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- 10/13/15--13:54: _Iran missile test l...
- 10/13/15--15:13: _Marlon James become...
- 10/13/15--15:15: _‘Last of the Presid...
- 10/13/15--15:20: _Are Israeli-Palesti...
- 10/13/15--15:25: _Why tech companies ...
- 10/13/15--15:30: _Film students in Co...
- 10/13/15--15:35: _Biden won’t be on t...
- 10/13/15--15:40: _How Dutch investiga...
- 10/13/15--15:45: _MH17 crash report f...
- 10/13/15--15:50: _News Wrap: Pentagon...
- 10/13/15--17:50: _Here’s a minute-by-...
- 10/13/15--18:26: _Donald Trump to hos...
- 10/13/15--18:49: _Fact checking the D...
- 10/13/15--20:55: _While the Democrats...
- 10/14/15--11:17: _Justice Department ...
- 10/14/15--11:27: _The chilling, abstr...
- 10/14/15--15:15: _How the Sartorialis...
- 10/14/15--15:20: _Protecting Virunga ...
- 10/14/15--15:25: _California’s water-...
- 10/14/15--15:30: _Ta-Nehisi Coates: ‘...
- 10/13/15--13:54: Iran missile test likely a UN violation
- 10/13/15--15:20: Are Israeli-Palestinian troubles spiraling out of control?
- 10/13/15--15:25: Why tech companies may be winning the encryption argument
- 10/13/15--15:30: Film students in Congo seek a cinema to bring their stories to life
- 10/13/15--15:35: Biden won’t be on the stage, but will he impact the debate?
- 10/13/15--15:40: How Dutch investigators traced the MH17 missile back to its source
- 10/13/15--15:45: MH17 crash report findings sharpen suspicions and denials
- 10/13/15--18:26: Donald Trump to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in November
- 10/14/15--11:17: Justice Department to name coordinator for domestic terror cases
- 10/14/15--15:15: How the Sartorialist makes street style click
- 10/14/15--15:20: Protecting Virunga Park and seeing Congo’s rich potential
- 10/14/15--15:25: California’s water-starved sequoias show signs of stress
- 10/14/15--15:30: Ta-Nehisi Coates: ‘We made that decision’ to have mass incarceration
WASHINGTON — The White House says there are “strong indications” that Iran violated U.N. Security Council resolutions when it test fired a new ballistic missile.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Tuesday that such violations are nothing new.
Earnest says the Iranians have “almost serially” violated international concerns about the country’s ballistic missile program.
But the White House spokesman added that those violations are “entirely separate” from the historic nuclear deal reached between Iran and world powers.
Earnest said that Iran over the last few years has had a track record of abiding by its commitments related to the nuclear talks.
Iranian state TV reported on Sunday that the Iranians successfully test fired a new guided long-range ballistic surface-to-surface missile.
Marlon James has become the first Jamaican-born writer to win the 2015 Man Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious awards for fiction written in English. James’ book, titled “A Brief History of Seven Killings,” explores gang violence in Jamaica through the lens of the 1976 attempted killing of Bob Marley.
In his acceptance speech, James talked about the influence, prestige and importance of the prize. “Booker is that thing you hear about,” he said. “It shapes your writing, it shapes your thinking.”
Five other novelists were shortlisted for the prize, including Hanya Yanagihara, whose novel “A Little Life” was also longlisted for the National Book Award. The other nominees were Tom McCarthy for his work “Satin Island,” Chigozie Obioma for “The Fishermen,” Sunjeev Sahota for “The Year of the Runaways” and Anne Tyler for “A Spool of Blue Thread.”
Chair of Judges Michael Wood noted the diversity represented in the shortlist. The authors on the list ranged in age — Obioma was nominated at 28 for his debut novel, and Anne Tyler, 73, was nominated for her twentieth. Two of the authors on the shortlist were women, and only two of them were white. The subject matter of the novels ranged from 1990s Nigeria to contemporary New York, 1970s Jamaica, and the experience of four Indian migrants in Britain.
The shortlist was also noted for promoting more difficult books. James’ novel, for example, was described by the chairman of judges as ‘not an easy read’.
For winning, James received £50,000, a trophy and a specially bound copy of his book. The award was presented by the Duchess of Cornwall at a black-tie dinner at London’s Guildhall.
The post Marlon James becomes first Jamaican-born author to win Man Booker prize appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: the latest addition to the NewsHour bookshelf.
It’s a look back at one of the more turbulent political eras in our country’s modern history.
I sat down last week with a key chronicler of the times and a principal player.
We thought we knew him. His political career, with its high, lows and reinventions, have been scrutinized in hundreds of books. Now a whole new Richard M. Nixon emerges from Bob Woodward’s new book, “The Last of the President’s Men.”
And Bob joins me now, along with Alexander Butterfield, the man he calls the ultimate insider in the Nixon White House.
Welcome to both of you.
So, Bob Woodward, we really did think and you say you thought we knew everything there was to know about Richard Nixon, but after talking to the man sitting next to you, you learned differently.
BOB WOODWARD, Author, “The Last of the President’s Men”: For 46 hours and thousands of documents that Alex took out of the White House, and I went to his place in California and started looking at this.
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD, President Nixon’s Deputy Assistant: Every memo that I wrote in the month of January.
BOB WOODWARD: Quite frankly, I was shocked, particularly about some of the memos about Vietnam and the lies and the contradictions.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You kept this quiet for decades, four decades. Why finally talk?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: I was lured into talking by my friend here.
Now, we — Bob is the one who approached me. I knew he was interested in where I had been in the White House, but that was a relatively unknown part of the Nixon inner sanctum, which I actually was. And the more we talked, I guess the more he got interested. And I knew that a lot of it was history in a way. A lot of it is history.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But you have insights into Richard Nixon that no one else has shared. You were the top aide to the man closest to Richard Nixon in the White House, Bob Haldeman.
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Yes, I was Haldeman’s deputy. Haldeman knew far more than I knew.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But you bring a side — we already knew this was man of many layers, many complications, Bob. But what we see here is someone who was, for one thing, very socially awkward. I mean, the first meeting that Mr. Butterfield had with the president was extraordinary.
BOB WOODWARD: And Nixon couldn’t speak in that first meeting. And Haldeman told Alex, said, look, he hasn’t met you yet. He doesn’t like new people. You have to hide.
And in the first month or two in the White House, you were sneaking around and hiding behind walls and pillars.
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: For almost a month, yes.
One of the first days, he said, it will take a while. I have to wait for just the right time, because he’s a funny guy, and new people spook him, new faces. And I thought, now you tell me.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And there’s so much about his interactions with other people. There was a state dinner where he said, I only — there are only five people on this list of 180 I want to have any kind of conversation with.
Bob, you mentioned Vietnam. I mean, that was a moment, I think, that will resonate more than any other, probably.
BOB WOODWARD: And there’s this handwritten memo that was in Alex’s 20 boxes from Nixon to Kissinger on a top-secret memo saying, we have had 10 years of air operations in Vietnam. What’s the result? Zilch. Nothing. It’s been a failure.
Now, just the night before, Nixon had told CBS News that it was very, very effective. And you go into this, and you connect it with the dots of the tapes and other documents, and you see what was driving Nixon with the bombing wasn’t to win the war, but the bombing was popular, according to the polls, and so Nixon intensified more bombing because it won the election. And Kissinger actually tells Nixon, that’s when you won the election.
And you read this, and it’s shocking and chilling, when you see the deceit here for the purpose of winning reelection. It’s the other side of Watergate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Alex Butterfield, what — what — how did you deal with that? What were you telling yourself when these things were happening?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: I was an integral part of the staff. I didn’t — I wasn’t too shocked by the things I saw.
I wasn’t naive, although it was a totally different environment than in the military. A lot of it was very petty. We had big meetings about the president’s image and that sort of thing. But things I had to do, I just — I did.
BOB WOODWARD: You said some of it was a cesspool, that there was this obsession with these deceptions.
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Yes. You’re sort of exploiting everybody. How will it play in Peoria? We sort of said that.
Or another thing I heard all the time, we can always say that it was national security. We can always say — and the intimation is that we’re always covering up. There was a lot of that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You also say there were some good things about the Nixon presidency.
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Oh, yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The country didn’t completely suffer as a result of his presidency.
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Oh, absolutely not. And, also, he wasn’t a bad guy. I came to like him very, very much, partly because I understood these vulnerabilities, the fact that he was so awkward. Even there were times when I pitied him.
It seems odd to pity the president, but I truly pitied him because of this awkwardness.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Does that surprise you, Bob?
BOB WOODWARD: No, but this is the kind of last piece of the Nixon puzzle.
And you wondered — all of the people who were in the White House had affiliations with Nixon. Alex didn’t. He was an outsider. He became this ultimate insider. And then he left with all of these documents, at a time when documents were being destroyed, when there was that sense of the unraveling.
And I — some of the stories Alex told me, I just didn’t quite believe, frankly, until I saw the documents. And there it was, things that you didn’t think possible, even in the Nixon White House.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You are best known for revealing the taping system inside the White House. Why did you do that?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: I certainly didn’t want to do it. Just three or four people knew. And we kept that secret for over two years.
But, when I was called before the committee, I decided I would answer only the most direct question relative to the tapes. The most direct question. And, suddenly, that question came.
FRED THOMPSON, Minority Counsel: Mr. Butterfield, are you aware of the installation of any listening devices in the Oval Office of the president?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: I was aware of listening devices, yes, sir.
FRED THOMPSON: Are you aware of any devices that were installed in the Executive Office Building office of the president?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Yes, sir, at that time.
FRED THOMPSON: Were they installed at the same time?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: They were installed at the same time.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Have we now answered all the questions about Richard Nixon and his presidency?
BOB WOODWARD: I think one of the lessons here is, history is never over, and you never get the full story.
And particularly now in 2016, next year, when we’re going to elect another president, and there are all these people running we don’t know much about, and we need to know. And I think it’s going to be our job in the media to really dig in and explain, so there’s not a surprise.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What questions should we be asking, based on your experience in the White House? What do we need to know about the people who want to be president?
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Well, obviously, we didn’t know enough about Richard Nixon.
But, frankly, Judy, I’m not sure that the American electorate is going to do much more. I think Bob feels differently. But would we have elected Richard Nixon had we known about these — odd behavior? He did a great many good things, domestically, as well as in foreign affairs.
BOB WOODWARD: But it wasn’t just odd. It was illegal.
And it — particularly in Vietnam, the idea that the president is going to conduct a war and drop three million tons of bombs in Southeast Asia, and know and write secretly that it’s achieving zilch and a failure, and, you know, I think people are going to say, hey, wait a minute. We can’t have a president like that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it is an extraordinary book, an extraordinary story.
Bob Woodward, Alex Butterfield, we thank you very much, “The Last of the President’s Men.”
ALEXANDER BUTTERFIELD: Thank you, Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you very much.
The post ‘Last of the President’s Men’ sheds light on Nixon’s vulnerability, motivation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story included some very violent images that some members of the audience found upsetting. We have made the decision to blur those images here. We apologize to those in the audience who may have been disturbed.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now fears of a third intifada in the Middle East.
A recent surge in attacks have left at least eight Israelis and 28 Palestinians dead, including many of the attackers themselves. After another deadly day, many are thinking the worst is yet to come.
NewsHour special correspondent Martin Seemungal reports from Jerusalem.
And a warning: Some images may be disturbing.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: Palestinians proclaimed it a day of rage, and a new string of attacks attested to the fury that’s fueled nearly a month of stabbings and shootings.
Today, a pair of Palestinian men shot and stabbed passengers aboard this bus in Jerusalem. Police said two Israelis were killed, along with one of the attackers.
MICKY ROSENFELD, Spokesman, Israeli Police: Two terrorists carried out an attack. One of them had a pistol. The second one had a knife. The terrorists were shot. One of them was shot and killed. The second one was shot and captured at the scene.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: Within minutes, another assailant rammed his car into a crowded bus stop in an ultra-orthodox Jewish neighborhood in downtown Jerusalem. Then, he leapt out and hacked at bystanders with a cleaver, killing an Israeli man, before he was shot dead.
Meanwhile, north of Tel Aviv, two more stabbing attacks wounded five Israelis in Ra’anana. Several were in serious condition. Trouble also broke out across the West Bank, where hundreds of Palestinian youths confronted Israeli troops. Soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets, but, in Bethlehem, the army said it shot and killed a Palestinian before he could toss a gasoline bomb.
In turn, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu convened an emergency security cabinet meeting, and condemned Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
BENJAMIN NETANYAHU, Prime Minister, Israel (through interpreter): I am calling on the head of the Palestinian Authority, Abu Mazen, to stop lying. Stop the incitement. A real leader must show responsibility. You must stop the incitement coming from the Palestinian Authority.
NABIL SHAATH, Senior Advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas: Time is running out, and running out fast.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: Nabil Shaath is a senior member of the ruling Fatah Party in the West Bank and an adviser to Abbas, also known as Abu Mazen.
NABIL SHAATH: I know Abu Mazen and all the leadership is extremely alarmed and afraid of this going out of hand.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: The upsurge in clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers has opened a heated debate: Is this a so called third intifada? And that’s what Shaath is calling it.
NABIL SHAATH: This intifada is totally unorganized, unplanned for. It is the natural and spontaneous reaction of people who cannot take Israeli despotism anymore.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: The demonstrations near the Israeli checkpoints in Ramallah happen almost daily now.
Twenty-one-year-old Mahmoud Ayala attends most of them.
“I am ready to sacrifice my soul, my blood for Palestine,” he says. “I want to be free.”
Palestinians in the West Bank, in Gaza, are following events in Jerusalem. In a violent assault on a 13-year-old Jewish boy yesterday, the alleged attacker was also 13. According to police, he was hit by a car as he ran away.
A video surfaced showing the young teen on the ground, broken and bleeding. He was allegedly denied medical assistance. People can be heard on the video shouting obscenities at him. That video was widely seen on social media. It had a profound impact here on the streets of East Jerusalem, adding to the frustration and anger, creating even more tension between Palestinians and Israelis.
This Palestinian told us he was afraid these invitations might be mistaken for a knife in his pocket.
MAN: I am afraid to see the soldier see like a knife, really, to shoot me.
MAN: I’m worried. Yes, of course I’m worried for both of the peoples.
So, if I were to go to market, like we say, or go to any places, I’m afraid for some people to shout, this is Arabic people, and some security or government that didn’t understand what the situation will be, they are afraid, they shoot the people without nothing.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: You’re afraid they would shoot you for no reason?
MAN: No reason.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: Just because you’re Palestinian.
MAN: Yes, just because I’m Palestinian.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: The Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Temple Mount in the Old City are at the heart of what is happening. Al-Aqsa is the third holiest site in Islam. The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism.
David Horovitz says that, when Israel captured the Old City in 1967, it didn’t want to provoke a war with Islam. Jews are not allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. But certain right-wing Israeli leaders have been pushing recently to change the so-called status quo.
DAVID HOROVITZ, The Times of Israel: The notion that Israel might be changing the arrangements there, which Israel says it is not going to do, has been utilized by people who want to stir up trouble. And we are now seeing the trouble.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: Netanyahu accuses Palestinian and Israeli Arab leaders of stoking the violence with rumors that Jews are trying to take over Al-Aqsa. He’s also stopped Jewish political visitors from visiting the site.
President Abbas has disavowed the violence, but has also called for Al-Aqsa to be defended from Israel. Jewish nationalists rallying today in the heart of West Jerusalem, a counterpoint to the fear, they call it a display of defiance against terror.
DANIEL LURIA, Settler leader: There are definitely some people who are thinking twice about where they’re going. Most people will be looking around over their shoulder. We have to be more aware. It’s not just a lone incident. We have got a lot of enemies even amongst us.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: And then, suddenly, a Palestinian appears with an act of defiance of his own.
MAN: There is nothing here. There’s never been a Palestinian country here. There’s never been a Palestinian country here.
MAN: Thank you very much.
MARTIN SEEMUNGAL: It was a heated debate, but it ended peacefully.
Benjamin Netanyahu is vowing to take aggressive action, calling up more soldiers, threatening to set up checkpoints in East Jerusalem. But there is great concern tonight that this recent cycle of violence is beyond the control of leaders on both sides — Judy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Martin Seemungal reporting for us from Jerusalem.
Late this evening, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he will travel to the region soon to help ease tensions.
The post Are Israeli-Palestinian troubles spiraling out of control? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ever since Edward Snowden released a mountain of information about the extent of U.S. government secret surveillance, the battle has been growing between tech companies and the government over access to data.
One of the major fronts in that battle has been the decision by Apple, Google, Microsoft and others to lock down, or encrypt, data on smartphones and digital devices.
But new reports say the Obama administration may be backing down from its demands.
William Brangham has the story.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: For months now, the Obama administration has said it’s essential to be able to occasionally access messages, texts and photos that are sent on today’s smartphones. But many of the latest devices give individual users the power to control their data and block others from seeing it.
Until recently, law enforcement has argued that this encryption is making it increasingly hard to track terrorists or criminals who are using these devices to communicate with each other.
For example, this is what Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told a Senate hearing this summer:
SALLY YATES, Deputy Attorney General: ISIL currently communicates on Twitter, sending communications to thousands of would-be followers right here in our country. When someone responds and the conversations begin, they are then directed to encrypted platforms for further communication.
And even with a court order, we can’t see those communications. This is a serious threat, and our inability to access these communications with valid court orders is a real national security problem.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This past week the Obama administration has apparently backed off on some of its demands to gaining access to our digital devices.
David Sanger has been reporting on this for The New York Times. And he joins me now.
David Sanger, welcome.
DAVID SANGER, The New York Times: Thanks. Good to be with you, William.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The term of art here is encryption. And for those who haven’t been following this debate very closely, could you just give us a quick primer? What is encryption?
DAVID SANGER: Well, encryption is a sophisticated version of what you did when you made codes when you were a kid.
It is taking the data that’s in your phone and wrapping it in a code so that if somebody got ahold of that phone, if they didn’t know the key, they couldn’t de-encrypt it. And sometimes conversations are encrypted or data is encrypted when it’s moving across a telephone wire as well.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, the Obama administration, as you reported, has recently changed its position on this. Can you tell me, what was it that they were originally wanting, and why have they changed course?
DAVID SANGER: Well, for years now, the FBI has worried about what they call the going dark problem. And that is that, as more and more information is encrypted, they feared that if a kidnapper had photographs of, say, a victim, if they were going after a terrorist suspect, if the special forces landed someplace, grabbed some iPhones from a group of al-Qaida, for example, that they wouldn’t be able to know what was in those phones.
And so the director of the FBI made a very passionate case last year for forcing Apple, Google, Microsoft, others to build a back door, a way with a court order that somebody could get into these phones. And Apple objected to this, along with Google and others, saying, if we build that back door, someone else is going to pry it open, and it’s probably going to be the Chinese or the Russians.
And so that was one of many reasons that they opposed this, and in the end it looks like they’re winning the argument.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: But if law enforcement doesn’t have that back door, then, as you mentioned, it seems to make it more difficult for them to do their job.
DAVID SANGER: It does.
And that’s why, to borrow your iPhone here, this is a national security problem in your pocket, and in everybody’s pocket. So, for 99.9 percent of communications, the government wants you to encrypt more, because they don’t want criminals to be able to get into your bank account. Your whole life is on this phone, right?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Right.
DAVID SANGER: Everything, medical data, financial data, conversations back and forth with family members.
And they’re protected by that four-digit code you type in, which in turn creates a much longer encryption key. So, the question is, who gets to hold on to that key? And Apple said, we don’t want it. We want you to have your own key. Well, the problem…
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We being the individual user.
DAVID SANGER: The individual.
So, if the FBI wanted your data, or the NSA wanted to go in and get it because they thought you were communicating with a terrorist, what Apple is saying, don’t bring that warrant to us. Go give it to William, and have him give you the key. Well, of course, the FBI’s view is, drug dealers, terrorists, they’re not likely to turn over a key.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: In your reporting, you also mentioned that the — that Apple CEO Tim Cook said to President Obama that, if you make me build a back door for the U.S. government to get into, then it’s very likely that the Chinese are going to ask the same.
I mean, is that really a concern these companies have, that other companies are going to say, look, if you did it for the Americans, you’re going to do it for us?
DAVID SANGER: Oh, it’s a very real concern. And it may happen even without the Obama administration doing this.
Look, what Mr. Cook, what Microsoft, what Google wanted was an affirmative statement from the U.S. government, which they have not gotten yet, which said, we’re not going to force these companies to build back doors, and therefore you shouldn’t either.
Now, the back door in the United States is based on the fact that we have a court system that you fundamentally trust. If the Chinese force a back door, then almost any user, including an American user who goes over and is visiting in China, might have their data taken right out on the basis of a court order in China, and the impartiality of that court, you don’t quite trust.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Obviously, this is all on the ongoing fallout from the Snowden revelations and the tension that we have between our needs for privacy and the government’s need for — to be able to be good law enforcers and to track criminals and terrorists.
Apart from this particular issue, how do you see this fight going forward from this point on?
DAVID SANGER: Well, there is an old saying in Washington that nothing’s ever over, right?
So, right now, all you have is a set of decisions that the Obama administration has made, not to press this issue, not to go for legislation. We have a presidential election coming up. Who knows if the next president will see it the same way, which is why privacy advocates wants there to be a law in Congress that says the government shall not get a back door, and why law enforcement wants to go fight that.
I think what you have seen happen here is a truce for the next 15 or 16 months until a new president comes in. But this issue is going to come back, because that tension that you describe between privacy and security is one where it’s always a pendulum back and forth. And after a new terror attack, some large incident where somebody couldn’t get the data, you could imagine the FBI, the NSA, others coming back and saying, see, we really do need this data.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: David Sanger of The New York Times, thank you so much.
DAVID SANGER: Thank you.
The post Why tech companies may be winning the encryption argument appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And now to part two of our series Congo’s Hope.
Most of us take for granted the chance to catch a movie at the local theater. Tonight, we bring you the story of one man’s attempt to bring cinema back to the Democratic Republic of Congo, a place that has seen so much destroyed by war.
PBS NewsHour contributing editor Soledad O’Brien reports.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Cinema Virunga is just another shell of a building on another unpaved street in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
PETNA NDALIKO, Artistic Director, Yole!Africa: Here is where we used to buy our tickets from.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Oh, this is the ticket booth?
PETNA NDALIKO: Yes.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Oh.
PETNA NDALIKO: Yes. But now it’s the main entry.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Yet filmmaker Petna Ndaliko still sees something special behind these rusty gates. He remembers the time he snuck in as a boy.
Do you remember the first time you came to watch a film?
PETNA NDALIKO: Oh, yes, I remember. I was still young. And I got in illegally. I wasn’t even supposed to be in here to watch that film.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What was the movie?
PETNA NDALIKO: The film was “Black Jim Le Magnifique.” It was a film about kung fu. The main character was a black guy, and it was so good for me to see a film where a black guy was the main character, and it was like — yes, he was, like, kicking everybody.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Cinema Virunga was a rare sight, the only modern theater for hundreds of miles. It had opened in 1955, when Congo was a Belgian colony, to serve the booming population of Goma, a city in the shadow of a volcano that beckoned tourists.
Inspired by Cinema Virunga, Ndaliko became a filmmaker. Yet, by the 1990s, Cinema Virunga itself was no more. The Rwandan genocide had forced a million refugees into Goma, and the cinema became refugee housing.
After the crisis, a series of civil wars kept it closed.
What’s lost when you don’t have cinema?
PETNA NDALIKO: Not having a cinema, it is missing that moment of a wow, that wow, dream, and start dreaming big, being capable of imagining things from just your room and then come up with this crazy, beautiful idea, and that’s — that is what cinema brings to people.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Now Ndaliko wants to bring that wow moment back to the Congo.
PETNA NDALIKO: Doing well.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: It needs a little work.
PETNA NDALIKO: Yes.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: The building briefly housed a nightclub, then government offices, now storage. Ndaliko has raised just $30,000 of the $500,000 he needs for it to become a cinema.
How much work does bringing back the cinema require?
PETNA NDALIKO: Wiring of installation for power, we have to redo all of it. We have also to isolate, so that we can have a good sound isolation inside here. And then all the speakers, we have to put new ones. We have to add all the curtains. The roof, we sort of have to redo the entire roofing.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Ndaliko is not the only one dreaming of a cinema. He started a film school in Goma 10 years ago, Yole!Africa, where there are dozens of students with a message in search of an audience.
MAN: I dreamed one day to become a filmmaker to change the way of thinking of my people.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Young filmmakers like Yannick Chishibanji have a new narrative to share: that Goma, their city, is coming back.
MAN: When you have 20 years, 25 years, all this generation was grown in the war. We didn’t have so much good examples.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: This new Goma is emerging from war. The students’ films touch on modern issues, like women in the workplace, and reconciliation. A cinema would bring those stories to life.
Do you think it makes a difference if they see a film here, or if maybe one day there was a big cinema where the community could go?
MAN: If there is one cinema, I think that, every night, we can hope that another person who have been changed.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: You think the cinema is powerful enough to change the hearts and minds of people?
MAN: Of course.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Getting there is half the battle. To make a film, the school uses a gas-fueled generator to power cameras and computers, because the electricity often goes out. The Wi-Fi is also unreliable.
So lay out for me the things that are the daily challenges to being a filmmaker.
MAN: If you want to go somewhere and you want papers, because everywhere, you would find policeman, soldiers, it’s very hard, because we have to give money to everybody.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Chishibanji made a film anyway, all about his country. It’s about a man choosing between reconciliation and revenge after his family is attacked.
MAN: Sometimes, we think that it is the other person who is our problem.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: And, in your film, who is the problem?
MAN: The problem is the way of seeing things, the communitarianism, the tribalism.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Communitarianism and tribalism, without Cinema Virunga, the only public space for a film about those issues might be a street cinema with blaring sound and blurry images.
There are places to watch films now. There are sort of makeshift movie houses, if you will. Right? Why is a cinema better than that, or different from that?
PETNA NDALIKO: Because the cinema take you into the film itself. And watching on the DVD, the quality is not the same. And also create this space where a family can sit and enjoy and have their popcorn, it is a different experience, and then also be in a cinema and feel safe with other people. It is very important psychologically for the people around here.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What do you mean?
PETNA NDALIKO: Yes, like, be in this dark place, you are with more than 200 people, and then you still feel safe.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Does that not happen in Goma?
PETNA NDALIKO: Not often, not often.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: And is that because of all the conflict?
PETNA NDALIKO: Because of the conflicts.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Yole!Africa tries to create that feeling with an annual festival of film and art, with deejays pumping and music thumping, kids spinning wildly in the air, with a dance contest.
Ndaliko’s wife, Cherie, sees the difference public art can make.
CHERIE RIVERS NDALIKO, Executive Director, Yole!Africa: It changes people’s lives. It’s incredible to see people come in having no sense of confidence, no sense of their own self-worth, because they have only seen images of themselves that portray them as worthless. And it’s incredible to see what happens when they learn that they can tell their own story, and in their version of the story, they can be the hero.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Without cinema, the best Yole!Africa can do is fly in a blow-up screen from North Carolina. It deflates if the power fails, fights to be heard over street noise, and the Ndaliko’s worry about being out at night.
But as that familiar rectangle of light appears, something magical is happening too, a wow moment, even if just once a year.
For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Soledad O’Brien in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Tomorrow night, Soledad concludes our series Congo’s Hope with a story about the gorillas in the Congo’s Virunga National Park.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We will hear a great deal from the five Democrats vying to be president tonight, as they take to the debate stage for the first time in this campaign.
But hovering over them are questions about a potential sixth candidate, Vice President Joe Biden.
Some Democrats are getting impatient and say it’s time for him to decide whether or not he’s going to run.
The NewsHour’s political director, Lisa Desjardins, reports from Las Vegas on the Biden factor.
LISA DESJARDINS: The man not on stage tonight…
VICE PRESIDENT JOSEPH BIDEN I’m Joe Biden. I’m Jill’s husband.
LISA DESJARDINS: … has had plenty to stay this month. Going off script at a Hispanic heritage event, he took aim at Donald Trump and Republicans on immigration.
JOSEPH BIDEN: Trump and that stuff you’re hearing on the other team, and not just — this isn’t about Democrat/Republican. It’s about a sick message.
LISA DESJARDINS: With union workers on Labor Day, he went after tax breaks for the rich.
JOSEPH BIDEN: Why in God’s name should a man or woman working in a steel mill making $50,000 a year pay at a higher rate than someone who makes tens of millions of dollars on Wall Street?
LISA DESJARDINS: And at a solar convention, it was climate.
JOSEPH BIDEN: Make no mistake about it, folks, climate change is caused by human endeavors, and it’s an existential threat. What’s at stake is whether we have a future at all.
LISA DESJARDINS: The topics and tone of a candidate, they are from a man on pause. Biden, who has been mourning the death of his son Beau, told “The Late Show”‘s Stephen Colbert he’s not sure he has the heart to run for the White House again.
JOSEPH BIDEN: I would be lying if I said that I knew I was there.
LISA DESJARDINS: As Biden carefully considers whether to enter the race, Democratic voters and funders will be focused on the debate stage here in Las Vegas tonight and the declared candidates, and some political experts say Biden’s window to jump in the race may be finite.
HILARY ROSEN, Democratic Strategist: He doesn’t have a long time. But he’s got several weeks more.
LISA DESJARDINS: Hilary Rosen is a Democratic strategist.
HILARY ROSEN: There are some filing deadlines I think coming up next month that he has to deal with. But we’re going to have a debate a month for the next six months. He’s got to get in.
LISA DESJARDINS: What would it mean if Biden gets in? Here’s a look at how those on stage tonight did in the latest national NBC/Wall Street Journal poll without Biden. It’s a race between Clinton and Sanders.
But, hypothetically, beam Biden into the mix, and he would get nearly one in five Democratic votes, taking some from Sanders, but the biggest chunk would come from camp Clinton. At the same time, Clinton faces dropping favorability ratings, meaning a debate without Biden is a key opportunity for her.
HILARY ROSEN: If Hillary does really, really well and Democrats end up rallying around her, you know, that might take some of the air out of the Biden balloon. And so there’s a lot of pressure on Hillary.
JOSEPH BIDEN: Things can change in a heartbeat.
LISA DESJARDINS: Adding to the pressure on the race is the super PAC Draft Biden.
JOSEPH BIDEN: Six weeks after the election, my whole world was altered forever.
LISA DESJARDINS: The group created this emotional ad stressing how Biden coped with the death of his wife, daughter and now son. Biden publicly asked the group not to run it, and they complied. It’s part of the warm sentiment and high favorabilities around Biden right now, but that could change, warns Democratic strategist Rodell Mollineau.
RODELL MOLLINEAU, Democratic Strategist: Primary voters love what they can’t have. There’s always the what if. What if this person were to run or this person were to run? And I think you’re getting that right now with Vice President Biden. I think that it’s a lot different, though, once you become a declared candidate.
LISA DESJARDINS: Mollineau points to Biden’s work on the 1994 crime bill, now criticized as propelling overincarceration. In addition, Biden supports the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal, unpopular with many Democrats and opposed by Clinton and Sanders.
And, finally, with 36 years in the Senate, Biden is an insider in a year of the outsider. The vice president has indicated it all comes down to a personal decision, but some think tonight’s debate might matter.
RODELL MOLLINEAU: Should Vice President Biden or his consultants see a debate where none of the candidates are truly resonating with the voters or the audience, that might be something that factors into his decision as to whether or not he runs.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And Lisa joins us now with the latest from the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, the site of tonight’s debate.
So, Vice President Biden is not there. You have been talking to a lot of people. What are they saying about the two front-runners and what they need to do tonight? What is their strategy, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders?
LISA DESJARDINS: I think that’s right.
Most people are looking for that matchup tonight in particular. Let’s start with Bernie Sanders. We know from his campaign — I just talked to his campaign spokeswoman, Simone Sanders, no relation. And she says that he will not go on the attack, that he’s always stayed positive.
However, Judy, it’s just what that means, because they are saying that he will have to differentiate himself from Hillary Clinton. Expect him in particular to talk about trade, and that is going to come back to that interview that you had with Hillary Clinton in which she announced that she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Bernie Sanders, we expect, to talk about his consistency, point out that this is a relatively new position for Hillary Clinton. And Hillary Clinton, her campaign is saying they want her to stay on message and also stay positive, but same thing here, Judy. Expect her to differentiate herself, especially on the issue of guns.
Now, we can talk about the debate stage, but the truth is, Judy, the fight between these two Democrats has already started in Las Vegas over unions. Here, you see Hillary Clinton yesterday speaking at a protest of culinary workers. That is the largest union in Nevada, and it’s a group that has not endorsed yet.
They endorsed Barack Obama in 2008. Hillary Clinton certainly wants them this time, and she showed that yesterday. It is a very tense fight over unions. Expect a lot of talk about workers tonight in the debate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Of course, being a huge part of the Democratic base, the labor unions.
Let’s talk about some of the other candidates on the stage. We haven’t heard a great deal, Lisa, about the former governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley. He’s been trying to get his voice heard. But it’s been tough in this campaign. What are we looking for from him?
LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right. He may be the one with the most at stake tonight, Judy.
Martin O’Malley in some polls is under 1 percent, just barely above zero. And that’s something that I don’t think anyone expected a few months ago. He has a lengthy resume. He’s personable. He’s a good campaigner, but he just hasn’t taken hold. Judy, tonight, we expect, if anyone goes on the attack, it will be Martin O’Malley. He will try the look as though he is more of a progressive than Hillary Clinton.
And, as I say, the stakes are very high, Judy, so high that, in fact, if he doesn’t improve in the polling, Judy, he may not make future debates because of a 1 percent or higher cutoff established by different networks.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And then, Lisa, the other two on the stage are candidates we frankly hear even less about. And that’s the former Senator from Virginia Jim Webb and the former Senator and Governor of the state of Rhode Island Lincoln Chafee.
What are their campaigns saying about what they need to do tonight?
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
Both of them are stressing the homespun nature of their campaigns. Part of that is, they are more low-funded campaigns. They say they’re proud of that. For example, with Jim Webb, talking to his folks, we know that those who will be speaking for Mr. Webb here in the spin room are just friends of his, who — some of them friends of his through the military and his experience there, but people who have never been in a spin room before.
I think those two men in a way have nothing to lose, and so we should expect to see if one of them has an unexpectedly strong moment tonight. I think one thing overall for all of these candidates is, this debate is especially important because it’s the first in a long season. And if our viewers will remember, in 2008, by this point, there were already 13 debates.
Can you imagine? It’s sort of hard to understand, but this being the first at this start of the cycle, it’s very important.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Just very quickly, Lisa, difference between a Republican debate and a Democratic debate? You have covered both of them now. What does it look like? What does it feel like?
LISA DESJARDINS: It is a vast difference, Judy.
I think, tonight, we think, because there are fewer candidates, and, to be honest, because their disagreements are a bit more nuanced, we think we might have a more serious policy debate. A lot of us love those, and hopefully we will get one tonight. We will see.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins, our political director, I know you will be there and we will be talking to you tomorrow all about it.
LISA DESJARDINS: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you.
LISA DESJARDINS: Great.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We look at some of the details of today’s findings with a longtime investigator. Peter Goelz is a former managing director of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. He oversaw the investigation, among others, of TWA Flight 800 that crashed off Long Island almost 20 years ago and speculation then of whether a missile brought it down.
Peter Goelz, welcome back to the program.
How good a job did this international team do, do you think, of piecing together what caused this crash?
PETER GOELZ, Former Managing Director, NTSB: I think they did an extraordinary job. I read the report late last night and this morning. It’s almost 300 pages in length. It is detailed. It is factual. And it’s very sober.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, among other things, I’m struck by how it describes pieces of shrapnel from this missile, paint from the missile embedded in the bodies of the crew and people who were sitting in the front of the plane. Does it leave any doubt of the kind of missile that hit right at the — what they said, a meter from the plane?
PETER GOELZ: Yes, no, there’s no doubt about the type of missile or where it struck.
I mean, when a missile detonates in that proximity to the aircraft, it leaves very distinctive marks, as you can see, on the nose of the aircraft. And these holes, these hundreds of holes, they have microscopic bits of the metal, of the piece of shrapnel sometimes in the hole. And you can trace it back to the source.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And we heard the Dutch investigator call it the 9N314 missile. What does it tell you, Peter Goelz, that is a missile that blew up just outside the plane? It didn’t hit the plane. It blew up before it struck the plane.
PETER GOELZ: Now, the more recent missiles have what they call proximity fuses. And they are driven by radar. It senses when they’re in close proximity to their target and they explode and disperse the shrapnel in a very defined way.
We did tests in 1997 at the China Lake Missile Center in which the U.S., we detonated warheads near pieces of aircraft skin, the metal, the aluminum. And we saw the very distinctive patterns that they left. So the investigators knew what they were looking for and knew what they had when they found it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It is possible to say one side or another would have had this kind of missile? We know the Russians are saying, no, we don’t have this missile in our arsenal anymore; the Ukrainians were using this.
PETER GOELZ: Well, I think that the investigators that I have spoken to who were involved in this time-consuming effort have indicated that there is other information available from intelligence sources that indicate where this missile was launched from, and that it’s very clear that it was well inside the separatist territory.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So is it possible, do you think it will eventually be possible to say this was the source, this is who fired that missile?
PETER GOELZ: Yes, I think the truth comes out.
After KAL 007 was shot down off the Soviet Union, it took years, and it took years of activism on the part of family members, but eventually the Russians admitted what happened. I think it will take time, but the truth will come out in this case as well.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And one other thing, the discussion today about whether this plane, passenger plane should have been flying over an area of conflict?
PETER GOELZ: That is probably the most important recommendation that the Dutch made. You know, that day, there had been almost 150 aircraft traveling along that airway, the same one that Malaysia…
JUDY WOODRUFF: Passenger planes.
PETER GOELZ: That’s right. These are passengers planes.
And what they said was that there was very poor coordination between the civil aviation authorities and the government, and the governments at play, and that they probably shouldn’t have been there in that area of conflict, because planes at lower altitudes, mind you, had been being shot down, that greater attention has to be paid to the safety of the airways.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Peter Goelz, we thank you very much.
PETER GOELZ: Thank you.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: A 15-month-long investigation into what brought down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last year is over. And, as most expected, it concluded a missile targeted the plane. The airliner was traveling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur when it was struck over Eastern Ukraine. No one has taken responsibility, but today’s report set sharpened suspicions and denials.
Like a giant jigsaw puzzle, the pieced-together wreckage of the plane’s front fuselage loomed over the chairman of the Dutch Safety Board, as he announced the findings:
TJIBBE JOUSTRA, Chairman, Dutch Safety Board: Flight MH17 crashed as a result of the detonation of a warhead outside the airplane, above the left-hand side of the cockpit.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In short, as this Dutch animation depicts, a Russian-built missile, identified by shrapnel and paint, blew the Malaysian airliner apart on July 17 last year. The report says the missile exploded less than a meter from the cockpit, spraying metal fragments into the plane.
All 298 people on board were killed, as wreckage, luggage and bodies rained down over Eastern Ukraine. Investigators say some passengers might have stayed alive for a minute or so after impact, but were too dazed by shock, cold and loss of oxygen to know what was happening.
Barry Sweeney’s son was one of those who died.
BARRY SWEENEY, Father of a Victim: But because of the impact of the missile, the explosion, the confusion and everything else, it sounds as though everybody died peacefully. And that’s comforting me, and I would think all other families of Flight MH17.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The investigation also plotted simulated flight paths and concluded the missile was launched from a 124-square-mile region. Russian-backed separatists controlled that area, but the report doesn’t address who fired the weapon. Still, the Russian state arms producer that makes the BUK missile disputed those findings. It said its own experiments prove a much older missile took down the plane.
YAN NOVIKOV, General Director, Almaz-Antey (through interpreter): The general engineer of missile 9M38 decided that the safety period for using this missile, including all extensions, is 25 years. The use of these missiles was prohibited after that, and they were retired from the Russian army.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The arms manufacturer said that kind of missile is still used by Ukraine’s military and that, in fact, it was launched from Ukrainian-controlled territory. Either way, the Dutch investigators said today the plane never should have been in that airspace to begin with.
TJIBBE JOUSTRA: Ukraine’s position is that there was insufficient reason for closing the airspace above the eastern part of the country. We have, however, concluded that, as a precaution, there was sufficient reason for Ukraine authorities to close the airspace above the eastern part of their country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Dutch prosecutors say unnamed persons of interest have been identified in a criminal investigation that is continuing.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Palestinians proclaimed today a day of rage after nearly a month of escalating violence. Three Israeli civilians died in a string of stabbing attacks, along with three Palestinians, including two of the attackers. In response, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called an emergency Cabinet meeting.
There is word that U.S. and Russian jets flew within miles of each other over Syria on Saturday. The Pentagon reported the incident today in a video briefing. Russian airstrikes have been hammering targets across Syria. A U.S. military spokesman says the close encounter underscores the risk.
COL. STEVE WARREN, U.S. Army: It is dangerous, right? I mean, it’s dangerous if two sets of aircraft come into the same piece of airspace without very clear, laid-out protocols for safety of all involved, which is why we have sat down with the Russians to establish some safety protocols.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, at a Moscow event, President Vladimir Putin blamed Washington for a lack of coordination on the competing air campaigns.
PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter): We asked the U.S. on the military level to give us the targets which they consider to be the terrorist ones. But the answer was, no, we are not ready to do that.
Then we thought and asked another question. Could you tell us where we shouldn’t hit? Again, no answer. So, what should we do?
JUDY WOODRUFF: The next round of talks between the U.S. and Russian militaries will be tomorrow. Meanwhile, the Islamic State called today for Muslims to launch a holy war against both countries. The appeal was in an audio message posted online.
In Afghanistan, the Taliban announced it’s pulling back from Kunduz, the city in the north, to avoid further civilian casualties. Taliban fighters held Kunduz for three days last month, and the fierce fighting forced thousands of people to flee. Now fighting has shifted south to Ghazni, a city that lies along the main highway between Kabul and Kandahar.
Iran’s Parliament voted today to approve a nuclear deal with the U.S. and other world powers. It came after rowdy debate and objections from hard-liners, who argued the deal concedes too much to the West. Now the bill goes to the Guardian Council of 12 clerics for ratification. The stance of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is still unknown. He has the final say on all matters of state.
The world’s top two beer makers are joining forces. Anheuser-Busch InBev sealed a deal today to buy SABMiller for $106 billion. In a company video, the head of A.B. InBev said it’s all about consumer choice.
CARLOS BRITO, CEO, Anheuser-Busch InBev: Our joint portfolio of global and local brands would provide more choices for beer drinkers in new and existing markets around the world. Consumers would have more opportunities to taste a wide range of beers, ranging from specialty and craft beers to local champions and global flagship brands.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The new company will control about a third of the global beer market. But the sheer size of the deal could run into resistance from regulators, especially in the U.S. and China.
And Wall Street had a down day after China reported that its imports fell 20 percent last month over a year ago. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 50 points to close back near 17080. The Nasdaq fell 42 points and the S&P 500 dropped 13.
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11:00 p.m. EDT
So how much time did each candidate get? Find our final tallies here.
10:59 p.m. EDT
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is using his 90-second closing to rail on the Republicans, mocking their two debates as lessons in intolerance.
He says of his Democratic colleagues: “What you heard tonight (was a) different debate than the sort of debate you heard from the two presidential Republican debates.”
The Republican debates so far have involved far more than the five people onstage Tuesday in Las Vegas — so many that they have been divided into two tiers.
O’Malley used the turmoil within the Republican ranks to make the point that Democrats were more unified in their goals, saying, “I truly believe that we are on the threshold of a new era of American progress.”
10:56 p.m. EDT
Legalizing pot isn’t exactly a hot topic for Democrat candidates at their first debate Tuesday night.
Hillary Clinton says she supports medical marijuana use but isn’t ready to take a position on recreational marijuana, a year after she said she would wait to see how it played out in Washington and Colorado.
Bernie Sanders says that if he were a Nevada voter considering legalizing recreational marijuana use next year, he suspects he would vote for it — but mainly because he thinks the war on drugs and the criminal justice system need to be entirely reworked.
10:53 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton is lashing out at what she calls Republican hypocrisy on abortion.
She says the GOP wants to reduce the role of big government in people’s lives. But that’s not the case with social issues like abortion.
The Democratic front-runner says: “They don’t mind having big government to interfere with a woman’s right to choose and to try to take down Planned Parenthood. They’re fine with big government when it comes to that. I’m sick of it!”
The comments produced loud cheers during the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night.
Republicans in Congress and in the presidential race have repeatedly tried to strip funding from Planned Parenthood, a woman’s health care provider that offers abortions.
10:51 p.m. EDT
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says the only way to take on Republicans is for workers to come together.
Sanders says, “The only way we can get things done is by having millions of people coming together.”
He says if workers want the minimum wage to be increased to $15 an hour, they have “look Republicans in the eye” and tell them to take action or be voted out of office.
10:50 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton is stressing that she’s different from the rest of the Democratic 2016 candidates — emphasizing that she’d be the first Madame President.
Clinton’s role as the lone female Democratic candidate provided a brief moment of levity after a commercial break, when CNN moderator Anderson Cooper thanked the candidates for returning quickly to the stage. Referring presumably to a bathroom break, Clinton quipped: “You know, it does take me a little longer. That’s all I can say.”
10:49 p.m. EDT
When it comes to climate change, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb was the odd man out on the Democratic debate stage.
Webb says he backs an “all of the above energy policy” — including coal, nuclear and the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. Asked about climate change, Webb stresses the role China and India play and says the issue must be addressed as a global problem.
Webb’s competitors are promising more aggressive action on climate change.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says his first executive order would set a target for a 100 percent clean electric grid by 2050.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he agrees with Pope Francis that climate change is a “moral issue.”
Hillary Clinton claims she’s already been working on the issue. She says that as secretary of state, she and President Obama pushed the Chinese to enter into an agreement to reduce greenhouse gases.
10:47 p.m. EDT
Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is the first to say another Clinton in the White House is one too many.
He says to Clinton, whose husband was president that “we cannot be this dissatisfied” with the nation’s politics and economy “and think that a resort to old names is going to move us forward.”
It’s a question the Republicans also face, with Jeb Bush — the son and brother of former presidents — also seeking the White House.
Clinton says: “I certainly am not campaigning for president because my last name is Clinton. I’m campaigning because I think I have the right combination of what the country needs.”
10:45 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton is sidestepping a question about whether immigrants in the country illegally should receive federal health care subsidies. But she says they should receive in-state college tuition.
The Democratic front-runner says such immigrants should be able to buy into health-care exchanges created by President Barack Obama’s health-care overhaul. She says going any further would raise too many issues and should be addressed in a broader immigration bill.
Immigration is a key issue in the 2016 presidential contest. Clinton’s comments came during the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night.
Clinton says Republicans have demonized and insulted immigrants in recent months. Most of the Democrats favor giving immigrants in the country illegally a pathway to citizenship.
Clinton also says such immigrants should receive in-state college tuition so long as state leaders agree.
10:44 p.m. EDT
10:38 p.m. EDT
How would their presidencies be different from President Barack Obama’s?
Hillary Rodham Clinton says, “Being the first woman president would be quite a change from the presidents we’ve had up until this point, including President Obama.”
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says he would lead a “political revolution” bringing together millions of people to transfer power from large corporations to the working class.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says he would combat recklessness on Wall Street.
Former Rhode Island governor and senator Lincoln Chafee says he would stop wars in the Middle East and former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb says he would reduce the president’s use of executive authority.
10:37 p.m. EDT
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is suggesting she disagrees with Sen. Bernie Sanders’ plans to expand Social Security.
She says she “fully” supports Social Security and “the most important fight we’re going to have is defending it against continuing Republican effort to privatize it.”
Clinton’s comments at the Democratic debate came in response to a question about some of Sanders’ pricier policy proposals, including plans to significantly increase payments to Social Security recipients.
Sanders says the plan would be paid for if top earners were asked to pay more in payroll taxes.
Clinton says she and Sanders “agree on the goals, we just disagree on the means.”
She says wants to enhance Social Security benefits for the poorest recipients and “focus on helping those people who need it the most.”
10:35 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Martin O’Malley agree that Edward Snowden, who exposed widespread NSA surveillance programs and fled to Russia, could have been protected as a whistleblower but broke the law instead.
“Whistleblowers do not run to Russia,” O’Malley, the former Maryland governor, said during the first Democratic debate.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, grateful to Snowden for exposing what happened, says Snowden should get a break for educating the public. But he agrees Snowden should be penalized for breaking the law.
As of January 2014, a CBS News poll showed 61 percent of Americans, including 64 percent of Democrats, thought Snowden should have to stand trial rather than be granted amnesty.
Lincoln Chafee isn’t one of them. The candidate says he should be brought home. Jim Webb is leaving it up to the legal system.
10:33 p.m. EDT
One of the clearest differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders comes during a discussion of the Patriot Act. Clinton is for it. Sanders is not.
Clinton says there’s a fine line between protecting the homeland and protecting civil liberties and individual rights.
She says the Patriot Act “was necessary to make sure we were able after 9/11 to put in place the security we needed,” but “we have to balance the of civil liberties privacy and security.”
Sanders says flatly, “I would shut down what exists right now.”
“Every telephone call in the country ends up in a file,” he says. “The government is involved in our emails.”
Finally, he says, “There are ways to (be free) without impinging on our privacy right.”
10:25 p.m. EDT
10:20 p.m. EDT
Jim Webb says he “wouldn’t have a problem” with undocumented immigrants receiving health benefits under the Affordable Care Act.
During the first Democratic debate, the former Virginia senator is stressing that the United States should define its borders and must pursue comprehensive immigration reform. He notes that his wife is originally from Vietnam.
“Her family escaped from Vietnam on a boat,” Webb says. “She went to two refugee camps, she never spoke English in her home and she ended up … graduating from Cornell Law School. … That’s the value that we have with a good immigration system.”
10:15 p.m. EDT
Since the commercial break, Hillary Clinton has had more time speaking than O’Malley, Chafee and Webb combined, according to our PBS NewsHour team tracking the debate.
10:15 p.m. EDT
Lincoln Chafee has plenty of excuses for why he voted to repeal a Depression-era law banning financial institutions from combining their commercial banking operations with riskier investment banking:
He had just arrived in Congress.
It was his first vote as a senator from Rhode Island.
His dad had died in office.
He was appointed.
Chafee ticked them all off during the Democratic presidential debate when asked to explain his 1999 vote repealing the law known as Glass-Steagall.
Chafee says: “Glass-Steagall was my very first vote. I’d just arrived. My dad had died in office. I was appointed to the office. It was my very first vote.”
The awkward exchange came after Hillary Rodham Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called for tougher oversight of Wall Street.
10:10 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton is pushing back against criticism that she has shifted positions on policy issues.
Responding to an attack from former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in the first Democratic debate, the frontrunner says that on the Keystone XL pipeline, “I never took a position on Keystone until I took a position on Keystone.”
Clinton came out against the pipeline recently, after a long silence on a project that environmentalists have decried as damaging to the planet’s climate. At the time, she said the debate on the pipeline had become a distraction from efforts to fight climate change.
Clinton said she was “inclined” to support the pipeline back in 2010 as President Barack Obama’s secretary of state.
On Tuesday night, Clinton said she had been dealing with climate change for many years, adding, “I’m not taking a backset to anybody on my values, my principles and the results that I get. ”
10:05 p.m. EDT
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says the measure enacted in 2008 to bail out investment banks did not go far enough.
He says, “The greed and reckless behavior of Wall Street, where fraud is a business model, helped to destroy this economy and the lives of millions of people.”
Sanders says, “We have got to break them up.”
Hillary Rodham Clinton says she supports continued monitoring of the banks under current law, but she sympathizes with the anger at bank officials.
She says: “I represented Wall Street as a senator from New York, and I went to Wall Street in December of 2007, before the big crash that we had, and I basically said, cut it out.”
Clinton also is acknowledging more needs to be done.
10:04 p.m. EDT
Our PBS NewsHour crew timing each candidate in the debate reports Clinton has spoken for 6 minutes, 30 seconds since the commercial break. Chafee? 25 seconds.
9:55 p.m. EDT
Bernie Sanders says “black lives matter.”
The Vermont senator addressed the nation’s racial challenges during the first Democratic presidential debate. He faced criticism from African-American activists earlier in the year for his response to the “black lives matter” movement.
He was asked Tuesday night whether “all lives matter” or “black lives matter.” He responded, “Black lives matter.”
Sanders says the nation must combat “institutional racism from top to bottom.” He’s also calling for major reforms to the nation’s criminal justice system. He says the U.S. has more people in jail than China — and a disproportionate number of them are minorities.
Sanders comes from one of the whitest states in the nation. He remains relatively unknown among many black voters, who play an important role in Democratic politics.
9:48 p.m. EDT
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders agree: Enough with the emails.
Sanders passed on the chance to pounce on his political rival’s Achilles’ heel in the Democratic debate Tuesday night. He says he knows it may not be good politics, but “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
Clinton and the crowd cheered the moment. She turned to Sanders, shook his hand and said, “Thank you, Bernie.”
Clinton says the debate over her use of a private email server as secretary of state is being ginned up by Republicans. She says she made a mistake, but the committee investigating the matter is “basically an arm of the Republican National Committee.”
She says she’d rather talk about health care, student debt and issues that affect voters.
9:45 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton says American diplomats know the risks when they take assignments in dangerous regions.
The former secretary of state briefly addressed diplomatic security when asked during the first Democratic presidential debate about the 2012 attack in Benghazi, Libya. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans were killed in the siege. Republicans have spent years investigating Clinton’s role in the attack.
Clinton says, “When we send them forth, there is always the potential for danger and risk.”
She also defends U.S. actions in the country before the attack: “We did not put one single American soldier on the ground in Libya.”
Clinton’s Democratic opponents declined to criticize her position on Benghazi.
9:42 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton had a quick comeback for an attack from Martin O’Malley — touting his 2008 endorsement of her previous presidential bid.
During the first Democratic presidential debate Tuesday night in Las Vegas, the former Maryland governor criticized the 2002 decision to authorize the war in Iraq, which Clinton voted in favor of, calling it “one of the worst blunders in modern American history.” Clinton has more recently called her vote in favor of the war a “mistake.”
O’Malley also questioned her support for a no-fly zone in Syria.
Clinton shot back saying she “was very pleased when Gov. O’Malley endorsed me in 2008 and enjoyed his strong support in that campaign,” she said.
9:40 p.m. EDT
Gun laws have emerged as an important issue in the Democratic presidential debate. Polls show Democrats are largely united on the subject, even as Americans as a whole are more ambivalent. A CBS News poll conducted in July and August found that 77 percent of Democrats, but just 52 percent of Americans overall, said gun laws should be made stricter.
But Americans are united on one gun policy proposal. A July Pew Research Center poll showed that 85 percent of Americans, including 87 percent of those in gun-owning households, support requiring background checks for private sales at gun shows — a fact that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton referred to during the debate.
Democrats are especially unlikely to think that more guns make people safer. In the Pew Research Center poll, 59 percent of Democrats said gun ownership puts people’s safety at risk. In comparison, just 36 percent think it protects people’s safety.
9:38 p.m. EDT
Martin O’Malley says Hillary Clinton’s preference for a no-fly zone in Syria would be a mistake.
“I think we have to play a long game,” the former Maryland governor says of Syria.
O’Malley is also using the opportunity to condemn the vote to go to war in Iraq under “false pretenses,” calling it “one of the worst blunders in modern American history.” O’Malley says he believes lawmakers were railroaded by polls. He referenced a John Quincy Adams quote that warned against searching the world for monsters to destroy.
9:35 p.m. EDT
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says the U.S. should deploy ground troops only when the United States or an ally is attacked.
He says he is “not a pacifist,” but believes “in my heart war should be the last resort. I am prepared to take this country into war if necessary.”
He says he supported U.S. force in 2001 against the Taliban in Afghanistan after the Sept. 11 attacks. He also supported U.S. force in Kosovo under President Bill Clinton to fight against ethnic cleansing.
But Sanders continues to lament Hillary Rodham Clinton’s support for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003.
Sanders says, “I heard the same evidence from President Bush” about Iraq, and decided to vote against the invasion.
9:32 p.m. EDT
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says the U.S. invasion of Iraq is the “worst foreign policy blunder in the history of the country.”
Sanders says Iraq is a quagmire and he will make sure the country never gets involved in anything like it again.
Hillary Rodham Clinton voted to invade Iraq when she was in the Senate in 2002. She has since called that vote a mistake.
Clinton says she also withstood repeated criticism for that vote during the 2008 Democratic presidential debates, but President Barack Obama still trusted her enough to name her as secretary of state.
9:29 p.m. EDT
9:25 p.m. EDT
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she would “take more of a leadership position” and stand up to Russian President Vladimir Putin over Syria.
Asked during the Democratic debate about Russia’s increasing involvement in the Syrian civil war, Clinton says she would take a harder line against Putin. She says, “we have to stand up to his bullying” and “make clear” that Russia has to be part of the solution.
Clinton’s comments were her first criticism during the debate of her former boss, President Barack Obama.
Clinton also says she would create “safe zones” to try to ease the massive refugee crisis destabilizing the region.
9:23 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton is going after Bernie Sanders on guns.
She says the Vermont senator wasn’t tough enough “at all” on gun violence while in the Senate. He voted for a 2005 measure to give gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits.
The issue sparked a heated exchange during the opening minutes of the first Democratic presidential debate.
Sanders says the immunity issue was complicated.
Clinton says she was in the Senate at the same time, and “it wasn’t complicated to me.”
Sanders says he supports expanded background checks for gun owners and closing the “gun show loophole.” He’s highlighting his D-minus rating with the National Rifle Association. He adds that he comes from a rural state, where attitudes about gun ownership are different than urban states.
9:15 p.m. EDT
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is defending his record despite the unrest this year in Baltimore, where he served as mayor before his two terms in Annapolis.
He says he “didn’t make our city immune to setbacks,” but says “we saved over 1,000 lives in Baltimore in the last 15 years and the vast majority of them were young and poor and black.”
O’Malley goes on to note that he enacted gun legislation in Maryland “by leading with principle, not by pandering to the NRA.”
O’Malley identified in the audience the family of a victim of the Aurora, Colorado, movie theater shooting in 2012.
9:10 p.m. EDT
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is defending capitalism – and going after her most serious opponent in the process.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders describes himself as a Democratic socialist, and in Tuesday’s debate he has praised countries like Denmark for their protection of workers.
When the candidates were asked by debate moderator Anderson Cooper if they agree with Sanders’ view, Clinton was quick to chime in. She says when she thinks about capitalism “I think about the all the small businesses.”
Clinton concedes that every so often capitalism needs to be saved from itself but “our job is to rein the excesses of capitalism.”
9:09 p.m. EDT
Bernie Sanders is kicking off his first debate answer by listing some of his favorite countries — Denmark, Sweden and Norway.
The self-proclaimed Democratic socialist says all three nations are examples of places that provide for working people. Sticking with his progressive campaign message, Sanders is railing against a system in the United States that he says benefits the very wealthy.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton seized on the comments from her top opponent in the race, saying capitalism can also help small businesses. “We are not Denmark. I love Denmark. We are the United States of America,” she proclaimed.
Sanders shot back that business growth is meaningless if it only benefits the “top 1 percent.”
9:08 p.m. EDT
Lincoln Chafee says his views on the issues haven’t changed, even though his political affiliation has.
The former Rhode Island governor and senator is a former Republican and independent. Now, when he’s running for president, Chafee says he’s a “proud Democrat.”
In the first Democratic debate, Chafee says despite those changes in political affiliation, on policy he is a “block of granite.”
He says, “I have not changed on the issues.”
Chafee says the Republican Party left him and there was no room for a liberal moderate in the GOP.
9:05 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton is immediately defending changing her position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement last week. Last week, Clinton told Judy Woodruff in a PBS NewsHour interview “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton said, later adding, “I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”
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She says, “Like most human beings, I do absorb new information.”
Clinton adds that she had hoped the agreement would be “the gold standard,” but in the end says “it didn’t meet my standard.”
Asked whether she is a “progressive” or “moderate,” she describes herself as a “progressive” with “a long history of getting things done.”
9:04 p.m. EDT
Hillary Rodham Clinton says economic fairness for the middle class is the centerpiece of her campaign for president.
She’s promising to raise the minimum wage and push companies to share profits with their workers.
She also offered a message directly to women in her opening statement: “Fathers will be able to say to their daughters, you too can grow up to be president.”
9:02 p.m. EDT
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is appealing to the middle class in his opening debate comments, saying the top 1 percent is thriving while regular Americans are working longer hours for lower wages.
He is also calling for campaign finance reform to curb the influence of the wealthy, combating climate change and spending more on education and jobs for young people to keep them out of jail.
8:58 p.m. EDT
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley says his executive experience makes him the best leader.
He is citing his work pushing to raise the minimum wage, promoting gay marriage and advancing gun safety legislation as he introduces himself at the first Democratic debate. O’Malley says his work is evidence that he know how to get things done and is “very clear” about his principles.
8:52 p.m. EDT
Former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb is emphasizing his “record of working across the political aisle” in his opening statement, while promoting his national security credentials.
He says he “fought and bled” for his country in the Vietnam War as a Marine and later served as the secretary of the Navy in the Reagan administration. He is calling for a “common sense” foreign policy to keep the nation safe.
8:50 p.m. EDT
The Democratic debate is underway with opening statements.
The first statement comes from former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chaffee, who reviewed his resume and boasted of having no scandals while in office.
8:40 p.m. EDT
CNN is broadcasting the debate live to virtual reality headsets.
Partnering with company NextVR, the network is making the views available to some 100,000 people who possess an Oculus-made Gear VR headset that works with specific Samsung smartphones.
Not everything will be visible, though. Viewers won’t see the notes the candidates are writing on the pads of paper on their podiums. NextVR’s post-production director Timothy Amick says its cameras were specifically positioned far enough away to not get a peek at the scribbles.
8:30 p.m. EDT
President Barack Obama is trying to rally Democrats before the party’s first presidential debate.
The president spoke to the party faithful via a video aired before the faceoff. He cited progress, like the legalization of gay marriage, that has occurred since his election.
The president asked Democrats to “work even harder” in this election cycle to ensure he is replaced by a Democrat next year.
7:40 p.m. EDT
Nevada Sen. Harry Reid is giving no inkling of which Democratic presidential candidate he plans to support, calling the participants in Tuesday’s debate “five of my friends.”
Reid says he expects the debate to be substantive. It’s the first of six scheduled Democratic debates, a number Reid said he was satisfied with during a press conference a few hours earlier.
Reid also facetiously apologized for saying Iowa and particularly New Hampshire are not representative of how the rest of America will vote because no one lives there and there are no minorities. He made the remarks Monday at a pre-debate event.
“New Hampshire is terribly populated and loaded with lots of minorities,” Reid said Tuesday.
Census data shows New Hampshire’s 1.3 million people are 94 percent white.
7:20 p.m. EDT
One of the most talked-about Democrats in the 2016 race won’t even be on stage.
Vice President Joe Biden plans to watch the debate from the Naval Observatory, his official residence in Washington. Biden’s office says he’s also hosting a high school reunion earlier in the evening.
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Tonight on the PBS NewsHour, Political director Lisa Desjardins spoke with Judy Woodruff about the man who’s not going to be on the debate stage, as well as what to expect from the five candidates who will be in Las Vegas.
Biden is months into serious deliberations about whether to join the Democratic field. It’s unclear what role the outcome of Tuesday’s debate will play in his decision.
The vice president had a light schedule Tuesday in Washington, but made an unannounced stop at the Turkish Embassy to sign a condolence book honoring the 97 people killed in weekend bombings in Ankara.
Biden’s decision could come at any time, but his schedule for Wednesday is already jam-packed. The White House says he’ll attend President Barack Obama’s daily briefing in the Oval Office, speak at a White House summit on infrastructure investment, and meet with Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry. He’ll also have lunch in private with Obama.
7:10 p.m. EDT
An October 2007 memo circulated by President Barack Obama’s campaign advisers says Hillary Rodham Clinton was vulnerable to attacks on her character and Obama was better positioned to represent change.
The memo, reported by The New Yorker hours before Tuesday’s Democratic presidential debate, says in blunt terms that Clinton couldn’t be “trusted or believed when it comes to change” and is “driven by political calculation not conviction.” The memo also argues that Clinton embodies “trench warfare vs. Republicans” and is someone who has worked the system rather than change it.
It’s unclear if Clinton is still vulnerable to those attacks. But at least one member of her team is well aware of the arguments.
One of Clinton’s first hires was Joel Benenson, who was Obama’s pollster and one of the authors of the memo. He’s now one of Clinton’s top campaign strategists.
6:55 p.m. EDT
Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump says he’ll be live-tweeting the Democratic debate, and he expects it to be “a very boring two hours.”
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton responded, saying, “Glad you’ll be watching. It’s going to be ‘huge.'”
Another Republican contender, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, is also getting in on the action.
He’s been live-streaming his day on the campaign trail and will be offering his reaction to the Democrats’ first faceoff on video.
Trump said Monday he expected most viewers to tune in to the debate for a few minutes and then fall asleep.
He’s also expecting low ratings for CNN compared with the record-breaking audiences his faceoffs with fellow Republicans have drawn.
6:50 p.m. EDT
Supporters of rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders clashed in a friendly faceoff on a crowded pedestrian bridge in Las Vegas ahead of Tuesday’s debate.
Wearing blue shirts, Clinton supporters are chanting “Madam President.” Opposing them: red-shirt-wearing registered nurses yelling, “Equal rights, jobs that pay, Bernie’s best for the USA.”
In the middle were several trapped Las Vegas tourists.
Jim Shilling, a 74-year-old tourist from La Crosse, Wisconsin, certainly didn’t mind.
“I love it. There’s enthusiasm. Democrats need enthusiasm,” he said. “I’m with ’em both.”
6:45 p.m. EDT
The Democratic candidates for president are making their final preparations for their party’s first debate of the 2016 race for the White House.
The candidates and their staffs are on-site at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas, taking walkthroughs of the debate hall and preparing for what’s expected to be a policy-heavy confrontation.
Huma Abedin (HOO’-muh AB’-uh-deen), a top adviser to front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton, has tested out the candidate’s podium at center stage.
Sen. Bernie Sanders also tested out his spot, and former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley took a moment to get a feel for the debate hall.
Also onstage will be former Sen. Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and former Sen. Jim Webb of Virginia.
Not on stage: Vice President Joe Biden, who is considering joining the contest and is said to be watching the show from home.
The debate begins at 6 p.m. Pacific time on CNN.
The post Here’s a minute-by-minute breakdown of the first Democratic presidential debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
NEW YORK — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump will host NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” next month, calling it a “great honor.”
Trump told Fox News Channel on Tuesday that he and NBC settled their beauty pageant “dust-up” and have moved on.
In June, NBC said it would end its business relationship with Trump because of comments he made during the announcement of his presidential campaign about Mexican immigrants. The network dropped the annual Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, which had been a joint venture between it and Trump.
Trump recounted Tuesday that he had purchased NBC’s half of the Miss Universe Organization, which included the two pageants, and sold the company to WME-IMG.
“It worked out well for everybody, so I think NBC’s happy and I’m certainly happy, and we’re doing ‘Saturday Night Live’ and that’ll be exciting,” Trump told Fox.
Asked how he thinks his appearance on “SNL” will go, Trump was upbeat.
“I think it’s going to go fine. … I’ve done it before. It’s always a great honor,” he said. He added that CBS’ “60 Minutes” earned strong ratings for a September episode that included interviews with him and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“I think it’s going to be good for them (NBC), it’s going to be fine for me, and you know it’s really very much of an honor when you can do a ’60 Minutes’ or a ‘Saturday Night Live.’ I think on your own little shelf it’s very much of an honor,” Trump said.
NBC said Tuesday that its former “Celebrity Apprentice” host will be the headliner of the Nov. 7 show. It’s the second time he has hosted the comedy institution; he was on the show in April 2004. Trump was also skewered in the season premiere’s opening sketch.
Trump has been ratings gold for nearly every television outlet he’s touched since his presidential candidacy took off this summer, the main reason behind record viewership for the two GOP candidates’ debates in August and September.
Sia will be the “Saturday Night Live” musical guest on the night that Trump hosts.
The post Donald Trump to host ‘Saturday Night Live’ in November appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — Hillary Rodham Clinton offered some revisionist history Tuesday night when insisting she’s not a flip-flopper on a trade deal that she heartily promoted as secretary of state but turned against last week as a Democratic presidential candidate.
CLINTON on the Trans-Pacific Partnership: “I did say, I hoped it would be the gold standard'” of trade agreements.
THE FACTS: Clinton did not say anything about mere hope in her speeches around the world in support of the trade deal. She roundly endorsed the deal taking shape.
On Nov. 15, 2012, in Adelaide, Australia: “This TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) sets the gold standard in trade agreements, to open free, transparent, fair trade, the kind of environment that has the rule of law and a level playing field.”
In Honolulu, Nov. 10, 2011: “There is new momentum in our trade agenda with the recent passage of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement and our ongoing work on a binding, high-quality Trans-Pacific Partnership.”
She pitched the deal in Vietnam, Washington and beyond without qualification.
Clinton said in the debate that when she looked at the final agreement last week, “it didn’t meet my standards.”
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Clinton told Judy Woodruff last week, “As of today, I am not in favor of what I have learned about it,” Clinton said, later adding, “I don’t believe it’s going to meet the high bar I have set.”
The final agreement, however, dropped or changed some provisions that liberal activist groups — the wing of the party she is assiduously courting at this stage of the campaign — had strongly criticized.
For example, the U.S. had pushed for 12 years of legal protection from generic drugs for advanced pharmaceuticals, but the final agreement provides only up to eight years. A provision was also added barring tobacco companies from using the agreement to overturn national anti-smoking laws.
SANDERS: “Almost all the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.”
THE FACTS: Sanders appears to be relying on outdated data. In the first five years of the economic recovery, from 2009 through 2014, the richest 1 percent of Americans captured 58 percent of income growth. While certainly a large gain, that is a lot less than “almost all.”
In just the first three years of the recovery, from 2009 through 2012, the richest 1 percent did capture 91 percent of the growth in income. But part of that occurred because of impending tax increases on the wealthiest Americans that took effect in 2013.
Many companies paid out greater bonuses to their highest-paid employees in 2012 before the higher tax rates took effect. Those bonuses then fell back in 2013. And in 2014, the bottom 99 percent finally saw their incomes rise 3.3 percent, the biggest gain in 15 years.
The post Fact checking the Democratic debate: Clinton’s position on the trade deal, Sanders on the 1 percent appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
While the Democratic presidential candidates were busy debating Tuesday night, the GOP presidential hopefuls were busy tweeting their reactions and not so subtle disses.
Can anyone imagine Chafee as president? No way.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
Democrats are debating whether capitalism is a good thing. Naturally. #DemDebate
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) October 14, 2015
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 14, 2015
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 14, 2015
Tuesday evening at the Wynn Las Vegas marked the first Democratic debate of the 2016 election season. Hosted by CNN, the five Democratic contenders faced off to discuss a wide range of issues — gun violence, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, campaign finance, income inequality, education and race relations.
While the candidates took their nuanced stances on each topic, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump took the opportunity to live tweet the event.
O'Malley, as former Mayor of Baltimore, has very little chance.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
Sorry, there is no STAR on the stage tonight!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
All are very scripted and rehearsed, two (at least) should not be on the stage.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
Notice that illegal immigrants will be given ObamaCare and free college tuition but nothing has been mentioned about our VETERANS #DemDebate
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
Other GOP candidates joined in on the fun, slinging counter arguments and offering their versions of fact checking wherever they saw fit.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 14, 2015
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 14, 2015
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 14, 2015
If you think this country is on the wrong track, Hillary Clinton just told you she has no interest in changing direction. I sure will.
— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) October 14, 2015
While a large amount of the GOP tweets focused on taking aim at Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Gov. Mike Huckabee made a point to respond to Sen. Bernie Sanders multiple times.
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 14, 2015
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 14, 2015
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 14, 2015
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) October 14, 2015
But in between the insults, there were even a few compliments.
— Lindsey Graham (@LindseyGrahamSC) October 14, 2015
Good move by Bernie S.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 14, 2015
The GOP candidates will have their third debate Oct. 28, at the University of Colorado in Boulder. Let’s see if the Dems take a page out of the Republican’s book and sling the mud right back.
The post While the Democrats debated, the Republicans offered their own responses on Twitter appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — The Justice Department is creating a new position to coordinate investigations into violent homegrown extremism, a department official said Wednesday.
Assistant Attorney General John Carlin, head of the department’s national security division, said that while the international terror threat occupies the public attention, federal officials remain just as concerned about the prospect of violence from Americans motivated by anti-government views and racist ideologies.
“We need to make sure we have the mechanisms in place so that we can continue to remain just as focused on the domestic terrorism threat while addressing the international terrorism threat,” Carlin said in a question-and-answer session after a George Washington University speech.
The new position, the Domestic Terrorism Counsel, will serve as the main point of contact for U.S. Attorney offices nationwide and will work to identify trends across cases, shape strategy and analyze legal gaps that need to be closed.
Carlin’s division in the last year has been heavily focused on the Islamic State, bringing roughly 60 cases to date tied to followers of the terror group.
But the speech Wednesday was an unusually blunt acknowledgment from the department’s top national security official that Americans inspired by racial hatred — but without any ties to established terror groups — remain a “clear and present danger” to the public.
He said experts have identified commonalities among the Islamic State followers and domestic extremist groups, including their ability to draw disaffected individuals.
He noted that more Americans have been killed in recent years in attacks by domestic extremists than in attacks associated with international terrorist groups.
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When I asked Syrian artist Waseem Marzouki to tell me about one of his recent projects, he immediately answered: “Getting my family out of Syria.”
Marzouki has lived in Doha, the capital of Qatar, for eight years, but he said until recently some members of his family were based in Dara’a, Syria — the city where a group of teenagers was arrested after spray-painting protests against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in March 2011. The teens’ arrest and torture fanned the flames of anti-Assad sentiment at the beginning of the Syrian revolution.
Last week, Russia launched cruise missiles at targets in Syria, marking an escalation of its involvement in the four-year Syrian civil war. Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian airstrikes, which began in late September, were meant to help Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime and to fight “militants and terrorists,” but its strikes have largely hit areas controlled by mainstream opposition groups including those trained by the CIA. The war appears to be “edging closer to an all-out proxy war between the United States and Russia,” The New York Times reported Monday.
These facts of war, Marzouki said, have become a disturbing routine for many Syrians. “It was very difficult, but now we [are] used to it, you know? It’s very normal for us now, for Syrians, to talk about this,” he said.
Art, politics and military images collide in Marzouki’s work as he explores the power systems at play in the war. His series “The Firm” (2014) is grounded in images of tanks and soldiers, both common sights in Syria as different forces fight for control of the land and its resources, he said.
Marzouki normally starts with a central image, then layers symbols and writing in various languages over that image. The convergence of these symbols — some of which come from Shi’a, Sunni, Christian or Jewish culture — reflects the cultural diversity of the region and the many voices present in the war, he said.
For Marzouki, the paintings are a road map for understanding the chain of events in Syria.
“When I see this painting after 10 years, if I’m still alive, I can understand what was happening there, I can remember everything that was happening and I can tell everything, without forgetting details,” he said. “When you find writing on the tree, like [from] you and your loved one, this is the same.”
Marzouki was born and grew up in al-Thawrah, an hour’s drive from Raqqa, which has been called the “capital” of the Islamic State’s territory in northern Syria.
Marzouki’s father moved there to work as an engineer on the building of three dams in the region — the Tabqa Dam, Tishrin Dam and Baath Dam. As the Soviet Union had provided funding and engineers for the Tabqa Dam, Soviet influence was strong throughout the city, and this cultural overlap appeared in Marzouki’s work at an early age, he said.
“I remember when I start[ed] drawing in school, my teachers used to tell me, ‘You are drawing something that looks different. It looks like — you know when Russians speak Arabic? The accent, your drawings look like this accent,’” he said.
Marzouki earned a B.A. in fine art from Damascus University in 2007, and in 2012 he studied at the Global Cinematography Institute in Hollywood. He moved to Doha eight years ago to work with a television production company, but now works as a full-time artist.
As the war escalated, he began using less color and fewer ornamental details. “Now almost all of my color is black and white, only lines, the foundation of the idea only, that’s it,” he said. “I don’t want people to be impressed by the work … I care more about the idea and the foundation of the idea and the pre-production of the painting.”
At a time when Syrian art and antiquities are at risk of destruction, Syrian artists are playing a unique role in preserving their own history, he said. “When you see ‘Guernica’ from Picasso and then you read a story about it, then you understand this was the Spanish and Nazi’s war,” he said. “When you make a series of paintings, or a painting, and you link this painting to what’s happening now, this [becomes] history.”
See more of Marzouki’s work below.
The post The chilling, abstract blueprints of war from the mind of Syrian artist Waseem Marzouki appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: an eye for fashion in the everyday.
Jeffrey Brown has our look.
JEFFREY BROWN: A casually stylish woman on a SoHo, New York, street, and Scott Schuman was there to grab the shot. It was one of many photographs he would take this day, examples of street style that Schuman captures around the world, not fashion trends or brands exactly, but something more individual and personal.
SCOTT SCHUMAN, Creator, The Sartorialist Blog: I bet if you stand right on the edge a little bit, turn rights towards me.
JEFFREY BROWN: Something Schuman saw, for example, in this blue-haired young man.
SCOTT SCHUMAN: I think this was the thing that first caught my eye was this. Color is one thing, but there was actually a lot of nice little texture in the shirt, the hair, and, you know, there was something sweet.
At the end of the day, there was just something sweet about him. There was something that you thought you could capture. I mean, look, the quality of the expression on his face.
JEFFREY BROWN: Later, a photograph of the young man showed up on The Sartorialist, the blog Schuman launched 10 years ago. It’s become a go-to, must-see site for millions around the world, both in and out of the fashion industry.
Schumann, now 47, didn’t pick up a camera in a serious way until he was a 31-year-old stay-at-home dad taking photos of his kids at the park. He’d worked in the fashion industry for many years. It was an interest that started early, as a teenager in the suburbs of Indianapolis.
SCOTT SCHUMAN: There was an Armani ad of a guy in a suit, and I thought, my dad doesn’t look like that in a suit. When my dad puts on a suit on, he looks very stiff and very serious and this and that. I mean, this guy looks totally relaxed, and he looks like he could just go jump on the back of a motorcycle in a his suit.
JEFFREY BROWN: The Armani ad did it for you, huh?
SCOTT SCHUMAN: It totally did. It totally opened my eyes in a way that I just thought I didn’t know people lived this way. And so in that same kind of romantic way that I fell in love with fashion when I was 15 is still the way that I like to shoot.
JEFFREY BROWN: The clothes telling you something about who they might be, and clothes as sort of an identity?
SCOTT SCHUMAN: Kind of, you know, like a costume. I think, the more I do it, the more I realize that, to, me it’s also more like a costume, like how a director would have costumes in a movie, and how the clothes kind of — because I never assume that that’s who they really are, right, or that they can really tell you anything about that person.
But it helps you imagine who they might be or — I don’t consider myself a photojournalist. Mine are really just my kind of take on who that person is, and how the clothes kind of help create the image.
JEFFREY BROWN: But the photos are just a starting point for the real action, Schuman says, which is found in the give-and-take from his audience around the world.
SCOTT SCHUMAN: When I started, I was listening to a lot of sports talk radio.
JEFFREY BROWN: Yes?
SCOTT SCHUMAN: And people, you know, they talk about sports and their kind of point of view, people will call in and they really have a discussion, and somehow it clicked in my mind that you could do something similar like that in fashion.
I could go out and take pictures of people on the street, put it on the blog, and then people could have their comments. You know, I love the way that looks, or that looks horrible, or who is this person?
So, I never worry about if I’m telling the story of who this person really is. It’s totally my perception, how they make me dream.
JEFFREY BROWN: It’s your story.
SCOTT SCHUMAN: It’s my perception of this picture. It’s my picture. But then when you share it on the Internet, then everybody gets to have their take on what their story is on it.
JEFFREY BROWN: This was Fashion Week in New York. And for part of the day, Schuman joined the scrum of photographers snapping photos outside a Lacoste show, and then had a front-row seat for the runway action.
Most days, though, he does this, rides his bike around New York and other cities looking for subjects. Nice work if you can make it work, which Schuman does through ads on the blog and through collaborations with designers. He’s a self-described shy guy stopping total strangers on the street.
SCOTT SCHUMAN: Good, good, good, good. You can put your hands in your pocket.
I think that shyness makes me very understanding of other people. I can put myself in their position, the way that I have to approach a straight guy, and walk up to some straight guy on the street and say, hey, you look great, can I take your picture?
JEFFREY BROWN: Right.
SCOTT SCHUMAN: And make him feel that I’m not trying to hit on him. And same thing, like if I walk up to a girl who looks really cool and say, oh, you look really great, can I take your picture, I have to make sure she understands I am not trying to hit on her.
JEFFREY BROWN: These are the challenges of your trade, eh?
SCOTT SCHUMAN: Totally the challenges, and totally — it comes from being sensitive to myself, to try and put myself in their position.
JEFFREY BROWN: The blog led to books. A new one coming this fall is titled “The Sartorialist: X,” featuring street style around the world, Italian men smoking outside a trattoria, a mother at an outdoor market in Peru, a young man on a moped in Bali, and much more.
Is there such a thing as a global style? Are you seeing a global style or a diversity around…
SCOTT SCHUMAN: Oh, it’s a total, total diversity.
A great example is, I was in Soweto in South Africa, and there was a young guy there, and he had on a suit that he bought at a secondhand store. When I shot him — and he’s in the third book — pulled back far enough that you get the context of who he is, the way he’s dressed, and the place where he lives.
And to me, that’s what really makes the photograph so endearing, is that you have got this kid who felt — talking to him, I felt like I was talking to myself. He was another 15-year-old me. He had a dream of the outside world, and was trying to figure out how to fit into that outside world while he still lived in his place.
First of all, they’re nice portraits. Hopefully, they’re beautiful portraits. Hopefully, it’s a nice portrait of a person.
JEFFREY BROWN: And on our walk through SoHo, Schuman was ever on the lookout for the next bit of style to catch his eye.
From the streets of downtown Manhattan, I’m Jeffrey Brown for the PBS NewsHour.
PBS NewsHour contributing editor Soledad O’Brien visited the Congo’s Virunga National Park, where she learned just how dangerous and at times fatal it can be to protect the park’s gorillas.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Emmanuel de Merode is an anthropologist, a Belgian prince, and chief warden of the Virunga National Park in the Democratic Republic of Congo, one of the most fought-over national parks on the planet.
Once a draw for tourists, the park’s animals and resources have been depleted by poachers and a civil war. The park’s story was chronicled in the Oscar-nominated film “Virunga.” De Merode commands a force of 680 rangers. He’s lost 140 protecting the park and survived an attempt on his own life.
We spoke to him about the fight to preserve the park and its rare and special creatures.
You’re an anthropologist by training. What made you want to dedicate your life to the mountain gorillas?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE, Director, Virunga National Park: I’m very attached to this country, to Congo. I came here 23 years ago as a volunteer, as a researcher.
It was the simple fact that Congo some of the richest wildlife, some of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: How big is the park?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: It stretches on for 300 kilometers north. It’s a very big park. What’s special about it is, it’s incredibly diverse, so there’s probably no park on Earth that has such an incredible range of landscapes that go from the summit of the Rwenzori Mountains, which is right up in the north of the park, and that goes up to 17,000 feet.
So you have glaciers on the equator. And then all the way down to about 3,000 feet, and, in between, just the most incredible range of utterly different landscapes. And because of that, you have got this incredible range of species.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What kind of species?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: So, we have got the mountain gorillas that we have here, lowland gorillas and chimpanzees, but also all the Savannah species that are so classically African, the elephants, the hippos, this incredible assemblage.
There’s no park probably in the world that has so many species of mammals, reptiles, and birds as Virunga. That’s what makes it so special. There’s nowhere else in the world that I would like to live. And so it has everything for me.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Where are we right now? This is the walls of the orphanage.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: So this is the Senkwekwe Center. And so it’s a sanctuary that we built a few years ago with the help of Howard Buffett. It was built to provide a home for the mountain gorillas that were rescued after these terrible massacres that happened in 2007.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: And these orphans, will they live in here forever or do they go out into the bigger habitat at some point?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: You know, the ideal thing would be to reintroduce them into their natural habitat so that they can live a complete life as wild gorillas. But that may not be possible for all sorts of reasons. They may find it impossible to adapt back into the natural world.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What can gorillas teach us?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Well, there’s an enormous amount, and it’s not just the science.
They’re the window, in a sense, to relaunching a healthy economy in this region thanks to the tourism industry that’s developing. But, in themselves, they’re absolutely wonderful animals. There’s nothing quite like mountain gorillas, because they’re so powerful. They’re incredibly gentle by nature.
Their whole ecology and their whole social structure is very family based. And they take on the very gentle side of primate life in a sense. And so, because of that, we were able to spend a lot of time with them, because they welcome human beings into their groups.
And over the years, we have developed a very rich literature, a very rich scientific knowledge on gorilla ecology, gorilla social systems that actually teach us a lot about ourselves.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: How close is a gorilla to a human being?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: In terms of their genetics, they’re about 98 percent the same as we are. And so it’s just an accident of evolution that we are here and that they are here. They, of course, tend to take the more positive aspects of our condition. And we tend to sometimes be more destructive.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Is the story of Virunga essentially a battle over resources and — and who owns them and who — who steals them?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: It’s exactly that. There’ve been four catastrophic wars over the last 20 years.
Every single one of those wars has started either in or immediately around the national park. Those wars collectively have — have caused the death of over six million people, so it’s a very, very serious issue, and it’s all about access to resources.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What would you like people to know? I mean, there will be a bunch of people who have followed the conflict over the years and who will be watching this.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Yes.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What would you — what’s your message?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Well, what we’d like is really to demonstrate that it’s not just about a humanitarian crisis. There actually is an incredibly dynamic young population in Congo that really wants to work, and that really want to take hold of — you know, get control of their future by rebuilding the industry.
What that means for people outside is that Congo is actually a very, very interesting place to invest in.
Here, you can really get the full picture of how it all works.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Wow.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: This will generate electricity for about 100 years. That’s the lifespan of this plant. It generates 13 megawatts, which is basically three times what the whole city of Goma is getting at the moment.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: So, the whole point of creating power is to drive industry locally.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Yes.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: We saw a woman putting bananas onto her truck, or the boys carrying the sugarcane.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Yes.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: What happens? What’s the process now?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Well, that’s really the tragedy of Congo, is that it’s incredibly rich in resources, but they’re all being exported.
All the money is lost in transport, and none of it is retained for the people of Congo, and so really that’s what we need to turn around. To be able to do it, the key is electricity.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Could you create an industry once you have power that would process the sugarcane, or process the bananas that these women are hauling?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: So, when we built our first hydroelectric plant, it was a very small one, a few hundred kilometers north from here. Before we’d even finished the plant, some investors came and built a soap factory, and that soap factory now employs 400 people.
It also has increased the income for 10,000 farmers, producing palm oil, and it’s reduced the price of soap for about five million Congolese consumers.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: So a win for the people, a win for the workers.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Yes. It’s been…
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: All out of one hydroelectric plant.
You have had to put your own life on the line as well.
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: Yes, at times, I think we all have, those of us who work here.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Can you talk about, as much as you would want to, the incident where you were shot?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: There are waves, there are periods of violence, and one of those was last year.
And I was driving back towards the park. I happened to be alone in the vehicle. So, with hindsight, that was probably a mistake. As I was driving through a forested park up the road, I saw in the distance a man with a rifle. As I got closer, he raised his rifle and he opened fire on the vehicle.
I realized I had to get away from that situation as quickly as I can. So I took the rifle that I had with me in the car and got out of the vehicle. And that point, I got hit in the chest and through the stomach. I was able to breathe and to get into the forest. And then what I remember is a very wonderful thing. There were two farmers who came, and they had seen what happened. And they came with a motorbike, and they picked me up.
SOLEDAD O’BRIEN: Did it ever make you think, maybe I should stop?
EMMANUEL DE MERODE: No, I think that’s really a decision you make when you start. You know, I have lost many of my staff; 140 of our rangers have died since the war started, and 23 have died on my watch.
They have died on the orders that I gave. And so it would never occur to me to stop.
GWEN IFILL: Soledad will answer your questions about her reporting from the Democratic Republic of Congo Friday at 1:00 p.m. Eastern in our weekly NewsHour Twitter chat. Send your thoughts and your questions using #Congoshope or #NewsHourChats.
The post Protecting Virunga Park and seeing Congo’s rich potential appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: California’s historic drought has created a long list of problems for the Golden State, including killing millions of trees in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
Now even the iconic giant sequoias, which can live thousands of years, are starting to show signs that they’re not getting enough water.
Our colleagues at public TV station KQED in San Francisco joined a team of biologists from the University of California, Berkeley, as they climbed 50 of these giant trees this summer in Sequoia National Park.
The story was produced by Gabriela Quiros and narrated by Scott Shafer.
SCOTT SHAFER: Anthony Ambrose is climbing this giant sequoia to find out how it’s faring after four years of drought.
ANTHONY AMBROSE, University of California, Berkeley: We are at about 240 feet at the top of a giant sequoia tree.
SCOTT SHAFER: These leaves will tell him how stressed out the tree is due to the lack of water.
ANTHONY AMBROSE: You need to measure them kind of at the most relaxed time of the day, before the sun rises, before they start to lose water to the atmosphere. They require an enormous amount of water, way more than any other tree that has ever been documented.
SCOTT SHAFER: His colleague Wendy Baxter is near the top of another giant sequoia.
WENDY BAXTER, University of California, Berkeley: Giant sequoias are just such special trees. They have been able to persist and live in this exact place maybe for thousands of years. Some of them live to be 3,000 years old.
SCOTT SHAFER: Over the course of their long lives, sequoias can grow as tall as a 30-story building.
WENDY BAXTER: Well, there’s a beautiful view up here.
SCOTT SHAFER: Even at these great heights, leaves contain water.
WENDY BAXTER: There is higher concentrations of water in the soil than in the air. So, that gradient is actually pulling the water up through the tree.
SCOTT SHAFER: Inside each of the trees’ cells, water gets pulled up to the top as if it were being sucked up through a straw. Researchers can determine how much tension the water is under as it travels upward and into each leaf.
WENDY BAXTER: When we clip it, the water retracts back into the stem, kind of like a rubber band.
SCOTT SHAFER: Researcher Ken Schwab places the leaves in a pressure chamber.
WENDY BAXTER: When we put our stem into the pressure chamber, the amount of pressure that it takes to force the water back out is an indication of how much tension it was under.
MAN: And I’m beginning to see darkening and water.
SCOTT SHAFER: The higher the pressure required to push the water out, the more stressed the tree is.
MAN: The trees are definitely as stressed as we have ever measured giant sequoia. We have been measuring giant sequoia water status periodically over the last few decades, under non-drought conditions, and most of the trees seem to be kind of at that level or exceeding it.
SCOTT SHAFER: Trees move water from soil to the atmosphere, which helps create rain and snow. When little water is available, the pull of the dry atmosphere breaks the water column. Air in the water forms bubbles, which prevent water from moving up. If bubbles stop water flow in cell after cell, the tree dies.
Biologist Nathan Stephenson says sequoias’ main water source is snow.
NATHAN STEPHENSON, U.S. Geological Survey: So the last two winters here have been by far the warmest on record, and what that’s meant is there’s been almost no snow on the ground.
SCOTT SHAFER: The weak snowpack has led to new signs that the giant trees are under stress.
NATHAN STEPHENSON: I looked up, and I saw a big, mature, giant sequoia, and its foliage was turning brown. At least half of its foliage had gone brown. No one has ever reported that before.
SCOTT SHAFER: While only a handful of the park’s sequoias have recently perished, the Forest Service says the drought is taking a toll on more than six million trees of other species in the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range.
NATHAN STEPHENSON: We’re seeing firs, pines, incense cedars and oaks are all dying at a rate we have never seen before. Even during the 1977 drought in California, we didn’t see this many trees dying.
SCOTT SHAFER: In Sequoia National Park, Koren Nydick says the giant trees are causing concerns.
KOREN NYDICK, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Park: A lot of our sequoias are still appearing healthy, still doing well during the drought. But there are some that are showing symptoms, and we want to learn more about that and be able to track that stress.
SCOTT SHAFER: To help researchers study the effects of the drought on the tens of thousands of giant sequoias in the Sierra Nevada, scientists aboard the Carnegie Airborne Observatory use instruments to measure trees’ water content. Blue trees are getting the most water, followed by yellow, orange, and red trees, which are getting the least.
The park has several options for helping the most vulnerable giant sequoias. Burning part of the forest would reduce the number of overall trees, and since sequoias are resistant to fire, more would survive.
KOREN NYDICK: There’s less competition for the larger trees that remain behind. So the larger trees have more access to water and nutrients, and helps them get through the drought.
SCOTT SHAFER: If the trees’ health continued to deteriorate, Nathan Stephenson of the Geological Survey says humans may need to intervene more directly and provide trees with drip irrigation.
NATHAN STEPHENSON: If humans continue to warm the climate by adding greenhouse gases to it, we might have to consider some unnatural actions.
SCOTT SHAFER: For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Scott Shafer.
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GWEN IFILL: But, first, another take on our legal system, this time, a conversation with the writer who is among the newest class of MacArthur fellows, and today was named a finalist for a National Book Award for his writing about race, crime and punishment.
The book is “Between the World and Me,” and his latest contribution to “The Atlantic” magazine examines the black family in the age of mass incarceration.
Ta-Nehisi Coates joins me now.
TA-NEHISI COATES, The Atlantic: Thanks for having me, Gwen.
GWEN IFILL: It’s a very, very long magazine article, probably one of the longest, if not the longest, that “Atlantic” has ever published.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Yes.
GWEN IFILL: And in it and in your book and in a magazine article you wrote last year about reparations, it seems to reveal an ongoing sense of deep pessimism, not only about America, but especially about African-Americans.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I wouldn’t call it pessimistic.
I would call it, if I can use the word, realpolitik is probably a word that I would actually use. I think there’s a way of looking at African-American life and looking at the long struggle against racism in this country that is current within our politics, and then there’s a whole different way that people talk about when I go talk to academics, when I go talk to sociologists, and when I talk to historians.
And that world, I guess, some would feel is pessimistic. I don’t think it’s pessimistic, because I think any struggle worth having takes place across generations. And so one of the things that, if that work does anything, it forgoes the possibility of great and tremendous change within our lifetime.
But, you know, it’s not so pessimistic about the long term, I don’t think.
GWEN IFILL: But when you talk about the gray wastes…
TA-NEHISI COATES: Right.
GWEN IFILL: … that is not an optimistic term. Explain what it is, first of all.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, it’s prison.
GWEN IFILL: Yes.
TA-NEHISI COATES: I mean, the gray wastes is a description of our sprawling jail and prison system.
I was looking for some sort of terminology that, as far as I could see accurately reflected, not just in terms of hard numbers, but compelled people to feel what it was. And the gray wastes is what I settle on.
When you write about mass incarceration, when you write about housing discrimination, as I was writing about in the case of reparations, when you write about death at the hands of the police, as I was in “Between the World and Me,” the language does not tend to happy fun time. It tends to be hard.
GWEN IFILL: Which is why I’m surprised you don’t see it as pessimistic.
But let’s get back to that.
TA-NEHISI COATES: OK.
GWEN IFILL: Because you frame this particular article with — you use Daniel Patrick Moynihan, the senator from New York, to frame this. He, in 1965, wrote a very famous report on the state of the Negro family, as it was called then.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Right, right.
GWEN IFILL: He played a role not only in writing that, but also on the other end, in creating some of the problems you say continue to exist.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Right, right.
Well, in 1965, Daniel Patrick Moynihan does this report on the black family. Daniel Patrick Moynihan is very, very sympathetic to the black family, very, very sympathetic to black people in general and to the problem of race in this country.
He was arguing — you know, effectively, he used the family as the lens to look at the community, assembled all these social economic indicators to show where black families were as compared to the rest, and hoped that what would follow was benevolent investment.
The argument that I make in the piece is that, in fact, what followed was malevolent investment, that a lot of problems that Daniel Patrick Moynihan was dealing with in that report, we basically outsourced to our prison system, instead of our normal social service system.
And the piece is all about why we did that. And, regrettably, some of that is within — some of the reason why we did that can be seen within the history of Daniel Moynihan himself.
GWEN IFILL: You make a connection between the tangle of pathology that he famously wrote about…
TA-NEHISI COATES: Right.
GWEN IFILL: … and the tangle of perils that African-American men mostly face now.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Right, right, right.
And I wanted to be clear about the difference. You know, the pathology summons these notions of a diseased patient, of somebody that is afflicted. And, for me, whenever I’m writing about racism, again, through all three of these pieces, I think people shouldn’t lose sight of the fact that it’s a done thing.
And the tangles of peril, I felt better conveyed the notion that somebody had done certain things, that we had made certain decisions about housing in this country, that we had made certain decisions about how we were going to punish certain crimes in this country, that we make decisions about any number of things in terms of how we’re going to invest our resources as a country. And that has effects.
GWEN IFILL: You make a case, a connection between the efforts we took to fix crime, whether it was three strikes you’re out, or whether it was just the war on drugs, and you made that connection to that and mass incarceration as we see it now.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Yes.
What we had, and certainly you can’t get away from the fact that we did have a crime rise in this country beginning in the early ’70s and proceeding into the ’80s and into and beginning to level off as you get into the ’90s, until it started to plunge, really, really plunge in the late ’90s and into the 2000s.
And, oftentimes, that’s the argument we get for how we ended up with so many people in jail. The problem, of course, is that the crime rise and the subsequent fall that happened at the middle to the end of the 20th century actually is an international phenomena.
Same thing happened in Canada. Same thing happened in Great Britain. Same thing happened across much of Europe. America is unique in mass incarceration, nevertheless. Everybody didn’t choose that as the answer for how they were going to deal with policy.
We made that decision. And my argument is that you can’t divorce that from the history of looking at black people as though they have some sort of predilection towards criminality.
GWEN IFILL: Now, this won’t be the first time you have been asked this question. What about personal responsibility? What about the fact that numbers seem to show that African-Americans commit more crimes?
TA-NEHISI COATES: African-Americans do commit more crimes. There’s just no — no one can really make a — have a — as a percentage of the population of the country. There’s no way to get away from that.
GWEN IFILL: So, why is that the nation’s responsibility to fix it, if the community won’t fix it itself?
TA-NEHISI COATES: Because the conversation doesn’t end there.
The conversation then has to become, why is that? Can it be said that African-American communities are the same as all other communities? Can it be said that African-American communities have the same amount of resources as all other communities? Can it be said that African-American — that other communities, like African-American communities, have the same history of people extracting resources out of their community?
If you look at the policy, what the policies have been towards the African-American community historically in this country, that there’s more crime in African-American communities doesn’t, you know, come as a surprise.
African-Americans in general tend to live in more criminogenic conditions than other communities. And so the fact that, you know, crime actually occurs, you know, more likely in those communities shouldn’t come as a particular surprise to anyone.
GWEN IFILL: What are the solutions?
TA-NEHISI COATES: Well, I think the first thing to do, as I have argued in my case for reparations, is reparations.
And I know that doesn’t quite sound like a solution to everybody because it can’t be done right now. But I believe it’s a long-term solution, because the basic problem, the basic problem in this country with black people and with white people is that you have a huge discrepancy in wealth.
And the easiest way, though not the only way, I can demonstrate that is the huge wealth gap. For every dollar of wealth that a white family has, African-American families have a nickel. That is not a mistake. That is not the result of magic.
That is the result of done policy. That is the result of, you know, a long history of enslavement in this country, followed by Jim Crow, which was the extraction of resources, followed by erecting loan policies for home loans in this country that African-Americans were not given access to, followed by a safety net policy that black people did not have the same access to.
It just does not make sense that you would have that, and then not do nothing, and then expect that everything is going to go away, that everything is going to be all right.
GWEN IFILL: Ta-Nehisi Coates, congratulations on your honors that you have gotten recently.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Thank you. Thank you.
GWEN IFILL: And thank you for talking to us.
TA-NEHISI COATES: Thank you, Gwen.
GWEN IFILL: On tomorrow’s program, we continue our look at mass incarceration, this time from the prisoner’s perspective. The NewsHour’s William Brangham was granted rare access to a maximum security jail in Maryland where a unique pilot program is trying to put a stop to the revolving prison door.
MAN: This idea that solely, solely taking someone’s freedom away changes behavior, in many cases, it changes it for the worse. And that’s not what America’s correctional facilities were founded on.
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