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

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    WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama decried the deadliest mass shooting in American history on Sunday as a terrorist act targeting a place of “solidarity and empowerment” for gays and lesbians. He urged Americans to decide “if that’s the kind of country we want to be.”

    Hours after a gunman killed at least 50 people in Orlando, Obama said the FBI would investigate the nightclub shooting as terrorism, but said the alleged shooter’s motivations were unclear. He said the U.S. “must spare no effort” to determine whether the suspect, identified by authorities as Omar Mateen, had any ties to extremist groups.

    “What is clear is he was a person filled with hatred,” Obama said of the alleged shooter. He added: “We know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.”

    Obama had planned to travel to Wisconsin on Wednesday for his first campaign appearance of the 2016 race, a joint rally with Hillary Clinton in Green Bay, Wisconsin. But Clinton’s campaign and the White House said that event was being postponed in light of the attack.

    The president, who has proclaimed June as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, called the attack “heartbreaking” for the LGBT community. He said the site of the shooting was more than a nightclub because it was a place where people came “to raise awareness, to speak their minds and to advocate for their civil rights.”

    “The shooter targeted a night club where people came together to be with friends to dance and to sing — to live,” Obama said.

    For Obama, the hastily arranged remarks were the latest in what’s become a tragically familiar routine. Since he took office in 2009, Obama has appeared before cameras more than a dozen times following mass shootings and issued written statements after many others.

    The president made no new, specific call for stricter gun laws. Though he lamented “how easy it is” for people to get their hands on weapons, Obama appeared resigned to the likelihood that he’ll be unable as president to substantially address the mass shootings that have proliferated in recent years.

    “We have to decide if that’s the kind of country we want to be,” Obama said. “To actively do nothing is a decision as well.”

    After a gunman in Newtown killed 20 first graders and six adults in 2012, Obama dedicated much of the start of his second term to pushing legislation to expand background checks, ban certain assault-style weapons and cap the size of ammunition clips. That measure collapsed in the Senate, and since then, the political makeup of Congress have made new gun laws appear out of reach. Still, Obama has sought to take incremental steps using his own authority to tighten rules for obtaining a gun.

    Obama spoke from the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, named after the former press secretary who was shot and permanently disabled in an assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

    He also signed a proclamation on Sunday ordering flags to be flown at half-staff until sunset on Thursday in honor of the victims.

    Vice President Joe Biden canceled a planned trip Sunday to Miami to hold a fundraiser for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla. Biden’s office said he would remain at his family home in Delaware while receiving updates about the shooting before returning to Washington in the evening.

    Kevin Freking and Josh Lederman of the Associated Press wrote this report. Associated Press writer Kathleen Hennessey contributed to this report.

    The post Watch: Obama decries Orlando shooting as act of terror and hate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    A man who said he was headed to the Los Angeles pride parade was arrested Sunday after police found weapons in his car.

    The Santa Monica Police Department identified the man as James Howell and said in a release that he was carrying “three assault rifles, high capacity magazines and ammunition” in his car. He also had 5 gallons of chemicals that could be used to make a bomb.

    The man was spotted “loitering” in the Santa Monica area and knocked on a resident’s door, prompting a call to police around 4:59 a.m. local time, according to the release. When police arrived on the scene, they searched his car and found the weapons and chemicals.

    “The suspect did make an initial statement to the effect that he was going to go to the pride festival,” Saul Rodriguez, lieutenant at the Santa Monica Police Department, said.

    “Beyond that he did not make any additional statement saying that he was going to do anything further than that. We do not have any additional information related to what his intentions were,” Rodriguez said.

    The incident occurred hours after the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, which occurred at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Authorities do not believe that the two incidents are related, the Los Angeles Times reported.

    Los Angeles police increased security around the parade on Sunday, West Hollywood City Councilwoman Lindsey Horvath said in a statement.

    Parade attendees tweeted images of the march and messages of solidarity for Orlando.

    The post Man headed to Los Angeles pride parade arrested with weapons appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Police continue to investigate a shooting at the Pulse night club following an early morning shooting attack in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016.  REUTERS/Steve Nesius     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX2FTI7

    Police continue to investigate a shooting at the Pulse night club following an early morning shooting attack in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016. Photo by Steve Nesius/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton adjusted their presidential politicking Sunday, first offering prayers and support to the victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. But they both infused their sympathy with statements that favor their presidential aspirations, and the presidential race rolled on.

    The presumptive candidates made statements hours after a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, killing at least 50 people before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. Another 53 were hospitalized, most in critical condition. Officials identified the shooter as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida.

    Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, pushed for gun control and reached out to a key constituency — gays and lesbians.

    “The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them,” she said in a statement, adding a call to keep assault weapons out of the hands of “terrorists or other violent criminals.”

    Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, also offered words of support. But then he tweeted that he had been “right” about Islamic extremism, issued a statement saying he “said this was going to happen” and went after President Barack Obama. As Obama stepped to the podium in Washington to address the nation early Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted:

    “Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

    In his address Obama called the tragedy an act of terror and hate. He didn’t talk about religious extremists, nor did others, reluctant to inflame a stunned nation already on edge about attacks inspired by the Islamic State group. Obama said the FBI would investigate the shootings in the gay nightclub as terrorism but that the alleged shooter’s motivations were unclear. He said the U.S. “must spare no effort” to determine whether Mateen had any ties to extremist groups.

    Hours later, a law enforcement official confirmed to The Associated Press that Mateen had made a 911 call from the club, professing allegiance to the leader of Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The official was familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The shootings inspired the candidates to shift their schedules and focus.

    Clinton’s presidential campaign announced it was postponing its first joint event with Obama on Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin, because of the Orlando shooting.

    Trump said he was changing the focus of his speech Monday at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire from his case against Clinton to “this terrorist attack, immigration and national security.”

    He also noted that he “said this was going to happen” and repeated his call for Obama to resign for refusing to use the words “radical Islam.” Clinton, Trump added, should drop out of the presidential race for the same reason.

    Trump has proposed temporarily barring all foreign Muslims from entering the country and has advocated using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods.

    Trump’s first tweet of the day was factual: “Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.”

    Tweeted Clinton: “Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act.”

    And then they resumed their plans Sunday.

    On schedule, Clinton’s campaign unveiled its first general election ad Sunday morning. It will run in battleground states beginning Thursday.

    And Sen. Bernie Sanders, still in the contest for the Democratic nomination despite Clinton’s claim on it, went on with a round of appearances on the Sunday talk shows. He acknowledged the tragedy — then said he would not drop out of the race and endorse Clinton until he’s convinced she’s committed to fighting wealth disparity. He later issued a statement of sympathy to the Florida victims, with no political overtones.

    Two hours later, Trump responded to the Clinton ad.

    “Clinton made a false ad about me where I was imitating a reporter GROVELING after he changed his story. I would NEVER mock disabled. Shame!”

    The Clinton ad uses footage of Trump onstage, flailing his arms in an apparent attempt to mimic New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital condition that restricts joint movement. At the time, Trump was taking issue with a story Kovaleski had written for The Washington Post.

    Roughly two hours after that tweet, Trump returned to the shootings.

    “Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?” he tweeted.

    An hour later, he followed up with some self-praise: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

    Associated Press Writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

    The post Clinton, Trump speak on Orlando shooting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Texas state Republican Senator Dan Patrick speaks during a meeting of the state Senate in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. The office of Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, a Republican and evangelical Christian, on Sunday deleted a tweet many saw as offensive and insensitive that was sent out shortly after the deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Florida. Photo By Mike Stone/Reuters

    Texas state Republican Sen. Dan Patrick speaks during a meeting of the state Senate in Austin, Texas July 12, 2013. The office of Texas Lieutenant Gov. Dan Patrick, a Republican and evangelical Christian, on Sunday deleted a tweet many saw as offensive and insensitive that was sent out shortly after the deadly attack on a gay nightclub in Florida. Photo By Mike Stone/Reuters

    AUSTIN, Texas — Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has deleted a tweet quoting the New Testament that he posted after the deadly Orlando nightclub shooting.

    Hours after the early Sunday morning shooting at a gay nightclub that left at least 50 people dead, Patrick sent a tweet from his personal account: “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”

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

    The tweet received harsh criticism online and Texas’ Democratic Party has called on the Republican Patrick to apologize.

    The tweet was sent at around 7 a.m. and deleted four hours later. Patrick’s campaign spokesman, Allen Blakemore, strongly denied the tweet was in any way related to the Orlando shooting. He said Patrick is out of the country and often pre-schedules social media postings quoting Scripture.

    Patrick is a staunch social conservative who opposes gay marriage and anti-gay discrimination protections

    The post Texas lieutenant gov. deletes tweet with Bible verse after shooting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Passerby placed flowers in front of The Stonewall Inn on Sunday, June 12, 2016, hours after a gunman killed 50. Photo by Omar Etman/PBS NewsHour

    Passerby placed flowers in front of The Stonewall Inn on Sunday, June 12, 2016, hours after a gunman killed 50. Photo by Omar Etman/PBS NewsHour

    On Sunday, hours after at least 50 people were killed in a shooting in a gay club in Orlando — the LGBT community and its allies gathered to pay tribute at The Stonewall Inn, the historic site of the 1969 riots that sparked the gay rights movement.

    By midday, a small crowd had formed in front of the bar. A few people placed flowers on the sidewalk, while others sat across the street to talk or take photos. Inside, every seat in the dimly-lit bar was filled.

    Cop cars and police officers guarded the bar and the surrounding historically gay neighborhood.

    New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a heightened police presence at “key LGBT institutions” over the next few days.

    Police cars wait outside the Stonewall Inn on June 12, 2016.

    Police cars wait outside the Stonewall Inn on June 12, 2016. Photo by Omar Etman/PBS NewsHour

    John B., 70, said he has been coming to Stonewall since he moved to New York 35 years ago. He stopped visiting in recent years, but this morning, when he awoke to the news from Florida, he headed to the bar.

    “I go for a walk to the pier every Sunday, but I made a pit stop to come here,” he said. “To check in on the community, you know?”

    The Stonewall Inn has been the symbolic heart of the American gay community for decades, ever since protesters led by transgender women of color clashed with cops who raided the bar.

    This month, it was announced that the bar, already a National Historic Landmark, is poised to become the first LGBT national monument.

    People gather outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 12, 2016. Photo by Omar Etman/PBS NewsHour

    People gather outside the Stonewall Inn in New York City on June 12, 2016. Photo by Omar Etman/PBS NewsHour

    Dwayne Howard, 54, said he stood in front of Stonewall because “it’s the place to come.”

    “I came to make my presence known, to be here — that’s all you can do,” the Brooklyn native and Stonewall regular said. Howard said he came to the bar after the Supreme Court ruling last summer that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. “And now I’m here, after this tragedy.”

    Kayla McGovern, 19, is a student at the nearby Fashion Institute of Technology. She has never been inside Stonewall, but stood outside the bar on Sunday after the massacre.

    She said staying away “really wasn’t an option. My first thought was: I have to go to Stonewall now.”

    A vigil is planned in front of Stonewall for tomorrow evening.

    The post At LGBT landmark Stonewall, a community in mourning appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below: 

    HARI SREENIVASAN: For further perspective and the latest developments on the mass shooting at the Orlando nightclub, I am joined by Skype by the managing editor of “The Orlando Sentinel,” John Cutter.

    John, I know it’s a busy day in your newsroom, but now Orlando joins a horrible list. Newtown, Connecticut. Aurora, Colorado. San Bernardino. Orlando is now on that list for a very bad reason.

    JOHN CUTTER, MANAGING EDITOR, “THE ORLANDO SENTINEL”: I know, and that’s actually something that we talked about very early today. Orlando is often the kind of place that gets mentioned as a potential target because we are such a vacation destination. so you never want it to happen certainly. You never expect it to happen. But I know law enforcement felt it was prepared and, you know, now we join that list.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Tell us a little bit about the Orlando community. I mean, it has a history of being inclusive.

    JOHN CUTTER: It does. One of the things that we often like to say to people when they come here, say, for a job interview is that this is a very inclusive community. It’s much more diverse than some other parts of central Florida. There is a large, thriving and loving gay community, and this incident happened during a Latin night at the club. And obviously this is a very diverse area. There’s a large group of Spanish-speaking residents, both Americans and people who have moved here. So it sort of hits right at the heart of some of our most important people.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Reporters have been out covering this all day. What are they — what sticks out to you? I mean, I’ve seen images of people ling up at the blood bank to donate, for example.

    JOHN CUTTER: You know, a couple of things stick out. One is as I realize how much this touches everyone as soon as I arrived in the newsroom very early this morning, I mean, one of our folks was close to tears because she had not yet heard from a friend. We got a lot of that kind of thing happening in our newsroom and obviously across the community. I don’t think we’ll all have to go very far before we find someone who was either in the club or sadly a victim.

    But the response to the call for blood was amazing. I mean, they actually had to start turning people away. Police even talked about how people were bringing water and food down to authorities there and other members of the public who were kind of waiting for news there. That’s an inspiring thing to see on an awful day like this.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What about the relationship between the Islamic community in central Florida and the general population?

    JOHN CUTTER: I mean, it struck me, it was very important that the imam here was very early at a press conference talking about inclusiveness and outreach. They’ve been very active with the media and with the community. There are interfaith groups that have had regular meetings, worried about Islamophobia, and have tried the make connections between the groups for just a circumstance like this, so they could be ready to respond and remind people that this is about apparently one man and not about a community.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What do we know about the place where he came from? The suburb outside of Orlando?

    JOHN CUTTER: It’s about an hour-and-a-half from here. It’s off of a couple of our major roads. People have been here and driven down the Florida Turnpike. It’s right around there, Fort Pierce, that area. Like a lot of Florida, it has many people from other places, people who move here for lots of reasons. And why this person ended up going from apparently an hour-and-a-half down and coming to Orlando to commit this act is something that the authorities don’t yet know.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right. John Cutter, managing editor of “The Orlando Sentinel,” thanksfor joining us.

    JOHN CUTTER: Thank you.

    The post Orlando Sentinel editor on shooting: ‘We joined that list’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Cast members answered questioned from some of the 1,300 students in attendance at the theater before later performing on stage.  Photos By Joan Marcus

    “Hamilton” has earned more Tony nominations than any production in history. Photos By Joan Marcus

    “Hamilton” tells the story of founding father Alexander Hamilton’s rise to prominence during the Revolutionary War and death in a duel at the hands of Aaron Burr.

    But at the 70th Tony Awards on Sunday night, the rap musical will not use guns in its performance, which is set to happen less than a day after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history at a gay nightclub in Orlando.

    “Hamilton” earned 16 Tony nominations in May, the most of any production in history.

    Host James Corden expressed support for those affected by the shooting in Orlando, which killed 50 people at Pulse nightclub on a night meant to celebrate Orlando’s Latino LGBT community.

    “Your tragedy is our tragedy,” he said. “Theater is a place where every race, creed, sexuality and gender is equal, is embraced and is loved. Hate will never win. Together, we have to make sure of that.”

    Read the full list of winners (in bold) below. This post will be updated.

    Best Play
    The Father
    The Humans
    King Charles III

    Best Musical
    Bright Star
    School of Rock — The Musical
    Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

    Best Revival of a Play
    Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
    Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
    Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    Noises Off

    Best Revival of a Musical
    The Color Purple
    Fiddler on the Roof
    She Loves Me
    Spring Awakening

    Best Book of a Musical
    Bright Star, Steve Martin
    Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda
    School of Rock—The Musical, Julian Fellowes
    Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed, George C. Wolfe

    Best Original Score (Music and/or Lyrics) Written for the Theatre
    Bright Star, Music: Steve Martin and Edie Brickell / Lyrics: Edie Brickell
    Hamilton, Music & Lyrics: Lin-Manuel Miranda
    School of Rock—The Musical, Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber / Lyrics: Glenn Slater
    Waitress, Music & Lyrics: Sara Bareilles

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Play
    Gabriel Byrne, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    Jeff Daniels, Blackbird
    Frank Langella, The Father
    Tim Pigott-Smith, King Charles III
    Mark Strong, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
    Jessica Lange, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    Laurie Metcalf, Misery
    Lupita Nyong’o, Eclipsed
    Sophie Okonedo, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
    Michelle Williams, Blackbird

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
    Alex Brightman, School of Rock—The Musical
    Danny Burstein, Fiddler on the Roof
    Zachary Levi, She Loves Me
    Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton
    Leslie Odom, Jr., Hamilton

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical
    Laura Benanti, She Loves Me
    Carmen Cusack, Bright Star
    Cynthia Erivo, The Color Purple
    Jessie Mueller, Waitress
    Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play
    Reed Birney, The Humans
    Bill Camp, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
    David Furr, Noises Off
    Richard Goulding, King Charles III
    Michael Shannon, Long Day’s Journey Into Night

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Play
    Pascale Armand, Eclipsed
    Megan Hilty, Noises Off
    Jayne Houdyshell, The Humans
    Andrea Martin, Noises Off
    Saycon Sengbloh, Eclipsed

    Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical
    Daveed Diggs, Hamilton
    Brandon Victor Dixon, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
    Christopher Fitzgerald, Waitress
    Jonathan Groff, Hamilton
    Christopher Jackson, Hamilton

    Best Performance by an Actress in a Featured Role in a Musical
    Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple
    Renée Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton
    Jane Krakowski, She Loves Me
    Jennifer Simard, Disaster!
    Adrienne Warren, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

    Best Scenic Design of a Play
    Beowulf Boritt, Thérèse Raquin
    Christopher Oram, Hughie
    Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge
    David Zinn, The Humans

    Best Scenic Design of a Musical
    Es Devlin & Finn Ross, American Psycho
    David Korins, Hamilton
    Santo Loquasto, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
    David Rockwell, She Loves Me

    Best Costume Design of a Play
    Jane Greenwood, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    Michael Krass, Noises Off
    Clint Ramos, Eclipsed
    Tom Scutt, King Charles III

    Best Costume Design of a Musical
    Gregg Barnes, Tuck Everlasting
    Jeff Mahshie, She Loves Me
    Ann Roth, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
    Paul Tazewell, Hamilton

    Best Lighting Design of a Play
    Natasha Katz, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    Justin Townsend, The Humans
    Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible
    Jan Versweyveld, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

    Best Lighting Design of a Musical
    Howell Binkley, Hamilton
    Jules Fisher & Peggy Eisenhauer, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
    Ben Stanton, Spring Awakening
    Justin Townsend, American Psycho

    Best Direction of a Play
    Rupert Goold, King Charles III
    Jonathan Kent, Long Day’s Journey Into Night
    Joe Mantello, The Humans
    Liesl Tommy, Eclipsed
    Ivo Van Hove, Arthur Miller’s A View from the Bridge

    Best Direction of a Musical
    Michael Arden, Spring Awakening
    John Doyle, The Color Purple
    Scott Ellis, She Loves Me
    Thomas Kail, Hamilton
    George C. Wolfe, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

    Best Choreography
    Andy Blankenbuehler, Hamilton
    Savion Glover, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed
    Hofesh Shechter, Fiddler on the Roof
    Randy Skinner, Dames at Sea
    Sergio Trujillo, On Your Feet! The Story of Emilio and Gloria Estefan

    Best Orchestrations
    August Eriksmoen, Bright Star
    Larry Hochman, She Loves Me
    Alex Lacamoire, Hamilton
    Daryl Waters, Shuffle Along, Or the Making of the Musical Sensation of 1921 and All That Followed

    The post ‘Hamilton’ cuts guns from Tony performance 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 nightclub, where people were killed by a gunman, in Orlando, Florida, U.S June 12, 2016.  REUTERS/Steve Nesius - RTX2FR9H

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below:

    HARI SREENIVASAN: President Obama noted that today’s mass shooting is especially painful for gay and lesbian Americans as a club where they socialized in solidarity was the target. To discuss what the Orlando mass shooting means for the LGBT community, I am joined by Carlos Smith from Equality Florida, a group that fights for LGBT rights. Tell us a bit about the community that was affected today.

    CARLOS SMITH, EQUALITY FLORIDA: Sure. Well, our entire community is devastated, and Equality Florida sends its thoughts and prayers to all of those who were affected by this tragedy. This tragedy happened at a popular nightclub, Pulse Orlando, a gay nightclub. It happened during LGBTQ Pride Month. It happened at a time when the club was at maximum capacity. So it’s clear that the shooter had every intent of inflicting the maximum amount of violence and damage.

    And I think what’s really important to understand is that the LGBTQ community has gone to gay nightclubs like Pulse Orlando and places around the country for decades, since the days of Stonewall, as a place where people can be safe, as a place where people can with who they are and have a sense of community.

    So we’re devastated to see this type of violence. But I think it’s also important that people understand that the central Florida LGBTQ community is standing in solidarity also with the Muslim and Islamic community. Both of our communities have been targets of violence, of hate and of discrimination.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Is there a history of disproportionate discrimination or just any discrimination against the LGBT community in Florida, in central Florida?

    CARLOS SMITH: Well, what we’ve seen unfortunately in the last couple of years is there has been a rash of violence, particularly against transgender women of color. There was a hate crime murder incident that happened actually recently in Florida that was devastating to the community that targeted a transgender black woman.

    And what we’re seeing now is that even in the year 2016, hate and bigotry still exists. And we’re doing what we can in our communities, at the local level, at the state level, at the national level, to eradicate all forms of hate and discrimination and to make sure that we fight against all phobias. Not just homophobia, not just transphobia, but also against Islamophobia.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But what happens in a healing process when it affects so many people? Besides the 50 dead and another 50 injured, all of those individuals have a ripple effects throughout the much larger communities?

    CARLOS SMITH: I think what happens is we come together, and we grieve together as Americans. And it’s not just about the LGBTQ community. It’s also about the Latino community. This happened at a nightclub on Latino night, and it was a night where there were many LGBTQ Latinos and allies who were there who are devastated. And I think it now is a time to have conversations with one another about inclusivity, about pushing back on some of the rhetoric that we’re hearing around the world.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Carlos, did you know any of the people that were affected?

    CARLOS SMITH: I don’t know if I do. I woke up this morning to this nightmare, and immediately checked in with all of my closest friends and family and reached out to the people that I thought to reach out to. And everyone that I reached out to immediately was safe. The LGBTQ community in Orlando is very tight. We’re very strong. We’re a very close community.

    And my thoughts and prayers are with those who know people who were impacted by this tragedy. I can’t even imagine that I was at the LGBTQ Center just a few moments ago before we started this interview and ran into friends who do know people who died. And I’m just consoling them the best that I know how, and we’re going to get through this together as a community because we’re strong.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right. Carlos Smith from Equality Florida, thanks for joining us.

    CARLOS SMITH: Thank you for having me.

    The post LGBT, Latino community hit hard by massacre in Orlando appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Photo Jun 12, 3 53 30 PM

    A woman mourns for the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando at the LGBT Center of Central Florida in Orlando on June 12, 2016. Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    At the LGBT Center of Central Florida in Orlando, community members and allies gathered on Sunday to grieve for the victims of the early morning massacre at Pulse, a popular gay nightclub in Orlando.

    The attack on the LGBTQ community, which President Obama called an “act of terror and an act of hate” also marked the deadliest shooting in U.S. history.

    Photo Jun 12, 2 20 19 PM

    DeAngelo Scott, who frequents and performs at Pulse nightclub, said he was at the venue a few minutes before the shooting began, but left. Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    DeAngelo Scott said he was at Pulse “minutes” before the shooting but left before the assault began.

    He said he performs drag at the nightclub on Tuesdays and is often there six nights a week.

    Photo Jun 12, 5 04 44 PM

    A minister speaks at the LGBT Center of Central Florida in Orlando, saying “this is our Charleston.” Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    Dion Calhoun, who also said he often frequented the Pulse club, said Orlando is generally a very tolerant city.

    Of Pulse, he said, “it’s a place that’s considered safe — you felt safe there– we all did.”

    Moments later Calhoun learned that a friend of his had died in the attack as the city released the names of four of the gunman’s victims.

    Photo Jun 12, 2 40 52 PM

    Pulse club patron Dion Calhoun mourned the victims of the nightclub shooting at the LGBT center of Central Florida on June 12, 2016. Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    Photo Jun 12, 2 39 36 PM

    Dion Calhoun reacts after learning a friend was killed in the attack on Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    Caleb Dunaway, a cast member on a Disney production in Orlando, was also in attendance at the center, waiting to hear whether any of his friends had died in the mass shooting.

    Dunaway, who frequented the nightclub, called it the LBGTQ community’s “safe haven.”

    “This beautiful place has been defiled,” he said of the club, as footage of the Pulse’s blown-out windows appeared on a television nearby. “We’ve all done our head counts — making phone calls, hoping to hear back.”

    Photo Jun 12, 2 10 55 PM

    Community members mourn for the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando at the LGBT Center of Central Florida in Orlando on June 12, 2016. Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    Photo Jun 12, 2 21 40 PM

    Community members mourn for the victims of the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando at the LGBT Center of Central Florida in Orlando on June 12, 2016. Photo by William Brangham/PBS NewsHour

    The post ‘This is our Charleston’: Orlando LGBT center mourns massacre victims appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    At Pennsylvania’s Upper Darby High School in suburban Philadelphia, more than 15 languages are spoken in a student body of nearly 4,000. To help support such a diverse array of English-language learners, the school created a peer tutoring program.

    As part of their special report on English-learners, Education Week explores a day in the life of a multilingual high school.

    This story was produced by Education Week, a nonprofit, independent news organization with comprehensive pre-K-12 news and analysis. View the original post here.

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    A message towed by an airplane urges people to donate blood, after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S. June 12, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/REUTERS

    A message towed by an airplane urges people to donate blood, after a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S. June 12, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/REUTERS

    SAN FRANCISCO — The massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando on Sunday sparked calls from leading AIDS researchers and gay-rights advocates for the federal government to rewrite guidelines that bar men who have had sex with men in the past year from donating blood.

    I don’t think it’s appropriate given current testing technology.
    Those guidelines have fueled outrage as gay men in Florida and elsewhere expressed anger that they weren’t allowed to donate blood to the victims of the deadliest mass shooting in US history.

    Dr. Paul Volberding, director of the AIDS Research Institute at the University of California, San Francisco, said the policy requiring gay men to stay celibate for 12 months before donating blood was “not really supported by the facts.”

    The FDA policy is “overly conservative,” agreed Dr. Susan Buchbinder, director of the HIV research program for San Francisco General Hospital. “I don’t think it’s appropriate given current testing technology.”

    She added: “I can’t imagine that additional pain that people feel when they go in trying to help care for the survivors of this massacre and are unable able to donate blood because of a regulation that I don’t believe is supported by the science.”

    The Food and Drug Administration issued the guidelines last December after rescinding a total ban on blood donations from men who have had sex with men. The wider ban had been in place for 32 years, ever since the AIDS epidemic began to escalate in the early 1980s.

    Dr. Peter Marks, the deputy director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, said last December that the 12-month window was based on “the best available scientific evidence” and the practices of other nations. (The United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand have similar policies.)

    Anyone who has received a blood transfusion or has been exposed to another person’s blood accidentally must also wait 12 months before donating blood.

    The American Medical Association commended the FDA for those guidelines at the time, saying that they balanced public outreach goals with the need to safeguard the blood supply.

    But Volberding said the FDA’s position might be based on old fears and stigmas that don’t reflect current science.

    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.  Steve Nesius/REUTERS

    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. Steve Nesius/REUTERS

    “The testing methods [for blood-borne diseases such as HIV] are just amazingly accurate. We don’t miss infected people,” Volberding told STAT. “The window from the exposure to testing positive is as short as a few days.”

    He said he hoped the Orlando situation would force a reexamination of the 12-month waiting period.

    The National Gay Blood Drive, an organization that has pushed to lift the ban entirely, echoed the critique, calling the 12-month window “the result of an overabundance of government bureaucracy and caution, not science.”

    Jay Franzone, the group’s communications director, called on the FDA to issue new guidelines urging blood banks to screen donors individually — for instance, by asking whether they’ve engaged in unprotected sex — rather than impose a blanket policy on all gay men.

    Representative Jared Polis, a Democrat from Colorado who is gay, also tweeted his support for changing the federal guidelines.

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

    Others on Twitter sought to get President Barack Obama’s attention on the issue.

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

    When the FDA issued the new guidelines late last year, Marks said the agency might allow individual blood banks to issue their own policies on donations from gay men. “It’s guidance, and not a rule,” Marks said at the time. If a blood bank wanted to set a shorter waiting period than 12 months, he said, “we would generally want to see what evidence they were using, and we’d make an individual determination based on that.”

    It was not clear on Sunday whether any blood banks had sought permission to change the waiting period. One blood bank that was rumored to have ignored the federal guidelines later tweeted that it had not.

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

    The Orlando Sentinel reported that local blood banks have been deluged with hundreds of people lining up to donate blood. They urged potential donors to schedule appointments for later in the week.

    The post Blood donation restrictions for gay men ‘not supported by facts,’ AIDS experts say appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Photo by Comstock Images/Getty Images

    A recent survey is shedding light on how patients who get perscription painkillers — drugs such as OxyContin, methadone or Vicodin — sometimes share or mishandle them. Photo by Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

    As lawmakers grapple with how best to combat the nation’s prescription painkiller abuse crisis, a recent survey is shedding light on how patients who get these medications—drugs such as OxyContin, methadone or Vicodin—sometimes share or mishandle them.

    According to findings detailed in a research letter published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine, about one in five people who were prescribed the highly addictive drugs reported having shared their meds with a friend, often to help the other person manage pain. Most people with a prescription either had or expected to have extra pills left after finishing treatment. And almost 50 percent didn’t know how to safely get rid of the drugs left over after their treatment was complete, or how to store them while going through treatment.

    The study’s authors suggested that the results point to changes doctors could make in prescribing practices and counseling to help alleviate the problems.

    “We’ve all been saying leftover medications are an issue,” said Wilson Compton, deputy director of the federal National Institute on Drug Abuse, who wasn’t involved with the study. “Now I have a number that is concerning.”

    The survey was sent to a random sample of almost 5,000 people in 2015. Of the recipients, about 1,000 had used prescription painkillers in the past year. Almost all of the people in this group responded to the survey.

    Public concerns about painkiller abuse are growing louder. About 2 million people were addicted to prescription opioids in 2014, the most recent year for which data is available, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overdoses kill 44 people per day, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates. Researchers say deaths in 2014 were almost four times as common as they were in 2000.

    Endless Pill Bottles

    “There’s a growing awareness among medical advisers, policymakers and even members of the general public that these are medications that can do serious harm,” said Colleen Barry, one of the study’s authors. She is a professor of health policy at Johns Hopkins University and co-director of the university’s Center for Mental Health and Addiction Policy Research.

    And it is not news that most people who use prescription painkillers for nonmedical reasons often get them through social channels rather than a physician. In 2013 — the most recent year for which this data is available — the National Survey on Drug Use and Health estimated that number to be more than 80 percent.

    But this paper’s findings illustrate some of the forces behind drug-sharing, Barry said, and in turn indicate how to stop it. For instance, the authors recommend that doctors prescribe smaller amounts of drugs, to minimize leftovers that could be shared or stolen. That tracks with new opioid prescribing guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    “We probably prescribe a little bit more than we need to, and it’s not like people throw these away afterward. The leftovers are something we’re not thinking about,” said Jonathan Chen, an instructor at Stanford University School of Medicine, who has researched opioid abuse. Chen, who was not involved in the study, is also a practicing physician.

    Meanwhile, it’s still tough for people to get rid of the drugs when they finish with them, and few say they know about safe storage practices. That’s another avenue for prevention.

    Most respondents, for instance, didn’t lock up the pills when storing them. That makes it easier for someone else to take them.

    And the prevalence of sharing medications suggests consumers need to be better educated about how addictive prescription opioids are, Barry said.

    Doctors, added NIDA’s Compton, also need to understand the risk that, when they prescribe pills, they could end up used by someone else.

    “One out of five people that I write a prescription to for opioids may share those with someone else. That’s a lot of people,” he said.

    Physicians, meanwhile, haven’t historically been trained to counsel patients on safe drug disposal, meaning patients are often left unaware. Just under a quarter of respondents reported they remembered learning from the doctor or nurse about how to get rid of their meds safely. Chen said he couldn’t recall ever going over disposal practices with a patient. Even if he did, he said, it’s hard to know if patients would remember that information.

    And when they are informed, it’s still difficult for consumers to easily get rid of pills they no longer need. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration sponsors “drug take-back days” twice a year. Some local law enforcement agencies hold similar events. But such events are often sporadic enough that it’s hard to make them a real habit, Barry noted.

    Making those practices easier is essential, Barry said. And changing the culture around those drugs is key, so people understand the risk.

    “Just the realization on the part of the public as well as physicians that these medications are not like Tylenol — these are highly addictive meds,” she said. “That message is starting to get out there.”

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

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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally in Washington, U.S., June 9, 2016. Photo by REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

    Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speaks during a campaign rally in Washington ahead of the District’s primary on June 14. Photo by REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

    WASHINGTON — Bernie Sanders is expected to spend his final primary night meeting with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton — not before thousands of cheering supporters — as his campaign seeks to influence Clinton’s agenda against Republican Donald Trump.

    Sanders plans to meet privately with Clinton in Washington on Tuesday evening as the District of Columbia holds the last primary of the Democratic race. The Vermont senator suggested in media interviews Sunday that an endorsement will not come immediately, saying he hopes to learn more about the kind of platform she will support.

    “Dependent on how Secretary Clinton comes down on many of these major issues will determine how closely we can work with her,” he said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

    Clinton is now the presumptive Democratic nominee and Sanders has shown signs of winding down his campaign. He met last week with President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden, who both later endorsed Clinton, and held a Washington rally that included chants of “Thank you, Bernie.”

    After spending a long weekend in Vermont, Sanders will meet Tuesday with Senate Democrats during their weekly luncheon, following up on meetings last week with Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the party’s incoming Senate leader.

    Sanders has pledged to do everything he can to defeat Trump but it remains unclear what shape his campaign will take after Tuesday. He told reporters Sunday after meeting with supporters that he intends to take his campaign to the Philadelphia convention with an awareness of “who has received the most votes up to now.”

    “He hopes to have a good discussion with (Clinton). After that we’ll think some more about the next steps of the campaign, but he has made it clear that the campaign will go to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia where the issues that he fought for will be discussed,” said Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs.

    Looking forward, Sanders has begun helping Democrats preparing for congressional races and the battle to regain control of the Senate.

    An early test of his clout will come Tuesday in Nevada, where a Sanders-backed congressional candidate, Lucy Flores, competes in a three-way primary.

    Sanders has opened up his campaign’s massive email donor list to several Democratic candidates, hauling in more than $2.4 million for his allies. Flores has been the top recipient of those appeals, collecting about $390,000 from an email Sanders sent in April on behalf of her and two other candidates.


    Associated Press writer Dave Gram in Burlington, Vermont, contributed to this report.

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    The largest mass shooting in modern American history killed or injured 104 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, adding to the nation’s running tally of almost daily incidents of significant gun violence.

    Nationwide, 282 people were killed and 655 more injured so far this year, in 176 incidents of gun violence that each injured at least four individuals, according to data collected from the Reddit thread, GunsAreCool.

    There were a total of 6 mass shootings across the U.S. on June 12, the day of the Orlando shooting.

    According to the NewsHour’s analysis of the data, out of 937 total victims, 201 of them — about one out of five — were in Florida.

    Even before Sunday’s mass shooting doubled Florida’s 2016 victims, the state still led the country, followed by California with 73 people killed or wounded, and Texas with 62 victims of significant gun violence.

    June may be the nation’s most violent month this year. Thirteen days in, 170 people have been killed or wounded as a result of significant incidents of gun violence, according to the data. So far, April holds that distinction with 185 people who were injured or died after such attacks.

    Basic questions persist about the degree to which gun violence is a problem in the United States. For instance, how does the nation define a mass shooting?

    One reason why is that there is no single official count, the Washington Post reported. Two decades ago, Congress threatened to strip funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention if the agency studied gun violence.

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    AR-15 rifles line a shelf in the gun library at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia.  Photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

    AR-15 rifles line a shelf in the gun library at the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia. Omar Mateen, who was added to a terror watch list in 2013, killed 49 victims and injured more than 50 at an Orlando nightclub. Photo by REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

    WASHINGTON — Democrats will try forcing a Senate vote on a proposal making it harder for suspected terrorists and people on government terror watch lists to buy guns and explosives, they said Monday as Congress moved toward a possible partisan fight following the weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando.

    Their response, and remarks by Republicans focusing on the threat from the Islamic State extremist group, underscored how the mass killing in Florida touched on a range of political issues just months before elections in which control of the White House and Congress are at stake.

    Top Democratic senators told reporters they’d seek a fresh vote on a proposal by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., that the Senate rejected last December in a near party-line vote. Judging from that vote, the Democrats’ latest attempt is likely to be difficult.

    Democrats consider the bill “the logical and first and most likely to pass step” in response to the shooting, said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. Other steps could include trying to expand background checks for gun buyers, he said.

    Schumer, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership, said he believes Republicans “in a political season are going to find it very, very difficult” to oppose the legislation this time.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., did not address Feinstein’s bill as the chamber convened Monday but focused on links the shooter apparently had to the Islamic State extremist group. President Barack Obama and administration officials said the shooter, identified by officials as American-born Omar Mateen, 29, was probably inspired by foreign terrorist organizations.

    “It’s no longer an open analytical question whether the followers of ISIL and other Islamic terrorist groups will attempt to strike us here in the West,” said McConnell, using an acronym for the Islamic State. “They have, and they’re going to continue to do so.”

    McConnell said the U.S. must “fight back” to prevent additional attacks and called on the Obama administration to brief lawmakers on its plan for doing that.

    Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., criticized Republicans for the Senate’s 2013 rejection of bills to tighten background checks and curb assault weapons.

    Reid questioned how Republicans could “campaign for re-election in good conscience” because of those votes.

    Forty-nine victims died in the Orlando attack and more than 50 were injured, making it the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Mateen was also killed in the Sunday morning shootings.

    FBI Director James Comey said Monday that Mateen had “strong indications of radicalization” and was probably inspired by foreign terrorist organizations. Officials said Mateen had twice come to the FBI’s attention, including a 10-month investigation prompted after co-workers expressed concern over statements he’d made about possible ties to terrorist groups.

    Comey said Mateen was added to a terror watch list in 2013 when he came under investigation and then taken off it when that 10-month inquiry ended.

    According to the FBI, the government’s terror watch list has about 420,000 names on it of people known or suspected to be engaged in terrorism or planning such activities. Only 2 percent of the names on the list are Americans or legal permanent residents permitted to purchase firearms, with foreigners able to do so on rare occasions.

    Currently, the FBI is notified when someone on a list applies to purchase a gun from a federally licensed firearms dealer. That often results in increased surveillance of a suspect, but simply being on a watch list is not grounds for barring a gun sale.

    People undergoing background checks for gun purchases can be denied the firearm if they are convicted felons, have certain serious mental illnesses or fall into other categories.

    Out of 2,477 times that people on the terror watch list applied to buy guns or explosives from February 2004 through 2015, 2,265 — or 91 percent — were allowed to make the purchase, according to a letter sent in March to Feinstein by the Government Accountability Office. The office is a nonpartisan investigative agency of Congress.

    The federal no-fly list is a subset of the terror watch list and has about 16,000 people on it, the FBI says.

    Last December, Republicans offered their own proposal for curbing guns for people on terror watch lists that also fell short in the Senate. That measure by No. 2 Senate GOP leader John Cornyn of Texas would give the government up to 72 hours to block such a sale by proving in court that there was probable cause to do so.

    Democrats said they would try attaching Feinstein’s measure to a bill financing Justice Department and other programs that the Senate could debate this week.

    A similar House proposal by Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., has gone nowhere in that chamber.

    Congressional leaders arranged briefings on Orlando by administration officials on Tuesday for House lawmakers and Wednesday for senators.


    Associated Press writers Eric Tucker and Alicia Caldwell contributed to this report.

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    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a campaign speech about national security in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a campaign speech about national security in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo by REUTERS/Brian Snyder

    WASHINGTON — An annotated version of Donald Trump’s speech on combatting terrorism would be heavy with asterisks. The presumptive GOP nominee’s speech Monday painted a picture of a nation overrun by terrorists and with cowed leaders — including the State Department under Hillary Clinton’s leadership — doing little to keep them out. The reality is far more complex.

    Clinton, too, spoke about how to fight the terrorist issue, but relied on thin data in an implied scold of her GOP opponent.

    READ MORE: Clinton vows to find, prosecute ‘lone wolves’

    A look at some of the candidates’ claims:

    TRUMP: “The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why she believes immigration from these dangerous countries should be increased without any effective system to really screen. We’re not screening people.”

    THE FACTS: Refugees entering the U.S. are subject to rigorous background checks, including a search of government databases that list people suspected of having ties to terrorist groups. Processing of refugees can take anywhere from 18 months to 24 months — and usually longer for those coming from Syria.

    Refugees are subject to in-person interviews overseas and are required to provide biographical data about themselves, including their families, friendships, social or political activities, employment, phone numbers, email addresses and other information, along with biometric information including fingerprints.

    The vetting process is led by the Homeland Security Department, with involvement from the State Department and U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies.

    For all that caution, though, U.S. officials have acknowledged there is a risk the Islamic State group could try to place operatives among refugees. Last year, FBI Director James Comey said data about people coming from Syria may be limited, adding, “If we don’t know much about somebody, there won’t be anything in our database.”


    TRUMP: “Immigration from Afghanistan into the United States has increased nearly five-fold — five-fold in just one year.”

    THE FACTS: Data from the State Department suggests Trump is off the mark: In fiscal 2015, about 7,200 Afghans were admitted to the United States as either refugees or holders of a special immigrant visa, given mostly to Afghans who worked as translators or in another capacity helping U.S. forces in the country. The majority were in the latter category.

    That’s down from 7,910 in fiscal 2014. The number is creeping up this year: Between Oct. 1, 2015, and May 31, 2016, 9,018 Afghans arrived. Most of them traveled on the special visa reserved for those who were helping the U.S., not refugees.

    It’s possible Trump was relying on the Homeland Security Department’s Yearbook of Immigration Statistics. It shows a nearly five-fold increase in the number of people from Afghanistan who became lawful permanent residents between 2013 and 2014, the most recent statistics available. But it is unclear from the government’s data if all those people arrived during the same year they were granted permanent residency.


    CLINTON: “Inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric” and a ban on Muslims entering the country, as Trump has advocated, are counterproductive. “It’s no coincidence that hate crimes against American Muslims and mosques have tripled after Paris and San Bernardino.”

    THE FACTS: There are no official government data available for the period Clinton specified. Her campaign said the statistic came from a December report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino, which relied on a single month of U.S. media reports of “anti-Muslim hate crime attacks,” beginning with the Nov. 13, 2015, date of the Paris attacks. It then compared that number with a different data source, the average monthly totals for the prior five years of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported to the FBI.

    The study’s author, UC San Bernardino Professor Brian Levin, acknowledged limitations to his findings, including comparing disparate data sets. And because he measured only one month, he couldn’t say whether the increase he observed in December persisted until now, as Clinton implied. Levin said reports of hate crimes generally peak in the month after a terror attack and then fall back to something near the average.


    TRUMP: “Clinton’s State Department was in charge of admissions and the admissions process for people applying to enter from overseas. Having learned nothing from these attacks, she now plans to massively increase admissions without a screening plan, including a 500 percent increase in Syrian refugees coming into our country.”

    THE FACTS: Between Oct. 1 and the end of May, the U.S. resettled about 2,800 Syrian refugees in the United States.

    President Barack Obama has pledged to bring 10,000 Syrians into the country this year. Since 2011, 5,763 Syrian refugees have been admitted to the United States. Clinton supports allowing in 65,000 refugees. That would be more than a 500 percent increase. But the vetting process is so lengthy and in depth that it would likely be difficult to speed up the pace without a major overhaul of the screening process or a big increase in resources.


    TRUMP: Hillary Clinton “says the solution is to ban guns. … Her plan is to disarm law-abiding Americans, abolishing the Second Amendment, and leaving only the bad guys and terrorists with guns. She wants to take away Americans’ guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us.”

    THE FACTS: Trump is overstating Clinton’s gun proposals. She supports a ban on certain military-style weapons, similar to the law President Bill Clinton signed in the 1990s. That ban expired after 10 years and has not been renewed. Clinton also backs an expansion of existing criminal background checks to apply to weapons sales at gun shows. The checks now apply mainly to sales by federally licensed gun dealers.

    Federal authorities have said the Orlando shooter legally obtained the weapons he used at the night club. The assault weapons ban barred AR-15 rifles, but the exact model used by Mateen may not have been covered by the ban. The AR-15-style firearm also was used in the mass shootings in San Bernardino, California, and Newtown, Connecticut.


    CLINTON: “We have to do more to support our first responders, law enforcement and intelligence officers who do incredible work every day at great personal risk to keep our country safe. … Too often, state and local officials can’t get access to intelligence from the federal government that would help them do their jobs. We need to change that. ”

    TRUMP: “We need an intelligence-gathering system second to none. Second to none. That includes better cooperation between state, local and federal officials — and with our allies.”

    THE FACTS: Neither candidate was specific about what kinds of improvements are needed in the federal government’s relationship with state and local officials in the fight against terrorism. And it is too early in the Orlando investigation to know whether the federal government had failed to support state and local law enforcement or to share information that might have prevented the attack.

    But the need to support first responders and share information with local law enforcement has been a rallying cry since the 9/11 attacks. Billions of dollars have been provided to cities and states for counterterrorism efforts, and new policies and procedures have been put in place to share information. The federal government has provided billions in counterterrorism grants to first responders over the past 15 years, though the budget for these grants has been cut more recently.


    Associated Press writers Jill Colvin in Manchester, N.H., Lisa Lerer in Cleveland, Bill Barrow in Atlanta and Eileen Sullivan, Chad Day, Steve Braun and Michael Biesecker in Washington contributed to this report.

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    A rainbow flag is held up during a vigil after the worst mass shooting in U.S. history at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in front of the White House in Washington, U.S., June 12, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts - RTX2FURA

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We close now with a look at the vigils and memorials that have taken place around the country to show solidarity with the victims in Orlando.

    WOMAN: Tonight, we come together in an act of unity and an act of love to stand as one voice, one people, and one unit of faith, and one prayer, and join in our hearts together with the victims, with the families, the friends, the loved ones. It breaks out hearts, and that is why we have all gathered here.

    WOMAN: Every couple of months, it feels like some other group is targeted, a black church, a school, a gay club. And the world we live in is filled with intimate and tragic moments of pain and hatred and violence. We don’t always know how to respond.

    WOMAN: Fifty people who I didn’t know, but were part of my community, were killed. And they were killed for exact reasons that I could be killed or my congregation could be killed or people I love.

    WOMAN: We are one people who share the bond of humanity and the shared values of the sanctity of life and the freedom to live as we see fit. We reject your hatred, and we assert our love.

    GWEN IFILL: Our coverage continues online, where you can watch President Obama discuss stopping terrorists from getting guns in an exclusive clip from our recent town hall, compare U.S. gun laws to those of other countries in an explainer from the Council on Foreign Relations, and read how two poets mourned last year’s deadly mass shooting at a Charleston, South Carolina, church.

    All that and more is on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight.

    On Tuesday, we will look at a controversial program to combat violent extremism born here at home and abroad.

    I’m Judy Woodruff.

    GWEN IFILL: And I’m Gwen Ifill.

    Join us online and again here tomorrow evening. For all of us here at the “PBS NewsHour,” thank you, and good night.

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    ORLANDO, USA - JUNE 13: Pictures of one of the massacre victims left at a make shift memorial at Phillips Center for the Performing Arts in Orlando, USA on June 13, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

    Watch Video

    GWEN IFILL: The president has called the shootings not just an act of terror, but also an act of hate. This is not the first time that members of the LGBT community have been targets, but in the wake of decades of progress and acceptance, it is resonating differently now.

    We examine that with Rachel Tiven, the incoming CEO of Lambda Legal, a national organization which works for the civil rights of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgender people, and Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which closely monitors hate crimes and threats throughout the United States.

    Mark Potok, I want to start by asking for a definition here. What is a hate crime?

    MARK POTOK, Southern Poverty Law Center: Well, the definitions are a bit fuzzy, because, of course, there are many state laws that all express it differently.

    But, essentially, a hate crime is a crime that is motivated in whole or in part by bias against a particular named class of people, LGBT people, black people, white people, certain religions and so on. It is generally different, I think, than terrorism, in the sense that it is not a kind of public display crime.

    It can happen in private with no notice at all. So it’s not the kind of crime that is carried out in order to send a message to thousands of people, as terrorist crimes are, or to change the way an entire community acts.

    GWEN IFILL: Rachel Tiven, is it significant, or was it significant to you to hear the president of the United States immediately go to the word hate in describing what he saw happen in Orlando?

    RACHEL B. TIVEN, Lambda Legal: Absolutely, because it is important for the president to acknowledge the victims here.

    And I want to talk about the victims. The victims of this crime were LGBT Latinos and their friends and their allies. And that — seeing that either be lost in this conversation or, worse, be appropriated by people who have sought to harm LGBT people in the past is really bitter and hollow at this time.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, could you expand on that a little bit? What is significant — specifically significant about the fact that the targets in this case were Latinos, gays and lesbians?

    RACHEL B. TIVEN: What is significant is that this wasn’t an accidental target, right?

    The perpetrator of this crime didn’t happen to be walking by and choose this target by accident. We have heard that — from his father that he harbored significant animosity toward LGBT people, and that that may have been — when we find out from the FBI more about his motives, that may have been a part of the narrative.

    But we don’t even need to ask what the motive was. When you target a gay club, a place that LGBT people go to congregate and murder the people who are there, unfortunately, that is an act that speaks for itself.

    GWEN IFILL: Mark Potok, I know you keep track of hate crimes around the country, and I wonder as you — in your records, how much more does this happen — or does it happen more with LGBT people than other people? How much of a target is that community?

    MARK POTOK: Very much so.

    We looked actually at 14 years of FBI data, hate crime data, and made comparisons to the size of the populations of various minority groups in this country. And to make a very long story short, what we found was that, on a per capita basis, at least in recent years, LGBT people are targeted for violent hate crimes at a rate of two times that of gay — I’m sorry — of Muslims or black people, four times that of Jews, and 14 times that of Latinos.

    So, the bottom line is that LGBT people really are targeted in a way that no other minority group or at a rate higher than any other minority group in this country, at least in recent times.


    MARK POTOK: I think maybe it’s worth pointing out that, just three years ago, on New Year’s Eve of 2013 in Seattle, a man tried to burn alive 750 people in an upstairs gay club there called Neighbours. He wasn’t successful. Quick-thinking patrons discovered the fire in the stairwell and put it out.

    But there might well have been an enormous casualty list in that case.

    GWEN IFILL: Rachel Tiven, is this, any of this, in your observation, opinion, backlash against the gains that LGBT people have made in recent years, including marriage?

    RACHEL B. TIVEN: Unfortunately, we have seen backlash.

    We have seen that, in the past year, more than 200 bills have been introduced by state legislatures and localities around the country, not just in a couple of states, seeking to strip LGBT people of equal rights, seeking to avoid protection from discrimination for LGBT people.

    And we have seen lies, right? We have seen lies about who LGBT people are. We have seen state legislatures say that there is a danger to washing your hands in a bathroom next to a transgender person, when they know that that is untrue.

    And I think that, after the incredible that carnage that we saw this week, to honor the memories of the people who died by saying enough, enough. We’re going to come together and we’re going to end this hate speech against LGBT people. We are going to stop lying about who LGBT people are, in the way that, after Charleston, which is a sad anniversary we are approaching, that the country came together and said, we’re going to examine how we talk about race and what symbols we use, because attacking people because someone is uncomfortable with who other people are and the ways that they are different from them, that’s not American.

    GWEN IFILL: Let me ask you both this question, finally, which is, how much more power does this particular attack have on the imagination, to the degree that it has been tied up with terrorism, as opposed to — in addition to hate crimes, Mark Potok?

    MARK POTOK: Well, I think it has a great power on the imagination.

    I mean, the carnage was just incredible, and the mixture of motives. I mean, it seems to me it’s very unclear what this man’s motives were. They seem to have really been all three strands, a kind of terrorist strand, to the extent he seems to be at least somewhat related to Islamist ideas, a hate crime strand, in that it was clearly a huge animus directed against LGBT people, and then a mental health, or just kind of internal rage strand, in which this man seemed to be angry at absolutely everyone around him.

    GWEN IFILL: And, briefly, Rachel Tiven?

    RACHEL B. TIVEN: Well, we shouldn’t be surprised, unfortunately. Right?

    We shouldn’t be surprised that the kind of animosity that has been sanctioned by state and local governments around the country, when mixed with easy access to heavy weapons, leads to a tragedy like this one.

    GWEN IFILL: Rachel Tiven of Lambda Legal and Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, thank you both very much.

    RACHEL B. TIVEN: Thank you.

    MARK POTOK: Thank you.

    The post LGBT Americans target of violent hate crimes more than any other group appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    GWEN IFILL: We turn now to politics.

    Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both scaled back scheduled campaign events today in the wake of the Orlando shooting.

    Both responded to the tragedy, in very different ways.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presumptive Presidential Nominee: Today is not a day for politics.

    On Sunday, Americans woke up to a nightmare that’s become mind-numbingly familiar, another act of terrorism in a place no one expected. This is a moment when all Americans need to stand together. No matter how many times we endure attacks like this, the horror never fades. The murder of innocent people breaks our hearts, tears at our sense of security, and makes us furious.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presumptive Presidential Nominee: The bottom line is that Hillary supports policies that bring the threat of radical Islam into America and allow it to grow overseas, and it is growing.

    In fact, Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic immigration plan will bring vastly more radical Islamic immigration into this country, threatening not only our society, but our entire way of life. We need a new leader. We need a new leader fast. They have put political correctness above common sense, above your safety, and above all else. I refuse to be politically correct.


    GWEN IFILL: For more on the candidates’ response to the deadly shooting in Orlando, we turn to Politics Monday, with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and Tamara Keith of NPR, who is joining us tonight from Cleveland.

    Amy, both candidates said this wasn’t a day for politics, and Hillary Clinton didn’t mention Donald Trump by name. But she still slid in her little digs.

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Yes. And Donald Trump mentioned Hillary Clinton explicitly many times during the debate — during his press conference today.

    Look, I think the candidates that you saw today giving speeches in response to Orlando aren’t any different from the candidates that you see on the campaign trail. You had, in Donald Trump, the bold, the brash, the controversial. He doubled down on the Muslim ban. Talked about sort of an us vs. them look at the world.

    Hillary Clinton, much more measured, much more traditional, political and she talked about a we vs. me mentality.

    So, for anybody who is sort of on the fence about this campaign, who says I don’t really know the differences between these two candidates, how would they react to a crisis situation or a big event as president of the United States, you got a very clear idea of the differences between the two of them today.

    GWEN IFILL: Tam, but Donald Trump didn’t just double down on what he has said before about banning Muslims. He talked today about banning entire nationalities.

    TAMARA KEITH, NPR: Right, he said — and this was an expansion — that he would put a temporary ban on immigration from countries that support terrorism or where terrorism against America has originated, which could include a whole lot of countries.

    We don’t have details on which those would be. He also in that speech said that Hillary Clinton wants to do away with the Second Amendment, take away people’s guns and allow terrorists into the country and then people wouldn’t be able to defend themselves. That, of course, is not Hillary Clinton’s policy. But there you have it.

    GWEN IFILL: Tam, it seems to me that at least the Democrats have their talking points in order. The president did this with us on our “NewsHour” town hall not long ago, talking about terror watch lists and how Congress should at least allow them to deny gun purchases to people on the watch lists.

    We heard Dianne Feinstein say it again just now to Judy. And we heard Hillary Clinton say it. So, is that the line, that the Democrats will always talk about guns and the Republicans will always talk about immigration?

    TAMARA KEITH: That seems to be the way this keeps happening.

    And we should note that this is not the first time that these presidential candidates have had to respond to a terrorist incident. This one happens to be bigger and here at home. But the response has been essentially the same each time. Hillary Clinton this time is talking about wanting to possibly expand terror lists.

    But, essentially, it is the same conversation about guns and about terrorism. And it goes round and round and round again.

    AMY WALTER: Yes.

    And the sort of depressing piece about all of this is, they are talking about legislation that is unlikely to get anywhere within Congress, whether it’s more attempts to control guns, or, you know, to have more regulation around guns, or whether it is about banning Muslims or people who are coming in, as Tam pointed out, from countries that support terrorism. Those are things that aren’t going to make it through Congress.

    GWEN IFILL: What is unique about Donald Trump is that he starts every response by saying, see, I was right.

    AMY WALTER: Yes, see, I was right.

    And he also said, I can do these things on banning certain people through my own orders. I won’t need Congress to be able to do that.

    GWEN IFILL: So, Tam, do we — I know we say this a lot. But I’m curious whether moments like this, kind of somber, big moments, represent that a turning point, or at least a clarifying point in a campaign, especially as we get ready to turn to the general election.

    TAMARA KEITH: This is absolutely one of those moments, just like Paris, just like San Bernardino. Those were moments in the campaign where we all paused and we thought that this could be a defining moment.

    What we don’t know — those previous incidents were defining moments. Donald Trump came out strong. He talked about a Muslim ban. He did better among Republican voters after those incidents. His poll numbers improved.

    What we don’t know this time around is whether it’s different. You know what? A Republican primary electorate is very different from a general election electorate. There are a lot more people who have very different views. And it is just not clear at this point.

    It is a moment. We don’t know quite what the moment means in terms of how this will play out over the next several weeks and months.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s talk about terminology, because one of the things that Donald Trump is counting on is that in the past this has worked for him, this really tough response.

    AMY WALTER: Right.

    GWEN IFILL: But now, today, he was talking a lot about she won’t use the words radical Islamism. And she said, well, I do too kind of.

    What is that really about?

    AMY WALTER: Right, it seems that what Hillary Clinton was trying to do, at least this morning — she didn’t do it in her speech today — but by taking the issue radical Islam, radical jihadism and sort of saying, I can do either or both of those, and say, I don’t want to get in a debate over semantics.

    I would rather get in a debate over what is happening in this country with individuals who are using faith to do terrible things. In the past, though, she has said we don’t want to call it radical Islam, because then we are maligning entire — an entire religion. We don’t want to focus on the religious part. We want to focus on the actions.

    I think, in essence, what they are trying to do — and I don’t know if this is correct. But, in essence, what they are trying to do is to say, you know, look, this issue is not something I want to get in a fight about anymore. I think it’s getting tougher and tougher for them to try and take parse these words and to defend not taking on Muslim religion, and instead start where Donald Trump does and say, we’re not going to go as far as he does in terms of banning all Muslims.

    GWEN IFILL: And, Tam, I want to talk about another piece of terminology, which is the LGBT community, we heard Donald Trump say today, I’m a better — I will be a better friend because I will act and Hillary just has words.

    Is that actually true? Does it seem that way? It seems to me the big groups have endorsed Hillary Clinton already.

    TAMARA KEITH: The big groups have endorsed Hillary Clinton already. And she is very popular among some large portion of the LGBT community.

    Donald Trump, though, interestingly, you know, has not wanted to fight in fight in that arena. There are other candidates who were running in the Republican primary who wanted to talk about gay marriage and wanted to talk about bathroom laws. And Donald Trump has, generally speaking, taken a more tolerant view.

    That seems to be an area that he doesn’t want to get into too much.

    GWEN IFILL: Not on gay marriage.

    TAMARA KEITH: Not on gay marriage, for instance.

    GWEN IFILL: Right. OK, on gay marriage, he is, I think, in line with the Republican Party.

    OK, Tam Keith, we’re done here. Amy Walter, we’re done here.

    AMY WALTER: We’re done, for now.

    GWEN IFILL: Thank you both.

    TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.

    AMY WALTER: You’re welcome.

    The post Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton react to Orlando mass shooting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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