Articles on this Page
- 04/24/16--11:03: _Trump campaign tryi...
- 04/24/16--12:01: _One year later, mou...
- 04/24/16--12:17: _Two years into new ...
- 04/24/16--13:06: _What Muslim-America...
- 04/24/16--13:10: _Solar plane complet...
- 04/24/16--13:22: _How are voters expe...
- 04/24/16--14:36: _Thirty years after ...
- 04/24/16--14:40: _Saudi Arabia rethin...
- 04/25/16--05:37: _Obama boosts Islami...
- 04/25/16--07:12: _Delegate math: How ...
- 04/25/16--08:20: _Kasich says Cruz co...
- 04/25/16--08:29: _Cleveland agrees to...
- 04/25/16--08:53: _Trump bristles at C...
- 04/25/16--08:54: _Column: How Reagano...
- 04/25/16--10:31: _Kasich adviser: coo...
- 04/25/16--10:48: _Here’s how one grou...
- 04/25/16--11:21: _How poet Shane McCr...
- 04/25/16--11:22: _Trump on Deflategat...
- 04/25/16--11:58: _Attack ads complica...
- 04/25/16--12:39: _Sanders will stay i...
- 04/24/16--11:03: Trump campaign trying to court GOP power players in Washington
- 04/24/16--12:01: One year later, mourning the victims of Nepal’s devastating quake
- 04/24/16--12:17: Two years into new regime, grim realities persist in Ukraine
- 04/24/16--13:06: What Muslim-Americans supporting Trump say about their candidate
- 04/24/16--13:10: Solar plane completes dangerous 3-day flight over the Pacific Ocean
- 04/24/16--13:22: How are voters expected to lean in Pennsylvania’s primary?
- 04/24/16--14:40: Saudi Arabia rethinks dependence on oil revenue
- 04/25/16--05:37: Obama boosts Islamic State fight, asks Europe to do the same
- 04/25/16--07:12: Delegate math: How Tuesday could close door on Sanders bid
- 04/25/16--08:20: Kasich says Cruz compact ‘not a big deal’
- 04/25/16--08:29: Cleveland agrees to pay $6 million over fatal shooting of Tamir Rice
- 04/25/16--08:53: Trump bristles at Cruz-Kasich collaboration
- 04/25/16--10:48: Here’s how one group is helping speed up rebuilding in Nepal
- 04/25/16--11:21: How poet Shane McCrae learned to break the rules
- 04/25/16--11:22: Trump on Deflategate: ‘Leave Tom Brady alone’
- 04/25/16--12:39: Sanders will stay in race until Democratic convention
WASHINGTON — Donald Trump, who bills himself the ultimate outsider, is pivoting increasingly to the power centers of official Washington as he tries to clinch the Republican presidential nomination.
His new campaign chief, Paul Manafort, called on the Republican National Committee last week to assure them that the brash billionaire is only “playing a part” onstage and would soon start to display “more depth … the real person,” in new settings. Trump is delivering what’s being billed as a major foreign policy address to the National Press Club on Wednesday. And the campaign wants to work with elected and party leaders – including the ultimate Washington insider, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.
“What we’re trying to do right now is work with the Mitch McConnells” on party business, Manafort said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“We have to work with these people,” he said. “What I was tasked to do this past week, including going to the RNC meeting, was to (convey) that the campaign cares about them and we will run some traditional elections.”
Though Trump is now the only GOP candidate who can clinch the party’s presidential nomination before the July convention, it’s far from clear that Republicans want to work with Trump.
“It’s pretty split,” RNC Chairman Reince Priebus said in ABC’s “This Week,” of the delegates who choose the nominee.
They spoke ahead of a quintet of Northeastern Republican and Democratic primaries Tuesday: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Rhode Island and Connecticut. In the Democratic race, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders continued their bout, with Sanders saying on ABC he’d consider backing Clinton should she win their contest. Clinton, meanwhile, was campaigning at churches and later at a GOTV event in Connecticut.
But for the Republicans, in particular, the stakes are high as Trump looks to sweep the remaining contests and reach the 1,237 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.
Trump is the only Republican candidate who could clinch before July. Ted Cruz was mathematically eliminated Tuesday after Trump’s big win in the New York primary. There aren’t enough delegates left in future contests for either Cruz or Ohio Gov. John Kasich to reach 1,237 delegates. Their only hope is to block Trump and force a contested convention.
For his part, Trump this weekend told his supporters in Connecticut that he has to “rant and rave” onstage to keep people from falling asleep. And he declared he has no intention of reversing any of his provocative policy plans, including building a wall along the length of the Southern border.
“Everything I say I’m going to do, folks, I’ll do,” he said.
Trump’s rivals aren’t buying it.
“You can’t turn negatives around overnight,” Kasich said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” ”You just can’t talk your way out of it.”
The post Trump campaign trying to court GOP power players in Washington appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
One year after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake flattened sections of Nepal, hundreds of mourners gathered Sunday in the country’s capital city of Kathmandu to pay homage to the nearly 9,000 people killed in the catastrophe.
During a memorial service in the historic Durbar Square, where signs of the disaster can still be seen in piles of rubble and debris, relatives and friends of the victims lit candles, laid out wreaths and photos and prayed for those who died on April 25 of last year.
The quake killed 8,856 people, destroyed more than 600,000 homes and damaged another 185,000 buildings, sending residents to the streets where many stayed for weeks. About 22,000 people were also injured by the tremor.
Also on Sunday, 100 protesters who gathered outside Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli’s office tussled with riot police as they demonstrated against shoddy reconstruction efforts.
“Government, where is reconstruction. Open the gates of the government,” the protesters chanted, according to Reuters.
Last week the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies said approximately 4 million people continue to reside in temporary shelters that the organization called “sub-standard” and a “threat to their health and well-being.”
“We are hoping that the government’s priorities and perspectives on reconstruction will soon be clear so that we can help people to rebuild and get their lives back on track as quickly as possible,” said Max Santner, Head of Nepal Country Office.
The Red Cross handed out more than 130,000 emergency housing provisions during the months that followed the quake, but Nepalese government has been slow to rebuild affected areas and homes, the organization said. In total, 14 districts were hit by the earthquake, including hard-to-reach villages.
“Living under plastic sheeting was never intended as a permanent solution,” said Dev Ratna Dhakwa, Secretary General of the Nepal Red Cross Society.
The country has received $1.28 billion in foreign aid with another $2.82 billion pledged by outside nations, the Associated Press reported. The country’s foreign minister said progress was slowed as the government conducted surveys of the damage.
The post One year later, mourning the victims of Nepal’s devastating quake appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Protest footage courtesy Kateryna Panova.
Read the full transcript below:
Kira Kay: In the past two years, a new political movement has emerged in Ukraine. A coalition of former activists, analysts and journalists that now hold 27 seats in the nation’s 450 seat parliament – an institution notorious for the influence of the country’s mega-rich businessmen, known as “The Oligarchs.”
One of these new arrivals is Svitlana Zalishchuk.
Svitlana Zalishchuk: We would like to join European community, not just with the declarations but with the real reforms inside of the country.
Kira Kay: Zalishchuck works closely with her longtime friends, Sergii Leshchenko and Mustafa Nayyem. They were all elected in 2014, eight months after leading protests now known as the Euro-Maidan Revolution for Kiev’s main square, the Maidan. Demonstrators favored closer ties with Western Europe and less alignment with Russia.
Today, these reformers call themselves the “Euro-Optimists.”
Sergii Leshchenko: To be an optimist in Ukraine, it’s a big challenge. Because too many years we’ve spent in this process of transformation. And I still believe the work is not finished.
Mustafa Nayyem: This is a very hostile environment. When you feel that the corruption and the old style politicians and the old style of making policy, is very close to you. This is big compromises for us. It was very easy to be heroes on the Maidan and it is much more difficult to be heroes here in the Parliament.
Kira Kay: Nayyem sparked the Euro-Maidan protests in November 2013 with a Facebook post, asking people to come out against then-president Viktor Yanukovych.
Yanukovych had just scuttled a free trade and cooperation agreement with the European Union under pressure from his ally, Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Protesters also demanded an end to the country’s endemic corruption. They occupied the Maidan for three months. Police beat protesters on the streets and fired into the crowds.
More than 100 people died, but the demonstrators forced president Yanukovych into exile in Russia. Three months later, Ukraine elected a new president, Petro Poroshenko. He was regarded as an oligarch but ran as a reformer. In the parliamentary elections that followed, the Euro-Optimists came into office.
Svitlana Zalishchuk: It was about the identity — identity of what country you would like to build for the next generation. And we decided that we want a democratic country. To have justice in the court, to have to have police, not as a repressive machine but rather as an institution who protects your rights and freedoms.”
Kira Kay: But even before the new Ukrainian government took office, Russia, angered by the ouster of the pro-Russian president, sent troops into Ukraine’s southern province of Crimea and annexed it.
The arrival of Russian troops emboldened pro-Russia separatists in the east of the country, who wanted to secede from Ukraine. More than 9,000 people have died and fighting continues to flare, despite a ceasefire.
Thousands of Ukrainian Citizens volunteered to fight the separatists in the east. Now Ukraine grapples with re-integrating those veterans, many bearing the scars and wounds of war, into daily life in the midst of a depressed economy where jobs are tight.
But the biggest strain on society are the almost two million people who have been driven out of occupied Crimea and the Eastern war zone.
In a Soviet-era dormitory that once housed transit workers outside Kiev, people like Lyudmila Pishtoy live in tiny quarters.
Lyudmila Pishtoy: Here’s our kitchen and our bedroom. This is how we live. We are thankful for this, of course. We want to go home, but the roads are closed to us.
Kira Kay: Oksana Budnik fled Crimea with her husband and two children. A floris back home, she hasn’t been allowed to transfer funds from her old bank account.
Oksana Budnik: They said I could re-register my business here, but to do so I need access to my money. So neither my husband nor I can officially work.
Kira Kay: The residents say their 35-dollar-a-month government stipend doesn’t cover even their rent, so they get by with the help of a Canadian air group.
18-year-old Aaron Rokrobskiy says pro-Russian separatists detained him, but he escaped and fled with his father. His mother refused to leave.
Aaron Rokrobskiy: She called us, in tears and screaming. Our house was bombed – all the windows and doors were blown out. The next day I went back to get her out of there.
Kira Kay: Geoffrey Pyatt is the United States Ambassador to Ukraine.
Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt: Even today there are Russian troops on the ground leading separatist forces that are doing everything they can to defeat the new Ukraine.
Kira Kay: Pyatt has led the American support effort here, which includes training Ukrainian soldiers and helping reform long-corrupt institutions.
Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt: The way Ukraine defeats Vladimir Putin is by building a modern democratic European state. The more Ukraine consolidates reform, the more Ukraine demonstrates that it’s not going to be dissuaded from its European choice, and the standards and values and institutions that come with that, the harder it is for the Kremlin to try to defeat that militarily.
Kira Kay: Pyatt points to fledgling economic reforms, such as the closures of insolvent banks and the ending of long time energy price cuts that weakened the state budget. By increasing energy supplies from Europe, Ukraine has dramatically reduced its dependence on Russian natural gas.
Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt: This is not a poor country this a country with an enormous endowment of natural resources, the best agricultural land in the world, tremendous human resources. What it has always suffered from is just atrocious governance.
Kira Kay: The new parliament has passed laws to enable institutional reforms to begin. A showpiece is the rebuilding of the country’s police force, once a tool of state repression and violence. Ten thousand recruits have been trained in cities all over Ukraine. They come from all walks of life.
For eight weeks, the recruiters drill on the shooting range, learn how to make arrests and study criminology. While critics charge the police upper ranks contain holdovers from the old regime, there is a true sense of “starting over” among this corps.
Oksana Pilipchuk: We have a situation Ukraine, where more people began to think that they’d rather leave than try to fix the problems here. And I don’t want to leave my country.
Kira Kay: There’s also a new national anti-corruption bureau to investigate government officials, judges and the country’s mega-rich oligarchs. It’s being trained by the FBI in data collection. The anti-corruption bureau’s special forces unit is vital, says director Artem Sytnyk.
Artem Sytnyk: The resistance of the old corrupt system is so great that sometimes we have to use force. Even during a simple investigation, searches, arrests, our detectives are confronted with armed resistance, with dozens of bodyguards that protect high-ranking officials.
Kira Kay: Sytnyk says fighting corruption is as important as the war in the East, but entrenched interests don’t want him to succeed.
Artem Sytnyk: Corruption is actually a lifestyle for many officials and citizens in Ukraine. We are only at the beginning of this struggle. We have no fair and independent courts, the basis of democracy. We have huge corruption risks in our economy, which prevents development of the market economy, of fair competition.
Kira Kay: Former president Yanukovych and his cronies are widely believed to have looted tens of billions of dollars from the state treasury, but Ukrainian prosecutors have not filed criminal charges. The new government has also failed to hold anyone accountable for the deaths in the Euro-Maidan protests.
Inna Plekhanova’s son, Sasha, a 22-year-old budding architect, was killed in a standoff between protesters and police.
Inna Plekhanova: It was a gunshot wound to the head. It was meant to be deadly. They were shooting to kill.
Kira Kay: Plekhanova has been waiting more than two years for justice.
Inna Plekhanova: I thought it would be possible to at least determine the suspects after two years. It’s one thing if they can’t be found, as many fled to Russia. But to determine who the actors were is possible, as it was all filmed on camera.
Kira Kay: Plekhanova’s lawyer, Pavlo Dykan, says a new prosecution unit has been created to investigate protest deaths but faces obstruction from above.
Pavlo Dykan: Unfortunately, this case is a vivid illustration of the fact that reform hasn’t happened. We still see all the same people who were “on the dark side” during the Maidan – those in charge of illegal detentions and information gathering on activists. And of course it is foolish to expect that these people will testify or help investigate their own crimes.
Kira Kay: Svitlana Zalishchuk and her Euro-Optimist colleagues in Ukraine’s parliament know that making lasting change won’t be easy.
Svitlana Zalishchuk: There is big struggle. There is big fight between the old and the new system, old and new approaches.
Kira Kay: The recently leaked “Panama Papers” revealed that President Poroshenko seems to have hidden assets in offshore bank accounts, undermining his image as a reformer. And the prime minister just resigned, amid news that he’s under investigation for allegedly accepting a 3 million dollar bribe. The patience of the United States and the European Union, which have contributed billions in aid, is wearing thin.
Ambassador Pyatt: The support that Ukraine has enjoyed has been unprecedented. They need to capitalize on this opportunity. The consequences of failure are important because of how the international community would react but much more importantly how Ukrainians themselves react.
The post Two years into new regime, grim realities persist in Ukraine appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
DETROIT — As a Donald Trump supporter, Nedal Tamer feels he’s in the minority among Muslim-Americans, comfortable with his choice yet somewhat confounded that he doesn’t have more company.
Small numbers of Muslims find comfort, not concern, in Trump’s strong stance on immigrants. They see it as proof that the Republican presidential front-runner could better contain extremists than other candidates.
“People have the wrong idea, even Arabs and Muslims,” said Tamer, 40, who works in real estate and construction and lives in the Detroit suburb of Dearborn, which is known for its large Arab and Muslim population. “I like the fact that he’s a little nuts. He’s got the good heart, he cares about America.”
The discomfort that many Muslims have with the outspoken billionaire businessman comes from his suggestion that Muslims be banned from entering the United States. Trump also has said the U.S. should stop the flow of refugees from countries where the Islamic State group has a significant presence. For some, it’s hardest to reconcile Trump’s statement that “Islam hates the West.”
The Associated Press spoke to a number of Muslims who back Trump, some of whom declined to be interviewed.
Tamer was born in Lebanon and immigrated to the U.S. in the late 1990s from the United Arab Emirates. He said Trump is speaking about extremists, such as the Islamic State group and those it inspires, not all followers of the religion.
“Many times, Trump has said, ‘Not all Muslims’ – he’s not talking about all Muslims,” said Tamer, a Republican. “He says there are certain people. … We’ve seen what’s happening. I don’t think anybody would agree with what ISIS is doing,” Tamer said, using an acronym for the extremist group. “He says, ‘We have to stop ISIS now, immediately.'”
In heavily Arab and Muslim Dearborn, many support Democrat Bernie Sanders, and people in those communities helped turn the tide toward him last month in the state’s primary. Sally Howell, an associate professor at University of Michigan-Dearborn and author of several books on Arabs and Muslims in Detroit, described them as a small demographic overall but certainly a factor in Sanders’ Michigan victory over rival Hillary Clinton. It helped that he came to Dearborn to court them.
“It’s not all about the Middle East (issues) – it was young people, people who care about bread-and-butter issues: the economy, health insurance, quality of schools and policing,” she said. “They were the swing vote in Michigan. Any group can claim that, but I think Arabs and Muslims considered themselves to have really made the difference.”
That’s not stopping some Muslims from organizing on behalf of the GOP and, by extension, Trump. Last fall, Saba Ahmed founded the Republican Muslim Coalition in the nation’s capital and seeks to establish a presence nationwide.
“We will be supporting whoever the Republican nominee ends up being. And we are hopeful of Trump’s business background, and that he would be able to use that to turn the economy around,” she said.
Ahmed, a lawyer, said she has a lot of Muslim friends who are Democrats. But in her view, “Islamic values align with Republican values,” and her list includes opposing abortion and backing traditional marriage. She acknowledges that coalition members are “very much concerned” by some of Trump’s “very absurd comments,” but counters that some of what he says is “overblown.”
“Trump knows he can’t win the general election with that type of hatred and those types of comments,” she said. “So going forward, things will look different.”
Some Arabs and Muslims not in the Trump camp have expressed tentative support for his comments related to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. He has said he would attempt to be “neutral,” though he recently told a gathering of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee that he is “a lifelong supporter and true friend of Israel.”
Osama Siblani, publisher of the influential Arab American News, said Trump’s supporters – Muslim or otherwise – believe he is an “independent thinker” who “will do the right thing at the end of the day.” Siblani added that Trump has business enterprises all over the world, including in Arab Gulf nations, which supporters believe should mute concerns over Islamophobia.
Still, Trump is neither Siblani’s personal preference nor his paper’s. The Dearborn-based publication, which supported George W. Bush in 2000, has endorsed Sanders.
“I believe Trump is playing on ignorance and cashing in on fear,” Siblani said.
Both Ahmed and Tamer said their pro-Republican or pro-Trump positions have led to disagreements and even arguments with other Muslims, but Ahmed said that merely speaks to wide diversity among followers of Islam.
“We can have differences of opinion in the upcoming election, but it’s important for all Muslims to get involved,” she said. “We are the 1 percent that can shift the outcome of the presidential election. We need more engagement.”
Associated Press writer Noreen Nasir contributed to this report.
The post What Muslim-Americans supporting Trump say about their candidate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
An airplane powered by the sun finished a dangerous journey over the Pacific late Saturday evening, landing safely in northern California after a 62-hour flight from Hawaii.
The Solar Impulse-2 finished the most challenging leg of its around-the-world trip, which started in March 2015 in the United Arab Emirates, in an attempt to draw attention to clean-energy technology.
The plane, which uses 17,000 solar cells attached to its wings to provide power to its motors, made stops in Oman, Myanmar, China and Japan before leaving Hawaii early Thursday morning.
A Solar Impulse prototype became the first solar airplane to “fly through the night, between two continents, and across the United States,” according to its creators.
The aircraft uses reserve energy stored in its batteries during darkness.
Solar Impulse-2 pilots Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg said they felt confident during the flight despite the risk of flying over the open ocean for nearly three days. The duo spent 12 years researching and testing the solar-plane concept before embarking on their current trip last year.
“It was the most incredible flight because I was dreaming of flying day and night with no fuel in 17 years, and it’s the first time I could do it,” Piccard said, after landing the plane safely outside of San Francisco.
The post Solar plane completes dangerous 3-day flight over the Pacific Ocean appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Read the full transcript below:
MEGAN THOMPSON, PBS ANCHOR: Five Northeast states hold presidential primaries on Tuesday: Pennsylvania, Maryland, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Delaware. Hillary Clinton told a predominantly black church in Philadelphia today she’ll fight for every child to live up to their, quote, “God-given potential.” Bernie Sanders told supporters in Rhode Island he wants a tax on carbon emissions to reduce global warming. Donald Trump rallied supporters in Maryland today, while Ted Cruz visited Indiana, which votes May 3rd.
Of the five states holding primaries Tuesday, Pennsylvania is the biggest prize with 71 national convention delegates at stake for the Republicans and 210 delegates for the Democrats. In an NBC News-“Wall Street Journal”-Marist poll released today, Donald Trump is favored by 45 percent of likely Republican voters, and Hillary Clinton is favored by 55 percent of likely Democratic voters.
For more on the battle for Pennsylvania, I am joined from Philadelphia by Jonathan Tamari, a political reporter with “The Philadelphia Inquirer.”
So I first just wanted to start out by talking about the Republican race. We’ve got Donald Trump. We’ve got a conservative senator in Cruz, and then we’ve got John Kasich, who is the governor of the state right next door to Pennsylvania, Ohio. So can you just talk to us a little bit more about the state of play?
JOHNATHAN TAMARI, POLITICAL REPORTER, “THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER”: So, the state of play is that Donald Trump, as you just recited on that poll, is far ahead so far. And him and Ted Cruz are really competing in a lot of the same areas, the so called “T” of Pennsylvania, which runs across the top of the state and then down through the center in between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh. And this is really where the conservative heart of Pennsylvania is.
For Kasich, after he won Ohio, there was a lot of talk that maybe Pennsylvania would be the next big place where he would really make a strong stand and try to win a primary. And a lot of the establishment here have lined up with him, but it has not been reflected in the polling.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Can you talk to me a little bit about how the Republicans allocate their delegates for the convention? I understand that Tuesday’s primary might not actually decide who they vote for.
JOHNATHAN TAMARI: That’s right. There are 71 delegates in the state, but only 17 of them are actually going to go to the person who wins statewide. The other 54 will be unbound when they head to the convention in Cleveland, which means they could vote for anybody they want.
And so the subplot to all this, aside from who wins the big headline of winning the state, is who gets their delegates elected. The delegates will be chosen by the voters, by congressional district. And Cruz and Trump each have their own loyalists on the ballot. The party establishment has a number of candidates on the ballot, too, who talk about wanting someone who is electable, which really points to John Kasich.
And so, this say low-information election that all the candidates are trying to educate their voters about to make sure that their delegates get chosen and then stay loyal to them in the months between now and the convention in Cleveland.
MEGAN THOMPSON: On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama back in 2008, and she’s got a strong lead in the polls. But even still, how is she separating herself from Bernie Sanders on the issues?
JOHNATHAN TAMARI: The main issue she has been focusing on, and she has been touring this morning, even, African-American churches. And she is talking a lot about gun violence, which we know is something that she has been critical of Senator Sanders on not being strong enough on gun laws. And even in a local aspect, she is in favor. There is a big debate in Philadelphia right now over a tax on sugary drinks, the so-called soda tax. She has actually come out in favor of this as a way to fund universal preschool.
Senator Sanders is opposed to this. He said that it would exacerbate inequalities. But Clinton has really deep ties to Pennsylvania, and she’s leading pretty much across the board here except among younger voters.
MEGAN THOMPSON: All right. Jonathan Tamari of “The Philadelphia Inquirer,” thank you so much for joining us.
JOHNATHAN TAMARI: Thanks for having me.
The post How are voters expected to lean in Pennsylvania’s primary? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
IVETTE FELICIANO: The disaster forced tens of thousands of residents around Chernobyl to flee and never some back.
But many other people remained in a zone that was considered safe enough distance to stay.
In the village of Zalyshany, about 32 miles southwest of Chernobyl, 8-year-0ld Bogdan Vetrov suffers from an enlarged thyroid gland.
His mother, Viktoria, believes it is due to radiation found in their food, but she says her family’s options are: eat food that may be contaminated or starve.
VIKTORIA VETROVA: We are aware of the dangers, but what can we do? There is no other way to survive here. Especially in this region we just cannot survive.
IVETTE FELICIANO: Vetrov and his siblings are among 350,000 children living in areas where monitoring radiation in the soil ended four years ago.
Greenpeace, the European Union and the World Health Organization have found links between contaminated produce and milk and increased levels of thyroid cancer.
One E.U. study tracked 4,000 children for three years and found more than 80 percent of them had cardiovascular issues.
Doctors who perform annual checks on children here have seen that first-hand.
YURY BANDAZHEVSKY, PEDIATRICIAN: There are very serious pathological processes, which definitely will unfortunately have negative consequences on the development of these children.
The post Thirty years after Chernobyl disaster, families say children are getting sick appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Read the full transcript below:
MEGAN THOMPSON, PBS ANCHOR: Saudi Arabia is the world’s number two oil producer behind the U.S. and has the second-largest oil reserves after Venezuela. But a slump in global oil prices has Saudi Arabia rethinking its near-total dependence on oil revenue. Tomorrow, the monarchy’s expected to unveil a new vision for economic and possibly political reform.
Joining me here to discuss that is David Rothkopf, the editor of “Foreign Policy” magazine. Thank you so much for being here.
DAVID ROTHKOPF, EDITOR, “FOREIGN POLICY”: My pleasure.
MEGAN THOMPSON: So how is it that Saudi Arabia might be planning to wean itself off its near total dependence on oil revenues? What do we expect might be unveiled tomorrow?
DAVID ROTHKOPF: Well, I think they’re following the lead of some of their neighbors. A year ago, the United Arab Emirates announced a plan to move off of oil. They’ve been actually on this track for some time. I think they’ve gotten their economy down to less than 30 percent dependent on oil and are heading for even lower.
Why? Because when you’re dependent on oil, you’re vulnerable to oil markets. And the Saudis felt this very hard last year. It produced – falling oil prices produced huge deficit. Really squeezed the economy and reduced their leverage globally in a number of other ways.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Do we know anything about the specific steps they’re going to take economically?
DAVID ROTHKOPF: We’ve seen some indications that they’re going to move away from subsidies as they’ve done for gasoline, that they’re going to move toward diversification of the economy, supporting other industries. You may also see certain kinds of political and social reforms. The son of the king, Mohammed Bin Salman, just did an interview in Bloomberg Businessweek in which he talked about how in the day of the Mohammed, women had the right to ride a camel, so why wouldn’t it be that they had the right to drive a car?
That may seem commonsensical, but it certainly is a departure from the policies that you’ve seen in the past.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Can you talk a little bit more about Prince Mohammed? What’s his reputation, and how do you think the reforms are going to be taken publicly?
DAVID ROTHKOPF: His reputation is growing. You know, when his father came in, it was like, well, who’s this kid and what’s – what’s going on? But behind the scenes, he’d been a big player and had a relationship with the prior king and had really tried to voice his influence, which produced some resentment.
But now that he’s in power, he has won a great deal of respect. And in fact, one of the most reliable diplomats I know in the region said to me yesterday after having spent some time with him that he’s the real deal. That this is a serious person with a serious agenda, real influence, and the ability to get things done.
MEGAN THOMPSON: Has Saudi Arabia’s relationship with the United States affected this push for reforms?
DAVID ROTHKOPF: You know, you can tell when you talk to Saudi leaders that they’re looking at their watches, they’re waiting for November. They want to be done with this because they really see the primary Obama policy in the Middle East over the course of the past several years being a shift from the traditional partnership with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf towards an opening to Iran. Iran is the Saudi rival of rivals. This has been painful for them.
They don’t like the Obama policies; they hope that a new administration – perhaps a Hillary Clinton administration – may be a little bit more balanced in their views than the Obama administration has been.
But I think they’re also feeling the squeeze because both from the U.S. and from Europe, the policies that they’ve had, some of their past support for unsavory characters, their justice system as you mentioned earlier, their views toward women, have really made them an outlier. And I think that if they wish to become the leader in the region, they’re going to need to make some of these changes happen on a social level and not just on an energy policy level.
MEGAN THOMPSON: All right David Rothkopf from “Foreign Policy” magazine, thank you so much for being here.
DAVID ROTHKOPF: My pleasure.
HANNOVER, Germany — Evoking history and appealing for solidarity, President Barack Obama on Monday cast his decision to send 250 more troops to Syria as a bid to keep up “momentum” in the campaign to dislodge Islamic State extremists. He pressed European allies to match the U.S. with new contributions of their own.
Obama’s announcement of the American troops, which capped a six-day tour to the Middle East and Europe, reflected a steady deepening of U.S. military engagement, despite the president’s professed reluctance to dive further into another Middle East conflict. As Obama gave notice of the move, he said he wanted the U.S. to share the increasing burden.
Obama discussed the IS fight with British Prime Minster David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande and Italian Prime Minster Matteo Renzi.
The president formally announced the new troop deployment in a speech about European unity and trans-Atlantic cooperation — a running theme of his trip. Speaking in Germany, he evoked the continent’s history of banding together to defeat prejudice and emerge from the “ruins of the Second World War.”
“Make no mistake,” Obama said. “These terrorists will learn the same lessons as others before them have, which is, your hatred is no match for our nations united in the defense of our way of life.”
The rhetoric belied an underlying frustration in his administration about allies’ contributions to the U.S.-led fight in Syria and neighboring Iraq. Although the coalition includes some 66 nations, the U.S. has conducted the vast majority of the air strikes, and there has been little appetite by other nations to send in ground troops of their own.
The president recently rattled leaders in Europe and the Middle East by describing allies as “free riders.” He made a passing reference to that complaint on Monday, as he noted that not all European allies contribute their expected share to NATO: “I’ll be honest: Sometimes Europe has been complacent about its own defense.”
On stops in Riyadh, London and Hannover this week, Obama repeatedly pushed allies for more firepower, training for local forces and economic aid to help reconstruct regions in Iraq that have been retaken from Islamic State control but are still vulnerable. Obama appeared to come up short in Riyadh, when he met with Arab allies.
He made the pitch again in Hannover, where he attended a massive industrial technology trade show on what was likely his last presidential visit to Germany.
“These terrorists are doing everything in their power to strike our cities and kill our citizens, so we need to do everything in our power to stop them,” Obama said.
The new deployment brings the number of U.S. military personnel in Syria from roughly 50 to roughly 300. It follows a similar ramp-up in Iraq, announced last week. The new Syria forces will include special operation troops assisting local forces, as well as maintenance and logistics personnel.
Obama, in an interview with CBS News, declined to say whether the forces might be dispatched on search-and-kill missions.
He did say, “As a general rule, the rule is not to engage directly with the enemy but rather to work with local forces.”
Obama’s call for European solidarity extended beyond the anti-Islamic State campaign.
Amid what he described as “unsettling times,” Obama revived the argument he made in London days earlier that Britain and the European Union are strongest if Briton votes in an upcoming referendum to remain in the 28-member nation block. And Obama mounted a forceful defense of his host in Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is facing criticism for her willingness to take in refugees from Syria.
“Chancellor Merkel and others have eloquently reminded us that we cannot turn our backs on our fellow human beings who are here now and need our help now,” Obama said. “We have to uphold our values, not just when it’s easy but when it’s hard.”
The migrant crisis was a central focus as Obama met with European leaders just before returning to Washington. Merkel said the leaders had discussed ways to expand military efforts to stop human smuggling across the Mediterranean from Libya.
“With the NATO mission in the Aegean, the United States of America have shown their readiness to take part in the fight against illegal migration,” Merkel said. A senior U.S. official said the U.S. was indeed ready to help with that effort but had no new mission to announce.
Obama, who used one of his final foreign trips to start trying to shape his legacy, said he saw Europe facing a “defining moment.” He urged the continent’s leaders to pay attention to income inequality, education for young people and equal pay for women.
“If we do not solve these problems, we start seeing those who would try to exploit these fears and frustrations and channel them in a destructive way,” Obama said.
Associated Press writer Kathleen Hennessey wrote this report. AP writer Darlene Superville reported from Aerzen, Germany. AP writers Frank Jordans in Hannover and Lolita C. Baldor in Washington contributed to this report.
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WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton can’t win enough delegates on Tuesday to officially knock Bernie Sanders out of the presidential race, but she can erase any lingering honest doubts about whether she’ll soon be the Democratic nominee.
After her victory in New York last week, Clinton has a lead over Sanders of more than 200 pledged delegates won in primaries and caucuses. As she narrowed Sanders’ dwindling opportunities to catch up, Clinton continued to build on her overwhelming support among superdelegates — the party officials who are free to back any candidate they choose.
In the last few days, Clinton picked up 14 more endorsements from superdelegates while Sanders received one, according to an Associated Press survey.
Factoring in superdelegates, Clinton’s lead stands at 1,944 to 1,192 for Sanders, according to the AP count. That puts her at 82 percent of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination.
At stake Tuesday are 384 delegates in primaries in Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. This group of contests offers Sanders one of the last chances on the election calendar to gain ground in pledged delegates and make a broader case to superdelegates to support him.
Yet it appears Clinton could do well enough Tuesday to end the night with 90 percent of the delegates needed to win the nomination, leaving her just 200 or so shy.
The Sanders campaign knows a tough battle awaits in those five states and says it will reassess its effort after Tuesday. If Sanders fails to win significantly in the latest primaries, he won’t have another chance to draw closer in a big way until California votes June 7. “We intend to take the fight all the way to California,” Sanders said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Clinton is already on track to have hit the magic number of 2,383 by that point.
A look at the paths forward for the two candidates:
SANDERS’ HOPE: RECAPTURE MOMENTUM
After losing New York, Sanders needs to win 73 percent of the remaining delegates and uncommitted superdelegates to capture the nomination.
That’s not too realistic.
So his campaign is arguing that the Vermont senator can flip superdelegates at the July convention in Philadelphia, especially if he were somehow able to overtake Clinton among pledged delegates. To do so, Sanders would need to win 59 percent of those remaining.
The Sanders camp acknowledges that will require a win in Pennsylvania, the biggest prize on Tuesday with 189 delegates. Sanders is trailing Clinton by double digits in preference polling in the state. His campaign also believes he can pick up delegates in Connecticut, where 55 are at stake.
Sanders would recapture some momentum with such an unexpected big-state win, but he can’t escape the fact that Democrats award delegates in proportion to the vote. Even the loser gets some.
That means a close victory for Sanders in Pennsylvania probably would be offset by the results in Maryland. That state, the second biggest prize of the night with 95 delegates, is a Clinton stronghold.
The upshot: To catch Clinton, Sanders needs big wins in the delegate-rich, racially diverse states still left to hold primary elections.
The problem: His next win by such a wide margin over Clinton in such a state would be his first.
CLINTON’S PATH: BOLSTER HER BIG LEAD
If Clinton were to win four or five states Tuesday, as preference polling suggests, she will extend her pledged delegate lead to about 300.
The most likely scenario: big hauls in Pennsylvania and Maryland, and modest gains in Delaware, Connecticut and Rhode Island.
At that point, she would need to win just 35 percent or so of the remaining delegates from primaries and caucuses to maintain her lead in pledged delegates. In actuality, she’s been winning 55 percent so far.
More significantly, doing well on Tuesday would probably cement her support among superdelegates. Clinton now holds a 516-39 advantage among those party officials. An additional 159 superdelegates have yet to commit, but many have told the AP that they ultimately will support the candidate who wins the most delegates in the primaries and caucuses.
Never before have superdelegates lifted a candidate to the Democratic nomination when he or she trailed in pledged delegates.
When superdelegates are included, Clinton’s lead after an average performance on Tuesday would require Sanders to start winning far more than the three of every four delegates he needs now just to catch up.
Do a little better than that, and Clinton can reasonably expect to clinch the nomination by June 7 — before the first votes are even counted in California.
Associated Press writer Hope Yen wrote this report.
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Ohio Gov. John Kasich is still urging people in Indiana to vote for him.
That’s the Republican presidential candidate’s message about 13 hours after he announced an arrangement to give rival Ted Cruz “a clear path” in Indiana, which holds a primary election next week. In exchange, Cruz is to give Kasich a clear path in Oregon and New Mexico.
The arrangement is designed to prevent front-runner Donald Trump from clinching the nomination. Kasich addressed the matter publicly for the first time as he campaigned in Philadelphia on Monday.
Kasich says of Indiana voters, “I’ve never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me.” He says he simply agreed not to spend “resources” in Indiana.
He’s also playing down the significance of the extraordinary arrangement.
He says, “It’s not a big deal.”
The city of Cleveland agreed to pay $6 million, in two yearly installments, to settle a federal lawsuit over the November 2014 fatal shooting of 12-year-old Tamir Rice by a police officer.
The city will pay $3 million to Rice’s family this year, with another $3 million in 2017, a court filing in U.S. District Court in Cleveland revealed Monday. According to terms of the one-page agreement, most of the money will be allocated to Rice’s estate, while Rice’s mother and sister will each receive $250,000.
There also won’t be any admission of wrongdoing, U.S. District Judge Dan Polster wrote in the settlement.
Cleveland police officers Timothy Loehmann and his partner Frank Garmback responded to reports of a man waving a gun at a local park on Nov. 22, 2014. Video footage of the confrontation showed the squad car stopping at the scene and Loehmann opening firing on Rice within two seconds of exiting the car. Rice was playing with a toy gun.
Rice didn’t receive medical attention until nearly four minutes later. He died the following day. The wrongful death lawsuit filed by Rice’s family alleged excessive and unnecessary force against the boy.
Video by Cleveland.com
“Although historic in financial terms, no amount of money can adequately compensate for the loss of a life,” attorneys for Rice’s family said in a statement, obtained by The Washington Post. “Tamir was 12 years old when he was shot and killed by police — a young boy with his entire life ahead of him, full of potential and promise. In a situation such as this, there is no such thing as closure or justice. Nothing will bring Tamir back.”
In December, a grand jury declined to bring charges against the officers involved in the shooting. Cuyahoga County prosecutor Timothy McGinty called the encounter a “perfect storm of human error.” A federal investigation of the case is still pending.
The payout from the Rice settlement is similar to other agreements in other high-profile police brutality cases. In November, the city of Chicago agreed to pay $5 million over the fatal police shooting of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald. In September, the city of Baltimore approved a $6.4 million settlement in the death of Freddie Gray, who died while in police custody.
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BORDEN, Ind. — Donald Trump says an extraordinary collaboration between Ted Cruz and John Kasich aimed at unifying the anti-Trump vote in some remaining primaries is a desperate move by “mathematically dead” rivals.
Such collusion would be illegal in many industries, the Republican presidential front-runner said, but it’s illustrative of “everything that is wrong in Washington and our political system.”
Under the arrangement outlined late Sunday, Kasich, the Ohio governor, will step back in the May 3 Indiana contest to let Cruz bid for voters who don’t like Trump. Cruz, a Texas senator, will do the same for Kasich in Oregon and New Mexico.
The arrangement does not address the five Northeastern states set to vote Tuesday, where Trump is expected to add to his already overwhelming delegate lead. Yet the shift offers increasingly desperate Trump foes a glimmer of hope in their long and frustrating fight to halt the billionaire’s rise.
“It is big news today that John Kasich has decided to pull out of Indiana to give us a head to head contest with Donald Trump,” Cruz told reporters as he campaigned in Indiana on Monday. “That is good for the men and women of Indiana. It’s good for the country to have a clear and direct choice.”
Kasich sent mixed messages, however, as he addressed the pact for the first time while campaigning in Philadelphia.
Asked what Indiana voters should do next week, the Ohio governor just 13 hours after the arrangement was announced urged them to vote for him.
“I’ve never told them not to vote for me. They ought to vote for me,” Kasich said in a Philadelphia diner. He said he simply agreed not to spend “resources” in Indiana.
The announcement marks a sharp reversal for Cruz’s team, which aggressively opposed coordinating anti-Trump efforts with Kasich as recently as late last week. And the agreement applies only to Indiana, Oregon and New Mexico — three of the 15 states remaining on the Republican primary calendar. As Kasich backs out of Indiana, Cruz promised he would not compete in Oregon on May 17 and New Mexico on June 7.
Cruz’s campaign manager, Jeff Roe, said in a statement explaining the new plans that Trump would be soundly defeated by the Democratic nominee, whether it’s Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders. “Having Donald Trump at the top of the ticket in November would be a sure disaster for Republicans,” he said.
Added Kasich’s chief strategist, John Weaver, “Our goal is to have an open convention in Cleveland, where we are confident a candidate capable of uniting the party and winning in November will emerge as the nominee.”
Trump was set to campaign in Rhode Island and Pennsylvania on Monday, two of the five states hosting primary contests on Tuesday. Connecticut, Delaware and Maryland are also voting.
Speaking to several thousand people Sunday evening in Maryland, Trump stressed repeatedly that he expects to win the 1,237 delegates needed in the first round of voting in Cleveland to stave off a contested convention.
“I only care about the first,” he said. “We’re not going for the second and third and fourth and fifth.”
As recently as three days ago Kasich’s campaign announced investments in Indiana, including the opening of two offices and the creation of a campaign leadership team. His campaign on Sunday night canceled a town-hall meeting and gathering in Indianapolis scheduled to watch the results of Tuesday’s primaries.
Both campaigns encouraged allied super PACs and other outside groups to “honor the commitments.”
On the Democratic side Sunday, underdog Sanders rallied thousands of voters in two New England states and offered mixed signals on how hard he would push his differences with the commanding front-runner, Clinton.
The Vermont senator largely steered clear of Clinton at a Rhode Island park, but hours later delivered a sharp critique before more than 14,000 supporters in New Haven, Connecticut. Sanders reiterated his call for Clinton to release transcripts of lucrative Wall Street speeches she delivered after leaving the State Department in early 2013.
Peoples reported from Washington. Associated Press writers Kathleen Ronayne in Manchester, New Hampshire; Catherine Lucey in Philadelphia; Laurie Kellman in Washington; Jill Colvin in Hagerstown, Maryland; and Brian Slodysko in Terre Haute, Indiana; contributed to this report.
The media is inundated with pundits analyzing the unexpected rise of demagoguery in the primaries. I would like to add my own: the establishment’s utter loss of credibility. Abraham Lincoln’s warning, “you cannot fool all of the people all of the time,” has now come back to haunt them with a vengeance.
It took Everyman on Main Street some time to figure out that they’ve been had and finally revolt — 35 years to be more precise. There has been no shortage of big promises since Reagan’s “It’s Morning again in America,” but in the end, they all left the middle class staring into thin wallets while their manipulators were living high on the hog. The failed big ideas began with Reaganomics. The stimulating effect of its tax cuts was supposed to “trickle down” to the masses, but the flow had the viscosity of molasses and stuck with the ultrarich.
Under Reaganomics, the ultrarich had their taxes cut sharply — by about half. A millionaire who was paying $700,000 in taxes in the 1970s saw her taxes cut to $350,000 in the 1980s. But what was he or she going to do with the $350,000 windfall? Some spent it on conspicuous consumption, but many decided to fund think tanks and hire economists to support their ideology, while others used the windfall to influence politicians and shape laws. And so the tax cuts became a vicious circle in which wealth begot more wealth and still more influence.
Then came North Atlantic Free Trade Association, initiated by President George H. W. Bush and eventually signed into law by President Bill Clinton. Clinton promised that NAFTA would “promote more growth, more equality… and create 200,000 jobs in this country by 1995 alone.” Of course, he failed to mention how many hundreds of thousands of jobs would be destroyed at the same time, but few noticed such nuances at the time. (It’s worth noting that his economic team was headed by Bob Rubin, CEO of investment mega-bank Goldman Sachs.) Together with globalization and the opening up of China, NAFTA devastated the U.S. manufacturing sector and the middle class with it. And the treaty has a long reach: just last month, air conditioning manufacturer Carrier announced that it will move 1,500 jobs to Mexico to its employees’ bitter disappointment.
Deregulation of the financial sector was yet another big idea that was supposed to be good for Americans, and it was — for the elite. Begun in earnest by Reagan, the process was continued under Clinton who declared many of the FDR-era laws “antiquated.” He abolished the Glass-Steagall Act, which kept commercial banks from speculating on Wall Street with other people’s money. The act was supposed to be a “major achievement that will benefit American consumers, communities and businesses of all sizes.” With amazing shortsightedness, Clinton declared at the signing ceremony that we’re “modernizing the financial services industry, tearing down these antiquated walls.”
Deregulation was in full swing — always framed as modernization or in the name of efficiency. The prohibition on interstate banking was also removed, allowing for the creation of “too big to fail” banks. In 2000, Congress passed the Commodity Futures Modernization Act, which prohibited the regulation of credit default swaps. The elite forgot, however, that short-term efficiency can turn into long-term disaster when the risks in the economic system accumulate. And so we were inching toward the Meltdown of 2008, which wrought havoc among so many members of the middle class.
Bush Jr.’s policies were in a similar spirit. He lowered taxes to the benefit of the 1 percent and closed his eyes to the brewing crisis. When the Meltdown came, the establishment offered trillions of dollars in support of the big banks and its CEOs. Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase, for instance, earned some $17 million in 2009 while the whole financial sector was being propped up at Uncle Sam’s largesse.
In stark contrast, Main Street received a pittance — an extension of unemployment benefits to 99 weeks. Millions lost jobs, were evicted, had to take low-paying jobs or work two jobs in the gig economy. In short, the bailout exacerbated income inequality and continued the hollowing out of the middle class.
As the recession sharpened, Obama entered into office with big promises of change, but he essentially continued many of the policies of his predecessor. He appointed Tim Geithner, a former Bush Jr. appointee, to be Secretary of the Treasury. Geithner now earns an estimated $5 million salary on Wall Street.
With the Federal Reserve, Obama continued to provide a generous backstop to Wall Street with the well-known TARP program. Through the TARP program, the Treasury purchased assets and equity from troubled financial institutions in an attempt to strengthen the financial sector. It wasn’t until Bloomberg LP sued the Federal Reserve that the details of the bailout were made public. The secret loans and guarantees, amounting to trillions of dollars, were meant to get the economy going again, but meanwhile, the middle class had to wait for the unemployment checks or apply for Social Security disability payments.
The graph below shows this development vividly. Each bar on the left represents the post-tax (inflation-adjusted) income, including transfers such as food stamps and unemployment checks, of one-fifth of the 120 million households. Each bar represents 24 million households or roughly 64 million people. The graph shows clearly that the top fifth experienced the greatest and only meaningful increase in income during this time span. A tiny bit did trickle down to the fourth quintile — the upper middle class. But an income growth of 0.5 percent per annum, which amounted to a gain of some $300 per annum, was hardly noticeable.
The poorest 20 percent of the population (the first bar) continued to receive food stamps, but with an average annual income of $18,000 a year, they had nothing but discontent.
The two middle-class groups of the second and third quintile grew the least — their income growth is hardly distinguishable from zero. In fact, the third quintile (41 to 60 percent) gained a mere $32 per annum during the 32 years under consideration.
While the hollowing out of the middle class is evident on the left side of the graph, the right side of the graph breaks down the growth rates of income for the top 20 percent into four groups. Here, it becomes clear that the top 1 percent was the primary beneficiary of economic growth. Perhaps some of the growth did trickle down, but not much beyond the other members of the top 20 percent.
The anger that fuels Trump’s candidacy runs deeper than this graph indicates. Relative income matters, and the utter unfair bailouts of 2008 rescued the 1 percent. It is one thing not to be able to afford an iPhone if no one else has an iPhone, but it’s an entirely different feeling if the super rich flaunt not only their latest model, but their designer handbags, private jets, yachts and the other accoutrements of conspicuous consumption. Envy turns into desperation if you’re anxious about your job security, behind on credit card payments, drowning in student-loan debt or paying overdraft fees all while working part time or in the gig economy. Hence, I think that the graph below is a more accurate reflection of the welfare of the five income groups. Psychologists have shown that how we feel about our life — our life satisfaction — is reference dependent: Relative deprivation matters a lot, as we compare our welfare to that of others. The graph below assumes that people use the fifth-quintile group as reference and compare their own income to that of the top group.
In my view, this graph is the real clue to Trump’s success: the growth rate of welfare is negative for all groups except the super rich. It is as simple as that. The rest of the society was left behind for more than a generation.
We have had a long string of very big promises from Reagan to Obama. Tax cuts, trickle-down economics, deregulation, globalization and NAFTA and bailouts all conferred tremendous financial benefits on only one group: the ultrarich. They led to the “hollowing out” of the middle class. So wealth and its concomitant, political power, became as concentrated as it was during the era of the Robber Barons at the turn of the 20th century.
So why Trump? Trump promises to bring back jobs that were lost to China and Mexico. He promises to make America — the middle class — great. He uses minorities as scapegoats — a standard strategy for demagogues to attract the support of those who have lost status and are anxious about the future. He vilifies women, perhaps in an attempt to appeal to those men who have lost out to women in the workplace.
And he is rich, which many take to mean he is successful in business. Why should he not be successful in helping them regain the glories of the past? This appeals to the anxious multitude who have lost income and status and respect and are struggling to keep afloat. Bigotry, prejudice, sexism, racism — all this matters not. Important to the disaffected Trumpists is that America and their place along with it will be resurrected to its former glory when incomes were decent, they were not swimming in debt, and women and minorities knew their place in society.
The establishment was good at making big promises, but in the end, they left few crumbs on the table for the middle class. But still the establishment is surprised by the middle class’ anger, by Trumps appeal. This is a generalizable rule: elites are endangered by excessive greed. And being out of touch to the last minute is not uncommon at all. Hosni Mubarek was surprised by the Arab Spring. And prior to his execution, Louis XVI proclaimed that he “always acted from my love of the people.”
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Charlie Black, a top Kasich adviser, explained to PBS NewsHour how the Cruz-Kasich alliance could play out in California, the biggest delegate prize left. Video by PBS NewsHour
How the Cruz-Kasich alliance could work in California
The Ted Cruz-John Kasich alliance to try to deny Donald Trump a first-ballot nomination could include the biggest remaining delegate prize: California.
Charlie Black, a top Kasich adviser, told PBS NewsHour in an exclusive interview, the sort of coordination between the two candidates — whereby the Kasich campaign is stepping aside in Indiana, where Cruz is stronger, and the Cruz campaign is giving way to Kasich in New Mexico and Oregon — is also possible within a single state.
“That’s not impossible, especially like in California, where it’s a huge state with all these big media markets,” Black said. “And there will be some markets where Kasich has a chance to do well … and some where Cruz might do better in the rural areas.”
Polls now show Trump comfortably ahead of both Cruz and Kasich in California, which will allocate all three delegates in each congressional district to a candidate if he wins a majority of the vote in that district.
“If you … win the district or hold him under 50 percent, the other guys get delegates,” said Black, who stressed that no decisions have been made.
Black said the agreement between the Cruz and Kasich camps was not unusual in presidential politics, where campaigns have to carefully allocate resources. Both sides issued news releases to let outside groups and voters know.
“The campaigns are not allowed to communicate directly with” Super PACS, he said. “But if they don’t get the word, they’ll spend money in the wrong places. So we have to do that through the media.”
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One year ago today, an earthquake ripped through Nepal, taking more than 8,000 lives and robbing more than 500,000 people of their homes. Many of the survivors are still waiting to rebuild.
After the initial earthquake, Nepal was struck by a series of aftershocks, some nearly as brutal as the first. Monsoon season, coupled with an untimely blockade along Nepal’s border with India, further stalled the rebuilding process.
In addition, Nepal’s government set up a construction approval process to make new buildings more structurally sound. Residents must follow a step-by-step process, including on-site inspections, in order to get government subsidies.
The goal is to prevent the destruction and loss of life that the 2015 earthquake unleashed.
That earthquake wasn’t Nepal’s first, nor will it be its last. Nepal straddles two shifting geologic plates, making it earthquake-prone.
“Many of us spent a lot of time in Nepal, and the reality wasn’t if there was going to be an earthquake, but when,” said Jim Nowak, president and co-founder of the dZi Foundation, which helps communities in Nepal with construction projects.
Nowak and Kim Reynolds, avid mountaineers, founded the Ridgway, Colorado-based nonprofit in 1998 after hiking in Nepal and encountering a run-down safe house for girls. That became their first fundraising project.
The dZi Foundation — named after the Himalayan stone beads that are said to protect the wearer — went on to help build schools, toilets, drinking water systems and bridges through private donations and grants.
The group, which has an in-country staff of 24 Nepalese and one American, focuses on helping rural communities in the eastern part of the country. After the 2015 earthquake struck, they added to their roster of projects the rebuilding of 31 schools over the next three years.
Previously, schools were built eight classrooms in a row. But the new design, which Nepal’s Department of Education has approved, puts only two classrooms side-by-side. The smaller, more solidly built structures, can withstand more shaking.
Because the group was already working in the country and operating with private funds, it could embark on its earthquake recovery projects without many of the bureaucratic delays that other organizations are experiencing.
Jeffrey Shannon, Mercy Corps’ director of programs in Nepal, has seen firsthand the toll such delays are taking on the population. “When I go out, we get this sense of fear and frustration, anger and confusion. In the absence of solid information, rumors take hold.”
Shannon and his team — Mercy Corps has 133 staff across Nepal — are connecting residents with local government officials to get answers and are helping people stockpile building materials for when construction can begin.
Meanwhile, people are living outside their cracked or crumbled homes — sometimes in corrugated metal structures if they are lucky — while they await repairs.
Other programs are underway, such as shoring up hillsides that are susceptible to avalanches. Shannon said NASA and the International Center for Integrated Mountain Development are helping provide and interpret satellite data to detect landslide-prone areas. Mercy Corps has a cash-for-work program to pay villagers to strengthen the steep hills with fruit trees and retaining walls.
Shannon said he is impressed by the resolve of the people of Nepal. “The series of disasters over the past year would have broken other places.”
Nowak agrees. “I am so inspired by their tenacity,” he said. “It makes what I do, and what our staff does, pale in comparison.”
On Monday’s PBS NewsHour, watch a report on Nepal’s rebuilding process.
The post Here’s how one group is helping speed up rebuilding in Nepal appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Poems tend to have their own logic.
Discovering that logic is part of the writing process for Shane McCrae, whose poems are often an experiment in form, built from nontraditional metrics and a focus on sound and texture.
“I concentrate on the logic of the poem itself as a thing, rather than the message of what the poem is doing,” he said.
At a young age, McCrae was focusing on poetry as a craft of technical details. “I was very particularly interested in strengthening what I saw as weaknesses in my writing,” he said. “In some ways, subject matter was secondary.”
“A Walk as Bright and Green as Spring as Cold as Winter” is a poem two years in the making, a period that brought an unexpected narrative to the piece. “The poem starts in a place that it swerves violently from,” McCrae said.
The poem holds an expansive sense of time; the speaker, turning to the subject of a yearly butterfly migration, notes that “Biologists believe they / turn to avoid a mountain / That disappeared millennia ago.”
McCrae employs a tool commonly used in prose to denote the line breaks in poetry, inserting slashes to punctuate the middle of several lines.
The method is a technical one, used to denote the end of a metrical phrase while allowing McCrae to write beyond the boundaries of form. “I thought, if I took that out of poetry criticism and stuck it in my poems with the exact same thinking, I could use that to indicate where the line would end for metrical purposes,” he said.
The result is a mix of free verse and a metric form, written simultaneously in one piece. The act of blurring these boundaries is an important one in McCrae’s writing, he said.
“It’s easier for me to focus when certain questions have already been answered for me when I’m going into the poem,” he said. “It gives me something to push against.”
You can read McCrae’s poem or hear him read it below.
A Walk as Bright and Green as Spring as Cold as Winter
At forty Illlllmost often neighborllllleven as / We walk together
Want everywhere we go to go home everywhere
but ohlllll/ Oh did you see the story
About the butterflies the mountain and the lake
thelllll/ Butterflies monarchlllllbutterflies huge swarmslllllthey
Migrate and as they migrate south as they
Cross Lake Superior instead of flying
South straight across they fly south
over the water then fly east
still over the water then fly southlllllagain and nowlllll/ Biologists believe they
turn to avoid a mountain
That disappeared millennia agolllll/ And did you
know I didn’t nolllllone butterfly
lives long enough to fly the whole
migrationlllll/ From the beginning to the end they
Lay eggs along the way
justlllll/ As you and Illlllmost often neighborlllll/ Migrate together in our daughter
over a dark lake
We make with joy the child we make
And mountains are reborn in her
WARWICK, R.I. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is weighing in on Deflategate, saying “Leave Tom Brady alone.”
Trump made his comments during a campaign appearance in Rhode Island on Monday, soon after a federal appeals court ruled the New England Patriots quarterback must serve a four-game suspension imposed by the NFL.
Trump told hundreds of people at the rally that Brady is a “great guy” and “it’s enough.”
Rhode Island’s primary is Tuesday.
The two men have said they are friends, and they have golfed together.
Brady last year displayed a “Make America Great Again” hat from the Trump campaign in his locker. He said at the time that he hoped Trump would win the presidency, but later said the comment was offhand and taken out of context.
WASHINGTON — Debt-ridden Puerto Rico faces a $422 million bond payment deadline Sunday with no sign Congress will act in time to help.
Further complicating lawmakers’ efforts to steer the U.S. territory away from economic collapse are ads airing nationwide that claim the legislation amounts to a financial bailout, even though the bill has no direct financial aid.
Some House conservatives have latched onto that argument, making it difficult for Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., to garner enough support for the bill. Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop, R-Utah, says he is reworking the bill, and a new version could come as soon as this week.
It’s unlikely to come in time for Puerto Rico to avoid default on the nearly half-billion-dollar debt payment. The AP explains Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, what’s happening in Congress and the outside forces.
PUERTO RICO’S IN BAD SHAPE
Puerto Rico’s government is running out of money. Agricultural revenue has diminished and federal tax incentives that lured manufacturers were phased out by Congress a decade ago.
The territory’s financial problems grew worse as a result of setbacks in the wider U.S. economy, and government spending in Puerto Rico continued unchecked. Borrowing covered increasing deficits and bonds were sold on special terms. More than 200,000 people have left Puerto Rico in the past five years, reducing the island’s tax base.
Those left behind have struggled with higher taxes and utility bills that have forced businesses to close or lay off workers. Foreclosures are skyrocketing and the island’s unemployment rate of 12 percent is the highest compared with any U.S. state.
IT’S ALL ABOUT PERCEPTION
Ryan is lobbying his House Republican caucus to support the legislation, which would create a control board to help manage the island’s $70 billion debt and to oversee some debt restructuring. Ryan says Congress is staunchly opposed to a bailout, but the U.S. could ultimately be responsible if Congress doesn’t act soon to prevent collapse.
Some lawmakers are claiming the opposite.
“This could be a first step toward a bailout,” said Louisiana Rep. John Fleming, a GOP member of the House Natural Resources Committee, which will have to approve the bill before it moves to the floor.
Creditors who are owed money are spending millions to lobby on the bill and have hired former lawmakers to push their case. In some cases they are battling each other.
Former Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla., represents a group of general obligation bondholders opposed to the bill. In an email to former colleagues obtained by The Associated Press, Mack wrote: “The legislation is pure and simple a BAILOUT on the backs of taxpayers, retirees and savers … Some in leadership have decided to try and pull the wool over the House GOP Conference’s eyes.”
Bishop, the Utah lawmaker supporting the measure to help Puerto Rico, says “the goal is to make sure that everyone is paid, and not just a few people are paid.”
ADS CREATE ANGST
Some of the ads run by the Center for Individual Freedom have specifically targeted Bishop and Wisconsin Rep. Sean Duffy, the bill’s sponsor. New ads that started Friday feature a Puerto Rican bondholder named Theresa who says she will lose her life savings if the House bill becomes law.
The group is organized as a politically active nonprofit that doesn’t have to disclose its donors.
As of last week, the group had spent an estimated $1.9 million so far this month, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG.
The Alexandria, Virginia-based group was founded in the late 1990s by tobacco industry leaders seeking to fight government restrictions on smoking. In the years since, it has evolved to aid Republican politicians and take up conservative causes such as balancing the federal budget and fighting donor disclosure laws at the state level.
The group’s chairman is Tony Fabrizio, a longtime, well-known Republican pollster and strategist.
Bishop says he thinks most of his colleagues won’t be convinced by the ads. “The ads are so over the top that it’s hard for people to believe them,” he said.
Bishop canceled a scheduled April 14 session to finalize the bill after Fleming and others made it clear they wouldn’t support the legislation and the ads from the Center for Individual Freedom raised doubts within the caucus. While some Republicans are on board, others said they were wary it could set a precedent for financially strapped states.
Bishop has also continued negotiations with Democrats, Puerto Rican officials and the Obama administration.
In the Senate, Republicans say they are waiting to see what happens in the House.
Associated Press writers Julie Bykowicz and Danica Coto in San Juan, Puerto Rico, contributed to this report.
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HARTFORD, Conn. — Bernie Sanders’ campaign chief is vowing his candidate will stay in the Democratic race until the summer convention even as Hillary Clinton looks to lock down her commanding position for the party’s nomination with a strong performance in a five-state round of contests Tuesday.
Clinton has the chance of a clean sweep or at least multiple victories Tuesday that would probably foreclose Sanders’ already narrow path to the nomination. But the Vermont senator’s campaign manager, Jeff Weaver, said the millions of dollars flowing to Sanders and the boisterous rallies show that his “supporters will stand with us all the way to the end.”
Asked whether he expects a contested national Democratic convention, Weaver told reporters in Connecticut, “Absolutely, 100 percent.” Weaver said: “This is a powerful movement he’s built and we’re going to take it to the convention.”
Both Democrats spent the day before the Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island contests campaigning on the East Coast.
Clinton looked beyond her rivalry with Sanders and went after Republican front-runner Donald Trump as a man out of touch on wages, climate change, national security and the lives of everyday people.
“Come out of those towers named after yourself and actually talk and listen to people,” Clinton told a Delaware crowd, as if talking to him. “Don’t just fly that big jet in and land it and go make a big speech and insult everybody you can think of and then go back in on that big jet and go back to your country club house in Florida or your penthouse in New York.” She was addressing more than 900 people in a Wilmington theater.
At a Hartford rally with more than 1,800 people, Sanders drew distinctions with Clinton on the minimum wage, his call for a carbon tax to address climate change, fracking and more.
“We cannot afford to poison our water,” he said. “Secretary Clinton does not agree. In fact, as secretary of state she pushed fracking on countries all over the world.” Sanders said he would phase out fracking as president.
Sanders moved on to a rally at a field house on the University of Pittsburgh campus, where he told a crowd of more than 1,000 that young and poorer people need to vote in higher numbers if anything is to change.
“That means every person here has got to understand that you are very, very powerful people if you choose to exercise that right,” Sanders said. Politicians “don’t listen to people if they are not involved. They listen to people who contribute hundreds of millions of dollars.”
Tuesday’s contests offer 384 delegates, who will be divided proportionally based on the outcome. After her New York victory, Clinton has a lead of more than 200 delegates won in primaries and caucuses. Including superdelegates, Clinton’s lead stands at 1,944 to 1,192 for Sanders, according to an Associated Press count. That means she has 82 percent of the 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination.
Clinton planned a primary-night rally Tuesday in Philadelphia, the city where the party’s nominee will accept the nomination in July.
Lucey reported from Wilmington, Delaware. Associated Press writers Ken Thomas in Hartford and Joe Mandak in Pittsburgh contributed to this report.
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