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

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    Dutch police are using eagles to hunt drones. Photo by Christopher Booker

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    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Police in the Netherlands are taking a unique approach toward unwanted, and potentially unsafe, drones. They’re the first in the world to use birds to hunt and catch drones that are being used illegally.

    These eagles are trained to see the drones as prey. Using their hunting instinct, they intercept the device mid-air and carry it to a safe landing place. They’re rewarded with a piece of meat after each successful capture. The Dutch police began testing the use of the birds last year, and this week announced the results from the trial period. The eagles successfully brought down the drones 80 percent of the time.

    Now, they will begin deploying eagles to capture drones that pose a potential danger, including when they fly in restricted air space, too close to airports, or during visits from dignitaries. The Dutch police say that none of the birds were harmed during the testing, but they continue to monitor any impact on the talons of the eagles. And they are commissioning special claw protectors that will help further prevent injuries to the eagles when they intercept larger drones.

    MARK WIEBES: Up until now, our only option has been to try to find a drone operator, a pilot. But it can be very hard to find that person. It can take a long time. And that’s why you want to have the ability to capture the device yourself.

    CHRISTOPHER BOOKER: Eventually, about 100 officers across the country will be trained to use the birds. For now, these drone hunters are being provided and trained by a private company. But the Dutch police are committed to the plan, and have even begun to raise their own eagle chicks. They expect to have their own flying squad trained and hunting drones by next summer.

    The post Dutch police use eagles to hunt illegal drones appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A patient opens an app that's meant to identify people at risk for suicide. Photo by Saskia de Melker

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    By Melanie Saltzman and Saskia de Melker

    Tens of millions of Americans struggle with mental illnesses, and knowing who, among these individuals, is at risk for suicide is one of the biggest challenges psychologists and psychiatrists face.

    There are a growing list of groups considered at high risk for suicide — for example, people with medical conditions, mental health issues, or military veterans — but those groups are too large to effectively narrow down. And with few diagnostic tools beyond their clinical judgement, doctors mostly rely on individuals verbally expressing their thoughts and plans to kill themselves.

    But now, researchers are developing technological innovations to go far beyond talk therapy and more accurately diagnose imminent suicide risk.

    “Traditionally, if someone was suicidal out in the world, we would wait for them to come into our office or into our lab and tell us they’re suicidal and we’d ask them about what their experience was like,” suicide researcher Dr. Matthew Nock said. “But now with new technologies, we can take the lab and bring it to the person.”

    At Massachusetts General Hospital, Nock is using computer and smartphone-based tests that unveil a person’s subconscious associations with suicide. He’s also using bracelets that track an individual’s biological signals so he can search for physical and behavioral patterns among those who are suicidal. And at Bradley Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island, Dr. Daniel Dickstein has developed video games that tap into the inner workings of the brains of bipolar children.

    Scientists say the results from all these tools are promising, but they need more funding and support to continue developing these innovations.

    Read the full transcript below.

    ALISON STEWART: In New York City this summer, more than two thousand people gathered for the biannual “out of the darkness” overnight walk. It covers 16 miles from dusk to dawn, in memory of those who have died from suicide. Rosemary Fuss traveled from Boston. It’s the tenth time she’s walked for her son, Tommy.

    ROSEMARY FUSS: We are part of a family. We are survivors. And we are committed to saving other precious lives. We can’t bring our loved ones back, but we can certainly do something to help others.

    ALISON STEWART: The event raises awareness and money to research suicide prevention. Suicide deaths in the United States rose from 29,000 people in 1999, to nearly 43,000 in 2014. And the overall suicide rate between those years is up 24 percent. Suicide is now the nation’s 10th leading cause of the death, and the second leading cause for young people between 10 and 24 years old. Like Tommy Fuss.

    ROSEMARY FUSS: He was a 17-year-old kid who presented himself in a confident, independent way. A kid who had everything to live for.

    ALISON STEWART: At what point in this process, in your journey, did you realize that Tommy was struggling?

    ROSEMARY FUSS: It’s hard to know what is a struggle that is associated with a mental illness and what’s the normal adolescent finding his own self. We did receive a call from someone at the school who said, “You know, maybe Tommy should see someone, talk to someone, I think Tommy is depressed.” My husband and my first reaction was, Tommy? Depressed? You’ve got to be kidding.

    ALISON STEWART: Tommy did see a therapist, but no serious issues were revealed. A couple of months later, rosemary found her son’s suicide plan. It was foiled and tommy spent one night in a hospital.

    ROSEMARY FUSS: The psychiatrist and others thought get him back into his functioning environment; we’ll treat him as an outpatient. But Tommy did not share his inner self.

    ALISON STEWART: Two months later, Tommy turned on his family’s car, left the engine running inside the garage, and killed himself by carbon monoxide poisoning.

    JEFF HUFFMAN: We don’t have any way particularly of knowing what a person’s thoughts or planned actions are going to be.

    ALISON STEWART: Doctor Jeff Huffman is the director of inpatient psychiatry at massachusetts general hospital. He was not involved in Tommy’s care.

    JEFF HUFFMAN: During our training, a lot of the focus on assessing people’s suicide was asking people directly but also kind of using your quote unquote clinical judgement. And there was a sense that as you grew as a psychiatrist, you would just know that somebody is at risk or not at risk.

    ALISON STEWART: But studies, like this one from the Journal of Psychological Science, show clinicians have about a 50/50 chance – no better than a coin toss – of predicting who will attempt suicide.

    There are certain groups with higher risk for suicide: like people with medical conditions; mental and substance use disorders; or military veterans. But it’s difficult to narrow down who – of the millions of people in those high risk groups – will try to kill themselves. And there are people who don’t fall into those groups who may also attempt suicide.

    MATTHEW NOCK: So we have this growing list of risk factors. Where we’re limited is in our ability to put them together in a way that can tell us which people are at greatest risk.

    ALISON STEWART: Doctor Matthew Nock is a leading suicide researcher and professor at Harvard University. He is developing new diagnostic tools — using technology and advances in science.

    ALISON STEWART: What does technology offer in this field that traditional methods of diagnosis doesn’t allow for?

    MATTHEW NOCK: Traditionally, if someone was suicidal out in the world, we would wait for them to come into our office or into our lab and tell us their suicidal and we’d ask them about what their experience was like. But now with new technologies, we can take the lab and bring it to the person.

    ALISON STEWART: In one study at Mass General, Nock is using real-time monitoring to try and predict suicidal thoughts and behaviors. He has patients respond throughout the day to questions on a smartphone. Like how nervous or abandoned have you felt in the past 24 hours? Or how many hours did you sleep last night?

    Patients also wear bracelets that collect “biomarkers” — their physical information — like sweat, skin temperature, and heart rate. When a patient feels suicidal, he or she presses a button on the bracelet.

    MATTHEW NOCK: We can then look back – are there certain types of experiences or patterns or signatures that tell us when those button presses are going to occur. So can we get better at identifying when a person is at risk.

    ALISON STEWART: Sam Bamford has had suicidal thoughts since high school. He’s now 34 years old and has Huntington’s, the degenerative brain disease with no cure.

    ALISON STEWART: He’s says he’s been hospitalized twice for suicidal thoughts. We met him after he came to Mass General, following a suicide attempt that, he says, came out of nowhere.

    SAM BAMFORD: The first hospitalization was all nonstop thoughts about it. Months of it. And then this time around, everything was going great. I had an awesome night, hung out with some really great friends that are super supportive. It was just really strange.

    ALISON STEWART: So this crisis was one of impulse.

    SAM BAMFORD: Yeah, it came out of the blue.

    ALISON STEWART: After arriving in the ER, Bamford took what’s called an implicit association test, or iat. Iats are often used to examine racial or gender bias. Nock has designed this IAT to analyze subconscious thoughts associated with suicide. To see how it works, I took the fifteen minute test.

    I was instructed to read a word flashing on the screen, and place it either in the me or not me column. Some words were suicide related—such as death or funeral. Some words were life affirming —such as breathe or living.To get the subjects unfiltered thoughts, there’s only a fraction of a second to respond.

    ALISON STEWART: it was tough. It was tough, I couldn’t put myself and death next to each other.

    MATTHEW NOCK: Exactly the idea. And what we found is that people who are suicidal are faster than those who are not suicidal pairing death and me on the same side, cause they identify with death or suicide. And so we want to compare one set of reaction times to the other in milliseconds.

    ALISON STEWART: Nock is still working on making the test more accurate, but says he’s already seen strong results from the thousands of people who have taken it.

    MATTHEW NOCK: It predicts better than a person’s own report of whether they’re going to make a suicide attempt. It predicts better than clinicians’ reports.

    ALISON STEWART: Nock says most patients are open to interacting with technology-based tools. And some even say it’s preferable.

    SAM BAMFORD: There’s actually parts of me that wish some of this stuff was already shared with my doctors, because I’d just have an easier time answering the questions with the phone than I would with a room full of people.

    MATTHEW NOCK: Sure. Can be easier that way, less intimidating.

    ALISON STEWART: And Jeff Huffman says these new tools can also help determine who needs to be in this psychiatric unit, which like so many across the country, has a small number of beds compared to the need.

    JEFF HUFFMAN: We all sit and think and worry about our next patient we discharge attempting suicide or God forbid, completing suicide. If we can develop tools to make us more confident about patients who are safe to leave. We desperately need those, we desperately want those.

    ALISON STEWART: These tools were among the techniques discussed at a suicide conference hosted by the National Institutes of Mental Health in June. All of these researchers are looking for innovative ways to more precisely predict suicide risk, and to diagnose and treat mental health disorders.

    Doctor Daniel Dickstein is a child psychiatrist and Associate Director of Research at Bradley Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. He studies bipolar disorder, a mental illness characterized by mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.

    DANIEL DICKSTEIN: Bipolar disorder, of all psychiatric disorders, involve the highest rates of suicide. So about 50 percent of kids who have bipolar disorder think about killing themselves at least once, and about 30 percent of kids with bipolar disorder actually try to kill themselves, again, at least once.

    ALISON STEWART: 15-year-old Mason is bipolar, and is a participant in Dickstein’s research study. His mother, Jessica, felt more comfortable talking to us about her son’s illness with her face obscured.

    ALISON STEWART: When you heard, “Jessica, your son has bipolar disorder,” what did you think?

    JESSICA: It’s just really hard to hear. You want an easy life for your kid. You don’t want anything to make it hard for him. And I knew nothing about bipolar. I knew nothing about what he was diagnosed with. So it was scary.

    ALISON STEWART: Did Mason ever pose harm to himself?

    JESSICA: When he was about 9. He had about a two hour long rage fit that we couldn’t control anymore. And he was in the kitchen by the knives, and he just said he was going to kill himself, and he kept saying it.

    ALISON STEWART: You took him to the hospital.

    JESSICA: Yes, we took him to the hospital. We were there overnight. And then at 3 in the morning, they woke him up, did a psych eval and sent us home an hour later.

    ALISON STEWART: Dickstein says children with bipolar disorder have certain irregularities in brain activity. One is an impaired ability to quickly adapt to changing situations. So he’s designed a space-themed video game that, he hypothesizes, will “retrain the brain” and improve those skills.

    DANIEL DICKSTEIN: Periodically throughout the game, they have to adapt their behavior to figure out a decision point. And they have to learn from their prior decisions as they’re flying through. And that’s sort of the heart of the game. Their initial choice once they figure out the right move may work for a while, but after a while it changes without warning.

    ALISON STEWART: Participants in the study play the game twice a week for eight weeks. Then Dickstein measures their brain activity with an MRI while they play a version of the game.

    If the scan looks more like that of a healthy child after the eight weeks, the brain retraining may be working. Dickstein says early results are promising but much more testing is needed. He says, if it works, it could be scaled up quickly and help thousands of children.

    ALISON STEWART: Why hasn’t this kind of research been done before?

    DANIEL DICKSTEIN: It’s harder and harder to get funding.

    ALISON STEWART: In the past several years, large amounts of federal funding have been put toward researching causes of death like HIV, heart disease and various cancers. Mortality rates in all those areas have dramatically decreased.

    Even as suicide deaths continue to rise, suicide research gets significantly less funding.

    Dickstein is among many experts who believe that, if suicide research was better funded, the epidemic would also slow. He says people need to prioritize suicide and mental health research in the same way they did for childhood cancer.

    DANIEL DICKSTEIN: Whereas before up to the ‘80s, it was an absolute death sentence. Now the five-year survival for childhood leukemia is over 90, 95 percent. Patients, parents, clinicians, researchers and funders got together and said, enough of our kids dying of cancer. Every kid who has cancer is now going to be part of research. That’s really what I’m trying to do for bipolar disorder and related conditions like suicide.

    JESSICA: If today Mason playing games helps a kid 10 years from now, then it was worth it, because that’s somebody we helped. When you’re looking for answers and you don’t know where to turn, you need help.

    ALISON STEWART: It’s 2AM, and RoseMary Fuss and her eldest son, Danny, are still walking.

    Their team is committed to helping moms like Jessica, by removing the stigma attached to suicide, and supporting research for the technological tools that, RoseMary believes, would have helped her son.

    ROSEMARY FUSS: They would have given caretakers more information.The information that Tommy wasn’t willing to share with them face to face. Nothing would bring Tommy back, but we could help others. It’s a feeling of, you know, we are making a difference.

    The post Can technology help predict who will attempt suicide? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A New York Police Department officer directs traffic at the corner of 7th Avenue and 23rd Street, not far from a blast Saturday that injured 29 people. Photo By Michael D. Regan/PBS NewsHour

    A New York Police Department officer directs traffic at the corner of 7th Avenue and 23rd Street, not far from a blast that injured 29 people on Saturday night. Photo By Michael D. Regan/PBS NewsHour

    New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Sunday that a bomb blast that rattled a lower Manhattan neighborhood a day earlier does not appear to have ties to a global terrorism network.

    “We find no ISIS connection,” Cuomo said at a press conference in downtown Manhattan. “But a bomb going off is generically a terrorist activity. And that’s how we’re going to consider it.”

    The blast occurred at approximately at 8:30 p.m. EDT in front of 131 West 23rd Street in the Chelsea neighborhood. As police descended upon the scene, blocking roadways and shutting down large sections of New York, a street-by-street search soon uncovered what appeared to be a second explosive device a short distance away on West 27th Street, though it did not ignite.

    Police are reviewing surveillance video from both locations, but do not have a suspect.

    By Sunday, as New Yorkers walked through the area around the crime scene, navigating around blocked-off avenues and weaving between police vehicles and barricades, investigators continued to scour the area for evidence.

    At a press conference Sunday afternoon, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said it was too early to tell the reason for the bombing, but “we know from everything we’ve seen so far this was an intentional act.”

    “But again, we do not know the motivation, we do not know the nature of it,” he said. “That’s what we have to do more work on.”

    FBI investigators search an area near the scene of a bomb placed in a garbage Dumpster Saturday night. Authorities said the blast does not appear to have links to a global terrorism network. Photo By Michael D. Regan/PBS NewsHour

    FBI investigators search an area near the scene of an explosion Saturday night. Authorities said the blast does not appear to have links to a global terrorism network. Photo By Michael D. Regan/PBS NewsHour

    Another bombing took place earlier on Saturday along the Jersey Shore just before a 5K race benefiting U.S. Marines began. No one was injured when a pipe bomb went off near the race, and de Blasio said “we have no specific evidence” that the incidents were linked.

    The 29 people hurt during Saturday’s blast in New York, apparently from shrapnel released during the explosion, have been released from the hospital, de Blasio said.

    New York Police Commissioner James O’Neill said the bomb appeared to have components of an improvised explosive device, which shattered windows and sent shockwaves through the surrounding streets of Manhattan Saturday.

    Two members of the New York City Fire Department's Tower Ladder 12 sit stationed on Sunday near the intersection of 6th Avenue and 22nd Street. Photo By Michael D. Regan/PBS NewsHour

    Two members of the New York City Fire Department’s Tower Ladder 12 sit stationed on Sunday near the intersection of 6th Avenue and 22nd Street. Photo By Michael D. Regan/PBS NewsHour

    Anthony Stanhope, a 39-year-old musician who lives a block away from the explosion on West 24th Street, said he heard a “big boom” on Saturday and assumed it was thunder. Then he stepped outside his apartment building.

    “And I said, ‘Now wait a minute, this can’t be, there’s no clouds in the sky,’” he told the NewsHour. “Then I thought it could be a gas leak that exploded, but there was nothing outside. I said wait a minute, it’s a bomb.”

    Anthony Zayas, 38, who lives in the same building as Stanhope, said he knew what the noise was instantly.

    “Everybody ran out of their buildings into the street,” he said. “Nobody knew what to do. Everybody was just looking around, nobody knew what to do, including myself.”

    David Benedict, 19, is a film and television student at New York University who lives on West 18th Street, not far from the blast. Like Stanhope, he initially thought the explosion he heard was due to weather.

    “And then, like within 20 to 30 seconds, half the NYPD was screaming past my window,” he recalled.

    The blast came less than one week after the 15th anniversary of September 11, on the fifth anniversary of Occupy Wall Street protests and just days before the United Nations convenes a general assembly meeting in New York City.

    O’Neill said the city already had planned to have a heavy police presence for the assembly, though the bombing means security will be even tighter. Cuomo said 1,000 police from state forces and the National Guard would respond to the explosion.

    “We’re always on alert in New York,” O’Neill said.

    Benedict said he wasn’t particularly concerned about another attack.

    “I feel like the NYPD had it under control,” he said. “It was a very coordinated, put-together response. If someone is going to put another bomb in a trash can, I can’t stop it from going off.”

    The post NYC explosion an ‘intentional act,’ but no known link to global terrorism appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Watch President Barack Obama’s speech at the 71st U.N. General Assembly at about 9:30 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

    NEW YORK CITY — President Barack Obama is slated to speak Tuesday morning at the U.N. General Assembly, where he plans to rally more support for the migrant crisis.

    Later that day, he will host a summit on refugees and migrants with the goal of securing more commitments from countries to house migrant populations and contribute funds to the crisis.

    He has pushed private sector companies to do their part as well, and faces the task of convincing others to accept more refugees while garnering criticism for not doing enough. The U.S. has pledged to accept 10,000 Syrian refugees within a year, for example, while Canada has vowed to take in 30,000.

    “Protecting and assisting refugees is a part of our history as a nation, and we will continue to alleviate the suffering of refugees abroad and to welcome them here at home, because doing so reflects our American values and our noblest traditions as a nation, enriches our society, and strengthens our collective security,” the president said in June on World Refugee Day.

    We’ll be live streaming speeches throughout the week. Reporting in New York was supported in part by the U.N. Foundation’s Global Issues Press Fellowship program.

    The post WATCH LIVE: President Obama to speak at U.N. General Assembly appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A sign on a tent is seen at Tent City 3, a homeless encampment in Seattle, Washington January 15, 2015. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will submit legislation to the City Council this week seeking approval of three new homeless encampments, saying the tent cities are needed to deal with rising homelessness, his office said on Thursday. REUTERS/David Ryder (UNITED STATES - Tags: SOCIETY POVERTY POLITICS) - RTR4LLYW

    A sign on a tent is seen at Tent City 3, a homeless encampment in Seattle, Washington January 15, 2015. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will submit legislation to the City Council this week seeking approval of three new homeless encampments, saying the tent cities are needed to deal with rising homelessness, his office said on Thursday. Photo by REUTERS/David Ryder

    Editor’s Note: John Komlos, professor emeritus at the University of Munich and author of “What Every Economics Student Needs to Know and Doesn’t Get in the Usual Principles Text,” explains why the superb news from the census report released last week doesn’t feel so superb for many Americans.


    There has been much hype in the media about the new census report, which indicates that median real household income increased at a record rate of 5.2 percent in 2015 to $56,500. These are without a doubt nice numbers — numbers that The Wall Street Journal actually referred to as a “surge.” But before we get too carried away, let us remember Aristotle’s counsel that “one swallow does not a summer make.” So let’s take a look at the data from a longer-run perspective.

    In spite of the increases in 2013 and 2015, incomes are back to where they were in 1998.

    Let us remind ourselves that the Great Recession was officially over in the summer of 2009, but it sure did not feel like it until a few years later, because incomes did not actually reverse course until 2013. (From now on, I’ll refer to median real household incomes as just “incomes.”) Despite growing in 2013, 2014 was yet another setback year in which incomes actually declined by $800. So the “surge” of 2015 is due in no small part to the low level of 2014.

    Compared to 2013, the increase in 2015 was merely 3.6 percent in two years, or about 1.8 percent per annum. That does not warrant a great deal of jubilation.

    But there are more reasons not to pop the champagne bottles just yet: In spite of the increases in 2013 and 2015, incomes are back to where they were in 1998. That is to say, while there have been many ups and downs in between, incomes have basically been stagnating for no fewer than 17 years! That is quite a disheartening statistic and reflects what Larry Summers calls the “secular stagnation” inflicting the nation. In other words, it is not just a question of recovering from the financial crisis. Even before the crisis, incomes were below their 1999 peak value.

    gghd

    Date refers to the year in which previous peak income was reached. Years refers to the number of years income has been growing. The annual average increase of $129 is obtained by the average, weighted by population size.

    These data are also available at the state level. The 50 states and the District of Columbia fall into four categories. In the first six states plus D.C., incomes have been growing since the last peak on average 14 years ago (as seen in Table 1). These 50 million people are the exception; nonetheless, their average increase in income has been a meager $126 per annum, far too small to have an effect on their subjective evaluation of the quality of life.

    Total population is 65.2 million.

    Date refers to the year in which incomes were equal to their 2015 level. Total population is 65.2 million.

    The remaining 44 states conform to Summer’s stagnation thesis and can be divided into three groups, according to the length of time incomes have been stagnating in those states. The first of these groups, encompassing 11 states and 65 million people, has not exceeded its previous peak, which was reached sometime in the 21st century (Table 2). On average these states have been stagnating for 11 years.

    Date refers to the year in which incomes were equal to their 2015 level. Total population is 100.3 million.

    Date refers to the year in which incomes were equal to their 2015 level. Total population is 100.3 million.

    In the next 17 states, encompassing some 100 million people, incomes have been stagnating for 18 years — that is, since about the middle of the 1990s (Table 3).

    Finally, there is a group of 16 states with a population of 101 million in which incomes have been stagnating since the mid-1980s — for 28 years (Table 4).

    Let’s be clear that such widespread prevalence of stagnation is unprecedented in U.S. history since the founding of the Republic. So even with a 5.2 percent increase in incomes in 2015, there is not enough growth to celebrate. Wishing, hoping and rooting for growth — real growth that people can actually feel — is not going to make it happen. One has to come to terms with the realization that cutting taxes, the pet project by those on the right of the political spectrum, will have as many negative consequences as they did in the past. These tax cuts accrue almost exclusively to the super-rich, and instead of being job creators (as the trickle-down theory suggests), the super-rich are just conspicuous consumers. Trickle-down economics is nothing more than a scam and a windfall for the super-rich.

    Date refers to the year in which incomes were equal to their 2015 level. Total population is 101.0 million.

    Date refers to the year in which incomes were equal to their 2015 level. Total population is 101.0 million.

    If trickle-down had worked, we would have been growing with leaps and bounds for a generation instead of stagnating. But in place of jobs, cutting taxes has left us with the toxic brew of mediocre schools, aging infrastructure, global warming and an immense amount of discontent, which has led to a dysfunctional political system.

    There is only one way to get out of these doldrums and that is through an increase in taxes on the super-rich. That would enable us to undertake massive investments in education beginning in preschool and providing free college tuition to those in need like we did with the GI bill after World War II. If we could afford it then, why can’t we afford it now when we have three times the income?

    One reason why growth faces such a heavy headwind is that we are currently wasting an incredible amount of human resources by allowing high tuition rates to exclude millions from obtaining a college education at a time when it is more important than ever. This is an incredible contradiction to the American commitment both to efficiency and opportunity.

    There is only one way to get out of these doldrums and that is through an increase in taxes on the super-rich.

    In 1973, college-educated men and women earned 40 to 50 percent more than those with a high school diploma. Today the comparable difference is practically double that, at 80 to 90 percent! A high school diploma is worth $2.30 an hour, or $4,000 a year. Given that there were 2.5 million high school dropouts in 2014, the elimination of that alone would add an additional $10 billion worth of income in the hands of consumers. On the other hand, a college education is worth $12 per hour in today’s economy for women and $16 for men. Annualizing that would raise incomes by some $24,000 per year for the 1.3 million high school graduates who do not go on to college. That would be an immediate 50 percent jump in their incomes every year of their lives and an addition of $30 billion annually. Now that would provide some real growth Americans could actually feel. Such policies would amount to substantial gains for those students. But if we can’t get our act together, we will be in the doldrums for a long time to come.


    Editor’s Note: The graphs have been updated to include average population instead of total population. Additionally, its been updated to clarify that there are 17 states in group three and 16 states in group four.

    The post Column: Why 5.2 percent income growth still leaves us in the doldrums appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Dash cam footage shows the fatal police shooting of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa, Oklahoma. WARNING: Video contains graphic footage. Viewer discretion is advised. Video by Mic

    Terence Crutcher, a Tulsa, Oklahoma, man who was fatally shot by a police officer last week, was not armed, nor was a weapon found in his SUV, the city’s police chief said Monday.

    Police Chief Chuck Jordan said no weapon was recovered from the scene of the shooting, after a white officer shot and killed the 40-year-old black man. Jordan didn’t volunteer more details about the shooting.

    Following Monday’s news conference, the Tulsa Police Department released the dash cam video of the confrontation, Tulsa World reported. (WARNING: Video above contains graphic footage.)

    Responding to reports of a stalled vehicle Friday night, two officers found Crutcher nearby his vehicle, police spokeswoman Jeanne MacKenzie said at a news conference Saturday. MacKenzie said Crutcher failed to follow repeated commands from the officers.

    “As [the officers] got closer to the vehicle, [Crutcher] reached inside the vehicle and at that time there was a Taser deployment and a short time later there was one shot fired,” she told reporters.

    Crutcher later died that night at a local hospital.

    On Sunday, police identified Betty Shelby as the officer who shot her weapon, Tulsa World reported. Officer Tyler Turnbough deployed his Taser.

    In one of the videos released today, Crutcher can be seen with his hands up as he walks toward his SUV as several officers approach him. However, once Crutcher appears to put his hands on the vehicle, it’s difficult to make out what is happening as the officers surround him.

    At one point, Crutcher can be seen collapsing to the ground. Overheard in the video is police radio chatter that says, “I think he may have just been Tasered.” Shortly after, someone is heard saying “Shots fired,” a statement that’s repeated on the police radio as well.

    In another video from Tulsa police’s helicopter camera, someone is heard saying that Crutcher looked like a “bad dude.”

    WARNING: Video contains graphic footage. Viewer discretion is advised. Video by Tulsa World

    The Justice Department said today it has opened a civil rights probe into the shooting, after the Tulsa police chief contacted the agency over the weekend to help with the investigation.

    Tulsa police released the video footage of the shooting to select community leaders and family members prior to its release to the public.

    Crutcher’s sister, Tiffany, has demanded that criminal charges by filed against the officer who took her brother’s life. Tiffany has also asked for peaceful protests following Crutcher’s death, the Associated Press reported.

    Damario Solomon-Simmons, the family’s lawyer, said the footage showed that Crutcher didn’t make any sudden movements. Solomon-Simmons also questioned some of the claims made in police statements about the timing of Crutcher’s death.

    On Sunday, Rodney Goss, a pastor in north Tulsa who was able to view the footage beforehand, told Tulsa World that Crutcher’s “hands were in the air from all views.”

    After an officer shot Crutcher, “a couple minutes it appears, but it seemed like a lifetime, went by before anyone actually checked with him as far as pulse — as far as whatever the case may be,” he added.

    READ MORE: When black death goes viral, it can trigger PTSD-like trauma

    The post Tulsa police release graphic footage of fatal shooting of Terence Crutcher appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A view of a mangled dumpster at the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Photo by Junstin Lane/Reuters

    A view of a mangled dumpster at the site of an explosion that occurred on Saturday night in the Chelsea neighborhood of New York. Photo by Junstin Lane/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Three explosives devices found Saturday in New York and New Jersey used the same kind of flip cellphone as a trigger and were made with commonly available materials that can be bought without raising law-enforcement suspicions.

    A federal law enforcement official said investigators found evidence of a pressure cooker, flip cellphone, small pieces of steel and residue from the explosive compound Tannerite in the remnants of bomb that exploded under a dumpster and wounded 29 people Saturday night in New York City. A second pressure cooker bomb with a similar cellphone with wires exposed was found nearby and safely removed by authorities.

    Hours before the New York blast, a pipe bomb constructed from a threaded pipe fitted with end caps exploded in a garbage can in a New Jersey shore town. The official said that bomb also used a flip cellphone, along with a strand of Christmas lights likely used to complete an electric circuit that ignited black powder found in the device.

    The official was not authorized to publicly discuss details of the ongoing investigation and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    Ahmad Khan Rahami, a 28-year-old naturalized citizen originally from Afghanistan, was arrested in connection with the bombings Monday after a shootout with police in Linden, New Jersey, which lies about 24 miles southwest of New York City.

    Nearly every piece of the bombs recovered is readily available at sporting goods stores, corner convenience stores or on the internet. The instructions for building them is a mere Google search away.

    Using pressure cookers to house bombs was popularized years ago by Inspire magazine, an English-language online publication produced by an al-Qaida affiliate and used by the brothers who bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013.

    But while pressure cookers are advocated by terrorist organizations, their use does not necessarily suggest that someone received specialized training or was under the control of a foreign group

    “It’s not that difficult to go on the internet, find out what explosive compounds are out there, where they’re available — either through internet order or retail stores” and then create them on your own, said John Cohen, a top former counterterrorism official at the Department of Homeland Security.

    Science correspondent Miles O’Brien explains the difference between pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs, like the ones used at the 2013 Boston Marathon. Pipe bombs are much smaller so the pipe itself is the shrapnel. Less space means more pressure, and their size makes them easier to conceal. Video by PBS NewsHour

    The fact that different materials were found in different explosives suggests that the suspected bomber likely acquired the materials online or simply used whatever was readily available, he said.

    It’s not uncommon for radicalized extremists to acquire online the knowledge needed to carry out an attack in whatever form.

    “Others who have gone through that same path get a gun, others use a knife,” Cohen said. “This guy, as the Boston Marathon bombers did, decided to build explosive devices.”

    Federal law enforcement has been concerned about the growing popularity of Tannerite and other compounds used for exploding firearms targets in recent years.

    Charles Mulham, a retired special agent with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, said when the exploding targets were first developed, he was worried about the easy availability of the compounds.

    “I saw this product come out and thought, oh my God, it’s just a matter of time before someone takes this and uses it for nefarious purposes,” Mulham said.

    In recent years there have been multiple reports of injuries related to explosions of the compounds. Those explosions are usually ignited by a high-velocity shot from a rifle.

    The compounds are routinely sold in two parts, including an oxidizer such as ammonium nitrate and aluminum or another metal-based powder that become explosive when combined. The compounds are not regulated by the ATF because they are sold separately. Anyone using the products doesn’t need an explosives license unless they are transporting the combined compounds or using them commercially.

    The ATF has issued multiple advisories about the products and their use, and has warned that once combined, the compounds are a “high explosive,” which detonate quickly and can cause a powerful blast.

    READ MORE: What we know about the New York and New Jersey bombings

    The post Explosive devices found in NY, NJ made with easy-to-get materials appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Congress asked for an extension to continue working on a highway and transit bill, the Associated Press reported on Thursday. Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

    To hear either candidate talk, a staggering amount of money is going to be spent on infrastructure — if Congress goes along. Photo by Linda Davidson/The Washington Post via Getty Images

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The U.S. interstate highway system, celebrating its 60th birthday this year, is showing its age. Many roads and bridges are in need of repair or expansion. Similar problems exist for public drinking and wastewater systems, dams and levees, airports, railroads and mass transit systems. Politicians generally agree the nation’s infrastructure is in need of improvement. Deciding how to pay for it and which projects should take priority is more difficult.

    WHERE THEY STAND

    To hear either candidate talk, a staggering amount of money is going to be spent on infrastructure — if Congress goes along.

    Democrat Hillary Clinton has proposed spending $250 billion over the next five years on infrastructure. She proposes to repair and improve roads and bridges, expand public transit, make affordable high-speed internet access available to all households by 2020 and modernize passenger rail systems, airports, dams, levees and wastewater systems. Clinton also proposes to direct $25 billion over five years to a new national infrastructure bank, which she said could support about $225 billion in loans for local infrastructure projects. A similar lending bank was proposed by President Barack Obama during his first term but failed to win congressional approval.

    Republican Donald Trump has said he wants to spend at least double the amount Clinton has proposed for infrastructure, financed through low-interest bonds. His campaign said a more detailed plan is coming. In his 2015 book, “Crippled America: How to Make America Great Again,” Trump said a large-scale public infrastructure plan could create the “biggest economic boom in this country since the New Deal,” a series of programs started in the 1930s by President Franklin Roosevelt.

    WHY IT MATTERS

    A reliable infrastructure system strengthens the nation’s economy, enhances public safety and can improve the quality of life.

    Public health can be put at risk by poor infrastructure, such as when lead-tainted pipes contaminated the water supply of Flint, Michigan.

    Commerce depends on the safe and efficient shipment of goods via air, rail, water and roads from manufacturers to retailers and homes. Poor infrastructure and traffic congestion can raise the cost of doing business, making products more expensive for consumers.

    A long, slow commute due to inadequate capacity on roads or public transit can put an emotional strain on families. It can make the difference whether parents arrive on time for a family dinner or a child’s soccer game or concert.

    According to a report last year by the Congressional Budget Office, the share of gross domestic product generated by government spending on public transportation and water infrastructure peaked in 1959. Spending on such projects fell by 5 percent from 2003 to 2014 when measured as a percentage of GDP, with highway spending leading the decline.

    Officials have taken some steps to try to reverse that. Congress broke a political logjam last year by passing a five-year, $305 billion transportation plan. More than half the states also have acted since 2013 to boost transportation spending through higher taxes, fees and borrowing.

    Yet the needs remain great. About 20 percent of the nation’s 900,000 miles of interstates and major roads needs resurfacing or reconstruction, according to one analysis. A quarter of the 600,000 bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

    In a report earlier this year, the American Society of Civil Engineers projected the U.S. will face a funding gap of more than $1.4 trillion by 2025 for its roads and bridges, drinking and wastewater systems, electrical infrastructure, aviation and water ports.

    The post Where do the presidential candidates stand on infrastructure issues? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A voter enters a polling station to cast his vote in the Texas Primary in Seguin, Texas in 2008. Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

    A voter enters a polling station to cast his vote in the Texas Primary in Seguin, Texas in 2008. Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/Reuters

    AUSTIN, Texas — Texas is back in federal court yet again defending one of the nation’s strictest voter ID laws — this time against charges that the state is violating its own recent agreement to soften the rules ahead of the November election.

    Last month, Texas approved letting residents who couldn’t meet the requirement of its 2011 voter ID law cast ballots in the presidential election after the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appels found that the law discriminated against poor and minority voters.

    But since that July ruling, the U.S. Justice Department has accused Texas of reneging on the deal. U.S. District Judge Nelva Gonzales Ramos in Corpus Christi is hearing arguments on those complaints Monday evening.

    Here are answers to some key questions in the case:

    Q: What’s at issue?

    A: It largely comes down to a few key phrases.

    Texas has agreed to let residents with IDs approved under the 2011 law, or those who “have not obtained” or “cannot obtain” qualifying identification, vote in the November presidential election. The state has used such terminology on official websites and in election training materials.

    But the Justice Department says the original agreement called for extending voting to all Texans facing a “reasonable” impediment to obtaining approved photo identification. It says Texas’ phrasing is too restrictive and will unnecessarily narrow the number of eligible voters, including Texans who had previously gotten proper IDs but lost them or had them stolen.

    Federal government attorneys warned in court filings that Texas’ language could cause confusion and delays during the election on Nov. 8 and want it corrected in state materials.

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s office counters that printing new materials will be expensive and time-consuming, and is unnecessary since the modified rules aren’t restrictive.

    Q: How did we get this far?

    A: The New Orleans-based 5th Circuit ruled that Texas’ law had a “discriminatory effect” on poor and minority Texans. That forced Texas to loosen its law for November’s election, and Ramos on Aug. 10 approved a softer version both sides worked to hammer out.

    The deal says voters can now cast a counted ballot by signing an affidavit and presenting a paycheck, bank statement, utility bill or government document that includes their name.

    It also mandates that Texas spend at least $2.5 million on voter outreach before November. The state’s deadline to register for the presidential election is Oct. 11.

    Martin Castro of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights tells PBS NewsHour’s political editor Lisa Desjardins how well states are registering new voters and what obstacles remain. Video by PBS NewsHour

    Q: Why was the law considered discriminatory?

    A: Elections experts have testified that Hispanics were twice as likely and blacks three times more likely than whites to lack an acceptable ID under the law. They also said lower-income Texas residents were more likely to lack underlying documents to obtain a free state voting ID.

    Opponents say 600,000-plus registered voters lacked one of seven suitable IDs under the law.

    Paxton’s office counters that the law is necessary to prevent voter fraud — though such cases are rare. Meanwhile, Texas was allowed to fully enforce the law even amid ongoing legal battles during the last three election cycles, and there were few reports of voter disruption.

    Q: Isn’t this an issue elsewhere?

    A: More than 30 states have some form of voter ID law. Of those, nine have strict limitations on what forms of identification are valid.

    But Texas spells out just seven forms of acceptable voter identification. A concealed handgun license is allowed, for instance, while college IDs aren’t.

    A separate federal appeals court has blocked North Carolina’s law limiting to six the number of approved IDs for voters, but the law there also scrapped same-day registration and shortened early voting periods.

    Wisconsin saw its voter ID law recently blocked in federal court too, but that state will let people who haven’t been able to obtain approved IDs vote in the presidential election if they sign an affidavit explaining why they couldn’t.

    Q: What happens now?

    A: It’s unclear when Ramos will rule. But the fight over a relaxed version of Texas’ voter ID law for November won’t be the end of the case, no matter what.

    Federal courts will eventually decide whether Texas drafted its law in a way that was deliberately discriminatory, or simply had that effect. Paxton, meanwhile, has vowed to keep appealing and defend the original law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

    READ MORE: In 2016, what stands between people and their right to vote?

    The post How Texas’ voter ID law landed it in federal court — again appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph in Encinitas, California October 14, 2014. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    The Netflix logo is shown in this illustration photograph. Photo by Mike Blake/Reuters

    Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of excerpts we are publishing from sociologist Jerry Davis’s new book, “The Vanishing American Corporation: Navigating the Hazards of a New Economy.” For more on the topic, watch last week’s Making Sen$e report below.

    — Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor


    Suppose you wanted to start an enterprise without leaving your couch. Is that possible? Imagine a hypothetical product: the iPhone Remote Drone Assassin App. The app would allow users to control weaponized drones for classified operations. The market for the product would include government contractors of various types as well as freelance operators. The first step is to rent a virtual space at a legitimate-sounding address, preferably in Silicon Valley (to convey high-tech street cred). Next, incorporate online in Liberia, the legal home to many legitimate companies like Miami-based Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. It’s easy and quick and may have certain unspecified advantages when tax time comes. What about funding? Thanks to the JOBS (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Act of 2012, finding investors online through various crowdfunding sites is easy. Contract programmers to write the app can be hired via oDesk and several other sites. A manufacturer for the drone itself can almost certainly be secured at Alibaba.com, which includes a vast selection of remote control aircraft vendors in China. Square is a user-friendly payments company that allows anyone with a smartphone or tablet computer to accept credit card payments. Finally, Shipwire will pick up the products from the dock in Long Beach, warehouse them and distribute them to users. With a few clicks, you can be an entrepreneur.

    READ MORE: Column: The rise and fall of the U.S. corporation

    You might want to go further. Silicon Valley firms almost inevitably have a mythic origin story about the exact coffeehouse in San Francisco where the idea originated or the garage in Palo Alto where the prototype was built. It’s easiest to hire an online “creative” contractor to generate an appropriate fable. If you want to further burnish your marketability, consider renting a defunct brand name like RCA or Westinghouse for your product, which the older members of the public might vaguely remember and trust.

    This scenario is not entirely fanciful. Remember how Michael Dell started a computer company in his dorm room and ultimately grew it to be the best-selling brand in the U.S.? Today, almost anyone with a credit card and a web connection can create an enterprise without leaving their dorm room, as the barriers to entry have collapsed in industry after industry. In many sectors it no longer pays to be big and integrated; in others, large-scale generic producers are happy to serve anyone, allowing new competitors to test the waters and rent expanded capacity as needed.

    The ability to rent assets and use contract employees allows firms to be tiny and nimble, yet large in impact.

    Vizio grew to be the bestselling brand of LCD televisions in the U.S. by 2010, beating Samsung and far outpacing Sony, by offering low-cost TVs assembled by a Taiwanese partner and sold through big-box retailers like Costco. Just as Michael Dell realized that PCs were composed of off-the-shelf components with a superflulous brand name, Vizio’s founder recognized that anybody could make a flat-screen TV, and the lowest-cost producer with the best distribution would win. Unlike Dell, however, Vizio chose not to invest in assets or employees: It had fewer than 200 workers when it surpassed Sony, and even today, as it has expanded into sound equipment and laptop computers, it has only 400 employees — about as many as a typical Walmart superstore.

    The Flip video camera also grew rapidly from its invention in 2007 to 2009, when it had become a must-have accessory for millennials. With just 100 employees, it had the largest market share in its industry thanks to its clever design and marketing. Cisco bought the company in 2009; two years later, it was closed because Flip was obsolete: Many people who would buy a Flip already had a smartphone that could do much the same thing. Flip was the corporate equivalent of a pop-up restaurant. At four years from birth to market dominance to obsolescence, Flip was much more efficient than Eastman Kodak, which took well over a century and tens of thousands of career employees to follow this same trajectory.

    Compare Vizio and Flip with their better-known competitor, Sony. Sony is one of the most storied brand names in history, known around the globe for products like the Walkman and the Trinitron television. But with 150,000 employees, billions in assets and expensive real estate in Tokyo, Sony is costly to maintain and has lost many billions in its electronic business. (It fares much better in life insurance, movies and music.) A chorus of financial analysts has urged the company to quit the electronics industry entirely. As one analyst put it in 2013, “Electronics is its Achilles’ heel, and in our view, it is worth zero… In our view, it needs to exit most electronics markets.” Shortly after this report, Sony sold its personal computer business and exiled its television business to a subsidiary. Sony was fitfully exiting the electronics business, just as its analysts asked.

    Whereas Blockbuster had 83,000 employees and 9,000 physical stories at its height, Netflix today has only 2,200 employees and rents server capacity from Amazon.

    But the music business faces the same form of lightweight competition. Stockholm’s X5 Music Group, with just 43 employees, produced 13 of the top 50 selling classical albums in 2010 — about the same as Universal, the industry’s heavyweight. The company licenses the rights to performances owned by smaller classical music labels and virtually “packages” them into compilations for sale online via iTunes and Amazon. With no need for physical product, the company can be radically tiny, yet large in its impact. And unlike Sony and Universal, it does not require corporate jets or skyscrapers. Similarly, whereas Blockbuster had 83,000 employees and 9,000 physical stories at its height, Netflix today has only 2,200 employees and rents server capacity from Amazon. The ability to rent assets and use contract employees allows firms to be tiny and nimble, yet large in impact.

    In 1977, sociologists John Meyer and Brian Rowan wrote that “the building blocks for organizations come to be littered around the societal landscape; it takes only a little entrepreneurial energy to assemble them into a structure.” At the time they wrote the article, this was poetic and almost whimsical. Today, it is descriptively accurate.

    READ MORE: Column: When corporations were a source of greater equality

    A corporation was once a social institution, with a mission and members and boundaries that separated the inside from the outside. Today it is more like a webpage. What do I mean by this? Right-click on a webpage and choose “View page source.” The pleasing coherence of the visual design you saw is replaced by pages of unreadable code. Much of the code is essentially instructions that say: “Go to the database located at the following address and pull an image from here to place in the following location; go to this other database and pull some text from there.” It is a series of calls on outside resources that are brought together just in time to convey the image that you see. Vizio, Flip and scores of other contemporary enterprises are a lot like this: not an enduring social institution with members and obligations, but a webpage.

    The post Column: How lightweight enterprises are outperforming industry heavyweights appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 14: Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden speaks during her swearing-in ceremony in the Great Hall of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building, September 14, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight: The 14th librarian of Congress was sworn in last week to lead one of the nation’s oldest institutions into its next chapter.

    Jeffrey Brown visited Carla Hayden as she began her new position.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It is the largest library in the world. Founded in 1800, with some 162 million items, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., is a repository of books, yes, but also a storehouse of history and culture, filled with recordings, photographs, maps and manuscripts, charged with preserving national treasures of all kinds.

    The new librarian of Congress is Carla Hayden.

    Why did you want to take on this job?

    CARLA HAYDEN, Librarian of Congress: It’s a librarian’s dream.

    And in the field, it’s seen as a job that really epitomizes what libraries can mean and symbolize. So, this library can really help libraries throughout the country show the worth of a library and a community.

    JEFFREY BROWN: It’s pretty spectacular new digs, though, for you. Right?

    CARLA HAYDEN: Well, it is quite something. It really makes you realize what this library symbolizes, to be at the seat of government.

    JEFFREY BROWN: While most of the past 13 heads of this historic institution have come from scholarly backgrounds, Carla Hayden is a librarian through and through, and a strong advocate for their continuing relevance.

    She headed the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore since 1993, and before that worked for the Chicago Public Library, a career coinciding with enormous changes in information technology.

    CARLA HAYDEN: Technology has such an impact on libraries in the last 20 years, and the last 10 years in particular.

    The opportunity to make those items available online for everyone is daunting, but also exciting. And it’s a pivotal time to think about what could be done with technology.

    JEFFREY BROWN: This is where the library has been hit with criticism, though, in several independent assessments, that it has fallen behind, has not modernized its technology, has not digitized much of its collection. Is that a fair assessment?

    CARLA HAYDEN: It’s an assessment that I believe reflects the fact that, with the largest library in the world, 162 million items, that’s a pretty substantial amount of material to digitize.

    And there’s a lot involved with these rare and unique materials.

    JEFFREY BROWN: In the bowels of the library, we were shown part of that effort, a scanner that can photograph 200 pages an hour, here, a delicate Persian history book dating to 1825.

    But these are still initial steps to make more accessible a collection said to stretch over 863 miles of bookshelves.

    In your life, in your career, you have had to defend libraries, right?

    CARLA HAYDEN: Yes. Yes. I have had…

    JEFFREY BROWN: Why should we give you money, right?

    CARLA HAYDEN: Why should you invest in a library, especially a library building, in the time of the digital age?

    What we found is a library’s place is even more important. There is a hunger in this digital age to hear authors together, to participate in programs, to just be in a place, a community space.

    JEFFREY BROWN: I asked Carla Hayden if she worries about the privatization of digital media from companies such as Google.

    CARLA HAYDEN: It can be a public-private partnership, and there’s room and space for everyone.

    I get excited thinking about those partnerships and the opportunities. There are so many items that are not in the copyright domain. And people might not realize the Library of Congress manages the copyright process for the nation.

    And you do have items that are available to be digitized that a partner could help quite a bit.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You have also been known as a privacy advocate, right? As the president of the American Library Association in 2003, you argued against some aspects of the Patriot Act.

    Are you worried still about government surveillance of information, even what’s available at libraries, government watching what people read?

    CARLA HAYDEN: Librarians were called during that time feisty fighters for freedom, and we were very proud of that label.

    We were just concerned that, at that time, when people were rightfully concerned about national security, that there was a balance with a person’s right to know. Just because you’re interested in what jihad is doesn’t mean you intend to join.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You don’t think Americans need to be worried that, whether they’re checking out a book, whether they’re going online to search something?

    CARLA HAYDEN: The safeguards are there. There are measures in place that ensure that at least the proper cause for examining records is in place. And that was what we were concerned about, wide sweeps of records with no indication of intent.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You look at the country today, and much discussion about the divisions, politically, culturally, economically. What can you do about it in your new position?

    CARLA HAYDEN: Make information free for all.

    Health information is just about the number one thing that people go into public libraries and connect to public libraries for. They’re also looking for information about things that can make their lives better. It’s a great equalizer.

    So, there’s an opportunity for the Library of Congress to supplement what is happening and not happening in many public and school libraries.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You are the first woman to have this job, the first African-American to have this job. Do these things matter, and, if so, how, especially at the Library of Congress, heading it?

    CARLA HAYDEN: I’m really smiling because of Mr. Melvil Dewey, who so many people know as the pioneer in librarianship.

    And in about 1876, he decided that it might be good to have women join the profession, because, as he said — and I love this quote — “They can endure pain with fortitude, and they can perform monotonous tasks with patience.”

    (LAUGHTER)

    CARLA HAYDEN: But, more seriously, though, being the first African-American really resonates, because, for so many years during slavery, slaves were forbidden to learn how to read, and some of the laws back then, amputating fingers, 40 lashes and more, just to learn to read.

    So, to have an African-American head up the largest institution that signifies knowledge and information resonates with me quite a bit.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Carla Hayden, thank you very much.

    CARLA HAYDEN: Thank you.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And good luck.

    GWEN IFILL: A footnote to this story: On Wednesday, Hayden, the Library of Congress, and the Carnegie Corporation of New York will present more than 163,000 pages, books, manuscripts, and maps to the government of Afghanistan. It’s a digitized archive that goes back to the 1300s.

    And online, we have more from Carla Hayden. We asked her to pick the children’s book she loves the most. Hear her answer in a bonus video on our Facebook page, Facebook.com/NewsHour.

    The post The new librarian of Congress on the value of ‘free information’ appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A woman holds up a t-shirt before Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump held a campaign event at the new Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., U.S., September 16, 2016.  REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTSO2SR

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Almost everyone agrees American politics has become more chaotic in recent years, that it’s changed, and not always for the better.

    Scholar Jonathan Rauch has a theory about why, and he shares it in a recent article for “The Atlantic” magazine.

    JONATHAN RAUCH, The Atlantic: The article is about what I call “chaos syndrome.”

    And that is the steady decline in the ability of the political systems to organize itself whether in campaigns, or in government. People think that politics just somehow magically organizes itself. It doesn’t work that way. You need to assemble these huge coalitions of 535 politicians on Capitol Hill, and tens of thousands of interest groups, and tens of millions of voters, and assemble all those in government to get stuff done.

    That requires a lot of middlemen and a lot of people in between doing a lot of bargaining and negotiation. You cut those people out, you get chaos.

    What we have done over the last 40 or 50 years is systematically attacked and weakened the parties, the political machines, the professionals, and insiders, and hacks, and all the tools that they use to get politicians to play well together. And with those gone, you get chaos.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What was it that worked about what you see as the kind of ideal or close-to-ideal political system in this country?

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Starting in, really, the very beginning of the republic, we began building parties with political machines and hierarchies and things like seniority systems on Capitol Hill.

    So, there were people to call when you had to get stuff done. And if Judy needed Jonathan to vote on a bill in Congress to keep the government open or raise the debt limit or do something for the team, Judy could call me up and say, you know, if you do that, you’re going to get money for your campaign, you’re going to have an easy reelection campaign, you’re going to get that extra runway for the airport in your district, we’re going to be able to make this deal behind closed doors.

    You could do all that stuff. Virtually all of that stuff now is difficult or impossible. And all you can do is beg me, and I say, why should I do any of that? It’s just going to get me in trouble in my district.

    Here we are.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Why were those transactional relationships important to make government work, to make politics work in this country?

    JONATHAN RAUCH: The transactions allow for compromise. And compromise is what it’s got to be all about when you’re governing, because no one is ever going to have a big enough majority to just do what they want to do all the time.

    Well, to get people to compromise, you have to give them stuff. A famous example of this, but far from the only one, is the 1964 civil rights bill, only passed because Lyndon Johnson bought support from Republicans. He went to them and said, what do you need to put this bill through?

    And the Republican leader in the House, a man by the name of Charlie Halleck, said, well, how about a big fat research grant for my district in Indiana? LBJ said done. Halleck said done. That bill went through.

    REP. CHARLIE HALLECK (R-Ind): God damn it, did I help you on civil rights?

    LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON, Former President of the United States: Yes, you sure did. And you helped yourself, because you all want civil rights as much as we do. I believe it’s a nonpartisan bill. I don’t think it’s a Johnson bill.

    REP. CHARLIE HALLECK: Oh, no, no, no. You’re going to get all the political advantage.

    LYNDON BAINES JOHNSON: No, no, no, no.

    REP. CHARLIE HALLECK: We aren’t going to get a God-damned thing.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Is that dishonorable? No, it’s politics. Is it pretty? No, it’s politics.

    But that’s the kind of lubricant that you need to give people incentives to work together.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And all of this entails a measure of secrecy behind closed doors, smoke-filled rooms.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Smoke-filled rooms.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And we have come to believe in this country, by 2016, that transparency is good, that we need to know everything, open books, open doors.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Yes, put them in the fishbowl.

    And, of course, the problem with that is, if every negotiation is conducted in public, then the minute one person says, well, what if we try this, next thing you know, the interest groups have piled all in, and the political opponents have shot it to pieces.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Fast-forward. president Obama is in office, and he’s trying to get his health care reform legislation proposal through.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Obama, of course, campaigns on sunshine. We’re going to have the whole process be open to the public. He gets into office and discovers it is not possible to write a very complicated piece of legislation involving hundreds, if not thousands of interest groups, and multiple working parts.

    You can’t negotiate that in public. You will be shot to pieces on day one. So what does he do? He goes behind closed doors, not because he wants to, but because he has to.

    If you open the doors, the negotiations often die before they even start.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you’re saying he — you know, for him, it never would have gotten — it barely passed, but it…

    (CROSSTALK)

    JONATHAN RAUCH: It wouldn’t have gotten done.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We are done.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: President Obama’s crowning legislative achievement came early in his first term, in 2010. Soon after, Democrats lost their majority in the House. Then, in 2011, the president attempted to negotiate the so-called grand bargain budget bill with Republican House Speaker John Boehner. This time, the results were different.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: We were really this close to a very good budget deal in which both parties, and conservatives, and liberals, were all going to give something, and we would have substantially reduced long-term deficits, reduced entitlement spending, raised taxes some, the kind of package that ultimately pretty much everyone agrees we’re going to have to do in order to solve our long-term fiscal problems.

    The speaker of the House, John Boehner, wanted to do it, but he could not get his own caucus organized enough to back him up on it. And that’s when I realized that the groups of obstructionists were now able to basically hold the system to ransom.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, in 2013, GOP leaders could not prevent their renegade members from shutting down the federal government.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: No one wants it to shut down, including a lot of the people who voted to shut it down. They were kind of hoping that wouldn’t happen. Ted Cruz wanted to shut it down because it was good for his presidential campaign.

    SEN. TED CRUZ (R-Texas): Do you like green eggs and ham?

    JONATHAN RAUCH: So, John Boehner, appearing on the Leno show, and Leno says, why did the government shut down? And Boehner says something that’s stuck in my mind ever since:

    REP. JOHN BOEHNER, Speaker of the House: A leader without followers is simply a man taking a walk.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: This is the speaker of the House who no longer has enough incentives, enough tools, enough organizational power to get people to follow.

    We don’t have a crisis of leadership in Washington, Judy. We have a crisis of followership.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: When did things start to go wrong, in your view? I mean, when did the system that was working so great, with the patronage, with pork, when did it start to change?

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Well, caveat, I don’t want anyone to think it’s just all the golden age and everything was perfect. There were big problems with every system, and there always have been.

    It’s a question of overcorrecting. The needle went too far one way, so we overcorrected and went way too far in the other, threw the baby out with the bathwater.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Some of this must have been in reaction to Watergate, to Vietnam, the Pentagon Papers, the idea the government lied to the American people, so the desire was to fix that.

    JONATHAN RAUCH: That and the idealism of a generation which was, in many ways, to its credit, very idealistic, and said, well, surely we can do it better than that.

    They start passing a whole series of reforms. So, we moved to direct primary elections. We started reducing the role of appropriations committees. We started tearing down the seniority system on Capitol Hill. All of that begins in the ’70s. It accelerates and continues in the ’90s, and it’s going on to this day.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Moving toward, I guess, what some people would describe as small-D democratic politics, where more and more people are involved?

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Well, that was the ideal, but it didn’t work out that way, of course.

    As you know, the number of people who actually vote in primaries is very small. Donald Trump basically clinched the nomination with the support of about 12 percent of Republican voters. That’s about it, because it turns out that, when you remove these intermediaries, these political professionals from the system, who you really empower are the small minorities of activists who are best organized, and either most passionate, or have the narrowest parochial interests, but you kind of turn it over to them.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And has that happened in both parties?

    JONATHAN RAUCH: Yes. Both parties are structurally weak.

    Look, Judy, this is the first time in my life — and I’m 56 years old — where, of the four final finishers — set aside John Kasich — three of them were renegades who had run as outsiders and against their own party structures, Bernie Sanders, not even a Democrat, Donald Trump, in no meaningful sense a Republican. Ted Cruz shut down the government, hurt his own party, campaigned against his own leadership.

    Parties and political systems used to be about excluding renegades who would never play well with others in government. Now it’s actually systematically screening them in. That’s new. I think it’s very important for my friends who are Democrats who are kind of thinking, well, Hillary Clinton will win, and then the Republicans will get their act together, problem solved.

    I say, no, Donald Trump didn’t cause chaos. Chaos caused Trump. There will be more coming afterwards if we don’t re-empower politicians to get organized and work together.

    The post Is this ‘syndrome’ causing American political dysfunction? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi (L) arrives with United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly at United Nations headquarters in New York City, U.S. September 19, 2016.  REUTERS/Brendan McDermid   - RTSOHI7

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But first: At the United Nations General Assembly today, a first-of-its kind summit on refugees and migrants was held, led by the secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon.

    Tomorrow, President Obama will lead a second meeting on the crisis.

    William Brangham has more.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: An estimated 65 million people worldwide are now considered refugees and migrants. That’s an increase of five million people over last year alone, making this the largest refugee crisis since World War II.

    To discuss the plight of these people, and the current global response, I’m joined now by Filippo Grandi. He’s the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

    Mr. High Commissioner, thank you very much for being here.

    I understand today you reached a big agreement at the United Nations. Can you tell us a little bit about what was agreed to?

    FILIPPO GRANDI, UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Yes.

    The General Assembly, meaning all the states in the world, have issued a declaration which actually will be known as the New York Declaration, committing themselves to protecting, assisting refugees, but also finding new ways the organize better the response to refugee crisis.

    And, you know, for a long time, we have struggled with the resources. We have been able to give the basics to refugees, like blankets, medicine, some food, but what refugees want also is a future, is education, is jobs. And it is an effort to try to expand our support to them that this declaration will help us carry out.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Obviously, a global agreement of this kind is important, but this agreement is not binding on any of the nations that put their name on the line. So, how confident are you that this will really have a meaningful impact?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: Well, first of all, it’s the first time in history that the General Assembly issues such a declaration, so there is a lot of political weight behind that.

    And then I think that, also, everybody has realized — especially when refugees in the last couple of years started arriving in Europe, started moving on from places where they have arrived first, I think there is a realization this is not a problem of one or another country. This is a global problem.

    Just like — think of epidemics or think of climate change. I think there is a growing realization that these are global issues, global problems that affect the whole of humanity, and only working together we can address the root causes, we can address what pushes people to move on.

    So I think that there is a necessity and not just a moral commitment to do that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I want to ask you a little bit about some of the headwinds that are facing the U.N. and all the nations who are grappling with this.

    We saw in Germany a very big welcome mat thrown out, and now we have seen the rise of a far-right nationalistic party in response. Here in the U.S., we have also seen a very strong anti-immigrant sentiment, driven mostly out of fears of terrorism.

    I’m curious. When you’re talking to leaders of world nations, what do you tell them about those sentiments? How do we counter those, and where do those feelings lead?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: I think there are always two sentiments in every society. There is solidarity. And we have seen it very much in Europe when refugees arrive.

    But there is also a feeling of apprehension and rejection. And what people are, I think, worried about is when they see that the response to these flows is not orderly, is not organized, is not structured.

    This is why this declaration also invites everybody, all the states, together with the United Nations organization, to work on these responses, to make them more predictable, more cooperative. If Europe had reacted in that manner back last year, when people started arriving in large numbers, I’m persuaded that there wouldn’t have been such a negative reaction growing with the passage of time, that people would have accepted that it was important, necessary, principled, but also possible to receive refugees, to give them asylum, people fleeing from war and persecution.

    But we need to organize that response better. And this is what — this is the value of this declaration. It will help us work towards that organization. It will give us the resources hopefully to do that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The issue of resettlement is obviously a crucial one, finding a more permanent home for these people, so they’re not living in camps in perpetuity.

    But the agreement today that was — the original draft of that agreement asks for a 10 percent annual rate of resettlement of the refugees, but that was scrapped because of resistance from many of the donor nations.

    So, if 10 percent per year resettlement is considered too much, what does that tell you about the future?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: This is a United Nations document.

    To issue this document, member states have to agree, all of them, 193. This is very difficult. So, there couldn’t be an agreement on a percentage of refugees to be resettled.

    But resettlement as a key solution, especially for the most vulnerable people, is in the declaration as one of the things that we need to work on. So, the declaration is the preamble to a global compact that we hope we will be able to issue in two years’ time.

    And during this time, we will work. We will work on these concrete commitments. I don’t know if we will come up with a figure, but I think that what we must do is increase the present very low percentage. We are talking about 10 percent. Right now, it’s less than 1 percent of the refugees that are resettled. So we need to improve on that.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Just very quickly, I’m curious about the financial status of your organization.

    We saw requests go out last year for $20 billion, and only half of that was returned. How able are you financially to deal with this crisis going forward this year and into the years into the future?

    FILIPPO GRANDI: This has been a chronic problem for us humanitarian organizations.

    UNHCR, my organization, has a budget of $7 billion, in fact, annually, and we receive about 50, 55 percent of this money. Once again, this is another important element of what was decided in New York today.

    It was decided that the response to refugee flows shouldn’t simply be humanitarian, should involve big development actors, like the World Bank, who made very strong commitments today. And that will bring new, fresh resources, different resources to the table. And I hope that that will also be a big progress.

    WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right, Filippo Grandi, U.N. high commissioner for refugees, thanks very much for being here.

    FILIPPO GRANDI: Thank you.

    The post UN issues unprecedented declaration on refugee crisis appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    GWEN IFILL: And with 50 days left until Election Day, we turn to Politics Monday with Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report and Tamara Keith of NPR.

    Tam, let’s talk about what the candidates had to say on the attacks. First, we hear Hillary Clinton trying to sound knowledgeable and Donald Trump trying to sound strong. Which of them wins the day on days like today?

    TAMARA KEITH, NPR: And this is really a microcosm of the campaign.

    Donald Trump comes out, and he says things that are big and bold and in some ways controversial, saying maybe we need to bring back profiling and profiling at mosques possibly, and says that ISIS wants Hillary Clinton to win.

    Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton comes out and says, I was in the Situation Room, I have all these plans, I’ve got a plan for ISIS.

    And this is the way the campaign goes, you know, day after day after day.

    GWEN IFILL: And yet, Amy, you write this week that when Hillary Clinton trips and falls, stumbles, it’s because she’s encountering headwinds of her own making.

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: Yes, I think that this race right now is coming down to the structural advantages that Hillary Clinton has, but she has some enthusiasm problems.

    Donald Trump is trying to face off the structural disadvantages. And unpacking that, what I mean, is, yes, she’s had a very tough week, and — or actually maybe a week-and-a-half.

    GWEN IFILL: Couple weeks, yes.

    AMY WALTER: Yes, couple weeks.

    GWEN IFILL: Couple weeks.

    AMY WALTER: Whether it was her off-the-cuff statements at the fundraiser about basket of deplorables, whether it was her health scare and the sort of not being up front about what it really was, but also that Donald Trump himself has not given her much fodder over the last few weeks.

    He has been much more disciplined. And you’re seeing Republicans starting to come home and getting more enthusiastic about him than they were when the focus was on his self-inflicted wounds.

    Now that the focus is on her self-inflicted wounds, you’re seeing that diminishment of enthusiasm from her supporters. And Tamara has talked about this as well, the young voters. That’s who Hillary Clinton was talking to up in Philadelphia today. Clearly, she’s got a problem in getting those voters who supported Barack Obama, who don’t like Donald Trump.

    But right now, they are splitting their votes between Hillary Clinton and the third-party candidates.

    GWEN IFILL: Tam, I read somewhere today — perhaps it was you — that in fact part of the reason for her problem with millennials is because they see her as kind of a hawk.

    TAMARA KEITH: That is one issue.

    And, of course, news like today doesn’t necessarily help with that, because then she’s talking about her time in the Situation Room, where she was one of the people encouraging the president to go for it with the bin Laden raid. Of course, that turned out in a way that is a positive story for her.

    I spent a lot time today on the Temple University campus talking to college students and recent grads about Hillary Clinton. And I met one Trump supporter. Everyone else who I talked to is sort of in the camp of, well, I guess I’m with her, which is the challenge.

    She needs to find a way to get them a little more enthusiastic. Instead, there was a lot of, well, I’m more afraid of the other guy. I heard that a lot, a lot of lesser-of-two-evils type of talk.

    GWEN IFILL: There is no question, Amy, that there is an enthusiasm gap. This is now well-documented in all these polls.

    But why is it that when it seemed — it’s perceived that Hillary Clinton has stumbled, she immediately pays a price in the polls, and when it’s perceived that Donald Trump has stumbled, as when he suggests that maybe the Secret Service could drop their guns and see what happens, Hillary Clinton’s Secret Service, he doesn’t seem to pay that same price?

    AMY WALTER: Though I would argue, though, when the focus is on either one of them and the things that they have said that become much more controversial, that you will see the polls move up and down.

    When the focus was on Donald Trump and his attacks on the judge who is overseeing the Trump University case and his Mexican heritage, you saw the numbers spike up, he went down, she went up. When you saw after the Republican debate, where the focus — I mean, not the Republican debate — the Republican…

    GWEN IFILL: Convention.

    AMY WALTER: … Convention — thank you — where the focus was all anti-Hillary Clinton, you saw her numbers go down.

    After her bad week with the FBI director coming out, her numbers went down. When he made the focus about the Gold Star family, his numbers went down.

    GWEN IFILL: So, there is an actual…

    AMY WALTER: It’s actual — this is a crazy race.

    Both of these candidates have decided to make the race a referendum on the other person, the other person being worse. So, when that spotlight focus on your opponent, and you say, see, look how terrible they are, your side gets excited. But when it comes to you, then the other side gets excited.

    GWEN IFILL: Tam, let me read to you something the president said at a fundraiser in New York last night about Hillary Clinton.

    He said: “We as a society still grapple with what it means to see powerful women. And it still troubles us in a lot of ways, unfairly,” basically playing the gender card that Hillary Clinton has made a part of her stump speech.

    TAMARA KEITH: Yes.

    And he goes on to say that if this race is tight, it’s not because of Hillary Clinton’s flaws.

    I think that, back to what Amy is talking about, there’s also how the two candidates are judged. Hillary Clinton is judged as a politician, as someone who’s been in public life, who is careful, who is measured, who gives a lot of speeches, who is a politician.

    And Donald Trump is often judged on the standard of someone who hasn’t been a lifelong politician, someone who’s new to public life, who has done reality TV and has been an entrepreneur.

    And the president labels that sexism. Other people label it other things. There is a dynamic there that is — it’s there.

    GWEN IFILL: And actually the campaign is happy to label it sexism as well, as far as I can tell.

    But let me give — take an example of something that we talked a lot about today. The president was at the U.N. General Assembly, a lot of conversation about refugees and about what the U.S. responsibility should be to refugees, especially from Syria.

    And, once again, we’re back at the dichotomy we saw at the beginning, toughness vs. empathy, I suppose. And I wonder, does that — does the way these two candidates — do the way that these two candidates respond tell us something, Amy?

    AMY WALTER: Well, Hillary Clinton definitely wants to make this race a referendum on temperament. And Donald Trump wants to make it a referendum on change, and big, bold change.

    Now, the country itself is sort of torn. It is, I think, slightly leaning toward change, this idea of, after eight years of one president and the anxiety that a lot of Americans are feeling about the status quo, wanting to sort of shake things up. But they’re nervous about what that would look like.

    So, he wants to definitely keep that focus on shaking it up, being the big and bold candidate. Her only option is to say that big and bold is too dangerous, and so stability is the answer, because she’s not the big and bold candidate. She’s not the new candidate. And she’s not the change candidate.

    GWEN IFILL: Well, Tam, we know for sure that the alleged suspect in today’s — in yesterday’s — the weekend’s bombings is not a refugee, but he is — was a nationalized citizen from elsewhere.

    And I wonder if that elsewhere, the opposite, makes it difficult for Hillary Clinton to defend?

    TAMARA KEITH: Well, I think that it is a challenge for her because, you know, she talks about vetting and we need good vetting of people who come to this country.

    And often her plans that she talks about are not quite as satisfying as sort of a Trumpian, well, we’re going to fix this and — or we’re going to blow them out of whatever, or — the things that she says, because she, you know, has been part of the Obama administration just generally, you know, don’t have the same splash as what Donald Trump would say.

    GWEN IFILL: Yes.

    Go ahead.

    AMY WALTER: And I would also say who — where you sit is — determines how feel about these issues.

    This was a Quinnipiac poll. Are you concerned about being a victim of terrorism? Trump supporters, 68 percent said yes. Clinton supporters, 29 percent believe they are going to be a victim of terrorism. So, they both are also speaking to their base.

    GWEN IFILL: And if vetting is a solution, how do you vet someone who came to this country at 7 years old? So many questions. But we’re done with them for this week on Politics Monday.

    Tamara Keith, Amy Walter, thank you both very much.

    TAMARA KEITH: You’re welcome.

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    U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton arrives to a press briefing before boarding her campaign plane at the Westchester County airport in White Plains, New York, U.S. September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSOHKX

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    GWEN IFILL: The attacks were also the focus on the campaign trail today, as Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump pushed to convince voters that they can keep Americans safe.

    John Yang reports.

    JOHN YANG: With terror threats suddenly center stage, Hillary Clinton used her years as secretary of state to say she’s ready to handle national security.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: I have sat at that table in the Situation Room. I have analyzed the threats. I have contributed to actions that have neutralized our enemies. I know how to do this.

    JOHN YANG: Donald Trump used this weekend’s attacks to underscore a defining theme of his campaign.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: We have seen how failures to screen who is entering the United States puts all of our citizens, everyone in this room, at danger. So, let me state very, very clearly, immigration security is national security.

    JOHN YANG: Both candidates also tried to highlight their foreign policy credentials, Clinton by meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in New York. She and Trump are also to meet separately with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

    Meanwhile, Clinton and running make Tim Kaine campaigned separately on college campuses. Young voters were a key part of the coalitions that twice elected President Obama, but, this time around, Clinton is having trouble winning them over.

    HILLARY CLINTON: Even if you’re totally opposed to Donald Trump, you may still have some questions about me. I get that, and I want to do my best to answer those questions.

    JOHN YANG: Clinton has a light campaign schedule for the rest of the week, ahead of the first debate with Trump a week from today.

    For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.

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    Law enforcement officers mark evidence near the site where Ahmad Khan Rahami, sought in connection with a bombing in New York, was taken into custody in Linden, New Jersey, U.S., September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSOGL3

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: We return now to the attacks in New York and New Jersey.

    With the capture of a man suspected of planting bombs in both states over the weekend come new questions about the terror threat and stopping radicalization in this country.

    Joining us now to address them, Juliette Kayyem. She’s a former U.S. Department of Homeland Security official, and she’s author of the book “Security Mom: An Unclassified Guide to Protecting Our Homeland.” And Lorenzo Vidino, he’s the director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security.

    And we welcome both of you to the program.

    Lorenzo, let me start with you.

    What do you make of this man Ahmad Khan Rahami and what he did?

    LORENZO VIDINO, George Washington University: Well, we don’t know a lot of facts at this point.

    I think most indications point to the fact that he had some kind of political motivation. I think — is talking about terrorism. We don’t know much about his radicalization. I think we’re getting tidbits here and there of visits to Afghanistan, which, per se, don’t necessarily mean much because he’s of North African descent.

    He did a mini-terror campaign, if you look at the tactic, the use of pressure cookers. It’s something that al-Qaida and al-Qaida sympathizers used in the past. The targets seem to have some political motives, a certain neighborhood in New York, the Marine Corps marathon. We don’t know much. I think we’re starting to get a picture of somebody that had some signs of radicalization.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Juliette Kayyem, what do you make of this, the sophistication of it, how he carried it out?

    JULIETTE KAYYEM, Former Department of Homeland Security Official: Well, not very sophisticated in terms of the pressure cooker.

    How to make it can be found online and the different elements of it are pretty rudimentary. He did make a large quantity of them, but just to remind viewers, if all of these incidents are connected, he had about a 25 percent success rate.

    And so what I’m curious about is, how quick was that radicalization process, that, you know, was this over three months and he figured it out how to do it quickly, or is it over two years and there were a number of people involved in the action? I think that that is going to be relevant to determine whether it’s just him, him and another person, or a larger network.

    So I wouldn’t close anything off yet solely based on the materials or the bombs.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Lorenzo Vidino, what kind of work needs to be done now to figure out if others were involved?

    LORENZO VIDINO: Well, first of all, his connections overseas and his connections domestically.

    Authorities are all over social media and obviously are going to figure out his contacts, if he had Facebook profile, Twitter account, who he was talking to, his cell phone. I think the most immediate is his contacts here in the States.

    The assumption is, I think, is that there are no contacts trying to plan follow-up attacks, but that’s obviously not a guarantee. We don’t know for sure, so, trying to see people who are immediately with touch with him in the United States, then if he had contacts overseas, if he had that was somehow directing him or at least aware of what he was doing overseas.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Juliette, what do you make of the fact that we learned late this afternoon his family moved to the United States in 1995? We figured he would have been 7 years old then.

    So, he grew up in this country in that New Jersey community, did travel back to the region, we believe, the last few years. But what does that add up to?

    JULIETTE KAYYEM: It adds up to that we don’t necessarily have an immigration problem. We have a citizen problem.

    I mean, unless someone is willing to say anyone who’s been naturalized here is automatically suspect, most of these men are U.S. citizens. But the good news is, it’s a very small percentage of the Islamic community so far.

    So, what we need to look at isn’t so much — is maybe what happened when he traveled abroad. We know there’s a couple of trips. There’s also some discussion of a potential of a marriage that he may have had, so we need to look at the process of the review process, the interview process when he returned, returned from Afghanistan, but also the radicalization process at home or online.

    And so this investigation will look very familiar, because they will be talking to friends and family of his, and then there will be, you know, basically the online footprint review, who was he talking to online, was there encrypted information, to get a better picture of who he is and, of course, the most important thing, the radicalization process.

    That’s the only way we will stop it from happening in the future.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Lorenzo, friends of his describe him as growing more serious, more religious after he came back from one of these or I guess all of these trips to Afghanistan.

    What does it take to put somebody on a terrorist watch list?

    LORENZO VIDINO: Well, it’s obviously not becoming more religious.

    That’s something that cannot by, in itself, lead authorities to profile and say just because somebody has become more conservative in his views, more religious, that he can be seen as a security threat.

    That element, together with other elements much more operational, can lead authorities to put somebody on the radar screen or on some kind of watch list. It’s obviously very difficult. In many cases, we’re talking about just about internal psychological processes, which are, at times, put online. Many other cases, they’re not.

    So, it’s very, very difficult for authorities, if there are no connections, no communications, to really know that somebody is of interest and potentially dangerous.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Juliette, what can be done in these circumstances? As Lorenzo just said, just because someone becomes more religious doesn’t mean that they are automatically considered suspicious.

    JULIETTE KAYYEM: And Lorenzo is exactly right.

    And that’s why people who have been in government or in homeland security really talk about the homeland security enterprise, because the idea that the government is going to be able to prevent all these things from happening is just a fiction.

    And so that is why there has been a tremendous focus on outreach to Muslims and Arab and other communities to integrate them into law enforcement, to have the kind of relationships that are necessary. In all of these cases — and I’m sure we will find this in this case today — but in all previous ones, someone knew.

    That person was not an FBI agent. It wasn’t a surveillance — some guy in the CIA surveying. It was the ex-wife. It was the wife. It was the father.

    And so at a time when discussions are heated about what to do about the Islamic radicalization problem, I think the better way to think about it is, it’s not a problem and actually to integrate and assimilate with these communities is going to be the best way to minimize the threat that’s sometimes coming from those communities.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What would you add to that, Lorenzo? You and I have had this conversation, I know, after San Bernardino, after Orlando, with those incidents. What more does it take to try to anticipate these things before they happen?

    LORENZO VIDINO: I think the ugly reality is that some incidents are impossible to prevent.

    I think it’s — another illusion is that we can prevent anything. Unless you completely militarize a society, which nobody is arguing that we should, you can prevent anything. Juliette is perfectly right in saying we should work more with communities.

    I think you can add a little more resources in terms of what we’re doing online, getting also social media companies to work more with the government, again, fully understanding the balance of civil liberties and First Amendment with the need for security.

    And, obviously, it’s a very difficult balance to maintain there. The reality I that not everything can be prevented. And I think that’s very ugly to say, but it’s the reality.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Just one last question, Lorenzo. What are the questions that you have in mind right now that you think authorities are probably going to be trying to get answers to?

    LORENZO VIDINO: I think it’s the contacts in the community.

    I think it’s, who he was talking to, did he have a friend, was he part of a study group? Generally, what we see in terms of radicalization, even if we have lone wolves from an operational point of view, at times were interactive with other people both online and offline.

    And maybe only one person in that little group of five or six like-minded individuals decided to act. But the others had the same kind of mind-set.

    Maybe they stopped one step short of acting. Will some of them act? Was he talking to other people? Maybe he wasn’t. But, if he were, I think it’s very important to know who he was talking to.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Lorenzo Vidino, Juliette Kayyem, we thank you both.

    LORENZO VIDINO: Thank you.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, online, follow everything we know about the bombing so far. Plus, watch as science correspondent Miles O’Brien explores the difference between a pressure cooker bomb and a pipe bomb.

    The post The challenge of recognizing radicalization before it’s too late appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. President Barack Obama speaks about last Saturday's bombing in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood in New York September 19, 2016.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  - RTSOGF4

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    JUDY WOODRUFF:  In the day’s other news:  The president said there is no connection between the bombings in New York and New Jersey and the stabbings at a Minnesota mall.  Ten people were wounded in the Saturday night incident.  The Islamic State claimed that it inspired the attacker, who was killed by an off-duty policeman.  He’s identified as Dahir Adan, a college student from Somalia.

    GWEN IFILL:  The Syrian military declared today that a week-long cease-fire is over, and within hours, launched dozens of airstrikes.  The U.N. confirmed a humanitarian aid convoy was attacked, and opposition activists said it was hit by Russian or Syrian planes.

    In New York, Secretary of State John Kerry refused to concede the truce is dead.

    JOHN KERRY, Secretary of State:  The Russians need to control Assad, who evidently is indiscriminately bombing, including on humanitarian convoys.  So let’s wait and see.  We will collect the facts.  We need to see where we are, and then we will make a judgment.

    GWEN IFILL:  Activists said the various airstrikes killed more than 30 people, including a dozen in the aid convoy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  U.S. airstrikes may have accidentally killed at least eight police officers in Afghanistan.  An Afghan commander says it happened Sunday near Tirin Kot, the capital of Uruzgan Province.  The U.S. military confirms planes carried out an airstrike there aimed at Taliban forces.

    GWEN IFILL:  In Russia, supporters of President Vladimir Putin won a landslide in Sunday’s parliamentary elections.  The United Russia bloc took three-quarters of the seats in the Lower House of Parliament.  The party will have enough votes to pass constitutional amendments on its own.  Turnout was down sharply from the last election in 2011.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  Scientists now say the haze from forest fires in Indonesia may have led to the deaths of more than 100,000 people.  That is based on new analysis of mortality data.  The fires were used to clear land and burned for weeks last year.

    Researchers at Harvard and Columbia universities say most of the deaths occurred in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia.

    GWEN IFILL:  Signs of progress today against the Zika outbreak in Miami, Florida.  Health officials dropped their warning to pregnant women to avoid the city’s Wynwood arts district.  They credited aerial spraying of the mosquitoes that transmit the virus.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  For the first time, federal prosecutors say New Jersey Governor Chris Christie knew a bridge was being closed to punish a political foe as it was happening.  The governor denies that, but the prosecutors say a witness will so testify at the trial of two Christie allies.  It opened today.  A defense lawyer called the witness — quote — “a habitual liar.”

    GWEN IFILL:  And Wall Street was mostly uninspired today.  The Dow Jones industrial average lost three points to close at 18120.  The Nasdaq fell nine points, and the S&P 500 slipped a fraction of a point.

    The post News Wrap: Obama says ‘no connection’ between bombings and mall attack appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A policeman takes a photo of a man they identified as Ahmad Khan Rahami, who is wanted for questioning in connection with an explosion in New York City, as he is placed into an ambulance in Linden, New Jersey, in this still image taken from video September 19, 2016. REUTERS/Anthony Genaro     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSOGS6

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    GWEN IFILL:  They say they’ve got their man.  Now they’re trying to figure out his motive.  An arrest this morning in New Jersey has ended a manhunt in a series of bombings and attempted bombings around New York City and New Jersey.

    MAN:  That’s definitely him.

    GWEN IFILL:  Ahmad Khan Rahami was loaded into an ambulance, bloody and dazed after a gun battle with police.  The 28-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Afghanistan was captured in Linden, New Jersey, after he was recognized sleeping in the doorway of a bar.

    That was just hours after police sent text alerts to millions in the New York metro area to be on the lookout for him.  After the shoot-out, in which two police officers and the suspect were injured, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio firmly labeled the bombings terrorism.

    MAYOR BILL DE BLASIO, New York City:  We have so more much information obviously than we even had a few hours ago.  Based on the information we have now, we have every reason to believe this was an act of terror.

    GWEN IFILL:  It all began on Saturday morning in a bomb attack in the beach town of Seaside Park, New Jersey, before a charity race to benefit Marines.  No one was injured there.

    Later that night, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, another bomb went off, injuring 29 people.  Surveillance video allegedly caught Rahami planting the device.  A second device, made from a pressure cooker filled with shrapnel, was found undetonated a few blocks away.

    And last night, five more pipe bombs were found at a train station in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  As robots worked to dismantle them, one exploded suddenly.  Officials linked all of the attacks to Rahami, but offered limited details about how they made that connection.

    But, with Rahami as a named suspect, police descended on his family home in Elizabeth.

    MAN:  He’s a very friendly guy.  That’s what’s so scary.  It’s hard when it’s home.  They never seemed out of the ordinary.  They were just Americanized.  You would have never known anything.

    GWEN IFILL:  At a midday press conference, an FBI official said the agency cannot yet say why Rahami planted the bombs, but that he appeared to have acted alone.

    BILL SWEENEY, FBI:  I have no indication that there is a cell operating in the area or in the city.  The investigation is ongoing, so, as we develop more information, we continue to go.  But I have no indication that there is a cell operating here.

    GWEN IFILL:  President Obama weighed in from New York, where he’s attending the United Nations General Assembly.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA:  Even as we have to be vigilant and aggressive, both in preventing senseless acts of violence, but also making sure that we find those who carry out such acts and bring them to justice, we all have a role to play as citizens in making sure that we don’t succumb to that fear.

    GWEN IFILL:  In the wake of the attacks and with hundreds of world leaders converging on the city, police and bomb-sniffing dogs swarmed New York’s Penn Station today.  In addition, 1,000 National Guardsmen have been deployed on the streets of New York City.

    Rahami underwent surgery earlier today.  He was shot in the leg during and the arm during the shoot-out with police.  We will have more on the investigation right after the news summary.

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    BY MARCY GORDON AND KEN SWEET, Associated Press

    A Wells Fargo branch is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    A Wells Fargo branch is seen in the Chicago suburb of Evanston, Illinois. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The CEO of Wells Fargo faced accusations of fraud and calls for his resignation Tuesday from harshly critical senators at a hearing over allegations that bank employees opened millions of accounts customers didn’t know about to meet aggressive sales quotas.

    Members of the Senate Banking Committee showed bipartisan outrage over the long-running conduct, unsatisfied by Chief Executive John Stumpf’s show of contrition.

    Stumpf said he was “deeply sorry” that the bank failed to meet its responsibility to customers and didn’t act sooner to stem “this unacceptable activity.” He promised to assist affected customers.

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren flatly told Stumpf he should resign. “You squeezed your employees to the breaking point so they would cheat customers,” she said. “You should resign. You should give back the money you took while the scam was going on.”

    The Massachusetts Democrat, one of the fiercest critics of Wall Street, also advocated for a criminal investigation by the Justice Department and securities regulators.

    Stumpf, a 34-year veteran of Wells Fargo and CEO since 2007, earned $19.3 million last year. The bank does have in place provisions its board could implement to claim back executive compensation.

    Video by Associated Press

    Wells Fargo sales employees, trying to meet targets that called for every customer have eight products with the bank, opened more than 2 million bank and credit card accounts, regulators said last week in levying a $185 million fine.

    Money in customers’ accounts was said to have been moved to these new accounts without their permission. Debit cards were issued and activated, as well as PINs created, without telling customers. In some cases, bank employees even created fake email addresses to sign up customers for online banking services, the regulators said.

    Peppered with criticism for hours, Stumpf at one point stumbled a bit over his words and bristled at Warren’s suggestion that the sales practices were a “scam.”

    “We recognize now that we should have done more sooner,” he acknowledged. “I am deeply sorry that we have not lived up to our values in this way.” He promised: “I will make it right.”
    Stumpf bristled at Warren’s suggestion that the sales practices were a “scam.” The senators asked that he specifically lay out action the bank will take to do so. They also challenged assertions that he and other Wells Fargo senior executives didn’t become aware of the problems until 2013 — when the sales misconduct was reported by The Los Angeles Times. The practices apparently began at least in 2009.

    Wells Fargo has long been known in the banking industry for its aggressive sales goals. Carrie Tolstedt, the former head of the retail banking business, announced in July that she would retire from the bank this year. She is expected to leave with as much as $125 million in salary, stock options and other compensation.

    Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee said it would be “malpractice” if the bank doesn’t institute the compensation clawbacks, and Stumpf said the board “has the tools to hold senior leadership accountable,” including himself and Tolstedt.

    Questioned again by Warren, Stumpf said the bank had not considered firing her.

    Under the settlement with regulators, it neither admitted nor denied the allegations. It later said it plans to eliminate the sales targets by Jan. 1. Some 5,300 Wells Fargo employees have been fired.

    Stumpf offered some detail at the hearing about who was fired, saying “bankers, bank managers, managers of managers, and even an area president.” They ranged in pay from about $35,000 to $65,000.

    READ MORE: Wells Fargo fined for creating fake accounts, other illegal practices

    The post Elizabeth Warren tells Wells Fargo CEO to resign over fake accounts appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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