Articles on this Page
- 03/10/16--14:20: _What’s in the India...
- 03/10/16--14:37: _Group asks Trump to...
- 03/10/16--14:53: _Obama says he’s pro...
- 03/10/16--17:00: _How long will the F...
- 03/10/16--17:03: _The Atlantic examin...
- 03/10/16--17:05: _Are Ohio and Florid...
- 03/10/16--17:08: _How does a singer-s...
- 03/10/16--17:09: _Eastern Europe’s mi...
- 03/10/16--17:11: _News Wrap: Obama at...
- 03/10/16--17:12: _Cruz receives Lee e...
- 03/10/16--19:41: _Canadian prime mini...
- 03/11/16--12:28: _Protesters repeated...
- 03/11/16--12:36: _Read President Reag...
- 03/11/16--13:40: _New Pentagon progra...
- 03/11/16--13:57: _For this scientist,...
- 03/11/16--14:36: _Inside the Trump wi...
- 03/11/16--15:42: _The heroes of Fukus...
- 03/11/16--15:54: _UN: Women and girls...
- 03/11/16--16:18: _Shields and Brooks ...
- 03/11/16--16:31: _Nation says goodbye...
- 03/10/16--14:20: What’s in the Indiana bill banning abortions for fetal defects?
- 03/10/16--14:37: Group asks Trump to apologize for saying ‘Islam hates us’
- 03/10/16--14:53: Obama says he’s proud of pulling back from Syria airstrikes
- 03/10/16--17:00: How long will the Fed have to ‘fiddle’ with interest rates?
- 03/10/16--17:03: The Atlantic examines Obama’s foreign policy legacy
- 03/10/16--17:05: Are Ohio and Florida the final frontier for trailing candidates?
- 03/10/16--17:08: How does a singer-songwriter deal with self-doubt on stage?
- 03/10/16--17:09: Eastern Europe’s migrant crisis is causing political turmoil
- 03/10/16--17:12: Cruz receives Lee endorsement — and vehement criticism from Trump
- 03/10/16--19:41: Canadian prime minister brings ‘Trudeaumania’ to White House
- 03/11/16--12:28: Protesters repeatedly interrupt Trump at rally in St. Louis
- 03/11/16--12:36: Read President Reagan’s love letter to Nancy Reagan
- 03/11/16--13:57: For this scientist, brain tumors are an artistic inspiration
- 03/11/16--14:36: Inside the Trump winery: come for the pinot, stay for the politics
- 03/11/16--15:42: The heroes of Fukushima Daiichi, but don’t call them that
- 03/11/16--15:54: UN: Women and girls are ‘currency’ in South Sudan’s civil war
- 03/11/16--16:18: Shields and Brooks on the surprisingly tranquil GOP debate
- 03/11/16--16:31: Nation says goodbye to iconic first lady in California ceremony
INDIANAPOLIS — An Indiana bill that would ban abortions sought because a fetus has a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome is heading to Gov. Mike Pence for possible approval. The conservative Republican governor is a strong opponent of abortion and a spokeswoman said he would give it “thoughtful consideration.” Indiana would be the second state in the nation to have such a restriction, if Pence doesn’t veto it. Here’s a look at what the measure would do and how state lawmakers approved it.
WHO WOULD BE AFFECTED?
Women would be barred from terminating a pregnancy because of a genetic abnormality. The measure would also allow doctors who perform abortions in such cases to be sued for wrongful death, or possibly face professional discipline.
Women typically are offered genetic screening for chromosomal disorders at the end of the first trimester or early in the second trimester, said Northwestern Medicine gynecologist Dr. Jessica Kiley in Chicago. “It’s offered to all pregnant women, regardless of age, in our practice.” Some women who learn of a genetic abnormality choose to have abortions, a difficult decision, Kiley said.
WHAT ELSE IS IN THE BILL?
The measure includes other provisions regulating the handling of miscarried or aborted fetuses, requiring abortion providers to cremate or bury fetuses. It would ban abortions for race, color, national origin, ancestry or gender of the fetus.
It also would make it a felony to transfer fetal tissue, a move aimed at Planned Parenthood after secretly recorded videos showed officials with the organization discussing how they sometimes supply fetal tissue to scientists.
HAS THIS BEEN DONE BEFORE?
North Dakota is the only state to ban abortions sought because of genetic fetal abnormalities. The state’s Republican-led Legislature passed a measure in March 2013 that blocks abortions based on unwanted gender or a genetic defect, such as Down syndrome.
The state’s sole abortion clinic, the Red River Women’s Clinic in Fargo, has said the ban doesn’t affect it because it doesn’t perform abortions for those reasons.
Clinic director Tammi Kromenaker said Thursday the clinic does not perform abortions after 16 weeks of pregnancy. It is staffed by three doctors from nearby states.
“That’s our doctors’ preference,” Kromenaker said. “After 16 weeks, it’s generally a two-day procedure. Our doctors are just here for one day (a week).”
“Most of the genetic abnormalities are not found until after the point the Red River Women’s Clinic provides abortions,” Kromenaker said.
The clinic does not refer women to other clinics, she said.
“I would suspect their doctors would refer them out of state, most likely to Minnesota, which does not have reason-based restrictions,” she said.
Minnesota, Oklahoma and Arizona require women to receive counseling on perinatal hospice services if they are seeking abortions because of a lethal fetal abnormality, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which supports legal access to abortion. Kansas requires counseling on perinatal hospice services before all abortions.
Perinatal hospice services include helping families deal with the grief of a miscarriage, fetal death or death of a premature infant.
IS IT CONSTITUTIONAL?
Critics in Indiana question whether the measure is constitutional, and even GOP House Speaker Brian Bosma said he expects a court challenge if Pence signs the bill into law. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights backed a lawsuit challenging the North Dakota law.
“The Supreme Court has consistently held that laws that ban abortion pre-viability are unconstitutional. Laws that ban abortion outright are unconstitutional. This would be a ban on abortions and therefore unconstitutional,” said Kelli Garcia of the National Women’s Law Center in Washington, D.C., which supports reproductive rights.
HOW WAS THE BILL PASSED?
The GOP-controlled House voted 60 to 40 Wednesday in favor of the bill, which had already been approved last week 37 to 13 in the Republican-dominated Senate.
Many opponents objected to the way the House went about approving the measure. An earlier version that was passed by the House did not include the ban, which was added in the Senate. Rather than send the bill to committee to negotiate details, GOP House leaders sent it to the floor for a vote, under a procedural maneuver that did not allow lawmakers to make changes.
The bill was opposed by many female legislators, including Republicans, who said it went too far.
“It saddens me and makes me sick to my stomach to be up here right now,” Rep. Wendy McNamara, a Republican from Evansville, said during debate. “It’s bills like these that make people like me really hate the system.”
WILL THE GOVERNOR SIGN?
Pence is an anti-abortion social conservative who is facing a tough re-election in November and will have to count on his evangelical base producing a strong turnout.
But there is another consideration here. Under Indiana law, any bill approved by the Legislature that goes unsigned by the governor will automatically become law. That means, Pence would have to actually veto the bill to shut it down, which is unlikely given his faith and political stands.
Associated Press writers Brian Slodysko in Indianapolis, James MacPherson in Bismarck, North Dakota, and Carla K. Johnson in Chicago contributed to this report.
The post What’s in the Indiana bill banning abortions for fetal defects? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. — A leading Muslim civil rights group is calling on GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump to apologize for his claim that “Islam hates us.”
In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper that aired Wednesday night, Trump was asked whether he thinks Islam is at war with the West.
“I think Islam hates us,” Trump responded. “There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. There is an unbelievable hatred of us.”
The statement drew swift condemnation from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which called on Trump to apologize for the comment, as it has in response to other comments Trump has made.
“Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric does not reflect leadership, but instead reflects a bigoted mindset that only serves to divide our nation and the world,” Nihad Awad, the group’s national executive director said in a statement. The group suggested Trump could do so at Thursday evening’s GOP debate.
Trump’s statement also became an issue for Florida’s Republican Governor, Rick Scott, who repeatedly sidestepped questions in an interview with MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” Scott, who says he will not endorse in the primary but is friends with Trump, was asked whether he thinks “Muslims in the state of Florida hate America.”
Scott instead shifted his answer to more general themes, calling Florida “the best melting pot in the world” and saying: “We love everybody coming to our state.” The avoidance prompted host Mika Brzezinski to suggest ending the interview early.
The questions come as Trump continues to dominate the Republican presidential contest, locking up delegates, despite a series of controversial statements.
Trump has called for a temporary ban on foreign Muslims entering the U.S. and has advocated “going after” the wives and children of suspected Islamic jihadists in the wake of the Paris and San Bernardino attacks. Critics have argued that Trump’s plans would only exacerbate problems by alienating more moderate Muslims.
Trump and other Republicans have criticized President Obama and the Democratic candidates for failing to use the term “radical Islamic” when referring to Muslim jihadists or attacks by them.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton once explained she avoids the term because it “sounds like we are declaring war against a religion.”
Asked by CNN’s Cooper whether he thought there was a “war between the West and radical Islam” or “war between the West and Islam itself,” Trump replied: “It’s radical, but it’s very hard to define. It’s very hard to separate. Because you don’t know who’s who.”
Trump was also pressed on his vow to work to “broaden” laws restricting waterboarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques if he’s elected president in order to level the playing field between militants and the U.S.
Trump ruled out the U.S. beheading Islamic State militants, but again did not provide additional specifics when pressed on what he’s envisioning when he says, “we have to play with a tougher set of rules.”
CAIR claims that the rhetoric of Trump and other Republican officials is at least partially to blame for a spike in anti-Muslim incidents across this country in recent months.
The post Group asks Trump to apologize for saying ‘Islam hates us’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama said he’s proud of the moment he pulled the U.S. from the brink of launching airstrikes against the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, calling it the right decision to make.
In interviews with The Atlantic magazine published Thursday, Obama also called out U.S. allies who call for tougher U.S. action in Mideast conflicts but fail to take risks themselves, describing them as “free-riders.” He cast the sectarian conflicts roiling the region as a competition between Iran and close U.S. partner Saudi Arabia, and he urged both to find “an effective way to share the neighborhood.”
Of his 2013 decision not to strike Assad’s government, he said: “I’m very proud of this moment.”
“For me to press the pause button at that moment, I knew, would cost me politically,” Obama said. “And the fact that I was able to pull back from the immediate pressures and think through in my own mind what was in America’s interest, not only with respect to Syria but also with respect to our democracy, was as tough a decision as I’ve made.”
Obama had been close to ordering strikes to punish Assad for using chemical weapons against Syrians, with plans for military action ready to go. At the last minute, he said he’d ask for permission from Congress. The strikes never happened.
The reversal has become a prime example cited by those who argue Obama has lost his credibility in the Middle East, having failed to take action despite threatening that Assad’s use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” and trigger tough U.S. response. To Obama’s critics, the “red line” epitomizes his reluctance to use U.S. leadership and military might to promote U.S. interests in a dangerous region.
Obama acknowledged the broad perception that “America’s credibility was at stake” in the 2013 decision not to strike. Yet he said that “ultimately it was the right decision to make.”
In the interviews, which took place over many months, Obama offered an unusually blunt assessment of American allies in Europe and in the Persian Gulf region, especially regarding Libya, where a 2011 NATO intervention backed by the U.S. led to a vacuum of power that has fueled chaos and allowed extremist groups to thrive. Obama acknowledged that the intervention “didn’t work,” but also faulted allies who are closer geographically to Libya for relying too much on the U.S.
“What has been a habit over the last several decades in these circumstances is people pushing us to act but then showing an unwillingness to put any skin in the game,” Obama said. Asked if he meant they were free-riders, Obama repeated, “Free-riders.”
As part of a collaboration between The Atlantic and the PBS NewsHour, Judy Woodruff spoke with Jeffrey Goldberg, author of The Atlantic cover story on President Obama. Watch the full interview on Thursday’s show.
AP Diplomatic Writer Matthew Lee contributed to this report.
The post Obama says he’s proud of pulling back from Syria airstrikes appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In a global atmosphere of slow economic growth and very low interest rates, including the European Central Bank today, which dropped its key rate to zero, and others in recent weeks having gone even lower, dipping into negative territory, some economists and financial analysts have begun to ask if the trend has gone too far, lasted too long, and done too little good.
Paul Solman tracked one of those analysts down, as well as a little down-home music with an economics bent.
It’s all part of his weekly series, Making Sense, which airs every Thursday on the “NewsHour.”
MERLE HAZARD, Money Manager/Musician: Welcome back.
PAUL SOLMAN: From country crooner Merle Hazard, an homage to the old TV show “Hee Haw.”
MERLE HAZARD: Hey, Alison, when do you think interest rates are going up again?
ALISON BROWN, Musician: Well, that’s a question you’re going to have to ask Yellen.
MERLE HAZARD: Hey, Alison, when do you think interest rates are going up again?
PAUL SOLMAN: She means Janet Yellen, of course, chair of the Federal Reserve, which meets next week on a question that grips markets, businesses, consumers, even governments, or as Hazard, a Nashville money manager in real life, with the help of Grammy winners Alison Brown and Tammy Rogers King, puts it:
MERLE HAZARD (singing): How long how long will interest rates stay low? That’s the question. The whole world wants to know, how long, how long will interest rates stay low? It seems like, if they’re going up, they’re going pretty slow.
PAUL SOLMAN: And so next week’s policy question: Will the Fed hike interest rates even just a smidgen, as it did in December, or leave them alone?
MERLE HAZARD (singing): If you could predict it, you could make a lot of dough.
PAUL SOLMAN: Now, if Merle’s musical approach strikes you as a tad cornpone, be advised that one of the world’s great experts on interest rates, Mohamed El-Erian, dubbed it both brilliant and timely.
Look, says El-Erian:
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN, Author, “The Only Game in Town”: We are on a road right now that has been characterized by two things, enormous central bank intervention, not because they wanted to, but because they felt they had to, and, secondly, low, but stable growth. And that road is coming to an end.
MERLE HAZARD (singing): Our country’s Central Bank is really scared, that’s plain to see. When everything is leveraged, raising rates is misery, but keeping rates too low too long would cause us pain and sorrow. There is no easy option in a land of constant borrow.
PAUL SOLMAN: The Fed, America’s Central Bank, has kept interest rates rock-bottom low, by buying up Treasury bonds, mortgage bonds, all sorts of IOUs. The low rates were meant to induce spending and investment.
MAN: Mortgage rates are among the lowest they have been in generations.
PAUL SOLMAN: And, yes, economic growth has been steady ever since the great recession receded. Steady, but slow.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: We have been in a period where growth has been very sluggish, the so-called new normal, where we don’t bounce back. We end up below potential consistently.
PAUL SOLMAN: El-Erian popularized the term the new normal while helping run PIMCO, the world’s largest bond investor. But his new book, “The Only Game in Town,” argues that the new normal may be coming to a bitter end.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: How long will central banks continue to experiment? Because, at some point, when you experiment too much, the collateral damage and the unintended consequences exceed the benefits.
PAUL SOLMAN: The experiment of near-zero interest rates, that is, which might have induced not just investments, but risky investments, with cheap borrowed money, which could lead to market bubbles that then begin to burst.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Like, for example, we all wake up and we find that the stock market is down 10 percent.
PAUL SOLMAN: Or it’s down 20 percent, or it’s down 30 percent.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: And then we become more cautious, and we drag the economy down, not just low growth, recession.
PAUL SOLMAN: And that’s why they have raised interest rates even a little bit?
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Absolutely. And that’s why they haven’t rushed in earlier in the year, when we had financial volatility, to calm everything down immediately. In the past, they always used to rush in with nice, calming statements, saying, don’t worry, I have got your back. We are your BFF, markets. We are your best friends forever. They haven’t done this, this time.
PAUL SOLMAN: Just the opposite. Janet Yellen has actually said, although she wasn’t yelling, but — but pretty loud for a central banker, actually, in saying, hey, there are risks everywhere.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Absolutely. And she went to Congress and said, you know what? You have to help us.
JANET YELLEN, Federal Reserve Chair: Some of the burden should also be on Congress.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: We can’t do it on our own.
PAUL SOLMAN: By help, El-Erian means government spending on, say, infrastructure, as he has pressed President Obama to do in America, to stimulate slow-growing economies, or, as Merle Hazard puts it:
MERLE HAZARD (singing): Central banks around the world, not only in the states, are each at work on lengthy slumps, their countries’ tragic fates. Legislatures will not spend to give sufficient boost. Lower interest rates are all that’s left to get their countries juiced.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: The big tragedy is that we have pushed central banks to be the only game in town.
PAUL SOLMAN: The name of his book and central thesis about central banks.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Up to the financial crisis, they got blamed for being asleep at the wheel, too little regulation, too little supervision, you allowed banks to take irresponsible risks.
PAUL SOLMAN: But that was a fair charge, though.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: It was a fair charge. Then they stepped in and saved us. They averted a multi-year depression that would have not only harmed this generation, but future generations.
PAUL SOLMAN: But, by 2010, the new normal had begun to establish itself, time, says El-Erian, for the Fed to stop goosing the economy and hand off economic policy to the politicians.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: This was no longer about averting a depression, no longer about normalizing financial markets. And the politicians were paralyzed by political dysfunction.
MAN: The bill is not passed.
PAUL SOLMAN: Gridlock and thus, El-Erian thinks, insufficient spending and investment.
MERLE HAZARD (singing): Recovery has been long and slow. The crisis wounds are deep.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: And that’s where we are today.
MERLE HAZARD (singing): So, until we see inflation, money’s likely to be cheap.
PAUL SOLMAN: And this is also why central bankers and economists root for something that was long anathema, that is, inflation, because that would be an indication that people are spending and investing.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Yes.
And they hope that that inflation is good inflation, in a sense that it’s driven by higher wages, because, when you get inflation from higher wages, you also get higher consumption, higher demand.
PAUL SOLMAN: But I’m old enough to remember when what we were worried about was wage price inflation. Wages would go up, and then prices would go up, and it would spiral out of control.
MOHAMED EL-ERIAN: Yes. I’m old enough to remember those days. I’m old enough to remember when banks wanted your deposits.
I’m old enough to remember things that were conventional wisdom, and that today have been replaced by improbables. And that speaks to why the road we’re on is coming to an end. The system is signaling day in and day out it cannot continue like this.
PAUL SOLMAN: And that’s why the Fed is in such a quandary these days, causing Merle Hazard, among many others, to ask:
MERLE HAZARD (singing): How long until we really start to grow? Interest rates are going up, but they’re going pretty slow.
PAUL SOLMAN: For the “PBS NewsHour,” this is economics correspondent Paul Solman.
The post How long will the Fed have to ‘fiddle’ with interest rates? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now, a broad, yet intimate look at how President Obama views America’s role in the world. It comes from “The Atlantic”‘s Jeffrey Goldberg, who sat down for hours of interviews with the president for his cover story, “The Obama Doctrine,” out today.
Judy Woodruff begins our conversation with how the president’s foreign policy is seen.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG, The Atlantic: One of the interesting caricatures of President Obama is that he doesn’t believe that the U.S. is indispensable. You hear that from his critics all the time, that he’s a retrenchment president, he’s a withdrawal president, a declinist.
I think that’s wrong. I think he understands that America is indispensable to the smooth functioning of global affairs. I think he might be the first president who sometimes resents that role, who looks at our allies and thinks that these guys need to pay for something once in a while, these guys need to do more than they’re doing.
He is also a person who is more hesitant than the average president to use force, specifically in the Middle East. Now, there’s a contradiction here at the core of his presidency, which is that the president who his critics believe is almost a pacifist in some kind of way, a declinist, is also the greatest terrorist hunter in the history of the presidency.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do any of the critics get it right? Because, on the right, Republicans are saying this is a president who is weak, he’s feckless, he doesn’t believe in America’s strength, and on the left, you have got some liberals saying he’s been too inclined to use force, to use drones, and he doesn’t care enough about humanitarian crises.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right.
What he does that annoys people on the right is that he has set a very high threshold for what constitutes a direct national security threat to the United States. But the people on the left understand him to be a ruthless hunter of terrorists, right? They have that — they have that right.
But I think the right gets it wrong. They have this caricature of this kind of feckless president who doesn’t defend the United States. For instance, they talk about ISIS as if we’re not currently fighting ISIS. But the U.S. is deeply engaged in that fight, and that, of course, comes from President Obama.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You frame much of this remarkable article based on all these interviews, six hours, you spent talking with him just about foreign policy, around the Middle East.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And to a large degree, his decision not to intervene in Syria, going back to the announcement that he was drawing a red line.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: A red line for us is we start seeing a whole bunch of chemical weapons moving around or being utilized. That would change my calculus.
JUDY WOODRUFF: If Assad used chemical weapons, the U.S. would do something, and then he turned around and didn’t do something.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you come away from that understanding why he is so averse to the U.S. getting more involved in Syria?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: To take one step back, I think he’s drawn two conclusions about the Middle East. One is that it’s not fixable by the United States. He’s also come to the conclusion that it doesn’t matter that much, because we have become mainly energy-independent.
This region just matters less and less. And what happened in that red line moment was the whole apparatus, the whole national security apparatus was moving toward enforcement of that red line. And at the very last moment, he kind of threw up his hands and said, you know what, I don’t want to do this.
I think he believes that to be a hinge moment of his presidency.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The critical narrative of his foreign policy approach is that that’s — that’s the great failure of President Obama when it comes to dealing with the world.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right. Right.
That moment, when he decided not to take unilateral action, to throw it to Congress and sort of put a pause on everything, that was his — that was a very proud moment for him.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: I will seek authorization for the use of force from the American people’s representatives in Congress.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: The moment that a lot of people think was his weakest moment as president, he is recasting as his proudest moment, or the moment where he showed true leadership.
He believed that, if he had gone into Syria in 2013, the whole of his second term would have been eaten up, consumed by the Syrian civil war. And he looked at the situation in Iraq with George W. Bush as kind of a proof of that.
JUDY WOODRUFF: On the other hand, you have now the growth metastasizing of ISIS in Syria. You have this horrendous humanitarian crisis in Syria.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right. Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How — doesn’t that undermine what he believes?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right. Right.
Without endorsing this view, I would say that his view is that, A, he is fighting ISIS, because ISIS does represent — unlike the Assad regime in his mind, ISIS represents a direct national security threat to the United States, because they kill American citizens. The refugee thing, I think, is the one that has sent them reeling a bit, especially because the European allies are begging the United States for more intervention.
So, the gamble that he’s made is that not intervening in Syria has saved America from untold crises and terrible crises and loss of life. And there’s a very good chance that he’s correct, and, in 10 years, we will all say, wow, that was really clever of him to sort of stay — to stay back.
There’s a non-negligible chance, there’s a reasonable chance also that he’s made a terrible mistake, and that by not intervening earlier, he has let this civil war metastasize and affect not only the Middle East, but even our European allies.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Connected to that is his — what you describe as his willingness to just basically upend the way America has approached its friends and enemies in the rest of the Middle East, Saudi Arabia, Iran. He’s staked a lot on this Iran nuclear deal. He’s prepared to stand up to the Saudis.
Where does that come from?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right.
He, like a lot of Americans, I think, looks at Saudi Arabia and says, wait a second, 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia. There were no Iranians on those planes. And he looks at Saudi Arabia and its traditional export of extreme models of Islam to other parts of the world. And there’s another central pillar of our foreign policy in the Middle East, which is that, since 1979, Iran is our primary foe.
And he just looks at it and says, wait, Iran, not great. There’s this caricature that he has a romantic view of what Iran is going to become. I don’t think that’s necessarily true. But what he does look at is Saudi Arabia and sees it playing an unhelpful role in both the Middle East and in world Islam.
JUDY WOODRUFF: When it comes to Israel, the Palestinians, the perception is that he’s been way too tough on Israel, that his well-known difficult relationship with Prime Minister Netanyahu, that he hasn’t been tough enough on the Palestinians.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And he’s dealing with pretty significant personal animosity, isn’t he, from Netanyahu?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Well, this is one of the strangest relationships.
Like, the toxicity never sort of drains from this relationship. You have in Benjamin Netanyahu basically a guy who came to America literally to subvert President Obama’s marquee foreign policy goal. And Obama won that battle, but he will never forget what Netanyahu did.
From Netanyahu’s perspective, Obama is hopelessly naive about the realities of the Middle East.
JUDY WOODRUFF: China, it seems he’s been able to deal with China and has a — he has a pretty clear sense of where he thinks the U.S. is headed.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: China represents a threat and an opportunity, I think, in his mind.
This goes to his general predisposition toward dealing more with Asia and less with the Middle East. This is the pivot to Asia.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But he clearly hasn’t been able to pivot as much as he would have liked.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: No. Well, this is the point.
Once — I turned to him once, because I like movies as much as he does, and I know that he’s a fan of the “Godfather” movies. There’s a moment when Michael Corleone, who’s trying to be legitimate, realizes that the mob will always have him, is pulling him back. And he says, just when I — and I mentioned this scene, and I said, and Michael Corleone says:
AL PACINO, Actor: Just when I thought I was out…
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: And Obama finished the sentence.
AL PACINO: … they pull me back in.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: And I think that’s the way he understands the Middle East, which is, there are things to be done, important things to be done in Asia and Latin America and Africa in particular, in his mind, right, which is, by the way, most of humanity, and if the United States gets sucked further into the Middle East and its — and in the quicksand in the Middle East, there’s only so much bandwidth.
JUDY WOODRUFF: If you listen to the Republican candidates, you hear nothing but a relentless criticism of this president, that America’s much worse off under President Obama.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What have you seen in talking to him and trying to understand him, to contrast with that?
JEFFREY GOLDBERG: You know, whether you agree with President Obama’s world view or not, if you read this article in “The Atlantic,” you will see that he’s trying to reason his way through a set of very complicated challenges to the United States.
I don’t see anything resembling that kind of mature reasoning process going on in the debate we’re having around foreign policy. On the Republican side, you have people talking about carpet-bombing and committing war crimes and then reinstituting torture.
On the Democratic side, too, you have one of the two candidates has shown zero interest in actually thinking about foreign policy. I’m obviously talking about Bernie Sanders. There’s no doubt in my mind that President Obama does a lot of hard thinking about how to best manage the United States’ role in the world.
He might reach the wrong conclusions, and we don’t know. And we don’t know yet. We might not know for five or 10 or 15 or 20 years. But there is a process in place in his head, where he’s dealing with things in non-bumper sticker terms.
The problem for Obama is that none of his foreign policy ideas can fit on a bumper sticker. The problem in the campaign is that all of the foreign policy ideas fit on a bumper sticker. That’s the split.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Watch other stories from our partnership with “The Atlantic,” including Judy’s recent trip with James Fallows to small cities like Greenville, South Carolina, where big things are happening.
That’s at PBS.org/NewsHour.
The post The Atlantic examines Obama’s foreign policy legacy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: There are two states critical to any modern presidential election, the battlegrounds of Ohio and Florida. 2016 may be breaking all kinds of rules, but they remain crucial in this primary.
We turn now to Adam Smith, political editor at The Tampa Bay Times. And Michelle Everhart, political reporter for The Columbus Dispatch.
First, let’s talk about the folks for whom these are must-win states.
Adam, I want to start with you.
Marco Rubio has banked almost his entire campaign on Florida.
ADAM SMITH, The Tampa Bay Times: Well, yes.
Interestingly, he didn’t do much in Florida until very, very recently. I think he was running sort of a national campaign, focused on earned media nationally, as opposed to sort of protecting his home turf. And it has only been in the last couple of weeks, when he’s focused on Florida, which clearly is a must-win.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Adam, this is also a state where almost, what, a million Republicans have already voted, and with some of your reporting, you say that some of them are penalizing the direction he took against Trump over the last couple of weeks.
ADAM SMITH: Yes, you hear that a lot. And that’s one of the tricks in Florida.
There’s so much early voting. In every cycle, there’s more and more people voting early, so that more than half the vote is probably going to be cast by Tuesday. And that means you can’t have a last-minute spurt of momentum. You have got to be banking votes early.
And the early vote was occurring when Donald Trump was running. You hear a lot of voters complaining about Marco Rubio disappointing them with his sort of getting in the gutter, doing the sort of schoolyard bickering with Donald Trump.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Michelle, for you, it’s the governor. Governor Kasich has banked a lot on hopefully winning his home state.
MICHELLE EVERHART, The Columbus Dispatch: Yes, this is the change in the ball game for him.
This is where he plans to win. If he doesn’t win, he says he’s going to stay here in Ohio. So he is spending a lot of time here this week. They are spending a lot of money, about $2 million in ads from his super PAC. So this is definitely a must-win state for him.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s also talk about one of the endorsements that he received, Urban Meyer, OSU football coach. For the rest of the country watching, they say, why is that significant? But, in Ohio, Ohio State football coaches matter.
MICHELLE EVERHART: Absolutely.
I heard someone describe it this morning as Ohio State is a religion here. The Buckeyes are a religion in Ohio. So it’s also interesting because Donald Trump last week when he was in town talked about Urban Meyer had said nice things about him. And Urban kind of demurred and said that he wasn’t going to get involved into politics. And then this morning, the Kasich campaign drops this video with Urban Meyer talking about how he was endorsing him.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Adam, what about the rest of the Republican field in the state? How have you seen the campaign activity? I’m assuming that your TV is plugged full of political ads?
ADAM SMITH: Yes, I think it’s probably the case in Ohio, too. This is really kind of the last-ditch effort by sort of — quote, unquote — “establishment” in the party to really kind of send all guns a blazing at Donald Trump.
So, there’s a lot of anti-Trump ads. The super PAC that is backing Marco Rubio is doing a lot of those ads. Ted Cruz was hinting and actually saying that they were going to be sort of going in and trying to knock Marco Rubio out, oddly enough, in Florida, but that seems to be sort of more of a head-fake than anything else. They have not spent any money.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Michelle, what about the other Republican candidates in Ohio? Besides Kasich, who has a presence there?
MICHELLE EVERHART: We are not seeing any Trump — or — I’m sorry — we are seeing a lot of Trump ads, but we are not seeing any Rubio or Cruz ads. It’s like they’re not trying to make a play for Ohio.
So it’s mainly just between Trump and Kasich. Trump spent about $1 million so far here in ads.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Adam, I also want to ask about the Democratic contest between the support that Hillary Clinton already has there and the inroads Bernie Sanders might be making?
ADAM SMITH: Yes, they’re actually both in the state today, but that has been especially for Bernie Sanders. He’s not stepped foot in Florida for any kind of campaigning this entire cycle.
One of the big differences, both Ohio and Florida are winner-take-all for their delegates. On the Republican side, there is not much gain in trying to campaign if you’re in third place and have very little chance of winning at all.
But on the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton looks like she’s way, way ahead. She’s got deep, deep roots in Florida. But Bernie Sanders will walk away with some delegates out of the state.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Michelle, what about the Democratic activity in Ohio?
MICHELLE EVERHART: We saw former President Bill Clinton here yesterday in Columbia. He had a couple of stops and then went over to Dayton.
We have seen Bernie Sanders just a couple of times. I think here, in 2008, Hillary Clinton won, so I think she’s hoping to kind of carry that feared to this year, but, you know, the polls are showing her up, but we also saw what happened with the polls in Michigan, where she was way up there and didn’t walk away with the win.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And I also want to ask both of you kind of what’s on the voters’ minds. You’re on the ground there, you’re speaking to people, in some cases people who have not yet made up their minds or ones who are actually open to something maybe even in tonight’s debate changing their opinion?
ADAM SMITH: I think it’s the same thing that is on everybody’s mind. And for a political reporter, maybe it’s refreshing. Everybody is talking about this election. And God knows everybody is talking about Donald Trump.
So, you clearly have 30, 40 percent of the people that are fired up about him, and you have got a lot of people that are just horrified. But it’s the same thing. I think the same mood of frustration and anxiety and anti-establishment is as strong in Florida as anywhere.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Adam, are there specific issues that are resonating? Is it about the economy or terrorism or immigration? What is on the minds of Floridians?
ADAM SMITH: I think what makes Florida such a good microcosm for the rest of the country and such a good battleground is, we are such a — we reflect the rest of the country.
So, there are going to be some issues, Cuban American policy — you saw in the debate last night, that’s going to be — ties with Cuba, that’s going to be more of an issue obviously in Florida than elsewhere. Offshore drilling is a trickier issue here than clearly it would be, energy exploration, in Ohio.
But mostly I think it’s — the same people are anxious, and the economic statistics may show one thing, but people in their pocketbooks may feel a different thing.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Michelle, how about Ohioans?
MICHELLE EVERHART: It’s very much similar here in Ohio.
I think people care about what affects them most. And it’s the economy that affects them most. Are they going to be able to pay their next mortgage? Are they going to have a job? So, that’s what they’re most concerned about. And people are frustrated that they’re not getting the wage hikes that they want or not getting the hours that they want, or not finding the job that they want.
So, I think that’s what has played into some of this Donald Trump love or interest in people. They want somebody different. They want something new. They don’t see what’s been happening, they don’t see it as working.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Michelle Everhart, political reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, and Adam Smith of The Tampa Bay Times, thanks so much for joining us.
MICHELLE EVERHART: Thank you.
ADAM SMITH: Thank you.
The post Are Ohio and Florida the final frontier for trailing candidates? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now to a “NewsHour” essay with a different type of music.
Tonight, we hear from songwriter Josh Ritter on the doubt he feels on stage.
JOSH RITTER, Singer Songwriter: I have been writing songs and playing music for almost 20 years.
I began in my childhood bedroom, moved to open mics and then to opening for larger artists. And now I get to play my own shows in venues around the world. I’m not Rihanna, but I have always considered myself to have a healthy, growing career.
I get to make the music I want to make with the people I want to make it. I have sold out some theaters you have heard of. And my family and I are able to live a comfortable life. Enjoy this time, those close to me say. It’s all happening for you.
And yet, at the strangest moments, I find it impossible to do anything of the sort. In the middle of a show, sometimes in the middle of applause itself, I find myself certain that my wonderful audience will suddenly realize that I’m a fake and that my music has been terrible all along.
Will their collective come during the show itself, causing a slow hemorrhage of silhouettes passing through the exits never to return, or will people be kinder, stay dutifully to the end and then shake their heads softly with friends as they trail down the street?
What of my band? What of the people I work with? How long until they see that I’m a sham?
It’s thoughts like these that rob joy from the very moments when joy is most abundant. So, here is how I’m trying to approach such thoughts these days. I’m trying to remember that, while I’m an artist, I am many other things as well. I’m a father and a partner, a brother, son and friend. These are all roles that I will fill, even if the bottom suddenly falls out of my career.
I think about my heroes, folks like Leonard Cohen and Neil Young and Radiohead, who have followed their inspiration to forbidding places, making some of their finest, most adventurous work without reassurance of any kind that it would be appreciated or understood.
Self-doubt is a very persistent and difficult feeling to overcome. Often, I find it impossible to write because of it. Nothing feels correct. Nothing feels new. Perhaps I don’t have anything to say, so I shouldn’t say anything at all.
During this time, I try and surround myself with the unfamiliar, movies, books and music that I don’t normally listen to. In those moments, when I fear that I’m losing joy to mediocrity, self-delusion and doubt, I’m trying to open up my heart to the future.
I don’t know what will happen in my life. I have no idea what will become of the next album, the next show, the next song. All I know is that with the future comes the chance for many great and wonderful things to happen. It is that future to which I must turn. It’s hard work, but I’m trying hard.
The post How does a singer-songwriter deal with self-doubt on stage? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: As thousands of migrants and refugees sit stranded in Greece, former communist countries are leading the drive for Europe to seal its external borders. Their tough stance, along with a refusal to accept any refugees, has divided and potentially destabilized Europe. One of the most influential countries is Poland, where protesters are now taking to the streets.
Malcolm Brabant reports.
MALCOLM BRABANT: This was an energetic display of disdain by opponents of Poland’s government regarded in Western Europe as increasingly authoritarian.
At the biggest protests since Poland joined the E.U., activist Maria Kahlua complained that the ultra-conservative administration was helping to destabilize Europe.
MARIA KAHLUA, Committee to Defend Democracy: Their policy is very narrow-minded. It seems that they entered the European Union. They took a lot of support, financial, and not only financial. And now they try not to give back anything, which is really not fair, you know?
MALCOLM BRABANT: Along with other former Soviet Bloc nations, Poland joined the E.U. as part of the union’s eastward expansion in 2004.
For George W. Bush’s administration, Poland symbolized new Europe. Since then, the country has become the largest recipient of E.U. development funds. Its transport infrastructure, like this new bullet train, has transformed what was a previously backward nation.
But along with other former communist countries, Poland has adopted a hard-line approach over sealing Europe’s external borders and refusing to share the union’s migrant burden.
MARIA KAHLUA: If we believe in solidarity, we believe in European Union as not only a banker that opens a big account, and we can take big money from them, then we should also think about the crisis that is going on here and we should support refugees.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Right now, with more than 100,000 migrants having entered Europe in the first two months of the year, the E.U.’s foundations are being rocked to the core.
Greece, which is least equipped to handle the flow, is in danger of being cut off from the rest of Europe and transformed into a giant refugee camp as migrants find more and more obstacles in their way as they try to reach the north.
And Europe’s greatest achievement, its border-free Schengen zone, is on the verge of disintegrating.
Jacek Kucharczyk is a leading foreign affairs analyst monitoring the activities of the former communist states, known collectively as the Visegrad Group.
JACEK KUCHARCZYK, Institute of Public Affairs: Visegrad countries would be very happy to see Greece being sealed off from the rest of the E.U., because that would seem to them as the solution of their problems.
MALCOLM BRABANT: After appearing on one of Poland’s main political programs, Jacek Sasin, a senior parliamentarian with the main governing party, defended its policies.
JACEK SASIN, Law and Justice Party (through interpreter): The Visegrad Group is acting to protect the European Union. We don’t want to divide Europe by inner borders and border controls, but we want to enforce the external borders of the E.U. This is, by the way, what the E.U. Commission wants. The goal here is to do it efficiently.
MALCOLM BRABANT: Religion plays a key part in Poland’s resistance to refugees. This is a profoundly Roman Catholic country; 95 percent of the 38 million people are Catholics.
Ever since the Holocaust, Poland has been populated almost entirely by white Christians. And one of the country’s ultra-right parties wants to keep it that way by building a wall on Poland’s eastern plank if necessary.
Lawmaker Marek Jakubiak:
MAREK JAKUBIAK, Kukiz 15 Party (through interpreter): In their political correctness, Germans led by Angela Merkel made an ill-considered invitation to millions of Muslims. They invited Muslims to Christian countries. These are two different worlds.
MALCOLM BRABANT: But Islam has had a small presence in Poland for 600 years. Community leader Adham Mohamed Abd El Aal believes the current Polish attitude toward migrants will suffer.
ADHAM MOHAMED ABD EL AAL, Community Leader: Half of the Chicago is Poles. Half of Great Britain now, we have millions of Poles. They needed to live in a better way, so they left. Today, somebody needs them and needs to come here. They will understand sooner or later.
MALCOLM BRABANT: “Ode to Joy,” the European anthem, ended the rally in Gdansk, spiritual home of the Polish solidarity movement, which inspired the defeat of communism.
The European Union’s chief, former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, has warned E.U. countries not to take unilateral action over the refugee crisis. But his homeland doesn’t appear to be listening.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Malcolm Brabant in Poland.
HARI SREENIVASAN: You can find all of Malcolm Brabant’s reporting for us on the refugee crisis and its fallout on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.
The post Eastern Europe’s migrant crisis is causing political turmoil appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Good evening. I’m Hari Sreenivasan. Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff are away.
On the “NewsHour” tonight: immigration on the debate stage in Florida for both Republicans and Democrats.
Also ahead this Thursday, “The Atlantic” writer Jeffrey Goldberg takes a deep dive into President Obama’s foreign policy approach.
JEFFREY GOLDBERG, The Atlantic: He believed that, if he had gone into Syria in 2013, the whole of his second term would have been eaten up, consumed by the Syrian civil war.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And how much longer will federal interest rates remain low?
All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”
HARI SREENIVASAN: In the day’s other news, President Obama weighed in on the presidential race, and said Republican leaders can’t blame him for the rise of Donald Trump. He spoke after meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and he said years of hard-line opposition to his policies set the stage for what he called the Republican crack-up.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: There are thoughtful conservatives who are troubled by this, who are troubled by the direction of their party. I think it is very important for them to reflect on what it is about the politics they have engaged in that allows the circus we have been seeing to transpire.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The president also said he will announce a nominee soon for the U.S. Supreme Court. Senate Republicans say they won’t consider any nominee during this election year.
An intelligence windfall may be coming in the fight against the Islamic State group. British and German news organizations reported today they have received a trove of files naming ISIS fighters and their backgrounds.
As Darshna Soni of Independent Television News reports, it puts the militants on the defensive.
DARSHNA SONI: In recent weeks, the group has suffered a series of setbacks, and now another blow, one which will affect the morale of its foreign fighters and which will provide the security services with new intelligence on the group.
Leaked by an ISIS defector, 22,000 documents containing the names and personal details of around 1,700 foreign fighters — the documents are in effect the entrance questionnaires for would-be recruits, thought to be from a border crossing in Syria. They list details such as date of birth, home address and even blood group.
SHIRAZ MAHER, International Center for the Study of Radicalisation: It tells you who vouched for you inside ISIS to get you in, and so if you broke that down by different European countries, it would allow you to understand who key recruits were in certain places. That’s quite significant.
DARSHNA SONI: The documents show that the recruits were asked to list previous jihadi experience and to choose what role they’d like to play, including suicide bomber.
But their real value is in revealing networks, key recruiters and the links between them. The files have been published at a time when ISIS has suffered a number of setbacks. It has lost big chunks of territory and access to oil revenues.
One of its most senior commanders, Abu Omar al Shishani, has reportedly been seriously injured and its chemical weapons chief captured by American special forces. Added to that, 66 fighters defected to the FSA in Northern Syria. But analysts warn of exaggerating their decline.
According to the Institute for the Study of War, ISIS may have faced territorial losses in February in Syria and Iraq, but it made gains elsewhere. It strengthened its presence in Libya around Sirte and the group reached further afield with attacks or arrests in nations across the region.
The documents may not immediately affect the ability and influence of ISIS on the ground, but the fact that they have been leaked will affect the reputation of an organization for whom propaganda is everything.
HARI SREENIVASAN: German federal police say they’re now in possession of some of the material, and it appears genuine.
Migrants kept pouring into Greece today from Turkey, as an agreement loomed that could send them back. Rescue crews were out early near the island of Lesbos. Their arrivals added to the more than 40,000 people now stranded in Greece.
Meanwhile, in Brussels, some in the European Union complained the E.U. is giving up too much to win Turkey’s cooperation.
JOHANNA MIKL-LEITNER, Interior Minister, Austria: I think it’s highly questionable if Turkey’s government takes over~ an opposition newspaper and three days later confronts the European Union with a wish list and is rewarded. I question whether, in the end, we’re throwing us and our values overboard and what one should think of that.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Under the draft deal, Turkey would get more than $6 billion in aid, plus fast-track discussions on its bid to join the European Union.
Pope Francis imposed new financial regulations today for canonizing saints, amid allegations of mismanagement and corruption. Exposes in Italy have reported that contracts for verifying sainthood go to a favored few, and the overall cost averages $550,000. They also found the accounts used for that process are largely unregulated. Now an administrator will oversee each case.
Back in this country, heavy rain in northern Louisiana has left three dead, including a 6-year-old girl. Up to 18 inches fell in some places, forcing 1,000 people to leave their homes. In Shreveport, there was heavy flooding along the Red River. And elsewhere, social media video captured fish swimming and thrashing around on flooded streets. At least four other states are affected, with more rain to come this week.
Wall Street had a relatively quiet day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost five points to close at 16995. The Nasdaq fell 12 points, and the S&P 500 added a fraction.
Still to come on the “NewsHour”: election strategies for winning Ohio and Florida; the Obama doctrine, an in-depth look at the 44th president’s foreign policy; making sense of historically low interest rates; why Poland’s influence is key to solving the migrant crisis; and much more.
The post News Wrap: Obama attributes Trump’s rise to obstructive GOP; leaks identify ISIS fighters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: New endorsements, new polls and candidates seeking a new lease on life, those are the latest headlines in the presidential campaign on this day sandwiched between two debates.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS (VT-I), Democratic Presidential Candidate: If you guys come out to vote, we’re going to pull off an upset here as well.
JOHN YANG: As Bernie Sanders campaigned in Gainesville, Florida, he offered a sunny outlook. He’s hoping his upset win over Hillary Clinton in Michigan will boost him in key states that vote next Tuesday.
The Democrats debated in Miami last night, and clashed on immigration.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Democratic Presidential Candidate: I think our best chance was in 2007, when Ted Kennedy led the charge on comprehensive immigration reform. We had Republican support. We had a president willing to sign it. I voted for that bill. Senator Sanders voted against it. Just think. Imagine where we would be today if we had achieved comprehensive immigration reform nine years ago.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Well, when we talk about efforts to assist immigrants, Secretary Clinton prevailed upon the governor of New York, Eliot Spitzer, who wanted to do the right thing and provide driver’s license to those who were undocumented, she said, don’t do it, and New York state still doesn’t do it.
JOHN YANG: Clinton was confronted about the FBI investigation into her handling of e-mails as secretary of state.
Univision moderator Jorge Ramos asked if it might derail her campaign.
JORGE RAMOS, Moderator: If you get indicted, would you going to drop out?
HILLARY CLINTON: Oh, for goodness — that’s not going to happen. I’m not even answering that question.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
JOHN YANG: And, as he has before, Sanders also declined to take up the question.
SEN. BERNIE SANDERS: Climate change threatens the whole planet; 47 million people live in poverty. I’m going to focus on the issues facing the working families of this country.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: Thank you so much.
JOHN YANG: Republicans moved into Miami today for their debate tonight. Ted Cruz touted a timely endorsement from Utah senator Mike Lee, the first from any of his Senate colleagues.
SEN. MIKE LEE (R), Utah: There is a big difference between platitudes and a plan. Ted is that difference. There is a big difference between slogans and substance. And Ted is that difference.
JOHN YANG: The endorsement comes as Cruz is trying to consolidate the GOP’s anti-Donald Trump forces behind him. Today, the Republican front-runner again went after Cruz, saying he’s unelectable. But most of the focus was on Trump’s appearance last night on CNN, and his latest broadside at Islam.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: Do you think Islam is at war with the West?
DONALD TRUMP (R), Republican Presidential Candidate: I think Islam hates us. There’s something — there’s something there that’s — there’s a tremendous hatred there. There’s a tremendous hatred. We have to get to the bottom of it. And we can’t allow people coming into this country who have this hatred of the United States.
JOHN YANG: The atmosphere of Trump rallies also drew new attention, when a man was charged with punching a protester in Fayetteville, North Carolina, last night.
JOHN YANG: Even as police appeared to be removing the protester.
For Marco Rubio, he told MSNBC last night that he now regrets some of the cruder volleys he’s fired at Trump.
SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FL), Republican Presidential Candidate: It’s not something I’m entirely proud of. My kids were embarrassed by it, and I — you know, if I had to do it again, I wouldn’t.
JOHN YANG: The Florida senator faces a do-or-die contest in his home state on Tuesday, where new polls show Trump with a strong lead.
Another new survey puts governor John Kasich ahead in his home state, Ohio. He picked up endorsements today from The Cleveland Plain Dealer and Ohio State University football coach Urban Meyer.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.
HARI SREENIVASAN: We will hear from reporters on the ground in two of next Tuesday’s battleground states after the news summary.
The post Cruz receives Lee endorsement — and vehement criticism from Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau brought “Trudeaumania” to America on Thursday and the verdict was a resounding thumbs-up.
“Breath of fresh air,” ”impressive” and “very impressive” was how some of the guests at a splashy White House state dinner in Canada’s honor described the country’s new leader. Trudeau is the boyish-looking, 44-year-old son of a former Canadian prime minister.“He’s cool,” said actor Michael J. Fox, who was born in Edmonton. Fox declared himself a fan of Trudeau’s father, Pierre Trudeau, whom he described as the “coolest world leader going. He seems to be pretty cool, too,” Fox said of the younger Trudeau.
“When I lived in Canada, Pierre Trudeau was my prime minister for 14 years and he’s my hero,” said actor Mike Myers, who sported a head of snow white hair for his first White House state dinner, the first for Canada in nearly 20 years. “Now I’m thrilled to have his son as my prime minister. I think it’s going to be a great time for Canada and a great time for Canadian-U.S. relations.”
More than 170 guests sporting tuxedos and designer gowns filed in for dinner in the East Room, which was transformed by the addition of cascading arrangements of blooming orchids, hydrangeas and amaranth in shades of green and white intended to evoke the coming of spring — much like Trudeau’s election in October has ushered in a new season in Canadian politics.
“I’m extremely proud of Canada,” said actress Sandra Oh, formerly of “Grey’s Anatomy,” who was born in Ottawa, the Canadian capital. “Obviously, he carries the legacy of one of our greatest prime ministers so I’m extremely excited to meet him.”
Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said he was not the least bit surprised by the hubbub over Trudeau; the senator lives about an hour away from the border.“He’s a breath of fresh air,” said Leahy.
The guest list featured a hefty dose of Canadian star power from actors Fox, Myers, Oh and Ryan Reynolds, along with “Saturday Night Live” creator Lorne Michaels. Professional sports were represented by the U.S. hockey and basketball commissioners, along with retired NBA player Grant Hill and his wife, Tamia, a Canadian singer. Leahy and a few other Democratic senators were joined by Republicans Susan Collins of Maine and Orrin Hatch of Utah.
Like at previous state dinners, political donors made the guest list, too. Adam Silver, commissioner of the National Basketball Association, contributed $3,500 to Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign and $2,700 more recently to Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential run.
Longtime Obama supporter Irwin Jacobs, founder of the Qualcomm tech firm, also attended. Jacobs gave more than $2 million to a “super” political action committee supporting the president’s re-election. The La Jolla, Calif., billionaire also gave nearly $23,000 to Obama’s campaign and to the Democratic Party.
First lady Michelle Obama turned again to one of her favorite designers, Jason Wu, who dressed her in a strapless midnight blue floral jacquard gown with asymmetrical draping. Taiwan-born Wu was raised in Canada. Trudeau’s wife wore a bright purple dress with coral flower trim by Canadian designer Lucian Matis, who immigrated from Romania.Daughters Malia and Sasha attended their first state dinner. Malia, 17, sat with Oh and Sasha, 14, sat with Reynolds and his wife, actress Blake Lively. Mrs. Obama sat with Fox.
The menu was also designed with spring in mind: halibut casserole with spring vegetables; salad with apricots roasted in ginger, cardamom and White House honey; and herb-crusted Colorado lamb drizzled with a Canadian whiskey sauce.
The dessert cake was made with toasted Texas pecans and New England maple syrup, and was accompanied by a separate hand-crafted sugar sculpture inspired by the Rocky Mountains and bearing an assortment of petite pastries with American and Canadian influences.
Toasting Trudeau, Obama said, “Here in America, you may well be the most popular Canadian named Justin” — a reference to Canadian-born pop star Justin Bieber.
Trudeau reciprocated by paying tribute to Malia and Sasha, saying he admired them and advising them that their remarkable childhood will give them “extraordinary strength and wisdom” for the rest of their lives.
Sara Bareilles, a favorite of Mrs. Obama and known for her hit, “Love Song,” was headlining the after-dinner entertainment.
Trudeau took office in November and carries one of the most famous names in Canadian political history. His late father was prime minister for the better part of 16 years, between 1968 and 1984, and remains the rare Canadian politician who is recognized in America.
The post Canadian prime minister brings ‘Trudeaumania’ to White House appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Video by PBS NewsHour
President Ronald Reagan’s letter to wife Nancy on Dec. 25, 1981, their first Christmas in the White House. Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney read it at Friday’s funeral service for Mrs. Reagan.
Dear Mrs. R,
I still don’t feel right about you opening an envelope instead of a gift package.
There are several much beloved women in my life and on Christmas, I should be giving them gold, precious stones, perfume, furs and lace. I know that even the best of these would still fall far short of expressing how much these several women mean to me and how empty my life would be without them.
There is of course my “First Lady.” She brings so much grace and charm to whatever she does that even stuffy, formal functions sparkle and turn into fun times. Everything is done with class. All I have to do is wash up and show up.
There is another woman in my life who does things I don’t always get to see but I do hear about them and sometimes see photos of her doing them. She takes an abandoned child in her arms on a hospital visit. The look on her face only the Madonna could match. The look on the child’s face is one of adoration. I know because I adore her too.
She bends over a wheelchair or bed to touch an elderly invalid with tenderness and compassion just as she fills my life with warmth and love.
There is another gal I love who is a nest builder. If she were stuck three days in a hotel room she’d manage to make it home sweet home. She moves things around – looks at it straightens this and that — and you wonder why it wasn’t that way in the first place.
I’m also crazy about the girl who goes to the ranch with me. If we’re tidying up the woods, she’s a peewee power house at pushing over dead trees. She’s a wonderful person to sit by the fire with, or to ride with or first to be with when the sun goes down or the stars come out. If she ever stopped going to the ranch I’d stop too because I’d see her in every beauty spot there is and I couldn’t stand that.
Then there is a sentimental lady I love whose eyes fill up so easily. On the other hand she loves to laugh and her laugh is like tinkling bells. I hear those bells and feel good all over even if I tell a joke she’s heard before.
Fortunately, all these women in my life are you – fortunately for me that is, for there could be no life for me without you. Browning asked; “How do I love thee – let me count the ways?” For me there is no way to count. I love the whole gang of you – Mommie, first lady, the sentimental you, the fun you, and the peewee power house you.
And oh yes, one other very special you – the little girl who takes a “nana” to bed in case she gets hungry in the night. I couldn’t and don’t sleep well if she isn’t there – so please always be there.
Merry Christmas you all – with all my love.
The post Read President Reagan’s love letter to Nancy Reagan appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
To stop a terrorist, it helps to think like one. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is channeling that philosophy with its new Improv program that encourages engineers, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts to imagine how someone might repurpose commercially available devices as weapons. The Pentagon is even offering to fund the process so that some inventors can turn their ideas for hacked cell phones, model rocket motors, drones and other gadgets into prototypes.
DARPA wants to assemble the world’s biggest “red team”—a group of outsiders that can help the Department of Defense get ahead of terrorists looking to attack military personnel, equipment or operations. DARPA will evaluate proposals it receives as part of Improv and within the next month dole out up to $40,000 per proposal to help the proposers study the feasibility of their idea. Once the feasibility studies are completed, DARPA will award another $70,000 to each project it wants to see developed into a basic working prototype that the U.S. military can evaluate. The winners will have three months to build these prototypes and could win up to an additional $20,000 for their efforts.
The increasing sophistication and relentless pace of new technologies available via the Web make it impractical for DARPA to continue to rely exclusively on a small group of its own handpicked experts to identify new ways of using technology that might pose a national security threat, Improv project leader John Main said Wednesday at a press briefing. “Basically you can get undreamed of levels of technological capability by getting on Amazon and Alibaba today that wasn’t possible 10 or 15 years ago,” he added.
Main, who is a program manager in DARPA’s Defense Sciences Office, declined to elaborate on the specific types of technology proposals that DARPA wants to evaluate. “I want the red team’s opinion,” he added. “I don’t want my opinion. If I say something, I’ll suddenly get a thousand proposals on that.”
U.S. law enforcement and intelligence leaders have lately taken the controversial stance that they need outside help to keep up with technologically sophisticated bad guys. Ostensibly, this is why the FBI wants Apple to help the agency unlock the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino terrorism suspect Syed Rizwan Farook. It is also behind Defense’s “Hack the Pentagon” program announced earlier this month that invites cybersecurity experts to test the defenses of certain public DoD Web sites.
It remains to be seen how technology companies will react to what could amount to be government-supported attempts to weaponize their products. Since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden’s 2013 revelations about the extent of U.S. government digital surveillance programs, companies including Apple and Google have begun to introduce countermeasures such as encryption into their devices. Improv could be seen by those companies as an effort by the government to counter those countermeasures. Incidentally, Snowden—speaking via a video feed at Common Cause’s March 8 Blueprint for a Great Democracy conference—said the government’s claims that they couldn’t successfully unlock Farook’s iPhone are “bullshit.”
Although Improv’s introduction comes suspiciously soon after the FBI and Apple moved their legal sparring into the public eye, Main insisted that Improv was not developed in response to any particular case or technology. The program is more a recognition that the abundance of affordable, sophisticated devices available to just about anyone makes it difficult for DARPA to perform its traditional duty of staying ahead of emerging threats, he said. The agency also downplayed the possibility that encouraging gadget hacks could inspire or even fund new ways for terrorists to carry out attacks. “I actually do want to draw attention to technologies because potential adversaries are very smart, and we want to think of these things first,” Main said. He also floated the idea that DARPA might not make certain Improv projects public if there are concerns for the safety of the public and military personnel.
Hack the Pentagon and Improv share the same goal of evaluating technologies to find security problems before the U.S.’s enemies do. A key difference between the programs is that the department says it will conduct background checks on any programmers participating in the Pentagon cybersecurity hacking project. Speaking at the recent RSA Conference on cybersecurity in San Francisco, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter likewise acknowledged that technology is changing too fast to ignore the potential value that outsiders can bring to the government’s cybersecurity efforts. Hack the Pentagon resembles so-called “bug bounty” programs that Facebook, Google and other tech companies have run for years to help them find vulnerabilities in their products before malicious hackers can exploit them.
The post New Pentagon program will pay tech inventors to think like terrorists appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
The words “brain tumor” do not normally conjure up the image of a gallery wall awash in lavender.
But that’s the surprising beauty of “Connecting Narratives,” artist Dr. Immy Smith’s project to bring new attention to brain tumors and the dangers they pose.
Smith, who studied biomedicine before earning a doctorate in pharmacology, is a artist-in-residence at the Brain Tumour Research Centre at the University of Portsmouth in the U.K. There, she worked with the lab scientists to develop an exhibition visualizing the often-unseen issue of treating brain tumors.The exhibition, currently on view at the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, consists of two parts. For the first, Smith created 121 paintings to represent the more than 120 types of brain tumors that exist. She used two colors meant to symbolize the two types of cells, neural and glial, from which brain tumors can arise. “Just as you can make many patterns from just two colors of ink by blending them in different ways or in different amounts, there are many types of brain tumors arising from differential expression of genes in just two cell types,” she said.
Then, she created large-scale ink drawings to which visitors can add their own lines using white-board markers. Both pieces comment on the complexity of brain tumors, providing a visual reminder of why they are so difficult to treat, she said.
“They’re really devastating diseases. They’re one of the only cancers that can directly affect your cognition and personality,” she said. “There’a lot of really unique challenges that apply to brain tumors.”For the second part of the project, Smith conducted interviews with seven patients, a process for which she sought approval from an scientific ethics committee at Portsmouth University. “We treated asking for people’s memories the same way we would asking for a blood sample or a tissue sample,” she said. “We were very rigorous.”
Smith produced a large book consisting of their different stories. She offered anonymity to anyone who participated, but everyone chose to speak on the record. “Nobody wanted to remain anonymous. All the patients wanted their stories shared,” she said.Brain tumors are the top cause of cancer-related mortality among adults under 40 in the U.K. That’s a fact that surprises a number of people, Smith said. “There isn’t a great deal of public awareness of brain tumors in the same way there is of breast cancer,” she said.
Smith hopes to change that by addressing the subject visually, drawing in viewers who would otherwise think of brain tumors as a distant medical concept.
“I think one of the things that art can really bring to science is overcoming a lot of the jargon and the fear people have of all those long words and make it more accessible,” she said. “We can tackle these problems more fully with both art and science, when we use all the faculties available to us.”
“Connecting Narratives” will appear at the Aspex Gallery in Portsmouth, U.K, through April 1.
The post For this scientist, brain tumors are an artistic inspiration appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The Trump Winery’s flagship wine, a 2009 blanc de blanc, is bright and dry, and pairs well with mild cheeses.
The sparkling wine, which costs $24 a bottle, was a hit with Darlene and Jim VanBlarcom, dairy farmers from Pennsylvania who, while on a road trip through the South, went out of their way yesterday to stop at Donald Trump’s vineyard here on the outskirts of Charlottesville.
“It’s effervescent, with a little bit of sweetness but not too much,” said Darlene VanBlarcom, who, like her husband, is supporting Trump for president. “For me, it works.”The couple had not planned to visit the winery until Trump defended it — along with his line of steaks and other Trump-branded goods — in a speech on Tuesday, in response to an attack on his business record by Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee.
“It’s the largest winery on the East Coast,” Trump said in the speech, which followed victories in Michigan and Mississippi that solidified his status as the Republican front-runner.
“We’re very proud of of it. We make the finest wine, as good a wine as you can get anywhere in the world,” Trump added.
Trump’s unabashed promotion of his own commercial product during a campaign speech was the latest example of his willingness to ignore the rules of conventional politics.
It also sparked new interest in the vineyard, leading to an uptick in visitors and online orders in the days after Trump’s speech, according to Kerry Woolard, the property’s general manager.
Woolard said she was working from home on Tuesday evening when a friend texted her with the message that he had just mentioned the winery on national television.
“In that moment I started making plans to be busier than usual,” Woolard said. She called in extra staff to help with wine tastings and online shipments, which have spiked about 1,000 percent since Trump’s impromptu advertisement. “It has been good for business, there’s no question.”
Trump bought the 1,300-acre estate for around $20 million in 2011, Woolard said. The property included a 200-acre vineyard that had stopped producing wine, and a 45-room mansion built by Patricia Kluge, the wife of media mogul John Kluge.
Over the past four years, Woolard and her team brought the vineyard back to life. It now has 12 varieties of grapes and produces 40,000 cases of wine per year. Woolard, who has worked in the wine industry in Virginia for more than decade, said the winery is the state’s largest.
Eric Trump, one of Donald Trump’s children, serves as the president and visits the winery once a month, Woolard said. She said the elder Trump also stops by a few times a year, and each time, takes a detailed inspection of the grounds.
The Trump Winery website contains the following disclaimer: “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.” Still, the property’s general manager refers to Trump as her boss.
Having Donald Trump as a boss is “actually frightening in the best possible way,” she added. “He’s scary smart, and super focused. He can pick out the smallest detail, from a light switch cover being crooked to much bigger things.”
It was Trump who suggested installing the enormous American flag outside of Trump Grand Hall, an imposing, 36,000-square foot venue that sits on a hill overlooking the vineyard. Signage on the property bears Trump’s trademark colors of black and gold.
On a visit to the vineyard two days after Trump’s speech, couples lounged in chairs on an outdoor terrace after finishing their wine tastings. Inside the Trump Winery Tasting Room, elegant wooden shelves were stocked with Trump-themed merchandise, including the candidate’s iconic “Make America Great Again” baseball caps.
Mike Haywood, a retired sales representative from Portsmouth, Va., said he was impressed by Trump’s business acumen, but was not enamored with his campaign so far, though he planned to vote for Trump if he wins the Republican nomination.
“At this point I’m not convinced Trump is a real Republican,” said Hayward, who supported Ben Carson before he dropped out of the race. “But I’m not voting for Hillary. Period.”
Haywood’s wife Cathy, a court reporter, said she was also a former Carson supporter. But while they shared the same political views, their tastes in wine ran in opposite directions.
“She likes a sweet rose or white wine, and I prefer a dry red,” Mike Haywood said. The glass of red that he settled on for his post-tasting drink, he added, was satisfactorily dry, and had a nice “bit of bourbon after-flavor.”
Farther off on the lawn, Nicole and Aaron George, a lone pair of Clinton supporters, enjoyed a bottle of Trump’s blanc de blanc, which won the double-gold award at the 2015 San Francisco International Wine Competition, and a plate of cheese and charcuterie.
The Georges belong to the vineyard’s wine club, and said they would keep up their membership regardless of what happens in the election.
“We’re not going to vote for Trump. But we’re going to come drink his wine,” Nicole said.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to better clarify ownership of the Trump winery.
The post Inside the Trump winery: come for the pinot, stay for the politics appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
“Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story …” That’s an expression that we say every now and then in newsrooms — with tongue firmly in cheek. But on my last few reporting trips to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, I realized the converse was true: “Don’t let the story get in the way of some good facts.”
You see, I went to Japan with the intent to do a film for PBS NOVA on the unprecedented cleanup of the triple nuclear meltdown disaster. While we were shooting workers and the various techniques and technology being employed there to try to stop the radioactive leaking and ultimately clean up the mess, we happened upon some extraordinary individuals.
I’m talking about the heroes who stayed at the stricken plant in those dark days five years ago, fighting an invisible enemy, fairly certain they would not survive. They are collectively called “the Fukushima 50.” (There are actually more than 60 of them, but that is neither here nor there.)
I met one of them in the damaged control room for units one and two. He is there now helping manage the complicated cleanup. And he was there five years ago when everything hit the fan.
“We had only small fluorescent lights and flashlights,” he said. “We had given up on our own survival.”
But when I asked him whether he viewed himself in heroic terms, he didn’t just demur. He took exception.
“It doesn’t exactly fit Japanese sensibilities,” he said. “The word ‘hero’ isn’t quite — you know — It doesn’t fit.”
He was born and raised near the plant, and his town was and is evacuated as a result of the meltdowns. His former neighbors blame him for what happened, and he and his family have been the target of this lingering anger.
It was difficult for me to understand this initially. In Japan, people go to work for one company and almost always spend their careers without leaving. The corporation is just another extension of their family, and so when it fails, as Tokyo Electric Power Company did in so many ways on so many levels, each employee — from the C-level suites on down the chain — feels individual responsibility for the collective action or inaction of the company.
In our culture, we would be much more likely to blame management, government regulations, unions, the weather, illegal immigrants, sunspots, Mercury in retrograde, and last but not least, Obama.
But each of the Fukushima 50 who I had the honor to interview had an identical reaction to my query about the “H-word.” None of them would have anything of it.
The main hero in my PBS NOVA film “Nuclear Meltdown Disasters” is TEPCO engineer Takeyuki Inagaki.
“We were fighting an invisible enemy — out of control reactors,” he told me. “It was like fighting a war.”
He told me he and his coworkers assumed they were not going to make it out alive, and yet they stayed and did everything they could to beat back the invisible enemy. When I asked him the question, he told me, “There’s nothing to be proud of.”
He said they did it all for their families, for their hometowns, for their neighbors. And “the reality is tens of thousands of people are still under evacuation, and we’re the ones that caused that. By no means are we heroes.”
Yesterday, I got a beautiful email from Tak. He was forwarding an email he received from a Californian who had just watched my film and was sufficiently motivated to track down Tak’s email to tell him this: “You stated that you did not consider yourself a hero in this tragic event. I beg to differ. You and your associates were very brave. You put your lives in constant danger to protect and save the citizens of your country. This is my definition of HERO.”
“This type of message really encourages me,” Tak told me. And he thanked me for making the film.
The truth is, as bad as Fukushima was, it surely would have been worse if people like Tak had not performed in such a heroic manner. The word does apply by any objective measure outside the often inscrutable Japanese culture.
And so on this fifth anniversary of the Great Tohoku earthquake, I would like to thank those workers at Fukushima Daiichi who struggled mightily in the tense, pitch darkness hoping to find a way to save the day — knowing full well it could have been their last.
In July, Miles O’Brien reported for NOVA the the minute-by-minute story of the Fukushima nuclear crisis — the one you know about, and the one you likely don’t: the perilously close call at the other Fukushima nuclear power plant a few miles away from the meltdowns.
Watch more of Miles O’Brien’s PBS NewsHour coverage of the disaster at Fukushima here:
The post The heroes of Fukushima Daiichi, but don’t call them that appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
In a Skype interview, David Marshall of the U.N. describes findings in a new report on violence in South Sudan.
South Sudan’s government forces are encouraging its armed militias to take women and girls as “currency” in place of wages, a new U.N. report found.
Human rights atrocities, including rape, killings and looting, are taking place on both sides of South Sudan’s civil war, which has been raging for more than two years, according to the report released on Friday.
“In South Sudan, the reality is you’re either a loyalist (to the government) or you’re not. And if you’re not, you’re in peril of harassment, detention and death,” said David Marshall, coordinator of the U.N. human rights agency’s recent assessment of South Sudan.
“The youth (in government-aligned militias) were told by the army commanders to take what you can, including women and girls” since the fighters couldn’t be paid wages, Marshall told the PBS NewsHour’s Hari Sreenivasan. The government sends its armed forces into areas thought to contain the opposition in order to take the residents’ cattle and destroy civilian property including homes, hospitals and schools. Government officials have denied the findings.
Both sides accuse the other of targeting places of refuge, including churches, hospitals and U.N. bases. U.N. forces sent into South Sudan to protect civilians were blocked by warring parties from certain areas.
A woman reported being tied to a tree as her child was gang-raped, said Marshall. “For me, one of the most shocking findings is after two-and-a-half years of extreme sexual violence, how it’s corroding … the fabric of the community. So mothers have seen children gang-raped, they’ve lost their husbands, they’re on the run, they’re starving. And the communities are broken.”
The campaign of violence has continued even though South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riek Machar signed a comprehensive peace agreement in August. “There appears to be little political will to explore issues of truth, justice and accountability,” according to the report.
Since the fighting began in December 2013, more than 600,000 have fled to camps in Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, and 1.5 million people have been displaced within South Sudan, putting them in danger of severe food shortages and possible famine, the report said.
In Sudan, and now South Sudan, over decades there have been cycles of extreme violence followed by reconciliation, forgiveness and amnesties, followed by more violence, said Marshall. “There’s no meaningful justice and this is clearly the problem.”
The U.N. report recommends the political and military leadership are removed from power, investigated, prosecuted and punished. And a transitional government should not include anyone who orchestrated the violence and commit to justice, he said.
The post UN: Women and girls are ‘currency’ in South Sudan’s civil war appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, well, let’s continue the conversation about the week in politics.
Last night’s GOP debate could have possibly been on PBS. It was definitely a different tone, a different vibe.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Why do you think that was?
DAVID BROOKS, New York Times Columnist: Yes, Alistair Cooke as actually moderating it.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
I think it was because the other candidates decided, especially Marco Rubio, that if they go after Trump the way they were, personally, just in the gutter, that they end up hurting themselves. And I think there is some evidence for Rubio to that effect.
And so it was a more Rubio-style debate. And I thought he did well, because it was a substantive debate. It was more uplifting. And he did well, but not substantially well enough to change the nature of the race, I don’t think.
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: Not for the first time observed that the campaigns — or campaigns are like parallel skiing.
That is, you’re competing in Ohio, while your opponents are in Tampa, Florida, or Dearborn, Michigan, and a debate brings you all together. This is the chance for you to rearrange the standing, especially if you’re behind.
And last night, there was none of that. I mean, rather than PBS, I would say it was C-SPAN subcommittee hearings on the Subcommittee on Weights and Measures. It was about that stimulating, instead of the past debates, which have been like the housewives of the Jersey Shore, and you turn them on expecting for someone to throw a household appliance at the other.
And I think — to some degree, I think David’s right. They found out that it didn’t work. It has worked for Donald Trump, but it doesn’t work to be a mini-Trump, as Marco Rubio proved. But I think, Hari, that may be the opening admission, acknowledgment that Donald Trump is going to be the nominee, because if you pass up a chance to really take a shot and to try and change the chemistry and the dynamic of the race — and you don’t get that many opportunities, where everybody is watching at the same time.
I think the failure of people to engage Trump last night, almost an admission, may be the beginning of the concession.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk a little bit about what’s at stake coming up Tuesday with Ohio and Florida, two big otherwise general battleground states.
Yesterday, there were comments made on stage by Donald Trump saying, look, two of us have the possibility here, two of us don’t.
Is that basically the case in terms of Governor Kasich and Marco Rubio? If they don’t win their home states, do they pack up?
DAVID BROOKS: Rubio probably does.
You know, if they win their home states, then Donald Trump has to get nearly 60 percent of the remaining delegates, or nearly 70 percent of the remaining delegates, and that’s a tall order.
And so if they win there , if Kasich and Rubio win, then we’re looking at going into the convention without at least a clear nominee. If they lose, I think Rubio probably has to get out. You get the sense, just the vibe this week that the air is a little popping out of his campaign, a bad, really bad event in the football stadium, and just a lot of Republicans sort of walking away.
Kasich, on the other hand, maybe because he started lower, he’s still got some energy around his campaign. And so I think he can lose and hang in there. If it was he, Cruz and Trump, Kasich was suddenly — a lot of people might go to him.
If Trump wins them both, then he will probably win them all on Tuesday. And it’s just the biggest day of the season. And then you would have to think he’s probably the nominee.
MARK SHIELDS: Yes, John Kasich is an interesting one.
He’s run a positive campaign, the governor of Ohio, and has not got into the back and forth and the insult exchange that has dominated most of the Republican debates. For the first time, Donald Trump is running an anti-Kasich commercial in Ohio, and it will be interesting to see what John Kasich does in the next few days between now and then.
Does he take it in just passive, in pacifist fashion, or does he hit back? It’s obviously an invitation. Trump wants to win Ohio. What he has going for him right now is Urban Meyer, the coach at Ohio State, perhaps the most — football coach at Ohio State — perhaps the most popular figure in the state.
If it isn’t an endorsement, it’s certainly an embrace, a TV spot that he’s cut with John Kasich and John Kasich’s family, speaking very glowingly of qualities John Kasich’s mother had not been aware he had probably before.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Does John Kasich go into the convention — let’s — there’s probably mathematically not a way that he’s going to outscore Trump and Cruz in terms of delegates.
But when he goes into that convention, what does he do there? Is this a matter of saying, hey, it’s open and I think I’m still a viable candidate, and, by that time, people will see me as the guy that they want to nominate?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, let’s play it out.
If Trump doesn’t have a majority of the delegates, then I think there will be — and they can sort of rewrite the rules. I think there will be a period pre-nominate — pre-convention where the candidates will be going after the delegates, Republican, and saying, commit, commit, commit, commit to me.
And they are going to try, all the candidates, to win those delegates over. And then it just becomes a bidding war. And it will all be quiet. And then they will try to commit before we even get to the convention. And I suspect most of the delegates will lie and they will say, yes, Mr. Trump, I’m with you, yes, Mr. Cruz, I’m with you, too.
And so then it’s all — then we don’t know what happens. Then it’s complete chaos.
MARK SHIELDS: I don’t know how John Kasich goes after Ohio.
I mean, I don’t know where he mounts a campaign that makes him a competitor, a serious challenger for the nomination. I mean, he can certainly go to the convention, which is in Cleveland, and having carried Ohio, if he does so. That’s not unimpressive by any means.
But if Trump is within 100 delegates of the nomination, he will get them. I have seen candidates. Candidates get 100 delegates, 100 people who want to be — they know that your — chance to be the next president of the United States or certainly the nominee of your party. And they want to be in the good side of such a nominee. I have just — I have seen it in the past.
DAVID BROOKS: Maybe with 100, but Trump is a unique candidate.
There is more opposition to Trump. I have just felt it all week, so many people. You go to them, some members of Congress, some just activists.
MARK SHIELDS: I agree. Yes.
DAVID BROOKS: And you say, could you support Trump? And they say, I just couldn’t. I just couldn’t pull the lever.
And so there’s — he’s unique in that regard.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Let’s talk a little bit about the other side.
Why, Mark, is this race on the Democratic side still continuing? I mean, conventional wisdom was that Hillary Clinton would have a formidable lead, she would be the clear and distant choice, but, in cases like Michigan, not so.
MARK SHIELDS: No.
I mean, when — a Sanders person pointed out to me, you take out the red states of Alabama, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, Georgia, Arkansas, and Bernie is doing pretty darn well. I mean, that’s where Secretary Clinton has run up the score, and done so well with large African-American votes in those states.
But Bernie — Bernie Sanders was billed as being 21 points behind in the polling. The primary polling has brought a new respectability to astrology.
MARK SHIELDS: It was so wrong in Michigan.
But I just think you have to come back. It’s not the messenger. He’s not a charismatic guy that bobby-soxers are swooning in front of. It’s the message. And you can see it. Now, for the first time, you see Republican voters in the exit polls, in addition to Democrats, saying that they oppose free trade.
They see free trade as outsourcing of jobs. They see it as offshoring, so not in their economic and family’s interest. So, Bernie — it’s Bernie’s message.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
Even John Kasich was sounding like Dick Gephardt on trade and the issues. The whole debate has shifted over on that side. I think it’s also her weakness as a candidate.
She sometimes has a good message, but, on attack, we were reminded this week she’s really not good. She just attacks wildly, without focus, and I think unpersuasively.
I — the one thing I really like that she did this week was confess the vulnerability: I’m not my husband. I’m not Barack Obama. I’m not a politician like them.
MARK SHIELDS: As politically gifted. That’s right, yes.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, just not as politically gifted as those guys.
And I think that’s a true thing, but also a nice and honest way to approach the American people.
MARK SHIELDS: That’s a good point.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, New York Times columnist David Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields, thanks so much for joining us.
MARK SHIELDS: Thank you, Hari.
DAVID BROOKS: Thank you.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And you can get Mark and David delivered to your inbox every Friday. Sign up for “NewsHour”‘s politics e-mails by clicking the Subscribe icon on our home page. That’s at PBS.org/NewsHour.
The post Shields and Brooks on the surprisingly tranquil GOP debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
HARI SREENIVASAN: There were recollections and prayers today for first lady Nancy Reagan at her funeral service held in the hill country northwest of Los Angeles.
Family, friends and first ladies past and present were in attendance, as well as President George W. Bush.
Here are some excerpts from today’s service at the Reagan Presidential Library.
JAMES BAKER, Former Chief of Staff to President Reagan: We gather here today to say goodbye to Nancy Davis Reagan, a beautiful, smart and gracious woman, a woman who captured the heart of a man who loved his craft, his country, and his countrymen, and most especially loved this remarkable woman, a woman without whom Ronald Wilson Reagan would never have become the 40th president of the United States or succeeded as well as he did.
She had an instinct for reading people that the president knew he lacked. “Nancy,” he wrote, “sees the goodness in people, but she also has an extra instinct that allows her to see the flaws.”
The only time I saw her lose her composure was the day the president was shot. She was devastated and, in fact, she fell apart. President Reagan left the hospital convinced that God had spared him for a special purpose. And the first lady left with a fierce determination to protect him in every way that she possibly could.
Ronald and Nancy Reagan were defined by their love for each other. They were as close to being one person as it is possible for any two people to be.
PATTI DAVIS, Daughter of Nancy Reagan: My parents were two halves of a circle closed tight around a world in which their love for each other was the only sustenance they needed. While they might venture out and include others in their orbit, no one truly crossed the boundary into the space they held as theirs.
It’s no secret that my mother and I had a challenging and often contentious relationship. Our emotions burned up the color chart. Nothing was ever gray. But there were moments in our history when all that was going on between us was love. I choose to remember those moments.
RON REAGAN, Son of Nancy Reagan: And, today, my mother comes to rest on this lovely hilltop with its far-reaching views next to her beloved Ronald Reagan Library.
And, by the way, from here, she will be able to keep an eye on things.
Most importantly, she will once again lay down beside the man who was the love of her life, the one she loved until the end of her days.
They will watch the sun drop over the hills in the west toward the sea, and, as night falls, they will look out across the valley. My father will tell her that the lights below are her jewels. The moon and stars will endlessly turn overhead, and here they will stay, as they always wished it to be, resting in each other’s arms, only each other’s arms, until the end of time.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Judy Woodruff attended the service today, and she joins me now from Simi Valley.
Judy, your thoughts on what happened.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, Hari, it’s raining now, but the sun was shining brightly as this funeral service unfolded here at the Reagan — Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley.
It was the most beautifully choreographed funeral, if you want to put it that way, that one could imagine. The flowers on the casket were spectacular. The crowd was full of celebrities and people who served in the Reagan administration, a number of influential Republicans.
The service was poignant and it was funny. There were a lot of funny stories about Nancy and Ronald Reagan and how close they were. All in all, it was classic Nancy Reagan.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And, Judy, Nancy had a lot to do in the planning and orchestrating who would do what at this ceremony, right?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Exactly.
The people — people who know her said this — again, this was just like what you would expect from the former first lady. She was close to her husband. She wanted to make sure everything was perfect for her husband, and she carried that on through the rest of her life until his death a little over 10 years ago.
And she felt the same way about her legacy, because she saw it connected to his, so she wanted today’s ceremony, this service to reflect the two of them, and that’s really what it was. It was planned to the T, to the program, to who the speakers were, the music, the minister, everything, in a spectacular setting here in the Santa Lucia Mountains in California.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Was this a reunion of Reagan administration staff or were there people from across the aisle as well?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, there were both, the Reagan administration represented by Secretary of State James Baker, people like Ed Meese, who were part of the Reagan White House, so many of the press corps who covered the Reagan White House, as I did.
It was a collection of the Reagan family, in addition to the staff and the press. But there were Democrats here as well. We saw — in fact, I saw Vicki Kennedy, the widow of senator Ted Kennedy, here, and a number of others.
So it wasn’t, I would say, a partisan event, but it was very — it was heavy on Republicans, which is exactly what you would expect from the widow of this president who represented the Republican — a Republican icon.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Judy, I want to bring syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks in on this conversation.
Mark, your thoughts on the passing of Nancy Reagan? This happened after we taped the show last week.
MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: Just to add — to fill out the point about being bipartisan, Governor Jerry Brown was there, whose dad Ronald Reagan had defeated to become governor in 1966, the current governor, then Democrat of California, along with Rosalynn Carter, the first lady, and as well as, of course, Hillary Clinton, the former first lady and front-runner for the Democratic nomination.
But Nancy Reagan, the irony to me is that Ronald Reagan is the first of the 44 presidents and only divorced man ever elected, and yet they are remembered as a couple, an incredibly devoted couple, for better, for worse, in sickness and health couple. She was a formidable presence.
I mean, I had met her. I didn’t know her. Judy knew her well. But she was a formidable force in personnel choice in the administration, in the White House.
And she was responsible for what may have been Ronald Reagan’s, in many respects, most important hire, that of Jim Baker, as chief of staff, who had run, ironically, the first — the last two campaigns against Ronald Reagan, that of George H.W. Bush in 1980 for the nomination, for Gerald Ford in 1976, even.
Later — but she reached across. She recognized talent and thought it was in the best interest of Ronnie, her Ronnie, as she called him, to have Jim Baker. And I think it was a wise decision.
DAVID BROOKS, New York Times Columnist: Yes. I am reminded of the Tom Cruise line that “You complete me.”
They really did complete each other. And that was also for better or worse. It was such a self-enclosed, a beautiful love, a tremendously fulfilling love for both of them. But they sort of completed each other’s emotional needs.
And so some people were shut out. And Patti Davis and some of the Reagan staff thought they were shut out from that. And along with that love was a ferocity, as Mark said, a protectiveness.
And I have noticed, in all first ladies, they are always more aggressive on behalf of their husbands than the presidents are themselves. They’re always the tougher presence in the White House. They’re willing to get rid of people. And Nancy Reagan was certainly willing to get rid of people who were not serving, she felt, her husband well.
But it was the power of her love and the grace of her presence. I’m not surprised to hear what Judy said. If you remember those state dinners in the Reagan years, they were always extremely glamorous for the Republicans. And she was sort of the architect of those.
MARK SHIELDS: She liked being first lady. She liked Washington. And it came through.
I mean, we in Washington, the permanent Washington, whatever we are, we tire of people who spend time, effort, energy and millions of dollars to get here to tell us how much they hate it and how unhappy they are here. She really was happy as first lady.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Judy, was there a moment that stood out for you?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, there were several.
I’m listening to David and Mark speak about the relationship between the Reagans. They were as close — I think Jim Baker said it here — as close as two people could be and not be one person.
And the point about their circle of closeness was so impenetrable, in the words of their son Ron Reagan, that no one else could get through, including their children. And that came through in a very poignant way in what both children said about how they felt — they loved their parents, but they knew who came first, and that was their parents. It was the president and the first lady.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Judy, thanks so much. We will see you back here on Monday.
JUDY WOODRUFF: See you then.
The post Nation says goodbye to iconic first lady in California ceremony appeared first on PBS NewsHour.