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

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    Pluto's heart is filled with frozen carbon monoxide. The location of the icy gas is marked by the blue outline. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    Pluto’s heart is filled with frozen carbon monoxide. The location of the frozen gas is marked by the blue outline. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    “I think the solar system saved the best for last.”

    That’s how project leader Alan Stern described the latest revelations from NASA’s New Horizons mission to Pluto. The press conference included a smorgasbord of fresh discoveries from the probe’s recent flyby of our distant celestial neighbor. Here’s a glimpse.

    1. Nepal gets its first landmark in the solar system

    Pluto’s icy mountains, which were reported Wednesday, have been named “Norgay Montes” in honor of Tenzing Norgay, the Nepalese sherpa who guided Edmund Hillary on the first successful ascent of Mount Everest in 1953. Some peaks in the Norgay Montes are as tall as those in the Rocky Mountains.

    “He is the first Nepalese to have any place named after them in the solar system,” said New Horizons co-investigator Jeff Moore of NASA Ames research center.

    The team also released a flyby animation of the mountain ranges, which are made from water ice, and a peek at a set of frozen plains located to the north, which have been dubbed Sputnik Planum after USSR’s first space probe.


    Animated flyby of Pluto’s Norgay Montes and nearby plains, Sputnik Planum. “The flyover is made as if your eye was 25 miles over Pluto,” Stern said, with a total width of 200 miles across.

    2. Pluto has lost a mountain of gas since its birth.

    Think you feel gassy after a bowl of beans? Just try being a dwarf planet at the edge of the solar system. After examining preliminary data on Pluto’s atmosphere, the team has surmised that the planet is losing gas at a rate of 500 tons per hour. The result is a nitrogen-packed tail that flows away from the sun.

    Thanks to New Horizons close flyby on Tuesday, we have a fresh perspective of Pluto’s atmosphere. The probe has measured the gases surrounding Pluto from its surface to about 1,000 miles up. On Earth, the best telescopes can only detect about 30 miles of Pluto’s atmosphere.

    “The highest altitudes are nitrogen. Lower down is methane. Even lower down is heavy hydrocarbons,” said New Horizons co-investigator Randy Gladstone of the Southwest Research Institute.

    But much of the planet’s outermost layer of nitrogen is escaping, based on the latest observations. As it does so, the gas forms a tail that wisps away into space.

    “We suspect that it’s escaping because of the weaker gravity of Pluto,” said New Horizons co-investigator Fran Bagenal of the University of Colorado, Boulder. “What we think is happening is the solar wind coming from the sun — the protons and electrons and charged particles that are streaming out at supersonic speeds — will eventually crash into and interact with this escaping atmosphere.”

    NASA scientists suspect that solar wind is blowing off Pluto's outermost layer of nitrogen gas. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    NASA scientists suspect that solar wind is blowing off Pluto’s outermost atmospheric layer of nitrogen gas. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    She continued that the atmospheric particles get entrained in the solar wind and carried away.

    The nitrogen likely started as frozen ice on the surface of the planet that evaporated. If this process has been happening since Pluto’s birth about 4.5 billion years ago, the scientists estimate the planet has lost about 1,000 to 9,000 feet of nitrogen ice over the course of its lifespan.

    “That’s a substantial mountain of nitrogen ice that’s been removed through evaporation and escape into the atmosphere,” Bagenal said.

    3. Pluto’s “heart” is filled with carbon monoxide

    New Horizons has detected a large deposit of frozen carbon monoxide in Pluto’s heart-shaped region, informally named “Tombaugh Regio” (Tombaugh Region; see header picture).

    “You can see the peak on the western side of the heart. We don’t know the source yet. Across the rest of the disc, there’s no other carbon monoxide concentration like this,” Stern said.

    4. Pluto’s plains are like a bowl of hot oatmeal

    “Pluto’s had a complex geological history. The landscape is just astoundingly amazing,” said New Horizons co-investigator Jeff Moore of the NASA Ames research institute. Some parts of Pluto’s crust seem fractured, as if broken by the kind of tectonics that build mountains on Earth. Other regions are covered in craters, making those areas ancient and possibly several million years old.

    Then there is Sputnik Planum, a set of icy plains located in Tombaugh Regio, just north of the Norgay Montes.

    Landmarks of Sputnik Planum, a set of icy plains on Pluto. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    Landmarks of Sputnik Planum, a set of icy plains on Pluto. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    “It’s clear that Sputnik Planum isn’t more than 100 million years. But it’s possibly still being shaped by geological forces, so it could be a week old as far as we know,” said Moore. The plains are marked by pear-shaped flat spots — 12-20 miles across — that are bordered by troughs or divots in the ground. Some troughs carry an unidentified dark material that may have collected or erupted from Pluto’s depths. Other areas are dotted by hills, while some pockets of the landscape are covered by pits.

    “We suspect that the hills were pushed up from the cracks. Or another hypothesis is they’re erosion-resistant knobs that are standing out as the surface is being massively eroded or lowered,” said Moore.

    Sputnik Planum’s many features may have been created by a process called convection, wherein Pluto’s frozen surface of methane, carbon monoxide and nitrogen were warped and driven up by the modest heat from the planet’s interior.

    “Similar to what you see on the surface of a boiling pot of oatmeal or the blobs in lava lamp. Alternatively, they could be mud cracks created by tension in the surface material. We have various ways to test those ideas,” said Moore.

    The team noted black spots that resembled gas plumes being blown by wind in the northern reaches of Sputnik Planum, hinting at the existence of geysers on Pluto.

    Preliminary evidence of gas plumes on Pluto suggest the existence of geysers. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    Preliminary evidence of gas plumes on Pluto suggest the existence of geysers. Photo by NASA/APL/SwRI

    5. Onward into oblivion

    It’s only been three days since New Horizons closest approach to Pluto, but the probe is already 2 million miles away from the planet, said Jim Green, NASA director of planetary science.

    The probe will continue to beam back its data from the flyby.

    “We’ve only received 1-2% of the data. By next week, we’ll have 5-6%,” Green said.

    Stern said that the mission team will provide weekly updates of the project.

    The post Nepal gets a piece of Pluto plus four new surprises from New Horizons appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Somali families receive an Iftar (breaking of fast) meal from a Qatari charity organization during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan in Mogadishu, June 22, 2015. Photo by Feisal Omar/Reuters

    Watch Video

    STEPHEN FEE: Behind this row of unassuming storefronts on Minneapolis’
    East 24th Street lies a little slice of Somalia. Dozens of shops sell scarves and books, fried snacks and sweet Somali tea. Pretty much everything you can buy in Mogadishu but in the heart of Minnesota.

    Maryan Abdi moved here from Somalia seventeen years ago and runs one of those shops.

    I sell rugs and flowers, she says. And it’s not just to support her family in the US.

    STEPHEN FEE: “So who do you send money to at home? Who is still in Somalia in your family?”

    My brothers, uncles, and aunts, she says. Each month she sends anywhere from three to five hundred dollars to family and friends back home.

    STEPHEN FEE: “So this shop basically helps support not just your family, but your family, their neighbors, their friends. I mean, all from here basically.”

    Yes, she says, the whole family. I have this business, and I have to help them.

    Maryan Abdi is one of 85-thousand Somali-Americans in the U-S, roughly a third of whom live in Minnesota. The majority fled East Africa after Somalia’s civil war in the 1990s.

    According to community leaders in Minneapolis-St. Paul, 80 percent of the Somali-Americans here send money back to East Africa. Aid groups say 40 percent of Somalia’s population relies on those dollars — known as remittances — to survive.

    Mohamed Idris runs ARAHA, the American Relief Agency for the Horn of Africa, based in Minneapolis.

    MOHAMED IDRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARAHA: “It is estimated about $1.3 billion dollars are the — the amount of money that come on an annual basis to Somalia from Somalis in diaspora. So the remittance is the lifeline, is the backbone for Somalia.”

    STEPHEN FEE: But now, the $215 million dollars that flow from the Somali diaspora in the U-S each year may be in jeopardy. The U-S government is increasingly concerned some of those remittances are going to terror groups that have taken hold in Muslim-majority Somalia, particularly al Shabaab — an al Qaeda linked organization behind an assault on a Kenyan university this April that killed more than 140 people and an attack on a Kenyan mall two years ago that killed 67.

    Adam Szubin is the U-S Treasury Department’s acting Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

    ADAM SZUBIN, ACTING UNDER SECRETARY, U.S. TREASURY: “Any time you’re talking about funds transfer mechanisms, whether it’s wires, whether it’s the baking system, any funds transfer can be exploited by bad actors, including terrorist groups. And obviously when you’re talking about Somalia, al Shabaab has a presence there, and it’s had a very harmful influence on the people of Somalia.”

    STEPHEN FEE: As a result, Treasury has imposed stricter controls on money transfers to Somalia, where there’s a weak central bank and limited financial oversight.

    ADAM SZUBIN, ACTING UNDER SECRETARY, U.S. TREASURY: “The key issue for us is the strength of the financial mechanism, making sure that we try to keep bad flows out of U-S banks, out of the U-S financial system, and thereby deprive the terrorist actors of their livelihood.”

    STEPHEN FEE: But according to Ryan Allen, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, Treasury’s strict anti-money laundering rules are having the inadvertent effect of pressuring banks that normally help facilitate remittances to Somalia.

    RYAN ALLEN, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS:
    “Because of the expectations on the due diligence, the banks run a risk. If the money should fall into the wrong hands, despite their best efforts even, they can face some really significant penalties, you know, in the millions of dollars kinds of penalties.”

    STEPHEN FEE: “With that in mind, these intermediary banks that hold the accounts for these money transfer organizations, started closing some of these accounts?”

    RYAN ALLEN, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS:
    “That’s right. So slowly, one by one, and then — and then a kind of rash of closings, many of the — many of the banks are deciding that the risk is not worth the return.”

    STEPHEN FEE: Money transfers to Somalia are complex. Senders, say in Minneapolis, bring cash to a money transfer window. The money is then held in an intermediary bank, wired through a clearinghouse in the Middle East, and finally winds up in East Africa. But if the money ends up in the wrong hands, the intermediary banks may he held responsible.

    This February, one of those institutions — Merchants Bank of California, responsible for up to 80 percent of US-to-Somalia remittances — decided to get out of the business.

    MOHAMED IDRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARAHA: “Right now, for regular Somalis in the Twin Cities, the number of remittance, Somali remittances that are doing this business are shrinking.”

    STEPHEN FEE: Mohamed Idris, whose group has offices throughout East Africa, is still able to send money to his colleagues in Somalia, but the remittance firms in Minneapolis are capping amounts he can send abroad and charging higher fees.

    MOHAMED IDRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARAHA: “Remember, there is no traditional bank in Somalia. And — and that’s — even the U-N uses these wire transfers because that’s the — it’s the only means to send money to Somalia. Businesses, charities, government.”

    STEPHEN FEE: But some of those dollars have made their way from the US to militant groups in Somalia.

    In 2011, two Somali-American women from Rochester, Minnesota were convicted of sending 86-hundred dollars to al Shabaab. That same year, a Somali cab driver in St. Louis pleaded guilty to providing 6-thousand dollars to help al Shabaab buy a vehicle. And in 2013, a jury in San Diego found four Somali men guilty of conspiring to raise funds for the terror group.

    RYAN ALLEN, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS:
    “So far, the U-S government has only been able to find some isolated cases of this, right. And so how much more widespread it might be is really hard to determine.”

    STEPHEN FEE: Acting Treasury Under Secretary Adam Szubin won’t say exactly how much money he believes has made its way from the U-S to Al Shabaab. But his concern lies with the lack of any formal banking infrastructure on the Somali side of remittance transactions.

    ADAM SZUBIN, ACTING UNDER SECRETARY, U.S. TREASURY: “And so what we’re talking about is a very opaque — if you will, a black hole — where those funds are going. That’s the root concern of banks who are asking hard questions about how do we know the funds are going where they’re supposed to be going?”

    STEPHEN FEE: Money transfer offices in the US can check the names of money senders and recipients against a government list of known terrorist supporters. But their counterparts in East Africa have no such ability.

    Abdulaziz Sugule runs a trade group for money transfer offices in Minnesota.

    STEPHEN FEE: “How do you know that some of this money might not eventually get into the wrong hands?”

    ABDULAZIZ SUGULE, SOMALI AMERICAN MONEY SERVICE ASSOCIATION: “They know their customers. They know people who send money. If they see something’s happening, they can also — there’s a way you can report to the government.”

    STEPHEN FEE: Sugule says lack of transparency is an issue — but the risk is negligible.

    ABDULAZIZ SUGULE, SOMALI AMERICAN MONEY SERVICE ASSOCIATION: “If you look at the average person sending, if you look at that, it’s going to be 200, less than $200 dollars. And that money’s going to the needy people, the people in refugee camps, the people who are destitute.”

    STEPHEN FEE: And Somali-Americans like 24-year-old truck driver Abdi Salad say they’re as concerned as the U-S- government about militant groups back home. After all, their families are in danger.

    ABDI SALAD: “We’re not terrorists. We’re not supporting terrorists. We just want to send money to our families.”

    STEPHEN FEE: Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has teamed up with her state’s congressional delegation to press for a national solution — one that balances security concerns with her constituents’ desires to aid their families.

    MAYOR BETSY HODGES, MINNEAPOLIS, MN: “It’s a question of banks, federal regulators, the State Department, Treasury working together to find solutions that will both keep our country secure and keep the world secure as we should and as we must. But that would also allow folks to send dollars back home. And frankly, not being able to send dollars back home, in some ways, is a larger security issue. It gives a reason for people to say, at one point you had access to resources from home, now you don’t, the west doesn’t care about you. Which you know, we don’t need to add to that pile of messages.”

    STEPHEN FEE: In Washington, Minnesota Congressman Keith Ellison has taken up his constituents’ concerns as well. He’s proposed reducing the liability for banks that facilitate remittances — so if money goes to the wrong people, the banks would face less severe punishment from regulators.

    STEPHEN FEE: “Couldn’t that help at least loosen up the gears a little bit?”

    ADAM SZUBIN, ACTING UNDER SECRETARY, U.S. TREASURY: “I don’t think that’s the answer, in that it’s not a question of regulatory liability. Banks don’t want to be handling money flows if they don’t know where they’re going, especially into a high-risk area like Somalia, and we can’t be in the practice of saying you don’t have to worry about your anti-money laundering or counter-terrorist financing regulatory obligations.”

    STEPHEN FEE: The Treasury Department and other U-S agencies are working to strengthen banking oversight in Somalia. University of Minnesota professor Ryan Allen says THAT could reduce the risk of money ending up in terrorists’ hands and help keep the remittance pathway open.

    RYAN ALLEN, UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA HUMPHREY SCHOOL OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS:
    “If we have a well-established and strong central bank in Somalia, if we have a banking sector that is capable of doing assurances on who’s getting money and keeping tabs on where the money’s going, that’s the best long-term solution to this problem.”

    STEPHEN FEE: But it’s the short term that has Somali-Americans in Minneapolis most concerned. And Mohamed Idris, who runs the relief agency ARAHA, says slowing the remittance flow could sabotage Somalia’s gradual steps toward greater political stability.

    MOHAMED IDRIS, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ARAHA: “It means that our work will be doubled. It will be — means that the fragile situation that is getting better right now in Somalia is going to reverse.”

    The post How U.S. regulation may keep remittances from some Somali families appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The interior of the 24th street mall in Minneapolis, Minnesota is reminiscent of the bazaars found more often in Mogadishu than in the Midwest. Shoppers walk through rolls of colorful cloth on display, small electronics stores, tea shops and money transfer windows.

    During the month of Ramadan, the predominantly Muslim Somali community in Minneapolis adapts to the ritual daylong fast and midnight prayers — starting the day later, going out more at night.

    As the tea shops and cafes lie empty, money transfer windows bustle with people sending more money home for the holiday.“We’re not terrorists, we’re not supporting terrorists, we just want to send money to our families.”

    But sending money to family can be more difficult when home is in East Africa, where concerns about funds falling into the hands of terrorist groups like Al Shabaab can impede money transfers.

    Banks are wary of facilitating money transfers, also known as remittances, to countries like Somalia, because banks can face stiff penalties under anti-money-laundering or anti-terrorism funding statutes.

    Merchants Bank of California, which accounted for 60-80 percent of remittances to Somalia from the U.S., announced in February they would be terminating accounts of companies conducting remittances for Somali immigrants.

    Graphic by Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekned

    Graphic by Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekned

    The World Bank says immigrants around the world sent a total of $583 billion back home in 2014. Nearly $1.3 billion are sent to Somalis in the form of remittances each year according to Oxfam, $215 million of which are sent from the U.S.

    While Somali remittances are just a small slice of money being sent worldwide — an estimated 40 percent of people in Somalia depend on remittances to get by.

    We spoke to Somali Americans in Minneapolis, the city with the largest population of Somalis in the U.S., and asked what would happen if they were no longer able to send remittances home to their families in Somalia.

    Maryan_Abdi . Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Maryan Abdi at the store she works at in Minneapolis. Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Maryan Abdi sells cloth, rugs and scarves at a Somali mall in Minneapolis. The money she makes from her business helps support her family in the U.S. as well as her brothers, uncles and aunts back in Somalia.

    Normally Abdi sends back $300 to $500 back to Somalia each month.

    “The kids cannot go to school, no food … if they close the remittances it’s going to be a problem,” she said.

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Daaho Egal came to Minneapolis from Mogadishu in 2007. She works 12-hour days, sometimes six days a week. She sends about $200 every month to her brother, who still lives in Mogadishu. She sends more on holidays like Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.

    “I love him, he’s my brother, and I want to do my part, not just for me but for the majority of Somalian people all over the world,” she said, standing outside of a Somali mall where she had just been to send her brother money. “This is something that’s very important to us to support our families back home.”

    The possibility that she may not be able to send money to Somalia in the future scares Egal.

    “My brother, he can’t work, he has a knee injury, he’s supporting his family, he’s doing all this and raising kids,” she said. “It’s already hard in this country. Imagine somewhere you can’t really give your kids what you really want to give them, so for that to be taken away is kind of hurtful.”

    Phoo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Taqi Hassan immigrated to Minneapolis from Mogadishu eight years ago. Every month, he sends back an average of $350, which is used to help support 18 people — buying food, paying tuition fees for school and medications, he said.

    He worries about what could happen if more banks exit the remittances business. “We don’t know the future, but I think it will be a severe consequence,” he said.

    As the family’s only source of income, if blocked, he said, “that means you’re killing them.”

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Photo by Mori Rothman/NewsHour Weekend

    Abdi Salad works as a truck driver in the Twin Cities and sends money to Ethiopia where his wife is living until she can come to the US.

    “We’re not terrorists, we’re not supporting terrorists, we just want to send money to our families,” he said.

    The post Hear from Somali immigrants who fear being unable to send money back home appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Supporters of gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. A decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a test of a constitutional right to same-sex marriage, is expected in the coming days.  REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTR4YXV2

    Supporters of gay marriage rally in front of the Supreme Court in Washington June 25, 2015. An Associated Press-GfK poll found that people in the US are evenly divided over the Supreme Court case that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    WASHINGTON  — People in the United States are evenly divided over the Supreme Court case that made same-sex marriage legal nationwide, according to an Associated Press-GfK poll.

    Many think local officials with religious objections to marrying gay and lesbian couples should be exempt from issuing licenses.

    Some things to know about public opinion on gay marriage and religious liberties:

    DIVISION OVER COURT CASE

    Altogether, 39 percent approved of the high court’s decision and 41 percent disapproved. An additional 18 percent neither approved nor disapproved.

    Poll respondents were divided over allowing same-sex marriage in their own state, with 42 percent in favor and 40 percent opposed.

    The poll found no surge in support for same-sex marriage since the court’s ruling June 26. If anything, support was down slightly since April, when 48 percent said they were in favor in another AP-GfK survey. An earlier poll, conducted in January and February, found 44 percent in support of same-sex marriage.

    A NEW BATTLEGROUND

    As marriage rights for gay couples become settled law, divisions exist over how the law should handle those who have religious objections to same-sex marriage.

    When the two are in conflict, 56 percent of those questioned said it’s more important for the government to protect religious liberties, while 39 percent said it’s more important to protect the rights of gays and lesbians.

    People were split over whether officials who issue marriage licenses should be allowed to say no to gay and lesbian couples because of religious objections. Just under half said those officials should not have to issue the licenses, about the same proportion saying they should.

    Also, 59 percent think wedding-related businesses should be allowed to refuse service to same-sex couples, compared with 52 percent in the earlier poll. By comparison, 46 percent said businesses in general should be allowed to refuse service because of their religious principles, while 51 percent said that should not be allowed.

    RELIGIOUS DIVIDES

    Self-described members of Protestant denominations were more likely to oppose than favor same-sex marriage, 52 percent to 32 percent.

    Catholics were more likely to be in favor than opposed, 48-32. Seven in 10 evangelical Christians opposed allowing same-sex couples to marry legally. On the other hand, 56 percent of those who do not belong to any religious denomination said they were in favor.

    Also, 60 percent of Protestants, 48 percent of Catholics and 76 percent of evangelicals said local officials should not have to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Just 37 percent of those with no religious affiliation agreed.

    SHARP PARTISAN DIVISIONS

    The survey found a vast gulf between Democrats and Republicans.

    For example, 65 percent of Democrats but only 22 percent Republicans favored allowing same-sex couples to legally marry in their state.

    Most Democrats said it was more important for the government to protect gay rights, 64 percent to 32 percent. Most Republicans said it was more important to protect religious liberties than gay rights, 82-17.

    And 7 in 10 Republicans, but just 3 in 10 Democrats, said local officials with religious objections should be exempt from issuing marriage licenses.

    The post Poll shows Americans divided on same-sex marriage appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Items left at a memorial at the Armed Forces Career Center are seen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 17, 2015. Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by Muhammad Abdulazeez, who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga before being fatally shot by police. A fifth victim, Naval petty officer Randall Smith, died of his injuries early  Saturday.   Photo by Tami Chappell/Reuters

    Items left at a memorial at the Armed Forces Career Center are seen in Chattanooga, Tennessee, on July 17, 2015. Four U.S. Marines were killed on Thursday by Muhammad Abdulazeez, who opened fire at two military offices in Chattanooga before being fatally shot by police. A fifth victim, Naval petty officer Randall Smith, died of his injuries early Saturday. Photo by Tami Chappell/Reuters

    A fifth victim of Thursday’s shootings at a military offices recruitment center and a Naval reserve office in Chattanooga, Tennessee, died in the hospital on Saturday as a result of his injuries.

    Petty officer Randall Smith was a Navy logistics specialist who grew up in Ohio. He joined the Navy after a shoulder injury prematurely halted college baseball aspirations, according to The Associated Press.

    Four Marines were also killed in the attack. They were Lance Cpl. Squire “Skip” Wells, Gunnery Sgt. Thomas Sullivan, Sgt. Carson Holmquist and Staff Sgt. David Wyatt.

    A mugshot of Muhammod Youssuf Abdulazeez from a DUI charge in April in Hamilton County is seen in this handout image provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office. Investigators on Thursday sought to determine what led a 24-year-old gunman to open fire at two military offices in Chattanooga, Tennessee, killing four Marines amd a sailor in an attack officials said could be an act of domestic terrorism. Abdulazeez, identified as the shooter by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, was shot to death in the rampage that also injured three people.  Photo by Hamilton County Sheriff's Office/Handout via Reuters

    A mugshot of Muhammod Youssuf Abdulazeez from a DUI charge in April in Hamilton County is seen in this handout image provided by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office. Photo by Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office/Handout via Reuters

    Before Kuwait-born Tennessee resident Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez, 24, allegedly opened fire on the two unarmed military offices on Thursday, officials have said law enforcement had no glaring reasons to be suspicious of the University of Tennessee engineering graduate.

    “It’s kind of a general consensus from people that interacted with him that he was just your average citizen there in the neighborhood. There was no reason to suspect anything otherwise,” City Councilman Ken Smith told the AP.

    The attack has prompted a full investigation into Abdulazeez’s foreign travel and online communications over the past few years in order to understand what inspired his actions.

    Although a complete picture of the alleged shooter’s history and motives is not yet available, details about Abdulazeez are emerging. Reuters reported Saturday that a close friend of his said Abdulazeez had returned from a 2014 trip to Jordan angry about Mideast conflicts and the reluctance of the United States and other countries to intervene.

    The same friend also told Reuters that Abdulazeez sent him a text with a link to a verse that included the text “Whosoever shows enmity to a friend of Mine, then I have declared war against him” hours before the Chattanooga attack.

    A Marine recruiter and a Chattanooga police officer were also injured in the shooting, according to CNN.

    Abdulazeez was shot to death by authorities on the scene.

    The post Fifth victim dies from injuries sustained in Chattanooga shootings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Muslims leave through a gate of the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) after offering prayers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in the old quarters of Delhi, India on July 18, 2015. Eid al-Fitr begins with morning prayers in large, open, community areas. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    Muslim communities around the world gathered on Friday and Saturday to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Fast-Breaking.

    A child enjoys a ride in an amusement park during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Baghdad on July 17, 2015. Photo by Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

    A child enjoys a ride in an amusement park during Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Baghdad on July 17, 2015. Photo by Thaier al-Sudani/Reuters

    Muslims from a nearby neighborhood arrive by boat to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 17, 2015. Indonesia, which has the world's largest Muslim population, celebrates Eid al-Fitr with mass prayers and family visits to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan.  Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

    Muslims from a nearby neighborhood arrive by boat to attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Sunda Kelapa port in Jakarta, Indonesia on July 17, 2015. Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, celebrates Eid al-Fitr with mass prayers and family visits to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

    A tightrope walker performs holding a balancing pole on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India on July 18, 2015. Festivities around the world include everything from circuses to open banquets. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    A tightrope walker performs holding a balancing pole on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India on July 18, 2015. Festivities around the world include everything from circuses to open banquets. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    The three-day celebration of Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a holy fasting month.

    Muslims make their way to attend Eid-al Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the sand dunes at Parangkusumo, near Yogyakarta, Indonesia on July 17, 2015. Photo by Andreas/Reuters

    Muslims make their way to attend Eid-al Fitr prayers marking the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in the sand dunes at Parangkusumo, near Yogyakarta, Indonesia on July 17, 2015. Photo by Andreas/Reuters

    “On Eid, you are encouraged to eat all things that are too rich, too sweet, too creamy for a normal day,” food blogger Sumayya Usmani told the New York Times.

    A man takes a sweet cake at his shop at a festival of Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Dortmund, Germany on July 17, 2015. Sweets are central to the celebration of Eid al-Fitr in breaking fast. Photo by Ina Fassbender/Reuters

    A man takes a sweet cake at his shop at a festival of Eid-al-Fitr to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Dortmund, Germany on July 17, 2015. Sweets are central to the celebration of Eid al-Fitr in breaking fast. Photo by Ina Fassbender/Reuters

    A Palestinian prepares traditional cake at a sweets shop in preparation for Eid al-Fitr in the West Bank city of Nablus on July 15, 2015. Photo by Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

    A Palestinian prepares traditional cake at a sweets shop in preparation for Eid al-Fitr in the West Bank city of Nablus on July 15, 2015. Photo by Abed Omar Qusini/Reuters

    Eid al-Fitr is not only a celebration of food, but also of charity. Observing Muslims donate meals to the less fortunate so everyone can eat on the  holiday.

    Muslims prepare to distribute free Iftar (breaking of fast) meals as part of charity activities during the holy month of Ramadan at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) in the old quarters of Delhi, India, July 2, 2015. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    Muslims prepare to distribute free Iftar (breaking of fast) meals as part of charity activities during the holy month of Ramadan at the Jama Masjid (Grand Mosque) in the old quarters of Delhi, India, July 2, 2015. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    Eid al-Fitr is the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar. First and last days of Islamic months are marked by the rise of the new moon. Because of that, the specific date of Eid al-Fitr often differs for different countries, depending on when the new moon is sighted.

    A man is silhouetted as he adjusts a theodolite to look for the new moon that will mark the start of Ramadan, from Pakistan's Meteorological Department (PMD) in Karachi, Pakistan, June 17, 2015. The same process is used to determine the official date of Eid al-Fitr. Photo by Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

    A man’s silhouette is seen as he adjusts a theodolite to look for the new moon that will mark the start of Ramadan, from Pakistan’s Meteorological Department in Karachi, Pakistan, June 17, 2015. The same process is used to determine the official date of Eid al-Fitr. Photo by Akhtar Soomro/Reuters

    On Eid al-Fitr, Muslim families gather for morning prayers and the first daytime meal in a month. Men, women, and children also adorn new clothes for the day of festivities.

    A Muslim girl offers prayers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in Chandigarh, India on July 18, 2015.  Photo by Ajay Verma/Reuters

    A Muslim girl offers prayers on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr in Chandigarh, India on July 18, 2015. Photo by Ajay Verma/Reuters

    Children carry bags of new clothes days before Eid al-Fitr in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria on July 15, 2015. Photo by Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

    Children carry bags of new clothes days before Eid al-Fitr in Jobar, a suburb of Damascus, Syria on July 15, 2015. Photo by Bassam Khabieh/Reuters

    A young muslim boy stands up as Muslim men perform prayers for Eid-al Fitr to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a park in London, Britain on July 17, 2015. Photo by Suzanne Plunkett

    A young Muslim boy stands up as men perform prayers for Eid al-Fitr to mark the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan at a park in London, on July 17, 2015. Photo by Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters

    In most Muslim countries, the entire three day period of Eid al-Fitr is recognized as an official national holiday. People are excused from work and school to participate in festivities. New York City recently recognized the Muslim holiday in its public schools as well.

    Muslim faithfuls take a selfie after attending in morning prayers to celebrate the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr at the Eastleigh High School in Eastleigh, a suburb in Nairobi on July 17, 2015. Photo by Boniface Mwangi/Reuters

    Muslims take a selfie after attending morning prayers to celebrate the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr at the Eastleigh High School in a suburb of Nairobi, July 17, 2015. Photo by Boniface Mwangi/Reuters

    The post Photos: Eid al-Fitr is celebrated around the world appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets audience members at a campaign launch party in Concord, New Hampshire, June 15, 2015.  Campaigning in Iowa, Clinton has focused criticism on the Republican contenders, rather than on fellow Democratic rivals. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton greets audience members at a campaign launch party in Concord, New Hampshire, June 15, 2015. Campaigning in Iowa, Clinton has focused criticism on the Republican contenders, rather than on fellow Democratic rivals. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Ignoring her primary challengers, Hillary Rodham Clinton focused instead on the expanding field of Republican contenders as she and her fellow Democrats tried to impress influential party activists in Iowa.

    The fundraising face-off for the benefit of the state party came Friday night as the Democratic primary fight – long assumed to be just short of a coronation for Clinton – appeared to be heating up into a slightly more serious contest. In recent weeks, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has risen in the polls and packed arenas with voters eager to hear the message of the self-described socialist who’s become Clinton’s chief rival.

    But rather than confront her most immediate political obstacle in a crucial primary state, Clinton took aim at the other party, vowing to never let Republicans “rip away the progress” made during the Obama administration.

    “Trickle-down economics has to be one of the worst ideas of the 1980s,” Clinton said, evoking Republican policy from the Reagan era. “It is right up there with New Coke, shoulder pads and big hair.”

    Sanders, too, refused to criticize his primary opponent directly. Earlier in the day he edged closer to an attack when he questioned whether Clinton would back the kinds of tough regulations for Wall Street that’s become a rallying call for liberal Democrats.

    “You’ll have to ask Hillary Clinton her views on whether we should break up these large financial institutions,” he said during an afternoon appearance in Cedar Rapids.

    At the evening forum, Sanders called for a “political revolution” fueled by a “mass movement from coast to coast” that would end the influx of money into politics and take the country off “the path to oligarchy.”

    “The greed of the billionaire class has got to end and we are going to end it for them,” he said. He added: “Please don’t think small. Think big.”

    The Clinton campaign has signaled that it considers Sanders to be a legitimate challenger who will be running for the long haul, noting the $15.2 million he’s raised – largely from small donors – in the first three months of the race.

    They believe he will find a measure of support in Iowa, where the caucus system typically turns out the most passionate voters, and in New Hampshire, given Sanders’ many decades representing neighboring Vermont in Congress.

    On Friday, Clinton’s campaign said it bought $7.7 million worth of television advertising time in early voting states, its first ad buy for the 2016 contest. In Iowa, the campaign paid $3.6 million for time in all eight media markets that serve the state. An additional $4.1 million of airtime was purchased in New Hampshire, which holds the nation’s first primary.

    Unlike her rivals, Clinton has already built a vast campaign infrastructure, run from a multistory headquarters in New York City, with hundreds of staffers across the country. But so far the Clinton team has resisted any direct engagement with Sanders, fearing such an exchange might alienate the activists and small-dollar donors who will form the base of support in the general election if Clinton should win the nomination.

    “You can see that Democrats are united, we are energized, and we are ready to win this election,” Clinton said Friday night.

    In a fiery address, she slammed the economic policy of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, joked that businessman and TV star Donald Trump is “finally a candidate whose hair gets more attention than mine,” and criticized Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for targeting union power.

    Besides Sanders and Clinton, the forum featured former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee.

    O’Malley introduced himself as a can-do former chief executive who tackled a series of problems in Maryland by promoting public education, freezing college tuition, passing a “Dream Act” for young immigrants and expanding family leave policies.

    But like Sanders, he got some of his biggest applause when he talked about regulating and punishing Wall Street – underscoring the populist mood of the most active Democratic voters.

    “Main Street struggles while Wall Street soars,” he said. “If a bank is too big to fail, too big to jail and too big to manage, then it’s too damn big.”

    The post Rather than confront Sanders challenge, Clinton focused on GOP appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Martin Fletcher: A sea of white. Karate teachers from all over Israel, men and women – Jews, Muslims, Christians, Druze, Bedouin – together for a karate master class on the shores of the Mediterranean, north of Tel Aviv. The attraction…

    Imad Khalil: Everybody–yo!

    Martin Fletcher: Imad Khalil, who runs the karate association of neighboring Jordan. But this isn’t only about the martial arts. It’s about bridging the gap between Jews and Arabs. Hoping that the Jordanian teacher will introduce more Israelis to Jordan and to the Arab world. A step toward a wider peace.

    Imad Khalil: It’s help for peace. If you have a neighbor. And never you see him, and they see you. How you going to have relation with him? Friendship?

    Martin Fletcher: Khalil’s friendship visit to Israel got off to a rocky start, though.

    Martin Fletcher: There were supposed to be eight Jordanians here taking part in these karate exercises but six of them weren’t allowed into the country of Israel, they couldn’t get visas.

    Danny Hakim: Very disappointing.

    Martin Fletcher: Danny Hakim, the founder of Budo for Peace, the non-profit group that invited the Jordanians, called it just a bureaucratic hiccup.

    Danny Hakim: You know, as a karate person (laugh) you know, it’s just one obstacle. Next time we’ll definitely get them to come.

    Martin Fletcher: Budo for Peace has 24 martial arts clubs in Israel and 60 more affiliated clubs that follow the same creed.

    Danny Hakim: We do two things. One is teach values, values like respect, self-control, harmony within yourself, harmony for others, self-development and on the other side, we bring people and communities together. There’s so many different ethnic groups in Israel and all over the world, every country. We try and bring them together.

    Martin Fletcher: For all the violence and hostility between Jews and Arabs, there are hundreds of organizations devoted to bringing them together — many through sports. In addition to Budo for Peace there’s Soccer for Peace, Basketball for Peace, Surfing for Peace, and even Ultimate Frisbee for Peace. Eight year-old Idan Noit has been learning karate since he was five.

    Idan Noit: Hah!

    Martin Fletcher: And as his mother, Inbar, watches, she says she dreams of peace, and that her son won’t need to fight in the Israeli army.

    Inbar Noit: We keep hoping that until he becomes 18 he won’t have to go, but I’m not so sure.

    Martin Fletcher: That’s been every generation’s dream here?

    Inbar Noit: Exactly.

    Martin Fletcher: Karate isn’t only about the body but the mind too. And in Jerusalem’s Alyn Hospital, the karate colleagues brought their message of hope to children who can really use it.

    Danny Hakim: They’re not able to do a full punch. They just do this. But for them inside it’s a huge achievement.

    Martin Fletcher: Khalil does similar work in Jordan, bringing martial arts to children who benefit in the body and maybe, the mind.

    Imad Khalil: All the parents, all the people who in charge in the hospital, they told me, “The children are getting better physically and mentally.” Well, I said, “Oh. Make me happy this.”

    Martin Fletcher: Fighting for peace, for young and old.

    The post Can an all-star karate class help bridge the Arab-Israeli divide? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for a news conference at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, United States, July 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jim Young   - RTX1KU8F

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump arrives for a news conference at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa on July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    AMES, Iowa  — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized Arizona Sen. John McCain’s military record Saturday, saying he was a “war hero because he was captured.”

    Speaking at a conference of religious conservatives in Iowa, Trump was pressed on his recent description of the 2008 Republican presidential nominee as “a dummy.”

    McCain served as a Navy pilot during the Vietnam War. He was captured after his plane was shot down and was held more than five years as a prisoner of war. The moderator, Republican pollster Frank Luntz, described McCain as “a war hero.”

    Trump said McCain “is a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured.” The comment drew some boos from the audience.

    During a news conference after his appearance, Trump did not apologize but sought to clarify his remarks.

    “If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned. … But you have to do other things also,” Trump said. “I don’t like the job John McCain is doing in the Senate because he is not taking care of our veterans.”

    A spokesman for McCain, Brian Rogers, said no comment when asked about Trumps remarks.

    Trump said he avoided service in the Vietnam War through student and medical deferments, adding that he did not serve because he “was not a big fan of the Vietnam war. I wasn’t a protester, but the Vietnam war was a disaster for our country.”

    Other 2016 hopefuls were quick to attack Trump’s comments. In a statement, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry said the remarks make Trump “unfit to be commander-in-chief.”

    On Twitter, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said: “After Donald Trump spends six years in a POW camp, he can weigh in on John McCain’s service.” Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush wrote on Twitter: “Enough with the slanderous attacks. @SenJohnMcCain and all our veterans – particularly POWs have earned our respect and admiration.”

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz called McCain an American war hero, but sidestepped when asked whether he would condemn the remarks.

    “I recognize that folks in the press love to see Republican on Republican violence,” Cruz said. “You want me to say something bad about Donald Trump or bad about John McCain or bad about anyone else and I’m not going to do it.”

    Trump was among 10 GOP presidential candidates on Saturday’s program for the Family Leader Summit.

    This report was written by Catherine Lucey of the Associated Press.

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    A chlorine-tinged smoke cloud rises from a bomb detonated by Iraqi army and Shi'ite fighters in the Iraqi town of al-Alam, March 10, 2015. New reports indicate that the Islamic State may have begun manufacturing rudimentary chemical weapons. Photo by Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

    A chlorine-tinged smoke cloud rises from a bomb detonated by Iraqi army and Shi’ite fighters in the Iraqi town of al-Alam, March 10, 2015. New reports indicate that the Islamic State may have begun manufacturing rudimentary chemical weapons. Photo by Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters

    The Islamic State appears to have manufactured rudimentary chemical weapons and used them to attack Kurdish positions in Syria and Iraq, The New York Times reported Friday.

    In late June, the extremist group, also called ISIS or ISIL, launched a chemical mortar shell at a Kurdish military position near the Mosul Dam in northern Iraq. The shell appears to have contained chlorine gas, which sickened several nearby Kurdish fighters. The use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State and other insurgent groups in the region is not unprecedented, but the manufacture of chemical weapons would represent a significant development in the group’s capabilities.

    According to the New York Times, weapons research groups working with Kurdish authorities noted that the shell used in the attack appeared to have been manufactured in an Islamic State workshop.

    In another recent incident, the Islamic State used poison gas during the June 28 shelling of a village in northeastern Syria, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. A dozen Kurdish fighters caught in the attack experienced symptoms that included vomiting, trouble breathing, eye irritation, disorientation and temporary paralysis.

    The chemical used has not been conclusively identified, but preliminary laboratory results indicate it may have been phosphine, a chemical sometimes used as an insecticide in agricultural fumigation.

    The use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State and other insurgent groups in the region is not unprecedented, but the manufacture of chemical weapons would represent a significant development in the group’s capabilities.

    During the Iraq War, American troops found — and in some cases were wounded by — thousands of chemical weapons left over from Saddam Hussein’s weapons programs, including mustard gas and nerve agents. U.S. forces also found chemical weapons in seized weapons caches and roadside bombs left by Sunni militants in Iraq.

    Last year, the Islamic State seized a defunct chemical weapons complex that was the center of Iraqi chemical agent production in the 1980s. The Iraqi government said about 2,500 derelict chemical rockets remained at the Muthanna complex when the group captured it last June.

    In March, the Kurdistan Region Security Council accused the Islamic State of using chlorine gas during a January suicide truck bomb attack in northern Iraq, alleging that around 20 canisters were found in the remains of the truck after the attack.

    Creating and firing chemical weapons shells, as opposed to dispersing chemical agents via stationary bombs or repurposing old chemical munitions, is a new tactic for the Islamic State, and requires significantly more technical know-how.

    The use of chemical weapons is banned internationally, though they have been used in recent decades in Iraq and, more recently, by the Assad regime in Syria.

    The post Report: ISIS may have manufactured and fired chemical mortars appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    DES MOINES, Iowa — Republican presidential contenders seeking to woo evangelical voters are making their case for conservative social issues at a gathering expected to attract thousands of potential Iowa caucus-goers.

    Ten candidates are scheduled to appear Saturday in Ames at the annual Family Leadership Summit. No one seeking the GOP nomination has emerged as a clear favorite among evangelical voters.

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a news conference at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    “They understand that this base has been very influential in past caucuses,” said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader, the conservative organization sponsoring the event.

    Vander Plaats, who has not endorsed any candidate in the 2016 race, expressed concern that the Christian conservative vote might be split up between multiple candidates, diluting its impact.

    “The goal would be in this summit, and any subsequent venue or event, that we would start recognizing a leader we could unite around and champion – and try to get the person across the goal line,” he said.

    Scheduled to attend are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and reality TV personality Donald Trump.

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson arrives to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson arrives to speak at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, July 18, 2015. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    During the daylong event, the candidates will be questioned on stage by political consultant Frank Luntz.

    Iowa’s evangelical voters traditionally influence the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses because they tend to be organized and participate. Christian conservatives backed the winners of the last two caucuses, Mike Huckabee in 2008 and Rick Santorum in 2012, but neither was the eventual nominee.

    Former Iowa Republican Party Chairman Matt Strawn said it was likely too early for a leader to emerge among Christian conservatives. He also noted that some of the candidates may have a wider draw.

    “Not only are there considerable options within the Christian conservative lane, but there are also those in that lane that demonstrate appeal to a broader base,” he said.

    The post GOP contenders court evangelical vote in Iowa appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: When a woman reports a rape, soon after it occurs, authorities are able to get a rape kit — physical evidence extracted from the victim’s body which may contain the valuable DNA of the perpetrator. But what happens afterward?

    There have been stories over the years of cities like New York, Los Angeles and Detroit facing massive backlogs of untested rape kits. But this week, we learned this is a much bigger problem nationwide. A new investigation by the USA Today Media Network finds at least 70,000 rape kits remain untested in more than 1,000 different police departments. Keep in mind there are more than 18,000 different police departments around the country.

    Police departments in 34 states have never even taken an inventory of the evidence still sitting on the shelves untested, and police in 44 states have no guidelines of when to test rape kits.

    There are several reasons why, and to help us understand is reporter Steve Reilly from “USA Today.”

    So, it’s not just one newspaper. Tell us about how you pulled off this large scale investigation.

    STEVE REILLY, USA TODAY: Exactly. Well, we surveyed law enforcement agencies as you said across the country and found figures that more than a la thousand law enforcement agencies were identified untested assault kits. Each of our broadcast and current partners investigated the issue in their own communities and we looked at the scope and breadth of this issue across the country.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Aren’t all these entered into a state or a national database so that you can find say serial rapists across state lines.

    STEVE REILLY: Exactly. That’s what many advocates are making the point about these days is the usefulness of state and federal DNA databases has grown drastically over just the past couple of decades. And this evidence is much more valuable and much more able to help law enforcement identify and apprehend suspects than it ever has been.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, important to remember, that even behind this 70,000 number, there’s a story, there’s a person behind each one of them. And this isn’t even the complete number. It could be much bigger than this.

    STEVE REILLY: Absolutely. Like you said, we obtained data for about a thousand law enforcement agencies, and that’s a small portion of the nation’s 18,000 law enforcement agencies. No government entity has gone and comprehensively look at that. But like you said behind the figures, each kit is someone’s story and, you know, testing individual kits, you know, can mean a lot to a survivor of one of these incidents.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And you document how some of these survivors, until these tests went through lived in fear, not knowing whether their predator was out there.

    STEVE REILLY: When these kits aren’t tested, someone has gone through the terrible process of having these kits collected as the process can take up to four to six hours after an alleged assault to collect this evidence. And so, it’s very sensitive process, and it can — it can be difficult for some to hear that these kits aren’t being tested in some cases and it can mean just — it’s tremendously meaningful to have these cases resolved.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So, one of the things the police departments are often likely to say is, hey, do you know what, as much as I’d like to have every one of these tested, it’s a thousand bucks a pop and I don’t have the funds. But your reporting points out that there have been funds allocated for this, they’re just not getting out there.

    STEVE REILLY: Exactly. The funding has been there. It’s more a matter of really policy makers and leaders at the local and state level taking initiatives and pursuing first audits of the number of sexual assault kits they do have in evidence that haven’t been tested. And then second, reviewing and testing those that should be tested.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right. Steve Reilly of the “USA Today” — speaking for more than 90 papers that launched this investigation — thanks so much for your time.

    STEVE REILLY: Thank you so much.

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    Pulitzer Prize winner and "To Kill A Mockingbird" author Harper Lee smiles before receiving the 2007 Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House Nov. 5, 2007. Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: And now to Viewers Like You. Your chance to comment on our work. We return to last week’s segment about Harper Lee’s new novel, “Go Set A Watchman” and the revelation that Lee’s beloved character from “To Kill A Mockingbird,” Atticus Finch, holds racist views.

    WriterFromTexas said it was clear in TKAM that Atticus defended his client because that is how the law in this country is supposed to work. Kudos to him for that. The book hinted that this was despite Atticus’s beliefs. Would that all persons today received adequate representation.

    Calipenguin hoped schools would embrace the chance in Atticus Finch. Will school districts ban that novel now that Atticus turns out to be a segregationist in the sequel? I hope not. Teachers should use this opportunity to discuss the spectrum of civil rights issues in our nation’s history.

    Phoebe Gavin defended Harper Lee. I’m very annoyed by the reactions. No matter how invested you are in a character, you don’t own them, the author does. Only the author knows who any particular character truly is.

    Michael McLellan added, both are fiction. Both are separate entities. Reading this new novel should have no effect on how you view Mockingbird.

    David Uffer lamented, are there to be no heroes left standing in this crazed tormented world!?

    Kathi Duginski wanted no part of the new book. If that is true I won’t read it. I love the Atticus Finch I have known since I was a child.

    And John Hergt took a more cynical approach. It’s simply an inferior earlier effort that was scrapped and now resurrected for money.

    As always we welcome your comments. Visit us @pbs.org/newshour, on our Facebook page, or tweet us @newshour.

     

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    A view of the opening of a tunnel, which is connected to a warehouse, inside drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's cell in the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary, where he escaped from, in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, July 15, 2015. U.S. law enforcement officials met with agents of the Mexican attorney general's office this week to share information related to the escape from prison of Guzman and coordinate efforts to apprehend him, a Mexican government official said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido - RTX1KGFS

    The opening of a tunnel inside drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman’s cell in the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary, on the outskirts of Mexico City,  July 15. U.S. law enforcement officials met with agents of the Mexican Attorney General’s office this week to share information related to the escape and to coordinate efforts to apprehend Guzman, a Mexican government official said Wednesday. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters

    It has been one week since Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, one of Mexico’s most high-profile cartel leaders, escaped from a maximum security prison for the second time, and Mexican authorities have reported no new leads as to where he may be.

    Guzman leads the powerful Sinaloa cartel, one of the world’s most powerful drug trafficking organizations. Guzman’s July 11 jailbreak, in which he escaped through a ventilated tunnel dug underneath his prison cell shower, set off a highly-publicized manhunt.

    Mexican authorities announced Friday that seven prison employees were charged with involvement in Guzman’s escape, according to the Associated Press.

    A police officer inspects a passenger bus at a checkpoint on an highway in Contepec, in Michoacan state, July 12, 2015. Mexico's most notorious drug lord, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, broke out of a high-security prison July 11 for the second time, escaping in a tunnel built right under his cell, and heaping embarrassment on President Enrique Pena Nieto. Photo by Alan Ortega/Reuters

    A police officer inspects a passenger bus at a checkpoint on a highway in Contepec, Michoacan state, July 12, 2015. Photo by Alan Ortega/Reuters

    The Mexican interior ministry said Wednesday that it has distributed 100,000 pictures of Guzman to highway tolls, put 10,000 agents on alert at 101 checkpoints across the country and released 48 police dog teams to capture the fugitive, who is wanted in both Mexico and the United States.

    Guzman’s first escape from a maximum-security prison took place in 2001 in Jalisco, Mexico, when he allegedly broke out by hiding in a laundry cart. The Mexican government didn’t recapture the kingpin until February 2014.

    The escape route Guzman used in his latest bid for freedom was technically sophisticated. The mile-long tunnel, which began in the floor of an abandoned building and ended in a small hole in the floor of Guzman’s shower, was fitted with a modified motorcycle track and a ventilation system.

    A motorcycle modified to run on rails is seen inside a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary and used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to escape, in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, July 15, 2015. U.S. law enforcement officials met with agents of the Mexican attorney general's office this week to share information related to the escape from prison of Guzman and coordinate efforts to apprehend him, a Mexican government official said on Wednesday.  REUTERS/Edgard Garrido - RTX1KGHX

    A motorcycle modified to run on rails is seen inside the tunnel that drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman used to escape the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary on July 11, 2015. The sophistication of the tunnel has been one of the main points of interest in Guzman’s second maximum-security prison break. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters

    A view of hook on opening in a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary and used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to escape, in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, July 14 , 2015. Mexican authorities must have colluded with Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman to enable the country's top drug lord to escape from a maximum security prison at the weekend, Interior Minister Miguel Angel Osorio Chong said on Monday.Guzman sparked a massive manhunt after escaping from Altiplano prison on Saturday night in a mile-long underground tunnel that led from his cell into a deserted building, dealing a bitter blow for President Enrique Pena Nieto.  REUTERS/Edgard Garrido - RTX1KAS3

    A view of a hook in the opening of the tunnel Guzman used to escape. A manhunt has been initiated to recapture Guzman. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters

    The 24-hour surveillance in the prison where Guzman was held had only two blind spots for privacy, and one of them was in the shower.

    A picture from July 15 of the opening of the tunnel and the toilet area inside drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman's cell in the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary, in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, where he escaped, July 11, 2015. U.S. law enforcement officials met with agents of the Mexican Attorney General's office this week to share information related to the escape and coordinate efforts to apprehend Guzman, a Mexican government official said on Wednesday. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters

    The toilet and shower area inside Guzman’s cell in the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary. The toilet and shower were the only private areas in Guzman’s maximum-security cell. Photo by Edgard Garrido/Reuters

    From the time surveillance cameras lost sight of Guzman, it took prison guards 18 minutes to reach his cell. Authorities are investigating if appropriate protocol was followed, or if this interlude enabled Guzman’s escape.

    The entrance of a tunnel connected to the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary and used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to escape, is seen in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, July 12, 2015. REUTERS/PGR - Attorney General's Office/Handout via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RTX1K4M8

    The entrance of Guzman’s escape tunnel. Photo by Handout via Reuters

    The AP reported that just weeks before Guzman escaped, U.S. government officials requested that he be extradited to the United States to stand trial for charges of drug trafficking, but former Mexican Attorney General Jesus Murillo Karam said earlier this year that Mexico would not extradite Guzman until he served time for his crimes there.

    Karam facetiously approximated that time as about “about 300 or 400 years.”

    Forensic technicians from Mexico's Attorney General office walk toward a construction where a tunnel, connecting with the Altiplano Federal Penitentiary and used by drug lord Joaquin 'El Chapo' Guzman to escape, was located in Almoloya de Juarez, on the outskirts of Mexico City, July 12, 2015. National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said 18 officials from the penitentiary had been taken in for interrogation at the unit of the Attorney General's office specializing in organized crime. Mexico's most notorious drug lord Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped from high security prison in a tunnel built under his cell, the government said, his second jailbreak in 15 years and a major embarrassment for President Enrique Pena Nieto.  REUTERS/Tomas Bravo  - RTX1K3N5

    Forensic technicians from Mexico’s attorney general’s office walk toward a construction site where Guzman’s tunnel led, July 12. National Security Commissioner Monte Alejandro Rubido said 18 officials from the penitentiary had been taken in for interrogation at the unit of the attorney general’s office specializing in organized crime. Photo by Tomas Bravo/Reuters

    The post Photos: Tracing the escape route of Mexico’s most notorious drug lord appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A protester shouts slogans against the New York Police Department during a July 17 rally for Eric Garner, who was killed one year ago by police in New York. Family and supporters on Friday marked the anniversary with rallies and vigils. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    A protester shouts slogans against the New York Police Department during a July 17 rally for Eric Garner, who was killed one year ago by police in New York. Family and supporters on Friday marked the anniversary with rallies and vigils. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Crowds gathered in New York City Friday and Saturday to commemorate the first anniversary of the death of Eric Garner, and to demand police reforms in several cases of police brutality.

    An eyewitness video of the incident went viral and immortalized Garner’s words “I can’t breathe” as a rallying cry for Americans protesting police brutality throughout the past year.

    Esaw Garner, (L) widow of Eric Garner, and Emerald Snipes Garner (R), daughter of Eric Garner, arrive to attend a rally near a Brooklyn court in New York, July 18, 2015. Family and supporters marked the anniversary of the police killing of Eric Garner with rallies and vigils demanding police reforms and justice in the controversial case. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Esaw Garner, (L) widow of Eric Garner, and Emerald Snipes Garner (R), daughter of Eric Garner, arrive to attend a rally near a Brooklyn court in New York, July 18, 2015. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Garner’s widow and daughter attended the rally.

    A protester is detained on July 17 by New York Police Department officers during a rally for Eric Garner who was killed one year ago by police in New York. Family and supporters on Friday marked the anniversary with rallies and vigils demanding police reforms and justice in the controversial case. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    A protester is detained on July 17 by New York Police Department officers during a rally for Eric Garner who was killed one year ago by police in New York. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Family members of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Ramarley Graham were all present at the rally as well.

    Rev. Al Sharpton spoke at the rally, saying “We stand together today by the hundreds saying we don’t care how long it takes. We want justice for Eric Garner.”

    A grand jury has already declined to indict the police officer who placed Garner in a chokehold, but the U.S. Attorney’s office in Brooklyn is investigating the possibility of charges that he violated Garner’s rights.

    On Monday, New York City finalized a $5.9 million settlement with Garner’s family, but admitted no liability in his death.

    A demonstrator reacts during a protest at the location where Eric Garner was killed on the one year anniversary of his death in New York, July 17, 2015. Family and supporters on Friday marked the anniversary with rallies and vigils demanding police reforms and justice in the controversial case. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    A demonstrator reacts during a protest at the location where Eric Garner was killed on the one year anniversary of his death in New York, July 17, 2015. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    Protesters carry symbolic caskets of people killed by police during a rally for Eric Garner near a Brooklyn court in New York, July 18, 2015. Family and supporters marked the anniversary of the police killing of Eric Garner with rallies and vigils demanding police reforms and justice in the controversial case. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    Protesters carry symbolic caskets of people killed by police during a rally for Eric Garner near a Brooklyn court in New York, July 18, 2015. Photo by Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

    The post Rally on anniversary of Eric Garner’s death held in NYC appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A study published this week in the American Journal of Public Health shows that obese people are statistically unlikely to lose weight and keep it off.

    “The probability of attaining normal weight or maintaining weight loss is low,” the authors wrote. “Obesity treatment frameworks grounded in community-based weight management programs may be ineffective.”

    Researchers looked at electronic health records of a total of 278,982 people living in the U.K. over a nine-year period. “Current strategies to tackle obesity, which mainly focus on cutting calories and boosting physical activity, are failing to help the majority of obese patients to shed weight and maintain that weight loss.”

    The findings reveal that obese people, those with a body mass index between 30 and 35, have low chances of attaining even a five percent weight loss in a given year, with just one in 10 women and one in 12 men making such a reduction.

    The most obese subjects in the study were much more likely to reduce their weight by 5 percent in a year, however. Of participants termed superobese — those with BMI greater than 45 — women had a one-in-six chance, while men had a one-in-five chance.

    Of those who were able to lose five percent of their weight, at least 50 percent regained the weight within two year’s time, the study shows.

    In a statement, Professor Martin Gulliford, a study author from King’s College London said, “current strategies to tackle obesity, which mainly focus on cutting calories and boosting physical activity, are failing to help the majority of obese patients to shed weight and maintain that weight loss.”

    In the study, authors say that interventions focusing on caloric restrictions and increased physical activity are unlikely to help with cutting a lot of weight, with research showing there has been limited progress in fighting the global obesity epidemic.
    In the statement, Gulliford said, “The greatest opportunity for stemming the current obesity epidemic is in wider-reaching public health policies to prevent obesity in the population.”

    In the United States, 75 percent of men and 67 percent of women ages 25 and older are overweight or obese, according to a report published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

    Addressing America’s obesity epidemic has become a national priority with the launch of efforts like Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move!” program aimed at children, state-funded interventions that send nutritionists door-to-door to educate people about proper eating habits and the Food and Drug Administration’s recent move to ban transfats in food.

    The post U.K. study: Most obese people unlikely to lose weight and keep it off appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Rosalyn S. Yalow, pictured at the Nobel Prize banquet in Stockholm, won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1977. Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

    Dr. Rosalyn S. Yalow, pictured at the Nobel Prize banquet in Stockholm, won the Nobel Prize for medicine in 1977. Photo by Keystone/Getty Images

    Today we celebrate the birthdate of the second woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology, an accolade too typically awarded to males. Her name is Rosalyn Yalow and she received this great honor in 1977. (The first woman to receive the Nobel Prize for medicine or physiology, incidentally, was Gerty Theresa Cori, in 1947. Eight women have won the medicine or physiology award since).

    Dr. Yalow was a medical physicist who co-discovered the radioimmunoassay, an exquisitely sensitive means of using “radioactive tracers” to measure hormones in the bloodstream, such as insulin, thyroid, reproductive and growth hormones, as well as levels of vitamins, viruses and many other substances in the body.

    A sample size of only a few drops of blood is required to make these critical determinations, which not only saved lives and guided medical care but was also used, for example, to prevent mental retardation for thyroid hormone deficient babies still in the womb. For decades it has been a major tool in clinical medicine and medical research. Indeed, her work revolutionized the field of endocrinology, the study of diseases of hormonal systems.

    Yalow’s origins were humble and she conducted her entire life and career with humility and grace. She was born in the Bronx on July 19, 1921, to an immigrant mother and a father from New York’s Lower East Side, neither of whom completed high school. In 1941, at age 19, Yalow graduated magna cum laude from Hunter College, the all-women’s college of the tuition-free City University of New York, majoring in physics. Initially fascinated by chemistry, she became attracted to physics after reading Eve Curie’s 1937 biography of her famous mother, Madame Marie Curie, who studied the effects of radioactivity and won the Nobel twice (for physics in 1903 and chemistry in 1911).

    Gaining acceptance into graduate school, however, was no easy task. As the New York Times reported in Yalow’s obituary on June 1, 2011, when one of her Hunter professors recommended her for a graduate assistant’s position in physics at Purdue University, a skeptical physicist wrote back, “She is from New York. She is Jewish. She is a woman. If you can guarantee her a job afterward, we’ll give her an assistantship.”

    There was no guaranteed job and the position at Purdue fell through. That now-forgotten physicist at Purdue had no clue regarding the mettle of this courageous and determined woman. Yalow subsequently took a job as a secretary at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, taking additional courses in physics. Once World War II began, however, opportunities for women to assume roles traditionally held by men began to open up a bit. As a result, she was offered a teaching assistantship at the University of Illinois College of Engineering in Champagne-Urbana. With glee and excitement of pursuing her dreams, she tore up her stenographer’s pads and moved to the Midwest.

    Once there, Yalow learned that she was the only woman in a group of 400 teaching fellows and professors. After receiving an A- in a lab course, the chairman of the physics department taunted her with the observation that women did not do well with laboratory work. She proved him wrong in ways she could not even have dreamed in 1945, when she received her Ph.D.

    Dr. Rosalyn Yalow at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, Oct. 13, 1977, after learning she was one of three American doctors awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Photo by U.S. Information Agency

    Dr. Yalow at the Bronx Veterans Administration Hospital, Oct. 13, 1977, after learning she was one of three American doctors awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine. Photo by U.S. Information Agency

    Moving back to New York, she again had trouble finding a job and taught at Hunter College as well as doing “volunteer” (read: unpaid) medical research at Columbia, where she was introduced to the nascent fields of radiation medicine and radiotherapy. In 1947, she moved to the Bronx Veterans Affairs Medical Center and in 1950 she joined its staff, full-time, where she worked for the remainder of her professional career.

    It was at this point in time that she met her long-time collaborator, a brilliant young internist named Solomon A. Berson. They taught each other medicine and physics and then developed and perfected the radioimmunoassay, beginning in 1959. Because Berson died in 1972 and the Nobel Prize is never given posthumously, he did not share in the award. To commemorate his work, however, Dr. Yalow named her laboratory after Dr. Berson, so that every paper she subsequently wrote would carry his name. Dr. Yalow was also elected to the National Academy of Science in 1975 and won the prestigious Lasker Award in 1976.

    Yalow was known for being single-minded in her devotion to her research and her family. She met her husband Aaron Yalow in 1943, while both were physics graduate students at the University of Illinois. He, too, was a medical physicist and worked at the Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. They had two children and two grandchildren, lived in Riverdale, New York, less than a mile from her laboratory, and were married for nearly 50 years before Aaron died in 1992.

    In 1982, Dr. Yalow gave an informal speech to a group of schoolchildren about the joys and tribulations of a career as a scientist. Enthralling the youngsters with her dedication, brilliance and modesty, Dr. Yalow told the kids, “Initially, new ideas are rejected. Later they become dogma. And if you’re really lucky, you can publish your rejections as part of your Nobel presentation.”

    Dr. Yalow may have been “lucky,” but she really made her own luck by being incredibly smart, determined and talented.

    Happy Birthday, Rosalyn Yalow, you are a true heroine of science.


    Dr. Howard MarkelDr. Howard Markel writes a monthly column for the PBS NewsHour, highlighting the anniversary of a momentous event that continues to shape modern medicine. He is the director of the Center for the History of Medicineand the George E. Wantz Distinguished Professor of the History of Medicine at the University of Michigan.

    He is the author or editor of 10 books, including “Quarantine! East European Jewish Immigrants and the New York City Epidemics of 1892,” “When Germs Travel: Six Major Epidemics That Have Invaded America Since 1900 and the Fears They Have Unleashed” and “An Anatomy of Addiction: Sigmund Freud, William Halsted, and the Miracle Drug Cocaine.”

    The post Happy birthday to the woman who revolutionized endocrinology appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the 2015 FreedomFest in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 11, 2015. Trump's controversial remarks on the campaign trail have continued to draw the enmity of his GOP rivals. Photo by L.E. Baskow/Reuters

    Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at the 2015 FreedomFest in Las Vegas, Nevada on July 11, 2015. Trump’s controversial remarks on the campaign trail have continued to draw the enmity of his GOP rivals. Photo by L.E. Baskow/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Once again, Donald Trump isn’t backing down from comments that have inflamed the Republican presidential race. And some of his rivals are no longer treating him with kid gloves.

    Republican presidential contenders Marco Rubio and Rick Perry said Trump, with his latest bombast, has demonstrated he is not fit to be president.

    At an Iowa candidate forum on Saturday, Trump dismissed Republican Sen. John McCain’s reputation as a war hero, saying the aviator was merely taken captive after being shot down in Vietnam and “I like people who weren’t captured.”

    “I will say what I want to say,” Trump said Sunday, claimed a strong record of supporting veterans and accused McCain of failing them in Washington.

    “I will do far more for veterans than John McCain has done for many, many years, with all talk no action,” Trump said on ABC’s “This Week.” “He’s on television all the time, talking, talking. Nothing gets done.”

    A McCain spokesman has said the Arizona lawmaker would have no comment about Trump’s remarks.

    Although unrepentant, Trump allowed after the Iowa event that McCain might be a hero after all, but said people who “fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit.” And he said Sunday about the Republican race: “I’m certainly not pulling out.”

    McCain spent more than five years as a prisoner of war, enduring torture. He stirred Trump’s anger last week when he said Trump’s comments about immigrants had “fired up the crazies” at a Phoenix rally.

    Weeks ago, after Trump asserted that Mexican immigrants are rapists and drug dealers, Hispanic leaders were incensed not only about those remarks but about the slow and halting response from others seeking the GOP nomination. But the fallout from Trump’s latest salvo has spread quickly and indicates that at least some of his competitors are losing their inhibitions about repudiating him.

    Rubio, a Florida senator, said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that Trump insulted all prisoners of war, not just McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee defeated by Barack Obama.

    “He’s saying that somehow if you’re captured in battle you’re less worthy of honors,” Rubio said. “It’s not just absurd, it’s offensive. It’s ridiculous. And I do think it’s a disqualifier as commander in chief.” Rubio said as the campaign goes on and Trump commands attention, “it’s required people to be more forceful in some of these offensive things that he is saying.”

    Perry, one of the few veterans running for president, said Trump has demonstrated he has neither the character nor the temperament for the White House. “Over the top,” the former Texas governor said of Trump on NBC’s “Meet the Press.” “Really offensive.”

    Jeb Bush, whose wife is from Mexico, took sharp offense at Trump’s earlier comments as others hedged. After Trump’s comments about McCain, the former Florida governor tweeted, “Enough with the slanderous attacks.”

    But both Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, while agreeing McCain is a genuine hero, sidestepped when asked if they condemned Trump’s remarks.

    The post Trump not backing down on controversial comments appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Bill Cosby, seen here at at an event in 2013 in New York City, has not publicly responded to sexual assault allegations from several women. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

    Bill Cosby, seen here at at an event in 2013 in New York City, said in a ten-year-old deposition that he used drugs to seduce women. Photo by Jemal Countess/Getty Images

    In a decade-old deposition, actor Bill Cosby admitted to using his status as a famous comedian as well as drugs in order to have sex with women, the New York Times reported Saturday.

    While Cosby presented himself at times as a playboy who actively hid his extramarital activity from his wife, he said any drug-taking and sex was consensual, adding that the women took the sedatives in “the same as a person would say have a drink.”

    Throughout the deposition he spoke with a level of “casual indifference,” according to the Times.

    The Times’ acquisition of the deposition follows a report in the Associated Press earlier this month that revealed Cosby testified to acquiring Quaaludes — a central nervous system depressant — in order to seduce women.

    “What was happening at that time was that that was — Quaaludes happen to be the drug that kids, young people were using to party with and there were times when I wanted to have them just in case,” Cosby said then.

    He said that he never took the drugs himself “because they made him sleepy and because he was using them in his efforts to have sex with women,” the Times reported.

    Q. Why didn’t you ever take the Quaaludes?

    A. Because I used them.

    Q. For what?

    A. The same as a person would say have a drink.

    Over the years, Cosby has repeatedly denied accusations of sexual assault leveled against him by dozens of women.

    Cosby has not been criminally charged in connection with any of the allegations.

    The post In deposition obtained by NYT, Cosby admits to giving drugs to women appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    PORTLAND, Maine– A spokesman for George H.W. Bush says doctors are pleased with the progress the former president is making since he fractured a bone in his neck during a fall last week.

    Former United States President George H. W. Bush is brought into the auditorium where his son Former United States President George W. Bush speaks about his new book titled "41: A Portrait of My Father" at the George Bush Presidential Library Center in College Station, Texas November 11, 2014.  REUTERS/Bob Daemmrich/Pool (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS MEDIA) - RTR4DRPC

    Former U.S. President George H. W. Bush is shown in November 2014 in College Station, Texas. Credit: Bob Daemmrich/Reuters

    Jim McGrath said Sunday that Bush is doing better and his spirits are good.

    The 91-year-old Bush took a tumble at his summer home in Kennebunkport on Wednesday and remains hospitalized.

    The 41st president fractured his C2 vertebra, the second one below the skull, but doctors say it didn’t impinge on his spine or lead to any neurological deficits.

    Doctors say they expect Bush to make a full recovery in three to four months.

    The post Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush ‘in good spirits’ after fall appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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