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

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    On the left, Bernie Sanders played by Sen. Bernie Sanders, and on the right, Bernie Sanders played by comedian Larry David. Photos by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters and Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

    On the left, Bernie Sanders played by Sen. Bernie Sanders, and on the right, Bernie Sanders played by comedian Larry David. Photos by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters and Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders may be getting an up-and-close look at the man who portrays him on television: comedian Larry David.

    Sanders is taking a short break from the campaign trail in New Hampshire and planning to be in New York on Saturday night. Senior adviser Tad Devine says Sanders is likely to appear on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live,” where David will be the host this weekend.

    Devine says the details were not yet finalized but “it looks like it’s going to happen.”

    NBC declined comment on whether Sanders would appear on the show.

    David has spoofed the Vermont senator as a passionate presidential candidate screaming of revolution and Sanders has happily played along. During a CNN forum this past week, Sanders was asked if he does a Larry David imitation. The senator replied, “I am Larry David.”

    The post Bernie Sanders likely to appear on SNL with Larry David appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Chile's President Michelle Bachelet (L-R), Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Malaysia's Prime MInister Najib Razak, U.S. President Barack Obama, Mexico's President Enrique Pena Nieto, New Zealand's Prime Minister John Key and Peru's President Ollanta Humala chat as they join fellow Trans-Pacific Partnership leaders for a family photo before their meeting alongside the APEC Summit in Manila, Philippines, November 18, 2015. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTS7O81 Related words: TPP, Trans-Pacific Partnership, trade deal, Asia, President Obama

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership faces a rocky road to Congressional ratification. We asked trade scholar Gary Hufbauer and Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs of the Peterson Institute to break down the nuts and bolts of the trade deal and make their case for it. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Editor’s Note: The Trans-Pacific Partnership. This massive trade deal between the United States, Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, and Vietnam accounts for nearly 40 percent of global output and is anything but simple. We asked trade scholar Gary Hufbauer and Cathleen Cimino-Isaacs of the Peterson Institute to break down the nuts and bolts of the trade deal and make their case for it.

    Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor


    “The TPP is a horrible deal,” Donald Trump said. “It’s a deal that’s designed for China to come in, as they always do, through the back door and totally take advantage of everyone.”

    “TPP is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multinational corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment, and the foundations of American democracy,” Senator Bernie Sanders argued.

    With presidential candidates on both extremes denouncing the Trans-Pacific Partnership as a bum deal, and with middle-ground candidates offering tepid support at best, it may be tempting to declare the Trans-Pacific Partnership dead on arrival.

    That would be a mistake.

    The agreement promises huge benefits for the U.S. economy and furnishes the economic pillar for U.S. geopolitical strategy in Asia. Economists Peter A. Petri and Michael G. Plummer estimate that implementation of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would increase real incomes in the United States by $131 billion annually, or 0.5 percent of GDP, and U.S. exports by $357 billion or 9.1 percent over baseline projections. Equally important, a substantial majority of Republicans in Congress endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and they are joined by a significant number of Democrats in Congress, whose critical support ensured the passage of Trade Promotion Authority “fast track” legislation earlier this year.

    A more accurate assessment is that the Trans-Pacific Partnership faces a rocky road to Congressional ratification.

    Fortunately, most of the rocks are in Washington, not spread across the Pacific in the capitals of other member countries. Once Congress gives its assent, legislators in the 11 partner countries will almost certainly approve the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

    Congressional timeline

    But an elaborate timeline governs U.S. Congressional assent. President Obama started the clock on Nov. 5, 2015 when he made the entire Trans-Pacific Partnership text public and simultaneously notified Congress of his intent to sign the agreement on behalf of the United States. Under authorizing fast-track legislation, the President must wait 90 days before actually signing the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The 12 countries signed the agreement on Feb. 4, 2016 in New Zealand.

    Meanwhile, the Obama administration and Congress must work together to draft implementing legislation. Under U.S. practice, it is the implementing legislation, enacted pursuant to Trade Promotion Authority, not the actual Trans-Pacific Partnership text, which has the force of domestic law. Trade implementing legislation can, and usually does, contain special features — not ordained by the text of the trade agreement — to answer the demands of key congressmen who may be unsatisfied with certain features of the deal. (For example, the carve-out of tobacco-related claims from investor-state dispute settlement or the permitted use of data localization in the financial services sector.)

    Once the implementing legislation has been agreed upon, it’s up to President Obama to decide when he wants to submit the legislation for congressional ratification — most likely after he has insured the congressional votes. Congress must then take an up-or-down vote on the entire legislation, with no amendments, within 90-legislative days — this expedited timeline is the heart of fast track authority. Following this timeline, the earliest time for a ratification vote appears to be late spring 2016 — in the midst of the presidential primary season.

    Entry into force

    If Congress passes the trade legislation, the stage will be set for other countries to ratify the Trans-Pacific Partnership. And without doubts about U.S. participation, it looks likely that they will.

    In other words, if ratification is delayed, the next U.S. president could have a decisive say as to when, if ever, the trade deal is implemented.

    But there’s a caveat — and a rather large one at that. Before the Trans-Pacific Partnership can enter into force for the United States, the President must certify that all other partners have faithfully implemented the agreement. Unless Congress ratifies the Trans-Pacific Partnership by summer 2016, this provision means that presidential certification seems unlikely while Obama sits in the Oval Office. In other words, if ratification is delayed, the next U.S. president could have a decisive say as to when, if ever, the trade deal is implemented.

    Contentious issues

    In the debate ahead, sparks will fly over just a handful of topics covered in the 6,000 pages of Trans-Pacific Partnership text, schedules and side letters. Here are three of the most incendiary issues:

    Currency values. Critics complain that negotiated tariff cuts of 5 percentage points or more can be overshadowed or undermined by currency devaluation either through market forces or central bank action — by which a country depresses the value of its currencies to increase exports. This fear is not unfounded. In fact, Korea did just that shortly after the Korea-U.S. free trade agreement entered into force in March 2012.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership itself does not, however, directly address currency questions. Instead, these are covered in a separate “Declaration” by which the partner countries promise not to “manipulate” or “undervalue” their currencies as a means of boosting exports or restraining imports. Critics object that the currency declaration lacks hard-edged enforcement mechanisms, such as withdrawal of Trans-Pacific Partnership benefits. This is true. But in its defense, the declaration requires timely disclosure of the amount and composition of official reserves and calls for annual meetings between Trans-Pacific Partnership finance ministers to review exchange rates. These obligations represent a forward step.

    Patent and related standards. Chapter 18 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership  requires member countries to protect and enforce intellectual property rights — patents, copyrights, trademarks and trade secrets — pretty much according to U.S. practice. Among other safeguards, members are permitted to disregard intellectual property rights in the event of a health emergency or in the interests of national security. Some critics contend that U.S. laws already go too far in protecting patents, copyrights and other intellectual property rights, and thus, any extension of U.S. practice to other Trans-Pacific Partnership members is bad policy that will only benefit giant firms like Disney, Apple and Pfizer.

    Particularly contentious is that member countries must preserve the confidentiality of “marketing data” for at least five years. This prevents companies that produce generic forms of the same drug from using the original marketing data to satisfy safety and efficacy standards; thus, generic forms can’t come on to the market during the five-year window. So why was this provision included? For each new drug, the underlying animal and human tests typically cost hundreds of millions of dollars. The five-year confidentiality period enables the pioneering firm to recoup these costs and make a profit, especially in countries that do not allow patents on biologic products.

    This minimum five-year confidentiality period represents a U.S. concession in trade talks since U.S. law provides a 12-year confidentiality period for biologic drugs sold in the United States. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee whose leadership will be key to getting the deal through Congress, strongly objects to the five-year concession, because it gives U.S. biologic firms less protection. On the other hand, critics of data exclusivity are concerned that even a five-year period is too long.

    These arguments are as old as the patent system itself: the merits of rewarding invention versus the advantages of cheaper goods. The novel debate in the Trans-Pacific Partnership is whether the costs of rewarding invention should be partly paid by foreign consumers through higher prices that they pay for new drugs. Reflecting America’s technological leadership, U.S. negotiators insisted on a strong intellectual property rights chapter. From the standpoint of U.S. interests, it’s hard to say they were wrong.

    Investor-state dispute settlement. Chapter 9 of the Trans-Pacific Partnership establishes investment protections and lays out specific procedures for foreign investors to challenge host states in the event of expropriation or unfair treatment and to seek money damages through arbitration. Importantly, the chapter ensures the right of member countries to issue non-discriminatory regulations that protect health, safety and the environment. It also blocks virtually all challenges to such regulations by tobacco companies, and it limits claims by financial firms.

    Nevertheless, some critics, including Senator Elizabeth Warren (DMass.), denounce any provision that enables foreign corporations to challenge host states. The critics fail to recognize that host states generally welcome investor-state dispute settlement (also referred to as ISDS) in order to attract foreign investment through the promise of fair play. From where we sit, it appears that the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators got the balance right in Chapter 9.

    The Trans-Pacific Partnership’s critical role

    Leaving contentious issues aside, a strong case can be made for the Trans-Pacific Partnership. It begins with dismal conditions in the world economy. Economic pundits have barely noticed, but the value and volume of world trade actually declined over the past year — a drop of about 4.5 percent in value terms. U.S. exports of manufactures illustrate the decline: down 5 percent in the third quarter of 2015 compared to the third quarter of 2014 — that is, $285 billion vs. $300 billion. For more than half a century after World War II, world trade, driven by policy liberalization, consistently expanded, year by year, 2 to 4 percentage points faster than the world economy. Foreign direct investment grew even faster. Rapid trade and investment growth supplied key ingredients of the best half century in recorded economic history. No more.

    With inspiration from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the world economy could again be paced by fast trade and investment growth.

    Falling trade and direct investment are both a consequence and cause of global economic stagnation. Sluggish world demand for everything from copper and oil to furniture and computers obviously serves to retard trade volumes and values. But in addition, declining international trade and investment deprive the world economy of essential fuel.

    There are two big reasons for falling trade and investment, in addition to sluggish world demand: first, the virtual absence of major policy liberalization since the conclusion of the Uruguay Round of multilateral trade negotiations in 1995; and second, the proliferation of protective measures worldwide since the 2008-2009 financial crisis.

    This is why the Trans-Pacific Partnership is critical. The pact shows that major countries are prepared to slash many existing trade and investment barriers and promise not to erect new ones. Once ratified, the trade deal will become a magnet for more countries to join — Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines, Colombia and others. It will inspire “competitive liberalization” — a race to remove barriers — not only in Asia , but also in Africa and perhaps even South America. With inspiration from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the world economy could again be paced by fast trade and investment growth.

    Finally, the geopolitics

    Beyond the long-term economic benefits, the Trans-Pacific Partnership is seen as an essential economic arm of the Obama administration’s Asia “pivot” — a policy to rebalance U.S. attention and leadership to one of the world’s most dynamic regions, but also one beset by security challenges, from territorial disputes in the South China Sea to a nuclear-armed North Korea. In the United States, past experience has shown that without a strong geopolitical rationale, it’s hard to get the requisite political support for trade negotiating authority, much less a final deal. Put simply, Trans-Pacific Partnership means expanding trade and investment with like-minded countries that are also key regional allies.

    It’s worth remembering that new Asia-Pacific initiatives are evolving with or without the United States — China is pursuing its own regional trade deal (with several Trans-Pacific Partnership members) and touting ambitious initiatives like “One Belt, One Road” and the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank. Successful passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership would be a signal of U.S. commitment to the region. But it will also spread U.S. influence via the Trans-Pacific Partnership ’s rule-based system and promotion of good governance — not only to current members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but to those new members to come.

    The post Column: Why the Trans-Pacific Partnership isn’t a bum deal appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 11:  An applicant (R), speaks with a prospective employer at a job fair on June 11, 2012 in New York City. Some 400 arrived early for the event held by National Career Fairs, and up to 1,000 people were expected by the end of the day.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January, and the unemployment rate inched down to 4.9 percent. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

    The U.S. economy added 151,000 jobs in January — short of economists’ forecasts of about 190,000 — and the unemployment rate inched down to 4.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

    November jobs numbers were revised up, but December jobs were revised down, resulting essentially in a wash: 2,000 fewer jobs added than previously reported.

    “Certainly the headline number is disappointing. It’s out of keeping with what we had seen in December, November and October,” said Michael Strain of the conservative American Enterprise Institute. “We hoped it’d be a sustained 250,000. Having said that, it’s just one month.”

    But despite January’s less-than-stellar jobs numbers, wages were a relative bright spot (finally). After average hourly earnings fell 1 cent in December, earnings rose 12 cents in January. In the past year, average hourly earnings have risen by 2.5 percent. Economists and policymakers were hopeful:

    Dean Baker, co-director of the progressive Center for Economic and Policy Research, agrees with Strain about not putting too much stock in any one month’s numbers.

    “The monthly numbers I always immediately ignore,” Baker said. Instead, he takes an average over the last three months and compares that to the prior three months in order to remove some of the noise from the data. When it comes to wage growth, that number — 2.45 percent — is right on target with the 2.5 percent rise we’ve seen over the year. Wages are moving slowly, and certainly not on the pace you’d expect with 4.9 percent unemployment.

    “I’d like to see wage growth at 3 and 3.5 percent,” Baker said. “We had this big redistribution from wages to profits in the downturn…Workers should be getting some of the ground back that they lost in downturn.”

    “This is kind of the great puzzle,” Strain said. “We’re getting a little more evidence of it every month: We can add jobs and unemployment can drop without sparking an increase in wage and price inflation, but at some point we are going to see it.”

    The question is: How much slack is left in the labor market?  In an economy with full employment, employers have to offer higher wages to attract and retain workers. The fact that wages haven’t budged suggests that there are plenty of people still on the sidelines, waiting to jump into the workforce.

    And in fact, the labor force participation rate is near a four-decade low. However, the labor force participation rate did climb .1 percent to 62.7 percent in January. While that’s not much, at least it didn’t fall — something President Obama pointed out in today’s press conference on the economy. And the participation rate has, in fact, climbed in the past four months to economists’ delight:

    Take a look at the graph below from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to get a big-picture look at the labor force participation rate and then zoom in to see what’s happened in the last four months.

    But the participation rate for prime-age workers — those workers between age 25 and 54 — is what we should really be looking at, says Baker. After all, it’s not surprising to see the number of people working in their 60s drop off, especially as 10,000 baby boomers hit retirement age every day.

    “If we look at labor force of prime-age workers, it’s not quite as bad,” Baker said. The prime-age employment-to-population sits at 77.7 percent. “We’re still down 3 percentage points, and there’s no good explanation for that other than a weak labor market.”

    The following graph of the prime-age labor participation tells a happier story. The prime-age employment-to-population has regained about half of its losses since it bottomed out during the recession.

    So as President Obama said in his press conference earlier today, where he touted the U.S. economy’s continuing recovery, “We should feel good about the progress we’ve made, understanding that we’ve still got more work to do.”

    The post Unemployment is down to 4.9 percent. So why are wages rising so slowly? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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  • 02/05/16--15:20: PBS NewsHour Live
  • The post PBS NewsHour Live appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally tonight, we pause for a PBS NewsHour essay.

    Jeff Greenfield is a seasoned political journalist and author, and he shares his belief about the end of trust by Americans in this country’s institutions.

    Greenfield has titled his essay “In Nothing We Trust.”

    JEFF GREENFIELD, Journalist: It’s not exactly breaking news that we’re entering this political high season in the winter of our discontent.

    The polls and the political rhetoric speak to a mood of anger, distrust, even outright betrayal. But take a look beyond the political realm, and you will find something that runs longer than the current campaign, and deeper than politics.

    The unhappy fact is that Americans’ trust in just about all our institutions has been in a long, almost unbroken decline. Our trust in government? A Pew Research poll last November found that only 19 percent of us trusted the government to do what was right all or most of the time. That’s close to an historic low.

    But the real story here is how long that distrust has been festering. Go back to 1964, when the U.S. was in the midst of a long period of economic growth, when the Cold War was easing, when a major civil rights bill had just been passed.

    Back then, 77 percent trusted the government to do the right thing all or most of the time. A decade later, after a divisive war, racial and generational unrest, a president driven from office in scandal, the number had dropped to 36 percent. And in the four decades since, it has never hit 50 percent, not even in the surge of patriotism after 9/11.

    That’s about 40 years’ worth of alienation from the government of, by and for people.

    Well, OK, but that’s the government. We are a nation born in revolt, with a permanent skepticism about our leaders. But now look at our feelings about other major institutions, and the picture, painted by a series of Gallup surveys going back decades, finds a disturbingly similar pattern.

    Our churches? Two-thirds of us had a lot of trust in our religious institutions back in 1973. Now barely 42 percent do. Banks? Trust has gone from 60 percent back in 1979 to 28 percent now. Our public schools? More than half were trusting at the end of the ’70s. Barely three in 10 are today.

    Organized labor? Big business? The medical system? The presidency? All get low grades. And before you ask, 21 percent profess a lot of faith in television news, less than half the percentage that did so little more than 20 years ago.

    Other than the military, the police, and small business, no institution commands the trust of a majority of us, and even those are less trusted than they once were.

    Well, the question is, why? One obvious answer, there’s good reason for this mistrust. How confident should we be in banks after the financial meltdown, in our public schools, given the woeful marks our students get compared with other nations, in our religious leaders, given the criminal sexual behavior of those who’ve spoken in God’s name?

    But we’re also living in a less innocent time. The press was strictly controlled in World War II. The failures, strategic and moral, in places like Iraq, are on full display. The private lives of politicians, once carefully concealed, are now matters of public speculation.

    Movies that celebrated heroes of the church or finance now tell very different stories of greed and sin. And the media messengers who show us the feet of clay on those that stand on the pedestals, well, they are increasingly seen as carriers of a partisan agenda, or guilty of their own failures.

    But, deserved or not, the lengthy disaffection that so many feel about so many important parts of our national life clearly puts a heavy burden on anyone asking for the trust of the citizenry. It may, indeed, reward those who seek power, not by offering to ease that disaffection, but to feed it.

    And it’s worth asking, how does a nation thrive when, year after year, our motto is, in nothing we trust?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can find more of our essays online at PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post Has the U.S. motto become ‘In Nothing We Trust’? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    superbowl

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Next, in case you’re been asleep, this is Super Bowl weekend. The heavily favored Carolina Panthers will face off against the Denver Broncos on Sunday for football’s biggest prize.

    Hari Sreenivasan has our story.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: A TV audience of well over 100 million is expected to tune in to see the Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton go head-to-head with sentimental favorite Peyton Manning leading the Denver Broncos.

    Both teams spent this week in preparations. The game caps a season of big rivalries, bigger setbacks and some surprise comebacks.

    In a new book, “This Is Your Brain on Sports,” “Sports Illustrated”‘s executive editor, Jon Wertheim, along with co-author Sam Sommers of Tufts University, explore the psychology and behavior of sports teams and their fans.

    For a closer look, Jon Wertheim joins me now.

    So, “This Is Your Brain on Sports,” why the book?

    JON WERTHEIM, Co-Author, “This Is Your Brain on Sports”: We all love sports.

    There is so much that goes on in sports, it seems irrational or counterintuitive. And we dismiss that these are just sort of — these are the rules of the road of sports. And we wanted to dig a little and say, what really explains — what are the underpinnings, everything from the crazy T-shirt cannon that we go crazy about, to the fact that teams seem to elevate when there’s a rivalry?

    What is really going on here? What is the human behavior? What is the psychology? What is going on here?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk a little bit about rivalries.

    The likelihood is that this might be one of Peyton Manning’s last days. So, it’s not a Peyton vs. Cam rivalry. But, sometimes, when two teams get together at the Super Bowl, it’s a much bigger deal for entire cities and fans. Why is that?

    JON WERTHEIM: Rivalry is one of these essential elements of sports.

    And what the research says is that there really is a difference in performance a run-of-the-mill game vs. a rivalry team. Physiologically, athletes in a rivalry game, testosterone levels are different. Saliva levels are different. These scores tend to be closer.

    And this is true in life too. There are all sorts of studies. You put kids alone to take the SAT and then you put them in a room with other kids, and they will score better when there are other kids in the room.

    When we bid on eBay, if it’s just us, we bid one way. If we have a rival, it may only be a code name, an eBay sign-in name, our bidding patterns change. So, rivalry really does — it’s sort of hyper-competition that really changes performance.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: One of the elements of pressure that a lot of people don’t think about during the Super Bowl is the pressure that is on the coaches on the sidelines. And you kind of point out that the Denver coach is a relatively new one. The one before that Denver coach was a pretty darn good one, too.

    JON WERTHEIM: In the NFL, especially, Hari, you have this monstrous turnover. About three years is the average tenure for a coach. Remember, they’re only playing 16 games, so not a lot of data points.

    Ron Rivera, Carolina coach, five years, that puts him the top quartile for longevity. And we say, why is this? Why is there this turnover of coaches? And what we think is at play is the action bias, that the owners, your team is 8-8, and the fans are saying make a change, you’re 9-7.

    And the owners say, you know what? We have got to do something. We have got to make it look like we care. And, again, this is human behavior. We do this all the time. This is why we’re too quick to buy and sell stocks. This is why physicians sort of offer too many tests.

    The moral of the story is sort of don’t just — stand there, don’t just do something. But what we see is that owners are very quick on the trigger and — exactly. Denver has a first-year coach in Gary Kubiak.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Right. And you said also that players don’t necessarily — great players don’t necessarily make good coaches.

    JON WERTHEIM: Right.

    And it’s funny. Ron Rivera and Gary Kubiak were both NFL players, but they were not — these are not Pro Bowlers, just sort of serviceable players. And you look at the best athletes in sports, whether it’s Michael Jordan, or whether it’s Wayne Gretzky, not great careers as coaches and assessors of talent.

    Well, why is that? And what we discovered is there’s something called the curse of expertise. And you get so good at a task, you skip steps, and part of the problem with that is, it becomes very hard to articulate what’s going on.

    So, Michael Jordan was a brilliant basketball player, but he skipped steps to get there. And when it came time to instruct people, not great idea for a coach. The same way maybe your kid plays the violin, the best virtuoso in the world is probably not the best violin teacher.

    What we see in sports is that like guys like Gary Kubiak and Ron Rivera, who they played, they didn’t pull these guys off the street, but they weren’t at that top echelon. They’re actually better able to articulate what’s going on.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And you mentioned that Jimmy Connors and Andy Roddick, that was one of those combinations where he couldn’t figure out how to tell him to improve his game.

    JON WERTHEIM: No, the great Jimmy Connors, one of the most successful tennis players ever, and as a coach, it was fight harder, hit the ball.

    For Andy Roddick’s next coach, he ended up going down a level, player Larry Stefanki, much less accomplished player than Jimmy Connors. He saw the game completely differently. And, again, he wasn’t afflicted by this curse of expertise.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. And there is this other thing in the book, and I want to get to it, is, are quarterbacks better looking on average?

    JON WERTHEIM: Great archetype of sports, right?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Why is that?

    JON WERTHEIM: No, the quarterbacks, whether it’s Tom Brady and Cam Newton, for that matter, at the highest level, or whether it’s the high school quarterback who dates the cheerleader, we have this idea in our head that the quarterbacks are the best looking guys.

    And we actually devised an experiment. My collaborator, Sam Sommers, experimental psychologist, devised an experiment, where we actually tested that and sort of in a blind taste test assessed the looks of different players by positions. And quarterbacks actually ranked towards the bottom.

    So why is it we have this archetype of quarterback as good looking? And there are a lot of factors, but we think some of it is, we’re conflating other qualities, right? This is the face of the franchise. This is the leader. This is one of the most important positions in sports.

    And what we do, it’s called the halo effect, where we have qualities that we like in someone and we conflate all sorts of other qualities. So, we like Peyton Manning, and suddenly he becomes good looking in our eyes.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Jon Wertheim, co-author, along with Sam Sommers. The book is called “This Is Your Brain on Sports.” Thanks so much.

    JON WERTHEIM: Thanks, Hari. It was fun.

    The post The hidden psychology behind sports teams, coaches and their fans appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Shields and Brooks

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    BY DAN BUSH

    The Iowa results are in, and there’s plenty of ground to cover as the candidates shift their focus to next week’s primary in New Hampshire.

    Sen. Ted Cruz’s convincing win in Iowa puts pressure on Donald Trump to come out on top in New Hampshire, while Sen. Marco Rubio is experiencing a bounce in the polls thanks to his surprisingly strong third place finish in Iowa.

    On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton (narrowly) beat Sen. Bernie Sanders, becoming the first woman in history to win the Iowa caucuses. But she’s trailing Sanders in New Hampshire — a state that she carried against Barack Obama in 2008.

    As the race heats up, New York Times columnist David Brooks and syndicated columnist Mark Shields break down the Iowa results, last night’s feisty Democratic debate, and look ahead to Tuesday’s primary in New Hampshire.


    Read the complete transcript:

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now more on the race for the White House.

    As we heard, the Democrats squared off on the debate stage last night in New Hampshire. It was one of the most contentious meetings in the election cycle so far. One of the sticking points, how the candidates would get things done.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: I am not going to make promises I can’t keep. I am not going to talk about big ideas like single-payer and then not level with people about how much it will cost.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Now all of the ideas that I’m talking about, they are not radical ideas. Doing — making public colleges and universities tuition-free, that exists in countries all over the world, used to exist in the United States.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that brings us to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

    Welcome, gentlemen.

    So, this is the first time, Mark, we have seen the two of them, just the two of them, on the debate stage. What did you make of it?

    MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: I thought they played their roles exceedingly well. I mean, you had the battle-tested, experienced, pragmatist concerned with results against this fresh new face, 74 years old, the outside crusader with a noble cause.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MARK SHIELDS: And I thought each of them kind of made their respective case well.

    Obviously want to give a shout-out, quite honestly, to Chuck Todd and Rachel Maddow, who I thought did a great job of moderating, let them debate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sure.

    MARK SHIELDS: Didn’t have artificial times imposed.

    I thought Hillary Clinton, if you read the transcript, I think she comes across better than she does in person. And what is missing, there’s great factual command, but there’s nothing inspirational or aspirational about her candidacy at this point. And I think that’s missing.

    Bernie is a lot of inspiration, and he’s excited. Democrats are a glandular party. They like to love to fall in love. And an awful lot of them have fallen in love with Bernie.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Glandular party?

    (CROSSTALK)

    DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: Yes, I’m not going to explore that metaphor.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: You know, he does have passion and he has got policies. He’s the most predictable candidate imaginable. He will talk about Wall Street, but then he will talk about his policies, free college education — a terrible idea, by the way, good way to subsidize the affluent — but, still, it’s a policy.

    The health thing is a policy. The attack on Wall Street, it is a policy. What has — Clinton, of course she has policies. She has got white papers written somewhere in the campaign, but what is her main thing on the — when she’s talking? It’s a process. I can get things done in a certain way. It’s more gradualist.

    Well, who’s marching to the flag of gradualism? And so I think, rhetorically, there is a disadvantage there, that he’s got substance and she’s got a process.

    And, frankly, I do think, if you’re just a random voter, that’s not just campaign style. You look at her record in — as secretary of state, well, she had a lot of process, but what vision did she actually bring to the job? This has always been the knock on her as secretary.

    So, you got to think, well, is this just part of who she would be as president? So, it’s not just style. It goes to something substantive as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: He went after her, Mark, on a number of things, but we heard on Wall Street. He said her Wall Street connections, that she’s not enough of a progressive. How did she hold up, stand up to that?

    MARK SHIELDS: I don’t think she has an answer, Judy, quite honestly.

    I mean, she showed her independence. She has defied him or challenged him to show a vote where she had changed her policy, she had changed because of her contributions. But it’s a mystery to people close to Hillary Clinton, to her campaign, strong supporters of her, who was separated in 2000 from the Clinton Foundation, from all that outside fund-raising, when she became a United States senator, went to the secretary of state’s job, and all the way through 2013, she was insulated and isolated from some of the mishaps or happenings that were going on at the foundation and allegations.

    She comes out. Instead of remaining pristine, she plunged into that, money-making, knowing full well that it was going to be raised, if not — and it remains a mystery. And I don’t think she does have an answer. I really don’t. And I think he’s tapped into something that’s very deep in the Democratic Party.

    The Democrats are generally overwhelmingly disappointed in Barack Obama and Eric Holder, that nobody, for the millions of people who lost their homes in the mortgage crisis and the banks, that nobody has ever been held accountable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you think she deals with this Wall Street issue?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes. Well, early in the week, she dealt with it extremely poorly. That’s kind of the money they offered me, so I took it. So, that wasn’t good, and scarcely better in the debate.

    And so she has to have some answer. They’re going to ask her to release the transcripts of the remarks. I guarantee you or I strongly suspect she will never do that, because she probably said some nice things about the audience who were paying her so much money. I do not believe it has influenced her votes. So I think she’s right about that.

    But it doesn’t look good. The weird thing about the Democratic Party now is that Wall Street has become the center of evil in the country. Now, I didn’t like what happened in 2008. I think that fees these hedge funds charge are crazy, especially given their performance.

    But the problems of the middle class are caused by technological change and globalization. They’re not primarily caused by Wall Street. And creating this boogeyman, as Sanders does, as Wall Street, that is the wrong problem. And he’s creating a false narrative, which just is an economic reality of why we have wage stagnation and inequality and all the rest.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mark, what about him going after her, we have heard different iterations of this, that she’s just not truly progressive enough, that she’s part of the…

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes, I don’t think that a lot of Democrats spend time about arguing whether you’re progressive or un-progressive or whatever.

    She has a record of — the thing is that, to some degree, she’s almost like the incumbent, Judy. For 25 years, she’s been going to New Hampshire. But her identification with children’s issues, family issues is deep and strong.

    But I really do think that this is — David makes the case on technological change and so forth. But, I mean, I think the reaction to the mortgage crisis was, this is a terrible thing. We must find the people who did it and give them billions of dollars.

    I mean, that was basically the response. And I think there is a — just a simmering anger that remains presently in the electorate that he has tied in to. The advantage he has is that he knows exactly what he believes. He has said the said thing for so long. He’s never going to be tripped up. I mean, he’s totally consistent.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And she goes after him, as we heard, David, for just having these pie-in-the-sky ideas that he can never carry out.

    DAVID BROOKS: Well, I think she’s right about that. I think they’re unaffordable.

    The Washington Post had a good editorial on how unaffordable a lot of these things are. And unless he can sweep the House of Representatives and get 60 votes in the Senate, he has no implementation strategy.

    Now, does she have one? That’s an interesting question. You could argue that maybe. But I’m not sure she has a better implementation strategy anyway either. It’s not as if the Clintons are non-polarizing. They are polarizing figures.

    But she surely has a better shot of an implementation strategy than Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz. I mean, it’s tough to hear any of these candidates give you a plausible story about how their agendas could possibly get passed in this climate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let’s talk about the Republicans.

    Coming out of Iowa, Mark, Ted Cruz gets a big lift, but it is said that New Hampshire is not great political territory for him.

    MARK SHIELDS: No. One-third as many New Hampshire voters are evangelical voters, self-identified, as there are in Iowa. In other words, there are three times as large a percentage in Iowa.

    And New Hampshire is a — call it non-religious, irreligious. Religion doesn’t play a central role. And I think he’s been on the defensive ever since Iowa because of the dirty tricks, or whatever you want to call them, toward Ben Carson. And somebody that, as a part of his basic speech, says we must raise up the body of Christ in his rallying cry, I mean, this raises a charge of a little hypocrisy or inconsistency.

    I will be fascinated to see if Ben Carson in Saturday night’s debate uses his time to reprimand and censure Ted Cruz and the tactics he sued. So, Cruz has now just said they’re not going to spend more time and effort and resources in New Hampshire.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Ted Cruz, and then we look at Donald Trump, who, David, was leading in Iowa, came in a pretty distant — well, four or five points behind. The air came out of some of that balloon. Where does he go next?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes.

    Well, he, of course, missed the day today because he can’t afford to stay in New Hampshire, apparently. He can’t afford the hotels there and has to stay at home in New York.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: He’s magnifying, I think, his weaknesses.

    Some of the things he said and some of the things he’s tweeted, saying I actually would have won Iowa, but Cruz cheated, that’s not — that’s unnerving. That’s not the way you react to a defeat. And so I think if people had any doubts about his stability, as Lisa said, with the nuclear trigger, this sort of magnifies it.

    With Cruz, we saw the guy has an iron wall around him. He has extremely conservative voters locked down. But it’s very hard for him to reach out to anybody else. There is just an iron wall separating him from moderate voters, from other kinds of Republicans.

    And so, if you look at the post-Iowa polls in New Hampshire, you see Cruz dipping a little — I mean, Trump dipping a little, Rubio rising a lot, so he now looks like the alternative, and then Cruz getting no bounce because of that wall around him.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I want to ask you about Rubio in a minute.

    But, Mark, do I hear you — both of you saying that Trump really — it’s hard for Trump to find some kind of footing in New Hampshire?

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, I mean, he’s enjoyed a large lead in all the public opinion polls up until now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.

    MARK SHIELDS: I don’t know, Judy.

    Someone who predicates it on, I’m a winner and the people on the other side are losers, and then doesn’t win, that’s what he was selling, there was something special about him. And I don’t know. I think the debate Saturday night, not to put all the — everything into that, but I think it’s going to be a test of him and policies.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tomorrow night.

    MARK SHIELDS: I mean, for example, in an interview with Anderson Cooper, he said we — the United States gave Iran $150 billion.

    I mean, now, the United States didn’t give Iran. That was — it was Iran’s money, its assets that had been frozen. But his real holes on policy matters, I think, are a real problem for him. And, you know, I don’t know. If Rubio were to finish first in New Hampshire, I think it basically propels him in a remarkable fashion.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, what is this magic, David, that Rubio seems to have caught?

    And, by the way, we have got these other three well-known establishment candidates, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, who finished way back in Iowa, but are still trying really hard to show up in New Hampshire.

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes.

    They’re trying hard, but what happened, what the Iowa result has done is given Rubio some distance between him and the others. And so he seems like the alternative. And I think, for the other three, if they don’t tie or beat him, then I don’t see any justification for their continued campaigns, which is not how they’re talking, but I think that’s just the reality.

    Rubio has gotten a nice bump. He’s a good communicator. And the important thing is, he’s acceptable to all parts of the party.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes.

    DAVID BROOKS: And so he ran — we forget, he ran as a Tea Party candidate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    DAVID BROOKS: And so — but now he’s seen as Mr. Moderate.

    But he’s — I think he’s the 77th most — he’s in the 77th percentile of conservatism in the Republican Congress, so he’s more conservative than the average congressional Republican, which is — means he’s pretty conservative.

    But he’s acceptable to all sides. He has a nice disposition. We will see, as Mark says, in the debate, when he gets attacked from all quarters, how he handles it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Forty-five seconds, Mark. What about these other — these four, Rubio, but the other three who are trying to catch up?

    MARK SHIELDS: Sure.

    Rubio is the closest thing to Jimmy Carter in 1976 I have seen, in the sense that he’s an incredibly disciplined candidate, just as Carter was. He’s on message. He’s running on biography. And he’s broadly acceptable to all the elements in his own party. And he also — there is implicit electability, and that — which is Bernie Sanders’ Achilles’ heel at this point, quite honestly.

    The others, I mean, this is it. You remember Jon Huntsman made his fight in 2012. Unless one of them breaks through and almost closes to the third or fourth, I don’t think any of them expects to be second at this point. And I think it’s going to be tough to go on, especially if Rubio gets the bounce.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, I remember one of these people at the table — maybe both of you — speaking the name Rubio even some time ago.

    We will see. Just a few nights to go, New Hampshire, and both of you are going to be with us Tuesday night.

    Thank you, David Brooks, Mark Shields.

    MARK SHIELDS: Thank you, Judy.

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    Women clean the floor of a compound housing Syrian refugees in Sidon, southern Lebanon February 3, 2016. Lebanon has weathered five years of Middle Eastern turmoil remarkably well but its stability should not be taken for granted and it needs long-term financial help to cope with a huge number of Syrian refugees, a senior U.N. official said. To match MIDEAST-CRISIS/LEBANON REUTERS/Ali Hashisho   - RTX25BBK

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: As we reported earlier, a new wave of refugees is being forced from Syria as the war rages in the north.

    But west of Syria, Lebanon is now hosting more than one million Syrians. Many live in desperate conditions. Others are looking toward Europe. Some still dream of home. But amid the crisis, there is some good fortune.

    Special correspondent Jane Ferguson reports from Beirut.

    JANE FERGUSON: Running a bakery is not something Abdul Halim is used to. Only a few months ago, he was destitute, just another refugee from Syria escaping deadly violence threatening his family.

    His marriage broke down in Syria and his wife left him to look after their two children. He fled the war to neighboring Lebanon and found himself penniless, struggling to survive on the streets of Beirut as a single father.

    “I tried to look for work, but no one would give me a job because I had my kids with me,” he says. “I walked the streets and saw there were schools and a lot of students, so I thought the best thing I could do was to sell pens. I went and bought a box of pens. And I left my son at home. And I took my daughter, who was this small. And I would carry her. What could I do? There was nowhere I could put her.”

    What happened next was extraordinary. Someone saw Abdul Halim selling his pens in the hot summer sunshine, his daughter Reem in his arms, and posted this picture on Twitter.

    It went viral, and soon there was a campaign to raise money for him, using the hashtag #buypens. Its organizers hoped to raise $5,000. In the end, they got over $190,000.

    Now, with that money, he bought a bakery, sandwich shop and a small restaurant, and employs 20 men, all Syrian refugees supporting their families. His son even helps out.

    “My children’s lives changed,” he tells us. “We were living in a room that was uninhabitable. But now we live in a house with four rooms. I have furnished it nicely. My son goes to school. My daughter is looked after and is learning. And I have three shops and I’m working. My life has changed totally.”

    Abdul Halim is extremely lucky. Most Syrians struggle to pay for the rising cost of living here on tiny wages. Until recently, Ahmed Kaju worked in the bakery. But $10 a day didn’t pay the rent. He now feels he must make a desperate choice.

    “I want to go to Germany, because they say the living is good and that they want to help the Syrians,” he said. So, I will go just like everybody else, to Turkey and from Turkey to Greece.

    In a boat?

    AHMED KAJU, Syrian Refugee (through interpreter): Yes, in a boat to Greece, and from there, we will continue with everybody else.

    JANE FERGUSON: With your family?

    AHMED KAJU (through interpeter): With my family, my son and my daughter.

    JANE FERGUSON: But it’s very dangerous.

    AHMED KAJU (through interpreter): But I’m dying here. I might as well die there. It’s the same in the end. Let me die trying.

    JANE FERGUSON: We traveled across town to the impoverished neighborhood of Bourj el-Barajneh, where we met another Syrian refugee family hoping to make it to Europe soon.

    Jinan Jamal’s husband survived the dangerous boat journey from Turkey four months ago. She stayed behind with their three young boys. Now in Germany, her husband is trying to get asylum for Jinan and the children. Six months pregnant and living on debt, she is desperate to join her husband.

    “Honestly, I have no more strength. I’m tired,” she tells us. “Sometimes, I put my kids to bed and when they sleep, I look at them and I cry. I don’t care about myself. I care about my kids and how they are living. There is nobody to help me. My parents are dead. There is nowhere I can go. All I want to do is to join my husband.”

    But life is even tougher for refugees living outside Beirut. Providing crucial services to many of them is the charity Mercy Corps. They took us to the Bekaa Valley, where thousands of Syrians scratch out a living in the countryside along Lebanon’s border with Syria.

    People who cross over from Syria here to try to escape the fighting, who end up living in tents, that’s because they don’t have any money.

    WOMAN: Yes, they don’t have money to rent apartments.

    JANE FERGUSON: Bitter snowstorms make winter the worst time of year to be a refugee.

    Without aid agencies like yourselves, what would happen to those people?

    WOMAN: What would happen? Without aid agencies, I think that those people would be not able to live.

    JANE FERGUSON: This is how most Syrian refugees survive, in overcrowded camps. Some of the families here have lived in these canvas huts for years, in the shadow of a mountain range that separates them from their home country.

    Many refugees live in camps like this, just groups of tents directed here on farmland. The conditions are absolutely squalid. In the summer here, it’s hot and dusty, and in the winter, it’s freezing cold and absolutely waterlogged.

    Amina Hamadi shares this room with her sister and four children. A farmer from Syria, she wouldn’t dream of going to Europe, she tells me. She hopes to return one day to her old life.

    “There, everybody owned land. We owned land,” she says. “We lived off the land. We planted vegetables and we lived from it.”

    Her husband died three years ago, and now the family relies on handouts from the U.N. It’s bitterly cold in her tent, despite the small stove, but she is resilient.

    “A mountain can’t move me,” she says. “I have children that I have to raise. I need to look after them.”

    Her 6-year-old son, Ahmed, shows us a drawing. In it, his family are smiling next to a house. He says it is their home in Syria. Millions of Syrian children like Ahmed have only ever known war, and a hard life as refugees.

    The children are saying that they don’t get to go to school because they cannot afford to get transport to the nearest school. The schools here are free, but they can’t get there.

    Syrians around the world each tell different stories of suffering, resilience, and sometimes hope. As the war drags on into its fifth year, they will likely have to continue their lives in exile.

    Jane Ferguson, PBS NewsHour, Beirut, Lebanon.

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    Just three days before the Iowa caucuses, the  Obama administration confirmed that Hillary Clinton's unsecured home server contained information deemed to be "top secret." Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    In the 18 months before launching her second presidential bid, Clinton gave nearly 100 paid speeches at banks, trade associations, charitable groups and private corporations, earning $21.7 million. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton told voters in the latest Democratic debate there’s “hardly anything you don’t know about me.”

    Just minutes later, she got tangled in a question about a part of her resume that is an enduring mystery.

    In the 18 months before launching her second presidential bid, Clinton gave nearly 100 paid speeches at banks, trade associations, charitable groups and private corporations. The appearances netted her $21.7 million — and voters very little information about what she was telling top corporations as she prepared for her 2016 campaign.

    What she said — or didn’t say — to Wall Street banks in particular has become a significant problem for her presidential campaign, as she tries to counter the unexpected rise of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders. He’s put her in awkward position of squaring her financial windfall with a frustrated electorate.

    Asked in the debate — and not for the first time — about releasing transcripts of those speeches, she said: “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.” She added: “My view on this is, look at my record.”

    Clinton addressed a broad swath of industries, speaking to supermarket companies in Colorado, clinical pathologists in Illinois and travel agents in California, to name several. Many of the companies and trade organizations that she addressed are lobbying Congress over a variety of interests.

    She typically delivered an address, then answered questions from a pre-vetted interviewer. Her standard fee was $225,000, though occasionally it could range up to $400,000.

    “That’s what they offered,” said Clinton, when asked this week whether her fees were too high.

    Other than her fees, which her campaign disclosed in response to media inquiries, details about most of her closed speeches are nearly impossible to find. The Associated Press and other news organizations have asked repeatedly for transcripts, and again on Friday after her promise to review the issue. Last month, she laughed and turned away when a blogger specifically asked for transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs.

    “I don’t think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches,” Joel Benenson, Clinton’s pollster, told reporters Friday. But it was a voter who asked about her transcripts at a town-hall event on CNN on Wednesday.

    Although many of her remarks were given to large groups, they were frequently barred to media coverage and few recordings are available online. In many cases, Clinton’s contract prohibited her comments from being broadcast, transcribed or “otherwise reproduced,” according a copy of one such agreement with the University of Buffalo.

    In a few cases, details trickled out through company blogs and trade publications.

    At the time, and increasingly as the months wore on, she was considered a likely prospect to run for president, despite the fact she said little to tip her hand publicly on whether she would.

    When she addressed the National Multifamily Housing Council in April 2013, she focused on foreign affairs, including the Arab Spring and North Korea, and domestic issues like the federal debt, and answered questions from the chairman.

    She deflected questions about whether she was considering a presidential run.

    “That is certainly a question I haven’t been asked — in all of 12 minutes,” she cracked, according to a post on the organization’s website. “I’m just returning to civilian life and getting reacquainted with something called normal life.”

    That post has since been taken down.

    A reporter from the real estate blog The Real Deal was at her October 2014 speech to the annual convention of a commercial real estate women’s network in Miami Beach. Clinton focused on boosting the number of women in the field and achieving parity with men. “It’s so important for women like us to get out of our comfort zones and be willing to fail,” she said, according to the blog. “I’ve done that, too, on a very large stage.”

    Speaking to a private crowd of 10,000 real estate people in San Francisco in November 2013, Clinton “affirmed the role realty places in American culture,” according to another blog post. Press was banned but participants at the conference, hosted by the National Association of Realtors, tweeted photos of her on stage.

    Many organizations she addressed were reluctant to share details or even confirm her attendance, in part because contracts for those kinds of speakers typically prohibit sharing that information.

    AP’s inquiries to the campaign about her appearances before several Wall Street banks went unanswered. Deutsche Bank, which paid Clinton $475,000 for addresses in New York and Washington, declined to comment, as did Goldman Sachs.

    “I made speeches to lots of groups,” Clinton said this week. “I told them what I thought. I answered questions.”

    Associated Press business writer Ken Sweet contributed to this report from New York.

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    Revellers wear mosquito masks in a reference to the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which can spread dengue as well as the Zika virus, during a street carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker - RTX25I6U

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: U.S. health officials put out new guidance today about the Zika virus. For the first time, they recommended that men who have traveled to an area with Zika should use condoms if they have sex with a pregnant woman for the entire duration of the pregnancy. The CDC also says those men may want to consider abstaining from sex with women who are trying to get pregnant.

    While the disease is overwhelmingly spread by mosquitoes, questions about three possible cases of sexual transmission led to these new guidelines.

    In Brazil, Zika has been found in the saliva and urine of two people. And more than one million people there are said to be infected with Zika.

    Our science correspondent, Miles O’Brien, is covering the story. He joins me now from Recife, Brazil, where Carnival celebrations are beginning.

    So, Miles, this is a country that’s hardest-hit. It also happens to be you’re there at the time of this big annual holiday.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Yes, Judy. Here we are in the middle of this public health crisis and this celebration, this national holiday begins on this night, Carnival.

    What’s interesting about Carnival is that at the very core the philosophy is, forget your troubles and party like there is no tomorrow. That’s how the Brazilians view it and that’s why in most cases the party has gone on.

    I talked to a lot of public health officials and doctors and scientists who have been involved in this hurt for some action and some way to control the Zika outbreak, and many of them express misgivings about it, frankly, but the show is going on.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, Miles, we know the Centers for Disease Control said today that the cooperation with Brazil is getting better. That’s the CDC here in the U.S. But they also have some expressed some frustration about not getting enough data from down this. What do you know about that?

    MILES O’BRIEN: We heard a lot about this when we spoke to some of the scientists on the front lines here, some of the epidemiologists and the virologists who are working on this scientific riddle.

    This is a virus that has presented a whole new problem for them, and it’s a virus, like so many things these days, that instantly become a global problem. The problem is, there is legislation, there is law in this land which makes it all but impossible for them to share samples with their colleagues in Atlanta or Glasgow or elsewhere In Europe.

    And so they have been frustrated by that inability to share their data. Having said that, in a briefing today, the head of the CDC, Tom Frieden, said that is improving. But it’s a reminder that when you’re in a situation like this with a fast-moving virus, it’s time to bring all kinds of borders and privileges and scientific prerogatives down and try to fight the problem.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Miles, for the medical profession, I know you’re talking to physicians there, researchers. You were saying this has to be very frustrating for them, that they don’t feel, you said, that they have the tools in the toolbox that they need.

    MILES O’BRIEN: I spoke to a gynecologist today who’s dealt with several mothers who have had to contend with this, and she’s so frustrated.

    She said: “I feel like I’m in the Stone Age. I can see this coming, I see the problem developing, and I have no tools in my toolbox to help these women.”

    It’s an unfortunate case. They have got this virus that came out of the blue, and they really don’t have a way of coping with it right now.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Miles, in terms of the science of it and dealing with the mosquitoes who are carrying this virus around, what about that front? Are they able to — I mean, are they able to project any kind of precautions that can be taken? Where are they on that front?

    MILES O’BRIEN: Well, obviously, they’re telling pregnant women to be very careful and to guard against being bitten by mosquitoes. It’s worth mentioning that those are the people. It’s the pregnant women and their babies in utero that are of concern.

    When an adult gets bitten by a mosquito and gets Zika, four out of five people don’t even know they have had it. So, part of it is public education. Part of it is going through and doing some spraying, which has limited efficacy.

    They have got 200,000 troops in the military knocking on doors, looking for standing water, but ultimately they’re way outnumbered by the mosquitoes. We were in a lab just the other day where they’re actually genetically engineering mosquitoes, male mosquitoes, to mate with females, creating progeny which will die very quickly.

    And that kind of clever approach is part of putting some tools in the toolbox to try to control how mosquitoes are carrying Zika.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, meantime, finally, Miles, warnings going out to women and to men about the dangers of this virus.

    MILES O’BRIEN: You know, Judy, it’s really a heartbreaking scenario, how this cropped up. It’s dangerous and it caught public health officials by surprise.

    Today, I was with a mother with a 2-month-old son who is drastically affected by this microcephaly. And it means a lifelong problem of disability and care for this now 2-month-old child of hers. And so it’s — the danger cannot be understated for pregnant women. And that set against this Carnival offers up quite a contrast this year.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s heartbreaking. It’s frightening.

    And, Miles, I know we look forward to the reporting that you’re doing down there. And we will be having that in the days to come.

    Miles O’Brien, we thank you.

    MILES O’BRIEN: You’re welcome, Judy.

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    Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff.

    On the “NewsHour” tonight: Democrats square off in a contentious debate, as Republican candidates jockey for survival just days before the New Hampshire primary.

    Then: a report from the epicenter of the Zika outbreak in Brazil, where scientists are racing against time.

    And from a new restaurant owner to a resilient mother in a muddy camp, the many lives of the Syrian refugees now living in Lebanon.

    AMINA HAMADI, Syrian Refugee (through interpreter): A mountain can’t move me. I have children that I have to raise. I need to look after them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s Friday. Mark Shields and David Brooks are here, to analyze the week’s news.

    All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”

    (BREAK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news, the government’s latest jobs report showed hiring slowed substantially in January from the month before. The Labor Department said U.S. employers added 151,000 jobs. At the same time, the unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent last month. That is its lowest level in eight years. And wages, average hourly earnings, rose significantly.

    President Obama hailed the news this afternoon at the White House.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We should be proud of the progress we have made. We have recovered from the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, the worst in my lifetime and the lifetime of most of the people in this room, and we have done it faster, stronger, better, more durably than just about any other advanced economy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The mixed jobs data sent stocks downward on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average dropped nearly 212 points to close just under 16205. The Nasdaq fell more than 146 points, and the S&P 500 lost 35. For the week, the Dow was down more than a percent. The Nasdaq fell 5 percent, and the S&P 500 lost 3 percent.

    A 6.4-magnitude earthquake has rocked southern Taiwan. It was centered about 27 miles southeast of Tainan and struck about six miles underground. Local media reported multiple buildings had collapsed in the city that is home to nearly two million people. There was no immediate word on casualties.

    In Syria, pro-government forces aided by Russian airstrikes tightened their grip around Aleppo. They captured the town of Ratyan, less than 15 miles away. A rebel commander said the northern Aleppo countryside has now been totally encircled.

    Meanwhile, Turkey estimates 15,000 Syrians have arrived at their border, but it’s not clear how many will be let in. Relief groups have set up tents on the Syrian side for temporary shelter.

    The United Nations’ children’s agency, UNICEF, reports that at least 200 million girls and women around the world have been subjected to genital mutilation. That is 70,000 more cases than in 2014. It attributed the rise to both population growth and increased reporting. Female genital mutilation occurs in at least 30 countries. But half the victims live in Egypt, Ethiopia and Indonesia.

    Twitter is cracking down on accounts that promote terrorist activity. The company said today that it’s already suspended more than 125,000 accounts, mostly linked to the Islamic State. It’s also increasing the staffing of teams that review accounts flagged for extremism, so they can catch suspicious users faster.

    A United Nations human rights panel ruled today that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be allowed to walk free. The group said that he’s been arbitrarily detained by the British and Swedish governments, who have long sought to extradite Assange to Sweden to face rape charges that he’s denied. Assange emerged onto the balcony of Ecuador’s embassy in London, where he’s taken refuge since 2012, to celebrate the panel’s findings.

    JULIAN ASSANGE, Founder, WikiLeaks: How sweet it is. This is a victory that cannot be denied. It’s a victory of historic importance, not just for me, for my family, for my children, but for the independence of the U.N. system.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: British’s foreign secretary, Philip Hammond, repudiated the U.N. ruling, which is not legally binding.

    PHILIP HAMMOND, Foreign Secretary, United Kingdom: Julian Assange is a fugitive from justice. He is hiding from justice in the Ecuadorian Embassy. He can come out onto the pavement anytime he chooses. He is not being detained by us, but he will have to face justice in Sweden if he chooses to do so.

    And it is right that he shouldn’t be able to escape justice. This is, frankly, a ridiculous finding by the working group, and we reject it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: London police have said that they will arrest Assange if he tries to leave the Ecuadorian Embassy. It’s unclear whether the U.S. is also seeking his arrest related to WikiLeaks’ release of hundreds of thousands of secret U.S. documents.

    There will be no big dance appearance for the Louisville Cardinals this year. The University of Louisville announced a self-imposed postseason ban for its men’s basketball team today. It comes as the NCAA is investigating claims that escorts were paid to dance and have sex with recruits and players. The university’s president said a separate internal investigation revealed — quote — “that violations had occurred.”

    And former Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell has died. Mitchell was a part of the 1971 lunar mission, becoming the sixth of only 12 people to ever walk on the surface of the moon. He died last evening in Florida following a short illness. Edgar Mitchell was 85 years old.

    Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Brazil’s race against time to combat the Zika virus; Syrian refugees struggle to call Lebanon home; Mark Shields and David Brooks on this week in politics; psychology of sports ahead of Sunday’s Super Bowl; plus, the causes and consequence of distrust in government.

    The post News Wrap: Unemployment falls to 8-year low, but job growth slows appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Workers build a snow man framed by election signs in Manchester, New Hampshire, February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX25N93

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s the final weekend before the New Hampshire primary, and the eyes of the political world are focused on the Granite State. Candidates are dashing across the state to win over as many votes as possible.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins, who is in Manchester, reports that when the two remaining Democrats took center stage together, they heated up a cold New England night.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Four days before the balloting, the Democratic race is now about defining and definitions.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Well, let me start by saying that Senator Sanders and I share some very big progressive goals.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Progressive, that was Hillary Clinton’s key word from minute one of last night’s debate, even as Bernie Sanders tried to tie her to a different word: moderate.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: It is what she said, and all that I said, there’s nothing wrong with being a moderate. But you can’t be a moderate. You can’t be a progressive.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders attacked and Clinton countered.

    HILLARY CLINTON: But if we’re going to get into labels, I don’t think it was particularly progressive to vote against the Brady Bill five times.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    HILLARY CLINTON: I don’t think it was progressive to vote to give gun makers and sellers immunity.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Minutes later, another sharp exchange over Sanders’ repeated mention of the speaking fees Clinton previously collected from banks.

    HILLARY CLINTON: There is this attack that he is putting forth, which really comes down to, you know, anybody who ever took donations or speaking fees from any interest group has to be bought.

    And I just absolutely reject that, Senator. So I think it’s time to end the very artful smear that you and your campaign have been carrying out in recent weeks, and let’s talk — let’s talk about the issues.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Let’s talk let’s talk about issues, all right? Let’s talk about why, in the 1990s, Wall Street got deregulated. Did it have anything to do with the fact that Wall Street provided — spent billions of dollars on lobbying and campaign contributions?

    Well, some people might think, yes, that had some influence.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders hammered home a chief campaign issue for him: that Wall Street is hoarding wealth and politicians have left it uncontrolled.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: It is not one street. Wall Street is an entity of unbelievable economic and political power. That’s a fact.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders also launched his top charge against Clinton.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Not only did I vote against that war. I helped lead the opposition

    LISA DESJARDINS: Raising her 2002 vote that authorized the Iraq War.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Look, we did differ. A vote in 2002 is not a plan to defeat ISIS. We have to look at the threats that we face right now.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    HILLARY CLINTON: And we have to be prepared to take them on.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But that led to a longer back-and-forth, where Clinton sharply questioned some of Sanders’ foreign policy grasp.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Such as inviting Iranian troops into Syria to try to resolve the conflict there, putting them right on the doorstep of Israel, asking Saudi Arabia and Iran to work together, when they can’t stand each other, and are engaged in a proxy battle right at this moment.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: I fully, fully concede that Secretary Clinton, who was secretary of state for four years, has more experience. That is not arguable in foreign affairs. But experience is not the only point. Judgment is.

    LISA DESJARDINS: For all of that heat during last night’s one-on-one clash, the major opponent today in the Granite State was snow. It slowed the day’s events, but candidates plowed on.

    Jeb Bush was out in Derry today. And former first lady Barbara Bush braved the conditions as well, touting her son during a make-or-break week for him.

    BARBARA BUSH, Former First Lady: Vote for Jeb.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Voters still came out to see John Kasich in Hollis for what was his 99th town hall. His campaign, like that of Jeb Bush, hinges on a solid showing in next Tuesday’s primary. The snow didn’t get in the way of several women senators, either. They joined New Hampshire’s governor in Manchester today, in a bid to give Clinton, their former colleague, a post-debate boost.

    Four days to go, and it is already a blitz, or, if you will, blizzard here in New Hampshire. Even with today’s snow, Judy, candidates held some 20 events today, like this one here at a middle school gym for Marco Rubio.

    One note about this event. The Rubio campaign was very happy to tell me that they originally scheduled this for the cafeteria of this school, but they had more people show up than they expected and they moved it to the gym — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, that’s surprising they would want to share that information with you, Lisa.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Imagine.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you have been to several candidate events today. What are the voters saying to you?

    LISA DESJARDINS: When you talk to New Hampshire voters who go to these events, to be honest, Judy, I feel a lot of them are still soft. Most of them seem to be honing in on their own private list of two or three candidates.

    And what surprised me, Judy, was the combination of candidates. I talked to two different voters today who are looking at one Democrat and one Republican. For example, a man I talked to, former firefighter, thinking about Bernie Sanders and Marco Rubio. That’s a combination that might surprise people, but he said what he’s looking for is integrity.

    And that’s a word I heard throughout. Also here at this event, those who are looking at Rubio, the Republicans, it does seem like they’re considering Rubio against Trump or Rubio against Cruz, but the key there, Judy, is that these are voters who say they weren’t paying that much attention to Marco Rubio, say, a month ago. Now they’re here and they want to see him in person.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, are you picking up a sense that Rubio has benefited from coming in third in Iowa, a close third to Donald Trump?

    LISA DESJARDINS: I think absolutely he’s benefited.

    Now, I don’t think he’s locked in those votes yet, but I think he has people considering him who were not before. I also think Marco Rubio is benefiting from doubts about the other candidates, about the fight between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz. Donald Trump saying that Ted Cruz doesn’t get along with anyone, I have heard that from people here today at this Rubio event.

    On the other hand, Ted Cruz saying that Donald Trump is a hothead who can’t be trusted, say, with the nuclear arsenal, I have heard that as well. Rubio seems to be benefiting from that fight from the top two. Now, how that will end, I don’t know. Rubio obviously has to prove himself on his own. Donald Trump wasn’t in the state today, as we said, because of the weather, and he is trying to re-angle his campaign, Judy, trying to be — do more retail politics than we have seen before.

    So far, his campaign hasn’t proven that they know quite how to do that, but they’re trying. If they can pull that off, it might help him here.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Lisa, is it thought that not being in the state today will matter for Donald Trump? And, by the way, both Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, are going to be leaving the state for part of the weekend.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Right, the tightest race that we have, the Democratic race, if you look nationally, both candidates are taking time from the campaign trail.

    Bernie Sanders, he is going to be on “Saturday Night Live” with Larry David. I think some of our viewers will be happy to imagine how that will go. And then Hillary Clinton is going to Flint, Michigan. Those are two very different events, but it shows that both of these candidates are looking past New Hampshire, maybe for different reasons, Hillary Clinton knowing she’s behind, wanting to talk to, perhaps, Flint, Michigan, a group that could appeal, to, say, South Carolina, where there are a lot of African-American and sort of lower-income voters.

    Bernie Sanders trying to appeal more broadly nationally, where he and Clinton are the closest. As for Donald Trump, I do think New Hampshire voters notice when a candidate is not here. They have noticed. And I think the Trump campaign is aware of that.

    So, I think we will watch this weekend and see if he starts scheduling more events. Certainly, the Trump campaign wants to win, but they’re used to very large speeches. And they’re right now just retooling for the retail politics of New Hampshire.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we know voters in New Hampshire and Iowa expect to see their candidates and see them often. So, we will see.

    Lisa Desjardins in New Hampshire for the weekend through the duration, thank you.

    LISA DESJARDINS: My pleasure. Thank you.

    The post Democratic fight heats up as candidates dash across N.H. in the snow appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leads a campaign rally at the Derry Boys and Girls Club in Derry, New Hampshire February 3, 2016.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif - RTX25BFN

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton leads a campaign rally at the Derry Boys and Girls Club in Derry, New Hampshire February 3, 2016. Photo by Adrees Latif /Reuters

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — The private email server. The Wall Street ties. The evolving policy positions. The speaking fees.

    The concerns vary, but Hillary Clinton seems to be having trouble earning the public’s trust.

    Ahead of Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, the Democratic presidential candidate is trying to convince voters that she is authentic. Rival Bernie Sanders is stepping up criticism of her financial industry connections and questioning whether she is a true liberal.

    His message connects with younger people. They seem less interested in Clinton’s pitch as a “progressive who gets things done” than in Sanders’ call to break up big financial institutions and expand social programs as part of a “political revolution.”

    “I have a harder time believing her sincerity,” said Suzanne Roberge, 32, of Rochester, who attended a Sanders rally. “I don’t have as much trust.”

    Roberge added: “She’s changed her mind on different issues. Bernie Sanders has been so consistent.”

    Added Sheila Kelley, 59, of Manchester, a Sanders supporter: “She doesn’t seem truthful. It seems like she’s trying to be everything to everyone.”

    Questions about Clinton’s authenticity probably hurt her in Iowa, where the former secretary of state squeaked out a narrow victory over the Vermont senator in Monday’s leadoff caucuses.

    Democratic caucus-goers who cared most about candidates who are “honest and trustworthy” or who “care about people like me” overwhelmingly supported Sanders, according to precinct polls conducted for The Associated Press and television networks. Clinton performed far better with people who listed experience or electability as a top concern.

    Eight in 10 young people surveyed in Iowa said honesty or caring about people like them are the top qualities for which they are looking.

    The surveys of people entering the Democratic caucuses found that Sanders had over 80 percent support from people 29 or younger. Clinton was backed by nearly 70 percent of those 65 and older.

    In New Hampshire, too, Sanders may have an advantage with the young.

    “She’s the best alternative to Bernie,” said Danielle Adcock, 20, of Manchester, who supports Sanders. But she added: “She takes money from Wall Street.”

    In a Quinnipiac University poll in December, Clinton rated highly among all registered voters for her experience and leadership qualities, but 59 percent said she was not honest and trustworthy.

    Most Democrats in that survey did say Clinton was honest and trustworthy. But a Washington Post/ABC News poll conducted in January suggests she may have cause for concerns there, too.

    That poll found that that while Clinton had a substantial lead over Sanders among Democrats, she lagged behind him on the issue of trust: 48 percent said Sanders was more honest and trustworthy, compared with 36 percent for Clinton.

    Asked about matters of trust during a CNN town-hall event in New Hampshire, Clinton spoke about the “velocity of attacks” she has endured from Republicans.

    “They don’t give it up,” she said. “So I know that I have to really demonstrate as clearly as I can who I am, what I stand for, and what I’ve always done. I’ve always been guided by the same values. I have always listened to people. And I’ve always worked as hard as I could to produce results for people.”

    Clinton later made a direct plea to young people at a party dinner, saying she was glad they were involved, whether or not they supported her. She noted that “you are bringing energy, ideas and urgency to our process.”

    Sanders has fed some people’s concerns about trusting Clinton while picking his fights carefully.

    For example, he gave her a pass on her past email practices. But he has gone after her for taking Wall Street money, letting a political action committee raise millions to help her and for not being liberal enough, in his view.

    He has called her out for claiming to be a moderate earlier in the campaign, only to joust with him now over who’s the true “progressive.” The shift in rhetoric may raise questions about who and what Clinton really is.

    “One of the things we should do is not only talk the talk, but walk the walk,” Sanders said in Thursday night’s debate.

    Clinton has accused Sanders of “cherry-picking” from her past comments and said his questions about her Wall Street ties amount to “very artful smear.”

    National polls suggest Clinton has a strong lead over Sanders, despite her lagging position in New Hampshire, and her campaign seems confident she will perform better in South Carolina and elsewhere.

    While Sanders is laser-focused on income inequality and the behavior of the financial sector, Clinton has struggled to define what her campaign is about at its core.

    She has criticized Sanders for health care and education proposals that she says are unrealistic. She has released a detailed policy plans and styled herself as the right person to carry on President Barack Obama’s legacy. Recently, she has started flavoring her speeches with some of the economic populism for which Sanders is known.

    “I think she’s paid her dues,” said Clemence Cote, 54, of Derry. “I think she’s a strong person.”

    The post Hillary Clinton seeks to win voters’ trust before New Hampshire debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, January 26, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Morgan - RTX245TD

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, Iowa, January 26, 2016. Photo by Scott Morgan/Reuters.

    LONDONDERRY, N.H. — With wet snow already ankle deep and falling fast, Dave Chiokadze and James Radcliffe trekked down one long driveway after another in search of potential votes for Donald Trump.

    “It’s like the Revolutionary War,” joked Chiokadze as they made their way house to house along a Londonderry street, knocking on doors that were flagged by a smart-phone app and leaving long lines of footsteps in their wake.

    The 22 year olds, out-of-state volunteers involved in politics for the first time, are on the front lines of Trump’s effort in New Hampshire, where the Republican presidential candidate is hoping for his first victory of the 2016 campaign in the state’s primary on Tuesday.

    Trump had a disappointing runner-up finish last Monday in leadoff Iowa, which has a byzantine caucus process that puts a premium on organizing supporters to make sure they turn out. Now, he and his team are intent on making a greater push to get out the vote in the opening primary state.

    “Look, I’ve never done this before. I’ve been a politician for seven months. I’m against governors and senators. They’ve done it their whole lives,” Trump said in an interview with The Associated Press on Friday. “It would seem to me that people would just go out and vote.”

    Trump said he “never realized” the need to encourage supporters to actually take part in the caucuses. “Now, I think we’re going to have an OK ground game.”

    Or at the very least, one that Trump is willing to show off.

    His campaign shrouded its Iowa operations in secrecy. In New Hampshire, it has opened the door to what appears to be more robust effort to ensure his legion of supporters becomes an army of voters.

    At his state headquarters in Manchester, volunteers were hard at work on two recent weekdays. They made calls using an automated phone dial system in a room decorated with black-and-white photographs of the man they’re working to elect.

    Malcolm McGough, 58, a volunteer from West Hartford, Connecticut, said he had been working 13-hour days making calls.

    “It’s really about asking them whether they’re going to get out and vote on Tuesday and whether they support Mr. Trump,” McGough said. He said he had made 1,150 calls for Trump on Wednesday alone.

    Kevin Bray, 51, another volunteer, said he had driven more than 20 hours in the rain from Nixa, Missouri, after seeing the results in Iowa.

    “Iowa happened and I woke up really irritated,” he said. “I said, you know, I want to make a difference.” He said he arrived on Wednesday morning and told Trump’s team to put him to work.

    In a back room of the office, a white board displays ambitious goals for each day.

    On Thursday, the team aimed to make 30,000 calls and knock on 2,500 doors. By early afternoon, campaign officials said they were partway to their goals. Their seven teams of volunteers sent to neighborhoods across the state had reported knocking on 823 doors so far.

    On Friday, campaign staff hoped to boost the number to 5,000, as more than 100 new volunteers arrived from states such as New York and Pennsylvania to help. The team has run out of the 20,000 cards it printed to hand out during visits and was printing 25,000 more.

    “I think look, we’ll take nothing for granted,” said Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, a New Hampshire resident overseeing the effort.

    “We’re going to do everything we can to try and talk to every voter possible. So we’ve made a lot of phone calls and knocked on a lot of doors and we’re going to do a lot of stops.

    “And obviously,” Lewandowski said, “Mr. Trump gets the biggest crowds, so he gets to see the most people.”

    He said the outreach was aimed specifically at voters identified as having a high likelihood of being open to supporting Trump. Volunteers said they included many independent voters and those without a history of voting in the primary.

    Steve Duprey, a political professional in New Hampshire who helped shepherd GOP Sen. John McCain’s winning 2008 campaign in the state, described the Trump ground game as “aggressive and sophisticated.”

    “I think they have a first-rate operation in New Hampshire and I think they were under the radar for a couple of months,” Duprey said.

    To be sure, Trump hasn’t completely changed his approach in the wake of his Iowa defeat.

    He skipped town for a rally in South Carolina on Friday and has largely forgone the small-scale town halls and meet-and-greets that are the usual fare for potential presidents in Iowa and New Hampshire. That’s something some of his supporters in Iowa said was a hurdle to success there.

    “It was challenging,” said Iowa state Sen. Brad Zaun, a prominent Trump supporter. “Everybody talks about the 99 county tour. I think if we could have gotten him there more often, it would have increased his numbers. … I wanted him to do smaller events. We could not get that done.”

    The winner in Iowa, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, did visit all those counties. Cruz also developed and relied on a sophisticated, data-driven approach that targeted specific, individual voters.

    In New Hampshire this past week, many voters interviewed said they had yet to receive mail or phone calls from Trump’s campaign.

    Even as Trump acknowledged that investing additional time and money in Iowa may have helped win the caucuses, he continued to boast about spending less than the other candidates. Trump spent just $1.2 million on consultants in areas such as field operations in the final four months of the year, along with $235,000 to the data firm L2.

    Cruz spent more than $3 million on data provider Cambridge Analytica alone in the quarter, and $900,000 on political strategy consulting.

    Trump also continues to be badly outspent on television by candidates of significantly lesser means, advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG shows.

    The $3 million he’s spent so far on TV and radio ads in New Hampshire is eclipsed by groups backing Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

    In South Carolina, the next state to vote after New Hampshire, he’s getting outspent 9 to 1 by Rubio and groups supporting him.

    Still, Duprey cautioned against betting against Trump and his unorthodox approach.

    “Just because it hasn’t been done this way before, doesn’t mean it don’t happen this time,” Duprey said.

    The post After Iowa, Trump shows off effort to win in New Hampshire appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor John Kasich pose together onstage at the start of the debate held by Fox News for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Des Moines, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young - RTX24HL4

    Republican U.S. presidential candidates (L-R) U.S. Senator Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor John Kasich pose together onstage at the start of the debate held by Fox News for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Des Moines, Iowa January 28, 2016. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters.

    With one presidential election contest over and the next three days away, there was a new sense of urgency for the Republican candidates ahead of Saturday night’s final debate before New Hampshire voters have their say.

    Seven candidates were set to meet at Saint Anselm College in Manchester; some won’t be viable after Tuesday’s primary.

    For those on the edge of relevancy, including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, the debate offered a last and best chance to rescue their White House ambitions.

    The stakes were high, too, for Donald Trump. The billionaire businessman finished second in Iowa’s caucuses last Monday, and looked to reclaim his role as his party’s undisputed front-runner.

    Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida hope their strong performances in Iowa will quickly turn the 2016 race contest into a three-man race.

    Some things to watch for in the debate, airing on ABC:

    PAGING MR. TRUMP

    Trump makes his first appearance on the debate stage since skipping the last meeting over a dispute with Fox News.

    He will resume his place at center stage as the leader in most recent polls, but his rivals sense weakness. Just ask Iowa winner Ted Cruz, who said this week that his two little girls were better behaved than Trump, who was “losing it.”

    Trump remains the ultimate wild card in any high-stakes political event. But he can’t afford a major mistake just 60 hours before New Hampshire polls open.

    If he loses this lead, things could quickly spiral out of control for the man who bills himself as the ultimate winner.

    CRUZIN’ FOR FIREWORKS

    Cruz stormed into New Hampshire as the big winner in Iowa, but it’s unclear if that success will translate in a state with a more moderate electorate.

    The fiery conservative has drawn large crowds around the state in recent days. Yet he’s not backing off a message focused on religious conservative values, which typically don’t play well in New England.

    Cruz hopes a strong debate performance will help prevent him from becoming yet another Iowa winner who quickly faded into irrelevancy. The former college debate champion has proven to be a major player in previous debates.

    And based on the intensifying war of words with Trump, it’s hard to imagine anything short of fireworks between the two leading candidates. Cruz hopes to appear presidential, yet strong enough to take on The Donald and win.

    RUBIO AND THE MAINSTREAM MUDDLE

    Rubio has long planned to become the leading mainstream Republican alternative to Trump and Cruz.

    With a strong performance Saturday night, he would take one step closer to consolidating that wing of his party and becoming a true force in the 2016 contest. But any major misstep could embolden one of his many mainstream rivals, who are desperate to score points with their own presidential aspirations on the line.

    Rubio dominated his mainstream rivals in Iowa. He finished with more than triple the combined vote totals of Bush, Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    A repeat performance in New Hampshire would make Rubio the overwhelming favorite of establishment Republicans – and spell a quick end for the others.

    Bush and Christie have ratcheted up attacks against Rubio, questioning his position on abortion and immigration, among other issues likely to emerge Saturday night.

    JEB’S LAST STAND

    Saturday could mark Bush’s final debate – or the beginning of an unlikely resurgence.

    He has struggled to connect with voters out of the gate, even though last year’s $100 million fundraising haul has allowed him to stay viable.

    He embarrassed himself in Iowa, finishing with less than 3 percent of the vote despite the backing of a super PAC that spent more than any other entity on local advertising.

    Polls suggest Bush is running much stronger here. But a subpar debate performance could make it all but impossible for him to come back.

    The post Viewer’s guide: GOP candidates meet in New Hampshire for 8th debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz attends a campaign event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire February 4, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTX25IJQ

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    BY HANNAH YI

    All eyes are on the New Hampshire primary election happening on Tuesday, but if a candidate wants to make it to the conventions this summer, their focus should be on where the campaign teams are headed next.

    The road to the nomination is a bumpy ride with rules and intricate delegate math, which varies from state-to-state.

    According to Elaine Kamarck, who has been on the Democratic Party’s Rules Committee for almost 20 years, the Democrats require every state to use pretty much the same rules for awarding delegates.

    “We tell the states exactly how many delegates they can have and how many delegates each congressional district can have in the state,” Kamarck said. “We tell the states how they have to allocate delegates to presidential candidates. There’s a lot of central control from Washington on the Democratic state parties.”

    That’s not so with the Republicans, who campaign under a mix of proportional and winner-take-all rules.

    “There is a period of proportionality, in this case it’s the first 14 days in March, must be states dividing up their delegates proportionally,” said former General Counsel of the Republican National Committee Ben Ginsberg, who was an election lawyer for the campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney. “But other than that, the states can do it pretty much any way they want to.”

    Regardless of the party, understanding the delegate math game can be key to garnering the nomination.

    In the fight for the 2008 Democratic nomination,  Hillary Clinton won only a handful more delegates than Barack Obama by winning big states like Ohio and Pennsylvania. But Obama, who campaigned hard in small states like Idaho and Kansas, won a larger surplus of delegates by attracting a larger proportion of voters.

    NewsHour Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield went to New Hampshire to speak with officials from the campaigns of Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich to find out their strategies for the road beyond Tuesday’s primary.


    Read the full transcript of this segment below:

    JEFF GREENFIELD: This is where American politics lives — this week. The candidates…

    MARCO RUBIO: I wanted you to meet my family because they’re going to be here for eight days.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: The crowds…

    JOHN KASICH: Reagan came here and he said it was morning in America.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: The attacks and counter-attacks…

    MARCO RUBIO: He views the constitution as an annoyance.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: But while New Hampshire is obviously the center of the political universe this week, the real fight for the nomination will begin after Tuesday’s primary, when the survivors set out on a long, winding, four month-long road, whose incredibly complicated rules will in large measure determine who wins the nomination and how.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: In fact, Republicans and Democrats travel two different roads, with rules that reflect the different core philosophies of the parties. Democrats require every state to use pretty much the same rules for awarding delegates.

    ELAINE KAMARCK: Democrats are very, very regimented and very centrally ruled.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Author and Brookings Institution scholar Elaine Kamarck has been on the Democratic Party’s Rules Committee for almost twenty years.

    ELAINE KAMARCK: So we tell the states exactly how many delegates they can have and how many delegates each congressional district can have in the state. We tell the states how they have to allocate delegates to presidential candidates. There’s a lot of central control from Washington on the Democratic state parties.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Democrats require every state to award delegates proportionally – in a percentage that more or less reflects their primary vote total.  They’ve long banned the “winner-take all” approach.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Republicans, by contrast, take a more “federalist” approach.

    BEN GINSBERG: The theory behind the Republican delegate selection process is that each state has a great deal of authority and autonomy in choosing its own method.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Ben Ginsberg is former General Counsel of the Republican National Committee was an election lawyer for the campaigns of George W. Bush and Mitt Romney.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: He says this year’s rules are a mixed bag of proportional and winner-take-all states.

    BEN GINSBERG: There is a period of proportionality, in this case it’s the first 14 days in March, must be states dividing up their delegates proportionally. But other than that, the states can do it pretty much any way they want to.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: If you want to see just how critical such rules can be, look back to 2008. When Republican John McCain won early winner-take-all primaries in big states like Florida, New York, and New Jersey, he got all the delegates, helping him secure the nomination in early March.

    On the Democratic side, although Hillary Clinton won most of the big states, like Ohio and Pennsylvania, because of proportional rules, she took home only a handful more delegates than Barack Obama did by finishing second.

    Obama, on the other hand, campaigned hard in small states, like Idaho and Kansas, and won such a huge proportion of votes, he actually went home with a larger surplus of delegates than Clinton did in the big states.

    ELAINE KAMARCK: If you don’t understand the delegate game, you can make a lot of mistakes. And the history of the presidential nomination process is just filled with examples where a campaign made the wrong call and it cost them momentum and eventually the nomination. So understanding this is the key to winning the nomination.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: For 2016, it’s the Republican road, with its dizzying array of rules that requires close attention. Each flip of the calendar brings new states front and center, with their own rules about how delegates are won. So hang on; it can get very bumpy.

    After New Hampshire, comes South Carolina. The winner there has won the Republican nomination in every campaign, except 2012.  Nevada votes three days later.

    A key date is March 1st, when twelve states award 632 Republican delegates – a quarter of the total. Some call this “Super Tuesday.” It’s led by seven Southern states, including Texas, Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama.

    If you’re celebrity businessman Donald Trump, you approach these states the same way you do the others. Hold huge rallies and hope that your fame and your words turn supporters into voters–and voters into a big proportion of delegates.

    Senator Ted Cruz’s campaign has a more specific approach to win his proportion of delegates: targeting the large percentage of Republican voters who call themselves “evangelical”—his base.

    RICK TYLER: I don’t know who drew the map, but we thank them.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Rick Tyler, the Cruz campaign’s communication director, knows the evangelical makeup of these states by heart.

    RICK TYLER: You go to Georgia, which has over 60%, then you have Tennessee — is over 70%. Alabama, over 70%. Mississippi, over 50%. Texas is over 50%. Oklahoma has over 70%. Arkansas has over 60%.  All those states are going to go on March 1, except for Mississippi, which will go on March 8, and the evangelical votes are just frontloaded in this campaign. Now, that’s an advantage to us, because we appeal to the evangelicals. We’ve already proved that in Iowa.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: That constituency’s power in these early states explains why Senator Marco Rubio has been emphasizing his religious commitment.

    MARCO RUBIO: Our rights do not come from our government. Our rights come from our Creator.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: And if you’re Ohio Governor John Kasich, assuming you survive New Hampshire, you look at March 1st delegate opportunities outside the South: Minnesota, Massachusetts, Vermont—and you stake your prospects on a different premise.

    JOHN KASICH: You’re going to think that I fell off a turnip truck or something on the way to politics. I haven’t been doing it for a while. Jeff, I think people are people. They have the same anxieties everywhere. I don’t tailor.

    I’ve never changed my message from Iowa to here to South Carolina to Nevada. I think what’s happening is maybe there are politicians who are playing to certain factions. But I guess I’m a true believer. I think I can get every vote.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Candidates like Kasich can take heart from Republican rules that keep these early states proportional. Even without winning, they might pick up some delegates. That helped eventual Republican nominee Mitt Romney in 2012.
    Josh Putnam, a lecturer at the University of Georgia, has a blog—Frontloading HQ—which focuses on these rules.

    JOSH PUTNAM: He wasn’t worried necessarily, or his campaign was not worried about winning in Mississippi or Alabama or Oklahoma. They just wanted to perform well enough to qualify for delegates and reduce the amount of advantage that his competitors – Santorum and Gingrich – got out of that.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: But there’s a catch—in two dozen states throughout the Republican primary season, a candidate needs to reach a “threshold”—anywhere from 5 to 20 percent of the vote—in order to qualify for any delegates at all.

    JOSH PUTNAM: When people think proportional, or when I say proportional, I think what people think is, well if you win 40% of the vote, you get around 40% of the delegates out of that. And that’s simply not the case.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Putnam points to his own state of Georgia as an example of how some delegate-rich states have a hybrid system: part proportional, part winner-take-all.

    JOSH PUTNAM: Georgia has a system where, you know, if you get above 20% of the vote statewide, you get a share of 31 at-large delegates.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: When it comes to choosing those at-large delegates at the statewide level, it’s proportional. But at the congressional district level, it can be winner-take-all.

    JOSH PUTNAM: But there’s still that battle to be waged in each of the 14 congressional districts of Georgia. But if you can win a majority in one of those congressional districts, you get all 3 delegates from that congressional district.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: With the exception of Donald Trump, no serious campaign will ignore these complex rules, because they determine where resources should and shouldn’t be deployed.
    Republican election lawyer Ben Ginsberg:

    BEN GINSBERG: So take for example the March 1 states. There are 12 states that go. They’re dispersed around the country, although the concentration in the South. No one will be able to afford, under the federal campaign finance rules, the amount of money they have in the bank, to run 12 statewide races.

    So in today’s world of modern campaigns, the smart campaigns have done a lot of list development work, micro-targeting work, to find out where their supporters are, who they are and how to reach them.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Five weeks after the New Hampshire tumult dies down, the Republican primary road takes a radical turn. After March 15th, states are free to allocate delegates pretty much any way they want: proportional, by congressional district, even winner-take-all, and woe be to a campaign that does not understand how important that turn is.

    This year, there are only two early “winner take all” contests for Republicans -and they’re big ones — Ohio and Florida. Both vote on March 15th.  The only candidate who gets any delegates is the one who comes in first.

    Other big states down the road like Pennsylvania–which has 71 delegates at stake on April 26th–use a hybrid system–part winner-take-all, part proportional.

    Now, Pennsylvania Republicans are more moderate and more secular than Southern Republicans, but the conservative Cruz campaign intends to reach its voters there by using data analysis.

    RICK TYLER: We actually can tell from analytical data that consumers offered to marketing companies all the time, what they like and how they want it to be communicated with.

    So we actually don’t have one script for somebody who’s pro-life or one script for somebody who’s pro-gun. We have different scripts because people like to hear issues in different ways.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: No one can say whether the road to the nomination will stretch all the way to the California primary in June. But this can be said: it’s far less colorful than the spectacle of a campaign rally and the clash of ideas and personalities in a heated debate.

    But when the tumult and the shouting dies down, and the nominee emerges, these “rules” of the road often matter a whole lot more.

    The post The rocky road to the GOP nomination is paved with complex delegate math appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    President Barack Obama discusses the latest unemployment rate within the U.S. economy in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 5, 2016 in Washington, DC.  Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    President Barack Obama discusses the latest unemployment rate within the U.S. economy in the Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House February 5, 2016 in Washington, DC. Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said Saturday that he will ask the Republican-led Congress to double spending on research and development into clean energy by 2020. But the request is unlikely to be fulfilled.

    GOP lawmakers scoff at the science behind climate change and dismiss Obama’s pleas for the issue to be dealt with urgently. In an unusual twist in Obama’s final year in office, the Republican leaders of the House and Senate budget committees have said they will not hold a customary hearing on the president’s budget proposal the day after they receive it.

    Obama on Tuesday plans to send to Congress the spending blueprint for the budget year that begins Oct. 1. The release will come on the day when New Hampshire voters get their say in the first presidential primary of the 2016 race to succeed him.

    “Rather than subsidize the past, we should invest in the future,” Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address, outlining his wish for the increased spending.

    Federal spending on research and development of clean energy would jump from $6.4 billion this year to $12.8 billion by 2020 under Obama’s proposal, administration officials said.

    Spending would increase by about 15 percent in each of the five years of the pledge. If approved, the budget that takes effect Oct. 1 would provide $7.7 billion for clean energy research and development across 12 federal departments and agencies for the 2017 fiscal year.

    Obama’s proposal is part of an initiative he announced at last year’s U.N. climate conference in Paris.

    Some 20 countries, including the U.S., China, India and Brazil, have committed to double their respective budgets for this type of research over five years.

    The White House said this past week that Obama wants oil companies to pay a $10 fee on every barrel of oil to help raise money for spending on clean transportation to combat climate change. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., immediately declared the president’s proposed oil tax “dead on arrival.”

    The post GOP-led Congress unlikely to OK Obama’s new clean energy bid appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A child holds a sign that reads "A Future to Believe In" before U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders addressed students and community members during a campaign meeting with students at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire January 22, 2016. Photo by Katherine Taylor/Reuters.

    A child holds a sign that reads “A Future to Believe In” before U.S. Democratic presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders addressed students and community members during a campaign meeting with students at Concord High School in Concord, New Hampshire January 22, 2016. Photo by Katherine Taylor/Reuters.

    Editor’s Note: New Hampshire will host the first primary of the 2016 presidential election on February 9. New England town hall meetings and candidates’ offices provide New Hampshire residents, including teachers and students, with a close up look at how the electoral process works.

    Scott Thompson teaches social studies at Manchester High School West. The 36-year veteran educator reflects on what it’s like to teach in a state where one-on-one conversations with would-be presidents are in the realm of possibility and students, like much of the adult electorate, show a mixed interest in politics.


    Every four years, I eagerly await the New Hampshire primary and the many “teachable moments” it offers.  Each season is unique: some contain huge excitement while others are as bland as some of the candidates.teacherslounge

    In 1992, a colleague and I vowed to see every candidate we could.  We were young, single and felt that traveling to high school libraries, auditoriums and gymnasiums would help both us and our students be more in tune with the candidates and the electorate.

    I spent five minutes in conversation with Bill Clinton while an aid urged him to leave for his next stop on the trail. We stood outside a middle school gym in Goffstown on a freezing Saturday morning to see President George H.W. Bush and ” The Terminator” promise to “be back” after Bush’s victory.

    Did all this make us better informed?  Did our tales of the dialogue with each candidate benefit our students?  I don’t know, but I hope they are inspired to seek opportunities to see and chat with candidates.

    In 2000, our school was fortunate enough to have visits from both then Vice President Al Gore and George W. Bush. Bush spoke about education and his accomplishments as governor. My strongest memory, however, is of the students who were put off by the Texas Rangers in charge of securing the building, blocking off the hallways and making period changes a hassle. Vice President Gore talked of keeping the progress achieved by his predecessor alive without mentioning said predecessor.

    In 2008, Ambassador Richard Holbrooke spent an hour with my A.P. students sharing his experiences while working with the Clinton campaign, but my students had their eyes on another candidate, Barack Obama.

    Several of my kids, most not old enough to vote in either the primary or general election, became volunteers and walked the neighborhoods of Manchester in support of the then Senator.  On Inauguration Day, many of those kids stayed after their semester exams and watched the swearing-in ceremony and ate pizza in my classroom.

    Until recently, the candidates haven’t been as available, relying on the media for exposure and surrogates to spread their message. With town hall meetings and pre-selected audiences replacing school visits, access to candidates is more limited than it used to be.

    Not that there’s no excitement.  With candidates like Trump and Sanders, even the least interested can find something that attracts them. I even have a few kids who have been volunteering for the Sanders’ campaign and enjoying it. Some have watched the debates and seem to have mixed feelings as to their value. They, like many, would like to see more of an honest discussion of issues and less of a reality show atmosphere.

    A representative from the Sanders campaign recently visited my Global Perspectives class and faced some tough questions from a few students mostly about how he planned to pay for many of his proposals and his plans for dealing with the many crises our future leaders face. But, the buzz isn’t there.  Maybe it’s that I’m older and the students seem younger.  I could say it’s apathy, but that would be too easy.  I think my students deserve more credit than that.  After all, some have sat through three semesters of my trying to explain the importance of being an educated voter. The fact that they are watching the debates and discussing the issues puts them in a much better spot than many potential voters.

    Like all kids, mine are the product of their environment.  They come either from a neighborhood where government seems to do as little as possible to help or countries that make Manchester look like heaven.  They go to a school that is not yet ready for the 21st century world they will enter.

    They come from broken homes and families that often defy what a democratic society’s definition of family is or should be.  More than half of our students qualify for free lunch and breakfast.  The simple solutions of Trump and the utopian promises of a free college education from Sanders are really all they hear. Just like us, they seem to have one question, when it’s all said and done, who will deliver what’s best for people like me?

    The post New Hampshire teacher notices ‘the buzz isn’t there’ this year appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    STEPHEN FEE: They may look like toys, but these small planes flying high above Oklahoma State University in Stillwater may one day help weather forecasters predict storms and save lives.

    Oklahoma State, along with four other universities, won a $6 million National Science Foundation grant to develop small weather-sensing drones. Professor James Jacob is the project’s principal investigator.

    JAMEY JACOB: “The goal of the project is to be able to put in the hands of end users in four years meteorologists and atmospherics physicists the technology that will allow them to perform routine day to day measurements of the atmosphere, you know it’s really there to help us improve both our understanding of the atmosphere as well as improve our forecasting of severe weather events.”

    STEPHEN FEE: Twenty-four-year-old Alyssa Avery is one of Jacob’s graduate students. Over the past two years, she’s been building her own aircraft, named Maria.

    ALYSSA AVERY: “The project is basically designing an aircraft, a small one remotely piloted, that can fly around severe storms and collect as much data as we can so we can lengthen that warning time and make it more safe for everyone living in tornado areas.”

    STEPHEN FEE: As an engineer, her job is to build a plane strong enough to fly close to developing supercells, the mega storms that often lead to tornadoes in Oklahoma.

    Avery’s aircraft is designed to deploy sensors that monitor temperature, windspeed and atmospheric pressure.

    STEPHEN FEE: “We can’t measure this stuff from the ground? It’s better to do it in the air?

    ALYSSA AVERY: “Yeah so right now we have radar, which obviously everyone knows about, so it surveys at a higher altitude. It did improve weather models a lot but when it comes to that really precise, like, how close is it going to be, where is it going to be, what’s actually going to turn into a tornado versus just circulation which is much less dangerous, they don’t have that — it’s called in situ, which is right there thermodynamic data.”

    STEPHEN FEE: In other words, forecasters need to get closer to the action, scanning parts of the atmosphere that traditional radar, weather balloons and sophisticated weather towers can’t reach.

    That sweet spot is called the lower atmospheric boundary layer, a zone roughly 1,000 feet off the ground.

    Phillip Chilson is a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and is also involved in the project.

    PHILLIP CHILSON: “There has been a need for high quality measurements of the lower atmosphere that’s been known by the meteorological community for decades. The lowest level of the atmosphere is so dynamic spatially and temporally, that it’s very under-sampled at present.”

    STEPHEN FEE: So to get more information about that part of the atmosphere, students at Oklahoma State aren’t just building the planes, they’re designing the sensors and writing the software that processes the data gathered in the skies.

    Twenty-one-year-old Nicholas Foster is designing a small pod that aircraft-like Maria may one day carry into a storm.

    NICHOLAS FOSTER: “Essentially it’s just a packet of sensors. So what I’m doing is these will go go inside of Maria, and these will be the things that fall out and parachute down and take the data on the way down.”

    STEPHEN FEE: The Oklahoma State researchers hope this technology can be used at home and around the world to give forecasters earlier warnings of severe weather.

    JAMEY JACOB: “Getting this data will allow them to take our forecasts which now for severe storms and tornadoes at the ten to fifteen mark, maybe up to the hour mark where we can actually warn on forecast and say, hey you know you’re going to have severe weather in your area that you’re going to see something like a tornado. And you know that’s really going to save lives in the end.”

    The post In Tornado Alley, using drones to pinpoint severe weather appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Rescue personnel help a child rescued at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed during an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 6, 2016. Stringer/Reuters

    Rescue personnel help a child rescued at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed during an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 6, 2016. Stringer/Reuters

    At least 14 people are dead and more than 150 are missing after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake struck Taiwan’s southern city of Tainan in the early-morning hours on Saturday.

    Hundred more were injured, some trapped amid the rubble of collapsed buildings, as thousands of emergency workers descended on an unsettling scene of twisted steel and steaming debris across the coastal city.

    Rescue personnel work at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed, after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 6, 2016. Patrick Lin/Reuters

    Rescue personnel work at the site where a 17-storey apartment building collapsed, after an earthquake in Tainan, southern Taiwan, February 6, 2016. Patrick Lin/Reuters

    At least nine buildings collapsed around Tainan, a city of more than 1.8 million people, and several more etched dangerously close to buckling, Reuters reported.

    Rescue efforts centered on a caved-in 17-story residential building where more than 250 people lived in 96 apartments. Almost all of the fatalities including a 10-day-old infant and her father were discovered there, local authorities said, as search teams dug through the wreckage throughout the day and into the darkness of night.

    More than 350 people have been reported injured and 500 rescued, some found buried in pockets underneath the collapsed buildings.

    The earthquake rattled the region at 3:57 a.m. when many people were likely sleeping, according to the Taipei Times, an english-language newspaper.

    The tremor was felt nearly 200 miles away in the Taiwanese capital of Taipei.

    “I was watching TV and after a sudden burst of shaking, I heard a boom,”one neighbor who lived nearby the apartment building told Reuters. “I opened my metal door and saw the building opposite fall down.”

    A woman prays for her relatives who were inside a 17-storey apartment building which collapsed after an earthquake hit Tainan, southern Taiwan February 6, 2016. Tyrone Siu/Reuters

    A woman prays for her relatives who were inside a 17-storey apartment building which collapsed after an earthquake hit Tainan, southern Taiwan February 6, 2016. Tyrone Siu/Reuters

    The United States Geological Survey reported that the earthquakes epicenter was recorded about 15 miles outside of Tainan.

    Several nearby country’s including China on Saturday offered to assist in the rescue operations, while the U.S. Department of State issued a statement offering support.

    “On behalf of the American people we express our deepest condolences over the recent devastation and loss of life caused by the earthquake in southern Taiwan,” the statement read. “The heartfelt thoughts of the American people are with all those affected in Taiwan.”

    The post Major earthquakes kills at least 14, injures hundreds in Taiwan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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