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

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    Dead fish lie on the shore of Guanabara Bay in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil January 13, 2016. Thousands of dead fish washed up on the shores of Rio's Guanabara Bay on Wednesday, not far from where events are being held at this year's Olympic Games, environmental officials said. The incident was the latest involving water quality in the bay, where sailing, open water swimming, and triathlon races are due to take place at the Games in August. REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes - RTX229O7

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to Rio de Janeiro, where, late today, the regional government declared a state of public calamity over a major budget crisis.

    In just seven weeks, the Summer Olympics will open. Among the many concerns for athletes competing in the Games has been the waters of the heavily polluted bay where the sailing competition will take place. But thousands of Brazilians’ lives and livelihoods depend on this troubled body of water.

    “NewsHour” producer Jon Gerberg and NPR’s Lulu Garcia-Navarro bring us this story of their life-and-death fight to save the bay.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Alexandre Anderson is a hunted man, targeted for his work on these treacherous waters.

    Every day, as he heads out onto Rio de Janeiro’s Guanabara Bay, he’s on a mission to defend the bay he calls home. He tells us its stark beauty hides a dark reality.

    ALEXANDRE ANDERSON, Fisherman (through interpreter): We hope the Olympics will show the world another bay. There is the bay for the rich, for visitors to see, and there is the bay of the fishermen, who are suffering. That is the bay of excrement, garbage, and oil. It is the Guanabara Bay of violence.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Alexandre took us on a tour of that bay. He knows it well. He grew up fishing here. But as the bay got more and more polluted, he became an activist, who leads a fishermen’s organization.

    The ecological devastation here is hard to miss. He shows us a mangrove swamp used as an illegal dumping ground for trash. Raw sewage is also pumped into the bay from communities that have no access to sanitation.

    But for Alexandre Anderson, the biggest polluters are not only the residents who lack basic infrastructure, but also the petroleum industry. This is one of the biggest refineries in the area. And it’s right on the banks of the Guanabara Bay.

    And you can see here in the water it’s slick with oil. Rio de Janeiro, a world-famous beach town, is also Brazil’s oil and gas heartland. Energy accounted for 13 percent of Brazil’s GDP in 2014. And almost three-quarters of the world’s recent deep-water oil discoveries have been made in Brazil. The Guanabara Bay is the industry’s hub.

    Alexandre takes us to an oil industry shipyard and points out broken eco-barriers meant to stop paint and chemicals from leaking into the water.

    ALEXANDRE ANDERSON (through interpreter): All this material contains heavy metals. Some are very toxic. This is an environmental crime. This is a company that is using a natural resource and polluting it. The small quantity of fish that we have left here are being contaminated or being killed.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Alexandre points out guards protecting the site. He’s had run-ins with them before. We speed away. Alexandre spends his days documenting these infractions and reporting them. He says the authorities do little to stop what’s happening.

    ALEXANDRE ANDERSON (through interpreter): We fishermen understand that the Guanabara Bay still has life. The Guanabara Bay is a nursery for many species, if only they would stop polluting and the government would start acting.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: In a statement issued to “PBS NewsHour,” the state environmental secretary said the problem is that many groups have oversight of the bay, but they don’t have a common plan or vision for its recovery and preservation.

    In the absence of government, Alexandre says the fishermen have become the guardians of the bay instead. Many like him have become vocal advocates, staging demonstrations and taking other actions to call attention to the state of the bay. Brazil’s national oil company, Petrobras, is responsible for at least two major oil spills in the bay that severely damaged the ecosystem.

    For Alexandre, speaking out against one of the most powerful economic forces in the country almost cost him his life.

    ALEXANDRE ANDERSON (through interpreter): They shot at me in front of the fisherman’s association. Shrapnel hit my waist, but I knew I had to keep fighting. Other fishermen have been killed.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Brazil is the among the most dangerous countries in the world to be an environmental defender. One of Alexandre’s colleagues was brutally murdered, his body tied to his fishing boat and sunk after being riddled with bullets.

    Alexandre is in a federal protection program and lives in a secret location. Up until recently, he had a permanent security detail. He blames the shadowy forces protecting the oil industry for the violence.

    The state oil company, Petrobras, also at the center of a massive corruption scandal here, released this statement to “PBS NewsHour”: “Petrobras is unaware of these incidents and rejects any act of violence against the fishermen,” it read. “The company maintains a dialogue with the fishing and other communities that surround the Guanabara Bay. Petrobras is also a company that, along with other activities, invests in social and environmental projects in the Guanabara Bay. All of our projects rigorously follow the various government environmental controls and are licensed.”

    Prosecutors have been investigating several murders and disappearances of fishermen on the bay. A prosecutor who has dealt with Alexandre’s case told “PBS NewsHour” he had no proof directly implicating the oil industry in the deaths.

    LAURO COELHO, JR., Federal Prosecutor (through interpreter): It is involved in an environmental and economic conflict in which there is a clash between development and the environment, and in the midst of this conflict, deaths occurred.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: The polluted waters, from the oil industry, from the raw sewage and trash dumped into the bay, have also hurt the fishermen and their families in other ways.

    Alexandre takes us to visit the oldest fishing community in the region in a town called Surui. Romildo Soares de Oliveira is the president of the fishermen association here. He tells us young people are leaving, the community is dying, because the bay can no longer support their livelihood.

    Brazil promised to clean up Guanabara Bay for the Olympics. That could have meant a new start for the artisanal fishermen who have been plying their trade on the bay and its tributaries for hundreds of years.

    ROMILDO SOARES DE OLIVEIRA, President, Fishermen Association of Surui (through interpreter): We had hope for the Olympics. We end up believing in these false promises to clean up the bay, to bring a better bay for the fishermen. We were excited, but the end of this soap opera is always the same. Nothing happens.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: The water, which they rely on for their survival, has been proven to carry dangerous viruses and bacteria with devastating consequences.

    Romildo introduced me to a group of residents. They have seen family members become severely sick and hospitalized for weeks. Yuri Chagas, a 14-year-old from Surui, went swimming in the river after he cut his foot. It then began to swell, and he was hospitalized.

    YURI CHAGAS, Surui Resident (through interpreter): I was a month there, urinating with pus. They almost had to amputate the leg, but later they decided it wouldn’t be necessary. I have had to do physical therapy, because I was walking with crooked leg.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Some have even died. Antonio Batista Reis lost his 11-year-old son 15 years ago.

    ANTONIO BATISTA REIS, Surui Resident (through interpreter): At high tide, the kids used to bathe in the river. I do not know what happened. One day, he went to bathe and came back with itchy eyes. We took him to the clinic and his eyes began to swell. He then went to the hospital and died.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Reis, like the others, is sure that the polluted water was the cause.

    We took that assertion to Alberto Chebabo, head of infectious diseases at Rio’s Federal University Hospital. He said there is no way to prove a direct link, but he said ingesting or even touching the bay’s water can result in a number of diseases. And he said that children are at higher risk.

    ALBERTO CHEBABO, Rio’s Infectious Diseases Society (through interpreter): If you look at the statistics of hospitalization around the bay, there is a clear picture of the risks to people being exposed to this water. When you consider this population, especially children, living in these degraded areas, it is very easy to see the link between the bay’s environmental contamination and these diseases.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: Back in Surui, Antonio Reis, a fisherman himself, says he says he has no choice but to continue to work in the waters that he believes killed his son.

    ANTONIO BATISTA REIS (through interpreter): The most majority of the people here, about 80 percent, live from the fishing. We have to fish. We have to find a way. There’s no other solution. We have to risk.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: He says the people have a right to clean water. But Romildo, the president of the fishing association, believes nothing will change.

    ROMILDO SOARES DE OLIVEIRA (through interpreter): A lot of people talk about athletes, about Olympics, but lives are being cut short here. People do not talk about it, but lives are being taken.

    LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO: As we head home, Alexandre Anderson tells us he believes this place can be restored. He says he has fought for the bay long before the Olympics, and he will continue long after the Games have come and gone.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lulu Garcia-Navarro of NPR in Rio de Janeiro.

    The post In Brazil’s Olympic bay, tides of death and ecological devastation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    sandb-2

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.

    Welcome.

    Gentlemen, begin by the terrible thing that happened last weekend in Orlando, this 29-year-old man with — who had displayed erratic behavior, Mark, through much of his life. Are there any lessons from this?

    MARK SHIELDS, Syndicated Columnist: I’m not sure there are, Judy.

    I was — I have been amazed how polarized our nation is. Ordinarily and historically, events this tragic — and there have been none really this tragic, I guess, in just sheer magnitude — but there is sort of a uniting feeling in the country.

    And that’s been missing. We can blame our politics and our politicians. And we will. But it’s — I think it reflects the country. There’s just — we live in a couple of different worlds. Republicans overwhelmingly think it’s a matter of terrorism, and Islamic terrorism, and that that’s where all the attention — and Democrats overwhelmingly respond that it’s the availability and the promiscuous availability of weapons without background checks or adequate controls.

    And so I guess the — tragedies like this have historically brought out the best in the country, and I don’t think that’s happened this time. It definitely hasn’t.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We think of 9/11.

    MARK SHIELDS: Think of 9/11, exactly. Think of other times of tragedy, and even Charleston.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: David.

    DAVID BROOKS, The New York Times: I actually take of a cheerier view, I think.

    I thought there was an amazing amount of simple, unadorned grief and sympathy for the victims and the victims’ families. And the fact a large percent of them were gay wasn’t as big an issue.

    That was my perception, that people of all sides said, these were human beings, God’s creatures, who were killed. And there was an outpouring of simple grief for the people.

    On the political stuff, obviously, the gun thing is divisive. But I thought most people said, well, this is both an act of terrorism and a hate crime at the same time. And it can be both. And I think that’s what really just struck me about the week is, sometimes, the divisions we have between psychology and politics and religion, those divisions don’t really make sense in practice.

    And we have seen this so many times with so many different shooters. They’re the same personality type. You begin with a sense of humiliation, personal failure, personal disappointment, personal injury. That turns into a sense of grievance, that the problem is not me, the problem is the world.

    Then that turns into sort of moral outrage at the evil people who are doing this. Then that gets weaponized by sort of some radical ideology that allows me to justify the violence. And then you walk down the line.

    And they walk down these same series of steps, and it’s just the social isolation of young, angry men.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But when — your — to your point, Mark, when you look at the reaction of the political leadership, Donald Trump focused on terrorism, on what he likes to refer to as radical Islam, very different from the emphasis, at least, from President Obama and Hillary Clinton.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes, no question.

    And while I agree with David and the points he makes, and I think they’re strong points, Judy, I would just add that the FBI is coming in for some, I think, undeserved criticism that somehow — this was a man with bad thoughts, outrageous thoughts.

    We don’t arrest people in this country. We don’t incarcerate them. There is no thought control. And it is acts. And there weren’t any acts, other than reportedly his abuse of his wife, which doesn’t rise to the level of the FBI, and is local law enforcement.

    But you’re absolutely right. First of all, President Obama is at his best at times like this. And it’s a terrible thing to say, but he was at Charleston, he was at Newtown, he was after Gabby Giffords. And in a strange way, it brings out the best in him.

    There is a cool detachment about Barack Obama, sort of a remoteness emotionally most times. And he was — he’s so accessible in listening to the victims’ families and the survivors and how much it means to them and how genuine they feel he is.

    And I thought he had a choice to go on the LGBT — there are three elements to it’s — the LGBT, obviously, the terrorism and the guns. And he thought the guns were the most available, where they may get some action. And that’s what he chose to emphasize.

    As far as the others, I thought Hillary Clinton was quite measured, very calibrated, responsible, and stood in stark contrast — a little more hawkish than the president, and stood in dark contrast to Donald Trump, who squandered what is the one area where Republicans have a decided advantage, which is national security and sort of homeland security.

    And he just — I mean, first of all, congratulating himself at the outset, and then insinuating in innuendo that the president was somehow involved was beyond the pale. It makes him unacceptable as a national figure.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you size up their reaction?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes, well, somewhat agreement.

    If I had to rank them, if one ranks these things, I thought Hillary Clinton’s reaction was the best. It combined both the gun issue, the gay issue, but also the Islamic radicalism issue, if we want to use that word. And I give her credit for mentioning that.

    And I do think, in acts like this, it’s not driven by religious faith, but it’s driven and shaped by a bin Ladenist, jihadist ideology. And I think the president is wrong not to say that.

    I have a quote in my column today by Peter Bergen, who is a friend of — and he said, saying Islamic terror is not related to Islam is like saying the Crusades are not related to Christianity and their view of Jerusalem.

    It is sort of a radical politicized version of a faith ideology. And for the president to say that, A, is not the truth, but, B, it reeks of a political correctness which ends up driving people to Donald Trump.

    And so I think he should use the term. Every other world leader uses the term. We can all distinguish between the few terrorists who are radical Islamists between — and the tens and hundreds of millions of Muslims who are peaceful, law-abiding, normal human beings.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What about that, Mark?

    MARK SHIELDS: Well, I disagree with David.

    I think the syllable is very important. Radical Islam is the defamation of a faith, of a faith, whereas radical Islamist, yes, definitely, or radical Islamism.

    But that is a profound difference. And when you start slipping into denigration of an entire faith, which obviously is the position that Donald Trump has been comfortable with, an area where he’s been comfortable in, it is not only not in the national interest. It is dishonest and it is fomenting further strife.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Or the president called it a political talking point, this insistence on Trump’s part that he use that term.

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes. I am actually not comfortable with the phrase radical Islam in part for that reason. People who are faithful to the Muslim faith don’t turn into terrorists when they become more faithful.

    MARK SHIELDS: Exactly.

    DAVID BROOKS: But there is sort of ideology sort of attached to Islam, as there used to be to Christianity, or as there sometimes still is to Christianity or Judaism, which is a secular political ideology that cloaks itself in religious garb.

    And we could call it bin Ladenism. You can call it jihadism. But it is the shaping ideology that magnetizes people like this and sets them off on the killing sprees.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: One of the things that has come out of this, very quickly, is the move in Congress on the part of Democrats, Mark, to pass some kind of legislation on gun control. Do you see any possibility of a change there?

    MARK SHIELDS: I think there is a change in mood. I don’t think — we’re in an election year. We’re four months away from an election.

    I think there is a good development, Judy, quite frankly, in the group that’s assembled by Stanley McChrystal and the Veterans Coalition For Common Sense, Mark Kelly, to try and bring control, some sensible background checks. And I think there is where it’s going to have to come from. I really do.

    But the Democrats have an advantage. Make no mistake about it. If you don’t fly, you don’t buy, which is, I think, a dangerous position in a civil liberties basis, because Donald Trump in charge of a don’t-fly list is something that should sober every American citizen in who he would put on it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you see it going anywhere?

    DAVID BROOKS: I don’t, just because past is prologue. And after all the different killings we have had, it hasn’t gone anywhere.

    Susan Collins has an attempt at some sort of moderated — the senator from Maine — some sort of moderated list that she hopes some Republicans get, Democrats get behind, but the prospects in the House are slim.

    And I would say, you know, I support all this legislation, but I’m not sure it would be super effective. This guy was actually looked into by the FBI. He actually had checks. And it’s just very tough to predict human behavior.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Quickly.

    MARK SHIELDS: Judy, there is no reason in the United States for civilian circulation of assault weapons, none. It’s indefensible as a product, shouldn’t be manufactured in the United States, any more than bazookas should be or flamethrowers.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me ask you both about Donald Trump.

    Political path ahead, David. He was in — having a lot of tense words this week with Republican leadership with Congress, with other Republicans in his own party. His poll ratings are slipping. What do you see?

    DAVID BROOKS: I see mild to mass panic in the Republican Party, because he really is sliding. We have talked about it before in the last few weeks.

    He was even with Hillary Clinton, and in the last three weeks, it’s just been zoom. He’s collapsing. And he’s picking fights with the Republicans. Any sense of buy-in is now just fraying. I don’t know if they are going to do anything against him.

    But to me, the significance of this week politically was, would the country sort of rally around him on sort of xenophobic or anti-terror mood? And the answer so far from the polling is, no, he didn’t get any help from this week politically.

    And, therefore, I think there is a real hardening against him among an awful lot of Americans, and his political prospects, at least this week, seem extremely dire.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you see?

    MARK SHIELDS: Judy, the stop Trump movement, which the death rattle sounded, and then it seems to come back again. The old maxim in politics, you don’t beat somebody with nobody.

    And there is nobody. There is no alternative. Everybody wants an alternative — not everybody, but probably a lot of Republicans. Certainly, those on the ballot in November would like to have an alternative, but there isn’t.

    You put a face on that, and there is nobody there. So he will be the nominee. He’s got the strong argument: I have got more votes than anybody in the history of Republican primaries.

    And, obviously, they are not going to try and take it away from him. But I’m reminded of 1972, when Democrats tried to stop George McGovern, for the very same reason. They thought he was going to lose, and it cost them seats.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Last quick points. Bernie Sanders made a statement last night. Let’s listen to it, a part of it quickly, and then I want to ask you about it.

    SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, DemocraticPresidential Candidate: It is no secret that Secretary Clinton and I have strong disagreements on some very, very important issues.

    It is also true that our views are quite close on others. I look forward in the coming weeks to continued discussion between the two campaigns to make certain that your voices are heard and that the Democratic Party passes the most progressive platform in its history and that Democrats actually fight for that agenda.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do we make of this, David?

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: It’s marriage counseling.

    (LAUGHTER)

    DAVID BROOKS: The Sanders and Clinton people, they’re coming together. They will come together. It has to happen in stages, so healing can happen. But I would be shocked if the Democrats weren’t pretty united by the end of the summer.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Just by what he said?

    DAVID BROOKS: Yes.

    MARK SHIELDS: It’s an acknowledgment, not a concession.

    Bernie Sanders is indispensable to the Democrats and their well-being in taking back the Senate. He is the leader of a movement. They need him. He was a generational candidate more than an ideological candidate. And voters under the age of 45 are Bernie, and Hillary needs them. And he needs her. And it will be — will only be a shotgun marriage, but it might not be the — but it will be a marriage, believe me.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we may be watching this at the convention.

    MARK SHIELDS: Absolutely.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, David Brooks, and you will both be there to talk about it all.

    MARK SHIELDS: Look forward to it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Happy Father’s Day to both of you.

    MARK SHIELDS: Thank you.

    DAVID BROOKS: Thank you.

    The post Shields and Brooks on gun violence and how leaders responded to Orlando shooting appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    poet

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Even as the country’s attention has been focused on Orlando for much of the week, today marked the anniversary of another mass shooting, when nine people were killed in Charleston, South Carolina, at the Emanuel AME Church, known as Mother Emanuel.

    We look back through the thoughts and words of two Charleston poets. They’re part of the community that’s been coping with the tragedy since then.

    MARCUS AMAKER, Poet: That was a crazy night. My wife and I were watching the news online, and we were watching everything unfold. There was a whole bunch of fear, because the shooting happened about five or six blocks from our house.

    MARJORY WENTWORTH, Poet Laureate of South Carolina: I felt like someone had punched me in the stomach. I physically reacted. And then I had to go to work. And I work — teach at a college two blocks from Mother Emanuel. And it was a crime scene. They hadn’t caught the killer yet.

    MARCUS AMAKER: My name is Marcus Amaker. And I’m a Web designer, graphic designer, videographer, musician, and poet.

    MARJORY WENTWORTH: I’m Marjory Wentworth. I’m the poet laureate of South Carolina.

    Music of doves ascending. Yellow crime tape tied to the rod-iron fence weaves through bouquets of flowers and wreaths made of white ribbons like rivers of bright pain flowing through the hours.

    MARCUS AMAKER: Circadian rhythms. At ground zero of death, the voice of God will sound like an alarm clock waking you up from a dream.

    MARJORY WENTWORTH: The arts community in Charleston has been folded into the healing process. And that was immediate. Poetry is — in a time of crisis, it is a great way to find the language for something that people don’t have. And they want that language. People crave some way of articulating what they’re feeling. And that’s what poetry does, I think.

    MARCUS AMAKER: I think that, for a long time, a lot of people my age, especially, racism is not really this tangible thing, but then, when this happened at the church, it really became the most real thing that we have ever experienced.

    You open your eyes and see yourself not as a woman or a man, but as a spirit who had been breathing in an illusion.

    MARJORY WENTWORTH: I think, in terms of the larger issue in the city, the state and the country, you know, the flag is down as a result of a horrific crime, but the conditions that exist around that, the sort of social justice issues based on race, have not changed in our city.

    One week later, the funeral bells ring. Lines of strangers still bring offerings. Nine doves tossed toward the sun. One week later, the funeral bells ring, while churches in small towns are burning. Nine doves tossed toward the sun, because there are no words to sing while churches in small towns are burning. A blur of white wings ascends like music.

    MARCUS AMAKER: I see an awakening that’s happened in this city. I have been awakened. It’s not like I didn’t know that racism was out there, but to see it in this tangible, real way so close to where I live was really a big awakening.

    And, for me, it feels like the time for small talk is over. If we don’t change after this, then what is going to change us?

    On June 18, the voice of God sounded like an alarm clock and woke us up from a nightmare. It was the day after a massacre, when illusion became reality, when darkness was a dagger in our hearts. From this day forward, the voice of God sounds like an alarm clock waking us up from a dream. Our eyes are now open to the restlessness of our souls as we confront the relentlessness of racism. I will not rest until we can sleep peacefully again.

    The post On anniversary of church shooting, South Carolina poets offer healing through verse appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Iraqi army soldiers carry their weapons as they gather in the center of Falluja, Iraq, June 17, 2016. REUTERS/Thaier Al-Sudani - RTX2GSLJ

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Good evening. I’m Judy Woodruff.

    On the “NewsHour” tonight: Fifty-one State Department officials sign a letter urging the Obama administration to abandon its policy in Syria and carry out airstrikes against Syria’s president.

    Then, ahead of the Olympics, we dive in to the story behind Brazil’s deadly waters, and how local residents are risking it all to fight pollution.

    ALEXANDRE ANDERSON, Fisherman (through interpreter): They shot at me in front of the fisherman’s association. Shrapnel hit my waist, but I knew I had to keep fighting. Other fishermen have been killed.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And it’s Friday. Mark Shields and David Brooks analyze a full week of news.

    All that and more on tonight’s “PBS NewsHour.”

    (BREAK)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Iraqi special forces pushed into the heart of Fallujah today, for the first time since Islamic State fighters seized it in early 2014.

    The breakthrough came nearly a month into an army offensive to recapture the city. Troops paraded the Iraqi flag through the city’s streets today after taking the main government complex. Later, the prime minister declared victory.

    The people of Britain mourned today for Jo Cox, the member of parliament who was brutally murdered yesterday.

    Rohit Kachroo of Independent Television News reports on the day’s events.

    ROHIT KACHROO: If ever there was a moment for unity, perhaps this was it. Today, leaders became just mourners, walking through the silent streets in the footsteps of so many others. They came to the place where Jo Cox lived and is loved to share their sadness one by one with flowers and then with moving tributes.

    DAVID CAMERON, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: Today, our nation is rightly shocked. And I think it is a moment to stand back and think about some of the things that are so important about our country.

    JEREMY CORBYN, Leader, Labor Party: She was taken from us in an act of hatred, in a vile act that has killed her. It’s an attack on democracy, what happened yesterday. It’s the will of hatred that killed her.

    ROHIT KACHROO: They announced that Parliament will be recalled on Monday.

    She is mourned as a campaigner, but missed most as a mother. Her husband posted this today, messages from the prime minister, from friends, from strangers told of the impact of her death. It’s the motive behind it, though, that’s still a mystery.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The accused killer, Thomas Mair, remains in custody. Investigators are looking into possible links to far-right extremist groups.

    Grieving families held more funerals today in Orlando for the victims of Sunday’s nightclub attack. Mourners consoled each other at a service for two of the 49 killed in the mass shooting. Also today, Orlando’s mayor announced that a fund to help the families has collected $7 million.

    This was also the anniversary of the Charleston, South Carolina, shootings. One year ago today, a white gunman shot nine black parishioners to death at the Emanuel AME Church. Today, Governor Nikki Haley and other leaders joined in a memorial service, paying tribute to the victims.

    GOV. NIKKI HALEY (R), South Carolina: They taught us amazing things. We will forever be changed, the Mother Emanuel 12 that we will always talk about. I don’t want it to be talked about on an anniversary. I will always talk about it, whether I’m in state or out of state. I will always talk about these people who changed my life. And I will forever be grateful.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The alleged shooter, Dylann Roof, is facing the death penalty in both state and federal trials.

    In Germany, a court has convicted a former guard at the Auschwitz death camp of aiding in 170,000 murders. Reinhold Hanning is now 94. The judge ruled today that he was part of the Nazi machinery behind the Holocaust. Survivors welcomed the decision.

    HEDY BOHM, Auschwitz Survivor: I feel that my loved ones who were murdered finally got some justice, that my murdered mother and father now perhaps can rest in peace.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hanning was sentenced to five years in prison. He has apologized, but says that he never took part in actual killings.

    Investigators have found the second black box from the EgyptAir flight that crashed in the Mediterranean last month. The recovery of the cockpit voice recorder boosts hopes of determining the cause of the crash. All 66 people on board died when the plane disappeared May 19.

    A world sports body today upheld the ban on Russia’s track and field team for the upcoming Summer Olympics. The International Association of Athletics Federations found that Moscow has not done enough to clean up widespread doping. President Vladimir Putin denied that his government was involved in the doping, and Russian officials said that they may appeal.

    And on Wall Street today, stocks finished the week with more losses, amid worries that Britain will leave the European Union. The Dow Jones industrial average shed 58 points to close at 17675. The Nasdaq fell 44 points, and the S&P 500 dropped six.

    Still to come on the “NewsHour”: dozens of State Department officials break with President Obama on Syria; dirty water threatening the Summer Olympics; the case for Britain staying in the E.U.; and much more.

    The post News Wrap: Iraqi leader declares ‘victory’ in Fallujah; British mourn murdered politician appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    gradspeech

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And to our “NewsHour” Shares, something that caught our eye that might be of interest to you, too.

    As this graduation season comes to a close, we took a closer look at the advice given by actors, politicians and industry leaders to college graduates around the country.

    Here are some highlights:

    J.K. SIMMONS, Actor: Take care of yourself. Eat your vegetables. Get some exercise. Floss.

    (LAUGHTER)

    J.K. SIMMONS: Use your turn signal. I know that has nothing to do with taking care of yourself. It’s just a pet peeve of mine.

    (LAUGHTER)

    MATT DAMON, Actor: As the great philosopher Benjamin Affleck once said, judge me by how good my good ideas are, not by how bad my bad ideas are. You have got to suit up in your armor. You have got to get ready to sound like a total fool.

    Not having an answer isn’t embarrassing. It’s an opportunity. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

    SHERYL SANDBERG, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook: I hope that you walk without pain and you are grateful for each step. And when the challenges come, I hope you remember that deep within you is the ability to learn and grow. You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience. It’s a muscle. You can build it up, and then draw on it when you need it.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Cynicism is so easy, and cynics don’t accomplish much. As a friend of mine who happens to be from New Jersey, a guy named Bruce Springsteen, once sang…

    (LAUGHTER)

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: … they spend their lives waiting for a moment that just don’t come. Don’t let that be you.

    STEVEN SPIELBERG, Filmmaker: I have imagined many possible futures in my films, but you will determine the actual future. And I hope that it’s filled with justice and peace.

    And, finally, I wish you all a true Hollywood-style happy ending. I hope you outrun the T-rex, catch the criminal, and, for your parents’ sake, maybe every now and then, just like E.T., go home.

    (LAUGHTER)

    LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA, Lyricist/Actor, “Hamilton”: There will be blind alleys and one-night wonders and soul-crushing jobs and wakeup calls and crises of confidence and moments of transcendence when you are walking down the street and someone will thank you for telling your story because it resonated with their own.

    I feel so honored to be a detail, a minor character in the story of your graduation day. I feel so honored to bear witness to the beginning of your next chapter. I’m painfully aware of what’s at stake. I can’t wait to see how it turns out.

    Thank you, and congratulations to the class of 2016.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All good advice.

    And we wanted to share just one more. Chicago area eighth grader Jack Aiello mixed a large dose of humor into his graduation address last week. He delivered his entire speech using impersonations of the leading presidential candidates and the current commander in chief.

    Take a look.

    JACK AIELLO, Student, Thomas Middle School: Hello. And congratulations. You are now getting to hear a speech from the magnificent Donald Trump.

    (LAUGHTER)

    JACK AIELLO: And let me just tell you that Thomas has been such a great school. Quite frankly, it’s been fantastic.

    (LAUGHTER)

    JACK AIELLO: Now, we did all the regular sports you would expect, like basketball and soccer. But we also did some unique ones too. So, like, on rainy days, we would go into the small gym and do yoga.

    (LAUGHTER)

    JACK AIELLO: And I am proud to say that I have completely mastered the downward dog.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JACK AIELLO: Thank you, President Obama.

    I would like to start off by thanking the great hardworking teachers of Thomas Middle School.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JACK AIELLO: They have been our champions. They have given us the skills we need to get through sixth grade and through seventh grade and through eighth grade. And now we’re going to take those skills and apply them to high school.

    And, finally, to conclude this entire graduation speech, I would just like to say that the bottom line is this. As far as schools go, TMS is in the top one-half of one-half of 1 percent of schools in the entire country.

    Thank you all so much, and congratulations to the class of 2016!

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Young Jack Aiello, I think he’s got a future.

    On the “NewsHour” online right now: Did Lou Gehrig actually have Lou Gehrig’s disease? A team of scientists say it’s not clear. Repetitive head injury can result in a syndrome that mimics ALS.

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

    And a reminder about some upcoming programs from our PBS colleagues.

    Gwen Ifill is preparing for “Washington Week,” which airs later this evening.

    Here’s a preview.

    Gwen?

    GWEN IFILL: Thanks, Judy.

    Last weekend’s horrific shooting in Orlando, Florida, revived all sorts of debates in Washington and on the campaign trail. We will wade into the week’s arguments about terrorism, guns, hate crimes, immigration and what politicians are willing to do about any of it on the one-year anniversary of the Charleston church shooting. That’s tonight on “Washington Week” — Judy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we look forward to seeing it.

    On tomorrow’s edition of “PBS NewsHour Weekend”: a report from Jordan, inside the growing economy of the world’s largest Syrian refugee camp.

    And that’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff.

    Have a great weekend. Thank you, and good night.

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    Donald Trump can turn his agenda ideas into laws to help people's lives, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in an offical endorsement. Joshua Roberts/REUTERS

    Donald Trump can turn his agenda ideas into laws to help people’s lives, House Speaker Paul Ryan said in an offical endorsement. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan says Republican lawmakers should follow their conscience in deciding whether or not to support Donald Trump, the GOP’s presumptive nominee for president.

    The Wisconsin Republican told NBC’s “Meet the Press” that “the last thing I would do is tell anybody to do something that’s contrary to their conscience. Of course I wouldn’t do that.”

    Ryan, who has given a tepid endorsement to Trump, said he understands he is in a “very strange situation” to be supporting the party’s presumptive nominee while not urging his fellow lawmakers to follow suit. But he said Trump is “a very unique nominee.”

    Ryan is the highest elected Republican official and the official chairman of the Republican convention next month. He stunned the political world in May when he held back his endorsement of Trump before grudgingly offering his support earlier this month. Since then, Ryan has been critical of Trump, calling the candidate’s complaints about the impartiality of a judge of Mexican heritage a “textbook definition of a racist comment” and reiterating his opposition to Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban all foreign Muslims from entering the United States.

    As speaker of the House, Ryan said he feels a responsibility not to lead “some chasm in the middle of our party” that would hurt GOP chances to win the White House. His reluctance to embrace the party’s nominee wholeheartedly is remarkable for a Republican who was the GOP’s vice presidential candidate in 2012.

    Ryan was interviewed Thursday for Sunday’s “Meet the Press.” An excerpt was released Friday.

    Trump, speaking Friday at a packed convention center in The Woodlands, Texas, not far from Houston, tried to play down the rift in the party and bragged about the money he’s raised in fundraisers across the state over the last two days, including an event Friday in San Antonio.

    “The party is doing very well,” he said, insisting that reports of a party revolt were overblown. “The party is actually liking me. You know, … I’m an outsider and historically they don’t love the outsiders. But I think they’re starting to like me.”

    Trump added: “You don’t hear about the tremendous numbers of people — and I’m even talking about the politicians — that are totally supportive. If one person raises a little question, it’s like, ‘Oh, did you hear?’ Let me tell you folks, we have tremendous support. Tremendous. But the biggest support of all by far: right here. I’m the messenger.”

    Ryan told reporters at a news conference Thursday that he will continue to speak out in defense of conservative principles, despite a warning from Trump that Republican congressional leaders should “be quiet.”

    He and other congressional leaders “represent a separate but equal branch of government,” Ryan said as he vowed to “robustly defend the separation of powers.”

    Ryan’s comments came as Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., a 30-year House veteran and committee chairman, said he will not endorse Trump for president. Maryland’s Republican Gov. Larry Hogan also said he will not vote for the billionaire presidential candidate. And Ohio Gov. John Kasich, a former GOP candidate for president, said he’s still not ready to endorse Trump.

    Ryan said he has no plans to rescind his endorsement of Trump, despite his differences with him.

    “I don’t have a plan to do that,” he said Thursday, calling differences among party leaders “just the way things work.”

    In the face of early opinion surveys showing him trailing Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump insisted Friday he’s well positioned to win.

    “We have support like perhaps nobody’s ever had when they’ve run for office,” he said. “Certainly at this stage, I don’t think anybody’s ever seen anything like this.”

    Associated Press writer Jill Colvin in The Woodlands, Texas, contributed to this report.

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    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington, U.S. June 10, 2016. REUTERS/Gary Cameron - RTSGYRH

    Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton addresses the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in Washington, U.S. June 10, 2016. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

    NEW ORLEANS — Donald Trump’s unconventional campaign is about to feel the heat of political organization.

    Hillary Clinton and her Democratic allies have invested at least $41 million in commercials in crucial states such as Ohio, Florida and Nevada over the next six weeks, a series of summer broadsides against her Republican opponent. Those messages will be echoed by hundreds of Clinton workers in those same states and amplified by President Barack Obama and other top Democrats.

    Trump has made few preparations for contending with that sort of well-oiled political machine. His campaign has no advertising plans and is just now hiring employees in important states. Republican leaders are far from in agreement on how best to talk to voters about the polarizing billionaire, or if they will at all. And Trump is running out of time: Early voting starts in Iowa in just 3 1/2 months.

    “It’s political malpractice,” said Mitch Stewart, Obama’s 2012 battleground states director and a Clinton backer. “He’s in for a rude awakening. This isn’t a national vote contest where you can be on cable news every day and dominate coverage. This is literally going state by state and coming up with a plan in each.”

    Clinton’s large June and July ad buy comes as a reward for her near-constant fundraising. In May, she raised $27 million in primary election money that must be used before she accepts her party’s nomination at the convention in late July.

    Trump is playing catch up. He did not begin raising money in earnest until May 25, having largely financed his primary bid through personal loans to his campaign.

    Clinton’s latest spots, highlighting her past advocacy for children, are an attempt to reintroduce the returning presidential candidate — she lost the 2008 Democratic primary to Obama — to general election voters. Her campaign is spending about $23 million on ads by the convention, according to advertising tracker Kantar Media’s CMAG.

    But those voters are also hearing from Priorities USA, a super political action committee financed by millions of dollars from Clinton’s staunchest supporters. The goal of those that $18.7 million batch of ads: cast Trump as a con-man and bully unprepared to be commander in chief.

    “When I saw Donald Trump mock someone with a disability, it showed me his soul. It showed me his heart,” says the father of a young girl with spina bifida, whose story is featured in one of the ads.

    It’s a strategy Democrats successfully used four years ago against Obama’s GOP opponent, Mitt Romney. Over that summer, Priorities USA relied on an intensely negative advertising campaign to define Romney as unconcerned with the worries of average Americans.

    Now, facing an opponent with far higher negative ratings and a weaker political organization, Democrats see an opportunity not only to retain the White House but make a strong play for winning control of the Senate and adding scores of Democrats to the House.

    [Watch Video]

    In the past week, Obama, Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., have lined up behind Clinton. Her primary rival, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, is expected to support her eventually.

    Trump has struggled to win over much of his party’s establishment and lacks that kind of a bench behind his message. Many top Republicans, including Romney and past Presidents George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, do not plan to attend the party convention in July. Others refuse to answer questions about their nominee, largely leaving Trump to defend himself.

    “Donald Trump has people hiding under rocks hoping he doesn’t know where they are,” said New York Rep. Steve Israel, former chairman of the House Democrats’ campaign arm.

    For example, in critically important Ohio, where the state GOP backed Gov. John Kasich’s failed presidential campaign, party officials have been unwilling to throw much support behind Trump.

    Kasich, who had signed a pledge to back the Republican nominee, recently told MSNBC he “just can’t do it” unless Trump makes some significant changes.

    Marc Short, a Republican strategist who advised Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s 2016 presidential campaign and previously led political operations for the billionaire Koch brothers’ network of conservative donors, said Trump would be in a far stronger position if he weren’t still getting organized.

    “He has been underestimated throughout the process, so I’m hesitant to be too judgmental,” Short said. “But it is always better when everyone is singing from the same song sheet.”

    Trump, who has belittled the need for endorsements, has signaled a willingness to go it alone if he believes the Republican leadership is undermining him.

    “Republicans, either stick together or let me just do it by myself,” he told a rally this past week in Atlanta.

    Undeniably, Clinton’s long-cultivated donor network and commitment to fundraising gave her a running start on general election staffing. She began sending employees to Ohio and other states months ago. Trump, who plans to rely on Republican National Committee support, has few, if any staff singularly devoted to his campaign in any of the most competitive states.

    Clinton’s aides argue their early investment will pay off in the final weeks of the campaign.

    Data analyzed by Obama’s campaign in 2008 showed the enthusiasm of his supporters in the last six weeks was higher in areas where the campaign’s local operations got an early start, according to former staffers.

    Greg Beswich, executive director of the Ohio Democratic Party, said of Trump’s people: “They’re not putting together the kind of campaign you need to win in Ohio, never mind in a number of swing states.”

    Lerer reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Jonathan Lemire in New York contributed to this report.

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    A health worker prepares insecticide before fumigating a neighborhood in San Juan, in this January 27, 2016, file photo. Researchers around the world are now convinced the Zika virus can cause the birth defect microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can result in paralysis, the World Health Organization said on March 31, 2016.  REUTERS/Alvin Baez/Files - RTSD3ED

    A health worker prepares insecticide before fumigating a neighborhood in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Jan. 27, 2016. Researchers around the world are now convinced the Zika virus can cause the birth defect microcephaly as well as Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that can result in paralysis. Photo by Alvin Baez/Files/Reuters

    There are alarming signs the Zika virus is spreading rapidly in Puerto Rico, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

    Blood banks on the island have seen a steady rise in the portion of donations that have to be rejected because they contain Zika virus. Last week, 1.1 percent of the donated units were contaminated.

    If that many people are infected with Zika when they go to give blood, it’s a sign of how much virus spread there is going on in Puerto Rico, CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden warned in an interview with STAT.

    “What this means is that pregnant women in Puerto Rico are really at risk. That’s the bottom line here,” Frieden said.

    “It isn’t that hundreds of thousands of people will die. That’s not what’s going to happen here,” he said. “It’s that we will have in Puerto Rico and potentially in parts of the US — in travelers and potentially even in some local transmission — we have terrible tragedies that will occur. Change people’s whole lives.”

    Frieden said the blood bank data suggests that as many as 2 percent of adults in Puerto Rico are getting infected monthly at this point — and it’s not yet high season for transmission. Activity of mosquito-spread viruses typically peaks in the summer.

    “If current trends continue, thousands of pregnant women will get infected with Zika,” said Frieden. “And there could be between dozens and hundreds of children with microcephaly born [there] in the next year.”

    The CDC estimates 25 percent of the island’s population could be infected with Zika in its first year of spread there. Puerto Rican women give birth to about 32,000 babies a year.

    Zika infection during pregnancy — particularly, it appears, in the first trimester — can lead to devastating birth defects.

    [Watch Video]

    The most notable — and the one that raised suspicions that the Zika virus could affect profound damage in developing fetuses — is microcephaly, a condition where babies are born with unusually small heads and brains that are not completely formed.

    Over time, researchers in Brazil studying that country’s large cohort of Zika-affected newborns have reported other forms of brain damage, visual and hearing impairment, contorted limbs, and other birth defects, in what is coming to be known as congenital Zika syndrome.

    Frieden noted it is still not clear if children who were infected in the womb but who appear physically normal at birth will experience development delays later. That has been seen with other viruses that can cause birth defects in babies born to women infected during pregnancy.

    The primary focus of the CDC’s Zika response is to do all it can to reduce the risk that pregnant women will be infected. Frieden said the agency is working with local partners trying to identify effective steps that can be taken there.

    HUD, the US government’s department of housing and urban development, is putting screens on the windows of public housing units, he noted. Many homes in Puerto Rico don’t have screens or air conditioning — features scientists believe will lessen the risk of wide spread of Zika virus in the continental US.

    “We can’t make zero the number of infants who will be affected. But if we can reduce by 10 percent or 30 percent or 50 percent, we will have prevented that many tragedies. And that’s what we’re working to do,” Frieden said.

    Health authorities in Puerto Rico have already reported one case of microcephaly there. No details were released but the pregnancy did not go full term.

    Puerto Rico’s department of health reported Friday that 191 pregnant women on the island had tested positive for Zika. But a peculiarity of the disease the virus triggers means that number is almost certainly an underestimate.

    The majority of people who contract Zika don’t have symptoms; it’s thought only 1 in 5 do. So it’s difficult to know how many people in affected areas have been infected.

    Eventually scientists will do what’s called a sero-survey, taking blood samples from hundreds of people to look for the antibodies that indicate they were infected with Zika.

    Studies done after the chikungunya virus — also spread by Aedes mosquitoes — swept through Puerto Rico showed that after the first year the virus was there, a quarter of the population of the island had been infected.

    It’s too soon to do that work for Zika. Still, looking at the rate at which donated units of blood are testing positive provides a real-time hint of how many infections are taking place.

    In fact, the estimate it provides is on the low side, Frieden noted, because anyone infected who has symptoms would be turned away if they tried to donate blood.

    “It’s the closest thing we have to a real time pulse on what’s happening,” he said. “And what we’re finding is very concerning, because this is showing a steady and substantial increase in infections.”

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on June 17, 2016. Find the original story here.

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    St Georges Hall is illuminated with a rainbow flag following a vigil in memory of the victims of the gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, in Liverpool, northern England , June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Phil Noble - RTX2G283

    St Georges Hall is illuminated with a rainbow flag following a vigil in memory of the victims of the gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, in Liverpool, northern England, on June 13, 2016. Photo by Phil Noble/Reuters

    In the first few nights after a gunman opened fire at gay nightclub Pulse, killing 49 people, many mourned with light.

    Rainbow light shone on across the New York City skyline, from City Hall to the spire of One World Trade. In Paris, the Eiffel Tower was lit, top to bottom, with the colors of the rainbow. And on Monday, hundreds of people stood outside Stonewall, where a 1969 riot against police launched the modern gay rights movement, and raised their cell phones and candles in solidarity as a speaker read the names of the victims in Orlando.

    “If you go to [full house lights], you might be helping the active shooter by illuminating his targets. But if you have a blackout, you might be harming the patrons’ ability to exit the building.”

    As the world paid tribute, many lighting designers are quietly considering the question of what they could do to keep people safe in a similar scenario.

    During performances in theaters and concert halls, lighting staff members are often situated on an elevated platform at an ideal vantage point to see that something is wrong before anyone else. Now, they’re wondering: in an active shooter situation, could their tools help curb a disaster?

    One lighting designer considering this question is Washington D.C.-based Kathryn Blair. The morning of the shooting, she posted in a Facebook group for lighting enthusiasts, calling for the industry to brainstorm an active-shooter protocol for lighting staff — maybe at LDI, a lighting trade conference in October.

    “What can we do in our capacity, with our equipment, to help you save lives and possibly hinder shooters?” she wrote.

    Of all the media coverage from Orlando this week, Blair said one thing “haunts” her: a Snapchat video that 25-year-old Amanda Alvear posted showing the first few seconds of the shooting.

    The video shows a club environment that is undisturbed in the first few moments of the attack. As shots rang out, the music continued to play and the club lights continued to flash their usual rhythm on the dance floor. Alvear was killed in the attack.

    “You can tell in the background that nothing had changed,” Blair told the NewsHour. She wonders if a shift in lighting could have saved people in those first few moments.

    “It’s not hard to shoot 12 rounds in the few seconds when everyone is trying to figure out what’s going on,” she said.

    In theater, safety is a serious issue

    Safety is not a new conversation in theater, with a complex set of guidelines in place for nearly every conceivable disaster. Safety standards for entertainment venues are usually enforced by an “authority-having jurisdiction,” usually the fire marshal, who is responsible for applying the National Fire Protection Association’s Life Safety Code, according to Kristi Ross-Clausen, a member of the Equity union for stage managers and IATSE union for stage hands who has been in the industry for more than 25 years.

    Venues must also follow zoning codes, the National Electrical Code, comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act and be prepared in the event of a natural disaster.

    The Occupational Safety & Health Administration under the U.S. Department of Labor maintains a list of standards for how employers (including theaters) can respond to natural disasters or disease outbreak.

    Theaters also have the option of ALICE training, an active shooter training that many schools have adopted in the past few years, Ross-Clausen said. But safety information is often scattered across different agencies, and not necessarily clear to the staff who work live events.

    Jim Digby, production manager for Linkin Park, founded the Event Safety Alliance after a 2011 incident at the Indiana state fair where a stage collapse caused seven deaths. The group works to consolidate safety information from national guidelines, building codes and their own recommendations.

    “We, as an industry, have been very fortunate in that we don’t cause a lot of accidents with any regularity, but we also don’t follow standardized protocol as of yet,” Digby said.

    ‘I’m one of the first targets’

    There was one point of agreement between those interviewed for this article, despite the guidelines professionals in the industry follow when it comes to safety, there is no clear set of standards for lighting staff in an active shooter situation.

    Nook Schoenfeld, a lighting designer who has toured with the Beastie Boys and Gloria Estefan, said in his 30 years of experience, many venues he has worked at have “absolutely zero” preparation for an active shooter.

    “That’s a definite concern,” he said. “We have nothing going on, and we need to have something going on. This is definitely the time to start thinking about it.”

    In many venues, technical staff run the lighting board from a raised platform. That makes those staff particularly vulnerable in an active shooter situation — and makes this conversation all the more urgent for them, Schoenfeld said.

    “There’s no doubt in my mind that I’m one of the first targets that somebody would shoot at,” he said. “And I’m in the position where I’m the [last] person to escape. Once they’re there, I’m surrounded by people that will be going in every direction.”

    The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in memory of the victims of the gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, in Paris, France, June 13, 2016. Picture taken with long exposure and a zoom lens. REUTERS/Gonzalo Fuentes TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2G29A

    The Eiffel Tower is illuminated in memory of the victims of the gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, in Paris, France, on June 13, 2016. Photo by Gonzalo Fuentes/Reuters

    Designing for an emergency situation

    On Nov. 13, three gunmen killed 90 people at the Bataclan concert hall in the Marais area of Paris during a Eagles of Death Metal concert. In recent days, a number of media outlets have drawn comparison between the the Bataclan and Orlando, including French newspaper Le Parisien, which wrote that in both instances the crowd had “taken a little time to understand what was happening.” Nathalie Jardin, a 31-year-old lighting designer who had worked at the Bataclan for four years, was among the victims of that attack.

    Richard Cadena, a production electrician based in Austin, Texas, said a central point of debate is whether to turn on all the house lights in the event of an emergency, or keep them off and only illuminate the exits.

    “The debate is, if you go to [full house lights], you might be helping the active shooter by illuminating his targets. But if you have a blackout, you might be harming the patrons’ ability to exit the building,” he said. “I don’t think there’s a definitive answer to that.”

    Ross-Clausen said that lighting staff could flash the house lights on and off, which could signal a warning to a crowd “if it’s a slow enough repetition of the flash.”

    “I fear that what we’re seeing here is a new norm.” — Jim Digby, founder of Event Safety Alliance

    Michael Friedline, a lighting designer and owner of TFG Event Support Services in Galveston, Texas, also posted in the same Facebook group as Blair to ask others to brainstorm solutions. “A House Manager/DJ/light tech usually has a commanding view of an event and often is the first aware of a emergency,” he wrote. “However suddenly bringing an event/club to a halt might induce more panic.”

    Friedline pointed out that in a number of venues, the switch for the house lights is inaccessible to the first people who might notice an active shooter. “House lighting might be someplace accessible to the technical crew, or it might be down a hallway almost half a block away,” he said.

    And in an emergency, most manual solutions put the onus on lighting staff to stay in position and risk their lives. Blair also proposed the idea of a “panic button” — a standardized set of lighting cues that could be activated by one push of a button. In an entertainment venue, “we control everything that you would see and hear,” she said. But in an attack, “we should immediately surrender that to something that’s automated.”

    Right now, there are no concrete answers, only a consensus that these questions are not going away, Digby said.

    “I fear that what we’re seeing here is a new norm,” he said. “There isn’t going to be one solution that fits everything.”

    The post When there’s an active shooter, can lighting save lives? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 17, 2016. REUTERS/Trish Badger - RTX2GVG3

    Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 17, 2016. Photo by Trish Badger/REUTERS

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump referred to a U.S.-born federal judge as a “Mexican” and saw a backlash, even from other Republicans.

    A black Democratic lawmaker called Republican New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez a “Mexican” during a heated exchange with another lawmaker and was forced to apologize. John Calipari, then New Jersey Nets coach, faced criticism for lashing out at a Latino reporter by calling him a “Mexican idiot.”

    True, the term “Mexican” describes a nationality for a people of a country south of the U.S. It also has been used as a slur against U.S.-born Latinos as a way to dehumanize them and dismiss them as foreigners, according to scholars and those who’ve been targeted by the loaded word.

    In the latest example, Trump recently used the word against U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel, an American of Mexican origin. It came after Curiel agreed to unseal the details in a class-action lawsuit by people who say they were victims of fraud by Trump’s real estate business education venture, the now-defunct Trump University.

    “The judge, who happens to be, we believe, Mexican,” Trump told a San Diego crowd in a rant against Curiel. “Which is great. I think that’s fine.”

    But when pressed over his remarks about the Indiana-born judge, Trump suggested Curiel lacked the ability to be objective because of his ethnic background.

    Curiel has “an inherent conflict of interest” because Trump is “building a wall,” the billionaire real estate mogul said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. He also told CNN that Curiel is “of Mexican heritage,” dismissing the fact that Curiel was born in Indiana and saying, “He’s proud of his heritage.”

    Trump’s remarks, however, drew strong condemnation from Latino activists and Republicans. GOP House Speaker Paul Ryan called Trump’s remarks “the textbook definition of racist comments.” Roger Rocha Jr., president of the League of United Latin American Citizen, the nation’s oldest Latino civil rights group, said Trump’s statement “epitomizes racism and is a slap in the face to minority judges across the country.”

    Alexandro Jose Gradilla, a Chicana and Chicano Studies professor at California State University, Fullerton, said the way the word “Mexican” was used to describe a Mexican-American judge likely helped fuel the widespread criticism

    “Donald Trump’s use of the term represents the long history of the word in the U.S.,” Gradilla said. “‘Mexican’ was often a stand-in for one of many closely related epithet targeting Mexican-Americans.”

    That’s because the term “Mexican” often was tossed at Mexican-Americans to remind them that whites didn’t think they belonged in the country or were part of the nation’s history, especially after the U.S.-Mexico War, Gradilla said.

    “That’s what Trump is playing with when he described (Curiel) as simply a ‘Mexican,'” Gradilla said.

    Even as late as 1954, U.S. Supreme Court justices were confused about the legal status of Mexican-Americans. During oral arguments about a case challenging a Texas law that allowed some Mexican-Americans to be excluded from juries, justices repeatedly called the residents in question “Mexicans,” and one justice, Felix Frankfurter, used another epithet.

    That epithet sparked civil rights lawyer Gus Garcia to argue that the first immigrants to live illegally in Texas were Southern whites.

    Michelle Tellez, a Mexican-American Studies professor at the University of Arizona, said many Mexican-Americans also view the term “Mexican” as synonymous with bad because of the way it has been used against them.

    “It’s a reminder that we don’t belong,” said Tellez, who was targeted by the term and other epithets while going up in San Diego.

    To get around it, Mexican-Americans will call themselves “mexicano”- the Spanish version of Mexican – Latino or some other terms that also tend to emphasize their middle-class status in the U.S., Tellez said.

    Lauro Garza, a retired police officer who lives in Houston and host the podcast Latinotalk Texas, said he grew up thinking “Mexican” was a negative word to be avoided. “It’s comparable with other slurs, depending how it’s used,” Garza said.

    Garza said even whites are uncomfortable using the term “Mexican” and thinks that’s why some white Republicans are denouncing Trump.

    But Trump is hardly alone in drawing scrutiny for using the word.

    In 2011, New Mexico Democratic state lawmaker Sheryl Williams Stapleton gave a public apology after she told a Latina Republican lawmaker she was “carrying the Mexican’s water on the fourth floor” – a reference to Martinez, the nation’s first elected Latina governor. Calipari was fined $25,000 by the NBA in 1997 after referring to a reporter as a “Mexican idiot.”

    Gloria Garcia, 52, of Albuquerque, said Trump’s use of the word was largely the reason she came out to vote in New Mexico’s primary despite news that presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton had collected enough delegates for the Democratic nomination. “It’s offensive,” said Garcia, who voted for Clinton. “It’s like he’s saying we are dirty.”

    Steven Michael Quezada, an Albuquerque resident and a Mexican-American actor who starred in the AMC television series “Breaking Bad,” said it all depends on the tone of the person using the term. “At the end of the day, we’re Mexican. I’m Mexican,” Quezada said. “After all, this was all once Mexico.”

    The post Trump’s ‘Mexican’ label against judge brings up word’s history appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Belgian soldiers stand guard outside the prime minister's office building during a meeting of the government's security council in Brussels, Belgium, June 18, 2016. Authorities arrested 12 people possibly planning assaults during the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. Photo By Francois Lenoir/Reuters

    Belgian soldiers stand guard outside the prime minister’s office building during a meeting of the government’s security council in Brussels, Belgium, June 18, 2016. Authorities arrested 12 people possibly planning assaults during the Euro 2016 soccer tournament. Photo By Francois Lenoir/Reuters

    Belgian authorities have charged three men with “attempted terrorist murder” after dozens of people were swept up in raids on Saturday across Brussels.

    The three men also face charges of “participating in the activities of terrorist group” while nine other people have been released from custody, Agence-France Press reported.

    Belgian authorities initially arrested 12 people who they said may have been planning terrorist strikes this weekend during the Euro 2016 soccer tournament.

    Earlier on Saturday, a Belgian federal prosecutor said 40 people were rounded up in raids at dozens of homes in and around Brussels and brought in for questioning “in connection with a criminal investigation concerning terrorism,” Reuters reported.

    Flemish public broadcaster VTM reported that of the 40 people questioned, 12 were taken into custody for potentially planning attacks in Brussels during a soccer match featuring Belgium’s national team.

    The soccer tournament is held in France, where 130 people were killed in November during multiple assaults for which the Islamic State claimed responsibility.

    Some of those who participated in those attacks were traced to Belgium, a country that has been on guard since a two-pronged attack in March killed 32 people in the country’s main airport and a crowded subway.

    Both countries have remained vigilant amid high security during the European championship soccer tournament.

    Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel, who gave few specifics about the arrests, said an attack inside his country was “possible and likely,” according to the Associated Press.

    “We are extremely vigilant, we are monitoring the situation hour by hour and we will continue with determination the fight against extremism, radicalization and terrorism,” Michel said.

    The post Three charged with ‘attempted terrorist murder’ in Belgium appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A view of the High Court of Justice in Cairo, Egypt, January 21, 2016. Egypt's highest appeals court adjourned the retrial of former president Hosni Mubarak until April on charges over the killing of protesters during the 2011 uprising that ended his 30-year rule. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany - RTX23D41

    A view of the High Court of Justice in Cairo, Egypt, January 21, 2016. Photo by Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters

    An Egyptian court finalized a ruling on Saturday in an espionage case that sentenced six people to death, including three journalists tried in absentia. The country’s former president, Mohammed Morsi, was also given life in prison in the same case.

    The defendants were convicted of leaking documents to Qatari intelligence that exposed information about Egypt’s armed forces and its weapons.

    Those sentenced to death Saturday include two journalists from Al Jazeera and one from the pro-Muslim Brotherhood Rassd News Network, who were all in absentia, according to Al Jazeera. However, the other three — political activist Ahmed Afifi, flight attendant Mohamed Kilani, and academic Ahmed Ismail — are in custody.

    Ibrahim Helal, former director of news at Al Jazeera’s Arabic channel and one of the people sentenced to death in absentia, told Al Jazeera that the entire judicial process was fabricated.

    “This is a political case,” he said. “They want to threaten all journalists inside and outside of Egypt.”

    Helal was sentenced with Alaa Sablan, who was an Al Jazeera reporter until last year.

    Morsi had already been sentenced to death for plotting jail breaks during the height of an uprising against former president Hosni Mubarak. He has also been sentenced to life for spying on behalf of Palestinian group Hamas and 20 years for his connection to past protests.

    After finishing the bureaucratic step of seeking advice from Egypt’s grand mufti, the religious interpreter of Islamic law, the Cairo court on Saturday reaffirmed the initial verdict it made on May 7.

    Morsi was Egypt’s first democratically elected president in 2012. Following mass protests against Morsi’s rule, then-army chief Abdel Fattah el-Sissi overthrew him and became the presidential incumbent in 2014. El-Sissi has since cracked down on opponents of his regime, including the Muslim Brotherhood, which was once Egypt’s most-organized political group and of which Morsi is a member.

    Relations between Qatar and Egypt have been cool since Morsi, who was supported by Qatar, was ousted, according to Reuters.

    Al Jazeera says it has been consistently targeted by Egyptian authorities since the news channel began covering anti-government protests in 2011.

    “By the end of 2013, five Al Jazeera staff were behind bars, imprisoned simply for the sole reason of being journalists,” Al Jazeera said. “Al Jazeera continues to reject any accusations that it has in any way compromised its journalistic integrity.”

    The post Egypt finalizes death ruling for Al Jazeera journalists tried in abstentia appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. President Barack Obama is helped up by children as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama watches during an "Every Kid in a Park" event at Yosemite National Park, California, U.S., June 18, 2016. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2GXXT

    U.S. President Barack Obama is helped up by children as U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama watches during an “Every Kid in a Park” event at Yosemite National Park, California, U.S., June 18, 2016. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. — President Barack Obama asked parents Saturday to teach their children to love, not hate, and to appreciate differences as something to cherish, not fear.

    In his weekly radio and internet address, Obama said he’s thought a lot about parents who’ve had to explain the shooting deaths of 49 people at an Orlando, Florida, nightclub to their kids.

    He lamented that moments of silence observed after deadly mass shootings have given way to months of “inexcusable” silence and inaction. He called on parents who want their children to reach adulthood in a safer, more loving world to speak up for it – and to speak out about the dangers guns present.

    “They need to hear us say these things even when those who disagree are loud and are powerful,” Obama said in the pre-Father’s Day address. “We need our kids to hear from us why tolerance and equality matter, about the times their absence has scarred our history and how greater understanding will better the future they will inherit.”

    [Watch Video]

    The president, who has two teenage daughters, said being a parent teaches that some things can’t be controlled.

    “But as parents, we should remember there’s one responsibility that’s always in our power to fulfill: our obligation to give our children unconditional love and support, to show them the difference between right and wrong, to teach them to love, not to hate, and to appreciate our differences not as something to fear, but as a great gift to cherish,” Obama said.

    “To me, fatherhood means being there. So in the days ahead, let’s be there for each other,” he added. “Let’s be there for our families, and for those that are hurting. Let’s come together in our communities and as a country. And let’s never forget how much good we can achieve simply by loving one another.”

    The post Obama urges parents to teach children to cherish differences appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Farmworkers fix an irrigation pipe in a cornfield at the Bowles Farming Company in Los Banos, California, United States May 5, 2015. California water regulators on Tuesday adopted the state's first rules for mandatory cutbacks in urban water use as the region's catastrophic drought enters its fourth year. Urban users will be hardest hit, even though they account for only 20 percent of state water consumption, while the state's massive agricultural sector, which the Public Policy Institute of California says uses 80 percent of human-related consumption, has been exempted. Picture taken May 5, 2015. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson - RTX1C29Y

    Farmworkers fix an irrigation pipe in a cornfield at the Bowles Farming Company in Los Banos, California, United States May 5, 2015. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    DUNN, N.C. — Some seasonal agricultural workers were finishing a meal after a long day of planting sweet potato seeds when Julie Pittman pulled into to their camp.

    Up since dawn, they had worked through an 80-degree day that was just beginning to cool off. Now, Pittman, a paralegal with the Farmworker Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina, wanted to get their attention.

    The health care law passed in 2010 requires you to have health insurance, she told them in Spanish. If you don’t get it, she said, you could be fined.

    “Cuánto cuesta?” said one worker, wanting to know the cost.

    These farmworkers, living in the United States legally through the H-2A visa program, must be insured, like most U.S. citizens and legal residents. But reaching them is an uphill battle. They live in cinder block homes built by employers in isolated areas. They work long days, and often, a full week.

    The majority come from Mexico to work in Florida, Georgia and North Carolina. The countdown clock starts when they enter the country. They have just 60 days to learn about coinsurance and copayments, and decide whether to purchase a high- or low-deductible plan.

    Alexis Guild, a migrant health policy analyst at Farmworker Justice, an advocacy group based in Washington, said North Carolina has been “very successful” in enrolling H-2A farmworkers, thanks to a yearslong partnership among various nonprofits and health centers.

    In the camp near Dunn, about one-third of the 31 residents showed up for Pittman’s presentation, gathering in a small dining room with two picnic tables and cement floors.

    The cost of health insurance depends on the type purchased, income and family size, Pittman told them. Some people don’t have monthly payments; others could pay $40 per month. Consider, she added, that this year’s fine is $695 or 2 percent of wages, whichever is greater.

    Antonio Flores, of Veracruz, said he worried about the cost. He is in the U.S. for six months and has a wife and son to support. Like other farmworkers based in North Carolina, he makes $10.72 per hour

    “Would I need to pay the fine?” said Flores, 29.

    It’s a difficult question because some workers qualify for an exemption or are offered insurance through their employer.

    Mackenzie Mann, a health educator with North Carolina Farmworkers Project, said the only way to be sure is to fill out a form.

    On a recent Wednesday, Mann and a co-worker traveled through a narrow road to a camp in Angier, where workers were waiting for them with insurance letters and payment questions.

    On its way to surpass last year’s enrollment totals, the group has signed up about 150 workers since February and they still have two months to go.

    First in line at the camp was Apolinar Castillo, of Zacatecas, Mexico, who got a bill in the latest batch of mail he received from his boss.

    Castillo, 44, said that after 15 years toiling in the nation’s fields he didn’t think twice about paying $10.55 per month for health insurance. “I feel confident that, if there is an emergency, I can dial 911 and use my (insurance) card,” Castillo said.

    After some confusion, Castillo was told that he had already made the monthly payment and the bill he had was old.

    Farmworkers receive their mail sporadically, which means deadlines can be missed, further complicating the process. To avoid further delays, Mann submits electronic copies. She uses a smartphone as a hotspot to connect to the internet, a spotty service that requires time and patience.

    “I’m hungry,” grumbled a man in a whisper as he waited for Mann to finish up with yet another worker.

    Workers under the H-2A visa program are a small minority of the nation’s more than 2.4 million farmworkers, many of whom are in the country illegally and don’t have access to health insurance.

    Agriculture ranks among the most dangerous industries, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Farmworkers face exposure to pesticides, and risk heat exhaustion and heatstroke.

    Outside of emergencies, farmworkers can use community health centers, which receive federal funding to care for the poor and uninsured. In North Carolina, about 10 percent of the centers’ more than 450,000 patients in 2014 were agricultural workers.

    Dr. Eugene H. Maynard, of the Benson Area Medical Center, said providing care for farmworkers is a challenge. Many procedures can be done at his office, where prices are based on a sliding fee scale. But some problems require specialists, whose steep prices are out of the reach to most workers.

    Often, Maynard said, he places workers on waiting lists for charity care, but they are so long that workers return to Mexico before seeing a specialist.

    “Insurance makes that process a lot easier,” Maynard said.

    Alice Pollard or the North Carolina Community Health Center Association, said access to health insurance also opens the door to preventive care for, say, diabetes and high blood pressure, two chronic conditions that are prevalent among farmworkers.

    Some are skeptical, though, that access to health insurance would translate into better health care.

    Thomas Arcury, director of the Center for Worker Health at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, said farmworkers work long hours, don’t have access to transportation or accumulate paid sick days, which is why many ignore their illnesses.

    “There are a lot of roadblocks,” Arcury said.

    What’s more, if they purchase insurance in one state and then move to another, the insurance may not work in the new state.

    Large farmers are required to offer health insurance for their workers. They have raised the issue of cost, arguing that they already provide workers’ compensation, which covers work-related injuries.

    U.S. Rep. Renee Ellmers, R-N.C., has twice introduced a bill to exclude farmworkers under the H-2A visa program from the employer mandate. In a statement, she said the cost would put many farmers out of business.

    “As North Carolina is the number one producer of sweet potatoes and tobacco in the country, it is imperative that we listen to our farmers when they relay a problem that could cause significant harm to their farming operation and our state’s economy,” Ellmers said.

    Steve Davis of Greene County Health Care, a community health center that enrolled nearly 800 workers last year, said most farmworkers know of workers who were injured in a soccer game or got violently ill while in the U.S. and landed in the emergency room.

    The bottom line, he said, is that there is a tremendous need to provide health services to farmworkers and health insurance is a step in that direction.

    Last October, for example, Feliciano Gonzalez was picking sweet potatoes when he felt an unbearable pain in his arm and chest. In his 17 years picking and planting food in the U.S., Gonzalez, 50, said he never felt so sick.

    He underwent a number of tests in the hospital emergency room. Doctors kept him overnight and told him to take a couple days off, he said.

    The hospital billed $14,900. It wasn’t a work injury, so his boss’ workers’ compensation insurance didn’t cover the expense. Luckily, Gonzalez had health insurance. His portion of the bill was $750.

    “We need to be protected,” Gonzalez said.

    The post Uphill battle to get seasonal farmworkers health insurance appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Zataari2

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    AMY GUTTMAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND: An hour’s drive from Jordan’s capital of Amman, this family-owned pastry shop, called Farouk Sweets, looks like a typical Middle Eastern bakery. Customers stock up on pastries for the weekend.

    In the back, five bakers are busy filling large wedding orders.

    What’s unusual is that this shop is inside Zaatari, the largest Syrian refugee camp in the world, spread over three square miles of desert.

    Opened by the Jordanian government and the United Nations in 2012, Zaatari lies just across the border with Syria. Eighty thousand people used to live in tents and now live in shelters made from corrugated metal containers called “caravans.”

    Refugees thought they would be here a week, maybe a month. No one imagined that stay would turn into five years and counting. Even though, for many, home is less than ten miles away, refugees have had to recreate their lives here.

    That means, for many, opening up small businesses, just like they did back home. The pastry shop is one of three-thousand businesses inside the camp. Many line the main road.

    There’s a supermarket, a pizza place, a falafel stand, a gardening shop, and a store to rent bridal gowns. Abuelmena’em Abu Hesenih and his four brothers own Farouk Sweets.

    ABUELMENA’EM ABU HESENIH, SYRIAN REFUGEE: There is good opportunity to work here. Thursday, Friday and Monday are busiest, because at that time they’re celebrating weddings.

    AMY GUTTMAN: His family abandoned their chain of bakeries when they fled their besieged hometown of Daraa, in southern Syria. Two-thirds of the refugees in Zaatari are from there. Abu Hesenih and some two-dozen relatives have opened four shops inside the camp. Their business is about financial and psychological survival.

    ABUELMENA’EM ABU HESENIH: We get up every morning at 6 o’clock to escape the situation we’re in. we have to work.

    AMY GUTTMAN: There’s a long history of trade between Jordanians and Syrians, cemented by strong family ties.  Jordanians have partnered with Syrian refugees providing them credit and wholesale supplies to start over.

    In addition to whatever funds they brought with them, the UN provides refugees vouchers to pay for cooking and heating gas, as well as 28-dollars a month per person to pay for food which adds up to 140 dollars a month for a family of five.

    That money helps refugees buy products from shops in the camp. The most popular, attract local customers from nearby towns. Some Jordanian partners are even exporting goods produced in the camp.

    ABU HESENIH, BAKER: Jordanians, they come and buy from here. Taxi drivers pick up sweets to take outside, and all the Syrians that live outside the camp, for weddings, they make orders and pick up their sweets from here.

    AMY GUTTMAN: According to the UN, businesses inside Zaatari generate $13 million a month for the refugees and the Jordanians they do business with.

    Mohammed Khaer Al Jokadar opened a barber shop in the camp two years ago to support himself and 14 relatives who fled Syria with him.

    MOHAMMED KHAER AL-JOKADAR, SYRIAN REFUGEE: Ever since it opened, I’ve had customers. And business has been okay. Nobody can go without a haircut. It’s like water and food.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Al Jokadar and his family are from Homs, previously Syria’s third largest city.

    MOHAMMED KHAER AL-JOKADAR: Our house was destroyed. so for us, we have nothing left in Syria .

    AMY GUTTMAN: Initially, Al Jokader and his family settled in Amman four years ago. But, he couldn’t work legally outside the camp then, so he moved to Zaatari, where there’s free electricity and housing and better opportunities to use his skills.

    MOHAMMED KHAER AL-JOKADAR: We need to generate an income in the camp, you can make some money.

    AMY GUTTMAN: The UN also pays some refugees to do jobs around the camp. Al Jokader paints murals on caravans.

    Beyond the camps, in Jordan’s cities, the government has loosened employment restrictions on refugees and is investing in industries Syrians are skilled in — construction, agriculture, and manufacturing.

    And, technology. Oasis 500, a Jordanian company that mentors and invests in tech startups, has recruited Syrian entrepreneurs to come to Jordan and participate in their mentoring program.

    Moe Ghashim was one of them. He’s s from Syria’s most populous city, Aleppo, where he ran his own web design agency with a dozen employees. It was successful, until the war.

    MOE GHASHIM, CO-FOUNDER, SHOPGO: Things started to become ugly back then in Syria. No electricity, no Internet. I couldn’t work anymore. I searched for incubators in the Arab world. Amman was basically booming – a lot of startups.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Five years ago, with seed money from Oasis500, he launched ShopGo, an e-commerce platform helping businesses in the region process payments….something he learned to do in the US, while paying his way through college. He now has 300 clients.

    MOE GHASHIM: We’re in Dubai, we’re in Amman, we are now subcontracting others, in the UK, the U.S. Things are moving. A couple of years ago, I just wanted $10,000 to survive. We raised over $3 million in funding, so far.

    AMY GUTTMAN: 25 of Ghashim’s employees are Jordanian. Seven are Syrian. The integrated workforce is intentional.

    MOE GHASHIM: I’m very proud of how we’re trying to work together as a community. The team that work with me brought their families here. Some of them married Jordanians. We have to survive.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Today, Ghashim lives in Amman with an office overlooking an upscale shopping mall, building a future for himself, while Aleppo is ravaged by war.

    MOE GHASHIM: I feel I’m jumping between these two lives, two movies that can’t relate. I don’t belong here. But technically, I do. I do belong to that place, but technically, I don’t.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Unlike Ghashim, not every Syrian refugee has the skills, the capital, or the connections to support themselves.

    Jordan’s government contends refugees are depleting a quarter of its annual budget — draining resources like water and overcrowding hospitals and schools.

    In Mafraq, the city closest to the Zaatari refugee camp, the population has doubled to 200,000.

    The Hai Al Dubat School for Girls has shortened class times and lengthened school days to accommodate Syrian children.

    Jordanian kids come in the morning, and Syrians in the afternoon. Alia Aku Shaydah is the principal.

    ALIA AKU SHAYDAH, PRINCIPAL, HAI AL-DUBAT SCHOOL FOR GIRLS: Sometimes the Jordanians feel that the Syrians are coming in and taking their seats, their desks.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Nationwide, 50,000 Syrian children are on waiting lists to attend Jordanian schools. In addition to double shifts, Aku Shaydah says she and her staff are dealing with many Syrian kids traumatized by war.

    ALIA AKU SHAYDAH: They were very aggressive at first. They were very violent, and they would break things benches, windows. But now they are a lot calmer. We were patient with them.

    AMY GUTTMAN: Jordan is committed to educating refugee children, says Imad Fakhoury, Jordan’s Minister of Planning and International Cooperation.

    IMAD FAKHOURY, JORDANIAN MINISTER OF PLANNING AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION: We in Jordan, for example, very early on believed that we cannot afford to have a lost Syrian generation. Syrian boys and girls that don’t go for schools for 5 6, 7, 10 years. They’ll be left vulnerable to radicalization.

    Jordan has received a-billion-and-half dollars from the European Union — with another four billion in international aid pledged to help Syrian refugees. Minister Fakhoury believes the EU is essentially paying Jordan to keep refugees in Jordan.

    IMAD FAKHOURY: The reality is we are at a saturation point. We are fatigued as a nation. You can count on a country like Jordan to do this for five years, but this is the sixth year. There’s no end in sight. It will take years before the refugees can go back safely. Enough is enough. The international community needs to do much more. You can’t wait. It costs you ten times when the refugees get into Europe. So why not do more at the host country’s point of view?

    AMY GUTTMAN: Fakhoury believes more aid is needed to fulfill the idea that if the lives of Syrian refugees improve in Jordan, they’ll be less likely to migrate to Europe.

    IMAD FAKHOURY: We’re very interested that the Syrians remain close to their country. That they will have the chance one day to go back and build it and reconstruct it.

    AMY GUTTMAN: That’s exactly what Abuelmena’em Abu Hesenih and his brothers want to do once the war ends.

    ABU HESENIH: Right away, we will go back and this place. We’ll sell, but we will not stay here a minute longer.

    The post World’s largest Syrian refugee camp has developed its own economy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A man travels on a dirt road by a horse-drawn buggy in Bird in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania August 9, 2014. A Lancaster County couple was arrested in connection with the statutory rape of their 18-year-old daughter. Photo by Mark Makela/Reuters

    A man travels on a dirt road by a horse-drawn buggy in Bird in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania August 9, 2014. A Lancaster County couple was arrested in connection with the statutory sexual assault of their 18-year-old daughter. Photo by Mark Makela/Reuters

    Police arrested a man for statutory sexual assault after discovering 12 young girls living in his Feasterville, Pennsylvania, house on Thursday. Their ages range from six months to 18 years.

    Lee Kaplan, 51, also faces charges of aggravated indecent assault, indecent assault, corruption of minors and unlawful contact with a minor, according to an affidavit.

    The 18-year-old survivor told police that she and Kaplan had two children together. Kaplan said he had fathered two children — the six-month-old and a 3-year-old.

    The young woman’s father, 43-year-old Daniel Stoltzfus, told police that when his daughter was 14, he had “gifted” her to Kaplan as thanks for financial assistance. Bucks County District Attorney David Heckler said the couple claimed Kaplan saved them from losing their farm, the Associated Press reported. Stoltzfus told officers that after researching online, he believed the transaction was legal.

    Police brought charges against Stoltzfus and his wife Savilla Stoltzfus, 42. Daniel Stoltzfus faces charges of conspiracy to commit statutory sexual assault, and both he and his wife are charged with endangering the welfare of children.

    Although the Stoltzfus’ were unable to produce birth certificates or Social Security cards, the couple said the other nine children living in the house were theirs.

    Neighbors claimed they rarely saw the girls outside, and they apparently did not attend school, CBS reported.

    Jen Bets, a neighbor who called authorities and prompted the investigation, told a local news station that the girls looked sad every time she saw them, and that their relationship with Kaplan seemed strange. The 18-year-old “was too young to be the wife, too old to be holding his hand,” Bets said.

    The children are now in protective custody.

    All three charged in this case are being held on $1 million bail, with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 2.

    The post Pennsylvania man arrested after 12 girls found inside house appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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

    CHICAGO — Whatever happens with Bernie Sanders and the race for president, his supporters say one thing is certain: Their movement will continue.

    Roughly 3,000 activists are gathering in Chicago this weekend to talk about how to build on the momentum of Sanders’ insurgent campaign now that the primaries are over. They say they’re looking to unite forces for changes such as a $15 federal minimum wage, better police accountability, health care for all and preventing climate change.

    “We have a huge opportunity right now,” Becky Bond, who served as a senior adviser to the Vermont senator’s campaign, told a crowd inside the McCormick Place convention center on Saturday. “We have the makings of getting something much huger than what we’ve done on the Bernie Sanders campaign.”

    Hillary Clinton has secured enough delegates and superdelegates to be the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, but Sanders has not conceded the nomination.

    In a livestream address on Thursday, he said the two campaigns will be working together to “transform the Democratic Party” and to ensure this summer’s Democratic National Convention adopts the most progressive platform in party history.

    He also urged supporters to continue their “political revolution” and to join him in working to defeat presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

    There was little talk of either Trump or Clinton at the weekend’s “People’s Summit,” though many attendees railed against Democratic Party rules they argue were rigged to ensure Clinton secured the nomination.

    RoseAnn DeMoro, executive director of National Nurses United, called it “corruption in the political machinery of the Democratic Party.” Her organization, a labor union that backed Sanders, organized the summit.

    Mostly though, the conversations were centered on stirring massive change on progressive issues, separate from “establishment politics.”

    Several organizations said they are planning actions at this summer’s Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Mark Schlosberg, national organizing director for Food and Water Watch, was encouraging attendees to join a march to call for a ban on the oil and gas extraction process known as fracking.

    “There’s a tremendous amount of people who have been engaged through this campaign and I think people are going to continue to be involved,” Schlosberg said. “I think that is a very positive effect regardless of what ends up happening with the election.”

    Michael Brennan, a 78-year-old retired researcher from Chicago, said he attended because he wanted to be with other “kindred spirits” who believe, as he does, that everyone should have health care.

    “Maybe we can do something together to try to make this a better world, or a better country at least,” Brennan said.

    The post Activists look to build on momentum of Sanders campaign appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 17, 2016. REUTERS/Trish Badger - RTX2GVG3

    Republican U.S. Presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Houston, Texas, U.S., June 17, 2016. Photo by Trish Badger/Reuters

    LAS VEGAS — Donald Trump railed Saturday against efforts by some frustrated Republicans planning a last-ditch effort to try to thwart him from becoming the party’s nominee, threatening at one point to stop fundraising if Republicans don’t rally around him.

    Speaking at a theater at the Treasure Island hotel on the Las Vegas strip, Trump referred to “an insurgent group” trying to deny him delegates at the party’s July convention.

    “Now you have a couple of guys that were badly defeated and they’re trying to organize maybe like a little bit of a delegate revolt,” he said. “I thought they already tried that.”

    Trump pushed back against such efforts several times during his speech, claiming they were somehow “illegal” and then dismissing them as a media-generated fabrication.

    “It’s all made up by the press,” he said. “It’s a hoax, I’m telling you.”

    While Trump dismisses the effort as invented, more Republicans in Congress are saying they will not attend the party convention and are not endorsing his candidacy. Meanwhile, a movement exists among some conservative delegates and operatives to change party rules to allow a different nominee, though it’s a longshot effort lacking sufficient backing and a candidate to offer up at an alternative.

    Indeed, Trump wondered aloud who his opponents would pick as a replacement, a problem that has plagued the “Never Trump” movement for months.

    “Who are they going to pick? I beat everybody. But I don’t mean beat — I beat the hell out of them,” he said.

    At one point in his speech, Trump asserted without offering evidence that former rival Jeb Bush and a second Republican whom he did not name were part of the movement opposing him. Neither Bush nor another former rival, Sen. Ted Cruz, has endorsed Trump.

    Trump has continued to face resistance from Republicans who have voiced increasing concern over his inflammatory rhetoric. And he appeared increasingly frustrated Saturday, saying, “It would be helpful if the Republicans could help us a little bit.”

    The billionaire businessman also threatened that, if Republicans don’t come together, he was prepared to stop fundraising and go back to largely self-funding his campaign.

    “I’d love to do it,” said Trump, who has been holding fundraisers across the county this week largely benefiting the Republican National Committee. “You know, life is like a two-way street.”

    A Republican National Committee spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    Trump’s event drew several thousand people, but many seats remained empty when Trump began speaking because of security screening delays. Even after he took the stage, the line of supporters circled the slot machines on the casino floor. Tourists carrying beer and wearing bikinis watched the crowds with amusement.

    Trump mistakenly blamed the delays on the Transportation Security Administration, which sometimes handles audience screening but was not involved in screening at the Treasure Island hotel. Casino security, metro police and the Secret Service were handling those efforts at the Las Vegas event.

    “I’m not happy about it, but I have to put up with it,” Trump told supporters after erroneously blaming the TSA. “They didn’t bring enough machines.”

    In a late afternoon rally in Phoenix, where temperatures reached 109 degrees, the media-minded real estate developer bragged about the number of magazines that have placed him on their covers in recent months. “I feel like a supermodel, except like times 10,” he said. “I’m a supermodel.”

    Trump has stepped up his criticism of President Barack Obama in the wake of the Orlando nightclub shooting. In Las Vegas, he told supporters: “If you think Orlando was the end of it with this weak attitude and this pathetic president we have, it wasn’t, folks.”

    He also offered a warning: “You are going to have problems the likes of which you’ve never seen unless Donald Trump becomes your president.”

    The post Trump says ‘it would be helpful’ if Republicans would help him appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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