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

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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after rival candidate Hillary Clinton was projected as the winner in the Nevada Democratic caucuses as he appears at a rally in Henderson, Nevada February 20, 2016. Jim Young/Reuters

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters after rival candidate Hillary Clinton was projected as the winner in the Nevada Democratic caucuses as he appears at a rally in Henderson, Nevada February 20, 2016. Jim Young/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Older women turned out in force to support former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Nevada’s caucuses, even as she continued to struggle to gain the support of younger women, according to entrance polls conducted as Democrats arrived at caucus sites Saturday.

    In South Carolina, terrorism was the top issue for Republican primary voters, and three-quarters supported temporarily banning non-citizen Muslims from entering the United States, according to exit polls.

    Here is a closer look at Democratic caucus-goers in Nevada and Republican primary voters in South Carolina:

    DEMOGRAPHICS KEY IN NEVADA

    In Nevada, women were more likely to support Clinton and men to support Sanders. Sanders gained the support of 7 in 10 caucus attendees under 45 and Clinton of two-thirds of those age 45 and over. About two-thirds of Nevada caucus-goers were at least 45.

    Seven in 10 women under 45 supported Sanders. But two-thirds of caucus-going women were 45 and over, and 7 in 10 of them supported Clinton.

    A large majority of black caucus-goers supported Clinton, while whites and Hispanics were more evenly divided.

    CLINTON FOR EXPERIENCE, SANDERS FOR HONESTY

    As was the case for caucus-goers in Iowa and primary voters in New Hampshire, Nevada caucus-goers who cared most about voting for a candidate who’s honest and trustworthy or one who cares about people like them overwhelmingly supported Sanders, while whose looking for experience or electability overwhelmingly backed Clinton.

    Caucus-goers were about evenly split between whether they most prefer a candidate with experience, one who’s honest or one who cares about people like them, and were slightly less likely to say it’s most important to have a candidate who can win in November.

    ECONOMY, INCOME INEQUALITY TOP ISSUES

    The top issues named by caucus-goers in Nevada were the economy, followed by income inequality and then health care, according to the entrance poll. A majority of those who said the economy was their top issue supported Clinton, as did most of those who said the top issue was health care. Those who named income inequality tended to support Sanders.

    About half of caucus attendees said they think the next president should generally continue President Barack Obama’s policies, while about 4 in 10 said they want the next president to have more liberal policies. Among those who wanted a continuation of Obama’s policies, most came to support Clinton. Among those who want more liberal policies, most support Sanders.

    Caucus-goers were slightly more likely to say they preferred Clinton than Sanders to handle Supreme Court nominations.

    Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrate the close of the polls as they watch election results at a rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina February 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX27V2E

    Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrate the close of the polls as they watch election results at a rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina February 20, 2016. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    TERRORISM TOP ISSUE IN SOUTH CAROLINA

    Terrorism is the issue that mattered most to Republican primary voters in South Carolina, according to early results of exit poll in the state. It was selected by about a third of voters, while the economy and government spending were each picked by nearly 3 in 10. Three-quarters of voters also said they were very worried about the direction of the nation’s economy.

    Just over half said immigrants who are living in the country illegally should be offered a chance to apply for legal status and about 4 in 10 said they should be deported back to their country of origin.

    There is no such division among the Republicans on the issue of allowing Muslims into the country. About three-quarters support a temporary ban on Muslims who are not American citizens from entering the United States.

    Less than 10 percent of the voters in South Carolina on Saturday have a positive impression about the efforts of the federal government. About half said they were disappointed and 4 in 10 said they were angry about how Washington is working. More than half said they felt betrayed by politicians in the Republican Party.

    VALUES VOTERS

    About 4 in 10 voters in South Carolina said “shares my values” was the most important quality they’re looking for in a candidate. Electing someone who can bring change was most important to nearly 3 in 10. Less than 20 percent selected either electability in November or “tells it like it is.”

    Three-quarters of voters described themselves as born-again Christians, after 65 percent of South Carolina primary voters said that in 2012.

    And nearly half of all voters said it mattered a great deal that a candidate shares their religious beliefs, more than the 26 percent who said so in 2012.

    The voters are split on whether the next president should be an outsider or a member of the political establishment. Nearly half said they prefer someone who has experience in politics and about the same number would rather see someone from outside the political establishment.

    ___

    The surveys were conducted for The Associated Press and the television networks by Edison Research as Republican voters left their polling places at 35 randomly selected sites in South Carolina and as Democratic voters arrived at 25 randomly selected caucus sites in Nevada. In Nevada, the results include interviews with 1,024 Democratic caucus-goers and have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. In South Carolina, the preliminary results include interviews with 1,599 Republican primary voters and have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

    The post The top issues influencing voters in South Carolina and Nevada appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Jason Dalton, 45, is shown in this booking photo provided by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office in Kalamazoo, Michigan February 21, 2016.  Dalton was arrested after a gunman killed six people dead and wounded two in Kalamazoo County, in random parking lots shootings, police said Sunday. Dalton was also reported to be an Uber driver and may have been working when the rampage began.  Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Office/Reuters

    Jason Dalton, 45, is shown in this booking photo provided by the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office in Kalamazoo, Michigan February 21, 2016. Dalton was arrested after a gunman killed six people dead and wounded two in Kalamazoo County, in random parking lots shootings, police said Sunday. Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office/Reuters

    At least six people are dead in Michigan following a shooting rampage that began at an apartment complex and stretched across Kalamazoo County for hours on Saturday night.

    Jason B. Dalton, 45, the suspected shooter, was taken into custody early Sunday morning, police said.

    Officials said Dalton opened fire on people who had no apparent connection to him, targeting three separate locations over a roughly four-hour period.

    “These are random murders,” Kalamazoo County Undersheriff Paul Matyas said.

    An Uber representative told the PBS NewsHour on Sunday that Dalton had been working as a driver for the ride-hailing app but would not confirm whether he was picking up Uber passengers Saturday night, instead referring the question to police.

    When contacted, Matyas said he could not comment on details related to the case until a more thorough investigation has been conducted.

    Uber has noted that the car service company conducted a background check on Dalton before he was hired, Reuters reported.

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    The shootings began at approximately 6 p.m. at an apartment complex, before Dalton allegedly moved to a Cracker Barrel restaurant several miles away. Four people were shot dead in the parking lot at the restaurant. A father and son also were killed at a nearby car dealership. Two other people were critically wounded during the attacks.

    Dalton was arrested at 12:40 a.m Sunday after a deputy identified his vehicle and found at least one semi-automatic handgun, according to the AP. A motive was not immediately released by the authorities.

    At a press conference on Sunday, authorities said Dalton had no criminal record prior to the shooting and will likely to face multiple counts of first-degree murder and attempted murder charges.

    “How do you go and tell the families of these victims that they weren’t targeted for any reason other than they were there to be a target?” Kalamazoo County prosecutor Jeff Getting said.

    The shooting spree in Kalamazoo was the 42nd mass shooting in 2016, according to The Washington Post.

    The post Uber driver is suspect in rampage that killed six people in Michigan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Screen Shot 2016-02-21 at 2.51.56 PM

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    ED STOURTON: I’m Edward Stourton, a British journalist, and I knew from researching my biography of John Paul II that Anna Teresa Tyemienecka had collaborated with Karol Wojtyla – as he was known before he became Pope – on one of his books, The Acting Person. She died two years ago, and she might have taken the full story of their long relationship to the grave, but in 2008, a New York based expert in rare manuscripts received an unusual phone call.

    MARSHA MALINOWSKI: I was asked to get on a plane and go to New Hampshire to look at some letters from Pope John Paul II. The first thing that comes to mind, it’s got to be wrong, it’s fake, it can’t be right. Then, all of a sudden you walk in and you see the items and there’s no doubt that they are right.

    NARRATOR: Marsha Malinovski negotiated a private sale and the letters were sent to John Paul’s native Poland. I tracked them down in Warsaw, the Polish capital and established they were bought for a seven figure sum for the Polish National Library.

    They’ve been here ever since, unknown to the public. But after long negotiations the library allowed us to see and indeed film, Karol Wojtyla’s letters to Anna Teresa Tyemienecka.

    The story they tell begins here, at the Archbishop’s Palace in Krakow.

    VOICE OVER: Dear Madam professor, I received your message on the twelfth of July but because I’ve been away from Krakow, I am only answering now. I propose that we meet and talk on the twenty ninth of July.

    NARRATOR: Karol Wojtyla’s guest here that summer evening was married, in her mid-fifties and a professional philosopher. Like him she had attended Krakow’s famous Jagellonian University, before studying abroad and settling in the United States.

    And she had got in touch with the cardinal because she admired a book of philosophy that he’d written.

    ED STOURTON: It’s a wonderful picture isn’t it?

    NARRATOR: Bill and Jadviga Smith, both academics based in New England, became Anna Teresa’s close friends towards the end of her life and are the executors of her will.

    ED STOURTON: When she did write to Cardinal Wojtyla, she wrote the book and then wrote to him and said, can I meet you? It’s just the sort of impulsiveness in the way she –

    JADVIGA SMITH: Yes and no. It wasn’t necessarily well here she starts because she spotted the book and it would be nice to write to this Cardinal or bishop. Here, here is the book, let me just fix it in English.

    BILL SMITH: Yes, he was interested in having his ideas promulgated in the West.

    ED STOURTON: But I’m still struck, it was quite a thing to get on a plane. Was that…?

    BILL SMITH: That was not unusual for her.

    JADVIGA SMITH: Not at all.

    BILL SMITH: Friend and Executor of Anna-Teresa’s estate
    …to get on a plane and do something like this, this was part of her character. That’s the way she tackled everything.

    NARRATOR: At first the letters focused on philosophy. They traded ideas in the way you might expect from two deep thinkers.

    VOICE OVER: I have been thinking about the possibility of a deeper philosophical conversation. Thank you for the article, “The Three Dimensions of Phenomenology”, ontological and transcendental…

    NARRATOR: Soon, they were meeting regularly and writing to each other often. But this was the 1970s – in the deep chill of the Cold War years, and communist Poland was an atheist police state.

    NARRATOR: In October 1974, a little over a year after first meeting Anna Teresa Tymienecka, Cardinal Wojtyla travelled to Rome for a big conference of bishops – and he took a bundle of her letters with him.

    He stayed for more than a month at the Polish College where Polish student priests normally lodge in Rome. Here he could answer Anna-Teresa’s letters safe from the prying eyes of the secret police. And – for the first time – he dropped her academic titles and addressed her simply as…

    VOICE OVER: Dear Teresa Anna, I would like to reply to four of your letters I received in July. I didn’t post them before as I didn’t trust the Polish post office…

    NARRATOR: Eugene Kizluk studied the letters in preparation for the sale.

    GENE KISLUK: This is very much the first informal letter that he wrote to her.

    VOICE OVER: I have brought them with me to Rome, and I am reading them again. They are so meaningful and personal.

    NARRATOR: By now Karol Wojtyla and Anna Teresa Tyemienecka had a joint project, and English language version of the book that first inspired her to get in touch with him. It was to be more than a straightforward translation. She wanted to develop and refine his ideas.

    And that meant intense discussions during long hours together. They would meet regularly in Rome and Poland and even when they were seeing each other every day, they would sometimes wrote before and after their meetings.

    VOICE OVER: I was very happy to see you yesterday. I would like to talk to you tomorrow…
    I’m coming back this afternoon, we could continue our conversation… Father Dziwisz will deliver this letter. It is good that we could talk on the phone before your departure.

    GENE KISLUK: Their relationship was on two plains. One was intellectual, the other one was personal and very emotional. They became very close to each other, on both levels in fact. The two mixed up and it was also very difficult for them to separate the two.

    NARRATOR: In New York, I sought out the one journalist who had some sense of the importance of the relationship. The veteran reporter, Carl Bernstein, interviewed Professor Tyemienecka when he was writing his John Paul biography. And she told him about her correspondence with the Pope.

    CARL BERNSTEIN: Right away when I went to see her Madam Tyemeniscka as she refers to herself, in Pomfret, she immediately referred to this correspondence and in fact read me one of the Pope’s letters to her as a kind of way of buttressing her claim to being so important in his life.

    NARRATOR: That was two decades ago. And when he asked her about her feelings, she swatted the question away.

    CARL BERNSTEIN: I said to her, were you in love with Wojtyla? And she says, no I never fell in love with the Cardinal. How could I fall with a middle-aged clergyman, I am still considered a beautiful woman and I’m surrounded by young and handsome men.

    To fall in love with a clergyman? There could be no success at all. And I said, no romantic feelings? She said, this question, it doesn’t really apply. How can you ask me such a silly question.

    MARSHA MALINOWSKI: For her to fall in love with him is completely understandable to me. He was handsome, he was powerful, he was on a track that was extraordinary. He was Polish. How could you not be taken with that, all that charm in one person?

    NARRATOR: There is nothing in Karol Wojtyla’s letters to suggest he broke his vow of celibacy – and everything we know about this iron-willed man suggests he would have kept it.

    NARRATOR: In October, the Princes of the Church were back in Rome for another conclave. Choosing a new Pope for the second time in less than two months.

    On the third day at just after twenty past six in the evening, the white smoke rose from the chimney in the corner of St Peter’s Square, announcing the election of the first non Italian Pope for four hundred and fifty five years.

    In the papal apartments, Karol Wojtyla, now Vicar of Christ and Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, wrote almost immediately to Anna Teresa Tyemienecka.

    VOICE OVER: Dear Teresa Anna, I’m writing after the event. I promise I will remember everything at this new stage of my journey. The whole thing is written too deeply into my life for me to do otherwise.

    The post Letters from Pope John Paul II reveal friendship with married woman appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush acknowledges supporters while formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami, Florida June 15, 2015.  REUTERS/Carlo Allegri  - TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY  - RTX1GMRN

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush acknowledges supporters while formally announcing his campaign for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination during a kickoff rally in Miami, Florida June 15, 2015. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The Republican and Democratic presidential contenders reported on the financial health of their national campaigns even as they were in the thick of the Nevada Democratic caucuses and South Carolina primary.

    Most of the outside groups known as super political action committees also faced a midnight Saturday deadline to report to the Federal Election Commission.

    What we learned:

    MONEY FOR NOTHING

    As Jeb Bush ended his Republican presidential bid after disappointing results in South Carolina, new fundraising reports underscored how dire his financial situation had become.

    The super PAC Right to Rise USA, which raised a record $118 million last year, took in just $379,000 in January. Most of that came from a single donor: Richard DeVos, the founder of the Michigan company Amway and owner of the Orlando Magic basketball team. Devos wrote a $250,000 check on in mid-January. He also gave the same amount, at the same time, to a super PAC backing Bush rival Marco Rubio.

    Right to Rise spent more than $34.5 million in January alone including $7 million in operating expenses and more than $27 million on various kinds of advertising.

    Through Saturday, the super PAC had plunged some $85 million into materials backing Bush and bashing other candidates, most notably Rubio. The majority of that money – $75 million – went into television and radio commercials, advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG shows.

    Meanwhile, Bush’s official campaign raised just $1.6 million in January and was down to less than $3 million in available cash as this month began.

    TRUMP GROUND GAMES

    Donald Trump, who won South Carolina on Saturday, was planning ahead for the multi-state March 1 primary contests, his fundraising report showed. In addition to South Carolina and next-to-vote Nevada, Trump’s campaign reported renting space in Alabama, Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Tennessee, which all vote on what’s known as “Super Tuesday.” He was also paying rent in Florida, which votes March 15.

    That contrasts with some of his competitors. Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who finished second to Trump in New Hampshire earlier this month, had put most of his resources into that state. The only other place he had rented office space as of January was Massachusetts.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, who topped Trump to win Iowa on Feb. 1, rented space for his campaign in South Carolina and Nevada, his January report showed. Rubio’s campaign appeared to have done little to set up shop in the March states.

    CANDIDATE CASH FLOW

    Cruz began February with considerably more cash available than all of his Republican presidential rivals. His campaign had about $13.6 million, even after spending $12.7 million in January alone. He also raised about $7.6 million last month, ahead of his Iowa victory.

    Rubio’s campaign began this month with just over $5 million in cash, after spending $10.3 million and raising $4.9 million.

    Kasich’s campaign had less than $1.5 million at the beginning of February. His campaign spokesman said he raised more than $1 million in the first few days after New Hampshire – something that won’t be reported to the FEC until mid-March. A super PAC backing Kasich raised $3.3 million in January.

    Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson – a political novice who has harvested huge amounts of money since beginning his campaign – raised $3.8 million, one of his lowest hauls yet, but spent $10.4 million in January. He had about $4 million left at the beginning of February.

    Trump’s campaign cash situation is more difficult to assess, since the billionaire has pledged to spend “whatever it takes” to win the nomination. In January, he lent his campaign almost $5 million, making his total investment about $17.5 million so far.

    DEMOCRATIC MONEY

    On the Democratic side, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders began February with less than half the available cash of his opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

    Sanders appeared to be on a spending spree last month, investing some $35 million in his campaign and ending the month with $14.7 million. The numbers were nearly the opposite for Clinton: She spent $19 million, half of it on media buys, and ended the month with $33 million.

    Still, the reports show that Clinton’s fundraising dipped below that of Sanders. Clinton raised a bit less than $15 million last month, while Sanders landed $21 million.

    A super PAC dedicated to electing Clinton brought in another $9.6 million in big checks last month. About one-third of the money that flowed into Priorities USA was from James Simons, a New York hedge fund billionaire. A laborers’ union contributed $2 million.

    Million-dollar donors included Daniel Abraham, founder of the diet product SlimFast; Houston attorney Steve Mostyn, a major donor to the group in 2012, when it backed President Barack Obama; and Jay and Mary Pritzker of the Chicago family that made its fortune in hotels.

    CRUZ NETWORK GROWS

    Cruz has the biggest network of outside groups helping him out – more than half a dozen. A super PAC called Courageous Conservatives has stood out for employing some of the most aggressive tactics, even though it isn’t the best-funded of those pro-Cruz groups.

    In the lead-up to the South Carolina vote, Courageous Conservatives made thousands of automated phone calls bashing Donald Trump, who has consistently led polls in the state. So who’s paying for all this? The group’s January fundraising report shows it has two donors: Stan Herzog, a Missouri builder, and Christopher Ekstrom, a Dallas investor.

    A far better funded pro-Cruz group, Stand for Truth, also filed a January fundraising report. That super PAC raised about $2.5 million in January. Its biggest contributor, Trinity Equity, gave more than $1 million. Corporate records show the Houston company shares an address with Quantum Energy Partners, a private equity firm run by Wil VanLoh.

    The post Bush bows out of the race as Cruz, Rubio, Clinton raise millions appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the annual Blue Jamboree in the Lowcountry at the Jenkins Institute for Children in North Charleston, South Carolina November 21, 2015. Photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at the annual Blue Jamboree in the Lowcountry at the Jenkins Institute for Children in North Charleston, South Carolina November 21, 2015. Photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

    COLUMBIA, S.C.– The election calendar may have Democrats voting next in South Carolina, but Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are eyeing bigger prizes in March, a month that will determine whether the Vermont senator can keep pace in the White House race.

    Clinton shook off some of the anxieties shadowing her campaign with a solid victory in Saturday’s Nevada caucuses.

    The results offered a glimpse of her strength with black voters. They are a crucial group in South Carolina, which holds its primary this coming Saturday, and in other Southern states with contests on March 1, Super Tuesday.

    Sanders has yet to prove he can consistently expand his base of support beyond white liberals and young voters. His campaign cited progress with Latinos in Nevada, but his advisers are clear-eyed about the challenges on Super Tuesday. They are mapping out plans to stay close to Clinton in the delegate count until the race turns to friendlier territory later in March.

    “Because we can do the long game, once we get past March 1, the calendar changes dramatically,” said Jeff Weaver, Sanders’ campaign manager. “It’s frontloaded for her, but we have the ability to stay in the long game.”

    More than half the 2,383 delegates needed to win the Democratic nomination will be determined in the 28 states that hold primaries and caucuses in March.

    Clinton and Sanders should have enough money to stay in the race for weeks afterward, but the delegate tally at the end of the month could make the results inevitable.

    For Sanders, strong showings in March are more important because of Clinton’s lead with superdelegates – the party leaders who can support any candidates regardless of how their states vote.

    Clinton has captured the support of 451 superdelegates compared with Sanders’ 19.

    Underpinning Clinton’s strategy are the painful lessons of her 2008 primary loss to Barack Obama. Clinton’s campaign failed to account for the Democratic Party’s system of allocating delegates proportionally in voting contests, then watched superdelegates, who can shift their allegiances, move toward Obama as the campaign stretched late into the spring.

    Under the proportional system, avoiding overwhelming losses that can dramatically shift the delegate totals is almost as important as outright victories.

    “Other than Vermont, I don’t see a single state where Hillary Clinton is going to lose in a blowout. I see a lot of states where Hillary Clinton will probably win by a lot and that equals real delegate yield,” said David Plouffe, the architect of Obama’s 2008 campaign and a Clinton supporter.

    “I know that’s not sexy, but I think that’s how the Clinton campaign has structured their campaign this time after some of the lessons from eight years ago.”

    Few observers had foreseen Sanders as a serious threat to Clinton. But he has energized young people, working-class voters and liberals with his impassioned calls for breaking up big Wall Street banks and making tuition at public colleges and universities free.

    “I think the more people know our record, the better we do,” Sanders said Sunday on CBS’ “Face The Nation.”

    Sanders’ prolific online fundraising has given him staying power and he has pledged to take his campaign into the Democratic convention in July.

    While Sanders outraised Clinton in January, a new fundraising report showed he went on a spending spree at the start of the year and ended last month with about $15 million in available cash – less than half of Clinton’s cash on hand.

    That’s enough to stay competitive and Sanders’ team is eying delegates in March 1 states such as Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oklahoma and his home state. He also hopes to flex his muscles in two other states with contests that day, Colorado and Virginia, and help him make the case that he is more electable than Clinton.

    Sanders’ campaign has cited entrance polls of Nevada caucus-goers showing him doing better than Clinton among Latino voters. But the high margin of error in the polls makes it impossible to say with confidence whether either candidate held a lead among the group.

    While Sanders was campaigning in South Carolina on Sunday, he planned to move to be in Massachusetts for a college rally and campaign in Norfolk, Virginia, on Tuesday.

    Clinton also was spending time in Super Tuesday states. She flew from Nevada on Saturday to Texas, a huge delegate prize, for a late-night rally in Houston. She planned to raise money in California on the week and then campaign in South Carolina.

    Beyond Super Tuesday, Clinton and Sanders are looking ahead to the March 15 contests in Florida, Illinois, Missouri and Ohio. Big wins in those states for either candidate would put the nomination within sight.

    Clinton’s support among black voters could pay dividends because of the way Democrats award high-performing congressional districts with a greater share of delegates.

    Many of the most delegate-rich states have large minority populations, including Texas, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois and Florida, giving Clinton an inside track to accumulate delegates in March.

    This report was written by

    The post Clinton aims to extend delegate lead over Sanders in March appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Fijian men clear a road of a fallen tree in Fiji's capital Suva after Cyclone Winston swept across Viti Levu Island, February 21, 2016. Fijian officials were assessing the damage on Sunday after one of the most powerful storms recorded in the southern hemisphere tore through the archipelago, with early reports of widespread disruption and at least six people confirmed dead. Taniela Qalilawa/Reuters

    Fijian men clear a road of a fallen tree in Fiji’s capital Suva after Cyclone Winston swept across Viti Levu Island, February 21, 2016. Fijian officials were assessing the damage on Sunday after one of the most powerful storms recorded in the southern hemisphere tore through the archipelago, with early reports of widespread disruption and at least six people confirmed dead. Taniela Qalilawa/Reuters

    At least six people have died following one of the strongest storms ever to strike the Southern Hemisphere, as residents of Fiji begin the recovery process from Cyclone Winston, which tore through the region this weekend with winds that reached as high as 202 mph.

    With many of the island-nation’s 900,000 people without regular power Sunday following the Category-5 storm, Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama declared a 30-day state of emergency and extended a national curfew through Monday.

    Crews began to clear roads blocked by downed trees and debris and survey the damage the powerful cyclone caused to hundreds of homes.

    With much of the recovery effort focused on urban areas in Fiji, emergency workers said they would begin shifting their attention to more rural regions, some reportedly annihilated by the storm, across the 300 islands making up the archipelago.

    City workers clear fallen trees from a road in Fiji's capital Suva after Cyclone Winston swept across Viti Levu Island. Taniela Qalilawa/Reuters

    City workers clear fallen trees from a road in Fiji’s capital Suva. Taniela Qalilawa/Reuters

    Aid groups said the combination of factors may lead to food and water shortages in the coming days.

    Raijeli Nicole, a regional director for the humanitarian group Oxfam, said she witnessed flooding and “terrifying winds” from her home in the Fijian capital of Suva, which was largely spared the brunt of the cyclone as it veered to the northwest.

    “It’s very unnerving sitting in your house and hearing trees fall and crash all around you,” Nicole said, in a statement released on the group’s website. “Many people outside the main urban centers live in simple structures, so there are fears the damage is likely to be significant right across Fiji. I’m in a stronger house, but we’re deeply concerned about the many others in traditional housing.”

    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) reported thousands of homes were damaged across Fiji from Cyclone Winston, with more than 1,000 residents now sheltered in 35 evacuation centers on the island of Vanua Levu and hundreds more seeking refuge elsewhere across the island chain.

    “People will need emergency shelter materials such as tarpaulins to repair their homes and they will most likely need relief items such as plastic jerry cans to collect water as well as other household supplies they may have lost in the storm,” said Ahmad Sami, a spokesperson for the IFRC, in a statement.

    The post At least six dead in Fiji after powerful cyclone rips through the Pacific appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Data Source: New York Times

    These results are among many that were collected by Edison Research as voters were exiting polling booths. The figures are represented by 2,043 Republican primary voters interviewed at 35 randomly selected polling booths.

    As Republican voters headed to the polls in South Carolina on Saturday, some had decided upon their candidate of choice months ago, while others said they made up their mind on the day of the primary. Of the voters who had decided on their choice over a month ago, 56 percent were set on businessman Donald Trump.

    The interactive above takes a closer look at when voters decided to support their candidate of choice.

    The post Interactive: See when South Carolina GOP primary voters picked which candidate to support appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to supporters at his 2016 South Carolina presidential primary night victory rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina February 20, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst  - RTX27VBH

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    ALISON STEWART: The 2016 race for the White House is entering a new, faster-paced phase, with roughly 90 percent of the delegates in the nominating process still up for grabs.

    After winning yesterday’s first-in-the South primary in South Carolina and sweeping all 50 Republican Convention delegates, businessman Donald Trump is in the lead. Trump and his rivals are now focusing on the dozen states holding primaries and caucuses on March 1, known as Super Tuesday, when a quarter of the nominating delegates are at stake.

    Next Saturday, it will be the Democrats’ turn in South Carolina, where Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders will compete in a primary.

    Fresh off her victory in the Nevada caucuses yesterday, Clinton says she is looking ahead to the states that have yet to vote.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), Presidential Candidate: I’m on my way to Texas. Bill is on his way to Colorado. The fight goes on. The future that we want is within our grasp.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: Thank you all. God bless you.

    ALISON STEWART: The former senator and secretary of state had a decisive win in the first-in-the-West contest. She beat Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders by more than 5 percent of the vote and walked away with at least 19 of the 35 delegates at stake in the Nevada caucuses. Sanders received 15.

    Right after her Nevada win, Clinton headed to Texas, the biggest prize for both political parties, on March 1.

    HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON: It’s been eight months since I was here, and the stakes are even higher than they were then. Now the Supreme Court hangs in the balance.

    ALISON STEWART: Clinton hopes her proven support with black voters translates into victory in South Carolina. So far, her weakness in the first contests has been with lower-income voters and voters under 45 years old.

    Today, Sanders said voter turnout in Nevada wasn’t as large as he had hoped.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Presidential Candidate: By the way, we did phenomenally well with young people. I think we did well with working-class people. Remember, we were taking on a candidate who ran in 2008.

    ALISON STEWART: Republican front-runner Donald Trump says he has high hopes to win the seven Southern states voting on Super Tuesday.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: I went to Mobile, Alabama, 35,000 people. We went to Oklahoma recently twice, 20,000 people, 20,000 people. No matter where we go, we fill up the arenas.

    ALISON STEWART: In the final tally in South Carolina, Trump won 32.5 percent of the vote, 10 points ahead of Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who edged Texas Senator Ted Cruz for second place.

    With a distant fourth-place finish in a primary once won by his father and brother, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush called it quits.

    JEB BUSH (R), Presidential Candidate: But the people of Iowa and New Hampshire and South Carolina have spoken, and I really respect their decision. So, tonight, I am suspending my campaign.

    ALISON STEWART: For more analysis on the presidential race, “NewsHour” political director Lisa Desjardins joins me now from Columbia, South Carolina.

    And, Lisa, Donald Trump is running a unique campaign, and it seems to be his strength. How did that play out yesterday?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Absolutely.

    We saw him win by double digits in South Carolina. That’s not easy to do after such a big win in New Hampshire. There’s two different types of voters there. But we saw what he did is, he did very well with almost all income groups, but not every one.

    And I think, when we’re looking at the long-term momentum for Trump, that is the real question now, right? Is this the man that is going to be the Republican nominee?

    Something that I noticed in the exit polls yesterday, Alison, was loyalty among Trump voters. When you asked voters yesterday if they were satisfied with only their candidate or could take other candidates as an acceptable nominee, 30 percent said they would only accept their candidate.

    Of those Republicans, the largest number, 49 percent, were Trump voters.

    ALISON STEWART: It was definitely a big win for Mr. Trump last night, but there were signs of slowing momentum. Can you walk us through what happened in the past month?

    LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

    If you look at the last few days, those voters went to Cruz and Rubio. You look at the very last day, there, you see Donald Trump doing a little bit better, 22 percent, but still not winning. And that’s a big change from New Hampshire, where Donald Trump was winning those last-minute deciders, by and large.

    Now, is that just a factor, something that happened in South Carolina, or is that something that has changed about how voters in general look at Donald Trump? It’s not clear — Donald Trump, as you said, a unique campaign. No one who has won both New Hampshire and South Carolina in the Republican Party has lost the nomination, but, again, no one has ever been a multibillionaire reality TV star before either.

    ALISON STEWART: Senator Marco Rubio came in second last night. How is he going to capitalize on this?

    LISA DESJARDINS: I think we really saw sort of a new, energized Rubio last night.

    He is appealing across the board to Americans outside the Republican Party, as well as in. And he’s going back and saying, I’m going to take a previous mantle of this party and carry it forward.

    Listen to one of his key quotes.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Presidential Candidate: Now, those of us who grew up when it was morning in America and Ronald Reagan was in the White House are ready to do for our generation for — are ready to do for the next generation what Ronald Reagan did for ours.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    ALISON STEWART: So, Lisa, it sounds like Senator Rubio is thinking about expanding the base.

    LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.

    His advisers are almost obsessed with that concept. They realize the Republican Party in the long term in presidential elections has a problem. And they think that Marco Rubio is really the only one who can expand that base, not just among young people, where Marco Rubio is starting to gain some momentum, but especially when you are talking about diversity.

    You saw on stage he had African-American Senator Tim Scott, Indian-American Governor Nikki Haley. That’s something that Rubio really paid a lot of attention to in his speech last night. And I think, to some degree, he seemed to have been more charged-up personally than ever.

    But he still has to deal with Donald Trump. And there is a real question of, when does he start swinging, if he does start swinging, and how, at the current front-runner?

    ALISON STEWART: Ted Cruz came in third place, after having come in second place in New Hampshire and having won in Iowa. What happened?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Right.

    That’s not the direction a campaign usually wants to go in. But the Cruz campaign is saying, hey, it was very close. And it was, within 1,000 votes here in South Carolina. That is a close race.

    I think the bigger problem for Ted Cruz is not that he placed third here, but more that his support is a very specific type of voter, very conservative voters, evangelicals. That will play well in a lot of the Southern states coming up on Super Tuesday, but, past that, Ted Cruz might need to broaden his support in order to win the nomination, when he has someone like Donald Trump on one side and Marco Rubio on the other.

    ALISON STEWART: Let’s turn to the Democrats.

    Hillary Clinton had a solid win last night, after a really tough battle in New Hampshire. But there could be signs of weakness. It was a mixed bag when it came to minority voters. Can you explain what happened?

    LISA DESJARDINS: You look at how African-Americans voted, overwhelmingly for Hillary Clinton, 76 percent. That’s getting into an Obama-type of African-American support level.

    Now, you look at the other races, Hillary Clinton didn’t win with white voters. Bernie Sanders eked out a win there. And she lost by more with Latino voters. So, it really was that African-American large majority that carried her.

    But think about a state like Texas, where there are more Latino voters, and think about where Hillary Clinton is going next. It’s Texas.

    ALISON STEWART: What is Bernie Sanders’ next move?

    LISA DESJARDINS: Bernie Sanders has to really think strategy now.

    He has had some phenomenal fund-raising, but he’s got to think very carefully about where he spends those dollars and where he spends his time. He’s got some good places for him, Massachusetts, Vermont. He’s got some happy states coming up in the Sanders momentum category.

    But he’s got some other places that might be difficult, like the South after South Carolina, Arkansas, Georgia. Those kinds of places are where he needs to build more perhaps than he has right now.

    ALISON STEWART: Lisa Desjardins from Columbia, South Carolina, thanks so much.

    LISA DESJARDINS: My pleasure.

    ALISON STEWART: How complex is the delegate math on the road to each party’s nomination? Find out at PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post Here’s what we learned from the South Carolina primary and Nevada caucuses appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Miniature Oscar statuettes sit in a souvenir store display window in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    As Hollywood prepares for the Oscars this Sunday, a new study reveals just how homogeneous the entertainment industry is. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    While accepting an honorary Oscar last year, director Spike Lee said it was “easier to be the president of the United States as a black person than to be the head of a studio.”

    Lee’s blunt statement pointed to the industry’s bleak representation of gender, race and ethnicity both on screen and behind the scenes. A new study, released Monday, called it an “inclusion crisis.”

    The study found that the film and television industries are “largely whitewashed” and severely lacked representation for women, people of color and LGBT individuals. The problem, according to the study, extends beyond the all-white Oscar nominations for all four acting categories that have occurred the past two years.

    Out of more than 400 directors the study looked at, 87 percent were white.
    “The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite should be changed to #HollywoodSoWhite, as our findings show that an epidemic of invisibility runs throughout popular storytelling,” said Stacy L. Smith, co-author of the report, compiled by the Diversity and Social Change Initiative at the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

    The industry-wide report surveyed more than 400 films, TV and digital series that were produced by major studios and networks between 2014 and 2015. Out of more than 11,000 speaking or named characters, only a third were women, while fewer than 30 percent went to nonwhite actors.

    Additionally, more than half of the stories featured no Asian or Asian-American characters, while more than 20 percent featured no black characters.

    “The complete absence of individuals from these backgrounds is a symptom of a diversity strategy that relies on tokenistic inclusion rather than integration,” the study said.

    For characters aged 40 years or older, men tended to fill these roles (74.3 percent) compared to women (25.7) — evidence that the opportunities for women in the same age bracket just aren’t as available.

    According to the study, Hollywood remains a “straight, white, boy’s club.”
    The report also found that LGBT characters were underrepresented, accounting for only 2 percent of the speaking roles. Worse, only seven transgender characters were counted, four of which could be found on one digital series.

    “Beyond this invisibility, intersectionality is also a problem,” the report said. “The majority of LGBT characters are white males, excluding women and people of color who are part of the LGBT community.”

    The report also scrutinized Hollywood’s makeup behind the camera, examining 10,000 directors, writers and show creators. It showed that 15.2 percent of directors, 28.9 percent of writers in film and TV, and 22.6 percent of creators were female.

    Overall, out of more than 400 directors, 87 percent were white. In film, only 3.4 percent of the films surveyed were directed by women, and of those, only two directors were black women: Ava DuVernay (“Selma”) and Amma Asante (“Belle.”)

    From these statistics, USC researchers, who released a version of this study last year, concluded that Hollywood remains a “straight, white, boy’s club.”

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    Climate Change Data uses multiple quantities: the annual decrease in global glacier mass balance, global sea level rise, and global temperature increase. I wanted to convey in an image how all of this data must be compared and linked together to figure out the fluctuations in Earth’s natural history. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    This piece, “Climate Change Data,” uses multiple quantities: the annual decrease in global glacier mass balance, global sea level rise, and global temperature increase. I wanted to convey in an image how all of this data must be compared and linked together to figure out the fluctuations in Earth’s natural history. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    Most paintings don’t come with an x- and y-axis. But for Jill Pelto, art is all about the numbers.

    The artist, who graduated in December from the University of Maine with a degree in earth science and studio art, creates paintings based on graphs of data on the environmental effects of climate change.

    "Habitat Degradation: Deforestation" uses data showing the decline in rainforest area from 1970 to 2010. These lush ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes, and with them, millions of beautiful species. I’m quite certain that anyone would agree that a tiger is a magnificent creature, yet how many people realize that they are critically endangered? For this series I chose to separate the animals from their habitat, because that is ultimately what we are doing. The tiger is trapped outside the forest, cornered. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    “Habitat Degradation: Deforestation” uses data showing the decline in rainforest area from 1970 to 2010. These lush ecosystems are disappearing before our eyes, and with them, millions of beautiful species. For this series, I chose to separate the animals from their habitat, because that is ultimately what we are doing. The tiger is trapped outside the forest, cornered. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    Pelto’s paintings are based on several different data sets that measure glacial melt, animal populations and forest fires, among others. Each set focuses on the ways that climate change has affected these aspects of the environment.

    Seven years ago, Pelto began assisting on a project led by her father, glacial researcher Mauri Pelto, to measure the health of the glaciers in Washington’s North Cascade National Park. The project, which measures snow depth across a wide area to determine to what extent the glaciers there recede each year, has been ongoing for 31 years.

    Decrease in Glacier Mass Balance uses measurements from 1980-2014 of the average mass balance for a group of North Cascade, WA glaciers. Mass balance is the annual budget for the glaciers: total snow accumulation minus total snow ablation. Not only are mass balances consistently negative, they are also continually decreasing. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    “Decrease in Glacier Mass Balance” uses measurements from 1980-2014 of the average mass balance for a group of glaciers in North Cascade, Washington. Mass balance is the annual budget for the glaciers: total snow accumulation minus total snow ablation. Not only are mass balances consistently negative, they are also continually decreasing. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    In a 2008 paper, the researchers wrote that in the previous 23 years, the North Cascade glaciers had lost 20 to 40 percent of their total volume. The paper called the glaciers’ retreat “ubiquitous, rapid and increasing.” Washington relies on glacial melt for drinking water, agriculture and hydropower, according to the state’s Department of Ecology, but as the glaciers decline, that melt will eventually slow down, depleting the area’s water source.

    Pelto hopes that her pieces can work as a visual link to the data, grabbing the attention of people for whom those numbers aren’t enough. “As someone who’s interested in science, I’m intrigued by a graph in an article,” she said. “But I know the majority of people aren’t. They’re going to just skim over a graph. … I think a much bigger percentage of people are attracted to the visuals of art.”

    "Increasing Forest Fire Activity" uses global temperature rise information from Climate Central. Fortunately, I was not near any of the massive forest fires that raged before, during, and after my two weeks in Washington this summer, but I was greeted with many smoke-filled days. On some days, when the winds blew from the fire toward us, the smell and taste of the smoke overpowered my senses, even though the fire was about 100 miles away. As temperatures increase, and drought or even drier than average conditions persist, forest fires become a huge threat to the forest, plants, animals — and, of course, to people and structures. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    “Increasing Forest Fire Activity” uses global temperature rise information from Climate Central. Fortunately, I was not near any of the massive forest fires that raged before, during, and after my two weeks in Washington this summer, but I was greeted with many smoke-filled days. On some days, when the winds blew from the fire toward us, the smell and taste of the smoke overpowered my senses, even though the fire was about 100 miles away. As temperatures increase, and drought or even drier than average conditions persist, forest fires become a huge threat to the forest, plants, animals — and, of course, to people and structures. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    When creating a piece, Pelto looks for “something that is happening that is important but isn’t well-publicized, maybe something that people aren’t paying much attention to,” she said. Most of her data comes from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Climate Central and other researchers whose work she has studied.

    Pelto is working on a piece now about a caribou herd in Canada whose population is in decline. “My hope is that by creating this piece, it’ll get more people to stop and learn and think and become more informed,” she said. “My main audience are those people that know climate change is going on and know these are important issues, but either don’t realize how drastic it is or don’t stay informed.”

    See more of Pelto’s work below.

    "Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification" contains ocean pH data from 1998 to 2012. The decreasing pH is due to atmospheric carbon dissolving into the ocean, and creating carbonic acid, which means a more acidic ocean. This has harmful effects on all marine life. Studies on clownfish show that more acidic water alters how their brains’ process information. This affects their ability to avoid predators by detecting noises and find their way home. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    “Habitat Degradation: Ocean Acidification” contains ocean pH data from 1998 to 2012. The decreasing pH is due to atmospheric carbon dissolving into the ocean, and creating carbonic acid, which means a more acidic ocean. Studies on clownfish show that more acidic water alters how their brains’ process information. This affects their ability to avoid predators by detecting noises and find their way home. Art and caption by Jill Pelto

    "Habitat Degradation: Arctic Melt" shows Arctic sea ice data from 1980 to present. Rapid warming in the Arctic has caused the sea ice area to decline so quickly that species cannot adjust. The Arctic fox is small and extraordinarily resilient to the most severe cold. They can withstand the frigid north and thus have this corner of the world in which to hunt. But when the temperatures mellow, competition from larger species could overcome them, as other species move further north to escape their own warming environment.  Photo and caption by Jill Pelto

    “Habitat Degradation: Arctic Melt” shows Arctic sea ice data from 1980 to present. Rapid warming in the Arctic has caused the sea ice area to decline so quickly that species cannot adjust. The Arctic fox is small and extraordinarily resilient to the most severe cold. They can withstand the frigid north and thus have this corner of the world in which to hunt. But when the temperatures mellow, competition from larger species could overcome them, as other species move further north to escape their own warming environment. Photo and caption by Jill Pelto

    "Landscape of Change" uses data about sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate, a world in which we are now living.  Photo and caption by Jill Pelto

    “Landscape of Change” uses data about sea level rise, glacier volume decline, increasing global temperatures, and the increasing use of fossil fuels. These data lines compose a landscape shaped by the changing climate, a world in which we are now living. Photo and caption by Jill Pelto

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    Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks during a campaign event in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Chris Keane/Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio speaks during a campaign event in Little Rock, Arkansas. Photo by Chris Keane/Reuters

    ELKO, Nevada — Republican presidential candidates crisscrossed Nevada on Monday on the final day of campaigning ahead of the state’s GOP caucuses. Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz were looking to derail Donald Trump’s lead and boost momentum, looking ahead to next week’s critical Super Tuesday contests.

    While five men officially remain in the race for the Republican nomination, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy billed it as a two-man contest between front-runner Trump and Rubio. Speaking to MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday, McCarthy said Trump’s victory and Rubio’s second-place finish in South Carolina dealt a blow to Cruz’s strategy to win the nomination. The California congressman predicted voters in Florida, Rubio’s home state, would determine whether Rubio continues or Trump easily rolls on to the nomination.

    Cruz on Saturday characterized a two-man contest as well — between him and Trump, but Rubio has repeatedly pushed the notion of a three-man race since the South Carolina primary. Rubio, however, has yet to win a state.

    Rubio, meanwhile, lashed out at Cruz and Trump Monday during a campaign stop in Elko, Nevada, as the Florida senator looks to lower expectations for his own campaign in the state where he spent six years of his childhood.

    “Obviously, I have ties to Las Vegas that run deep, given my time growing up here,” Rubio said. “I haven’t lived here in 25 years; the city has changed a lot. So, we have a lot of friends here and a lot of family, but I’m not sure that’s going to be enough to be a determinant factor in the caucus.”

    He reminded voters that Nevada is just one stop on the primary calendar with upcoming contests throughout March.

    Rubio also addressed the latest development in his intensifying feud with Senate colleague Cruz, whose campaign helped promote a video on Sunday that incorrectly suggested Rubio had criticized the Bible. Cruz spokesman Rick Tyler apologized on Monday for posting the story that misquoted Rubio.

    “It’s every single day something comes out of the Cruz campaign that’s deceptive and untrue, and in this case goes after my faith,” Rubio told reporters when asked about the incident. “I guess one of their spokespersons apologized, and I accept their apology.”

    Cruz apologized to rival Ben Carson earlier this month after his campaign promoted a news story suggesting that Carson was getting out of the race. Cruz’s campaign has also acknowledged creating a website that used a computer program to create a fake picture of Rubio shaking hands with President Barack Obama.

    Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a campaign rally in Pahrump, Nevada. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz speaks at a campaign rally in Pahrump, Nevada. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters


    Trump was scheduled to hold two rallies in Nevada — one in Elko and later in Las Vegas. Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said Monday that the billionaire businessman has been seeking advice from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani as he gradually expands his tight inner circle.

    Across the country, Kasich turned his attention to Virginia, which is among the dozen states voting on March 1.

    Kasich, who finished second in New Hampshire’s primary, won the endorsement of Tom Ridge, a former secretary of the Homeland Security Department and Pennsylvania governor.

    Ridge had supported former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush for president since early 2015 and campaigned with him in South Carolina. Bush quit the race Saturday after a disappointing finish in the Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

    Kasich’s campaign says Ridge is signing on as a national co-chairman.

    Democratic presidential hopefuls coming off a tight battle for Nevada kicked off the week on opposite ends of the country Monday. Hillary Clinton was fundraising in northern California, while Sanders held a rally in Massachusetts, another Super Tuesday state. South Carolina votes in the next Democratic primary on Saturday.

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    Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton discuss an issue at the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidates debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton discuss an issue at the PBS NewsHour Democratic presidential candidates debate in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Health care for all. It’s a goal that tugs at the heartstrings of Democrats, but pursuing it usually invites political peril.

    Now Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are clashing over this core question for liberals, making it a wedge issue in the party’s presidential primary.

    It’s a choice between his conviction that a government-run system would be fairer and more affordable, and her preference for step-by-step change at a time of widespread skepticism about federal power.

    The late Sen. Edward Kennedy once championed a Sanders-like “single-payer” system, yet during nearly 47 years in office Kennedy also embraced less sweeping and more politically feasible ideas. Health care realists greeted President Barack Obama’s law as vindication. But with 29 million still uninsured and deductibles of over $3,000 for taxpayer-subsidized coverage, some Sanders supporters call it the “Unaffordable Care Act.”

    Health care for everyone remains the aim for Democrats. The differences are over the best way to get there.

    “It’s compelling to see the longstanding argument over big, revolutionary change versus more incremental change personified in two candidates, Bernie and Hillary,” said John McDonough, an aide to Kennedy during the Obama health overhaul debate.

    The worry is about provoking a fatal backlash from the political right.

    “Bernie speaks to the hearts of Democrats, and Hillary speaks to the head,” added McDonough, now a professor at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “It’s about who is more in tune with the actual opportunity and possibility of the time.”

    Both candidates seem to be struggling to clearly frame the issue.

    Sanders sees the destination, but hasn’t been able to lay down a roadmap for getting there. Clinton can’t seem to fit her menu of tweaks into a persuasive vision. They’re talking past each other, said Yale professor Ted Marmor, in a “dialogue of the deaf” that leaves voters confused.

    Both Democratic candidates seem to be struggling to clearly frame the issue. Signed almost six years ago, Obama’s health overhaul is the starting point for Democrats who would succeed him. About 16 million people have gained coverage, and the uninsured rate has fallen to 9 percent, a historic achievement. Economic recovery helped, but the biggest increases in coverage came after the health law’s insurance markets and Medicaid expansion got going in 2014.

    Nonetheless, 28.8 million remain uninsured, and many are still struggling to pay for care even though they have coverage. A government survey estimated that 44.5 million people under age 65 were in families with problems paying medical bills. On top of that, “Obamacare” is mind-numbing to many consumers, a program that combines two of the most complicated areas: insurance and taxes.

    “The Affordable Care Act made some improvements for some people, but the health care system is failing lots of Americans,” said Steffie Woolhandler, a longtime single-payer activist and primary-care physician. “That made it inevitable that further reform would be back on the table.”

    Under Sanders’ plan there would be no premiums, no deductibles, no copayments, no hospital bills. Instead, there’d be significant tax increases.

    Government-run health care in the world’s richest country in theory should be able to cover everyone and keep costs manageable, but Sanders has been unable to demonstrate that the math behind his plan adds up. One analysis found he overestimates how much his proposed new taxes would raise; another concluded he underestimates the plan’s costs.


    Former President Bill Clinton’s failed 1990s health plan pledged coverage for all, but it maintained a private insurance market, albeit highly regulated. A key element of Obama’s law — the requirement that individuals get health insurance — comes from a Republican counterproposal to the earlier Clinton plan.

    Now Hillary Clinton has pledged to build on Obama’s progress, outlining policy proposals to limit prescription drug prices and out-of-pocket costs. She’d repeal Obama’s unpopular “Cadillac tax” on high-cost health insurance plans, which is meant as a brake on spending.

    But Clinton doesn’t connect the dots on how her ideas might advance age-old Democratic aspirations.

    “I think she has to go back to those basics and stay there,” said Rep. Jim McDermott, D-Wash., who once introduced single-payer legislation with Sanders, but is supporting Clinton. He checks off a list: “Coverage for all, no pre-existing conditions, no medical bankruptcy.”

    Recent analysis from the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation suggests that there’s room to cover many more uninsured people under the framework of Obama’s law. Nearly 6 in 10 of the uninsured would be eligible for subsidized private insurance, existing Medicaid programs or, if the remaining states accept it, expanded Medicaid.

    But incremental progress is unsatisfying for Sanders and those committed to a single-payer plan. If elected president, the Vermont senator says, he’d lead a political revolution for universal health care.

    Other Democrats wonder.

    “We saw a political revolution around health care reform,” McDonough, the former Kennedy aide, said of the “Obamacare” debate. “It was called the tea party.”

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    South Dakota became the first state last week to pass a bill that would require transgender children and teenagers to use the school facilities that correspond to their “chromosomes and anatomy” at birth. Gay rights groups said more than 20 states have introduced similar legislation, despite warnings from the Department of Education that transgender individuals received Title IX protections. Photo by Getty Images

    South Dakota became the first state last week to pass a bill that would require transgender children and teenagers to use the school facilities that correspond to their “chromosomes and anatomy” at birth. Gay rights groups said more than 20 states have introduced similar legislation, despite warnings from the Department of Education that transgender individuals received Title IX protections. Photo by Getty Images

    SAN FRANCISCO — In clashes over which restrooms and locker rooms transgender students should use, the U.S. Department of Education has warned public schools that a 1970s sex discrimination law makes it illegal to deny them access to the facilities of their choice.

    Schools around the country, some fearing federal investigations that could cost them millions in funding, generally have yielded to the guidance. Now, a backlash is brewing.

    The South Dakota Legislature last week became the first to pass a bill that would require transgender children and teenagers to use the school facilities that correspond to their “chromosomes and anatomy” at birth. Lawmakers in at least 22 other states have introduced similar legislation at odds with the government’s interpretation of the U.S. law, the Human Rights Campaign said in a policy brief Monday.

    Gay rights groups are pressuring South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard to veto his state’s bathroom access bill while working to stop others from advancing. But with federal courts still considering the issue, and none so far validating the government’s reasoning, the statehouse-level defiance could test the limits of the Obama administration’s advocacy on transgender rights.

    “Local control on this issue has taken a huge, huge hit,” said Republican state Rep. Fred Deutsch, the author of the South Dakota legislation. “This bill pushes back against federal overreach and intrusion into our lives, and is an attempt to regain control of something as basic and common sense as privacy rights for our children while at school.”

    The Education and Justice departments determined in 2013 that transgender students were entitled to federal civil rights protections under its reading of Title IX, the 1972 law that bans sex discrimination in education. The analysis arose from a complaint by a transgender middle school student against a Southern California school district, which agreed to settle the case by updating its policies.

    The statehouse-level defiance on the issue could test the limits of the Obama administration’s advocacy on transgender rights. Since then, the Education Department has reaffirmed its position in memos advising school districts of their responsibilities under Title IX and in other complaint resolutions. The most recent was reached in December with a suburban Chicago school district that agreed to allow a transgender high-schooler access to the girl’s locker room once private stalls were installed.

    “Title IX’s sex discrimination prohibition extends to claims of discrimination based on gender identity or failure to conform to stereotypical notions of masculinity or femininity and OCR accepts such complaints for investigation,” the department’s Office for Civil Rights told districts in a 2014 memo on sexual violence.

    The courts so far have been less accommodating. A federal judge last year dismissed a lawsuit brought by a transgender student at the University of Pittsburgh who was expelled for using the men’s locker rooms and bathrooms. A federal judge in Virginia also rebuffed a transgender teenager’s request for an order requiring his high school to allow him to use the boys’ restrooms. Both decisions have been appealed.

    Jennifer Smith, an education lawyer in Chicago who represents a number of Illinois school districts, said the lack of legal clarity has left her clients unsure how to craft compliant and thoughtful policies.

    “They look at the Pittsburgh case, they look at what OCR has said, they look at state and local laws, and it’s really gray. No one knows what to make of it,” Smith said. “We are making as practical decisions as we can in a really unsettled area of law.”

    Gay rights advocates say they will sue to overturn the South Dakota law if the Republican governor doesn’t veto it. Though the courts are still weighing school facility use, transgender employees have brought successful sex discrimination claims under the 1964 Civil Rights Act and due process clause of the Constitution, according to Dru Levasseur, who directs the Transgender Rights Project at LGBT legal group Lambda Legal.

    “We know that transgender people are protected under federal law, and there seems to be some kind of gap of, ‘Well, you are protected but maybe that doesn’t apply to restrooms,'” Levasseur said. “You can’t live your life if you don’t go to the restroom, so there cannot be some kind of separate rule.”

    Associated Press writer James Nord in Pierre, South Dakota, contributed to this story.

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    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil. Leading researchers in Brazil are borrowing techniques used to accelerate the fight against Ebola in the hope of developing a Zika virus treatment that could be tested in humans in a year. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

    Aedes aegypti mosquitoes are seen inside Oxitec laboratory in Campinas, Brazil. Leading researchers in Brazil are borrowing techniques used to accelerate the fight against Ebola in the hope of developing a Zika virus treatment that could be tested in humans in a year. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama Monday sent lawmakers an official $1.9 billion request to combat the spread of the Zika virus in Latin America and the U.S.

    He is also requesting flexibility to use a limited portion of leftover funds provided in 2014 to fight Ebola to take on Zika, which has been linked to severe birth defects. Top House Republicans told the White House last week that the quickest way to get the money to fight Zika would be to use some of the approximate $2.7 billion that had been designated for the Ebola crisis but remains “unobligated.” Consideration of a stand-alone Zika request could prove cumbersome, especially in a combative election year.

    Zika has been spreading through countries such as Brazil, but is also being transmitted by mosquitoes in Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Travelers have also returned to the continental U.S. infected with the virus.

    So far, concerns over Zika have been far more restrained than experienced during the Ebola scare. Voters’ fears regarding Ebola were seen as hurting Obama’s party in the 2014 midterm landslide.

    Obama said Monday during a meeting with the nation’s governors that he hoped to work with them in guarding against the outbreak of the disease. Obama said the $1.9 billion he is requesting would include investments in research into new vaccines and better diagnostic tools, and more support for Puerto Rico and territories where there are confirmed cases.

    Obama stressed that the symptoms from contracting the Zika virus are mild and most folks don’t even realize they have it.


    “But as all of you have read, the possible connection between Zika, birth defects and other serious health problems means that we’ve got to take precautions, particularly with respect to women who are pregnant or are trying to get pregnant,” Obama told members of the National Governors Association. “So we’re going to be fighting this disease at every level with every tool at our disposal.”

    Money would go to fight Zika in U.S. territories and states such as Florida and Texas that are at risk of mosquito-borne transmission of the virus; to help to battle its spread overseas; and to develop a vaccine.

    Obama telegraphed the requested earlier this month.

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    A British Union flag and a European Union flag hang from a building in central London, Britain February 18, 2016. British Prime Minister David Cameron will hold 'now or never' talks on Thursday to keep Britain in the European Union, with the bloc's leaders suggesting there are only a few obstacles left to a new membership deal.  REUTERS/Toby Melville - RTX27IFM

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The United Kingdom has been a part of the European Union for more than 40 years. But its place in that postwar attempt at European integration is now in question, and whether Britain will stay or go is a hotly-contested issue that will soon go before British voters.

    DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: I have no other agenda than what is best for our country.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It was a high-stakes moment, the British leader appealing to the House of Commons, and to the country at large, not to bolt from the European Union.

    DAVID CAMERON: Our current trade agreements with 53 countries around the world would lapse. This cannot be described as anything other than risk, uncertainty, and a leap in the dark that could hurt working people in our country for years to come.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: David Cameron said the deal he struck with 27 other E.U. nations on Friday grants Britain special status. It includes measures to ensure Britain won’t be forced into becoming part of a European super-state. It also creates safeguards for Britain’s financial services and the pound currency. And it grants London the power to limit welfare payments to migrants from the rest of Europe.

    Cameron is depending on that deal to win over doubters in his own Conservative Party. But the effort was dealt a major blow yesterday when London’s popular mayor and fellow Conservative Boris Johnson came out in favor of leaving the E.U., what’s become known as the Brexit.

    MAYOR BORIS JOHNSON, London: I will be advocating vote leave or whatever the team is called. And I understand there are many of them. I think that is basically — because I want a better deal for the people of this country, to save them money and to take back control.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Johnson’s announcement could increase the odds that Britons will vote to leave the E.U. in a June referendum. But opinions were decidedly mixed on the streets of London.

    BECKY, London Resident: We’d be just better off on our own. I think, you know, we have been an island for a long time, and I don’t think we need to rely on other people.

    ANDREW, North Yorkshire Government Official: Europe protects our employment rights, our human rights and maybe they keep our government in control.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Leaders of other E.U. member nations, including Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, also criticized a possible exit.

    MATTEO RENZI, Prime Minister, Italy (through interpreter): The consequences would be worse for British citizens than for European ones. We hope this will not happen, but were I to make a forecast, if Great Britain leaves, the main problem will be for the U.K., its businesses and its citizens.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The uncertainty over Britain’s future in the bloc has already taken a toll. The British pound’s value fell more than 2 percent today.

    With me now to discuss the political battle of Britain’s possible exit from the European Union and its implications is Steven Erlanger. He’s the London bureau chief for The New York Times.

    Steve Erlanger, thank you for joining us.

    Why, after decades of being part of the E.U., are so many Britons looking to leave it?

    STEVEN ERLANGER, The New York Times: Well, we still don’t know how many are really looking to leave it. Certainly, there’s a big portion of the Conservative Party which has wanted to leave it probably ever since Britain joined it.

    In 1975, 41 years ago, there was a similar referendum which passed by, like, two-thirds to one-third to join it. But ever since Margaret Thatcher demanded her money back, John Major had lots of trouble with the Conservative Party angry about Brussels, angry about what they perceived to be loss of sovereignty.

    And to manage his own party, David Cameron thought he should promise them this referendum, this in-or-out referendum on Brussels, if he won power again. Well, lo and behold, even to his surprise, he won a majority, so he sort of caught himself and felt that he had to make good on his promise and hold this in-or-out referendum.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So what are the main arguments today for leaving the E.U.?

    STEVEN ERLANGER: Well, some of them are historical and nostalgic. Britain is an island that was an empire. It’s never been fully European, but it’s too close to Europe to escape it, too.

    It was very much engaged in the great European wars, but it won them, and so it has a different sense of its own sovereignty than, let’s say, France or Germany, or Belgium, which understand that sovereignty can be vulnerable.

    And Britain isn’t — it’s an Anglo-Saxon country. It has a different notion of laws. It’s not the Napoleonic code. So that’s one thing. And the second thing is the British sense of sovereignty. They feel Parliament really must be sovereign, and the people who want to leave feel Brussels interferes too much in the operations of British laws and British justice.

    And the third major issue, which is an odd one, really, is immigration, because when you’re part of the E.U., you have to guarantee freedom of movement and freedom of working for every citizen of the E.U. So they’re worried about their jobs.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, quickly, what are the main arguments in the other direction that Britain should stay in, and who’s making them?

    STEVEN ERLANGER: Well, the main lessons are, Britain is part of Europe, it’s inescapable, even the wars show that.

    Britain’s security is guaranteed by being part of this larger group. Britain’s trade is heavily toward the European Union. At least a million Britons also take advantage of this freedom of movement and freedom of labor and live inside Europe. And the city of London, which is a big financial center, benefits more from being inside the E.U. than not.

    There are a lot of companies who are based in Britain because they want to be part of the E.U., but also favor British labor laws. So, if Britain leaves, the great worry is some of those companies will leave, that there will be capital flight, that Britain’s security will be diminished. And, also, the Americans have been very clear about wanting Britain to stay in.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s exactly what I wanted to pick up on. What is it felt is the U.S.’ stake in all this?

    STEVEN ERLANGER: Well, the U.S. is not being altruistic.

    The U.S. sees Britain as a great ally, and it wants its great ally inside the European Union, which has a big effect, frankly, on global trade regulations, on data privacy regulations. And the U.S. feels, with its ally Britain, it has more influence inside the European Union than it would otherwise.

    And, also, Britain is a big military power with France, and it’s good to have Britain not just inside NATO, but inside the European Union itself.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, I guess you’re looking for a lively debate for the next four months.

    STEVEN ERLANGER: Well, it’s going to be lively, partly because what’s added spice is, now the Conservative leadership is at stake, because Boris Johnson, the mayor of London, who’s always considered slightly buffoonish, but also very popular and a possible prime minister, has broken with David Cameron, and is favoring exit, while Cameron wants to stay inside.

    And Cameron’s quite angry with Johnson, but Johnson, I think, sees it as his best chance of becoming prime minister down the road.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Drama at every level.

    Steven Erlanger with The New York Times, we thank you.

    STEVEN ERLANGER: Thank you.

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    Residents wait to collect water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, India. The Indian army has taken control of a canal that supplies three-fifths of Delhi's water, the state's chief minister said on Monday, raising hope that a water crisis in the metropolis of more than 16 million people can be averted. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    Residents wait to collect water from a municipal tanker in New Delhi, India. The Indian army has taken control of a canal that supplies three-fifths of Delhi’s water, the state’s chief minister said on Monday, raising hope that a water crisis in the metropolis of more than 16 million people can be averted. Photo by Anindito Mukherjee/Reuters

    Indian authorities worked to restore a main water supply to New Delhi, India’s capital city of 16 million people, today after protesters took control of a key canal over the weekend.

    Authorities took back control of the Munak canal Saturday, after Jat protesters disrupted the waterway amid violent protests over job and education access. The water shortage capped week-long protests in the neighboring Haryana state, where Indian forces opened fire and killed at least 12 protesters, the Associated Press reported. Another 150 protesters were injured.

    Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal called for New Delhi to ration water, including closing all of the city’s schools and several businesses Monday. The affected canal supplies 60 percent of New Delhi’s water. The head of Delhi’s water board told the BBC that it would take three to four days before the canal is fully functional again.

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    The protesters are members of the Jat caste, a historically agricultural community, who are protesting a bill introduced by the government that would allow for more job and education opportunities for Other Backward Castes. Other Backward Castes (OBC) is an official term the Indian government uses to describe castes that have been deprived of social, educational and work opportunities.

    In March 2014, the Indian government promised Jats, an upper caste and politically influential community, that they would be added to the list of OBC, allowing them more access to government jobs and education. But, a year later, India’s Supreme Court ruled that Jats could not be categorized as a backward caste, a ruling that angered the Jat community. In recent days, protesters reacted by blocking roads, looting and setting fire to public buildings.

    On Monday, in an effort to calm protesters, the Jats worked a deal with government officials to receive the “backward” designation.

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    Former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s death on Saturday has set off a major political battle over filling his seat during an election year. Photo by Reuters/Carlos Barria

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    GWEN IFILL: But, first, the Supreme Court returned to the bench today, absent Justice Antonin Scalia.

    In a tribute read from the bench, Chief Justice John Roberts noted that Scalia, who passed a way a little over a week ago, authored 282 majority opinions for the court.

    “He was also known, on occasion, to dissent. We remember his incisive intellect, his agile wit, and his captivating prose. But we cannot forget his irrepressible spirit. He was our man for all seasons, and we shall miss him beyond measure.”

    Marcia Coyle of “The National Law Journal” was in the courtroom today, and she joins me now.

    It was a somber mood in that courtroom, in that chamber.

    MARCIA COYLE, The National Law Journal: It was. It was, Gwen.

    It was subdued. And I think, throughout the court — I can’t speak for everyone who works within the court — but it was somber, but I think there also was a sense of fatigue, because it was a very emotional week for everyone. Relationships among the justices are long and good. And the relationships between justices and court employees are also close.

    If you walk through the court building after hours, there is a sense of real family. They consider it a family-type institution. I thought the chief justice hit the right note inside the courtroom. He was respectful of Justice Scalia’s background, education, family and also had a few little light notes in there.

    GWEN IFILL: That little comment about the dissents.

    MARCIA COYLE: Occasionally in dissent to remind us of how he was on and off the bench.

    GWEN IFILL: He also mentioned that he only argued one case before the court and won it, so he had a perfect record.

    MARCIA COYLE: Exactly. Exactly.

    So — but it was very much business as usual when the court took up two cases this morning. There were just, I think, as many questions from those justices who typically question, but what was really missing was kind of the spark, the color that Justice Scalia brought to his own questions.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, as the court was having their discussions about — first of all, explain briefly what those two cases were.

    MARCIA COYLE: Sure.

    Ironically, these cases seemed tailor-made for Justice Scalia. The first one involved interpreting a federal law that mandates that a preference be given to veteran-owned small businesses by the Department of Veterans Affairs when it awards contracts. And so the language of the statute, Justice Scalia was a bear about textualism. If the words are clear, that ends the discussion.

    And I had a feeling almost that Justice Kagan was channeling her inner Scalia during the arguments as she focused on the words of the statute and pressed the government’s lawyer, aren’t you following it? It seems pretty clear to me that the statute, when it uses the word shall means shall.

    The second case was a Fourth Amendment case. And he had written often in Fourth Amendment cases, very protective of the privacy of individuals in their person, their homes and their documents. And this case involved an illegal stop of someone by a police officer who then did an arrest warrant check, found there was an arrest warrant, arrested the person he stopped, and searched him.

    And the question was whether the evidence that he found of drugs could be suppressed because the initial stop was illegal, there was no reasonable suspicion. So, both cases really played, I think, to Justice Scalia’s interests.

    GWEN IFILL: Yes. So, while the justices were going about business of court, right across the street, in Congress, they were beginning what you have lived through before and covered before, which is the motions you go through to actually fill that vacancy.

    And we saw members of the Senate go to the floor and praise Justice Scalia, but also begin to lay the groundwork for the drama that is going to begin.

    MARCIA COYLE: Right.

    GWEN IFILL: Does any of that seep into the court building itself, any of that political drama?

    MARCIA COYLE: Not really.

    I think the justices and the employees are very aware of what’s going on. I think even some of them have a feeling that they would like to see this get on, get done with. But, no, they’re really unaffected by the politics. The court does its work, and today did its work as it has always done, whether it’s with eight — nine justices, eight justices, or seven justices, and will continue to work through the end of the term.

    GWEN IFILL: The White House put out a photograph this week of the president walking down the Colonnade at the White House carrying a great, big briefcase folder, so clearly to show that somebody is hard at work.

    But both sides have done an interesting thing and over the years. And that is to say, this president, whoever he is, if it’s an election year, shouldn’t have a say in this. And today emerged a video of Joe Biden, who is now the vice president, of course, at the time the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, saying the same thing in 1992.

    (CROSSTALK)

    GWEN IFILL: A little different.

    MARCIA COYLE: 1992. Yes, 1992, there was no vacancy. It was an election year.

    So, I would imagine — I’m not in Vice President Biden’s head, but I imagine there was a concern that there might be a vacancy. It was June. And in June, politicians’ eyes turn to the Supreme Court. They always wonder if there’s going to be retirements, resignations.

    This, to me is typical partisan back-and-forth and is probably not all that helpful. But there have been many discussions over the years on how to improve the confirmation process. This is one that he was offering in ’92, no election year confirmations. There have been others, you know, term limits, and we’re going to continue to see this.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, there’s one more confirmation battle for you to cover there, Marcia.

    MARCIA COYLE: We will see, won’t we?

    (LAUGHTER)

    GWEN IFILL: Marcia Coyle of “National Law Journal,” thank you.

    MARCIA COYLE: My pleasure, Gwen.

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    IDLIB, SYRIA: A file photo taken by AA photojournalist Saleh Mahmoud Laila shows a rocket fired towards forces loyal to Assad regime by members of Syrian opposition group linked to Damascus Front during the clashes in Aleppo, Syria on March 7, 2015. Anadolu Agency photojournalist Saleh Mahmoud Laila (27) was killed in a suicide car bomb attack carried out by Daesh in the opposition-held town of Hraytan, north of Aleppo, Syria on Thursday, October 08, 2015. Syria is considered one of the deadliest countries for journalists, with at least 84 reporters killed since the conflict began in 2011, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. (Photo by Saleh Mahmoud Laila/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Syria’s civil war has ground on for almost five years, but this day saw a diplomatic step that could begin the process of ending a conflict that’s killed 250,000 people and displaced millions more.

    Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner begins our coverage.

    MARGARET WARNER: Syrian government forces and rebel groups battled furiously through the weekend. But some of the shooting is supposed to stop this Saturday. Official word came after President Obama spoke to Russian President Vladimir Putin by phone.

    White House spokesman Josh Earnest:

    JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: It will require all of the parties who signed onto this document to follow through on the commitments that they have made. The whole world can see in writing what everyone has committed to, and it’s time for the signatories to step up and for the bloodshed to come to an end.

    MARGARET WARNER: And from Moscow, Putin called it a real chance to stop the violence.

    Secretary of State John Kerry had initially announced a provisional agreement yesterday, after long-distance discussions with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The plan does allow for continuing U.S. and Russian airstrikes against the Islamic State group, Jabhat al-Nusra, and — quote — “other terrorist organizations designated by the U.N. Security Council.”

    That last phrase will be key, since the Russians regard nearly all groups fighting the Syrian government as terrorists. It’s also unclear if the various fighting factions will actually go along with the cease-fire.

    Still, U.N. officials expressed cautious optimism.

    STEPHANE DUJARRIC, Spokesman, UN Secretary-General: It is a long-awaited signal of hope to the Syrian people that after five years of conflict, there may be an end to their suffering in sight. Much work now lies ahead to ensure the implementation.

    MARGARET WARNER: There’s also hope that a cease-fire will allow for the quick relaunch of peace talks between the government and opposition groups. But, for now, there is no respite. Islamic State bombings in Homs and a Damascus suburb yesterday killed 130 people.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And Margaret Warner joins me now.

    So, Margaret, what did it take to get this deal?

    MARGARET WARNER: Well, U.S. officials believe it took two things, one, that Vladimir Putin had decided he got most of what he wanted on the ground. He shored up Assad enough. The Assad military can handle things. They have taken back some territory from both ISIS and from the moderate opposition, and that he doesn’t want to get sucked into the quagmire.

    The second thing that was epitomized in the phone call today is Putin wanted to be seen here as a partner to the United States in resolving the conflict in Syria. And he wasn’t even a player last September before he sent in troops. So it’s not bad work in five months that he is now co-chairing this group with President Obama.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How confident, having said that, is the United States that this is actually going to work?

    MARGARET WARNER: Well, Judy, I have to say one official said to me today no one’s doing high-fives around here. And another one said, after Ukraine, we don’t necessarily believe anything.

    But the key concession, I’m told, that Putin has made is that he will no longer take Assad’s pretext for bombing the moderate opposition. As we said in the setup, what he has been doing is accepting Assad’s definition of terrorists, and so even the moderate opposition supported by the U.S. was being pounded by Russian military, and that if you look at the language of the document, it now says you can pound away at ISIS, the al-Nusra Front or other groups designated terrorists by the U.N., and that actually means something.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, Margaret, why has this been so hard to get?

    MARGARET WARNER: Oh.

    Well, Judy, the big problem is, you know, there are so many players, not only on the ground in Syria, but that everyone has a different mentor, a different benefactor, all with different aims. So, for the U.S., number one is getting rid of ISIS. For the Russians, number one was getting — shoring up their client state Syria.

    For all the Gulf states, with the Saudis in the lead, number one was getting rid of Assad. And for the Turks, number one was undercutting the Turkish Kurdish fighters whom they see as cousins to their own terrorist Kurds, the PKK. And so when you have a group like that, they have always known that they’re never going to get the parties on the ground to agree to this.

    It had to come from the big boys, the 17-member group. But when they couldn’t agree on what the objective was, that’s why it’s been so very difficult.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, as you point out, so many different interests from so many different directions.

    Even so, there’s been just steady criticism that the administration hasn’t done enough, that so many people have been killed, millions displaced from Syria. How does the administration handle that?

    MARGARET WARNER: Well, you’re right, Judy, not only tremendous criticism, but that the United States was being played by the Russians, that the Russians got themselves in there promising help to defeat ISIS, and instead used it to pound away at Assad’s adversaries.

    Their answer — well, Secretary Kerry got a little irritated this weekend and said, well, I have not heard any alternatives from anyone else.

    Now, there are alternatives, but we will leave that aside. Their answer is we believe the only way to defeat ISIS, which is our number one objective, is end the conflict in Syria. Number two, we work for a president who is not willing to put in any more military muscle. We are now supporting the moderate opposition somewhat, but nothing serious, no surface-to-air missiles to shoot down planes, nothing like that.

    And so really talking is the only — getting all the parties together and trying to get to a political resolution was the only way to go. But a senior White House official said to me last week, you know, if this — this is really a turning point. If this doesn’t work, I don’t know where we go.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we will see where it develops.

    MARGARET WARNER: We will see if it goes anywhere.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, if it does, a huge development.

    MARGARET WARNER: Huge, if it does.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Margaret Warner, thank you.

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    Supporters of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump celebrate the close of the polls as they watch election results at a rally in Spartanburg, South Carolina February 20, 2016. Photo By Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

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    GWEN IFILL: With one more contest down and one less opponent to battle, the Republican presidential candidates spent the day scrambling for the next round of votes. Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton expanded her lead over Democrat Bernie Sanders. With Jeb Bush now out of the race, and Trump with another solid victory in hand, Republicans moved to consolidate.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: We won with everything. We won with women. I love the women. We won with women.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    DONALD TRUMP: we won with men. I would rather win with women, to be honest. We won with everything, tall people, short people, fat people, skinny people, just won.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: The field is narrower now, but you still have names to pick from, and maybe you like a couple of people in this race and you are trying to decide between us. So I’m not here to bad-mouth anybody else.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: Coming out of New Hampshire for the first time, my voice is being heard. And, you know, for that whole long period of time, we couldn’t get anybody in the press to pay attention. And now they’re finally beginning to hear. And now this morning, here in Virginia, we have about 1,000 people that have come to hear a voice of experience, accomplishment.

    GWEN IFILL: And then today Rubio locked horns with Ted Cruz after Cruz’s communications director erroneously accused Rubio of criticizing the Bible. The Cruz aide, Rick Tyler, was fired.

    So, the fight for money, for endorsements and for credibility is on.

    And we turn to Politics Monday with Tamara Keith of NPR and Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report.

    As I say every week, where to begin?

    Let’s talk about the Republicans, Amy, especially what looks like a three-man race.

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Yes.

    This Saturday definitely consolidated the field in a way that we were expecting to see it happen after New Hampshire. It didn’t. But with Jeb Bush dropping out and Carson not getting much vote, John Kasich is still in the race. As he noted, he thinks he is going to be able to pick up some momentum when we get out to March 1.

    GWEN IFILL: And, of course, when he gets heard, sometimes, it’s for his stumbles as much as for anything else.

    AMY WALTER: Sometimes, it’s for his stumbles. And the reality is, there is just not a lot of support there for John Kasich.

    It really is Marco Rubio now who is getting the so-called establishment lane to himself. Every minute, it seems, we’re getting another update of another senator, another governor, another member of Congress endorsing Marco Rubio. The real question now is, is it too late? Did they wait too late to consolidate to stop Donald Trump?

    GWEN IFILL: I did — my e-mail box, like yours, has been full of endorsements all day coming from establishment, senators, members of Congress for Marco Rubio, but I wonder whether the establishment lane exists in an election year when Donald Trump does so well.

    TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Well, and we keep wondering whether the establishment lane really exists.

    And I think that if it were anyone else at the top of this field who had won New Hampshire and won South Carolina, we wouldn’t even be having a discussion about who’s going to overtake him.

    GWEN IFILL: Right.

    TAMARA KEITH: But it’s Donald Trump, and so the discussion continues, because there are a lot of people in the Republican Party and in the media and everywhere else who are like, really? Really, this is going to happen?

    But he is, at the moment, very much the front-runner. He’s running a very unconventional campaign. We’re now getting into a part of the race where it becomes more of a national campaign than a state-by-state, hand-by-hand kind of race, and he’s been running that kind of campaign all along.

    AMY WALTER: Though I would argue, if it were any other candidate who had negatives as high as Donald Trump does, which right now among all voters, his very negatives are at 50 percent, he is the most polarizing candidate in the Republican field now that Jeb Bush is gone. He was the second most polarizing, most polarizing in the field.

    There is still a lot of angst among Republicans about having him at the top.

    GWEN IFILL: But think about this for a moment. Today’s little dust-up between Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, who did that help in the end? It helps Donald Trump, right?

    AMY WALTER: Yes. Absolutely.

    GWEN IFILL: Because Donald Trump gets to stand by while they fight each other.

    TAMARA KEITH: And he tweeted about it gleefully.

    AMY WALTER: Yes, thank you for doing that.

    In fact, when you look at the amount of money that is being spent on attack ads, the lion’s share of it has gone actually to attack Marco Rubio. Very little money has been spent going after Donald Trump, at least in the paid media. And certainly we don’t see it all that much even on the debate stage. We see a little skirmish, but there’s not been a concerted effort.

    GWEN IFILL: And if there were?

    AMY WALTER: And that’s what a lot of people are wondering.

    And here’s what I — I had to write this down, but I think there are three R’s right now going on with the Republicans writ large, resignation, reluctance, rationalization. All of that is, they’re sort of in some ways resigned to, well, maybe Trump can win because it seems like we can’t figure out a way to beat him, a reluctance to really challenge him, as I said, not a lot of money been spent going after him, especially by outside groups, and rationalization, this idea that, well, maybe Trump won’t be that bad, maybe he could be a general election candidate.

    After all, Hillary Clinton is really vulnerable. After all, she could be indicted. And, look, he’s bringing out all these new voters. But they’re forgetting that a general election looks a whole lot different than a primary.

    GWEN IFILL: A word about Jeb Bush. What happened? When we sat here a year ago, we were talking about how he was clearly ahead. He raised tons of money, and yet he’s completely out of the race.

    TAMARA KEITH: And I think he said it best, which is that he heard the voters,and the voters told him that they just didn’t — they didn’t want what he was selling.

    And I think what he was selling is a brand of establishment politics. He is the insider’s insider. He had all of that money, and voters are attracted to a guy who says he can’t be bought.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, speaking of someone who says he can’t be bought, let’s talk about Bernie Sanders, who didn’t have a good weekend, and now is trying to come up with a strategy which looks like it’s more about delegate-picking than anything else.

    AMY WALTER: The challenge for Bernie Sanders is that the delegate system that the Democrats have is actually incredibly helpful for underdogs, and it makes it — it’s supposed to make it harder for somebody like Hillary Clinton, an establishment candidate, to build up a big lead, because delegates are awarded proportionately. You can win a state by a million votes.

    You still only get a certain number of delegates. The challenge for Bernie Sanders right now is that he hasn’t done well enough in the states he should be doing well in, that he’s not building a delegate lead. And so the math is going to start to get really difficult for him, because, if he keeps losing states that look like Nevada, South Carolina, a lot of these Southern states, he can’t just make it up by running the table in some other states.

    GWEN IFILL: And, in fact, when he talks about running the table in states like Minnesota, and Colorado, Massachusetts, Vermont, he doesn’t even say — he says that I have a shot there.

    AMY WALTER: Right.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s talk about Hillary Clinton, though. She’s already leapfrogged ahead to Texas, even though Saturday — I mean, even though this week is South Carolina.

    TAMARA KEITH: Yes. Yes.

    And she flew directly from Nevada to Texas. Texas is the biggest delegate prize on Super Tuesday, and she’s also playing a delegate game and she wants to maximize the delegates where she can get them in places like Texas. She expects to do very well in South Carolina. She has a strong lead among African-Americans, and the entrance polls in Nevada are very good news for her on that front, because she absolutely dominated among African-Americans.

    The story isn’t quite as clear with Latino voters. It seems as though she and Bernie Sanders split Latino voters.

    GWEN IFILL: But I do remember that the Clintons have spent a lot of time. In fact, Bill Clinton has spent a lot of time on the ground in Texas over the years, and so the groundwork has been laid there.

    AMY WALTER: Absolutely.

    GWEN IFILL: Does Bernie Sanders — did he ever get the young voter turnout that he was counting on?

    TAMARA KEITH: That’s the big issue here.

    Bernie Sanders talks about building a revolution. And the revolution is smaller than the revolution that Barack Obama built. The voter turnout in Iowa and New Hampshire and now in Nevada is not nearly as high as it was in 2008. But, in 2008, you had Barack Obama vs. Hillary Clinton. I mean, it’s historic. It’s a fight for the ages.

    This time around, Bernie Sanders has huge enthusiasm, but Republicans are turning out more voters than Democrats. And that has to be a worry for Democrats heading into the general election.

    AMY WALTER: In fact, if you even dig further into the turnout numbers, what you see is that people who are under the age of 30 are a smaller percent than they were in 2008, and people who are over the age of 65 are a bigger percent than they were in 2008.

    She does much better with older voters. He does much better with younger voters. So, it becomes something of a wash.

    GWEN IFILL: You begin to see their path.

    AMY WALTER: That’s right.

    GWEN IFILL: Amy Walter of Cook Political Report, Tamara Keith of NPR, thank you all.

    TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.

    AMY WALTER: You’re welcome.

    The post How did South Carolina and Nevada change the 2016 race? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Two African elephants roam the flowery grassland in Tanzania. A new report says that Chinese gangs were able to smuggle elephant ivory out of Tanzania with the help of corrupt country officials.
Photo copyright: © Steve Morello / WWF-Canon

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now: big hopes in the fight against cancer and the potential for some surprising allies: elephants.

    Special correspondent Jackie Judd reports on researchers thinking outside the box.

    MAN: The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey performing pachyderms!

    JACKIE JUDD: This spring, all of these circus elephants will be permanently retired. But as they leave the center ring, they are taking center stage in another unlikely place, the Huntsman Cancer Institute in Salt Lake City.

    DR. JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN, Huntsman Cancer Institute: Just about every person I met who heard about this would come up and ask, elephants, cancer, what’s the connection?

    JACKIE JUDD: The possible connection is a work in progress, led by pediatric oncologist Dr. Joshua Schiffman.

    WOMAN: Insert the needle into the vein.

    JACKIE JUDD: He has enlisted the support of the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation in Florida and the Hogle Zoo in Salt Lake to draw blood from these sturdy mammals for his experiments.

    Logically, elephants should get cancer far more often than we do. They have 100 times the cells than humans, therefore, much more opportunity for those cells to mutate into cancer. But that’s not the case. Less than 5 percent of elephant deaths are attributed to cancer.

    DR. JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN: Elephants have had 55 million years of evolution to figure out how to avoid cancer. Now it’s our turn to take a page out of nature’s playbook, and try to figure out, how do we help our patients and families with cancer?

    JACKIE JUDD: Most humans have two copies of a gene called p53. When everything is working, the protein in p53 is a cancer-suppressor, repairing or killing mutant cells so they don’t multiply. Elephants have 40 copies of p53.

    DR. JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN: This is our tissue culture room. This is where we actually do the experiments to try to understand, how does elephant p53 work? In here are the actual cells growing.

    JACKIE JUDD: After bombarding elephant blood with radiation, Dr. Schiffman and his team stood back and observed how the elephant p53 responded to the damaged cells. The answer, recently published in “The Journal of the American Medical Association,” was that the multiple genes responded far more robustly than p53’s response in humans.

    DR. JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN: Instead of trying to repair themselves, the elephant cells, many of them, all went on to cell death, to this cell suicide, or what we call apoptosis.

    It’s as if these elephant cells have said, well, it’s much safer, much better strategy to just kill the cell and start over. If we do that, there’s no way that that cell can go on to become cancer, and that was an aha moment for us in the lab. We’re trying to learn how to get kids better with cancer without making them sick.

    JACKIE JUDD: Now the research has turned to this question: How does elephant p53 respond in human cancer cells? And could it stop the disease cold? Could it be a treatment to prevent cancer or halt its growth?

    DR. JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN: In here are three breast cancers from different individuals that have been growing in the labs. And we take the elephant p53 and transfect it. We put it into the breast cancer cell lines, and we wait and we see, will the elephant p53 kill these breast cancer cells?

    JACKIE JUDD: The research, and where it may lead, would be especially meaningful for people like Tony Means. He and others with a genetic disorder called Li-Fraumeni Syndrome have only one p53 gene, instead of two, leaving them virtually defenseless against cancer.

    In your family, your mother had Li-Fraumeni, died very young.

    TONY MEANS, Cancer Patient: Yes, ma’am.

    JACKIE JUDD: You have aunts and uncles who have cancer and have Li-Fraumeni.

    TONY MEANS: Yes, a good chunk of our family. I would say a majority,

    JACKIE JUDD: And they have all been tested? They have…

    (CROSSTALK)

    TONY MEANS: Well, every single one has been Li-Fraumeni.

    JACKIE JUDD: Means is being treated for cancer and 6-year-old daughter Emma is being watched by Dr. Schiffman because of a small brain tumor. Two other children with Li-Fraumeni are frequently screened, and the family takes part in Dr. Schiffman’s research in any way they can.

    TONY MEANS: I have kind of put hope in him by choosing to have children, knowing that there’s a chance they could have the gene.

    JACKIE JUDD: But you understand this is years off, if ever.

    TONY MEANS: Oh, yes, yes.

    JACKIE JUDD: If ever.

    TONY MEANS: Oh, yes, yes, yes, yes. Who knows?

    JACKIE JUDD: And that is where Avi Schroeder comes in. Dr. Schroeder of Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology, joined the research several months ago, with the goal of developing a drug for humans that would mimic the elephant’s robust p53.

    AVI SCHROEDER, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology: Now there’s a delivery issue. How can we get that protein to the disease site, into the cancer cells, to act and to perform the therapeutic activity on site? We’re going to wrap the proteins inside a nanoparticle, and they will release the protein inside the cancer cells.

    JACKIE JUDD: And if everything works, the cancer cell will be killed?

    AVI SCHROEDER: Yes, the cancer cell will go into a death cycle after that, yes.

    MAN: We are excited to have Dr. Schroeder here.

    JACKIE JUDD: The team of optimists believes clinical trials could begin in three years. Not surprisingly, there is skepticism in the medical community, and that is shared by Dr. Lee Helman, the head of clinical research at the National Cancer Institute.

    DR. LEE HELMAN, National Cancer Institute: The whole idea of putting an elephant gene that’s regulated in a unique way into a human being, when we have had enough trouble putting human genes into human beings with all kinds of difficulty, I would say he has got a lot of hurdles to overcome.

    JACKIE JUDD: But Dr. Helman does believe there is value to this deeper investigation into p53.

    DR. LEE HELMAN: I think his finding only lends further evidence to support that hypothesis that p53 function, and understanding it and being able to regulate it, would be a major step forward in our ability to treat cancer.

    JACKIE JUDD: Cancer touches almost every family, directly or indirectly. For families like the Means, it is a certainty.

    So, what is happening in this lab, at this zoo, could be life- changing.

    Have you taken the kids to the zoo to see the elephants?

    TONY MEANS: Yes. Oh, man, that was awesome. The kids loved it, and it was kind of fun for me to sit there as a father and just look at them. This is the answer in their lifetime. That’s all I want is for my kids to have that. And this — this gives them hope.

    DR. JOSHUA SCHIFFMAN: I don’t promise my patients it will happen, because I don’t want to have them disappointed. But if I didn’t believe this would work, I wouldn’t be trying it.

    JACKIE JUDD: Dr. Schiffman concedes that turning to elephants for a cancer treatment is outside the box, but that, he says, is often where the best answers are found.

    This is Jackie Judd for the “PBS NewsHour” in Salt Lake City.

    The post Elephant genes hold big hopes for cancer researchers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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