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

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    woman stacking coins. Related words: invest, saving, personal finance, money. Photo by JGI/Jamie Grill/Getty Images.

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first: the financial pressures of the middle class. It’s part of what you’re hearing from voters and on the campaign trail this year.

    Tonight, we zero in on the case of a California family feeling the squeeze. It’s part of our joint project with American Public Media’s Marketplace and PBS’ “Frontline,” and it’s called How the Deck Is Stacked.

    It’s funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

    The correspondent is the host of Marketplace, Kai Ryssdal.

    AARON MURRAY: Don’t I call my insurance first to make a claim?

    MARY MURRAY: Yes. Do you think it’s totaled?

    AARON MURRAY: Yes.

    KAI RYSSDAL: This has not been a good morning for Aaron and Mary Murray and Vandy, their 5-year-old daughter. They came out to find Aaron’s car had been hit overnight, one of those unexpected expenses hat can throw a lot of middle-class families off-track.

    WOMAN: Thank you for calling Esurance. My name is Rebecca. How can I help?

    AARON MURRAY: Hello, Rebecca. I’m calling because my car got sideswiped. I did not see them. They just left a note on my car, ah, and the note that they swerved to avoid a cat dashing across the street.

    WOMAN: OK.

    MARY MURRAY: Got to brake for animals.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Things get back on track, though, with Mary’s car, and they head to the Los Angeles Zoo to meet some friends. Vandy’s really looking forward to the dinosaurs.

    MARY MURRAY: Oh, my gosh.

    AARON MURRAY: It’s OK. I will protect you.

    MARY MURRAY: Yes, right. He makes noise. I think he’s real.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Over a standard zoo lunch of chicken fingers, talk turns back to that car accident.

    AARON MURRAY: The check goes to pay off the car. It doesn’t come to me.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Next up, groceries at Target. And Vandy is eager to help.

    VANDY MURRAY: Fruit, taco kit, and (INAUDIBLE)

    MARY MURRAY: Nice. High five. Boom. Awesome.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Mary keeps close eye on the family budget. Money-saving apps are key.

    MARY MURRAY: Bread, any bread. Unlocked. Cha-ching, 25 cents.

    AARON MURRAY: All right.

    KAI RYSSDAL: The tricky thing when you’re talking about the middle class is who exactly you’re talking about. One definition, according to the Pew Research Center, is a family of four making between $48,000 and $145,000 a year, which is basically the Murrays.

    They’re both teachers. Household income is right at $90,000. And they’re the ones that politicians talk about all the time.

    Hey, how’re you?

    AARON MURRAY: Hello.

    MARY MURRAY: This is Vandy.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Hi, Vandy. How are you sweetie? You good?

    Crazy day today?

    AARON MURRAY: Yes.

    KAI RYSSDAL: You walked out to — what, Aaron, you walked out to get your laptop?

    AARON MURRAY: Yes, I had been sideswiped this morning. Like, the rear axle’s broke. It is — I mean, this is…

    (LAUGHTER)

    MARY MURRAY: Yes. And that’s part of it.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Is that part of the wheel?

    AARON MURRAY: Yes, that’s the wheel.

    MARY MURRAY: The tow truck’s here.

    KAI RYSSDAL: How big of a pain is this, other — you’re insured, but…

    AARON MURRAY: Exactly. That’s exactly it. I’m insured, but even if they pay everything out, I now don’t have a new car. Do we get a new car? How do we find the money to get the down payment? Like, that’s really the big thing.

    KAI RYSSDAL: So, what’s that going to do to your monthly budget?

    AARON MURRAY: This month is shot, right? This month is shot. Next month is shot. I’m a teacher. I don’t get paid over the summer.

    KAI RYSSDAL: As you try to get ahead, this is like two steps back, maybe more.

    AARON MURRAY: Yes.

    They say they’re going to cover everything, but covering everything is never everything.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Our family, the Murrays, they make $90,000 a year.

    JENNIFER PATE, Loyola Marymount University: Yes. Yes.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Now, granted, they live in L.A., an expensive part of the country. Housing is ridiculous.

    JENNIFER PATE: Yes.

    KAI RYSSDAL: They’re middle-class, right?

    JENNIFER PATE: They would be, yes, by definition.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Jennifer Pate is an economist at Loyola Marymount University.

    When we hear politicians and others say the middle class in America is being hollowed out, what does that mean? It means it’s getting smaller?

    JENNIFER PATE: Yes. People are either going up, which is called upward mobility, or more likely it’s downward mobility. We’re seeing a hollowing out of the middle. These are people who purchase goods and services across the year that leads to higher economic prosperity in our country. What do families do when they struggle?

    KAI RYSSDAL: They don’t spend, right? They retrench.

    JENNIFER PATE: They spend less. They sometimes have to take jobs that have better security, but pay lower wages. Wages have been stagnant in real terms roughly since the mid-’70s.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Our family, the Murrays, they’re teachers, they’re hustling to get by. Getting their car wrecked wasn’t in their budget.

    JENNIFER PATE: Yes.

    When you’re living very close to your means, or just barely living within your means, when you have a catastrophic events, right, something like having your car get totaled unexpectedly, that disproportionately weighs on you.

    MARY MURRAY: I don’t feel middle class. I would like to feel middle class. I don’t. I hardly even feel like an adult.

    KAI RYSSDAL: We asked the Murrays whether they expected things to turn out like this.

    MARY MURRAY: In my best remembrance, we actually had planned on, like, having bought a house, even here in L.A. We were going to have somebody’s loans paid off.

    AARON MURRAY: Yes, and I would be done with my master’s program, and in a teaching job for LAUSD.

    KAI RYSSDAL: All right, so run me through that. How’d we do?

    MARY MURRAY: No loans are paid off. We do not have a house.

    AARON MURRAY: I hate to say student loans are the only reason, but they are a large reason. I could have purchased a house for the amount of my student loans.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Are there months you choose not to pay bills?

    MARY MURRAY: I have from time to time chosen not to pay something or to skip something. I never skipped the rent. I never skipped the car payment. I never skipped the insurance.

    KAI RYSSDAL: When you look at this election…

    AARON MURRAY: Yes.

    KAI RYSSDAL: … do you feel like the politicians and the campaigns and the candidates are paying attention to your situation? Hillary Clinton talks about the middle class all the time. Donald Trump has a middle-class element in his platform.

    MARY MURRAY: Yes. But I don’t think they see the reality of the middle class. I think that there’s a — like, there’s an idea of what middle class is, which I think middle class is, you don’t live paycheck to paycheck.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Do you think your fortunes are going to change based on this election?

    MARY MURRAY: I don’t.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Maybe a better question, though, is what about the fortunes of their daughter?

    Are you two setting Vandy up to be better off than you are right now?

    MARY MURRAY: I hope so. I don’t really know.

    AARON MURRAY: When you say save money, cut this out, don’t do that, it doesn’t always work that way, because the one person I do have the hardest time saying no to is my daughter. If she says, let’s — can we go to Pinkberry, and we say no because we only have $50 left for the rest of the month, that’s kind of hard.

    KAI RYSSDAL: Yes.

    MARY MURRAY: Yes. She loves going to gymnastics. That’s not negotiable.

    AARON MURRAY: Yes.

    MARY MURRAY: That is something that we pay every month for her. She loves it, and we did cut out a lot of things so that she could do that.

    KAI RYSSDAL: This isn’t a story or a series about one family. It’s about an economy that’s changing, and what it means when something as simple as your car getting sideswiped can set you back on your heels.

    The middle class is what makes this economy go, the Murrays and the millions of families like them being able to buy stuff. It’s almost that basic. And if they’re getting squeezed, if the deck is stacked, then everybody’s going to feel it.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” this is Kai Ryssdal from Los Angeles, California.

    The post In today’s economy, even two-income families struggle to make ends meet appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton walks to the podium to address the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington, U.S., June 10, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron - RTSGYQB

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The two presumptive nominees for president were in Washington today, each speaking to a friendly crowd and trying out attack lines aimed at the other.

    Political director Lisa Desjardins reports.

    LISA DESJARDINS: It was an effort to reassure the religious right, Donald Trump speaking to an evangelical Christian audience at the Faith and Freedom Coalition’s conference in Washington.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presumptive Presidential Nominee: We want to uphold the sanctity and dignity of life.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    DONALD TRUMP: Religious freedom, the right for people of faith to freely practice their faith, so important.

    LISA DESJARDINS: At the same time, he tried to address recent accusations of racism, including from some in his own party.

    DONALD TRUMP: Freedom of any kind means no one should be judged by their race or their color and the color of their skin, shouldn’t be judged that way. And, right now, we have a very divided nation. We’re going to bring our nation together.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Trump seemed to gain ground with the crowd, if not a full embrace.

    WHITNEY BLOUNT, Conservative Voter: I came in a little skeptical, but his speech was really what I wanted to hear. But I continue to be a little skeptical. But I am more excited about the outcome of what a president could over Christian voters.

    PENNY YOUNG NANCE, Concerned Women for America: This is a room full of conservative voters, so I think they came into this ready to vote for him, but the question now, but the question is, how hard will they work for him?

    LISA DESJARDINS: And the Republican presumptive nominee tries to shore up his argument with the religious right, Hillary Clinton, she’s pounding away with her base on the left.

    Clinton was also in the nation’s capital, at a Planned Parenthood event, giving her first speech as the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presumptive Presidential Nominee: When Donald Trump says let’s make America great again, that is code for let’s take America backward, back to a time when opportunity and dignity were reserved for some, not all, back to the days when abortion was illegal, women had far fewer options, and life for too many women and girls was limited.

    (APPLAUSE)

    LISA DESJARDINS: Last night, following a day of endorsements from the president and vice president, Clinton also received the backing of progressive champion Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren.

    SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D), Massachusetts: I am ready to get in this fight and work my heart out for Hillary Clinton to become the next president of the United States and to make sure that Donald Trump never gets any place close to the White House.

    LISA DESJARDINS: This morning, the senator and the candidate met at the Clintons’ Washington home. Clinton later declined to respond when asked if Warren is a potential running mate.

    Clinton hosts a fund-raiser at her D.C. home tonight, while Trump holds a rally in Richmond, Virginia. Their job now? Excite their respective bases enough to come out in November.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.

    The post Clinton vows to ‘unify our country,’ while Trump emphasizes religious freedom appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The Puerto Rican and U.S. flags are seen in the Old Town district in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

    The Puerto Rican and U.S. flags are seen in the Old Town district in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Photo by Paul J. Richards/AFP/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is urging the Senate to swiftly send him a bill to help Puerto Rico manage its staggering debt crisis.

    In his weekly Saturday address, Obama says a pending bipartisan bill is not a perfect solution. But he says it’s the only option to keep the U.S. territory from spiraling out of control.

    [Watch Video]

    The House bolstered prospects for Senate passage by voting overwhelmingly Thursday in favor of a rescue package to ease the island’s $70 billion debt.

    Puerto Rico owes its creditors $2 billion payment by July 1.

    Obama says only Congress can give Puerto Rico the tools it currently lacks to restructure its debt and find a sustainable path toward economic growth and opportunity for its people.

    He notes that Puerto Rico’s residents are U.S. citizens.

    The post Obama urges Senate to pass Puerto Rico aid bill quickly appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Mohamad Khalf teaches food photography in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo courtesy of Mohamad Khalf

    Mohamad Khalf, far left, teaches food photography in Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan. Photo courtesy of Mohamad Khalf

    In the middle of the Jordanian desert, at a camp that houses tens of thousands of Syrian refugees, Syrian photographer Mohamad Khalf teaches the art of food photography.

    He shares a photograph of the setup: eight students and Khalf gather around a table that overflows with chopped vegetables, tomatoes and flowers. A single fan on the wall pushes against the heat of the camp, which can reach above 100 degrees Fahrenheit in June.

    This is one portrait of artistic expression in Zaatari refugee camp, where approximately 80,000 Syrians live, having fled the devastating five-year war there that has killed more than 400,000 people.

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    Khalf, 25, photographs life in Zaatari while teaching photography workshops to other refugees. In his work, daily expressions of ritual and joy — a line of men praying, children playing — are juxtaposed with barbed wire and the ashes of burned structures. All of this, he said, forms a part of the Syrian story.

    “The picture is a letter to the world,” he said in a Facebook message. “The world should know what [makes] people Syrian.”

    Khalf arrived in Zaatari in March 2013, almost a year after his brother was killed in Damascus by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to Khalf.

    Once at Zaatari, Khalf met Brendan Bannon, an American photographer who teaches workshops in the camp with a grant from the UN.

    “Self expression and creative problem-solving are important to children and youth anywhere in the world. For refugees who have endured the trauma of war … it is even more essential.” — Photographer Brendan Bannon

    Khalf loved photography for years and had shot sporting events in Syria using a camera phone or a friend’s Nikon, when he could borrow it. But during the fall of 2014, he took those skills further by training with Bannon and working as a course assistant in two of the workshops that Bannon taught.

    “It was great to see the way that [Khalf] supported the students in every way imaginable,” Bannon said. “He would meet the youngest, and walk them through the camp to class to be sure they were there safe and on time. He took notes on everything that happened, all of the discussions and lessons were recorded in his notebook for future use.”

    After Bannon’s workshops ended, Khalf began teaching on his own. In November of 2014, his photographs of sports in Zaatari were featured on The New York Times’ website.

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    The workshops are just one corner of an artistic scene that has developed in Zaatari amid wrenching living conditions, from excessive heat to a lack of water and electricity. Internet service is spotty, limiting residents’ contact with the outside world.

    Based on population, the camp could be the fourth-largest city in Jordan — but it lacks the infrastructure most cities require to support thousands of residents.

    In the face of these difficulties, a number of individuals have worked on developing artistic resources for refugees in Zaatari, aware that back in Syria, the militant group calling itself the Islamic State has taken direct aim at the heart of Syrian culture — destroying ancient sites and antiquities.

    “I am suffering from the loss of this heritage,” Khalf said, before naming cities where the Islamic State has launched offensives in recent years. “Palmyra. Aleppo. Deir ez-Zor.”

    READ NEXT: Using only materials from a refugee camp, artists recreate Syria’s lost treasures

    Bannon, who also led photography workshops for refugees in Yemen and Namibia in 2008, said he believes an outlet for creative expression can serve as a lifeline for some refugees.

    “Self expression and creative problem-solving are important to children and youth anywhere in the world,” Bannon said. “For refugees who have endured the trauma of war and have been uprooted and separated from everything they knew, it is even more essential.”

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    Like a number of Syrians, Khalf ascribes the destruction in Syria to both the Islamic State and Assad’s troops, and said his camera is a tool of cultural survival. “I take a picture of my heritage before it becomes devastated by Daesh [and] Assad,” he said, using a pejorative term for the Islamic State.

    Bannon said that art by refugees also helps foster a public understanding of the situation across borders. “Hearing from refugees like Mohamad is essential,” he said. “Being witness to the creativity and individuality we see through their expression encourages people to see the person, not the statistic or label.”

    See more of Khalf’s work below.

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    Photo by Mohammed Kahlf

    Photo by Mohamad Khalf

    The post Stranded in a refugee camp, this Syrian photographer teaches budding artists appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to the cheers of supporters at a campaign rally in Albany, New York. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump reacts to the cheers of supporters at a campaign rally in Albany, New York. Photo by Mike Segar/Reuters

    PHILADELPHIA — The presidential primaries are just about over and the nominees have emerged. And the general election begins with Democrat Hillary Clinton already ahead of Republican Donald Trump on the Road to 270.

    Trump, who shook the last of his rivals weeks before Clinton locked up her nomination, has made the GOP’s uphill path to the White House more treacherous by failing to seize on that head start in the race for the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

    There is a path for the billionaire real estate mogul and reality TV star to find his way to 270. But it’s narrow, given the map’s opening tilt toward the Democratic Party, and hinges on Trump’s ability to continue to defy political norms.

    Where does Trump begin his journey? A look at four questions he’ll need to answer successfully to beat Clinton. The primary season ends Tuesday with the Democratic contest in the District of Columbia:

    Can Trump turn out white voters?

    For Trump to have a shot, he must not only replicate his overwhelming success in the GOP primaries at winning over white voters, but also count on doing even better on Nov. 8.

    It’s a risky strategy because white, noncollege educated voters have shrunk as a portion of the overall electorate in recent years. Also, it’s at odds with many Republican leaders, who believe the party’s White House prospects hinge on appealing to the growing number of black and Hispanic voters.

    Trump’s campaign is confident he can turn out whites who have not voted in past elections in states such as Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania. Winning all three would reverse decades of Democratic dominance in those states. If Trump could take Ohio as well, he would offset potential Clinton wins in Florida, Nevada and Colorado.

    “If the election were held today, there’d be a significant number of blue collar, whites — males particularly, but some females — who are registered Democratic and would vote for Trump,” said former Gov. Ed Rendell, D-Pa.

    [Watch Video]

    Can Trump close gap with suburban women?

    Trump begins the general election campaign trailing badly among female voters, putting him at a disadvantage in numerous states.

    A recent Associated Press-GfK poll found that 70 percent of women nationally have unfavorable opinions of Trump. Clinton’s campaign and allies are eager to exploit Trump’s weaknesses with women in the suburbs of critical states: Charlotte, Raleigh-Durham and Greensboro in North Carolina; northern Virginia; the Denver area; and the counties around several of Ohio’s cities.

    Adam Geller, a Republican pollster in North Carolina, said Trump could balance out his struggles with women by cutting into Clinton’s standing with men in her own party.

    “He doesn’t have to win them, he just has to keep her margins down,” Geller said.

    If Trump can shrink Clinton’s lead among women and exploit his advantage with men, he could perhaps carry some combination of Colorado, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia.

    Can Trump boost his standing with minorities?

    When 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney lost to President Barack Obama, GOP leaders quickly identified a glaring problem: Romney’s stunningly poor performance with black and Hispanic voters. Across the country, he won only 17 percent of the nonwhite vote.

    Some Republicans fear Trump will do even worse.

    That would put victory all but out of reach in states such as Florida, Nevada and Colorado, where Hispanics are a fast-growing segment of the electorate. In Florida, for example, Hispanics made up 17 percent of the electorate in the 2012 presidential race, and 60 percent sided with Obama.

    Romney won the support of just 27 percent of Hispanics nationally in a campaign where he backed the idea of “self-deportation.” Trump has gone much further, declaring that some Mexican immigrants are rapists and criminals, calling for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and pledging to throw out all people living in the U.S. illegally before allowing “the good ones” back in.

    More recently, Trump angered his own party’s leaders by raising a federal judge’s Mexican heritage as a reason he might be biased in a legal case. The comments were widely condemned as racist, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., publicly worried that Trump could push Hispanics from the GOP as Arizona Sen. Barry Goldwater, the Republican nominee in 1964, did blacks in that election.

    Can Trump put new states in play?

    Both Trump and Clinton are seeking a holy grail of presidential politics: winning states that long have voted for the opposing party.

    For Trump, that means New York and California, two of the three biggest electoral prizes. Republicans haven’t won either since the 1980s, and the contests since haven’t been close.

    Still, Trump appears undeterred and insists he’ll compete aggressively for both. “I’m going to put in a heavy play in California, I’m going to make a play for New York also,” he said last month.

    Chip Lake, a Republican strategist in Georgia, takes a dim view of Trump’s bravado, arguing that the candidate should concentrate on shoring up Republicans and conservative independents.

    “The Electoral College already doesn’t work in Republicans’ favor,” Lake said. “And he’s just heightened the issue. Mitt Romney won independents by 5 points and still lost. Do we really think Donald Trump is going to do better?”

    Associated Press writers Lisa Lerer in Washington and Bill Barrow in Atlanta contributed to this report.

    The post Donald Trump faces uphill climb to the White House appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Morsa Images via Getty

    The DonorNet website matches available organs to needy patients. Photo by Morsa Images via Getty

    The man died in Pennsylvania. It was a stroke in the middle of the night.

    Within hours, the news had traveled across the country. Phones vibrated and pinged and rang. Metallic automated voices gave brief reports. Those receiving the news wasted no time. They were soon poring over the man’s medical history — diabetes, high blood pressure — and studying the function of his heart, his liver, his pancreas, and his lungs. With a few clicks, some would even be able to inspect the glistening surface of his kidneys.

    These were transplant surgeons, scrambling to determine whether these organs in Pennsylvania could give their sick patients new life. But part of that work had already been done for them — by a website.

    Called DonorNet, it is part of the online system run by the United Network for Organ Sharing, the nonprofit that oversees all transplants across the country. DonorNet can seem like an ever-growing library of tragedies — in late April, it held records of 3,945 natural deaths, 1,323 car accidents, 905 suicides, and 414 homicides.

    Yet hidden behind the graphic details of gunshots and strokes and asphyxiations is a medical tool as finely tuned as any scalpel or ultrasound.

    Its algorithms match the organs of those who’ve just died to those who are on the waiting list, and they are constantly being revamped, even as they handle more and more traffic. Last year, those algorithms facilitated 24,980 transplants — up nearly 9 percent from 2013.

    The online system takes into account much more than just body size and blood type when connecting available organs to potential recipients. It also calculates how far an organ would have to travel to reach a patient — and how long it could survive doused with preservative fluid and packed in sterile ice, or hooked up to a pump.

    “For hearts, it’s four hours or so. For lungs, it’s six, eight hours tops, or maybe 10. For livers, it’s 12 to 14 hours max,” said Christopher Curran, the director of organ operations and surgical recovery at the New England Organ Bank. “We’ll ship kidneys around the country, and they can tolerate 24 to 36 hours outside the body — for good kidneys.”

    With more than 120,000 patients waiting for a transplant — from preemies to grandparents — geography is just one of many variables in the equation. The algorithm also takes into account a slew of details about their lives and health.

    “It used to be, many years ago, the primary factor was waiting time. In simplistic terms, the people who had waited the longest got the highest priority,” said Rob McTier, who helps manage the online system at the United Network for Organ Sharing, known as UNOS.

    Now, those algorithms have become a lot more intricate. And every change is the result of years of fierce debate among surgeons, patient advocates, and transplant policy makers.

    In December 2014, for instance, the kidney algorithm was overhauled. Those whose immune systems are likely to reject most organs are now given priority when the rare compatible kidney becomes available. Another change: The organs in the best shape now tend to go to those patients likely to survive longer, so that the recipients won’t need another transplant down the road.

    “That took about 10 years to work through the comment processes,” said Alex Tulchinsky, the chief technology officer at UNOS.

    The organization is now working on changes to the liver algorithm to smooth out wait times, which now vary greatly by region.

    It isn’t just the algorithms that have been tweaked. Before 2007, someone had to call the surgeon responsible for each patient deemed a potential recipient of an organ, one after the other, until one of them said yes.

    Now, all of those calls go out automatically, at the exact same time.

    The transition was hardly seamless; at first, DonorNet offered the same organ to too many surgeons at once, “waking people up in the middle of the night six times a night for an [organ] that was never going to come to them,” said Dr. David Gerber, the chief of abdominal transplant surgery at the University of North Carolina.

    “Back then if you brought up the word DonorNet, you had to step back because you were going to get some vitriol,” Gerber said.

    UNOS has since pared back the outreach, and surgeons have gotten used to the metallic, Siri-like voice of DonorNet.

    As Roger Brown, the director of the UNOS organ center in Richmond, Va., put it, “When they hear that voice, they know what they need to do.”

    They need to wake up, or stop their cars, or step out of their meetings. They need to log immediately onto DonorNet to review lab results and life histories. They have an hour to decide whether this organ is right for their patient.

    “It’s a game of stories, matching the donor story to the recipient story,” said Dr. Joshua Weiner, a surgical resident at New York Presbyterian Hospital.

    Most donors have been declared brain dead; they’re on ventilators to keep the organs pumping in their bodies until it’s time for each one to be transported to another operating room, where the recipient will be ready and waiting. But sometimes — especially in the case of kidneys — the organs have already been removed, and transplant surgeons can examine pictures online.

    A few weeks ago, Dr. Nahel Elias, director of kidney transplantation at Massachusetts General Hospital, clicked on a link to check out a kidney. It turned out it wouldn’t have functioned well enough to transplant: it was covered in cysts. They looked like snails clinging to a seaside rock.

    For contrast, Elias clicked to another patient’s organ. “This is a healthy kidney,” he said. “It’s smooth and pink. It only has a little bit of fat.”

    Another few clicks, and his screen filled with the image of someone’s liver clutched in a gloved hand. “That’s a nice looking liver,” he said. “It’s smooth, it has sharp edges, it doesn’t have too much fat, so the color is more toward that burgundy purple, not yellowish.”

    Everyone involved in the organ donation process seeks to rigorously protect patient privacy. They would not give details about the Pennsylvania man’s life or share what happened to his organs.

    For his part, Elias tries not to think too much about the donor. It’s “always a sad story,” he said. Instead, when he gets pinged by DonorNet, he focuses on the organ on his screen — and on whether he can use it to save a life.

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on June 10, 2016. Find the original story here.

    The post This website makes organ transplants in the U.S. possible appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Art by David Ellis, Pearl Street Triangle, 2012. Photo by David Ellis and Chris Keohane

    Artist David Ellis created this mural in Pearl Street Triangle in Brooklyn, New York. Photo by David Ellis and Chris Keohane

    New York City’s streets underwent a radical transformation under the leadership of Janette Sadik-Khan, who served as transportation commissioner from 2007 to 2013. In the new book “Streetfight: A Handbook for an Urban Revolution,” Sadik-Khan and co-author Seth Solomonow share the lessons from six years of redesigning the streets of New York City with more plazas, bike lanes and rapid bus lanes.

    One of the city’s biggest undertakings: re-purposing a section of historic Broadway in midtown Manhattan in 2009. One of the oldest streets in the city, Broadway cuts diagonally through the street grid system, creating irregular intersections and triangular spaces. To help ease traffic congestion and improve safety, the city completely redesigned 2.3 miles of Broadway from 14th Street to 59th Street, creating 65,000 square feet of pedestrian plazas. The project created areas for people to walk or even sit down for lunch in heavily-trafficked areas along Broadway, including Times Square, Madison Square and Herald Square. In all, the Department of Transportation installed 60 plazas across the city.

    In a 2010 evaluation of the midtown project, the Department of Transportation found that it improved traffic times, with an overall seven percent increase in taxi speeds. The volume of pedestrians in Times Square increased by 11 percent and in Herald Square by six percent. The most dramatic improvements occurred in a reduction of car-related injuries in the area, with 63 percent fewer injuries for car riders and 35 percent fewer injuries for pedestrians.

    Sadik-Khan now partners with cities around the world to improve their public streets as the principal of transportation for Bloomberg Associates, former NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg’s consulting service. For more on her work, watch tonight’s PBS NewsHour.

    Pearl Street Triangle Plaza (Brooklyn, New York)

    Brooklyn's Pearl Street Plaza appears before and after redevelopment. Photo by Ryan Russo/NYC DOT

    Brooklyn’s Pearl Street Plaza appears before and after redevelopment. Photo by Ryan Russo/NYC DOT

    The first plaza to be developed in New York City under Sadik-Khan’s tenure was Pearl Street Triangle, a small parking lot in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn. In 2007, the Department of Transportation converted the space into a public plaza with full funding and support from DUMBO Improvement District, the local business association. In 2012, the group commissioned Brooklyn artist David Ellis to paint a mural for the plaza.

    Times Square Plaza (Manhattan, New York)

    Left: Photo by Heidi Wolf/NYC DOT, right: Photo by Julio Palleiro/NYC DOT

    After adding more pedestrian space in New York, retail sales increased, according to Sadik-Khan. Left: Photo by Heidi Wolf/NYC DOT, right: Photo by Julio Palleiro/NYC DOT

    In 2009, New York City planners closed a section of Broadway in Times Square to cars and converted it into a pedestrian plaza. In New York, “We saw retail sales soar along the corridors where we put bus lanes and bike lanes and pedestrian plazas,” Sadik-Khan told NPR station KCRW. In 2011, the area made it on Crain’s list of top 10 retail locations in the world.

    6 ½ Avenue (Manhattan, New York)

    Photo by Julio Palleiro/NYC DOT

    At this new crossing named “6 ½ Avenue,” office workers and passerby can enjoy a pedestrian arcade. Photo by Julio Palleiro/NYC DOT

    On 51st Street between 6th and 7th Avenue, the NYC Department of Transportation installed a new street sign marking 6 ½ Avenue (in the spirit of Harry Potter’s famed Platform 9¾). The area allows people to walk through a pedestrian arcade that runs from 51st to 57th street.

    Broadway (Los Angeles, California)

    Photos by Melani V. Smith-Meléndrez

    This section of Broadway in Los Angeles became a location for outdoor seating. Photos by Melani V. Smith-Meléndrez

    On Broadway, one of Los Angeles’ biggest thoroughfares, city planners in partnership with Sadik-Khan and Bloomberg Associates converted this lane of traffic into an outdoor seating space.

    Jane Warner Plaza (San Francisco, California)

    Photo by San Francisco Planning Department

    A view of Jane Warner Plaza in San Francisco, California. Photo by San Francisco Planning Department

    At 17th and Castro St., San Francisco city planners converted this irregular intersection into Jane Warner Plaza, making it one of the most popular meeting spots in the city. The project was the first in the city’s Pavement to Parks project. Since 2009, the project has introduced seven plazas and twelve parklets, which consist of extensions to a pedestrian sidewalk along a short strip of land.

    The post Urban designers transformed these five spaces into pedestrian paradise appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    California Governor Jerry Brown looks on during a news conference at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California in this file photo taken March 19, 2015. Brown on April 4, 2016 was expected to sign into a law a plan to raise the minimum wage from $10 to $15 an hour by the year 2023, making the nation's most-populous state the first to boost pay to that level for the working poor. REUTERS/Max Whittaker/Files - RTSDH3I

    California Governor Jerry Brown looks on during a news conference at the State Capitol in Sacramento, California on March 19, 2015. Photo by Max Whittaker/Reuters

    California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Friday that could allow people without documentation to purchase health insurance through the state’s exchange, leading the country again on immigrant-friendly policy.

    Senate Bill 10 asks the federal government to waive a policy in the state’s exchange, Covered California, that prohibits undocumented people from buying its insurance. Covered California was set up by a mandate through the Affordable Care Act, so changing the literature’s limitations will require federal approval.

    The bill passed the Senate 28-10 on Monday. If approved, California would be the first state in the country to enable about one percent of its 38.8 million residents — undocumented people who earn an income too high to qualify for a low-income plan — to buy the state’s insurance.

    “The current policy disallowing immigrants from purchasing care with their own money is both discriminatory and outdated,” Sen. Ricardo Lara (D-Bell Gardens), who wrote the bill, said in a statement. “Today we ask the federal government to remove barriers to health insurance access that discriminates against some of our residents on the basis of their documentation status.”

    [Watch Video]

    According to the Sacramento Bee, Republicans who opposed the bill in the state legislature worried it would encourage immigrants to come to the state, which they argued could overburden the health care system. California also allows people living there illegally to apply for driver’s licenses and licenses to become a lawyer.

    “If we can’t even take care of our own citizens and legal residents, why would we want to take care of others?” Assemblyman Travis Allen, R-Huntington Beach, said during a floor debate.

    Lara, with the support of immigration rights advocates, had put an urgency clause on the legislation in the hopes it will reach Washington, D.C., before President Barack Obama leaves office.

    “We’re very confident we’re going to be able to get this done,” Lara said.

    The post California moves closer to health insurance for undocumented residents appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Burlington, Iowa January 28, 2016. REUTERS/Mark Kauzlarich - RTX24HRU

    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks at a campaign rally in Burlington, Iowa January 28, 2016. Photo by Mark Kauzlarich/Reuters

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — People in this lakeside city that Bernie Sanders helped transform as mayor before embarking on a career in Congress are proud of the mark he’s left in the 2016 presidential race even as they recognize that his White House bid is almost certainly going to fall short.

    The senator returned to Burlington, his hometown, after a week of major developments in the campaign: Hillary Clinton clinched the Democratic nomination, President Barack Obama endorsed her after meeting with Sanders at the White House, and the party kept up efforts to ease Sanders from the race while trying not to offend his many supporters.

    Sanders was largely staying out of public view this weekend, though he was booked on some Washington-based news shows on Sunday and his campaign spokesman, Michael Briggs, said Sanders and his wife, Jane, invited “a couple dozen key supporters and advisers from around the country to come to Burlington to share ideas.”

    Briggs said he expected “a lot of thoughtful discussion among smart people and good friends.”

    Sanders was expected to return to Washington for Tuesday’s primary in the District of Columbia, the final one on the nomination calendar. In an email Saturday to supporters, Sanders reminded them of their “chance to stand up and be heard.” His message ended: “I thank you for everything you’ve shared with me and all the support you’ve given our campaign. Now it’s time to bring it home on Tuesday.”

    [Watch Video]

    Sanders hasn’t said he would quit the race, but after meeting with Obama, he made clear he would do everything he could to stop presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump from winning the White House.

    People in Burlington are familiar with Sanders and the message of social justice that he has promoted since before he was elected mayor in 1981. Many credit him with helping make Burlington the vibrant, multicultural small city that it is today, and are thrilled to see his message gain so much attention.

    “What’s really cool is he sort of changed the narrative in a big way,” said Benjamin Gorback, 29, of Burlington, who works at the regional transit agency and was standing on Church Street in the rain Saturday with friend Vanessa Arbour, 26, an information technology worker. Both are Sanders supporters.

    Said Arbour: “I think the real important thing about Bernie was that a) he really had a chance of winning and b) people actually thought he was going to win.”

    Sarah Mandl, 26, of Ithaca, New York, who attended the University of Vermont and spends summers in the state, said she was surprised and happy that Sanders made it as far as he did in the race, and continues to try to get out his message “even though he knows he’s not going to be president.”

    Dan McAllister, 60, a clergyman from South Burlington, credited Sanders with raising “some questions both the Democrats and the Republicans have to answer.”

    Don Dresser, 65, a retired postmaster from Huntington who was wearing a “Bernie” sticker on his shirt, said he’s not sure what’s next for Sanders, but expects him to press his agenda at the party convention this summer.

    “I mean he’s been speaking on the same thing since I came here in the mid-70s.”

    Associated Press writer Ken Thomas in Washington contributed to this report.

    The post In Sanders’ hometown, people proud of his mark on campaign appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Tourists visit the Petra in front of the treasury site July 9, 2007 not far from a newly discovered ruin. Photo By Muhammad hamed/Rueters

    Tourists visit the Petra in front of the treasury site July 9, 2007 not far from a newly discovered ruin. Photo By Muhammad Hamed/Rueters

    More than two hundred years after Western explorers uncovered the ancient city of Petra in the present-day country of Jordan, researchers have discovered another hidden ruin buried beneath the UNESCO World Heritage site.

    Using satellite imagery and old-fashioned archaeology, researchers Christopher A. Tuttle and Sarah Parcak were able to pinpoint what may be a ceremonial temple, located in an unobtrusive section of the Petra Archaeological Park near the city center, where thousands of tourists flock each year.

    Tuttle and Parcak, both American archaeologists, published their findings in May in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research.

    The duo described using a combination of Tuttle’s archaeological expertise on Petra, accumulated during multiple stints in the city during the last 15 years, and Parcak’s skills with satellite imagery, which first helped define the underground characteristics of the ruins in 2013 in an area once inhabited by the Nabataean people.

    The use of drone photography helped buttress their original findings before Tuttle and his team made more discoveries during ground surveys.

    “A simple equation drove our research design,” the two wrote in the study. “To what extent did the Nabataeans alter the landscapes in and around Petra?”

    Archaeologist Christopher A. Tuttle examines a recently discovered site in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. Photo by Q. Tweissi

    Archaeologist Christopher A. Tuttle examines a recently discovered site in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra. Photo by Q. Tweissi

    Tuttle, who is the executive director of the Council of American Overseas Research Centers, told the PBS NewsHour the discovery may not have happened at all if the team did not identify several columns poking up through the earth, which were likely revealed by illegal digging on the site sometime in the past.

    Much of the site is buried beneath several centimeters of sand and rock and was not visibly apparent, given its proximity to highly-trafficked tourist areas about a half-mile away.

    Tuttle said that after identifying the site from the air, he and a team of researchers combed the landscape and found pottery and other artifacts from various historical time periods. Some of the artifacts date back to approximately 150 B.C., which is around the time scientists believe Petra was first formed as a caravan trade center between the Red Sea and the Dead Sea.

    Petra is well-known for the red sandstone constructs that were carved from the natural landscape and featured in movies like Indiana Jones. But much of Petra consists of buildings built from the ground up, like those in the new discovery.

    Without an archaeological dig, it would be difficult to know even the general date of the site, Tuttle said. But what is more overtly notable about the venerable structure are its decorative facade, stairway and man-made platforms that “took an enormous amount of effort” — details that the team found through high-resolution satellite imagery.

    “That implies to us that it was for some form of public display,” Tuttle said. “It’s very possible that this is a religious site.”

    A sandstone column drum inside structure helped archaeologists identify the site. The columns were likely dug up illegally sometime in the past. (Photo by Christopher A. Tuttle

    A sandstone column drum inside structure helped archaeologists identify the site. The columns were likely dug up illegally sometime in the past. Photo by Christopher A. Tuttle

    In the study, the archaeologists noted the site’s architecture and the time and effort that it must have taken to assemble the “massive” structure, which measures 181 feet by 161 feet. A smaller platform sits nearby.

    “These orientation relationships, architectural and construction styles and pottery scatters all help to suggest that the platform was built when Petra was flourishing as the capital city of the Nabataean kingdom,” Tuttle and Parcak wrote.

    Tuttle said while hundreds of thousands of people around the world visit Petra, only about 2 percent of the ruins have been uncovered in an area that covers more than 100 square miles.

    “Most who visit the World Heritage site see but a tiny fraction of the total landscapes in and around the city,” the report said. “Given the complexities of the topography found in this extensive park, it is highly improbably that Petra has yet revealed all of its secrets.”

    The post Researchers find hidden site in the ancient Jordanian city of Petra appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People hold up rainbow flags during an lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parade. Photo by Samuel Kubani/AFP/Getty Images

    People hold up rainbow flags during an lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) parade. Photo by Samuel Kubani/AFP/Getty Images

    An Oregon circuit court has ruled that a resident can change their legal gender to “nonbinary,” a gender identity that is neither male nor female.

    Jamie Shupe, who lives in Portland, Oregon, filed a petition on April 27 for what the court designates a legal “sex change.” Judge Amy Holmes Hehn granted the change on Friday.

    “I was assigned male at birth due to biology,” Shupe told the Oregonian. “I’m stuck with that for life. My gender identity is definitely feminine. My gender identity has never been male, but I feel like I have to own up to my male biology. Being non-binary allows me to do that. I’m a mixture of both. I consider myself as a third sex.”

    This is the first instance in the country that a court has ruled that “nonbinary” is a legal gender identification, according to the Transgender Law Center.

    There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.

    Shupe uses the honorific “Mx.,” a gender-neutral alternative to “Mr.” or “Ms.” which was added to the Oxford-English dictionary last year. The honorific has become increasingly popular among people who do not identify with either a male or female gender identity.

    Shupe, 52, served in the military before retiring in 2000 and had previously petitioned for a legal change to “female,” but that label was never accurate to Shupe, the Oregonian reported.

    The ruling fits within current Oregon laws, which allow residents to petition for a legal gender change and do not require that change to be “male” or “female,” according to attorney Lake J. Perriguey, who worked on Shupe’s petition.

    “Oregon law has allowed for people to petition a court for a gender change for years, but the law doesn’t specify that it has to be either male or female,” Perriguey told CNN.

    The decision does not necessarily mean that Shupe will be able to list a nonbinary gender on legal documents. Currently, Oregon does not allow genders other than “male” or “female” on driver’s licenses, according to Nancy Haque, a co-executive director for Basic Rights Oregon. And federal documents such as passports require the listed gender to be “male” or “female.”

    Heather Betz, lead attorney for the LGBT Law Project at the New York Legal Assistance Center, said the decision was “amazing news.”

    “Not everyone’s gender fits within our society’s construction of either male or female,” she told the PBS NewsHour. “The next step is for agencies issuing identification documents like the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Passport Office to acknowledge this judge’s order and issue identity documents that reflect Mx. Shupe’s identity and others like them.”

    The post Oregon court rules that ‘nonbinary’ is a legal gender appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    walking

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    In 2009, Janette Sadik-Khan, former New York City Transportation Commissioner and co-author of the new book “Streetfight: A Handbook for an Urban Revolution,” proposed closing Broadway to cars from 42nd St. to 47th St. and turning it into a quarter-mile-long pedestrian plaza. As the head of the city’s Department of Transportation from 2007 to 2013, Sadik-Khan oversaw the re-purposing of 220 acres of space, taking away lanes from cars and giving them to pedestrians, bikes and buses.

    “It started just with some traffic cones and some beach chairs, and it’s really become a model for other cities to try things out. You can reimagine them, test it, measure it,” she said.

    Sadik-Khan says dedicated car turn lanes, restricted bus lanes, and adjusting traffic light signals based on real-time traffic conditions helped increase average driving speeds in central Manhattan by nearly 7 percent.

    At the same time, traffic and pedestrian fatalities in the city have declined.

    During her tenure as Transportation Commissioner, Sadik-Khan also helped introduce the city’s bike share program, Citi Bike, funded in part by Citibank and Mastercard. It’s been used more than 26 million times since launching three years ago.

    New York City streets now have 400 miles of bike lanes, with more than 30 miles separated from vehicle traffic by a lane of parked cars, an idea Sadik-Khan copied after seeing it in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    “I think it’s really critical that we build in really good choices for people to get around,” Sadik-Khan said. “Making it safe for people to bike, making it fast for people to ride the bus, making it easy for people to walk around. Those are the kind of really secret sauces for 21st century cities.”

    Read the full transcript below: 

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The streets we use every day are usually an afterthought for most of us, but not for our next interviewee. Janette Sadik-Khan is credited with rethinking the streets of New York City — how they work and who they serve. She was the city’s Transportation Commissioner under Mayor Mike Bloomberg and has authored a new book about how city streets around the country are in need of rethinking.

    As part of our series “Urban Ideas,” on innovations in how cities govern themselves, I recently sat down with Sadik-Khan in the heart of one of her biggest projects: Times Square.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: How is it possible that we’re sitting in Times Square? What happened here that you made you think you could build this?

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: Well, Times Square had been a tangle of traffic for almost 200 years, since it was first created and people had tried for years to fix it. They tried slip lanes and signal changes and nothing worked. And so I brought the idea to Mayor Bloomberg that we should try something bigger.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In 2009, Janette Sadik-Khan proposed closing Broadway to cars from 42nd St. to 47th St. and turning it into a quarter-mile long pedestrian plaza.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: And it started just with some traffic cones and some beach chairs, and it’s really become a model for other cities to try things out. You can re-imagine them, test it, measure it.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The permanent redesign cost $27 million, and the city measured the changing traffic flow through Times Square using GPS devices in 13,000 taxis.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: It was much safer for both pedestrians and motorists. The traffic worked just fine. And it became an economic blockbuster. It became one of the top ten retail locations on the planet.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In her book “StreetFight,” Sadik-Khan argues the nation needs to shift the focus of city streets away from cars.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: Our streets for so many years have been used to move cars as quickly as possible from point A to point B. And people have even forgotten that there are other uses for the streets. Whether to walk or to bike or to take the bus. It’s not anti-car. It’s really pro-choice. It’s about providing options to make it easier for people to get around.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: By 2013, when Sadik-Khan’s tenure in Mayor Bloomberg’s administration ended, the city had re-purposed 220 acres of space — taking away lanes from cars and giving them to pedestrians, bikes, and buses.

    Sadik-Khan says dedicated car turn lanes, restricted bus lanes, and adjusting traffic light signals based on real-time traffic conditions helped increase average driving speeds in central Manhattan by nearly 7 percent.

    At the same time, traffic and pedestrian fatalities in the city have declined.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: Our streets have never been safer. In fact with more and more cyclists on our streets, we’ve seen a one-third reduction in cyclist injuries and fatalities, while we’ve seen a quadrupling of people biking around.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Much of the increase in biking is from Citi Bike, the bike share program funded in part by Citibank and Mastercard that’s been used more than 26 million times since launching three years ago. The Citi Foundation is one of the underwriters of this program.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: It was the first new transportation system in New York City in 60 years and at almost no cost to taxpayers. So I think it’s a model, particularly in an era where we don’t have a lot of federal funding and state funding and local funding is hard to come by.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Sadik-Khan says the huge number of riders actually makes biking safer.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: You’re not going to ride the Tour de France on this bike… they’re like heavy! Right?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Right.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: And I think that also goes a long way to calm down the streets.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: New York City streets now have 400 miles of bike lanes, with more than 30 miles separated from vehicle traffic by a lane of parked cars, an idea Sadik-Khan copied after seeing it in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But with the new lanes came a backlash, including from drivers who complained bike lanes caused more traffic congestion. A 1.8 mile lane bordering Brooklyn’s Prospect Park is still mired in litigation six years after being installed.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What do you think it is that creates that initial resistance to change, whether it’s city street design planning or almost anything else? People get pretty comfortable with how a space looks and how a space is used, until they try something else, right?

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: It’s a really good question, because people are really attached to the status quo. And when you change the status quo, we find the status quo pushes back hard, right. And people have expectations that our streets are for cars. And they don’t really have any other expectations that they can be anything else. So that was one of the innovations that we did in New York City. We moved fast to show that you could have change on your street, that it would be better. That you can build in other ways to get around just really by narrowing the traffic lanes and opening up that space for other uses.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: With more than half the world’s population living in cities — expected to become two-thirds by 2050 — Sadik-Khan hopes New York sets an example for a more person-centric view of transportation.

    JANETTE SADIK-KHAN: I think it’s really critical that we build in really good choices for people to get around — Making it safe for people to bike, making it fast for people to ride the bus, making it easy for people to walk around. Those are the kind of really secret sauces for 21st century cities. And really we get what we design. And when we design our streets to make them wide and as runways for cars, you know, that’s what we get. And when we design our streets for people, and make it easier to walk and bus and bike, we get a much different result.

    The post How NYC’s streets became more pedestrian-friendly appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, U.S. June 11, 2016.  REUTERS/Scott Audette - RTX2FO5K

    Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump gestures during a campaign rally in Tampa, Florida, U.S. June 11, 2016. Photo by Scott Audette/Reuters

    TAMPA, Florida — Campaigning in the crucial battleground state of Florida, Donald Trump bashed Democrats and Republicans alike Saturday, from Hillary Clinton to former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney on the right.

    Addressing a crowd of thousands at the Tampa Convention Center, Trump tore into “Crooked Hillary,” as he calls his likely general election opponent, over her use of a private email server while secretary of state. He called Romney a “stone, cold loser” for not backing him as the presumptive Republican nominee.

    Trump said the Republican Party “has got to get their act together, come together to win.” He slammed Republicans in the U.S. Senate who oppose his candidacy.

    He spoke confidently of his own ability to win the presidency, but warned that Republican seats in the House and Senate could be at risk if Republicans don’t rally behind him.

    “The Republican party has to be tough and smart,” he said. “If not, I’m gonna win but a lot of other people are not.”

    Trump was introduced by Florida’s top Republicans, Gov. Rick Scott and Attorney General Pam Bondi.

    “Donald Trump is hopeful,” said Scott, whose support of Trump has generated running mate speculation. “The opposite of hopeful is Hillary Clinton.”

    Trump, at one point, asked the crowd to shout out names of potential running mates. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, were among the names he repeated.

    “This is fun,” bellowed Trump. “We have a lot of good people.”

    Toward the end of his speech, Trump supporters broke into a chorus of “Happy Birthday.” He turns 70-years old on June 14.

    As his supporters began singing, Trump laughed and said “I don’t want to hear about it.”

    He said he’s “very torn” about the birthday, but added: “I feel like I’m 35. That’s the good news.”

    The Tampa rally is Trump’s second since the end of the primary season. He is scheduled to hold another rally later Saturday in Pittsburgh.

    The post Trump calls for GOP unity, says party risks losing Senate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo of Broadway's production of "Fiddler on the Roof." Photo by Joan Marcus

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below:

    FIDDLER ON THE ROOF CAST (singing): Traditiooooon! Tradition! Trah-dish-un!

    ZACHARY GREEN: A half century after its premiere, the songs of “Fiddler On The Roof” are known around the world. It tells the story of Tevye, a poor Jewish dairyman, and his family facing oppression in rural Russia at the turn of the 20th century. This production at the Broadway Theater marks the fifth time “Fiddler” has been revived on Broadway.

    SHELDON HARNICK: This is one of the finest casts we’ve ever had. So revisiting the show has been a thrill.

    ZACHARY GREEN: Even at 92-years-old, lyricist Sheldon Harnick has been directly involved in this revival…helping choose the director and attending rehearsals. We spoke with him at Sardi’s restaurant, famous for its caricatures of Broadway stars; amongst them, Harnick’s own likeness. Harnick says the inspiration for “Fiddler” came when he received a book by humorist Sholem Aleichem.

    SHELDON HARNICK: The stories were riveting. And what was astonishing about them was that some of them were actually tragic, and yet there was a great deal of humor in them. And by the time you got to the end of the story, you might be crying, but you were laughing along the way. So I sent it to Jerry Bock, and I said, “This is our next musical.”

    ZACHARY GREEN: Composer Jerry Bock and Harnick had already written hit musicals like “She Loves Me” — also a current Broadway revival — and “Fiorello”, about New York City Mayor LaGuardia.

    ZACHARY GREEN: But “Fiddler” would become their most successful collaboration and produced their best known song…based on Aleichem’s prose.

    DANNY BURSTEIN AS TEVYE (singing): If I were a rich man….all day long I’d bitty bitty bum, if I were a wealthy man!

    SHELDON HARNICK: I find it a little embarrassing if somebody reads one of the stories closely, he will find the lyrics to if I were a rich man. I practically just took them right out of the story and set them to music. That’s not entirely true; I have some craft. But a lot of those images were in the stories.

    ZACHARY GREEN: “Fiddler’s” main story follows the struggles of Tevye and his wife, Golde, as they try to marry off their five daughters.

    ALEXANDRA SILBER, SAMANTHA MASSELL, AND MELANIE MOORE AS TZEITEL,
    HODEL, AND CHAVA (singing): “Matchmaker, Matchmaker make me no match. I’m in no rush. Maybe I’ve learned…”

    ZACHARY GREEN: The three eldest insist on marrying someone they love–despite the wishes of their well-meaning parents to find them wealthy suitors. That disassociation between love and marriage is illustrated in the song “Do You Love Me”, where Tevye and Golde admit their feelings for each other after 25 years of marriage. Harnick wrote it as a late addition to the musical during its initial pre-Broadway run in Detroit.

    SHELDON HARNICK: I was standing in the back of the house. And I suddenly started to sob. And I thought, ‘Why am I weeping like this?’ And then I thought, ‘It’s because I wished that my own parents had had the relationship that Golde and Tevye had had.’ I grew up during the depression, and there were a lot of vicious, violent arguments between my parents about money. Not that the relationship between Tevye and Golde is a simple, loving relationship, it’s a complex relationship, but basically it’s a loving relationship. And it just affected me, and I started to cry. So there was much more in the song than I knew when I wrote it.

    ZACHARY GREEN: “Fiddler” opened on Broadway to rave reviews and went on to sweep the 1965 tony awards. The original production ran for eight years — at the time, the longest run in Broadway history. The 1971 movie version brought the show to a wider audience. Although the story focuses on the plight of Russian Jews, Harnick says the prejudice in the film and stage productions is familiar to many different people.

    SHELDON HARNICK: We saw a remarkable production of it in a black and Puerto Rican neighborhood, where the cast was all black and Puerto Rican. And the young black man, he was 15-years-old, who played Tevye, was superb. They understood the show. They understood what it was about, and that kind of race hatred.

    ZACHARY GREEN: And Harnick says the musical’s end — when Tevye’s family and fellow villagers leave with only the belongings they can carry — can still be seen in real life even today.

    SHELDON HARNICK: The Syrian problem and people leaving Syria and having nowhere to go, it resonates even more. It says something terrible about the human race that in 50 years, that image has always been current. There’s always been some place in the world where something horrible is going on.

    FIDDLER ON THE ROOF CAST (singing): To us and our good fortune! Be happy! Be healthy! Long life!

    ZACHARY GREEN: But despite the timeless quality of “Fiddler On The Roof”, Harnick says the musical’s enduring legacy is still remarkable to him.

    SHELDON HARNICK: That we would run 8 years, and that the show would become what it was, was a surprise to us. It’s kind of still a surprise. I must say it’s a very pleasant surprise. We recognized when we read the stories that they were not just about a Jewish family, that there was something universal about these stories. And we tried to realize the universality of what was in those stories, and to make this a show that would appeal to people of all faiths and all beliefs.

    FIDDLER ON THE ROOF CAST (singing): Drink l’chaim… TO LIFE!

    The post ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ lyricist on how it became a sensation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Striking employees of Roissy airport hold French CGT labour union flags during a demonstration against the labour reforms law at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, June 7, 2016. The slogan reads "No to the labour law". REUTERS/Philippe Wojazer TPX IMAGE OF THE DAY - RTSGE2A

    Striking employees of Roissy airport hold French CGT labour union flags during a demonstration against the labour reforms law at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport in Roissy, near Paris, France, June 7, 2016. The slogan reads, “No to the labour law.” Photo by Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

    A quarter of all Air France pilots went on strike on Saturday, joining a wave of workers protesting a proposed labor law that would ease worker protections in France.

    The four-day strike is the latest event to destabilize the French economy, which is still reeling from the November terrorist attacks in Paris. Up to 30 percent of Air France’s flights may be canceled, officials said.

    The pilots, who are challenging Air France’s mandate of more hours without additional pay, come a day after the start of the Euro 2016 soccer championship, the world’s third-biggest sporting event. The country is expected to receive over two million visitors for the event.

    Last month, President Francois Hollande pushed a labor law to the parliament floor that led rail workers and employees at oil refineries to hit the streets in protest. Their efforts have disrupted public transportation and led to temporary gas shortages.

    Garbage collectors joined the strike this month and are refusing to collect trash in certain cities in France, including Paris, until Tuesday.

    On Friday, the eve of the start of the soccer tournament, protesters showed no signs of backing down. They blocked the entrance to Rungis, Europe’s largest food market, while major labor unions also have planned a nationwide day of protest on Tuesday. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls this week urged an end to the strikes.

    “I would like the Euro to be a beautiful showcase for France,” he said. “France is ready to host the Euro, and everyone must show responsibility and patriotism at this time.”

    The initial protests, led by France’s largest labor unions, have been in response to a bill still in the National Assembly that would make it easier for companies to fire employees. Opponents of the bill fear it would further threaten job security. AirFrance pilots joined the protesters, but in regard to changes to their contracts.

    National unemployment hovers above 10 percent. Among people under 25, it’s 24 percent.

    Government officials said the law would not change, in spite of the strikes — though union leaders are hoping otherwise.

    “The government understands nothing but force, and the balance of power is in our favor,” said Eric Santinelli, leader of a prominent union. “We will hold on until they back down.”

    French President Francois Hollande is similarly committed. On Thursday he threatened to “take all the measures that are necessary” to counter the strikes.

    Valls, a member of Hollande’s socialist administration, said he wants to dispel the notion that the country is stagnant on change.

    “We’ve got the French people too used to the feeling that reform is impossible and that it’s enough to contest it in the street for reform not to happen,” he said. “But reform is possible. It’s a question of political will and a state of mind.”

    National attention in France has shifted to the European soccer championship, which Hollande has called a showcase for the country’s bid for the 2024 Olympics. To keep up with the security challenge posed by the influx of tourists — and complicated by protesters — France has deployed 90,000 police officers and security personnel for the month. The tournament continues through July 10.

    The post Air France pilots join French labor strikes appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse night club, where as many as 20 people have been injured after a gunman opened fire, in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Nesius TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2FRIO

    Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse night club, where as many as 20 people have been injured after a gunman opened fire, in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. Photo by Steve Nesius/Reuters

    At least 50 people were killed and 53 were injured at a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, when a shooter opened fire early Sunday morning before being killed hours later after a standoff with police.

    “Everyone get out… and keep running,” the nightclub Pulse posted on its Facebook page at 2:09 a.m.

    Speaking at a press briefing on Sunday, President Barack Obama called the shooting, the deadliest in U.S. history, an act of “terror and an act of hate.” 

    “Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder — a horrific massacre — of dozens of innocent people,” he said. “This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends — our fellow Americans — who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

    The shooter, identified by officials as 29-year-old Omar Saddiqui Mateen, reportedly traveled to Orlando from his home in Port Saint Lucie, about 120 miles south of Orlando.

    The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attack on Sunday through its news agency, though two American officials told Reuters that there no evidence of a direct link to the terrorist organization, a point reiterated by Obama on Sunday.

    Matteen’s father, Mir Seddique, told NBC News that he believed the shooting “had nothing to do with religion.”

    “We are saying we are apologizing for the whole incident,” Seddique said. “We weren’t aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country.”

    Speaking at a press conference on Sunday, Orlando Police Chief John Mina said 11 of his officers engaged in a gun battle with Mateen before he was killed at approximately 5 a.m. on Sunday.

    “There’s a lot of victims inside,” Mina said of the crime scene.

    Officials said they are not actively looking for another suspect.

    Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub, where people were killed by a gunman, in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Nesius - RTX2FR9H

    Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on June 12, 2016. Photo by Steve Nesius/Reuters

    FBI Assistant Special Agent in Charge Ronald Hopper said Mateen had called 911 before the attack and mentioned the Islamic State during the call, though Hopper would not confirm some media reports that Mateen had pledged allegiance to the self-proclaimed caliphate.

    Hopper said the FBI had investigated Mateen, a U.S. citizen born in New York, in 2013 and 2014 after he made comments that worried his coworkers. The interviews were “inconclusive.”

    The shooter was still able to purchase at least two handguns during the week leading up to his rampage on Sunday, including a handgun and a “long gun,” a special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives said.

    Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub, where people were killed by a gunman, in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Nesius - RTX2FRIU

    Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on June 12, 2016. Photo by Steve Nesius/Reuters

    President Obama pledged the support of the federal government for local authorities in Orlando and lauded the quick response of law enforcement officials at the scene of the shooting, saying “their courage and professionalism saved lives.”

    Flags at the White House were lowered to half-mast, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for Orange County.

    Hundreds of people flocked to local blood banks to give blood in Orlando and the city government set up an online list of some of the victims.

    “We are a strong resilient community. Tonight we have had a crime that will have a lasting effect on our community we need to stand strong, we need to be supportive of the victims and their families,” Dyer said during a news conference. “This is a time we should all come together.”

    Hundreds of community members line up outside a clinic to donate blood after an early morning shooting attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Steve Nesius - RTX2FT2W

    Hundreds of community members line up outside a clinic to donate blood after an early morning shooting attack at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. Photo by Steve Nesius/Reuters

    As the nation mourned on Sunday, and dozens of people grieved the loss of friends and relatives, leaders of the LGBT community spoke out against the deadly shooting.

    “The entire LGBT Equality Caucus is horrified by the tragic shooting in Orlando,” Roddy Flynn, executive director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, said in a statement.

    “Though details are still emerging, an attack during Pride Month against Pulse, an iconic gathering place for LGBT Floridians, has a particularly insidious impact on our entire community,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”

    A Go Fund Me page launched by Carlos Smith, a government affairs manager for Equality Florida Action, Inc., an advocacy group for LGBT rights, raised more than $500,000 for the victims in seven hours on Sunday.

    This report was written by Michael D. Regan, Kamala Kelkar, Elisabeth Ponsot and Corinne Segal.

    The post 50 killed at Orlando nightclub in worst mass shooting in U.S. history appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Members of the community reflect as they hold candles during a commemoration and candlelight vigil on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia April 16, 2012. Five years after a mentally ill student gunned down 32 people at Virginia Tech, the university on Monday held classes for the first time on the anniversary of the country's deadliest mass shooting. Photo By Chris Keane/Reuters

    Members of the community reflect as they hold candles during a commemoration and candlelight vigil on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia April 16, 2012. Five years after a mentally ill student gunned down 32 people at Virginia Tech, the university on Monday held classes for the first time on the anniversary of the country’s deadliest mass shooting. Photo By Chris Keane/Reuters

    It is a list of schools and restaurants. It includes an office party, a gambling club, a citizenship class and one military base — and now a nightclub.

    Graphic by Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekend

    Graphic by Lisa Overton/NewsHour Weekend

    Here is a look at the deadliest mass shootings in America, where they happened, who was responsible and links to more comprehensive coverage of each.

    1. Pulse nightclub. Orlando, FL. At least 50 killed. Today.

    2. Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, VA. 32 killed. April 16, 2007. Shooter was student at the university.

    3. Sandy Hook Elementary. Newtown, CT. 27 killed. Dec. 14, 2012. Shooter was a 20-year-old who lived nearby but had no known direct connection with the school.

    4. Luby’s Cafeteria. Killeen, TX. 23 killed. Oct. 16, 1991. Shooter was an unemployed man known for anger toward women, minorities.

    5. McDonald’s. San Ysidro, CA. 21 killed. July 18, 1984. Shooter was a disgruntled former employee.

    6. University of Texas Tower.  Austin, Texas. 18 killed.  Aug. 1, 1966. Shooter was a student at the university who shot his wife and mother before taking to the tower on campus.

    7. Inland Regional Center holiday party. San Bernardino. 14 killed. Dec. 2, 2015. Two shooters were a married couple and Islamic extremists.

    8. Post office in Edmond, OK. 14 killed. Aug. 20, 1986. Shooter was a disgruntled postal worker at the facility.

    9. Columbine High School. Littleton, CO. 13 killed. April 20, 1999. Two shooters were students at the high school.

    10. Fort Hood, TX.  13 killed. Nov. 5, 2009.  Shooter was an Army psychiatrist on the base who shouted “Allahu Akbar,” or “God is Greatest,” as he opened fire.

    11. Immigration center citizenship class. Binghamton, NY.  13 killed. April 3, 2009. Shooter was an immigrant connected with the facility.

    12. Wah Mee gambling club. Seattle, WA. Feb. 18, 1983.  13 killed. Three shooters robbed their victims and then killed them.

    The post Here’s what we know about America’s worst mass shootings appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) shakes hands with Senator Bernie Sanders at the start of their debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. The two candidates plan to meet on Tuesday after the Democratic debate. Photo By Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) shakes hands with Senator Bernie Sanders at the start of their debate hosted by CNN and New York One at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York April 14, 2016. The two candidates plan to meet on Tuesday after the Democratic debate. Photo By Brian Snyder/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders says he and Hillary Clinton are set to talk Tuesday evening after the final Democratic presidency primary about “her campaign” and whether it reflects his progressive agenda.

    Sanders says defeating presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is his first priority.

    Clinton last week clinched the nomination and won President Barack Obama’s endorsement.

    The last primary is Tuesday in the District of Columbia.

    Sanders tells NBC’s “Meet the Press” that he wants to make sure Clinton commits to his priorities such as a minimum wage increase and climate change reform.

    Sanders says after “we have that kind of discussion,” he’ll make decisions on when and whether to quit the race.

    Sanders has some clout over the party agenda. He controls a big chunk of the delegates to the party’s convention.

    The post Sanders, Clinton set to talk Tuesday appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    LGBT leaders and community members were in mourning Sunday after a gunman opened fire and killed 50 people at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando.

    The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history and happened during national pride month, which is celebrated in June. Saturday night was “Upscale Latin Saturday” at Pulse, which invited Latino members of Orlando’s LGBT community to join the club.

    LGBT centers are working to provide Spanish-language counseling to people who were affected in Orlando, Hannah Willard, a spokesperson for Equality Florida, said.

    “There are many families who are having a hard time, even finding someone who can explain to them what happened because they don’t speak English,” said Willard. “For our community to be a target at this time, it’s heartbreaking. It’s unbelievable. We are still reeling.”

    Sleigher Gemini, a performer in Orlando’s drag community, said several of her friends were present at the club on the night of the attack.

    “The people that I knew inside were basically family. Performers in our city have a bond unlike anywhere else,” she said. “I stand with my brothers and sisters against this disgust. We will not hide who we are, this is 2016. The world is evolving and so is mankind. There is no reason for bigotry and hate in a time like this.”

    Roddy Flynn, executive director of the Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, offered support for the Orlando community. “The entire LGBT Equality Caucus is horrified by the tragic shooting in Orlando,” Flynn said in a statement. “Though details are still emerging, an attack during Pride Month against Pulse, an iconic gathering place for LGBT Floridians, has a particularly insidious impact on our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”

    Stuart Milk, nephew of gay activist Harvey Milk and co-founder of the Harvey Milk Foundation, said in a statement that love and prayers were insufficient to address the violence that occurred.

    “We send a world of love and prayers to all who are grieving today and to all who will begin the hard journey to recover from untold wounds, both physical and emotional. But our love and prayers are simply not enough. Hate and separation continue to bring forth too much grief, too many stolen lives across the whole world,” he said.

    Orlando’s LGBT community spoke out on social media to offer support and resources for the survivors and victims’ families.

    The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida said it has counselors available at its hotline.

    “The Center is partnering with MBA, Hope and Help, Two Spirit Health, Zebra Coalition, Rollins, and various other GLBT organizations throughout Central Florida to coordinate an emergency hotline and grief counselors on site at The Center, located at 942 N Mills Avenue,” the center said in a Facebook post.

    The Los Angeles pride parade began at 10:45 a.m. local time with a moment of silence for the shooting.

    Blood centers in Florida are accepting blood donations for those wounded from the attack in Orlando today, but advocates within the LGBT community are warning that FDA rules still forbid some people from contributing. Despite complaints from medical associations, gay and bisexual men are only legally able to donate if they have been celibate for at least one year. Amid the AIDS epidemic in 1983, the FDA had banned donations from all gay and bisexual men, but last year, President Barack Obama’s Administration lifted that ban, with a requirement that donors have been celibate for a year.

    Other LGBT and Latino advocates and community members responded on Twitter.

    Kamala Kelkar and Andi Wang contributed reporting.

    The post LGBT, Latino leaders respond to Orlando massacre appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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