been charged, why detain him in the meantime?

    NABIL FAHMY: There's a process where, once the investigation starts, the investigating judge -- or if it's a special judge, in accordance with the normal courts, by the way, he can determine whether the accused should be held while the process continues or not. And they take decisions on a 15-day basis. And that's what's happened so far.

    MARGARET WARNER: Do you think any new constitution and elections will be seen as legitimate by the Egyptian people and the world if the Brotherhood hasn't participated in shaping them?

    NABIL FAHMY: It's going to be open, transparent. And, as I said, it's an open invitation for everyone to participate. We would hope that it allows for a process where all Egyptians work together. Egypt will not only be -- cannot only be for Islamists. It cannot only be for secularists. It has to involve everyone, but it has to be based on building an inclusive society for the future.

    It can't be exclusive politics. And it can't be a process that is not transparent, doesn't respond to the interests of the people. So I would hope that we have everybody participating, and the door will remain open.

    MARGARET WARNER: Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy, thank you for joining us.

    NABIL FAHMY: You're welcome, Margaret.

     


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    JEFFREY BROWN: A major experiment is under way in American public education, one that could change what and how schools teach.

    The NewsHour’s special correspondent for education, John Merrow, has the first of a two-part report on a new set of standards known as the Common Core.

    JOHN MERROW:   Today, Erin Garry's eighth grade English class is having a debate.

    ERIN GARRY, The School for Global Leaders: Thirty seconds.

    JOHN MERROW:   And round one is about to begin.

    ERIN GARRY: You guys can start.

    STUDENT: Freedom of speech should mean what it's saying, freedom of speech. There shouldn't be limitations on freedom.

    STUDENT: I disagree.

    JOHN MERROW:   Students in the center of the room argue their case.

    STUDENT: But you have no proof.

    ERIN GARRY: Thirty seconds.

    JOHN MERROW:   Team members on the sidelines offer support.

    ERIN GARRY: They're passing notes saying, you should ask this follow-up question, or look at this page in your text so that you can reference this piece of evidence to support your ideas.

    STUDENT: They have power, but we also have power.

    JOHN MERROW:   To prepare for the debate, the eighth graders have read several articles about freedom of speech.

    STUDENT: You can't just say what you're saying because you feel, like, that's right. You need to have evidence about it.

    STUDENT: You said that the government, that we have more power than the government.

    JOHN MERROW:   Teacher Erin Garry keeps score.

    ERIN GARRY: Kids collect points for using certain discussion skills, according to the Common Core standards.

    JOHN MERROW:   The Common Core standards have been adopted by her state, New York, 44 other states and the District of Columbia. The new standards expect a lot more from students and teachers.

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY, New York City Chief Academic Officer: You have so many different skills that you're exploring in that one activity.

    JOHN MERROW:   Shael Polakow-Suransky is New York City's chief academic officer.

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY: You're getting kids to defend their ideas, to speak persuasively, to analyze the presentations that their peers are making, using evidence from nonfiction texts.

    JOHN MERROW:   Is that what the Common Core holds in the future, that kind of teaching?

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY: Yes. Critical thinking is the -- at the heart of this. Working in teams and collaborating is at the heart of this.

    JOHN MERROW:   So, before the Common Core, what was the situation?

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY: Every state had its own standards. If you went to Massachusetts, you had some pretty rigorous, tough standards -- Alabama or Louisiana, not so much.

    ERIN GARRY: Students were learning different things in Florida from what they were learning in New York City from what they were learning in Nebraska, and even what they were learning in each school in New York City.

    JOHN MERROW:   To clear up the confusion, some governors and state superintendents developed a common set of standards, which states could choose to adopt or not. From the beginning, the Obama administration pushed the states to adopt them.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We laid out a few key criteria and said, if you meet these tests, we will reward you by helping you reform your schools.

    JOHN MERROW:   The reward was significant: hundreds of millions of dollars to states that pledged to do what Washington wanted. States competed for a share of the $4.35 billion in what Washington calls Race to the Top.

    MAN: We're nervous.  

    JOHN MERROW:   Forty-six states and the District of Columbia presented ambitious plans.

    RAYNE MARTIN, Recovery School District, Louisiana: Oh, we believe Louisiana is one of the top candidates for this. I mean, we have such exciting reform going on.

    JOHN MERROW:   Only a handful of states have actually won federal money, but most have fallen in line and adopted the Common Core.

    The Common Core standards are only the what. They describe what students should know and be able to do at each grade level. They're not the how. How the standards are taught, what happens in classrooms, that's the curriculum.

    Developing and selling curriculum materials is a billion-dollar business, but some states, including New York, are harnessing their own resources.

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY: We started by asking our teachers to build curriculum units, and the best ones go up on our Common Core library as models.

    JOHN MERROW:   Both New York City and New York state offer free Common Core lesson plans developed by teachers.

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY: Last October, one went up. It was so popular, in one day, there were 3,000 downloads.

    JOHN MERROW:   Suransky expects teachers to teach differently. New York City selected 35 schools where it's helping teachers make the transition.

    Erin Garry teaches in one of them.

    ERIN GARRY: Two minutes, one polish, one praise.

    When we started implementing the Common Core at our school two years ago, I started giving students more responsibility within the classroom so that they can be responsible for their own learning.

    STUDENT: Let's get the main idea about what we think about it, and then we can find evidence.

    STUDENT: I think one of the most important ones was the last one.

    JOHN MERROW:   Jessie Startup has also modified her teaching.

    JESSIE STARTUP, The School for Global Leaders: With mathematics, it used to be, this is how you do it. Here are your steps. If you don't do it that way, you're wrong.

    Why you think this graph matches to one of the situations here.

    Now the Common Core says, do it any way you want. Just be able to do it and justify your answer. So, students could draw a picture to figure out an answer, set up an equation, make a table. There's a variety of methods to do the same problem.

    JOHN MERROW:   Things may be changing in a few hundred classrooms, but New York City has 75,000 teachers. Brenda Cartagena has 13 years of teaching experience. She says many teachers, especially new ones, are feeling overwhelmed.

    BRENDA CARTAGENA, The Courtlandt School: We were not given curriculums, and said this is what you guys are going to do. They just told us, this is the expectation, and you figure it out.

    JOHN MERROW:   How far are you to changing the teaching to line it up with the Common Core?

    SHAEL POLAKOW-SURANSKY: I think we're about halfway there.

    JOHN MERROW:   Higher standards, innovative curriculum and changes in teaching are three aspects of what could be a sea change in America's schools. As challenging as they are, the final part, testing to find out if all of this is working, may be the highest hurdle of all.

    When Kentucky tested Common Core skills last year, scores fell 30 percentile points.

    Is this test a high-stakes test for you, the teacher?

    ERIN GARRY: Yes. If my students bomb the test, that looks very, very bad for me.

    And in first place with 66 points is team six.  

    (APPLAUSE)

    JOHN MERROW:   Schools, students and teachers will have this year and the next to transition to the Common Core. Serious testing begins in 2015.

     


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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JEFFREY BROWN: And finally tonight: the made-for-TV story of 16 lottery winners in New Jersey. They call themselves Ocean's 16, a play on the movie title, for the Ocean County employees who hit it big last week, winning one-third of a $448 million Powerball jackpot.

    The nine women and seven men work in the county's vehicle maintenance department and bought the ticket at the Acme supermarket in Little Egg Harbor Township, just a few miles from where superstorm Sandy hit last fall.

    They stepped forward today at a news conference, proudly waving mock checks made out for more than $86 million, the lump sum value of their ticket. Lottery spokeswoman Judith Drucker said each will take home $3.8 million after taxes.

    JUDITH DRUCKER, New Jersey State Lottery: If we were going to have a Hollywood script writer write the story of 16 hardworking people in Ocean County, many of whom had a lot of damage to their homes -- we all in Ocean County suffered from that storm -- and that one of the winners was the daughter of the man who wrote the lottery law in New Jersey, nobody would buy this story because they would say it's not true. But it is true.

    LISA PRESUTTO, lottery winner: I couldn't believe it. I got up, did my usual morning thing. I was having my cup of coffee. I looked up the winning lottery numbers, and I saw that number 32 was the Powerball. And I'm, like, 32? I knew that we had 32 four different times, because Willie had been writing down how many different Powerball combinations we had.

    (LAUGHTER)

    LISA PRESUTTO:   So I went to my lunch box. I got the photocopy of the -- all the tickets. And I'm going through them, flipped the page, go to the second page, see 32. And I'm looking, huh? No. I look again. I'm, like, no.

    And I immediately just started shaking. And I'm just staring at it, and I didn't know what to do. So I got up. I walked down the hall. I opened up the bedroom door, and I had to wake my poor husband up, who is no longer poor.

    (LAUGHTER)

    LISA PRESUTTO:   I said, Pat? And he rolls over. And I said, I really need you wake up. And I walk over to the side of the bed, turn the light on. And I just -- I said to him, I think we won the lottery, and I need you to double-check me, as I'm shaking.

    I turn the light on. He focuses his eyes. He looks. He's like, oh, my gosh. And then the next thing I did, I wanted to let everybody know, but I just couldn't. I wanted to be positive.

    I sent a text message to my supervisor, Tabitha, and she came back with that it was a little bit too early in the morning to be messing with her like that.

    (LAUGHTER)

    LISA PRESUTTO:   And I'm, like, yes, no kidding.

    I'm like, I'm shaking. I need you to double-check me. In the meantime, I have got to jump in the shower to get ready for work. And then she comes back with, I don't have it with me. It's on my desk, meaning the photocopy of all the tickets.

    I get done taking a shower, read her message. I'm like, oh. I go and get my phone to take a picture of the photocopy of the ticket. And I send it her.

    And she just comes back with, OMFG.

    (LAUGHTER)

    LISA PRESUTTO:   And I finished getting ready for work, and I headed to work.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DARLENE RICCIO, lottery winner: It has been an extremely rough year.

    But I did -- when we lost everything, this whole group here and everybody that I worked really pulled together and helped me through. And so this has been, like, a great family for me. We lost our home in the storm. I was just renting. I didn't own it. But we lived there for five years, me and my daughter. So now I stayed with my brother for a few months and got a little apartment above a storefront.

    So, the first thing I'm going to do is buy me and my daughter a home and bring my dog back home.

    (APPLAUSE)

    WILLIE SEELEY, lottery winner: I'm just going to continue watching NASCAR racing on Sunday. Maybe I will be at my log cabin on multiple acres of land.

    (LAUGHTER)

    WILLIE SEELEY: And I don't want to be a -- I could stay up here and talk. I will just do it. 

    (LAUGHTER)

    WOMAN: You're going to pay for it.

    WILLIE SEELEY: I think I can afford maybe more air conditioning in here.

    (LAUGHTER)

    WILLIE SEELEY: I would just like to thank everybody. Everybody's been so overwhelming to us all. And it's -- it's just happy, happy, happy.

    Thank you.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JEFFREY BROWN: There were two other winning tickets. Paul White of Ham Lake, Minnesota, claimed his one-third of the jackpot on Thursday. The third ticket was sold in South Brunswick, New Jersey, but its owner has not come forward.

     


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    WASHINGTON -- Jack W. Germond, the portly, cantankerous columnist and pundit who covered 10 presidential elections and sparred with colleagues on TV's "The McLaughlin Group," has died. He was 85.

    Jack Germond, pictured in his office in 1972, got his start covering politics in 1961 for Gannett. He died Wednesday at the age of 85. Photo by Walter Bennett/Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

    Germond died Wednesday morning. He had recently finished his first novel, "A Small Story for Page Three," about a reporter investigating political intrigue, being published Friday.

    "He went peacefully and quickly after just completing this novel, a tale he had pondered while writing columns, campaign books, a memoir and covering our politics and politicians," his wife, Alice Germond, said in a note to his colleagues. She said Germond "was fortunate to spend his life working at a job he would have done for free during some halcyon times in the newspaper business."

    With Jules Witcover, Germond co-wrote five syndicated columns a week for nearly 25 years, most of that time spent at The (Baltimore) Sun. He was in many ways emblematic of his generation of Washington journalists. He was friendly with the politicians he covered, and he cultivated relationships with political insiders during late-night poker games and whiskey-fueled bull sessions.

    Watch Video In 2000, Jack Germond spoke with PBS NewsHour about the day-to-day realities of covering a campaign. Watch that archive video above.

    "Before politics was fed into computers and moveable maps came out, Jack Germond had it all in his head," said Walter Mears, the former political writer for The Associated Press and a Germond friend and competitor.

    "He was a walking encyclopedia on politics and politicians," Mears said. "He worked the telephones -- before they were cellphones -- and the opening usually was pretty much the same: What do you hear? His style of political reporting was an art form. Sadly, it is becoming a lost art."

    Germond, Witcover and Mears were among the "Boys on the Bus" chronicled in Timothy Crouse's seminal account of reporters in the 1972 presidential election.

    Later in his career, Germond became arguably the best known of the "Boys," thanks to his irascible appearances on "The McLaughlin Group," where he offered a liberal alternative to conservative host John McLaughlin and fellow panelist Robert D. Novak.

    Their dustups were even parodied on "Saturday Night Live," with Chris Farley as Germond and Dana Carvey as a histrionic McLaughlin.

    He quit the real show in 1996 after a series of disputes with McLaughlin, sending the host a terse fax that read: "Bye-bye."

    He also appeared regularly on TV's "Inside Washington," and was a political analyst for NBC and CNN.

    Carl Leubsdorf, political columnist for the Dallas Morning News, and Susan Page, Washington Bureau Chief of USA Today remember Germond, one of the original "Boys on the Bus" campaign reporters, on the day of his death.

    Germond and Witcover's column, "Politics Today," appeared in about 140 newspapers at its peak. The pair launched the column in 1977 for The Washington Star and moved to The Sun four years later when the Star folded.

    The dual byline allowed both writers to spend time reporting, and when one was on the road, the other would draft the column and they would confer on it by phone.

    Germond and Witcover also chronicled the dumbing down of presidential campaigns and the growing cynicism of the electorate in a series of books with such titles as "Wake Us When It's Over" and "Mad as Hell."

    Germond wrote two memoirs, "Fat Man in a Middle Seat" (1999) and "Fat Man Fed Up" (2004). He retired from writing columns after the 2000 presidential election, disgusted with politics.

    "I really found this campaign odious. I just couldn't get up for it," Germond told The Washington Post. "The quality of the candidates and the campaign, I just found the whole thing second-rate. I didn't know how to explain to my granddaughter that I was spending my dotage writing about Al Gore and George W. Bush."

    In "Fat Man Fed Up," he wrote that "after 50 years of exposure to thousands of politicians, I am convinced that we get about what we deserve at all levels of government, up to and including the White House."

    Germond got his start covering national politics in 1961 for Gannett, where he had worked for several years. His first presidential campaign was the 1964 race between President Lyndon Johnson and Republican Sen. Barry Goldwater. He left Gannett in 1974 to join the Star, first as political editor and later as assistant managing editor.

    He and others in his generation typically generated leads during after-hours, off-the-record chats over drinks -- sometimes with the candidates themselves. As campaigns became more scripted, the candidates more insulated and paranoid about gaffes, Germond bemoaned the lost opportunities to see beyond their public personas.

    He was baffled by the younger generation of political reporters and their more subdued style.

    "Journalism was a great way to make a living. It was fun," Germond told People magazine in 2001. "Nowadays, reporters drink white wine and eat salads. They go to their rooms, transcribe their notes and go to the gym. We never did that."

    Germond was born in 1928, in Newton, Mass. His father was an engineer who worked in the housing business, and the family moved frequently.

    "I went through 11 different schools in 12 years of public school," Germond said on NBC's "Meet the Press" in 2005. "It made me very detached. It hardens you up a little bit."

    He served in the Army from 1946-47, then earned journalism and history degrees from the University of Missouri in 1951. He also dabbled in semipro baseball. He worked for small newspapers in Missouri and Michigan before joining Gannett Co. in 1953.

    Germond retired to Charles Town, W.Va., and a house that overlooks the Shenandoah River. A thoroughbred racing enthusiast, he was a regular at Charles Town Races and Slots.

    "I come a couple days a week," Germond told National Public Radio in a 2003 interview at the racetrack. "It is a totally cleansing experience."

    Read More: Boys and Girls on the Bus

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    By Dean Baker

    photo by Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images The press too often misrepresents budget figures by citing them out of context, argues Dean Baker. Photo courtesy of Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images.

    Paul Solman: Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, where he keeps the Beat the Press blog, has appeared on these pages before, most recently in "Don't Blame the Robots," arguing that economic inequality isn't caused by technological advances that demand more high-paid, high-skilled workers over low-paid, low-skilled ones.

    Wednesday, he takes on the economics media for their budgetary transgressions.

    Dean Baker: The New York Times budget reporters must have been celebrating this week. After all, they managed to confuse Paul Krugman, the New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize-winning economist, with their own budget reporting. That's quite an accomplishment. For those who missed it, Krugman wrote a column criticizing House Republicans for their plan to cut the food stamp program in half by trimming $40 billion from its budget. He might have gotten this information from an article like this one in the Times, whose first sentence told readers:

    "A plan by House leaders to cut $40 billion from the food stamp program -- twice the amount of cuts proposed in a House bill that failed in June -- threatens to derail efforts by the House and Senate to work together to complete a farm bill before agriculture programs expire on Sept. 30."

    The problem with this description of the Republican plan is that the proposed cut of $40 billion is supposed to be over a 10-year budget window, not a single year. (The Republicans want to cut the food stamp budget by 5 percent, not 50 percent.) This information is not reported anywhere in the article. As a result, even a very intelligent and extremely knowledgeable person like Krugman could read through the piece and be off by a factor of 10 in his understanding of the size of the proposed cuts.

    'Red Ink' in the Federal Budget: Understanding Why the U.S. Has So Much Debt

    While Krugman was quick to catch and apologize for his mistake, this episode should prompt some new thinking among budget reporters and editors. If the New York Times is flunking accurately conveying information to Krugman, whom exactly do they think they are informing with their budget reporting?

    I have long harassed budget reporters and editors over the practice of reporting large budget numbers without any context. I have argued that when people read in the paper that the government is spending $265 billion this year on Medicaid or $21 billion on child nutrition, they are not getting information, just meaninglessly large numbers.

    The overwhelming majority of readers, even highly educated readers, are not budget wonks. They don't have a clear idea of how large these numbers are. For most of them, they would be getting just as much information if they were told that the government is spending a "really big number" this year on Medicaid and a "really big number" on child nutrition. Of course, it doesn't help matters when the news stories do not even bother to inform readers of the number of years covered by the spending, as was the case with the food stamp article.

    But we don't have to throw up our hands and just say that readers are too dumb to learn about the budget. There is a really simple alternative: Newspapers could get in the habit of writing budget numbers as shares of the total budget. While readers may not be able to make much sense of the $265 billion going to Medicaid, the vast majority would have a good idea of the importance of this spending if they were told that 7.7 percent of the federal budget goes to Medicaid.

    The same could be done with multi-year appropriations. For example, the food stamp piece could have told readers that the proposed cut to the program was 0.086 percent of projected federal spending over the next decade. That may or may not be a big deal for the people losing benefits, but readers would know that it would not matter much for the budget. (The Center for Economic and Policy Research has an ultra-cool high tech calculator that allows for simple and painless calculations of these percentages.)

    Polls consistently show that the public is hugely confused about where their tax dollars are going. For example, a 2011 CNN poll found that people on average thought foreign aid took up 10 percent of the budget. The actual number is less than 1 percent, as has been explained on the Making Sen$e Business Desk. They thought public broadcasting accounted for 5 percent of the budget. The actual number is 0.007 percent.

    Imagine how much better the quality of public debate over the budget might be if most of the people participating had at least some idea of where their money was going.

    There are certainly people who want to believe that all of their tax dollars are going to lazy good-for-nothings and they have no intention of letting the evidence change their views. But that does not explain most of the confusion on budget issues. It really is a case where the media has been incredibly irresponsible, treating budget reporting more like a fraternity ritual than an effort to inform their audience about the budget.

    So come on folks, what's the excuse? It is simple and painless to put these numbers in context. Big congratulations on fooling Paul Krugman. Now can we focus on trying to inform people?

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


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    It was just a week ago that PBS President Paula Kerger announced that my colleague and good friend Gwen Ifill and I would become co-anchors and managing editors of the NewsHour. And that our longtime teammates Ray Suarez, Margaret Warner and Jeffrey Brown were being given major areas of responsibility -- overseeing, respectively, National Affairs, Foreign Affairs and Arts, Society and Culture. All this, while our own Hari Sreenivasan moves to New York to anchor the Weekend NewsHour, in addition to continuing his contributions to weekdays.

    Ever since the announcement, it's been a blur of excitement around our studio and office building in Arlington, Va. We've been overwhelmed by happy responses from friends and viewers around the country. Much of the reaction has centered on the fact that we'll have two women at the anchor desk, with comments like "a milestone," "history-making," "pathbreaking," and simply, "good for women." Others have written the changes are "a great day for journalism," "giving hope for the survival of journalism we all love," and even helping make sure "the country will be better informed."

    It would be easy, with all these puffy messages pouring in, for us to take it all personally, to let it go to our heads. Fortunately, that hasn't happened yet, and of course we realize that any folks who don't like what's happening are likely holding their fire for later. Plus, I go home every night to a family who reminds me not to get carried away with myself. But these messages do serve to remind methat the NewsHour is a treasure, and that we who work on it have a responsibility to handle it carefully.

    We speak a lot around our shop about respecting the core ideals that led Robin MacNeil and Jim Lehrer to create the program in the first place back in 1975: they were driven by the idea that the country needed a place on television for a thoughtful, civilized examination of the main news stories of the day, always keeping in mind that the audience wants to be as well-informed as possible so they can make up their own minds. Today, the audience is still watching us on TV, but also on laptops and smartphones, at all hours of the day and night; and they're almost as likely to hear about a story we covered online as they are by sitting in front of a television set.

    The delivery systems for news have changed dramatically. And we feel more pressure than ever now to keep our reporting and analysis interesting, to sprinkle in fun when appropriate and to be mindful of the ever-shrinking attention spans that we're told define the public of 2013. But we also feel an imperative to listen to our inner compass, which is centered on the news and ideas that the American people most need to know in order to make informed decisions about their community, their country and the world. That has been, and will continue to be our true North, whether our on-air faces are those of MacNeil and Lehrer, Hunter-Gault, Ifill, Sreenivasan, Suarez, Brown, Warner or Woodruff.

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    Muslim Brotherhood supporters run from tear gas fired by Egyptian police in a street leading to the main pro-Morsi protest camp in Cairo on Wednesday. Photo by Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images.

    After six weeks of supporters rallying against Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi's removal, Egyptian security forces on Wednesday bulldozed the main camp in Cairo, burning tents and rounding up protesters who refused to leave.

    The Associated Press reported that at least 149 people have been killed in the clashes around Egypt.

    Armored vehicles move in to disperse the camp near Cairo's Rabaa al-Adawiya mosque. This and the following photos are by unnamed stringers for Getty Images.

    The U.S. government had been urging restraint and a non-violent solution to Egypt's political divisiveness. Deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday in a statement from Martha's Vineyard, where President Obama is vacationing: "The United States strongly condemns the use of violence against protesters in Egypt."

    Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy said on Tuesday's PBS NewsHour, "We understand it is better to resolve it peacefully. But it cannot be a stalemate that continues endlessly."

    Egyptian security forces detain demonstrators after breaking up the camp.

    Egypt's interim government declared a monthlong state of emergency on Wednesday and put in place a nighttime curfew for Cairo and 10 provinces.

    A member of the Egyptian security forces and a woman help a wounded man after the crackdown.

    Wednesday's crackdown and violence went apparently too far for some in the government. The country's interim Vice President Mohammed ElBaradei resigned in response.

    Mike Giglio, a correspondent at Newsweek and the Daily Beast, is reporting from Cairo on the turmoil. He wrote in an email: "It's a ghost town. Taxis are afraid to come near the Rabaa area. And people are taking this curfew seriously. The city seems afraid, and bracing." Giglio reported earlier that he was detained and beaten by Egyptian security forces before his release several hours later.

    Debris remains at the site of the former camp.

    We'll hear more about developments in Egypt from Giglio and from Nathan Brown, professor of international affairs at George Washington University, on Wednesday's NewsHour broadcast.

    Related Resources

    July 5, 2013: Egypt's Ambassador: Morsi Was Unable to Be 'President of All Egyptians

    July 4, 2013: What Does Morsi's Ouster Mean for Islamist Movements in Other Nations?

    July 3, 2013: As Morsi Is Removed From Power, What Are Next Steps for Egypt and Its Military?

    July 3, 2013: Egyptians Celebrate Morsi's Ouster

    View all of our World coverage.

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    The shiny three leaves of poison ivy. Photo by Susan Biddle/The Washington Post/Getty Images.

    Ahh, summertime. A long wilderness hike followed by a refreshing swim in the river followed by -- music screeches to halt -- a nasty case of poison ivy. Few things can ruin a good romp in the woods like the three-leaved plant, which, when touched, is known to cause oozing and itchy blisters. And with warmer weather, it's out, it's rampant, and some scientists say that climate change could be making it worse.

    A much-cited study published in 2006 found that a rise in carbon dioxide both fueled the growth of the weed and increased the potency of urushiol, the oil at the root of the rash. Poison oak and poison sumac also contain urushiol, and all three can cause the blistering rash. Airborne sap-coated soot can also get into the eyes, nose, throat and respiratory system, according to the National Park Service.

    That study involved planting PVC pipes into six plots of North Carolina's 7,000-acre Duke Forest. Carbon dioxide was blown through holes in the pipes, which stretched to the tops of the tree canopies, while another control group of pipes vented normal air. Of all the plants, poison ivy was the hands-down winner.

    "It was the most responsive species to the higher carbon dioxide in the atmosphere," said Jacqueline Mohan, assistant professor at the University of Georgia and the study's lead author. "The average little tree that I measured grew 8 percent faster. And poison ivy grew 149 percent faster than it would have under ambient, normal carbon dioxide conditions."

    The logic lies in photosynthesis, she says. Whereas trees waste carbohydrates on building support structures -- trunks, bark and branches -- vines bypass this by using fences and other existing structures as their support. They also contain more leafy surface area, allowing them to draw in more CO2 and make more plant food, which they use to make more leaves, further driving photosynthesis and continuing the cycle. (Anything that's brown is not photosynthesizing, Mohan says.)

    This map shows the presence of poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac across the United States. The colors represent the combinations present. For example, Alabama has eastern poison ivy, western poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. California is known to only have poison oak. Hawaii has no known presence of any of these species. All data comes from the National Plant Data Team, part of USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.

    And the carbon dioxide appeared to make the plant as much as 30 percent more potent.

    Here's how Mohan explains it. If you compare butter and olive oil, butter is more saturated than olive oil. Butter is made up of single carbon-carbon bonds, which translates to a denser substance. Oil is less saturated, and thus more fluid. The team found that when urushiol became more unsaturated -- more like olive oil -- it was able to interact more readily with human skin cells.

    "We found that under high CO2 conditions, the urushiol becomes 30 percent more unsaturated, or should we just say 30 percent more nasty," Mohan said.

    A separate study in Wisconsin on the change in vine abundance over a 45-year period found the opposite. Using a data set published in 1959 on Wisconsin forests, researchers resurveyed the same area, using the same methods, and found that the amount of woody vines had not changed over the 45 years. This is despite the fact that atmospheric CO2 had risen globally by more than 20 percent over the 45-year study period. Not only that, but poison ivy in that forest was the only woody vine to decrease significantly over this period.

    So what might explain the discrepancy? One explanation is that woody vines like poison ivy might be limited more by freezing winter temperatures than they are fueled by carbon dioxide.

    "It may be too cold for the vines to take advantage of the higher CO2," said Stefan Schnitzer, author of the Wisconsin study and related commentary and a professor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Vessels that carry water inside the plant stems can freeze under cold conditions, ultimately killing the plant.

    Mohan added that a surge in white-tailed deer, driven by a drop in hunting, may explain the decrease. Deer are known to consume large amounts of the stuff. To know for sure what role the deer played, you'd have to build fencing and study the poison ivy in areas untouched by the deer, she said.

    "But I'd be willing to bet the barn on this one," Mohan said.

    Schnitzer stresses that he's not disputing Mohan's paper, which he calls "impeccable work." But he and Mohan both say it shows the need for more research.

    "Poison ivy in my opinion is a remarkably understudied species," Mohan said. "Most scientists avoid it."

    Not so surprising, since people who study it can end up with terrible cases of poison ivy, pointed out William Schlesinger, president of the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, who researches the impact of rising carbon dioxide on desert and forest systems and was a co-author the Duke Forest study. And the allergy is known to worsen with exposure.

    Mohan is no exception. As a result of her work, Mohan, who was only mildly allergic to poison ivy initially, is now highly allergic to it, and also to mangoes, which contain a similar oil. "I get this awful looking rash all over the bottom of my face," she said. "It's called mango mouth."

    The fact that these two papers got set up as point-counterpoint could from understanding the bigger picture, Schlesinger said.

    "We know that a lot of plants grow faster at high CO2, and vines are among the best at that, and poison ivy's a vine, and we know that CO2 is rising," he said. "If someone were to look at this and criticize it, I'd say, 'what more do you want?'"

    What is well known, Schlesinger added, is that vines, such as kudzu and honeysuckle, grow exceptionally well under high CO2 levels.

    Development also fuels poison ivy's growth, he said, by creating more roadside edges, which the weed loves. The plant doesn't do well in deep shade, he said.

    "Poison ivy is probably an extreme example of a plant responding to high CO2," he said.

    There are medical consequences linked to the CO2 phenomenon, too. More plants produce more pollen, which means more particles to get lodged in the lungs of people who suffer from emphysema, hay fever and asthma.

    The increase in woody vines is particularly threatening to the role that trees play in tempering climate change. Vines like kudzu, for example, can smother the trees that are pulling carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

    "I've driven miles and miles of highway, looking out at a green carpet of kudzu," Mohan said. "We could be changing the whole structure of biomes with these crazy, crazy vines. It's almost like a sci-fi movie. This 'Little Biome of Horrors.'"

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    JEFFREY BROWN: The political crisis in Egypt reached a new turning point today. Security forces made good on a pledge to sweep away sit-ins that sprang up after the military ousted President Mohammed Morsi in late June. The country's health ministry reported at least 235 civilians and 43 policemen were killed and more than 2,000 people were hurt.

    Gunfire and tear gas filled the streets of Cairo, as the Egyptian capital took on the sights and sounds of a war zone. Shooting erupted this morning, as police moved in force to clear away the main sit-in site occupied by supporters of Morsi.

    MAN (through interpreter): This blood -- a man was standing next to me. In a second, he was hit in the chest and died. He died in a second. He was hit in the chest. What have we done?

    MAN (through interpreter): We had made a barricade and were standing in front of it. We didn't do anything. We weren't doing anything at all. We had our hands up in the air like this. Why are they killing us? Why are they killing us?

    JEFFREY BROWN: An Egyptian Internet TV service showed police apparently firing live rounds directly into the crowds. But state TV broadcast this infrared footage and said it showed the pro-Morsi crowds firing at police. Some residents said the protesters shot first.

    MAN (through interpreter): They, the Morsi supporters, are firing on people with guns and automatic weapons. The army and police are over there. Do you hear that? People can't even stand or see what's happening and they're firing heavy weapons at us.

    JEFFREY BROWN: At least two journalists were among those killed: a cameraman for Britain's Sky News and a reporter for the Gulf News, based in the United Arab Emirates.

    A spokesman for Egypt's military-backed interim government blamed Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood for the bloodshed, and insisted police did their best to avoid any killing.

    SHERIF SHAWKY, media adviser to Egyptian Interim Prime Minister (through interpreter): The government demands the political leadership of the Brotherhood stop incitements to violence, which threaten national security. The government also salutes the efforts of the security services, as these forces are using the utmost self-restraint and highest degree of professionalism in the operation to clear the sit-in.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Also this morning, security forces cleared a smaller sit-in without much resistance.

    But, elsewhere in the city, running street battles broke out, and vehicles, police stations, and government buildings were set ablaze. From Cairo, the violence spread to other cities across Egypt. In Suez, smoke and tear gas billowed into the air as pro-Morsi demonstrators clashed with police. Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Giza used barricades to shield themselves from gunfire.

    And, in Alexandria, anti-Morsi protesters joined security forces in raiding pro-Morsi camps.

    Just last night on the NewsHour, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy had argued it was imperative to break up the protest sites.

    FOREING MINISTER NABIL FAHMY, Egypt: We have been trying to resolve it for quite a while now. Every effort will continue to be exerted to resolve it. This ultimately is something that will help Egypt move on.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But today's events laid bare a split in the regime. Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei condemned the crackdown and resigned in protest.

    A number of foreign governments were highly critical as well. Turkey had criticized the ouster of Morsi, and President Abdullah Gul rejected today's action.

    PRESIDENT ABDULLAH GUL, Turkey (through interpreter): Armed intervention on civilians, on people demonstrating is completely unacceptable. No matter what the reason is, such actions would open dangerous doors.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The U.S. response came from Secretary of State John Kerry this afternoon in Washington.

    SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: Today's events are deplorable and they run counter to Egyptian aspirations for peace, inclusion and genuine democracy. Egyptians inside and outside of the government need to take a step back. They need to calm the situation and avoid further loss of life.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But Egypt's interim government gave no sign it was prepared to step back. Instead, officials declared a month-long state of emergency and imposed a nighttime curfew on Cairo and 10 provinces.

    As night fell, police announced they had taken complete control of the sit-in sites in Cairo.

     


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    JEFFREY BROWN: I said earlier that President Morsi had been ousted in late June. It was actually early July.

    A short time ago, I spoke to Newsweek and Daily Beast correspondent Mike Giglio covering the dispersal of a pro-Morsi site in Cairo today. He was temporarily detained and beaten by Egyptian security forces.

    Mike Giglio, welcome to you.

    Describe what you say today at the camp dispersal and what happened to you.

    MICHAEL GIGLIO, Newsweek/Daily Beast: So, I was at the camp at Rabaa before the crackdown even started. And I was there as the police vehicles rolled in and as the police opened fire on the crowds, and was standing on the police lines watching them shoot the tear gas at the protesters and also watching them shoot live rounds, as you guys have described.

    And after about an hour or so, the police seemed to decide that they didn't want journalists at least on that side of the conflict. So they rounded up me and a couple other photographers, and they beat us after we identified as being journalists. And then they detained us for about four hours, along a number of protesters from the sit-in.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Was there any warning this morning before they came into the protest camp?

    MICHAEL GIGLIO: There wasn't.

    I got there around 6:00 a.m. And this is when most people are still sleeping. So, they were all piled into their tents. A few people were awake, using the bathroom or saying their morning prayers. And then just like that, you know, there was -- there was a surge of panic through the camp. And you saw people running to the exits, saying that the security forces were coming.

    And there's been a lot of false alarms like this before, but it was pretty clear that this time it was serious. And so I watched the people try in very panicked fashion set up barricades using stones, using sticks, but they were quickly dismantled when the police came.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, they were dismantled. They put up a fight, but it wasn't much of a fight at that point?

    MICHAEL GIGLIO: They put up a fight.

    And there are reports, as you guys have mentioned, that both sides had firearms, and I think that is probably true. And I spoke to some people from inside Rabaa, including some of my colleagues, who saw the protesters themselves with firearms.

    But I think it's important to point out that, when the police first arrived, they were the ones that I saw, at least, initiate the firing. And I was on the front lines, like I said, of the protesters as they were trying to set barricades, and I didn't see a single weapon. So I'm not doubting that they eventually did start using weapons, but at least at first, it was the police with a very heavy-handed response.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, Mike, where do things stand at this moment?

    MICHAEL GIGLIO: Right now, Cairo is a terrified city, I would say.

    The streets are cleared out. It's hard to get a taxi anywhere near the site of any of the demonstrations which are across the city. There was a curfew announced for 7:00 p.m. this evening, and there have been curfews in Egypt over the past few years, and they're usually pretty widely ignored.

    But, this time, the streets were completely empty. Every shop was boarded up. And as soon as the 7:00 p.m. deadline hit, you could see the army officers and the police officers starting to check I.D.s and really enforce it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And, Mike, finally, now with a state of emergency declared, what are people there telling you about the expectations for what's next? Is it more violence?

    MICHAEL GIGLIO: I think they're ready for more violence, yes.

    I think there's a pretty widespread hope from both sides that this will somehow come to a peaceful conclusion, but I think, judging from the events of today, there's no reason to expect that any time soon.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Mike Giglio of Newsweek and The Daily Beast, thanks so much.

    MICHAEL GIGLIO: Thank you.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And back live now in our studio now, I'm joined by Nathan Brown, professor of international affairs at George Washington University, and our own Margaret Warner.

    Nathan Brown, let me ask you first, what was the calculation, do you think, for the government to crack down today, and this hard?

    NATHAN BROWN, George Washington University: Well, it doesn't seem like there's a lot of calculation going on in Egypt right now. It seems that people are pretty much dug in to entrenched positions.

    There was a negotiation process that was under way that has an international mediation, has a domestic mediation between the Brotherhood and between the new regime. And that seems to have come to an end about last week or so. At that point, there was some determination to move forward, to move out these demonstrators, move out the protest camps and so on.

    But the exact form that that would take and when that would occur, that, nobody knew.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And does it surprise you the way it happened with the force it happened?

    NATHAN BROWN: It doesn't surprise me.

    I think there were possibilities for a negotiated solution, as I say, and there were also possibilities for more gradual action. And those were the kinds of signals that the regime was giving out. But it's no secret that the Egyptian security forces when they do deal with crowd control do it -- have a history of doing it in the roughest manner possible.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Margaret, you have been talking to both Egyptian and U.S. officials today. What do they tell you about why this came about as it did?

    MARGARET WARNER: Well, I think we saw some of it Foreign Minister's Fahmy's interview last night.

    They became convinced that this was preventing progress on anything else they were trying to do, that the military and security forces felt if they waited any longer, they would look weak. They had also come to the belief, and Egyptian officials have said this to me, that the Brotherhood didn't want a peaceful resolution, the Brotherhood wanted bloodshed to create a -- quote -- "new narrative for themselves as victim," as one said to me, they can live off for 20 years.

    So, so, when negotiations failed, the U.S. left with some sense of foreboding that this was coming.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But surprise? Were you sensing surprise from U.S. officials?

    MARGARET WARNER: No, no, not surprise. I don't believe U.S. officials knew the day, but their attempts to negotiate, as Professor Brown said, had come to naught.

    There was a U.S.-E.U. delegation and what they were proposing to both sides was each side step back over this immediate confrontation. The Brotherhood do something to sort of rein in how much those camps spilled over into normal streets, and the government would release at least one or two political prisoners as a sign that, hey, we want to you participate.

    According to the E.U. negotiator who actually did an interview today on the record, it was the Brotherhood who agreed tentatively, and it was the government that said no.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What do you make of the resignation of Mohamed ElBaradei? Does it suggest a real split or more consolidation by the military?

    NATHAN BROWN: It looks a little bit more like a consolidation.

    You do have still nominally a civilian government, a civilian president and a civilian cabinet and so on. But, right now, it seems that the military and the security forces are calling the shots. That said, I think the military and security forces have tremendous popular support. Baradei is a little bit isolated in his call for a negotiated solution when it comes to non-Islamist political forces.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, your sense is, they felt they could do this today and do it harshly, and they would have support?

    NATHAN BROWN: They would have popular applause, at least over the short term.

    MARGARET WARNER: And we heard -- I heard that from Egyptian officials.

    Last night, there was a conversation with one who was visiting Washington and talking about this whole topic, and he said, well, we can't wait any longer. The people are demanding it. And they have convinced themselves that they are wrapped in this incredible surge of popularity and they have got people with them.

    Of course, if the situation develops in a way that then they can't deliver on jobs or order any more than the Brotherhood did, that popularity can turn into unpopularity very quickly.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Now, what about the other side? Because you were talking to U.S. officials. We heard Secretary Kerry a little earlier. What has the response been both publicly and what you can pick up?

    MARGARET WARNER: Well, the question you asked earlier about is the military taking over, I think the U.S. fears it is.

    If you go back to what Secretary Kerry said in Pakistan last week -- it was very controversial, but he sort of said, the military -- we don't think this was a military takeover. They responded to the wishes of the people. And his exact line was, "To the best of our judgment so far, they didn't take over themselves to run the country. There's a civilian government."

    In effect, they were restoring democracy. Now, there's an implied warning in that, which is, prove this. Stick to this. But, you know, what happened today, the state of emergency, and the fact that just yesterday they appointed 19 generals as governors of all these provinces, more and more suggests this is in fact military rule with a kind of civilian figurehead government.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Nathan Brown, what's your sense of the U.S. options at this point?

    NATHAN BROWN: Well, I think the reaction of the executive branch will essentially be to try and deal with this new government. There will be a lot of distaste and a lot of pressure for them to perhaps ratchet down the violence.

    I think, on Capitol Hill, there might be a little different kind of reaction, a sense that we're giving an enormous amount of military aid to a military government. And so the Obama administration may come under pressure from Capitol Hill.

    Ultimately, the policy of most American governments since the 1970 system has been to deal with whoever is in charge in Egypt.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What's your sense -- I mean, did you want to add to that?

    MARGARET WARNER: I was just going to say, the administration is concerned about renewed pressure from Capitol Hill. And they have two decisions to make. The military aid is one. And they could dial it back or reshape it.

    The other is, there are military exercise, U.S.-Egyptian , scheduled for September called Bright Star. I think it's every two years. And a decision has to be made pretty quickly, I'm told, about whether to move forward with that.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What's your sense, both of you let me try to get quickly, of what's next, both in the immediate sense on the streets, and over the coming period? Is it more violence? Is it further rift, or does this look like it's over now?

    NATHAN BROWN: I don't think it's over. I think that there is a political process in Egypt that will continue, that will basically produce a regime that has a civilian face, but is essentially militarized and securitized state.

    That will kind of continue, so Egypt will be able to continue to be able to say, we have a civilian leadership. At the same time, I don't expect the Brotherhood to merely disappear. I don't think we are going to see all-out civil war, but we could see a prolonged period of civil strife lasting for months and even years.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And, of course, Margaret, they have been moving down the road of -- towards a new constitution in Egypt, and U.S. officials are watching that carefully.

    MARGARET WARNER: Very carefully.

    And what they fear is -- and an Egyptian official said to me today, you know, this camp -- right now, it's a state of siege on the ground, where the police have surrounded the camp and they have left one exit where people can in and get out, but that they are not even going to let that camp continue.

    So, it could take further violence just to clear that camp. And the U.S. is -- the Egyptian officials say, look, we're the majority. They're the minority. If they want to join, fine, but the idea we have to make compromises -- quote -- "That's not going to happen."

    And they think they can go forward. The U.S. is concerned that whatever they come up with won't have legitimacy or credibility if it doesn't include Islamists.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Margaret Warner, Nathan Brown, thank you both.

    NATHAN BROWN: Thank you.

    MARGARET WARNER: Thank you.

     


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    But, first, the other news of the day. Here's Kwame Holman.

    KWAME HOLMAN: Formal peace talks resumed today in Jerusalem between Israeli and Palestinian negotiators. It was the first time the two sides have met there in five years. Average Israelis were mixed on whether the U.S.-sponsored negotiations can bring about lasting peace.

    MOSHE GUR, resident of Jerusalem: I think the peace talks between Israel and Palestinians is a very, very good step forward after a number of years that the Palestinians and Israelis didn't talk to one another. I think it's about time that we should start talking. And I hope that the outcome will be a positive one.

    EREZ GOLDMAN, resident of Jerusalem: Today is a very sad day to start negotiating about peace with people who are -- accepted murderers as heroes. I cannot see any way that those peace negotiations are going anywhere.

    KWAME HOLMAN: A senior Palestinian official warned the talks may collapse if Israel goes ahead with building new housing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Meanwhile, 26 Palestinian prisoners arrived home overnight in the West Bank and Gaza to joyous celebrations. In all, Israel plans to release 104 prisoners in conjunction with the peace talks.

    Army Private 1st Class Bradley Manning apologized today for leaking reams of classified U.S. documents to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks. He spoke during the sentencing phase of his court-martial at Fort Meade, Maryland. In a statement, he said he's sorry his actions hurt people and hurt the United States. Manning faces up to 90 years in prison. The sentencing hearing could wrap up next week.

    Former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. now faces two-and-a-half years in prison for misusing campaign funds. The son of civil rights leader Reverend Jesse Jackson was sentenced at a federal court in Washington this morning. Jackson, who was treated for bipolar disorder, pleaded guilty to spending $750,000 from his campaign on items from mink capes to vacations. Jackson's wife, Sandra, received a one-year prison sentence for filing false tax returns.

    A traveling hospital technician accused of infecting dozens of people with hepatitis C pleaded guilty today to drug charges. David Kwiatkowski appeared in federal court in New Hampshire. He admitted stealing syringes containing painkiller from hospitals, using the drug, then filling the syringes with saline tainted with his blood. He's infected with hepatitis C, and 46 people in four states have been diagnosed with the same strain. Kwiatkowski faces up to 40 years in prison.

    On Wall Street, stocks were down on new concerns consumer spending is not as strong as hoped. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 113 points to close at 15,337. The NASDAQ fell 15 points to close at 3,669.

    Those are some of the day's major stories.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we turn to the government's probe of financial giant J.P. Morgan, and specifically two former employees charged today with covering up huge losses.

    The case is tied to more than $6 billion in trading losses early last year. A team at the bank made big bets known as derivatives against the credit health of some companies. The bets were wrong and losses spiraled out of control. It tarnished the bank's reputation and it raised questions about Wall Street's behavior in the wake of the financial crisis.

    Prosecutors said that Javier Martin-Artajo, who oversaw trading at the bank's investment office in London, tried to falsify just how big the problems were. He was charged with several criminal counts, as was Julien Grout, a trader who used what prosecutors call complex financial derivatives.

    PREET BHARARA, U.S. Attorney, Southern District of New York: While the transactions and financial products involved may be complex, the criminal conduct alleged is simple and straightforward. The defendants deliberately and repeatedly lied about the fair value of billions of dollars in assets on J.P. Morgan's books in order to cover up massive losses that mounted month after month at the beginning of 2012.

    Those lies misled investors, regulators, and the public, and they constituted federal crimes. As has already been conceded, this wasn't a tempest in a teapot, but rather a perfect storm of individual misconduct and inadequate internal controls.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The man at the center of the case, Bruno Iksil, became known as the London Whale because of his central role in these huge trades. But he is cooperating with investigators and wasn't charged.

    For its part, J.P. Morgan still pulled in a record profit last year.

    Reporter Dawn Kopecki is with Bloomberg News, and she joins me now.

    Dawn Kopecki, welcome back to the NewsHour.

    First of all, explain to us exactly what these two men did that was ill -- that the prosecutors say was illegal.

    DAWN KOPECKI, Bloomberg News: Yes. What they did is -- in trading derivatives, they are a very complicated financial instrument, and the pricing of them isn't very clear.

    They can use a range of prices, and in the past J.P. Morgan had typically used the midrange of prices that were available on the market. As their losses started mounting, they started using more favorable pricing. It sounds like a very minor detail, but by the end of March, we're talking about a difference of about $700 million just by using a slightly more favorable price at the end of the day, when they would mark their books.

    It amounted to hiding about $700 million in losses that the U.S. attorney's office accused the men of hiding today. That's at the crux of it. When they used the more favorable pricing, they also reported that to the bank. Those numbers then went into the bank's bottom-line numbers that were reported to shareholders. So you have falsifying books and records, falsifying internal documents.

    You have a whole host of a snowballing effect of criticism charges that fell out from that simply by using slightly more favorable prices to make their losses look a little bit better ever single day over a two- to three-month period of time.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Why were the losses so big? They ultimately ran into the billions, and then they kept -- they continued with this behavior.

    DAWN KOPECKI: Yes. Yes.

    No, the losses were large because what happened is, the markets started getting wind, they started catching wind about what these traders were doing and where their positions were. We started reporting on it. We actually broke that story last year. Other news outlets reported on it.

    And as soon as hedge funds and other major banks found out where these -- where these guys were trading, what they were trading, they started trading against them. And so it had the combination of the economics, the economy going against them. In addition, the market just descended.

    It's like sharks smelling blood in the water, and they just descended upon these traders, squeezed them out of the position, and it caused the trade to just hemorrhage. Also, in mid-March, Ina Drew, who ran this division, told the traders to just stop trading, so they couldn't defend their position. They couldn't go out and put other hedges against this position.

    And that's when you saw the daily losses just escalating into the hundreds of millions of dollars. We're talking going from, like, $30 million to $50 million to $60 million to a daily loss of $350 million. And so you saw the trade just blow out completely in mid-Match after they stopped trading and after they were able to hedge against that particular position.

    That's how it ended up being a $6.2-plus billion loss.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, the prosecutors have just charged these two men. Are they saying that higher-ups had no idea what was going on here?

    DAWN KOPECKI: They're not saying that.

    They're, in fact, not closing the door on looking at other executives. I was at the press conference today, and specifically asked them. They said that the investigation is still open. And I said, so does that mean that other executives may be under investigation?

    And they said that, generally, when an investigation is still open, they're looking at other executives. Some securities attorneys, criticism attorneys we spoke with said that this is typically -- these guys are relatively small, relatively low rungs on the ladder at J.P. Morgan, and typically they will bring these guys in and try to turn what state -- it's called turn state's evidence, try to get them to turn on their colleagues, strike a similar non-prosecution agreement type of deal, as Bruno Iksil, the London Whale, got, and then testify against other executives.

    The prosecutor's office did hint at the fact that, at some point, Martin-Artajo, who was the manager of -- Bruno Iksil's manager and Julien Grout's manager, said that these orders were coming down from New York, and so there's a hint in the charges that, at least according to Martin-Artajo, he thought these orders were coming down from higher-ups in New York.

    And so that, other attorneys have said, makes them think that they may want to try to go after other executives. But if they can't extradite these guys -- these guys aren't in this country -- if they can't extradite them and get them to talk, the investigation isn't going to go very far beyond the two that they have named today.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So there's a question of whether they will even be able to get their hands on them.

    DAWN KOPECKI: Yes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But I want to ask you about, what does this mean for J.P. Morgan, the fact that it's just two lower-level people at this point who have been charged, the fact that regulators spent months looking into this, and as you say, they're still looking at J.P. Morgan?

    DAWN KOPECKI: Yes. Yes.

    Well, they are, and J.P. Morgan expects to pay some pretty hefty fines. They expect to be fined by virtually every regulator looking at this. So, you're talking about the Department of Justice, civil fines. Criminal is not so clear just yet, but civil is probably definitely on the table, according to people we have spoken to, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and as well the Financial Conduct Authority in the United Kingdom.

    And so, for J.P. Morgan, this is going to be -- they're going to be writing checks. They're going to be writing a lot of checks for the next couple of months on this. They're facing an enormous amount of litigation from shareholders. The company lost as much as $51 billion in shareholder value at one point last summer.

    Their stock price has recovered from that, but shareholders can still sue based on what it lost last summer. So they're facing shareholder lawsuits on that. It's just such a big black eye to their reputation. It increases the scrutiny that they're getting for other regulators as well.

    And, also, because they were trying to game regulatory capital rules -- the trade is very complex, and they were trying to game basically the regulatory capital rules -- it has drawn much more scrutiny on those rules, and regulators are much more in tune to try to tighten those rules so that banks can't do this.

    Also, the Volcker rule, which bans proprietary trading, they're looking at strengthening that to prohibit banks from being able to make these kinds of risky bets with their own money. And so it's had a whole cascading effect on the regulatory front, litigation, and also it's going to hit their bottom line with all of these fines.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I was going to ask you if there were implications more broadly for Wall Street, and it sounds like you're saying that it will.

    DAWN KOPECKI: Yes, it is. Exactly.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Dawn Kopecki, we're going to have to leave it there for now. We thank you very much, Dawn Kopecki.

    DAWN KOPECKI: Thank you.

     


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    JEFFREY BROWN: And now the second of two stories on new learning standards known as the Common Core.

    Last night, NewsHour's special correspondent for education, John Merrow, looked at how it could change teaching and curriculum.

    Tonight, he looks at the impact on testing.

    JOHN MERROW: For close to 75 years, students have taken multiple choice tests. Although these tests may be good enough to evaluate basic reading, writing and arithmetic skills, they will not be able to assess the more complex college and career-ready standards known as the Common Core.

    ERIN GARRY, The School for Global Leaders: The Common Core standards give us a road map of what skills students should have and how students should be thinking.

    Each of you needs to have at least two pieces of evidence that you would use to support each idea.

    JOHN MERROW: These new standards require students to think critically.

    STUDENT: Freedom of speech should mean what it's saying, freedom of speech.

    JOHN MERROW: Speak persuasively.

    STUDENT: The Rub-A-Dub scrub takes usually wasted rotational kinetic energy.

    JOHN MERROW: And collaborate with their peers.

    STUDENT: This one has to be much longer.

    JOHN MERROW: Recognizing that current multiple choice tests are not capable of assessing these complex skills and knowing that individual states could not afford the cost of designing new tests, the federal government stepped in.

    ARNE DUNCAN, U.S. Education Secretary: I believe this new generation of assessments is an absolute game-changer for American education.

    JOHN MERROW: In the fall of 2010, the Obama administration gave $362 million to two organizations to work with states in designing new ways to measure the standards.

    MAN: Welcome, folks in the room. I believe we have representation from Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado.

    JOHN MERROW: Close to 40 states and the District of Columbia are now working to create Common Core tests.

    LAURA SLOVER, Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers: This is your test. Our job is to make it reflect the vision and the best practices of states.

    JOHN MERROW: Laura Slover is vice president of PARCC, one of the two organizations developing the tests.

    LAURA SLOVER: These are going to look different, feel different, they're going to be more engaging to students, and not as dry as a straight pencil-and-paper test.

    JOHN MERROW: Students will now be tested on computers. They will click or type their answers, watch and respond to videos and manipulate objects on the screen. There will be some multiple choice questions, but test makers say they will require more critical thinking.

    LAURA SLOVER: You're not going to be asked questions like, what did you think about the thing you read? You're going to be asked to say, what did the author think? Find evidence in the text for that to make that broader point.

    BARBARA KAPINUS, Smarter Balanced: We're beginning to push them to read more complex text.

    JOHN MERROW: Barbara Kapinus works for the other federally funded group, Smarter Balanced.

    BARBARA KAPINUS: By doing it on the computer, we're bringing the kids into the 21st century in how they deal with information processing and language arts.

    JOHN MERROW: But can a computerized test accurately measure the more sophisticated Common Core skills, like speaking, listening, and collaboration, skills that business leaders say they value most?

    BARBARA KAPINUS: A lot of people want to expand this English language arts testing, because, for years, we say, it's not just reading and writing. It's listening and speaking.

    JOHN MERROW: Are you developing tests, ways of measuring how well I speak?

    BARBARA KAPINUS: No. We wanted to. And we had hoped to, but we're not there. We can't do that.

    JOHN MERROW: If these new tests cannot measure all the Common Core skills, one solution might be to rely on both the tests and the judgment of trained teachers. Let them assess how students do when it comes to working cooperatively, listening critically and speaking persuasively. That, however, would require trusting teachers.

    Do we, as a nation, trust teachers?

    ERIN GARRY: What do you think? I don't think so.

    It seems like everyone has this idea that teachers clock in at 8:00, clock out at 3:00, go home and relax. But that's not the life of any teacher that I know. So I -- no, I don't think the nation trust teachers.

    JOHN MERROW: She may be right. The federal government demands that the tests produce data that can be used to judge teachers and principals, not just students.

    BARBARA KAPINUS: The ways they want to use the data on this test are evidence that they do not trust the teachers.

    JOHN MERROW: And who's they?

    BARBARA KAPINUS: I think policy-makers, people in Congress, governors.

    JOHN MERROW: If the new tests do not measure Common Core standards like speaking and listening, will teachers teach them, or will they be tempted to teach to the test and focus only on the skills that the tests measure?

    ERIN GARRY: There will absolutely be temptation to go back to drill and skill. There's a lot of work on not just the teacher's part, but on schools and on the DOE that needs to be done so that teachers aren't so scared that they go back to drill and skill.

    I was really proud of you for making sure that you used text evidence today.

    JOHN MERROW: If nothing changes, in the spring of 2015, less than two years from now, students in about 40 states will take these new tests. The clock is ticking.

     


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    JEFFREY BROWN: The 50th anniversary of the March on Washington is just three weeks away. And, tonight, we begin our commemoration of the event.

    First, we hear from one of the participants, Dorothy Cotton. In the 60s, she was the education director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. She organized workshops throughout the country in advance of the March.

     DOROTHY COTTON, Southern Christian Leadership Conference: By the third day of this five-day workshop, people were singing songs of:

    (singing): I'm going to do what the spirit says do. I'm going to do what the spirit says do. What the spirit says do, I'm going to do, lord. I'm going to do what the spirit says do.

    Guess what the next verse was?

    (singing): I'm going to vote because the spirit says vote. I'm going to vote because the spirit says vote.

    And they would make up verses. That was a song that black folks sang in churches.

    (singing): Yes, I will go to jail if the spirit say jail.

    By the fourth day of the workshop, there would be songs of intention, songs of declaration that I'm not going to take the abuse anymore.

    The people who had attended the citizenship education workshops in large part were the folk who made up the big demonstrations that got a lot of news coverage, because people now are being introduced to political power and what it means to be a citizen in this country.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Dorothy Cotton from Ithaca, New York, she's one of the many participants whose firsthand accounts of the 1963 March on Washington appears in the new web series Memories of the March produced by public television stations around the nation for the PBS Web site Black Culture Connection.

    And now Gwen Ifill kicks off our own series of conversations commemorating the 50th anniversary of the event.

    GWEN IFILL: In the summer of 1963, the lines were still clear, whites here, colored there. A full century after the slaves were emancipated, the average black family earned roughly half the income of white families. Black workers were twice as likely to be jobless.

    Nine years after the Supreme Court outlawed separate but equal education, the majority of the nation's schools remained segregated. In the South, Alabama Governor George Wallace pledged to keep the races apart.

    GOV. GEORGE WALLACE, Alabama: Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.  

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: As freedom riders and other activists fought to desegregate lunch counters and public transportation, many of them were arrested, attacked with dogs and sprayed with fire hoses. Some were killed.

    Against that backdrop, more than 200,000 people from all over the country traveled to the nation's capital 50 years ago this month, brought together without benefit of social media or broadly televised appeals, in cars, chartered buses and trains to participate in what the multiracial crowd would call the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

    William Jones is professor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and author of the book "The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights."

    Thanks for joining us for this conversation.

    WILLIAM JONES, University of Wisconsin-Madison: Thanks for having me on.

    GWEN IFILL: People have lots of ideas about the March. Even in my own household, we had a lot of ideas about what the March was and what it was supposed to be. How did it come to be?

    WILLIAM JONES: Well, the roots of the March actually go back 20 years before 1963 to a march that was called and then called off at the last minute during the Second World War.

    The leader of that march was A. Philip Randolph, who was black trade unionist, a labor leader, who was also the leader and the initiator of the March in 1963.

    GWEN IFILL: So, A. Philip Randolph was really the star of the show originally -- not the show, but of the event -- originally, not Martin Luther King Jr.

    WILLIAM JONES: That's right.

    And that remained true through the March in 1963. He was the primary leader of that march. He was primarily seen as the leader. The press, for example, LIFE magazine carried a picture of A. Philip Randolph and his assistant, Bayard Rustin, on the cover of their issue after the March. And they were clearly seen as the leaders at the time.

    GWEN IFILL: And you write in the book that the March was also -- had its roots in more radical form of political thought than it is now thought, now remembered.

    WILLIAM JONES: That's right.

    A. Philip Randolph was a lifetime socialist. He was a leader in the Socialist Party. And he really strongly believed -- and I think many of the leaders, including King, believed that economic justice and really an important change in the economic system was really critical to reaching the goals of racial equality that we now associate the March with.

    GWEN IFILL: Except that we don't hear that much -- when we talk about associate the March, we don't hear that much about economic, that this was a march for jobs and freedom. We hear a lot about the dream.

    WILLIAM JONES: That's right.

    GWEN IFILL: But how did that change? How did that evolve?

    WILLIAM JONES: Well, in some ways, it evolved because these were issues that were harder to talk about, that people were not as familiar with, and the solutions were I think more -- seen as more radical.

    Interestingly, Martin Luther King's speech, the one that we all know about, is the one that is the least specific about the actual goals of the March, which included a whole list of economic reforms. In many ways, that was because he was the last speaker, and by the time he got on the stage, it wasn't necessary to repeat the fact that they were calling for a public works program. They wanted to raise the minimum wage.

    So, the things that he was -- he was there to uplift at the end. And he -- by the time he got on stage, it was very clear to everybody there what the full list of demands was.

    GWEN IFILL: Did we take that, the dream from this march because that's what we wanted to hear over time, that the uplift was less threatening or challenging than the demand?

    WILLIAM JONES: I think, to a certain extent, that's true.

    Martin Luther King's speech actually didn't become primarily associated as the message of the March until after King's assassination in 1968. And I think, in some ways, people looked back to that speech because it was an uplifting message to counteract the assassination, the anger and the sort of frustration of the late 1960s with the lack of progress towards racial equality.

    And so it was -- it was, in some ways, a hindsight, going back and looking for a positive message.

    GWEN IFILL: So, the March wasn't, for instance, just about access to schooling, which came to be the busing challenges later in the '70s, but it was about creating better schools for everybody.

    WILLIAM JONES: That's right. Right.

    And I think, you know, if we remember, at the time the March took place, President Kennedy had already introduced a civil rights bill calling for integration in schools, access to public accommodations, protections of voting rights. Ten years before the March, the Supreme Court had ruled that segregated schools is unconstitutional.

    So that wasn't really the goal of the March. The goal of the March was really strong federal action toward upholding those ideals of equality.

    GWEN IFILL: You mentioned President Kennedy. He wasn't necessarily a fan of this march in advance of it.

    WILLIAM JONES: That's right.

    Well, he was -- because he had introduced the civil rights bill before the March, he was afraid that a march would actually derail the bill, that it would give conservatives an excuse to vote against it. Here are these people who are rabble-rousers. We don't want them forcing our hand. And so they -- it was an excuse to oppose the bill in Kennedy's mind.

    And so he really -- he worked very hard to try to convince A. Philip Randolph and Martin Luther King and other leaders of the March to call it off.

    GWEN IFILL: Before she died, I interviewed Dorothy Height about that day. And she writes about it in her book.

    And it became clear that women were marginalized on that stage and didn't even speak at the March. How did that happen? Women were certainly the foot soldiers of the movement.

    WILLIAM JONES: That's right. And they were really central to organizing the March and organizing all of the demonstrations of the civil rights movement.

    A. Philip Randolph, Martin Luther King and other leaders believed that women shouldn't be in positions of -- as spokespeople of the March.

    GWEN IFILL: It was that -- it was that up-front?

    WILLIAM JONES: They were very -- well, they were pretty forward about it.

    There's an interesting -- a really interesting story is that Anna Arnold Hedgeman, who was the only woman on the organizing committee of the March and who had worked very closely with A. Philip Randolph since the 1930s, she went to Randolph and she said, you know, you really need to invite a woman to be in the official leadership of the March.

    And she suggested Dorothy Height. And A. Philip Randolph didn't answer her, but several weeks later, he went -- they went to a meeting, and Anna Hedgeman found that she was still the only woman in the leadership of the March, and she really -- she wrote a very angry letter to Randolph protesting this.

    Some people suggested actually picketing Randolph when he was preparing for the March. And Hedgeman and Dorothy Height and other women decided to not make an issue of it right at the March. But then, the night after the March, they actually called a meeting at the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, which was the organization that Dorothy Height headed.

    And at that meeting, they actually planned a series of meetings that, as I explain in the book, actually culminated in the formation of the National Organization of Women. And it really became a catalyzing moment in the rebirth of a feminist movement in the United States.

    GWEN IFILL: And women of color were behind it, which is -- gets lost.

    WILLIAM JONES: They were at the center of this, yes.

    GWEN IFILL: Which gets so lost.

    So, in the end, this wasn't the March that created violence or any of the upheaval which a lot of people feared for many reasons. Did that change the way the movement itself was perceived afterwards?

    WILLIAM JONES: It did.

    I mean, there was -- the media, for example, expressed open surprise at the fact that there weren't riots breaking out in Washington, that this was a peaceful march. And it really shifted the media portrayal. If you look at the way in which newspapers reported the March leading up to the March, up until the very day of the March, the big story was the danger of violence, and all the preparations that local officials were taking to prepare for violence.

    The day after, it was an unequivocally positively portrayed event. It was -- this was a huge success. Even Southern white newspapers portrayed it as a -- you know, they emphasized the peacefulness of the March and the power of the speakers.

    GWEN IFILL: Fifty years later, as you were doing your research for this book and -- what would you say that we have forgotten about that day and the years leading up to that day?

    WILLIAM JONES: Well, I think we have forgotten the -- most of the speakers at the March. We have forgotten most of the demands of the March, which were not -- as I said earlier, not just toward racial equality and legal equality, but federal -- strong federal enforcement of civil rights laws, federal intervention in the economy to ensure that people have access to not just a job, but a well-paid job, to decent housing, to decent schools, and that these things were demands that were made on behalf, not just of African-Americans, but all Americans, and that this was a really expansive and inclusive agenda that I don't think we often associate with this event.

    GWEN IFILL: William Jones.

    The name of the book is "The March on Washington: Jobs, Freedom and the Forgotten History of Civil Rights."

    Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

    WILLIAM JONES: Thank you. It's been a pleasure.

     


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: remembering veteran political journalist Jack Germond.

    JACK GERMOND: The only thing worse than covering this campaign would not to be covering it. I would hate to be stuck back in Washington not covering it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: From the 1964 campaign with Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater, to the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore, Jack Germond didn't miss a single one.

    He got his start reporting on national politics for Gannett newspapers in 1961, rising to become Washington bureau chief. In 1974, he joined The Washington Star, launching a column with Jules Witcover. The two moved to The Baltimore Sun after The Star folded.

    The pair also wrote four books about presidential elections. Germond was among the journalists portrayed in Timothy Crouse's "Boys on the Bus," written about the press coverage of the 1972 presidential campaign. Crouse described Germond as 'a little cannonball of a man, with a fresh, leprechaunish face, a fringe of white hair around his bald head, and a pugnacious, hands-on-hip manner of talking.’

    Many Americans would become familiar with Germond's cantankerous style from his television appearances, including The McLaughlin Group, where he was a regular panelist.

    In 2000, Germond sat down with former NewsHour correspondent Terry Smith to discuss how covering political campaigns had changed over the years.

    JACK GERMOND: We had very good access to the candidates, and they'd have dinner with you. They would have a couple of drinks with you. They weren't afraid you were going to blow them up for one cheap story. They -- it was an entirely different attitude.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Germond said that dynamic also reflected a different approach on the part of journalists.

    JACK GERMOND: When you get on a bus now with a candidate, and there's 10 reporters and they're talking on the cell phone to some pale desk person back in the office.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Jack Germond died Wednesday at his home in West Virginia. He was 85 years old.

    On the campaign bus with Jack Germond for several years was Dan Balz, chief correspondent for The Washington Post.

    Dan, thank you for being with us.

     You know, I was with you and Jack covering some of those campaigns, but fill out the picture a little bit more for us. Who was Jack Germond?

    DAN BALZ, The Washington Post: Well, Jack -- Judy, you know, in essence, Jack was one of the greats of the greatest generation of political reporters that we saw.

    I mean, it was an illustrious crew that he was part of, and Jack was an original. I mean, he was an old-fashioned newspaper reporter. He was a shoe-leather reporter. Jack always wanted to be where the action was. And, you know, he got to know politicians. He was skeptical of politicians. He would beat them around in his columns, but he also understood what drove them.

    And they trusted him, and he liked and admired many of them, but he pulled no punches as he did it. I mean, he was just a role model for all of us in how you go about covering big-time politics.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It was a different era in covering politics. What made it different, and how did Jack work his magic? How did he do his kind of reporting?

    DAN BALZ: Well, Jack was a master of the inside game, and it was at a time when you could get inside in a more significant way than now.

    I mean, Jack and others operated at a time when politicians were not kept as cocooned as they are today from political reporters. He could go out to dinner with them. And, as he said, he knew that -- or they knew that he wasn't going to blow them out of the water with one cheap story. It was a way for him to get a greater understanding of what made these people tick, and that's an invaluable thing that often is lost today.

    There is such great distance between politicians and reporters. And, again, I don't mean it in the cozy sense. Jack wasn't cozy with people. But Jack found a way to get to know them, to be able to tell his readers in a more significant way what they were all about.

    And the other thing he did, Judy, which, you know, again has become a little bit more of a lost art, Jack was always out there where the action was. He knew politicians and political operatives in every state. He understood the internal politics of states. He always felt that you had to be on the ground to understand what was going on in American politics.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: He was larger than life in many ways, and you were saying to us today he had an appetite. There -- he was a unique personality.

    DAN BALZ: He was.

    And it was one of the things that I think endeared him to so many people. I mean, he liked good food. He liked good drink. He loved good conversation. And he was a terrific storyteller. And, you know, he would go work throughout the day and file his stories. And people would repair to a restaurant or a bar late at night, and he would regale people with stories about politicians he had covered in the past.

    And I know, as a young reporter, he was extremely kind to me. There was no particular reason he needed to do that, but he was always very welcoming to me and taught me a lot about how you go about this.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: One last thing. You were telling us earlier today about the Germond rule. What was that?

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAN BALZ: The Germond rule was, at dinner, no matter what the bill was and no matter how much or how little you had eaten, you split the bill evenly. That was one Germond rule.

    And another one he told me as I was about to make my way into the far northern reaches of New Hampshire to chase a candidate whose name I can't recall at this point, he said, my rule always in New Hampshire is, never go north with a candidate who is below 20 percent in the polls.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAN BALZ: And it is something I have always remembered in my travels since in New Hampshire.

    (LAUGHTER)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, the one and only Dan Balz with The Washington Post, thank you.

    DAN BALZ: Thank you, Judy.

     


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