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- 02/28/16--10:55: _Oscars 2016: What t...
- 02/28/16--11:03: _At least 70 killed,...
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- 02/28/16--12:33: _Russian coal mine e...
- 02/28/16--13:24: _10 stellar tweets t...
- 02/28/16--14:11: _Fragile ceasefire i...
- 02/28/16--14:55: _Thousands of strand...
- 02/28/16--18:42: _‘Mad Max: Fury Road...
- 02/29/16--12:44: _State Department re...
- 02/29/16--12:55: _Can my ex collect S...
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- 02/29/16--13:51: _How Clinton won the...
- 02/29/16--16:15: _U.S. student apolog...
- 02/29/16--17:10: _News Wrap: Uncertai...
- 02/29/16--17:11: _Film about investig...
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- 02/29/16--17:15: _Trump continues to ...
- 02/28/16--10:55: Oscars 2016: What to expect from the year’s biggest night in film
- 02/28/16--11:03: At least 70 killed, dozens wounded in Baghdad market bombings
- 02/28/16--11:54: Clinton allies prepare for Trump nomination, fall campaign
- 02/28/16--12:33: Russian coal mine explosion kills 36, including 5 rescuers
- 02/28/16--14:11: Fragile ceasefire in Syria breached, Russia says
- 02/28/16--18:42: ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ ‘The Revenant’ win big at the Oscars
- 02/29/16--12:44: State Department releases final Clinton emails
- 02/29/16--12:55: Can my ex collect Social Security on my work record?
- 02/29/16--13:33: One family’s lonely struggle against their child’s rare disease
- 02/29/16--13:35: Secret Service agent and photographer scuffle at Trump rally
- 02/29/16--13:50: Follow NewsHour’s Super Tuesday live blog
- 02/29/16--13:51: How Clinton won the black vote in South Carolina
- 02/29/16--16:15: U.S. student apologizes for ‘severe crimes’ in North Korea
- 02/29/16--17:10: News Wrap: Uncertainty persists over nascent Syrian ceasefire
- 02/29/16--17:11: Film about investigative journalism nabs top Oscar
- 02/29/16--17:13: Can Rubio and Cruz disrupt Trump’s momentum?
- 02/29/16--17:14: What do Iran’s elections mean for the country’s future?
- 02/29/16--17:15: Trump continues to offend as Super Tuesday dawns
If you plan on tuning into Sunday’s 88th Academy Awards, you’ll be treated to, among other things, the cap of red carpet season, the culmination of weeks of controversy regarding the nominations’ racial diversity and, lest we forget, a celebration of the 55 films nominated for the industry’s most-prestigious awards.
Here’s what you need to know.
How can I watch the ceremony?
The three-hour ceremony will air on ABC at 8:30 p.m. EST. If you’re more interested in the dresses than the statues, the red carpet will be live at 7:00 p.m EST.
Like last year, live streaming is also available if you’re a cable TV subscriber in one of eight markets (Chicago, Fresno, Houston, Los Angeles, New York City, Philadelphia, Raleigh-Durham and San Francisco), but be warned: it has a reputation of cutting in and out.
How late do I have to stay up to hear what wins Best Picture?
11:30 p.m.-ish. The notoriously long show has an average length of about 3 1/2 hours, but this year, the Academy is hoping to streamline the speeches by asking all nominees to submit a list of all the people they want to thank (think production studios, agents, managers, etc.) before the ceremony, which will run on a ticker at the bottom of the screen.
Who can I expect to see on the broadcast?
Actor and comedian Chris Rock will host the ceremony for the first time since he last helmed the awards in 2005. Given the robust racial discussion, you won’t want to miss his opening monologue.
You can see a full list of the evening’s myriad of presenters here.
And look out for performances from Best Original Song nominees, including Lady Gaga (who’ll be introduced by Joe Biden), Sam Smith and The Weekend.
Which movies should I at least pretend to have seen?
“The Revenant” and “Mad Max: Fury Road” are starting the evening with the most nominations of the year, with 12 and 10 nods.
There has also been considerable buzz about Saoirse Ronan’s performance as a young Irish immigrant who carves out a new life in “Brooklyn,” as well as Brie Larson’s performance in “Room,” where she plays a young mother who has spent years held captive in a shed with her son.
Expect the night’s biggest award for Best Picture to go to one of these three films.
“The Revenant”: A gritty tale of revenge, based on a true story, that follows Leonardo DiCaprio as a 19th century fur trapper fighting to survive increasingly grueling conditions in the Wild West.
“The Big Short”: A fast-paced Wall Street flick, based on the book of the same name by Michael Lewis, that follows several individual hedge fund managers who reasoned the housing market was on the brink of collapse before anyone else.
“Spotlight”: Based on a true story, “Spotlight” follows a team of Boston Globe reporters who uncovered the Catholic Church’s massive cover-up of sexual abuse by priests.
You can see a complete list of this year’s nominations here.
What about the #OscarsSoWhite controversy?
Many prominent figures in the film and entertainment industry have shared their dismay at the lack of diversity in the major acting categories — the second year in a row the Academy has chosen to nominate exclusively white actors. In response, actors Will and Jada Pinkett-Smith and director Spike Lee have announced their intentions to boycott the ceremony all together.
But the uproar stems from a much deeper-seated diversity issue in Hollywood. In fact, out of 30,000 characters in films over the past decade, roughly three quarters were white, even though minorities accounted for 46 percent of the $1.27 billion in tickets sold in the nation, according to the Washington Post.
Amid the controversy, the Academy has remained defensive yet forward-thinking since the nominations were announced in January.
“Everyone seems to be into the minutiae of it all,” Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences president Cheryl Boone Isaacs told The Los Angeles Times on Friday. “The point is that we’re doing something. We are progressing. This is not another time where the door’s going to close. We want to make sure that it stays open, that it is the beginning of a movement that will continue.”
What does this mean for the Oscars’ ratings?
The negative press creates a bit of a conundrum for the Academy, which has seen its ratings slip in the past few years. Viewership dipped by 16 percent last year, attracting the smallest at-home audience in six years.
It’s hard to tell whether the controversy will convince viewers to watch the event or ignore the ceremony all together.
Will Leo finally win Oscar gold?
Almost all critics predict the four-time Academy Award nominee will walk away with a trophy this weekend after years of displaying a gracious Oscar loser face.
And for all he put up with, he probably deserves it. For his role in “The Revenant,” Leo was given the option of eating from an artificial raw bison liver, but true to character, he opted for the actual thing. His real-time reaction made it to the final edit of the film. Will his commitment pay off?
It’s a safe bet.
Have any predictions for Best Picture? What are your thoughts on the all-white acting nods in this year’s ceremony? Join the conversation on Facebook, and let us know your thoughts.
The post Oscars 2016: What to expect from the year’s biggest night in film appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
At least 70 Iraqis were killed and more than 100 were injured after two bombs tore through a packed outdoor market on the eastern edge of Baghdad on Sunday.
The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attacks that targeted the heavily Shiite sector of the city, setting a bomb that exploded amid the bustling Mredi market in an area where purveyors were reportedly selling mobile phones. As people congregated to witness the devastation a suicide bomber riding a motorcycle struck again amid the crowd.
The bombings were the deadliest attacks for months in Baghdad, a city that has seen a steady stream of bombings. Another attack in August claimed by ISIS killed 80 people after a truck bomb was set off at another market.
Militants on Sunday also launched a multi-pronged assault including gunmen and suicide bombers in the suburbs of Baghdad, killing at least 17 security force members in Abu Ghraib and capturing nearby positions during a battle that began at dawn and lasted into the evening hours. Iraqi officials said ISIS was also responsible for those attacks, while 20 militants were killed.
According to the SITE intelligence group, which monitors jihadist activities, ISIS released a statement online claiming to have killed more than 100 Iraqis in separate attacks.
Baghdad Jasim al-Bahadl, a security analyst based in Baghdad, told Reuters the attacks may temper claims that Iraq has made gains against ISIS and “must do a better job” to fend off assaults.
“What happened today could be a setback for the security forces,” he said.
The post At least 70 killed, dozens wounded in Baghdad market bombings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — Emboldened by her South Carolina landslide, Hillary Clinton is shifting her focus to Republican front-runner Donald Trump as her party seeks consensus on the best ways to challenge the billionaire’s unpredictable nature in a general election.
As Clinton enters the series of Super Tuesday contests this week, allies of the former secretary of state, unaffiliated Democratic strategists and the national party are stockpiling potential ammunition about Trump, reviewing reams of court filings, requesting information about his business dealings from state governments and conducting new polls to test lines of attack.
Among the likely options: Questioning Trump’s qualifications and temperament to be president, scrutinizing his business practices and bankruptcy filings, and re-airing his inflammatory statements about women and minorities who will be central to the Democrats’ efforts in November.
“Is this the guy you would trust with the nuclear codes? Is this the guy you would trust with your son or daughter in the military? Is this the guy you would trust to run the economy?” asked Gov. Dan Malloy of Connecticut, a Clinton backer, pointing to a likely argument from Democrats.
Clinton, celebrating her rout of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders in South Carolina’s primary, took direct aim at Trump’s message on Saturday night, telling supporters, “Despite what you hear, we don’t need to make America great again. America never stopped being great.”
“But we do need to make America whole again. Instead of building walls, we need to be tearing down barriers,” she said.
While party leaders see Clinton in a favorable position against Trump, they caution that the real estate mogul has shown a mastery of the media and an ability to stay on offense throughout the GOP primaries. And they acknowledge Trump has successfully tapped into a deep vein of economic insecurity running through the electorate.
“Any race he is in is unpredictable,” said David Brock, a Clinton supporter who oversees several Democratic super PACs. “Any strategy we come up with today is going to have to be awfully flexible because we don’t know what to expect from this guy.”
Clinton aides and allies also worry that Trump’s unorthodox constituency of working-class white voters might allow him to put more states in play – particularly Midwestern swing states like Ohio and Wisconsin – compared to past nominees like Mitt Romney and John McCain. And they note large voter turnouts in GOP primaries won by Trump.
But Democrats predict a Trump nomination could have a splintering effect on the Republican party and are looking for ways to exacerbate it.
A new survey of 800 likely Republican voters commissioned by a Democratic firm led by Stan Greenberg, who served as President Bill Clinton’s pollster, found that 20 percent of Republicans are “uncertain” whether they would back Trump or Clinton in a head-to-head match-up.
The number included one-quarter of Catholics and one-third of moderates, according to the survey by the Democracy Corps’ Republican Party Project shared with The Associated Press.
The poll found Trump’s share of the vote drops among Catholics and moderates when Democrats describe him as an “ego-maniac,” ”disrespectful to women,” untrustworthy with the nation’s nuclear weapons and supporting a “big oil agenda.”
“If people are fearful that you can’t trust Trump with nuclear weapons, if you have Republican validators like Sen. McCain and other Republicans in the foreign policy establishment saying they can’t trust Trump, there’s a potential for a splintering off of huge Republican base voters,” Greenberg said.
But Republicans, Democrats argue, haven’t mounted a sustained campaign to undermine Trump’s image as a successful dealmaker. They envision a more extensive critique that would galvanize minority voters and women against Trump.
“Is there anything in his business record that suggested he’d be inclusionary,” asked Mark Morial, president of the National Urban League. “Did he hire minority-owned contractors? How diverse is the senior leadership of his companies?”
Stephanie Schriock, the president of EMILY’s List, which backs female Democratic candidates who support abortion rights, said Trump’s derogatory comments about women during the primaries would mobilize female voters. She said as the “head of the party,” Trump would influence Senate races in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Florida.
Clinton’s campaign, meanwhile, is increasingly pointing to Trump as the likely GOP nominee. Her rhetoric of “tearing down barriers” presents a contrast to Trump’s vow to build a massive wall along the Mexican border. In a recent fundraising appeal, Clinton said Trump was “looking more and more likely to be the Republican nominee. The man who riles up his crowds by calling Mexican-Americans criminals and suggesting Muslims should be banned from entering this country has limitless resources to run his campaign.”
Her message underscored Democrats’ interest in holding Trump below 30 percent support among Hispanics, a level few think would allow the businessman to win the White House.
While Trump spends far more time assailing his Republican rivals, he has previewed some attack lines he would likely use against Clinton, describing her as a liar and failed secretary of state who would have been indicted over her email scandal were she not so cozy with President Barack Obama. He has made clear he’s ready to take personal shots, bringing up her husband’s past infidelities and suggesting she was complicit in what Trump has described as the former president’s abuse of women.
Clinton aides say their campaign is focused on winning the primary and have not begun formally sketching out how they would tackle Trump or any Republican opponent. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t keeping a close eye on the fellow New Yorker.
“The challenge that the Republicans are having running against him is that it’s a party that’s having an identity crisis,” said Clinton strategist Joel Benenson. “And they haven’t been able to resolve that.”
The post Clinton allies prepare for Trump nomination, fall campaign appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Six people were killed on Sunday during a failed rescue attempt at a coal mine in the far northern reaches of Russia, where dozens of workers have been trapped thousands of feet below ground for days after methane gas triggered two explosions there on Thursday.
The six people, including five rescue workers and an employee of the mine, were killed by a third explosion Sunday. Thursday’s explosions killed four miners and trapped 26 people, all of whom are now presumed to be dead.
Combined, 36 people were killed by the explosions, though emergency workers were able to usher 81 other miners to safety before halting rescue operations on Sunday.
“This is a difficult emergency situation, a difficult catastrophe for Russia, for our mining industry,” Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich told Agence France-Presse.
The tragedy took place more than 2,400 feet underground at a mine located in the Arctic Circle in the Russian town of Vorkuta. Officials said heavy smoke, debris and the presence of the methane gas created conditions that hampered the rescue efforts.
Russia’s federal industrial safety monitor, Rostekhnadzor, called the methane leak a natural occurrence.
“According to the materials that have been obtained and preliminary information, the accident had natural causes and was a geological event,” said Alexander Goncharenko, who oversees the regional branch of Rostekhnadzor.
Dvorkovich said the families of the miners who were killed would receive $13,000 in compensation, according to AFP.
The post Russian coal mine explosion kills 36, including 5 rescuers appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Astronaut Scott Kelly is set to return to Earth on Tuesday after spending a record-breaking year in space.
His 340-day enterprise marks NASA’s longest spaceflight and has served as critical prep-work and research for future Mars exploration. NASA hopes to learn more about the toll of long-term spaceflight by comparing Kelly’s physical status to his identical twin brother, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly.
“I think we’ll learn a lot about longer-duration spaceflight and how that will take us to Mars someday,” Kelly said during his 335th day and final news conference from space on Thursday. “So I’d like to think that this is another of many stepping stones to us landing on Mars sometime in our future.”
On Sunday, Kelly tweeted a photo of his last glimpse of the moon.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 28, 2016
The spaceman says he could spend another year if needed but still looks forward to jumping in his pool and eating at a dining table.
His year in space has been well-documented on his Twitter feed. To mark his cosmic triumph, here are 10 breathtaking tweets from the homestretch of his stay.
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 23, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 23, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 22, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 16, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) February 12, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 30, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 19, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 17, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 13, 2016
— Scott Kelly (@StationCDRKelly) January 3, 2016
The post 10 stellar tweets to mark Scott Kelly’s record-breaking year in space appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The cease-fire in Syria brokered by the United States and Russia is showing cracks on its second day. Syria’s capital of Damascus was calm, but opposition groups claimed Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has violated the truce.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said today there were airstrikes on two Northern Syrian villages, but didn’t know who carried them out. The cease-fire covers government forces and opposition groups, but not militants of the Islamic State group, or ISIS, or the Nusra Front, an al-Qaida affiliate.
Joining me now via Skype from Turkey is Washington Post reporter Liz Sly.
Liz, the truce has been up for more than 24 hours. What are you hearing today?
LIZ SLY, The Washington Post: Well, it’s looking a little bit wobbly today.
We have had quite a few Russian airstrikes, not as many as unusual, but a number in the north of the country, enough to let people know that the airstrikes are back. And there’s been some quite significant fighting in the east of the country, which is somewhat separate from the Syrian truce.
This is Islamic State attacking America’s Kurdish allies in the north. And American warplanes have had to go and rescue them from what looked like quite a nasty situation.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, the Islamic State, of course, wasn’t party to this truce.
LIZ SLY: Right, they were not party to the truce.
And pretty much the day before the truce, actually, they stormed into a northern town of Tal Abyad, which is in the Kurdish self-proclaimed autonomous region that they are carving out up there. And they pretty much took control of the town for a few hours.
They took over several buildings. They rampaged through the town. They beheaded a tribal leader. And U.S. airplanes were called in and carried out a large number of strikes, hitting their positions and pushing them back from most of the town. But we understand that there are still some Islamic State people there on the edge of the town, perhaps holding some hostages.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Do the rebel groups that are party to this believe that this truce is a stepping-stone to a longer-lasting peace, that these peace talks can happen, or do they think maybe that this is a tactical move by Assad and the Russians?
LIZ SLY: Well, the rebels are extremely suspicious.
The government, helped by the Russians now, now has the upper hand in the fighting in Syria. They have been making a lot of advances. Nobody really sees what interest it is — it is for the Syrians at the moment to abide by a truce and halt their gains. The Syrian government has made it clear it believes now that, with the Russian support, it can win this fight completely.
So, yes, a lot of rebels are deeply suspicious. But, at the same time, they are on the back foot. They are not nearly in a position at the moment to challenge the truce. And it could potentially work to their advantage if it does freeze the lines — the front lines where they are right now.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What about the idea that, in — March 7, the U.N. could try to restart peace talks? Is anybody on the ground thinking that far ahead?
LIZ SLY: Well, after what we have seen today with new airstrikes, new fighting, I think most people are a bit worried that the truce won’t hold long enough.
But I think the world powers are really very determined to have this happen. And they could well usher their allies on the ground to those talks, even if the fighting does start up again.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Liz Sly of The Washington Post, joining us via Skype from Gaziantep in Turkey, thanks so much.
LIZ SLY: Thank you.
Hundreds of migrants trapped at a refugee camp along Greece’s border with Macedonia staged protests for a second day, temporarily shutting down a rail line for several hours on Sunday.
Roughly 300 migrants are stuck along the border crossing waiting to enter Macedonia, which in recent days has installed stricter border restrictions against migrants. The protest forced a cargo train to turn back.
Many of the protesters are from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, while more than 6,500 refugees are living in a tented camp nearby and thousands more spread across Greece.
Macedonia on Saturday allowed 300 Syrian and Iraqi refugees to enter the country, but has limited the number allowed across the border overall in an attempt to slow the migration of refugees with more than 1 million entering Europe in 2015 alone.
Macedonia’s decision follows similar efforts in Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia to restrict the flow of refugees. Hungary has taken its restrictions a step further, constructing a miles-long fence along the Serbian and Croatian border with plans to construct additional obstructions along its border with Romania, the Associated Press reported.
“We will protect ourselves all the way from Slovania to Ukraine,” said Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Sunday to the AP, also blaming Germany’s liberal migration policy as the cause of the once heavily trafficked route through Hungary.
With the new border policies, tens of thousands of refugees, mostly from Syria are now creating a bottleneck along the Greek border.
“We estimate that in our country the number of those trapped will be from 50,000-70,000 people next month,” said Greek Migration Minister Yiannis Mouzalas.
On Friday, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon lodged his own complaints against the Balkan countries, and others, for installing border restrictions that violate the 1951 U.N. Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.
“The Secretary-General notes that the number of asylum seekers entering Greece from Turkey continues unabated, and that the border closures are creating a difficult situation in Greece,” Ban’s spokesperson wrote in a statement. “He calls on all countries to keep their borders open, and to act in a spirit of responsibility sharing and solidarity, including through expanding legal pathways to access asylum.”
The post Thousands of stranded refugees stage protest at Greece-Macedonia border appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
“Mad Max: Fury Road,” the story of a road warrior fighting to survive in a dystopian wasteland, took home most of the awards for which it was nominated at the 88th Academy Awards on Sunday.
After receiving 10 nominations last month, George Miller’s fourth installment of the “Mad Max” franchise took home a large portion of the production awards, including Best Production Design, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing and Best Sound Mixing.
“Spotlight,” a movie about the Boston Globe’s investigation of sex abuse within the Catholic Church,” won for Best Picture in a field packed with eight nominees.
“The Revenant,” which received 11 nominations, went home with wins for director Alejandro González Iñárritu and Leonardo DiCaprio, the actor’s first Oscar after five previous nominations. DiCaprio used his acceptance speech to call for action on climate change. “Climate change is real, it is happening right now, it is the most urgent threat facing our entire species and we need to work collectively together to stop procrastinating,” he said.
In between the award presentations, Host Chris Rock kept the focus on the Oscars’ lack of diversity, which drew criticism after no non-white actors were nominated in the acting categories last month. In his opening monologue, he called the ceremony the “White People’s Choice Awards” and called for more opportunities for black actors. “We want black actors to get the same opportunities as white actors,” he said.
Cheryl Boone Isaacs echoed that message in a statement mid-ceremony. “Everyone in the Hollywood community has a role to play in bringing in the vital changes the industry needs so we can accurately reflect the world today,” she said.
Read the full list of winners in bold below.
The Big Short
Bridge of Spies
Mad Max: Fury Road
Alejandro González Iñárritu, The Revenant
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
Adam McKay, The Big Short
George Miller, Mad Max: Fury Road
Lenny Abrahamson, Room
Bryan Cranston, Trumbo
Leonardo DiCaprio, The Revenant
Michael Fassbender, Steve Jobs
Eddie Redmayne, The Danish Girl
Matt Damon, The Martian
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Jennifer Lawrence, Joy
Charlotte Rampling, 45 Years
Saoirse Ronan, Brooklyn
Best Supporting Actor
Christian Bale, The Big Short
Tom Hardy, The Revenant
Mark Rylance, Bridge of Spies
Sylvester Stallone, Creed
Mark Ruffalo, Spotlight
Best Supporting Actress
Rooney Mara, Carol
Rachel McAdams, Spotlight
Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl
Kate Winslet, Steve Jobs
Jennifer Jason Leigh, The Hateful Eight
Best Adapted Screenplay
Drew Goddard, The Martian
Nick Hornby, Brooklyn
Adam McKay and Charles Randolph, The Big Short
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Emma Donoghue, Room
Best Original Screenplay
Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer, Spotlight
Matt Charman, Joel & Ethan Coen, Bridge of Spies
Pete Docter, Meg LeFauve, Josh Cooley, Ronnie del Carmin Inside Out
Alex Garland, Ex Machina
Andrea Berloff, Jonathan Herman, S. Leigh Savidge, Alan Wenkus, Andrea Berloff, Straight Outta Compton
Best Foreign Language Film
Son of Saul (Hungary)
A War (Denmark)
Embrace the Serpent (Colombia)
Best Documentary Feature
The Look of Silence
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom
Best Animated Feature
Shaun of the Sheep
When Marnie Was There
Boy and the World
Best Film Editing
Hank Corwin, The Big Short
Jason Ballantine and Margaret Sixel, Mad Max: Fury Road
Stephen Mirrione, The Revenant
Tom McArdle, Spotlight
Maryann Brandon, Mary Jo Markey, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Original Song
“Earned It” from Fifty Shades of Grey
Music and Lyric by Abel Tesfaye, Ahmad Balshe, Jason Daheala Quenneville and Stephan Moccio
“Manta Ray” from Racing Extinction
Music by J. Ralph and Lyric by Antony Hegarty
“Simple Song #3” from Youth
Music and Lyric by David Lang
“Til It Happens To You” from The Hunting Ground
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren and Lady Gaga
“Writing’s On The Wall” from Spectre
Music and Lyric by Jimmy Napes and Sam Smith
Best Original Score
The Hateful Eight
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Bridge of Spies
Emmanuel Lubezki, The Revenant
Edward Lachman, Carol
Robert Richardson, The Hateful Eight
Roger Deakins, Sicario
John Seale, Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Costume Design
Sandy Powell, Carol
Sandy Powell, Cinderella
Paco Delgado, The Danish Girl
Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road
Jacqueline West, The Revenant
Best Makeup and Hairstyling
Mad Max: Fury Road
The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared
Best Production Design
Bridge of Spies
The Danish Girl
Mad Max: Fury Road
Best Sound Editing
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Sound Mixing
Benjamin A. Burtt, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Ben Osmo, Chris Jenkins, Gregg Rudloff, Mad Max: Fury Road
Mac Ruth, Paul Massey, Mark Taylor, The Martian
Chris Duesterdiek, Frank A. Montaño, Jon Taylor, Randy Thom, The Revenant
Drew Kunin, Andy Nelson, Gary Rydstrom, Bridge of Spies
Best Visual Effects
Mad Max: Fury Road
Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Best Short Film, Live Action
Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont, Ave Maria (Incognito Films)
Henry Hughes, Day One (American Film Institute)
Jamie Donoughue, Shok (Eagle Eye Films)
Benjamin Cleary, Stutterer (Bare Golly Films)
Everything Will Be Okay
Best Short Film, Animated
Sanjay’s Super Team
We Can’t Live Without Cosmos
World of Tomorrow Tomorrow
Best Documentary, Short Subject
Body Team 12, David Darg and Bryn Mooser
Chau, beyond the Lines, Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah, Adam Benzine
A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Last Day of Freedom, Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
The post ‘Mad Max: Fury Road,’ ‘The Revenant’ win big at the Oscars appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — The State Department on Monday released the 14th and final batch of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s private server, bringing the total to more than 52,000 including some 2,000 that were censored for containing information now deemed classified.
In releasing the final batch of 3,800 documents, the department also settled a long-running dispute over one sensitive email as intelligence agencies dropped a months-long demand an exchange on North Korea’s nuclear program to be designated “top secret,” the highest level of classification. The State Department, which had insisted the information was not classified at all, partially won its battle over the document as the intelligence community revised its initial assessment and determined the information was “secret,” the next lower classification.
“Based on subsequent review, the intelligence community revisited its earlier assessment,” State Department spokesman John Kirby told reporters. He added: “The original assessment was not correct and the document does not contain top secret information.”
The announcement came a day before Clinton competes in 11 Democratic primary contests. She is the front-runner to win the Democratic presidential nomination. The department faced a Monday deadline set by a federal judge to release the final documents from the private server Clinton exclusively used while in government. Clinton aides went through her emails and turned over the ones they determined to be work-related.
The North Korea email is one of two that Charles I. McCullough, lead auditor for U.S. intelligence agencies, identified last year as particularly problematic. The other concerned the CIA’s drone program and led to officials classifying 22 emails from Clinton’s private account last month as “top secret.” They were withheld from publication.
No emails Clinton wrote or received were marked as classified at the time of transmission, which Clinton has repeatedly cited in her own defense.
As with earlier releases, Monday’s contained emails with information that has been upgraded to “secret” and “confidential.” 261 were so identified, bring the total of such upgrades to more than 2,050 for the entire set. No material in Monday’s release contained documents with information now deemed “top secret.”
However, the current batch did include one message with an attachment that purported to be a classified note that Tom Donilon, Obama’s national security adviser, slipped into Jerusalem’s Wailing Wall on a trip to Israel in 2012. However, officials said the attachment along with its contents were, in fact, a joke sent to Clinton by an aide.
The attachment is addressed to “Hashem,” a Hebrew word for God, and includes inside jokes poking fun at then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice and Clinton’s top Asia aide, Kurt Campbell. It bears a “TOP SECRET” stamp.
“This document, and the email chain to which it was attached, are unclassified,” a State Department official said. “This document is not a real note. It is a joke written by Secretary Clinton’s communications adviser, Philippe Reines, and was attached to an email chain discussing senior officials’ travel to Israel in July 2012.” The official wasn’t authorized to speak publicly on the matter and demanded anonymity.
On the North Korea document, Kirby stressed that the exchange had only been “provisionally” upgraded in classification, suggesting the department doesn’t even fully accept the lesser finding.
“The information available to diplomats and the judgments they form do not necessarily need to be classified just because there are parallel intelligence sources,” Kirby said.
In addition to portions of that document being censored, one email between Clinton and President Barack Obama was also withheld from publication on Monday, bringing to 19 the total of such messages that have been kept private to protect the president’s ability to receive advice from his aides. Those emails are not classified and will be released eventually like other presidential records.
Another email on an unidentified law enforcement matter was also withheld from Monday’s release which was done in accordance with Freedom of Information Act standards. Kirby said that one also is unclassified.
Editor’s Note: Boston University economist Larry Kotlikoff has spent every week, for over three years, answering questions about what is likely your largest financial asset — your Social Security benefits. His Social Security columns have prompted so many of you to write in that we feature “Ask Larry” every Monday. Find a complete list of his columns here. And keep sending us your Social Security questions.
Kotlikoff’s state-of-the-art retirement software is available here, for free, in its “basic” version. His book, “Get What’s Yours — the Secrets to Maxing Out Your Social Security Benefits,” (co-authored with Paul Solman and Making Sen$e Medicare columnist Phil Moeller) was published before the changes from the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 went into effect. The three authors are now doing an overhaul of the book. The new version of “Get What’s Yours” should be out this spring.
Kotlikoff has been keeping readers updated on how the budget act changes a number of Social Security rules with “This is not how you fix Social Security,” “Congress is pulling the rug out from people’s retirement decisions” and “12 secrets to maximizing your Social Security benefits under the new rules,” as well as his answers to viewer questions. We’ll continue publishing updates on what this new law means for you. Stay tuned.
Arthur: My former wife of over 10 years reaches the age of 66 in March. She has not filed for her Social Security. I told her she should file for a former spousal benefit on my Social Security account, but that she must do so before the end of March.
She was told that she cannot collect that benefit. Can she? If so, when must she file?
Larry Kotlikoff: Your former wife can, indeed, file just for her divorced spousal benefit (equal to half of your full retirement benefit) when she reaches age 66, assuming you are over 62 when she turns 66, or she can file as soon as you turn 62. She can let her own retirement benefit grow and take it at age 70.
The only way Social Security would have this right is if your ex has a pension from non-covered employment. If that’s the case, her spousal benefit will be reduced by two-thirds of this non-covered pension via the Government Pension Offset provision. If large enough, this would wipe out her Social Security divorced spousal benefit.
Alicia: My father passed away last week. When my brothers and I were going through paper files with our mother, we were flabbergasted to find out that they never filed for their Social Security benefits. My dad did have a retirement program through the railroad, but he did have other employers in his lifetime. My mother also worked her entire life. Now, at age 78, she is finding out that she is not eligible to receive any of the Social Security payments she would have received upon retirement had she filed at that time. She is also being told that any Social Security benefits my father would have received, had he filed, are no longer available. Is there any way to get back some of these benefits for her?
Larry Kotlikoff: I’m very sorry about your dad. Unfortunately, the most your mom might be able to collect is six months of retroactive spousal benefits along with future widow’s benefits. I’m worried, however, that if your dad was collecting from the Railroad Retirement Board, there may be no additional benefits available through Social Security. I believe you get one or the other, but not both.
I’ve asked Jerry Lutz, a former Social Security technical expert, to weigh in.
Jerry Lutz: I’d be willing to bet that nothing was lost in this case. The Railroad Retirement Board considers a worker’s earnings under Social Security when calculating their Railroad Retirement Board benefit, so I’m virtually certain he didn’t lose anything. I assume that the wife was receiving a railroad spousal benefit, which includes a “tier 1” amount similar to Social Security Administration benefits. It’s possible that the wife’s Social Security benefit may have been higher than her tier 1 Railroad Retirement Board spousal benefit, in which case she would be out the difference between the two. If that is the case, she could apply for and receive the difference for six months retroactively.
You might want to explain to Susan that when a railroad annuitant dies, only one agency — either the Railroad Retirement Board or the Social Security Administration — pays survivor benefits. The Railroad Retirement Board has responsibility for determining which agency has jurisdiction of the survivor benefits. If they decide that the Social Security Administration has jurisdiction, the widow will need to apply with the Social Security Administration, and the widow’s benefit amount will be calculated using both railroad and Social Security earnings. If the Railroad Retirement Board retains jurisdiction, her railroad spousal benefit will automatically convert to a widow’s benefit, which would include her husband’s Social Security earnings as well as his railroad earnings.
Ralph: I’ve already applied for Social Security benefits, and my wife was going to suspend and collect half of my Social Security. Unfortunately, she turns 66 in November. With the new Social Security law, is there a way around the new spousal deadline, or do we just lose that 50 percent while her Social Security benefit grows?
Larry Kotlikoff: She is grandfathered in. You can do as you planned.
George: I’ve read “Get What’s Yours,” written by you, Paul Solman and Phil Moeller. It’s very informative and timely. I’m two months short of full retirement age, and my wife will be 62 on the same day in April. I plan to file and suspend. My wife will file for spousal benefits at that time. We wanted to run your calculator program to make sure this is the best plan for us. We do meet the marriage requirements.
Larry Kotlikoff: Unfortunately, our software will likely deliver bad news for your plan. When your wife files for her reduced spousal benefit, she will be forced to take her reduced retirement benefit. In this case, she will get approximately the larger of the two benefits. If her own full retirement benefit exceeds half of yours, her spousal benefit will be set to zero, and she’ll just get a reduced retirement benefit forever. If it’s the other way around, she’ll get her reduced retirement benefit plus a reduced excess spousal benefit. Depending on your maximum ages of life, the software will very likely tell you both to wait until 70 to collect.
The post Can my ex collect Social Security on my work record? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
To visit the Shillinger family’s rural Maryland home, you first pass red barns and white silos that dot green farm country and streets with names like English Muffin Road. It feels as if you’re driving through a child’s bedtime story.
Lauren and Sean Shillinger moved here in July 2014 with their eight-month-old daughter, Brynleigh. They couldn’t wait to watch their only child grow up walking to the nearby elementary school or taking annual family trips to Disney World.
But a month later, Lauren began to worry after she noticed something subtle and strange. Occasionally, Brynleigh’s eyes froze, and her arms stiffened out in front of her. White spots appeared on her skin. Friends, family and physicians insisted that everything was fine, that Brynleigh had always been healthy.
“I had a mommy-gut feeling. No, she’s not fine,” Shillinger said.
Then, Lauren’s worry spiraled into her scouring the Internet for hours one weekend to figure out what was wrong. Days later, they again visited their pediatrician, who referred them to pediatric neurological experts at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
A day-long trip to the hospital stretched into a week of tests, scans and x-rays. Doctors found about a dozen of benign tumors in her brain and heart that triggered Brynleigh’s seizures. Tests revealed that a single chromosome spontaneously mutated, and the toddler’s body was missing a protein that suppressed tumors. Finally, Lauren said about two dozen doctors and nurses filed into Brynleigh’s room to deliver the diagnosis.
Their nine-month-old daughter had tuberous sclerosis complex. There was no cure. Lauren and Sean didn’t know how to spell the rare genetic disorder’s name, much less what that meant for their child’s future.
With that diagnosis, the Shillingers’ daughter joined an estimated 50,000 people nationwide who have tuberous sclerosis, or TS, according to the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance, an advocacy group devoted to the disorder. It is one of 6,800 illnesses that the National Institutes for Health classifies as a rare disease, which when combined, affects the lives of one out of 10 Americans.
To better understand how their world changed, doctors told the Shillingers to watch a video, Lauren said.
The video showed a little girl walking and talking and then flashed forward to show that same girl’s quality of life rapidly deteriorated, Lauren recalled. Lauren and Sean sat on Brynleigh’s bed, held each other and sobbed.
“You are left on an island by yourself to figure it out,” Lauren said.
Since her daughter’s diagnosis, Lauren quit her job in the healthcare system and manages Brynleigh’s care full-time.
Today, Brynleigh is a walking, talking and smiling two-year-old who can count to five, loves milk and wonton soup, playing on her parents’ phones and storytime, but her development lags about 20 percent behind her peers, Lauren said. And at one point, Brynleigh endured as many as eight seizures per day.
Lauren schedules appointments with doctors, coordinates her three speech and occupational therapy sessions each week, argues with insurance companies about medical coverage, researches pediatric experts in tuberous sclerosis and calls in prescriptions to control Brynleigh’s seizures. Sean works in healthcare information technology and his salary supports the household.
“The medical bills have been outrageous from this. We’re only in year two of her life. It’s very scary for us,” Lauren said.
Her tumors and medication leave Brynleigh’s immune system constantly on-guard. She seldom enjoys playdates or birthday parties and can’t go to crowded places like the mall or grocery store. Exposure to germs could lead to a fever, which could trigger more seizures.
Lauren will likely homeschool her.
At one point, they weren’t sure how their little girl’s life would look.
“Does anybody turn out okay? Go to school? Have a job?” Sean said he found himself asking.
When you or a loved one is diagnosed with a rare disorder, no one gives you a manual to figure out which experts to contact or what to do, Lauren said.
“Sure, doctors come in and say, ‘Here’s information about the illness. Here are your treatment options.’ Nobody can tell you, ‘These are the best places for your child.’”
Instead of traveling to Disney World, the Shillingers crisscross the country to find the best medical attention for their daughter — traveling to Houston, Detroit and Cincinnati.
At home during a regularly scheduled two-year check-up, the Shillingers serve as self-made experts on their daughter’s disorder, fielding questions from their pediatrician, Paul Feinberg, such as if surgery is an option for one of her noncancerous, yet still dangerous, brain tumors.
Research in tuberous sclerosis is rapidly improving, says Elizabeth Thiele, professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School and a national expert in the disorder who oversees pediatric epilepsy and a center devoted to TSC at Massachusetts General Hospital.
When families receive the diagnosis of tuberous sclerosis, Thiele said her staff tries to see them as soon as possible.
“It’s human nature to assume the worst. People read about this, and suddenly, the sky does fall,” she said.
But medication now exists that can actually stop tumor growth, if the individual maintains his or her dosage, Thiele said. That’s big.
“In the past seven years, it’s been incredible about how much has happened in TS,” Thiele said. “It really is possible to give a family more hope.”
That gives the Shillingers one more source of strength. Their other saving grace comes when they hear stories from families who walked a similarly uncertain path with tuberous sclerosis.
Often, the Shillingers felt isolated. Even when people told them their daughter looked healthy, it was irritating and Lauren was tempted to show them Brynleigh’s MRI scans.
“You have to learn about the illness,” she said. “You have to figure out how to explain it to every person you meet every day.”
Six months passed before they found another family in Maryland whose child lived with the same diagnosis. The Shillingers contacted a TSC-advocacy group for support and sought out families on Facebook.
These stories were the closest thing they had to a crystal ball, and they were desperate to know what was in store for their only child.
“This is now our focus,” Lauren said.
The post One family’s lonely struggle against their child’s rare disease appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
If the Nevada caucus was an initial test of Hillary Clinton’s support among minority voters in diverse states beyond Iowa and New Hampshire, South Carolina represented a major reckoning.
Clinton, who narrowly won the Hispanic vote in Nevada, beat Sen. Bernie Sanders by 84 to 16 percent among African-American voters in South Carolina, according to exit polls. Clinton won the state by nearly 50 points, giving her campaign a boost of momentum heading into the Super Tuesday primaries tomorrow.
Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, a prominent black leader in the state who endorsed Clinton over Sanders, drove the point home at the campaign’s primary night celebration.
After hearing from both candidates, Clyburn said, “the voters of South Carolina have rendered a significant verdict.”
Clyburn’s underlying message was clear. In a primary where African-Americans comprised 61 percent of the Democratic electorate, Clinton established herself as the preferred candidate of non-white voters.
All signs pointed to Clinton beating Sanders in South Carolina. The former secretary of state held a consistent, double-digit lead in the polls in the weeks before the primary. But the level of support she received from black voters came as a surprise, even to Clinton campaign officials.
“It was higher than what we expected,” a top adviser said.
The victory here was an important step forward for Clinton, who lost the state to Barack Obama in the 2008 primaries; that year Clinton drew just 19 percent of the black vote, and her campaign never fully recovered. Clinton’s landslide win also dealt a blow to Sanders, who had hoped for a closer second-place finish.
But beyond the immediate implications for the primary fight ahead, the contest also revealed key differences in Clinton’s and Sanders’ approach to the African-American community.
It also highlighted the persistent challenges that white Democratic candidates face in addressing issues of race in the South, despite the overwhelming loyalty that most black voters show to the party.
“Democratic candidates are always walking a fine line. When do you focus on race explicitly, and when do you focus on broader issues that affect” the party’s entire base, said Danielle Vinson, a political science professor at Furman University in Greenville.
“It is a challenge, and a lot of times it leaves voters and their coalitions unhappy” if candidates don’t get it right, Vinson said.
The spectacle of Democrats descending on states like South Carolina every four years to “court” the black vote has become a routine part of the primary process.
But the highly public courtship involves a more complicated set of calculations on both sides than is typically acknowledged in campaign narratives about racial politics in the South, which often oversimplify the motivations of voters and candidates alike.
“There isn’t simply blind support among African-Americans for Democrats,” said Bruce Ransom, a political science professor at Clemson University who studies politics in South Carolina. “Black voters examine the two parties, but they usually conclude that under Democrats they get better results,” said Ransom, who is black.
A similar calculus took place in choosing between Sanders and Clinton. In interviews in the final days before the primary, black voters around the state said they based their decision on several factors: which candidate did the best job of connecting with, and listening to, their concerns on a wide range of issues; which candidate had the most realistic agenda; and who was more likely to win in the general election.
An assessment of Clinton and Sanders’ support for Obama in general, and the Affordable Care Act in particular, also factored heavily into the decision-making process, many black voters said.
“Clinton is positioning herself to carry on the efforts of President Obama,” Cassandra Williams Rush, 66, said on the eve of the primary. “I just don’t get the right vibes from Sanders.”
Rush, a retired engineer and Clinton backer, spent her early childhood on her family’s 10-acre farm in Nesmith, on the eastern edge of Williamsburg County. Rush lived with her six siblings and parents in a small house with a wood stove and no indoor toilet until the family moved to a larger home in Kingstree, the county seat.
After retiring, Rush has divided her time between her home in Columbia, the state capitol, and Williamsburg County, which has the second-highest black population by county in the state, according to census data. It’s also the county where Obama recorded his largest margin of victory in the 2008 primary.
In 2010, Rush, who is documenting the county’s history, opened a small museum and gallery dedicated to African-American art in a former laundromat in Kingstree. She also manages the family farm, which has been repurposed as a vineyard and community event space.
By now, Rush said, she has become accustomed to seeing Democratic presidential candidates canvass the state in search of support from black voters.
Both Clinton and Sanders are “trying to tap into things that they know are dear to our hearts,” Rush said in an interview on the farm on primary day. “As a black person, you’re hoping and wishing that they’re 100 percent genuine in their efforts.”
In an appearance in Kingstree ahead of the primary, Clinton’s voice took on a slight twang as she addressed a crowd of several hundred supporters gathered at a recreational center.
“I’m proud of President Obama, and I’m proud of the progress he’s made,” Clinton said, making sure to highlight his healthcare law. “I don’t think the president gets the credit he deserves.”
The line, which is a part of Clinton’s regular stump speech, got the biggest round of applause of at the event, along with her call for congressional Republicans to hold hearings on Obama’s pick to replace Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.
Clinton’s embrace of Obamacare stood in marked contrast to Sanders, who has been far more critical of the president’s signature domestic policy achievement.
“The Affordable Care Act is a big deal in the state of South Carolina,” said Caroletta Shuler Ivey, who teaches courses on criminal justice and constitutional law at Claflin University, a historically black university in Orangeburg. “Clinton recognizes that.”
Rush’s 88-year-old father, David Williams, attended Clinton’s event in Kingstree. Williams, who was the first black man in his community to graduate from a four-year college, cited her support for the president and Obamacare as one of his main reasons for backing her. Williams said he considered the law a milestone, in line with other major markers of progress in his lifetime like the Voting Rights Act.
“Republicans tried everything in the books to make him fail,” Williams said of Obama. “In their world he’s the worst. In my world, he’s the best.”
Williams’ pride in Obama was common among black voters across the state. And surveys show that public opinion on the president is sharply divided along political and racial lines. In a Gallup poll earlier this month, 94 percent of African-Americans said that they approved of Obama’s job performance, compared to just 42 percent of whites.
But black Clinton supporters in South Carolina were quick to point out that her embrace of the president and his policies wasn’t the only reason why they chose her over Sanders.
Regina McKnight said she believed that Clinton’s proposals to create jobs and lower the costs of education were more realistic than Sanders’ agenda, a commonly-held view among older black voters that the Sanders campaign disputes.
“She’s telling the truth,” said McKnight, a retired Williamsburg County administrator. “You cannot have free college tuition for everyone. That’s just not possible.”
Peter LaBerge, who served as a community field director for the Sanders campaign in Aiken County, defended Sanders in an interview at a campaign event at Claflin University on the eve of the primary.
Sanders has spent decades “working on racial justice and social justice,” LaBerge said. “His approach with minorities has been very effective.”
The rally featured a speech from the rapper Killer Mike, an effective Sanders surrogate who has criticized Bill and Hillary Clinton’s record on race and criminal justice. The critique has resonated with Sanders supporters, especially young voters.
The 1994 crime bill “is responsible for the incarceration of so many African-Americans,” said Derrick Quarles, who graduated from Claflin in 2013. “I can’t get over that.”
But older black voters appeared more willing to look past the Clinton administration. Exit polls in South Carolina show that Clinton won at least 75 percent of the vote among people of all races age 30 or older.
As primary day approached last week, Clinton focused on her criminal justice reform and gun control plans at campaign stops throughout the state, leading to a flurry of attacks from critics who said that she was pandering to black voters in order to thwart a late surge by Sanders.
Sanders was also heavily criticized by Clinton supporters who questioned his commitment to the civil rights movement at the start of his political career.
The heated exchange on both sides pointed to the delicate balance that white Democrats must strike when appealing to black voters in the South, said Todd Shaw, a political science professor at the University of South Carolina.
But labeling Sanders and Clinton as pure opportunists ignores the realities of electoral politics, Shaw argued. Politicians are often personally invested in issues that seem to be driven by anger from voters or party activists.
“I don’t doubt that there’s a level of sincerity” in Clinton and Sanders’ campaign rhetoric, Shaw said, even if it can sometimes come off as overly strategic.
In South Carolina, Democrats have to navigate “a combination of political self-interest and good electoral messaging to direct policy statements and signals to the African-American community. It would be silly not to.”
Clinton alluded to that fact in her victory night speech. As she looked ahead to Super Tuesday, and took a veiled swipe at the Republican front-runner Donald Trump, Clinton paused to reflect on her resounding win in South Carolina.
Voters “sent a message,” Clinton said. Moving forward, “we are going to compete for every vote in every state. We are not taking anything, and we’re not taking anyone, for granted.”
Video by euronews
Two months after his arrest in North Korea, a U.S. college student confessed to committing a crime against the country in a dramatic news conference held in Pyoungyang on Monday. It’s unclear whether the 21-year-old was coerced into giving the tearful apology.
At the government-arranged news conference, Otto F. Warmbier, an undergraduate student at the University of Virginia, said that he tried to steal a banner adorned with a political slogan from Yanggakdo International Hotel on January 1. The following day, Warmbier was detained in Pyongyang, according to Gareth Johnson of Young Pioneer Tours last month. The China-based travel agency had organized his trip.
“I have made the worst mistake of my life,” a sobbing Warmbier said Monday.
In January, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Warmbier was detained for committing a “hostile act,” but did not provide specific details of what he had done.
“I hope the fact that he has conveyed his sincere apology for anything that he may have done wrong will now make it possible for the [Democratic People’s Republic of Korea] authorities to allow him to return home,” said his parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, in a statement released Monday. They urged “the DPRK government to consider his youth and make an important humanitarian gesture by allowing him to return to his loved ones.”
In his statement, Warmbier said he tried to steal the political banner because a member of the Friendship United Methodist Church in his hometown in Wyoming, Ohio, offered him a $10,000 used car for the deed. He also said he was promised that $200,000 would be paid to his mother through donations if he was detained North Korea and failed to return.
Warmbier said he accepted the church member’s offer because it his family faced “severe financial difficulties” and it was a “golden opportunity to earn money.”
Warmbier also said a secret philanthropy group called the “Z Society” at UVA had also urged him to complete the act.
A senior pastor at the church in question told CNN that he didn’t know who encouraged Warmbier to take the political banner, adding that Warmbier wasn’t a member of his church. A Z Society member also told CNN that the group never had contact with Warmbier.
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GWEN IFILL: Good evening. I’m Gwen Ifill.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And I’m Judy Woodruff.
GWEN IFILL: On the “NewsHour” tonight: candidates’ last pitches to voters before Super Tuesday. We talk with Amy Walter and Tamara Keith about what’s at stake.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Also ahead: Moderates and reformists score big wins in Iran’s elections, raising questions about what change is possible under a powerful hard-line leadership.
GWEN IFILL: And “Spotlight” wins the top prize at the Oscars. We examine the state of today’s investigative journalism.
MARTIN BARON, The Washington Post: Clearly, it’s going to be more difficult, given that there are fewer resources to do it. This is very expensive work to do. And yet we have to commit ourselves to doing it.
JUDY WOODRUFF: All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news, the United States secretary-general pronounced the three-day-old truce in Syria is holding, by and large. But Syrian government forces continued airstrikes in Hama and ground assaults near Aleppo and elsewhere.
And the main opposition group warned, the U.S. and U.N. have to intervene.
SALIM AL-MUSLAT, Spokesman, High Negotiations Committee: Are they aware of the violations there? I believe there has to be a mechanism to really stop this violation on the ground for — to encourage others to go and sit on the table and negotiate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In Washington, the White House said it’s too early to assign blame for the truce violations.
GWEN IFILL: In Iraq, Shiites were hit hard again by a suicide bombing that killed at least 40 people northeast of Baghdad. Meanwhile, the death toll rose to 73 after Sunday’s twin suicide bombings in the Iraqi capital. Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for that attack.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Anger boiled over today among Iraqi and Syrian refugees stranded at Greece’s northern border with Macedonia. They have run into restrictions as they try to head deeper into Europe.
Geraint Vincent of Independent Television News reports.
GERAINT VINCENT: In the footsteps of thousands who came before them, the people followed the railway line north towards the border, but this morning, the path was blocked. Young men at the front of the crowd demanded access. It wasn’t given. So they decided to gain it themselves.
Battering rams were created out of what they found along the way. When the signposts didn’t work, they got hold of something bigger. The gate was forced open and the crowd came face to face with the police line. With the stones bouncing off their riot shields, the police decide to respond with tear gas.
One officer steps forward and fires the first canister straight into the crowd. It falls back, but the man in the blue hooded top is undeterred. The next canister hits him in the chest. The police followed up the tear gas with stun grenades. Now the crowd can’t move back quickly enough.
Behind the young men at the front, there were families and children, their rucksacks packed for the journey north. Now they’re just trying to escape the gas which is stinging their eyes and burning their throats. So, it’s back to where they began this morning, a transit camp meant for 2,000 people which is now home to 10,000.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Across Europe, fire broke out as crews began dismantling a huge migrant camp in Calais, France. Activists fought with police at the site, where some 4,000 people had been living.
GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, at the Supreme Court, Justice Clarence Thomas did something he had not done in 10 years of oral arguments: He spoke. He asked a string of questions during a case about gun rights. It was the first time he’s participated from the bench since February 22, 2006.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Across the city of Washington, at the White House, a solemn ceremony today to honor U.S. Navy SEAL Edward Byers. He was presented with the nation’s highest military decoration.
It’s been some 40 years since a president bestowed the Medal of Honor on a living active-duty member of the U.S. Navy, and only five other SEALs have received one.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today’s ceremony is truly unique: a rare opportunity for the American people to get a glimpse of a special breed of warrior that so often serves in the shadows.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Edward Byers was a senior chief special warfare operator on the elite SEAL Team Six that rescued an American hostage in Eastern Afghanistan in December 2012. Dr. Dilip Joseph had been working for an aid organization when the Taliban kidnapped him.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Our SEALs rushed to the doorway, which was covered by a layer of blankets. Ed started ripping them down, exposing himself to enemy fire. A teammate, the lead assaulter, pushed in and was hit. Fully aware of the danger, Ed moved in next. An enemy guard aimed his rifle right at him. Ed fired.
JUDY WOODRUFF: That first SEAL, Petty Officer 1st Class Nicolas Checque, died of his wounds, but Byers saved Dr. Joseph.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Ed leapt across the room and threw himself on the hostage, using his own body to shield him from the bullets. Another enemy fighter appeared, and with his body, Ed kept shielding the hostage. With his bare hands, Ed pinned the fighter to the wall and held him until his teammates took action.
JUDY WOODRUFF: After today’s ceremony, however, outside the White House, Byers said the real credit goes to his comrades.
SENIOR CHIEF EDWARD BYERS, Medal of Honor Recipient: If it wasn’t for that team, I wouldn’t be standing here today. Specifically, for me, my teammate, friend, and brother Nic Checque, the award is truly his.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, Byers says, he bears the responsibility to live up to the sacrifice that Checque and others made.
SENIOR CHIEF EDWARD BYERS: I don’t know for sure how this will change my life. And I just plan on taking it one step at a time. I’m going to continue doing my job in the Navy, continue being a SEAL, and doing the thing I loved ever since I was a child.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Byers joined the Navy in 1998 and has served nine combat tours.
GWEN IFILL: And on Wall Street, late selling wiped out a month’s worth of gains. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 123 points to close at 16516. The Nasdaq fell 32 points, and the S&P 500 slid nearly 16.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Still to come on the “NewsHour”: Super Tuesday and the battles to unseat the presidential front-runners; a major election victory for moderates in Iran; hackers that hold your data for ransom; and much more.
The post News Wrap: Uncertainty persists over nascent Syrian ceasefire appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: From the very opening of the telecast last night, much of the focus during the Academy Awards was on Hollywood’s problems with diversity.
But near the end, a notable upset also garnered some attention. The movie “Spotlight” won for best picture. In part, it is a reminder about the state of investigative journalism, and raises the question whether it would be more difficult to mount a similar investigation these days.
Jeffrey Brown has more.
MORGAN FREEMAN, Actor: The Oscar goes to “Spotlight.”
JEFFREY BROWN: The winner was something of a surprise: “Spotlight,” a film about one major hometown institution, The Boston Globe, taking on another, the Catholic Church.
Director Tom McCarthy:
TOM MCCARTHY, Director, “Spotlight”: We made this film for all the journalists who have and continue to hold the powerful accountable and for the survivors, whose courage and will to overcome is really an inspiration to all. We have to do to make sure this never happens again.
RACHEL MCADAMS, Actress: The numbers clearly indicate that there were senior clergy involved.
JEFFREY BROWN: The film recounts how Globe reporters and editors tracked down cases of sexual abuse of children by priests, and the cover-up by the church hierarchy that allowed guilty priests to stay in their positions.
The paper’s “Spotlight” team tracked over 900 active and retired priests, finding some 250 had molested children over several decades.
LIEV SCHREIBER, Actor: We need to focus on the institution, not the individual priests. Practice and policy. Show me the church manipulated the system so that these guys wouldn’t have to face charges. Show me they put those same priests back into parishes time and time again. Show me this was systemic, that it came form the top down.
JEFFREY BROWN: Actor Liev Schreiber played the Globe’s editor, Martin Baron.
LIEV SCHREIBER: When Tom sent me the script, I called him immediately and I said, this is such an amazing piece and it’s so timely and so important that we remember what an asset this is to an asset to our society and our culture and our democracy.
JEFFREY BROWN: In 2002, as the original investigation was still unfolding, the “NewsHour” visited the Globe newsroom.
The real Martin Baron spoke of how the case had snowballed from a focus on just one priest.
MARTIN BARON, Editor, The Washington Post: I thought it was an extraordinary story. Here was a priest who had been accused by 130 people of having abused them as minors. That was just an extraordinary number in and of itself.
JEFFREY BROWN: Baron is now editor of The Washington Post.
When we spoke to him this fall as “Spotlight” was being released, he said he hoped the film could also raise awareness of the continuing need for strong investigative journalism
MARTIN BARON: Well, we’re a profession that’s under tremendous pressure, a lot of financial pressure. So, clearly, it’s going to be more difficult, given that there are fewer resources to do it. This is very expensive work to do.
And yet we have to commit ourselves to doing it. Somebody needs to hold powerful institutions and individuals accountable, and we’re the ones who have that particular role in our society.
JEFFREY BROWN: The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” unit won a Pulitzer Prize for its coverage.
To add to Martin Baron’s point about economic pressures, since 2003, newspaper staffs have declined by 40 percent. In the same period, though, new models for investigative journalism are being tried, in some cases with good success.
We’re joined now by Margaret Sullivan, outgoing public editor for The New York Times. She will soon be joining The Washington Post as its media columnist. And Steve Engelberg, the editor in chief of ProPublica, a nonprofit news organization that has won numerous awards for its investigative work.
Welcome, both, to you.
Margaret Sullivan, let me start with you.
You wrote recently that — quote — “The film ‘Spotlight’ is powerful and moving, but it raises troubling questions about the state of local investigative reporting today and its future.”
What — you thought that even as you were watching the movie. What was troubling?
MARGARET SULLIVAN, The New York Times: Well, it’s very troubling to me, because I’m a former editor of a regional newspaper, and I watch these issues carefully.
Staff numbers are way down. Many papers have to or have felt they have had to dismantle their investigative teams. And the resources just aren’t there that were there even 10 years ago. It’s really troubling.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, Steve Engelberg, the economics of the business are clearly one issue. What about leadership and audience appetite? How do they play in?
STEPHEN ENGELBERG, ProPublica: Well, it’s very interesting, because right at this very minute, we have the best investigative reporting tools we have ever had in the Internet.
It’s amazing what we can now access in terms of information. And people are reading more. The problem we have got is that people aren’t willing to pay for it. And that’s a big problem.
And, as Margaret says, it’s a particularly acute problem outside the major cities of the United States, and even in some of those major cities, where newspapers are at 50 percent or less of their previous size. That’s the problem. It’s an economic problem.
From the perspective of the craft, it’s a great time to be an investigative reporter.
JEFFREY BROWN: But flesh that out a little bit. So, it’s really a double-edged sword of technology, right, about digital technology allows a certain kind of more reporting and more dissemination, but you’re saying the economics make it harder.
STEPHEN ENGELBERG: Exactly, because people feel on the Internet that content ought to be free.
And so newspapers which made money by charging for subscription and ads find their ad revenues severely pitched and subscription revenues evaporating. And in the face of that, people want to go online and read this wonderful content for free. That is not a model that works.
On the other side of it, though, it is literally amazing. I started in the business when they still had typewriters, believe it or not, and it’s literally amazing these days what you can access in terms of data, in terms of journal articles, information, finding people.
Everything you want to do as an investigative reporter is just enhanced by the current technology.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so, Margaret Sullivan, if I ask you, is “Spotlight” possible today, sounds like the answer is in some cases yes, but in a lot of cases no.
MARGARET SULLIVAN: I think it is still possible in most places.
But I think that the will to do this kind of work is weakening somewhat, and it has to be beefed up. “Spotlight” is such an inspiring movie, that I’m hopeful that it will cause owners and editors and publishers to realize just how important this work is and to fund it and to get behind it.
JEFFREY BROWN: Tell us, what kind of stories do you fear are being missed even today?
MARGARET SULLIVAN: Well, it’s always hard to know what’s being missed…
JEFFREY BROWN: Of course.
MARGARET SULLIVAN: … because you don’t know it until you read it in the paper or hear it or watch it.
But the stories that are really difficult to do are the ones that are so time-consuming. And you could tell from “Spotlight” that people were knocking on doors and they were going over lists and they were agonizing about how to nail it down.
And those kind of things are very expensive and they take time. But it is the stories about holding powerful people and institutions accountable that really, really matter.
JEFFREY BROWN: Steve Engelberg, you were talking about the new possibilities by digital technology, by new models. And you work at one of those new models for investigative journalism. It’s a nonprofit model.
Tell us about what that allows you to do, avoiding the advertising, for example, but also the challenges that you face because of it.
STEPHEN ENGELBERG: Well, the model doesn’t really change what you can do.
In the old days, you had advertiser who gave a lot of money. And, of course, you know, they were investing in a product, and you could be aware of that or not as you so chose. Great newspapers always cut off the business side from the journalism side. Today, we have donors. It’s the same thing. We have a wall between the people who give and foundations and so on and the content itself.
I did want to mention, by the way, your question, because I think we can go to this. Pulitzer Prize a couple of years ago was won by “The Los Angeles Times” about a little town called Bell, California, where the city council voted the city manager and the leadership salaries of over a million dollars a year and 109 vacation days each.
So, you asked the question, what kind of stories would missed because no journalists are around? That’s a pretty basic story.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Margaret Sullivan, what about these new models that you see happening for investigative journalism? Where are there good things happening?
MARGARET SULLIVAN: Well, they are springing up over all the country.
ProPublica, of which Steve is the chief editor, is a real leader. But there are many in different communities. And there’s a question of whether they can endure, whether they can work with their small staffs. The Texas Tribune is a great example of a local digital startup that does a lot of good work. So, they’re happening. I guess it’s just a matter of whether they’re ultimately going to be sustainable.
JEFFREY BROWN: Well, Steve Engelberg, a last brief word from you. Just thinking about the movie last night and an Oscar victory, does that give you hope? What does your gut tell you about any difference it might make?
STEPHEN ENGELBERG: I think the movie’s going to inspire more people.
I have been talking on journalism schools, at campuses lately, and people who have seen that movie find it very inspiring, as do I. I think it’s just a great example of what we can do when journalists do the job that they need to do in our society.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, Steve Engelberg, Margaret Sullivan, thank you both very much.
MARGARET SULLIVAN: Thank you.
STEPHEN ENGELBERG: Thank you.
The post Film about investigative journalism nabs top Oscar appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: With the candidates busy on the trail today, it’s time for Politics Monday, with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report joining us from Florida tonight, and Tamara Keith of NPR, who is covering a Hillary Clinton event in Northern Virginia.
Welcome to you both out there on the road.
I want to start by reading in full this Mitt Romney tweet that he sent out today, pretty tough words against the likely — what is increasingly looking like the party nominee, Donald Trump.
He wrote: “It’s a disqualifying and disgusting response by @realDonaldTrump” — that his handle, of course — “to the KKK. His coddling of repugnant bigotry is not in the character of America.”
Now, Mitt Romney has been stepping up his attacks on Donald Trump during the last week or so, but it feels like this is another turning point. But then, whenever we approach a turning point, Amy, we then pass it and go somewhere else. Is this different?
AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: It feels like we’re still where we have always been, Gwen, which is a lot of people wringing their hands, talking about how much they dislike Donald Trump or disavow his comments or statements, and yet they don’t rally behind the alternative to Donald Trump.
And so Donald Trump continues to benefit from the fact that the field remains fractured. There’s no consensus right now about who the candidate to take on Donald Trump will be. Marco Rubio thinks it’s him. Ted Cruz thinks it’s him. And John Kasich still thinks that he can wait until March 15 and Ohio, and it will be him.
GWEN IFILL: Well, Tam, I think that Amy just nailed it, which is that she said that people are not rallying around the alternative. Maybe it’s because there are so many alternatives.
How would you characterize the depth of Republican worry about the state of affairs right now?
TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Well, I mean, I think you can see the depth of worry in that Mitt Romney has come back to the surface and he’s tweeting.
And, you know, there’s even a little Mitt Romney buzz out there, which is a sign of the worry that’s out there. You also have — it’s an interesting mix. You have some members of Congress — or at least one senator saying he’s not going to vote for Donald Trump no matter what.
And there’s sort of a growing chorus of that, at the same time that Donald Trump is gaining some endorsements, including from Senator Sessions of Alabama and Chris Christie of New Jersey.
GWEN IFILL: You were talking, of course, referring to the senator from Nebraska — at least, Amy, she was — who said that if it was a choice between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, he would vote for neither.
Does that leave a path at all for Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio?
AMY WALTER: Tuesday is going to be very interesting for both of these candidates.
Look, Ted Cruz has the most to lose here. He was banking his entire strategy on the South. He obviously came up short in South Carolina, very far short. He’s hoping for a big win in Texas, but even that is not enough. He’s also has to do — he also has to do well in a lot of these Southern states that are heavily evangelical.
But from the polling that I have seen right now, the problem for Ted Cruz is the same problem he had in South Carolina, which is evangelicals remain divided, Donald Trump gaining somewhere around 33, 35 percent of that vote. What this means is Ted Cruz comes out of March 1, instead of with a head of steam, he’s in deficit with delegates.
Rubio is in a different camp here. And he has a different strategy. March 1 isn’t as important to him. These are not the states that he needs to do as well in, was never expected to do as well in. He needs to wrap up some delegates, though. His play is really March 15, once we start getting into the winner-take-all states, places like Florida here and Ohio.
He has to win those in order to be relevant. But, really, at the bottom line, Gwen, we’re to a place right now where Donald Trump is the presumptive nominee, unless or until one person can be the alternative, or we get to a place where the vote continues to be divided, where delegates continue to be divided, and we end up with no candidate getting 50 percent of the vote.
And this is actually looking like the only or best-case scenario for people who don’t want Donald Trump.
GWEN IFILL: Tam, it’s really interesting to me to see that the endorsements that Donald Trump has gotten recently, Jeff Sessions, very conservative, Mitt — I mean, Chris Christie, not, that they would both be gathering around him. Is that just a — is that a floodgate about to open?
TAMARA KEITH: Yes, this is an interesting thing.
It’s not clear what the endorsements for Donald Trump actually mean. He’s this unconventional candidate who, it would seem, doesn’t even really need endorsements, but then these endorsements do lend a little legitimacy. They lend some credibility to this outsider candidacy.
GWEN IFILL: Tam, I want to stick with you for a moment, because people would think, to hear us talk, that we’re only talking about the Republicans.
You’re clearly at a Hillary Clinton event. And — but if you listen to Hillary Clinton and to Bernie Sanders, they also are talking about the Republicans.
TAMARA KEITH: Yes, absolutely.
Hillary Clinton is doing it in more of a veiled way. You can almost say that Hillary Clinton is trying to take something of a high road, but she’s talking about the need for love and kindness, and then sort of showing distress about the discourse on the Republican side. She says she wants to take them on.
Bernie Sanders is also being very critical of Donald Trump especially. He sent out a tweet yesterday about the KKK stuff, and it was very critical. And, interestingly, Hillary Clinton’s account then retweeted that.
GWEN IFILL: Has that ever happened before, where Hillary Clinton endorsed anything Bernie Sanders said?
TAMARA KEITH: Yes, you know, they often talk about their distinguished opponent.
But this is definitely an interesting situation to have her campaign retweeting his campaign.
GWEN IFILL: Having a common enemy is always handy.
Amy, which party, if we were going to say that — last week, obviously, Hillary Clinton dealt a pretty big blow to Bernie Sanders. They’re still fighting each other, dealing daily kind of juvenile blows on the Republican side. Which party is having the more consequential civil war at this point?
AMY WALTER: Well, it absolutely is the Republicans.
Listen, I feel like this is a party right now — I mean, I can almost hear the tectonic shift here. The Republican Party now is on the verge of absolutely splitting apart. And you asked about what the level of worry is among sort of Republican establishment, as they said on “Spinal Tap,” this goes to 11. OK? It is off the charts.
And I think we are going to see a Republican Party that looks, if Donald Trump is the nominee, that looks very different than a Republican Party we have seen before. I don’t doubt that we will see a Republican candidate running as a third party. This is not about — I know we have talked about Michael Bloomberg in the past. I’m talking specifically about a traditional Republican establishment conservative figure running as a third-party candidate. Wouldn’t be surprised about that at all.
The civil war has been a big part of the Republican identity for some time. These factions have been fighting each other for some time. The only thing that has kept these factions from splitting apart in the past has been the fact that Republicans are united in their dislike for President Obama.
But now that the focus is inward, instead of outward, the civil war has — is starting to take a serious toll. And I really think we’re going to see in some way, shape or form a dissolution of the Republican Party as it currently stands.
GWEN IFILL: Wow, that’s saying something. And it is interesting. We don’t hear President Obama’s name nearly as much anymore. And it used to be the common rallying cry.
Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, Tamara Keith of NPR, thank you both.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The results are in from Iran’s elections. They show strong gains for relatively moderate allies of President Hassan Rouhani and a setback for more hard-line elements in Iran’s conservative Islamic establishment.
It’s the first national elections since last summer’s nuclear deal. There was heavy turnout Friday, as Iranians elected a new Parliament and the so-called Assembly of Experts, a council of senior clerics that is tasked with selecting the supreme leader.
The man currently in that office, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, praised the high turnout and advised the newly elected bodies to guard against Western influence. He remains the decisive voice in Iran.
So, what does this all mean inside Iran, and for the u.s? We turn to Karim Sadjadpour of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
Karim, welcome back to the program.
So, how do you read these results?
KARIM SADJADPOUR, Carnegie Endowment For International Peace: Judy, I think this was a best-case outcome for President Rouhani.
As you know, many of the moderates and reformist candidates were disqualified. They were prevented from running. So, before the elections, it looked pretty bleak for Rouhani. But they managed to come up with a list — what they called the list of hope. And that list swept Tehran. It did well in other urban areas.
It didn’t do as well in other — in the provinces. But I think that this doesn’t bring about liberal reformists to the Iranian Parliament, but it’s certainly a less hostile, less intolerant Parliament for President Rouhani.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, that’s my question, because, as you said, so many moderates were not even allowed to run. So how much more moderate are these newly elected members?
KARIM SADJADPOUR: Many of them are unknown, Judy.
I spoke to a friend of mine who has been involved in Iranian politic for three decades, and he said, of the 30 candidates who won Tehran, he was only familiar with four or five names. Among those 30 candidates, some of them actually self-identify as conservatives as well.
So, I think we should have sober expectations about the nature of these reformist Parliamentarians and, frankly, the Iranian Parliament’s ability to wield change. But there’s a great Persian expression that when someone has experienced near death, they’re content with a fever.
And I think that the Iranian population over the last decade has really experienced incredibly difficult times. And I think that many people went to vote, not because they were hoping for something. They had great expectations of a more liberal Parliament, but they fear, if they didn’t vote, it would bring about a much more intolerant, hard-line Parliament.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Will anything change, then?
KARIM SADJADPOUR: I — I think that, if you’re sitting at the White House or you’re sitting at the State Department, this election is not likely to change Iran’s policies in Syria, Iran’s objection to Israel, Iran’s animosity towards the United States. And it’s not likely to make Iran a tolerant democratic place.
But if you live in Tehran, if you learn in Shiraz, this can moderately improve your quality of life. And the Expert Assembly election is important as well, because they theoretically have responsibility for choosing the next supreme leader.
So, Iran’s current supreme leader, Ali Khamenei, is 76 years old. It could be that, if he dies in the next six to eight years, the Experts Assembly could have a role selecting his successor.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, what should we expect to see tangibly there? Does this mean the hard-liners have somewhat less influence?
KARIM SADJADPOUR: Well, the supreme leader and the Revolutionary Guards remain pretty firmly entrenched. Iran remains a police state, in which, if you’re a journalist, you’re an author, you’re a civil society activist, you can be plucked off the street, put in prison without reason, without explanation.
There’s actually two U.S. citizens, Siamak Namazi, and his 80-year-old father, Baquer Namazi, that remain in prison in Iran. So, we certainly have to be sober about our expectations. But I think this, it just goes to show that President Rouhani’s more pragmatic agenda is deeply popular in Iran. And I think it really increases the likelihood that he will be reelected come next summer.
JUDY WOODRUFF: To what extent, Karim, was this a referendum on the nuclear deal with the West?
KARIM SADJADPOUR: You know, I think the nuclear deal and greater cooperation with the outside world, greater integration with the outside world, is something which has long been desired by the Iranian public.
This is a very young population. They’re really, I would argue, post-ideological. But, at the end of the day, the power in Iran — or, I should say, the power of institutions in Iran aren’t derived from their popular support. They are derived from their coercive capabilities.
So, I think the nuclear deal was very popular, and people would like to have much more of that type of detente with the United States. But as long as this current supreme leader remains in power, I think we should be realistic about the likelihood that this rapprochement with the United States will continue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Karim Sadjadpour, interpreting these election results for us, we thank you.
KARIM SADJADPOUR: Thank you, Judy.
The post What do Iran’s elections mean for the country’s future? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
GWEN IFILL: It was no-holds-barred on the presidential campaign today, underscoring the all-important races on tap tomorrow, Super Tuesday.
And, as tensions flared, the Republican race was thrown into uproar again.
This is Donald Trump, barreling toward tomorrow’s big voting day with the wind at his back in almost all 13 of the Super Tuesday states. Today, in Southwestern Virginia, the Republican front-runner boasted his campaign is on a nonstop roll.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: Republicans have a hard time, because, structurally, you have to win Pennsylvania, you have to win Ohio, you have to — you know, they have like a map of in particular six states. And you lose one, it’s over. The Democratic ride is a much easier ride.
But if I pick up New York, or if I pick up Michigan, it’s over, folks. It’s over. It’s over.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
GWEN IFILL: But his speech was interrupted today by protesters representing the Black Lives Matter movement.
DONALD TRUMP: Get them out of here, please. All right, folks, you’re going to hear it once. All lives matter.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
GWEN IFILL: Party leaders denounced his refusal yesterday to reject support from white supremacist groups, including the KKK and David Duke.
DONALD TRUMP: Well, just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke. OK? I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists.
GWEN IFILL: In a tweet, the Republicans’ last presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, called Trump’s words — quote — “a disqualifying and disgusting response.”
While Donald Trump traveled in Virginia, which has 49 delegates at stake, Florida Senator Marco Rubio cast a wider net for the 174 delegates up for grabs in Tennessee, Georgia and Arkansas. Rubio, in a stop in Atlanta, also knocked Trump for his comments yesterday.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: Honestly, you know our country, you know your neighbors, you know your family and you know your friends. Do you really believe that those — that they’re going to vote for someone who refuses to disavow the Ku Klux Klan?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: Do you think they’re going to vote for someone with a record like his?
SEN. MARCO RUBIO: They’re not. That means we’re going to lose. That means the winner of this election will be Hillary Clinton.
GWEN IFILL: And Ted Cruz, who spent today in his home state of Texas, piled on as well. With 155 delegates at stake there, the Lone Star State is Super Tuesday’s biggest prize.
Cruz took aim at the practices of a Trump-owned club in Florida, one that he said turned aside American workers looking for jobs.
SEN. TED CRUZ (R-TX), Republican Presidential Candidate: Now, listen, that’s not a whole lot different, what Donald’s doing, than a whole lot of other big companies. But you don’t get to abuse and take advantage of American workers, and then suddenly style yourself a champion for American workers.
GWEN IFILL: The heated Republican rhetoric became the focus today on the Democratic campaign trail as well. Hillary Clinton, fresh off her nearly 50-point victory in South Carolina, weighed in this morning from Massachusetts.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: What we need to do now is make America whole, working together, rejecting the mean-spiritedness, the hateful rhetoric, the insults. That’s not who we are.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
GWEN IFILL: And Bernie Sanders, in Minneapolis, spent more time taking on Trump than he did Clinton.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: We will defeat Mr. Trump, because the American people believe that community, working together trumps selfishness.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: And, most importantly, we will defeat Mr. Trump because the American people understand, and always have, that love trumps hatred.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
GWEN IFILL: Tomorrow is likely to provide a definitive turning point for both parties.
We will take a thorough look at the Republican and Democratic races after the news summary.