Quantcast
Loading...
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)
Loading...

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Loading...

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 771 | 772 | (Page 773) | 774 | 775 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0

    Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump sits with his wife Melania (R), awaiting the Iowa caucuses to begin at St Francis of Assisi church in West Des Moines, Iowa February 1, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg - RTX2504X

    Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump sits with his wife Melania, awaiting the Iowa caucuses to begin at St Francis of Assisi church in West Des Moines, Iowa on Feb. 1, 2016. Photo by Jim Bourg/Reuters

    NEW YORK — Donald Trump’s ability to attract white evangelical voters has confounded analysts.

    The reality television star and thrice-married Presbyterian has said he’s proud to be Christian, but he also has said he doesn’t repent to God for his sins, has flubbed Bible references and has referred to communion as “my little cracker.” He says he is firmly anti-abortion, but in the past has supported abortion rights.

    Still, he has won the support of a third of self-identified born-again Christians across the dozen or so states that have held GOP contests and where exit polls were conducted.

    What is the appeal for evangelicals, who comprise a large segment of the GOP? Here are a few of the many theories attempting to explain the vote:

    POLITICALLY INCORRECT

    After years of being on the losing side of the culture wars, on gay marriage and other issues, and amid fears of marginalization of people of faith, evangelicals are seeking protection, even from a candidate they may consider morally flawed, said David Kinnaman, president of the Barna Group, a research firm on trends in evangelicalism and other traditions.

    “They feel their faith convictions are being steamrolled,” Kinnaman said.

    In a January speech at evangelical Liberty University, Trump said, “We’re going to protect Christianity, and I can say that. I don’t have to be politically correct. We’re going to protect it.” And he promised, “If I become president, we’re gonna be saying Merry Christmas at every store. … You can leave ‘happy holidays’ at the corner.”

    NOMINAL EVANGELICALS

    According to this argument, evangelical support has been exaggerated because voters can identify themselves as born-again Christians in exit polls even if they’re not at all active in the faith or reject core conservative Christian beliefs. Surveys by the Pew Research Center and the Public Religion Research Institute indicate more frequent churchgoers are less likely to support Trump. Still, many evangelical leaders agree that Trump has surprised them by drawing a notable share of the conservative Christian vote.

    ALL BUSINESS

    American evangelicalism has a strong entrepreneurial streak. Many pastors have relied on the principles advocated by management guru Peter Drucker to build congregations. Marketing and branding are commonly used, and staff often have titles – such as chief operating officer – borrowed from the corporate world.

    Trump, a billionaire real estate developer, can appeal to this group in part on his business success. Last fall, he was prayed over by several prosperity gospel televangelists, whose views many evangelicals consider beyond the mainstream, but who still draw many followers.

    FAITH IN POLITICS?

    Evangelicals are in the midst of a major transition in how they approach politics. Religious-right institutions such as the Moral Majority, which emerged in the 1980s and ’90s, are shells of their former selves or have closed altogether. Few groups of influence have emerged to replace them.

    Many evangelicals are thrilled by the change. Millennials especially tend to blame the rhetoric of the religious right, on gay rights especially, for a trend among some in the general public to equate Christianity with bigotry. Young Christians with such concerns would be less likely to support Trump, but they do point to a movement in flux.

    What should be the new strategy? Depending on which church evangelicals attend, they may not have much guidance on how their beliefs should inform their involvement in public life.

    “Theologically, if you were to ask what’s the evangelical view of political theology, you can’t really get one,” said Bryan McGraw, a political scientist at evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois. “Institutionally, a lot of pastors have reacted to the excesses of the ’90s and 2000s by drawing back a little bit.”

    REAP/SOW

    According to this theory, evangelical leaders over the last few decades share part of the blame for conservative Christian support for Trump. After years of persuading evangelicals to seek political influence and power, Christians are now following that advice too closely, putting political interests ahead of their values.

    Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, said the anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant rhetoric from some evangelical leaders over the years has primed a segment of Christian conservatives to favor Trump. Trump has called Mexican immigrants criminals and rapists and said he wants to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the country.

    Cizik, who works to build relationships between Christians and Muslims, said the recent anti-Trump declarations from some prominent evangelicals “strike me as a little hollow.”

    “After all, how many of these leaders who signed these statements have come out before to speak against anti-Muslim bigotry in the past?” Cizik said. “Is there maybe just a little bit of hypocrisy here?”

    The post Trump’s ability to attract evangelical voters confounds analysts appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A man reacts at the site of a bomb attack that killed at least 60 people, mostly civilians, at a checkpoint in the city of Hillah, south of Baghdad, March 6, 2016.  Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    A man reacts at the site of a bomb attack that killed at least 60 people, mostly civilians, at a checkpoint in the city of Hillah, south of Baghdad, March 6, 2016. Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    At least 60 people are dead following the latest in a string suicide bombings in Iraq, a nation fighting the encroachment of the Islamic State and internal conflicts sometimes divided across sectarian lines.

    On Sunday, a suicide bomber driving a fuel truck packed with explosives barreled the vehicle through a security checkpoint about 65 miles south of Bagdad as long lines of cars and trucks waited to cross through the city of Hillah’s main gate, authorities said.

    Residents carry the body of a victim of a bomb attack at a checkpoint in the city of Hilla, south of Baghdad, March 6, 2016.  Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    Residents carry the body of a victim of a bomb attack at a checkpoint in the city of Hilla, south of Baghdad, March 6, 2016. Alaa Al-Marjani/Reuters

    Most of the people killed were civilians in what was the third suicide bombing during the last week alone in the embattled country. Dozens more were also injured.

    Witnesses described seeing crowds of people digging through a jumbled mass of debris and burning vehicles to search for survivors.

    “The blast has completely destroyed the checkpoint and its buildings,” Falah al-Khafaji, a security official at the scene told the Associated Press. “More than 100 cars have been damaged.”

    The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the bombing through a posting on the website of the Amaqa news agency, which supports the militant group.

    “A martyr’s operation with a truck bomb hit the Babylon Ruins checkpoint at the entrance of the city of Hilla, killing and wounding dozens,” ISIS said in a statement, according to Reuters.

    The militant group has killed nearly 200 people in Iraq since early February, including 78 more people killed Monday in a bustling suburban market south of Baghdad.

    The post At least 60 dead as suicide bombing strikes south of Baghdad appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    RonNancyboat1964

    Nancy and Ronald Reagan set sail aboard a boat in California in 1964. Photo courtesy of Reagan Presidential Library/U.S. National Archives

    On Sunday, California Gov. Jerry Brown ordered state capitol flags to be flown at half-staff to honor former first lady Nancy Reagan, who died at age 94 in Los Angeles.

    As the news permeated the nation, condolences and reflections of Reagan poured in reflecting on her strength of spirit, love for her husband and loyalty to the country.

    President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama

    U.S. President Barack Obama escorts former first lady Nancy Reagan to a signing ceremony for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act at the White House in Washington June 2, 2009. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    President Obama escorts the former first lady to a signing ceremony for the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission Act at the White House on June 2, 2009. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    “Nancy Reagan once wrote that nothing could prepare you for living in the White House. She was right, of course. But we had a head start, because we were fortunate to benefit from her proud example, and her warm and generous advice. Our former First Lady redefined the role in her time here.

    Later, in her long goodbye with President Reagan, she became a voice on behalf of millions of families going through the depleting, aching reality of Alzheimer’s, and took on a new role, as advocate, on behalf of treatments that hold the potential and the promise to improve and save lives.

    We offer our sincere condolences to their children, Patti, Ron, and Michael, and to their grandchildren. And we remain grateful for Nancy Reagan’s life, thankful for her guidance, and prayerful that she and her beloved husband are together again.”

    Former First Lady Barbara Bush

    “Nancy Reagan was totally devoted to President Reagan, and we take comfort that they will be reunited once more. George and I send our prayers and condolences to her family.”

    Former President George W. Bush 

    BEL AIR, UNITED STATES:  US President George W. Bush and Nancy Reagan share some private time together as the President and First Lady Laura Bush stopped by to pay their respects to Mrs. Reagan 12 August, 2004, at her home in Bel Air, California   AFP Photo/Paul J. Richards  (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

    Former President Bush and Reagan share some private time together at her home in Bel Air, California. Photo by Paul J. Richards/Getty Images

    “Laura and I are saddened by the loss of former first lady Nancy Reagan. Mrs. Reagan was fiercely loyal to her beloved husband, and that devotion was matched only by her devotion to our country. Her influence on the White House was complete and lasting. During her time as first lady and since, she raised awareness about drug abuse and breast cancer.

    When we moved into the White House, we benefited from her work to make those historic rooms beautiful. Laura and I are grateful for the life of Nancy Reagan, and we send our condolences to the entire Reagan family.”

    Former President Bill Clinton

    President Clinton waves with Reagan at a dedication ceremony of the new Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in May 2005 in Washington. Photo by Stephen Jaffe/Getty Images.

    President Clinton waves with Reagan at a dedication ceremony of the new Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center in May 2005 in Washington. Photo by Stephen Jaffe/Getty Images.

    “Hillary and I were deeply saddened to learn of Nancy Reagan’s passing. Nancy was an extraordinary woman: a gracious First Lady, proud mother, and devoted wife to President Reagan—her Ronnie. Her strength of character was legendary, particularly when tested by the attempted assassination of the President, and throughout his battle with Alzheimer’s.

    She leaves a remarkable legacy of good that includes her tireless advocacy for Alzheimer’s research and the Foster Grandparent Program. We join all Americans in extending our prayers and condolences to her beloved children and her entire family during this difficult time.”

    Michael Reagan, stepson

    Former President Jimmy Carter

    “President Reagan has been reunited with his wife and partner but America and the Reagan family have lost a woman of grace and strength. I join people from around the country and the world in sending them our best thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. A woman of strength and wit, Nancy Reagan’s dedication to our country was matched only by that of her husband. Theirs was one of our nation’s great love stories and a model of shared devotion to our country. America is stronger and better for their service.”

    Ted Cruz

    Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus

    “Nancy Reagan embodied what it means to represent America as First Lady and her dignified and warm demeanor inspired America. Mrs. Reagan will go down in history as a woman who left her own mark on the White House and our country. She was a longtime friend and supporter of many in our party, and will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Reagan family and all those who she so deeply touched over the years.”

    Chelsea Clinton

    Democratic National Committee

    “As we celebrate her life and legacy as a partner, confidant and advisor to President Reagan, and as a leader and philanthropist in her own right, we should also honor her passing by reflecting on the progress we can make when our elected officials work together across the aisle, as the Reagan administration did on issues ranging from immigration to nuclear arms control, making our people more prosperous and our nation more secure.”

    NASA

    Sen. Chuck Schumer

    “You didn’t have to be a Reagan Republican to admire and respect Nancy Reagan. She was a tower of strength alongside her husband, had strong beliefs, and was not afraid to chart her own course politically. She persuaded her husband to support the Brady Law, and their advocacy was instrumental in helping us pass it.”

    Mitt Romney

    Reagan poses with Mitt Romney before the start of the Ronald Reagan Centennial GOP Presidential Primary Candidates Debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library on September 7, 2011 in Simi Valley, California. The debate is sponsored by POLITICO and NBC News.   (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

    Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

    “With the passing of Nancy Reagan, we say a final goodbye to the days of Ronald Reagan. With charm, grace, and a passion for America, this couple reminded us of the greatness and the endurance of the American experiment.

    Some underestimate the influence of a First Lady but from Martha and Abigail through Nancy and beyond, these women have shaped policy, strengthened resolve, and drawn on our better angels. God and Ronnie have finally welcomed a choice soul home.”

    House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy

    The post ‘She touched the heart of a nation:’ Tributes pour in for Nancy Reagan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Florida Senator Marco Rubio addresses the crowd while campaigning in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2016. REUTERS/Alvin Baez - RTS9HLL

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Florida Senator Marco Rubio addresses the crowd while campaigning in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, March 5, 2016. Photo by Alvin Baez/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The Latest on the 2016 presidential campaign, with contests in Maine and Puerto Rico on Sunday and a Democratic debate in Flint, Michigan (all times Eastern Standard Time)

    5:45 p.m.

    Marco Rubio will collect all 23 of Puerto Rico’s delegates after posting a huge win in the U.S. territory. But he still lags far behind rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

    Like many states, Puerto Rico awards all the GOP delegates to a candidate who gets more than 50 percent of the vote. Rubio was well above that threshold in the Sunday contest.

    Based on updated results, Trump and John Kasich also picked up delegates in Vermont, which held its primary Tuesday.

    In the overall race for delegates, Trump has 384 and Cruz has 300. Rubio has 151 delegates and Kasich has 37.

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

    4:55 p.m.

    Hillary Clinton has added to her overall delegate lead after winning most of the delegates at stake in Saturday’s contests.

    Out of 109 delegates, she won 57 while Bernie Sanders picked up 52.

    Sanders won the Kansas and Nebraska caucuses, but his gains were overcome by Clinton’s large margin of victory in Louisiana.

    The two candidates are competing in the Maine caucuses on Sunday, where 25 delegates are up for grabs.

    Including superdelegates, Clinton now has 1,123 delegates and Sanders has 484. It takes 2,383 delegates to win.

    4:05 p.m.

    Florida Sen. Marco Rubio has won Puerto Rico’s Republican primary, his second win of the race for the GOP presidential nomination.

    It wasn’t clear how many delegates the contest awards him.

    The U.S. territory’s three super-delegates have committed to Rubio.

    If a candidate gets more than half the votes, he gets all the delegates. If no one gets half, the delegates are divided proportionally.

    In addition officials say the votes that some 6,000 inmates cast on Friday won’t be available until Wednesday.

    Rubio also won Minnesota.

    The post Rubio wins Puerto Rico GOP primary appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    At least 18 people drowned and hundreds were rescued on Sunday as they attempted to cross the Aegean Sea from Turkey into Greece, raising the total number of migrants who died along the treacherous route in the first two months of 2016 to more than 400.

    Roughly 4,000 people died last year under similar circumstances, many of them children.

    The drownings came as the European Union prepares for an emergency meeting this week to address the flow of migrants entering the region. Thousands of refugees are fleeing war and poverty across parts of the Middle East, Asia and Africa and many remain huddled in camps along Greece’s border with Macedonia.

    Migrants who are waiting to cross the Greek-Macedonian border scuffle to get a shipment of firewood near the village of Idomeni, Greece March 6, 2016. Marko Djurica/Reuters

    Migrants who are waiting to cross the Greek-Macedonian border scuffle to get a shipment of firewood near the village of Idomeni, Greece. the European Union and Turkey will hold a summit on Monday to address the refugee crisis. March 6, 2016. Marko Djurica/Reuters

    More than 1 million migrants entered Europe last year, but several Balkan countries have bolstered their borders to impede the surge in refugees, with many passing through to the wealthier northern countries of the EU. Macedonia has slowed to a trickle those allowed to pass through the country.

    Between 13,000 and 14,000 people are now located along the Greece-Macedonia border, while another 100,000 more are expected to enter Greece by the end of March, according to a statement made by an EU immigration official on Sunday.

    A migrant plays with a baby at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants waiting to cross the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, Greece March 6, 2016. Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters

    A migrant plays with a baby at a makeshift camp for refugees and migrants waiting to cross the Greek-Macedonian border, near the village of Idomeni, Greece March 6, 2016. Alexandros Avramidis/Reuters

    Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras has called for Europe assist with the large number of migrants. More than 2,000 are estimated to enter the country each day, with about 35,000 refugees overall now staying in Greece.

    “Europe is in the midst of a nervous crisis, primarily for reasons of political weakness,”Tsipras said. “It has to become completely clear that the immediate start of a process of relocation of refugees from our country to other states of the European Union is a matter of utmost urgency.”

    EU and Turkish officials will hold a summit this week starting on Monday in an effort to find a solution to the crisis.

    “This is the greatest refugee crisis we’ve faced since the second world war,” said David O’Sullivan, the EU ambassador to the United States, to the PBS NewsHour on Friday.

    The post 18 drown off coast of Turkey as EU prepares to meet on migrant crisis appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a mass at the Russell Street Baptist Church during a campaign stop in Detroit, Michigan, March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTS9JX0

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR: The eyes of the political world now turned particularly to Michigan, which holds the biggest of four primaries, or caucuses, on Tuesday with more delegates at stake for the Democrats than all of this weekend’s contests combined.

    Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders meet on the debate stage tonight in Flint, Michigan. For more on the campaign there, I’m joined now by Michigan Public Radio reporter, Rick Pluta. Thanks for joining us.

    RICK PLUTA, MICHIGAN PUBLIC RADIO REPORTER: Pleasure.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Rick, as of now, where do the polls stand?

    RICK PLUTA: Well, it seems like the polling would suggest that Hillary Clinton is far and away a frontrunner, based largely on having locked down the African-American vote, which is critical in a Michigan Democratic primary. Bernie Sanders in some polls have him trailing by as much as 30 points. He’s trying to turn this into a referendum on free trade agreements, which Hillary Clinton has more of a history of supporting than he does.

    On the Republican side, it’s basically a race to see if anyone can stop Donald Trump. Ohio governor John Kasich is probably betting biggest in Michigan. He’s spent the most time here and covered the most ground from the southern part of the state to metro Detroit, all the way to the Marquette in the upper peninsula, which has just three percent of the state’s population. So, he’s invested a lot here.

    And a lot of Republicans are trying to lay claim to southeast Michigan’s so-called Reagan Democrats, especially in McComb County, trying to make the case that they can appeal to crossover voters as well or better than Donald Trump, who is leading in almost all the polls right now.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: I was going to say, even with all the work that Kasich has put in, Trump still looks like he had a lead. Any idea if the momentum that, say, Ted Cruz might have picked up last night translates into more conservative Michiganders?

    RICK PLUTA: It’s possible that Cruz certainly has an organization in Michigan. But Cruz himself has not visited the state since Super Tuesday except for the Republican debate in Detroit. So it begs the question, how hard he’s playing here. Certainly Marco Rubio has tried a bit.

    Michigan was really supposed to be Jeb Bush country, and a lot of the state’s standard Republican political culture was getting behind him. So when he dropped out, there were a lot of people sort of wondering where to go, and that support has largely scattered among the other candidates.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And tonight’s Democratic debate puts the spotlight once again on Flint and the water crisis there.

    RICK PLUTA: Mm-hmm, oh absolutely. Democrats have tried to make a national issue of Flint as representing Republican incompetence when it comes to governing. As a matter of fact, that was one of the big reasons why after the Flint debate was – was convened by the Democratic party leaders that Republicans felt like they had to put something in Detroit, which — supposed to be something of a success story in urban renewal.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right. Michigan Public Radio reporter Rick Pluta joining us from Ann Arbor today. Thanks so much.

    RICK PLUTA: Pleasure.

    The post Clinton, Trump show strong leads ahead of delegate-heavy Michigan primary appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The blockbuster successful British TV series, “Downton Abbey” begins its sixth and final season here on PBS next month. We got an inside look at the show, its creator and explore why so many Americans love it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:: The music is instantly recognizable, as is the tail — that’s Isis, the dog — both part of the opening credits to the blockbuster British television drama, “Downton Abbey.” For the past five years, the Crawley family and their servants have entertained us, and in January, the drama begins its sixth and final season on PBS.

    The last chance for a few more one-liners from the dowager countess of Grantham, played exquisitely by Dame Maggie Smith.

    And surely, one final calamity to beset lady’s maid Anna and her butler husband Bates.

    The mastermind of this runaway success is Sir Julian Fellowes; also an actor, film director, and, in his spare time, a conservative member of Britain’s House of Lords.

    So, “Downton Abbey” coming to an end, is this — are you saying goodbye to a dear friend? Or is it just — have you already moved on?

    JULIAN FELLOWES, Creator: No, I wouldn’t say I have moved on. I mean, “Downton” has been an extraordinary milestone. You’ve spent a lot of time in this industry, working very hard on things that don’t do terribly well, the public doesn’t get them or whatever, and then you suddenly ring the bell. It’s been fantastic.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Fantastic beyond belief, becoming the top-rated PBS drama of all time.

    Globally, “Downton” airs in over 220 countries with a worldwide audience of 120 million people.

    JULIAN FELLOWES: I never think it’s a good idea to outstay your welcome. And it seems right to leave, so, I don’t think we’re doing the wrong thing, but it’s been a happy time.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A happy time with roots in a book by American historian Carol Wallace, author of “To Marry an English Lord,” Sir Julian’s inspiration for the series.

    CAROL WALLACE, Author, “To Marry an English Lord”: When he had been asked by the producers to write a series about English aristocrats, he had been reading “To Marry an English Lord.” And he said he thought it was all very well for these heiresses to marry, but then what happened to them 20 years later when they were — I think he put it — “freezing in a house in Cheshire, aching for Long Island”? And that, of course, Cora Grantham’s dilemma, there she is right there.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Wallace’s book tells the true stories of young American heiresses who left the U.S. in the late 1800s to shop for husbands in England. Their money attracted down at the heels aristocrats who had titles and little else.

    What would he have seen in these stories, in this history?

    CAROL WALLACE: I think what Julian saw, the source of the drama is exactly the asymmetry of expectation — what these American girls thought marriage was going to be and what it turned out to be, and how their American expectations kind of, trailed along with them and formed their relationships and their ideas of marriage as they would 2030 years later.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The American girl of “Downton Abbey”, Cora Crawley, countess of Grantham, is played by Elizabeth McGovern.

    ELIZABETH MCGOVERN, Actor: I am shocked at how sad I do feel to say goodbye to people and houses and the family. It’s been a definite life-changing kind of time for all of us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In what way?

    ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Well, we’ve all been through something that just felt it’s had a big impact on our personal lives and we have been in it together.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The drama began in 1912, the day after the sinking of the Titanic, and has proceeded through World War I, the Spanish flu and the jazz age. Season six is set in 1925 and opens to find many formerly rich families abandoning the life “Downton” epitomizes, unable to afford the expanse. Like the character she plays, McGovern is married to an Englishman and lives in the U.K.

    How is it different from other television series?

    ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: Well, the one extraordinary difference is that every word is written by one man. I don’t know of any other television show that works that way. And I, to this day, find it absolutely mindboggling.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Julian Fellowes did not intend on being the sole writer.

    JULIAN FELLOWES: I was actually thrilled to get other people to do it, but, for some reason which I can’t really explain, the series seem to have quite a distinctive voice. And we did try, at the beginning, to see if we could get other people to replicate that voice. And we tried with very good people. But it seemed that if we wanted to sustain this particular voice, it had to be me.

    REBECCA EATON, Masterpiece: It’s coming from his heart, his experience, his passion.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: PBS’ Masterpiece presents “Downton Abbey” in the United States, and Rebecca Eaton is the program’s executive producer.

    REBECCA EATON: There’s a lot of heart in it. There’s a lot of generosity. These are characters who are taking care of each other. And that is a lot of who Julian is.

    JULIAN FELLOWES: We dealt with all the characters very evenly.

    We didn’t say, “The family are the important characters and the servants are the comic relief, or servants are gallant on suffering but the family is horrible,” all of which would have been a treatment in an earlier period.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You give equal time to everyone, so, in a way you’re looking at that age old struggle that we are dealing with today in 2015 about inequality, discrimination and the rest of it. And you bring your own set of views to that.

    JULIAN FELLOWES: It’s this business of entitlement, that a child of the middle or upper caste is brought up to believe that certain things are sort of their right, that this is the way they will live. Whereas other people are brought up to feel like outsiders — “oh, you’re overreaching, so that’s not for the likes of us”, and all this stuff still goes on.

    It does interests me. It shocks me and it drives me mad when people try to pretend it doesn’t exist, because, of course, it doesn’t exist for them. There are millions of people who are being cheated of their proper destiny because it does still exist.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think “Downton” contributes to the conversation, to the discussion of that?

    JULIAN FELLOWES: I hope it contributes. I mean, I think in our society, particularly for the “me-me-me generation,” there is a kind of underlined solipsism in so many of us that the only life that’s really happening is our own. And everyone else’s life is sort of dependent on our life.

    One of the important things about drama is to remind the viewer that everyone is 100 percent at the center of their own life. That there is no life being lived under that roof that is more or less important; that Mary or Daisy, what happens to them is just as important. And that’s why we have equal dramatic weight for all the stories, to show that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you think will give people great joy and excitement and surprise, in a good way? And what do you think will leave people sad or devastated or disappointed?

    JULIAN FELLOWES: I adore these questions because they’re always asked in such optimism, as if there is any chance that I’ll answer. I mean, of course, there are some things in the season that will make people sad and there are other things that will make them happy. And Maggie will say some things that I hope will make them laugh.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What should fans expect, the audience expect?

    ELIZABETH MCGOVERN: I would say that the audience will feel satisfied that they’ve had a chance to say goodbye to every character in a gratifying way. I think they’ll feel full and not shortchanged.

    JULIAN FELLOWES: It’s enough for me that people enjoyed it, and they had a thing on Sunday night and they would say to each other, hurry up, “Downton” is starting in five minutes or whatever. I love that.

    And I think that if we all manage to produce a show that families could watch together and argue over the water cooler in the office the next day, that’s enough of an achievement for me. I don’t need to feel that the world will never be the same again after “Downton,” because it will.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And beginning the first Sunday in January, fans can lose themselves in the lives of the people they have come to know as friends.

    The post One last visit to Downton Abbey before fans say goodbye appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as rival and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates' debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young  - RTS9KV2

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton listens as rival and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks at the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates’ debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters.

    FLINT, Mich. — Hillary Clinton joined Bernie Sanders in calling for Michigan’s Republican governor to resign over his handling of the Flint water crisis as the Democrats opened their seventh presidential debate Sunday in a city that was in tough shape even before residents learned their drinking water was tainted.

    The Democratic candidates faced off in devastated Flint just two days before Michigan’s presidential primary, eager to highlight their differences on economic policy, Clinton claiming only she had a “credible strategy” for raising wages and Sanders hammering at her past support for trade deals that he says had “disastrous” consequences for American workers.

    An emotional Sanders opened the debate by relating that he felt “literally shattered” by the water crisis in Flint and renewed his call for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign.

    Clinton, who had not previously made that call, added emphatically: “Amen to that,” and then said that Snyder should “resign or be recalled.”

    Both candidates promised tougher federal oversight of water systems if elected. And, asked if anyone should go to jail, both called for holding people accountable at every level of government.

    On economic policy, In recent days, Clinton emphasized her plan for a “clawback” of tax benefits for companies that ship jobs overseas, using the money to encourage investment in the United States.

    Sanders wrote in Sunday’s Detroit Free Press that nowhere are his differences with Clinton, a former secretary of state and senator, stronger than on trade. The Vermont senator renewed his criticism of her support for the North American Free Trade Agreement and normalized trade relations with China.

    “Not only did I vote against them,” he said, “I stood with workers on picket lines in opposition to them. Meanwhile, Secretary Clinton sided with corporate America and supported almost all of them.”

    With Clinton continuing to widen her considerable lead in the Democratic delegate count, Sanders sees upcoming Midwestern primaries as a crucial opportunity to slow her momentum by highlighting his trade policies. After Michigan’s vote on Tuesday, the March 15 primaries include Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.

    In Michigan, manufacturing jobs have rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession, but their numbers are still much lower than they were 20 years ago. Wages are lower, after adjusting for inflation, than when the recession started in December 2007.

    The state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 percent, its lowest mark in more than a decade, but is still slightly higher than the national average of 4.9 percent.

    Sanders, interviewed Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” pledged to keep his campaign going to the Democratic convention this summer even if Clinton already has clinched enough delegates to claim the nomination.

    “Every state has the right to vote for the candidate of their choice,” he said.

    Clinton has at least 1,123 delegates to Sanders’ 484, including superdelegates – members of Congress, governors and party officials who can support the candidate of their choice. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

    Just as the debate got underway, Sanders received the welcome news that he had won the Democratic caucuses in Maine, not far from his home state of Vermont. That gives him victories in eight states to 11 wins for Clinton. But the more lopsided delegate count suggests Clinton is on a steady march toward the nomination. Sanders has struggled to broaden his appeal beyond the liberals and young voters attracted to his campaign.

    The candidates devoted considerable time to the water crisis in Flint, which got scant attention from Republican candidates when they debated last week in Detroit.

    Both Democrats have been outspoken about the horror of the city’s lead-tainted water. Both have visited the city and called for a strong government response.

    Clinton has made it a point to frame the crisis in majority-black city in racial terms, saying it never would have taken so long to address the problem in a wealthy, white area.

    The city’s water became tainted when officials switched its supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. The impoverished city’s government was under state control at the time. Even before the water problem was revealed, the city faced considerable challenges. Some 42 percent of residents live in poverty, according to census data, and across the city, the average per capita income is just $14,527.

    Associated Press reporters Catherine Lucey and Nancy Benac wrote this report.

    The post Clinton, Sanders urge Michigan governor to resign at debate in Flint appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates' debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Young  - RTS9KZ0

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks during the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates’ debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    FLINT, Mich. — Ratcheting up the rancor, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tangled aggressively in a presidential debate Sunday night over trade and Wall Street influence, with Clinton accusing her challenger of turning his back on a rescue of the auto industry and Sanders countering that Clinton’s friends on Wall Street had “destroyed this economy.”

    It was a marked change in tone for the two Democrats, signaling Sanders’ increasingly difficult effort to slow the Democratic front-runner. Both candidates frequently interrupted each over one another and accused each other of misrepresenting their records.

    “Let’s have some facts instead of some rhetoric for a change,” Clinton snapped at Sanders at one point.

    “Let me tell my story, you tell yours,” Sanders shot back at another. “Your story is voting for every disastrous trade amendment and voting for corporate America.”

    More than once, Sanders chafed at Clinton’s interruptions, saying, “Excuse me, I’m talking” or “Let me finish, please.”

    Their disagreements were clear, but still the debate’s tone was nothing like that of the Republican debate in Detroit just three days earlier, a four-way faceoff that was marked by a steady stream of personal attacks, insults and even sexual innuendo. The Democrats’ faceoff, in comparison, was a more civil if heated affair.

    Clinton accused the Vermont senator of voting against a 2009 bailout of the auto industry, saying, “I went with them. You did not. If everybody had voted the way he did, I believe the auto industry would have collapsed, taking 4 million jobs with it.”

    Sanders countered that the money for the auto industry was part of a larger bailout package for Wall Street, adding, “I will be damned if it was the working people of this country who have to bail out the crooks on Wall Street.” He referred to the overall package as “the Wall Street bailout where some of your friends destroyed this economy.”

    Ultimately, President George W. Bush and Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson agreed to a $23.4 billion for the auto industry from the federal bailout money for the financial sector.

    Sanders also took direct aim at the former secretary of state’s paid speeches to Wall Street banks and other financial companies. She promised to release transcripts of her private remarks only if all her opponents – Democratic and Republican – did the same.

    “I’m your Democratic opponent, I release it,” Sanders said, throwing imaginary speech transcripts into the air. “Here it is. There ain’t nothin’. I don’t give speeches to Wall street for hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

    The debate started on a more conciliatory note, with Clinton joining Sanders in calling for Michigan’s Republican governor to resign over his handling of the Flint water crisis.

    An emotional Sanders said he felt “literally shattered” by the toxic tap water in Flint and renewed his call for Gov. Rick Snyder to resign.

    Clinton, who had not previously made that call, added emphatically: “Amen to that,” and then said that Snyder should “resign or be recalled.”

    Snyder quickly tweeted that “political candidates” will be leaving Flint and Michigan in a few days after the state’s primary but he is “committed to the people of Flint.”

    Both candidates promised tougher federal oversight of water systems if elected. And, asked if anyone should go to jail, both called for holding people accountable at every level of government.

    With Clinton continuing to widen her considerable lead in the Democratic delegate count, Sanders sees upcoming Midwestern primaries as a crucial opportunity to slow her momentum by highlighting his trade policies. After Michigan’s vote on Tuesday, the March 15 primaries include Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.

    In Michigan, manufacturing jobs have rebounded from the depths of the Great Recession, but their numbers are still much lower than they were 20 years ago. Wages are lower, after adjusting for inflation, than when the recession started in December 2007.

    The state’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.1 percent, its lowest mark in more than a decade, but is still slightly higher than the national average of 4.9 percent.

    In the race for the Democratic nomination, Clinton has at least 1,123 delegates to Sanders’ 484, including superdelegates – members of Congress, governors and party officials who can support the candidate of their choice. It takes 2,383 delegates to win the nomination.

    Just as the debate got underway, Sanders received the welcome news that he had won the Democratic caucuses in Maine, not far from his home state of Vermont. That gives him victories in eight states to 11 wins for Clinton. But the more lopsided delegate count suggests Clinton is on a steady march toward the nomination. Sanders has struggled to broaden his appeal beyond the liberals and young voters attracted to his campaign.

    Flint’s water became tainted when officials switched its supply from Detroit’s system to the Flint River in 2014 to save money. The impoverished city’s government was under state control at the time.

    Associated Press reporters Catherine Lucey and Nancy Benac wrote this report.

    The post Clinton, Sanders wrangle on Wall Street, trade in Democratic debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    As first lady and during her husband's campaign for the presidency, Nancy Reagan was most effective behind the scenes. Photo by Reed Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images

    As first lady and during her husband’s campaign for the presidency, Nancy Reagan was most effective behind the scenes. Photo by Reed Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images

    As a young reporter with the San Diego Union in 1979, I was assigned to cover the presidential campaign of California’s former governor Ronald Reagan. His senior aides Californians Ed Meese, Michael Deaver and Lyn Nofziger were friends of my top editors Jerry Warren and Peter Kaye, so I had enviable access despite not being in the ranks of national reporter big shots.

    But Reagan himself was already in a bubble, insulated by top aides who were worried what he might say off-the-cuff. So from the September 1979 day we took off from New York after Reagan’s announcement, he remained an opaque figure to those of us who spent 14 months covering him. His wife Nancy was the Reagan with whom we had the most personal contact.

    The Governor, as he was called, didn’t come to the back of the plane to chit-chat with us as other candidates do in a campaign’s early days. But the perfectly coiffed Nancy came back nearly every flight, as the plane took off to a blaring track of Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” tossing an orange down the aisle to see if it would roll straight enough to reach the back. Other times she handed out cookies or chocolates. She didn’t tell us a thing of reporting value. “Wasn’t Ronnie wonderful?” was the most she ever said to me.

    But she was our window into Reagan the man, not just the man on stage. We used to make fun of her adoring stare during Reagan’s appearances, calling it “The Gaze.” Yet we soon realized she was no Stepford Wife, but a woman deeply in love with her husband, and influential behind the scenes.

    The rumpled, irreverent Nofziger told me early on that she had no aspirations to be a Rosalynn Carter, claiming a seat at Reagan Cabinet meetings. “But in private,” he said “let’s say you don’t want to be crosswise with her.” Indeed we soon saw just how ferociously she guarded her husband from advisers she thought were serving their own agenda, not his.

    The brilliant and well-spoken John Sears, a Washington lawyer and political strategist who’d been hired as campaign manager, was the first victim. In late January 1980, George Herbert Walker Bush upset Reagan in the Jan. 21 Iowa caucuses. I snagged a flight to New Hampshire on Bush’s tiny plane sitting on an ice chest, as his ebullient advisers reveled in his overnight 20-point lead over Reagan in the New Hampshire polls.

    The loss had been a real shock to the over-funded ocean liner that the Reagan campaign had become. So the next five weeks, the staff operation struggled to adjust while being torn by infighting. Sears wanted to follow his original strategy of protecting Reagan’s front-runner status, limiting his unscripted appearances. The Californians told me Reagan was protesting, saying he wanted to “campaign the way I want to campaign.” Word was out that Nancy Reagan blamed the smooth, confident Sears for caring more about grooming his own reputation than making the most of Reagan’s strengths. Shortly before the primary, the Sears cadre suspected their days were numbered, “John’s a dead man,” one told me. “We all are.”

    READ MORE: ‘She touched the heart of a nation:’ Tributes pour in for Nancy Reagan

    It all came to a head in Nashua, New Hampshire, three days before the primary. Nashua Telegraph editor Jon Breen, a former editor of mine in New Hampshire, had set up a two-man debate between Bush and Reagan, ignoring such luminary competitors as senators Howard Baker and Bob Dole.

    By some machination, the Reagan campaign arranged to finance the entire event. Early in the afternoon, Sears announced Reagan wanted to include all the other candidates, including Dole and Baker. But Bush was refusing and Breen was siding with him. And there it stood.

    We sat in the stuffy auditorium audience with more than 2,000 people, as the 7:30 p.m. start time came and went. (As a neophyte, my big thrill was sitting next to famed Washington Post’s David Broder.) We sensed a struggle was underway back stage. But we didn’t understand it nor the role Nancy Reagan was playing.

    With Bush and Breen standing firm on a two-candidate format, Reagan was inclined to boycott the event with all the other candidates. Then, according to political consultant and biographer Craig Shirley, Nancy Reagan came up with the idea. “I know what you are going to do,” she said. “You are all going to go in there together.” The battle plan was set.

    Bush went on stage and took his seat. When Reagan walked up, he motioned for other candidates to follow him and they did. The audience tensed as the stand-off unfolded. An angry Breen refused to let Reagan speak and tried unsuccessfully to shut off his microphone. Then an equally angry Reagan declared, “I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green.” It didn’t matter that Reagan had mispronounced the editor’s name. The crowd erupted in mayhem and applause, as Bush — clinging to the “rules” and unable to improvise — stared ahead woodenly.

    Reagan won the night — and the primary three days later by a stunning 50 to 23 percent. Bush stayed in the race, and ended up as vice president. But in that one moment Reagan showed American voters that beneath his canned speeches and geniality, he was as tough as his movie cowboy persona, a genuine leader who couldn’t be pushed around.

    John Sears and his team were gone the next day. The episode had catapulted Reagan back to the head of the path to the presidency. And it had revealed Nancy Reagan as tough as well, insightful and shrewd about what her husband needed in support to actually shine. Attention was paid.

    It’s often said that “personnel is policy.” Nancy Reagan clearly thought so. Covering the Reagan White House in his second term for Newsweek, I saw her intervene at other critical junctures. Many are familiar stories by now. She’d always thought White House chief of staff Don Regan, former head of Merrill Lynch, was — as the saying went — more interested in being “chief” than “staff.” When the Iran-contra arms-for-hostages scandal exploded, she blamed Regan for not protecting her Ronnie. Within days, Regan was gone. Future chiefs of staff took the message to heart. A subsequent successor as chief of staff, Ken Duberstein, told me he called her every morning.

    This wasn’t her ego at work, but her fierce desire to have Reagan be his best. His “best” required a little prodding from her at times. Substantively, she quietly but consistently urged Reagan to listen to his pragmatic advisers , rather than the ideologues among them. Although Reagan had dubbed the Soviet Union the “Evil Empire,” she was determined he would go down in history as a “man of peace,” not simply a cold warrior.

    President Reagan and the First Lady nancy Reagan welcome Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa in 1987. Photo by Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images

    President Reagan and the First Lady nancy Reagan welcome Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev and his wife Raisa in 1987. Photo by Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images

    And so even before reformist Mikhail Gorbachev became USSR leader in 1985, she and Secretary of State George Shultz helped engineer a dialogue between her husband and then-Soviet ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin.

    And once Gorbachev took power, she later acknowledged, “I felt there had to be a breakthrough. I didn’t just sit back.” In Berlin, I perched on a corner of the stage as her husband called on Gorbachev to “tear down this wall.” But he went on to hold four summits and negotiate a far-reaching intermediate range nuclear arms control agreement with the Soviets.

    Though “modern” in the sway she exerted, Nancy Reagan was not a first lady to tout her influence publicly, nor leak stories or give interviews about her contrary views to soften his imagine. (Although she did build private personal friendships with influential Democrats like Washington Post editor Katharine Graham and former DNC chairman and power broker Robert Strauss.) She understood she was most effective behind the scenes, and that was just fine with her.

    When Nancy talked, Ronnie listened. And for him, for his legacy and for the nation, it was a good thing he did.

    The post Nancy Reagan, her husband’s true ‘Iron Lady’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders speak simultaneously during the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates' debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. Photo by Jim Young/REUTERS

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and rival Bernie Sanders speak simultaneously during the Democratic U.S. presidential candidates’ debate in Flint, Michigan, March 6, 2016. Photo by Jim Young/REUTERS

    WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton had more regard for Wall Street movers and shakers than she acknowledged when claiming she scolded the financial industry for “wrecking the economy.” The criticism she leveled at Wall Street came mixed with praise — and thanks for the political donations.

    Bernie Sanders, like his Democratic presidential rival, understated what officials in Michigan are doing about the Flint water crisis, and said white people don’t know what it’s like to live in poverty.

    A look at some of the claims in the debate Sunday night, staged in Flint:

    CLINTON: “I went to Wall Street when I was a United States senator. I told them they were wrecking the economy. I asked for a moratorium on foreclosures. I asked that we do more to try to prevent what I worried was going to happen.”

    THE FACTS: In the same speech she is referring to, she praised Wall Street and thanked the “wonderful donors” in the audience — while urging changes in behavior.

    Clinton has repeatedly cited the December 2007 speech on Wall Street to show her toughness during the financial meltdown and fend off Sanders’ criticisms of her coziness with banks and investment houses.

    A ProPublica transcript showed that Clinton did scold Wall Street for its “significant role” in inflaming the financial crisis and urged financial leaders to take voluntary steps to stem the chaos. And as a New York senator, Clinton did call for a 90-day moratorium on foreclosures.

    In the speech, however, she spread the blame for the crisis beyond the big banks and lauded Wall Street for its work for the U.S. economy. The speech was more carefully calibrated than the stern lecture she makes it out to be.

    What does Hillary Clinton Believe? Where the candidate stands on 12 issues

    ___

    SANDERS: “When you’re white … you don’t know what it’s like to be poor. ”

    THE FACTS: Less likely to know, but there are, of course, millions of poor whites.

    The Census Bureau’s five-year American Community Survey, covering 2007 to 2011, found 14.3 percent of the overall population fell below the poverty level, with American Indians and Alaska natives being the poorest (27 percent of that group) followed by blacks (25.8 percent). Hispanic poverty rates ranged from 16.2 percent for Cubans to 26.3 percent for Dominicans.

    The white poverty rate was 11.6 percent, below the national average.

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

    ___

    CLINTON on the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement: “I thought it was reasonable to know what was in it before I opposed it.”

    THE FACTS: Not knowing the final details of the trade deal did not stop her from taking a position on it before: She favored it before she opposed it.

    As Obama’s secretary of state, Clinton was far more enthusiastic about the Pacific trade deal taking shape than she became once she was running for president and trying to appeal to the liberal wing of her party. As secretary she had given speeches around the world in support of the deal under negotiation, saying in Australia in 2012 that it “sets the gold standard in trade agreements,” a cheerleading sentiment she echoed elsewhere.

    She’s said the final agreement didn’t address her concerns. But the final version actually had been modified to drop certain provisions that liberal activist groups had opposed.

    SANDERS on Flint water crisis: “First thing is, you say people are not paying a water bill for poison, and that is retroactive.”

    THE FACTS: The state Legislature already has authorized $30 million to cover, retroactively, 65 percent of the water portion of people’s water and sewer bills. That covers some, but not all, of what residents owe.

    ___

    CLINTON: “The state should also be sending money immediately to help this city.”

    THE FACTS: It is. So far, Michigan has come forward with $70 million and Gov. Rick Snyder has called for an additional $165 million.

    ___

    Eggert reported from Flint, Michigan. Associated Press writer Stephen Braun contributed to this report.

    The post Fact checking Clinton and Sanders at the Democratic debate in Flint appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan circa 1980 in Los Angeles. Photo by Reed Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images

    Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan circa 1980 in Los Angeles. Photo by Reed Saxon/IMAGES/Getty Images

    The former first lady Nancy Reagan will be buried next to her husband, the late President Ronald Reagan at the Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on Friday, library officials said Monday.

    Funeral services for Reagan are scheduled for 2 p.m. EST Friday, March 11 at the presidential library. The public will be able to pay respects to the former first lady before the ceremony. The funeral will accommodate about 1,000 people, officials said.

    Reagan will lie in repose at the library on Wednesday and Thursday, the library said in a statement. After the services, she will be laid to rest at the library, next to her husband, who died June 5, 2004.

    Reagan died Sunday of congestive heart failure at her home in Los Angeles. She was 94.

    READ MORE: Nancy Reagan, her husband’s true ‘Iron Lady’

    The post Nancy Reagan to be buried next to husband at Ronald Reagan Library appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A new study suggests places like New York City are experiencing gradual re-segregation based on white avoidance of diverse neighborhoods. Photo by Jeff Greenberg/ Getty Images

    Cities in America are slowly becoming more segregated, according to a new study published in Sociological Science. Data compiled by American University professors Michael Bader and Siri Warkentien finds that New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston are experiencing a slower, steadier version of “white flight” that could produce re-segregation over time. In fact, 35 percent of the neighborhoods surveyed will likely re-segregate within the next 20 years. And this change is part of a trend happening in cities nationwide.

    According to the study, cities are undergoing a process called gradual succession. It’s the idea is that “neighborhoods will change from one group to another group over many, many years and not so much whites fleeing neighborhoods rapidly,” said Bader, who is the lead researcher. “It will appear integrated for some time but will eventually transition to all one group, essentially re-segregating.” This results in blacks becoming concentrated into small areas of cities and inner suburbs. Latinos and Asians are segregating into neighborhood clusters throughout metropolitan areas.

    Chicago map

    Chicago, the country’s third largest city, has also consistently been one of the most segregated. The suburbs are experiencing a growth in integration largely due to gentrification and gradual succession from the city. Photo courtesy of American University.

    Bader and Warkentien assessed the degree of racial change among blacks, whites, Latinos, and Asians from 1970 to 2010 in the country’s four largest metropolitan areas, identifying common trajectories of movement. Neighborhoods with modest integration, or at least 10 percent of another race, have experienced gradual succession. Over time, these communities will become dominated by one racial group. The study’s website offers an interactive map breaking down each city’s trajectory.

    Much of this gradual succession is not a consequence of white flight, but rather white avoidance. White flight, the post-Civil Rights era migration of whites from cities to the suburbs, mostly ended in the 1970s. Now, whites are typically staying in integrated neighborhoods – so long as the integration comes to them. Compared to blacks and Latinos, who are actively moving to different neighborhoods, whites are less likely to move into communities that are already integrated. Bader said that contributes to neighborhood re-segregation.

    “For example,” he said, “if a neighborhood is all white in 1980 and African-Americans begin to move into that neighborhood, those whites families already there aren’t fleeing. But other whites will more than likely not move into that neighborhood as well. So in time the neighborhood will become all black. It will re-segregate.”

    Unlike previous research, this study compares the same places in a city over time and accounts for changes specifically within neighborhoods that are already considered integrated. That’s usually the presence of a second racial group defined by an arbitrary percentage. With this “growth mixture model,” Bader said, the data sends a clear message that neighborhoods are actually becoming more segregated than originally projected.

    “Previous studies have only looked at the presence of multiple racial groups and not the degree to which they’re integrated,” he said. “So many neighborhoods have appeared to be integrated simply because there were enough blacks and whites to meet a specific threshold.”

    This map of Los Angeles shows that amid areas of durable integration (shown in purple), may other communities are experiencing varying trajectories of gradual succession. The study estimates these neighborhoods will become re-segregated within the next two decades.

    This map of Los Angeles shows that amid areas of durable integration (shown in purple), many other communities are experiencing varying trajectories of gradual succession. The study estimates these neighborhoods will become re-segregated within the next two decades. Photo courtesy of American University.

    On the other hand, many neighborhoods are steadily integrating. As the above map of Los Angeles shows, there are some communities where multiple groups are living together (shown with purple highlights) and that doesn’t appear to be changing. Segregation has decreased overall as well, especially among African-Americans and in suburbs. While many scholars predict segregation will continue to decline, Bader says this new research provides another way to understand our communities.

    “It shows we’ve made lot of progress since Civil Rights legislation in the 1960’s,” he says. “But that doesn’t mean we’ve moved to a time where race does not influence whats happening in people’s lives, including where we choose to live. And that affects how we address racial inequality and public policy.”

    The post Data shows how major U.S. cities are slowly re-segregating appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A drone flies over Kumanovo, Macedonia in May 2015. Photo by Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters

    A drone flies over Kumanovo, Macedonia in May 2015. Photo by Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will disclose how many people have been killed by U.S. drones and counterterrorism strikes since 2009, the White House said Monday, lifting one element of secrecy shrouding the controversial counterterrorism program.

    Both combatants and civilians the U.S. believes have died in strikes from the skies will be included in the report, which covers the period since President Barack Obama took office. It won’t cover major fighting zones like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, but will focus on the shadowy regime of strikes against extremist targets in other regions such as North Africa.

    In recent years, the U.S. has conducted counterterrorism strikes in Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia, among other places.

    In the most recent example, a weekend strike using multiple drones and manned aircraft killed more than 150 al-Shabab fighters in Somalia, the Pentagon said Monday. A barrage of missiles and bombs hit a site called Raso Camp where the U.S. had been watching fighters from the al-Qaida-linked group prepare for a suspected imminent, large-scale attack, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis. He said there were no known civilian casualties.

    Lisa Monaco, Obama’s counterterrorism and homeland security adviser, said the assessment would be released “in the coming weeks,” casting it as part of a commitment to transparency for U.S. actions overseas. Monaco said the figured would be disclosed annually in the future, although it will ultimately be up to Obama’s successor to decide whether to continue the practice.

    “We know that not only is greater transparency the right thing to do, it is the best way to maintain the legitimacy of our counterterrorism actions and the broad support of our allies,” Monaco said at the Council on Foreign Relations.

    Yet key questions will remain unanswered — including the full scope of the U.S. drone program. The U.S. doesn’t publicly disclose all the places its drones operate, so the report isn’t expected to detail specific countries where people died.

    Instead, it will offer an aggregate assessment of casualties outside of areas of “active hostilities” — a designation that takes into account the scope and intensity of fighting and is used to determine when Obama’s specific counterterrorism policies apply. Iraq and Syria, where U.S. airstrikes are pummeling the Islamic State group, currently are on that list and won’t be in the report, said a senior administration official, who wasn’t authorized to comment publicly and requested anonymity.

    “There will obviously be some limitations on where we can be transparent, given a variety of sensitivities — including diplomatic,” said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

    The casualty report marks the latest attempt by Obama to shore up credibility for the drone program, which has attracted fierce criticism from civil rights advocates but plays a key role in Obama’s strategy of targeting extremists without encumbering the U.S. in massive on-the-ground military operations. In 2013, Obama tightened rules for drone attacks, requiring that a target poses a continuing and imminent threat and that the U.S. is near-certain that no civilians will be killed.


    Deaths have declined significantly since then, although the furtive nature of the program has continued to fuel concerns about unintended consequences and lack of thorough oversight. Civilian deaths from drone strikes have fomented anger among local populations in places like Pakistan, fueling anti-American sentiment that has vexed U.S. efforts to seek greater security cooperation from foreign governments.

    U.S. lawmakers and human rights groups have long pressed for more transparency about civilians killed by U.S. drones, but those calls have traditionally faced opposition from the U.S. intelligence community. U.S. officials say few civilians have died from drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere over the last decade, though unofficial tallies by human rights groups run into the hundreds.

    In 2014, lawmakers from both parties demanded an annual report as part of the main intelligence bill, but later dropped the demand amid assurances that the Obama administration was seeking ways to disclosure more about the program.

    Although many U.S. strikes in areas like North Africa are launched by drones, the report will also cover other lethal counterterrorism operations like bombing raids, officials said.

    Obama’s move to shed more light on the drone wars comes as the U.S. struggles to contain extremist groups and violent ideologies that are metastasizing, posing a growing threat in places like Libya even as the U.S. and its partners work to defeat IS fighters in Iraq and Syria.

    Monaco, the counterterrorism adviser, described the strikes as one tool in a fight against terrorism that has entered a new, unpredictable phase nearly 15 years after the 9/11 attacks. In place of top-down, well-organized groups like al-Qaida, the threat has shifted to a diffuse array of smaller groups and lone actors in what Monaco dubbed “do-it-yourself terrorism.”

    “What keeps me up at night is that this threat is unlike what we’ve seen before,” she said.

    Associated Press writer Lolita C. Baldor contributed to this report.

    READ MORE: Whistleblower releases documents into U.S. military’s drone program

    The post Obama to shore up credibility for U.S. drone program with casualty report appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    (Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

    Boston University economist Larry Kotlikoff answers your Social Security questions. Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images

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

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

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


    Desperate (and discouraged) in Minnesota: I am 67 and attempting to “file and suspend” (based on the recommendations from the software tool) so that my wife can receive spousal benefits when she reaches 66 in February 2017. I am running in to many hassles with the Social Security Administration as described below.

    I sent a certified letter in early February to request my benefits to be suspended. The local office called to tell me that I need to file the form online. When I explained that all I needed to do was send the letter, the representative said this was not true.

    As a follow up, I called the main Social Security Administration number twice. The first representative told me to file online and specify in the remarks section that I want to suspend benefits. I am reluctant to do that, because on another part of the form it asks when I want to start receiving benefits, and the latest date I can select is six months from the date of the application!

    The second representative told me I could file and suspend (again online), but insisted that my wife also had to file and start collecting spousal benefits now (when she is only 65).

    I have an appointment on March 11, and I want to make sure that the Social Security Administration gets it right. Is there any information that you can provide that will help me get my voluntary suspension in place? I found your reference to the “Conditions for Voluntary Suspension” (GN02409.110). Do I need anything else to drive my point home to them?

    Larry: See this column as well as this one for information about how some Social Security representatives were, and likely continue to be, confused about this.

    My estimate is that half of the Social Security staff is doing what the second staffer you spoke to did — telling you something that is 100 percent wrong with 100 percent certainty. I recommend that you go into the office and specify on your application form that you want to start your retirement benefit immediately (specify the date). In the remarks section, specify that you want to suspend your retirement benefit immediately (specify the same date) and that you will restart your retirement benefit on your 70th birthday and not a minute sooner. You don’t need to mention anything about your wife, who can, and surely should, wait until she reaches 66 to file for just her spousal benefit. At 70, she can file for her retirement benefit when it maxes out.

    Be assured that I have relayed these repeated and ongoing gross mistakes to top brass at Social Security. As I recently discovered, such mistakes are due to the posting of a highly misleading statement on their website, which remained there for at least six weeks. The statement suggested that both spouses had to be at full retirement age by April 29 for one to collect just a spousal benefit while the other filed and suspended. Whoever placed this misinformation on the website (which has since been taken down) should be sacked. It has caused what must be thousands of people like you terrible stress for nothing. Worse yet, thousands of people have surely taken the incorrect statements by the staff as true and are going to lose tens of thousands of dollars in lifetime benefits by not taking the proper actions in time.

    Social Security has sent out urgent new guidance on the new law’s suspension provisions. But they have not included — despite my very strong and repeated urgings — a simple example that would immediately clarify for the staff that a couple like you and your wife can do exactly what you are trying to do — file and suspend and have your wife, who reached 62 before Jan. 2, 2016, file for just a spousal benefit when she reaches full retirement age.

    I have also pressed the top brass at Social Security to immediately improve the process and procedures by which people file and suspend and file for just one benefit (when they are legally permitted to do so of course).


    Kathy: I am on Social Security Disability Insurance and also my late husband’s Social Security. I applied for his Social Security after waiting a long time to be approved for my disability, and I have no other income. I was approved and have been getting some of his Social Security and my disability. I am now reaching full retirement age in May. I read that if you get approved for disability after you applied for reduced benefits of your own, the Social Security Administration will reinstate you back to your full benefit. Is this the same widow’s benefits? My husband was on disability with cancer before he died, and then I started getting his money at 60. I hope I am able to receive his full retirement amount as I really need it. I will make an appointment with Social Security, but I hope to get the right information from you before I go in to see them.

    Larry Kotlikoff: Because the entitlement date of your disability benefit was earlier than the date of your entitlement to widow’s benefits, your reduced widow’s benefit (which you took before full retirement age) will be not be reduced at full retirement age. So this is good news!


    Nancy: I am a divorced, surviving spouse. I am 66, and I was born in January of 1950. I was receiving an early spousal benefit combined with my own benefit, and I am now eligible for a survivor’s benefit as a result of my former husband’s death. If I file and suspend my own retirement benefit before April 29, will I receive 100 percent of my survivor’s benefit (equal to his primary insurance amount), or will I receive only the excess survivor’s benefit?

    Larry Kotlikoff: You will collect only an excess widow’s benefit. This is a terrible injustice. You are collecting your own retirement benefit, and as a result, Social Security is depriving you of most or all of what is essentially a life insurance policy that your husband paid for by contributing 12.4 percent of his pay since he began work. (Yes, this includes the so-called employer’s share, but it came out of your husband’s compensation).

    I’m very sorry to deliver this news.

    The post Column: Social Security staffers are clueless about the new law appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

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

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

    TAMPA, Florida — Just when Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio needs them the most, big-dollar contributors from the party’s wealthy main stream are having second thoughts about his future in the 2016 race.

    Fresh misgivings about Rubio’s path forward are the latest — and potentially the most debilitating — in a series of obstacles that threatens the Florida senator’s future in this rollercoaster Republican campaign.

    “Super Tuesday came and Rubio didn’t do as well as some of us hoped. So people are saying, ‘Let’s see how this thing shakes out,'” said Craig Duchossois, who contributed $500,000 last year to a group that backed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

    “I’m holding back,” the Chicago-based investor said of his own plans.

    Despite flashes of potential in recent weeks, Rubio has struggled to reconnect with the tea party voters who made him a favorite during their national breakthrough six years ago, instead watching them flock to presidential rivals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz.

    Rubio campaign officials concede that Rubio likely cannot remain in the race without winning in Florida, where public polls show him second to Trump. Rubio’s team says the campaign’s polling shows the race tightening, with Trump leading by single digits, slightly less than recent public polling.

    Rubio, elected to the Senate in 2010, also has not fully harnessed the financial muscle of the GOP old-guard eager to derail Trump, despite the shift in focus by many to Rubio after Bush quit the race last month.

    The result is a Catch-22 for Rubio, who needs the money to win the March 15 primary in his home state of Florida, while donors wait out those results for signs of his long-term viability.

    “We’ll see what happens on next Tuesday in Florida,” said another Chicago GOP donor who turned from Bush to Rubio. “We’ll see how real he is at that point.”


    Rubio had about $5 million in available cash at the beginning of last month, less than half of what Cruz had on hand. Trump has said he can afford to finance his own campaign, though he has received contributions.

    Duchossois and Gidwitz were among a wave of main stream GOP donors who moved quickly to Rubio when Bush quit the race on Feb. 20 after failing to meet expectations in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.

    Rubio, on the other hand, finished in strong third in Iowa, rebounded from a disappointing fifth-place showing in New Hampshire to grab second place in South Carolina, feeding the GOP establishment’s hopes.

    And yet Rubio’s momentum stalled again in the days leading up to March, when 11 states held Republican nominating contests. Afterward, Rubio turned from only indirectly critiquing Trump for months to an all-out assault on the businessman’s character and ethics, as well as his appearance and manliness.

    Duchossois and others who pinned their hopes to him said they were turned off by Rubio’s taunts, including calling Trump’s “the worst spray tan in America” and equating Trump’s disproportionately small hands with his manhood.

    Despite flashes of potential in recent weeks, Rubio has struggled to reconnect with the tea party voters who made him a favorite six years ago. “You just don’t do that,” said Bill Kunkler, another Chicago Republican who backed Bush but stopped short of the pivot to Rubio. “In Rubio, I don’t see the presidential gravitas.”

    Some potential Rubio donors are also concerned that Rubio can’t generate sufficient momentum for Florida based on his victories so far: Minnesota’s lightly attended March 1 caucuses and the Puerto Rico primary on Sunday.

    Rubio ceremonially relaunched his two-week campaign in Florida on March 1, and vowed he would never yield to pressure to step aside for Trump, especially in Florida where he was speaker of the state House before seeking the 2010 Senate seat.

    Rubio insists he feels “real good about the map as we move forward,” telling the Associated Press Sunday he believes voters across the GOP spectrum want “an optimistic message of conservatism,” not just the “anger and frustration” Trump has tapped.

    Rubio campaign officials also have said Florida races can swing quickly, especially when backed by a sustained advertising blitz. They point to the 2012 GOP primary when eventual nominee Mitt Romney surged past Newt Gingrich in part on the strength of $8.8 million in anti-Gingrich ads by a pro-Romney group.

    Heading into the week, the top Republican advertiser in Florida was Conservative Solutions PAC, a group promoting Rubio, which this month planned to spend more than $4 million attacking Trump. Three other anti-Trump groups plan to spend a combined $4 million attacking the billionaire front runner before the March 15 primary.

    Beaumont reported from Des Moines, Iowa; Steve Peoples and Julie Bykowicz contributed from Washington.

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

    The post Campaign donors have second thoughts about Marco Rubio appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    More often than not, according to a new study published Monday, primary care practices fall short in teaching patients about managing their depression. Photo illustration by Getty Images

    More often than not, according to a new study published Monday, primary care practices fall short in teaching patients about managing their depression. Photo illustration by Getty Images

    Often referred to as the “common cold of mental health,” depression causes about 8 million doctors’ appointments a year. More than half are with primary care physicians. A new study suggests those doctors may not be the best to treat the condition due to insurance issues, time constraints and other factors.

    The paper, published Monday in the March issue of Health Affairs, examines how primary care doctors treat depression. More often than not, according to the study, primary care practices fall short in teaching patients about managing their care and following up regularly to track their progress. That approach is considered most effective for treating chronic illnesses.

    That’s important. Most people with depression seek help from their primary care doctors, the study notes. Why? Patients often face “shortages and limitations of access to psychiatrists,” the authors write. For example, patients sometimes have difficulty locating psychiatrists nearby or those who are covered by their insurance plans. Plus, there’s stigma: Patients sometimes feel nervous or ashamed to see a mental health specialist, according to the authors.

    Meanwhile, physicians and health experts have increasingly been calling for mental health conditions — such as depression and anxiety — to be treated like physical illnesses. Historically, those have been handled separately and, experts say, without the same attention and care as things like high blood pressure and heart disease.

    The researchers compared strategies for treating depression with those used for asthma, diabetes and congestive heart failure. They surveyed more than 1,000 primary care practices across the country to determine how often doctors’ offices used five specific steps — considered “best practices” — to manage patients’ chronic conditions. They include employing nurse care managers, keeping a registry of all patients with a condition that requires regular follow-up, reminding patients to comply with their treatment regimens, teaching them about their illnesses and giving doctors feedback. Those approaches track with recommendations from the Department of Health and Human Services Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.

    On average, the practices surveyed were least likely to follow those protocols when treating depression. About a third kept registries of patients with depression, and the other steps were less commonly used. Less than 10 percent of practices, for instance, reminded patients about their treatments or taught them about the condition.

    Doctors were most likely to use those best practices for treating diabetes. Most practices followed at least one of the strategies for managing chronic illness.

    “By and large, primary care practices don’t have the infrastructure or haven’t chosen to implement [best] practices for depression,” said one of the study’s co-authors. “The approach to depression should be like that of other chronic diseases,” said Dr. Harold Pincus, vice chair of psychiatry at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons and one of the study’s co-authors. But “by and large, primary care practices don’t have the infrastructure or haven’t chosen to implement those practices for depression.” Pincus is also director of quality and outcomes research at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    That’s a problem, said Dr. Tara Bishop, an associate professor of healthcare policy and research at Weill Cornell Medical College, the study’s main author. Effectively treating any chronic illness requires working with patients beyond single visits. For depression, that means things like following up to see if medication is working, or if a dose should be adjusted.

    “When we treat high blood pressure, the blood pressure may start at 150 over 95, and then it’s monitored over time until it gets to a level that’s being aimed for,” said Dr. Jeffrey Borenstein, president of the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation. The foundation funds mental health research but was not involved with this study. “If somebody has depression, their symptoms need to be monitored until it gets to a level that the depression is lifted.”

    Depression can contribute to other health problems, like pulmonary disease or diabetes, Bishop said. It can make people less productive at work or less able to have healthy relationships. Unchecked, it can result in suicide.

    “If we actually treat depression as a chronic illness and use the level of tools we’re using for diabetes, then we’ll be able to better treat patients — and help them live healthier lives and more productive lives,” she said.

    The study didn’t delve into why the gap exists between depression and other medical conditions. But the authors pointed to potential explanations. One is that there’s been a decades-long push to improve how doctors treat diabetes — an effort that has almost been “the poster child” for how to monitor and treat a long-term illness, Pincus said.

    And there are time pressures. Diagnosing a patient with depression — and following up regularly — can take more time than a diabetes blood test or insulin check. Cramming that into a 15-minute visit can get difficult, Bishop said, especially as doctors are increasingly asked to do more with less time.

    Plus, she said, while there’s been an effort nationally for the medical profession to better address mental wellness, individual physicians may still struggle.

    “It’s almost like a subconscious divide of mental health issues versus physical health issues,” she said. That may also contribute to why the treatment of depression sometimes falls short.

    Some cited money as a key obstacle. Dr. Wanda Filer, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians, noted that, despite federal law, it’s still difficult to get insurers to pay for mental health care. That circumstance, she said, could discourage or impede primary care doctors from taking a comprehensive approach to treating it.

    “Most depression cases we can manage quite easily — family physicians are well-trained to manage this particular condition,” said Filer, also a practicing family doctor in York, Pennsylvania. The problem is that “there are all these barriers to improving mental health.”

    But Bishop said that, as doctors and policymakers take a broader interest in the issue, those barriers could come down and change how doctors practice.

    “We’re starting to realize that mental health care, and depression in particular, are very important illnesses. They affect a large part of our population, and they have a lot of repercussions for patients and society,” she said.

    Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. You can view the original report on its website.

    The post For depression, primary care doctors could be a barrier to treatment appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends a meeting during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 near Paris, France. Photo by Stephane Mahe/Reuters

    Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg attends a meeting during the World Climate Change Conference 2015 near Paris, France. Photo by Stephane Mahe/Reuters

    NEW YORK — Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Monday that he will not run for president as an independent, in a move that would have roiled this year’s already extraordinarily unpredictable presidential campaign.

    The billionaire, who has spent months mulling an independent campaign, made his decision official through an editorial posted by the Bloomberg View.

    “There is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz,” Bloomberg wrote. “That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.”

    Bloomberg was blistering in his critique of Trump, saying the real estate mogul has run “the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember, preying on people’s prejudices and fears.”

    He was similarly critical of Cruz, saying the Texas senator’s “pandering on immigration may lack Trump’s rhetorical excess, but it is no less extreme.”

    Bloomberg made only an oblique reference Democrats Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders and did not endorse a candidate.

    The former three-term mayor — who had indicated he’d have spent $1 billion of his own money on the run — had set a mid-March deadline for his team of advisers to assess the feasibility of mounting a run, believing that waiting longer would imperil his ability to complete the petition process needed to get on the ballots in all 50 states.

    Those close to the process said Bloomberg had believed the dominance of Donald Trump among Republicans and the rise of Bernie Sanders amid Democrats had opened a centrist lane for a non-ideological, pragmatic campaign. But Hillary Clinton’s string of recent victories has given her a firm grip on the lead for the Democratic nomination and is blocking Bloomberg’s possible path, aides to the mayor said.

    According to a poll last month, six in 10 Republicans and Democrats alike said they would not consider backing Bloomberg. The decision concludes Bloomberg’s third and likely final flirtation with a White House run, a possibility that had grown popular among New York’s business class and, the mayor’s aides had believed, could have resonated with moderates and independents across the nation dissatisfied with the polarization in Washington and the rise of the political parties’ fringes.

    Aides to Bloomberg, the 74-year-old Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Democrat-turned independent, have said their own polling suggested that Bloomberg had a viable path to the needed 270 electoral votes if Trump, whom had disgusted the ex-mayor with his inflammatory rhetoric, and Sanders were the nominees. But an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted last month suggested that six in 10 Republicans and Democrats alike said that would not consider backing Bloomberg.

    The path grew murkier after Clinton bounced back from her New Hampshire defeat to win in Nevada, South Carolina and a number of states on Super Tuesday. Some of Bloomberg’s advisers still made the case that that the former mayor, who would blanket the airwaves with ads, could win enough states to send the race to the House of Representatives, where he would then likely need to persuade several GOP-controlled state delegations to back him and give him the White House.

    But Bloomberg — known largely outside New York for his crusades against guns and Big Soda, positions likely unpopular with Republicans nationwide — grew worried that he would siphon more support from Clinton than Trump, ensuring that part of the mayor’s carefully managed legacy would be that he helped give Trump the White House.

    It was a chance Bloomberg was not willing to take.

    One of the richest people in the United States estimated to be worth $38 billion, Bloomberg has previously toyed with presidential runs, but concluded ahead of the 2008 and 2012 campaigns he could not win. He delivered a powerful late endorsement of President Barack Obama’s re-election effort, though he’s been known to criticize the president personally in private conversations.

    The founder of the financial news and information provider Bloomberg LP, he was a political novice when he launched an unlikely bid for mayor in 2001.

    He is largely a social liberal — he fought for same-sex marriage in New York and is pro-abortion rights — and implemented a number of health reforms in New York City, banning smoking in public places and instituting calorie counts on menus.

    He has also become arguably the nation’s most vocal proponent of gun control, using his fortune to bankroll candidates across the country who clash with the National Rifle Association. But liberals have found fault with his cozy ties to Wall Street and his unquestioned support for the New York Police Department, which drove down crime during his tenure but engaged in tactics that a federal judge later ruled discriminated against minorities.

    After leaving office, he returned to running his company, which posted $9 billion in revenue last year, and continues to run his foundation. He gave away more than $500 million in 2015.

    Associated Press writer Julie Pace contributed to this report.

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

    The post Bloomberg will not run for president appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    38042 60: Nancy Reagan waves to the press September 23, 1985 after surveying the damage in Mexico City, Mexico. An earthquake registering 8.1 on the Richter scale hit central Mexico on September 19, 1985 causing damage to about five hundred buildings in Mexico City and killing over eight thousand people. (Photo by Diana Walker/Liaison)

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Now we remember a first lady who kept a high profile and was an influential force.

    Nancy Reagan long said her sole mission was to back her Ronnie, and strengthen his presidency.

    In one of her last interviews, she spoke to Judy Woodruff for a 2011 PBS documentary. She discussed her role balancing out her husband.

    NANCY REAGAN, Former First Lady: I think I was a little bit more realistic about people than — than he was. And that was my contribution.

    It was just being aware of people and what they were doing.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think that you were more intuitive, that you could read people better than your husband could?

    NANCY REAGAN: Sometimes, yes.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Just three months into the presidency, the assassination attempt on President Reagan shook the fiercely protective first lady.

    NANCY REAGAN: My Secret Service guy said, “There’s been a shooting, but don’t worry. The president is all right.”

    Well, I’m starting for the elevator and they said, “But he’s all right. He hasn’t been hit.”

    And I say to them, “You either find me or a car, or I will walk.”

    JUDY WOODRUFF: As you said, they didn’t know at first he had been hit. And even when they knew he had been hit, they couldn’t find the bullet. Isn’t that right?

    NANCY REAGAN: Yes, they — no, they couldn’t. The bullet had lodged so close to his heart, it was just a miracle that it didn’t go into his heart.

    I remember one nurse came to me and said, “We may just have to leave it in there.” Well, that didn’t sound like a very good idea to me. But they finally got it, but the whole thing was a miracle.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You have commented a number of times that that had a huge effect on you and it changed you in some ways.

    NANCY REAGAN: Oh, yes, of course it did. Every time he went out the door, I don’t think I took a deep breath until he got back.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Nancy Reagan also served as a political partner. She influenced and supported her husband’s policy towards the Soviet Union, including some of his most famous words.

    NANCY REAGAN: When he gave the speech, “Tear down this wall,” there were many, many people in the administration who didn’t think that he should say that.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It must have been impossible for you to just kind of sit back and watch all that happen.

    NANCY REAGAN: Well, I didn’t just sit back. You know, I was talking to people.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Because you felt that this was something that was going to be part of your husband’s legacy as president.

    NANCY REAGAN: Well, he believed in it strongly, as did I.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Years later, President Reagan developed Alzheimer’s, and the first lady became his primary caregiver, until his death in 2004.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you feel you had the chance to say goodbye to him?

    NANCY REAGAN: Yes. As a matter of fact, he gave me a wonderful gift at that time. He was in bed.

    And, suddenly, he turned his hand and opened his eyes and looked at me. And then he closed his eyes and went. And that was a wonderful gift.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: We take a closer look at the remarkable life of Nancy Reagan with James Rosebush, who served in a variety of roles at the Reagan White House, including chief of staff to the first lady, and presidential historian and “NewsHour” regular Michael Beschloss.

    James, I want to start with you.

    You saw the first lady in a way that most of us could never imagine. That’s really starting at 7:00 a.m. And you have said before that she’s done more work before 7:00 in the morning than you expected anyone to.

    JAMES ROSEBUSH, Chief of Staff to Nancy Reagan: That’s right.

    By the time I got to the office and went to the senior staff meeting, she’d read all the morning papers, she had seen all the morning shows, she had the advanced copies of the newsweeklies, and she knew exactly what she thought.

    So she was a highly intelligent woman. I think that was lost on a lot of people. They didn’t recognize that. And she was engaged not only in her own program and schedule, but very observant of what the president was doing. And she was a person who, therefore, was easy to work for, because she knew what she wanted and she communicated it well.

    And it was obviously an extraordinary honor to work for her, to work for both of them.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Michael, what he’s describing is almost what you would expect from a chief of staff, not necessarily just a first lady.

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS, Presidential Historian: That’s what I have always thought.

    You might have, for instance, Hillary Clinton, who at the beginning of her husband’s administration was given this health care project, but Nancy Reagan without any title other than first lady really was sort of an alternative chief of staff, because she roamed the whole lot and also particularly kept an guy on who in the entourage was helping her husband and who wasn’t.

    And it worked well in the first term, when Jim Baker was chief of staff. He saw that as an asset to be able to tap her skills and expertise and, you know, what she could tell him about what the president wanted and didn’t want. Didn’t work so well second term, when there was a chief of staff named Don Regan, who had a very exalted idea of his own place in the universe, finally hung up on the first lady after they had words.

    He did not last for long.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Yes.

    James, how — paint us a picture, if you can, of what sort of power or influence she held. And she made sure that she stayed out of policy decisions, but when it came to personnel, ultimately, she, I guess, is the last word that influences the president’s ear.

    JAMES ROSEBUSH: I also want to quickly add, though, that she was acutely aware of the fact that she wasn’t elected, she wasn’t an employee of the federal government, and she didn’t enjoy the recognition of an official position in the federal government.

    So there were times, for example, when I was lobbied to have Nancy Reagan come up to Capitol Hill and to testify on issues related to her programs, in particular trying to arrest the advance of youthful drug abuse and the ravages that that causes in individual lives.

    And they were genuine requests: Come up and tell us about what you’re doing, what we should be doing on Capitol Hill. I was all for that. She was completely against it, which shows you what I knew. She didn’t want to appear in any way to be influencing policy or government spending in any way.

    So, in terms of her impact on what her husband’s policies were, I would say she was observant, but she wasn’t a participant, she wasn’t a direct participant.

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: And always when she was first lady and afterwards wanted this idea of her as sort of the eminence grise, she didn’t want people to think that.

    I knew her a tiny bit in later years. And I once talked to her about that. And she said: “It was all Ronnie. Don’t pay attention to me. I really didn’t have a large role in that administration.”

    I knew at the time that that wasn’t quite true. I think, as time goes on, we will find that her role was very large.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: When you think about, Michael, in historical contact, the previous two or three first ladies before her and what kind of a departure that was, maybe even the tone that it set for the country, it was different.

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: It was, although Rosalynn Carter had attended Cabinet meetings, got a lot of flak for that. Nancy Reagan wouldn’t have dreamt of doing that.

    But when you think about it, Hari, in the 1980s, Nancy Reagan was criticized in many circles for being overly adoring and uncritical of her husband and also for acting as his political partner, especially on key occasions.

    Nowadays, I think things have changed enough that we would celebrate her for doing most those things. And it is amazing to look back and think that those were two of the things she caught the most flak for.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: James, when you worked with her, what did you think her legacy was going to be, vs. now, decades later, knowing what she’s accomplished?

    JAMES ROSEBUSH: Yes, it’s interesting.

    The whole concept of legacy is interesting, and I will comment on that. But to pick up on something Michael brought up, I think that one thing that’s lost on the public is that people go through these extreme situations, these high — I would say high-wattage leadership positions, particularly in American politics.

    They evolve over time. They change. They develop. Hopefully, they deepen as a result of the experiences they go through. And Nancy Reagan wasn’t immune to that. I saw her grow as a person. I saw her develop additional skills.

    And I remember among the things that she did as a first among first ladies was to speak at the General Assembly of the United Nations on the issue drugs. And I remember, when she went to New York to do that talk, she was asked about this very issue. What was she really doing? Was she having an impact on policy?

    And she said, “Well, do you expect me to sit at home sorting out my husband’s sock drawer?”

    (LAUGHTER)

    JAMES ROSEBUSH: And that drew a lot of laughter.

    But she grew in her role. I think she grew in her confidence. She grew in understanding the issues, and naturally. She was well-educated and she was a very bright person. And she didn’t — I think at that point she probably came into her own with a higher degree of confidence that, yes, she did have something to say.

    So, I think she has a dual legacy and I think it’s interesting. She has — and she gets a lot of credit for and sympathy, particularly in the later years, of taking care of her husband, and which she did throughout their marriage, but in an official capacity, and then during the 10 years of his disability.

    But I would like to think that she will also get credit for being an intelligent, independent woman, leader who was devoted to her country and worked hard to promote the American ideal as best she could on her own as well.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Michael, a legacy for her?

    MICHAEL BESCHLOSS: I think she made it possible for Ronald Reagan to become president and to become a major president.

    He had many qualities. One of them wasn’t an ability to see through people who might do him harm or not serve him well. Nancy Reagan did that so well. And the other thing is that she wasn’t ideological.

    Maybe the biggest thing she did during that presidency was, in the middle 1980s, she went to her husband and said, too many people think you’re being too energetic in pursuing the Cold War. Show them that you’re a peacemaker.

    And he began with symbolism, finally wound up working with Gorbachev to do a lot to end the Cold War. That began with her. Her big goal was always, how can I help my husband, not, how can I pursue an ideological agenda?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Michael Beschloss, James Rosebush, thanks so much.

    JAMES ROSEBUSH: Pleasure, Hari.

    The post An American icon: remembering Nancy Reagan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Migrants and refugees arrive in a refugee camp with wood humanitarian-standard shelters in Grande-Synthe, near Dunkerque, northern France, March 7, 2016.   REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol  - RTS9NSI

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But, first, as we reported earlier, European leaders met today on the refugee crisis. One major ongoing issue, how to screen such a huge volume of people for a small number of possible terrorists.

    As special correspondent Malcolm Brabant tells us now, it’s not an easy job.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Here is a genuinely innocent and uplifting scene from Europe’s refugees crisis.

    (SINGING)

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Jerome Kaluta from Congo is providing a few moments’ joy for Afghan children stranded in Greece after Macedonia sealed the migrant trail at the border.

    But what worries Europe’s military, intelligence and police agencies are the large numbers of fit young men entering the E.U. Many threw away their documents on the instructions of smugglers and so the authorities often have no idea who they really are.

    NATO’s supreme commander in Europe, U.S. Air Force General Philip Breedlove, left the Senate Armed Services Committee in no doubt about his fears in testimony last week.

    GEN. PHILIP BREEDLOVE, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, NATO: Europe faces mass migration spurred by state instability and state collapse and masking the movements of criminals, terrorists and foreign fighters. Within this mix, ISIL, or Da’esh, is spreading like a cancer, taking advantage of paths of least resistance, threatening European nations and our own with terrorist attacks.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: This is Athens’ Victoria Square, where hundreds of refugees congregate every day, as they realized their preferred destinations in Northern Europe are no longer attainable.

    Human rights activists worry that Europe’s humanitarian response is being endangered by what they regard as scare-mongering.

    George Kosmopoulos of Amnesty International is disturbed that the refugee crisis and the perceived terrorist threat are being conflated.

    GEORGE KOSMOPOULOS, Director, Amnesty International Greece: The way we see it, these people are genuine refugees. And what they’re fleeing for is actually terror and very, very great human rights violations. They’re leaving behind war. They’re leaving behind destruction. And this is the lens we should apply, and not put the blame to a whole group of people who are simply looking for safety and a better future in Europe.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: General Breedlove’s comments are at odds with the analysis of senior E.U. officials. They believe that he’s exaggerated. But, recently, Rob Wainwright, who is the director of Europol, the European politics agency, said that he believed that there were as many as 5,000 I.S.-trained jihadis wandering free in Europe with the intention of causing mass casualties amongst the civilian population.

    Mr. Wainwright added, however, that he didn’t think that there was any concrete evidence to suggest that terrorists were using the migration flow as cover to infiltrate Europe.

    But Mary Bossi, one of Greece’s leading terrorism experts, believes that European officials are downplaying the potential threat from I.S.

    MARY BOSSI, University of Piraeus: It comes to the number of 30,000 foreign fighters into the ISIS. These foreign fighters come from Europe and Russia. They come from Western countries and Russia and all over the place. So, a number of fighters who are entering, only to travel up and forth from tension areas to the Western countries is much greater than the number that are given to us.

    I think they are giving us a smaller number in order to keep the threat level lower.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Patrolling Greece’s long and porous maritime with Turkey are a flotilla of fast-response vessels from various E.U. countries.

    They’re attached to the border agency Frontex. It’s reinforcing Greece, whose financial crisis has hobbled its ability to protect Europe’s eastern flank. Frontex boats are rescuing migrants in the thousands. Information obtained on the front line is fed back to the Frontex situation room in the Polish capital, Warsaw.

    Communications chief Izabella Cooper:

    IZABELLA COOPER, Frontex: The green dots here that we are seeing are — represent boats with migrants and refugees coming from Turkey towards Greece since the beginning of this year. And the white ones that we see here on different islands, we can see three of them, are ongoing search and rescue.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Critics accuse the agency of being little more than a taxi service. But Berndt Korner, Frontex’s deputy director, insists that the new improved screening of migrants is providing crucial information for Europol, the agency responsible for dealing with terrorism.

    BERNDT KORNER, Frontex: ISIS, as you mentioned it, is one of the core issues that we are devoting our attention to, but this is only one part. We are just trying to investigate whoever is apprehended, whoever is brought to the offices, check them through the databases, perform the necessary security checks, in order to prevent that anything slips through.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: But do you think General Breedlove is correct when he says that it is spreading like a cancer?

    BERNDT KORNER: We have made detections. Those detections have been forwarded to the national authorities for proper decision-taking. We have strengthened our capabilities in anti-terrorism measures.

    So, for the time being, whatever we could detect was done. The sharing of intelligence and so the cooperation has been greatly enhanced.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: This used to be Athens’ main airport. Now disused and almost derelict, it is providing the most basic shelter for migrants thwarted by the new travel restrictions.

    Greek states and agencies are nowhere to be seen, residents relying on the kindness of ordinary citizens.

    Among those stuck here is Edriss Bayat, who shows his certificate of employment as an administrator for NATO in Afghanistan. We met Bayat three weeks ago in Lesbos after he was brought ashore by Greek coast guards. He was turned back by the Macedonian authorities, despite being a Taliban target, because of his relationship with NATO, underscored by this photograph with General David Petraeus.

    EDRISS BAYAT, Refugee: More than 90 percent or 80 percent of the people, they are traveling with a small child, with wives and mothers and families. So, a terrorist is not going to travel with their family or a small child. If it’s terrorists, they should come alone. And I don’t know how it’s possible for a terrorist to come and stay in the compounds.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Back at Victoria Square, musician Jerome Kaluta has a message for Europe, as it prepares to shatter the refugees’ hopes.

    JEROME KALUTA, Congolese Musician: I think it’s in our best interest to be together, to live with everyone and anybody, because we are all human beings, and we all have rights. We all are God’s children.

    MALCOLM BRABANT: Although that sentiment is enshrined in European treaties, the reality is that the E.U. is delivering the following edict: Stay away.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Malcolm Brabant in Athens.

    The post Can security forces screen refugees arriving in Europe? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...

older | 1 | .... | 771 | 772 | (Page 773) | 774 | 775 | .... | 1175 | newer


Loading...