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

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    GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight, another installment in our series of NewsHour essays.

    Essays are part of a long tradition on the NewsHour, and in the coming weeks and months, we hope to bring you a range of voices as varied as the ideas they will share with you.

    Tonight, author Ylonda Gault shares her view on a particularly challenging personality: the bragging parent.

    YLONDA GAULT, Author: It will start innocently, a chance run-in.

    I will see a fellow mom at the grocery store or the park, maybe a coffee shop. I will say, hey, girl. We will hug. At least I will, because I’m a hugger.

    I will compliment her outfit. She may notice my new highlights. We will trade innocent gossip. I will ask about her work, then the family, to which she will respond with a sigh, as though fatigued, because, for moms, every season touts tired as the new black.

    Thus begins the humble brag, feigning exasperation. Said mom will half-giggle and wax self-mocking. Well, Sophie scored 2,200 on her SATs, despite this slacker mom, who forgot to get new calculator batteries. And Zach’s fourth grade teacher recommended him for advanced calculus.

    Meanwhile, his dad and I don’t still get new math, old math, or even everyday math. These kids, I tell you.

    A wan smile will wash over my face. It’s the expression I usually reserve for my 8-year-old when he’s regaling with my intricate details of obscure superheroes and their powers.

    When she laughs and throws her head back, I do the same thing on the outside. Inside, I wince, and whisper to myself, bless her heart, as momma would say.

    For black people, those sweet little words are a nice way of saying, how pitiful.

    It’s a gracious phrase, and I mean it in the best possible way, because a part of me truly aches to see a grown woman, smart and accomplished in her own right, boasting about her children as though they were prized heifers at the county fair.

    And it’s odd to me, because, growing up, momma always played down what my siblings and I did. It may be a black thing, but I think it’s also an old-school thing. No one wanted their kids to get too big-headed, I suppose.

    Importantly, parenting wasn’t an extreme sport back in the day. And, remember, there was no Facebook. Social media posts are the lifeblood of the humble braggart.

    I get it. They feel less secure in their own worth, so tethered are the kiddos to their own self-image, the offsprings’ accomplishments become their own.

    Intellectually, I know most studies will show that mothers and fathers hell-bent on this image of perfection desperately need the world to take note of their kids’ awesomeness. It’s a way of saying, see, my kids are great. Therefore, I am great. Look at me. See? I’m a great parent. Really, I am.

    Do they believe it? Sadly, I don’t think so. It’s not that these parents don’t have good kids. I mean, all kids are good, right, just like all babies are — ahem — cute.

    See, all moms lie. As the humble braggart prattles on, I pretend to listen. And when she’s done, I put on my best girlfriend face and try to sound super astonished. I say, wow. Go, you.

    The post Why humble-bragging parents should consider holding their tongues appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Cast member Juliette Binoche poses at a screening of "The 33" during AFI Fest 2015 in Hollywood, California November 9, 2015. The movie opens in the U.S. on November 13.  REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni - RTS68Y4

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    GWEN IFILL: She’s one of the most well-known French actresses of her generation, and she has carved an unusual and distinct career path.

    Juliette Binoche has appeared in more than 40 feature films, the latest of which, “The 33,” opens tomorrow. It’s about the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010.

    At the same time, Binoche is focused on new stage work, taking on the role of a classical heroine in a Greek tragedy.

    She sat down recently with Jeffrey Brown.

    ACTOR: If a man puts family or friends ahead of fatherland, I count him absolutely good for nothing.

    JEFFREY BROWN: A political leader, King Creon, declares that the security of the state must take precedence over individual need, and orders that the body of a slain rebel not be given burial rites.

    ACTOR: You dare to disobey the law?

    JULIETTE BINOCHE, “Antigone”: What they call law didn’t begin today or yesterday. When they say law, they do not mean a statute of today.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The rebel’s sister, named Antigone, and played here by Juliette Binoche, defies that order and buries her brother, leading to her own death.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: She has this need of remembering where we come from, the origin of where we come from, and where we’re going back to.

    So the play is an immense — is reaching immense subjects of what we go through.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The playwright Sophocles wrote Antigone in Athens, Greece, some 2,500 years ago, and it has resonated with audiences and actors ever since, including Binoche, one of today’s leading international actresses.

    At the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., she recently wrapped up a tour of the play that took her to cities around Europe and the U.S.

    So what is the attraction for you to do an ancient play like this?

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: Well, because the myths put you into a teaching of what is — what are we doing here on this Earth? It’s about transformation

    JEFFREY BROWN: That’s a big question.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: It’s a big question, but we here, all — all of us, we’re trying to find out. And, of course, the outside world wants us to go here and there and spread ourselves.

    But somehow we have to make a relationship within ourselves. And plays and art are helping to make this link, to think, to feel, to reconnect.

    ACTOR: You’re in love with him aren’t you?

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: I’m not in love with him. I am in love with ghosts. It’s so easy. He’s another ghost.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Binoche, now 51, is best known for her Oscar-winning supporting actress role in the 1996 film “The English Patient.”

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: And these are for your husband, and refined cacao nibs from Guatemala to awaken the passion.

    ACTRESS: You have obviously never met my husband.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: You have obviously never tried these.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And an Oscar-nominated best actress performance in the 2000 comedy “Chocolat.”

    She’s had a prolific movie career, from big budget hits to obscure art house films, that continues, as strong as ever, to this day. But she’s also regularly gone back to the theater.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: It’s true. Sometimes, I say yes to a project, and I don’t really know why I said yes. But the intuition tells you.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Really? You don’t know why?

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: No. The intuition tells you, so that the intuition brings you into this unknown. But yet, as you’re going and you’re discovering what you’re doing, this is it. This is why I said yes to it. And it suddenly becomes very meaningful.

    Look at what is happening to me, and look at the men who are doing it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The production of “Antigone” directed by Ivo van Hove was a spare one in its language, its movement, its set.

    I asked Binoche if she liked the quiet of this onstage world as a contrast to the noise of much of today’s entertainment.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: I love everything.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You love everything?

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: I don’t put things aside. No, I think it’s another — it’s like painting. You know, you love different styles, because it shows someone’s need to express something. If I feel the need, that’s beyond style. I don’t care where it comes from, which country, what period, because it has truth.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The reference to painting is a personal one. Binoche did her own paintings for a film in which she played an artist, and has even had exhibitions of her work.

    Curious or restless, she’s thrown herself into all kinds of things, including performing on stage in contemporary dance.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: I like to confront myself with new perspectives and possibilities, because I think, we’re alive, so let’s do it now. And we have so many possibilities. So, I don’t like to stay in one comfortable place.

    JEFFREY BROWN: There is much discussion, again, about — especially about women actresses aging, not getting as many good roles, what happens to them. Do you even think about that?

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: I think if you keep yourself creative — I mean, I have aged, you know? I have had experience. And so it’s not as if I’m not facing it.

    But it’s not a fear, because time is a tool to grow. If you don’t have that tool, how can you grow? How can you transform? So you have to believe that time is your best friend. Imagine if you have to die when you’re young. You feel like, wow. What I have learned with time is amazing.

    JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Juliette Binoche, thank you so much.

    JULIETTE BINOCHE: Thank you.

    The post Juliette Binoche lets intuition drive her diverse acting career appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. President Barack Obama presents retired Army Captain Florent Groberg, 32, with the Medal of Honor during a ceremony at the White House in Washington November 12, 2015. Groberg received the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions while serving as a personal security detachment commander during combat operations in Kunar Province, Afghanistan on August 8, 2012. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTS6OL8

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    GWEN IFILL: President Obama awarded the Medal of Honor today to retired Army Captain Florent Groberg for risking his life to stop a suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

    The 32-year-old French-born soldier, who often goes by Flo, is just the 10th living service member to receive the nation’s highest military honor for actions in Afghanistan or Iraq.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: And so it was on an August day three years ago that Flo found himself leading a group of American and Afghan soldiers as they escorted their commanders to a meeting with local Afghans.

    It was a journey that the team had done many times before — a short walk on foot, including passage over a narrow bridge.

    Flo noticed something to his left — a man, dressed in dark clothing, walking backwards, just some 10 feet away. The man spun around and turned toward them, and that’s when Flo sprinted toward him. He pushed him away from the formation, and as he did, he noticed an object under the man’s clothing — a bomb.

    And at that moment, Flo did something extraordinary — he grabbed the bomber by his vest and kept pushing him away.

    One of Flo’s comrades, Sergeant Andrew Mahoney, had joined in, too, and together they shoved the bomber again and again. And they pushed him so hard he fell to the ground onto his chest. And then the bomb detonated.

    Ball bearings, debris, dust exploded everywhere. Flo was thrown some 15 or 20 feet and was knocked unconscious. And moments later, he woke up in the middle of the road in shock. His eardrum was blown out. His leg was broken and bleeding badly.

    That blast by the bridge claimed four American heroes — four heroes Flo wants us to remember today.

    One of his mentors, a 24-year Army vet, Command Sergeant Major Kevin Griffin.

    A West Pointer who loved hockey and became a role model to cadets and troops because he always cared more about other people than himself, Major Tom Kennedy.

    A popular Air Force leader known for smiling with his whole face, Major David Gray.

    And, finally, a USAID foreign service officer, a man who moved to the United States from Egypt and reveled in everything American, Ragaei Abdelfattah.

    We honor Flo because his actions prevented an even greater catastrophe. You see, by pushing the bomber away from the formation, the explosion occurred farther from our forces, and on the ground instead of in the open air. And while Flo didn’t know it at the time, that explosion also caused a second, unseen bomb to detonate before it was in place.

    The truth is, Flo says that day was the worst day of his life. And that is the stark reality behind these Medal of Honor ceremonies, because on his very worst day, he managed to summon his very best. That’s the nature of courage, not being unafraid, but confronting fear and danger and performing in a selfless fashion.

    He showed his guts. He showed his training, how he would put it all on the line for his teammates. That’s an American we can all be grateful for.

    It’s why we honor Captain Florent Groberg today.

    MAN: The president of the United States of America, authorized by act of Congress, March 3, 1863, has awarded in the name of Congress the Medal of Honor to Captain Florent A. Groberg, United States Army.

    (APPLAUSE)

    CAPT. FLORENT GROBERG (Ret.) Medal of Honor Recipient: This medal is the greatest honor you could ever receive.

    And I am blessed and just grateful to have been given the opportunity to serve my country. But this medal belongs to the true heroes, Command Sergeant Griffin, Major Gray, Major Kennedy, and Ragaei Abdelfattah, who made the ultimate sacrifice and didn’t come home.

    It also belongs to their families, the true heroes who live with that day every day missing one of the key members of their families.

    So I’m honored. I’m overwhelmed, but I hope to become the right carrier for them and better myself as a human being for the rest of my life for them.

    Thank you.

    The post How a Medal of Honor recipient confronted a suicide bomber appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    makingsense

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    GWEN IFILL: But, first, how a simple experiment in India has turned into a radical idea, whether students should teach themselves by giving them a computer and stepping back.

    Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports, part of our Making Sense series, which airs every Thursday on the NewsHour.

    STUDENT: Why do dogs chase cats?

    PAUL SOLMAN: I have absolutely no idea.

    A public elementary school in Harlem, New York, is adopting a radical idea that threatens the education industry as we know it, SOLEs, Self-Organized Learning Environments.

    STUDENT: How do you make a computer?

    STUDENT: How come father seahorses have babies, but the females don’t?

    PAUL SOLMAN: The students come up with the questions, and then choose one to answer. The man behind the idea, Sugata Mitra, visiting from England.

    SUGATA MITRA, Newcastle University: OK, so now here’s what’s going to happen. Listen carefully. You’re going to work with these six computers; the question is, why do dogs chase cats? And, of course, you can talk as much as you like, you can walk around, you can move, you can look at other people’s work. You can do whatever you like.

    PAUL SOLMAN: A crowd of onlookers in a nearby room, waiting to know if, given six computers and just 20 minutes, these kids can really self-organize and learn the answer on their own.

    SUGATA MITRA: Do you have any idea? I have never actually thought about it. Of course, everyone knows that dogs chase cats.

    PAUL SOLMAN: No. My guess is cats are a symbol of something they could eat, but don’t eat? I don’t know. That’s my best shot.

    Mitra’s first experiment in self-organized learning took place years ago and far away, at the turn of the 21st century here in Delhi, where he worked for a huge Indian software firm.

    Worried about information poverty and the digital divide between those who can afford computers and those who can’t, Mitra simply cut a hole in the boundary wall between his firm and the fetid slum next door and put in a computer, connected to the Internet, and watched.

    SUGATA MITRA: I put it there and we opened it, and by the same evening, Vivek, who was doing the main observation, came back and said that the kids are browsing. And by the second day, a whole bunch of kids were browsing and doing various functions.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So Mitra built more holes in more walls, 1,000 more, in fact, which led to more experiments, and more questions.

    SUGATA MITRA: The hole in the wall experiment showed that children can learn to use computers and the Internet on their own. What else could they learn?

    PAUL SOLMAN: Meanwhile, back in Harlem, the kids are hard at it, the clock ticking.

    STUDENT: Well, cats are small and even though they have nails, dogs are like the males.

    STUDENT: We should only try to get the most correct answer.

    STUDENT: He might injure the cat by biting it too hard.

    STUDENT: It says, others preserve cats as prey.

    STUDENT: A dog-cat fight can be devastating.

    STUDENTS: P-E-R-C-E-I-V-E.

    STUDENT: Thank you.

    STUDENT: Write it in your own words. And we need to hurry up. There’s only seven minutes. Let’s concentrate.

    ANNOUNCER: This is CNN.

    The hole in the wall experiments made Mitra famous, a star on the stage, a threat to the education industry as the world knows it.

    SUGATA MITRA: Could it be that we don’t need to go to school at all? Could it be that at the point in time when you need to know something, you can find out in two minutes? Could it be that we’re headed towards or may be in a future where knowing is obsolete?

    PAUL SOLMAN: Knowing obsolete? We don’t need schools?

    MIKE TRUCANO, Education and Technology Policy Specialist, World Bank: I think it’s irresponsible to say we can do without teachers.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Mike Trucano has worked on global education technology for the World Bank for 20 years.

    MIKE TRUCANO: The answer isn’t technology. The answer is providing children with a rich learning environment, with a highly capable, competent, committed teacher there alongside them to help guide their learning.

    Thinking that technology alone and kids left to their own devices can educate themselves in the way that we hope and become the types of people they want to be, I think, is ludicrous.

    PAUL SOLMAN: In fact, Mitra has adapted. Two years ago, he began building schools in the cloud. There are now seven, five in India, two in the U.K., where a teacher gets groups of children to self-organize into learning environments and investigate almost anything, SOLEs or, you might say, holes in the classroom.

    But this school’s principal, Natasha Spann, was still a devout skeptic when she first heard of Mitra’s lab for self-learning.

    NATASHA SPANN, Principal, P.S. 197: So, when I first heard that, I said, get out of here.

    (LAUGHTER)

    NATASHA SPANN: And I said, no, really, get out of here.

    (LAUGHTER)

    NATASHA SPANN: We were already what was considered a focus school, according to New York state, which was a failing school. So, for me to pitch the idea to my superintendent that I’m going to completely get rid of all of the desks and chairs in a classroom and have kids work together by themselves, absent of the teacher, on different levels, that was like, I don’t think so. That’s not happening here.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Meanwhile, in this classroom, time was running out, the students finishing up their findings, prepping their conclusions.

    STUDENT: Two minutes.

    PAUL SOLMAN: It was time for the final presentations.

    SUGATA MITRA: Why do dogs chase cats? Who would you like to make the first presentation?

    STUDENT: A dog can grab and easily wound or kill the cat by crushing her in his jaws.

    STUDENT: He might injure a cat by biting too hard even in play.

    STUDENT: Like many things dogs do, chasing cats is instinctual.

    SUGATA MITRA: They are the first group who are trying to explain why.

    STUDENT: Some want to play with the cat. Others perceive cats as prey and will harm a cat if they catch her.

    SUGATA MITRA: Do you see now that every group actually was adding to everybody else and building up a whole — whole picture?

    PAUL SOLMAN: Following the SOLE demonstration, we had our own question.

    But it’s got to be scary to a lot of teachers, no?

    SUIMANI MILLS, Fourth Grade Teacher, P.S. 197: When I first did SOLE, so scary.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Suimani Mills teaches at PS-197.

    SUIMANI MILLS: They utilized the skills that we gave them without our assistance.

    PAUL SOLMAN: Leana Borges also teaches here.

    LEANA BORGES, Fourth Grade Teacher, P.S. 197: Those critical thinking skills are what students need teachers for. That’s what — that’s the coaching that we do. And then they apply those principles within the SOLE lab.

    SUIMANI MILLS: This is the part where you test yourself as a teacher, and you have to walk away from your garden and let them flower and grow.

    PAUL SOLMAN: As to the school’s skeptical principal:

    NATASHA SPANN: Once I got to see them actually in a session with the question and the learning that came out of it, I said, we have to have this at my school.

    ZINA BURTON-MYRICK, United Federation of Teachers: I was seriously surprised that there wasn’t an adult saying, you go to this group or you go to this group.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But did union rep Zina Burton-Myrick, here to watch from the United Federation of Teachers, see a threat to her profession?

    ZINA BURTON-MYRICK: I would have thought that it would have posed a threat. But after seeing it and looking at how useful a program like this would be, I think that it’s something that I would love to see in other schools in the Harlem community.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So does Sugata Mitra disagree?

    Doesn’t this threaten to destroy one of the largest industries on Earth?

    SUGATA MITRA: Yes. If you’re talking about the education industry, yes, they are under threat. They are under threat not of destruction, but of imminent change. They’d better do it if they have to survive.

    PAUL SOLMAN: So, is it the beginning of a revolution?

    MIKE TRUCANO: I think the jury’s still out. We see amazing things happen from technology use, but we also need to be a bit sober in what’s actually possible and separating the hope from the hype. Just because something is new and different doesn’t necessarily make it better.

    PAUL SOLMAN: But for this group of students, more than a third classified as special needs, fully half living in shelters, all of them poor, self-learning is new, different and perhaps better as well.

    STUDENT: Sometimes, when you’re stuck, a group — your group can help you out.

    PAUL SOLMAN: From PS-197 in Harlem, New York, this is economics correspondent Paul Solman, reporting for the PBS NewsHour.

    The post Given Internet access, can kids really learn anything by themselves? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Police gather a group of migrants coming off an incoming train at the Swedish end of the bridge between Sweden and Denmark, in Hyllie district, Malmo November 12, 2015. Sweden will impose temporary border controls from Thursday in response to a record influx of refugees, a turnaround for a country known for its open-door policies that also threw down the gauntlet to other EU nations hit by a migration crisis. REUTERS/Stig-Ake Jonsson/TT News AgencyATTENTION EDITORS - SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. NO COMMERCIAL SALES. - RTS6OFE

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    GWEN IFILL: After declaring that its welfare system was collapsing under the strain of up to 200,000 refugees, Sweden today became the latest European country to impose border controls. The nation has accepted more refugees per capita than any other country on the continent. But its appeals to other European nations to share the burden have been largely ignored.

    Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Lunchtime today at Hyllie, the first station in Sweden across the bridge from Denmark, and police begin border controls over concerns that the huge refugee influx is endangering law and order and the country’s internal security.

    MAN: You don’t have any I.D.?

    MAN: No.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Sweden’s increased security has put another nail in the coffin of the Schengen system, which is supposed to guarantee complete freedom of movement within most of the E.U., although police spokeswoman Ewa Westford played down the significance.

    EWA-GUN WESTFORD, Skane Police: We are rather a little bit nervous and a little bit how should we do it, is it all right? And we think, yes, because Sweden would like to have a human police, so we are not going into the trains and blah, blah, blah.

    We are going into the trains and say hello and be very polite. We are looking for people who will come to Sweden and look for asylum. We are looking for people who have I.D. cards. And so they should be allowed to come here.

    WOMAN: Who wants to seek asylum, freedom?

    MALCOLM BRABANT: These people escorted off the train were being helped seek asylum, even though many of them didn’t seem to understand the word. This is only supposed to be a temporary measure lasting no more than 10 days, but the government does have the ability to be able to extend it if it wants.

    It’s bound to cause panic amongst refugees along on the trail stretching back to Turkey. And the question they will be asking is, is this the start of the domino effect? Are other countries along the line now also going to institute border controls?

    In Malmo, Sweden’s most ethnically diverse city, the new controls has been welcomed by retired police chief Torsten Elopsson, formerly in charge of criminal intelligence.

    TORSTEN ELOPSSON, Retired Police Chief Superintendent: We don’t have the capacity to take in that many people that we are at the moment. The public services are overloaded. You have the social workers that are down on their knees. You have the education system that is challenged.

    You have job opportunities that are very low. Right now, we don’t know actually who is coming into the country. They just vanish, disappear. We don’t have any control over the situation in that sense. What will happen to those people that are living here illegally? They have to support themselves one way or the other. The fear is that you will have more criminality, more social disorder.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Refugees expecting to start their new lives in the bustling Swedish metropolis face disappointment. For thousands, their first homes will be tents like these deep in the countryside of one of the coldest countries on earth, and the Swedes have delayed erecting heated and insulated tents because of planning commission concerns.

    In the past year, anti-immigrant extremists have set fire to more than 20 places across Sweden that either housed refugees or were intended as temporary shelters. The country’s migration board is now refusing to say where it will accommodate newcomers because of the fear of arson.

    Despite ministers saying that Sweden is on the verge of collapse, Hillevi Larsson, who represents Malmo in Parliament, remains upbeat about her nation’s generosity toward refugees.

    HILLEVI LARSSON, Social Democrat MP: Absolutely convinced that we can do it, because we have the experiences from the ’90s, when we took many refugees in a short time, so we have learned from that, and now we have many old people. Somebody has to support them, and now we have many refugees coming who are young, well-educated people. So I think they could really benefit the Swedish economy.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Don’t you think Sweden and Germany have really made a huge mistake in opening the doors wide open? Because you have sent a signal to every person who is disenfranchised around the world that Europe is wide open, and it’s showing that it can’t cope.

    HILLEVI LARSSON: No, I think it’s is the opposite. I think that will send a message to other countries that they also have to take responsibility.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Another station, another country, more refugees and migrants. This is the Rostock in Northern Germany, the end of the line on the Baltic Sea coast, a port city with ferry links to Sweden.

    Actor Tobias Hamann is one of dozens of volunteers helping to speed the passengers on their way north.

    TOBIAS HAMANN, Volunteer: Many of them want to hurry. They are afraid that they will close the doors totally to Sweden. They all want to be very quick. And they — sometimes they are a little bit afraid that they won’t make it in time because there are not too many places on the ferries.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Fighting between the Taliban and the national army in the Afghan city of Kunduz has driven this family of seven to seek refuge in Scandinavia. The family spokesman is 17-year-old Qais Ahmadiar.

    QAIS AHMADIAR, 17-year-old from Kunduz, Afghanistan: We want to go to Sweden because I feel they’re — I feel good here, and also our brother and family is also here.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: This was one of the last ferries to leave Rostock before the Swedish government tightened its borders.

    The Swedes have told refugees that they should consider staying in Germany or elsewhere, because they can’t be guaranteed accommodation. But the message has not filtered downer the line. Keeping a keen watch on Sweden’s crisis is Marcus Knuth, the integration spokesman for the center-right Danish government, which has slashed welfare benefits and tightened the rules governing family reunification in order to make the country less attractive to refugees.

    Sweden is going to be asking other nations to take its migrants. Will you take them?

    MARCUS KNUTH, Integration Spokesman, Danish Government: No, because we think Sweden has basically put itself in the situation that they’re in. I think it’s a bit ironic that first they say to the world’s refugees come here, and then when they receive close to 200,000, their system collapses and then they say, well, we don’t want them anyway, now other European countries need to take them.

    We have taken our fair share of the burden and we will continue to do so, but Sweden has put itself in the situation that they’re in.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Politicians from the Danish People’s Party like Soren Espersen determine whether the minority government in Copenhagen survives or falls. Espersen and his party are angry that the Danish prime minister has so far ruled out introducing border controls as well.

    SOREN ESPERSEN, Spokesman, Danish People’s Party: I believe that Europe is in total chaos. Germany, Sweden, the two countries that’s mainly caused this problem, and now Sweden, of course, introducing border control, it will mean that we have to do the same, but, unfortunately, our prime minister behaves like an ostrich, like so many other political leaders in Europe do at the moment.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Back in Rostock, there is acute awareness that Swede’s new measures could lead to more refugees requiring shelter on the city’s dime.

    But Mayor Roland Methling is a staunch advocate of Germany’s open door policy to migrants.

    MAYOR ROLAND METHLING, Rostock, Germany: Yes, it would be a German problem. That would be a European problem if Sweden were to close their own borders. I’m sure we can solve this problem, not only in Rostock, but you have to solve it in Germany.

    But at least we can solve this problem only if we could find a common way in Europe and at least we have to find a common way, and not only in Europe. We have to find the common way with the United States, with Russia, with China. And only in this combination we could build up a future to every people or this world. Everybody has a right to live in a human world.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: This new video from the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats opposition party shows their members on the refugees trail urging would-be asylum seekers to stay away. But these images from Hyllie station send a more powerful message.

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

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    Student protesters on the campus of the University of Missouri in Columbia react to news of the resignation of University of Missouri system President Tim Wolfe on Monday, Nov. 9, 2015. Wolfe resigned under pressure from student protesters who claimed the president had not done enough to address recent racially-motivated incidents on the campus. (David Eulitt/Kansas City Star/TNS via Getty Images)

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    GWEN IFILL: Marches and demonstrations at Missouri and other universities define a season of unrest on many college campuses. And the response to those protests has stirred fresh questions about how much speech is too much.

    Protests against racial incidents drew the spotlight this week at the University of Missouri, where the system president resigned under fire. Celebrations erupted and university police called for reporting hateful or hurtful speech, including descriptions and even pictures of the speakers.

    But conservatives and civil libertarians objected, and the system’s new interim head, who recalled his own days as a student protester, addressed the issue today.

    MIKE MIDDLETON, Interim President, University of Missouri System: If you’re asking in the context of the First Amendment and free speech issues, that’s a very delicate balance. Both are essential to our way of life in this country. And the trick is to find that balance, that point at which you are accommodating both interests as much as you can.

    GWEN IFILL: Similar concerns were on display at Yale, especially after a professor condemned a dean’s warning against offensive Halloween costumes. She complained that colleges are becoming — quote — “places of censure.”

    WOMAN: Be quiet!

    GWEN IFILL: That led to a shouting match last week between a student and the professor’s husband, a Yale administrator.

    WOMAN: It is not about creating an intellectual space. It is not! Do you understand that? It’s about creating a home here.

    GWEN IFILL: A similar uproar broke out at California’s Claremont McKenna College over racially insensitive Halloween apparel. And there were calls at Vanderbilt in Nashville to suspend a professor who wrote an op-ed deemed intolerant.

    Balanced against the speech concerns are growing protests, like this one yesterday at Ithaca College in Upstate New York over the use of the word savage to describe a black speaker at a campus event. And students nationwide are now taking to social media, sharing their stories with the hashtag #blackoncampus.

    We explore what’s the proper role of free speech, what goes too far, and how to strike that balance.

    Greg Lukianoff is the CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. He is also the co-author of the recent “Atlantic” magazine cover story titled “The Coddling of the American Mind.” And Jelani Cobb is an associate professor of history at the University of Connecticut, and a staff writer for “The New Yorker” magazine. His most recent article is “Race and the Free Speech Diversion.”

    Jelani Cobb, Professor Cobb, I want to start by asking you, what do you think is the fine line, or is it a fine line at all, between free speech and hate speech?

    JELANI COBB, The New Yorker: Well, it’s interesting. My article wasn’t even really dealing with the question of hate speech. It was really dealing with free speech as a virtue, as an ideal, but a way in which it was being cynically deployed on campuses to actually avoid talking about racial issues.

    And so we have seen Missouri and Yale, and the students who have been reacting to racial crises on their campuses. And instead of kind of talking about what’s happened to them, the conversation devolved immediately into a conversation about the First Amendment.

    I think that was what I was responding to. And, of course, there is such a thing as hate speech and I think that there’s such a thing as free speech. And I think there are probably a thousand different ways in which people differentiate that, but I don’t think that we should go to the kind of absurdist argument, where — that anything that someone says that is remotely, possibly offensive can be deployed against actual, like, legitimately, objectively things that are happening on college campuses.

    GWEN IFILL: So, Greg, do you agree that this is a question of deflection?

    GREG LUKIANOFF, Foundation for Individual Rights in Education: I don’t — I think it’s unfair to call this is a diversion, because if you look at the Yale case — and I was actually on Yale’s campus this time last week — the two professors — one lecturer, one professor who were involved in this, Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis, Erika had sent an e-mail to her students, in my opinion, very thoughtfully criticizing the idea that the university should be telling students how they dress for Halloween.

    Now, the context for that is universities have been telling students for years not to wear offensive costumes, even Syracuse University creepily warning students that they will be brought up on judicial charges and essentially forced to strip if they are found wearing offensive clothes.

    So I thought this was a very thoughtful e-mail. And then what ended up happening, and I know that this ended up being the focal point for a lot of other tensions that were going on, on campus, but I was there for the confrontation with students. And there were dozens of students surrounding Nicholas Christakis in the courtyard of the dormitory.

    GWEN IFILL: We just saw that event, yes.

    GREG LUKIANOFF: And it definitely something where it was very much directed at Erika.

    And so, at the same time people are saying this is a diversion, I am perfectly happy to move on to this case as long as I know that Erika Christakis and Nicholas Christakis’ job are safe. But when they made a statement about — when Yale made a statement about freedom of speech at Yale, they mentioned nothing about the Christakises.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let me ask.

    You are in Connecticut, not at Yale, but the University of Connecticut. And you have been following also the University of Missouri case and talking to people on both campuses, Jelani Cobb.

    What do you think about that? How much of this was speaking to larger ongoing problems, and this question of free speech was just an example, an excuse to get to them?

    JELANI COBB: Sure.

    When I have talked to people, I have talked to people at Missouri. I have talked to students at Yale. I have talked to some people who are employed as Yale University as well. And one of the things that they — the commonalities there is that all these people said that these were simply kind of last straws, events.

    And so the Christakis event, outside of the context in which people are actually dealing with hostile racial incidents there, it makes it seen as if it’s kind of an absurdist reaction by students who are hypersensitive.

    Now, if I could actually make one other point about Mr. Lukianoff’s article, “The Coddling of the American Mind,” they devote — and this is about a 5,000-word article, but it — they devote a great deal of attention to the ways that students kind of catastrophize, I think is the term they use, routine slights, so they engage in emotional reasoning, and all these things which are really tantamount to a sort of psychological study of the offended.

    But nowhere in there do they actually talk about racism, that people actually experience racial incidents in which a rational response would be to be offended or to believe that this institution is perhaps not the place for you or to believe that you are perhaps in a hostile environment.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me allow Mr. Lukianoff to respond.

    GREG LUKIANOFF: Well, actually, the catastrophizing we talked about — and it was closer to a 9,000-word article — was administrators catastrophizing.

    And my point in the article was talking about how, in K-12 and in college, we have been teaching a generation of students that smart people overreact to relatively small slights. And I talk about examples of a professor who was suspended because he posted a picture of his daughter wearing a “Game of Thrones” T-shirt.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me give you both another example.

    There’s an online forum called Yik Yak where lots of conversation happens.

    GREG LUKIANOFF: Yes.

    GWEN IFILL: And I saw online today a young woman who was wearing a copy of a posting which read this way. This is at USC: “I am confused by black students without USC athletics backpacks.”

    Is that something that, in your definition of this, she should be — she is overreacting to, to be offended by?

    GREG LUKIANOFF: I think that’s absolutely obnoxious. And I think if someone were to protest that, we would have their backs on protesting it.

    GWEN IFILL: But if the president of that college then didn’t respond in the way she wanted, Jelani Cobb, what then?

    JELANI COBB: I think what then happens is what we have seen on multiple campuses since then.

    I think one of the other dynamics that was also common in these places was that they felt that the administration did not hear them, that the protests were kind of a last-ditch effort, the culmination of lots of attempts to get the attention of people who had official authority that had fallen short.

    And one other thing that I want to make clear about this is that we can kind of take absurdist examples — there are plenty of them — for anything that we want to talk about. And what we do is an injustice. We skew the perception of this actual legitimate issue by simply going, let’s take the example of someone who is fired the “Game of Thrones” T-shirt.

    Let’s not take the example of Yik Yak being a forum for people to make horrible, harassing and racial death threats and so on. And those are actually part of the same spectrum. So, if we’re going to have this conversation, we need to talk about the entire spectrum of a sense of language and behavior that is being — that is occurring on college campuses.

    GREG LUKIANOFF: Well, let’s do that then and let’s talk about a case where people might disagree — but just came down in the last couple of hours.

    Steven Salaita was a — a pro-Palestinian professor who got a job at University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he — and he was offered a job and everything was a go. He moved his family there.

    And he was fired for sending out offensive — what were considered to be offensive tweets about — that were pro — that were anti-Israeli. And he just settled his case for close to a million dollars just in the past couple of hours.

    So, to me, free speech, First Amendment — I’m a First Amendment lawyer. I deal with cases, sometimes tough, sometimes — and an awful lot of ridiculous cases, not a small number, but also ones that are very dreadfully serious, like the Salaita case, where someone was essentially fired for his unpopular opinion.

    GWEN IFILL: Was the University of Missouri case not dreadfully serious?

    GREG LUKIANOFF: Well, the University of Missouri case, the angle that I was the most concerned about in that one was the stopping of the student press, and particularly for a journalism professor herself to be one of the people pushing, trying to prevent someone was reporting the case.

    That’s distressing to those of us who care about freedom of the press.

    GWEN IFILL: There’s so much more we could go on this. Unfortunately, this is all that we have the time for.

    GWEN IFILL: Jelani Cobb at the University of Connecticut and Greg Lukianoff at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, thank you both very much.

    GREG LUKIANOFF: Thanks for having me.

    GWEN IFILL: The conversation continues tomorrow night, with the latest in our Race Matters solutions series. Charlayne Hunter-Gault sits down with a professor who focuses on a form of everyday racism called micro-aggressions.

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    Residents and Lebanese army members inspect a damaged area caused by two explosions in Beirut's southern suburbs, Lebanon November 12, 2015. At least 37 people were killed and more than 181 wounded on Thursday in two suicide bomb blasts in a crowded district in Beirut's southern suburbs, a stronghold of the Shi'ite Muslim group Hezbollah. REUTERS/Khalil Hassan  - RTS6PM5

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    GWEN IFILL: Two suicide bombers killed at least 43 people and wounded nearly 200 more in Lebanon today. The blasts occurred just outside the capital, Beirut, in a suburb considered a stronghold of Hezbollah. The Shiite militant group has close ties to Iran and Syria.

    At the scene, people pulled victims from under wreckage and shattered glass strewn across the streets. The Islamic State group quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.

    Protests spread across Afghanistan today, amid demands for greater security, galvanized by a brutal crime. Demonstrators from multiple ethnic and sectarian groups turned out in three provinces to condemn the beheadings of seven Shiite Hazaras. It came a day after 10,000 people protested the killings in Kabul.

    Meanwhile, in Greece, nearly 35,000 striking public workers marched against new tax hikes and spending cuts mandated by the country’s latest bailout. Tensions boiled over in Athens, where some in the crowd hurled Molotov cocktails at police. Officers fired back with tear gas and stun grenades, but the protesters insisted they’re not going away.

    MAN (through interpreter): It might sound a little weird, but the international lenders are asking for blood. They’re not asking to be reimbursed. They’re seeking to destroy us, to make us disappear. Why? We didn’t bother anyone. I believe we’re sending a message right now that we support the entire workers movement.

    GWEN IFILL: The general strike is the first since Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his left-wing government came to power in January.

    European leaders pledged nearly $2 billion to African nations today to stem the flow of migrants and take back those who don’t qualify for asylum. The two sides wound up a meeting in Malta, and agreed on emergency aid to address violence and food shortages.

    But the president of Niger argued it’s just scratching the surface.

    PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI, Nigeria (through interpreter): It’s not enough. It’s far from being enough. The needs are enormous. That’s why we’re calling on other partners to participate in the setting up of trust funds. And beyond that, what we hope for, it’s not only in the form of public development aid. We hope for reform in worldwide governance.

    GWEN IFILL: Talk of the aid plan came amid new moves by several nations to begin tightening their borders. We will focus on the situation in one of those countries, Sweden, later in the program.

    Back in this country, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is calling for a ban on smoking in all public housing. A rule proposed today would affect more than 940,000 units. HUD estimates it will protect the health of 760,000 children and save more than $150 million a year in medical costs, repairs and preventable fires.

    Students at more than a hundred U.S. colleges and universities rallied today against mounting debt. There were demonstrations from Philadelphia to Hawaii. Protesters called for free tuition at public universities, and cancellation of student loan debt. It was part of an event dubbed the Million Student March.

    And on Wall Street, a new slump in prices for oil and other commodities pushed stocks sharply lower. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 250 points to close below 17450. The Nasdaq fell nearly 62 points, and the S&P 500 dropped 29.

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivers remarks on the "U.S. strategy in Syria" during a speech at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington November 12, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS6POA

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    GWEN IFILL: A new front opened today in the war with no apparent end in sight. Kurdish forces in Iraq, with U.S. support, launched an assault on a key city that links Islamic State holdings in two countries.

    American airstrikes hammered Sinjar on Iraq’s far northwestern border with Syria, as the Kurdish Peshmerga ground force began its offensive.

    MAN (through interpreter): It started just now. The situation so far is good. There are continuous airstrikes on them. We are also hitting them with artillery.

    GWEN IFILL: The objective, to capture not only the city, but a key supply route, Highway 47. It connects the Islamic State’s makeshift capital in Raqqa, Syria, to outposts in Iraq, including Mosul.

    We reached Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times late today, just after she returned from the front lines at Sinjar.

    RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, The New York Times: Within the first couple of hours of the offensive this morning, the Peshmerga were able to get down onto that highway from the east and from the west and essentially cut it off.

    They were surprised at the lack of resistance. And we don’t know if there’s a surprise in store. One Peshmerga commander was telling me that, through his binoculars, he could look out and see ISIS fighters fleeing on foot.

    My impression of ISIS is that they’re incredibly strong against local forces; they’re incredibly strong against the Iraqi army. They’re not so strong against U.S. airstrikes and a Kurdish force that is being flanked by U.S. special forces.

    GWEN IFILL: In Washington, Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook confirmed American troops are at Sinjar in support of the Kurdish offensive, but are not taking part in direct combat.

    PETER COOK, Pentagon Spokesman: They are advising directly the Iraqi Kurdish forces that are there on site who are engaging this operation, leading this operation. And the U.S. advisers there are working directly with the Peshmerga forces to determine the most effective locations for those airstrikes.

    GWEN IFILL: Islamic State fighters conquered Sinjar and surrounding areas in the summer of 2014. Hundreds of thousands of its inhabitants from the Yazidi religious sect fled, but many thousands were killed, raped and systematically enslaved. The attack and atrocities moved President Obama to begin a bombing campaign in Iraq that quickly extended into Syria.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: Whatever questions one might have about the content about our policy, there should be no doubt about the effort made to consider every single option for ending this crisis.

    GWEN IFILL: Today, Secretary of State Kerry defended the Syria strategy. He spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace, ahead of renewed multinational talks this Saturday in Vienna. Those will include Syrian President Bashar Assad’s principal allies, Russia and Iran. His fate is a major point of division.

    JOHN KERRY: Asking the opposition to trust Assad or to accept Assad’s leadership is simply not a reasonable request. And it is literally, therefore, a nonstarter. I cannot say this afternoon that we are on the threshold of a comprehensive agreement, no. There remains a lot of work to be done.

    GWEN IFILL: Kerry said each party now has a responsibility — quote — “not to dig in our heels, but to make the bleeding stop.”

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    DC Metro Police patrol the front gates of Howard University in Washington, DC, on November 12, 2015, as the campus tightens security after an online death threat was issued against the historically black college. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

    D.C. Metro Police patrol the front gates of Howard University on Thursday, as the campus tightens security after an online death threat was issued against students at the historically black university. Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

    The latest in a week filled with racial tension on college campuses across the country, students at Howard University are taking precaution after an online threat from an anonymous blogger surfaced Wednesday night.

    An screen shot of the threat, allegedly from the site 4chan, circulated among students Thursday. In it, the writer referenced events at the University of Missouri and threatened students at the historically black university in Washington, D.C., using racial slurs and writing that “it’s not murder if they’re black.”

    Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick released an official statement Thursday that said officials are aware of the threat and are increasing campus security.

    But students took to Twitter to express their concerns, many saying they felt worried there was not sufficient security, others saying they would avoid campus Thursday. University officials did not cancel classes, but some professors made it clear that those who did not feel comfortable on campus would not be penalized for missing the day.

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    Racial tensions on college campuses entered the spotlight this past week after a black graduate student at the University of Missouri began a hunger strike to protest what he called a failure by administration to address racism, sexism and homophobia on campus.

    The strike, which began on Nov. 3, ended Monday with the resignation of university system President Tim Wolfe. Black college students across the nation have been speaking out and sharing their stories on social media using the hashtag #BlackonCampus. Students on the campuses of Yale University, Ithaca College, and many others have staged demostrations.

    At Ithaca College in upstate New York on Wednesday, students called for the resignation of the college’s president Tim Rochon after his responses to racial insensitivity on campus. Junior Raven Fowlkes-Witten, who helped organize the demonstration, told the New York Times, “It’s students not feeling represented. It’s few faculty members of color.”

    Student leaders at Howard and other historically black colleges and universities reached out with a letter of solidarity to black students at the University of Missouri. “[W]e want to uplift and encourage you all to continue to strive for justice and equality.”

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    Sunny, left, fit right in with photographer Lori Fusaro’s other rescue dog, Gabby. Sunny inspired a photography project that ultimately led to the creation of the new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.” Copyright Lori Fusaro/“My Old Dog”

    Sure puppies are adorable, but consider adopting a dog in her prime, says author of a new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts.” Above, photographer Lori Fusaro’s rescue dogs Sunny and Gabby. Copyright Lori Fusaro/“My Old Dog”

    Once upon a time, about nine years ago, I had a puppy. The little guy — a yellow Labrador retriever named Manny — was relentlessly happy, deliciously squishable and almost impossibly cute. He also was a furry hedonist with three passions in life: food theft, indoor urination and property destruction.

    “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts” features quite a character: Stacie, a female cocker spaniel rescued by the group Old Dog Haven in Washington state. Photo by New World Library

    “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts” features quite a character: Stacie, a female cocker spaniel rescued by the group Old Dog Haven in Washington state. Photo by New World Library

    My husband and I diligently took Manny to puppy obedience classes, read dog-training books like we’d be tested for college credit, and did fun little training drills with Manny every day. Manny smiled at us adoringly — and ignored all of it. His needle-like teeth cut a swath of devastation across our house, no matter how hard we tried to dog-proof everything. We once came home to discover that he had gnawed his way across an entire side of our wooden coffee table as if it had been a giant corn on the cob. I still remember welling up with tears as I told our veterinarian about everything Manny had peed on, chewed up or eaten — including a bumper crop of heirloom tomatoes that had been growing in our garden. The vet looked at me dispassionately for a moment. Then he said, “You’re going to have a really great dog in five to seven years.”

    Fast-forward seven years: My vet was right. Manny became perfect. More than perfect, in fact. As he’s matured, Manny has blossomed into one of the greatest friends I’ve ever had. He still loves to party, but he exudes an air of wisdom and serenity. Instead of relishing opportunities to chew up remote controls, he loves to follow me from room to room and keep his eyes locked on my every move.

    Yes, I am crazy about my furry comrade, shadow and cheerleader. Would I trade a single minute I’ve spent with him? Never. But in the process of writing the new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts,” I learned something that I literally didn’t know or understand nine years ago: When it comes to adopting a dog, it really is possible to jump ahead to the very best part.

    Senior dogs Flopsy and Sebastian were rescued from neglect in a backyard. Despite their arthritis, they still loved to play, chase squirrels and frolic in parks. The new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts” demonstrates how meaningful it can be to give older animals like Flopsy and Sebastian a second chance. Copyright Lori Fusaro / “My Old Dog”

    Senior dogs Flopsy and Sebastian were rescued from neglect in a backyard. Despite their arthritis, they still loved to play, chase squirrels and frolic in parks. The new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts” demonstrates how meaningful it can be to give older animals like Flopsy and Sebastian a second chance. Copyright Lori Fusaro / “My Old Dog”

    There’s a senior-dog-rescue movement spreading across North America and catching on for all sorts of reasons, including this one: Puppies are adorable and hilarious, but they’re also a lot of work — especially for people with busy lifestyles. Older dogs are often much calmer and already house-trained, and they’re just as ready and willing to bond with you. Veterinarians generally consider large-breed dogs to be “senior” at age 6 and small-breed dogs to be senior at age 7, and many senior-specific rescue groups help shelter dogs over the age of 7 — an age when they still have years of fun and adventure ahead of them.

    After he got sprung from a shelter, Rocky moved into the memory care unit of an assisted living facility on a full-time basis. There, the golden retriever helped and supported a group of women with dementia. Copyright Lori Fusaro/“My Old Dog”

    After he got sprung from a shelter, Rocky moved into the memory care unit of an assisted living facility on a full-time basis. There, the golden retriever helped and supported a group of women with dementia. Copyright Lori Fusaro/“My Old Dog”

    In working on the “My Old Dog” book with photographer Lori Fusaro, we saw again and again that taking in an older dog is the best thing ever for the humans who do it. The dogs adapt quickly and make such great buddies at this stage of their lives, and their adopters know they’ve done something meaningful and important. Older animals often represent the highest-risk population at shelters across the United States, where nearly 4 million dogs and cats are put down each year — but when they get sprung from animal jail and feel welcome and safe, they thrive.

    These days it’s easier than ever to provide a home to a turn-key older dog. In addition to a wide range of adoption success stories, “My Old Dog” includes a comprehensive resource guide with contact information for senior-dog-rescue groups across the United States and around the world. These groups remove older dogs from shelters and handle all of their major veterinary work before putting them up for adoption.

    Some organizations, such as Old Dog Haven in Washington state and Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Tennessee, do something slightly different that is quite amazing: They pull older dogs from shelters and take care of any urgent veterinary needs, and then they place the dogs in permanent foster homes and continue to cover all veterinary costs for the rest of the dogs’ lives. In cases like these, people who open their homes to these senior dogs never have to worry about a single vet bill.

    If you’ve been thinking about getting a new pet, why not consider an oldie but goodie? It’s likely to go down in history as one of the best things you’ve ever done.

    Laura T. Coffey, author of the new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts,” pictured with her two senior dogs, Manny (left) and Frida. Copyright Lori Fusaro/“My Old Dog”

    Laura T. Coffey, author of the new book “My Old Dog: Rescued Pets with Remarkable Second Acts,” pictured with her two senior dogs, Manny , left, and Frida. Copyright Lori Fusaro/“My Old Dog”

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    Watch updates from PBS NewsHour above.

    Paris was devastated Friday night by a coordinated series of shootings and explosions that left more than 100 dead inside a concert hall and dozens more outside a sports stadium and at least five other locations throughout the city.

    French President François Hollande has declared a state of emergency across France and ordered the country’s borders closed. At the Bataclan concert hall, where the American band Eagles of Death Metal was playing, gunmen took hostages and then shot blindly into the packed crowd, according to witness reports. The siege is over, after French security forces raided the venue.

    Jenny Watson was on the first floor of the Bataclan when the shooting began, according to the New York Times. She described the attack to France 24, the New York Times reported:

    “At first we heard gunshots,” she said. “They were quite high pitched. At first I thought it was a joke… The shots kept going and going and going and people started screaming and ducking, hiding behind the chairs. That’s when we knew we needed to get out.”

    Officials in France are also reporting multiple shootings at a Cambodian restaurant in Paris and at least two explosions near the Stade de France stadium, where France and Germany were playing a soccer match and President Hollande was in attendance. At least 35 people died in those attacks, according to the Associated Press.

    So far, no one has claimed responsibility.

    Gunmen killed dozens at a Cambodian restaurant in the 10th arrondissement in central Paris, AP reports.

    Hollande was evacuated from the soccer match at the Stade de France where a France-Germany “friendly” was being played.

    This tweet from a production assistant with a French TV station says: “shots at the Kalash in Little Cambodia in the 10th arrondissement in Paris and several dead. An emergency crew and police are on-site”

    Hollande has called these the deadliest attacks on Paris since World War II.

    In an address, President Barack Obama called this “an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”

    The hashtag #PorteOuverte has started trending on twitter. It is being used by Parisians to offer shelter to those who might not feel safe going home tonight. Others have been using it to express condolences on the incident.

    The last time a state of emergency was declared in France was in 2005 after a series of riots that began in the Parisian suburbs.

    We will update this post.

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    paul

    Paul Solman speaks with Sugata Mitra about the “Hole in the Wall” experiment, self-organized learning environments and whether his view of education will upend education industry as we know it.

    Editor’s Note: In 1999, Sugata Mitra, a software engineer in New Delhi, India, was worried about information poverty. So he cut a hole in a wall, inserted a computer into it, and watched as kids from the slum next door began to use the computer. They began browsing the Internet… and they began learning. So Mitra put more holes in more walls throughout India and watched.

    The “Hole in the Wall” experiment demonstrated that in the absence of a teacher, children could teach themselves and their peers. The finding led to more experiments, which led to more questions and eventually to self-organized learning environments or SOLEs in which students are given a computer, encouraged to work together and left to answer a question by themselves.

    Economics correspondent Paul Solman visited one of these self-organized learning environments at a school in Harlem, New York for the PBS NewsHour’s latest Making Sen$e segment. There he spoke with Mitra about the “Hole in the Wall” experiment, self-organized learning environments and whether his view of education will upend education industry as we know it.

    For the full Making Sen$e report, watch the video below. The following text has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.

    Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor


    Paul Solman: How did you go from the hole-in-the-wall experiment to self-organized learning environments?

    Sugata Mitra: The hole in the wall showed that children can teach themselves to use the computer and to use the Internet for whatever they want — usually to entertain themselves. It was a great result for its time in the early 2000s.

    The pinnacle of all these experiments was an experiment done in the village Kuppam, where we were able to show that children can learn undergraduate level biotechnology in English by themselves. And they were Tamil speaking, 12-year-old children. At that point, I was forced to say that it looks as though unsupervised groups of children using the Internet can learn anything by themselves.

    Paul Solman: So you’re convinced from more than a decade of scientific research and data?

    Sugata Mitra: Yes, I’m convinced from more than a decade of experiments, of designing experiments, of carrying them out, of analyzing data. I’ve often been criticized of having not having a big enough sample sizes. I’ve been criticized for using the methods of physics and social science, because physics is the subject that I know, and I didn’t study social science.  But in each one of those publications, I have said that these results seem to indicate the following and further work is needed to confirm the findings.  I know I cannot confirm each of these findings. I mean, how many more experiments can I do?  So it would be nice if some social scientist actually repeated some of these experiments and either proved or disproved them or set the matter to rest.

    Paul Solman: Is this a disruptive technology that threatens the educational industry as currently practiced?

    Sugata Mitra: It’s not about destroying anything, it’s about an inevitable change. Education was all about knowing things, and they put a lot of value on it. We think that by the time a young man or a young woman is 18, they should have a certain amount of knowledge.

    I think what we are seeing now is that knowledge is no longer as relevant as it used to be. In fact, to put it bluntly, the word “knowing” is going obsolete. It sounds pretty horrible, but it’s happened before actually. Do I need to spend the first 18 years of my life putting stuff inside my own head just in case I need it, or should I just keep acquiring the stuff as we go along and the brain will decide what it wants to keep and what it will not?

    Paul Solman: But don’t you need a context for the knowledge that you receive when you go on the Internet to answer the questions you or someone else has posed?

    Sugata Mitra: If I look at my schooling, the traditional schooling, the just-in-case schooling, it was without context and much of it is indeed forgotten. I don’t think I remember anymore how to solve a quadratic equation – not too well – certainly not an equation with the power of three in it.

    Paul Solman: The power of two is A2 + B2 + 2AB.

    Sugata Mitra: Yes, that’s right. AX2 + BX + C = 0. I used to solve them with the speed of summer lightning until the examination, and the instant after that, my brain decided I didn’t need that stuff anymore. It lost the context.

    [Watch Video]

    Paul Solman: But it’s going to be a real problem for teachers, teacher unions and teachers’ wages.

    Sugata Mitra: Yes, I guess so. When the internal combustion engine replaced the horses, it was a real problem for the coachmen. So it will be a problem.

    Paul Solman: But you do have mediators, intermediaries. It’s not just that kids learn entirely on their own in these schools where the SOLEs are.

    Sugata Mitra: Yes, you need friends. In almost anything we do, what my work shows is you need your friends. And the children, of course, have their own friends, which is why they work in groups, and I encourage that. If they had a grownup friend, it sometimes helps, not so much because the grownup knows more than them, but — I describe it as the grandmother method — because they want to show off to the grownup by saying, we know more than you. And the grownup reacts by saying, “Oh my God, I’m so proud of you.”

    So that’s the grandmother method, and I have a group of volunteers, about 600 of them. They’re called the Granny Cloud. They Skype in, talk to the children and say, “My goodness, what are you doing today?”

    Paul Solman: But there are billions of young people in the world. Six hundred people can’t serve all of them.

    Sugata Mitra: No, it has to scale up. It’s in its fledgling days. It’s self-organizing. It’s growing in size. Not every self-organized learning environment requires one all the time. Children are capable of answering their own questions. If there’s an adult there who encourages that process, they’ll go very far. But the Granny Cloud is a free resource, and one day I think it will be as big as it needs to be.

    So what happens tomorrow? Well, first of all, a change has to happen, not so much with the teachers, but with our assessment systems. As long as the examination and testing systems remain the way they are, we need our teachers, and we need them to do what they’re doing.

    Why am I saying that? Because the assessment system assumes that the Internet does not exist. So you’re going to be on your own, with just paper and pencil. I’m going to ask you a question, and you’re going to answer. Through a series of experiments all around the world, I’ve been testing this question: What happens if I allow children to use the Internet during such an exam?  And what I find is that questions given to 16-year-olds can be solved by nine-year-olds if they have access to the Internet. So clearly the exam system is testing for memory and not much else.

    If that is the case, then the teacher has to enable that process of memorization. So she has to say, “I’m going to tell you this, and repeat after me. I’m going to write this down on the whiteboard, you copy it down into your notebooks.” All of this to serve the assessment. If you want change, the exam system has to change. The exam system will change if we allow the Internet to enter the exam room. If we do allow the Internet to enter the exam room, the teacher has to then say to her pupils, “Learn how to search quickly, and learn how to detect the right facts when you need them, because that’s what you’re going to be tested on.”

    Paul Solman: So to rephrase it then, are you saying that the role of the teacher will change from teaching facts to teaching how to learn?

    Sugata Mitra: Exactly. The role of the teacher in the immediate future will change from this emphasis on providing facts to an emphasis on how to find the facts for yourself accurately.

    My favorite quote from Einstein is roughly, “I don’t need to know everything, but when I need to know it, I need to know where to find it.” In his day, it would have meant a trip to the library, several days of research work. But today that’s not the case. So, yes, you do need to be educated, but educated in what? You need to know how to know very fast and you need to be able to do it accurately.

    The post Meet an education innovator who says knowledge is becoming obsolete appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight: one of the year’s most acclaimed movies and the journalism behind it.

    Reporters frequently don’t come off well in the movies these days. But the new film opening in many cities this weekend is built around the investigative journalism that uncovered a major scandal in the Catholic Archdiocese of Boston.

    The fallout of that report, in turn, triggered numerous other investigations and revelations in other archdioceses.

    Jeffrey Brown has the story.

    RACHEL MCADAMS, Actress: The numbers clearly indicate that there were senior clergy involved.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It was one major institution, the hometown newspaper, taking on another, the Catholic Church.

    LIEV SCHREIBER, Actor: We need to focus on the institution, not the individual priests. Practice and policy. Show me this was systemic, that it came from the top down.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The new film “Spotlight” recounts The Boston Globe’s investigation revealing that the church knew about sexual abuse of children by priests and covered it up, even allowing guilty priests to keep their jobs.

    ACTOR: I don’t want you recording this in any way, shape or form. Nothing.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The film is, in that sense, the story of the story.

    Director Tom McCarthy:

    TOM MCCARTHY, Director, “Spotlight”: We became fascinated with the minutiae, with the procedure, with the craft of journalism.

    And I think, early on, we committed to not only writing, but portraying that accurately as possible. And I think we felt and the rest of my creative team felt that, if we found it exciting, hopefully, our audience would.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The “NewsHour” was there in Boston in the spring of 2002, covering the case as it unfolded. The Globe’s efforts were led by then-editor Martin Baron, who was new to the city and the paper. He’d read a column by a Globe writer about one case of abuse that was under a court seal.

    MARTIN BARON, Former Editor, Boston Globe: I thought it was an extraordinary story. Here was a priest who had been accused by 130 people of having abused them as minors. That was just an extraordinary number in and of itself.

    And I was just struck by the fact that I haven’t heard of the case. I said, well, have we considered challenging that confidentiality order? Maybe we should do that.

    LIEV SCHREIBER: I would like to challenge the protective order in the Geoghan case.

    ACTOR: You want to sue the Catholic Church?

    LIEV SCHREIBER: We’re just filing a motion, but yes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In the film, Baron is played by actor Liev Schreiber.

    Today, Martin Baron is editor of The Washington Post. He talked at length to the filmmakers about his experience in Boston and told us of seeing the results.

    MARTIN BARON: I think this movie is quite authentic. I think they got the basics right. They really understood the subject matter. They understood how newsrooms work. And I think that’s one thing that’s impressed a lot of journalists, is that they get the life of journalists so right. It’s incredible. We’re not used to seeing that in movies.

    MICHAEL KEATON, Actor: We got cover-up stories on 70 priests, but the boss isn’t going to run it unless I get confirmation from your side.

    ACTOR: Are you out of your mind?

    JEFFREY BROWN: The film has an ensemble cast that includes Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams. It closely follows the Globe’s investigative Spotlight team as it slowly unwinds the story, including the actions of a priest named Paul Geoghan, implicated in many abuse cases, and his ultimate superior, Cardinal Bernard Law, then the very prominent leader of the Catholic Church in Boston.

    The Spotlight reporters culled 18 years of church directories to track over 900 active and retired priests. The team then created a database which allowed it to match a target list of 100 priests with allegations of abuse.

    They homed in on priests who had been moved from a parish, sent on sick leave or otherwise removed from active service and left — quote — “unassigned.”

    In 2002, the NewsHour talked to Walter Robinson, who headed up the Spotlight unit.

    WALTER ROBINSON, The Boston Globe: The documents to me were breathtaking in the extent to which they knew, the cordiality of the correspondence between the cardinal and Father Geoghan and the other bishops and Father Geoghan.

    Here’s a fellow who they knew was accused of and had committed these acts against scores of kids, and the letters were, “Dear, Jack, we hope you’re coping with your problem.”

    TOM MCCARTHY: Boom, and then connect their thoughts.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Director McCarthy says he and his team took great care in how they would tell such a raw story.

    TOM MCCARTHY: I think we were very careful not to sensationalize the story, not to be gratuitous with the telling again, to approach it as the reporters did.

    We had the great, good fortune of sitting down with several survivors of abuse, namely two depicted in the film, Joe Crowley and Phil Saviano. And these men and the courage they exemplify in talking with us and dealing with this every day of their lives and becoming advocates for survivors, it’s hard not to be greatly impressed by it.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The scandal began to snowball even as the church vehemently pushed back. The Globe published its first story on January 6, 2002, with the headline “Church Allowed Abuse by Priest for Years.” It also printed the phone number of a confidential call-in line, bringing in many new allegations from victims.

    TOM MCCARTHY: Why does it take us so long to see something that in hindsight seems so obvious? There was a lot of talk about this, a lot of murmurs and whispers. Something is going on. Something is bad.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In portraying the process of investigative journalism, the film has drawn comparison to “All the President’s Men,” which documented The Washington Post’s pursuit of the Watergate scandal 40 years ago. Inevitably, that means also capturing the changing world of newspapers at a time of cutbacks, layoffs and closures.

    Today, Martin Baron says this:

    MARTIN BARON: Well, we’re a profession that’s under tremendous pressure, a lot of financial pressure. And so, clearly, it’s going to be more difficult, given that there are fewer resources to do it. This is very expensive work to do, and yet we have to commit ourselves to doing it. Somebody needs to hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable, and we’re the ones who have that particular role in our society.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The Boston Globe would win a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage of the church sexual abuse cases.

    MARK RUFFALO, Actor: They knew, and they let it happen.

    JEFFREY BROWN: “Spotlight” is receiving early critical praise, including some from high reaches of the Catholic Church.

    For the PBS NewsHour, I’m Jeffrey Brown.

    The post In ‘Spotlight,’ filmmakers take a journalist’s care in retelling the story of church sex abuse appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Before we turn to Mark Shields and Michael Gerson for comments on what is happening in the campaign, we want to bring you a quick update on the situation in Paris.

    There are reports now of more gunfire and five explosions at the music hall, the concert hall where police say hostages are being held.

    And let’s turn now, on that note, to Mark Shields and Michael Gerson. David Brooks is away tonight.

    So, gentlemen, this is a fast-moving story. Still very much that we — we know President Hollande has closed the borders of France. He has called an emergency.

    And, Mark, it’s a reminder that even though foreign policy, defense policy has not been front and center, I think, in the minds of most Americans, something can change in an instant.

    MARK SHIELDS: No question, Judy.

    And there is a sense of shock, but an increasing awareness of vulnerability. And I think that’s what — the reaction and understandable reaction is of most people, beyond the obvious sympathy and sense of outrage that the people have done it and the sympathy for those who are suffering. But it does remind us of our vulnerability.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s clear at this point that President Obama and administration officials have said, Michael, there is no indication of an immediate threat to the United States, but, of course, that’s where your thinking goes.

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, this is one of the strategies of al-Qaida-like organizations, spectacular attacks designed to demoralize countries.

    This was true of the U.S., true in Britain in 2005 with the underground attack, and it’s true in France now. But it doesn’t work. It actually hardens resolve. And, you know, France is playing an important role in the Middle East. I think that they’re not going to be deterred from that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we will continue to monitor it, but it’s disturbing, at the very least, horrific as the scale of it unfolds.

    So, let’s turn back to the campaign, Mark. We just heard a little bit of what Donald Trump had to say in that really surprising speech that he made last night in Iowa.

    What are we to make of this? He went after Ben Carson. He went after many of the other candidates, used some very, very tough language.

    MARK SHIELDS: Judy, I don’t know what to make of it. In 48 hours, he went from the Milwaukee debate, where he was subdued, repetitive, uninteresting, I mean, not Donald Trump at all, the man who had generated such great audience numbers for these debates, to a screed last night, the 95-minute screed in Fort Dodge, Iowa, in which he berated, savaged, if you would, Dr. Carson, yes, but every other candidate, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, everybody basically except Ted Cruz, who was spared.

    But, for the first time, you had a sense that he wasn’t just talking about just perceived shortcomings, whether it was low-energy or sweat glands of a candidate, and people could kind of giggle, sort of a mischievous giggle. I think he made us — watching it, I think he made people uncomfortable in that room, and especially going after Ben Carson, who is the best liked and the most popular.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean based on the reactions of people…

    MARK SHIELDS: Of people there and of the reports that I have read and talking to people who were there.

    I do think that there was an uncomfortableness about it. And I don’t know which Donald, Donald Trump it’s going to be, whether it’s the Milwaukee Donald Trump, which was sort of — I don’t know, sort of “presidential” — in quotes — that he didn’t go after anybody. Everyone was elegant. The questioners were elegant. It was an elegant evening — to this person who really savaged and basically accused Ben Carson of being a psychopath — pathological, I guess. Excuse me.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael, what do you make of it?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, there are a lot of problems with our presidential nomination process, but it does over time reveal candidates, reveals them under pressure.

    And this was very revealing. I think that people have a democratic duty to watch what took place in those 95 minutes, as much of it as you can stomach. You know, Trump was vile and vulgar and vicious and morally deformed.

    This was an unbelievable performance. And, you know, I think conservatives just have to have a tough time defending this. If this isn’t the line, there is no line. This was really the worst type of politics. And, you know, we will see what the effect is. He has jumped the shark so many times and avoided the consequences, but this really struck me as something different.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Is it worth even speculating about why, or is it just — there is just no way to know, I mean, why he would do that?

    MARK SHIELDS: I don’t — I don’t pretend to know. I really don’t.

    I mean, it appears that Ben Carson bothers him, and Ben — the fact that Ben Carson is ahead of him in certain polls.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The two are leading in the polls in Iowa right now.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes. He — I think Ben Carson is ahead in Iowa, and — at least in the Des Moines Register poll, which is sort of the gold — it is the gold standard.

    And I think that’s part of Donald Trump’s introduction of himself every time: I’m leading in all the polls.

    And I don’t know if he’s bothered by that or just what it is. But…

    MICHAEL GERSON: And Trump’s biggest strategic failure in this speech, he actually attacked Carson’s religious conversion.

    So, this isn’t the way things happen. That is a central tenant of evangelical belief, the possibility of redemption and conversion. I once was blind, and now I see.

    By attacking that, in a very religious state, Iowa, I can’t imagine what reason there could be. This was religious — this was religious illiteracy. It also really showed a hostility toward the evangelical tradition. That — I can’t explain that at all.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s turn to — we just heard that really good report from Lisa Desjardins, our political director, about Bernie Sanders.

    And there seems to be, Mark — he’s trying a different tack here. He wants — he — is it that he doesn’t feel his message is getting across? What is — what do you think is behind this?

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, Bernie Sanders’ problem has always been the same.

    I mean, Hillary Clinton, while she’s a polarizing figure nationally and has a ceiling, as pollsters say, of how far — how she could go, is enormously popular with Democratic primary voters and she has a big national lead.

    Bernie Sanders’ best bet has — I think has always been a two-state strategy. It’s necessity being the mother of invention here, but to compete where he can compete, where the resources would be of some parity, in Iowa and New Hampshire, where he can have a chance, and to make the case, Judy, basically not against her, but a case of, whom do you believe, whom do you trust? I mean, who do you think the 1 percent are most against? Who stood up on the war in Iraq? Who stood up against Wall Street when they were…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Reminding people.

    MARK SHIELDS: Reminding people that he is — who is really against the trade pacts that have cost Americans jobs?

    I think that is probably his best strategy, and to make it a case of — that he’s not been a candidate of convenience, that he’s been a candidate of conviction.

    MICHAEL GERSON: Right. It’s also a reflection that a couple — in the last couple of weeks, Hillary Clinton has essentially sewn up the Democratic nomination.

    When Joe Biden didn’t get in, when she did very well in her — in the hearings…

    MARK SHIELDS: Benghazi.

    MICHAEL GERSON: … when she did very well in the debates, when her poll numbers stabilized and began to go up.

    She is a commanding position right now. This is a reaction to that. I don’t think that the — Hillary Clinton’s campaign is afraid of Sanders. I think it’s afraid of the James Comey, the FBI director, because that’s where the real threat comes from. That looks like an expanding investigation over the possibility of, you know, hindering an investigation. And that, I think, is the real source of concern.

    MARK SHIELDS: I will just add one thing, Judy.

    And that is if, in fact, Bernie Sanders were to win Iowa and New Hampshire, that changes the dynamic of the race. The inevitability of Hillary Clinton or anybody who just has taken a beating or a licking in the first two contests, the dynamic changes, and that sense of inevitability is frayed, if not eroded.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s where he’s really — he’s putting a lot of that focus right now.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes, he is.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I want to ask you both about the — really what I think — one of the things that emerged from that debate that you talked about, Michael, Republican debate this week, and that is on immigration.

    You saw a clear split between those Republicans who were arguing, like Donald Trump, do everything you can to keep — to get those who are here, undocumented immigrants, out of the country, and those in the party who are saying, wait a minute, that doesn’t make sense.

    MICHAEL GERSON: Yes, I think, clearly, for Republicans, in order to have a chance going forward, not just this election, but future elections, because of the nature of demographics, the candidate that comes out of this is going to have to repudiate the idea of mass deportations.

    They’re going to have to positively distance themselves from this and win. So it’s someone like Jeb or someone like Rubio or someone like John Kasich that can play that role.

    The question is whether the forces of really nativism within the party can defeat them, can make it impossible for a viable Republican to get the nomination. And I think that’s the main issue we’re going to see.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark, are you — but are we now seeing a situation where if you’re a moderate Republican and you say just enough to appeal to Hispanic voters, that maybe Republicans have a shot, have a chance on the immigration issue that we didn’t see?

    MARK SHIELDS: This, to me, is suicidal on the part of Republicans.

    I mean, we have an increasingly minority America. The Republican primary electorate, Judy, is 6 percent minority and 92 percent white. The general election in the country in 2012 was 72 percent white — it could be down to 71, maybe 70 — and 26 percent minority. That’s Latino and African-American, Asian, and others.

    And I just think that they’re playing to an older, whiter, more conservative electorate, the Republican candidates are. And I will say this. If immigration, that is opposition to immigration, categorical, just outspoken, untrammeled opposition to immigration of all sorts, becomes the litmus test of who wins, the Republicans will lose.

    And I don’t — one place I just disagree with Michael is, I think Marco Rubio really faces a test. He’s trying to have a — keep a foot…

    MICHAEL GERSON: He’s straddling…

    MARK SHIELDS: He’s keeping a foot, because he was…

    (CROSSTALK)

    MICHAEL GERSON: But he was burned in that process.

    MARK SHIELDS: I agree.

    But I thought Ted Cruz had the best night when he made the economic populist argument. If those were lawyers and bankers and journalists coming across the Rio Grande, there would be a concern they would go out and have our jobs taken.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, Michael Gerson, we thank you both.

    MARK SHIELDS: Thank you.

    MICHAEL GERSON: Thank you.

    The post Shields and Gerson on Paris terror attack, Trump targeting Carson appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tonight, we bring you another conversation in our series, Race Matters/Solutions, during a week when racial tensions on campus have led to protests and high-profile resignations.

    Special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault sat down with Columbia University Teachers College Professor Derald Sue to learn more about the small slights that some say are more insidious than the overt racial tensions that can be seen and observed by all.

    Here’s that conversation.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Dr. Sue, thank you for joining us.

    So, tell me, just what exactly is microaggression?

    DR. DERALD WING SUE, Teachers College, Columbia University: Well, microaggressions are varying from being conscious, deliberate, on a continuum, to being outside one’s level of awareness and unintentional.

    Microaggressions really are reflections of world views of inclusion, exclusion, superiority, inferiority, and they come out in ways that are outside the level of conscious awareness of an individual.

    When I’m asked, where were you born, and I say, I was born in Portland, Oregon and they persist by saying, no, no, no, where were you really born, and I will say, Portland, Oregon? And they will say, no, what country were you born in? And I will say, the United States. They get very embarrassed.

    Now, this is an example that they are intending to make a personal connection, but the hidden communication, the true world view is that I am a perpetual alien or foreigner in my country, I am not a true American, because true Americans only look the following way. And that’s what generates these behaviors that are microaggressions.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: But you describe it as unintentional, and yet we have seen at the University of Missouri very blatant examples of racism.

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: You’re right about that.

    Microaggressions vary from being conscious, deliberate, intentional, from old-fashioned racism and biased statements, to the unintended consequences. And our studies do indicate that it’s the hidden, unintentional forms of bias that are most damaging to people of color, and that like, at the University of Missouri where you have people being called racial epithets or behaviors that are going on, it actually is only the tip of the iceberg.

    The reason why I believe students of color, faculty of color are reacting is such a major way is that they are experiencing a climate that is hostile, that is full of microaggressions. These hate incidents on campus are triggering off this discontent, pain and feeling of being silenced.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: But there are critics of your studies and the notion even of microaggression, which they say has morphed from 1970, when it was unintentional, to now everything that happens, and that people are just being overly sensitive. They say, if you coddle these students on campus, how does that prepare them to live in the real world?

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: You know, the problem is that believe people microaggressions are very similar to the everyday incivility and rudeness that individuals, white Americans, experience in their day-to-day lives. They are quite different.

    Microaggressions for people of color are constant, continual and cumulative. They occur to people of color from the moment of birth to when they die. And, as a result, any one microaggression in isolation may represent the feather that breaks the camel’s back.

    And people who don’t see the lived experience of people of color and the daily onslaught that they experience tend not to believe that it’s a major event.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: You know, there is another criticism, because this has been called — some of the things that people are called, now they say the N-word and other things like that…

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: Yes.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: … is hate speech, and that it’s protected by the First Amendment. So, isn’t that OK, given that kind of reasoning?

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: I think that people who say that we are preventing individuals from free speech don’t realize, ironically, that it is people of color that, historically, have not been able to express themselves openly or freely without punitive actions being directed at them.

    And so there has to be this balance, but, at the same time, an understanding that there are limits to free speech when it harms and hurts people.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Why do you think that students commit microaggressions, or adults, for that matter?

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: That’s a good question, and I think it goes to the heart of the matter that none of us are immune from inheriting the racial biases of our forbearers.

    We have attitudes and biases that are delivered through microaggressions.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: But when some of these microaggressions come out in the form of real hatred, is that solvable?

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: We can deal with that deliberately, but the subtle forms of microaggressions are hard to prove, hard to quantify in some way, and very difficult for us to take actions against because people oftentimes don’t perceive it as harmful and significant.

    You know, people oftentimes tell me that white Americans are the enemy. And I say, no, white Americans aren’t the enemy. White supremacy is. It’s the social conditioning of the superiority of one group over another.

    And many white Americans are equally victimized, because they have been socialized into a society that tends to imbue them with these images that they believe in, but it’s no fault of their own. If you really reach white Americans, they can become valuable allies.

    One of the reasons why our research concentrates on the unintentional forms of microaggressions is very much what Maya Angelou said. It’s the unintentional bias that does the greatest harm to people of color. And I oftentimes use the example that when you look the disparities and inequities we have in education, employment and health care, it is not due to the overt racists or the white supremacists.

    It is due to the well-intentioned teachers who educate our children, employers who decide who to hire, who to retain and who to promote. And it is that — those individuals who are unaware of their hidden biases that are having the major impact on our standard of living.

    CHARLAYNE HUNTER-GAULT: Well, Professor Sue, thank you for joining us.

    DR. DERALD WING SUE: Well, thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can find more about microaggressions, including a video made by Professor Sue explaining how they have impacted his life, on the Race Matters section of our Web site. That’s PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post How unintentional but insidious bias can be the most harmful appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    President Obama on Friday night condemned the series of attacks that reportedly have killed dozens of people, calling them an “attack on all of humanity and the universal values that we share.”

    French officials have reported multiple shootings and at least two explosions at the Stade de France stadium. As of 6 p.m. EST Friday, the Associated Press had reported 35 people dead in the attacks, and at least 100 people being held in Bataclan concert hall.

    PARIS-ATTACK-MAP

    Obama stressed that U.S. officials do not yet know the details of what happened, but said the U.S. would offer assistance to the government and people of France. The U.S. is “going to do whatever it takes to work with the French people and with nations around the world to bring these terrorists to justice,” he said.

    Secretary of State John Kerry echoed Obama’s message. “These terrorist attacks will only deepen our shared resolve,” he said.

    The post Obama: Shootings in Paris an ‘attack on all of humanity’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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  • 11/13/15--16:05: What is a microaggression?
  • Columbia University Professor Derald Wing Sue explains microaggressions, how they impact people and what can be done to address them.

    The post What is a microaggression? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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