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


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)
Loading...

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Loading...

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 624 | 625 | (Page 626) | 627 | 628 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0

    Data source: World Policy Analysis Center, 2014 | Graphic by Andrew Mach and Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekend

    Earlier this month, Virgin Management, helmed by legendary entrepreneur Richard Branson, announced that it would extend a full year’s pay to employees who take shared parental leave, regardless of gender.

    “Having a child is a life-changing experience and this policy means our employees have the opportunity to enjoy time with their families and have a great career,” Josh Bayliss, CEO at Virgin Management, said in press release.

    The announcement comes after the U.K. government said it would offer shared paid leave for parents in the first year following the birth or adoption of a child, giving parents the opportunity to share childcare responsibilities.

    According to the International Labor Organization, paternity leave is paid in 70 countries around the world, but only 45 of those countries offer employer liability. Germany, one of the more generous countries, allows new parents to take up to 14 months of parental leave on 65 percent of their salary.

    In the United States, companies are required to provide qualified employees, both mothers and fathers, with at least 12 weeks of unpaid annual leave for family-related or medical reasons. However, the government is not required to cover any pay during that period.

    Peter Talos adjusts the pram of his daughter Karin, as they spend time together during his parental leave, in Oslo, October 5, 2012. Nordic nations are the tops when it comes to gender equality, according to the World Economic Forum's global rankings which reviews the gaps between men and women in a range of areas, including the economy. Picture taken October 5, 2012. REUTERS/Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NORWAY OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN NORWAY. NO COMMERCIAL SALES.   - RTX1E3F6

    Peter Talos adjusts the pram of his daughter Karin, as they spend time together during his parental leave, in Oslo, Norway on October 5, 2012. Credit: Heiko Junge/Reuters

    Countries such as Norway, Sweden and Iceland have implemented what’s referred to as a “daddy quota,” where part of parental leave is reserved for fathers.

    In Norway, the quota was introduced in 1993 and now totals 14 weeks. Mothers also have a 14-week quota, and the rest of the time — 18 weeks on full salary or 28 weeks on 80 percent salary — can be split as parents choose, according to the Guardian.

    In the United States, under the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, companies are required to provide qualified employees, both mothers and fathers, with at least 12 weeks of unpaid annual leave for family-related or medical reasons, which includes the birth of a child. The government is not required to cover any pay during that period.

    In a study conducted by Boston College, out of more than 1,000 working fathers in the United States, 89 percent said it was important for employers to provide paid paternity or parental leave, with 60 percent saying it was extremely important.

    Most U.S. fathers participating in the study said they would not make use of paternity leave or parental leave unless at least 70 percent of their salaries were paid, and 45 percent said the leave would have to be 100 percent paid.

    The current state of paternity leave and paid time off for fathers of infants around the world is represented in the interactive map above, based on 2014 data from the World Policy Analysis Center. Hover over each country for additional information.

    The post Father’s Day off? Here’s how paternity leave varies for dads across the globe appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    WASHINGTON — Abortion is back before the Supreme Court, and the justices could signal by the end of June whether they are likely to take up the biggest case on the hot-button subject in nearly a quarter-century.

    If the court steps in, the hearing and the eventual ruling would come amid the 2016 presidential campaign.

    The court is considering an emergency appeal from abortion providers in Texas, who want the justices to block two provisions of a state law that already has forced the closure of roughly half the licensed abortion clinics in the state. Ten of the remaining 19 clinics will have to shut their doors by July 1, without an order from the Supreme Court.

    The Texas law is among a wave of state measures in recent years that have placed restrictions on when in a pregnancy abortions may be performed, imposed limits on abortions using drugs instead of surgery and increased standards for clinics and the doctors who work in them.

    The Texas case involves the last of these categories. The provisions at issue require clinics to meet hospital-like surgical standards and also call on doctors who work in the clinics to have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry signed the law in 2013 when he was the state’s governor.

    Backers of the law say those are common-sense measures intended to protect women. Abortion rights groups say the regulations have only one aim: to make it harder, if not impossible, for women to get abortions in Texas.

    The case could be attractive to the justices because it might allow them to give more definition to the key phrase from their last big abortion ruling, Planned Parenthood v. Casey, in 1992. States generally can regulate abortion unless doing so places “an undue burden” on a woman’s right to get an abortion.

    “Courts have been fumbling for years about what does it mean to be undue under Casey,” said Priscilla Smith, a Yale Law School professor and defender of abortion rights.

    Some abortion opponents also see the case as a strong candidate for Supreme Court review. “The likelihood of this case getting to the Supreme Court is very high and I think that’s a good thing,” said Mike Norton, senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian-oriented public interest law firm.

    The justices blocked the two provisions once before, in November 2014 while the New Orleans-based 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals was weighing whether those parts of the law violate a woman’s right to an abortion. The appeals court upheld the provisions on June 9 and has since refused to put its ruling on hold while the clinics ready their appeal to the Supreme Court.

    In 2013, four justices – enough to hear an appeal – said the high court probably would want to weigh in. In an earlier phase of the same case, Justice Stephen Breyer wrote that the court probably would take up the controversial provisions.

    The constitutionality of the new law is a difficult question, Breyer wrote. “It is a question, I believe, that at least four members of this court will wish to consider irrespective of the 5th Circuit’s ultimate decision,” he said in an opinion that was joined by the other three liberal justices.

    Since then, a different set of judges from the same appeals court has prevented Mississippi from enforcing its own admitting privileges requirement because doing so would close the last abortion clinic in the state. In that case, the court said that Mississippi could not force women to cross state lines to get an abortion.

    The state already was seeking Supreme Court review and the justices could say as early as Monday whether they will weigh in, although the Texas case could cause the justices to defer action in Mississippi.

    In Texas, women in the El Paso area in the western part of the state would have to cross into New Mexico to reach the nearest clinic. The appeals court said that wasn’t a problem because many Texas women in that part of the state already do so.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy’s views are likely to determine the outcome in this case, as in so many other divisive issues.

    Kennedy was one of the three authors of the Casey opinion that reaffirmed a woman’s right to an abortion and struck down a Pennsylvania requirement that women tell their husbands before getting an abortion. But he also wrote the 2007 opinion that upheld a federal ban on an abortion procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion.

    Legal experts on both sides of the issue said there is no indication that Kennedy might abandon his support for abortion rights altogether. But they differ on how Kennedy will view the clinic restrictions.

    “I think he’s quite devoted to the Casey standard and to the sense of Casey as compromised,” said Smith, who argued the 2007 case at the Supreme Court.

    But Carter Snead, a Notre Dame University law professor and abortion opponent, said Kennedy generally has been willing to sustain legal restrictions on abortion.

    “In fact, during his tenure on the court, he has only struck down one abortion restriction, namely, the spousal notification provision at issue in Planned Parenthood v. Casey,” Snead said.

    The post Court to rule on Texas abortion law which closed clinics across state appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    An Israeli-Arab woman arrives at a polling station to cast her ballot for the parliamentary election in the northern Druze-Arab village of Maghar January 22, 2013. Israelis voted on Tuesday in an election that is expected to see Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu win a third term in office, pushing the Jewish state further to the right, away from peace with the Palestinians and towards a showdown with Iran. REUTERS/Ammar Awad (ISRAEL - Tags: POLITICS ELECTIONS) - RTR3CSJU

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    MARTIN FLETCHER: Israel’s home to more than 8 million people, and while it’s known as a Jewish state, one in five is Arab: Muslims and Christians.

    The largest minority group in the country, Arab Israelis have few leadership roles in the country’s social and government institutions — and economically, they trail far behind the Jewish majority. Nearly half of Israel’s Arabs live in poverty.

    Guy Ben-Porat studies minority issues at Israel’s Ben-Gurion University.

    GUY BEN-PORAT, BEN-GURION UNIVERSITY: “There were some strides being made in recent years, with some affirmative action laws et cetera, but still the gap between Jews and Arabs are very, very large. They are the poorest population in Israel.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: But today, after Arab political parties joined forces and then captured 13 of the Israeli parliament’s 120 seats, a new generation of Arab lawmakers wants to change things.

    In his very first speech to Israel’s parliament, or Knesset, newly-elected member Yousef Jabareen called for more equality for Israeli Arabs: more acceptance of Arab culture, more Jewish-Arab dialogue on campuses, and above all, an Arab university.

    YOUSEF JABAREEN, MEMBER OF KNESSET, JOINT LIST: “I myself you know I’m an academic, I’m a professional, I’m an expert in educational issues, but I have zero influence on the curriculum in — you know, on the issues that my kids are being taught at the Arab schools.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: Aida Touma-Sliman, another new Arab member of parliament and the first Arab in Israel’s history to chair a permanent parliamentary committee, says she’ll emphasise women’s rights.

    AIDA TOUMA-SLIMAN, MEMBER OF KNESSET, JOINT LIST: “Only 22 or 23 percent of the Palestinian Arab women are working. I would like to change this reality by creating more job opportunities, by pushing for a plans, how to do that.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: Mark Regev is Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-time spokesman. And he says that’s exactly what the Israeli government wants, too.

    MARK REGEV, GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: “I agree more needs to be done. We’re working on education both for men and for women. We’re working on investment and encouraging tax breaks for people to invest in the Arab sector. We did a public campaign spent by taxpayers’ money encouraging employers to employ Israeli Arabs. We are fully committed to seeing those Israeli Arabs, the Israeli Arab community, as a full participant in the economy.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: As citizens, Arab Israelis are guaranteed the same legal rights as the Jewish majority. But the new Arab leadership in parliament says just spending money won’t solve the deeper issues of inequality.

    AIDA TOUMA-SLIMAN, MEMBER OF KNESSET, JOINT LIST: “When we are talking about closing the gap and money and budgets, we are talking on the easy side, let’s say, of our demands, because nobody can explain to me on civil level why I am not equal. I’m citizen. I’m full citizen. On that level, I think even Netanyahu with his brilliant way of speaking cannot explain that, why you have two levels of citizens in the only democratic country in the Middle East.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: The Israeli Arabs, or as some of them prefer to be called, Palestinians living in Israel, are the descendants of the 150,000 Arabs who remained in Israel in 1948 following Israel’s war of independence – what some Arabs call the Naqba, the catastrophe. Today there are one point seven million Arabs here, 20 percent of the population.

    Yet only 8 percent of government employees are Arabs. Arabs have only 3 percent of jobs in academia. Only 2 percent of Arab computer science graduates found work in high-tech, one of the main drivers of Israel’s economy.

    The prime minister’s spokesman Mark Regev insists that despite their problems in Israel, Israeli Arabs still have it far better than other Arabs in the Middle East.

    MARK REGEV, GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: “I think it’s important to look at the full — the half glass that’s full. I mean let’s remember that Israeli Arabs are the only Arabs in an entire vast region of the greater Middle East that have consistently enjoyed full, democratic rights: the right to vote, the right to freedom of religion, freedom of organization and so forth. Rights that their neighbors in the surrounding Arab countries unfortunately could only dream of.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: Since Israel’s first elections in 1949, Arab citizens have held seats in the country’s parliament. But they’ve never been part of a governing coalition and until this election, they were splintered across a range of political factions.

    This spring, however, four Arab Israeli parties ran a unified campaign. Their coalition drew international attention and some analysts said Arabs might finally have a seat at the table.

    But on election day Prime Minister Netanyahu called on his supporters to come to the polls because, quote,” Arabs are voting in droves.” His comments were widely denounced. President Obama called them, quote, “contrary to what is the best of Israel’s traditions.”

    Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev.

    MARK REGEV, GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: “He publicly apologized for his remarks, which were misinterpreted. He has a consistent record. And we are fully committed to seeing complete equality of our citizens. We want to make sure that all Israelis, Arab Israelis too, feel that Israel is their home.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: But for some Arab citizens of Israel, like Arab actress and artist Raida Adon, Israel can feel like a foreign land.

    Adon’s video artwork is featured in a gallery in the town of Um el Fahem. It’s a part of Israel known as the Arab triangle, a string of Israeli Arab towns and villages close to the West Bank border. With fifty thousand people, Um el Fahem is Israel’s second largest Arab town.

    Raida Adon’s film depicts the Arab refugee exodus in 1948. But her message is for today.

    RAIDA ADON: “You cannot listen to their screams. There’s no one hear their screams. And that’s the situation here. No one hear us. No one seen us. When I’m talking with the Jews, I’m not say to them that you are jealous, you make this, you take my land, you take — no. I want him just to listen to my sorrow. I want him to respect my identity and to respect my language and to respect everything that I am doing like I respect him.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: Instead, a right-wing campaign ad during Israel’s March elections resurrected a long-running threat to expel some residents of the Arab Triangle. Ariel to Israel, Um el Fahem to Palestine, the slogan goes.

    Meaning, the land of some West Bank Jewish settlements becomes part of Israel, and Um el Fahem and other Arab towns and villages become part of a future Palestine.

    Under the proposal about 300,000 Israeli Arabs would lose their Israeli citizenship. This is Baart’a, one of the towns under threat. It sounds simple.

    MARTIN FLETCHER: “The border between Israel and the West Bank runs right through this stone over here, the so-called Green Line. The proposal is that the Arabs who live on this side of this stone, which is Israel, become members of a future Palestinian state on this side of the line.”

    The proposal might have been campaign sloganeering — most analysts consider the swap idea a nonstarter. But some Arabs call it a move to de-legitimize their citizenship.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu doesn’t support the swap plan. And spokesman Mark Regev says the government has spent one and a half billion dollars over the last five years to help close the gap between Arab and other citizens. That’s two hundred dollars per person per year, spent on…

    MARK REGEV, GOVERNMENT SPOKESPERSON: “…education, health care, housing, other services for the Arab community specifically to narrow those gaps, which are unacceptable quite frankly.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: But that’s nowhere near enough, says Odette Hilwi, who runs a school in the northern town of Acre on Israel’s coast, funded by an NGO, payments from parents who can afford it, and small government subsidies.

    She says Arab Israeli daycare centers don’t have enough money, schools don’t have enough classrooms, and all that means Arab Israeli children get a worse education than Jewish children.

    ODETTE HILWI: “If there would be money I would open a kids club here, but we need money, a place to help with homework and to play.”

    MARTIN FLETCHER: Back in the parliament, Arab lawmakers agree. They say a lot more is needed than just talk.

    YOUSEF JABAREEN, MEMBER OF KNESSET, JOINT LIST: “So you have a good law. You have a good statement by policymakers in Israel. But on the ground the change is very, very slow if any. And the change is not enough to close the gaps between our community and the majority.”

    The post Israeli Arabs join forces in Knesset to change status quo appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    People take part in "Black Lives Matter" march around Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime.      REUTERS/Carlo Allegri      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1HF0F

    Participants gathered for the “March for Black Lives” on June 20, 2015, near Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., where nine people were killed on Wednesday. Credit: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Hundreds gathered in Charleston, South Carolina, on Saturday for a “March for Black Lives” held in memory of those killed in last week’s shooting at Emanuel A.M.E Church.

    The "March for Black Lives" passes by the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 20, 2015 three days after a mass shooting left people nine dead during a bible study at the church.     REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX1HEVH

    The “March for Black Lives” passes by the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 20, 2015 three days after a mass shooting left people nine dead during a bible study at the church. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    A vigil was held before the march for the nine victims who were gunned down on Wednesday.

    Police say 21-year-old Dylann Roof, a troubled man who reportedly held white supremacist views, opened fire at the church’s weekly Bible study.

    People take part in "Black Lives Matter" march around Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, June 20, 2015. Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old with a criminal record, is accused of killing nine people at a Bible-study meeting in the historic African-American church in Charleston, South Carolina, in an attack U.S. officials are investigating as a hate crime.      REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX1HF0K

    People participate in the “March for Black Lives” march on June 20, 2015, near Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C. Credit: Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Protesters chanted “Black Lives Matter,” and “We can’t take it no more,” and held up signs that read “Still We Rise” and “Stop White Terrorism.”

    Reverend Waltrina Middleton, a cousin of Rev. Middleton-Doctor, one of the shooting’s victims, was among those who participated in the march.

    “My ancestors were trotted through this market, their bodies on the ground of this Meeting Street, this marketplace,” Middleton told the Associated Press. “To know the trail of blood flows from here, it flows straight to Mother Emmanuel, it breaks my heart.”

    Louise Brown walks in the "March for Black Lives" after passing by the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina June 20, 2015 three days after a mass shooting left people nine dead during a bible study at the church.     REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX1HEVI

    Louise Brown holds up a sign on June 20, 2015, during the “March for Black Lives” march in Charleston, S.C. Credit: Brian Snyder/Reuters

    In the state capital of Columbia, hundreds of demonstrators also took to the streets on Saturday in protest of the presence of the Confederate flag that hangs by the South Carolina Statehouse, the Washington Post reported.

    Many of the demonstrators said they believe the flag is an outdated symbol widening racial divisions.

    People hold signs during a protest asking for the removal of the confederate battle flag that flies at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, SC June 20, 2015.  REUTERS/Jason Miczek      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1HFBL

    People hold signs on June 20, 2015, during a protest calling for the removal of the Confederate flag at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, S.C. Credit: Jason Miczek/Reuters

    Participants chanted “take it down” and ended the rally by singing “We Shall Overcome,” according to the AP.

    The post Hundreds march in solidarity in Charleston after church shooting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Vietnam War veteran Norm Polacke participates in Veterans Day ceremonies in Cambridge, Massachusetts November 11, 2014.        REUTERS/Brian Snyder    (UNITED STATES - Tags: MILITARY) - RTR4DR44

    A veteran participates in Veterans Day ceremonies in Cambridge, Massachusetts on November 11, 2014. The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is reportedly 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The number of veterans seeking health care but ending up on waiting lists of one month or more is 50 percent higher now than it was a year ago when a scandal over false records and long wait times wracked the Department of Veterans Affairs, The New York Times reported.

    The VA also faces a budget shortfall of nearly $3 billion, the Times reported in a story posted online ahead of its Sunday editions. The agency is considering furloughs, hiring freezes and other significant moves to reduce the gap, the newspaper reported.

    In the last year, the VA has increased capacity by more than 7 million patient visits per year, double what officials originally thought they needed to fix shortcomings, the Times reported. However, the newspaper added, department officials did not anticipate just how much physician workloads and demand from veterans would continue to soar. At some major veterans hospitals, demand was up by one-fifth, the paper reported.

    Citing interviews with department officials and internal department budget documents it had obtained, the Times reported that doctors and nurses have handled 2.7 million more appointments than in any previous year, while authorizing 900,000 additional patients to see outside physicians.

    The Times also reported intense internal debate at the VA over a proposal to address a shortage of funds for a new, more effective but more costly hepatitis C treatment by possibly rationing new treatments among veterans. Certain patients who have advanced terminal diseases or suffer from a “persistent vegetative state or advanced dementia” would be excluded under that plan, the paper reported.

    Agency officials expect to petition Congress this week to allow them to shift money into programs running short of cash, according to the newspaper. However, lawmakers may object to removing funds from a new program intended to allow certain veterans on waiting lists and in rural areas to choose taxpayer-paid care from private doctors outside the department’s health system, the Times reported.

    “Something has to give,” the department’s deputy secretary, Sloan D. Gibson, said in an interview with the newspaper. “We can’t leave this as the status quo. We are not meeting the needs of veterans, and veterans are signaling that to us by coming in for additional care, and we can’t deliver it as timely as we want to.”

    The post Report: Vets on waiting lists for health care up 50 percent since last year appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    A man holds a sign up during a protest rally against the Confederate flag in Columbia, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. The racially divisive Confederate battle flag flew at full-mast despite others flying at half-staff in South Carolina after the killing of nine black people in an historic African-American church in Charleston on June 17. Dylann Roof, the 21-year-old white male suspected of carrying out the Emanuel African Episcopal Methodist Church bloodbath, was one of many southern Americans who identified with the 13-star saltire in red, white and blue. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOV        (Photo credit should read MLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/Getty Images)

    A man holds a sign up during a protest rally against the Confederate flag in Columbia, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. Photo by Mladen Antonov/AFP/Getty Images

    Following the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina on Wednesday in which a gunman shot and killed nine people attending bible study at a historic black church, the Confederate battle flag — also called the rebel flag, the southern cross and the Dixie flag  — has been the subject of contentious debate.

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    On Saturday, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to Twitter to call for the flag’s removal from the grounds of the state capitol in Columbia, South Carolina, and over 400,000 people have signed a MoveOn.org petition demanding that the government of South Carolina remove the flag from “all government places.”

    Here are eight things you may not have known about this contentious Confederate emblem.

    A descendant of American Southerners looks through the Confederate flag during a party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, Santa Barbara D'Oeste, Brazil, April 26, 2015. The flag has become the subject of controversy following Wednesday's racially-motivated mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

    A Confederate flag is seen during a party to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, Santa Barbara D’Oeste, Brazil, April 26, 2015. The flag has become the subject of controversy following Wednesday’s racially-motivated mass shooting in Charleston, South Carolina. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters


    1. The Confederate battle flag was never the official flag of the Confederacy

    The Confederate States of America went through three different flags during the Civil War, but the battle flag wasn’t one of them. Instead, the flag that most people associate with the Confederacy was the battle flag of Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia.

    Designed by the Confederate politician William Porcher Miles, the flag was rejected for use as the Confederacy’s officials emblem, although it was incorporated into the two later flags as a canton. It only came to be the flag most prominently associated with the Confederacy after the South lost the war.

    2. The flag is divisive, but most Americans may not care

    Roughly one in ten Americans feels positively when they see the Confederate flag displayed, according to a 2011 Pew Research Center poll. The same study showed that 30 percent of Americans reported a negative reaction to seeing the flag on display.

    But the majority, 58 percent, reported feeling neither positive nor negative. The poll also showed that African-Americans, Democrats and the highly educated were more likely to perceive the flag negatively.

    Mississippi fans in stands with confederate flags during game vs Alabama, Oxford, MS in 1993. Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

    Mississippi fans in stands with confederate flags during game vs Alabama, Oxford, MS in 1993. Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey/Sports Illustrated/Getty Images

    3. The flag began to take on a new significance in the 20th century

    In the immediate aftermath of the Civil War, the battle flag was used mostly at veterans’ events and to commemorate fallen Confederate soldiers. The flag took on new associations in the 1940s, when it began to appear more frequently in contexts unrelated to the Civil War, such as University of Mississippi football games.

    In 1948, the newly-formed segregationist Dixiecrat party adopted the flag as a symbol of resistance to the federal government. In the years that followed, the battle flag became an important part of segregationist symbolism, and was featured prominently on the 1956 redesign of Georgia’s state flag, a legislative decision that was likely at least partly a response to the Supreme Court’s decision to desegregate school two years earlier. The flag has also been used by the Ku Klux Klan, though it is not the Klan’s official flag.

    The design of a proposed "Sons of the Confederacy" Texas state license plate is shown in this handout illustration provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles March 20, 2015.  The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday takes up a free speech case on whether Texas was wrong in rejecting a specialty vehicle license plate displaying the Confederate flag - to some an emblem of Southern pride and to others a symbol of racism.  REUTERS/Texas Department of Motor Vehicles/Handout via Reuters  FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS - RTR4UDAD

    The design of a proposed “Sons of the Confederacy” Texas state license plate is shown in this handout illustration provided by the Texas Department of Motor Vehicles March 20, 2015. Credit: Department of Motor Vehicles/Handout via Reuters

    4. The Supreme Court recently ruled that Texas could refuse to issue Confederate flag specialty license plates

    In a 5-4 decision, the court ruled against the nonprofit Sons of Confederate Veterans in Texas. The group had applied to create a specialty license plate that featured the battle flag, and argued that Texas’s licensing board violated their First Amendment rights by denying the application. Although the ruling came the day after the massacre in Charleston, the court heard arguments in the case in March.

    5. The NAACP has long led a boycott against South Carolina because of the battle flag on display at the capitol

    The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People has led an economic boycott of South Carolina for years. In 2000, activists managed to have the flag moved from the dome of the capitol building to a memorial to Confederate soldiers nearby on the Statehouse grounds, but the boycott remains in effect.

    Two days after the Charleston shooting, NAACP President Cornell Brooks reiterated the demand that South Carolina remove the flag.

    “One of the ways we can bring that flag down is by writing to companies, engaging companies that are thinking about doing business in South Carolina, speaking to the governor, speaking to the legislature and saying the flag has to come down,” Brooks said, according to the Charleston City Paper.

    The NCAA also has a partial ban on sporting events in South Carolina because of the state’s decision to display the flag.

    The U.S. flag and South Carolina state flag flies at half staff to honor the nine people killed in the Charleston murders as the confederate battle flag also flies on the grounds of the South Carolina State House in Columbia, SC June 20, 2015. REUTERS/Jason Miczek - RTX1HF3B

    The U.S. flag and South Carolina state flag flies at half staff to honor the nine people killed in the Charleston murders as the confederate battle flag also flies on the grounds of the South Carolina State House in Columbia, SC June 20, 2015. Photo by Jason Miczek/Reuters

    6. The battle flag on South Carolina’s Statehouse grounds couldn’t be lowered to half mast after the Charleston massacre

    Although the American flag and South Carolina state flag were lowered in mourning for the victims of the church shooting, the Confederate flag on display at the Statehouse was not, because it is affixed to the flag pole and cannot be lowered, The Washington Post reported.

    7. Five Southern states have legal protection for the flag, but California bans it

    Florida, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana all have laws on the books that ban desecration of the Confederate flag. The laws are unenforceable, though, because the Supreme Court has ruled that desecrating a flag is protected by the First Amendment.

    California passed a bill in 2014 that banned the state government from displaying or selling merchandise bearing the Confederate flag.

     8. Mississippi is the only state whose flag still features the battle flag

    Mississippi is the only state whose flag still contains the confederate flag since Georgia changed its flag in 2003. In a statewide referendum in 2001, Mississippians voted 2-to-1 in favor of keeping the flag, which features the Confederate emblem as a canton in the top left corner.

    The post 8 things you didn’t know about the Confederate flag appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    People hold signs during a protest asking for the removal of the confederate battle flag that flies at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. Republican Mike Huckabee believes a potential president cannot "weigh in on every little issue in all 50 states." Photo by Jason Miczek/Reuters

    People hold signs during a protest asking for the removal of the confederate battle flag that flies at the South Carolina State House in Columbia, South Carolina on June 20, 2015. Republican Mike Huckabee stated presidential candidates should not play a key role in the debate, emphasizing that those in the presidential office cannot “weigh in on every little issue in all 50 states.” Photo by Jason Miczek/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Republican Mike Huckabee and other GOP presidential contenders are staying clear of the Confederate flag debate in South Carolina, saying it’s an issue that should be decided by the state, not the federal government. “Everyone’s being baited with this question as if somehow that has anything to do whatsoever with running for president.”

    The flag is a symbol of racism to some, of Southern pride to others. The flag remains on the South Carolina Statehouse grounds, but some want it moved to another location behind the Capitol, or removed entirely. Mitt Romney, the Republican nominee for president in 2012, has called for the flag’s immediate removal in the wake of Wednesday evening’s fatal shootings of nine black people at a Charleston church.

    “Everyone’s being baited with this question as if somehow that has anything to do whatsoever with running for president,” Huckabee said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “My position is it most certainly does not.”

    Fellow Republican Rick Santorum gave a similar argument.

    “My opinion is that we should let the people of South Carolina go through the process of making this decision,” Santorum said on ABC’s “This Week.”

    South Carolina was the last state to fly the Confederate battle flag from its Capitol dome until a compromise in 2000 moved the flag to a 30-foot flagpole on Statehouse grounds. The debate over the flag carries political risks for Republican candidates seeking to appeal to South Carolina conservatives who support displaying the flag on public grounds.

    The state holds the nation’s third presidential primary contest in February and the outcome could play a major role in the wide-open 2016 GOP campaign.

    Romney tweeted on Saturday that “To many, it is a symbol of racial hatred. Remove it now to honor (hash)Charleston victims.”

    The former Massachusetts governor joins President Barack Obama and civil rights leaders in calling for the flag to come down as the nation grapples with Wednesday’s slayings. The man charged with the crimes, Dylann Storm Roof, held the Confederate flag in a photograph on a website and displayed the flags of defeated white-supremacist governments in Africa on his Facebook page.

    Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, said that voters want the presidential candidates focused on issues like the economy and keeping Americans safe. He had the same position back in 2008 when he first ran for president, but he used more colorful language then. “If somebody came to Arkansas and told us what to do with our flag, we’d tell `em where to put the pole, that’s what we’d do.”

    Huckabee said Sunday that voters don’t want the presidential candidates to “weigh in on every little issue in all 50 states that might be an important issue to the people of those states, but it’s not on the desk of the president.”

    The post Huckabee: 2016 candidates should avoid Confederate flag debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    A boy watches as people walk through the Old City in Jerusalem. Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    On March 23, days after securing a surprisingly strong electoral victory, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began what might have been a victory lap with an official apology to the country’s Arab citizens.

    On election day, Netanyahu had posted a Facebook message warning that Israel’s 1.7 million Arabs were voting “in droves” to kick him out of office. “The right-wing government is in danger,” he said in a video message then.

    Leaders both at home and abroad, including President Barack Obama, criticized those remarks as fear-mongering, and a week after the vote, Netanyahu walked them back.

    “I know the things I said a few days ago hurt some of Israel’s citizens and hurt Israel’s Arabs,” Netanyahu told gathered members of Israel’s minority communities. “I had no intention to do that. I apologize for it.”

    “I think there a mismatch here which is very unique… The country is Israel, citizenship is Israeli, but the nation is Jewish.”

    The dust-up highlighted the often complex relationship between Israel’s Jewish majority and its Arab minority, which comprises a fifth of Israel’s population.

    Arabs have sat on the supreme court, and Israel fields Arab ambassadors, but overall Arabs are underrepresented in government positions, academia, and the broader economy. Nearly half of Israel’s Arab population lives in poverty.

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    People walk through a market in Barta’a- a town on the border between Israel and the Palestinian territories. Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Arab citizens — who sometimes call themselves Palestinians living in Israel — are granted the same legal rights and protections as any other Israelis, yet on a deeper level, many say they feel as if they are treated as second-class citizens.

    “I think there a mismatch here which is very unique,” said Guy Ben-Porat, who studies issues of citizenship at Israel’s Ben Gurion University. “The country is Israel, citizenship is Israeli, but the nation is Jewish.”

    Since Israel was founded in 1948, Ben-Porat said there has been “a considerable minority who have never been able to feel really part of the state.”

    This spring, PBS NewsHour Weekend traveled to Israel to learn more about how Israeli Arabs engage with the political, social and economic landscape. In the course of our reporting, we met three Arab citizens who shared their stories with us.

    “Their communities would remain intact”

    Driving north from Tel Aviv, it takes about an hour to reach Um el Fahem, an Arab majority city of nearly 50,000 just across the border from the West Bank. It’s situated in the heart of the Wadi Ara, a valley dotted with Arab villages and towns. Um el Fahem is the second-largest Arab enclave in the country, after Nazareth.

    Graphic by Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekend

    Graphic by Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekend

    In this spring’s campaign, a proposal re-emerged among some of Israel’s right-wing politicians: create a new Palestinian state by swapping the towns and villages of the Wadi Ara, including Um el Fahem, for Israeli settlements in the West Bank. Overnight, some 300,000 people would lose their citizenship and become nationals of a yet-to-be-formed Palestine.

    “The only differences would be the passport that they hold and the ballot box which they put their future votes into,” said Ashley Perry, a UK-born politician with the Yisrael Beiteinu party, which ran videos supporting such a swap and was part of the previous governing coalition. “Everything else would remain the same. Their communities would remain intact.”

    “Some of my Arab students would tell me that these days they try to avoid speaking in Arabic when they are in the bus or when they are walking to campus.”

    In Um el Fahem, such proposals were enough to encourage educator Yousef Jabareen to run for a seat in the parliament, the Knesset. He believes ideas like a population swap are an affront to loyal Arab citizens of Israel — and only strain relations further.

    “There is a deterioration,” he said inside a noisy cafe perched above Um el Fahem’s bustling thoroughfare. “Some of my Arab students would tell me that these days they try to avoid speaking in Arabic when they are in the bus or when they are walking to campus. So we feel the deterioration.”

    Jabareen won a seat in March and is now part of a 13-member Arab bloc in Israel’s parliament, the third-largest party in the newly-elected Knesset. The election was the largest showing by Arab politicians in Israel’s history, and it’s the first time Israel’s four main Arab political parties ran together under a unified banner, the so-called Joint List.

    “People would always tell us, ‘why don’t you work together? Why are you not running in a joint list?’” said Jabareen. “We need to take advantage of any possible way to change or to try to make a change.”

    The Joint List is not part of Netanyahu’s slim governing majority, and only this year an Arab parliamentarian was chosen to head a permanent committee in the Knesset. But longtime Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev told NewsHour this May that the prime minister is prepared to work with its members to close the economic and social gaps between Arab and non-Arab Israelis.

    “We want to see investment in the Arab community,” Regev said from his office in Jerusalem. “That’s good for them. It’s good for the country as a whole.” He says the country has already invested $1.5 billion over six years to improve education, housing, and healthcare for the Arab community.

    “It has to be in the streets”

    In the courtyard of his family home in Um el Fahem, Mahmoud Shreim spoke about his televised confrontation with Ayman Odeh, the leader of the Joint List during the election campaign.

    During a roundtable interview staged by a Danish television network at Hebrew University, where Shreim is a student, he told Odeh that politicians can’t change anything. That parliament is a waste of time.

    “I’m saying it’s a false regime, and I don’t give my vote to a false regime,” he said. “I don’t believe in this idea that the voice of our struggle has to be inside the Knesset, but that it has to be in the streets and outside the Knesset.”

    While this year’s balloting brought a near-record number of voters to the polls, Shreim didn’t vote. He says the Israeli state is built to exclude him, and that he will not pledge allegiance to a flag or sing a national anthem devoted to a state that he says considers him less than a full citizen.

    “I feel this anger is with me all the time,” he said, “and there’s nothing to do about it.”

    In some ways, Shreim is an outlier. His father runs a successful local business in town. He studies business and economics at Hebrew University and drives himself from Jerusalem to Um el Fahem in an Audi. Still, he believes Arab citizens face significant hurdles to success — and that real power is in local governance.

    “Why should I leave? This is my land. I was born here. My father was born here and my grandfather was born here. All our history is here.”

    The Islamic movement’s northern branch, a political movement which led previous election boycotts, has repeatedly won local elections in Um el Fahem. Some members of Israel’s Knesset have called for the northern branch to be outlawed.

    In an interview with Al Jazeera, Haifa University’s Asad Ghanem said the height of the boycott movement came in 2001 during the second intifada. “Since then the level of participation has grown, but it’s been very slow.”

    Despite his distaste for national politics, Shreim says he would never consider leaving Israel permanently.

    “Why should I leave? This is my land. I was born here. My father was born here and my grandfather was born here. All our history is here,” he said. “In spite of all the difficult conditions, this is my land. And I will have my children here, and I will stay here.”

    “I don’t know if I love the country”

    Actress and artist Raida Adon isn’t so sure she’ll stay in Israel. Born in the northern city of Acre, she now lives in a sun-drenched apartment in the Jaffa section of Tel Aviv, a neighborhood with a large Arab population. The walls are adorned with her own canvasses — but we met her through a video installation she created that was featured at an art gallery in Um el Fahem.

    The work, ‘Beyond the Walls,’ is meant to evoke the Arab refugees who fled their homes following Israel’s War of Independence — what some Arab citizens refer to as the Naqba, the catastrophe.

    “I don’t know if I love the country,” she said. “When I’m talking with the Jews, I’m not saying to them that you are jealous, you are taking my land. No, I want him just to listen to my sorrow. I want him to respect my identity and to respect my language and to respect everything that I’m doing like I respect him.”

    Adon says she voted in this year’s parliamentary elections — for the Joint List — but she feels that as an Arab citizen in Israel, she is constantly wearing her identity as a kind of scarlet letter.

    “It’s like it’s written here ‘48,” she said, pointing to her forehead and referring to the year of Israel’s War of Independence. “I don’t want to just talk about ‘48.” But she says living elsewhere — in a larger country — she could thrive on the anonymity in a place where she doesn’t feel like there’s a constant struggle to define herself.

    Back in the cafe in Um el Fahem, new parliamentarian Yousef Jabareen feels Arab citizens like Raida Adon should stay in Israel.

    “I think that our main struggle is to strengthen our community in order to stay here in our homeland,” he said. “We feel that we’re an integral part of this homeland. We are an integral part of this land around us — of this geographical landscape, and we want our youth to stay here because that’s part of our existence and part of our identity.”

    Affirmative action measures and even a public ad campaign encouraging Israelis to hire Arabs have gained traction. And Mark Regev, Netanyahu’s spokesman, says his government will continue to devote resources to infrastructure and education in Arab majority communities.

    Still, analysts like Guy Ben Porat say a deeper degree of isolation felt by some in the Arab minority might not be so easy to eliminate.

    “When you think that Israeli means being Jewish or Jewish means being Israeli, then it’s a big question,” he said. “How can an Arab be an Israeli, beyond the technical means of holding a passport?”

    The post ‘I don’t know if I love the country': Arab Israelis share their stories appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    WASHINGTON — Heading to Europe, Defense Secretary Ash Carter is carrying a strong message of U.S. military support for American allies and Baltic nations to help calm growing concerns about Russian aggression.

    U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter testifies at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Feb. 4, 2015, in Washington. Credit: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    A key theme at all his stops will be how the United States, NATO and other partners can best deal with the Kremlin in the wake of Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region and its military backing of separatists battling Ukraine’s government on the eastern border.

    Officials said Carter, who left Washington on Sunday, plans to encourage allied ministers to better work together in countering threats facing Europe. His talks are sure to draw the ire of Russian President Vladimir Putin as his government chafes under economic penalties imposed for its actions in Ukraine.

    At a NATO meeting, defense ministers will discuss plans to involve the alliance more officially in the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq. According to U.S. officials, NATO leaders will consider providing ministry-level advice and other training assistance in Iraq, with a possible decision approving the plan expected around July.

    Carter also intends to talk with counterparts about a U.S. proposal to send to Eastern Europe enough tanks, Humvees and other military equipment to outfit one brigade. The equipment would be used for exercises and other training programs. The idea of placing it in Eastern Europe has been in discussion for months; Carter has yet to give his final approval.

    Generally, a brigade has roughly 3,500 troops.

    Officials have not said where the equipment would go, but there are indications that Poland, which borders Russia, might be one location.

    The materiel and the recent increase in military exercises in the region are part of efforts by the U.S. and NATO to reassure Eastern European nations that the alliance is ready and able to defend them in the face of threats from Russia.

    Placing the equipment in Eastern Europe will help with training and exercises, but more importantly could allow a faster NATO response to a crisis in the region.

    Poland Defense Minister Tomasz Siemoniak said last week that he has been in talks with Carter about putting the equipment in Poland and in four other eastern NATO nations, and that Poland was ready for the move as far as logistics and organization goes.

    Just two weeks ago Carter convened a meeting of American defense and diplomatic leaders from across Europe, and concluded that the U.S. needs to strengthen its military exercises and training with nations in the region and bolster NATO’s intelligence-sharing to better counter Russia.

    In comments after the meeting in Stuttgart, Germany, Carter acknowledged that the current international economic penalties against Russia have not stopped Moscow’s military support for separatists in Ukraine. He said that the U.S. and allies worry that Russia may use similar tactics and aggression against other nations in the region.

    Western leaders say Moscow is supplying rebels with manpower and powerful weapons, and detail Russian troop movements along Ukraine’s eastern border, including convoys of supplies, troops and weapons moving to bolster the separatists. Russia rejects those claims as unfounded.

    A fragile cease fire in Ukraine that was worked out in February has been broken repeatedly, and both sides blame the other for the spikes in violence.

    At an investment conference Friday in Russia, Putin blamed the U.S. and the European Union for triggering the Ukrainian crisis by refusing to take into account what he described as Russia’s legitimate interests.

    “They have pushed us back to the line beyond which we can’t retreat,” he said. “Russia isn’t seeking hegemony or some ephemeral superpower status.”

    While Russia may dominate much of the talks, the allies also will discuss how NATO can provide more assistance to Iraq. Some allies are participating individually in the fight against IS, but NATO has not agreed on how it should weigh in as an alliance.

    Last September at the NATO summit in Wales, allies agreed to help coordinate assistance to Iraq. At the time, then-NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said NATO would consider putting together a mission to train and increase the capabilities of the Iraqi forces. NATO did training during the Iraq war.

    The post Pentagon chief to boost military support for U.S. allies, Baltic nations appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A computer user poses in front of a Google search page in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014. Google has taken the first steps to meet a European ruling that citizens can have objectionable links removed from Internet search results, a ruling that pleased privacy campaigners but raised fears that the right can be abused to hide negative information.   REUTERS/Francois Lenoir (BELGIUM - Tags: POLITICS SCIENCE TECHNOLOGY) - RTR3RK9T

    A computer user poses in front of a Google search page in this photo illustration taken in Brussels May 30, 2014. Photo by Francois Lenoir/Reuters

    Google announced Friday that it will begin allowing users to request that nude or sexually explicit content that was posted without their consent be removed from Google search results.

    “Revenge porn” — a term that refers to nude or sexually explicit images of someone that are posted online by an ex-lover without consent — can be damaging to victims’ self-esteem, reputation, and job prospects, especially when these photographs are easily searchable on the web.

    “Our philosophy has always been that Search should reflect the whole web. But revenge porn images are intensely personal and emotionally damaging, and serve only to degrade the victims—predominantly women,” Google executive Amit Singhal said in a blog post on the company’s website.

    The new Google policy won’t rid websites of the images, but will remove the links from its search result page if a victim or other user requests it. Google has a similar process in place for compromised bank account numbers and depictions of child sexual abuse.

    Other tech giants, including Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit, instituted policies banning revenge porn on their websites earlier this year.

    The post Google to remove ‘revenge porn’ from search results appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    Syrian Kurds walk by Turkish soliders after crossing into Turkey near the southeastern town of Suruc in Sanliurfa province, on September 19, 2014. Several thousand Syrian Kurds began crossing into Turkey on Friday fleeing Islamic State fighters who advanced into their villages, prompting warnings of massacres from Kurdish leaders. AFP PHOTO/ILYAS AKENGIN (Photo credit should read ILYAS AKENGIN/AFP/Getty Images)

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: A new U.N. report reveals that the world’s refugee crisis is getting worse.  According to the report, the number of forcibly displaced people has grown to — quote — “59.5 million, a 40 percent increase within the span of just three years.”

    That’s the equivalent of the entire population of Italy either fleeing war zones, ethnic or political persecution.

    For some insight on the crisis, yesterday, I spoke with Somini Sengupta of The New York Times.

    I began by asking her to put the 60 million number in perspective.

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: What that means is, of those 60 million, about 14 million of them were forced to flee in the last year.

    And the rest have just been stuck because the conflicts in their homelands have not subsided at all.  And some of them are stuck for generations.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, we’re not just talking about poverty or economic opportunity, people choosing to leave, but these are people who are forced to leave.

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: Absolutely not. Yes, right.

    There’s a big difference between who the United Nations calls refugees or displaced people. They are fleeing war or persecution. They are not people who are leaving home to find a better life abroad, like my parents did, like many Americans did. These are people being forced to flee.

    Sometimes, they think they’re just going away for, you know, a few but.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  Mm-hmm.

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: But they remain stuck, often in a — in a refugee camp, where they lack proper food or water. Often, their children are not in school for years at a time.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. And where are most of these — these kind of pathways happening?  What are the — what are the countries that are creating most of the refugees? And then where do they land?

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: Right.

    So, Syria remains for the last couple of years the largest single driver of this. So, there are 7.9 million Syrians who are displaced. Most of them are still inside Syria, but many of them have left. They’re in the neighboring countries.

    Turkey is today the number one refugee-hosting countries. There are 1.6 million people, Syrians, in Turkey.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: It is a strain on Turkey and this …

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: Absolutely, Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and particularly for countries like Lebanon, which are politically still quite fragile. Jordan is very water-scarce, so having a lot of new people in your town, in your city creates a lot of pressures and a lot of tensions sometimes in those communities.

    And one of the revealing things in this report was that one in four displaced people, one in four refugees are actually in the poorest countries in the world. So, for example, Ethiopia, one of the poorest nations on earth, has something like 600,000 refugees.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: That doesn’t have the infrastructure to support them in the first place.

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: Not at all, you know?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, you mentioned that the reactions have been different in different parts of the world.  Europe is certainly tightening a lot more. We have seen the kind of — the boat people across the Mediterranean, and the tragedies week after week.  We have been reporting so many of those ships that have been sunk or are sinking.

    But what is Europe struggling with, compared to when you say Turkey takes one much 1.6 million refugees now, right?

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: That’s right.

    So, European Union leaders this week, in fact, are meeting to figure out if they can resettle among their 28 member states 40,000 refugees — so, 40,000 refugees across 28 member states vs. 600,000 in Ethiopia alone.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: You mentioned long-term impacts of being stuck.  Explain that.

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: The long-term impact can be quite serious, especially for women and children.

    So, in some countries, children can be — can face a lot of restrictions in going to school. So, they can be uneducated for years. They may have come from a place like Syria with pretty high levels of literacy, but then find themselves unable to go to college anywhere, certainly unable to get a job, because refugees are not allowed to work in many of these countries.

    Women, if they’re running away from home by themselves with their children, are especially vulnerable, sexual harassment, rape, all kinds of protection issues for women.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right.

    Somini Sengupta of The New York Times, thanks so much.

    SOMINI SENGUPTA: Thank you.

    The post UN report: Global refugee crisis has hit all-time high appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A man stands outside Warsaw's Frederic Chopin Airport near an advertisement for the Polish airline LOT, December 12, 2012. LOT's computer systems were temporarily disabled by hackers Sunday. Photo by Kacper Pempel/Reuters

    A man stands outside Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin Airport near an advertisement for the Polish airline LOT, December 12, 2012. LOT’s computer systems were temporarily disabled by hackers Sunday. Photo by Kacper Pempel/Reuters

    Around 1,400 passengers of the Polish airline LOT were grounded at Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin Airport Sunday after a cyber attack temporarily disabled the computer systems that the carrier uses to issue flight plans.

    In a press release, the company emphasized that the attack only affected LOT’s ground-based computer systems, not those on its planes, saying that planes that were already in the air would fly to Warsaw as usual.

    The hack affected 10 flights that had been bound for destinations including Munich, Brussels, Krakow and Copenhagen.

    Although LOT reported that its systems were working again Sunday evening, the attack could have broader implications for airline cyber security.

    “We’re using state-of-the-art computer systems, so this could potentially be a threat to others in the industry,” LOT spokesman Adrian Kubicki told Reuters.

    The attack is being investigated by authorities, and Kubicki said a commission will investigate the attack, The Associated Press reported.

    The post Hackers disrupt Polish airline’s computers, grounding 1,400 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Greece's Central Bank As Investors Face Wipeout

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Now to Greece, where Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is running out of time to save his country from potential economic collapse.

    Tsipras will make his case for financial relief at an emergency Eurozone summit tomorrow, hoping to head off a looming 1.6 billion euro debt payment which is due by June 30.

    Wall Street Journal reporter Ian Talley joins me to explain what’s at stake in these negotiations.

    So, Ian, we all kind of have this debt fatigue, this cycle. Greece is on the brink, and Greece is not on the brink. And, well, what is at stake tomorrow? How significant is this?

    IAN TALLEY: Tomorrow is a critical juncture.

    It’s the heads of state meeting, after a finance ministers meeting had failed to get agreement after months of negotiations. What’s at stake is a failed state in Europe. What is at stake is a potential financial contagion. A lot of people say that Europe is much better prepared.

    But, as Ben Bernanke said the mortgage crisis wasn’t at hand right before the financial crisis, no one really knows how bad things could get.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Yes. We have seen video of people kind of making a run on the banks on Friday and Saturday, taking out money from ATMs and — because they’re so uncertain on what’s going to happen tomorrow.

    IAN TALLEY: Yes.

    I think, if there’s a decision tomorrow, a deal, then there could be a slow unwinding of the crisis over the months.  But few people are giving that deal good odds. More likely is failure to get agreement, and Tuesday comes along, and there’s basically financial martial law imposed, capital controls, so that frantic customers, markets, depositors can’t take their cash out en masse, which would put Greece, already in a crisis, into a financial maelstrom.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And what happens to their membership in the Eurozone if this debt deal doesn’t goes through?

    IAN TALLEY: That’s a really unanswered question.

    I think a lot of people had been warning of a Greek exit. There certainly is a risk of that. Nobody is ruling that out.  At the same time, there are other possibilities, where Greece could issue IOUs in — denominated in euros that could keep it within the political zone, yet within still having a financial and a political crisis.

    There is still — there is very much a risk of a Greek exit. I think another worry about, not just Greece — Greece exiting, is that being the first domino of other political factions gaining ground in Europe that also want to leave Europe. You could see the beginning of the end of the monetary union as we know it, though many analysts and economists say that that is not the likeliest option.

    There still is a desire in Greece, there still is desire in Europe to hold that monetary union together.  So, while tomorrow is a critical juncture, it is not the complete endgame.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Ian Talley of The Wall Street Journal joining us from Washington, thanks so much.

    IAN TALLEY:  Great. Thank you.

    The post Can Greece be saved from possible economic collapse? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Photo by Wikimedia user David B. Gleason

    Photo by Wikimedia user David B. Gleason

    WASHINGTON — An Army general has been reprimanded for steering a defense contract to a firm run by two former classmates at West Point, according to a published report.

    Maj. Gen. Dana J.H. Pittard, who as deputy commander for operations in the Middle East oversaw the training of Iraqi forces, was reprimanded after an investigation by the Army’s inspector general, according to The Washington Post, which cited documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

    An Army review board is considering whether to strip Pittard of his rank as a two-star general before he is allowed to retire, the newspaper reported.

    It said an anonymous whistleblower alleged that Pittard had “abused his authority by awarding lucrative renewable energy contracts to his friends” while commander of Fort Bliss in Texas.

    Pittard was not accused of financial gain but was reprimanded for his “excessive involvement” in awarding the $492,000 contract and for “creating the perception of preferential treatment,” according to his reprimand. The contract was an initial step in a $250 million project to make Fort Bliss, one of the Army’s largest installations, self-sufficient in energy usage.

    Cynthia O. Smith, an Army spokeswoman, said in a statement that the misconduct findings and Pittard’s reprimand “called into question his suitability for continued service and resulted in his request for retirement, effectively ending his career in the Army.”

    Several Army officers, including Pittard’s staff lawyer, told investigators the general went to unusual lengths to push a no-bid contract for a joint venture run by two of his former classmates from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

    Pittard told the inspector general he just wanted the energy project to move swiftly and did not care who got the contract.

    The post Newspaper: Pentagon reprimands general for steering contract appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A building in the town of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip that was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 51-day war in summer 2014, is seen here on Feb. 19, 2015. Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

    A building in the town of Beit Lahia in the Gaza Strip that was destroyed by Israeli shelling during a 51-day war in summer 2014, is seen here on Feb. 19, 2015. Photo by Mohammed Abed/AFP/Getty Images

    Israel and Palestinian militants committed “serious violations of international humanitarian law” that “may amount to war crimes” during last summer’s battle in the Gaza Strip, a U.N. report released Monday said.

    The hostilities resulted in the killing of 1,462 Palestinian civilians and six Israeli civilians, according to an independent commission under the U.N. Human Rights Council.

    The commission expressed concern about Israel’s use of weaponry including airstrikes, tanks and artillery shells, which though not illegal, were used in densely populated areas resulting in large numbers of civilian deaths.

    The indiscriminate firing of thousands of rockets and mortars by Palestinians at Israel, meanwhile, “appeared to have the intention of spreading terror among civilians there.” The report also described the use of tunnels from Gaza to Israel that were used to attack Israeli soldiers.

    You can read the full report here.

    The post U.N. Report: Possible war crimes by Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza battle appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    File photo of Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

    File photo of Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., by Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court struck down a Los Angeles ordinance Monday that allowed police to inspect hotel guest records on demand.

    The justices voted 5-4 to reject the city’s argument that the measure was needed to help fight prostitution, drug trafficking and illegal gambling at budget hotels and motels.

    Los Angeles said that people engaging in those activities are less likely to use hotels if they know the facilities must collect guest information and turn it over at a moment’s notice.

    But Justice Sonia Sotomayor said for the court that the law is unconstitutional because it penalizes the hotel owners if they don’t comply. “A hotel owner who refuses to give an officer access to his or her registry can be arrested on the spot,” Sotomayor wrote. Business owners must at least be given a chance to object to a judge, she said.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy and Sotomayor’s three liberal colleagues joined her in the majority.

    In dissent, Justice Antonin Scalia said the law “is eminently reasonable” given the use of cheap motels as places to stash migrants who have been smuggled across the border and as rendezvous points for child sex workers and their clients.

    “The warrantless inspection requirement provides a necessary incentive for motels to maintain their registers thoroughly and accurately: They never know when law enforcement might drop by to inspect,” Scalia said. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas also dissented.

    The federal appeals court in San Francisco divided 7-4 in ruling that the ordinance violates the privacy rights of the hotels, but not their guests.

    Courts in other parts of the country have upheld similar laws.

    Los Angeles requires hotels and motels to record basic information about guests and their vehicles. Guests without reservations, those who pay in cash and those who rent a room for less than 12 hours must also present photo identification at check in.

    Nothing in the court’s ruling on Monday affects the record-keeping requirements.

    The case is Los Angeles v. Patel, 13-1175.

    The post High court voids routine police check of hotel registries appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Photo of prison guard with prisoner by Halfdark via Getty Images

    Photo of prison guard with prisoner by Halfdark via Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court is making it easier for inmates who are accused of crimes — but not yet convicted — to bring cases of excessive force against jail officials.

    The justices on Monday ruled 5-4 in favor of a Wisconsin man who sued jail officers for civil rights violations after they used a Taser gun and other rough tactics while transferring him to another jail cell.

    The incident involved Michael Kingsley, who was jailed pending trial on drug charges. He claimed he only had to show the officers were unreasonable in using force.

    A lower court ruled Kingsley also had to prove the use of force was intentional, or at least reckless. But the Supreme Court agreed with Kingsley that he only needed to show the conduct was “objectively unreasonable.”

    The post Supreme Court sides with inmate in excessive force case appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Photo by Cultura/Sigrid Gombert via Getty Images

    Photo by Cultura/Sigrid Gombert via Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court ruled Monday that a 66-year-old program that lets the government take raisins away from farmers to help reduce supply and boost market prices is unconstitutional.

    In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said forcing raisin growers to give up part of their annual crop without full payment is an illegal confiscation of private property.

    The court sided with California farmers Marvin and Laura Horne, who claimed they were losing money under a 1940s-era program they call outdated and ineffective. They were fined $695,000 for trying to get around the program.

    A federal appeals court said the program was acceptable because the farmers benefited from higher market prices and didn’t lose the entire value of their crop.

    But their cause had won wide support from conservative groups opposed to government action that infringes on private property rights. Writing for the court, Chief Justice John Roberts said the government must pay “just compensation” when it takes personal goods just as when it takes land away.

    Roberts rejected the government’s argument that the Hornes voluntarily chose to participate in the raisin market and have the option of selling different crops if they don’t like it.

    “‘Let them sell wine’ is probably not much more comforting to the raisin growers than similar retorts have been to others throughout history,” Roberts said. “Property rights cannot be so easily manipulated.”

    Justice Stephen Breyer agreed that the Hornes were entitled to be properly paid for their crops, but he wrote separately to say that the case should be sent back to a lower court to decide whether they would have been owed any money if they had actually complied with the program rules.

    Breyer’s separate opinion was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elena Kagan.

    Justice Sonia Sotomayor was the only dissenter. She said the program did not deprive the Hornes of all their property rights; it just limited the amount of potential income they could earn from it.

    The program was authorized under a 1937 law that allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to keep prices for raisins and other crops steady by helping to manage supply. A 1949 marketing order allowed farmers to form a Raisin Administrative Committee that would decide how much of the raisin crop handlers must turn over to the government each year.

    These raisins would be placed into a reserve pool to be sold outside the open market, used for the school lunch program, or given away to charities and foreign governments. Any profits from these reserve sales would go toward funding the committee and anything left over went back to the farmers.

    The Hornes refused to participate in the program in 2003 and 2004, when raisin production far exceeded the expected demand. They tried to get around the regulations by packaging crops on their own instead of going through a middleman. But the department fined them for violating the rules.

    Raisin handlers, who dry the grapes until they become raisins and then package them, were required to give up 47 percent of their crop in 2003 season, but received far less than their costs of production. Farmers gave up 30 percent of the crop in 2004 and were paid nothing.

    Raisin prices have been relatively stable recently and the committee has not ordered farmers to put crops in reserve since 2010.

    Only a small number of other crops are regulated in the same way, though federal officials say most programs are not active.

    The post High court strikes down raisin program as unconstitutional appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Gov. Nikki Haley on Monday called for removal of the confederate flag from the South Carolina state house grounds.

    “150 years after the end of the Civil War, the time has come,” Gov. Haley said. “This is a moment in which we can say that the flag, while an integral part of our past, does not represent the future of our state.”

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley calls for removal of the confederate flag from the State Capitol grounds at a press conference at 4 p.m. EDT Monday.

    South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley calls for removal of the confederate flag from the State Capitol grounds at a press conference at 4 p.m. EDT Monday.

    Haley argued that while many South Carolinian may view the flag as a symbol of “respect, integrity and duty,” it still remains “a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past,” citing last week’s tragedy in Charleston when Dylann Roof, a white gunman, killed nine people at a historic African-American church. He was caught the following day. Law enforcement officials are investigating the attack as a hate crime.

    The confederate flag became the subject of a contentious political debate after photos surfaced of Dylann Roof using the flag as a symbol of hatred and racism. On Saturday, former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney took to Twitter to call for the flag’s removal.

    Following Gov. Haley’s press conference on Monday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell chimed in, saying “the fact that it continues to be a painful reminder of racial oppression to many suggests to me at least that it’s time to move beyond it.”

    The post S.C. governor Nikki Haley: ‘It’s time to move the flag from the capitol grounds’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds forcefully to intense questioning on the September 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Jan. 23, 2013. Jason Reed/Reuters

    U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton responds forcefully to intense questioning on the September 2012 attacks on U.S. diplomatic sites in Benghazi, Libya, during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill Jan. 23, 2013. Jason Reed/Reuters


    WASHINGTON — The day after the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, a longtime confidant wrote then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that a Libyan security official thought the attack was inspired by a video mocking Islam’s prophet Muhammad.

    The information was in emails to Clinton from Sidney Blumenthal released Monday by a Republican-led House panel investigating the attack, which killed four Americans, including U.S. ambassador Chris Stevens.

    The email on the day after the Sept. 11, 2012 attack said that during a top-level meeting, a senior security officer told Libya’s new interim President Mohamed Yousef el-Magariaf that the attacks were inspired by what he said was a “sacrilegious Internet video” on the prophet.

    The post House panel on Benghazi attack releases more Clinton emails appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...

older | 1 | .... | 624 | 625 | (Page 626) | 627 | 628 | .... | 1175 | newer


Loading...