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

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 642 | 643 | (Page 644) | 645 | 646 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A new study says keeping more children on track to high school graduation, a full-time job and out of the criminal justice system could start in kindergarten.

    In a report released today, researchers tracked more than 700 children from kindergarten to age 25. They found students’ social skills, like cooperation, listening to others and helping classmates, held strong clues for how those children would fare two decades later. In some cases, social skills may even be better predictors of future success than academic ones.

    Damon Jones, a senior research associate at Penn State University, joins me now to talk about the findings.

    Professor Jones, welcome.

    First, remind us, when and where did this study take place and what was the original purpose of it?

    DAMON JONES, Pennsylvania State University: Well, Judy, our study was aimed at exploring the influential role of socioemotional skills in children in terms of human development in general.

    You know, there are a lot of studies that looked at — cross-research disciplines that look at socioemotional skills. Sometimes, they’re called soft skills, sometimes noncognitive skills. And what these represent are kind of key characteristics in children representing things like managing their state, having good relationships, being responsible socially, interacting well with adults, and then getting things done.

    It’s really key skills in early development that you can see would be very important in being successful in school and in relationships.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, again, this was 20 years ago that the study was begun.

    DAMON JONES: Right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And where — it was a national study?

    DAMON JONES: Yes, it was a national study, four different sites, Durham, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Central Pennsylvania, and Seattle, Washington.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what did you find? What was the striking outcome here?

    DAMON JONES: Well, there were a couple of reasons why we wanted to look at this.

    First of all, we were really interested to see these really long-term predictions. I think, a lot of times, when people look at socioemotional skills, they may be focused on more concurrent outcomes, like how well the child is doing in school or their relationships.

    In this case, we really wanted to look at markers of well-being. And we had great data, where we had — we were able to follow these children for over 20 years, and were able to see these markers of well-being across domains of education, employment, criminal activity, mental health, substance abuse, and use of public services.

    And so a kind of secondary goal of the study was, it’s been shown in a lot of research that socioemotional skills are malleable, they’re something that can be improved throughout child development, and there are very effective programs that can do that. So we set out to see if we could assess, if we could actually gauge these relationships at a very young age, which is why we looked at kindergarten age predicting these long-term outcomes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you looked at — you basically compared what you saw when these children were very young with what they — what they — how they were doing as adults, and you saw a direct connection.

    DAMON JONES: Right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And can you just give us one brief example of that?

    DAMON JONES: Sure.

    We were surprised to find — and this is — I should point out this is uniquely — these skills were uniquely predictive of these long-term outcomes. So, the outcomes included outcomes that we measured in adolescence. They included outcomes that were measured in mid-adulthood that were based on court records for some criminal activities.

    But they were a unique prediction, in the sense that we controlled for other key aspects of the child, early academic ability at age 5, characteristics of their home environment, such as socioeconomic status, their behavior as rated by mothers and teachers. So, that allowed us to see kind of a unique prediction from these early socioemotional skills. And what we find was…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I was going to say, just quickly.


    We found significant associations in all those domains, crime, education, employment, substance use, mental health. For instance, children — for each point on the social competence scale, children were twice as likely to receive a college degree by age 25. There were consistent results for the crime outcomes. Children who were lower on…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me just — I just want to interrupt you. I’m sorry to interrupt you, Professor…

    DAMON JONES: That’s OK.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: … just to ask you quickly, what intervention then do you think coming out of this study you think should be made in working with young children to — that might make a difference in their lives later?

    DAMON JONES: Well, I think there’s a lot of hope here, because so much research is showing the value of these skills.

    Now, what we did wasn’t determining causal, although we did control for a lot of variables in our statistical models. But there’s a lot of research that shows there are really effective evidence-based programs that can help improve children’s socioemotional skills.

    And by looking and being able to gauge these skills at this age, to able to see where they may be headed 20 years down the road, could really inform policy for planning intervention for these type of things, given that we know it’s something that is malleable, it’s something that is vital for their development, along with academic ability and academic instruction and parental investment.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s a…

    DAMON JONES: And there are ways it can be addressed.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s a fascinating set of findings. And I know a lot of people are going to be taking a very close look at this.

    Professor Damon Jones at Penn State University, thanks very much.

    The post Kindergarteners with good social skills turn into successful adults, study finds appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    U.S. President Barack Obama is shown the inside of a cell as he visits the El Reno Federal Correctional Institution in El Reno, Oklahoma July 16, 2015. Obama is the first sitting president to visit a federal prison.      REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTX1KKVP

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: This week, the issue of criminal justice reform, who goes to prison in America, hit a kind of critical mass, with action from President Obama, in Congress and on presidential campaigns.

    As part of our Broken Justice series, our Lisa Desjardins lays out the reform movement that both Republicans and Democrats are pushing, and which some in law enforcement want to push back.

    LISA DESJARDINS: It was a symbol intended to spark sweeping change, the first visit ever by a sitting U.S. president to a federal prison. President Obama’s walk today through the El Reno facility outside Oklahoma City capped off his weeklong push on what he calls a broken criminal justice system.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: These are young people who made mistakes that aren’t that different than the mistakes I made and the mistakes that a lot of you guys made.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Monday, the president commutes sentences for 46 drug offenders. Tuesday, at the NAACP National Convention in Philadelphia, the president speaks to the racial disparity within the prison population.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: African-Americans and Latinos make up 30 percent of our population. They make up 60 percent of our inmates. About one in every 35 African-American men, one in every 88 Latino men is serving time right now. Among white men, that number is one in 214.

    LISA DESJARDINS: President Obama is adding his voice to a bipartisan call for reform of the criminal justice system.

    Today, Republican presidential hopeful and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie released his plan to educate prisoners.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE, Republican Presidential Candidate: If we’re going to incarcerate people, then we should make them do something productive, not just sit around watching TV all day. One solution is to require inmates to try and get their GED before release, so they have some minimum qualifications.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Reforming criminal justice is on the radar of nearly all those who would be president. In the past few months, 18 of the current 20 presidential candidates have argued for some kind of change.

    Up on Capitol Hill, ideas have made it into a group of bills that are moving toward floor votes. A House Oversight Committee hearing this week reviewed a number of reform proposals, including a bill sponsored by Senate Republican John Cornyn.

    SEN. JOHN CORNYN (R), Texas: It costs $30,000 a year to incarcerate an individual in prison and less than $8,000 to keep them on pre-release custody, like home confinement and the like.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Watching the hearing, Mark Holden, a lawyer for the Republican mega-donors the Koch brothers. They’re also part of the movement. Koch Industries, along with Target, Home Depot and Wal-Mart, have all banned the box, or removed questions about past convictions on company job applications.

    It is the latest move in decades of debate over how to stop crime.

    FORMER PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: Today, there’s a new epidemic, smokable cocaine, otherwise known as crack.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The emergence of crack cocaine in the 1980s and the war on drugs led to widespread lock ’em up policies for drug offenders.

    Democrats were also tough on crime. President Clinton’s 1994 crime bill lengthened sentences for nonviolent criminals, while pouring nearly $10 billion into prisons. The result? The number of people behind bars skyrocketed from 500,000 in 1980 to more than 2.2 million today.

    The rise in the numbers incarcerated and the drop in crime is an indicator of a working system to federal prosecutor Steve Wasserman. He fears the push for reform is shortsighted and dangerous.

    STEVE WASSERMAN, Assistant U.S. Attorney: Our criminal justice system has resulted in the last 25 years in the reduction of violent crime by about 50 percent and property crime also at about 50 percent. So, crime is at its lowest levels in a generation.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And you’re saying it’s because of criminal justice, because we incarcerate people, we put them in jail?

    STEVE WASSERMAN: Incarceration does reduce crime.

    LISA DESJARDINS: It is a furious debate that is now expanding in both parties. How do you continue to reduce crime, while also rethinking who is put behind bars?

    For the PBS NewsHour, I am Lisa Desjardins in Washington.

    GWEN IFILL: This week, Republican Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley seemed to give the reform movement a boost, announcing he’s trying to reach a compromise to lower minimum sentences and reform prisons.

    The post Criminal justice reform gains bipartisan momentum appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    IMF director Christine Lagarde

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Europe and Greece finally appear to be close to a bailout deal to provide Athens a financial lifeline. But it appears that battle is not yet over.

    A new front has opened whether to provide permanent relief for Greece’s $330 billion debt, whether by extending repayment, encouraging creditors to take a loss, called taking a haircut, or canceling some of what’s owed outright.

    The International Monetary Fund, one of Greece’s many creditors, says that, without some form of debt restructuring, the Greek economy will remain in freefall.

    Earlier today, I talked about that with the IMF’s managing director, Christine Lagarde.

    Christine Lagarde, thank you so much for joining us.

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund: Pleasure.

    GWEN IFILL: After everything we have seen develop in Greece over the last several weeks and especially in the last week, you have said that even more might be necessary, that debt relief is important. How would that happen?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: It can take different forms.

    It could be significant rescheduling, with extension of maturities over time, with an extended grace period, with compressed interest. It can be a haircut. It can be budget transfers. I think on the — I’m very realistic, and we try to be. What we heard loud and clear is that the euro area members are not particularly keen to do haircuts. That was clear. And budget transfers is not in the cards either.

    GWEN IFILL: So writing off part of the debt is not an option?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: It’s — I think what we said is significant restructuring, which can take the form of a reprofiling for Greece.

    GWEN IFILL: Is that something that your European partners are fans of?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: I don’t think any creditor is a fan of any kind of reprofiling, because what it means is that you carry the debt in your books for much longer and you carry the claim in your books for much longer.

    So, no, no creditor is keen to do that. But it’s also important to actually make sure that the country is on track, that the debt is sustainable, and that there is a chance of reimbursement.

    GWEN IFILL: Was it also because of the political ramifications that we didn’t hear about this earlier, that you didn’t push harder for this as part of the original negotiations?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: Oh, it’s been on the table of negotiations all along.

    And the IMF has been very clear all along that the debt issue was to be addressed and was critical. That’s not a — it’s not a new development. It’s been probably more public on the basis of transparency, because I think it’s just best to have it all out. But it’s been very clear to all the euro area finance ministers, to the euro area partners, to everybody.

    GWEN IFILL: The question is a matter of magnitude, really, how much trouble Greece is in, how much more serious it is than even it seemed to be a week ago.

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: You’re right. It’s a matter of amount, how much of it has to be reprofiled, so that Greece looks at the sustainable parts, and we believe that it’s a significant amount.

    GWEN IFILL: Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has not been, how shall we say, enthusiastic about this deal, even though he agreed to it and continues to push for it, but very reluctantly. Would you like to see him push for it harder?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: There are two ways to look at it.

    You look at the votes last night, and it’s quite an impressive vote to support the proposal and to actually take the steps, which is even more encouraging, in terms of development. And then there is the ownership of it all.

    I think ownership, and I hope ownership is going to come gradually, as those measures will actually unfold in a satisfactory manner, will unleash additional financing, will help the country towards being more stable, people having better access to their own finances.

    GWEN IFILL: I wonder if it requires public opinion to shift away from where it is right now, and what we have seen in the past and which caused such heartburn this time was that Greece has not lived up to its pledges and commitments, or at least a lot of European leaders feel that. What’s different this time?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: There are two things.

    One is, there is a very strong aspiration by the Greek people to be part of the euro area, to stay within the zone, to keep that currency, and that’s a positive. The second thing is that to actually be a member of the club, you have to play by the rules.

    And if we see the momentum observed in the last few days since the weekend, however difficult it has been, however laborious, if we see that momentum continue and pick up with very difficult negotiations coming up and difficult implementation to follow, then it means that not only are they enthusiastic about being in the Eurozone, but they’re also prepared to take the right measures to free up the economy, to privatize what needs to be privatized, to respect the budget rules that need to be respected and to unleash the potential of the Greek economy.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s talk about being a member of the club. The German foreign — finance minister today raised the specter again of Greek exiting the euro, something which I thought had been settled. Is this still a live possibility, do you think?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: It’s a point that was in the initial draft on Saturday night or Sunday morning, which has been moved out of the final euro area communique signed off by the leaders.

    GWEN IFILL: A temporary exit and then coming back?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: Yes, that was taken out of the draft.

    So the document that is the law of the parties now is that communique, which does not include the temporary exit. Of course, everything else needs to be done, so balanced program, commitments on the parts of the Greek to reform the economy, to move towards safe, healthy fiscal policies, and, on the other hand, support by the euro area partners in terms of both financing, because they need additional financing soon, and debt restructuring, in order to lighten the burden of debt going forward.

    GWEN IFILL: And I guess the question is, is there willingness? Is there willingness?

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: I know how hard it is going to be, no question.

    But I’m encouraged by what has happened over the last four days. Strong, you know, momentum laboriously built over the weekend. And then I said — yesterday, I said very tight timetable, colossal challenge. I think the very tight timetable, they’re delivering against. They passed the legislation yesterday.

    The ECB took notice of it and moved up…

    GWEN IFILL: The European Central Bank.

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: Yes, the European Central Bank moved up the emergency liquidity assistance line.

    Sooner or later, the banks will reopen, as, you know, a sign that confidence is restored. And the Europeans have found bridge financing in order to pay the outstanding.

    GWEN IFILL: Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF, thank you very much.

    CHRISTINE LAGARDE: Thank you so much.

    The post IMF chief: Europe must do much more to reduce Greek debt appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush departs following an appearance at Thumbtack, a consumer service connecting experienced professionals, in San Francisco, California July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith - RTX1KL7G

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the presidential campaign world, this is a red letter day, or maybe we should say green money day. Yesterday was the deadline for presidential campaigns to declare how much they have raised.

    So far, when you talk about money raised for the presidential campaigns themselves, Hillary Clinton is out front by a lot. She is followed by fellow Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders and then Republicans Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Ben Carson.

    But those numbers don’t tell the full story. Thanks to the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, outside political groups are on the rise and we are in unchartered territory when it comes to how much candidates raise and spend.

    Joining me now to untangle the 2016 fund-raising web so far are Matea Gold, who covers campaign finance for The Washington Post, and in San Francisco, Sasha Issenberg, who is a contributor to Bloomberg Politics and he’s the author of the book “The Victory Machine.”

    And we welcome you both back to the program.

    So, if you looked only at these numbers we were just showing, what the candidates themselves have raised, you get a very different picture than when you add in what these outside so-called super PAC committees have raised. So let’s take a look at those.

    And, Matea Gold, I want to ask you about it because you see here you have got some very different numbers when you add in both what Hillary Clinton raised, for example, with what she raised from the outside committee. At the top, though, is Jeb Bush. He raised $11 million as a candidate, but his total when you add in the super PACs, $119 million.

    Matea Gold, what’s happening here?

    MATEA GOLD, The Washington Post: Well, I think what we’re really seeing is a fundamental rewiring of how political money is being raised at a national level.

    And the trend is really the most dramatic on the right. In the Republican field, nearly four out of five dollars raised to support the GOP contenders was raised through outside groups, rather through the campaigns themselves, and that is just a dramatic shift and something that’s really unprecedented.

    It’s not the same case on the Democratic side. For now, Hillary Clinton has a lot more in her campaign kitty than her allied super PAC. But we have a long ways to go and there’s no question that these outside groups are playing a more central and prominent role than we have ever seen before.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Matea Gold, staying with you.

    Who’s giving this big money and these donations to these outside committees and why is most of it going to Republicans?

    MATEA GOLD: Well, Republicans have really taken the lead in pursuing this source of dollars. We don’t know all the donors of these groups yet because these organizations, those that do disclose don’t have to report their donors until the end of the month.

    But we already have some glimpses of the kind of resources they’re bringing to bear. Rick Perry has a supporter who wrote a $6 million check to a super PAC backing him. And so we’re sure to see a lot of seven- and eight-figure donations coming into these groups.

    And it really speaks to this expanding donor universe we’re seeing in politics now. And it’s not just your traditional campaign fund-raisers who are getting involved. It’s really multimillionaires and billionaires who have the ability to write these huge sums.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sasha Issenberg, you have been looking at this phenomenon for a while. What is this money being spent for right now?

    SASHA ISSENBERG, Bloomberg Politics: A lot of it is the traditional variety of campaign expenses, advertising on television, radio, online, field operations, opening offices, hiring staff in states, paying for voter contact with direct mail phones.

    The flip side for the story Matea tells about the rewiring of — the raising of money being divided between these two different entities, in many cases each supporting the same candidate, but being legally forbidden from directly coordinating their efforts, is that they’re now spending in parallel in ways that can’t coordinate their efforts.

    And so what we see is the different candidates have sort of structured the division of labor between their candidate campaign and their super PAC or their affiliated super PAC to take on different responsibilities. And so we can start to see the makings of what they want to keep within their own campaign operation and what they trust their super PAC to do, whether they want to run the bulk of their television ads or whether they’d like to see the outside group do it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Sasha Issenberg, how is this way different from previous campaigns in the way candidates handle it, both the raising of money and the way they’re spending it?

    SASHA ISSENBERG: Yes. It used to be that all the money that was raised in your name or for the cause of electing you president, you controlled.

    If we go back just eight years, basically, all of the money that was spent to elect Barack Obama was under the budgetary control of his campaign manager, David Plouffe. And so you could develop a strategy and a set of tactics that worked holistically to advance your interests. Now you need these sort of jerry-rigged operations.

    And in some cases, like in Jeb Bush’s world, it’s not just the candidate campaign and the super PAC, but there are other groups that exist in other parts of the tax code that are also spending money with the goal of helping to get him elected president, but who have various limitations on how they can work in tandem.

    And so what’s happening now is, as an organizational challenge, campaigns are needing to think very differently about how they divide what they do. And it becomes a lot more even of a planning challenge to figure out who’s going to spend the money, how and when, than it would have been previously.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Matea Gold, there is another story here in these numbers and that is how well some of these candidates are doing with small donations.

    I think we have got another graphic to show. Hillary Clinton, for example, in that $47 million she raised, 17 percent came from small donors. But here’s a real shock. Bernie Sanders raised $15 million, 76 percent of it from small donors. These are people who gave $200 or less.

    MATEA GOLD: Right, and I think it actually probably is not surprising, if you look at the kind of response he’s getting on the ground in these rallies that are really teeming with people, often more than his campaign has the capacity to handle.

    That kind of organic reaction to a candidate drives online donations and we’re seeing him very effectively harness that enthusiasm. On the other end of the spectrum, Governor Jeb Bush has just a tiny fraction; 3 percent of the money he raised in his campaign committee came from small donors. That speaks to this challenge he faces really with the grassroots on the right and convincing them he’s the candidate to really take the charge and win the nomination.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s fascinating. As we can see talking to both of you, there’s so much more here than just the numbers.

    Matea Gold, Sasha Issenberg, we thank you.

    MATEA GOLD: My pleasure.


    The post How campaign fundraising — and spending — is being rewired for 2016 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Once again, members of the U.S. military have been killed in a barrage of gunfire at their workplaces on home soil. The targets today were in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

    It happened just after mid-morning: A car stopped and a man started shooting at a pair of military sites.

    WOMAN: He just pulled up, and I didn’t think anything of it. And the next thing you know, he lifted up his arms like this with a big black gun. And just there was one shot and then it was just endless shots, one after another.

    GWEN IFILL: The first target was a military recruiting center. Dozens of shots were fired from a car, but no one was hurt. Then, minutes later, the gunman opened fire at a Navy Reserve center about seven miles away.

    Four U.S. Marines were killed there, sparking a gunfight with police. The shooter was killed, and a police officer and others were wounded.

    Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke called it a nightmare.

    MAYOR ANDY BERKE Chattanooga, Tennessee: It is incomprehensible to see what happened and the way that individuals who proudly serve our country were treated. Two different locations, this individual went to. And as a city, we will respond to this with every available resource that we have.

    GWEN IFILL: The FBI identified the gunman as Muhammed Yousef Abdul Aziz, a native of Kuwait, and police began searching his home near Chattanooga.

    The U.S. attorney for Eastern Tennessee said officials are treating the attacks as — quote — “an act of domestic terrorism.”

    A short time ago, President Obama said the attack appeared to be the work of a lone gunman and he promised a thorough investigation. This was just the latest shooting, mass shooting at a U.S. military site. In 2009, an Army officer killed 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas. And in 2013, a former Navy Reservist killed 12 at the Washington, D.C., Navy Yard.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The man accused in the mass killings in Charleston, South Carolina, Dylann Roof, will go on trial on July 11 of next year. A judge set the date at a hearing today, as the 21-year-old Roof sat quietly in the courtroom. He’s accused of murdering nine people at a black church last month.

    GWEN IFILL: The Iran nuclear deal brought a cautious response from Saudi Arabia today, and a warning. The Saudi foreign minister met in Washington with Secretary of State John Kerry. He stopped short of endorsing the Iran accord. Instead, he said this:

    ADEL AL-JUBEIR, Foreign Minister, Saudi Arabia: We hope that the Iranians, if a deal is implemented, that the Iranians will use this deal in order to improve the economic situation in Iran and to improve the lot of the Iranian people, and not use it for adventures in the region. And we are committed that, if Iran should try to cause mischief in the region, we’re committed to confront it resolutely.

    GWEN IFILL: Kerry promised the U.S. will help defend its Arab allies against any trouble caused by Iran.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In Japan, the Lower House of Parliament voted today to let Japanese troops fight overseas if needed for the first time since World War II. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it’s necessary as a counter to China’s growing power. Opposition lawmakers boycotted the session. The vote followed an overnight protest by thousands of people against the legislation.

    GWEN IFILL: U.N. human rights investigators are demanding China end a crackdown on lawyers. They said today more than 100 people have disappeared or been detained in the past week. Most were representing political dissidents, journalists and artists. It’s part of an intensifying government campaign to tighten control over the country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The wheels were set in motion today for Europe to open a new financial lifeline to Greece. The Greek Parliament voted in the middle of the night to adopt new austerity measures. Hours later, the European Central Bank announced new funding for Greek banks, despite questions about Athens’ follow-through.

    MARIO DRAGHI, President, European Central Bank: There are, I would say, questions about the implementation, will and capacity. It will be really in the Greek government capacity to respond with policy decisions, with actions that would dispel these doubts.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, European finance ministers approved short-term loans of more than $7.5 billion to keep Greece afloat. And the Greek government said that banks there will reopen Monday.

    GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, Republican presidential candidate and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker won a key legal victory. The Wisconsin Supreme Court today ended an investigation into his 2012 recall campaign. At issue was whether Walker’s effort illegally coordinated with conservative groups. The court ruled state election law was vague, and called the investigation unjust.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Former President George H.W. Bush was in fair condition today after breaking a bone in his neck. He fell yesterday at his summer home in Kennebunkport, Maine. And he spent the night at a hospital in Portland, where doctors said today he’s doing well.

    DR. WILLIAM F. D’ANGELO, Neurosurgeon, Maine Medical Center: The president never lost consciousness, and the injury he sustained neither impinged on his spinal chord, nor resulted in any neurologic deficit. He continues to have normal use of his limbs. The plan is to let this injury heal on its own without surgery.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Bush will remain at the hospital for now, and will have to wear a neck brace for some time. At 91, he is the oldest living former president.

    GWEN IFILL: A bill to overhaul the No Child Left Behind act cleared the Senate today with bipartisan support. It would give the states and school districts more control over teacher and student assessments, as well as academic standards. The Senate bill still has to be reconciled with a House version that goes even farther.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Obama administration is calling for new measures to protect streams near coal mines. Proposed rules today would clarify and update guidelines for restoring streams and mined areas after the mining ends. Officials say the goal is to modernize practices and make them more consistent across the industry.

    GWEN IFILL: Wall Street had a good today, boosted by upbeat corporate earnings and progress on the Greek bailout. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 70 points to close at 18120. The Nasdaq finished at a record high, rising 64 points to 5163. And the S&P 500 added nearly 17.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And this was the 70th anniversary of the Trinity test. That is the first atomic bomb blast. The U.S. government detonated the device on July 16, 1945, near Los Alamos, New Mexico. An enormous mushroom cloud rose some 38,000 feet into the sky, raining ash and radioactive debris. The next month, the U.S. military dropped two atomic bombs on Japan, helping to end World War II.

    The post News Wrap: 4 Marines killed by gunman targeting Tennessee military sites appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado on June 4, 2013. The trial of Holmes, who could face execution if convicted of killing 12 moviegoers in summer 2012, began Monday. Photo by Andy Cross/Pool/Reuters

    James Holmes sits in court for an advisement hearing at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado, on June 4, 2013. Holmes could face execution if convicted of killing 12 moviegoers in summer 2012. Photo by Andy Cross/Pool/Reuters

    CENTENNIAL, Colo. — Colorado theater shooter James Holmes was convicted Thursday in the chilling 2012 attack on defenseless moviegoers at a midnight Batman premiere after jurors swiftly rejected defense arguments that the former graduate student was insane and driven to murder by delusions.

    The 27-year-old Holmes, who had been working toward his Ph.D. in neuroscience, could get the death penalty for the massacre that left 12 people dead and dozens of others wounded.

    The initial phase of Holmes’ trial took 11 weeks, but it only took jurors about 12 hours over a day and a half to decide all 165 charges. The same panel must now decide whether Holmes should pay with his life.

    Dressed in a blue shirt and beige khakis, Holmes stood impassively as Judge Carlos A. Samour Jr. read charge after charge, each one punctuated by the word “guilty.”

    The verdict came almost three years after Holmes, dressed head-to-toe in body armor, slipped through the emergency exit of the darkened theater in suburban Denver and replaced the Hollywood violence of the movie “The Dark Knight Rises” with real human carnage.

    His victims included two active-duty servicemen, a single mom, a man celebrating his 27th birthday and an aspiring broadcaster who had survived a mall shooting in Toronto. Several died shielding friends or loved ones.

    The trial offered a rare glimpse into the mind of a mass shooter, as most are killed by police, kill themselves or plead guilty.

    Prosecutors argued that Holmes knew exactly what he was doing when he methodically gunned down strangers in the stadium-style theater, taking aim at those who fled. They painted him as a calculated killer who sought to assuage his failures in school and romance with a mass murder that he believed would increase his personal worth.

    He snapped photos of himself with fiery orange hair and scrawled his plans for the massacre in a spiral notebook he sent his university psychiatrist just hours before the attack, all in a calculated effort to be remembered, prosecutors said.

    The prosecution called more than 200 witnesses over two months, more than 70 of them survivors, including some who were missing limbs and using wheelchairs. They recalled the panic to escape the black-clad gunman.

    The youngest to die was a 6-year-old girl whose mother also suffered a miscarriage and was paralyzed in the attack. Another woman who was nine months pregnant at the time described her agonizing decision to leave her wounded husband behind in the theater to save their baby. She later gave birth in the same hospital where he was in a coma. He can no longer walk and has trouble talking.

    That Holmes was the lone gunman was never in doubt. He was arrested in the parking lot as survivors were still fleeing, and he warned police he had rigged his nearby apartment into a potentially lethal booby trap, which he hoped would divert first responders from the theater.

    His attorneys argued that Holmes suffers from schizophrenia and was in the grip of a psychotic breakdown so severe that he was unable to tell right from wrong — Colorado’s standard for insanity. They said he was delusional even as he secretively acquired the three murder weapons — a shotgun, a handgun and an AR-15 rifle — while concealing his plans from friends and two worried psychiatrists in the months before the shooting.

    Defense lawyers tried to present him as a once-promising student so crippled by mental illness that he couldn’t reveal his struggles to anyone who might have helped. They called a pair of psychiatrists, including a nationally known schizophrenia expert, who concluded Holmes was psychotic and legally insane.

    But two state-appointed doctors found otherwise, testifying for prosecutors that no matter what Holmes’ mental state was that night, he knew what he was doing was wrong.

    Jurors watched nearly 22 hours of videotaped interviews showing Holmes talking in a flat, mechanical tone about his desire to kill strangers to increase his self-worth. Using short, reluctant answers, he said he felt nothing as he fired, blasting techno music through his earphones to drown out his victims’ screams.

    Prosecutors showed jurors Holmes’ spiral notebook, where he scribbled a self-diagnosis of his “broken mind” and described his “obsession to kill” since childhood. The pages alternate between incoherent ramblings and elaborate plans for the killings, including lists of weapons to buy and diagrams showing which auditoriums in the theater complex would allow for the most casualties.

    Jurors saw an investigator’s video of the shooting’s aftermath. It showed bodies wedged between rows of seats and sprawled across aisles amid spent ammunition, spilled popcorn and blood.

    During the sentencing phase, Holmes’ attorneys will present so-called mitigating factors that they hope will save his life. Those will probably include more evidence of mental illness and a sympathetic portrayal of his childhood. Prosecutors will present so-called aggravating factors in support of the death penalty, including the large number of victims

    The post Colorado movie theater shooter James Holmes convicted of murder appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    The Cuban flag flies in front of the U.S. Interests Section (background), in Havana May 22, 2015.  Photo by Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

    The Cuban flag flies in front of the U.S. Interests Section in Havana on May 22, 2015. Photo by Enrique de la Osa/Reuters

    MIAMI — With the United States and Cuba inching closer to fully restoring diplomatic ties, including re-opening embassies for the first time in 54 years, the future is murky for tens of thousands of Cuban immigrants who have been ordered by immigration authorities to leave the country.

    As many as 25,000 Cubans living in the United States have outstanding deportation orders, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They include people who pose a threat to national security or have serious criminal convictions and are considered priorities for immigration enforcement agents.

    Despite being an enforcement priority, those immigrants haven’t yet been sent back to Cuba because the government of President Raul Castro has not given them permission to return. It’s unclear whether the Cuban government’s position will change.

    Sisi, a 50-year-old grandmother who moved to Miami with her family when she was 4, is one of those waiting and wondering what the future holds.

    As a teenager in the 1980s, Sisi married a man involved in South Florida’s booming cocaine trade. By the middle of the decade she’d become involved in the business herself and eventually served 2 ½ years in prison, cutting ties to her brief life of crime in 1989.

    Though she served her debt to society for the drug conviction, what she didn’t know at the time was that her criminal record would prompt immigration authorities to issue a deportation order in 2000.

    “I was young, stupid. It’s hurting me,” said Sisi, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition that she only be identified by her nickname because of her pending deportation order. “It’s coming back now, a lot.”

    For decades deportation to Cuba has been complicated by the lack of diplomatic ties and the Cuban government’s decision not to provide travel documents for most immigrants facing deportation.

    A 1984 repatriation agreement includes a list of 2,746 people who had come to the U.S. in 1980 as part of the Mariel boatlift who should be deported. The mass migration from Cuba to Florida started when then-President Fidel Castro announced he would allow anyone who wanted to leave the Communist island nation. An estimated 125,000 Cubans made the perilous trip between April and October 1980.

    ICE records show that 1,999 people on that list have been sent back to Cuba, including 1,093 since 2001. ICE is responsible for finding and removing immigrants living in the country illegally and those who have been ordered to leave.

    More than 35,000 Cubans have outstanding deportation orders, and as of the end of March, more than 2,300 other Cubans have open cases pending in U.S. immigration court. ICE said of those, about 25,000 are considered deportation priorities because of their backgrounds, including criminal histories.

    Sisi’s lawyer, Grisel Ybarra, said the Cuban community is on edge amid the ongoing negotiations between Washington and Havana and the uncertainty about what renewed relations will mean for immigrants.

    “Everybody in Miami right now is shaking like a leaf,” Ybarra said. “People are really worried. The Americans and the Cubans are not in bed together, but they already have the room. It’s happening.”

    Ybarra said she represents several clients who could face deportation, including Elias, a 71-year-old retiree whose deportation was ordered in 1991. Like Sisi, Elias agreed to speak about his immigration case only on the condition that his full name not published.

    Elias said he has two drug-related convictions dating to the 1970s and 1980s. He moved to Florida in 1961, followed by other family members a decade later after his father spent about 10 years in a Cuban prison for being part of a union that opposed Communism. If he is forced to go back to Cuba, he said, he would be alone in a country he would barely recognize.

    “I’m going to meet a new country,” Elias said. “I’ve got nobody in Cuba. All my family is here. Anything that I love in this world is here.”

    Though the future of migration agreements between Washington and Havana have yet to be laid out publicly, under any circumstances the tens of thousands of Cubans with outstanding deportation orders aren’t likely to be quickly sent home. That’s because ICE already struggles to find and deport immigrants living in the United States.

    During the first six months of the 2015 budget year that started in October, the agency has removed about 127,000 immigrants. If that pace holds, ICE will deport the fewest immigrants since the middle of President George W. Bush’s second term in 2006.

    If the Cuban government does begin accepting more deportable migrants, they would likely just be added to the ever-growing list of people who risk being expelled from the United States if ICE can find them, according the Migration Policy Center’s Marc Rosenblum.

    “There’s definitely going to be a randomness to it,” Rosenblum said.

    Caldwell reported from Washington.

    The post Tens of thousands fear deportation as U.S.-Cuba relations thaw appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Watch an excerpt from Secretary of State John Kerry’s interview on Friday about the recently signed nuclear agreement.

    A landmark agreement that clamps down on Iran’s ability to make a nuclear weapon makes the region, and particularly Israel, safer, said Secretary of State John Kerry in an interview airing on Friday’s PBS NewsHour.

    He said critics have asked, “Why didn’t you crush [Iran] with the sanctions?”

    “I’ll tell you why. Because they won’t be crushed by sanctions – that’s been proven – and because we’ll lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions. … So there’s a lot of fantasy out there about this, quote, ‘better deal,’” he said.

    The deal, negotiated this week by Iran and six world powers, must be approved by Congress and endorsed by the U.N. Security Council.

    Despite what critics of the agreement say, Iran is not allowed to spend its unfrozen assets on Hezbollah, Shiite militias in Iraq or Houthi rebels in Yemen, Kerry continued.

    “They’re not allowed to do that outside even of this (nuclear) agreement,” he said, adding that U.N. resolutions state as much.

    Kerry said when he meets with Gulf state leaders in Doha in two weeks, he will outline what steps the allies can take to “push back against this behavior.”

    U.S. intelligence “has done a full analysis of Iran’s fiscal needs,” and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani “needs to deliver to the Iranian people,” he said. “They have high expectations from this deal for a change in their lifestyle.”

    You can watch the full interview on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. EDT or check your local listings.

    The post Kerry: Iran ‘won’t be crushed by sanctions’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Watch Secretary of State John Kerry respond to Congress’ reaction to the nuclear deal.

    Secretary of State John Kerry said Friday it was “regrettable” some members of Congress rejected the long-fought comprehensive deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program before even reading it.

    “What I regret is that so many members of Congress, without even reading the agreement or knowing what all the components were, were just automatically, out of politics or something, saying no and then finding the reasons to hang their hat on it. I think that’s regrettable,” the former senator said in an interview airing in full on Friday’s PBS NewsHour.

    “I mean, we’ve spent four years negotiating this. This was not a rush. If it was a rush, we’d have done it a long time ago. We needed to make certain we were doing the things that closed off the four pathways to a bomb, and we knew it would be scrutinized,” Kerry told NewsHour co-anchor Judy Woodruff.

    The White House has defined the four pathways as 1) highly enriched uranium at Iran’s Natanz facility, 2) highly enriched uranium at the Fordow facility, 3) weapons-grade plutonium, and 4) covert attempts to produce fissile material.

    The deal requires Iran to reduce its stockpile of uranium and keep its level of uranium enrichment below the level needed to make a nuclear weapon. (Read more key points.)

    President Barack Obama has said if lawmakers vote to reject the deal, he would veto their rejection, which would require a two-thirds vote in Congress to overturn.

    You can watch the full interview on our Ustream channel at 6 p.m. EDT or check your local listings.

    The post Lawmakers’ kneejerk reaction to Iran nuclear deal ‘regrettable,’ says Kerry appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    The sheer numbers overwhelm. Twenty candidates – and counting. Hundreds of millions of dollars raised in under three months – and much more to come.
    One candidate even claims he is worth $10 billion. (We are to take his word for it.)

    But, for me, by far the most eye-opening revelation in the early stages of this 2016 campaign is the sheer breadth of diversity in the field.

    Count it up. Two women. Two Cuban-Americans. One African-American. Candidates hailing from California to New Jersey; from Vermont to Texas.

    Some of them aren’t even millionaires.

    To me, this points to a good thing about America. We come from everywhere, and our log cabins include the first generation immigrant’s experience as well as the inherited family name of a Bush or a Chafee.

    This week, I interviewed two candidates who have vastly different ideas about the role our backgrounds play in how we define ourselves.

    One, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, was born to Indian immigrant parents, educated in the Ivy League and changed his name from Piyush to Bobby, after a character in The Brady Bunch.

    Gwen Ifill spoke withLouisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican presidential candidate, on Tuesday’s PBS NewsHour.

    He emphasizes that he is not to be considered an Indian-American. This is what he told me when I asked him why.

    “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.”

    So I was intrigued, as I read Republican Ted Cruz’s memoir, to note how emphatically he draws attention to his Cuban roots. His mother, Eleanor Darragh, is Irish-American, and his father Rafael Cruz emigrated legally from Cuba. But he defines himself as Cuban-American.

    Gwen Ifill interviewed Sen. Ted Cruz, a Republican presidential candidate and author of the new memoir “A Time for Truth,” on the PBS NewsHour on Wednesday.

    What role, I asked him, should heritage play?

    SEN. TED CRUZ: Well, look, our heritage is integral to who all of us are. I mean, we are all the product of our family journey. It’s one of the things I try to do in the book “A Time for Truth” is lay out my family journey going back generations, going back to my great-grandfather coming to Cuba, dying in the worldwide influenza epidemic, to my grandfather growing up on a sugarcane plantation, basically in indentured servitude, and then going — when he was a teenager, a bus came by in Cuba, offered everyone $5 and a sandwich to go to a political rally.”

    GWEN IFILL: At what point do you become just an American and not a Cuban-American? And that’s Bobby Jindal’s point.

    SEN. TED CRUZ: Oh, I’m emphatically an American. But I’m also a Cuban, Irish, Italian man. My mom is Irish and Italian. That’s a big part of who I am. Every one of us, we’re the product — one of the things I try to describe in the book are the journeys.

    It should also be noted that Ted Cruz was born Rafael Cruz and he, too, changed his name to a more Americanized moniker.

    In an ideal world, we all get to define ourselves before someone else does it for us. This extends far beyond mere ethnicity. Donald Trump could have been confused for a liberal New Yorker a few short years ago. Hillary Clinton, born and raised in Illinois, still lapses into the Arkansas cadences she adopted when she was that state’s first lady – but only when she travels south. President Obama drops his ‘gs, but usually only when he is in front of black audiences or speaking about racially charged topics.

    I’m not persuaded there’s anything wrong with any of this. It is certainly as old as the republic. But the test for voters, reporters and citizens in general, is to be aware of the code switching, apply the appropriate discount and decide what it tells us about who exactly these candidates are.

    The post Gwen’s Take: Who do these candidates think they are? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio addresses the media about a simulated school shooting in Fountain Hills, Arizona, February 9, 2013. Controversial Arizona lawman Joe Arpaio, who styles himself as "America's Toughest Sheriff," has enlisted action film star Steven Seagal to lead a training exercise for members of his armed volunteer posse on how to respond to a school shooting.  REUTERS/Darryl Webb (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT POLITICS SOCIETY CRIME LAW EDUCATION) - RTR3DK7T

    Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Photo by Darryl Webb/Reuters.

    The Board of Supervisors for Maricopa County, Arizona, voted to partially settle a lawsuit brought on by the Justice Department against Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s office, alleging abuse of power and discriminatory practices toward Hispanics.

    The sheriff’s office conducted 83 raids on businesses suspected of hiring illegal immigrants from 2008 through 2014 and arrested hundreds of Hispanics.

    The lawsuit alleged the sheriff’s office violated the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution, which protect free speech, unlawful searches and due process of law.

    The settlement requires renewed training for deputies and policy changes, but does not invoke any financial penalties.

    “The sheriff’s office put us in a situation we should never have been in,” Supervisor Steve Gallardo said following the settlement.

    The Justice Department alleged Arpaio’s officers issued commands to Spanish speakers exclusively in English, refused to acknowledge grievances in Spanish and pressured Spanish-speaking inmates to sign forms withholding their rights to an attorney or hearings.

    In addition, the Justice Department alleges Arpaio and his office retaliated against critics of the police department’s practices with “baseless criminal actions, unfounded civil lawsuits, or meritless administration actions” with the goal of silencing future complaints. One of the policy changes from the settlement called for an “official policy prohibiting retaliation against any individual for any individual’s lawful expression of ideas.”

    Arpaio’s office denied the allegations, claiming they did not restrict due-process to Spanish speakers.

    Arpaio has been Marciopa County’s sheriff since 1993 and has been accused of abusing power in the past, as well as misusing public funds, failing to investigate sex crimes and unlawfully enforcing immigration laws.

    “We settled the three easy ones. The big one is not resolved and scheduled to go to court,” Gallardo said. “The biggest concern is that this is not just window dressing. That there will be real change. The DOJ will hold a heavy hammer over the sheriff’s office, and there must be compliance.”

    The fourth and final charge, which will be the subject of trial on Aug. 10, alleges Sheriff Arpaio’s office racially profiled Hispanics in regular traffic duties.

    The last time the Justice Department filed a lawsuit against a local police department was 18 years ago, which also resulted in a settlement.

    The post Officials reach partial settlement in DOJ lawsuit against Arizona sheriff appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    NORTH MIAMI, FL - MARCH 14:  Buildings are seen near the ocean as reports indicate that Miami-Dade County in the future could be one of the most susceptible places when it comes to rising water levels due to global warming on March 14, 2012 in North Miami, Florida. Some cities in the South Florida area are starting to plan for what may be a catastrophic event for the people living within the flooding area. Climate change.  (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

    With sea levels rising and global temperatures increasing, Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman, co-authors of “Climate Shock,” argue that we should insure ourselves against climate change. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

    Editor’s Note: Last year was officially the hottest year on record, according to NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Yesterday, the American Meteorological Society delivered more bad news in a report on the state of climate in 2014. Greenhouse gases continued to climb, sea surface temperatures and the global sea level hit a record high and the number of tropical cyclones increased.

    Gernot Wagner and Martin L. Weitzman, co-authors of “Climate Shock,” argue that we should insure ourselves against climate change. With a 10 percent chance of temperatures rising 11 degrees Fahrenheit or more and the catastrophic damages that could occur as a result, why wouldn’t we? Below, they lay out their case for pricing carbon dioxide pollution and discuss the economic consequences of a warming planet. Watch Thursday’s Making Sen$e segment for more on the subject.

    Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor

    [Watch Video]

    Two quick questions:

    Do you think climate change is an urgent problem?

    Do you think getting the world off fossil fuels is difficult?

    This is how our book “Climate Shock” begins.

    In fact, it’s not our quiz. Robert Socolow from Princeton has posed versions of these questions for a while. The result is usually the same: most people answer “Yes” to one or the other question, but not to both. You are either one or the other: an “environmentalist” or perhaps, a self-described “realist.”

    Such answers are somewhat understandable, especially when looking at the polarized politics around global warming. They are also both wrong. Climate change is incredibly urgent and difficult to solve.

    What we know is bad

    Last time concentrations of carbon dioxide were as high as they are today — 400 parts per million — we had sea levels that were between 20 to at least 66 feet higher than today.

    It doesn’t take much to imagine what another foot or two will do. And sea levels at least 20 feet above where they are today? That’s largely outside our imagination.

    This won’t happen overnight. Sea levels will rise over decades, centuries and perhaps even millennia. That’s precisely what makes climate change such an immense challenge. It’s more long-term, more global, more irreversible and also more uncertain than most other problems facing us. The combination of all of these things make climate change uniquely problematic.

    What we don’t know makes it potentially much worse

    Climate change is beset with deep-seated uncertainties on top of deep-seated uncertainties on top of still more deep-seated uncertainties. And that’s just if you consider the links between carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere, eventual temperature increases and economic damages.

    Increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide are bound to lead to an increase in temperatures. That much is clear. The question is how much.

    The parameter that gives us the answer to this all-important question is “climate sensitivity.” That describes what happens to eventual global average temperatures as concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere double. Nailing down that parameter has been an epic challenge.

    Ever since the late 1970s, we’ve had estimates hovering at around 5.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the “likely” range is around 5.5 degrees plus-minus almost three degrees.

    What’s worrisome here is that since the late 1970s that range hasn’t narrowed. In the past 35 years, we’ve seen dramatic improvements in many aspects of climate science, but the all-important link between concentrations and temperatures is still the same.

    What’s more worrisome still is that we can’t be sure we won’t end up outside the range. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change calls the range “likely.” So by definition, anything outside it is “unlikely.” But that doesn’t make it zero probability.

    In fact, we have around a 10 percent chance that eventual global average temperature increases will exceed 11 degrees Fahrenheit, given where the world is heading in terms of carbon dioxide emissions. That’s huge, to put it mildly, both in probability and in temperature increases.

    Climate Shock graph. There’s at least about a 10 percent chance of global average temperatures increasing 11 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Source: Climate Shock (Princeton 2015), reprinted with permission.

    There’s at least about a 10 percent chance of global average temperatures increasing 6 degrees Celsius (11 degrees Fahrenheit) or more. Source: Climate Shock (Princeton 2015), reprinted with permission.

    We take out car, fire and property insurances for much lower probabilities. Here we are talking about the whole planet, and we haven’t shown willingness to insure ourselves. Meanwhile, we can, in fact, look at 11 degrees Fahrenheit and liken it to the planet ‘burning’. Think of it as your body temperature: 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit is normal. Anything above 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit is a fever. Above 104 degrees Fahrenheit is life-threatening. Above 109.4 degrees Fahrenheit and you are dead or at least unconscious.

    In planetary dimensions, warming of 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit is so bad as to have been enshrined as a political threshold not to be crossed. Going to 11 degrees Fahrenheit is so far outside the realm of anything imaginable, we can simply call it a planetary catastrophe. It would surely be a planet none of us would recognize. Go back to sea levels somewhere between 20 and at least 66 feet higher than today, at today’s concentrations of carbon dioxide. How much worse can it get?

    Do we know for sure that we are facing a 1-in-10 chance unless the world changes its course? No, we don’t, and we can’t. One thing though is clear: because the extreme downside is so threatening, the burden of proof ought to be on those who argue that these extreme scenarios don’t matter and that any possible damages are low. So how then can we guide policy with all this talk about “not knowing”?

    What’s your number?

    We can begin to insure ourselves from climate change by pricing emissions. How? By charging at least $40 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution. That’s the U.S. government’s current value and central estimate of the costs caused by one ton of carbon dioxide pollution emitted today.

    We know that $40 per ton is an imperfect number. We are pretty sure it’s an underestimate; we are confident it’s not an overestimate. But it’s also all we have. (And it’s a lot higher than the prevailing price in most places that do have a carbon price right now—from California to the European Union. The sole exception is Sweden, where the price is upward of $130. And even there, key sectors are exempt.)

    How then do we decide on the proper climate policy? The answer is more complex than our rough cost-benefit analysis suggests. Pricing carbon at $40 a ton is a start, but it’s only that. Any cost-benefit analysis relies on a number of assumptions — perhaps too many — to come up with one single dollar estimate based on one representative model. And with something as large and uncertain as climate change, such assumptions are intrinsically flawed.

    Since we know that the extreme possibilities can dominate the final outcome, the decision criterion ought to focus on avoiding these kinds of catastrophic damages in the first place. Some call this a “precautionary principle”— better to be safe than sorry. Others call it a variant of “Pascal’s Wager” — why should we risk it if the punishment is eternal damnation? We call it a “Dismal Dilemma.” While extremes can dominate the analysis, how can we know the relevant probabilities of rare extreme scenarios that we have not previously observed and whose dynamics we only crudely understand at best? The true numbers are largely unknown and may simply be unknowable.

    Planetary risk management

    In the end, this is all about risk management—existential risk management. Precaution is a prudent stance when uncertainties about catastrophic risks are as dominant as they are here. Cost-benefit analysis is important, but it alone may be inadequate, simply because of the fuzziness involved with analyzing high-temperature impacts.

    Climate change belongs to a rare category of situations where it’s extraordinarily difficult to put meaningful boundaries on the extent of possible planetary damages. Focusing on getting precise estimates of the damages associated with eventual global average warming of 7, 9 or 11 degrees Fahrenheit misses the point.

    The appropriate price on carbon dioxide is one that will make us comfortable that the world will never heat up another 11 degrees and that we won’t see its accompanying catastrophes. Never, of course, is a strong word, since even today’s atmospheric concentrations have a small chance of causing eventual extreme temperature rise.

    One thing we know for sure is that a greater than 10 percent chance of the earth’s eventual warming of 11 degrees Fahrenheit or more — the end of the human adventure on this planet as we now know it — is too high. And that’s the path the planet is on at the moment. With the immense longevity of atmospheric carbon dioxide, continuing to “wait and see” would amount to nothing else than willful blindness.

    The post What we know — and what we don’t — about global warming appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    DANGEROUS FUN monitor new

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Earlier this month, 18 middle and high school students from around the country traveled here to Washington, D.C., to participate in a special training session for young journalists as part of a program that the NewsHour sponsors called Student Reporting Labs.

    As part of their training, the students were given a chance to make short films about people they encountered on the street.

    We want to share this one with you. It profiles a parkour artist who finds solace in life’s challenges by running and leaping through the concrete jungle of a big city, in this case Washington.

    Our story was produced by eighth graders from Philip’s Academy in Newark, New Jersey, and a 2015 graduate of Royal Oak High School in Michigan.

    JUSTIN FREVERT, Parkour and Freerunning Artist: I started parkour in middle school. And it was because I was introduced to parkour through a news article.

    However, I had always been somebody who moved around and jumped and climbed on things, so I fell into it really naturally. Basically, I was just like — after I heard about it, I was like, oh, great, well, this has a name.

    Parkour is a training method designed to help somebody become more useful in their everyday environment. It was never designed to be a daredevil sport, extreme sport or anything like that.

    I would say the majority of what parkour practitioners do is they only practice safe progressions, they build their bodies up, they make sure they’re strong and safe before they go out and try anything, and they never try anything that’s above their limit. If there’s something you have to second-guess, you don’t try it. You don’t force yourself to do it.

    So, I would say that the parkour and freerunning community is filled with people who are more likely to be learners and explorers, that type of personality. My philosophy behind parkour is just to be useful and to overcome obstacles in your life and physically, and using that energy, not only moving forward, but moving in all directions.

    I have learned a lot through parkour, just because the want and the need to do parkour drove me to learn these things, so I could practice what I love.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You won’t find me trying that, but congratulations to all those terrific students participating in our Reporting Lab.

    The post Running and leaping through life at full speed appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Aviation technology continues to evolve, and in recent years, there’s been a big push by both private companies and the military to make more sophisticated pilotless aircraft or drones.

    A new research project led by the University of Washington is part of that effort and it aims to uncover the aeronautical secrets of some of nature’s best designed flyers, insects.

    Hari Sreenivasan has our report. It’s part of our Breakthroughs series on invention and innovation.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Have you ever watched a bee fly? Really watched them closely? Or studied a butterfly or dragonfly darting around your garden?

    With the naked eye, it’s often hard to see how they are flying, with tiny wings that can flap hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of times a minute. But when you watch in slow motion with the help of a high-speed camera, you get a whole new perspective on the mysterious, and incredibly complex world, of insect flight.

    So how does a bee with such a giant body and such tiny wings actually fly?

    TOM DANIEL, University of Washington: It beats its wings really fast, and you can’t even see that.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Tom Daniel is a biology professor at the University of Washington who has long studied bees and all sorts of flying insects. He says there’s a lot scientists have learned about bees over hundreds of years of study, but there is much more to learn about how exactly they fly.

    TOM DANIEL: The sensory information coming off the wing is probably providing gyroscopic data. The interesting thing is the wings are moving so fast, they are probably exquisitely sensitive to the rotations.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Whether bees and other insects have built-in gyroscopes in their wings is one of the questions Tom Daniel is now trying to answer…

    TOM DANIEL: If they are tracking temperature, you need to know the spatial temporal geometry.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: … as director of a new collaborative research project funded by the United States Air Force called the Center for Excellence on Nature-Inspired Flight Technologies and Ideas.

    Daniel says the scientists on the team and the military have a shared goal: to better understand how insects and animals fly, so that humans can build smarter, more efficient aircraft.

    TOM DANIEL: We look to nature. Are there ideas and principles that nature is using to solve hard flight control problems? Can we use those ideas to inspire new technologies, and can we use technology to deepen our understanding of how nature solves its problems?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Research is now under way at several universities around the country and in Europe.

    Among the test subjects: bats at Johns Hopkins and crane flies at Case Western Reserve University, and at Tom Daniel’s lab at the University of Washington, these hawk moths. This is a video slowed down of one of those moths that’s feeding from a flower. Like a hummingbird, the moth has to make hundreds of tiny corrections every second with a passing breeze, in order to stay perfectly aligned with the flower, a natural feat science and technology cannot come close to replicating.

    And that’s part of what fascinates researchers like Daniel.

    TOM DANIEL: I pop this down on top.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: On the day we visited, Daniel was prepping one of the moths for an experiment by carefully gluing a tiny metal rod to its back.

    TOM DANIEL: And off you go.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: He then attached the moth to a piece of equipment that allows him to track how the moth navigates this virtual forest projected in front of it.

    TOM DANIEL: What I have here is a moth that’s attached to effectively a joystick.


    TOM DANIEL: So, if the moth tries to turn right or turn left, we will measure it.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, the moth thinks it’s flying?

    TOM DANIEL: It thinks it’s flying. So, what we’re really interested in doing is asking, how does it process information and accomplish tight maneuvers in a complex habitat? With a tiny brain, they’re accomplishing maneuvers that we can’t get any aircraft to do.

    As we look to various devices to help us guide airplanes and aircraft, how could you build systems that could actually navigate in cluttered environments, navigate safely? How could you build a little quad rotor to move around in a little forest?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Daniel’s lab is often literally buzzing. His team of graduates and postdoctoral students run a variety of experiments aimed at understanding how insects process information around them and use that information to control their flight.

    ELISCHA SANDERS, University of Washington neurobiology graduate: We know how to make things fly, but how things fly, I think, is a much grander question.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Elischa Sanders is a neurobiology graduate who is studying how moths’ nervous system react to external stimuli. Sanders says what he and his colleagues are learning about the moth’s nervous system applies to much more.

    ELISCHA SANDERS: I like to think of it kind of as learning a different language. We know the wing is talking to the brain to talk back to the wing so that it can maintain flight, but we don’t know what they’re saying.

    And much in the same way that it goes on for the moth, it goes on in humans as well. We’re trying to crack that code or understand the language of the nervous system, so that we can, you know, better the technologies for humanity.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Designing experiments to study tiny creatures and even smaller fragile wing structures is no easy task. So, one of group of students in the lab has built a robotic insect wing called the Flapper.

    ANNIKA EBERLE, University of Washington mechanical engineering graduate student: Insect wings are very complex structures. We can use these very simple models in order to understand the underlying principles that govern insect flight.

    THOMAS MOHREN, University of Washington, visiting mechanical engineering graduate student: There are so many things that even for the smallest of simplest insects that we don’t know about. We don’t know how they sense pretty much anything. We don’t know how they sense their velocity, their rotation, their orientation.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: While the scientists here are focused on advancing basic science, their research could one day lead to a future with smarter and more drones above us, a concerning prospect for some.

    The U.S. Air Force, which is providing up to $9 million for Daniel’s project over the next six years, has said their primary goals are to develop better control systems for drones and make aircraft more efficient. But through its own research program, the Air Force has in the past explored the use of robots that mimic insects and birds for surveillance and targeting.

    NARRATOR: Small size and agile flight will enable micro-air vehicles to covertly enter locations inaccessible by traditional means of aerial surveillance.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: While the Air Force is not currently pursuing the development of those robots, similar technology could eventually one day play a role in the battlefield.

    Tom Daniel has not been involved with the military’s program. But he acknowledges the technology that may stem from his team’s research will have a variety of uses.

    TOM DANIEL: Just like any technology, there are uses that are for more offensive, there are uses for defensive, and there are uses for exploration.

    So you can imagine a scenario of an earthquake in a building completely mostly destroyed, and you can’t get any normal robotic system or any human in there. How can you build something that is capable of looking for survivors, looking for sights of danger? So, I look at technology generally as, there are great uses, there are socially wonderful uses, and there are some more technically challenging uses.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Hari Sreenivasan in Seattle, Washington.

    The post How studying insects may lead to smarter drones appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

    Welcome to you, gentlemen. A lot to talk about this Friday.

    Let’s start with Iran.

    Mark, we just heard the secretary of state, John Kerry, what he had to say about this nuclear deal. What do you make of it?

    MARK SHIELDS: I think the president summarized it very well. He said don’t let the unattainable perfect be the enemy of the obtainable good.

    And I think this is obtainable good, the object being a nuclear — a non-nuclear Iran. And I think this guarantees at least for 10 years that there will be a non-nuclear Iran. It doesn’t change Iran’s — as the secretary pointed out, its conduct and what it does. And we hope that that does change. But this is about dealing with nuclear arms in a very troubled area.

    And I think, in this sense, it’s a step, very — a positive step, and one that I think the president is at the top of his game, quite frankly, from Charleston to the press conference this week. I thought he was compelling in both cases.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: David, what’s your take?

    DAVID BROOKS: I’m extremely skeptical.

    I start much more than Secretary Kerry, I think, with the belief that this is a theocratic, fascistic regime that wants to, A, be a big power in the Middle East, the dominant power in the region and spread a radically — radical version of sort of religious ideology. And so I think to give that regime first the $150 billion to up their funding for Hezbollah and other terrorist armies around the region is dangerous.

    To legitimize their nuclear enrichment program is dangerous. To lift eventually the ban on conventional weapons, the embargo on the conventional weapons is dangerous. And to have a regime that — you know, the inspection regime, people are getting lost in the details. It is not a bad regime. I suspect it probably will delay the nuclear program, but it’s their country.

    And if they’re ideologically motivated to build this weapon, and they have every incentive to want to do so, I assume they are going to find a way to keep these centrifuges going in some form, and get a breakout after the sanctions are lifted. So, for all those reasons, I think I’m quite skeptical of what has happened.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Secretary Kerry pushed back on this idea that Iran is going to use a lot of this money to great mischief in the region, Mark.

    But do the critics — you know, David’s point, do they have a point, that after — it is, after all, Iran’s to do what it wants with this money it’s going to get.

    MARK SHIELDS: Sure. It’s always — inaction is always preferable to chance action.

    This is a bold action on the part of the president, in my judgment. You have Vice President Cheney saying we don’t negotiate with evil, we defeat it.

    And, Judy, quite frankly, I think the reality is that, after the experience of the past 12 years of the United States in the Middle East, of 4,500 Americans dead, of 31,000 severely wounded, of $2 trillion spent, I think Americans have lost confidence in the one size fits all, let’s get tough, let’s get powerful, let’s go in and kick a little tail.

    That is not the answer, and it is not the solution. And, quite bluntly, the reality of fracking in this country and the production of oil in this country has relieved some of the urgency of the United States projecting further force in that area. So I really — I just — I think this is the best alternative, by far.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So — but, David, you don’t think the president’s arguments help the administration. What — do you have a sense of what’s going to happen on the Hill and whether they’re going to either back this or reject it?

    DAVID BROOKS: I would be shocked if they rejected it.

    There are some senators — there are a lot of Democratic senators, Chuck Schumer from New York, Dick Durbin from Illinois, and various others, a lot are sitting on the fence right now until they read it, and that seems appropriate. And there are some who are making skeptical noises.

    I think Obama would have to lose a real big chunk of the Democrats in the Senate and it would be just a major setback from his own party. I would be stunned if that happened. It’s possible, but it would be very surprising if that happened.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You think…

    MARK SHIELDS: I think David is more bullish about the prospects on the Hill than I am.

    I think the Senate is right now very much in doubt as to what would happen over sustaining a presidential veto. I think the best chance the Democrats have and the president has is in the House, where you have got the most effective Democratic vote deliver and touter of the past generation, Nancy Pelosi, on your side. And I think that may very well be the key to this.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I want to turn to the 2016 race for president.

    But, before I do that, Mark and David, I want to ask about the story we just — Lisa Desjardins just reported for us, this Planned Parenthood controversy, the videotaped interview out there about selling fetal tissue and whether or not Planned Parenthood is profiting from that.

    A lot of Republicans, David, jumping on this story. Is this kind of a bonanza for Republicans? So many of the candidates for president are saying — are deploring it and calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded.

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes, and Republicans have been sort of deemphasizing this issue. So, I guess when you go to the Iowa primaries — or the caucuses, you increase discussion of it.

    But they have been deemphasizing this issue, because it just hasn’t been a great general election issue. But this particular video gives them a chance to talk about it in a way that is not going to be offending to a lot of people in the middle, because I think the idea of selling parts is not very delectable to anybody.

    And, frankly, the part of the video that offended me, I guess, was, whether you’re pro-choice or pro-life, the state of the fetus late term is a mystery. And to talk about the body parts in such a cavalier way showed to me a corrosiveness of this issue, and the way this — the polarization of this issue tends to corrode people.

    And so this is a good and easy shot for the Republicans, because it’s not really engaging the issue where they’re sort of unpopular, and it allows them to defend the rights of the unborn, attack Planned Parenthood in a way that is politically more or less cost-free.


    MARK SHIELDS: I think David is right.

    I think abortion remains a painful and difficult issue in this country. America, I think it’s fair to say, is pro-choice. They don’t want to criminalize a woman who, in consultation with her conscience or confessor, her physician decides on the very painful process of ending a pregnancy.

    At the same time, America’s anti-abortion. The idea that this is somehow a virtuous act is objectionable and unacceptable to Americans. And I think what you have here is — and, admittedly, I give Lisa Desjardins great credit for going through the three hours of it — but an edited version. But, still, you have the woman, the doctor from Planned Parenthood in a very cavalier and callous fashion talking about, we’re going to go in, in a way — not that this is some surgical procedure being performed on a woman and ending a life or potential life, but in a way that we’re going to preserve the organs for use.

    I mean, it was — I think Cecile Richards had no alternative, the president of Planned Parenthood, except to apologize for that tone and the way it was done.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s broaden out for a minute and talk about the 2016 race.

    One more name has formally joined, David, this week, Governor Scott Walker, of Wisconsin. We have talked about him on this program before. But at this point, now that he’s in, what does that do to the race? Does it shake things up? What do you see?

    DAVID BROOKS: Well, politically, he’s got a reasonably straight shot. His strategy is pretty clear. He’s got to win Iowa, the first caucuses. He’s not expected to do super well in New Hampshire, but then he’s got to probably do pretty well in South Carolina.

    And if he does that, he will be sitting pretty. He will be — he’s definitely in the top three, I think, now, but he will be riding high just from the media exposure. His advantages are that he has got a genuine working-class voice. He’s not the greatest orator in the world, but he is a good explainer, he’s a good retail politician.

    And for conservatives, unlike people like Ted Cruz, who haven’t really achieved much, Scott Walker can actually point to legislative accomplishments as governor. And so I think he has a reasonably strong story to tell, will be a reasonably strong candidate.

    The only caveat I would put in, I would say, in the last two or three months, he hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire. And he’s let Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio and others sort of take some of the momentum of the campaign, but he is going to be strong, I think.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Setting the world on fire, Mark?

    MARK SHIELDS: I think setting the world on fire is a euphemism.

    Judy, the fact is Wisconsin is a blue state. No Democrat has lost — presidential nominee has lost Wisconsin since Ronald Reagan won it for the Republicans in 1984. It’s the only state that has elected an openly lesbian United States senator, Tammy Baldwin. Three times in four years, Scott Walker has won very close elections in Wisconsin.

    And he’s a favorite of a lot of conservatives because he did take on public employee unions. He has delivered. He’s a social and cultural conservative, as well as economic conservative. He has got a story to tell. And he’s a formidable candidate. He’s going to have considerable financial backing.

    The problem is that there’s a lingering sort of “I can see Alaska from my front porch” of Governor Palin with him. He said, for example, that, dealing with ISIS, he had dealt with public employees unions, and he didn’t — couldn’t say whether the president himself was a Christian, and he ducked on evolution.

    And it just was a question. There was a Rick Perry problem. Is he really ready for prime time? And not helped by the fact, when he did announce, that Patrick Healy of The New York Times quoted his principal consultant as saying that smart was not in the lexicon of voters when they talked about him, but they were working on that.


    MARK SHIELDS: So, I think Scott Walker has a great story to tell, but there is a question, is he going to be able to hit big league pitching?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we can’t talk about this week in the Republican, I guess, contest, David, without bringing up the name of billionaire Donald Trump, because he’s moved up in some of the national polls.

    There is a lot of conversation about it. But is it having a material effect, David, on what this contest is all about?

    DAVID BROOKS: I don’t think so. I think he’s the circus act of the week.

    He does — doing pretty well in the polls among the people who like the show, who like the thumb in the eye of the establishment, but he’s got huge negatives. There are huge numbers of Republican primary voters who say they would never vote for him. And there is just a very low ceiling.

    But he sucks up oxygen. He embarrasses the party. I think the only way it really — he’s not going to get elected. The only way potentially is if he loves the attention and he decides that he wants to run a third party in the general election or just be like a stunt candidate out there. Then he would really suck some votes away from the Republicans. That’s the only way I can see it possibly affecting the actual electoral outcome.

    MARK SHIELDS: Judy, in the Washington Post/ABC News poll, in May, he was at 65 percent unfavorable among Republicans. That dropped 25 points between May and July.

    What happened between May and July? He announced. He announced and he presented himself as the most vehemently anti-immigrant campaign, candidate in the entire field. He’s appealed, sadly, to a dark side of the Republican Party and Republican voters.

    And I have to say, the one Republican who has taken him on — Jeb Bush has kind of pussyfooted around, and so has Marco Rubio — is Lindsey Graham. Lindsey Graham said, this is a moral question. Are we going to — if we do this, we deserve to lose.

    And I just think what’s he has done is, he raised the stakes for the first debate in August 6. And it guarantees that it’s going to be a question of who bells the cat, who stands up to Donald Trump and stands up on immigration.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s become a question in the primaries.

    Mark Shields, David Brooks, we thank you both. Thanks.

    The post Shields and Brooks on striking a deal with Iran, Planned Parenthood scrutiny appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    The Planned Parenthood logo is pictured outside a clinic in Boston, Massachusetts, June 27, 2014. The U.S. Supreme Court handed a victory to anti-abortion activists on Thursday by making it harder for states to enact laws aimed at helping patients entering abortion clinics to avoid protesters, striking down a Massachusetts statute that had created a no-entry zone. REUTERS/Dominick Reuter  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW HEALTH SOCIETY BUSINESS LOGO) - RTR3W38C

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: This week, a group of abortion rights opponents released a hidden camera video of a conversation with an official from Planned Parenthood. That’s the nonprofit organization that provides reproductive and other health care services, including abortion, to women and families.

    Our political editor, Lisa Desjardins, screened both the edited and unedited versions of the video and reports on the footage that is causing a political firestorm.

    A warning: Some of the images and details in this story are graphic.

    LISA DESJARDINS: This is the edited version of the video, with the undercover anti-abortion group’s added graphics.

    On screen is Dr. Deborah Nucatola, national medical director for Planned Parenthood. Off screen are two anti-abortion activists who spent months posing as medical researchers looking to purchase fetal tissue.

    WOMAN: You know, I would throw a number out, and I would say it’s probably anywhere from $30 to $100, depending on the facility and what’s involved.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The undercover team later asks about buying specific fetal parts. A warning: This excerpt is graphic and may be disturbing.

    WOMAN: It makes a huge difference. I’d say a lot of people want liver.

    Exactly. So then you’re just kind of cognizant of where you put your graspers, you try to intentionally go above and below the thorax, so that, you know, we’ve been very good at getting heart, lung, liver, because we know that, so I’m not going to crush that part, I’m going to basically crush below, I’m going to crush above, and I’m going to see if I can get it all intact.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The legal question here is, is Planned Parenthood, provider of 40 percent of abortions in the U.S., selling fetal tissue? That is illegal.

    But donating fetal tissue or recovering your costs from such a donation, that’s legal. And it’s part of a fast-growing medical research field.

    Some cells are used to help patients with immune disease or for things like Alzheimer’s research. The potential controversy here is whether Planned Parenthood is profiting from the aborted fetal tissue. In a video statement, Planned Parenthood director Cecile Richards said absolutely not.

    CECILE RICHARDS, President, Planned Parenthood: Recently, an organization that opposes safe and legal abortion used secretly recorded, heavily edited videos to make outrageous claims about programs that help women donate fetal tissue for medical research.

    I want to be really clear: The allegation that Planned Parenthood profits in any way from tissue donation is not true.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Richards did apologize for the tone the staff member took.

    CECILE RICHARDS: This is unacceptable, and I personally apologize for the staff member’s tone and statements.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The NewsHour reviewed the nearly three-hour unedited video. In it, Planned Parenthood repeatedly stresses that tissue transfers are for research, and clinics can only charge to recoup their costs.

    WOMAN: To them, this is not a service they should be making money from. It’s something they should be able to offer this to their patients, in a way that doesn’t impact them.

    WOMAN: Offsetting their costs. That’s all it is.

    WOMAN: Yes. No one’s going to see this as a moneymaking thing.

    LISA DESJARDINS: This is a repeated theme in the whole video and absent from the Web posts.

    WOMAN: Nobody should be selling tissue. That’s just not the goal here.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The video has inflamed the long-heated abortion debate and Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner have pounced.

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), Speaker of the House: Now, if you have seen this video, I don’t have to tell you how sickening it is. So, rest assured, we’re going to get to the bottom of this and protect the values that we hold dear.

    LISA DESJARDINS: For presidential candidates courting conservatives it is an easy target. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul wants a Senate vote to defund Planned Parenthood. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has launched a state investigation. Texas Senator Ted Cruz wants a congressional investigation.

    And half-a-dozen others from Scott Walker to Jeb Bush have expressed outrage and alarm across social media. But as Republicans dig in, so does Planned Parenthood.

    CECILE RICHARDS: We know the real agenda of organizations behind videos like this, and they have never been concerned with protecting the health and safety of women.

    Their mission is to ban abortion completely and cut women off from care at Planned Parenthood and other health centers. And we will never let that happen.

    LISA DESJARDINS: An undercover video opened a very public next round in the nation’s abortion debate.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Lisa Desjardins in Washington.

    The post Undercover Planned Parenthood video stokes abortion debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The nuclear agreement reached by the United States and other major world powers with Iran has provoked an intense reaction in Washington and around the world.

    This morning, I sat down at the State Department with the Obama administration’s point man on the deal, Secretary John Kerry, to discuss it and the reaction it has generated.

    Secretary John Kerry, thank you for talking with us.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: My pleasure.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So it’s been three days since you made this announcement.

    JOHN KERRY: Is that all? It feels like an eternity.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: When did you know, yourself, that this was going to come together?

    JOHN KERRY: I really only knew in the last couple of days.

    And even then, there were some tough issues to resolve in the final hours which could have snagged the whole thing. But a week before, I think it was Sunday a week out, I had a very direct and very sober discussion with my counterpart, questioning whether or not they really had the ability and/or the political space and authority to be able to make a deal.

    And I made it clear that if we didn’t move in a different direction from where we were, we were ready to go home.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But it turned around?

    JOHN KERRY: It turned around, and we really got down to business. Things began to move.

    There were always — there was always an interrelationship of key issues with other issues, and as we began to make progress, it sort of unlocked the keys to the puzzle, and it is a puzzle. All the pieces have to come together in the right way.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you make of the reaction, especially on Capitol Hill, which you know so well?

    JOHN KERRY: Well, look, I look forward to my discussions on Capitol Hill. I really want to sit down and go into the deal, because I think the deal withstands scrutiny.

    I mean, we spent four years negotiating this. This wasn’t a rush. If it was a rush, we would have done it a long time ago. We needed to make certain we were doing the things that closed off the four pathways to a bomb. And we knew it would be scrutinized.

    But what I regret is that so many members of Congress, without even reading the agreement or knowing what all the components were, were just automatically, out of politics or something, saying no, and then finding the reasons to hang their hat on it. I think that’s regrettable.

    But I look forward to really engaging on this. And I think it deserves a very responsible and deep analysis. And we’re ready to dig in with everybody and go at that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me ask you about some of the concerns that have been raised, take them one by one.

    Inspections, the administration officials were saying back in the spring they were going to be anywhere/anytime access. The president is now using the language where necessary, when necessary. That’s different.

    JOHN KERRY: Well, I will tell you, as a negotiator for these last many years, we never had a discussion about anywhere/anytime. Anywhere/anytime is this euphemism that’s out there maybe in the political hemisphere — or atmosphere, but it’s not a realistic or existing term of art within arms control.

    There is no country anywhere in the world that allows anywhere/anytime or has anywhere/anytime. The only example I can think of is Iraq after we invaded, once we had a total surrender and a takeover of the country. That’s different.

    So what you have under the IAEA is what’s called managed access or an access structure. But we negotiated something that doesn’t exist in any other agreement, and that is a resolution of a standoff. If they are not allowing us the access that we need in order to properly determine whether a suspicious site or some site where we have activities that we have questions about, that that is being accessed, if that doesn’t happen, we have a specific process by which we can go to the United Nations Security Council, we can bring back all the sanctions, and we can literally order inspections.

    And if they don’t comply, they’re in material breach of this agreement. That’s never happened before.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The former U.N. weapons inspector Charles Duelfer has told us, he said this is a plan that’s — quote — “highly dependent on the attitude and the aggressiveness of the international inspectors.” And he says they are going to be under enormous political pressure not to be too hard on Iran.

    JOHN KERRY: Oh, I disagree completely. I think it’s the exact opposite. They are going to be under enormous pressure to hold Iran accountable and to let the world see that we get the answers that we need.

    There is nothing in this agreement, Judy, that is based on trust. Every aspect of this agreement is, in fact, based on verification and the ability to be able to know what is happening.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Another aspect of this, Mr. Secretary, are these past military-related nuclear activities.

    And Mr. Duelfer was telling us — he said, “The ability of inspectors to get access to these dozen or so sites is still highly uncertain.” Even — and he’s read the agreement, has talked to others about it. He said it’s still not clear the administration has that kind of access.

    JOHN KERRY: First of all, they are not all sites that have to be visited. There are some sites and there are some people that need to be talked to and other investigation needs to take place.

    There is a plan that has been signed by Iran and the IAEA, which Director General Amano has declared he is satisfied will allow them to resolve the issues of PMD. And under that, there is access to certain sites that has been negotiated as part of the PMD plan. So, we have confidence that the IAEA will be able to get the answers on a very specific schedule that they need.

    And no relief, no sanctions relief will be given to Iran until that is done, they have made a report about that particular phase of what they’re doing, and then there will be ongoing efforts by the IAEA to determine what we call the broad conclusion, which is whether or not Iran is engaged in any activities in undeclared or declared sites with respect to weaponization.

    That takes a longer period of time, and the IAEA is satisfied they will be able to make that determination.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You have emphasized that this was just a deal about Iran’s nuclear program. It wasn’t intended to get at anything else.

    And yet, as you know, there is concern that Iran will take some of that money that they’re going to get from the frozen assets that are now being unfrozen, that they will use it on — some of it to create mischief, more mischief in the area, give some of it to Hezbollah, some of it to the Shiite militias in Yemen and so forth.

    JOHN KERRY: Right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What is the U.S. prepared to do about that? How do you see that playing out?

    JOHN KERRY: Well, we’re going to clamp down. They’re not allowed to do that.

    They’re not allowed to do that, outside even of this agreement. There is a U.N. resolution that specifically applies to them not being allowed to transfer to Hezbollah. They are specifically not allowed under another U.N. resolution to transfer to the Shia militia in Iraq. They are specifically not allowed to transfer to the Houthis.

    And I will be meeting with all of the Gulf states in about two weeks in Doha, and we are laying down — and Secretary Carter is meeting with them in Riyadh next week. We are laying down the steps we will take to work with our friends and allies in the region to push back against this behavior.

    Now, with respect to the money, I can’t tell you that some — you know, some amount of money might not find its way to some effort. But I tell you something. None of what they are doing today, around which they have been pretty successful, is a reflection of money.

    Iran’s total budget for the military is about $15 billion a year. The Gulf states are spending $130 billion a year. So there is something else going on. This is about organization, about a capacity. And what we’re going to do is build the capacity of other states in the region to be able to push back. In addition to that — and this is very important — our intelligence community has done a full analysis of Iran’s fiscal needs, monetary needs.

    President Rouhani needs to deliver to the Iranian people. They have high expectations from this deal for a change in their lifestyle. Iran needs to spend $300 billion just to bring their oil industry capacity back to where it was five years ago. They have a $900 billion need of expenditure for their banks, for arrearages, for infrastructure.

    So, $100 billion, which is their money, by the way, which we have frozen and they then get, is the price you pay for achieving no nuclear weapon.


    JOHN KERRY: You have a choice. Are you prepared to do what the U.N. resolution says, which is lift the sanctions over a period of time in return for their negotiating — where, by the way, they didn’t just come to the negotiations. They have cut a deal.

    Or do you want to go to war? Because the alternative to this deal is they will do whatever they want, we will lose the sanctions, we will lose the support of the global community. If the Congress of the United States turns this down, there will be conflict in the region, because that’s the only alternative. The ayatollah, if the United States says no, will not come back to the table and negotiate, and who could blame him under those circumstances?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Two other quick points.

    Number one, what do you see the U.S. doing in terms — in this new relationship with Iran? Do you see the U.S. working not only in parallel with Iran, but working for the same purpose to try to bring stability to the region?

    JOHN KERRY: Well, the truth is, we just don’t know.

    This was a nuclear agreement, because we believed that getting to a place where Iran cannot have a nuclear weapon was essential priority number one, because, in the pushback against these other activities, you are clearly better off pushing back against an Iran that doesn’t have a nuclear weapon, rather than one that has one.

    So we haven’t negotiated these other issues. We don’t know yet whether or not what President Rouhani said, which is welcome, by the way — I think the president, President Rouhani, made important statements about their willingness to work on regional stability. My counterpart, Foreign Minister Zarif, made very important comments to me about the willingness to do that.

    But we won’t know until we go down this road, implement this agreement, and work on the possibilities of some of those other issues.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Related question, even friends of the administration are saying that the — that this president, you have to work now to reestablish normal relations with Israel again, that those have been badly frayed by this Iran agreement.

    JOHN KERRY: I talked to Prime Minister Netanyahu yesterday. I have talked to him regularly throughout this process.

    And we are absolutely, by far, more linked day to day in the security relationship with Israel than at any time in history. President Obama is prepared to upgrade that, to work to do more to be able to address specific concerns. But we still believe that Israel will be safer with a one-year breakout for the 10 years than two months.

    Now, there’s no alternative being provided by all these other people. They all say, oh, why didn’t you crush them with the sanctions? I will tell you why. Because they won’t be crushed by sanctions. That’s been proven. And because we will lose the other people who are helping to provide those sanctions. They are not going to do that if Iran is willing to make a reasonable agreement.

    So, there is a lot of fantasy out there about this — quote — “better deal.” The fact is that we spent four years putting together an agreement that had the consent of Russia, China, France, Germany, Great Britain and Iran. That is not easy. And I believe the agreement we got withstands scrutiny and will deliver an Iran that cannot get a nuclear weapon.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, are you — any doubt in your mind the supreme leader will endorse this, and any chance the administration will delay that vote in the U.N. Security Council?

    JOHN KERRY: Well, we can’t. We can’t delay the vote in the Security Council, but it was structured in a way to completely respect the prerogatives of Congress.

    The supreme leader, any doubt that he will endorse this?

    JOHN KERRY: Well, I can’t speak — I don’t — you know, if he decides not to do this, then that solves a lot of problems for people on the Hill. And it solves a lot of problems for those who think this doesn’t meet their standard, and I think it creates serious problems for Iran.

    I doubt that will happen, but I’m not going to vouch for any choices that Iran may or may not make.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Secretary John Kerry, we thank you for talking with us.

    JOHN KERRY: Good to be with you. Thank you.

    The post Iran nuclear deal deserves ‘responsible’ analysis, says Kerry appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    FBI agents work the scene at the Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee July 16, 2015. Four Marines were killed on Thursday by a gunman who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, before being fatally shot in an attack officials called a brazen, brutal act of domestic terrorism. REUTERS/Tami Chappell  - RTX1KM12

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now we take a deeper look at what we know about the attack in Chattanooga and the current threats against Americans.

    Hari Sreenivasan picks up the story.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Investigators are combing through clues to find out why Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez went on a shooting rampage yesterday in Chattanooga.

    Officials describe the case that targeted members of the U.S. military, taking the lives of four Marines, as a terror investigation.

    For more, we turn to Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

    So, Michael, on the one hand, we have federal authorities saying we do not have a direct link yet to ISIS. On the other hand, this is exactly the type of attack that ISIS and al-Qaida are trying to inspire around the world.

    MICHAEL LEITER, Former Director, National Counterterrorism Center: That’s exactly right.

    And I think federal officials are being appropriately cautious. It is only 24 hours after the event and much evidence that will be uncovered is not yet open or public. All that being said, it’s quite clear, I think by all of the indications, that there was some inspiration from al-Qaida or ISIS ideology.

    Exactly what those links are back to those organizations, that’s what we still have to figure out.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And ISIS has specifically been asking people to target members of the U.S. military. Right.

    MICHAEL LEITER: That’s right.

    And ISIS has been really much more successful at using social media and calling for Muslims globally to attack at home, not traveling to Afghanistan, or Iraq or Syria, and targeting either law enforcement officials or members of the military.

    So, in that sense, certainly, the initial appearance of this attack very much falls in line with what ISIS has been encouraging.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Well, you mentioned social media. How cooperative have social media companies been in balancing the privacy rights of their users vs. aiding authorities in an investigation like this?

    MICHAEL LEITER: Well, this is a very thorny problem, especially after the disclosures by Edward Snowden. There’s great discomfort between the national security community and social media companies.

    I think the social media companies are doing what they can, but, in truth, many in the U.S. government think that they can do a little bit more, and that would be disclosing information to federal officials once they see it is clearly associated with terrorist activity.

    The fact is that social media and other modes of secure communications are really how these organizations are getting their message out and in some ways communicating. So it is going to have to be a very cooperative effort between the technology community in the U.S. and abroad and global counterterrorism officials.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: When we have members of the military saying the equivalent of let’s raise the threat level, let’s recheck all the security features that we have, but how do you prevent an attack from a lone wolf like this?

    MICHAEL LEITER: This is really difficult, and this is some of the worst fears of the U.S. counterterrorism officials.

    The fact is, detecting these people in the first instance, as we just talked about, is difficult because of the nature of social media and communications. But even once you identify them, to actually track and surveil them, really, the resources of the FBI and local law enforcement are totally swamped.

    So, it’s a real challenge. So this will involve work overseas to try to diminish organizations like ISIS, domestic efforts here and force protection. But some of these people are always going to remain vulnerable. In a society where people can easily gain access to weapons, unfortunately, we are going to face events like this.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But what are the red flags counterterrorism officials are looking for? Because this individual wasn’t on the radar.

    MICHAEL LEITER: I think, normally, officials would be looking for, again, engagement in social media, statements or communications of known terrorists, which really suggested a radicalization and potentially a movement towards executing an attack.

    Certainly, some of the travel might have raised red flags, but this is an individual of ethnic Jordanian descent, so simply to travel to Jordan really wouldn’t do it. So, I think what’s most concerning about this case is that, even though it’s only 24 hours later, right now, there are very few red flags. There are very few dots that appeared to have been missed.

    And in that regard, the speed with which this individual seems to have gone from an extremely well-educated, well-integrated individual in American society to someone who would perpetrate these attacks with few, if any, indicators, just really does highlight how hard this challenge is.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Michael Leiter, former director of the National Counterterrorism Center, thanks so much for joining us.

    MICHAEL LEITER: Thank you.

    The post ‘Very few red flags’ to tip off authorities to Tennessee attack appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A Texas grand jury will take up the case of a black woman who died in jail this week. Police say Sandra Bland hanged herself Monday in Hempstead, about 60 miles from Houston. She’d been jailed for a traffic violation. Bland had acknowledged she suffered from depression, but family and friends say they doubt she would have committed suicide.

    Islamic State bombers have struck again in Iraq in one of their worst attacks yet. They claimed responsibility today for a car bomb that killed more than 100 people near Baghdad. The force of the blast brought down buildings in a busy marketplace, as Muslims marked the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

    The latest Greek bailout has moved forward on two fronts. The European Union confirmed today that it will supply $7.7 billion by Monday, so Athens can make a crucial debt repayment. Also, lawmakers in Germany, the E.U.’s biggest player, approved starting negotiations on a formal bailout package, after a plea by the chancellor.

    GERMAN CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, (through interpreter): I know that many have doubts and worries whether this way will be successful, whether Greece has the strength to permanently go down this road, and nobody can wipe aside these worries.

    But I am firmly convinced of one thing: We would be grossly negligent, even irresponsible, if we didn’t at least try this road.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The broad outlines of Greece’s bailout program were agreed to Monday by the Eurozone’s 19 leaders.

    In Ukraine, hundreds came out to mark one year since a Malaysia Airlines passenger plane was shot down, leaving 298 people dead. Friends and family members of the victims and local residents gathered near the memorial site in rebel-held Eastern Ukraine. They laid flowers and released balloons at a stone marker.

    Back in this country, the U.S. Justice Department formally announced a partial settlement involving Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Maricopa County, Arizona. Arpaio is known for his outspoken stance against illegal immigration. But federal officials accused him of discriminating against Latino inmates and retaliating against critics. Under the settlement, Maricopa County agrees to federal oversight and to new policies.

    Former New York Congressman Michael Grimm will serve eight months in prison for tax evasion. The Staten Island Republican was sentenced today, after pleading guilty last year to filing false tax returns. He was accused of under-reporting more than $1 million in wages at his restaurant. Grimm resigned from the U.S. House in January.

    And on Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 34 points to close below 18090. But the Nasdaq rose 47, as Google had its biggest gain in seven years. And the S&P 500 added two. For the week, the Nasdaq rose 4 percent, the Dow and the S&P gained about 2 percent.

    The post News Wrap: Texas grand jury to hear Sandra Bland case appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    American flags line a memorial as FBI agents continue their investigation at the Armed Forces Career Center in Chattanooga, Tennessee July 17, 2015. Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by a suspected gunman the FBI has confirmed as Mohammod Youssuf Abdulazeez, who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga before being fatally shot by police.   REUTERS/Tami Chappell - RTX1KQYT

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The question today in Chattanooga, Tennessee was, what led to the deadly shootings yesterday at a military recruiting center and Navy training site?

    But, as Hari Sreenivasan reports, so far, there are few answers.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Investigators spent the day poring over the crime scene and chasing some 70 leads.

    FBI Special Agent in Charge Ed Reinhold:

    ED REINHOLD, FBI Special Agent in Charge: FBI agents are partnering with state and locals to run down every lead that we have received. And as our team continues to develop additional information, you may see or hear about FBI activity in other areas of the state and nation.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The four U.S. Marines killed in the attacks were identified today as Gunnery Sergeant Thomas Sullivan of Massachusetts, a two-time Purple Heart recipient, Lance Corporal Skip Wells of Georgia, Staff Sergeant David Wyatt of North Carolina, and Sergeant Carson Holmquist of Wisconsin. Three other people were wounded.

    The Kuwaiti-born naturalized American citizen, Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, was shot and killed by police. The 24-year-old lived in nearby Hixson, Tennessee, and by all accounts wasn’t on federal law enforcement’s radar. And those who knew him were stunned.

    Luke Russell is a former high school classmate.

    LUKE RUSSELL: It’s crazy to hear about — not only in your hometown. You never hear about it in your hometown, but someone you went to school with. Everyone is shocked. We are just blown away, to be honest. I can’t believe it, really.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Authorities today searched the gunman’s computer for clues. They also looked into his foreign travel, but said, so far, there’s no link to the Islamic State or other terror groups.

    ED REINHOLD: That is a possibility that we will explore, just like any other possibility. At this time, we have no indication that he was inspired by or directed by anyone other than himself.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In the meantime, the Army’s chief of staff, General Ray Odierno, ordered a review of security at all military recruiting and reserve centers.

    The post Investigators search for motive in Tennessee military shootings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


older | 1 | .... | 642 | 643 | (Page 644) | 645 | 646 | .... | 1175 | newer