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

Embed this content in your HTML


Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)

More Channels


Channel Catalog


Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 676 | 677 | (Page 678) | 679 | 680 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Five years ago, a nonprofit based in Austin, Texas, partnered with a juvenile justice center to help students behind bars finish their high school education with a different kind of hands-on approach: learning classical guitar.

    Our Student Reporting Labs special correspondent Kennedy Huff produced this story during her summer internship at local station KLRU Austin PBS.

    JEREMY OSBORNE, Teacher: We can make that a bit more dramatic. It’s starting to sound like something again, though, guys.

    KENNEDY HUFF: These are reassuring words for a budding classical guitarist.

    JEREMY OSBORNE: It’s all the same notes.

    KENNEDY HUFF: They have traded their uniforms for sweater vest, Crocs for loafers. For a hour every Tuesday and Thursday, Demetrius, Peter and Israel get to escape their reality.

    STUDENT: I used to actually have a real bad anger problem. So when I would like get real angry or whatever, or I would be like sad, I guess you could say, or just like withdrawn, I get my guitar.

    KENNEDY HUFF: Austin Classical Guitar began partnering with Gardner Betts’ Juvenile Justice Center five years ago. Residents who take the class earn their fine arts credit to graduate high school and learn better to cope with emotions that may have gotten them into trouble in the past.

    STUDENT: It just gives me something to do when I’m either bored or like thinking about doing something that’s not in my best interest.

    KENNEDY HUFF: Jeremy Osborne began teaching at Gardner Betts last summer.

    JEREMY OSBORNE: When I took over, I knew what to expect, but there was a lot of trepidation, actually. There’s a lock on every door. You have to memorize a handful of codes to get through all the different security blocks and everything.

    And it’s really disorienting when kids first start. You know, it takes them a while to warm up to you or just really even trust you at all. And they would test me a whole lot. And on the first day, they’re kind of like — you think about the guitar is such an exciting instrument. And kids are like literally shaking kind of when they’re holding it, because they’re like, I just want to make noise.

    And then, by the end of the first class, they’re just like, whoa, I can’t believe we did that. That’s amazing.

    KENNEDY HUFF: Students in the program get the privilege of performing at least once a semester. Last May, they got the opportunity to perform here for the court-appointed special advocates of Travis County’s swearing-in ceremony.

    JEREMY OSBORNE: We got in the courtroom. They played beautifully, this amazing playing. Like, there was — they got two standing ovations, and they just — they were in their court clothes and looked super professional, and they sounded professional, and they were just completely elated with themselves.

    STUDENT: Oh, man. I was scared on that, because I was the only person that played my solo that day. And it was — I was nervous. I was like, man, if I mess up in front of all these people — but I played it. I played it good.

    KENNEDY HUFF: The director of health services for the Travis County Probation Department, Erin Foley, sees the long-term impact this program has on residents.

    ERIN FOLEY, Travis County Probation Department: But I know that the kids who go through that program, the types of responses and changes that we see in them are noticeable and significant, in that what they do with that program and in their treatment alongside of it absolutely moves in a positive direction. So, we see things like accountability, taking responsibility for their actions.

    KENNEDY HUFF: The guitar class also shows residents a future they might not have thought was possible.

    STUDENT: I’m 18. I never thought I would see the light. I never thought I would see the day that I would be graduating. But I really like the feeling that everybody in my family graduating high school at least, made it to college at least one year, maybe two, dropped out. Instead of going down the wrong road, I can go down the right one, you know?

    KENNEDY HUFF: Prior to joining the program, Peter was a high school dropout. This fall, he will attend San Jacinto College to study music production.

    STUDENT: I dropped out in 10th grade. I didn’t go back until I got locked up. I would never have took guitar without being here.

    So, my mom is excited. Usually, if she heard something about me, it was always bad. And it feels good to have something good like graduating high school, learning how to play the guitar, going to school. Now it’s just, every time she sees me, she just smiles. I’m sure her cheeks hurt by now.

    KENNEDY HUFF: Reporting for PBS NewsHour for the PBS Student Reporting Labs, I’m Kennedy Huff.

    The post Learning classical guitar helps kids in trouble change their tune appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Salman Rushdie

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Next: a novel that combines the magic of genies and the reality of terror in our own time.

    Jeffrey Brown has our story from the NewsHour Bookshelf.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In Salman Rushdie’s new novel, the genies, or djinn, are out of the bottle and on the loose in New York, entering through a crack in the world, bringing on a time of what’s called the Strangenesses.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE, Author, Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights: These dark genies have arrived to start attacking the city. And one of them has a tendency to turn into a sea monster, and he just rises up and eats the ferry.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It’s a world in some ways like our own, reason battling extremism, a thriving, busy city, but one in which great towers can suddenly disappear, a beautiful day on the water, but a police boat keeping watch.

    In the novel, fear is in the air, but so is magic. These are genies, after all.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: The book of course uses these kind of comic devices, but it’s, of course, talking about something serious, which is an attack on the city.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Mixing magic and reality, myth and history, it’s what Salman Rushdie has been doing in his writing for decades. His new book is titled “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights,” which just happens to add up to 1,001. And like the classic “1001 Arabian Nights,” Rushdie told me when we met at the Waverly Inn, one of his favorite dinner spots, this novel began as a story about storytelling itself.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: I grew up falling in love with this kind of story, this kind of amazing, wonder tale of the East, you know, which if you’re a child growing up in India is all around you.

    And I think one of the gifts it gave me as a writer was this early knowledge that stories are not true.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Stories are not true?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: No, they’re made up.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In case you had any doubt, right?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Yes, you know, that Madame Bovary and a flying carpet, they are both untrue in the same way. Somebody made them up. And once…

    JEFFREY BROWN: Even though we think of one of them as being realistic.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: You think of one of them as realistic and the other one is not. Actually, they’re both fictions.

    So once you get that instinct for the fictiveness, the fictionality of fiction, it kind of sets you free. And all my life, it’s — that subject that has recurred to a greater or lesser extent in the various books. And this time, I just thought to let it rip.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Rushdie actually begins the new book with a historical figure, a Muslim philosopher who lived in 12th century Spain. In the West, he’s known as Averroes. His Arabic name, though, is Ibn Rushd.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: My father decided that he was such a admirer of Ibn Rushd’s philosophy, thinking that he changed the family name to Rushdie.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Really?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Yes. So that’s why I’m a Rushdie.

    Of course, that made me very interested in him as a thinker. And then I realized why my father was so interested in him, because he was really an incredibly modernizing voice inside our Islamic culture. And he was a great scholar of Aristotle, for example, and he wanted to introduce into that culture the ideas that reason, science, logic, you know, could be brought in and one didn’t have to just believe in blind faith.

    And his books were about that, and they got him into some trouble.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Salman Rushdie, of course, found trouble when his 1989 novel, “The Satanic Verses,” was denounced as blasphemy against the Prophet Mohammed, and Iran’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa calling for Rushdie’s death.

    There were violent, even deadly protests, and Rushdie spent nearly a decade in hiding before the fatwa was lifted.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: This conflict about modernizing vs. what we now call fundamentalism, sort of traditionism, literalism, that battle is still going on, you know, and so I thought it’s — it would be interesting to frame it in the way in which it started.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So you’re setting up a fantastic, sort of magical story of our time, or soon after, but grounding it very much in a historical…

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Really, it’s about — yes, you see, I was a historian by training. That’s what I did at university.

    So I have always thought that these two ways of talking, one is the fantastic, the fable, you know, the fairy tale, and the other being history, the scholarly study of what happened, I think they’re both amazing ways to understand human nature, you know? And then I thought, what happens if you push them together? What happens if you take the fantastic and the historical and bang them into the same book?

    JEFFREY BROWN: Since coming out of hiding, Rushdie has gotten new attention as a celebrity man about town, including for a marriage and divorce with model and TV host Padma Lakshmi.

    He does seem to regret one particular consequence of his earlier experience.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: I feel that I got kind of put into the Islam box.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Meaning what?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Because of what happened to “The Satanic Verses,” because suddenly I was thought of as, oh, that Islam guy or anti-Islam guy or whatever.

    And I have never really thought of myself as a writer about religion. And I think one of the things that happened to me as a result of all that is that I think it did for some people, many people, obscure the kind of writer that I actually am.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Which is what?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Well, very often, people who actually pick up a book of mine for the first time are kind of surprised. And I get these letters saying, well, who knew that you were good, you know?


    JEFFREY BROWN: Really?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: I get a lot of letters — a lot of letters saying, who knew that you were funny?

    JEFFREY BROWN: But, I mean, isn’t it odd that you get a lot of attention as a kind of celebrity?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Yes, it is odd, because…

    JEFFREY BROWN: It’s odd to you?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: It’s odd to me because it doesn’t happen to a lot of writers.


    SALMAN RUSHDIE: And what can I do? It gets me tables in restaurants. It gets me Yankees tickets. It’s not all bad.


    JEFFREY BROWN: “Two Years Eight Months and Twenty-Eight Nights,” in Rushdie’s novel, 1,001 nights is the length of the great war involving genies and men. We won’t give away the ending, but the writer himself puts it this way.

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: Optimistic, but…

    JEFFREY BROWN: Optimistic, but — that’s how you feel?

    SALMAN RUSHDIE: One of the things I know from the study of history is that history surprises you. History is not written. It’s not inevitable, you know, that the victory of evil is not certain, you know?

    So, I thought, let me what else — how else could you tell this story? And so, yes, it does have an unexpected ending. But then I thought, I don’t want it just to be some kind of Pollyannish happy ever after thing, so I had to screw it up a bit.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Maybe so, but on this day at least, the genies were back in their own world. A great city and its millions of people went on about their business.

    From the Staten Island Ferry, I’m Jeffrey Brown for the PBS NewsHour.

    The post Salman Rushdie unleashes the genies in his new novel appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    U.S. presidential hopeful Donald Trump waves after a press availability after signing a pledge with the  Republican National Committee (RNC) at Trump Tower in Manhattan, New York September 3, 2015. Republican front-runner Donald Trump on Thursday bowed to pressure from the party establishment and signed a pledge not to run as an independent candidate in the November 2016 presidential election.   REUTERS/Lucas Jackson  - RTX1QZDH

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: There are nearly two dozen major candidates running for president this year, and the ones getting the most attention are not all elected officials. They are the outsiders, Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Bernie Sanders, Carly Fiorina, using YouTube, Instagram and other social media to build huge followings and get onto debate stages.

    But is this really brand-new? Or have we been here before?

    We turn to three political historians, Lara Brown, who directs George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management, and NewsHour regulars Michael Beschloss, the author of nine books, and Richard Norton Smith, whose most recent book was on the life of Nelson Rockefeller.

    So, Michael Beschloss, a lot of people are running. We seem to be paying attention to them. But the ones catching fire are not necessarily the politicians or at least seen or perceived as being the politicians. How unusual is that?

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, Presidential Historian: Well, it has happened before a lot in history. And maybe the best example of that would have been Ross Perot in 1992.

    What he basically said was, I’m a businessman. I have never held public office. And that means I’m not implicated in these party establishments that have taken the country the wrong way. So he went on “Larry King” in February of 1992.

    GWEN IFILL: Remember.

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: And he said, if you Americans want me to run, I will run as a third-party candidate, and I will attack the federal deficits, which neither party is doing anything about.

    He allowed himself, at least in his language, to be recruited. He ran, and at one point early that year, at least in the late spring, he was running ahead of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton, the two major-party candidates.

    GWEN IFILL: And he was a third-party candidate.

    But we have seen people even from the establishment parties, Lara Brown, who have broken out of this and changed up the whole feel of an election race before Ross Perot.

    LARA BROWN, George Washington University: Well, I think that’s right.

    What we really have to do is make a distinction. And that distinction is those who call themselves outsiders, who really mean they’re just outside Washington, vs. those who call themselves outsiders because they’re outside of politics altogether.

    GWEN IFILL: For example?

    LARA BROWN: For example, we can see the governors who run. They often say things like, I’m outside of Washington. I’m going to go and fix that government and get it back on track. We have seen that with Jimmy Carter. We have also seen that with Ronald Reagan.

    But then you do have those who say that they’re outside of politics altogether, and certainly Ross Perot fits that model, as Michael Beschloss has written. So too has Wendell Willkie.

    GWEN IFILL: Wendell Willkie. You never get to use Wendell Willkie.

    OK, Richard Norton Smith, there’s your cue. Who is your favorite outsider who people didn’t see as someone who was part of the establishment and managed to upend things?

    RICHARD NORTON SMITH, Presidential Historian: Yes.

    Well, actually, go back 200 years. Andrew Jackson transformed American politics and in many ways reinvented the American presidency running as an outsider. Certainly, the establishment was horrified. It’s one of the great set pieces of American democracy, the scene of Inauguration Day, 1829, when Jackson and his fellow Westerners descended on the town, took it over. And it was never quite the same.

    At the end of the 19th century, you had William Jennings Bryan, who gave voice to the feelings of mostly Southern and Western farmers and others who felt victimized by Wall Street. A lot of this is — the question is, what are you outside of? It’s not only the Washington establishment that they run against, but oftentimes the economic policies that it represents and that in turn are centered symbolically on Wall Street.

    GWEN IFILL: Michael, let’s go back the Jimmy Carter, who Lara mentioned. I forgot. There were 17 candidates, Democratic candidates for president in 1976.


    GWEN IFILL: It’s remarkable.


    And that’s one reason why Jimmy Carter packaged himself as an outsider. And to some extent, that was a big sham, because he Jimmy Carter had been in politics for over a decade. He had been in the Georgia State Senate, been governor of Georgia.

    But he knew that in the wake of Watergate and also with all these other people to differentiate himself from, it would be most helpful for him to say, I’m not from Washington, I’m not a lawyer. That was very much with design.

    And as Lara mentioned, the same thing with Ronald Reagan when he ran for president in ’76. His announcement speech, he said, elect me because I’m not part of the Washington buddy system.

    And, yes, he wasn’t from Washington, but I wouldn’t nominate Ronald Reagan as with pitchforks and the first person who is going to overthrow the establishment.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let’s think about this for a moment. Are outsiders outsiders because they themselves represent something new and different, or is it because of what the mood of the American public is at the time, Lara Brown?

    LARA BROWN: Well, a lot of it is a reaction. They’re trying to essentially claim legitimacy to a feeling that’s in kind of reaction to something else that is going on.

    So, as we have discussed, Jimmy Carter came about because there was Watergate. There was this opportunity. You know, you can also look back to, in fact, 1924, when John Davis wins the nomination at the Democratic Party convention after 103 ballots. There are issues in that election because William McAdoo had been caught up in the Teapot Dome scandal and had taken money from Edward Doheny.

    So there was a sense that he was corrupted and that that nomination shouldn’t go to him. So there is this way in which outsiders come in, or there is essentially surfeit ambition, a number of candidates running when there are opportunities to do so.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, we certainly are familiar with surfeit ambition in any campaign, but certainly in this one.


    GWEN IFILL: So, let me ask you, Richard Norton Smith, a little bit about what this does to the process. But does this actually change or weaken the establishment parties, this — the rise of the Donald Trumps, the rise of the Wendell Willkies, or does it just — is it just predictable?

    RICHARD NORTON SMITH: Traditionally — I emphasize, traditionally, it’s been a blip. I mean, there was no age of Willkie. That’s for sure. And who knows what will happen over the next few months.

    What is, however, seemingly unique about this, and we saw some of this particularly on the Republican side for years ago, when, if you remember, there were a number of unconventional candidates who stressed the fact that they were not part of the Washington establishment — both Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan in effect went to the electorate with a case that, we’re outsiders, we’re not part of the mess, but we have the right experience, we have the right skill set, as governors of major states, to fix what is wrong.

    What is really unusual about this set of professed outsiders is that they are running against the very qualifications that have traditionally been viewed as necessary to be a successful president.

    GWEN IFILL: And I wonder, Michael, whether this is all sped up because of the rise of the Internet or conservative radio.

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: Absolutely.

    GWEN IFILL: That people who maybe would have just thought about running before now have instant platforms.

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: And for most of American history, if you wanted a major party nomination, you would have to be chosen by officeholders, and officeholders would have been the last people who would have chosen someone who had not run for office or served before.

    So this is something that’s relatively new. But Richard also makes a good point, and that is that outsiders do wonderfully when people are really angry about something, but if there is an overwhelming issue of foreign policy, Americans are probably going to think twice about giving the keys to someone who doesn’t have that kind of experience.

    Ross Perot got 19 percent in 1992. One reason he could do that is that the Cold War was over and the country seemed as peaceful as it had been for a long time.

    GWEN IFILL: So, as a protest candidate just for the sake of protest, does that actually add to or perhaps enhance our political process, Lara?

    LARA BROWN: Well, throughout most of history, what protest candidates have really done is raised issues that the major candidates have then adopted or co-opted.

    And they have moved on to essentially express those ideas in their platforms, in their campaigns and, if they have won, their presidencies. In fact, you can see the focus of both Bill Clinton and Newt Gingrich on issues surrounding the budget as really being about those issues that Ross Perot was raising in ’92.

    GWEN IFILL: And I remember, Richard, covering Jesse Jackson in 1998 and 1984. He was an outsider candidate who brought up issues nobody else brought up.

    RICHARD NORTON SMITH: He was, absolutely, and had significant, lasting impact.

    You go back a few years earlier, very different candidate, an outsider named George Wallace, who ran first in the Democratic primary in ’64, and then a third-party campaign in ’68. He never came close to winning, but there is no doubt that he had a disproportionate impact both on the debate that year and arguably on the heralding of a conservative wave that really incorporated not only the Nixon presidency, but for a couple decades thereafter.

    He was an agent of change who had a transforming effect, even though he never won the presidency.


    Well, we will be watching for that disproportionate, or maybe proportionate, effect in this election year.

    Richard Norton Smith, Michael Beschloss, Lara Brown, thank you all.


    LARA BROWN: Pleasure. Thanks.

    The post What Andrew Jackson has in common with Donald Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Now to our latest installment in our occasional series that we’re calling Food Glorious Food.

    We have been looking at efforts to reduce food waste and to use it more productively. During our reporting earlier this year, we dropped in on noted chef Dan Barber, who had just launched a pop-up restaurant in Manhattan. He was showcasing how good food could be created from ingredients we normally tossed out.

    Allison Aubrey of NPR took a look at what was on the menu and Barber’s approach.

    This story is part of the NewsHour’s ongoing collaboration with NPR.

    DAN BARBER, Chef: Ordering a salmon and eggplant, egg, and ending a burger dumpling.

    MAN: Yes!

    WOMAN: Yes!

    ALLISON AUBREY: At 7:00 p.m., the kitchen was working at full-throttle and the restaurant was packed. The main draw? Think of it as Michelin-starred waste. That’s what chef Dan Barber was serving up at his tony Greenwich Village restaurants for $15 dollars a plate.

    Barber’s restaurant Blue Hill underwent an eco-makeover of sorts. Every night for three weeks, he transformed food trash into treasure, and called it wastED.

    DAN BARBER: Get out a nice burger bun, so we can finish that, please.

    WOMAN: Yes!

    ALLISON AUBREY: On the menu? A juice pulp cheeseburger.

    DAN BARBER: How do you like your burger?

    ALLISON AUBREY: A dish called dog food, fried skate-wing cartilage and cucumber butts.

    I have heard you talk about cucumber butts. I don’t even know what those are.

    DAN BARBER: Cucumber butts are from a cucumber processor, a pickling processor in Upstate New York who cuts off the ends of the cucumbers, so these aren’t staring at you in the glass jar. Right, there is an industry term called pickle butts. I didn’t make that up.


    DAN BARBER: He was excited. We came by and we said we’re going to start a market for your discarded butts.

    ALLISON AUBREY: People buying cucumber butts instead of tossing them out, well, that’s part of Dan Barber’s vision.

    DAN BARBER: We actually have the power and creativity to take what you deem uncoveted or refuse and turn that into the deliciousness. That’s very powerful.

    ALLISON AUBREY: Barber’s no ordinary chef.

    DAN BARBER: Pick up here, please.

    ALLISON AUBREY: He’s won multiple James Beard Awards and, in 2009, made it onto “TIME” magazine’s 100 most influential list.

    He’s profiled in a recent Netflix documentary called “Chef’s Table” on notable chefs from around the world.

    DAN BARBER: If you’re thinking about an idea that you can solve in your lifetime, you’re thinking too small.

    ALLISON AUBREY: Barber always seems to be thinking big thoughts and they all converge on this 80-acre plot of land just north of Manhattan, where he combines an experimental farm and restaurant. It’s called the Stone Barns Food and Agricultural Center.

    The mission? To change the way Americans eat and farm. Adjoining the center is Barber’s restaurant, a true farm-to-table enterprise.

    DAN BARBER: In this day and age, chefs have a message to broadcast, and in this case, we’re broadcasting that vegetable pulp is delicious fiber that could be utilized.

    ALLISON AUBREY: Vegetable pulp? We watched as Barber’s right-hand man, chef Adam Kaye, transformed beet and celery pulp salvaged from a local juice bar named Liquiteria to make something that lots of people might actually want to eat.

    Oh, I have to say looking at this doesn’t look appealing. It looks like I would be eating wet grass.

    ADAM KAYE, Chef: Well, it really does taste like celery. You can see there’s still a lot of fiber in there, which we will want it chopped up a little bit so it’s not complete uniform.

    DAN BARBER: Yes. And this normally just be tossed out?

    ADAM KAYE: This would be tossed out. It would be composted or landfill.

    ALLISON AUBREY: So why not turn it into a burger? That beet pulp looks kind of meaty.

    So this looks like a meat loaf my mother would have made.

    ADAM KAYE: Yes. I mean, no pun intended, but let’s call it a beet loaf. Right?


    ALLISON AUBREY: I love that.

    ADAM KAYE: This has become probably one of the most popular items on the wastED menu.


    ADAM KAYE: It’s just incredible. And people — people are going crazy about this and everyone’s convinced that we’re sneaking, I don’t know, beef fat there or like bacon drippings or something.


    ADAM KAYE: They said it tastes so meaty.

    ALLISON AUBREY: Besides the vegetable pulp, there are a bunch of other ingredients.

    ADAM KAYE: Chopped toasted mushrooms, just natural almonds with the skin on, again, great texture.

    ALLISON AUBREY: All right.

    ADAM KAYE: And what else? We have some roasted mushrooms.

    ALLISON AUBREY: And some Blue Hill secrets that he couldn’t reveal.

    ADAM KAYE: There you go. You’re a pro at this.

    DAN BARBER: The hope here is to create the demand that then kick-starts a larger conversation for an economy that gives the juice processor a reason to save that pulp and distribute it and use it. I mean, I don’t know, maybe juice bars actually become the next burger kiosks.

    ALLISON AUBREY: So this is the moment I get to give this a try?

    DAN BARBER: Yes. I hope I haven’t overpromised.

    ALLISON AUBREY: We will see. All right, a little bit of this wasted beet ketchup on it.

    ALLISON AUBREY: This is not a veggie burger wannabe. This is actually — this is good.

    DAN BARBER: Yes.

    ALLISON AUBREY: Like, I would eat this. I might even think that there’s beef in here.

    DAN BARBER: I wouldn’t lie to PBS.

    ALLISON AUBREY: To garnish that beet-infused burger, Barber’s prized pickle butts.

    And out in the seating area, diners were surrounded by walls draped with a white fabric that farmers use on their crops as a cover to fend off pests. The tables were lit up with tallow candles, which is rendered beef fat.

    Michael Parillo and Margit Verv just finished the dumpster dive salad made with bruised apples and pears salvaged from a food processor in the neighborhood. And what’s in that dressing? Water left over canned chick peas.

    And as you were tasting it, were you thinking, this is left over from an industrial food processor? How was it?

    WOMAN: Surprisingly good. Yes, yes, delightfully, surprisingly good.

    MICHAEL PARILLO, Diner: Yes. It was great. It’s sort of a shabby chic.

    ALLISON AUBREY: They almost ordered a dish called dog food, made from animal organs that are usually discarded, but:

    MICHAEL PARILLO: We planned to order the dog food, but we made a last-minute turn in a different direction.

    DAN BARBER: The other idea is to look at some of these ingredients like this and others that you’re going to see later tonight and start to think about it in the context of where were we with sushi 30 years ago, right? I mean, anyone who was going out to have a sushi dinner 30 years ago was crazy. It would be like eating insects today. Right? Sushi 30 years ago was the insect of today.

    ALLISON AUBREY: And wastED had a series of famous chefs from around the country dropping in to dine and join Barber in the kitchen. In the house that night, award-winning chef from Chicago Grant Achatz, whose restaurant, Alinea, is ranked ninth best in the world.

    MAN: We can’t throw that away, right?

    ALLISON AUBREY: Achatz came with his own special brew of cocoa husks. The husks are the outer shell of the cocoa bean that are normally thrown out during processing. Achatz served up some cocoa husk smoked eggplant.

    So can salvaging a few servings of skate cartilage or some cocoa husks really address America’s food waste problem?

    DAN BARBER: I’m hopeful that this kind of thing begins a different kind of conversation that really is to back away and say, look at the entirety of the food system from nose to tail and think about not just juices, but the juice — the pulp that comes out of the juice, and can we make something delicious out of it.

    ALLISON AUBREY: Barber’s veggie pulp burger actually made it on the menu at the hip burger chain Shake Shack. It was only for a day and just one location, but all 500 burgers went fast.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Allison Aubrey of NPR News in New York.

    The post The next food movement? Maybe garbage-to-plate dining appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    U.S. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) (C) walks to his office as he arrives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 8, 2015. Reid, the Democratic leader in the U.S. Senate, issued a ringing defense of the Iran nuclear deal on Tuesday, saying the agreement would survive the high stakes review by Congress.  REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX1RNSH

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Members of Congress returned from their summer recess today, and immediately indicated they would hand the White House a key victory on the Iran nuclear deal.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Let’s give it up for the national champion Duke Blue Devils.


    LISA DESJARDINS: As President Obama hosted Duke University’s basketball champions, his White House was celebrating its own win.

    JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: We are pleased, gratified that we have been able to build sufficient support in the United States Congress.

    LISA DESJARDINS: This morning, three of the four remaining Senate Democratic holdouts announced they will back the nuclear deal. They were Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, Gary Peters of Michigan and Ron Wyden of Oregon. That gave Minority Leader Harry Reid and other supporters at least 41 votes, enough to block majority Republicans from disapproving the deal.

    SEN. HARRY REID, Senate Minority Leader: Today, I am gratified to say to my fellow Americans, our negotiating partners, and our allies all around the world, this agreement will stand.

    LISA DESJARDINS: It also means the president will not have to use his veto power to uphold the deal. But even with the outcome looking certain, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell again took aim at what the administration negotiated.

    SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, Senate Majority Leader: We know that the president’s deal will not end its nuclear program, but would instead leave Iran with a threshold nuclear capability recognized as legitimate by the international community, quite the opposite of the original goal.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And Maine’s Susan Collins made it unanimous: All 54 Republicans in the Senate now officially oppose the deal.

    SEN. SUSAN COLLINS (R), Maine: I have long believed that a verifiable diplomatic agreement with Iran would be a major achievement. Regrettably, that doesn’t describe the agreement that the administration negotiated. The agreement is fundamentally flawed.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But in the Senate vote count, the president’s viewpoint is prevailing. So, while House Republicans may reject the Iran deal this week, that’s look like it’s as far as the issue will go.

    GWEN IFILL: And political director Lisa Desjardins joins me now from Capitol Hill.

    Just in the last few moments, Lisa, we have discovered that number went from 41 to 42, with the additional yea or nay vote, depending on how you add this up, of Senator Maria Cantwell from Washington State. What’s the significance of this number of 41 or 42 as it is tonight?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Well, technically, Gwen, our viewers probably caught on that it doesn’t change the endgame. The White House had enough votes to support this deal, to keep it alive last week, but it is very significant, because it says something about the strength of this deal and the strength of this president.

    The strength of this deal is important because international watchers and American allies are wondering, how long will this deal last? Will this deal last through, say, another president? Forty-one votes shows it has — or 42 in this case — has some more strength than it did last week.

    And also about the strength of this president, President Obama won these votes one by one by convincing senators. Many of these Democrats had huge doubts. And, frankly, one source told me today that they don’t trust the president here. It’s not a question of trust. It’s a question of them verifying what they see in this deal.

    And 41 percent, Gwen, interestingly, that’s around the approval rating of this president, and that’s about what he got here. It’s a sign of how much strength he has in the Senate or not.

    GWEN IFILL: Lisa, you spent the day reporting the reasons behind all of this on Capitol Hill, why the president got this victory and who flipped in the end. What can you tell us?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Well, one of the more interesting conversations I had was with the staff of Senator Ron Wyden. He’s a important senator up here, head of the Senate Finance Committee.

    He didn’t decide until this weekend. And his staff told me one of the key indications for him that he was going to go yes was, he got a letter from the White House to him — I have a copy of it right here — in which the White House gave him an assurance that the White House would stand by snapping back sanctions, reimposing sanctions as soon as there is any sign of cheating by Iran.

    We heard that before, but, Gwen, what was interesting in this letter, they said not only the U.S., but European allies will also reimpose sanctions the minute there’s any cheating that happens.

    Now, you can say this isn’t the word of law. This is just a letter to a senator. But that just shows what these senators have gone through. They want it in writing from the White House what’s being guaranteed and what’s not.

    The other theme, Gwen, you see through all these senators who have decided in the last day, none of them love this deal. In fact, most of them don’t like it, but they have said, unfortunately, they don’t see any viable alternative right now. They think Iran will proceed without restrictions if the U.S. doesn’t do something.

    GWEN IFILL: Lisa, we spent a lot of time talking about the Senate, but this also has to be approved or not disapproved in the House as well. Over the weekend, we got what seemed to be a pretty significant expression of support from Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who is the head of the Democratic National Committee, but is also a leading Jewish member of Congress who has been speaking with — been dealing with the Israeli pushback against this deal.


    Gwen, I had a good phone conversation with Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz earlier today. And she really conveyed how much this was a difficult decision for her.

    Here’s how she got to yes. She said she met with her constituents, in particular rabbis in her district. It’s between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. Not just her, Gwen, but, interestingly enough, she brought down Vice President Joe Biden. This is when she says she was undecided. He answered questions for her and for her constituents.

    She said most of them don’t like the deal. She listened. And then, Gwen, I think this is what turned it for a lot of members of Congress. Wasserman Schultz went to the White House some 20 different times, sat in the Situation Room, sat one on one with intelligence officials, sat down with Treasury Secretary Jack Lew.

    One by one, I think the White House won over these votes as members asked questions and got details about this deal. She, like many others, put out a five-, six-page response over the weekend in terms of why she came to her decision. But I think it was one by one over hundreds of questions that they asked the White House.

    GWEN IFILL: Now, as you know as well as anyone, just because the president has these votes doesn’t mean that he — that all the opposition goes away. And we’re going to see more rallies on that — to that point tomorrow on Capitol Hill, anti-Iran deal rallies.

    So, what happens next? What is the next shoe that has to drop? We have a deadline next week, right?

    LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

    There’s a deadline next week. Congress has 60 days to act. That runs out next week. But they will act before that, Gwen. We expect a vote in the House this week. And talking to Senator McConnell’s staff in the Senate, it looks like we could have a vote in the Senate as early as Friday. Maybe that will slip into next week, but in the coming days, that will happen.

    Of course, once these votes are over, just like you’re saying, Gwen, I think we’re going to see this issue, well, at least until November of next year on the campaign trail.

    GWEN IFILL: So, it’s still all over but the shouting, but the shouting hasn’t stopped.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Oh, it will get louder, I think.

    GWEN IFILL: Lisa Desjardins for us up tonight on Capitol Hill, thank you very much.

    LISA DESJARDINS: You got it.

    The post Winning new Democratic support, Iran deal passage is all over but the shouting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Refugees and migrants line up inside a soccer stadium used as a registration centre at the city of Mytilene, on the Greek island of Lesbos, September 8, 2015. Greece asked the European Union for aid to prevent it being overwhelmed by refugees, as a minister said arrivals on Lesbos had swollen to three times as many as the island could handle.  REUTERS/Dimitris Michalakis - RTX1RMCL

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: As William just reported, the waves of arrivals of refugees and migrants continue throughout Eastern and Southern Europe, no more so than in Greece.

    That’s where Krishnan Guru-Murthy of Independent Television News found an increasingly desperate situation on Lesbos, an island of 85,000 residents, where, every day, 4,000 people are coming ashore.

    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: It is hot, crowded, dirty. They have little food and water. And tempers are fraying and people turning on each other.

    Why are you so upset?

    MAN: Because everyone has fake papers. They go. They take tickets and go. I have the right papers, and they didn’t give me a ticket.

    MAN: They don’t pay attention. They don’t help.

    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: Every one of these people has paid a smuggler to get here from Turkey on an crowded inflatable dinghy.

    A Syrian journalist, Ali Hafez, filmed his own family’s journey as they crossed the Mytilini Strait yesterday. The smuggler tells them: “Stop. Please be quiet.”

    “Just do your job and steer the boat,” she says.

    Halfway across, another boat joins them and the panic reaches new heights. The refugees believe they are about to be hit. But the Greek couple on the other boat throw them a rope and tow them towards the shore. There is obvious relief.

    But even now, they still have a 40-mile walk to get to Mytilini. Nobody can leave Lesbos until the Greeks can process them. But officials seems overwhelmed, despite the setting up of a new processing center today. The head of Greece’s border protection force is overseeing it herself. She is pessimistic.

    And how many have left today?

    MAJ. GEN. ZACHAROULA TSIRIGOTI, Greece: More than 6,000.

    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: And how many new people have arrived?


    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: So this is going to have to carry on everyday?


    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: Do you see any end?


    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: This is the municipal park. They call it the garden of Mytilini. And it has been taken over by vast numbers of people who’ve arrived over the last few days and who can’t get off the island because they are waiting to be registered. All they have got are these tents that have been provided by a mixture of private donations and aid agencies. And that is where they want to be, on the ferry to Athens.

    Mason Hassini is just 16 years old and traveled here alone from Kabul in Afghanistan.

    MASON HASSINI: We thought that, wherever we came in, Greek — the people would help us and only see if they will register us and give us foods and place to sleep. But no one help us. We are in the park, sleeping in the park. And we have — we don’t have anything to eat. It’s about two days. I myself didn’t eat anything, except water.

    KRISHNAN GURU-MURTHY: Tonight, the atmosphere down at the port is still very tense. And one international charity says it has canceled an aid distribution because the police can’t guarantee their safety.

    GWEN IFILL: Tune in tomorrow night. William Brangham continues his reporting from Europe, as the continent grapples with its largest influx of refugees and migrants in decades. You can follow along with our team as they post photos and videos on our Facebook page. That’s at Facebook.com/NewsHour.

    The post Lesbos struggles to register unending waves of migrants appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Migrants address a Hungarian police officer at collection point in the village of Roszke, Hungary, September 7, 2015. Police used pepper spray on a crowd of migrants attempting to break through a cordon at Roszke, on Hungary's border with Serbia, on Monday, a Reuters witness said.         REUTERS/Marko Djurica  - RTX1RIUB

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Hungary’s government called in buses today to ferry crowds from its southern border with Serbia to a registration center, but that move did little to ease tensions, as the flood of migrants and refugees into Europe continued unabated.

    The NewsHour’s William Brangham reports tonight from that border region, in Roszke, Hungary

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: For hundreds of people fleeing Syria and other parts of the Middle East, their journey had come to a halt in this mud-caked field. This isn’t an official camp. Those are several miles away and filled to capacity. So this is where the Hungarians put everyone else.

    Dozens of armed police lined the edge of the field. There weren’t enough buses to take everyone to other processing centers elsewhere, and so frustrations boiled over. This woman pleaded with police to let her elderly wheelchair-bound mother onto a bus. Police said no repeatedly, so the family gave up, saying they’d walk back over the border to Serbia.

    For others, the waiting was just too much. A large group pressed against the police line and then finally broke through. At least a hundred people took off across the field in a desperate rush. Police tried to tackle some, but the majority got away. Most disappeared into the cornfields. Some shouted they’d walk to Budapest, more than 110 miles away.

    This young boy Hassan made it through the cornfield and said he wants to get to Germany. He said his family’s home in Syria was destroyed in the war, they had been forced to flee, and being trapped in Hungary was just too much.

    HASSAN: It’s been two days, and the rubbish is piling up, and there’s no toilets, nothing. They just throw food at us, and say to us, stay, stay. We don’t want food. We just want to cross peacefully. We mean no harm. We just want to get to our destination.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: For those who didn’t escape, the seemingly endless waiting game continued.

    Here at this border, this fence, which was put up by the Hungarian government, it stands in stark contrast to the response of other European nations. As Hungarian Prime Minister Orban calls for the rest of this fence to be built faster to keep refugees and migrants out, others in Europe are debating whether and how to let more people in.

    Germany alone is expecting some 800,000 applications for asylum this year. That’s equivalent to roughly 1 percent of its current population. Chancellor Angela Merkel has called for a mandatory quota system across the continent, where different nations would be assigned different numbers of people to take in. It’s an idea she reiterated today when she met with the Swedish prime minister in Berlin.

    CHANCELLOR ANGELA MERKEL, Germany: I think we need a fair distribution in Europe. Binding quotas or numbers are necessary on sharing out refugees who are entitled to asylum, and who then are distributed fairly among the member states. Unfortunately, we are far from that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Hungary and other Eastern European nations have rejected any such proposal. But the president of the European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, will unveil a plan tomorrow to find homes for more than 120,000 refugees. And in Washington, the Obama administration said it is — quote — “actively considering” ways to assist, including resettling refugees in the United States.

    JOHN KIRBY, State Department spokesman: In this year, 2015, we have resettled something like 70,000 refugees from all around the world, not just from the Syrian conflict. We also have to balance that against the proper vetting procedures to make sure that, particularly when we’re bringing in people from that part of the world, that we’re doing it safely and securely. The American people would expect that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Meanwhile, in Paris, ministers from 60 countries met today to address the root cause of the crisis, the ongoing wars flaring in the Middle East. The head of the Arab League agreed with this broader focus speaking in Cairo.

    NABIL ELARABY, Secretary General, Arab League: I must pay tribute to all European countries, and particularly Germany. However, I would like to emphasize that this is not the resolution of the problem. What is needed is to end the conflict in Syria.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But as diplomats around the world debate the appropriate next steps, the human wave keeps pouring onto European shores, including hundreds more that landed today outside Athens, Greece. And back in Hungary, even as more people continue their wait for a ride out of here to anywhere else, the flow of people coming across the border from Serbia also continues.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m William Brangham in Roszke, Hungary.

    The post Refugees break through police at overflow camp in Hungary appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Supporters rally at the Carter County Detention Center for Rowan County clerk Kim Davis, who remains in jail for contempt of court in Grayson, Kentucky September 5, 2015. Around 200 supporters gathered outside a Kentucky jail on Saturday to support a county clerk held there for defying a federal judge's order to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. REUTERS/Chris Tilley - RTX1R9H0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: The human drama engulfing Europe showed no sign of ending today. Instead, the divide deepened, between rich and poor nations, over how to handle the crisis. And there was new trouble in southern Hungary as throngs of people tried to cross from Serbia. We will have a report from the scene after the news summary.

    A county clerk in Kentucky was released today after five days in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The federal judge who’d jailed Kim Davis for contempt of court ordered her released. He warned her not to stop her deputies from giving out licenses. Later, Davis appeared at a rally outside the jail, with hundreds of supporters and Republican presidential hopeful Mike Huckabee.

    KIM DAVIS, Rowan County Clerk: We serve a living God who knows where exactly each and every one of us is at. Just keep on pressing, don’t let down, because he is here. He is worthy. He is worthy. I love you guys. Thank you so much.

    GWEN IFILL: Another Republican presidential candidate, Ted Cruz, also visited Davis today.

    Hillary Clinton now says she is sorry about using a private e-mail account as secretary of state. She made the statement today in an interview with ABC News.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON Democratic Presidential Candidate: That was a mistake. And I’m sorry about that. I take responsibility. And I’m trying to be as transparent as I possibly can.

    GWEN IFILL: Clinton had declined to apologize in two other interviews since Friday.

    A Kansas jury is recommending the death penalty for a white supremacist who attacked Jewish sites last year. Frazier Glenn Miller shot and killed three people and said he wanted to kill Jews. But it turned out that none of the victims was Jewish. In a court today, Miller told the jury he didn’t care what they decided, and he gave the Nazi salute.

    Wall Street bounced back today for one of its biggest gains of the year. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 390 points to close above 16490. The Nasdaq rose 128 points, and the S&P 500 added 48.

    The government of Turkey sent military forces into Northern Iraq today for the first time in four years, chasing Kurdish rebels. It followed attacks by so-called PKK militants that killed at least 31 soldiers and police since Sunday. A military ceremony was held today for 16 police officers who died in a roadside bombing. And in Ankara, president Recep Tayyip Erdogan defended his government’s efforts.

    PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkey (through interpreter): We have tried so much and will keep trying to prevent this pain, and the pain of mothers, fathers, wives, siblings and loved ones. But the terror organization has shut the doors to the desired peace process through choosing weapons, violence, oppression and bloodshed.

    GWEN IFILL: Turkey’s air force also launched heavy new strikes on PKK bases involving more than 50 planes.

    A huge sandstorm blew across the Middle East today, blanketing cities and roadways, from Egypt to Jordan. Low visibility slowed commutes in Lebanon, where the storm killed at least two people and sent hundreds to hospitals with breathing problems. The storm even forced Syria’s military to call off airstrikes on rebel positions.

    Iran’s president, Hassan Rouhani, now says his country is open to talks with the United States and Saudi Arabia on ending the civil war in Syria. In Tehran, Rouhani spoke today during a news conference with the visiting president of Austria.

    PRESIDENT HASSAN ROUHANI, Iran (through interpreter): Iran will sit down at any table if it sees that a secure, stable, and democratic future for Syria will be the end result of negotiations. What is also important is for those Syrians who have been made refugees to return home. If one day, Syria is more secure, that will be in the interest of the whole region and the world.

    GWEN IFILL: Iran has been a leading supporter of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Pope Francis announced a much simpler path today for the Catholic Church to annul marriages. Now there will be a fast-track option: If both spouses request an annulment, a bishop can grant it directly. Annulments are required if a Roman Catholic wants to remarry in the church and continue to receive communion.

    Back in this country, the family of Freddie Gray reached a settlement with the city of Baltimore for $6.4 million. The 25-year-old died after being critically injured in police custody last April. His death sparked protests and rioting. Six Baltimore police officers face criminal charges in the case.

    The head of United Airlines has resigned over his dealings with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Jeff Smisek and two other senior executives stepped down today. A federal grand jury is investigating whether United scheduled flights to benefit the Port Authority’s former chairman.

    And some family news. Veteran pollster Andrew Kohut died early today of leukemia. He led the Gallup Organization for 10 years and was founding director of the Pew Research Center. Starting in 1982, Andy was also a frequent guest on this program, explaining the public mood and political trends. He continued in that role for more than 30 years. Andy Kohut was 73 years old.

    The post News Wrap: Released from jail, Kim Davis attends rally appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Woman shaking hands in suit. Related words: jobs, job search, interview. Photo by Indeed/Getty Images

    Chasing headhunters is as unproductive a use of your time as is chasing job postings, warns Nick Corcodilos. Photo by Indeed/Getty Images

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

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

    Question: You seem to discourage people from contacting headhunters. You’ve said they fill relatively few jobs and that they’re not in business to find anyone a job. But if you are in an industry that is relatively closed off or very competitive, why would you not make the bold move and start calling headhunters to get your name out there? Hell, they want to make a living too. Find me a better company, or get me a signing bonus or more interesting work. Especially with the labor market so tight for technical people, headhunters should be pulling down huge fees for placing good people in technical positions.

    Nick Corcodilos: My point about contacting headhunters is this: You can go ahead and call them all if you want. Just be aware that few, if any, will respond. (More important, all those people who are trying to sell you “help” finding a job — “They’re not headhunters.” Be careful.) Having spent many years working as a headhunter and knowing many other headhunters, I can tell you that good headhunters just don’t do much with unsolicited calls. Because their job is to fill positions on assignments they’re handling, they’re focused on their search for the right candidate — and the best candidates rarely walk up and bite the headhunter.

    Most calls you make to headhunters will be regarded as intrusions and distractions. Imagine having desperate people who think you can help them flooding you with calls while you’re working on a project with a deadline. You, too, would stop taking calls.

    Good headhunters use smart techniques to identify and track down specific people. (See “How to Work With Headhunters and How to Make Headhunters Work For You.”) That’s what they get paid for. And you’re right, in tight markets, headhunters do quite well.) But most of us rarely return unsolicited calls. When we do, it’s to get your resume and “file” you — often, we’re just being polite.

    Too often, the caller misinterprets a request for a resume. It doesn’t mean we’ve gone into high gear to find you a job. Most people don’t realize that headhunters aren’t in business to find anyone a job. We’re busy actively recruiting the right people for a particular client. (This is not to say that a good headhunter isn’t adding you into his database to possibly call you for a later search. But the timetable is on his terms, not yours.)

    Chasing headhunters is as unproductive use of your time as chasing job postings if you’re seriously pursuing the right job. You can chalk such effort up to playing the numbers and covering all your bases, but my message in Ask The Headhunter is this: Use the headhunter’s approach yourself to apply your limited time and energy wisely. Don’t use a shotgun approach to go after just any job or to go after just any headhunter. Use the headhunter’s methods to identify and pursue the right targets. Be your own headhunter. Not just another job hunter.

    Next week, I’ll show you how to qualify headhunters, so you can avoid wasting your time on all the fast-talking “recruiters” who keep plying you with phony “job opportunities.”

    Dear Readers: Do headhunters return your calls? Is there any benefit to contacts lots of headhunters? What’s your experience been?

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

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

    Copyright © 2015 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark.

    The post Ask The Headhunter: Why aren’t headhunters finding me a better job? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    People try on souvenir hats beneath the marquee for "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert" at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, New York on Aug. 21, 2015. Colbert debuted his show Tuesday night, which was previously presented by David Letterman. Photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    People try on souvenir hats beneath the marquee for “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” at the Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan, New York on Aug. 21, 2015. Colbert debuted his show Tuesday night, which was previously presented by David Letterman. Photo by Andrew Kelly/Reuters

    NEW YORK — Stephen Colbert began his tenure as host of the CBS “Late Show” Tuesday with a tribute to predecessor David Letterman, a brief conversation with rival Jimmy Fallon and a surprise cameo from Comedy Central buddy Jon Stewart.

    After months of buildup, the former host of “The Colbert Report,” returned to late-night TV by gorging on Donald Trump jokes and noting his transition from playing the character of a cable TV blowhard to being himself.

    “With this show I begin the search for the real Stephen Colbert,” he said. “I just hope I don’t find him on Ashley Madison.”

    Colbert was joined by actor George Clooney and Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush. He completes the remake of late-night network television from the days of Letterman and Jay Leno to the two Jimmys (Fallon and Kimmel) and himself.

    Colbert showed a picture of the now-retired Letterman, saying that he bowed to no one as a Letterman fan.

    “We will try to honor his achievement by doing the best show we can and occasionally making the network very mad at us,” Colbert said.

    The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    CBS Corp. boss Leslie Moonves was close at hand in the front row of the renovated Ed Sullivan Theater, jokingly holding a switch that could turn off the “Late Show” in favor of reruns of “The Mentalist,” which ran in the weeks before Colbert took over.

    Colbert showed off video walls behind his desk, one of which was set to a view of New York’s Central Park. And he pretended to change channels, alighting on Fallon at NBC.

    “Have a good show, buddy,” Fallon said. “See you in the locker room.”

    The show opened with a filmed skit depicting Colbert traveling across the country to sing the national anthem, accompanied by various folks at a bowling alley, in a factory and at a youth baseball game. At the end, an “umpire” at the baseball game took off a mask to reveal himself as a bearded Stewart, who shouted, “Play ball!”

    His former Comedy Central colleague stepped down from “The Daily Show” last month, but Tuesday was about beginnings, and the audience greeted him with a standing ovation.

    Colbert appeared most comfortable seated behind his new wraparound desk, conversing with his guests. Clooney, who several months ago handcuffed himself to Letterman in a joking attempt to get him to stay, was given a Tiffany paperweight engraved with “I don’t know you” as a wedding present.

    “What is it like to be the arm candy in a relationship?” Colbert asked Clooney. Noting that the movie star had no new movie to promote, they made one up and showed “clips” of the film.

    In his appearance, Bush noted the number of drawings of Colbert that appeared on the ceiling of the theater.

    “I used to play a narcissistic conservative pundit,” Colbert said. “Now I’m just a narcissist.”

    The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    The two men talked about how to restore civility to politics. Colbert pointed to his brother sitting in the audience and noted that he disagreed with him politically. He asked Bush where he disagreed with his brother, former President George W. Bush, and the current candidate said his brother didn’t do enough to hold down spending in the second term of his administration.

    Earlier, fans who exited the taping were bubbling over with enthusiasm.

    “It was amazing,” said Shira Margulies, from Queens. “It was fantastic. It was joyful. It was energetic. It was surprising. It was everything we expected and more.”

    Sanjay Chhabra, from New Jersey, said he was impressed by everything about the show.

    “Stephen Colbert was on point,” Chhabra said. “I mean he was prepped, ready to go. He’s off to a pretty fantastic start.”

    Colbert introduced his new bandleader, Jon Batiste, and his group Stay Human, who played the new show theme.

    The guest list for Colbert’s first week of shows indicates he plans to get beyond the typical show biz patter of many talk shows. Vice President Joe Biden will visit Thursday and the CEOs of Tesla Motors and Uber also will make appearances. Comic Amy Schumer, actress Scarlett Johansson and author Stephen King also are on the schedule.

    Video journalist Bastien Inzaurralde contributed to this report.

    The post Stephen Colbert debuts his new take on late night TV appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    A sign is pictured at the entrance to a Planned Parenthood building in New York on Aug. 31, 2015. Picture taken August 31, 2015. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    A sign is pictured at the entrance to a Planned Parenthood building in New York on Aug. 31, 2015. Picture taken August 31, 2015. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Accusations and strong emotions mark the start of long-awaited congressional hearings on Planned Parenthood, with a prominent abortion foe contending the group is breaking laws that bar for-profit sales of fetal tissue, while an advocate says there’s no proof.

    Clandestinely recorded videos show that Planned Parenthood “violates various federal laws,” said James Bopp Jr., general counsel for National Right to Life, in testimony prepared for the House Judiciary Committee’s hearing Wednesday.

    He said that only banning research using fetal tissue from abortions or abortion itself “will prevent the inevitable abuse.”

    Yet to Priscilla Smith, who directs Yale Law School’s Program for the Study of Reproductive Justice, “there is simply no evidence in these misleadingly edited videos of a violation” of statutes, according to her written remarks.

    The hearing was the first on Capitol Hill since the Center for Medical Progress, a small group of anti-abortion activists, began releasing videos in July that showed Planned Parenthood officials casually describing how they sometimes obtain tissue from aborted fetuses for medical researchers.

    Planned Parenthood has said the videos were dishonestly edited, and the group has denied any wrongdoing.

    Also set to testify were two women who say they survived failed abortions as newborns. Representatives from Planned Parenthood and the Center for Medical Progress were not scheduled to appear.

    The GOP is eager to use questions about fetal tissue research to personalize the broader political dispute over abortion, which could be a factor during the 2016 presidential and congressional campaigns.

    “If abortion is about women’s rights, then what were mine?” said Gianna Jessen, who says she was born alive after a failed 1977 abortion in Los Angeles.

    The GOP is eager to use questions about fetal tissue research to personalize the broader political dispute over abortion, which could be a factor during the 2016 presidential campaigns. Many conservative lawmakers and GOP presidential candidates want Congress to end federal payments to Planned Parenthood as the price for approving spending bills keeping government agencies open past Oct. 1.

    Top Republicans want to avoid a standoff that precipitates a federal shutdown, which voters might blame on the GOP. Party leaders hope votes over Planned Parenthood can be isolated to separate bills not tied to financing the government.

    Before the hearing, Planned Parenthood distributed a report saying that nine other times since 2000, it has been targeted in a “fanatical crusade” by anti-abortion extremists who have released recordings after trying to entrap the organization into wrongful behavior, only to see the allegations discredited.

    In his prepared remarks, Bopp said comments in the recent videos show that Planned Parenthood officials were not limiting their fees for fetal tissue to covering their own expenses, as the law allows. They are “instead trying to make money off of human fetal tissue,” he said.

    In a video, Dr. Mary Gatter, a regional Planned Parenthood medical director in California, is talking with abortion opponents who posed as private tissue buyers. “In negotiations, the person who throws out the figure first is at a loss, right?” Gatter says.

    In her testimony, Smith said such conversations were actually unsuccessful attempts by the Center for Medical Progress to “entrap” Planned Parenthood officials into illegally selling tissue for profit.

    Bopp urged lawmakers to investigate whether Planned Parenthood was violating the federal ban against a procedure that opponents call partial-birth abortion. He also cited other comments that he says show that the group changes abortion procedures to increase their chances of recovering intact tissue.

    That is prohibited by federal law when tissue is being obtained for federally financed research on transplantation. The National Institutes of Health says it has not financed a trial on such research for almost a decade, and Planned Parenthood has said it doesn’t alter abortion procedures.

    Planned Parenthood provides contraception, tests for sexually transmitted diseases and abortions in clinics across the country. It receives more than $500 million each year from federal and state governments, more than one-third of its overall $1.3 billion annual budget.

    Three other congressional committees are also investigating Planned Parenthood but have yet to hold hearings.

    Democrats on the House Energy and Commerce Committee released a memo Wednesday saying that so far its investigation has found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood. Republicans did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    The post Congress starts Planned Parenthood hearings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has two scheduled meetings with lawmakers Wednesay to discuss how the country would assist Syrian refugees amid a global migrant crisis. Photo by Eric Vidal/Reuters

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has two scheduled meetings with lawmakers Wednesay to discuss how the country would assist Syrian refugees amid a global migrant crisis. Photo by Eric Vidal/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. is vowing to help its European allies with an escalating migrant crisis. In two meetings behind closed doors, Secretary of State John Kerry is briefing lawmakers on how many more Syrian refugees the administration is willing to take in.

    Kerry is scheduled to meet Wednesday with the House and Senate Judiciary committees. Earlier this week, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton, Kerry’s predecessor, called for a “concerted global effort” to assist the refugees.

    White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that the Obama administration has been looking at a “range of approaches” for assisting U.S. allies as they struggle to accommodate 340,000 people freshly arrived from the Middle East, Africa and Asia. Many are fleeing parts of Iraq that are under the Islamic State group’s control.

    While Germany braces for some 800,000 asylum seekers this year, the U.S. hasn’t said if it will increase its worldwide quota for resettling refugees from 70,000. Only a fraction of those would be Syrians, who must first navigate a multiyear application process before learning if they can start a new life in the United States. Kerry’s briefings will also canvass migrant exoduses from Central America and elsewhere.

    The U.S. resettlement process for refugees, as it stands, is slow. The U.S. resettlement process for refugees, as it stands, is slow. They can wait around three years to find out if they can move to the United States, meaning Washington wouldn’t be able to offer Europe much in quick assistance. Throughout Syria’s 4½-year civil war, the U.S. has accepted only about 1,500 Syrians — a tiny percentage of the 11.6 million people who have been chased out of the country or uprooted from their homes.

    After the fall of Saigon in 1975, the U.S. accepted more than a million refugees from Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. In 1999, tens of thousands of mostly Muslim Kosovar Albanians were flown to the U.S., processed at Fort Dix in New Jersey and ultimately resettled. During the Iraq war, more than 50,000 refugees were allowed to come under a special, expedited program for people whose religious beliefs or past work for the U.S. military put their lives at risk.

    But what those crises involved and Syria’s may lack is a sense of U.S. responsibility. Refugee operations in Southeast Asia followed years of U.S. warfare there, as did the decision to take in tens of thousands of Iraqis over the last decade. Many Americans will feel differently about taking large numbers of Syrians displaced by a war that the United States has tried hard to avoid.

    Asked directly if the Obama administration felt responsible to share Europe’s refugee burden, Earnest stressed U.S. support thus far: $4 billion in humanitarian aid, more than any other country has provided, and ongoing diplomatic work to resolve Syria’s conflict peacefully. The diplomacy appears nowhere near ending violence that started in 2011 with a government crackdown on political opponents, spawning an armed insurgency and eventually leading to Islamic State extremists seizing much of the country.

    Security concerns also run high, especially after two Iraqi refugees were arrested in Kentucky four years ago on charges they plotted to help kill American troops in Iraq. U.S. officials appeared to miss several security warnings. Lawmakers and presidential candidates have cited the case in opposing more Syrian refugees in the U.S.

    The post Kerry to meet with lawmakers about refugee crisis appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Gyalwang Drukpa, a Buddhist leader from South Asia, prays in front of a mural of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland in May 2015. Gray, 25, sustained fatal spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported by a police van. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Gyalwang Drukpa, a Buddhist leader from South Asia, prays in front of a mural of Freddie Gray in Baltimore, Maryland in May 2015. Gray, 25, sustained fatal spinal injuries a week after he was arrested and transported by a police van. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    The Baltimore city board approved a $6.4 million settlement Wednesday in the death of 25-year-old Freddie Gray, who sustained a fatal spinal injury while in police custody earlier this year.

    The settlement amount is bigger than the combined total of all 120 lawsuits filed against Baltimore police for brutality and misconduct since 2011, the Baltimore Sun reported.

    Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said in a statement that the deal does not admit guilt of the city, its police department or the six police officers charged in the ongoing case. Separate trials for the officers will begin in October, months after Gray’s April 19 death sparked several days of protests.

    Rawlings-Blake also said the deal, partly, “avoids costly and protracted litigation” that would “potentially cost taxpayers many millions more in damages.”

    And as for Gray’s family, the mayor added that she hopes the settlement “represents an opportunity to bring closure.”

    The charges against the officers range from assault to murder, including a single “depraved heart” murder charge. All have pleaded not guilty.

    The post Baltimore approves $6.4 million settlement with family of Freddie Gray appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Caregiver and older man in wheelchair reading pamphlet. Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

    Medicare expert Phil Moeller answers your Medicare questions. Photo by Jose Luis Pelaez Inc/Getty Images

    Editor’s Note: Journalist Philip Moeller, who writes widely on health and retirement, is here to provide the Medicare answers you need in “Ask Phil, the Medicare Maven.” Send your questions to Phil.

    Medicare rules and private insurance plans can affect people differently depending on where they live. To make sure the answers here are as accurate as possible, Phil is working with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) and the Medicare Rights Center (MRC).

    Judy – Fla.: We currently have a Medicare Advantage policy. Michigan is our primary residence. While in Florida last winter I had shingles. I was covered by insurance for visits to urgent care clinics but was informed I really needed to see a physician for ongoing treatment due to the severity of the shingles. I also receive light treatments for psoriasis while in Michigan. My policy has no participating physicians in Florida to cover either of these situations. Can I use only Medicare to cover these situations, and if so, how do I accomplish that? I understand I can buy a policy that covers me outside my policy area, but Medicare is a national program. Is there a way to use just basic Medicare since I pay for that coverage each month?

    Phil Moeller: Original Medicare is national, but Medicare Advantage plans are not. Most cover you for services in their local network but not for health care needed when you travel outside it. If you are going to be in Florida regularly or elsewhere outside Michigan, your best bet is to drop your Medicare Advantage plan during this year’s Medicare open enrollment period, which will begin Oct. 15 and extend through Dec. 7. See if there’s a Medicare Advantage plan in your ZIP that offers out-of-network coverage that works for you. If not, Original Medicare is your best bet.

    If you enroll in a stand-alone Part D plan, your Medicare Advantage plan should automatically end, and you will be enrolled in Original Medicare, which includes Part A for hospital services and Part B for doctors, outpatient services and medical equipment. These are the same things covered by your Medicare Advantage plan, although it might also have covered some other things beyond Original Medicare. Once you have Original Medicare, it will cover you anywhere in the U.S., and you are free to use any doctors or health providers who participate in Medicare (and nearly all do). When you get Original Medicare, you also should consider getting a Medigap plan to cover Medicare copayments and other things that Original Medicare does not cover. There are 10 to 11 different Medigap plans available to most people. Medicare has an online Medigap plan finder that should help you. You also can call a Michigan SHIP counselor at 1-800-803-7174 to help you better understand your Medigap options.

    Chris – Tex.: I participate in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) at a Fortune 500 company that allows me to also participate in a health savings account (HSA).  The HSA currently allows me to save $4,350 annually, pre-tax, which can grow in my HSA account and be withdrawn tax-free any time in the future as long as the funds are used for medical expenses. This includes long-term care. If you can let the funds sit and grow, it’s a good thing. However, when you turn 65, you can no longer participate in an HSA when you have Medicare. I don’t want to do that.  But I also hope to work for this Fortune 500 company and be covered by their HDHP medical coverage for a few years past age 65 and would like to still contribute to an HSA account for those extra three or so years. What do I need to do with Medicare so as to NOT incur a penalty for signing up “late” (past age 65) yet still be eligible to participate in the HSA? Or is it really not doable to do both?

    Phil Moeller: HSAs can be a great health and retirement tool. You can save and invest the balances tax-free and not be taxed when they’re spent, either, so long as it’s on eligible health care items.

    As for continuing in your HSA past age 65, you should be fine. You do not need to sign up for Medicare so long as you have group health coverage and are an active employee. Your employer needs to have at least 20 employees as well, but you did say you were with a big company, so this is not an issue for you.

    As an extra precaution, get in touch with your benefits folks at work and make sure your health plan’s drug coverage is what’s called “creditable” — meaning it’s as good as Medicare. I’m sure your employer plan is, but better safe than sorry. If it wasn’t, you might need to sign up for Medicare.

    Also, signing up for Social Security automatically signs you up for at least Part A of Medicare. Even though this is free to most folks, it can make you ineligible for continued participation in the HSA.

    William – Fla.: I am currently covered under my wife’s insurance through her work at a very large company. I just turned 65. Do you know if I will be required to take Medicare as my primary coverage, and then does my wife’s insurance becomes the secondary? Or can I just stay on her policy and opt out of Medicare until she retires? I get a monthly check from Social Security, and they have already begun withholding $104 from my check. Does that mean I am already in the Medicare A program, and would you recommend I keep that and use my wife’s coverage as the gap coverage?

    Phil Moeller: That $104 is for the Part B premium, and while it’s nice of the good people at Social Security to automatically sign you up, you shouldn’t need to get Medicare or pay the Part B premium. There is a small chance your wife’s employer might want her insurance to become what’s called a secondary payer when you turned 65. That’s unusual but you should ask her to find out. But if her plan is still the primary payer for you, you should call Social Security, explain that you do not require or want Part B coverage and find out how to get your money back and stop premiums from being withheld from your Social Security payments. As was the case with Chris, you should make sure your wife’s coverage is creditable before disenrolling from Part B.

    Jeff – Fla.: My mother is 91, has dementia and is in a Medicare Advantage plan. She has recently moved from her apartment to a memory care assisted living facility. However, there is only one plan doctor who visits the facility, so we would need to transport her to other doctors as needed. If we switch to Original Medicare, there are other specialists who will treat her at the facility. Can we switch her? Do we need to wait until open enrollment period? What additional costs might we entail?

    Phil Moeller: There are different ways this could go. The easiest solution would be to find another Medicare Advantage plan with the types and numbers of doctors you need to visit her where she now lives. Moving to a new residence is one of the events that can trigger a special enrollment period that would allow her to make such a shift immediately. Such a move is most easily accepted as a cause for switching insurers if the move takes you outside the plan’s service area. This does not appear to be the case here. But moving into a specialized care facility can be a qualifying event for changing Medicare coverage right away. I’d call a SHIP counselor in Florida at 1-800-963-5337 and see if they think you can make this case.

    Otherwise, you will have to wait to shift plans until this year’s Medicare open enrollment period, which begins Oct. 15 and extends through Dec. 7. You could switch to another Medicare Advantage plan effective next Jan. 1. Or you could sign up for Original Medicare as you suggest. Odds are your costs will go up. Your mother’s drug coverage most likely was included in her Medicare Advantage plan. You will need to get a stand-alone Part D drug plan. And you should seriously consider getting a Medigap policy for your mother. However, because of her age and health condition, finding the right Medigap policy at the right price may be tough. Check out the links I provided above to Judy. Again, SHIP might be able to help here.

    R.J. – Md.: I was recently told by hospice that Medicare will no longer pay for Lewy Body Dementia hospice care. A quick check on the LBD caregiver blog found that a rumor is going around that Medicare is no longer paying hospice for Dementia patients. Is this true?

    Phil Moeller: No. LBD, which is the second leading cause of dementia after Alzheimer’s disease, is a covered condition under Medicare hospice benefits. The key, as with all hospice care, is that patient eligibility requires a doctor’s prognosis that death is imminent, which is usually defined as meaning within six months. If the person lives longer than six months, a doctor must recertify eligibility for hospice care. Hospice eligibility can be tricky, so you also may want to call Maryland SHIP at 1-800-243-3425 for help.


    My mind took an unauthorized vacation recently when I answered Judy about shopping for Medicare. She wanted to know the cost of Original Medicare if she also purchased a Medigap policy. My answer quoted her a price for a Medigap plan F policy. However, I said she also needed to pay annual deductibles for Original Medicare’s Part A hospital coverage and Part B coverage of doctor, outpatient, and medical equipment expenses. Plan F Medigap policies, of course, also cover these deductibles.

    The post Am I still covered by Medicare when I travel out of state? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Stylish young woman texting on smartphone, London, UK. Photo by  Cultura RM/Liam Norris/Getty Images

    Steve Quartz, the co-author of “Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World,” argues that, contrary to popular belief, consumerism isn’t so bad after all. Photo by Cultura RM/Liam Norris/Getty Images

    Editor’s Note: When cracks began to emerge in Steve Quartz’s anti-consumerist beliefs, the professor of philosophy and neuroscience at the California Institute of Technology turned to what he knew best: neuroscience. By developing a “consumer neuroscience,” Quartz began to better understand why we consume. What he found led to a book of surprising conclusions.

    Below, Quartz, the co-author of “Cool: How the Brain’s Hidden Quest for Cool Drives Our Economy and Shapes Our World,” argues that, contrary to popular belief, consumerism isn’t so bad after all. Check back here tomorrow for another essay from Quartz, and tune in to Thursday’s Making Sen$e segment for more.

    Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor

    From pop songs to Pope Francis, consumerism is often denounced as a poison that thwarts genuine happiness, hampers political participation and erodes social connections. Even many consumer theorists suspect that motives like envy and a hunger to emulate higher-ups drives our consumption. Pointing the finger at an insatiable thirst for status, critics argue that our pursuit of “stuff” locks us in an irrational consumer arms race, where we compete for status through ever more wasteful purchases.

    For over 40 years, some economists and anti-consumerists have pointed to a series of findings dubbed “The Easterlin Paradox” as the incriminating evidence that our increasing consumption makes us no happier. In 1974, Richard Easterlin reported that although richer people were happier than poorer people in the same country, people in wealthier countries were no happier than those in poorer ones. The implication was that happiness depended on relative income — how we stack up against the proverbial Joneses. Imagine if we doubled everyone’s income overnight. It would have no effect on your ability to keep up with the Joneses since theirs doubled as well. Just as all the children of Lake Wobegon can’t really be above average — at least compared to each other — status, like rank in a Lake Wobegon classroom, is all relative. The only way to gain status is by someone else losing some — it’s a zero-sum contest. If only the Joneses would stop buying bigger houses and fancier cars…

    But new studies question whether there ever was an Easterlin Paradox. The 2006 Gallop World Poll, which included nationally representative surveys from 132 countries, was the first erosion to the concept. In 2008, economist Angus Deaton found a strong global relationship between a country’s wealth (Gross Domestic Product per capita) and happiness (measured by life satisfaction). As he noted, the people of sub-Saharan Africa are not as satisfied with their lives as people in India, who are not as satisfied with their lives as the people of France or Denmark.

    It seemed like many psychologists, sociologists and culture critics were studying consumerism from the armchair with more interest in condemning it than understanding it.

    Deaton found no evidence for an idea that had become lore in the field and a mantra among anti-consumers: that once a country’s wealth satisfied its citizens’ basic needs, more wealth doesn’t increase happiness. Examining subsequent waves of the Gallop World Poll, now including 155 countries, economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers similarly found a global relationship between income and life satisfaction. Recently, the psychologist Ed Diener, a pioneer in the scientific study of happiness, found that using household income instead of the more indirect measure of GDP per capita revealed even stronger links between material welfare, purchasing power and happiness that were long enduring.

    If there’s no paradox — if material welfare, purchasing power, and happiness are indeed strongly linked — then the anti-consumer view and its conception of consumerism as an irrational status zero-sum contest must be fundamentally flawed.

    A decade ago, cracks in the Easterlin Paradox were causing me to wonder if my own anti-consumer intuitions were ill-founded. When I turned to examine consumer theories, I found much of the research deeply tinged with strong moral overtones. It seemed like many psychologists, sociologists and culture critics were studying consumerism from the armchair with more interest in condemning it than understanding it. To try to better understand why we consume, I started to develop a “consumer neuroscience” that I hoped would answer some of these mysteries by tapping into the unconscious brain processes underlying our purchase decisions. At the time, brain imaging was opening a new window into the workings of the mind, and I suspected looking at these processes, rather than relying just on people’s introspection, would provide a clearer foundation for a theory of our consumer behavior.

    In one experiment, my colleagues and I were interested in probing why entire industries, from running shoes (think Air Jordan) to computers (think Mac), depended on how people perceived their products as cool or not. Most of the products we use are infused with symbolic meanings, cool among them, which adds value to them beyond their functionality. As the anthropologist Daniel Miller has long studied, humans have long used the symbolic meaning of the stuff around us, our material culture, to create our social identity and define our social relationships.

    We found that asking people to merely look at products they considered “cool” sparked a pattern of activation in a part of the brain known as the medial prefrontal cortex. The activation was similar to what we see when people receive a compliment or feel valued by others, that is, when their perceived status increases. Even more interesting was the fact that this part of the brain had expanded the most during human evolution. This expansion gave rise to our capacity for self-reflection and to think about others in terms of their thoughts and feelings. These are all critical social capacities that allow us to build our complex social worlds. It was a captivating convergence to find such symbiosis between our expanded medial prefrontal cortex, which gives rise to our social selves, and the material culture we build, which helps define and shape our social identity.

    The medial prefrontal cortex also creates social emotions that are likely uniquely human, particularly the positive emotions we feel when others value us, such as pride, and the strongly aversive emotions we feel when we think others think poorly of us, such as shame and guilt. These create the basic motivations that drive us to affiliate with others and ultimately to use our patterns of consumption to help create the social groups.

    Understanding how products impact us in light of our brain’s evolutionary history compels us to rethink many of our most basic assumptions about why we consume. The complex emotional life our medial prefrontal cortex creates gives rise to our most basic social impulses: to form intimate partnerships, friendships and alliances — to create the groups through which we gain our sense of belonging. During evolution, one’s life success was critically tied to the quality of partners and alliances one made. This is true today. An extraordinary amount of our social behavior revolves around seeking out and maintaining romantic partnerships and friendships, an evolutionary pressure known as social selection.

    Social selection has created deep-seated needs in us to display our value as social partners through acts of generosity, kindness and understanding of social norms. Evolutionary biologists describe these as costly signals of our trustworthiness and worth as a partner and friend. Virtually every social behavior contains some signaling element that conveys something about us to others, from how we walk to how we talk to how we eat. The latest Emily Post etiquette book comes in at a back-breaking 865 pages — a testimony to the extraordinarily complex symbolic layers of our social life.

    It now appears that the very first signs of our humanity dawned when our ancestors began using the material around them in this symbolic way — the very first shell necklaces some 70,000 years ago might have symbolized membership in a group or perhaps some social role within that group. Today, our patterns of consumption draw on these very same affiliative roots, as we use products to convey who we are to others.

    We can do this because our medial prefrontal cortex works as a sort of social calculator that monitors our perceptions of other people’s judgments of us, a sort of self-esteem inner gauge. It creates our basic need to feel the face-to-face admiration and respect we obtain in groups. In fact, psychologists have discovered that our happiness depends more on this feeling of esteem and respect than on our socioeconomic status. That’s because seeking esteem through our patterns of consumption is a relatively recent cultural invention, tracing back to 18th century England. For most of our species’ existence, status came in non-economic forms, including social networks, physical strength and practical skills and knowledge.

    What all this suggests is that our modern patterns of consumption tap into this more basic need for social esteem, which drives us to create social groups around common values and norms.

    What all this suggests is that our modern patterns of consumption tap into this more basic need for social esteem, which drives us to create social groups around common values and norms. Today, we call these consumer lifestyles consumer tribes, brand communities or consumption microcultures. Most consumer products are potent social signals, which people use to signal, often unconsciously, their values to others. Few people would drive a Prius to a NASCAR race while fewer still would drive a Hummer to an environmental meeting. A hippie would rather walk than drive a BMW. Consumer researchers have found that people bond over these shared preferences, with common patterns of consumption defining and shaping their social groups.

    In fact, much of the economic value of products today lies in their impact on our brain’s mostly implicit estimate of how they impact our social identity. In collaboration with Read Montague’s lab at Baylor College of Medicine, we found that boosts in our social status also strongly activate the nucleus accumbens, a critical part of the brain’s reward system that’s implicated in almost all forms of addiction. Other studies with college students found that they value self-esteem boosts even more than sex!

    But I would urge you not to view these as some misbegotten vanity. Feeling esteemed and respected by others is a basic and universal human need that makes possible the human bonds that underlie cooperative human social life. It’s no surprise that it taps into the brain’s most powerful reward systems.

    Viewed in this light, I think a good way of thinking about consumerism is as a way of converting income into the lifestyles that allow us to create and engage in diverse social groups that satisfy our need to belong and to feel respected, esteemed and valued by others. That’s why our incomes won’t have their full impact on our happiness unless we convert some of them into status. While many status systems that aren’t connected to economic life still exist, status is typically in extremely limited supply in traditional societies that do not use consumerism as a way of supplying status. And it’s also typically reserved for a ruling elite.

    The Easterlin Paradox assumed that status seeking was a zero-sum contest. If the total amount of status or esteem is fixed, then the only way to get more of it is by someone losing some of theirs. As I explore tomorrow, this also turns out to be false. In the 1950s, something happened to how we consume, which allowed new forms of status to emerge, helping to solve a critically important but under appreciated social problem: if our happiness depends on attaining esteem and the respect of others through participating in social groups, how can a society meet that demand?

    The post Why buying things makes you happy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Britain's Queen Elizabeth waves as she arrives to officially open the Scottish Borders Railway at Tweedbank Station in Scotland, Britain September 9, 2015. Queen Elizabeth who ascended the throne aged just 25 as her exhausted country struggled to recover from the ravages of World War Two, made history on Wednesday when she became Britain's longest-reigning monarch. REUTERS/Phil Noble - RTSAPQ

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight: Britain’s monarch marks a milestone.

    Tim Ewart of Independent Television News has the story.

    TIM EWART: It was a routine royal engagement, the reopening of a railway line, but this was a momentous moment in the queen’s reign.

    She arrived from Balmoral, her estate in the highlands, where she had originally hoped to spend a quiet day. She was met in Edinburgh, a moment not without irony, by Scotland’s first minister, Nicola Sturgeon. Many in her Scottish National Party would like to sever links with the crown.

    The queen was to be carried in style aboard the steam train Union of South Africa. Today was a day all about making journeys, one long, extraordinary so, touching seven decades, the four corners of the globe and the affections of many million people, the other short, 31 miles from Edinburgh down to the borders.

    The queen’s thoughts may have been on a rather more somber journey many years ago. In February 1952, she flew back to London from Kenya after the sudden death of her father, King George VI. She had left a princess and returned a queen at just 25 years old.

    As the Union of South Africa headed south, a tide of tributes was gaining momentum, led by the prime minister.

    Prime Minister, United Kingdom: And it is, of course, typical of her selfless sense of service that she would have us treat this day just like any other.

    TIM EWART: The queen’s first stop was Newtongrange station. It was a chance to meet some of the thousands of well-wishers who had turned out to share her big day.

    The queen was always uncomfortable about celebrations she regards as inextricably linked to the death of her great-great grandmother, but such was the level of public and media interest in today’s milestone in her reign that she was in the end forced to respond to it.

    Nicola Sturgeon, passionate advocate of Scottish independence, was now cheerleader for the British monarch.

    NICOLA STURGEON, First Minister of Scotland: Your Majesty, today, you become the longest reigning monarch in British history.


    TIM EWART: And the queen herself accepted that there was more here than just the opening of a railway.

    Many, including you, First Minister, have also kindly noted another significance attaching to today, although it is not one to which I have ever aspired.

    Inevitably, a long life can pass by many milestones. My own is no exception. But I thank you all and the many others at home and overseas for your touching messages of great kindness.

    TIM EWART: A monarch who has traveled further and met more people than any other is now the longest to reign over her subjects.

    The post Queen Elizabeth marks her record reign with a rail trip appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Members of a handcrew prepare to head out during the Okanogan Complex Fire near Tonasket, Washington, August 22, 2015. Firefighters battling a group of fierce wildfires in central Washington state labored on Saturday to expand containment lines outside the lakeside resort town of Chelan, as large blazes scorched dry land in other parts of the U.S. West. The continuing fight against a complex of fires near the town of Chelan came a day after President Barack Obama signed a federal declaration of emergency for Washington state to coordinate relief efforts in 11 counties and several Indian reservations hard hit by wildfires. REUTERS/Jason Redmond      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX1P8UU

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Nearly 10,000 firefighters and support staff are working to contain about 20 large blazes in Washington and Oregon. The region is experiencing one of the worst fire seasons on record.

    Special correspondent Cat Wise recently spent time with the men and women on Washington state’s front lines, who have traveled there from all over.

    CAT WISE: Fire crews in North Central Washington have had a busy summer. Nearly a million acres have burned in the region. And one of the hardest-hit areas is the hilly majestic countryside in Okanogan County, where firefighters are still hard at it and the workday begins early.

    It’s still dark when crews at the Alta Lake fire camp begin gathering supplies for the long day ahead. There’s a line for the pre-made boxed lunches distributed from a semi-truck. And the food tent delivers hot grub for the early risers.

    MAN: Sausage and French toast?

    MAN: Sounds grand. Thanks.

    CAT WISE: This camp, like most fire camps, was set up in less than 48 hours. It has everything need to support some 600 firefighters and fire managers who are working to contain a group of fires in the county which have been burning since August.

    MAN: Everybody have an incident action plan?

    CAT WISE: At exactly 0600, 6:00 a.m., fire managers gather for the morning briefing. Crews have made good progress in recent days to contain the fires, but some areas are still very active.

    MAN: We had an injury yesterday. Know your evacuation protocols. Watch out for those stump holes. Look out for those overhead hazardous. Those are the things that are going to get you.

    CAT WISE: The firefighters here are all too aware of the dangers they face on a daily basis. Three of their colleagues on a nearby fire died, and another was critically injured several weeks ago. Flags at the camp remain at half-staff.

    But the work must go on, and fire trucks were soon pulling out of camp, heading to the front lines. We followed along, too, up a windy mountain road through areas that were still smoldering. We met up with a strike team from California that had recently come off a series of big fires in that state; 29-year-old Andrew May, like so many other firefighters, has had little rest since June.

    ANDREW MAY, Cal Fire: My longest stretch was about 26 days. Then I was off for three-and-a-half, and have been back for about eight days now.

    CAT WISE: May hustled off to join his crew, who were laying water hose through a thickly wooded area. After getting their gear ready and new instructions from their chief, the firefighters headed up a steep hill, carrying about 80 pounds of hose and equipment toward an active fire line.

    Another big job for crews is securing the edges of the fire. This 30-foot-wide fire line had been bulldozed earlier in the day, but firefighters were worried it was about to flare up again.

    ANDREW HOSTAD, U.S. Forest Service: Once we get around a fire, the job isn’t done.

    CAT WISE: Andrew Hostad is a fire prevention specialist with the U.S. Forest Service.

    So much of what goes into actual firefighting isn’t the glory shots with the big flames and that sort of thing; it’s the head down in the dirt, digging, and really doing the really vital role of mopping up and securing that fire.

    CAT WISE: More than 400 square miles have burned here in Okanogan County near the Canadian border. It’s now the largest wildfire in Washington State’s history. Throughout the West, where big fires have become the norm, fire managers are having a tough time keeping up with all the demands for firefighters and firefighting resources.

    MAN: Evacuation levels are at level one.

    CAT WISE: And nowhere is that scarcity of resources being felt more than at the Northwest Interagency Coordination Center in Portland, Oregon. Decisions are made here about where firefighting equipment and personnel will be dispatched throughout Oregon and Washington.

    CAROL CONNOLLY, Northwest Interagency Coordination Center: It’s been a real challenge for us to mobilize and get our resources out to where they’re needed as quickly as they need them.

    CAT WISE: Carol Connolly handles public affairs at the coordination center. She says basically everything, from camp supplies to helicopters, has been in short supply this year. And well-trained fire crews, known as hotshots, are really in demand.

    We were told about the third week of August from our national office that we’re not getting any more resources. What we have inside our boundaries, that’s all were getting. So that’s when we share crews, and we borrow crews. And two fires that are close together, one incident commander might talk to the other and say, hey, I need one of your hotshot crews for an operational period to do a burnout. And so they will send them over and help, and send them back the next day.

    CAT WISE: In fact, the wildfire season in Central Washington has been so intense this year that nearly anyone who can help is being asked to.

    About 300 heavy equipment operators were given special training so they could work on the front lines. They were part of an even larger program, the first of its kind for the state, to enlist hundreds of locals wanting to aid firefighters.

    One of those offering to help was Angela Davis, who was raised in the area and is a descendent of a local Native American tribe. Davis was assigned to the finance division at a base camp in Okanogan County.

    ANGELA DAVIS, Fire Camp Support Staff: I thought I should step up and come over and help out with the firefighters protecting my native land. We look at all the people on the front lines, and they’re doing their work, and we forget what really goes on behind the scenes. And that’s kind of what I am taking away from this, is that every link in a chain is important.

    CAT WISE: The call for help has even extended overseas.

    JOHN COSTENARO, Australian Firefighter: Oh, I didn’t even hesitate. As soon as I was asked, I said yes.

    CAT WISE: Australian John Costenaro is one of 70 firefighters who have been sent from his country and New Zealand to assist in the efforts. That hasn’t happened since another bad fire season in 2008. Costenaro, who is from Victoria, says he has a very personal reason for wanting to help the firefighters in Washington.

    In 2009, Victoria suffered the Black Saturday fires, very severe fires, the worst in our history. And we had the Americans come over and assist us during that period. And I wanted to repay that favor, because I — they came to my hometown and helped us a great deal.

    CAT WISE: He is repaying that favor now by supervising heavy equipment, like bulldozers, and walking about eight miles of fire lines a day.

    The friendliness that the Americans have shown me and my colleagues is overwhelming. It’s quite — people shaking hands with you in the street, and thanking you, and understanding you have come from another country, and it’s very appreciated to be felt welcome in another country, and to assist.

    CAT WISE: As crews get a better handle on the multiple fires in Central Washington, aided by recent precipitation and lower temperatures, some are now starting to shift to fires in other states. And many expect to soon head to south to California, where the state’s infamous Santa Ana winds start picking up at this time of year and the fire season gets even busier.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Cat Wise in Okanogan County, Washington.

    The post Intense wildfire season pushes crews to the limit appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    Jeff Smisek, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Continental speaks during a news conference announcing the merger between Continental and United Airlines in New York, May 3, 2010. United Airlines parent UAL Corp will buy Continental Airlines Inc for $3.17 billion to form the world's largest carrier, moving to better withstand the hazards that have battered airlines in recent years. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: TRANSPORT BUSINESS) - RTR2DEWD

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: The announcement took the airline industry and the business world by surprise. The CEO of United Airlines resigned after the markets closed yesterday amid a federal investigation.

    The inquiry focuses on potential favors he may have granted for the former head of the New York and New Jersey Port Authority.

    Jeffrey Brown picks up the story from there.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The investigation reportedly was looking into whether United had restored flights from Newark, New Jersey, to Columbia, South Carolina, even though those flights were losing money and had been discontinued.

    Columbia is near the weekend home of David Samson, former chairman of the Port Authority. United, in return, allegedly wanted improvements done at Newark Airport, which was overseen by Samson.

    United’s CEO, Jeff Smisek, had led the airline since it merged with Continental in 2010, but that merger has been anything but smooth. Yesterday, amid the new turmoil, Smisek and two other United officials resigned.

    Scott Mayerowitz covers this for the AP, and George Hamlin is an airline industry analyst and consultant.

    Welcome to both of you.

    Scott Mayerowitz, let me start with you.

    Trading favors, cronyism, inside dealings, it’s quite a tale. Tell us a little bit about the alleged dealings here.

    Associated Press: I think this is one of those scandals that started with the closing of a few lanes on a bridge and has now led to the toppling of the CEO of the second largest airline in the world.

    We look at this and, basically, as you mentioned, the flights were one of the issues. United wanted more improvements to its airports and also wanted to get a direct rail link from Wall Street to Newark. And it appears, allegedly, that executives were willing to do whatever it took to make the Port Authority officials happy so they would approve these changes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And all of this is flowing from this prior investigation that our viewers will remember from a couple of years ago involving Governor Chris Christie and some of his — or at least some of his aides.

    Yes. And this all goes to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. It doesn’t just operate the three airports. But they pretty much control all the bridges, tunnels and many of the roads in the region.

    And there were political allies of Governor Christie who allegedly shut down some ramps to the George Washington Bridge, one of the busiest bridges in the region, if not the nation, and a whole investigation was started around that and has now led to questions about what the interactions were between United and the officials at the Port Authority. And who knows where this is going to go next.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Well, where are we in this investigation? Because these resignations came yesterday before anything had really been made public, right, certainly before any action by the federal authorities.

    SCOTT MAYEROWITZ: That’s right.

    Back in February, United disclosed that some of its executives had received subpoenas from the federal government. They went ahead at the same time and said they were starting their own internal investigation. And then, yesterday, they abruptly announced the dismissal of their CEO, plus two senior executives in the government affairs division of the airline.

    They didn’t say what their investigation turned up exactly, but just said, because of the results of that investigation, these three executives, including the CEO, were leaving the airline.

    So the real question is, what did they find out, and what does the federal government have that they’re looking at also?

    JEFFREY BROWN: Now, George Hamlin, there had already been calls for Jeff Smisek to resign, but for a completely different reason, right, because of the aftermath of the merger with Continental.

    GEORGE HAMLIN, Airline Industry Analyst: Well, yesterday, lost in all this noise was the fact the computer system had another meltdown. I think that’s the third of this year and the fifth overall.

    Yes, there has been discussion of this. It’s been five years. Why isn’t it fixed?

    JEFFREY BROWN: Tell us about it. What have been the problems that — because there was a lot of hope originally, right, that there might be a good mix between United and Continental.

    GEORGE HAMLIN: Yes, this is one of the mergers that has created the U.S. big three legacy carrier array.

    And I, for one, thought the Smisek team had gone a good job at Continental. We all expected good things at United. Now, masking that to some degree, United went through a bankruptcy, it was very lengthy, took several years. And my opinion is, they didn’t get the costs down as much as they needed to.

    Cost in terms of?

    GEORGE HAMLIN: Operating costs.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Operating, labor.

    Personnel — personnel in particular.

    The previous management basically also didn’t order any new aircraft. They didn’t invest in the business, so that to some extent, the new team may have been walking into something where, fine, it was kept alive and in working order, but may not have been the best acquisition in that respect.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Now, you mentioned even yesterday yet another computer glitch.

    GEORGE HAMLIN: And some of that of course is trying to merge computer systems, but it’s five years.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So now there’s a new CEO who has been named, Oscar Munoz. And he’s been a member of the United board to this point. What’s the challenge for him? What would be next?

    GEORGE HAMLIN: Well, the challenge for him, he has pretty diverse experience. I think he had been in organizations that worked with consumer finance. He was with Sea-Land in the freight transportation business, which led to the CSX railroad.

    I don’t see in his background a lot of public contact, person-to-person type of experience, but he has got good solid experience running a very large, heavily unionized transportation company. And people I talked to in the industry, nobody has anything bad to say about him, and I have heard some very good things as well.

    Scott Mayerowitz, you cover the industry. What do you hear about him? What do you think is the big challenge for United now?

    SCOTT MAYEROWITZ: I think the biggest challenge for United is getting some of those loyal passengers back.

    If you look at Delta, for instance, they are right now boasting about having the best on-time performance out there in the industry of the big three airlines. And United has been lagging behind there. And they have really annoyed many of these frequent flyers who spend tens of thousands of dollars a year with the airline. And they need to come down and stop having those computer outages, have flights on time, and have flight attendants and gate agents who are happy and interact with passengers.

    That is going to be a very big challenge for him coming in. But as George said, he does have a great experience in the transportation and logistics industry. And if there’s anything about airlines, they are very complicated logistical organizations, so hopefully he will be able to come in and try to figure some things out there.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And, Scott, do you hear anything yet about how any of this may affect Governor Christie, whether — any speculation that you’re picking up already?

    SCOTT MAYEROWITZ: That’s been one of the questions I think from day one in this investigation, was, how high up does it go? So far, no one has linked anything directly to the governor.

    It’s probably not going to help his political career right now, but, as everybody has been saying, his poll numbers have nowhere to go but up at this point.

    All right, Scott Mayerowitz and George Hamlin, thank you very much.

    Thank you.

    SCOTT MAYEROWITZ: Thank you.

    The post What the New Jersey bridge scandal has to do with an airline CEO appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0


    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Tonight, we hear from a man with a unique relationship to the Iran deal.

    Retired career diplomat and former Deputy Secretary of State William Burns headed a secret negotiating team that met with high-level Iranian representatives in Oman and Switzerland first in 2008 under President George W. Bush and then in earnest in 2013, when the Obama and Rouhani governments revived the talks.

    Burns’ role, which wasn’t revealed until late 2013, continued even during the formal negotiations, up until the final agreement was signed in July.

    Chief foreign affairs correspondents Margaret Warner sat down with Ambassador Burns today in Washington to ask him about the deal and whether Iran will truly comply.

    MARGARET WARNER: William Burns, thank you for joining us.

    WILLIAM BURNS, Former U.S. Deputy Secretary of State: It’s a pleasure to be with you.

    Now that it’s clear that the president has at least the votes he needs to get this Iran deal through somehow, does it matter internationally whether he has to do it by veto or whether he is able to somehow finesse having a vote at all?

    Well, I think the more quickly this can be accomplished on the Hill, I think the better it is for the United States as a demonstration of our commitment to this agreement, and then to focus on implementation, which is going to be a real challenge for all of us.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, there are some Republican members of Congress who are talking already about, once the deal goes through, slapping new sanctions on Iran, unilateral ones that are non-nuclear-related.

    Would that throw a monkey wrench in the works either on the Iranian or on the implementation side?

    WILLIAM BURNS: It could, is the honest answer.

    So, I think the real issue here is less new measures at this point, and it’s more the rigorous implementation of those provisions which already exist to push back against Iranian behavior, whether it’s support for terrorism in the region directly through proxies or human rights practices that we have continued to condemn.

    MARGARET WARNER: So do you mean more rigorous than we are now?

    Yes, I think there are things that we can do working with others to try to interdict arms shipments to Hezbollah, as well as to Houthis in Yemen. I think we’re in a stronger position to do that now that we’re moving ahead with implementation of the nuclear agreement.

    MARGARET WARNER: Given how politically divisive this issue has been, with all the Republicans lining up against it, how hopeful are you that in fact this deal will really be implemented fully on the U.S. end, without constant attempts to undermine it?

    Well, I think it’s clearly in the U.S. interest, notwithstanding the bitter debate that’s gone on over this agreement, to implement the agreement, so long as the Iranians are living up to their obligations, which is why I think it’s really important in the first year of implementation that both sides live up to their obligations, because I think that builds some momentum that can then be sustained over the entire course of the agreement.

    MARGARET WARNER: As we know, the critics have raised many different charges about this agreement.

    And one vote that the president lost, a Democrat, was Ben Cardin, senator from Maryland, ranking Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. And one of his big concerns is the $140 billion that it’s going to free up for the Iranians, which he says are sure to be spent just to foment greater terrorism in the region.

    What do you say to that? What could the U.S. do about that?

    WILLIAM BURNS: Well, I think, first, I would say there are risks in any option that we pursue with regard to the Iranian nuclear issue, and there are honest concerns such as those that Senator Cardin has expressed.

    The truth is that it’s only a subset of that $140 billion that the Iranians would actually have access to that’s not already committed, whether it’s to long-term projects with the Chinese or others, so it’s maybe $50 billion or $55 billion. That’s still an awful lot of money.

    And some of that money surely is going to go to the kind of purposes the Iranians have demonstrated before, whether it’s support for proxies in the region or efforts to destabilize other parts of the Middle East. I don’t think in the end that it’s going to have a huge determinative effect on, you know, how effectively the Iranians continue to pursue those aims.

    And, as I said before, there is a lot that we and others can do to push back against that behavior over time.

    And more than we’re doing now?

    WILLIAM BURNS: I think that’s true, yes.

    Now, do you expect the Iranians — you have dealt with them more perhaps than anybody in the United States government. Do you expect them to try to cheat, to try to violate around the edges the actual agreement?

    WILLIAM BURNS: Well, I think they will test, you know, any areas of ambiguity that they perceive, which is why I think it is going to be very important, especially in the first months, the first year of implementation, that we and our partners are quite rigorous in the execution of this agreement.

    Now, when you say you think they will test it, do you think they will test it openly, essentially, or that they will try to do something sub rosa and wait to be caught?

    WILLIAM BURNS: I think it’s more nibbling around the edges, where they see or perceive areas of ambiguity in the agreement. And I think that’s why it’s just very important to hold them to their obligations right from the very start of this.

    MARGARET WARNER: Both sides talk about the decades of distrust between our two countries. Do you think all these months of painstaking negotiations have in any way eased that distrust?

    There is a lot of mistrust that persists. There are a lot of very serious differences that persist, and we have to be very clear-eyed about that.

    But I think we have built up through the course of the negotiations the last few years a fair amount of professional respect. The Iranian negotiators with whom I dealt directly were very tough-minded, skillful negotiators. And I think, over time, I wouldn’t say that we eliminated the mistrust between us. I think that’s going to endure for some time, but I do think we built up a fair amount of professional respect, and that’s important when you’re trying to get anything done.

    MARGARET WARNER: Now, just yesterday, President Rouhani said he could imagine that Iran and the U.S. and Saudi Arabia could cooperate in trying to resolve the Syrian conflict.

    Do you expect something like that to develop once this deal is implemented?

    WILLIAM BURNS: I honestly don’t expect any overnight transformation of Iranian behavior, whether it’s with regard to the Syrian issue or U.S.-Iranian relations.

    MARGARET WARNER: Meaning they’re still supporting Hafez Assad, they’re still supporting Hezbollah? They’re accused of shipping weapons in.

    WILLIAM BURNS: Yes, I think the Iranian — this Iranian leadership has a pretty unsentimental view of its interests in Syria. I don’t think there is going to be any overnight transformation. It’s going to take time and it’s going to be a very complicated process.

    It’s not an argument against making the effort. It’s just an argument for being realistic about it.

    And, of course, the Syrian unresolved conflict has unleashed now this absolute migrant crisis in Europe. If you were still the deputy secretary of state, you were still advising the secretary of state and the president, what would you be advising the U.S. should do right now in this situation, the migrant situation?

    Yes, it’s certainly a horrific human tragedy.

    I think there is more that the United States can do in terms of taking in more refugees than we do today. I think there is more we can do working with key European leaders like Chancellor Merkel, who has made clear Germany’s willingness to take in a lot more refugees. The United States can be proud of the contributions we have made to supporting refugees over recent…

    MARGARET WARNER: Writing a check, essentially?


    But I think there is more that we can do, not only in terms of taking in refugees. David Miliband, the head of the International Rescue Committee, called for the United States to take in more than 60,000. I think we ought to do at least that much.

    But I think there is also more that we can do to try to stabilize the situation and do everything we can to revive the serious diplomatic effort to produce a political transition in Syria. Much easier said than done, but, ultimately, I don’t see how you come to grips with the migration crisis unless you begin to address the deeper political crisis in Syria and in the region.

    MARGARET WARNER: William Burns, thank you so much.


    The post U.S. negotiator talks holding Iran to its nuclear deal obligations appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

    0 0

    People cheer after the national anthem is played at the start of a Tea Party rally against the Iran nuclear deal at the U.S. Capitol in Washington September 9, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTSDRM

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Presidential politics came to Capitol Hill today, as Republican candidates joined with lawmakers to protest the Iran nuclear deal.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins was there.

    SEN. TED CRUZ, Republican Presidential Candidate: God bless the United States of America.


    LISA DESJARDINS: Republican presidential hopefuls and rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz joined forces to slam the nuclear deal with Iran.

    SEN. TED CRUZ: Let’s rise up and tell every elected official in Washington, no more talk, no more show votes. Get it done. Stop this deal!

    LISA DESJARDINS: Thousands gathered on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol to hear the speeches, many using umbrellas for shade in the 90-degree Washington heat.

    WOMAN: If this deal goes through, I’m really scared for our country.

    Rally attendee: I don’t like the Iran deal. And I think it’s going to hurt us in the long run.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The Texas senator organized the event, along with Tea Party supporters, but the star of the show was clear.

    DONALD TRUMP, Republican Presidential Candidate: Never, ever, ever in my life have I seen any transaction so incompetently negotiated as our deal in Iran. And I mean never.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Hours earlier, inside the Capitol, Secretary of State John Kerry dismissed much of the opposition as irrelevant.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: I believe that the people who count are the 42 senators who have made up their minds. That’s the count that matters right now. And if Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and Dick Cheney want to be the face of the opposition, that’s their choice.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The 42 senators are Democrats who support the deal and could block any Republican move to disapprove it. With that in mind, Kerry and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz sought to pressure Republicans to move on.

    JOHN KERRY: We hope that the Senate would move rapidly to do the business of our country, not of a party, but the business of our nation.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But all the words and all the drama inside the U.S. Capitol today likely will not change the legislative fate of the Iran deal. President Obama has more than enough votes for it to survive in the U.S. Senate.

    But the rally outside and other words today may indicate the real future of the Iran deal, as a hot issue for 2016. Democratic hopeful Hillary Clinton laid out her views in a Washington speech. She acknowledged that the Iran deal is not perfect, but maintained it’s the only way to keep Iran from developing a nuclear bomb.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Democratic Presidential Candidate: Either we move forward on the path of diplomacy and seize this chance to block Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon, or we turn down a more dangerous path, leading to a far less certain and riskier future.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And on the Senate floor, her Democratic rival Bernie Sanders compared critics of the deal to those who voted to go war with Iraq in 2003.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, Democratic Presidential Candidate: Unfortunately, these individuals have learned nothing from the results of that disastrous policy and how it destabilized that entire region.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The Iran deal seems certain to figure again in the next Republican presidential debate. That’s a week from now. The deadline for Congress to vote is the next day.

    Lisa Desjardins, PBS NewsHour, Washington.

    The post Republican presidential rivals unite to protest Iran deal appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


older | 1 | .... | 676 | 677 | (Page 678) | 679 | 680 | .... | 1175 | newer