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

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    People hold signs during a vigil, for the victims of a shooting by gunmen at the offices of weekly satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo in Paris, at the French consulate in Quebec City

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Back now to today’s big story.

    We take a closer look now at the satirical publication that was targeted today, and also the growing threat of Islamic extremists in France and elsewhere across Europe.

    But, first, we want to turn to ITN journalist Mark Austin in Paris for the very latest on the search.

    Mark, talking to you, I guess it’s just after midnight, around midnight in Paris. Tell us what the latest is you know on the search for these suspects.

    MARK AUSTIN, ITN: Yes, about quarter past 12:00 here in the morning. And we’re just hearing from French police that a big operation is going on in a town around an hour-and-a-half away from here, where we’re not clear — it’s not clear yet whether arrests have actually been made, but there’s certainly a lot of activity going on.

    They know or they think they know who these gunmen are. Two of them are believed to be of Algerian descent. One of them is believed to be just 18 years old. So they know who they are, and they are tonight, as I say, undergoing a big police operation in a town called Rennes, which is about an hour-and-a-half from Paris.

    So the manhunt is moving quickly, and hundreds of police are out in Paris and surrounding areas top, so a big security operation, a big manhunt, but things are moving.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark, tell us what the reaction has been of security, police there in Paris and across that part of France since this attack today.

    MARK AUSTIN: Well, a huge security crackdown, but you know what? The thing that has really impressed me most since being here is the impact that this has had — I mean, clearly, you can see — huge security operation, hundreds of police driving around Paris tonight.

    But the thing that’s really had an impact on me since I have been here is just the way that Parisians, ordinary Parisians, feel offended and affronted by this attack, because they see it as an attack not only that has caused 12 deaths, but also they see it as an attack on one of their cherished freedoms.

    You know, these satirical magazines are a great tradition in France. They’re a great tradition — you know, the satire against politicians is a great tradition here. These cartoons are a great tradition. And they feel that this is a real affront. And people are offended. And they feel that a freedom of speech, a basic freedom is under attack here.

    And that is something that is coming across — across very clearly tonight.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, Mark, is there also a sense of fear, since these terrorists materialized, apparently out of nowhere, to kill this many people and wound the others?

    MARK AUSTIN: There is a sense of fear here, but not an overwhelming one.

    I think that the belief is that this was a very targeted attack. They were targeting a magazine that they felt had — you know, had crossed them, and that they felt that in some way blasphemed the prophet, and that they don’t really understand the freedom that is so cherished here.

    So, not a great fear — and, also, I have to say, thousands of people are out demonstrating tonight and protesting tonight in the Place de la Republique just half-a-mile or so from here, and not showing any inclination to be deterred by this. They were defiant and they were resilient and they were saying that they would keep upholding the free speech that they cherish so much.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Mark Austin in Paris, we thank you very much for your reporting. Thank you.

    The post Parisians protest attack on Charlie Hebdo and free speech – Part 2 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    newswrap

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: In other news this day: A bombing ripped through the main police academy in Yemen, killing at least 37 people. A minibus packed with explosives blew up right outside the school in the capital city of Sanaa. Mangled wreckage littered the residential area, and investigators combed through it for evidence. Suspicion fell on al-Qaida’s Yemen branch.

    The search for that passenger jet that crashed off Indonesia last month has finally made major progress. Officials announced a crucial discovery today in the 11-day-old hunt.

    Faye Barker of Independent Television News reports.

    FAYE BARKER: From the depths of the Java Sea, a breakthrough that investigators hope will provide answers to what happened to the ill-fated AirAsia plane.

    Found today, what’s believed to be the tail of the missing Airbus. It may contain the black boxes, holding crucial flight data and cockpit voice recordings. At a press conference in Jakarta, the head of Indonesia’s search-and-rescue effort said it’s the first significant piece of wreckage to be identified.

    It was spotted around 20 miles from the plane’s last known location. Flight QZ8501 disappeared on route from Surabaya to Singapore 10 days ago. The pilot had requested to fly higher due to bad weather, but the request was denied. Shortly afterwards, the plane dropped off the radar; 162 people were on board, all now presumed dead. So far, around 40 bodies have been recovered.

    It’s thought that bad weather was a likely cause for the plane to crash, but clearer skies now mean the search can, for now at least, go on uninterrupted.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A winter storm across the Middle East brought new misery today to hundreds of thousands of people who’ve fled the civil war in Syria. Refugees had to endure freezing cold at makeshift camps like this one in Eastern Lebanon. Some cleared heavy snow from their tents to keep the shelters from collapsing.

    Here in the U.S., a deep freeze gripped the Eastern two-thirds of the country, shutting schools from the Dakotas to Alabama. Arctic air and high winds meant subzero windchills in many areas. It was minus-27 degrees in Chicago and in the minus-30s in the Dakotas. Officials everywhere warned those who did venture out to guard against frostbite.

    This was day two of the new Congress, and battle lines were already being drawn over the proposed extension of the Keystone oil pipeline. Republicans, with their new majorities, are moving to approve the long-delayed project, shipping Canadian oil to the Gulf Coast.

    After the White House threatened a veto again today, the new Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, fired back.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, Majority Leader: The president is not going to set the agenda for us here in the Senate. We have an agenda that we believe helps save and create jobs for Americans. If the president wants to be a part of that, he can sign the bills that make it to his desk. And if he doesn’t, then I’m sure he will make his best effort to explain to the American people why these measures are not in the best interest of the country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Another flash point developed over the president’s health care law. It says companies with 50 full-time workers must provide health insurance and it defines full-time as working 30 hours a week. Republicans say that’s encouraging companies to cut hours, and they want to change it to 40 hours. White House aides warned today the president would veto that bill as well.

    A confrontation between Senator McConnell and the Environmental Protection Agency will have to wait. The EPA announced today a final rule on carbon dioxide emissions from new coal-fired power plants will be delayed until mid-summer. McConnell’s home state, Kentucky, is a major coal producer. He’s vowed to overturn the new rule.

    The director of the FBI now says there is very clear evidence that North Korea was behind the hacking of Sony Pictures. James Comey sought today to answer skeptics who’ve said the U.S. provided no evidence to support its claim. He told a conference in New York that U.S. investigators tracked the hackers and found the evidence.

    JAMES COMEY, FBI Director: Several times, they got sloppy. Several times, either because they forgot or they had a technical problem, they connected directly, and we could see them. And we could see that the I.P. addresses that were being used to post and to send the e-mails were coming from I.P.s that were exclusively used by the North Koreans.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Sony Pictures’ computer network was crippled as the company promoted “The Interview,” a comedy about a plot to kill North Korea’s leader. The film is now available online and in a limited number of theaters.

    Wall Street roared back to life today, after five losing sessions in a row. Stocks surged, as oil prices steadied and hopes rose for new economic stimulus in Europe. The Dow Jones industrial average jumped nearly 213 points to close at 17584; the Nasdaq gained 57 to close at 4650; and the S&P 500 added 23 points to finish near 2026.

    The University of Virginia has lifted a ban on fraternity and sorority parties under new safety rules. In a statement overnight, the school president, Teresa Sullivan, said they will have to — they will have to have several non-drinkers present to monitor any gathering and prohibit any pre-mixed drinks. A “Rolling Stone” article had detailed an alleged gang rape at a fraternity party, but the story has been called into question.

    At Florida State University, quarterback Jameis Winston announced today he’s leaving college after two years in order to enter the National Football League draft. Winston has won a Heisman Trophy and a national title. He’s also faced an allegation of sexual assault, but has never been charged.

    The post News Wrap: Minibus explosion kills dozens outside Yemen police academy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    FRANCE-CRIME-MEDIA-SHOOTING

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The nation of France is reeling tonight. Heavily armed gunmen shouting Islamist slogans stormed the office of a Paris publication today. They left a dozen dead and 11 wounded, four of them critically. Police later identified the gunmen, who vanished into a stunned French capital.

    Hari Sreenivasan begins our coverage.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Shock and disbelief gripped Parisians moments after the military-style attack. Three hooded men with assault rifles forced their way into the offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical newspaper.

    Within minutes, they killed the editor, nine others, including two prominent political cartoonists, and a police guard. Back outside, they riddled a police car with bullets and gunned down another officer.

    WOMAN (through interpreter): I was on my balcony, and I heard a loud noise and then I saw an injured policeman.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Amateur video captured a gunman who approached the wounded officer, and killed him with a shot to the head. Before driving away, the attackers shouted in Arabic “Allahu akbar,” “God is great,” and in French, “We avenged the Prophet Mohammed. We killed Charlie Hebdo.”

    The left-leaning newspaper had repeatedly been threatened over satirical commentary and cartoons on Islam and other religions. In 2011, a firebombing gutted its headquarters after editors used an image of the Prophet Mohammed on the cover. No one was hurt in that attack.

    But today’s mass killing brought French President Francois Hollande to the crime scene.

    PRESIDENT FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE, France (through interpreter): An act of exceptional barbarity was committed here in Paris against a newspaper, the expression of freedom against journalists.

    We knew we were under threat, just like other countries in the world. We are being threatened because we are a country of freedom. And because we are a country of freedom, we will beat the threats and will punish the aggressors.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But, in the immediate aftermath, the gunmen got away cleanly, and a sweeping manhunt began across Paris and continued into the night.

    EMMANUEL QUEMENER, Alliance Police Nationale (through interpreter): These individuals are being thoroughly pursued, and this is a priority because they are armed and extremely dangerous.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Hours later, police announced two of the men were brothers in their 30s, both French nationals. And the third was a teenager.

    The Islamic State group, along with al-Qaida, had threatened to attack France, and it praised the killings. But leaders of Paris’ Muslim community denounced the attack.

    DALIL BOUBAKEUR, Rector, Great Mosque of Paris (through interpreter): Truly, Islam condemns assassination, condemns murder, condemns taking the lives of those around you, truly. And we are absolutely horrified. We are stunned.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The government of Saudi Arabia joined in the condemnation, as did Egypt’s leading Islamic authority and the Arab League.

    And across Europe, national leaders quickly came to France’s support.

    DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: I know that this house and this country stands united with the French people in our opposition to all forms of terrorism. And we stand squarely for free speech and democracy. And these people will never be able to take us off those values.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In Washington, President Obama said the United States will provide any help it can. He branded the killings — quote — “a cowardly and evil act.”

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The one thing I’m very confident about is that the values that we share with the French people, a belief, a universal belief in freedom of expression, is something that can’t be silenced because of the senseless violence of the few.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Later, the president spoke with French President Hollande and offered condolence.

    And this evening, Hollande went on national television to pay tribute to the victims.

    FRANCOIS HOLLANDE (through interpreter): Today, they are our heroes. And that is why tomorrow will be a day of national mourning, a decreed day. At 12:00, there will be a moment of contemplation in all public services. And I invite all the population to be involved in it. The flags will be at half-staff for three days.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile,  thousands of people rallied near the site of the killings to honor the victims, and there similar rallies across Europe.

    France also raised its alert status to the highest level, indicating another attack could be imminent.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We will talk more about Muslim extremism and the French news media after the news summary.

    The post French police hunt for two brothers, teenager who killed 12 at satirical newspaper – Part 1 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo courtesy of Flickr user Charles Roffey.

    Photo courtesy of Flickr user Charles Roffey.

    Some of the nation’s top nutrition experts may be urging Americans to consider more than calories when making their dietary resolutions for 2015 and beyond.

    Every five years, the U.S. government releases a new set of dietary guidelines. The Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee is a government-appointed panel that assists with the development of these guidelines by producing a list of recommendations based on current scientific and medical knowledge. The committee has indicated that the latest set of recommendations, due out this month, may take into account the sustainability and environmental impact of foods, as well as their nutritional profile.

    Members of Congress and the meat industry both objected to a draft recommendation circulated in December, which encouraged Americans to eat more plant-based foods and fewer animal-based foods on the grounds that it would be better for both their health and the environment. Detractors claim the committee is overstepping its bounds by pushing an environmental agenda. Committee members argue that there is an overlap between what is good for the environment and what is good for Americans’ health.

    Should the U.S. government take sustainability and environmental impact into account when crafting dietary guidelines? We invited you to share your opinion on Twitter. Attorney and food writer Mary Beth Albright (@MaryBeth) weighed in as well. Read a transcript of the conversation below.

    The post Twitter chat: Is sustainability part of a balanced diet? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado as captured  in Google Maps streetview.

    NAACP headquarters in Colorado Springs, Colorado as captured in Google Maps streetview.

    While the 24-hour news cycle yesterday was dominated by the terrorist attack in Paris, another story was the central topic of conversation for many users on Twitter. On Tuesday morning, an improvised explosive device detonated outside the NAACP’s Colorado Springs, Colorado building.

    No one was injured when the device detonated against the exterior wall of the building on South El Paso Street, which shares space with a barbershop, and the building itself suffered superficial damage. A gasoline can was placed next to the device, but was not ignited by the explosion. Law enforcement has not released information to suggest that the intended target was the NAACP.

    A joint statement by Colorado Springs Police Chief Peter Carey, El Paso County Sheriff Bell Elder, Fountain Police Chief Todd Evans and Colorado Springs NAACP President Henry Allen Jr. named a person of interest: “a Caucasian male, approximately 40 years of age and balding, driving a dirty, white pick-up truck.” Authorities have yet to arrest anyone involved with the case, although the FBI is investigating the explosion as an intentional act.

    Some in the Twitterverse and social media outlets wondered whether the incident may be racially motivated, even while media outlets had no further update on those details. #NAACPBombing was one of the top trends throughout Wednesday, with many questioning the lack of wider coverage of the story:

    “I don’t really understand it myself,” said Antonio French, an alderman for the city of St. Louis. “I learned about it via social media. But in trying to find coverage of this, I was kind of shocked that there wasn’t that much on mainstream television.”

    “From what I’ve read, it sounds to me like an act of terrorism,” French continued. “Somebody was deliberately targeting an organization that tries to advance minority rights and trying to hurt people or destroy property. I would think that that would justify a larger response from the media than it’s received, and I’m confused and perplexed as to why we haven’t seen that.”

    The FBI has not officially classified the explosion as an act of terror or a hate crime. It is an ongoing investigation. “It is certainly a possibility of being a hate crime or domestic terrorism, however we are exploring all possibilities of potential motive,” said Amy Sanders, spokeswoman for the FBI in Denver.

    “I think it’s alarming, it is really disturbing that in 2015 we’re still talking about bombings at NAACP headquarters,” French said. “That, in light of some of the violence we’ve seen in the streets in the last few months, really shows that we just have a lot of work to do regarding race relations and civil rights in this country.”

    When 18 year old Michael Brown was killed by then-Officer Darren Wilson in Ferguson, Missouri in August 2014, French provided updates of what was happening there on the ground through his Twitter account. In the early hours of those protests, many turned to French’s social media and other online outlets for updates.

    Zellie Imani, a community organizer from New Jersey and blogger for black-culture.com, sees this as a pattern. He also found out about the Colorado explosion on Twitter. “I think this is a general thing where largely popular media or mainstream media kind of ignores black pain or violence against black people in general, especially when it’s committed by someone that’s not black,” Imani said. “While covering terrorist attacks in other countries, the media remains dangerously quiet on terrorist attacks at home.”

    For Imani, what happened on Tuesday in Colorado is strongly reminiscent of attacks against black organizations that occurred during the civil rights movement. “The NAACP has always been a target since basically its inception,” he said. “This tradition of having homes and churches and branches [attacked] has been continued on to now. This really can’t just be overlooked or as a coincidence, because this is not a coincidence.”

    When contacted for comment on the Twitter reaction today, the NAACP referenced a statement released on Tuesday. After a short recounting of the morning’s events, the statement concludes, “The NAACP looks forward to a full and thorough investigation into this matter by federal agents and local law enforcement.”

    ——

    The post Twitter users concerned NAACP bombing deserved more media coverage appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Will a newly-instated Republican Congress and President Obama be able to work together? Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    Earlier this week this week, we looked at the history of divided government and how the current split in power between the Democratic White House and a Republican majority house and senate is the new normal. What follows are interviews with Peter Baker, a reporter from the New York Times who has covered both the Obama, Bush and Clinton White Houses, American University political science professor James Thurber, and longtime congressional watcher Thomas Mann, a fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    Is party splitting between Congress and the White House the new normal? Will all future presidents have to learn to compromise with a Congress controlled by politicians who do not share their views? How will President Obama, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner handle this?

    Peter Baker, New York Times: In general, I think we should be careful about assuming that the current state of affairs will be the state of affairs we have down the road because we’ve seen a lot of change in the last decade. But, having said that, there’s no question that we’re in the age of polarization, and that president is going to have to get used to working with opposition congresses.

    James Thurber, American University poli-sci professor: It’s the new normal. We’ve had Democrats and Republicans that have held presidency since 1980. About half the time, they split it. And much of that time, we’re split between the two parties in the House and the Senate. The Senate majority party changed hands seven times, the Democrats nine times, and with Republicans House majority shifted three times.

    Thomas Mann, Brookings Institution fellow: There are not many signs suggesting that the basic political dynamic between the parties and branches will change from the experience of the last four years, since the 2010 elections. When McConnell and Boehner speak of governing and cooperation, they’re mainly speaking tactically about not shutting down government or threatening public default.

    How often did this happen in the past? Why has it become increasingly more frequent?

    Mann: It is unusual, and it flows from two realities. One is that the parties have become more sorted by ideology. The second is the level of competitiveness between both parties. There’s no dominant party in our system now and in the White House and especially in majorities in the House and Senate. That means that the strategies in Congress are geared less toward in acting law than toward improving one’s political prospects or the party in the next election to either hold or regain majority control.

    Thurber: It’s become more frequent because of the competitiveness of the Senate, in particular. This year, there were many Democrats that were up in competitive districts. All of them lost actually, and it will be flipped the next time. It would be 24 Republicans that are up. That’s not the issue. The issue is the competitiveness of the parties in the Senate. That makes it difficult to govern because [Senate Minority Leader Harry] Reid tried to cover some of the Democrats on tough issues, didn’t bring him up and McConnell maybe doing the same thing. He doesn’t want them to lose and, so, the situation is such that it creates a certain amount of gridlock.

    Baker: I think what we’re seeing now is a nation built in institutional friction that’s exacerbated and accelerated by the advent of social media and by the 24/7 pace of the news environment. So it takes all of the most divisive elements in the political system, which have always been there, and makes them a more dominant feature of them. It makes it harder for people to reach across the aisle when any possible divergence from the party line instantly generates Twitter and Facebook traffic.

    How have past presidents dealt with having their party in the minority in Congress?

    Baker: Well, it’s been mixed. Sometimes, they try confrontation. Certainly, Harry Truman did with the Republican Congress he faced. Sometimes, they do a Bill Clinton; there was this kind of triangulation where you sort of privy yourself between the parties and try to find a middle ground. Ronald Reagan sort of forged a coalition between conservative Democrats and his Republicans, when he didn’t have the House on his side. And so, it just depends on the moment and the president. In this case, you’ve seen a president who’s been more willing and more eager to confront Congress in the last couple of years. He doesn’t think Congress is going to respond, and he doesn’t take it seriously anymore.

    Thurber: They had to compromise, and they had to reach to and work with the other party. Find areas where they agreed within. [Presidents] had to go along with what the Congress wanted sometimes. In the end, what the Congress wants, when they’ve got the majority, is a major power. But remember, from the founding to present … the president wins on vetoes 97 percent of the time. So, the threat of a veto on Keystone is a serious threat. He probably will win because you need 67 votes to overcome the veto.

    Mann: If you go back to Eisenhower, who had brief periods of Republican control but also substantial minority situation in the Congress, [Eisenhower] was reflecting an older tradition of the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln … with Reagan coming in, you’ve found initially he had a Republican Senate, which helped him a lot. And he was able to move on tax and spending legislation initially by gaining support of a number of southern conservative Democrats. There was enough diversity to kind of pick off some of those members. But as time went on and deficits got larger, Reagan actually adapted to that situation. What we haven’t had much experience is Democratic presidents working with Republican Congresses.

    Does a power split always mean that Congress will be less productive? How have past presidents/members shown that partisan divide can be worked around?

    Baker: I do think a partisan divide doesn’t mean that there won’t be stuff that can get done. In fact, usually the most lasting products of a Congress are things that come out of compromise between the two parties. If you have a legislation that passes that’s only supported by one party, you sort of guarantee that for years to come, it will become a source of controversy. If, for instance, Obama and the Republican Congress end up getting together on some issues like trade or the tax code, then if they actually succeed, then that means those will be embedded into the policy a lot stronger because there won’t be sort of a perpetual opposition.

    Thurber: Generally, when we have divided party government, less gets done. Fewer bills get passed. There are exceptions like when we have a threat to the United States, like 9/11. The way to work around it is to ignore [Congress] and do executive orders and actions within the executive branch that are legal. To go above them, to go to the American public to get them to persuade Congress to do certain things and also to compromise to build coalitions with them. And I think the Republicans would like to do that. They want to show that they can get things done so they’re going to push pieces of legislation where they think they can find common ground. One of them being foreign trade.

    Mann: I don’t see the conditions right in the nature of the parties, in the level of competitiveness for control in the policy environment at all. For example, back then you could get an immigration passed; and Reagan was for it and prominent Republicans in Congress were for it. Now, even Marco Rubio, who worked hard to get a bill pass the Senate, has tried to distance himself from it. So there’s no market for it. Obama felt obliged to move ahead on his own, and no one believes … Republicans would agree to a comprehensive reform that would deal.

    The post Can Obama and the Republican Congress get anything done together? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Nigerian officials announced Thursday that 2,000 villagers are unaccounted for and feared dead after Boko Haram burned 16 villages on Monday.

    Nigerian officials announced Thursday that 2,000 villagers are unaccounted for and feared dead after Boko Haram burned 16 villages on Monday.

    Boko Haram razed at least 16 villages in northern Nigeria, leaving 2,000 people unaccounted for and feared dead since Monday, Nigerian officials said Thursday.

    Borno State is one of 36 states in Nigeria. Boko Haram controls approximately 70 percent of the area. "Nigeria Borno State map" by Himalayan Explorer based on work by Uwe Dedering.

    Borno State is one of 36 states in Nigeria. Boko Haram controls approximately 70 percent of the area. “Nigeria Borno State map” by Himalayan Explorer based on work by Uwe Dedering.

    The militant group now controls 70 percent of Borno State, Nigeria’s northeastern province. Last May, Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan declared a state of emergency in Borno and neighboring Adamawa and Yobe after the group kidnapped 276 schoolgirls in Chibok, a town in Borno.

    Borno state lawmaker Ahmed Khalifa told NBC News that “towns are just gone” and that the the villages along Lake Chad are “covered in bodies.” The village attacks reportedly began after militants seized a key military base and chased residents out of the area. After clearing the villages, they returned to kill survivors and burn down town structures. 

    With the country’s northeast corner in Boko Haram’s grip, local officials are concerned for the region’s security, especially leading up to the country’s general election on February 14. Governors from the three states under emergency status have requested extra troops from President Jonathan to secure the region.

    “Definitely in all those areas where the insurgency exist, elections will hold,” said Yobe state governor Ibrahim Gaidem to Reuters.

    The post Boko Haram burns 16 villages, leaving 2,000 feared dead appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    cartoonists2

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    GWEN IFILL: We close tonight with other fundamental questions being asked in the wake of the Paris attacks about the cartoons themselves. What could or even should be drawn when it comes to freedom of expression?

    Jeffrey Brown takes it from there.

    JEFFREY BROWN: One response to the mass killing in Paris yesterday, at vigils around the world, pens were held high to show solidarity with the slain cartoonists and journalists who used them in their political satire.

    JON STEWART, “The Daily Show With Jon Stewart”: Our hearts are with the staff of Charlie Hebdo.

    JEFFREY BROWN: One of this country’s leading satirists, Jon Stewart, was visibly upset on his “Daily Show” program last night.

    JON STEWART: I know very few people go into comedy as an act of courage, mainly because it shouldn’t have to be that. It shouldn’t be an act of courage. It should be taken as established law. But those guys at Hebdo had it. And they were killed for their cartoons.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The cartoons in the magazines are highly controversial and provocative. Many news organizations, including the “PBS NewsHour,” have decided not to show these images.

    They come out of a long history of cartoon satire, especially vibrant in Europe, including the likes of French artist Honore Daumier in the 19th century. Ten years ago, a Danish newspaper published cartoons of Mohammed that sparked a wave of protests across the Muslim world, in which at least 50 people died.

    Today, social media brimmed with debate on the value of such satire, and condemnation of the killings, with one way of honoring the slain cartoonists, through the creation and publication of new cartoons.

    One voice raised today was that of Ted Rall, who wrote an essay in The Los Angeles Times, where he’s an editorial cartoonist. He joins us from New York. And here with me is another prominent political cartoonist, Tom Toles of The Washington Post.

    Ted Rall, I want to start with you.

    You had a personal connection to the people at the magazine. How did they see their work? What they were doing?

    TED RALL, The Los Angeles Times: Well, they were very hard-hitting, aggressive group of cartoonists. I had the pleasure of meeting them at an annual cartoon convention in Angouleme, France. It’s the biggest confab of cartoonists and their fans that takes place every year.

    And they sought me out. We went out for drinks and dinner. And it was very clear that they were a very collegial, very happy bunch of cartoonists. These were guys who weren’t just trying to push the envelope. They were encouraged by their editor to be as aggressive as possible.

    It’s a big difference between the way things are done in the United States, where often editors are trying to rein in the cartoonists. There, they were encouraged to stretch and be as aggressive as possible.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Tom Toles, I want to put up a cartoon that you did in response and was published in today’s paper.

    Tell us about, as we look at that, what is the value of this kind of work, as you see it?

    TOM TOLES, The Washington Post: Well, the attack was shocking and outrageous. It was a direct, bloody, murderous attack on free speech, cartoonists in particular, but free speech in general.

    And you want to push back on that, say something that reinforces the value of the idea of freedom of expression. And the imagery I chose was a rifle, an automatic weapon, and a pen, to put the two side by side to give people a chance to think about it in the context of the historic idea that the pen is mightier than the sword.

    But in the short term, the pen isn’t always mightier. I mean, cartoonists were murdered and their work was assaulted, and on that day, it was a real challenge.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Ted Rall, if people say, OK, maybe you have the right to do this, you have the right to insult or provoke, but why do it, why deliberately do it, especially if it goes to some core beliefs of people?

    TED RALL: Well, it’s not the job of a cartoonist to be concerned about offending people or not offending people.

    Speaking for myself and I think for many of my peers, the intention is not to make people angry or to make them rebel or make them furious about an attack on their religious faith or their political beliefs, but it’s an idea — the idea is to tell things as they are and call the shots as you see them.

    Honesty is what’s important. And I think the job of editors is to rein in a cartoonist when he or she thinks they may have gone too far. But the cartoonist needs to not self-censor, not hold his or her punches. It’s important to express ourselves freely. Otherwise, our freedom of expression doesn’t mean anything if we’re not exploring the limits of it from time to time.

    JEFFREY BROWN: But do you — Tom Toles, do you — where do you draw lines? Or do you draw personal lines in this country to do satire of religious figures or of ethnic groups?

    TOM TOLES: I think about these subjects very seriously. I do have personal lines that I think, for reasons of larger concerns, that I don’t go past.

    But I just want to emphasize that, on a day like today, that’s a discussion for another time, because what is at stake now is not what I decide to do. It’s the right of any cartoonist to exercise the full extent of freedom of expression.

    Whether I decide to draw the line where he does, today, it doesn’t matter. Today, we defend the idea of freedom of expression. That’s what was attacked, and that’s the key issue today. Yes, there are all kinds of discussions you can have about what’s the smartest thing. I agree with — certainly agree with Ted. The goal is honesty. That’s the core thing.

    But the context that we’re working in has to have a perimeter of freedom of expression that is a very broad perimeter.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Ted Rall, I want to show a cartoon that you did in response. And it goes to a point you were making a little earlier, that this kind of political expression is largely lost, or much less, in this country.

    TED RALL: Yes.

    When I started doing this in the early 1990s professionally, there were hundreds of full-time staff editorial cartoonists throughout the United States. These days, there’s barely 30, if even that many.

    Today, the staff editorial cartoonist in Fort Lauderdale, Chan Lowe, was laid off today. Nice timing, guys. And it’s — this has been a bloodbath, really, in our profession. There’s not a single magazine in the United States that employs a single cartoonist full time on staff.

    There’s only one Web site in the United States that employs a single political cartoonist on staff. The profession has pretty much almost ceased to exist in the United States. You know, more people were killed in Paris, more cartoonists were killed in Paris yesterday than work in the states of California, New York, and Texas combined.

    So, no doubt the threat of violence, as we saw in Paris yesterday, is very real and horrifying, but there’s also an existential threat to the profession just from budget cuts and the transformation of media in the digital age.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Ted Rall and Tom Toles, thank you both very much.

    TOM TOLES: Thank you.

    The post Death of cartoonists in Paris draws out passionate defense of free expression appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    marshmallowtest

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Whether you’re 5, 15, or 50 years old, one of the hardest things to deal with in life can be exercising willpower and making a sacrifice in the short term in order to achieve something of greater value later.

    It is one of those commonly accepted life lessons, but now it turns out there are more organized efforts to teach it to children. Our economics correspondent Paul Solman has the story, part of his ongoing reporting Making Sense of financial news.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY, Teacher, KIPP Infinity Middle School: Clap twice. Put up your right hand. Put up your left hand. Put up your right hand.

    PAUL SOLMAN: This is the KIPP Infinity Middle School in New York City’s Harlem, where, in addition to the three R’s, these predominantly poor fifth graders study character to maximize success in later life, qualities like grit and gratitude, optimism and curiosity, zest and social intelligence, and one skill above all.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: What is this talking about, don’t eat the marshmallow? Brittany in the back.

    STUDENT: Self-control?

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: OK, so we’re talking about self-control.

    PAUL SOLMAN: In fact, they have been talking about self-control since the first day of school, when teacher Leyla Bravo-Willey gave all of her students the marshmallow test.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: They come in, they have a marshmallow in front of them, and they’re looking around like, what? What is this?

    PAUL SOLMAN: This is among the most famous experiments in the history of psychology, with implications for economics.

    WALTER MISCHEL, Author, “The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control”: In which a group of 4-year-olds were given one marshmallow and told that, if they could wait to eat the marshmallow after being left alone with it for a while, then they would be given an extra marshmallow to eat. Most eat the marshmallow as soon as they are left alone with it. But some other children are able to resist temptation.

    PAUL SOLMAN: About one in every three is able to hold off. And YouTube is replete with videos of kids struggling to not eat the marshmallow.

    So what’s the big deal about self-control?

    WALTER MISCHEL: The big deal about self-control is, if you have it, you are able to actually pay attention to the teacher and to learn.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Psychologist Walter Mischel devised the marshmallow test 50 years ago, running it on hundreds of preschoolers at Stanford University. Twelve years later, he found significant differences between those who had wolfed down the marshmallow — they were now found to be more easily frustrated, indecisive, disorganized — and those who, as tots, had been able to control themselves — they were now more confident, self-reliant and — get this — scored about 200 points higher on the SAT.

    The powerful economic message is that if you do exhibit self-control at an early age, says Mischel:

    WALTER MISCHEL: You have got a much better chance of taking the future into account and likely to have better economic outcomes. But the idea that your child is doomed if she chooses not to wait for her marshmallows is really just a serious misinterpretation.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Because the real message of his work is that self-control can be taught, says Mischel, to even the most out-of-control among us.

    COOKIE MONSTER, “Sesame Street”: Me get this feeling when me see the cookie on the plate. Me want to grab it, want to eat it. Oh, me no can wait.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Cookie Monster’s proverbial problems have been made quite graphic in recent years by imaging studies of what Mischel calls the brain’s hot and cold systems.

    WALTER MISCHEL: The hot system is the limbic system in the brain. And it is reflexive, immediate, emotional. So, in order to slow that hot system, you have to activate the cool system, the prefrontal cortex. The problem is that the hot system goes up when stress goes up. And when people are living under conditions of toxic poverty, those are conditions that create huge stress levels. And they make the hot system keep getting hot.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, the earlier self-control is taught, the better, which is why Mischel teamed up with Sesame Street Workshop…

    COOKIE MONSTER: Me want it. But me wait.

    PAUL SOLMAN: … on a series of videos starring their guru of gluttony to teach tots how to delay gratification.

    COOKIE MONSTER: Me can take deep breath. Me can self-regulate. Me wait.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But it’s never too late to self-regulate, Mischel thinks. And so, in the past few years, his ideas have inspired schools like KIPP, a nationwide chain of public charter schools serving low-income students, pushing high academic achievement.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: This time ,we’re going to try to make a goal that’s very far away. Right? We’re going to try to make a goal around your report card.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Of course, older kids have self-control issues beyond cookies and marshmallows.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: You are going to come up with everything that could possibly go wrong.

    Joshua?

    JOSHUA ANGELES, Fifth-Grade Student, KIPP Infinity Middle School: Talking to my partner.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: But you have to meet your goal. What are you going to do?

    JOSHUA ANGELES: I’m going to pretend like they’re invisible and I can’t see them.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: Use your imagination. I love it.

    Brendaly, can you share what your if-then plan is?

    BRENDALY DE LA ROSA, Fifth-Grade Student, KIPP Infinity Middle School: That my family will be very distracting, and I won’t be able to read that much, and it will affect my grade.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: OK. So if your family is super distracting what, are you going to do?

    BRENDALY DE LA ROSA: I will go to my room and close the door and put some headphones on, and then start reading.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: Give her three snaps.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Both Brendaly and Joshua, it turns out, ate their marshmallows the first day of school. But both have come a long way since.

    BRENDALY DE LA ROSA: For self-control, I just pretend it’s a rock, like a poisonous rock, and just…

    PAUL SOLMAN: A poisonous rock?

    BRENDALY DE LA ROSA: Yes.

    (LAUGHTER)

    PAUL SOLMAN: What does a poisonous rock look like?

    BRENDALY DE LA ROSA: I don’t know. It’s like a white rock that’s — mold all over it.

    JOSHUA ANGELES: When I come to KIPP, I realized that I — if I wait, I get a bigger treat.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And his self-control strategy also works on another problem, his temper.

    Are you easily annoyed?

    JOSHUA ANGELES: Yes. Yes. Yes.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And did you learn here how to control your annoyance?

    JOSHUA ANGELES: Yes. I will just take a deep breath and just let it go.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Did you actually take a deep breath?

    JOSHUA ANGELES: Yes, but, sometimes, when I’m like really mad, I take two deep breaths.

    (LAUGHTER)

    PAUL SOLMAN: Have you ever gotten so mad, you needed to take three?

    JOSHUA ANGELES: Yes.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Yes? What’s the most deep breaths you ever taken?

    JOSHUA ANGELES: I have taken five deep breaths.

    (LAUGHTER)

    WALTER MISCHEL: When kids get to be 10, 11, 12 years old, their temptations begin to be some of their own feelings, for example, the feeling of anger, the rising of one’s own temper, the readiness to hurt someone else because they have teased you or provoked you or made you feel bad.

    PAUL SOLMAN: And so that’s why the KIPP schools are teaching kids as early as possible.

    WALTER MISCHEL: Exactly. The relationship between good behavior, good consequences, bad behavior, bad consequences.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Most KIPP students are chosen by lottery, regardless of prior academic record. Almost all meet federal poverty guidelines. And yet 82 percent go on to college, and nearly half complete a four-year degree, five times the rate of the average low-income student.

    What’s happening to the kids you grew up with who never went to a KIPP school?

    GEORGE RAMIREZ, Senior, Yale University: They’re not in school. They probably have their own kids at this point. They’re living a very hard life.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Even among successful KIPP alumni, George Ramirez stands out. Born and raised in the South Bronx, a mediocre student pre-KIPP, Ramirez is now a senior at Yale, majoring in history and physics.

    GEORGE RAMIREZ: I think one thing that I learned at KIPP really well is that a lot of your effort doesn’t reap any success until way later in the future. There’s another marshmallow if you wait just a little bit longer.

    PAUL SOLMAN: KIPP isn’t the only path out of poverty, of course. Teacher Leyla Bravo-Willey also grew up poor, long before KIPP began, yet she graduated from Harvard. But she teaches self-control these days, sharing her own adult economic struggles with her students.

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: You know that Ms. Bravo has some issues with shopping, right? I like to shop and I’m trying to save money. So if, for instance, I come across a store that I like a lot, I — then I will pretend that store has bedbugs. Yes, then I won’t go in.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Now, do you really visualize bedbugs in the store that attracts you, or that’s just playing for the kids?

    LEYLA BRAVO-WILLEY: No, actually, I — I really actually do. Whatever your marshmallow test is, there are always strategies that can help you. And we want to arm our kids with all the tools possible to be successful in life.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Tools that even the most recalcitrant can apparently learn.

    COOKIE MONSTER: But me wait. Me wait.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Paul Solman in New York, and reasonably self-controlled, for the PBS NewsHour.

    The post Can teaching kids to resist the marshmallow help pave the way to success? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images

    The Census Bureau plans to test digital tools in preparation for the 2020 census, a change that could save millions of dollars. Photo by Allison Joyce/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The days of the census taker with clipboard in hand may be numbered. The Census Bureau plans to test digital tools in preparation for the 2020 census, a change that could save millions of dollars.

    People may be asked to fill out their census forms on the Internet instead of sending them through the mail. Census takers may use smartphones instead of paper to complete their counts.

    The once-a-decade count is used to draw congressional maps and helps determine how the government spends $400 billion on infrastructure, programs and services each year.

    Despite outreach and advertising campaigns, the share of occupied homes that returned a form was 74 percent in 2010, unchanged from 2000 and 1990. The majority of the money the bureau spends during a census goes to getting everyone else to fill out their forms, Census Director John H. Thompson said.

    In the Savannah, Georgia, area and in Maricopa County, Arizona, census workers this year will be asking people to respond on the Internet instead of filling out the traditional forms with such questions as age, race and homeownership. During follow-up visits for those who don’t answer, census workers will forgo using paper and instead input answers directly into their smartphones for instantaneous collection and analysis.

    In addition, in Savannah and nearby South Carolina, census officials will test an Internet response system that will only require a person to input a home address to answer questions, instead of using a government-generated identification number.

    “All you need to have is an address where you live,” Thompson said. “If we do that, it opens up all kinds of new ways to promote the census in targeted ways. If we contact someone at a sporting event and they have a smartphone, we can get them to respond right then and there.”

    The Census Bureau plans to discuss its upcoming tests in a webcast on Friday.

    Americans are ready for an Internet-driven census, officials said. During 2014 tests in in Washington, D.C., and nearby Montgomery County, Maryland, 55 percent of the families who were asked to fill out their census tests on the Internet responded without major prodding, an “exceptional response,” Thompson said. Census workers used iPhones to collect information in follow-up visits.

    Census workers will use Android phones during the test this year, Thompson said. “Everything will be on those smartphones. No paper,” he said.

    For government officials, going digital means they can do real-time analysis on areas to figure out which households have not responded, and be able to use their workers on the ground more efficiently, he said.

    “You now can electronically control the flow of information all the way, from when you get people to self-respond, hopefully by the Internet, to when you give it to the interviewers to when you get it back from the interviewers,” he said.

    The Census Bureau will also test using electronic records from other government agencies to help fill in gaps in responses, Thompson said.

    The post In 2020, you might be filling out the census online appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    duvernay

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    [nh_lin ks align="right"]

    GWEN IFILL: An emotional and controversial period of American history has led to an emotional and controversial reception for an acclaimed new movie.

    We go behind the scenes.

    DAVID OYELOWO, Actor: Give us the vote!  We’re not asking.  We’re demanding.  Give us the vote!

    ACTORS: Give us the vote!

    GWEN IFILL: Two years after “Lincoln,” and one year after “12 Years a Slave,” Hollywood is tackling history again, this time in “Selma,” the story of the seminal Alabama civil rights protests that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

    It is the first feature film ever to focus on Martin Luther King Jr. and the less well-known activists who forced the nation’s hand 50 years ago.  In limited release, it has won four Golden Globe nominations, standing ovations and rave reviews.

    In New York and in Selma itself, community leaders have raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to allow middle school students to see the film for free.

    DAVID OYELOWO: If you believe all are created equal, come to Selma.  Join us.  Join our march against injustice and inhumanity.

    GWEN IFILL: But Selma has also sparked controversy, particularly for its portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson’s sometimes prickly relationship with King, who is treated here as more tactician than theologian.

    DAVID OYELOWO: We need your help.

    TOM WILKINSON, Actor: Dr. King, this thing is just going to have to wait.

    DAVID OYELOWO: It cannot wait.

    GWEN IFILL: Former Johnson aide Joseph Califano said no one should see the film.  And the head of the LBJ residential Library said the portrayal flies in the face of history.

    Mark Updegrove appeared on CBS News’ “Face the Nation.”

    MARK UPDEGROVE, Director, LBJ Presidential Library:  You don’t quite see how productive that partnership was and how it came to bear on our getting voting rights in this country.

    GWEN IFILL: The bulk of the film, however, brings to life the force and the brutality of the resistance to the movement, as well as the heroism of activists like now-Congressman John Lewis, who was severely injured on Bloody Sunday, the first of the three marches across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge.  The film opens nationwide tomorrow, in advance of this weekend’s Golden Globe Awards.

    I sat down with Ava DuVernay yesterday in New York.

    Ava DuVernay, thank you for joining us.

    AVA DUVERNAY, Director, “Selma”: Thank you for having me.

    GWEN IFILL: When I first saw this movie — I have seen it twice — my first time, my heart was in my throat.  The second time, I was looking at it with a little bit of historical scrutiny, because there have been so many questions now raised about the choices that you made.

    What has been your response to all of that?

    AVA DUVERNAY: My response is that this is art.  This is a movie.  This is a film.  I’m not a historian.  I’m not a documentarian.  I am an artist who explored history.  And what I found, the questions that I have, the ideas that I have about history, I have put into this project that I have made.

    I understand people wanting to see history through their own gaze, through their own lens, and this is the way that I see it.  This is the way that I interpret it.  And so, you know, I can get into a debate about the minutia of history and interpretation, but I’m not a custodian of anyone’s legacy.

    I’m not a librarian.  I’m not selling a book.  I’m not trying to maintain an image of anyone, not of King, not of Johnson, not of any of the people that we chronicle in the film.  I’m trying to imbue the film and invite people into the spirit of the movement.  And that was my intention.  That’s what I believe we have done.  And I invite people to come and check it out for themselves.

    GWEN IFILL: One of the things I found most surprising about this film is that there had never been a feature film done about Martin Luther King, in which he was the central figure.

    Why is that?  And do you think that any of the backlash that you have experienced in the last week or two is related to that?

    AVA DUVERNAY: Yes, I mean, I think part of the reason why you have had companies and artists hesitant to dive in, a bunch of reasons, intellectual property issues with the speeches and issues with the estate, ideas about films with black protagonists not being at the top of the list of the studios to make.

    But, certainly, all the different camps and constituencies, constituents — all the different camps and constituencies around this issue have made it challenging for filmmakers to feel like they could be free in telling the story as they saw it.

    And that’s strangled the story for longer than it should have.  I mean, 50 years since the events that we have chronicled, and never a major motion picture with King at the center.

    GWEN IFILL: You make the point about the stories that were told and were not told.

    One of the most surprising things I have heard is that people who saw that the title was “Selma” and that Oprah was affiliated with the project thought this was a movie about a woman named Selma played by Oprah.  I am surprised at that.

    AVA DUVERNAY: That is the time that we’re in.

    I mean, that — some of the questions that I have heard, some of the statements that I have heard as we have taken the film across the country, jaw-dropping at what people don’t know, you know?  Selma doesn’t resonate with people in the way that it should, as being just such a cornerstone for democracy, in terms of what it’s done for voting rights and equality.

    People don’t even know what that is.  We open the film with the scene of four little girls and the Birmingham bombing.  And this is just a quintessential, pivotal point of departure for everything that happened after in the movement.  And yet I have people walking up to me saying, is that real?  Did that — did that really happen?

    I mean, someone said to me, Dr. King wasn’t really 39 when he died, was he?

    GWEN IFILL: You have been nominated for a Golden Globe for best director, first African-American woman ever.  David Oyelowo has been nominated for best actor.  Why didn’t you call this movie “King”?  He is such a central figure in it.

    AVA DUVERNAY: Well, he’s a central figure in it, but “Selma” is not King’s only story.

    I felt very, very adamant about the fact that this film be broadened to include the community of people who came together to make this so.  Truly, they were not a monolith.  There were all kinds of different ideas about how to achieve the goal.  That’s something that we really talk about in the film quite a bit.

    There were a bunch of different organizations, personalities, people, ideas about how to get there, how to keep their eyes on the prize.  But they did.  And they were able to come together around this one voice that amplified the message.  And so that is the beauty of King to me.  He was a leader of people, so you have to show the people to understand the greatness of his leadership.

    And to not do that, I think, is missing a big opportunity.  So it was important to kind of deconstruct our heroes, whether it be King, whether it be LBJ, and really kind of distill their relationship down to some key scenes.

    It wasn’t always smooth.  These were two great minds who often were in a chess match.  To say that this was a skip in the park and they were holding hands the whole way is to really just be really disingenuous about what was happening at that point.

    You know, we’re in a — at a time in history where everything was on fire and everything was being questioned.  And that’s what’s we’re doing on film.

    GWEN IFILL: Did you leave the impression that Johnson was more complicit in things like the FBI tracking of King than he was?

    AVA DUVERNAY: Complicit?  I have questions about it.  I have questions about it.  And those questions, I have put into the film.

    There’s never a scene where we say very clearly that Johnson ordered the tape or commanded that something be done.  But it does leave room for the gray areas, as I see them.

    And so all of my questions, all of my ideas, all of my thoughts about this time in history are in this interpretation of Selma.  It is one vision of it.  It’s not the only, it’s not the absolute correct one.  It’s one. And it’s valid.

    I mean, one of the op-eds that was written had the words, this film should be ruled out for the Christmas season and awards season.  That was the last line of Joseph Califano’s op-ed.

    I just think that is disturbing.  It’s against the very ideals of what Johnson’s legacy that we’re talking about stood for.  If we’re talking about equality, if we’re talking about voice, then let this voice be heard.

    Let me just say that Johnson — the Johnson character gets applause in most screenings at the end of the film, when he gives the “We shall overcome” speech.  I mean, audiences are going on an emotional journey with him.  They’re seeing a beginning, middle, and end, an arc to that character that starts at one place and ends in another that is very triumphant and positive.  And so that’s what I would invite people to — to just see the movie and check out.

    GWEN IFILL: Ava DuVernay, thank you so much.

    AVA DUVERNAY: Thank you for having me.

    GWEN IFILL: One of the challenges Ava DuVernay faced was that she wasn’t given rights to let her actors use the actual speeches of Dr. King, but she channeled the words anyway.

    You can watch more of my conversation with her about that on our Web site.

    The post Director Ava DuVernay on sharing the story of ‘Selma’ and deconstructing American heroes appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The movie, “Selma,” is getting plenty of attention for its portrayal of history, the relationship between Martin Luther King and President Lyndon Johnson — and the way it showcases Dr. King’s skills and choices as a political tactician and activist. What’s less well-known is the extent to which director Ava DuVernay rewrote much of the script — and that includes writing her own versions of Dr. King’s speeches.

    As she explained to Gwen Ifill in our interview, DuVernay was not given permission to use the speeches through King’s estate. They instead are connected with an upcoming film project by Steven Spielberg. Gwen asked DuVernay about the unique challenges of trying to capture the essence of iconic speeches without copying them.

    Watch Gwen’s full conversation with Ava DuVernay on tonight’s broadcast of the PBS NewsHour. Tune in on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. EST or check your local listings.

    The post ‘Selma’ director Ava DuVernay on writing new speeches for MLK appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    radicalization

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The New York Times reported late today that one of the brothers being hunted for the Paris attack received training at an al-Qaida training camp in Yemen. This is according to a senior American official.

    The brothers, who were born and raised in France, had a secular Muslim upbringing before their apparent radicalization. There have, of course, been other attacks on the continent, and thousands of European Muslim extremists have traveled to Iraq and Syria to fight.

    To find out more about what’s leading to the radicalization of many of these young men, I spoke earlier this afternoon to Peter Neumann, director of The International Center for the Study of Radicalization. He’s at King’s College.

    Peter Neumann, thank you for talking with us.

    First of all, what do you think is most important for us to know about this attack, about these two brothers in terms of understanding what went into this, what was behind it?

    PETER NEUMANN, King’s College, London: I think the two brothers are interesting because they had a long history of extremism.

    At least one of them has been active in jihadist circles for over 10 years. So these were not inexperienced people. These were not people who were the typical lone wolves who were radicalized over the Internet. These were experienced operators.

    The second important thing is the change of modus operandi that we are witnessing. Really, over the past 10, 15 years, we have been lucky, because the jihadists have been trying to emulate 9/11, very complicated, complex, big attacks. Now they are trying to do less complicated attacks, which they realize can inflict as much horror and terror and polarization on society, but which are much more difficult to detect.

    I would expect to see more things like that to happen in 2015.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Why would you say so many young Muslims in Europe are becoming radicalized?

    PETER NEUMANN: I think the cause is ultimately a conflict of identity.

    It is about second- or third-generation descendants of Muslim immigrants no longer feeling at home in their parents or grandparents’ culture, at the same time not being fully accepted into European societies, often having experiences of discrimination. They do not feel they belong into France, even though they were born in France, they went to school in France, they have French passports.

    And I think it is in this regard that we have a lot to learn from the United States of America, which is much more welcoming and much more embracing immigrants, wherever they come from and whoever they are. In Europe, we still have a sense of, you know, if you don’t look European, if your names are not European, you’re not part of us.

    And that causes that conflict of identity that makes a lot of people open to the simple messages from radicalizers and recruiters.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We also are aware that there’s a growing backlash in parts of Europe, including France, against the Muslim population. Is there an understanding of how that may be making the radicalization of these young people worse?

    PETER NEUMANN: Absolutely.

    And I think it’s a really dangerous moment for a lot of Western European countries. You have a difficult economic situation in countries like France, but also other countries. You have a strengthening far-right fringe. In France, for example, it’s not even a fringe. It is now the largest party in France, the Front National.

    And these people are now trying to exploit, cynically, politically exploit this tragedy to gain strength. And you can almost foresee a situation in which both extremes are almost drawing strength from each other and polarizing society, to the extent that some European countries may become ungovernable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what else — what more should governments, should security forces be doing right now to try to head off more attacks like this one?

    PETER NEUMANN: I think it’s very important to, first of all, stop people from traveling to Syria.

    In a lot of European countries, that’s still difficult for legal reasons. You should be able to take away passports from people who want to go to Syria. It is also important that European countries become better at exchanging information. A lot of the returnees are not returning directly — directly to their home countries. They’re returning to other companies.

    So, it’s important that everyone knows about each other’s returnees. And most importantly is prevention. It is about trying to prevent more people from becoming radicalized in the first place. A lot of countries do not have strategies in place. They do not know what they are doing. And this is absolutely urgent now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, so much more to work on this in this area.

    Peter Neumann with King’s College in London, we thank you.

    PETER NEUMANN: Thank you.

    The post What’s driving European Muslims to extremism? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: We return now to France.

    Yesterday’s attacks, among other things, put a spotlight on the growing tensions between the country’s Muslim and immigrant community and a large portion of French society.

    NewsHour’s Megan Thompson got a firsthand account of that divide on a recent reporting trip to the southern the city of Marseille.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: This city of more than 850,000 is France’s second largest and one of its most diverse. About 500 miles southeast of Paris and on the Mediterranean, Marseille is home to tens of thousands of immigrants throughout Europe and more recently from North Africa.

    By some estimates, the city is now 30 to 40 percent Muslim, one of the highest concentrations of Muslims anywhere in this overwhelmingly Catholic country. Even before yesterday’s attack and even before two other recent attacks in France by Muslim men, tensions in Marseille between Muslims and non-Muslims had been rising.

    CLAUDE DE GARAM, France (through interpreter): It’s awfully complicated, all of this with the arrival of the foreigners, who have changed everything in the town of Marseille.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Retired photographer Claude De Garam has lived in Marseille his entire life. He says he’s felt things change over the years.

    CLAUDE DE GARAM (through interpreter): Before, everyone knew each other. Even the first immigrants in Marseille, the Italians, Spanish, all of that, it all worked fine, perhaps because it was the same religion. But what came after, it is a lot more complicated, less integrated.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: And that, he says, has given rise to uneasiness. Difficult encounters are already occurring.

    CLAUDE DE GARAM (through interpreter): The old Marseille are annoyed to have people who come and bother them in their hometown, because we have our ways. And the new arrivals feel not well-accepted. And so you feel their hatred increasing. You can see it in the buses. There are fights, and that didn’t happen before.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: We asked if he believed new immigrants are to blame.

    CLAUDE DE GARAM (through interpreter): I’m absolutely convinced that the main problems come from this.

    NATHALIE BENSILLA, France (through interpreter): There are a lot of verbal insults, the stares, people in the streets looking at me.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Nathalie Bensilla was born in France, the daughter of an Algerian immigrant. She converted to Islam in her early 20s and is now married to an imam. The mother of seven says, once or twice a month, she is ridiculed because she wears a scarf. She also says she’s been excluded from her children’s school field trips and, back in 2012, nearly had a confrontation in a store.

    NATHALIE BENSILLA (through interpreter): A woman tore into me, really insulted me. She said, “You have rejected our origin,” because she knew that I’m French because I told her. She really insulted me with all these names. She almost hit me.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Bensilla says she reported the incident to police, but nothing happened. According to one survey taken last spring, about a quarter of the French population had an unfavorable view of Muslims, which was actually much lower than other European countries.

    But during our visit to Marseille last month, many Muslims we spoke to told us about what they say is widespread job discrimination, unfair media portrayals of all Muslims as terrorists, and a pattern of hostile remarks.

    NATHALIE BENSILLA (through interpreter): It doesn’t bother me. I ignore them. But when you have your kids with you and someone insults you, it’s degrading. And, frankly, when it happens on the street, it’s hard to justify it to the kids. They don’t understand. My son, he says, “When I’m big, I am going to fight these people if they talk to you that way.” And I say you can’t respond to aggression with aggression.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Why do you think that people treat you this way?

    NATHALIE BENSILLA (through interpreter): I really — I think it’s fear of the other and also a lack of understanding of our religion. Also, I think that Muslims don’t make enough effort to reach out and to explain the fundamentals of our religion, that there is a lot of respect for others.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: We also heard stories about a right-wing politician from Marseille, Stephane Ravier, whose actions as mayor offended some members of the Muslim community. He once interrupted a Muslim wedding because the bride was wearing a veil covering her face, a violation of French law. He explained it to us this way.

    STEPHANE RAVIER, Member, French State (through interpreter): We have an identity and we also have laws. So French law forbids anyone to be entirely veiled. So I have only applied the law. There is absolutely no Islamophobic, racist or extremist motivation on my end

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Last September, Ravier was elected to the French National Senate, the first time in history when anyone from the far-right National Front party has been elected to the body. The National Front has gained ground in France, as worries about the economy and security have grown.

    STEPHANE RAVIER (through interpreter): So I am saying to the Muslims, the French Muslims who want to live their Islam, that they have the right to do so, of course. Our country, secularism, allows them to live their Islam.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: But Ravier also insists that, despite France’s separation of church and state, the nation’s long Christian traditions must be respected.

    STEPHANE RAVIER (through interpreter): I would like to remind people that France is a Christian country, with an identity, a culture. So I’m telling the French Muslims, don’t forget that, here, it is French soil, and, in France, as it is done around the world, we also have to respect religions and rituals, customs, codes. So there is Islam and there is Islamism, which is growing.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: Ravier is also critical of national leaders like French President Francois Hollande for not fully appreciating the threat he says some French Muslims present.

    And just yesterday, following the mass shooting, the leader of the National Front party said: “Time is up for denial and hypocrisy. The absolute rejection of Islamic fundamentalism must be proclaimed loudly and clearly.”

    STEPHANE RAVIER (through interpreter): Massive immigration is causing Islamization. We can see that there are some extremist elements at the heart. They are very active. And the French authorities are completely frozen because they fear being labeled Islamophobic.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: French officials estimate as many as 1,000 French Muslims have left to wage jihad.

    STEPHANE RAVIER (through interpreter): There is an obvious radical Islamic drift that is becoming more and more violent. We need to take the necessary measures to match this danger.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: There’s still another aspect to all off of this. Many believe relations between Christians and Muslims are further strained because many Muslim immigrants are poor, and during difficult economic times, that leads to resentment about providing for them.

    The national unemployment rate in France is now about 10 percent.

    STEPHANE RAVIER (through interpreter): The economic situation is extremely serious. We welcome immigrants that have nothing and many of them have no skills. They become the state’s responsibility. We are going to have to house them, provide health care, assist them at all levels.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: So what does the future hold for relations between Muslims and Christians in Marseille? There seems to be little optimism.

    CLAUDE DE GARAM (through interpreter): I think that we will need a few generations to get used to it. Me, I won’t be here. But my kids, I think they will be experiencing some tough moments.

    NATHALIE BENSILLA (through interpreter): It’s getting worse and worse. And, frankly, I don’t think it’s going to get better.

    MEGAN THOMPSON: For the NewsHour, I’m Megan Thompson, reporting from Marseille, France.

    The post Why resentment is growing between Christians and Muslims in Marseille appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Here in the U.S., stock markets soared for a second day on hopes for an upbeat jobs report tomorrow and possible economic stimulus action in Europe. The buying binge more than made up for losses from earlier in the week.

    In all, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 323 points to close near 17908; the Nasdaq rose 85 points to 4736; and the S&P 500 added 36 to finish at 2062.

    GWEN IFILL: Record-breaking cold hardened a deep freeze that stretched to day from the Midwest to New England. Windchills dipped below zero again, prompting schools to push back classes or cancel them for a second day in a row. But commuters had little choice but to brave the elements, as the cold caused breakdowns in public transportation.

    MAN: Hopefully summer comes sooner, like real soon, you know? I can’t take this anymore, man.

    WOMAN: Do you see my eyes are running, my nose is running? Is it comfortable? I don’t think so.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MAN: I’m originally from the Caribbean. So I’m freezing. I don’t know what I’m going to do to change this.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MAN: But it’s very cold, and I got to go to work, so that’s why I’m out here.

    GWEN IFILL: And there is another so-called Alberta Clipper coming behind this one. Minnesota and the Dakotas could face wind gusts of up to 50 miles an hour.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Overseas, frigid temperatures also gripped the Middle East again, prompting appeals to help Syrian refugees. Blizzards, rain and high winds have buffeted camps in Jordan and Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands have fled the fighting in Syria. Today, activists warned conditions for refugees are catastrophic. But the storm silenced the guns inside Syria, with no reported deaths for the first time in three years.

    GWEN IFILL: There was no letup in the violence across Iraq, where 23 people died in suicide attacks. The first bomber rammed his car into a checkpoint south of Baghdad, killing three police officers and four civilians. A second attacker targeted police and Shiite militiamen in Samarra, killing eight more people. Later, a bombing in Baghdad claimed another eight lives.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Egypt’s army is making new moves to curb the influx of guns and militants across its border with Gaza. The military said today it’s doubling a buffer zone. The decision means more than 1,200 homes will have to be destroyed in one of Egypt’s poorest districts.

    GWEN IFILL: Rough seas blocked efforts today to recover the black box recorders from the AirAsia plane that crashed off Indonesia. Shaky underwater video showed divers examining the tail section after it was located yesterday. The recorders are believed to be in that wreckage. Crews may try raising it to the surface tomorrow.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. government has fined the Honda Motor Company a record $70 million for failing to report complaints of deaths and injuries. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration imposed the penalty today. Honda has acknowledged that it never reported more than 1,700 complaints on safety issues going back to 2003. It also withheld warranty claims.

    GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, one of the Senate’s leading liberals, California Democrat Barbara Boxer, announced today she will not seek reelection in 2016. The four-term senator issued her statement in an online video, answering questions posed by her grandson.

    SEN. BARBARA BOXER, (D) California: I am never going to retire. The work is too important. But I will not be running for the Senate in 2016. I’m going to continue working on the issues that I love. I will have more time to help other people through my PAC for a Change community. I have to make sure the Senate seat stays progressive. That is so critical. And I want to help our Democratic candidate for president make history.

    GWEN IFILL: Boxer was elected to the House in 1982, and to the Senate 10 years later. She’s been a staunch advocate of abortion rights and environmental protection. She is 74 years old, but says age is not a factor in her decision.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado, appealed today for tips on a bombing this week near an office of the NAACP. The civil rights organization joined in the appeal. The bombing caused only minor damage and no injuries. The FBI is investigating, but says it’s too soon to tell whether the NAACP was the target.

    The post News Wrap: Severe storms silence guns in Syria appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The French flag flies at half-mast above the Elysee Palace in a sign of mourning in Paris

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    GWEN IFILL: A short time ago, I spoke to Mark Austin of Independent Television News from Paris.

    Mark Austin, thank you so much for joining us. I know it’s late there.

    What can you tell us tonight about the latest in the scope and the success, if any, of this manhunt?

    MARK AUSTIN, ITN: Well, no great success yet, but it’s on a massive scale, I mean, hundreds of special forces, hundreds of armed police conducting a hunt about 50 or 60 miles northeast of Paris in northern France in a heavily wooded area of about, well, several thousand acres. So they have got a massive job, but it’s thought that there the two brothers are hiding out.

    And it’s thought that the police and special forces are tonight closing in, or at least that’s the hope of many people here in France. And, of course, with darkness, the initiative could pass to the special forces with their infrared equipment, and it’s believed that, as I say, they may be closing in tonight.

    GWEN IFILL: Can you give us any sense of how people are reacting to this? We know that the suspects are on the loose. We know that a third suspect has turned himself in, but said he wasn’t involved. Are people still on edge?

    MARK AUSTIN: People are very much on edge here in Paris and across parts.

    I think there was a feeling yesterday that this was a specifically targeted attack on this magazine behind me here, but today we have had more attacks. These two brothers are still on the loose. And I think there is a great sense of fear here and a real hope that these two men are caught.

    It’s also very somber here, I have to tell you. I mean, we have been here all day just by this shrine here. And hundreds, thousands of people have come here during the day just to lay flowers, light candles. It’s been a very moving experience, but a great sadness, but also it is still very much a country on edge tonight.

    GWEN IFILL: Is there much tension in particular in the Muslim community?

    MARK AUSTIN: Well, it’s interesting. I talk about people coming to this shrine today. There was a visit by a number of Muslim leaders today who laid their own flowers, who said their own prayers, because they believe that this was an attack that wasn’t in their name and not in Islam’s name.

    And I spent some time today in the Muslim quarter here, and that is a belief shared by thousands of Muslims here. We spoke to a number of people, young students who say this is not in their name and they want nothing to do with it and they want unity and they want togetherness. There are some six million Muslims in France and they have to get on.

    And I think there’s a real sense here that the fabric of this country is being tested like seldom before, and there are calls tonight for unity and togetherness.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, Mark Austin, we can only hope that that actually holds. From Independent Television News, thank you very much.

    The post Amid great sadness and tension in France, calls for unity appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: The people of France spent the day on edge, mourning the victims of a mass shooting in Paris and tracking the manhunt for two attackers. U.S. officials said they were on a no-fly list for terror suspects, and French police questioned at least 90 people, detained nine, and expanded their sweep outside the capital.

    Hari Sreenivasan begins our coverage.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Squads of police with helmets and shields followed armored vehicles into an area northeast of Paris by this afternoon. They shifted their search after two men resembling the suspects robbed this gas station in Villers-Cotterets, a little over 40 miles from the French capital.

    In short order, helicopters began to buzz the region. Security forces entered nearby woodland villages and carried out house-to-house searches, on reports the gunmen might have holed up there.

    In Paris, French Prime Minister Manuel Valls sought to calm public fears.

    MANUEL VALLS, Prime Minister, France (through interpreter): We want to tell the French people that we are very mobilized. We want to salute the fact that the French gathered and were united yesterday and today, and will be this weekend, without a doubt, and we want to tell our will to fight to defend our liberties, our democracy and our tolerance.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The objects of the manhunt are brothers in their thirties. The younger, Cherif Kouachi, had been sentenced to 18 months in prison in 2008 for trying to join a militant Islamist group fighting in Iraq.

    Less is known of the older brother, Said Kouachi, but the interior minister said both had been known to intelligence services before yesterday.

    BERNARD CAZENEUVE, Interior Minister, France (through interpreter): As soon as we knew the suspects’ identities, the potential safe havens were put under surveillance. Overnight, several searches were made at the supposed domicile of Said Kouachi and at members of the Kouachi brothers’ family and several cities. Nine persons are currently in custody.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: A third suspect, 18-year old Mourad Hamyd, turned himself into police last night, after learning his name was linked to the attacks. Friends said he’d been in school at the time of the shootings.

    On this national day of mourning, the bells of Notre Dame tolled, and French President Francois Hollande led a moment of silence for the 12 people killed at Charlie Hebdo. The satirical weekly had a history of lampooning Islam and other religions in commentary and cartoons.

    Today, people laid flowers and lit candles at the publication’s offices and decried the killings.

    MAN (through interpreter): It’s a shame that we condemn humor and that we have gone so far to kill people for cartoons, for ideas. It’s sad. It’s a bit devastating that today in Paris we got to this point.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All across the city, police presence was heavy this day, but tensions spiked with the fatal shooting of a policewoman in a southern suburb of Paris. It remained unclear if the incident had any connection to yesterday’s killings.

    Elsewhere, in shows of solidarity, some European newspapers republished some of Charlie Hebdo’s cartoons. And in protests around the world and online, people everywhere joined in declarations saying, “Je suis Charlie,” or “I am Charlie.”

    This evening in Paris, in a dramatic display, the Eiffel Tower went black in a further demonstration of national sorrow.

    I’m Hari Sreenivasan in New York for the PBS NewsHour.

    The post France mourns Charlie Hebdo victims as police expand search appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Technology is increasingly allowing doctors to communicate with and even diagnose patients who are unable to make it to their offices for regular appointments. Photo by BSIP/UIG via Getty Images. Photo by: BSIP/UIG via Getty Images

    Technology is increasingly allowing doctors to communicate with and even diagnose patients who are unable to travel for regular check-ups. Photo by BSIP/UIG via Getty Images.

    We get news every day of remarkable developments in the tech world that claim to make our lives better, easier, or more organized. For families and friends caring at home for ill or frail adults, innovations in health technology promise dramatic changes in the ways health care is delivered.

    In addition to these innovations, caregivers have some broader concerns: patient safety and security, organizing 24-hour care at home, managing complex medication protocols, meals, transportation and more. The good news is that many of these tasks can — with an investment in learning and sometimes in a new device — be made easier or more efficient. For caregivers who live far away or who are juggling jobs and care, incorporating certain new technologies into their lives can be particularly helpful and reassuring.

    The question is, how do you choose the most appropriate app or website or hardware to make your already complicated life easier and not more complex — or worse, add to your frustration and the time demands of providing care to someone else?

    Below is a brief overview of ways technology can assist caregiving families. In summarizing these options, we’re making the assumption that most of our readers have access to a computer or tablet and/or a smartphone. The goal in using any of these technologies is to find digital products and services that are practical, simple to learn and use, keep all information secure, and, ideally, are free or low-cost.


    Health Care


    As we mentioned, digital health care is a quickly growing field. But one of the most straightforward — and valuable — tech developments is the ability to email physicians with questions or symptom reports and receive a response. Your health care practitioner must, of course, be willing to allow this and other innovations, like telemedicine.

    Telemedicine — This is an exciting area where video or messaging technologies allow doctors to communicate with and even diagnose patients, but patients don’t have to leave home. The time-saving elements are clear — not to mention avoiding the difficulties of dressing, transporting and guiding someone to and from what may only be a 10-minute medical appointment.

    Chronic care — Digital tools and wearable technology (e.g., watches with sensors) can help in the care of chronic conditions by monitoring symptoms — both for your own benefit and to communicate with your doctor. Apps are available, for example, to monitor blood glucose, blood pressure and other health indicators.

    Health records — Emergency contacts, information on health care and insurance providers, records of over-the-counter medications, prescription history, allergies, health history, medical events, and lab tests can all be kept in one place. There are charts to record blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, heart rate, body temperature, weight, pain level, etc. Some sites or apps include a journal to record daily entries about diet and physical activity. Example: HealthVault.

    Medication management — If used correctly, these devices can help reduce medication errors, a frequent cause of health problems, hospital admissions and emergencies. Alarms can remind users when to take medications, or pill boxes can be locked until the appropriate time. They can send messages telling users which medication to take and when, track missed doses, and provide voice description of a medication and how it should be taken. For someone with multiple medications or who has memory problems from stroke or Alzheimer’s, these devices can be helpful as long as the person understands — and can remember — how they are to be used.


    Safety monitoring


    The physical safety and well-being of loved ones is an enormous concern for caregivers. Technology can be helpful in a number of ways to monitor the safety of someone at home, even if you’re not there.

    Fall prevention and response — Every year, one in three adults age 65 and older will fall. Falls are the most common cause of death due to injury in this age group. Some health conditions increase the likelihood of a fall: problems with walking or moving around, medications, foot problems or unsafe footwear, drop in blood pressure when moving from sitting to standing, vision problems and tripping hazards at home. Help is available with fall detectors/sensors, sensor pads and wheelchair alarms. Many people benefit from emergency response systems such as Lifeline, Vital Link and Life Alert.

    Motion detectors — These devices can be as simple as a light turning on when someone enters a room. More complex devices can monitor for activity in a particular area or room of the house. You can arrange to be notified if there has been no activity for a given period of time.

    Webcams — Another type of motion detector in which cameras are set up in different places in the house. You view the webcam to see what someone is doing, e.g., sleeping, watching TV, eating. With some of these devices, keep in mind that privacy issues may need to be addressed.

    Audio Monitors — Two-way communication devices, such as baby monitors, allow you to listen to someone from another room, so you can hear if your parent has awakened from sleep, for example, or is ready for a meal, or needs help getting out of bed.

    Wandering/exit-seeking — Door alarms can keep someone from wandering outside. GPS devices can be programmed and personalized, enabling caregivers to link a smartphone to a mobile device installed in a shoe or belt, helping to locate someone if he or she wanders or becomes lost due to severe memory loss.

    Telephone/video check-ins — Available in many communities, volunteers make daily calls to older adults who live alone to be sure they can answer the phone and are OK. Video chatting, using Skype or a similar service, helps you connect with someone if you can’t be there in person.

    Communication aids: Specialized equipment, such as phones with large buttons and enhanced audio, or computers with greatly enlarged type, can help someone with impaired vision or hearing.


    Help for caregivers


    Education & information — Online caregiver education, support & information are available 24/7 through many organizations and websites. Here are some suggested sites:
    - Family Caregiver Alliance
    - Easter Seals
    - Eldercare Locator
    - National Resource Directory
    - AARP
    - Alzheimer’s Association

    Shopping — Even if your care responsibilities only involve shopping or banking/bill-paying for your parent, you’ll save time if you can do it from home. Online prescription refills are also helpful, if that service is available to you. Several websites carry specialized clothing, medical equipment, assistive devices, incontinence supplies and more.

    Examples:
    - Buck and Buck
    - The Alzheimer’s Store
    - Amazon
    - Online grocery shopping and delivery (Safeway, Walmart)


    Communications, scheduling & information-sharing


    E-Calendars — are accessible anywhere via desktop or mobile devices, can alert you to upcoming events or tasks, and are often able to be shared among family members, friends, aides and others who may be involved in care activities.

    Information-sharing sites — allow you to share updates and photos with invited family members and friends who can view and add comments. They also allow you to give permission to someone else to post updates on your behalf, taking this responsibility off of your shoulders.

    Care coordination websites – combine calendars and information-sharing. You can share updates with loved ones, keep track of schedules, and invite/schedule others to help out with tasks and appointments. Example: www.LotsaHelpingHands.com, Caringbridge.org

    Exercise — Care demands often prevent family caregivers from getting enough exercise or sleep, yet these are necessary to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Several different sites can remind you to exercise, help you track the exercise you’re already doing, and connect with others for support or instruction. Example: American Heart Association’s Online Activity Tracker; online exercise videos through YouTube or Netflix.

    Sleep — Even sleep and relaxation can be helped with tech products. Meditation tools can help you relax before bedtime; some apps provide soothing sounds or white noise. Example: http://ambianceapp.com

    Entertainment — in addition to an enormous number of games and brain exercises, you can find free movies, music from all eras, old radio programs and other online ways to pass the time and perhaps prompt conversation and engagement with your loved one.


    Next Steps


    New innovations in technology that can be used in the home are announced every day. Sometimes, however, there seems to be a disconnect between what is offered and what caregivers really need or want. In other instances, a too-steep learning curve makes adoption of programs and apps challenging.

    But once they discover effective tech tools and become accustomed to these new products, many caregivers find that their lives are a little easier and their isolation is reduced. Here are some ways to help you fully explore your options and get what you need:

    • Search online to read about the kinds of tools you’re interested in before you purchase anything.
    • Ask friends what websites or apps they find particularly useful.
    • Visit a store where they sell electronic devices such as smartphones. Ask a salesperson to guide you in testing the tool. Find out what type of follow-up help and free training they offer.
    • Try to find a tech-wise family member, friend, service (or local teenager!) to provide assistance should you need it.

    More Information & Resources


    Residential Care Search: Online listings by geographic area.

    Helpful FCA Publications:

  • Digital Technology for the Family Caregiver
  • Community Care Options
  • Hiring In-Home Help
  • ABLEDATA:
    This extensive federally funded database lists products for people with disabilities.

    Tech for Long-Term Care:
    Developed for long-term care facilities, this site offers information on tools that can help in any setting.


    Long-Term Care Options Explored on PBS NewsHour:


    More Helpful Publications from Family Caregiver Alliance:


    About Family Caregiver Alliance

    Family Caregiver Alliance
    National Center on Caregiving
    785 Market Street, Suite 750
    San Francisco, CA 94103
    (415) 434-3388
    (800) 445-8106
    Website: www.caregiver.org
    E-mail: info@caregiver.org

    Family Caregiver Alliance (FCA) offers an extensive online library of free educational materials for caregivers. The publications, webinars and videos offer families the kind of straightforward, practical help they need as they care for relatives with chronic or disabling health conditions.

    Family Care Navigator is FCA’s online directory of resources for caregivers in all 50 states. It includes information on government health and disability programs, legal resources, disease-specific organizations and more.

    The post How emerging technologies can help with care for ill or frail family members appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People participate in a vigil to pay tribute to the victims of a shooting, by gunmen at the offices of weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo, in downtown Lisbon

    UPDATED on January 9 at 4:11 p.m. EST

    B67MYhWCQAEaAWsThe Associated Press reports that al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

    According to a statement provided to AP, the act was “revenge for the honor” of the prophet Muhammad and “in line” with warnings about “the consequences of the persistence in the blasphemy against  Muslim sanctifies.”

    The suspects in the Wednesday attack were Chérif Kouachi and Said Kouachi, two brothers who barricaded themselves in a printing house with one hostage in Dammartin-en-Goele, a industrial town northeast of Paris. The Kouachi brothers, along with Amedy Coulibaly, a gunmen who took several hostages in a kosher grocery store in Paris, died in two separate police raids Friday evening.

    The FBI is searching for related suspect Hayat Boumeddiene, who may have been involved in the shooting death of a French policewoman in Montrouge Thursday morning. While the incident did not immediately appear to be linked to the Charlie Hebdo attack, she has since been connected to Coulibaly, the gunman at the Paris grocery store.

    After the raids, several surviving hostages were sighted leaving the Paris grocery store as night fell. But Reuters also reports that at least four hostages died during the raids.

    The two hostage situations had police in the Paris region on high alert following Wednesday’s mass shooting that killed 12 people at Charlie Hebdo. The two brothers were chief suspects in the attack on the satirical newspaper, which stunned the nation earlier this week. The captor in Paris reportedly knew the brothers in Dammartin-en-Goele, and threatened to kill his hostages if the police acted against the brothers.

    France has both Europe’s largest Jewish population in Europe as well as its largest Muslim population.

    We will be following this story as the situation unfolds.

    Other resources include:

    - Tim Chester, Mashable’s deputy editor’s Vines

    - France 24′s live feed

    - The Guardian’s live blog

    - Reuters Pictures Twitter feed @reuterspictures

    -Aisha Gani, Guardian digital journalist

    -Angelique Chrisafis,  Guardian correspondent, Paris

    - Aurélien Breeden, New York Times reporter and researcher

    The post Al-Qaida’s Yemen branch claims responsibility for Charlie Hebdo shootings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight, it’s been a big week for the latest advances in tech. A major gathering in Las Vegas is closely watched each year for a preview of the practical, the fanciful, the inspirational, and the sometimes puzzling devices heading to market. But there’s a big change afoot in that world.

    Special correspondent Steve Goldbloom explains.

    STEVE GOLDBLOOM: You may have noticed #CES2015 trending this week on Twitter. That’s the Consumer Electronics Show, and it’s more or less taken over Las Vegas. Over 150,000 people from more than 140 countries are here to participate in the world’s largest tech gathering.

    For nearly 50 years, CES has served as a launching pad for the tech industry, unveiling everything from the VCR and DVD to the Xbox and Blu-ray. But things are a little different this year.

    The conference is still a platform for major announcements, like innovations in driverless cars. However, the headline this year is how everyday products are becoming more and more connected.

    Chris Anderson is the CEO of 3D Robotics. They make easy-to-use drones for recreational use. He’s also the former editor in chief of “Wired” magazine and a veteran CES attendee.

    CHRIS ANDERSON, 3D Robotics: You know, once consumer electronics were a dedicated category. Sony made a camera or a stereo or something. And then, as more and more of those functions moved into the smartphone and more and more smartphone components moved out into wearables and the smart homes and robotics, we saw this sort of explosion.

    And now consumer electronics is essentially everything. Anything in your life or your home has sensors and computers and is connected to the Internet, and it all comes here.

    STEVE GOLDBLOOM: It’s known as the Internet of things, a sweeping theme here at CES. Here on the showroom floor, companies have set up shop for the week to demo their products.

    In keeping with Vegas tradition, it’s not exactly low-key. Apparently, this has something to do with health and technology. With more than 3,000 exhibitors on hand, we couldn’t talk to everyone, but they were eager to chat with us.

    Here’s our whirlwind tour of the latest connected gadgets ready to hit the market.

    DANIEL SHAW, Fitbit: My name is Daniel Shaw. I’m a product marketing manager for Fitbit. So, everything you expect from Fitbit, all the activity tracking, the heart rate. And now we’re add in GPS, so you can see your splits and you can see how you’re running throughout the day.

    WOMAN: My name is Ellen Pareye. I work for Spin Master. The difference from this robot, from any other robot you’re going to see here in the show is that our robot can be easily programmed.

    We recognize your points, and, as you move, he moves together with you. And you can record his movements and his voice as well.

    ROBOT VOICE: Watch the PBS NewsHour.

    BEN ARTIS, Whirlpool Corporation: My name is Ben Artis. I’m the senior category manager for smart homes at Whirlpool Corporation.

    This is our interactive kitchen of the future. Not only does it have a cooktop that can recognize your cookwear, but it also has a backsplash. You can have your mom up on the screen helping you walk through that favorite pasta recipe.

    SCOTT NEUBERGER, Tagg: My name is Scott Neuberger. I’m the CEO of Tagg. Tagg GPS is an all-in-one solution to protect your pet. It offers GPS tracking, so if your dog ever escapes from your house, you will immediately know.

    DANIEL COWEN, 3Doodler: I’m Daniel Cowen, one of the co-founders of 3Doodler, first 3-D printing pen. We think people are using it in fashion, education, architecture, engineering. There’s even two designers in Hong Kong who made a full-scale dress with it.

    MAN: My name is Mark. I’m with Double Robotics.

    And this is our telepresence office robot Double. What you do is, you can put this robot in your office and you can drive around as if you were actually there, even though you can’t make it one day.

    STEVE GOLDBLOOM: Most of the products here at CES share one thing in common. They’re designed with connectivity in mind for the average consumer. From wearable health trackers, dog trackers, to a stove that gives you some virtual face-time with mom, it’s all supposed to make our lives easier.

    Still, it’s a lot to process.

    Once again, here’s Chris Anderson:

    CHRIS ANDERSON: We have spent 20 years recording our clicks and typing, and now it’s time to record the rest of our existence. wearables track our own physical body, smart homes, smart cars, et cetera. We’re digitizing the world.

    And the question is, what do we do with that data?  How do we manage the world better now that we can digitize it?

    MAN: So, you could actually send this robot out to CES, and you wouldn’t even have to come here anymore.

    STEVE GOLDBLOOM: I wouldn’t need to be here. Is that what you’re saying?

    MAN: Exactly. If you take this, you don’t ever have to come to CES ever again. Just take this iPad.

    STEVE GOLDBLOOM: What if I wanted to be here, though?

    Reporting from CES for the “PBS NewsHour” in Las Vegas, I’m Steve Goldbloom.

    The post Consumer electronics get more connected, but do we need everything to be interactive? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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