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- 07/05/15--11:59: _Obama set to commut...
- 07/05/15--12:16: _Legislative battles...
- 07/05/15--12:46: _Viewers sound off o...
- 07/05/15--13:41: _Crowds gather to ca...
- 07/05/15--14:22: _‘I salute Donald Tr...
- 07/05/15--15:23: _Where will Greece g...
- 07/06/15--09:28: _Obama: Fight agains...
- 07/06/15--11:54: _U.S. Women’s soccer...
- 07/06/15--14:19: _Teen poet on loss, ...
- 07/06/15--14:21: _How a chance encoun...
- 07/06/15--15:15: _Why foreign retiree...
- 07/06/15--15:20: _In final concert, G...
- 07/06/15--15:25: _How 2016 candidates...
- 07/06/15--15:30: _Will Team USA’s win...
- 07/06/15--15:35: _What are Greece’s o...
- 07/06/15--15:38: _Bill Cosby got drug...
- 07/06/15--15:40: _Greece ‘ready’ for ...
- 07/06/15--15:45: _‘Do I look like a ‘...
- 07/06/15--15:45: _After landslide vot...
- 07/06/15--15:50: _News Wrap: Pair of ...
- 07/05/15--11:59: Obama set to commute dozens of nonviolent drug sentences, aides say
- 07/05/15--12:16: Legislative battles loom as Congress gets back to work
- 07/05/15--12:46: Viewers sound off on the effects of ‘toxic stress’ from poverty
- 07/05/15--14:22: ‘I salute Donald Trump’ on immigration, Cruz says
- 07/05/15--15:23: Where will Greece go from ‘No’?
- 07/06/15--09:28: Obama: Fight against IS progressing, but still a long slog
- 07/06/15--14:19: Teen poet on loss, growth and ‘the struggle’ of the physical being
- 07/06/15--15:15: Why foreign retirees are flocking to Mexico
- 07/06/15--15:20: In final concert, Grateful Dead bids farewell to faithful followers
- 07/06/15--15:25: How 2016 candidates are fundraising their war chests
- 07/06/15--15:30: Will Team USA’s win help level the playing field for women?
- 07/06/15--15:35: What are Greece’s options after ‘no’ vote?
- 07/06/15--15:38: Bill Cosby got drugs to give to women for sex, AP reports
- 07/06/15--15:40: Greece ‘ready’ for tough measures, says ambassador
- 07/06/15--15:45: After landslide vote, Greece prepares for new EU negotiations
- 07/06/15--15:50: News Wrap: Pair of bombings kill 44 in Nigeria
Aides say President Barack Obama is set to commute the sentences of dozens of nonviolent federal drug offenders in the coming weeks, according to a report on Friday in The New York Times.
The president’s expected move is in line with his administration’s efforts to undo what it sees as the unfair sentencing practices imposed by “tough on crime” policies, which frequently mandated harsh prison sentences for nonviolent drug offenders, disproportionately affecting black and Hispanic men.
Obama is by no means the only politician in Washington who has lately taken a hard look at sentencing and judicial reform.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has been a visible proponent of sentencing reform and a coalition of organizations as disparate as Koch Industries and the liberal Center for American Progress has formed to press for judicial reform, displaying rare bipartisan determination to address the issue.
Article II of the Constitution grants the president wide-ranging power to grant commutations and pardons for federal crimes. A commutation lessens the sentence of someone who has been convicted of a crime, but does not absolve that person of legal guilt. Pardons go further, nullifying all the effects of a conviction.
Despite his broad rights to do so, Obama has been staid in his allowance of clemency, granting just one commutation and five pardons during his first term.
The criteria inmates must meet in order to be considered for commutations include: having been incarcerated longer than 10 years; demonstrating good behavior while in prison; and having received a sentence that is longer than would be granted under current sentencing laws.
In January 2014, the Justice Department began a drive to encourage some low-level drug offenders to seek clemency. Later that year, the United States Sentencing Commission released new rules making nearly 50,000 federal prisoners serving time for drug offenses eligible for early release starting in November 2015.
Since 2014, Obama has given an increased number of commutations, granting nine during the 2014 fiscal year, and 33 so far during fiscal year 2015. That number will increase substantially if reports of the White House’s planned reprieves bear fruit.
The number of presidential pardons and commutations granted has fallen in recent decades. Presidents Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford issued an average of 735 pardons and 103 commutations each. The five presidents who held office before Obama, by comparison, issued an average of 317 pardons and 23 commutations each, according to Department of Justice statistics.
Obama has so far issued 64 pardons and 43 commutations.
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WASHINGTON — After July Fourth fireworks and parades, members of Congress return to work Tuesday facing a daunting summer workload and a pending deadline to fund the government or risk a shutdown in the fall.
The funding fight is shaping up as a major partisan brawl against the backdrop of an intensifying campaign season. Republicans are eager to avoid another Capitol Hill mess as they struggle to hang onto control of Congress and try to take back the White House next year.
Already they are deep into the blame game with Democrats over who would be responsible if a shutdown does happen. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has denounced Democrats’ “dangerously misguided strategy” while House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California accuses Boehner and his Republicans of pursuing “manufactured crises.”
The funding deadline does not even arrive until Sept. 30, but lawmakers face more immediate tests. Near the top of the list is renewing highway funding before the government loses authority July 31 to send much-needed transportation money to the states right in the middle of summer driving season.
The highway bill probably also will be the way lawmakers try to renew the disputed federal Export-Import Bank, which makes and underwrites loans to help foreign companies buy U.S. products. The bank’s charter expired June 30 due to congressional inaction, a defeat for business and a victory for conservative activists who turned killing the obscure agency into an anti-government cause celebre.
Depending on the progress of the Obama administration’s nuclear negotiations with Iran, lawmakers could also face debate on that issue. Leading Republicans have made clear that they are prepared to reject any deal the administration comes up with.
Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday, “Well, we’ve gone from dismantling their program to managing proliferation. I mean, that’s our biggest concern, that’s already done.”
Asked on CBS’s “Face the Nation” what assurances he had received on this issue in discussions with Secretary of State John Kerry, Corker, a Tennessee Republican, replied, “Well, obviously they’re very anxious. I mean, I think they look at this as a legacy issue.”
Corker said he has told Kerry, “Look, you create just as much as a legacy walking away from a bad deal as you do head-long rushing into breaking into a bad deal.”
Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., said Iran “should have faced a simple choice: they dismantle their nuclear program entirely, or they face economic devastation and military destruction of their nuclear facilities.”
Beyond the issue of Iran, the Senate opens its legislative session with consideration of a major bipartisan education overhaul bill that rewrites the much-maligned No Child Left Behind law by shifting responsibility from the federal government to the states for public school standards.
“We’re seven years overdue” for a rewrite, said Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn, the bill’s chief sponsor.
The House also is moving forward with its own, Republican-written education overhaul bill, revived after leadership had to pull it earlier this year when conservatives revolted.
Even if both bills pass, though, it’s uncertain whether Congress will be able to agree on a combined version to send to President Barack Obama. Indeed the prospects for any major legislative accomplishments arriving on Obama’s desk in the remainder of the year look slim, though there’s talk of the Senate following the House and moving forward on cybersecurity legislation.
That means that even though Obama was so buoyed when Congress sent him a major trade bill last month that he declared “This is so much fun, we should do it again,” he may not get his wish.
But all issues are likely to be overshadowed by the government funding fight and suspense over how – or if – a shutdown can be avoided.
Democrats are pledging to oppose the annual spending bills to fund government agencies unless Republicans sit down with them to negotiate higher spending levels for domestic agencies. Republicans, who want more spending for the military but not domestic agencies, have so far refused. If there’s no resolution by Sept. 30, the government will enter a partial shutdown.
It’s an outcome all involved say they want to avoid. Yet Democrats who watched Republicans pay a steep political price for forcing a partial shutdown over Obama’s health care law in 2013 – and come within hours of partially shutting down the Department of Homeland Security this year – claim confidence they have the upper hand.
“Given that a Democratic president needs to sign anything and you need Democratic votes in both chambers, the writing is on the wall here,” said Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill.
Republicans insist Democrats are running a risk by opposing spending bills for priorities like troop funding – but are not yet discussing how they will proceed if Democrats don’t back down.
As a result it looks likely current funding levels could be temporarily extended beyond Sept. 30 to allow more time to negotiate a solution.
And it’s not the only consequential deadline this fall. The government’s borrowing limit will also need to be raised sometime before the end of the year, another issue that’s ripe for brinkmanship. Some popular expiring tax breaks will also need to be extended, and the Federal Aviation Administration must be renewed. An industry-friendly FAA bill was delayed in the House recently although aides said that was unrelated to the Justice Department’s newly disclosed investigation of airline pricing.
In the meantime, the presence of several presidential candidates in the Senate make action in that chamber unpredictable, Congress will be out for another recess during the month of August – and in September Pope Francis will visit Capitol Hill for a first-ever papal address to Congress.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to Viewers Like You, your chance to comment on our work. There were many comments following last week’s story about “toxic stress” and the effect that stress can have on the developing brains of children.
Lee Eliott spoke about her personal experience: “I was a single mother making $4.10 an hour. My mind was constantly stimulated by thinking of decent meals for my children, keeping my home and my children clean and constantly looking for ways to improve our lives. My children are now hard working college graduates. You can triumph over poverty if you set your mind on it.”
Diana Moses asked about the process of assisting those in stressful situations: “… I wonder whether the social and emotional support from other adult human beings lightening the load by their involvement also contributed to this mother’s progress. I mean, suppose the meds and camp referrals and parenting tips (and so on) had been provided with much less human-to-human contact, would the same progress have been made?”
Sonia Levy Kungli added simply: “Labeling the stress ‘toxic’ is toxic.”
Brando Johnson Bailey said: “Poverty is like living in an invisible cage. Eventually it breaks their spirit and ultimately, them.”
Some commented that the effect of stress isn’t limited to the underprivileged.
Grace Curran Brock said: “This isn’t just happening to poor kids. Middle class and rich kids can grow up with domestic violence.”
Betty Scarpellino added: “Unfortunately unearned early wealth seems to have a sad impact on many brains too. Empathy destroyed!”
And there was this from Robert Phillips: “I’d like to see more research on this subject for different age groups. I’d bet even late onset (ie. adults who grew up well provided then lost careers later in life) have major brain adaptation over a several year period.”
As always we welcome your comments. Visit us online at pbs.org/newshour, on our Facebook page, or tweet us @NewsHour.
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The British royal family celebrated the christening of Prince William and Kate Middleton’s 9-week-old daughter Charlotte on Sunday.
The ceremony on Sandringham Estate in King’s Lynn, England took place in the same church where Princess Diana was christened in 1961, according to the Associated Press.
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 5, 2015
— Chris Jackson (@ChrisJack_Getty) July 5, 2015
The Duke and Duchess and their children arrive at St Mary Magdalene Church for Princess Charlotte’s christening pic.twitter.com/KJ1UJhSI5r
— Kensington Palace (@KensingtonRoyal) July 5, 2015
The christening ceremony inside St. Mary Magdalene Church was private, but crowds of onlookers and fans waited outside the church hoping for a glimpse of the new princess, who is fourth in line for the throne.
— Lambeth Palace ن (@lambethpalace) July 5, 2015
The outing marks the first time that William and Kate’s family of four has appeared all together in public, and only the second time that Princess Charlotte has been seen in public since her May 2 birth.
The post Crowds gather to catch glimpse of newly christened Princess Charlotte appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz voiced support Sunday for embattled fellow Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, who has drawn widespread criticism for statements he made last month about Mexican immigrants.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday, Cruz expressed admiration for the business magnate’s outspokenness on immigration, and criticized media coverage of Trump’s remarks.
“I salute Donald Trump for focusing on the need to address illegal immigration,” Cruz said told host Chuck Todd.
“He has a colorful way of speaking,” Cruz added. “It’s not the way I speak, but I’m not going to engage in the media’s game of throwing rocks and attacking other Republicans.”
In a June 16 speech announcing his presidential run, Trump said of Mexican immigrants, “They are bringing drugs. They are bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
Trump, himself the son of a Scottish immigrant, has stood by his statements, even as a series of companies cut ties with him.
Both Trump and Cruz support a legal path to immigration, advocate for strong border security and denounce so-called amnesty policies that provide a path to citizenship for immigrants living in the United States without documentation.
“The Washington cartel supports amnesty,” Cruz said Sunday. “The Washington cartel does not support securing our borders.”
HARI SREENIVASAN: We start with Greece, where officials are projecting that more than 60 percent of voters have rejected austerity measures proposed by creditors.
Crowds are rallying in the streets, celebrating the early returns. The no-vote means Greeks do not want to make the deep budget cuts in order to get emergency bailout money as the nation falls deeper into debt.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said that — quote — “The mandate you have given me does not call for a break with Europe, but, rather, gives me greater negotiating strength.”
“PBS NewsHour” special correspondent Malcolm Brabant joins us from Athens.
First of all, the reaction on the streets. I can almost hear them behind you in the Constitution Square.
MALCOLM BRABANT: There is euphoria on the streets of Athens tonight, because this result is entirely consistent with the Greeks’ natural tendency towards resistance.
And this is something that appeals to their national character. At this stage, most people thought that they really had nothing more to lose. They have endured five years of austerity, really tough times. And the genuine — the genuine feeling here is that things can’t get any worse.
But what is happening tonight is really a step into the unknown, because nobody really knows what is going to be the consequence of this.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The voters that you spoke with, were they clear exactly on what a no-vote and what a yes-vote meant as they went to the polls?
MALCOLM BRABANT: I think most people distilled this down to being a yes-vote meaning that there will be absolutely more austerity, that there will be years of pain, whereas I think some people believed that a no-means that there will be a renegotiation, that perhaps that the terms might be better.
There may have been others who think that, by voting no, they will basically be writing off this debt. But they seem to believe the government when they say that Mr. Tsipras will be able to go back to Brussels with a stronger hand.
But the country is in really a dire position financially. I was talking to a financial consultant tonight who said that the banks basically are running out of paper money, and there may be nationalization of the banks in the next few days if — if the situation continues.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Right, because even with this vote, Greece still has another loan payment coming in a couple of weeks, right?
MALCOLM BRABANT: It’s got several payments coming up.
And without any new money coming in, there’s absolutely no way that Greece can make those payments. So, they’re going to continue to be in default. But what I think the Greeks are hoping for is that something that the IMF has mentioned over the past week or so, in that there’s going to have to be some sort of debt restructuring, because all of the money that has been poured into Greece via the Troika, which is this conglomeration of organizations which has been funding Greece, all of the money that has gone in, virtually all of it has gone to servicing the debt.
And only a very, very small percentage has actually gone towards boosting the economy. So, basically, what the IMF is saying is that Greece has to have a — maybe a 10- or 15- or 20-year break from paying back any money, so that it can basically have a breathing space and get back on its feet.
And, now, this is something that’s got to be worked out with the Europeans, who really don’t like that idea at all.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, when you talked to voters tonight after they went to the polls, after they cast their ballots, did you see any patterns in how it broke down, say, the young vs. the old voting in one direction vs. the other?
MALCOLM BRABANT: Well, you do have young people having a very, very strong voice, because they have been the most disadvantaged throughout this period of austerity.
The levels of unemployment really are totally un — intolerable for them. Most people under the age 35 are unemployed. The figure is over 50 percent young — of young people are unemployed.
Now, this is a country with a highly educated young population. And there’s been a huge brain drain. This is becoming a country of old people. And so what the young people have been doing is saying, you know, we are voting for our future. We want to renegotiate. And if that means fighting and suffering a little bit longer, we’re prepared to do that.
But, as I said, this really is a step into the unknown.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Malcolm Brabant joining us from Athens tonight, thanks so much.
President Obama spoke this afternoon from the Pentagon.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama concedes that confronting and destroying the Islamic State group will be a long-term effort, but he says the U.S. and its allies are making progress and have reduced the militants’ foothold in Iraq.
Obama made his remarks after a rare visit to the Pentagon Monday to get an update on the campaign against Islamic State fighters.
He says the United States is doing a better job of preventing large-scale attacks on the U.S. homeland. But he says so-called lone-wolf terrorists or small terrorism cells are harder to detect and U.S. national security must remain vigilant.
He met with more than 30 Pentagon officials and national security advisers, including Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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In a record-shattering World Cup final, the U.S. Women’s soccer team beat Japan 5-2. For their win, the U.S. team will earn $2 million.
By comparison, Germany received $35 million in 2014 after winning the Men’s World Cup Final in Brazil. And the U.S. Men’s team won $8 million after losing in Round 16. Last year, $576 million was set aside for Men’s World Cup rewards. This year, a total of $15 million in prizes was available for the Women’s World Cup.
Why the paltry sum for FIFA’s female champions?
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FIFA has argued that the the Women’s World Cup doesn’t pull in as much revenue as the Men’s World Cup. In December, the soccer organization’s secretary general Jerome Valcke told The Guardian:
“We played the [20th] men’s World Cup in 2014, when we are now playing the seventh women’s World Cup. We have still another  World Cups before potentially women should receive the same amount as men. The men waited until 2014 to receive as much money as they received.”
But this reality comes on the heels of several reports of gender disparities within FIFA. Most widely covered was that the women’s teams played on artificial turf during the World Cup, despite the fact that the grass seed exported to Brazil for the Men’s World Cup final came from Canada. And as PBS NewsHour’s Vanessa Dennis pointed out, it was nearly impossible to figure out the Women’s World Cup schedule ahead of its start. Days before, FIFA featured information about the 2018 Men’s World Cup in Russia, rather than highlighting the Women’s World Cup.
According to preliminary numbers from FOX, Sunday’s night game broke soccer viewing records in the U.S.
Watch tonight’s PBS NewsHour for more.
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In her poem, “I’m Sorry I’m Not a Hugger,” teen poet Madeleine LeCesne writes about loss and growth and “the struggle of being a physical being.” LeCesne is the Southwest National Student Poet, the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. We caught up with her at the Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference in Minneapolis in April.
I’m Sorry I’m Not a Hugger
My body was meant to give birth to a deer.
A human child would surely result in a hemorrage and I know this because of the way I chew
only half a piece as if the size of my mouth is any indication of the breadth of my hips.
I’ve got a delicate constitution. This means I have a gag reflex and an antebellum debutante’s
The snap of bones in a mouse trap.
I could love a deer because they look like me. Bones unaccustomed to civilization.
I will run fast enough to escape this world.
Did the white mother with the hoodwinked eggs feel different giving birth to the black child?
Remember the mini van I saw the other day. The one with a yellow bird carcass hemmed to its
because you’re always looking for parts of my body scattered around this town built like a
Skin the color of a deer.
I do not crystallize in my sleep but I’d like to, so thank you for seeing me that way. Butterfly you
Exactly two letters and three emails have been addressed to me as “dearest creature.” Make me a
mother who said she would build a womb if only for me.
But you swaddled me as an infant, so really, I’m over embraces
because you see the fear I hold when my body is discovered
as a body. Run faster
these arms will make a pin prick out of you.
Madeleine LeCesne is currently serving as the Southwest National Student Poet, the nation’s highest honor for teen poets presenting original work. She is a graduating senior at Lusher Charter School in New Orleans. Madeleine began writing poetry when she was 6 years old. After her parents gave her an antique bed, each night she used the back of its headboard to scribble poetry into the wood. She lost this work in 2005, when the headboard and her home were washed away by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans, like her own identity, is a blend of various cultures and bloodlines, so her work deals with unscrambling her identity and sparked an interest in genealogy as well as the city’s history. Among the writers she looks to for guidance are Anne Carson, Kimiko Hahn and Anna Moschovakis.
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The last person I expected to meet at a nursing home was a Playboy centerfold, but that’s what happened. Our story was about long-term care options for Americans and other expats living in Mexico. Before getting on the plane, I needed to find the right characters to help tell the story. I found a small assisted living and nursing home near the town of Jocotepec in the state of Jalisco run by Floridian, Ron Langley, and his Mexican wife, Sara Vega. Chatting with Ron by phone, he told me about Lakeside Care, his commitment to caring for the elderly, the food he serves and more. Then, at the very end of our conversation, he said, “Oh, by the way, one of our residents was Miss October 1964, a Playboy centerfold.” I knew I had to meet her.Rosemary Grayson told us she came to Lakeside Care after a near nervous breakdown. She said us she was “burnt out.” At the end of our interview, I had to know more about her backstory.
She was a student writing for her college newspaper at the University of Exeter in England when she came to New York for a visit. She told me how she ended up meeting Playboy publisher Hugh Hefner and becoming Miss October 1964, the first Playboy centerfold from the United Kingdom. The magazine gave her the name Rosemarie Hillcrest. It was the only time she posed. Later, Rosemary went on to work as a journalist for ITV in Britain and as a Justice of the Peace there. She’s 72 years old. She dresses impeccably and wears a small necklace with a Playboy bunny head that she said Hugh Hefner gave her.
Watch the full report from our story on long-term care for expats in Mexico, on tonight’s NewsHour.
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GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight, Americans have long crossed the border with Mexico in search of cheaper medical procedures, dental work and prescription drugs. Now a new trend is afoot: finding a place to live out retirement years.
Special correspondent Kathleen McCleery has the story, part of our occasional series about long-term care.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: David Truly, known as the Barefoot Professor, plays in a local band near Lake Chapala in Central Mexico. He wrote his Ph.D. dissertation on the migration of retirees to this area.
DAVID TRULY, Autonomous University of Guadalajara: Kind of a range between maybe 8,000 to about 15,000, 16,000 full-timers, and then — but, in the winter, it can blow up in just this community to maybe 30,000.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Mexico’s largest lake is surrounded by emerald green mountains. The village of Ajijic draws artists and writers. Cobblestone streets are dotted with galleries and restaurants serving international cuisines.
No Spanish? No problem. With Hawaii’s latitude and Denver’s altitude, the temperate climate has attracted retirees for decades. Mexicans have traditionally taken elderly relatives into their own homes. So, the demand for assisted living and nursing care wasn’t high, until foreigners, many of them Americans, flocked here. Now they are getting older and they need more care.
DAVID TRULY: People are not just aging here, but for the first time, they’re staying here and they’re not returning home. So they’re aging and dying in place here.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: When 81-year-old John Simmons’ doctor told him he shouldn’t live alone, he came here to Abbeyfield, an independent senior living facility. His one bedroom casita sits in a lush garden near a lap pool and a covered patio.
JOHN SIMMONS, Retiree: I love the light. I love the cross-ventilation. I like the kitchen tucked away. And so it gives me room for an office and, of course, the views out the windows with all the wonderful plants. The landscaping here, I think, is fantastic.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: The average cost for independent living in the U.S. is about $2,500 a month.
JOHN SIMMONS: The rent, including all utilities, connections for Internet, television, all of those things, plus three meals a day, just a little over $1,000 a month.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: One reason for the cost difference, labor is cheaper here. The minimum wage is just 70 pesos, or less than $5 a day. For those who need a bit more care, there’s been a boom in assisted living and nursing homes.
Seventy-two-year-old Rosemary Grayson came here from Wales. She made headlines 50 years ago as the first “Playboy” centerfold from the United Kingdom and later went on to be a journalist.
ROSEMARY GRAYSON, Retiree: I was burnt out. I was in a state of near nervous breakdown. Lakeside Care put me together again.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Ron Langley is a Floridian whose Mexican wife has a degree in geriatric care. Together, they run Lakeside Care. He’s proud of the food he serves and the caregivers he employs.
RON LANGLEY, Lakeside Care: They have a great respect for the elderly. And they will go out of their way to help an elderly person.
ROSEMARY GRAYSON: The people here have compassion written into their DNA. They do it before they know it. The caring is just like of being in an extended family.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Assisted care like this in the United States averages about $3,800 a month. And nursing homes can cost upwards of $7,000. Langley charges between $1,400 and $2,000 a month for meals, cleaning, laundry and more.
RON LANGLEY: The only other thing that a patient or a resident here would pay for would be their medicines and their doctors.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: And that raises a potential concern: Does the area have top-notch health care? A new hospital just opened on the lake. Though Medicare benefits don’t apply in Mexico, doctor’s visits and prescriptions are often less than co-pays back home. And Mexico’s second largest city is just an hour away.
DAVID TRULY: We are very close to Guadalajara, which can really be considered kind of a medical hub of Latin America, some of the finest medical colleges in — there’s like three universities there.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: The Lake Chapala area is beginning to draw younger retirees, and some are bringing mom or dad along; 64-year-old Mark Woolley and his wife, Ann, bought a house here a year-and-a-half ago.
When his 86-year-old mother, Kempie McKenna, came for visit, she liked what she saw and chose a room at Abbeyfield.
WOMAN: The second time I came, I came with suitcases. It’s so relaxing here, with the sun coming in. The birds are up there. The flowers are blooming. It’s just lovely. And we’re just sitting and chatting.
MARK WOOLLEY, Retiree: She always considered it more like old-age storage, you know, a lot of the homes in the United States, and they weren’t very nice. And these were literally homes here that people live in and retire in, and with a bunch of friends.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Senior care is a cottage industry in the Lake Chapala area now. There’s little oversight, no government regulation, no scheduled inspections. Many homes appear well-run, but there’s no guarantee, so it’s buyer beware.
Most places have just a handful of rooms, but that’s about to change.
DR. TRINO ZEPEDA, Mexico: We want to create a retirement community with all the services related with the aging in place.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Dr. Trino Zepeda is working on a new large-scale development.
DR. TRINO ZEPEDA: This is assisted living apartments, and it’s going to be here.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: He expects to break ground later this year on a $35 million U.S.-style community, eventually housing 350 people, offering independent living, assisted, nursing and memory care.
Whether those plans succeed may depend on whether Mexico can overcome an image problem. The drumbeat of news about drug cartel violence has included the 2012 kidnapping and killing of 18 Mexican nationals near Ajijic. And the U.S. State Department warns citizens to exercise caution in the state of Jalisco.
But none of that worries Rosemary Grayson.
ROSEMARY GRAYSON: You’re a lot, lot safer than I felt in the U.K., and certainly in the U.S. I think they said 100 people — 100 Americans were killed in Mexico last year. And they have now said that it’s not a safe destination. Well, you tell me how many safe destinations in the cities of America there are.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: And one more concern: Life moves at a slower pace here.
DAVID TRULY: Manana could mean manana or the day after manana or a week after manana.
But, you know, there is something to be said for the kind of laid-back, almost, you know, wake-me-up-when-we’re ready mentality.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: Still, the thriving foreign community has lured baby boomers. The Lake Chapala Society, in business for 60 years, offers services for expats and others, from free eye exams, to bridge, to book clubs and volunteer opportunities.
Mark and Ann Woolley can imagine themselves living at Abbeyfield.
WOMAN: Oh, we’re putting our name on the list here.
KATHLEEN MCCLEERY: If the Woolleys are any indication, Mexico can expect an influx of Americans crossing the border for retirement.
I’m Kathleen McCleery for the PBS NewsHour near Lake Chapala, Mexico.
GWEN IFILL: If you would like to know a little bit more about Rosemary Grayson, who Kathleen just introduced us to, she tells the story of how she met “Playboy” publisher Hugh Hefner and became Miss October 1964. That’s on our Web site.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: What a long, strange trip it’s been. After 50 years, the legendary rock band the Grateful Dead bowed out in a series of concerts this weekend. There was history, some controversy, and a whole lot more in the air. And it was, no surprise, one of the summer’s toughest tickets.
Our Jeffrey Brown was there.
JEFFREY BROWN: It was a weekend of extended guitar solos, era-evoking sounds, and “High Times” images updated into the digital graphics age.
There were good vibes of the multigenerational time.
MAN: It’s the last show. We have got to see it. I have got to pass that on to him.
JEFFREY BROWN: And a certain amount of nostalgia, including from band members looking back 50 years.
BILL KREUTZMANN, Grateful Dead: We were just really gung-ho, wanting to play. And that’s what — that’s how you feel about every day. Any day you had a chance to play music, you got together and played.
JEFFREY BROWN: It was all part of a major happening that played out over three days and into long nights.
It’s called “Fare Thee Well,” a series of final concerts for a band that blazed its own path on the way to becoming part of rock ‘n’ roll history. We got here to Soldier Field in Chicago ahead of the celebration to talk to some of the people who are putting it on and taking part.
PETER SHAPIRO, Music Promoter: It’s going to be a big — it’s a big circus.
JEFFREY BROWN: A big circus?
PETER SHAPIRO: Yes, because there’s so much going on. Listen, it’s driven by the ringmaster in the middle, which is the band. And the music is the real thing.
JEFFREY BROWN: Music promoter Peter Shapiro put the event together.
PETER SHAPIRO: Part of the energy is the people. You will see lots of spectacle. So, all these different people from all over America, from all these different age groups, you will feel it, you can feel it, you know, and you can’t get that anywhere else.
There’s just no other scene. That’s why I think this sold out in a minute, 200,000 tickets. And people are dying — they want — they want to also go back in time a bit.
JEFFREY BROWN: You think so?
PETER SHAPIRO: Yes, I think it’s…
JEFFREY BROWN: To what?
PETER SHAPIRO: To a better time.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, at least to a different time.
Grateful Dead helped to define the ’60s era counterculture, its freedom, its excess, the whole package. All these years later, drummer Bill Kreutzmann told me of the first time he saw a performance by a young man who would become the band’s most iconic figure, charismatic guitarist Jerry Garcia.
BILL KREUTZMANN: Got as close as we are right now, and I watched him and I said, I’m going to follow him forever just to myself. And then about…
JEFFREY BROWN: But what was it that you saw in him, that you saw that made you say that?
BILL KREUTZMANN: I saw magic that you don’t see in everyday people. I saw the excitement of life inside of him just coming forth.
JEFFREY BROWN: A lot of people saw the magic in Garcia and the band, the beginnings of a cultlike following called Dead Heads, fans who followed the band from concert to concert through the years.
GREG KOT, The Chicago Tribune: I think the Grateful Dead were a social phenomenon as much as a musical phenomenon, and that the combination made them truly unique in rock history. I don’t there’s ever been a band quite like them.
JEFFREY BROWN: Greg Kot is music critic for The Chicago Tribune.
GREG KOT: It was a caravan. It wasn’t just a band. It was about the band and the fans. Most bands, when they go out on tour, they basically establish a set list and play the same songs in the same order every night.
The Grateful Dead never played the same songs in the same order, much less even in the same way. They reinterpreted their catalogue constantly, so every show was different.
JEFFREY BROWN: Also different and ahead of its time, what you could call the band’s business mode, one based on constant performing and direct-to-consumer interaction, including encouraging fans to make and share free recordings.
GREG KOT: There was no middleman. They presaged the Internet era in a lot of ways. They were an Internet band without the existence of the Internet.
JEFFREY BROWN: How many shows have you gone to?
MAN: I have gone to 98. Tonight is 99.
MAN: I got tickets — I just got tickets for 99. Ninety-nine!
JEFFREY BROWN: That sense of belonging to a community was on display in the pre-concert parking lot scene in Chicago, a colorful festival of tie-dye and T-shirts, often worn as proud emblems of attendance at Dead concerts of the past.
Many here were too young to have taken part in the golden age of the Dead, but they, too, wanted to be part of the scene.
WOMAN: When else in my life would I have the chance to see something like this? It’s like really rare for someone of my age.
JEFFREY BROWN: That golden age was wonderful for the band and its followers, until it wasn’t.
Jerry Garcia died in 1995 of a heart attack after years of battling drug addiction. He was just 53.
In his new memoir, “Deal,” drummer Bill Kreutzmann writes of the band’s many highs and how they led to serious lows.
BILL KREUTZMANN: The drugs played the worst, the baddest part of that.
JEFFREY BROWN: What did it do to the band?
BILL KREUTZMANN: It made us all individuals. It made us feel self-centered. It made us not listen to music when we were all playing together. It’s just really bad for music.
JEFFREY BROWN: Money also became a factor, says Kreutzmann, the need for it to support what inevitably became more a corporate entity than just a group of young music-loving guys.
BILL KREUTZMANN: The purity of it may have run its length, but it still would come back at times. It just — it took a lot more work when it went to the dark side. But we managed. And that’s another reason why we’re here now doing this. We’re all back. We’re all healthy again.
JEFFREY BROWN: Why exactly they are back has been a question, though.
Original band members Kreutzmann, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, and Mickey Hart, ages 67 to 75, took the stage with help from younger stars, including Trey Anastasio of Phish, one of the many so-called jam bands spawned by the Grateful Dead.
In the run-up to these concerts, even many old-time fans had grumbled about ticket prices, availability and much more. Two more concerts on the West Coast were added to help meet the demand.
GREG KOT: If they leave it at this and this is their going-away party, I think everybody will say, well, they earned that weekend.
But if they extend this out and it turns into a big cash-out tour after this, I will be — and I — I think I speak for a lot of Dead Heads — that will be disappointing to see them go out that way. So, it will be interesting to see how they handle this weekend.
JEFFREY BROWN: Is this really the end of the Grateful Dead?
BILL KREUTZMANN: As far as I know. I haven’t seen any more shows…
JEFFREY BROWN: So, you’re hedging a little bit?
BILL KREUTZMANN: Well, I — because — I will tell why I hedge. You’re very sensitive. You picked that up right away.
I would like it to do — to do it more. Between you and me and all your lovely fans, I would like to have a couple more shows on the East Coast.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, who knows. We were there, and it was an event, all right, music, lights, 70,000 of the band’s closest friends soaking up a remembrance of times past, for one more weekend, at least, the Dead very much alive.
From Soldier Field in Chicago, I’m Jeffrey Brown for the PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Whether you’re a Dead Head or not, the fun continues online, where you can watch Jeff’s full interview with founding member Bill Kreutzmann. Plus, read Jeff’s reporter’s notebook about what it was like covering the scene.
The post In final concert, Grateful Dead bids farewell to faithful followers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: Fourth of July brought parades, patriotism and even a few fireworks to the campaign trail.
No better time, then, for Politics Monday, our weekly look at the state of the campaign.
Joining me tonight, Tamara Keith of NPR and Susan Page of USA Today.
Ladies, let’s follow the money. Let’s talk about what some of these candidates have said they have been raising. We see that in the three-month period that people have been measuring, Hillary Clinton says she’s raised $45 million, Bernie Sanders in that same period of time, for someone who has not taken as being a real challenge to her on some levels, $15 million, Ted Cruz $14 million, and Ben Carson $8.3 million, which is also not chicken feed.
So, where is all this money coming from and from whom?
TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Well, for Hillary Clinton, it’s coming from a mix.
She has been doing a lot of big-dollar fund-raisers, about $2,700 fund-raisers per head. That’s the max that someone could get for the primary. She has done these like three, four fund-raisers a day, where if you add it up it’s something like $1 million in a single day.
At the same time, she’s also been trying to get a lot of small donors, and when this number came out, her campaign was careful to say, and look at this; 91 percent of our donations were for $100 or less. They definitely want to promote the lower number.
Bernie Sanders, he isn’t having any big-dollar fund-raisers and his campaign is very proud that the average donation is something like $33. And it’s pretty remarkable to raise $15 million $33 at a time.
GWEN IFILL: I’m also interested that a lot of candidates, including Ted Cruz, who, even though he raised $14 million, put out a statement that he — that plus his uncoordinated — uncoordinated PAC has actually — political action committee — has actually raised a lot more.
How much are these candidates informally depending on the PACs?
SUSAN PAGE, USA Today: Well, a lot.
And even though we’re breaking records here, Hillary Clinton broke the record that Barack Obama set in the 2016 campaign for first-quarter fund-raising, $45 million. That is going to be dwarfed by what Hillary Clinton-related super PACs and PACs are going to be raising and spending on her behalf.
And they’re not supposed to be coordinated. It’s interesting that Ted Cruz felt free to cite that as part of his total, not illegal, but it does give the lie to the technical rule that they’re supposed to be uncoordinated. In fact, they’re staffed by the people who used to work for the candidates. There is all kinds of relationships there that they can count on.
GWEN IFILL: OK.
Let’s talk about the squeeze from the right and the left, especially starting with the Democratic side. On the right, we have Jim Webb getting into the race and basically running to the right of Hillary Clinton. And we have Bernie Sanders, who is attracting huge crowds running to the left of Hillary Clinton, and near as we can tell. Is this having an effect on Hillary Clinton?
TAMARA KEITH: I think that what Hillary Clinton would say is that she’s continuing to run her own race.
And if you look at what she’s doing — tomorrow, she’s doing an interview on CNN. This will be her first sit-down televised interview, national televised interview of this campaign. Her campaign had told us a couple of months ago that they were planning to start rolling these interviews out over the summer.
So even things that seem like it might be like she’s running scared, actually, it all seems to be part of their playbook. It doesn’t seem like they have changed the playbook just yet.
GWEN IFILL: What about that, Susan?
SUSAN PAGE: I think that they’re concerned.
And I think they’re concerned because, number one, not so much that Bernie Sanders is going to take the nomination away from her. I think that’s extremely unlikely. He is getting these huge crowds. And he’s got a message that is resonating with a lot of Democrats. It’s a more liberal message, a more progressive message than she would naturally articulate. That is putting pressure on her on things like the free trade pact.
And, also, his manner. She has got all kinds of problems in looking approachable and looking like she’s a fully-fledged human being. And he’s all — he’s just totally approachable. He’s 100 percent authentic, approachable Bernie Sanders. So I think the contrast is not helpful to her.
TAMARA KEITH: Yes.
GWEN IFILL: Go ahead.
TAMARA KEITH: I was just going to say that when I talk to people out when I’m reporting, they say things like, gosh, Bernie Sanders is just so real.
And it creates that contrast with Hillary Clinton, who has been in public life for so long. She’s had her picture taken so many times that she has that smile down just right. And Bernie is just out there being Bernie. And so it does create sort of a stylistic contrast for people.
GWEN IFILL: On the Republican side, the pressure, the squeeze seems to be brought on Republican candidates by one Donald Trump, who, because of what he said in his announcement about Mexicans and many of them being rapists, even though he’s sure some of them are OK, has put a lot of Republican candidates into the position of having to respond, denounce, distance themselves?
SUSAN PAGE: But not that eager to do so, because the fact is Donald Trump has a message that appeals to some Republican voters with a very hard line on immigration.
It took a while. It took a week for other Republican candidates to come out and to be critical of him, even though this is very bad news, I think, for the Republican Party in a general election. The Republicans will not win the White House unless they do better among Hispanic voters than Mitt Romney did. And they are not going to do better among Hispanic voters if they have a line on immigration that is offensive to so many Hispanics.
GWEN IFILL: How difficult — for instance, Jeb Bush came out today and said he found it offensive. He’s married to a woman who was born in Mexico. And Donald Trump’s response was, well, he had to do that because of his wife.
TAMARA KEITH: Well, Donald Trump has deleted that tweet.
GWEN IFILL: Did he really?
TAMARA KEITH: He did.
I think, in some ways, Donald Trump is the ultimate Twitter troll, and a lot of these candidates were trying not to feed the troll for a while. And then they realized, oh, wait, he is saying things that are damaging.
And so, Jeb Bush came out relatively early, though, fact is Donald Trump made these remarks June 16. It is now July 6 — 7.
GWEN IFILL: Took a long time.
TAMARA KEITH: It took a very long time.
But Jeb Bush did ultimately, Marco Rubio, several other candidates. Ted Cruz is the only one who said he didn’t want to get involved in this Republican-on-Republican fighting.
GWEN IFILL: Yes.
Well, the other interesting thing this and other things do is make candidates like Chris Christie, who was once considered to be the moderate in this race, and Scott Walker, considered to be social conservative, they’re not necessarily exactly where they started out, are they?
SUSAN PAGE: Well, Chris Christie has now a very narrow path ahead of him.
And you saw him go straight to New Hampshire after his announcement, because that New Hampshire straight talk express, that is what he’s hoping to get on. He has got a tough road ahead of him.
Scott Walker, it’s interesting, because he has made a good early impression. But his chips are all in Iowa. He needs to win. If Chris Christie has to win in New Hampshire, Scott Walker has to win in Iowa. And we know that social conservatives, evangelical voters are a really powerful part of the Iowa caucuses.
GWEN IFILL: Fifteen seconds on Scott Walker.
TAMARA KEITH: The interesting thing about Scott Walker is that when he was running for reelection in Wisconsin, he was all about, I can be a blue state governor.
Now he’s running in Iowa, needs to win Iowa. And his preacher’s son, social conservative side is coming out more than it did in that reelection not that long ago.
GWEN IFILL: Candidate’s got to do what a candidate’s got to do.
Tamara Keith and Susan Page, thank you both very much.
SUSAN PAGE: Thank you.
TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. women’s soccer team set itself apart last night with a historic achievement.
What does this win mean for the future of women’s professional soccer in the U.S.?
We turn to Cheryl Cooky, a professor of women’s studies at Purdue University, who has published studies on the differences between the way men’s and women’s sports are seen. And Deborah Slaner Larkin is the CEO of the Women’s Sports Foundation, which works toward safe and equitable sports opportunities for girls and women.
And we welcome you both.
Deborah Larkin, to you first. How big a deal is this women’s World Cup?
DEBORAH SLANER LARKIN, CEO, Women’s Sports Foundation: Well, it’s a huge deal.
This really started from 1999, when we won the second World Cup, and the next generation of girls who looked up to those stars are playing today, so it’s not only those athletes, but it’s the next generation of girls and boys in all sports who want to play.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Cheryl Cooky, how do you see the significance of it?
CHERYL COOKY, Purdue University: I think of this as a tremendous moment, not only for the U.S. women’s soccer team, but for all those fans out there, all the aspiring young girls and boys who want to be athletes. I think this is a tremendous moment for them.
I think it’s a tremendous moment for our culture as well, that we can all join together and celebrate the tremendous accomplishments and prowess in female athleticism that we saw displayed last night.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Deborah Larkin, we mentioned the disparity between men’s and women’s soccer. How much disparity is there today?
DEBORAH SLANER LARKIN: Oh, it’s quite noticeable, quite dramatic. We can start with money. The women get to share $2 million for the winners, but in the men’s world cup, the men got to share $8 million and they lost. The women had to play on a turf field, which is much more difficult to play on, and the men do not have to play on a turf field.
And so while they play the same amount of time with the same amount of energy, the temperatures on a turf field are much, much hotter. So it’s very dramatic, what the differences are. I kind of likened it to when we used to talk about that when Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers would dance, Ginger Rogers had to do it going backwards and in heels. That’s the difference.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Cheryl Cooky, what would you add to that? And why is this disparity still there more than 40 years after Title IX, the federal law, was passed outlawing discrimination on the basis of gender in education?
CHERYL COOKY: Just to add to that, I think it’s interesting to look at the media coverage.
The Major League soccer — men’s soccer league in the United States just recently signed an eight-year $90 million contract with a major sports network, ESPN and FOX Sports, to have their games televised, whereas the National Women’s Soccer League, the female counterpart, has no TV contract, has only three sponsors, compared to the 20 sponsors for the men’s team.
And we know that the MLS professional league has struggled in terms of generating revenue and generating a fan base. So, I think the lack of a national contract for the women’s team really does impact how we can really come to know women’s sports — or women’s soccer, I should say, in the United States.
How this all connects to Title IX, I think, is a really interesting question. We have seen a tremendous growth and explosion in the number of girls and women that are participating in sports. However, there are still a number of areas — and we were talking about media and sponsorship and those sorts of issues — there’s a number of ways in which women’s sports, both at the high school, collegiate level, as well as the professional level, still suffer from these disparities.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me — Deborah Larkin, let me turn to you on that, not only why they still exist, but what can be done about it? We are decades past this — again, the passage of this law. What needs to happen for there to be more of a — not to abuse the term — but for there to be more of an even playing field?
DEBORAH SLANER LARKIN: That’s right.
Well, we really have to put teeth into the law when we talk about compliance of Title IX. In high school sports, when Title IX was first passed, one in 27 girls played sports. Now the number we use is two in five.
But I’m going to talk about it in a different way. A third of the girls who play are getting all the kind of exercise in sports they need. A third get a little. And a third get none. And it’s the third that get none and a little are who we need to focus on, because they’re not getting the education, health and leadership benefits.
Girls who play sports do better in school, have aspirations for college, earn more money in the work force, are less involved in delinquent behaviors. So we need to put our money where our mouth is and put money behind girls’ sports and compliance for Title IX.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Cheryl Cooky, how do you see this question of girls and women not having the same opportunity as men when it comes to participating in sports?
CHERYL COOKY: Yes, I think there’s a lot of ways in which there are still many types of inequalities, some that we can see and some that we can’t, some that we’re aware of and some that we’re not.
If we look at simple things like when sports are played, the NBA, the professional league — and, of course, this isn’t applying to Title IX, but we see this at the high school and the collegiate levels. Oftentimes, the men’s teams play in the high profile, the regular season. The girls and women’s teams oftentimes play in off-seasons. They have the less desirable playing time.
So I think that there’s these kinds of subtleties that are just beyond getting more girls involved in sports.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, this big win for USA women’s soccer certainly gives us an opportunity to look at these issues again.
And we want to thank both of you for talking with us. Cheryl Cooky, Deborah Slaner Larkin, we appreciate it.
DEBORAH SLANER LARKIN: Thank you.
CHERYL COOKY: Thank you very much.
The post Will Team USA’s win help level the playing field for women? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: We turn now to a look at the broader debate under way in the wake of the Greek referendum.
For that, we’re joined by New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, who is also professor of economics at the Graduate Center at the City University of New York, and Stephan Richter. He is publisher and editor in chief of The Globalist.
Stephan Richter, you just heard that statement of optimism coming from the Greek ambassador. What do you think the fallout is going to be from the vote this weekend?
STEPHAN RICHTER, The Globalist: It’s going to be severe, because there have been lots of attempts, from Angela Merkel, from the SPD in Germany, from certainly the leader of Italy, France, and so on, to build a bridge for Mr. Tsipras.
Angela Merkel herself took him basically under his — wing, a neophyte, a young politician. She wanted to build a bridge. She risked a lot. But the Greeks, basically, this government has thrown away the belief of others that, even if we had a deal tomorrow, something magical happened, that it has either the will or the capacity to implement the agreement.
As we know from many of these agreements over time throughout the world — this is not just a Greece situation. Washington, with the IMF, has dealt a lot of conditionality and other things over the years. Countries must be willing to change in order to get to a brighter future. And it’s not about just opening banks and throwing some money their way. That would be nice if it were that.
But the situation really is, if you think all the euro crisis away, Greece had problems before it got ever started in the euro. Those problems are still with us. And that’s what it needs to rectify. And money can’t change that. It takes far deeper change in Greece.
GWEN IFILL: Paul Krugman?
PAUL KRUGMAN, The New York Times: Well, I think one thing that is really important to understand just how much effort Greece has put in. Greece has achieved an incredible budget adjustment. It has raised taxes and slashed spending to the tune of what would be more than $2 trillion a year if it was happening in the United States.
So, we’re talking about a Greek government that has under successive leaders made enormous sacrifices. It’s bizarre to have people talking as if they haven’t done anything. They have done a lot of these structural reforms as well.
The problem is that what the euro leaders, the Troika, had been trying to done do is essentially impossible. When a country is fairly deep in debt, as Greece was, even at the beginning of this, though it’s worse now, to try to, through austerity, bring that debt under control, is an impossible task.
What you’re doing is, you’re bashing the economy so badly that the economy shrinks faster than anything you can do on the budget side. So, no, essentially, Europe has been completely living in a fantasy world on all of this. I don’t know what the answer — I mean, I suspect that the answer is going to be Greek exit from the euro. But the notion that Greeks have somehow failed to deliver, after all the incredible suffering they have gone through, is just — part of the problem is that belief.
GWEN IFILL: Stephan Richter, we have seen today the IMF and the European Central Bank and the Netherlands and Germany all pretty much hold the line. Do you think they hear what it is that Mr. Krugman is talking about?
STEPHAN RICHTER: No, because the point he’s making about debt relief, and which he made in The New York Times today, is really not what is at issue.
I don’t think there are many German politicians or even German citizens who are expecting any money back out of Greece. I think there was a big mess. The German banks were in part faulty. Investment banks, Goldman Sachs helped the Greek government fake its statistics and so on. There’s plenty of blame to go around.
Nobody expects money comes back from Greece. But Greece has a tradition of taking the concession and then not delivering. When they got into the euro, basically, the benefit was that Greece got much lower interest rates, which helps an economy, helps entrepreneurs to do business. But instead of using it to improve their economy, they basically used it to hire more people in government.
Every party packed the payrolls of the government, and then they were unelected, and the next team came in, the old guys stayed. And this is not a way to make Greece productive. There are very many Greek productive people. Unfortunately, many of them live abroad, especially in the United States. There is entrepreneurship in Greece, theoretically, but it’s basically voted with their feet to move abroad.
GWEN IFILL: Paul Krugman, are these other nations in the Eurozone, especially Germany, are they trying to make Greece an example, for fear of the same sort of instability spreading?
PAUL KRUGMAN: Well, there is some. That’s speculation. We don’t really know that.
It’s hard not to suspect that. The main point right now is you have to ask, is there — if your notion is, well, Greek society has always been corrupt, well, you knew that. And it’s not — this is an impossible — talk about mission creep, trying to turn this from, let’s deal with this financial problem, let’s deal with this macroeconomic problem to let’s remake Greek society, that’s saying that you want Greece out.
And then, if that actually happens, Europe is going to be very sorry, because the consequences for the whole European system, the consequences for the European project will be terrible. In the end, if Greece leaves the euro, the consequences for the Greeks will be a few months of chaos, but possibly a big gain in competitiveness and recovery.
Remember, Greece functioned as an economy before there was a euro. The notion that they cannot survive without is wrong. And the folly — I mean, I have no brief for the current government of Greece. They are immature, inexperienced. But compared with the monstrous folly that’s been repeated year after year on the part of Europe’s leaders, it’s nothing. This is an incredible failure of judgment.
GWEN IFILL: So, should the Eurozone, Stephan Richter, go? Should Greece go from the Eurozone or should the Eurozone just cut Greece loose?
STEPHAN RICHTER: The tragedy is that the Greek case has shown that in order to for the Eurozone to survive, there needs to be a minimum agreement on fiscal policies, on lots of policies, and the Greek government under any stripe — this is not just a Syriza problem — is outside of that consensus.
That’s the tragedy. In order to preserve the Eurozone, we will see, in all likelihood, a Grexit, unless Mr. Tsipras pulls one more rabbit out of his hat, which is that he comes up with a unity government and can say, this is no longer about politics, we’re all in this together. But that’s a very low probability. But that’s his last card.
GWEN IFILL: Grexit means Greek exit. I love that.
But, Paul Krugman, what do you think about that? Is there a rabbit to be pulled out of the hat?
PAUL KRUGMAN: Well, if we’re talking about unity government, Greece has had a series of those, right?
It has had a consensus. By and large, it has done 90 percent, 95 percent of what the Troika told it to. And the results have been catastrophic. If that’s the demand now, that once again Greece sacrifice — the current Greek government sacrifice its own principles, go back on what it promised the electorate, this time it’s really going to work, well, I don’t think you’re going to blame Greece for the consequences, if that what happens.
GWEN IFILL: Paul Krugman of The New York Times and Stephan Richter of The Globalist, thank you both very much.
STEPHAN RICHTER: Thank you.
PAUL KRUGMAN: Thank you.
The Associated Press on Monday obtained documents revealing that Bill Cosby testified in 2005 to acquring quaaludes — a central nervous system depressant — with the intention of providing them to women he wanted to have sex with. According to the AP, he admitted to giving the sedative to at least one woman.
More than two dozen women have accused 77-year-old Cosby of sexual misconduct, including rape, dating back 40 years. Cosby has never been criminally charged.
In early December, following a string of assault allegations, Cosby resigned from his position on Temple University’s board of trustees.
The post Bill Cosby got drugs to give to women for sex, AP reports appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: As the government braces for next steps, we turn now to Greece’s ambassador to Washington, Christos Panagopoulos.
Thank you so much for joining us, Mr. Ambassador.
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS, Ambassador, Greece: Thanks for having me.
GWEN IFILL: So, now, as you look at what the voters said, no to austerity, what do you think comes next?
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: Next comes a euro summit.
They’re going to convene the heads of government and the states of the European Union tomorrow. We will have a Eurogroup. That’s the procedure. But, in substance, what the referendum brought with this is unanimity of let’s say 80 percent of the parties that represent the Greek Parliament, which they support the prime minister to go tomorrow to Brussels and present a Greek proposal.
And we have reasons to hope that we’re going to reach an agreement in principle, and then trying to renormalize the country economically.
GWEN IFILL: As you know, some people think that unanimity that you describe is going to take Greece off a cliff. Why are they wrong?
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: Because it’s the first time since quite a few months, I should say, that the political leaders decided to back the government to reach an agreement.
And this is a very powerful card. On the other hand, if you look to our partners in Europe and also the IMF, our American partners, nobody has to earn anything if we fail to reach an agreement. The lenders — let me put it very simply — they are going to lose their money. And, of course, we’re going to suffer a lot, no question about this, but who’s going to profit? No one.
So, it’s a win-win situation to come down at the very last moment and find agreement. And I think this is doable.
GWEN IFILL: So, as you go to make your appeal to the European governments who are part of this, is there anything that Greece is willing to give up, to put on the table?
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: We have a comprehensive proposal to present, but, as I told you before, the issue of the sustainability of our debt is on the table.
Why? We don’t like to come back after a few months discussing about the Greek crisis. So, yes, we’re ready to take very tough measures. But, at the same time, we should deal with the sustainability of the debt, which is agreed back in 2012, but was never implemented, the discussion.
GWEN IFILL: In your opinion, this will test the strength of the Eurozone, not just of the government of Greece?
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: It’s another test.
All the history of the European Union is to find ways out of a crisis after crisis and become stronger. That’s our hope, that through debate, with difficulty, we’re going to find our way out starting from tomorrow and trying to normalize back our country and the Eurozone for the benefit of Europe and, let me say, of the Western community all in all.
GWEN IFILL: What are the chances that this leads to Greece being forced or choosing to exit the Eurozone? And will that be a good thing for Greece?
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: Well, when you go to a battle, you don’t ask starting about the failures, so we hope that we’re going to succeed to have.
All the unanimity, with the one exception of the parliamentary parties, is to keep Greece in the Eurozone. And that’s what we hear from our partners all over Europe, elected and not elected officials.
Also, today, the White House repeated its wish for a compromise from both parties, adding at the end that they should take care of the sustainability of the Greek debt, which is a big issue right now on the table.
GWEN IFILL: Bottom line, are you as optimistic now as you were, say, a few months ago that Greece is going to find a way out of this muddle?
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: We are as optimistic as ever because, right now, it’s the time to decide. We have no more time. And, tomorrow, we’re going to see, I hope, positive results.
GWEN IFILL: Christos Panagopoulos, ambassador to the United States from Greece, thank you very much.
CHRISTOS PANAGOPOULOS: Thank you.
The post Greece ‘ready’ for tough measures, says ambassador appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
One man walked directly up to me and asked if I had any mushrooms to sell him. I thought, “Really? Do I look like that guy?”
Well, OK, this is a scene and we were part of it, part of a three-day “happening” of music, community and — I’m going with it — history. This particular encounter took place in the parking lot before the first of the weekend’s concerts, the place where members of the tribe gather to meet old friends, reminisce about concerts past, scrounge for a few extra tickets for those still in need (“looking for a miracle,” in Dead parlance), and get excited about the “Fare Thee Well” we were all there to see. It was, of course, a festival of tie-dye t-shirts, many worn as a kind of uniform for veterans of favorite concerts. (I was one of the few in a button-down shirt — I don’t think that had anything to do with being a potential ‘shroom salesman.)
I should say that I was never one of them, the Deadheads. I grew up with rock ‘n’ roll, still love rock ‘n’ roll, played rock ‘n’ roll. I know lots of Grateful Dead songs. But I’d never fully signed on (tuned in?) to the band or that scene.The impetus for this story was my friend and colleague, producer Mike Melia. Mike, to a greater degree than I’d been aware, knows his Dead history (and songs and words) and was eager to be in Chicago, his hometown, for the concerts. Several months back we started to talk about doing a story and it quickly became clear that there was something more here than the immediate thrill or ‘gee whiz’ of the event itself. For one thing, the Dead were ahead of their time in how they built an audience, shared their music (encouraging fans to record their own tapes) and let their performances be their prime signature.
“They were an Internet band without the existence of the Internet,” as Chicago Tribune music critic Greg Kot told me. Then there’s the music — let’s not forget the music. The Dead combined elements of rock, folk, country, jazz and — I’m thinking about the sonic bursts as well as Mickey Hart’s percussion experiments — space-age. When I got a chance to ask drummer Bill Kreutzman what defined the Grateful Dead sound, he surprised me a bit with an analogy to Dixieland music: the “freedom” of it, where different instruments lead at the same time.
Our interview with Kreutzman was a highlight of the trip, in part because it was unexpected and almost accidental. We’d been told that none of the band members would do an interview. Then, while setting up for something else, one of us saw a fellow off in the distance who looked vaguely familiar. It was the soundcheck for the concert, so band members were around. And yes, it turned out to be Kreutzman and, yes, it turned out he would come talk to us. An impromptu, almost off-the-cuff talk about good times (the thrill of playing together) and bad times (destructive drugs, too much focus on money), condensing 50-plus years into about 10 minutes, which you can see here.
The magic moment: when Kreutzman told us of his own “magic” moment so many years ago, the first time he heard a young guy named Jerry Garcia: “He was playing guitar … I was as close as we are right now. I watched him and I said ‘I’m going to follow him forever,’ just to myself.” The moments that make up — and sometimes change — a life.
Speaking of which, I admit I’m a sucker for this kind of thing, but I did like talking to a man and his son from Indiana who’d come together to share the experience. The Dead were clearly dad’s thing and had been for many years, no doubt pre-dating the very existence of his offspring. When I asked the son about being here, he hugged his dad, laughed and said, “Well, it means more to him, but it means a lot to me, too.” Then he kissed his dad on the head.
Were the Dead (and their promoters) cashing in one last time? No doubt that was part of all this — the money to be made from tickets, streaming video and more. There was a lot of grumbling in the run-up to the weekend. But those who were there seemed to be all-in and happy to be part of it.
As to the concert itself? I don’t know how to judge it as a music performance. The sound is inevitably a bit mushy, the sight lines to the stage difficult and distant. Connoisseurs and critics can debate the way the musicians did or didn’t mesh. Many will argue over the very idea of a “Grateful Dead” performance 20 years after the death of patron saint Jerry Garcia. For my part, I stood (along with 70,000 of my new best friends) and enjoyed the spectacle. The rafters shook, the smoke wafted (yes, that, too), the music blasted — the power of rock ‘n’ roll with a lot of history, nostalgia and screeching guitar solos echoing into the cool night air.
The post ‘Do I look like a ‘shroom salesman?’ and other things overheard at a Dead show appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: A historic moment in Greece this weekend, as voters drew the line on more austerity after five years of government cuts. But can Greece strike a new deal with its creditors? Or will they be forced to or choose to leave the Eurozone altogether?
Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant begins our coverage from Athens.
MALCOLM BRABANT: It was a resounding no to more austerity and the results of the referendum were greeted with loud celebrations in Syntagma Square.
CHRISTINA VLACHAKI, Greece (through interpreter): This is our first step to our next battle. Now it truly starts. I do not think that everything will suddenly be perfect, but it is a first step in making fear go away.
NIKI KALOMIRI, Greece: This result filled me with hope for tomorrow for Greece. I’m very proud of the Greek people, very, very proud. We don’t want to be slaves.
MALCOLM BRABANT: First thing this morning, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras convened a meeting with Greek political leaders, asking for and winning broad support as he tries to restart negotiations with international lenders. Many in Greece believe it will be a bumpy ride.
NICK MALKOUTZIS, Editor, Macropolis: There have to be doubts about whether the Tsipras government can negotiate itself out of this corner. Over the last six months, there have been lots and lots of mistakes, many dead ends that they have gone up. I would say what Sunday’s referendum does is it gives them a very clear and strong mandate to go back and to try and do something.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Discussions were also ongoing in Paris, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel met this evening with French President Francois Hollande. An emergency summit of Eurozone leaders convenes tomorrow in Brussels.
CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, Germany (through interpreter): We respect the decision of the referendum as a vote of a sovereign democratic state. And now we have to deal with that decision. We’re saying very clearly that the door for talks remains open. And tomorrow’s meeting of the heads of states belonging to the Eurozone ought to be understood in that sense.
MALCOLM BRABANT: And the message from the White House remained the same as before the vote: Negotiate a way to remain in the Eurozone.
JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: The only way that that will happen is to agree to a package of reforms and financing that will allow Greece to get back on a path of economic growth and debt sustainability. That’s the only available resolution that is in the collective interests of those in Europe who are involved.
MALCOLM BRABANT: But, back in Greece, support to exit the Eurozone was still a priority for many, including those of the Socialist Workers Party headquarters in a dingy Athenian street. They were packing away the no posters and promising to fight Tsipras’ Syriza Party if he signs a bailout deal that the people reject.
PANOS GARGANOS, Socialist Workers Party: If Syriza signs a deal against the will of people who voted no, it will be faced with massive resistance.
MALCOLM BRABANT: It wasn’t just the left that voted no in the referendum. Alexis Mantheakis, formerly a senior official with a right-wing nationalist party, believes Greece is now in a strong negotiating position.
ALEXIS MANTHEAKIS, Political Analyst: If Greece is forced into a corner and the banks are dried up, and they give us no money, then the government has the last resort of staying out of the euro, in which case I think you will have a knock-on effect of trillions of dollars lost. One-and-a-half trillion was lost within months with — just in one day on the stock markets in the referendum announcement.
If we go out of the euro, that’s our last stick. We don’t want to use it. But if we’re forced into a corner, I think the government should do it.
MALCOLM BRABANT: The uncertainty of what happens to Greece and the euro wobbled financial markets around the world today. The dive was steadied by the announcement that the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, would resign.
For the time being, Greece remains afloat financially, just. The European Central Bank has decided to maintain what’s called the emergency liquidity assistance program to Greek banks, so that their customers can continue to make withdrawals. The banks were supposed to reopen tomorrow, but will remain shuttered for at least two more days. The maximum withdrawal is just $67.
Without the ECB’s helping hand, Greek banks would have collapsed within days. If Greek proposals fail to impress in Brussels tomorrow, the E.U. could decide to end its support, and Greece could really become the poor man of Europe.
For the PBS NewsHour, this is Malcolm Brabant in Athens.
The post After landslide vote, Greece prepares for new EU negotiations appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The leaders of Germany and France pressed the Greek government today to offer up serious financial aid proposals in an effort to jump-start a new round of talks. That comes a day after more than 61 percent of Greek voters rejected the terms of an international bailout deal.
Meanwhile, the European Central Bank moved to raise the amount of collateral Greek banks must pay for emergency loans. We will take a closer look at the impact of the landslide vote, and talk to Greece’s ambassador to the U.S., right after this news summary.
GWEN IFILL: Greece’s economic uncertainty pushed stocks lower on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 46 points to close at 17683. The Nasdaq fell 17 points, and the S&P 500 slipped eight.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Twin bombings rocked Central Nigeria overnight, killing 44 people. The blasts targeted a Muslim restaurant and a mosque in Jos, about 150 miles northeast of the capital, Abuja. Nearly 70 people were wounded, including many who were rushed to the hospital last night for treatment. The attacks were believed to be the work of Islamic State affiliate Boko Haram. The militants have killed more than 300 Nigerians in the past week alone.
GWEN IFILL: Combating the Islamic State was at the top of the agenda as President Obama paid a rare visit to the Pentagon this afternoon. He met with top military leaders for a briefing on the ongoing U.S.-led campaign against the militant group.
Afterward, the president said the fight won’t be quick, but acknowledged the significant progress made so far.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our coalition has now hit ISIL with more than 5,000 airstrikes. We have taken out thousands of fighting positions, tanks, vehicles, bomb factories, and training camps.
We have eliminated thousands of fighters, including senior ISIL commanders. And over the past year, we have seen that, when we have an effective partner on the ground, ISIL can be pushed back.
GWEN IFILL: The president’s statement followed an uptick in U.S.-led coalition airstrikes in Syria over the weekend. The aerial operations targeted Islamic State-controlled structures and transit routes surrounding the militants’ stronghold of Raqqa.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Foreign ministers from six world powers met with their Iranian counterpart today in Vienna to make one final push ahead of tomorrow’s deadline to reach a nuclear weapons agreement. But there were no major signs of progress, as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry negotiated alongside officials from five other nations and Iran.
His spokesman warned, if the Iranian regime doesn’t adhere to previous agreements, there will be no deal.
REAR ADM. JOHN KIRBY, State Department Spokesperson: We will only accept a deal that effectively close off Iran’s pathways to a nuclear weapon, and it will have to be a deal that can stand up to the scrutiny of not just our experts but experts around the world. We’re not there yet, and there are some important issues still to be resolved.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A White House spokesman acknowledged it was certainly possible that tomorrow’s self-imposed deadline could slip.
GWEN IFILL: South Carolina’s statehouse is one step closer to removing the Confederate Battle Flag from a pole on its grounds in Columbia. The state Senate passed a crucial vote on legislation that would take down the flag. But the bill still requires approval from the state’s House of Representatives and Republican Governor Nikki Haley, who recently reversed course and said the flag should be removed. The debate comes amid growing criticism in the wake of a shooting rampage at a black church in Charleston.
Hundreds of thousands of faithful gathered in Ecuador’s main port city today to watch Pope Francis celebrate mass. The service, which was dedicated to families, was held in a park in Guayaquil. It’s the pontiff’s second visit to his native region since becoming the leader of the Catholic Church in 2013. He travels next to Bolivia and Paraguay.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And it was disclosed today that comedian Bill Cosby admitted in a 2005 deposition that he had obtained quaaludes to drug women he wanted to have sex with. That is according to court documents made public. Cosby has been accused by more than two dozen women of sexual misconduct in incidents dating back more than four decades. He has never been criminally charged.