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

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    Emergency responders investigate a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London, Britain on Sunday. Police were called to reports of a number of people stabbed at the station in east London and a man threatening other people with a knife. One man was seriously injured and two sustained minor injuries, police said. Photos By Neil Hall/Reuters

    Emergency responders investigate a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London, Britain on Sunday. Police were called to reports of a number of people stabbed at the station in east London and a man threatening other people with a knife. One man was seriously injured and two sustained minor injuries, police said. Photos By Neil Hall/Reuters

    Days after British war planes began an expanded airstrike campaign against the Islamic State, a man on Saturday reportedly yelled “this is for Syria” before slashing at least one person with a knife in a London subway station.

    A 56-year-old man sustained serious injuries in the attack but is now in stable condition, while another person sustained minor injuries, police said.

    The assailant was arrested after police used a Taser to subdue him.

    “I am treating this as a terrorist incident,” Richard Walton, who heads the Counter Terrorism Command at London’s Metropolitan Police, said in a statement.

    “I would continue to urge the public to remain calm, but alert and vigilant,” he said.

    The authorities have yet to identify the suspect, believed to be 29.

    The stabbing incident took place just after 7 p.m. local time in London’s Leytonstone Underground station.

    A video posted on Twitter after the incident showed a pool of blood on the floor of a subway station.

    Police officers investigate a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London, Britain December 6, 2015. Police were called to reports of a number of people stabbed at the station in east London and a man threatening other people with a knife. One man was seriously injured and two sustained minor injuries, police said. REUTERS/Neil Hall - RTX1XDA6

    Police officers investigate a crime scene at Leytonstone underground station in east London, Britain on Dec. 6, 2015. Photo by Neil Hall/Reuters

    The Guardian reported the suspect told police he launched the attack because of Britain’s recent airstrikes, which began this week.

    Police said they believe the assailant acted alone; detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service’s Counter Terrorism Command later searched an east London address.

    Another video posted on The Guardian’s website shows the accused attacker, wearing a gray shirt, tan pants and hat, lunging toward people, including police officers, in a subway station. (A note, the footage in the video may be distressing to some viewers.)

    Authorities then Tasered the suspect, who dropped to the ground and was handcuffed.

    On Thursday, the British Parliament approved an expanded airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in Syria following the terror attacks in Paris.

    The post London Underground stabbing attack called ‘terrorist incident’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Islamic State billboards are seen along a street in Raqqa, eastern Syria, which is controlled by the Islamic State, October 29, 2014. The billboard (R) reads:  "We will win despite the global coalition". REUTERS/Nour Fourat  (SYRIA - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT MILITARY) - RTR4C21W

    Islamic State billboards are seen along a street in Raqqa, eastern Syria on Oct. 29, 2014. The billboard (R) reads: “We will win despite the global coalition.” Propaganda by the militant group is increasingly resonating with young women and teenagers. Photo by Nour Fourat/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Islamic State propaganda is resonating with a growing and loyal following of young women and teenagers, complicating U.S. counterterrorism efforts to identify and monitor supporters such as Tashfeen Malik, the 29-year-old mother suspected in the California shootings along with her husband.

    It’s unusual for a woman to be involved in mass violence in the United States. But the increasing number of women drawn to IS is worrisome to American law enforcement and making it almost impossible to flag the prototypical recruit for investigation. Even harder to detect: a husband and wife team, like the one blamed for Wednesday’s shootings in San Bernardino, that doesn’t need to use a telephone for attack-plotting.

    “The challenge of our efforts to try and find and redirect people is that it is a wide spectrum of folks,” FBI Director James Comey said Friday. “It isn’t a particular demographic or geography. It’s about people seeking meaning in their lives in a misguided way.”

    In the U.S., men by far account for the largest percentage of supporters of the Islamic State group. But authorities are concerned that the number of women supporting extremist ideology is on the rise.

    Before the most recent attacks, the Anti-Defamation League had identified 15 women linked to Islamic extremist activity in 2014 and 2015 – a higher total than in the entire prior decade. A recent George Washington University report on IS found that one-third of the nearly 300 Twitter accounts of U.S.-based IS sympathizers monitored during a six-month period appeared to be operated by women.

    Most recruits had tried to join IS on its home turf, including three teenage girls from Colorado who were intercepted in Germany last year and a 19-year-old Mississippi woman who the FBI says set off with her love interest before being stopped at a regional airport. Others are accused of planning violence: In New York, two women were charged in April with plotting to build a bomb for an attack.

    “Unlike in the Middle East or even Europe, it is indeed rare for a woman to be involved in such a shooting in the U.S.,” said Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s Center on Extremism. He said IS “has made it a priority to reach and recruit women, so perhaps we are starting to see the results of those efforts.”

    There’s no single answer for why the group has succeeded in attracting women, but law enforcement officials cite propaganda directed at that population. Even as IS spotlights decapitations of captives, recruitment videos that show smiling children paint a family-friendly portrait and suggest a role for women who join the self-described caliphate in Iraq and Syria.

    The goal is to entice women to become brides for the jihadi fighters and help expand the group’s regional dominance.

    IS “likes to say it’s not a terrorist group, but it’s really a state or a movement,” said Max Abrahms, a terrorism expert at Northeastern University.

    The FBI is investigating the shootings at the social services facility in San Bernardino as an act of terrorism. Comey said agents have found signs of radicalization, though no indication that the couple was part of a larger cell or network.

    At the center of the investigation is Malik, born in Pakistan and described by family lawyers as a quiet and devout Muslim who moved to the U.S. in July 2014 and married a month later.

    A U.S. official says she used a Facebook alias to praise the Islamic State in a post around the time she and her husband, Syed Farook, opened fire in combat-style gear on a holiday party of his co-workers. The official was not authorized to discuss the case publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    It’s rare for husband-wife pairs to team up in violence.

    Among the more recent examples is Jerad and Amanda Miller, who harbored extremist views and went on a June 2014 shooting rampage in Las Vegas that left two police officers and a civilian dead. The Millers died in a shootout with police.

    Before that were Holly Grigsby and David Pedersen, a white-supremacist couple now serving life sentences in connection with the 2011 murders of four people in Washington state, Oregon and California.

    Even the most sophisticated electronic surveillance tools can fail to pick up a plot hatched by a couple who spend hours communicating face to face in the privacy of their home.

    “Usually when terrorist plots are broken up, it’s by intercepting communications among members. But if they’re living together, it would be much harder,” Abrahams said.

    “They don’t need to leave the house,” he added. “They don’t even need to leave the bed.”

    The post How ISIS is recruiting a growing following of young women appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Screen Shot 2015-12-05 at 1.46.43 PM

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    IVETTE FELICIANO: For two years, Chef Paxx Moll has been preparing “farm-to-table” meals at the San Juan restaurant “El Departamento de la Comida,” which means “the department of food.”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: When I cook, everyone’s a VIP, moll says.  You give some of your soul and love to the person.

    PAXX MOLL: “cuatro libras de habichuelas, 15 quesos”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: Moll works with a small network of Puerto Rican farmers for the restaurant’s organic, signature dishes, like their falafel-plantain fritters and coconut flatbread.

    PAXX MOLL: “I think its fresh food with Puerto Rican essence and it’s all locally grown which makes it uber Puerto Rican.”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: Yet getting quality ingredients from Puerto Rico is not easy. On this lush tropical island, more than 85-percent of what people eat is imported.

    Seafood, meats, and staples like rice and beans and coffee mostly come from the United States, neighboring Latin American countries and even China.

    The main reason – Puerto Rico’s agricultural sector is dismal, representing less than one-percent of the island’s gross domestic product.

    CARLOS REYES-ALBINO: “From California or China, in a ship, that goes to the Canal de Panama, to come here. That’s like 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 weeks?”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: Carlos Reyes-Albino, a former co-owner of the restaurant, says the island’s dependence on imports makes it dangerously vulnerable to any unforeseen event threatening its food supply.

    CARLOS REYES-ALBINO: “A catastrophe or something happen with the ships, what’s gonna happen to us?”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: In October, a Puerto Rico-bound cargo ship from Florida- El Faro- sank during a hurricane, costing the lives of 33 crew-members and also the loss of 70 containers of food.

    IVETTE FELICIANOIn fact, right now, Puerto Rico’s Agriculture Secretary warns the territory only has a one-month food supply on hand. So the government has implemented a plan to redevelop the island’s agricultural sector, including providing farmers with subsidies and new equipment.

    Already, in the last two years, Puerto Rico has seen a 24% increase in agriculture revenues and 65 hundred new jobs.

    The restaurant El Departamento de la Comida is also trying to engage more local farmers.

    DANIEL CADENAS: “There’s a lot of variety here there’s anon, there’s grapefruit…”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: Farmer Daniel Cadenas has been providing the restaurant with organic produce for two years.

    DANIEL CADENAS: “I think it’s really positive what they’re doing, because they’re helping promote what is the agriculture in Puerto Rico.”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: Cadenas splits his time between his family’s medical billing business and their 25 acre farm in the town of Carolina, about 20 miles outside of San Juan.  He hopes more people in Puerto Rico will see farming in a new light.

    DANIEL CADENAS: “I think it’s very important that people get back to their roots and they learn how to deal with the land and how to grow their own produce.  We kind of have lost that or have not done enough of it, and we can definitely produce our own and won’t have to depend on an outside supply.”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: The shortage of locally grown food here results from a decline in farming and social stigma. Sugar was the dominant crop. But the grueling and low-paying work on mostly American-owned plantations, gave rise to the term “jibaro,” for peasant….a word also synonymous with ignorance and poverty.

    CARLOS REYES-ALBINO: “About poverty, about having people from other places owning our lands. We got the problem that our culture looks at the agriculture too as the sugar cane.”

    IVETTE FELICIANO: An international collapse in sugar prices after World War II led Puerto Rico to focus more on industrialization. Today, the island uses less than a third of its agricultural land.  

    The folks at the restaurant El Departamento de la Comida say they’ll continue to do their small part to get Puerto Rico on track to a sustainable future in food.

    CARLOS REYES-ALBINO: “We got this slogan it goes, you lost agriculture you lost the society because agriculture is the first step in every kind of society. “

    The post How to solve Puerto Rico’s looming food crisis? Eat local, farmers say appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrives to speak during an event honoring former U.S. Vice President Walter Mondale hosted by the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in Washington October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTS5DEJ

    Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter arrives to speak at the University of Minnesota in Washington October 20, 2015. Carter, 91, announced he is cancer free on Sunday. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    Former President Jimmy Carter announced he is cancer free Sunday, more than three months after the 91-year-old started treatment for melanoma tumors.

    “My most recent MRI brain scan did not reveal any signs of the original cancer spots nor any new ones,” Carter said in a statement.

    Carter’s grandson, James Carter, confirmed to the Atlanta Journal Constitution that a recent test showed his grandfather was cancer-free.

    “There’s no cancer in his body at this point,” James Carter told the AJC. “He’s not going to stop doing the treatment, but at this point, there’s no cancer. It’s incredible news.”

    In August, Carter said that a liver surgery had revealed the presence of cancer.

    The post Former President Jimmy Carter says he is cancer free appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    WASHINGTON — In a rare Oval Office address, President Barack Obama vowed Sunday night the United States would overcome a new terror threat that seeks to “poison the minds” of people here and around the world, as he sought to reassure Americans shaken by recent attacks in Paris and California.

    FULL SPEECH: Obama says ‘Freedom is more powerful than fear’

    But the president misspoke when he said that the female assailant in the San Bernardino shootings, Tashfeen Malik, came to the United States under the visa waiver program.

    In a prime-time televised address, Obama said he has “ordered the departments of State and Homeland Security to review the visa waiver program under which the female terrorist in San Bernardino originally came to this country.”

    READ MORE: Obama says ‘Terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase’

    Malik came to the U.S. on a K-1 visa, known as a “fiancée visa,” when she moved to the United States to marry Syed Farook, her husband and accomplice in the massacre in the Southern California city last week.

    The White House has acknowledged the error.

    The post Obama misspoke referring to female shooter’s visa appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Following President Barack Obama’s address to the nation Sunday, the candidates jockeying to have his job in more than a year reacted to the president’s strategy for defeating ISIS and terror threats at home.

    Before the president’s Oval Office speech began, Donald Trump was prepared to respond.

    Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., expressed his disappointment with the president’s remarks, especially regarding the call for tighter gun control.

    The Kentucky Republican also appeared on Yahoo News with Katie Couric immediately following the president’s address.

    Some candidates — like Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., former Gov. Mike Huckabee, R-Ark., and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. — took to the cable shows to criticize the president.

    “People are scared, not just because of these attacks, but because of a growing sense that we have a president that’s completely overwhelmed by them,” Rubio told Fox News’s Bret Baier.

    He slammed President Obama’s offensive strategy against ISIS, saying there is no coalition fighting the group, and that it can’t be defeated by airstrikes alone.

    “I’m very disappointed tonight,” he added. “I think not only did the president not make things better tonight — I fear he may have made things worse.”

    Huckabee also reacted to the president’s speech on Fox News:

    “We need to understand that we’re dealing with an enemy that is like … a cancer. And I’ve said: When you have a malignant cancer, you don’t just try to take care of the area around it. You eradicate that cancer. Then you radiate around it, so it doesn’t come back. That’s how you deal with ISIS,” Huckabee told Fox News’s Jeanine Pirro.

    “I don’t know anybody with a brain that can’t identify that when people follow jihad — when they believe their duty to God on this earth is to kill everybody that does not accept their caliphate — I don’t know why this president can’t say, ‘Folks, these are our enemies,’” he added.

    Sen. Graham sounded the drumbeat for an increased ground game against ISIS.

    “Another 9/11 is coming here,” he said on Fox News. “This is not about lone wolves … the people who planned Paris want to come here.”

    “If I’m president of the United States, we’re gonna have a ground war against ISIL.”

    Other candidates opted for written statements, like former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

    President Obama has finally been forced to abandon the political fantasy he has perpetuated for years that the threat of terrorism was receding. We need to remove the self-imposed constraints President Obama has placed on our intelligence community and military, and we need to put in place an aggressive strategy to defeat ISIS and radical Islamic terrorism as I have proposed. Unfortunately, neither he nor Hillary Clinton has the resolve to put in place such a strategy.
    This is the war of our time. It should not be business as usual. We need a war-time Commander-in-Chief who is ready to lead this country and the free world to victory. — Jeb Bush

    “The President’s strategy is not enough. Without taking the fight to ISIS on the ground, ISIS won’t be defeated. Since February I’ve been calling for a coalition to do that. We must stop delaying and do it. We delayed in helping the Syrian rebels and look where it got us, and when we decided to act it was too little. Bolder action across the board is needed because our way of life is what’s at stake. Also, when terrorists threaten us, our response can’t be to target our own constitutional rights. Our rights aren’t the problem, our unwillingness to act to defeat extremists is the problem. We need to decisively and aggressively protect our nation and our ideals. We can’t delay.” — John Kasich

    “On December 7, 1941, in response to Pearl Harbor, FDR did not give a partisan speech, rather he called on Americans to unite and ‘win through to absolute victory.’

    “If I am elected President, I will direct the Department of Defense to destroy ISIS. And I will shut down the broken immigration system that is letting jihadists into our country.

    “Nothing President Obama said tonight will assist in either case.” — Ted Cruz

    “President Obama is right. ISIS will be destroyed with an international coalition in which Muslim troops on the ground are supported by the United States, United Kingdom, France, Russia and other leading powers. We must learn the lesson of Iraq. American troops should not be engaged in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.

    “Further, as we destroy ISIS, it is essential that we do not allow fear and division to undermine the constitutional rights that make us a free people.” — Bernie Sanders

    But many of the candidates critiqued the president more succinctly on Twitter …

    … including a former Democratic candidate.

    https://twitter.com/JimWebbUSA/status/673689141998170112

    The NewsHour political team will continue to update this post as additional candidates react to the president’s statement. And tune in to the NewsHour Monday night for further analysis of the president’s speech, including Politics Monday with NPR’s Tamara Keith and Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report.

    The post What did the candidates think of Obama’s national security address? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Speaking from the Oval Office for just the third time during his presidency, but offering few new proposals, President Barack Obama on Sunday pledged to continue his current strategy against the Islamic State overseas, while also encouraging American Muslims to root out extremism in their own communities.

    “Muslim leaders here and around the globe have to continue working with us to decisively and unequivocally reject the hateful ideology that groups like ISIL and al Qaida promote,” Obama said, standing in front of a podium with photos of his wife and daughters behind him.

    Obama sought to reassure the nation after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, last week that left 14 people dead and 21 injured. He also urged Americans to reject Islamophobia and not turn their backs on American Muslims.

    quote3

    The speech comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s announcement over the weekend that the San Bernardino shooting was an “act of terrorism,” making the shooting the deadliest terrorist attack in the United States since 2001.

    In the speech, the president offered a message of resilience and strength, but he also repeated his request that Congress formally authorize military operations against the Islamic State, despite a growing chorus of critics in Congress and on the campaign trail who have argued that the White House is not doing enough to stop the group’s spread.

    Current air strikes and other military operations are being carried out under congressional authorization passed in 2001 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. Republican leaders in Congress have resisted the president’s request for a vote on an ISIS-specific authorization.

    FULL SPEECH: Obama says ‘Freedom is more powerful than fear’

    The president also urged Congress to pass several measures that would make it more difficult for would-be attackers to enter the United States and gain access to assault weapons.

    The venue for the speech underscored the importance that Obama and his advisers have placed on the threat posed by ISIS, and the extent to which the president has been forced to focus on the group as his time in office winds down.

    The White House believed that speaking from the Oval Office would “convey the seriousness” of the issue, a senior administration official told reporters before the speech.

    quote-1

    Before Sunday, President Obama had only delivered two speeches from the Oval Office: in 2010, in response to the BP oil spill, which killed 11 workers and dumped nearly 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico; and later that year, when the president announced the end of combat operations in Iraq.

    The president worked on the address through the weekend, using the Islamic State’s deadly attacks on Paris last month and last week’s San Bernardino shooting as a starting point to hold a broader discussion with the public about the threat of terrorism and the administration’s efforts to protect Americans at home, the adviser said.

    The setting also offered Mr. Obama an opportunity to expand on his initial comments about the San Bernardino shooting and put his stamp on a national conversation about terrorism and gun control that has reached a fevered pitch since the shooting in California on Wednesday.

    READ MORE: Obama says ‘Terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase’
    “It’s an election year, there’s a lot of voices out there that have been making their opinions heard since the San Bernardino shooting, and the president has not had his voice in there,” said Amy Walter, a political analyst and the editor of the Cook Political Report, said.

    quote2-fixed

    “You have a country right now that’s very concerned about what this means,” Walter added.

    Still, the speech did little to mollify Obama’s critics.

    “President Obama offered no changes to his reactive, indirect, and incremental strategy,”

    Republican Sen. John McCain of Arizona said in a statement after the speech.

    Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., was similarly unimpressed.

    “The enemy is adapting, and we must too. That’s why what we heard tonight was so disappointing: no new plan, just a half-hearted attempt to defend and distract from a failing policy,” Ryan said in a statement.

    One area of potential agreement between congressional Republicans and the White House is a proposed change to the visa waiver program Obama singled out in his Oval Office address.

    A vote on the issue could hit the House floor as early as Tuesday. The proposal would mean that people from countries with expedited access to the U.S. — like America’s Western European allies — must go through extra screening if they are from or have traveled to Iraq, Iran, Syria or Sudan in the past five years. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., predicted that policy would become law.

    Former Obama advisor Dan Pfeiffer tweeted that the speech’s intended audience was not the Beltway media.

    Mr. Obama, likewise, made no mention of his congressional critics in his speech, which lasted just under 15 minutes, choosing instead to focus on engaging directly with the American public.

    “I am confident we will succeed in this mission because we are on the right side of history,” Obama said. “I have no doubt that America will prevail.”

    The post Obama urges nation not to give in to fear appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    INGLEWOOD, CA - NOVEMBER 08:  Musician Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during REAL 92.3's 'The Real Show" at The Forum on November 8, 2015 in Inglewood, California.  (Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images)

    Kendrick Lamar performs onstage during REAL 92.3’s “The Real Show” at The Forum on Nov. 8, 2015 in Inglewood, California. The rapper received 11 nominations today for the 2016 Grammys. Photo by Scott Dudelson/Getty Images

    Kendrick Lamar led at the 2016 Grammy nominations this morning with 11 nominations, including Album of the Year and Best Rap Album for “To Pimp a Butterfly.” Taylor Swift is not far behind with seven nominations for her hit album “1989,” which was the top-selling album of 2014.

    The two are also nominated together in the Pop Duo/Group Performance and Music Video categories for “Bad Blood,” which appeared on “1989” and featured Lamar. Competing with the two for Album of the Year are The Weeknd for “Can’t Feel My Face,” Alabama Shakes for “Sound & Color” and Chris Stapleton for “Traveller.”

    Nominees are strong in the Rap Album category, where Lamar is up against Drake’s “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” which the singer released on Feb. 13, 2015 through iTunes with no prior press, along with Nicki Minaj’s third studio album “The Pinkprint,” Dr. Dre’s “Compton” and J. Cole’s “2014 Forest Hills Drive.”

    Broadway musical “Fun Home” was nominated for Musical Theater Album along with “Hamilton,” which made what Billboard called a “historic high debut” at No. 12 on the Billboard 200 and whose creator, Lin-Manuel Miranda, won a MacArthur Foundation grant this year. Three musicals join them in that category: “Something Rotten!,” “An American in Paris” and revival “The King and I.”

    Songs and albums released between Oct. 1, 2014 and Sept. 30, 2015, were eligible for the nominations. That means recent hits like Adele’s “25,” which the singer released Nov. 20, were not eligible for nomination. Winners will be announced in a ceremony on Feb. 15, 2016, at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

    Read the entire list of nominees below.

    Record of the Year

    “Really Love,” D’Angelo and the Vanguard
    “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
    “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran
    “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
    “Can’t Feel My Face,” the Weeknd

    Album of the Year

    “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes
    “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar
    “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton
    “1989,” Taylor Swift
    “Beauty Behind the Madness,” the Weeknd

    Song of the Year

    “Alright,” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams, songwriters (Kendrick Lamar)
    “Blank Space,” Max Martin, Shellback and Taylor Swift, songwriters (Taylor Swift)
    “Girl Crush,” Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna and Liz Rose, songwriters (Little Big Town)
    “See You Again,” Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth and Cameron Thomaz, songwriters (Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth)
    “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran and Amy Wadge, songwriters (Ed Sheeran)

    New Artist

    Courtney Barnett
    James Bay
    Sam Hunt
    Tori Kelly
    Meghan Trainor

    Pop Solo Performance

    “Heartbeat Song,” Kelly Clarkson
    “Love Me Like You Do,” Ellie Goulding
    “Thinking Out Loud,” Ed Sheeran
    “Blank Space,” Taylor Swift
    “Can’t Feel My Face,” the Weeknd

    Pop Duo/Group Performance

    “Ship to Wreck,” Florence + the Machine
    “Sugar,” Maroon 5
    “Uptown Funk,” Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars
    “Bad Blood,” Taylor Swift featuring Kendrick Lamar
    “See You Again,” Wiz Khalifa featuring Charlie Puth

    Traditional Pop Vocal Album

    “The Silver Lining: The Songs of Jerome Kern,” Tony Bennett and Bill Charlap
    “Shadows in the Night,” Bob Dylan
    “Stages,” Josh Groban
    “No One Ever Tells You,” Seth MacFarlane
    “My Dream Duets,” Barry Manilow (and Various Artists)

    Pop Vocal Album

    “Piece by Piece,” Kelly Clarkson
    “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful,” Florence + the Machine
    “Uptown Special,” Mark Ronson
    “1989,” Taylor Swift
    “Before This World,” James Taylor

    Dance Recording

    “We’re All We Need,” Above & Beyond featuring Zoe Johnston
    “Go,” the Chemical Brothers
    “Never Catch Me,” Flying Lotus featuring Kendrick Lamar
    “Runaway (U & I),” Galantis
    “Where Are U Now,” Skrillex and Diplo with Justin Bieber

    Dance/Electronic Album

    “Our Love,” Caribou
    “Born in the Echoes,” the Chemical Brothers
    “Caracal,” Disclosure
    “In Colour,” Jamie XX
    “Skrillex and Diplo Present Jack U,” Skrillex and Diplo

    Contemporary Instrumental Album

    “Guitar in the Space Age!,” Bill Frisell
    “Love Language,” Wouter Kellerman
    “Afrodeezia,” Marcus Miller
    “Sylva,” Snarky Puppy and Metropole Orkest
    “The Gospel According to Jazz, Chapter IV,” Kirk Whalum

    Rock Performance

    “Don’t Wanna Fight,” Alabama Shakes
    “What Kind Of Man,” Florence + the Machine
    “Something From Nothing,” Foo Fighters
    “Ex’s & Oh’s,” Elle King
    “Moaning Lisa Smile,” Wolf Alice

    Metal Performance

    “Identity,” August Burns Red
    “Cirice,” Ghost
    “512,” Lamb Of God
    “Thank You,” Sevendust
    “Custer,” Slipknot

    Rock Song

    “Don’t Wanna Fight,” Alabama Shakes, songwriters (Alabama Shakes)
    “Ex’s & Oh’s,” Dave Bassett and Elle King, songwriters (Elle King)
    “Hold Back the River,” Iain Archer and James Bay, songwriters (James Bay)
    “Lydia,” Richard Meyer, Ryan Meyer and Johnny Stevens, songwriters (Highly Suspect)
    “What Kind of Man,” John Hill, Tom Hull and Florence Welch, songwriters (Florence + the Machine)

    Rock Album

    “Chaos and the Calm,” James Bay
    “Kintsugi,” Death Cab for Cutie
    “Mister Asylum,” Highly Suspect
    “Drones,” Muse
    “.5: The Gray Chapter,” Slipknot

    Alternative Music Album

    “Sound & Color,” Alabama Shakes
    “Vulnicura,” Björk
    “The Waterfall,” My Morning Jacket
    “Currents,” Tame Impala
    “Star Wars,” Wilco

    R&B Performance

    “If I Don’t Have You,” Tamar Braxton
    “Rise Up,” Andra Day
    “Breathing Underwater,” Hiatus Kaiyote
    “Planes,” Jeremih featuring J. Cole
    “Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey),” the Weeknd

    Traditional R&B Performance

    “He Is,” Faith Evans
    “Little Ghetto Boy,” Lalah Hathaway
    “Let It Burn,” Jazmine Sullivan
    “Shame,” Tyrese
    “My Favorite Part of You,” Charlie Wilson

    R&B Song

    “Coffee,” Brook Davis and Miguel Pimentel, songwriters (Miguel)
    “Earned It (Fifty Shades of Grey),” Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville and Abel Tesfaye, songwriters (the Weeknd)
    “Let It Burn,” Kenny B. Edmonds, Jazmine Sullivan and Dwane M. Weir II, songwriters (Jazmine Sullivan)
    “Really Love,” D’Angelo and Kendra Foster, songwriters (D’Angelo and the Vanguard)
    “Shame,” Warryn Campbell, Tyrese Gibson and DJ Rogers Jr., songwriters (Tyrese)

    Urban Contemporary Album

    “Ego Death,” the Internet
    “You Should Be Here,” Kehlani
    “Blood,” Lianne La Havas
    “Wildheart,” Miguel
    “Beauty Behind the Madness,” the Weeknd

    R&B Album

    “Coming Home,” Leon Bridges
    “Black Messiah,” D’Angelo and the Vanguard
    “Cheers to the Fall,” Andra Day
    “Reality Show,” Jazmine Sullivan
    “Forever Charlie,” Charlie Wilson

    Rap Performance

    “Apparently,” J. Cole
    “Back to Back,” Drake
    “Trap Queen,” Fetty Wap
    “Alright,” Kendrick Lamar
    “Truffle Butter,” Nicki Minaj featuring Drake and Lil Wayne
    “All Day,” Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney

    Rap/Sung Collaboration

    “One Man Can Change the World,” Big Sean featuring Kanye West and John Legend
    “Glory,” Common and John Legend
    “Classic Man,” Jidenna featuring Roman GianArthur
    “These Walls,” Kendrick Lamar featuring Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat
    “Only,” Nicki Minaj featuring Drake, Lil Wayne and Chris Brown

    Rap Song

    “All Day,” Ernest Brown, Tyler Bryant, Sean Combs, Mike Dean, Rennard East, Noah Goldstein, Malik Yusef Jones, Karim Kharbouch, Allan Kyariga, Kendrick Lamar, Paul McCartney, Victor Mensah, Charles Njapa, Che Pope, Patrick Reynolds, Allen Ritter, Kanye West, Mario Winans and Cydel Young (Kanye West featuring Theophilus London, Allan Kingdom and Paul McCartney)
    “Alright,” Kendrick Duckworth, Mark Anthony Spears and Pharrell Williams (Kendrick Lamar)
    “Energy,” Richard Dorfmeister, A. Graham, Markus Kienzl, M. O’Brien, M. Samuels and Phillip Thomas (Drake)
    “Glory,” Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith and John Stephens (Common and John Legend)
    “Trap Queen,” Tony Fadd and Willie J. Maxwell (Fetty Wap)

    Rap Album

    “2014 Forest Hills Drive,” J. Cole
    “Compton,” Dr. Dre
    “If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late,” Drake
    “To Pimp a Butterfly,” Kendrick Lamar
    “The Pinkprint,” Nicki Minaj

    Country Solo Performance

    “Burning House,” Cam
    “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton
    “Little Toy Guns,” Carrie Underwood
    “John Cougar, John Deere, John 3:16,” Keith Urban
    “Chances Are,” Lee Ann Womack

    Country Duo/Group Performance/

    “Stay a Little Longer,” Brothers Osborne
    “If I Needed You,” Joey+Rory
    “The Driver,” Charles Kelley, Dierks Bentley and Eric Paslay
    “Girl Crush,” Little Big Town
    “Lonely Tonight,” Blake Shelton featuring Ashley Monroe

    Country Song

    “Chances Are,” Hayes Carll (Lee Ann Womack)
    “Diamond Rings and Old Barstools,” Barry Dean, Luke Laird and Jonathan Singleton (Tim McGraw)
    “Girl Crush,” Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose (Little Big Town)
    “Hold My Hand,” Brandy Clark and Mark Stephen Jones (Brandy Clark)
    “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton (Chris Stapleton)

    Country Album

    “Montevallo,” Sam Hunt
    “Pain Killer,” Little Big Town
    “The Blade,” Ashley Monroe
    “Pageant Material,” Kacey Musgraves
    “Traveller,” Chris Stapleton

    New Age Album

    “Grace,” Paul Avgerinos
    “Bhakti Without Borders,” Madi Das
    “Voyager,” Catherine Duc
    “Love,” Peter Kater
    “Asia Beauty,” Ron Korb

    Improvised Jazz Solo

    “Giant Steps,” Joey Alexander
    “Cherokee,” Christian McBride
    “Arbiters if Evolution,” Donny McCaslin
    “Friend or Foe,” Joshua Redman
    “Past Present,” John Scofield

    Jazz Vocal Album

    “Many a New Day: Karrin Allyson Sings Rodgers & Hammerstein,” Karrin Allyson
    “Find a Heart,” Denise Donatelli
    “Flirting With Disaster,” Lorraine Feather
    “Jamison,” Jamison Ross
    “For One to Love,” Cécile McLorin Salvant

    Jazz Instrumental Album

    “My Favorite Things,” Joey Alexander
    “Breathless,” Terence Blanchard featuring the E-Collective
    “Covered: Recorded Live at Capitol Studios,” Robert Glasper and the Robert Glasper Trio
    “Beautiful Life,” Jimmy Greene
    “Past Present,” John Scofield

    Large Jazz Ensemble Album

    “Lines Of Color,” Gil Evans Project
    “Köln,” Marshall Gilkes & WDR Big Band
    “Cuba: The Conversation Continues,” Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
    “The Thompson Fields,” Maria Schneider Orchestra
    “Home Suite Home,” Patrick Williams

    Latin Jazz Album

    “Made in Brazil,” Eliane Elias
    “Impromptu,” the Rodriguez Brothers
    “Suite Caminos,” Gonzalo Rubalcaba
    “Intercambio,” Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet
    “Identities Are Changeable,” Miguel Zenón

    Gospel Performance/Song

    “Worth [Live],” Anthony Brown and Group Therapy
    “Wanna Be Happy?,” Kirk Franklin
    “Intentional,” Travis Greene
    “How Awesome Is Our God [Live],” Israel and Newbreed featuring Yolanda Adams; Neville Diedericks, Israel Houghton and Meleasa Houghton, songwriters
    “Worth Fighting For [Live],” Brian Courtney Wilson; Aaron Lindsey and Brian Courtney Wilson, songwriters

    Contemporary Christian Music Performance/Song

    “Holy Spirit,” Francesca Battistelli
    “Lift Your Head Weary Sinner (Chains),” Crowder; Ed Cash, David Crowder and Seth Philpott, songwriters
    “Because He Lives (Amen),” Matt Maher
    “Soul on Fire,” Third Day featuring All Sons & Daughters; Tai Anderson, Brenton Brown, David Carr, Mark Lee, Matt Maher and Mac Powell, songwriters
    “Feel It,” Tobymac featuring Mr. Talkbox; Cary Barlowe, David Arthur Garcia and Toby McKeehan, songwriters

    Gospel Album

    “Destined to Win [Live],” Karen Clark Sheard
    “Living It,” Dorinda Clark-Cole
    “One Place Live,” Tasha Cobbs
    “Covered: Alive in Asia [Live] (Deluxe),” Israel & Newbreed
    “Life Music: Stage Two,” Jonathan McReynolds

    Contemporary Christian Music Album

    “Whatever the Road,” Jason Crabb
    “How Can It Be,” Lauren Daigle
    “Saints and Sinners,” Matt Maher
    “This Is Not a Test,” Tobymac
    “Love Ran Red,” Chris Tomlin

    Roots Gospel Album

    “Still Rockin’ My Soul,” the Fairfield Four
    “Pray Now,” Karen Peck and New River
    “Directions Home (Songs We Love, Songs You Know),” Point of Grace

    Latin Pop Album

    “Terral,” Pablo Alborán
    “Healer,” Alex Cuba
    “A Quien Quiera Escuchar (Deluxe Edition),” Ricky Martin
    “Sirope,” Alejandro Sanz
    “Algo Sucede,” Julieta Venegas

    Latin Rock, Urban or Alternative Album

    “Amanecer,” Bomba Estereo
    “Mondongo,” La Cuneta Son Machín
    “Hasta la Raíz,” Natalia Lafourcade
    “Caja De Música,” Monsieur Periné
    “Dale,” Pitbull

    Regional Mexican Music Album

    “Mi Vicio Mas Grande,” Banda el Recodo De Don Cruz Lizarraga
    “Ya Dime Adiós,” la Maquinaria Norteña
    “Zapateando,” los Cojolites
    “Realidades, Deluxe Edition,” Los Tigres Del Norte
    “Tradición, Arte y Pasión,” Mariachi Los Camperos de Nati Cano

    Tropical Latin Album

    “Tributo a Los Compadres: No Quiero Llanto,” José Alberto “El Canario” and Septeto Santiaguero
    “Son De Panamá,” Rubén Blades with Roberto Delgado and Orchestra
    “Presente Continuo,” Guaco
    “Todo Tiene Su Hora,” Juan Luis Guerra 4.40
    “Que Suenen Los Tambores,” Victor Manuelle

    American Roots Performance

    “And Am I Born to Die,” Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
    “Born to Play Guitar,” Buddy Guy
    “City of Our Lady,” the Milk Carton Kids
    “Julep,” Punch Brothers
    “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean,” Mavis Staples

    American Roots Song

    “All Night Long,” Raul Malo (the Mavericks)
    “The Cost of Living,” Don Henley and Stan Lynch (Don Henley and Merle Haggard)
    “Julep,” Chris Eldridge, Paul Kowert, Noam Pikelny, Chris Thile and Gabe Witcher (Punch Brothers)
    “The Traveling Kind,” Cory Chisel, Rodney Crowell and Emmylou Harris (Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell)
    “24 Frames,” Jason Isbell (Jason Isbell)

    Americana Album

    “The Firewatcher’s Daughter,” Brandi Carlile
    “The Traveling Kind,” Emmylou Harris and Rodney Crowell
    “Something More Than Free,” Jason Isbell
    “Mono,” the Mavericks
    “The Phosphorescent Blues,” Punch Brothers

    Bluegrass Album

    “Pocket Full of Keys,” Dale Ann Bradley
    “Before the Sun Goes Down,” Rob Ickes and Trey Hensley
    “In Session,” Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver
    “Man of Constant Sorrow,” Ralph Stanley and Friends
    “The Muscle Shoals Recordings,” the Steeldrivers

    Blues Album

    “Descendants of Hill Country,” Cedric Burnside Project
    “Outskirts of Love,” Shemekia Copeland
    “Born to Play Guitar,” Buddy Guy
    “Worthy,” Bettye LaVette
    “Muddy Waters 100,” John Primer & Various Artists

    Folk Album

    “Wood, Wire & Words,” Norman Blake
    “Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn,” Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn
    “Tomorrow Is My Turn,” Rhiannon Giddens
    “Servant of Love,” Patty Griffin
    “Didn’t He Ramble,” Glen Hansard

    Regional Roots Music Album

    “Go Go Juice,” Jon Cleary
    “La La La La,” Natalie Ai Kamauu
    “Kawaiokalena,” Keali’i Reichel
    “Get Ready,” the Revelers
    “Generations,” Windwalker and the MCW

    Reggae Album

    “Branches of the Same Tree,” Rocky Dawuni
    “The Cure,” Jah Cure
    “Acousticalevy,” Barrington Levy
    “Zion Awake,” Luciano
    “Strictly Roots,” Morgan Heritage

    World Music Album

    “Gilbertos Samba Ao Vivo,” Gilberto Gil
    “Sings,” Angelique Kidjo
    “Music From Inala,” Ladysmith Black Mambazo with Ella Spira and the Inala Ensemble
    “Home,” Anoushka Shankar
    “I Have No Everything Here,” Zomba Prison Project

    Children’s Album

    “¡Come Bien! Eat Right!,” José-Luis Orozco
    “Dark Pie Concerns,” Gustafer Yellowgold
    “Home,” Tim Kubart
    “How Great Can This Day Be,” Lori Henriques
    “Trees,” Molly Ledford & Billy Kelly

    Spoken Word Album

    “Blood on Snow (Jo Nesbo),” Patti Smith
    “Brief Encounters: Conversations, Magic Moments, And Assorted Hijinks,” Dick Cavett
    “A Full Life: Reflections at Ninety,” Jimmy Carter
    “Patience and Sarah (Isabel Miller),” Janis Ian and Jean Smart
    “Yes Please,” Amy Poehler (and Various Artists)

    Comedy Album

    “Back to the Drawing Board,” Lisa Lampanelli
    “Brooklyn,” Wyatt Cenac
    “Happy. And A Lot.,” Jay Mohr
    “Just Being Honest,” Craig Ferguson
    “Live at Madison Square Garden,” Louis C.K.

    Musical Theater Album

    “An American in Paris”
    “Fun Home”
    “Hamilton”
    “The King and I”
    “Something Rotten!”

    Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media

    “Empire: Season 1″
    “Fifty Shades Of Grey”
    “Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me”
    “Pitch Perfect 2″
    “Selma”

    Score Soundtrack for Visual Media

    “Birdman,” Antonio Sanchez
    “The Imitation Game,” Alexandre Desplat
    “Interstellar,” Hans Zimmer
    “The Theory of Everything,” Jóhann Jóhannsson
    “Whiplash,” Justin Hurwitz

    Song Written for Visual Media

    “Earned It (Fifty Shades Of Grey),” Ahmad Balshe, Stephan Moccio, Jason Quenneville and Abel Tesfaye (the Weeknd, “Fifty Shades of Grey”)
    “Glory,” Lonnie Lynn, Che Smith and John Stephens (Common and John Legend, “Selma”)
    “Love Me Like You Do,” Savan Kotecha, Max Martin, Tove Nilsson, Ali Payami and Ilya Salmanzadeh (Ellie Goulding, “Fifty Shades Of Grey”)
    “See You Again,” Andrew Cedar, Justin Franks, Charles Puth and Cameron Thomaz (Wiz Khalifa Featuring Charlie Puth, “Furious 7″)
    “Til It Happens to You,” Lady Gaga and Diane Warren (Lady Gaga, “The Hunting Ground”)

    Instrumental Composition

    “The Afro Latin Jazz Suite,” Arturo O’Farrill (Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa)
    “Civil War,” Bob Mintzer (Bob Mintzer Big Band)
    “Confetti Man,” David Balakrishnan (Turtle Island Quartet)
    “Neil,” Rich DeRosa (University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band)
    “Vesper,” Marshall Gilkes (Marshall Gilkes and WDR Big Band)

    Arrangement, Instrumental or A Cappella

    “Bruno Mars,” Paul Allen, Troy Hayes, Evin Martin and J Moss (Vocally Challenged)
    “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” Ben Bram, Mitch Grassi, Scott Hoying, Avi Kaplan, Kirstin Maldonado and Kevin Olusola (Pentatonix)
    “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Armand Hutton (Committed)
    “Ghost of a Chance,” Bob James (Bob James and Nathan East)
    “You and the Night and the Music,” John Fedchock (John Fedchock New York Big Band)

    Arrangement, Instruments and Vocals

    “Be My Muse,” Shelly Berg (Lorraine Feather)
    “52nd & Broadway,” Patrick Williams (Patrick Williams featuring Patti Austin)
    “Garota De Ipanema,” Otmaro Ruiz (Catina DeLuna featuring Otmaro Ruiz)
    “Sue (Or In a Season of Crime),” Maria Schneider (David Bowie)
    “When I Come Home,” Jimmy Greene (Jimmy Greene with Javier Colon)

    Recording Package

    “Alagoas,” Alex Trochut (Alagoas)
    “Bush,” Anita Marisa Boriboon (Snoop Dogg)
    “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful (Deluxe Edition),” Brian Roettinger, art director (Florence + the Machine)
    “My Happiness,” Nathanio Strimpopulos (Elvis Presley)
    “Still the King: Celebrating the Music of Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys,” Sarah Dodds, Shauna Dodds and Dick Reeves (Asleep at the Wheel)

    Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package

    “Beneath The Skin (Deluxe Box Set),” Leif Podhajsky (Of Monsters and Men)
    “I Love You, Honeybear (Limited Edition Deluxe Vinyl),” Sasha Barr & Josh Tillman (Father John Misty)
    “The Rise & Fall of Paramount Records, Volume Two (1928-32),” Susan Archie, Dean Blackwood & Jack White (Various Artists)
    “Sticky Fingers (Super Deluxe Edition),” Stephen Kennedy and James Tilley, art directors (the Rolling Stones)
    “30 Trips Around the Sun,” Doran Tyson and Steve Vance (Grateful Dead)
    “What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (Deluxe Box Set),” Jeri Heiden and Glen Nakasako (the Decemberists)

    Album Notes

    “Folksongs of Another America: Field Recordings From the Upper Midwest, 1937-1946,” James P. Leary (Various Artists)
    “Lead Belly: The Smithsonian Folkways Collection,” Jeff Place (Lead Belly)
    “Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting to Be Danced,” Joni Mitchell, (Joni Mitchell)
    “Portrait of an American Singer,” Ted Olson (Tennessee Ernie Ford)
    “Songs of the Night: Dance Recordings, 1916-1925,” Ryan Barna (Joseph C. Smith’s Orchestra)

    Historical Album

    “The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11,” Bob Dylan and the Band
    “The Complete Concert by the Sea,” Erroll Garner
    “Native North America (Vol. 1): Aboriginal Folk, Rock, and Country 1966–1985,” Various Artists
    “Parchman Farm: Photographs and Field Recordings, 1947–1959,” Various Artists
    “Songs My Mother Taught Me,” Fannie Lou Hamer

    Engineered Album, Non-Classical

    “Before This World,” Dave O’Donnell, engineer; Ted Jensen, mastering engineer (James Taylor)
    “Currency of Man,” Maxime Le Guil, engineer; Bernie Grundman, mastering engineer (Melody Gardot)
    “Recreational Love,” Greg Kurstin and Alex Pasco, engineers; Emily Lazar, mastering engineer (the Bird and the Bee)
    “Sound & Color,” Shawn Everett, engineer; Bob Ludwig, mastering engineer (Alabama Shakes)
    “Wallflower,” Steve Price, Jochem van der Saag & Jorge Vivo, engineers; Paul Blakemore, mastering engineer (Diana Krall)

    Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical

    Jeff Bhasker
    Dave Cobb
    Diplo
    Larry Klein
    Blake Mills

    Remixed Recording, Non-Classical

    “Berlin by Overnight (CFCF Remix),” CFCF (Daniel Hope)
    “Hold On (Fatum Remix),” Bill Hamel and Chad Newbold (JES, Shant and Clint Maximus)
    “Runaway (U & I) (Kaskade Remix),” Ryan Raddon (Galantis)
    “Say My Name (RAC Remix),” André Allen Anjos (Odesza featuring Zyra)
    “Uptown Funk (Dave Audé Remix),” Dave Audé (Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars)

    Surround Sound Album

    “Amdahl: Astrognosia & Aesop,” Morten Lindberg (Ingar Heine Bergby and Norwegian Radio Orchestra)
    “Amused to Death,” James Guthrie and Joel Plante (Roger Waters)
    “Magnificat,” Morten Lindberg (Øyvind Gimse, Anita Brevik, Nidarosdomens Jentekor and Trondheimsolistene)
    “Shostakovich: Symphony No. 7,” Erdo Groot, Philip Traugott (Paavo Järvi and Russian National Orchestra)
    “Spes,” Morten Lindberg (Tove Ramlo-Ystad and Cantus)

    Engineered Album, Classical

    “Ask Your Mama,” Leslie Ann Jones, John Kilgore, Nora Kroll-Rosenbaum and Justin Merrill, engineers; Patricia Sullivan, mastering engineer (George Manahan and San Francisco Ballet Orchestra)
    “Dutilleux: Métaboles; L’Arbre Des Songes; Symphony No. 2, ‘Le Double’,” Dmitriy Lipay, engineer; Alexander Lipay, mastering engineer (Ludovic Morlot, Augustin Hadelich and Seattle Symphony)
    “Monteverdi: Il Ritorno D’Ulisse In Patria,” Robert Friedrich, engineer; Michael Bishop, mastering engineer (Martin Pearlman, Jennifer Rivera, Fernando Guimarães and Boston Baroque)
    “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil,” Beyong Joon Hwang and John Newton, engineers; Mark Donahue, mastering engineer (Charles Bruffy, Phoenix Chorale and Kansas City Chorale)
    “Saint-Saëns: Symphony No. 3, ‘Organ’,” Keith O. Johnson and Sean Royce Martin, engineers; Keith O. Johnson, mastering engineer (Michael Stern and Kansas City Symphony)

    Producer Of The Year, Classical

    Blanton Alspaugh
    Manfred Eicher
    Marina A. Ledin, Victor Ledin
    Dan Merceruio
    Judith Sherman

    Orchestral Performance

    “Bruckner: Symphony No. 4,” Manfred Honeck, conductor (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra)
    “Dutilleux: Métaboles; L’Arbre Des Songes; Symphony No. 2, ‘Le Double’,” Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony)
    “Shostakovich: Under Stalin’s Shadow – Symphony No. 10,” Andris Nelsons, conductor (Boston Symphony Orchestra)
    “Spirit of the American Range,” Carlos Kalmar, conductor (the Oregon Symphony)
    “Zhou Long & Chen Yi: Symphony ‘Humen 1839′,” Darrell Ang, conductor (New Zealand Symphony Orchestra)

    Opera Recording

    “Janá¿ek: Jen¿fa,” Donald Runnicles, conductor; Will Hartmann, Michaela Kaune & Jennifer Larmore; Magdalena Herbst, producer (Orchestra Of The Deutsche Oper Berlin; Chorus of the Deutsche Oper Berlin)
    “Monteverdi: Il Ritorno D’Ulisse In Patria,” Martin Pearlman, conductor; Fernando Guimarães and Jennifer Rivera; Thomas C. Moore, producer (Boston Baroque)
    “Mozart: Die Entführung Aus Dem Serail,” Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor; Diana Damrau, Paul Schweinester & Rolando Villazón; Sid McLauchlan, producer (Chamber Orchestra of Europe)
    “Ravel: L’Enfant Et Les Sortilèges; Shéhérazade,” Seiji Ozawa, conductor; Isabel Leonard; Dominic Fyfe, producer (Saito Kinen Orchestra; SKF Matsumoto Chorus and SKF Matsumoto Children’s Chorus)
    “Steffani: Niobe, Regina Di Tebe,” Paul O’Dette and Stephen Stubbs, conductors; Karina Gauvin and Philippe Jaroussky; Renate Wolter-Seevers, producer (Boston Early Music Festival Orchestra)

    Choral Performance

    “Beethoven: Missa Solemnis,” Bernard Haitink, conductor; Peter Dijkstra, chorus master (Anton Barachovsky, Genia Kühmeier, Elisabeth Kulman, Hanno Müller-Brachmann and Mark Padmore; Symphonieorchester Des Bayerischen Rundfunks; Chor Des Bayerischen Rundfunks)
    “Monteverdi: Vespers Of 1610,” Harry Christophers, conductor (Jeremy Budd, Grace Davidson, Ben Davies, Mark Dobell, Eamonn Dougan and Charlotte Mobbs; the Sixteen)
    “Pablo Neruda – The Poet Sings,” Craig Hella Johnson, conductor (James K. Bass, Laura Mercado-Wright, Eric Neuville and Lauren Snouffer; Faith DeBow and Stephen Redfield; Conspirare)
    “Paulus: Far in Tte Heavens,” Eric Holtan, conductor (Sara Fraker, Matthew Goinz, Thea Lobo, Owen McIntosh, Kathryn Mueller & Christine Vivona; True Concord Orchestra; True Concord Voices)
    “Rachmaninoff: All-Night Vigil,” Charles Bruffy, conductor (Paul Davidson, Frank Fleschner, Toby Vaughn Kidd, Bryan Pinkall, Julia Scozzafava, Bryan Taylor and Joseph Warner; Kansas City Chorale and Phoenix Chorale)

    Chamber Music/Small Ensemble Performance

    “Brahms: The Piano Trios,” Tanja Tetzlaff, Christian Tetzlaff and Lars Vogt
    “Filament,” Eighth Blackbird
    “Flaherty: Airdancing for Toy Piano, Piano & Electronics,” Nadia Shpachenko and Genevieve Feiwen Lee
    “Render,” Brad Wells and Roomful of Teeth
    “Shostakovich: Piano Quintet & String Quartet No. 2,” Takács Quartet and Marc-André Hamelin

    Classical Instrumental Solo

    “Dutilleux: Violin Concerto, L’Arbre Des Songes,” Augustin Hadelich; Ludovic Morlot, conductor (Seattle Symphony)
    “Grieg & Moszkowski: Piano Concertos,” Joseph Moog; Nicholas Milton, conductor (Deutsche Radio Philharmonie Saarbrücken Kaiserslautern)
    “Mozart: Keyboard Music, Vol. 7,” Kristian Bezuidenhout
    “Rachmaninov Variations,” Daniil Trifonov (the Philadelphia Orchestra)
    “Rzewski: The People United Will Never Be Defeated!,” Ursula Oppens (Jerome Lowenthal)

    Classical Solo Vocal Album

    “Beethoven: An Die Ferne Geliebte; Haydn: English Songs; Mozart: Masonic Cantata,” Mark Padmore; Kristian Bezuidenhout, accompanist
    “Joyce & Tony – Live From Wigmore Hall,” Joyce DiDonato; Antonio Pappano, accompanist
    “Nessun Dorma – The Puccini Album,” Jonas Kaufmann; Antonio Pappano, conductor (Krist¿ne Opolais, Antonio Pirozzi and Massimo Simeoli; Coro Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia; Orchestra Dell’Accademia Nazionale Di Santa Cecilia)
    “Rouse: Seeing; Kabir Padavali,” Talise Trevigne; David Alan Miller, conductor (Orion Weiss; Albany Symphony)
    “St. Petersburg,” Cecilia Bartoli; Diego Fasolis, conductor (I Barocchisti)

    Classical Compendium

    “As Dreams Fall Apart – The Golden Age of Jewish Stage and Film Music (1925-1955),” New Budapest Orpheum Society; Jim Ginsburg, producer
    “Ask Your Mama,” George Manahan, conductor; Judith Sherman, producer
    “Handel: L’Allegro, Il Penseroso Ed Il Moderato, 1740,” Paul McCreesh, conductor; Nicholas Parker, producer
    “Paulus: Three Places of Enlightenment; Veil of Tears & Grand Concerto,” Giancarlo Guerrero, conductor; Tim Handley, producer
    “Woman at the New Piano,” Nadia Shpachenko; Marina A. Ledin and Victor Ledin, producers

    Contemporary Classical Composition

    “Barry: The Importance of Being Earnest,” Gerald Barry, composer (Thomas Adès, Barbara Hannigan, Katalin Károlyi, Hilary Summers, Peter Tantsits and Birmingham Contemporary Music Group)
    “Norman: Play,” Andrew Norman, composer (Gil Rose and Boston Modern Orchestra Project)
    “Paulus: Prayers & Remembrances,” Stephen Paulus, composer (Eric Holtan, True Concord Voices and Orchestra)
    “Tower: Stroke,” Joan Tower, composer (Giancarlo Guerrero, Cho-Liang Lin and Nashville Symphony)
    “Wolfe: Anthracite Fields,” Julia Wolfe, composer (Julian Wachner, the Choir of Trinity Wall Street and Bang on a Can All-Stars)

    Music Video

    “LSD,” ASAP Rocky; Dexter Navy, video director; Shin Nishigaki, video producer
    “I Feel Love (Every Million Miles),” the Dead Weather; Cooper Roberts and Ian Schwartz, video directors; Candice Dragonas and Nathan Scherrer, video producers
    “Alright,” Kendrick Lamar; the Little Homies & Colin Tilley, video directors; Brandon Bonfiglio, Dave Free, Andrew Lerios and Luga Podesta, video producers
    “Bad Blood,” Taylor Swift Featuring Kendrick Lamar; Joseph Kahn, video director; Ron Morhoff, video producer
    “Freedom,” Pharrell Williams; Paul Hunter, video director; Candice Dragonas and Nathan Scherrer, video producers

    Music Film

    “Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown,” James Brown; Alex Gibney, video director; Peter Afterman, Blair Foster, Mick Jagger and Victoria Pearman, video producers
    “Sonic Highways,” Foo Fighters; Dave Grohl, video director; John Cutcliffe, John Silva, Gaby Skolnek and Kristen Welsh, video producers
    “What Happened, Miss Simone?” Nina Simone; Liz Garbus, video director; Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby, Jayson Jackson and Justin Wilkes, video producers
    “The Wall,” Roger Waters; Sean Evans and Roger Waters, video directors; Clare Spencer and Roger Waters, video producers
    “Amy,” Amy Winehouse; Asif Kapadia, video director; James Gay-Rees, video producer

    The post Kendrick Lamar leads the Grammy pack with 11 nominations appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Lilian Tintori (left), wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, celebrates next to candidates of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD) during a news conference in Caracas on Dec. 7. Venezuela's opposition won control of the legislature from the ruling Socialists for the first time in 16 years on Sunday, giving them a long-sought platform to challenge President Nicolas Maduro. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Lilian Tintori (left), wife of jailed Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, celebrates next to candidates of the Venezuelan coalition of opposition parties (MUD) during a news conference in Caracas on Dec. 7. Venezuela’s opposition won control of the legislature from the ruling Socialists for the first time in 16 years on Sunday, giving them a long-sought platform to challenge President Nicolas Maduro. Photo by Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

    Venezuela’s opposition won the most seats in Sunday’s parliamentary elections, paving the way for a strong challenge to President Nicolas Maduro in the next presidential election in 2019.

    The opposition coalition won at least 99 seats out of the 167-seat National Assembly, compared to the ruling socialist party’s 46 seats, according to the Associated Press.

    “I can say today that the economic war has triumphed,” said Maduro at the presidential palace in the capital Caracas after it appeared his party was taking a drubbing.

    Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro talks to the media during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas on Dec. 7. Photo by Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters

    Venezuela’s President Nicolas Maduro talks to the media during a news conference at Miraflores Palace in Caracas on Dec. 7. Photo by Miraflores Palace/Handout via Reuters

    The opposition says the government has run the economy into the ground. The Venezuelan economy has taken a beating from dropping oil prices and triple-digit inflation that has led to long lines at grocery stores and lack of basic necessities.

    “Venezuela wanted a change and that change came,” said Jesus Torrealba, head of the opposition coalition.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry congratulated Venezuelans on a peaceful vote.

    “Venezuelan voters expressed their overwhelming desire for a change in the direction of their country.  Dialogue among all parties in Venezuela is necessary to address the social and economic challenges facing the country, and the United States stands ready to support such a dialogue together with others in the international community,” he said in a statement.

    The post Opposition sweeps Venezuelan parliamentary elections appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    CHICAGO — The Justice Department will investigate patterns of racial disparity in the use of force by Chicago police officers as part of a wide-ranging probe that could lead to calls for sweeping changes at one of the country’s largest police departments, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced Monday.

    The investigation comes nearly two weeks after the release of a video showing a white Chicago police officer shooting a black teenager 16 times and the same day that prosecutors declined to charge another officer in the shooting death of a 25-year-old black man.

    The investigation, which is separate from an existing federal investigation into last year’s shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald, also will review how the department disciplines officers and handles misconduct accusations. Justice Department officials say they use such patterns-and-practices investigations to identify systemic failings in troubled police departments and to improve trust between police and the communities they serve.

    “This mistrust from members of the community makes it more difficult to gain help with investigations, to encourage victims and witnesses of crimes to speak up, and to fulfill the most basic responsibilities of public safety officials,” Lynch said. “And when suspicion and hostility is allowed to fester, it can erupt into unrest.”

    The civil rights probe follows recent ones in Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri, and comes as the police department and Mayor Rahm Emanuel are under intense scrutiny over their handling of the October 2014 death of McDonald. Officer Jason Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder Nov. 24, more than a year after the killing and just hours before the release of police dashboard camera footage showing the officer shooting the teenager.

    Emanuel, who initially said a federal civil rights investigation would be “misguided” but later reversed course, said in a news release after Lynch’s announcement that his goal is to create a stronger and better police force “that keeps the community safe while respecting the civil rights of every Chicagoan.”

    Also Monday, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez said there would be no charges against a police officer in the shooting of black man by a Chicago officer. Authorities say Ronald Johnson pointed a gun at police before Officer George Hernandez shot and killed him on Oct. 12, 2014. Johnson’s mother, Dorothy Holmes, said that wasn’t the case and that her son was running away from police. The video, like the McDonald case, has no dashcam audio; the state’s attorney’s office overlaid police radio communications.

    Alvarez has been criticized for not filing charges earlier in the McDonald case, in which the video shows the teen veering away from officers on a four-lane street when Van Dyke, seconds after exiting his squad car, opens fire from close range. The officer continues shooting after McDonald crumples to the ground and is barely moving. The video does not include sound, which authorities have not explained.

    The Chicago City Council signed off on a $5 million settlement with McDonald’s family even before the family filed a lawsuit, and city officials fought in court for months to keep the video from being released publicly. The city’s early efforts to suppress its release coincided with Emanuel’s re-election campaign, when the mayor was seeking African-American votes in a tight race.

    Since the release of the McDonald video, Emanuel forced Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy to resign and formed a task force to examine the police department. But the calls for the mayor to resign — something he said he won’t do — have grown louder from protesters, including the voices of more than 200 people during a march Sunday.

    Politicians, including Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, called for the federal civil rights investigation. The Rev. Jesse Jackson said he hopes it will would focus not only on the police department, but on Emanuel’s office and the Cook County State’s Attorney’s office, which he and others have criticized for taking so long to bring charges against Van Dyke.

    “All three of them — the police, City Hall and the prosecutor’s office — are suspect,” Jackson said. “We cannot trust them.”

    The Justice Department has opened 23 investigations of police departments since the start of the Obama administration.

    If the Justice Department finds systemic violations, the investigations typically result in court-enforceable agreements between the federal government and the community that serve as blueprints for change and are overseen by an independent monitor. The federal government has the option of suing a police department that is unwilling to make changes.

    Emanuel will speak Monday afternoon on police accountability with interim Chicago Police Superintendent John Escalante and the new head of the Independent Police Review Authority, a city agency that investigates police cases. The mayor’s office announced late Sunday that the former head of that agency, Scott Ando, had resigned effective immediately. Ando will be replaced by Sharon Fairley, general counsel and first deputy of the city’s Office of the Inspector General and a former assistant U.S. attorney.

    Chicago police released hundreds of pages Friday in the McDonald case that show police officers reported a very different version of the encounter than the video shows, portraying McDonald as being more menacing than he appears in dashcam footage. That further angered activists and protesters, who were already accusing the city of a cover-up.

    Emanuel acknowledged “the checkered history of misconduct in the Chicago Police Department” in an opinion column published in the Chicago Sun-Times and Chicago Tribune. “Chicago is facing a defining moment on the issues of crime and policing and the even larger issues of truth and justice,” Emanuel wrote. “To meet this moment, we need to conduct a painful but honest reckoning of what went wrong — not just in one instance, but over decades.”

    The University of Chicago said last month that an analysis by its civil rights and police accountability clinic found of 56,000 complaints against Chicago police — but only a fraction led to disciplinary action. Among the most notorious cases, dozens of men, mostly African-American, said they were subjected to torture from a Chicago police squad headed by former commander Jon Burge during the 1970s, ’80s and early ’90s. Burge was convicted of lying about the torture and served 4½ years in prison.

    Of 409 shootings involving Chicago police since September 2007, only two have led to allegations against an officer being found credible, the Chicago Tribune reported, citing data from the Independent Police Review Authority.

    Tucker contributed to this report from Washington, D.C.

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    File photo of U.S. Department of Homeland Security sign at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C., by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    File photo of U.S. Department of Homeland Security sign at Ronald Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will announce changes to the terror alert system “in the coming days,” Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Monday.

    Johnson described the change as a new alert system, which he said would better inform the public about threats to the United States, but he did not provide specific details.

    This will be the third change to how the Homeland Security Department warns the public about security concerns since the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The much maligned color-coded system was replaced in 2011 by the National Terrorism Advisory System, which has never been used.

    Johnson announced the new alert system during a forum with Defense One magazine. He said the National Terrorism Advisory System hasn’t been used because it requires a “specific, credible threat” to the U.S. in order to be activated. The new effort will include an “intermediate” step, he said.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest said later Monday that the alert system wasn’t being replaced, but rather tweaked to be more effective. He said a review of the system had been doing on for “quite some time.”

    “You should not consider this a replacement of this program, but rather some important reforms of the program that would allow it to be more effectively used to communicate with the American public,” Earnest told reporters.

    The plan to change the system was announced in the wake of the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California, which the FBI has declared a terrorism investigation. The FBI is investigating the possibility that shooting suspects Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were inspired by the Islamic State group to carry out the attacks that killed 14 people attending a holiday luncheon at a social services facility.

    Johnson said that while a specific motive has not been determined in the California case, the threat from home-grown radicals or those inspired by foreign groups is a growing concern in part because such attacks may not be discovered in advance. The new terror alert system, he said, better “reflects the current environment and current realities.”

    “We need a system that adequately informs the public at large … about what we are seeing, what we are doing and what we are asking the public to do about it,” Johnson said.

    This story has been corrected to show that the name of the alert system is the National Terrorism Advisory System.

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    PBS NewsHour will live stream a press conference from San Bernardino, California, with FBI Assistant Director in Charge David Bowdich, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Berguan, San Bernardino Sheriff John McMahon, ATF Special Agent in Charge Eric Harden; and United States Attorney Eileen Decker. The event is scheudled for 3 p.m. EST Monday.

    The post WATCH LIVE: San Bernardino press conference with FBI appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Poet H. Melt. Photo courtesy of H. Melt

    Poet H. Melt. Photo by Kiam Marcelo Junio

    Gender is often not as simple as it seems. This principle underlies the work of H. Melt, a 25-year-old trans poet who uses the pronoun “they” and released “The Plural, The Blurring,” their debut poetry collection, last week.

    Melt grew up in a community of young Chicago poets when there were far fewer representations of trans people in media and literature. Those that did exist were one-dimensional, defined by the violence for which trans people are at an elevated risk.

    But this approach does not reflect actual trans people’s lives, Melt said. “There wasn’t a lot of writing that I felt was joyous, or writing that was about affirming or validating moments in trans people’s lives,” Melt said.

    That trend continues to be prevalent in media, they said. “We see violence against trans people. We see all the ways that trans people are denied access to health care. We see trans people being policed and criminalized. [That] is all real and happening and really important, but I would also love to see just trans people being successful and enjoying their lives,” they said. “I would love to see them living in a world where they can be themselves.”

    H. Melt’s work is concerned with building that world, in part by blurring the binaries that govern the ways many people think of gender, they said.

    “It’s really important for me to be able to walk around in the world and be recognized as what I am, which is a trans person that does not fit into the binary of what people think of in terms of gender,” they said. “I’m, unfortunately, one of the only people who’s going to recognize and assert myself as a queer trans person, as a gender-nonconforming trans person. The vast majority of people are not going to recognize me as the person that I am.”

    “The Plural, The Blurring” — which Melt composed in the vein of Langston Hughes’ “Theme for English B” — claims space for that identity at the front and center of the poem.

    The piece addresses class inequality within queer communities, pointing out the commodification of gay culture in the form of “gaycations” and “gay friendly apartments.” The poem points out that those status markers leave out people “Who don’t have a roof, / shower, doctor or job.”

    Instead of these systems, the poem envisions an America composed of “The plural. The blurring,” challenging stereotypical notions of gender and the queer community.

    “One of the things that I’m interested in doing is breaking down these ideas of what the queer community looks like, what and who trans people are, what the definition of a trans person is,” Melt said.

    Those ideas are applicable to cisgender people as well, they said.

    “There’s a lot of in-between spaces for people to experiment and blend and mix all these different aspects of their identities. You don’t have to fit in these pre-existing definitions or ways of being,” they said. “And I think that this whole idea is applicable to everyone’s life, regardless of whether or not they’re trans.”

    THE PLURAL, THE BLURRING
    After Langston Hughes’ Theme for English B

    I am twenty two
    white and Jewish
    born in Chicago.

    I went to college in vermont.
    Came back home to attend
    the art institute downtown.

    I am the only Trans person
    in most class rooms
    in most rooms.

    I ride the red line
    home to Edgewater
    where Trans people live
    down the block.

    Straight america, I hear you
    on the radio, on the streets
    advertising gaycations and
    gay friendly apartments.

    What about people
    who never get a week
    off from work.

    Who don’t have a roof,
    shower, doctor or job.

    I like a few straights.
    I like the gays who
    don’t call me she.

    I’d like my mother
    to call me by my real name.
    Being Trans doesn’t make me
    not like my mother.

    She is a part of me.
    She is apart from me.
    She is not me.

    I am They. That’s American.
    The plural. The blurring.
    It’s clear. We’re here.

    Forever.

    H. Melt is a poet and artist who was born in Chicago. Their work proudly documents Chicago’s queer and trans communities. Their writing has been published by many places including Lambda Literary, The Offing and Them, the first trans literary journal in the United States. They are the author of “The Plural, The Blurring” (Red Beard Press, 2015). This poem was originally published by “EOAGH” and appears in H. Melt’s book “The Plural, The Blurring.”

    The post Poet H. Melt shows why gender isn’t always simple appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    This mural appears inside a school tent in a refugee camp in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley. Photo by Barrett Limoges, courtesy of Diala Brisly

    This mural appears inside a school tent in a refugee camp in Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley. Photo by Barrett Limoges, courtesy of Diala Brisly

    More than 2.6 million Syrian children are not in school, many of them having left in the midst of a war now in its fifth year. Syrian artist Diala Brisly lives in Beirut, where thousands of refugees have arrived this year after escaping war in Syria, and wants to help them return.

    Brisly left her home in Damascus in 2013 and moved to Turkey for a year and a half, later landing in Beirut. In the summer of 2014, she met a woman who was founding a school for refugees in Arsal, Lebanon, a small town near the Syrian border whose student population swelled in 2013 with the arrival of hundreds of new children from Syria.

    Brisly had previously painted a mural for a children’s hospital in Damascus and she thought a similar project could help lift students’ spirits, encouraging them to return back to school.

    “Sometimes they have schools, [but] they are just tents … I thought, if [I] put some colors and some murals, it will be nice and will encourage them to go back to school again,” she said.

    Brisly stands next to her work in Shtura, Lebanon. Photo courtesy of Diala Brisly

    Syrian artist Diala Brisly stands next to a mural she produced in Chtaura, Lebanon. Photo courtesy of Diala Brisly

    With more than 1.4 million Syrian refugees now living in Lebanon — many of them unable to work and reliant on humanitarian organizations for resources — negative stereotypes about Syrians have spread in Lebanon, even as many people open their homes to them. Brisly said she has heard Syrians described as “uneducated” in Lebanon.

    But school can be a welcome and positive escape for the children, she said. “Even kids, when you talk to them now, they feel like going to school is kind of [a] luxury,” she said. “Because now they have a very, very hard life.”

    Brisly painted this mural at a refugee camp in Arsal, Lebanon. Photo by Diala Brisly

    Brisly painted this mural at a refugee camp in Arsal, Lebanon. Photo by Diala Brisly

    Educating young Syrians who are living in diaspora is vital for the country’s future, Brisly said. “It’s really hard to have a full generation out of school. They will be the future,” she said.

    Some of the children in the camps help with the painting — a collaborative process that Brisly said grows from developing trust. When she first arrives to paint, “They look at me as any adult. They feel that there is a gap between me and them,” she said. But while they are painting, and afterward when the mural is complete, she said she sees a difference in the way they look at their relationship with school.

    “I see them helping, that … help[s] them to feel more belonging to this school,” she said. “They feel that someone really cares about them.”

    Brisly has painted 10 murals so far and plans to paint her next one at a refugee camp in the Bekaa Valley this month.

    Brisly painted this mural inside a public library for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Beirut. Photo by Diala Brisly

    Brisly painted this mural inside a library for Palestinian and Syrian refugees in Beirut. Photo by Diala Brisly

    The post Refugee life is hard enough on a kid, this artist is trying to brighten up their school appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he is calling for a "complete and total ban" on Muslims entering the United States. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says he is calling for a ban on all Muslims entering the United States. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    NEWARK, N.J. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump called Monday for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States,” an idea that prompted one of his rivals to call him “unhinged.”

    The proposed ban would apply to immigrants and visitors alike, a sweeping prohibition affecting all adherents of Islam who want to come to the U.S. The idea also raised immediate questions about whether it could pass muster under constitutional protections of the free exercise of religion.

    READ MORE: Obama urges nation not to give in to fear

    Trump’s campaign said in a statement such a ban should stand “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”

    The statement added that Trump’s proposal comes in response to a level of hatred among “large segments of the Muslim population” toward Americans.

    “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” Trump said in the statement.

    He added on Twitter: “Just put out a very important policy statement on the extraordinary influx of hatred & danger coming into our country. We must be vigilant!”

    READ MORE: House set to tighten restrictions on visa-free travel to U.S.

    Several of Trump’s Republican rivals were quick to reject the latest provocation from a candidate who has delivered no shortage of them.

    “Donald Trump is unhinged,” Jeb Bush said via Twitter. “His ‘policy’ proposals are not serious.”

    Carly Fiorina said, “Trump’s overreaction is as dangerous as President Obama’s under-reaction.”

    John Kasich slammed Trump’s “outrageous divisiveness,” while a more measured Ted Cruz, who has always been cautious about upsetting Trump’s supporters, said, “Well, that is not my policy.”

    Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Trump’s proposed ban would apply to “everybody,” including Muslims seeking immigration visas as well as tourists seeking to enter the country.

    He did not respond to questions about whether it would also include Muslims who are U.S. citizens and travel outside of the country, or how a determination of someone’s religion might be made by customs and border officials.

    In response to a request for additional detail, Trump said via a campaign spokeswoman: “Because I am so politically correct, I would never be the one to say. You figure it out!”

    Trump’s proposal comes a day after President Barack Obama spoke to the nation from the Oval Office about the shootings in San Bernardino, California, which Obama said was “an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”

    The FBI said Monday the Muslim couple who carried out the massacre had been radicalized and had taken target practice at area gun ranges, in one case within days of the attack last week that killed 14 people.

    Trump’s campaign has been marked by a pattern of inflammatory statements, dating back to his harsh rhetoric about Mexican immigrants.

    He has taken a particularly hard line against Muslims in the days since the Paris attacks, advocating enhanced surveillance of mosques due to fears over radicalization.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest accused Trump of playing on people’s fears and trying to tap into “a darker side, a darker element” of American society.

    From the Democratic presidential campaign, Bernie Sanders said: “Trump and others want us to hate all Muslims. The United States is a great nation when we stand together. We are a weak nation when we allow racism and xenophobia to divide us.”

    Associated Press political reporter Jill Colvin wrote this report.

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    A man walks on a bridge on a hazy day in Beijing, China, December 7, 2015. Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters

    Beijing issued its first red alert Monday. Photo by Jason Lee/Reuters

    The first-ever red alert for smog was issued in Beijing Monday. Schools were encouraged to close and restrictions were applied to factories and traffic.

    A red alert is issued when officials anticipate three or more consecutive days of extreme smog.

    This is not China’s first red alert of the year. The northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang experienced red-alert level smog Nov. 8, as winter approached and people began burning coal to heat their homes.

    A woman wearing a mask walks outside the old palace museum on a hazy day in Shenyang, Liaoning province, November 8, 2015. As winter heating started in the city, the reading of PM2.5 was more than 1000 micrograms per cubic metre on Sunday, according to local media. Picture taken November 8, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA - RTS62Y6

    A woman wearing a mask walks outside the old palace museum on a hazy day in Shenyang, Liaoning province, Nov. 8, 2015. Photo by Reuters

    The Shenyang Environmental Protection Agency reported in November levels of the poisonous airborne matter PM2.5 reaching higher than 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter. According to the U.S. EPA, PM2.5 is a result of combustion activity, from vehicles or power plants, for example, and certain industrial processes.

    An orange alert, used when PM2.5 particles surpasses 600 micrograms per cubic meter, was issued earlier this month in Beijing. It was the first alert of its kind in almost two years.

    A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on an extremely polluted day as hazardous, choking smog continues to blanket Beijing, China December 1, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon - RTX1WLZK

    A woman wearing a protective mask makes her way on an extremely polluted day as hazardous, choking smog continues to blanket Beijing, on Dec. 1. Photo by Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters

    China’s pollution problem made international headlines before and during the 2008 summer olympics in Beijing. Four members of the U.S. cycling team wore smog masks upon arrival to the city. The United States Olympic Committee’s lead exercise physiologist, Randy Wilber, advised athletes to train away from Beijing until just before their events. Beijing is set to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

    Performers wait for the 2008 Beijing Olympic torch relay at the Badaling section of the Great Wall on the outskirts of Beijing August 7, 2008.     REUTERS/Joe Chan (CHINA) - RTR20P1R

    Performers wait for the 2008 Beijing Olympic torch relay at the Badaling section of the Great Wall on the outskirts of Beijing Aug. 7, 2008. Photo by Joe Chan/Reuters

    About 1.6 million people in China die each year due to lung, heart, and stroke problems caused by China’s polluted air, according to physicists at the University of California, Berkeley. That’s about 4,000 people a day.

    That could be because China depends on burning coal for 60 percent of its power, according to the Associated Press. But the most polluted city in the world isn’t in China, though; it is Dehli, India.

    A man and his dog, both wearing masks, walk along a small alley on a hazy day in Beijing, February 23, 2014. China's capital Beijing, under fire to take effective measures against air pollution, raised its four-tiered alert system to "orange" for the first time on Friday, as heavy smog was forecast to roll into the city over the next three days. REUTERS/Legal Evening/Liu Chang (CHINA - Tags: ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT SOCIETY TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA - RTX19CFA

    A man and his dog, both wearing masks, walk along a small alley on a hazy day in Beijing, Feb. 23, 2014. Beijing, under fire to take effective measures against air pollution, raised its four-tiered alert system to “orange” for the first time in 2014. Photo by Legal Evening/Liu Chang/Reuters

    Buildings in construction are seen among mist during a hazy day in Rizhao, Shandong province, China, October 18, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS4X6T

    Buildings in construction are seen among mist during a hazy day in Rizhao, Shandong province, China, Oct. 18, 2015. Photo by Reuters

    People do morning exercises on a polluted day in Jiaozuo, Henan province, March 16, 2015. Photo by China Daily/Reuters

    People do morning exercises on a polluted day in Jiaozuo, Henan province, March 16, 2015. Photo by China Daily/Reuters

    Birds fly across the sky on a polluted day in Wuhan, Hubei province, February 16, 2015. REUTERS/Stringer (CHINA - Tags: ENVIRONMENT ANIMALS TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) CHINA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN CHINA - RTR4PQJ6

    Birds fly across the sky on a polluted day in Wuhan, Hubei province, Feb. 16, 2015. Photo by Reuters

    A baby is held inside a vehicle stranded on a highway between Beijing and Hebei province, China, that is closed due to smog on an extremely polluted day November 30, 2015. REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - RTX1WG4R

    A baby is held inside a vehicle stranded on a highway between Beijing and Hebei province, China, that is closed due to smog on an extremely polluted day, Nov. 30, 2015. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

    A man walks over a bridge as smoke rises from chimneys of a thermal power plant in Shanghai February 23, 2015. Nearly 90 percent of China's big cities failed to meet air quality standards in 2014, but that was still an improvement on 2013 as the country's "war on pollution" began to take effect, the environment ministry said on February 2, 2015. REUTERS/Carlos Barria  (CHINA - Tags: ENERGY ENVIRONMENT) - RTR4QT9B

    A man walks over a bridge as smoke rises from chimneys of a thermal power plant in Shanghai Feb. 23, 2015. Nearly 90 percent of China’s big cities failed to meet air quality standards in 2014. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

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    Amid frightening attacks at home and abroad, the House is poised to crack down on visa-free travel to the U.S. from friendly nations like Belgium and France, aiming to ensure that the Paris attacks won't be repeated here. Photo by Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Reuters

    The House is poised to crack down on visa-free travel to the U.S., even from friendly nations like Belgium and France. Photo by Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Amid frightening attacks at home and abroad, the House is poised to crack down on visa-free travel to the U.S. from friendly nations like Belgium and France, aiming to ensure that the Paris attacks won’t be repeated here.

    Legislation denying visa-free travel to anyone who’s been in Iraq or Syria in the past five years is set for a vote in the House on Tuesday and is likely to pass by a wide bipartisan margin. The bill also makes a series of other changes to the visa waiver program, which allows citizens of 38 countries to travel to the U.S. without a visa for stays of 90 days or less.

    READ MORE: Trump calls for ‘complete shutdown’ on Muslims entering U.S.

    Around 20 million visitors come to the U.S. each year on the visa waiver program, and overhauling it has emerged as an area of unusual bipartisan agreement amid partisan sniping over Syrian refugees and President Barack Obama’s larger anti-terror strategy. Most of the Paris attackers were citizens of Belgium and France, countries that participate in the visa waiver program.

    “A radical with a French passport or a Belgian passport can get on a plane in Brussels or Paris today and come to America no questions asked, be here for 90 days, without us knowing any better,” House Speaker Paul Ryan said Monday on The Big AM 1380, a radio station in Janesville, Wisconsin.

    The House bill is backed by the White House. But GOP lawmakers say that Congress will also take a wider look at U.S. visa programs and policies, including scrutinizing the K-1 fiancée visa that was used by Tashfeen Malik, the shooter in the San Bernardino terror attacks.

    “This can’t be the end of it,” said GOP Rep. Candice Miller of Michigan, the legislation’s author. Obama, too, called in his Oval Office address Sunday night for a new look at the fiancée visa.

    Visa waiver travelers are already required to undergo counterterror screening through an electronic system maintained by the Department of Homeland Security. But the program has been used on at least a few occasions in the past by terrorist plotters, including Richard Reid, the “shoe bomber” who attempted to ignite a bomb while flying from Paris to Miami in December 2001. Reid used a British passport to board that American Airlines flight without a visa, according to a Homeland Security Department Office of Inspector General report from 2004.

    Miller’s bill would make a series of changes to add security, including:

    • Nationals of Syria, Iraq and other countries with significant terror activity — or anyone who’s traveled to those countries in the previous five years — could not participate in the visa waiver program. Instead if they want to travel to the U.S. they would have to go through the more stringent process of obtaining a visa through an embassy or consulate.
    • Countries in the visa waiver program would be required to share counterterrorism information with the United States. If they don’t they would be kicked out of the visa waiver program.
    • All visa waiver countries would be required to issue “e-passports” with biometric information. Lost and stolen passports must be reported to Interpol.
    • All travelers would be checked against Interpol databases.
    • U.S. security agencies would be required to conduct more frequent assessments of visa waiver countries to determine whether they pose a high risk to U.S. security, and if so they could be suspended from the program.

    With Congress rushing to finish its work for the year, leaders are considering adding Miller’s bill to a must-pass year-end spending bill now being completed. In the Senate, Democrat Dianne Feinstein of California and Republican Jeff Flake of Arizona have offered their own visa waiver bill, but their legislation is opposed by the travel industry because of requirements for biometric screening that industry officials fear could be difficult to enact.

    The travel industry supports Miller’s bill, saying it strikes a balance that allows a successful program to continue.

    Action on the visa waiver program is one of several issues Obama called for Congress to accomplish in his Oval Office speech Sunday night. He also called for an authorization of military force against IS, and for action to ban assault weapons and close what Democrats call a “loophole” that allows people on the no-fly list to buy guns.

    Those issues aren’t going anywhere in the GOP Congress, though House Democrats pledged Monday to try to use a procedural maneuver to force a vote on blocking people on the terror watch list from buying guns.

    An earlier House-passed bill cracking down on the Syrian and Iraqi refugee program also hasn’t gone anywhere in the Senate though it’s possible some language will be included in the spending bill.

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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at an organizing house party in the Kraus home in Carroll, Iowa July 26, 2015. REUTERS/Brian C. Frank - RTX1LWCT

    Hillary Clinton on Wednesday will unveil a proposal for a new “exit tax” aimed at cracking down on corporate inversions.. Photo by REUTERS/Brian C. Frank – RTX1LWCT

    WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton on Wednesday will unveil a proposal for a new “exit tax” aimed at cracking down on corporate inversions, a practice that permits U.S. companies to merge with corporations overseas to lower their tax bill.

    The new tax would be part of a broader effort to target what experts say is roughly $2 trillion in profits U.S. companies are hoarding abroad to reduce their taxes. The Democratic presidential front-runner will propose spending the revenue raised by the new tax to boost manufacturing jobs in the U.S., campaign aides said. They spoke on condition of anonymity ahead of the official campaign announcement.

    Clinton’s proposals are part of the economic agenda her campaign has been rolling out this month. They include boosting infrastructure spending by $275 billion and making other new investments in research and clean energy.

    Her new jobs plans come amid charges that Clinton’s personal and political fortunes are far too intertwined with Wall Street, a position rivals like Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders say will prompt her to take a softer position toward regulating — and taxing — American corporations.

    Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, made at least $35 million by giving 164 speeches to financial services, real estate and insurance companies after leaving the White House in 2001, according to an Associated Press analysis of public disclosure forms and records released by her campaign.

    In an op-ed published on Monday, Clinton pledged to take a tough approach toward financial regulation, saying she would impose a new risk fee on big banks, strengthen oversight and impose tougher penalties on executives and institutions that break the rules.

    “Republicans may have decided to forget about the financial crisis that caused so much devastation — but I haven’t,” she wrote in the New York Times. “The proper role of Wall Street is to help Main Street grow and prosper.”

    Her proposal received the crucial support of Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive leader on fiscal issues who’s remained staunchly neutral in the Democratic primary race.

    “Secretary Clinton is right to fight back against Republicans trying to sneak Wall Street giveaways into the must-pass government funding bill,” wrote Warren on her Facebook page.

    The November announcement of a plan to merge drug-makers Pfizer and Allergan to create the world’s biggest pharmaceutical company reignited a fierce political debate over whether such deals should be permitted.

    Under the deal, New York-based Pfizer would move its headquarters to Ireland, where Allergan is based. That would enable Pfizer to slash its tax rate from around 25 percent this year to about 18 percent. Ireland’s lower corporate tax rate would have saved Pfizer nearly $1 billion of the $3.1 billion in U.S. taxes it paid in 2014.

    Though the Treasury Department has unveiled new rules to deter companies from considering inversions, officials say only Congress has the authority to halt the practice. Democrats favor immediate action and are seeking to use the issue as a political wedge ahead of next year’s presidential election, accusing the GOP of protecting corporate loopholes. Top Republicans say the only way to adequately address inversions is to overhaul the tax code, making it more attractive for businesses to locate in the U.S.

    Clinton has said she has “deep concerns” about the $160 billion drug company merger and has called on Congress and regulators to act immediately to stop companies from shifting profits overseas.

    “They’re doing it to save money on taxes,” she said last month at a campaign event in Boulder, Colorado. “I want the Treasury Department to do everything it can to stop that kind of behavior and call it for what it is: gaming the tax system.”

    Under current rules, U.S. companies can reincorporate abroad if they acquire a foreign company and transfer more than 20 percent of their shares to foreign owners. The Obama administration has proposed raising that threshold to more than 50 percent. Clinton will reiterate her support for the change this week. The White House and Clinton believe that new standard would discourage inversion deals by requiring the U.S. company to purchase a larger foreign entity.

    Any company that still attempts to move its headquarters overseas for tax reasons would be subject to the new exit tax, which would levy taxes on foreign earnings at the time of the inversion deal. The profits a U.S. company earns overseas are not taxed until they are brought back into the U.S., prompting many companies to hold cash and invest abroad to avoid the taxes.

    A similar proposal released last year by Sens. Dick Durbin of Illinois and Sherrod Brown of Ohio would require companies seeking to reincorporate abroad to first settle their U.S. tax bill on cash stashed offshore.

    Clinton’s main rival for the Democratic nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, introduced legislation in April that would continue to tax companies involved with inversion deals as American corporations as long as they remain U.S.-majority owned.

    The post Clinton offers new ‘exit tax’ on U.S.-foreign company mergers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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