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

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    A tsunami warning has been issued for parts of Alaska’s Aleutian Island chain after a magnitude-8.0 earthquake.

    The U.S. Geological Survey recorded the earthquake at 12:53 p.m. local time Monday.

    Residents of the city of Adak on the western edge of the Aleutian Islands chain, evacuated the town, the Associated Press reports.

    The USGS had originally reported a 7.1-magnitude quake, but the Alaska Earthquake Center upgraded it to 8.0, according to Reuters.

    The post Strong earthquake triggers tsunami warning off Alaska coast appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    For-profit Corinthian Colleges, Inc. reached a deal with the Department of Education to sell or discontinue its programs over the next six months. The deal comes after the Department of Education added a 21-day waiting period to federal student aid payments going to the company on June 12.

    The waiting period was imposed because Corinthian was accused of changing grades, falsifying attendance and job placement reports about its students, and marketing its programs inappropriately. The company signaled the delay in payments could lead to its closing last week. According to the Los Angeles Times, federal student aid makes up about 85 percent of the company’s revenues.

    The plan to sell or ‘teach-out’ Corinthian programs by the end of the year means the company’s more than 72,000 students in online and on-site programs across the country, won’t immediately be left in the lurch.

    “Students and their interests have been at the heart of every decision the Department has made regarding Corinthian,” said U.S. Under Secretary of Education Ted Mitchell, according to a statement published on the Department of Education’s website. “We will continue to closely monitor the teach-out or sale of Corinthian’s campuses to ensure that students are able to finish their education without interruption and that employees experience minimal disruption to their lives.”

    In 2012, the 1.5 million students enrolled in for-profit programs accounted for about 8.5 percent of those enrolled in undergraduate college programs across the country, according to the most recent federal data. The federal pressure on Corinthian Colleges comes as the Obama administration has been seen as increasing its scrutiny of the for-profit college sector, which has lower graduation rates and higher student debt and default rates than its non-profit counterparts.

    PBS NewsHour coverage of higher education is supported by the Lumina Foundation and American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    The post 72,000-student Corinthian Colleges reaches deal to sell or ‘teach-out’ programs appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Pro-Russian rebels in Ukraine promised today to honor a cease-fire with government forces. That came as President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin issued competing demands in a phone call.

    White House officials said Mr. Obama urged Russia to stop letting arms flow to the rebels. The Kremlin said Putin demanded that Ukraine’s government talk directly with the separatists.

    GWEN IFILL: Syria handed over the last of its declared chemical weapons today. The head of the international agency overseeing the effort said the stockpile included mustard gas and the raw ingredients for sarin nerve gas. It was loaded onto Danish and Norwegian ships and is set to be destroyed in the coming weeks.

    AHMET UZUMCU, Director General, Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons: Never before has an entire arsenal of a category of weapons of mass destruction been removed from a country experiencing a state of internal armed conflict. And this has been accomplished within very demanding and tight time frames.

    GWEN IFILL: The agency acknowledged it’s entirely possible that Syria still has chemical weapons that it never declared and chlorine gas that is still being used in barrel bombs.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Israeli warplanes struck inside Syria today. They targeted nine army positions, including a headquarters facility and launching posts. The Syrian government reported four killed. The airstrikes followed Sunday’s cross-border attack that killed an Arab-Israeli teenager in the Golan Heights.

    Back in this country, the Obama administration made public a secret memo that justifies using unmanned drones to kill Americans overseas. It says the government may attack U.S. citizens working with enemy groups like al-Qaida. A federal appeals court ordered the memo’s release in response to a lawsuit.

    GWEN IFILL: The Supreme Court today upheld the government’s basic authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired plants. But the court also found the EPA went too far in expanding its regulatory reach without congressional approval. The upshot is that industrial sites may still need permits for greenhouse emissions if they also need permits for other pollutants.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A nationwide FBI operation over the past week has recovered 168 victims of child sex trafficking. FBI Director James Comey announced results today of an operation spanning more than 100 cities. The children are Americans and many had never been reported missing. Comey also said 281 alleged pimps are in custody.

    JAMES COMEY, FBI Director: There’s a risk people will imagine these folks as some TV characters. They are not. They are people who are killing the souls of our children, who by their actions are snuffing the light out of the most vulnerable and the most promising of our people. The lesson of Operation Cross Country is that our children are not for sale.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: This is the eighth operation of its kind since 2003. Overall, almost 3,600 children have been recovered from the streets.

    GWEN IFILL: A much-anticipated report today found former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky should have been charged with molesting children long before 2011. The report was commissioned by Democratic state Attorney General Kathleen Kane. It faulted police and prosecutors for lapses of at least three years in the investigation.

    Kane said a search of Sandusky’s home and other steps should have occurred sooner.

    KATHLEEN KANE, Attorney General, Pennsylvania: This factual report indicates that there were long periods of time where nothing happened. There were long periods of delays that we can’t explain. This report also indicates factually that key investigative steps were not taken early on, for example the search warrant, and because of that, the case took longer than it could have or should have.

    GWEN IFILL: The report cleared Republican Governor Tom Corbett of stalling the case for political reasons when he was attorney general. Sandusky is serving a 30-to-60-year sentence for molesting 10 boys over a 15-year period

    JUDY WOODRUFF: President Obama today publicly advocated for American women having access to paid maternity leave from their jobs. At a White House summit on families, he said the U.S. is the only industrialized country without such a law. No new legislation was announced, but the president also encouraged employers to offer more flexible work schedules.

    GWEN IFILL: Honda and six other automakers are recalling almost three million more cars worldwide because their air bags can explode in hot weather. The focus is on older-model driver-side air bags made by Takata Corporation. The problem has led to recalls of 10.5 million vehicles over five years. There have been several reports of injuries.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street mostly lost ground for the first time in seven trading days. The Dow Jones industrial average slid nearly 10 points to close at 16,937. The S&P 500 was down a fraction at 1,962. But the Nasdaq rose a fraction to close at 4,368.

    GWEN IFILL: A well-known Middle East scholar, Fouad Ajami, has died. He passed away Sunday after a lengthy bout with cancer. Ajami was a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University and he advised the Bush administration in the buildup to the Iraq war. Over the years, he was also a frequent guest right here on the NewsHour.  Fouad Ajami was 68 years old.

    The post News Wrap: FBI recovers child victims of sex trafficking across the U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Iraq today to deliver the Obama administration’s message of political reform to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki face to face.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: This is a critical moment for Iraq’s future.

    GWEN IFILL: Secretary of State John Kerry stayed only a few hours in Baghdad, but it was long enough to deliver a stern warning to the Shiite-led government battling ISIL, the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

    JOHN KERRY: The very future of Iraq depends on choices that will be made in the next days and weeks. And the future of Iraq depends primarily on the ability of Iraq’s leaders to come together and take a stand united against ISIL, not next week, not next month, but now.

    GWEN IFILL: Kerry urged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki and others to form a more inclusive government. But he suggested President Obama might not wait for that to happen before launching airstrikes.

    JOHN KERRY: The president will not be hampered if he deems it necessary if the formation is not complete.

    GWEN IFILL: The visit came as ISIL and other Sunni fighters extended their grip over the weekend. They have now captured 20 towns and cities in a drive across Northern and Western Iraq.

    Government forces have also lost control of the entire frontier with Syria and Jordan. Today, witnesses reported troops abandoned posts along the border with Jordan, turning busy trade routes into ghost towns.

    NOURI HUSSEIN, Truck Driver (through interpreter): The army is retreating from the border. The border point is not stable. The situation is unstable. Only the police remain at the border. When we came here yesterday, the Iraqi police were the ones who stamped my passport.

    GWEN IFILL: Sunni tribal leaders near the Jordanian border were negotiating to give ISIL control of a key crossing. That prompted Jordan to send its own military reinforcements to the region.

    Insurgents also took over additional towns across Iraq’s Anbar province, and amateur video showed armed men patrolling the streets. The scene was similar to the north in Mosul. ISIL fighters seized control there two weeks ago. Today, they directed traffic and passed out copies of the Koran to drivers.

    Elsewhere, Iraqi troops were still putting up a fight at Baqubah, less than 40 miles outside Baghdad. And as the battles raged ever closer to the capital, more Iraqi Shia lined up at military recruitment centers across Baghdad.

    HUSSEIN MOHAMMED, Volunteer (through interpreter): I came to defend my country to fight against terrorism that came from outside the country, and not against our brothers, the Sunnis, the Turkmen, the Kurds. We came to cut the heads of those who came from outside to destroy our country.

    GWEN IFILL: Thousands of others are choosing to flee the violence. The United Nations reports that half-a-million Iraqis have been driven from their homes in the last week alone.

    The post Kerry urges Iraq’s embattled premier to use more inclusive government to oppose ISIL appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JOURNALISTS CONVICTED monitor

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Elsewhere in the Middle East, three Al-Jazeera journalists learned their fate in a Cairo courtroom today, sparking an international outcry.

    Jeffrey Brown has the story.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Tanks were deployed and tight security in place for the readings of the verdicts, after a five-month trial that was widely denounced outside Egypt as a sham.

    JUDGE MOHAMED NAGY SHEHATA (through interpreter): Seven years of maximum jail time.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The sentences for Mohamed Fadel Fahmy, a Canadian- Egyptian, Australian correspondent Peter Greste, and Egyptian Baher Mohamed, who received 10 years, led to pandemonium at the court; 17 co-defendants were also sentenced. Fahmy is a former CNN producer who once helped the NewsHour’s Margaret Warner and crew escape an attack by a mob in Cairo

    Today, he was yelling, “They will pay for this,” as he and the others were taken away.

    His brother, Adel Fadel Fahmy:

    ADEL FADEL FAHMY, Brother of Defendant (through interpreter): This is clear-cut corruption; it is a corrupt and politicized case and everything is wrong in this case.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Fahmy’s family vowed to appeal, as did Peter Greste’s brother, Mike.

    MIKE GRESTE, Brother of Defendant: Wrong verdict. I don’t — I don’t know how the judge came to that decision. I would be very interested to hear his reasons for giving that verdict. But it doesn’t make any sense.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The three journalists were arrested last December and accused of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood by reporting on civil strife in Egypt. The Brotherhood had been banned as a terrorist group.

    At the time, the journalists were working undercover because the government had accused Al-Jazeera of pro-Brotherhood bias. Last week, the company terminated its operations in Egypt. Al-Jazeera is owned by the government of Qatar; the Gulf emirate is a political supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the network denies any charges of bias.

    AL ANSTEY, Managing Director, Al-Jazeera English: Today was a really grim day for journalists and for journalism.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It’s managing director spoke in Doha.

    AL ANSTEY: People who respect freedom of expression, people who respect basic freedoms should say, no, enough is enough. Governments who deal with Egypt should recognize the injustice of what took place in Cairo today.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Official denunciations also poured in from around the world. This was Secretary of State Kerry from Baghdad.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: Today’s conviction is obviously — it’s a chilling and draconian sentence. And, you know, it’s deeply disturbing to see in the midst of Egypt’s transition.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Just a day earlier, Secretary Kerry visited Egypt, with word the U.S. is releasing $575 million in assistance that had been on hold, and that Egypt will be getting Apache helicopter gunships to fight insurgents in the Sinai region.

    The secretary met with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, among others. Last year, the former army leader ousted Egypt’s first democratically-elected president, Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, and last month, he was elected president himself. All the while, a crackdown on political opponents has intensified. Alaa Abdel Fattah, a leader of the January 2011 revolution, was sentenced last week to 15 years for violating a ban on protests.

    And, on Saturday, Mohamed Badie, the supreme guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, had his death sentence upheld, along with nearly 200 supporters.

    The post Egypt’s conviction of Al Jazeera journalists sparks international outcry appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    EGYPT-POLITICS-UNREST-MEDIA-TRIAL-JAZEERA-VERDICT

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    JEFFREY BROWN: We invited Egypt’s ambassador to Washington to appear on tonight’s program. The embassy declined our request.

    Joining me now to discuss today’s ruling means is Michele Dunne, a senior associate at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace, and Michael Hanna, a Senior Fellow at the Century Foundation.

    So, Michael Hanna, how much do you see this as part of a general crackdown on journalists, and how much is aimed specifically at Al-Jazeera?

    MICHAEL HANNA, The Century Foundation: Well, this is clearly part of a broader pattern which dissent and protest have been targeted.

    And that is a big part of the story. This is the most high-profile case of a whole series of cases, some of which have targeted protest leaders, activists, Egyptian journalists. So this is part of a broader wave of repressive actions that have been taken since the ouster of Morsi last summer.

    I think geopolitics is part of this story as well. Al-Jazeera Arabic’s coverage has been quite biased, but, of course, has not risen to any kind of criminality. But that does explain why Al-Jazeera English was targeted by organs in the security establishment. And so it has also made it much more difficult to unwind the case, to try to negotiate some sort of resolution to the imprisonment of these journalists.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Michele Dunne, how do you see what has happened, what has caught up these journalists?

    MICHELE DUNNE, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: I agree with what Michael said.

    I think another aspect of the case is the attempt by Egyptian officials, led by President Sisi, to control the narrative of what is going on whether it is inside Egypt or for the audience abroad. So, inside Egypt, this trial and this prosecution, which started in January, was accompanied by a demonization campaign.

    And the journalists were accused of either being members of the Brotherhood or spying for the Brotherhood. And in terms of the audience abroad, it’s also intended to be a signal to other foreign journalists. Egyptian officials have really objected to the negative stories that have been coming out about the human rights abuses in Egypt as part of this very broad crackdown that’s been going on for almost a year now.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, let me ask you this first. How much does it, if anything, tell us about the still-developing Egypt and the power of President Sisi? Is he the one controlling a verdict like this, or is this done by the judiciary or others?

    MICHELE DUNNE: Well, we really don’t know whether there are any instructions to judges and so forth on how to rule in this case. But we can say a couple of things.

    One of them is that these cases come out of the Egyptian government. It came out of Egyptian intelligence, the Interior Ministry and so forth. And they played a very active role. Back at the beginning of this case of the Al-Jazeera journalists, they released a video of the — of their arrest set to kind of scary music and so forth and put it out in order to demonize Al-Jazeera and basically to convince Egyptians not to listen to what Al-Jazeera was saying.

    The other thing is that, whether or not there is any direct involvement or instructions by Sisi or others in the Egyptian government to the judiciary, certainly, all the signals that President Sisi has sent, everything he says is in line with this, very, very harsh, anti-dissent, anti-Brotherhood, that the Brotherhood are terrorists and so forth.

    So, you know, the judges, if they’re looking for political signals on how to rule in these cases, I think it would be clear.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Michael Hanna, what do you think this tells us about the present state of affairs in Egypt?

    MICHAEL HANNA: Well, since the overthrow of Mubarak, I think we have seen a state that has fractured. Lots of autonomy has been vested within individual institutions, and it’s created a somewhat chaotic scene, in which red lines have been crossed and the powers of certain institutions are somewhat unclear.

    I agree with Michelle that the military-backed political order has created an enabling environment in which repression has flourished. And I do think that it’s very difficult to parse out how things happen and why.

    I do know that there was severe disagreements within the Egyptian government, at fairly high levels, when the Al-Jazeera English journalists were arrested. Of course, to try to unwind this kind of case requires the expenditure of a lot of political capital and a very big political fight that no players have as of yet taken up the challenge to accomplish.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And, Michele Dunne, you’re saying that the condemnation that came really loud and strong, within the country, they don’t care, or they just — this is still a kind of power-fixing within the country?

    MICHELE DUNNE: Well, look, there are — there are — certainly, there are Egyptians who care about this and I’m sure are horrified by it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

    MICHELE DUNNE: But in terms of within the Egyptian government, we have seen, since the military unseated President Morsi last summer, a real return of the deep state, the security apparatus, the Interior Ministry, intelligence and so forth.

    These parts of the Egyptian government were back on their heels after the 2011 uprising. But they are back and are very powerful. And they are the ones who have been driving this forward.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Affecting all kinds of dissent, right?

    MICHELE DUNNE: Yes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

    Michael Hanna, what about the — what about all this for the U.S.? As we said, it was just yesterday that Secretary Kerry was there and seeming to sort of reconnect between the two countries, right?

    MICHAEL HANNA: Well, the decision on aid had been made weeks prior.

    But, clearly, the optics were very bad for the United States. U.S. policy seems to have become more modest and is now more narrowly focused on regional security interests and the strategic relationship with Egypt. But developments in the country have been routinely negative. And the course correction that I think many are hoping for under President Sisi has yet to materialize.

    And a decision like today’s coming on the heels of Secretary Kerry’s visit puts the United States in an awkward light and puts a lot of pressure on the kinds of policy shifts that are being made right now.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Does it, Michele Dunne, raise enough questions that — to affect U.S. policy towards Egypt?

    MICHELE DUNNE: I think, right now, Secretary Kerry’s visit and his attempt to get the aid started again has been just trying to get things back into the same pattern they were in before the coup and to get the arms purchases going again and so forth.

    But there is some rethinking, I would say particularly on Capitol Hill. A bill came out in the Senate this week that would cut part of the military aid to Egypt. There is some discussion that perhaps this relationship has become imbalanced. The United States has invested very heavily in the Egyptian military, tens of billions of dollars of assistance, and much less so, at least in recent years, in the Egyptian economy, the Egyptian people.

    So, there are starting to be some questions about whether the United States has the right balance going in this relationship.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Let me just ask you very briefly, Michele Dunne. There is some talk about the possibility of a pardon from President Sisi. That is possible still, right?

    MICHELE DUNNE: It is possible, but it is rare.

    Egyptian presidents don’t do this very often, and especially not in high-profile cases.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right.  Michele Dunne…

    JEFFREY BROWN: Michele Dunne, Michael Hanna, thank you both very much.

    MICHELE DUNNE: Thank you, Jeff.

    MICHAEL HANNA: Thank you.

    The post Crackdown on Al Jazeera journalists helps government control Egypt’s narrative appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tomorrow brings another set of party primary elections across the country. There are key races to watch in seven states, including Mississippi and New York.

    But since House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s loss in the Republican primary in Virginia two weeks ago, incumbents all over the country are taking no chances.

    Well, here to talk with us again is the NewsHour’s political editor, Domenico Montanaro.

    Domenico, welcome back.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO, Political Editor: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, the reverberations of Eric Cantor’s losing, as we just said, being felt all over and maybe more than anyplace else in Mississippi.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Absolutely.

    And this has really given long-shot candidates everywhere the hope that they have been looking for. They’re raising money off of this in all kinds of states all over the place. You talked about Mississippi. We have been watching whether or not incumbent Thad Cochran could wind up losing to state Senator Chris McDaniel, the Tea Party challenger he has there.

    And, remember, he got into this runoff after not being able to get to the 50 percent threshold June 3. Now there’s been a whole slew of things that have been happening between these two candidates, including Cochran now feeling like he needs to reach out to black voters and Democrats to try to convince them to put him over the top, which is a really difficult thing for Republicans to do, no question about it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So what is his strategy? McDaniel — Mississippi very conservative state, McDaniel fresh face. Senator Cochran has been around a long time.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well, the first thing was that you saw Haley Barbour, former Mississippi governor, who is a big Cochran ally, say, look, you don’t need this guy McDaniel in there because he’s going to be against all, for example, federal funding of education.

    Well, funny things happened over the last couple of weeks, because McDaniel has actually kind of backtracked on that statement. So, you have actually had both candidates kind of become a little bit more liberal, oddly.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, and — so that’s in the South. And let’s quickly talk about two other races, move all the way up north to New York State. It’s — I guess it’s the central part of the date, Utica, Binghamton.

    This is a race, another Republican incumbent — he hasn’t been around as long as Thad Cochran, but he is a congressman and he’s facing a conservative challenge.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes, two-term Congressman Richard Hanna, who is going up against a state representative in Claudia Tenney.

    And nobody else really as strongly has kind of taken up this Brat pack mentality is what she’s calling it. She says she wants to be part of the Brat pack because Dave Brat is who wound up taking out Eric Cantor. She has raised a whole lot of money off of this. She has had a lot of support from some talk radio hosts who have said is, you know, Hanna going to become the next Eric Cantor? And she tweeted out a message saying, yes, we think he is.

    Now, the interesting thing here, this is a real swing district, actually. This is a district Mitt Romney only won 49.2 to 48.8 percent over President Obama. And Democrats didn’t even field a candidate. They missed the deadline, so this is it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, if she wins, that gives the Democrats a little bit of hope.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Well, it could. But they didn’t field a candidate, so they are actually — they’re out of it. So, you know…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean it’s too late.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: It’s too late. They missed the filing deadline. So, that is one reason why a whole lot of life, as people say, is showing up.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, let’s talk about one other New York district, and that’s in New York City, Manhattan, Harlem, some of the Bronx, and that’s longtime Democratic incumbent Charlie Rangel. Now, here is a Democratic incumbent who is facing a challenge.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Right.

    So, we’re seeing a little bit of an anti-incumbent wave, as we have been talking about, if this winds up happening here, where Charlie Rangel could lose. Part of the issue for Rangel is he has this three-way race, where you have got Charlie Rangel against state senator Adriano Espaillat, who would be the first Dominican to make it into Congress, and then a popular black pastor in the district, Michael Walrond.

    And he took a church that only had about 300 members out to now 9,000. And the whole Harlem political machine that Charlie Rangel has really been in charge of for a long time has really tried to put a lot of pressure on him to get out of the race. And he’s refusing to do so.

    So the Rangel folks are worried that he could siphon off some of the black vote, especially now, when this district has changed as much as it has, because this district used to be…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, let’s look at this map. It’s changed.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes. I mean, this district used to be majority African-American through Harlem, but you can see the green section, plus the blue, used to be what the district was before redistricting.

    And then what happened was, they added these purple sections up top in the Bronx, which is a little bit — was a lot more heavily Latino. So you took a district that was, you know, 46 percent Hispanic. Now it’s 55 percent Hispanic, 40 percent of the district-foreign born, and most of that is Dominican.

    So that is really where — you know, Rangel only beat Espaillat by about 1,000 votes last time, in 2012, and immigration has only grown in that district. Plus, you add the fact that he’s 84 years old, served since 1971, and Espaillat has really tried, as well as Walrond, to say this guy has been around too long.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, quickly, what is the argument that Rangel is making?

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: The argument he is making is, hey, look, I have been here. Yes, there was this censure in 2011 where he, you know, didn’t get — he was hit for not paying taxes on a Dominican villa.

    But he says, you know, he has the power and connections in Washington, D.C., to be able to still get things done in his district, even though he’s not allowed that seniority still. He says, this is my last term. He wants to serve out what he sees as a bookend, with President Obama leaving, having been there for civil rights movement all the way through, and wants to end it here.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s fascinating, incumbents in both parties biting their fingernails.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Yes. It’s really going to give us an important look on whether or not they can survive this time and whether or not the Cantor thing was just an aberration or if it’s a trend.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Domenico Montanaro, thank you.

    DOMENICO MONTANARO: Thank you.

    The post After Cantor’s loss, incumbents brace for primary challenges appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: Summer may be here, but teenagers and young adults are still looking for work.

    Economics correspondent Paul Solman has a story about one training program designed to help that part of the work force. And it’s finding a good measure of success.

    It’s part of his ongoing reporting Making Sense of financial news.

    DANIEL ALEXANDRE: If you’re not around the type of people who are supporting you and pushing you to go to school and get a job and — and succeed in that way, then it’s going to be very hard for you to do so.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Twenty-three-year-old Daniel Alexandre is the youngest of six. His parents were Boston bus drivers.

    DANIEL ALEXANDRE: Resources started to become depleted as I got older. I myself lived in my car for a while. I still love my family. It’s just, if they can’t help me, they can’t help me.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Alexandre graduated high school, and then worked odd jobs to get by. Now he’s enrolled at Year Up, a career development program for urban young adults. It starts with a six month-crash course in job skills, like accounting.

    WOMAN: So if you put in accounts payable, instead of accounts receivable, what’s going to happen?

    PAUL SOLMAN: Double-entry bookkeeping via “Monopoly.”

    WOMAN: B&O is available. Do you want a railroad. Why is it credit?

    It’s credit because we’re giving it to you, correct.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But, crucially, Year Up teaches soft skills too.

    MAN: I want for everyone to start singing their song right now.

    PAUL SOLMAN: The lesson of accidental dissonance? You will soon discover someone singing the same tune, and you will learn the value of harmony.

    Half-a-year’s training is followed by a six-month paid internship, designed as entree to a secure, well-paying job. It’s a quarry so elusive that some six million 18-24 year-old inner-city high school grads are now neither employed nor in school.

    MAN: Feedback guidelines. When receiving feedback, be receptive, not defensive.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Year Up has taught the very basics ever since we first visited five-plus years ago: eye contact, a firm handshake. But with the crash of ’08, its students faced the toughest job market since the Great Depression. So how did they do?

    GERALD CHERTAVIAN, Founder and CEO, Year Up: We placed every student in July of 2009 into an internship, a paid internship.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And, says CEO Gerald Chertavian, Year Up itself has doubled in size and is now in 12 cities.

    GERALD CHERTAVIAN: The fact that we continued to grow during that period showed me, that if we can connect supply of talented young people with demand for skills, we have a long-term, positive business proposition, and a program that serves the needs of our primary stakeholder, our student.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And serves employers, who complain, at least when we interview them, about sluggish, feckless, unready job aspirants.

    GERALD CHERTAVIAN: We’re helping young adults develop those skills, and even beat college grads on that very measure of, are they professional?

    PAUL SOLMAN: After high school, 21-year-old Shaquilla Boyce couldn’t afford college, couldn’t find work.

    SHAQUILLA BOYCE: I applied to jobs in an office setting, and I don’t have any experience. So then it’s, OK, you know, I can apply to retail stores or things like that, because that’s what will take me. And then it’s kind of a dead end, because it’s — the job is not paying you enough to go to school, and then you need to work more, so you can’t go to school. So it’s kind of a — there’s no way out.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Boyce thinks Year Up is her way up and out. She’s now an information technology intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a pipe dream without the program, says Daniel Alexandre.

    DANIEL ALEXANDRE: Well, one of the things that they stress is that they only spend 10 to 15 seconds looking over each individual resume.

    PAUL SOLMAN: You mean an employer?

    DANIEL ALEXANDRE: An employer will, right. You see a name, as an employer, Shaquilla from Dorchester, who doesn’t have a college degree. That just chopped down my 15 seconds of scanning this interview to zero, you know.

    I’m going to pass it over, because society has told me that people with that kind of name from that type of background, they’re not going to do much. They’re probably going to come late to work. There’s just a whole mountain of perceptions that we have to jump over to even be considered in some of these work spaces.

    PAUL SOLMAN: The name Shaquilla is a real handicap?

    SHAQUILLA BOYCE: When I applied to jobs, my middle name is Shannon. I would put Shannon, instead of Shaquilla, and I got more callbacks than before.

    PAUL SOLMAN: For Daniel Alexandre, a key takeaway from training so far is the value of knowing your audience when it comes to self-presentation.

    DANIEL ALEXANDRE: My friends don’t think that way at all. They don’t understand the importance of matching the person across from you, their body language, or understanding the importance of being intentional in everything that you say and do, so that that person walks away believing what you want them to believe about you, as opposed to what they might already be feeling about you once you walked into the room.

    PAUL SOLMAN: They don’t have the mind-set of putting themselves in the other person’s shoes?

    DANIEL ALEXANDRE: No, not at all. Their thought most of the time is, I need a job, I need to eat. Can you help me? This is who I am. Can you help me?

    PAUL SOLMAN: Many also don’t have the mind-set of due diligence when faced with tough tasks in school. So the stipend Year Up pays during training is docked if you’re late to class or don’t do homework.

    MAN: I’m going to ask you to write down a couple of actions you’re going to take to make sure your performance is strong. And we will review these next time you sit down in a week.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And the staff never rests.

    SHAQUILLA BOYCE: My adviser checks on me more than some of my friends do. It’s just, how are you? Do you need anything? Do you need to talk? What’s different? What’s going on?

    PAUL SOLMAN: All this effort, at a cost of $26,000 per student per year at sites like this, to help close the so-called skills gap between nearly 10 million unemployed Americans and the more than a million jobs employers say they can’t fill.

    Stephanie Pinto completed Year Up last year.

    STEPHANIE PINTO: There’s these employers seeking talented people. Then there’s the young adults who want that job, but how do they get it? And that’s where I see Year Up as an amazing, like, glue stick, you know?

    We’re gluing those people to those jobs. Like, we’re giving them that training, the skills that they need to get there.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But the skills in the skills gap don’t seem that hard to tap. After her internship at State Street Financial, Pinto was hired permanently as a pricing specialist. Why?

    STEPHANIE PINTO: I’m a good talker.

    (LAUGHTER)

    STEPHANIE PINTO: So, I mean, I have always been criticized for talking in school.

    During elementary, you had, don’t talk, don’t talk. So I’m like, wow, I’m — I talk too much. But Year Up was no, no, no, use that as a strength. Like, you have to really sell yourself. And you have that ability to speak to people. And some people don’t have those skills.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So if Pinto already had the ability to rise, are Year Up’s students simply different?

    Is Year Up cherry-picking, in the sense that you’re picking the people who are most likely to succeed anyway?

    GERALD CHERTAVIAN: We’re categorically not cherry-picking, and have proved that via randomized control trial.

    So, we worked with young people. Some went through Year Up. Some, we just followed, right? All were admitted, and the reality was the ones who went through Year Up had some of the highest increase in wages of any youth development program that we have seen in the last 20 years.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Eighty-five percent of Year Up’s graduates are now enrolled in college and/or employed, earning, on average, $30,000 a year. Of course, the program can’t help everyone who enrolls. About a quarter of each class drops out.

    GERALD CHERTAVIAN: If someone says, I do not want to put in the effort, I don’t want to show up on time every day, I don’t want to work hard, then you wouldn’t be able to be successful in this program.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And after nearly 14 years in business, Year Up has managed to serve only 9,400 students, 0.2 percent of its target population. But Chertavian and the students claim that nearly all inner-city young adults would be successful with just one year of intensive grooming.

    The post Year Up raises employment odds for young adults by teaching job-ready skills appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    In 2011, PBS NewsHour chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner and a television crew narrowly escaped the rush of an angry mob outside of the Israeli Embassy in Cairo. It was the swift actions of journalist Mohamed Fahmy that safely led the crew out of harm’s way.

    Today Fahmy, who is a Canadian-Egyptian national, and two other journalists from the news agency Al-Jazeera English were sentenced each to seven years in prison by an Egyptian court. Australian Peter Greste and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed, who was given an extra three years for possessing a bullet, were originally detained along with Fahmy in December when they were accused of assisting the Muslim Brotherhood.

    The three contend they were prosecuted for doing their jobs as journalists.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says that the sentencing is chilling and that he is voicing his concern to Egypt’s foreign minister.

    In this video from Al-Jazeera English, Warner describes working with Fahmy in Egypt and coming face-to-face with the violent mob. “He absolutely saved our lives,” she said.

    The post Margaret Warner recalls how Mohamed Fahmy helped NewsHour crew escape an attack appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    USA v Portugal: Group G - 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: This World Cup, and the interest surrounding the U.S. team, is drawing big numbers. More than 24 million watched it yesterday, making it the most watched soccer match in America ever, 18 million on ESPN and six million more on Univision. That’s more viewers than for game three of the World Series or the 2012 Rose Bowl.

    And the outcome was more dramatic than either of those big-ticket sporting events.

    A collective groan of disbelief echoed through downtown Chicago Sunday evening as thousands of U.S. soccer fans watched Portugal snatch away an American victory with less than a minute left in the match, ending the game in a 2-2 draw. A win by the American squad would have carried them into the next round of the World Cup.

    Just 15 minutes before Portugal tied the match, U.S. fans across the country cheered as American team captain Clint Dempsey put his team ahead 2-1. Team USA next faces off against Germany on Thursday. In Brazil, fans of the red, white and blue remained optimistic.

    LINCO COCEA, U.S. Soccer Fan: I thought we were going to win, but, in the last couple of minutes they made a goal. That’s soccer. But now we have just got to win or tie against Germany, and we will be still looking pretty.

    GWEN IFILL: Sunday’s nail-biter was just the latest match that kept fans on the edge of their seats throughout the first round. Only a handful of teams have been eliminated, and television ratings have hit record highs.

    Does a path to victory, or at least survival, exist for America’s new sporting obsession? We’re joined again by Matthew Futterman of The Wall Street Journal. He is in Brazil and he attended yesterday’s breathtaking match.

    Matt, it seemed to us here that this was even more exciting than usual.

    MATTHEW FUTTERMAN, The Wall Street Journal: Yes, this was a pretty stunning matchup in the Amazon, the capital of the Amazon, in Manaus, where it was scorchingly hot, the players really suffering on the field there, but really playing literally until the very last breath.

    Looked like the Americans were going to eke out the victory. And then Portugal scored that last-second goal, and if there is such a thing as a brutal, heartbreaking draw, this was one.

    GWEN IFILL: It’s one thing to sit in a bar at home or in your easy chair and watch this kind of game and scream along. It is another thing to be in the stadium right there. Was it as dramatic there as it seemed here?

    MATTHEW FUTTERMAN: Yes, absolutely.

    I mean, there were thousands of Americans in that stadium, but, also, you know, Brazil shares a language with Portugal, and this was a very Portuguese-centric crowd. Every time Cristiano Ronaldo touched the ball, they were screaming for him. They were urging Portugal on. They loved that team. They wanted to see them survive.

    And they’re still alive, Portugal, but just by the skin of their teeth. They really needed a win yesterday. And, you know, give credit to the Americans. No one gave them a chance to get out of what everyone called the group of death heading into this tournament. And here they are, all they need is a draw or a win on Thursday against Germany and they will move on.

    GWEN IFILL: I love that, group of death.

    This is what you wrote about Cristiano Ronaldo. You said he doesn’t like to just beat opponents, as much as obliterate them. He is quite the player in this.

    MATTHEW FUTTERMAN: Yes, and there were some outrageous moments, especially early in that first half, where he was sort of dancing on the ball in a way that, you know, really sort of thrilled everybody. And he is quite a character.

    He scores goals, rips off his shirt, flexes his muscles. Didn’t get a chance to do that last night. Part of the reason is, he is suffering with a little bit of a knee injury. And you could see that. He was missing that sort of — that last gear that he usually has that he kicks in and does these incredible diagonal runs across the field and catches up with these passes.

    And there’s nobody that can stay with him. He seems like he’s faster with the ball than he is without it. And he wasn’t last night. The Americans really held him in check. They had lots of people on him whenever he got the ball, except for in that final play, where he was one-on-one with the DaMarcus Beasley, and he managed to get off really the perfect cross to his teammate cutting across the penalty area for the header that tied the game.

    GWEN IFILL: Can we talk about that tie, Matt? Because, here in the United States, our most famous sports have overtime. But we — this tie kept the U.S. alive, even though it was a huge disappointment. How does — try to explain that to us.

    MATTHEW FUTTERMAN: Well, I know. It seems almost un-American that, in sort of the greatest sporting event in the planet, you could actually have ties.

    But, you know, soccer is a sport where goals are incredibly precious and a hard-fought draw is — it’s a worthwhile result in a lot of ways. You get three points for a win, one point for a tie, no points for a loss. You play three games in group play. Whoever has the most points — the two teams with the most points at the end of group play, they move on to the knockout round; 16 teams move on to the knockout round, and most Americans will be very happy to know, in a knockout round, there are no ties.

    That’s when we get into overtime, and then ultimately a penalty shoot-out.

    GWEN IFILL: But, in order to get be there, the U.S. still has to face Germany on Thursday. Couldn’t — isn’t there an incentive for that as well?

    MATTHEW FUTTERMAN: Absolutely.

    I mean, this is — it is so interesting what is coming up here on Thursday. The subtext here is that Jurgen Klinsmann, the American head coach, was a superstar for Germany. He also used to coach Germany. One of his closest friends is the head coach of Germany.

    Both teams will move on to the knockout round if they draw. Now, this is the stuff that great conspiracy theories in international soccer are made of. You could have what — you know, both sides could agree for — agree to play to a sort of gentleman’s draw, but Klinsmann assured everybody last night there will be no agreement. There is not going to be — you know, there’s not going to be any talk of both sides sitting back.

    They want to go for the win. They want to win the group. And they’re going to have to earn it, because Germany is probably one of the two or three best teams in the world.

    GWEN IFILL: And the U.S. has five Germans on its team. This is amazing. This is a like a sports soap opera.

    Matthew Futterman of The Wall Street Journal, thanks for keeping us up to date.

    MATTHEW FUTTERMAN: Oh, thanks for having me, Gwen.

    The post Can U.S. break away from World Cup ‘group of death’? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    ivorytower1

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: A new television documentary tackles the growing worries and criticism over college costs and student debt.

    Jeffrey Brown taped this conversation last week.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The American higher education system has long been regarded as a crowning achievement. But these days, the focus has been more on its problems, rising tuition bills that stoke ballooning debt, too many students who never graduate, misplaced and overly lavish expenditures on facilities and housing and much more.

    A new documentary, “Ivory Tower,” looks at a range of such issues. It opens in many U.S. cities this month.

    Here’s a short clip that features one of its main themes.

    MAN: Higher education in America has been very successful for centuries, but now things are changing, because the scale and the cost is enormous. We have a product that is so expensive that a lot of people can’t pay for it and they have to go into debt. And it just isn’t viable.

    MAN: The rise in student tuition is unsustainable. We cannot continue to charge significantly more year after year after year without running into some kind of a brick wall.

    And filmmaker Andrew Rossi joins me now.

    Welcome to you.

    ANDREW ROSSI, Director, “Ivory Tower”: Thanks so much for having me.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The starting point seems to be, something is lost, or being lost, already lost? What did you want to explore?

    ANDREW ROSSI: I think what we’re looking at in “Ivory Tower” is whether college is worth it, but in a way that is hopefully more nuanced and complex than simply either looking at the wage premium that one finds, which, of course, is a very striking statistic, the fact that people make a million dollars more over the course of their lifetime with a B.A.

    JEFFREY BROWN: That it is still worth it.

    ANDREW ROSSI: It is still worth it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In spite of the cost, you still end up making more money.

    ANDREW ROSSI: Precisely. On those terms, it’s worth it.

    And then those who, for example, like Peter Thiel, who are arguing that one should drop out of college. There’s a sort of a middle ground that we wanted to explore. What really is happening in classrooms as diverse as Harvard to San Jose State, from Spelman College to Wesleyan.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Much of it though does revolve around money, right, whether it is tuitions or debts or what people — administrative costs, right?

    ANDREW ROSSI: Absolutely.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Pinpoint — give us an example of something that you really wanted to get at here.

    ANDREW ROSSI: Well, certainly, the rise in tuition, as we just saw in the clip, is completely unsustainable; 1100 percent tuition has risen since 1978. And that is also the result of a decrease in state funding, 40 percent in that same period less in state funds for public colleges.

    But what we’re really looking at is a business model in higher education that encourages a growth to become bigger and better, which allows universities to attract student loan dollars and is creating perverse incentives in the classroom, in addition to this terrible student debt crisis.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And one of your experts in there refers to a — the competitive nature of this, which has actually been around pretty much forever. Right?

    ANDREW ROSSI: Absolutely.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But what happened to make it take off?

    ANDREW ROSSI: Well, I think that the propagation of even more ranking, the sense that schools can be judged based on their facilities. In addition to the older sort of branding that the Ivy League might have provided or the flagship state school, there are now so many different ways that schools can compete to attract a 17- or 18-year-old.

    And much of the time, it doesn’t really involve the rigor in the classroom, but rather things like which school has the more popular football team. Of course, I don’t mean to say that all schools are sort of falling down on the job, as it were. But what we see is that the financial model itself has major problems.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, actually, that’s what I was wondering. How far do you want to push the argument? You’re not quite saying that our great institutions are abdicating their responsibility.

    ANDREW ROSSI: Of course not.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Although you are — although you are sort of suggesting that, around the edges, in some ways, some of their actions are almost doing that.

    ANDREW ROSSI: Well, it is important to really consider what the impact of student loan debt is.

    And I think that, particularly in the nonprofit university world, there is a sense that student loan debt is good debt. But we see in the film that that is not true. The most recent data shows that, on average, students are graduating with actually $33,000 in student debt, even more than the $25,000 number that we cite in the film, which is based on a previous study.

    JEFFREY BROWN: I should say, a lot of experts sort of then say a lot of this that comes from the for-profit sector, which is something you don’t address in this film.

    ANDREW ROSSI: Precisely. And that is intentional, because we wanted to really look at the mission of educating students in the nonprofit setting, where there is not this distraction to provide shareholder value to those who a board would have a fiduciary duty to in a for-profit enterprise.

    Rather, here, we see, what is taking place on campuses where the mission is exclusively to educate the students? And, unfortunately, the corporate model has actually bled into that world as well. Richard Arum, who wrote the study “Academically Adrift,” speaks in the film about perverse incentives that are taking place in the classroom, an atmosphere in which the student feels like a consumer.

    And that is something that there are many alternatives to pursue to try to counteract. So, for example, we look at Deep Springs, which is a free college in the desert of Death Valley, where students are governing themselves. They are the antithesis of the consumer.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.

    And you look at Arizona State, the largest — one of the largest, if not the largest. I mean, I was struck by that because you show the diversity of American higher education. And while you’re looking at many of the problems, one could also look at it and say, well, that’s kind of glorious. People have a lot of choice there, whether it’s public, private, large, small, something in the desert or a huge state university.

    ANDREW ROSSI: It absolutely is glorious.

    And I believe that the film really celebrates that proud tradition in American history of government expanding the franchise of higher education. We see the land grant universities that were created by the Morrill Act of the 1860s, the G.I. Bill, the Higher Education Act of 1965, which again increased access.

    But we also see a shift in the ’70s, when conservative governors like Ronald Reagan suggested that the state shouldn’t be subsidizing intellectual curiosity. And that is really the world we live in now.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, and now we also live in a world where people are suggesting maybe there’s alternatives to this model. Right?

    ANDREW ROSSI: Yes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And you do look at some of that. Is there anything, just in our last minute here, that jumped out at you that is, you think, I don’t know, exciting for the future, worth pursuing in American education?

    ANDREW ROSSI: Well, certainly a lot of the enthusiasm around massive open online courses has declined.

    JEFFREY BROWN: MOOCs.

    ANDREW ROSSI: The MOOCs — after the pilot with Udacity and San Jose State, which we feature extensively.

    However, the flip classroom model is actually very exciting, and we see that taking place at Bunker Hill Community College, a computer science class delivered by edX, which students are able to pursue by watching a video at home and then going into the classroom and having some form of human interaction.

    I think that’s a model that allows for a decrease in cost, but still that human element that we still need. I think if there is one thing the film definitely proves is the enduring power of the professor and the instructor to have a relationship with the student that is helping them to learn.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Let me ask you finally, what do you tell — having looked at this as an outsider, right, what do you tell perspective parents and students about the options they should be looking for, whether they should consider, you know, not going?

    ANDREW ROSSI: Absolutely.

    Well, we really emphasize that metrics such as completion rates at schools, average amounts of student debt and employability at a particular institution once someone graduates should be the priority in choosing a school, and not, again, which university has the more popular football team or the more lush student center.

    I think, if we can reorient to those metrics, many people might be able to avoid going into an amount of debt that is crushing.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, the new film is “Ivory Tower.”

    Andrew Rossi, thank you so much.

    ANDREW ROSSI: Thank you for having me.

    The post ‘Ivory Tower’ explores why American higher education is so pricey appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Freedom Riders Julia Aaron, left, and David Dennis were among the Freedom Riders who paved the way for Freedom Summer student volunteers. Pictured here in 1961, Dennis would eulogize activist James Chaney three years later. Photo courtesy of Paul Schutzer/PBS

    Freedom Riders Julia Aaron, left, and David Dennis were among the Freedom Riders who paved the way for Freedom Summer student volunteers. Pictured here in 1961, Dennis would eulogize activist James Chaney three years later. Photo courtesy of Paul Schutzer/PBS

    Fifty years ago this summer, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. But that didn’t come without a price. It was the era of the Freedom Summer, a brave and bloody campaign to get blacks registered to vote in Mississippi.

    Over 10 weeks, 37 churches were bombed or burned. Four civil rights workers were killed. Many more were hurt. In our storytelling series “The Voices of Freedom Summer,” we hear from key figures in the battles of the early ’60s — and from people studying that struggle a half-century later.

    Prayers For Safe Passage

    The Freedom Summer volunteers took the baton from another group called the Freedom Riders, who risked their lives to challenge segregated travel centers in the South.

    Last December, a group of Dallas school kids boarded a bus and followed the path of the Freedom Riders. They passed through Vicksburg and Jackson, Mississippi, shook hands with city leaders and saw 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which was bombed by white supremacists in 1963.

    But the trip almost didn’t happen. Jerry Chambers, a civil rights activist and retired educator who led the project, had to push it back a month as he struggled to raise funds. And there was another obstacle. Chambers begins our series “The Voices Of Freedom Summer” with a reflection on last year’s journey.


    [featuring "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free" by Nina Simone]

    Losing Innocence

    Ernest McMillan was one of the young civil rights workers who traveled to the heart of the South to help blacks register to vote in 1964.

    A college student then at Morehouse College in Atlanta, he’d go on to run the Dallas chapter of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. He’d also lose a close friend to violence and spend time in prison for demonstrating at a neighborhood grocery store.

    Before all that, he was just a kid at a protest.

    McMillan recalls when he first realized what he was up against. Editor’s note: McMillan’s story includes harsh language.


    [featuring "Prayer (Oh Doctor Jesus)" from Miles Davis' 'The Original Mono Recordings']

    ‘I Have Friends In The Graveyard For This’

    Rev. Peter Johnson was a 19-year-old civil rights worker during the Freedom Summer. He and his colleagues pulled up to plantations across the South in an old school bus purposed as a mobile dentist’s and doctor’s office, helping blacks prepare for the test required to become a registered voter.

    He remembers discovering explosives duct-taped underneath a borrowed Plymouth he was driving;, the letters “KKK” scratched into the side of the car.

    Here, Johnson reflects on that time — and how he feels about new forms of voter suppression considered less obvious than the poll tax that drew activists to Mississippi.


    [featuring "Come Sunday" from Duke Ellington's 'Black, Brown & Beige']

    Power In Grief

    Linwood Fields first went on Southern Methodist University’s Civil Rights Pilgrimage in 2009. He served as a student leader for the two years following. Fields, who’s now a member of the U.S. military, was inspired by the volunteers whose paths he traced. But none impacted him more than the young civil rights leader David Dennis.

    He was about Fields’ age when the terror of the early ’60s in Mississippi gave him a grim platform from which to deliver an impassioned speech. It was a eulogy for his friend.


    [featuring "If You're Out There" by John Legend]

    A Work Still Unfinished

    When Cody Meador attended the Civil Rights Pilgrimage offered by SMU in 2008, she expected to feel the impact of lives lost for the right to vote on the battlegrounds of the South. But instead she found discrimination was very much alive in New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.


    [featuring "Compared To What" by Eddie Harris and Les McCann]

    At Home, A Museum Of Victory And Loss

    The Freedom Summer effort drew national attention after black Mississippian James Chaney, 21, and two white New Yorkers, Andrew Goodman, 20, and Michael Schwerner, 24, went missing. Schwerner’s wife and colleague Rita told the press in outrage that if Chaney was the only volunteer to have disappeared, the story wouldn’t have been in the news.

    On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, went missing near Philadelphia, Miss., bringing nationwide attention to Mississippi and the Freedom Summer project. Photo courtesy of FBI via PBS

    On June 21, 1964, three civil rights workers, Michael Schwerner, James Chaney and Andrew Goodman, went missing near Philadelphia, Miss., bringing nationwide attention to Mississippi and the Freedom Summer project. Photo courtesy of FBI via PBS

    The three civil rights workers were found shot to death in Philadelphia, Miss., their bodies buried in an earthen dam near the Mt. Zion Methodist Church, one of the sites where Schwerner organized a “Freedom School” to train volunteers.

    They’d been murdered by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

    Parts of Texas were major hubs for the Klan — Fort Worth and rural Tarrant County included. Judge Maryellen Hicks remembers the group’s presence in the city even into the 1980s.

    Hicks showed me around her three-story Fort Worth town home, filled with black memorabilia and art.

    As part of our series “The Voices of Freedom Summer,” Hicks explains a pair of framed photos on an easel she keeps right by her dinner table.


    [featuring "I'm On My Way" by Nina Simone]

    KERA will be collecting more voices through the month of June. The PBS documentary “Freedom Summer” airs on PBS on June 24. See a trailer below.

    PBS NewsHour is working on an ongoing online civil rights project. Do you or someone you know remember when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed? Share your memories with us by calling our oral history hotline at 703-594-6727, or email us your stories and memories from that time at NewsHour64 [at] gmail [dot] com.

    The post Remembering ‘Freedom Summer,’ the civil rights effort that changed America 50 years ago appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Reclaim Detroit is a nonprofit organization that dismantles vacant buildings to re-use their materials. That’s music to the ears of Michigan luthier Gary Zimnicki, who is using reclaimed floorboards and ceilings to craft ukuleles and mandolins. Filmmaker Roy Feldman from WTVS Detroit Public Television takes us inside Zimnicki’s studio.

    For more than 30 years, Gary Zimnicki has been making high end guitars, mandolins and ukuleles for musicians all over the world. Becoming a luthier (a maker of stringed musical instruments) wasn’t what Zimnicki initially had in mind when he was a teenager growing up in Dearborn, Michigan. He just wanted to be a rock star. Unfortunately, he couldn’t afford a guitar. A friend lent him a book about the instrument, which had a short section on “how to build your own.” Zimnicki did just that and a career was born.

    Gary Zimnicki works on a mandolin he made of wood from the floorboards of vacant homes in Detroit. Courtesy DPTV

    Gary Zimnicki works on a mandolin he made of wood from the floorboards of vacant homes in Detroit. Courtesy DPTV

    Completely self-taught, Zimnicki has built guitars for the likes of jazz great Bucky Pizzarelli and bluegrass and rock guitarist John Jorgenson. In total, he’s built more than 330 instruments.

    Recently Zimnicki heard about the work of the nonprofit group Reclaim Detroit. Its mission is to dismantle vacant buildings in the most blighted sections of the city and encourage the re-use of the building materials so they don’t end up in landfills. Inspired by this, Zimnicki began using old floorboards and ceiling joists to craft more than a dozen instruments. He says it’s difficult work, first cleaning off decades of dirt and gunk and then sawing into the very hard wood. But he says the trade-off is that the floor boards, which are 100 years old, produce a deep, rich sound. As a sort of tribute to the origin of the instrument, Zimnicki embeds in each a small mother-of-pearl image of the Detroit house that provided its wood.

    “I like to say I’m building instruments not made in Detroit but of Detroit,” says Zimnicki. And he says customers like to buy them because they feel in some small way, they’ve become part of the revitalization of the city.

    Local Beat is a new weekly series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation.

    The post Building musical instruments from Detroit’s wreckage appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Bob Dylan, Paris, France 1966. Photo from the Barry Feinstein Collection

    Bob Dylan, Paris, France 1966. Photo from the Barry Feinstein Collection

    The handwritten manuscript for Bob Dylan’s 1965 classic “Like a Rolling Stone” sold Tuesday for more than $2 million at Sotheby’s rock and roll auction.

    According to Sotheby’s, the pages contain Dylan’s lyrics, revisions, notes and doodles of the legendary tune. It is by far the most expensive rock music sold at auction, beating John Lennon’s handwritten lyrics for “A Day in the Life,” which was sold for $1.2 million in 2010.

    Sotheby’s rock and roll auction is known for its collection of memorabilia from musicians like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elvis Presley.

    Rolling Stone magazine named the song one of the 500 greatest songs of all time in 2011.

    The post Dylan’s ‘Like a Rolling Stone’ sells for more than $2 million appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A local official confirmed to the Associated Press that 60 girls and women and 31 boys were abducted by extremists in weekend attacks on villages in northeast Nigeria.

    The news agency reports that Nigerian security forces have denied the abductions and that there is no good way to independently verify the claims.

    Nigeria’s government is still dealing with the fallout of failing to secure the safety of the more than 200 girls abducted by extremists in April. Both sets of abductions took place in Borno state, where the terrorist group Boko Haram has its roots.

    The Council on Foreign Relations classifies Boko Haram as a diffuse Islamist sect that has attacked Nigeria’s police, military, rival clerics, politicians, schools, religious buildings, public institutions and civilians with increasing regularity since 2009. Some experts view the group as an armed revolt against government corruption, abusive security forces and widening regional economic disparity in an already impoverished country. The U.S. Department of State has designated it a foreign terrorist organization.

    The post 60 girls and women abducted in Nigeria, reports claim appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Amazon Prime Air wants to employ drones to deliver packages to customers. Photo courtesy of Amazon

    Amazon Prime Air wants to employ drones to deliver packages to customers. Photo courtesy of Amazon

    The Federal Aviation Administration has, at least for now, squashed plans by online shopping giant Amazon to deliver packages via drone.

    In December, the company unveiled Amazon Prime Air, which would use drones to deliver packages to customers within 30 minutes of their purchase.

    But, according to Ars Technica, an FAA document released Monday said Amazon’s proposal is an example of what is barred under regulations for recreational drone use.

    Specifically, under a list of prohibited drone activities, the FAA mentioned “Delivering of packages to people for a fee.”

    Ars Technica says the FAA promised it would revisit commercial applications of small drones later this year and may institute new rules by the end of 2015.

    The post Amazon drone plan runs into FAA challenge appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Year Up, a job program for inner city youth, teaches the hard skills that employers are looking for -- and the soft skills to keep young adults in their jobs. NewsHour still image.

    Year Up, a job program for inner city youth, teaches the hard skills that employers are looking for — and the soft skills to keep young adults in their jobs. NewsHour still image.

    Editor’s Note: In 2008, Paul Solman first visited Year Up, where inner city young adults are paid to participate in a six-month training program and then a paid internship. Revisiting Year Up this spring, we heard from two Year Up students – Shaquilla Boyce and Daniel Alexandre – whose soft skills (eye contact and a firm handshake, for example) make the hard skills they’re learning at Year Up all the more marketable. As Year Up founder and CEO Gerald Chertavian told us, companies “hire for skill and fire for behavior.”

    We spoke to Chertavian earlier this year when April’s unemployment number plunged to a five-and-a-half year low. But the unemployment rate remained much higher for the demographics Year Up serves. Over 12 percent of 16-to-24-year-olds not in school and looking for work were unemployed. For those with no more than a high school degree, the rate was 16.1 percent, and for black young adults, a key Year Up demographic, it was 23.3 percent.

    Year Up is trying to change those numbers, Chertavian said, by getting “employers to look beyond the educational discrimination associated with ‘need not apply if you don’t have a four-year degree.’” College degrees, he told us, “are used as a proxy,” and not a very good one, he thinks, “for the real skills, abilities, competencies and attitudes companies want.”

    For more about how Year Up, which has expanded since we last profiled them, trains young people without college degrees and places them in corporate jobs, here is an edited transcript of Paul Solman’s full conversation with Chertavian. Hear from Year Up students in the segment below.

    Simone Pathe, Making Sen$e Editor


    So how’s the organization been doing in the six years since we last saw you?

    So since we last spoke in 2008, Year Up has grown by more than 500 percent. We’ve opened up now in 12 cities across the country — when we first spoke I think we were in only three or four cities. The reason we’ve grown is because those young adults are economic assets, and not social liabilities, and they’re becoming pipelines of talent for the best companies in this country, from State Street, to Bank of America, to Google, to Goldman Sachs. They’re providing the talent those companies need, that’s why we’ve grown.

    Are you cherry picking the inner-city kids who would already succeed anyway? The students we met were so impressive that you couldn’t help but think that you had plucked out from the community the most motivated who simply hadn’t had a chance before.

    The reason we did a randomized, controlled trial, which we’ve done a complete blind assessment on, was to disprove that as a potential effect. We admitted a group — some went through Year Up, some we just followed. All were admitted, and the reality was the ones who went through Year Up had some of the highest increases in wages of any youth development program that we’ve seen in the last 20 years. So it reduces that effect that we’re choosing a student who would have made it otherwise; we’re able to give them a significant increase in their wage-earning capacity.

    I think you have to sell the audience on that one. These kids are no different than any other kid in the inner city?

    For young adults who apply to Year Up, clearly there’s a selection bias in terms of who applied to the program, right. Our young adults will work in a minimum wage, a fast rood, a retail or security job. We know that if you’re applying to Year Up, you’re probably able to apply for a minimum wage job. The question is, is a retail job what you want for all of your young people? We can change the trajectory of that earnings capacity, or better said, those young adults change their own trajectory by working hard, proving in great companies that they can be an asset, and getting paid commensurately with the skill and the attitude that they bring to bear.

    But this doesn’t then address as much the kids who just aren’t working at all?

    It would not address someone who did not want to change their circumstance. So many of our young adults are not working when they come to us, but if someone says, I do not want to put in the effort, I don’t want to show up on time every day, I don’t want to work hard, then you would not be able to be successful in this program.

    Year Up CEO Gerald Chertavian stresses the development of soft and hard skills. NewsHour still image.

    Gerald Chertavian at Year Up, where he is founder and CEO. NewsHour still image.

    I asked the students we spoke to, what percentage of all the people you know, not just the motivated ones, would be able to do this program? Two of them said 100 percent; one of them said 55 percent. What’s your number?

    My guess is between 80 and 90 percent. I imagine there are some young adults, just like there are some folks in all of society, who may need additional support. It could be mental health, it could be substance abuse, it could be cognitive — I think that’s a relative 10 or 20 percent of your population. But I think our young adults reflect the population of this country in terms of their aptitude, their aspiration and their willingness to work hard to get ahead. It’s a misperception that our young adults are not capable, motivated, hungry and smart.

    But do you really believe that? You don’t think that there’s a cognitive deficiency, for example, something that nobody talks about…

    There’s absolutely not a cognitive deficiency. There are some preparation deficiencies, whereby a young adult may not have gained all of the grammatical skills, some of the mathematics skills, and therefore yes, you’d have to work hard at developmental education for some folks, absolutely, but does that mean that they actually can’t learn? Not at all. Does it mean that they’re cognitively challenged? Not at all, that’s a complete misperception.

    Have you always believed that’s a misperception, or are you convinced of it now because you’ve been running this program?

    I now have the facts and the data to prove what might have been a perception to me before.

    The kids we saw just seemed like they were poster children for articulate, look-you-in-the-face, funny, smart… You didn’t give us your poster children?

    You can pick across the 2,100 students we’re going to serve this year — you can blind pick names on a sheet — and I will guarantee you that that is the majority perception you form. That’s an important point because the reality is, particularly from our experience, the majority of our young people in our urban areas, they want the same things your children want; they have the same aspirations that you had as a young person. They haven’t been given the opportunity and the access; that’s not a personal defect.

    “The majority of our young people in our urban areas, they want the same things your children want; they have the same aspirations that you had as a young person.”

    It turns out that the impressive students we met were also from immigrant families. Does Year Up have a disproportionate number of first generation immigrant kids?

    About 15 to 20 percent of our young adults would be immigrants, a much larger percentage are first generation, but our whole population is a true mix. So if you were in Atlanta versus Chicago, the populations would reflect the demographics of those cities. The reality is, across our whole organization, we haven’t seen a significant difference in who is able to take advantage of this opportunity, whether your family has been here for generations or not.

    When I last talked to you, it was the teeth of the great recession, and you all were worried.

    We didn’t know what was going to happen in 2009. But we grew by 25 percent in 2009. We placed every student in July of 2009 into an internship, a paid internship, with corporate America. If there was one time in the history of this country people could have said, “Gerald, we don’t need any more interns, we can’t afford it, it’s the recession,” it would have been July 2009. But the fact that we continued to grow during that period showed me that America needs talent. The skills gap is considerable, and if we can close that skills gap and connect the supply of talented young people with demand for skills, we have a long-term positive business proposition, and a program that serves the needs of our primary stakeholder, our student.

    What are the challenges today?

    So if we look today, there’s still a significant skills gap, and companies have demands — whether it’s quality assurance testing, financial skills, cyber security, it could be high value customer service. What we’re doing is trying to be increasingly nimble and responsive to the needs of our hirers, our employers. What that means is we’re starting with what are your needs at Facebook, or at JP Morgan, rather than finding a company who needs a certain skill. That way we can go from placing a few students with you to being relevant to your human capital pipeline across your company.

    After I profiled Year Up in 2008, going from company to company in this country, what I heard was that they just want people who will show up on time, who will be presentable, who will know how to talk to other people. It is precisely the soft skills that you so emphasized that seem to be so lacking as far as employers are concerned.

    We continue to believe, and know, that you hire for skill and fire for behavior. If you focus on the ABCs — attitude, behavior and communication skills — especially at the entry level, the employer will do the rest. We’re helping those young adults develop the professional skills, attitudes and behaviors that we know corporate America wants, while teaching some of the specific skills, or the functional competencies students need, too. We’re even beating college grads on that very measure of professionalism.

    I guarantee you beat college grads because I teach those college grads, and they don’t have the firm handshake, and the looking in the eye, and the directness of everybody I ever meet in this organization.

    Yes, and those non-cognitive skills, you can learn those in a finite period of time. So some of the cognitive skills — can you remediate or develop a mathematical gap — that’s going to take some time. But can young people learn those non-cognitive skills, and do they bring with them grit and persistence? That’s the special sauce within Year Up, and we’re proving that with over thousands of young people, and hundreds of companies who are getting a taste of some of the best talent in this country.

    What have you revised since 2008? What didn’t work, or what have you changed?

    We’ve opened up a whole track in finance and work in fund accounting and back-office operations, so we’re serving the needs of a company more broadly. Our aspiration is to be able to say to corporate America, tell us your broad need for middle skill jobs, and we’ll work with you to be a value-added partner. That’s a change in aspiration and interaction with our organizations. At State Street, we now place up to a hundred young people a year into fund accounting, and it helps State Street build human capital for their organization.

    We’ve increased retention now almost 10 percent more than we ever have because we focused on how to better serve a young person who may be going through a crisis, to prevent them from leaving or dropping out of the program, or firing themselves in the program.

    So what do you do? Call them up on the phone, go to the house?

    We learned that if you have just one mistake in the first four days of the program, you’re 20 percent more likely not to complete the program. So we used to wait to see what happened after that first four days. We now jump on it so quickly, with data, and share with the student that he or she is now 20 percent more likely not to complete the program. We’re thinking about dealing with prevention rather than crisis.

    And how do you support them, what do you do — buy them ice cream, hold their hand?

    You talk to them and say, what happened this week? Was this an issue of not having the discipline to get up on time? Do you have an alarm clock that works, do you have the ability to map out the route to get here, and do you understand the variability of that route? How do I have to plan my day so I’ll always be early, rather than always be on time — and on-time is late for us.

    “We don’t save anyone, we don’t do anything to anyone. We are their runway, and those young adults are the 747s that take off.”

    We know that one of the highest correlations for a young person’s success is having a caring adult in their life. Some of our young adults perhaps have not had as many caring adults as they need. We have adults who are able to be consistent, caring, and not enabling, because our job is not to enable a young person; our job is to teach and to empower a young person to take control of their own lives. We don’t save anyone, we don’t do anything to anyone. We are their runway, and those young adults are the 747s that take off.

    So just give me one example of something you did with someone.

    Sure, so imagine you’re my mentee, and I’m working with you at my house for dinner, and I say, well, how’s work going, and you say oh, I have way too much to do, and I’m not sure how to handle it. Okay, now if you don’t manage that situation, you could be in trouble at work, so I’m going to sit down with you and say, first of all, when you have more than you can do, how do you set expectations with each person? How do you communicate that you now have more things to do than there is time available? I would be working with a student, talking with them, listening to them, and helping them empower themselves to manage their supervisor, or supervisors, so they can be successful.

    So if I want to be a member of your team as a volunteer, and help young people with regard to self-presentation, what do you tell me to prepare me?

    Treat our young adults the same way you would treat your own child. They are not different. Hold them to the same high expectations; be brutally honest with them.

    So imagine we were speaking, and I said, Paul, “Can I axe you a question?” instead of ask. What I would say to a young person is: I have no judgment on the vernacular — in fact, I grew up in Lowell, Massachusetts, so when I go home, it sounds a little different perhaps than when I’m in a professional setting. But if you’re in a Fortune 100 company, and you use the work “axe” versus “ask,” people will have a perception of you. You’re way too smart for that to happen, and I’m going to tell you that right up front, so you can practice being on the professional stage. You’re not trying to be someone else, you’re just recognizing that there’s a code, and a standard, that you’re adhering to, so that people pay attention to your brain, not, perhaps, to your use of language.

    So what happens to your students after you place them?

    We sent out an online survey to all our graduates. First of all, we were told no one would respond to it, but we had a 61 percent response rate. Our average student had increased their wages close to almost $19 an hour — that’s a pretty significant wage earning in this country. So we know that wage growth is happening, which is positive, and we also know that when you first graduate from the program, 85 percent of the graduates earn, on average, $15 an hour, or $30,000 dollars per year, and some are enrolled in college full time. We know the results are there. In fact, we have a report every single night that tells you who got a job in America, how much they’re making, and where they’re working.

    The post What employers really want: Skills get you hired; behavior gets you fired appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Woodcut of Le Griffon by Father Louis Hennipin, Utrecht 1697

    Woodcut of Le Griffon by Father Louis Hennipin, 1697.

    He’s been searching the waters of Lake Michigan near tiny Poverty Island for decades, and now shipwreck hunter Steve Libert thinks he has found the remains of the Griffin, used by a 17th-century French explorer. Libert told The Associated Press, “This is definitely the Griffin — I’m 99.9 percent sure it is.”

    A 19th century engraving of Robert de la Salle

    A 19th century engraving of Robert de la Salle.

    The ship was built and launched on the Niagara River by Robert de La Salle in the summer of 1679. It’s believed to be the first European designed ship to sail the upper Great Lakes, but it never made it past its maiden voyage. It went missing with six crew members and a load of furs in September of the same year.

    Libert said his Great Lakes Exploration dive team found wooden planks, nails and pegs strewn across the floor of the lake, but no cannons or other artifacts that would specifically link it to the Griffin. The remnants bear similarities to another of La Salle’s ships, La Belle, that sank near the Gulf of Mexico. French underwater archaeologists who helped search the Lake Michigan site last year said Libert’s findings are “encouraging.”

    “The wooden remains that have been observed could correspond to a wreck,” said Michel L’Hour, an authority on shipwrecks in the French Ministry of Culture.

    Another group of archaeologists brought in to examine a large beam pulled out of the water last summer believe it is likely an old stake from a fishing net, dating it to post-1850.

    The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum estimates there are more than 6,000 ships that have been lost on the Great Lakes, and 30,000 lives.

    The post Explorers close in on 17th-century Great Lakes shipwreck appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Jeffrey Brown and Dr. Pamela High discuss strategies for parents and how to interact with your children during “screen-time” activities.

    According to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics published this week, pediatricians should tell parents of young children about the importance of reading to their child everyday, starting in infancy and continuing until the child is at least kindergarten-aged.

    “[E]very year,” the statement’s author Dr. Pamela High wrote, “one in three American children start kindergarten without the language skills they need to learn to read.” And reading aloud to a child is one of the most effective ways to impart those skills.

    Tune in to Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour for Jeffrey Brown’s full conversation with High about the role doctors can play in getting more parents to read to their children.

    The post When it comes to reading to your child, new report says start early appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    newswrap

    Watch Video

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. Homeland Security Department is sending more agents to the Mexican border to handle a surge of thousands of undocumented children. Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress today that 115 experienced agents have deployed to the Rio Grande Valley, and another 150 may join them.

    Republican Representative Patrick Meehan of Pennsylvania asked what’s being done to get the children home safely.

    JEH JOHNSON, Secretary of Homeland Security: We’re talking about children as young as 5 and 7 years old. This is a humanitarian issue. And so, when you’re talking about someone who is desperate to be reunited with her mother or her father in the United States, I think, as Americans, we need to be careful about how we treat these kids.

    REP. PATRICK MEEHAN, R, Penn.: We all get it. And this is what’s so difficult about this. This — we’re dealing with children, and we get it, but we ought not be leaving American people with the false impression that somehow the system is going to work, and is actually going to lead to removals. Once those children are here, they’re staying here.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, the Associated Press reported the government plans to use a 55,000-square-foot warehouse in South Texas to process the children.

    Islamist fighters in Nigeria have kidnapped another 60 girls and women, plus 31 boys. Witnesses said today the Boko Haram attacks came over the weekend in the northeast, but security forces denied anything happened. More than 200 schoolgirls were abducted in that region last April and are still missing.

    Rebels in Eastern Ukraine shot down another military helicopter today, killing nine soldiers. It happened just a day after the pro-Russian separatists pledged to respect a cease-fire. Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin moved to cancel a decree authorizing him to use force inside Ukraine.

    In Egypt, the newly elected president is rejecting calls to pardon three Al-Jazeera journalists. They were sentenced yesterday to seven years in prison on charges of aiding a terrorism organization, the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood.

    Today, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi addressed the issue in a nationally televised speech.

    PRESIDENT ABDEL FATTAH AL-SISI, Egypt (through interpreter): I called the minister of justice, and I told him one word: We will not interfere in judicial matters, because the Egyptian judiciary is an independent and exalted judiciary. If we desire strong state institutions, we must respect court rulings and not comment on them, even if others don’t understand those rulings.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The United States, Australia and others condemned the court verdicts and appealed to Al-Sisi to use his legal authority to pardon the journalists.

    A British jury delivered its verdicts today in the scandal over hacking the telephones of politicians, celebrities and even a murder victim. One former editor of the News of the World tabloid, Andy Coulson, was convicted, while another, Rebekah Brooks, was acquitted.

    Andy Davies of Independent Television News has this report.

    ANDY DAVIES, Independent Television News: Out of the Old Bailey he walks and into the midst of an industry which once so empowered him, Andy Coulson, the former tabloid boss, former prime ministerial aide, this evening, leaving court in the knowledge he may now face prison over his role in the phone hacking scandal.

    What a contrast, then, for the prime minister’s old friend and Andy Coulson’s former lover, Rebekah Brooks, the woman whose barrister said had been the subject of a witch-hunt, cleared today of all the charges against her and leaving court with her husband, Charlie, also acquitted.

    So much noise has surrounded this trial. And when it came down to it, the judge asked for complete silence in court for the verdicts. The defendants stood side by side in the court. And when Andy Coulson heard the word “guilty,” he didn’t move an inch. He just looked straight ahead.

    Rebekah Brooks, with her husband, Charlie, on one side of her and her former P.A. Cheryl Carter on the other, at the first of the three not-guilty verdicts, looked at the jury and smiled. Rebekah Brooks’ husband, Charlie, had also been accused of a cover-up, of a complicated little plot to hide laptops and documents at one stage in an underground car park from the police. He said it was to hide embarrassing pornography.

    Today, the jury cleared both him and the former News International head of security Mark Hanna of perverting the course of justice. For Andy Coulson, this trial isn’t over just yet. The jury are still considering their verdicts in relation to two other charges. These involve allegations that he authorized one of his journalists to make illegal payments to police officers, accusations he’s repeatedly denied.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The outcry over phone hacking led the Murdoch media empire to shut down News of the World in 2011, after 168 years in business.

    Back in this country, it was showdown day for two congressional veterans, as seven states held primaries, and Florida a special election. The headline race was in Mississippi, where six-term Republican Senator Thad Cochran faced tea-party candidate Chris McDaniel in a runoff. In New York, Democrat Charlie Rangel, who’s been in the House of Representatives for 44 years, tried to stave off a strong primary challenge.

    Subpar earnings reports and worries about Iraq weighed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 119 points to close at 16,818. The Nasdaq fell 18 points to close at 4,350. And the S&P 500 slid 12 points to finish under 1,950.

    The post News Wrap: Homeland Security sends agents to address child migrant crisis appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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