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

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    Performers take a part in a re-enactment of an ancient Qing Dynasty ceremony as the Lunar New Year of the Monkey is celebrated at Ditan Park (the Temple of Earth) in Beijing, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

    Performers take a part in a re-enactment of an ancient Qing Dynasty ceremony as the Lunar New Year of the Monkey is celebrated at Ditan Park (the Temple of Earth) in Beijing, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

    With fireworks crackling and incense burning, families celebrated the Chinese Lunar New Year on Monday by eating, dancing and cleaning house.

    One of the customs of the New Year is to sweep away misfortune and make way for good luck. Revelers also decorated their windows and doors with intricate paper cut-outs and gave money as gifts.

    Luckily, there was no confusion this year as to the kind of animal celebrated.

    Traditional dancers perform the lion dance during the opening ceremony in Ditan Park at the beginning of Chinese Lunar New Year in Beijing, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Traditional dancers perform the lion dance during the opening ceremony in Ditan Park in Beijing, China’s capital. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

    A man plays an instrument at a fair in the beginning of Chinese Lunar New Year at Huangsi Temple in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Sheng Li/Reuters

    A man plays an intricate instrument at a Lunar New Year’s celebration at Huangsi Temple in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China. Photo by Sheng Li/Reuters

    Performers dance in costume at the beginning of Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations at Huangsi Temple in Shenyang, Liaoning province, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Sheng Li/Reuters

    Performers dance in the traditional color of red at Huangsi Temple in Shenyang, China. Photo by Sheng Li/Reuters

    A young performer dressed as a monkey attends a parade celebrating the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Monkey in Hong Kong, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters

    A young performer is dressed as a monkey for China’s first day of the Lunar New Year in Hong Kong on Feb. 8. Photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters

    Dancers from the Shin Kotoni Tenburyujin in Japan take part in a parade in Hong Kong, China on Feb. 8 to celebrate the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Monkey. Photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters

    Dancers from the Shin Kotoni Tenburyujin in Japan take part in a parade in Hong Kong. Photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters

    A lion dance is performed during a parade celebrating the first day of the Lunar New Year of the Monkey in Hong Kong, China on Feb. 8. Photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters

    A lion dance marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year. Photo by Bobby Yip/Reuters

    People burn incense as they pray for good fortune at the beginning of the first day of Chinese Lunar New Year at Yuanmiaoguan temple in Huizhou, Guangdong province on Feb. 8. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Burning incense is a New Year’s tradition at Yuanmiaoguan temple in Huizhou, Guangdong province. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

    The post Photos: China welcomes the Year of the Monkey appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Senior man on the computer. Related words:  computer, online, Social Security, benefits, retirement, frustration, seniors. Photo by Allen Rowley.

    Boston University economist Larry Kotlikoff answers your Social Security questions. Photo by Allen Rowley.

    Editor’s Note: Boston University economist Larry Kotlikoff has spent every week, for over three years, answering questions about what is likely your largest financial asset — your Social Security benefits. His Social Security columns have prompted so many of you to write in that we feature “Ask Larry” every Monday. Find a complete list of his columns here. And keep sending us your Social Security questions.

    Kotlikoff’s state-of-the-art retirement software is available here, for free, in its “basic” version. His new book, “Get What’s Yours — the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Benefits,” (co-authored with Paul Solman and Making Sen$e Medicare columnist Phil Moeller) was published before the changes from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 went into effect. The three authors are now doing an overhaul of the book. The new version of “Get What’s Yours” should be out this spring.

    Kotlikoff has been keeping readers updated on how the budget act changes a number of Social Security rules with “This is not how you fix Social Security,” “Congress is pulling the rug out from people’s retirement decisions,” and especially his “12 secrets to maximizing your Social Security benefits under the new rules,” as well as his answers to viewer questions. We’ll continue publishing updates on what this new law means for you. Stay tuned.


    Dazed and Confused: Thank you for your recent articles on new Social Security strategies. We have not quite seen our case discussed and wonder if you would care to decipher our best course of action.

    My wife chose to begin her Social Security benefits about a year ago at age 62 and a half due to a need for cash flow in our household. She has been receiving $682 a month. We are now in a situation where we don’t need this cash flow. She is four days older than I am, and our birth dates are in June 1952.

    Can my wife now suspend her Social Security benefits, wait until I file and suspend my Social Security benefits at full retirement age and then apply for spousal benefits? My benefit amount at full retirement age is $2,716. I would subsequently file for Social Security benefits at age 70 (gaining the 8 percent increase per year from age 66 to 70) and my wife would go back to her benefits?

    Larry Kotlikoff: Dazed and Confused, the new law has changed a lot of things for you two.

    Your wife can suspend her retirement benefit at full retirement age and restart it at 70 at a 32 percent higher level. And you can wait until 70 to collect your own retirement benefit. Another option is for your wife to keep taking her retirement benefit and then you could file for just your spousal benefit at full retirement age. Then at 70 you would take your own retirement benefit. (This does NOT involve your filing and suspending.)

    There are many intermediate options. If your wife can still work and can earn enough money to lose all her benefits via the earnings test, that would be great, because at full retirement age, she will have those lost benefits restored in the form of a permanent bump up in her retirement benefit due to the Adjustment of the Reduction provision.


    Erica: I purchased your book, “Get Whats Yours,” and I am a little disappointed. There is nothing that I see that can benefit me.

    I got a divorce four months before reaching 10 years of marriage. My husband was an orthopedic surgeon for about 15 years. He died at age 38 (in a plane accident) back in 1975.

    My question is: Is there a way or loophole that I can receive his Social Security? I was not aware that we had to be married 10 years before I could receive his Social Security. I would have waited four more months if I had known.

    I am now a very healthy 81-year-old, and I worked up until I was 75 as a secretary. The attorneys I have called know nothing of any loopholes in Social Security that could help me.

    I worked altogether for about 55 years. Please, could you shed some light on my situation?

    Larry Kotlikoff: This is truly tragic on all fronts. It boils my blood that Social Security was set up to deprive people like you from what is, effectively, lifetime insurance benefits, which your ex-husband paid for via taxes and which you can’t collect due to a “technicality” invented by males to penalize women who got divorced “too soon.” If you read my column on why I believe Social Security is sexist, you’ll see that the system is chock full of features that end up benefiting men more than women even though the system is nominally sex-neutral.

    I wish I had something positive to tell you, but I don’t. The only thing I can do is use your story to let others know the huge potential prize they will pay if they divorce before 10 years.

    Erica: I talked with an attorney that handles Social Security, and he suggested I inquire about Social Security Disability Insurance. He said he would represent me for 25 percent of whatever I receive. Does that sound good to you? How would I approach the Social Security Administration so as to not be turned away right away? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Larry Kotlikoff: Ditch that attorney and quick! You can’t collect disability benefits beyond full retirement age! And you wouldn’t qualify even if you could, because you said you are perfectly healthy.


    Charlotte: I just went online to learn about the new Social Security rules, and your name came up as a reliable expert. I read through many of the questions on the PBS NewsHour site, but I did not see anyone in my situation.

    My question: I was born in December of 1951 and turn 66 in December of 2017. My husband was born in 1948. He took his retirement right away at 66, which I now regret. With the new law, I don’t think I can retire at 66, take spousal benefits and postpone my benefits until age 70. Is there any strategy we should use? Could he suspend his benefits now, and could I file and suspend by April this year while I am 64? He gets $2,600 a month, but he would have gotten a lot more if he waited. I get $1,700 if I take my benefits at 66, $1,300 if I am allowed to take spousal benefits and $2,000 of my own if I wait until I’m 70.

    Whether you are able to answer this or not, thank you for helping the elderly with your books and advice column.

    Larry Kotlikoff: Your husband can and should suspend his retirement benefit immediately and restart it at a higher value at 70. You are old enough to have been grandfathered in by the new law. So if your husband suspends before April 30, you can collect just a spousal benefit on his work record and wait until 70 to collect your own retirement benefit. So you are in luck!


    Rose: I am 52, and I have been receiving Social Security disability for about three years. The amount I receive is $464. My husband just passed away. He was 73. His Social Security amount was $1,680. Will I be eligible to receive some of his Social Security benefits? What I saw online is that I would be eligible for 71.5 percent of my husband’s Social Security minus my amount of $464. Does this sound right? I am scared to go to Social Security office without the right knowledge and information.

    Also, I think at 67 years old, I may be eligible for 100 percent of his Social Security amount. Does that sound correct?

    Larry Kotlikoff: I’m truly, terribly sorry for your loss.

    You can, as far as I know, collect 71.5 percent of your widow’s benefit, which may be even higher than $1,680 per month, because the $1,680 may have been net of your husband’s Medicare Part B premium, as well as federal tax withholdings. It could also be larger if your husband had taken his retirement benefit before his full retirement age.

    You will be eligible for 71.5 percent of the difference between your husband’s full retirement age benefit (that is, his primary insurance amount) and your disability benefit amount. This excess disabled widow’s benefit will be paid in addition to your disability benefit. Furthermore, because you were disabled before he passed away, when you reach full retirement age, the 28.5 percent reduction of your excess widow benefit will go away. You will then receive a combined benefit amount, which will be at least as much as the full amount your husband was receiving (increased by all subsequent Social Security cost of living increases). Of course, all of this assumes that your disability continues until you reach full retirement age, which is age 67 in your case.

    So do rush over to the local Social Security office and claim your widow’s benefit. You should be able to get up to 12 months of retroactive benefits as well, depending on how long ago your husband passed.


    Georgia: I would sincerely appreciate some information on how this new law will affect my Social Security. I am now 67. My husband died at 58, and my youngest of five was 12 years old at the time. I was working, so I just collected for her until she reached the age of 18. I had planned on working until I was 70, but illness prevented it. I am not on disability, but I do have a scooter. At the age of 63, I retired and took my husband’s Social Security, because I was told that if I took mine, I would lose $300 a month. I am worried what effect this new law would have on my Social Security. I honestly need my Social Security intact. I believe when I reach 70, I can switch over to my Social Security. Is this still possible? Would I lose money? Should I change or suspend? I worry about it because I am immobile enough that I don’t have the option of going back to work. Walking just a few feet makes me breathless. Any information that you can give me would be gratefully appreciated.

    Larry Kotlikoff: The new law hurt a lot of people’s benefits, but it didn’t take anything from you. It doesn’t impact widows at all. So not to worry.


    Mark: I am confused about the Windfall Elimination Provision. I worked one year in Texas, but I called the Teacher Retirement System, and they said I withdrew only my portion and that I would not have been eligible for a pension. It was $1,100 or so that I withdrew. It was not the employer’s portion. I was there for just over a year. It takes five years to get vested, so there is a question on the Social Security form that asks: Did you take a lump sum in lieu of pension? I did, but I still would not be eligible for a pension. Would I still face the Windfall Elimination Provision?

    Larry Kotlikoff: No, don’t say you received a pension or took a lump sum. You just withdrew you own contributions.


    Frank: You came to the rescue. I purchased your book last summer and now my brother’s twin children are receiving monthly benefits. My 63-year-old brother, a golden handcuffed former banker, made a poor decision some years ago by buying a franchise that ultimately bankrupted him, leading to divorce and a difficult time with his ex and teenage twin girls. To unexpectedly start receiving money that will pay for private high schooling was a godsend. Thank you.

    Now to my question. I turned 62 in December, and my wife will turn 62 in the beginning of May. She has worked part time for some 20 years and is entitled to $950 at age 66, $1,306 at age 70 and $681 at age 62, assuming she continues to earn $15,000 per year until full retirement age. My estimated benefits are $2,713 at age 66, $3,606 at age 70 and $2,043 at age 62. I intend to keep working (I earn $200,000 plus my annual bonus) while my wife’s job may end next year. My question is: Should she apply for and receive her own check beginning at age 62 and then receive 50 percent of my benefits when I retire?

    Thank you. You are providing a wonderful service helping people navigate this complex system.

    Larry Kotlikoff: Great to hear about your brother. Given the new law and your situation, it may be best to have your wife take her retirement benefit at full retirement age or sometime before age 70. At that time, you would collect just a spousal benefit on her work record, which will be half of $950. You would, under this plan, wait until 70 to collect you own retirement benefit. When you collect at 70, she should file to collect a spousal benefit.

    The post Column: Social Security advice for the dazed and confused appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Watch the PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate, 9 p.m. EST Feb. 11, in the player above.

    Once a formidable front-runner, Hillary Clinton narrowly won Iowa’s caucuses and has watched her national lead over Sen. Bernie Sanders begin to erode. And in New Hampshire, a big Sanders victory could help him make headway among women and minority voters, important parts of the coalition that twice elected Barack Obama as president.

    It’s with this backdrop that the two will meet for the sixth time on the debate stage, this time in Milwaukee. Watch Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff moderate the PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate in partnership with Facebook, 9 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 11. NewsHour will be livestreaming the event, from the Helen Bader Concert Hall on the main campus of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, in the player above. You can also watch it on local PBS stations.

    Follow along with the Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debate on NewsHour’s Facebook page and on Twitter, @NewsHour.

    The post WATCH LIVE: PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A board to record votes of the nine registered voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, is seen before voting begins for the U.S. presidential primary election in Dixville Notch. Since 1960 residents of Dixville New Hampshire cast the first election day ballots of the U.S. presidential election moments after midnight. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    A board to record votes of the nine registered voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, is seen before voting begins for the U.S. presidential primary election in Dixville Notch. Since 1960 residents of Dixville New Hampshire cast the first election day ballots of the U.S. presidential election moments after midnight. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    CONCORD, N.H. — It’s been 100 years since New Hampshire held its first presidential primary, and it seems like some of the current candidates have been hanging around for nearly that long. More than a few started popping up a full two years before Tuesday’s state election, and nearly all have spent recent months hosting town hall meetings, holding rallies and meeting voters.

    Here are details about the primary and what to look for:

    WHEN AND WHERE

    State law requires polls to be open between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Tuesday, but each town and city sets its own hours. Most allow voting between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m., with a handful opening polls as early as 6 a.m. and about 20 remaining open until 8 p.m. And three tiny towns — Hart’s Location, Dixville and Millsfield — have permission to open their polls at midnight and close them moments later once everyone has voted. Altogether, there are 319 polling locations — cities and larger towns have multiple wards.

    TURNOUT

    Secretary of State Bill Gardner expects the total number of ballots to be cast Tuesday to top the records set in 2008, the last time both sides had contested races.

    That year, just over 241,000 ballots were cast in the GOP primary and just under 289,000 in the Democratic primary, which amounted to nearly 60 percent of registered voters. On Tuesday, he’s predicting 282,000 Republican ballots will be cast, and 268,000 Democratic ballots.


    Independent voters, officially known as “undeclared,” can vote in either primary, and can revert back to undeclared status immediately afterward. As of Feb. 5, there were 882,959 registered voters: 44 percent were undeclared, 26 percent were Democrats and 30 percent were Republicans.

    New voters can register at the polls on primary day.

    UH OH, IT’S SNOW!

    Yard signs stuck in snow banks are a New Hampshire primary staple, but that was a rare sight until the final days of the campaign. Much of the state saw very little precipitation until a pair of storms in the final days before the primary, including a storm Monday that made for a lot of slipping and sliding in the southern and eastern parts of the state. Only flurries are forecast for primary day, so voters shouldn’t have any problem getting to the polls.

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY, NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARY

    In 1913, Rep. Stephen Bullock traveled by horse and buggy from his Richmond farm to Concord to propose a bill creating the primary. The Legislature passed it that spring, and after some tweaking of the law two years later the first presidential primary was a held in March 1916.

    While other states beat New Hampshire that year, New Hampshire has had the first primary since 1920. It wasn’t until 1952, however, that voters cast ballots for candidates directly instead of choosing delegates. Since then it has snowballed, with much media attention and maneuvering to remain ahead of other states. State law requires the primary to be held seven days ahead of any other similar contest, and long-serving Secretary of State Bill Gardner has fought repeated attempts to usurp his state’s position.

    VERMIN, WHO?

    Unlike other states, it’s cheap and easy to get on the ballot in New Hampshire: Candidates sign some paperwork and hand over a $1,000 check to the secretary of state. This year, a near record 58 White House hopefuls signed up — 30 Republicans and 28 Democrats.

    All but three of the candidates are men. Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republicans Carly Fiorina and Chomi Prag are the only female candidates.

    For the 2012 election, 44 presidential candidates from 26 states got on New Hampshire’s ballot. The all-time high was 1992, when 61 signed up.

    Vermin Supreme, a candidate for U.S. president campaigns along Elm Street in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. Vermin Supreme is officially registered as a presidential candidate with the state of New Hampshire for the 2016 presidential primary election. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Vermin Supreme, a candidate for U.S. president campaigns along Elm Street in downtown Manchester, New Hampshire. Vermin Supreme is officially registered as a presidential candidate with the state of New Hampshire for the 2016 presidential primary election. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    This year’s crop included some familiar faces, including Edward O’Donnell of Bridgeport, Pennsylvania, a Democrat making his seventh run. Perennial candidate and performance artist Vermin Supreme also signed up at the secretary of state’s office, wearing his signature rubber boot on his head. He’s touting a plan to provide every American with a pony.

    WHAT’S THE POINT?

    The sponsor of the original bill creating the primary wanted to give average citizens a greater say in the election process, and proponents of the primary argue that New Hampshire has continued to embrace that ideal more so than other states. New Hampshire elects its governor and huge 424-member Legislature every two years, making campaigning a near constant and giving voters plenty of practice to hold candidates accountable.

    While critics also argue that New Hampshire is too small and too white to play such a major role in picking presidents, its defenders say the country — and the candidates — are well-served because the primary requires close contact with voters, not just name-recognition or advertising cash. In the last 10 elections, the winner of the Republican primary went on to become the eventual nominee eight times; on the Democratic side, seven winners went on to become nominees.

    SUBSCRIBE: Get the analysis of Mark Shields and David Brooks delivered to your inbox every week.

    The post New Hampshire set to vote in nation’s first primary appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is considering mounting an independent campaign for president. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is considering mounting an independent campaign for president. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg says he is considering mounting an independent campaign for president.

    Bloomberg told The Financial Times on Monday that he was “looking at all the options” when it comes to a bid.

    The billionaire businessman said he found the current campaign to be “an insult to the voters.”

    It’s the first time he acknowledged a possible run.

    Bloomberg’s aides floated the idea last month that the former mayor could fill a gap in the center of the political spectrum.

    He is distressed by the rise of Donald Trump and Texas Senator Ted Cruz among Republicans and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders among Democrats.

    Bloomberg was a Democrat before becoming a Republican to run for mayor in 2001. He then became an independent.

    The post Michael Bloomberg confirms he might run for president appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Russian President Vladimir Putin (C) talks to servicemen during a training exercise at the Donguz testing range in Orenburg region, Russia, September 19, 2015.  REUTERS/Alexei Nikolsky/RIA Novosti/Pool ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. - RTS1W2Q

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: It’s been a generation since the Cold War ended, a standoff that dominated much of the 20th century.

    But now echoes of that conflict are sounding again, as the U.S. and its allies encounter a resurgent Russia.

    Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports.

    MARGARET WARNER: NATO is planning its biggest buildup in Eastern Europe since the Cold War, all to deter a newly assertive Russia.

    ASHTON CARTER, Secretary of Defense: We haven’t had to worry about this for 25 years. And while I wish it were otherwise, now we do.

    MARGARET WARNER: Last week, Defense Secretary Ash Carter proposed to quadruple U.S. spending on its — quote — “European reassurance initiative” to $3.4 billion.

    ASHTON CARTER: That will fund a lot of things: more rotational U.S. forces in Europe, more training and exercising with our allies, more prepositioned war-fighting gear and infrastructure improvements to support all this.

    MARGARET WARNER: This week in Brussels, NATO’s defense ministers will discuss setting up outposts along its eastern front to do just that. But is this wise or necessary?

    Evelyn Farkas just left her post as assistant secretary of defense for Russia, Ukraine and Eurasia.

    EVELYN FARKAS, Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense: This is something that we absolutely need to do. It is a sign of our resolve. It’s a sign that the United States is there with our NATO allies, that we’re there also to send a signal to Russia. I mean, it’s clearly a deterrent effort.

    MARGARET WARNER: But Jack Matlock, ambassador to the Soviet Union from 1987 to 1991, warns it will simply provoke Russian leader Vladimir Putin into further aggressive moves.

    JACK MATLOCK, Former U.S. Ambassador to the Soviet Union: I think it’s a bad idea. I think it’s not necessary. I think it’s going to lead to even more confrontation with Russia. And, probably, simply they will move more of their military equipment to the border.

    MARGARET WARNER: Estonia’s ambassador to the U.S., Eerik Marmei, echoes all three Baltic nations in insisting they need the protection.

    EERIK MARMEI, Ambassador, Estonia: It a very clear sign of the U.S. commitment to enhance the deterrence in Europe, and especially in the eastern part of Europe in the coming years.

    MARGARET WARNER: Why do you need more?

    EERIK MARMEI: What we have seen in recent years is the change of security environment in Europe. We have seen that Russia has violated main principles of international agreements, law.

    MARGARET WARNER: He’s referring to Russia’s 2008 invasion of the former Republic of Georgia, capturing two pro-Russian territories. It triggered the deepest rift between Russia and the West since the fall of the Soviet Union.

    Tensions exploded anew in 2014, when Russia invaded and annexed the Crimean Peninsula of the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine.

    PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN, Russia (through interpreter): This strategic territory should be under strong and stable sovereignty, which, in fact, could be today only Russian.

    MARGARET WARNER: The Kremlin then provoked war in mainland Ukraine’s East between pro-Russian separatists and government forces. With more than 9,000 dead, the conflict continues.

    Also sounding alarms in the West, Russia’s recent multibillion-dollar military buildup, with large-scale ground exercises, overflights of neighbors and a spike in submarine activity.

    NATO’s commander in Europe, U.S. General Philip Breedlove, has issued repeated warnings.

    GEN. PHILIP BREEDLOVE, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO: Russia is blatantly attempting to change the rules and principles that have been the foundation of European security for decades.

    MARGARET WARNER: But how far do Putin’s ambitions extend? It’s one thing to reassert influence in former Soviet republics, like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. But would he really move against once independent countries the Soviets took over during World War II who are now free members of the NATO alliance?

    NARRATOR: This union of 12 nations became known as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or, more simply, NATO.

    MARGARET WARNER: NATO was formed in April 1949 with 12 members to defend themselves from the Soviet Union based on the principle of an attack on one is an attack on all.

    But after the Berlin Wall fell in 1989 and the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, many former Soviet satellite states and Republicans sought and won the protection of NATO’s security umbrella. Most galling to the Russians was NATO’s 2004 incorporation of three tiny Baltic states, former Soviet Republicans where many ethnic Russians still live, Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We will defend our NATO allies, and that means every ally.

    MARGARET WARNER: In September 2014, after the Ukraine crisis erupted, President Obama went to Estonia to reassure the Baltics and to warn the Russians.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: So, if, in such a moment, you ever ask again, who will come to help, you will know the answer, the NATO alliance.

    MARGARET WARNER: But is Russia actually a threat to its Baltic neighbors?

    EVELYN FARKAS: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, all of the countries on Russia’s periphery have been either invaded by Russia and occupied. The Russian government, this Kremlin has a foreign policy that essentially asserts their right to have political and economic control over their periphery.

    MARGARET WARNER: What do you assess is Putin’s intention vis-a-vis these countries?

    EVELYN FARKAS: Regionally, he wants to maintain this political and economic control. It doesn’t mean he has to invade every country. He can also try to undermine the countries through other means.

    JACK MATLOCK: I don’t think there’s any possibility of Russia making an incursion in the Baltic states.

    MARGARET WARNER: Former Ambassador Matlock says the Russians are simply responding to what they see as NATO squeezing them by expanding right up to the Russian border.

    JACK MATLOCK: In their eyes, they have not committed aggression, that they are responding to aggression from the West, and particularly from the United States, which they accuse, I think unfairly, but sincerely, of trying to encircle them with military bases.

    MARGARET WARNER: Western leaders concede they have little insight into what drives Putin or what he intends. But mutual hostility is growing and, Matlock warns, dangerous.

    JACK MATLOCK: There has been created a almost Cold War atmosphere of hostility. In that atmosphere, you are going to make it very difficult to cooperate on bigger issues.

    MARGARET WARNER: For example, he says, battling Islamic State terrorism. And then there’s the nuclear threat between two superpowers.

    JACK MATLOCK: It would be a catastrophe to get into a war with Russia. And it seems to me that you need to deal with a certain prudence.

    MARGARET WARNER: Do you think that we are sliding into some kind of new Cold War in our relationship with Russia? Should it make us tread more carefully?

    EVELYN FARKAS: Not necessarily. I mean, we should always tread carefully, but if by that you mean that we shouldn’t signal resolve to Russia, I would say no. We have to signal resolve to Russia.

    MARGARET WARNER: The next signal of that resolve should come in Brussels later this week.

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

    The post Could a NATO build-up in Europe reignite the Cold War? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Gleyse Kelly da Silva embraces her daughter Maria Giovanna, who has microcephaly, in Recife, Brazil, January 25, 2016. Reuters Photographer Ueslei Marcelino: "Gleyse Kelly da Silva was seven months pregnant when an ultrasound showed her baby's head had stopped growing. Maria Giovanna, now three months, has microcephaly, a deformation characterised by abnormally small heads that can also include brain damage. The condition is suspected to be linked to the mosquito-borne Zika virus, which the World Health Organization has declared a public health emergency. My colleagues and I spent a day with Silva and her family at their home in Recife, eastern Brazil, which is at the centre of a crisis overwhelming local authorities. Silva, a 27-year-old toll-booth worker, became ill in April with a fever, back pain, itching and a rash. 'When I saw her the first time I cried,' Silva said. 'I saw my perfect daughter and thanked God. It was a feeling of love, happiness.' Such an assignment is delicate; you have to be respectful. I felt a responsibility to share their story and highlight the problem. Doctors took blood samples, as well as liquid from the baby's spine, for tests. Silva and Maria Giovanna's father, Felipe Marques, are still awaiting the results. Silva hopes her daughter will not suffer any severe consequences and that she will grow up to walk, talk and play with other children. 'I cannot believe it when the doctors say she will not walk,' Silva said. 'I need to believe that everything will be all right.'" REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino SEARCH "GLEYSE KELLY" FOR ALL IMAGES   TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX26026

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    BY JENNY MARDER

    Recife, Brazil, is the epicenter of an outbreak of the Zika virus, which has its origins in Africa and is spreading globally — fast.

    Science correspondent Miles O’Brien traveled to Brazil this week, where he reports on the Aedes aegypti mosquito that carries the virus and the doctors and government health workers who are treating and tracking the neurological condition microcephaly that might be linked. Symptoms of microcephaly include an abnormally small head along with permanent mental and physical problems.

    At one hospital in the city, pediatric doctors would normally see about 10 cases of the condition a year. Since August, that number has jumped to 10 to 20 a month, he reports.

    Miles also reports from the labs where immunologists hope the Zika virus samples held in deep freeze will lay the groundwork for better diagnostic tests, therapies and maybe one day a vaccine.


    Read the full transcript below:

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to the growing effort to rein in the mosquito-borne Zika virus spreading through parts of South and Central America. It is suspected of being the cause devastating birth defects in children who are born to women who become infected during pregnancy.

    Our science correspondent, Miles O’Brien, has been reporting on developments from Brazil, which has been hard-hit by the virus.

    Tonight, he looks at ways doctors and scientists are racing to get ahead of the outbreak.

    MILES O’BRIEN: It’s Carnival week in Brazil, the raucous run-up to Lent, when people take to the streets to party their worries away. But this year, it’s harder to mask reality, as a frightening epidemic also marches through the nation.

    DR. ADRIANA SCAVUZZI, Obstetrician, IMIP: They come to us asking many questions, and we cannot say almost nothing with 100 percent sure. What we have to do is to support them. That’s all we have to do.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Dr. Adriana Scavuzzi is an obstetrician at one of the largest hospitals in Recife, the epicenter of a fast-moving outbreak of the Zika virus, a flavivirus virus in the same family as yellow fever, West Nile and dengue.

    In each case, the virus hitchhikes on a tenacious day-biting mosquito called Aedes aegypti that has origins in Africa and is now spreading throughout the globe. Two-month-old Nicollas Pereira has an abnormally small head, microcephaly.

    Doctors at this hospital would normally see 10 cases like this a year. But starting in August, there were suddenly 10 to 20 a month.

    Dr. Ana Van Der Linden is a pediatric neurologist. She says Nicollas must contend with an array of permanent mental and physical problems.

    DR. ANA VAN DER LINDEN, Pediatric Neurologist, IMIP (through interpreter): With this impairment, we see that reflex reactions are good, but voluntary actions that depend on better brain development will be impaired. He will have bad motor skills and mental development. He can also have abnormal vision, hearing disorders and bone malformation.

    MILES O’BRIEN: His mother, Elizangela, says she developed a rash while she was pregnant. As it turns out, she had the Zika virus, apparently after a mosquito bite.

    ELIZANGELA PEREIRA (through interpreter): Sometimes, I worry. Sometimes, I wonder if he will survive, but I always believe that God will help. My only fear is losing him. But I’m at peace.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Elizangela’s personal tragedy is part of an unprecedented global mystery.

    DR. LAURA RODRIGUES, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine: I think this is one of the most unexpected epidemiological situations, maybe in decades.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Laura Rodrigues is an epidemiologist with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine who raced to her home country to help answer some questions in a hurry.

    Even the numbers are a challenge. Brazilian government health workers are investigating more than four thousand suspected microcephaly cases that might be linked to Zika.

    DR. LAURA RODRIGUES: There is so much we don’t know, and one of the things we don’t know is exactly how many babies are affected. Right now, there are pregnant women being exposed and possibly infected. It’s very difficult to predict.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Zika’s enigmatic history offers us few clues. It was first isolated in Uganda in 1947. It circulated in Africa and a broad stretch of Asia, then popped up in the Pacific in 2007. The biggest outbreak, in 2013, was in French Polynesia, an estimated 19,000 cases.

    But over the years, no one paid a lot of attention to Zika because the symptoms are generally mild. In fact, four out of five never know they have it. No one is sure why it took such a vicious turn.

    DR. LAURA RODRIGUES: It could be biogenetic mutation of the virus, and it could be that just once they escaped Africa and got into urban, very densely populated areas, it was easier to transmit, or it could be something else, the mosquito maybe. It’s all happening very, very fast.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Making a smoking gun connection between Zika in mothers and microcephaly in their unborn children is a challenge for scientists.

    By the time infants are diagnosed, the virus is usually long gone. But here in Recife, the case grew stronger last week. At this government lab, researchers used a new test and found Zika antibodies in the spinal fluid of 12 babies with microcephaly, meaning the virus can reach the baby’s nervous system and brain in utero. Researchers believe the virus targets nerve cells as a fetus develops.

    RAFAEL FRANCA, Immunologist: So this is where we keep the virus.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Rafael Franca is an immunologist here. He showed me the deep freeze where they keep the Zika samples for research that will lay the groundwork for a better diagnostic test, therapies and maybe one day a vaccine.

    RAFAEL FRANCA: I cannot say that we have the situation under control. I believe now the only way to control virus’ spreading is to eliminate the vector.

    MILES O’BRIEN: That vector is the mosquito. In nearly every case, Zika is transmitted by a mosquito bite. The Brazilian government has deployed nearly 250,000 troops to wage war with the insects.

    They have been spraying insecticides and adding larvicides to standing water where mosquitoes lay their eggs.

    Gaspar Canuto is a Recife government health worker.

    How much of this is to show the public you are doing something?

    GASPAR CANUTO, Recife Public Health Worker (through interpreter): One hundred percent of this action is aiming to reduce the incidence of mosquitoes and also of the disease.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Efforts like this, while well-intentioned, seem unlikely to stop the outbreak anytime soon in Brazil or in other countries hit by Zika, especially in Latin America.

    The scale of this is pretty mind-boggling. A single female mosquito in her short lifetime will lay hundreds of eggs. And she’s looking for a place like this, standing water, not much more than a puddle. But what is really interesting is, that’s about al the water she needs.

    With all this in mind, the Brazilian government is warning citizens that standing water can be dangerous. But in this slum in Recife, there is no running water.

    DR. ADRIANA SCAVUZZI: Can you imagine a family that they don’t have even tap water? They have to keep water in the containers. So it makes the perfect environment for the mosquito. To try to solve the medical problem won’t be enough. You have to change the quality of people’s life. Otherwise, you will not solve this problem.

    MILES O’BRIEN: Doctors here say the biggest frustration is they can’t fix what ails these babies, all because of a single mosquito bite. It has dramatically changed Elizangela’s life. She had to quit her job as a farmworker to care for little Nicollas.

    ELIZANGELA PEREIRA (through interpreter): I think I will be here at the hospital forever. I do not know if he will be able to walk. I don’t know, but I believe that God will help me.

    MILES O’BRIEN: One woman’s sad, but hopeful prayer this Carnival season. It’s still a time to try and forget your troubles, but in Brazil this year, a steady drumbeat of worry seems impossible to ignore.

    Miles O’Brien, the PBS NewsHour, Recife, Brazil.

    The post In Brazil, a race to solve the mysteries of Zika virus appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (L) and former U.S. President Bill Clinton pose with supporters during a campaign stop at Manchester Community College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 8, 2016.  REUTERS/Adrees Latif - RTX2620U

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    BY PAMELA KIRKLAND

    Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report and NPR’s Tamara Keith join Gwen Ifill to preview the presidential race as primary voters prepare to go to the ballot box in New Hampshire.

    They discuss the generational divide among feminists after former Secretary of State Madeline Albright and Gloria Steinem criticized younger women for failing to support Hillary Clinton this election.

    And at Saturday’s Republican debate, the candidates gave their closing statements before primary votes start to roll in. Can Sen. Marco Rubio use the momentum he gained coming out of Iowa to propel him to victory in New Hampshire? Did Gov. Chris Christie make up lost ground? And there are obvious differences between Sen. Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump, but there are more similarities when it comes to policy than you might think.

    Watch this week’s Politics Monday to find the answers!


    Read the full transcript below:

    GWEN IFILL: The eve of the New Hampshire primary is the perfect time for Politics Monday.

    I’m joined by Tamara Keith of NPR in Manchester, New Hampshire, and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.

    Amy — Tamara, I’m going to start with you, because you are sitting in the cold in Manchester, New Hampshire. And you’re covering up close what looks to me like a collision between gender politics and generational politics involving Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, but mostly self-inflicted wounds from Hillary Clinton’s people.

    TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Absolutely. Her surrogates and supporters said some things that are not going to make young feminists happy, that have upset young feminists, in fact, and it sort of counter to the message that Hillary Clinton herself has been trying to get out there, which is, I know that young women support Bernie Sanders, but, she hopes, she says, to win them over.

    This is not a new collision among young feminists and older feminists. It played out in 2008, and it’s happening again.

    GWEN IFILL: Amy, did Gloria Steinem and Madeleine Albright step in it?

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: By — trying to shame women into supporting a woman is not usually the best way to entice someone.

    That’s what I find, personally, especially when you’re a candidate. That’s not the best way to get somebody to vote for you.

    GWEN IFILL: Yes.

    AMY WALTER: But I do want to make a really important distinction, which is we’re talking about women in New Hampshire and Iowa right now who are overwhelmingly white.

    When you look at how Bernie Sanders does in New Hampshire and Iowa among young people, huge gap. But when I went and looked at the polls that were taken in South Carolina, which is a much more diverse electorate, Hillary Clinton holds her own among younger voters. So, what I’m very curious to see is if this generational gender collision continues once we get into states that are a lot more diverse.

    That said, it’s the challenge that Hillary Clinton has had really since 2008, which, is you know, they say you like to campaign in poetry and govern in prose. She campaigns in prose and governs in prose. And there is very little poetry there and. We saw that poetry problem again this week.

    GWEN IFILL: Tam, let’s stick with the Clintons for a moment, because Bill Clinton, who is no stranger of the highways and byways of the Manchester pre-primary, came out last night and said some pretty hard thing. He kind of piled on and seemed kind of irritated at the idea that Bernie Sanders would criticize his wife.

    TAMARA KEITH: Yes, I think that Bill Clinton feels like Bernie Sanders has had sort of a garden path here, that Bernie Sanders hasn’t been put to the same scrutiny as Hillary Clinton.

    And it seems like Bill Clinton is saying, all right, well, if nobody else is going to do it, I’m going to do it. And, again, it’s not clear how well this is going to play. The Sanders camp and Sanders supporters are pretty upset with Bill Clinton. Of course, that is Bill Clinton’s right to do that, and he did something — some similar things in 2008.

    I think that, as it’s clear that Hillary Clinton is going to have a — I mean, she’s, in all likelihood, not going to win here, and not even close, as it’s clear that she has a tougher path. I think Bill Clinton is — as they say, the big dog might be getting off leash a little bit.

    GWEN IFILL: Boy, it feels like we have had that very conversation, 2008 especially. And that was when he was critical of Barack Obama for the same reason, saying that he felt like he hadn’t gotten enough scrutiny.

    (CROSSTALK)

    AMY WALTER: Right.

    GWEN IFILL: But let’s move to the Republicans. Saturday night, big debate in the old town, and Marco Rubio was generally seen initially as not having done terribly well because he came off as somewhat robotic. Was that real or was that kind of overblown, Amy?

    AMY WALTER: Well, we’re going to know a lot more tomorrow night.

    GWEN IFILL: Yes. Yes.

    But, look, I think that where Marco Rubio was headed before that debate was on a big wave of momentum after Iowa. When you talked to people privately, they said they could see his numbers move up in New Hampshire. It was all about closing strongly, right, which is what he wanted to do, is build that momentum and then close strong, and then maybe even win New Hampshire, or at least come very close to Donald Trump.

    That momentum at best has been stalled. Maybe he’s even gone backwards. But I do agree that we sometimes make too much of these debates, right? It’s not just the people that are watching them. It’s a small subset. But many people in New Hampshire are doing other things, are thinking about other things.

    (CROSSTALK)

    GWEN IFILL: Including the Super Bowl, perhaps.

    AMY WALTER: Perhaps.

    And what we think is really important, this — or the media thinks is very important, this idea that he’s robotic, that he never changes his message, is actually not a problem for a candidate. We talk about candidates needing to be message-disciplined. Most voters are spending .000005 percent of their time hearing politics, listening to politics. If you say the same message over and over again, it gets through.

    GWEN IFILL: That’s what sticks.

    AMY WALTER: Yes.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let’s talk about the larger question, because you had a good story on NPR today, Tam, about Trump, Donald Trump and his similarity to Bernie Sanders, talking about message and the things they actually say and their appeal, not just how they do in a debate.

    TAMARA KEITH: Absolutely.

    And there are many things where they are nowhere near each other. Let’s just establish that. But there are surprising areas where they overlap, things like preserving Social Security or even expanding Social Security, not cutting Social Security benefits, infrastructure, and simply the way they talk about this feeling that the American dream is maybe not within reach in a way it was in the past.

    They are tapping into many of the same things and using many of the same phrases to talk about those things, also trade.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, let’s be completely clear about something, and that’s that we don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow night. As a matter of fact, Dixville Notch starts voting at midnight. I love this part of the year.

    But there is a big expectations game under way. And 24 hours out, Amy, what is the expectations game? How would you sum it up?

    AMY WALTER: On the Democratic side, it’s that Bernie Sanders wins, but by what margin? And on the Republican side, Trump wins, again, what margin, and, more important, what happens to the non-Trump, non-Cruz candidates, the Kasich, Rubio, Bush, Christie?

    Will one or more of those candidates drop out after New Hampshire, and then the rest of those folks coalesce around the one who’s left?

    GWEN IFILL: How does the expectations game feel on the ground, Tam?

    TAMARA KEITH: Well, Ted Cruz today was actually trying to lower expectations, which is not something that he did before Iowa. Of course, this is a very different state and less friendly territory for him.

    And Hillary Clinton has been for months saying, well, you know, Bernie Sanders is from a neighboring state. I think that the Clinton camp is prepared to lose in Iowa — is prepared to lose here in New Hampshire. It’s not clear how much that will be by. And also Bernie Sanders is also tempering expectations, saying, you know, New Hampshire has been very friendly to the Clintons. I think nobody wants to lose the expectations game.

    GWEN IFILL: And they’re perfectly aware of how volatile last-minute voting is in New Hampshire.

    Tamara Keith, get out with those voters. Amy Walter, start reading those exit polls. And we will talk to you both tomorrow night.

    Tune in on Thursday night at 9:00 p.m. Eastern, when Judy and I host a PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential debate in partnership with Facebook from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

    The post Clinton camp wrestles with gender and generational divides appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Milwaukee is 40 percent black, but disparities in incarceration, education and housing makes it one of the worst places in the country to be African-American. Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images

    Editor’s Note: On Thursday, Milwaukee will host Democratic presidential hopefuls Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton for a debate moderated by PBS NewsHour anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff. Milwaukee is one of the most segregated cities in the country, and so to put that in perspective, we have cross-posted analysis originally published March 5, 2015, on NPR’s Code Switch blog.

    During Thursday’s debate, we also will be addressing these issues of racial disparity on NewsHour’s Facebook page and on Twitter, @NewsHour. You can watch the PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate in partnership with Facebook, 9 p.m. EST Thursday, Feb. 11, on PBS and here on our live stream.


    A report from UCLA finds that K-12 schools in Wisconsin suspend black high school students at a higher rate than anywhere else in the country and has the second-highest disparity in suspension rates between white and black students. Milwaukee, the state’s biggest city, suspends black high school students at a rate nearly double the national average.

    While many Rust Belt cities — Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, etc. — have similar histories of African-American struggles, Milwaukee has some of the same problems but not the same profile, mainly because it isn’t well known for its large black population at all. But blacks make up 40 percent of the city and, for many who grew up there (like me), none of this data is surprising. Milwaukee is a vibrant city known for its breweries and ethnic festivals and can be a great place to live — unless you’re black. Statistically, it is one of the worst places in the country for African-Americans to reside. Here’s a breakdown of how — and why — being black in Brew City carries a heavy burden.

    Education

    Suspensions are just the beginning. The state also has the largest achievement gap between black and white students in the country, and ranks last in reading comprehension tests among black fourth-graders. Milwaukee has the most black students in the state and is the biggest contributor to Wisconsin’s achievement gap. Its public school system has been plagued by federal and state funding cuts and a 20-year-old school choice program that diverts public tax dollars to private schools through vouchers. With 4-out-of-5 black children in Wisconsin living in poverty, an inadequate education can set up the most vulnerable students for failure.

    Incarceration

    Over the past decade, many states have transitioned to policies that favor rehabilitation over incarceration. Wisconsin, on the other hand, has actually invested more in public and private prisons over the last 20 years. The state budget now allots more funding for corrections than it does for higher education. Wisconsin also incarcerates the most black men in the country, and in Milwaukee County, more than half of all black men in their 30s and 40s have served time. In the 53206 Zip Code alone, 62 percent of all men have spent time in an adult correctional facility by age 34.

    A report from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee links the state’s massive black prison population to sentencing and policing policies that disproportionately affect African-Americans.

    “The prison population in Wisconsin has more than tripled since 1990, fueled by increased government funding for drug enforcement (rather than treatment) and prison construction, three-strike rules, mandatory minimum sentence laws, truth-in-sentencing replacing judicial discretion in setting punishments, concentrated policing in minority communities, and state incarceration for minor probation and supervision violations.”

    Segregation

    Milwaukee County is divided along racial and political lines, and the city is the most segregated in America. An old, racist joke among locals is that the city’s 16th Street viaduct bridge is the longest structure in the world, linking “Africa to Europe.” Basically, black people lived on the city’s north side, and whites lived on the south side. The same holds true today, although Hispanics are now the majority in the south, and Asian-Americans make up the city’s west side. Whites have mostly moved to the suburbs.

    There’s a unique history behind Milwaukee’s segregation. In the late 19th century, Milwaukee was “the most foreign city” in the country, made up mostly of German, Polish and Irish migrants who came in search of jobs in the city’s bustling manufacturing industry. Unlike the rest of the Midwest, Milwaukee was slow to attract African-Americans from the South during the Great Migration. Instead, most settled in Chicago, located just 90 miles south.

    As The New Republic explains, by the time blacks arrived in large numbers beginning in the 1960s, the economy had reached a stalemate, no longer the thriving industrial capital it once was, creating tension between the black and immigrant communities.

    “This delayed arrival would prove highly consequential. Not long after a substantial African American community took shape, Milwaukee’s industrial base began to collapse and its manufacturing jobs disappeared. This left almost no time for the city to develop a black middle class or a leadership elite. Within short order, Milwaukee had some of the most glaring racial disparities in the country. Today, it has the second-highest black poverty rate in the United States, and the unemployment rate is nearly four times higher for blacks than for whites. The city had never been exactly welcoming to African Americans—its tight-knit enclaves of Germans, Jews, and Poles had fiercely resisted housing and school integration. But the decline of the black ghetto so soon after many of its residents had arrived made it easier for white Milwaukeeans to write off the entire African American community, or to blame it for the city’s troubles. White flight, like the Great Migration, came late to Milwaukee, but it came fast and fueled with resentment.”

    Many local and state leaders have launched efforts to tackle Milwaukee’s racial disparities. But with few resources, and an educational and criminal justice system that is often stacked against them, many Milwaukeeans — myself included — move elsewhere for opportunities beyond the borders of “Brew City.”

    Read the original post from March 2015 on the Code Switch blog.

    The post Why is Milwaukee so bad for black people? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate John Kasich speaks to voters during a campaign town hall in Nashua, New Hampshire, February 7, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTX25VIB

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In recent weeks, we have been hearing directly from the campaigns.

    Tonight, we check in with two of them, both with a lot on the line in New Hampshire.

    First up, Tad Devine. He’s a senior adviser to Bernie Sanders. And he joins us from Manchester.

    Tad Devine, welcome.

    So, Senator Sanders has been leading in practically all the polls since last summer. A loss for him would be lethal, wouldn’t it?

    TAD DEVINE, Senior Advisor to Bernie Sanders’ Campaign: Well, see, though, we are hoping to win tomorrow, Judy. We have been working very hard in New Hampshire for many months.

    I think Bernie has a very powerful message that voters here in New Hampshire are responding to. He’s talking about a rigged economy that sends too much wealth to the top, that is being held in place by a corrupt system of campaign finance. That message, from the very first day we arrived here in New Hampshire, has resonated powerfully with people. And we think, tomorrow, we will see the results of that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We all noticed that former President Bill Clinton unleashed his strongest criticism yet of Senator Sanders yesterday. He accused him of being dishonest. He said he’s misrepresented newspaper endorsements. He said his supporters have made sexist attacks on Secretary Clinton, and on and on. He even brought up data that was taken from the Clinton camp last summer.

    What do you make of all this? How do you respond?

    TAD DEVINE: Well, I think it’s very unfortunate.

    You know, obviously, Bernie Sanders is doing well here in New Hampshire. And I think we have begun to see, after Iowa and the closeness of that race, that he’s doing well in other states also. And I think the Clinton campaign hasn’t quite figured out how they’re going to deal with Bernie. Are they going to try to put her message up against his?

    I think they have come to the conclusion that that’s not a winning exercise. So I think they are going to try for a while to get him off balance. And I think, right now, what Bernie is doing and what the campaign is trying to do is really ignore those attacks and to make sure that we keep talking about the issues, like the economy, like health care, like how we’re going to deal with climate change, the big issues that people are concerned with.

    And as long as we can keep talking about those issues, we think we are going to stay on course and we’re going to do well with voters.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, in talking about Senator Sanders’ positions, Bill Clinton, President Clinton, said at one point that the senator is — quote — “hermetically sealed from reality.”

    TAD DEVINE: Well, listen, I mean, this is the fourth Clinton campaign in New Hampshire for president, OK, so they have a lot of experience running for president here.

    And I think they’re getting ready to probably launch attacks elsewhere as well. But I think the reality that Bernie Sanders sees is the reality of the United States, where its leadership is no longer beholden to special interests to fund their campaigns. And if we want to have a new reality in this country, if we want to have an economy that works for people, that doesn’t send practically all the new wealth to the top, we’re going to have the change the thing that is holding that rigged economy in place, and that’s the campaign finance system.

    Bernie is campaigning against it. If we are able to change that system, we believe we can change that reality.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Looking ahead, Tad Devine, where does Senator Sanders compete well after New Hampshire? We know there are a number of contests coming up in states that are far more diverse than Iowa and New Hampshire.

    How — what appeal does he make in places like South Carolina, Nevada and the long string of states to come?

    TAD DEVINE: Yes.

    Well, we’re really excited about moving on to other states. In Nevada, which will be the next event after New Hampshire, we have built a very strong campaign on the ground. We think Bernie’s message resonates very powerfully there. That was a state that was hit very bad by the recession.

    South Carolina will be another important test of strength with African-American voters and strength in the South as well. And we think Bernie’s story resonates powerful there. Bernie Sanders, as a young man at the University of Chicago, really got very active in the civil rights movement, and he came to Washington to hear Martin Luther King speak.

    He was arrested while he was a student there protesting housing policies. And, really, if you look at the whole arc of his life, I think you can trace it back to those days in college, where he made equal rights and civil rights the cause of his life.

    We think we will have a lot of targets. We think we can win in small states. We can win in big states and do well in places like Texas, win delegates under our system of proportional representation in the Democratic Party.

    So, we’re hoping early on to demonstrate that Bernie Sanders is the strongest candidate for the Democratic Party. We can bring new people into the process, young people particularly, who responded so well in Iowa, where he won by net 70 points with 17-to-29-year-olds.

    Independents, which will be a big test of strength here in New Hampshire, we think we can bring those people into the Democratic Party as well. So, we’re looking forward to all these states. We think we can do well in a lot of them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we know New Hampshire is the first of all the rest, so we will be watching closely tomorrow.

    Tad Devine, we thank you.

    TAD DEVINE: Thank you, Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And to the Republican side.

    Tom Rath is senior national adviser to Governor John Kasich. He’s also in Manchester.

    Tom Rath, thanks very much.

    So, we know Governor Kasich has spent a lot of time, invested a lot of his effort in the state of New Hampshire. You hear prognosticators say that he’s either got to come in second or a very strong third, given that.

    Will he?

    THOMAS RATH, Senior National Advisor to John Kasich’s Campaign: Well, look it, Judy, I think this is such an incredibly different election than any one I have ever seen that I’m not willing to put a do-or-die on any particular position.

    I think what candidates have to do here is establish that they are credible and that they can attract a significant portion of the electorate. Frankly, I believe the polling has Donald Trump up around 30, and then from about numbers two through numbers six, you can cover them with a blanket. It’s that close.

    So, I don’t know what that will say if you miss your mark by a point or if you overperform by a point. I just think this is a very close race that’s going to come down to the end. I do not see the middle coalescing behind anybody at this point.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you about that, because one of your competitors, Senator Marco Rubio, was seen as having a tough time in that Republican debate Saturday night.

    Do you look at that as a — just his being knocked off his game for a few days, or did that do more lasting damage to him?

    THOMAS RATH: Well, the problem with that is, in the world we live in, it’s YouTube and videotape loops.

    Marco Rubio’s problem goes beyond that. He has tried to be in two lanes at once. And that’s why, when you get into a question that throws him off the talking points, he’s got to remember who he’s going to orient himself to, whether it’s the hard right, the ideologic right, as he did at the end with his abortion questions, or does he come across more as somebody who can bring people together?

    That is really what threw him off. That will stay with him long after the back-and-forth goes on, although, as I said before, those kind of things, like “Oops” for Governor Perry, tend to stay with you a long time.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I want to also ask you about Jeb Bush. Governor Kasich has been lumped in with this group of governors seen as moderate who are competing with each other to achieve liftoff.

    Who’s going to come in ahead, Governor Kasich or Governor Bush?

    THOMAS RATH: I think we have a really good chance to prevail. We have worked very, very hard here and we have got a good ground game. I, for months, have said I do not believe the reports of the demise of Jeb Bush’s campaign.

    He’s a good candidate. He’s well-thought-of here. His campaign has done well. I think it’s a real battle for us with them. I think, in the end, we’re going to finish ahead of them. But I’m not going to take that to the bank there. We have got a lot of work to do between now and 8:00 tomorrow night.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, Tom Rath, let me ask you about that group of voters, the undeclareds, the independents in New Hampshire. They can vote in either party. What do you expect them to do?

    THOMAS RATH: Well, I think they’re going to do what they usually do, which is, at some point, mystically, they make a decision and they all go en masse to one or the other. It’s like they send a secret message out or something.

    It happened with McCain twice. And I think it sort of happened with Hillary Clinton the last time. They are hard to predict. They are terribly engaged. We did one of the last town halls with Governor Kasich this morning, and one woman who was undeclared said this was the fifth time she had seen him.

    So, they’re paying attention. And we hope to get a good share of them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: No prediction?

    THOMAS RATH: I think we are going to do all right. I would say two, three would be a very acceptable result. And I think we could even do — we could probably even be stronger in terms of separation, if things broke right for us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Tom Rath, who is working hard for Gov. John Kasich, we thank you so much.

    THOMAS RATH: Thank you, Judy.

    The post How the Sanders and Kasich campaigns see the fight for N.H. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders  waves after his rally at the Palace Theatre in Manchester, New Hampshire February 8, 2016.    REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton - RTX261QH

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    GWEN IFILL: Over the years, it’s become the mantra of nearly every presidential campaign, improving the lives of the American middle class.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins is back with a report on how Democrats Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton differ in their approach.

    LISA DESJARDINS: For centuries, New Hampshire’s rivers and towns have watched the rise, and sometimes fall, of the American middle class. Now Democrats here are focused on the economy today.

    HILLARY CLINTON, Democratic Presidential Candidate: We do have to take on income inequality. We do have to create more good jobs.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, Democratic Presidential Candidate: Together, we are going to create an economy that works for working families and not just the 1 percent.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Joanne Wood doesn’t have time for a campaign event right now.

    JOANNE CYNTHIA WOOD, Uber Driver: And now we’re discoverable to anyone nearby who needs a ride.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The 25-year-old is looking for her first fare of the day as an Uber driver, a new economy job for a relatively new worker. Joanne is a decided Bernie Sanders voter because she wants the sea change for the middle and lower classes that Sanders is calling for.

    JOANNE CYNTHIA WOOD: I think the economy is really up in the air. It’s concerning, because there are so many people that are just in so much debt, you know, myself and my family included.

    LISA DESJARDINS: One ride at a time, she brings in up to $1,000 a week.

    JOANNE CYNTHIA WOOD: I just got a request.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But Joanne is still far from breaking even. With $30,000 in student debt and bills left over from her mom’s heart attack two years ago, she believes in Sanders’ aggressive economic rewrite.

    JOANNE CYNTHIA WOOD: I don’t have any specific sort of animosity toward Clinton, but I love Bernie for his authenticity, and, honestly, his policies.

    LISA DESJARDINS: New Hampshire has an enviably low unemployment rate, just 3.1 percent, but wages here, like in many parts of the country, have risen just slightly in the past decade. And add to that the fact that Granite State residents have mountains of debt, the second highest student loan debt in the country. And per-person health care costs are in the top 10.

    ANDREW SMITH, University of New Hampshire: How many of you would say that your friends are really knowledgeable about politics?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Andy Smith directs the University of New Hampshire’s survey center.

    ANDREW SMITH: We are seeing the most important issue that is mentioned by Democrats for why they’re going to choose who to support are economic issues.

    LISA DESJARDINS: He’s been talking with his classes about the candidates.

    ANDREW SMITH: The problem that Clinton has this year is that she is much, much further behind Sanders than she was behind Obama in 2008.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders and Clinton’s middle-class policies differ in scope. Both would spend on infrastructure, a stimulus plan to create jobs, Clinton’s plan $275 billion, Sanders $1 trillion. Clinton aims to make public universities cost a lot less. Sanders would make them tuition-free.

    Clinton, she’d cut out-of-pocket health care costs. Sanders, he proposes government-provided single-payer health care for all.

    HILLARY CLINTON: It’s a beautiful day in Manchester.

    LISA DESJARDINS: On the trail, a big rift has opened over the definition of the middle class. Both candidates would raise some taxes on the wealthy. But Sanders’ would start at lower income levels, which Clinton implies would hit the middle class.

    HILLARY CLINTON: And I’m the only candidate standing here tonight who has said I will not raise taxes on the middle class.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Sanders has said his health care plan will be a net gain for many. But it’s not clear which income levels benefit and lose. He focuses more on income inequality in general.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: The concept of the rigged economy, what does that mean? You all know what it means. What it means is that most people are working longer hours for low wages, while at the same time almost all new income and wealth goes to the top 1 percent.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Smith at the University of New Hampshire thinks the issue of economic struggle gives more leverage to one candidate.

    ANDREW SMITH: In my view, they are playing on Bernie Sanders’ turf here, and Bernie Sanders is controlling the debate. I think Clinton has moved much more closely toward Sanders’ position.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But even if Sanders set the terms, Clinton hopes to win on execution and with voters like this one. Tracy Hahn-Burkett is many things, a former civil rights advocate, a full-time mother and a freelance writer with a well-known New Hampshire blog called Uncharted Parent. From her den, she writes about teen angst, guns and sometimes politics.

    TRACY HAHN-BURKETT, Blogger, “Uncharted Parent”: I try not to make it too political. But, sometimes, if it’s relevant…

    LISA DESJARDINS: Her family isn’t worried about making the mortgage — husband Paul is an attorney — and they’re grateful. But Tracy has multiple chronic health conditions and doctors’ bills. And while they are firmly middle class now, she doesn’t feel secure.

    TRACY HAHN-BURKETT: I think the middle class is in trouble. I think it’s incontrovertible that the middle class is shrinking. And the middle class has always really been — it sounds like a cliche to say it, but the middle class has really been the backbone of the country.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The family has a very particular concern creeping up in just four years.

    TRACY HAHN-BURKETT: I don’t know how we’re going to pay for my kids’ college. There’s a part of me that says, well, we will just work it out, like everybody else does. But then I sit there and look at the numbers, and I see the way that the costs are going up all the time.

    LISA DESJARDINS: When she looks at the Democratic candidates, Tracy sees two that she likes, but one that gets her vote.

    TRACY HAHN-BURKETT: I think Hillary Clinton is best equipped to actually get things accomplished. That doesn’t mean that I dislike Bernie Sanders or his policies.

    LISA DESJARDINS: As Tracy looks for middle-class results, Sanders supporter Joanne is looking for big vision.

    JOANNE CYNTHIA WOOD: I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with being an idealist.

    LISA DESJARDINS: In New Hampshire, Democrats know there is a middle-class question. But they’re divided on which candidate has the answer.

    For the “PBS NewsHour” in Manchester, I’m Lisa Desjardins.

    The post N.H. Democrats divided on different visions for helping middle class appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Anne Schuchat (L) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Anthony Fauci (R), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, speak with reporters during a press briefing about the Zika virus at the White House in Washington February 8, 2016.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTX261DW

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    GWEN IFILL: Good evening. I’m Gwen Ifill.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I’m Judy Woodruff.

    GWEN IFILL: On the “NewsHour” tonight: countdown to the New Hampshire primary. We hear the candidates’ final pitches one day before voting.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Also ahead: why NATO and the U.S. plan on beefing up military forces against Russia.

    GWEN IFILL: And Miles O’Brien on the ground in Brazil, the center of the Zika virus outbreak.

    DR. ADRIANA SCAVUZZI, Obstetrician, IMIP: Try to solve the medical problem won’t be enough. You have to change the quality of people’s life. Otherwise, you will not solve this problem.

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

    (BREAK)

    And in the day’s other news, President Obama says he will ask Congress for more than $1.8 billion to fight the Zika virus. It’s to be part of the budget he rolls out tomorrow. But top health officials today played down the chances of a major Zika outbreak inside the United States.

    At a White House briefing, Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention counseled calm.

    DR. ANNE SCHUCHAT, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: We do expect to see infection in people who have traveled and are returning home, but we aren’t expecting large-scale amounts of serious Zika infection. The recommendations for pregnant women were so that we could reduce the chances that pregnant women would unknowingly step into harm’s way.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The virus is suspected of causing birth defects in Brazil and is spreading across Latin America. And there was word today that the U.S. Olympic Committee is now advising athletes that they should bypass the Summer Games in Rio de Janeiro if they’re worried about Zika.

    GWEN IFILL: The political shockwaves from North Korea’s latest missile launch are still reverberating. This Japanese TV footage shows the missile in flight shortly after Sunday’s launch. But in comments aired today, President Obama told CBS that it came as no surprise.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I think that we have been concerned about North Korea’s behavior for a while. This is an authoritarian regime. It’s provocative. It has repeatedly violated U.N. resolutions.

    GWEN IFILL: North Korea says it placed a satellite in orbit. U.S. officials say it’s really cover for efforts to develop missiles that can carry nuclear warheads.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Rescuers in Taiwan have pulled four more survivors from the wreckage of Saturday’s earthquake. At least 38 people died in the quake that was centered in Southern Taiwan. More than 100 others are still missing. Two of those carried to safety today were 8-year-old-girl and her aunt who spent more than 60 hours trapped in a toppled apartment building.

    GWEN IFILL: There’s been more tragedy in the Aegean Sea. Turkish officials say 27 people died in a shipwreck off Northwestern Turkey. The country’s coast guard recovered many of the bodies, with coffins waiting ashore for the victims. More than 370 people have died since January 1 trying to make the crossing to Greece.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A new Syrian government offensive is driving thousands more refugees toward Turkey. The Syrians advanced again today, north of the city of Aleppo, with the help of Russian warplanes and Iranian fighters.

    Jonathan Rugman of Independent Television News filed this report from inside Turkey. Some of the images may be disturbing.

    JONATHAN RUGMAN, ITN: It was just after this Syrian child had been carried in an ambulance in Aleppo yesterday that another bomb fell.

    The bombs don’t discriminate, and the fighting for Aleppo is now so intense that the Turks say up to 30,000 Syrian refugees are now camped out along their border. From the Turkish side, we can’t see any of them. What we can see are tents and aid going across and ambulances coming out.

    Turkish hospitality appears to have reached its limit, though the cross-border trade in coffins could become even busier. Well, the Turks are certainly letting these aid trucks into Syria. They’re just not letting the Syrian refugees come out.

    The Turks say they are full to capacity, that they’re trying to prevent an even bigger refugee exodus. But there may be another motive at work here, because, by keeping Syrian civilians inside the Syrian border, the Turks are effectively creating a buffer zone between the Turks and Syrian government forces and Kurdish forces and so-called Islamic State.

    Of course, millions of Syrians were given sanctuary here before the border shut. They had assumed their relatives could join them, and now they can’t. Syrian rebels are sending reinforcement also, but they now claim that government forces are just 16 miles from the Turkish border.

    And though the rebels are themselves using heavy weapons, Turkey and its Western allies are laying blame for the latest exodus firmly at the door of Russian airstrikes.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, the leaders of Germany and Turkey agreed today to make new diplomatic efforts to end the fighting at Aleppo. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she is — quote — “not just appalled, but horrified” at the toll taken by Russian bombing.

    GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, Wall Street started the week with a new sell-off, as bank and tech stocks led the way down. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 178 points to close at 16027. It had been down as much as 400 earlier in the day. The Nasdaq fell 79 points, and is now off 20 percent from its peak last year. And the S&P dropped 26.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos returned to the Mile High City today, this time as Super Bowl champions. The Broncos used a punishing defense to beat the Carolina Panthers 24-10 on Sunday. TV ratings show almost 112 million Americans tuned in for what was the third Super Bowl victory in the Broncos’ history.

    Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders court the middle class; campaign representatives and our Politics Monday duo break down what’s at stake in New Hampshire; Brazil battles Zika amid Carnival; plus, what could be the biggest military buildup in Eastern Europe since the Cold War.

    The post News Wrap: CDC plays down major Zika outbreak risk in U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio arrives for a campaign event in Goffstown, New Hampshire, February 8, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX26282

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    GWEN IFILL: It is primary eve in what is, for now, the center of the political universe, New Hampshire.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins is in the Granite State, as she kicks off our coverage of the high-stakes sprint to the finish.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Good to see you guys.

    LISA DESJARDINS: They were in Manchester, chatting with diners.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: Let me tell you, sir.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And in Plaistow, taking questions from veterans.

    Republicans and Democrats, favorites and long shots, nearly all the candidates were going all out, seeking out undecideds and trying to turn their rivals’ supporters into their own. For Republican Marco Rubio, that meant shaking off criticism that he came off as canned in Saturday night’s debate and pressing his message at a town hall in Nashua.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: People keep — there’s — in the press, anyway, oh, why do you keep saying the same thing about Obama trying to change America? I’m going to keep saying that a million times, because I believe it’s true.

    LISA DESJARDINS: For Chris Christie, Rubio’s dogged debate night foe, it meant keeping the heat on the Florida senator at a town hall of his own in nearby Hudson.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), Republican Presidential Candidate: When the lights get that bright, you either shine or you melt. We cannot afford to have a president who melts.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And for Jeb Bush, Rubio’s one-time-mentor-turned-rival, it meant taking up his own line of attack this morning on MSNBC.

    FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: He doesn’t have a record. That’s not to say he’s not gifted, because he is. He’s a gifted person. And he will be a leader going forward. But he doesn’t have a proven record.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Bush’s campaign also put up an ad today hitting at another of his rivals, John Kasich.

    MAN: The CATO Institute gave you a D on its government’s report card this last year.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But Kasich, at a town hall in Plaistow, stood by his record on budget issues as Ohio governor.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: We were way in the hole. Now we’re way in the black.

    LISA DESJARDINS: In the meantime, the Republican front-runner here, Donald Trump, has switched tactics after his runner-up finish in Iowa. He tried his hand at retail politics in Salem, instead of holding one of his signature rallies.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: I love these things, even more than making a speech, because I love to hear the feedback. I get some good questions.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And on the Democratic side:

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Join with us in making that political revolution.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Thank you all very much.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Next-door neighbor and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders pressed his apparent advantage in the polls in New Hampshire. He also drew ever sharper attacks from Hillary Clinton’s camp. Last night, in Milford, it was former President Bill Clinton.

    FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: For her, this is not about grand theories of revolution. This is about whether we can improve people’s lives.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The former chief executive went further, accusing Sanders supporters of profane and sexist attacks on his wife. And on Saturday, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright chastised women voters who back Sanders instead of Clinton.

    MADELEINE ALBRIGHT, Former Secretary of State: Just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    LISA DESJARDINS: Feminist icon Gloria Steinem went ever further on HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher.” She explained Clinton’s lagging support among young women by saying — quote — “When you’re young, you’re thinking where are the boys? The boys are with Bernie.”

    Steinem later apologized in a Facebook post. The candidate herself steered clear of all that fracas and stuck to a more traditional appeal in Manchester.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Imagine that, finally, women not only get equal pay, but our rights to make our own decisions are finally respected.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Of course, with 24 hours yet to go, some voters here already have gotten all the politics they can handle.

    WOMAN: I will just be really glad when the primary is over. I am up to here with the ads on TV, and you just — you can’t get away from it.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But some candidates may get away from it for good after tomorrow, forced out of the race if they finish out of the money.

    And late tonight, some candidates have sent out somewhat typical last-minute requests for funding. But that includes some like Carly Fiorina, who are needing a change in momentum. It seems certain that both Democrats running for president will survive New Hampshire, but it looks like, of the nine Republicans running for president, no one expects all nine will still be running on Friday — from a snowy New Hampshire, Judy, back to you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Lisa Desjardins, we thank you.

    The post Candidates offer final pitches before New Hampshire polls open appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A colony of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, which causes meningitis, a rare, but serious disease. Since the beginning of 2016, there have been four confirmed cases of meningitis on U.S. college campuses. Image courtesy of CDC

    A colony of bacteria called Neisseria meningitidis, which causes meningitis, a rare, but serious disease. Since the beginning of 2016, there have been four confirmed cases of meningitis on U.S. college campuses. Image courtesy of CDC

    Meningitis has surfaced on three U.S. college campuses in the last few weeks, infecting four students and blamed for the death of a university employee, Inside Higher Ed reported.

    Three Santa Clara University students fell ill in late January from meningitis-causing bacteria, spokeswoman Deepa Arora told the NewsHour. As a result of the bacterial infection, two students developed meningitis, which affects the lining of the brain and spinal cord. A third student developed septicemia, an infection of the bloodstream.

    All three have been released from the hospital, she said.

    The disease, which is rare, can cause severe neurological damage and death.

    Most college students routinely get vaccinated against four forms of the disease, but not against a bacterial form known as “serogroup B,” which all three Santa Clara students caught. The Food and Drug Administration authorized vaccines for that particular strain in 2014, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended vaccines against this serogroup only for specific high-risk groups, including people facing an outbreak.

    Santa Clara University has held four free vaccination clinics in the past week, including on Monday, vaccinating about 4,300 of its 9,000 students.

    Meningitis, which is usually caused by either bacteria or a virus, spreads through close contact with an infected person. Coughing, kissing or sharing a drink can spread the disease. Symptoms include neck pain, fever, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, according to the CDC.

    An employee at Argosy University in Alameda, California, died from the disease in late January. Although the small, for-profit college’s campus lies less than an hour’s drive from Santa Clara, an Argosy spokeswoman told the local CBS affiliate Thursday that the two campuses’ brushes with the disease were unrelated.

    “Because bacterial meningitis is typically contracted through direct, close contact with someone who is infected, we have been advised that there is no indication of a significant health risk to the broader community,” spokeswoman Sherri Willis told the CBS station.

    She added that the deceased employee had a different strain of the disease from students at Santa Clara.

    A 19-year-old student at Muskingum University in New Concord, Ohio, contracted a bacterial form of the disease and is now recovering, according to a statement released Thursday from the Zanesville-Muskingum County Health Department.

    At all three campuses, those who had “direct contact” with an infected person – being within three feet of them for eight or more hours – were treated with preventive antibiotics.

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    Attorney General Loretta Lynch testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Justice Department's role in implementing new executive actions related to gun control in Washington, D.C. Following of string of high-profile cases of police brutality like in Ferguson, Missouri, Lynch will recognize six U.S. police departments for their model policing strategies. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    Attorney General Loretta Lynch testifies before a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing on the Justice Department’s role in implementing new executive actions related to gun control in Washington, D.C. Following of string of high-profile cases of police brutality like in Ferguson, Missouri, Lynch will recognize six U.S. police departments for their model policing strategies. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Attorney General Loretta Lynch plans to visit six cities in the coming months to highlight police departments she sees as role models for law enforcement.

    The locations were chosen because they embody a particular trait of successful policing, such as effective use of data, strong community relationships or a commitment to officer safety, Lynch said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press.

    The first visit is planned for Thursday and Friday to Miami-Dade County in Florida, where Lynch is scheduled to recognize the Doral police department for its community policing strategies. She’ll also host a youth town hall and a community policing discussion in Miami, among other events.

    The other locations are Portland, Oregon; Indianapolis; Fayetteville, North Carolina; Phoenix and Los Angeles.

    “It really is our hope to highlight the areas where police and community members are sitting down together and figuring out, ‘How do we all make this work?'” she said.

    The visits represent the second phase of a community policing tour that Lynch, a former federal prosecutor in New York, began last year after being sworn in as the nation’s top law enforcement official.

    In that first phase, she visited cities where police forces are working to overcome troubled relationships with their communities.

    Now, the focus turns to departments that are seen as successful in implementing “pillars” of policing identified in a White House report last May. Each city on the tour represents a different pillar, which include building community trust, community policing, crime reduction and officer training and education, Lynch said.

    “I’m going to jurisdictions where departments have taken those pillars, have made substantial and concrete advances toward them and where we’re seeing positive results,” Lynch said, adding that she hopes they can be guideposts for departments looking to improve.

    The initiative is part of a national discussion on police use of force and effective law enforcement tactics, a topic that’s taken on new urgency amid a series of high-profile police shootings of unarmed young men in places including Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland; and North Charleston, South Carolina.


    That conversation has often been challenging and “painful on many fronts,” Lynch said. But, she said, she’s been encouraged by the number of police departments looking to evolve on training and tactics and to improve cooperation with the Justice Department, which has the authority to investigate troubled departments and press for sweeping overhauls.

    “In my first incarnation as U.S. Attorney when we dealt with these issues, every situation was adversarial, every situation was generally confrontational,” said Lynch, who twice served as the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. “Now we’re at a point where we have police departments reaching out to us for assistance.”

    In Ferguson, city officials are preparing to vote Tuesday on whether to adopt a proposed settlement with the Justice Department that calls for widespread changes in police policies, training and practices. New estimates from the city say the cost of implementing the agreement could approach $4 million in the first year alone.

    The Justice Department would have the option of suing Ferguson if the City Council rejects the deal, although the attorney general said she hopes it won’t come to that.

    “We think that the agreement that’s been presented to the city of Ferguson is comprehensive, it’s thorough, it’s fair and it effectively addresses the problems that we outlined so many months ago,” Lynch said. “We hope that they will vote on it expeditiously and that we can move forward and avoid litigation.”

    The post Attorney General to visit 6 cities to highlight police work appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    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, who joins us from Manchester.

    Welcome, gentlemen.

    So, David, we were just hearing in that report from Hari how different the voters of New Hampshire are from the rest of the country.

    When you look at Iowa and you put it together with New Hampshire, you are looking at a different group of the electorate. So, what are you looking for these voters to clarify tonight?

    DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: Yes. Obviously, they’re polarized. They’re whiter, but then they’re also more polarized.

    What’s interesting to me is, this electorate, according to the exit polls, are more polarized than they were in ’08. The Democrats are much more liberal, significantly more liberal than they were in ’08. The Republicans are significantly more who say they extremely conservative than in ’12 and ’08.

    So, this is an electorate, like a lot of people around the country, who have polarized. I’m also struck by how many late-deciders there are. If it’s half late-deciders, that means all that we have been talking about in the polls, I would be very surprised if we weren’t very surprised by what happens in the next few hours.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark, what about that, the late-deciders, and also the difference? Well, and let me ask you first about the late-deciders. What does that tell you?

    MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: The late-deciders tell me that it’s typical New Hampshire, where you get — in the last 72 hours, 48 hours, you get up to half of the voters deciding.

    And one measurement I saw reported is that two-thirds of the voters said that the debates, which were last Thursday for the Democrats, last Saturday for the Republicans, influenced their decision in that late decision.

    So, I think that will be a major part of the postmortem of the results tonight.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Mark, what about this question of, what are you looking for the results in New Hampshire to clarify? I mean, this is a different group of voters from the rest of the country.

    MARK SHIELDS: It’s a different group of voters, Judy. It has always been a different group of voters. It is the gateway and the gatekeeper state.

    Of the last 10 presidents of the United States, from Harry Truman forward, Dwight Eisenhower to Barack Obama, nobody has been elected president of the United States who finished lower than second in the New Hampshire primary or won it, either won it or finished second.

    So, maybe history will be broken tonight, and somebody who finishes fourth will go on to be the nominee. But history is a very strong indication that, if you don’t finish in the top two in New Hampshire, you’re not going to have an inaugural parade next January 20. So, I think that’s what I’m looking for as much as anything.

    I would also look for, quite frankly, Marco Rubio, who was running second in the polls immediately after Iowa and a stronger-than-expected showing, if, in fact, he does tumble to beyond fourth, or third, fifth in this tonight, I think the story has already been written. The narrative is there. It was the debate that did it to him, just as Howard Dean’s scream in 2004 became the explanation for his fall from grace.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David, that’s a reminder that, tonight, we don’t just look at who the winners are in each party. We’re going to be looking closely at who comes in second, third and maybe even fourth.

    DAVID BROOKS: Right.

    There’s the results, and then there’s the narrative. And the narratives will be determined by the size of the victory. If Donald Trump, his final poll numbers around 31, if he’s down around 25, 24, 22, then we will have a pattern of underperformance. If he’s above 31, then suddenly he looks quite strong.

    If John Kasich comes in second, suddenly, we have got fresh meat. We have got a new story to talk about. If Bernie Sanders can win — right now, he’s winning by like 15 in the polls. And — but if he wins by 25, suddenly, that’s a huge story. If somehow he loses, he’s done.

    And so we will — the gaps between all the candidates will determine the narrative structure over the next few weeks.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: David, are you hearing from these candidates an evolving message? Do you hear them saying the same kinds of things they were weeks ago? Or do you see something developing from these candidates that tells us more about them?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes, well, Donald Trump evolves in random ways, but I don’t know that that’s developing.

    What’s interesting is how much — you know, the polls to me about immigration on the Republican side are very disturbing. Two-thirds of Republicans here would like to have a temporary ban on all Muslims. On the other hand, immigration is not a very salient issue. It’s not one of the top concerns. Economy is really the top concern on both sides.

    And on the Republican side, Kasich and Trump are getting the highest ratings on the economy. So, they focus on that. But I guess the thing that’s most interesting to me, as in the whole campaign, is the electorate is more interesting than the candidates.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: There are a lot of people who are Democrats who just want to stop Cruz or stop Trump, so they’re switching over to vote on the Republican side, even though they might be progressives themselves.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It is interesting, Mark, the number of — what we have been hearing reporters say. They talk to voters who say, well, I’m either going to go Trump or Sanders, or they will name a Democrat or a Republican.

    MARK SHIELDS: Right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What are we learning in this process about just how unhappy the American people are? Do we better understand the appeal of these outsider candidates?

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, I think Trump and Sanders, you could say they — these are very much outsider candidates, I mean, who are politics as usual, Washington, the political establishment — they give cold comfort to members of that group or that organization. They are both outsiders. They’re both highly critical. They — I think that is a major thing.

    Just one point about New Hampshire, Judy. Today, they had a snowstorm. They will have a turnout in New Hampshire, if history is our guide again, that will be higher than all but 44 states in November, I mean, in a primary in February.

    I mean, these are people who take it seriously, take their responsibility seriously. And, I mean, they really do a rather remarkable job. So, their decision is — has to be paid attention to, and it will have enormous implications.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we will be paying attention.

    David, you mentioned — we were talking about Trump a minute ago. There’s been a lot of coverage today of the remark that he made last night which everyone has bleeped out, at least all the news organizations have bleeped out. And yet the crowd cheered.

    What do we learn from that?

    DAVID BROOKS: Part of his appeal is anti-political correctness.

    He understands that to show that you’re against the establishment is not only to show it on positions. You show it on manners. And, so, in my view, he’s taken the manners of professional wrestling. He’s in the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, and he’s brought it to politics.

    And so the word he used last night was another — yet another example of that. And people like me tut-tut about it, but the crowd cheered. There is a certain number of people who say, well, that’s how I talk, too.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark, should we draw bigger conclusions or just say, this is just one rally, one Donald Trump remark?

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, if Donald Trump wins, as the polls predict that he will, I mean, he has to be taken more seriously, Judy.

    And this is such a departure from how Americans regard their presidents, whether it’s George Washington or Abraham Lincoln or anybody who served in that office. We expect a level of civility. We expect a level of discourse. And Donald Trump, by any measurement, is not presidential by that standard.

    And I think there’s matter of taste, as well as sensibilities, that he offends an awful lot of people. I will be interested in the exit polls and how many people who don’t vote for Donald Trump tonight have an unfavorable view of him. Remember, in Iowa, a majority of Republicans who didn’t support Donald Trump had an unfavorable view of him.

    And that, of course, would, I think, be a reflection of his manner, his approach, his attitude, his disparagement of his opponents, and just calling everybody who has ever served in Washington in the past generation stupid. And that — I think that there are consequences to that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, David, just quickly, does this campaign feels — we have been saying this for months, that this campaign feels like a different one.

    Do you go into tonight’s voting, tonight’s results still feeling that this is — this stands out as something really different from what we have seen over the past few decades of this?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes. We have…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead.

    DAVID BROOKS: We have certainly broken every rule of etiquette. We have certainly had the confusion of candidates.

    I guess I’m mostly struck by how nothing will be settled. We may be more confused tomorrow than we are today if we get another scramble of new candidates, a Kasich or a Bush rising. And, so, usually, there’s a winnowing and a clarifying. We may be more confused after New Hampshire, at least on the Republican side.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark?

    MARK SHIELDS: And we will find out, Judy, whether, in fact, there is such a thing as a firewall after tonight. If, in fact, Bernie Sanders wins big, if he gets the big mo’ of legendary American political lore, and starts to move, and even in areas where he’s unknown previously.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we look forward to having Mark and David with us all evening.

    Mark Shields, David Brooks, thank you.

    And stay with us. We will have a lot more on the New Hampshire primary on our “PBS NewsHour” special report. That’s at 11:00 p.m. Eastern.

    Plus, tune in on Thursday. Gwen and I will moderate the Democratic presidential debate, in partnership with Facebook, from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. That starts Thursday at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

    The post Shields and Brooks on New Hampshire’s primary influence appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    MANCHESTER, NH - FEBRUARY 08:  Former Virginia Governor and presidential candidate Jim Gilmore greets diners at SiriusXM Broadcasts' New Hampshire Primary Coverage Live From Iconic Red Arrow Diner on February 8, 2016 in  February 8, 2016 in Manchester, New Hampshire.  (Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

    Former Virginia governor and presidential candidate Jim Gilmore greets diners at the iconic Red Arrow Diner in Manchester, New Hampshire, Monday. Gilmore is polling at zero percent. Photo by Paul Marotta/Getty Images for SiriusXM

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — At 2:40 p.m. today, Republican presidential candidate Jim Gilmore, who is polling at zero percent, sat back down at his table at the Puritan Backroom to finish his pastrami sandwich and fries.

    Gilmore had started his meal before getting up to greet a pair of potential voters on primary day at this iconic family-owned restaurant in northern Manchester.

    Now Gilmore had roughly 20 minutes left to eat the rest of his lunch before moving on to his next campaign stop, but he seemed in no particular hurry to answer a reporter’s questions.

    “If I had the kind of media coverage of any of the other remaining candidates, I’d be the front-runner today,” said Gilmore, who was neatly dressed in a dark suit and red tie.

    “I think the press has transitioned from reporting the news to advocating for the candidates and shaping the race. And the RNC has facilitated that.” — Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore
    Gilmore ticked off his qualifications for the presidency: former attorney general and governor of Virginia, Army veteran, national security expert.

    “I’m the right person to be the next president, because I have the experience and knowledge to handle the issues facing the country,” he said, as an aide at his table checked the time on her phone.

    Gilmore expressed surprise that his message hasn’t broken through the crowded GOP primary field, which has been dominated by Donald Trump and other figures with far less government experience.

    “I would’ve thought that the positions Trump is taking to scapegoat people on the basis of their ethnicity, race and religion would put a stop” to his candidacy, he said, and then added, “It has not.”

    Trump has been leading in New Hampshire for months, and appeared poised to win the primary here and advance to South Carolina atop the GOP polls.

    Gilmore seemed equally flabbergasted that Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders was in position to win the state’s Democratic primary over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    “I can’t imagine why Bernie Sanders would be competitive at all, but there’s a lot of anger in the country today,” Gilmore said. Sanders, Gilmore said, “understands the anger and is directing it at a fictitious robber baron class that doesn’t really exist.”

    Watch the PBS NewsHour Democratic Primary Debate, 9 p.m. EST Feb. 11, on your local PBS station, and in our live stream, which will begin at 8:30 p.m.

    Despite the dark mood of the election, and Gilmore’s own dismal standing in the polls, the former governor appeared fairly upbeat.

    As his aide called for the check, Gilmore took a parting shot at the Republican National Committee and the major television networks, which have kept Gilmore and other bottom-tier candidates off of the main debate stage.

    “I think the press has transitioned from reporting the news to advocating for the candidates and shaping the race. And the RNC has facilitated that,” Gilmore said.

    With that, it was time to go. Gilmore did not indicate whether he would continue on in the race if he failed to receive more than zero percent in the primary tonight.

    “The first step is New Hampshire,” he said. “Let’s see what happens.”

    SUBSCRIBE: Get the analysis of Mark Shields and David Brooks delivered to your inbox every week.

    The post My lunch with a zero percent candidate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A woman with a child on her back prepares to mark her ballot in a voting booth on voting day in Bedford, New Hampshire, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri - RTX267M6

    Watch Video

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now we break down some interesting facts and figures from New Hampshire that aren’t voting results.

    Here’s Hari Sreenivasan.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Our data team looked at what the numbers say about New Hampshire going into tonight’s primary results. How does the Granite State compare to the rest of the country, and, on social media, what are New Hampshirites saying about this year’s presidential election?

    Compared to Iowa and most of the country, New Hampshire is whiter and more wealthy, according to the Census Bureau; 94 percent of the voting-age population is white, vs. 66 percent of the U.S. And the median household income is $66,532. That’s $12,000 more than the amount you find nationwide.

    In fact, there are fewer people in poverty in New Hampshire as well. The national poverty rate is nearly 14 percent, almost twice as high as what’s found in New Hampshire, slightly more than 8 percent. And they’re more politically active. Among New Hampshire residents age 18 or older, the census says nearly three out of four are registered to vote, compared to about two out of three Americans.

    But what’s on the minds of New Hampshire voters as this year’s election gains momentum? Just like in Iowa last week, Facebook users in this small New England state have more to say about Donald Trump than any other presidential contender, Republican or Democrat. Next, there’s Ted Cruz, who won last week’s Iowa GOP caucus, and then Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush.

    The presidential race’s two Democrats, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, follow Trump in generating interest on Facebook there.

    Regarding issues that most concern New Hampshire voters, conversation on Facebook may offer some clues. Campaign finance is the most important topic among Facebook users in New Hampshire leading up to today’s primary vote. Next, New Hampshirites are talking about taxes, the economy, Wall Street, and same-sex marriage.

    And when New Hampshirites want to learn more about this year’s candidates, what are they Googling? According to the search engine’s News Lab, interest in Rubio peaked after his debate performance Saturday, and top-trending questions among New Hampshire residents include, is Marco Rubio Catholic and is Ben Carson pro-choice?

    In an effort to influence the hearts and minds, campaign and special interest groups are buying lots of ads in New Hampshire. The Boston Globe reported that, since December, more ads have aired in New Hampshire both for and against Jeb Bush than anyone else. Interestingly, Ted Cruz was featured in the fewest ads.

    Tonight’s vote in New England will show if those ad dollars make a difference.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Thanks, Hari.

    The post Here’s what’s on the minds of New Hampshire voters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Smoke stacks from the NRG power plant outside of Jewett, Texas.  Photo by Nick Simonite/Associated Press

    Smoke stacks from the NRG power plant outside of Jewett, Texas. Photo by Nick Simonite/Associated Press

    WASHINGTON — A divided Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to halt enforcement of President Barack Obama’s sweeping plan to address climate change until after legal challenges are resolved.

    The surprising move is a blow to the administration and a victory for the coalition of 27 mostly Republican-led states and industry opponents that call the regulations “an unprecedented power grab.”

    By issuing the temporary freeze, a 5-4 majority of the justices signaled that opponents made strong arguments against the rules. The high court’s four liberal justices said Tuesday they would have denied the request for delay.

    The Obama administration’s plan aims to stave off the worst predicted impacts of climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions at existing power plants by about one-third by 2030.

    “We disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision to stay the Clean Power Plan while litigation proceeds,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in a statement.

    Earnest said the administration’s plan is based on a strong legal and technical foundation, and gives the states time to develop cost-effective plans to reduce emissions. He also said the administration will continue to “take aggressive steps to make forward progress to reduce carbon emissions.”

    A federal appeals court in Washington last month refused to put the plan on hold. That lower court is not likely to issue a ruling on the legality of the plan until months after it hears oral arguments begin on June 2.

    Any decision will likely be appealed to the Supreme Court, meaning resolution of the legal fight is not likely to happen until after Obama leaves office.

    Compliance with the new rules isn’t required until 2022, but states must submit their plans to the Environmental Protection Administration by September or seek an extension.

    Many states opposing the plan depend on economic activity tied to such fossil fuels as coal, oil and gas. They argued that the plan oversteps federal authority to restrict carbon emissions, and that electricity providers would have to spend billions of dollars to begin complying with a rule that might end up being overturned.

    Attorney General Patrick Morrisey of West Virginia, whose coal-dependent state is helping lead the legal fight, hailed the court’s decision.

    “We are thrilled that the Supreme Court realized the rule’s immediate impact and froze its implementation, protecting workers and saving countless dollars as our fight against its legality continues,” Morrisey said.

    Implementation of the rules is considered essential to the United States meeting emissions-reduction targets in a global climate agreement signed in Paris last month. The Obama administration and environmental groups also say the plan will spur new clean-energy jobs.

    In opposing the request for delay, the EPA argued that states had plenty of time to comply with the requirements as the rule is rolled out over the next 6 years.

    “A stay that delays all of the rule’s deadlines would postpone reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and thus contribute to the problem of global climate change even if the rule is ultimately sustained,” U.S. Solicitor General Donald Verrilli said in legal filings.

    Environmentalists were stunned by the court’s action, which they stressed did not reflect a decision on the relative strength of the Obama administration’s case.

    “The Clean Power Plan has a firm anchor in our nation’s clean air laws and a strong scientific record, and we look forward to presenting our case on the merits in the courts,” said Vickie Patton, a lawyer for Environmental Defense Fund, which is a party to the case.

    To convince the high court to temporarily halt the plan, opponents had to convince the justices that there was a “fair prospect” the court might strike down the rule. The court also had to consider whether denying a stay would cause irreparable harm to the states and utility companies affected.

    The unsigned, one-page order blocks the rules from taking effect while the legal fight plays out in the appeals court and during any further appeal to the Supreme Court, a process that easily could extend into 2017.

    Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan would have denied the request for delay.

    The post Supreme Court puts Obama’s clean power plan on hold appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: We look at what’s at stake for both Republicans and Democrats now with Tamara Keith of NPR, who joins us from Manchester, and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, who is here with me.

    So, Tam, in these last days going into the way this whole thing is sorted out, who seems — which candidate seems the most nervous tonight?

    TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Hmm. I think that’s a very good question.

    Well, I think a lot of — on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton doesn’t have a lot of nervousness, because there’s a resignation to the way things are going to turn out. It’s about the margin of victory for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

    On the Republican side, I think that someone like Chris Christie has to be hoping that something will happen. John Kasich has been relaxed out on the trail today. So, it’s — and Donald Trump, he probably has a lot to be nervous about, because he has been — he has these huge poll numbers, but, in Iowa, that didn’t translate into a win, and he sure has to hope to get a win tonight.

    GWEN IFILL: It’s really interesting.

    Amy, we have seen first wave of exit polls today from today’s voting, which tells us a lot about who voted and when they vote — when they decided to vote.

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Right.

    So, I’m looking for a lot of things in these exit polls, but one of the most interesting is the independent voters, people who do not define themselves as Democrat or Republican. They can vote in these primaries as long as they pick one ballot.

    And on the Republican side, 42 percent of the people who turned out to vote identified as Republican — I’m sorry — as independent; 39 percent on the Democratic side identified as independent.

    GWEN IFILL: Pretty close.

    AMY WALTER: That’s pretty close. The news for Kasich — and I agree with Tamara — he is hoping for a good night here — he needs a big turnout among independents.

    In 2012, the turnout among independents was almost 50 percent. Back in 2008, it was 37 percent. So, it’s somewhere right in the middle there. It’s probably a good number for Kasich. The question is if it is good enough.

    And then the other question about who is nervous tonight, Marco Rubio has to be very, very nervous. He came into Iowa with a head of steam. As we saw in this report, he’s been struggling since the debate to get that momentum back. If he falls behind a Kasich, a Jeb in this primary, it’s going to be a very difficult pivot for him to say that he’s the candidate now who has the momentum going into South Carolina.

    GWEN IFILL: As we saw, everybody says they’re going to South Carolina, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re all going to South Carolina.

    Tamara, you know, we were in New Hampshire in 1992, when Bill Clinton declared himself the comeback kid. We were there in 2008, where it looked like all the polls showed that Barack Obama was going to win, and he didn’t. Hillary Clinton did.

    What going into — behind you in the scene — set there is the Trump bus, by the way. I’m just letting you know.

    (LAUGHTER)

    GWEN IFILL: What, going into tonight’s voting and tonight’s vote-counting, are we watching for, for a comeback?

    TAMARA KEITH: Well, this morning, I interviewed a couple of voters at a polling place who said that they had heard from the Hillary Clinton campaign, got knocks on their doors while they were still in pajamas.

    So, the Clinton campaign is definitely still efforting this and trying to get people out. But I asked one of her campaign officials, what are you looking for? What are you hoping for? There was no hint of hoping for a win. It was all about how — whether maybe they could get the win for Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders into single digits, maybe.

    AMY WALTER: And there is something telling about the fact that Hillary Clinton went up today with an ad in South Carolina talking about racial injustice and systemic racism, not a very — not a subtle shift, we’re talking.

    GWEN IFILL: So, the strategy for the Hillary Clinton people have — they have already…

    (CROSSTALK)

    AMY WALTER: They are basically, like, let’s just go into South Carolina, where we know the terrain is much more comfortable for us. We know that we’re going to have to win over African-American voters, do very well among this group.

    She’s already been running an ad featuring former Attorney General Eric Holder, now going in with this on police violence and other issues.

    GWEN IFILL: Tam, one of the big names coming out of Iowa only a week ago was Ted Cruz. But we haven’t heard as much about him in this New Hampshire week. Where has he been, and where is he expected to land?

    TAMARA KEITH: Yes, this is less familiar, less friendly territory for him. He really has been running as an evangelical in Iowa, which is a great thing in Iowa.

    Here in New Hampshire, voters have different sensibilities. And he has been really trying to lower expectations heading into this vote. I think that his campaign really believes that they have strengths in the states that come after this, in the Southern states, in South Carolina. I think that they feel like they will be on much more friendly terrain once they get out of New Hampshire.

    GWEN IFILL: And speaking of South Carolina, you mentioned what Hillary Clinton was already doing on the air there, Amy. We heard today that Bernie Sanders is meeting tomorrow in New York with Al Sharpton.

    Obviously, people are beginning to change their approach to this.

    AMY WALTER: That’s right. We’re going from Iowa, New Hampshire, overwhelmingly white states, not diverse at all, now into Southern states like South Carolina. We will go to Nevada as well, which is very heavily Latino, and then into some of these Southern states.

    The terrain changes. It’s supposed to be a better terrain for Hillary Clinton on a whole bunch of measures, but demography being the most important.

    GWEN IFILL: I saw in one of these exit polls, Amy, that a lot of people who self-described themselves as liberals were involved — a lot of self-described liberals voted in this election. Does that change, as well, also as they leave New Hampshire?

    AMY WALTER: I think, as we leave New Hampshire and even as we leave Iowa, we’re going to get to a more moderate electorate.

    But I think what is different even this year than it was in 2008, certainly when we saw the comeback kid in 1992, the Democratic electorate is much more liberal than it has been at any previous point. And so this has been the challenge for Hillary Clinton, trying to keep up with a party that keeps moving to the left. It’s not the party that it was back in the ’90s.

    GWEN IFILL: And, Tam, does the more moderate electorate in New Hampshire also speak to one part of the reason why John Kasich at least is the subject of buzz, whether he will be the subject of votes tonight?

    TAMARA KEITH: Well, that, and that independents can vote in a different party.

    And I think John Kasich’s recipe here is that he would pull Democratic-leaning independents to vote for him here. This is a place that’s really a sweet spot for him, where some of his positions on, like, expanding Medicaid and things like that wouldn’t necessarily be as much of a problem for him as in some other places.

    GWEN IFILL: OK, nose to the grindstone up there in New Hampshire tonight.

    Thanks for joining us, Tam.

    And thank you here in Washington, Amy Walter.

    The post Which candidates might be worried about N.H. outcomes appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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