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

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    Democratic U.S. vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton react to supporters during a campaign rally at which Clinton introduced Kaine as her running mate in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Scott Audette - RTSJCFG

    Democratic U.S. vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Hillary Clinton react to supporters during a campaign rally at which Clinton introduced Kaine as her running mate in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016. Photo by Scott Audette/Reuters

    MIAMI — Hillary Clinton introduced running mate Tim Kaine as “a progressive who likes to get things done,” joining the Virginia senator in the crucial battleground state of Florida to help kick off next week’s Democratic National Convention.

    Clinton said Kaine cares more about making a difference than making headlines, and is “everything that Donald Trump and Mike Pence are not.”

    “I like to fight for right,” Kaine said, detailing his life in public service. Speaking at times in Spanish, he drew comparisons between the Democratic ticket and Trump. “Isn’t it great already,” he said of America.

    Clinton offered Kaine the vice presidential spot on the Democratic ticket in a phone call on Friday night. His selection completes the line-up for the general election. Clinton and Kaine will face Republican Trump and his running mate, Pence, the Indiana governor.

    Kaine, 58, was long viewed as a likely choice, a former governor of politically important Virginia and mayor of Richmond who also served as chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

    He also had a particularly powerful backer: President Barack Obama, who advised Clinton’s campaign during the selection process that Kaine would be a strong choice.

    Kaine is a fluent Spanish speaker with a reputation for working with Republicans.

    “Trying to count the ways I hate @timkaine,” Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake wrote on Twitter. “Drawing a blank. Congrats to a good man and a good friend.”

    Kaine was the choice over Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, a longtime friend of the candidate and former President Bill Clinton.

    The senator is viewed skeptically by some liberals in the Democratic Party, who dislike his support of free trade and Wall Street. Shortly after Friday’s announcement, Stephanie Taylor of the Progressive Change Campaign Committee said Kaine’s support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact gives Republicans “a new opening to attack Democrats on this economic populist issue.”

    Notably, a campaign aide said Kaine made clear “in the course of discussions” that he shares Clinton’s opposition to TPP in its current form.

    Clinton’s campaign teased the announcement throughout Friday, encouraging supporters to sign up for a text message alert to get the news — a favorite campaign method for getting contact information about voters.

    The Democratic candidate made no mention of her impending pick during a somber meeting with community leaders and family members affected by the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando and a later campaign rally in Tampa.

    When the news came via text, she quickly followed it with a message on Twitter: “I’m thrilled to announce my running mate, @TimKaine, a man who’s devoted his life to fighting for others.”

    Trump also announced the choice of his running mate on Twitter, and followed it up with an announcement the next day at a hotel in midtown Manhattan — a curious choice given the state’s strong Democratic leanings.

    Clinton and Kaine appeared at Florida International University in Miami. Florida is the nation’s premier battleground state, and the bilingual Kaine is likely to be a valuable asset in Spanish-language media as the campaign appeals to Hispanic Americans turned off by Trump’s harsh rhetoric about immigrants.

    Before entering politics, Kaine was an attorney who specialized in civil rights and fair housing. He learned Spanish during a mission trip to Honduras while in law school. During his political career, he’s demonstrated an ability to woo voters across party lines, winning his 2006 gubernatorial race with support in both Democratic and traditionally Republican strongholds.

    His wife, Anne Holton, is the daughter of a former Virginia governor and is herself a former state judge and the state’s education secretary. The couple has three children.

    Trump, in a text to his own supporters, said Obama, Clinton and Kaine were “the ultimate insiders” and implored voters to not “let Obama have a 3rd term.”

    Kaine got some practice challenging Trump’s message when he campaigned with Clinton last week in northern Virginia, where he spoke briefly in Spanish and offered a strident assault on Trump’s White House credentials.

    “Do you want a ‘you’re fired’ president or a ‘you’re hired’ president?” Kaine asked in Annandale, Virginia, as Clinton nodded. “Do you want a trash-talking president or a bridge-building president?”

    This piece was written by Ken Thomas of the Associated Press. Associated Press writers Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia, and Julie Pace and Lisa Lerer in Washington, contributed to this report.

    The post Clinton and Kaine debut as Democratic ticket in Florida appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Photo By Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    An Afghan man weeps outside a hospital after a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, on July 23, 2016. Photo By Mohammad Ismail/Reuters

    At least 80 people were killed and more than 200 injured Saturday when a suicide bomber struck the Afghan city of Kabul during a demonstration held by a Shiite minority group.

    The Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack, one among a flurry of recent strikes tied to the self-proclaimed caliphate inside the country but the first to touch down on the capital city in recent years, according to the Associated Press. Saturday’s strike appears to be the deadliest in months to hit Afghanistan.

    The bombing occurred as members of the Hazara, a Persian-speaking minority group in the Sunni-dominated country, held protests calling for a new power line to be re-routed to a Afghan region with a large Hazara populace.

    The shoes of victims are seen at the site of blast in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016.Photos By Omar Sobhani/Reuters

    The shoes of victims are seen at the site of blast in Kabul, Afghanistan July 23, 2016. Photos By Omar Sobhani/Reuters

    As thousands gathered in a city square, two suicide bombers targeted the demonstrators but one was shot by police before an explosive device could be detonated, the authorities said. Another assailant managed to detonate a device, with photos and videos showing bodies strewn across the square where the crowd had gathered.

    The Afghan government said it had warned the protestors they may be attacked and cordoned off much of the city.

    “We had intelligence over recent days and it was shared with the demonstration organizers, we shared our concerns because we knew that terrorists wanted to bring sectarianism to our community,” presidential spokesman Haroon Chakhansuri told the Associated Press.

    Afghan President Ashraf Ghani proclaimed Sunday would be a day of national mourning and called for an investigation into the attack.

    “I promise you I will take revenge against the culprits,” Ghani said.

    The post Dozens dead after suicide bombers target Afghan minority group appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People lay flowers in front of the Olympia shopping mall, where yesterday's shooting rampage started, in Munich, Germany July 23, 2016. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann - RTSJBX2

    People lay flowers in front of the Olympia shopping mall, where yesterday’s shooting rampage started, in Munich, Germany July 23, 2016. Photo by Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

    A teenager who killed nine people and injured 27 more in a shooting massacre near a mall in Munich, Germany, on Friday before taking his own life had been bullied and was likely inspired by other mass shootings, German authorities said.

    Without naming the 18-year-old man, who was born and raised in Munich with dual German-Iranian citizenship, police president Hubertus Andrae said at a news conference on Saturday that authorities assume he worked alone.

    Officers searched his room and found documentation on “frenzied attacks,” and even though the motive is unclear, they have not drawn a connection to religion or the recent surge of refugees searching for safety in Germany.

    “We are assuming that we are talking about a sole perpetrator,” Andrae said.

    The shooter had a clean police record but turned up in searches twice – once for being bullied and beaten by three people and another for being robbed, according to the New York Times.

    The head of Bavaria’s criminal police said that he may have hacked a young woman’s Facebook page and enticed people to come to the mall for a giveaway at 4 p.m. local time on Friday, according to the Associated Press.

    Just before 6 p.m. local time, witnesses said he opened fire on the street before heading to the mall, according to the BBC.

    Seven of the victims were teenagers: three were 14 years old, two were 15 and the others were 17, 19 and 20. And of the 27 that were also injured, 10 of them are in critical condition, including a 13-year-old boy, police said.

    The shooter’s body was found at a nearby McDonald’s, with a 9mm Glock pistol and 300 bullets in his backpack, about two and a half hours after he started the rampage.

    Exactly five years ago on Friday, Anders Behring Breivik in Norway had killed 77 people with bomb and gun attacks. German authorities said that Friday’s suspect had researched the 2011 massacre as well as other shootings. Police also found a German edition of the book “Why Kids Kill: Inside the Minds of School Shooters,” the Times reported.

    In an interview with The Guardian, Dr. Peter Langman, the author of the book, said the shooter appeared to have fit a pattern of other mass murderers who researched shootings.

    “It’s a little disturbing,” Langman, told the Guardian from his home in Pennsylvania on Saturday. “I don’t know quite what to make of it, I don’t know why he had it.”

    People are on high alert in Germany after a teenage migrant stabbed and injured five people on a train in Bavaria in an attack claimed by the Islamic State on Monday.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a televised statement on Saturday said with reports of horror coming out of the country, attacks become harder and harder to bear.

    “We are in deep and profound mourning for those who will never return to their families,” Merkel said.

    The post Munich shooter was ‘sole perpetrator’ who fixated on massacres appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Sen. Timothy Kaine (D-Va) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo) have proposed The Teach Safe Relationships Act, which would require domestic violence prevention to be taught in public high school health education classes.

    Some Democrats have raised concerns about Sen. Timothy Kaine’s connection to the energy industry and stance on abortion. Photo via Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton and running mate Tim Kaine are closely aligned on many issues, but Kaine’s cautious, left-leaning political profile in a closely contested state is blurred by his ties to energy industry interests and his personal qualms over abortion.

    The Virginia senator is regarded as a careful, earnest politician who has navigated the rough-and-tumble of his state’s hard-fought electoral landscape with few ethical missteps. Minor controversies have flared over paid travel and gifts he received during his stints as governor and senator.

    A Harvard-trained lawyer who prospered as Richmond’s mayor before moving on to higher office, Kaine endorsed Clinton early in her presidential run, in contrast to 2008 when he backed Barack Obama over Clinton early on.

    In sync on a number of issues, Kaine and Clinton back a no-fly zone over Syria despite the Obama administration’s reluctance.

    Kaine, who was governor when a gunman with a history of mental illness fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech before killing himself, shares Clinton’s support for gun control. He supports restricting the sale of magazines carrying more than 10 bullets; Clinton wants to ban military-style guns she calls “weapons of war.”

    Both share concerns on education, health care and a tax overhaul.

    Clinton came out against offshore oil drilling while campaigning in 2015 and expressed approval this year when President Barack Obama blocked all exploration off the Eastern Seaboard in the Atlantic Ocean. Kaine consistently has sponsored legislation that would have opened Virginia’s coast to drilling.

    As governor, Kaine said in 2008: “We’re not going to drill our way out of the long-term energy crisis facing this nation.” But in 2013, he and Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., sponsored legislation that would have set a five-year leasing plan allowing oil drilling off Virginia’s coast and providing at least 35 percent of revenues to the state. In 2015, Kaine again joined Warner and a group of East Coast senators pushing an offshore drilling plan.

    Oil and gas interests rank with law firms and investment and technology companies among Kaine’s strong campaign financiers.

    Oil and gas companies donated nearly $60,000 to Kaine for his 2011 campaign, including $35,000 from Dominion Resources Inc., the Richmond-based utility that supplies electricity and natural gas to Virginia and other neighboring and eastern states.

    Dominion donated more than $250,000 to Kaine’s statewide political campaigns and inaugurations between 2001 and 2008, according to the Virginia Public Access Project, a nonpartisan open government group.

    Some state environmentalists said Kaine, as governor, helped undermine clean-coal and other anti-pollution efforts in Virginia. Vivian Elizabeth Thomson, a University of Virginia professor who served on the state’s Air Pollution Control Board under Kaine, said his administration undercut their efforts to impose tough standards on a coal-fired Dominion power plant in Wise, Virginia.

    David Botkins, a Dominion spokesman, said Kaine “has supported the development of affordable, cleaner energy sources in Virginia and throughout the United States.”

    Leaders of two national environmental groups, the League of Conservation Voters and the Sierra Club, voiced approval of Clinton’s choice of Kaine, who backs Obama on climate change and opposed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

    Tiernan Sittenfeld, an official with the league’s political action fund, said Kaine had an “impressive” record of support for the group’s issues. League members were also among Kaine’s top funders in his 2012 Senate election.

    Clinton and Kaine are avowed champions of women’s reproductive rights. But as a self-described “traditional Catholic,” Kaine has long said he personally opposes abortion, a stance that drew criticism from women’s groups. His personal qualms could cause complications later in the campaign when he debates Republican rival Mike Pence, an anti-abortion crusader.

    During his 2005 race for governor, Kaine said he would promote adoption and abstinence education — programs long stressed by anti-abortion forces. Once in office, he infuriated Planned Parenthood and other reproductive rights groups by allowing the sale of “Choose Life” license plates. Portions of proceeds went to pregnancy centers and adoption programs.

    Since 2012, Kaine has had a 100 percent voting record from NARAL Pro-Choice America, a political group opposing restrictions on abortion. In an appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” Kaine acknowledged the public contortion of his stance even as he was being considered by the Clinton campaign as a possible running mate.

    “I’ve got a personal feeling about abortion, but the right role for government is to let women make their own decisions,” Kaine said.

    Despite their occasional policy discordancy, Kaine and Clinton have hired some of the same staffers in recent years. Kaine’s Senate chief of staff, Mike Henry, was deputy campaign manager for Clinton’s 2008 presidential run. Kaine’s former Senate press secretary, Sarah Peck, is already working as Clinton’s Virginia campaign spokeswoman.

    Kaine’s most recent Senate financial disclosure shows that his net worth is between $647,000 and $1.9 million. Between $130,000 and $300,000 of his investments, listed as owned by one of his children, are in energy corporations, among them Duke Energy Corp., Chevron Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp.

    In June, Kaine acknowledged he failed to disclose that his stay at a Spanish resort was paid by a nonprofit tied to a lobbying firm. Kaine had helped organize and attended a conference in September 2014 hosted by the U.S.-Spain Council, a group that works to cement political and business ties between the two nations.

    Kaine, who is the nonprofit’s honorary chairman, later told The Associated Press that Senate ethics staffers advised his own staff that the council should cover his costs.

    As governor, Kaine accepted more than $160,000 in gifts and paid travel, according to state reports. The gifts were legal under the state’s permissive ethics rules, but his willingness to accept them could become an issue during the presidential campaign.

    Among those gifts was $2,000 in travel paid by Dominion for meetings of two national governors’ conferences and to watch George Mason University’s basketball team play in the NCAA Final Four in 2006.

    Associated Press writers Matthew Daly in Philadelphia and Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia, contributed to this report.

    The post Kaine’s liberal appeal muted by energy ties, abortion concerns appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton reacts as Democratic vice presidential candidate Senator Tim Kaine speaks at a campaign rally in Miami, Florida, U.S. July 23, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTSJCO7

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    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: For more analysis of the Kaine pick, I am joined from Philadelphia by NewsHour Weekend Special Correspondent Jeff Greenfield.
    Jeff, why Tim Kaine?  How does he help Hillary Clinton?
    JEFF GREENFIELD, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, it’s a choice that actually many people had predicted because it was — if nothing else — a way of communicating that Hillary Clinton, as she said, has a reasonableness gene.  You know, mayor, lieutenant governor, governor, senator, the reverse of a Donald Trump with no experience.
    I think what maybe not many people expected was that the roll-out today showed a Tim Kaine that very few of us knew — really good on his feet, very warm, very moving, very funny, speaking without notes for a great length of time.  So I think after he appeared, there were more people who said, “Oh, I see why she picked him.”
    HARI SREENIVASAN: And there was a different vibe in that roll-out speech as well.  Donald Trump got a lot of criticism for the fact that he didn’t even stay on stage very long with Mike Pence.
    JEFF GREENFIELD: Yes, I think– I think part of what they were trying to communicate was this is a comfortable two-some.  She’s not upstaging him.  She’s perfectly happy to sit there and let him talk a great length to introduce himself to the American public.  But I also think that the way Tim Kaine told all those stories — you know, that he sent his kids to the same integrated schools that his wife’s father, a Republican governor, had integrated.  What in any event to be in Honduras.  What it meant to be the governor during the Virginia Tech murders.
    Yes, I think she was saying to the country, “I really am comfortable with who I picked, and you’re going to be comfortable afterwards.”  And I also think a number of people who wanted to see a more liberal or progressive candidate may have had second thoughts after hearing Kaine, thinking, “You know what?  I get this pick.”
    HARI SREENIVASAN: This wasn’t someone that Bernie Sanders’ folks had supported, let’s say, before or after this speech.
    JEFF GREENFIELD: No, that’s right.  But I do think there is a comfortable level they may have reached because a lot of what Tim Kaine was communicating were progressive values.
    There’s another point, a wrinkle on this.  A lot of people think the Clintons are grudge-holders.  In 2008, at a critical point in the primary, Tim Kaine endorsed Barack Obama, and this at least shows that, you know, Hillary Clinton does not walk around for eight years thinking, well, he didn’t back me.  Why should I pick him?
    HARI SREENIVASAN: You know, he was an early supporter of Hillary Clinton before she even declared.  I think it was in 2014 when he started out.  Now, the fact he was speaking Spanish in and out of this conversation, the fact that they chose to do this in Florida, a key battleground state — important?
    JEFF GREENFIELD: Yes, I would say that does not come under the heading of “coincidence”.  In fact, I’m waiting to see where — I’ve already seen of one of Trump’s supporters complain about this — why are you speaking Spanish when you’re running for vice president of the United States.  But I think it’s pretty clear, given how this campaign is going to shape up, the clear drive on the part of the Clinton people to make demographics work for them and try to get a Hispanic vote out.  Hispanics represent an increasing part of the population but traditionally, they have not voted in anything like their numbers of citizens.
    And so, I think him campaigning in Florida, speaking very comfortably in Spanish, I have a feeling you’re going to see a lot more of that as the campaign goes on in places like Arizona, Colorado — well, New Mexico is a safe Democratic state now.  But, yes, that’s clearly an asset that they see they’re going to play.
    HARI SREENIVASAN:  And how about the importance of the electoral map?  He’s the Virginian, and he is a — you know, he’s somebody who has worked across party lines in Virginia, and hopefully, I imagine, that Hillary Clinton campaign thinks can deliver that state.
    JEFF GREENFIELD: It’s possible.  We haven’t seen much of that in recent years.  Vice presidential candidates picked because of geography.  And there’s some academic skepticism about how much that ever works.  But surely, you’re talking about a man elected to statewide office there three times in a state that used to be one of the most Republicans, gone Democratic the last two elections.  And if Clinton can keep Virginia in her column, that makes the path for Donald Trump just that much more harder.
    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right.  Jeff Greenfield joining us from Philadelphia — thanks so much.
    JEFF GREENFIELD:  Thank you.
    END

    The post Tim Kaine joins Clinton on the Democratic ticket appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    From the left, President Bill Clinton, first lady and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and daughter Chelsea listen to the national anthem at a Democratic Party tribute to Sen. Clinton at Madison Square Garden in New York City, January 7, 2001. Sen. Clinton is the first sitting first lady to be elected to the U.S. Senate.

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below.

    HARI SREENIVASAN, NEWSHOUR ANCHOR: Approaching 69 years old, Hillary Clinton has spent roughly half of her life in public life —  as First Lady of Arkansas and the United States, as a U.S. Senator from New York, and perhaps most importantly for the office she seeks — as Secretary of State. And, from the investigation of the Clintons’ investment in the Whitewater real estate deal in Arkansas to the more recent FBI probe of her use of private email server while serving as Secretary of State, the whiff of scandal has lingered – fairly or unfairly – over many chapters in Mrs. Clinton’s career.

    As we head into the Democratic National Convention on Monday, opinion polls continue to reflect that Hillary Clinton is, to some extent like her Republican opponent, a polarizing figure. She has topped the annual Gallup poll of “most admired woman” each of the last 14 years and 20 times overall. However, the Real Clear Politics average of polls finds 56 percent of Americans have an unfavorable view of her, and 62 percent of Americans told a CBS news poll last month they do not find her honest or trustworthy.

    To examine her record of service as First Lady, in the Senate, and at the State Department, I sat down this week with the authors of two books about Hillary Clinton. Michael Tomasky wrote “Hillary’s Turn: Inside Her Improbable, Victorious Senate Campaign,” and New York Times White House correspondent Mark Landler wrote “Alter Egos: Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and the twilight struggle over American power.”

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Back in 1992, Bill Clinton said, “You’re going to get two for the price of one.” She’s going to be part of my policies. Was head of the health care reform task force; it didn’t do well in Congress. What’s her lasting legacy from that era?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY, AUTHOR: She was the first professional First Lady, the first feminist First Lady, the first First Lady from the ‘60s generation, the first First Lady who was the breadwinner in the family. A lot of America liked and admired that. Some other parts of America found that unappetizing and even kind of threatening. So she became a flashpoint simply for who she was.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Picking up on that women’s rights theme, one of the things that she did was in ’95, she famously spoke out.

    HILLARY CLINTON: “It is no longer acceptable to discuss women’s rights as separate from human rights.”

    MARK LANDLER, NEW YORK TIMES: If you remember, it was right after the health care debacle. So she goes to Beijing, delivers this by all accounts just fervent speech, and even to this day many years later, it’s probably in the top five if not the top three speeches she’s ever delivered. And it also really was the speech that catapulted her onto the global stage and kind of set the stage for the next chapter of her career, which was as a sort of a global figure, a global stateswoman.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: After Bill Clinton’s presidency, after he’s impeached in ’99, Hillary Clinton decides to run in a state she does not live in, something that her opponents picked up very quickly, label her the carpetbagger. How did she win with those odds stacked against her?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: Four days after the 1998 election, Pat Moynihan, the long-time revered New York senator, announced that he was going to retire. He was up for reelection in 2000.

    New York Democrats were casting about, who are we going to run? Because the Republicans had Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki, at the time both quite formidable figures. And the Democrats didn’t really have anyone of that stature. So they approached her and said, ‘Why don’t you consider doing this?’ And at first she said, ‘What are you talking about, I’m not a New Yorker.’ How she finally did it? Perseverance and steady, you know, somewhat boring stick-to-itiveness.

    She just kept her head down and went and gave her speech about the issues, and ultimately she won over people, won their respect.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: If you had to compress her legislative achievements in the Senate, what would those be?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: She was in the Senate for eight years. She had a part in a number of pieces of legislation, and of course she was the senator from New York when 9/11 happened, so she and Chuck Schumer were by all accounts that I know of, very active in helping first responders and other victims of the 9/11 attack. So I think she would probably point to that as a high point, a few things she did on education. There is no big legislation that bears her name, and that’s true of a lot of senators.

    MARK LANDLER: She really transformed herself into a national security expert. She decided to join the Senate Armed Services Committee, and she became a real military wonk. She was famous for going to every subcommittee hearing and methodically questioning every lieutenant colonel from the Pentagon about defense procurement or selective service benefits. So that’s where she really began to carve out and hone this reputation as a hawk that I think has followed her through the secretary of state years and then into the presidential campaign.

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: We’d be remiss not to note her Iraq War vote.

    MARK LANDLER: Of course.

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: Which she cast probably because she had her eye on the presidency. So that one has hung around her neck and not stood the test of time.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: More for political calculation than for whether or not she felt like troops should be there?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: Well, her defense has always been that she voted for authorization as a way to pressure Saddam Hussein to come clean on the weapons of mass destruction that turned out not to have existed. But it’s probably not a coincidence that she and John Kerry and John Edwards, all three who were looking at the presidency, voted for that war.

    MARK LANDLER: And if you then go through her record as Secretary of State, whether it was the troop surge in Afghanistan, the military intervention in Libya, the debate over arming the rebels in Syria, she fairly generally came down on the hawkish end of the spectrum. Now there’s been a continuing debate over whether she does that because it’s borne of principle or whether she does that for political calculation, and I think as with everything with Hillary Clinton, it’s probably some complicated mixture of the two. But I think that there’s no question that she has generally been more comfortable with exercising military power to advance American interests, certainly than the President she served as Secretary of State.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: She was also pretty instrumental in driving the Obama administration into the coalition in Libya. President Obama and Hillary Clinton are getting an earful of blame. There was almost an entire night devoted to her, and Chris Christie even essentially prosecuted her fictitiously on stage. How much of the decisions of the administration can be attributed to the impact that Hillary Clinton had on Barack Obama?

    MARK LANDLER: I think the Libya decision, she was an important voice, perhaps the important voice in turning around the President. He was extremely skeptical about going into Libya, as honestly was she at the very beginning. She, through her diplomatic travels, was persuaded that it could be done with a broad coalition, and that it was worth doing. If you look at other ones though, for example Syria, she and General Petraeus, who was then head of the CIA, argued fairly fervently for arming the rebels. And they were turned down when they made their pitch. The president later came around to the idea in sort of a half-hearted way and ended up sending a small number of weapons to the rebels. The relationship with Russia, the Iran nuclear negotiation — these are areas where President Obama played a very strong role himself, and her battle was less to win the debate than to carve out some territory in those issues for herself.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In the context of Libya, Benghazi is the word that the Republicans have clung onto for really the past couple of years, hung it around her neck and said that she is solely responsible. Literally we’ve seen the mother of one of the soldiers that were killed there speaking at the Republican National Convention. Sort of two questions. Why are Republicans still talking about it, and two, what is she responsible for?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: I’m sure on some level, many Republicans are generally aghast at the loss of life there, but she’s genuinely aghast at that loss of life too. She was a friend of Chris Stevens, a good friend of Chris Stevens. I think they’re doing it largely to tarnish her politically. And there have been numerous investigations of it, none of which has ever placed any particular culpability right at her door.

    MARK LANDLER: I think the bigger issue for her, frankly, is to talk about Libya more broadly. What did go wrong in Libya, what real lesson should we learn from what was by all accounts a misbegotten intervention, and if she were president and faced a similar decision, how would she think of it differently, how would she act differently, how can Americans solve this whole question of intervention. We either seem to intervene in too gigantic a way as we did in Iraq, or we don’t intervene adequately enough, and allow a situation to fall into a mayhem as we did in Libya. So I think those are the substantive issues that I think she’ll have to contend within the general election debate.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Where does she walk lockstep with the President, and where has she broken with him?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: There are certain positions that she has had to take that she has not taken in that past that are opposite of Obama or against Obama, because of this movement of the Democratic Party to a populist left economic posture that Bernie Sanders represents. So the most obvious thing I’m talking about here is trade and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which she now opposes, and which Obama is still for, and I think will continue to push for, and will probably try to get a vote in a lame duck session of Congress.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What would Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy be? If there was a doctrine, would it be “Strength With Caution?”

    MARK LANDLER: I think what it would be is a sort of a very pragmatic approach. And the way I like to think of it is that I think President Obama came into office with a very strong idea that he’d been elected to wean this country away from the military excesses of the George W. Bush years. I don’t think she necessarily comes into office with another big idea. So I think really what she would do is weigh each problem as it came up piecemeal, look for a pragmatic solution. She’d emphasize diplomacy first, but if diplomacy failed, I think she’d be more willing to consider military force as sort of a last resort.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Last week we had a couple of Trump biographers on. They said one of the qualities they liked about him was his resiliency — that he can bounce back. Can the same be said of Hillary Clinton?

    MICHAEL TOMASKY: Oh sure. She has been investigated I don’t know how many times from Whitewater and all these things going back to the 1990s, many of them during her husband’s administration, and then continuing into her time at State. It could have beaten down a person who wasn’t quite as tough as she, driven them from public life. She had every reason to think in 1999, forget this, I’m going to go off and run a huge foundation and make a lot of money and not worry about this anymore. But no, she stayed in it, and now she’s on the precipice of maybe of being the President. If she’s anything, it’s resilient.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Mark Landler, Michael Tomasky, thanks so much.

    The post Hillary Clinton’s life in the public eye appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    An aerial view shows that roads and fields are flooded in Xingtai, Hebei Province, China, July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. CHINA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSJAKU

    An aerial view shows that roads and fields are flooded in Xingtai, Hebei Province, China, July 21, 2016. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

    More than 150 people have been killed in floods in northern and central China, since heavy rains hit the country in the last week.

    Hebei, a province in northern China that surrounds Beijing has been affected the most, with the death toll of 114, and another 111 people still missing, according to the provincial Ministry of Civil Affairs.

    The flooding began early Wednesday morning, catching many residents off-guard. More than 9 million people across 147 counties have been affected, while 155,000 houses have been damaged and more than 300,000 residents have had to relocate. The phenomenon has led to an economic loss of more than 2.4 billion U.S. dollars according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.

    An abandoned bus filled with sand bags is used to build a makeshift dike at a flooded area in Xingtai, Hebei Province, China, July 21, 2016. Picture taken July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. CHINA OUT. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSJAMQ

    An abandoned bus filled with sand bags is used to build a makeshift dike at a flooded area in Xingtai, Hebei Province, China, July 21, 2016. Picture taken July 21, 2016. Photo by Stringer/Reuters

    Zhigang Yuan, a local resident of Daxian County in Hebei who barely escaped, told Caixin Media, a Chinese news outlet, that he woke up in the middle of the night to see water pouring into his room. He broke the window of his door to escape the rising water in the room and climbed on top of the roof.

    “I could have lost my life,” Yuan said.

    Many locals in Xingtai blame authorities for failing to alert them ahead of the disaster. According to a report by the South China Morning Post, many believe the flood was caused by human error that led to a reservoir to breach. Authorities denied that claim, saying that water had overflowed the banks of the Qili River at a particularly narrow point.

    “It was a natural disaster, not human-induced flood relief,” said Wenshuang Qiu, the city’s vice mayor.

    China has been a frequent victim of extreme weather this summer. In early July, another flood in southern China killed more than 160 people. In June, a tornado killed 98 people in Jiangsu, a coastal province in eastern China.

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    U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Advancing 21st. Century Policing Briefing event at the Executive Office Building in Washington, U.S., July 22, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria - RTSJ9E6

    U.S. President Barack Obama delivers remarks at the Advancing 21st. Century Policing Briefing event at the Executive Office Building in Washington, U.S., July 22, 2016. Photo by Carlos Barria/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says that GOP nominee Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that the U.S. might not come to the defense of NATO allies is another sign of Trump’s “lack of preparedness” on foreign policy.

    Obama said in an interview aired Sunday morning that Trump’s recent comments to the New York Times — in which Trump suggested that allies that haven’t paid their NATO dues wouldn’t be guaranteed of getting help if Russia invaded — were an admission that the U.S. might not live by NATO’s “most central tenet.”

    Obama said Trump’s comments on NATO last week were “an indication of the lack of preparedness that he has been displaying when it comes to foreign policy.”

    NATO members promise that an attack against any of them is considered an assault against all.

    Trump told the Times that he wouldn’t predict the U.S. response in the case of a Russian attack of smaller NATO allies like Estonia or Latvia. “If they fulfill their obligations to us, the answer is ‘yes,'” Trump said.

    Obama responded: “There is a big difference between challenging our European allies to keep up their defense spending, particularly at a time when Russia’s been more aggressive, and saying to them, ‘You know what? We might not abide by the central tenant of the most important alliance in the history of the world.'”

    [Watch Video]

    In contrast, Obama said that presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of State in his first term, is supremely capable of taking over the reins of power in January.

    “I genuinely believe that there has never been a candidate better prepared for the presidency than Hillary Clinton,” Obama said.

    Asked what it takes to be an effective president, Obama cited the ability to build a team of talented, hardworking people and “make sure they are all moving in the same direction.” Another factor, he said, was “personal discipline in terms of doing your homework, and knowing your subject matter, and being able to stay focused.”

    And to make all this work “you have to really care about the American people… not in the abstract,” Obama said, noting that is crucial because that will help ground the president in that difficult job and prevent them from being overly influenced by polls, pressure and difficult developments.

    If you don’t have that sense of grounding, “you will be buffeted and blown back and forth by polls and interest groups and voices whispering in your head,” he said. “And you will lose your center of gravity. You will lose your moral compass.”

    Obama’s comments to CBS News’ “Face the Nation” came on the eve of the opening of the Democratic National Convention. He is scheduled to speak on Wednesday.

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    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as he accepts the nomination during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks as he accepts the nomination during the final session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 21, 2016. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump singled out France as one country he would subject to the “extreme vetting” he is proposing for those seeking to enter the United States, a move he says is necessary to deter attacks by people coming from countries “compromised by terrorism.”

    The GOP presidential nominee, in an interview that aired Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” was asked if his proposal might mean that ultimately far fewer people from overseas would be allowed into the U.S.

    “Maybe we get to that point,” Trump replied, adding: “We have to be smart and we have to be vigilant and we have to be strong.”

    In the interview, Trump also rejected suggestions that his stance on requiring NATO members to pay their share was a mistake; defended Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who left the network amid accusations of sexual harassment; criticized rival Hillary Clinton’s newly named running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, for accepting gifts while Virginia’s governor; dismissed descriptions of his nomination acceptance speech as “dark,” instead calling it “optimistic”; and expressed disapproval of David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who is seeking a Senate seat from Louisiana.

    [Watch Video]

    Trump reiterated that he wouldn’t release his tax returns until an IRS audit is complete, although such an inquiry doesn’t bar him from making the documents public. Trump also said he believes 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney lost the election because of a public scrutiny of his taxes.

    For months Trump has called for a temporary ban on foreign Muslims seeking to enter the United States and criticized the Obama administration for continuing to admit refugees from Syria.

    In his speech Thursday night at the Republican National Convention, he said the U.S. “must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place” — notably leaving out any reference to Muslims or to Syria, Iraq and other Mideast nations.

    In the NBC interview, Trump noted “specific problems” in Germany and France and “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd asked if his proposal would limit immigration from France. “They’ve been compromised by terrorism,” Todd said.

    Trump replied: “They have totally been. And you know why? It’s their own fault. Because they allowed people to come into their territory.” He then called for “extreme vetting” and said: “We have to have tough, we’re going to have tough standards. … If a person can’t prove what they have to be able to prove, they’re not coming into this country.”

    Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, played down the potential effects of Trump’s call for “extreme vetting” for people coming from France and Germany. Manafort said the U.S. will have an easier time screening people from those countries because of long-standing “cooperative agreements.”

    “He is calling for cooperative efforts to make sure that wherever people are coming in, that we know who they are and what they stand for,” Manafort said told “Fox News Sunday.”

    During his interview, Trump also:

    — Rejected suggestions that his comments on NATO members being required to pay their share in order to get the benefits and protection afforded by the treaty were a mistake.

    — Defended Ailes, who resigned from Fox amid sexual harassment allegations by numerous women. Trump described Ailes as a longtime friend and said “some of the women” complaining about Ailes have been helped by him in the past and earlier had said good things about him. “It’s very sad,” Trump said. “Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person.”

    — Criticized Kaine for accepting $160,000 worth of gifts, much of it for trips, while serving as governor. The gifts were legal under the state’s permissive ethics rules, but Trump said: “To me, it’s a big problem … how do you take all these gifts?”

    — Took issue with descriptions of his convention speech earlier in the week as “dark.” ”It was an optimistic speech,” Trump said. Referring to his mention of crime as well as shootings and terrorist attacks both here and overseas, he said, “Sure, I talk about the problems, but we’re going to solve the problems.”

    — Criticized Duke, who cited Trump’s campaign as an inspiration for his Senate bid. Trump was quick to say he rejected efforts by Duke to run for the Senate. In an interview several months ago, Trump was asked about Duke offering his support and Trump responded: “I don’t know anything about David Duke.” His initial response drew harsh criticism from Democrats, Republicans and civil rights groups,” and he later said “I disavow” Duke’s support.

    — Refused to release his tax returns, citing the IRS audit that he says is an annual process for him. Trump has resisted calls to release his tax returns for months, a move that every major presidential candidate has made since 1976. Trump said he believes Romney lost in 2012 because of public scrutiny of his returns. “They took his tax return, and they found a couple of little things. Nothing wrong. Just standard. And they made him look very bad, very unfair. But with all that said, I’d love to give them, but I’m under audit. When the audit’s finished, I’ll give them.”

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    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D-FL) speaks before introducing Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Florida, September 3, 2015. Biden tried to reassure Jewish leaders in south Florida on Thursday that President Barack Obama's nuclear deal with Iran would be a vital step toward making the world a safer place.   REUTERS/Joe Skipper - RTX1QYDK

    U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, (D-FL) speaks before introducing Vice President Joe Biden at a meeting with Jewish community leaders at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center in Davie, Florida, September 3, 2015. Bernie Sanders called for Scultz to quit as chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee after leaked emails showed the committee may have played favorites during the primary. Photo by Joe Skipper/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Hacked emails threatened to overshadow the Democratic Party’s upcoming celebration in Philadelphia as progressives expressed disappointment Sunday over the presidential nomination process and Bernie Sanders stepped up demands that the party’s chairwoman step down.

    Bitterness and frustration among the more progressive wing came after some 19,000 emails were published on the website Wikileaks that suggested the Democratic National Committee played favorites during the primary, when Sanders fell short against Hillary Clinton.

    In one leaked email, a DNC official wondered whether Sanders’ religious beliefs could be used against him, questioning whether the candidate may be an atheist.

    In televised interviews Sunday, the Vermont senator said the emails proved what he knew was true: The DNC planned to support former Secretary of State Clinton from the start.

    “I’m not shocked, but I’m disappointed” by the exchanges in the emails, Sanders told ABC’s “This Week.”

    Sanders pressed for Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., to quit as chairwoman immediately. He also suggested that Clinton’s choice of running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, was a disappointment and that he would have preferred Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of liberals.

    “His political views are not my political views. He is more conservative than I am. Would I have preferred to see somebody like an Elizabeth Warren selected by Secretary Clinton? Yes, I would have,” Sanders told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    [Watch Video]

    The Clinton team worked to portray their party’s convention in a different light from the just concluded Republican gathering in Cleveland, where Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination but party divisions flared when his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, refused to endorse the billionaire businessman.

    Trump cast himself as the law-and-order candidate in a nation suffering under crime and hobbled by immigration, as the GOP convention stuck to a gloom-and-doom theme. Democrats want to convey a message of optimism and improving the lives of all Americans.

    But party disunity also seems to be a factor in Philadelphia, given Sanders’ demands for a new leader and general unhappiness among his many supporters about how the nomination process unfolded.

    It was unclear whether Wasserman Schultz would have a speaking role at the convention.

    Some party loyalists say the DNC can’t ignore the emails.

    Dan O’Neal, 68, is a retired school teacher and delegate from Arizona, said Wasserman Schultz has to be censured.

    “We knew they were stacking the deck against Bernie from the get-go, but this type of stuff coming out is outrageous,” he said. “It proves our point that they’ve tried to marginalize him and make it as difficult as possible.”

    Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, agreed, saying Sanders’ supporters “have a lot to complain about.”

    “The emails have proven the system was rigged from the start,” Manafort told “Fox News Sunday.”

    Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, tried to shift blame away from DNC officials to “Russian state actors” who, he said, may have hacked into DNC computers “for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” the Republican presidential nominee.

    How the emails were stolen hasn’t been confirmed.

    “It was concerning last week that Donald Trump changed the Republican platform to become what some experts would regard as pro-Russian,” Mook said.

    Clinton is within days of her long-held ambition to become the party’s official presidential nominee.

    After the DNC released a slightly trimmed list of superdelegates — those are the party officials who can back any candidate — it now takes 2,382 delegates to formally clinch the nomination. Clinton has 2,814 when including superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count. Sanders has 1,893.

    Sanders has endorsed Clinton, but his delegates are pushing for a state-by-state tally. The state-by-state roll call is scheduled for Tuesday.

    Also Sunday, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, were back at their longtime church in Richmond, Virginia, a day after he made his campaign debut with Clinton.

    Kaine, a former choir member at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, sang a solo during Communion. His wife spoke briefly at the end of the service, telling parishioners how important they’ve been in their lives. She said “you have helped shape us” and that she and her husband “will really need your prayers.” And then, with the November election in mind, she said: “We will all have a big party at the other end, no matter what happens.”

    This report was written by Anne Flaherty of the Associated Press. Associated Press writers Chad Day and Hope Yen, and Alex Sanz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

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    With a plunge in energy prices worldwide and increased competition from natural gas drilling, the coal industry has taken a huge hit in recent years. More than 30,000 American coal workers have lost their jobs since 2011. The nonprofit Mined Minds in Greene County, Pennsylvania, teaches people affected by the layoffs how to code. These are the co-founders of Mined Minds, Jonathan Graham and Amanda Laucher.

    The nonprofit Mined Minds in Greene County, Pennsylvania, teaches people affected by the layoffs how to code. These are the co-founders, Jonathan Graham and Amanda Laucher.

    With energy prices plunging and increased competition from natural gas drilling, the coal industry has taken a hit in recent years. More than 30,000 American coal workers have lost their jobs since 2011.

    So when tech consultant Amanda Laucher realized her brother in Greene County, Pennsylvania, the third largest coal-producing county in the country, was at risk of losing his job as a coal miner, she and her husband Jonathan Graham decided to help. They began driving about 500 miles from Chicago every weekend to teach him and others in the community how to code.

    Laucher and Graham said they saw an opportunity to wean Greene County off an economy that is heavily dependent on energy. They recently relocated to Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, and co-founded Mined Minds, a nonprofit that offers free coding classes to laid-off coal miners and other unemployed workers. The group is still small, but hopes to jump start Pennsylvania’s version of Silicon Valley.

    NewsHour Weekend sat down with Laucher and Graham to talk about their efforts.

    What was the idea behind coming to Greene County, and starting up here?

    Amanda Laucher: We were here for a holiday picnic with my parents, and my brother has always been a coal miner, and he started telling us this story of all of his friends have been laid off from the mine. He was really worried that he was going to be laid off as well, and he’s a father of three, he’s got a wife that is at home taking care of the kids. He said, “What am I going to do? How am I going to pay the bills? I’ve never had a day off from work, it’s not what I do. What do I do next?” And Jon said, “We know people who run boot camps in Chicago, San Francisco, New York…Why couldn’t we take that to Greene County? Why can’t we just start training him to be a software developer?”

    Do they have to pay to be trained?

    Laucher: The number one goal was nobody should have to pay to learn these skills. As you’ve been laid off from a coal mine, or an energy job, or some other job, generally you don’t have a lot of extra cash. Some of these boot camps cost you $10, 15, 25 thousand dollars, and in this area you just don’t have that kind of extra cash. So our goal was, from the get go, no participant has to pay. We are a 501(c)(3), so we can accept donations, sponsorships, and we’ve put a ton of our own money into it.

    What sort of skills are transferable from coal mining, to this type of work?

    Laucher: The logic. The idea that you’re solving problems constantly. They make decisions all the time that could risk people’s lives, and this is not nearly as serious. They think really carefully, they’re very thoughtful. There’s also the teamwork aspect of it. If you’ve got a group that can trust each other and work together and communicate, that’s amazing, that’s what we really need. They all go into the cage together, and they all come out together. That and a hard work ethic, being able to just carry on even when things are tough, and just keep going with it.

    With a plunge in energy prices worldwide and increased competition from natural gas drilling, the coal industry has taken a huge hit in recent years. More than 30,000 American coal workers have lost their jobs since 2011. The nonprofit Mined Minds in Greene County, Pennsylvania, teaches people affected by the layoffs how to code.

    With a plunge in energy prices worldwide and increased competition from natural gas drilling, the coal industry has taken a huge hit in recent years. More than 30,000 American coal workers have lost their jobs since 2011. The nonprofit Mined Minds in Greene County, Pennsylvania, teaches people affected by the layoffs how to code.

    How hard is it to train someone who doesn’t have a background in computer science?

    Jonathan Graham: One of the things that we found most interesting is breaking people on how they learn. People came in expecting that we’d be stood at the front having them write notes and they’d learn and then have a job at the end of it. Whereas, right from day one we say, “Okay, get on your computers. We’re going to work in pairs.” So almost always people are working together; that’s one thing that’s different. All the code is shared. We’re always projecting someone’s code onto a big monitor, or projection screen, so that it’s all visible and open.

    Laucher: A big part of our job is to ask basics, and to Google, and to literally fail a thousand times a day. We had met a guy over the weekend who said, “I would love to [code], but you’d have to deal with me failing a lot. I’d screw up all the time.” I said, “I’ve been doing this for many, many years, and I screw up every single day. The goal is to fail fast, and learn from your mistakes.” If you learn from it, it’s not even really a mistake, it was an experiment. We teach the scientific method. Have a hypothesis before you start writing some code, make sure you have an idea what you think it’s going to do, and then go from there. If it fails, great, at least you have more information. So we’re really able to teach people within six months, who have never written a line of code before in their life, to be writing fairly complex apps.

    Is there sometimes a mental block when they first hear about your program, like, ‘Oh, I don’t think I can do that?’

    Laucher: Yes. We had a woman who said right from the get-go, “I’m really bad at math. I did really bad at math in high school. I’m not sure I can do this.” And it’s like, “Okay, well, let me know when you start seeing math, because we don’t do arithmetic, or the types of algebra that you think about when you think about high school math.” She got past that blocker pretty quick, and now she’s great.

    What do you see for the future of this county?

    Graham: Why does the area need to be dependent on energy? Why can’t it be a tech hub? We couldn’t think of any reason why not, which is why we thought we should do this. So we see it as being one of the industries that is growing in the area, one of the employment opportunities that’s growing in the area, and hopefully one that will influence other types of jobs coming in as well. The area isn’t just about energy; it isn’t just about coal. Other things can happen here.

    This transcript has been edited for length and clarity. You can watch more on the PBS NewsHour tonight.

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    Delegates from West Virginia hold signs supporting coal on the second day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio, U.S. July 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below:

    CHRIS BURY: Dave Whipkey, now 64 and retired, spent much of his life working at a Pennsylvania coal mine. It was difficult, dangerous work, but in 38 years at the mine, Whipkey was able to provide well for his family. With overtime, he was earning close to 75-thousand dollars a year when he retired in 2014.

    DAVE WHIPKEY: When you’re first hired in the mine, you go underground, and it’s different, it’s neat. After you’re there a month, you look around and you think, ‘What am I doing here?’ If you can get past that phase of it, then you’re okay.

    CHRIS BURY: the Emerald Mine, where Whipkey worked, lies in nearby Waynesburg, a coal town tucked in the Appalachian mountains of Western Pennsylvania. Last year Emerald’s owner, Alpha Natural Resources, filed for bankruptcy and then shut down the mine, one of five mines in the area to close recently. To make matters worse, Whipkey and his wife just found out their health insurance will expire next year.

    DAVE WHIPKEY: We were promised health care from cradle to grave. And now you have to wonder, ‘How much longer am I going to have medical and what happens after that?’ And it’s a worry, it really is.

    CHRIS BURY: He’s worried the pension the company promised him could be in jeopardy, too.

    DAVE WHIPKEY: All the years that you work to build your pension. And then they’re going to cut it. It’s not fair.

    CHRIS BURY: In places like Greene County, one of the nation’s biggest coal producers, the economic damage has been profound and painful. When the Emerald Mine closed last November, more than 230 union mineworkers lost good paying jobs with generous benefits. And the impact is cascading around the region. In just the last 5 years, more than 30,000 mine workers nationwide have seen their jobs disappear.

    BRIAN SCHAUM: Back in the early days, coal mining was just everywhere…

    CHRIS BURY: Miners like 41-year-old Brian Schaum lost their jobs at emerald mine as U.S. coal production was falling to its lowest level in 35 years. He grew up in Greene County — a coal miner like his father, uncle, and brother. When he lost his job, he lost a nearly six figure income.

    BRIAN SCHAUM: When they laid off up there, I was at like 29 an hour. The overtime was just as much as I wanted. I mean I could write my own check.

    CHRIS BURY: Now he’s getting by doing odd jobs and remodeling homes.

    Does it pay anything like what you were used to in the mine?

    BRIAN SCHAUM: No, but it helps put a little bit of food on the table. So I mean, it’s a real adjustment right now.

    CHRIS BURY: The adjustment comes at a time when the industry is fighting proposed regulations by the Obama Administration. The president has asked the Environmental Protection Agency to implement a “clean power plan” to reduce earth-warming carbon gas emissions from coal fired power plants.

    Over the last six years, electricity produced by coal has fallen from 45% to 31% of the nation’s power generation.

    ED YANKOVICH: The coal companies blamed this totally and completely on Obama and the EPA.

    CHRIS BURY: Ed Yankovich, who heads the regional district of the United Mine Workers of America Union says stricter EPA rules have played a role in coal’s decline, but believes that market forces, including cheap natural gas and a drop in coal demand from china, are also a factor. Yankovich says coal companies scapegoat the president.

    ED YANKOVICH: The coal operators themselves did a very good job of making people, you know, labeling him as anti-coal, war on coal…

    CHRIS BURY: Has that resonated here?

    ED YANKOVICH: Yes, it’s resonated here. Sure it’s resonated here. People want an enemy. They want someone to point a finger to. “You’re the reason why this all happened.”

    CHRIS BURY: The mine workers union endorsed Barack Obama in 2008, but did not back Obama in 2012, and a top union official says the union is not likely to endorse any presidential candidate this year.

    BRIAN SCHAUM: If they don’t want to back somebody, that’s their opinion. I know who I’m backing, and I know a lot of coal miner brothers out there, and I know who they’re backing.

    CHRIS BURY: Trump?

    BRIAN SCHAUM: Trump. At least he’s giving me a glimmer of hope right now that it could change and get better. As to where Democrats ain’t even giving me a glimmer of hope. It’s just we’re out, and that’s it.

    CHRIS BURY: By not saying they endorse a candidate, what does that tell you?

    DAVE WHIPKEY: That they’re not endorsing the Democratic Party, which means they’re leaning towards the Republican Party by not saying it.

    CHRIS BURY: In Greene county, where the population is 95 percent white, registered Democrats still outnumber registered Republicans, but that advantage is shrinking.

    Voters here have favored the republican presidential candidate in the last three elections…but the Democrat carried Pennsylvania every time. For Donald trump to reverse that result, he will need to run up the vote in white, working class counties in coal country.

    DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to put the miners back to work. We’re going to put the miners back to work!

    CHRIS BURY: At the Republican National Convention, delegates approved a platform calling coal “an abundant, clean, affordable, reliable domestic energy resource.” And, in his first speech as Trump’s running mate, Indiana Governor Mike Pence attacked Hillary Clinton’s stance on coal.

    MIKE PENCE: Where Donald Trump supports an all of the above strategy and will end the war on coal, Hillary Clinton actually promised an energy plan that would close American coal mines and put coal miners out of work.

    CHRIS BURY: Clinton has promised to spend 30 billion dollars for retraining displaced coal miners and other energy workers. But this comment at a March town hall was taken as a threat.

    HILLARY CLINTON: I’m the only candidate which has a policy about bringing opportunity using clean renewable energy as the key into coal country, because we’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.

    CHRIS BURY: Did she shoot herself in the foot with that comment?

    ED YANKOVICH: Well, yeah, yes. She did. She hurt herself significantly. That’s true.

    CHRIS BURY: Union leaders like Yankovich are also wary of trump because, they say, he offers few details to back up his vague promises about revitalizing the coal industry.

    Can Trump bring that back?

    ED YANKOVICH: I don’t believe he can. I don’t know what plan he has. If he’s going to do it, I’d like to see that plan.

    CHRIS BURY: Unemployed coal miner Brian Schaum, who has traditionally voted Democratic, believes Trump’s word.

    BRIAN SCHAUM: I’m leaning towards Republicans simply because he’s my only hope to bring back good wage jobs here. That’s been his thing, get the coal industry up and running again. So I got to go with what he’s saying.

    DAVE SEROCK: Remember that job you applied for, that truck driving job?

    CHRIS BURY: The Obama administration is offering some assistance with more than $30 million in grants to help former coal and power workers in twelve states since last year.

    Dave Serock, a local union leader who lost his job at the Emerald Mine, now works as a counselor for an organization helping former coal workers find — and train for — new jobs. Serock’s says he’s taken a $70 thousand dollar pay cut.

    DAVE SEROCK: The biggest thing is, I think, the pressure that it puts on the individual knowing that it went from here, and now you’re here, and there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

    CHRIS BURY: Your standard of living has changed?

    DAVE SEROCK: Oh, definitely.

    CHRIS BURY: Re-training is a tough sell to unemployed miners who cannot afford to spend one or two years learning a new trade: their unemployment benefits end after six months.

    DAVE SEROCK: How do you pay your bills in the meantime while you’re going? Part-time job is just not going to be enough to support them, even if they make cuts.

    CHRIS BURY: The new jobs, like driving trucks, pay far less than mining and often lack the health care and other benefits earned by union coal miners.

    DAVE SEROCK: Most of our jobs that we’re finding for our guys that were laid off, you’re looking at $10 to $20 an hour, and $20 an hour is on the high side.

    CHRIS BURY: The impact is rippling through Greene county, which depends on mining and related industries for nearly a third of its tax revenue. Ed Hinerman owns the local NAPA auto parts dealership.

    What are you down here?

    ED HINERMAN: Ok, well up to 30 percent off, our business is off by 30 percent.

    CHRIS BURY: Mines are still producing coal in Greene County, and some miners hope to get their jobs back. Brian Schaum isn’t waiting for that to happen. He’s gotten a crane operator license and is thinking of moving his family to Florida.

    BRIAN SCHAUM: I just don’t see it all rebounding. The mining industry always has its ups and downs, but this is probably the worst it’s come across. And once it all dies off here, this place, there ain’t going to be nothing left here.

    CHRIS BURY: For Dave Whipkey, the secure retirement he spent four decades building — with that pension and lifetime health care — is suddenly on shaky ground.

    DAVE WHIPKEY: The house that we just bought two years ago, if they cut all that, we’re probably putting our house up for sale. Because we just can’t–we’re getting by now, but we’re sure not getting rich.

    CHRIS BURY: Do you see coal ever coming back here?

    DAVE WHIPKEY: Yes. Yes I do. They closed Emerald mine down, they said there was no more coal. I don’t believe that. There’s coal.

    The post Could laid-off coal workers change Pennsylvania from blue to red? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Students from the 'MSU Young Republicans' listen as Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at a campaign stop at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan on February 15, 2016. Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Students from the ‘MSU Young Republicans’ listen as Republican U.S. presidential candidate Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks at a campaign stop at Michigan State University in East Lansing, Michigan on February 15, 2016. Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    During a polarizing election cycle in which a quarter of Americans dislike both major party candidates, nearly 16 million youth are eligible to vote for president for the first time.

    In the 2012 race, individuals below age 45 played a pivotal role in key battleground states such as Ohio. While voters age 45 and above swung to Mitt Romney, Barack Obama gained the support of millennials to win the state’s 18 electoral votes.

    “As somebody who is going to be graduating college in the next couple of years, I want to elect somebody who has the means and the experience to create jobs for my generation.” — James Oaks, college student

    With voter turnout for 18 to 24-year-olds in presidential elections registering below 50 percent for almost half a century, candidates with strategies to mobilize youth voters hold an advantage.

    And Ohio, home of last week’s Republican National Convention, is a key state. In the past 13 presidential elections, the candidate who earned Ohio’s electoral vote won the presidency.

    But some college Republicans, both in Ohio and elsewhere, said they feel that neither of the presidential candidates fully represents their interests.

    “I don’t necessarily support Trump’s platform,” said New York University student Lauren Page, 21, who said she backs the Republican Party because of its position on economic issues. “I support my party.”

    In 10 interviews conducted by the NewsHour with self-described Republicans ages 18 to 25, seven of whom attend college or vote in Ohio, these voters said they gravitated toward the Republican party because of economic, rather than social, concerns.

    Kennedy Copeland, president of Xavier University College Republicans, holds a picture of Ronald Reagan at the Xavier University Involvement Fair. Picture courtesy of Kennedy Copeland

    Kennedy Copeland, president of Xavier University College Republicans, holds a picture of Ronald Reagan at the Xavier University Involvement Fair. Picture courtesy of Kennedy Copeland

    Student debt, employment drive economic focus

    “One thing is that we know that demographically and economically, this generation, those who are in college and who just graduated from college are experiencing a harder time than generations just before them with things like finding jobs,” Patrick Egan, director of Undergraduate Studies at NYU, said. “We see that in the data — the economic data, the Census data — and so it wouldn’t surprise me if those realities were affecting attitudes and what they’re thinking about when they’re going to the polling booth.”

    Despite declines in the unemployment rate across the U.S. since October 2009, students voiced persistent concerns about the job market and speed of economic recovery, and said they hope to elect someone who is capable of quickly boosting growth.

    “As somebody who is going to be graduating college in the next couple of years, I want to elect somebody who has the means and the experience to create jobs for my generation,” said James Oaks, 20, a member of the College Republicans at Miami University of Ohio.

    Debt was another topic of concern. With student debt increasing yearly, the average U.S. college graduate in 2016 who took out loans owed over $37,000, and the students interviewed talked about the necessity of quickly finding a job to help them pay back borrowed money.

    “I think debt is a bubble that is unsustainable,” said John DiGiacobbe, 20, a vice chair of College Republicans at Miami University, said. “We have a lot of students who frankly are not paying off their debt, and the government is continuing to fund it.”

    Amid these concerns, 18-year-old Madison Weaver said Trump’s economic history was in line with Republican values, and she would likely vote for him. “I’m very pro-capitalism, and I love the way capitalist society works, and I love the free market,” said Weaver, who works for Ohio Sen. Rob Portman’s campaign. “And that’s what America was meant to be. We were meant to be the country where we could turn money into more money.”

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio poses for a selfie with an audience member at a campaign town hall meeting at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire January 7, 2016. REUTERS/Brian Snyder - RTX21GZX

    U.S. Republican presidential candidate and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio poses for a selfie with an audience member at a campaign town hall meeting at Nashua Community College in Nashua, New Hampshire January 7, 2016. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    ‘I try to stay away from social issues’

    Sarah Spence, 35, the chair of Ohio Young Republicans and assistant secretary of the Young Republican National Federation, has followed politics closely since she campaigned door-to-door with her mother as a child. She said she saw an emphasis among young voters on economic issues, particularly since the financial crisis began.

    “Social issues aren’t taken into as much consideration as they once were,” Spence said.

    Kei Kawashima-Ginsberg, director of The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement at Tufts University, said younger conservatives were generally less concerned about social issues.“Our entire generation — my age group — is all about to graduate college and start looking for jobs, and no one seems to think about how an election could impact their ability to do so. — Jane Klaus, college student

    “As a trend, what we’re seeing, especially compared to the older Republicans, is that, they are conservatives, but they still are sort of that millennial generation that have more appreciation for diversity and racial differences more than the older Republicans,” Kawashima-Ginsberg said.

    Jane Klaus, 18, a member of College Republicans at Ohio State University, holds views that jive with the trends described by Kawashima-Ginsberg.

    “I try to stay away from social issues: abortion and gun control — all that kind of stuff — just because I think we beat those to the ground,” she said.

    Klaus, along with other members of the OSU College Republicans, attended the convention in Cleveland, waiting to see the platform presented by the party.

    A registered Republican, Klaus said she feels her ideals align most closely with the positions of Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate who emphasizes smaller government and less taxation to stimulate job growth.

    “Our entire generation — my age group — is all about to graduate college and start looking for jobs, and no one seems to think about how an election could impact their ability to do so. The economy is primarily what is going to impact us in the next four years,” she said.

    Young Donald Trump supporters raise their hands and pledge during Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speech at a campaign town hall event in Wausau, Wisconsin on April 2, 2016. Photo by Ben Brewer/Reuters

    Young Donald Trump supporters raise their hands and pledge during Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speech at a campaign town hall event in Wausau, Wisconsin on April 2, 2016. Photo by Ben Brewer/Reuters

    Concern over foreign policy and aid

    Young Republicans also expressed concern about topics including criminal justice reform, the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court justices and what they described as the potential for government overreach, particularly in regard to intelligence gathering.

    Many of the students also advocated for more funding to combat the militant group that calls itself the Islamic State.

    “Terrorism is something that definitely we need to keep paying attention to, especially with everything happening with ISIS in Europe,” Kyle Lamb, 20, the co-chair of College Republicans at Bowling Green University said.

    Overall, some of the students worried about the impact of the rhetoric employed by the GOP candidate, speculating about what it could mean for the future of the Republican Party.

    Jonathan Freeland, 25, a registered Republican who plans to vote for Johnson, said he felt Trump does not reflect the ideals of the party or the focus of young conservatives.

    “I just don’t think that in the interest of the party, that supporting him would really do anything other than drive the party into the ground even further,” he said.

    The post For these young Republicans, student debt and jobs are top priority appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Athletics celebrate during the Russian track and field championship held in June 2016 in Cheboksary, Russia, Valeriya Nikonova and Yelena Isinbayeva pose for a picture with athletes after competing. Photos By Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

    Athletics celebrate during the Russian track and field championship held in June 2016 in Cheboksary, Russia, Valeriya Nikonova and Yelena Isinbayeva pose for a picture with athletes after competing. Photos By Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

    The International Olympic Committee on Sunday ruled that it will not ban all Russian athletes from next month’s competition in Brazil following a doping scandal that has already caused the country’s track and field team to be disqualified.

    “Russian athletes who participated in different competitions in all sports have submitted more than 3,000 doping samples,” the committee said in a statement released online following Sunday’s ruling. “The vast majority of the results were negative.”

    Acrobats perform on the Olympics rings at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo's financial center, Brazil, July 24, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker - RTSJEYP

    Acrobats perform on the Olympics rings at Paulista Avenue in Sao Paulo’s financial center, Brazil, July 24, 2016. Photo By Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

    The question of whether to ban Russian athletes less than two weeks before the start of the international competition came after a scathing independent report found widespread evidence of doping among Russian athletes participating in the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, a city in their home country.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency subsequently called for prohibiting Russian athletes from international competitions, including the Olympics.

    “The decision regarding Russian participation and the confusing mess left in its wake is a significant blow to the rights of clean athletes,” said Travis Tygart, the CEO of the agency, said in a statement.

    Officials from the committee said they will instead defer a decision on which Russian athletes should be prohibited from participating in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio to 28 individual global sports federations. The prospect still leaves open the possibility that more Russian athletes could be banned.

    The International Olympic Committee on Sunday say it would require all Russian athletes who took part in the Sochi Olympics to be re-tested, according to Reuters, while also doling out a decision to disqualify any Russian who had ever tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs.

    “We have set the bar to the limit by establishing a number of very strict criteria which every Russian athlete will have to fulfill if he or she wants to participate in the Olympic Games Rio 2016,” said Thomas Bach, the committee’s president. “I think in this way, we have balanced on the one hand, the desire and need for collective responsibility versus the right to individual justice of every individual athlete.”

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    Kathy Snook, Terri Anderson and Gary Snook traveled from Montana to Dr. Forest Tennant's office in West Covina, Calif. Photo by Corin Cates-Carney/Montana Public Radio

    Kathy Snook, Terri Anderson and Gary Snook traveled from Montana to Dr. Forest Tennant’s office in West Covina, Calif. Photo by Corin Cates-Carney/Montana Public Radio

    Federal authorities say about 78 Americans die every day from opioid overdose. In Montana, health care officials report that abuse there is worse than the national average. But the casualties of the opioid epidemic are not all drug abusers.

    On a recent night, three Montana residents, who call themselves pain refugees, boarded an airplane from Missoula to Los Angeles. They say that finding doctors willing to treat chronic pain in Montana is almost impossible, and the only way they can get relief is to fly out of state.

    Before Gary Snook dropped into his seat, he paused in the aisle, pressing his fingertips into his upper thigh. He bent his knees slightly and moved his hips side to side. He was getting in one final stretch before takeoff.

    “My pain, it’s all from my waist down,” he said. “It’s like being boiled in oil 24 hours a day.” Snook has been taking opioids since he had spine surgery for a ruptured disk 14 years ago. After the operation, he says he was in so much pain he couldn’t work. He’s tried all kinds of things to get better.

    “I got a surgery, epidural steroid injections, acupuncture, anti-inflammatories, physical therapy, pool exercises,” he said. “I’ve tried anything that anyone has ever suggested me to try. Unfortunately what I do right now is the only thing that works.”

    Snook says though he might seem desperate like someone who is addicted to pain killers, he’s not. He’s not craving a quick fix. He leaves his home for treatment because he has no confidence in the doctors in Montana and he wants to be healed.

    “I believe pain control is a fundamental human right, or at least an attempt at pain control,” he said. “To deny someone with a horrible disease like me access to pain medications is the worst form of cruelty.”

    It was dark outside when Snook, his wife and the two other pain patients got off the plane in Los Angeles. They wheeled their suitcases to a rented SUV. When they got to the hotel, they smiled and greeted the lobby clerk by name.

    The trip has become routine. Every 90 days, they come here to see a doctor who gives them the care and prescriptions they say they can’t get at home.

    [Watch Video]

    Fear Among Montana Doctors

    Montana is a tough state to find many options for any medical care. Because much of the state is rural, residents often travel long distances, including out of state, for specialty care.

    In the past several years, the Montana Board of Medical Examiners has taken on several high-profile cases of doctors it suspects of overprescribing opioids. At least two Montana doctors have had their licenses suspended since 2014.

    Executive Officer Ian Marquand said his organization doesn’t play favorites. “The board does not encourage particular kinds of doctors, it does not discourage particular kinds of doctors. The door is open in Montana for any qualified, competent physician to come in and practice.”

    But Marc Mentel acknowledged that there’s fear around prescription painkillers in Montana’s medical community. He chairs the Montana Medical Association’s committee on prescription drug abuse, and he said he does hear of doctors being more wary.

    Mentel, who started practicing medicine in the 1990s, said that when he was training, medical education didn’t include treating long-term pain.

    “The perfect tool, the perfect medicine that would take away a person’s pain and allow them to function normally does not yet exist,” he said. “So we are trying to use any tool, any means we can to help lessen the severity of their pain.”

    Mentel said opioids do help some patients, but he hopes his generation of doctors will learn more about pain and understand ways to treat it beyond opioids.

    In March, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention published long-awaited guidelines that said opioids should be the treatment of last resort for pain, and if used, should be combined with other treatments such as exercise therapy.

    “Patients are in pain,” Mentel said. “We don’t have great tools for them and we need to recognize that this is going to be a chronic-disease state. They may be in pain for the rest of their lives. So … how do we treat them without actually harming them?” he said.

    The California Solution

    For Snook, relief is found at a small strip-mall clinic in suburban Los Angeles run by Dr. Forest Tennant, a former Army physician who says he has consulted for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the National Football League and NASCAR.

    He has about 150 patients, half of them from out of state.

    Tennant says there are legitimate reasons to be concerned about opioids, and that’s why doctors need to specialize in pain management.

    To an untrained physician, Tennant said, addicts and pain patients can look similar. “Doctors can get conned,” he said. “I think that it is true that we’ve had a lot of opioids that get out on the street, and people get them … whether it is heroin or a prescription opioid.”

    But opioids can also help people, Tennant said. Because of that, he said, the drugs shouldn’t be stigmatized, but used responsibly.

    “They are the last resort, when there is no other option. You don’t use them until everything else has failed,” he said.

    Tennant is lobbying for a Montana bill to guarantee more access to opioids for pain patients, so people like Snook don’t need to travel so far for a prescription.

    “Had I stayed in Montana, I would have killed myself,” said Snook. “I just want humanitarian care, and I get that in California.”

    This story is part of a partnership that includes Montana Public Radio, NPR and Kaiser Health News. Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. You can view the original report on its website.

    The post Montana’s ‘pain refugees’ leave the state to get prescribed opioids appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A view shows the damage inside a field hospital after airstrikes in a rebel held area of Aleppo, Syria on July 24, 2016. Photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

    A view shows the damage inside a field hospital after airstrikes in a rebel held area of Aleppo, Syria on July 24, 2016. Photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

    Syrian government airstrikes hit five medical clinics in the country’s Aleppo Governorate in raids that began Saturday night, the Associated Press reported, citing opposition activists.

    The strikes damaged four facilities, including a blood bank in the provincial capital of Aleppo, along with another clinic in the nearby town of Atareb.

    “Only one of the hospitals has suffered a direct hit,” said Bernard Smith, an Al-Jazeera reporter stationed along the Turkey-Syria border, also noting that some of the facilities were still functional. “People there say it has stopped operations for the moment, but we are told it will be back up in a couple of days.”

    At least five people, including one infant, died in the attacks.

    A nurse assists babies inside a nursery at a children's hospital that was partially damaged from recent airstrikes in a rebel held area of Aleppo, Syria. Photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

    A nurse assists babies inside a nursery at a children’s hospital that was partially damaged from recent airstrikes in a rebel held area of Aleppo, Syria. Photo by Abdalrhman Ismail/Reuters

    The raids come as pro-government forces, supported by Russian warplanes, are seeking to gain control of Aleppo.

    Troops supporting Bashar al-Assad recently cut off the supply route into Aleppo, preventing new medical supplies or workers from reaching the city of approximately 250,000 people.

    Medical facilities have suffered bombing and casualties over the course of Syria’s civil war. In April, airstrikes on Al-Quds hospital in Aleppo left 55 people dead.

    Physicians for Human Rights, an independent organization that tracks human rights in various conflict zones, claims that from the time the conflict began to the end of March 2016, 359 attacks on 256 medical facilities in Syria killed 730 medical workers.

    Amid the government siege  on Aleppo, a foreign ministry official said Sunday that the government was prepared to resume peace talks, which faltered during the spring.

    The post Airstrikes hit five medical facilities in Aleppo appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    PHILADELPHIA — Debbie Wasserman Schultz is resigning under pressure as Democratic Party chairwoman, a stunning leadership shakeup as party officials gather in Philadelphia to nominate Hillary Clinton.

    Wasserman Schultz’s announcement Sunday follows a firestorm over hacked emails suggesting the Democratic National Committee favored Clinton during the primary, despite pledging neutrality. The leaked emails prompted primary runner-up Bernie Sanders to call for Wasserman Schultz’s immediate resignation.

    In a statement, Wasserman Schultz said she will step down at the end of the four-day convention. She said she plans to formally open and close the convention, as well as address delegates.

    Her statement does not address the email controversy.

    Wasserman Schultz’s swift ouster underscores party leaders’ desire to avoid convention confrontations with Sanders’ loyal supporters. The chairwoman has been a lightning rod for criticism throughout the presidential campaign, with Sanders repeatedly accusing the DNC of backing Clinton.

    Sanders said the 19,000 emails published by the website Wikileaks appeared to confirm his suspicions.

    In one leaked email, a DNC official wondered whether Sanders’ religious beliefs could be used against him, questioning whether the candidate may be an atheist.

    Sanders pressed for Wasserman Schultz to quit as chairwoman immediately. He also suggested that Clinton’s choice of running mate, Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, was a disappointment and that he would have preferred Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of liberals.

    “His political views are not my political views. He is more conservative than I am. Would I have preferred to see somebody like an Elizabeth Warren selected by Secretary Clinton? Yes, I would have,” Sanders told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    The Clinton team worked to portray their party’s convention in a different light from the just concluded Republican gathering in Cleveland, where Donald Trump accepted the GOP nomination but party divisions flared when his chief rival, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, refused to endorse the billionaire businessman.

    Trump cast himself as the law-and-order candidate in a nation suffering under crime and hobbled by immigration, as the GOP convention stuck to a gloom-and-doom theme. Democrats said they wanted to convey a message of optimism and improving the lives of all Americans.

    But party disunity also seems to be a factor in Philadelphia, given Sanders’ demands for a new leader and general unhappiness among his many supporters about how the nomination process unfolded.

    Norman Solomon, a delegate who supports Bernie Sanders, says there is talk among Sanders’ delegates of walking out during Kaine’s acceptance speech or turning their backs as a show of protest.

    Solomon said he believes a “vast majority” of Sanders delegates support these kinds of protests to express their dismay. Sanders’ supporters say they are concerned that Kaine is not progressive enough.

    Dan O’Neal, 68, is a retired school teacher and delegate from Arizona, said Wasserman Schultz has to be censured.

    “We knew they were stacking the deck against Bernie from the get-go, but this type of stuff coming out is outrageous,” he said. “It proves our point that they’ve tried to marginalize him and make it as difficult as possible.”

    Trump’s campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, agreed, saying Sanders’ supporters “have a lot to complain about.”

    “The emails have proven the system was rigged from the start,” Manafort told “Fox News Sunday.”

    Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, tried to shift blame away from DNC officials to “Russian state actors” who, he said, may have hacked into DNC computers “for the purpose of helping Donald Trump,” the Republican presidential nominee.

    How the emails were stolen hasn’t been confirmed.

    “It was concerning last week that Donald Trump changed the Republican platform to become what some experts would regard as pro-Russian,” Mook said.

    Clinton is within just days of her long-held ambition to become the party’s official presidential nominee.

    After the DNC released a slightly trimmed list of superdelegates — those are the party officials who can back any candidate — it now takes 2,382 delegates to formally clinch the nomination. Clinton has 2,814 when including superdelegates, according to an Associated Press count. Sanders has 1,893.

    Sanders has endorsed Clinton, but his delegates are pushing for a state-by-state tally. The state-by-state roll call is scheduled for Tuesday.

    Also Sunday, Kaine and his wife, Anne Holton, were back at their longtime church in Richmond, Virginia, a day after he made his campaign debut with Clinton.

    Kaine, a former choir member at St. Elizabeth Catholic Church, sang a solo during Communion. He later told reporters outside the church: “We needed some prayers today and we got some prayers, and we got some support and it really feels good.”

    Associated Press writers Chad Day and Hope Yen in Washington, Alan Suderman in Richmond, Virginia, and Alex Sanz in Philadelphia contributed to this report.

    The post Debbie Wasserman Schultz to step down at end of party’s convention appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Bill Clinton is sworn-in as the 42nd President of the United States by U.S. Chief of Justice Honorable William H. Rehnquist (R) as his wife Hillary and his daughter Chelsea (L) look on in Washington, DC on January 20, 1993.  REUTERS/Jim Bourg - RTR1LRQR

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    Read the full transcript below.

    BILL CLINTON: In the name of the hard-working Americans who make up our forgotten middle class, I proudly accept your nomination for President of the United States.

    HILLARY CLINTON: When I look out at all of you, you know what I see? I see America’s future!

    JEFF GREENFIELD: 100 miles and 24 years separates the 1992 convention in New York from the one that open here in Philadelphia on Monday. But the distance is far greater than a matter of miles or years. Despite the familial link, the Democratic Party that will nominate the second Clinton is sharply different in makeup and philosophy from the one that nominated the first.

    Bill Clinton’s campaign was based on the idea that voters did not trust the Democrats with their safety or their money. He promised a different agenda — middle class tax relief, ending welfare as we knew it, tougher on crime, pro-death penalty.

    Bill Galston was a key architect of that agenda.

    BILL GALSTON: The move towards fiscal restraint and a balanced budget, which yielded four years of surpluses. A focus on education reform, not just education investment. Welfare reform. The trade agenda, which included not just NAFTA, but also the WTO.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: The Democrats in Philadelphia are striking sharply different notes.

    The platform calls for: ending mass incarceration, abolishing the death penalty, free college tuition for millions, cracking down on big banks, a public option for healthcare, and the right to an abortion without restrictions.

    Instead of Bill Clinton’s “wall of blue,” mothers whose sons and daughters were killed by police will speak here.

    ED RENDELL: Certainly, a Bill Clinton convention…would never have thought of having those type of speakers.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Ed Rendell, former Philadelphia Mayor, Pennsylvania Governor, and national party chair.

    ED RENDELL: There’s no question the left wing is more progressive. It’s more active; it’s more into advocacy than it ever has been.

    JEFF GREENFIELD:

    I remember Bill Clinton saying endlessly, and Hillary too, abortion should be safe, legal and rare. That’s not in the platform. Rare is out.

    ED RENDELL: We’ve become… The progressive wing of the party is more dominant than it’s been.

    JEFF GREENFIELD:

    One reason is demographics. Racial minorities, voters under 40, and college-educated whites are an increasingly dominant force.

    When Bill Clinton won reelection in 1996, he lost the White vote to Bob Dole by just 3 percentage points. Barack Obama won reelection in 2012 despite losing the White vote by 20 points to Mitt Romney. Obama won with huge majorities of Blacks, Hispanics, and Asians — who are now a bigger slice of the electorate.

    LEAH DAUGHTRY: And now we are the big-tent party and we represent the breadth and the diversity of this country, and here I am, an African-American woman from Brooklyn, New York, as the CEO.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Convention CEO Leah Daughtry say the changing approach to an issue like crime reflects a changing reality.

    LEAH DAUGHTRY: In those days when President Clinton was advancing the crime bill, everybody was in an uproar about the crack epidemic that was sweeping across the country, and everybody wanted something done about it. And so, you know–I think it’s–it is a mark of the Clintons to say, you know, looking back, no it was not the right thing.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: There is, of course, another reason why the Democrats have moved Left.

    BERNIE SANDERS: This type of rigged economy is not what America is supposed to be about.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Vermont’s Bernie Sanders, the only avowed socialist in Senate, mounted a surprisingly strong primary challenge to Clinton, winning 12 million votes and more than 18-hundred convention delegates.

    Colorado delegate Terry Tucker was one of them.

    TERRY TUCKER: The Democratic Party was always a party of the people. It’s become so much like the other party in many respects — the way you chase the big money, the way the establishment, the elite, choose which candidates are going to be put forward. We lost our roots, and we need to get back there.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Bill Galston says Hillary Clinton is walking a tightrope between the past and the present.

    BILL GALSTON: She understands that the party is nothing like the party that nominated and then helped to elect her husband.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Her challenge is crystallized by Sanders supporters like Terry Tucker.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: So if I could get you in a time machine, and you somehow could travel back to 1992, What would you tell them was going to happen to their party 24 years later when there’s another Clinton up?

    TERRY TUCKER: I believe there were some people that were trying to tell them that you’re shutting out a huge part of the party, and it’s going to have consequences.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: But if they say to you know what, we did put a two-term Democrat in the White House, so maybe Bill Clinton was onto something?

    TERRY TUCKER: You’ve got winning elections down. But when did winning elections mean that as a political party we don’t do the right thing?

    The post How Democrats have changed since the Bill Clinton years appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Tens of thousands of people attend a funeral procession to carry the body of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group, "Khmer for Khmer" who was shot dead on July 10, to his hometown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia July 24, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSJD8C

    Tens of thousands of people attend a funeral procession to carry the body of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group, “Khmer for Khmer” who was shot dead on July 10, to his hometown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia July 24, 2016. Photo by Samrang Pring/Reuters

    Tens of thousands of Cambodians filled the streets of Phnom Penh Sunday for a funeral procession of a well-known government critic who was gunned down earlier this month.

    Kem Ley, a Cambodian political commentator and activist, was shot to death at a convenience store at a petrol station on July 10.

    Police had arrested Oueth Ang, a 43-year-old man who claimed during questioning that he had killed Ley over a $3,000 debt that Ley failed to pay back, according to Kirth Chantharith, a spokesman for the National Police.

    But some Cambodians have raised doubts about the motive for the murder, saying that Ley’s outspokenness and involvement in political organization made him a target. Ley founded the Khmer for Khmer, a grassroots political advocacy group.

    Ley had also been a long-time critic of Cambodia Prime Minister Hun Sen and his government. Just two days before his death, Voice of America Khmer asked him to comment on a report by the London-based anti-corruption group Global Witness that revealed the prime minister’s family held the majority stake in companies whose value totals more than $200 million. Ley said those findings were still “understated”.

    Families and friends of the suspected shooter were also suspicious.

    People hold portraits of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group, "Khmer for Khmer", shot dead on July 10, as they attend a funeral procession to carry his body to his hometown, in Phnom Penh July 24, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring - RTSJD8S

    People hold portraits of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group, “Khmer for Khmer”, shot dead on July 10, as they attend a funeral procession to carry his body to his hometown, in Phnom Penh July 24, 2016. Photo by Samrang Pring/Reuters

    “I think there was someone behind my child’s back.” Ang’s mother, Ek Tap, said to Voice of America Khmer.

    Ang was charged with murder on Wednesday and faces up to life in prison if convicted.

    Sunday’s march, one of the largest protests in recent years, included mourners from across the country who flocked to the capital city to pay their last respect to the slain activist. With many dressed in black and white, massive crowds accompanied Ley’s glass casket from the capital city’s Wat Chas pagoda to Takeo province, where he was born.

    The body of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group "Khmer for Khmer", is carried by his relatives and supporters to put on a hearse during a funeral procession to carry his body to his hometown, in Phnom Penh July 24, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring - RTSJD8Q

    The body of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group “Khmer for Khmer”, is carried by his relatives and supporters to put on a hearse during a funeral procession to carry his body to his hometown, in Phnom Penh July 24, 2016 Photo by Samrang Pring/Reuters

    “He was a mirror of society, a hero. His murder is a huge loss to democracy,” 39-year-old Hul Chan said to Agence France-Presse as he was walking.

    The killing took place as tension is rising between the ruling Cambodia People’s Party, led by Hun Sen, and the opposition, Cambodia National Rescue Party, ahead of the general election in 2018. After the shooting, the president of the Cambodia National Rescue Party said Ley had planned to join the opposition party, according to reports by the Phnom Penh Post, a Cambodian newspaper.

    Hun Sen has condemned the shooting and ordered a “vigorous investigation.”

    People attend a funeral procession to carry the body of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group, "Khmer for Khmer" who was shot dead on July 10, to his hometown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia July 24, 2016. REUTERS/Samrang Pring - RTSJD8Y

    People attend a funeral procession to carry the body of Kem Ley, an anti-government figure and the head of a grassroots advocacy group, “Khmer for Khmer” who was shot dead on July 10, to his hometown, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia July 24, 2016. Photo by Samrang Pring/Reuters

    According to the Khmer Times, an English newspaper in Cambodia, Ley knew it was dangerous to speak against the government.

    “I never thought that I was going to live long,” Ley said. “One day, I might die or be shot to death. But as long as I live, I will say what the others dare not to. No one can buy me or make me not speak out.”

    The post Mourners of slain government critic fill Cambodia’s streets appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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