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

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    korea

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    NewsHour shares web small logo

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

    Maintaining a good work-life balance is important to many people. But in South Korea, one group of soldiers has found an unexpected way to unwind from the daily grind.

    The “NewsHour”‘s Julia Griffin reports.

    JULIA GRIFFIN: Once a week, these soldiers in the South Korean army’s 25th Division trade their military boots for a pair of ballet slippers. The plies, tendus and other exercises are aimed at relieving stress, as these troops are among those guarding the demilitarized zone along the border with North Korea.

    KIM JOO-HYEOK, South Korean Soldier (through translator): There’s a lot of tension here, since we live in the unit on the front line. it makes me feel insecure at times. However, through ballet, I am able to stay calm and find balance.

    JULIA GRIFFIN: Each session is taught by Lee Hyang-Jo, a ballerina with the Korean National Ballet.

    LEE HYANG-JO, Ballerina, Korean National Ballet (through translator): Living as a soldier is quite tough, so I wasn’t sure I could actually help them here. But now I feel worthwhile whenever I see them smiling more and enjoying ballet as they learn it little by little.

    JULIA GRIFFIN: And unit leaders have found the classes provide health benefits beyond stress relief.

    HEO TAE-SUN, South Korean Battalion Commander (through translator): Ballet requires a great amount of physical strength, is very good for strengthening muscle, increasing flexibility, and correcting posture. So I think that ballet has helped us.

    JULIA GRIFFIN: All the training appears to be paying off. The 15 soldiers plan to stage their own ballet performance at the end of the year.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Julia Griffin.

    GWEN IFILL: Ballet, that’s the stress relief I was looking for.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sure.

    In our NewsHour Shares series, we show you things that caught our eye recently on the web. What about you? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tweet to @NewsHour using #NewsHourShares. We might share it on air.

    The post From battlefield to ballet, South Korean soldiers dance off stress appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    emotion

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    GWEN IFILL: Now: developing technology that can better identify your own emotions.

    At a time when people are concerned about what data can track and how it can be sold, it is an advance that clearly raises concerns. But it may also yield some important benefits.

    The “NewsHour”‘s April Brown takes a look, part of our weekly series on the Leading Edge of science and technology.

    DAN MCDUFF, Director of Research, Affectiva: You can control the movements of BB-8, the little droid, based on how your facial expressions are changing.

    APRIL BROWN: If this little droid looks familiar, you may have seen him in the most recent Star Wars film. BB-8 moved on his own on the fictional planet Jakku, but here in Boston, Dan McDuff is in charge.

    DAN MCDUFF: It’s going to detect my face, and then start to be able to control the robot by making different facial expressions.

    APRIL BROWN: He’s taken off. He’s not pleased with you.

    The software that allows him to control BB-8 is called Affdex, and McDuff is the director of research for Affectiva, the company that created it.

    But Affdex can do much more than make robots move by making faces. It can also detect expressions to help determine how people are feeling.

    DAN MCDUFF: So, we’re using the camera feed to detect where your face is, track the feature points, and identify texture changes on your skin. And when you furrow your brow or smile, there are these distinctive patterns that the computer can recognize.

    And it’s actually been trained on hundreds of thousands of people, so it’s seen examples of smiles and brow furrows and frowns from many different people.

    RANA EL KALIOUBY, CEO, Affectiva: So, so far, we have collected over 50 billion emotion data points.

    APRIL BROWN: Rana El Kaliouby is Affectiva’s CEO, and the brain behind the artificial intelligence software.

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: I realized that we were spending so much time with our devices and our technology, yet it had absolutely no idea how we felt or what our mental state was.

    APRIL BROWN: How do you know that this is accurate?

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: Validation is a — we take that very seriously at Affectiva. We have a team of labelers based in Cairo, and they are certified facial action coders. And so we compare the accuracy of our machine-learning algorithms to the accuracy of these human experts.

    On some of these emotional states, we’re approaching expert human accuracy very, very fast.

    APRIL BROWN: Which ones?

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: So for example, with the smiles, with the eyebrow furrows and the eyebrow raises, it’s extremely accurate. It gets a little trickier when you look at, you know, lip puckers or lip purses or, you know, squints.

    Emotional intelligence is completely missing from our digital world, and so now there is a lot more understanding of why emotions are important and there — you know, there is a lot more understanding of how this type of technology can disrupt and transform a lot of industries.

    APRIL BROWN: The media and advertising industries quickly saw the value.

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: We have partnered with 1,400 brands. We test ads in 75 countries around the world.

    You want to know if people are resonating with your ad before it goes live and before you spend millions and millions of dollars. With our software, you can get a moment-by-moment readout of a viewer’s emotional journey.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The nature of our military has changed.

    APRIL BROWN: Like Affectiva itself did with a test to find out how well the candidates were connecting with viewers in one of the debates for the 2012 presidential election.

    Many other companies have found their own applications for the emotional recognition technology.

    ERIN REYNOLDS, CEO, Flying Mollusk: We call Nevermind a biofeedback enhanced adventure thriller game. Say that five times fast.

    APRIL BROWN: Erin Reynolds is CEO of Flying Mollusk, a company that created the video game Nevermind.

    ERIN REYNOLDS: Nevermind is a very creepy game, a very dark, surreal game. Often, the player will be a little stressed, a little scared, a little anxious when they are playing it. So you as a player have to learn how to stay calm under the pressure.

    The more scared or stressed you get, the faster it goes, so it becomes a lot harder to grab the hand.

    APRIL BROWN: While Nevermind’s purpose is entertainment-only right now, Reynolds hopes the game may eventually help people with post-traumatic stress disorder or anxiety. But the Affdex software is already being used in the medical field to try and improve lives.

    NED SAHIN, CEO, Brain Power: What do you see on screen?

    MATTHEW KRIEGER, 8 Years Old: Mom.

    APRIL BROWN: Eight-year-old Matthew Krieger has been diagnosed with autism.

    LAURA KRIEGER, Matthew’s mother: A lot of the trouble he gets into with other kids is, he thinks he’s funny and doesn’t read at all that he is not or that there are annoyed or angry.

    APRIL BROWN: Matthew’s mother, Laura, signed him up for a clinical trial being conducted by Ned Sahin.

    NED SAHIN: I want to know what’s going on inside the brain of someone with autism. And it turns out parents want to know that, too.

    You get points for looking for a while, and then even for looking away and then looking back.

    APRIL BROWN: Sahin’s company, Brain Power, uses Affectiva’s software programs Matthew sees through Google Glass. These games are trying to help him understand how facial expressions correspond to emotions and learn social cues.

    NED SAHIN: One of the key life skills is understanding the emotions of others. And another is looking in their direction when they are speaking.

    Looking at your mom, and while it’s green, you’re getting points. When it starts to get orange and red, you’re — you slow down with the points.

    MATTHEW KRIEGER: Am I looking at you?

    LAURA KRIEGER: You are looking at me. Are you looking at me? Do you think you are?

    MATTHEW KRIEGER: Yes.

    LAURA KRIEGER: Yes.

    MATTHEW KRIEGER: Well, I don’t know if I am.

    LAURA KRIEGER: You don’t know?

    MATTHEW KRIEGER: Because I found out that, if I look this way, it doesn’t count. But if I look through — if I look at the screen at you, I can still see your eyes, and it gives me points.

    LAURA KRIEGER: So — but if you tilt your head up and look under the screen, you feel like you are looking at me?

    MATTHEW KRIEGER: Well, I feel like I am both.

    APRIL BROWN: Just a few minutes later, the difference in Matthew’s gaze overwhelmed his mother.

    LAURA KRIEGER: I’m going to cry.

    MATTHEW KRIEGER: Why?

    LAURA KRIEGER: When you look at me, it makes me think you haven’t really before, because you’re looking at me differently.

    NED SAHIN: The brain learns very well by feedback. We don’t know for sure yet, but we’re going to find out if the kind of feedback we are giving can help people teach themselves these skills.

    APRIL BROWN: After the testing, Laura Krieger reflected on what happened.

    LAURA KRIEGER: It’s such a difference. And I have heard him even tell the psychologist when she works on eye contact, he says: “Well, I have a trick. I look at your forehead.”

    And that’s probably what people see in passing, is that counts for them as eye contact. And it did for me. But this was really different. Like, this was looking at me.

    APRIL BROWN: Allowing a computer to capture and read your emotions for research is one thing, but Affectiva’s Rana El Kaliouby says her company is concerned about how this sensitive material is used in all applications.

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: We recognize that your emotional information is extremely personal. And so we have veered away from all use cases where that data is being collected without your consent.

    APRIL BROWN: Is there not a slippery slope? If you are giving the computer the ability to recognize your emotions, is that not one step further towards something that could potentially do something dangerous?

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: I think these conversations are very important. I personally believe we are a long way away from that scenario.

    APRIL BROWN: Still, El Kaliouby sees her artificial intelligence work becoming ubiquitous in the years to come.

    RANA EL KALIOUBY: Fast-forward three to five years. We think our devices and our technologies will all have an emotion chip, so pretty much like our devices have a GPS or location-enabled apps today.

    Apparently, we check our phones on an average 15 times an hour, and so you can imagine that being an emotion data point check-in. And you can track a person’s mood.

    APRIL BROWN: And eventually, she hopes, it will help our devices convey more emotion than we can with the current technology.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m April Brown in Boston.

    The post How machines are learning to read your mood appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Protesters from the Refugee Action Coalition hold placards during a demonstration outside the offices of the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Border Protection in Sydney, Australia, April 29, 2016.  REUTERS/David Gray - RTX2C4Q5

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: We have reported at length for more than a year on the migrant crisis in Europe, the Middle East and North Africa.

    But, tonight, we look at the plight of those searching for new homes and lives far away from those shores.

    Hari Sreenivasan has that.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The government of Australia has, for years now, made it very clear that they will no longer accept refugees and migrants coming to the continent by boat. And those that do are sent to a tiny island nation called Nauru off Australia’s northeast coast.

    But recent reports by human rights advocates, and today from The Guardian newspaper, show nightmarish conditions for more than 1,000 people who were sent for processing by Australia’s government to this island nation.

    Allegations in the report include physical and sexual abuse, often aimed at children, and substandard and inhumane living conditions.

    For more on this, I’m joined from Paris by Anna Neistat of Amnesty International.

    Thanks for being with us.

    This is a hard place to get to. You gained access where many journalists have not been able to. Tell us what you saw when you got to this island.

    ANNA NEISTAT, Amnesty International: What I saw there can only be described as deliberate systematic abuse.

    We’re not talking about individual incidents. And the files released today make it crystal-clear. We are talking about patterns, patterns of really serious physical conditions, heart diseases, complications from diabetes, kidney diseases that are not being treated properly, and for which people are not being transferred elsewhere to get proper care.

    And probably the most nightmarish of it all is the state of psychological trauma and the rate of self-harm and attempted suicides amongst adults, but even worse among children.

    I personally interviewed several children, including a boy as young as 9, who already attempted suicide and was still talking about ending his life.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What’s behind this acute issues with the children? Why are they affected in this way?

    ANNA NEISTAT: Well, I think children are affected along with adults.

    Children, of course, are always some of the most vulnerable, but they’re also easy targets. What they see around them when their parents are trying to kill themselves in front of their eyes, that also has enormous effect on their psychological well-being.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Tell me a little bit about, what’s the relationship between Australia and this tiny island nation? It’s like 3,000 kilometers away.

    ANNA NEISTAT: Well, the relationship is pretty, pretty simple.

    At some point, when Australia decided that they are not going to accept refugees who are arriving by boat, ostensibly in order to prevent people from dying at sea and to combat smuggling, they set up this offshore processing.

    So Australia is now paying hundreds of millions of dollars per year for this operation. Obviously, it’s a significant part of Nauru’s economy. The island doesn’t really have much else. And, in exchange, obviously, Nauru gets some employment opportunities, some investment in its infrastructure. And many people of the people — so many of the people employed by the companies who work on Nauru are local.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: This is part of Australia’s policy to not allow any of these migrants or refugees to settle on Australian soil. They’re keeping them off the continent for a reason. They say that this is to create a disincentive, so more refugees don’t get on boats and you don’t see what’s been happening between the Middle East and Europe.

    ANNA NEISTAT: Well, yes, and I think that’s one of the most cynical refugee policies I have ever seen. And Australia is indeed quite open about that.

    They are essentially making an example of these people, so that the ones — the ones that are held in Nauru, so that others do not attempt the same route, do not arrive to arrive to Australia by boat. And I think this is not only unlawful, but it also again goes against any principles of humanity.

    What they have spent enormous effort on is keeping this whole situation secret. Right? That’s why many of your viewers, I’m sure, have never heard about this situation, is because they kept it completely secret. They do not allow independent journalists or almost any journalist in, for that matter.

    They do not allow any international observers, international organizations. But what’s more, they essentially swear everybody who works on the island into secrecy.

    But now this veil of secrecy is off. And now that it’s off, I really think it’s high time for Australia to stop denying — denying the undeniable and really start closing down this whole operation both in Manus and in Nauru and resettling people either in Australia or in an appropriate third country.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: We reached out to the Australian government for response, and they say that they are investigating the revelations today.

    Anna Neistat of Amnesty International, thank you.

    The post Migrants to Australia by sea face harsh conditions, reports find appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    autism3

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    GWEN IFILL: But, first, we continue our series A Place in the World.

    Last night, we reported on a group of young men with autism who have moved out of their childhood homes, in a first step toward living independently, all except the man on the lower right, whose level of disability makes the prospect of a rewarding adulthood much too complicated to achieve.

    John Donvan has part two of our report.

    JOHN DONVAN, Co-Author, “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism”: His name is Matt Resnik and, without knowing it, he has helped changed the face of autism in his hometown Phoenix, Arizona, and not just because he produces of a line of baked goods, SMILE Biscotti, which are for sale all over the city, even here at Peet’s Coffee at Phoenix International Airport.

    Matt is literally the face of SMILE Biscotti, where the ads quite deliberately mention that he has autism.

    MAN: Let’s go, Matt. Let’s go deliver.

    JOHN DONVAN: Indeed, he does.

    Go back a few minutes earlier to when we first started taping his delivery of biscotti, and his autistic nature is more than evident.

    ROB RESNIK, Father of Matt Resnik: All right, Matt, stop. We’re not going to look at the camera. Look straight ahead. Matt, look where we’re going. Come on. Look at me. Look at dad. All right, no more pictures. Come. on.

    JOHN DONVAN: That’s his dad with him, Rob Resnik. And the reason we didn’t formally interview Matt himself is that he cannot do a television interview.

    How are you today?

    ROB RESNIK: How you are?

    MATT RESNIK, SMILE Biscotti: I am magnificent.

    MATT RESNIK: Good. Good.

    JOHN DONVAN: He lacks the language skills for that, which is a key reason you don’t see many stories about people like him in the media. Moreover, without his dad guiding him, Matt would get lost here in hurry.

    It’s why he’s still lives at home, a grown man, with parents who are no longer young, and a mother who represents his closest connection to anyone. You can see that so easily, what’s between them.

    But there’s another side to this connection. It’s knowing that it may never be duplicated, and that no one else may have Matt’s back like this.

    DENISE RESNIK, Mother of Matt Resnik: I do worry about Matt. I worry because he is so trusting and so vulnerable. I worry about, who is going to be in his home or help him and who is going to understand him and all his idiosyncrasies? And will I be there?

    Let’s sit over here.

    JOHN DONVAN: And how Denise has responded to that worry, one that is shared by all parents of all children facing such challenges, it’s left its mark, and not just in her house, but in a much bigger way.

    Although changing the world was the farthest thing from her mind back when Matt was first diagnosed with autism in the early 1990s. Then, the mission looked like this.

    DENISE RESNIK: He was going to be one of those kids who recovered from his autism. I was sure of it. I was going to make sure that that happened.

    JOHN DONVAN: And here’s what that meant.

    DENISE RESNIK: Immediately after Matt’s diagnosis, I poured my heart and soul and every waking hour into making sure that we were going to provide Matt 40 hours of one-on-one therapy every week, then artfully integrate speech therapy and art therapy and riding therapy.

    JOHN DONVAN: Denise also followed the path taken by many other parents before her, in other times and places, helping to launch an organization, the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, SARRC for short.

    DENISE RESNIK: This is our classroom play area, and this is where a lot of learning takes place.

    JOHN DONVAN: Which would bring about, she hoped, the rescue she was praying for. That essentially was the mission back then.

    DENISE RESNIK: We do our research right here.

    JOHN DONVAN: SARRC even launched its own scientific research center and studied and developed autism-specific curricula. It was an all-out campaign that lasted years. The only thing was, Matt did not recover from autism. The available therapies can lead to dramatically different results in different people.

    And in Matt’s case, he did make strides. He learned to bike and to hike and to read some words and multiply numbers in his head, which came in handy when he helped his mom bake. But some things got worse, like his eating habits, chewing on things that were not food.

    DENISE RESNIK: He would eat things that were not edible. In a year, he chewed through 132 shirts.

    JOHN DONVAN: Nor did Matt ever learn to recognize danger in the usual sense. Even now, he wouldn’t know what to do if, say, something in the oven caught fire.

    And his language still has serious limits. He has never in his life asked a question or put together a spoken sentence of his own making.

    He never could talk the way he could sing, even back then, when Denise was still counting on this little kid outgrowing the challenges to his having a place of his own in the world out there.

    And over time, Denise came to the realization that it was the world out there that would have to change if Matt was to be safe and supported when his mom and dad were gone. Accepting that reality, in time, Denise shifted SARRC’s mission in a new direction.

    DENISE RESNIK: For the last two decades, I have poured my heart and soul into trying to build a community with a lot of other people, in trying to achieve a vision.

    JOHN DONVAN: And when you say community, you don’t just mean a community of the people directly affected by autism.

    DENISE RESNIK: Oh, I mean a broader community.

    JOHN DONVAN: Everybody.

    DENISE RESNIK: Right.

    JOHN DONVAN: And it’s why Phoenix, Arizona, SARRC’s hometown, may be the most autism-aware, autism-friendly metropolis in the world, one in which everywhere Denise pointed when we rode the light rail through downtown together, there was a business employing autistic people.

    DENISE RESNIK: And this is CVS pharmacy.

    JOHN DONVAN: Or a school with classes designed with autism in mind.

    DENISE RESNIK: You can see ASU.

    JOHN DONVAN: Or research centers investigating treatments.

    DENISE RESNIK: St. Joseph Hospital and Medical Center.

    JOHN DONVAN: SARRC now has literally dozens and dozens of private and public partners energized about supporting autism in real ways, and not just with money, but with jobs, access and housing, some of it captured in the story we told last night about that pilot program preparing autistic adults to live on their own and hold jobs, and also this preschool, which mixes classes of autistic with non-autistic children, because — and it’s with that mission in mind again — consider what happens when all these kids grow up.

    DANIEL OPENDEN, President, SARRC: They are inclusive of kids that are different or that have autism or that have disabilities out on the playground. They’re future employers. They’re future co-workers. So, we’re not having to teach these kids directly. They’re just consumed around people who are different from them.

    JOHN DONVAN: And that is the big picture that Denise has long had in mind, a world where support doesn’t merely mean paid staff providing services. It means, well, having neighbors who care, having friends.

    DENISE RESNIK: What people like Matt and others need, and what we need, are communities, communities that include friends, people to support us, health care, jobs, recreation, places of worship, transportation. And to think that a family can go at this alone to build a life for their loved one isn’t good enough.

    JOHN DONVAN: So, even if a family had all the money in the world, that — having those resources would not be enough to take care of their kid through adulthood and through life?

    DENISE RESNIK: It would be enough to take care of their kid, but what they may be lacking are friends, because you don’t pay your friends.

    JOHN DONVAN: The next major step, well, it’s an empty lot right now, but it won’t always be.

    So, when you come out here, do you — it is an empty field now, but do — can you see it?

    DENISE RESNIK: I can see it.

    JOHN DONVAN: Yes?

    DENISE RESNIK: I can see it. I can feel it. And it is going to happen. And it’s something I have been dreaming about almost since the first day the school bus arrived for Matt.

    JOHN DONVAN: This is the future site of an apartment complex to be called First Place, which will look like this, and will be supported by a collaboration among than 75 charitable, private and public groups, creating a neighborhood of people of varying levels of ability and disability with more or less support as needed. It is where Matt will live too.

    DENISE RESNIK: This is going to be his home. It may not be his home forever, but aptly named, it’s going to be his home when he leaves our family home.

    JOHN DONVAN: His first place away from home.

    DENISE RESNIK: It is.

    JOHN DONVAN: Ground-breaking is set for later this year. For now, though, Matt still has the two best support people anyone could ask for, his mom and dad, who are helping keep the biscotti business on track, one that employs several people on the autism spectrum.

    But when it’s just the three of them together, that’s when the question of Matt’s future comes back into focus, with the hope that 10, 20, 30, 40 years from now, he will have a whole community by his side and at his back, taking in the song, and caring what he has to say.

    MATT RESNIK (singing): And I’m free, free-falling.

    JOHN DONVAN: For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Donvan in Phoenix.

    The post How Phoenix became the most autism-friendly city in the world appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    fittobe2

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now back to the presidential race, and new questions this week surrounding Donald Trump’s temperament.

    For two views on what exactly makes a presidential candidate fit to lead, we are joined by retired Air Force General Michael Hayden. He’s former director of the Central Intelligence Agency and of the National Security Agency. And Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, he served as an aide to former Attorney General John Ashcroft in the George W. Bush administration.

    And we welcome both of you to the “NewsHour.”

    General Hayden, to you first.

    You were one of 50 Republicans to sign an open letter this week saying that Donald Trump shouldn’t be elected president. You said he would be the most reckless president in U.S. history. What do you base that on?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN, Former NSA and CIA Director: Well, I mean, obviously, that’s a prediction that is based on our analysis. He’s not yet become president and he’s not done anything in the Oval Office.

    But we based it upon what we have seen of the candidate during the campaign. We have based upon the kinds of things that he said, the kinds of responses that he’s had to provocations. We see a lack of the proper temperament, character, patience, civility, knowledge, and let me add, curiosity.

    When we were waiting for a turn — and we understand there is a political process here. Some things happen early in a campaign. Some things happens later. We were waiting for an adjustment, where the candidate was more serious, more fact-based, more concerned about the specifics of what he was saying, and it just didn’t happen.

    So, we felt we had to point that out.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Temperament, character, and so on, Kris Kobach, as someone who supports Donald Trump, what do you say to that?

    KRIS KOBACH, Secretary of State, Kansas : I disagree.

    And I have had the advantage of the opportunity to meet with Mr. Trump on several occasions. And my experience is that he’s very intelligent. He’s thirsty for information. He wants to hear what you have to say. He listens to his advisers. He digests the information very quickly, and he’s got a good memory, because I remember one time I was talking to him about something, and then he pulled some information out of his memory banks that was a great connection that I hadn’t even thought to mention to him.

    So, I think there is another difference here, too. Different presidents are different as far as their public persona vs. their persona meeting with advisers. For example, George Bush was pretty much the same in person as when he was speaking publicly.

    I think Donald Trump has a stage persona and he also has a temperament when meeting with his advisers. Now, the positions are the same, but the attitude is a little bit different.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let me ask you General Hayden about that.

    What about that? What if there is a different Donald Trump who is more reasoned and more rational in private?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: So, why isn’t he running? I mean, that’s a little bit like pay no attention to the man in front of the screen, to paraphrase “The Wizard of Oz.”

    We have campaigns so that the electorate can get to know the candidate and make an intelligent choice. And so if the candidate is hiding his true persona, seems to defeat the whole purpose of electoral campaigns.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What about that, Kris Kobach?

    KRIS KOBACH: In the course of a — speaking at a public event, you are not going to suddenly change course or then show a lack of confidence, whereas, in person, he may say, OK, well, tell me more. I need to know more about this.

    And so that’s the point I’m making. The public is getting to see who Donald Trump is. My point is that the allegation General Hayden had made was that he doesn’t listen to people. And I don’t know how he can make that allegation unless he’s seen the person in a room and been talking with him and providing information.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you do say, General Hayden, in the letter that your sense of Donald Trump is that he doesn’t listen. You say that he met with Henry Kissinger, he met with James Baker.

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Jim Baker, right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Didn’t seem to change his views.

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: And came out, and asked, did talking to those very prestigious members of the American national security community, above party, actually, said, did they change your views on anything? No.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Kris Kobach, let me come back to Donald Trump’s comments yesterday in North Carolina about Hillary Clinton, about the Second Amendment, suggesting that — quote — “Second Amendment people” might put a stop to Hillary Clinton naming certain judges.

    We now learned today that the Secret Service is having conversations with Mr. Trump’s campaign about that comment. How did you read what he said? How do you explain it?

    KRIS KOBACH: Oh, I think it was pretty clear, if you look at the video.

    The audience is interacting with him while he’s giving a speech. And he says, look, it’s too bad. If Hillary gets the ninth nominee on the Supreme Court, they’re going to take away your Second Amendment rights. And then he says, well, the Second Amendment people might be able to do something about it, in so many words.

    What I read that is, even if the Supreme Court rules, Congress still has the pass a law confiscating weapons or banning certain firearms. And Second Amendment people are the NRA, the Gun Owners of America, all these organizations that have incredible influence on Capitol Hill.

    I think that’s exactly what he meant. And I don’t see a person why a person would read into that some sort of threat of violence or assassination, as the Hillary Clinton campaign hyperventilated. I just don’t think that’s even plausible.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, we know, General Hayden, even some people in the audience took to it mean — may have been a joke, but that he was referring to…

    (CROSSTALK)

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Well, let me — I don’t. I watched it, and I believe what he said was what he said.

    But let me just for the moment accept Kris’ approach to this. It shows a certain lack of understanding of American political history, American political culture, that even if he actually meant to say this, that he chose to say it like this, given our darkest history in terms of political assassination, in what universe does someone want to be president of the United States and think that that’s an OK formulation?

    I can go further because it’s part of a pattern. In what universe does someone who might actually become the president of the United States say, nah, you know, we may not — we may not live up to our NATO commitments, an attack against one — or an attack is an attack against all, unless everyone has paid their bills?

    I mean, in what universe does someone who is actually going to be the president of the United States think it’s OK to say, they hate us, they all hate us, Islam hates us?

    You don’t have to become president for those statements to actually harm American national security.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Kris Kobach?

    KRIS KOBACH: I don’t think those statements are exactly as the general has characterized them. He doesn’t say all of Islam hates us.

    He has said that we have to vet people coming in from places in the world where Islamic radical terrorism is prevalent and put a temporary halt on some of those entries from those parts of the world.

    I mean, look, he often will express something in a general principle or general idea, and then usually he will come back and give some specifics. I would like to turn, though, to presidential temperament again.

    Another factor is independence. Right? You want the president to be uninfluenced by any factors other than his advisers and the best interests of the United States. I think, on that category, Donald Trump easily beats Hillary Clinton. We have the example of the Clinton Foundation.

    At the very time that the Algerian government was having multiple meetings with the Clinton State Department, she was receive — the foundation was receiving half-a-million from the Algerians. At the very time that a Russian uranium executive transferred $2.35 million to the foundation, she then OKs a deal where the Russians gain control of 20 percent of U.S. uranium interests.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me put that…

    KRIS KOBACH: That’s a big issue, too. And I think people will wonder, as long as the Clinton Foundation exists, has there been a recent contribution and is she going to look at that before she makes a decision?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Let me put that question to General Hayden.

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Sure.

    Look, I agree with Kris that you don’t want a president who is subject to external influence, external being outside of the United States, outside the proper course of our political process. I get that.

    And I’m not carrying any brief here for Secretary Clinton. But what — I’m just simply pointing out that if you look at the series of things that the candidate has allowed himself to say, if he governs in any way consistent with those statements, I think we have grounds to be afraid, very afraid.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you mean that literally?

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: One of the things that prompted the letter was the seeming tenor of the campaign and of the candidate, frankly, to think that the world’s an ugly place right now simply because his predecessors were stupid or weak or corrupt.

    The world is an ugly place because the world is very complicated place, and there doesn’t seem to be any appreciation for the complexity of the problems that he’s going to have to face as president. And if he goes in there with a simplistic understanding and simplistic answers, it’s going to make the world worse.

    And, again, that is no brief for his predecessor, whom I have criticized more often than not.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Kobach, final last word.

    KRIS KOBACH: I certainly agree with the general comment that Mr. Trump has made that the world is a dangerous place. And it’s a more dangerous place than it was seven years ago.

    And you also have to think about the president’s position with respect to our enemies. And I think there, too, you have a better person, a better chief executive in Mr. Trump, because no one doubts that he’s willing to walk away from a deal if it’s a bad one. No one doubts that he’s willing to punish our enemies if they transgress U.S. interests, whereas, with Hillary, she is very predictable.

    And you don’t expect anything different than really than we saw under the Obama administration. So I think that in terms of the American interests, I would feel more safe with a President Trump representing those interests to the world.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, retired Air Force General Michael Hayden, we thank you both.

    GEN. MICHAEL HAYDEN: Thanks.

    Thanks, Kris.

    KRIS KOBACH: Thank you.

    The post Is Donald Trump fit to be president? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    rawlings-blake2

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    GWEN IFILL: A bruising report released by the Department of Justice today spelled out a long pattern of racial discrimination by the Baltimore Police Department. The investigation was commissioned in May 2015, after the death of a black man, Freddie Gray, in the back of a police van.

    Gray’s death sparked city-wide protests and thrust Baltimore to the forefront of a national reckoning on race and policing. The report examined police practices from 2010 to 2015. The numbers paint an unmistakable picture of policing disparities. Baltimore is 63 percent African-American, but blacks were charged with 91 percent of discretionary offenses, and made up 82 percent of traffic stops.

    More than 40 percent of all pedestrian stops in the city came in the two small predominantly African-American districts. One black man was stopped 30 times. None resulted in any charges.

    The investigation also found police frequently used excessive force and escalated encounters.

    Vanita Gupta, who leads the Civil Rights Division at the Department of Justice, announced the findings today at a press conference with Baltimore’s mayor and police commissioner.

    VANITA GUPTA, U.S. Department of Justice: These violations have deeply eroded the trust between BPD and the community it serves, trust that is essential to effective policing, as well as to officer and public safety. The problems in Baltimore didn’t happen overnight or appear in a day. The pattern and practice that we found results from longstanding systemic deficiencies in the BPD.

    GWEN IFILL: I spoke with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake at Baltimore City Hall this afternoon.

    Madam Mayor, thank you for joining us.

    The words used to describe this report have been astounding, shocking, amazing. I don’t think I can overstate it. And there have been other reports done. There have been other examinations. Why are we just reaching this point now?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE, Baltimore: I think woe are reaching this point because the city has leadership that is focused and determined on making meaningful reforms.

    We have tried to improve the police department, the policing strategy, the relationships with the police and the community. In the past under my administration, when I saw that we were falling short, that’s when I asked the Department of Justice to come in for a collaborative review to help us strengthen our community policing effort.

    And when I saw that that was insufficient, that’s when I asked for the Department of Justice to do the patterns and practice investigation. What I heard from the Department of Justice is that they’re clear that these are longstanding, systemic issues that predate me and some that predate my life that we have had in Baltimore.

    But the difference today is that there is leadership in place that’s determined to get it right, because that’s what the citizens of Baltimore deserve.

    GWEN IFILL: Most people in this country know of what happened in Baltimore because of the Freddie Gray case. The Department of Justice says this is not just about Freddie Gray, but would these efforts have been put into place without Freddie Gray?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Well, I can only speak to my track record.

    And before the tragic death of Freddie Gray and the unrest that followed, these reforms were under way. Before the death of Freddie Gray, I was in a very lonely fight in Annapolis, our state capital, to get reforms, to fight for reforms to the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights, something many people in the community felt was a barrier to the trust relationships that they believed were necessary for progress.

    They thought it was a barrier to holding officers accountable for wrongdoing. That happened before. That fight happened before. The collaborative review happened before the death of Freddie Gray.

    GWEN IFILL: Let’s step back from just your administration, because what this report shows is something pretty pervasive that I’m not sure that any report could fix. It’s a pervasive attitude not only on the parts of police, but also on the part of the community.

    How does a report or even a negotiated settlement or a consent decree get to the bottom of those attitudes?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I think it is going to be up to everyone in the community to say that we have to come to the table in a spirit of collaboration with mutual respect and roll up our sleeves and do the hard work of getting to better.

    We cannot afford to do what I have seen in too many parts of the country, where people just, you know, retrench to their corners, right, and just shout and they’re angry and they’re frustrated. If we can’t figure out a way to turn that anger and frustration into action, we’re not going to get better.

    GWEN IFILL: If I am the black man who’s been stopped 30 times for crossing the street by an officer in this police department, why should I believe any of that?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: You should believe it because there is nothing about my administration that is trying to hide him or any of the problems that we have from the public.

    I am — I have today and have always been about shining a light on our most pressing challenges, so that we can be about the business of fixing them and of getting, you know, better and safer and stronger as a city.

    GWEN IFILL: The police chief, the police commissioner said today he’s already fired six police officers in 2016. Were they particularly connected to this?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: No, it’s an effort, his ongoing efforts to hold officers accountable for their actions.

    And I’m grateful to have a police commissioner who’s been through a patterns and practice of investigation and consent decree. He understands the importance of holding officers accountable. He is side by side with me in these efforts to strengthen or to reform the Law Enforcement Officers Bill of Rights to give him more authority to deal with officers that have been found guilty of wrongdoing. It is a frustration.

    GWEN IFILL: Were these specific firing, did they have to do with this ongoing investigation, or are they separate?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: I would say separate, but it is a clear indication that the work of reform, the work of better transparency and holding officers accountable is ongoing.

    GWEN IFILL: Would you say that the retrofitting of police vans that you mentioned in your news conference today, which, obviously, that’s how Freddie Gray died, in the back of a police van, would you say that was also part of this, or was that something that was ongoing beforehand?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: There were some changes in policy that were being implemented.

    But as far as the retrofitting and the cameras, I’m not tone-deaf to what happened with the death of Freddie Gray. We knew that we needed to make changes with training, with equipment, with being able to hold officers accountable when it comes to transportation. And that’s why these changes were made.

    GWEN IFILL: In the end, what you agreed to today with the Justice Department — and I want to read it to get it right — an agreement in principle which leads to framework for negotiations, which to, once again someone in Sandtown-Winchester, the neighborhood where so many of these things have happened, looks at that and says, what does that even mean and how does that have any effect on me?

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: What it means is that the Department of Justice has never had as detailed a blueprint moving forward with a city on how we can be better, that they should know that the level of commitment that I have, that the police commissioner has, that the rank-and-file officers have to improving not just the relationship with the police and the community, but also the results for getting a safer city, there is no stronger example of our determination and our intention to be better.

    There is no stronger example in the country than what we’re doing here in Baltimore.

    GWEN IFILL: Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, thank you very much.

    MAYOR STEPHANIE RAWLINGS-BLAKE: Thank you.

    The post Baltimore mayor urges turning anger into action after DOJ report on policing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Libyan forces allied with the U.N.-backed government fire weapons during a battle with IS fighters in Sirte, Libya, July 21, 2016. REUTERS/Goran Tomasevic/File Photo - RTSLTSA

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    GWEN IFILL: In the day’s other news: U.S.-backed fighters in Libya claimed they have captured Islamic State headquarters in the city of Sirte. Militias attacked ISIS positions in June, but the fighting had been stalemated for weeks. They finally broke through with the help of U.S. airstrikes that began 10 days ago.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In Afghanistan, the government is sending more troops to a key southern province, in the face of major Taliban gains.

    Insurgent fighters have surrounded Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand Province, after weeks of intense fighting. Newly deployed security forces arrived on the outskirts of the city today to join the battle. The Afghan units are getting air support from the U.S.

    GWEN IFILL: A tragedy overnight in Baghdad. Officials say a dozen babies died in a fire that engulfed a hospital maternity ward. Investigators said initial indications are the blaze was sparked by faulty electrical wiring. Bereaved families gathered outside the hospital today, appealing for information and struggling to come to terms with their loss.

    SHAYMA HUSSEIN, Bereaved Mother (through translator): I looked at the victims. I saw them charred. It was a horrible scene. It was very difficult for me to give birth to a child. I have had medical treatments to have a baby. After all these efforts, I received a charred body.

    GWEN IFILL: Outrage over the fire is likely to add to pressure on Iraq’s government to upgrade deteriorating facilities.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Brazil’s Senate formally voted today to put President Dilma Rousseff on trial. She was suspended in may for allegedly violating budget rules and spending funds without government approval. The trial will begin later this month, and if Rousseff is convicted, she will be expelled from office.

    GWEN IFILL: And at the Summer Olympics, an American cyclist won the gold medal in the women’s time trial in road racing. Kristin Armstrong has now won that event for the third straight Olympics. She turns 43 years old tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, organizers stepped up security after someone pelted a media bus with rocks last night. Two people were hurt.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: More headaches today for Delta Air Lines passengers, in the wake of Monday’s computer outage. More than 300 flights were canceled and hundreds more were delayed. That is on top of some 1,800 scrapped on Monday and Tuesday.

    GWEN IFILL: On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 37 points to close at 18495. The Nasdaq fell nearly 21 points, and the S&P 500 slipped six.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And archaeologists in Bulgaria have found what is likely the world’s oldest gold artifact. The tiny bead measures only about an eighth of an inch across, and dates back to around 4500 B.C. It was discovered in the country’s south, at the site of one of Europe’s earliest urban settlements.

    The post News Wrap: Libyan headquarters of ISIS captured, claim U.S.-backed fighters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally in Abingdon, Virginia, U.S. August 10, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTSMGYR

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: The presidential contest found Donald Trump trying to move on again from something he said a day earlier. Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, looked to capitalize on the furor.

    Correspondent Lisa Desjardins has our report.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Amid talk of campaign resets, Donald Trump changed scenes today, trading his usual large rally for, first, a small roundtable of coal executives and workers in Southwestern Virginia, and, later, a speech on jobs, especially mining jobs.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: The mines will be gone. The mines will be gone if she gets elected.

    LISA DESJARDINS: That was Trump on offense. But he’s also on defense over these words from yesterday about Hillary Clinton and gun rights.

    DONALD TRUMP: If she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks, although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is. I don’t know.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Trump told FOX News he meant political action, not violence.

    DONALD TRUMP: Nobody in that room thought anything other than what you just said. There can be no other interpretation. Even reporters have told me. I mean, give me break. But the dishonest people — what it is, there is a tremendous power behind the Second Amendment. It’s a political power. And there are few things so powerful, I have to say, in terms of politics.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Others charged Trump was indeed inciting violence. Even House Speaker Paul Ryan, celebrating his own primary victory last night, suggested the nominee explain.

    REP. PAUL RYAN, Speaker of the House: I heard about the Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Hillary Clinton, in Des Moines, Iowa, slammed her opponent.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Words matter, my friends. Yesterday, we witnessed the latest in a long line of casual comments from Donald Trump that cross the line. Every single one of these incidents shows us that Donald Trump simply doesn’t have the temperament to be president and commander in chief of the United States.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    LISA DESJARDINS: This as the Clinton campaign unveiled new Republican endorsements today, and publicly launched a new official push called Together for America to win over more Republicans and independents, all that as a new Reuters survey shows more Republican voters may be up for grabs. About one-fifth of registered Republicans said they want Trump to drop his presidential bid entirely.

    It’s led to a new line from the Democratic nominee.

    HILLARY CLINTON: I am humbled and moved by the Republicans who are willing to stand up and say that Donald Trump doesn’t represent their values.

    LISA DESJARDINS: But she too faced criticism over newly released e-mails from her time as secretary of state. They show staffers for the Clinton Foundation worked to gain favors and help for donors with some of her staff at the State Department. Trump blasted his opponent over the issue.

    DONALD TRUMP: It’s called pay-for-play. And some of these were really, really bad, and illegal. If it’s true, it’s illegal. You pay if you’re getting things.

    LISA DESJARDINS: With three months left in the election, the candidates are hitting hard and looking especially to big states. Tomorrow, Trump heads south to Florida; Clinton goes north to Michigan.

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

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    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida August 10, 2016. REUTERS/Eric Thayer - RTSMJ9L

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump attends a campaign rally at the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, on Aug. 10. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

    SUNRISE, Fla. — Donald Trump is now accusing President Barack Obama of founding the Islamic State group that is wreaking havoc from the Middle East to European cities.

    “In many respects, you know, they honor President Obama,” Trump said Wednesday during a raucous campaign rally outside Fort Lauderdale, Florida. “He is the founder of ISIS.”

    He repeated the allegation three more times for emphasis.

    Trump also pointedly referred to the president by his full legal name: Barack Hussein Obama.

    The Republican presidential nominee in the past has accused his opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton, of founding the militant group. Shiftingt he blame to Obama on Wednesday, he said “crooked Hillary Clinton” was actually the group’s co-founder.

    As he works to keep his campaign message on track, Trump in recent days has sometimes tried to clarify controversial statements by arguing he was being misinterpreted. But given the opportunity Thursday morning to walk his statement back, Trump did the opposite.

    “He was the founder, absolutely the founder,” Trump said on CNBC. “In fact he gets the — in sports, they have awards. He gets the most valuable player award.”

    Trump has long blamed Obama and his former secretary of state — Clinton — for pursuing Mideast policies that created a power vacuum in Iraq that was exploited by IS, another acronym for the group. He’s sharply criticized Obama for announcing he would pull U.S. troops out of Iraq, a decision that many Obama critics say created the kind of instability in which extremist groups like IS thrive.

    The White House declined to comment on Trump’s accusation.

    The Islamic State group began as Iraq’s local affiliate of al-Qaida, the group that attacked the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001. The group carried out massive attacks against Iraq’s Shiite Muslim majority, fueling tensions with al-Qaida’s central leadership. The local group’s then-leader, Jordanian-born Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, was killed in 2006 in a U.S. airstrike but is still seen as the Islamic State group’s founder.

    Trump’s accusation — and his use of the president’s middle name, Hussein — echoed previous instances where he’s questioned Obama’s loyalties.

    In June, when a shooter who claimed allegiance to IS killed 49 people in an Orlando, Florida, nightclub, Trump seemed to suggest Obama was sympathetic to the group when he said Obama “doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands.” In the past, Trump has also falsely suggested Obama is a Muslim or was born in Kenya, where Obama’s father was from.

    The president, a Christian, was born in Hawaii.

    Trump lobbed the allegation midway through his rally at a sports arena, where riled-up supporters shouted obscenities about Clinton and joined in unison to shout “lock her up.” He railed against the fact that the Orlando shooter’s father, Seddique Mateen, was spotted in the crowd behind Clinton during a Monday rally in Florida, adding, “Of course he likes Hillary Clinton.”

    Sitting behind Trump at his rally on Wednesday was former Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned in 2006 after allegations he sent sexually suggestive messages to former House pages.

    The post Trump says Obama is the ‘founder of ISIS’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Mercedes Vega raises her fist while protesting outside a rally for Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump in Fresno, California, U.S. May 27, 2016. REUTERS/Noah Berger - RTX2EK7N

    Mercedes Vega protests outside a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump in Fresno, California, on May 27. Photo by Noah Berger/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump and his campaign are expressing ideas similar to those espoused by white supremacists, legal, media and civil rights experts say.

    In addition, the experts said Wednesday, white supremacists are using the 2016 presidential elections to attempt to control the culture of politics.

    “Many white supremacists see this as their last stand for controlling the country,” Heidi Beirich, head of the Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center, said on a conference call with reporters.

    Representatives of Trump’s campaign and the Republican National Committee did not return calls seeking comment.

    Beirich said Trump has flirted with these groups and their ideals through some of his campaign statements and platforms, including building a wall between the U.S.-Mexico border; a proposed ban on Muslims entering the country; planning to join Marco Rubio at what they consider an anti-LGBT event in Orlando on the two-month anniversary of the Pulse massacre; and the failure to immediately denounce the endorsement of David Duke, former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.

    [Watch Video]

    Angelo Carusone, executive vice president of Media Matters for America, a liberal advocacy group, noted that Trump has retweeted posts from white supremacist accounts on Twitter.

    Twitter is Trump’s biggest microphone, and his rhetoric correlates with some of the beliefs of white supremacy organizations and communities, Carusone said.

    Sophie Bjork-James, a Vanderbilt University lecturer and expert in white supremacist social movements, said white nationalists are attempting to increase their numbers through Trump’s campaign.

    “They are organizing online to rebrand to respectable politics,” she said. “Instead of being racist, they try to be respectable, but they are also using conspiracy theories to control the media through their social media handles for white nationalist ideas.”

    The post Experts say white supremacists see Trump as ‘last stand’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Flickr user Rosie O'Beirne.

    Photo by Flickr user Rosie O’Beirne.

    Low-income Californians who are elderly and disabled were less likely to go to the emergency room or be hospitalized after their in-home caregivers participated in an intensive training program, according to a report.

    Under a pilot program, nearly 6,000 aides in Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Contra Costa counties were trained in CPR and first aid, as well infection control, medications, chronic diseases and other areas. All were workers of the In-Home Supportive Services program, who are paid by the state to care for low-income seniors and people with disabilities, many of them relatives.

    Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco based their analysis on the results in Contra Costa County, which they said produced the most complete and reliable data.

    UCSF professor emeritus Bob Newcomer said they compared insurance claims on 136 at-risk elderly and disabled residents whose caregivers were trained with the claims from more than 2,000 similar residents whose caregivers did not receive the training. Though the sample was small, Newcomer said he was encouraged by the findings.

    “Training shows a lot of promise,” he said.

    The rate of repeated emergency room visits declined by 24 percent, on average, in the first year after caregivers were trained and 41 percent in the second year, according to the UCSF analysis.

    The  demand for in-home caregivers is rising nationwide as the population ages and people develop dementia or live longer with chronic diseases. Caregivers typically help elderly and disabled people with bathing, dressing, eating and getting to medical appointments. The work is largely unpaid and done by family members, but some states pay caregivers for eligible low-income residents through their Medicaid programs.

    There are currently no federal training requirements for in-home caregivers, even if they are paid with taxpayer dollars. Around the country, however, training programs have been developed and tested, according to the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, an advocacy group that also provides training. Among the states that have tried different types of instruction are Massachusetts, North Carolina and Michigan.

    California’s In-Home Supportive Services program pays caregivers to help about half a million elderly and disabled people stay in their homes rather than be placed in institutions. To qualify for the care, seniors must be eligible for Medi-Cal, be 65 or older, and be blind or disabled.

    There are currently no federal training requirements for in-home caregivers, even if they are paid with taxpayer dollars. Around the country, however, training programs have been developed and tested.
    The goal of the pilot program was to determine whether educating IHSS caregivers and integrating them into the medical team would improve the health of their patients. The training was conducted by the California Long-Term Care Education Center under a three-year, $11.8 million grant from the federal Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The center, which released the report on the results of the pilot program, worked in conjunction with UCSF.

    The caregivers in all three counties, 44 percent of whom did not have a high school education, voluntarily attended about 60 hours of classes and completed 13 hours of related work at home. The people they cared for also took part in some of the classes, which were conducted in several languages.

    Caregivers who were trained told researchers they felt better equipped to do their jobs and communicate with clients and their doctors, according to the report.

    One of the caregivers, Andrew O’Bryan, said he was especially happy to learn CPR in case his mother has an emergency. For more than eight years, he has been paid by IHSS to care for his 67-year-old mom, Anabelle O’Bryan, who he said has diabetes, congestive heart failure, arthritis and high blood pressure.

    O’Bryan, who lives in Oakley, a city in Contra Costa County, said he also learned what to ask when he accompanies her to the doctor and how to decide if she needs to go to the hospital.

    “Now I am more equipped to spot things” before they get worse, he said.

    For example, O’Bryan said he knows to elevate her feet when they get swollen rather than immediately take her to the ER.

    Annabelle O’Bryan said she is more confident in her son’s abilities after he took the class, and she knows that he is helping her stay healthier.

    “He is really on top of me not eating the sugar,” she said. “He is really careful about that.”

    Newcomer of UCSF said that because the caregivers are in the patients’ homes for hours, they can be the “eyes and the ears” for physicians and other medical providers. They can tell the doctors “if the person is more confused, or is refusing to eat, or that the status is changing,” he said.

    The results of the study show that caregivers play a pivotal role in helping keep people out of the hospital, said Corinne Eldridge, executive director of the California Long-Term Care Education Center. The nonprofit center was founded in 2000 by members of the Service Employees International Union, which represents many IHSS workers.

    During the training sessions, Eldridge said, the caregivers learned skills such as how to read medication labels or provide the best diet for a diabetic patient. Like Andrew O’Bryan, they also became more confident about handling worrisome situations, such as deciding when to call a doctor or dial 911.

    Eldridge said the center is now hoping to gain support from Medi-Cal health plans to help pay for the training as a way to reduce health care costs.

    “We really see training as part of the solution in order to provide better care … and frankly as a way to invest in the workforce,” she said.

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

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    [Watch Video]Watch Hillary Clinton’s economic speech at 1:15 p.m. EDT today.

    DETROIT — Hillary Clinton is set to go after Donald Trump’s economic agenda, aiming to portray her rival’s approach as offering handouts for the rich that could imperil the economy.

    The goal of her speech Thursday afternoon at manufacturing company in Warren, Michigan, was to play up her focus on job development, public works projects and tax policy while trying to undercut the Republican nominee’s approach. Clinton was not expected to come out with any major new policies during her remarks.

    Her appearance follows a Trump speech on the economy, also in Michigan, on Monday. But those remarks were quickly eclipsed by the latest in a series of controversial statements which Trump has spent much of the week trying to clarify. Clinton is trying to taking advantage of the turmoil in the Trump campaign, pitching herself to independents and moderate Republicans, and building on her momentum after party conventions.

    Clinton intended to try to make the case that Trump’s agenda would benefit him and his wealthy friends, and to characterize his plans as an update of “trickle-down economics,” according to her campaign.

    Also look for Clinton to argue that Trump’s drive to cut taxes on certain business income would benefit many of his companies.

    Clinton is also planning to release her 2015 tax returns in the coming days, as she seeks to keep the pressure on Trump, who has not provided his. Trump has said he won’t release them until an IRS audit is complete.

    A source close to Clinton said she would soon release the return, supplementing the decades of returns she and her husband have already made public. Her running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine and his wife will also release the last 10 years of their returns. The source spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the plans in advance.

    Trump outlined a revamped economic package in his speech Monday. Clinton attempted to draw contrasts when she spoke at a rally Wednesday in Des Moines, Iowa. She said that according to independent analysis “under my plans, we’ll create about 10.4 million new jobs. Under Donald Trump’s so-called plans, we will lose about three and a half million jobs.”

    Clinton has proposed a large public works project, pledged to roll back tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas, and said she would not raise taxes on the middle class. She has promised more money for education, a higher federal minimum wage and increased support for small businesses.

    U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gestures as she speaks during a rally at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa August 10, 2016. REUTERS/Chris Keane - RTSMHG2

    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton gestures at a rally at Lincoln High School in Des Moines, Iowa on Aug. 10. Photo by Chris Keane/Reuters

    “We’re going to stand up for small business and help create more of them to create more good jobs here and across America,” Clinton said in Iowa.

    Trump wants to cut taxes for businesses and workers, and go with a three-bracket income tax system that’s close to what House Republicans have recommended. With few exceptions, Trump has provided more of a philosophical basis for an economic plan than specifics, although he did call for greater child care deductions for families.

    At a rally Wednesday in Abingdon, Virginia, Trump was dismissive of Clinton’s upcoming speech and criticized her economic record as a senator for New York. He said her remarks would be “very limited.”

    Both candidates chose tightly contested Michigan — specifically, the Detroit area — to make their updated economic pitches. The former manufacturing powerhouse has been hard hit by the decline of the automobile industry and the real estate market.

    Trump has struggled to keep the focus on his economic proposal week after fresh controversy with his comments about the Second Amendment. At a rally Tuesday, Trump falsely said his Democratic rival wanted to revoke the right to gun ownership. He then said there was no way people would be able to stop a President Clinton from stacking the Supreme Court with anti-gun justices, before adding, “Although the Second Amendment people, maybe there is — I don’t know.”

    Democrats said such comments were further evidence that Trump was undisciplined and unprepared for the presidency. Trump insisted he was never advocating violence against Clinton.

    Clinton said it was one more example of words that could have “tremendous consequences.” Clinton said the remark was a “casual inciting of violence” that shows Trump lacks the temperament to be commander in chief.

    Later Wednesday, Trump stirred up another fuss by calling President Barack Obama the “founder” of the Islamic State militant group — and Clinton its co-founder.

    Clinton’s campaign stepped up efforts to win over Republicans and independents, launching a group that aims to use a wave of nearly 50 recent endorsements of Clinton by high-profile Republicans and independents to persuade voters to cross party lines.

    Associated Press writer Josh Lederman contributed to this report from Abingdon, Virginia.

    The post WATCH LIVE: Clinton to portray Trump economic plans as handouts for rich appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by H.-Y. Wey/Science Translational Medicine

    Photo by H.-Y. Wey/Science Translational Medicine, courtesy of STAT

    Don’t let the pretty tangerine and lemon-yellow glow in the brain pictures fool you. If its inventors are right, an elegant new neuroimaging tool provides more than fetching pictures: It shows for the first time where genes are being turned on or off in living brains, scientists reported on Wednesday.

    Until now, gene activation in human brains could be detected only in dead ones. By revealing DNA’s on-off choreography in brains that are still thinking, feeling, and remembering, the new technique promises to reveal genetic underpinnings of mental health and, perhaps one day, detect the earliest hints of a brain being gripped by Alzheimer’s, schizophrenia, or other diseases.

    “This is really exciting, pioneering work,” said John Satterlee of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, who coordinated the NIH’s program to study patterns of gene silencing and gene activation, and who was not involved in this study. “They took us to a place we didn’t know anything about” — patterns of gene expression in living human brains — “and showed us the lay of the land.”

    Brain epigenetics — which genes are turned on or off in different structures — has become a hot topic, as neuroscientists realized that the sequences of inherited DNA explain very little about psychiatric illnesses. In contrast, which genes are turned on and off might be important in a wide range of brain disorders, including addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, Rett syndrome, depression, and schizophrenia, as well as age-related changes. And because life events can alter genes’ on-off state, epigenetic changes might be how tragedy, trauma, and other experiences cause long-term changes in the brain.

    Gene activity “is so responsive to the environment, we simply can’t study it outside of its natural context,” said chemist Jacob Hooker of Massachusetts General Hospital, who led the research, published in Science Translational Medicine. “[Dead] brains and living brains will look very different.”

    “I’m hoping these colorful maps let us compare healthy brains with the brains of people with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other diseases.” — chemist Jacob Hooker
    The new technique is a cousin of PET. Traditional PET detects the emission of subatomic particles called positrons from radioactively tagged glucose, the brain’s energy source, and thus reveals which brain regions are active. This version of PET detects positrons coming from radioactively-tagged “Martinostat,” a small molecule Hooker and his colleagues created in 2012. (They patented and licensed Martinostat.) Given intravenously, the molecule slips through the blood-brain barrier (thanks to a clutch of atoms that “acts like a greaseball,” Hooker said). Once in the brain, it binds to enzymes called HDACs that turn off genes — including genes important in forming synapses and therefore learning and memory. PET detects the positrons, and presto: a brain map showing where genes are being turned off.

    That could be a first step at discovering where, in the brain, the genetic lights go out, triggering illness.

    Hooker’s team administered Martinostat (named for the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at MGH) to eight healthy volunteers. The scientists were trying to show that the technique could work in living brains, but beyond that proof of principle, they also made some tentative discoveries.

    The molecules that silence genes were most abundant in the cerebellum, in the back of the brain, which regulates movements, and the putamen, which does that plus coordinate some forms of learning. The gene-silencing molecules were least abundant in the hippocampus (forming memories) and amygdala (processing and producing emotions such as anger). It’s not clear what might explain that pattern, but one possibility is that regions with the fewest of these molecules have the greatest potential for “neuroplasticity,” or altering their neuronal connections in response to the life the brain’s owner leads.

    More striking than the differences among brain regions was the unexpected similarity between people. Regions with lots of gene silencing in one person’s brain were also regions with lots of silencing in others’ brains, while regions without much gene silencing were also mostly the same.

    The uniformity suggests there might be a baseline pattern of gene activation in healthy, living brains. If so, then deviations from that pattern might be used to diagnose illnesses before symptoms appear. In the brains of deceased Alzheimer’s patients, for instance, the hippocampus is shot through with gene-silencing molecules.

    “I’m hoping these colorful maps let us compare healthy brains with the brains of people with schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s and other diseases,” pinpointing regions with aberrant patterns of gene expression, Hooker said.

    The new PET technique cannot identify which specific genes are being turned off. But that can be done in dead brains, said Hooker, “and we’re trying to map out which genes are involved” in which conditions.

    His team has already used the new technique to image the gene-expression patterns in the brains of nine people with schizophrenia and a few with Huntington’s disease. They have funding to start doing so with Alzheimer’s patients. The results might show how gene-silencing gone wrong explains the conditions and, one day, point the way to treatments. “This is really the first step in being able to look” at how genetic on-off signals might cause, or at least be harbingers of, such brain diseases, said the NIH’s Satterlee.

    That possibility has already caught the attention of the biotech industry. Cambridge, Mass.-based start-up Rodin Therapeutics is working on developing drugs that, by inhibiting gene-silencing enzymes, might treat Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and PTSD. The approach has enough promise that biotech giant Biogen is willing to pay $500 million for it.

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

    The post New technique sees brain gene activity in living color appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    New York police officers pull a man from the outside of Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 10. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    New York police officers pull a man from the outside of Trump Tower in New York on Aug. 10. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    The New York Police Department has identified the man who scaled the glass facade of the Trump Tower using large suction cups.

    The NYPD said Thursday that the climber was 19-year-old Stephen Rogata, of Great Falls, Virginia. He was arrested on charges of reckless endangerment and criminal trespass.

    The man had said he was seeking “a private audience” with Donald Trump, though it’s not clear what he wanted to discuss. He spent hours scaling the 68-story building Wednesday before police grabbed him through a window on the 21st floor.

    The tower is headquarters to Trump’s Republican presidential campaign and his business empire. Trump also lives there, though he was away Wednesday.

    It wasn’t immediately clear if Rogata has an attorney.

    The post Police identify man who scaled Trump Tower appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A "Water Pickup" sign points to a bottled water distribution center for Flint, Michigan residents on Jan. 13. Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    A “Water Pickup” sign points to a bottled water distribution center for Flint, Michigan residents on Jan. 13. Photo by Rebecca Cook/Reuters

    Lead levels are dropping in Flint, Michigan, but residents should still flush taps, according to test results Virginia Tech researchers announced Thursday.

    In the most recent round of testing in July, 45 percent of homes did not have detectable levels of lead, compared to only 9 percent of homes in August 2015.

    “This really shows that the corrosion control and all the other things implemented by the feds, the state and the city are really working,” Virginia Tech professor Marc Edwards, who led the study, said in a press conference. “Flint’s system is on its way to recovery.”

    Video by Associated Press

    Researchers cautioned that the study, which was funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, was a random sampling and did not target “high-risk” communities, which are likely to have higher rates of contamination.

    “Homeowners in Flint should continue to follow the state and EPA’s advice of using their lead filters and continuing to drink bottled water,” Virginia Tech Ph.D. student Kelsey Pieper said.

    Virginia Tech’s work in Flint began last year when the first round of testing discovered that the city’s tap water was contaminated with lead.

    In the months since, the city has reverted its water supply from the contaminated Flint River back to Detroit’s water system, EPA officials treated pipes to prevent corrosion, and federal, state and local officials encouraged residents to flush out the lead-tainted water from their pipes by regularly running their faucets.

    Virginia Tech researchers also tested Flint homeowners’ water heaters, not only for high lead levels, but also for other contaminants, including the bacteria that causes Legionnaires’ disease. They announced Thursday that bacteria levels are normal, and there is no need for concern.

    Even with the positive results, Edwards said Flint and the entire country has a long way to go. A USA Today report found excessive lead levels in nearly 2,000 water systems in all 50 states.

    Many buildings and homes still have lead pipes, which health officials say need to be replaced, but that will take time.

    “It might very well, across the country, take 100 years before we get all the lead plumbing out,” said Edwards.

    Edwards said in the next six months, Flint should see dramatic improvements. He added that he hopes Flint can be used as a test case for how the country can address lead contamination on a larger scale.

    On Sunday, a federal state of emergency will end in Flint and the state will take over the costs of providing bottled water to residents.

    READ MORE: New CDC data exposes scope of Flint water crisis, lead exposure

    The post Lead removal from Flint water making progress, researchers find appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. President Barack Obama waves to reporters as he walks out with First lady Michelle Obama from the White House in Washington, U.S. August 6, 2016 before departure for their summer vacation in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas - RTSLFBN

    President Barack Obama waves to reporters as he walks out with first lady Michelle Obama from the White House before departure for their summer vacation in Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. Photo by Yuri Gripas/Reuters

    EDGARTOWN, Mass. — President Barack Obama’s summer jams range from a little pop to a little hip hop, and much in between.

    The White House released the president’s playlist Thursday during Obama’s family vacation on Martha’s Vineyard.

    Classics include the Beach Boys’ “Good Vibrations” and Prince’s “U Got the Look.” When he gets into the mood for more recent releases, he’s listening to “Acid Rain” by Chance the Rapper and “Forever Begins” by Common.

    The president is a huge jazz fan, and his playlist includes “Lover Man” from Billie Holiday and “My Funny Valentine” from Miles Davis.

    Obama says via Twitter: “Been waiting to drop this: summer playlist, the encore. What’s everybody listening to?”

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

    The full list of 39 songs is broken down into daytime and nighttime categories, and people can listen to many of the tracks on the Spotify streaming service.

    The titles alone show the president adjust his tastes a bit as day turns into night. In the day category, there’s “So Ambitious” from Jay-Z and Pharrell and “The Man” from Aloe Blacc. And at night, there’s “Lean In” from Lizz Wright and “Say Yes” from Floetry.

    The full list of songs and artists:

    Daytime

    • “LoveHate Thing,” Wale
    • “Smooth Sailin’,” Leon Bridges
    • “Elevator Operator,” Courtney Barnett
    • “Home,” Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros
    • “Many the Miles,” Sara Bareilles
    • “Tightrope” Janelle Monae
    • “Classic Man,” Jidenna
    • “So Ambitious,” Jay-Z, featuring Pharrell
    • “Me Gustas Tu,” Manu Chao
    • “Forever Begins,” Common
    • “The Man,” Aloe Blacc
    • “As We Enter,” Nas & Damian “Jr. Gong” Marley
    • “Sinnerman,” Nina Simone
    • “U Got the Look,” Prince
    • “Rock Steady,” Aretha Franklin
    • “Good Vibrations,” Beach Boys
    • “Don’t Owe You A Thang,” Gary Clark Jr.
    • “Man Like That,” Gin Wigmore
    • “II B.S.,” (edited) Charles Mingus

    Nighttime

    • “If I Have My Way,” Chrisette Michelle
    • “Espera,” Esperanza Spalding
    • “Tell It Like It Is,” Aaron Neville
    • “Alright,” Ledisi
    • “Trapped By A Thing Called Love,” Denise Lasalle
    • “Lady,” D’Angelo
    • “So Very Hard to Go,” Tower of Power
    • “Midnight Sun,” Carmen McCrae
    • “Cucurrucucu Paloma,” Caetano Veloso
    • “Green Aphrodisiac,” Corinne Bailey Rae
    • “I’ll Be There for You/You’re All I Need,” Mary J Blige and Method Man
    • “Lover Man,” Billie Holiday
    • “Criminal,” Fiona Apple
    • “Acid Rain,” Chance the Rapper
    • “My Funny Valentine,” Miles Davis
    • “Do You Feel Me,” Anthony Hamilton
    • “I Get Lonely,” Janet Jackson
    • “Lean In,” Lizz Wright
    • “All Day Music,” War
    • “Say Yes,” Floetry

    The post Here are Obama’s top songs of the summer appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the National Association of Home Builders event in Miami, Florida. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at the National Association of Home Builders event in Miami, Florida. Photo by Eric Thayer/Reuters

    Frustrated Republicans have drafted a letter to Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus urging him to stop helping Donald Trump win the White House. They want the party to focus its resources instead on protecting vulnerable Senate and House candidates.

    A draft of the letter, obtained by The Associated Press, warns that Trump’s “divisiveness, recklessness, incompetence and record-breaking unpopularity risk turning this election into a Democratic landslide.”

    GOP operative Andrew Weinstein says 70 Republicans have signed the letter so far, including five former members of Congress and 16 former RNC staffers.

    They want Priebus to immediately shift “all available RNC resources to vulnerable congressional candidates to “prevent the GOP from drowning with a Trump-emblazoned anchor around its neck.”

    The RNC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

    SUBSCRIBE: Get the analysis of Mark Shields and David Brooks delivered to your inbox every week.

    The post Republicans urge RNC to stop helping Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A worker monitors a process inside the plant at the copper refinery of Codelco Ventanas in Ventanas city, northwest of Santiago, Chile January 7, 2015. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido/File Photo - RTSLRAM

    A worker monitors a process inside the plant at the copper refinery of Codelco Ventanas in Ventanas city, northwest of Santiago, Chile on Jan. 7, 2015. Forty-nine percent of the Chile’s exports are related to the copper industry, and the dramatic slump in prices has hit the Latin American country hard. Photo by Rodrigo Garrido/Reuters

    From Asia and Africa to Europe and the Americas, economic pessimism is running rampant. Chile has not been immune.

    As the world’s largest producer of copper, the Latin American country has been hit hard by the dramatic slump in prices. It’s not just that Chile is a big player in the copper market; the copper industry is a big player in the Chilean economy. As noted by Stratfor, “49 percent of the country’s exports are related to the copper industry, and mining activities account for about 14 percent of Chile’s gross domestic product.”

    “49 percent of the country’s exports are related to the copper industry, and mining activities account for about 14 percent of Chile’s gross domestic product.”

    The outlook for copper prices is not rosy: Supply is expanding, while demand slows. Analysts are warning that robust supply growth is likely to keep prices low for some time to come. Meanwhile, China, the world’s largest consumer of copper, is enduring a rapid economic deceleration that has dampened its appetite for the metal.

    There is, however, an appetite for something else that Chile produces. Thanks to decades of economic progress, there is a large and growing middle class of emerging markets consumers demanding more and more protein. Chile is well positioned to capture some of this demand; it’s the world’s second largest producer of salmon behind Norway. Unfortunately, an algal bloom has devastated the country’s salmon farms, killing 20 percent of their fish. Salmon exports were also hit by currency fluctuations and concerns about the use of antibiotics in fish farming.

    READ MORE: Column: In Brazil, finding opportunity in deepening crisis

    If plunging copper prices and dead fish weren’t enough, a corruption scandal has hit the country’s political class. The public prosecutor has charged that the fertilizer and lithium producer SQM bribed politicians from all major parties. Amidst this political and economic turmoil, business confidence has dipped below levels seen in the global financial crisis, and unemployment is rising.

    Despite the gloom, Chile has fundamental strengths. For one, Chile is endowed with world-class institutions. Despite the ongoing corruption scandal, the country ranks 23rd on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index, tied with France and close behind places like Ireland, Hong Kong and the United States. Moreover, the Heritage Foundation ranks Chile’s economy the seventh freest in the world, ahead of Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The country’s central bank is a model for similar economies. A fiscal surplus rule has limited what it can spend from resource windfalls.

    If plunging copper prices and dead fish weren’t enough, a corruption scandal has hit the country’s political class.

    And while major Chilean industries face difficulties today, the country’s economic potential inspires hope. The country’s copper mines may have a cloudy future, but the country has other commodities. Chile contains over half of the world’s lithium reserves and is the world’s lowest-cost producer. And because lithium is a key ingredient in batteries, used in everything from smartphones to electric cars, demand is slated to explode — potentially tripling by 2025. Although the exploitation of these resources has seen significant hiccups in Chile, they could be a source of prosperity in the coming years.

    Chile also has abundant renewable energy, with solar capacity quadrupling since 2013. The country has 29 solar farms, with 15 more on the way. According to Bloomberg, solar was so abundant that the price of energy fell to zero on 113 days this year through April.

    And while the salmon industry may be suffering today, it would be imprudent to think it won’t rebound. The industry has resolved to reduce its reliance on antibiotics, a move that could stoke demand from consumers conscious of the risks associated with the drugs.

    READ MORE: Could lithium become the new oil?

    Another bright spot in the nation’s culinary offerings is wine. Chile’s geography is almost ideal for vineyards, whose cultivation area has grown 25 percent in the last five years. The country supplies more wine to Japan than France, and its sales to China rose by 53 percent in 2015.

    Chile has also made an admirable effort to spark a startup tech sector. In 2010, the government launched Start-Up Chile, a program that incentivizes entrepreneurs to run their young businesses in the country for at least six months. To date, the initiative has taken on over 1,000 companies, and some locals now even speak of a “Chilecon Valley.” While most firms leave after the short required period, proponents say the program could be priming the pump for future dynamism, “[changing] Chileans’ attitudes and [providing] them with a global network of business contacts.”

    It’s only a matter of time before Chile’s economic chill thaws.

    Also promising is Chile’s membership in the Pacific Alliance, a trade bloc that includes Colombia, Mexico and Peru and represents 38 percent of the region’s GDP. Labeled “the most important alliance you’ve never heard of” by The Atlantic, the group of countries is coordinating a set of economic reforms, including slashing tariffs and easing travel between the countries. The alliance might serve as a gateway for Asia to do business with Latin America.

    So while the country’s economic mood is bleak, we shouldn’t miss the big picture: Chile is a stable, free country with promising opportunities for growth. It’s only a matter of time before Chile’s economic chill thaws.

    The post Column: Its copper industry dulled, Chile’s future still looks bright as a penny appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Gamblers Play Slot Machines in Casino in Atlantic city in the 1980s. Photo by Leif Skoogfors/Getty Images

    Gamblers Play Slot Machines in Casino in Atlantic city in the 1980s. Photo by Leif Skoogfors/Getty Images

    Editor’s note: NJTV created a comprehensive series that looks into the history of Atlantic City, from its booming heydays through its decline and what hope the resort city has in reviving its fortunes for the future.

    In 1976, Atlantic City, NJ — long an iconic seaside resort and home to a legendary boardwalk — became the first location outside Nevada to legalize casinos. But by 2014, four of Atlantic City’s twelve casinos had closed, costing nearly 8,000 people their jobs. Today, in this crucial election year, the political and economic future of the remaining casinos, those still working there and the city itself hang precariously in the balance.

    Almost one year ago, a team from the “Chasing the Dream” reporting initiative in collaboration with NJTV began chronicling the struggle of that historic city through those most affected by the boom and the bust.

    “Voices from Atlantic City” tells the story of the rise and fall of this gambling and entertainment mecca through the unique perspectives of local stakeholders – once prosperous card dealers, cocktail waitresses, construction workers and others — who lost their jobs or are hanging on to them by a thread, yet who still manage to have hope for the future.

    PART 1: THE PROMISE

    In this first episode of “Voices from Atlantic City,” we learn about the heady optimism as Atlantic City pioneered the idea of using casino gaming to revitalize a depressed urban community.

    PART 2: THE HEYDAY
    ​The 80s were the days of glitz and glamour, Donald Trump and disco. In this episode, we meet a cocktail waitress, a pit boss, a hair stylist and a drug dealer who tell us what life was like at a time when the opportunities seemed limitless.

    PART 3: THE DECLINE

    By 2014, the fallout from the economic crash of 2008 and other factors resulted in the closing of four casinos, costing 8,000 people their jobs. In this episode of “Voices from Atlantic City,” we learn about the social, political, natural and economic factors that lead to the closings, and hear from the workers themselves about the day they learned the doors were closing.

    PART 4: THE AFTERMATH

    In this episode, we explore the difficult road ahead for those affected by the closing of the casinos, as we follow former workers to a welfare-to-work program, a food bank, and a sheriff’s sale — today, with the casino closings, Atlantic County, New Jersey, now has the highest rate of home foreclosures in the country.

    PART 5: THE FUTURE

    In this final chapter of our series, as the summer of 2016 approaches, workers at the Trump Taj Mahal attempt to save one of the last vestiges of the “good old days,” while others search for new directions for themselves and the city’s economy.

    The post Inside Atlantic City’s boom and bust appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    pappas

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Now: a poet and filmmaker who also happens to be an Olympic runner in Rio. She’ll be competing tomorrow.

    And, as you’ll see, there are a number of connections for her between the way she writes and the way she runs.

    ALEXI PAPPAS, Olympic Long-distance Runner, Greece: My name is Alexi Pappas. And I’m a professional long-distance runner with Nike. And I’m also a filmmaker, actress and poet.

    This summer, I will race in my first Olympic Games in the 10,000 meters on the track. I will be running for Team Greece. I’m a duel citizen and decided to compete for Team Greece because I can compete at the highest level, but I can also reach a young generation of girls who don’t necessarily have the long-distance role models that we are lucky enough to have in the United States. So, I’m very excited.

    I think I was a more serious poet before I was a serious runner. What I find with writing that is so special, and in poetry in particular, is, there’s such an economy of words. And I like having absolute freedom within boundaries.

    And in running, similarly, there are these limitations. So, in a race, you might have a certain lane that you have to stay in or a certain number of laps or a course. But within those boundaries, there’s so much room for freedom and creativity and personality.

    “Breaking Tape.”

    “It happened like I imagine it would feel to throw open big double doors, the kind from a mansion or dollhouse. I looked maybe like a very strong princess charging through the gate towards the castle I built myself.”

    “Tracktown” is a film that we have just made and premiered and is inspired by my observations and experiences as an elite runner in Eugene, Oregon. And when I moved to Eugene to run a fifth year with the Oregon Ducks after I graduated Dartmouth, I found that the town and the community embraced running in a way that I had never seen before.

    WOMAN: “A goal is a dream with a deadline” — Napoleon Hill.

    ALEXI PAPPAS: As a storyteller, I want to tell stories that I uniquely can tell and stories in highly specific worlds that most people don’t get the chance to see.

    And so “Tracktown” is set in the running world, but is really about this girl, and what is her life like on the track, but especially off the track.

    The Olympics have been on my mind since my dad brought my brother and me to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. I wanted to experience something at the highest level. And being there, you’re among, like, greatness, like great minds and great bodies.

    In terms of being nervous about what people are concerned about in Rio, it’s not the first thing on my mind. And I think a lot of athletes will agree that we have worked for more than four years for this dream, for our whole lives.

    And nothing can stop most of us from going and realizing that dream.

    “Scary Things.”

    “The thing about scary things, like spiders, is that they do not scare me nearly as much as the things I want the most things.”

    The things you’re scared of, I think, is a reflection of how I feel every day. Like, as a runner and a filmmaker, I wake up every single day a little bit nervous, but in a good way. There’s always a goal that I always have, maybe a goal for that day or a goal for longer-term, an Olympic dream.

    It’s admitting that these pursuits are really hard, but they’re really beautiful. And I hope I always have something that I wake up being like a little bit scared and very excited for.

    GWEN IFILL: You can read more about Alexi Pappas and hear her read more of her poems on our Web site at PBS.org/NewsHour.

    The post This Olympian — and poet — on her love for “freedom within boundaries” appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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