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- 09/22/15--15:35: _Navy secretary: Gen...
- 09/22/15--15:40: _Sex abuse scandals ...
- 09/22/15--15:45: _Volkswagen comes cl...
- 09/22/15--15:50: _News Wrap: Pope Fra...
- 09/23/15--12:45: _After controversy, ...
- 09/23/15--12:55: _Twitter Chat: A fol...
- 09/23/15--13:01: _As a scientist, is ...
- 09/23/15--13:13: _How do I know if my...
- 09/23/15--14:51: _Is China feeding th...
- 09/23/15--14:57: _Pope canonizes 18th...
- 09/23/15--15:10: _High-flying flips i...
- 09/23/15--15:15: _Remembering Yogi Be...
- 09/23/15--15:20: _Why Putin is prepar...
- 09/23/15--15:25: _Will the pope’s vis...
- 09/23/15--15:30: _Congress doesn’t wa...
- 09/23/15--15:35: _Can Europe balance ...
- 09/23/15--15:40: _As migrants flood G...
- 09/23/15--15:45: _News Wrap: Volkswag...
- 09/23/15--15:50: _Pope Francis draws ...
- 09/24/15--10:29: _Democrats poised to...
- 09/22/15--15:35: Navy secretary: Gender should not bar women from Marine combat roles
- 09/22/15--15:40: Sex abuse scandals haunt American Catholics
- 09/22/15--15:45: Volkswagen comes clean on emissions cheating
- 09/22/15--15:50: News Wrap: Pope Francis arrives for U.S. visit
- 09/23/15--12:55: Twitter Chat: A follow-up to ‘America After Charleston’
- 09/23/15--13:13: How do I know if my doctor accepts Medicare?
- 09/23/15--14:51: Is China feeding the U.S.’s deadly synthetic drug habit?
- 09/23/15--14:57: Pope canonizes 18th-century missionary; not everyone happy
- 09/23/15--15:10: High-flying flips is the trick to keeping away bad feelings
- 09/23/15--15:15: Remembering Yogi Berra, baseball great on and off the field
- 09/23/15--15:20: Why Putin is prepared to fight for Ukraine
- 09/23/15--15:30: Congress doesn’t want another shutdown but has no plan yet
- 09/23/15--15:35: Can Europe balance the migrant crisis with countries’ needs?
- 09/23/15--15:40: As migrants flood Greece, EU leaders debate mandatory quotas
- 09/23/15--15:45: News Wrap: Volkswagen CEO steps down amid rigging scandal
- 09/23/15--15:50: Pope Francis draws big crowds and high spirits in Washington
- 09/24/15--10:29: Democrats poised to filibuster stopgap funding measure
GWEN IFILL: But, first, the battle brewing at the Pentagon over the future of women in America’s armed forces.
Early next year, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is expected to announce whether previously closed positions to women in the military will open. The Army, Air Force and Navy are expected to allow women to serve in all combat roles.
But Marine Corps Commandant General Joseph Dunford, soon to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has asked that the Marines be excluded from the new rule.
Joining me now to explain why he disagrees with that assessment is Navy Secretary Ray Mabus, who is also the civilian head of the Marine Corps.
Welcome. And thank you for joining us, Secretary Mabus.
RAY MABUS, U.S. Secretary of the Navy: Gwen, thank you.
GWEN IFILL: There is a report that has come out that shows that women in integrated combat units were slower, there were more injuries, they were less accurate at firing weapons. What is your take on that report?
RAY MABUS: Well, first, the commandant and I share the overall goal of making sure we maximize the combat effectiveness of the United States Marines. That’s the first principle.
Second, this study, that Marine study, and had Marines doing very valuable work, and it came out with some great findings, the main one of which was that, before then, there had been no standards set for being in the infantry.
So, this study set those high standards. Before then, it was assumed that if men went through boot camp, they could become Marine infantry. Turned out that the specific jobs in the infantry, which the study went through, deconstructed all the jobs, here’s what you need to do to be a success in this, to do the job.
But then the Marines took averages from the study. It wasn’t the individuals. They set the high standards. But then they looked across averages. And the Marines have never been about average. The Marines are about exceptionalism.
And what my view is, set high standards. Make sure those standards have something to do with the job. And then whoever meets those standards, gender is not crucial. If you can meet the standards, you should be able to serve.
GWEN IFILL: Should those standards include other ways in which these studies show that women excel, for instance, lower incidence of mental health problems?
RAY MABUS: Well, I think that the standards themselves, in terms of what you have to do, because if you’re a Marine in combat, in infantry combat, you want to know that the Marine on either side of you has met the same high standards.
And that’s what this study has brought forth, that here are now the standards to be a Marine in Marine infantry. But once you do that, the notion of somehow saying, even if you meet the standards, you can’t serve because of your gender, that doesn’t follow to me.
GWEN IFILL: General Dunford aside, you know there has been some pretty vigorous pushback from Marines about whether this is a good idea or not.
Do you — is this a legitimate concern on the parts of these Marines, or is this a — speak to the culture of the Marine Corps itself?
RAY MABUS: Well, I think the Marines — and I have talked to thousands of Marines out around the world in my now more than six years in this job.
The Marines that I have talked to, the one concern they have is that standards not be lowered, is that they know, if they go into combat, that people have met these high standards. Now, before this, there were surprising number of men who couldn’t do the infantry job just because they had come through boot camp.
And so now those Marines are going to have the certainty that the Marines on either side of them have met those standards. And that shouldn’t depend on gender.
GWEN IFILL: But what do you say to those in the Corps who say this will prove to be a challenge to the alchemy, the chemistry of the Corps, also unit cohesion?
RAY MABUS: Well, number one, that’s not one of the arguments that the Marines have made in terms of whether an exemption should be given.
But, number two, I have seen the Marines enough. Once they’re given a task, they move out. They execute. They do it better than anybody. And there were similar concerns, Gwen, at the repeal of don’t ask, don’t tell. There was all sorts of concerns out, as people talked about it, that if you allowed gay service members in, that it would harm the unit cohesion.
And there were similar concerns, you know, in the late ’40s, when the Marines integrated. And each time, the Marines have shown that, once a decision was made, once the decision was made to make sure that, whether it was African-Americans, whether it was gay service members or now women, whatever decision Secretary Carter finally makes, integrated into their force, that they’re really good at making it right.
GWEN IFILL: One more concern that has been expressed, which is that this is an example of politically correct social engineering.
RAY MABUS: Well, the thing that I want to point out is, these are Marine standards. These are standards that the Marines set up.
And if somebody can meet Marine standards, they should be able to be a Marine.
GWEN IFILL: No matter the gender.
RAY MABUS: No matter the gender.
And I think that’s almost the opposite of political correctness. That’s setting a very high standard, but saying, we have set the standard.
GWEN IFILL: How unusual is it for this kind of disagreement to be aired so publicly?
RAY MABUS: Well, the one thing I want to make certain that is understood, General Dunford and I have a tremendous respect for each other. We have a tremendous working relationship. I admire and respect him just without — without cease.
And he’s going to be a great chairman. And the president and the secretary of defense are very fortunate that they will have him to give them advice. We give each other our very candid opinions.
And, sometimes — sometimes, they diverge, but the underlying notion that we want to maintain and maximize the effectiveness and the combat effective of the United States Marine Corps, we’re absolutely together on.
GWEN IFILL: And, as you mentioned, the final decision rests with the defense secretary, Ashton Carter, between now and January 1. Is that correct?
RAY MABUS: That’s correct.
The services put their recommendations in by October 1. And, you know, the Navy, I will point out that the SEALS are not asking for an exception here.
GWEN IFILL: So, if there can be women Navy SEALs, there can be women Marines, you’re saying, in combat roles.
RAY MABUS: Again, set the standards. Do not deviate. And then whoever meets those standards, they ought to get to perform the job.
GWEN IFILL: Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, thank you.
RAY MABUS: Appreciate it, Gwen.
The post Navy secretary: Gender should not bar women from Marine combat roles appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: It’s not yet clear what issues Pope Francis will directly address during his visit here, but one problem casts a long shadow for the church: sexual abuse scandals.
This pope has pressured top church officials to end abuse involving priests. Just this year, the bishops of Saint Paul-Minneapolis and Kansas city have resigned in the wake of new revelations.
As part of our special coverage of the pope’s visit this week, special correspondent Chris Bury reports on how sex abuse by clergy still haunts American Catholics.
CHRIS BURY: For the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis, with more than 800,000 Catholics, the sex abuse scandal still resonates in a raw and immediate way.
JENNIFER HASELBERGER, Former Canon Lawyer, Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis: I think, by anyone’s definition of a crisis, we’re in it. And there doesn’t seem to be any way out.
CHRIS BURY: For nearly five years, Jennifer Haselberger served as the cannon lawyer, an expert in church law, for the archdiocese, but, in 2013, she resigned in protest after, she says, top church officials ignored her cautions about a priest’s behavior.
Haselberger then tipped off authorities and reporters to a sex abuse scandal.
JENNIFER HASELBERGER: I was personally devastated when I learned of the abuse that had taken place on my watch. And if I had been able to do anything about that, then I would have done everything I could, but there’s so much opposition to doing anything that would keep people safe, that I couldn’t be part of it any longer.
CHRIS BURY: In June, her former boss, Archbishop John Nienstedt, and another bishop abruptly resigned, less than two weeks after the Ramsey County prosecutor dropped this bombshell.
JOHN CHOI, Ramsey County Attorney: And what justice requires is that we file criminal charges against the Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis for its role in failing to protect children.
CHRIS BURY: What startled many Catholics here is that the abuse took place not decades ago, but within the last five years.
Former Priest Curtis Wehmeyer plead guilty to molesting three boys between 2010 and 2012, two of them in this camping trailer in the parking lot of his church. He’s now serving a five-year sentence in this Minnesota prison and faces more prison time in Wisconsin for abuses there. Wehmeyer had been promoted to pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Saint Paul, despite warnings about him at the time.
JENNIFER HASELBERGER: He had been caught cruising in places where people go for anonymous sex. He had propositioned some very young men. And all of this was clearly documented.
CHRIS BURY: Did this archdiocese willfully ignore signs of a pedophile priest?
BISHOP ANDREW COZZENS, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis: I don’t think that any person willfully ignored — willfully ignored signs of a pedophile priest, even if we can say that perhaps mistakes were made.
CHRIS BURY: Bishop Andrew Cozzens is among the officials newly appointed to cope with the crisis and carry out reforms. A former top state law enforcement official, Tim O’Malley, was hired to oversee compliance.
TIM O’MALLEY, Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis: It’s not enough to do what’s right. You have got to follow through on that. That didn’t happen as well as it should have.
CHRIS BURY: But now they say a review board of 10 laypeople and two priests will evaluate every allegation of improper behavior and hand any cases involving children to law enforcement.
So you turned this over to police right away?
TIM O’MALLEY: Absolutely, yes, I mean — and I mean, right away, that day.
CHRIS BURY: That didn’t happen in the case of Jim Keenan. He filed a lawsuit against a former Minnesota priest who admitted abusing him when he was 13.
JIM KEENAN, Victim of Priest Abuse: Had the truth church followed the societal rules of turning criminals over to the police, I would have never met him, nor would most of his victims.
CHRIS BURY: Keenan was an altar boy when parish Priest Thomas Adamson, a good friend of his family’s, molested him over a year’s time.
JIM KEENAN: He was a professional pedophile. He knew how to groom the young people that he wanted to molest, and he was good at it.
MAN: And did you abuse those kids?
THOMAS ADAMSON, Former Catholic Priest: Yes.
CHRIS BURY: Adamson was removed from the priesthood and this church, but wasn’t punished for what he did to Jim Keenan.
JIM KEENAN: We went all the way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, and we lost on a technicality of statute of limitations.
CHRIS BURY: In a videotaped deposition for other civil case, Adamson admitted sexual acts with at least 10 boys.
MAN: Mr. Adamson, have you ever spent a day in jail?
THOMAS ADAMSON: No.
MAN: Don’t you think you should have?
THOMAS ADAMSON: No.
CHRIS BURY: What was your reaction?
JIM KEENAN: I almost threw my one-liter bottle of soda through the TV set. To hear and look at his face, and there was a smugness to it: No, I shouldn’t have gone to prison. It’s not criminal. It’s a sin.
CHRIS BURY: The first alarm bells for American church officials sounded 30 years ago just 80 miles from the Twin Cities at Saint John’s Abbey, one of the country’s oldest Catholic institutions.
In June 1985, bishops from all over the country gathered here at Saint John’s Abbey. They were given a 92-page report warning of trouble ahead. It cautioned that sexual molestation of children by priests and clerics could — quote — “pose extremely serious financial consequences and significant injury to the church.”
That report turned out to be uncannily prophetic. Seventeen years later, the scandal exploded after The Boston Globe exposed the cover-up of sexual abuse by parish priests.
ACTOR: When you have poor kids from a poor family and when a priest pays attention to you, it’s a big deal. How do you say no to God?
CHRIS BURY: The story is depicted in the new movie “Spotlight” starring Michael Keaton.
ACTOR: This is not just Boston. This is the whole country. It’s the whole world.
CHRIS BURY: As similar cases erupted across the country, the consequences have been enormous, just as the bishops were warned.
The Saint Paul and Minneapolis Archdiocese, facing more than 400 claims alleging sexual abuse of minors and adults, is now selling off millions of dollars worth of property after filing for bankruptcy earlier this year. In all, 12 American dioceses and two religious orders have sought bankruptcy protection since the scandal first broke in 2002.
For Pope Francis, the lingering impact of those cases and others worldwide has led him to establish a new tribunal for any bishop accused of failing to protect children.
POPE FRANCIS (through interpreter): This is my anguish and pain, the fact that some priests and bishops violated the innocence of minors.
MAN: Almighty God, have mercy on us. Forgive us all of our sins and bring us to life everlasting.
CHRIS BURY: And in the pope’s first major American appointment, he chose Bishop Blase Cupich to head the huge Chicago Archdiocese. Cupich is an outspoken critic of church leaders, who he says have failed to put children first.
In Chicago, Cupich says, the archdiocese has set the gold standard for preventing sex abuse after enduring painful scandals of its own. Now safeguards include background checks and fingerprinting for all employees and sex abuse training for priests, clerics, volunteers, teachers, students, and children.
ARCHBISHOP BLASE CUPICH, Archdiocese of Chicago: We make sure that people who work for us who are working with children are never with a child alone, that they always have more than one adult, that there are certain good touches and bad touches that are taught, so that they recognize how a child might feel uncomfortable, that they also are alerted to any improper activity that would be immediately reported.
CHRIS BURY: In downtown Chicago, the diocese has built a public garden in the name of healing for victims of sex abuse by clergy. At the entrance, a profound apology is inscribed on this plaque.
Now even a survivor of childhood sex abuse tells us he’s comfortable putting his children in Catholic schools here. As a teenager, Michael Hoffman was molested by his parish priest, who was eventually sent to prison.
MICHAEL HOFFMAN, Victim of Priest Abuse: I know the safe environment initiatives that my kids had to go through, and I know that each and every volunteer, myself included, we had to go through the Protecting God’s Children class. I am sure of the protection of my children and all of the children in our parish.
CHRIS BURY: But in the Twin Cities, where the scars are so fresh, the canon lawyer who blew the whistle notes that the archdiocese is contesting the criminal case against it.
JENNIFER HASELBERGER: If that case goes the trial, it’s going to be incredibly ugly. The Catholics and the non-Catholics of this archdiocese are going to have to hear things about their church that I don’t know they’re prepared to hear. And there aren’t a lot of people that are going to come out of it with their reputations intact.
Other critics contend that even with new reforms, the Vatican has yet to punish a single bishop for enabling the abuse of children. So 40 years after American bishops were first warned here in Minnesota of an impending scandal, Catholics are still coping with the bitter consequences. I’m Chris bury for PBS NewsHour in Saint Paul, Minnesota.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Follow all our coverage of the pope’s visit. Plus, our guest columnists’ reflections on faith at PBS.org/NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The scandal, and the fallout, over Volkswagen’s cheating of emissions standards grew today. Just last week, the EPA alleged there was deceitful software in half-a-million cars. Today, Volkswagen raised that number significantly and tried to restore customer trust.
Volkswagen revealed that as many as 11 million diesel-powered cars worldwide could be affected by software that was designed to cheat on emissions tests. Most of those cars are thought to be in Europe, the automaker’s primary market. The revelation caused Volkswagen stock to plummet for a second day. The company lost almost 19 percent of its stock value, or $17 billion, Monday. The price plunged another 20 percent during trading in Frankfurt today.
The CEO of Volkswagen America, Michael Horn, gave a frank apology last night at an event in Brooklyn.
MICHAEL HORN, CEO, Volkswagen America: So, let’s be clear about this. Our company was dishonest. We have totally screwed up.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A year-long investigation by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency uncovered the software. It switches on a car’s emissions controls when a smog test is taking place. But the controls turn off again when the test is over, leaving cars emitting up to 40 times the legal pollution limits.
The software is installed in Volkswagen Jettas, Beetles, Golfs and Passats and Audi A3s sold in the U.S. since 2008. The Justice Department has reportedly opened a criminal investigation of the automaker. Investigations are also being launched in France, Germany and South Korea.
For more, we turn to John Stoll. He is Detroit bureau and global automotive editor for The Wall Street Journal. He has been following developments in this story closely.
John Stoll, welcome.
You have been covering this story closely. And you have covered other auto industry problems. Where does this one rank?
JOHN STOLL, The Wall Street Journal: It’s up there.
I mean, this is one, because of the volume of vehicles we’re talking about and the sort of transatlantic implications — 11 million is not a small number when you talk about the U.S. car park. About 85 million vehicles are sold a year. So, yes, that’s spread over several years of production, but that’s a large sum of cars. And Volkswagen right now is the biggest automaker in the world, as of the first half of 2015, huge aspiration, and obviously, in Germany, they’re a big employer.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Explain exactly what Volkswagen did to these cars to make them game this emissions test.
JOHN STOLL: Right.
From what we understand — and a lot of this was explained in the story that you had — is the software is known as sort of a masking device. It works when the compliance testing is undergone, when that’s ongoing. The emissions information says what the test needs it to say, so that it passes regulatory tests.
And then in real-world condition, it emits far more of the harmful emissions such as NOx into the air than is legally allowed. And so it’s pretty sophisticated software that can detect when it’s being tested. And, you know, I’m sure there’s going to be forensics of who exactly designed the software and authorized it and whether or not this is more widespread.
But, at the moment, the EPA has been pretty explicit on how this thing works.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, you raise the question. This was something that was deliberately done by someone. I mean, who had to know? How high up the company is it thought that this went?
JOHN STOLL: You know, I have talked to a lot of people about that. It’s hard to believe that — well, I would say that in order to pull this off, the circle could be relatively tight.
You know, the pressure is high when it comes to meeting engineering standards. Diesel is a very important part of Volkswagen’s play, not only in Europe, but in the United States. And they needed to get these cars back on the market about six or seven years ago in order to keep its momentum going.
In order to meet that objective, one could imagine that the circle would remain pretty tight and need-to-know basis. I have talked with executives who were at the company at the time who have since left, said they knew nothing about this and would imagine that this originated in Germany, but that’s speculation at this point.
The interesting thing — and this is probably the silver lining and the bright light at the end of the tunnel — is Volkswagen is committing to full transparency. And we learned last year in the GM ignition crisis what that really could mean, is a full, hundreds and hundreds pages of self-revelation, usually done by an outside law firm or investigator, that will probably answer more of these questions, who knew what when, who authorized it and why. But that could be several weeks, if not months in coming.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we’re talking about potentially significant amount of damage to the environment. We said, what, 40 times the pollution level is what these cars were emitting.
JOHN STOLL: As much as that. That’s right.
And this is a very harmful substance. And these are very harmful emissions. There’s no doubt. And I think particularly the people who buy Volkswagen diesels — and this is generalizations — but they are not only looking for a fuel economy bump, they’re not only looking for a way to save fuel consumption and money. They are buying into the promise that they are reducing emissions, that these are safer for the environment, that the promise of — quote, unquote — “clean diesel emissions” is actually what they advertise it to be.
And that’s what makes this so egregious, at least on the surface. A lot of people are saying, hey, this ranks up there with some of the most egregious corporate scandals in recent history because of the length of time that the deception went on. And they went up very far in terms of regulators of saying they didn’t know it was going on. They didn’t know why there was a disparity between real-world emissions and testing.
And then only about a month ago, within the last month, they have come clean on this issue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: John Stoll, any evidence? What are people saying about whether this could have extended to other diesel manufacturers?
JOHN STOLL: Thus far, we haven’t heard from everyone in the diesel market. But thus far, a lot of automakers have come out and said they have done their forensics. They have asked the questions of the people internally, the engineers that they need to, and they’re pretty confident that they are not employing the same software.
I will give you a quick for instance. I called General Motors today. They have a lot of diesels on the market in Europe. And they wanted to popularize a smaller car diesel in the United States. They say they have already looked into this and they are 100 percent confident that what they have displayed to regulators is the truth is actually the truth.
So, I think we will see more of this roll on, but you better believe that there’s a lot of automakers, regulators and outside researchers looking into that exact question. And I think this isn’t the last of that story that we have heard, but maybe the worst case of it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it sounds like there’s certainly more to be reported on here.
John Stoll with The Wall Street Journal, thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Pope Francis is now in Washington, after arriving today to pomp, ceremony and cheering, chanting crowds. The start of his six-day stay followed four days in Cuba.
William Brangham reports on the day’s events.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The pope began his first-ever visit to the United States late this afternoon, flying into a military facility just outside Washington.
President Obama, Vice President Biden and their families greeted Pope Francis on the tarmac while hundreds more awaited.
Presidential adviser Valerie Jarrett:
VALERIE JARRETT, White House Senior Adviser: Everyone who is coming is excited about the opportunity to be in his presence. And so I think that this visit means a great deal to America.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Security was tight across the nation’s capital, with barriers erected at the White House for the pontiff’s official welcome and meeting with the president tomorrow. Workers at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception also made final preparations. The pope celebrates mass there tomorrow afternoon.
JACQUELYN HAYES, National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception: Everybody is just collectively feeling the excitement of having the pope here. And all the many long days and long hours of work are really coming together to bring just a wonderful event to fruition.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Francis will address Congress on Thursday, before going on to New York and then Philadelphia. The U.S. leg of his tour began after he wrapped up a four-day visit to Cuba.
LANIA LINARE, (through interpreter): We’re very proud that he chose our province to come bless us, to give us all his joy here in Santiago.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The pope used his final mass on this communist island to urge Cubans to rediscover their Catholic heritage.
POPE FRANCIS (through interpreter): Our revolution comes about through tenderness, through the joy which always becomes closeness and compassion, which is not pity. It is to suffer in order to be free. And it leads us to get involved, to serve others.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And he met with families at the Cathedral of Santiago and offered a goodbye from its balcony to the crowds massed outside. The pope avoided directly addressing political issues in Cuba. But in the U.S., many anticipate he will address immigration reform, climate change and other issues.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m William Brangham in Washington, D.C.
JUDY WOODRUFF: On the flight from Cuba to Washington, the pontiff dismissed claims that he is a political liberal. He told reporters — quote — “That would be a mistake of interpretation.” And he added that he follows the social doctrine of the church.
GWEN IFILL: Chinese President Xi Jinping has also arrived in the U.S., ahead of his meetings with President Obama this week. Xi’s Air China plane touched down in Seattle this morning, and he was greeted by state and local officials. He will attend a forum with tech leaders tomorrow.
Before his arrival, Xi told The Wall Street Journal that China will go ahead with economic reforms, despite sluggish growth.
There’s no break yet in the abortion fight that’s tied up the U.S. Congress and could force a government shutdown. Senate Democrats blocked a bill today to ban late-term abortions. Now Republicans say they will seek to fund the government into December, but strip money from Planned Parenthood. Democrats say they will block that too.
JUDY WOODRUFF: European interior ministers pushed through a crisis plan today to relocate 120,000 migrants and refugees. As they did, throngs of people continued pouring across Croatia, Hungary and Austria by rail, road and on foot.
Jonathan Miller of Independent Television News followed their journey today.
JONATHAN MILLER: We drove from Croatia into Hungary by remote border crossing early this morning, and you would have thought they were preparing for war.
Overnight, Hungary’s Parliament had passed a law deploying troops to handle what its prime minister has cast as a Muslim invasion. The Humvees arrived, the border now bristling with military hardware and soldiers. This country’s population rights-wing leader, Viktor Orban, had pledged a crackdown to end the influx and to defend what he called Christian culture.
But he’s being forced by Croatia, which in less than a week has dumped 30,000 asylum seekers on his doorstep, to facilitate their transit to the richer E.U. member states further north.
At a Hungarian station called Hedashalom this afternoon, way up in the northwestern Austrian border, 1,300 people disgorged from a train that had come from the Croatian frontier. From the station, they’re shepherded toward Austria.
As rather friendlier Austrian soldiers received the new arrival, reports from Brussels that the bickering between E.U. member states on where to put people who have arrived in recent weeks had reached a fever pitch.
For all the exasperation in Brussels, for all the political feuding, the barbed comments and the bad blood, even if they do decide on how and where to resettle 120,000 people, it won’t make the blindest bit of difference on not only the exodus from the Middle East, but on where these people end up. They’re pouring into Europe at such a rate that, in 20 days’ time, there will be another 120,000 people.
An Austrian soldier, a second-generation immigrant himself, offered reassurance and instructions in Arabic. As they stood waiting, European interior ministers finally voted for their plan for mandatory quotas to farm out the 120,000 refugees. Four former Soviet bloc E.U. member states dissented, but were overruled.
The U.N. Refugee Agency has already branded the plan irrelevant to the worst humanitarian crisis in decades. The aim was to allow E.U. leaders to present a united front at their emergency summit tomorrow. Instead, deep rifts have been exposed, as the human surge continues to build.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The four nations opposing the resettlement plan are the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania and Slovakia.
GWEN IFILL: The exiled president of Yemen has returned to his country for the first time since Shiite rebels forced him to flee. President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi spent the last six months in Saudi Arabia. He arrived back in the port city of Aden today, after his forces recaptured it with Saudi support.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Separate attacks in Afghanistan left 15 government troops dead today. In one, an Afghan soldier let militants into a checkpoint to shoot his fellow soldiers.
Meanwhile, the U.S. commander in Afghanistan, General John Campbell, said the sexual abuse of young boys by Afghan forces will not be ignored. He denied that U.S. troops have been told to look the other way.
GWEN IFILL: The former U.S. commander in Iraq and Afghanistan apologized to Congress today. Retired Army General David Petraeus is serving two years probation for giving classified information to his former biographer and mistress. His testimony at a Senate hearing was his first since he resigned as CIA director in 2012.
DAVID PETRAEUS, Former CIA Director: I made a serious mistake, one that brought discredit on me and pain closest — to those closest to me. It was a violation of the trust placed in me and a breach of the values to which I have been committed throughout my life. There’s nothing I can do to undo what I did.
GWEN IFILL: The focus of the hearing was U.S. strategy against Islamic State forces. Petraeus called for beefing up efforts in Iraq and Syria.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, there’s word the Obama administration is shifting more attention to Syria, and may arm a wider array of rebels. A Washington Post report says the change is a recognition that efforts in Iraq have stalled, whereas Kurdish forces are gaining ground against ISIS in Syria.
GWEN IFILL: In Saudi Arabia, more than two million Muslims observed the opening rites today in the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Vast crowds of worshipers circled the Kaaba, a cube-shaped structure in the city’s Grand Mosque. The main ceremonies come tomorrow in a valley outside Mecca.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said she will oppose building the Keystone pipeline across the nation’s midsection. She’d previously declined to state a position publicly.
Appearing in Des Moines, Iowa, Clinton also called for capping prescription drug costs and cutting tax breaks for drug advertising.
HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Democratic Presidential Candidate: Too often, so-called new drugs are really old drugs that have just been tweaked a little bit. But then they’re marketed as breakthrough drugs, and they’re sold for high prices. Drug companies should have to explain why their new drugs are different and better than treatments on the market.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush was also in Iowa. He promised he will place a freeze on new federal government regulations if he’s elected.
GWEN IFILL: If you are like most Americans, you are going to have at least one mistaken, or delayed, medical diagnosis some time during your life. The prestigious Institute of Medicine reported that finding today. It said the causes range from poor communication to misread lab tests. And it called for urgent changes to address the problem.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Wall Street had a down day, driven by falling oil and copper prices. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 180 points to close at 16330. The Nasdaq fell more than 70 points. And the S&P 500 slipped 24.
GWEN IFILL: And the Interior Department announced it will not list the greater sage grouse as an endangered species. Instead, it wants to conserve 67 million acres of habitat. The unusual bird, usually found in the West, has seen its numbers dwindle from millions to just a few hundred thousand. Its fate has been a longstanding issue across 11 states.
After outrage from the public and even presidential candidates, Turing Pharmaceuticals has announced it will reduce the price of the drug whose cost had previously increased by more than 5,000 percent practically overnight.
The company’s CEO, Martin Shkreli, who has taken much of the heat, did not state how much they would decrease the cost, but told NBC News the decision would take place over the next few weeks, and would allow the company to either break even or make a lower profit.
“Yes it is absolutely a reaction” Shkreli told the Huffington Post, “there were mistakes made with respect to helping people understand why we took this action. I think that it makes sense to lower the price in response to the anger that was felt by people,” Shkreli, 32, said.
The drug, called Daraprim, is used to help patients with weakened immune systems like those with AIDS or cancer. Its price was increased from $13.50 a pill to $750.
Shkreli was originally defensive of the backlash and stated the price hike would help patients by putting the money back into research; however, critics say the drug, which has no generic competition, is standard and has been around for 62 years.
In response to what many call price gauging by the pharmaceutical company, Hillary Clinton announced on Tuesday she would unveil a plan to cap monthly out-of-pocket costs for drugs like Daraprim. The announcement sent the Nasdaq Biotech Index down 4 percent.
Turing Pharmaceuticals was a startup founded by Shkreli, who spend most of his career as a hedge fund manager, and isn’t new to controversy. He is currently under criminal investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission. According to Newsweek, the investigation “involves such a vast number of suspected crimes it is difficult to know where to start.”
The post After controversy, pharmaceutical company will lower price of AIDS drug appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
When we talk about race, what is left unsaid? What kind of America did Charleston expose? On Monday, PBS aired “America After Charleston,” a one-hour town hall meeting that explored the many issues propelled into public discourse after a white gunman shot and killed nine African-American parishioners in Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June. PBS NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill moderated the program, which was taped at the Circular Congregational Church, just blocks from the site of the shootings, before a live audience of more than 250 community members.
“America After Charleston” also highlighted results from a poll conducted by PBS NewsHour and Marist College’s Institute for Public Opinion, illustrating the contrast in opinions along racial lines regarding opportunities available today for African Americans.
NewsHour will host an “America After Charleston” follow-up Twitter chat from 1-2 p.m EDT, Thursday, Sept. 23. We invite our guests and followers to discuss issues addressed during the broadcast, the Marist poll findings and more. Joining us will be Associate Professor of Political Science at Emory University, Andra Gillespie (@AndraGillespie); Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Black Millennials, Arielle Newton (@arielle_newton); CEO of SC Community Loan Fund, Michelle Mapp (@michelle_mapp); and Former South Carolina House of Representative Bakari Sellers (@Bakari_Sellers). Follow along using the hashtag #NewsHourChats.
The post Twitter Chat: A follow-up to ‘America After Charleston’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Once you’re a scientist, you’re always a scientist, and Pope Francis was once a scientist. In recent years, the pope’s outspoken views on issues like the environment seem to reveal his familiarity with life in a lab. Some scientists applaud his efforts to filter empirical knowledge into theology. But for others, Pope Francis embodies the Catholic Church’s long history of stopping short of being totally pro-science.
Before attending seminary and eventually becoming the Bishop of Rome, Jorge Mario Bergoglio spent his early adulthood as a food chemist. His education in chemistry would be on par with obtaining a technician certificate or degree from a junior college, said Father Thomas Reese, who believes that training has a profound influence on the pontiff’s approach to climate change.
“Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods,” Pope Francis wrote in an encyclical — a letter of Catholic doctrine — published this June. “It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.”
Entitled “Laudato Si: Our Care for our Common Home,” the document tackles the ongoing perils of global warming, ocean acidification and biodiversity loss. The letter pulls from environmental rationales backed by decades of research. It calls out climate change deniers and confronts the nuanced economic drivers for man-made climate change. “We know that technology based on the use of highly polluting fossil fuels – especially coal, but also oil and, to a lesser degree, gas – needs to be progressively replaced without delay,” Pope Francis writes.
Kenneth Miller, a cell biologist at Brown University, said no pope sits down to write an encyclical without help and suggestions from experts at the Vatican.
“However,” he added, “this was clearly a document written by someone who understands physical science…somebody who knows what an infrared absorption spectrum is and understands the difference between carbon dioxide and methane.”
Yet the Pope’s policy stops short of addressing a major contributor to man-made climate change: population control.
“Every person that we add to the planet increases the greenhouse gases going into the atmosphere, so population growth is one of the great drivers of climate change, said Stanford University conservation biologist Paul Ehrlich. “If we keep the population growing, it seems highly likely that the climate problem will get totally out of control.”
Plus, more people on the planet means more people who are vulnerable to the consequences of climate change. Urban centers across the globe congregate around coasts and ports, which are threatened by sea level rise.
“Then you have to look at the problem of feeding humanity,” Erlich said. “Climate is absolutely critical to our agricultural activities, and we already have 800 million starving. Another billion or two that are [micronutrient-deficient] or malnourished. The more people that we add to the planet, the bigger that problem becomes. Climate change makes it harder to sustain everybody.”
In the encyclical, Pope Francis writes that the sustainability issues of growing populations could be addressed by redistributing wealth, fighting food waste and stopping runaway consumerism. But Ehrlich argues the encyclical is dodging the real solution — contraception — since it runs contrary with Catholic tradition.
“If the church were to bring forth a plan to address the population problem, the very first thing should be the push for equal rights for women everywhere. The second thing should be to make access to modern contraception and backup abortion available to everyone,” Ehrlich said. “Those two things should solve the population problem by bringing about a gradual decline in the size of the human population to a sustainable level. We would have a long way to go and it would need to be done carefully and humanely, but that’s the way to at least start on it.”
The pope deserves credit for intervening on issues like climate and capitalism disruption, Erlich said, but society “should keep pushing in the right direction to change the rest of the story.”
Catholicism has a mixed history of supporting scientific endeavor. Renaissance mathematician and astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus was a cleric, whose principles on a heliocentric solar system would serve as part of the basis for Galileo Galilei’s persecution by the Catholic church.
Both Reese and Miller argue that this opinion paints an outdated picture of Catholicism’s relationship with science. For instance, Pope Francis surprised some last October by announcing his support for the Big Bang theory and evolution. “We run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” Francis said.
Miller viewed this as the least surprising news story of 2014, given some of the theoretical foundations for the Big Bang theory were published in 1927 by Belgian priest and astronomer Georges Lemaître. Just a few years earlier, friar Gregor Mendel’s experiments with pea plants and heredity were rediscovered and ultimately helped to broaden the acceptance of Darwinism. Eventually in 1950, the reigning pontiff — Pope Pius XII — issued an encyclical saying that Catholics could accept Darwinian evolution, as long as they cite God as a contributor.
“An awful lot of people thought Francis’ announcement meant the church was finally admitting that evolution and the Big Bang are real. The truth of the matter is, especially with the Big Bang, [the church] always has,” Miller said.
The Catholic Church, Father Reese said, is no longer at war with science. That’s ancient history, he said. Modern Catholic scientists helped design NASA satellites and run the Vatican observatory, an international network of stations peering into the stars. Plus scientific research is a mainstay at Catholic universities like Georgetown and Notre Dame.
Today, Reese said, the main challenges lie in integrating scientific knowledge into theology.
“What’s the meaning of the church in the evolutionary universe? What’s the meaning of Christ when there might be intelligent life in millions of galaxies?” Reese said.
But by facing such questions, Reese says that followers of the faith can make better informed ethical and moral decisions, which is one of the primary purposes of religion.
“The Catholic church will argue that science has one domain, while religion and ethics occupy another,” Reese said. “Science can tell us how to split the atom, but religion will tell us that using it as a weapon is bad. Science can’t answer the ethical questions. It can tell us how humankind evolved, but it can’t tell us our purpose in life.”
The post As a scientist, is the pope dodging the biggest contributor to climate change? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
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).
Sam – Conn.: When deciding on whether to go with a Part C Medicare Advantage plan, or a Medigap plan, or just “Original” Medicare, a major consideration for me is what Medicare plans do my preferred health care providers accept? Are providers allowed by Medicare to pick and choose which forms of coverage they will accept, or must they accept any and all forms if they participate at all?
Phil Moeller: Sam, there are two levels of physician access you need to research. First, nearly all doctors accept Medicare, and nearly all of these also agree to accept the agency’s fee schedule for the rates they charge you (and which Medicare will cover). If a doctor accepts Medicare, he or she cannot discriminate but must accept Medicare patients from all approved Medicare health plans. However, if a doctor’s practice is full and is not accepting new patients, you still may not be able to get access. The second level of physician access occurs at the plan level. Even if your preferred doctors accept Medicare, they may not be included in the provider network of all Medicare Advantage plans available in the ZIP code where you live. In terms of hospitals, the same health-plan access limitations can apply when it comes to Medicare Advantage plans.
GOT MEDICARE QUESTIONS?
Original Medicare, by contrast, will let you see any participating doctor or health provider. It does not have restricted provider networks. Some Medicare Advantage plans also provide fee-for-service choices that provide members broader access to providers than those Medicare Advantage plans featuring health maintenance organization (HMO) networks.
Medigap plans, which work with Original Medicare and not Medicare Advantage, will help close coverage gaps in Original Medicare. They thus have no network restrictions and will honor claims from all health providers participating in Medicare.
Betty – Ariz.: I have a complicated medical history. I am now disabled and on Medicare. I have a Medicare Advantage plan, but it only pays 70 percent of my covered expenses and leaves me with a significant bill for many procedures. I tried to get Original Medicare with a Medigap policy, but I could not get approved for either plan G or F due to pre-existing conditions. I very much need to have a plan that picks up more of the gap that’s left in my medical bills. Living on disability leaves me with a very restricted income. I simply cannot meet financial obligations with my current income. Do you have any insight on how I might best correct this gap in my medical bills?
Phil Moeller: Betty, I’m so sorry you’re having a hard time. I am surprised when you say your health plan pays only 70 percent of covered services. Medicare Advantage plans are legally required to offer benefits at least as good as those available from Original Medicare, and it pays 80 percent of covered services. I think you should call a Medicare SHIP counselor in Arkansas at 1-800-224-6330 and review your current coverage. You also should check with the counselor about whether your income is low enough to qualify you for one of several Medicare Savings Programs that can help you with premiums and other insurance expenses. Additionally, there is an Extra Help program that helps pay for prescription drugs under Medicare’s Part D drug program (which I’m assuming is bundled into your Medicare Advantage plan). The counselor will help you compare other Medicare insurance options where you live. And if it turns out that changing insurance makes sense, you can do so during Medicare’s annual open enrollment period, which begins on Oct. 15 and extends through Dec. 7.
Ann – N.Y.: My husband will turn 66 at the end of November, at which time he will start collecting Social Security. He’s been retired for five years. I am 59 and still working. We both have a family high deductible health plan (HDHP) through my employer and his former employer. Since we both have family plans, and I am still working, I fund under my account the majority of the HSA ($5,550 plus an employer contribution of $600 for a total of $6,150). My husband funds his HSA ($1,000 plus an employer contribution of $1,500 for a total of $2,500). Our combined contribution is thus $8,650, which is the maximum allowed by the IRS. My question is, once he starts collecting Social Security in November and thus will not be eligible to contribute to his HSA, what will we be allowed to contribute for this year? And, for next year, since I am still HSA-eligible and have a family plan, can I still contribute the IRS max of $6,650 plus $1,000 (my catch-up)? The reason I enrolled in a family HDHP family plan is to cover my husband so that he can delay enrolling in Medicare, delay collecting Social Security until his full retirement age of 66, remain HSA-eligible until then and finally, not pay any late enrollment penalties when he finally begins Medicare upon my retirement. My question is: if what I am doing makes sense, am I doing anything wrong in the eyes of IRS or the Social Security Administration?
Phil Moeller: Well, Ann, the only thing I am absolutely sure about is that your questions have made the Maven’s head ache very, very badly. First, I am very much hoping that your employer and your husband’s former employer are, in fact, the same firm. Otherwise, I do not understand how he can avoid the requirement to have signed up for Medicare at age 65, or how he’s able as a retiree to contribute to an HSA. I bounced this off the IRS and they are puzzled as well and doubt your husband is eligible to contribute anything to an HSA. But as I frequently note, omniscience is not part of my job description. Perhaps you both somehow have individual HSAs that are part of family plans.
According to IRS Publication 969, which deals with these matters, the two of you are free to allocate shares of your annual contributions as you wish. Whether your husband can contribute now or not, he won’t be able to when he files for Social Security in December. At that time, you would be free to boost your own contributions so long as you remain in a family plan. So yes, you can contribute up to $7,650 next year all by yourself. However, I’d check with your employee benefits department to make sure that you will retain family status for your HDHP contributions next year. The annual limit on what is called “self-only” plans is much smaller.
As for your husband’s eligibility for subsequent penalty-free Medicare enrollment, there generally is no problem with that as long as he continues to be covered on your employer plan, you are an active employee and the plan certifies that its drug coverage is “creditable” — at least as good as a Medicare Part D plan. Employer plans are supposed to provide such certifications annually.
Joy – N.Y.: I took a free trial offer for a Humalog KwikPen insulin pen to the pharmacy but discovered that Medicare recipients aren’t eligible. I’ve also tried to use several pharmacy discount cards that came in the mail with the same result. Why is that?
Phil Moeller: The short and sad of it is that Medicare prescription drug plans (Part D) do not work with discount cards. Sorry!
It’s as easy as ordering a pair of shoes from Zappos. Only the product is more dangerous and deadly than a pair of stilettos: synthetic drugs, almost all coming into the country from China. How are these drugs trafficked into the U.S.? And what is being done to stop their distribution?In the last year, there have been massive busts in China. The Chinese Ministry of Public Security says there were more than 50,000 drug cases made by prosecutors. Police there regularly carry out drug seizured involving quantities as large as 20 tons.
Still, there are many reports of these chemicals being manufactured in the open. Many ingredients in these drugs aren’t even illegal there. The U.S. Drugn Enforcement Agency says that most of the pre-curser chemicals in meth also come from China.
It doesn’t help matters that there are plenty of customers in the U.S., with large profit margins for dealers.
On this week’s Shortwave, a deadly trade of an elusive drug.
The post Is China feeding the U.S.’s deadly synthetic drug habit? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — An 18th-century missionary who brought Catholicism to the American West Coast was elevated to sainthood Wednesday by Pope Francis in the first canonization on U.S. soil.
Francis canonized Junipero Serra during a Mass outside the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Catholic church in North America.
Serra was a Franciscan friar who marched north from Baja California with conquistadors from his native Spain, establishing nine of the 21 missions in what is now California. The pope announced in January that Serra would be canonized.
The decision was polarizing. Serra is revered by Catholics for his missionary work, but many Native Americans in California say he enslaved converts and contributed to the spread of disease that wiped out indigenous populations.
In his homily, Francis defended Serra, characterizing him as a kind and open-hearted man who protected Native Americans from colonizers.
“He was excited about blazing trails, going forth to meet many people, learning and valuing their particular customs and ways of life,” Francis said. “Junipero sought to defend the dignity of the native community, to protect it from those who had mistreated and abused it. Mistreatment and wrongs which today still trouble us, especially because of the hurt which they cause in the lives of many people.”
During a visit to South America in July, Francis offered a broad apology for the sins, offenses and crimes committed by the church against indigenous peoples.
Many Latinos in the U.S. view the canonization of a Spanish-speaking missionary as a badly needed acknowledgment of the Hispanic history of the American church, and as an affirmation of Latinos as a core part of the U.S. Catholic future. Latinos make up about 38 percent of U.S. Catholics, but are well above the majority in several dioceses. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, the largest U.S. diocese, is about 70 percent Latino.
The pope’s apology did little to quiet those who oppose the canonization. Serra’s critics say he was carrying out a Vatican policy by treating indigenous people as inferior.
“We believe that this canonization is going to backfire,” said Valentin Lopez, chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band. “This has woken up the outrage of indigenous people around the world.”
Francis spoke in his native Spanish, and Latino Catholics from California were among the 25,000 people who got tickets to the outdoor Mass. Before the Mass, the pope entered the basilica to raucous cheers and applause from more than 2,000 men and women studying to become priests and nuns.
Joe Moyhanan, 28, of Portsmouth, New Hampshire, who is studying for the priesthood at St. John’s Seminary in Boston, said bearing witness to the first canonization on U.S. soil was inspiring and showed what could be accomplished during a life devoted to Christ.
“God wants all of us to be saints,” Moyhanan said. “It’s attainable.”
As Serra was canonized, a bell tolled at the historic mission where he was buried. Dozens of faithful sitting in folding chairs watched on a giant TV screen in the mission courtyard, while Native Americans opposed to his becoming a saint gathered in the cemetery to protest.
AP Religion Writer Rachel Zoll in New York and Associated Press writer Gillian Flaccus in Santa Ana, California, contributed to this report.
The post Pope canonizes 18th-century missionary; not everyone happy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Every summer, middle and high school teachers from around the country travel here to Washington, D.C., for the Student Reporting Labs teacher boot camp, in order to better understand what teaching broadcast journalism will look like in their classrooms.
The educators shoot and edit character profiles.
Tonight, we discover a young man who fights the demons in life through meditation and the kind of high-flying acrobatics seen in video games. It’s an art form known as tricking.
The video was shot and edited by teachers from Miami, Detroit and Aurora, Colorado.
WILLIAM-THOMAS CONEYS, Mixed Martial Artist/Trainer: Tricking, to me, it’s a lot of things. Mainly, it’s a lifesaver.
I was picked on as a kid from elementary up until the middle of high school. I really didn’t have too many friends. Around the age of 15, 16, I lost my grandfather and my brother two months apart in the same year. And that sent me into a very, very sad, like, dark place for me. I just wouldn’t talk to anybody. I was fed up with a lot of things.
A couple of months afterwards, my mom put me into martial arts classes because she wanted me to be somewhere where I could express that freely without hurting myself or getting into trouble.
Tricking is an artistic movement that spawned from the roots in martial arts, takes its form from gymnastics, dance, martial arts, and just about anything that you really can think of. We have taken video game moves and turned them into tricks.
I’m an athlete. And just, physically from what we do, it’s demanding, you know? And when it comes to tricking by itself, it’s an art form, because it has structure, but no structure. When you trick, you paint the images in your head, sometimes before, sometimes after, sometimes while you’re in the middle in the air.
The biggest injury I had was when I crashed on my neck, and I got up, thought I was fine, walked about 10 feet, and then I was out cold. The doctor said that, had I been any higher in the air, I probably could have paralyzed myself from the neck down.
You know, for me, tricking, it’s a part of who I am as a person now. You know, not a day goes by where I don’t think — where I don’t think about tricking. Like, I know at a certain point, I’m probably going to have to sit down, someday. But, until then, I will be tricking.
And even then, when I do have to stop, I will be teaching others how to trick or at least being able to give my knowledge on it to them. You know, tricking, for me, it’s not just something that I do. It’s a way of life. And I have come close to giving up on it a lot, just with injuries and other stuff that. But, at the end of the day, I always go back to it, because that’s the one thing that keeps me going throughout everything.
You know, bad days, good days, sad times, happy times, I can always count on tricking to give me that edge of peace.
The post High-flying flips is the trick to keeping away bad feelings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: the passing of a baseball great and beloved American character, Yogi Berra, who died yesterday at the age of 90.
Yogi, as he was universally known, first joined the New York Yankees as a catcher in 1946, where he became a linchpin on 10 World Series-winning teams. Later, as team manager, he led both the Yankees and the New York Mets to league championships. He was also famous for his knack for the oddly turned phrase.
For more on his life and legacy, I am joined by one of Berra’s biographers, Allen Barra, author of “Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee.”
Allen Barra, welcome.
Let’s talk first about Yogi Berra the baseball player. What made him a standout?
ALLEN BARRA, Author, “Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee”: Well, it’s hard to say.
Yogi was tremendously talented, but he certainly didn’t look it. He was stumpy. He was 5’8”, didn’t look like he had an athlete’s body. The first time Ted Williams, you know, who was the John Wayne of baseball, towering, imposing figure, 6’4”, stands up to the plate and looks down, and there is this little, ungainly guy, none of the equipment fit — the chest protector, shin guards, nothing fits.
Yogi looks up at him and says, “How you doing?” And Ted just says to himself, “Who are they trying to fool with this blank-blank guy?”
JUDY WOODRUFF: But he led…
ALLEN BARRA: And Ted Williams turned out to be one of the biggest fans. He loved Yogi.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But he led the Yankees in, I read, runs batted in for seven consecutive seasons?
ALLEN BARRA: Yogi was a 14-time All-Star. He was a terrific hitter who never struck out. He had an incredible batting eye. His hand-eye coordination was outstanding. And in that little 5’8” body, he was compact and powerful, and almost impossible to strike out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And you told us that — you said to us today, you said he was the most beloved American athlete, with the possible exception of Babe Ruth. What made him so beloved?
ALLEN BARRA: Yogi was loyal. He was friendly. He was a great American winner.
I mean, any coach or player you talk about who won a lot of championships, won a lot of games, Yogi’s got to be on that list. As you said, 14 pennants, 10 World Series. And yet the thing that separates Yogi, I think, from all other great American winners in sports, Yogi always seemed to be playing. He seemed to love playing the game.
There is probably no one that had — enjoyed the game more, had more relish out of playing it. And I think that got passed on to everybody. His opponents loved him. His manager loved him. Sportswriters loved him because he was great copy. He would say almost anything, and they could — and if it wasn’t altogether usable, let’s say they could just rewrite it until it was.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Where did that come from, the Yogisms? “If you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Where do those lines come from?
ALLEN BARRA: There’s two kind of Yogisms, basically. There’s — well, I would say three kinds.
There’s the Yogisms, the things that he said that he didn’t say. And then there’s the malapropisms, like when the — Yogi Berra Day in Saint Louis in 1947, he says: “I would like to thank everyone for making this day necessary.” That was just a slip-up.
ALLEN BARRA: Then there are the Yogisms that make a lot of sense if you think about it. Now, you just cited one, one of the — I think one of the best, one of my favorites. He said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.”
What did he mean? He was telling a reporter how to get to his house. He was in a cul-de-sac. He meant, no matter which way you go, you’re going to be there.
That was just a great way of saying it. I think almost anything Yogi said like that, he would say it in fewer words and get to the point quicker than just about anything who — anyone who voiced a similar sentiment.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, I read that the cartoon character Yogi Bear, who came out…
ALLEN BARRA: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: … I guess in the late ’50s, was named after Yogi Berra, but Yogi Berra didn’t like that.
ALLEN BARRA: I asked him about that once.
And he said — he says, “I’m not saying I don’t like the bear.” He said, “The bear’s OK.” But he didn’t like the idea that people would think of him as a cartoon character. He wanted to be taken seriously.
Most of the things that he said that people laughed at were just things that were said in the clubhouse, said to reporters. He wanted to talk to people. He wasn’t like a lot of athletes today that were afraid to talk to reporters and didn’t know what was going to come of that, how they were going to be quoted.
Yogi would take his chances. He would talk about just about anything. And you have to remember, too, since the Yankees won almost every year back then, they were usually in a good mood, and Yogi was in a good mood to talk. So…
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, he was somebody I think everybody thought they knew.
Allen Barra, biography of Yogi Berra, we thank you.
ALLEN BARRA: Yes.
The post Remembering Yogi Berra, baseball great on and off the field appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: another addition to the NewsHour Bookshelf.
In March of 2014, Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea. In the last year-and-a-half, Russia also has encouraged and supported militarily separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
The motivations behind these actions, as well as the response of the West, particularly the United States, is the focus of a new book by veteran diplomatic correspondent Marvin Kalb, “Imperial Gamble: Putin, Ukraine and the New Cold War.”
He spoke with Margaret Warner.
MARGARET WARNER: Marvin Kalb, welcome.
MARVIN KALB, Author, “Imperial Gamble: Putin, Ukraine and the New Cold War”: Thank you.
MARGARET WARNER: Now, in this book, you say Putin has won his gamble. You also recently wrote, Putin has won Ukraine.
Is that where we are?
MARVIN KALB: I think that what he has done from the very beginning was have a far more limited goal in mind than what a number of people felt at the very beginning, when this all started.
He never wanted all of Ukraine. He wanted for historical purposes to take Crimea. He did. Then he wanted a part of Ukraine that he could always use to advance Russian interests. And he is now at a point where nobody in the West is shouting, hey, stop. Give us back Crimea. It’s all accepted. And so he has won.
MARGARET WARNER: And you write that the U.S. and the West grossly miscalculated, have even been shocked that he made this play for Crimea, violated international borders.
MARVIN KALB: There is no question he violated the borders. There is no question he’s used to getting his way.
We had in the West a very romantic vision of Russia back in 1991, when the Soviet Union died and whatever is Russia began to emerge. And we began to think of it as a democracy. We’re going to bring it into the West. All is going to be wonderful.
That was never in the cards.
MARGARET WARNER: So what was at the root of this for Vladimir Putin himself, in his spirit and in his world view?
MARVIN KALB: Vladimir Putin is a Russian czar. He’s kind of a mix of Peter the Great and Stalin. He’s got both in his veins. And he looks out first and foremost for the national security interests of Russia. He accepts that, in Eastern Europe, that is a Russian backyard, that is a Russian sphere of influence. Ukraine lives most uncomfortably and unhappily in a Russian backyard.
If anything good is going to emerge out of this, it’s going to be the result of an acceptable modus vivendi between Ukraine and Russia. The two of them will have to get together at some point. It is going to be a result that many people in the West will not like, because Russia, as the bigger power, is going to get the better of the deal. So, a lot of people will say, that’s appeasement. That’s this — that — it’s reality.
MARGARET WARNER: Sounds it like you’re speaking to the West and to the United States when you say things like that.
MARVIN KALB: Very much so.
MARGARET WARNER: And that the U.S. should, what, step back and let Ukraine fend for itself with Russia now, settle it among themselves?
MARVIN KALB: Every nation at the end of the day must fend for itself.
Sometimes, it needs help. And Ukraine deserves all the help in the world. I’m very sympathetic. But I’m also a realist. I think President Obama would love to help. I think Chancellor Merkel of Germany would love to help.
But there are realities governing what they can do. And Ukraine cannot live with the false image that somehow or another the West will come and rescue her. It’s not going to happen.
MARGARET WARNER: Go back to Vladimir Putin. There was one interesting point I thought you made in the book, is that he is…
MARVIN KALB: Just one?
MARGARET WARNER: Many.
MARGARET WARNER: The key is really, he didn’t just spring out of nowhere, but he’s very much in the tradition of many Russian leaders, not just Peter the Great and Stalin. What do you mean by that?
MARVIN KALB: He was the man in the Kremlin at the moment. He feels a personal responsibility to reconstitute Russia in his image, which is that of a czar, which is that of a nation that has an empire.
Russia can never be an empire unless it is in control of Ukraine.
MARGARET WARNER: And that has to do with the very close historical ties between the two…
MARVIN KALB: Exactly.
MARGARET WARNER: … which we in the West also didn’t really grasp.
MARVIN KALB: Well, we have got to understand, for example, Russia is an orthodox Christian nation. So is Ukraine.
That happened in 988 in Crimea, a place called Kievan Rus, which was the Russia around Kiev at that time. It’s 1,000 years ago, but, to a Russian, it’s yesterday.
MARGARET WARNER: Yes.
Let me ask you finally about a phrase that you use in your subtitle, and you call it “The New Cold~ War.”
MARVIN KALB: Yes.
MARGARET WARNER: In terms of the broader relationship between the West and Russia, is it really that dire?
MARVIN KALB: It is not the same as a cold war, and I didn’t in the subtitle have the ability to stretch it out.
But I was trying in the book to say that we are dealing with a return to what might be a far more normal relationship between the West and Russia. Russia is what it is that we see. It’s not dressed up in its birthday costume. It is what it is. It regards its national interests as important enough to fight for.
And the difference on the whole Ukraine situation is that the Russians are prepared to fight for their position on Ukraine, and the West is not.
MARGARET WARNER: So, finally ending back up with Putin yet again, if this scenario you stretched out, which would be Ukraine and Russia getting together and finding this modus vivendi, if that doesn’t happen any time soon, what should we — what do you expect next from Putin?
MARVIN KALB: That’s a rough question.
He is so totally unpredictable. The answer — and it’s not ducking — the answer is that which satisfies the immediate national security interests of Russia.
MARGARET WARNER: As he sees it?
MARVIN KALB: As he sees it. And he is a despot, and he’s a very good despot. And he will see things in a narrow way. What is good for Russia? That is what he will do. If that’s represented by a move toward the Baltic, that would be very dangerous, but he would do it, on the assumption that he would ask himself the question: I am prepared to fight for Estonia. Is the United States? Is Germany? Is Britain, France?
And the answer in his mind would be no. That doesn’t mean he’s going to do that.
MARGARET WARNER: But it’s all thoughts in his head perhaps.
MARVIN KALB: It’s very much up in the air.
MARGARET WARNER: Marvin Kalb, author of “Imperial Gamble,” thank you so much.
MARVIN KALB: Thank you.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, tomorrow Pope Francis heads to Capitol Hill, where he will address a joint meeting of Congress. The pontiff will speak from the same podium where the House chaplain, Father Patrick Conroy, delivers the opening prayer every morning.
Conroy is a Catholic priest and a Jesuit who has served as the chaplain for both Georgetown University and Seattle University, and most recently taught high school students, before coming to Washington, D.C.
Gwen sat down with Father Pat, as he is affectionately known, to talk about the pope’s visit to Capitol Hill and the interesting flock he tends.
GWEN IFILL: Father Pat, thank you so much for joining us.
So, here you are on Capitol Hill. The pope, the big boss, is arriving. Is that exciting?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY, Chaplain of the House of Representatives: Well, I imagine the pope’s coming is exciting for any Catholic. His coming is exciting for me, although I’m not all that anxious about it, because I know that I’m going to get to meet him.
And it will be the first time that I have will met a pope in my lifetime. And so it’s a great blessing to me and kind of, you know, how did this happen that I actually get to greet him here at the Capitol.
GWEN IFILL: As the Catholic chaplain of the House of Representatives, the opportunity to greet Pope Francis, does it carry a special weight? Does it make you a much more popular guy than you were a couple of weeks ago?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Wouldn’t that be nice?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: I don’t know that it makes me more popular.
Most of the questions that — at least around here, that came my way was when he was elected. You know, this guy’s a Jesuit. What I would like to point out is, all Jesuits at some point in their training have to teach high school students. And I think it’s been noticeable with Pope Francis that, when he says things, it’s like people are like, for the first time say, geez, I can understand this guy. I understand what he’s saying.
And because of that, a lot of people think he’s been saying a lot of new things. And, of course, what a lot of the commentators would tell, if you have been following it at all, is that he hasn’t been saying a lot of new things.
GWEN IFILL: But there’s been different emphasis.
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: There has been that. There’s no doubt about that.
But when he talks about — for example, he talks about the economy needs to be in service to people, you know, not to stock options, not to corporation earnings, but needs to be in service to people, that is longstanding Catholic teaching.
GWEN IFILL: You make an interesting point.
Doctrinally, he’s the same as any previous pope.
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Yes.
GWEN IFILL: He’s the pope, after all. But people are reading him differently. They’re reading him as more accessible, as more concerned about social justice.
Is that a correct reading?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Yes.
The perceiving part is actually true. The previous popes were also concerned about social justice. It was just that their way of communicating it was usually in more church talk and church language and reference to church documents, which most people know nothing about.
And so, when Pope Francis talks, he’s talking about the poor as he personally has known them throughout his entire ministry in Latin America.
GWEN IFILL: As a spiritual resource for a Congress which doesn’t always get along…
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Always?
GWEN IFILL: Always, ever get along.
GWEN IFILL: Does that make your job really difficult or do you just see through it?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Well, no, that’s what the job is, I guess, you know?
In an odd way, most of my Jesuit life has prepared me to be here. As a campus minister, I was working with student populations that were arguably plurality, if not majority Catholic. But I was working with all students. So my coming here and working with a diverse population is what I have been doing most of my ministerial life anyway. And so that hasn’t been hard.
GWEN IFILL: Except this community is severely polarized.
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Well, that’s true.
Here’s the thing that would have been difficult. And I have found this difficult when I have slipped into it, is thinking that my ministry was to fix or heal that polarization.
GWEN IFILL: It’s not?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Well, certainly, one hopes that my presence and influence could do that.
But if I were thinking that that’s what my job were, I would be in therapy, deep therapy, now and maybe not even here. But when I understand or when — the way I have chosen to see this is that my job is to pray every day for a miracle, to ask God to work a miracle here.
GWEN IFILL: Well, let’s put this in the context of the pope’s visit.
The pope’s visit, does it provide an opportunity for that miracle, or access to that miracle, some sort of unity?
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: Pope Francis is a remarkably attractive individual. And I have had, actually, a number of non-Catholic and even non-Christian people say this to me. He makes me want to be a better person, or he makes me want to be a better Christian, or he makes me want to be a better Jew or some — so, there is something about the pope’s authenticity that people seem to be responding to.
This isn’t message. This is, like, authenticity.
GWEN IFILL: A prayer for authenticity, I like that whole idea, Father Pat Conroy.
Thank you very much for talking to us.
REV. PATRICK J. CONROY: You’re welcome.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Congress is exactly one week away from another funding deadline and another possible government shutdown.
But with the pope’s visit this week, lawmakers will not get back to the contentious issue of funding Planned Parenthood until late tomorrow. How that is resolved will determined whether a shutdown takes place.
For the very latest, I’m joined by our political director, Lisa Desjardins.
So, Lisa, given this debate about Planned Parenthood that’s been going on for weeks and weeks, where does everything stand right now?
LISA DESJARDINS: I think, for all of the heated debate and important topics here, right now, Judy, it comes down to the calendar.
So, let me take people through where we are right now. First of all, the deadline that matters is September 30. That is the deadline by which Congress needs to fund most of government. Now, of course, here we are. Tomorrow, we have that vote you mentioned in the Senate. That is a vote in which the Senate will vote on a bill that would defund Planned Parenthood, but fund everything else in government. It’s expected to fail.
So, what then?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Because they need 60 votes, the way the Senate works, and they can’t get the 60.
LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. Republicans don’t have 60 votes. So, even though most Republicans will vote for that, it’s not expected to get the 60 votes that is needed.
So, that will leave an opening. How does Congress fund government? And that will leave these three days, next Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, in order for Congress to figure that out, not a lot of time and not a lot of space in order to do that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But now the real threat, as you and I were talking earlier, is in the House, where you have this very determined group of Republicans saying, no matter what, they’re not going to vote to fund Planned Parenthood.
LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.
The House Freedom Caucus, about 30 members, has said no way will they vote for anything that funds Planned Parenthood, which is what may be ending — may come out of the Senate. It may be one of the only options from the Senate. They say they won’t vote for it. That means that Speaker Boehner probably doesn’t have enough Republican votes to pass it with just Republicans.
Beyond that caucus, there’s other Republicans who are on the fence as well. They see this as a moral vote. So, you do the math, as our viewers are probably doing right now, it’s obvious that Republicans will need Democrats in order to fund government at this point. And it’s not clear exactly what the plan is.
That’s why the concern now. There’s not a clear plan for how they get out of this.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Two quick questions. Speaker Boehner, is it known where he stands on whether a government shutdown is the right thing to do?
LISA DESJARDINS: Yes, Speaker Boehner and everyone around him has said, clearly, no, we do not want a government shutdown.
That’s been his mantra. However, how he avoids one is another question. I just got off the phone with a veteran member of Congress who said no one in leadership in the House or Senate wants a shutdown. However, his words, accidents do happen.
And that’s how they look at 2013. The dynamics then, Judy, very similar to now. There was a caucus I called the no way caucus. It dug in, wouldn’t a support a funding bill that funded then the Affordable Care Act.
That same caucus now saying it won’t support anything that funds Planned Parenthood.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And just finally, on the Democrats, if they are called on to make the difference here, what are they going to do?
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
The Democrats, in a way, Nancy Pelosi, are a little in the catbird’s seat, because Speaker Boehner may need them to keep government running, doesn’t want the blowback that they received last time from the shutdown.
Democrats are interested in a few things. They would like to see the Export-Import Bank reestablished, reauthorized. I don’t know if they will get it, but that’s something that they would like on the table as these discussions go forward.
But, again, no one really knows, Judy, what’s going to happen. Very possible they do another short-term, but very possible accidents can happen.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s why you and others are going to be watching it so closely.
LISA DESJARDINS: Yes. It’s fascinating.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins, thank you.
LISA DESJARDINS: Sure.
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HARI SREENIVASAN: We take a closer look at Europe’s approach to the crisis with William Swing, director-general of the International Organization for Migration and former U.S. diplomat, and David O’Sullivan, the European Union’s ambassador to Washington.
Ambassador O’Sullivan, I want to start with you.
What’s happening in Europe right now seems a tension between sovereignty and solidarity. You have got countries like Hungary, Romania, the Czech Republic and Slovakia saying that this idea to distribute 120,000 migrants across their countries undermines their independence.
DAVID O’SULLIVAN, Ambassador, European Union: Well, we are having a healthy discussion, as we often do in Europe, about how to deal with this particular crisis.
This is a global crisis. Europe and a number of our member states find themselves at the sharp end of one aspect of it, which is the sudden increase in asylum seekers arriving initially through the Mediterranean and now by land. We are having to cope with this, find ways of taking the pressure off those front-line member states. There was an important decision taken yesterday.
Of course, this is not easy for some of our member states. But I would like to emphasize what Europe has been doing in terms of addressing the problem in the Mediterranean with search and rescue, nearly 122,000 lives saved, with a naval effort to try and break the smugglers who are exploiting the people, assistance to Italy and Greece to help them cope with this.
And, of course, we should not lose sight of the fact that the real problem lies elsewhere. It lies in Syria and, of course, it lies in the many millions of people, instead of just hundreds of thousands, who are displaced living both in Syria and in the neighboring countries who have had to shoulder an enormous burden. Europe is one of the largest donors to those countries to try and help them, but we need to do more, all of us.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Ambassador Swing, what happens to people when they are sent to countries that have clearly said they don’t want these people there?
WILLIAM SWING, International Organization for Migration: Well, as Ambassador O’Sullivan was mentioning, this is an evolutionary process.
I think we are encouraged by the evolution of Europe’s policy, particularly since April of last year, when the emphasis became that of saving life, the increase of the number of ships out trying to do search and rescue, and then the big decision yesterday on the 100 and — bringing the number of relocations up to 160,000.
It’s a long way to go. And this is really the short-term aspect of the policy. Europe is still trying to pursue a very elusive objective of a common migration and asylum policy, so a good deal way to go there.
But we also need to keep it in perspective. We’re at 480,000 now, I think, who have come into Europe, into the E.U. But we also need to remember that countries like Ethiopia, 700,000 refugees, Kenya 400,000, Sudan 200,000. And little Lebanon, with five million inhabitants, has more than a million they’re hosting.
So, we need to keep it in perspective. It’s really not so much a problem to be solved, as a human reality that has to be managed by sensible people. And we’re very pleased to see that so many of the European Union states did agree now to the formula of 120,000 — 160,000.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Ambassador O’Sullivan, as you mentioned earlier and as Ambassador Swing just mentioned, what about the rest of those populations? I mean, 120,000 sounds like a big number, but 80 percent to 90 percent of even just the Syrian refugees are sitting in Turkey, in Jordan, in Lebanon. Right now, when they look at their TVs and they see this opportunity to come to Europe, this might be the time for them.
DAVID O’SULLIVAN: Well, I think that, indeed, the situation of those displace people is — has to be our top priority.
But the fact is that the international agencies, UNHCR and the World Food Program in particular, have basically run out of money. The European Union has announced today its intention to increase even beyond the four billion that we have been giving until now. And the United States is also a major donor in the area. We need to do more. We’re calling on the international community to step up and give more money to the Food Program, to the UNHCR.
We have created a trust fund for Syria which we hope other countries will contribute to. We put $1.8 billion into a trust fund for Africa to help with the countries that Ambassador Swing was talking about, because sub-Saharan Africa is also a potential crisis point.
So, yes, this is a global crisis. And Europe is experiencing the consequences of it in one way, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that we really do need to create conditions to help Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey in particular give the people who are there decent food, shelter, medical care and so forth, while we try to solve the political problem in Syria, which would hopefully enable as many people as possible to come home.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And, Ambassador O’Sullivan, staying with you just for a second, is this threatening the very notion of the Schengen area, the 22 countries that now allow free travel between them, when you see one country deciding to put up barbed wire fence, another country starting to ask for passport controls?
DAVID O’SULLIVAN: No, it’s not at all.
The free movement within Europe is one of our great achievements. Of course, in a moment of crisis and a moment of great difficulty, coping with large numbers of asylum seekers, temporary controls can be reintroduced, but the commission today called for these to be progressively dismantled as we try to put in place the means to help member states deal with this situation, including helping them process all of the applications, because these people, once they look for asylum, there is a quite complex legal process which has to be followed, which is quite labor-intensive.
And we are proposing to help the member states who are challenged in this way to process these people correctly and to make sure that they are kept in the best conditions possible during that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Ambassador Swing, what about the notion that many of these countries have is, listen, security concerns, economic concerns, political concerns before letting thousands or hundreds of thousands of people in?
WILLIAM SWING: There is no question that a lot of the policies today are being driven by an unprecedented anti-migrant sentiment afoot in the world, not just in Europe, but in other countries.
It’s driven by the fears of the 2008-2009 economic downturn, when perhaps one’s going to lose one’s job. It’s driven by the 9/11 — the post-9/11 security syndrome, where people are afraid, obviously, of terrorists coming in.
It’s also driven by a sense of the loss of personal or national identity. And I think, with all of these, there are ways to address this. These are stereotypes that don’t really meet the reality that, historically, migration has always been overwhelmingly positive. And we need to get back to a positive narrative in the public, rather than the toxic narrative that we have now.
And to do this, we’re going to have to help everyone to learn to manage inexorably growing cultural, ethnic, religious diversity within our countries.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Ambassador Swing and Ambassador O’Sullivan, thanks so much for joining us.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: More than 2,500 refugees arrived on the Greek island of Lesbos today, representing a sharp spike in arrivals on the island. In Brussels, European Union leaders held tense discussions. They are split on the continent’s response to the unfolding crisis.
Hari Sreenivasan has more.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Those tense discussions have centered on how many refugees will be resettled across the 28 countries of the European Union, and who will pay for them.
But, as ministers talked in Brussels, the arrivals of refugees and migrants continued in Athens, which is where special correspondent Malcolm Brabant is tonight.
MALCOLM BRABANT: The typical day on the migrant trail: the arrival at Athens’ main port of a ferry from Lesbos, the island where most asylum seekers enter Greece.
Just one ship disgorges some 2,000 people. Sometimes, there are three ferries a day, a fraction of the problem being discussed by European leaders who met in Brussels today. Many have not eaten during the 15-hour voyage, and storm a feeding station set up by a group of Muslims from Northern England.
This crisis is undermining the two-decade experiment of a united Europe, as prime ministers and presidents fight over how to respond to the influx. Meanwhile, ordinary citizens are doing what they can, in this case trying to provide more than 1,000 meals a day.
MAN: Obviously, life — life as they know it doesn’t exist anymore. If I knew what Europe could do, I wouldn’t be here. All I know is these people, they are homeless. They’re foodless. Whatever we can do to help them.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Similar chaotic scenes play out in Athens’ Victoria Square, where hungry migrant children fight to grab a milk carton from a charity bundle delivered by a Greek.
This square is a staging post for those at the wrong end of the refugee class system devised by Europe. Priority has been given to Syrians, Eritreans and Iraqis, but many of those in Victoria are from Central Asia, and the Afghans especially wonder why the continuing conflict in their country is not considered as perilous.
MAN: You know better. In Afghanistan, there’s a war, Taliban, Da’esh, because people don’t war. People want peace.
MALCOLM BRABANT: But, in Brussels, the argument is over the present and a plan to distribute 120,000 refugees by quotas across the 28 members of the European Union.
European Council President Donald Tusk:
DONALD TUSK, President, European Council: We have now reached a critical point where we need to end this cycle of mutual recriminations and misunderstandings. Today, our debate must be based on facts, not illusions and to emotions.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Heads of states convened this evening to discuss financial assistance to help with the refugees both in Europe and in the Middle East. But the main debate was on the quota deal, voted through by a majority of European interior ministers yesterday.
It came over the loud objections of four countries: Czech Republic, Romania, Hungary and Slovakia, whose foreign minister blasted the plan.
PRIME MINISTER ROBERT FICO, Slovakia (through interpreter): Slovakia will file a legal complaint against mandatory redistribution of refugees. We will not implement these decisions of the interior ministers, because the quotas are meaningless. The system will not work and Slovakia will not be forced to adopt quotas.
MALCOLM BRABANT: The European Union plan to resettle 120,000 migrants has been criticized by the U.N. Refugee Agency, the UNHCR. A spokeswoman said the relocation plan was just not sufficient to resolve the crisis. She complained that it was only 120,000 spread over two years. And considering that, as of today, 480,000 people had arrived in Europe by boat, the numbers were clearly not sufficient. She said the E.U. states would have to revise those figures upwards and resettle more.
In order to pacify reluctant European nations, the commission president is reportedly promising measures to speed up the deportation of failed asylum seekers. So many of these people in Victoria Square could have paid a fortune and risked their lives for nothing.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Malcolm Brabant in Athens.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: And in the day’s other news, the head of the German automaker Volkswagen is out, amid a scandal over rigging diesel cars to pass pollution tests. CEO Martin Winterkorn announced today he’s stepping down.
He denied any personal wrongdoing, but in a statement, said — quote — “Volkswagen needs a fresh start. I am clearing the way for this fresh start with my resignation.”
Germany’s economy minister warned today against assuming the scandal will do lasting harm to V.W. or to the German economy.
In Egypt, two imprisoned Al-Jazeera journalists received presidential pardons in a case that’s drawn international attention. Hours later, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Egyptian national Baher Mohamed, joined by their wives, were released in Cairo. They had been arrested in December 2013 and convicted of reporting what the government called false news.
MOHAMED FAHMY, Journalist: Where are we going to start? I don’t know. What are we going to do? We’re going to travel the world. We’re going to celebrate. We’re going to party and, you know, we just really hope that this is — our families have suffered so much since the beginning of this trial, and we’re very happy that President Sisi took this action and released us.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A third Al-Jazeera journalist had already been deported.
The coup in the West African nation of Burkina Faso is apparently over, after just one week. The interim president of the country announced today he’s returned to power. He had the backing of the military, which opposed the coup by members of the presidential guard. Burkina Faso is supposed to hold elections next month.
Chinese President Xi Jinping turned his attention to doing business today on the first leg of his visit to the U.S. It is Xi’s tour of a Boeing plant near Seattle, and it coincided with news that Chinese firms will buy 300 aircraft. And he spoke of broader cooperation with the U.S.
XI JINPING, Chinese President (through interpreter): In the last 36 years, since China and the United States established diplomatic relations, our relationship has been forging forward. I intend to have in-depth exchange of views with President Obama and other American leaders to make sure that this relationship will deliver more tangible benefits to people in our two countries and elsewhere in the world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In a Seattle speech last night, Xi also said that the U.S. and China can work together to address cyber-crimes.
U.S. officials have strongly suggested China was behind a huge breach of federal personnel records. Now it turns out the hackers stole 5.6 million fingerprint images. That number, from the Office of Personnel Management, is five times more than first reported. The images were part of applications for federal security clearances.
President Obama is voicing doubts that a U.N. summit in Paris this year will do enough to cut carbon emissions. In “Rolling Stone” magazine’s latest cover story, he says — quote — “Whatever various country targets are, it’s still going to fall short of what the science requires.”
Even so, the president says he hopes for aggressive enough targets.
Wall Street had another down day, driven by falling oil prices and weak factory data. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points to below 16280. The Nasdaq fell four points. And the S&P 500 also dropped four.
And today marked the high point of the hajj, the annual pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca. Some two million people made their way to Mount Arafat outside the city for a day of prayer and repentance. Many held umbrellas to shield against the sun.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Washington went from a full-time focus on politics and government today to a full-time focus on Pope Francis.
William Brangham reports on this first full day of the pope’s first visit to the United States.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The South Lawn of the White House was a sea of expectant faces this morning, as more than 11,000 turned out to witness the sights and the sounds of a full White House welcome.
The pomp and circumstance contrasted with the pontiff’s own modest arrival in a small gray Fiat. He was greeted by the president and first lady and by the cheering throng.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I should explain that our backyard is not typically this crowded.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: But the size and the spirit of today’s gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million American Catholics.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: President Obama used the occasion to commend Pope Francis for his calls to action on several fronts, in the president’s words — quote — “shaking us out of complacency.”
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: You remind us that the lord’s most powerful message is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart, from the refugee who flees war-torn lands, to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life.
And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet, God’s magnificent gift to us.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The president also thanked the pope for assisting the diplomatic thaw between the U.S. and Cuba. Francis then delivered his own message in a soft voice and halting English, most notably on the challenge of a warming planet.
POPE FRANCIS: Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.
POPE FRANCIS: When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That appeal seemed sure to please the political left, but the pope took a conservative tack, too, reaffirming that Roman Catholics want their belief in traditional marriage respected.
POPE FRANCIS: With countless other people of goodwill, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty.
POPE FRANCIS: That freedom reminds one of America’s most precious possessions.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The pope and president then moved inside for a closed door 40-minute meeting in the Oval Office. And from there, Francis moved on to a parade in his honor. In his signature Popemobile, he traveled along the National Mall and was greeted by thousands of screaming supporters.
At one point, a young girl ran through security barricades, the motorcade stopped, and, at the pope’s urging, Secret Service agents brought the child to him. After that, it was on to St. Matthew’s Cathedral to meet with American bishops.
Francis led a prayer service, and under a mosaic of Saint Matthew, he spoke in Italian of the need for the American church to emerge from its long-running sexual abuse scandal.
POPE FRANCIS (through interpreter): I realize how much the pain of recent years has weighed upon you, and I have supported your generous commitment to bring healing to victims, in the knowledge that, in healing, we too are healed and to work to ensure that such crimes will never be repeated.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All this was preamble for the main event of the papal day, a canonization mass held at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
Some 25,000 people poured onto the grounds to hear the pope’s words:
POPE FRANCIS (through interpreter): We are heirs to a bold missionary spirit of so many men and women who preferred not to be shut up within structures which give us a false sense of security, within habits which make us feel safe, while at our door people are starving. We are indebted to a tradition, a chain of witnesses who have made it possible for the good news of the Gospel to be in every generation.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: As part of the service, the pope conferred sainthood on Junipero Serra, a Franciscan friar from Spain who brought Catholicism to California in the 1700s. It marked the first canonization held on U.S. soil.
But the move has not been met with universal praise. American Indian groups and others argue that Serra helped wipe out indigenous populations and enslaved converts.
The mass capped off the pope’s first full day in Washington. Tomorrow, he will address a joint meeting of Congress before going on to New York and Philadelphia.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, for more, I spoke with William a short time ago during that mass at the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
So, William, you have watched the pope arrive for this mass. What have you seen?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Hi, Judy.
It’s just been a tremendous response that the pope has been getting here. We have been at the National Shrine for the last several hours. Incredible security to get through here. And most of the families that we met have been waiting here since 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 this morning to get in, but everyone seemed to be in very good spirits. They were thrilled to see the pope up close.
And when he came in at about 5:00 tonight, he drove his Popemobile right through the middle of the crowd. And it was an interesting reaction. The group that are in the seated section, sort of closer to the Basilica itself, offered very polite, muted applause for him.
The crowd in the standing-room area went absolutely wild for him, just enthusiastic, erupting, cheering, waving, and just a really tremendous reaction.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it seems that he’s the one who’s enjoying this a lot as well. I saw him this morning reaching out, shaking hands, a big smile on his face. Then, this afternoon, he asked the security people to bring children over to him, so he could kiss them while he was in the Popemobile, downtown Washington.
It’s very much a two-way street here.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I think that’s right. I mean, I think he obviously feeds off of the reaction. He’s known as this pope who just wants to have impromptu meetings with people and very much loves the serendipity of those moments. Obviously, that poses great complications for people who are trying to protect him and to keep him on schedule. But we saw a little bit of that as he came through.
I mean, I think, obviously, this is a 78-year-old man. He’s a little tired. He wasn’t — I think, by the end of the day today, he was a little bit tired. It felt like most of his mass tonight also was a very subdued affair. But, clearly, he’s getting some energy from the crowds here.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, finally, William, about this canonization of a Spanish missionary in California. It’s something that’s been pretty controversial. Tell us about this.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Well, Junipero Serra is the man who’s now the most recent Catholic saint added to the pantheon of saints.
And he is beloved by Catholics for being an incredible evangelist. He came up from Mexico and California in the 1700s and converted and evangelized to a lot of indigenous people who were living there at the time. Now, of course, conversion and evangelization is one thing when you’re looking at it from the Catholic perspective.
When you’re looking at it from the Native American perspective, that can seem like a very different interaction. And he had been criticized by indigenous groups for Serra’s very rough treatment of these people. So, the pope has endured some controversy. And in the past, the pope has apologized for the sins of colonization, as he says it.
But he still believes that Serra’s mission is a powerful one and one he wants to hold up to the entire Catholic world.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, William Brangham following Pope Francis as he conducts a mass here in Washington, thank you, William.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Thank you, Judy.
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WASHINGTON — WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats and several Republicans banded together on Thursday to block legislation to keep the government open over a contentious, GOP-led effort to strip Planned Parenthood of its taxpayer funding.
The vote was 47-52, falling short of a majority and the 60 votes required to overcome a filibuster led by Democrats. Eight Republicans, several of whom support abortion rights, voted with 42 Democrats and two independents to kill the measure.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., hasn’t explicitly said what he’ll do next to avoid a government shutdown at midnight on Wednesday. But he’s widely expected to begin debate on a bipartisan stopgap spending bill free of the Planned Parenthood dispute that would pass with Democratic support next week and be signed into law by President Barack Obama.
“I think we all know we’re going to have a clean” continuing resolution, said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, using the common congressional term. “The House is going to figure out what the House is going to do but we can’t shut down the government.”
Speaking at the White House, Obama reminded Congress of the need to keep the government open.
Honoring public health workers for their efforts to combat Ebola, the president said such organizations “need support from Congress in order continue to excel in their mission so I hope that Congress chooses to keep our government open and operating so that heroes like this can keep working.”
Planned Parenthood has long been targeted by Republicans, but their efforts have intensified after the release of secretly recorded videos that raised questions about its handling of fetal tissue provided to scientific researchers.
The group says it is doing nothing wrong and isn’t profiting from such practices in violation of federal law.
The vote to block the stopgap spending bill was widely expected. And on Thursday, the White House issued a statement that Obama would veto it anyway, arguing that it “would limit access to health care for women, men, and families across the nation, and disproportionately impact low-income individuals.”
McConnell has long promised there will not be a government shutdown, and allies have telegraphed his next move — a temporary funding bill through Dec. 11 that’s free of provisions opposed by Democratic supporters of Planned Parenthood — even while he has held his cards close to his vest.
The Senate’s vote, and the bipartisan measure likely to follow, cranks up the pressure on the GOP-controlled House. There, GOP leaders have been stymied in their hopes to pass a temporary spending bill known as a continuing resolution.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has only shaky control over his fractious caucus, and tea party Republicans adamant about using the must-pass measure to carry provisions to defund Planned Parenthood, even at the risk of a partial government shutdown.
GOP leaders like Boehner have counseled privately that it’s a doomed strategy and want to avoid a repeat of the 2013 closure, which hurt the party politically.
McConnell appears to enjoy support from a majority of the Republican rank and file.
“I’d rather it defund Planned Parenthood, but if the votes aren’t there, I don’t see the point of having a standoff,” said Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., chairman of the Senate GOP’s campaign committee.
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, who is using his rivalry with GOP leaders in Washington to help define his presidential campaign, responded in an editorial essay in Politico that simply the threat of a shutdown was sending “Republican leadership running for the hills.”
Sending such a measure to the GOP-controlled House just a day or two before a potential shutdown seems aimed at giving Republican leaders in the House the push needed to roll over recalcitrant tea partyers opposed to a bill that fails to take on Planned Parenthood.
Both public and internal GOP polling shows that voters do not favor shutting down the government over Planned Parenthood’s practices.
Eleven GOP House freshmen — several facing difficult re-election races next year in Democratic-leaning districts — say they oppose a shutdown confrontation. A “Dear Colleague” letter by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik and Pennsylvania Rep. Ryan Costello promises to “avoid repeating the mistakes of the past,” a reference to the GOP-sparked 2013 shutdown over implementation of the health care law.
Other GOP freshmen from conservative districts, such as Reps. Ken Buck of Colorado and Jody Hice and Barry Loudermilk of Georgia, have signed on to a more confrontational strategy, along with prominent conservatives like Reps. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, and Mick Mulvaney, R-S.C.
The measure also contains $700 million in emergency funding to fight western wildfires.
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