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

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    Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson listens to a question from a reporter during a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, February 23, 2016. Photo by Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/Reuters

    After Super Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson only has eight delegates, compared top frontrunner Donald Trump with 319. Photo by Las Vegas Sun/Steve Marcus/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson said he is effectively ending his bid for the White House Wednesday, concluding a roller-coaster campaign that briefly took him to the top of a chaotic GOP field but ended with a Super Tuesday whimper.

    “I do not see a political path forward,” Carson said in a statement posted on his campaign website, though he added, “I remain deeply committed to my home nation, America” and promised to offer details of his future when he speaks Friday at a conservative conference in Washington.

    He did not explicitly say that he’s ending his campaign, only noting that he does not plan to take part in Thursday’s Fox News debate. But his longtime businessman and friend, Armstrong Williams, confirmed that the soft-spoken candidate would no longer be asking for votes.

    “There’s only one candidate in this 2016 election on the GOP side, and his name is Trump. That’s the reality,” Williams said, adding that Sens. Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz also should drop out, as they “also have no path” to the nomination.

    Carson’s exit reduces the active Republican field to four candidates, though billionaire Donald Trump remains the clear leader in earned delegates and voter preference polls.

    Carson, 64, was one of several anti-establishment candidates who shaped the early stages of a Republican race defined by conservatives’ wide-ranging disgust with the nation’s direction and GOP leaders’ perceived inability to alter it.

    He ran as an outsider, offering a poverty-to-fame autobiography, his unabashed Christian faith and an unceasing indictment of conventional politics, styling his bid as an effort to combat “political correctness” and what he described as a creep toward “socialism.”

    That formula fueled a steady climb in the polls and a powerful fundraising effort. But his success also brought intense scrutiny. Carson lashed out publicly at questions about his life story, having to explain anecdotes like his claim to have been offered a “scholarship” to West Point. He made foreign policy flubs, from a mistaken suggestion that China is militarily involved in Syria’s civil war, to a high profile speech in which he repeatedly mispronounced the name of the Palestinian political and military organization Hamas.

    And he endured public sniping among some of his closest advisers, some of whom contributed to questions about his overall fitness for the job.

    The only African-American among the presidential contenders of either major party, Carson announced his bid in May from his native Detroit, where he was raised in a poor neighborhood by a single mother. Though she could not read, Carson said, his mother saw to it that he and his brother received formal educations.

    Carson attended Yale University and the University of Michigan Medical School. He earned national acclaim during 29 years leading the pediatric neurosurgery unit of Johns Hopkins Children’s Center in Baltimore. He directed the first surgery to separate twins connected at the back of the head. His career was notable enough to inspire the 2009 movie, “Gifted Hands,” with actor Cuba Gooding Jr. depicting Carson.

    He rose to political prominence with his address at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, where he offered a withering critique of the modern welfare state and the nation’s overall direction. The speech restated themes from Carson’s 2012 book “America the Beautiful,” but he excited conservatives by doing so with President Barack Obama sitting just feet away.

    He would often tell voters that he viewed his candidacy as a way to honor the American founders’ view of the “citizen-statesman.”

    “If I am successful in this endeavor,” he said Dec. 8 in Georgia, “then a lot of other people who are not career politicians but who are very smart will start thinking, maybe I can do that, too, and we will expand the pool from which we selected our leadership.”

    The post Ben Carson says ‘no path forward’ in 2016 race appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Denise Scott, 66, of Cleveland, Ohio, gets a subsidy from Medicare to help her pay for some of her prescription drugs. But, next year, some a premium increase may mean some low-income Medicare drug beneficiaries must pay a larger share for their medicine. Photo by Lynn Ischay/Kaiser Health News

    Medicare Maven Phil Moeller answers your health care questions. Photo by Lynn Ischay/Kaiser Health News

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


    Greg – N.J.: I’m 57 and will be eligible for Medicare in May 2016 (I’ve been disabled for nearly two years). As is the case with most corporate retiree medical plans, I’m required to enroll in Medicare Part B when eligible. What seems unfair here is that my company plan will now become secondary to Medicare, yet there is no reduction in premiums commensurate with the reduced exposure to the carrier, and my costs will actually increase due to the $105 monthly deduction from Social Security benefits to pay Part B premiums. This would be understandable if there were some appreciable benefit to the insured (e.g., lower deductibles and/or copays), but that doesn’t seem to be the case.  It seems I’m being required to buy coverage that I already have, which benefits only the carrier.

    Phil Moeller: In all situations that I’ve come across, premiums to a retiree health have been designed to reflect the fact that it is now your secondary insurer. In other words, these premiums should be a lot lower than what you would pay for these health benefits if you were not retired and the plan was your primary insurer. If, as you suggest, your retiree premiums have not been adjusted down once you switched to Medicare as a primary insurer, one of two things has happened. Either you’ve been getting a relative bargain during your pre-Medicare retirement years, or your employer’s retirement insurer is making out like a bandit. I’d suggest you speak with someone in your employee benefits department to find out which is the case. If your suspicions are correct, there is nothing forcing you to keep your employer retiree plan. You always can leave it and get Medicare coverage the same way millions of other seniors do who do not have retiree plans.


    Teresa – Texas: My mother-in-law has been dealing with dementia for a few years, and it is getting progressively worse. At the current time, she needs assistance with remembering to take her medication, bathe, eat and keep up with her household straightening. She also needs help dealing with her paranoia of strangers. I am currently employed, but am willing to take on the position of a provider. Does Medicare compensate me for providing these services?

    Phil Moeller: First off, kudos to you for wanting to take care of your mother-in-law. Unfortunately, Medicare does not cover this kind of care, which it considers “custodial” care. It only covers medically necessary care for people who are homebound. Such care must be prescribed by a doctor, and Medicare only covers it if it is performed by a home health care agency that is among those registered with the agency and approved by it to provide such care.


    Melody – Colo.: I’m turning 65 this June. I’ve been retired and collecting Social Security for a year. I wanted to decline Plan B and go with an AARP plan. I found out I still have to pay a Plan B premium with Original Medicare. I don’t understand why. I would already be paying a premium monthly with the AARP plan.

    Phil Moeller: I’m assuming you’re referring to AARP’s Medicare Advantage plans (it also sells Medigap insurance). In nearly all cases, you need to have Parts A and B — and pay any required premiums — before you can get another Medicare insurance product. This may sound like a raw deal but it’s not. I’m not suggesting that private insurers are not making good money from Medicare. Unlike some of their financially strapped Obamacare plans, private Medicare insurers are making a very, very nice living. Your AARP plan, and other private Medicare insurance, is designed with the knowledge that people need to first obtain Part A and Part B coverage. Now, it is true that the plans receive subsidies from Medicare to provide coverage. But without Original Medicare premiums, the government would not be able to afford these subsidies and the private plans would have to charge you even higher premiums.


    Charles – Ala.: My wife will turn 65 in May 2016 and will be retiring. I am four years older than her and plan on working five to six more years. She is presently on my health insurance at my work. I talked with HR, and they said she could stay on my insurance when she signs up for Medicare. How does that work? Which insurance will be her primary? If she stays on my insurance will she need Part B?

    Phil Moeller: The rules here are pretty clear. If your employer has 20 or more employees and offers group coverage, it must continue to offer such coverage to your wife even after she turns 65. In this case, she does not have to sign up for Medicare and can stay on your plan. If she has enough work history of her own to qualify for Social Security benefits, she is entitled to free Part A (hospital) coverage from Medicare, even if she has not yet begun claiming Social Security benefits. Unless you’re in a high deductible health plan with a health savings account, she should get Part A (she is ineligible for an HSA if she signs up for Part A). It will act as secondary insurance to your employer health plan and can come in handy if she requires hospitalization. She does not need Part B at this time, even though she has turned 65. If Social Security sends her a Medicare card that says she is enrolled in Parts A and B, she should send it back and indicate she is rejecting Part B at this time.


    Ruben – Pa.: Does a Medigap plan allow you to use it outside of your area, such as in other states while on vacation, but not as an emergency? My Medicare Advantage plan doesn’t allow this. I have to have blood drawn on a monthly basis, and that is not an emergency, according to my Health Maintenance Organization plan.

    Phil Moeller: Medigap plans do work in other states, but they don’t work with Medicare Advantage plans. To get a Medigap policy, you’d need to leave your Medicare Advantage plan and get Original Medicare (Parts A and B) and a stand-alone Part D drug plan. Because Original Medicare works anywhere in the country, your blood work would be covered anywhere, and if you had a Medigap plan that covered some or all of the unpaid amounts covered by Original Medicare, it also would do so anywhere in the country.


    Jane – Mich.: Why do we have to have our Social Security number for our account number?  Most would agree that the elderly are among the most vulnerable to fraud, but I have to give my Social Security number to every clerk at the pharmacy, the lab techs, the entire staff of a very large primary care clinic, all my other doctors and the entire hospital system. There’s no reason for this stupidity. Every time I see the admonishment “Don’t give your out Social Security number,” I cringe. Is there any movement to change this?

    Phil Moeller: For once, people did listen. Social Security numbers are no longer printed on newly issued Medicare cards. You can order a replacement Medicare card online, and it should arrive in about 30 days.


    Jeanne – Ill.: I am being charged for Medicare even though I already have insurance from my husband through his company. How can I get that stopped and get a refund? I turned 65 three months ago.

    Phil Moeller: Social Security handles withdrawals from the program. You need to call to schedule a face-to-face interview at your local Social Security office. Yes, I know this is a hassle, especially since it sounds like you were automatically enrolled in the program, most likely without your knowledge or permission. Maybe you can find a sympathetic soul who will do this over the phone. But the agency’s rules call for an in-person session to make sure people don’t unintentionally lose their health coverage.


    David – Ind.: How much does the government (taxpayers) pay to insurance companies for providing Medicare Advantage plans? I was told that these companies get over $10,000 a year for each senior citizen who signs up for a Medicare Advantage Plan.

    Phil Moeller: It’s actually slightly more than this. Before screaming about corporate socialism, you should know that the annual public support for regular Medicare (Parts A and B) is a similar amount. All told, Medicare costs several hundred billion more dollars each year than the revenue it receives from beneficiaries in the form of payroll taxes and insurance premiums.

    The post Are you overpaying for retiree health insurance? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The Pentagon

    The Defense Department wants to hire people to “hack the Pentagon” in order to expose cyber vulnerabilities.

    WASHINGTON — The Pentagon is looking for a few good computer hackers.

    Screened high-tech specialists will be brought in to try to breach the Defense Department’s public Internet pages in a pilot program aimed at finding and fixing cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

    Defense officials laid out the broad outlines of the plan Wednesday, but had few details on how it will work, what Pentagon systems would be tested and how the hackers would be compensated.

    Called “Hack the Pentagon,” the program will begin next month. Department officials and lawyers still must work through a number of legal issues involving the authorization of so-called “white-hat hackers” to breach active Pentagon websites.

    READ MORE: Ransomware attack takes down LA hospital for hours

    Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he will be “inviting responsible hackers to test our cybersecurity,” adding that he believes the program will “strengthen our digital defenses and ultimately enhance our national security.”

    Defense Department systems get probed and attacked millions of times a day, officials say.

    The new program is being led by the Defense Digital Service, which was created by Carter last November.

    According to the Pentagon, it is the first time the federal government has undertaken a program with outsiders attempting to breach the networks. Large companies have done similar things.

    Officials said the pilot program will involve public networks or websites that do not have any sensitive information or personal employee data on them.

    It is being called a “bounty” program. But it’s unclear if the hackers will be paid a flat fee or based on their achievements — or if they’ll only be offered the glory and notoriety of breaching the world’s greatest military’s systems.

    The post Pentagon seeks a few good computer hackers to test security appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Supporter Alex Himes walks through the crowd before Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a Super Tuesday campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky on March 1. Photo by REUTERS/ Chris Bergin

    If Trump doesn’t start making inroads with minority voters, it could spell trouble for him in a general election showdown against Hillary Clinton. Photo by Chris Bergin/Reuters

    ATLANTA – On Sunday, in an interview on national television, Donald Trump refused to denounce David Duke, a former leader of the Klu Klux Klan.

    Two days later, the real estate developer moved one step closer to clinching the Republican nomination with a commanding performance in the Super Tuesday primaries yesterday.

    How he handled the David Duke question added to a track record of controversial comments toward minorities, further weakening his already negligible support among non-white voters, and highlighting a critical question that has worried Republican Party leaders for months: can Trump win the general election with virtually no support from minority voters?

    READ MORE: The secret to Trump’s stump speech success

    If Trump doesn’t start making inroads with minority voters soon it could spell trouble for him in a general election showdown against Hillary Clinton, the likely Democratic nominee.

    Mitt Romney won just 17 percent of the nonwhite vote in 2012, and Republican Party strategists agree that this year’s GOP nominee needs to do significantly better to be competitive in November.

    “Donald Trump is a clown,” Delores Walthall, 62, who is African-American, said in an interview after voting yesterday at a polling precinct near her home in College Park, a suburb just south of Atlanta.

    Black voters who were interviewed for this story said they were alarmed by Trump’s rhetoric, and the bigotry that has bubbled up to the surface of American politics as a result of his campaign.

    “I can’t understand it. At first I thought [his candidacy] was just a joke, something he was doing to be in the limelight,” she added. “But then people started backing him. I think it’s payback for having Obama as president.”

    In interviews across South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama over the past week, dozens of black voters expressed a similar sense of frustration and anger with Trump, who has also made incendiary comments about Hispanics and Muslims.

    Whites in the Deep South who voted for Trump were much more forgiving.

    Some, like Brian Lamb, an operations manager at a stamping facility in Cusseta, Ala., said they disagreed with Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric, but it didn’t stop them from backing him at the polls.

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida on March 1. Photo by REUTERS/Scott Audette

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida on March 1. Photo by REUTERS/Scott Audette

    “I think he needs to watch what he says,” Lamb said at a poll location in Opelika. But he added, “We need somebody’s who’s not a career politician.”

    For other whites, Trump’s views on race and ethnicity seemed to be a positive.

    “I like Donald Trump because he tells the truth. We got a lot of folks jumping the border,” said Chandler Hazen, 19, an auto mechanic in Phenix City, Ala. Hazen said he wasn’t bothered by the controversy over Trump and the KKK. “Stuff like that ain’t going to change my vote.”

    Bill Johnson, a retired farmer and crop insurance salesman from Lumpkin, Ga., linked his frustration with politics to the election of Barack Obama, a commonly held view among many Trump supporters in the South.

    “What I’m going to tell you has nothing to do with color. I’m not a racist, but the blacks have taken over this country,” Johnson, 89, said in an interview yesterday outside of the polling precinct in Lumpkin. “Obama was put in office by someone to ruin our credibility.”

    Johnson would not say whom he planned to vote for, but he praised Trump at length before stepping inside the Stewart County Courthouse to cast his ballot.

    READ MORE: How Clinton won the black vote in South Carolina

    “I like Trump,” Johnson said. “He’s the only one who ain’t already bought off.” He added, “He’s a very smart man. He inherited millions, and he made it into billions.”

    Black voters who were interviewed for this story said they were alarmed by Trump’s rhetoric, and the bigotry that has bubbled up to the surface of American politics as a result of his campaign.

    “Their theme is, take our country back,” Regina McKnight, a retired county administrator in Kingstree, S.C., said of Trump and his top Republican rivals. “But the way I see it, they mean take it back from an African-American and put it back in white hands.”

    Lincoln Glover, 18, said there was no way Trump could win over blacks and other minority voters in the general election. “How does he expect us to vote for him?” said Glover, who lives in Orangeburg, S.C. “We’re not dumb.”

    Many anti-Trump Republicans said they recognized that he would face significant opposition from minority voters in the general election.

    “I’m definitely worried” that nominating Trump could hurt the party, said Anna Nolan, a school teacher in east-central Alabama who voted for Senator Ted Cruz. Nolan, who is white, said she was appalled by Trump’s slow response to the KKK comment. “That was a big issue for me.”

    Other white Republicans said they believed that Trump was already responsible for hurting race relations in the country, regardless of what happens in the election in the months to come.

    “If the KKK stuff didn’t get everybody’s attention and make people vote against Trump, I don’t know [what will]. I just don’t know,” said Sybil Ammons, the coroner of Stewart County in Georgia. “I want to see us bond as a country and he’s not going to help that at all.”

    The post Can Trump win the general election without minority voters? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida March 1, 2016. Photo by Scott Audette/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks about the results of Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida March 1, 2016. Photo by Scott Audette/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Despite Donald Trump’s string of Super Tuesday victories, the billionaire businessman must do even better in upcoming primaries to claim the Republican presidential nomination before the party’s national convention this summer, an AP delegate count shows.

    Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is emerging as the candidate who might stop him — with a little help from Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.

    The good news for Trump: He is in a better position than any of his rivals. After the first 15 states of the 2016 campaign season, it looks like the best chance for Cruz, Rubio or any of the other candidates could be a contested national convention in July.

    READ MORE: Follow NewsHour’s delegate tracker

    That would almost certainly wreak further havoc on the deeply divided Republican Party. But that’s of little concern for Trump’s many GOP foes.

    “Frankly, at this point we want anyone but Trump,” said former New Hampshire Gov. John H. Sununu, now a point person for an anti-Trump super PAC. “The goal is this: Let’s get to the convention in Cleveland and figure it out there.”

    While Trump has racked up 10 wins so far, he’s won only 46 percent of the delegates awarded since voting began. It takes an outright majority of delegates to win the nomination.

    To win enough delegates to claim that prize, Trump would have to win 51 percent of those remaining in the state-by-state contests scheduled through early June. That could be difficult if three or more candidates stay in the race.

    READ MORE: Can Trump win the general election without the minority vote?

    Trump’s main Republican opponents are vowing to stay in the race until the end. And that could prevent him from getting the delegates he needs — even if they can’t overtake him on their own.

    “We’re beyond the winning states stage. This is now purely a competition for delegates,” Cruz spokeswoman Catherine Frazier said.

    Rubio, in a Tuesday interview on Fox News, promised to campaign in all 50 states: “I will do whatever it takes to prevent a con artist like Donald Trump from ever becoming the Republican nominee.”

    While not giving up on beating Trump before July, both the Cruz and Rubio camps concede that their best opportunity could come at a contested convention.

    That happens only if no candidate wins a majority before then. Under such a scenario, delegates on the floor of the Cleveland convention would decide on their own whom to support in a series of floor votes.

    Not since 1976 has that happened.

    Some Republicans warn of dire consequences should the party go that route this year, especially if Trump has a commanding delegate lead.

    “If the establishment thinks there’s a backlash now, wait until the guy with the most delegates gets to the convention and they decide to take it from him,” said GOP operative Hogan Gidley. “Then you’re going to see an all-out political jihad.”

    The Republican campaign now enters a critical two-week stretch ahead of the March 15 primaries. These are the first primaries that can award all of a state’s delegates to the winner, and the two big prizes are Florida and Ohio. Florida has 99 delegates, Ohio 66.

    Winning those states could bring Trump closer to locking things. But Florida is Rubio’s home state, and Ohio is home for John Kasich, the state’s governor.

    “If Donald Trump wins the winner-take-all states, all bets are off. He’s going to be the nominee,” said Henry Barbour, a Republican National Committee member working on Rubio’s delegate strategy team.

    Only nine states award delegates winner-take-all. Five more make it possible for one candidate to win all of the delegates, or at least a large majority. These states could take an outsized role in determining who wins the nomination.

    Among the other winner-take-all primaries: Arizona on March 22, Nebraska on May 10 and New Jersey on June 7.

    The delegate math from Super Tuesday shows how difficult it can be to rack up a big lead when states award delegates in proportion to the vote.

    Trump won seven of 11 states, but his gains were limited by Cruz’s big win in delegate-rich Texas — his home state. For the night, Trump won at least 237 delegates and Cruz won at least 209. Rubio was a distant third with at least 94.

    There were still 33 delegates left to be allocated on Wednesday.

    Cruz won at least 99 of the 155 delegates at stake in Texas. Trump got at least 38, with 14 left to be awarded. Rubio picked up four.

    Overall, Trump leads the field with 319 delegates and Cruz has 226. Rubio has 110, Kasich has 25 and Ben Carson has eight.

    It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

    AP writers Julie Bykowicz and Andrew Taylor contributed.

    The post Delegate math: Trump not yet on track to win nomination appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Video produced by Peggy Robinson.

    When most people think of homegrown terrorists — Americans who become radicalized to committing extremist, violent acts — they might not picture a middle-class, married, educated American.

    Yet, that’s the profile of most radicalized Americans, according to Peter Bergen, who studied the subject for his new book “United States of Jihad: Investigating America’s Homegrown Terrorists.” The book is also the basis for “Homegrown: The Counter-Terror Dilemma,” an HBO documentary released last month. Bergen joined the NewsHour’s chief foreign correspondent Margaret Warner to discuss the book.

    When Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at an office holiday party in San Bernadino, California, in December, the couple was married with a child and annual income of more than $70,000.

    “They were basically living the American dream,” Bergen said. “So it’s a big puzzle, why would you then kill your fellow Americans? And I can’t say, even after two and a half years’ study, that I can answer that question.”

    In the process of becoming radicalized, people tend to gather a community of people that share similar views, Bergen said.

    “There is a sort of patent way people adopt these fundamentalist views. They increasingly seek out like-minded people, they kind of withdraw from society,” he said. “They basically are part of a self-reinforcing echo chamber of people who share their own views, and some may turn to violence.”

    45 Americans have been killed by home-grown terrorists since the Sept. 11 attacks, making home-grown terrorism a “persistent, low-level threat” in the U.S., Bergen said. “To some degree, the threat has been managed. but it will persist at a low level for a long time,” he said.

    Watch Bergen’s conversation with Warner above for more.

    The post What causes some Muslim-Americans to become radicalized? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Supporter Alex Himes walks through the crowd before Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a Super Tuesday campaign rally in Louisville, Kentucky on March 1. Photo by REUTERS/ Chris Bergin

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Over or not, the battle within the GOP is threatening to split the party in two.

    We get views from the pro-Trump and the stop-Trump wings of the party.

    Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach endorsed Trump this week, and strategist Henry Barbour is Mississippi’s Republican National Committeeman. He is backing Marco Rubio.

    Gentlemen, thank you for joining us.

    So, starting with you, Henry Barbour, what is Donald Trump’s success, his electoral successes in the past few weeks, what is It doing to or for the party?

    HENRY BARBOUR, Republican Strategist: Well, you know, I think that remains to be seen what Donald Trump is doing to the party.

    You know, we’re still very early in this process. You have got to get 1,237 delegates to win. We have only allocated some 728 delegates to this point. And for Mr. Trump to get to 1,237, he has got a lot — he has a long ways to get there.

    It’s not inevitable that Donald Trump is going to be our candidate. We have 1,100 delegates that will be awarded in March and April, and there is no way that Mr. Trump is going to be able to get there at the pace that he’s been going. He won 42 percent of the delegates yesterday. That would put him at about 750 delegates at the end of April.

    My point is, Gwen, we have a long ways to go in this process, and a majority of Republicans, about two-thirds, are voting for somebody other than Mr. Trump.

    GWEN IFILL: But, Mr. Barbour, is this about delegate nose-counting or this about a rejection from so many Republicans of the establishment, of the way the Republican Party has always been structured?

    HENRY BARBOUR: Well, look, the voters are going to decide in the Republican primaries and caucuses around the country who they want to be our nominee, whether that’s Donald Trump or Marco Rubio, who is a candidate who I think could — that we could coalesce behind and who could beat Hillary Clinton.

    I’m afraid Donald Trump would lose in the general election against Hillary Clinton, when he can’t answer a question about the Ku Klux Klan, whether he’s for them or against them. Sounded like he needed to do a little bit of studying or fix his earpiece or something. I’m not sure what that was about.

    And Reid mentioned in the segment before this that people like that Donald Trump tells it like it is, but I think if you ask the students at Trump University, they weren’t told like it is. The New York attorney general said it was a bait and switch program, a scam.

    GWEN IFILL: Kris Kobach, why did you decide to endorse Donald Trump?

    KRIS KOBACH (R), Secretary of State, Kansas: Well, first and foremost, because he’s taking the strongest position we have ever heard a presidential candidate take on illegal immigration and the vulnerability our country faces with respect to immigrants coming legally through the refugee system, which is now, it appears, being used by ISIS as way of getting into the United States and into Western Europe, and illegally.

    And the threat to our country in terms of national security and then the threat to working Americans who see their wages depressed if they don’t lose their job, or lose their job, is something that many people say, look, Trump is the guy who’s actually going to do something about it, and he’s not speaking in half-words and half-tones. He’s saying, look, we’re going to solve the problem and solve it now.

    The other thing that I really find appealing about Donald Trump is he is massively broadening the Republican base for the first time in, well, 25 years. And we have had all of these talking heads and consultants tell the party — Republican Party, well, the way you broaden your base is you roll over on amnesty and you tell everyone you’re for amnesty and then, hopefully, instead of getting 30 percent of the Hispanic vote, you will get 40 percent of the Hispanic vote.

    That doesn’t broaden the base. What Trump is doing is broadening the base, and we’re seeing it right before our very eyes. But, unfortunately, the Republican establishment is looking a gift horse in the mouth and saying, yes, we don’t really want those blue-collar workers who are coming over to the Republican Party.

    And I think that’s the biggest thing Trump offers is when you have something like the Reagan coalition, where you have massive numbers of Democrats and independents who are working men and women voting Republican. And I think that’s a huge threat to the Democrat Party’s base too, if that happens.

    GWEN IFILL: I get the feeling that Henry Barbour wants to respond.

    HENRY BARBOUR: Well, it’s just funny that Kris mentions gifts that Mr. Trump has given.

    And I know we he gave a gift to Hillary Clinton so she would come to his wedding. And, I mean, if that doesn’t look like an establishment move, you know, I don’t know what is.

    I do think that, if you look at Marco Rubio’s track record in Florida, he was the original renegade who ran against the establishment in Florida, a sitting governor running for the U.S. Senate. Everybody told Marco, you can’t do it. The Tea Party rallied around Marco Rubio and he won. And he’s been a real reformer and he’s made a real difference as a conservative.

    And I think one of the important differences for Republican primary voters to understand is, we know that Marco Rubio is a conservative. Has a 98 percent rating with the American Conservative Union.

    One day, Donald Trump says he’s pro-choice. The next day, he says he’s pro-life, yet he’s giving money to Planned Parenthood, which funds abortions.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me ask you both about whether this means — the big discussion here and around the country is whether the Republican Party is splitting apart.

    Can you see, Kris Kobach, a way that Donald Trump goes to the convention, plays by the rules of this party, and unites the party, as he said last night he would?

    KRIS KOBACH: You know, I think it is going to happen, because, at the end of the day, although there is grousing among some of the moneyed establishment interests and some people in the RNC, but not all, they’re going to have — ultimately, if you have this many voters saying overwhelmingly, yes, we like Trump, which is what’s happening — and you are going to see more of it as you get to the winner-take-all states, where the delegates are overwhelmingly in his corner — I can’t see any way that the RNC or the Republican establishment, however you define it, would then say, you know what? We’re going to try to find some way to derail the Trump campaign.

    I think you will see the — the threat of a Clinton presidency will be so great that Republicans will united behind Mr. Trump.

    And I just want to answer one point about Mr. Rubio being a conservative. Look, he is still for in-state tuition for illegal aliens, which he advocated for in Florida. He’s still for amnesty. He just says, well, we will secure the border, then we will have amnesty.

    I mean, he hasn’t take a conservative position on this critically important issue. And he even deceived Florida voters when he was running against Charlie Crist, saying, well, he’s going to be opposed to amnesty. Then he came in and give the opposite.

    (CROSSTALK)

    KRIS KOBACH: So, I think that’s — well, he told Florida voters that he was against amnesty. Then he sponsored the amnesty when he got into the U.S. Senate.

    GWEN IFILL: I just want to make the point that, looking at exit polls last night, not a lot of voters were listing immigration as their reason for supporting Donald Trump.

    But I want to — we don’t have a lot of time left. So, I want to ask Henry Barbour about this whole question about contested elections, and the general election and whether in the end Donald Trump is electable, and, if he is, whether he would get your support ultimately — could get your support.

    HENRY BARBOUR: Well, look, right now, he’s getting the support of about 35 or so percent of Republicans.

    So, the majority of Republicans right now want somebody else. And I think he would have a hard time winning the general election. I have said consistently…

    (CROSSTALK)

    HENRY BARBOUR: I’m sorry, Kris.

    I have said consistently that I intend to support the nominee. And that’s what I hope to do. I will say this. Mr. Trump’s comments about the Klan the other day, as a guy from Mississippi, I find that very troubling. And when he tries to pawn it off that something happened with his earpiece, I just find that really hard to believe.

    And maybe Kris can explain that.

    KRIS KOBACH: Well, he’s disavowed it so many times, and I find it kind of strange when Republicans, who are constantly falsely called racists, suddenly take the left’s tactics and start using it against fellow Republicans. Come on.

    And we are all going to support the candidate at the end of the day. If Rubio wins, which I don’t think will happen, I will be supporting him.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, this is a disagreement we’re not going to settle tonight, but we will revisit it.

    Kris Kobach, the Kansas secretary of state, Henry Barbour, member of the RNC from Mississippi, thank you both.

    KRIS KOBACH: My pleasure.

    HENRY BARBOUR: Thank you.

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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks about the results of the Super Tuesday primaries at a campaign rally in Miami, Florida March 1, 2016.   REUTERS/Javier Galeano - RTS8UXZ

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    GWEN IFILL: Super Tuesday has given way to what might be dubbed whither Wednesday, as in, how much longer can this go on? The Republican and Democratic leaders forged ahead today, leaving rivals with some hard calculating to do.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: What a Super Tuesday.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: It was a big night for front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. With seven Super Tuesday wins apiece, each now holds commanding leads.

    For the rest of the field, Tuesday’s results dramatically narrowed any path to the nomination. But most promised, for now, to press on. Ted Cruz won three states last night and he campaigned late today in Kansas.

    And, today, Marco Rubio cast his vote early for the March 15 Florida primary.

    SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: You know, last night was supposed to be Ted Cruz’s night. We beat him in half the states on the ballot. We won the state of Minnesota. We picked up a lot of delegates and we feel great about what the map looks like now moving forward.

    GWEN IFILL: And although he won no states yesterday, Ohio Governor John Kasich headed to Michigan this afternoon.

    GOV. JOHN KASICH (R-OH), Republican Presidential Candidate: Listen, we have an election coming, they tell me, and it would be really, really if the people in Michigan voted for somebody from Ohio.

    GWEN IFILL: Ben Carson, who has trailed far behind the others, announced today he is dropping out of tomorrow’s GOP debate in his hometown of Detroit, writing supporters: “I do not see a political path forward.”

    On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders won four states last night, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Colorado and his home state of Vermont. He campaigned in Maine today, taking shots at both Clinton and Trump.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: And it turns out that when they do these matchups of Sanders vs Trump, Clinton vs Trump, we almost always do better in those matchups than Secretary Clinton. So, if people want a candidate who will defeat one or another of these right-wing Republicans, I think you’re looking at him this afternoon.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    GWEN IFILL: But Clinton won significantly more delegates, with lopsided victories mostly in the South.

    Many Republicans have not embraced Trump’s status as prohibitive front-runner. Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 standard-bearer, announced he will deliver an address on the state of the race tomorrow. And although he has been harshly critical of Trump, there was no indication he plans to endorse a candidate or jump in the race himself.

    Democrats appeared to relished Trump’s triumph.

    SEN. HARRY REID (D-NV), Minority Leader: Republicans shouldn’t be surprised. They spent eight years laying the groundwork for the rise of Donald Trump. The reality is that Republican leaders are reaping what they have sown.

    GWEN IFILL: Tuesday night’s winners are clearly setting their sights on the general election and on each other.

    HILLARY CLINTON: It’s clear tonight that the stakes in this election have never been higher, and the rhetoric we’re hearing on the other side has never been lower.

    (BOOING)

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: Once we get all of this finished, I’m going to go after one person — that’s Hillary Clinton — on the assumption that she’s allowed to run, which is a big assumption. I don’t know that she’s going to be allowed to run. And I think that’s, frankly, going to be an easy race.

    GWEN IFILL: Voters in more than a dozen states head to the polls over the next two weeks, including in delegate-rich Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, and Michigan.

    We will analyze the state of the race after the news summary.

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    A combination photo shows Democratic U.S. presidential candidates Bernie Sanders (L) and Hillary Clinton (R) at their respective Super Tuesday primaries rally in Burlington, Vermont and in Miami, Florida. Photos by Brian Snyder, Javier Galeano/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Big wins on Super Tuesday, and impressive delegate leads, have both the Trump and Clinton campaigns starting to set their sites on the general election.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: We have got work to do, but that work — that work is not to make America great again. America never stopped being great. We…

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    HILLARY CLINTON: We have to make America whole.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: She wants to make America whole again. And I am trying to figure out, what is that all about? Make America great again is going to be much better than making America whole again.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, we unpack last night’s results, and how it shapes the road to the White House, with Reid Wilson, chief political correspondent for The Morning Consult, and Susan Page, Washington bureau chief for USA Today.

    And we welcome you both.

    So, you know, let’s — they’re focusing, already, to some extent, on the general election, but let’s talk about what they still have to deal with in the primaries.

    Susan, what did you make of the Super Tuesday result on the Democratic side?

    SUSAN PAGE, USA Today: On the Democratic side, I think it was a pretty good night for Hillary Clinton. She won seven states. The sweetest victory had to be in Massachusetts.

    That’s a state right next door to Vermont. It’s a state that knows Bernie Sanders well. And it’s a state that is famously liberal. And for her to beat Bernie Sanders in Massachusetts, I think, was a sign that while he will still win some states, and he won some states last night, that she is now on a pretty steady path toward the nomination.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What did you read of what the voters were saying through the exit polls?

    REID WILSON, Morning Consult: We still saw a pretty divided Democratic Party.

    One half wants a candidate who shares their values, a candidate who cares about people like them. Bernie Sanders is winning that half. The other half is looking towards November. They want an experienced candidate. They want an electable candidate. And those voters are going with Hillary Clinton.

    The difference, though, is in the early states, in Iowa, New Hampshire, the sort of optimistic, ideological, idealistic voters were outweighing the experience and electability voters. Now we have shifted to a part of the campaign where those sort of more traditional Democrats looking for a win in involve play a much bigger role in the Democratic coalition.

    SUSAN PAGE: But I think the two parties have slightly different problems with their electorates.

    With Democrats, it’s not as though Democratic voters supporting Sanders find Clinton unacceptable. The question is, will they be energized, will they be enthusiastic and therefore turn out to vote in November, whereas Republicans have a big problem with a significant numbers of Republican voters who find Donald Trump unacceptable.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right. And the turnout in Democrats, striking that it’s smaller than it was the last time.

    Let’s talk quickly about Bernie Sanders, Susan, and let’s quickly look at the delegate count. Right now, if you’re a — the Democrats, to win the nomination, you need almost 2,400 delegates. Hillary Clinton already has over 1,000.

    People are saying, OK, Bernie Sanders, he’s done a great job, but some are saying, why is he staying in?

    SUSAN PAGE: Although I think those numbers are misleading, because her numbers are really boosted by her support among those superdelegates, Democratic officials who are automatically convention delegates.

    If something happened, if for some reason she hit some huge stumbling block, they could easily turn away to a different candidate. They’re not obliged to vote for her. That said, clearly, the Democratic Party establishment wants Hillary Clinton to be the nominee. And they would like this nomination battle wrapped up as soon as possible and with as few wounds as possible.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And if you’re Bernie Sanders, what are you hearing right now from the voters and from the Democratic establishment?

    REID WILSON: Well, the path that Bernie Sanders has to take to get to those 2,380 delegates necessary to win the nomination is pretty steep.

    The way the Democratic calendar is set up, it sort of favors the front-runner. Recall, back in 2008, Super Tuesday gave a state — a U.S. senator named Barack Obama just enough of a lead over Hillary Clinton that he could sort of sustain it through the long, grueling months until he got to those delegates necessary to win.

    So what the Sanders campaign has to do right now is, they have to win by increasingly larger shares as the contest goes on. That becomes harder and harder, especially in a party that shows that it’s OK with Hillary Clinton.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, Susan, let’s talk about the Republicans.

    You mentioned Donald Trump. We have a little bit of news today, in that Ben Carson let it be known that he will not be staying in the race. I guess he will make the formal announcement later.

    What does that do to the field? Obviously, one person less. Does it change anything? There is now so much pressure on the Republicans to do something about Donald Trump.

    SUSAN PAGE: I think that it has very little effect.

    Ben Carson’s support had gotten pretty low. If you look at it, maybe it boosts Ted Cruz a little bit because of the evangelical Christian nature of a lot of Ben Carson’s support. I think it’s not important. I think it’s not really a significant factor.

    What you did have today were wealthy contributors to the Republican Party who are unhappy with the idea of a Trump candidacy seeing if they can do something to stop him. And I think that is not likely to have much more effect than Ben Carson pulling out.

    These big donors have not had the kind of effect this year that they have had in years past. So, super PACs that got so much attention early on didn’t save Jeb Bush at all in his candidacy. So it seems to me that a candidate like Donald Trump, who has gotten where he is by attracting Republican voters to primaries and caucuses, is not going to be undone by contributors deciding they’re not happy with him.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Reid, what are the Republican voters saying?

    A number of them were interviewed in these exit polls. What are they saying about why they are supporting Donald Trump, if they are, and if they’re not, why not?

    REID WILSON: Well, again, there is this sort of division as on the Democratic side.

    The division on the Republican side, though, is between those who want an electable candidate, Mitt Romney — Marco Rubio — excuse me — Freudian slip. Marco Rubio tends to win those candidates and do much better among them.

    On the other hand, there are candidates who — there are voters who want change and who want somebody who will tell it like it is. And that’s the single biggest segment that is voting for Donald Trump. There are a lot of voters out there who feel like they haven’t gotten the straight truth from politicians, not only politicians at large, but even Republican politicians.

    A huge percentage of the Republican electorate doesn’t trust their own politicians. They’re Trump voters.

    (CROSSTALK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Excuse me. I was just going to say, how does one account, though, for the just surprisingly high turnout among Republicans? Maybe if you’re Donald Trump, you don’t think it’s so surprising, but he’s bringing new people into the voting booth, isn’t he?

    SUSAN PAGE: Well, two things are happening.

    One, we have had this record-size field, so you have had a lot of candidates out there trying to get their voters to the polls. That’s had one effect. But I do think Donald Trump is bringing new and different people to the Republican Party. And if he’s the nominee, he will redefine to at least some extent what it means to be a Republican, what the Republican Party stands for, because these are voters who are not necessarily free traders in the Republican tradition, or for a muscular national defense.

    These are people who are focused on the economy at home, worried about their own futures and have an approach to politics that is different from the old Republican Party.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And these new voters, I think, Reid Wilson, make it harder for those who are trying to come up with a scenario to get rid of Donald Trump.

    But, just quickly, let’s look at the delegates on the Republican side. You need 1,237 to win the nomination. Trump has 319. Cruz is at 226. So it’s a lead, but it doesn’t look like an overwhelming lead. You just look at these numbers.

    REID WILSON: It’s not, but once again, because of the proportional rules under which this calendar is operating, it is harder and harder as the calendar goes on for somebody to make up even the smallest gap.

    The big moments left in this campaign are going to come on March 15, when, under Republican Party rules, states can award delegates on a winner-take-all basis, the two big prizes that day, Ohio and Florida. Both home state candidates in the race, John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, Marco Rubio, the senator from Florida, if those two can’t win, if Donald Trump wins those states — and he’s ahead in both — then this race is pretty much over.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it just gets fascinatinger and fascinatinger every day.

    (LAUGHTER)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Reid Wilson, Susan Page, thank you.

    SUSAN PAGE: Thank you.

    REID WILSON: You bet.

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    Protesters demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in the morning as the court takes up a major abortion case focusing on whether a Texas law that imposes strict regulations on abortion doctors and clinic buildings interferes with the constitutional right of a woman to end her pregnancy, in Washington March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTS8YN2

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But first to the Supreme Court, and perhaps the biggest case of this term.

    WOMAN: We pray for all of us to have courage.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Activists on both sides were out in force, as the high court heard its first abortion case in almost a decade.

    WOMAN: As a religious leader, I believe that every individual has the right to make their own moral decisions.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    MAN: Lives are precious to me, even lives conceived in rape, even disabled, even kids that are suffering with multiple surgeries before they’re five. Those kids glorify God.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: On the docket, whether a Texas law imposes an undue burden on the right to obtain an abortion. The law passed in 2013, after a filibuster by then-state Senator Wendy Davis that drew national attention. Abortion clinics have to meet something akin to hospital standards and physicians must have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles of the clinic.

    The state says its purpose is simply to protect women’s health.

    SCOTT KELLER, Solicitor General, Texas: This case is not about overturning Roe vs. Wade. What this case — the issue in this case is, can Texas enact valid patient regulations and improve safety? And when over 210 women annually are hospitalized due to abortion, Texas can.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But opponents say more than half of Texas’ 41 abortion clinics have closed because they can’t meet the new standards. They say the law, known as HB-2, is really a backdoor way to stop abortions.

    AMY HAGSTROM MILLER, Plaintiff/CEO, Whole Woman’s Health LLC: It has been a long and arduous road that has led us to this day, but that is nothing compared to what the women of Texas will face if HB-2 is not struck down. This law is cruel and it is harsh and it does nothing to advance medial health for women.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What the high court will do is even more of a guess than usual, since the death of conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. If there’s a 4-4 split, a lower court ruling that affirmed the Texas law may stand for now.

    And we take a closer look inside the court now, with Marcia Coyle, chief Washington correspondent for “The National Law Journal.”

    Marcia, so, abortion back in the court after a long, long spell of nine years. How did it all unfold today?

    MARCIA COYLE, The National Law Journal: Well, as you explained, the issue before the court is whether these regulations create an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose. And, if it does, they’re unconstitutional.

    But what does undue burden mean? The Supreme Court said in 1992 that an undue burden is unnecessary regulations with having the purpose or effect of presenting a substantial obstacle to a woman seeking an abortion.

    So, during the arguments today, first up was the clinic’s lawyer, and she faced aggressive and skeptical questioning by Justice Alito on the effect of these laws. He didn’t seem persuaded that the clinics had presented hard and sufficient evidence that the laws, the regulations at issue here were — really had the effect of closing the clinics that closed or that the remaining clinics had the capacity — did not have the capacity to handle the demand for abortions by Texas women.

    On the other side, Justices Kagan, Sotomayor and Ginsburg also had aggressive skeptical questioning directed at Texas’ lawyer. There, they focused on the purpose. Why did Texas do this? Texas says to protect women’s health.

    Justice Kagan, for example, asked, well, listen, abortion is considered one of the safest medical procedures, outpatient procedures today. In fact, the risk is less than liposuction. It’s less than some procedures in a dentist’s office. Why don’t those procedures require being done in ambulatory surgical facilities?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, so much of the focus today, Marcia, was on Justice Anthony Kennedy, seen as a swing vote, already a swing vote, if Justice Scalia were alive. Now that he’s gone, we’re looking at an eight-member court. What role was Kennedy playing? What was he saying today?

    MARCIA COYLE: OK.

    Justice Kennedy suggested a couple of things here that are very interesting. First, for the clinic’s lawyer, he’s picking up on Justice Alito’s questions about evidence. He said, would it be helpful if we sent the case back to the lower court, so that both sides could put in evidence on the effect of these regulations?

    That’s what we call a remand to the lower court. But he also said to the Texas lawyer on the purpose here, could it be having the opposite effect? Could these regulations actually be increasing the number of surgical late-term abortions with higher risks?

    And he noted that, nationally, abortions that are done by drugs, medically-induced abortions are on the rise, but, in Texas — yes, they’re on the rise — but, in Texas, they are decreasing. So, he offered maybe a way for the court to avoid a 4-4 split, which the court generally doesn’t like to do.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The consequences of this case, as we suggested, Marcia, are bigger than just Texas.

    MARCIA COYLE: Absolutely.

    Even though — if the court were to split 4-4, the ruling would only pertain to the states that are covered by the Fifth Circuit, these battles in courts are going on all around the country. And I think both sides were looking to the Supreme Court for a decision that would resolve these battles. So it does have implications beyond Texas.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A sense just quickly, Marcia, of Scalia’s absence. Has that now — how does it feel, I guess I’m asking, in the court?

    MARCIA COYLE: It’s very noticeable because he always was a very dominant figure during the questioning.

    And certainly on the culture war issues, including abortion, his voice was always heard. He also didn’t believe that Roe v. Wade was constitutional. So, I think he clearly would have been on the side of Texas in upholding these regulations.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Marcia Coyle in the courtroom, once again, thank you.

    MARCIA COYLE: My pleasure, Judy.

    GWEN IFILL: Now we get opposing views from two people who were also in the room for today’s arguments, first Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, which challenged the Texas law.

    Ms. Richards, part of the discussion in the courtroom today was about undue burden, about whether what the Texas law was allowing would place undue burden on women seeking abortions. How did that play out for you, for your argument?

    CECILE RICHARDS, President, Planned Parenthood: Well, I thought it was very clear, and particularly the solicitor general made a very good point. He just put it quite succinctly. He said, if a woman has a right that she can’t exercise, it really isn’t a right.

    And I think the case that was made about what’s happened to women in Texas, particularly women who live in rural areas, who live in areas that are not covered or are hundreds of miles away from an abortion provider, that is an undue burden.

    And I think on the flip side, too, the state was completely unable to make the case that there was any medical benefit at all to women with the new restrictions that have been put in place.

    GWEN IFILL: Justice Kennedy expressed some doubt today during these arguments about whether this shouldn’t just be bounced back to the lower court. What effect would that have on your argument?

    CECILE RICHARDS: Well, I don’t know — there’s obviously a very — now that there’s only eight justices on the court, I think there are a lot of different things that could happen.

    But the women in Texas that are suffering right now, I think it’s really important that this law be overturned, because we see at Planned Parenthood every day the burdens that women face to access safe and legal abortion care.

    As we know, dozens of centers have closed in the state of Texas already, and I think it’s time we actually restore access in the state. So I hope that, actually, that the judges will hear, I think, the voices of women, which to me were very present in the room today, in the courtroom today, and rule that this is an unconstitutional law and one that needs to be overturned.

    GWEN IFILL: But if there is a 4-4 decision with the case, the court as it is currently configured, that would be a defeat for you, wouldn’t it, upholding the previous law?

    CECILE RICHARDS: It would be a defeat for the women of Texas, absolutely.

    And I really hope that’s not what happens. I think that the lawyers made a very compelling case, and the justices were quite compelling about what the burden has been on women. And you know, the state has made — somehow made — tried to make the argument that this was for the benefit of women’s health.

    But, in fact, every reputable national medical organization, from the American Medical Association to the obstetricians and gynecologists, to family physicians, have said not only are these laws not beneficial for women’s health, they do nothing to help women, they actually are harming women, because women are delaying care and making it much harder, particularly for women who are low-income in the state of Texas, to get access to a safe and legal abortion.

    GWEN IFILL: You have alluded a couple of times to the burden on women, the women of Texas.

    Give me some examples of exactly what would happen or what has happened to women seeking abortions in these areas of the state which now don’t have those facilities.

    CECILE RICHARDS: Well, we have already seen a report out of Texas that tens of thousands of women have tried to self-induce abortions.

    And I think that is — for anyone in this country who remembers the days before Roe vs. Wade, when young and healthy women were dying in emergency rooms across this country…

    GWEN IFILL: How do we know that has to do with this law, though?

    CECILE RICHARDS: The fact that women — because they haven’t been able to get access to care.

    And I will give you an example. I was just actually in Fort Worth, Texas, this weekend, and a young woman came up to me. And, fortunately, she was able to get care, but she said she had to drive 400 miles because she lived in deep West Texas, and there was no other provider.

    Even the state today admitted that the lack of a health care provider in El Paso meant women were driving to other states. And I think one of the things, Gwen, that didn’t come up today, but I think is really important, is this case is not just about Texas, because we’re already seeing in the state of Louisiana a similar law that is causing now the closure of other women’s health centers in Louisiana.

    Ironically, women have been driving from Texas to Louisiana to have access to an abortion provider. Now, if you end access in Louisiana and Texas, and then soon Mississippi, you’re talking about a whole area of the country where potentially women will not have access to abortion services.

    GWEN IFILL: It’s been a while since we have seen an abortion debate at the high court. How does this compare to, say, the partial-birth abortion ban debate in 2007?

    CECILE RICHARDS: Well, I think two things that were really striking to me.

    One, of course, is that the state has argued that this is somehow to benefit women’s health. And I think it was clearly stated today there is zero evidence that in fact it is about women’s health, and it actually has been devastating for women.

    The other thing that really struck me was the difference of having three women on the Supreme Court. I think that all the justices obviously are important in that court, but it really makes a difference to begin to have a court that more reflects the diversity of this country, and I think women who can really speak from a woman’s point of view, just how impactful these kind of laws that specifically target women and women’s access to health care, how impactful they are.

    And I was really grateful to have the women’s voices in the room.

    GWEN IFILL: Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, thank you.

    CECILE RICHARDS: Good to see you, Gwen.

    GWEN IFILL: And now the other side.

    Clarke Forsythe is acting president and senior counsel for the anti-abortion rights group Americans United for Life.

    I was just asking Cecile Richards from Planned Parenthood about the undue burden argument. That’s the argument in which they are challenging whether this law, this Texas law should be upheld — what — or overruled.

    What do you think about the argument that there is an undue burden being placed on women?

    CLARKE FORSYTHE, Senior Counsel, Americans United for Life: There is no undue burden.

    These are very important medical regulations, very important health and safety regulations. There have to be ambulatory surgical treatment standards. And you would want every clinic to meet those standards.

    Every part of those standards has a medical logic and a grounding in medical practice. Dr. Donna Campbell was a state senator who testified in support of these regulations in the Texas Senate, 23 years an emergency room physician, and she testified to the medical logic behind every part of the ambulatory surgical standards, ASC standards.

    There is also an absolute medical logic behind admitting privileges. It involves continuity of care between the performing surgeon and the receiving surgeon in any hospital if there are complications.

    You wouldn’t want to go to a clinic that didn’t meet ASC standards. You wouldn’t want to go to a clinic in which the doctor didn’t have admitting privileges. I wouldn’t want my wife or one of my five daughters to go to any clinic that didn’t meet these standards.

    GWEN IFILL: Is the argument before the court about medical logic or medical standards, or is it about access for rights that women under the Constitution or under the laws that currently exist already have?

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: There is no right to an unsafe abortion.

    Access doesn’t mean anything if it’s not safe, and you have safety for patients by meeting medical standards. These are pervasive. ASC standards are pervasive across the country. The real question in this case is, why are these generally applicable longstanding standards not applicable to abortion clinics?

    And the Supreme Court for 43 years since Roe vs. Wade has never allowed states to pass health and safety regulations in the first trimester, when 90 percent are done. This is a landmark case, because the has not permitted that. The court is the national abortion control board.

    They control standards in every clinic, in every state from coast to coast, and they have never allowed health and safety regulations in the first trimester. This is a landmark case.

    GWEN IFILL: How different is the — are the options now for you with a 4-4 court with Justice Scalia’s absence? Does it change what you expect the outcome to be?

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: Well, based on what I heard in the courtroom today, I think the most likely result is a 4-4 split.

    This has happened before in an abortion case during the Bork vacancy, before Justice Kennedy was confirmed in 1988. And a 4-4 split means the lower court’s decision is what is called affirmed by an equally divided court.

    It means the lower court’s decision stands, and in this case…

    GWEN IFILL: Which would be a victory for you.

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: And in this case, a victory for Texas, a victory for patient care in Texas, but it wouldn’t have applicability to any other state.

    And so most likely, the court would have to revisit this issue in 2017 or 2018.

    GWEN IFILL: Justice Kennedy was apparently musing aloud today in the court about the possibility of just sending this back to the lower court again.

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: That’s a possibility.

    But if Justice Kennedy scrupulously applies his 2007 opinion in Gonzales vs. Carhart for five justices, he will uphold these standards, because you don’t get two bites at the apple to make claims and then repeatedly make claims.

    The clinics had all the time in the world to make their claims and all the time in the world to put their facts in about the burden of these things, and they failed to.

    GWEN IFILL: The 2007 — I just want to clear it up — the 2007 decision you just referred to is the partial-birth abortion ban.

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: Yes.

    GWEN IFILL: How different is the situation now, in 2016, than it was in 2007, when the court acted on that?

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: Well, if the court scrupulously applies the standards in 2007, they should uphold these regulations.

    But this is a unique case, because it’s the first time the court has had a solid record of facts on — in protecting maternal health. And the court has never had that before. I was hoping — I hope it’s eye-opening for the court to see the need for health and safety regulations, the short-term and long-term risks, and the fact that access doesn’t mean anything if you have got substandard conditions and substandard providers.

    And that’s why these standards are so important.

    GWEN IFILL: Clarke Forsythe, president, acting president of Americans United for Life, thank you very much.

    CLARKE FORSYTHE: Thanks, Gwen.

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    A passenger walks past a TV screen broadcasting a news report on North Korea's long range rocket launch at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Kim Hong-Ji/Reuters

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, as we reported earlier, the United Nations Security Council unanimously approved new sanctions against North Korea this morning. The sanctions would affect many sectors of North Korea’s economy, and were designed to further limit its nuclear program after another bomb test in January and a missile launch last month.

    The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, was instrumental in getting these sanctions approved. And she joins me now.

    Ambassador Power, welcome to the program.

    This is, as you know, a notoriously defiant regime. Why will these sanctions move them in any useful way?

    SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. Ambassador to the UN: Well, they are, as you indicated, the toughest and most comprehensive sanctions ever imposed on North Korea, of course, but also the toughest imposed by the U.N. in more than 20 years.

    And, indeed, there are measures in this package of sanctions that have never been done in the whole history of the U.N. So, for starters, we have turned the dial up not just a notch, but many, many, many, many notches.

    And the degree of isolation, the degree — the impediments to them actually pursuing the technology, the know-how, the money, so many channels that they have been using to evade prior sanctions regimes have now been cut off with this resolution.

    And we’re hopeful, also, Judy, that — you know, China went along with this resolution, with these unprecedented measures. And I think that’s a measure of China’s frustration with the regime. And it’s its own signal, on top of the practical effect of these sanctions. A very important message has been sent, not only by the international community, but by North Korea’s very influential neighbor, and, of course, by the United States.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, the U.S. is confident that China is going to be every bit as aggressive as these sanctions spell out in enforcing these?

    And I want to ask you about that, because some of the terms here sound like they’re very difficult to implement. Inspecting all the goods that go into and come out of North Korea, how do you do that?

    SAMANTHA POWER: Well, each country is going to have to come up with its own inspection regime. That’s why you’re right to point to the fact that every member state has a responsibility to do this in as airtight a way as possible.

    Be just to signal the contrast between where are now, as of today’s resolution, vs. where we were yesterday, yesterday, in order for a state to have an obligation to inspect cargo going into or out of DPRK, they actually had to have credible information that there was something traveling in that cargo that had a nexus with a ballistic missile program or a nuclear weapons program.

    That’s a bit of a needle in a haystack. It’s hard to get intelligence of that granularity and then get it to people who might inspect in time. Now the presumption has totally shifted, where all cargo going into the DPRK is suspected, frankly, of being used to service this program, which they have advanced over the years, and every country is now going to have to put in place mechanisms to ensure that that cargo gets looked at.

    And we will have means of assessing whether or not states are in compliance, and we will of course increase the political costs and bring to the sanctions committee and so forth anybody who seems to be deviating from the requirements of the new resolution.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And what will the measure be of whether these sanctions are working?

    SAMANTHA POWER: Well, that’s a great question.

    I think, for starters, as I mentioned, the resolution is about actually blocking stuff coming into North Korea and blocking their ability to traffic in coal, in iron ore, in gold, and to use those proceeds in order to again acquire technologies, dual-use and just straight-up technologies that they have used to advance the program.

    So there is just almost an incapacitation function. And when we see that it’s harder for them to acquire materials, that they can’t advance their program in the same way, that is going to be one sign that the resolution is biting.

    The other, of course, and the ultimate objective here is for them to come to the negotiating table, but not just come to want to talk about whatever is on their agenda — and they have a few things they would like to talk about — but to talk about denuclearization, to talk about irreversible, complete, verifiable denuclearization.

    And that is something they have not been prepared to talk about in more than 10 years.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I want to ask you quickly about one or two other important international issues.

    And one has to do with Syria, the recent cessation of hostilities agreement. It’s been reported there’s now been a number of violations, including by the Assad regime using chemical weapons in recent days. Assuming that is true, how much is the United States prepared to tolerate from whether it’s Assad or any of the other parties in order to say that this — before you say, frankly, that this agreement isn’t working?

    SAMANTHA POWER: Well, much like the resolution we passed today on North Korea, we have, over the course of the last year, done something very concrete on chemical weapons, not only removing and destroying the declared chemical weapons program by the regime, but also creating an accountability mechanism where the OPCW and the U.N. go out and actually investigate allegations of the kind that we saw made by, again, some high-level public comments.

    We ourselves are looking into the report of chlorine use. It wouldn’t be the first time, if the regime had used chlorine, but it would be in blatant violation of the cessation of hostilities, and it would be something that we would expect Russia, as the backer of the Syrian regime, to hold the regime accountable for and to make sure that that practice stopped, as we then pursued accountability for any perpetrator of such an attack.

    But, again, we can’t confirm it. What we do know is that there have been other forms of violations, attacks in the northwestern part of the country. And, you know, this is not a perfect environment for a cessation of hostilities. We don’t have a big monitoring presence on the ground. We don’t have a political agreement, where a cessation of hostilities accompanies a political agreement.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    SAMANTHA POWER: So we never expected it was going be perfect, but I think this U.S./Russia/ISSG — so-called ISSG channel — is where we seek to in a way adjudicate these things and then get those who back the parties to put pressure on the parties to get them to stop.

    I do think there has been a reduction in violence that’s noteworthy, because it also helps us get humanitarian assistance in. But we have got to see a more sustained cessation of hostilities and these violations stop, if this thing is to give us the momentum we need for the political track.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Very question, final question on the refugees pouring or trying to get into Europe from the Middle East.

    We have been telling their story day after day. As you know, the top U.S. general of NATO, Philip — General Philip Breedlove, said the other day that he believes that ISIS is now spreading, in his words, like a cancer among these refugees. Is that your understanding of what’s going on now?

    SAMANTHA POWER: Well, I mean, I think that, certainly, we have seen, you know, ISIS turning up in European cities. We have seen the Paris attacks.

    There is a lot of homegrown extremism, people who are first-generation who have been born in European countries who have taken to extremism. I think what’s important is that the systems that we have to process people, most of whom, the vast, vast, vast majority of whom, are just in desperate need of refuge, that the systems we have are sufficient to actually being able — be able to run fingerprint checks, you know, look into backgrounds and so forth.

    And that’s the great disadvantage of this flood is, it’s been much harder for Europe to manage than, for instance, our program, where we’re able to actually deliberate over these refugee files for 18 months to make sure we get it right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we’re going to leave it there.

    We very much appreciate your talking with us.

    SAMANTHA POWER: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Samantha Power.

    SAMANTHA POWER: Thank you.

    The post What are the impacts of the UN’s North Korean sanctions? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Japanese ambassador Motohide Yoshikawa speaks to the press with U.S. Ambassador Samantha Power (R) and South Korean ambassador Oh Joon (L) following the United Nations Security Council passing a resolution that tightened existing restrictions on North Korea at the United Nations Headquarters in New York March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid - RTS8ZQU

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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: Front-runners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump take Super Tuesday by storm — what this means for the parties and the rest of the presidential race.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Also ahead this Wednesday: The Supreme Court hears its first abortion case in nine years, a law that could add toughening restrictions to clinics in Texas and beyond.

    GWEN IFILL: Then, we talk with the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, about the toughest sanctions yet on North Korea.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Plus: Astronaut Scott Kelly returns home after spending nearly a year in space, a record for an American astronaut.

    SCOTT KELLY, NASA Astronaut: On one hand, I look forward to going home, but it’s something that has been such a big part of my life. And I’m going to miss it.

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

    (BREAK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news, the U.N. Security Council approved the toughest sanctions on North Korea in 20 years. It’s punishment for nuclear and missile tests earlier this year.

    The sanctions will mandate inspections of all cargo shipped to and from North Korea by land, sea or air. They also freeze financial assets and cut off weapons sales to what’s officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The vote was unanimous, with U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Samantha Power saying existing sanctions don’t go far enough.

    SAMANTHA POWER, U.S. Ambassador to the UN: That is why the resolution we have just adopted is so much tougher than any prior North Korea resolution. We have studied the ways the DPRK has been able to exploit gaps and evade measures aimed at impeding its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs . And we have put in place new measures to fill those gaps one by one.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We will speak with Ambassador Power later in the program.

    GWEN IFILL: For the first time, the U.S. military has captured a significant Islamic State leader in Iraq. It’s widely reported he was seized last month by a special operations unit that recently deployed. The group’s mission is to disrupt ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Officials have not released the militant leader’s identity.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Pressure built on the Balkan states today to let more migrants move north from Greece. Macedonia did let 170 people cross its border, but many thousands more are still stranded.

    James Mates of Independent Television News is there:

    JAMES MATES: The door has finally opened, albeit just a crack, a few Syrian and Iraqi families with young children today allowed from Greece into Macedonia, 14-year-old Ribhan and her 8-old sister, Rezan, among the first to pass through this tiny door to what they hope is a new life.

    How many days have you been waiting in the camp?

    GIRL: Ten.

    JAMES MATES: Ten days? And where do you want to go to now?

    GIRL: Germany.

    JAMES MATES: From the other side of the fence, those not getting through watched and shouted their frustrations.

    WOMAN: Be merciful for all those people. We are not terrorists.

    CROWD: Open! Open!

    JAMES MATES: The prime minister of Slovakia, one of the countries on the refugee route, had come to see how his policemen were helping to block the passage north.

    This has been the first movement through this border post for 48 hours or so. Whether it’s part of a change of police or simply connected to this official visit, we will find out soon enough. But, either way, the flow is barely a trickle, while the numbers still arriving in Greece resemble a flood, more than 2,000 a day, many today making their way through fields towards this same crowded camp.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: As of today, some 30,000 people are now waiting in Greece for the chance to move north.

    GWEN IFILL: Another piece of a long-missing Malaysia Airlines flight may have been found. It turned up on Mozambique over the weekend. That’s thousands of miles from Flight 370’s last known coordinates, before it vanished two years ago. So far, the only confirmed trace of the plane is a part of one wing. It was found last year on another island off Africa.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Indonesia was spared major damage today from a powerful earthquake. It had a magnitude of 7.8 and was centered 400 miles off Sumatra. Police in the coastal city of Padang initially issued tsunami warnings and evacuated a hospital. But, in the end, residents were largely unaffected.

    GWEN IFILL: And Wall Street managed modest gains. The Dow Jones industrial average was up 34 points to close just short of 16900. The Nasdaq rose nearly 14 points, and the S&P 500 added eight.

    Still to come on the “NewsHour”: the first major abortion case in a decade is heard at the Supreme Court; charting the path to the White House after Super Tuesday; Donald Trump and the future of the Republican Party; and much more.

    The post News Wrap: UN approves tough sanctions against North Korea for nuclear tests appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Ground personnel help U.S. astronaut Scott Kelly to get out of a Soyuz capsule shortly after landing near the town of Dzhezkazgan (Zhezkazgan), Kazakhstan, March 2, 2016. REUTERS/Kirill Kudryavtsev/Pool - RTS8VED

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    GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight: what’s it like to live in space for a year.

    That’s what astronaut Scott Kelly has been doing on the International Space Station. It’s the focus of a special on PBS tonight called “A Year in Space.”

    Scott Kelly was actually up there for 340 days before he descended by capsule into Kazakstan yesterday. It was the longest any American has been in space, and part of an effort to see how the body and mind fare over time.

    NASA hopes to get astronauts to Mars in another two decades. And it will take 2.5 years to get there. Throughout his mission, Scott Kelly has circled the Earth more than 5,400 times, traveling 143 million miles and witnessed thousands of sunrises, sunsets and other incredible views.

    We have put together our own compilation of some of what Kelly’s seen and said from start to finish.

    MAN: Do you consider yourself and Mikhail pathfinders of sorts?

    SCOTT KELLY, NASA Astronaut: Sure. I guess you could use that term, but I think we all are, you know, all the crew members over the last 15 years and even those who came before that.

    You know, flying in space is a process. Exploring space is a process that you take step by step. So, you know, on one hand, you know, Misha and I might be at the front of that right now because we have spent, you know, a pretty significant amount of time up here, but that in no way takes away from anything that all the previous folks have done, you know, towards that future goal of going to Mars.

    You know, I’m a big believer in what we’re doing here. I believe in the importance of flying in space. And, you know, the research we do, I believe in exploration, and I will miss being on the front lines of that endeavor, I guess.

    You know, on the one hand, I look forward to going home, but it’s something that has been a big part of my life, and I’m going to miss it.

    You know, you definitely have a different perspective on the Earth and things that happen down there. I keep probably more in touch with what’s going on, on Earth when I’m in space than when I’m actually on Earth.

    And you definitely have a sense of — a heightened sense of empathy and also, you know, notice, you know, the effects of our presence on the planet. It makes you somewhat, if you weren’t already, an environmentalist, and, you know, definitely a feeling that we need to take care of it.

    GWEN IFILL: Just spectacular.

    You can watch more about Scott Kelly’s mission tonight. “A Year in Space” airs on PBS stations.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All I can say is wow.

    The post Astronaut’s record orbit concludes with safe return appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    File photo of the Jan. 28 Republican debate held by Fox News. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    File photo of the Jan. 28 Republican debate held by Fox News. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — And then there were four.

    Ben Carson’s departure from the GOP presidential race means the quartet of remaining Republicans on the debate stage Thursday night get more time for attacks as Donald Trump treads a path to the GOP nomination and his three rivals try to trip him up. Cheered on by many Republican leaders, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and John Kasich are racing the primary clock to March 15, likely their last chance to stop Trump in a series of winner-take-all contests.

    Some things to watch Thursday night as the candidates meet at 9 p.m. EST for the Fox News Channel debate in Detroit:

    ___

    HE WHO WAS NOT NAMED

    Love him or loathe him, Trump has taught the poohbahs of the Republican Party what a power grab really is — and he’s done it by winning over large swaths of the GOP’s own core supporters far from Washington. His wobbling over whether to disavow the support of former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke finally gave the Republican leaders of Congress a way to go after the billionaire publicly — without uttering Trump’s name. Trump responded by saying House Speaker Paul Ryan would have to get along with a President Trump or pay some sort of “big price.” On the eve of the debate, Ryan’s office confirmed that Trump’s campaign had contacted the speaker’s staff in a first sign of outreach. Notably, Trump has started talking about unifying the GOP. Look for Trump to be asked about the existential rift in the party and how he expects to govern.

    ___

    RUBIO, RUDE? TRUMP, TOO?

    The Florida senator who once insisted on staying above the scuffling has leapt right into it, emulating Trump’s schoolyard-taunting style.

    At campaign events in the past week, Rubio made sometimes crude jokes about everything from Trump’s tan to the size of his hands — he even suggested that the billionaire wet his pants at the last debate. Look for whether a newly confident Rubio, emboldened by his first primary win in Minnesota Tuesday, keeps it up or takes a more statesmanlike approach.

    And what to expect from Trump? “I can’t act overly presidential because I’m going to have people attacking from every side. A very good man, Ben Carson’s not there anymore, so now we’re going to have more time for the fighting,” he said. “When people are hitting you from different angles, from all different angles, unfortunately you have to hit back. I would have a very, very presidential demeanor when I win, but until such time, you have to hit back,” he told NBC on Thursday.

    ___

    CRUZ’S STAND

    Thanks to Rubio’s win Tuesday, Cruz can no longer say he’s the only Republican who has shown he can beat Trump. But he won three states on Super Tuesday — Alaska, Oklahoma and his home state of Texas. And the delegate math shows that Cruz is emerging as the candidate who might stop Trump. Look for some confidence from Cruz, because on Super Tuesday alone he came close to Trump. For the night, Trump won at least 237 delegates and Cruz won at least 209. Rubio was a distant third with at least 94.

    Even Sen. Lindsey Graham, who a week earlier joked at a dinner about killing Cruz, acknowledged on CBS that the Texas senator might be the party’s best hope to beat Trump.

    ___

    KASICH, STILL

    The debate setting is likely most helpful to Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is looking for a strong showing in Michigan in the state’s March 8 contest, to survive.

    __

    FOX AND TRUMP, FRENEMIES

    Trump has uttered barely a peep about the fact that Fox News Channel is hosting the debate, and that his sometime-nemesis Megyn Kelly, is one of the moderators.

    This is a marked change from the upheaval that led to Trump boycotting Fox’s debate just before the leadoff Iowa caucuses. Trump had demanded that Kelly be removed; Fox refused and Trump headed a few miles away to host his own event.

    He later said that could have been one of the reasons he lost Iowa to Cruz.

    Trump has not tweeted about Kelly in weeks. In an interview with the Associated Press this week, Kelly said she thinks Trump has more confidence now.

    “He knows he can handle me. He can handle any interviewer,” she said.

    ___

    REMEMBER BEN CARSON?

    Kelly said he wouldn’t have gotten much attention even if he had stuck around for the debate. Fox will concentrate its questions on Trump, Cruz and Marco Rubio — making for potentially awkward moments for Kasich.

    ___

    Associated Press writer David Bauder contributed to this report from New York.

    The post Viewer’s Guide: GOP debate about Trump vs. everyone else appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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  • 03/03/16--10:16: What’s behind a unibrow?
  • A new study looks into the genetics behind unibrows and other hairy facial features.  Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images

    A new study looks into the genetics behind unibrows and other hairy facial features. Photo by Popperfoto/Getty Images

    Sometimes it seems like hair does everything except what you want it to do. A new study of the genes behind balding, hair curliness and other hair conditions could help explain why hair sometimes sprouts between our eyebrows, turns gray, thins in a pattern, or grows on our chins.

    Geneticists at University College London performed a genome-wide association study of more than 6,000 Latin American individuals. They evaluated the subjects for seven different hair features — curliness, color, graying, balding, unibrow, brow thickness and beard thickness — and then scanned the genome looking for single-letter changes that correlated with these traits.

    Their report, published Tuesday in Nature Communications, found 18 regions of interest, 10 of which were new to science. Some regions were found to influence more than one trait, but most regions were specific to one of the hair qualities studied.

    Further research will be needed to zero in on the individual genes in question. “The genome-wide association study basically shows you landmarks, hot spots, regions of activity,” points out Rui Yi, a developmental biology professor at the University of Colorado, who was not involved in the study. “But you don’t know which nucleotide is creating that activity.”

    An overview of the study’s findings, connecting seven different hair features with the genetic regions that contribute to their appearance. Photo by Kaustubh Adhikari, Emiliano Bellini, Andres Ruiz-Linares

    An overview of the study’s findings, connecting seven different hair features with the genetic regions that contribute to their appearance. Photo by Kaustubh Adhikari, Emiliano Bellini, Andres Ruiz-Linares

    Identifying these genes could in theory help researchers develop ways to stop unwanted hair growth, and to promote hair growth when and where we want it.

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on March 1, 2016. Find the original story here.

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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump, with former rival candidate Governor Chris Christie (L) at his side, speaks about the results of Super Tuesday primary and caucus voting during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida March 1, 2016. Photo by Scott Audette/Reuters

    Donald Trump, with former rival candidate Gov. Chris Christie at his side, speaks about the results of Super Tuesday during a news conference in Palm Beach, Florida. Photo by Scott Audette/Reuters

    TRENTON, N.J. — Republican Gov. Chris Christie said Thursday that he won’t heed calls for his resignation and will continue helping Donald Trump’s GOP presidential campaign.

    He defended his endorsement of the billionaire developer as two former Republican presidential nominees and 70 national security experts warned that Trump was unfit to be commander in chief.

    Christie, who ended his own Republican presidential campaign last month, tried to steer the conversation at the news conference back to his priorities in New Jersey but agreed to answer questions from reporters. He laughed off questions about his seemingly shell-shocked gaze as he stood beside Trump on Super Tuesday and said he was merely listening as the candidate spoke.

    “I don’t know what I was supposed to be doing. All these armchair psychiatrists should give it a break,” Christie said.

    Christie said he will continue helping Trump’s Republican presidential campaign but doesn’t have any appearances scheduled. Christie added that his 30th wedding anniversary is next week, but he is otherwise focused on state priorities, including a budget due in June.

    Seven New Jersey newspapers have called on Christie to resign. The Star-Ledger, which endorsed Christie in his 2013 re-election campaign, said he has since made it clear that governing the state is a “distant second priority” that comes behind his personal ambition. Six newspapers published by Gannett also called for his resignation.

    Christie said he isn’t surprised by the newspapers’ stance because they haven’t supported him in the past.

    Defending his endorsement, Christie said he believes Trump would make the best president out of the candidates remaining and has the best chance to defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Christie also noted that despite jokes from online commenters, he wasn’t being held hostage or forced into giving any coerced statements on Trump’s behalf Tuesday night.

    “This is part of the hysteria of the people who opposed my Trump endorsement,” Christie said.

    Christie said he plans to finish out his term and then go into the private sector.

    He did shoot one question down Thursday. When a reporter asked, “If you were Trump’s VP pick, would you resign?” he replied, “Next!”

    The post Christie says he won’t resign, will keep supporting Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Left (Central African Republic): "Teacher." In 2013, before the conflict broke out, 67% of children in CAR were attending school. Nowadays, they are much less : it is estimated that 1.4 million children have not yet made their way to school again.  Right (Central African Republic): "Nurse." Only the organization Doctors Without Borders brings health care to the displaced families living within the enclave. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Central African Republic): “Teacher.” In 2013, before the conflict broke out, 67% of children in CAR were attending school. Nowadays, they are much less: it is estimated that 1.4 million children have not yet made their way to school again. Right (Central African Republic): “Nurse.” Only the organization Doctors Without Borders brings health care to the displaced families living within the enclave. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    The little boy said he wanted to be a soldier.

    Vincent Tremeau, a photographer based in Dakar, Senegal, who was working at the time in the Central African Republic, was surprised by the answer. A civil war that began in December 2012 has brought destruction to the country, killing thousands and displacing a quarter of the country’s population. He wouldn’t have thought that the boy wanted to grow up to fight.

    Tremeau was photographing the child as part of a new project, “One Day, I Will,” based around the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” He asked children to dress as their chosen profession, in outfits made from whatever materials they had.

    He first thought of the idea for the project while on a different assignment in the Central African Republic, he said. During that trip, he was constantly flanked by children, sometimes 60 at a time, who were fascinated by his camera. “I asked the people if these children were going to school, and what’s the situation for them, and they told me that the school had been destroyed a year ago … and [they] didn’t get any education, at least at school,” he said.

    Tremeau began talking to the children about what they have experienced during the war in conversations that sometimes became too emotionally taxing to continue. “They told me so many horrible things that we stopped the interview,” he said. “It was too difficult for them.”

    So instead of the present, he began to ask them what they wanted to grow up to do. He asked them to use whatever props they had to demonstrate their ideal profession and continued the project with children he met on subsequent trips to Mali, Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

    Left (Central African Republic): "Electrician." Right (Central African Republic): "Soldier." Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Central African Republic): “Electrician.”
    Right (Central African Republic): “Soldier.” Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    The answers range from teacher to doctor, nurse, electrician or driver. But some of the answers — particularly those from Mali, Congo and the Central African Republic, each of which has experienced recent military conflict — also reveal the toll that war has taken on their lives. The boy who wanted to be a soldier told him that he wanted to grow up to fight the soldiers that had killed his brother. Another who said he wanted to fight because he had had to flee his village 12 times. “If you don’t take care of the children today, you can be sure that they will keep [these] psychological issues inside of them and this will have an impact on the next generation,” Tremeau said.

    Tremeau, who is posting a different photograph from the project each day on Instagram, said the project reveals the importance of making education accessible and affordable for children. “Everything starts from school,” he said. “It’s where you learn how to live together, it’s where you learn how to think, to be entrepreneurial. If you don’t go to school, you don’t have the fundamental basis to start your life.”

    The project is also a glimpse at the future, he said. “This project is to show that it’s really important to be very careful about these youth, because they are the next generation, they are the next leaders,” he said.

    Check out more of Tremeau’s work below.

    Left (Mali): David Kamaté, 9. "I want to be Président of Mali, because it is a good job, and there is a lot of money in it," he said. "I would work well for my country." Right (Mali): Yakouba Senou, 11, wants to be a science teacher. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Mali): David Kamaté, 9. “I want to be Président of Mali, because it is a good job, and there is a lot of money in it,” he said. “I would work well for my country.”
    Right (Mali): Yakouba Senou, 11, wants to be a science teacher. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Niger): Rajikou Ibrahima wants to be a mechanic. "I want to be a mechanic, because in my village there isn’t any. To fix cars, you have to go to Tahoua which is 35 kilometres away from my village," he said. Right (Niger): Nana Farida Saidou wants to be a journalist. "One day I would like to be a journalist to broadcast information on everything that is going on in my country to the general public," she said. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Niger): Rajikou Ibrahima wants to be a mechanic. “I want to be a mechanic, because in my village there isn’t any. To fix cars, you have to go to Tahoua which is 35 kilometres away from my village,” he said.
    Right (Niger): Nana Farida Saidou wants to be a journalist. “One day I would like to be a journalist to broadcast information on everything that is going on in my country to the general public,” she said. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Mali): Issouf Konaté, from Fakola village, wants to be a chicken farmer. "I want to be a chicken farmer, like my father, and also because I like chicken," he said. Right (Mali): Sekou, from Fakola Village, wants to be a doctor. "When I will study I want to be a doctor so I can cure people," he said. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Mali): Issouf Konaté, from Fakola village, wants to be a chicken farmer. “I want to be a chicken farmer, like my father, and also because I like chicken,” he said.
    Right (Mali): Sekou, from Fakola Village, wants to be a doctor. “When I will study I want to be a doctor so I can cure people,” he said. Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Congo): Chandi, 10, wants to be a basket maker. "Maybe I will get married with someone irresponsible, dirty or even alcoholic. So this baskets will help me. If I have to get married with such a husband, I will start selling my baskets to cover my children school expenses, and buy them food." Right (Congo): Georgine, 13, wants to be a journalist. "One day I will be a journalist, like my father who is working in a radio station. If there is visitors in my village, they will give me money and this will help me. My mom is a nurse in a health center nearby." Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

    Left (Congo): Chandi, 10, wants to be a basket maker. “Maybe I will get married with someone irresponsible, dirty or even alcoholic. So this baskets will help me. If I have to get married with such a husband, I will start selling my baskets to cover my children school expenses, and buy them food.”
    Right (Congo): Georgine, 13, wants to be a journalist. “One day I will be a journalist, like my father who is working in a radio station. If there is visitors in my village, they will give me money and this will help me. My mom is a nurse in a health center nearby.” Photos and caption by Vincent Tremeau

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

    The post ‘One Day, I Will’ project shows children’s ambitions in four African countries appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    DETROIT — Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio head into the 11th debate of the Republican presidential race Thursday in an ever-more urgent scramble to take down Donald Trump — with an ever-more nervous GOP establishment wishing them luck.

    Trump pronounced himself ready for his rivals to bring it on, batting away any suggestion of standing above the fray.

    “I can’t act overly presidential because I’m going to have people attacking from every side,” he said on NBC’s “Today” show. “A very good man, Ben Carson’s not there any more, so now we’re going to have more time for the fighting.”

    With Carson’s exit from the race this week, the field of Republican candidates has now been narrowed to four, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

    But any number of predictions that GOP voters would coalesce around one anti-Trump as the field narrowed have come and gone without a change in the overall dynamic.

    Trump, with 10 state victories, continues to dominate the conversation and the delegate count.

    That has GOP establishment figures gnashing their teeth over the prospect that it may soon be too late to stop Trump’s insurgent candidacy, and reviving talk of a brokered convention and an irreparably damaged Republican Party.

    Mitt Romney, the party’s 2012 nominee, on Thursday made a rare public appearance to denounce Trump as “a phony” who is “playing the American public for suckers.”

    That’s the same line of attack Rubio is pushing as he tries to emerge as Trump’s chief rival. Rubio dramatically shifted his tone in the last debate and unleashed a torrent of criticism on Trump.

    His sparring with Trump deteriorated into a weeklong series of tit-for-tat insults and taunts on everything from bed-wetting to bad tans.

    But for all of that, Rubio still came out of Super Tuesday’s 11-state round of voting with just one victory, in the Minnesota caucuses.

    In advance of Thursday’s debate, Rubio signaled his intent to continue his efforts to unmask Trump as a “con artist” who hasn’t laid out serious policy proposals.

    Turning the nomination over to Trump would mean the “end of the Republican Party,” Rubio claimed.

    A rejuvenated Cruz, with three Super Tuesday victories to showcase, is insisting that the “the campaign is now down to a two person race — me vs. Donald Trump,”

    Cruz is urging his GOP rivals to “prayerfully consider” dropping out of the race to give him a clear shot at the front-runner. Carson may be gone, but Cruz’ suggestion to drop out seems to be going nowhere with Rubio and Kasich.

    Rubio dismissed Cruz’ Super Tuesday trifecta as inconsequential and pinned his own hopes on a March 15 victory in his home state of Florida, which awards all 99 of its delegates to the winner.

    Kasich, meanwhile, said it’s important to “stop Mr. Trump” and argued that he’s the candidate best positioned to do that, by winning his home state of Ohio on March 15.

    Speaking to reporters in Detroit in advance of the debate, Kasich said that if he wins Ohio, the Republican primary will likely end with a contested convention in Cleveland.

    Thursday’s debate, sponsored by Fox News, is the first time Trump will face his rivals since scooping up seven victories on Super Tuesday.

    It’s also the first time he’ll face questioning from Fox News’ Megyn Kelly since the two clashed in the first primary debate. That’s when Kelly’s tough questioning about Trump’s treatment of women blew up into a running argument between Fox and the candidate. Trump, who dismissed Kelly as a “lightweight” and a “bimbo,” ended up boycotting a subsequent Fox debate, claiming the network was unfair.

    Trump has continued to pile up delegates during the long, and so far unsuccessful, effort to topple him.

    He leads the field with 319 delegates. Cruz has 226, Rubio 110 and Kasich 25. It takes 1,237 delegates to win the Republican nomination for president.

    Benac reported from Washington.

    The post Debate day: Trump’s ready for Rubio, Cruz to bring it on appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    President Barack Obama says he'll stay in Washington for a couple of years after leaving office so daughter Sasha can finish high school. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

    President Barack Obama says he’ll stay in Washington for a couple of years after leaving office so daughter Sasha can finish high school. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Republicans hoping to be rid of President Barack Obama will be disappointed when they hear what he told a lunch companion in Milwaukee.

    Obama says he’ll stick around Washington for a couple of years after leaving office so daughter Sasha can finish high school.

    Obama’s comment isn’t surprising. He hinted at that likelihood during a television interview with Barbara Walters in 2013.

    But Obama sounded more definitive about it Thursday in Milwaukee. The president had lunch there with a few people who wrote to tell him how they had benefited from the Affordable Care Act health care law. Obama signed the bill into law nearly six years ago.

    Obama commented during a portion of the lunch that was open to the news media. Microphones picked up his comments.

    The post Obama to stay local for Sasha to finish school appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange May 7, 2012. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq were little changed Monday, rebounding from steep losses early in the session after election results in Europe clouded the region's outlook as it grapples with a financial crisis. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS) - RTR31QGC related words: women, wall street, sexism, female traders

    Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Photo by Brendan McDermid/Reuters

    Editor’s Note: In the 1990s, Maureen Sherry was the youngest managing director at Bear Stearns. After 12 years on Wall Street, Sherry left, but she couldn’t shake her experience there. She was, after all, one of the few women in a field dominated by men — a field with a long history of overt sexism.

    Opening Belle by Maureen Sherry

    “Opening Belle” – Maureen Sherry

    For tonight’s Making Sen$e segment, economics correspondent Paul Solman sat down with Sherry to discuss her experience on Wall Street, glass ceilings and the steady stream of sexual harassment lawsuits in the field. Sherry eventually wrote a book about being a female trader on Wall Street, a fiction that follows the trials and tribulations of a character named Belle McElroy.

    As Sherry told Paul, “If you can’t get the story out of your head and can’t let it go, you have to put it to paper.”

    Below, we have a short excerpt from “Opening Belle.” For more on the topic, tune in to tonight’s Making Sen$e, which airs every Thursday on the PBS NewsHour.

    — Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor


    I’ve been to this holiday smackdown nine times. I know the drill: drink one glass of wine and lots of water. I’ll swerve around the room, chat up some partners I don’t speak with often, then head for the door and be gone — slipping on home to Bruce and our diaper-clad chaos.

    Steps from the entrance I instinctively pause, summoning a more impressive version of me, trying to get her to show up tonight. I stand taller, trying to find inner fabulousness, while I mentally tick off names of men, because they are all men, who will determine my fiscal year–end bonus. Which of the graying white guys on the executive committee have I not spoken with in the last few weeks, and how can I casually remind them of my biggest deals?

    A trading floor has everything to keep adrenal glands pumping cortisol: breaking news, tragedy, money, racism, sexism and a little less overt sex play than in the past.

    I rehearse before the curtains rise. I think potential drama through and summon a false calm, just the way I do when my four-year-old’s shrieks threaten to shatter glass. I search for that kind of counter-Zen that gets the men to lean forward and listen. Avoiding the hysterical-female role — the stereotype men I work with have of women — is the key. Staying cool and professional and never slipping into some gossiping, pretty-girl mode is a strategy that’s gotten me places.

    I mentally list the men with whom under any circumstances I shall not, will not, no matter what they can do for my bank account, dance with tonight. The inner caveman comes unleashed when all of us are together with an open bar and a closed stock market. I imagine every place of employment has a list of suspects to avoid at a party, but the problem with Feagin Dixon — or the problem with men making big money anywhere — is that they can get casual with wedding vows. It’s not that they don’t love their wives — I think they do — but the headiness of that money sucks the scruples right out of them. If ever there was a time of year these men are in heat, it’s now, just a few months before bonus season.

    The trading floor, the place most of us work, sets the stage for a mating dance. Daily. A grid of attached desks sits in a space a quarter the size of a football field. There are no walls and no cubicles to separate us. During work hours, everyone is either on the phone or flirting. A trading floor has everything to keep adrenal glands pumping cortisol: breaking news, tragedy, money, racism, sexism and a little less overt sex play than in the past. The blow-up dolls that floated around in the early nineties have been deflated, and the deliveries of erotic chocolates have ceased. As my closest friend, Elizabeth, says when she visits me at work, “I feel like you work in a nightclub.” She compares us to the technology start-up where she works and says that Wall Street’s just in a more evolved stage of lawlessness than her world.

    The post On Wall Street, an open bar and a closed stock market appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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