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

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    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem on July 14. He described the agreement reached on Tuesday by Iran and major world powers on Tehran's nuclear program as a historic mistake and said he would do what he could to block Iran's nuclear ambitions. Photo by Ahikam Seri/Pool via Reuters

    Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement to the media in Jerusalem on July 14. He described the agreement reached on Tuesday by Iran and major world powers on Tehran’s nuclear program as a historic mistake and said he would do what he could to block Iran’s nuclear ambitions. Photo by Ahikam Seri/Pool via Reuters

    The historic agreement reached Tuesday aimed at preserving Iran’s civilian nuclear program but preventing Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon was viewed as hopeful by some world leaders but condemned by others.

    Pakistan’s national security adviser Sartaj Aziz said he “welcomed” the deal and hoped it would remove Washington’s opposition to constructing a gas pipeline connecting Iran to Pakistan, reported the Associated Press.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it a “capitulation” and “historic mistake.” He said at a meeting in Jerusalem, “Iran is going to receive a sure path to nuclear weapons.”

    Turkish Energy Minister Taner Yildiz had an economic take on the nuclear resolution. It’s a “very positive development” that could lead to more investment with Iran, he said, according to Reuters.

    The post World leaders react to historic deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    President Barack Obama’s statement on the Iran nuclear accord delivered Tuesday at the White House.

    Anticipating the tough road ahead in convincing Congress to back the Iran nuclear agreement, President Barack Obama said Tuesday he would “veto” any legislation that blocks the deal.

    Congress has 60 days to review the comprehensive agreement. If it rejects the deal, and President Obama vetoes the rejection, a two-thirds vote in Congress would be necessary to override his veto.

    President Obama said from the White House Tuesday morning that it is in the nation’s security interest to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon, and without such a diplomatic solution, there is “a greater chance for more war in the Middle East” as other countries would feel compelled to pursue their own nuclear programs.

    “I believe it would be irresponsible to walk away from this deal,” he continued, saying he welcomes a robust debate in Congress. But “I will remind Congress that you don’t make deals like this with your friends.”

    “I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal,” he said. “This is not the time for politics or posturing.”

    The accord freezes Iran’s ability to produce enough material to make a nuclear weapon for 10 years and establishes new international inspections of its nuclear facilities. It also reportedly continues a U.N. arms embargo on Tehran for up to five more years, which could end earlier if the International Atomic Energy Agency definitively clears the country from working on nuclear weapons.

    “Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off,” said President Obama. “This deal is not built on trust, it is built on verification.”

    As Iran takes steps to implement the agreement, sanctions imposed by the United States and U.N. Security Council would be lifted. If Iran violates the pact, sanctions will “snap back,” the president said.

    Iranian President Hassan Rouhani also faces skepticism at home from those who view the United States as “the Great Satan.” Rouhani spoke at the same time as President Obama in his country announcing the resolution to the talks.

    The post Obama: ‘I will veto’ any legislation that blocks Iran nuclear deal appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    (From left to right) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria on July 14. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    (From left to right) Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, German Foreign Minister Frank Walter Steinmeier, European Union High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, Head of the Iranian Atomic Energy Organization Ali Akbar Salehi, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammon, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz pose for a group picture at the United Nations building in Vienna, Austria on July 14. Iran and six major world powers reached a nuclear deal on Tuesday. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    After nearly a decade of diplomatic efforts, culminating in weeks of wrangling and late-night sessions in Vienna, negotiators emerged with a final deal Tuesday to prevent Iran from making a nuclear bomb.

    “Today could have been the end of hope on this issue. Today we are starting a new chapter of hope. Let’s consider this everybody’s achievement,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said in Vienna.

    “With courage, political will, mutual respect and leadership, we delivered on what the world was hoping for: a shared commitment on peace and joining hands in order to make our world safer,” said Federica Mogherini , the high representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

    Negotiators from the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Germany, France, China and European Union worked with Iran on a long-term pact to ensure its nuclear program is for civilian purposes only, something the Islamic republic has maintained from the start. It still must get congressional approval and endorsement from the U.N. Security Council.

    Here are the key terms of the deal:

    • The agreement places limits on Iran’s uranium enrichment and enrichment-related activities for eight years, followed by allowable enrichment activities for peaceful energy purposes.
    • Iran must store excess centrifuges under continuous International Atomic Energy Agency monitoring.
    • For 15 years, Iran will keep its uranium stockpile to under 300 kg of up to 3.67 percent enriched uranium.
    • Iran will end uranium enrichment at the Fordow facility and turn it into nuclear, physics and technology center.
    • Iran will redesign and rebuild the heavy water research reactor in Arak to support peaceful nuclear research and radioisotope production for medical and industrial purposes.
    • Iran will ship to another country all spent fuel for all future and present power and research nuclear reactors.
    • International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s nuclear facilities, including monitoring uranium ore concentrate produced by Iran for 25 years, and containing and monitoring centrifuge rotors for 20 years.
    • Iran will not engage in activities, including research and development, that could lead to the development of a nuclear explosive device.
    • The deal relieves some sanctions if Iran shows it is following the agreement. The United States is not removing its trade embargo on Iran or sanctions related to its support of terrorist networks, senior administration officials said in a conference call with reporters.
    • If Iran violates terms of the accord, sanctions will “snap back,” President Barack Obama said.

    We’ll have more analysis of the historic agreement on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour. You can watch the show on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. ET or check your local listings.

    The post Deal to keep Iran from making a nuclear bomb in 10 points appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Pluto nearly fills the frame in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015 when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface. This is the last and most detailed image sent to Earth before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto on July 14.  Image by NASA/APL/SwRI

    Pluto nearly fills the frame in this image from the Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft, taken on July 13, 2015 when the spacecraft was 476,000 miles (768,000 kilometers) from the surface. This is the last and most detailed image sent to Earth before the spacecraft’s closest approach to Pluto on July 14.Image by NASA/APL/SwRI

    Just before 8 am ET this morning, the New Horizons spacecraft made its closest pass by Pluto — closer than any spacecraft has ever been — a mere 7,800 miles from the surface of the dwarf planet. Considering it’s traveled nine years and more than 3 billion miles to get there, that’s extremely close.

    As the world awaits data from the icy planet — the next signal from Pluto is scheduled to arrive at 8:53 p.m. ET — NASA has released this most detailed image yet, which shows a heart-shaped featured on the Pluto’s surface. The large, bright region measures about 1,000 miles across, and “the heart,” according to NASA, “borders darker equatorial terrains, and the mottled terrain to its east (pictured right) are complex. However, even at this resolution, much of the heart’s interior appears remarkably featureless—possibly a sign of ongoing geologic processes.” This image was captured on July 13 from a distance of 476,000 miles. Tomorrow’s image will be 10 times sharper than this, says NASA. NASA planetary scientist Alan Stern compared the level of expected detail to seeing the lakes in Central Park and the piers on the Hudson River.

    On the NewsHour tonight, Miles O’Brien, in collaboration with NOVA, will report on the New Horizons mission. Here’s a preview of that piece:

    All day today, PBS and NOVA will be live tweeting from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, where the New Horizons team is based.

    Scroll through the tweets for insights from the New Horizons scientists on a dark pole on Pluto’s largest moon, Charon, impact features and speculation of snow on Pluto.

    And here’s a video by science journalist and producer, Kate Tobin, on Pluto’s moon, Charon.

    Don’t miss Miles O’Brien’s report on Pluto and the New Horizons mission on tonight’s PBS NewsHour. Chasing Pluto will air Wednesday on NOVA.

    The post Tomorrow’s image of Pluto will be 10 times sharper than this image below appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo of U.S. capitol by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Photo of U.S. capitol by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Some of President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats expressed skepticism and Republicans voiced outright hostility Tuesday to the landmark Iranian nuclear deal.

    Under the historic accord, Iran’s nuclear program would be curtailed in exchange for billions of dollars in relief from international sanctions. The agreement aims to avert the threat of a nuclear-armed Iran and another U.S. military intervention in the Middle East.

    “I was skeptical at the beginning of this process, and I remain skeptical of the Iranians,” said Rep. Steve Israel, the highest ranking Jewish Democrat in the House. “In the fall, there will be a vote on this deal, and my obligation is to review every word, sentence and paragraph of the deal to ensure it satisfies my continued concerns.”

    “If it’s as bad a deal as I think it is,” said Republican House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio, “we’re going to do everything we can to stop it.”

    Sen. Bob Menendez, formerly a ranking member of the Foreign Relations Committee, said he was concerned that the deal “ultimately legitimizes Iran as a threshold nuclear state.”

    “I’m concerned the red lines we drew have turned into green lights: that Iran will be required only to limit rather than eliminate its nuclear program, while the international community will be required to lift the sanctions,” said Menendez, D-New Jersey.

    After receiving a copy of the agreement, lawmakers will have 60 days to read the fine print, vote yea or nay — or take no action.

    If Congress votes to disapprove it, Obama reiterated Tuesday that he would veto it. A two-thirds majority in both the House and Senate would be needed to override a veto.

    Many Republicans, as expected, are vehemently opposed to the agreement. That’s not surprising since the GOP-led House invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before a joint meeting of Congress earlier this year. Netanyahu assailed the negotiations with Iran, which has threatened to destroy Israel.

    “It’s like giving an alligator more teeth and thinking now they may be nice to you,” said Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Florida.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said the agreement was flawed. “Given what we do know so far it appears that Republicans and Democrats were right to be deeply worried about the direction of these talks,” he said on the Senate floor.

    Even if Congress votes to disapprove the deal, it doesn’t scuttle the agreement.

    The only way Congress can thwart the Iran deal is by passing new sanctions legislation or stripping away the authority Obama currently has to waive those sanctions that were imposed earlier by Congress. Moreover, even if Congress rejects the deal with Tehran, Obama could use his executive pen to offer a hefty portion of sanctions relief on his own. He could take unilateral actions that — when coupled with European and U.N. sanctions relief — would allow him to implement the deal. Obama can’t lift the congressionally mandated sanctions; only Congress can do that.

    “If this agreement is what the administration says it is, it is a major, historic diplomatic breakthrough,” said Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-California.

    The foreign relations committees in both chambers — and possibly other panels on intelligence and the armed services — are expected to quickly schedule hearings. It appears unlikely, though, that Congress will take any formal action before the August recess, when they most certainly will hear from constituents on the issue.

    When it comes to a vote, all eyes will be on Democrats to figure out whether they will back the deal brokered by the administration or turn their back on the president, as many of his fellow Democrats did in a recent battle involving trade negotiating authority for presidents.

    Key senators to watch: New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, the No. 3 Democrat in the chamber; Menendez, who has bucked the White House by voicing skepticism that Iran can be trusted to abide by terms of any deal; and Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

    “Supporting or opposing this agreement is not a decision to be made lightly, and I plan to carefully study the agreement before making an informed decision,” Schumer said.

    Cardin urged his colleagues to conduct a thorough, rigorous and even-handed review of the deal.

    “There is no trust when it comes to Iran,” Cardin said. “In our deliberations we need to ensure the negotiations resulted in a comprehensive, long-lasting, and verifiable outcome that also provides for snap-back of sanctions should Iran deviate from its commitments.”

    The post Democrats skeptical of Iran nuclear deal, GOP mostly hostile appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Greece Feast with Bacchus, illustration from Collection des vases grecs de le Comte de M Lamberg, vol II, Table 38, Paris, from 1813 to 1824, by Alexandre de Laborde, 19th century. Photo by  De Agostini / G. Dagli Ort / Getty Images.

    Where and how did the ancient Greeks gain the wealth with which to build a culture that became central to the modern world? Photo by De Agostini / G. Dagli Ort / Getty Images.

    Editor’s Note: When interviewing a Greek economist at the foot of the Acropolis a few years ago, we were heckled by a young anarchist.

    “We should get a dollar every time you use a Greek word in your language!” he shouted. (When I invited him to make his case on camera, he angrily shook his head, and thinking we might be recording the exchange anyway, menaced the cameraman with his bicycle.)

    Oh, those Greeks, I thought; great at art, great at thinking, great at theater, but what a bunch of economic losers. And when a local union boss granted a good-natured interview in which he derided the American love of what Charles Dickens once dubbed “the almighty dollar,” I was further convinced of Greece’s economic hopelessness.

    “When I speak to my friends or relatives in the United States,” Vasilis Polymeropoulous said, “they’re always talking about how much money, how many dollars, how many houses does he own; it’s a sickness. They’re always taking about how much this or that person is worth, $100,000 or $300,000. And ultimately it’s not important because at the end of the day, however many houses that you own, you’re going to end up in the same place, a meter and half under the ground.”

    So philosophical. It reminded me of the attitude toward making money jotted down by a Greek named Plato 2,400 or so years ago:

    “The great multitude of men are of a clear contrary temper: what they desire they desire out of all measure; when they have the option of making a reasonable profit, they prefer to make an exorbitant one. This is why all classes of retailers, businessmen, tavern keepers, are so unpopular and under so severe a social stigma.”

    And how about Plato’s most famous student, Aristotle?

    “That which consists in exchange is justly censured,” wrote the man long referred to as “The Philosopher,” “for it is unnatural, and a mode by which men gain from one another.”

    When considering Greece’s current economic woes, then, is the problem simply a national bred-in-the-bond antipathy to commerce?

    I have long suspected as much, but in a new book, “The Rise and Fall of Classical Greece,” Stanford University scholar Josiah Ober emphatically says “No!” In fact, he explains the glory that was Greece because of its embrace of what Aristotle called (at least in translation) “exchange.”

    We asked Professor Ober to summarize his case for Making Sen$e. Here it is.

    Paul Solman, Economics Correspondent


    Lord Byron summed up the rise and fall of classical Greece in his epic poem of 1812:

    Fair Greece! sad relic of departed worth!
    Immortal, though no more! though fallen, great!

    By sharply contrasting the fortunes of ancient and modern Greece, Byron’s couplet poses two questions that have long puzzled historians: Where and how did the ancient Greeks gain the wealth with which to build a culture that became central to the modern world? If Greece had once been prosperous, why was it no longer?

    In the early 21st century, as a chronically weak Greek economy immiserates millions and threatens the financial stability of Europe, those questions remain salient. They can now be answered. As we can now show, the ancient Greek cultural accomplishment was underpinned by robust and sustained economic growth made possible in turn by a distinctive approach to politics.

    In a spirited diatribe against the habit of dividing world history into dichotomous eras of premodern stagnation and modern growth, the historical sociologist Jack Goldstone pointed out that a number of premodern societies have experienced periods of efflorescence — increased economic growth accompanied by a sharp uptick in cultural achievement. Efflorescence is impermanent by definition, but some are more dramatic and longer lasting than others.

    The Greek efflorescence that reached a high peak around 300 B.C.E. lasted several hundred years. Figure 1 , based on evidence presented in my book, illustrates “core” Greek efflorescence (measured by population times consumption) from the Late Bronze Age to the dawn of the 20th century. Because, by my definition, core Greece is limited to the territory controlled by the Greek state in the late 19th century, the graph understates the total population of the wider Greek world at the peak of the classical efflorescence by a factor of about three — so the chart captures only part of the rise and subsequent fall. But the main implication is clear enough: It was not until the 20th century that the number of people living in the Greek core and their material welfare returned to levels comparable to those achieved some 2,300 years before.

    Figure 1. Development index, core Greece, 1300 B.C.E. – 1900 C.E.

    Notes: Development index multiplies population estimate (in millions) x median per capita consumption estimate (in multiples of bare subsistence). Population and consumption estimates are broken out in Figure 4.3. Data for these estimates are discussed in chapters 2 and 4. Core Greece = The territory controlled by the Greek state in 1881-1912. LBA = Late Bronze Age. EIA = Early Iron Age. EH = Early Hellenistic. LH = late Hellenistic. ER = Early Roman. LR = Late Roman. EB = Early Byzantine. MB = Middle Byzantine. EO = Early Ottoman. LO = Late Ottoman. Ind = Independent Greek State.

    This graph shows changes in economic development in Greece (measured as population in millions times consumption) from the Late Bronze Age through the early 20th century. Letters along the top represent eras in time. LBA = Late Bronze Age. EIA = Early Iron Age. EH = Early Hellenistic. LH = late Hellenistic. ER = Early Roman. LR = Late Roman. EB = Early Byzantine. MB = Middle Byzantine. EO = Early Ottoman. LO = Late Ottoman. Ind = Independent Greek State.

    The ancient Greek efflorescence was exceptional in premodern world history for its duration, intensity and long-term impact on world culture. It took place in a social ecology of hundreds of city-states. While wealth and incomes remained unequal in those communities — there were many slaves in the most prosperous of the Greek states — a substantial part of the Greek population experienced prosperity. The growth of the Greek economy was driven by an extensive middle class, by many people who consumed goods and services at a level far above subsistence.

    Today, we can answer questions about Greece that have long remained mysterious, because we have more data. After generations of exploration and reconstruction by historians and archaeologists, there is an unrivaled historical record for the Greek world in the first millennium B.C.E. That detailed record has been organized by the monumental Inventory of Archaic and Classical Greek Poleis and compiled under the direction of the preeminent Danish historian, Mogens Hansen. Coded and entered on spreadsheets, the inventory’s data made it possible to employ the sharp analytical tools of contemporary social science to explain Greek economic development. We can now measure the classical Greek efflorescence, and explain how political institutions and culture enabled the Greek world to rise from humble beginnings and why the great states of Greece fell to a predatory empire.

    By the later fourth century B.C.E., when Aristotle was writing his masterpiece on Politics, there were about 1,100 Greek city-states, or poleis. They stretched from outposts in Spain and France through southern Italy and Sicily to the shores of the Black Sea and western Anatolia and south to eastern and southern outposts in Syria and North Africa. The total population of Hellas — that is, the residents of small states that were substantially Greek in language and culture — was in excess of 8 million; about a third of them lived in “urban” areas (towns of more than 5,000 people). They inhabited relatively large and well-built houses, lived relatively long lives and produced and consumed very substantial quantities of high quality goods.

    Among the central questions raised by ancient Greek history is how and why such an extensive small-state system persisted in such a flourishing condition for such a long time. In an inversion of the experience of Europe from 1500 to 1900 or China from circa 700 to 200 B.C.E., where systems of small state fell to the centralizing logics of state-building and empire, there were many more independent states in the Greek ecology by at the height of the classical efflorescence than there had been several hundred years previously. Moreover, many of them were organized as democracies.

    Why, during the era of efflorescence, did the many states of Hellas not consolidate into a unitary empire, on the model of Persia, Carthage or Rome? Or, failing that, into several large competitor states on the model of ancient Phoenicia, Warring States China or Europe circa 1500 to 1900? Ancient Greek history points to an alternative to the dominant narrative of political and economic development, which, based primarily on the history of early modern Europe, calls for first (and necessarily) the big, centralized, and autocratic state, and only then (sometimes) democracy and wealth.

    The key to unlocking the puzzling success of the Greek city-state ecology is economic specialization and exchange. Specialization was based on developing and exploiting a local advantage, relative to other producers, in the production of some valued good or service. Costs of transactions remained low enough to make exchanges mutually beneficial. So goods — such as olive oil or fine pottery — produced by local specialists and the services of experts — such as mercenary soldiers or poets — were distributed through networks of exchange across a large and diverse ecology of states.

    The ancient Greeks understood the powerful role that specialization and market exchange can play in promoting economic growth, as well as the core principles of relative advantage (how a specific region or individual can produce certain products at a lower cost than their competitors) and rational cooperation (why individuals have self-interested reasons to coordinate their efforts). Individual Greek states developed specialties based on natural resource endowments relative to other poleis. The Aegean island-state of Paros focused on the fine white marble found there, while the cities of southern Italy and Sicily focused on its favorable wheat-growing conditions. Other poleis developed advantages by perfecting industrial processes, as Athens did with its manufacturing of painted vases and warships. Competition and conflict among poleis served to sharpen the recognition that it was necessary to exploit comparative advantages. The Greeks also recognized the value of lowering transaction costs, which encouraged open access and inter-state cooperation.

    The upshot of the cycle of competition, specialization and cooperation in creating conditions for mutually beneficial exchange was a high premium on innovation and entrepreneurship. Innovation in turn drove a dynamic that Joseph Schumpeter famously described as “creative destruction”: Advances in artistic and productive techniques drove out earlier techniques; new institutions marginalized traditional forms of social organization; poleis that exploited relative advantages absorbed their less innovative rivals, while new poleis were continuously being created on the ever-expanding frontiers of Hellas.

    The products of local specialization were readily distributed within poleis, across the extensive small-state ecology and then beyond the Greek world through increasingly dense networks. Local markets grew into regional markets, and some poleis succeeded in creating major inter-state emporia where goods from across the Mediterranean and Black Sea worlds could be bought and sold. Experts in various arts and crafts migrated to new homes and established new centers of specialized production.

    Meanwhile, the costs of transactions were driven down by continuous institutional innovations, notably by the development and rapid spread of silver coinage as a reliable exchange medium; the dissemination of common standards for weights and measures; the creation of market regulations and officials to enforce them; and increasingly sophisticated systems of law and legal mechanisms for dispute resolution.

    Competition and conflict between poleis and between the Greeks and their non-Greek neighbors temporarily disrupted local networks of exchange. But those disruptions only served to motivate poleis and individuals to seek out new markets for their goods and services, to deepen and broaden their exchange networks and to develop cooperative solutions whereby conflict could be reduced or at least rendered less disruptive.

    Specialization in the production of goods as well as the exchange of goods and services produced by specialists are common features of complex societies. To explain the efflorescence of Hellas, we need to answer why and how specialization and exchange achieve such high levels and how they became so strongly intertwined with continuous innovation and creative destruction — thereby driving a sustained level of economic growth that proved high enough to overcome the costs of conflict among many small states.

    Greek economic growth was driven by a set of political institutions and a civic culture that are historically rare. (Indeed, at the time of their emergence in Hellas, those institutions and that culture were probably unique.) The political institutions found in many citizen-centered Greek states — but especially in democratic states and most especially in democratic Athens — put specialization and innovation on overdrive, by encouraging individuals to take more rational risks and develop more distinctive skills. People willingly invested in their own education and took the risks of entrepreneurship because they knew that they had legal recourse if and when a powerful individual or corrupt official tried to steal their profits.

    Today, we typically think of such protections as “rights.” The Greeks did not have a fully modern conception of what we know today as universal human rights. But they did develop a strong tradition of civic rights — immunities against arbitrary action by powerful individuals or government agents. These immunities guaranteed each citizen the security of his body against assault, the security of his dignity against humiliation and the security of his property against confiscation. It is important to remember that many residents of a polis were not citizens, and so they were not full participants in the regime of immunity and security. And yet, in some of the most highly developed poleis, these immunities were extended to at least some non-citizens.

    Citizens collectively held the authority to make new institutional rules, and as a result, they were more likely to trust the rules under which they lived to be basically fair. Judgments, by citizens who were empowered (by vote or lottery) to settle disputes and to distribute public goods, were made on the basis of established and impartial rules, rather than on the basis of patronage or personal favoritism. With these guarantees in place and successful innovation well rewarded, individuals had strong incentives to invest in their own special talents, to defer short-term payoffs and to accept a certain level of risk in anticipation of long-term rewards. The end result was a historically unusual level of sustained economic growth and an equally unusual rate of sustained cultural productivity and innovation.

    The historically distinctive Greek approach to citizenship and political order was the key differentiator that made the Greek efflorescence distinctive in premodern history. It drove specialization and continuous innovation through the establishment of civic rights, aligned the interests of a large class of people who ruled and were ruled over in turn and encouraged the free exchange of information. The emergence of a new approach to politics is what propelled Hellas to the heights of accomplishment celebrated by Lord Byron.

    The dynamic process of creative destruction, driven by specialization and knowledge-based innovation, was central in the rise of the Greek world. It was also a key factor in the conquest of core Greece by imperial Macedon in the later fourth century, and in the subsequent conquest of the whole of the Greek world by imperial Rome in the second century B.C.E. The fall of most of the great Greek city-states from their dominant position in Mediterranean affairs was precipitated, at least in part, by the successful adaptation of Greek innovations by Greece’s neighbors.

    Among the most notable products of Greek specialization were new forms of expertise, notably in warfare and in state finance. While developed within a civic context to further the purposes of Greek city-states as civic communities, military and financial expertise proved to be readily exportable. Relevant forms of expertise migrated across the borders between poleis — but also outside the classical world of the poleis to emerging states at the frontiers of the Greek world. Macedon was the most successful of those emerging states.

    King Philip II of Macedon and his son Alexander the Great conjoined Greek expertise in finance and warfare with ethno-nationalism and rich natural resource endowments. The result was the emergence of state capacity that was unequalled in the prior history of the Mediterranean world: In the course of a generation Macedon conquered not only the poleis of mainland Greece, but also the vast Persian Empire. Romans later proved spectacularly adept at borrowing expertise and technology from its neighbors, including the Greeks, and putting those elements together into a military and administrative system that enabled them to govern a vast empire.

    Although full independence of most major Greek states was ended by the Macedonian and Roman conquests, the Greek economic and cultural efflorescence continued into the post-classical era. While the Hellenistic kings often acted as predatory warlords, the well-fortified and democratic Greek poleis were hard targets. The kings allowed considerable independence to the city-states and taxed them at moderate rates. Democracy became even more prevalent, public building boomed and science and culture were codified and advanced. The perpetuation of efflorescence in the Hellenistic era made possible the “immortality” of Greek culture. The material conditions of non-elite Greeks and the population of core Greece declined after the consolidation of the Roman imperial order and fell precipitously after the collapse of the Roman Empire. But by then Greek culture had been codified and was so widely dispersed that enough of it survived for Lord Byron to admire — and for us to explain what made it possible.

    The post What explains the glory that was Greece? Actually, sound economic policy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Altrendo Images/Getty Images

    Any negotiation of compensation should be a discussion, not a request or demand. Altrendo Images/Getty Images

    Nick Corcodilos started headhunting in Silicon Valley in 1979 and has answered over 30,000 questions from the Ask The Headhunter community over the past decade.

    In this special Making Sense edition of Ask The Headhunter, Nick shares insider advice and contrarian methods about winning and keeping the right job, on one condition: that you, dear Making Sense reader, send Nick your questions about your personal challenges with job hunting, interviewing, networking, resumes, job boards, or salary negotiations. No guarantees—just a promise to do his best to offer useful advice.


    Question: I was asked my expected salary for a new position. Having done research on comparable jobs, I was able to state a reasonable range. A friend says I really hurt my negotiating power by doing that. He says I should ask instead what their budget is for the job, but not provide any numbers until they do. What is your opinion on this?

    Nick Corcodilos: Your friend’s view is common, but I think your judgment is the right one when asked your salary expectation.

    The conventional wisdom about not naming a number until they do assumes your numbers are considerably far apart, and that if you give a range first you’ll leave a lot of money on the table. That just isn’t very likely to happen. I suggest establishing your desired range early in the process, before negotiations start. You are free to tweak your numbers later. Your discussions may reveal good justification for that. If you’re not sure how to set your desired salary, check “How to decide how much you want” for a useful exercise.

    Let’s say you state a desired range of $50,000-$55,000 early on. Then you realize the work entails more than you expected. You can justifiably say, “Now that I know more about the work you’ll require from me, I need to adjust my range to $55,000-$60,000, since this job will actually involve tasks and objectives I wasn’t aware of. I think I can do this job in a way that would increase efficiency by about 10 percent, which puts my desired salary in perspective. Let me show you how I’ll do the job…”

    Any negotiation of compensation should be a discussion, not a request or demand. Ask the manager, “How do you see this? Is greater efficiency important to you?” Make it a friendly but challenging back-and-forth that shows you care about the company’s profitability and success. Always be ready to justify what you seek, and expect the employer to justify its position, too.

    Far from hurting your position, stating a desired salary range early in the discussion creates a common ground you can work from. It does not nail you down. A lot of the time, an employer’s range will be similar to yours. (If it’s not, then don’t waste your time interviewing.) After you state a range, it’s up to you to use the interviews to show you can do more than was originally expected – and why it’s worth paying you more to do it.

    Don’t confuse discussion of your desired salary with disclosure of your salary history. My advice is to never tell what you’ve been earning, because the employer will use that figure to cap any job offer — and your desired salary will be ignored. See “Keep Your Salary Under Wraps.”

    Dear Readers: How do you handle salary negotiations? Does it matter who states a number first?


    Nick Corcodilos invites Making Sense readers to subscribe to his free weekly Ask The Headhunter© Newsletter. His in-depth “how to” PDF books are available on his website: “How to Work With Headhunters…and how to make headhunters work for you,” “How Can I Change Careers?”, “Keep Your Salary Under Wraps” and “Fearless Job Hunting.”

    Send your questions to Nick, and join him for discussion every week here on Making Sense. Thanks for participating!

    Copyright © 2013 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark.

    The post Ask the Headhunter: Will I lose a salary negotiation if I state my number first? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Steve, who declined to give a last name, leaves flowers at a makeshift memorial for shooting victim Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco, California July 6, 2015. Steinle, 32, was fatally shot as she walked with her father along the popular Embarcadero pier on July 1, 2015 in what San Francisco police described as an apparent random attack. The random fatal shooting, allegedly by an immigrant, proves the United States must tighten its borders, according to a statement on Friday by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is facing heavy criticism for his comments about Mexicans.   REUTERS/Noah Berger

    Steve, who declined to give a last name, leaves flowers at a makeshift memorial for shooting victim Kathryn Steinle on Pier 14 in San Francisco, California July 6, 2015. Steinle, 32, was fatally shot as she walked with her father along the popular Embarcadero pier on July 1, 2015 in what San Francisco police described as an apparent random attack. The random fatal shooting, allegedly by an immigrant, proves the United States must tighten its borders, according to a statement on Friday by U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, who is facing heavy criticism for his comments about Mexicans. REUTERS/Noah Berger

    WASHINGTON — Angry House Republicans blasted the Obama administration Tuesday over the release of an immigrant later charged with murder in San Francisco, and advanced legislation aimed at preventing such an event from happening again.

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson disputed the criticism at a hearing, but said he plans to evaluate whether a new approach is needed to avoid what happened in San Francisco, where an immigrant with a long criminal record and no legal status was released onto the streets and committed a murder.

    And he agreed with Republican critics who said it didn’t make sense for the alleged killer to have been handed over to a jurisdiction like San Francisco, a “sanctuary city” which limits its cooperation with the federal government on immigration and was unlikely to try to send him home.

    “I want to evaluate whether some discretion can be built into the process so when we’re faced with a choice like that, we can make the best decision for the purposes of public safety,” Johnson told the House Judiciary Committee in his first appearance on Capitol Hill since the July 1 murder of 32-year-old Kathryn Steinle sparked national controversy.

    Steinle’s alleged killer, Mexican national Juan Francisco Lopez Sanchez, had been serving a federal sentence for illegal re-entry. Instead of being deported upon finishing his term, he was handed over to San Francisco on a decades-old drug charge. San Francisco authorities ended up dismissing Sanchez’s case and releasing him despite a request from federal officials to keep him detained.

    Sanchez went on to allegedly shoot Steinle as she walked along a popular pier with her father in broad daylight. He has pleaded not guilty, claiming he found the gun on the pier and it accidentally went off.

    San Francisco is among some 300 communities nationwide that refuse to abide by federal immigration detention requests, or “detainers,” which have been successfully challenged in court by critics who say they indiscriminately target immigrants including many innocent of criminal wrongdoing.

    In the wake of Steinle’s death, Republicans have called for making such detainers mandatory.

    “A convicted criminal alien who had been deported numerous times killed an innocent American woman,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, R-Va. He said the crime exposed “the tragic impact of DHS’s reckless policies on the safety of Americans.”

    Johnson said the killing underscores the need for local authorities to cooperate with the federal government and its detention requests, but he said making such cooperation mandatory would be counterproductive.

    Even as Johnson was testifying before the Judiciary Committee, another GOP-controlled panel, the House Appropriations Committee, was taking action aimed at depriving sanctuary cities of funding and requiring the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency to continue to detain immigrants in the country illegally who have been convicted of crimes, instead of exercising discretion and releasing them into the general population.

    Both amendments were added by the panel’s Republicans, over objections from Democrats, to a measure funding the Department of Homeland Security for the upcoming budget year.

    “Dangerous criminals who are in the Unites States illegally must now be incarcerated until they are deported to their home country,” Rep. John Culberson, R-Texas.

    “This is such a broad, knee-jerk reaction,” said Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y.

    The post House Republicans criticize Obama administration over immigration and San Francisco pier shooting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Berkeley Breathed Signs Copies Of "Mars Needs Moms!"

    Cartoonist Berkeley Breathed and his son Milo sign copies of “Mars Needs Moms!” at Dutton’s Brentwood Books on May 11, 2007 in Brentwood, California. Breathed recently revived his comic strip “Bloom County” on his Facebook page. Photo by Amanda Edwards/Getty Images

    “Bloom County” is back. Comic strip fans woke up Monday morning to the news, posted as a single new strip on author Berkeley Breathed’s Facebook page. The new comic is labelled “Bloom County 2015″ and shows penguin Opus awakening from a nap, turning to his human friend Milo and asking, “How long was I out?”

    “Twenty-five years,” Milo replies.

    One of the iconic newspaper strips of the 1980’s, it ran alongside legends such as “Calvin and Hobbes,” “The Far Side” and “Doonesbury” before ending its run. “Bloom County” will now appear on Breathed’s Facebook page. Breathed said his hatred of deadlines contributed to the decision to publish primarily online. “Like my departed friend Douglas Adams used to say, the only part of deadlines I enjoyed was the whooshing sound as they sped by,” he wrote in an email to The New York Times.

    Known for their lighthearted quirkiness, Breathed’s comics also addressed social issues. In several storylines, “Bloom County” lampooned apartheid, took a stand for strikers, and poked fun at Donald Trump.

    But Breathed had editorial differences with newspaper editors. In a Facebook post that appeared roughly ten days before “Bloom County” re-debuted, Breathed recounted a dispute with a newspaper editor shortly before he quit cartooning. “Yes, these two little events were organically connected,” he said in the post.

    The post also said he would upload unpublished drawings and censored strips on his Facebook page “nicely out of reach of nervous newspaper editors, the PC humor police now rampant across the web… and ISIS.”

    Breathed gave more details on his return to comics in an email to The New York Times:

    “Deadlines and dead-tree media took the fun out of a daily craft that was only meant to be fun,” Mr. Breathed said. “I had planned to return to Bloom County in 2001, but the sullied air sucked the oxygen from my kind of whimsy. Bush and Cheney’s fake war dropped it for a decade like a bullet to the head. But silliness suddenly seems safe now. Trump’s merely a sparkling symptom of a renewed national ridiculousness. We’re back baby.”

    The post After 25-year hiatus, comic strip “Bloom County” returns… to Facebook appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    cia stuff

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    NewsHour shares web small logoIn our NewsHour Shares series, we show you things that caught our eye recently on the web. What about you? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tweet to @NewsHour using #NewsHourShares. We might share it on air.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And finally tonight, to our NewsHour Shares of the day, something that caught our eye which might be of interest to you, too.

    The Central Intelligence Agency recently has allowed a peek into its vaults of historic spy gear, posting photos of spy artifacts to its website each week, like this miniature camera that can fit inside a pack of cigarettes or this radio receiver hidden inside a smoking pipe. Other artifacts of the week? This hollowed-out silver dollar which concealed messages or film, and this Cold War-era lady’s compact mirror with a secret code hidden inside. Calling James Bond.

    GWEN IFILL: I have one of those. No, I don’t.

    The post CIA shares low-tech artifacts to make your inner spy swoon appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    pluto

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s been a once-in-a-lifetime journey, and today NASA believes its New Horizons spacecraft finally made a successful flyby of Pluto.

    Once considered the ninth planet in our solar system, Pluto is billions of miles away. Confirmation of the spacecraft’s arrival is expected tonight. But there were celebrations earlier today at mission control, as all signs pointed to success.

    Science correspondent Miles O’Brien fills in the picture of this mission.

    This story was done with help from the PBS program NOVA, which airs “Chasing Pluto” tomorrow night.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Ready or not, it is finally time for Pluto’s closeup. Once a full-fledged planet, now considered something less, it remains an intriguing mystery 85 years after its discovery, but not for long. The picture is growing clearer as a fast-moving spacecraft arrives at the solar system’s underdog.

    ALAN STERN, New Horizons Principal Investigator: It was always the planet with the little question marks everywhere. We didn’t know anything. And because it’s the last in the public mind, it takes a special place.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Pluto has taken a special place in planetary scientist Alan Stern’s mind since 1988. That’s when he first began pushing NASA to send a spacecraft to what was then the ninth planet in our solar system.

    The three-billion-mile journey of the New Horizons spacecraft began in 2006. It left the Earth faster than any spacecraft ever, making a beeline for Pluto, getting a gravitational kick from Jupiter as it bulleted past, snapping pictures all the while. And now, after nearly a decade in space, New Horizons is finally there.

    HAL WEAVER, New Horizons Project Scientist: I like to call this a mission of delayed gratification, because it takes nine-and-a-half years to get all the way out to Pluto, but we’re almost there. And the opportunity to transform Pluto from a little pixelated blob into a world with complexity and diversity is just going to be amazing.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Hal Weaver is the New Horizons project scientist. He admits to some nerves here in the home stretch.

    HAL WEAVER: Oh, yes, I’m somewhat nervous because, in the space business, you’re only as strong as your weakest link. And we have put so much effort into making sure that we squeeze as much as possible out of this mission scientifically.

    MILES O’BRIEN: And that scientific to-do list is a long one. Despite what we may imagine, Pluto is no simple ice-covered rock, although, with a surface temperature of 387 below zero Fahrenheit, there is plenty of ice, ice made of carbon dioxide, methane, ethane and nitrogen, also the main ingredient of its atmosphere.

    Besides cold, the Pluto weather can be cloudy, hazy and windy. The sun is so distant that high noon on Pluto is like dusk here on Earth. It appears there are mountains and valleys. And, yes, it is red. Sorry, Mars, you’re not as special as we once thought.

    ALAN STERN: So, we think that the color of the surface is a direct byproduct of a process called space weathering, where the radiation from the sun and cosmic rays generate trace constituents in the ices that have color.

    MILES O’BRIEN: No less interesting than Pluto is its largest moon, Charon. It is covered with plain old water ice. They will be on the lookout for cracks in the surface, which could be telltale signs of liquid water below.

    HAL WEAVER: So I would be surprised if we see evidence of some liquid water underneath Charon’s surface, but I wouldn’t say it’s out of the question. If we see cracks on Charon’s surface, and especially if we can see some venting from Charon’s surface, that would be really cool.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Clyde Tombaugh would heartily agree. In 1930, he discovered Pluto at the Percival Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona.

    Tombaugh named his quarry Pluto for the Roman god of the underworld. Conveniently, the first two letters are Percival Lowell’s initials. And, coincidentally, about that time, Disney’s cartoon dog of the same name first appeared on the silver screen.

    Underdog indeed, and yet the ninth planet just the same. But the dogged march of scientific discovery set Pluto up for a cosmically unpopular demotion.

    MIKE BROWN, California Institute of Technology: As we had been discovering larger and larger and larger objects, that I — in my opinion, it made no sense that Pluto was called a planet, and it shouldn’t be a planet.

    MILES O’BRIEN: That’s astronomer and Pluto killer Mike Brown, appearing in the PBS NOVA program “Chasing Pluto.” Starting in 1992, he and his colleagues discovered a region of large, rocky, icy, planet-shaped debris at the outer edge of the solar system.

    It’s called the Kuiper belt, leftovers from the formation of planets 4.6 billion years ago. But the debris really hit the fan for our beloved underdog in 2005, when Brown and his team discovered this object, Eris. It’s more massive than Pluto.

    MIKE BROWN: I had to make a decision, what we were going to call it. Is it a planet? Is it not a planet? Is it the 10th planet? Is it the 52nd planet? Is it — is Pluto not a planet? I knew that, that no matter what I said, it would be debated for a long time.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Eventually, astronomers decided to call Pluto and the other big Kuiper belt objects dwarf planets.

    Whatever Pluto is called, New Horizons is well-poised to understand it much better. The grand piano-sized spacecraft is brimming with seven scientific instruments, spectrometers that measure infrared, ultraviolet, plasma and solar wind, a student-built dust counter, a radio device to characterize the atmosphere, and, of course, cameras, visible, infrared and the one that should make the Pluto screen savers, LORRI, short for Long Range Reconnaissance Imager.

    ALAN STERN: Ultimately, LORRI will allow us to map the surface of Pluto well enough that, if we flew over New York City at the same altitude and looked down with LORRI, we could count the ponds in Central Park and the wharfs on the Hudson. It’s a very detailed imagery at closest approach.

    MILES O’BRIEN: By and large, the spacecraft has run well these past nine-and-a-half years, despite a brief scare on July 4, when the computer crashed, causing the probe to go dark for a while. The team says it is ready regardless.

    MARK HOLDRIDGE, New Horizons Encounter Mission Manager: We have done dozens of operational readiness tests.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Mark Holdridge is the encounter mission manager for New Horizons at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland. One of his key jobs has been to lead the team through numerous dress rehearsals, staying sharp for the big event.

    MARK HOLDRIDGE: So, we have been really careful about timing the operational readiness tests to make sure that the last one doesn’t happen too soon before the actual encounter, because we will forget things.

    MILES O’BRIEN: They can’t afford to forget, because New Horizons will not orbit Pluto. It is supposed to whiz by 18 times faster than a speeding bullet, 7,800 miles from the surface, taking pictures and Hoovering up data as quickly as it can.

    The spacecraft will not be transmitting while it gathers its science, leaving the team hanging for 13 hours before they even get a phone home. The postcards are supposed to come in the next day.

    HAL WEAVER: We have no idea what we’re going to see. We’re going to be surprised. I’m positive of that.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Assuming all goes well, NASA and APL will aim New Horizons toward another Kuiper belt object for a flyby in 2019. But for now, all eyes in the world of planetary science are focused on Pluto and the end of an era, as they finish the first forays of exploration into our celestial neighborhood.

    ALAN STERN: People will look back on this time, from the ’60s to 2015, in future centuries, I think, and say, that is when the solar system was first explored.

    MILES O’BRIEN: The underdog at the edge of our understanding may be the last, and the least, but perhaps that is why unlocking its mysteries seems so worthwhile.

    Miles O’Brien, the PBS NewsHour, Laurel, Maryland.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And online, you can find more videos on Pluto and follow NOVA’s live tweets on the flyby. That’s on our home page, PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post Pluto, underdog of the solar system, finally gets its day appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    bobbyjindal2

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    GWEN IFILL: The Iran nuclear deal is just one of the many issues that could be turned inside out by the next president of the United States.

    We turn now to another of our periodic conversations with the candidates running for the job, Republican Bobby Jindal, the governor of Louisiana.

    Welcome, Governor.

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, Republican Presidential Candidate: Gwen, thank you for having me.

    GWEN IFILL: You said today that this would be a dangerous deal, this Iran deal that the president announced today. Have you had a chance to study it? Why do you feel that?

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL: I have, Gwen.

    And this is why I think it is a bad deal for the United States, for Israel and our allies. Several details that are troubling, so Iran keeps thousands of centrifuges, instead of giving up all of their enrichment capacity. We don’t truly get anytime/anywhere inspections. They’re not cutting off their ties to Hamas, Hezbollah, these other terrorist groups.

    There are other issues I have got with this deal as well. I worry, under this president’s deal, we could end up with a nuclear arms race in the Middle East. You could see Sunni countries now trying to buy this technology from Pakistan.

    I hope that Secretary Clinton, who’s been the architect of this president’s foreign policy, will come out and oppose this deal and say it’s time for America to stand with Israel. There is still time for America to come out and say, we will not allow Iran to become a nuclear power.

    So, there are several things I don’t like about this deal. When they first started negotiating this deal, the president himself said that we were going to get anytime/anywhere inspections, they wouldn’t be allowed to keep any enrichment capacity. Unfortunately, that’s not what this deal does.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, Secretary Kerry, the current secretary of state, said today that people who criticize it, as you just have, don’t have an alternative.

    As president, not as a candidate for president, what would you do to roll this back?

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL: Well, Gwen, I actually think we have a lot of leverage right now, falling oil prices. The Iranian economy is in very, very deep trouble.

    I think, with tougher sanctions, with a White House strategy that says every option is on the table, we will stop the Iranian regime, this Iranian government from having a nuclear capability. We need to understand this is a regime or this is a country where they’re still chanting death to America, death to Israel. They still haven’t released their American prisoners. They still haven’t rejected, cut off ties to terrorism.

    Secretary Kerry himself has said they are a state sponsor of terrorism, recently saying that they are one of the largest state sponsors of terrorism in the entire world. This is a country we cannot afford to allow to become a nuclear power.

    So, I think every option needs to be on the table. We need to negotiate from strength. This president too often has said what he wouldn’t do, instead of what he would do. I hope Secretary Clinton will come out and others in the Democratic Party will come out and say, with not just Republicans, but on a bipartisan basis, that this is an American issue, not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is bad for the region.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, assuming that you have to get past 14 other Republican candidates before you get to Secretary Clinton, I want to ask you a little bit more about yourself first.

    You said, among other things, that you don’t like the idea of hyphenated Americans. Obviously, you’re of Indian heritage. What do you about — to people of, say, Italian-American heritage who think that you’re asking them to set that heritage aside?

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL: Well, Gwen, the great thing about America is, we’re a wonderful melting pot.

    Folks can be proud of their heritage. But I think the hyphenations, the divisions are keeping us apart. We’re not Italian-Americans or Indian-Americans or African-Americans or Asian-Americans or rich Americans or poor Americans. We’re all Americans.

    Look, my parents are proud of their Indian heritage, but they chose to come here over 40 years ago in search of the American dream. They wanted to raise their kids as Americans. That’s why they came here. What I worry about is, I look to Europe. You have got second-, third-generation immigrants that don’t consider themselves parts of those societies.

    I think it’s reasonable to say, if folks want to come here, they should come legally, learn English, adopt our values, roll up their sleeves, get to work. Look, I think it’s common sense to say, if you want to come here, you should want to be an American. Otherwise, why are you coming here? We can still embrace our Italian heritage or our old country heritages, but we should be Americans. Stop the hyphenated Americans.

    GWEN IFILL: And I want to ask you about another one of your Republican competitors. And, of course, that is Donald Trump, who has been sucking a lot of the air out.

    Today, there’s a new poll, a small poll, not a necessarily representative poll, but showing him at least by name recognition doing fairly well. Do you agree with his approach and the words in particular that he used to describe the immigration problem?

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL: No, Gwen. I do not. And I have said I don’t agree with his comments.

    I don’t view people as members of ethnic groups or economic groups. But, look, I think folks in D.C. need to calm down here. The funny thing is, every time they attack Donald, I actually think he enjoys it. And I think he gets the best of those exchanges.

    I think there is political correctness run amok in D.C. You saw the bill last week where they tried to — one congresswoman tried to stop the use of the word husband and wife. This is a free country. And the great thing on the Republican side is, we have got a lot of candidates running. It will be an open debate, unlike on the Democratic side.

    The voters will get to decide, not the establishment. I know the RNC tried to get him to tone down or try to sensor him. And I think that’s a mistake. Let folks debate it out. Obviously, I think I’m better qualified. I think people should vote for me, instead of him or the others running.

    But the good news is, this is an open and free debate. There’s a First Amendment. Let the voters decide. Let’s stop trying to be political correct. Now, look, obviously, he enjoys the controversy. I think he actually benefits from it.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, I’m sure that’s true as well.

    But speaking of debates, how do you get on to a debate stage which is so crowded and which, at least in the first two instances, they’re saying only the people who rank the highest, top 10, will make it onto that stage? How do you get your message out if you don’t make it onto that stage?

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL: Well, Gwen, that’s a great question.

    And you said something earlier I want to come back to about this being about name I.D. And that’s really what the polls are right now. It is really a beauty contest. At this point, if you have run for president before, if you have a famous last night name, if you’re in D.C. in the Senate and in front of the cable news cameras every day, then obviously you have more name I.D. I think, if Tom Brady got in this race, he would probably be first in terms of the national polls now.

    The reality is this. The voters are going to get to decide, not the D.C. establishment, not the donors in New York. I’m spending my time in Iowa, in New Hampshire, in other states talking directly to voters. We’re getting a great response at every town hall, getting hundreds and hundreds of people coming out.

    We’re staying afterwards until the last person leaves, answering everybody’s questions. I think voters are saying we don’t want just somebody who is going to give a good speech. We want somebody who is going to embrace our principles.

    Jeb Bush says you have got to be willing to lose the primary in order to win the general. Gwen, I disagree with that. When the establishment says that, they’re saying, stop being conservative. Try to get the left and the media to like you. I think voters are saying, we want somebody who is going to repeal Obamacare, secure the border, stand with Israel, somebody who is going to shrink the size of government, somebody who is going to stand up to radical Islamic terrorism.

    So, we’re going out and directly talking to voters. We have had a great response. We’re going to continue to do that.

    GWEN IFILL: Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Republican candidate for president, thank you for joining us. We will be talking again.

    GOV. BOBBY JINDAL: Gwen, thank you for having me.

    The post Gov. Bobby Jindal on rejecting the Iran deal, how U.S. could become a Greek tragedy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    An Iranian man flashes the victory sign as an other holds the Iranian national flag during celebration in northern Tehran on July 14, 2015,after Iran's nuclear negotiating team struck a deal with world powers in Vienna. Major powers clinched a historic deal Tuesday aimed at ensuring Iran does not obtain the nuclear bomb, opening up Tehran's stricken economy and potentially ending decades of bad blood with the West.
AFP PHOTO/ATTA KENARE        (Photo credit should read ATTA KENARE/AFP/Getty Images)

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, how effective is this deal at preventing Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon?

    We hear from four people with extensive U.S. foreign policy experience.

    Sandy Berger was national security advisor to President Bill Clinton. Retired General Michael Hayden was director of the CIA during the George W. Bush administration. Dennis Ross served in Republican and Democratic administrations as a Middle East peace envoy. And Jim Woolsey was director of the CIA during the Clinton administration.

    And we welcome you all to the program.

    Let me just start by asking you all, what do you make of this deal? Does this prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?

    Jim Woolsey, to you first.

    JAMES WOOLSEY, Former CIA Director: I don’t believe it does. I think there is no elastic, essentially, in the snap-back sanctions. They will — they really depend upon Russian and Chinese cooperation.

    And I think that…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you mean they depend on Russian and Chinese cooperation?

    JAMES WOOLSEY: In order to take action based upon something that we perceive the Iranians have done, unless the Iranians agree and say, ‘oh, yes, we did that,’ you have a situation where we have to try to force discipline on the system, and we’re not going to have Russian and Chinese support, mostly, in order to do that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How strong is that agreement, Sandy Berger, and do you see that weakness?

    SANDY BERGER, Former U.S. National Security Advisor: I think the agreement is a strong agreement.

    I think it prevents Iran from developing a nuclear weapon for at least 10, probably 15 years. I don’t think it depends on trust. I think it’s verifiable. If they cheat, we can go to the U.N. I think Jim is wrong about the way of reimposing the sanctions. The way the agreement is written, Russia, China and Iran cannot stop us from reimposing the sanctions.

    If the — if us and — if we or our allies believe Iran is cheating, and we go to the U.N., we cannot be blocked by Russia, China and Iran alone or in combination. That’s a pretty strong provision. And I think it’s essential to the fabric of this agreement. We’re not relying upon anything other than our own judgment as to whether or not they’re cheating on this agreement.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: General Hayden, how do you see this?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN (RET.), Former CIA Director: Well, actually a combination of the two views you just heard.

    I think it does do some really good things for a period of about a decade, but it does legitimate an industrial-strength Iranian nuclear program. As we get to the sunset years, even assuming success across the board for the agreement, as we get to the sunset years, Iran is very well-positioned to break out if they choose to do so.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Dennis Ross, why isn’t that a concern, that it does wind Iran down for a period of years, but when that period is over, Iran can build back up again?

    DENNIS ROSS, Former Middle East peace envoy: Well, I think it is a period. I think it is a source of concern.

    I think the key here is, for 15 years, you really are basically deferring what they can do when it comes to a nuclear weapon. But come year 15, they are a threshold nuclear state. And unless we establish a very clear deterrent, so that they understand if they move from threshold to weapons status, that the price is going to be unbearable, meaning not just sanctions, but the use of force, that’s the only way to ensure that they don’t become a nuclear weapons state.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And do you think that deterrent is clear and strong?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Not right now.

    I think we have to make — I think language has to be much more blunt. I think we have to be clear it’s not just all options are on the table, but we will not permit Iran to become a nuclear weapons state and we will take whatever steps are necessary, including the use of force, to ensure that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sandy Berger, you’re shaking your head.

    SANDY BERGER: Yes. No, I agree.

    The president has said we will not permit Iran to develop a nuclear weapon. That is a commitment of the United States. It doesn’t expire. It’s not vitiated by this agreement. He should reiterate that and make it very, very clear.

    But the agreement itself restricts Iran for 15 years. But the verification provisions go on much longer. So we will have transparency under this system for a very long time. And if the president reiterates that view that we’re not going to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon, we will have a lot of access to what they’re doing.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: why doesn’t that give you confidence, Jim Woolsey?

    JAMES WOOLSEY: Well, in the first place, Russia and China are members of the Security Council, and one can do little under this agreement without having the Security Council’s support.

    And I think that the real problem is that, by paying tens upon tens of billions of dollars to Iran in the near term, which we will do as a result of the sanctions being lifted, we’re creating a situation in which Iran is the leading terrorist country in the world, has a lot more resources available to it to buy what they want via Hamas and the other terrorist organizations they front.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And Gwen asked National Security Adviser Susan Rice about that.

    Michael Hayden, is that a concern to you?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: It’s absolutely a concern.

    So, assuming a good agreement, let’s say it works for that 10-year period, we have got the sunset problem. But also, Judy, look at what we have just done. We have legitimated a program until this morning that was illegal, that was in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions.

    We have brought Iran back into the family of nations. It’s now no longer a renegade state. The sanctions end, they become rich, and none of those other activities about which we are very concerned Iran has been conducting, none of those have stopped.

    JAMES WOOLSEY: Exactly.

    SANDY BERGER: Well, I would say two things.

    First of all, Iran is a nuclear threshold state. They have been a nuclear threshold state since they started building centrifuges in the middle of the Bush administration. The question is, what are we going to do about it? Are we going to roll it back or let them have this program and go forward?

    So I think that’s where we are at this point. I absolutely agree this agreement does not solve the Iranian problem in the region. Iran is a country that is destabilizing the region, a country that we have to be concerned with. I don’t see this agreement as solving that problem. I think this agreement is useful, not in spite of that, but because of that, because all those conflicts, all that ambition would be more dangerous if Iran were emboldened because they had a nuclear weapon.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Dennis Ross, as someone who has worked on that — those conflicts in the region, how do you see that aspect of it?

    DENNIS ROSS: Look, there is no question that they will get, with sanctions relief, they will get to what amounts to a windfall. True, it is their money, but you have close to $150 billion that are in frozen assets, frozen accounts right now.

    They don’t get it for about six months. What Susan Rice said is right. They have to implement the major obligations, the major nuclear obligations in the deal. And it will take about six months to do that. I think the key here at this point is for the Iranians to understand two things. One, we need to reestablish deterrence not only at the level of them not moving from threshold to nuclear weapons state status, but also we have to raise the cost to them of what they do in the region.

    We have to be prepared to compete with them. They have to realize that if we see them giving a lot more money to Hezbollah, a lot more money to Hamas, to the Houthis or to Asaib Ahl-Haq in Iraq, they are going to see much greater competition from us.

    We should be talking to the Europeans now about targeted sanctions if we see that. And we should be doing contingency planning with the Israelis and with the Arabs to deal with increased activity by the Iranians throughout the region.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I saw the president in a phone call today with Prime Minister Netanyahu trying to reassure him on some of these points.

    Jim Woolsey, I want to come to this other question of inspections. The president said — it was noticeable the president said 24/7 access. But then, later, we see it’s something called managed access. How comfortable are you with whatever inspection arrangement there is?

    JAMES WOOLSEY: Not at all.

    If we point out a violation or the need for an inspection, you have two weeks, and then it goes to a committee, and then the committee looks at it for a while, and then — this has all been very elaborately constructed in such a way as to give Iran a lot of leeway in order to deal with this, and they do not have to have, ultimately, a huge industrial structure that they can’t hide.

    They can hide the relevant parts of being able to make a few weapons in a relatively small space and can move them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Where do you come down on this, General Hayden?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Pretty much where Jim is.

    The inspections are the pass-fail aspect of the agreement. And we cannot do it through American espionage or national technical means. The only way we get a verifiable agreement is that the IAEA gets to go where they want to go.

    And, Judy, fundamentally, I think that’s a technical question that this international group should have the freedom to move. The solution set here moves this into a political process. And I’m just fearful that that will make it much more difficult to verify.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you respond?

    SANDY BERGER: Look, I think the agreement is quite clear. I think the administration has done a good job here.

    If the Iranians don’t let us into a particular site, there is a process of several weeks. If we’re not satisfied, we and our allies can go to the Security Council and have the sanctions reimposed. If Russia is screaming, if China is screaming and if Iran is screaming, they cannot block that. So, I think that’s really crystal clear.

    Let me just make one other point on the sanctions point. We don’t own these sanctions. They’re not ours. They’re international sanctions. They include the Indians and the South Koreans and the Japanese and a lot of countries that aren’t terribly threatened by Iran.

    They opposed these sanctions, because they wanted to bring Iran to the table, and they believed we would negotiate seriously. If we don’t now follow through on that, the sanctions regime will unravel, Iran will get its money without any nuclear controls.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that raises the question about what happens if this falls apart. For the critics who are saying this is the wrong deal, what’s the alternative, Dennis Ross?

    DENNIS ROSS: Well, I think there is a burden on the critics to explain that, because I think the point that Sandy just made is right.

    There is a reality here. You have the international community basically embracing this agreement. Certainly, the members of 5-plus-one have embraced this agreement. The Iranians will say they’re going to implement the agreement. I actually think, if this were to be blocked, the Iranians would come out and say, we will implement it.

    And the European Union — if you read the agreement, the European Union, commits, there are separate paragraphs where the European Union commit, if the Iranians do their part in terms of meeting these major obligations, the E.U. is then committed to lifting the sanctions.

    So, I am concerned that you wouldn’t be able to sustain that. And so if the critics are really convinced that the best way to deal with this is to block the sanctions, they have to explain why the outcome isn’t going to be sanctions collapse, the Iranians get the windfall, they’re really not restricted.

    In a sense, both — from my standpoint, the administration has some issues it has to address, including how you deal with the suspect sites. It’s an — we have 24/7 access to facilities like Natanz. It comes — when it comes to suspect sites, that becomes more problematic, and then you’re talking about what could be a 30- to 35-day period before you actually get access.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re saying the critics also have a question to answer.

    Jim Woolsey, what is the answer? Why wouldn’t the sanctions regime collapse, Iran just moves toward complete nuclear program that it wants?

    JAMES WOOLSEY: Well, I think it will come very close to doing that anyway.

    We have to realize what we have got here and what we’re dealing with. It’s not a state — I once led a set of negotiations and participated in three with the Soviets. And with the Soviets, it was a different situation. They were far from lovely folks to deal with.

    But with Iran, we’re dealing with a leadership of the country that are theocratic, totalitarian, genocidal imperialists. And each of those words I think can definitely be supported. They have a word, taquia, which essentially means lying to infidels. It’s recommended.

    And we are not dealing with a normal sort of autocratic state that we have to be careful how we deal with.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But my question is, if this doesn’t work, what’s the alternative?

    Isn’t the alternative, Michael Hayden, Iran has a clear path to do what it wants?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: It depends. It depends on American leadership. It depends on how clearly we state our reasons that this is not a good enough deal.

    And good enough might be as good as it gets. But, Judy, if you push that logic too far, you don’t have a plan B, you could actually back yourself into a position where any deal is better than no deal. And I don’t think that’s a sustainable position.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Gentlemen, we’re going to leave it there. It’s just day one of debating this nuclear agreement.

    We thank you all for being here, Jim Woolsey, Michael Hayden, Sandy Berger, and Dennis Ross. Thank you.

    The post Will the Iran nuclear agreement work? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: We return to the news that dominated today, the nuclear deal with Iran.

    A short while ago, I spoke with Susan Rice, the president’s national security adviser.

    Ambassador Rice, thank you for joining us.

    One of our leading allies, Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, today called this deal an historic mistake. Why is he wrong?

    SUSAN RICE, National Security Advisor: Well, he’s wrong, Gwen, because this is actually a very strong deal that, when implemented, will cut off all of Iran’s potential pathways to a nuclear weapon in a fully verifiable fashion.

    We will have very intrusive 24/7 presence at all elements of Iran’s nuclear supply chain and all of its declared facilities. We will have the ability to inspect facilities about which there are suspicions. We will reduce Iran’s stockpile of enriched uranium by 98 percent.

    Two-thirds of its centrifuges will be dismantled and removed and stored under international observation. This will be the most comprehensive and effective nuclear transparency regime ever implemented.

    So, in fact, that is not the case. And I think it’s worth recalling that Prime Minister Netanyahu was equally critical of the interim agreement that we announced in November of 2013. He called that also a historic mistake and he said the sanctions regime would crumble down.

    Now he and many others are arguing that we shouldn’t take the comprehensive deal that we just negotiated. We should stick with the interim agreement that he criticized almost two years ago. So, I think, as time passes, if this is effectively implemented — and we believe it will be — then he will in due course see its benefits, as we do.

    But the important thing to understand, Gwen, is that Iran will not receive any sanctions relief under this comprehensive deal until it has taken all the necessary steps to meet its nuclear requirements. So, until it has dismantled the centrifuges that it is required to dismantle at Natanz and Fordow, until it’s shipped out its stockpile of enriched uranium, until it’s dismantled the core of its plutonium reactor, there will be no sanctions relief.

    And so then we don’t lose anything for going down this diplomatic path.

    GWEN IFILL: But, Ambassador Rice, if, for some reason, Iran doesn’t keep its promises, if it doesn’t grant access to these suspicious sites, it goes — this whole thing goes back to a joint commission on which Iran serves as a member. Isn’t that a huge loophole?

    SUSAN RICE: No. Let me explain how this works.

    First of all, the joint commission is not the last word. The last word is the United Nations Security Council. And we have constructed this deal in a unique and very effective fashion where, if one permanent member of the Security Council, if the United States of America finds that Iran is in material breach of its obligations under this agreement, we can go directly to the Security Council, and White House a — White House a time-bound period, snap back unilaterally all of the sanctions under the U.N. auspices that we have today.

    And, of course, we can snap back our national sanctions, and the E.U. can do the same. So, we can’t be stopped by China, by Russia, by Iran if in fact there is a material breech.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let’s talk about the sanctions. Even by lifting them for a short period of time, you are starting the flow of money to Iran which could go to support some of our enemies, including people who are trying to take out Syrian President Assad. How do you justify that?

    SUSAN RICE: Well, let’s recall why we have the sanctions in the first place.

    I was the ambassador at the United Nations when we implemented and negotiated the toughest and last of these sanctions resolutions. The whole purpose of the sanctions regime and the reason why we got the entire international community, not just to support them, but to implement them faithfully, was because the aim was to use the sanctions pressure to bring Iran to the negotiating table, so that we could prevent Iran from acquiring a nuclear weapon.

    This was never about human rights. It wasn’t about terrorism. It wasn’t about Iran’s destabilizing activities in the region, all of which we remain deeply concerned about. But it was about preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon at the negotiating table.

    We have succeeded, if this deal is implemented, in doing that. And the deal always was that, if and when Iran met its nuclear obligations and the world could be satisfied that it wasn’t able to develop a nuclear weapon, then the sanctions would be lifted.

    And so the sanctions under this scheme would be lifted, but only after Iran’s taken all the steps and we have verified that it’s taken all the steps that it’s committed to take. And then, even after the sanctions are suspended, we will have the ability if over — at any point over a 15-year period Iran violates its obligations, to snap these sanctions back into place swiftly and effectively, without Iran or Russia or China getting in our way.

    GWEN IFILL: Was there any discussion at any point about releasing U.S. hostages as part of this deal?

    SUSAN RICE: Not as part of this deal, but we have been in discussions with the Iranians about the Americans that are being imprisoned in Iran. This is a source of very, very grave concern for all of us, and in particular President Obama.

    Those talks continue. And we’re not going to rest until they are released. But we never wanted to link them to the nuclear deal, because, obviously, up until the last minute, there was every possibility that there wouldn’t be a nuclear deal.

    So we’re committed to getting our Americans home safely in any event, and we will continue to work to do everything we can.

    GWEN IFILL: And, finally, Ambassador Rice, is the president’s veto threat open to discussion or negotiation?

    SUSAN RICE: It didn’t sound like it, did it?

    GWEN IFILL: OK.

    SUSAN RICE: No, Gwen, seriously, and — no, because we have negotiated a deal that is good for the United States, it’s good for Israel, it’s good for world peace and security.

    And if the United States were the country, the sole country out of the international community to blow up a deal that we have negotiated that we believe satisfies all of our requirements, then what will happen? Well, in the first instance, the sanctions regime that we have worked so hard to maintain will fall apart, because the rest of the world will say, what is the point?

    Countries like Japan and India that have paid an economic price to implement these sanctions would no longer feel the obligation to do so. Iran would say, look, we signed up for the deal, we’re ready to do our part, but now, since there’s no prospect of sanctions relief, we’re going to pursue our nuclear program unconstrained.

    That would be a lose-lose situation. So it would be very unfortunate if the United States were the one to abrogate and therefore blow up a very good deal. And so, when the president said he would veto efforts to undermine this deal, he meant it.

    GWEN IFILL: National Security Adviser Susan Rice, thank you for joining us.

    SUSAN RICE: Thank you for having me, Gwen.

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    GWEN IFILL: If Wall Street hoped for a big boost from the Iran nuclear deal, investors were disappointed. Instead, worries about corporate profits kept gains in check. The Dow Jones industrial average added 76 points to close above 18050. The Nasdaq rose 33 points and the S&P 500 added nine.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras sought to rally his Syriza Party today to back a new austerity bill. The Greek Parliament has 24 hours to pass tax increases and pension reforms, as the price of a new international bailout.

    But, as Paul Mason of Independent Television News reports, Syriza lawmakers and voters aren’t so sure.

    PAUL MASON: If you want a vision of Greece’s troubled future, start here. This container port was sold five years ago to the Chinese for five billion euros. Now the whole waterfront’s for sale after the far-left party, Syriza, agreed to rush through privatization worth 50 billion. The problem, the Syriza-supporting dockers who work here. This man is their leader.

    And he wants the government to reject the deal it just signed.

    If you could say one thing to Alexis Tsipras, what would it be?

    GIORGOS GOGOS, Union Leader: So far, he has gained the trust of Greek people, so, he has to continue with this and to listen to the people to go further and to reject this agreement, which is not an honest agreement.

    PAUL MASON: As Syriza’s leaders arrived, tight-lipped for a party meeting, their right-wing coalition partner wasn’t tight-lipped.

    He called what’s happening a coup, blackmail. And as the vote nears in the Parliament, it’s pressure like this that spurred up to 30 M.P.s from the ruling party to rebel, including the M.P. for the area where the privatized port is.

    STATHIS LEOUTSAKOS, Greek Parliament Member (through interpreter): Syriza can only stay united if it sticks to the program it stood on at the election. And that’s what it needs to do. There’s no growth and no solution for Greece within the Eurozone. And if we go on like this, Eurozone is over.

    PAUL MASON: Athens tonight is subdued and waiting for an answer. Can the most far-left party ever elected in modern Europe summon the nerve to do austerity on this scale?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tsipras and his party were voted into power in January promising to end years of spending cuts and other austerity measures.

    GWEN IFILL: This was the day for closing arguments in the trial of James Holmes, almost three years after he opened fire in a Colorado movie theater. Prosecutors argued Holmes was sane and intent on mass murder when he killed 12 people and wounded dozens more. Defense attorneys say Holmes should be found not guilty by reason of insanity. The trial has lasted 11 weeks.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Relatives of a New York City man who died in police custody vowed today their fight is not over. Eric Garner’s family reached a $5.9 million settlement on Monday. He died last summer, when a white officer put him in a chokehold. Garner’s mother called again today for federal civil rights charges.

    GWEN CARR, Mother of Eric Garner: This settlement that we get, people — we’re walking up and down the street, they’re saying congratulations. Don’t congratulate us. This is not a victory. The victory will come when we get justice. Then we want to have a victory party.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A state grand jury has declined to indict the police officer.

    GWEN IFILL: A Boston police captain’s son was ordered held without bond today in an alleged bomb plot. The FBI says Alexander Ciccolo planned to set off pressure cooker bombs at a university. His father alerted authorities that Ciccolo had a history of mental illness and wanted to join the Islamic State group. He was arrested in a sting on the Fourth of July.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: President Obama called today for reforms in prison sentencing aimed at eliminating racial disparities and cutting costs. He spoke at the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia and criticized mandatory minimum sentences.

    BARACK OBAMA: We have also locked up more and more nonviolent drug offenders than ever before for longer than ever before. And that is the real reason our prison population is so high. In far too many cases, the punishment simply doesn’t fit the crime.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: To underscore his point, the president yesterday commuted the sentences of 46 drug offenders.

    GWEN IFILL: A new discovery lit up the world of physics today. For the first time, scientists detected a subatomic particle called the pentaquark. Its existence was first predicted in the 1960s, but it took the world’s largest atom smasher outside Geneva to confirm that it’s really there. Researchers say the discovery will help explain the fundamentals of matter.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And the last of Boston’s record winter snowfall finally melted today. At one point, the snow was heaped in a massive pile along part of the city’s waterfront. Now all that’s left are puddles and tons of garbage that got swept up by snowplows.

    What a mess.

    Still to come on the NewsHour: after 20 months of negotiations, digging into the landmark deal over Iran’s nuclear program; an interview with Republican presidential candidate Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; and unlocking the mysteries of Pluto.

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    U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement about the nuclear deal reached between Iran and six major world powers during an early morning address to the nation from the East Room of the White House in Washington, July 14, 2015.    REUTERS/Andrew Harnik/Pool - RTX1K9VH

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The world woke up today to the news of an agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear weapons program. It was the fruit of marathon talks between Iran and a group of world powers, the United States and other permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, plus Germany.

    The weary foreign ministers gathered after 18 long days and nights of talks in Vienna.

    FEDERICA MOGHERINI, Foreign Policy Chief, European Union: Today is an historic day. It’s a great honor for us to announce that we have reached an agreement on the Iranian nuclear issue.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Within minutes of that formal statement, President Obama addressed the nation from the White House.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We have stopped the spread of nuclear weapons in this region. Because of this deal, the international community will be able to verify that the Islamic Republic of Iran will not develop a nuclear weapon.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The agreement followed more than two years of talks, including the first direct U.S. negotiations with Iran in more than 35 years. The president said it met his standards for a good deal.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This deal meets every single one of the bottom lines that we established when we achieved a framework earlier this spring. Every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off.

    And the inspection and transparency regime necessary to verify that objective will be put in place. Because of this deal, Iran will not produce the highly enriched uranium and weapons-grade plutonium that form the raw materials necessary for a nuclear bomb.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The main terms include Iran’s uranium enrichment and related activities will be limited for eight years; 5,000 centrifuges will be allowed to operate, while 14,000 others, including more advanced models, are monitored by international inspectors.

    For 15 years, Iran will be allowed a stockpile of 660 pounds of uranium, but enriched to a level well below weapons-grade. Enrichment will end at the Fordow nuclear site, and the heavy water reactor at the Arak site will be rebuilt for peaceful uses. And Iran agrees not to engage in research and development that could lead to a nuclear weapon.

    Still, harking back to President Reagan’s trust but verify, Mr. Obama said the U.S. and its five partners will not simply trust Iran to comply.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: This deal is not built on trust. It is built on verification. Inspectors will have 24/7 access to Iran’s key nuclear facilities.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In return, Iran gets phased relief from sanctions that have crippled its economy for years, but there are provisions for a snap-back of those sanctions if Tehran violates the agreement. Even so, Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, insisted today it’s not the sanctions that got his country to bargain.

    PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, Iran (through interpreter): It was the resistance of our people and their opposition that brought the other side to the negotiating table in the best way. If today some of the P5-plus-one countries want to announce that they deterred Iran from making an atomic bomb, Iran has never pursed an atomic bomb and will never pursue that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Later, state TV reported supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei thanked Rouhani and his negotiators for their honest and diligent efforts.

    But, in Israel, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wasted no time in denouncing the deal.

    PRIME MINISTER BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Israel: What a stunning, historic mistake. The world is a much more dangerous place today than it was yesterday. The leading international powers have bet our collective future on a deal with the foremost sponsor of international terrorism.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Netanyahu relayed his concerns directly to the president in a phone call. He’d lobbied hard against the deal, even addressing Congress last March, at the invitation of House Speaker John Boehner.

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), Speaker of the House: The deal that we have out there, in my view, from what I know of it thus far, is unacceptable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Boehner today left little doubt as to where he and most House Republicans stand on the pact.

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER: It’s going to hand a dangerous regime billions of dollars in sanctions relief, while paving the way for a nuclear Iran. If, in fact, it’s as bad a deal as I think it is at this moment, we will do everything we can to stop it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Senate Republicans were likewise skeptical, including Foreign Relations Chair Bob Corker.

    SEN. BOB CORKER (R), Tennessee: I have to say that, when we passed over with the interim agreement from dismantling their program to moving towards agreeing that there would be enrichment, and then over time moving to what I would call managed proliferation, we really crossed the Rubicon.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Leading Democrats promised to examine the agreement closely, as Congress now has 60 days to vote up or down. And the president fired off a warning shot this morning.

    BARACK OBAMA: I am confident that this deal will meet the national security interest of the United States and our allies, so I will veto any legislation that prevents the successful implementation of this deal.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The matter was immediate grist for the presidential campaign. Republican Senator Marco Rubio, the Foreign Relations Committee member, blasted the deal in a statement, saying: “I expect that a significant majority in Congress will share my skepticism of this agreement and vote it down.”

    Another leading Republican contender, Jeb Bush, ended his denunciation saying: “This isn’t diplomacy. It is appeasement.”

    The Democratic front-runner, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was on Capitol Hill today, meeting with Democrats.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), Presidential Candidate: I think we have to look at this seriously, evaluate it carefully, but I believe, based on what I know now, this is an important step.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But before the matter arrives in Congress, the United Nations will debate the deal in the Security Council.

    Later, there were small demonstrations in Tehran cheering the expected end to sanctions. People held flags and chanted thanks to Iran’s president. We will hear from President Obama’s national security adviser and several former U.S. officials after the news summary.

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    Following his statement on the Iran nuclear deal this afternoon, a reporter asked President Barack Obama if comedian Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom would be revoked in light of new sexual assault allegations.

    The president reminded the group that he typically does not comment on cases where criminal or civil issues are involved. However, he did specifically address the subject of rape.

    “I’ll tell you this: If you give a woman, or a man for that matter, without his or her knowledge, a drug, and then have sex with that person without consent, that’s rape,” Obama said. “I think this country, any civilized country, should have no tolerance for rape.”

    President Obama also added that there is “no precedent” for revoking a presidential medal.

    The post Reporter asks Obama if Bill Cosby’s Medal of Freedom will be revoked appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A teller counts U.S. notes at the Dahabshill money transfer office in Somalia's capital Mogadishu February 16, 2015. In Somalia, remittances from the U.S. exceed the amount of U.S. foreign aid. Photo by Omar Faruk/Reuters

    A teller counts U.S. notes at the Dahabshill money transfer office in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu February 16, 2015. In Somalia, remittances from the U.S. exceed the amount of U.S. foreign aid. Photo by Omar Faruk/Reuters

    For the economies of many poor countries, remittances from the U.S. are a lifeline. A remittance is cash that comes into the country from its citizens living abroad. In some countries, this money is critical to keeping the economy going.

    For example, in tiny Eritrea, a country on the horn of Africa, 30 percent of the country’s GDP comes from Eritreans living abroad, many of them in the U.S. In Nicaragua and Guatemala, that number is close to 10 percent. In 2012, more than $120 million in remittances was sent from the U.S. to other countries by individual immigrants wiring small amounts of money.

    Stephen Fee, producer and correspondent for PBS NewsHour’s weekend show, has been reporting on the subject from the Somali community in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. The amount of money flowing into Somalia from the U.S. as remittances exceeds the amount the U.S. sends that country in foreign aid.

    “The most widely cited estimate is that 40 percent of Somalis rely on remittances to get by, so this is a huge driver of the Somali economy,” Fee says.

    But there’s concern that some of this money is going to terrorist groups like Al Shabaab. For this week’s Shortwave, P.J. Tobia explains this source of money, how it’s regulated and how it gets from here to there.

    Watch Stephen Fee’s segment on Saturday’s PBS NewsHour.

    The post Are remittances sent from the U.S. ending up in terrorist hands? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    You've heard of distracted driving, but what about distracted operating? There is no federal guideline for cell phone use in the operating room but medical groups are calling for better rules. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

    You’ve heard of distracted driving, but what about distracted operating? There is no federal guideline for cell phone use in the operating room but medical groups are calling for better rules. Photo by Philippe Huguen/AFP/Getty Images

    Next time you’re on the operating table and you have one last look around as the anesthesiologist approaches, don’t be too sure that that person in scrubs looking at a smartphone is pulling up vital health data. He or she might be texting a friend, or ordering a new carpet.

    Cellphone use is not generally restricted in the operating room, but some experts say the time for rules has come. In interviews, many described co-workers’ texting friends and relatives from the surgical suite. Some spoke of colleagues who hide a phone in a drawer and check it when they think no one is watching.

    “Sometimes it’s just stuff like shopping online or checking Facebook,” said Dwight Burney, an orthopedic surgeon from Albuquerque. “The problem is that it does lead to distraction.” This can result in medical errors or lax safety procedures, such as forgetting to check a patient’s identity, he said.

    In one 2011 incident, a Texas anesthesiologist was accused of sending text messages and e-mails while monitoring a patient. Her oxygen levels dropped, which the anesthesiologist allegedly didn’t notice for close to 20 minutes, and she died in surgery. The woman’s family sued the anesthesiologist. The case was settled before going to trial.

    Such incidents are why physicians and medical groups including the American College of Surgeons, the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and doctors who published an April paper for the American Society of Anesthesiologists have been warning about phones in the operating room (O.R.) and calling for clear rules on whether and how they can be used. Many raised red flags about the potential for noise or distraction, while some also pointed to the possible challenge of infection control.

    It’s an issue they say has gotten little attention until recently. No federal regulations or industry-wide quality measures address phone use in health-care settings in general or in the O.R. specifically. And no group tracks whether hospitals have adopted rules for cellphone use.

    But as people become increasingly glued to their phones, the lack of guidance could have big consequences.

    Diagnosing the problem is easy, said Peter Papadakos, a professor of anesthesiology, surgery, neurology and neurosurgery at the University of Rochester, who has written extensively on the subject. “Once we get into or start using our cellphones, we separate ourselves from the reality of where we are,” he said. “It’s self-evident: If you’re staring at a phone, you’re not staring at the monitors.”

    This reality attracted national attention last year, when a doctor at Manhattan’s Yorkville Endoscopy clinic snapped cellphone pictures during an operation on comedian Joan Rivers, according to a federal investigation. The surgery, a throat procedure, went awry — an outcome the investigation didn’t directly link to the doctor’s phone use — and ended up cutting off Rivers’s oxygen supply. She went into cardiac arrest and died Sept. 4.

    “It’s very important that the surgical teams be concentrating on the patient during the surgical event,” said Ramona Conner, editor-in-chief of the practice guidelines for the Association of Perioperative Nurses.

    In 2012, the ECRI Institute, a nonprofit that focuses on health-care quality, listed cellphone distraction among the top 10 risks that technology could pose to patient safety.

    Because people can check their phones for both personal information and work-related material, it’s easy for the devices to distract providers, said Bob Wachter, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco and an expert in patient safety.

    “It’s not that different from texting and driving,” he said. “There are supposed to be no distractions.”

    Bringing one’s phone into the O.R. is common, Conner said.

    Some hospitals have attempted to address the issue. The University of Rochester Medical Center requires staff to keep phones silenced when working with patients and forbids using phones for personal matters while at any “clinical work stations,” not just operating rooms.

    Specific enforceable directives for the O.R. aren’t commonplace, but “more and more hospitals are playing catch-up” in developing policies, said cardiologist Chandan Devireddy, an associate professor of medicine at Emory University.

    He oversees a catheterization laboratory — where patients undergo cardiac procedures — and enforces a rule that staffers cannot check e-mail or browse the Internet during cases. At least once a year, his department discusses social media and appropriate cellphone use.

    But some doctors, nurses and other O.R. personnel point out that smartphones can provide assistance during care, letting staffers view patient information and lab results on the fly or communicate with colleagues in other parts of the hospital during a surgery.

    But it’s hard to know if medical personnel are instead scanning Amazon or Facebook, “unless you’re videotaping or monitoring all persons at any time of the day,” Devireddy said.

    For example, Burney, the orthopedic surgeon in Albuquerque, said his workplace, an ambulatory surgical center, forbids cellphone use in the operating room, but “it is a policy that is routinely violated.” He said that he hasn’t seen any injuries caused by cellphone use at his facility and that lab leaders discipline repeat offenders.

    It’s the mix of pros and cons that complicates efforts to develop clear-cut guidelines.

    “We don’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater,” Conner said. “We want to be able to take advantage of this wonderful technology.”

    “Our ability to address patient-care issues is much faster,” agreed Devireddy. “The idea of eliminating mobile phones is, I think, a very restrictive one.” Instead, he and Conner said, hospitals need to find a way to hold onto the benefits while keeping staffers from getting distracted.

    Hospital policymakers frequently ask about the best way to regulate phone use, said Paul Anderson, ECRI’s editorial director of patient safety risk and quality, who often lectures on patient safety. The most effective course, he added, is to create a culture that discourages inappropriate distractions.

    Concerns about distracted doctors aren’t new, said Peter Faries, chief of vascular surgery at New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital, who noted that people used to tell stories about doctors flipping through newspapers or reading medical books while in the OR. What’s changed, he said, is the object that offers potential distractions.

    But Devireddy said smartphones offer more information, and therefore, greater potential for diversion. That shift, he said, is why hospitals haven’t come up with clear rules regarding when and how doctors should use them.

    Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

    The post Do cell phones belong in the operating room? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    An exhibit at the University of Texas in Austin asks viewers to look at skateboarding as a process of creation.

    Artist Jared Steffensen has been inspired by the practice of skateboarding since 1986 when he began to practice it. Now, the pastime has become the subject for his work. “I wanted to shift my focus to skateboarding instead of just using it as a place to begin,” Steffensen said.

    “Torque and Axis,” which is on display May 7 through Sept. 26, showcases the materials, shapes, and movements generated by skateboarders as they travel through urban landscapes in innovative ways. The exhibit brings skateboarding into the art world, highlighting its imaginative aspects using bright colors, fluid lines and re-purposed materials. Skateboarding equipment is also on display along with a film installation that explores the challenges of repetitive skateboarding practice.

    Video produced by Eve Tarlo and Galia Farber. Local Beat is an ongoing series on Art Beat that features arts and culture stories from PBS member stations around the nation. 

    The post Artist keeps Austin weird by combining his love of skater culture with fine art appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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