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

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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry speaks during a news conference following a ministerial meeting of the so-called "anti-Islamic State coalition" in Rome, Italy, February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Max Rossi - RTX253TY

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the past year, ISIS has gained a foothold in Libya, expanding its reach beyond its Middle Eastern base, and that’s now a growing concern for the U.S. and its allies.

    We begin with some background from chief foreign affairs correspondent, Margaret Warner.

    MARGARET WARNER: The coalition fighting ISIS can claim some progress in both Iraq and Syria. But now Libya, just 300 miles from Italy, has become a new magnet for the militant group.

    The threat was very much on the minds of Secretary of State John Kerry and officials of 22 other countries in Rome today.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State: That country has resources. The last thing in the world you want is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars in oil revenue.

    MARGARET WARNER: Yet the conference agreed only to monitor developments.

    U.S. military officials say some 3,000 ISIS fighters have carved out territory around the coastal town of Sirte, birthplace of the late dictator Moammar Gadhafi. From there, the group mounts attacks on civilian targets and the country’s oil facilities. The U.S. has already carried out airstrikes in Libya, killing a top ISIS commander last November, and ramped up reconnaissance missions.

    And in Washington today, Secretary of Defense Ash Carter called for a 50 percent spending increase on the broader anti-ISIS campaign.

    ASHTON CARTER, Defense Secretary: We must also take into account in our budget that, as destructive power of greater and greater magnitude falls into the hands of smaller and smaller and more aberrant groups of people, countering terrorists will likely be a continuing part of the future responsibilities.

    MARGARET WARNER: Last month, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Joseph Dunford, said a decision on how to expand the U.S. role in Libya is coming. The New York Times quoted him as saying: “It’s fair to say that we’re looking to take decisive military actions In conjunction with the political process.”

    For now, Libya’s political process remains in disarray. Since NATO airstrikes helped oust Gadhafi in 2011, the country has been torn by violence between warring factions. In December, the United Nations helped broker a new unity government between the two main rival groups. But they have refused to carry it out.

    In Washington, I’m Margaret Warner for the “PBS NewsHour.”

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We’re joined now by Frederic Wehrey of the Middle East Program at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He was most recently in Libya late last year.

    Welcome back to the program, Fred Wehrey.

    Remind us, why is Libya important to the United States?

    FREDERIC WEHREY, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace: Well, its strategic location. It sits at the top of Africa. It has access to the Mediterranean and Europe. It has oil reserves.

    But, right now, it’s perhaps a fallback option for the Islamic State. It’s a lawless place where terrorists and smugglers can take advantage.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And this political vacuum that’s happened there, how did that come about, very quickly? I know there is a long history there. And what state is it in? I mean, it sounds pretty chaotic still.

    FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, this is really the legacy partly of 42 years of misrule from Gadhafi. There were no institutions. There was no army, no police.

    Since the fall of Gadhafi, you have had a political vacuum. You don’t have an army. You don’t have police. You have militias, basically, ruling the country. So it’s really ripe — a ripe environment for ISIS to exploit.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just how much strength do they have there?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: They have got anywhere from about 3,000 to 5,000 fighters, especially in that crucial central city of Sirte.

    But the real fear is that more fighters from abroad could come in and bolster their ranks there.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what is the U.S. goal? What would the U.S. like to accomplish?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, I think they want to prevent this from becoming a new haven for the Islamic State, to prevent the Islamic State from accessing oil reserves, from disrupting the formation of a new government.

    So they’re going to try to assist Libyan forces on the ground. But the problem is that there’s no central army. There is no partner to work with in that country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what are the options, the real options? Because we know the U.S. has been talking about doing something. But nothing’s happened yet.

    FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, they’re waiting for this government to get its act together, to unify itself, so that there is a central channel to push aid and assistance through.

    If that doesn’t happen, you can expect the U.S. and the Europeans to start working with these — perhaps these individual militias, using special operations forces and airstrikes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And is there a will on the part of the Europeans to join in with the U.S. to do that?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: We have seen statements from especially the British and the French that they are increasingly concerned about the Islamic State. Also, the Italians have an historic presence there. So, they’re gearing up.

    And that was part of Secretary Kerry’s mission in Rome, was to unify the Europeans and get them on board with the U.S. strategy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you mentioned if the government doesn’t get its act together, the U.S. can work with some of the militias on the ground. But do you have a case like Syria, where the U.S. may not know who to trust, who they can work with?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: This is a real problem. And this is why there are reports of U.S. special operations forces already on the ground trying to assess, who is a credible partner, who can we work with?

    But it is very problematic. And I think we’re really walking on a mine field here in terms of who do we actually give assistance to and could that further destabilize the country down the road?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you believe the U.S. absolutely has a commitment to go in there and do something about ISIS?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, we have seen statements like that.

    I think they’re poised to do something. I think first priority that they see is resolving the political impasse, resolving these divisions, because those divisions create that vacuum that ISIS is able to exploit.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But does the U.S., does the West have the leverage to make happen something that it wants to have happen?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: So, this is the real problem. The United Nations has been involved.

    I think you’re seeing more and more senior level involvement from the United States. You have these statements from Secretary Kerry, from President Obama that really signal to the Libyans that we take this very seriously.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what do you expect in the short term?

    FREDERIC WEHREY: Well, unfortunately, I’m not optimistic.

    I see more chaos. I see these divisions. I was just there. The divisions are very stark. They cannot agree on who is going to command the national level military. The militias still call the shots in the streets. So it’s — I think it’s quite dire.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sounds grim.

    Frederic Wehrey of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, we thank you.

    FREDERIC WEHREY: Yes. My pleasure.

    The post Can the U.S. prevent an ISIS haven in Libya? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Supporters are seen as U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a campaign event in Windham, New Hampshire February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTX255HO

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    GWEN IFILL: And so we turn now to two top advisers to last night’s winners.

    First up, Cruz campaign spokesman Rick Tyler. He joins us from New Hampshire.

    So, Rick, in a nutshell, you managed to turn around expectations, as we just heard them say, and come out with a big victory in Iowa last night. How did that happen?

    RICK TYLER, Spokesman, Ted Cruz Campaign: It took a lot of hard work and a lot of time, a great team in Iowa that put together a — what really was a traditional ground game, but it was driven by data.

    We just had an exceptional candidate who has an exceptional message, and that people are sick and tired of Washington and they want a change. And Ted Cruz is the only candidate who has shown that he’s willing to go to Washington and stand up to the establishment, and even stand up to members of his own party, and he’s built a reputation on that.

    And so we have seen everybody has — all the Americans are really looking toward the outsiders, but Ted Cruz is really the original outsider, the proven outsider. And so when we went to look for supporters and volunteers to help, it was like they were waiting to be found.

    So we ended up with 12,000 volunteers in Iowa, and we had them doing stuff every day. We were knocking on 2,000 doors a day, making over 20,000 phone calls a day. And people were really excited to be part of it.

    GWEN IFILL: And many of them were evangelicals, who obviously make up a big part of the caucusing vote in Iowa. But you don’t have that same demographic in New Hampshire. How do you plan to pull the rabbit out of the hat a second time?

    RICK TYLER: You know, I think one of the best headlines I read was actually here in New Hampshire that said, “Ted Cruz brings religious message to secular New Hampshire, and it’s working.”

    And it’s part of what I heard Reid say, is that there’s five people basically competing for the moderate vote, and Ted Cruz has a real opportunity with the conservatives here, and not just evangelicals, but the pro-life conservatives, pro-family conservatives, pro-gun conservatives, and pro-growth conservatives.

    They have all formed something called the 603 Alliance. And they have all gotten behind Ted Cruz. And when conservatives come together and the rest of the field is fractured — and, by the way, it’s usually the other way around. The establishment has one well-funded candidate, and the conservative has a lot with no money.

    This time, we’re the well-funded candidate, and the establishment, there’s a lot of them, and they don’t have the money. So, we’re very well-positioned. I’m not predicting a win here in New Hampshire, but we’re going to fight hard here.

    GWEN IFILL: I didn’t expect you would.

    So you’re saying that if, say, John Kasich, Chris Christie and Jeb Bush divide the establishment support, and maybe a little bit of Donald Trump as well, that allows you to sneak in through the middle?

    RICK TYLER: I think that’s right.

    And we saw today, even today, as you saw with Chris Christie, who is calling Marco Rubio the boy in the bubble because he doesn’t often take press questions and is a little bit standoffish with the press.

    And so, look, they can — they’re — for most of them, it’s do-or-die. Our expectations here are rather low. And we will go on the South Carolina. And then you have the SEC primary, where you have all these states from South Carolina to Georgia to Tennessee, Oklahoma, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas. These are all 50-percent-plus evangelical states.

    So, you have 11 of them total that will go before March 15. And they favor Ted Cruz. And so if you’re running against Ted Cruz, it’s going to be a gauntlet to go through with all that support that we have now proven we can get.

    GWEN IFILL: So, it sounds, to you, it’s OK if you come in second or third in New Hampshire, as long as you have that long game headed toward the South in mind?

    RICK TYLER: I would be thrilled with second place in New Hampshire. And I would — and third would certainly be acceptable.

    GWEN IFILL: OK, Rick, I just helped you set your expectations lower. So, you can say thank you.


    GWEN IFILL: Thank you so much for joining us tonight.

    RICK TYLER: Appreciate it, Gwen. Thanks.

    GWEN IFILL: Now turning to the Democrats’ side, we’re joined by Joel Benenson, chief strategist for the Hillary Clinton campaign.

    Joel, I’m going to ask you the same question I just asked Rick Tyler, which is, in a nutshell, how did you pull it out, very narrow win in Iowa?

    JOEL BENENSON, Chief Strategist, Hillary Clinton Campaign: Well, I think we pulled it out with a really strong message.

    I think Hillary Clinton was really closing very strongly talking about the need and the choice to elect a president who can make real progress, who can make a real difference in their lives and get things done.

    And I think then we had a ground game that was great. You know, all going into this caucus in Iowa, the Sanders campaign had predicted they were going to win. They said if the turnout was higher than 170,000, that would be their turnout. And they got that turnout. And it turned out that that was good for Hillary Clinton.

    A lot of talk about enthusiasm and energy on the Sanders side of things, but what we learned last night is that there was a lot of enthusiasm and energy for Hillary Clinton and her candidacy and her message of being the progressive who likes to get things done and who will make a real difference in people’s lives.

    And so it was close, but a win is a win, and we take it. And we’re here in New Hampshire now ready for another contest in just a few days with a debate coming up. And we’re looking forward to it. We have been to New Hampshire before.


    GWEN IFILL: When you worked for Barack Obama in a similar role in 2008, you went through a slightly different outcome. He won in Iowa, but then he lost in New Hampshire to Hillary Clinton.

    What did you learn from that which informs what you will do this time?

    JOEL BENENSON: Well, I think, you know what, you learn is that — and this is the case as you go through most of these states — is that no two states are exactly alike.

    And you have to really focus in on what’s unique in each state. New Hampshire is a fiercely independent state. You know, the state’s motto is live free or die, very strong anti-tax sentiment, a wide-open primary here. You know, independents can walk in and vote in either the Democrat or the Republican primary on either day.

    That’s very different than that caucus environment on the Democratic side, where you have to show up at a specific time, you caucus right on the floor, and you’re competing for delegates to the convention.

    What’s true here, though, is folks are very focused on their economic lives. This is a state that really appreciates and values small businesses and entrepreneurs. And I think that’s why having a president who can do all parts of the job is going to be important to them. That’s part of the message that Hillary Clinton is going to bring here, because I think folks in New Hampshire know that that’s how you create good-paying jobs, is investing in small business, giving those folks a chance to export their goods, get the loans they need from the Export-Import Bank.


    GWEN IFILL: Pardon me, Joel.

    But you’re running against someone who is leading way ahead of you in the polls in New Hampshire, in part by saying he’s the true progressive. And she’s lately been saying, I’m a progressive who can get things done.

    Are you really — I just asked about setting expectations with Rick Tyler — are you really thinking it’s possible to break through that bulwark which Bernie Sanders seems to have built for himself in New Hampshire?

    JOEL BENENSON: Well, you know, he may have mentioned it on their side of the race, but what we know historically is New Englanders do very, very well here. They almost always win when there isn’t an incumbent president or vice president. I think there is only one time in about 40 years where that didn’t happen.

    So, you know, we know we’re playing in his backyard. He’s from a state right next door west of New Hampshire, obviously borders Vermont. And he is showing that kind of hometown strength.

    So, we’re playing on his home field. We got to win a road game here. We have got a week to go, and she’s out campaigning hard every day. She’s been all over the state. Hillary Clinton…


    JOEL BENENSON: … debates.

    GWEN IFILL: Pardon me.

    Will she be in South Carolina between now and New Hampshire primary night?


    I think, right now, we have got a lot coming up. We have a town hall scheduled for tomorrow night. We have got a debate on Thursday. So we’re going to be focusing right here, come out of New Hampshire after the primary. And then we look forward to a period after New Hampshire to the end of March where there are more than 1,000 delegates that are going to be contested.

    As you just mentioned, Gwen, you go to Nevada, South Carolina, then Super Tuesday. So, you will have over 1,000 delegates that are going to be decided in about a six-week period. And that’s really going to be kind of the heart of the contest, I think.

    GWEN IFILL: And we will be following along with you.

    Joel Benenson, chief strategist for Hillary Clinton, thank you very much.

    JOEL BENENSON: Thank you, Gwen.

    The post What the winning Iowa campaigns say about the battle ahead appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    A DeVry University representative talks to job seeker at a job fair in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Job guru Nick Corcodilos answers four of your trickiest job search questions. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

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

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

    Question 1: I love speaking in public, giving presentations, leading group discussions and teaching classes. If I were given the challenge of speaking in front of 500 people with 60 minutes notice, I would rub my hands together with glee. Please help me understand how to turn my talents into $100,000 a year.

    Nick Corcodilos: Ask yourself: What company or organization could make a lot of money and profit by having you do those things you love? That’s who to go to about a job. You need to come up with a mini business plan for each company you target.

    • What problem or challenge do they face?
    • How can you tackle it to produce profit?
    • What’s the best way to explain it to the company?
    • Who’s the best person to explain it to?
    • How can you track down people that “best person” knows or works with — people who can introduce you to that person?

    You’re not going to get hired to do what you love. You’re going to get hired to do what you love if you can show how that will pay off to an employer. That’s your real challenge. You must figure it out and communicate it, because no company is going to figure it out for itself. For more about this, see “The Basics.”

    I have references from great companies, but no one seems to be interested in my valuable experience.

    Question 2: I worked in San Francisco and Silicon Valley for 25 years as a recruiter. I have references from great companies. No one seems to be interested in my valuable experience. In fact, I was told no one would hire me in Silicon Valley. I need someone to check my experience out. I would very much appreciate a referral that could help me track these rumors down.

    Nick Corcodilos: You’d need to hire a private detective. Just because someone told you that you’d never get hired in Silicon Valley doesn’t mean anyone else feels that way. If you’re concerned about your references, you might ask a hiring manager at any company (someone you’re friendly with) to contact them and ask them what they think of you. You might identify the problem that way, assuming you have one. In the future, check out “Take Care Of Your References.”

    Question 3: I came across this article you were featured in after a local recruiter asked me for information I’m not comfortable sharing.

    RECRUITER: “I need the last four of your SSN and middle initial to submit you to Company X.”

    ME: “Is this absolutely needed at this stage? What is it being used for? Understandably, I’m hesitant to give out that information.”

    RECRUITER: “It’s the only way you can be submitted to our client for a job. It’s part of their ATS (Applicant Tracking System) to ensure that candidates are not being double submitted.”

    I guess I’m really hoping that you might offer a bit of advice — whether I’m right in thinking this is a red flag, and how I might further respond to her request and comments…

    Nick Corcodilos: Employers have no legitimate reason to demand your SSN just so you can apply for a job. But the recruiter gives away the problem when admits the employer’s ATS needs your SSN to avoid duplicate submissions of your credentials. They use it as a hash — a unique database key to identify you. That’s how the employer avoids fee battles between recruiters who both claim they submitted you.

    Lazy ATS system designers misuse a federal ID number for their own purposes. In the process, the recruiter, the employer and the ATS vendor are intimidating job seekers and putting them at risk of not getting a job over the ATS vendor’s silly database trick.

    Should you play along? That’s up to you. (A related employer trick is demanding your salary history. See “Salary History: Can you afford to say NO?”) It’s also up to you to hand over any four digits you choose, for the time being, to beat the system and explain later to the employer if the four digits don’t match your actual SSN — which will matter only if you’re hired. “Someone obviously made a mistake.”

    I don’t like lying. But I also don’t tolerate stupid bureaucratic tricks by employers and ATS vendors — at the expense of job seekers.

    What you do is up to you, of course. What I’m suggesting could cause you problems. But what the recruiter and ATS vendor are demanding could cause you problems, too. I’m just telling you what I’d do. I wish you the best.

    Should I disclose in a job interview that I applied to grad school, and that if I get in, I won’t be taking the job?

    Question 4: Should I disclose in a job interview that I applied to grad school, and that if I get in, I won’t be taking the job? I applied to school in December 2015. The job interview is in about two weeks.

    Nick Corcodilos: You probably also bought a lottery ticket recently, and if you win, you won’t need a job. Would you tell an employer you have that ticket in your pocket?

    I see no reason to disclose you’re graduate school application unless and until you’re faced with a choice about going to grad school. Make sense?

    Dear Readers: How would you deal with these four situations?

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

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

    Copyright © 2016 Nick Corcodilos. All rights reserved in all media. Ask the Headhunter® is a registered trademark.

    The post Ask the Headhunter: 4 snappy answers to tricky job search questions appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a campaign event in Windham, New Hampshire February 2, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTX255KR

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Iowa caucuses are now part of history, and the eyes of the political world turn to the Granite State.

    Susan Page is Washington bureau chief for USA Today, and she joins us from Manchester, New Hampshire. And Reid Wilson is chief political correspondent for the politics and polling Web site Morning Consult.

    And we welcome you both to the program.

    So, let’s talk about how this race changes now that Iowa’s behind us, Democrats first.

    And, Susan, let me start with you.

    Who — does anybody have an advantage coming out of Iowa, because you have got this virtual tie between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders?

    SUSAN PAGE, USA Today: Yes, you know, you do have a virtual tie, but at her very first event in New Hampshire this morning, Hillary Clinton described herself as a winner, said she had won there and lost there, and it was better to win.

    So, you may just win by one point, but in the Clinton campaign’s view, a win is a win is a win. And I suppose that’s helpful. On the other hand, also a boost for Sanders supporters. I mean, as Senator Sanders pointed out, a couple weeks ago, you could not have predicted that he would basically have gone head to head with Hillary Clinton and tied her in Iowa.

    So I think both campaigns came out of Iowa with some bragging rights.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Would you see that the same way, Reid?

    REID WILSON, Morning Consult: I do. I think both campaigns had a relatively good night. But the results we saw forecast some challenges in the future.

    Bernie Sanders is going to have to branch out and expand his base, especially among more traditional Democrats. Hillary Clinton is going to have to find a way to tap into some of the youthful excitement that Sanders is generating.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s talk, Reid, about Bernie Sanders. And you’re saying he’s got to branch out, but right now he has got a lead in New Hampshire. So, how does that translate there and then on into South Carolina?

    REID WILSON: Neighbors of New Hampshire, whether they’re from Massachusetts or Vermont, have traditionally done very well in New Hampshire primaries.

    But, beyond that, we have essentially dealt with the two states in the early nominating contests that are the whitest, that are the most likely to vote for Sanders. And then down the road, we get into populations in South Carolina and Nevada, heavily Hispanic, heavily African-American, both of whom are groups among whom Hillary Clinton does exceedingly well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Susan, how do you see the challenges that Bernie Sanders now confronts?

    SUSAN PAGE: Well, Bernie Sanders would like to win big in New Hampshire next week. There’s nothing like a victory to put wind in your sails.

    But I totally agree with Reid. He then faces a big problem when he goes to Nevada, with its big Hispanic population, South Carolina, with its big African-American population, groups with whom the Clintons have a long history and a lot of support.

    The Clinton campaign thinks, even if they lose in New Hampshire, which is the most likely scenario, she can go to South Carolina and then into the Southern states on Super Tuesday and have a kind of firewall, where she’s guaranteed to beat Bernie Sanders, because he has not yet managed no get significant support among African-Americans.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Susan, how do you see Hillary Clinton’s principal challenge right now?

    SUSAN PAGE: Well, here’s the questions that I think some Democrats have about Hillary Clinton: Was this just kind of a little glitch, that a combination of circumstances that made Iowa so close, or is there something flawed about her as a candidate that is going to create problems down the road in other states where she ought to do well?

    And I don’t think we can know that for sure until she faces those contests in other states. It may just be that first two states are really hard for Hillary Clinton. It may be that they’re seeing signs that she’s not a great candidate. And how do they fix that when they’re down to two candidates and the other one is a candidate who is basically not as acceptable to the Democratic establishment?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s turn to the Republicans.

    Reid Wilson, Ted Cruz clearly got a lift coming out of Iowa. Where does that take him? What does that mean for him?

    REID WILSON: That puts him on a relatively sound path to the nomination. It is a better path than, I think, a lot of other candidates have. Ted Cruz really needed to win Iowa. If he hadn’t won, his campaign likely would have collapsed, because he’s going to face some serious challenges in New Hampshire, where voters are a lot more centrist.

    And then moving forward, assuming that New Hampshire condenses the rest of the Republican field, it will essentially be a three-way race between whatever establishment candidate comes out of New Hampshire, Donald Trump, and Ted Cruz. He’s going to need as much momentum as he can possibly get. And he got a big lift by beating expectations on Monday.


    Susan, how do you see the job that Ted Cruz has now, and who, what — and what is his big competition now?

    SUSAN PAGE: You know what’s amazing is, we’re talking about Ted Cruz, and we didn’t first talk about Donald Trump. I don’t think that’s happened in the past six months when we have talked about the Republican field.

    And that tells you what a big victory that was for Ted Cruz last night. Really, he was — he had been criticized by the popular Republican governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad. He had come out against ethanol subsidies. That’s like sacred ground when it comes to Iowa. And he still managed to win there, big victory.

    But he still faces Donald Trump, and we don’t know yet whether Donald Trump can take a punch. Donald Trump has had this phenomenal rise since he announced his candidacy, rising in the polls, becoming more and more acceptable to more and more Republicans. The question was, could he deliver when people actually had to go and vote? And he didn’t do that last night.

    Will he pick himself up and go on in states like New Hampshire to come back? That, we don’t know yet.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see what Donald Trump needs to do now, Reid?

    REID WILSON: The aura of inevitability is no longer with Donald Trump. His whole brand is about winning and success.

    And, as Susan mentioned, the first time he had an opportunity to actually convert, he didn’t. So, Trump really needs some kind of rebound, whether it’s in New Hampshire or South Carolina, but he needs to get back on the horse, and quickly. Otherwise, his — this sort of notion that he is the inevitable candidate, if that’s not sustainable, then he’s not going to go anywhere.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, quickly, Susan, to Marco Rubio, who came in a really strong third, but there are a lot of — and there are a lot of other candidates who would love to trade places with his being third.

    SUSAN PAGE: Yes, that’s right.

    That was a strong finish, and he actually handled it pretty masterfully when you think about a third-place finish as being a victory, but I think it was for Marco Rubio, because, going into New Hampshire, it puts him a bit above those three governors. All of the — all four of those candidates are trying to get the mantle of the mainstream Republican, the alternative to Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

    Iowa gave Marco Rubio a big boost to that status.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Reid, we see, picking up on what Susan just said, these other Republican, so-called establishment Republicans are already going after him today. Chris Christie said he’s like the boy in the plastic bubble?

    REID WILSON: Yes, and we have seen a lot of different candidates go after Marco Rubio, whether it’s Jeb Bush or John Kasich or today Chris Christie.

    And that’s because of this sort of traffic jam that we’re seeing in New Hampshire. New Hampshire is the state where the establishment Republicans tend to dominate Republican politics and the Republican primaries. But you have got about five candidates who have a legitimate shot and are really trying to compete in New Hampshire.

    That sort of gives me the sense that someone like a Donald Trump or maybe even a Ted Cruz could sneak out a win, because their slice of the Republican pie isn’t as divided as that establishment lane.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we have a little bit of clarification, but there is a whole long way to go.

    Reid Wilson, Susan Page, great to see both of you. Thank you.

    REID WILSON: Thanks a lot.

    SUSAN PAGE: Thank you.

    The post What candidates need to do going into the New Hampshire primaries appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Dallas County Health and Human Services says the city has reported its first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus. It’s the third known case linked to sexual fluids, and the first confirmed in the U.S. since 2011.

    “Now that we know Zika virus can be transmitted through sex, this increases our awareness campaign in educating the public about protecting themselves and others,” DCHHS director Zachary Thompson in a press announcement earlier today.

    The first report of sexually transmitted Zika involved a scientist who had traveled to Senegal, caught the mosquito-borne virus and then returned to his home in Colorado. A few days later, his wife fell ill with virus, complaining of symptoms like “malaise, chills, extreme headache, hypersensitivity to light, and muscle pains,” according to Science Magazine. In 2013, doctors reported a French Polynesian man with Zika virus in his sperm. Both cases involved hematospermia, a condition where blood leaks into the semen, so it’s unknown if the virus actually persists in reproductive organs.

    The statement from the county’s office said they had “received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the first Zika virus case acquired through sexual transmission in Dallas County in 2016.” The CDC later told Reuters that their agency hadn’t investigated the Dallas case.

    Later, the DCHHS clarified via Twitter:

    The CDC has released the following in an official statement:

    CDC has confirmed through laboratory testing the first case of U.S. Zika virus infection in a non-traveler in the continental United States. According to a Dallas County Health Department investigation, a person who recently traveled to an area with Zika virus transmission returned to the United States and developed Zika-like symptoms. The person later tested positive for Zika, along with their sexual partner, who had not traveled to the area. In this instance there was no risk to a developing fetus.

    Both the DCHHS and the CDC recommend condoms as a way for sexual partners to protect themselves from spreading sexually transmitted infections.

    The health agency plans to issue guidance on the prevention of sexual transmission of Zika virus, with a focus on the male sexual partners of women who are or who may be pregnant. Additionally, “people who have Zika virus infection can protect others by preventing additional mosquito bites,” the CDC said in a statement.

    “Although unclear how frequently sexual transmission may occur, or the degree of risk of exposure through that route, if confirmed, this case suggests the potential to further guard against risk to pregnant women, or women intending to become pregnant,” Georgetown University infectious disease specialist Jesse L. Goodman said.

    A Zika virus outbreak in the Americas has been associated with, but not definitively linked to, an increase of microcephaly, a condition that impairs the growth of the brain and head. The World Health Organization declared this situation an international public health emergency on Monday.

    The post Dallas reports first case of sexually transmitted Zika virus, CDC to issue guidance appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Supporters of presidential candidate and banana exporter Jovenel Moise march dressed in banana costumes against the plan to further delay a presidential run-off election in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Feb. 2. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    Supporters of presidential candidate and banana exporter Jovenel Moise march dressed in banana costumes against the plan to further delay a presidential run-off election in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Feb. 2. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    Haiti’s current president is supposed to leave office on Sunday, but there is no one to take his place.

    Haitians have been protesting all week against the nation’s electoral process after disputed elections in the fall saw current President Michel Martelly’s chosen successor take the lead.

    The Caribbean island held presidential elections on Oct. 25, 2015. Since no candidate won a majority of the vote, a run-off election was scheduled for Dec. 27.

    In the first round, Banana exporter Jovenel Moise and mechanical engineer Jude Celestin won most of the votes at 32.8 percent and 25.3 percent, respectively. Moise is Martelly’s chosen successor. More than 50 others ran for the nation’s top post.

    The runoff was postponed several times due to protests — which sometimes turned violent — against what the opposition called fraud in the first election.

    A man crosses a police cordon during a protest against the electoral process in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, January 30, 2016. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    A man crosses a police cordon during a protest against the electoral process in Port-au-Prince, Haiti on Jan. 30. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    Martelly, who is constitutionally barred from running again, postponed the runoff to Jan. 17, Jan. 24 and then the latest date of April 24.

    However, his term constitutionally ends on Feb. 7.

    The Haitian Senate proposed a plan in which Martelly would leave office as planned on Sunday, and a consensus prime minister would run the country until a new president was elected.

    But opposition groups don’t want Martelly involved in any short-term plan.

    “Martelly has no role he can play,” said Samuel Madistin, who represents one of the opposition coalitions, which includes Celestin, according to the Associated Press. “The proposition being discussed is like something in a game by playing children.”

    Protesters march during a demonstration against recent proposed changes to the electoral process in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 30, 2016. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    Protesters march during a demonstration against recent proposed changes to the electoral process in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Jan. 30. Photo by Andres Martinez Casares/Reuters

    Instead, the opposition wants a transitional government led by a Supreme Court leader to verify disputed results from the October elections. Haiti’s nine-member Provisional Electoral Council says it lacks the authority to form a verification commission.

    Celestin boycotted the planned runoff in January, calling the process “a farce.”

    The post Haitians take to the street to protest country’s election process appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque in Catonsville, Maryland. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Islamic Society of Baltimore mosque in Catonsville, Maryland. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    CATONSVILLE, Md. — President Barack Obama sought Wednesday to correct what he called a “hugely distorted impression” of Muslim-Americans as he made his first visit to a U.S. mosque and pushed back against those who demonize all Muslims for the acts of a few extremists.

    Inserting himself into a debate that has ricocheted in the presidential campaign, Obama told parishioners at a mosque outside Baltimore that he’d heard from young Muslims worried they’ll be rounded up and kicked out of the country. He said Muslims, too, are concerned about the threat of terrorism but are too often blamed as a group “for the violent acts of the very few.”

    “We’ve seen children bullied, we’ve seen mosques vandalized,” Obama said, warning that such unequal treatment for certain groups in society tears at the nation’s fabric. “That’s not who we are.”

    For Muslim advocates, Obama’s visit was a long-awaited gesture to a community that has warned of escalating vitriol against them that has accompanied the public’s concern about the Islamic State and other extremist groups. Although Obama has visited mosques overseas in the past, he waited until his final year in office to make such a visit at home, reflecting the issue’s sensitive political implications.

    In this year’s Republican presidential campaign, Donald Trump has called for banning Muslims from the U.S. temporarily and Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio warned of “radical Islamic terrorism.” Muslim-American advocacy groups have warned of a growing number of attacks on mosques and on individuals following attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, California, by those purporting to act in the name of Islam.

    “We have to understand: An attack on one faith is an attack on all our faiths,” Obama said. Denouncing a political dynamic that incentivizes attacks against certain religions, he said it fell on all Americans to speak up.

    For Obama, the visit in his final year in office reflects a willingness to wade into touchy social issues that often eluded him earlier in his presidency. For years, Obama has fought incorrect claims that he’s actually a Muslim and was born in Kenya, beliefs that polls suggest remain prevalent among many Republicans. Obama, a Christian, was born in Hawaii.

    Obama, acknowledging that uncomfortable chapter in his own story, noted that Thomas Jefferson had also been accused of being a Muslim.

    “So I was not the first,” Obama said to laughter from a hundred or so Muslims who gathered for his speech. “No, it’s true. Look it up.”

    He also drew a parallel between Muslim-Americans’ struggle for broad societal acceptance and that of African-Americans, noting that “there was a time when there were no black people on television.”

    With no plans to ever again appear on a ballot, Obama faces less pressure to avoid political controversy, and seemed to relish the possibility that his visit would raise eyebrows among some of his most entrenched critics. Ahead of his visit, White House officials readily acknowledged the visit could spark controversy but suggested that would help make his point about ignorance and religious bias.

    The post Pleading for tolerance, Obama pays 1st visit to a U.S. mosque appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Engrith Acosta, patient care coordinator at AltaMed, speaks to a man during a community outreach on Obamacare in Los Angeles, California November 6, 2013. Questions on challengers' legal rights is unlikely to derail Supreme Court's decision on health care tax subsidies. Photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

    Medicare Maven Philip Moeller answers your Medicare questions. Photo by Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

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

    Mike – Calif.: I have an Affordable Care Act policy from my state exchange. I just turned 65 and wondered if I can keep it or if I need to quit this plan and enroll in Medicare to avert a late-enrollment penalty? I do not have workplace health insurance.

    Phil Moeller: Yes, you must switch onto Medicare. Your enrollment period includes the month you turn 65 and the three months after. But the sooner you switch the better. You don’t want to have a big health care expenses in, say, March, only to discover that your exchange plan is refusing to pay, because it says you’ve turned 65 and should be covered by Medicare. The first thing I’d do is call your current insurer and see what types of Medicare policies it offers. If you like your current plan, I’m betting your insurer would be delighted to move you into a comparable Medicare offering. However, this is also the right time for you to take a broader look at Medicare offerings to make sure you’re making the choice that best fits your health needs. Good luck!

    Ann – Okla.: Is there a schedule of benefits for Medicare like we got from our workplace group insurance plans? I hope this is not a stupid question — I didn’t know where to look.

    Phil Moeller: This is anything but a stupid question. And I bet there are millions of people like you who would love to see a schedule of Medicare benefits. The fact that this information is so hard to compile, let alone find, is an enormous failing on the parts of Medicare and the private insurance companies that sell various Medicare policies. Sure, they each have their own guides. But there is no mechanism to put together all the possible pieces into a complete picture. Maybe someone will write a book about this, and, wait, I just have! It will be out in the fall, by which time you may need to file a Medicare claim, because of how sick you’ll get from reading all of my shameless book plugs.

    Seriously, here are some of the Medicare guides produced by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services: “Medicare & You,” “Your Medicare Benefits,” “Enrolling in Medicare Part A & Part B,” “What’s a Medicare Advantage Plan,” “Your Guide to Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage,” “Choosing a Medigap Policy,” “Your Guide to Medicare’s Preventive Services,” “Medicare’s Coverage of Diabetes Supplies & Services” and “Your Guide to Medicare’s Durable Medical Equipment.”

    If you have more detailed questions, odds are there is a Medicare guide. Then, as you get closer to buying private Medicare policies — for Medigap, Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans — insurance companies will have their own detailed guides to what their policies cover.

    William: I’m in the process of planning for retirement and finding Medicare coverage for my wife and myself. Could you review my cost calculations and let me know if they’re accurate?

    Part B premium: $104.90 a month times 12 months times two persons = $2,517.60 a year.

    Medigap Plan F premium: $114.00 a month times 12 months times two persons = $2,736.00 a year.

    Annual deductibles for Parts A and B: $1,260 (A) plus $147 (B) times two persons = $2,814 a year.

    Estimated annual out of pocket cost for Part D of $5,000 a year.

    The total would be $13,067.60. Am I missing something?

    Phil Moeller: William is close, but not quite there. In part, this is because he based his calculations on a mistaken answer I provided in an earlier Ask Phil column (later corrected). As my wife reminds me regularly, please check any notions of infallibility at the door.

    William is correct about Part B premiums. I’m assuming he also checked Plan F Medigap premiums where he lives using Medicare’s Medigap Policy Search tool. So, he’s two for two so far.

    His figures for the Part A and B deductibles are out of date. For 2016, they have increased to $1,288 for Part A and $166 for Part B. However, if he and his wife have Plan F Medigap policies, these annual deductibles would be covered. So he can take these possible expenses off the board (and deductibles, of course, only come into play if you need care).

    Lastly, he presented a ballpark out-of-pocket estimate for two Part D drug plans. This is a fine starting point, but I’d suggest he do some more homework. He should use Medicare’s Plan Finder, set up accounts for himself and his wife, enter the specific prescription drugs that each of them take, and get a more accurate estimate of what each of them might need to spend. This should include whatever Part D premiums they pay plus a separate annual deductible for Part D. It can be up to $360 in 2016, and unlike deductibles for Parts A and B, the couple’s Medigap plans would not cover this.

    Charlene – Miss.: Is it too late to get a supplementary Medicare plan such as Medicare Advantage? I only have Original Medicare and Part D now. Will I have to pay a penalty forever?

    Phil Moeller: Good news. There is no late enrollment penalty for switching from Original Medicare to Medicare Advantage. The penalties for late enrollment involve signing up for Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and Part D in the first place. Normally, you would need to wait to sign up for a Medicare Advantage plan until the annual open enrollment season begins this fall. It runs from Oct. 15 through Dec. 7. However, if there is a 5-star plan you like (Medicare’s highest quality rating) you can sign up for it right away. These plans have something like a 51-week open enrollment period, which in practical terms means you can sign up for them pretty much any time. However, you can do this only once a year.

    Kent – Ga.: I am a retired Federal employee with Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) insurance. I am currently in my initial enrollment period for Medicare and already signed up for Medicare Part A. I am employed with a large company (over 10,000 employees) and can sign up for their health insurance, which can help me avoid any monthly premium penalties when I decide to enroll in Medicare Part B later. However, I turned 65 between open seasons to enroll in my company’s health insurance plan and won’t be able to sign up for it until after my IEP is over.  Will I be able to avoid future Medicare Part B premium penalties if I am not currently enrolled in my company’s health plan before my initial enrollment period ends?

    Phil Moeller: The answer depends on how long you are without health insurance. However, rather than going that route, why don’t you just keep your Federal Employee Health Benefits coverage until your new employer coverage takes effect? Unlike virtually every other retiree health plan, Federal Employee Health Benefits coverage may be retained in place of Medicare, thus avoiding the issue of late enrollment penalties altogether. So, I’d explore continuing that plan. Once your new coverage is in effect, you can switch to it. You should talk about this with the administrator of your current Federal Employee Health Benefits plan. Also, find out whether you could go back to it once you retire from your new position. It might be a superior solution to your Medicare options.

    Nora – Fla.: If you have a health savings account and you enroll in Medicare, I understand that you can no longer make contributions to it. But can you still take health savings account distributions from your health savings account account to pay for COBRA and Medicare premiums and other qualifying health expenses and put these distributions on your IRS Form 8889 when filing your tax return if you are 65 years old?

    Phil Moeller: Yes.

    Elliott – Ala.: I will turn 65 in March 2016 but do not plan to retire until 66 1/2. I am a contractor with COBRA coverage from a previous employer. It will expire in June 2016. Can I receive Medicare Part A, Part B, Medigap and Part D drug coverage to take the place of the COBRA even if I’m not retired? Or do I have to be retired and taking my Social Security to receive Medicare?

    Phil Moeller: If you are 65 and do not have workplace coverage (and COBRA does not count as workplace coverage) you are eligible for Medicare. In fact, if you don’t sign up for Medicare during your initial enrollment period (a seven-month period with your birth month in the middle), you would incur nasty late-enrollment penalties. Whether or not you are taking Social Security benefits has no bearing on your Medicare eligibility or timely enrollment obligations.

    The post If I’m covered by the Affordable Care Act, do I have to switch to Medicare? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    The DNC has announced four additional debates between candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The two will also meet in Milwaukee for PBS NewsHour's debate, on Feb. 11. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    The DNC has announced four additional debates between candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. The two will also meet in Milwaukee for PBS NewsHour’s debate, on Feb. 11. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Democrats have finalized an agreement with the campaigns of Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to hold a presidential debate on Thursday night in New Hampshire and three more debates later this spring.

    The additional debates will include Flint, Michigan on March 6, and two other cities in April and May.

    Clinton and Sanders are meeting Thursday in a debate at the University of New Hampshire just days before Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary.

    Clinton narrowly defeated Sanders in Monday’s Iowa caucuses but Sanders has a solid lead in New Hampshire. It will be the first debate since former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley dropped out of the race, leaving just Clinton and Sanders competing for the nomination.

    Two other Democratic debates are scheduled for Feb. 11 in Milwaukee and March 9 in Miami.

    The post Democrats add 4 more debates, including one in Flint, Michigan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Mahmoud Hariri, 25, was an art teacher and painter back in Syria before coming to Za’atari in 2013 to escape the violence.  “When I first arrived I didn’t think I would continue my work as I only expected to be here for a week or two. But when I realised it would be years, I knew I had to start again or lose my skills.”  He built his model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. He only found out last month that the site had fallen under the control of ISIS.  “We haven’t had electricity in the camp recently, so I hadn’t seen the news. I’m very worried about what might happen. This site represents our history and culture, not just for Syrians but all of humanity. If it is destroyed it can never be rebuilt.”  Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Mahmoud Hariri, 25, was an art teacher and painter back in Syria before coming to Za’atari in 2013 to escape violence in Syria. “When I first arrived I didn’t think I would continue my work as I only expected to be here for a week or two. But when I realized it would be years, I knew I had to start again or lose my skills,” he told Charlie Dunmore of UNHCR. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    We know, now, what happened to Palmyra. But the ancient city was still standing in the winter of 2014 when Mahmoud Hariri began recreating it in clay and wood.

    Hariri, 25, was working on a project with Art from Zaatari, an artists’ group located in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp. The camp, located just a few miles from the country’s border with Syria, has in the past few years become a city unto itself — with approximately 80,000 people living there; it has schools, clinics and mosques.

    “Art is a language that does not need to be translated.” — Art from Zaatari organizer Ahmad Hariri
    And, of course, artists. The group decided to create small sculptures that replicated Syrian monuments, knowing their real-life counterparts stood in the path of warring forces. Hariri chose Palmyra, the ancient city whose ruins formed a UNESCO World Heritage Site and hosted some of the best-preserved Roman antiquities in the world.
    Mahmoud built his model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. Mahmoud, who like the other artists is also from Dara’a, hopes that by seeing the exhibition, residents at Za’atari will remain connected with the country and culture they have been forced to leave behind.  “This is a way for them not to forget. As artists we have an important role to play. A lot of what we know about ancient civilisations or prehistoric people is preserved through their art – Egyptian hieroglyphs or cave paintings.” Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Hariri built his model of Palmyra using clay and wooden kebab skewers. Hariri hopes that by seeing the pieces, residents at Za’atari will remain connected with the country and culture they have left behind.” Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    He began marking out, inch by inch, the details of a city in miniature. Having worked as an art teacher in Syria before he left, Hariri methodically worked with kebab skewers and miniature bricks of clay to recreate the columns of a city thousands of years old. “I wanted to show my country’s history and culture to the world,” he told me via Facebook.

    But in the spring of 2015, just a few months after he began, the Islamic State group invaded the city, and within weeks the piece had become a reminder of what was lost. The group destroyed irreplaceable artifacts, the historic Temple of Bel and at least six tombs, in addition to other ancient sites. The damage was devastating to Syrians and scholars around the world.

    Hariri said he wanted Palmyra to stay visible even as parts of it lay in ruins.

    “Syrian identity is important to me. I participated in this project so this identity did not become erased,” he said.

    As war in Syria pushes millions of people out of the country, Zaatari has developed into a kind of metropolis itself, one beset by problems — former residents have spoken out about difficult living conditions, including a a lack of electricity, water and other services. People who initially expected to be there for months have lived there for years, including some children who were born in the camp. Many will not, for the foreseeable future at least, see any of Syria’s most treasured sites in person.

    This was all on Ahmad Hariri’s mind when he decided to organize Art from Zaatari, inspired by the work he saw by his friends in the camp. A 31-year-old network engineer that has lived in the camp since April 2013, Ahmad is not an artist himself. “The artists are my friends, so I started to follow their work,” he said via Facebook.

    Ahmad and most of the eight artists working on the project are from Dara’a, the southern city where a harsh government crackdown on protests in early 2011 is credited with fanning the early flames of the revolution.

    Ahmad Hariri, who initially brought the group together and helps source their materials, says the project can help educate children in the camp about their homeland.  “There are lots of kids living here who have never seen Syria or who have no memory of it. They know more about Jordan than about their own country.” The project has also given the artists themselves a sense of purpose. “By doing this work, they feel like they are at least doing something to preserve their culture.” Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Ahmad Hariri, who initially brought the group together and helps source their materials, says the project can help educate children in the camp about their homeland. “There are lots of kids living here who have never seen Syria or who have no memory of it. They know more about Jordan than about their own country,” he told Dunmore.” Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Iyad Sabagh, 29, arrived in Zaatari from Dara’a in late April 2013. He said he wanted to help preserve Syrian culture however he could. “The war is ruining these historical sites,” he said via Facebook.

    For months, the artists used whatever materials they could find to create the sculptures: scrap wood, plaster of Paris, stones. Sabagh created a model of Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge, a bridge that once crossed the Euphrates River in the eastern city of Deir ez-Zur, using sticks. The bridge was destroyed in shelling in May 2013.

    The Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge is one of the miniature replicas displayed at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Iyad Sabagh created this model of the Deir ez-Zor suspension bridge, which took him three months to create. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Hariri also recreated the Bosra Theater, an ancient Roman theater located in Dara’a, and the Statue of Saladin, a historic statue in Damascus.

    Sabagh said he wanted future generations of Syrian children to know what the monuments looked like. “We want to introduce the next generation of children to Syria’s civilization and history,” he said. “We have the right to preserve the history of our ancestors.”

    A statue of Saladin from Damascus is one of the miniature replicas displayed at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Sabagh’s miniature replica of a statue of Saladin from Damascus was displayed at a community center in Zaatari. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    The project also had two additional stages, according to organizer Ahmad. In the second stage, artists created various types of Syrian folk art in paintings, drawings and multimedia pieces. “The artwork in this exhibit attempts to capture ancient Syrian folk traditions, some of which continue [in] the daily lives of modern Syrians,” he said.

    In the third stage, artists chose whatever medium they wanted — paint, sculpture or multimedia — to address the war in Syria, he said. In that stage, the group wanted to show that “the loser in this war is not only Syria, but also all the world,” he said. “We hope that our voice reaches into the world to stop the war.”

    For the second and third stages, Hariri created 7 paintings using acrylic and oil, and drawings using ink and pencil. Sabagh created 21 paintings, including 4 pieces using pencil, 4 oil paintings, and 13 acrylic paintings. The group displayed its work at a community center in Zaatari in December.

    Photographer Chris Herwig and journalist Charlie Dunmore met the artists while producing a story on the project for the UNHCR. Herwig said he wanted to “capture their relationship with what they were creating.”

    Dunmore, who interviewed the artists, said the project showed determination among the artists living in Zaatari. “To keep doing the thing that you love, whatever materials you have to work with, just shows resilience,” he said.

    See more images of the project below.

    Ismail Hariri, 44, was an interior designer before the conflict began and began sculpting at an early age.  After moving to Za’atari with his wife and seven children in 2013, he was initially reluctant to take it up again, but got involved when he heard about the project. Since rediscovering his passion, he has been asked by IRD to run art classes for 44 children at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Ismail Hariri, 44, was an interior designer before the conflict began and began sculpting at an early age. After moving to Za’atari with his wife and seven children in 2013, he was initially reluctant to take it up again, but got involved when he heard about the project. Now, he runs art classes for 44 children at a community center in Zaatari. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    The Norias of Hama remembered in one of the miniature replicas displayed at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    One of the Norias of Hama, water wheels that Aleppo residents used for centuries, is displayed at a community center. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Damascus's Umayyad Mosque is one of the miniature replicas displayed at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    A recreation of Damascus’s Umayyad Mosque is displayed. “I am Syrian, and proud of it,” Ahmad Hariri, who organized the artists, said. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    The Citadel of Aleppo is one of the miniature replicas displayed at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    The Citadel of Aleppo is one of the miniature replicas displayed at the community centre. Photo © UNHCR/Christopher Herwig

    Special thanks to Julie Whittaker, who translated interviews from Hariri, Hariri and Sabagh. Explore more of our Syrian Voices series which highlights Syrian artists producing work around the world.

    The post Using only materials from a refugee camp, artists recreate Syria’s lost treasures appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Getty Images

    Most genes we inherit from both mom and dad, but only mothers pass on mitochondrial DNA. It encodes a mere 37 genes, but defects can leave cells without enough energy and can lead to blindness, seizures, muscle degeneration, developmental disorders, even death. Photo by Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — It’s ethical to test a provocative new fertility technique that would prevent mothers from passing on rare but devastating diseases by creating embryos from the DNA of three people — dad, mom and an egg donor — advisers to the government said Wednesday.

    But don’t expect studies to begin anytime soon. It’s not clear that such research can overcome political hurdles.

    At issue is a kind of DNA that children can inherit only from their mother: genes that are inside the mitochondria, the energy factories in cells. Britain last year became the first country to approve creation of embryos that swap a mother’s defective mitochondrial DNA with healthy genetic material from a donor egg.

    The Food and Drug Administration has been considering whether to allow that replacement technique to be tested in the U.S. But it’s controversial, in part because such alterations could be passed to future generations.

    In a report requested by the FDA, the Institute of Medicine said Wednesday that it is ethical to do such research if initial experiments follow certain strict safety steps. They must target women at high risk of passing on a severe disease, and in the first attempts at pregnancy researchers should implant only male embryos. That’s because when they grow up, those men couldn’t pass on mitochondrial alterations to their own children.

    Such research won’t happen this year. While the FDA said it would be “carefully reviewing the report and recommendations,” it noted that when Congress passed the agency’s 2016 budget, it prohibited using any of the money to review applications involving inheritable genetic modification of embryos.

    Jeffrey Kahn, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University who led the Institute of Medicine panel, said, “It is ethically acceptable to go forward, but go slowly and with great caution.”

    “Mitochondrial DNA disease can be extremely devastating, and for the women who are at risk of passing it on to their children, they have no other option by which to pursue having a child that’s genetically related to them,” he said.

    Watch a conversation about mitochondrial replacement technique with William Brangham, Jeffrey Kahn of Johns Hopkins University and Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society.

    The genes that give us our hair and eye color, our height and other family traits — and some common diseases such as cancer — come from DNA in the nucleus of cells, the kind we inherit from both mom and dad.

    But only mothers pass on mitochondrial DNA, to both daughters and sons. It encodes a mere 37 genes, but defects can leave cells without enough energy and can lead to blindness, seizures, muscle degeneration, developmental disorders, even death. Severity varies widely, and researchers estimate 1 in 5,000 children may inherit some degree of mitochondrial disease.

    “It’s unlikely we’ll find any cure once the child is born already with these mutations,” said Dr. Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health & Sciences University, who produced five healthy monkeys using the technique and approached FDA about starting human studies. “The best way is to prevent it.”

    Amy Hall of Boulder, Colorado, didn’t know she carried such a mutation when her now 4-year-old daughter Nina was born. As a toddler, Nina began losing the ability to talk, eat, even sit up unassisted, and eventually was diagnosed with a deadly mitochondrial condition called Leigh’s disease.

    “Part of you dies when you figure out your child is dying, and then you can’t continue your family,” Hall said. “If there’s technology available, which now there is, we should be able to utilize it.”

    It’s a twist on regular in vitro fertilization: Remove the nucleus from a donor egg with healthy mitochondria. Take the nucleus from a prospective mother’s egg and stick it in the prepared donor egg. After fertilization, the resulting embryo has nucleus DNA from mom and dad but mitochondrial DNA from the egg donor.

    Critics have argued that the first such births would have to be tracked for decades to be sure they’re really healthy, and that families could try adoption or standard IVF with a donated egg instead. And they say it crosses a fundamental scientific boundary by altering what’s called the germline — eggs, sperm or embryos — in a way that could affect future generations.

    “It is reckless to proceed with this form of germline modification,” said Marcy Darnovsky of the Center for Genetics and Society, an advocacy group.

    But the IOM panel argued that restricting initial pregnancies to sons takes away that concern. “This ensures that if there are adverse events, they will not be reverberating down the generations,” said bioethicist R. Alta Charo of the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

    “It’s safer to do that,” agreed Dr. Michio Hirano, a neurologist at Columbia University Medical Center who has patients ask about the technique. “The problem is, we’re kicking the can down the street a little bit,” as far as learning whether daughters, too, would benefit.

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    Latino leaders and immigration reform supporters gather at Farrand Field on the campus of the University of Colorado to launch "My Country, My Vote," a 12-month voter registration campaign to mobilize Colorado's Latino, immigrant and allied voters October 28, 2015.

    By Nov. 8, nearly one-in-three eligible voters will be Hispanic, black, Asian or any other racial and ethnic minority. Photo by Evan Semon/Reuters

    Voters in this year’s presidential election will be some of the most diverse ever, according to the Pew Research Center. By Election Day, nearly one-in-three eligible voters will be Hispanic, black, Asian or any other racial and ethnic minority.

    Pew diverse votersYoung Hispanics are the driving force behind a diversifying voting population. Many of these new voters are American-born and will turn 18 by Election Day. Pew writer and editor Jens Manuel Krogstad says that that makes Latino millennials a key demographic.

    “They’re almost half of all eligible Latino voters,” he says. “That really stands out compared to whites millennials at just 27 percent.”

    The number of eligible voters is growing steadily overall. There are more than 10 million new eligible voters this election cycle compared to 2012. That increase also includes non-Hispanic, white Americans. The white electorate isn’t declining, it just isn’t growing at nearly the same rates as blacks, Hispanics and Asians. Krogstad says there’s several reasons, one being an aging population. More whites are getting older and dying.

    “There are also fewer white U.S. citizens turning 18,” he says. “So as a result, white voters’ percentage of the electorate fell from 71 to 69 percent since 2012.”

    READ MORE: Latino millennials could be major voting bloc — if they turnout

    While immigration reform is a hot-button issue among Latino voters on both sides of the aisle, it’s Asian-Americans who experienced the largest increase in eligible voters due to naturalization. Since 2012, nearly 60 percent of newly eligible Asian voters gained the right to vote from becoming naturalized American citizens. And by 2055, Asians will be the largest immigrant group in the country, potentially growing the voting population even more in the future.

    According to Pew, the percentage of all minority eligible voters will continue to climb. And the changing face of the American electorate poses new outreach challenges for political parties looking to gain support among young people and minorities. Hispanics, blacks and Asians largely identify with Democrats while whites are more evenly split. Generational differences are also more common among whites.

    But it’s one thing to register to vote, it’s another to show up to the polls. Across racial lines, minorities have lower voter turnout rates, especially among young people. And despite their growing percentage of the electorate, Hispanic millennials have lower turnout rates compared to black and white millennials. Krogstad says for Latinos, the youth is their greatest strength in terms of growing their political power.

    “There’s a lot of potential there for young Latinos to influence the presidential elections,” he says. “The question is whether they will turn out to vote.”

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    WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 30:  Women Democratic senators (L-R) Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) hold a news conference to announce their support for raising the minimum wage to $10.10 at the U.S. Capitol January 30, 2014 in Washington, DC. Thirteen of the 16 Democratic women senators made appearances during the news conference.  (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to the NewsHour Bookshelf.

    I recently sat down with Jay Newton-Small. She is a Washington correspondent for TIME magazine and she’s author of “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works.”

    Jay Newton-Small, welcome.

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL, Author, “Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works”: Thanks so much.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I guess there’s no confusing what broad refers to here, right?


    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: No. It’s actually referring to women. And I don’t know if you knew this, but broad used to be a pretty derogatory term for women, which we’re hoping to sort of reclaim it a little bit, but it used to apply to our hips, because we have broad hips, because we bear children.

    And of course we bear children. We should be proud of that fact.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I absolutely remember when it was considered a derogatory term. But times are changing.

    Jay Newton-Small, you do a lot of reporting here on how women are doing. What’s really interesting, though, is how you document women have to reach a certain level, a critical mass, so to speak, before things really change. And you reported on the U.S. Congress. Talk about that and what you found.


    So, the book actually grew from a story that I did for “TIME” magazine about two years ago during the government shutdown, where the 20 women at that point of the 100-member U.S. Senate got together and restarted the negotiations to reopen the government, when none of the men would talk to each other.

    And that — I really was interested in that session, because those 20 women ended up producing more than 75 percent of the major legislation that passed that session. They really batted well above they are weight. And I got — it turns out there’s this theory of critical mass.

    So, somewhere between 20 percent and 30 percent, women really begin to change an institution, whether it’s a legislature or a corporate board, a Navy ship or an appellate court. And then I started looking at all those corners and finding other areas where women had reached this sort of tipping point, and they were really beginning to change the way we govern, change the way we manage, change the way we command.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What is it about the 20 or 30 percent? Why isn’t it 50 percent?

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: So, it’s interesting. You know, one woman really is a token. Two or 20 percent — or, like, sort of less than 20 percent are considered kind of a pair.

    And that’s — there have been a ton of studies that show — or at least two studies that I can think of that show that pairs are actually worse than either having one or three, because either the women are considered conspiratorial or they’re considered sort of archenemies. And it’s this strange kind of, I don’t know what’s going on with the two.

    But when you start getting a plurality of the women, three or more, depending on the size of the institution, that’s when you really begin — women’s voices are considered less exceptional, and it’s not this weird thing, like, where are you coming from? And it becomes less — sort of less objectifying them, and more sort of normal, like brother and sister or normal work areas.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what did you find that women want to do differently from men? Where does the policy change or the direction of an organization change because of women who are making decisions?

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: It depends on the organization.

    But there’s been a lot of great research, one that shows that women tend to be a lot more prepared than men. They tend to really want to dig in on an issue. Women ask the hard questions and say, where’s the accounting? Where’s the money going? How is it being spent?

    Women also tend to be more collaborative. They tend to look for win-win situations, where everybody can win, everyone can advance together, whereas men can be — not all men, but a lot of men can be sort of zero-sum game, I win, you lose.

    So, those are two sort of very common aspects of…


    JUDY WOODRUFF: But it’s not as if all women agree on the direction things should go.

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: No, and — not at all.

    And, in fact, you see that in the Senate. For example, you had Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York and Claire McCaskill from Missouri disagreeing over how to do sexual assault in the military bill.

    But that is the great joy of having enough women to disagree. Right? You don’t have to all be on the same page to go places. But what you have to do is respect each other. And, so, notably, when they disagreed, they agreed not to recriminate each other, not to like sling accusations or insults. They just said, we disagree, but we still appreciate each other’s perspectives.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I was struck that the one area where you said there doesn’t seem to be change when they get to critical mass is the private sector. And you looked at the financial industry.

    And there was a quote from a woman who had been on several corporate boards. She said: “There’s a trend. When women and money penetrate a sector, the money and power leaves it.” She said: “When women finally got into investment banking, all the money went to private equity. When women got into private equity, it went to hedge funds.”

    So, why is it different?

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: I don’t know that it’s the men are — I can’t say that they’re, like, conspiring — conspiring to keep women out of it.

    But what — it is the sense that, when you are diversifying, when the power structure is no longer the people that look exactly like you, it moves beyond the sort of core group of a certain number of people, that that makes some people uncomfortable. It makes many — certain people leave, start different industries, start to do different things.

    Women are chasing the money, but, to some degree — like, you see this also in medicine, for example. When women weren’t allowed into medicine, and then they were finally allowed into pediatrics, right, and all the, like, money left pediatrics. And then women were finally allowed into some kind of surgery, but the kinds of surgery they’re in are not the kinds that all the money is made.

    And so it is striking. It’s an interesting phenomenon. And I don’t know what that says about our culture.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But it raises some interesting questions.

    Finally, Jay Newton-Small, you say you’re hopeful about the future. Why?

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: Well, so, it was economic necessity that first brought women into the work force with Rosie the Riveter during World War II.

    And it wasn’t until 1970 that all of the laws banning married women from working without their husband’s permission were fully repealed. And I think it will be economic necessity that brings women to the work force now, fully. And you see that. We’re right on the cusp of it. So, by 2030, the baby boomer generation will fully retire and we will be short 26 million workers.

    There’s only two ways to make up that shortfall. One, you bring in a ton of new immigrants, which is really hard to imagine with this Congress. Or, two, you bring women up to full employment. And that is a lot easier — much more easily done. There’s plenty of qualified women who can do it. We make up more than half of the college degrees already. And so it will be easy to — much easier to do that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s 15 years away, but maybe things will change in the meantime.

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: I’m betting on it.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: Jay Newton-Small.

    The book is “Broad Influence.”

    Thank you very much.

    JAY NEWTON-SMALL: Thank you, Judy.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: using big data to assess medical treatments and interventions and whether decisions for individual patients are the right choice for all of society.

    That’s not necessarily seen as the right way of making decisions in science and medicine when lives are at stake. But some believe it’s a critical consideration.

    Our science correspondent Miles O’Brien looks at how some thinkers in the field are challenging long-held assumptions.

    The story was produced in collaboration with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

    MILES O’BRIEN: This is where the line between life and death is drawn, an operating room at a hospital in a remote part of Nepal.

    Dr. Shree Ram Tiwari is performing one of the first C-sections in this part of the world, hoping to save the lives of Muna Buhl and her unborn child. It’s not going smoothly.

    DR. SHREE RAM TIWARI, Physician (through interpreter): The power cut out at such an important time, because the baby should keep crying after it’s born, but it wasn’t. We needed power for the suction machine.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Bringing C-sections to this remote corner comes not only with risks, but also a hefty price tag. The bills are paid by Possible, the American charity that runs the hospital.

    DR. SHREE RAM TIWARI (through interpreter): Nepal’s constitution talks about health rights, that every person should have access to health care. But that is not implemented.

    MILES O’BRIEN: While mother and child remain the focus for Dr. Tiwari as he copes with the power failure, the global health community tries to shed light on whether this surgery should have happened at all.

    Medical ethicist Peter Singer is a professor at Princeton University. He is a leading proponent of a philosophy called effective altruism.

    PETER SINGER, Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University: Effective altruists look for those health care programs worldwide that offer the low-hanging fruit. Where can you save lives most cheaply?

    MILES O’BRIEN: Effective altruists like Dr. Singer compare different interventions, and choose the one that provides the most bang for the buck. They might elect to pay for community health workers, rather than operating rooms.

    But human beings are not wired to respond in this dispassionate, systematic manner. This is why commercial appeals for charities often look like this:

    NARRATOR: Tiny, vulnerable Aisha won’t eat tonight or tomorrow. She is slowly dying.

    PETER SINGER: We are psychologically adapted to respond to individuals who we can see. But health care is a scarce resource. So, data is absolutely critical. We can’t know that we’re using our resources in the best way possible without data.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Dr. Chris Murray agrees. That’s why he is crunching the numbers, in an unprecedented way.

    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY, Director, Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation: We have a 20,000-core supercomputer, which is pretty ginormous.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Big data meets modern medicine.

    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: If you could identify all the bits of information out there, then you would be in the strongest possible position to empower people to make better decisions.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Murray is founder and director of the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, a nonprofit that caters to other nonprofits seeking to place smart bets.

    He’s the global health equivalent of legendary baseball manager Billy Beane, who first applied big data to the Major Leagues, a story told in the 2011 movie “Moneyball.”

    ACTOR: You don’t put a team together with a computer, Billy.

    BRAD PITT, Actor: No?

    ACTOR: No. Baseball isn’t just numbers.

    BRAD PITT: Adapt or die.

    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: The difference is we’re not worried about winning the World Series. We’re interested in, how do you make people healthier?

    MILES O’BRIEN: The data shows that, globally, infectious diseases, the red boxes, are on the decline. The U.S. was declared free of polio back in 1979. But some countries continue to lag far behind.

    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: Go to Niger. Whoa.


    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: Let’s see. There you go. There’s where…

    MILES O’BRIEN: That’s as dramatic as it gets, huh?

    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: We know how to get rid of infectious diseases, right, whether through public health or through medicine. And so this is addressable.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Quantity is one thing, but it’s harder to measure a person’s quality of life. So, Murray created a new metric, the Disability-Adjusted Life Year, or DALY.

    The equation is simple, the number of years lost to a premature death, plus the number of years of good health lost to a disease or injury. DALYs make it possible to measure the impact of different interventions and show that some hit a lot more home runs.

    DR. CHRISTOPHER MURRAY: Individual clinical care is great for that patient. You change their lives. But you don’t change the circumstances of their health, and if you want to do that, you have got to see the bigger picture.

    MILES O’BRIEN: In the U.S., the Affordable Care Act prohibits Medicare from using tools like the DALY to ration health care. Rationing is considered a dirty word, but Dr. Singer says the U.S. system is infused with it.

    PETER SINGER: We don’t call it that. We deny it. But, I mean, I think it’s a crazy system.

    MILES O’BRIEN: He offers the story of Martin Shkreli as a case in point. In September, the pharmaceutical executive became a poster boy for greed in U.S. medical care when he raised the price of an anti-parasitic drug from $13.50 to $750 per pill.

    PETER SINGER: By denying the existence of rationing, we’re just writing a blank check to whatever financial sharpshooter comes in and sees an opportunity to make outrageous profits.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Outside the U.S., there is less concern about applying big data to medicine in the form of DALYs. Mexico was an early adopter.

    Studies showed they should focus on things that may not kill, but cause a great deal of ill health, like depression and traffic injuries. And, in Africa, there has been a dramatic decline in the DALYs lost to malaria.

    PETER SINGER: This has saved millions of lives, and that has been largely data-driven.

    MILES O’BRIEN: But on the front lines, a statistic becomes a patient, and things are less cut and dried.

    In Guatemala, Crecencia Buch (ph) is battling for her life, threatened by cervical cancer.

    CRECENCIA BUCH, Cancer Sufferer (through interpreter): I was told I have cancer, and I only have seven months to live.

    MILES O’BRIEN: That was back in 2012. An American NGO, the Maya Health Alliance, has since spent almost $10,000 on radiation therapy, buying Crecencia few extra years with her children, and now her grandchildren.

    This is the sort of heartwarming image that has most donors diving for their wallets. But Peter Singer and the effective altruists remain unmoved.

    PETER SINGER: If you have data showing that you will save more lives through doing something else, then you should do the most good you can.

    MILES O’BRIEN: The DALY bottom line suggests the money would have had more impact if it had been spent on something else, like Pap smears to catch cervical cancer early.

    But some say DALYs are nothing more than a magic bullet approach that is destined to fail.

    DR. Peter Rohloff is founder of the Maya Health Alliance. He made the call to fund Crecencia’s treatment.

    DR. PETER ROHLOFF, Chief Medical Officer, Maya Health Alliance: Giving a mother four years with her children is precisely a conversation about living and not a conversation just about not dying.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Dr. Rohloff believes not everything can be captured by numbers.

    DR. PETER ROHLOFF: We should use big data, right? We should be making smart decisions about how we spend our money. But the other half of the global health equation is the right to health care. Dreaming about your life and where you want your life to go is a basic human right, and we need to, I think, include that in our algorithm, if such a thing were possible, right?

    MILES O’BRIEN: Back in Nepal, Shree Ram Tiwari works to resuscitate Muna’s baby without power.

    DR. SHREE RAM TIWARI (through interpreter): When there is no power, we have a manually operated suction device which works by breathing with your mouth.

    MILES O’BRIEN: The baby’s lungs fill with air, and a cry echoes through the operating room. The lives of both mother and child are saved, just as the lights come back on.

    Last week, a year-and-a-half on, we received this photo of Muna’s baby, Malishka. She may soon have a sibling, as Muna is pregnant again. There are no numbers that can adequately convey the value of this hospital, in this place, for this family.

    Miles O’Brien, the “PBS NewsHour.”

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    Should we edit . Illustration by Getty Images

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    GWEN IFILL: Now to questions surrounding a significant advance in reproductive technology with DNA and embryos.

    The change on the horizon was pioneered and approved in England and it is now being considered for use in the U.S. Proponents believe it may eliminate dangerous disease in children, but others have raised ethical concerns.

    Today, the National Academy of Sciences recommended that clinical trials go forward in the U.S.

    William Brangham has our look.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This new technology is called mitochondrial replacement technique, or MRT for shot.

    Mitochondria are tiny structures that exist in nearly all the cells in our bodies, and have their own unique DNA. The problem is, a very small number of women have defective mitochondria, and if they have children, those kids inherit their mom’s mitochondria and can suffer terrible, sometimes fatal, problems, including brain damage and heart failure.

    This new technology would, in essence, replace that original mitochondria in either the mother’s egg or in the parents’ embryo with healthy mitochondria from a third person. A child born this way would then be carrying the DNA of three different people.

    Earlier today, patient advocate Laurie Strongin told us why the advance was so important for a small group of parents.

    LAURIE STRONGIN, Patient Advocate: One of the things that we have found is that parents’ desire to have genetically related offspring is a widely held desire. It’s not universal, but it’s widely held.

    And the potential to use MRT to have offspring who are genetically related to both parents is something that families who carry mtDNA disease really want. And not everyone is going to pursue it, but for the family for whom having children who are — who have a nuclear genetic connection to them, this is something that will just be one of numerous options available to them.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Joining me now to discuss the technology and its implications are Johns Hopkins bioethics Professor Jeffrey Kahn, who chairs the panel at the National Academy of Medicine that recommended moving forward with the technology, and Marcy Darnovsky, who writes widely on these issues and is the executive director of the Center for Genetics in Society.

    So, Jeffrey Kahn, I would like to start with you.

    I wonder if you could just tell us a little bit more about this technology. To my ear, this sounds like what we know of as some sort of modified version of in vitro fertilization. Can you tell us a little bit more? What is this technology?

    JEFFREY KAHN, Johns Hopkins University: Yes.

    It is, in fact, a modified version of in vitro fertilization, as you noted. However, it’s picking up the nuclear DNA, the DNA that we think of as creating the traits that make us who we are, and picking that up and putting it into a healthy environment of mitochondria.

    As you noted in the intro, there are women who suffer from mutations in addition those mitochondrial DNA that will cause really terrible diseases in their offspring. So, this is a way to avoid that and preserve the genetic relationship. The difference, or the challenges, this has never before been done in a human.

    And so the FDA, which is charged with regulating license applications in new areas like this, asked the National Academy of Medicine to hold the consensus committee to evaluate the ethics, social, and policy issues related to this technology.

    And that’s the report that was released today.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, just so — I know there are some viewers who are wondering. We’re not talking about tweaking the DNA that affects our hair color or our intelligence or things like that.

    JEFFREY KAHN: No, that’s right.

    And so the mitochondria actually are quite important. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be this need, because people who have defective mitochondria have terrible disease issues. So, mitochondria create energy for every cell in our body. And they also have some other implications at the cellular development level.

    And so, no, it isn’t actually a way to change the things we think of as making us who we are, eye color, hair color. You mentioned intelligence, athletic ability, all the kinds of things we might think of in the so-called designer baby problems. It wouldn’t do that.

    It’s really picking up a healthy population of mitochondria and replacing that for those that are diseased, and a way forward which we think we have crafted which allows a responsible, ethically acceptable way forward, but with great precaution and numerous restrictions.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I’m just curious. We mentioned this is a relatively small number of people who would use this. How many people are we talking about?

    JEFFREY KAHN: In the hundreds of people, so not — across the entire country. And part of that is because it’s a very homogeneous disease.

    It’s really hard to detect and diagnose, and only a small number of people have a severe enough version that we know for sure that they’re going to pass it on and that the children who are born will be affected. That said, they very desperately want to have a way to have children who are related to them.

    The alternative for those individuals, otherwise, is adoption, not having children, or egg donation. And that is a different thing for those individuals. And it’s an area we thought needed to be respected on the part of people who wanted it.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Marcy Darnovsky, I want to turn to you.

    I know you have some concerns about this technology. What is it that troubles you?

    MARCY DARNOVSKY, Center for Genetics and Society: Well, I think for people who are in the situation that has just been described, they have to make a very difficult decision about whether to subject their future child to the risks of what’s really a quite biologically extreme procedure, whether that’s worth what their — their preference to have a genetically related child is.

    All people that have this problem, this terrible problem, can have healthy children, children who are not affected by these mitochondrial diseases, in the ways that Jeff just mentioned, and some of them can actually use an embryo screening technology as well. And that would further reduce the number of people who would be candidates for this procedure.

    And so, for the rest of us, I think we have to weigh the preferences of those — that small number of people for a genetically related child against — which is a benefit, but it’s a social benefit, not really a medical benefit, because it’s not about healthy children.

    We have to weigh that against the big deal it is to do this for the first time, to make changes that would be passed down to future generations. And this problem of whether we should do it or not is a subject right now of huge controversy around a different technique called gene editing.

    And on that technique, the conclusion of a 500-person meeting that was held in December was that it would be irresponsible to proceed unless and until there was a broad, societal consensus that it would be OK.

    But, on the other hand, the committee, although I appreciate very much the cautions and the limitations that they have recommended, but this committee is saying it’s OK to go forward now.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Jeffrey, what do you make of that? Is this the slippery slope to gene editing or some of these more troubling outcomes?

    JEFFREY KAHN: I would say no, and here’s why.

    As Marcy rightly pointed out, there are real concerns about crossing the germ line, so creating genetic modifications that could be inherited by future generations. And among the recommendations in our report was that the initial investigations be limited to the implantation of male embryos, because the mitochondrial DNA is only passed from mother to offspring.

    So by limiting the offspring to males, you wouldn’t allow that germ line modification to happen. There would be no possibility of passing those alterations to future generations. So, we thought we could find a way to allow people who very much wanted to have genetically related offspring to pursue a new reproductive technology.

    And I think it’s important to say there are many new reproductive technologies introduced in this country and around the world that do not get this level of scrutiny. This is the first time the Food and Drug Administration in our country has, from the beginning, prior to the initial investigation of a new reproductive technology, has asked for this level of scrutiny, and, depending on what they do with the recommendations from this report, implement them in a way that will really control the introduction of a new technology of this sort.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Marcy, what do you make of that? Do you feel that the conditions can be placed on this technology to keep it in check that would make you comfortable with this?

    MARCY DARNOVSKY: Well, the condition that I would like to see placed on this before we go forward would be for the United States to join the dozens of other countries around the world that have actually written laws saying that we’re not going to alter the nuclear DNA that’s passed down to our children and future generations.

    I think that would make us able to evaluate this technology in a better way. And the limitations are better than nothing, but they are temporary, as the report notes, and I think we’re already seeing this approval being characterized as a green light for going ahead, and it’s being used as an argument for doing the full-out kinds of genetic engineering that would create the designer baby scenarios.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, this is a very interesting discussion.

    Marcy Darnovsky and Jeffrey Kahn, thank you both very much for being here.

    JEFFREY KAHN: Thank you.

    MARCY DARNOVSKY: Thank you.

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    Marissa Mayer, President and CEO of Yahoo, participates in a panel discussion at the 2015 Fortune Global Forum in San Francisco, California November 3, 2015. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage - RTX1UN5P

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first: the tech giant Yahoo in serious trouble.

    For months, and years, by some accounts, the company has struggled to successfully define a strategy to satisfy investors, consumers and the markets. Yesterday, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer said the company would consider offers for buying its core assets and announced that 15 percent of the work force would be laid off.

    Douglas MacMillan of The Wall Street Journal joins me now.

    Welcome to the program.

    So, how much trouble is Yahoo. in?

    DOUGLAS MACMILLAN, The Wall Street Journal: It looks like we might be finally entering kind of the final chapter of what is really one of the most iconic companies in Silicon Valley and in the Internet.

    Yahoo began as kind of one of the kind of tentpoles of the Internet, the place where millions of people would go on kind of find, you know, news and sports and information on the Web. But, as the world has shifted to kind of an Internet that’s focused around search and around mobile phones and around social networks, Yahoo has really struggled to kind of find an identity and find, you know, a business model in this kind of new era of the Internet.

    And, particularly, the CEO the past three-and-a-half years, Marissa Mayer, has struggled to kind of reinvent Yahoo for kind of this new era.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But this is a company that has, what, a billion people a month going to its Web site, using e-mail and other services. How does that square with all these problems?

    DOUGLAS MACMILLAN: Yes, they have a billion people collectively visiting their Web properties, but, you know, not many of them are regularly checking in with Yahoo on their mobile phones on a consistent basis.

    And that, as we have seen with Google and with Facebook and with other Internet companies that have successfully kind of made the jump to the mobile phone era, is becoming kind of the basis of a successful, you know, business plan in 2016.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You mentioned the CEO, Marissa Mayer. We quoted her, what she said, a minute ago. How much of had is being blamed on her? We know some of the investors are calling for her to be removed, but how much of it is her, and how much of it is just this is a sector that it’s very difficult to survive, as you just described, in this climate?

    DOUGLAS MACMILLAN: Yes, particularly I think there’s something to be said for how difficult a task it is to turn around an Internet company, a technology company that is in decline, that is in freefall.

    It’s really almost never been done in this industry. So, perhaps, you know, Marissa Mayer inherited or, you know, took on an impossible task. But, on the other hand, when she did join the company three years ago, there was a lot of excitement, there was a lot of enthusiasm that she brought to the company, and people wanted to work at Yahoo for the first time in over a decade.

    So I think what we’re seeing right now, as we’re potentially neither the end of kind of her tenure and the end of Yahoo as an independent company, is there’s just a lot of disappointment in what could have been, and, you know, could she have, you know, potentially turned around this company?

    It’s unclear, you know, what she could have done differently.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: She’s still saying that it’s going to turn around.

    DOUGLAS MACMILLAN: So it’s interesting what she says and kind of what the board is saying right now.

    The announcement yesterday that Yahoo’s pursuing strategic alternatives seems to indicate that they are seriously considering putting this company up for sale. And, indeed, there are bankers circling this company, and potential acquirers, who would like to buy Yahoo, circling this company.

    But, you know, whether it’s just for optics, whether she’s just putting on a show, or wherever, you know, Marissa really believes she can still turn this company around, she has put together a go-forward plan that has reduced some of the expenses. She cut — she has planned to cut 15 percent of the work force. She’s planned to close a few different individual small business units, close a few remote offices.


    DOUGLAS MACMILLAN: But what she’s essentially doing amounts to kind of cleaning out the attic, when what we’re really talking about is a sale of the whole house.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Douglas MacMillan of The Wall Street Journal, thanks very much.


    The post What does Yahoo’s downsizing mean for the tech giant’s future? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sweden is struggling to accommodate 165,000 people who’ve applied for asylum there amid the refugee crisis. Now, in a reversal of its open door policy, the government says as many as half could face deportation.

    A growing right-wing reaction to the migrant influx has fueled tensions.

    From Stockholm, special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Sweden fashions itself as the world’s humanitarian conscience and safe harbor for more refugees per capita than any other European nation, but it has been shaken by a series of incidents that have ruptured that image.

    MAGNUS RANSTORP, Sweden National Defense College: I would say that Sweden’s social structures are under severe stress.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Magnus Ranstorp is an expert on extremism in Scandinavia.

    MAGNUS RANSTORP: It’s a cocktail of various ingredients which makes society extremely polarized. And the government is having a really difficult time dealing with this.

    TINA MORAD, Refugees Welcome Stockholm: As a refugee here, I would say it’s pretty hostile.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Tina Morad is a Kurdish political scientist who fled from Northern Iraq as a child, and now advocates on behalf of fellow refugees.

    TINA MORAD: We have noticed a lot of activities for the past week at least where you have Nazis and racists crossing the street and demonstrating against the refugees arriving in Sweden.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: These are right-wing vigilantes, including football hooligans, apparently attacking immigrants. This precinct is where young Moroccans hang out. Many have acquired a reputation as petty criminals and troublemakers.

    The attack happened a few days after a murder at a young asylum seeker’s hostel in Western Sweden. A 22-year-old worker, Alexandra Mezher, originally from Lebanon, was stabbed to death, allegedly by a young Somali, after trying to intervene in a fight. The murder intensified pressure on Prime Minister Stefan Loven, whose popularity has slumped despite U-turns over his open door migration policy.

    STEFAN LOVEN, Prime Minister, Sweden (through interpreter): I believe quite a few people here in Sweden now feel a great worry there will be more similar cases, as Sweden accepts so many unaccompanied minors. Many of those who come here to Sweden have had traumatic experiences, and there are no simple answers.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Fredrik Hagberg is a leading member of a far-right activist group called Nordic Youth. He admits to feeling sympathetic towards the vigilantes.

    FREDRIK HAGBERG, Nordic Youth: It’s chaos in Sweden. It’s getting worse by the minute. It’s like the gates of hell is open. More and more immigrants than we can take care of is coming every day. The violence is getting more and more. Hatred against Swedes, people are getting bigger and bigger. The women and children are getting harassed every day.

    The police can’t be everywhere at once. The people need to do something by themselves if something is going to change.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: It sounds like you might be advocating violence?

    FREDRIK HAGBERG: No, not at all, not at all. Our movement has always stood against violence, political violence, but I believe in self-defense.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: And this is one of his organization’s videos.

    Are you Nazis?

    FREDRIK HAGBERG: No, not at all.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: How can you prove that?

    FREDRIK HAGBERG: It’s proved by my actions, or you just walk around. Look at our Web site. We have a program there, manifest.

    MAGNUS RANSTORP: I think the greatest threat Sweden is facing is that we have an equal amount of extremism. We have a lot of right-wing extremism and, of course, left-wing extremism. There’s a sort of reciprocal radicalization going on. They are feeding and fueling each other.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: This is another video which has shed a light on the atmosphere inside some of the homes that accommodate some 3,500 unaccompanied minors taken in by Sweden. It shows the aftermath of an attack on one young boy. This is just one of what the police say have been 5,000 incidents at asylum centers that they have been called to attend.

    Anna Nellberg Dennis, deputy chair of Sweden’s police union, says there have been recent problems west of Stockholm in Vasteras.

    ANNA NELLBERG DENNIS, Swedish Police Union: We were down on our knees, work-wise and workload-wise, already long before this migration crisis and the terror — increased terrorist threats.

    Now, I have about three cases in the area of Vastmanland where the biggest city is Vasteras, where police officers have been forced to push the alarm button because they are surrounded by angry immigrants that are fighting each other. The nice, secure and safe country that we once had is not really that nice anymore.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: The area around Stockholm’s central station is a magnet for the Moroccans and other asylum seekers. Several hundred young North Africans are facing imminent deportation after Sweden struck a deal with the government in Morocco.

    According to Europe’s Criminal Intelligence Agency, at least 10,000 unaccompanied child refugees have disappeared since arriving in the E.U. Many are feared to be in the hands of traffickers, or other predators, according to terrorism expert Magnus Ranstorp.

    MAGNUS RANSTORP: There is some recruitment by Islamic extremists at train stations.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Today, Sweden’s Interior Minister Anders Ygeman was trying to project an image of calm and control.

    ANDERS YGEMAN, Interior Minister, Sweden: I think we have been bad prepared for this situation. Our social system is not made to meet the demands from this group. And we also have a problem with returning them to Morocco if they don’t have the right to be in Sweden.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: So how do you think you’re doing?

    ANDERS YGEMAN: In the overall picture, we’re doing quite well.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: But that’s not what the police union are saying. They say that this is no longer the nice society it used to be.

    ANDERS YGEMAN: Well, I think even the police union should look forward and not backwards, but if we want to compare the figures and stats backwards, we could say that we haven’t had this many policemen in 35 years.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: They say that you need an extra 4,000, and you’re not going to give them enough.

    ANDERS YGEMAN: We have never had this much policemen. We have never had this much money to fund the police as we have now. And we have a lower crime rate.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: In the wake of these disturbances, the Swedish government is to launch a task force to crack down on vigilantes who might be thinking about taking the law into their own hands.

    And to soften the blow of deporting the young North Africans, the government is promising to set up a special center in Morocco to house them in safety and security.

    Tina Morad is disturbed by the sudden change in Swedish policies.

    TINA MORAD: We have built up our reputation internationally of being this humanitarian role model. To change it that drastically, I don’t believe that the government has thought through it properly, and I don’t believe that they have any expectations of how this might affect Sweden in the near future.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Iraqi civil servant Adel Ali Qatani has decided to return to Baghdad because of new rules making it more difficult for refugees to bring over their families.

    ADEL ALI QATANI, Iraqi Refugee (through interpreter): I see no solution. I can’t wait for three years, because, at the end of the day, I have a problem about reuniting with my son. In three years, he will be an adult. The laws complicate matters.

    Although I’m very grateful for all the help I have been given, I feel very frustrated and insecure because of all the uncertainty the government is going through, all these different changes. It’s better to return to my family and endure the hardship with them, rather than leaving them alone there.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: The migration debate is dominating the political landscape, and the latest polls show rises for the main center-right opposition party, and in the lead are the anti-immigrant Sweden Democrats. Their integration spokesman is Markus Wiechel.

    MARKUS WIECHEL, Sweden Democrats: Well, society is pretty much falling apart. The government is actually taking money from the foreign aid budgets to fund refugees coming to Sweden.

    And I’m not sure I’m going to call them refugees, actually, because they have crossed seven or eight more safe countries on their way to Sweden. They’re economic migrants. And then it’s not defendable to take foreign aid money to spend on the refugees.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: The Swedish government is hoping there will soon be a thaw in widespread European resistance towards sharing what it sees as its migrant burden. But, if anything, the climate towards refugees is growing colder.

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

    The post Sweden’s welcome to refugees disturbed by violent backlash appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    City health workers fumigate the Guadalupe community as part of preventive measures against the Zika virus and other mosquito-borne diseases in Santa Tecla, El Salvador February 3, 2016. REUTERS/Jose Cabezas - RTX25CEG

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    GWEN IFILL: Anxiety over the Zika virus continues to build. In Florida, where there are at least nine cases of the illness, Gov. Rick Scott declared a health emergency in four counties today, including Miami-Dade. Zika has been found in more than 25 countries in the Americas and Caribbean.

    Nearly all cases come from mosquitoes. And the CDC issued a new travel advisory today for Jamaica. At the same time, public health officials say they want to learn more about a reported case of sexual transmission of Zika in Texas.

    We look at some of the central questions with Dr. Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

    Thank you for joining us.

    How worried should we be with these new reports every day, these new classifications every day of this new virus?

    MICHAEL OSTERHOLM, Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy: Well, first of all, the fact that there’s been a case now documented of sexual transmissions doesn’t surprise us. That’s already happened before.

    The question is, how often it will occur? And at this point, we don’t have any evidence it’s a frequent occurrence, but clearly for those who travel from the United States to one of these affected countries and a male coming back having sex with his female partner who either may be pregnant or could become pregnant is a concern. And in that sense, that’s what we need to be most worried about.

    GWEN IFILL: How significant is a WHO call or declaration of emergency in this case?

    MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, to really understand this concept of emergency, what it really does is, it just helps prioritize the kind of resources and the importance to the world that this is.

    It shouldn’t mean that people should panic or that people should somehow do something very, very different. What we need to do — and we know how to do it, actually — is what we do, what we call source reduction for the mosquitoes in the Americas, meaning let’s get rid of the breeding sites.

    This particular mosquito is really what I call the Norway rat of mosquitoes. It lives with humans. It loves to life in the human home. It breeds in water bodies that occur, for example, in a pop cap or a piece of discarded tinfoil, non-biodegradable material, tires.

    If we clean up the solid waste, the garbage, really, around our communities in those counties and countries where this is occurring, we can have a great impact on the transmission of this virus by this mosquito.

    GWEN IFILL: So, focusing on the mosquitoes is what they call vector control. How much should attention be spent on that and how much on developing a vaccine?

    MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, there is no one answer. It’s all of the answers.

    You want to do as much as can with the source reduction, meaning get rid of where they breed. This type of mosquito is very different than, for example, the one that causes malaria, in most instances, which might be in large bodes of water, in rice fields and so forth.

    This is really breeding in very, very small bodies of water, as I said, such as might be in a discarded wrapper, inside a tire. The second thing is, you want to make sure that you can kill the adults who do that, but that by itself is not enough. That’s often a great photo opportunity to show someone out with a spraying machine, but that is truly not it.

    You want to do all of that, plus you want to work on vaccines. You want to look at, can you use genetically modified mosquitoes? So, all of these are things that should be brought to bear. And I think the point that has been missed here in this country is that this mosquito has already been causing very serious death, disease and death, in South America, Central America, already, with dengue and another virus called chikungunya.

    And so by taking care of the Zika virus, we actually end up taking care of all these other ones.

    GWEN IFILL: So this is similar, rather than different, from something like the dengue virus, which last we were talking about that was in 2013, I think?

    MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: Right, exactly.

    And, as you know, on this very program, there has been discussion about how many thousands of people have died, how many people had serious illness. In a sense, if you take care of dealing with any one of these viruses, you take care of all of them.

    And so while — what has happened really is because of the issue with microcephaly, and this very, very horrible image of these children with these very small heads, the world has now paid attention. This has now become a photo opportunity kind of crisis.

    GWEN IFILL: So, now that the world is paying…

    MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: And that wasn’t the case with dengue.

    GWEN IFILL: Right.

    So, now that the world is paying attention, what are the questions that should be getting asked which are not yet?

    MICHAEL OSTERHOLM: Well, first of all, we have to find out just how bad this disease really is, meaning in terms of number of cases.

    There’s no doubt that microcephaly, or these small heads, in newborns, as — and small brains, as well as the Guillain-Barre syndrome, this type of paralysis disease, is occurring because of Zika. What we have to understand is in fact how frequently it’s occurring, where it’s occurring.

    Right now, much of Brazil has not been impacted. So, when we come up with these country-wide numbers, it doesn’t mean much. What we have to do is look at where it’s going to unfold.

    Just as an example, the chikungunya virus, which came into St. Martin in December of 2013, is still unfolding across the Americas. Expect the same thing with the Zika virus. For the next two years, we are just going to just see this continue wave after wave to go through these communities.

    GWEN IFILL: Dr. Michael Osterholm of the University of Minnesota, thank you very much.

    The post Mosquito breeding grounds are front line in fight against Zika appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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