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

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    Video shot by Matt Bowman, produced by Ruth Ezell and edited by Aja Williams.

    As the anniversary of Michael Brown’s death approaches this weekend, young opera singer Melvin Bozeman reflected on his experience with the police in Ferguson and how the arts drove him to succeed.

    Bozeman graduated from McCluer North High School in Florissant, Missouri, this past spring. He said he has had negative experiences with police in Ferguson before — in one instance, police stopped him and his brother while they were headed to their grandmother’s house. He said a strong sense of self helped him get through that situation. “I could have gotten upset and retaliated,” he said. “But I didn’t believe in that. I said, ‘I’m going to stay who I am in this situation,’ and that helped me out of the situation.”

    In spite of that experience, Bozeman said concerns about Ferguson’s police have not shaped his life. Instead, his passion for music helped him through school and won him a full-tuition scholarship to the University of Kentucky to study voice. “As a young person, you have to put your mind to something,” he said. “If you have your mind set on something positive and you work towards it, it’s going to benefit you.”

    The post How opera helped a young singer from Ferguson succeed appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Palestinian protesters hold placard to protest against "terrorism" on February 13, 2015 before a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Bilin, west of Ramallah. The poster shows a picture of US aid worker Kayla Mueller, who died as a hostage of Islamic State (IS) group jihadists. AFP PHOTO/ABBAS MOMANI        (Photo credit should read ABBAS MOMANI/AFP/Getty Images)

    Palestinians protest “terrorism” on February 13, 2015, before a demonstration against Jewish settlements in the West Bank village of Bilin while holding posters of Kayla Mueller, who died as a hostage of the Islamic State. One of the militants who imprisoned Mueller will not be charged in the U.S., the White House announced Friday. Photo by Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — An Islamic State militant who helped imprison and brutalize American hostage Kayla Mueller will not be charged in the U.S., the White House announced Friday.

    The militant known as Umm Sayyaf, who had been cooperating with American military interrogators after she was captured in Syria during a May U.S. Special Operations raid, will be prosecuted in Iraq by Iraqi authorities, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

    On Thursday, the military announced that Umm Sayyaf has been transferred to a facility in the Iraqi Kurdish capital of Irbil. She is the wife of an Islamic State financier known as Abu Sayyaf, who was killed during the Delta Force raid.

    Another senior Islamic State figure took Mueller as a “wife,” and visited her occasionally while she lived with the Sayyaf couple, according to two American officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the details are classified. They declined to name the Islamic State official.

    Documents seized at the site, and hours of conversations with Umm Sayyaf, have provided American officials with some of their best intelligence to date on the Islamic State, U.S. officials have said.

    Mueller, who was from Prescott, Arizona, and her Syrian boyfriend were taken hostage in August 2013 after leaving a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Aleppo, Syria. The boyfriend was later released. In February, the Islamic State announced her death, saying she had been killed in a Jordanian air strike. U.S. officials have never confirmed that.

    Earnest said Umm Sayyaf “will be held accountable for her crimes,” in Iraq.

    The post Militant who imprisoned Kayla Mueller will not be charged in the U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 06:  Director Gina Prince-Bythewood speaks at the "The Secret Life of Bees" press conference during the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival held at the Sutton Place Hotel on September 6, 2008 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images)

    Director Gina Prince-Bythewood appears at a news conference on her film “The Secret Life of Bees” at the 33rd Toronto International Film Festival on Sept. 6, 2008. Photo by Malcolm Taylor/Getty Images

    A report released Wednesday focusing on the top-grossing films of the last seven years makes one thing clear: women and people of color are sorely underrepresented in Hollywood.

    That fact also spoke loud and clear when we decided to look at that study, which included films released from 2007 to 2014, to see how many of the 700 analyzed were both directed by, and starred, women of color. The analysis, which was conducted by the Media, Diversity & Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, showed that only 24 directors were female. Among those, four were women of color. Those four women are Ava DuVernay (“Selma,” 2014), Gina Prince-Bythewood (“The Secret Life of Bees, 2008), Loveleen Tandan (“Slumdog Millionaire,” 2008) and Sanaa Hamri (“The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2,” 2008).

    And of those four movies, how many also featured a woman of color in the leading role? We list them below:

    1. “The Secret Life of Bees” (2008)

    The movie, based on Sue Monk Kidd’s novel of the same name, follows the story of three beekeeping sisters in 1960s South Carolina who take in a young runaway. Lily Melissa Owens, a 14-year-old white girl, accidentally killed her mother at the age of 4 and ran away from her abusive father with Rosaleen (Jennifer Hudson), her black caretaker. She seeks shelter in the town of Tiburon with sisters August (Queen Latifah), June (Alicia Keys) and May (Sophie Okonedo). Even as the film received mediocre reviews, Latifah was praised for her portrayal of August, which The New York Times noted showed a “shrewd refusal to play her character according to stereotype.”

    Latifah said August’s confidence resonated with her. “I just always connected with August because this character is so nurturing and loving and confident and comfortable in her own skin that she just seems at peace,” Latifah told NPR.

    2. “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″ (2008)

    Actress America Ferrera arrives for the premiere of the film "The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2"  in New York, July 28, 2008. REUTERS/Keith Bedford (UNITED STATES) - RTX87EM

    Actress America Ferrera arrives for the premiere of the film “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2″ in New York City on July 28, 2008. Photo by Keith Bedford/Reuters

    The popular sequel to “The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants” starred America Ferrera alongside co-stars Amber Tamblyn, Alexis Bledel and Blake Lively. In the movie, Carmen (played by Ferrera) unexpectedly scores the leading role of Perdita in a local theater’s summer production of “A Winter’s Tale.” Over the course of the summer as Carmen learns the role, she must reckon with her insecurities around acting along with her changing friendships with fellow cast member Julia (played by Rachel Nichols) and Tibby (played by Tamblyn).

    Ferrera told CNN the film provided some needed representation for young women in Hollywood. “What I really love about this movie and why I would have ran out to see this film even if I wasn’t in it … is that I feel as a young woman I’m always constantly craving my stories to be told,” she said.

    The study puts a spotlight on what has long been known as a problem in Hollywood. Some people are making efforts to highlight media by and starring people of color, including Ava Duvernay, who asked her Twitter followers in May to name movies that had “black, brown, native or Asian women leads” and female directors. And the Tumblr “The Racial Bechdel Test” documents films that have two characters of color that have a conversation about “something other than a white person.”

    The post Here’s what happened when we tried to write a list of films by and starring women of color appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    KABUL, AFGHANISTAN - AUGUST 07:  Afghan Police inspect the scene of a bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, 07 August 2015. Powerful truck bomb killed at least eight people and wounded more than 100 others, all of the victims were civilians, including women and children, Police Chief Abdul Rahman Rahimi said. (Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

    Afghan Police inspect the scene of a bomb blast in Kabul, Afghanistan, 07 August 2015. Photo by Haroon Sabawoon/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

    Kabul was rocked by four explosions Friday, killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds of others, according to Afghan officials.

    The attacks began Friday morning when a truck bomb exploded near a government complex and military base in a residential part of Kabul. So far, 15 people have been reported killed in that attack, Afghan officials said.

    Then, in the evening, four suicide bombers detonated a bomb outside the Kabul Police Academy, killing at least 25. The attackers reportedly aimed to break through the wall of the academy, according to The New York Times.

    A third bombing occurred Friday evening near the airport, and witnesses reported also hearing the sound of gunfire. This blast was shortly followed by the explosion near the counter-narcotics ministry, which is close to coalition bases and Afghan government building. Gunfire was heard after the attack and witnesses have also reported hearing NATO jets flying overhead, Reuters reported.

    So far, there is little information on whether the attacks are related. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the second attack but has not spoken out about the others.

    This post will be updated.

    The post Dozens killed as attacks hit Kabul appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    NEGATIVE# josephm 182848--SLUG-NA/GROCERY--DATE-08/08/06-- ShopRite Grocery store, 296 Island Avenue, Phildelphia, PA.--PHOTOGRAPHER-MARVIN JOSEPH/TWP--CAPTION-Efforts by community activists bring more grocery stores to poor neighborhoods. PICTURED, from left to right, Sharita Henderson, Geraldine Henderson, and Shantay Henderson search for the potatoes that are on sale at ShopRite.  (Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

    Fourth generation grocer Jeff Brown has opened seven ShopRite supermarkets in food deserts around Philadelphia. Photo by Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Editor’s Note: Nearly 24 million Americans live in food deserts, low-income neighborhoods with no access to affordable, fresh, healthy food. As a result, people who live in these areas often have poor diets that can lead to higher levels of obesity and other diet-related diseases.

    Fourth generation grocer Jeff Brown wants to change that. He’s opened seven ShopRite supermarkets in food deserts around Philadelphia. Paul Solman recently profiled Brown’s operation in the latest Making Sen$e Thursday on the NewsHour. Watch the full report below. For a closer look at what makes Brown’s stores successful, read Paul’s extended conversation with the entrepreneur, edited and condensed for clarity below.

    Diane Lincoln, Making Sen$e Producer

    [Watch Video]

    Paul Solman: Your family business is groceries?

    Jeff Brown: Yes. My great-grandfather and grandfather started their own corner grocery store. They probably just wanted a job, but no one would give them a job as immigrants.

    Paul Solman: How did you start in the business?

    Jeff Brown: I worked for my dad after college, and he sold his company. I wanted to stay in the grocery business, and so I went to ShopRite and asked them if they would take me in — said that I would like to bring ShopRites to Philadelphia.

    Paul Solman: What is ShopRite?

    Jeff Brown: ShopRite’s a cooperative. And there are 48 other entrepreneurs like myself, and they operate stores from Virginia to Massachusetts. Each operator tends to be in a local area, where they know the local area, they’re from the local area, and we benefit from that knowledge, and each store sort of runs customized to the areas they serve.

    Paul Solman: Was there a philosophy behind your going to ShopRite as opposed to some other grocery business?

    Jeff Brown: Yes. The idea that it’s privately owned and business people, grocers, decide how we do things, based on what their customers told them, is a superior model.

    Paul Solman: Superior to?

    Jeff Brown: Superior to a large, national firm or a wholesaler that’s supplying you at a profit. They have their own objectives. At ShopRite, our objective is to serve our customers.

    Paul Solman: Well, isn’t a national firm’s objective to serve its customers?

    Jeff Brown: Yes, but in ShopRite, the owners who live in their stores, they make the decisions. And so the ability to adjust to serve our customers is, I think, better.

    Paul Solman: And what would an example be?

    Jeff Brown: In the Fox Street ShopRite in North Philadelphia, we use all induction and LED lighting. It costs more, but I don’t want to damage the environment. So as an entrepreneur who has that ability, I decide that’s what I want to do.

    Paul Solman: And the national chain would be less likely to do it?

    Jeff Brown: They’re going to look at the return on investment and that’s going to be the major guiding principle. And I’m interested in that as well, but I’m also interested in how I can not do harm or how I can help people.

    Paul Solman: So you join ShopRite, and then what happens?

    Jeff Brown: I started out as a one-store operator in Philadelphia. There weren’t very many ShopRites in Philadelphia at that time. I believe I was the second store, and over the 27 years, I grew.

    Paul Solman: And you grew how?

    Jeff Brown: A lot of times I grew, because one of my chain competitors would fail in the store, they’d close it, and I would buy the failed store and reopen it.

    Paul Solman: So what do you do to make an insolvent location into a solvent store?

    Jeff Brown: Well, with us, the process starts out with listening to our customers. We would spend time with them, go to community meetings, listen to what they were saying. We’d make observations about their religion, their race, their heritage. And that’s building up in our mind — how are we going to serve people in a really good way here?

    Paul Solman: But how do the economics work? How do you make it profitable?

    Jeff Brown: These stores don’t tend to be profitable on their own. And one of the innovations that makes this work possible is a public-private partnership in which we figure out a way to finance it to bring down the operating costs and mitigate some of the financial gap that would otherwise exist.

    Paul Solman: And you do that in partnership with whom?

    Jeff Brown: It started out with the Fresh Food Financing Initiative, which was a collaboration between the state of Pennsylvania, the reinvestment fund, which is a community development financial institution, or a nonprofit lender and some nonprofits. They organized the fund to finance grocery stores and help mitigate some of the financial gap.

    Paul Solman: And is that because of the famous problem in the inner city, which is to say, the food desert?

    Jeff Brown: Food deserts, right. That’s the problem we aim to solve. And it creates two big problems for society. One is it apparently leads to much accelerated obesity, and as you know, leads to all kinds of ailments — hypertension and diabetes.

    And it also takes away the jobs that exist in society to service people. So not only do you lose the service, the community also loses the jobs of the service. And all those are building blocks to prevent poverty. So when you take it away, it accelerates poverty.

    Paul Solman: So the food desert is the problem, and then the solution is a bunch of foundations and government agencies working with a grocery entrepreneur?

    Jeff Brown: Well, yes! The truth of the matter is these public-private partnerships are a little different in each place you go, in each job you do, but the idea is that society will benefit from this business being here in a very big way. And the reason it’s not here is small, financially, compared to the benefit to society. And the idea would be that we’d organize interested parties — it could be one, two or three levels of government. It could be private foundations. It could be banks that want to finance something in an impoverished area.

    Paul Solman: So a skeptic would say, “Wait a second. If this were viable economically, then someone would already have tried it. So this is really only government subsidizing your efforts.”

    Jeff Brown: The free enterprise system did come up with a way to get food here. Whether it’s fast food restaurants or dollar stores, it’s not like the area had no food. The free enterprise system created food that was really making people obese. A diet of all processed food accelerates obesity, and those people end up in emergency rooms sick at a great cost to society.

    Paul Solman: Or Medicare and Medicaid.

    Jeff Brown: That’s right. All the government-funded programs. And so the government’s money is going to be at play here. This is a way to hopefully spend less by preventing people from being sick. I’ve come across all kinds of different elected officials that have different philosophies, and what makes this appealing to almost everyone is that it’s a free enterprise solution to a public problem. It’s the public investing a very small amount to solve a very big problem.

    Paul Solman: Is there one key competitive advantage that you have over other people so that you can actually pull this off? Or is it a whole variety of skills?

    Jeff Brown: I think everything that we do breaks down into two things. One, the deal has to work up front. The math. We still have bills, and we still have to pay our bills, and we have to be smart enough to understand what our costs are going to be and make sure we have a viable deal. And that gets into the public-private partnerships, because we don’t want to do this and have it go out of business.

    The second avenue is the national food system was not designed for new immigrants, people of different religions, different heritages and ethnic backgrounds that have migrated from different parts of the country or world. And so it requires a far more flexible operation to listen and come up with what people want in this neighborhood.

    Paul Solman: And so that’s a culture of inclusiveness, outreach and sort of local attentiveness that a national chain, who might be your competitor, wouldn’t have?

    Jeff Brown: I think that’s exactly right. We’re very, very interested in people. We care about them, we want to serve them, and we also know from a business standpoint, serving them means revenues because if you sell something that you didn’t sell before, it’s more revenues. And a lot of times the things that we’ve innovated are more revenues than what is normally the case, because we finally have what the people want.

    The post A supermarket owner’s secret to success in the food desert appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    North Korean children wearing the uniform of a communist youth organisation walk away after paying their respects at the statue of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang August 27, 2007. Picture taken August 27, 2007.    REUTERS/Reinhard Krause (NORTH KOREA) - RTR1T73H

    North Korean children pay their respects at the statue of Kim Il-Sung in Pyongyang. Photo by Reinhard Krause/Reuters.

    North Korea, an isolationist country consumed by the legacy of its family dynasty, now wants to turn back the time as well.

    Korea was occupied by Japan from 1910 to 1945 and forced to adopt aspects of Japanese culture, including a time zone.

    For more than a century, North Korea has followed Japan’s time zone, which set the local time nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.

    That will soon change.

    It has been reported that North Korea’s state news agency, Korea Central News Agency (KCNA), announced Friday that the nation will no longer adhere to the time zone connected with its imperialized roots.

    Instead, the hermit country will set its clocks back by 30 minutes on Aug. 15 to create a new “Pyongyang time,” corresponding with the 70th anniversary of nation’s deliverance from Japan at the end of World War II.

    “The wicked Japanese imperialists committed such unpardonable crimes as depriving Korea of even its standard time while mercilessly trampling down its land with 5,000-year-long history and culture and pursuing the unheard-of policy of obliterating the Korean nation,” KCNA reported.

    But while North Korea is no longer dictated by Japanese colonialism, North and South Koreans alike continue to hold deep resentment against their past East Asian rulers.

    In the aftermath of Japanese conquest, hundreds and thousands of Koreans were suppressed and subject to new laws and customs. Hundreds of thousands of Korean men were forced to enlist into Japan’s war effort and women were often forced to work as sex slaves for soldiers in the Japanese military.

    Furthering their bitterness, North Korea’s revered founder, Kim Il-sung fought as a guerilla against the Japanese before their eventual independence.

    The “new” time zone reflects one held briefly by the country before Japan’s takeover in 1910.

    “With the new time zone, Kim Jong-un is reasserting his code words of self-reliance and national dignity to his people,” North Korea expert, Chang Young-seok Chang said to the New York Times. “Whatever difficulties and inconveniences the new time zone may cause are nothing to his government, compared with its propaganda value at home.”

    East Asian experts say the change will likely hamper efforts to integrate the South and North homogeneity, particularly affecting the exchanges at the industrial park in Kaesong, where North Koreans are employed in South Korean factories, often labeled a “mini-reunification,” between the divided nations.

    North Korea is no stranger to breaking from a universal system of timekeeping. Since 1997, North Korea has used a calendar tracking the years from Kim Il-sung’s birth, as opposed to Jesus Christ. The year is 104 in North Korea, not 2015.

    The post North Korea wants to create new time zone, ‘Pyongyang time’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Female carpenter/worker  taking notes in workshop. Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

    The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July, and unemployment remained unchanged at 5.3 percent. Photo by Hero Images/Getty Images

    The U.S. economy added 215,000 jobs in July, and unemployment remained unchanged at 5.3 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the past year, we’ve seen average gains of 246,000 jobs per month, and in the past three months, we’ve seen an average of 235,000 jobs per month. July’s report continued that trend.

    There are other signs that the economy continues to move in the right direction, albeit slowly. The number of jobs added in May and June was revised upwards a total of 14,000 jobs, from 254,000 to 260,000 in May and from 223,000 to 231,000 in June.

    July’s job gains occurred mainly in white collar services with healthy gains in retail trade, health care, professional and technical services, and financial activities, suggesting that perhaps more full-time jobs are being produced than part-time jobs.

    And our Solman “U-7” Scale, which takes into account discouraged workers and the underemployed as well as the officially unemployed, dropped slightly from 12.73 percent to 12.63 percent.

    solman-june-july2015

    Wages increased in July. Average hourly earnings increased by 5 cents to land at $24.99. Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.1 percent, but wages for most workers have barely kept up with inflation.”

    “There’s no evidence anywhere — in average hourly earnings, or the employment cost index — of wage inflation. It’s low and it’s not rising,” says the Peterson Institute’s Justin Wolfers.

    And that contradicts some long-held economic assumptions.

    “Typically when workers are hard to come by, employers pay higher wages to get them, which will in turn mean higher prices or inflation,” Justin Wolfers told PBS NewsHour, “This is the central organizing framework to think about how the economy works.”

    But we aren’t seeing that today.

    So what’s going on? Wolfers “there is still slack in the market, and maybe workers are not hard to come by.” This would suggest that the economy has not yet improved to the degree we hoped it had.

    So what does July’s job report mean for interest rates?

    The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute sees slow wage growth as a reason for the Fed to hold off raising rates. “The arguably most important measure for the Fed — nominal average hourly earnings — rose only 2.1 percent over the year, in line with the same slow growth we’ve seen for the last six years,” writes the Economic Policy Institute’s Elise Gould.

    On the other hand, this month’s jobs report might just contain enough positive news to encourage the Fed to stay the course on its path toward raising rates later this year.

    The post Why the jobs report data spells trouble for the Phillips curve appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    shieldsbrooks

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

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

    Welcome, gentlemen.

    So, the first debate among, David, 10 of the 17 Republicans running for president last night, what’s your assessment?

    DAVID BROOKS: It was great. It was a great debate. Trump brings the party, and I hope he stays. Maybe in the general, they can stick him in. I thought he was — he livens the atmosphere. He’s not a real candidate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: He’s not a real candidate?

    DAVID BROOKS: No. He doesn’t have an ideology. He doesn’t have a belief system.

    He has himself. And they went after him, the three excellent moderators. And he defended himself and I think he did fine. Probably 70 percent of Republicans disapprove of him. A lot of the things he said were astonishingly inappropriate, that he wouldn’t support the Republican Party nominee. That’s kind of a big one. He likes single-payer health system. That’s the first Republican that sort of likes that.

    He is outside of all the categories, but he is a lord of self-esteem. And his main message is society is filled with losers, and they happen to be running it, and society has some winners who are being ignored. And if you’re a winner like me, we got to get rid of those losers.

    And that’s an ideology that is not a political ideology. It is a narcissistic ideology. But I suspect the 20 percent who like him will continue to like him and like him even more. And so he will be hanging around there.

    Among the real candidates, I thought Rubio did quite well. Carly Fiorina in the underdebate card did quite well. And John Kasich did quite well. And so I think those three helped themselves and they actually are viable candidates and make us rethink the race.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you size it up, Mark?

    MARK SHIELDS: I don’t know where to agree and where — no.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MARK SHIELDS: I agree. Donald Trump fills up the hall. There were 24 million people who watched. That’s more people than had ever watched a cable event, other than a sports event.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Huge numbers.

    MARK SHIELDS: And this was a sports event.

    Donald Trump indicated right at the outset he is going to run as Donald Trump. And I thought it was an indication of the magic he has established, the chemistry he has with Republican voters, that the only person on the stage, candidate who would even take a shot at him was Rand Paul.

    All the others ducked him, John Kasich included, Jeb Bush included, when given opportunities. Who went after him? The three FOX moderators, who were tough. They really did. And I really think he made a serious mistake by going, retaliating, attacking Megyn Kelly. First of all…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: When she asked him about his comments about women.

    MARK SHIELDS: Asked him about women, his misogynist comments.

    First of all, FOX News is the validator, it’s the gatekeeper for Republican, particularly conservative voters. And you don’t go after — it is not like you’re attacking Chuck Todd or Judy Woodruff or some of the liberal elite establishment. You’re attacking the mother church when you go after FOX.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s make a distinction here, please. I’m not part of the liberal media.

    MARK SHIELDS: No, but I’m talking about by the definition of conservative America, where FOX really is the gatekeeper — I think you would agree, the gatekeeper and the validator.

    And when he went after her, I think he made a serious mistake. I thought, as far as the others were concerned…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You don’t think he helped himself?

    MARK SHIELDS: I think he hurt himself. I really do.

    He’s a combination quite unlike anything I have ever seen before. I agree partially with David that it is sort of egotism and cynicism. Everybody is transactional. You believe nothing. Why do you give money to Democrats? You give money to Democrats because you are going to give them a call and they’re going to do what you want.

    Everything. There’s no ideal. John Kennedy said he was an idealist without illusions. Donald Trump is a cynic without illusions. Nothing is on the level. You go into bankruptcy four times. You screw the investors. Hey, that’s the way it’s done now.

    I just — I thought he came across really, by having taken on FOX News, and particularly Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, and particularly Megyn Kelly, I think he made a mistake.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But you said, David, a minute ago you thought Marco Rubio did well and you thought John Kasich did well. What stood out?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes. So,

    Rubio has a message. The message is, America is changing fast. I’m surrounded by a bunch of old guys who don’t get it. And I get it. I get Amazon. I get Airbnb. That’s actually a pretty good message. And it goes with his belief system. And he presents very well. And he’s very articulate and well-spoken and smart. And so he has a message.

    Kasich has a different message, which is unique and I think reflective also of the times, which is we need growth, but we need compassion. And so he defends some of the New Deal social programs, even Great Society social programs. But he said we got to grow. And then once we grow, we got to share.

    And early in the program, we had his passage on going to a marriage of a gay friend. That is a broadening message. That is actually a general election message. And Rubio also has a general election message. And so if you are a Republican mainstreamer, and you are trying to think, who can win, well, walking in, you thought, well, Jeb Bush appeals to a lot of people.

    And we all go around the country and we hear a lot people who are not particularly political, but they think, Jeb Bush, he seems acceptable. He was meh at the debate. He was fine, but not terrible, not great. But these two guys have something new, and something that actually could be viable. And you know, Florida and Ohio, if those two are on the ticket, you’re doing OK.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Mark, but you see some delineation there? I mean, there’s now some — more separation between these candidates as a result of this debate?

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes. Yes. It wasn’t — nobody has called — I will say the person who probably had the best night was Carly Fiorina.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Who was on earlier. She wasn’t even in the big debate.

    MARK SHIELDS: She was on the early one.

    And Mark Russell, the great satirist, said, who won the 5:00 debate? Carly Fiorina. Who won the 9:00 debate? Carly Fiorina. I think she represents something Republicans need. They want her on that stage, because when she goes after Hillary Clinton, again, we can’t be accused of misogyny if it’s a woman doing it.

    And she does it quite effectively. I thought Marco Rubio had a good night. Marco Rubio plays better to the punditocracy, those of us who cover it, than he has directly to voters. His numbers have not been great. He doesn’t seem to have a base. But he really — I thought he handled himself quite well last night.

    I wasn’t as impressed as other — David and others were with John Kasich. He was given the opportunity by Chris Wallace after Donald Trump made this outrageous statement about Mexico, the government is sending criminals across the border. And Chris Wallace asked him for any evidence. He had no evidence.

    He said, I was at the Border Patrol, had a visit in Laredo. And he said, what about that? He said, no, we’re doing it because American politicians and leaders are dumb, and the Mexican government is smart. And they’re sticking us with the bill. And he turns to John Kasich and he said, what about that, Governor? And John Kasich said, Donald Trump has touched into something in America, instead of confronting him.

    I just — I thought that Rubio had a good, good night. And Jeb Bush was wallpaper. There was no sense of command to him.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Whoa. That’s tough.

    Just quickly, if both of you think Fiorina had a good night, what does that say though about the system that is leaving the other seven, the people who don’t make the cut of 10, apart in a separate event? What does it say about…

    DAVID BROOKS: There’s a super bad problem with the polls, which is they’re polling everybody. They’re not polling people who are actually going to vote.

    And Donald Trump’s voters are what they call low-information voters. They’re classically the kind of people who don’t vote in primaries. In some sense, his lead is completely — not completely, but largely artificial.

    Meanwhile, we have been hearing on the campaign trail there’s been a buzz about Fiorina for a couple months. And so she just got to show it to a broader audience. But she has earned her way into the next calendar.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Very quick questions about the Democrats.

    Earlier this week, Mark, a lot of reporting about whether or not Joe Biden may get into the race. There’s some fairly reliable reporting that he’s thinking about it. Pros, cons.

    MARK SHIELDS: He’s thinking about it.

    Judy, he ran for first time in 1988. He ran in 2008. He’s been vice president for eight years. It’s always been in his DNA to run for president. And Hillary Clinton’s numbers in the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll took a bad tumble between June and August.

    Among women, she now has a negative rating. This was supposed to be her golden source of support to give her the new coalition. It has to be tempting at this point. I don’t think anybody knows. I would bet that he doesn’t, but it’s got to be tempting if she starts to look very vulnerable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Pros and cons?

    DAVID BROOKS: He shouldn’t do it. He shouldn’t do it. He’s a wonderful, wonderful man. He’s a great public servant.

    This country and especially the Democratic Party is in the mood for systemic change and something fundamental, different. They don’t want a sign of the establishment running their party. That’s what she is facing. She’s in a dominant position, but the tide is against her. The mood of the times are against her. The mood of the times are certainly against him.

    So you got to pick your year. It’s not his year. If he runs, I think he will do some damage to his long-term reputation.

    MARK SHIELDS: He doesn’t have a lot of other years to choose, David.

    DAVID BROOKS: Well…

    (LAUGHTER)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We will talk about that.

    Very different subject here at the end, the Iran nuclear deal. The president gave another passionate defense this week, made a speech at American University. He has had a number of Democrats come out, Mark, in favor, but he lost a big one in Senator Chuck Schumer last night.

    How significant is that? Is the president making any headway with this argument?

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes, the president is. He needs a third plus one in either the House or the Senate, one of the two.

    And, obviously, Jewish members, including such as Chuck Schumer, are very much a target, because of, understandably, Israel’s position; 92 countries have endorsed this nuclear agreement, Judy, including Lebanon and Saudi Arabia and Iraq and Jordan, as well as…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Egypt.

    MARK SHIELDS: … great American ally, Egypt, but — Algeria.

    But the United States here, there is a real premium on Sandy Levin of Michigan supporting it. Chuck Schumer is an important legislator. He’s going to be the next Democratic leader. The fact that Kirsten Gillibrand, his colleague in New York and very close, at the same time came out in support of the president’s position may indicate that Chuck Schumer is not going to spend a lot of time, effort, energy trying to proselytize other members.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How significant is this?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes, first of all, I don’t think Bibi Netanyahu’s opposition has anything to with Chuck Schumer’s opposition or the Israeli position has anything to do — I think it’s a terrible deal not because Israel does.

    I just think it’s a terrible deal that will endanger the Middle East for generations to come. And I’m sure Schumer came to the same conclusion. In the public opinion, Obama is losing the argument. The latest poll I saw was 2-1 against among the American public. And, frankly, I thought Obama’s speech — he’s a great speechmaker, he’s a great arguer. Certainly one of his weakest speeches, in which you’re sitting on the fence.

    It’s a close issue. He says, oh, it’s not a close issue. It’s transparently a close issue. It’s a tough debate. Second, if you are on the fence, he was insulting you in your thinking that, you’re so stupid. You were wrong in the past.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Equating it with opposing — or going to war in Iran.

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes. It was just, I found, a very high-handed speech designed to offend, not to persuade.

    MARK SHIELDS: I really — I do think Judy, quite frankly, that the president is making the same case that Ronald Reagan made in dealing with the Soviets, negotiating with Iran. They’re not nice people. They’re not good people, but it is important. And I think he’s making the case.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, David Brooks, we thank you.

    The post Shields and Brooks on GOP debate standouts, Schumer’s Iran deal rejection appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    migrants

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, the European Union today appealed to its member states to live up to the financial pledges made to Greece and Hungary to assist with some of the nearly 225,000 refugees and migrants who this year alone have left upheaval in Africa, in the Middle East and Southwest Asia to try to reach Europe.

    In the north, near the English Channel, several thousand people are camped out, many hoping to pass from France to England. The British government says taking in the displaced people will only encourage more to come. But just today, it was reported that a 40-year-old Sudanese man managed to evade elaborate security and walked almost the entire dangerous 31-mile length of the underwater Channel Tunnel before he was arrested.

    NewsHour special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports tonight from the French port of Calais.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Under British pressure, reinforcements, the French riot police have been sent to Calais to try thwart the migrants on the final leg of their odyssey, among them, a man fleeing the Syrian civil war who didn’t want to be identified.

    MAN: Police closed the border. So, we try go to train, but the police is big people. They’re like animals. We don’t like it. They’re not behaved police. They told me you have to go back. I go back and try again, but it’s very hard to go. We need a solution. I don’t know what we’re going to do here. We don’t like to stay in France.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Additional measures designed to beef up security at the Eurotunnel carrying trains between France and England appear to be working, according to the British foreign secretary, Philip Hammond.

    PHILIP HAMMOND, British Foreign Secretary: I think we have a grip on the crisis. We saw a peak last week since when the illegal migrants has tailed off. We have taken a number of measures in collaboration with the French authorities and Eurotunnel.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: As a result there’s increasing frustration among migrants. They have established a squalid camp in the sand dunes called the Jungle. It’s a launch pad for thousands of dreams that failed to fly.

    Having risked his life crossing the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean, Tasbe Tasbasalasi is dismayed at the conditions. A reluctant conscript in the Eritrean army, this computer expert fled the Horn of Africa country whose government has been accused of widespread human rights abuses.

    TASBE TASBASALASI: We considered Europe as the heaven of the earth, but it was not just like that. I really didn’t expect the places that we are living here to be like this. I’m trying to go to the train. But it’s very difficult for me. I’m being here in order to go to England. But it’s very difficult. But everybody who is living here has his or her own ambition.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Why should England allow you to come into the country?

    TASBE TASBASALASI: My dream is to go to England. When I compare — for example, when I compare England with Germany, England is comfortable for me.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Calais used to have a Red Cross refugee camp, but it was closed in 2002 after Britain protested that it was encouraging illegal immigration.

    The problem has never gone away. And at city hall, there is irritation from Deputy Mayor Philippe Mignonet that Britain is calling the shots.

    PHILIPPE MIGNONET, Deputy Mayor: We really are desperate because it’s killing the image of the city more so than ever. It’s killing the economy of the city as well. We all know they want to go to England. Whether they are right or wrong, whether benefits in England are right or wrong, it’s not a problem. They want to go to England.

    This is where we must have in Calais a summit between France and England involving the city of Calais, because at the moment, the ministers are talking with each other, but where is the city of Calais in that?

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Now, if the European Union law on asylum seekers and refugees was being applied properly, France would take many of these people in, or it would return them to the first European country where they landed.

    But this is not happening. The Conservative government in London believes that many of these people are attracted to the United Kingdom’s generous welfare benefits. And they have started the process of reducing the amount of money available. And according to Britain’s immigration minister, he says the current system shouldn’t offer what he calls any perverse incentives for illegal migrants to lodge spurious asylum applications or encourage those without genuine claims for humanitarian protection to prolong their stay in the United Kingdom.

    TIM FARRON, Liberal Democrats: The majority of people they see are not economic migrants. They are probably fleeing insecurity of one kind or another.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: The most senior British politician to visit the Jungle has been Tim Farron of the Liberal Democrats. Once, as part of the governing coalition, the party could soften British policy. Now, in opposition, it can only roar.

    TIM FARRON: It seems to me that the approach of the U.K. Conservative government is about being confrontational on two levels, first of all, confrontational towards the desperate people here, and then also confrontational towards our colleagues throughout the rest of Europe, many of whom now look at the United Kingdom as being just unnecessarily belligerent, not a team player, and indeed exacerbating this crisis.

    My attitude is to work with others to try and find long-term solutions and to treat these people here like human beings.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: But isn’t the problem that, if you start opening the floodgates, as the Conservatives would see it, what you’re going to do is you’re going to encourage even more people in the rest of the world to head in this direction?

    TIM FARRON: So, first of all, I’m not arguing to open the floodgates at all. I’m arguing for us to sign up to the European concord that we would be taking our fair share, a few hundred from across the European Union.

    WOMAN: I don’t know.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: In recognition that many migrants won’t make it to Britain, there is a school teaching French to those considering seeking political asylum here. Its founder is an exuberant Nigerian called Zimarco Jones.

    ZIMARCO JONES, School Founder: If I went to Japan today, I would try to go to school to learn Japanese language. It’s something everywhere to do. You need to speak the language.

    My dream is to change this camp. I want to make something different in this Jungle to show people that we are not what they are thinking. For example, they say Jungle. In jungle — animal is living in the jungle. We — we don’t live in a jungle here.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Throughout the camp, there are the reminders of the perils of jumping on trains or trucks. Ten people have been killed since June. The risk is a major incentive to remain in France.

    MAN: Over there, I say to myself, I want to go there, but I really can’t chance to go there. To see my friends, they are dying and they are cutting their hands and fingers.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: For nearly 1,000 years, the narrow English Channel has protected Britain from invasion. Migrants face the same obstacles that defeated great armies. The refugee influx is perhaps Europe’s biggest crisis of the decade.

    And Calais port boss Jean-Marc Puissesseau wants to see a change in Western foreign policy.

    JEAN-MARC PUISSESSEAU, Port Boss: The wars which has been done has increased the number of refugees coming to Europe. I think we should take care to help more of the countries which are difficulties — as the Sudan, as Eritrea, which belongs to Iraq and to Syria, is something much more difficult.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Another day in the Jungle dawns with devotions at a church from tarpaulins by African Christians. They’re seeking intervention.

    For their prayers to be answered, Britain must soften its stance. And at the moment, there is no sign of compromise across the Channel.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Malcolm Brabant in Calais.

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    ferguson

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: It was one year ago this weekend when the city of Ferguson, Missouri, quickly moved to the center of national attention. Protests followed the fatal shooting of Michael Brown by a police officer.

    The police response and the unrest that came afterwards called more attention to shootings and the militarization of police forces across the country and triggered more debate and calls for reform.

    Hari Sreenivasan returned there to see how Ferguson is faring.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Clifton Kinnie had no idea how much his life was about to change at this time last year. Then 17 years old, his mother had just died from stage four breast cancer. He was at home and depressed, when social media brought him a picture of Michael Brown’s body just a few miles away.

    CLIFTON KINNIE, Youth Activist: And at first, I didn’t think it was real. I grabbed my keys and I drove straight out there. And just seeing the reaction from the people, the community there, who were trying to figure out what’s going on, right, trying to figure out, why is this kid laying in the street?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Outrage pulled Kinnie out of his grief and led him into the nightly protests.

    CLIFTON KINNIE: My first time getting hit with tear gas, rubber bullets was August the 12th. My lungs were stinging. I began throwing up. I think there was a little blood in there. And I was crying.

    MAN: You must disperse immediately.

    CLIFTON KINNIE: But I wasn’t tearing up because it was painful. Yes, it was painful, but I was tearing up because I couldn’t believe something like this could happen in 21st century America or a small town like Ferguson.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Kinnie went back to high school. He started a week late because of the unrest and channeled that outrage into action.

    Texting among his friends led 300 classmates to his backyard to start what became Our Destiny Saint Louis, a small student group promoting social engagement among young people. Ever since, Kinnie has organized his peers to pursue justice in their communities.

    CLIFTON KINNIE: The problem in Saint Louis has become far deeper than just policing.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In February, Clifton spoke in front of the Ferguson Commission, volunteers appointed by the governor of Missouri to examine the root causes of the shooting, the reaction to it, and ways to prevent this from happening again.

    The group has met more than a dozen times, tackling topics such as health disparities, education equity, and law enforcement policy.

    On that commission is Brittany Packnett, someone who grew up grocery shopping in this neighborhood, getting her hair done along West Florissant Avenue. A year ago, this familiar street was unrecognizable.

    BRITTANY PACKNETT, Activist: What flashes through my mind are the armored vehicles and rifles and body armored police officers that would fill these parking lots. What crosses my mind is trying to Vine videos of when rifles are pointed in people’s faces and of us being tear-gassed to make sure that people knew the truth.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The year has been filled with keeping the issues from Ferguson front and center, including a trip to the White House.

    BRITTANY PACKNETT: There is still so much more to be done. We stand here even not even halfway through 2015, and nearly 700 people have been killed by police in the U.S. alone.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: That sense of urgency is not lost on police Sergeant Dominica Fuller.

    SGT. DOMINICA FULLER, Ferguson Police Department: I was surprised. I was hurt. I was afraid. I was saddened.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: A lifelong Ferguson resident and mother, Fuller is also a 17-year member of the police force. Three months ago, she rose to the rank of sergeant. A year ago, some of her family sided with the protesters against the police.

    SGT. DOMINICA FULLER: When you’re family, you are going to agree to disagree, but my safety came first, and they understood that.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This spring, the U.S. Justice Department investigated the practices of Ferguson police, finding officers routinely arrested citizens without probable cause and used unreasonable force against the city’s African-Americans.

    The sergeant wears a body camera, like all Ferguson police do now, one change in the past year, but Fuller says she hopes some of the basic tactics she has learned working a beat will spread throughout the department, part of an emphasis on community policing going forward.

    SGT. DOMINICA FULLER: You have to have compassion in this job. You have to have understanding and you have to be patient. We now focus on the community a little bit more. We’re in the schools. We’re able to go sit with the kids in the park.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Ferguson has a new judge, new city manager and the city’s leadership is now more diverse. The interim police chief is African-American, as are two newly elected city council members.

    SGT. DOMINICA FULLER: What happened in the city of Ferguson, a lot of cities can learn from. When they sit back and realize, it could have happened to us, let me pay attention and see how they’re addressing it.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Missouri legislators proposed a number of measures, ranging from bills requiring body cameras for police officers to ending racial profiling and the use of lethal force by police. In the end, only one bill passed, a missed opportunity for progress, according to Missouri State Assemblyman Courtney Allen Curtis.

    COURTNEY ALLEN CURTIS, Missouri State Assemblyman: We had the worldwide attention on us. We could have been a leader, but we haven’t been. We could have implemented the body cameras. We could have made significant strides towards improving the education system. We could have done economic development packages to bring more jobs to the area.

    And while we talked about doing that, we haven’t done nearly enough to actually implement those talking points.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The new law limits how much of a municipal budget can come from traffic fines, ironically leading Ferguson into a budget deficit.

    New rules also ban courts from jailing someone over small traffic fines, practices the Justice Department condemned. News of the Justice Department report and the new state law continued to keep Ferguson under a spotlight, a light some local residents wanted to turn towards something different.

    BRIAN FLETCHER, Former Ferguson Mayor: We started making up T-shirts. Then it came into coffee mugs, a license plate, stickers, wristbands. You got kids and toddlers. These are onesies for the babies. They got a little caboose on the bottom.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Former Ferguson Mayor Brian Fletcher is currently a city council member. Struck by the negative portrayal of his hometown, he began getting his own message out starting with yard signs that say “I heart Ferguson.”

    BRIAN FLETCHER: Starting moving across Saint Louis and actually orders from across the United States and the world to the state. We have issued 10,450 yard signs.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So far, he says that they have donated $130,000 to local businesses, all part of a larger campaign to show Ferguson moving on. We heard this radio ad on his phone.

    NARRATOR: You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. And there is definitely a spirit of optimism in the air. So, grab your keys and the family and come see and enjoy the new face of urban America, Ferguson. Better than ever with more to come, Ferguson, we can do this together.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But the campaign sends a different message to some.

    RASHEED ALDRIDGE, Ferguson Commission: It was almost like a counterprotest to the protest. It was almost say — to not even acknowledge of what happened.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Rasheed Aldridge, a Saint Louis native, is the youngest member on the Ferguson Commission.

    RASHEED ALDRIDGE: To just be like, oh, there’s nothing wrong. We love Ferguson. You see? Just look at us. We’re happy, we’re people, we’re having a good time, look at the businesses, and not to acknowledge life was taken in Ferguson.

    How do you love Ferguson and not acknowledge the hurt that the people in Ferguson are going through? It didn’t make sense.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The QuikTrip minimart convenience store that burned down in the aftermath of the shooting was behind this fence on West Florissant Avenue. The Saint Louis Urban League plans to open a job training on this site, one more sign of Ferguson moving forward.

    For activists like Packnett, it’s the single step on a long road.

    BRITTANY PACKNETT: We cannot quit. We absolutely cannot stop. In fact, we need to move further, faster.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: When Clifton Kinnie gets disillusioned with the pace of the justice movement, he turns to this, one of the last pictures of his mom.

    CLIFTON KINNIE: It reminds me that, despite everything negative going on in my life, that I can accomplish what I want to accomplish. If she could do it, having stage four breast cancer and eight kids, going back to school and getting a degree, I can do what I want to do and need to do in order to help people.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right. She’d be proud of you.

    CLIFTON KINNIE: Thanks, man.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Kinnie begins Howard University in Washington, D.C., in the fall.

    I’m Hari Sreenivasan for the PBS NewsHour in Ferguson, Missouri.

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    newswrap

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. economy turned in another solid month of job creation in July. Labor Department numbers released today show that employers added a net of 215,000 new jobs for the month. The actual unemployment rate held steady at 5.3 percent.

    A wave of violent attacks broke out in the capital of Afghanistan today, killing scores of people. The first, a massive truck bomb, flattened an entire city block in Kabul and left a 30-foot crater. The blast killed 15 people and wounded 240. Later, a suicide bomber blew himself up at a police academy, killing at least 20 recruits and wounding 24.

    The nuclear agreement with Iran faces a fresh challenge within President Obama’s own party. Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, in line to become minority leader, announced his opposition last night. He said in a statement: “The very real risk that Iran will not moderate and will instead use the agreement to pursue its nefarious goals is too great.”

    Today, traveling in Vietnam, Secretary of State John Kerry said he profoundly disagrees with Schumer’s decision.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: If all you do is refuse this deal and say no to this agreement, you just say no, there is no other alternative to the fact that Iran will begin to enrich, will pursue its program, we will lose international support, we will lose the sanctions, we will wind up in a situation where we do not have the ability to inspect or to check their program.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Other Senate Democrats have been lining up in favor of the deal. Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin announced her support today.

    In Central Syria, Islamic State militants have abducted at least 230 people, including dozens of Christians. Activists say it happened overnight at a town in Homs province after the extremists captured the town from pro-government forces. The rest of those seized were Sunni Muslims.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency says an independent commission will investigate allegations of widespread use of illegal substances in international athletics. German broadcaster ARD has reported that more than 800 athletes had suspicious blood test results between 2001 and 2012. The reports are based on data leaked from the International Association of Athletics Federation.

    In California, hundreds of evacuees from a wildfire north of San Francisco were allowed to return home today. Firefighters now have the Rocky Fire nearly half contained. Since last weekend, the fire has destroyed 43 homes as it charred nearly 109 square miles. About 12,000 residents are still under evacuation orders or warnings.

    And Wall Street ended the week with more losses for the seventh day in a row. The Dow Jones industrial average gave up 46 points to close near 17370. The Nasdaq fell 13 points, and the S&P 500 shed six. For the week, the Dow and Nasdaq lost nearly 2 percent. The S&P was down more than 1 percent.

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    AURORA, CO - JULY 20:  The Century 16 movie theatre is seen where a gunmen attacked movie goers during an early morning screening of the new Batman movie, "The Dark Knight Rises" July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. According to reports, over 10 people have been killed and over 30 injured. Police have the suspect, twenty-four year old James Holmes of North Aurora, in custody.  (Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images)

    The Century 16 movie theater, where James Holmes killed 12 people during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” on July 20, 2012 in Aurora, Colorado. Holmes was convicted for the mass shooting and was sentenced on Friday to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Photo by Thomas Cooper/Getty Images

    More details emerged Saturday on a Colorado jury’s decision to sentence James Holmes, convicted of killing 12 people at a suburban movie theater in Denver in 2012, to life in prison rather than the death by lethal injection.

    One juror who spoke to reporters said nine members of the panel had voted for the death penalty, but the jury could not reach a unanimous verdict.

    “There was one solidly held out, and the others, there was two who were not completely decided,” the juror said. “At the point where we knew that one was an absolute holdout we ended the deliberations because that person was solidly in favor of the life sentence.”

    District Attorney George Brauchler expressed disappointment with the verdict, but said he respected the jury’s decision.

    “I still think death is justice for what the guy did, but the system said otherwise, and I honor that,” he said.

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

    James Holmes, seen at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado, on June 4, 2013, was sentenced Friday to life in prison with no parole. Photo by Andy Cross/Pool/Reuters

    Original post from Aug. 7, 2015:

    Colorado theater shooter James Holmes was sentenced Friday to a life term with no parole.

    The jury considered sentencing Holmes to the death penalty, but their decision was not unanimous, meaning he receives an automatic life sentence instead.

    The sentence comes less than a month than his conviction for the 2012 mass shooting at a suburban Denver movie theater showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” Holmes killed 12 people and injured dozens.

    Jurors rejected the defense that Holmes, a former graduate student who had been working toward his Ph.D. in neuroscience, was insane and driven to murder by delusions.

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    Fox News Channel debate moderators (L-R), Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Brett Baier, start the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk - RTX1NEKI

    Fox News Channel debate moderators, Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Brett Baier, start the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland, Ohio on August 6, 2015. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    ATLANTA — Donald Trump opened his mouth and now finds the door closed to him at a high-profile gathering of conservative activists.

    His latest incendiary comment, about one of the Fox News moderators from Thursday’s Republican presidential debate, has led to a scolding by the party and condemnation by organizers of the RedState Gathering.

    The billionaire businessman lashed out against Fox News’ Megyn Kelly for her questions during the campaign’s first debate. She had asked the candidate about his use of derogatory language toward women and whether it reflected the “temperament of a man we should elect as president.”

    Referring to Kelly’s questions, Trump told CNN in an interview late Friday, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

    Soon after the interview aired, RedState’s Erick Erickson booted Trump from the event’s Saturday lineup.

    “I just don’t want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong,” Erickson wrote on the RedState website.

    He said that “while Mr. Trump resonates with a lot of people with his bluntness, including me to a degree, there are just real lines of decency a person running for president should not cross.”

    Trump’s campaign was incensed – and unbowed.

    “This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr. Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader,” according to a campaign statement.

    The Republican National Committee, treading carefully about the current front-runner for the 2016 nomination, called on Trump to “immediately clarify” his comment and said it would “highly inappropriate” if Trump stood by his remarks.

    Trump needs “to understand that he is seeking the presidency of the United States now and that words do matter,” RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told NBC’s “Today” show on Saturday.

    “I’m hoping that Mr. Trump, because he does speak off the cuff, because he doesn’t ascribe to political correctness, was speaking in a way that wasn’t fully thought out,” Spicer said.

    Trump’s absence from Saturday’s program threatened to overshadow appearances by a number of his rivals, including former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker.

    Erickson said he had invited Fox’s Kelly to attend in place of Trump in the evening.

    This post was written by Sergio Bustos of the Associated Press.

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    Screen Shot 2015-08-08 at 11.37.32 AM

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    TOM HANKS: “What’s the matter, Mama?”

    SALLY FIELD: “I’m dying, Forrest.”

    LYNN SHERR: It’s been a Hollywood staple for decades: the deathbed scene – here, Forrest Gump’s Mom (Sally Field) reminding her son (played by Tom Hanks), that death is a natural part of life. But when end-of-life conversations with doctors were encouraged by the government back in 2009 during the Obamacare debate, opponents called them “death panels,” and the idea became toxic. Some called it “pulling the plug on grandma.” That was then.

    LACHLAN FORROW: It is exactly the opposite. It is about grandma controlling the plug.

    LYNN SHERR: Dr. Lachlan Forrow, a specialist in ethics and palliative care at Boston’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, is at the forefront of a new national movement to make talking about death public policy. He chaired the expert medical panel that helped lead to new Massachusetts regulations — the first in the nation, which took effect in December – mandating that health facilities – from hospitals to assisted living communities – tell terminally ill patients their end-of-life options.

    LACHLAN FORROW: The full range of the choices. From “Keep me alive, no matter what, as long as medicine can do that,” to “I just want to be home with my family, with hospice,” to anything in between or any sequence. We are just starting to emerge, so that politicians and others realize this is not the third rail of politics.

    LYNN SHERR: Since this story first aired, a major development. Last month — six years after the original Obamacare end-of-life proposal was dropped — Medicare announced plans to reimburse doctors for having those conversations with patients. Supporters call it a major victory, and hope the decision will spur more private insurers to pay for the talks, too. Among the critical first steps: signing an advance directive and a health care proxy, so someone you trust can legally make decisions if you’re incapacitated.

    LYNN SHERR: The Medicare plan will likely take effect in January. But holding such private conversations in the public arena may require a new approach, as advocates in Massachusetts have learned.

    ELLEN GOODMAN: Sometimes people think you talk about dying and you let it into the room.

    LYNN SHERR: Pulitzer-prize winning journalist Ellen Goodman is on a mission to make death part of popular conversation. For more than 35 years, she chronicled American social change in her widely syndicated columns for the Boston Globe. She wrote about the values instilled in her as a child, by her father, who helped run John F Kennedy’s first Senate campaign, and her homemaker mother, Edith. But Goodman only realized the consequences of leaving certain things unsaid about a dozen years ago, when her mother’s health started to fail.

    ELLEN GOODMAN: I think we all have this fantasy that we’re gonna live to 90 and then, Kaboom! You know? But in fact the reality is that many of us will face a long period of being frail and declining. And I would say that my mother began to decline somewhere in her 80s, really.

    LYNN SHERR: After her mother moved to a long-term care facility a few miles away, Goodman found herself making medical decisions she hadn’t dreamed of, especially because Edith began to suffer from dementia.

    ELLEN GOODMAN: My mother could really no longer decide what she wanted for lunch, let alone what she wanted for health care decisions. So, I was faced with a kind of cascading number of decisions, for which I was unprepared. In fact, blindsided.

    ELLEN GOODMAN: And I remember particularly one day when I got a call on the phone and I was on deadline. And the doctor said to me, “Your mother has another bout of pneumonia. Do you want her to have antibiotics?”

    And I remember my hands being poised over the keyboard, saying, “What is he asking me? Is he asking me do I want her to live or die? You know, can I call you back? Could I have a minute?” And so, it was quite shocking to me that those decisions fell to me. I’d just never thought about it before.

    LYNN SHERR: What you’re saying is, you never talked to her about these things ahead of time?

    ELLEN GOODMAN: Well, we didn’t talk in a way that was useful. From time to time if we were together my mother would say, “I never want to be like that. Pull the plug.” You know. A lot of people say that. Well, there’s generally no plug to pull.

    LYNN SHERR: Edith Holtz died at 92 in 2006. Four years later, Goodman co-founded The Conversation Project, a non-profit to urge people to express their end-of-life desires — to have The Conversation with those close to them — early on, before it’s too late. Advised by a group of healthcare professionals (including Dr. Forrow), its website has attracted almost a quarter million visitors; more than half have downloaded the Starter Kit, a kind of security blanket to jump start the process.

    LYNN SHERR: When you download the Kit, you’ll find plenty of useful and practical advice on how to get an otherwise uncomfortable discussion going. For openers, you are asked to complete the following sentence: “What matters to me at the end of life is…” You’re also invited to consider when you want to have The Conversation, with whom, and where. And there are suggestions of the actual words you can use to break the ice. For instance, “I need to think about the future, will you help me?”

    CHUCK KOPLIK: We talked about nursing homes and you know, living at home. We talked about pain management. We talked about all kinds of issues that we wouldn’t otherwise have ever talk about, until the time was upon us.

    LYNN SHERR: Husband and wife Chuck Koplik and Sue Tafler of Lexington, Massachusetts, recently had The Conversation with their only child, Sarah Yukich. Inspired by a workshop on The Conversation Project at their synagogue, Chuck and Sue — in their 60s, and in good health (except for recent surgery on Sue’s foot) — sat down here, in their living room. They were most concerned about the effect on Sarah.

    SUE TAFLER: I could just tell I was unsettling her. So that was difficult.

    SARAH YUKICH: I’m 32. I have a two-year-old. I’m an adult, and I know that, but at the same time interacting with my parents, I’m their child. I’m not their caretaker. And trying to think about that eventual role reversal is very scary.

    LYNN SHERR: So when they suggested having the conversation, your first reaction was…

    SARAH YUKICH: I was happy that they were suggesting it. Because it’s something that I have wanted to talk to them about. But I didn’t really have any idea of how to bring it up.

    LYNN SHERR: Sarah says she was especially relieved when they said that moving them to Maryland, where she lives, for long-term care, would be acceptable.

    SARAH YUKICH: It was like, ‘Oh, OK.” So now I don’t have to be sort of holding that inside, but not really knowing how to bring it up.”

    LYNN SHERR: Was this about gaining control over the end of your life?

    SUE TAFLER: Yeah, I’m very much a planner and manager. I think in some ways it kind of gives me a little bit of a sense of control.

    CHUCK KOPLIK: Yeah, my biggest fears would be that you know, that I’d be in pain, or maybe I wasn’t so clearheaded, and the doctors would be making decisions on what my treatment would be. And then they’d be making the decisions.

    LYNN SHERR: Individuals– not medical staff — should determine those issues, says The Conversation Project. According to a survey the group conducted, more than 90% of people agree, saying they should have The Conversation. But only 30% have done so. Which is why they’re expanding their public engagement campaign. Goodman herself, who used to cover social change and its influence on our institutions, now makes it happen.

    ELLEN GOODMAN: Let me show you statistics. 70% of Americans say they want to die at home, and 70% of Americans are dying in hospitals and institutions…

    LYNN SHERR: They’re co-sponsoring “Death over Dinner” parties—social gatherings to approach the subject in a cozy setting, so people can break bread while breaking the taboo…

    DR. IRA BYOCK: Thank you all for being here…

    LYNN SHERR: They’ve also had some luck convincing TV writers to include family conversations about death in their scripts…

    “It was a decision we made together.”

    LYNN SHERR: It’s all about making the subject safe, bringing it home, because, The Conversation Project says, nothing will change until people start talking about it.

    LYNN SHERR: You have kids. You have grandkids. You have a husband. Have you had the conversation?

    ELLEN GOODMAN: Oh yes, I’ve had it. My daughter’s a comedian, and her first response when I said, “Let’s have this conversation,” was, “Can’t we have lunch?” But we did get through it. We did talk about it. And I have talked about it with my husband and with most of the people in my family.

    People, when they have these conversations with each other, describe them as some of the richest personal moments they’ve had with people they love. Someone described having the conversation to us as a gift. It’s a gift you give your family.

    The post New guidelines may encourage end-of-life discussions appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Katie Ledecky of the U.S. celebrates after setting a new world record and winning the women's 800m freestyle final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 8, 2015.                    REUTERS/Michael Dalder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX1NLHV

    Katie Ledecky of the U.S. celebrates after setting a new world record and winning the women’s 800m freestyle final at the Aquatics World Championships in Kazan, Russia, August 8, 2015. REUTERS/Michael Dalder TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY – RTX1NLHV

    American swimmer Katie Ledecky won her fourth race on Saturday in Russia, becoming the first woman to sweep four individual golds at the world championships.

    The 18-year-old Maryland native won the 800-meter freestyle in world record time.

    This victory adds to her wins this week in the 200, 400 and 1500-meter races.

    Ledecky also led the American women’s team to gold in the freestyle relay.

    Ledecky told the New York Times that her focus is not on how many races she can win but on improving as a swimmer and competitor. “It’s not about quantity for me; it’s all about just improving as much as I can,” she said.

    “I just want to accomplish what my goals are,” Ledecky said. It’s all about the process, enjoying every day of practice, seeing those improvements.”

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    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum in Washington on July 13, 2015. A presidential bid was encouraged and supported by Biden's late son Beau, but Biden has yet to decide whether or not he will run. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    U.S. Vice President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the U.S.-Ukraine Business Forum in Washington on July 13, 2015. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Vice President Joe Biden and his wife are retreating from Washington for a week in South Carolina with little on their schedule but a momentous decision to make: whether he should run for president.

    Biden’s advisers say he hasn’t indicated which way he’s leaning. The vice president is still mourning the death of his son barely two months ago. But since reports surfaced saying he was taking a fresh look at running, potential campaign staffers have begun sending in their resumes, aides said, and longtime Biden donors have offered to help if he gets in the race.

    And while Biden has yet to ask staff to organize on his behalf, he has started showing interest in details like filing deadlines and what it would take for him to raise enough money to build a campaign structure in the limited time left, said the aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to comment publicly.

    So shortly after Biden returns from his vacation, his aides and supporters are expecting a decision about his political plans.

    A Biden candidacy is still believed by his associates to be unlikely. It would dramatically reshape the Democratic race and undercut the sense of inevitability surrounding Hillary Rodham Clinton. Although still the clear front-runner, Clinton has seen declines in her favorability ratings just as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has been drawing large crowds, demonstrating the appetite in the party for a Clinton alternative.

    In the few months left before the primaries begin, it would be tough for Biden to put together a viable operation – but not impossible, said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York-based Democratic strategist.

    “You supercharge the money collection by putting together significantly rich people or those with extraordinary fundraising capacity,” Sheinkopf said. “There has always been a certain dislike and jealousy of the Clintons. He’s got to be able to tap into that.”

    There are practical reasons that Biden will have to make a decision soon. The first filing deadlines for key primary states like New Hampshire and South Carolina are in November, and Biden would need some type of operation up and running to get on the ballot. He has said he’ll decide by end of summer.

    Biden is a frequent visitor to South Carolina. He spends most Easters on Kiawah Island and was in the state last June, surprising churchgoers by showing up at the historic African-American church in Charleston where nine people had been gunned down just days before.

    After leaving Washington on Friday, Biden was to spend the night at his family home in Delaware before flying to South Carolina on Saturday for a nearly weeklong trip with his wife, Jill Biden.

    Over the years Biden has often spoken about the central role his family’s needs play in his political decisions. In recent weeks, nothing has done more to drive speculation about a Biden campaign than reports that Beau Biden, before his death, urged his father to run. The vice president’s wife and his sister, Valerie Biden Owens, are expected to play a key role in his decision.

    Owens has run all of Biden’s previous campaigns, including his two unsuccessful bids for president, and individuals close to Biden described her as playing devil’s advocate, raising questions about the struggles he would face securing funds and Democratic institutional support despite her support for his ambition. Jill Biden, who teaches at a community college, has made no secret of her reluctance to be in the spotlight, once calling the White House “kind of confining.”

    For his part, the vice president has been coy. Asked by a reporter in the Oval Office this week about whether he would run, Biden quipped, “Only if you’re my running mate.”

    The post Biden’s decision on presidential bid expected after retreat appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The Environmental Protection Agency took responsibility Friday for a massive wastewater spill that contaminated a Colorado river Wednesday, and warned locals to avoid the polluted waters.

    According to a statement by the agency, an EPA cleanup team accidentally caused the spill while excavating the entrance to the Gold King Mine, an abandoned mine near Silverton in southwestern Colorado that had been leaking pollution.

    While the crew was excavating, they breached a debris dam that had held the water inside the mine, allowing around 1 million gallons of toxic mustard-colored sludge to gush out of a mine tunnel and into the nearby Animas River, staining the river a bright yellow-orange color.

    Agency officials reported that samples of the water contained heavy metals, including lead, aluminum, arsenic, iron, copper, cadmium and calcium, in addition to sediment.

    With testing still underway and heavy metal concentrations currently unknown, officials said Friday that it was too soon to know whether the waste poses a health risk.

    Long-term exposure to lead and arsenic can be lethal to humans, though the toxins’ effects depend on concentration.

    No drinking water contamination had been reported as of Friday evening, according to The Associated Press, and at least seven water utilities shut down their intakes in anticipation of the advancing plume.

    EPA has warned people along the Animas to avoid contact with the contaminated water, and to keep pets and livestock out of the river. Portions of the river, which is a popular recreational destination, have been closed off by law enforcement, and officials warned agricultural users to shut off water intakes along affected portions of the river.


    Officials also released extra water from a reservoir in order to dilute the pollution.

    As of Saturday morning, the river had begun to clear up near the spill site, but contaminated water has continued downstream into northern New Mexico.

    Even after the water has cleared, heavy metals may remain on the river bottom and may linger on beaches.

    Water continues to seep from the mine, though more slowly than during the initial spill Wednesday. EPA says it is constructing settling ponds to hold and treat the water that is still flowing from the mine, and that it expects construction to be completed tomorrow morning.

    The post EPA accidentally spills wastewater from Colorado mine into nearby river appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican candidates stand at their podiums at the first official GOP presidential candidates’ debate of the 2016 campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. With no signs that Thursday's debate will winnow their wide-open field anytime soon, Republicans are bracing for a long period of uncertainty in the primary race. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    Republican candidates stand at their podiums at the first official GOP presidential candidates’ debate of the 2016 campaign in Cleveland, Ohio, August 6, 2015. With no signs that Thursday’s debate will winnow their wide-open field anytime soon, Republicans are bracing for a long period of uncertainty in the primary race. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Republicans are steeling themselves for a long period of uncertainty following a raucous first debate of the 2016 presidential campaign.

    There are no signs that Thursday’s debate will winnow their wide-open field anytime soon.

    It wasn’t supposed to be this way.

    Before the campaign got underway, Republican Party leaders developed a streamlined set of debates and a nomination calendar that aimed to avoid a messy fight.

    But few envisioned a field of 17 candidates, the explosion of outside money that appears ready to keep second-tier candidates flush with cash, and the rise of Donald Trump.

    “I don’t think we have to have total clarity,” said Reince Priebus, the Republican National Committee chairman. “I think clarity is boring. I think what we have right now is some excitement, intrigue, and that’s great, as long as you can contain it.”

    He said “containment means jabs and a few elbows are great, but I think beyond that it can be problematic.”

    Rival camps do not expect Trump to be a serious contender for the nomination when voting starts early next year. But they also cannot predict what might drive him from the race.

    So far, he has proved to be immune from what would be viewed as missteps by any other candidate. But those missteps are piling up.

    Trump was disinvited from a prominent conservative forum Saturday in Atlanta because of disparaging comments he made about Megyn Kelly, the Fox News moderator who had asked him tough questions in the debate.

    For now, Trump’s unexpected summer surge has vaulted him to front-runner status. It will be several days before public polling shows whether he was damaged by his caustic debate comments about women and refusal to rule out a third-party run.

    Most GOP strategists expect little shake-up in the rest of the field before the second debate next month.

    “The electorate is going to take time to think through this,” said David Winston, a Republican pollster. “So I think everybody else is going to have to have patience.”

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, the two candidates closest to Trump in early polls, escaped the first debate without damage, but also without any breakthrough moments.

    Ohio Gov. John Kasich capitalized on a home-state crowd at the Cleveland debate to exceed expectations with an upbeat and optimistic performance. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was praised for a substantive showing.

    The candidates made their case before a prime-time television audience of 24 million people, making the debate the biggest nonsports cable broadcast history.

    During the tumultuous 2012 Republican primary, a series of 13 debates before the kickoff Iowa caucuses kept the race in flux through its early months.

    Four years later, party leaders have cut in half the total number of approved debates – just six before the Iowa caucuses in February.

    So fewer debate chances for breakout moments or disqualifying stumbles. On top of that, Iowa canceled its famed summer straw poll – a death knell for candidates in the past.

    The growth of super political action committees, which can collect unlimited donations, means fewer candidates are at risk of having to shut down because they are out of money.

    “At this point in past cycles, there would be death watch coverage of a couple of the candidates,” said Fergus Cullen, the former New Hampshire Republican party chairman. “That’s not going to happen this time.”

    Bush maintains a massive financial advantage over his rivals, having raised more than $114 million in the first half of the year between his campaign and super PAC. Despite that haul and his political pedigree, he has not broken away from the pack as some thought he might.

    “You’ve got to work hard, you’ve got to earn it,” Bush said Friday during a campaign stop in New Hampshire. “A well-funded campaign is important – it’s better than a nonfunded campaign – but it’s not the only thing that matters.”

    Bush allies privately concede he underperformed in the debate. He appeared even-keeled but unremarkable amid Trump fireworks and showed signs of nerves in the opening moments of his first debate in more than a decade.

    Suggesting many voters still do not know Bush well, the son and brother of former presidents will devote much of the summer is to highlighting his accomplishments while governor of Florida, said campaign spokesman Tim Miller.

    Bush will pay particular attention to New Hampshire, where his brand of politics is likely to play the best among the four early voting states. It’s also where he will face increased competition from Kasich, a lesser-known Republican presidential contender who exceeded modest expectations in the debate.

    The next debate is Sept. 16 in California. Host CNN has said it will use a similar model to select the candidates on stage as Fox News did for the first one: a grouping of the top 10 candidates, according to public polling, and a second that includes lower-ranked candidates.

    One of the biggest questions to emerge is whether Carly Fiorina, the only woman in the GOP race, will break into the top tier.

    The former technology executive impressed many in the party with her sharp, forceful performance before the prime-time debate, but it’s not clear who she might dislodge from the top 10.

    The post GOP braces for prolonged uncertainty in primary race appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A view inside Courtroom 201, where jury selection in the trial of Aurora movie theater shootings defendant James Holmes is to begin on Jan. 20, 2015, at the Arapahoe County District Court in Centennial, Colorado,  January 15, 2015. Jury selection is expected to take several weeks to a few months.  REUTERS/Brennan Linsley/Pool  (UNITED STATES - Tags: CRIME LAW) - RTR4LLZP

    A view inside Courtroom 201, where the trial of Aurora movie theater shootings defendant James Holmes took place. Photo by Brennan Linsley/Reuters

    A mix of anger and acceptance in Colorado accompanied the jury’s verdict in the case of James Holmes, who shot and killed 12 people and wounded 70 others inside a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, three years ago.

    Because the jury could not come to a unanimous decision to impose the death penalty, Holmes will spend the rest of his life in prison without the possibility of parole. After the sentence was read, an anonymous juror told reporters outside the courthouse that the panel voted 9 to 3 for death, and Holmes’s mental health played into their decision.

    As another chapter in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history comes to a close, here are more responses compiled from media reports from family members on the verdict.

    Juror No. 17

    One juror, who only wanted to be identified as "juror 17", talks with the media in the parking lot of the courthouse after the conclusion of the trial. Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images.

    One juror, who only wanted to be identified as “juror 17″, talks with the media in the parking lot of the courthouse after the conclusion of the trial. Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images

    “There was one solidly held out, and the others, there was two who were not completely decided. But at the point where we knew that one was an absolute holdout we ended the deliberations because that person was solidly in favor of the life sentence. Mental illness played into the decision, more than anything else. The person was solidly and definitively in the position where they were going to do a life sentence and there was no persuading.”

    “For me the autopsy photos were extremely difficult. I think most of us have never seen autopsy photos before. So for me personally that was the most difficult. I’m not the crying type normally but I… it pained me inside and uh, I, uh, found that to be very, very difficult.”

    Tom Sullivan, father of victim Alex Sullivan

    Tom Sullivan, the father of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting victim Alex Sullivan, looks on during a press conference at Arapahoe County Justice Center after the announcement of the sentence in the James Holmes Aurora theater shooting case in Centennial, Colorado.  Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.

    Tom Sullivan looks on during a press conference at Arapahoe County Justice Center after the announcement of the sentence of James Holmes. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    “I’ll never be able to say thank you enough to all the first responders and others who saved the lives of Alex’s friends and co-workers in the early hours of July 20, 2012. Nor can I express how thankful I am for how they treated Alex with such respect until he was returned to us.”

    Dave Hoover, uncle of victim Alexander J. Boik

    Dave Hoover, left, uncle of Aurora shooting victim AJ Boik, left, hugs Bill Hoover, Boik's grandfather, after speaking with members of the press about their reactions to the verdict of life in prison for Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Justice Center in Centennial, Colorado on August 7, 2015. Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post.

    Dave Hoover, left, hugs Bill Hoover, Boik’s grandfather, after speaking with members of the press about their reactions to the verdict of life in prison for Aurora Theater shooter James Holmes. Photo By Helen H. Richardson/ The Denver Post

    “What we have to remember is why we’re here, which is our loved ones. Our loved ones are gone. We will never get to hug them again. I will never get to… I will never get to say ‘I love you, A.J.’ and have him hug me again. I miss that. That’s the last moment I had with him.”

    “Something my mother she said everyday before we put A.J. in the ground was ‘There it is Dave. Sun comes up everyday.’ Well, tomorrow the sun is going to come up. We’re going to have a little more pain, a little more hurt in our lives, but the sun will come up, and there will still be love in our lives.”

    Sandy Phillips, mother of 24-year-old victim Jessica Ghawi 

    Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, the parents of shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, speak after a verdict was delivered in the trial of James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on July 16, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Photo by Theo Stroomer/Getty Images.

    Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, the parents of shooting victim Jessica Ghawi, speak after a verdict was delivered in the trial of James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on July 16, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Photo by Theo Stroomer/Getty Images

    “We have said from the beginning that we didn’t care what the verdict was at the end, whether he got life or death, and that still remains true. But I’m really glad we went through this process. Our lives are forever altered and the thought that this monster gets to have visitation with his parents and gets to receive mail and pictures of his very strange girlfriends is very hard to accept, but that is what it is.”

    Robert and Sue Sullivan, grandparents of 6-year-old victim Veronica Moser-Sullivan

    Robert and Sue Sullivan, the grandparents of the Aurora, Colorado theater shooting victim Veronica Moser-Sullivan walk out of the Arapahoe County Justice Center after the announcement of the sentence in the James Holmes Aurora theater shooting case in Centennial, Colorado. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.

    Robert and Sue Sullivan walk out of the Arapahoe County Justice Center after the announcement of the sentence in the James Holmes Aurora theater shooting case in Centennial, Colorado. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    Robert:

    “You know, I read the jury questionnaires and they go into great depth and detail about the possibility of death and how they could handle that and when you look at every stage of the verdicts, it doesn’t support backing out at this stage, at the very final verdict. Doesn’t make sense and I don’t believe it. We still have to abide by it and accept it and there’s those of us that believe, you know, he may be killed in prison which would probably happen sooner than if he were sentenced to death. However we just have to deal and accept it.”

    Sue:

    “Unfortunately, at least one juror who did not vote for the death penalty, is going to give Colorado a very ugly face. When you look at, you know, what’s happened, in light of this, that is not justice. He is living, he is breathing and our loved ones are gone, for over three years now, and the gaping void and gaping wound that we have with the loss of our granddaughter has been replaced with the new abscess of him living.”

    George Brauchler, District Attorney:

    District Attorney George Brauchler speaks during a press conference following the announcement of the sentence in the James Holmes Aurora theater shooting case at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on August 7, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado.  Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images.

    District Attorney George Brauchler speaks during a press conference following the announcement of the sentence in the James Holmes Aurora theater shooting case at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on August 7, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

    “And you’ve seen all of those people (surviving victims) in that courtroom and you got to hear their story about how that guy (killer James Holmes) tried to take their lives back on July 20th, 2012. Nothing about the jury’s sentence changes what happened to them or how impacts their families. I don’t want to you to leave here thinking that this today is about something other then them because it isn’t.”

    “And while I am disappointed in the outcome, I am not disappointed with the system and I am not disappointed with this process. I thought death, I still think death is justice for what that guy did but the system said otherwise and I honor that. I respect that outcome.”

     

    The post After the verdict: Jurors, families react to James Holmes’s life sentence appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    George P. Bush delivers an introductory speech for his father, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in Miami, Florida on June 15, 2015. George P. Bush has been active in his father’s 2016 campaign, and is seen as a rising GOP star himself. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    George P. Bush delivers an introductory speech for his father, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, in Miami, Florida on June 15, 2015. George P. Bush has been active in his father’s 2016 campaign, and is seen as a rising GOP star himself. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    LEXINGTON, S.C. — George P. Bush is talking up his dad – White House hopeful Jeb Bush – but knows some gentle ribbing awaits about his grandfather and uncle, two former Republican presidents also named George.

    “We are lucky to have George Bush here. That’s George P. Bush,” says state Sen. Katrina Shealy, introducing the Texas land commissioner to the crowd at the Lizard’s Thicket restaurant.

    The out-of-town guest grins, but keeps silent. “Yeah,” he later tells a reporter, “I’ve heard just about every George Bush joke that there possibly is.”

    The next-generation bearer of the powerful political name has been helping relatives run since age 3, when he clutched a balloon and sported a campaign T-shirt as grandfather George H.W. Bush launched his first presidential bid from a Houston park in 1979.

    But never has George P.’s role as a political surrogate been as important as it is in the 2016 campaign. The 39-year-old is traveling the country – and flexing his muscle as a rising political star in Texas – and trying to help his father become the third Bush to sit in the White House.

    “It’s definitely more emotional,” George P. Bush said of campaigning for his dad, rather than his grandfather or uncle, former President George W. Bush. “It’s just a little closer to home.”

    George P. Bush suggested that doing so may be even more draining than running for the little-known but powerful job of Texas land commissioner, which he won in a landslide last fall.

    “When you’re a candidate, you know the criticism is going to come,” he said in an interview. “But when it’s a relative, and it’s a man who you admire who’s your father, it changes things.”

    Father and son have not campaigned together yet, though they talk frequently by telephone. Bush spoke at his father’s campaign kickoff in June, but Jeb was in Florida while his son made a recent, one-day swing through South Carolina, home to the South’s first presidential primary.

    The younger Bush was in Columbia, the capital, to file paperwork putting his father’s name on the state ballot, then traveled to Lexington for the event with Shealy.

    “George P. Bush knows Jeb Bush better than anyone in the country. That’s a strong surrogate,” said Matt Moore, the state party chairman.

    The younger Bush says he is focused on his “day job” in Texas, which he took over in January, when Republican Greg Abbott took office as governor. Bush he manages 13 million acres of state public land and mineral rights for activities such as oil and natural gas drilling.

    Campaigning comes naturally to him.

    He was 12 when he led the 1988 Republican National Convention in the Pledge of Allegiance. His mother, Columba, is from Mexico and George P., like his dad, speaks fluent Spanish. In 1992, he concluded a brief floor address at the party convention by screaming “Viva Bush!”

    He sprinkled Spanish into his speeches during the 2000 and 2004 Republican national conventions, and campaigned for his uncle, reaching out to Hispanic voters.

    George P. Bush also campaigned for his dad in Florida, where Jeb Bush served two terms as governor.

    “I almost think it’s more difficult now given the position he’s in, since I think he’s more conservative than his dad,” said Eric Opiela a former executive director of the Texas Republican Party and a University of Texas law school classmate who remembers Bush being gone a lot during the 2000 presidential campaign.

    “He has a very difficult line to toe now,” Opiela said, “given that he’s a statewide elected official in a state as conservative as Texas.”

    The younger Bush describes himself as a “movement conservative” and was an early endorser of long shot Senate candidate Ted Cruz, now a senator and one of his father’s primary race rivals.

    But George P. also has struck a more moderate tone on immigration and environmental issues, and says his dad can unite the often feuding factions of the Republican Party by using his conservative credentials to stand up to tea party activists.

    Regardless of whether he helps his father win the presidency, Bush’s political prospects look bright to many observers, including Moore, the South Carolina GOP chairman.

    “I was thinking, Gov. Abbott in Texas now, so maybe the 2022 campaign for you?” Moore joked with Bush.

    Like the George Bush jokes, that’s something he’s heard before, too.

    The post George P. Bush helps dad Jeb on the campaign trail appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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