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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: The giants of the tech industry made a highly public appeal today to rein in government surveillance. It came in the form of an open letter to President Obama.

    The call for curbs focused on people's personal information being collected from online traffic. Eight major companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Twitter, banded together to write an open letter to the president and Congress. It appeared in full-page newspaper ads and online.

    The letter read in part: "The balance in many countries has tipped too far in favor of the state and away from the rights of the individual, rights that are enshrined in our Constitution. This undermines the freedoms we all cherish."

    It's the tech giants' latest bid to salvage public trust, amid revelations that they have had to provide users' data to the government. The details come from Edward Snowden, who leaked a trove of material from the National Security Agency last summer. Intelligence officials maintain the data collection operation has thwarted a number of terror attacks.

    A presidential advisory panel has been reviewing the issue. Its findings could come this week.

    We hear now from the tech world. Brad Smith is the general counsel and an executive vice president of Microsoft. He's also speaking on behalf of the companies that signed today's letter.

    Brad Smith, welcome to the program.

    What is it that the government is doing that Microsoft and the other companies want them to stop?

    BRAD SMITH, Microsoft: Well, throughout our industry, we're concerned about the increasing reports that government surveillance, including in the U.S., but also elsewhere, has gone beyond what people understood.

    We see a need for reform. And specifically we're hoping that there will be clear legal rules. All of this should take place pursuant to the law. There should be stronger executive oversight. There needs to be enhanced review by the courts. And there needs to be a bit more transparency, certainly, so that we can all have the confidence in the public that we live in a safe country, but also one where we know enough about what the government is doing to be confident that people are striking the right balance.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Isn't it the case that the tech companies, though, have been providing data to the government?

    BRAD SMITH: Well, for many years, we have been responding to subpoenas, to warrants, to court orders.

    We, of course, know what we have been doing. But, frankly, what really surprised people across the tech sector was at the end of October, The Washington Post reported that, beyond these legal processes, there were government efforts to, in effect, collect data. In this instance, it was data moving between the data centers within Yahoo! and within Google.

    And that wasn't within the confines of any legal process that anybody was aware of. And that sent a shockwave throughout the industry.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I have been reading today what some of the privacy advocates say. And a couple of them point out that it is because tech companies like Microsoft and the others collect so much personal data yourselves, that that is what makes it attractive for the government, that they wouldn't be, in other words, trying to come after this data if you and the other companies didn't have it.

    BRAD SMITH: Well, there's a piece of this that may involve data that companies are collecting.

    But the reality is, frankly, most things turn on e-mails, text messages, Web sites that people are visiting. You know, people do send a lot. They share a lot. They want to do that. And that is important in the context of government investigations. But I would actually say that, more than anything else, is what started it to focus government investigators on this set of issues over a decade ago.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Have the companies tried to talk to the government privately about this? Because you're -- you're launching this big public campaign today. We know the White House, the president has said he's had a task force out, I guess, studying it. And it looks like they're going to be making some recommendations.

    Have you made an attempt to settle this behind the scenes?

    BRAD SMITH: Well, there have been a lot of discussions. And we appreciate the degree to which people in the government are listening.

    We know that President Obama is thinking about this. We know that leaders in other countries are as well. But it's an issue of broad importance to the public. Everybody should be concerned about the balance being struck between protecting safety on the one hand, which is obviously important, and protecting our fundamental freedoms and rights to privacy as well.

    So, as important as private discussions are, this is too important to leave to private discussion alone.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I also see that the companies are trying to expand your own encryption to make it harder for outsiders to come in and scoop up or take what you have. Tell us a little bit about that.

    BRAD SMITH: We, have certainly realized as an industry that there are more governments -- and this is not confined to any single country -- that are seeking to hack their way or tap into cables and collect data.

    So here at Microsoft, but really across our industry, companies increasingly are taking steps. We're increasing encryption. That, in effect, puts everything in code when it's going across a cable, for example, so that a government cannot read, necessarily, what it might be getting.

    We're increasing the ability of governments and others, customers, to just knows what's going on, because we understand that people do have a need to know. We're increasing legal protections for our customers. We're really striving to take a comprehensive approach to insurance that the public can trust the technology they use in their everyday lives.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, that -- and -- and you touch on a question, I think, that a lot of people have. To some extent, the government needs access to communications that may be involved in -- involved in or creating a threat to security.

    How do you -- how do you and the companies know how to strike that balance?

    BRAD SMITH: Well, I think the most important question is, who should strike the balance between public safety on the one hand and personal freedoms on the other?

    As soon as you can that question, you realize that, in any kind of democratic society, it should be the government itself. We need clear laws. We need the kind of transparency so the public knows how these laws are being applied. We need to recognize that, as important as public safety clearly is, we also have important constitutional freedoms, the right to speak, the right to be secure from unreasonable government searches, all of which are at stake.

    This is a matter for the public at large to decide through our elective processes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Brad Smith with Microsoft, thank you very much.

    BRAD SMITH: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: For the record, we have asked the National Security Agency for an interview. We hope to hear from NSA officials at a later time.

     


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    Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa (C) and LAPD Police Chief Charlie Beck (R) Photo by Reuters/Patrick Fallon

    Federal authorities have indicted 18 current and former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department officials after an investigation into allegations of abuse and misconduct in one of the nation's largest jail systems.

    Four grand jury indictments and a criminal complaint released Monday say deputies beat inmates and visitors without justification, according to the Los Angeles Times.

    Officials arrested 16 of the 18 defendants Monday.

    "Our investigation also found that these incidents did not take place in a vacuum -- in fact, they demonstrated behavior that had become institutionalized," the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, Andre Birotte Jr., said in a statement, according to the Los Angeles Times.

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    Northeastern University economist Barry Bluestone on the link between rising inequality and high unemployment -- and that time Reagan's labor secretary admitted to him the administration was wrong.

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    GWEN IFILL: The president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, is backing a call for talks with the country's opposition, in an attempt to quell weeks of protests. Tensions are running high in Kiev tonight, however, as pro-Europe demonstrators are barricading protest camps which police have threatened to disperse.

    On Sunday, a party-like atmosphere prevailed in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev. Several hundred thousand people angry over what they see as the government's tilt toward Russia and away from Europe demanded the government's resignation. It was the largest crowd yet. The night ended with protesters pulling down a statue of Vladimir Lenin.

    Today, signs of a new crackdown appeared. Riot troops encircled some camp sites, and eventually began dismantling protesters' barricades. Opposition leaders warned their followers not to provoke the police.

    ARSENIY YATSENYUK, United Opposition Leader (through interpreter): In any case, don't touch the police. Don't beat them. If they destroy our camps, we will go for new barricades and set them up tomorrow.

    GWEN IFILL: Elsewhere, masked men armed with guns raided the party headquarters of a jailed opposition leader, Yulia Tymoshenko. and a state prosecutor warned protest leaders they face arrest.

    VIKTOR PSHONKA, General Prosecutor,Ukraine (through interpreter): The calls to rally organizers show total disrespect to law and a desire to satisfy their political ambitions for any price.

    But it won't work. If they ignore the enforcement of judges' verdicts, disrespect the law and the constitution of Ukraine, they will be held responsible.

    GWEN IFILL: President Viktor Yanukovych announced he will meet with his predecessors tomorrow to discuss the crisis.

     


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    GWEN IFILL: For more on the latest developments, we turn to a reporter covering the unrest in Ukraine, David Herszenhorn, Moscow bureau chief for The New York Times. He's in Kiev tonight. I spoke with him a short while ago.

    David, it was a pretty vigorous government pushback today. Did that calm the protests at all?

    DAVID HERSZENHORN, The New York Times: No. Things have gotten quite ominous here, Gwen. Things are very tense.

    Police have surrounded many of the encampments that exuberant protests established throughout the government quarter of the city on Sunday night, after the huge rally of hundreds of thousands of people. There's a lot of questions of where this goes from here.

    Protesters are bracing for a crackdown. We see a lot of diplomatic maneuvering happening now behind the scenes.

    GWEN IFILL: We have heard a lot about the demands of the protesters that the government resign. I'm assuming there is no sign of that.

    DAVID HERSZENHORN: That is no indication of that at all.

    President Yanukovych has sent a signal that he's willing to talk with three of his predecessors, the three former presidents of Ukraine, to discuss what might be a way forward here. As part of that, he seemed to create an opening for talks with protest leaders, but then closed that quite quickly as security forces raided the headquarters of one of the main opposition parties.

    They have announced an investigation into possible treason charges. Again, the police have moved into formation throughout the city, all sending some fairly dark signals about where things are headed.

    GWEN IFILL: The U.S. role -- you talk about diplomatic maneuvering. What is U.S.' role in trying to urge the Ukraine back to the E.U. and away from Russia?

    DAVID HERSZENHORN: Well, we saw quite a bit of action today.

    Vice President Joe Biden called Viktor Yanukovych, the embattled president of Ukraine, urged him, warned him not to unleash force on the demonstrators. We saw how badly things went when there was a violent police crackdown here in Independence Square on November 30.

    At the same time, the assistant secretary of state, Victoria Nuland, was in Moscow pleading with Kremlin officials to help bring this situation to some sort of solution, to help Ukraine find a path back to getting an economic aid package that it needs from the International Monetary Fund.

    Of course, Russia is very keen on maintaining its influence here. And they are said to be preparing their own rescue package. But none of that seems possible as long as there are thousands of protesters and thousands of riot police massing on the streets.

    GWEN IFILL: Is there anyone in a position to broker some sort of an agreement?

    DAVID HERSZENHORN: Well, not right now, it seems, until this unrest settles.

    We're well into the third week of this widening civil disturbance here. Until that calms down, it doesn't seem that any solution is possible. And the question becomes, what are the protesters willing to accept? As you said, they have demanded the resignation of the government. They would like to see some arrested protesters released.

    But there is no sign on Mr. Yanukovych's side that he is willing to step down himself, that he's willing to fire the prime minister and the rest of the cabinet. So we are really at a standstill, waiting to see where things turn.

    GWEN IFILL: And is there any hope to be found in these proposed roundtable talks?

    DAVID HERSZENHORN: Well, again, it's hard to see how they talk when the party headquarters of Fatherland -- this is the party of Yulia Tymoshenko, you know, the jailed former prime minister -- were raided today. Their computer services were taken out.

    The leader in Parliament of Fatherland, Arseniy Yatsenyuk, said it is very hard to fit a round table in a square jail cell and complained today that really the government is not taking necessary steps to make talks like that fruitful and possible.

    GWEN IFILL: A bleak and snowy night in Kiev.

    David Herszenhorn of The New York Times, thank you for joining us.

    DAVID HERSZENHORN: Thank you.

     


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to another area of conflict, Syria, where the uprising has reached its 1,000th day.

    Recently, chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reported on disarray among the Western-backed rebels.

    Tonight, she looks at the Islamist fighters who are gaining traction through the eyes of a journalist with unusual access to the al-Qaida- linked groups.

    MARGARET WARNER: For more than a year, the Bab al-Hawa border crossing from Turkey, a vital lifeline for Syria's rebels, was controlled by the anti-Assad Free Syrian Army. But, Saturday, a newly formed alliance of Islamist rebels calling itself the Islamic Front took charge.

    It was the latest blow to the moderate forces backed by the U.S. which initially led the armed insurgency arising from Syria's 2011 civilian protests. As the civil war has ground on, radicalization among native Syrian rebels has grown. And the conflict has attracted foreign jihadist fighters from throughout the Arab and Muslim world.

    So, rather than a coherent force opposing Assad, there is an array of rebel groups on the moderate to extremist spectrum, the Free Syrian Army, or FSA, the new Islamic Front, including Islamist groups once allied with the FSA, the al-Qaida-linked Syrian-grown Jabhat al-Nusra, and its al-Qaida Iraqi parent, the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS.

    Among the few Western journalists who have had access to report in depth on these groups has been Rania Abouzeid, now a contributor to "The New Yorker" magazine.

    I spoke with her Friday in Washington.

    Rania, thank you for joining us.

    RANIA ABOUZEID, journalist: Thank you.

    MARGARET WARNER: You have been up close reporting on a couple of these major rebel groups, both the moderate Free Syrian Army that the U.S. backs and also some of the al-Qaida-linked forces. Why do you think the al-Qaida-linked forces have gained the ascendancy?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Well, there are two al-Qaida affiliates in Syria.

    They're the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, which the more malignant, if you like, al-Qaida affiliate, and the other one, which is Jabhat al-Nusra. And that tends to be more Syrian. It has Syrian leadership. The other one has Iraqi leadership.

    MARGARET WARNER: And the kinds of fighters that are attracted to Jabhat al-Nusra, say, as opposed to the Free Syrian Army, how different are they?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Well, they obviously have a more religious hue, a more religious tilt.

    They're also attracted to Jabhat al-Nusra because it tends to be more of a status symbol to be attracted -- to be accepted into Jabhat al-Nusra, because they are very selective in terms of who they take. And they also enforce discipline, which is something that the other Free Syrian Army units often lack.

    MARGARET WARNER: And how different are they in their ideology?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Well, even some groups that identify themselves as Free Syrian Army are Islamists, and they also want an Islamic state.

    So, you know, it's a very sort of blurry picture. And there's a spectrum of Islamism, if you like, within the Syrian armed opposition.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, tell us a little bit about some of your own personal encounters. You crossed into Syria and you went to see, I think you called him a Sharia law officer with Jabhat al-Nusra, but in Syria near Aleppo.

    RANIA ABOUZEID: It was very cloak-and-dagger. I crossed the border. He told me to meet a particular man. I had met him before. I asked for him.

    We were in a car. We ended up on this abandoned road, and there was only another vehicle there. A guy with a black scarf over his face -- he was actually wearing a balaclava, but his face was covered -- just opened the back door, got in, didn't say a word. He didn't even identify himself. And I had to ask him, are you …?

    MARGARET WARNER: Did you feel safe? I mean, that sounds like a classic sort of journalist kidnapping scene.

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Yes.

    I did because I knew who had sent me, who had been the intermediary. I trusted the intermediary.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, given their views about the West, Western media and women, how did you -- how do you think you got them to trust you?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Well, you know, I have been -- I have been covering Syria since it started.

    You know, I still have to get somebody to sort of vouch for me, make sure that -- because the acquisition of spy flies around very easily. It still flies around. But, I mean, so often, it's sort of familiarity with my work and what I'm doing, and just physically that I'm in these places that I'm in.

    MARGARET WARNER: How do they treat you as a woman?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Sometimes, there are small telling things. Like, I was once climbing a hill with an Islamist fighter, and I needed a little bit of help. I'm not the fittest person. And rather than extend his hand, he extended the barrel of his weapon, of his Kalashnikov, because, as a conservative Muslim, he wouldn't touch the hand of a woman who wasn't a close relative.

    There is a very -- there's a clear distinction between the foreign members of Jabhat al-Nusra and the Syrian members of Jabhat al-Nusra. I can sit with the Syrian members. It's not easy, but they will sit with me. They will look me in the eye. And we can have a conversation.

    The foreign -- the foreigners won't look at me. If they talk to me, they will turn their back to me or they will turn to the side. And they're much, much more conservative.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, you mentioned Raqqa, which is this one provincial Capitol that has fallen up to the rebels up near -- not far from the Turkish border.

    Jabhat al-Nusra was, I guess, the spearhead of the force that went in there, one of them. How are they governing?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: I was in Raqqa a couple of weeks after it fell.

    And Jabhat al-Nusra was one of about -- I think there were about half-a-dozen Islamist groups that were ruling the city. And, you know, they had men posted outside the two churches, for example, of Raqqa. They had...

    MARGARET WARNER: To preserve them?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Yes, to preserve them. Nobody touched the churches.

    A few months over that, the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham came to be the ruler, if you like, the predominant force in Raqqa. The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham desecrated the churches, and a so very, very different sort of approach to governing.

    MARGARET WARNER: So you are seeing a growing radicalization then or a growing ascendancy of even more radical forces among the Syrian rebels?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: But there are forces -- but there are forces that are taking them on, at great personal risk. They're taking them on militarily. There are other units of the Free Syrian Army, for example, other Islamists who are taking them on.

    And there are also civil society activists who are taking them on. And they do that at great personal risk in a city which is basically ruled by al-Qaida. So you do have pushback in many different forms inside Syria.

    MARGARET WARNER: A fighter said to you, the fight after the fall of Bashar Assad among the rebel groups will be even harder than this one.

    Do you think he's right?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Yes. They have always -- that has always been the case. There was always this idea that there was going to be a revolution after a revolution. That is how they put it, and they would put it in those terms, that after they finished with their primary enemy, they would turn to some of the other groups that were in the midst whose ideologies they didn't necessarily accept.

    The thing is, is that now that -- that after is now.

    MARGARET WARNER: And these are -- the al-Qaida-linked groups are the ones that the United States and certainly Europe and Russia do not want to get their hands on weapons and do not want to take over even a part of Syria.

    What is their view of what a post-Assad Syria would look like, particularly in terms of how minorities would be treated?

    RANIA ABOUZEID: The Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham is antagonizing everybody. They basically hate everybody who doesn't agree with them.

    And that includes other Islamists, who they accuse of being infidels if they disagree with their ultraconservative view of what an Islamic society should look like. So you can put them aside. Jabhat al-Nusra has a more nuanced approach. They say that Christians, for example, are people of the book and, therefore, they will be treated according to -- respected as people of the book.

    The Alawites, however, are a different issue. They say that they are infidels and increasingly now they are saying that they're perceiving the Alawite community as one bloc that is sticking with the regime. If you are Alawite, you are going to be assumed to have a certain political position, and that is sadly becoming the case.

    MARGARET WARNER: It is a grim picture, a grim prospect.

    RANIA ABOUZEID: It is.

    MARGARET WARNER: Rania Abouzeid, thank you.

    RANIA ABOUZEID: Thank you.

     


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    NASA's Mars rover Curiosity Photo courtesy of Jet Propulsion Lab/NASA

    NASA's Curiosity rover encountered an ancient dry lake that could have supported microbes called chemolithoautotrophs, according to scientists who reviewed photos and data gathered in the crater, the BBC reports.

    These microbes are found in caves and the bottom of the ocean on Earth. They break down rocks and minerals for energy and don't need light to function. They need elements such as carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, sulphur, nitrogen and phosphorous, all of which were found on Mars.

    If these organisms existed in Mars' Gale Crater, scientists say, they could have lasted for millions of years in a conducive environment.

    "For all of us geologists who are very familiar with what the early Earth must have been like, what we see in Gale really doesn't look much different," Curiosity chief scientist Prof John Grotzinger told BBC News.

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    GWEN IFILL: Next: a conversation about charting a different course in the world of higher education.

    Today, Spelman's Beverly Daniel Tatum became one of four college presidents and the first from a historically black institution to receive the Carnegie Corporation's annual Academic Leadership Award. The foundation cited her work in encouraging women to pursue careers in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math and for her decision to drop intercollegiate sports in favor of student health.

    Beverly Tatum joins us now from Atlanta.

    Welcome, Professor Tatum, President Tatum.

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM, Spelman College: Thank you so much. I'm delighted to be here.

    GWEN IFILL: In full disclosure, Carnegie is one of our funders here at the "NewsHour."

    But I want to ask you about what has motivated you to refocus the academic goals at Spelman and whether that is applicable elsewhere.

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Well, let me begin by saying that at Spelman we have been focused on STEM education, as well as a broader liberal arts focus for many years. And that doesn't begin with me, but I'm happy to say that since I have been president at Spelman, we have been able to keep moving forward at a time when we see nationally interest in STEM declining.

    We know there are many young women of color interested in pursuing science. A third of our students are STEM majors. And we want to insurance that they can move into fields where they are under-represented and make a difference to our economy and to our nation.

    GWEN IFILL: Are they making a choice to ignore liberal arts or to move away from liberal arts or traditionally -- majors, I guess, that women have traditionally pursued in favor of STEM?

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Well, I think that -- let me begin by saying that Spelman College is, in many ways, a traditional liberal arts college, in that we emphasize the skills that come from a strong liberal arts education, critical thinking, problem-solving, quantitative reasoning, communication skills.

    But, certainly, a third of our students come with an interest in moving into science. They may be thinking about health careers initially. But once they start to explore biology, chemistry, physics, computer science, engineering, they see a wider range of options.

    And I think that's one of the things about Spelman, that when they come to Spelman, they are exposed to faculty who represent a very diverse group of faculty, men and women -- 52 percent of our STEM faculty are women. A third of them are women of color, so that they're a broad range of role models and they see that the sky really is the limit. There is no limit, excuse me, to their opportunities.

    GWEN IFILL: But, more broadly, in academia writ large, there is -- I read a study that showed 90 percent of students aren't really interested in STEM, for all the talk of STEM. Do you have to recruit students specifically to speak to that, or are they seeking you out because they know that you -- which is the chicken and which is the egg?

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Well, I think we're involved in both.

    Certainly, students who have an interest in STEM come to Spelman because we know we have that strength. We know that the likelihood of graduating in STEM if are you interested in it is much higher at a place like Spelman that perhaps at a majority institution, where the pipelines, particularly for young people of color, is quite leaky.

    A lot of students come in saying they want to graduate in STEM, but they don't necessarily do that. They get discouraged along the way. And at Spelman, we see that there is a higher rate of persistence. But, that said, we are also engaged in community outreach so that our students are doing things like FunLab, which was the brainchild of a sophomore at Spelman.

    She has her friends volunteering with her in local schools in the Atlanta region, exposing students, middle schoolers to experiments that they can do in school to encourage their interest in science. Our computer science department features a robotics team known as the SpelBots. And those young women are often doing demonstrations with their robots in middle school, in high schools to encourage young people, particularly women, to think about science as something that can be fun and that they might want to pursue.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let me get back to that leaky pipeline idea, especially once they leave college.

    I saw another number today that said that 41 percent of STEM Ph.Ds are now women, which is a good women, but that they make up only 28 percent of tenured faculty in academia. Isn't there some leaking going on after people get out of college and get these advanced decrees?

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Absolutely.

    You know, there are leaks at every stage of the pipeline. Certainly, when we think about the success of women who have Ph.D.s moving into science, they are more likely to be in biology, less likely to be in physics. There's a range of where you will see them.

    But the idea is, how do we create communities that are supportive? Spelman is a wonderful example. I want to lift up the work of one of our faculty members in math who has since recently retired, but Dr. Sylvia Bozeman had a program called the EDGE Program, which was really intended to encourage women in mathematics, for example, to get beyond the isolation.

    If you are the only woman of color or the only woman, or the only woman, even, in a math department in your university, you may feel isolated. The same may be true in other areas. But if you are part of a community that perhaps spans institutions, but where you feel a sense of support, you may be more likely to persist. Certainly, we see that at the undergraduate level, that kind of persistence.

    (CROSSTALK)

    GWEN IFILL: Pardon me.

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Go ahead.

    GWEN IFILL: Was this also what drove to you decide to eliminate intercollegiate athletics for your students and focus not on sports, but on wellness activities instead? Is this also part of the same idea?

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Well, it's a little different.

    So let me just say that we had an intercollegiate program that was really underutilized. Only about 80 of our 2,100 students were participating. But we found ourselves in a situation in December of 2011 where our athletic conference, the conference that we participated in was unraveling. And we needed to either find a new conference to participate in or do something different.

    And when we evaluated the cost-benefit and we saw that we were spending close to a million dollars on a program that was really only benefiting 80 student athletes, and yet we had a campus full of women who were unfortunately more sedentary than they should be for their health, that we could perhaps reinvest those intercollegiate athletic dollars into a campus-wide wellness initiative that would really impact their lives, not just at Spelman, but hopefully beyond, and that hopefully those women would influence their family members, their friends, that we would, indeed, launch we call a wellness revolution and impacting some of the horrible health statistics that are impacting black women.

    GWEN IFILL: And, finally, President Tatum, Spelman is one of only two colleges in the nation exclusively -- or that caters specifically to African-American women.

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Yes.

    GWEN IFILL: Why is there a need for women's colleges anymore or women's colleges for black women anymore?

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Well, when people ask me why do students who have choices want to come to Spelman, one of the things I always say is that, for a young woman of African descent, a population that has historically been marginalized, to come to a school where she can say, this place was designed for me, was built for me from day one, where I'm going to be at the center of the educational experience, not marginalized in any way, is a very powerful magnet.

    And we like to say we provide a learning environment that is without the barrier of race or gender and create an environment where the students will learn about themselves as individuals, not as categories in another context, but -- and will be able to experience themselves as empowered agents of change, ready for a future without limits.

    GWEN IFILL: Beverly Daniel Tatum of Spelman College in Atlanta, congratulations on your award.

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Thank you so much.

    And I want to say how glad I am to be in such great company with Richard Brodhead of Duke University, John Hennessy of Stanford, and Michael Crow of Arizona State.

    GWEN IFILL: Absolutely. Thank you.

    BEVERLY DANIEL TATUM: Congratulations to them as well.

     


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight, five leading artists were given their due for a lifetime of achievement last night at the annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington.

    This year's group: Jazz pianist Herbie Hancock, actress Shirley MacLaine, opera soprano Martina Arroyo, singer/songwriter Billy Joel, and a rock star who came to this country as a teenager from Mexico.

    Jeffrey Brown has our profile of Carlos Santana.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Since his emergence in the San Francisco music scene in the late 1960s, Carlos Santana has been recognized as one of rock 'n' roll's greatest guitarists. His Latin-infused sounds and rhythms, beginning with the band that bore his name, have produced hit songs and albums that have sold in the millions.

    His appearance at Woodstock helped rocket him to fame and concerts around the world continue to this day. In February, he makes his first concert tour of South Africa, part of a long-held interest in the continent. And just ahead of the Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, we met up at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington.

    Santana's story began in Mexico, first in the small town of Autlan de Navarro and later in Tijuana, as the son of a violinist who played mariachi and other music.

    CARLOS SANTANA: I remember my dad playing violin since I was a kid.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What do you remember about it? What did you hear when you were a kid?

    CARLOS SANTANA: It's a sound of screaming charisma.

    (LAUGHTER)

    JEFFREY BROWN: Screaming charisma?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Oh, my dad had charisma. Just the way he put his chin on the violin, just that alone, you are like, ah. And then when he would bow that note -- he taught me how to carry a melody.

    A lot of musicians don't know how to carry a melody. You know, like Billie Holiday carries a melody, you know? When you carry a melody, your music immediately becomes memorable, instead of like a sound bite, you know? So he taught me how to just really, really slow it down.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It also sounds like he taught you something about charisma and performing.

    CARLOS SANTANA: Yes, he did. I'm very grateful.

    My mother taught me about conviction and he taught me about charisma.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Really, conviction and charisma?

    (CROSSTALK)

    CARLOS SANTANA: Yes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

    CARLOS SANTANA: My mom is -- just pure conviction.

    JEFFREY BROWN: When you got to San Francisco, the rock 'n' roll scene there, what do you think you brought to that scene and the music?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Well, I am a child many of many things.

    And so the main thing that I remember is my love for -- at that time, we used to call it musica tropical. Now they call it salsa, but it's always been African music, you know, music that comes from Africa to Cuba or Puerto Rico and -- but when I went to Ghana, for example, in 1971, they asked us to stand up because they are going to do the national anthem.

    And I stood up and they played -- the men went...

    (SINGING)

    CARLOS SANTANA: And women go...

    (SINGING)

    CARLOS SANTANA: And I was like, whoa, that's "Afro Blue" from Mongo Santamaria. They go, no.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You have heard that before, right?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Yes. It was Mongo Santamaria in John Coltrane. But they said, no, this is our national anthem. Before they were born, we...

    JEFFREY BROWN: Ah.

    CARLOS SANTANA: I was like, oh.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So you see the connections right there. Yes.

    CARLOS SANTANA: Exactly.

    There is something about the music that really -- it pinches your whole existence into a state of joy that cannot be bought. That's what I love about African music, is the intensity of spirit and joy.

    JEFFREY BROWN: What about the guitar? Because I have actually had the pleasure of talking to some of the great guitarists, like B.B. King.

    CARLOS SANTANA: Buddy Guy.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Buddy Guy, I have talked to. And I'm always wondering what makes such a distinctive sound.

    CARLOS SANTANA: The sound of the guitar is the sound of a woman.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Of a woman?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Billie Holiday, Mahalia Jackson. Saxophone is a man. Guitar is a woman.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And what does that mean for -- how do -- so you learn to play it?

    CARLOS SANTANA: You learn to articulate sassiness, compassion, endurance, wisdom.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

    CARLOS SANTANA: You know, even with the volume off, you can just see a women going like this and you know what she's saying. She will straighten you out, you know?

    (LAUGHTER)

    JEFFREY BROWN: You have to put your own individual stamp on that guitar.

    CARLOS SANTANA: You have to feel it in your gut, soul, heart, mind, body and your vitals in one note, you know, like that.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All in one, all together?

    CARLOS SANTANA: All in one note. That's what gives people chills, because if you just play mental music, people start talking. Anyway, how was your day? You know?

    Real musicians, when you play, people don't talk. They go, oh, I'm sorry. I can't talk to you right now, you know, because real musicians remind the listener of a forgotten song inside them.

    And when you hear that forgotten song, you know, you get chills, you get tears, you dance, and you don't even know why, because a lot of people buried that forgotten song in them.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It was in 1999, after an extended lull in his career, that Santana achieved the kind of second life that most artists can only dream of with the release of the album "Supernatural."

    And that project, on which he collaborated with other stars including Eric Clapton, Lauryn Hill, and on his mega-hit "Smooth" with Rob Thomas reached an entire new generation of fans, winning nine Grammy Awards, and selling more than 30 million copies worldwide.

    Was what happened with "Supernatural" a surprise to you?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Oh, everything is a surprise to me.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Everything?

    (LAUGHTER)

    CARLOS SANTANA: You are supposed to say with conviction and soulfulness, expect a miracle. But I'm in a place now to make things happen, not wait for them to happen.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And you talk about spirituality. Is it your sense that music is a kind of spirituality?

    CARLOS SANTANA: It's not kind. Its 150 percent only music.

    Music was given to tame the beast, as they say in the Bible. You know, entertain the beast means to quiet fear and anger. Music is to glorify the light in you.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Last night at the Kennedy Center, as other stars played his music, Santana joined President and Mrs. Obama and his fellow honorees.

    Notable this year was the inclusion of two Latinos, a group the Kennedy Center had been criticized for ignoring in the past.

    How important is it to you of being from Mexico, of being Latino and being honored?

    CARLOS SANTANA: It's supremely important, because by me personally being invited, I give a chance -- I give a chance to give voice to the invisible ones, the one who clean all the sheets, who clean all the toilets, serve in all hotels.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You feel that, huh?

    (CROSSTALK)

    CARLOS SANTANA: Yes. Bill Graham told me this a long time ago.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The great promoter.

    CARLOS SANTANA: He says -- Bill Graham says, you give voice to the invisible ones.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You are 66 now?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Mm-hmm.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Do you see a point where you might stop all this?

    CARLOS SANTANA: No. Why? It's just getting starting. It's just getting better. You know, we finally crystallized what we're really about. We used to be seekers. Now we're finders.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Carlos Santana, thanks for talking to us and congratulations.

    CARLOS SANTANA: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sometimes, there are wonderful moments that don't make the final cut when we edit a story like the one you just watched. We're going to show you one right now.

    Their interview was recorded the morning after Nelson Mandela's death. Carlos Santana was -- has long supported the fight against AIDS in South Africa. In 2003, he donated all of his tour proceeds, $2 million, to Artists for a new South Africa. He began his support of that group in 1989, when its focus was to combat apartheid.

    JEFFREY BROWN: We're talking just after Nelson Mandela has died. What are your thoughts or memories of him?

    CARLOS SANTANA: A supreme warrior, you know, one that changed history, one that -- he made all humans believe that nothing is impossible and that -- he and Desmond Tutu impregnated my mind and my consciousness to see clearly that victory is W-O-N already.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Victory is won already?

    CARLOS SANTANA: Victory is won already, you know?

    And the only enemy is fear. And he talked about that a lot. You transform fear with your supreme joy, you know? I was honored to celebrate Mr. Desmond Tutu's birthday in South Africa in 2006. And we were in the presence of both of them. And it was really quite endearing to watch both of them pick on each other. You know, at that time, Mr. Desmond Tutu was saying, "For God's sake, man, marry the woman. You know, you can't be shacking with her," you know, because...

    (LAUGHTER)

    JEFFREY BROWN: This is a side of them we don't usually hear about.

    CARLOS SANTANA: In front of people.

    And Mandela goes, "I don't take orders from a guy in a skirt," you know?

    (LAUGHTER)

    CARLOS SANTANA: They were going back and forth, you know?

    And, for us, it was really funny to watch two giants pick on each other like little children. I will always remember his supreme elegance and conviction. They taught me, like I said, victory is won already.

     


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    President Barack Obama eulogized one of his heroes, Nelson Mandela, Tuesday in Johannesburg, South Africa. Photo by Herman Verwey/Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

    JOHANNESBURG -- Celebrating one of his personal heroes, President Barack Obama praised Nelson Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century, urging the world to carry on his legacy by fighting inequality, poverty and discrimination.

    At a memorial service in Johannesburg, Obama compared the former South African President to Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Lincoln.

    "For nothing he achieved was inevitable," Obama said. "In the arc of his life, we see a man who earned his place in history through struggle and shrewdness, persistence and faith. He tells us what's possible not just in the pages of dusty history books, but in our own lives as well."

    The crowd at the half-filled stadium erupted in applause each time Obama's name was mentioned or his image was shown on the screen. Dozens gathered below the box seats where Obama and other U.S. presidents sat, waving and snapping pictures of the leaders.

    Crowds in South Africa gathered in Johannesburg on Tuesday for Nelson Mandela's memorial service. Photo by Pedro Ugarte/AFP/Getty Images

    As if to underscore the spirit of reconciliation that Mandela's life embodied, Obama shook hands with Cuban President Raul Castro as he made his way down a line of world leaders gathered to honor the anti-apartheid leader. It was a rare moment of accord for the leaders of the two Cold War enemies.

    Calling himself a beneficiary of Mandela's struggle, Obama traced the influence that Mandela's story has had on his own life, disclosing that he asks himself how well he's applied Mandela's lessons to himself as a man and as president.

    He said in the U.S., South Africa and around the world, people must not allow progress that's been made to cloud the fact that more work must be done.

    "We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality," Obama said, referring to Mandela by his traditional clan name.

    Extolling Mandela as practical but unyielding on his core principles, Obama said it was because Mandela could admit to being imperfect that the world loved him and continues to learn so much from his example. "He was not a bust made of marble. He was a man of flesh and blood," Obama said.

    He said Mandela had changed both laws and hearts, inspiring those around him by reconciling with the jailers who kept him prisoner for 27 years. In trusting others despite the injustices he suffered, Mandela showed that the cruelty of the past must be confronted with truth, generosity and inclusion, Obama said.

    "We will never see the likes of Nelson Mandela again," Obama said. "But let me say to the people of Africa, and young people around the world: You can make his life's work your own."

    Joining Obama on the 16-hour trip from Washington for the ceremony were first lady Michelle Obama, former President George W. Bush and his wife, Laura, and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter also attended the memorial service.

    Associated Press White House correspondent Julie Pace wrote this report. Follow her on Twitter @JPaceDC.

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    Congressional leaders are headed back to Washington Tuesday to try to finish work on a budget deal so they can go home for the holidays on Friday. Photo by JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

    Quick, what's the opposite of a grand bargain?

    In the end, it's not going to matter what the budget compromise taking shape is dubbed. The biggest question is whether conservatives will revolt.

    Budget Chairs Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Paul Ryan are working furiously to put the finishing touches on a $1 trillion spending measure to be revealed in the next 36 hours, and it's not sounding like it will make any sweeping changes to how the government taxes and spends.

    Early reports suggest the deal, pulled together to avoid shutting down the government, would leave entitlement programs and tax rates as they are. It also would leave in place many of the automatic, across-the-board budget cuts known as the sequester. Spending would be slightly higher than the $967 billion framework initially considered, and it would not, as Democrats had hoped, extend federal unemployment benefits.

    The Morning LineRoll Call's Niels Lesniewski and Emma Dumain break it down:

    Each side would get something: Republicans can avoid another messy government shutdown in an election year while softening a new round of defense cuts, and they seem likely to declare victory on the major sticking point: no tax increases.

    Democrats will get to restore some of their favored domestic spending programs while they extract at least some small amount of revenue from the GOP -- albeit in categories such as spectrum sales or user fees rather than closing tax breaks for the wealthy or corporations.

    Wednesday is the last day a bill can be filed and still meet House rules ahead of the Friday deadline. The Hill's Erik Wasson and Russell Berman report:

    Releasing the bill that late in the week could be the best way to cut off a rebellion from the right, and conservatives on Monday were already expressing wariness.

    "I'm resigned to the fact that fiscal conservatives always lose at Christmas," said Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.).

    For party leaders, voting quickly and at the last minute has an advantage because it leaves less time for activists and lobbyists to attack the compromise.

    After all, you can't key-vote legislation if you haven't seen it.

    But the conservative group Heritage Action already is opposing the possible compromise, and Mulvaney's comments are likely to be echoed by lawmakers who wanted to cut spending.

    Still, Politico's Jake Sherman and John Bresnehan outline the closed-door negotiations and write that the stars might just be aligned for this deal to get done.

    With most of Washington ground to a halt due to a winter storm blanketing the region with snow, the final parameters may not be known until Wednesday.

    REMEMBERING MANDELA

    Nelson Mandela was revered early Tuesday as a leader and inspiration for the ages, as a host of world leaders and family friends honored the former South African President's legacy.

    President Barack Obama took the stage around 6:30 a.m., calling Mandela someone who inspired people around the globe and asking for a time of self-reflection. "With honesty, regardless of our station or circumstance, we must ask: how well have I applied his lessons in my own life?"

    Mr. Obama said:

    Mandela taught us the power of action, but also ideas; the importance of reason and arguments; the need to study not only those you agree with, but those who you don't. He understood that ideas cannot be contained by prison walls, or extinguished by a sniper's bullet. He turned his trial into an indictment of apartheid because of his eloquence and passion, but also his training as an advocate. He used decades in prison to sharpen his arguments, but also to spread his thirst for knowledge to others in the movement. And he learned the language and customs of his oppressor so that one day he might better convey to them how their own freedom depended upon his.

    Mandela demonstrated that action and ideas are not enough; no matter how right, they must be chiseled into laws and institutions. He was practical, testing his beliefs against the hard surface of circumstance and history. On core principles he was unyielding, which is why he could rebuff offers of conditional release, reminding the Apartheid regime that, "prisoners cannot enter into contracts." But as he showed in painstaking negotiations to transfer power and draft new laws, he was not afraid to compromise for the sake of a larger goal. And because he was not only a leader of a movement, but a skillful politician, the Constitution that emerged was worthy of this multiracial democracy; true to his vision of laws that protect minority as well as majority rights, and the precious freedoms of every South African.

    White House officials told reporters that Mr. Obama did not work on the speech until after Mandela's death last week. He traveled on Air Force One with former President George W. Bush and former Secretary of State HIllary Clinton.

    Watch the memorial service here or below:

    LINE ITEMS

    The Washington Post's Philip Rucker has the details that former Bill Clinton chief of staff John Podesta will join the White House as an adviser to help President Obama recover from a rocky Affordable Care Act rollout. Podesta, who led the president-to-be's transition effort in 2008 and 2009, will be a counselor for a year, Jackie Calmes of the New York Times reports.

    Texas GOP Rep. Steve Stockman filed to run against Sen. John Cornyn in a March 4 primary just minutes before the deadline Monday night. He's the latest tea party-backed candidate to attempt to outflank a conservative Republican from the right. Roll Call gets at the surprise move. And Daniel Strauss has a roundup at Talking Points Memo of some of Stockman's greatest hits, including calls for impeachment. Don't forget, Cornyn, a former chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee has a mountain of cash.

    Vice President Joe Biden will announce funding for mental health initiatives Tuesday at an event tied to the anniversary of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn.

    The president signed via autopen a ban on plastic guns.

    Senators introduced a revised Defense Authorization bill Monday, which does not include Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand's, D-N.Y., hotly debated proposal to remove the process for addressing military sexual assault from the chain of command or stricter sanctions on Iran. It also leaves in place a prohibition on transferring Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., chairman of the Armed Services Committee, said on the floor of the Senate, "This is the only practical way to get a defense bill done." Members of both parties expressed their concern that a defense bill pass before the end of legislative session. "This is the most important obligation that the Congress of the United States has," said Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

    With the Senate set to get moving on nomination votes following the nuclear option rule change last month, Majority Leader Harry Reid attempted to push through dozens of administration appointees, but Tennessee GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander used a procedural tactic to block Reid.

    The Supreme Court heard a case Monday about a pilot who's at odds with the airline he worked for. The case is about the Aviation and Transportation Security Act -- the post-9/11 "see something, say something" policy -- and how far the law goes to protect people who report threats. Robert Barnes of the Washington Post has more here.

    Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., announced Monday that he plans to introduce legislation to address the gathering of mobile phone data, following an investigation showing law enforcement filed one million requests for cell phone data in 2012. "We need a 4th amendment for the 21st century," the senator said in a statement. The NewsHour examined the controversy over surveillance programs with Brad Smith of Microsoft.

    Could Virginia's GOP-controlled state House actually decide the in-a-recount attorney general's race?

    A Nebraska House candidate who once excited Democrats has now backed out of a race against GOP Rep. Lee Terry.

    Northern Virginia Rep. Frank Wolf, a Republican, gets a challenger.

    Roll Call tees up the comeback congressional campaigns.

    Politico's Seung Min Kim looks at how immigration reform advocates are moving from polite advocacy to "all-out harassment mode."

    Florida Democratic Rep. Alan Grayson lost $18 million in a fraud scheme, court papers show.

    Local council member Kelly Westlund is challenging GOP Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin. And the liberal group Progressive Change Campaign Committee made Westlund its first general election endorsement of 2014, calling her an economic "populist."

    Star Trek legend George Takei picked sides in the Hawaii Democratic primary battle.

    Sarah Palin will host a new Sportsman Channel show.

    Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., underwent successful gall bladder surgery on Monday. According to a statement from his office, Kirk's doctor "expects a quick recovery." Kirk suffered a stroke in January 2012 that required him to take a months-long leave of absence from the chamber.

    Vermont Gov. Peter Shumlin again will chair the Democratic Governors Association in 2014. Gov. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire, Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington and Gov. Steve Bullock of Montana also will take leadership roles.

    Members of the evangelical community are pushing former Arkansas Governor-turned-television personality Mike Huckabee to run for president once more.

    Salon's Brian Beutler calls members of Congress whiners and hypocritical for the fight over Capitol Hill staff enrolling in the Affordable Care Act.

    Former San Diego Mayor Bob Filner was sentenced to 90 days of house arrest and three years probation after pleading guilty to one felony charge of false imprisonment and two misdemeanor charges of battery. The Democrat resigned after multiple complaints of sexual harassment.

    21-year-old Tulane University student Jeramey Anderson turns 22 on Friday and to celebrate he is being sworn into the Mississippi House of Representatives as the youngest member of a legislative body.

    Politics, of all things, has created a divide between the widow of U.S. Rep. Bill Young and his son.

    Shelby County, Ala., which won its challenge to parts of the Voting Rights Act last year, gutting the law, is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to reimburse it $2 million in legal fees. The Dallas Morning News also published an update on how Congress has tried to restore the part of the law that the court invalidated, to little success.

    Satanists would like to erect a monument -- perhaps something involving a pentagram or an interactive display for children -- on the Oklahoma Statehouse steps.

    Friend of the NewsHour Stu Rothenberg listed his "Best and Worst of Politics in 2013."

    The Washington Post's Reid Wilson details what your grocery store says about your politics.

    In case you missed it, Mr. Obama became the first president to acknowledge the existence of Area 51.

    NEWSHOUR ROUNDUP

    Gwen Ifill got an update from David Herszenhorn of The New York Times about what's going on behind the scenes in the Ukraine, and the outlook for a solution to end the civil crisis there. They also discussed how the United States has reached out to the government to urge caution.

    Northeastern University economist Barry Bluestone told Paul Solman about the day President Reagan's labor secretary admitted he was wrong about inequality.

    Don't miss Jeffrey Brown's conversation with rock legend and lifetime achievement honoree Carlos Santana.

    Keep an eye on the Rundown blog for breaking news throughout the day, our home page for show segments, and follow @NewsHour for the latest.

    TOP TWEETS

    Quite a moment: @Reuters captures handshake between Obama & #Cuba's Castro. #Mandelapic.twitter.com/CitceMcRzQ

    — Jon Williams (@WilliamsJon) December 10, 2013

    snow here, rain in Johannesburg. tears in both. #Mandela

    — Ben Chang (@whoisbenchang) December 10, 2013

    DNC spent $75k to rent out this place in NYC in June http://t.co/oW0074hU6P source: FEC filing

    — Jonathan Strong (@j_strong) December 9, 2013

    Arkansas Democrats hire Massachusetts native to communicate with Arkansans. #nojoke#arpx

    — Arkansas Bluff (@Arkansas_Bluff) December 9, 2013

    Back at Main State after another trip - my new sidekick Ben tests the elevator. #woof -JK pic.twitter.com/mREwLP5I7a

    — Department of State (@StateDept) December 9, 2013

    Winter weather. "Mitch McConnell is in an airport some place unable to get out" says Sen.@jiminhofe

    — Kelly O'Donnell (@KellyO) December 9, 2013

    Question we hope Netflix "Mitt" documentary will put to rest: What IS the right height for trees?

    — Karen Tumulty (@ktumulty) December 9, 2013

    Katelyn Polantz, Aileen Graef, Bridget Bowman and Simone Pathe contributed to this report.

    For more political coverage, visit our politics page.

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

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

    Follow the politics team on Twitter:

    Follow @cbellantoni

    Follow @burlijFollow @kpolantzFollow @elizsummersFollow @ljspbs

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    By Nick Corcodilos

    Headhunter Nick Corcodilos isn't down on all online job-hunting resources. Here are two in particular that will make your job search easier but leave you in the driver's seat. Photo courtesy of Flickr user Stefan 1981.

    Nick Corcodilos started headhunting in Silicon Valley in 1979, and has answered over 30,000 questions from the Ask The Headhunter community over the past decade.

    In this special Making Sense edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards, or salary negotiations. No guarantees -- just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.

    Question: Your columns seem to suggest that there are no career resources that you think are worth using. You criticize the job boards -- Monster, CareerBuilder, TheLadders, and more recently LinkedIn -- and you poke fun at articles written by HR experts about how to find a job. Is there any career resource online that you LIKE?

    Nick Corcodilos: I wish there were more to like about career resources and job hunting services. Sadly, most of it is a racket. Vendors of these services rely on the desperation of job seekers. So do most career columnists and authors. They also know that no one really wants to go find a new job -- it's a painful, distasteful task. The result is services and advice of pitifully poor quality. Much of it is just wrong.

    The job board vendors offer what they spin as easy, automated, quick, intelligent database solutions that aren't any of that. And the writers -- usually greenhorn bloggers or journalists or HR people who have no skin in the game -- merely rehash the volumes of career tripe that's been published for decades. ("Your resume is your marketing piece. Look the interviewer in the eye. Ask when you can expect an answer. Don't mention salary until they do." It's pathetic.)

    MORE FROM NICK CORCODILOS: Ask The Headhunter: How Smart Employers Can Help You Get Hired

    So I pan them all because they're phony. Database companies like LinkedIn and Monster don't deliver jobs; they sell lottery tickets. Career writers don't help you; they merely remind you of all the "steps" that don't work -- and you follow them because, after all, everyone else is doing it.

    But there are career tools and experts I like and respect. They're the ones that don't suggest they're going to find you a job. Instead, they help you deal with the challenges you face so that you can use your energy to do the heavy lifting yourself.

    In this column, I'll tell you about the one online career tool you need and the one HR lady you need to listen to. In an upcoming column, I'll tell you about two jobs services I like -- and why they're not job boards. Here are two job hunting resources I don't, er, hate.

    JibberJobber

    You've heard of contact management software like Act!, and relationship management software like SalesForce.com, that help track sales contacts. JibberJobber is a simple but elegant online tool that helps you track and manage your job search -- for free.

    Jason Alba, author of "I'm On LinkedIn -- Now What?", created JibberJobber when he got tired of kludging together spreadsheets to manage his own job search after he got fired. If you're smart, and you're really networking to find a job, JibberJobber helps you get the most from new contacts by enabling you to keep track of who you met yesterday and which job you applied for today. Of course, it also lets you upload contacts from your e-mail directory.

    If you customize your resumes (and I hope you do), JibberJobber lets you track which documents you sent to which employer and when -- and reminds you to follow up. You can have up to 250 companies and 250 contacts in the free version, and unlimited if you upgrade to a premium level.

    But what makes JibberJobber a responsible vendor is its downgrade policy. You can cancel premium service easily, without your data getting wiped out.

    One thing JibberJobber doesn't do: appropriate your information. JibberJobber doesn't play LinkedIn games, like spamming your contacts. I asked Alba for JibberJobber's actual policy, and his answer reveals why I respect him so much: "We don't do anything with them, we don't look at them, analyze them, e-mail them... nothing." The data you put into JibberJobber is yours alone.

    You can customize everything you do in JibberJobber, but the big benefit is that during a busy job search the system keeps details about every encounter organized and at your fingertips. And I mean literally: There's a mobile version. Worried about security? If you know what "https" is, you'll love knowing that you can click into a secure version with one click. And if there's something you can't figure out, Alba has loaded the site with tutorials and videos that teach you all you need to know.

    JibberJobber doesn't find you a job, but it makes job hunting a heck of a lot more efficient. More important, it helps you get the most from your professional network even when you're not job hunting. JibberJobber is the most useful, honest, down-to-earth career tool I've seen online. Do yourself a favor and try it -- it's free.

    The Evil HR Lady

    I tell people that 95 percent of HR people and 95 percent of headhunters aren't worth spit because half don't know what they're doing and the balance don't care. But the last 5 percent are gems, and they know who they are. One you need to know is Suzanne Lucas: a former HR manager who delivers expertise and wisdom as the Evil HR Lady on Inc. magazine online and on her own blog.

    Unlike other career columnists, Lucas actually talks to her audience and answers real questions with aplomb and wit. You can tell no one gave her a writing assignment -- with each posting, she's running a triage room and dealing with incoming wounded. Some recent favorites:

    What's the line between networking and stalking? Am I too young to be hired? What can I do if my boss is incompetent?

    Lucas has worked on the inside of corporate HR departments, hiring, firing and messing with legal compliance issues. Her Q&A-style columns have a distinct "survivor" quality and are written for job seekers. (You can tell she used to whisper advice to employees who were fed up with the HR system.)

    My own columns are in Q&A style because I've learned that the unique story behind any career challenge is the story. Heck -- there aren't really more than about 100 questions you can ask about job hunting, but there are thousands of real-life experiences that drive home the urgency of good advice that can be put to work immediately. Lucas learned the same thing long ago: that this is all about real people -- your questions and your unique experiences.

    Suzanne Lucas doesn't mince words, and she doesn't pretend that corporate HR isn't a mess. Week after week, her voice is uncompromising and her advice is intelligent and pragmatic. I don't mess around with the hard-core HR issues she understands so well, and I don't claim to own the career advice space -- but I love sharing it with Lucas. Read her stuff.

    So there you have it: Stuff I don't hate in the career space, and more to come in another column.

    Dear readers: What career tools, resources and advice have you found most useful - and which not so useful? Please share your reviews and comments.

    Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth "how to" PDF books are available on his website: "How to Work With Headhunters...and how to make headhunters work for you," "How Can I Change Careers?", "Keep Your Salary Under Wraps" and "Fearless Job Hunting."

    Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!

    Copyright © 2013 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark. This entry is cross-posted on the Rundown -- NewsHour's blog of news and insight. Follow @PaulSolman


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    Photo by Flickr user Julie Danielle

    Ireland is asking its own citizens to move away, the Financial Times reports. In a controversial effort to reduce its unemployment and welfare costs, the Irish government is sending letters to about 6,000 unemployed people, urging them to take jobs in other EU countries. Alan Douglas, an unemployed electrician living near Dublin, was encouraged to move to Coventry, UK. "It made me feel like I was being pushed out of my own country," Mr. Douglas told the FT.

    Ireland is the first eurozone nation to navigate its bailout successfully, after enduring a series of painful cuts to government spending. Ireland's quick recovery is incredible, considering how deeply the nation's finances were rocked during the 2008 financial crisis, but the Emerald Isle will not emerge unscathed.

    While the overall rate has been falling, one in four Irish under 25 are still unemployed. The Irish government contends that letters advertising jobs abroad are voluntary opportunities, and that no one is being forced to leave the country.

    But a valuable portion of Ireland's workforce is deciding to move abroad, and stay there. The nation is suffering from an emigration brain drain, as educated and employable citizens are moving away for the prospect of brighter futures abroad.

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    All five regulatory agencies approved a ban on big banks' proprietary trading, named after its chief proponent, former Federal Reserve chair Paul Volcker, center. Photo courtesy of Ralph Alswang for Flickr user Third Way.

    In 2008, in the wake of the financial crisis, the now-86-year-old Paul Volcker, who served as Fed chairman in the 1970s and 1980s, proposed a ban on big banks making risky bets for their own benefit. A top adviser to President Barack Obama, he was eager to prevent the kind of instability that had necessitated a taxpayer-funded bailout of financial institutions that benefited from federal deposit insurance.

    There's a reason this sounds familiar. The Volcker Rule was codified in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform law that Sens. Carl Levin, D-Mich., and Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., pushed through Congress. (Two-thirds of the regulations in Dodd-Frank are not fully drafted yet.) Since then, America's financial regulators have been haggling over the actual writing of the Volcker Rule -- with a lot of lobbying from the financial industry.

    The Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency approved the rule Tuesday. Banks will have until July 2015 to comply.

    Proponents of the rule hope that it will make banks' money safer because they won't be able to engage in proprietary trading, which is when they make bets on stocks and bonds (with money people have deposited in the bank) to make more money for themselves, as opposed to buying and selling securities on behalf of clients. The rule also restricts some other kinds of risky hedge fund investing. But banks can still hedge -- that is, trade assets to protect their other holdings.

    In short, the complex rule establishes which are legitimate trades banks can make and which aren't. But making that distinction troubled regulators, who in some cases, won't know whether a trade was intended to increase the bank's profits or protect their other holdings against loss in the market.

    Some of the rule's critics are afraid the rule will over-regulate and clamp down on legitimate "market-making" that they say stimulates the economy. The banking industry lobbied regulators intensely for the past three years to try to whittle down the list of what's not allowed.

    Despite that pressure, regulators seemed to have toughened some aspects of the rule released Tuesday, compared to earlier draft versions. In its current form, the rule mandates that bank CEOs annually attest to taking steps to comply with the rule, which banks had objected to. JPMorgan's $6.2 billion loss from placing bets in the "London Whale" trading scandal encouraged regulators to tighten up on some of the exemptions banks had been fighting for.

    Other critics, however, don't think the rule -- what former Sen. Ted Kaufman, D-Del., calls Glass Steagall lite -- goes far enough to crack down on banks that they fear are ready to exploit its loopholes and ambiguities. (Glass Steagall, until the late 1990s, separated commercial banks and securities firms).

    Many banks have already closed down their proprietary trading desks, so it will be up to the five regulatory agencies charged with implementing and enforcing the rule to decide which trades are now truly proprietary.

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


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    Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON -- Congressional negotiators reached a modest budget agreement Tuesday to restore about $65 billion in automatic spending cuts from programs ranging from parks to the Pentagon, with votes expected in both houses by week's end.

    Officials said the increases would be offset by a variety of spending reductions and increased fees elsewhere in the budget totaling about $85 billion over a decade, enough for a largely symbolic cut of roughly $20 billion in the nation's $17 trillion debt.

    Among them is a requirement for federal workers to make larger contributions to their own pensions, as well as an increase in a federal security fee that would add $5 to the cost of a typical roundtrip flight.

    Officials said Democrats had failed in their bid to include an extension of benefits for workers unemployed longer than 26 weeks. The program expires on Dec. 28, when payments will be cut off for an estimated 1.3 million individuals.

    Announcement of the deal came in the form of a statement that the two negotiators, Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who planned a news conference to announce details. The lawmakers chair the budget committees in the two houses of Congress, and negotiated the deal in secretive talks over recent weeks.

    Officials said that under the agreement, an estimated $65 billion in automatic spending cuts would be restored through the end of the next budget year, which runs to Sept. 30, 2015.

    Officials who described the details in advance of the news conference did so on the condition of anonymity, saying they were not authorized to speak on the record.

    The same was not true of conservative organizations, which attacked the proposal as a betrayal of a hard-won 2011 agreement that reduced government spending and is counted as among the main accomplishments of tea party-aligned Republicans who came to power earlier the same year in the House.

    Americans for Prosperity issued a midmorning statement saying that GOP lawmakers should uphold current spending levels. Otherwise, the group said, "congressional Republicans are joining liberal Democrats in breaking their word to the American people to finally begin reining in government overspending that has left us over $17 trillion in debt."

    A day earlier, Heritage Action issued a similar broadside, saying it could not support a deal that "would increase spending in the near-term for promises of woefully inadequate long-term reductions." The group played an influential behind-the-scenes role earlier this fall in events that led to a partial government shutdown, supporting a strategy of refusing to provide needed funds for federal programs until the health care law known as "Obamacare" was defunded.

    For their part, liberals were unhappy that the deal was likely to lack an extension of benefits for unemployed workers more than 26 weeks off the job.

    The party's leader, Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, said at one point last week that her rank and file would insist on an extension for the unemployment program as a condition for supporting a budget deal.

    The White House pointedly refused to support her position, and she later made additional comments that her staff characterized as a clarification.

    Given the internal GOP divisions in the House, Speaker John Boehner is likely to need Democratic votes to approve any deal by Ryan and Murray. It was not immediately clear how many Democratic lawmakers would support a plan that lacked an extension of unemployment benefits.

    Some Democratic officials suggested a possible two-step solution. It included swift passage of any budget agreement that emerges, and then adding an extension of unemployment benefits to must-pass legislation early next year, perhaps a measure to reverse a looming cut in payments to doctors who treat Medicare patients.

    The bipartisan push for a budget agreement stems from automatic cuts that are themselves the consequence of divided government's ability to complete a sweeping deficit reduction package in 2011.

    If left in place, the reductions would carve $91 billion from the day-to-day budgets of the Pentagon and domestic agencies when compared with spending limits set by the hard-fought 2011 budget agreement.

    Support for a deal to ease the reductions is strongest in Congress among defense hawks in both houses and both parties who fear the impact on military readiness from a looming $20 billion cut in Pentagon spending.

    The White House wants a deal for a same reason, but also to ease the impact of automatic cuts on domestic programs from education to transportation to the national parks.

    While an agreement would have little impact on deficits, it holds the potential for avoiding politically charged budget clashes for the next year or two. The addition of $45 billion in spending for the current fiscal year and $20 billion for the following budget deal would permit the two houses to agree on levels for annual appropriations bill, easing the threat of veto showdowns of the type that can lead into partial government shutdowns.

    Officials said the framework under discussion would raise overall spending on general government programs to $1.012 trillion in the current budget year, compared with $967 billion under existing law.

    Even though that represents a two-year increase of about $65 billion, it is below the limits envisioned before the across-the-board cuts began taking effect.

    Associated Press reporters David Espo and Andrew Taylor wrote this report.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressional negotiators reached an agreement this evening on a budget deal. Aides said it is a two-year agreement that includes provisions to replace automatic spending cuts with savings from future years. It also requires federal workers to contribute more to their pensions, among other things. The agreement was worked out by budget committee chairs, Democratic Senator Patty Murray and Republican Congressman Paul Ryan.

    Heads of state, celebrities and thousands of South Africans gathered in Johannesburg today to honor the life of Nelson Mandela. The crowd braved a rainstorm, singing songs and celebrating the life of South Africa's first black president. President Obama was one of many foreign leaders who made the trip.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: For the people of South Africa, for those he inspired around the globe, Madiba's passing is rightly a time of mourning, and a time to celebrate a heroic life.

    But I believe it should also prompt in each of us a time for self-reflection. With honesty, regardless of our station or our circumstance, we must ask: How well have I applied his lessons in my own life?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We will have a full report on the memorial service and talk with Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who was there, right after the news summary.

    In the Central African Republic, two French soldiers were killed overnight in the capital of Bangui. They were on patrol in the city as part of an operation to disarm Christian and Muslim fighters when gunmen opened fire. It happened hours before French President Francois Hollande arrived to meet with the country's interim president, with African peacekeepers and religious leaders.

    A major new federal regulation approved today will bar U.S. banks from trading stocks and other securities for their own profit. The Federal Reserve and other agencies adopted the so-called Volcker rule to prevent the risk-taking that helped cause the 2008 meltdown. We will explore the details and potential consequences later in the program.

    The Supreme Court now has to consider a rule forcing cuts in air pollution from power plants in the South and the Midwest. The justices heard arguments today on the 2011 regulation. It requires 28 states to reduce smog and soot that drifts into the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic. A decision is expected by June.

    Secretary of State John Kerry appealed to Congress today for more time to negotiate over Iran's nuclear ambitions. Last month, the U.S. and its partners struck an interim deal that slows Iran's uranium enrichment in exchange for easing some economic sanctions.

    Today, Kerry implored the House Foreign Affairs Committee not to adopt additional sanctions, for now.

    SECRETARY OF STATE JOHN KERRY: We're asking you to give our negotiators and our experts the time and the space to do their jobs. And that includes asking you, while we negotiate, that you hold off imposing new sanctions.

    Now, I'm not saying never. If this doesn't work, we're coming back and asking you for more. I'm just saying not right now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In Tehran, Iran's foreign minister issued his own warning shortly before Secretary Kerry appeared at that hearing.

    MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIF, Iranian Foreign Minister (through interpreter): I'm sure the Americans know that any new sanctions would be against what they agreed to in the Geneva plan of action. And, well, it would be a serious breach and would jeopardize the deal at their end. And they would be responsible for that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Any easing of the existing sanctions will wait until U.N. inspectors verify that Iran is filling its side of the interim nuclear agreement.

    The Senate confirmed the nomination of one of President Obama's key judicial nominees today. Washington lawyer Patricia Millett won a position on the U.S. Court of Appeals for Washington, D.C., 56-38. And Democratic Congressman Mel Watt won confirmation to lead the Federal Housing Finance Agency. They are the first such votes since Senate Democrats pushed through a rule -- rules change making it easier to break filibusters against many nominees.

    The Obama administration is earmarking another $100 million for mental health just before the first anniversary of the Newtown school shootings. The announcement came today, as Vice President Biden met with families of the 26 victims. The funds will go to help community health centers add mental health services and to help existing facilities in rural areas.

     For the first time, a woman will head up a major American automaker. Mary Barra was named CEO of General Motors today. The 51-year-old is currently the company's vice president for global product development. She started working for GM when she was 18. The announcement came one day after the U.S. Treasury sold the last of its stake in GM. More on GM and its new boss later in the program.

    On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 52 points to close at 15,973. The Nasdaq fell eight points to close at 4,060.

     


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    GWEN IFILL: Millions of people around the world watched early today as South Africans, world leaders, celebrities and a vibrant community of mourners paid final respects to the country's former president and anti-apartheid leader, Nelson Mandela.

    A cold rain didn't dampen the spirits of tens of thousands who came from far and near to the four-hour service. Downpours may have kept others away, with just two-thirds of the stadium's 95,000 seats filled. But the weather took nothing away from a celebration of Nelson Mandela's life and legacy that was at turns jubilant, raucous and solemn.

    The late leader's nephew spoke for his family, praising the humility of the man widely known with affection by his clan name.

    GEN. THANDUXOLO MANDELA, nephew of Nelson Mandela: In his lifetime, Madiba mingled with kings, queens and presidents, and prime ministers, captains of industries and ordinary workers. At the core of his being, he was a man of the people.

    GWEN IFILL: And some of Mandela's grandchildren and great-grandchildren offered their own remembrance in the form of a poem.

    PHUMLA MANDELA, great-granddaughter of Nelson Mandela: The land heaves dreams of a future without you, Madiba. You are lodged in our memories. You tower over the world like a comet, leaving streaks of life for us to follow. We salute you.

    GWEN IFILL: When President Obama rose to speak, he was greeted with waves of cheers and thunderous applause. He led the long list of foreign dignitaries bringing eulogies from around the world.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    PRESIDENT PRESIDENT OBAMA: Thank you.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: The president hailed Mandela as the last great liberator of the 20th century and urged the world to follow his example.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: There are too many people who happily embrace Madiba's legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba's struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: And there are too many of us -- too many of us on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism, when our voices must be heard.

    GWEN IFILL: As he has before, Mr. Obama recalled it was Mandela's work worlds away that helped fuel his own desire to enter public service.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA: Over 30 years ago, while still a student, I learned of Nelson Mandela and the struggles taking place in this beautiful land, and it stirred something in me. It woke me up to my responsibilities to others and to myself, and it set me on an improbable journey that finds me here today. And while I will always fall short of Madiba's example, he makes me want to be a better man.

    GWEN IFILL: Under tight security, the president and nearly 100 other heads of state and government filed into the stadium.

    They included three former U.S. presidents, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. Brazil's President Dilma Rousseff pointed to Mandela's long battle against apartheid and the example he set for many in the developing world.

    PRESIDENT DILMA ROUSSEFF, Brazil (through interpreter): Mandela's fight and that of the South African people as a whole became a paradigm, a model not only for this continent, but also for those who fight for justice, freedom and equality.

    GWEN IFILL: And Cuban President Raul Castro paid special tribute to Mandela's call for reconciliation after winning his long fight for freedom.

    PRESIDENT RAUL CASTRO, Cuba (through interpreter): I remember at this moment his bond of affection with Fidel Castro. Fidel has said -- and I quote -- "Nelson Mandela will not go down in history for the 27 consecutive years he spent incarcerated without ever renouncing his ideas; he will go down in history because he was capable of cleaning up his soul from the poison that such an unfair punishment could have planted there."

    GWEN IFILL: At one point, President Obama greeted Castro with a handshake, a gesture that drew attention around the world. White House aides later described it as an unplanned encounter.

    The atmosphere was notably less friendly for South African President Jacob Zuma, whose government is awash in corruption scandals.

    (BOOING)

    GWEN IFILL: He was roundly booed when he rose to speak, but then went on with his keynote address.

    PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, South Africa: There is no one like Madiba. He was one of a kind. Today, Madiba is no more. He leaves behind a nation that loves him dearly. He leaves a continent that is truly proud to call him an African.

    He leaves the people of the world who embraced him as their own beloved icon. Most importantly, he leaves behind a deeply entrenched legacy of freedom, human rights and democracy in our country.

    ARCHBISHOP DESMOND TUTU, Nobel laureate: I want to hear a pin drop!

    GWEN IFILL: At the end of the service, an enthusiastic Archbishop Desmond Tutu quieted the crowd for a closing blessing.

    DESMOND TUTU: We promise God that we are going to follow the example of Nelson Mandela.

    Amen. Amen.

    GWEN IFILL: Beginning tomorrow, Mandela will lie in state in the union buildings of Pretoria. He was inaugurated there as the nation's first black president in 1994. And, on Sunday, his body will journey to his childhood village of Qunu, where he will be laid to rest.

    Charlayne Hunter-Gault, familiar to you as a former NewsHour correspondent, has covered Mandela and South Africa for decades for us and for others. Now a special correspondent for NBC News, she's on assignment in the country once again.

    I spoke to her a short time ago.

    Charlayne Hunter-Gault, what a ceremony, what a week, what a day. Tell us about it.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT, NBC News: Thank you, Gwen, for having me to tell you about it, because it has been quite a week and quite a day.

    Of course, getting the news was stunning, even though we all anticipated it. And that's what everybody I know both here and in the United States is saying. You know, even though people knew that the end was near, when it came, people were very sad. And getting ready for this day, as you have seen the crowds, here in South Africa, no one talks about death or dying. They talk about passing on or transitioning.

    So the celebrations didn't come as a surprise to me, because when people do transition, many South Africans, traditional ones, still go to the graveside and talk to the ancestors for advice, and they come away thinking that they have gotten some help solving their problems. And now Madiba, the father, Tata, is an ancestor.

    And, of course, today was just a joyful time for the people of South Africa. The stores were all open, but the people -- and the rains were pouring. But people still flooded to the stadium, not quite full, but there was enough representation to have a joyful time.

    GWEN IFILL: There were more 100 head of states, we heard, there today. Was security a concern? Did they handle that well?

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: You know, the one thing that South Africa does exceedingly well is a big event, like the 2010 World Cup.

    And, as far as I could tell, the security was quite good. I was a few miles away in Soweto, but most of the heads of state were behind plate glass. And yet, when I saw them walking in, I saw camera crews charging up to them and people talking to them. So it was not as strict as it might have been. Of course, I didn't see what happened when President Obama came.

    There was one man on the radio who was talking to one of their anchors. And he was talking about the beast. And then he said something about Obama. And he said, are you calling Obama the beast? He said, no, no, no, that's the car he rides in.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GWEN IFILL: You know, there was an awkward moment, though, on stage, or at least it was taken that way in many corners, of the president greeting Raul Castro on stage, a stage that was full of a lot of people who probably have problematic relations with the United States.

    Was that received the same way over there that it was here?

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Well, people thought about Mandela again, because it was Mandela who talked to President Clinton and other people about the need to -- for the South Africans to remain friends with people who were friends with them during the struggle. And that included people like Castro and Arafat and Gadhafi.

    And he also encouraged people to make up. And, you know, the other day, I was talking to his daughter Zindzi, who said that the one word that they would like the whole world to think about, if nothing else, when they think about their father is forgiveness. So that was like a big deal, kind of, Madiba is an ancestor, would be smiling, I think.

    Now, the next step is maybe problematic, but at least there was that.

    GWEN IFILL: It was interesting to me to see the difference between the reaction the president received when he rose to speak, the rolls of cheers and enthusiasm, and the -- and the reaction that President Zuma when he rose to speak, which were boos. What a contrast.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Well, there are two huge differences, I think. Both are sons of Africa in the eyes of Africans.

    President Obama is very comfortable giving a speech, even if he's reading it, whether it's on a teleprompter or even a paper. And he clearly -- it seems to me, from having read a lot of his writing, including his first book, "Dreams From My Father," you know, I saw Obama in that speech.

    And with President Zuma, when he's speaking Zulu, he's very dynamic. But when he has to speak English and do it before an international audience off of a -- off a paper, he's generally very uncomfortable. And, of course, this is an uncomfortable time in South Africa. I continue to say that it's a young democracy approaching 20 years, but there are things that are quite troublesome that most people here are talking about in the newspapers and on the radio.

    Although today was a day of memory of a great man, people did continue to talk about the huge numbers of unemployed people, including the largest number of unemployed are youth, who are being very poorly educated, if at all. There are rolling mass actions on a continuing basis, people protesting the lack of basic services.

    So, I think all of those things -- I, frankly, was surprised that people booed President Zuma, because, normally, events like that are packed with people who support the African National Congress, the ruling party. So that came as a surprise to me on that level. But, on the other level of the disenchantment among people, I wasn't surprised.

    GWEN IFILL: So, what -- what to expect this weekend that we go to a burial now in his ancestral home?

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Well, right now, I'm sitting in Pretoria. Just behind me are the Union Buildings, where tomorrow and I think and for the next I think about three days, the president will lie in -- the former president will lie in state.

    I think the coffin will be open. And if the weather continues like this -- well, even if it does, I think people will come, because they're trying to show their love for the man who made the country what it can be, let's put it that way. And so, for three days, he will be right behind me in the big building there.

    And then on Sunday, I believe it is, he will go to Qunu, which is his ancestral -- ancestral home. He was born in Mvezo, which is not far from there, but, as a young child, his mother moved the family to Qunu. And I think he thinks of that as his home.

    I saw him there many years ago. It's a small rural village where he as a child growing up, as we pointed out in our NewsHour memory of him, grew up herding sheep and goats and cows and whatever else they had around there. And he had often said that that was where he wanted to transition.

    Unfortunately, I think that the -- his health situation prevented him from going there.

    GWEN IFILL: Charlayne Hunter-Gault, my friend, thank you so much for joining us.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Thank you, my friend, Gwen, for having me.

     


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Five years after the financial crisis crippled the American economy, the behavior of Wall Street and other financial firms has been the subject of intense debate, lobbying and legislation.

    At the center of financial reform, one rule has attracted more scrutiny than almost any other, the Volcker rule, named after former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker.

    Today, federal regulators spelled out how it's supposed to work. And now the question is, what kind of impact will it have on reducing risk?

    Jeffrey Brown has the story.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The Dodd-Frank Act, signed into law by President Obama in 2010, contained hundreds of provisions designed to avoid future meltdowns, among the most controversial, the Volcker rule, named for the former Fed chairman.

    MAN: All in favor, please say aye.

    MAN: Aye.

    MAN: Aye.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Its final approval today by five regulatory agencies signals a major shift in practices banks can undertake and their oversight.

    In an effort to prevent excessively risky bets, like last year's so-called "London Whale" trades, which led to $6 billion in losses for J.P. Morgan Chase, the rule bans so-called proprietary trading, when banks trade with their own money for a profit. Banks are still allowed to buy and sell investments for their own clients, known as market-making.

    They will also be allowed to hedge those bets against potential losses. But deciding when a hedge crosses into dangerous territory will test regulators and bank officials.

    Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke before voting in favor of the rule today.

    BEN BERNANKE, Federal Reserve chairman: I note, though, that the ultimate effectiveness of the rule will depend importantly on supervisors, who will need to find appropriate balance, while providing feedback to the board on how the rule works in practice.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Large banks have now until July 2015 to fully comply with the rule.

    So, what impact will all this have? For that, we're joined by Dennis Kelleher, president of Better Markets, a not-for-profit financial services watchdog group, and Wayne Abernathy, executive vice president for the American Bankers Association.

    Welcome to both of you.

    Dennis Kelleher, let me start with you.

    You were an advocate for this rule or a rule like this. Remind us why. Why is it needed?

    DENNIS KELLEHER, Better Markets: Well, the financial crash in 2008 was the worst crash since 1929. It almost caused the second Great Depression.

    And it did cause the worst economy since the Great Depression. It's going to ultimately cost this country, according to a study by Better Markets, almost $13 trillion. That's what's at stake in financial reform, and that's what's at stake at the financial reform rules and the Volcker rule, which is meant to reduce the banks' high-risk gambling, as opposed to the services they provide to the real economy.

    Preventing that high-risk gambling is key to preventing another crash, crises and bailouts.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right.

    So, he used -- Wayne Abernathy, he used the word gambling, and you smiled. Banks, investment banks, financial institutions generally, have been against this. What do you -- what's the impact going to be, do you think?

    WAYNE ABERNATHY, American Bankers Association: The impact is really on bank customers.

    And that's why words like gambling are really irrelevant, because what you're talking about is the ability of banks to fund not only families, but businesses, to fund the economy, to fund us going forward. And the way we're looking at the Volcker rule is, what impact will this have for the economy going forward, for the future of the customers that rely upon banks to provide the financial services they need to fund their businesses?

    Customers like somebody who has a new business they want to take to the next level, they don't want to borrow money. They want to float a bond. They want to float a security. They need a bank to help them do that to take them to the next level.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You're not against that business for the banks?

    DENNIS KELLEHER: Well, not only are we not against that. That has nothing to do with proprietary trading, in fact.

    What has happened is, the gambling culture has infected the too-big-to-fail banks on Wall Street, the biggest of the big. And let's keep in mind there are about 7,000 banks in the United States. The Volcker rule and the ban on proprietary trading is really going to effectively impact less than a dozen of them, the biggest of the big.

    What they were doing were making reckless trading and investment divisions that created big revenue and big bonuses. That has nothing to do with providing loans, market-making, and hedging for the businesses of the country and to grow the economy. And mixing those two is a favorite ploy of Wall Street, but it's not really implicated here.

    The high-risk activity is not related to the economically useful activity.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Explain that.

    I mean, is there a connection? Because I asked you about it and you went right to the loans to small businesses.

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: Sure.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So what's the connection between those kinds of loans and proprietary trading?

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: We want to make sure that in the actual regulation, there isn't that kind of connection, because we want to make sure that banks want to be able to continue to meet the needs of their customers, their business customers especially.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But why -- but why can't they, even if they -- even if they can't do proprietary trading?

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: Because the difference between a proprietary trading as its defined in terms of the bank taking risks on its own money and providing services to its customers is not only a fine line; it's a real mixture.

    Think of it as how you would look at an insurance policy. When someone's taking out a whole life policy, are they taking it out for an investment or are they taking it out to hedge themselves against the risk of what happens when the breadwinner in the family passes away? Will there be resources?

    The answer is, it's actually a little bit of a mix of both. And that's the way it is with providing financial services to businesses.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, well, this is one of the issues that's come up, that it's hard to distinguish...

    DENNIS KELLEHER: Right.

    JEFFREY BROWN: ... between these different kinds of practices.

    DENNIS KELLEHER: That's one of the arguments that's made, but, frankly, it doesn't withstand scrutiny.

    These are the smartest people in the world, supposedly, making the most money that human beings have ever made in the world. And they're claiming that they can't distinguish between activities that are fairly common and have been around for decades, if not hundreds of years.

    Proprietary trading, at the end of the day, is one of the handful of the biggest of big banks on Wall Street basically putting their own capital at risk, as opposed to putting their clients' money at risk or servicing their clients. It's -- they know how to distinguish between those two things. And the law actually -- otherwise laws require them to for risk, capital and compliance.

    So for them to claim that they can't distinguish when their own capital is being put at risk and when their clients' capital is being used frankly is just not accurate. It can't be accurate. They would be breaking laws left and right all the time if they couldn't tell the difference between the two.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Go ahead.

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: Banks clearly can tell the difference between the two. The question is, can the regulators tell the difference between the two? They're the ones that are going to enforce the rule.

    And particularly look at how this rule was put forward. It is five separate regulators creating five identical, but separate rules that will be enforced in five separate ways.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, what do you think is going to happen?

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: Your typical bank has two or three or in some cases four of those regulators that are going to interpret that rule. And our concern is, it's going to make it difficult for the bank to be able to meet the needs of its customers.

    And we're not just talking Wall Street banks. The way the rule is written, it applies to every single bank in America, which, by the way, are under 7,000 today. They were more than 8,000 a few years ago. The last time we were down to 7,000 banks was 1891. We want to turn around that pressure on community banks, midsize banks, let them grow and meet the needs of their customers again.

    JEFFREY BROWN: OK. That goes to part of the question. How do you regulate this? Are there going to be discrepancies?

    (CROSSTALK)

    DENNIS KELLEHER: There are not going to be discrepancies.

    The reality is that while the rule is broadly applicable, it's only going to impact less than the biggest 12 banks on Wall Street. They're the only one who have the balance sheet and the capital to engage in any material proprietary trading.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Can I stop you there? Do you agree with that?

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: No, that's absolutely wrong.

    (CROSSTALK)

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: I have been in meetings this week with banks of all sizes, from the small community bank of $100 million to the $10 billion bank to the $300 billion bank, and they're all affected by the Volcker rule.

    (CROSSTALK)

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, I interrupted, so go -- continue.

    DENNIS KELLEHER: There are special -- there are special -- there are special provisions for community banks and smaller banks that both reduce the burden and make the Volcker rule effectively inapplicable in fact.

    And what we have is, we have Wall Street and the biggest banks once again saying the sky is going to fall if they are regulated. Well, the problem is that the sky did fall in 2008. Wall Street got the bonuses; the American people got the bill. Taxpayers back up these banks. That's why they're called too big to fail.

    Their high-risk trading and investments have to be limited to protect Main Street from Wall Street. And when the big banks pretend to care about economic growth, job creation, and capital formation, well, I will tell you, nothing hurt growth, jobs and capital formation more than the crash of 2008.

    And preventing it is one of the most important things to protect those things and Main Street.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, just in our last couple minutes here, that goes to the larger question, which is the -- the culture of Wall Street, because I think a lot behind this is an attempt, a perceived attempt by regulators to change that culture. There's even a provision here where the CEOs of banks have to sign every year, right, that they -- that they have procedures in place for compliance.

    Do you sense an actual change in culture?

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: Absolutely.

    I think what you have is, from banks largest to smallest, there's a real desire to be able to focus their resources, focus their energies on funding job creation, funding development of the economy, meeting the needs of their customers from families to small businesses to midsize to large businesses.

    What the Volcker rule is doing is perhaps in its intention to focus on those kinds of activities. But we have here nearly 1,000 pages of new regulations that, yes, the big banks will be able to figure that out, but how about the midsize banks, how about the smaller banks? They still have to read it. They still are going to be penalized if they don't comply.

    And in their efforts to try to do that, a lot of small and medium-size businesses are going to find it harder to get services.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Very briefly on this culture change.

    DENNIS KELLEHER: Saying it doesn't make it true.

    The rule is not going to have any material impact on anything outside the biggest of the big. We do need a culture change on Wall Street. We need rules. We need effective regulators. We need people watching Wall Street closely and regulators closely. But we also need a change in the tone at the top.

    We need a compliance culture, instead of a gambling culture. And what we have is, Wall Street's been at war with financial reform. I would hope that they would take the opportunity of Volcker rule to actually embrace financial reform, and let's have a safer, sounder banking system that really does serve the economy, rather than building up bankers' bonuses and putting bailouts at the risk of taxpayer funding.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Dennis Kelleher, Wayne Abernathy, thank you both very much.

    WAYNE ABERNATHY: Thank you very much.

    DENNIS KELLEHER: Thank you.

     

     


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: General Motors has named a new CEO, and she's a woman, one who worked her way up in a company once known as an old boys club. The news comes one day after the federal government sold the last of the GM shares it purchased during the big auto bailout.

    Micheline Maynard long covered the auto industry, and she is now a contributor to Forbes. She's a lecturer at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and the editor of a new journalism project, Curbing Cars: How We Get Around.

    Micki Maynard, hello. Welcome back to the NewsHour.

    Tell us, who is this new CEO, Mary Barra?

    MICHELINE MAYNARD, Forbes.com: So, it's understandable if people haven't heard of her, Judy, because she's been one of those people that's well-known to folks inside General Motors, but not particularly well-known outside of General Motors.

    She's someone who went to the company in college. Essentially, she went to what used to be called the General Motors Institute. It's now Kettering University. And one of the things that you do when you're there is go to work for General Motors in the summer. So, she's only 51, but she's been at General Motors for 33 years.

    Some of her other jobs have included running an assembly plant, the Detroit Hamtramck plant. She's run human resources. Most recently, she was in charge of General Motors' global product development operations. And that's where she caught the eye of Dan Akerson, who is the outgoing CEO.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you wrote today about that. Why did he have his eye on her? What was it about her?

    MICHELINE MAYNARD: Well, one of the things about Ms. Barra is that, first of all, she comes from within General Motors.

    And Detroit over the last few years, since General Motors and Chrysler filed for bankruptcy, since Ford got in financial trouble, has been run by outsiders as CEOs. Fiat controls Chrysler. The Fiat CEO runs Chrysler. Mr. Akerson came from a private investment firm in Washington, and he was named to the GM board by the Treasury Department, and he ended up running the company. And then, obviously, Alan Mulally is running Ford Motor Company, and he came from Boeing.

    So Mary Barra is an insider. Mr. Akerson, I think, wanted to make a bold choice. I think he was looking for someone who would be different than the typical old-style General Motors CEO. He obviously liked her. He saw a lot of her talent, and he decided that, this was going to be my choice.

    And that wasn't -- that wasn't a secret in Detroit. Everyone here knew for about the past year that she was being groomed to be CEO. I was surprised that it happened this quickly, because she's 51, and, in Detroit, that's still relatively young to be a CEO.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, having said all this, what's the significance of this? It is deeply unusual to have a woman in this position, isn't it?

    MICHELINE MAYNARD: Right.

    So if you look at all the Fortune 500 companies, even though we hear a lot about women CEOs, there are only 22 in all of the 500 companies. There's never been a woman CEO in Detroit, although, through the years, I have seen a lot of talented women who could have risen to the position if they had had the patience or the opportunity.

    Obviously, it's a huge issue for Detroit that women have not risen to the top of the companies, because women now buy more than half of the vehicles sold in the United States. And so you have a very male environment selling vehicles to a very female audience.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Micki, the other story we're -- we're obviously following today is the report yesterday that the government sold its last shares in GM. This is four years after the federal government, in a very controversial move, bailed out this big automobile company.

    Now that this has happened, where does it leave GM? Are the lessons from this experience clear yet?

    MICHELINE MAYNARD: Well, General Motors now is an independent company again without government ownership.

    The U.S. taxpayer lost about $10 billion on the deal, and it was always understood from the beginning that there would be some money that was never paid back by GM. Where it least General Motors is in an extremely competitive automobile market. You know, back 10 years ago, 15 years ago, General Motors had about 30 percent of the car market. They now have about 18 percent.

    Ford is very close behind them. Toyota is close to them. So we have a market where the big shares that are divided up are much more equal than they were back in the days when GM owned the car market. So GM has to compete for buyers. It also has to compete in the time when many Americans are rethinking the way we get around. They're thinking about, do I need to own a car? Do we need three cars? Can we get along with two cars?

    Maybe I will take the bus. Maybe I will take the new streetcar that's in town. And so consumers are rethinking their automobile use at a time when there's so much competition. There's a fight for every single buyer.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just finally, quickly, is there a lingering effect from this government, heavy government role in GM over the last several years?

    MICHELINE MAYNARD: Well, GM got the nickname "Government Motors." And I think it will be a long time before it's able to shed that.

    And GM became a source of political controversy. And that's something that it will have to work very hard to overcome as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Micki Maynard, we thank you.

    MICHELINE MAYNARD: My pleasure, Judy. Thanks a lot.

     


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