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


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)
Loading...

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Loading...

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 424 | 425 | (Page 426) | 427 | 428 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0

    toledowater_satellite

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Now to the fallout from that big algae bloom in Lake Erie.

    Toledo’s mayor lifted a glass to end the water ban today, but even as he did, experts warned this episode spotlighted significant problems that remain for the Great Lakes.

    MAYOR MICHAEL COLLINS, Toledo: I’m pretty thirsty right now because it’s been a long night.

    (APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: That’s how Toledo Mayor Michael Collins told the people of his city it’s OK to start drinking the water again. Since Saturday, 400,000 people in Ohio’s fourth largest city and 30,000 in southeastern Michigan lined up for bottled water, because toxin levels in tap water were too high.

    WOMAN: Brushing teeth, we use one bottle of water, everybody. We share it.

    GWEN IFILL: The likely culprit was a massive algae bloom on Lake Erie, a bright green scum caused by high amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous that can come from farm and lawn fertilizers. But new tests today came back without traces of the toxin.

    D. MICHAEL COLLINS: All six water came back with no problems whatsoever. There’s no discernible microcystin within these systems. So, this entire city at this moment in time, we are lifting in conjunction with the Ohio EPA the no-drink advisory. Our water is safe.

    GWEN IFILL: Algae blooms in Lake Erie are fairly common. 2011 saw one of worst ever, as the swirling green blooms extended all the way across the lake to Canada. This year’s algae buildup has come earlier than usual and water officials warn it won’t be the last.

    ERIC ZGODZINSKI, Toledo-Lucas County Health Department: The issue really is a chronic issue, and we’re going to keep on having this until we address the situation, and because we have — that’s what we have to do. We have to get the funds and the resources in here to look at, how do we stop this?

    GWEN IFILL: The economic cost of the three-day ban is still being calculated. Toledo officials said they will be turning to the federal government for financial help.

    So, we get some further reporting and insight on all of this.

    Anna Michalak is a scientist who works on global ecology at the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University. She is a leading expert on the water quality and sustainability of the Great Lakes. and Marlene Harris-Taylor is a reporter for The Toledo Blade.

    Marlene Harris-Taylor, are people calmer today?

    MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR, The Toledo Blade: Yes, I would say people are definitely calmer in Toledo today. There’s a sense of relief that the ban has been lifted and people can now drink water. But I think that there is still a little unease, because people want a few more answers, Gwen.

    GWEN IFILL: What kind of answers are they looking for, just the cause of it or just what they should do?

    MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR: Well, the cause of it.

    As you mentioned in your report, that this all started on Saturday morning, what people are wondering is, did city officials know before Saturday that the levels had actually spiked? Like, when did this actually start?

    And city officials have not over the weekend been very transparent about the actual numbers, the readings that they were receiving from the EPA. So people have a lot of questions about, what were those final numbers?

    How did they actually descend over the weekend? And how did they make that final determination that it was all clear?

    And, lastly, I think feel are still wondering, is it really safe? Even though the mayor drank that glass of water, there are some people who are really still skeptical and they have been on social media saying, I’m not sure I can drink this water. I think I’m going to stick with this bottled water that I have been collecting all weekend.

    GWEN IFILL: Anna Michalak, let’s talk about the science of this. Should people continue to be worried about what they are drinking?

    ANNA MICHALAK, Carnegie Institution for Science: Well, as was mentioned, I don’t have access to the actual water quality reports from the lake.

    I think the broader issue is that these types of blooms are happening at this point almost every year. And the last few years have been substantially larger than blooms we have seen before. And so the question is how do we decipher all the factors that are contributing to these blooms becoming larger and larger in recent years.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let’s try to decipher a few of them here. We know that, in 2012, there was one even larger than this. And in fact some officials are suggesting we may see more later this summer. What causes them to come it feels to the rest of us like out of nowhere, or is it something that has now become, as the water official suggested, chronic?

    ANNA MICHALAK: Correct.

    So 2011 saw the largest bloom by far than we had ever seen before. And in studying that bloom, what we understood is that it’s a combination of management practices on farm fields as well as meteorology. And so we’re seeing more and more very heavy springtime precipitation events that wash fertilizers off the fields and into the lakes.

    And once they’re there, these fertilizers are essentially fertilizing the blooms. And when you combine that with warmer temperatures and wind conditions that are just right, you end up with consequences like the ones you just saw in Toledo.

    GWEN IFILL: Why is this happening in the Great Lakes? Are they more susceptible to this sort of thing than other bodies of water?

    ANNA MICHALAK: That’s a great question.

    we’re actually seeing more and more impact of nutrient pollution around the U.S. on the East Coast, the West Coast, as well as inland. Within the Great Lakes system, Lake Erie is particularly susceptible both because of how much phosphorous goes into lake and also just because of the physical characteristics of the lake itself.

    GWEN IFILL: So, is there something that can be done to get either the farms to use different kinds of pharmaceuticals on their crops or to get people to avoid — just expect this to happen every summer? Is there something that anybody can do to anticipate this?

    ANNA MICHALAK: Ideally, what you want is a win-win situation.

    So the farmers are really no more interested in the fertilizer ending up in the lake than we are. It is a waste of fertilizer and a waste of money from their perspective. The issue is to create measured practices that somehow can account for the changing features of meteorology that we are seeing as climate change starts to really take hold.

    And so the question how do we farm in a way that actually fertilizes the crops rather than fertilizing the blooms?

    GWEN IFILL: So, Marlene Harris-Taylor, who are — what are people — who — first of all, how did people get the news, and then what did they do next? Are they being told what they should do or what kind of precautions they should take? Are you personally taking precautions?

    MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR: Well, which news, the news that they couldn’t drink or the news that they could drink today?

    GWEN IFILL: All of it, actually.

    MARLENE HARRIS-TAYLOR: How did they receive which news?

    OK. Well, you know, it was really interesting because the news broke that we couldn’t drink the water in the dead of the night. Most people were asleep when these readings spiked up at 2:00 a.m. I myself, I was woken by my sister, who woke me up at 6:00 in the morning to tell me that she had seen this on social media, and that people were starting to run out to the stores and starting to hoard water.

    So, my husband and I went out and we went out. We had to search for water ourselves for our family, for my husband and my two children. And so over the weekend, as the days have gone on, it went from initial, you know, a panic, oh, my God, I have got to get water, to the next day by Sunday people began to really be concerned about the elderly and the shut-in and people who couldn’t afford water.

    And people really started to channel their energy into these distribution sites that the city had set up around town and started really coming together and helping others. And today now that we received the news as you showed from the mayor finally saying that we can drink the water again, now — the focus now is going to be what is next. Where do we go from here?

    The city’s talking about a possibility of raising the water rates in Toledo, so that they can do some updates to our distribution system, our water cleaning system, which is quite antiquated.

    GWEN IFILL: Anna Michalak, I want to ask you whether this — there is a long-term or a short-term even solution for this kind of annual bloom that we’re seeing.

    ANNA MICHALAK: I think that short-term solutions are going to be very difficult, because each year is really different.

    And it depends not just on what the farmers are doing, which, of course, is an important part of the equation, but also, what does the rainfall look like that spring? Does it come at just the wrong time to flush that fertilizer into the lake? How soon does the lake get warm enough for these blooms to take hold?

    And so unfortunately in the short-term, it’s a matter of noticing things when they happen as quickly as possible so that you can react as Toledo did. But in longer-term, there are certainly some very serious conversations about how do we change the nutrient input into the lake so that even when the meteorological conditions are conducive to blooms, the impact is less than what we are seeing today?

    GWEN IFILL: Anna Michalak of the Carnegie Institution for Science at Stanford University, and Marlene Harris-Taylor of The Toledo Blade, thank you both very much.

    The post How weather and nutrient pollution create fertile conditions for toxic algae blooms appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    MADAGASCAR-ECONOLMY-OIL

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to a closer look at a continent in transition, as an historic White House summit kicks off today in the nation’s capital.

    Tight security and a large police presence marked the start of the U.S./Africa Leaders Summit in Washington. Nearly 50 heads of state and many other officials are attending. One goal for the Obama administration is to use the event to begin catching up to China, which, in 2009, eclipsed the U.S. as Africa’s biggest trading partner.

    On Friday, President Obama touted the potential, including some $1 billion in business deals being announced this week.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I have had conversations over the last several months with U.S. businesses, some of the biggest U.S. businesses in the world, and they say, Africa, that’s one of our top priorities; we want to do business with those folks, and we think that we can create U.S. jobs and send U.S. exports to Africa, but we have got to be engaged. And so this gives us a chance to do that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Africa already boasts many of the world’s fastest growing economies and is home to major deposits of gold, oil and other resources. There’s also a huge potential work force. In 2010, 70 percent of Africans were under the age of 30.

    But parts of the continent remain beset by violence, corruption and human rights abuses. In Libya, rival militias continue battling for control of Tripoli’s international airport. And in South Sudan, hundreds of thousands face hunger, many of them fleeing fighting between the government and rebels.

    The Central African Republic, Eritrea, Sudan, and Zimbabwe were not invited to the summit because they’re suspended from the African Union or under U.S. sanctions.

    The presidents of Liberia and Sierra Leone are also staying home to deal with the Ebola outbreak in their nations.

    Earlier today, I spoke with former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker about Africa’s economic promise and its challenges. Bloomberg Philanthropies and the Department of Commerce are co-hosting tomorrow’s U.S./Africa Business Forum, where President Obama will give the keynote address.

    Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, thank you for talking with us.

    PENNY PRITZKER, Secretary of Commerce: Thank you for having us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Secretary Pritzker, let me start with you. What does the Obama administration want to accomplish with this summit?

    PENNY PRITZKER: Well, the summit has many parts to it.

    There’s obviously a diplomatic part. There’s talking about all different kinds of subjects. The part that Mike and are I focused on is the CEO summit, which is really an exciting anchor to the entire African visits. We have 51 heads of state attending the entire summit. And we expect to have over 40 attend our business summit, along with hundreds of business leaders, both from the United States and from African businesses.

    And the goal is to get them together to start talking about what are the opportunities that they can have in the business community.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mayor Bloomberg, is there a message you see coming out of this gathering?

    FMR. MAYOR MICHAEL BLOOMBERG, New York City: I think the message is that — for American businesses, that Africa is a land of opportunity. Its technologically not left back. It’s now catching up very rapidly. It is urbanizing. Communications and transportation are all getting better, so that Americans will be able to sell products overseas, will be able to buy products for America.

    From the African side, it is trying to send the message that America cares. For too long, we have let China be the main focus, the main proponent of doing deals, of making investments in Africa for natural resources to build up their markets for their products.

    And we have unfortunately not done anything. And then along comes Penny Pritzker, and now America is reaching out, and we have to do that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And,in fact, Secretary Pritzker, there are folks out there who are critical of this administration, many of them former supporters, who are saying this administration has — did let China outpace the U.S. in terms of investment, that this president hasn’t done enough when if came to investing in aid, in fact, that money, aid money has been cut back, that the president hasn’t done enough when it comes to corruption, human rights.

    What do you say?

    PENNY PRITZKER: I say, first of all, over the next couple of days, you are going to hear a lot about all of the commitments that are being made to Africa by this administration, in partnership with philanthropic organizations, businesses and others.

    So it is the government and the private sector coming together to really put its best foot forward in Africa. But let’s remember something. This is the first-of-its-kind summit where you have brought together this kind of leadership to really say, not just what have we done, but what can we do?

    And what we’re trying to do is to create a catalyst for increased future activities. And I’m convinced that we’re going to have to great effect. You’re going to hear an enormous number of announcements over the next two days.

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: It strikes me that you are talking about a bunch of people who have done nothing and are complaining about the past.

    What about the future? I don’t know why everybody focuses on that. Should have, would have, and could have was the way the kids would say it. The fact of the matter is, there is an opportunity. Commerce is facing that opportunity, recognizing it, and Penny is leading the charge to do something about it. That’s great.

    Why are we going to sit around and whip ourselves?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, so some of that has to do with not wanting to repeat mistakes. But what do you think shouldn’t be repeated? What needs to be done differently going forward?

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Neglect shouldn’t be and ignorance. Those are the things, that people didn’t pay attention, didn’t know, weren’t aggressive enough and ambitious enough.

    Maybe they had other markets to focus on. But we live in a world today where you cannot walk away from any one market, particularly a market the size of Africa.

    PENNY PRITZKER: So let me build on that. Six of the 10 fastest growing economies in the world are in Africa.

    Incomes have risen 30 percent over the last 10 years. You have got expected — 6 percent annual GDP growth expected over the next 10 years. 250,000 Americans go to work every day in America supported by exports that are being sold to Africa. And that’s just the beginning. There’s enormous opportunity.

    And what we’re trying to do is really raise awareness, but then more importantly get people who know how to get things done in a room together to figure out, how do you make deals, how do we get more commerce going, how do we get — make — and this will be good for both African companies, African countries, and American business and the American people.

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: The American public wants jobs. This is how you create jobs.

    PENNY PRITZKER: Right.

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: The American public wants to have great products at affordable prices. This is how you get it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: At the same time, you have a continent that, yes, has made great progress when it comes to business and investment, but is also still plagued with enormous security concerns, human rights violations.

    What do you say…

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: What are you talking about Africa or North America? We have the same problems too, maybe not as great as that, but we’re hardly without our problems.

    We can sit around and look at the downside, Judy, or we can say — just deal with those things and make things better. There is no part of the world you can go to where you don’t have a security problem in this day and age. There is no place in the world you can go where there aren’t some bad people. So what?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: My question is, what do you say to business executives about that? Do they not deal with those countries where those problems exist?

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, I think the answer to that is, you are going to see the president, I hope — and I don’t have any inside information — hope a whole bunch of — announce a whole bunch of deals. That would be a nice capstone.

    Before we went on the air, you asked us, how do you end this? You end this with the president announcing some progress, and hopefully the progress will be there and he will be able to explain to people what comes out of this summit.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But do you tell business leaders, for example, in countries where there are human rights violations basically to ignore them or to work around them? How do…

    PENNY PRITZKER: Well, one of the exciting things about having American business present in a community is, what does American business bring to the table?

    They bring a respect for rule of law, commitment to ethics, work force training, CSR, you know, investing in the communities, so many different things. And what I find when I’m going around the world — and certainly I found this on my trade mission to Africa — these countries’ leaders want our businesses present.

    And so they — because they — they’re a positive force. If you look at the kind of products and goods and services that our companies are bringing to the marketplace in these countries, it’s exciting, whether it’s access to power or it’s access to health care, all in formats that are appropriate for those countries.

    So this is really fundamental what can be done. And so this is exciting.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And so how do you measure success, Mayor Bloomberg, from this going forward?

    MICHAEL BLOOMBERG: Well, the nice thing about business, you measure success by commerce.

    They’re real numerics. This is not just touchy-feely, I feel things are better. It’s how much trade goes back and forth, how many jobs are created, how many new businesses are started, all concrete things that you can measure.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But knowing that there are some obstacles, some challenges out there that are particularly problematic in some of these countries more than in others.

    PENNY PRITZKER: So one of the things that we’re doing, as the federal government, is we’re expanding the presence of our foreign commercial service in Tanzania, Ethiopia, Angola, Mozambique, and then we’re opening offices, as well as we’re expanding our presence in our other offices in Africa.

    What does the Foreign Commercial Service do? These are folks who work for the Department of Commerce whose soul job it is, is to help American companies navigate those obstacles that you are talking about, so they can bring their good American-made goods and services to those countries.

    So this is what — we can do a lot to support these — the effort to do more commerce in these countries and have it be beneficial to America.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we will be watching and listening over the next few days and beyond.

    Secretary Pritzker, Mayor Bloomberg, we thank you.

    PENNY PRITZKER: Thank you.

    The post U.S.-Africa summit resets focus on tapping burgeoning markets appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    africa2

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: As we just heard, despite their emerging economic power, some countries in Africa still lag behind on human rights issues.

    Many who follow developments on the continent are hoping that this week’s summit will be an opportunity to press for change beyond trade.

    One of them is Nicole Lee. She’s a human rights attorney and former head of the U.S.-based policy organization TransAfrica. And she is with us now.

    Thank you for being here.

    NICOLE LEE, Immediate Past President, TransAfrica: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Nicole Lee, when you look at this summit, what do you think could come of it?

    NICOLE LEE: Obviously, we know by definition this is really an opportunity for African leaders to get together with U.S. leaders and talk about investment in business.

    What has also happened — and I’m not sure that the administration was — really understood that this was going to happen, but civil society from the continent of African also got on those planes, came over and want their voices to be heard as well. They want to be heard on the issue of good jobs.

    So does investment mean there’s going to be good jobs? Does investment mean there is also going to be human rights? And so while we have the official meeting, there is also a lot of side meetings going on as well. And in those side meetings, they’re really talking about the preeminence or the need, if you will, for the preeminence of human rights at the table as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In fact, you were telling us today that it’s human rights issues that are going to make or break the ability of these countries to make these kinds of economic advances.

    NICOLE LEE: Well, I think so.

    Mayor Bloomberg is right when you look at the United States. Many of the things that the people of Africa need are the things that Americans value as well. One of those things is the ability to have your voice heard, to live in a democracy.

    The people of Africa want the same thing. And so if we’re going to see real development, real sustainable change that U.S. business leaders, frankly, want to see as well, we’re really going have to make sure human rights are at the forefront. Now, some leaders that are not respecting human rights were not invited to the table, but some were invited to the table who also have some of the similar problems.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So what happens at a — can you literally change the way people do business, the way they think, the way they treat others in their country in their society by having meetings like this one?

    NICOLE LEE: Well, I think what is important to understand about countries in Africa is most countries have a very vibrant civil society, people that are interested in human rights and worker rights, LGBT rights, that are working very hard within Africa, within the countries in Africa to make sure that human rights are respected.

    What they do need though is to make sure the international community also stands in solidarity with them, it says that, yes, we’re going to do business in Africa, but we’re going to do business and make sure that the people of the continent really benefit.

    Africa has the youngest population right now on the planet. Is that young population going to be a population in poverty, or is it going to be a population in the middle class? I believe and many civil society leaders even in the United States believe that it’s going to take all of us to make sure that Africa’s leaders really make sure that human rights are at the forefront of their campaigns, they’re at the forefront of their policy-making, rather than at the back end.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So how, tangibly, does that happen? Do you look for them statements, commitments to come out of this meeting? Do you look for conversations that go on while these leaders are in Washington?

    NICOLE LEE: Well, one of the things that Mayor Bloomberg said that I think is so important is, we are hoping for a lot of proclamations to come out of this meeting.

    From President Obama himself, for example, we are really hoping that something is going to be done on HIV and AIDS and health care. We know that that is central, frankly, to the ability for people to actually be able to go out and get good jobs and really take advantage of all of this investment that Mayor Bloomberg is talking about.

    But it also has to do with making sure that there is a space for civil society from Africa to really move about and to really make sure that their voices are heard. Oftentimes, it’s civil society in Africa that has the solutions, but no one is listening to them. No one is listening to the business plans that they have. No one is listening to the ideas that they have for really changing the continent.

    For example, Power Africa was something that the African civil society had been talking about for such a long time. Power Africa is an initiative now to make sure that there is electricity all around the continent. Well, civil society folks, leaders has been talking about that for years, to make sure, if people are really going to be able to take advantage of the 21st century, they certainly at least need electricity. And so that is something that came right from civil society.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Nicole Lee, you mentioned a minute ago some leaders were invited whose countries have been guilty of human rights abuses. I think one people have pointed to is Rwanda. What is the message that sends to others that they’re part of these conversations?

    NICOLE LEE: I think it is a tough balance, if you will.

    One on hand, I can sympathize, because, in a way, if the U.S. government has a good relationship with the Rwandan government, this would be an opportunity to use that relationship and explain that we will not tolerate human rights abuses.

    On the other hand, a country like Zimbabwe, where we do not have really any relationship to that government, it does send a message to invite them that we don’t respect human rights. So it’s a tough balance. I just hope that the administration is using this opportunity with these leaders — Equatorial Guinea would be a good example.

    These are leaders that have very, very distressing human rights records — and that we’re using the opportunity, if we do have this sort of relationship that their invitation would suggest, that we’re using this opportunity to have a conversation about human rights as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s one set of meetings. But it is taking place and a lot of us are watching.

    NICOLE LEE: Yes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Nicole Lee, we thank you.

    NICOLE LEE: Thank you.

    The post How human rights issues factor into African economic advancement appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    ebola

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: The Ebola outbreak in West Africa, the largest ever, is resonating around the world. One infected American aid worker, treated with an experimental drug and flown back to a special unit at Emory University Hospital in Atlanta yesterday, is said to be improving.

    A second American patient, a Christian missionary, arrives there tomorrow. Agents at U.S. airports are watching for symptoms from travelers. International development banks are assembling aid packages for the affected countries, Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea. The death toll there has climbed to at least 887 people. More than 1,600 have been sickened by the virus since it first spread in February.

    Jeffrey Stern is there on assignment for “Vanity Fair.” I spoke with him by Skype from Guinea short time ago.

    Jeffrey, you have been to the village where we believe that this outbreak began. What did you see there?

    JEFFREY STERN, Vanity Fair: Well, the village has really been — I mean, it’s really been decimated. They lost about 40 people, and it is a small village, only about 300 or 400. And they sort have been shunned.

    They’re down a really inaccessible, narrow dirt path. The taxies don’t go there anymore. They are having a hard time doing business with other people. And they have actually abided by the government’s request that people don’t hunt this — quote, unquote — “bush meat anymore,” which means they’re actually — they literally said, we’re hungry. So it’s sort of a scourge that continues to have an effect.

    GWEN IFILL: Where is this village? Is it especially rural and what happen to people who have survived this so far?

    JEFFREY STERN: Yes. Well, it is and it isn’t. This is one of the things that is interesting. It is fairly rural. It is in what they call the forest region in Gueckedou in Guinea.

    But it’s been — the area around it has been thinned out and deforested a little bit. And it’s not quite as inaccessible as it once was. And the other thing is, this has played a major part in the outbreak because people are fairly mobile and they’re able to move across borders, to neighboring towns.

    And that’s allowed this to sort of spring up in various places. And it’s why we see it now in three or four countries.

    GWEN IFILL: And as it has sprung up, as it has spread, is there a health infrastructure that exists at all to contain it?

    JEFFREY STERN: Yes, well, it’s a good point. The ministry of health care was really weak before the international community descended upon it. And the ambassador here put it like this.

    He said there is an imbalance between sovereignty and resources. It’s been sort of a tough balance. I think for the most part, though, the story is one of fairly remarkable success. There is a little bit of disorganization sort of getting out of its lane and interfering with another, but for the most part the international community has come together, and for the most part really respected the sovereignty of the ministry and tried to use this as an opportunity to build up capacity.

    That hasn’t obviously worked perfectly. And it’s still a massive outbreak they’re trying to deal with in all the different countries.

    GWEN IFILL: Is part of the — talking about the people who are most affected, has been part of the spread due to — we have heard tales of just fear, cultural superstitions, resistance to outside help?

    JEFFREY STERN: There has never been an outbreak anywhere near this. And there is just — there is no reason for anyone to have it on their radar that this may have been Ebola from the beginning, which is part of the reason it took a while for people to understand and accept that this is Ebola, this is something called Ebola.

    And it’s why — it’s one of many reasons why now many people still don’t, still don’t accept that it exists, still don’t accept that it’s worth cooperating with health officials. And it’s — obviously, it’s created huge problems, because one of the things you have to do is, you have to trace contacts.

    Is there is an infected person, you need to monitor every single person they come in contact with. It’s difficult enough as it is. Of course, it’s much more difficult if they don’t want to you look at them.

    GWEN IFILL: And it’s difficult part of what you are doing is dispensing of corpses, bodies, victims. That also has to be taught as well.

    JEFFREY STERN: Yes, exactly, another good point.

    I just got a text message a couple of days ago from the ministry of health saying that the Red Cross will come and disinfect a corpse if you have one, that the corpses are highly contagious. We will let you deal with your corpse and do funeral rites in the traditional way you want, but let us come and disinfect it first.

    So, it is something that people don’t love. I mean, ideally you would take the corpse away and dispense with it, because obviously it is highly contagious. But that would only add to the resistance. And so this is kind of a compromise that is better than nothing.

    GWEN IFILL: Here in the U.S., there has been so much discussion about the two American victims who are going to come back to Emory Hospital and be put in highly secure — highly secure environments in order to attempt to treat the virus.

    I’m wondering how you, as you go around, as you go to this village, as you talk to people in your reporting, how you protect yourself.

    JEFFREY STERN: Yes. Well, there’s a few things.

    I mean, one of the things is that there are people who would reject the idea that it’s a highly contagious virus, because it needs direct human-to-human transmission. It can’t live in the water like cholera. It is not aerosolized. You can’t inhale it.

    But even so, it’s still scary to be around. Even if you have that knowledge in the back of your mind, I mean, there’s something very sort of primal about being around it and about seeing people with these big yellow space suits.

    And I think that a lot of us would admit that there is always a moment where, you know, it’s like, could I possibly have been infected that one time? And it’s irrational, and you know that there’s almost no chance that you could have.

    And the other thing to keep in mind is, this is West Africa. So the early symptoms of Ebola being fever, headache, upset stomach, there is always a question of, you know, do I have Ebola or is it Tuesday? And that’s something that I think is difficult for us, and I think it’s difficult for them too. It’s one of the reasons it’s become so difficult to identify this early.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, it’s been a very difficult story to cover even at a distance. Thank you for looking at it up close for “Vanity Fair.”

    Jeffrey Stern, thanks.

    JEFFREY STERN: Thank you, Gwen. I appreciate it.

    The post Keeping safe in Ebola territory appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Lights Go Out To Mark World War One Centenary

    Watch Video

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Commemoration events were held throughout Europe today to mark the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I. The global conflict killed more than 14 million people from 28 countries.

    We have this report narrated by James Mates of Independent Television News.

    JAMES MATES: In memory of a terrible past, there is a determination in these anniversary commemorations to look to the future. It is the coming generations in the form the duke and duchess of Cambridge who are leading the British representation here this morning in the Belgian city of Liege, scene of some of the earliest clashes on the western front, as the German army moved into neutral Belgium.

    The prince’s speech was fully in tune with today’s emphasis on reconciliation.

    PRINCE WILLIAM, Duke Of Cambridge: The fact that the presidents of Germany and Austria are here today and that other nations then enemies are here too bears testimony to the power of reconciliation. We were enemies more than once in the last century. And today we are friends and allies. We salute those who died to give us our freedom. We will remember them.

    JAMES MATES: A 10-year-old girl then released a single symbolic balloon, soon to be followed by thousands more in the colors of every nation whose people fought and suffered in what soon became known as the great war.

    The prince of Wales, followed by the prime minister, laid wreaths at the Cenotaph Glasgow’s George Square, among the first of many that are being laid across the country and in cemeteries across the channel throughout this day of remembrance.

    Prince Harry saluted a parade of veterans in Folkestone, the port from which an estimated 10 million sailors sailed for France on the western front. He officially opened the newly built memorial arch on what is now known as the Road of Remembrance.

    For so many of those young soldiers, the march to the dockside was to be the last time they set foot on British soil. It is in Flanders where they were heading to fight that the principal British ceremony is taking place this evening. At the small cemetery of Saint Symphorien, where lie the graves of both British and German dead.

    Nothing better illustrates the futility of the First World War than the fact that the British forces first saw action here in Mons in 1914. Four years, more than a million deaths later, they were still fighting in this town. John Parr, buried here, was the first British soldier to die. He was just 16 years old. He had lied about his age.

    George Ellison, buried here, had fought alongside him in the first battle of Mons, survived the whole of the First World War, only to become the last British serviceman to died just an hour-and-a-half before the armistice.

    Whether they fought and died in vain or whether it was a war that needed to be fought continues to be debated a century on. But it was a war that changed the world, whose memories and whose legacies are still very much with us.

    The post A century on, Europe pays tribute to soldiers of WWI appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    brady

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We close tonight remembering former White House Press Secretary Jim Brady, who died today. He was severely wounded in the 1981 assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan, and subsequently became a leading advocate for gun control.

    Ronald Reagan was two months into his presidency when John Hinckley Jr. drew a $29 dollar handgun outside a Washington Hilton Hotel on March 30, 1981. He wounded the president, Brady, a Secret Service agent, and a Washington police officer.

    Reagan and his guards fully recovered, but the .22-caliber bullet exploded into Brady’s forehead and left him partially paralyzed. He spent the rest of his life in a wheelchair, but with his wife, Sarah, campaigned for a gun control law known as the Brady Bill.

    President Bill Clinton signed it into law in 1993, helping create the National Instant Criminal Background Check System that remains in use today.

    Last year, the Bradys spoke to us about the struggle for new gun control legislation.

    JAMES BRADY, Former White House Press Secretary: We want to stop the carnage, all the killing that’s going on.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sarah Brady also said she’s seen a difference in the gun lobby itself.

    SARAH BRADY, Wife of JAMES BRADY: They have entrenched themselves more deeply, I will say that, and are much bolder today than they were 20 or 25 years ago.

    JAMES BRADY: Discouragement is a temporary thing. You just saddle up and get back into the fight.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: James Brady was 73 years old.

    For a closer look at the life of James Brady, we are joined by former White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart, who served under President Clinton. And Mollie Dickenson, she’s the author of “Thumbs Up: The Life and Courageous Comeback of White House Press Secretary Jim Brady.”

    And it’s good to see you both. Thank you.

    Mollie Dickenson, as you know, as we know, I covered the White House of Ronald Reagan. I was there the day Jim Brady was shot, the president was shot. We’re going talk about that horrible moment just in a second. But first remind us who Jim Brady was before he was hurt.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON, Author, “Thumbs Up: The Life and Courageous Comeback of White House Press Secretary Jim Brady”: Well, Jim Brady was one of the most attractive people you could ever want to meet. He was the man you wanted to be next to at any party.

    He and Sarah both, so down to earth, so kind also, and both very funny, but Jim was known for his humor. And he never lost his sense of humor. And he never lost his political smarts either. He saw the world in real time, and he understood the world, and he was a great aide to Reagan.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You spent a lot of time working on your book, talking about the courageous journey, as you described it, of Jim and Sarah Brady. It was a tough comeback for them, because he almost died.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: Yes, he did. He took a bullet that went from here to just above his ear. And it did a lot of damage, but didn’t shoot away the essential Jim Brady.

    And they both have been extremely brave in facing this, and then to take on the gun lobby, which gets more and more difficult all the time, as Sarah just said in your setup there.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.

    And, Joe Lockhart, you, of course, were working a president, two presidents later, Bill Clinton. But you got to know Jim Brady through the gun control…

    JOE LOCKHART, Former White House Press Secretary: Well, we got to know him through all of the work they did, both by passing the Brady Bill and then in the failed efforts, you know, after Columbine, which was very frustrating.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The shooting, the high school shooting.

    JOE LOCKHART: The shooting.

    And, you know, I think at the time, it was extraordinary that we got something done on gun control, the Brady Bill. But if you look now, 20 years, 30 years later, it’s more extraordinary. We — the country’s live through Newtown, where children, you know, an amazing number of children, and we couldn’t do anything.

    But Jim and Sarah — we shouldn’t forget Sarah — she is the not-so-secret weapon in that team — they got it done with a lot of political help, but they were the ones who got it done.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Talk about how — what it was like to work with him during that period, because, as we said, he was mostly in a wheelchair. But he was active in this campaign.

    JOE LOCKHART: Yes, I — the word is inspiring.

    You know, Jim had physical limitations. And he had trouble speaking. But you could tell there was something in there. And the most amazing thing was, most people would react bitterly to this. He had worked his whole career. And a month into having the job he wanted his whole life, it was taken away from him.

    And what he did was, he turned that into positive energy. And he was funny and irreverent. And the tougher the moment got, the more positive he became and he was just an amazing and inspiring guy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mollie, how was he — why was he able to do that?  As Joe said, many people, you could understand why they would be bitter.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: It’s in his constitution. It’s the kind of man he was to begin with.

    And with the help of Sarah, who — they’re very much alike, both of them. They both love life and love jokes and laughter. I wanted to point out that the FBI told me that the bullet that hit Jim in the brain would have had Reagan had it not hit Jim.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Because of where he was.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: Yes. And, also, the gun that John Hinckley used was illegally bought, because he lied on his application to buy it at that time.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: Probably wouldn’t have any trouble today, though.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, before this, Joe, Jim Brady wasn’t somebody who — he was a Republican. He worked for a number of Republican officeholders in Washington, working on the Reagan campaign as press secretary. This wasn’t an issue that was high for him, that he spent a lot of time on.

    JOE LOCKHART: No, not an issue that — in fact, we weren’t debating this issue in 1981.

    You know, it wasn’t at the forefront of the congressional agenda. And, you know, it shouldn’t be lost that, as a Republican and in his circles with Republican friends, as the country became more partisan, he lost friendships because of his willingness to go out and take a stand on this.

    But, you know, the nice part about Jim as I met him later in his life was, he didn’t care. The country was changing. We were becoming more partisan, more intractable. Jim didn’t care. He spoke the truth. He was incapable of not speaking the truth. And it was really refreshing.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How did he deal with that, with — Mollie, you spent a lot of time with him.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: He just had that ability to deal with anything.

    I think even before he was so gravely wounded, he was willing to say exactly what he thought. Like, I’m sure you remember the killer trees incident, when Reagan went on and on about how trees were more dangerous than fresh air. And…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: That they from supposed to be a danger to the environment.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: Yes.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: And Jim didn’t care. He — flying over a forest fire one day, he yelled out killer trees, killer trees.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: And he was suspended for a week by the Reagan campaign.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And there were some in the campaign who felt that he was dangerous to have around because of comments like that.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: But he was very wise.

    JOE LOCKHART: But he did serve, I think, as a really useful model for a lot of press secretaries who came — particularly for me, which was, even in the toughest of times, it was better to answer something with a joke, with good humor, particularly a joke at your own expense.

    And, you know, I tell people, without a doubt, the best day I had in the White House was the day that President Clinton renamed the Briefing Room in his honor. And you stand there at the podium, and it is just to your right. And I think every one who has had the job looks at that and understands that you have got to hold yourself to Jim Brady’s standard, which is very hard to meet.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What you said about his sense of humor, I talked today to Lou Cannon, who covered the Reagans for The Washington Post for a long time. And he was remembering the killer trees comment and how much the press corps enjoyed him, which isn’t true of all press secretaries, Joe Lockhart.

    JOE LOCKHART: Yes, yes.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: And when I went to the White House to interview Reagan for the book, I said, I’m going to see Reagan today, Jim. What should I do?  And he said, “Oh, so you’re going interview his couth-ship (ph), are you?”

    (LAUGHTER)

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: He always had…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mollie Dickenson and Joe Lockhart, remembering Jim Brady, thank you both.

    JOE LOCKHART: Thank you.

    MOLLIE DICKENSON: Thank you.

    The post Remembering James Brady, 73, spokesman for Reagan and gun control appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Emory Hospital To Receive American Ebola Patients From Liberia
    The second American aid worker stricken with the Ebola virus has arrived in the United States.

    Nancy Writebol, 59, arrived in Atlanta Tuesday from Liberia in an isolation pod on a small jet, according to USA TODAY. Writebol will ride in the same ambulance that brought the first American patient, 33-year-old doctor Kent Brantly, to Emory University Hospital, WXIA-TV reported.

    Both Writebol and Brantly were working with Ebola patients at a clinic operated by American faith-based organizations. USA TODAY reports both have already received an experimental “cocktail” of antibodies used successfully on monkeys.

    More than 1,600 people have become ill and close to 900 have died from the disease in the West Africa nations of Guinea, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

    The NewsHour on Monday spoke with Vanity Fair’s Jeffrey Stern, who is on assignment in Guinea and covering the outbreak.

    “There has never been an outbreak anywhere near this,” Stern said. “And there is just — there is no reason for anyone to have it on their radar that this may have been Ebola from the beginning … And it’s why — it’s one of many reasons why now many people still don’t, still don’t accept that it exists, still don’t accept that it’s worth cooperating with health officials.”

    The post Second American Ebola patient arrives in U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Protective gear including boots, gloves, masks and suits, dry in the sun after being used in a treatment room in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia on July 24. Photo by Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images

    Protective gear including boots, gloves, masks and suits, dry in the sun after being used in a treatment room in the ELWA hospital in the Liberian capital Monrovia on July 24. Photo by Zoom Dosso/AFP/Getty Images

    Containing this year’s Ebola outbreak won’t be easy. Undeveloped governments in the three countries most affected by the current Ebola surge — Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone — are having trouble coordinating a response, and health care workers are overwhelmed, said John Campbell and Laurie Garrett, senior fellows with the Council on Foreign Relations, on a conference call Tuesday.

    As the number of cases of Ebola in West Africa grows, the second of two American missionaries who contracted the disease while helping patients in Liberia, arrived in Atlanta for treatment on Tuesday.

    The virus Ebola, which causes severe bleeding, has killed nearly 900 people in West Africa since the outbreak was detected in Guinea in March.

    Campbell, who specializes in Africa policy studies and was ambassador to Nigeria from 2004-7, said the three main African countries have weak bureaucracies and are emerging from a protracted period of civil war. “There’s great suspicion of them,” which makes it difficult to address the disease, he said.

    The governments have trouble controlling their borders, where people who have contracted the disease might travel. “There can be screening at airports, but movement tends to be on foot outside of any government control,” said Campbell.

    Rapid urbanization also poses a challenge. “You have people of a village culture packing themselves into urban slums,” where the spread of the disease becomes easier than in lower density populations, he said.

    The Ebola virus “is out of control. I don’t think it’s clear that it ever was in control since it first broke out in March,” said Garrett. Health care workers are burned out, she said, and populations are suspicious of their treatments and efforts to prevent the virus from spreading, because they interfere with the communities’ burial rituals.

    The World Health Organization is meeting in Switzerland this week to assess the current situation and determine if it constitutes international mobilization, she said. (Read WHO’s Ebola response plan for the governments of Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone [PDF])

    In addition to engaging the African governments, Garrett added, key leaders in the communities must be enlisted to help, “whether they’re religious, political, gangsters, whatever. … This has just reached levels where all the simple solutions have tried and failed,” so something new must be attempted, she said.

    The post Why it’s hard to keep Ebola from spreading appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A bag of chips sits, apparently silently, on camera. Offscreen, music plays, creating a ripple of nearly undetectable vibrations across the bag’s thin foil layer. In video playback, computer scientists from MIT study the bag’s tiny movements and extract from it the audio that made it sway.

    According to the group of researchers from Adobe, Microsoft and MIT, the experiment — called “The Visual Microphone” — aims to “recover sounds from highspeed footage of a variety of objects with different properties, and use both real and simulated data to examine some of the factors that affect our ability to visually recover sound.”

    The scientists plan to publicly release their code that enables them to record these tiny vibrations.

    The post How tiny ripples can reconstruct sound appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Sallie Krawcheck thinks women have been told to keep their heads down, but she hopes her relaunched women's network and mutual fund will help combat that tendency. Photo by Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women via Flickr user Fortune Live Media.

    Sallie Krawcheck thinks women have been told to keep their heads down, but she hopes her relaunched women’s network and new mutual fund will help combat that tendency. Photo by Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women via Flickr user Fortune Live Media.

    Editor’s Note: The financial institutions on Sallie Krawcheck’s resume read like a who’s who of Wall Street: Citigroup, Bank of America, Smith Barney, Merrill Lynch. She’s been near the top at all of them, climbing the ranks in an industry — that she’d be the first to admit — is full of white, middle-aged men. But three years ago, she left banking — not without taking another step toward diversifying the old boys club. She bought and relaunched a women’s network of Goldman Sachs alumni.

    Listening to women in the group, she realized that they wanted not just to mentor and network with other women, but to invest in them. From there, she started a stock mutual fund that invests only in companies that promote women. That’s the subject of Paul Solman’s Making Sen$e segment on Tuesday’s NewsHour.

    Much has been made of the so-called Queen Bee syndrome — the idea that high-powered women don’t want to mentor the younger women following them up the ladder for fear of competition. Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg, Krawcheck said, have helped to change that mentality, and she hopes her network will do the same. But with women holding less than 15 percent of executive slots at Fortune 500 companies, they remain woefully underrepresented in the upper echelons of American business, especially considering that women earn almost half of all advanced business degrees.

    Returning to her South Carolinian roots, Krawcheck explains how the narratives spun in princess fairy tales sent a message to girls to keep their heads down and tells Paul Solman what kind of hard work — and luck — it took for her to raise a family and herself up the ranks of some of America’s top companies. Krawcheck’s conversation with Paul below has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

    Simone Pathe, Making Sen$e Editor


    Paul Solman: So what’s the network about?

    Sallie Krawcheck: About a year ago, I bought a recently named professional womens’ network. It was the old 85 Broads – cheeky name, great name for many years…

    Paul Solman: But it’s because it was on Broad Street and Goldman Sachs…

    Sallie Krawcheck: It was an informal Goldman Sachs female alumni network that started – you gotta love it, [with] eight women having dinner who had recently left Goldman and [wanted to] get back together again. Today, we’ve renamed it Ellevate — E-L-L-E-V-A-T-E (with a play on the French “she”). It’s 34,000 women strong; it’s across industries and around the world.

    And the reason I became interested in it is the same theme [as the mutual fund]. Which is greater diversity drives better business results. And as I thought about how we could be helpful to the women themselves, networking has been called the number one unwritten rule of success in business. It’s not the schmoozing, go play golf, go drink a beer – though there’s something to be said for that – but instead the network of connections that one has that can drive information back to one that can enable one to be successful in business. So, as a result of that, as a means to try to have an impact on the women themselves, I bought the network and we’ve been investing quite a bit back into it to help women be more successful.

    And after buying the network and engaging with the women, the majority of them told us that not only did they like the idea of investing in themselves and getting education for themselves and networking for themselves, but they actually want to invest in other women. That they want to put their dollars to work to help other women to succeed. And that was the genesis of the fund, or really the idea of the fund from my perspective.

    “What you’re hearing from women is the pie can grow; this can be good for the economy; it can be good for individual companies; it can be good for ourselves.”

    Paul Solman: They want to do it because of solidarity, or they want to do it because they think women will be better managers?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Yes, yes, yes, everything. Emerging investors want to invest differently. They want to have their dollars — their investment dollars — do double duty. So this is a topic that these women say is important to them personally. Probably not surprisingly, they’re women in business. But it’s good for the economy overall. So we listened to these women, and we’re investing a portion of the Ellevate network revenues into the fund, thereby enabling the women to — in an indirect way — also invest in women. But they’re also putting their time into mentoring other women, to sharing their expertise.

    The Queen Bee Syndrome

    Sallie Krawcheck I was thinking the other day about the old Queen Bee syndrome — the idea, for so many years, that if a woman was successful, she wasn’t helping other women. And I think one of the sea changes here that we’re seeing driven by the attention Hillary Clinton has brought to the issue, driven by the attention Sheryl Sandberg has brought to the issue, driven by the attention Anne-Marie Slaughter has given to the issue, is there’s a national — if not global — conversation about this. And what you’re hearing from women is the pie can grow; this can be good for the economy; it can be good for individual companies; it can be good for ourselves. It’s not the choice of this one gets to make it, this one gets to be successful, and others don’t. But in fact, as we work together and pool our resources, there’s room for everyone to be successful.

    What About the Men?

    Paul Solman: Aren’t you at all concerned that since there are more women than men now in America’s colleges and universities that the last thing we’ve got to worry about looking ahead is the empowerment of women; It’s men who are in trouble?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Woo, wow, are we really having this conversation?! First of all, I’d say, I prefer the word “engagement.” Instead of empowerment, it’s enabling women to engage in business. You know, what you’re making is implicitly the pipeline argument: if you have enough women at the beginning of the pipeline, you’ll have enough women at the end of the pipeline.

    “When I started on Wall Street, there was pretty good diversity in those junior ranks. And you know what? It hasn’t made it to the top.”

    I remember that argument in 1987 when I graduated from college. When I started on Wall Street, there was pretty good diversity in those junior ranks. And you know what? It hasn’t made it to the top.

    Something happens in the middle when women are in their 30s, and we can start with an array of things that happen, whether it is — you hope this doesn’t exist any longer — but overt discrimination; whether it’s subtle gender discrimination, which absolutely does exist among men and women; whether it’s the fact that it gets hard to juggle at that point children, housework, etc. But people still have to go home and cook the dinner and clean the dishes and get the beds made and so on. And so, for a whole bunch of reasons, women tend to fall out in their 30s still today.

    And somehow, in our corporate culture, because someone may have to take some flexibility because of family issues, somehow we continue to believe they aren’t fully dedicated. Instead of embracing the fact, “Geez, look at what this person is accomplishing in the course of a day!”; This is someone who, male or female, after they get through some of these very intense home years, is going to be an outstanding executive. Somehow, today, many of the cultures still sort of give a negative for that. If this were easy, this would be easy. If it were just about intelligence or effort, you know, we would have much more diverse teams. But globally, we’re still at 11 percent gender diversity [of corporate boards and senior management] despite the fact that the pipeline has been robust for as long as I’ve been in business.

    How Did Krawcheck Strike the Balance?

    Paul Solman: Well, you made it into an extremely high level of corporate America. So what was different about you?

    Sallie Krawcheck: You know, there was a lot of hard work, and I don’t want to take anything away from that, because I worked my tail off…

    Paul Solman:How long of days did you work?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Well, who knows, because there was this constant juggling. I can tell you that I sat in that kitchen on more Saturday nights after my children were asleep than I can count getting work done so that I could switch and have time with them at “Mommy and Me Singalong” on Friday afternoons. So there was an enormous amount of hard work.

    What’s Luck Got To Do With It?

    Sallie Krawcheck: But there was also a ton of luck as well. I had great bosses. I got my first big promotion when I was eight months pregnant. I looked 17 months pregnant, but I was eight months pregnant. So I had very good bosses, very good companies for which I worked. I worked in industries where the results really mattered; it wasn’t the perception of results, it was just the facts.

    Paul Solman: This was financial services?

    Sallie Krawcheck: This was financial services as a research analyst where the clients would vote for your research or not, and there wasn’t one of them who cared whether it was done on a Saturday night at the kitchen table as opposed to a Thursday afternoon.

    Paul Solman: Or whether you were pregnant.

    Sallie Krawcheck: Or whether I was pregnant. But I will tell you what came to me loud and clear: I was lucky. My children didn’t have health issues, didn’t have big school problems, etc. And as I watched some of my peers go through this, you can see how quickly a family can get derailed when they are not lucky.

    Women and Results

    Paul Solman: But if results drive promotion in financial services, then how come there aren’t more women?

    Sallie Krawcheck: No, no, no, no. I’ve seen the opposite occur. I remember in one job when I had a super intelligent, super nice, super wonderful gentlemen come to me and say that we had to winnow down the number of senior managers. And he came to me and he went through each of them. We started with a group this big, with X percent of females, and we went to a group that big, that had less than X percent females. And I remember sitting there, and he went through all the reasons. This guy really turned this business around; this guy had a really tough area; this guy walked on water. And at the end of it, by the way, he said, “I know there’s not as many women as we’d like, but the results are the results.”

    And I said, “Super. Do me a favor: let’s go back — we have weekly performance sheets with the numbers on them.” I said, “I want you to bring those to me, and I want to sit down and go through them together. And how all these all fall out with their rankings on the statistics, versus your view of their ranking.” He came back a few days later, unbelievably sheepish. He said, “I can’t believe it, but my perception did not match up with the numbers. And in fact, I’m now changing my recommendation so that we’ve got a more balanced mix, based on the results and numbers.”

    So what I would say, while businesses can think they’re being driven by the best decision, it can often be that we have these subtle views — who bragged the most eloquently, who presented themselves the best, who made the best case? And sometimes, those are people who have the best results, and sometimes they’re not.

    The Power of Fairy Tales

    Paul Solman: More often than not compared to women, it’s men who do that.

    Sallie Krawcheck: Well, I would say my experience is the gentlemen tend to ask for more…

    Paul Solman: More aggressive and more self-assertive…

    Sallie Krawcheck: And the women, and I think because they gave us those fairy tale books when we were children – the Cinderellas and the Sleeping Beauties and the Snow Whites — you know, “Do your work, keep your head down, good things will come.”

    Paul Solman: Do you really think that’s the reason?

    Sallie Krawcheck: I don’t know what the reason is. It’s a hypothesis.

    Paul Solman: It could be something innate, right?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Well, look, I think it could be innate or socialization as well…

    Paul Solman: Or presumably some of both, right?

    “I do remember ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ I got the message loud and clear.”

    Sallie Krawcheck: That’s the hypothesis. I can tell you that my experience has been that the gentlemen are more likely to come and ask for the order, ask for the raise, ask for the promotion, and that the women are less likely to do so.

    Paul Solman: And you think that’s because they’re more likely to read the fairy tales and say, oh, Prince Charming took a lot of initiative…

    Sallie Krawcheck: I know that happened to me. I do remember “Sleeping Beauty”; I got the message loud and clear.

    Paul Solman: Really?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Absolutely. Well, I grew up in Charleston, South Carolina some years ago. And there was definitely the [idea that] what is right for a young man may not be ladylike for a young lady. And I don’t think we can put that aside. And in fact, Sheryl Sandberg lays out in her book “Lean In” that women, if they ask too aggressively, can be viewed as unattractive and not get what they’re asking for. So there remains a fine line. Which again gets back to the research, or what I call the recovering research analyst in me – what are the numbers, what’s the performance, what does it say — to really shine a little bit of sunlight on the issue.

    Do Women Favor Women?

    Paul Solman: But if men subconsciously favor men because we have the same style, we have gender solidarity, isn’t there a danger that women would be doing the same?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Oh totally! I totally favor women! Absolutely, I tell people all the time: when I have a tough job to do, I intuitively think to myself, who can do this job? Probably a southern, middle aged, financial services blonde woman! I do it all the time! I can’t help it! She is going to get this done, I’m telling you! Because I can picture in my mind exactly what she’s going to do. I have confidence in her. We all do it.

    Paul Solman: You’re being lighthearted about it, but …

    Sallie Krawcheck: But that’s why, if we’re looking for good performance, what we need as managers — what I used to say to myself was: be very aware not to put what I thought was the best person in the job. I think those can be dangerous words in business. And hard to argue with. “I just want to put the best person in the job, right.” Oh, oh – I’m not going to argue against that (laughter), because then I’d be hurting his mom, and apple pie, and the American flag. I mean, the best person in the job, that’s capitalism! What I used to say to myself is, I want to put the best team in place.

    Are Women Better Team Players?

    Paul Solman: But are women more effective in teams than men?

    Sallie Krawcheck: Women tend to collaborate, in my experience, more easily than gentlemen do. And again, I know you’re trying to push me, and I don’t want to lose the point – it’s the mixture of things, again, whether it’s gender, or whether it’s that you’re the skeptic and I’m the optimist. And you’re the one with the marketing experience, and I’m the one with the science background. And you’re the guy that’s been at the company for 20 years, and I’m the gal who came in from the outside.

    So for me, when I put together teams, it was all that kind of diversity. You have six math Ph.D. Caucasian gentlemen from the Northeast of the country, great. You put one more in the mix, you haven’t added much. It’s only when you add something different that you really are able to accomplish more.

    The post Why there aren’t enough businesswomen at the top, and what Sallie Krawcheck’s doing about it appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    File photo of the Rikers Island jail complex in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    File photo of the Rikers Island jail complex in New York. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    A U.S. government report released Monday describes a “deep-seated culture of violence” against teenage inmates held at Rikers Island in New York.

    The two-year investigation found that the constitutional rights of male teenage inmates were routinely violated by guards who were unafraid of punishment. The report, released by the office of the U.S. attorney in Manhattan, Preet Bharara, found that guards routinely injured and abused inmates with “rampant use of unnecessary and excessive force.”

    The report said teen inmates suffered 22 jaw fractures during the first six months of 2012, and sustained 239 head injuries between June 2012 and July 2013. Poor training, understaffing and inefficient management contributed toward the abuses, according to the report. It also cited a “code of silence” among the workers at the jail complex, and an ineffective system for investigating attacks by guards.

    This is the latest in a series of critical revelations about the Rikers facility, which has come under scrutiny for excessive use of solitary confinement. Watch a PBS NewsHour report on that below:

    Monday’s report focused primarily on the Rikers facilities that hold males aged 16-18, but it noted that problems likely exist in the seven other jails for adult men and women on Rikers Island.

    Mayor Bill de Blasio promised to make necessary reforms to the New York City prison system, which holds an average 11,500 prisoners at a time, when he came into office. He has appointed reform-minded corrections official Joseph Ponte to head the system.

    We’ll have more on the Rikers Island report on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour.

    —–
    Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story mistakenly referred to Rikers Island as a prison; it is a jail.

    The post Report reveals ‘culture of violence’ against teens at Rikers Island appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Senatorial candidate Milton Wolf speaks during a stop of the Tea Party Express in Olathe, Kan., on April 28. Photo by Fred Blocher/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images

    Senatorial candidate Milton Wolf speaks during a stop of the Tea Party Express in Olathe, Kan., on April 28. Photo by Fred Blocher/Kansas City Star/MCT via Getty Images

    Establishment conservatives look to beat down the latest tea party upstart as three-term Republican Sen. Pat Roberts faces a challenge from Milton Wolf in Tuesday’s primary in Kansas, one of four states kicking off a busy month of contests to settle the ballots for November’s midterm elections.

    The GOP establishment blames the tea party for costing it Senate control in 2010 and 2012 as outside candidates stumbled in the general election. Republicans need to gain six seats to regain the Senate, and the party has taken no chances this election cycle, putting its full force behind incumbents and mainstream candidates.

    Tuesday offers competitive primaries in Michigan, Missouri and Washington state. In a reversal of the recent political order, two businessmen in Michigan are trying to unseat tea party-backed incumbents — first-term Rep. Kerry Bentivolio and two-term Rep. Justin Amash.

    The four-state primary day launches a crowded stretch with Tennessee on Thursday, Hawaii on Saturday and Connecticut, Minnesota and Wisconsin next week. By month’s end, voters will decide the Republican Senate nominee in a competitive race against Sen. Mark Begich in Alaska and the Democratic primary between Hawaii Sen. Brian Schatz and Rep. Colleen Hanabusa.

    So far this year, the Senate’s establishment is on a roll, with incumbents already prevailing in Texas, Kentucky, South Carolina and Mississippi, though it took six-term Sen. Thad Cochran two tries before defeating Chris McDaniel, who is challenging the outcome.

    Kansas, famous for sending moderate Republicans to Congress, holds Tuesday’s marquee contest.

    The 78-year-old Roberts, a conservative, has moved even farther right as he’s faced a tough re-election. The senator, who backed the nomination of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to be secretary of Health and Human Services, was one of the first to call for her resignation after the disastrous launch of the health care website last October. Roberts also voted against a U.N. treaty on the rights of the disabled in December 2012 despite the appeals of former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, who sat in a wheelchair in the well of the Senate.

    Wolf argues that Roberts has spent too much time in Washington, owning a home in the nation’s capital while merely renting in Kansas. Roberts didn’t help his cause when he told a radio interviewer last month: “Every time I get an opponent — uh, I mean, every time I get a chance — I’m home.”

    In an interview on Topeka radio’s WIBW NewsNow at Noon on Monday, Roberts said it was the “the height of absurdity” for people who want to replace him in Washington to criticize him for spending too much time there.

    “You’ve got to go where the fight is,” he said. “I have to work in Washington.”

    Wolf, a radiologist and second cousin of President Barack Obama, has eagerly disavowed the policies of the Democratic president, especially on health care, and cast himself as a pure conservative. He has the backing of the Senate Conservatives Fund and several tea party groups.

    But Wolf has been dogged by X-rays of gunshot victims that he posted on a Facebook page with humorous comments. Wolf acknowledged the mistake and has apologized, but Roberts has made an issue in campaign ads.

    “Character counts, and in my primary race, we have tried to emphasize that in terms of facts about my opponent,” Roberts said this week.

    In one of the fiercest House GOP primaries, Todd Tiahrt, who served eight terms in the House, is trying to return to Washington, challenging Kansas Rep. Mike Pompeo, who was elected in 2010 and has the backing of the anti-tax group Club for Growth and the aviation industry in the state.

    Two primaries in Michigan mark a turnabout from several years of widely heralded contests in which right-flank candidates have tried — sometimes successfully — to unseat Republican incumbents they perceive as not being conservative enough.

    In the state’s 11th Congressional District, just northwest of Detroit, David Trott, a businessman involved in real estate finance and a member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees, is challenging Bentivolio. The incumbent is often described as the “accidental” congressman, as he was elected in 2012 when former Rep. Thaddeus McCotter turned in fraudulent voter signatures for a ballot spot.

    In the 3rd Congressional District in the southwest part of the state, Brian Ellis is a 53-year-old Grand Rapids businessman who owns an investment advisory firm and serves on the school board. Amash has the support of many in the establishment and is popular among libertarians for his challenges to the National Security Agency’s surveillance of Americans.

    Five of Missouri’s eight House members were expected to easily dispatch their underfunded challengers.

    In Washington state, voters considered 12 candidates vying to replace 10-term Rep. Doc Hastings, a Republican who is retiring. The two candidates who collect the most mail-in ballots advance to the general election, setting up what could be a Republican-versus-Republican contest in the heavily GOP district in central Washington.

    The post Kansas GOP Sen. Roberts faces tea party challenge appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    President Obama speaking in the Brady Briefing room of the White House in June. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

    President Obama speaking in the Brady Briefing room of the White House in June. Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — Seeking to strengthen America’s financial foothold in Africa, President Barack Obama announced $33 billion in commitments Tuesday aimed at shifting U.S. ties with Africa beyond humanitarian aid and toward more equal economic partnerships.

    The bulk of the commitments came from private-sector companies, including Coca-Cola and General Electric, underscoring Africa’s growing appeal to businesses. The continent is home to six of the world’s fastest-growing economies and a rapidly expanding middle class with increased spending power.

    Yet Obama noted that U.S. trade with the entire African continent is about the same as its trade ties with Brazil and that just about one percent of U.S. exports go to sub-Saharan Africa.

    “We’ve got to do better, much better,” he said during closing remarks at a daylong session that brought together U.S. and African politicians and business leaders. “I want Africans buying more American products and I want Americans buying more African products.”

    The U.S. is hardly alone in seeing economic potential in Africa, with China, Europe and India moving aggressively to tap into Africa’s growing markets. China in particular is hungry for oil, coal and other resources and is eager to develop the roads, bridges and ports needed to pull them out of Africa.

    “We also realize we have some catching up to do,” said Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor and billionaire businessman who opened the summit Tuesday. “We are letting Europe and China go faster than the U.S.”

    Obama has sought to cast the U.S. as a better partner for African nations than China, arguing that his administration has a long-term interest in the continent’s success and is not simply seeking to extract resources for its own purposes.

    “The United States is determined to be a partner in Africa’s success,” he said. “We don’t look to Africa simply for its natural resources. We recognize Africa for its greatest resource, which is its people, their talents and their potential.”

    The business forum is part of an unprecedented three-day summit underway in Washington, with nearly 50 African heads of state in attendance. Obama was hosting the leaders at a White House dinner Tuesday night.

    About 100 U.S. companies were represented at Tuesday’s conference. Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry also addressed the attendees, as did former President Bill Clinton, who declared that the U.S. has “only barely scratched the surface” of Africa’s economic potential.

    In conjunction with the meeting, U.S. companies announced $14 billion in investments for Africa. Among them: a $5 billion investment from Coca-Cola to fund manufacturing lines and production equipment; $2 billion investment from GE by 2018; $200 million in investments across Africa by Marriott, and a $66 million commitment by IBM to provide technology services to Ghana’s Fidelity Bank.

    The White House also touted another $12 billion in new commitments for Obama’s Power Africa initiative from the private sector, World Bank and the government of Sweden. Obama announced the Power Africa initiative last summer, setting a goal of expanding electricity access to at least 20 million new households and commercial entities.

    The president said that with the new financial commitments, he was boosting that goal to 60 million homes and businesses.

    Obama also announced $7 billion in new government financing to promote U.S. exports to and investments in Africa. That includes $3 billion in financing from the U.S. Export-Import Bank aimed at supporting American exports to Africa over the next two years.

    The Ex-Im Bank is at the center of a political controversy in Washington, with some Republicans seeking to shutter the bank and threatening to block its reauthorization when Congress returns from recess this fall. The GOP lawmakers seeking to shut down the bank argue that its spending is politically motivated and unnecessary.

    GE CEO Jeff Immelt, who was among the business leaders participating in Tuesday’s summit, appealed to Congress to renew the bank’s charter, saying its existence signals to other countries that the U.S. government believes in investing overseas.

    “The fact that we have to sit here and argue for it is just wrong,” Immelt said.

    Obama also signed an executive order Tuesday creating an advisory committee comprised of private sector representatives who will advise the White House on ways to boost economies ties with Africa.


    AP Economics Writer Paul Wiseman and Associated Press writer Stacy A. Anderson contributed to this report.

    The post Obama pledges $33 billion to Africa commitments appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    WASHINGTON — A U.S. government database of known or suspected terrorists doubled in size in recent years, according to newly released government figures. The growth is the result of intelligence agencies submitting names more often after a near-miss attack in 2009.

    There were 1.1 million people in the database at the end of 2013, according to the National Counterterrorism Center, which maintains the information. About 550,000 people were listed in the database in March 2010.

    The Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment, or TIDE, is a huge, classified database of people who are known terrorists, are suspected of having ties to terrorism or in some cases are related to or are associates of known or suspected terrorists. It feeds to smaller lists that restrict people’s abilities to travel on commercial airliners to or within the U.S.

    The government does not need evidence linking someone to terrorism in order for the person to be included in the database. This is among the reasons the database and subsequent terror watch lists have been criticized by privacy advocates.

    An online publication, The Intercept, on Tuesday reported that 40 percent of people on the terrorism watch list — which is a subset of names in the TIDE database — were not affiliated with any recognized terrorist organization. The publication cited documents from one year ago.

    The growth of the Terrorist Identities Datamart Environment is a result of the government’s response to a failed attempt to blow up a commercial airliner over Detroit on Christmas Day in 2009. The terror operative’s name was included in the database before the attack but not on a list that would have prevented him from boarding a U.S.-bound flight. Since then, the government lowered the standards for placing someone on the no-fly list, and intelligence agencies have become more diligent about submitting names to the TIDE database.

    Of the 1.1 million people in the TIDE database, 25,000 are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, the National Counterterrorism Center said.

    The database was created after the September 2001 terror attacks after it became clear that the government’s terror watch list was ineffective. The watch list was once maintained in a Rolodex and in paper notebooks, according to edited photographs provided by the National Counterterrorism Center.

    Other terror watch lists derived from the TIDE database have also grown. As of November 2013, the Terrorist Screening Database consisted of 700,000 people, according to a government official. The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive numbers.

    Questions about the watch list surfaced in a recent civil lawsuit out of Virginia challenging the constitutionality of the no-fly list. The government disclosed that there were 1.5 million nominations to the watch list over the last five years. Weeks later, a government official explained that a “nomination” meant new names as well as changes or updates to existing names on the list, and the figure in the court document should not have been interpreted to mean that 1.5 million people had been added to the watch list in the last five years, as The Associated Press reported July 18.

    In August 2013, there were more than 73,000 people affiliated with al-Qaida in Iraq on the terror watch list, according to a document marked “secret,” obtained by The Intercept. That al-Qaida affiliate represented the largest group of people associated with a known terrorist group on the watch list at the time.

    The post U.S. database of suspected terrorists doubled in recent years appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Six-time WNBA all-star Becky Hammon will become the first full-time, paid assistant coach in the NBA starting next season. Photo by Becky Hammon

    Six-time WNBA all-star Becky Hammon will become the first full-time, paid assistant coach in the NBA starting next season. Photo by Becky Hammon

    Becky Hammon is hanging up her playing shoes and lacing up her coaching ones, all while making history in the process.

    The San Antonio Spurs announced Tuesday that they have hired Hammon, a 16-season veteran and six-time all-star with the WNBA, as an assistant coach — marking the first time a woman has ever been hired for the position in the NBA.

    Hammon, who is playing in her final season for the WNBA’s San Antonio Stars, is no stranger to her team’s NBA counterpart. The athlete worked with the Spurs and their head coach, Gregg Popovich, while rehabbing a knee injury in 2013.

    “I very much look forward to the addition of Becky Hammon to our staff,” said Popovich. “Having observed her working with our team this past season, I’m confident her basketball IQ, work ethic and interpersonal skills will be a great benefit to the Spurs.”

    The post San Antonio Spurs hire first female assistant coach in NBA history appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    newswrap

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: A two-star American general was shot and killed in Afghanistan today by a man in an Afghan army uniform. The Pentagon has not identified the officer, but the Associated Press said he is Major General  Harold Greene.  The attacker machine-gunned NATO troops at a base west of Kabul. He wounded 15, including a German general and half-a-dozen Americans, before being killed himself.

    A Pentagon spokesman confirmed the incident, but had few details.

    REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, Pentagon Press Secretary: The incident will be jointly investigated by Afghan and ISAF authorities. That investigation is just now getting under way. We need to let it proceed before speculating about any specific circumstances.

    GWEN IFILL: NPR correspondent Sean Carberry has been reporting on the shooting from Kabul. He spoke with us a short while ago, before the general was identified.

    Sean Carberry, to the best of your knowledge, how could this have happened?

    SEAN CARBERRY, NPR: Well, at this point, it’s unclear whether or not this was an infiltration by the Taliban or simply an officer who was angered by a dispute at the time.

    A lot of security measures have been put in place over the last couple of years to guard against insider attacks. There are so-called guardian angels who are forces who hover around U.S. and NATO officials when they’re meeting with Afghans, and additional measures such as carrying loaded magazines in their weapons.

    So, over the years, there have been measures to prevent this kind of incident, but at this point it’s unclear whether or not this was a Taliban infiltration, whether it was, again, a matter of a dispute and something that escalated too quickly to do anything about.

    GWEN IFILL: But it is confirmed at this point that this was someone in an Afghan soldier’s uniform who attacked the officer?

    SEAN CARBERRY: Yes, the gunman was wearing an Afghan army uniform. They have not yet confirmed whether or not he was an active army officer.

    The Afghan military have not confirmed one way or another. They simply referred to him as a terrorist in an Afghan uniform. But the Pentagon has said there’s no reason to suspect that the man wasn’t a member of Afghan forces.

    GWEN IFILL: They call this kind of internal attack green on blue, green on blue crime. Describe what that means and how rare it is.

    SEAN CARBERRY: Well, this year, it’s been increasingly rare. The last fatal green on blue attack was in February.

    And green refers to Afghan forces. Blue refers to NATO or U.S. forces, so these are cases where an Afghan security force, whether it’s army or police, shoots at NATO or U.S. forces. Again, in 2012, there were a rash of these attacks. There were more than 60 NATO forces killed in more than 40 of these attacks in 2012. They have steadily declined with increasing security measures and the decreasing presence of foreign troops here.

    GWEN IFILL: And, of course, what’s caught our attention is that someone so high ranking was a victim this time. Has that happened in recent memory?

    SEAN CARBERRY: Certainly not.

    This is the highest ranking U.S. military official killed in Afghanistan and, according to sources, the highest ranking U.S. military official killed in an active combat zone since the Vietnam War. So this is very unusual and the function of a meeting today that was between some high-level NATO officials and high-level Afghan officials.

    In fact, the Afghan general in charge of the base where this took place was also shot and seriously wounded.

    GWEN IFILL: Sean Carberry of NPR, thanks so much.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The second of two Americans infected with the deadly Ebola virus arrived back in the United States today. Missionary Nancy Writebol had been working in Liberia. She was flown to Atlanta this morning and taken to Emory University hospital for treatment. Dr. Kent Brantly is already being treated there. Both are receiving an experimental drug.

    GWEN IFILL: There’s word today that 730,000 Ukrainians have fled into Russia this year to escape the fighting in their country. The U.N. Agency for Refugees reported that figure today, based on Russian data. Within Ukraine, another 117,000 people have been displaced, and U.N. officials say that number is growing by about 1,200 each day.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In southwestern China, the earthquake death toll rose to at least 410, as search-and-rescue efforts were hampered by heavy rain. The hardest-hit area is a mountainous region 230 miles northeast of the city of Kunming. Some 10,000 Chinese soldiers, as well as hundreds of volunteers, are involved there. They’re using sniffer dogs to search for those still buried in the rubble.

    LT. COL. YANG TIANJUN, Site Commander for Rescue Operations (through interpreter): The priority for us now is search-and-rescue. And we hope to find some survivors. This is the most devastated place in town and many victims are buried in the debris, so this is the main area for us to search-and-rescue.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Chinese officials say thousands of mudbrick homes were destroyed in Sunday’s quake.

    GWEN IFILL: And, in Beijing, officials announced plans to ban the use of coal by the end of the decade. The Chinese capital is plagued by deadly levels of air pollution. Much of the dust that contributes to the smog comes from coal. The plan is to transition to electricity and natural gas for heating.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A Japanese scientist embroiled in a scandal over stem cell research committed suicide today. Police said Yoshiki Sasai hanged himself. He had co-authored papers in the journal “Nature” that claimed to show how to reprogram mature cells into embryonic stem cells. Within months, the papers had to be retracted for containing falsified data. The incident became a major embarrassment for Japan’s scientific community.

    GWEN IFILL: A criminal gang in Russia has pulled off the biggest Internet data theft yet. The New York Times reports the ring has stolen 1.2 billion username and password combinations, plus 500 million e-mail addresses. The report cites information from Hold Security, a Milwaukee firm that’s uncovered several other major hacking incidents.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street had a down day, partly on worries that Russia might intervene militarily in Ukraine. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 140 points to close at 16,429. The Nasdaq fell 31 points to close below 4,353. And the S&P 500 slipped more than 18 to finish at 1,920.

    The post News Wrap: Two-star U.S. general shot dead in Afghan attack at military base appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    gaza1_troops

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And to the Middle East, where a 72-hour cease-fire between Israel and Hamas is holding so far, after a month of fighting that killed hundreds of Palestinians and 67 Israelis.

    And despite major differences, efforts to reach a longer-lasting deal have resumed. The latest try at stopping the shooting began at 8:00 a.m. local time. And, quickly, Palestinians in Gaza ventured out for food, water and supplies. They also began to survey the toll of a month of Israeli aerial bombardment and heavy ground fighting.

    For many returning to Beit Hanoun in Northern Gaza, there was little left to see.

    INSHIAH MASEER, Beit Hanoun Resident (through interpreter): I am destroyed. I have heart problems. And then I saw our house. We are all shocked. We don’t know what to do.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Just to the south, the Shaja’ia area of Gaza City was largely destroyed two weeks ago. Israel contended it was a Hamas base of operations in a civilian neighborhood, much of which is now gone.

    MUNIR AL-ZEK, Gaza City Resident (through interpreter): What are we going to do? Should we sit in the streets? We don’t have homes to sit in anymore or anything.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Gazan officials say nearly 1,900 Palestinians died during the fighting. The Palestinian foreign minister pointed to the death and devastation today as he visited the International Criminal Court at The Hague. He said there is clear evidence of Israeli war crimes.

    RIYAD AL-MALIKI, Foreign Minister, Palestinian National Authority: Nothing is compared to the atrocities, the carnage committed by the Israel against the innocent Palestinians in Gaza.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Palestinians would first have to be admitted as a member state before the court, a step that Israel has strongly opposed.

    Back in Gaza, the last Israeli ground troops finished withdrawing today. They said the mission to destroy Hamas-built tunnels is largely completed, but they’re staying close to the border.

    LT. COL. PETER LERNER, Spokesman, Israel Defense Forces: We are safeguarding the communities from potential more threats, potential tunnels that maybe we didn’t get. We are happy to report that over 31 or 32 tunnels have been destroyed, taking this threat off of the table.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In Jerusalem, meanwhile, the headlines were of the cease-fire, but some Israelis said it was just a Palestinian ploy.

    NURIT TSARFATI, Jerusalem Resident (through interpreter): We should have hit them hard until we finished them. The cease-fire now is only in their interest.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Others took a softer line, but remained wary just the same.

    ITZIK COHEN, Jerusalem Resident (through interpreter): The cease- fire is good for everyone. I prefer that we leave as long as Hamas doesn’t pull a trick on us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Just outside Jerusalem, at an Israeli settlement on the West Bank, a guard was stabbed repeatedly by a Palestinian man. It was the third such isolated attack over the last two days in the area.

    MAYOR BENNY KASRIEL, Maale Adumim Settlement (through interpreter): What we see here is an escalation all over Jerusalem and the West Bank. The army must realize that it must send its soldiers to guard the communities until it is calm.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And on the diplomatic front, a Palestinian delegation arrived in Cairo as regional powers gathered to try to hammer out a lasting cease-fire. The Palestinian group included Hamas, which controls Gaza, and Fatah, the party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, which controls the West Bank.

    AZZAM AL-AHMAD, Fatah Representative (through interpreter): We want serious and real negotiations that would lead to meeting the demands of the current phase and would then help bring about the end of the occupation.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: There was late word that an Israeli delegation arrived in Cairo, too. Egyptian mediators expect to shuttle between the sides in the coming days.

    The post Israel pulls troops out of Gaza as efforts resume for long-term truce appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Palestinians relieving war wounds during 72-hour ceasefire

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Joining me now to discuss the prospects for the Cairo negotiations are Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East negotiator for the State Department. He’s now a vice president and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center. And Hussein Ibish, a senior fellow at the American Task Force on Palestine and a contributing writer for American and Middle Eastern publications.

    And we welcome you both back to the NewsHour.

    AARON DAVID MILLER, Woodrow Wilson International Center For Scholars: It’s a pleasure.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hussein Ibish, what are the prospects that they can pull something off in Cairo, if not just to extend the cease-fire, do something longer-lasting?

    HUSSEIN IBISH, The American Task Force on Palestine: I think it depends a lot.

    First of all, I do think that the cease-fire is likely to hold because I think both parties reached the point of diminishing returns. And I think for Israel, there’s no reason to restart hostilities and I don’t think Hamas can politically sustain the pushback that would come if they did. I think this is likely to go on.

    I think it’s going to be difficult to find a formula that will satisfy Hamas and that the Israelis and the Egyptians can live with, but certainly if the Palestinian Authority can become a fulcrum, for example, being on the other side of the Rafah crossing, if the Egyptians can live with that, the Israelis can probably live with that, that’s certainly one way forward.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It sounds as if he’s saying, Aaron David Miller, that, yes, the formula may be there for something in the short-term. Longer-term, it’s more complex.

    AARON DAVID MILLER: I think it really is because expectations this time around are much higher.

    In ’08 and ’09, there were no expectations. The Israelis declared a unilateral cease-fire and withdrew. In 2012, the Egyptians, former President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, now in prison, brokered a cease-fire.

    Now you have the Israelis determined to avoid an inconclusive ending, demilitarization. Hamas has staked its credibility, its legitimacy on literally freeing Gaza economically. So the tradeoff, demilitarization for the economic reconstruction of Gaza, is going to be a very tough one to make, let alone to sustain.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hussein Ibish, how do you see — what’s the minimum that you see both sides need to create something that lasts?

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Well, I think the Israelis pretty much want to — I think they want to deny Hamas as much as possible a victory, but I think they are probably willing to go along with a program to help Gaza, as long as it’s under Egyptian auspices and possibly the P.A. as well. Probably, the Egyptians would insist on that.

    So that’s something I think the Israelis might be able to live with, particularly when it comes to reconstruction, economic improvement, humanitarian aid. Hamas I think needs something — almost anything that is deliverable to the people or that constitutes a political or diplomatic breakthrough for them, because they really have been through this almost one month of fighting and come up with absolutely nothing.

    I mean, really, the way they have lost politically as well as militarily and in every possible sense is absolutely pretty spectacular.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So are you saying they — there’s more of a reason then for them to go along with something like what you just described?

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Yes, I think there is. And it dovetails back with the strategy that preceded these hostilities.

    Hamas — you have to understand the context of Hamas. Hamas really was desperate over the past year. They had lost their headquarters in Damascus and their sponsors in Tehran. Then they lost their friend President Morsi in Egypt, and they were facing this huge crackdown from the Egyptians, who shut down their smuggling tunnels and basically treated them as an hostile entity.

    And they were isolated, they were broke, and the economy in Gaza was tanking, and their popularity was tanking. So, their gambit initially was to form a unity government with Fatah and essentially try to bring the P.A. into Gaza and…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Palestinian Authority.

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Right, and then have — themselves have a bigger presence in the West Bank.

    So I actually think they are trying to parlay a lesser role in Gaza over the long run for a bigger role in the West Bank. That’s my view of their long-term goals.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see that, Aaron David?

    AARON DAVID MILLER: You know, Hussein makes a fascinating point, that, in essence, the unity agreement, which was arrived at by desperation on their part, was an effect to reach financial — economic gains and use the backdoor into the West Bank, where, in essence, the Palestinian struggle — even though the first intifada took place in Gaza and they were born, Hamas, was born six days after it broke out, and they are a resistance organization, I think even they understand the importance of changing the political center of gravity to the West Bank.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But are they operating from such a point of weakness, as Hussein just described?

    AARON DAVID MILLER: Well, Hussein and I may have a slight difference of opinion here.

    They can win, even though they have lost. The reality is, in four weeks, they killed more Israelis, six times the number of Israelis, they shut down Ben Gurion Airport for — at least forced the FAA to suspend it. They essentially fired a significant number of rockets on the last day of the cease-fire.

    They retain a fairly large arsenal of high-trajectory weapons. And the tunnel infrastructure has psychologically and even practically — they have launched several operations, some of which succeeded, during the recent confrontation.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Even as Israel was destroying…

    AARON DAVID MILLER: Exactly.

    So, I think that there’s a problem here, because the military wing, which drove the train here, needs to rationalize and justify not only maintaining control of Gaza, but delivering something to the public.

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Well, that’s the problem, which is all of those things that Aaron just talked about don’t actually accrue to the benefit of the Palestinian people of Gaza or the West Bank or anybody. And they don’t bring the Palestinians any closer to national liberation.

    Hamas can’t point to a single gain out of this. They didn’t even get an Israeli soldier to exchange for prisoners. They have gotten absolutely nothing.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But they’re — it sounds lying you’re making a distinction between what Hamas can claim and what the Palestinian people…

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Well, certainly, internally, Hamas can say, look, we’re a resistance organization. Last time around, there was a major ground incursion in 2008-2009. Seven Israelis died, four of them from so-called friendly-fire. That means three. And this time, it’s 63, so we did better and all these other things that Aaron was saying.

    But I don’t think that explains to the people of Gaza why it was worthwhile to reject a cease-fire that was calm for calm a month ago, 2,000 dead ago, and accept it today.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you — how do you — talk about the role of the U.S. We have seen some tension.

    AARON DAVID MILLER: Right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Or what appeared to be real tension, Aaron David Miller, between the U.S. and Israel over the last few weeks.

    AARON DAVID MILLER: Yes. The president…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How real is that, and does that affect what happens?

    AARON DAVID MILLER: It’s real.

    I mean, unlike Lehman Brothers, I think the U.S.-Israeli relationship is probably too big to fail. But there is dysfunction at the top, there’s no question. You have Benjamin Netanyahu and Barack Obama. They do not trust one another, they don’t like one another.

    Their views on any number of issues, tactically on Iran, or even strategically on the Arab-Israeli peace process, fundamentally divided. So that’s going to be a problem. I think they have no choice but to accommodate and find a way to work together.

    We have seen worse periods, Bush-Baker and Shamir was a very tough — you remember that period. It was a very tough one. But here they can’t find a single project on which to cooperate that is meaningful to both of them, and that’s a significant problem.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, just very quickly, Hussein Ibish, how does that bode for finding a solution?

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Yes.

    Well, I don’t think it’s going to make it any easier or any harder, frankly. The U.S. role is important, as a — but it’s secondary. The Egyptian role is crucial here. And really Egypt being the other state that has a say on what happens in Gaza because of Rafah, because of its geographical position and its political importance in the Arab world, is crucial.

    And ultimately I think it’s the Egyptians and the Palestinian Authority that can craft a workable solution for Gaza, you know. And I think Hamas is going to be in a very tough situation because claiming credit for that is going to be difficult.

    AARON DAVID MILLER: I was just going to add, if we keep our feet on the ground and our head out of the clouds, it may well be that we can actually make a contribution here.

    But we are going to have to be very disciplined and very clear about what we want to achieve, and not go for some transformation, some idealized world.

    HUSSEIN IBISH: But in the West Bank, I think, is where the biggest American contribution can come.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Talks are just beginning.

    Thank you for your insight, Hussein Ibish, Aaron David Miller.

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Thank you.

    AARON DAVID MILLER: Always a pleasure, Judy.

    HUSSEIN IBISH: Appreciate it.

    The post In Israel-Hamas conflict, have both sides reached point of diminishing returns? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    KENYA-CHINA-CONSTRUCTION

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: We turn now to the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit happening this week in Washington.

    The main event today was a business forum, where leaders focused on what they see as a wealth of untapped opportunities in one of the world’s fastest growing markets.

    President Obama’s appearance highlighted day two of the summit, as he announced billions of dollars in new public and private investment.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We want to build genuine partnerships that create jobs and opportunity for all our peoples and that unleash the next era of African growth.

    That’s the kind of partnership America offers. I want Africans buying more American products. I want Americans buying more African products. I know you do, too, and that’s what you’re doing here today.

    (APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: U.S. companies plan to spend about $14 billion on everything from construction to banking to clean energy initiatives like wind and solar power.

    Former President Bill Clinton, also appearing at the conference, played up business prospects in Africa. In 2000, he signed the African Growth and Opportunity Act. The measure aimed to expand U.S. trade with African countries while encouraging free markets. It is up for renewal next year.

    Today, he said investment in the continent remains — quote — “a massive opportunity.”

    FMR. PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: In spite of AGOA, which I signed almost 15 years ago, and all the things that have been done since, it strikes me that we have only barely scratched the surface of what we could and should be doing there and that we’re missing the boat.

    GWEN IFILL: African leaders also highlighted the need to lift up future generations.

    Jacob Zuma is the president of South Africa.

    PRESIDENT JACOB ZUMA, South Africa: I think it is important for people to look at Africa and see that Africa is changing. There’s a good story that is coming out of the continent of Africa.

    GWEN IFILL: Phuti Mahanyele is chief executive of the investment holding company Shanduka Group, based in South Africa.

    PHUTI MAHANYELE, CEO, Shanduka Group: Fifteen-to-25-year-olds in Africa make up 60 percent of the population of the continent today. And so a key issue is making sure that we have those people being educated to be able to contribute towards, you know, the continued growth of our economies on the continent.

    GWEN IFILL: A number of African nations, including Rwanda, Angola and Mozambique, have made major strides rebounding from years of violence and political strife.

    The African development bank says the middle class across the continent expanded from 220 million people in 2000 to 350 million a decade later.

    For more on the effort to recast the narrative from African struggle to success story, I’m joined by Christopher Fomunyoh of the National Democratic Institute. He’s observed elections across the continent. And Torek Farhadi, a senior adviser at the International Trade Centre, focusing on African finance and business.

    Chris Fomunyoh, today, the U.N. Development Program has said, in spite of all the success, that Africa is still the most — the sub-Saharan Africa still the most unequal region in the world. What difference will this new investment announced today from U.S. and U.S. enterprise make?

    CHRISTOPHER FOMUNYOH, National Democratic Institute: I think, you know, there is an expectation that these new investments are going to really focus on the African people themselves, and also that they would target some of the areas in which the continent is still lacking, notably in the area of manufacturing and industrialization, so that Africa can shift from an instructive — industrial-based economy to one in which manufacturing also creates jobs and employment opportunities for young Africans.

    GWEN IFILL: Torek Farhadi, I want to get back to that bit about the young Africans, because that’s a huge demographic challenge.

    Torek Farhadi, I want to talk to you a little bit about what the president said today, which is that only 1 percent going to — 1 percent of U.S. trade goes to sub-Saharan Africa. Why is the U.S. lagging in that?

    TOREK FARHADI, International Trade Centre: Well, so far, the U.S. has been focusing on other markets.

    And could say that one of the reasons is that the African market was a more difficult market. First, we talk about Africa as one continent, but it’s composed of 50 countries, so you have to negotiate country by country, and not as a government, but when a private enterprise goes in, in every country, they have to deal with another set of arrangements for their investments.

    So, the second reason for that is Africa has been lacking in infrastructure. In order to ship something from West Africa to East Africa, sometimes, companies find it easy to put it on a ship and just surround Africa, through South Africa, and send it to another port from East Africa to West Africa, but by sea because the roads are not there.

    So the opportunities are there as well, because there is quite a number of construction projects and infrastructure projects which have been identified, would need financing, and they would make a lot of sense now for Africa.

    GWEN IFILL: And so much of that financing, Chris Fomunyoh, comes — so far anyway — from China or from even E.U. countries, rather than from the U.S.

    CHRISTOPHER FOMUNYOH: I think that’s a realization amongst the many Americans, including Americans in the private sector, that the U.S. has been lagging behind in terms of taking advantage of the opportunities that exists on the continent and also building partnerships with the African private sector.

    That’s why, last year, when President Barack Obama during his trip launched Power Africa initiative that received a lot of encouragement. And I’m delighted to hear that during this summit, it is a promise to increase the number of countries that could benefit from Power Africa.

    GWEN IFILL: Which is expanding the electrical grid.

    CHRISTOPHER FOMUNYOH: Exactly, which is expanding the electrical grid into rural areas of the continent, and that new resources are coming in, not only from the American private sector, but also from other countries that are beginning to buy into that initiative, notably Sweden.

    So I think the U.S. government with regards to Africa is doing what governments ought to be doing, which is creating an enabling environment that can then allow the private sector both from the United States and from within the continent to really reach those opportunities.

    GWEN IFILL: Torek Farhadi, as this summit has gotten under way, there — in every setting so far this week, there has been a certain amount of defensiveness that so often when we talk about Africa, we talk about insurrection or we talk about disease or we talk about terrorism, and what they wanted to do this week was change the subject.

    Are there success stories? Are there ways that different countries on the continent have been rebounding?

    TOREK FARHADI: Absolutely.

    I think what happens today on the disease side or insurrections, those are surmountable challenges. Especially, the partnership that America can offer to Africa is an important one. America has a lot of soft power and goodwill in the eyes of the African people, almost in every country in Africa.

    The African population are looking forward to do more business with America. For that, they have to bring their products up to the standards on what we import in America. And for that, I think the U.S. can make a major contribution in education in Africa.

    After all, we heard that the demographic curve is such that the young people there are the future. And already we have a population of more than 300 million people who are middle-income. So the opportunity for business is there.

    I think a partnership of reciprocity and access to markets and trade and investment would benefit all the parties. Angola has launched that very well since the last 15 years.

    GWEN IFILL: The African Growth and Opportunity Act, AGOA.

    TOREK FARHADI: Exactly. That’s what President Clinton was referring to, that he had signed AGOA in the year 2000, and now it’s up for renewal in 2015.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me ask you Christopher Fomunyoh about Rwanda, Mozambique, Sierra Leone, the places which we have identified as rebounding. This demographic piece, how much of that has to do with their rebound?

    CHRISTOPHER FOMUNYOH: Well, it has to do — I think the demographic piece contributes a lot to explaining how these countries have bounced back.

    But I think it’s also been a wave of governance or attachment to democratic governance across Africa that has given the continent a face-lift. Obviously, the narrative still needs to be fully written. And there are still countries that are struggling both in terms of economic development, as well as with democratization and putting in place institutions that can really guarantee that a lot of this worth that is generated through trade and investment can actually be spread to the African populations that really need it the most.

    However, when you look back at what has transpired in the continent in the last 10 — in the past 10 to 15 years, there’s been a lot of — there’s a success story that can be told for most of Africa.

    You have talked about Angola. Yes, Angola, half of the country is diamonds and the other half is oil. It had a civil war for over — for decades. But today it’s bouncing back and it’s doing very well.

    Sierra Leone, a few years ago, Sierra Leone was involved, embroiled in a civil war. But, today, Sierra Leone is contributing peacekeepers to African efforts at peacekeeping in the Horn of Africa, notably in Somalia. So the youth bulge, which represents well over 60 percent of the population, really counts for a market today and also a market for Africa of tomorrow.

    GWEN IFILL: Chris Fomunyoh and Torek Farhadi, thank you both so much.

    CHRISTOPHER FOMUNYOH: Thank you for having me.

    The post Turning a narrative of struggle into success story in Africa appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    xerox_women

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In a world of finance and big business that’s dominated by men, a new American investment fund is betting on women. And its founder is hoping to send a strong message to Wall Street and beyond.

    Our economics correspondent, Paul Solman, has the story. It’s part of his ongoing reporting Making Sense of financial news.

    WOMAN: Stocks all around the world tanking because of the crisis on Wall Street.

    WOMAN: One of the biggest financial failures in U.S. history.

    WOMAN: A near total collapse of the financial system.

    PAUL SOLMAN: One of the major causes of the crash of ’08, says the chief financial officer of Citigroup, the general insularity of Wall Street’s old boys network.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK, Chair, Ellevate Network: They were people who had grown up together, gone to the same schools, looked at the same data over years and years, and came to wrong conclusions.

    PAUL SOLMAN: The same wrong conclusions, says Sallie Krawcheck, one of the rare females to scale the heights of high finance.

    As Krawcheck sees it, a key problem was group think, with few to no females, for instance, to offer alternative points of view.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Diverse teams I have seen may not make quicker decisions, but they tend to make more effective decisions. They’re not all looking at the same thing in the same way.

    People have said, if Lehman Brothers were Lehman Sisters, it wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t go that far. I would say, if it were Lehman siblings, we would have had more of a fighting chance.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And whether you buy that or not, even six years after the crash, women hold less than 15 percent of exactly positions at Fortune 500 companies and under 17 percent of corporate board seats, though almost half of all advanced business degrees now go to females.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: If it were just about intelligence or effort, we would have much more diverse teams. It can often be that we have these subtleties. Who bragged the most eloquently, right? Who presented themselves the best? Who made the best case?

    And sometimes those are people who have the best results and sometimes they’re not. My experience has been that the gentlemen are more likely to come and ask for the promotion and that the women are less likely to do so.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Krawcheck left banking three years ago, determined to push more women into management. She’s now started a stock mutual fund which invests only in companies that promote women.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Here is a market-based, capitalist solution to driving investor capital to those companies.

    PAUL SOLMAN: The fund is a joint venture with Pax World, a New Hampshire firm which manages socially responsible funds.

    To CEO Joe Keefe, a fund that promotes women is a way for investors both to back a cause they care about and to profit.

    JOE KEEFE, President and CEO, Pax World: They want a fair return, but they also want to have a positive impact. They want their money aligned with their values.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Sallie Krawcheck’s women’s fund invests in the world’s 400 most female-focused firms.

    JOE KEEFE: We look at every one, and we see, how many women are on the board, how many women are in management, do they have women at leadership posts like CEO or chief financial officer? They’re companies that will make a commitment to women playing a significant role in leadership. And we think that is going to bear out well for them over time.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Who’s number one?

    JOE KEEFE: The top 10 include Microsoft, Nestle, Xerox, Procter & Gamble, Lockheed Martin. It’s big blue-chip global companies.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Companies with a way-better-than-average rate of women at or near the top. Take Xerox. More than a quarter of its senior managers are female. Women comprise 40 percent of its board and nine of its most senior executives are women, including the last CEO and the current one, Ursula Burns, who thinks the value of gender diversity is perfectly obvious.

    URSULA BURNS, Chairman and CEO, Xerox Corporation: We have 6.5, 7 billion people in the world. Half of them are women. Actively including them helps us solve problems better.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Since a woman took the helm in 2001, Xerox has aggressively diversified into services. Its stock has surprised investors, up by 33 percent in the past year alone, despite the dire challenges still posed by digital imaging, as opposed to Xeroxing.

    The success should come as no surprise, says Brande Stellings. Her nonprofit, which tracks the results of women in business, finds that firms like Xerox with more of them tend to prosper.

    BRANDE STELLINGS, Catalyst: There is a correlation between having gender-diverse leadership teams and better corporate performance outcomes.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And so, says Krawcheck, data drives her fund.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Whether it’s higher returns on equity, whether it’s greater innovation, whether it is greater client focus, greater long-term focus, and, in fact, even lower gender pay disparities within the companies.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But innovation? I have seen research, controversial, to be sure, but research that shows that men are greater risk takers.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Well, men take more risks. There’s actually research that shows that women are better investors, that they’re more risk-aware. And so what you actually see amongst venture capital start-ups is, you will see that the women-owned companies perform better, more singles and doubles, whereas the guys typically will either hit a home run, you know, or are more likely to flame out.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, to Krawcheck, investing in her socially responsible women’s fund is economically savvy.

    MEIR STATMAN, Santa Clara University: I don’t think that it makes a lot of sense to invest in socially responsible funds in the hope of getting X for returns.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Finance Professor Meir Statman is a skeptic of any targeted fund, no matter how much he made personally believe in its premise or purpose.

    MEIR STATMAN: A custom-made portfolio, just like a custom-made suit, is more expensive. My sense is that the likelihood that I would benefit from it after taking into account expense ratios is very small.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Now, Meir’s research has found that do-good firms provide higher returns for do-good funds. Unfortunately:

    MEIR STATMAN: They are offset by the fact that socially responsible funds also tend to exclude tobacco companies and weapons companies and environmental violators. That exclusion hurts their returns. And so, in this sense, those two effects cancel out.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Though Krawcheck’s fund does invest in defense firm Lockheed Martin, it excludes most so-called sin stocks, at a cost, says Professor Statman, though he doesn’t disapprove of the female-focused fund.

    MEIR STATMAN: People who want to buy that fund are people who feel passionately about promoting women in roles of leadership, in roles of executives. And if they get returns that are about the same or even somewhat lower then they can get elsewhere, well, they consider it worthwhile.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Krawcheck thinks lots of investors will.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: Ninety percent of women want to have a social impact. Something like 77 percent of women globally have reported they want to get behind companies with greater gender diversity.

    People are saying, gee, just like I want to work at a company where I both make money, but also makes a difference in the world — and you see this with younger investors, the TOMS, the Warby Parkers, I also want my dollars to make a difference.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Is it fair to characterize your fund as the fund that doesn’t invest in the good old boys’ network companies?

    (LAUGHTER)

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: If you would like to, you could characterize it that way, although I want to be very, very clear — and I really hope this makes the cut — that I really, really like white middle-aged males. I want to make that perfectly clear. I am married to one.

    PAUL SOLMAN: I’m tremendously relieved to hear it.

    SALLIE KRAWCHECK: I know a lot of them. I promise you, this is not an anti-guy thing. This is a pro-all-of-us thing.

    PAUL SOLMAN: I did have one last question, though.

    If you’re truly successful, and all the major companies of the world adopt the practices you’re promoting, then your set of funds will be out of business, right?

    JOE KEEFE: That would be a good problem to have.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GWEN IFILL: So, why are there still fewer women at the top of American business? You can hear from Sallie Krawcheck about why she thinks women keep their heads down, plus how she climbed the ranks as a new mom. That’s on our Making Sense page.

    The post Women’s fund seeks share of prosperity for female-focused firms appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...

older | 1 | .... | 424 | 425 | (Page 426) | 427 | 428 | .... | 1175 | newer


Loading...