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- 07/23/15--15:15: _Bullied boy gets un...
- 07/23/15--15:20: _Alice Waters teache...
- 07/23/15--15:25: _Ta-Nehisi Coates: W...
- 07/23/15--15:30: _6 trends that corpo...
- 07/23/15--15:35: _25 years on, celebr...
- 07/23/15--15:40: _Colorado program th...
- 07/23/15--15:45: _Facing fire from la...
- 07/23/15--15:50: _News Wrap: Turkish ...
- 07/24/15--05:45: _Obama voices suppor...
- 07/24/15--06:09: _Could Facebook or T...
- 07/24/15--12:31: _Obama returns to Ke...
- 07/24/15--12:41: _New inquiry into Cl...
- 07/24/15--13:24: _Meet three scientis...
- 07/24/15--13:58: _Running elk ragged ...
- 07/24/15--14:33: _Convicted spy Jonat...
- 07/24/15--15:17: _2016 politics: The ...
- 07/24/15--15:32: _New Horizons missio...
- 07/24/15--16:29: _Shooting at movie t...
- 07/24/15--16:29: _Why is it so diffic...
- 07/24/15--16:30: _Shields and Brooks ...
- 07/23/15--15:15: Bullied boy gets unexpected online message: a White House invite
- 07/23/15--15:20: Alice Waters teaches slow food values in a fast food world
- 07/23/15--15:30: 6 trends that corporations are paying attention to
- 07/23/15--15:40: Colorado program that reduces teen pregnancy in jeopardy
- 07/23/15--15:45: Facing fire from lawmakers, Kerry warns against rejecting Iran deal
- 07/23/15--15:50: News Wrap: Turkish soldier killed by Islamic State fire
- 07/24/15--05:45: Obama voices support for gay rights as Africa trip nears
- 07/24/15--06:09: Could Facebook or Twitter stop the next terrorist attack?
- 07/24/15--12:31: Obama returns to Kenya, reunites with father’s family
- 07/24/15--12:41: New inquiry into Clinton emails fuels political questions
- 07/24/15--13:24: Meet three scientists behind the Pluto mission
- 07/24/15--13:58: Running elk ragged just to get their antlers
- 07/24/15--14:33: Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard could be freed from prison soon
- 07/24/15--15:17: 2016 politics: The need for unwelcome intrusions
- 07/24/15--16:29: Shooting at movie theater kills two, injures nine
- 07/24/15--16:29: Why is it so difficult to stop mass shootings in the U.S.?
GWEN IFILL: It happened after Logan stood up to his Internet bullies by reading the cruel Internet comments people posted about him on video.
LOGAN FAIRBANKS: I hope that people don’t bully other people online anymore and that this helps.
GWEN IFILL: It went viral and caught the eye of senior White House adviser Valerie Jarrett, who tweeted at Logan to stop by the White House if he is ever in Washington. Well, he took her up on that offer.
We caught up with him in Congressman Fred Upton’s office to ask him how it went.
LOGAN FAIRBANKS: Words really can’t explain it. It was happy. Like, I was happy that I got to go there, but I always know that I didn’t do — I didn’t make the video for the rewards. I made it for what the message is.
GWEN IFILL: The message? Stop cyber-bullying, and he wants that to go viral, too.
The post Bullied boy gets unexpected online message: a White House invite appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: Now, another in a series of interviews we’re calling Brief But Spectacular.
Tonight, we hear from Alice Waters, the chef and owner of the famed Chez Panisse Restaurant in Berkeley, California. She’s a pioneer in the movement for a food economy that she says can be good, clean and fair.
Here, Waters talks about the benefits of working in the kitchen, and how to inspire young people to grow and cook their own food.
ALICE WATERS, Chef: When you eat fast food, you not only eat the food that is unhealthy for you, but you digest the values that comes with that food. And they’re really about fast, cheap and easy.
It’s so important that we understand that things can be affordable, but they can never be cheap, because, if they’re cheap, somebody’s missing out. The fast food culture tells us that, you know, cooking is not something important, and it can be in the basement, it can be in the back, when, in fact, it’s the most important work that we do.
I think it is the unrealistic values of a fast food culture that are really making us very unhappy, that we’re all going a little crazy. We spend as much searching for our cell phone than we do preparing a meal.
I think that the very best way to teach slow food values in a fast food culture is through edible education. And so I created a project called the Edible Schoolyard. Our public school system is our last truly democratic institution. It’s the one place where we can reach every child.
The idea is to bring them into a new relationship to food and agriculture. And they’re learning about history of a foreign country, and they’re cooking the food of that place.
Probably the greatest lesson I have learned from the Edible Schoolyard project is that, when children grow food and they cook it, they all want to eat it.
I’m Alice Waters. And this is my Brief But Spectacular take on edible education.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can see more Brief But Spectacular takes on breaking barriers, racism, poetry, and more. Those are on our Facebook page.
The post Alice Waters teaches slow food values in a fast food world appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: another addition to the NewsHour bookshelf.
Ferguson, Baltimore, Charleston, just three of the roll call of American cities where deadly violence has been directed against black citizens this year. It’s an issue confronted head on by Atlantic magazine columnist Ta-Nehisi Coates in his newest book, “Between the World and Me.”
He talked recently with Hari Sreenivasan in our New York studios.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Toni Morrison, someone who knows a little something about literature, says…
TA-NEHISI COATES, Author, “Between the World and Me”: Just a little bit.
HARI SREENIVASAN: … this is required reading.
I want to start with one of the quotes in your book. “In America, it is traditional to destroy the black body. It is heritage.”
What does that mean?
TA-NEHISI COATES: That’s a statement of history.
The African-American presence in this country begins roughly about the time that this country’s deep history began, 1619. After that, we had 250 years of enslavement. After that, we had 100 years of Jim Crow. Jim Crow was enforced through violence, through destruction of black bodies, through lynching, through mass murder, through terrorism, up until this very day, where we’re in this era right now where we have police forces, you know, who are in our communities.
And we, you know, it seems like every week get a shooting or somebody beaten up or somebody — and as we have with Sandra Bland, somebody who dies under mysterious circumstances, and we accept this as a normal way of doing business. We think that it is OK to have the world’s largest prison population. And we think it’s OK that one particular ethnic group be over-represented in that population.
Prisons are violent. Incarceration is a violent experience. Bodies are destroyed in prison. There’s just no way to get around it, as far as I’m concerned.
HARI SREENIVASAN: You write this as a letter to your 14-year-old son, almost a guide to figure out a way to protect his body.
You had a passage in there where he waited up for kind of the decision on the Michael Brown case, and he went to his room and started crying. But what was interesting is, your response wasn’t to go in there and tell him that it was going to be OK. What did you say?
TA-NEHISI COATES: I told him it won’t be OK. I told him, this is what it is. This is your country. And you, frankly, better get used to a lot more of this. And you have to figure out how you’re going to live. That’s your charge.
HARI SREENIVASAN: You’re already an Amazon bestseller. That’s positive feedback. Were you expecting some of the negative pushback as well?
TA-NEHISI COATES: Not like I have got, because I think, as a writer, I’m in my own head. I was thinking about, like, I just wanted it to work.
So, no, I wasn’t prepared. It required me to shift away from the internal process of a writer and to sort of examine some things externally.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Someone we have on the program every week, David Brooks, it was one of the first pieces of critiques that came out. And he said you distort history, that it’s unfair to look at America through just the lens of violence, that for every KKK, there is a Harlem school zone, that the American dream is what binds people across race, across caste and class.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, you know, I appreciate David actually reading the book. I appreciate him engaging in the book, engaging with the book, and writing a column about that, and not just sort of ignoring it.
But I obviously pretty strongly disagree with that. The Harlem Children’s Zone is a relatively new invention. It’s not — it’s called the Harlem Children’s Zone. There is not a Harlem Children’s Zone in every community in America, in every black community in America.
I understand his point. Something like Harlem Children’s Zone, there isn’t — the Harlem Children’s Zone actually represents a fairly unique level of investment in the lives of young black people.
But more than that, let’s talk across time. The Ku Klux Klan is the most lethal domestic terrorist organization in American history. That’s what they are. They have marked our history for the past 150 years. I believe the Harlem Children’s Zone is probably about 10 or 15 years old.
That sort of comparison, I don’t think works. His point about, for every Jefferson Davis, there’s an Abraham Lincoln, no, Abraham Lincoln is pretty singular. Abraham Lincoln was assassinated for making a stand effectively against white supremacy. There was not another president as progressive as him who made that sort of stand probably for another hundred years, disregarding Ulysses S. Grant, I mean, with that exception.
That’s unique. That’s very, very, very unique. Jefferson Davis is actually quite normal, regrettably, across American history. So I disagree with that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: At what point does personal responsibility play into this?
TA-NEHISI COATES: I am obviously for personal responsibility. I think there’s plenty exhibited by black people across history.
And right now, I think black people are fairly normal. I think we’re about as responsible as everybody else. What sets black people apart is not some deficit in personal responsibility. It’s the weight on our shoulders. That is what’s actually different. We have the weight and burden of history.
How long are we content to have a Sandra Bland and a situation in which her body is detained effectively for failing to signal for a turn and ends up dying? How long are we OK with that? How long are we OK with Freddie Gray basically dying for living in the wrong neighborhood? I don’t know. I’m not OK with it. I can’t be OK with it.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What’s the possibility in the future? Let’s say you get this, you read the book, you understand it, you become at some level more aware.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Right.
The possibility is really, really humility. I don’t think America is an especially bad actor. There’s no country I expect to go to and find that the people are somehow better. We don’t have to be in a world where we look out on our cities, where we look out into West Baltimore and suddenly we see somebody burning down a CVS and we are shocked that that happened, and we act like that that sort of sprang out of nowhere, where we see people on the streets of Ferguson who are totally upset, and it takes a Justice Department report six months later for us to realize that the municipal government of Ferguson was basically plundering those people.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Why do you think this is happening now, this conversation is gaining this kind of momentum today about race in America today? Unfortunately, it’s been on the backs of these tragedy after tragedy after tragedy, right?
TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I think two things are happening.
One is very similar to what happened during the civil rights movement. There was a technological leap. And so the kind of violence that you saw on Bloody Sunday wasn’t particularly remarkable in American history for black people. But suddenly there were news cameras there, the capacity to carry that out all across the world all of a sudden. And everybody could see it blatantly for what it was.
You have a similar revolution with the presence of cameras everywhere. People have the ability to actually see the police officer shoot Walter Scott in the back. I also think having an African-American president, just the mere fact of having the leader of the free world be black has thrown all of this stuff in relief.
The president has repeatedly, time after time, been called upon to respond to this stuff. And there’s been some expectation, as an African-American, he will respond in a way that maybe someone else would not, that he would have more insight in a way that someone else wouldn’t. And so I think that has ramped up everything.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Ta-Nehisi Coates.
The book is called “Between the World and Me.”
Thanks so much for joining us.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Thank you, Hari. Thank you so much.
The post Ta-Nehisi Coates: We accept violence against African-Americans as normal appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: We’re bombarded with advertising every day on TV, online, or just walking around the neighborhood. That’s no accident.
The ad business spends over $160 billion a year on it. But even before the ad reaches your smartphone or whatever, manufacturers and other businesses are busy spotting trends before they take shape.
Economics correspondent Paul Solman went to California to take a peek at that for our weekly segment Making Sense, which airs every Thursday on the NewsHour.
DEEDEE GORDON, Sterling Brands: When we talk about trends, we’re capturing what’s happening in the culture. We’re talking about what is happening with consumer behavior.
PAUL SOLMAN: And what companies need to know what to prepare what is next, says trend maven DeeDee Gordon, who advises many of America’s largest corporations on brand building and new product development.
DEEDEE GORDON: We look for opportunity and for white space, an opening here for us to create something.
PAUL SOLMAN: OK. The first significant cultural transformation in Gordon’s latest guide to the cutting edge:
DEEDEE GORDON: Gender-untethered. A lot of people are talking about gender right now because of Caitlyn Jenner, because of Laverne Cox and “Orange Is the New Black.”
The next big movement is this idea of being able to move in and out of gender. There is this woman who’s actually an actress on “Orange Is the New Black,” and her name is Ruby Rose, and she identifies as being gender-fluid. She has some videos that she has posted online where she transforms from being a woman into a man.
PAUL SOLMAN: And institutional America is beginning to respond to the gender untethered trend.
DEEDEE GORDON: Fifteen hundred universities now that have gender-neutral housing, gender-neutral bathrooms. Even when you think about corporate America and H.R., they’re having to learn and understand a new vernacular, like, what do you call a person who is a he one day and a she the next?
PAUL SOLMAN: As Gordon points out in her report, products marketed explicitly by gender can put up to half of potential sales at risk. But what might a gender-untethered product look like?
DEEDEE GORDON: I wanted to create a physical product that allowed you to be fluid. This doll allows you to change the gender as you like. This is just our way of kind of pushing an idea out there and getting people to think about it differently.
PAUL SOLMAN: Gordon is president of the Innovation group of Sterling Brands, part of the Omnicom advertising and marketing conglomerate. She is based in the Los Angeles building that doubles as the set for a tech firm in the HBO series “Silicon Valley.”
But, to Gordon, one of the new trends is anti-tech, a growing desire for privacy.
DEEDEE GORDON: We call it conspicuous isolation. People are feeling very overwhelmed by all of the data out there and so they are trying to find ways of being on the grid while being off the grid.
NARRATOR: Are you concerned about wireless snooping?
DEEDEE GORDON: There’s a wallet called the Block-It and it allows you to put your tech device inside this sleeve, so that there are no signals that can get to your device.
NARRATOR: Block-It Pocket helps you maintain your privacy in an ever increasingly wireless world.
DEEDEE GORDON: There is a pair of jeans that they have actually sewn this material into the pockets. So, there’s no way anybody can hack your technology.
PAUL SOLMAN: And in the near future, there might be a privacy helmet that prevents cameras from capturing the wearer’s face.
DEEDEE GORDON: The privacy helmet is not a real product. When we report on a trend, we like to showcase evidence that is out in the world that brings the trend to life, but we also like to future-cast where we think this trend can go.
PAUL SOLMAN: Gordon has been trend-spotting since the late ’90s, when she was profiled in The New Yorker and later featured in a “Frontline” documentary as a cool hunter.
DEEDEE GORDON: There’s a group of people who would go out and scour the street, looking for the next big thing and take that information and report it back to large companies who were trying to design for new culture.
PAUL SOLMAN: Gordon no longer hunts cool, a job that has been transformed by the Internet and social media, she says.
DEEDEE GORDON: It gets out there and it’s like, everybody has it.
PAUL SOLMAN: She now takes a longer view.
DEEDEE GORDON: When I do my trend research, I’m looking for larger-scale movements that aren’t going to quickly like go away.
PAUL SOLMAN: Like technology itself. For example:
DEEDEE GORDON: Hyper-experiences, people’s need to be more immersed in products and in brands.
PAUL SOLMAN: Virtual reality.
DEEDEE GORDON: Virtual reality, Oculus Rift, even looking at theme park culture and like the expectation that people have when they go to theme park destinations.
MAN: My favorite part was the heat and the speed, the drop, the whole ride, the wind, everything. It was so awesome.
DEEDEE GORDON: Even if you look at what is happening in home, like Sonos, an entertainment system. It allows you to have music or any kind of audio playing throughout your house. They have done a partnership with Philips, where it’s now linked to lighting, so you can create different moods within your own personal environment.
What is that going to mean for the workplace? What is that going to mean for automotive? What is that going to mean for when you go out and eat with your family on a Sunday night?
PAUL SOLMAN: A related trend, says Gordon, is life framing, taking pictures of your Sunday meal, for example, to post online.
DEEDEE GORDON: That trend is all about the documentation of experiences, how consumers are using photography to frame up these experiences to be able to elevate their status amongst their group of peers on their network.
Have you heard of Instasham?
PAUL SOLMAN: Instasham?
DEEDEE GORDON: It’s a Web site where you can download pictures of any possible scenario, like a wild party or a scene of hiking up a mountain. If I post it, then people are going to think that I did that.
PAUL SOLMAN: And what are the economic implications?
DEEDEE GORDON: Right now, consumers are more interested in experiences than in products. They want to be able to interact with other people. They want to be able to feel a connection. They want to be able to meet other people that feel — that are like-minded.
PAUL SOLMAN: In a phrase, experience over consumption, an example of the trend Gordon calls Frugeois.
DEEDEE GORDON: Frugeois, which is really our commentary on frugal living. Millennials are extremely conscious of what they’re spending, so they want things that are cheap, but that are designed to function, last and look really good. Fast fashion products like H&M or COS, which is a kind of more adult line from H&M.
PAUL SOLMAN: And one final trend on which Gordon advises her corporate clients:
DEEDEE GORDON: Our bulklash trend, which is all about single living.
PAUL SOLMAN: Bulk?
DEEDEE GORDON: Lash, bulklash.
PAUL SOLMAN: I see, so bulklash against buying in bulk.
DEEDEE GORDON: Correct.
If you’re a single person and you’re living in a small apartment with not a lot of storage, not a lot of capacity, like, you want to be able to buy just for you.
PAUL SOLMAN: And come to think of it, with baby boomers downsizing as well, this could be a trend for young and old alike.
This is economics correspondent Paul Solman reporting for the PBS NewsHour from Los Angeles, California, where I actually was.
The post 6 trends that corporations are paying attention to appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: This week marks the 25th anniversary of a milestone civil rights bill signed into law, the ADA, or Americans with Disabilities Act. Its legacy continues to grow, yet formidable problems and discrepancies remain a daily part of life in the U.S.
We explore those challenges, but, first, a bit of background on some of the accomplishments.
FORMER PRESIDENT GEORGE H.W. BUSH: With today’s signing of the landmark Americans with Disabilities Act every man, woman, and child with a disability can now pass through once-closed doors into a bright now era of equality, independence, and freedom.
JUDY WOODRUFF: On a clear summer day 25 years ago, President George H.W. Bush signed into law equal protection of civil rights for Americans with a disability. The landmark bill prohibits employment discrimination and guarantees access to public places, restaurants, hotels and, most critically, to public transportation.
Over 56 million Americans have some type of disability, over half of them a severe disability. The law has succeeded in many ways. It’s put ramps on public buildings, created access to health care, fought housing discrimination, and opened important school doors.
Fred Weiner is an assistant vice president at Gallaudet University, for a long time, the only college for students who are hearing-impaired. He said access to education has greatly expanded since the ADA.
FRED WEINER, Gallaudet University (through interpreter): People who are deaf and hard of hearing have more places to go. They can select a public college or a private college. They can pick a variety of educational settings. And so it’s not just access to the classroom, but it’s learning in a broader sense. It’s access to cultural institutions like museums, cultural events that’s really part of the fabric of learning.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But more education has not always translated into employment opportunities; 41 percent of those with a disability and of working age are employed, compared to 79 percent of those without a disability. Even those who are employed earn on average 37 percent less than their able-bodied counterparts.
President Obama made note of the disparity at a celebration for the act earlier this week.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In some cases, it’s a lack of access to skills training. In some cases, it’s an employer that can’t see all that these candidates for a job have to offer. Whatever the reason, we have got to do better. Our country cannot let all that incredible talent go to waste.
JUDY WOODRUFF: While much work to enforce the law remains to be done, technological advancements over the past 25 years are creating opportunities where there once seemed no hope.
Jason Barnes lost part of his arm during a work accident. He was a talented drummer and originally continued playing with a rudimentary prosthetic. After seeing videos of the Musical Cyborgs, robots that collaborate musically with humans, created by Gil Weinberg, a professor at Georgia Tech University, Jason reached out and Gil designed a robotic prosthesis for him.
The arm can drum at 20 hits per second, a speed not humanly possible.
JASON BARNES, Drummer: So there is one stick that is controlled via EMG. So there’s muscles in my arm, essentially there are sensors that pick up the residual muscle signals. And so I can control it accordingly, depending on how you have it routed through a computer. And then the second stick is actually kind of a mind of its own. It runs off its own computer.
And it will actually listen to the music and complement it how it thinks it should be complemented with its own rhythms.
GIL WEINBERG, Georgia Tech University: He’s the envy of all kinds of heavy metal drummers that would love to have his speed right now.
Technology for leg and arm amputees can create all kinds of things, such as running, if you’re talking about legs, or drumming, if you’re talking about arms, allow people with disabilities to really exceed and put the line in the sand for us to try and exploit that for ourselves.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And beyond technological advancements, Fred Weiner hopes, 25 years from now, we will have achieved much more
FRED WEINER: Hopefully, we will be talking about the president of the United States who’s disabled and that nobody thinks anything of it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We hear more on all this from three people who have long been involved in the effort to end discrimination.
Judith Heumann is a longtime activist for those with disabilities and now special adviser for international disability rights at the State Department. Tatyana McFadden is a wheelchair racer who has medaled in each of the last three Paralympics, including winning three gold medals in the 2012 Paralympics in London. And U.S. Representative Jim Langevin of Rhode Island, he is, among his other duties, co-chair of the bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.
And we welcome all three of you to the program.
Tatyana, to you first. You were — the ADA was already the law of the land when you came to the United States at age of 6 from Russia. How has it made a difference in your life, do you think?
TATYANA MCFADDEN, Paralympic Wheelchair Racer: I really have to thank the people who came before me and who were — who made ADA possible. I have the right to an education. I graduated recently from the University of Illinois. I’m going to get my master’s degree.
But the most important, the fact that ADA took part, was when I was in high school. Coming back from Athens in 2004, I was a Paralympics medalist. And I was entering freshman year in high school. And all I wanted to do was be part of my high school track team. And they denied me the right to a uniform. They said I could run with my own kind and they wouldn’t allow me to participate in high school sports.
So, we took action and we filed a lawsuit with no money, and because of the ADA, it was law. And I have to really thank the ADA for that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It made a huge difference for you.
Judith Heumann, what about you? How has it made a difference for you?
JUDITH HEUMANN, U.S. Special Adviser for International Disability Rights: So, I’m 67 years old. And I have seen a dramatic change over the course of my life.
I had polio in 1949, right after President Roosevelt had died. And when I was growing up, I was denied the right to go to school because I used a wheelchair, only had a teacher who came two-and-a-half-hours a week until I was 9 years old, and went to universities, but they were very inaccessible.
But now I work at the State Department, as you said, and I go to work every day on an accessible bus. I take the train home frequently. I fly on airplanes. I can drive — get on trains to get up the East Coast, and travel around the world, where conditions are not as good as here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Langevin, you wrote an article this week in which, among other things, you said, for all the accomplishments of the ADA, its promise has not been fulfilled. What did you mean by that?
REP. JIM LANGEVIN (D), Rhode Island: Well, first of all, I want to say that the Americans with Disabilities Act has had a profound impact on my life.
I was injured about 10 years before the ADA passed, so I really remember what the world was like before ADA was passed and after it was enacted. Clearly, it’s brought down tremendous barriers and obstacles and has opened doors for people with disabilities.
But there’s still much more work to be done. It has also, by the way, changed the psychological barriers that existed before the ADA was passed, and it really is the civil rights law of our time. But we have more work to do in terms of providing real employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
There are still too many people with disabilities that are unemployed. I think it’s approximately 34 percent among the — of the people that have a disability that have jobs. There’s so much more work to do there. Transportation, making that truly accessible and easy to access is still — we need more work to do. Accessible transportation is not abundant, where it needs to be for people with disabilities.
Affordable housing, accessible housing is another area where we have more work to do.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me turn to you about — on that, Tatyana. How do you see that, I mean, the psychological barriers out there, whether it’s to employment, whether it’s education? What do you see?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: I do believe that there is more work to be done.
And I believe that it’s my generation’s turn to take over and to help and to say that people with disabilities should be employed. And we see the change coming, but I see that the change will be definitely in the future.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you think is holding it back? I noticed the president — we didn’t include this as part of the clip, but the president said sometimes it may be discouragement on the part of those with disabilities. Maybe they’re not going after some of the jobs they could get.
TATYANA MCFADDEN: I think it’s just education and talking about disability.
I mean, disability is part of who I am. And it’s just sharing that with the public and saying, I can do this, this is what I can do, and this is how I may do it, and it’s just showing the public that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Judy Heumann, what about this whole question of employment, lack of employment for people who are able-bodied? The president said we — so much talent we don’t want to waste.
JUDITH HEUMANN: Well, I think it’s true in part that some disabled people have stopped looking for jobs because they have had bad experiences, not being able to get them.
But I also think there are many disabled people that are looking for jobs and that in some cases they are not being given equal opportunities. So I think, right now, the president has an initiative to get the federal government to be employing more disabled people. And now we have about 13 percent of the federal work force are people with disabilities.
And I think, quite frankly, having disabled people in the work force also, we reach out to other people that we feel are qualified to get them to apply for jobs. So, at the State Department, we have definitely seen an increase in the number of individuals who have disabilities and the numbered of disabled individuals who are willing to disclose that they have them.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Langevin, what is stopping, do you think, employers sometimes from hiring someone with a disability?
REP. JIM LANGEVIN: Well, again, I go back to what I said earlier, is that there may be a bit of fear about what it means to have a reasonable accommodation? What does that mean?
And there are some people that — some employers, I’m sure, that think that there are extraordinary measures that have to be gone to, to employ somebody with a disability. And that’s not what the ADA requires at all. Reasonable accommodations is what it’s all about.
I would also say that there is the part that perhaps people with disabilities — there’s a fear factor of not wanting to go out to find a job because they’re afraid that they’re going to lose their long-term or short-term community supports, things like PCAs and such. There have been private — there has been private…
JUDY WOODRUFF: PCA, meaning?
REP. JIM LANGEVIN: Personal care attendants.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ah.
REP. JIM LANGEVIN: Also fear of losing the health care.
Now, there has been progress made on things like the Ticket to Work program and other programs that help to ensure that people won’t lose things like their health care and other supports. So, educating people with disabilities that there are opportunities out there, but still more work to be done in that area, that there are things that other than just the financial income that someone may lose by going off of SSI or SSDI, that there are other programs…
JUDY WOODRUFF: This is Social Security benefits you’re referring to.
REP. JIM LANGEVIN: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me come to, Tatyana, to all three of you here at the end on, what do you want people watching and listening to this to know? People who are able-bodied, who don’t have a disability, what should they know about those with disabilities and what you really want?
TATYANA MCFADDEN: That if you employ somebody someone with a disability, I think you’re creating a better and you’re creating a more equal world.
And it’s just about showing the possibilities of what can be done. And we live in America, where that can be done. And so that’s what I’m hoping to teach people and to show people, that this is all possible, and just to keep moving forward.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Judy Heumann, what about just attitudes and the way people look at those with disabilities?
JUDITH HEUMANN: I think the ADA is only 25 years old. And in the United States, we have hundreds of years where disabled people have not been allowed to be integrated into our societies.
So, things are not going to change overnight. I think groups like the U.S. Business Leadership Network and National Organization on Disability that are working with many employers who say they are interested in employing more disabled people, and I think there’s going to be some data coming out in the near future that about how some companies are doing to really advance employment.
And, ultimately, what we want is that society sees us just as a part of society. That’s really it, that they see us as valued members of our communities.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Langevin, just quickly, what do you want people to know about those with disabilities?
REP. JIM LANGEVIN: That people with disabilities are tremendous employees.
They have incredible gifts and talents to contribute to a company, a place of business, to the world in general. And I have often said that I still believe that people with disabilities are one of this nation’s greatest untapped resources that we need to tap into.
And I know we can make it a — certainly a better world and, again, continue to realize the full promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act. That is my goal as a member of Congress, who I am the first quadriplegic elected to Congress. And I work every day to try to, with my colleagues, bring down those barriers, open up doors, and create those job opportunities.
And I know we have great support here on the Hill. And we just need to get the word out and continue to realize the promise of ADA
JUDY WOODRUFF: Congressman Jim Langevin, Judy Heumann from the State Department, Tatyana McFadden, Paralympics gold medalist, we thank you, all three.
TATYANA MCFADDEN: Thank you.
REP. JIM LANGEVIN: Thank you.
JUDITH HEUMANN: Thank you.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: A Colorado birth control program is losing its funding, despite a remarkable track record.
Special correspondent Mary MacCarthy has our report from Denver.
MARY MACCARTHY: Victoria Garcia was just 22, with big career plans, when she found out she was pregnant. The news, she said, was jolting.
VICTORIA GARCIA, Colorado: Motherhood wasn’t a stage in my life that I was ready for. I was in college. I was focused on school and getting my degree.
MARY MACCARTHY: Garcia said she had wanted to use a long-acting birth control method, but couldn’t afford it.
VICTORIA GARCIA: When you’re young and you’re in college and you’re barely making ends meet with food and rent and other menial costs, $500 or $550 for an IUD or an implant out of pocket is — it’s outrageous. It’s too much.
MARY MACCARTHY: Garcia had the baby, a son, Liam, and still managed to graduate from college. She credits her mother and husband for helping her. But there’s something else she says that had been critical for her success.
VICTORIA GARCIA: The day I got my IUD placed, the midwife handed this card to me and she said, you don’t have to come back until January 2022. This IUD has been life-changing for me. It really has.
MARY MACCARTHY: Freedom.
VICTORIA GARCIA: Oh my gosh, absolutely.
MARY MACCARTHY: Garcia received her IUD through a program called the Colorado Family Planning Initiative. It is a privately funded effort to give teens and poor women free access to long-acting reversible contraception.
The program has had remarkable success since it began six years go. While nationwide, unintended teen pregnancies have dropped by 20 percent, in Colorado, they have dropped by 39 percent, and the abortion rate for teens has dropped by 42 percent.
But the foundation money for the initiative was due to end in June, so advocates went to the state legislature asking for $5 million a year to continue it. Republicans who control the Senate said no.
KEVIN LUNDBERG (R), Colorado State Senator: It puzzles me that they insist they need the private — the public funds, when it’s actually available through the insurance system.
MARY MACCARTHY: Republican state Senator Kevin Lundberg says, under the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies must offer free birth control, so state money isn’t needed. He also says state funding can’t be used for any device that may cause an abortion.
KEVIN LUNDBERG: The use of the IUD for long-term contraceptives is, in fact, in the estimate of many people, abortifacient. And Colorado law doesn’t allow state funding for any direct or indirect purposes of that sort.
SUSAN KEITHLEY, Tri-County Health Clinics: There are two different IUDs and actually a third is coming out on the market.
MARY MACCARTHY: But nurse practitioner Susan Keithley, with the Tri-County Health Clinics, explained that an IUD doesn’t cause an abortion. It prevents fertilization, and it does so with remarkable effectiveness.
SUSAN KEITHLEY: The research that’s out there on the long-acting reversible contraception is that they’re 99 percent effective. So the pregnancy rates with our long acting contraceptives are less than 1 percent.
MARY MACCARTHY: And these are not your mother’s IUDs. Today’s versions are far different than the ones that caused disease and even infertility in the 1970s. Last fall, the American Academy of Pediatrics cited their efficacy, safety and ease of use and said they should be considered a first-line option for adolescents.
But they are expensive, and even after passage of the ACA, many insurance companies are still charging for some methods of birth control. And some women, it’s estimated about 5 percent, still don’t have insurance because they can’t afford it, yet they don’t qualify for Medicaid.
That’s the case for college student Shelby Ingel, who came to Tri-County Health two years ago.
If you came in and they said this device that you’re using, it comes at a cost of $400, would you have been able to pay that out of pocket?
SHELBY INGEL, Colorado: Oh, there’s no way. At that point, I was, I think, working at a Papa Murphy’s making minimum wage. That would have been a whole month’s paycheck or something like that.
MARY MACCARTHY: Nurse Keithley is disappointed with the legislature’s decision and says her clinic can’t afford to offer IUDs without the extra funding.
SUSAN KEITHLEY: I think it can be a tough year ahead, especially with our clients that have benefited from the program and are due to have their devices replaced or renewed, that, again, when they come in, we’re going to have to say, oh, I’m so happy you’re so pleased and it’s worked so well for you, but I’m sorry. We only have these limited options for you right now.
MARY MACCARTHY: Are you surprised by the numbers, just how successful clinically this program has been?
DR. LARRY WOLK, Executive Director, Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment: I have to say I was a little surprised.
MARY MACCARTHY: Dr. Larry Wolk heads the Colorado Department of Public Health. He says it’s short-sighted for lawmakers to focus on the costs, when they should be looking at the benefits.
DR. LARRY WOLK: We have data that says young women who have unintended pregnancies have a higher risk of suffering medical complications. They have a higher risk for living in poverty. The children born to these women have higher risk for medical conditions, not to mention the cost to the public insurance program, whether it’s Medicaid, the public assistance programs like food stamps or nutritional programs like WIC.
We have demonstrated that there’s been a decrease in the amount of public services as a result of making these IUDs and implants available.
KEVIN LUNDBERG: If the promoters of this particular program are that convinced that this has continue, then I would urge them, as 100,000, well, maybe 1,000 other nonprofits around the states are looking for funding for their program, they should go and do the same thing.
MARY MACCARTHY: That frustrates Victoria Garcia, who says helping poor young women with long-acting birth control should be an obligation of the state.
VICTORIA GARCIA: It transforms women’s lives. Having a long-term birth control method buys you time, time to finish your goals, time to finish school, if that’s what you’re doing.
MARY MACCARTHY: Advocates say they’re trying to find private funding to continue the program into the new year, but then they will once again lobby the legislature for a long-term financial solution.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Mary MacCarthy in Denver.
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GWEN IFILL: With nearly two months left for congressional review, the Obama administration came under fire today as it began its public push to sell the nuclear deal with Iran on Capitol Hill.
SEN. BOB CORKER (R), Tennessee: Not unlike a hotel guest that leaves only with a hotel bathrobe on his back, I believe you have been fleeced.
GWEN IFILL: There were testy exchanges, and blunt talk, as critics of the Iran nuclear agreement confronted Secretary of State John Kerry for the first time since the deal was struck last week.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker:
SEN. BOB CORKER: We began 20 months or so ago with a country that was a rogue nation that had a boot on its neck, and our goal was to dismantle their program. We have ended up in a situation where the deal that’s on the table basically codifies the industrialization of their nuclear program.
GWEN IFILL: But the committee’s top Democrat, Maryland’s Ben Cardin, who said he’d not yet made a decision on the agreement, said progress had been made.
SEN. BEN CARDIN (D), Maryland: There were many rumors during these last couple months of what was going to be in this agreement and how it was going to be weakened from the April framework that in fact have been strengthened since the April framework.
GWEN IFILL: A 60-day period for Congress to approve or reject the deal began Monday. Corker said he might try to extend that review, which would curb Tehran’s nuclear program, in return for easing sanctions.
Florida Republican Marco Rubio, who’s running for president, said even if the deal survives in Congress, it could well be rolled back in the next administration.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Presidential Candidate: The Iranian regime and the world should know this deal — this deal is your deal with Iran, I mean, yours and this administration. And the next president is under no legal or moral obligation to live up to it.
The Iranian regime and the world should know that the majority of members of this Congress do not support this deal and that the deal could go away on the day President Obama leaves office.
GWEN IFILL: Beyond Capitol Hill, the Obama administration also faces determined critics. An estimated 10,000 people rallied against the agreement in New York City last night. And special interest groups have taken to the airwaves.
NARRATOR: Congress should reject a bad deal. We need a better deal.
GWEN IFILL: Today, Secretary Kerry fought back.
JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: Let me underscore, the alternative to the deal that we have reached is not what I have seen some ads on TV suggesting disingenuously. It isn’t a — quote — “better deal,” some sort of unicorn arrangement involving Iran’s complete capitulation.
That is a fantasy, plain and simple, and our own intelligence community will tell you that.
GWEN IFILL: The consequences of congressional rejection, he said, would be grave.
JOHN KERRY: The result will be the United States of America walking away from every one of the restrictions that we have achieved, and a great big green light for Iran to double the pace of its uranium enrichment.
GWEN IFILL: Kerry was joined by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, who said walking away from the deal would pose a wider diplomatic problem.
JACK LEW, Treasury Secretary: If we change our terms now and insist that these countries escalate those sanctions and apply them to all of Iran’s objectionable activities, they would balk, and we would be left with neither a nuclear deal nor effective sanctions.
GWEN IFILL: But some, like Idaho Republican James Risch, doubted whether Iran would keep the promises it made.
SEN. JAMES RISCH (R), Idaho: With all due respect, you guys have been bamboozled and the American people are going to pay for that.
GWEN IFILL: Democrat Tom Udall pushed Moniz for a clarification on inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency called for in the deal.
ERNEST MONIZ, Energy Secretary: You will have all of the containment and surveillance for 20 years of all of the sensitive parts of every machine that they make.
REP. TOM UDALL (D), New Mexico: And so people that have used the analogy that, like in a drug crime, you flush it down a toilet and it’s gone and we won’t be able to find it, that’s in fact been proven out, has it?
ERNEST MONIZ: If they try that, we will find it.
GWEN IFILL: Also at issue, agreements between the IAEA and Iran that would account for Iran’s past military nuclear activities. Republicans have called these side deals, and demanded that the content of those agreements be shared with Congress.
On his way out of the hearing, Kerry said they were standard arrangements.
JOHN KERRY: There are no side deals. The IAEA has a regular process.
GWEN IFILL: In Iran, meanwhile, President Hassan Rouhani was also on a mission to sell the agreement, saying in a national TV address that it sends the message to the world that the most difficult and complex international issues can be resolved through negotiations.
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GWEN IFILL: Islamic State militants fired across the border from Syria into Turkey today, killing one soldier and wounding two others. Turkish troops returned fire near the town of Kilis, on the border with Syria. It’s a key transport point for both Islamic State fighters and equipment. It comes just days after a suicide attack targeted young political activists in a southeastern Turkish town, killing 32 people.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Turkey has agreed to let the U.S. start using one of its air bases at Incirlik for strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria. The agreement, first reported by The Wall Street Journal, came after months of negotiations. It will let the U.S. use the base for manned and unmanned planes, including Predator drones.
GWEN IFILL: Back in the U.S., the director of the FBI now says the Islamic State poses a greater threat to the U.S. than al-Qaida. At a security forum in Aspen, Colorado last night, James Comey cited the militants’ year-old campaign on social media to inspire Americans to radicalize.
JAMES COMEY, FBI Director: The threat that ISIL presents, poses to the United States is very different in kind, in type, in degree than al-Qaida. ISIL is not your parents’ al-Qaida. It’s a very different model, and by virtue of that model, it’s currently the threat that we’re worrying about in the homeland most of all.
GWEN IFILL: Comey also noted the FBI has arrested a significant number of people over the past eight weeks who were radicalized. And he said some of them were planning attacks around the July 4 holiday.
JUDY WOODRUFF: More details emerged in the case of Sandra Bland, a black woman who was found hanging in a Texas jail cell last week. Prosecutors delivered results from her autopsy, saying her injuries were consistent with suicide, not violent homicide.
Waller County Prosecutor Warren Diepraam spoke today in Hempstead, Texas.
WARREN DIEPRAAM, Waller County Prosecutor: The hands are significant. In a violent homicide or a murder where one person takes another person’s life, it is typical, although not in all cases, but it is typical to see some sort of injuries on the person’s hands, defensive injuries. They found no evidence whatsoever of any injuries on Ms. Bland’s hands.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Bland also had a substantial amount of marijuana in her system, according to preliminary results of testing. Authorities said it was unclear when or how the marijuana was ingested.
GWEN IFILL: The Republican-led House today approved a bill that would crack down on so-called sanctuary cities that protect residents from federal immigration authorities. It comes in the wake of the shooting death of a California woman, allegedly by an illegal immigrant with a long criminal record who’d already been deported multiple times.
The legislation cuts off federal funds for cities that don’t deport undocumented immigrants. But House leaders differ on how to go about solving the issue.
REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R-OH), Speaker of the House: Some decide to ignore our laws. And not only is that wrong, but it’s clearly dangerous as well. The House is acting today to put state and local officials on notice that we will no longer allow them to decide how and when to enforce our nation’s laws.
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), House Minority Leader: What would solve most of it, no guarantee of all of it, is to pass comprehensive immigration reform. What we also have to look at is, how did this person come into possession of a gun in a state where his having a gun, as a convicted felon, would raise serious questions?
GWEN IFILL: The bill faces an uncertain fate in the Senate. In a statement, the White House promised a veto should the legislation reach the president’s desk.
JUDY WOODRUFF: European regulators opened an antitrust case against six major Hollywood movie studios and a British satellite broadcaster today. Officials said the studios are illegally blocking consumers in most of Europe from watching U.S. movies, shows and other content because of contracts they made with Sky U.K. The six studios are Disney, NBC Universal, Paramount, Sony, 20th Century Fox, and Warner Bros.
GWEN IFILL: Greece is one step closer to receiving a new bailout, after its Parliament approved crucial banking and judiciary reforms. The vote came in the early hours of the morning, surviving a revolt from a rebel group of left-wing Syriza lawmakers. That paves the way for the debt-stricken country to begin talks with its European creditors over a third bailout, valued at $93 billion.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Another round of lackluster corporate earnings reports pushed stocks lower on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 119 points to close just under 17732. The Nasdaq fell 25 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 12.
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WASHINGTON — Ignoring calls from some African leaders to leave some of his opinions at home, President Barack Obama spoke favorably of gay rights as he prepared to visit Kenya and Ethiopia.
Asked during a BBC interview about Kenyan Deputy President William Ruto, a critic of gay rights in the U.S., Obama said, “Yeah, well, I disagree with him on that, don’t I?”
“Everybody deserves fair treatment — equal treatment — in the eyes of the law and the state,” Obama said. “And that includes gays, lesbians, transgender persons.”
Obama, who departed Washington late Thursday for Africa, had faced criticism from rights groups and growing calls to press the issue aggressively while in a region known for a bleak record on human rights. In the BBC interview, he said he had been “blunt” with African leaders about gay rights in the past and planned to make it part of his agenda.
The first sitting U.S. president to visit Kenya, Obama will also be visiting his ancestral homeland when he arrives Friday to attend a business summit and meetings with President Uhuru Kenyatta. Obama’s late father was from Kenya, and in the interview, Obama cited his relatives still in Kenya to argue he knows how the country’s history of mistreating women and girls has held Kenya back.
“I think those same values apply when it comes to different sexual orientations,” he said.
A number of Kenyan politicians and religious leaders have warned Obama that any overtures on gay rights would not be welcomed in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by up to 14 years in prison.
After his visit to Kenya, Obama will fly Sunday to Ethiopia, becoming the first U.S. president to travel there. He’ll confer with Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and address the African Union, which is headquartered in Ethiopia.
Obama infrequently takes lawmakers with him on trips. Flake is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee on Africa and has supported Obama’s policies on immigration and re-engagement with Cuba. A different group of 10 lawmakers was scheduled to travel back from Ethiopia with Obama.
The White House says the trip, Obama’s fourth to the continent as president, is an important opportunity for him to promote trade and investment with Africa, but to also check in with important Horn of Africa partners in the fight against Islamic extremism. The U.S. and Kenya work together to counter al-Shabab, the Islamic militant group based in neighboring Somalia, and Ethiopia shares intelligence with the U.S.
But both countries have also garnered a reputation for shortcomings when it comes to human rights.
Ruto, who will cross paths with Obama during official events on the trip, is also under indictment by the International Criminal Court for alleged links to violence after the 2007 election. The ICC recently dropped similar charges against Kenyatta, an outcome that increased the odds of an Obama visit to the East African nation.
Associated Press writer Josh Lederman contributed to this report.
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WASHINGTON — Social media giants including Twitter, Yahoo, Facebook and Google are pushing back against Senate legislation that would require them to alert federal authorities of any terrorist activity, according to industry and government officials.
In private meetings on Capitol Hill, industry officials have told lawmakers and congressional staff that they already ban grisly content like beheadings and alert law enforcement if they suspect someone might get hurt, as soon as they are aware of a threat.
But tech officials also said they worry that the proposed legislation is too broad and would potentially put companies on the hook legally if they miss a tweet, video or blog that hints of an attack. They said the result would probably be a deluge of tips to law enforcement, making it tougher for the government to find more valuable information.
Those interviewed by The Associated Press spoke on condition of anonymity because of the ongoing debate over the legislation.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., who is backing the legislation, says requiring social media companies to tip off law enforcement to a pending terrorist attack makes sense.
“The FBI and the intelligence community have made it abundantly clear that the terrorist threat is severe and increasing, and that those directing, inspiring and carrying out attacks make heavy use of social media sites,” Feinstein told the AP in an emailed statement. “This provision will help get potentially actionable information to the agencies responsible for preventing attacks, without requiring companies to take any steps to monitor their sites they aren’t already taking.”
The tech industry in 2013 faced a public relations nightmare after former government analyst Edward Snowden leaked details of a massive government surveillance program that relied on their cooperation. Company officials said the law gave them no choice but to supply consumer data and comply with gag orders that prevented companies from talking about it. Still, many consumers and Internet activists were furious that U.S. businesses had enabled the government to spy on their customers, in some cases even charging the government administrative fees to do it.
Since then, the tech industry has led an aggressive public push to limit surveillance requests and increase transparency, adopting more sophisticated encryption techniques despite opposition from the Justice Department. Their primary argument has been that consumers won’t use technology they don’t trust, and that unnecessary surveillance would hurt the industry.
At the same time, popular social media sites have become instrumental in helping terrorist groups expand their influence, despite widespread industry policies against posting or promoting terrorist-related content
The Islamic State group and similar groups have relied heavily on Twitter and Facebook to recruit followers, while militants post beheading videos on sites like Google’s YouTube, giving an image the chance to go viral before being shut down. In 2013, al-Shabab live tweeted its Westgate shopping mall massacre, opening up new feeds even after Twitter shut others down.
“This is not your grandfather’s al-Qaida,” FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee this month. “This is a group of people using social media to reach thousands and thousands of followers, find the ones who might be interested in committing acts of violence, and then moving them to an (end-to-end) encrypted messaging app.”
The same week as Comey’s testimony, the Senate Intelligence Committee endorsed Feinstein’s proposal that would require companies that spot terrorist activity on their networks to alert law enforcement.
Feinstein’s provision, part of the intelligence authorization bill that still has to be approved by the Senate, is almost identical to the law requiring companies to report child pornography. One exception is that Feinstein’s provision doesn’t say whether or how a company would be penalized if it fails to report terrorist activity, whereas a tech company can be fined for “knowingly and willfully” failing to report an image of child pornography.
Tech officials say determining what constitutes child pornography is easier to do because the process is more objective. A criminal photograph can be digitally analyzed and assigned a unique identifier that be used to find similar images across networks.
But oftentimes, determining terrorist activity requires more context. The image of an Islamic State flag, for example, could appear in a news article or video clip as well as terrorist propaganda.
Monika Bickert, head of policy management at Facebook, said the social media site shares the government’s goal of keeping terrorist content off the site.
“Our policies on this are crystal clear: We do not permit terrorist groups to use Facebook, and people are not allowed to promote or support these groups on Facebook,” she said. “We remove this terrorist content as soon as we become aware of it.”
The House didn’t include a similar provision in its version of the intelligence bill. A spokesman for House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, R-Calif., declined to comment on the issue.
Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House intelligence panel, said there’s “no question” the Islamic State group uses social media to disseminate propoganda and recruit fighters. Schiff, D-Calif., said Congress should work with the tech industry “to determine the most effective response.”
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NAIROBI, Kenya — Fulfilling the hopes of millions of Kenyans, Barack Obama returned to his father’s homeland Friday for the first time as U.S. president, a long sought visit by a country that considers him a local son.
The president spent the evening reuniting with his Kenyan family, including his elderly step-grandmother who made the trip to the capital of Nairobi from her rural village. U.S. and Kenyan flags lined the main road from Nairobi’s airport, and billboards heralding Obama’s trip dotted the city.
“I don’t think that Kenyans think of Obama as African-American. They think of him as Kenyan-American,” said EJ Hogendoorn, deputy program director for Africa at the International Crisis Group.
Obama’s link to Kenya is a father he barely knew, but whose influence can nonetheless be seen in his son’s presidency.
Obama has spoken candidly about growing up without his Kenyan-born father and feeling “the weight of that absence.” A White House initiative to support young men of color who face similar circumstances has become a project dear to Obama, one he plans to continue after leaving the White House.
In Africa, Obama has used his late father’s struggle to overcome government corruption as a way to push leaders to strengthen democracies. He’s expected to make good governance and democracy-building a centerpiece of his two days of meetings and speeches in Nairobi, as well as a stop next week in Ethiopia.
“In my father’s life, it was partly tribalism and patronage and nepotism in an independent Kenya that for a long stretch derailed his career,” Obama said during a 2009 trip to Ghana, his first visit to Africa as president. “We know that this kind of corruption is still a daily fact of life for far too many.”
The president’s father, Barack Obama, Sr., left Kenya as a young man to study at the University of Hawaii. There, he met Stanley Ann Dunham, a white woman from Kansas. They would soon marry and have a son, who was named after his father.
The elder Obama left Hawaii when he son was just two years old, first to continue his studies at Harvard, then to return to Kenya. The future president and his father would see each other just once more, when the son was 10 years old. Obama’s father died in a car crash in 1982, at age 46.
“I didn’t have a dad in the house,” Obama said last year during a White House event for My Brother’s Keeper, his initiative for young men. “I was angry about it, even though I didn’t necessarily realize it at the time.”
Obama’s first trip to Kenya nearly 30 years ago was a quest to fill in the gaps in the story of his father’s life. In his memoir “Dreams From My Father,” Obama wrote that at the time of his death, “my father remained a mystery to me, both more and less than a man.”
What Obama uncovered was a portrait of a talented, but troubled man. An economist for the Kenyan government, the senior Obama clashed with then-President Jomo Kenyatta over tribal divisions and allegations of corruption. He was ultimately fired by the president, sending him into a tailspin of financial problems and heavy drinking.
The Kenyan leader Obama will meet with this weekend, Uhuru Kenyatta, is the son of the president his father confronted decades ago.
Obama met most of his Kenyan family for the first time on that initial trip to his father’s home country. As he stepped off Air Force One Friday, he was greeted by half-sister Auma Obama, pulling her into a warm embrace. The siblings then joined about three dozen family members at a restaurant at the president’s hotel for a private dinner.
Logistical constraints and security precautions prevented Obama from visiting Kogelo, the village where his father lived and is buried, on this trip. Sarah Obama, the step-grandmother he calls “Granny,” still lives in the village.
Despite the intense focus on the American leader’s local roots, the White House has cast the trip as one focused on the relationship between the U.S. and Kenya, not the president and his family. Officials say Obama’s agenda is heavily focused on trade and economic issues, as well as security and counterterrorism cooperation.
The president is traveling with nearly two dozen U.S. lawmakers, along with 200 U.S. investors attending the Global Entrepreneurship Summit. Michelle Obama and daughters Malia and Sasha did not accompany the president.
Auma Obama said she believed her late father would be proud to see his son return to Kenya as American president.
“He’d be extremely proud and say, ‘Well done,'” she said in an interview with CNN. “But then he’d add, ‘But obviously, you’re an Obama.'”
Associated Press writer Darlene Superville contributed to this report.
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WASHINGTON — A new letter by intelligence investigators to the Justice Department says secret government information may have been compromised in Hillary Rodham Clinton’s private server, underscoring an inescapable reality for her presidential campaign: Email is forever.
Clinton, the former secretary of state and now the leading Democratic presidential candidate, wants to focus on the economic issues she and her team believe will drive the next election. But they remain unable to fully escape the swirling questions surrounding her decision to run her State Department correspondence through an unsecured system set up at her New York home.
The inspector general of the U.S. intelligence community recently alerted the Justice Department to the potential compromise of classified information arising from Clinton’s server. The IG also sent a memo to members of Congress that he had identified “potentially hundreds of classified emails” among the 30,000 that Clinton had provided to the State Department — a concern the office said it raised with FBI counterintelligence officials.
Though the probe is not criminal and does not specifically target Clinton, the latest steps by government investigators will further fuel the partisan furor surrounding the 55,000 pages of emails already under review by the State Department.
A statement from the intelligence inspector general, I. Charles McCullough, and his counterpart at the State Department, Steve Linick, said that McCullough’s office found four emails containing classified information in a limited sample of 40 emails.
“This classified information should have never been transmitted via an unclassified personal system,” they said.
For Clinton, the news amounted to a major distraction on a day when she’d hoped to focus on unveiling a new set of economic policies. Instead, she opened her New York City speech by addressing the controversy, decrying some reports as inaccurate.
Some media initially reported that Justice Department had been asked to consider a criminal investigation into whether she mishandled her emails.
“We are all accountable to the American people to get the facts right, and I will do my part but I’m also going to stay focused on the issues,” she said.
It was not immediately clear whether the Justice Department would investigate the potential compromise highlighted by the intelligence inspector general. McCullough’s letter didn’t suggest any wrongdoing by Clinton, according to U.S. officials speaking on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the referral publicly.
But the inspector general’s office said it was concerned that “these emails exist on at least one private server and thumb drive with classified information and those are not in the government’s possession,” said Andrea Williams, a spokeswoman for McCullough. None of the emails were marked as classified at the time they were sent or received, but some should have been handled as such and sent on a secure computer network, said the letter sent to congressional oversight committees.
Clinton has maintained that she never sent classified information on her personal email account, which she said in March she used as a matter of convenience to limit her number of electronic devices.
The State Department has made public some of the emails involving Clinton, and is under court order to make regular further releases of such correspondence.
The aim is for the department to unveil all of 55,000 pages of the emails she turned over by Jan. 29, 2016. But a federal judge this month chastised the department for moving too slowly in providing The Associated Press with thousands of emails submitted through the Freedom of Information Act.
Republicans are pushing Clinton to turn over her server to a third party for a forensic evaluation.
“Her poor judgment has undermined our national security, and it is time for her to finally do the right thing,” said House Speaker John Boehner.
Clinton spokesman Nick Merill said she had followed “appropriate practices in dealing with classified materials.”
But there’s little dispute among intelligence officials that Clinton should have been more careful with her information — though her behavior was likely not criminal.
Current and former U.S. intelligence officials say they assume that all of the email that transited Clinton’s home server is in the possession of Russian or Chinese intelligence services, who would have easily bypassed whatever security measures she took. They, too, spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the Clinton email situation publicly.
Whether a security violation or not, the risk for Democrats is that questions about her email harden into an early narrative about Clinton’s honesty and management skills. Already, Republicans have spent months depicting Clinton as a creature of Washington who flouts the rules for personal gain.
Clinton’s people say questions about her correspondence won’t sway voters, who they argue are more focused on economic and family issues. But, there are signs that the issue may have already affected views of their candidate.
An Associated Press-GfK poll released last week found that voters view her as less decisive and inspiring than when she launched her presidential campaign just three months ago. Just 3 in 10 said the word “honest” describes her very or somewhat well.
Associated Press writers Jack Gillum and Matthew Lee in Washington and Ken Dilanian in Aspen, Colorado contributed to this report.
The post New inquiry into Clinton emails fuels political questions appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Shortly after the July 14 flyby of Pluto and its moons, we spoke with three members of the New Horizons mission team: Alice Bowman, the mission operations manager, and Cathy Olkin and Kimberly Ennico-Smith, deputy project scientists.
Editor’s note: Women make up about 25 percent of the Pluto flyby team. That may strike some as a yawning gender gap, but in astronomy, that’s a lot — enough women that NASA made a point of highlighting it, and a scientist on the team called it “refreshing.”
For comparison, in 2013, 11.8 percent of astronomers and physicists in the U.S. were female, according to The National Science Foundation’s report, “Women, Minorities and Persons with Disabilities in Science and Engineering.” And in the U.S. in 2010, 2011 and 2012 combined, 35 percent of doctorates awarded in astronomy were women, according to the American Institute of Physics. In 2012, three times as many women were awarded astronomy doctorates than two decades earlier.
Last week, we talked to three of these scientists on the New Horizons team about working on a deep space mission, their reaction to the first round of Pluto images and how to pronounce the name for Pluto’s largest moon, Charon.
There has been some debate over the pronunciation of Pluto’s Moon, Charon. What is the correct way to pronounce it?
Cathy Olkin:That is a really interesting question, and you probably noticed I switch between two different pronunciations. So there’s kair-uhn and shair-uhn. The fact of the matter is there is no one correct way. Kair-uhn is how you pronounce the Greek mythological character. Jim Christy discovered Charon. His wife’s name is Charlene and he prefers it to be pronounced shair-uhn to match the sound of her name.
What is your role on the New Horizons mission?
Cathy Olkin: I’m a deputy project scientist and have a number of different roles on the project. One of them is to make sure that the Ralph instrument commanding gets done correctly, I check them and verify them and help plan observations. Ralph is really two instruments in one. It’s a color camera and an infrared spectrometer. The infrared spectrometer is for mapping the position across the surface of Pluto. So it has two purposes: making color pictures and learning about the composition.
Kimberly Ennico-Smith: I’m a deputy project scientist, and I also have multiple roles. The one I focus on a lot is assisting the project scientist, Hal Weaver, with ensuring the readiness of the payload instruments for the encounter through their health and their calibration. I’m also co-investigator, and I’m interested in the composition of Pluto and Charon and the small moons.
Alice Bowman: I’m the mission operations manager, and I am in charge of the mission operations team. Our task is to take all the requests from the subsystem engineers and scientists and translate the desires of operations or calibrations into command sets and merge them all together, check them for any kind of violations and make sure that it’s safe for operations. We put those all together and send them out for team review, verify those commands, run them through our software simulator and also through our hardware simulator if there are first time events such as this nine-day flyby period.
Then we have the flight controllers who send those commands using the Deep Space Network up to the spacecraft, and they’re responsible not only for sending those commands and watching to make sure there’s a good set of instructions on board the spacecraft, but also for monitoring the telemetry of the information coming down from the spacecraft to make sure that everything on board is in a configuration to support normal operations and, if not, they alert the rest of the mission operations team, and we try to understand it. Additionally, we are responsible for scheduling communication times with the spacecraft. It’s an important dance with not only the commands on board the spacecraft but also with the communications on the ground.
What were you thinking when you first saw the images?
Alice Bowman: It’s been a long time coming.
Cathy Olkin: I was shocked when I first saw the images. We were seeing a point of light far away. and since then we’ve gotten more and more detail, and it’s been remarkable to me. Every time we get that next level of detail, I’m surprised again. We’re seeing new things with each new level of resolution. Things like the heart shape that we saw on Pluto with very different bright and dark regions. We could see that from relatively farther away and now we’re getting closer, and we’re seeing mountains that just blow me away. Every time I’m seeing more and more resolution on the surface I’m just astounded.
Kimberly Ennico Smith: We had seen glimpses of what we would see in greater detail on July 14 for a few weeks, every day, getting closer and closer, revealing more and more detail. On the morning of the 14th, we had seen data that was taken from, I believe nine hours prior to closest approach, so it was from the day before. It was the best image ever, and it in itself was unique and beautiful because it had revealed new details that we could not have predicted from any previous images.
Alice Bowman: For us on the operations side, we were just truly amazed that sending all these ones and zeros from Earth to a very, very, very small spacecraft that was pointed exactly in the right spot to receive those instructions to accomplish those observations and then to have that same stream of ones and zeros but just in another order come back from the data and have that translated into a world. Definitely unexpected. Something that you see for the first time as it changes in front of your eyes into mountains and craters and color. I’m so happy that we went there and I can’t imagine anyone saying that Pluto is not worthy of planet status. I mean, it’s just great!
What was the most surprising thing that you learned about Pluto from this recent data?
Cathy Olkin: The Ralph instrument brings back color, and I thought it was particularly interesting to see the dark spot on the moon, Charon. We received some color with some resolution, and you could see it was red, and I thought that was really exciting to get some color data down and see that the dark area was red, because that corresponded to some theories that we had been batting around on the science team. When we got that image of Charon, the deep canyons were shocking. That one near the edge, where you could actually see a notch out of the planet, that canyon is four to six miles deep. That’s just striking to me. I just imagine standing on Charon and looking across that canyon. I think that would be remarkable.
Kimberly Ennico Smith: I would add that it embraces the power of having a diverse set of instruments aboard your spacecraft. Yes, black and white images are beautiful, but when you add a splash of color, it brings it to life. Also, New Horizons is carrying a infrared spectrometer on board, which will really identify the molecules that we’ll be seeing or we have been seeing on the surface. When you combine those three different types of instruments, you have a very powerful tool to understand a new world. It’s been neat to see this just over the course of the last few days. It’s more than just a pretty picture. There’s a lot more information in there when you bring along different types of measurement techniques and different types of instruments with you, and that’s paying off. The complement of this payload is going to deliver and is delivering right now. You can see it in the color images right away. I remarked to Cathy the other day, multiple papers can be written from just one single image of the [Multicolor Visible Imaging Camera] color. (Note: MVIC is one of the colors cameras on the Ralph instrument).
Alice Bowman: I think the image of Charon and Pluto, the one with both of them in the same frame where you see the beautiful orange-red color of Pluto, and you see the grayish color of Charon and the spectra that was returned showing that chemically, they’re very different. That was the most beautiful picture. It’s very representative of the Pluto system, and it’s a binary system, and it is the only one we know of in our solar system.
From the engineering side, I was just amazed that we could hit that aim point within seconds from when we were supposed to from billions of miles away. It was quite an engineering feat. The delivery was just amazing.
Cathy Olkin: The team had worked so hard, we’ve been traveling across the solar system for 9 1/2 years and there’s been a lot of work along the way. But there was a huge chunk just in the last couple of months. The effort, the navigation, mission design, science operations, mission operations, everybody pulling together, synthesizing each of their parts to make the best encounter scientifically. It was outstanding.
More data will be coming throughout the next 16 months. What are you personally most curious about?
Cathy Olkin: I’m really looking forward to getting that highest resolution data so that we can map the composition in the most detail. That’s the one dataset I’m probably looking forward to the most. I’m really interested in how those ices are distributed across the surface.
Kimberly Ennico Smith: We hope to understand the temperature profile of Pluto’s atmosphere and to hopefully discover more about whether Charon has an atmosphere or not. Usually these type of experiments are done with the signal originating from the spacecraft and sending it through the planet and then being received by the Deep Space Network but here we reversed it because of the power needed to send the signal. The data that we receive from this will be from the lowest points of the atmosphere.
Alice Bowman: There are a couple of cloud observations in the lineup, so I am most interested in that. I just think it would be pretty cool if we had clouds.
There’s a new generation of young scientists that is no doubt inspired by this mission. What drew you to this career?
Cathy Olkin: When I was a kid, I wanted to be a geologist, a paleontologist, an archaeologist, a doctor. I was pre-Med for a little while but became an engineer instead. I went on and got a Master’s in engineering and decided I wanted to be a planetary scientist.
I kind of think I would be happy doing any of those things, because I was passionate about all of them. In each turn I was like, ‘Oh, I’d really like to learn more about that,’ and so I would. So there wasn’t one thing that happened to me when I was a young person that made me say I have to be a planetary scientist but all along I was interested in learning how things work.
Kimberly Ennico Smith: I was just a curious kid who liked doing things, and I never imagined I’d be working on a flyby mission. I’m amazed that I am. I was digging through some things I collected as a child, and apparently when I was in fifth grade I had written a report about my favorite planet, which was Uranus, at the end of the report I wrote, “Voyager 2 will fly by this planet and rewrite history.” I was a cheeky 10-year-old, being aware that we were sending these spacecraft out. Two years after, I had collected all of the images that Voyager 2 had taken from the newspaper. I had then pasted it on the report, and on it I had excitedly written, “SCIENCE!”
Alice Bowman: I was just fascinated with the space program in the 60’s and 70’s and watched everything that I could, including science fiction. So that led to wanting to be an astronaut. I think somewhere in there I also wanted to be President of the United States. You know, you dream big, you’re a kid, and if no one tells you otherwise, it is as much of a possibility as anything else.
In college, I was fascinated with how things work; chemistry was a favorite pastime of mine. Physics was my major and chemistry became another major just because I always took the classes. But I think it’s just the beauty of how things work, and it led me along this path. I feel very fortunate that I was able to end up in space exploration.
Any advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Alice Bowman: Anything you do will include stumbling blocks; don’t let that dissuade you from pursuing your dream, just keep at it. If you’ve got a passion for it, you’ll be successful. Maybe not quite the same way that you thought, but you will be successful.
Kimberly Ennico Smith: If everything is easy for you, you’re actually never really learning anything. Life will throw stumbling blocks at you. What you choose to do with your time may seem hard, but if you love it, you don’t see those stumbling blocks. You jump over them, and when you’re jumping over them and working with them — you’re learning. It is very enriching. So, yeah, don’t be dissuaded. There might be some stumbling blocks, but just follow your passion, keep an open mind, stay hungry, stay curious, ask questions. Never stop asking questions, because when you stop asking questions you stop challenging yourself to learn more. There are so many questions that we’re asking now that we need to find answers for.
Cathy Olkin: Sometimes people don’t want to ask questions, because they don’t want to appear as if they don’t know. There is nothing wrong with asking questions. I would also say that you can do what you set your mind to. Don’t listen to other people who might say you can’t do something, or you can’t pursue a specific career. If you really want to, do your best and find ways to contribute to what you are passionate about.
A growing number people head out to wild places in search of the antlers that elk and deer shed. Some of those collectors harass these animals to death by chasing them down with ATVs. Video by EarthFixMedia
The trick to finding fallen antlers is to never look up.
“You’re trying to just find something that looks out of the ordinary,” said Rob Tanner while he makes his way through bitterbrush and around blooming sagebrush and juniper trees with his brother-in-law, Troy Capps.
Every year deer and elk shed their antlers, and every year these two men make it their mission to find them. The sport is called shed hunting.
“There’s just something about it. It’s just an adrenaline rush. It’s like, ‘Oh, this could be the one. This could be a really, really nice one.’ I’ve never quite been able to explain that feeling,” Tanner said.
For nearly a decade, antlers have been popular in decor and fashion. At the same time, a growing number of people are heading out to wild places, hunting for those shed antlers to collect, make into decorations, or sell for big money.
Washington and Oregon have imposed rules to make sure that “shed hunters” don’t harm elk and deer. But not everyone follows those rules. Instead, some shed hunters cruelly endanger the health of deer and elk so they can be the first to snatch up those prized antlers.
Wildlife managers have established winter ranges for elk and deer, restricting human access until late March or early April and prohibiting the use of motor vehicles. But unscrupulous shed hunters have been known to sneak into these wildlife reserves when entry is restricted so they can collect antlers or force the animals to shed them prematurely by chasing them on foot or ATVs.
“People are running these elk while they’re really in poor condition physically,” said Washington Wildlife Enforcement Capt. Richard Mann. “They may not drop dead on site, but some of them do. Once they get off, they never recover from that kind of stress, and they’ll actually die in and around the feed area.”
‘I hate seeing that’
Tanner and Capps have been looking for antlers for more than 20 years. On this hunt, they’re traipsing around one of their favorite spots in Central Oregon.
All signs indicate it’s going to be a good day to add to the piles of antlers they have stored in their garages.
“We’re in the prime right here,” Capps said, noticing signs deer have been roaming this area for some time — deer tracks, bare bark on trees where male deer rub their newly-grown, velvety antlers.
Then Capps spots something on the ground. Signs of people, not deer.
“That’s a four-wheeler. I mean, they’re probably out here running around, and that’s, that’s wrong,” Capps said. He bends down to inspect the tire treads.
Despite the area’s closure to motorized vehicles, Capps thinks the zig-zagging four-wheeler is probably why they haven’t found any antlers in this area so far.
“As soon as I saw those, my first thought was, ‘Ah….’ You walk all the way in here and a four-wheeler came in that far,” he said. “I hate seeing that.”
One reason Capps and Tanner founded Oregon Shed Hunters 10 years ago was to promote ethical shed hunting.
A growing number people head out to wild places in search of the antlers that elk and deer shed. Some of those collectors harass these animals to death by chasing them down with ATVs. Video by EarthFixMedia
An elk herd grazes atop a hillside at Central Washington’s Oak Creek Wildlife Area.
A portion of the wildlife area’s 64,000 acres is closed off during the winter so the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife can feed elk herds and keep them out of orchards and farms in the Yakima Valley below.
During snowier winters, about 1,000 elk congregate within the fences, eating hay that’s often donated by Washington farmers.
Where does antler art come from?
In most cases, those antler chandeliers you see decorating hunting lodge-themed whiskey lounges or used to make knife handles or dog chews were the bounty of the natural cycle of antler growth. Deer and elk shed their antlers at the end of winter or beginning of spring. The process is similar to the loss of baby teeth as a child’s adult teeth grow in.
Scott McCorquodale, a Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife biologist, said the new set of antlers is already growing once the old pair falls off.
“Antlers develop rapidly while growing; a large bull elk will produce antlers with a main beam of 50-60 inches or so in about 150 days of growing,” McCorquodale said.
Antlers can go for up to $35 per pound. A complete set from a trophy bull can bring in thousands.
And for those willing to use illicit tactics to gather and sell antlers, penalties for those few who get caught are regarded as just the cost of doing business, Mann said. Fines rarely exceed $1,000. They’re usually lower than that.
“A couple hundred dollar fine is not a big deal when you’re collecting $800-$2,000 collecting antlers illegally,” Mann said.
The issue has gained traction in the Washington Legislature. This year, a bill was signed into law that expanded enforcement officers’ ability to ticket people who enter private land to collect wildlife parts.
Rep. Joe Schmick, R-Colfax, introduced the bill after a constituent complained of illegal shed hunters chasing elk with dogs onto his private property.
“The people that they were citing, they simply said they’re happy to pay the trespassing fine and the fees if they keep the sheds,” Schmick said at a committee hearing. “This bill is trying to address that problem. Now the Fish and Wildlife will be able to confiscate the sheds, the antlers, when they’re found with them on private property. On state property it’s already legal to do that.”
Looking out for elk
To help catch illegal shed hunters in the act, the volunteer group Eyes in the Woods sets up cameras to try to catch people trespassing in the Oak Creek Wildlife Area while it’s closed.
Kyle Winton, who co-founded Eyes in the Woods 16 years ago, has picked out spots to hang cameras around Oak Creek.
“The very first year, the very first time we put our camera up, within about half an hour after we left we got a picture of our very first violator with three antlers on his back,” Winton said. “It was amazing how many people were violating the closure, and the animals were paying the toll.”
Now, Winton said, only a handful of people still continue to violate the closure — most others are deterred by the cameras.
At Oak Creek, the group secure the cameras inside bear boxes, screw on antennae, and strap the boxes to trees.
Once the cameras are set and ready to go, they wait to see if they catch anyone trespassing. This year the cameras caught about four people.
Watching for trespassers
Several months later after setting up their cameras, the group gathers at a cabin near Oak Creek. They’re prepping for a stakeout to watch for illegal shed hunters trespassing into the wildlife area.
Winton said trespassers have been known to stockpile illegally-collected antlers all season. They sneak into Oak Creek the night before it re-opens — hoping to carry out their stashed antlers in the morning by blending in with the legal shed hunters who waited for the gates to open.
“It’s kind of suspicious when you see somebody coming out with 10 or 12 antlers at 9 o’clock in the morning. That happens quite a bit. But guarantee they didn’t find those in a couple of hours,” Winton said.
The group deployed to spots where they know people might sneak in. Under moonlit skies, Winton hiked up a bluff and perched behind a boulder. From there he could see most of the wildlife area.
After a long night, volunteers spotted two people trying to enter the other side of the wildlife area.
“Things are going smoothly over here. Got a few people that went in early at the junction,” the radio chirped.
Eyes on the prize
At 6 a.m., the gates finally open for lines of cars, horses and hikers. They’ve been there since the night before, waiting to begin their search. By afternoon, several are gathered in a bustling parking lot, excited to show off their prizes.
Seven-year-old Bobbi Cline found an antler pretty close to the gate. It’s almost as big as her.
“I’m holding an elk ear that we found. We found it in the bushes,” Bobbi said.
The Cline family is collecting antlers to make a chandelier one day. How soon they’re able to complete that project might depend on the success of wildlife officers volunteer groups and ordinary citizens when it comes to stamping out illegal shed hunting.
This report first appeared on EarthFix’s website as part of its “Wildlife Detectives” series. EarthFix is a public media project of Oregon Public Broadcasting and Boise State Public Radio, Idaho Public Television, KCTS 9 Seattle, KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, Northwest Public Radio and Television, Southern Oregon Public Television and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
WASHINGTON — Convicted American spy Jonathan Pollard could be released from federal prison within months.
Pollard becomes eligible for parole in November, on the 30th anniversary of his arrest on charges of selling classified information to Israel.
U.S. officials say they’re unlikely to oppose his parole.
His attorney, Eliot Lauer, told The Associated Press on Friday that he hoped his client would be released, but said he had received no commitment from the Obama administration.
Supporters of Pollard, a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst, argue that he was punished excessively and note that he spied for an ally.
The U.S. has previously dangled his release, including during Israel-Palestinian talks last year. His release now could be seen as a concession to Israel, which strongly opposed the just-concluded U.S. nuclear deal with Iran.
The post Convicted spy Jonathan Pollard could be freed from prison soon appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
No matter how much we like to feel we are spontaneous, flexible and youthful, we have to face it: change is hard.
This is as true for politicians as it is for the rest of us. That is why campaigns often feel preordained. The advertising is parsed and targeted. The speeches are predigested and pat. The candidates themselves seldom veer from poll-tested messages.
And then they freak out when the unexpected occurs. Republicans and Democrats have become freak-out response experts this week.
On the GOP side, born showman Donald Trump has capitalized on the shock to the system that kicks in when things do not go according to plan. Attack him, and he will attack back. Claim a money advantage, and he will reach into his own deep pockets (or promise to.)
And never, ever apologize.
The other candidates were frozen in place for a while as he went on the attack on one, and then the others. They lurched into action with varying degrees of success.
Ted Cruz chose the hold-one’s-enemy closer approach, scurrying to New York to have his picture taken with Trump.
Rick Perry and Lindsey Graham — each fighting for the visibility needed to qualify for the first GOP presidential debate next month — went on the attack.
“Let no one be mistaken,” Perry said in a speech he delivered — for maximum impact in Washington. “Donald Trump’s candidacy is a cancer on conservatism and it must be clearly diagnosed, excised, and discarded.”
Graham, whose presidential campaign efforts had also been all but wiped out by Trump-mania, resorted to web humor. One day after he called Trump a “jackass” on “CBS This Morning,” and Trump responded by reading Graham’s cell phone number out loud during a televised rally, the South Carolina Senator posted this video.
What Perry, Cruz and Graham all get is one of the truisms of playground politics: if you can’t beat them at dodge ball, join the fray.
On the Democratic side of the 2016 ledger, candidates scrambled to secure a fraying flank after both Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were effectively shouted down at a liberal conference.
Both were caught by surprise at Netroots Nation, where each had reasonably expected a warm embrace, by Black Lives Matter advocates urging them to speak more plainly about race and police violence.
Given the past year’s frictions in communities across the country, perhaps this protest should have come as no surprise. But Sanders, who once upon a time endorsed Jesse Jackson for president, was offended enough to threaten to leave the stage.
And O’Malley tried to mollify the protesters by saying, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter.” He said later he was unaware that this response has been widely embraced by people seeking to change the topic from the incendiary topic of racism.
Both men tried to mend fences later. And Hillary Clinton, who had skipped the Netroots conference entirely (after being jeered there in 2007 for a different reason), spied an opening. First on Facebook and then in a speech a few days after the Netroots fiasco, she declared, “It is essential we all stand up and say loudly and clearly, yes black lives matter.”
These may seem like small bumps in what is sure to be a long and winding road, and they probably are. But the way candidates handle distraction can be revealing. Are they light on their feet? Can they see around corners?
For voters, these intrusions should be seen as welcome. Any presidential hopeful has to be aware that no path is smooth; no ambition easily attained.
If you can’t figure out how to handle a heckler — either from the audience or from within your own party — it’s a good bet that life will only become more complicated after Inauguration Day.
Here’s to more, not less, distraction.
It’s been a busy week for NASA. On Monday, the Deep Space Climate Observatory unveiled a new “Blue Marble” snapshot of Earth, taken from 1 million miles away. Then two days later, the Kepler mission revealed a celestial cousin of our home world, the closest physical replica of Earth that has ever been detected.
Today, we have updates from the New Horizons mission and the discovery of flowing glaciers on the edges of Sputnik Planum, the flat icy plains on the western hemisphere of Pluto’s heart, known as Tombaugh Regio.
“All around the periphery and in the interior are geological wonders,” said New Horizons co-investigator Bill McKinnon of Washington University in St. Louis.
McKinnon presented a close-up image of Sputnik Planum’s northwestern edge, where the frigid flatland meets rugged cliffs and crater walls. The landscape at this margin looks “degraded”, he said, as if eroded over time.
The likely cause of this erosion is flowing glaciers, akin to the large ice masses that creep across Greenland here on Earth.
“If you look carefully, you can actually see a pattern that indicates the flow of viscous ice towards the cliff boundary,” McKinnon said. The key difference is our glaciers consist of ice water, whereas those on Pluto are composed of frozen nitrogen.
“Water ice at Pluto’s temperatures won’t move anywhere. It’s immobile and brittle, “McKinnon said. “The kind of ices that we think make up the planet [Pluto] — nitrogen ice, carbon monoxide ice, methane ice — these ices are soft and malleable even at Pluto conditions, and they will flow in the same ways that glaciers do on Earth.”
These nitrogen glaciers also exist on the southern portion of Sputnik Planum, where the New Horizons team has spotted a second mountain range, which they’ve informally named Hillary Montes. These icy peaks take the name Edmund Hillary, one of the first two people to successfully summit Mount Everest in 1953. (Pluto’s first mountain range was named after Tenzing Norgay, Hillary’s Nepalese guide.)
The glaciers have slid between the two mountain ranges and created frozen “ponds” in some craters, McKinnon said.
The surface of Pluto is cold — 38 Kelvin or -391 degrees Fahrenheit — so how could ice be so dynamic when the temperature is so frigid?
When asked to speculate, New Horizons project leader Alan Stern said that even though the outer surface of Sputnik Planum looks frozen, its inner layers could be made of flowing ice or might even be liquid.
“If you get down tens of meters, the pressure from the overburden of ice can actually change the properties of the [frozen] nitrogen, so that it’s getting warmer. So it’s much more able to flow. There may even be conditions where you can get liquid nitrogen flowing below a deep layer of ice,” Stern said.
McKinnon agreed: “Even at 38 kelvin solid nitrogen would creep.”
Flyover of Hillary and Norgay Montes. Features as small as one-half mile (1 kilometer) across are visible. Video by NASA/JHUAPL/SwRI.
All of those revelations came from images taken before the New Horizons’ closest approach on July 14. The second set of new surprises came from the moments after the probe’s flyby, as it stared back at Pluto.
The New Horizons atmosphere team recorded a luminous haze surrounding the icy planet, as it eclipsed the probe’s view of the sun.
“We’ve known for 25 years that Pluto has an atmosphere, but this is our first picture of the atmosphere,” said Michael Summers, New Horizons co-investigator of George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.
The haze extends at least 100 miles above the surface, which is five times farther than the team had originally predicted. The team suspects that the sun’s UV rays cause chemical reactions with methane gas in Pluto’s atmosphere. The result is two chemicals — ethylene and acetylene — that produce the haze layers in the sky. Then, at some point, another chemical reaction produces tholins, a dark hydrocarbon compounds that settle onto Pluto’s surface as a reddish hue.
These dark spots regions around Pluto’s equator “are likely the tholins that were raining out or falling out of the hazes, said New Horizons deputy project scientist Cathy Olkin of Southwest Research Institute.
But as one moves toward the poles, you notice brighter, light-colored concentrations of ice.
She blames the odd distribution of ice on Pluto’s extreme tilt — its poles lean at 120 degrees — and the planet’s eccentric orbit. It takes 248 years for the planet to round the sun, but sometimes it’s much closer to the sun than other times. As Pluto circles the sun, the team suspects that seasonal changes transport these ices around the planet.
“Some parts are kind of baked, like near the equator. Other parts receive the condensations of the ices,” Olkin said. “There is one glaring difference in this pattern and that’s Tombaugh Regio.”
Pluto’s heart is a light-colored stain on what should otherwise be a dark belt of tholins encircling the planet. What gives?
“What’s really special about Tombaugh Regio is we’re seeing methane, nitrogen and carbon monoxides ice there. On the other northern part of Pluto, we’re see methane and nitrogen, but not carbon monoxide,” Olkin said. “So maybe what we’re seeing with Tombaugh Regio is a source region for some of these specific ices, that complicates the story of this seasonal transport.”
So many questions remain, but luckily, the team has only parsed through a thimbleful of data so far.
“95 to 96 percent of the data is still on the spacecraft,” Stern said, who also presented results showing that Pluto’s moon Charon has much less atmosphere than the dwarf planet.
For the next couple of months, the team will only receive occasional images, as the probe beams down critical data from other instruments, like the student dust counter.
“Then in September the spigot will open again and the sky will be raining presents,” said Stern.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We take a deeper look now at last night’s deadly shooting in Louisiana and the broader questions raised after tragedies involving guns.
William Brangham starts us off.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Police and emergency responders quickly descended on the Grand 16 movie theater after gunfire erupted during a showing last night of the comedy “Trainwreck.”
WOMAN: We were buying popcorn at the concession stand when a whole group of people, teenagers mainly, running out, telling everyone to run for their life. And then we saw a lady with blood all over her leg. I just grabbed my child. I mean, we just all ran.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The gunman, identified as 59-year-old John Russel Houser, opened fire on the crowd just 20 minutes into the film. Investigators this morning characterized Houser as a drifter.
JIM CRAFT, Lafayette, Louisiana, Police Chief: It is apparent that he was intent on shooting and then escaping. What happened is that the quick law enforcement response forced him back into the theater, at which time he shot himself.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Court papers from 2008 revealed that Houser’s family had filed a temporary restraining order against him, saying he was violent and mentally ill. The court filing also stated Houser’s wife , Kellie, who filed for divorce in March, had removed all the weapons from their house out of concern over his mental state.
Officials today said Houser had been denied a concealed weapons permit in 2006 because of an arson arrest and a domestic violence complaint. Last night’s tragedy comes in the wake of two other recent high-profile mass shootings. Four Marines and a sailor were killed in Chattanooga, Tennessee, last week, and, in June, nine members of Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, were killed during an evening Bible study.
The FBI today said suspect Dylann Roof should’ve been blocked from buying the gun used in that attack, but the background check failed to pick up on Roof’s previous narcotics charge. At the scene of the Lafayette shooting today, state Representative Terry Landry called for stricter gun control.
TERRY LANDRY, Louisiana State Representative: It is our job as legislators to close the loop holes in these gun laws. When a person that has a mental capacity — or not mentally stable can get access to a gun and wreak havoc on our community, it tells me we have to have a serious conversation, we have to have some serious repeals in some of these gun restrictions, or lack of gun restrictions, in our community. If not, we will be meeting somewhere another day another time.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Back in 2013, President Obama mounted an ambitious effort to overhaul the nation’s gun laws. That push followed two tragedies, the 2011 Tucson shooting at an event for then-U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the 2012 rampage in Newtown, Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were murdered.
But, ultimately, the president’s proposals failed in the U.S. Senate. Yesterday, in an interview with the BBC just hours before the Lafayette shooting, the president said he intended to keep pushing for gun control.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: If you ask me where has been the one area where I feel that I have been most frustrated and most stymied, it is the fact that the United States of America is the one advanced nation on Earth in which we do not have sufficient commonsense gun safety laws, even in the face of repeated mass killings.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Calls for a reform of the nation’s gun laws come amid the ongoing sentencing phase in the trial of James Holmes, who killed 12 people and injured over 70 in a shooting rampage at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m William Brangham.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mass shootings make up a small fraction of overall gun violence in the country, but the FBI counted more than 170 cases of mass killings between 2006 and 2011.
USA Today has been tracking those cases and the connection with guns. Their reporting team found the official count is understated.
Meghan Hoyer is a data reporter working on the project. And she joins me now.
Meghan Hoyer, welcome.
MEGHAN HOYER, USA Today: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, first of all, define quickly what you mean by mass killing.
MEGHAN HOYER: Sure.
A mass killing is basically four or more dead, not including the shooter. So — and that’s the FBI’s original definition.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, so, technically what happened last night in Louisiana wouldn’t be considered a mass killing?
MEGHAN HOYER: Right. That might be considered a mass shooting, but not a mass killing. We were just interested in the four or more dead.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s talk about what you learned about the people who do those shootings. Who are they?
MEGHAN HOYER: Sure.
They’re overwhelmingly male; 94 percent of the cases were men. Their average age is about 30, but it really ranges. We had teenagers to older adults. Men tend to use more guns. Women tend to kill in other ways, arson, drownings, things like that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And what did you learn about the circumstances, about who the victims are, how these things typically — or is there a pattern?
MEGHAN HOYER: There’s not necessarily a pattern, but there are certain things that stand out.
More than 50 percent are family-related, so and in…
JUDY WOODRUFF: More than 50 percent?
MEGHAN HOYER: More than 50 percent. In more than half — in well more than half the cases, the victim knew their shooter.
So, these cases where it’s a public shooting in a public place and it’s a stranger-on-strange crime, that doesn’t happen very much. That’s only about 15 percent of these mass killings. The vast majority are family cases. They happen inside the home.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And yet we saw — and in fact what we saw in the last week, killings that didn’t get the kind of publicity that the shootings in Chattanooga, this one in Louisiana, there were family — families involved.
MEGHAN HOYER: Exactly. Yes.
There were five mass killings this week. That doesn’t include the shooting in the theater last night. Again, the majority of those were family killings, a family found dead in Modesto, a woman and her children, a family in Oklahoma where two teenagers have been arrested and the rest of their family has — was stabbed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, again, these are the kinds of things that often don’t get the kind of attention.
MEGHAN HOYER: Right, they might get the regional attention, but they don’t get the national buzz.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What about the guns that are used? What did you learn about whether they are gotten legally or not?
MEGHAN HOYER: Well, in terms of mass killings, about three-quarters of them are committed with guns. That means the other quarter of them are not gun-related at all.
Of the gun killings, what we have seen are that most guns are handguns. They are not these high-capacity assault rifles or high-capacity assault weapons that we hear so much about. We looked a little bit at legal vs. non-legal acquisition. In a majority of cases, they’re acquired legally.
And even in cases where they’re not, what experts say is that these are people who tend to be very determined. And where there’s a will, there’s a way. Even if they have been banned from getting guns, if they have a prior record, generally, they find a way to find a weapon.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meghan Hoyer with USA Today, we thank you very much.
MEGHAN HOYER: Thank you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to a series of conversations we’re calling Guns in America.
We will talk with people intimately involved in the debate, coming to it from a variety of perspectives.
Tonight, we hear from retired NASA astronaut and Navy combat veteran Mark Kelly. His wife, former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was severely wounded after being shot in the head at an event in Tucson, Arizona, in January 2011. Gabby Giffords continues to recover from the shooting.
In the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, they founded the group Americans for Responsible Solutions as a way to bring attention to ways to make our communities safer.
Captain Kelly, we thank you for joining us.
MARK KELLY, Co-Founder, Americans for Responsible Solutions: Oh, you’re welcome, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We don’t have all the details about this shooting incident last night in Lafayette, Louisiana, but knowing what you know, your background on this, how do you respond to something like this?
MARK KELLY: Well, I think, you know, a logical response is that we have a lot of gun violence in this country.
We have — over 30,000 people die from gun violence every year. In states that have the weakest gun laws, we tend to have more gun violence. And Congress is perfectly capable of doing something about it. But they choose not to. And that’s something that, you know, people should demand. They should demand action, because, unless we make changes to our laws and changes to easy access for felons, domestic abusers, people that are mentally ill, we will continue to see this very high rate of gun violence.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what kinds of things should be done? Because we know — what we do know so far about the shooter in Louisiana is he did have some sort of criminal background. So, he was denied access. He wasn’t allowed to buy or get a conceal-carry permit. But what kinds of changes need to be made?
MARK KELLY: Well, first of all, I don’t know all the details. And I think it will take several days to come out.
Whether or not he was a convicted felon, you know, that should be pretty clear that we shouldn’t allow convicted felons to get access to guns or domestic abusers or people who are dangerously mentally ill. If he fell into one of those categories, in the state of Louisiana or wherever, he had — was able to get this gun from, if they knew about it, then we have got to look as to why.
Maybe he went to a gun show where you don’t need to get a background check. So, some clear things we can do, and I think we would all agree that keeping guns, dangerous firearms out of the hands of criminals is a good idea. We should all be able to agree on that.
But because of special interests in Washington, D.C., and other state capitals, our political leaders tend to be paralyzed on this issue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I know your group says, Americans for Responsible Solutions, you say there’s a way to do this and still respect and adhere to the Second Amendment, in other words, there still be the right to have a gun.
So where do you draw the line? I mean, there’s been — as you just said, it’s been so hard to get anything done in Washington.
MARK KELLY: Well, responsible citizens or responsible gun owners should have access to guns for whatever reason they want, if it’s to protect themselves, to go hunting, to go target shooting.
I’m a gun owner. Gabby’s a gun owner. We don’t want to negatively affect anybody’s rights. And I don’t think many Americans do. But, clearly, the easy access we provide to felons and criminals is something that really shouldn’t exist. A simple background check can prevent not every one of these things from happening, but it can prevent some criminals who will commit crimes with these weapons from getting them.
So, that’s pretty clear and it’s obvious. And as an organization, we have made a lot of progress in a lot of different states. And we’re hopeful that, in time, we’re going to make progress on Capitol Hill.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Are you changing minds, though? Because we have seen shooting after shooting after shooting. And, as we just heard some of the statistics, in talking to the reporter from USA Today, it’s a regular thing, and guns are the way people typically kill someone in this country or kill several people. Why has progress been so difficult?
MARK KELLY: Well, it’s really because of a very powerful special interest in Washington, D.C., and in state capitals.
If you were to poll — like, let’s do a big sample size national poll on something like background checks, and you will find that probably around 90 percent of Americans think you should get a background check before buying a gun. You know, the United States Senate could not pass the Manchin-Toomey background check bill.
I’m hopeful that they will someday. We’re trying to convince them that that is the right thing to do. You know, we have 15 to 20 times the death rate from gun violence than any industrialized country. And the sad thing is, we’re a country of laws, and we should be able to fix that. And we can fix that.
So, people need to write their congressman, write their governor, and build the support, and, in time, we will get this country back on the right track.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Captain Kelly, how much of this has to do with enforcing laws that are already on the books? We know the shooter in Charleston, South Carolina, they said shouldn’t have been able to get a gun, but because the laws were not followed, records were not kept, he was able to get a gun. What about that?
MARK KELLY: Well, I think specifically with this case — I mean, this happened yesterday. So, I think it’s going to take some time for all the facts to be out there.
But, clearly, when people are prohibited purchasers, sometimes, there are holes in that system. Sometimes, there are mistakes made. But I can tell you one big hole is the 40 percent of gun sales that are done without a background check that you can drive a truck through.
I mean, that’s a huge hole that can be filled. We can fix that problem. And we can fix others. And we’re not going to stop every one of these things from happening. But we could — we can put a pretty big dent in it. I mean, when you think about it, 33,000 people every single year die from gun violence in the United States. And that is an enormous number.
Imagine the steps we would take if suddenly we had 30,000 people dying in airplane accidents. I mean, we would go — we would make an enormous effort to do something about it. And we should be doing the same thing here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Captain Mark Kelly, talking to us about the epidemic of gun violence in this country, thank you very much.
MARK KELLY: You’re welcome, Judy. Thanks for having me on.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And in a press conference happening right now, police in Lafayette, Louisiana, say the shooter, John Russel Houser, bought the handgun he used legally at a pawn shop in Alabama in 2014.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: But now to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
So let’s go back to the lead story, David, a string of shootings just in the last few weeks, including this one last night in Lafayette, Louisiana. We talked to Mark Kelly at the top of the program, Gabrielle Giffords’ husband.
What — is there anything to be done?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, I’m for doing all the gun control you can think of, the gun show loophole, the background checks, assault weapons ban. And so I’m for it. I think, if you increase the number of filters between the buyer or shooter and the weapon, you might do some good.
I would be a little modest about how much good you would do. This has been studied quite lot by the CDC, by the AMA, a series of studies of all the gun control legislation that’s happened in the past. And it’s very hard to find strong effects.
There are 250 million guns in this country. And as we heard earlier in the program, where there’s a will, there’s a way. And most of the killings are done with handguns. People find a way to have guns. I’m for it. But we have seen a 50 percent reduction in homicide in this country over a generation. And a lot of other things are more effective in reducing gun violence.
Let’s do it. Let’s just not expect it will have a big effect.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you say 50 percent reduction in…
DAVID BROOKS: Over the last generation. We have seen this massive drop in violent crimes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.
DAVID BROOKS: And that has a lot to do with treatment programs, with the police programs. There are a lot of ways I think to reduce violence that are — produce bigger outcomes than the gun control stuff.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark.
MARK SHIELDS: Judy, I listened to Mark Kelly and the point he made about the public support of background checks. He’s absolutely right.
I mean, 81 percent actually, by the Pew poll, favor background checks, by a 7-1 margin. And, yet, it couldn’t pass the Senate. And, you know, there’s a sense of frustration after Newtown, and Charleston, and now Lafayette. What it’s ever going to take?
And the only idea that even strikes a spark with me — and I agree with David on the measures and I wish — we have too many guns. We have too much access to them, too many people who are unstable who shouldn’t have that access — was a suggestion made by the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, introduced. He said we have enough guns in this country for 200 years, but we only have enough ammunition for two years — or for four months. I’m sorry.
And he said that, you know, why not tax ammunition? I mean, not .22s for target practice, but when you’re talking about ammunition for weapons of personal and mass personal destruction, you know, we have to think in those terms. There’s no question that the debate has been won right now, not permanently, but has been won by the Rifle Association people.
JUDY WOODRUFF: By the gun rights…
MARK SHIELDS: The change in attitude of, do you believe the emphasis should be, the choice should be on control of guns, gun ownership or control of guns, 20 — 15 years ago, by a 2-1 margin, people wanted to control gun ownership.
And now it’s a question, I think, that control people’s right to bear a gun is — a majority believes that’s the priority.
JUDY WOODRUFF: There’s just such a gap, though, David. There’s all this outrage after these shootings, and yet we seem to keep having the same conversation. There’s nothing to be done.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, as I say, public policy is hard and getting change is hard.
And, you know, I think getting the background checks in any of these cases recently, would it have helped? I’m not sure. A lot of these guns were acquired legally, sometimes flaws in the system. I tell you the thing that I think needs to be done. And this is not a government thing. This is a community thing.
The one thing that so many of these cases have in common, whether it’s the household killings or the mass killings or the racist killings, it’s a disgruntled, sick, isolated, perverse young man. And so it’s a social — we all know people in our communities. And if you see a kid who’s grown increasingly isolated, whose views are growing increasingly extreme, then act.
And that is one way. And, you know, we all have these webs of social networks. Just be alert to that and try to prevent something terrible from happening. That’s one thing that I think could have some positive impact.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s something we heard from the USA Today reporter, that there is a pattern, and it’s typically a man, and a young man.
Let’s talk about Iran, Mark, the administration facing a real uphill battle selling — selling this Iran nuclear deal. What kind of a job are they doing defending it, and could they — could Congress end up killing this thing?
MARK SHIELDS: I think Congress is a good bet, as we mentioned last week, that Congress will vote to reject it.
But I think the administration is, rightly and logically, concentrating its efforts not on winning Republicans. There are some, obviously, people like Jeff Flake, who said — senator from Arizona — says he has an open mind, and has demonstrated it in the past.
But the emphasis and the focus has to be upon Democrats, to persuade Democrats why they should support the president and support the agreement. And I think the strongest argument is that there is no alternative, and to bring in the fact that people of great substance, from Brent Scowcroft, who was a national security adviser to Republican presidents, to diplomatic giants like Thomas Pickering and Lee Hamilton and Ryan Crocker…
JUDY WOODRUFF: They signed a letter.
MARK SHIELDS: … are supporting it.
So, I really think that is — it’s not, this is the almighty, but what is the alternative? And I think that’s the case that they’re making. They’re trying to persuade probably 145 Democrats in the House to stick with the president.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, in the meantime, it’s a real buzz saw they’re facing, isn’t it?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, it’s not exactly leading from a position of strength. The purpose of leadership in government is to provide the country with good options.
And they have gotten in a situation in which we have bad options. To me, the worst part about the treaty is that it will give Iran maybe $150 billion, maybe as high as $700 billion in revenue, to which they can spread their terror through the terror armies they’re already using.
And so in the short-term, whatever it does in the long-term with nuclear weapons, it will destabilize the Middle East. On the other hand, they are not stupid to say the alternative is worse, and that if we do this, the sanctions will fall apart. China is eager to go. France wants to sell nuclear stuff. Russia is certainly eager to sell nuclear stuff to the Iranians.
And so if the U.S. does reject it, it will get worse. And so their option is — their argument is not that the treaty is so great, but the alternative is worse. And so they have put up in a choice architecture where we have got two really bad options. And my guess at the end of the day is the Democrats who are in play here will not opt for that worse alternative. I could argue they maybe they should, but it’s hard for me to see it absolutely losing in the long-term.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think Democrats will come around?
MARK SHIELDS: I think the Democrats right now are being smart politically by saying that they’re open, they’re listening. There’s no point in taking a position until they have to.
But I don’t think there’s many open minds on the other side. The $150 billion that David spoke of, of course, is Iran’s money. It isn’t like we’re writing a check to them. It has just — it’s been frozen. And I think that — you know, that has to be understood.
So I — you know, I don’t think there is an alternative. I think, quite frankly, that Prime Minister Netanyahu hurt himself and his cause by pushing so hard for military action against Iran, and by intruding in the United States election on Mitt Romney’s side, and then by using the House of Representatives as a campaign stop to run against Iran.
And I just think he really put himself and Israel, quite honestly, in an untenable position.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s talk about Hillary Clinton.
David, e-mails, Congress has — this special committee in the House is coming after her. Now they’re saying the Department of Justice, they have asked the department to look into whether classified information was shared that shouldn’t have been. Is she in real jeopardy over this, either politically or legally?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, I think it’s about her character. I assume she shared classified information. She — it was all on this private server. There is so much classified information in government that, if she is sending out all these e-mails, I assume something got into them.
She swore it didn’t happen. That’s hard for me to believe. And, frankly, that is not a career-killer. That’s not a president candidacy killer. But it is about her character. And it is about why there was the privacy of the server, her unwillingness to release the server now, which people want to get ahold of, deleting all the e-mails.
So, it’s not — I don’t think, however this shakes out, it’s going to be something that will end her candidacy. But it’s no question it’s a stain and the continued investigations are stains. I frankly don’t have clarity on what kind of investigations is about to happen. In all the reporting, there is a lot of passive voice, so you don’t quite know how much she’s actually being investigated.
So that’s unclear. It will shake out in the next few days maybe. But it’s still a long-running stain that goes to a core concern people have about her, which is openness, transparency and trustworthiness.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think she is at risk?
MARK SHIELDS: I think David put his finger on it, that the problem it brings back, there’s two Clintons.
There’s the Clinton of great boom, the lowest unemployment, the balanced budget, happy and prosperous and optimistic and confident America. And there’s the Clinton memories of the Whitewater and those law firm billing rights that were miraculously discovered in the family quarters of the White House.
And all this lack of candor of what the meaning of is, all of this comes back, and I just — I think it hurt her in 2007, when she was running against Barack Obama. It hurt both Al Gore and John Kerry. George Bush was seen as more honest and more likable personally than either of them.
And that’s the last time the Democrats lost the White House two times in a row. I think it’s a problem. She was trying to avoid intense scrutiny by having the private server, and she ends up inviting and really getting greater intense scrutiny.
I think the one salvation she has is that the Republicans will overplay, House Republicans in particular, will overplay their hand, with the hearings and sort of an inquisitional attitude and air. So, but it’s not a help. It certainly brings back unpleasant memories.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Forty seconds left.
Donald Trump, he’s — got into a big fuss with John McCain, insulted John McCain last weekend, Lindsey Graham this week. But Donald Trump is still alive and well, still out on the campaign trail.
David, what has happened to the race and is he going to stay?
DAVID BROOKS: Eventually, he will run out of Republican candidates to attack.
DAVID BROOKS: So, he’s gone after a bunch of them.
I have to think the show will close. He is like Jerry Springer. He makes Jerry Springer look like “Masterpiece Theater.” You would think, eventually, people just get exhausted by this.
MARK SHIELDS: Jerry is still on.
DAVID BROOKS: Jerry is still on.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But he seems to get stronger by these…
DAVID BROOKS: This is a party that nominated Mitt Romney. It’s like a straitlaced party.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ten seconds.
MARK SHIELDS: Ten seconds.
Donald Trump, shame on us. He’s the catnip. We can’t stay away from him. He is an unlikable man. He will never be president of the United States. He made a terrible mistake by going after John McCain. John McCain is not a hero because he was captured. John McCain was a hero because, for five-and-a-half years, he accepted torture, instead of early release, and remained and endured that ordeal with his fellow prisoners.
Donald Trump avoided capture by staying at Studio 54 and investing in real estate in Manhattan.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, David Brooks, we thank you.
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