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

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    Supporters of U.S. presidential candidates stand at the entrance to the polling station for the presidential primary at Bedford High School in Bedford, New Hampshire February 9, 2016.   REUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTX266D5

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    GWEN IFILL: After the votes are counted today, Republicans will be one step closer to settling on a nominee. But there may be even more at stake, as distinct factions fight for the future of the Grand Old Party.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins is back with that from New Hampshire.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The clusters of signs and intense campaigning show a Republican race that has been unpredictable, even by New Hampshire standards.

    WOMAN: I’m a volunteer calling on behalf of Ted Cruz for president campaign.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Phone banks are in high gear at Cruz headquarters in Manchester. Their candidate may have won Iowa, but he has not been the headline here.

    The slightly younger senator from Florida is. Marco Rubio has seemed to find his groove and a big response at his events.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: Hillary Clinton attacks me more than any other Republican because she doesn’t want to run against me, but I can’t wait to run against her.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    LISA DESJARDINS: But his performance at Saturday’s debate has raised a new question mark.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO: This notion that Barack Obama doesn’t know what he’s doing is just not true. He knows exactly what he’s doing.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), Republican Presidential Candidate: There it is. There it is, the memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Playing into ads like this one from the super PAC supporting Jeb Bush.

    MAN: Repeating the same answer.

    MAN: And then he did boy in the bubble. I have to go to my robotic talking points.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Rubio has also been on the attack.

    NARRATOR: Jeb Bush’s ideas are old and wrong.

    LISA DESJARDINS: With his super PAC going after Bush in one ad.

    NARRATOR: What is Canadian about Ted Cruz? His tax plan.

    LISA DESJARDINS: After Ted Cruz in another.

    NARRATOR: Chris Christie could well be Obama’s favorite Republican governor.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Chris Christie in still one more.

    Rubio has found himself in the middle of a much larger party divide here in New Hampshire. While, in Iowa, some 85 percent of Republicans call themselves conservative, here in New Hampshire, roughly half of Republicans identify as moderate or liberal. That makes this vote not just a fight between candidates, but between opposing party philosophies.

    STEVE MACDONALD, Host, GrokTALK!: Welcome to another edition of GrokTALK!. It is February already.

    Steve Mac Donald hosts GrokTALK!. It’s a home-grown conservative radio show in Concord that is actively supporting Ted Cruz. Mac Donald actually embraces the label “extreme,” because he says Republicans in office, like Rubio and Chris Christie, have become compromised.

    STEVE MACDONALD: We are extreme because we believe in smaller government, local control. We’d rather keep the money here and go talk to our legislators and our town councils about how to spend the money. And there is an extreme difference in that philosophy, and that’s why extremist is an appropriate word.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But these Republicans see the word extremist as the problem.

    Renee Plummer is here to win business votes for Chris Christie, along with his wife, Mary Pat.

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE: There are some people who, based on their life experience, their work experience, their experience in public life, are prepared and ready to take on Hillary Clinton and then become president of the United States. And some people are not.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Christie is considered establishment by some, and Plummer says that shouldn’t be a bad thing.

    RENEE PLUMMER, Real Estate Developer: When you talk about the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights, you’re talking about establishment. At some point, something has to be established.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Plummer is a real estate developer. At her home in Portsmouth, she shows me photos of the must-do luncheons that she hosts for nearly every candidate.

    RENEE PLUMMER: So, Governor Scott Walker was the first one.

    LISA DESJARDINS: She fears that the right wing of the party only wants control, not results or compromise.

    RENEE PLUMMER: I think people become very selfish, you know? They want their small group to be the ones that are going to dominate. How are you going to govern if you think that your group is right, and everybody else is wrong? It’s not going to work.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Dante Scala is a professor at the University of New Hampshire who’s written a book on the Republican divide.

    He says the 2016 GOP fight highlights a real problem for the party and its presidential candidates.

    DANTE SCALA, University of New Hampshire: So, the Republicans are grappling with both left-right divisions, but then in vs. out. And so that’s complicating things. So, Republicans have become very good at building a coalition of voters that excels in midterms, when the electorate is older and whiter, but they are having real problems building a coalition that can win presidential elections.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Here’s what the divide means in today’s primary. The hard right is pushing for Cruz and Ben Carson, but that’s just 20 percent of Republicans here. The bigger group in New Hampshire is moderates.

    Fighting for those votes are three governors, John Kasich, Christie and Bush. Hoping to gain from both sides are hard-to-define Donald Trump and Rubio, who is both conservative and established. This all makes for a particularly wild intraparty fight for voters, from moderates.

    PAUL EDMONDS, New Hampshire Voter: It’s directionally incorrect with the guys like Trump and Cruz, I think. You need — quote — “more establishment” kind of guys like Kasich and Christie or Bush.

    LISA DESJARDINS: To Trump voters.

    CYNDI TUITE, New Hampshire Voter: It needs somebody that’s got some balls, who is not a regular politician, and can get this country back on course.

    LISA DESJARDINS: To conservatives.

    ROBERT HODGMAN, New Hampshire Voter: This country is slipping away from the Constitution very rapidly. And if we don’t win this election, we’re going to have a lot of problems.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And to the seemingly many late-deciders.

    RICHARD TUITE, New Hampshire Voter: Actually, I really don’t have to make up my mind yet.

    LISA DESJARDINS: New Hampshire has been a sprint for candidates to try and stay in the Republican race, and it’s a test likely to swing at the last minute.

    In Manchester for the PBS NewsHour, I’m Lisa Desjardins.

    The post In New Hampshire, GOP factions fight for voters and the future appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a meeting with members of his national security team and cybersecurity advisors on new actions to enhance the nation’s cybersecurity, including measures that are outlined in the President’s FY2017 Budget proposal at the White House in Washington February 9, 2016. At left is Vice President Joe Biden. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTX267DV

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    GWEN IFILL: In the day’s other news, President Obama sent his eighth and final budget to Congress. The $4.1 trillion blueprint includes new spending on cyber-security and cancer research, and a $10-a-barrel tax on oil to pay for transportation needs.

    Hours after it arrived at the Capitol, the president touted the plan’s benefits at the White House.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The budget that we’re releasing today reflects my priorities and the priorities that I believe will help advance security and prosperity in America for many years to come. These are proposals reflected in the budget that work for us and not against us.

    GWEN IFILL: But Republicans dismissed the plan before it even arrived on Capitol Hill. Arizona Senator John McCain said there’s not enough spending for defense. And Mississippi Senator Roger Wicker said the president should have consulted with GOP leaders first.

    SEN. ROGER WICKER (R), Mississippi: The president’s new budget, his final budget as president of the United States, has arrived with a resounding thud here in the Congress of the United States. This final budget of the Obama administration misses the president’s final opportunity to reach out and do big things in a time of divided government.

    GWEN IFILL: Republican leaders pledged to release their own budget plan in the coming weeks.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The head of U.S. intelligence confirmed today that North Korea has restarted its plutonium reactor and ramped up uranium enrichment. Both are key components of a nuclear weapons program.

    The director of national intelligence, James Clapper, says the North could begin recovering plutonium for bomb-making in a matter of weeks or months.

    GWEN IFILL: In Hong Kong, lunar new year celebrations erupted into the worst violence since 2014, leaving dozens injured. It started after police tried to shut down unlicensed food vendors. With that, hundreds of protesters rushed police lines, hurling bricks and swinging sticks. Officers fought back with batons and rounds of pepper spray. They arrested more than 60 people.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Safety officials in Southern Germany are trying to understand what caused a deadly train wreck. The crash today in Bavaria killed at least 10 people and injured scores more.

    Emma Murphy of Independent Television News reports from the scene.

    EMMA MURPHY: On one of the safest rail networks in the world, what’s left of two commuter trains. They collided at full speed, just before 7:00 this morning, outside the spa town of Bad Aibling, an hour from Munich. It was a head-on collision, both trains on the same track, the impact crushing the front carriages and flipping others off the tracks.

    This mobile phone footage a glimpse of the dreadfulness that greeted emergency services.

    MAN (through interpreter): You could hear people screaming for help. You could hear how glass was being broken to help people get out. And one by one, people were getting out, covered in blood, limping.

    EMMA MURPHY: This is the same route the trains were on. It’s fitted with an automatic braking system, which should have stopped them if the track wasn’t clear. Why it didn’t, whether through human or technical failure, is part of the investigation.

    Walking to this site, what strikes you is that it’s straight all the way, the rail track running parallel with the canal, until you get to the part where the two trains collided. That is where there is something of a bend. The trains would have been going at top speed, around 60 miles an hour. By the time they came out of that bend on the same track, they wouldn’t have had time to stop. And the investigation now must establish why they were in the same place at the same time.

    The crash happened down a single-track road between a canal and forest, which meant huge problems for the 700-strong team of emergency service staff. Casualties were put into small inflatable ribs to be moved to helicopters and ambulances in Germany and Austria.

    Dreadful as this day has been, the only relief is that more were not killed. Usually, these trains would be full of schoolchildren, but they were off school today for a carnival.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: One person is still missing in the wreckage, but officials had to call off the search at nightfall.

    GWEN IFILL: Staggering new numbers today on the European migrant crisis. The International Organization for Migration reports that more than 76,000 migrants have arrived on the continent by sea just since January 1. That comes to nearly 2,000 arrivals a day, and it’s about 10 times more than the same period last year. More than 400 people have died in the crossing attempt this year, up from 69 at this same time last year.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Back in this country, Hawaii’s Big Island has declared a state of emergency over an outbreak of dengue fever. There’ve been 250 confirmed cases of the mosquito-borne illness since late October, the most since the 1940s. The state of emergency allows landfills to accept old tires, which are often breeding spots for mosquitoes.

    GWEN IFILL: Wall Street struggled today to avoid another sell-off. In the end, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 12 points to close at 16014. The Nasdaq fell 15 points, and the S&P 500 dropped one.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And thousands of people had to brave cold winds in New Orleans today for the climax of Mardi Gras. Despite the chill, revelers filled the streets of the Big Easy to enjoy traditional parades, elaborate floats and all the beads they could catch. The celebrations mark the culmination of the Carnival season as Lent is ushered in.

    The post News Wrap: Republicans dismiss Obama’s final budget plan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A voter enters a voting booth in the U.S. presidential primary election at the Stark Volunteer Fire Department in the village of Stark, New Hampshire, February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTX266FW

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The months of campaigning and the endless TV ads have all come to a close today in New Hampshire. This primary day means voters finally have to decide who wins, and the losers have to decide whether to go on.

    Our political director, Lisa Desjardins, is in New Hampshire, where she has watched the day’s events.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The campaign buses rolled across the Granite State one last time, and candidates made one last push to sway possible supporters. Many of those voters admitted they were last-minute deciders.

    JODY MCINTYRE, New Hampshire Voter: I just got out of my car and I said, oh, my God, who am I going to vote for? Who am I going to vote for?

    LISA DESJARDINS: For others, it was more excitement than angst in their initial experience with the first-in-the-nation primary.

    MAN: Hey, we got a first-time voter.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    WOMAN: I don’t know. I just felt that it’s time for me to become an American citizen. It’s my right. So I’m doing it.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And what a state to have that right.

    WOMAN: I know. Live free or die.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: Glad you’re out so early.

    LISA DESJARDINS: For the candidates, it’s more about living to fight on. Hillary Clinton ventured into a frosty Manchester morning to keep volunteers’ spirits up with a selfie or two, and promised her team won’t quit.

    HILLARY CLINTON: We’re going to keep working literally until every last vote is cast and counted.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Rival Bernie Sanders was also out, urging along supporters outside a polling site in Nashua.

    Among Republicans, Marco Rubio drew a largely friendly crowd at a polling site, but a few detractors as well. One showed up in a robot costume, a pointed reminder of criticism that Rubio came off too programmed in last Saturday’s debate.

    At a later stop, the candidate made clear he won’t be deterred, regardless of tonight’s result.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: And then going to South Carolina and continue to build, and — as we get into the other states.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Some of his rivals, too, insisted they’re staying in the race.

    New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:

    GOV. CHRIS CHRISTIE (R-NJ), Republican Presidential Candidate: I will see you in South Carolina.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Ohio Governor John Kasich:

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: Well, we’re going to South Carolina.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    GOV. JOHN KASICH: We will be fine.

    LISA DESJARDINS: And former Florida Governor Jeb Bush:

    FORMER GOV. JEB BUSH (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: This is a long, long process, and a lot of things can happen in a very volatile year. So, you’re going to see me.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: Thank you. Thank you very much. I appreciate it.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The man they have all been chasing, Donald Trump, had a light schedule today. And in the end, some who voted today said it wasn’t about the outcome, but about savoring a unique day in democracy.

    FRAN WHITAKER, New Hampshire Voter: That’s the most important. It’s almost less important who wins than that people just exercise their right to vote.

    LISA DESJARDINS: From New Hampshire, the Democratic race moves on to the Nevada caucuses on February 20. The next Republican primary, that’s in South Carolina the same day.

    But, of course, we’re still waiting to see what happens this day. And one factor always is turnout. I have to say, Judy, the secretary of state, Bill Gardner, of New Hampshire expects a heavy turnout. It’s been steady at the polls, but there’s about 900,000 registered voters in New Hampshire. The secretary of state expects 500,000 of them to have come out today — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You can just feel the excitement all the way here in Washington.

    So, Lisa, you were out today at polling places talking to voters. What are they saying to you?

    LISA DESJARDINS: You know, there were some of the storylines we have been reporting on. I talked to many Donald Trump voters today, and they told me to a person that they are not just voting in protest, that they do believe Donald Trump could be a strong president.

    I asked them even further, Judy, what do you make of the fact that some people say they’re offended by Donald Trump, they think that he sort of is too loose of a cannon? They said they know that that’s true, but they’re willing to take that risk because they think America is in such a weak position, that they want a leader like Donald Trump.

    So, that certainly was something I came across at the polls. What surprised me the most, two other Republicans, I heard the name Jeb Bush more than I expected, and also a lot of John Kasich, which we have been talking about before. The Jeb Bush voters I talked to seemed to be people who had been kind of having a tough decision between Bush, Kasich and Christie.

    And in this last weekend and even one of them today in the hour that he voted decided to go with Jeb Bush. He said he felt that Jeb Bush was the most presidential, someone who stood his ground in the last debate,but didn’t go on the attack.

    Marco Rubio, also a name I heard at the polls, those voters who said that they liked Marco Rubio on the Republican side told me that they felt he was the most erectable. They said they did in fact have doubts after his performance in last — in this weekend’s debate, but that they’re sticking with him because they still think in the long run he’s the one who can beat a Democrat, the most likely.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, from looking at these early exit polls we have been seeing and how many Republicans voters say they made up their minds just in the last few days, that gives you a sense of the level of how unsettled this race is on the Republican side.

    Lisa, what about on the Democratic side? What are you hearing?

    LISA DESJARDINS: There, I think what we have been talking about, this idea that Bernie Sanders has caught fire in New Hampshire, it’s something that I found just in the few polling locations I went to.

    But I did voter after voter who said they like Bernie Sanders. And I asked, you know, what do you think about his electability? They said, I’m actually not thinking about that. I think he does have as much of a chance as Hillary Clinton, but these voters, Judy, told me that they are voting with their heart. They’re not voting strategically. They are wanting — they are voting for the candidate that they themselves would put in office, whether or not they think that’s the candidate who is most likely to win in November.

    For many of those voters I talked to today, that was Bernie Sanders.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, Lisa, you were telling me about some of the radio and television spots that are playing there in New Hampshire here in the final hours?

    LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

    It will be a great sigh of relief and there will be many headaches gone tomorrow when these ads stop, but, today, Judy, there have been even more ads, and some of them really even sharper than ever, some of them getting into personal lives. I heard one that was a very personal attack on Jeb Bush, and back and forth between the candidates, especially on radio, Judy.

    We have talked about some of the candidates’ TV ads, but the radio ads are increasingly personal and increasingly sharp. And, of course, if you drop an ad like that today, it doesn’t give a candidate a chance to respond. Now, that seemed to be coming from the more conservative wing of the party.

    And I think there’s something I want to point out here, too. When I talked to Democratic voters today, Judy, all of them seemed to indicate, whether they liked Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton, that they would be happy with either of those candidates in the end. Not so on the Republican Party. And I know we will get more into this later into the show.

    Many Republicans here feel this is a do-or-die moment for their wing of the party. They feel like this is a moment where the party either has a future or doesn’t, and that’s from both sides, conservatives and moderates, both of them are concerned that the other side of the party will gain momentum here in New Hampshire.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, that’s something for us to chew on.

    All right, Lisa Desjardins, who is going to be dashing from campaign hotel to campaign hotel tonight, thank you.

    The post Candidates’ motto as N.H. voting starts: Live to fight on appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    More African-Americans are earning college degrees than ever before. But a new study shows they’re over-represented in majors that lead to low-paying jobs.

    More African-Americans are going to college than ever before. But according to new research from the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University, African-American college students are more likely to pursue majors that lead to low-paying jobs, setting up many for future debt and underemployment. And over time these occupational choices contribute to the wealth and opportunity gap between whites and blacks that spans generations.

    “Basically, African-Americans have been going to the right church but sitting in the wrong pew,” director Anthony Carnevale said. “In a way they are using education to climb the social and economic ladder, but they’re being steered toward majors that will make them low-earners.”

    African-Americans make up only a small percentage of some of the highest-paying of majors, including those in STEM and business. They’re only 8 percent of engineering, 7 percent of mathematics and 5 percent of computer science majors. Worse, Carnevale said even those who do major in high-paying fields, typically choose the lowest paying major within them. For example, the majority of black women in STEM typically study biology, the lowest-paying of the science discipline. Among engineers, most black men study civil engineering, the lowest-paying in that sector.

    African-American college students tend to have majors in public service which are also some of the country's lowest-paying.

    African-American college students tend to have majors in public service which are also some of the country’s lowest-paying. As this chart shows, African-Americans are over-represented in majors that are some of the lowest paying. Image from Center on Education and the Workforce

    In contrast, black college students are over-represented in service-oriented fields: humanities, education and social work (shown in the chart below). One of the lowest-paying majors common among African-Americans with a bachelor’s degree is early childhood education and the median earnings is only $38,000 annually compared to $65,000 for computer science (the lowest among high-paying majors for African-Americans). Carnivale says this is largely because American society overall “does not value service-oriented occupations.”

    table-4-cew

    As this chart shows, African-Americans are over-represented in majors that are some of the lowest paying. Image from Center on Education and the Workforce

    Another reason for the disparity is merely personal choice. Many service-oriented majors lead to careers that are vital to political and social movements in poor, minority communities around the country. And the study indicates that African-Americans who have strong community-based values enter into college majors that reflect those values. Despite comprising just 12 percent of the population, African-Americans are 20 percent of all community organizers.

    The center also points out that the majority of college-educated African-Americans earn their degrees from two-year institutions or open-admission four-year colleges and universities. Seventy percent of African-Americans who graduate from college attended an open-admission school. With a few exceptions, these institutions not only have limited majors and course offerings, but also lack personnel and academic resources for consistent mentorship. Often, the result is a black student being what Carnevale calls “risk adverse,” or shying away from the unfamiliar.

    Over time, low-paying majors affect economic prosperity. There’s a $4 million difference in earnings between a four-year degree in early childhood education and petroleum engineering over an entire career. Black students end up with less savings and disposable income paying for educations that landed them low-paying jobs in the first place. It stifles the African-American middle class and contributes to the country’s economic inequality.

    So what’s the solution? The Center on Education and the Workforce recommends aggressive counseling of minority students early on, encouraging young African-Americans to develop careers in tech, business and STEM that incorporate elements of community service. Carnevale points out that a black business executive could still be a community advocate by providing jobs and small business loans.

    “We don’t want to say education is a bad thing for African-Americans because it’s not,” Carnevale says. “On the other hand, to the extent that choices are limited and experience is limited, the pursuit of their passion needs to be informed. Chasing your dreams shouldn’t turn into a nightmare.”

    The post African-Americans over-represented among low-paying college majors appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laughs with a supporter at a polling place for the presidential primary in Manchester, New Hampshire on Feb. 9.   Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump laughs with a supporter at a polling place for the presidential primary in Manchester, New Hampshire on Feb. 9. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders swept to victory in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primaries, adding crucial credibility to their upstart candidacies and underscoring voters’ insistence on shaking up American politics.

    Trump and Sanders entered Tuesday’s contest as favorites in New Hampshire, but needed to deliver on expectations after second-place finishes in Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. Trump appealed to voters seeking a political outsider, while Sanders was buoyed by those seeking a candidate who they felt cared about people like them.

    “Together we have sent the message that will echo from Wall Street to Washington, from Maine to California,” Sanders said at a raucous victory party. “And that is that the government of our great country belongs to all of the people and not just a handful of wealthy campaign contributors and their super PACs.”

    Hillary Clinton echoed Sanders’ calls for taking on Wall Street banks and tackling income inequality, but cast herself as more prepared to make good on her policy pledges. “People have every right to be angry. But they’re also hungry, they’re hungry for solutions,” she said after congratulating Sanders on his win.

    New Hampshire did little to clarify the crowded contest among more mainstream GOP candidates fighting to emerge as a challenger to Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who won the Iowa caucuses. Ohio Gov. John Kasich claimed second place after devoting almost all of his campaign resources to New Hampshire, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush battled for third, along with Cruz.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who also staked his candidacy on New Hampshire, lagged behind the pack as votes were being tallied.

    Sanders pulled from a broad coalition of New Hampshire voters, gathering a majority of votes from men, independents and voters under 45, as well as a slim majority of women. Hillary Clinton won the majority of those over 65 and those with incomes over $200,000 a year, according to early exit polls conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and the television networks.

    Clinton’s campaign argues she will perform better as the race heads to more racially diverse states, including Nevada and South Carolina. Both New Hampshire and Iowa are overwhelmingly white states that are far less diverse than the nation as a whole.

    The distinctions between what motived Sanders and Clinton voters were sharp. The Vermont senator was backed by 9 in 10 voters for whom honesty was important and 8 in 10 who wanted a candidate who “cares about people like me.” Clinton, meanwhile, won support from nearly 90 percent of those who considered the “right” experience important in their decision and about 80 percent of those regarding electability as the most important factor.

    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.

    Both Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, and Trump, a real estate mogul who has never held political office, have tapped into the public’s frustration with the current political system. Even if neither candidate ultimately becomes his party’s nominee, whoever does will have to reckon with those factions of voters.

    Republican voters were more negative about their politicians than Democrats, with about half of GOP voters saying they felt betrayed by party officials. Trump carried a majority of those who said they wanted an outsider to win.

    Nearly half of voters in the Republican primary made up their minds in the past week. However, Trump’s support appeared more sustained, with his supporters saying they made up their minds some time ago.

    In a sign of Trump’s impact on the race, two-thirds of GOP voters said they supported a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims entering the U.S., a position the billionaire outlined last year amid rising fears of terrorism emanating from the Middle East.

    After finishing behind Cruz in Iowa last week, Trump embraced some of the more traditional trappings of presidential campaigns, including smaller town hall events with voters. Still, he closed the final full day of campaigning with a vulgar insult of Cruz.

    The Texas senator brushed off Trump’s comments, saying the reason the businessman engages in insults “is because he can’t discuss the substance.”

    The large Republican field was winnowed after Iowa, but there remains a crowded grouping of more traditional candidates, including Rubio and the governors.

    Rubio had appeared to be breaking away after a stronger-than-expected showing in Iowa, but he stumbled in Saturday’s debate under intense pressure from Christie. The New Jersey governor has relentlessly cast the young senator as too inexperienced and too reliant on memorized talking points to become president.

    Rubio played into Christie’s hands by responding with the same well-rehearsed line each time he was challenged by the governor. Rival campaigns hoped the moment was enough to give voters pause.

    Kasich, Bush and Christie all poured enormous resources into New Hampshire in hope of jumpstarting their White House bids in a state that has been friendly to moderate Republicans. All three could face pressure from party leaders and financial donors to end their campaigns without a strong showing.

    ___

    Julie Pace reported from Washington. AP writers Lisa Lerer, Ken Thomas, Holly Ramer, Steve Peoples, Julie Bykowicz and AP News Survey Specialist Emily Swanson contributed to this report.

    The post Trump, Sanders victorious in New Hampshire primaries appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    After her New Hampshire loss, Hillary Clinton said she will "take this campaign to the entire country." Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    After her New Hampshire loss, Hillary Clinton said she will “take this campaign to the entire country.” Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Hours before official New Hampshire results appeared Tuesday, Hillary Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook conceded to staffers, supporters and some reporters that the Granite State race was lost, in a memo obtained by PBS NewsHour that urged the Clinton team to focus past February and on March.

    “The first four states represent just 4% of the delegates needed to secure the nomination,” Mook wrote, “The 28 states that vote (or caucus) in March will award 56% of the delegates needed to win.”

    MORE: See New Hampshire results here

    The lengthy memo appears eight days after Clinton narrowly won the Iowa caucuses, squeaking out a numeric victory over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders that was so close, the two were nearly tied in the number of convention delegates won.

    A substantial victory by Sanders in New Hampshire would put him well ahead of Clinton in the nomination-determining delegate count.

    Mook’s memo aimed to point away from not just Iowa and New Hampshire, it also seemed to play down the importance of the next two votes: the Nevada caucuses on Feb. 20 and the South Carolina primary on Feb. 27.

    “From a mathematic perspective, it’s clear why March is so important: voters in large states with large delegate allotments will cast their ballots,” Mook wrote.

    The memo could be both a strategic rallying cry after a difficult first two weeks as well as a warning shot to Sanders. Mook pointed to what the Clinton camp sees as a must-win advantage over Sanders: its strength with minority voters.

    “Many of the most delegate-rich states also have some of the largest minority and urban populations — states like Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois and Florida,” Mook wrote. “It will be very difficult, if not impossible, for a Democrat to win the nomination without strong levels of support among African American and Hispanic voters … Hillary’s high levels of support in the African American and Hispanic communities are well known. She has maintained a wide double digit lead over Sen. Sanders among minority voters in national surveys.”

    Sanders’ positions on guns, immigration and Obamacare make him vulnerable with minorities, Mook argued.

    The three-page e-mail then turned from demographic tactic to broader strategy, stressing that not only must Clinton win in the more than two dozen March contests, she must often dominate.

    “In many cases, that the margin of victory (or defeat) within a given state is actually more important than whether the state is won or lost,” Mook wrote, highlighting the need to rack up numbers of delegates, which are often awarded proportionally to the size of a candidate’s win. To do that, Mook laid out a four-pronged plan using data, on-the-ground operatives, key surrogates and targeted ads.

    Even as he argued for Clinton’s strategy and underlying strength, Mook seemed to cast the former frontrunner as a strong candidate, not the expected nominee.

    “When you take into account the large number of Super Delegate commitments we’ve secured, as well as Hillary’s commanding lead in the polls in delegate-rich states, she is in a very strong position to become the nominee,” Mook concluded.

    Read the full memo below:

    The post PBS NewsHour obtains Clinton memo conceding New Hampshire, focusing on March appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Muscatine, Iowa, on Jan. 24. Photo By Jim Young/Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event in Muscatine, Iowa, on Jan. 24. Photo By Jim Young/Reuters

    NASHUA, N.H. — Donald Trump nailed down a decisive first victory in New Hampshire’s presidential primary Tuesday, showing his unorthodox campaign can translate the large crowds at his rambunctious rallies into the votes that determine delegates. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, an afterthought in Iowa, popped up in second.

    New Hampshire showed voter anger is for real, but it seemed unlikely to give much clarity to the search for a strong establishment alternative to Trump.

    Right behind Kasich: a cluster including Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, all looking for a strong showing that would produce an influx of new donor money and attention as the election moves on to South Carolina.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who had dedicated a significant amount of time to New Hampshire, lagged behind early in the vote count.

    Trump, stung by his second-place showing in Iowa last week, had been determined to make New Hampshire his proving ground for a campaign that has defied convention wisdom from the start. Early exit polls showed he drew support from voters looking for an outsider and from those who made up their minds a while ago.

    Count car salesman Val Goldenberg as a Trump voter. At a Nashua polling place, Goldenberg said he voted for the billionaire because he likes the business mogul’s “non-politician” credentials.

    “I think America really needs a good shake-up,” Goldenberg said.

    In early returns, Trump was outpacing Kasich, his closest competitor, by better than a 2-to-1 margin, as the rest of the field scrambled for a breakout moment.

    Cruz had claimed a strong victory in Iowa, but his rivals set out to slow his momentum in the second nomination contest. New Hampshire proved a disappointment for Rubio. He had arrived in New Hampshire with a burst of momentum following his better-than-expected third-place finish in Iowa last week, but a shaky debate performance Saturday sparked criticism from his rivals that the 44-year old freshman senator lacks the experience to lead the nation

    A strong performance in New Hampshire was critical for Kasich, who all but skipped Iowa’s caucuses to grind out town hall after town hall in New Hampshire. During a visit to a Concord polling place Tuesday, the Ohio governor said a Kasich win with a positive message could open up a “new chapter” in American politics.

    He closed the deal with voter Miranda Yeaton, a mother of two young daughters in Concord who said that Trump scared her and that she liked Kasich’s record as governor.

    “If he can do it for Ohio he can probably do it for the rest of America,” she said.

    Overall, Republican voters were very negative about how things are going in Washington these days, according to early results from an exit poll conducted by Edison Research for the Associated Press and the television networks. Nearly half of Republicans said they were dissatisfied and 4 in 10 were angry. Trump did best with voters who were angry; dissatisfied voters were somewhat less likely to break for Trump.

    By winning New Hampshire, Donald Trump will take the lead in the race for delegates for the Republican National Convention. But it won’t be much of a lead.

    There were just 23 GOP delegates at stake, and they are awarded proportionally, based on the statewide vote. Trump will win at least nine.

    Associated Press writers Nancy Benac in Washington, and Kathleen Ronayne and Holly Ramer contributed to this report from Manchester, New Hampshire.

    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.

    The post Trump nails it in New Hampshire after Iowa disappointment appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders walks along a street near a polling place in Concord, New Hampshire on Feb. 9. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders walks along a street near a polling place in Concord, New Hampshire on Feb. 9. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    MANCHESTER, N.H. — Sen. Bernie Sanders won a commanding victory Tuesday over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire, giving him a crucial win over the onetime front-runner who narrowly beat him in Iowa last week.

    Sanders garnered a majority of support from men, women and independents and surged past Clinton in a state she won eight years ago against then-candidate Barack Obama. Near-record turnout and a recent shift in political ideology among Democrats helped buoy Sanders’ early electoral feat.

    READ NEXT: What does Bernie Sanders believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues

    His win will likely prompt rank-and-file Democrats — and some major campaign donors — to give his candidacy a second look as the race shifts to contests in Clinton-friendly states like Nevada and South Carolina. Most polls in the state closed at 8 p.m. EST, except for a handful in a few tiny towns.

    “We started off here in New Hampshire 30, 40 points behind. That’s not the case today,” the Vermont senator told cheering supporters in Derry, New Hampshire, on Monday. He said a “good night” from his campaign would “show the American people that the voters in New Hampshire understand that this country needs a political revolution.”

    While Sanders’ victory means he’s assured of a majority of the state’s pledged delegates, Clinton remains ahead in the overall delegate count due to support from superdelegates — the party officials who can support the candidate of their choice. Clinton has amassed at least 392 delegates and Sanders at least 42; the magic number to clinch the nomination is 2,382.

    “We’re going to fight for every vote in every state,” Clinton told a cheering crowd Tuesday night after she conceded defeat, urging younger voters to support her campaign going forward.

    Sanders, once labeled a “fringe candidate” by his detractors, received majority support from younger voters and those who called themselves moderate or political liberal. He was also narrowly favored by women. Clinton, meanwhile, was backed by a majority of voters 65 and older, according to preliminary exit poll data compiled by Edison Research for The Associated Press and the television networks.

    “I felt like he was the most honest,” said Nicole Reitano, a 24-year-old from Nashua, New Hampshire, who voted for Sanders on Tuesday. “He’s had the same views forever, and he’s never budged. That makes me feel confident in him.”

    Clinton had braced for a potential loss in New Hampshire, the site of her 2008 comeback. She traversed the state’s snow-covered highways with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, in a push to maintain her edge in national polls and reassure the Democratic establishment backing her campaign.

    In the week since her slim victory in the leadoff Iowa caucuses, Clinton’s campaign has tried to lower expectations for New Hampshire, where Sanders has maintained a steady lead despite her family’s longstanding ties.

    Sanders’ gains come amid shifting political ideologies in the state, with two-thirds of Democratic voters on Tuesday identifying as politically liberal. During the 2008 primary, only 56 percent of Democratic voters said the same, exit poll data show.

    Clinton’s campaign had sought to manage expectations with a circular to her supporters, noting that “whatever happens tonight, we’re ready to get back out there and fight twice as hard tomorrow.”

    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.

    Associated Press reporters Ken Thomas and Lisa Lerer wrote this report.

    The post Sanders wins big over Clinton in New Hampshire, garnering wide support appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders attend his New Hampshire primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire on Feb. 9. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders attend his New Hampshire primary night rally in Concord, New Hampshire on Feb. 9. Photo by Rick Wilking/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders won the New Hampshire Democratic primary after convincing voters that he was more honest and trustworthy than former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to early results of the exit poll conducted by Edison Research for The Associated Press and television networks.

    Asked which of the two candidates is honest and trustworthy, nearly half said they thought only Sanders is, and nearly all of them voted for him. Few voters said only Clinton is honest and trustworthy while about 4 in 10 said both of the Democrats had those traits.

    Clinton struggled similarly last week in Iowa’s caucuses among people who said that honesty was an important issue to them.

    About 3 in 10 say only Sanders shares their values, while just over 1 in 10 say only Clinton does. Half said both candidates share their values.

    A closer look at the mood of the electorate:

    ___

    ANGER, BETRAYAL AND OUTSIDERS

    Voters in New Hampshire’s primary are deeply unhappy with the federal government, with half of Democratic voters saying they’re dissatisfied with the way government is working and another 1 in 10 saying they’re angry. That’s even higher among Republican primary voters, with nearly half saying they’re dissatisfied and 4 in 10 that they’re angry. Those who said they’re angry were particularly likely to vote for Donald Trump.

    Republicans are much more negative about their politicians than Democrats are about theirs. Half of Republicans said they feel betrayed by politicians from the Republican Party, while less than 2 in 10 Democrats say they feel betrayed by Democratic politicians.

    Republican voters say they are more interested in nominating a candidate from outside the political establishment than Democrats. Republicans are evenly divided: nearly half preferred someone with experience and about the same number say they favored an outsider. Although the vast majority of Democrats said the preferred a candidate with political experience, those who did not broke decidedly in favor of Sanders.

    ___

    INDEPENDENTS

    New Hampshire primary voters’ independent streak often sets them apart from voters in other states, but they appear to be less of a factor this time around.

    When President Barack Obama was running for re-election in 2012 and there was no contested Democratic primary, self-identified independents made up nearly half (47 percent) of the Republican primary voters in New Hampshire. In 2008, when Hillary Clinton was running against Obama, 44 percent of Democratic primary voters said they were independent.

    On Tuesday, there were slightly fewer independents at either primary. About 4 in 10 Republican voters identified themselves as independent as did just about as many Democratic voters.

    ___

    LATE DECIDERS, FIRST-TIMERS

    Seventy percent of GOP voters made up their minds this month, and 3 in 10 of them voted for Trump. But Trump had a big advantage among those who made up their minds earlier, with half saying they voted for him.

    More than 8 in 10 Republicans and Democrats casting ballots on Tuesday say they’ve voted in previous primaries. On the GOP side, 3 in 10 of both newcomers and voting veterans favored Trump.

    Among Democrats, more than half who’ve voted before favored Sanders, as did 8 in 10 primary newcomers.

    ___

    IMPORTANT ISSUES

    About three-quarters of GOP voters say they’re very worried about the economy, while 6 in 10 say they’re very worried about terrorism. Democrats were less likely to be very worried about either.

    Three in 10 Republican voters say the economy is the most important issue facing the country. That’s slightly more than said so of government spending and terrorism. Less than 2 in 10 said immigration was the top issue. Two-thirds of GOP voters say they support a temporary ban on non-citizen Muslims entering the United States.

    Three in 10 Democratic primary voters said the economy was the most important issue facing the country, while a similar share said income equality was most important.

    ___

    CANDIDATE QUALITIES

    About a third of Republican voters said the most important quality in a candidate is someone who shared their values, more than said so of any other quality in a candidate. But it was the 2 in 10 voters who said they wanted a candidate who “tells it like it is” who propelled Trump’s victory, with more than 6 in 10 supporting him.

    A third of Democratic voters valued honesty, more than said they wanted a candidate with experience, one who cares about people like them, or who preferred someone who could win in November.

    Even so, most voters in both primaries said they made their vote decisions based on candidates’ positions on issues rather than personal qualities.

    ___

    IDEOLOGY

    The voters in New Hampshire have grown apart ideologically over the past several presidential elections. Four years ago, 53 percent of voters in the New Hampshire Republican primary described themselves as conservative. On Tuesday, 7 in 10 voters in the Republican primary said they were conservative.

    Similarly, 56 percent of voters in the 2008 Democratic primary said their political ideology was liberal; on Tuesday two-thirds of Democratic voters consider themselves liberal.

    ___

    The survey was conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as voters left their polling places at 44 randomly selected sites in New Hampshire. Preliminary results include interviews with 2,078 Democratic primary voters and 1,873 Republican primary voters and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    The post Exit polls: New Hampshire Democrats trust Sanders appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    HOOKSETT, N.H. — The fight goes on for Hillary Clinton.

    Even after losing to Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Clinton promised to take her fight for the nomination to the rest of the country.

    READ MORE: PBS NewsHour obtains Clinton memo conceding New Hampshire, focusing on March

    And if she felt spurned by New Hampshire voters, she didn’t show it to supporters in Hooksett, New Hampshire.

    She told them: “I still love New Hampshire, and I always will.”

    Clinton went on to congratulate Sanders on his first-place finish in the primary on Tuesday night.

    But for the former secretary of state, she said it’s time to get back to the issues: campaign finance reform, equal pay for women and the lead-tainted drinking water in Flint, Michigan.

    Clinton also urged younger voters to support her campaign, saying she knows she has “some work to do particularly with young people.”

    The post For Clinton, fight goes on after New Hampshire setback appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spar during the Democratic presidential candidates debate sponsored by MSNBC at the University of New Hampshire on February 4, 2016. Trailing rival Sanders,  Clinton seeks to summon another comeback Mike Segar/Reuters

    The absence of drug-pricing proposals from the GOP contenders illustrates how hard it would be for Sanders or Clinton to get Congressional approval should they win office. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

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


    There are few things most Americans agree on these days, but high drug prices clearly are one of them. From $1,000-a-dose miracle drugs to enormous mark-ups on existing drugs, including generics, the pharmaceutical industry has been on a price-gouging campaign. We are angry about this and getting more so. And this was before drug executive Martin Shkreli took a page out of Bizarro last week with his performance at a Congressional hearing. No wonder the industry is trying to revamp its image, rushing out a new ad campaign aimed at Beltway policymakers.

    Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders have issued extensive statements on how to combat rising drug prices. Leading Republican contenders are less eager to add regulations, although Donald Trump reportedly has said he supports giving government more authority to seek lower prices.

    Sen. Ted Cruz’s campaign responded to a request for his policy on drug prices by referring to a piece he wrote about how the Food and Drug Administration was blocking medical innovation. Drug companies, he said, would produce more life-saving treatments if they faced fewer FDA impediments. The campaigns of Trump and Sen. Marco Rubio did not respond to multiple requests for their views on high drug prices.

    So where do things stand? And what are the odds of getting meaningful price relief on pharmacy bills?

    Beyond the campaign trail, multiple Congressional hearings have tried with limited success to grill executives from pharmaceutical companies about rising drug prices and the grounds on which they can be justified. Likewise, the Obama administration has issued some price-control proposals. Beyond rhetoric, no one is taking such things seriously during an election year in which Republicans control both houses of Congress.

    More importantly, while it’s clear that voters would like to see lower drug prices, experts note that achieving that goal will be nearly impossible without an unrealistic set of new laws. And if such new laws could be enacted, consumers might not like some of their side effects.

    The absence of drug-pricing proposals from the GOP contenders illustrates how hard it would be for Sanders or Clinton to get Congressional approval should they win office.

    Citizens in many other nations pay much less for prescription drugs than Americans do. Often, their national governments negotiate on prices directly with pharmaceutical companies. It may be tougher for a pharmaceutical company to sit across the table from a national government than a private health insurer or pharmacy company, as is the case in the U.S. But experts note that a powerful reason for lower prices in other countries is that their health systems are willing to limit their citizens’ access to drugs in exchange for getting lower drug prices. Without limiting access, these governments would have only modest leverage to seek lower prices.

    In the U.S., by contrast, Medicare rules make it very hard to limit consumer access to even the most expensive new medications. Drug plans do push consumers into lower-priced generics. But there are few curbs on access to drugs for which there are no generic equivalents. It’s a safe bet that U.S. consumers would not be happy if their access to these drugs was limited or cut off, even if it meant they would pay less for the drugs they could buy.

    Clinton and Sanders support giving Medicare more power to negotiate drug prices, but their plans also seek to attack the problem in other ways.

    Clinton’s plan also would:

    • Stop tax deductions for direct-to-consumer drug company advertising expenses and reinvest funds in research. A related goal is to stop government from subsidizing ads that may generate consumer demand based on misleading and confusing messages.
    • Require drug companies that benefit from federal research programs to invest in research, not boost their spending on marketing or add to their profits.
    • Cap out-of-pocket costs to consumers for prescription drugs at $250 a month.
    • Broaden FDA rules to stimulate approval of generic drugs to drive down prices and give consumers more choices.
    • Prohibit “pay for delay” arrangements that now permit branded drug companies to pay generic manufacturers to keep generic equivalents off the market.
    • Allow Americans to import drugs from abroad, providing Americans access to lower-priced medicines and thus boosting price competition at home.
    • Ensure American consumers are getting value for their drugs, by tying government approval of new drugs to requirements that the drugs improve health and outcomes.

    Sanders’ plan also would:

    • Import prescription drugs from Canada.
    • Close the Medicare coverage gap, known as the “donut hole,” by 2017; the current law will close it by 2020. This would reduce drug costs for millions of beneficiaries three years earlier than scheduled.
    • Boost Medicare and Medicaid drug discounts and rebates.
    • Prohibit “pay-for-delay” agreements between branded and generic drug companies.
    • Boost penalties for drug companies convicted of fraudulent behavior.
    • Require drug companies to publicly report their drug development costs, government subsidies and pricing information in not only the U.S. but in all countries where their drugs are sold too.

    The absence of drug-pricing proposals from the GOP contenders illustrates how hard it would be for Sanders or Clinton to get Congressional approval should they win office. Beyond political realities, dealing with drug pricing also entails big practical constraints.

    A recent assessment by several health experts said giving the U.S. government the power to negotiate drug prices would mean little without also giving it some control over the drugs that health insurers included in their plans and even, some say, in whether a plan could even have access to certain drugs. Further, with thousands of drugs, any price negotiations would likely need to be done by types of drugs, not individual medications. It would be a daunting task.

    This task, others say, is exactly the way unregulated drug markets already work. Creating any additional government controls over drug prices would damage if not ruin these markets. Overhauling the patent system to deal with only one sector of the economy also seems like a non-starter. And, like it or not, any measures that reduced financial payoffs to drug companies likely would lessen their incentives to develop drugs in the first place.

    While critics can argue that drug prices and company profits are too high, it’s difficult for this argument to hold up in the real world. In that world, companies are rewarded for making products that can be sold at hefty mark-ups compared with their costs of production. Whether it’s iPhones or automobiles, big profit margins often drive higher stock prices and other benefits of commercial success.

    If pharmaceutical companies are supposed to be held to a different standard of performance, no one has yet suggested how this might work in practice. Even hospitals and doctors, who some would expect to pursue less pecuniary standards of commercial conduct, clearly are motivated by money and do not willingly agree to give it back to their patients.

    Critics of U.S. drug rules note that we pay the highest drug prices in the world. American consumers therefore shoulder much of the global costs of creating new drugs. Who’s to judge whether these costs are fully justified to encourage companies to seek and develop new drugs? Perhaps every dollar is needed; perhaps not. But regardless of how many dollars it takes to incentivize the development of new drugs, fewer of them should come from the U.S. and more from consumers in other countries. Any change in U.S. drug pricing rules should be part of an international accord on drug pricing to achieve the best outcomes for American consumers. Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen.

    In the meantime, as health economist Austin Frakt has noted, perhaps we can at least take some solace from evidence that widespread complaints about high drug prices may themselves be creating pressure on drug companies to ease their feet off the pricing pedal.

    The post Lower drug prices: Does any candidate have an Rx? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie addresses the crowd at his primary election night party Nashua, New Hampshire, February 9, 2016. Photo by Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie told his primary election night party Nashua, New Hampshire, that he’s heading home to New Jersey to take stock of his struggling presidential bid. Photo by Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

    NASHUA, N.H. — New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is expected to drop out of the 2016 race for the White House after finishing sixth in the New Hampshire primary.

    That’s according to a two people familiar with his plans, who spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publically.

    Christie had banked his presidential prospects on a strong finish in the early-voting state, but finished behind most of his Republican rivals in Tuesday’s election.

    It was the final blow for a candidate who spent more than 70 days campaigning in New Hampshire.

    Christie had trouble from the get-go raising money and building support in a crowded Republican field dominated by another brash East Coaster: businessman Donald Trump.

    The post Christie expected to drop out of 2016 GOP presidential race appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders meets with the Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia's Restaurant in Harlem the day after Sander's decisive win in New Hampshire. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders meets with the Rev. Al Sharpton at Sylvia’s Restaurant in Harlem the day after Sander’s decisive win in New Hampshire. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    The Rev. Al Sharpton says he met one-on-one with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders Wednesday at a Harlem landmark, where they discussed issues that affect the African-American community around the country.

    Sharpton says, “I think it is very important that he sent the signal that on the morning after a historic victory…he would come to Harlem and have breakfast with me.”

    Sharpton says the two men talked at Sylvia’s Restaurant about affirmative action, police brutality and the water disaster in Flint.

    Sharpton adds that he and various heads of national civil rights organizations plan to meet with Clinton next week.

    He says he won’t endorse a candidate until after that meeting with Clinton.

    The post Sharpton, Sanders dine at Harlem restaurant appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik/Kremlin/via Reuters

    The U.S. and Russian President Vladimir Putin have clashed over their visions for resolving the Syrian crisis. Photo by Aleksey Nikolskyi/Sputnik/Kremlin/via Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. says Russia’s counterterrorism campaign in Syria is actually helping the Islamic State.

    Brett McGurk, the Obama administration’s point-man for defeating the group, says a Russian-backed offensive in northern Syria is targeting rebel fighters who were battling the Islamic State and who now have to face the Syrian military.

    McGurk tells the House Foreign Affairs Committee, “What Russia’s doing is directly enabling ISIL.”

    He says Russia is strengthening the Syria’s government, worsening a humanitarian crisis and fueling extremism.

    McGurk, who will meet Russian and other diplomats at a conference on Syria later this week, called the developments “totally unacceptable.”

    The post U.S. says Russian campaign in Syria helping the Islamic State appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Unborn Cities, No.07, 2015. Pigment print. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.07, 2015. Pigment print. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    It was just after dark when I found myself in front of an abandoned, glowing rainbow pavilion.

    I was in the center of the Yujiapu Financial District near the port city of Tianjin. Amid dozens of dark skyscrapers and countless miles of freshly paved streets, the pavilion painted the landscape in a friendly glow and waited patiently for someone, anyone, to arrive.

    Unlike many Western cities that begin as small developments and grow in accordance to the local industries, gathering community and history as they age, many of the new cities located in inner mainland China are built to the point of near-completion before people arrive. Because of this, there is an interim period between the final phases of development and when the areas become noticeably populated — and until then, many of the buildings stand empty. During this phase of development, Western media often describe these areas as defunct “ghost cities,” which fails to recognize that they are built on an urban model, timeline and scale that is simply unfamiliar within Western urbanization.

    Unborn Cities, No.46/No.89, 2015. Pigment prints. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.46/No.89, 2015. Pigment prints. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    In 2015, I visited a number of these new areas, taking photographs in the Kangbashi New Area of Ordos, Inner Mongolia, the Yujiapu Financial District near Tianjin and the Meixi Lake development near the city of Changsha. Of these areas, Kangbashi is the oldest. Construction began here in 2005. The development of Meixi Lake began in 2012, and unlike Kangbashi, still seems to have some ongoing construction. Construction began on the Yujiapu Financial District in 2008.

    I wasn’t surprised to find myself feeling rather alone in these places. What struck me, however, was the lack of history. Immediately, it became fairly clear that many of these “ghost cities” were not at all abandoned or defunct, as I had heard they were, but rather just very new.

    Oftentimes, when you’re in a city, you can locate yourself on the timeline of that city by identifying different eras of architecture or by interpreting the relative age of the structures and landscape around you. But when visiting a city that has been built in just the past five or six years, these indicators of age are not yet visible, and because of this the urban landscape appears temporally displaced. It was the sense of displacement, produced by the uniform newness of these cities, that became the visual foundation for this series of work.

    Unborn Cities, No.01, 2015. Pigment print. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.01, 2015. Pigment print. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Instead of documenting these areas in a more traditional manner and titling the images with descriptive captions, I wanted to embrace their enigmatic nature. By photographing before sunrise and after sunset, I could make long exposures that would result in colorful, shadowless, almost fantastical images.

    Many of these new cities are not expected to be completed or vibrant until 15 to 25 years after construction has begun. They are built for the distant future, and at present, we can only speculate on what form they will take on. Because of this, I was interested in making images that function less as illustrative documents, and more like reflections of how these cities feel right now.

    Unborn Cities, No.88/No.35, 2015.  Pigment prints.  44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.88/No.35, 2015. Pigment prints. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.02, 2015. Pigment print. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.02, 2015. Pigment print. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.94/92, 2015.  Pigment prints.  44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    Unborn Cities, No.94/92, 2015. Pigment prints. 44 x 55 inches. Photo by Kai Caemmerer

    The word “parallax” describes the camera error that occurs when an image looks different through a viewfinder than how it is recorded by a sensor; when one camera gives two perspectives. Parallax is a blog where photographers offer the unexpected sides and stories of their work. Tell us yours or share on Instagram at #PBSParallax.

    The post These Chinese cities begin life with empty streets and skyscrapers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina arrives to greet supporters on voting day in Bedford, New Hampshire, February 9, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    Carly Fiorina arrives to greet supporters on voting day in Bedford, New Hampshire, Tuesday. The former CEO ended her campaign for the Republican nomination Wednesday. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    DES MOINES — Former technology executive Carly Fiorina exited the 2016 Republican presidential race Wednesday, after winning praise for her debate prowess but struggling to build a winning coalition in a crowded GOP field.

    “While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them,” Fiorina wrote in a Facebook statement.

    “I will continue to serve in order to restore citizen government to this great nation so that together we may fulfill our potential,” the statement said.

    Fiorina, 61, entered the tumultuous Republican primary in April. She promoted herself as an outsider with business experience and argued that as the lone woman in the GOP field she was best positioned to oppose likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. After a standout performance in the first undercard debate, Fiorina rose to the mainstage and soared in the polls in the fall. But her momentum quickly stalled and by the end of the year she had dropped back down.

    Fiorina won applause from women on both sides of the aisle in the second Republican debate in September when she was asked to respond to Donald Trump’s comments criticizing her face.

    “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said,” Fiorina said calmly. Trump sought to smooth things over, saying “I think she’s got a beautiful face and I think she’s a beautiful woman.”

    Fiorina’s first major foray in to politics was in 2010, when she ran for Senate in California and lost to incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer by 10 points.

    Throughout her presidential bid, Fiorina emphasized her meteoric rise in the business world. A Stanford University graduate, she started her career as a secretary, earned an MBA and worked her way up at AT&T to become a senior executive at the telecom giant.

    But she was also dogged by questions about her record at Hewlett-Packard, where she was hired as CEO in 1999. She was fired six years later, after leading a major merger with Compaq and laying off 30,000 workers.

    The post Carly Fiorina ends 2016 Republican bid for president appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    House Budget Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, left, and Senate Budget Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., exult in the bipartisan Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

    House Budget Chairman John Kasich, R-Ohio, left, and Senate Budget Chairman Pete Domenici, R-N.M., exult in the bipartisan Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

    When the Republicans took control of the House of Representatives in the “Gingrich Revolution” of 1994, House Speaker Newt Gingrich put a brash young Congressman from Ohio in charge of delivering on a key agenda item — coming up with a plan to balance the federal budget.

    That hard-charging congressman was then-42-year-old John Kasich.

    For months, I and my team from the then-MacNeil-Lehrer NewsHour followed Kasich as he took on the entrenched spending bulls of Congress — not just Democrats, but also Republicans. Committee leaders from both parties jealously guarded their control of the spending purse, and the power that came with it.

    We spent days with Kasich in the offices, halls and hearing rooms of Capitol Hill, on the road with his House Budget Committee and at his home in Columbus, Ohio.

    What was fascinating for me in reporting this piece, was to watch Kasich work on transforming himself as well. Known for years as a hard-charging fiscal hawk in the House minority, he had to evolve from a maverick back-bencher into a policy maker. And he had to do it well enough to forge personal relationships and build coalitions across the aisle.

    READ MORE: What does John Kasich believe? Where the candidate stands on 10 issues

    We ended our reporting the day before his budget blueprint, which he had gotten through the Budget Committee with Democratic as well as Republican votes, went to the full House for a vote. It passed. And within two years, with many changes, became law as the Balanced Budget Act of 1997.

    Historians will long quibble over whether that law delivered on what it promised. But the process by which Kasich pulled off the first step reveals a lot about the character and MO of the man who last night surprised the pundits by scoring second in the New Hampshire primary.

    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.

    The post Meet John Kasich, the brash young House Budget Chairman appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    sweat3

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: Finally: A new play tells the story of an industrial Pennsylvania city in decline and the impact on a group of friends.

    Jeffrey Brown talks with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The year is 2000, the setting, a bar in Reading, Pennsylvania, as friends, co-workers at a steel plant, celebrate a birthday. But as time passes, there is little celebrating, rather, a sense of loss, of jobs, friendships, loved ones, a way of life.

    ACTRESS: The union don’t got a lot to say about it. Those machines are gone. They aren’t coming back. But if we do this right, we can protect the rest of your jobs.

    LYNN NOTTAGE, Playwright, “Sweat”: I decided that I wanted to go about finding sort of the source of this trauma and figuring out how we as Americans had come to that point where we could be living so close to poverty without recognizing it on a daily basis.

    ACTOR: You need to shut up and drink your beer. That’s exactly why I didn’t say anything, man.

    JEFFREY BROWN: There is humor in Lynn Nottage’s new play “Sweat,” but at its heart, it’s a harrowing look at workers who have been impacted by large forces in American life.

    ACTOR: Three generations of loyalty to the same company. I never imagined working anywhere else. I get injured, I’m in the hospital for nearly two months, can’t walk, can’t feel my toes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The characters live amid the decline of the Rust Belt, the consequences of NAFTA and new technology, the weakening of unions.

    LYNN NOTTAGE: The bar is the place where the truth happens most often, because you have the lubricant that loosens people’s tongues.

    JEFFREY BROWN: The bar in the play itself is based on a real one in Reading, a city once a symbol of industrial power, home to the Reading Railroad Company, so famous from “Monopoly,” and in its day, one of the richest corporations in the world.

    By 2011, though, Reading was cited as the poorest city in the nation, with more than 41 percent of its citizens living below the poverty line. The statistics drew Nottage, and her research began.

    LYNN NOTTAGE: I got in a car with someone who I was working with, and we drove the 2.5 hours to Reading from New York City and just began to explore it.

    I always begin by saying that I’m not a reporter and I’m not there to fix anything. I’m just there to listen and to absorb. And it may result in something and it may result in nothing at all. But I find that, for a lot of people, there’s this palliative effect of just sitting down and talking, and having someone who’s nodding and listening and appreciative of their stories.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And did some of these interviews, or whatever you want to call them, gathering of stories, end up in the play?

    LYNN NOTTAGE: Absolutely. After about a year-and-a-half, I encountered a group of steelworkers who had been locked out of their factory for 92 weeks. This was a group of sort of burly, sturdy people who normally, given where I live and given what I do, I wouldn’t have the opportunity to sit down with.

    But we’re sitting in a circle, and they began to tell their stories. And the majority of them had been working in the steel factory for between 25 to 30 years.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Many stories later, the result is “Sweat,” a co-commission of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., where the play is now running.

    Here, Tracey, a central character, looks back to what she sees as the good old days.

    ACTRESS: My family’s been here since the ’20s. They built the house that I live in. They built this town. My grandfather was German. He could build anything, cabinets, fine furniture, anything.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Nostalgia comes as security is slipping away, and machines and jobs literally disappear overnight.

    Tracey’s friend, Cynthia, fulfills her dream of a management position after 26 years on the factory floor, only to find herself cut off by co-workers as layoffs begin.

    ACTOR: Are they trying to squeeze us out?

    KIMBERLY SCOTT, “Cynthia”: You saw how easy it was for them to sneak in and break down those machines while all of us were at home sleeping. I guarantee you they’re in Mexico.

    JEFFREY BROWN: For Kimberly Scott, who plays Cynthia, the themes hit home.

    KIMBERLY SCOTT: I was raised in a union household.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You were?

    KIMBERLY SCOTT: Yes. One of the first things I learned to read was the United Transportation Union newsletter. My dad worked on the railroad for over 30 years. When I went to graduate school, I remember a day when I was going to school and I had to cross the union picket line to get into class.

    And it was traumatic. I remember calling my mom, crying, what do I do, what do I do? And she said, baby, you’re there to get an education. You do what you have to do.

    JEFFREY BROWN: As changes come, no one is spared, not Chris, Cynthia’s son, or his best friend, Jason, who also work at the plant, not Stan the bartender, or his young helper Oscar from a Latino family, who decides to cross a picket line to improve his lot, with tragic consequences.

    ACTOR: They offer me $3 more per hour than I make here.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Lynn Nottage says, after all the research, she started her writing at the end of the story, with these four men.

    LYNN NOTTAGE: The image that I had was the last image of the play, in which you have four men for who come from very different backgrounds standing on the stage in a moment of extreme crisis and trying to find the vocabulary to communicate across the divide. That’s what I began with, and I thought, how do I get there?

    JEFFREY BROWN: Nottage is best known for her 2009 Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Ruined,” which examined another crisis, violence against women in an African civil war.

    Where does the compulsion come from for you to look at things like this?

    LYNN NOTTAGE: It comes from curiosity. It’s one of the things that I always told my students, is replace judgment with curiosity.

    JEFFREY BROWN: I mean, because people usually come in with judgments?

    LYNN NOTTAGE: People enter with judgment. And I think that judgment becomes a wall.

    And rather than being passive and sitting back and allowing that curiosity to sort of die, I reach out and ask the question. And so I think that’s why I travel. And that’s why I go in search of characters.

    JEFFREY BROWN: “Sweat,” drama that takes on social and economic issues now part of the presidential campaign, is in Washington through February, and is then expected to move to New York.

    From Arena Stage, I’m Jeffrey Brown for the PBS NewsHour.

    The post Steelworkers’ stories of disappearing jobs come to life onstage in ‘Sweat’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    General Economic Imagery From North Dakota Ahead Of The Republican Caucus

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: In a surprise move late yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court stepped in to put the centerpiece of President Obama’s climate change agenda on hold, pending the outcome of judicial appeals in the lower courts.

    William Brangham has that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: In a move that’s been called unprecedented, the Supreme Court has temporarily blocked major environmental regulations that were designed to cut back on greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired power plants.

    The high court’s order means these regulations, which were put out by the Environmental Protection Agency, can’t go into effect until legal challenges against them are settled. The coal industry and a consortium of states have sued to stop the rules, calling them — quote — “a power grab.”

    To help us understand all this, we turn to Coral Davenport, who has been reporting the story for The New York Times.

    So, Coral, before we get to what the court ordered, let’s talk a little bit about these regulations. These are not some arcane set of rules. These seem pretty fundamental to the president’s environmental agenda.

    CORAL DAVENPORT, The New York Times: Yes, the regulation that was put on hold is really at the heart of President Obama’s climate change agenda.

    In his second term, President Obama really wanted to build a legacy around addressing climate change. He just got back less than two months ago from a meeting in Paris where the first ever universal global accord on climate change was signed.

    One of the reasons or one of the cornerstones for the success of that accord was the fact that the U.S. had acted on this specific policy. So this is — as you say, this is not some small, arcane policy. This was set to be sort of the cornerstone of what President Obama hoped would be the first major climate action by the United States.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The coal industry and 20-something states have been suing to try to block these rules. What has been their argument against them?

    CORAL DAVENPORT: Their reason to block the rules is, if the rules were to go into effect, they would target, as you say, emissions from coal-fired power plants, and in the long run probably shut down hundreds of coal-fired power plants in the U.S.

    They would freeze construction of future coal-fired power plants and almost certainly freeze the domestic market for U.S. coal. So the coal industry and states where coal mining or coal-fired power plants are a big part of the company have been fighting tooth and nail against this rule from the very beginning.

    Their legal argument is that rule is so broad, so creative that it’s a sort of overinterpretation of the existing law of the Clean Air Act, that it violates the Constitution. These are their legal arguments against the rule.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, the Supreme Court steps in and says no implementing of these rules until the legal challenges against the rules are settled. Is that what’s unusual about this, the timing of when the court stepped in?

    CORAL DAVENPORT: Yes, it’s very rare for the court to issue a stay like this, and almost unprecedented for the court to halt a regulation before the regulation has — before there’s even been any kind of court or legal action.

    So the regulation is on track to — there will be oral arguments in a district federal court in June, but, essentially, you know, the Supreme Court is halting implementation of the rule before it’s even had its first day in court. That is what is so surprising about this.

    And I can tell you that even the plaintiffs in this case, even the coal states and coal-fired power plants who sued for this actually called this result amazing. Even they were surprised that the Supreme Court did this.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: You touched on this a little bit earlier. In fact, you reported today that the Supreme Court’s move could prove to be a major blow to the Paris agreements that this administration and hundreds of other countries agreed to. Explain how that would work. How does a domestic ruling affect an international global treaty?

    CORAL DAVENPORT: Well, the accord — it’s not quite a treaty — the accord, what’s important about it is, it’s the first ever universal climate change deal. Every country on Earth has signed on to this deal with a commitment to take action at home on climate change.

    And, historically, the reason no such deal has been possible before is because of lack of action by the United States. So, once President Obama put this regulation in place, he met with his counterparts, he met with the other world leaders in China, in India, around the world, and said, look, we have got this policy in place, this regulation is being implemented, the U.S., the largest historic carbon emitter in the world is acting.

    And because of the nature of climate change, you know, it’s a global problem. You can’t have a solution unless really all the players are on board. And so President Obama used this regulation as leverage in, you know, getting a deal and getting other countries on board.

    If this rule is not enacted, if it is ultimately struck down by the Supreme Court, it takes away that leverage. It takes away this major action by the world’s largest economy. And so already in New Delhi and Beijing, there are questions about, well, if the U.S. might not be able to meet its commitment, you know, there are questions about, well, why should other countries do the same?

    No one is threatening not to move forward with the accord yet, but what analysts in those other countries are saying is, they’re going to look ahead to the final Supreme Court decision. If the Supreme Court moves all the way ahead and strikes down this rule, it really could imperil this Paris agreement that was celebrated with such fanfare less than two months ago.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Coral Davenport of The New York Times, thanks so much.

    CORAL DAVENPORT: It’s great to be with you. Thank you.

    The post Will a surprising Supreme Court move shake the Paris climate accord? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The lobby of the CIA Headquarters Building in McLean, Virginia, August 14, 2008.      REUTERS/Larry Downing      (UNITED STATES) - RTR2146J

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    HARI SREENIVASAN: But, first, yesterday America’s top intelligence officials were on Capitol Hill yesterday to discuss their updated assessment of worldwide threats to the United States. Among their top concerns, cyber-attacks, the Islamic State group, the war in Syria, North Korea’s nuclear activities and a resurgent Russia.

    We’re joined now by David Cohen, the deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency. He’s been at the CIA for one year, after five years at the Treasury Department overseeing sanctions implementation and efforts to combat terrorism financing.

    So, when I rattle off those lists of concerns that the community has, what are the top three that keep you up at night?

    DAVID COHEN, Deputy Director, CIA: Well, I think that was a list of six, and I think all six of those keep us up at night.

    I mean, obviously, we’re spending a lot of time focused on the threat from ISIL. We’re also very much engaged in what’s happening in Syria and Iraq, the threat from Russia. And just this past weekend, we saw North Korea launch a rocket after a nuclear test they conducted about six weeks ago, so all these issues are, you know, top of the list for us at the agency.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: OK. Given the time you spent a lot of time at Treasury looking at sanctions, right now, especially in the political climate, there is quite a conversation happening about Iran after the nuclear deal.

    DAVID COHEN: Sure.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: So looking at it now through your lens at the CIA, what intelligence do we have? How are we so confident we can catch Iran if they were to cheat?

    DAVID COHEN: Well, the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, the JCPOA, that was agreed to over the summer has within it a whole series of measures that would allow the IAEA the unprecedented access to Iran’s nuclear program, from the very — from the uranium mills and mines all the way through whatever enrichment facilities they may have, to their centrifuges, an extraordinary window into what Iran is doing that the IAEA will have and the international community will have.

    And that’s one very important part of it, but we have also been very much focused on Iran’s nuclear program for a number of years, and so we will be able to, obviously, supplement what the IAEA is able to discover through our own efforts as well.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What about the money that’s sort of been freed up past the deal? We have heard even Secretary of State Kerry after the deal say, listen, I can’t account for every dollar, where it goes.

    At the CIA, are you seeing evidence that any of those dollars that had been freed are going to fund terrorism organizations?

    DAVID COHEN: Look, one of the major reasons that Iran entered into the nuclear deal was because of the sanctions and because of the huge economical toll that had been created over the years by the sanctions program.

    So I think it’s our assessment that Iran is intending to use the sanctions relief, the vast majority of the sanctions relief that it will be obtaining to repair its economy, to try and deliver some modicum of economic growth to its people. And we will be watching very carefully how Iran is making use of that money. We’re watching it very carefully.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: OK.

    Let’s talk a little bit about ISIS, or ISIL. We had a report that we saw just today from fighters trained by the CIA saying that they feel abandoned on the battlefield, especially in light of recent events. How do you support them?

    DAVID COHEN: Well, look, I’m not going to get into anything that the CIA may or may not be doing with respect to the battlefield in Syria.

    I will say that the Russians, in particular, since they have come in to Syria last fall, you know, came in saying that they were there to fight Da’esh, to fight the terrorists, have spent most of their time trying to bolster Assad.

    And what that has meant is helping the Syrian regime to bomb the moderate opposition in Syria, which has been putting pressure on the Assad regime. That is not fighting Da’esh, and it’s taking a toll on the moderate opposition. But, you know, the State Department has a program to work with the moderate opposition.

    Others around the world, frankly, in the Middle East and beyond are working to try and support the moderate opposition. They have been taking it on the chin recently, but they have also been quite resilient. You know, this conflict has been going on now for, you know, five years, close to five years.

    And the moderate opposition has, you know, faced first the Syrian regime. They faced Hezbollah working with the Syrian regime. They faced the Iranians working with the Syrian regime and now they’re facing the Russians working with the Syrian regime, and they are a resilient bunch.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All these things lead me to say that we are living through a period of incredible geopolitical instability right now. And part of the reason that we’re aware of that is because of the spread of digital technology.

    One of the concerns that’s always come from the intelligence community is that you’re not getting enough help from the technology companies. So, I wanted to ask, if you find a suspect somewhere overseas that has some sort of a social media presence, are the Facebooks, the Googles, the Twitters of the world helping you in any way?

    DAVID COHEN: Look, I’m not going to get into the sort of particularities of how we — how, if we find a suspect who is on social media, how we’re able to tap into that.

    There is an ongoing conversation with the media companies, some of which we’re involved in, but also, you know, the FBI and others in domestic law enforcement are very much engaged in this conversation.

    We set up this new directorate specifically because we have recognized that we need to do a better job of leveraging and operating in the digital domain. I mean, I think your viewers know this as well as we do that increasingly we live our lives online. Increasingly, the information that we have access to is digital information.

    And we, as the Central Intelligence Agency, felt that we needed to do a better job of both harnessing the digital information that we have, of thinking about how we operate in the digital domain, and making sure that we are making use of digital technologies to the greatest extent possible.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Finally, I have heard that one of the things that you say to the new folks that are being sworn in is that this is an agency that’s governed by law, right?

    DAVID COHEN: Right.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And one of the practices that’s very difficult for Americans to swallow is drone strikes that kill targets overseas, and at times, there are civilian casualties as well. A lot of people are going to say, you know what? That seems like extrajudicial killings. That doesn’t seem that would be following what American law is.

    Should the CIA be in the drone strike business?

    DAVID COHEN: Look, I’m not going to comment on whether the CIA is involved in any of those sorts of activities.

    I will say, however, that the embrace of legal constraints on what we do, domestic law, international law, is something that we are quite happy to have and to operate within a system of laws. And what makes the CIA, what makes the United States different from many countries around the world is adherence to the rule of law.

    And, as you said, Hari, when I swear in new officers, one of the points I make to them is that we operate within a legal construct, we operate within the laws, not fighting against it, but willingly, happily embracing the fact that what we do is governed by law. That’s core to the CIA. It’s core to what this country is all about, and it’s not something that we chafe against at all.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, David Cohen with the CIA, thanks so much for joining us.

    DAVID COHEN: Thank you.

    The post The global threats that keep the CIA up at night appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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