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- 04/20/15--13:23: _Lelisa Desisa and C...
- 04/20/15--14:22: _Obama honors Ohio S...
- 04/20/15--15:10: _Translating Dante’s...
- 04/20/15--15:15: _Convicted former CI...
- 04/20/15--15:20: _Five years on, what...
- 04/20/15--15:25: _How the BP oil spil...
- 04/20/15--15:30: _GOP contenders figh...
- 04/20/15--15:33: _Poet writes a lette...
- 04/20/15--15:35: _UN struggles to com...
- 04/20/15--15:40: _How can Europe dete...
- 04/20/15--15:45: _EU calls crisis mee...
- 04/20/15--15:50: _News Wrap: Six arre...
- 04/20/15--18:22: _Drugmaker settles f...
- 04/20/15--18:31: _PBS NewsHour Names ...
- 04/21/15--11:14: _Drug Enforcement Ag...
- 04/21/15--11:43: _Many Americans don’...
- 04/21/15--12:46: _President Obama com...
- 04/21/15--13:11: _Ask the Headhunter:...
- 04/21/15--13:32: _One California city...
- 04/21/15--13:49: _25 years of the Hub...
- 04/20/15--14:22: Obama honors Ohio State football team at White House
- 04/20/15--15:20: Five years on, what do we know about BP oil spill damage?
- 04/20/15--15:25: How the BP oil spill hurt Gulf Coast wildlife and livelihoods
- 04/20/15--15:30: GOP contenders fight to stand out to New Hampshire voters
- 04/20/15--15:33: Poet writes a letter to her ‘high school obsession,’ the Atom Bomb
- 04/20/15--15:35: UN struggles to combat hunger in world’s worst combat zones
- 04/20/15--15:40: How can Europe deter desperate migrants?
- 04/20/15--15:45: EU calls crisis meeting over growing migrant deaths at sea
- 04/20/15--15:50: News Wrap: Six arrested for conspiring to join Islamic State
- 04/20/15--18:22: Drugmaker settles for $512 million in suit over delayed generics
- 04/20/15--18:31: PBS NewsHour Names 18 Fellows for Inaugural Student Academy
- 04/21/15--11:14: Drug Enforcement Agency chief to retire amid pressure from lawmakers
- 04/21/15--11:43: Many Americans don’t know they use government data, Pew report says
- 84 percent used weather apps
- 81 percent used map apps for city navigation
- 66 percent used an app to locate a nearby store, bar or restaurant
- 31 percent used an app for information about public transportation
- 14 percent used apps like Uber and Lyft
- 04/21/15--12:46: President Obama compares himself, Biden to winning NASCAR team
- 04/21/15--13:11: Ask the Headhunter: How to not get hired and still be happy
- 04/21/15--13:49: 25 years of the Hubble telescope in 25 stunning photos
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama honored the national champion Ohio State football team Monday, taking just a little bit of credit for the new playoff system that the Buckeyes mastered.
Ohio State won the first College Football Playoff in January, beating Oregon in the title game.
Obama jokingly talked about throwing his political weight behind the idea of a four-team playoff to replace the old system in which voters and computers selected two teams to play for the championship.
“I cannot claim full credit. But I will point out that I pushed for a playoff system in 2008,” Obama said. “This is a promise kept. You’re welcome, America.”
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer thanked the president, noting that the Buckeyes probably wouldn’t have been eligible to play for the title under the previous system.
“He made the point several times, but it’s true that he jumped right in the middle of a conversation about a college football playoff that we obviously benefited,” Meyer told reporters.
More than 200 guests and dignitaries packed the White House East Room for the ceremony, including former Ohio State players Archie Griffin and Cris Carter.
Ohio State made an improbable run to the championship after losing two starting quarterbacks to injury, winning its final three games with third-string quarterback Cardale Jones.
All three quarterbacks return for the upcoming season, which has everyone in Ohio — and much of college football — wondering who will be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback.
Meyer said he got no advice from Obama.
“That was my fault. I should have asked,” Meyer said.
The post Obama honors Ohio State football team at White House appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight, a look at one of the canons in world literature through the eyes of African artists.
Here’s Jeffrey Brown with the story.
JEFFREY BROWN: The assignment was to take one of the great artistic achievements of Western culture, Dante’s epic poem “The Divine Comedy,” and play with it, translate it, reimagine it, through the work of 13 contemporary artists from Africa.
SIMON NJAMI, Curator, “The Divine Comedy: Heaven, Purgatory and Hell Revisited by Contemporary African Artists”: When you say Dante, “The Divine Comedy,” everybody think he knows it, even if few people have really read it.
JEFFREY BROWN: Curator Simon Njami has read and loved Dante. But at a certain point, he came to a realization.
SIMON NJAMI: It was supposed to be a universal book dealing with hell, purgatory and paradise. And I wasn’t in the book.
JEFFREY BROWN: You were not in the book, in Dante’s book?
SIMON NJAMI: I decided that I would update Dante and make it more universal.
JEFFREY BROWN: The results are now on display at the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, works that reflect ideas of heaven, purgatory, and hell.
This set of arresting images was created by photographer Aida Muluneh, who spent part of her youth in Canada and the U.S., before returning to her native Ethiopia. Here, she reworked a very old tradition of body painting to make some very new statements about contemporary life.
AIDA MULUNEH: It was really looking at how people wear masks in order to get ahead in life, when everything is concealed. And a lot of the messages that I put in here, it’s really a conversation about spite and how I feel that that is hell.
So, you know, it seems like everyone is running around to make money, to have power, to go to different places, but the real person is not what you see. There is a new generation where we’re expressing ourselves that, yes, we’re Africans, but it doesn’t mean that we have to do always the cliche definition of what is considered African art.
DIMITRI FAGBOHOUN: I happen to be an artist from Africa, but what is Africa?
JEFFREY BROWN: Dimitri Fagbohoun is another global citizen-artist.
DIMITRI FAGBOHOUN: I could have been — specify and I will say that I’m from Benin. I didn’t grew up in Benin. I grew up in Cameron, so am I the fruit of that story? I have been in France for 20 years now and I feel French. Am I French, therefore? So I’m all those stuff.
JEFFREY BROWN: Set in purgatory, Fagbohoun created a kind of confessional, with a video inspired by a very universal experience, the loss of a parent, in this case his father.
DIMITRI FAGBOHOUN: What happened when you lose someone, what remains, the pain is what remains unspoken. So I had that feeling of things that I wish I would have told my father and I wish that I heard from him. And the best way to do it was a confessional
JEFFREY BROWN: Hell, in this exhibition, is dark indeed. A menacing video by Kenyan artist Mwangi Hutter plays on a loop, headless duelers by the British-Nigerian artist Yinka Shonibare are poised to do the unnecessary.
A ship of heads by Jems Robert Koko Bi of Ivory Coast sits motionless, recalling the one used by Dante and his guide, Virgil, to cross the River Styx. And light barely escapes a dome of darkness created by Egyptian artist Moataz Nasr.
MOATAZ NASR: It’s up to you. You could be up in heaven or you can be down in hell. So, it’s like it can work both ways.
JEFFREY BROWN: It’s not a literal response to Dante, Nasr says, but a response to what he sees happening in Egypt today.
MOATAZ NASR: Instead of searching for love, there’s — now there’s a lot of hate, violent, killing, all these things that we hear about all the time, which is really very strange. But I don’t give solutions. I just make them see, look. Like, I magnify things. I make them bigger than usual, so they can see it. So that’s how I see that the role of the artist should be.
JEFFREY BROWN: For curator Simon Njami, there’s another goal here, beyond shaking up given notions of heaven, purgatory and hell, that goes to the idea of Africa itself.
SIMON NJAMI: People think they know Africa. I have been to all the countries in Africa. I don’t know Africa. I don’t know Africa, because there’s not such a thing as Africa.
JEFFREY BROWN: Wait a minute. There’s no such thing as Africa, you say?
SIMON NJAMI: Africa is a construction. The only thing that is real is the shape of the continent.
JEFFREY BROWN: What do you want people to take from this exhibition?
SIMON NJAMI: I want them to forget about their notion of hell, purgatory and heaven.
And I want them, for those who have some, to forget about any preconception they had on contemporary African art. I mean, definitions are terrible, because there’s always a counterdefinition. And experience is much more open. So, I want them to experience it and to be surprised and maybe to reframe a couple of ideas of ideas they had before they entered the show.
JEFFREY BROWN: Many will have a chance to do just that, as the exhibition travels to museums around the world after wrapping here in November.
At the Smithsonian Museum of African Art in Washington, I’m Jeffrey Brown for the PBS NewsHour.
The post Translating Dante’s heaven and hell through the eyes of African artists appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: The Senate investigated the CIA’s secret interrogations of terrorism suspects for five years. The resulting report released last December detailed brutality, dishonesty and at times arbitrary violence conducted by the agency.
In spite of those findings, only one CIA contractor, an interrogator serving in Afghanistan, has been convicted. Now out of jail, he spoke for the first time in a short film produced by Retro Report , a nonprofit news organization partnered with The New York Times.
NARRATOR: David Passaro is a free man today, and holds the distinction of being the only person working for the CIA ever to be convicted of abusing a prisoner in the war on terror.
DAVID A. PASSARO, Former CIA Contractor: Man, I wasn’t hired to be nice to these terrorists. I was there to get a job done. I was there to elicit the truth and keep moving.
NARRATOR: Passaro’s case started in 2003, when he was working as a contractor for the CIA at a remote base in Asadabad, Afghanistan, and was tasked with interrogating Abdul Wali, a farmer who was suspected of being behind rocket fire at the base.
DAVID A. PASSARO: I didn’t want him sleeping any more than two to three hours a night.
One of the stress positions was something called the air chair. And that’s just hold his arms out until he decided he would change his demeanor. Every time he would sit there, he would do this, and he would drop his arms to his elbows. Well, that’s not the air chair.
And then I would tap his arms to tell him to get his arms back up underneath. At one point, he lurched out after me, and I slapped him. It was just a quick response. My hands were right here, and it was just to get him off of me. Is that assault? It could be construed as assault, but in the war on terror, and in Afghanistan, in Asadabad, that’s not assault.
NARRATOR: After three days of interrogation, Wali collapsed. Despite efforts to revive him, he died. No autopsy was performed.
Witnesses would later say that Passaro hit Wali repeatedly with a flashlight and kicked him in the groin.
Hyder Akbar, an Afghan-American, had initially accompanied Wali to the base.
HYDER AKBAR: This was a man who had turned himself in voluntarily. It wasn’t the traditional way that people kind of justify torture, the ticking time bomb situation. This was not a situation like that.
DAVID A. PASSARO: Anything that I did to Abdul Wali, none of that constitutes torture. In hindsight, I wouldn’t have done anything different.
NARRATOR: The CIA opened an investigation, but Passaro returned to a civilian position at the Fort Bragg Army Base in North Carolina.
MAN: It was American soldiers serving as military police at Abu Ghraib who took these pictures.
NARRATOR: A year later, after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal broke, the Justice Department indicted Passaro for assault.
JOHN ASHCROFT: This morning, a grand jury in Raleigh, North Carolina, has indicted a contractor working on behalf of the Central Intelligence Agency for brutally assaulting an Afghan detainee.
NARRATOR: Passaro maintained that he and others on the front line of the war on terror were given the implied authority to use force when necessary.
DAVID A. PASSARO: After 9/11, President Bush got on national television, and said, not only are we going to go after the terrorists, but we’re going to go after those that harbor the terrorists, and we will do so under any or with any means necessary. In other words, all the rules and regulations no longer applied.
NARRATOR: But witnesses testified that Passaro was explosive, and acting far outside of CIA rules in his zeal to break Wali down. And there was no conclusive evidence presented that Wali was a terrorist at trial.
HYDER AKBAR: There’s some blame to be placed on the U.S. military for allowing an individual like Dave Passaro to be in such a sensitive situation, and then I think that, of course, Dave Passaro for actually, you know, beating this man.
MARGARET WARNER: A former CIA contractor charged with abusing an Afghan detainee was found guilty today of assault.
NARRATOR: After his conviction, the CIA released a statement that read: “Passaro’s actions were unlawful, reprehensible, and neither authorized nor condoned by the agency.”
He served six years in prison. For some, the problem goes beyond a case like Passaro’s. Former Pentagon official Alberto Mora, one of the leading critics of torture, says that even authorized front-line interrogators were given mixed messages.
ALBERTO J. MORA, Former General Counsel of the Navy: One of the former CIA directors, Mike Hayden, was quoted as saying famously that he wanted his people to have chalk on their cleats as they were proceeding in the war on terror. Well, the problem with that analogy is that, if you have chalk on your cleats, you have stepped out of bounds.
NARRATOR: Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, who helped draft the legal justifications for enhanced interrogation, says the practice was meant to be done only in specific circumstances, by authorized interrogators.
ALBERTO GONZALES, Former White House Counsel: We looked at the statute, which is you cannot intentionally inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering. That’s all the statute says. All I can say is that the lawyers tried very hard to define for the operators what would be consistent with the statute passed by Congress.
GWEN IFILL: The CIA told the NewsHour today that the agency stopped using contractors to do interrogations when President Obama ended the CIA’s program in January 2009. At least two other cases of detainee deaths in CIA custody have been dropped, and the White House has promised not to prosecute anyone for interrogations conducted the Bush years if they adhered to the existing guidelines.
As a result, Passaro’s case may go down in history books as the first, and only, case in which a CIA interrogator has been prosecuted for abusing a prisoner.
The post Convicted former CIA contractor speaks out about prisoner interrogation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: There are plenty of different opinions and findings about how well or poorly the Gulf Coast’s waters, wildlife, businesses and people have recovered.
We explore that now with two people from the region. Mark Schleifstein, he’s the environment reporter at The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. And John Young, he’s president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana. It’s a coastal district near the epicenter of the 2010 spill.
And we welcome you both to the program.
John Young, to you first. How are people in your area doing five years after?
JOHN YOUNG, President of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana: Well, Judy, we have a resilient population. We have been through Hurricane Katrina, Rita, Gustav, Ike, the BP oil disaster, Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Isaac in the last 10 years.
So, people have come back. There’s still a lot of damage to assess. We’re still getting tar mats on the beach in Grand Isle and East Grand Terre. And we’re still dealing with that. But people are going about their daily lives and putting it behind us.
But there’s still a lot to be done. We still have to hold BP accountable and there’s still some litigation that has to occur and damages that have to be paid.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How would you say people’s lives have changed?
JOHN YOUNG: Well, certain people’s lives have gone on, but shrimpers and oystermen, they are still suffering. The seafood is plentiful, but it’s not as predictable as to where they catch it. They have to move to catch it.
Some restaurants that were on Grand Isle, which is part of Jefferson Parish, have gone out of business. The island is back. But, again, we still have to look at the environmental impact. We haven’t seen one cent of clean water fines for the RESTORE Act. That’s the money that we’re going to use to protect and restore our coast.
So people are moving on with their lives, but, again, the last chapter hasn’t been written and the jury is still out as to what the ultimate cost is going to be in terms of not only economic losses, but also in environmental damage.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, when it comes to the environmental impact, Mark Schleifstein, what do you see? That’s what you focus on. What has been the main effect on the ecology of that area?
MARK SCHLEIFSTEIN, The Times-Picayune: Well, there was some obvious damage that occurred in the early days of the spill.
You could see the oil just about everywhere along the Louisiana coastline. And it showed up on beaches along parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Florida. Today, a lot of that is not seen from day to day, unless you see a bit of significant storm that ends up uncovering some of this oil that is still in the near shore right off the beaches under the sediment.
And when that happens, you get a situation like we had about a month ago, when you had 25,000 pounds of this material that ended up on the beach and you had to clean it up. The problem is trying to figure out, what does all this mean? And a lot of the efforts that have been made public all really have to do with the criminal court — the civil court case and the fines. And that basically is, how much damage did BP do that you could measure over a certain number of years?
And you try to come up with a dollar amount for that and then come up with a plan for restoring the damage that was caused. But in addition to that, what the scientists are trying do is to figure out what are the long-term effects? We know that there are some significant effects that we have seen in animals like the bottle-nosed dolphins that live in Barataria Bay, but getting the smoking gun saying specifically that BP is the cause of that, of the deaths of those dolphins, more than a thousand over several years, is a bit more difficult.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Schleifstein, just quickly staying with you, you mentioned the dolphins. What other sea life has — has it been proven has been affected and damaged by this?
MARK SCHLEIFSTEIN: Well, again, that’s the problem is proving beyond a doubt that the oil spill is the result of some of these things.
What we have seen are indications that some of the nasty chemicals, the polychlorinated aromatic carbons, have shown up far away from the Gulf of Mexico, even as far as falcons in Rhode Island. But what it is doing to those birds, for instance, it is hard to tell. This is a longer-term process.
Another key issue is, a lot of this oil occurred right in an area where you had the bluefin tuna laying eggs each year at literally the same time as the oil spill occurred. What the long-term effects of that might be, again, is something it’s going to take years to find out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: John Young, president of Jefferson Parish, is the money that BP has spent, is it visibly making a difference, whether it’s on the environmental impact, from what you can see, on the ability of people to get past this?
JOHN YOUNG: Well, Judy, for one thing, some people have been paid that were far removed from the spill, and some people, such as a shrimp processor down in Grand Isle, still hasn’t been paid, so still has claims pending.
Cat Island is a good example. It was a lush rookery for birds and waterfowl. And now it’s a desolate barrier island that’s washing away. So, BP has spent a lot of money and there has been a lot of money in cleanup, but there’s still a lot of unaccounted-for oil that is probably on the seabed of the Gulf.
So, again, as Mark said, I don’t think the last chapter’s been written. It’s too early to say what the full impact is of what happened, and BP is going to have to be held accountable and they’re going to have to continue to pay for the damages they caused and make it right, as they say in their commercials, and make us whole.
So, again, I don’t think we can write the last chapter on this book yet.
JUDY WOODRUFF: John Young, and just picking up on that, are people feeling optimistic about the future coming out of this? Or do they still feel that this is something that is going to continue to hurt the New Orleans area, the Gulf area for a long time to come?
JOHN YOUNG: Oh, no, we’re optimistic. We’re an optimistic people, Judy. And certainly we’re moving forward and we’re going to turn that negative into a positive.
And, look, we’re producing the best-tasting seafood in the world. We produce 30 to 35 percent of the fisheries that are consumed domestically within the United States of America, and we are still pro oil and gas exploration here in South Louisiana, because we produce 30 to 35 percent of the oil and natural gas consumed domestically in the United States, and we’re for continued oil production.
We just want to make sure that what happened with the BP and the Deepwater Horizon doesn’t happen again.
JUDY WOODRUFF: John Young, president of Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, Mark Schleifstein with The New Orleans Times-Picayune, we thank you both.
JOHN YOUNG: Thank you, Judy.
MARK SCHLEIFSTEIN: Thank you.
The post Five years on, what do we know about BP oil spill damage? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: No matter how you measure the numbers, it was the biggest oil spill in American history, a gusher triggered by a catastrophic blowout of a well deep in the sea, and the deadly explosion aboard a drilling rig.
Five years later, how is the Gulf Coast doing?
Let’s get into that, but first a reminder of that moment. April 20, 2010, the darkened skies of the Gulf of Mexico lit up as the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded into a fireball. BP’s Macondo oil well had blown out, killing 11 workers, and sending a torrent of oil gushing from the seafloor. Multiple attempts to seal the leak failed. When it was finally capped, 87 days later, the government estimated more than 170 million gallons had spilled. A federal judge later put it at 134 million gallons.
Thousands of birds, turtles, and other animals died as the sheen coated the Gulf shoreline, marshes and barrier islands. Today, the beaches and waters of the Gulf look clean again.
WOMAN: If you didn’t know there was a spill, and you went out there today, you would never know there was ever a problem.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Many fisheries have rebounded, but scientists say millions of gallons of petroleum, dispersants and other chemicals may have settled on the seafloor, threatening deep sea corals and bottom-dwelling fish. And tar balls still wash ashore.
DAVID MUTH, National Wildlife Federation: You’re seeing this cycle of exposure and reburial of remnants of the spill, and that’s going to go on for a long time.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In addition, dolphin strandings and deaths tripled after the spill. Endangered Kemp’s ridley sea turtle nests dropped to levels not seen in a decade. And oyster populations in southeastern Louisiana plummeted.
BP maintains the drops are not related to the Macondo oil itself and that wildlife populations are back to pre-spill levels. On the economic front, the spill devastated livelihoods, shut down fisheries and coastal businesses.
KENNETH FEINBERG, Administrator, BP Claims Fund: How you define what is eligible and ineligible is a formidable challenge.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Kenneth Feinberg was initially named administrator of an independent claims fund. He spoke with the NewsHour in 2010.
KENNETH FEINBERG: It’s one thing to compensate a shrimper who can’t shrimp in the Gulf because the shrimping is unavailable, that the government has closed off the shrimp grounds, or a oyster harvester, or a fisherman. It’s another thing if a restaurant in Boston says, I can’t get shrimp from the Gulf and I’m losing revenue because I can’t serve a favorite dish. Pay me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: BP has spent more than $28 billion since the spill began. Half went toward response and cleanup measures. More than $5 billion has gone to pay compensation claims.
In January, a federal judge in New Orleans found the oil giant grossly negligent in the spill, which could leave it liable for up to $13.7 billion in penalties. Meanwhile, the Obama administration proposed new offshore drilling regulations last week. They’re aimed at preventing equipment failures like the one that led to the Deepwater Horizon blowout.
The post How the BP oil spill hurt Gulf Coast wildlife and livelihoods appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: The 2016 race for president moved into New Hampshire over the weekend, as announced and unannounced candidates descended on the Granite State apparently just to say hi.
Joining us for our regular politics Monday discussion tonight, Karen Tumulty of The Washington Post and Tamara Keith of NPR.
While they were saying hi, Karen, while you were there, there was a string, especially of Republican candidates, who came through town. Who made the biggest impact?
KAREN TUMULTY, The Washington Post: It was — these guys and one woman, they didn’t disagree with each other on anything, and the degree to which they were taking shots at each other, they were very veiled, very indirect.
So, by the end of the weekend, where there were 17 candidates that I counted…
GWEN IFILL: Wow.
KAREN TUMULTY: … it really was, I think, just pretty much of a blur for this room full of 600 activists and party leaders in New Hampshire.
GWEN IFILL: So, for anybody who has been under a political rock for the last several years, Tamara Keith, let’s remind people why everyone goes to New Hampshire. It’s for this first-in-the-nation summit and everyone is lining up support.
TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Yes.
And this big event, sort of this cattle call event, is not very New Hampshire, actually. The real New Hampshire is going to people’s living rooms, and going to diners and going to coffee shops and they all sort of did those events around the periphery of this cattle call.
But when there are 17, 19 of them, it’s really hard to stand out when you each get 30 minutes at a cattle call. And New Hampshire voters love this. New Hampshire Republicans love this contrast where they can say, look at this amazing competition we’re having and we’re not going to make up our minds, we’re going to meet every single one of them, we’re going to wait it out, and compare that to the Democrats, where there’s a coronation. They love that.
GWEN IFILL: Now, we’re looking at Scott Walker here. And the reason why I’m curious about him is because today we hear that he may have the inside track in what we call the Koch primary, which is to say the big Republican fund-raisers, the Koch brothers.
There was an event in New York today where one of the — when David Koch said, I’m not going to tell you who you should vote for, but it ought to be Scott — who you should write a check to, but it ought to be Scott Walker.
KAREN TUMULTY: There is a lot of interest in Scott Walker, because people think of the Republican primary as being in brackets. They’re the conservative bracket, the establishment bracket, the evangelical bracket.
And Scott Walker seems to have some appeal to all of these. The Koch brothers’ reported support today doesn’t necessarily mean that this gigantic organization of theirs is going to support him, but the interest in Scott Walker is so intense that at that event there was a wedding going on in another ballroom…
GWEN IFILL: In New Hampshire.
KAREN TUMULTY: In New Hampshire in that hotel.
The bride and groom left their own wedding reception to come over and meet Scott Walker and pose with pictures.
GWEN IFILL: Only in New Hampshire, perhaps.
GWEN IFILL: Let’s talk about Jeb Bush, because he’s kind of running against ghosts of Bushes past in New Hampshire.
TAMARA KEITH: Yes. And he was asked in New Hampshire whether he was on his way to a coronation or whether he felt like he was the establishment guy who had all the money.
And he said, well, you know, if I had this all sewn up, why are all these other people here? I think that New Hampshire is very important for him, in part because he is trying to lower expectations about Iowa. New Hampshire is sort of critical to his path to the nomination. And so he was there trying to stand out amongst all these other people who were also there.
GWEN IFILL: Marco Rubio, actually as the newest person in the Republican in the race, what was he doing there?
KAREN TUMULTY: He was very well-received. He’s very eloquent, very attractive, but in the sort of outside chatter, I heard a number of Republican activists, as they talked among themselves, say, you know, he looks awfully young. Maybe…
GWEN IFILL: He’s 43.
KAREN TUMULTY: He’s 43. And he’s, by the way, not the youngest, but he’s slightly older than Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana.
But it was sort of maybe this isn’t his year. But there is certainly potential there that could be an opening for a Marco Rubio.
GWEN IFILL: And Rand Paul basically has had a little bit of a path carved for him by his father when he has run before in New Hampshire. So, he’s at least familiar on that respect.
TAMARA KEITH: Right. But he’s also trying to navigate the challenging waters of running towards dad, running away from dad, where do I stand. And I think he’s still figuring that out. That will probably be a long journey.
GWEN IFILL: Be fun to watch.
Let’s talk about Hillary Clinton, because she is making her first trip to New Hampshire today. And the one interesting thing about what the Republicans were doing this weekend, they talked about Common Core, and they talked about Iran and they talked about substance, but they talked a lot about Hillary Clinton.
KAREN TUMULTY: They did.
And you really got a sense that they were sort of auditioning their attack lines and the attack lines essentially went in two directions, one, that maybe she’s running as a history-making first woman president, but guess what, she would also be a third term for Barack Obama. This is same old, same old.
The second thing is there were a lot of lines kind of mocking the rough spots of her rollout, lots of jokes about Chipotle, lots of talk about Benghazi. But you did get a sense that the Republicans understand that running against a woman is a little bit of a different endeavor, so they have to be tough enough to rev up their base, but not looking like they are piling on her in a way that is going to offend centrist voters and women who see this as sexist.
GWEN IFILL: And the interesting response this afternoon from Hillary Clinton, who decided to talk to reporters, knowing there would be questions about these questions. And her response was, I don’t know what they would talk about if I weren’t in the race.
TAMARA KEITH: It was sort of a haters going to hate, to quote Taylor Swift.
GWEN IFILL: Never do that again.
GWEN IFILL: That’s OK.
TAMARA KEITH: But, yes, it’s interesting because she’s been doing these events, first in Iowa, now in New Hampshire, very controlled, sort of limiting the size of the press corps, or limiting who’s in, limiting the audience, keeping it very small, trying to make it a conversation.
And she hasn’t answered a lot of questions. There have been quite a few questions shouted at her, but there haven’t been that many answers. But, this time, she came forward and she wanted to answer.
GWEN IFILL: You were chasing after her quite a bit in Iowa. How was it? There’s a certain level of absurdity of chasing after the highest-profile candidate in the race who’s trying to be low-profile. How did that roll out?
TAMARA KEITH: Well, it was fascinating. There were decoy locations both for the reporters who were in the press pool. We were supposed to be there, but we were given a decoy location, then give another location and told to move to that next location.
The people who were selected to sit with her and have those conversations, the Democratic activists who she was trying to woo and listen to, they also were given decoy locations and had to give away, hand over their cell phones before they moved to the actual location, all to try to avoid some sort of mob scene of people trying to get to her.
GWEN IFILL: How much fun are you looking forward to the decoy locations, Karen?
KAREN TUMULTY: I have got to tell you, what I am sensing, though, especially on the Republican side, is that people feel like there are so many choices out there, why make up your mind now? Let’s let this process play out a little more.
GWEN IFILL: I’m for that. Let’s let it play out. Otherwise, what will we talk about every Monday?
Karen Tumulty, Tamara Keith, thank you both very much.
TAMARA KEITH: Thank you.
KAREN TUMULTY: Thank you.
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Watch Catherine Pierce read her poem “Dear Atom Bomb” at the 2015 AWP Conference and Bookfair in Minneapolis. The text of the poem is below.
Dear Atom Bomb,
I confess—you were my high school obsession.
You bloomed inside my chest until I howled. You shook me
with your booming zillion wattage. You were bigger
than rock and roll. I lost days to you, the way you expanded
to become more than even yourself. In Science class
movies, you puffed men like microwaved marshmallows,
raked blood from their insides, and always I could feel
your heat like a massive cloak around my shoulders.
You embarrassed me. You were too depraved for dignity,
not caring whose eyes you melted, whose innards oozed;
you balled up control in your God-huge palms
and tossed it into the stratosphere. Oh, Atom Bomb,
I miss you. These days my mind is no incandescent
blur but a narrow infrared beam spotlighting
bounded fears: cancer in a single throat; a shock
of blood on the clean sheets; a careless turn from
the grocery store lot into the pickup with the pit bull
in the bed. Oh, Atom Bomb, come back. Take me away
from the twitch in my leg, the cracking lead paint,
the lurking salmonella. Sweep me up in your blinding
white certainty. Make me sure once again that
I’ll live till the world’s brilliant end.
Catherine Pierce is the author of three books of poetry, including the forthcoming “The Tornado Is the World,” Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters Poetry Prize winner “The Girls of Peculiar” and the Saturnalia Books Poetry Prize winner “Famous Last Words.” Her poems have appeared in numerous publications, including The Best American Poetry Anthology, Best New Poets, Slate, Boston Review, Ploughshares, Pleiades, Crazyhorse and the Indiana Review. Pierce earned a Masters in Fine Arts from Ohio State University and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri. She lives in Mississippi, where she is an associate professor and co-director of the creative writing program at Mississippi State University.
This video was filmed at the AWP Conference & Bookfair. Special thanks to the Association of Writers & Writing Programs.
The post Poet writes a letter to her ‘high school obsession,’ the Atom Bomb appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The nation of South Sudan is barely 4 years old, and for much of that time, the fledgling country has been at war with itself, a conflict that’s displaced more than two million South Sudanese in just the last 16 months.
It’s estimated that 50,000 people have died in the fighting. Among the living, more than 2.5 million need food assistance. That number could be four million by year’s end.
Ertharin Cousin is executive director of the World Food Program. That’s the U.N. agency that is charged with helping the South Sudanese in need. The WFP is also facing four other major crises elsewhere in Africa and in the Middle East.
Ertharin Cousin was just in South Sudan late last month, and she joins me here tonight.
It’s good to have you on the program again.
ERTHARIN COUSIN, Executive Director, World Food Program: Yes, thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And so you were just there weeks ago and you were saying it’s gotten worse since then.
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Yes, it has gotten worse.
I was in Juba and Ganyiel, where, when I went to visit Ganyiel, which is an island surrounded by swampland, I had the opportunity to talk to women. One mother told me she had walked for weeks and months in order to reach a place where there was safety and where there was food, where she had nothing to do but — the only thing she could do was feed her children water lilies until she could get to a place where we were providing them with food.
She came from the Upper Nile region, because Ganyiel isn’t — is — and she was in the northern part of Upper Nile and I was in lower part of Upper Nile. The northern part of Upper Nile, where Malakal is located, has gotten worse. And in fact two counties in the Upper Nile region, we have been forced to suspend activities because three of our staff were kidnapped within the last 10 days.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How does the — what can the World Food Program do in a situation like that, where the fighting, the civil war elements are just getting more complicated?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Well, what it requires is we are agile with the other members of the humanitarian country team. We go in, we provide the assistance, we move out. But the challenge is when we can’t go in at all, and that’s what we’re finding now as the conflict becomes ever more difficult and you’re breaking down into more of tribal conflicts with militias that — where there’s very little command and control, as you would think about in a traditional conflict situation.
It’s much more about local fighting parties. And so it’s very difficult for us to have anyone even to talk to about our staff who have been kidnapped.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you do in a situation like that? What is it that the World Food Program and other agencies like yours, what do you need at a time like this?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: So, what we need to do first and foremost is not forget the victims of this, the women, the children who need our assistance.
We are $250 million short from what we need to provide the support that is required for the 2.5 million people who we know are now in desperate need of food assistance between now and the end of the year, particularly nutritional assistance for children.
And we also need to ensure that the entire global community, not just the agencies, let their voices be known that humanitarians must be provided with the access that is necessary to provide assistance. And, finally, what we need to particularly do in South Sudan is we’re looking to expand our school feeding program because we want to ensure that particularly boys, and we want to target about 160,000 additional children for school feeding, so that those boys can hear and see a different way out, a different narrative than the one that their fathers saw who for decades fought for their own freedom.
And now those same boys are seeing that conflict seems to be the only answer. Keeping them in school would provide a different set of outcomes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The World Food Program has frequently put out the word that it needs more money. Your shop, your office has done that. What’s the response to that and who is it who is falling back in their pledges to the World Food Program?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Well, the reality of it is that WFP, the World Food Program, is 100 percent voluntarily funded and the majority of that today is being provided by governments.
And governments like the United States are extremely generous in providing us with assistance. The challenge is that because you have Syria Iraq, South Sudan, now Yemen, Ebola, Central African Republic, the needs are so large that it requires that we broaden the number of donors who are supporting our organizations and seek additional support, particularly from private sector individuals.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You mentioned Syria and Iraq. Let me quickly ask you about that.
Syria, this is a war that has gone on, a civil war, for years, so many displaced Syrians both inside and outside the country. How is the World Food Program getting help to them?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Well, we are providing support inside Syria to approximately 4.2 million people on an every-month basis. And we’re providing support in both the opposition-held areas, as well as the government-held areas.
But there are still besieged areas where we’re challenged in reaching those parties. Outside Syria, we are continuing to support approximately 1.7 million people. But, unfortunately, because this has — the Syrian conflict has gone on for so long, it has required us to reduce the size of our benefit inside Syria, which means that the basket of food that we’re providing is 30 percent smaller today than it was this same time last year, and the support that we’re providing financially, because outside Syria it’s not about the availability of food; it’s access to food.
So we provide a conditional cash voucher that allows the refugee to purchase food. But the challenge is that we have been forced now to cut that voucher by about 15 percent.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Because?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Because of lack of funding.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, well, then let me quickly ask you about Iraq, next door. A number of the Syrians have gone into Iraq, Iraq of course having its own crisis which grows worse by the day with the Islamic State group.
How is the World Food Program dealing — are you able to keep up with the situation there?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Well, inside Iraq, we are supporting about 1.5 million internally displaced parties as a result of the ongoing conflict in Iraq.
And last year, Saudi Arabia, the kingdom of Saudi Arabia provided a $500 million contribution to the entire international community, which part of that supported WFP for the entire year. Unfortunately, that pot has run dry, and we’re now in a situation where we are significantly underfunded in Iraq at a time when we just saw 90,000 people leave Ramadi with the recent bombing campaigns in Anbar province.
We are trying to reach approximately 60,000 of those 90,000 with just the basic food needs to support their ability to feed themselves while they run, while they move, while they try to find safety.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, individuals who are watching, is there anything they can do?
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Go to www.wfp.org, join us, help us, and contribute, provide your support, provide your voice to your governments to ensure that they continue to provide the support that is necessary, so people don’t forget the victims of the crisis around the world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s a very difficult story, set of stories to listen to.
Ertharin Cousin, executive director of the World Food Program, thank you.
ERTHARIN COUSIN: Thank you so much.
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GWEN IFILL: And joining me now for more on the deadly journeys that thousands are taking, and the European community’s response, is Daryl Grisgraber, senior advocate at Refugees International for the Middle East and Africa.
Thank you for joining us.
It seems there are two big questions here. Why do the migrants come, and what do you do about them once they get on their way? Let’s start with the first part. Why are they coming?
DARYL GRISGRABER, Refugees International: There are a number of reasons that people leave their countries of origin, of course, conflict, poverty, persecution.
So, in a lot of Africa and particularly in the Middle East, you will find people who are fleeing these particular issues. Many of them end up on the north coast of Africa and do migration by sea when land routes are not as easily available to them. What to do about them is a much more complicated issue.
GWEN IFILL: I want to go back a little bit about who these people are.
DARYL GRISGRABER: Sure.
GWEN IFILL: Because they’re not Libyans necessarily, and they’re not from any one place.
DARYL GRISGRABER: No, not at all.
We have seen Syrians making their way from Egypt into Libya to try to make the sea crossing. They’re people coming from the Horn of Africa fleeing human rights violations who end up there as well, people from sub-Saharan Africa. People are coming from anywhere that they can find a migration route that is open. And often when they end up on the north coast of Africa, they are getting on these boats.
GWEN IFILL: Yes. And is it fair to say that we are seeing this increase in numbers, this stunning increase in numbers because of the weather? Because of what?
DARYL GRISGRABER: Well, the weather is — this is considered the sailing season right now, so the weather is a little bit calmer, the waters are slightly easier to deal with.
But I think what we’re looking at is what’s happening in the countries that people are fleeing from. Human rights violations are a daily occurrence for many people in many places, again, in this part of the world. Conflict in Syria, for example, is driving people out. And there are some Libyans joining as well. Libya is kind of in chaos right now.
So people are coming from all over, but they’re are all fleeing situations that are making them desperate. And they feel like they need to be elsewhere.
GWEN IFILL: What about the ones who land, the ones who don’t drown on route? Is it possible — where do they end up, where do they end go?
DARYL GRISGRABER: It depends where they are.
Many of them end up in detention. And there are definitely efforts by European countries to send them back. A lot of them have dreams of moving on further to join family members, often in Scandinavia, for example, or in Western Europe. A lot of them are not getting there, and many of them languish in, for example, transit centers along the coast of the European countries because they’re not allowed in.
GWEN IFILL: Well, then let’s talk about the second hard part, as you identified, what do you do about it. Today, we saw the meeting among the European Union countries in which they’re beginning to make common cause?
DARYL GRISGRABER: There is — yes, there’s a move toward that.
And I think it will be a little bit of a question how quickly that can be done and how thorough the response can be. The common cause, unfortunately, might not focus as much on humanitarian and lifesaving activities, as it does on deterrence at the border and creating a secure area. So — sorry. Go ahead.
GWEN IFILL: No, I was going to ask you to explain — expand on that a little bit. When you say deterrence, what do you mean? Here, we talk about building fences. What are they talking about?
DARYL GRISGRABER: Yes, well, in many ways, it’s the same thing, not building a fence, but, for example, not making people think that if they get on a boat that is unsafe and it starts to sink, that they are going to be rescued by someone in those European countries, for example.
Search and rescue missions were very much at the heart of the operation that was going on in the Mediterranean for a lot of last year and some of 2013. The new operation that has taken it over and it’s not as comprehensive geographically and certainly doesn’t have the same amount of funding is much more about deterrence and keeping people away from the borders, trying to avoid having people arrive in the first place.
GWEN IFILL: Trying to stop people from getting on the boats or getting off the boats?
DARYL GRISGRABER: Getting off the boats mostly.
But it would be useful in some ways to create situations where people feel like they don’t need to get on the boats as well.
GWEN IFILL: And that’s the more complicated part of this.
DARYL GRISGRABER: It certainly is, yes.
GWEN IFILL: Daryl Grisgraber of Refugees International, thank you very much.
DARYL GRISGRABER: Thank you.
GWEN IFILL: Europe’s attention was fixed today on images of desperate refugees dying on rickety boats. A jam-packed vessel out of Libya went down Sunday, taking nearly all of its human cargo to the bottom of the sea.
We have two reports from Independent Television News, beginning with Matt Frei in Catania, Italy.
MATT FREI: These are all that’s left of the worst shipping disaster to date of the worst year so far for Mediterranean migration.
But the survivors are outnumbered by the body bags and the body bags are outnumbered by the hundreds whose bodies will never be recovered from the bottom of the sea. The ghostly nocturnal images of the actual rescue show the Italian Coast Guard dinghies looking for more survivors in vain.
As many as 900 may have drowned here. And together with last week’s casualties, that means that more souls have been lost in seven days in the calm waters of the Med than when the Titanic sank. Off roads, in the Greek corner of the Mediterranean, this was today, when a ship of Syrian and East African refugees disintegrated just a few hundred meters offshore. Here, only three people drowned, but you can sense the panic of the others. It looks as if they can’t swim.
This is just one small desperate episode in an historic drama. Whether Greece or Italy, geography dictates that the southern shores of Europe have become a magnet for the huddled masses of an unstable world, from Libya to West Africa. What makes it worse is that Libya, the favorite point of departure, is also in a state of civil war.
When this ship went down off the Italian island of Lampedusa in 2013, almost 400 people drowned. It triggered Italy’s Mare Nostrum, a mass rescue operation that ended up saving 130,000 lives last year.
But Italy didn’t warning to bear the burden alone, and in the end, the European Union decided to replace Mare Nostrum with a much smaller rescue mission. The policy was, if we show the migrants that we won’t rush to their rescue, they won’t rush to the boats. But it didn’t work. They keep coming in ever greater numbers.
GWEN IFILL: So far this year, at least 1,500 migrants have died trying to make that crossing. That’s 15 times more than the total for all of last year.
ITN’s Rageh Omaar picks up the story in Luxembourg, where European foreign ministers met today.
RAGEH OMAAR: It’s the desperate and often fatal plight of would-be migrants like these Syrians fleeing civil war that has jolted the E.U. to try to take action. The European Commission has presented member governments with a 10-point plan today aimed at doubling the financing and number of ships available to help overcrowd vessels like these.
THERESA MAY, U.K. Home Secretary: We have looked at how we can deal with these tragic events that have taken place. Obviously, everybody is very concerned about the horrific loss of life that we have seen in the Mediterranean, but what was very clear today and what was agreed today among the ministers is that there’s no quick fix on this issue.
RAGEH OMAAR: It’s a reflection of the rising political concern within Europe of the scale of deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean that what should have been routine E.U. talks in Luxembourg have turned into a crisis conference to try to address this issue.
The question now is how to get the 28 member countries to act as one, especially when the issue of migration is such a polarizing and heated domestic political issue for European governments.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The European Union came under intense pressure today to address the migrant crisis in the Mediterranean. Estimates of the dead ranged from 700 to more than 900 in a single sinking over the weekend. E.U. leaders now plan an emergency summit on Thursday. We will have a full report after the news summary.
GWEN IFILL: Six Minnesota men will face trial for allegedly trying to join the Islamic State group. They were arrested yesterday on terror charges in Minneapolis and San Diego.
In Saint Paul today, the U.S. attorney for Minnesota, Andrew Luger, said the six were of Somali backgrounds and had been conspiring for 10 months.
ANDREW LUGER, U.S. Attorney, District of Minnesota: Nothing stopped these defendants from pursuing their goal. They never stopped plotting another way to get to Syria to join ISIL. They were not confused young men. They were not easily influenced. These are focused men who are intent on joining a terrorist organization by any means possible.
GWEN IFILL: Federal prosecutors say the Islamic State group began recruiting in the Somali community in Minnesota in 2013.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. Navy stepped up efforts today to block Iran from sending weapons to Shiite rebels in Yemen. The aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt moved to join other American warships off the Yemeni coast. The U.S. effort could involve boarding Iranian vessels. Tehran has denied aiding the rebels, but White House spokesman Josh Earnest argued otherwise.
JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: We have seen evidence that the Iranians are supplying weapons and other forms of support to the Houthis in Yemen. That’s the kind of support that will only contribute to greater violence in that country, a country that’s already been racked by too much violence.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. Naval move came as the biggest airstrikes yet by Saudi Arabia and its allies shook Sanaa, Yemen’s capital city. Local reports said at least 25 people were killed and nearly 400 wounded. The attacks touched off huge explosions at a missile base held by the Shiite rebels. Shockwaves from the blast flattened homes and shattered windows.
GWEN IFILL: Meanwhile, across the Gulf of Aden, a bomb destroyed a United Nations van in Somalia, killing seven people, including four workers with the U.N. Children’s Agency. Al-Shabaab militants claimed responsibility. Police said they planted the bomb under one of the van’s seats and triggered it by remote control.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Iran has charged the Washington post’s Tehran bureau chief with espionage and three other crimes. Jason Rezaian holds dual Iranian-American citizenship. He’s been held nine months. His lawyer confirmed the charges against him today. They also include collaboration with hostile governments and anti-Iranian propaganda.
GWEN IFILL: The U.S. and the Philippines launched their largest joint military exercises in 15 years today. The annual war games came amid concern over China’s aggressive moves to build bases in the disputed South China Sea. More than 11,500 American and Filipino military personnel are taking part.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, Baltimore officials faced a storm of questions over the death of a black suspect whose spine was nearly severed in police custody; 25-year-old Freddie Gray was arrested April 12 for carrying a switchblade. He died yesterday. It’s still not clear how Gray was hurt, but the mayor promised a thorough investigation.
STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE (D), Mayor of Baltimore, Maryland: I understand the community’s frustration. I understand it because I’m frustrated. I’m angry that we are here again, that we have had to tell another mother that their child is dead. I’m frustrated that — not only that we’re here, but that we don’t have all of the answers.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Also today, a white former police officer in suburban Detroit was charged with assault in a January incident. Last month, a video surfaced that showed him repeatedly punching a black man during a traffic stop.
GWEN IFILL: The 119th Boston Marathon was run today amid heavy security two years after a fatal bombing at the finish line. The winner that year, Lelisa Desisa of Ethiopia, won again today. The winner on the women’s side was Caroline Rotich of Kenya.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The 2015 Pulitzer Prizes are out, and The Post and Courier newspaper of Charleston, South Carolina, has won the Public Service Award for a series on domestic violence. Other winners include The New York Times for coverage of the Ebola crisis, The Saint Louis Post-Dispatch for photographs of the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, and The Washington Post for revelations about security lapses by the Secret Service.
In the arts, Anthony Doerr’s World War II novel “All the Light We Cannot See” won the prize for fiction.
GWEN IFILL: And Wall Street had a big Monday, thanks to strong corporate earnings. The Dow Jones industrial average gained more than 200 points to close back above 18000. The Nasdaq rose 63 points, and the S&P added 19.
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Pharmaceutical maker Teva has agreed to a settlement of $512 million in a class action lawsuit over the wakefulness drug Provigil. Drug wholesalers and retailers claimed a generic version of the drug was delayed to market by so-called “pay for delay” agreements between generic makers and the brand drug manufacturer, Cephalon, which Teva bought in 2011.
In a story last summer, PBS NewsHour profiled Karen Winkler, who has multiple sclerosis and has used the Provigil for years to treat her extreme fatigue. In 2005, Winkler’s doctor told her there would be a generic version coming, but it didn’t end up happening for several more years.
In 2006, Cephalon paid $200 million to four different generic manufacturers (including Teva), while agreeing to allow the drug to go generic in 2012. The companies said the deal allowed the generic to come to market before its patent would expire. But critics say the patent was weak, and the drug could have gone generic sooner, had the companies not entered the agreement.[Watch Video]
The Federal Trade Commission, has filed a separate lawsuit over Provigil, and other lawsuits over a similar deal with the drug Androgel. It contends these so-called “pay for delay” agreements cost consumers millions of dollars in potential savings.
In a statement to the NewsHour, Teva spokeswoman Denise Bradley said, “Teva is pleased with the terms of the settlement.”
Michael Carrier, a law professor at Rutgers University and expert on antitrust law, told NewsHour the settlement’s size — more than double any other in similar litigation — is significant. “The size of the settlement should put future parties in pay-for-delay cases on notice that the prospect of significant antitrust liability and damages is real,” Carrier said.
The FTC had no comment about the settlement. Its lawsuit is expected to go to trial later this year.
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Washington, D.C. (April 20, 2015) – The PBS NewsHour Student Reporting Labs (@reportinglabs) has selected 18 fellows to participate in the first SRL Academy in Washington, D.C., this June and July. Middle and high school fellows will work alongside public media mentors to produce original news content. They also will help program leaders develop strategies to engage young people in news and current affairs and ensure that youth voices are active in the conversations about critical issues facing the nation.
Fellows were chosen by a selection committee composed of the Student Reporting Labs staff and teachers.
“The students are coming from all over the country to celebrate their amazing journalistic accomplishments and help us build an even better program,” said Leah Clapman, Managing Editor, Education. “Our shared mission is to create learning experiences that inspire young people to be active citizens and solution-seekers.”
The 2015 SRL Academy Class (in alphabetical order):
Georgie Abbey, Royal Oak High School
Annie Collick, Royal Oak High School
Isabel Evans, Philip’s Academy Charter School
John Fabella, Maui Waena Intermediate School
Chloe Golan, Alonzo and Tracy Mourning Senior High
Evan Gulock, Royal Oak High School
Alexander Lischak, Trumbull Career & Technical
Alex Maxwell, Judge Memorial Catholic High School
Sydney Payne, Carlsbad High School
Keenan Penn II, Fraser High School
Alizah Rizvi, Philip’s Academy Charter School
Ben Root, Stephen F. Austin High School
Jakira Smith, Free Spirit Media
Giel Marie Tolentino, Maui High School
Alex Trevino, Stephen F. Austin High School
Nicholas Weiss, Cedar Crest High School
Zoe Whitney, Maui High School
Erykah Williams, Vista PEAK Preparatory
To learn more about the students, please visit the official SRL Academy Tumblr.
About Student Reporting Labs
Student Reporting Labs connect middle and high school students with public media stations to produce original news reports that explore how critical national issues impact local communities. The program provides a free video journalism curriculum, teacher training and mentorship opportunities designed to build the next generation of public service journalists and engaged citizens. On social media, visit www.facebook.com/studentreportings on Facebook or follow @reportinglabs on Twitter.
About PBS NewsHour
PBS NewsHour is seen by over four million weekly viewers and is also available online, via public radio in select markets, and via podcast. PBS NewsHour is a production of NewsHour Productions LLC, a wholly-owned non-profit subsidiary of WETA Washington, D.C., in association with WNET in New York. Major funding for PBS NewsHour is provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS and public television viewers. Major corporate funding is provided by BAE Systems, BNSF and Lincoln Financial Group with additional support from Carnegie Corporation of New York, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Lemelson Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Friends of the NewsHour and others. More information on PBS NewsHour is available at www.pbs.org/newshour. On social media, visit www.facebook.com/newshour on Facebook or follow @NewsHour on Twitter.
The post PBS NewsHour Names 18 Fellows for Inaugural Student Academy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of the Drug Enforcement Administration, Michele Leonhart, announced her retirement Tuesday afternoon, Attorney General Eric Holder said in a statement.
Leonhart had faced mounting pressure to resign from members of Congress who questioned her competence in the wake of a scathing government watchdog report detailing allegations that agents attended sex parties with prostitutes.
Holder said Leonhart, a career drug agent who has led the agency since 2007 and is the second woman to hold the job, will leave the agency in mid-May.
“Michele has led this distinguished agency with honor, and I have been proud to call her my partner in the work of safeguarding our national security and protecting our citizens from crime, exploitation and abuse,” Holder said, crediting her with helping dismantle violent drug trafficking organizations.
Leonhart had been widely criticized for her response to the critical report on her agency, and a group of lawmakers said in a statement that she was “woefully unable to change” the agency’s culture.
Following a disastrous appearance before the House Oversight Committee last week, a majority of the committee said they had lost confidence in her and said she “lacks the authority and will to make the tough decisions required to hold those accountable who compromise national security and bring disgrace to their positions.”
The Justice Department report that jeopardized Leonhart’s job recounted allegations that drug agents attended sex parties with prostitutes, some funded by local drug cartels, in a foreign country. The DEA said the incidents happened in Colombia.
The no-confidence statement was signed by 13 House Democrats and nine Republicans, including Chairman Jason Chaffetz of Utah and the committee’s top Democrat. Chaffetz went a step further, calling for Leonhart to resign or be fired.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest wouldn’t comment Tuesday on reports that Leonhart was set to leave the agency and instead reiterated early remarks that the Obama administration had “concerns about the material that was presented in the (inspector general) report that raised legitimate and serious questions about the conduct of some DEA officers.
“The president, as you know, maintains a very high standard for anybody who serves in his administration, particularly when it comes to law enforcement officials. And the — the I.G. report raised serious concerns about that conduct,” Earnest said.
Leonhart canceled an appearance to receive an award Tuesday from sponsors of the Border Security Expo, a trade show in Phoenix for government contractors. Doug Coleman, the DEA’s special agent in charge in Phoenix, accepted on her behalf.
Robert Bonner, a former DEA administrator and Customs and Border Protection commissioner, told the luncheon audience that Leonhart was being unfairly blamed for agents’ misconduct. He said last week’s House hearing presented a “jumbled and distorted” picture of the agency, much of it untrue.
“Sadly, what we’re witnessing in Washington is gotcha politics in action,” he said. Bonner said he hoped Leonhart stays on the job, adding that she lacked authority to fire agents with civil service protections and shouldn’t be blamed for punishments that were perceived as being too light.
Lawmakers have criticized the DEA and Leonhart specifically for what they described as lenient punishments for agents accused of wrongdoing.
Leonhart has previously been the target of online petitions calling for her ouster after she distanced herself from the administration’s stance on legalized marijuana, seen as a hands-off approach that lets states legalize marijuana so long as it is state-regulated. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law and is classified by the DEA as a Schedule 1 drug, along with drugs such as heroin and peyote.
Leonhart also declined to fully endorse sentencing reform efforts supported by the Justice Department, and the agency has been criticized by privacy advocates for its use of a sweeping database of phone calls made from the United States to multiple foreign countries. The agency acknowledged that database in a court filing involving a man accused of conspiring to illegally export goods and technology to Iran, but said it was no longer in use.
During Leonhart’s tenure the agency was responsible for a variety of notable criminal cases, including assisting in the 2014 capture of Mexico’s Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, long considered one of the most powerful drug traffickers in the world.
There were also scandals, including the arrest of a California college student who was left alone in a holding cell for five days without food or water. The April 2012 incident left Daniel Chong in grave physical health and led to a $4.1 million settlement and nationwide changes in the agency’s detention policies.
Associated Press Elliot Spagat contributed to this report from Phoenix.
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A new report from Pew Research Center shows that a majority of Americans don’t trust the government, but plenty use its open data — often without realizing they’re doing so.
Just 23 percent of respondents in this nationally representative survey say they trust the federal government to be a good actor “most of the time.” That is only one out of five people. Of that minority, 76 percent believe government data can help public officials remain accountable, and 73 percent believe that data can help journalists report on the government.
The term “open government” was first used in the 1950s during congressional deliberations that led to the creation of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIAA). According to Pew, “open data” is “a subset of open government and a way to implement it,” something the Obama administration has made a top priority in order to present a more accountable and transparent government, the report says.
But one issue for advocates of open government and open data is that many Americans aren’t aware of how that data is used, and that such data supports several heavily-used businesses. Those include weather apps that a person can access directly from a smartphone, and anything that relies on geolocation data, like GPS, Uber and Lyft.
Of those surveyed, 68 percent owned a smartphone. Of that number:
Despite that widespread use, only nine percent of Americans believe that government data helps “a lot” with the development of new products and services among the private sector, and 41 percent believes it helps “somewhat.”
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WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says NASCAR’s winning team is kind of like his relationship with Vice President Joe Biden.
Obama says both he and 2014 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series champ Kevin Harvick know “when you have a trusted partner shouting world-class advice in your ear at every turn, you can’t lose.”
The president threw the praise on Biden, who has said he is considering a run for the 2016 presidential campaign, at a White House event honoring Harvick. Obama says Harvick’s winning streak came after getting a new team last year, but he built “instant chemistry” with crew chief Rodney Childers.
The team’s sleek red No. 4 car was parked just to Obama’s left on the White House South Lawn for the event.
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In this special Making Sense edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards, or salary negotiations. No guarantees — just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.
From a reader: I want to share a wonderful story about how I was not hired. I interviewed and did not get the job. Although the job was through a recruiter and my first interview was with a personnel clerk, the hiring manager called me himself. He said it was a difficult decision, but he was impressed with my qualifications and asked if I wanted to be considered for future openings. He also volunteered to help me in my job search with his industry contacts. This is a very busy person who travels non-stop and has all of the same reasons that everyone else has for not following up with people. Yet he made the time to tell me his decision himself.
MORE FROM NICK CORCODILOS:
In my whole life, this has never happened. I think the benefits of an employer handling a situation like this are tremendous. Would I send him business if I had the opportunity? Would I recommend this company to other people? Of course!
I hope other employers read this and act accordingly. You have everything to gain by being direct and honest with people who have invested time with you and your company regardless of the outcome.
To everyone who has ever been rejected for a job, I hope someday you get treated like this. Simple decency goes a long way. It changes everything.
Nick Corcodilos: Thanks for sharing your experience. It’s important to note what really happened here, what did not happen, and why you’re happy after being rejected.
First, the manager took personal responsibility for notifying you of his decision. He established his credibility. That’s why you’d recommend his company to others. I know many managers will argue with this, but I believe every manager should handle hiring personally and take pride in it. (See “The manager’s #1 job.”)
Second, the manager offered you the professional courtesy of introductions to his own contacts. He acknowledged your value. That’s the benefit you got even though you were rejected. This manager understands that personal referrals make the business world work, and he knows that some point he will encounter you again. He’s ensuring your experience with him is positive because the future may bring another opportunity to do business together. I’ll bet this manager’s network is broad and strong. He never has to give this excuse when he’s looking for a new job himself: “I don’t know anybody.” Now he has one more excellent contact: you.
Finally, you were treated respectfully. The respect you got left you with respect for the company. People wonder how great reputations are made. This manager’s behavior explains it all.
If I were you, I’d send this manager a note acknowledging your experience, and I’d copy the president of the company. Let’s encourage high standards! But don’t stop there. This short article explains how to get the most from a thank you note: “Thanks is not enough.”
Now here’s a bit of advice to managers: The next time you interview a job candidate, remember that the manager in this story is your competition. Are you as good as that?
Dear Readers: We often discuss what’s wrong with the hiring process in this column. Do you have a positive experience to share? If you’re a manager, how do you keep your hiring standards high?
Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth “how to” PDF books are available on his website: “How to Work With Headhunters…and how to make headhunters work for you,” “How Can I Change Careers?”, “Keep Your Salary Under Wraps” and “Fearless Job Hunting.”
Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!
Copyright © 2013 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark.
The post Ask the Headhunter: How to not get hired and still be happy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
The city of San Juan Capistrano, California, is using a tiered system to charge residents for water usage as a way of encouraging water conservation due to the state’s new water laws. But a state appeals court ruled that the city’s system is unconstitutional, possibly setting a precedent for other cities with a tiered rate.
According to San Jose Mercury News, the city charges residents who use more water at a higher rate than those who use less. On Monday, the 4th District Court of Appeal found that the fee system violates California’s Proposition 218, which says government agencies cannot charge more for a service than it costs to provide.
San Juan Capistrano, located in Orange County, is like two-thirds of California cities with a tiered fee system.
The new California water laws were put in place to reduce the state’s water consumption by 25 percent in the next nine months, since the state is currently in the fourth year of a serious drought. They went into effect on April 15, and include restrictions on when homeowners can water their lawn, and a ban on restaurants from serving water to customers unless requested. Fines can be up to $500, but it is up to local officials to enforce the laws. In addition, state water agencies have forced reduction limits by as much as 36 percent for some. To comply, many are enacting the tiered cost system.
Gov. Jerry Brown, who created the laws, said the recent San Juan Capistrano verdict is “a straitjacket on local government at a time when maximum flexibility is needed. My policy is and will continue to be: Employ every method possible to ensure water is conserved across California.”
According to the San Jose Mercury News, state lawyers are currently reviewing the decision.
The post One California city’s water reduction system violates state constitution appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
The world’s first space telescope celebrates a quarter century this week. NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope launched into orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery 25 years ago Friday, on April 24, 1990.
Hubble’s contributions to space exploration are countless. Its images, explains Hubble Space Telescope Senior Project Scientist Jennifer Wiseman, have shown the first definitive detection of supermassive black holes at the centers of galaxies. They also have provided measurement of the expansion rate of the universe, and detection (along with ground-based telescopes) of acceleration in that expansion, caused by mysterious “dark energy” that appears to be pushing the universe apart.
“Hubble will go down in history as having changed the textbooks by totally revolutionizing humanity’s view of the universe, and our place in it,” Wiseman says. “It has also shown us exquisite beauty in the universe, in everything from galaxies to glowing nebulae to planetary atmospheres in our own solar system.”
Currently weighing 27,000 lbs. (almost twice the size of a large African elephant), extending 13.3 meters (the length of a large school bus), Hubble has captured more than 1.2 million images. The low-orbit telescope does this with two mirrors that are tucked into the apparatus. Powered by the sun, it takes a mere 95 minutes for the telescope to complete its orbit around the earth, traveling about 17,000 mph at an altitude of 340 miles.
All week, NASA is marking the anniversary with events showcasing the telescope’s achievements in space exploration. Images taken over the past 25 years will be broadcast all week in New York’s Time Square; The Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum in Washington will host a panel Saturday featuring NASA astronauts, scientists and engineers; and the IMAX movie “Hubble 3D” is now showing at select theaters across the U.S.
Enjoy some of the telescope’s most iconic images, including its very first, from May 20, 1990.
Photo captions are provided by NASA. You can see more photos on NASA’s Hubblesite.org.
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