Articles on this Page
- 03/29/15--15:52: _Inside the new fede...
- 03/30/15--12:33: _Officials: Iran nuk...
- 03/30/15--12:34: _How much is too muc...
- 03/30/15--12:46: _Judy Woodruff remem...
- 03/30/15--14:11: _Poet writes unflinc...
- 03/30/15--14:27: _Ken Burns and Sidda...
- 03/30/15--15:15: _Collection of rare ...
- 03/30/15--15:20: _Astronaut Scott Kel...
- 03/30/15--15:21: _U.S. official ‘hope...
- 03/30/15--15:25: _Documentary chronic...
- 03/30/15--15:30: _How the biases in t...
- 03/30/15--15:35: _Will Indiana’s reli...
- 03/30/15--15:40: _Nigerians worry abo...
- 03/30/15--15:45: _Stockpiles and sanc...
- 03/30/15--15:50: _Marco Rubio expecte...
- 03/30/15--15:50: _News Wrap: Indiana ...
- 03/31/15--11:59: _We need to talk abo...
- 03/31/15--12:23: _Will Jay-Z’s new mu...
- 03/31/15--12:37: _President Obama gra...
- 03/31/15--13:23: _A map of America’s ...
- 03/29/15--15:52: Inside the new federal pay day loan rules
- 03/30/15--12:33: Officials: Iran nuke talks solving some issues, not others
- 03/30/15--12:34: How much is too much when it comes to spending on college sports?
- 03/30/15--12:46: Judy Woodruff remembers the day Reagan was shot
- 03/30/15--14:11: Poet writes unflinchingly about self-inflicted violence and women
- 03/30/15--15:15: Collection of rare photographs offers a new look at the Civil War
- 03/30/15--15:20: Astronaut Scott Kelly sets out to break an American record in space
- 03/30/15--15:21: U.S. official ‘hopeful’ Nigerian elections will remain violence-free
- 03/30/15--15:25: Documentary chronicles the ‘resistance movement’ against cancer
- 03/30/15--15:35: Will Indiana’s religious freedom law inform the 2016 GOP race?
- 03/30/15--15:45: Stockpiles and sanctions threaten Iran nuclear deal deadline
- 03/30/15--15:50: Marco Rubio expected to announce presidential campaign April 13
- 03/31/15--11:59: We need to talk about why we don’t want kids
- 03/31/15--12:23: Will Jay-Z’s new music streaming service help artists?
- 03/31/15--12:37: President Obama grants clemency to 22 people in prison
- 03/31/15--13:23: A map of America’s 50 biggest craft breweries
HARI SREENIVASAN: The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau this week took new steps to protect the working poor from people critics describe as predatory lenders, those who make payday loans.
For more about this, we are joined now from Washington by Chico Harlan of The Washington Post.
So, first, I guess let’s just set the stage here. What qualifies in this category of loans that the CFPB is trying to regulate?
CHICO HARLAN, The Washington Post: Well, they’re actually going after a pretty broad swathe of both short-term and medium-term loans, generally characterized by very high interest rates and by the target audience or the target consumer, which is — which tends to be — tends to be the working poor.
You have two categories, payday loans, which are — you know, you have two weeks, basically, to pay it back, and then installment loans, which go over a longer period. You still have astronomical interest rates. And they’re paid back over weeks or sometimes months.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What is the hazard when somebody takes a loan, can’t take it or can’t pay it back? They pick up another loan?
CHICO HARLAN: Yes, that tends to be the biggest hazard.
It’s that, you know, these loans are marketed as a two-week fix. Let’s say you have some unforeseen emergency, a car accident, bills that are larger than anticipated. Well, you go to a payday lending store, and you take out a loan, with the idea that it will be paid back in two weeks.
However, these are people who don’t always have so much money on hand. And when that two-week period hits, boom, you have all this — these financing fees that are added in.
And many people find themselves in a position where the only way they can pay back that loan and still pay for food and other daily needs is to take out yet another payday loan.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, so what is the bureau going to do or want to do to try to prevent this from happening?
CHICO HARLAN: Well, they’re going after this in a couple of different ways.
And it does get complicated, but I think maybe the key, the key thing, the pillar in this whole strategy is a cap that will come after the third loan.
So, let’s say you take out a loan, renew it twice. Now a payday company can no longer get you on a fourth — or on a third renewal.
They basically have to give you an off-ramp, where all the money you owe after three payday loans in a row gets paid back over any period of time that you want.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So when do these proposed rules go into effect?
CHICO HARLAN: Well, there’s still going to be quite a long period of deliberation. I would suspect that some — by some time next year, these rules or some version of them will go into effect.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And what has the initial response been from the lending industry about this?
CHICO HARLAN: Almost everybody I have talked to in the payday industry has made it clear that this was far more strict than expected.
And the outcome, or the outcry, I should say, from people in the payday industry has been pretty — pretty fierce, saying that, this will really jeopardize our business, but more importantly — this is their words — this will jeopardize the ability of low-income people to get credit when they’re oftentimes not serviced properly by banks.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Chico Harlan from The Washington Post, thanks so much.
CHICO HARLAN: Thank you, Hari.
LAUSANNE, Switzerland — Negotiations over Iran’s nuclear program reached a critical phase Monday with diplomats struggling to overcome substantial differences just a day before a deadline for the outline of an agreement.
With Tuesday’s target date for a framework accord just hours away, the top diplomats from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council and Germany were meeting with Iran to try to bridge remaining gaps and hammer out an understanding that would serve as the basis for a final accord to be reached by the end of June.
“We are working late into the night and obviously into tomorrow,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who has been meeting with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif in Lausanne since Thursday in an intense effort to reach a political understanding on terms that would curb Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.
“There is a little more light there today, but there are still some tricky issues,” Kerry said. “Everyone knows the meaning of tomorrow.”
Kerry and others at the table said the sides have made some progress, with Iran considering demands for further cuts to its uranium enrichment program but pushing back on how long it must limit technology it could use to make atomic arms. In addition to sticking points on research and development, differences remain on the timing and scope of sanctions removal, the officials said.
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said Iran’s expectations from the talks are “very ambitious” and not yet acceptable to his country or the other five negotiating: the U.S., Britain, China, France and Russia.
“We will not allow a bad deal,” he said. “We will only arrive at a document that is ready to sign if it … excludes Iran getting access to nuclear weapons. We have not yet cleared this up.”
In particular, Steinmeier said the question of limits on research and development that Iran would be allowed to continue was problematic.
Other officials said the issue of the scope and timing of sanctions relief was also a major sticking point.
In a tweet, Gerard Araud, the French ambassador to the United States, said that “very substantial problems remain to be solved.”
In a sign that the talks would go down to the wire on Tuesday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov left, just a day after arriving, to return to Moscow. His spokeswoman said he would will return to Lausanne on Tuesday only if there was a realistic chance for a deal.
Meanwhile, Iran’s deputy foreign minister, Abbas Araghchi, told Iranian state television that the talks were not likely to reach any conclusion until “tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.”
“We are not still in the position to be able to say we are close to resolving the (remaining) issues but we are hopeful and we’ll continue the efforts,” he said.
The Obama administration says any deal will stretch the time Iran needs to make a nuclear weapon from the present two to three months to at least a year. But critics object that it would keep Tehran’s nuclear technology intact.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, at the forefront of accusations that Iran helped Shiite rebels advance in Yemen, says the deal in the works sends the message that “there is a reward for Iran’s aggression.”
“But we do not shut our eyes, and we will continue to act against any threat,” he said, an allusion to Israeli warnings that it will use force as a last resort against Tehran’s nuclear program.
Officials in Lausanne said the sides were advancing on limits to aspects of Iran’s program to enrich uranium, which can be used to make the core of a nuclear warhead.
Tehran has said it is willing to address concerns about its stockpiles of enriched uranium, although it has denied that will involve shipping it out of the country, as some Western officials have said. One official said on Monday that Iran might deal with the issue by diluting its stocks to a level that would not be weapons grade.
A senior State Department official said that shipping the stockpile is one of the “viable options that have been under discussion for months … but resolution is still being discussed.”
Uranium enrichment has been the chief concern in over more than a decade of international attempts to cap Iran’s nuclear programs. But a Western official said the main obstacles to a deal were no longer enrichment-related but instead the type and length of restrictions on Tehran’s research and development of advanced centrifuges and the pace of sanctions-lifting.
Both demanded anonymity — the State Department official in line with U.S. briefing rules and the Western official because he was not authorized to discuss the emerging deal.
Over the past weeks, Iran has moved from demanding that it be allowed to keep nearly 10,000 centrifuges enriching uranium, to agreeing to 6,000. The officials said Tehran now may be ready to accept even fewer.
Tehran says it wants to enrich only for energy, science, industry and medicine. But many countries fear Iran could use the technology to make weapons-grade uranium.
The post Officials: Iran nuke talks solving some issues, not others appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Four teams are still alive in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. Today, March Madness brings to mind more than big upsets and broken brackets, though. The multi-billion-dollar college sports industry is increasingly answering questions about academic standards, player safety and growing inequities between coaches and athletes.
With tuition and fees on the rise, a poll from Monmouth University finds a majority of Americans think universities with big-time athletic programs spend too much time and money on sports. Perhaps no one knows that better than Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan.
Kirk Carapezza, a reporter with WGBH’s On Campus higher education desk, recently sat down with Schlissel for a rare one-on-one interview and asked him how big-time college sports impacts the bottom line and the identity of a major research university.
“Michigan is fortunate enough that our athletic program pays its own way,” Schlissel said. “Sports isn’t, for us, a drain on the enterprise. It’s a neutral in terms of costs and a big positive in terms of community.”
Listen to the full interview:
The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics finds that since 2008 Michigan has cut academic spending per student by 3 percent while increasing athletic spending per athlete by 36 percent. The Commission predicts that escalation in spending on coaching salaries and facilities will continue at rates disproportionate to growth in academic spending. It says the disclosure of finance enhances the ability of colleges and universities to make sure athletic programs advance the mission of higher education.
“Data show that over the past decade, coaching salaries for major college football and basketball coaches soared while university academic budgets stagnated and pressure for greater player benefits intensified,” says Amy Perko, executive director of the Knight Commission. “There is no evidence that the trends will stop absent a different financial regulatory approach or a shift in the incentives to reward educational outcomes, not just winning teams, more significantly.”
You can track athletic and academic spending by institution here.
This story comes from On Campus, a public radio reporting initiative focused on higher education produced in Boston at WGBH.
PBS NewsHour coverage of higher education is supported by the Lumina Foundation and American Graduate: Let’s Make it Happen, a public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The post How much is too much when it comes to spending on college sports? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Thirty-four years ago today, John Hinckley tried to kill President Ronald Reagan.
At the time, PBS NewsHour anchor Judy Woodruff was a White House correspondent for NBC News. She watched as President Reagan walked outside the Washington Hilton Hotel, where he was delivering a speech to AFL-CIO’s Building & Construction Trades union, heard the gunshots and saw the president’s press secretary, Jim Brady, lying face down in a pool of blood.
Woodruff recounted her memory of that historic event today on Twitter.
Sarah Rose Nordgren reads “The Performance” from her debut collection, “Best Bones.” When she wrote the poem, she was thinking about self-inflicted violence and women. “One of the things I was thinking about in a number of the poems in the book was this sort of inward direction,” Nordgren told Art Beat in December. “This is a massive generalization, but this sort of inward-directed violence that seems to be more female as opposed to an outwardly-directed violence that’s more masculine. ‘The Performance’ is definitely about the self inflicted female violence.”
It’s not right that she should do this
to her body as she speaks,
but it’s the only way we can understand her.
We who weren’t raised on sand
and cherry-pits. Whose stepfathers
held their tempers.
The South is a mean place
we forget about. The windows
boarded up all over town. She says,
dogs chased her down the tar-
soaked road like devils. Each dog with three
heads, three tails. She says,
we might’ve mocked her story,
but never now. First, she strikes nails
against her chest like matches.
Then, when we think we can’t
take more from her, she eats
her own hands. Who are we now
to say that art should not destroy us?
“Best Bones” is Sarah Rose Nordgren‘s debut book of poetry and is the winner of the 2013 Agnes Lunch Starrett Poetry Prize. Nordgren’s poems have also been published in a range of publications, including Plougshares, The Iowa Review, Pleiades, The Harvard Review, The Literary Review and the Best New Poets anthology. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown and residencies from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, scholarships from the Bread Loaf Writers Confernce and an Individual Excellence Award from the Ohio Arts Council. Nordgren earned a masters in fine arts from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She lives in Cincinnati and teaches in the English Department at Miami University of Ohio.
“The Performance” from “Best Bones,” by Sarah Rose Nordgren, © 2014. Used by permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.
The post Poet writes unflinchingly about self-inflicted violence and women appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
At a time when documentaries are getting more attention from mainstream moviegoers, Ken Burns, the documentarian behind epics including “The Civil War,” “Baseball” and two dozen other films, says the best advice he can offer aspiring filmmakers may seem like platitudes.
“Do I have something to say; who am I? And the other thing is perseverance,” Burns told PBS NewsHour co-anchor Judy Woodruff. “There are many more talented filmmakers than there are available money or places to put it. So it requires a kind of humility, that it’s going to be tough.”
The three-part documentary explores the history of cancer and cancer treatment, shining a light on the rapid progress being made in areas like immunotherapy that may lead to cures for more types of the disease. The film is based on Mukherjee’s 2011 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer.”
During a few extra minutes the two spent talking with Judy, Mukherjee talked about the role hope plays in treating cancer patients.
“It’s a negotiation act, in which you say: well what do you want to do next and how can we help you do that? It’s based on trust, you don’t suddenly pull hope out of your pocket like a magician,” Mukherjee said.
You can watch their full conversation with Judy about “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies” on tonight’s broadcast.
The post Ken Burns and Siddartha Mukherjee on adapting ‘Cancer’ from page to screen appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally to our NewsHour Shares of the day, something that caught out eye that might be of interest to you, too.
The Library of Congress recently acquired more than 500 rare Civil War-era images from 87-year-old Robin Stanford, who has been collecting the stereograph photos, an earlier form of three-dimensional images, for five decades. They were mostly made by Confederate photographers. The Library has already digitized the first 77 and made them available to view online.
Speaking with the Associated Press, Stanford explained why she decided to donate them now.
ROBIN STANFORD: Bigger than he is, I swear.
Bought a viewer and, oh, a few cards, miscellaneous cards at an antique show and thought that would be fun for the kids. Well, like I said, you know, the camel stick its nose in the tent and the first thing you know, it’s sitting down to dinner at your table. And that’s how it happened.
I just started. I liked them. I found them intriguing, because they brought past times, quality of life more immediately. And I liked history all my life. And this was a real slice of history.
I was planning to leave these to my son. He loved history also. And I lost him a year ago. And the air just went out of the balloon. I stopped collecting. That was it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The images are fascinating. And you can see all of them at the Library of Congress Web site. That’s LOC.gov.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, a conversation about an out-of-this-world experience: living in space.
Astronaut Scott Kelly arrived this weekend at the International Space Station. He will stay there for almost a year, the longest duration an American has ever spent in space. He’s the identical twin brother of former astronaut Mark Kelly. And both will participate in a study to see the effects of living in space.
After Scott Kelly lifted off on Friday, Jeffrey Brown spoke with a former astronaut, Chris Hadfield, whose final stay on the space station lasted five months.
JEFFREY BROWN: Chris Hadfield, welcome to you.
The twin study is especially interesting this time, right, the research on the two brothers, Scott and Mark Kelly, one in space, one on the ground. What kinds of things are being looked at?
CHRIS HADFIELD, Canadian Space Agency: Yes, it sounds like science fiction, doesn’t it, to have an identical twin on a space ship and another one down on the ground?
But it’s just luck, but, boy, it sure provides some interesting medical and scientific opportunity. You take two people that are as identical as they can be. You put them in wildly different environments, one of them that is really brand-new for humanity, living in weightlessness off the planet, and then you watch how they change over a year. You measure all of those subtle things, bone density, muscle strength, psychology, vision, blood pressure, blood pressure regulation, all of those, liver function, everything.
And it is really going to help us not only understand spaceflight for long-term flight, for going from here to the moon and Mars and beyond, but also just understand the effects on the body of flight itself, the subtle changes that happen within the body, and teach us inherently about physiology. It’s a really cool thing. It’s never been done before.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so, then, of course, there is the length of time. This would be twice as long, I think, twice longer than any American up to this point.
What’s the — why go longer? And let’s start to talk a little bit about the new difficulties that that presents in staying up that long.
CHRIS HADFIELD: I think the big difference, Jeff, is we’re now going from probing space to moving away from Earth, so colonizing space, to leaving Earth permanently.
This is one of those major steps, not just a one-week- or two-week-long flight or a quick foray to the moon to see if we can do it, but actually a very long-term move away from the planet and see how we do all of the things. So, there is a lot to learn. There are huge suite of things, straight from — from just human physiology. What sort of exercise equipment do we need? How do you keep somebody psychologically healthy for that length of time away from the world?
What type of person should you choose? What’s the right type of person to go to the moon and live on the moon or to go to Mars?
JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.
CHRIS HADFIELD: All of those questions are going to get discussed and looked at.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, you know, Scott Kelly has talked about his family, and talked about — he has a 20-year-old daughter in college. He talks about his love of nature, talks about the psychological issues.
What were the hardest parts for you psychologically? Start with the psychology of it, to keep from boredom, keep from depression? What kinds of things did you experience?
CHRIS HADFIELD: When we first started cooperating with the Russians and sending astronauts to Mir, one of the real problems was, they didn’t have a full plate of activities every day.
We hadn’t had time to get a full scientific program for them. And, so, it was really tough psychologically. They didn’t feel like there was purpose to what they were doing. It’s not that way on the space station. It’s a busy place. Scott is going to have a plate full of activities every day.
So, that — you never get in a state of boredom. It’s more a constant scramble to try and keep up with the demands of all of the mission controls around the world. But there is straight physical separation, and there’s a sense of isolation, naturally. And so that requires building your crew as a sense of family, but also a change of how you communicate with your own family, like our soldiers that are overseas, like all of the people that serve a long time away from home.
JEFFREY BROWN: Let just ask you finally about the physical adjustments as well of spending that much time in zero gravity or on the space station and then the readjustment, the adjustment back to living on Earth.
CHRIS HADFIELD: Scott has just been up there for a brief period already. There are big changes initially.
Your body doesn’t have gravity pushing all the fluid down towards your feet. So, you feel like you have the worst sinus headache, like you have been standing on your head forever. Your tongue swells up. You’re also kind of dizzy and nauseous.
But that passes after a week or so. You get into a regular routine, working out. You get totally adapted to weightlessness, which is actually kind of more fun a lot easier than living under gravity. But you pay the price when you come home.
You’re squished by gravity. Your body has trouble pumping blood up to your head. You can’t balance. You feel sick. Your bones have probably lost a bunch of density, especially across the load-bearing parts, across your hips. You have to grow your musculature, but even more slowly, you have to grow your bone density back.
None of that comes for free. Exploration isn’t easy. But the stuff we learn from it, it teaches us right across the board, from making spaceships safer to understanding just how the body builds bone itself. There is a lot to learn. And Scott is right on the leading edge of all that.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Chris Hadfield, we’re talking about some of the troubles, the psychology, the physical issues, but it’s an amazing experience, right, what you see out there, what you feel?
CHRIS HADFIELD: Scott is going to be orbiting the planet as it goes all the way around the sun, one whole orbit of the sun.
He’s going around the world 16 times a day. He will see the entire world go from winter to summer to winter. He will get to know the planet like almost no one in history ever has. And the beauty of it, a sunrise or a sunset every 45 minutes, just the raw power of the nature of the world, it is a mesmerizing gorgeousness that you never get tired of.
So, yes, he’s doing a lot of science up there. It’s important. But it is such a beautiful, magnificent, personal experience. Scott is a privileged guy to be there as a vanguard for us all.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, quite extraordinary.
Chris Hadfield, thank you so much for telling us about it.
CHRIS HADFIELD: Really nice to talk with you, Jeff.
The post Astronaut Scott Kelly sets out to break an American record in space appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Watch the PBS NewsHour’s full interview with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield.
Nigerians stood in long lines to vote for their next president over the weekend, and on Monday were still awaiting results that were too close to call.
“We’re all waiting with baited breath,” U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield told PBS NewsHour chief correspondent Jeffrey Brown on Monday afternoon from the country’s capital Abuja. “We have been surprised by the low level of violence that has occurred so far.”
Incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party is seeking a second four-year term. His main challenger is retired Army Maj. Gen. Muhammadu Buhari, who leads the opposition All Progressives Congress. Buhari led the country from 1983 to 1985 after taking power in a military coup.
A previous matchup between the two in 2011 resulted in Jonathan’s victory and led to fierce fighting in the north, where Buhari is popular. Jonathan’s base of support is in the south. An estimated 1,000 people died that year and about 65,000 had to flee due to the violence.
On Monday, Secretary of State John Kerry and UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond issued a joint statement saying it appears there wasn’t “systemic manipulation” during the weekend’s election, though they expressed concern over potential “political interference” during vote-counting.
“We’re getting a lot of calls from around the country of people concerned about the process after the election. We have been assured by the independent national electoral commissioner that these are being addressed, that they are following up on all of these issues,” Thomas-Greenfield explained. “But we felt the importance of issuing a statement so that those who might be involved in those kinds of activities would be warned that people are aware of their actions.
“I don’t think I would go so far as saying that it’s ‘rigging,’” she continued. “We’re still in a good place.”
Past elections in Nigeria have included widespread vote-rigging and fraud. But election monitoring group International Republican Institute said Saturday’s vote was more transparent, thanks in part to new permanent voter cards — rather than paper ones — and card-reading machines that scanned voters’ fingerprints.
Although there were technical glitches and long waits at some of the 150,000 polling stations, “delegates praised the determination of Nigerian voters to see the process through to the end,” IRI said in a statement.
Voting continued into Sunday at some polling sites to account for the malfunctioning card-readers. Complete results are expected by Tuesday.
The post U.S. official ‘hopeful’ Nigerian elections will remain violence-free appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: a deep and unique look at the history of cancer and the battles to end it or slow it.
It’s the focus of a three-night documentary on PBS that starts tonight and continues through Wednesday called “Cancer: The Emperor of All Maladies.” It’s produced by Ken Burns and based on the book of the same name by Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee.
First, an excerpt from tonight’s episode. It’s about what happened to Olivia Blair, a toddler diagnosed with an acute type of leukemia that has spread to her brain and spinal column. The film follows her as she and her parents struggle with difficult decisions, including this moment, when doctors discuss the option of radiation to her brain.
MAN: So, obviously, the question is what does this mean for…
WOMAN: Well, I — yes, I’m automatically thinking that the leukemia is in her spine, it’s in her brain. So, it’s more serious then. It’s high-risk.
MAN: So — well, what that means is that her therapy will be more intense, that she will get extra chemotherapy, and then we also are going to recommend that she gets spine radiation and radiation to the brain.
WOMAN: I don’t want to do radiation.
MAN: I know.
MAN: So, we…
WOMAN: Why are — why are we doing that?
MAN: Because we know that radiation will treat it. But we know that the radiation therapy could potentially have effects on her cognitive abilities going forward.
MAN: I just…
WOMAN: Come on. They’re right.
MAN: We gave you one scenario yesterday.
MAN: She’s such a smart child.
MAN: I know.
WOMAN: She is. And she is going to continue to be smart. She has me and you as parents.
MAN: She won’t see me like this, but I need to get this out.
WOMAN: She is an extremely smart child.
MAN: How is this going to affect her? You don’t know, right?
MAN: If Olivia was 7 years old, we wouldn’t have a big problem irradiating her brain. The problem is that, because she’s 17 months, her brain has not fully developed. It’s almost there, but it’s not fully developed.
So one of the things that we’re very worried about and thinking about for Olivia is the role of radiation therapy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I sat down recently with Ken Burns, the executive producer and co-writer of the film, and with Dr. Mukherjee, the book’s author, who is also an assistant professor of medicine at Columbia University.
Ken Burns, Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, thank you very much for being here.
As we see from that clip, there are moments in this program that are very, very difficult to watch.
Let me ask you first, though, about why you called it “The Emperor of All Maladies”? How did you come up with that?
DR. SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE, Author, “The Emperor of All Maladies”: Well, the title is from kind of an incidental note that I found in a surgeon’s writings.
And so I thought it was very poetic, the idea that there is an empire of disease. And we are citizens of that empire. And, you know, our struggle against cancer is a resistance movement. So there were lots of metaphors that I thought worked. And I wanted a title that was a little bit more — took us backwards in time and talked about sort of, you know, what is it like inhabiting this empire, if you will?
But it was mostly a poetic idea that I tried to bring to this history.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It is a resistance. There’s a resistance movement, Ken Burns, that’s going on.
And you not only — this is an historical documentary. It’s about the science, but it’s also very much, of course, about the people, the patients and their families. And we saw that in that clip.
KEN BURNS, Documentary Filmmaker: I think that’s the important part.
It is a very, very complicated and fascinating history across all of human history, because the disease has been with us as long as we have been here as human beings. And it’s also a very interesting science, a kind of CSI of discovery and investigation, of disappointment and serendipity, of mistakes turning into great discoveries.
But anchoring it all is, I think, the fact that this is still a human equation. And too often in our discussions, our larger political discussions, even the personal ones about cancer, we have left out the agency of patients. And we have tried to in this film return that agency to them.
But these are very tough decisions. You see parents worrying about a 17-month-old girl, wondering what the radiation is going to do to her, and we’re just — we’re there. We understand exactly those dynamics. And because one of — either Sid or I will get cancer, you or Judy — I mean Gwen or you or Margaret will get cancer in your lifetime, these are impossible odds to consider, and yet we don’t talk about it.
And I think what Sid’s book has done is bring it to the fore and said, look, we must talk about it. It is the emperor. We are obligated to be part of that resistance movement.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Sid Mukherjee, it’s full of — there are moments of breakthrough in this story. Yes, there are grindingly depressing parts of it, but you — but you show, you celebrate the moments when science has made a difference, and the whole picture is there.
DR. SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE: There are epic moments of breakthrough.
I mean, the epic moments of breakthrough come throughout the film. And what is important to realize is that you have to go through grinding moments into the moments of discovery. They are part and parcel of the same thing. You don’t get the discoveries for cheap. This is a profoundly human story. It has to be.
But the discovery — when the discoveries come, they are so epic. They are one — they are — I would say they rank among the great discoveries of human history, even outside science itself. So, and you — we wanted you, we wanted viewers to feel them.
And you don’t feel the discovery, I think, unless you live through the grind of that discovery. You don’t feel it. You’re not brought to that. There’s a catharsis that happens. It’s a detective story, but you have got to watch the whole — you know, the whole thing play itself out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You do come away, Ken Burns, humbled by this disease, because, after all the money, after all the effort — it’s been centuries since they figured out it wasn’t black bile that was causing cancer.
KEN BURNS: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And a lot of very smart people have been trying ever since then to figure it out, but it’s still winning, in many ways.
KEN BURNS: It is indeed. And it is wily and crafty, a kind of elegant version of ourselves that is destroying ourselves.
And so, yes, we are humbled by it. The story that Sid has told, that we have tried to retell, Barak Goodman and myself, is one in which we’re saying, there are these wonderful moments of discovery, and it seems to be an aha moment. The word cure is put forward, and then suddenly reality comes in. And then you have another moment.
And so it’s a kind of respiration, an inhalation, an exhalation, as we move closer and closer. But the cumulative one — the cumulative story is one of hope. We are getting closer. We know so much more than we did even 30 years ago, even 10 years ago. And when you realize that, then the lives will continue to be lost, this will be deadly, this will be this emperor, we are moving forward, and we can see a horizon in the not-too-distant future in which so many of the cancers, like a few now, are merely chronic.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, in fact, Dr. Mukherjee, you have a doctor at the very beginning saying the next 20 years is going to be the age of discovery and you end on a hopeful note about immunotherapy.
DR.SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE: Absolutely.
And, you know, already, every year, hundreds of thousands of men and women are — and children are being cured or treated in very effective ways because of the discoveries that have happened in the last 10 years. So our general approach is, you have got to know this story; you have got to know this story for your own sake. Otherwise, you know, it’s going to become part of your own story. It’s going to intersect with your life.
So we have to anticipate that intersection. And you have got to know it. And this is a kind of state-of-the-world report on cancer. And you have got to know it because it’s going to come into your life, whether you want it to or not.
KEN BURNS: That’s right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We should point out — and I do want to end with this — both of you come to this with your own personal experience about cancer.
I mean, Ken, for you, it was your mother.
KEN BURNS: Judy, I wouldn’t be sitting here. My mother died when I was 11. She was sick for the 10 years before that. There wasn’t a moment growing up that I wasn’t aware of her impending death.
And I spent my life trying to wake the dead, trying to have a conversation with an American past. And participating in this project has been an extraordinary honor because it’s in some way a continuation of a conversation with a woman that’s been interrupted for 50 years.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, for you, it was a patient.
DR. SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE: It was absolutely.
The whole story for me begins with a woman who asked me, “I want to know where we’re going.” And, in a sense, the — Ken and Barak and this documentary has allowed me — us to tell that story for everyone, which is to say, where are we going, how did we get here, and what happens next?
JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re asked questions like that. And the patients — patients want — they want a final — they want an explanation that they can take home.
DR. SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE: And it’s not — and the point is, it’s not going to be a one-line, one-word explanation.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
DR. SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE: You have to know the full history, I think, to appreciate why we’re here today and what’s happening next.
And I think, you know, with Ken’s help and with Barak’s help — I was thinking about this.
Ken, you did such an amazing job with “Civil War,” but this is another civil war.
KEN BURNS: Exactly
DR. SIDDHARTHA MUKHERJEE: This is a civil war in your body. And we have got to know that history. Just like if you want to be a citizen of this world, you need to know the history of that war.
You need to know the history of this war in order to be who you are.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Dr. Sid Mukherjee, Ken Burns.
It is “The Emperor of All Maladies.”
And we thank you both. It’s a gift to all of us. Thank you.
KEN BURNS: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You can watch more of our conversation on adapting cancer from page to screen on our home page. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: Research shows that millennials, young people between 18 and 35, as we mentioned a few minutes ago, compared to their parents, are more racially diverse and more accepting of other races.
Many were surprised and frankly upset by the University of Oklahoma students who were caught making racist chants on video.
Well, Hari Sreenivasan wanted to learn more about racial bias among millennials, and he brings us a story about his visit to a research lab focused on race.
His report is another installment in our series Race Today.
JONATHAN MENTOR: I believe that there is less racism in this particular generation.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Many millennials were shocked this month by the blatant racism shown in this viral video from the fraternity at the University of Oklahoma coming from people their own age.
SUMMER ANNE: In no way, shape or form should that video represent my generation as a whole. Part of my generation by no means is racist, by no means houses prejudices at — and at least, if they do, you know, carry stereotypes with them, are intelligent enough not to voice them to anybody.
MAN: Well, I feel that our generation is less racist, due to exposure of events and social media and on TV. And, like, word is spreading and people are becoming more conscious to racism and trying to make a change.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But it’s not always that simple. And millennials themselves will be the first to admit it.
JONATHAN MENTOR: There is less racism, but the racism that does still pervade everyday interactions with people, it’s so much more subtle and quiet. And it’s almost like: “I don’t like black people. Oh hey, Shaquan, how are you? Welcome to the office.”
HARI SREENIVASAN: A 2010 report by the Pew Research Center noted that the millennial generation, ages 18 to 29, was more racially diverse, better educated, and seen as more racially tolerant than their parents and grandparents.
But while millennials are more likely to say they’re not racist or use racist expressions, some psychologists say that they often show the same subconscious prejudices as their parents.
David Amodio, a psychologist at New York University, studies racial biases.
DAVID AMODIO, New York University: If you’re an American, you’re exposed to similar culture, similar information in the media, similar social structures. And it seems that all of those influences come into the mind.
You could be passive and these things will come in. Memory is kind of like a sponge. And it gets into your mind. Once it’s there, it might come out.
HARI SREENIVASAN: When these prejudices soak up in the mind, they’re what psychologists call implicit biases, unconscious thoughts that shape our actions. They are harder to observe and study than explicit biases, like a racist chant on a bus.
So Amodio tests subjects by forcing them to act on instinct, to make quick racial judgments in a controlled setting. It is a way to see just what has been soaked up in that mental sponge, regardless of generation. I decided to give it a try.
So unpleasant or white left, and pleasant or black right. OK, no problem.
First I took the IAT, or Implicit Association Test, which is freely available online. It measures how quickly I associate positive and negative words with skin color. Then I went through a more difficult exam. In this test, I had under a second to decide whether or not to shoot the person that flashed on screen based on just one thing, whether or not they were holding a gun. Sometimes, the men were white. Sometimes, they were black.
I’m killing innocent people left and right. Oh, man. You know, I am trying really hard to figure out where the person’s hand is. But more, often than not, if I do it fast enough, the only thing I’m registering is the person’s race. And that’s not a very good decision-making process.
DAVID AMODIO: So you experience that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Computers in the next room tracked exactly where my eyes were looking on screen to measure what I actually saw before pulling the trigger or deciding not to. Almost all participants, out of instinct, look first to a person’s face before seeing what’s in their hand.
DAVID AMODIO: They go to the face. They get down and toward the hand. But this is the decision point. So they’re still making a decision, and I don’t know if it was to shoot or not on this trial, but they’re making a decision before they even get right on to the object, before they fixate on the object itself.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So they’re deciding to shoot before they even see the gun?
DAVID AMODIO: That’s right.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Or the wallet.
DAVID AMODIO: That’s what we find.
HARI SREENIVASAN: We will get to my findings in a minute.
Other tests track, in real time, exactly what parts of the brain are activated when making these race-based decisions. So why does this matter? Research finds that implicit biases are not just an issue between whites and blacks. It exists among all races. In the real world, these biases play out in courtrooms, where jurors have implicit biases against defendants, and with doctors and what treatments they prescribe their patients.
DAVID AMODIO: When you look around, you see people from all different backgrounds. You have no idea where they’re from really or what they’re thinking or what they’re doing here. But we categorize them instantly.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And how much of it is human instinct, human nature to make that decision? Right now, I’m not threatened by these dogs that are right behind us, but some part of me as a human being looks out at a street and says, am I threatened by that person or am I not? It’s kind of a survival instinct.
DAVID AMODIO: It is. This is going on all the time in the back of your mind. You have to — as a human being, to survive, you have to be ready for anything at any moment. So it’s always there. It’s just a matter of trying to stay focused and treating people like humans.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And in this increasingly virtual world, our biases, explicit and implicit, follow us online, where many millennials spend much of their time.
CHRISTIAN RUDDER, Author, “Dataclysm”: Racism is a thing, sexism is a thing, regardless of whether it’s online or offline.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Christian Rudder was one of the co-founders of OkCupid, an online dating site that was bought by Match.com. He also authored “Dataclysm,” a book that dives deep into the human mind using big data to observe, among other things, how people found their mates. And there are clear patterns when analyzing hundreds of thousands of heterosexual profiles, including those of millennials.
There were three interesting findings. All races were likely to select their own. All women, regardless of race, had preference for white males. All non-black profiles, both men and women, had a statistical dislike of black profiles.
CHRISTIAN RUDDER: In dating, you judge people reflexively, in the same way that you might — it’s maybe not the same, but similar to how you might judge someone at a job interview, or when they try to rent your apartment or apply for a loan. It’s very much the data of the first impression.
SUMMER ANNE: Like, I have piercings. People judge me based on that. They think that, you know, I’m a punk, oh, I don’t have a job, or I’m young.
MAN: I mean, everyone has…
MAN: Stereotypes. Yes, everyone has stereotypes. Everyone does.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Similar to the words in the hit Broadway musical “Avenue Q.”
SINGERS (singing): Everyone’s a little bit racist. It’s true.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Including, it turns out, me.
Interestingly enough, Amodio’s first test results found that my sentiments actually showed a slight preference toward black faces, that I had no problem associating positive words with darker skin. That’s not the norm. More than half the population who have taken the exam find take less time to put negative words next to black faces.
So I’m shoing a preference in one way or another, according to the test.
DAVID AMODIO: Yes.
HARI SREENIVASAN: It’s just not the way that 51 percent are showing it, right?
DAVID AMODIO: Yes, that’s right.
HARI SREENIVASAN: But this is where it gets interesting. In the second test, where I had to react almost on instinct and decide whether to shoot or not based on what I thought in someone’s hand, I was faster at shooting armed blacks than armed whites. And I was far more likely to shoot an unarmed black man than an unarmed white one.
Sadly, that is the national norm, including for millennials.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan reporting from New York.
JUDY WOODRUFF: For more on our series Race Today, please visit our home page. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to that controversial new law in Indiana that opponents claim permits businesses to refuse service to same-sex couples on religious grounds.
For that and more, we turn to our politics Monday check-in.
Tonight, Margaret Talev, who is the White House and politics correspondent for Bloomberg News, and Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA Today, join us.
It’s great to have both of you.
SUSAN PAGE, USA Today: Thank you.
MARGARET TALEV, Bloomberg: It’s nice to be here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, let’s talk about Indiana, Susan.
Mike Pence, the governor, made a big deal out of the fact he was signing this into law. He’s been out defending it, including yesterday on the Sunday talks shows. Do you think that he and the people around him knew what they were stirring up?
SUSAN PAGE: I don’t think so.
What a tidal wave that has caused today. You have got business leaders and union leaders and Democrats really taking the governor and the state of Indiana to task for this law. And it’s interesting because it’s not very different, slightly different, not significantly different, from a federal law that was passed in 1993 or from laws that have been passed in many other states.
But, man, the timing of this law and some of the provisions of the law have really become part of the cultural debate in this country and part of the changing attitudes that we see toward same-sex marriage in particular.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That’s right.
In fact, we — I was going to wait a minute, but you mentioned the public attitudes. Let’s look at these before I turn to you, Margaret.
There’s a Pew poll that was done. You can see this. They polled among Republicans. Among young Republicans aged 18-29, 61 percent favor the idea of same-sex marriage, but among Republicans overall, it’s significantly less, just 39 protocol.
What does that say about where the Republican Party is, the future of the party, on this issue?
MARGARET TALEV: Well, this is a generational issue, just like it is in the Democratic Party and among independents. But there’s a real wave.
And it’s interesting. The question for Mike Pence is, is this good for him politically, right? But it may actually be more difficult for Jeb Bush politically, for Rand Paul politically, for Republican conservatives who want to be able to appeal either to young voters or to the center, to crossover voters, because it will force them to talk about the issue as well.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Are they going to — how much is this going to be an issue, Susan? At this point, what do we — it certainly is getting huge attention right now.
SUSAN PAGE: There’s not a big divide in the Democratic Party. Democrats tend to support — they certainly support anti-discrimination laws and they tend to support same-sex marriage.
But there’s a big divide in the Republican Party, because you have these younger Republicans who say, what’s the big deal? Of course we support same-sex marriage. But a big part of the Republican coalition are evangelical Christians. They, many of them feel very strongly opposed to the idea of same-sex marriage, very concerned about what they’re seeing.
Remember, we’re going to have arguments in the Supreme Court in just a couple of weeks over what may turn out to be a recognition of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage. You see evangelical Christians, such a powerful force in the Republican Party, being extremely alarmed about that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Margaret, you mentioned the candidates. How do you — how is it seen that the candidates are going to deal with this? And what about Mike Pence himself? Where does he stand right now in terms of announcing whether he’s going to run or not? He certainly has hinted at it.
MARGARET TALEV: Absolutely, and he has been making the rounds at the Republican governors conferences and all the sort of events that attract conservatives, the different elements of the base.
He is expected to be making his decision in the next several weeks, because he has to decide whether to run for another term for governor or whether in fact to go ahead and seek the presidency. And so this is going to become within the primary to some extent a litmus test, especially as you see state after state, something like 20 states now have some version of a law like this that they have got on the books.
It’s the accumulation of these before the Supreme Court considers this, and so, absolutely, it’s going to be a 2016 issue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Susan, what about among the — shall we say, the more conservative members of the Republican Party thinking about running for president? Why aren’t they more concerned about these younger voters, younger Republicans with different attitudes?
SUSAN PAGE: Because they have to get through the primaries before they can think about more general election kind of strategies.
And they have got to think about Republican primary voters, who tend to be older, tend to more conservative, a lot of them Tea Party conservatives, evangelical Christians in states like Iowa and South Carolina.
I don’t think Mike Pence’s problem is that he signed this law or defends it. I think it’s that he defended it so poorly yesterday. He was on one of the Sunday shows and wasn’t really responsive to a series of questions about how this law — what impact this law would have. Would it allow a florist to refuse to provide flowers to a gay marriage — to a gay couple getting married?
And we’re going to have a Republican nominee who probably supports a religious freedom law. But I think they need to have some kind of better explanation about what it means and how it would work.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It was interesting. He kept turning it back to the question of George Stephanopoulos on ABC, and saying, you’re asking the wrong question.
Let’s talk about the other side of the political ledger. There were some stories, Margaret, over the weekend about the yet-to-be-announced Hillary Clinton campaign for president, some interesting reporting on what the thinking is inside the Hillary Clinton camp about the role of former President Bill Clinton.
Everybody’s going to be asking, what is Bill Clinton going to be doing? Of course, we got a little taste of that in 2008, when she ran the last time. But what is it? Is it seen that he’s a plus, that he’s a minus, that he’s both?
MARGARET TALEV: Overwhelmingly, he’s a plus, but when he’s a minus, man, he can really be a minus.
And the concern for the soon-to-be-announced Clinton campaign, we believe, is twofold. And one is, will he sort of step on her message or contradict what she is trying to do? But the second is just, will she overshadow him? And will that highlight the weaknesses that she sometimes has in communicating her softer side or sort of having the instinctive political skills that he was so good at?
So, it’s on both of those. And I think what we’re going to see is a real effort to try to coordinate the message between his staffers and her staffers, assuming this goes forward, and to try to get him always behind the scenes helping her to game things out, but being — trying to be selective in when he’s out in front.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Susan, it’s clear they’re spending a lot of time thinking about it.
SUSAN PAGE: Yes. They’re thinking a lot — they’re spending a lot of time thinking about how to control Bill Clinton. Well, good luck.
SUSAN PAGE: He is a guy who I think will defy being controlled.
He definitely wants to be helpful. He is very much supportive of his wife’s candidacy and very much a defender of her. But the idea that they can get him on her message or prevent him from saying what he actually thinks, we will see.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That’s right.
It’s hard to imagine. We saw it in 2008, but, again, this time, it is hard to imagine him playing the number two role.
SUSAN PAGE: But he’s — one thing to keep in mind — two things — 65 percent approval rating. Margaret looked it up right before the show. That’s better than, you know, Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama.
JUDY WOODRUFF: His rating is higher than…
SUSAN PAGE: Is higher than any other politician who is running in this race.
The other is, what an effective campaigner he is. How easy — how great is he at explaining complicated things, as we saw at the Democratic…
MARGARET TALEV: But, Judy, on the flip side, the thing to look for is, as a campaign that we expect announced heats up, how many reporters get attached to the Bill Clinton beat? Because if there is coverage of Bill Clinton, it will be very difficult for them to control the message about him.
JUDY WOODRUFF: I can’t imagine the press is not going to want to be covering Bill Clinton to see what he is saying.
MARGARET TALEV: It will be the best beat, the best beat in national politics in 2016.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Margaret Talev, Susan Page, thank you both.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Nigeria was on edge today, awaiting the outcome of the closest election since the end of military rule in 1999. It pitted the former military dictator Muhammadu Buhari against incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.
With three-quarters of the country’s states counted, Buhari led by two million votes.
Jeffrey Brown reports.
JEFFREY BROWN: Hundreds of women in Southern Nigeria weren’t waiting for the results. They rallied in Port Harcourt, demanding an election do-over.
Nigerian television broadcast images of protesters blocking streets and claiming irregularities. Police fired tear gas to break up the rally. Earlier in the day, as results were initially slow to come, the opposition party All Progressives Congress flatly accused the ruling People’s Democratic Party of rigging the count.
TOKUNBO AFIKUYOMI, All Progressives Congress: Absolutely what we have here is an attempt to steal the votes of our people with the use of the army and other ethnic militias set off by the other party to abort Nigerian democracy.
JEFFREY BROWN: Still, turnout was high and the voting itself appeared to be generally smoother than in the past.
Secretary of State John Kerry and British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond issued a statement saying, “We have seen no evidence of systemic manipulation of the process,” but, they continued, “there are disturbing indications that the collation process may be subject to deliberate political interference.”
Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Linda Thomas-Greenfield was in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, today, watching the process.
I spoke to her a short time ago about potential rigging of the count.
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs: We’re getting a lot of calls from around the country of people concerned about the process after the election. I don’t think I would go so far as saying that it’s rigging, but, again, people are noticing some issues and they’re reporting the issues, and I think that’s the good thing.
JEFFREY BROWN: Saturday’s election went ahead, despite attacks by the Islamist militants of Boko Haram in Northeastern Nigeria. Thousands of displaced Nigerians lined up to vote at a camp in the east.
ABDULLAHI SANI: I’m longing for a change, a positive change to affect the life of humanity, to protect their reputation, their life, their property, and to eradicate corruption, finally. This is what I’m longing and I’m hoping for.
JEFFREY BROWN: There were also technical problems that caused officials to extend voting in parts of the country by an extra day. Even the candidates ran into trouble. President Jonathan had to wait when at least three biometric identification readers failed to recognize his fingerprints. Still, he insisted all would be well.
PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN, Nigeria: I believe and I’m convinced that elections will be free and fair and extremely credible.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, though, as the nation of 170 million awaits the results, there are fears of post-election bloodshed. After the last election in 2011, more than 1,000 people were killed in such violence.
Again, Linda Thomas-Greenfield:
LINDA THOMAS-GREENFIELD: Of course, we can’t predict what is going to happen, but we’re hopeful that it will be less violent than in previous elections.
JEFFREY BROWN: Final results in the election are expected tomorrow.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The deadline for reaching an interim deal with Iran over its nuclear program is in the final hours, and there are new doubts about whether an agreement will be reached in time.
A U.S. State Department spokeswoman indicated there’s only a 50/50 chance of it happening by tomorrow, as gaps remain between Iran and other parties at the talks in Switzerland.
Indira Lakshmanan has been covering the twist and turns at the talks for Bloomberg News. I spoke to her a short time ago.
And Indira Lakshmanan joins us now.
Indira, literally down to the wire, just a day left. How does it look?
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN, Bloomberg: Absolutely.
We have got 24 hours left. And the only question that matters at this point, to which none of us have the answer, is, are they have going to a deal or no deal? And it seems as if the ministers themselves don’t know.
We saw the Russian foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, actually left talks today after less than a day, said that’s it, he’s done, he’s going back to Moscow, and he’s only going to come back tomorrow if he has a sense that they’re really ready to sign a deal.
And we had the Chinese foreign minister sounding a more optimistic note, talking about progress. And John Kerry himself also said there was some progress, but there are some tricky issues that still need to be resolved. So, 24 hours from now, we will know whether they were able to put something together that they could call a framework accord or whether they’re going to have to go back to the drawing board and extend this deadline one more time.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you have a good sense at this point, Indira, of what the sticking points really are?
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN: Yes, for the most part, it seems as if Iran is most upset about the pace of sanctions relief.
Remember that what Iran is going to get in return for the willingness to restrict its nuclear program and have invasive inspections is to be lifted out from underneath these economic and banking and oil sanctions that have hit its economy so hard over the last five years.
So it wants sanctions relief immediately and it wants it permanently, especially from U.N. sanctions as well. And the international community has said, no way, that that is going to be a phased sanctions release, and they’re not going to be lifted. They’re only going to be suspended, so they can be put back. That’s one thing.
Research and development is another question. And what happens to Iran’s program after year 10? Because they’re thinking about a 10-year deal. So, what happens between years 11 and 15 to make sure that Iran doesn’t suddenly at that point break out with its nuclear program and go back into big development?
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, have they — is it felt that they have agreed on how much enrichment of uranium the Iranians should be allowed to do?
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN: You know, the way that it’s been described to us repeatedly, and I think this is pretty apt, is that it’s like a Rubik’s Cube. Every piece has to fit together.
So you can have agreement on one thing and think that you’re done with that. And that was the case with the stockpiles of enriched uranium, which we thought were going to be shipped out by Iran to a third country, probably Russia. Iran said last night, no, we never agreed to that. And the State Department said today, that’s right, they had not yet agreed to that. So it seems like each piece has to come into place.
But we think that there is more agreement on centrifuges, there’s more agreement on the Arak heavy water reactor to stop it from producing plutonium. But these other issues, like sanctions and research and development, are really big. And so, if you sort of limit one thing then you can allow a little more in another area. So that’s why it matters. Every piece fits together like a puzzle.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Indira, you call ate framework accord. If they do reach agreement, what would it look like? Is it a piece of paper, a joint declaration?
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN: Yes, that’s the $60,000 question.
The United States would like to have a few pages long of bullet points that really lays out what Iran is going to do, so they can take that document to Congress and to the American people and say, this is what we got agreement on.
We have heard that Iran says, no, either we have to have a much longer document, which is really not possible to get, or something very brief, more like a declaration. I think, either way, whatever happens, you’re still going to see three more months of really intense haggling over every if, and, or but, every line of this agreement, is what we have been told by U.S. officials, until the June 30 deadline for having the final accord.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And that would be — that would be — there would still be more work to be done after this.
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN: Absolutely.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Indira Lakshmanan, I know you will be watching. Thank you, Bloomberg News. We appreciate it.
INDIRA LAKSHMANAN: Thanks.
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WASHINGTON — Closing in on an expected announcement that he will run for president, Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday that he is planning a political event in two weeks in Miami to announce his 2016 plans.
The first-term Republican from Florida, appearing on Fox News, did not explicitly say he is running for the White House, instead telling would-be supporters to go to his website and reserve tickets for the rally.
“I will announce on April 13 what I’m going to do next in terms of running for president or the U.S. Senate,” Rubio said.
Rubio has said he would not run for both offices on 2016’s ballots, and his team has been moving ahead as though it was putting together a White House bid, including donors who helped previous presidential nominees collect tens of millions of dollars.
But Rubio faces steep challenges to the nomination, including from his one-time mentor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Rubio could face as many as 20 other rivals for the GOP nomination.
“You’ll have to tune in on April 13,” Rubio said during his appearance on Fox News Channel, a favorite of GOP presidential hopefuls.
Rubio plans to sell a chance to win tickets to his campaign kickoff for $3.05, a nod to Miami’s 305 area code. It is also a way for the nascent campaign to collect contact information from everyone who wants to be in the audience that day, including low-dollar donors.
A site for the event still has not been finalized and Rubio’s senior aides plan to visit the Miami area on Tuesday to scout options.
A first-generation immigrant whose parents fled Cuba, Rubio could make history as the nation’s first Hispanic president. Rubio frames his pitch to voters as the embodiment of the American dream, a son of a maid and bartender who worked his way through law school and now sits in Congress.
His is an appealing story for a party that has struggled to connect with minority and younger voters. Those voters have been solidly behind Democrats in recent presidential elections. Rubio’s advisers see his candidacy as a way to eat into that Democratic bloc, even if capturing it would be almost impossible.
Rubio is also likely to skip a re-election bid to his Senate seat. He had long said he would not simultaneously run for two offices, and his political advisers have told party leaders that they should start recruiting a candidate to run for his Senate seat.
But Rubio faces a hurdle with some conservative activists in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina over his work on a failed bipartisan immigration bill that included a long and difficult pathway to citizenship for those in the country illegally. The measure cleared the Senate but collapsed in the House in the face of conservative suspicion.
Rubio has since shifted how he is approaching the thorny subject, saying his bill does not have the support to become law and the first focus should be on border security, a standard GOP position. Rubio ultimately wants to create a process that leads to legal status and, then, citizenship.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street came out of the gate today in a mood to run. Stocks surged ahead, in part based on upbeat economic reports. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 260 points to close near 18000. The Nasdaq rose 56, and the S&P 500 added 25.
Republican legislative leaders in Indiana now say they will clarify a new religious freedom statute. It’s sparked a storm of criticism from opponents who say it would permit businesses to refuse to serve gays and lesbians. Indiana Statehouse Speaker Brian Bosma said today the new modifying language will make clear that’s not the case.
BRIAN BOSMA (R), Indiana Speaker of the House: That should remove the question that has many Hoosiers and folks all over the country concerned, and that is, is a gay or lesbian individual going to be denied services when they go to a restaurant or when they take their dry cleaning in? That was never the intent. It’s not the effect. But we’re going to — we’re willing to clarify that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But Democrats said there’s no way to fix the law. Instead, State Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane called for outright repeal.
TIM LANANE, (D) Indiana Senator Minority Leader: The Republicans still think this is a good idea, that this is a good law. Unfortunately, Republican leadership has utterly failed in their handling of this situation. The governor and the Republican leaders won’t say it, but we will: Discrimination is wrong and it should be illegal.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Already, some businesses and organizations are protesting by canceling plans for expansion and for meetings in Indiana. There’ve even been calls for the NCAA to move the coming men’s college basketball Final Four tournament out of Indianapolis.
A coalition led by Saudi Arabia stepped up its military campaign in Yemen today with a naval blockade. The Saudis said it’s aimed at preventing Shiite rebels from moving weapons and fighters in or out of the country. Meanwhile, humanitarian workers said a coalition airstrike killed at least 40 refugees. Yemen’s foreign minister blamed rebel artillery.
Iran’s Revolutionary Guard is claiming a U.S. drone strike killed two of its advisers in Iraq last Monday. The Guard says they were aiding an Iraqi offensive to retake the city of Tikrit from Islamic State fighters. American-led airstrikes are now supporting that effort. U.S. officials dispute the Iranian claim. They say there were no coalition airstrikes around Tikrit on Monday.
German authorities confirmed today that the co-pilot of that doomed Germanwings airliner had contemplated killing himself. It’s believed that Andreas Lubitz deliberately crashed the plane in France last week, killing all 150 people on board.
We have more from Rebecca Barry of Independent Television News.
REBECCA BARRY: Today, we learned that the pilot had suffered from serious mental illness.
The prosecutor in Dusseldorf says, several years ago, before he got his pilot’s license, he had extended psychological therapy because he had suicidal tendencies. But, he says, at the time of the crash, there was no evidence that he was suicidal or aggressive.
Investigators have already found torn-up sick notes here at his flat stating that he was unfit to work at the time of the crash. People from both his private and his professional life have been questioned, and, so far, prosecutors say there’s no sign that he told anyone what he was planning or that he left a suicide note. And they say, there’s no evidence of any specific event, either at home or work, that could have been a motive.
Meanwhile, in the French Alps, they’re building a road to help the recovery teams access the remote crash site.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Germanwings’ parent company, Lufthansa, said today that it had not known of Lubitz’s medical history because those records were kept confidential under German law.
Back in this country, the FBI says there’s no apparent connection to terrorism in an incident today outside the National Security Agency at Fort Meade, Maryland. Officials say two men wearing dresses drove a stolen car toward the front gate and refused to stop. Instead, they sped up. Officers opened fire. And they smashed into a police car. One of the men was killed, and the other was hurt, along with an officer.
Boston welcomed national leaders of both parties today to dedicate the Edward Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. The center includes a full-scale replica of the Senate chamber. Kennedy died in 2009 after serving in that body for 47 years. Some 1,800 family, friends and others attended today, led by President Obama.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: What better testament to the life of Ted Kennedy than this place to be left to a new generation of Americans, a monument not to himself, but to what we, the people, have the power to do together?
JUDY WOODRUFF: The new institute stands next to the presidential library of the senator’s brother, John F. Kennedy.
And Comedy Central has chosen the new host of The Daily Show; 31-year-old South African Trevor Noah will succeed Jon Stewart, who’s hosted the satirical news show for 16 years. Stewart announced last month he’s leaving. It’s not yet clear when Noah will take over.
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Back in January we ran a story headlined, “The case for having just one kid.” Somewhat surprising to me and my fellow editors, it garnered a ton of personal comments and quite a lively debate. It seems we all have an opinion on how many kids is the right amount.So when I heard about Meghan Daum’s new essay collection dedicated to the topic of not having any kids at all, I jumped at the chance to talk to her about it.
Daum is a columnist for the Los Angeles Times and a best-selling author. In her most recent book, “The Unspeakable,” she writes about her own ambivalence about having kids. In this latest project, “Selfish, Shallow, and Self-Absorbed: Sixteen Writers on the Decision Not to Have Kids,” Daum has selected writers from all backgrounds who had “different ways of talking about the choice to not have kids.”
In the introduction to the book Daum writes: “I wanted to show that there are just as many ways of being a nonparent as there are of being a parent.” I spoke to her earlier this month about that idea and why now is a good time to start the conversation.
NEWSHOUR: This topic is not a new feeling among people, but we’ve never really discussed it before. Why is now a good time to talk about this topic?
NEWSHOUR: What are some of the more surprising comments that you’ve heard regarding columns you’ve written on the subject?
MEGHAN DAUM: I‘ve always been surprised every time I’ve written about this is how thankful people are. The biggest response I get is “thank you for saying this; I don’t feel so alone.” You’re always gonna get people who say some version of “you don’t know what you’re missing” or “I feel sorry for you” or “you can’t possibly know love until you’ve been a parent,” but you know that’s to be expected. When the subject comes up, I feel there is almost this anticipation that there is going to be a huge blowback, and I have found that that people are thankful to hear it. It’s almost like people are afraid to talk about it, when mostly it’s the same handful of people who have a hard time getting their minds around it, who tend to leave the most comments and write the most blog posts. And I think for the most part you have people who either don’t care really what people do, or people who really appreciate bringing the subject up.
NEWSHOUR: The writers in this book are brutally honest. What were some of the topics you were thankful that they broached?
NEWSHOUR: There is the trend that people are waiting longer to have kids, and as a result many likely will not have children. What do you hope the discussion around that will be, based on what you’ve heard from these writers?
MEGHAN DAUM: I hope that the discussion becomes, for women and men going into their 20s and 30s: is this something that I want to do and why? We’re not in danger of not having enough kids on this earth. Becoming a parent is always going to be a default setting. I truly believe there will always be more people who want to have children than who don’t. What I want is to have people’s notion of adulthood no longer be so defined by being a parent. There is some kind of conventional wisdom that you’re not really a mature person until you become a parent. And you know those are just platitudes. There are plenty of parents who do not seem like fully mature adults and there are plenty of people who don’t have kids who are incredibly selfless and do a lot for their communities and for kids. Often these assumptions and these clichés really kind of affect people’s core beliefs about themselves and about the culture in a way that is just false.
It is important for children to grow up in a world where there are all kinds of adults and role models around them, for them to know it’s not just parents and people who are parents that care about them, but that there are people who are living other kinds of lives. I actually think it does a disservice to kids, when they think that every adult is someone who has kids. I grew up in the suburbs and I grew up in a community where there was no one between the ages of 18-40 because the only reason to live there was to raise a family. I didn’t know any adults who weren’t parents and that is a very limiting world view. Parents and non-parents should be partners — we all care about our communities, we all care about kids, we all care about having a healthy society. I don’t know why only parents have been granted the kind of status as being the only people who care about their communities.
Editor’s note: This conversation has been excerpted and edited for clarity.
Entering a market cramped with competition, music mogul Jay-Z has launched Tidal, a new music streaming service owned by artists themselves in the United States.
The service was originally launched in Norway by Aspiro, but Jay-Z acquired it earlier this year. Together, they will compete with Spotify, YouTube, Google, Pandora and Apple for customers willing to pay for music.
This new service serves as a response to a common complaint among artists who think they receive low revenue returns from current streaming services. In February the PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan explored the fallout between some artists and streaming services, such as Spotify, which offer both free and premium accounts.
During an interview with singer and songwriter Roseanne Cash, she revealed that for 600,000 streams of her songs over the course of 18 months, she received $104. In fact, the NewsHour previously reported that it takes 1,500 streams of an artist’s song on a streaming service to equal one album sale in revenue.
Other artists had sounded the alarm, culminating with Taylor Swift, the industry’s biggest money maker, pulling her entire catalog from Spotify last year.
So after buying Tidal for $56 million, Jay-Z is trying to change this business model. In a YouTube video promoting Tidal he said, “Right now they’re writing the story for us, we need to write the story for ourselves… this is about musicians making music, there is no end game.”
Other major artists joined Jay-Z in launching Tidal, including Rihanna, Kanye West, Madonna, Alicia Keys, the country singer Jason Aldean, who pulled his new album from Spotify, and Beyonce, Jay-Z’s wife.
Tidal, which operates similarly to Spotify on first glance, is not offering a free service. Instead, you can pay $9.99 for unlimited streaming (the same price as Spotify) or $19.99 for unlimited streaming at high-definition quality. Tidal will also offer exclusive tracks, videos and playlists from its artists. It can be used on your computer or downloaded onto an Android or iPhone. Artists will own Tidal, ensuring that all profits from the service return to the ones who made the music.
In an interview with Billboard, Jay-Z said music has been devalued.
“Music is a very valuable part of your life… People are not respecting the music, and are devaluing it. People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap, and it’s good water. But they’re OK paying for it. It’s just the mindset right now,” he explained.
Offering a higher quality of music sets Tidal apart from most other streaming services, with Beats by Dr. Dre being the exception. It’s a move that Daniel Glass, founder of Glassnote Records and producer for Mumford & Sons among others, predicted to Hari Sreenivasan during an interview in December.
“I think the things we should be discussing are, the quality of the sound of the music,” Glass said. “YouTube is promising to make the sonic quality better, I think that will get high satisfaction rates. Just like cable television got you better reception, you were willing to pay for that. I am definitely willing to pay as a consumer, and I know my friends are for better quality of sound to equal what we had on the warmth of vinyl.”
Quality might attract audiophiles to pay out $19.99 a month to Tidal, but what about the average listener who has grown accustomed to music for free? Does Jay Z’s model really bring them as well? And is it better for artists?
At the end of last year Tidal had 500,000 subscriptions, a small fraction when compared to Spotify’s 60 million users, 15 million of whom paid $9.99 for premium Spotify accounts. Jonathan Prince, a spokesman for Spotify, told the New York Times that they think “it’s good for artists to be on Spotify because that’s where the music fans are.”
“It’s hard to see the upside for anybody involved in creating music to move away from a model that’s been so successful,” Ken Parks, COO of Spotify told Hari Sreenivasan during an interview in December. “We have an audience that’s over 50 million people. And these are the 50 million of the most rabid, engaged music fans in the world, and that’s where artists want to be by and large. They want the ability to connect instantly.”
Without a free service to entice subscribers, will Tidal be able to convince enough people to pay up? Spotify has said that 80 percent of their 15 million paying subscribers came from the company’s free service.
In a world where music can be found for free, Spotify thinks it’s important to convince people through a good, free experience that it’s worth paying for the better experience.
“For most of the history of recorded music there was a freemium model, that is free and paid as part of a whole,“ Ken Parks told Sreenivasan in December. “That was radio and record store, but this model has been broken for a long time with the launch of Napster and other free services. Our freemium model turns out to be a really efficient way to re engage all of those people. Twenty-five percent of the people who get introduced to our free service eventually start paying.”
Without a free service, some of streaming services’ arguments to lesser known artists about exposure and selling concert tickets will be limited to people already paying for music. Although Jay-Z says revenue from Tidal will make its way down the food chain from the mega artists who are launching it to the content creators.
“For someone like me, I can go on tour,” Jay-Z told Billboard. “But what about the people working on the record, the content creators and not just the artists? If they’re not being compensated properly, then I think we’ll lose some writers and producers and people like that who depend on fair trade.”
To have fair trade, Jay-Z needs customers. Tidal is available now for a 30-day free trial. Afterwards, listeners will be asked to pay.
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has commuted the sentences of 22 people serving time in federal prison.
The White House says that many of these individuals — all of them convicted of various federal drug crimes — would have already served their time and paid their debt to society had they been sentenced under current laws and policies.
But because many were convicted under now-outdated sentencing guidelines, the White House says they served years longer than individuals convicted of the same crimes today.
The White House says the commutations are in keeping with Obama’s commitment to make the justice system more fair.
With Tuesday’s action, the White House says Obama has granted a total of 43 commutations.
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The Brewer’s Association has released its list of 2014’s 50 biggest craft beer brewers in the United States.
The trade group describes American craft brewers as “small, independent and traditional“. D.G. Yuengling and Son, Inc., based in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, ranked highest among craft breweries by beer sales volume, while Anheuser-Busch, Inc., sold the most beer among breweries overall.
Nationwide, there are 3,418 craft breweries in operation, which are part of booming business, according to the association’s chief economist, Bart Watson. In an interview with Yahoo! Finance, he said, “Almost 75 percent of Americans now live within 10 miles of a brewery, so it’s not just one place. We’re seeing dynamic growth in a lot of different markets.”
Take our short quiz to find out how well you know your craft beer.
Answers are below the map.
1) Which large craft brewer based in Pennsylvania sells its signature beer in a green bottle?
2) Guess who is number 50? Hint: Ski town, Vanilla Porter
3) Which of these 50 largest craft breweries has the highest ranking beer according to Beer Advocate? Hint: Michigan
4) Which state has the most breweries in the top 50? Hint: You don’t need a hint for this one
Map: America’s 50 biggest craft breweries
1) Answer: D.G. Yuengling and Son is located in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. East coasters are familiar with the green Yuengling bottle.
2) Answer: Breckenridge Brewing Company is actually based in Denver, Colorado
3) Answer: Founders Brewing Company CBS Imperial Stout gets a 4.65 rating from Beer Advocate
4) Answer: California has 11 of the top 50 craft breweries.