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- 09/20/16--12:12: _After fierce debate...
- 09/20/16--13:51: _Chart: Where do the...
- 09/20/16--14:18: _Students at Eastern...
- 09/20/16--14:47: _These genes protect...
- 09/20/16--14:55: _Column: Why you no ...
- 09/20/16--15:00: _NASCAR accused of r...
- 09/20/16--15:15: _Why first-generatio...
- 09/20/16--15:20: _How a Massachusetts...
- 09/20/16--15:25: _What Clinton and Tr...
- 09/20/16--15:30: _Police shooting of ...
- 09/20/16--15:35: _Marine recruit’s de...
- 09/20/16--15:40: _Were Wells Fargo em...
- 09/20/16--15:45: _News Wrap: FBI inve...
- 09/20/16--15:50: _Dangers of isolatio...
- 09/21/16--13:36: _Climate change coul...
- 09/21/16--14:12: _How worried should ...
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- 09/21/16--14:50: _NYC bombing case mo...
- 09/21/16--14:58: _What would it take ...
- 09/21/16--15:10: _At new museum, reli...
- 09/20/16--13:51: Chart: Where do the presidential candidates stand on education?
- 09/20/16--14:47: These genes protect resilient water bears from radiation
- 09/20/16--15:00: NASCAR accused of racial discrimination in $500 million lawsuit
- 09/20/16--15:15: Why first-generation students need mentors who get them
- 09/20/16--15:20: How a Massachusetts couple saved thousands from Nazi death camps
- 09/20/16--15:30: Police shooting of Terence Crutcher may test Tulsa tensions
- 09/20/16--15:40: Were Wells Fargo employees under unfair sales pressure?
- 09/20/16--15:45: News Wrap: FBI investigated New York-area bombing suspect in 2014
- 09/20/16--15:50: Dangers of isolationism, Syria top Obama’s last UN address
- 09/21/16--13:36: Climate change could become a national security risk, report says
- 09/21/16--14:12: How worried should you be about terrorism?
- 09/21/16--14:27: Watch PBS NewsHour’s 6 Emmy-nominated reports
- 09/21/16--14:50: NYC bombing case most high-profile since Boston bombing
The Food and Drug Administration Monday approved the first drug to treat Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a rare and lethal muscle weakening disorder that affects about 15,000 Americans.
The FDA’s approval of the drug, Exondys 51, also known generically as eteplirsen, came over the objections of its own advisory committee, which voted not to approve the medication earlier this year. Patients and their families had lobbied hard for the drug, made by Sarepta Therapeutics of Cambridge, Massachusetts, noting that people with the disease have few treatment options.
A Sarepta spokesman said the company plans to announce the price of the drug during a 4 p.m. conference call today. Exondys 51 could sell for $350,000 a year, according to Michelle Gilson, an analyst for Oppenheimer & Co., an investment bank.
Exondys 51 doesn’t cure Duchenne muscular dystrophy and will only help a minority of patients. It is designed for the 13 percent of patients with a particular genetic mutation that prevents them from making dystrophin, a key protein that keeps muscles intact. Without that protein, muscles weaken so that children are unable to walk and must use wheelchairs by the time they’re teens. Eventually, the disease can fatally weaken the heart and muscles needed to breathe. Patients often die in their 20s or 30s.
The FDA’s decision speeds up the approval process for Exondys 51, allowing it onto the market based on preliminary data that suggests the drug will strengthen children’s muscles, even though the company has not yet produced clear proof that the medication will delay paralysis or improve symptoms.
In clinical trials, some patients treated with Exondys 51 had more dystrophin in their skeletal muscles, which people use to move their arms and legs. The FDA will require Sarepta to launch another clinical trial to show whether it actually improves patients’ symptoms. If the drug doesn’t help, the FDA could withdraw approval.
Sarepta’s stock price jumped 90 percent Monday after the approval was announced. The company’s stock also got a bounce last week after the FDA confirmed a staff member who had been critical of the drug, Dr. Ronald Farkas, had left the agency for another job.
Farkas had expressed doubts about the drug’s effectiveness during a review of Exondys 51 earlier this year.
Duchenne muscular dystrophy occurs in about one out of every 3,600 baby boys worldwide, according to the FDA.
The disease is so rare that the FDA considers it an “orphan disease,” or one that isn’t common enough to attract many drug developers. The FDA encourages companies to develop drugs for orphan diseases by giving them special tax credits and extending the amount of time that companies are able to sell them exclusively, without generic competition.
Pat Furlong, president and CEO of the advocacy group Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy, said the FDA made the right call in approving the drug. “This acknowledges that the patient voice is important,” Furlong said.
Advocates say they hope the approval will be the first of many.
“It’s a huge step forward,” said Dr. Valerie Cwik, executive vice president and chief medical and scientific officer at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, which advocates on behalf of patients and their families. “It’s a really, really big day for the Duchenne community.”
The most common side effects from Exondys 51 include vomiting and problems with balance.
Some health advocates criticized the FDA’s decision.
Overruling the advisory committee shows “a disturbing disregard for the agency’s legal standards for approving new drugs,” said Michael Carome, director of Public Citizen’s Health Research Group, a nonprofit that studies drug safety. “In particular, such action eviscerates the agency’s long-standing requirement that there be substantial evidence of effectiveness for new drugs — even drugs for serious rare diseases — before they are marketed.”
Diana Zuckerman, president of the National Center for Health Research, a nonprofit research group, noted that the Exondys 51 clinical trial was poorly done. Doctors leading the trial didn’t compare patients who received the drug with a “control group” of untreated patients.
“It sets a dangerous precedent if the FDA is going to start approving drugs that aren’t compared to anything,” Zuckerman said. “Why would a company choose to do a careful, well-designed study that might show that its product isn’t particularly safe or effective if it can get away with doing a tiny, poorly designed study with ambiguous results?”
Laura McLinn, an Indiana mother whose 7-year-old son has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, was in tears Monday when she heard the news of the drug’s approval. Although her son isn’t eligible to take Exondys 51, because his disease is caused by a different mutation, McLinn said she hopes the approval will speed the development of another drug in Sarepta’s pipeline, which could help her son. She hopes he could enter a clinical trial by the end of the year.
“I’m really overwhelmed,” McLinn said. “We’ve been waiting a long time to hear this.”
The news of FDA approval for Sarepta’s drug follows the agency’s rejection of another highly touted treatment for Duchenne. In January, the agency ended months of uncertainty about the drug Kyndrisa after a panel of advisers found that the drug’s effectiveness in trials did not conclusively show improved walking ability in patients. BioMarin Pharmaceuticals has since announced it was abandoning development of Kyndrisa.
Sarah Jane Tribble contributed to this report.
Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonprofit, nonpartisan health policy research and communication organization not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. You can view the original report on its website.
The post After fierce debate, FDA approves first drug for rare form of muscular dystrophy appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Kids are back at their desks. Parents are back at checking homework. But the education system has never really left voters’ minds as a top issue. As part of our determined effort to keep focused on candidates’ pledges, beliefs and what they mean, this week we turn to how Americans teach and learn.
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton approach the issue from opposite angles. His plan centers around expanded school choice for K-12. She focuses on universal preschool and dramatically lowering college tuition.
Here is where they stand, along with the current policy and White House perspective under President Obama. Positions are in order of the political spectrum from most progressive to most conservative.
The post Chart: Where do the presidential candidates stand on education? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Staff members at Eastern Michigan University discovered racist graffiti on the side of a dormitory building Tuesday morning, campus newspaper The Eastern Echo reported.
“KKK” was spray painted in red, white and blue on the brick wall of all-female dorm Julia Anne King Hall. Below the letters was the racial slur, “Leave N—–s.” University president James Smith said the school’s Department of Public Safety was investigating the incident.
— The Eastern Echo (@TheEasternEcho) September 20, 2016
“The University strongly condemns such a racist and thoughtless act, which runs completely counter to the values and welcoming environment of our highly diverse Eastern Michigan University community,” Smith said in a statement.
“Rest assured, we will investigate this criminal act to our fullest abilities and will advise our campus community on our progress,” he added.
At EMU, African-Americans made up 18 percent of all enrolled students in fall 2014, according to the latest federal data from the National Center for Educational Statistics. White students made up 66 percent.
By 9:40 a.m. today, school officials were on site to discuss plans to remove the hate speech, the Echo reported. The graffiti was shortly removed later that morning.
Several students, however, thought the university’s statement was insufficient.
After the wall had been cleared of the racist graffiti, senior Zack Badgerhouse told WEMU, the local NPR station, that he was staging a one-man silent protest at the site, because “African-American students are highly upset.”
He held a sign that read, “I need answers,” WEMU reported. By this afternoon, other EMU students had gathered at the scene of the incident as well, the Echo reported.
— Eastern Echo A&E (@EasternEcho_AE) September 20, 2016
“What is the administration going to do about this?” Badgerhouse said. “It’s deeper than just taking it off the wall. I want answers and I want them now.”
Also this afternoon, several members of the Black Student Union joined EMU students on campus to protest the incident as well, shouting, “No Justice, No Peace.”
RIGHT NOW: members of our BSU join Eastern Michigan Michigan University to protest racist graffiti. "No Justice, No Peace!" pic.twitter.com/6qyPsDNdDG
— #BBUM (@THEBSU) September 20, 2016
RIGHT NOW: Members of our BSU Eboard join Eastern Michigan University's black community in protesting racist graffiti. pic.twitter.com/75fjueYiov
— #BBUM (@THEBSU) September 20, 2016
EMU student Janee, whose full name was withheld for security reasons, told Buzzfeed News that the black community on campus was hurt by the incident.
“We pay for our education just like everyone else, so to see something like that in the morning on our way to class, it’s caused outrage and pain,” she said.
The post Students at Eastern Michigan U. protest ‘KKK’ and other racist graffiti appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Tardigrades, fondly referred to as water bears, are seemingly indestructible. Go ahead and raise these microscopic animals in the freezing cold of Antarctica or worse, not a problem. Toss a few in the dead vacuum of outer space, no sweat. And a new peek into the toughest versions of these gritty creatures may explain why.
Researchers in Japan have sequenced the genome of Ramazzottius varieornatus tardigrades, the most stress-tolerant species on the planet, to unlock the genetic secrets behind its ability to survive. The investigation, led by University of Tokyo biologist Takekazu Kunieda, focused on genes that may explain the tardigrade’s main survival tactic: dehydration.
All tardigrades rely on swimming in water to reproduce and grow, but then can also survive almost complete dehydration. Kunieda’s team found R. varieornatus possess extra copies of stress-related genes required to survive this extreme state.
One example involves superoxide dismutases (SODs), a family of genes that fight oxidative stress. The researchers found 16 different SODs in their tardigrade, while most animals possess only 10. A similar trend applied to the DNA repair gene MRE11, which can protect stress or radiation-related mutations. The water bears had four copies, while other animals typically have one.
Another gene — Dsup — protected this water bear from extreme ultraviolet radiation, and the scientists were able to transfer this train into human cells growing in a petri dish. It’s way too soon to claim that similar protection could be passed into whole humans or other animals. But the research, published today in Nature Communications, offers clues into the limits of what is possible for cells and stress tolerance.
The post These genes protect resilient water bears from radiation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Editor’s Note: This is the fourth 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
Nike demonstrated that the value of sneakers is in the design and the brand, not in the actual physical production or distribution of the shoes. Design and execution can be entirely separated, and consumers do not seem to be bothered by it. The value is in the intellectual property; goods themselves are fungible. This model spread far beyond the garment industry to include computers and electronics, pharmaceuticals, pet food and almost anything else you can buy in the U.S. Nearly everyone is aware that the iPhone, the leading product of our age, is assembled by employees of Foxconn, not by Apple. Aside from occasional concerns about human rights abuses, however, consumers and investors are untroubled by this.
Dell demonstrated that even the design is not always especially important if the price is low enough. Why pay extra for an IBM label when a Dell is just as good, customizable and a lot less expensive? Vizio took the Dell idea a step further. The designs are thoroughly generic, and there is no customization. But they are much, much less expensive than the name brands like Sony. Unlike Sony, Vizio has none of the baggage (and costs) of being a social institution. And when flat-screen TVs are replaced by implantable 3D virtual reality brainpods, Vizio will disappear with a minimum of fuss and tears, to be replaced by a new generic implantable brainpod vendor.
There is something of an irony in the fact that the shareholder-driven outsourcings of the 1990s and 2000s created the infrastructure of generic manufacturing, distribution, business services and computing power to render the shareholder-owned corporation obsolete. The restructurings of the 1990s were almost inevitably accompanied by a nod to shareholder value, as at the food company Sara Lee. The spread of the virtual corporation model was a boon for generic plug-and-play vendors who could assemble products and manage supply chains, ship goods to consumers and provide various business services. But once all of these components were available off-the-shelf — not just the physical components, but all the processes needed to do business — it became much easier for anyone to be the next Michael Dell. The economies of scale that made corporations indispensable in the 20th century had now shifted against them.
Surprisingly enough, this often came at the expense of the investor class who had helped make it happen in the first place. If I can use a credit card to start a business that will quickly grow to be dominant, why do I need a venture capitalist? A 2013 article in The New Yorker described how the cost of starting up a new venture had collapsed due to the ready availability of plug-in resources.
Once, an entrepreneur would go to a venture capitalist for an initial five-million-dollar funding round-money that was necessary for hardware costs, software costs, marketing, distribution, customer service, sales, and so on. Now there are online alternatives. ‘In 2005, the whole thing exploded,’ [an informant] told me. ‘Hardware? No, now you just put it on Amazon or Rackspace. Software? It’s all open-source. Distribution? It’s the App Store, it’s Facebook. Customer service? It’s Twitter–just respond to your best customers on Twitter and Get Satisfaction. Sales and marketing? It’s Google AdWords, AdSense. So the cost to build and launch a product went from five million…to one million…to five hundred thousand…and it’s now to fifty thousand.’
It is not hard to predict that this cost structure will continue to decline, and it is not just for app startups. Capital equipment has also dropped dramatically in cost, due in large part to CNC (computer numerical control) technology, which acts as the brains of machine tools. A Shopbot router, which could cut plans for much of the furniture in the Ikea catalogue, costs far less than a year of tuition at a private college, and a portable version costs not much more than a laptop. Indeed, outfitting a machine shop can cost far less than sending a kid to college these days. But there is no need to actually purchase or rent the equipment because membership in Techshop or other similar makerspaces allows makers to use high-end precision equipment for the cost of a gym membership. With easy access to open-source designs, anyone who can assemble Ikea furniture can make it themselves, using their own materials.
The post Column: Why you no longer need a venture capitalist to start a successful business appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
NASCAR is being sued for $500 million on the grounds of racial discrimination. The racing organization quickly responded, calling the lawsuit “meritless” and threatening to file a countersuit for defamation.
The lawsuit was filed Friday in a U.S. District Court in Manhattan on behalf of Diversity Motorsports Racing, a company dedicated to increasing diversity in racing, and the company’s CEO.
The plaintiffs accused NASCAR of blocking African American-owned teams and drivers from competing in the sport. NASCAR’s parent company International Speedway Corp and several other racing teams were also named in the lawsuit.
“In 2016, motorsports remain the most racially segregated sport in the United States,” the complaint read. “NASCAR and ISC have been complicit in, and supportive of, the racially discriminatory environment that virtually excludes African Americans from meaningful participation” in the sport, it added.
Specifically, the lawsuit accused NASCAR of repeatedly refusing to work with Diversity Motorsports, citing its own diversity program, “Drive for Diversity.” The plaintiffs also said that none of the 48 drivers in the 2016 Sprint Cup is African American. For NASCAR’s Xfinity Series, only one of the drivers is African American, they said.
Elsewhere, the complaint said NASCAR rejected a proposal to create a team with comedian Steve Harvey called “Steve Harvey Races 4 Education.”
But after news of the lawsuit broke, Harvey took to his morning show to vehemently deny he agreed to sponsor a race car team.
“I don’t want no damn race team, I don’t even like fast ass cars,” Harvey said.
There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.
Harvey said he told Diversity Motorsports he would advocate for underprivileged youth being exposed to car racing, but did not support anything more involved.
In response to the lawsuit, NASCAR said it plans to file a countersuit against Diversity Motorsports CEO Terrance Cox for “his defamatory actions.”.
“NASCAR embraces all individuals interested and involved in our sport,” NASCAR said in a statement to NewsHour. “We stand behind our actions, and will not let a publicity-seeking legal action deter us from our mission,” the organization added.
The lawsuit said Diversity Motorsports is seeking $75 million in compensatory damages and $425 million in punitive damages.
Read the full lawsuit below:
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GWEN IFILL: We close with an essay.
Novelist Jennine Capo Crucet grew up in Miami and attended Cornell University in Upstate New York. In addition to adjusting to the cold, Jennine learned to navigate campus as a first-generation college student.
Tonight, she shares thoughts on why colleges need to do better at welcoming students like her.
JENNINE CAPO CRUCET, Author, “Make Your Home Among Strangers”: It took me going away to college to learn that, by doing so, I would become something called a first-generation college student.
This means I was the first in my family to go to college, but it also meant I had no idea how much I didn’t know.
For instance, my family stuck around for all of freshman orientation because the paperwork about move-in day didn’t explicitly state when they should leave, so we assumed they need to be there the whole week.
Long after other families had taken off, mine was still following me around as I registered for classes or during the school-mandated swim test. I was glad to have them there, but it did make for some awkward meals in the dining hall.
Aside from going to class, I had no road map for what I was supposed to do as a newly minted college student. I navigated those first weeks by carefully watching what I thought of as real students, those whose parents had gone to college, who’d gotten a lifelong rundown of what was in store.
That’s how I knew to wear flip-flops in the shower or to take notes in class or that visits to the writing center were covered by tuition. But there was still a lot I couldn’t figure out this way.
For instance, I dropped a class after realizing the textbooks would cost a couple hundred dollars. By the time I learned that professors often put books on course reserve, it was too late to add it back that semester, or like when my professors kept saying, “See me in office hours,” as if we all knew what that meant.
But it took a bad grade on a paper for him to explain to me what office hours were, that he was just waiting around in one place, ready to answers all my questions.
What could my college have done to show me how much I needed to know without making me feel dumb or out of my league in the process? This is where well-meaning administrators usually start throwing around the word mentorship. But too many colleges still think of mentoring as just meetings between two people, one who knows some stuff and another who doesn’t yet know that stuff.
Technically, I had a mentor my first year in college, but when I finally met him, he didn’t seem to understand how confused I was, in part because he came from a long line of college-going folks. He didn’t know how much I didn’t know either.
Formal mentors like the one my college assigned me need to be first-generation college students themselves or have been trained by people intimately familiar with the challenges students like me faced.
They need to do more than send us concerned e-mails:. They need to knock on our literal doors. And they should be compensated for their work as mentors, not asked to volunteer or serve out of some sense of obligation to help out a past version of themselves. They need to be concretely valued for the resource they are, for the unique survival skills they bring to campus.
I now work as a novelist and, believe it or not, a professor. Whenever I’m in front of a group of new readers or students, I ask those who identify as first-generation college people to raise their hands. I then congratulate them. I tell them how much it means to me to meet them, and I tell them that I’m one of them.
But, later, after whatever talk or lecture I have given, there’s almost always someone who comes up to me and admits they didn’t raise their hand because they didn’t know being a first-generation college student was a fact they could be proud of.
Only then do I admit to them something I know that they don’t: When I was in their place, I wouldn’t have raised my hand either.
GWEN IFILL: You can find more of our essays on our Web site at PBS.org/NewsHour/Essays.
The post Why first-generation students need mentors who get them appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A new Ken Burns documentary airs tonight on PBS, and for this story, he co-directs with another filmmaker for whom the details are very personal.
I talked with the men at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum about the cloak and dagger story behind “Defying the Nazis: The Sharps’ War.”
ACTOR: A telephone rang, and it was probably the most momentous telephone call that I ever received. I knew whose voice it was, the voice of my closest friend, Everett Baker.
He said, “Waitstill, Martha, I am inviting you to undertake the first intervention against evil by the denomination to be started immediately overseas.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: And with that call in 1939, the life of unitarian minister Waitstill Sharp and his wife, Martha, would never be the same, nor would the world.
The Sharps, who lived in Wellesley, Massachusetts, were sent by their church to lead a secret and perilous rescue of refugees and dissidents in Europe before and after the start of World War II. They directly helped over 100 people escape and had a part in helping over 2,000 people avoid deportation to Nazi death camps.
They expected to be gone for several months, and instead were gone two years.
MORDECAI PALDIEL, Holocaust Scholar: They were motivated from the beginning to go out there into the kingdom of hell and try to get some people out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: They left two young children at home.
Artemis Joukowsky is the grandson of the Sharps, and son of the Martha Sharp who was named after her courageous mother.
Artemis, this really has been almost a lifelong project for you, since you were, what, in high school?
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY, Co-Director, “Defying the Nazis”: Yes, I was in ninth grade, and I was given an assignment to interview someone of moral courage.
And I went home and I said to my mom, “Who should I interview?”
She said: “Talk to your grandmother. She did some cool things during World War II.”
And that interview changed my life.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What was it that she shared with you? I mean, obviously, you were young. You were — but she shared something with you that stayed.
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What was it?
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: I think a love for people, a love for difference, a love for celebrating what is good in the world and what makes the world so rich.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ken, you have so many different film ideas to choose from. What was it about this story?
KEN BURNS, Co-Director, “Defying the Nazis”: You know, this is a story that chose me.
I didn’t start this project. It was started years and years ago by Artemis. And he brought it to me. And I looked at the germ of the story. And I was so stunned, that I had to drop everything.
It’s its these two lone figures in the face of this gigantic tidal wave of the greatest cataclysm in human history, the Second World War. And what happens is, is that cataclysm becomes so big that it’s undefinable.
We say six million Jews, and we can’t actually personalize it in a way. So, here was an opportunity, a kind of back door, a stage door to go through these two extraordinary, but improbable heroes, courageous people who are throwing us, the audience, into an espionage story, a spy story.
I mean, this is a story of courage, but also of sacrifice.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In fact, the more he dug for documents, the more complicated and interesting the story became.
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: I didn’t even know what I had.
And then, over the next 15 years, and working with Ken’s team, we have now begun to create not just the story of what we’re sharing with the world, but an archive that is all over the world. We have archives now in France, in Germany, in the Czech Republic that are connected to our collections.
We have discovered over 200,000 documents that are now archived here at the museum. And what’s extraordinary is how the documents come alive.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But you also lost a lot of documents, because documents, thousands, millions of pages had to be burned to keep them from the Nazis.
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: Yes, exactly. Yes.
What is so remarkable about this project is how many people are coming forward today saying, the Sharps helped us in this way. We have documents that show the Sharps helped us.
And this very large network of underground, you know, rescuers, both the Jewish community, the Protestant community, the Catholic community, others who saw rescue as something that they had to do for their faith.
KEN BURNS: What he’d sent was this diamond in the rough. And you realize that the story was everything, and that you can always find a way to tell a story.
If there’s no pictures, then you find the documents. If there are no documents, then you find the pictures, or you get live cinematography, or you do something.
NARRATOR: Dr. Otto Meyerhof, the Jewish Nobel Prize-winning biochemist, who was hiding out in a small coastal village north of…
JUDY WOODRUFF: To that end, some of those rescued are portrayed in the film through narration and photos.
Lion Feuchtwanger, a German-Jewish novelist and playwright, is one:
ACTOR: Why are you here doing what you’re doing?
ACTOR: I’m just as capable of the many sins of human nature as anyone else, but I believe that the will of God is to be interpreted by the liberty of the human spirit.
JUDY WOODRUFF: There are interviews with those who are still alive, like Rosemarie Feigl of Vienna.
ROSEMARIE FEIGL, Holocaust Survivor: My father went from consulate to consulate trying to get visas to go anywhere that was plausible. That’s how he met Martha Sharp, who saved my life.
And my mother just packed my things. Martha gave us all beige berets, and there are pictures of us in those beige berets.
ACTRESS: We realized that we were in the front lines against Nazism. Waitstill looked at me and, holding my hand tightly, whispered, “Courage.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you have a sense of what, for her, was the hardest, the scariest moment?
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: I think facing up to a Nazi official, knowing that this could be death.
I think negotiating with people who she viewed in her mind as being not connected to human reality. I think she felt afraid for everyone she tried to help. I think that notion of this being just a drop in the bucket of how many people could have been saved, I think she lived with that pain and that regret all her life.
This story is not just about celebrating their lives. It’s an instruction manual for what — how we need to operate today as people and as civilizations.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, at the same time, as Ken said, there was a personal toll on your family, on your mother.
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: Yes. Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And there was some suggestion that the project is an effort to do some healing.
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see that?
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: I think it happened. I think my mother saw the film in the last month, as we’re getting ready to share this with the world. And she said, it’s brilliant.
And she understands how she felt as a child. We portray her in the film as a vulnerable child, just as the children my grandmother was rescuing.
KEN BURNS: It has something that is universal to it. And that’s what I love.
You see in action, particularly today, where we’re wrestling in our own country with what direction we want to take, do we wish to go this way or do we wish to go that way, that these people opened their hearts.
He could give a sermon every Sunday. He could minister to the common problems of his parishioners. And then, all of a sudden, he’s in Nazi-occupied Prague, suddenly learning how to launder money. And she’s trying to escape the Gestapo tail.
And you suddenly realize, but this is all true.
ARTEMIS JOUKOWSKY: Right.
KEN BURNS: It is all true.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Towards the end, the film shows the Sharps’ daughter, Martha Sharp Joukowsky, aided by Rosemarie Feigl, lighting the Eternal Flame at Holocaust Remembrance Center, Yad Vashem. It was 10 years ago when the Sharps were honored as the Righteous Among the Nations. They are two of only five Americans honored among 25,000 people with that distinction.
The documentary airs tonight on PBS stations. Check local listings.
And Artemis Joukowsky has just published a companion book about this story as well.
The post How a Massachusetts couple saved thousands from Nazi death camps appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, our coverage of the issues in this presidential campaign continues.
And we’re taking the opportunity to focus on where they stand on education, as part of our weekly series Making the Grade.
Correspondent Lisa Desjardins gets us started with this primer.
LISA DESJARDINS: It is a wide education gap. The candidates disagree not just on how to fix schools, but also on what the problems are.
First, Donald Trump.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: That’s why I’m proposing a plan to provide school choice to every disadvantaged student in America.
LISA DESJARDINS: The Republican wants a $12,000 voucher for every child living in poverty.
DONALD TRUMP: That means parents will be able to send their kids to the desired public, private, or even religious school of their choice.
LISA DESJARDINS: Here’s Trump’s math; $12,000 times 11 million kids, that’s over $130 billion. To pay for that, Trump would kick in $20 billion in federal funds, and he’d like states to find the rest, over $100 billion.
Libertarian Gary Johnson has long pushed for vouchers, but he is to the right of Trump on something else. He would close the Department of Education and send savings back to the states.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, strongly opposes vouchers, charging that Trump’s plan would gut public school funding. One of her biggest changes would be for even younger kids, a universal preschool plan that was part of her campaign launch last year.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Our country won’t be competitive or fair if we don’t help more families give their kids the best possible start in life.
LISA DESJARDINS: Another contrast, the Common Core education standards. Trump regularly touts his full opposition.
DONALD TRUMP: We’re going to terminate Common Core out of Washington. We’re going to bring our education local.
LISA DESJARDINS: Clinton doesn’t talk Common Core much, but she does support it. Instead, her marquee education plan is about a different rung.
HILLARY CLINTON: We came up with a plan that makes public college tuition-free for working families and debt-free for everyone.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
LISA DESJARDINS: Clinton’s idea, inspired in part by former opponent Bernie Sanders, is threefold. One, she’d make in-state universities tuition-free for families earning less than $125,000. Two, community college would be tuition-free for everyone. And, three, she’d address those who have to pay now.
HILLARY CLINTON: If you already have debt, we will help you refinance it and pay it back as a percentage of your income, so you’re never on the hook for more than you can afford.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
LISA DESJARDINS: Clinton would raise taxes on the wealthy to pay for her college plans. The Green Party’s Jill Stein would go further and erase all student debt with a kind of government bailout.
In contrast, Trump has no specific plans for college costs, though, in a Twitter video, he did criticize the government’s role in student lending. The candidates hit nearly opposite education issues, even as they fight for the same student and parent votes.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Lisa Desjardins.
GWEN IFILL: Now Jeffrey Brown looks more deeply into the differences between the two major nominees on education.
JEFFREY BROWN: And for that, we turn to two journalists who cover this closely.
Andrew Ujifusa is with our partners at Education Week. Scott Jaschik is the editor of Inside Higher Education.
Welcome to both of you.
Andrew, let me start with you. And let’s start with K through 12 and these differences over vouchers and school choices. School choice, dramatic differences.
ANDREW UJIFUSA, Education Week: Yes, very dramatic differences.
Recently, Donald Trump proposed a $20 billion federal school choice program, which a lot of conservatives like. It’s not entirely clear how that would work in many instances, but it does have the backing of many Republicans. Clinton very much opposed to it.
I think we should keep in mind here that the two national teachers unions, which very closely back Clinton and have for some time, they are very much opposed to vouchers as well.
JEFFREY BROWN: Because they’re historically worried about its implications for public education.
ANDREW UJIFUSA: Yes, that’s exactly right.
JEFFREY BROWN: Is it clear how Donald Trump would pay for this?
ANDREW UJIFUSA: No, he has not made that clear.
He has not said, for example, where the money would come from within the federal government. I don’t think he wants to raise taxes to pay for his school choice program. That wouldn’t go over well with fellow Republicans. But a lot of the details about that program are still unclear.
JEFFREY BROWN: And with Hillary Clinton, she has expressed in the past some support for charter schools, right, but where is she? What is she saying these days?
ANDREW UJIFUSA: That is a very good question. It’s hard to say.
I think, in the past, it’s fair to say she’s been more supportive of charter schools. But ever since she hit the 2016 campaign trail, she has voiced more concerns about charter schools, such as the type of students they enroll. Again, that might reflect a lot of the concerns that teachers unions have about charters.
JEFFREY BROWN: And then let me stay with you for the question of Common Core, because there, again, you have Donald Trump, who has referred to it as a disaster. I think he’s pretty clear.
ANDREW UJIFUSA: Yes. Yes.
JEFFREY BROWN: Hillary Clinton, measured support? Where would you put the two of them right now?
ANDREW UJIFUSA: I think she does support the standards. She doesn’t talk a lot about it. I think concerns with the Common Core on the Democratic side mostly have to do with tests that are connected to the Common Core. The unions have a lot of concerns about those tests and how they’re used.
Donald Trump has made it very clear he doesn’t like the Common Core. That reflects in particular the position of the Republican base. He has not explained why he thinks it’s a bad idea. He has said that he will get rid of the Common Core, but there’s no real clear avenue for him to do that if he’s elected.
JEFFREY BROWN: Scott Jaschik, where do you see, when you’re looking at K through 12, the kind of school reform movement that we have watched over the many years now? Where do you see these two candidates?
SCOTT JASCHIK, Inside Higher Education: I see the two candidates on school reform and actually a bit on higher ed reform in the same place.
Barack Obama very much embraced school reform, innovation, online education, new ways of delivering education. Hillary Clinton, a little more skeptical, and I think that relates to her being close to the teachers unions, as we were talking about.
Donald Trump, aside from a few speeches, has not given much detail at all.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, take us now more directly into the higher ed part, because, here, Hillary Clinton has taken a real strong position, right, with her idea for free public higher education for many.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Correct.
She’s proposing that everyone be entitled to free public tuition at public colleges in their home state if you’re from family incomes up to $125,000. That covers more than 80 percent of the population. She would give grants to states to distribute to the universities, which the states would have to match $1 for $3, so that there would be money to replace the lost tuition revenue.
JEFFREY BROWN: And this one comes with a big price tag, I saw, $500 million.
SCOTT JASCHIK: It’s a lot of money, and she has said that increased taxes on wealthier Americans would pay for it.
JEFFREY BROWN: Now, what about Donald Trump? How much has he said — he has — well, he has said less, I know, in this area.
SCOTT JASCHIK: He’s said very little.
I have had two interviews with one of his top advisers, who has described a desire to reform the student loan system to have banks and colleges mutually decide who is creditworthy. He has also opposed the free public tuition, public higher education tuition, and also opposed President Obama’s free community college plan.
JEFFREY BROWN: You were telling me just before we started something interesting, that a lot of people in the higher education community are focused on Donald Trump for what he said about integration, even more than anything he said about — specifically about education.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Right.
He’s gone through several iterations, but he says he wants to make it much more difficult for people to get a visa to come to the United States for a variety of purposes, including to study. This worries U.S. academic leaders, who want and need foreign students.
JEFFREY BROWN: So, Andrew, when you look at the education — you have been following this throughout the campaign — are you surprised by how much or how little attention it has gotten and in what forms it’s gotten?
ANDREW UJIFUSA: I can’t say I’m surprised. Education is never a top-tier issue, you know, in the election. And I think that’s particularly true this go-around.
I think that we should have expected that Donald Trump would bring up the Common Core because it is such a hot-button topic, particularly in the Republican base.
It’s also important to keep in mind that we have a new federal education law that President Obama signed at the end of last year that sort of has taken education off the front burner for now in several ways.
JEFFREY BROWN: This is the Every Student Succeeds, right, Act that picked up on the No Child Left Behind. So, that was a big deal just a year ago.
ANDREW UJIFUSA: It was a big deal. It remains to be a big deal.
And it returns a lot of the control over several key policy decisions to states and districts. So there’s a little bit less for Washington to do. And states and other folks are still figuring out what exactly it means.
JEFFREY BROWN: Scott, what do you see when you look broadly at the campaign and how much this has gotten…
SCOTT JASCHIK: I think we are going to hear more about Clinton’s higher education plan. Her aides clearly see this as something that will reach middle-class voters. Many middle-class families are deeply concerned about paying for their children’s college.
And, likewise, many people in academia worry about the future of public higher education, as states have in many ways walked away from their historic obligations.
JEFFREY BROWN: And do you expect to hear more from Donald Trump as well?
SCOTT JASCHIK: I doubt we will see or hear more from Donald Trump.
One challenge he has is that, when he talks about education, people talk about Trump University. And while that’s not really typical of higher education, I don’t think his aides view that as a positive topic of discussion.
JEFFREY BROWN: All right, an issue to be continued in the campaign.
Scott Jaschik and Andrew Ujifusa, thank you both very much.
ANDREW UJIFUSA: Thank you.
SCOTT JASCHIK: Thank you.
GWEN IFILL: We have compiled the candidates’ stances on education into a handy reference chart. You can find that on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.
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GWEN IFILL: There are new calls for a federal investigation into the police shooting of an unarmed black man in Tulsa, Oklahoma, raising questions yet again about the relationship between law enforcement and citizens of color.
Forty-year-old Terence Crutcher was killed on Friday when local officers responded to a call of a stalled vehicle in the middle of the road. Police video subsequently showed Crutcher, hands in the air, walking away from the officers before police fired.
Here is some of that video.
MAN: That looks like a bad dude, too.
MAN: I think he may have just been Tasered.
WOMAN: Shots fired!
MAN: We have shots fired. We have one suspect down.
GWEN IFILL: An attorney for the officer said she believed Crutcher was armed and didn’t heed instruction. But attorneys for the family say the video proves otherwise, and they believe the officer who shot him, Betty Jo Shelby, should be charged with murder. She is on paid administrative leave.
His twin sister, Tiffany, noted that officers watching at a distance from a helicopter could be heard on tape referring to her brother as a “bad dude.”
TIFFANY CRUTCHER, Sister of Terence Crutcher: That big, bad dude was my twin brother. That big, bad dude was a father. That big, bad dude was a son. That big, bad dude was enrolled at Tulsa Community College, just wanting to make us proud.
GWEN IFILL: For the latest on the investigation and the mood in the city of Tulsa, I am joined by Ginnie Graham, columnist for the Tulsa World Newspaper.
Ginnie Graham, The Washington Post keeps a database now in which they say, in the past year, 696 people, 172 of them black men, have been fatally shot by police. In Tulsa, how did this come about?
GINNIE GRAHAM, Tulsa World: This particular incident, some of that is unfolding.
We know that he had a stalled car and that the officer, Betty Shelby, was responding to a different call and came upon him. The problem is, there is some missing video — or not missing video — there was no video leading up to what we now see.
And it’s pretty clear that he had his hands up. And you can see other officers responded. Then you had the aerial view. And he was shot. He was Tasered and then shot. And so people are coming to their own conclusions watching the video, and other people have lingering questions about what led up to that, how he responded, and then how the officers responded directly after that, because he was left on the street.
GWEN IFILL: Yes. He was left on the street for some time.
Was there — is there a distinction or a dispute between what the police account of the incident is and what others are saying?
GINNIE GRAHAM: Not so much right now. The police aren’t saying too much.
They are launching their own investigation. And they will be returning those results over to the district attorney, who will decide on a charge. But there is also another investigation going on. The police chief had called the Justice Department early on, and the U.S. attorney is looking into this as an independent and parallel investigation to see if there are any federal civil rights violations that occurred.
And so he will be releasing those results at the same time.
GWEN IFILL: We got to see this video relatively quickly, more quickly than we often see in these cases. Do you think what happened in Tulsa with the police rapid response, or relatively rapid response, is the result of what we have seen happen in other cities and other places?
GINNIE GRAHAM: It could be.
There are also efforts throughout the year to talk about race in Tulsa. We have had a dubious history of dealing with race issues. And so for the last decade or two decades, there have been various groups to try to forge relationships in between these tense times.
And so this is going to be a challenge for the city’s leaders on how they move forward. But I think the other cities and how they have dealt with that are certainly a caution. But there’s also a call for transparency to get the information out quickly, put it out to the public, and then we can make decisions from there on what — if they acted correctly.
GWEN IFILL: When you talk about Tulsa’s dubious history, you’re referring not only to instances where there have been police-involved shootings, but going all the way back to 1921, right?
GINNIE GRAHAM: Exactly.
We had an infamous 1921 race riot, and it burned a section of the city to the ground. And it was the part of the city referred to as Black Wall Street. And for decades, that wound was left to fester. That part of town was never rebuilt. The families were never given any sort of help to rebuild.
And it was only in the 1990s that a commission was established to investigate what happened during that time. And since then, there is the John Hope Reconciliation Center that holds a national forum on race. There are other groups in the city that hold seminars, symposiums, dialogues and talks. But all of that is going to be tested right now, as I said, because, right now, people are upset. They’re grieving. They’re angry.
And so how the city responds, whether they’re going to be straightforward, whether they’re going to live up to their promises, that’s what’s going to determine the relationships from here on out. So, hopefully, our city has learned some lessons on how to heal, how to deal with this in a peaceful, yet justful manner.
GWEN IFILL: Well, and it should be said that, right up until now, we haven’t seen riots or unrest or fires or looting, have we?
GINNIE GRAHAM: Not in Tulsa.
And we have had a couple incidents before where, last year, we had our county deputy sheriff, a reserve officer, shot and killed an unarmed black man as well. And our district attorney filed charges in that with a secondary manslaughter conviction.
So, there is some history that our city leaders will do the right thing. And there have been calls from the family and from other leaders to be patient, but yet, you know, keep up the oversight, because protests are more than welcome. Our city — our police chief even said he invites protesters. They came into the press conference.
The hope is that they can remain peaceful and that we can sit down and have this discussion about, you know, how can we be safe on our streets and how can we build trust that people that are living in North Tulsa and all over Tulsa feel safe with the police that are on the streets and find out what happened and to act swiftly.
GWEN IFILL: Ginnie Graham, columnist for the Tulsa World, thank you very much.
GINNIE GRAHAM: Thank you.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We turn to the revelations of abuse at the Marine Corps training facility at Parris Island, South Carolina.
An internal investigation that began after the death of a young recruit earlier this year has uncovered a larger pattern of hazing and abuse at the legendary facility.
The “NewsHour”‘s William Brangham, who’s recently been reporting at Parris Island, joins me now for more.
So, William, tell us about this investigation that’s been under way.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: As you mentioned, this whole investigation began when this 20-year-old Marine recruit, he was a man named Raheel Siddiqui. He was from Michigan.
He jumped off a third-floor balcony and fell to his death. The investigation that went into that death revealed that he had been physically abused by one of his drill instructors. He had had — the morning that he died, he went out and claimed that he had a sore throat and asked for a medical — to be sent to the doctor.
And his drill instructor apparently didn’t believe him and made him run laps up and down the barracks when they were sleeping. He then apparently wasn’t responding to his drill instructor appropriately, and so he was choked. He fell to the ground. And then his drill instructor apparently got over him and slapped him in the face at least once, perhaps three times, and which he jumped up at that point, ran out the back door and leapt off the balcony and fell to his death.
Now, the Marines have ruled this a suicide. His family believes he was targeted specifically and was abused intentionally. Apparently, this drill instructor involved in this had referred to this young man as a terrorist before.
The bigger thing that this investigation has revealed is that this particular drill instructor had been investigated prior to this for another instance of abuse on another Muslim recruit a year before, where he had apparently called this young man a terrorist also, had put him into a large commercial dryer, and run that dryer and burned the young recruit.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A clothes dryer?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: A clothes dryer, huge — one of these large industrial dryers.
And so the family’s argument — and the Marines say, why was this man reassigned into this case? And so this investigation has just continued to unfold from there.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, you were just at Parris Island reporting on another story just in the last few weeks. Did you see any evidence of this kind of treatment of these recruits?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: No, we saw nothing of the kind.
Producer Dan Sagalyn and I were down there. We were reporting a story about how women are now entering more combat roles in the Marine Corps. And we were following some female recruits. And we saw no evidence of anything like this.
We saw what a lot of civilians would look at as almost stereotypical Marine drill sergeant behavior. It’s rough and tough stuff, drill sergeants yelling at young recruits, making them run around, sometimes running to the point of exhaustion, a lot of chaos, a lot of screaming.
But that’s what the Marine Corps thinks of as its honored tradition of turning civilian into Corps. So, we saw no evidence of abuse whatsoever, nothing that’s alleged in this investigation.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You were telling me that there are still more allegations out there about the way recruits have been treated by these drill instructors.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s right.
This investigation, which hasn’t been released to the public — we went to the Pentagon yesterday to read it for a few hours. This investigation revealed at least a dozen other drill instructors were involved in what the Marine Corps calls a fostering of a culture of abuse, so physically hitting recruits, encouraging other recruits to hit other recruits, choking of recruits, a real lack of oversight by officers looking into this.
It has blossomed into a much larger investigation in the Corps.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you mentioned officers. Who is being held accountable for this at this point?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Well, right now, no one has been criminally charged with any wrongdoing whatsoever.
Several people have been fired or dismissed. They have let go a colonel, a lieutenant colonel and a sergeant major. But, right now, the Marine Corps is still trying to decide who should be prosecuted, who might face a court-martial, what sort of disciplinary action.
But there are at least 20 Marines who are subject to possible further sanction for their actions in these cases.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You and I were also discussing the fact that, over years, there have been allegations made about what’s been going on at Parris Island.
Have they changed their techniques, the M.O., the way they operate in general over time?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The Marine Corps would say, yes, that they have been very diligent about this.
There was a notorious incident back in the ’50s where a drill instructor led a group of recruits into a very dangerous circumstance and several died. Reforms were made after that. There were also a series of reforms and training made after the end of the Vietnam era, when we moved from a draft to a more volunteer army.
With regards to these particular allegations, the biggest concern that we heard in talking to current Marines and former Marines is that the leadership failed in their job here, that this type of abuse shouldn’t have been allowed to fester and blossom the way it did.
And that’s really the most damning part of the investigation, is that the supervisory officers who should have been observing this activity really were absent and negligent of their duties.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It is such a disturbing story. And I know the reporting on it continues, as well as the investigation.
William Brangham, thank you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Thank you.
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GWEN IFILL: The CEO of Wells Fargo appeared on Capitol Hill and faced a barrage of questions about the bank’s conduct under his leadership, and why employees opened nearly two million phony accounts.
Regulators say employees, under pressure to meet sales goals, had secretly created unauthorized bank and credit card accounts for customers, since 2011, without their knowledge.
Today, bank chairman John Stumpf apologized before the Senate Banking Committee.
JOHN STUMPF, CEO, Wells Fargo: I am deeply sorry that we failed to fulfill on our responsibility to our customers, to our team members and to the American public. We never directed, nor wanted our team members to provide products and services to customers that they didn’t want.
That is not good for our customers, and that is not good for our business. It is against everything we stand for as a company.
GWEN IFILL: More than 5,000 workers, mostly lower-level, have been fired. But senators on both sides of the aisle said it was Stumpf who should be paying the price.
Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren:
SEN. ELIZABETH WARREN (D-Mass.): So, you haven’t resigned. You haven’t returned a single nickel of your personal earnings. You haven’t fired a single senior executive.
Instead, evidently, your definition of accountable is to push the blame to your low-level employees who don’t have the money for a fancy P.R. firm to defend themselves. It’s gutless leadership.
You squeezed your employees to the breaking point, so they would cheat customers and you could drive up the value of your stock and put hundreds of millions of dollars in your own pocket. And when it all blew up, you kept your job. You kept your multimillion-dollar bonuses.
GWEN IFILL: We turn now to Michael Corkery, who’s been reporting on the story for The New York Times.
Michael, you were in the room today, in the hearing chamber today, and you saw the outrage that was expressed by Republicans and Democrats, not just Elizabeth Warren, but also David Vitter. Outrage is easy. What’s the fix that — the fix they’re asking for?
MICHAEL CORKERY, The New York Times: Well, I think they want more accountability.
I mean, this fraud was extraordinary for how widespread it was. I mean, it affected thousands of customers. We’re talking upwards of two million potentially fake — they created — accounts by Wells Fargo employees; 5,300 bank workers, mostly low-level, low-paid bank workers have been fired, but I think what the committee was focused on and what Elizabeth Warren in particular was taking up the charge for was that none of the senior executives seem to have been affected, either losing their jobs or taking back some of their compensation.
GWEN IFILL: How long have senior executives known about this problem?
MICHAEL CORKERY: Well, John Stumpf said he knew — he first knew about it in 2013, though the problems may have gone back to 2011.
But even 2013, this problem has been going on for three years in some form or another. Those employees that have been fired have been fired over a period of five years. And, you know, even up to this year, people were being fired at the bank for this behavior, low-level workers.
So I think, again, the committee was focused on, why didn’t you do more sooner to take care of this problem and get rid of it?
GWEN FILL: Now, some employees said that this problem propped up because of a culture of competition at Wells Fargo. What are they talking about?
MICHAEL CORKERY: Wells is a very hard-driving bank. It’s very successful, very profitable.
Stock has been on a tear. What they say is that employees were under these — enormous pressure to meet these sales goals, to open as many new accounts as they can. In fact, John Stumpf wanted all bank customers — one of his goals was to have every bank customer have eight accounts, eight products with Wells Fargo.
It’s an enormous amount of products. I mean, if you think, well, you have got a loan, or a checking account, a savings account. And so these employees thought they were unrealistic. They said they were totally unrealistic.
And in order the meet them, not just to gain big bonuses, but just to keep their jobs, they felt compelled to meet these. And in order to do that, many of these former employees said they needed to bend the rules, they need to fake them.
GWEN IFILL: Is there a dollar number you can put on a number of accounts, the dollar impact on actual account holders who found out that they held a lot more accounts in their name than they realized?
MICHAEL CORKERY: Right now, regulators, particularly the CFPB, started by Elizabeth Warren, has put the number at about $2 million.
It’s not a big number, when you consider the extent of the fraud. And that’s what’s kind of weird here, is that, yes, these fees meant things to people. These were overdraft fees. These were late fees on credit cards they didn’t know they had.
But, again, it was happening in ways where sometimes a bank employee would open up an account for someone, the person didn’t know it, and then two days later they would close it. And they would just do it just to get credit for the sale. And it suggests that this selling culture was so broken, that it wasn’t even making the bank money. It was just meeting goals for the sake of meeting goals.
GWEN IFILL: But some of the sympathy in the hearing today seemed to be for employees who were fired, who they think were treated as scapegoats?
MICHAEL CORKERY: Yes.
I think if — they kept coming back to this point over and over, again, 5,000 employees. And these are people mostly who make about $12 an hour. Those are the ones who have been fired. At this point, other than the few, as John Stumpf said quite vaguely, managers and managers of managers, nobody in the C suite, no big, top executive has lost their job.
And I think that has the optics at least of the little guy gets squeezed and gets hurt and takes the fall, and the big CEOs get off.
GWEN IFILL: Michael Corkery of The New York Times, thank you very much.
MICHAEL CORKERY: Thank you.
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GWEN IFILL: In the day’s other news: New details emerged on Ahmad Khan Rahami, the suspect in the New York and New Jersey bombings. The New York Times reported the FBI briefly investigated Rahami in 2014, after he allegedly stabbed his brother. At the time, his father told police that Rahami was a — quote — “terrorist,” but he later recanted, and an investigation found nothing.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Authorities in France have made eight new arrests in a deadly truck attack in July; 86 people were killed when a driver plowed through crowds of revelers in the Mediterranean city of Nice on Bastille Day, the French national holiday. The attacker, a Tunisian, was killed by police. The suspects arrested on Monday are French and Tunisian.
GWEN IFILL: The United Nations has suspended all aid deliveries to Syria after an attack on a Red Crescent convoy killed at least 20 people. It happened near the northern city of Aleppo, just hours after a cease-fire expired. Footage today showed the charred wreckage of trucks lining the streets, and supplies, some marked with the U.N. logo, strewn about.
JENS LAERKE, UN Spokesman: This is a very, very dark day for humanitarians in Syria, and I will say across the world, because I think there’s been a moment of shock and, frankly, disgust by this attack.
GWEN IFILL: Russia denied claims that its warplanes attacked the convoy. But it did say there is drone footage showing heavily armed militants traveling with the aid trucks.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A fire roared through a migrant camp on the Greek island of Lesbos overnight. Thousands fled and no one was injured, but 60 percent of the camp was destroyed. The fire broke out late Monday and was extinguished by midday today. The camp houses several thousand migrants. Police say the fire started after clashes between different ethnic groups.
GWEN IFILL: Back in this country, Hillary Clinton took a day off the trail to study up for next week’s first presidential debate, while Donald Trump went back to school.
John Yang has our report.
JOHN YANG: Donald Trump went to college today, courting the millennial vote. At High Point University in North Carolina, he appeared to lecture Hillary Clinton about fighting terrorism.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Her claim that my opposition to radical Islamic terrorism is a recruiting tool. But why? Because I’m tough, it’s a recruiting tool? It demonstrates a level of ignorance about the terror threat.
JOHN YANG: It came amid more questions about the charitable Trump Foundation. The Washington Post reported it paid more than $250,000 to settle lawsuits involving his businesses. The Trump campaign didn’t respond.
And social media became a battleground over Donald Trump Jr.’s tweet likening Syrian refugees to a tainted bowl of Skittles. A Clinton campaign spokesman called it disgusting, and a former Obama speechwriter tweeted a picture that had earlier gone viral, saying, this Syrian boy is “one of the millions of children you compared to a poisoned Skittle.”
Clinton made no public appearances today, but there was word she may get the vote of a former Republican president.
Politico reported that former Maryland Republican Lieutenant Governor Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, daughter of the late Robert Kennedy, posted on Facebook that George H.W. Bush had told her he’s voting for Hillary.
Today, a Bush spokesman said the former president is a private citizen and his vote will be, too, private.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m John Yang.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Relief is on the way for five Southern states after a gasoline pipeline leak in Alabama. Colonial Pipeline said today that it’s completed a bypass line, and it can restart the flow tomorrow. The leak has caused many gas stations in the region to shut down pumps. And prices have jumped more than 20 cents in some parts.
GWEN IFILL: Twenty-one states went to federal court today to block a new overtime pay rule. It takes effect December 1 and requires overtime for salaried workers making less than $47,500. That’s double the current threshold. The states say it places a heavy new burden on state budgets.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And a slow day on Wall Street. The Dow Jones industrial average gained nine points to close near 18130. The Nasdaq rose six, and the S&P 500 added a fraction.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: For the president today, a moment on the world stage at the United Nations one last time, his message no less than an urgent plea to make a better world.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: At this moment, we all face a choice.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It was his final address to the U.N. General Assembly, and President Obama used it to issue a challenge.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We can choose to press forward with a better model of cooperation and integration, or we can retreat into a world sharply divided and ultimately in conflict along age-old lines of nation and tribe and race and religion.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The president spoke of a growing contest between authoritarian rule and liberalism, and of people losing faith in the face of terrorism and the refugee crises.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Given the difficulty in forging true democracy in the face of these pressures, it’s no surprise that some argue the future favors the strong man, a top-down model, rather than strong democratic institutions. But I believe this thinking is wrong. I believe the road of true democracy remains the better path.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mr. Obama appealed to the world to do more for the millions fleeing war-torn countries. And he warned against the politics of Donald Trump, without mentioning the Republican nominee by name.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: The world is too small for us to simply be able to build a wall and prevent it from affecting our own societies.
MAN: The prime minister of the United Kingdom.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Newly named British Prime Minister Theresa May, making her first address at the U.N. after her country’s vote to leave the European Union, said Brexit was not a signal that Britain was retreating from its global responsibilities.
THERESA MAY, Prime Minister, United Kingdom: They didn’t vote to turn inward or walk away from any of our partners in the world. Faced with challenges like migration, they demanded a politics that is more in touch with their concerns and bold action to address them. But that action must be more global, not less.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But for many leaders, Syria topped the agenda. President Obama aimed strong criticism at the Syrians’ main ally, Russia, for its aggressive moves there and in Ukraine.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: In a world that left the age of empire behind, we see Russia attempting to recover lost glory through force. It may fuel nationalist fervor for a time, but, over time, it’s also going to diminish its stature and make its borders less secure.
JUDY WOODRUFF: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon also forcefully denounced the Syrian regime, and its main backer, in his last address to the General Assembly.
BAN KI-MOON, Secretary-General, United Nations: There is no military solution. Many groups have killed many innocents, none more so than the government of Syria, which continues to bomb neighborhoods and systematically torture thousands of detainees. Powerful patrons also have blood on their hands.
JUDY WOODRUFF: French President Francois Hollande added his own demand to stop the killing in Syria.
PRESIDENT FRANCOIS HOLLANDE, France (through translator): The Syrian tragedy will be seen by history as a disgrace for the international community if we do not end it quickly. Thousands of children have died in bombings. Whole populations are starving. Humanitarian convoys are being attacked. Chemical weapons are being used.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan joined those who called for a solution in Syria, but his main focus was an exiled cleric in the U.S., Fethullah Gulen, whom Erdogan and his government accuse of fomenting the failed July coup.
PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkey (through translator): I am calling, from this podium, to all of our friends to swiftly take the necessary measures against the Gulenist terrorist organization for their own safety and the future of their nations.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The General Assembly continues through next Monday.
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WASHINGTON — A government report released Wednesday said climate change is likely to pose a significant national security challenge for the U.S. over the next two decades by heightening social and political tensions, threatening the stability of some countries and increasing risks to human health.In conjunction with the report, President Barack Obama signed a presidential memorandum that orders federal agencies to account for climate change’s impacts when developing national security policy.
The White House said there is an increasing need for collaboration among scientists and the intelligence and national security communities. Obama’s memorandum establishes a working group to help in that effort and directs federal agencies to develop plans to deal with an array of potential scenarios resulting from climate change.
While the memorandum applies to the current administration, officials said they anticipated that future administrations would incorporate some of its requirements.
“The impacts of climate change on national security are only going to grow,” said Dr. John Holdren, director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Six of the 17 hottest months on record have been the summer months of 2015 and 2016. The report said that over the next five years, the security risks for the U.S. linked to climate change will arise primarily from extreme weather events and water shortages. Over the next 20 years, broader systemic changes such as rising sea levels could threaten small island states and low-lying coastal regions.
“Over 20 years, the next effects of climate change on the patterns of global human movement and statelessness could be dramatic, perhaps unprecedented,” said the report, which comes from the office of the Director of National Intelligence.
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How worried should we be about the recent attacks in Minnesota, New York and New Jersey? Are we any safer since President George W. Bush promised to “win the war against terrorist activity” five days after the 9/11 strikes?
In many ways, we are. It is now much more difficult for foreign terrorists to get into the country than it was before 9/11, and there are numerous impediments to carrying out a 9/11-style attack. Our worst fears, immediately after 9/11, have not been realized. No nonstate enemy—ISIS or any other—poses an existential threat to the continued viability of our country.
Bin Laden was loathe to carry out the kind of relatively low-level attacks we’ve been seeing in the last years, such as mass shootings or stabbings at churches, workplaces, and nightclubs. Such attacks, many of which have been carried out by lone individuals or pairs with a mix of personal and ideological motives, are especially difficult for law enforcement authorities to stop, because there are fewer communications to intercept. There is a limit, though, to the damage that such self-trained individuals, lone actors, and pairs can cause. An individual or small group can terrorize a city, as recent events are making clear. But such groups are unlikely to be able to carry out a September 11–type attack, which required coordination among a large number of operatives.
But ISIS has initiated a strategy of “open-source” jihad, encouraging sympathizers to carry out low-level attacks wherever they are located, using whatever weapons they can find or produce. The terrorist spectacular has been avoided. But more than 200 people died in terrorist attacks in North America and in Western Europe in 2015, a marked rise from the previous year, leading to a heightened level of anxiety in the West. Still, it is important to remember that compared with much of the rest of the world, and compared with the 9/11 attacks, these numbers are relatively small.
According to the Global Terrorism Database, attacks in the West account for less than 5 percent of terrorism around the globe. The vast majority of terrorist fatalities over the last five years occurred in just a handful of countries—Iraq, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Syria—where governments are fragile or there is a civil war. Overall, global terrorism decreased in the last year. And while the recent high-profile attacks in the West have received a great deal of attention, previous terrorist campaigns in the West were significantly more lethal. During the eight-year-long war in Algeria, approximately 5,000 people were killed by terrorist campaigns in France. During the UK’s fight against the Irish Republican Army, more than 3,600 died in terrorist strikes.
But we Americans are nonetheless afraid. It is quite difficult to live with the thought that there are people among us who would do us harm. According to the sixth, and latest, annual American Values Survey, Americans are increasingly concerned about the country’s future, anxious about terrorism, and nostalgic for an imagined, more secure past. A CNN/ORC poll, conducted soon after the shootings at a nightclub in Orlando this past June, found that 71 percent of Americans think that further acts of terrorism are very or somewhat likely in the very near future; a level of concern that is higher than at any point since March 2003, when the United States invaded Iraq. Another recent survey from June 2016 found that 41 percent of Americans believe that the terrorists are winning, an increase of 10 percentage points from 2010, six years earlier. Jihadi terrorism is among the most important issues in the upcoming presidential election, despite the fact that the risk it poses to American lives is dwarfed, for example, by lives lost to gun violence, according to a CNN tally based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and despite the fact that in most years, far right-wing groups kill more Americans than jihadi groups do. Unlike jihadi groups, however, these threats do not impact America’s foreign policy options.
How to explain this level of fear? It has long been observed that the things that frighten us most are often quite different from those most likely to harm us. We tend to respond to visible crises, even if the baseline rate of danger has not changed. After 9/11, terrorism suddenly rose to the top of the national agenda, although the baseline level of danger had not changed. When dangers evoke a strong sense of dread—which is elicited by the feeling that we cannot control the outcome and that all people are vulnerable—policymakers are particularly susceptible to implementing risk-reduction policies with little regard to countervailing dangers. We are especially vulnerable to the lure of lashing out at imagined enemies when we face what feels like an apocalyptic threat imposed by an enemy utterly determined to destroy us. After 9/11, our fears led to the war in Iraq, although the purported connections between the 9/11 attacks and Saddam Hussein were never established, and Colin Powell, then Secretary of State, would eventually say that the speech in which he laid out those purported links as a rationale for the war was a “blot on his record.” Ironically, that war increased terrorism in the region dramatically, and increased the kinds of sectarian tensions that led to the rise of ISIS. But it did not increase terrorism in the West.
The United States is generally far less prone to terrorism than is Europe, and even less prone to terrorism than the rest of the world. This is true even with respect to attacks inspired by ISIS. On average, terrorism kills about as many Americans per year as lightning strikes do. (Several organizations collect data on terrorism, and figures differ, but only slightly for terrorism inside the United States.)
What makes Americans feel so alarmed by terrorism, given these numbers? I have been working on the topic of terrorism since the mid-1980s. When terrorism is “available” in the way risk analysts use that term—meaning that it is in the news and in our minds—we tend to focus excessively on the topic, exaggerating its importance. This is true, even for the relatively low-level attacks that are becoming fairly common. When it is “unavailable,” as it was before 9/11, people tended to ignore what experts viewed as an obviously growing threat.
Terrorism is once again in the news, and once again infecting our minds, due to a spike in ISIS-inspired attacks in the West, among them the most recent attacks Minnesota and in New York and New Jersey, as well as in Nice, Orlando, and San Bernadino. Compared with the 9/11 strikes, the sophistication of these strikes was low, and the death count also relatively low. But the lack of sophistication in many ways made the attacks even more frightening, making us feel that terrorists could strike at any of us, anytime, even with motor vehicles.
Terrorism is highly unlikely to go away. In some countries, it is a symptom of civil war or government weakness. In the West, it can be a reaction to military strength. Ironically, civil liberties and freedoms can make us more vulnerable. We need to remember, at all times, that terrorism is a form of violent theater, played out to an audience of both sympathizers and victims. Its purpose is to bolster the morale of its supporters and demoralize and frighten the victims and their communities. Terrorists aim to make their victims overreact in fear and dread. But to make good decisions, we need to keep the risk in perspective. If we are to prevail in the war on terrorism, we need to remember that the freedoms we aspire to come with great obligations. And these obligations involve not just fighting terrorism, but also managing our own terror.
WASHINGTON — The federal charges, which portray Ahmad Khan Rahami as a man bent on murderous destruction, set the stage for the most anticipated terror prosecution since the Boston Marathon bombing.As separate cases wind through federal courts in New Jersey and New York, prosecutors are sure to reveal more about the bombings that injured 31 people in Manhattan and led to Rahami’s capture early Monday morning in a shootout with police. A courtroom airing of those allegations is likely to conjure memories of the attempted Times Square bombing in 2010 and the Boston explosion three years later — unusual incidents in which a defendant was captured alive after an attack was attempted or carried out.
This latest prosecution is in keeping with the Justice Department’s commitment to use America’s civilian court system for terrorism cases.
Though the Obama administration — facing stiff opposition — abandoned its 2009 plan to transfer some Guantanamo Bay detainees to Manhattan federal court for trial, the Justice Department has since cited a series of a high-profile successes — including one in New York against the son-in-law of Osama bin Laden — as proof that the U.S. criminal justice system can secure swift convictions and harsh punishment against terrorism defendants. The military tribunal system, meanwhile, has been snarled by delay.
“No one can point to any example of a civilian criminal prosecution where any of the issues we were worried about actually manifested,” including attacks on a trial or inappropriate disclosures of national security information, said Stephen Vladeck, a national security law professor at the University of Texas. “All of the concerns that have been raised, I think, are belied by the record.”
There have been political calls, including from Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to treat terror suspects like Rahami as enemy combatants, which would deny them certain constitutional rights.
But there’s extremely limited and unsettled precedent for doing that when a defendant is captured on U.S. soil. One 2002 instance involved Jose Padilla, who was first held as an enemy combatant before being prosecuted and convicted in federal court. The Obama administration has time and again expressed its support for the civilian criminal justice system.
“There are lots of different ways for the government to throw the book at Rahami in civilian court,” Vladeck said. “Our post 9/11-criminal counterterrorism regime is not soft.”
Rahami has been hospitalized since his arrest in Linden, New Jersey. He had not spoken with investigators as of Tuesday evening.
Some, Republicans in particular, have complained that warnings against self-incrimination interfere with intelligence gathering. But the Justice Department permits agents to question terror suspects and use their statements, without first advising them of their right to remain silent, when there’s an immediate concern for public safety.
Randall Jackson, a former federal prosecutor who worked on the case against the Times Square bomber and now is in private practice, said investigators are surely hoping Rahami will talk.
“It’s safe to say that in any investigation like this where you’re dealing with an apprehended suspect of this type, every effort will be made to obtain all the useful information you could possibly obtain from that person,” he said.
Though federal charges were lodged against Rahami Tuesday in criminal complaints in both New Jersey and New York, U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara, the top federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said Wednesday his office had already arranged for U.S. marshals to bring Rahami to New York for trial.
“We have a good track record of getting it done properly,” Bharara said.
The complaints filed Tuesday were placeholders for more formal grand jury indictments in coming months that may lay out additional details and charges.
If he chooses to face trial, Rahami will follow a notorious roster of men enamored with militant Islamic teachings brought to a Manhattan courthouse blocks from the World Trade Center. They include six of the men who bombed the trade center in 1993, killing six people and injuring more than 1,000 others, and 10 others convicted in 1998 bombings that killed 224 people, including a dozen Americans, at U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The courthouse has also hosted numerous other terrorism trials, including those stemming from failed plots to bomb New York City landmarks in 1993 and bring down a dozen U.S. jets over the Far East in 1995.
The current complaints allude to laudatory references in Rahami’s notebook for Fort Hood shooter Nidal Hasan and for Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric killed in a 2011 drone strike. Prosecutors pressed terrorism-related charges against Rahami, including weapons of mass destruction counts, but the complaints do not tie him to any particular terror group.
“You don’t need to talk about terrorism in most of these prosecutions,” said David Deitch, a former federal counterterror prosecutor. “If this guy planted bombs, he committed a crime regardless of what his motive was.”
Bharara left no doubt about how prosecutors view the case. The evidence, he said, will “show this was a premeditated act of terror.”
Neumeister reported from New York.
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NEW YORK — If given the chance, Gary Johnson and Jill Stein would have used the upcoming debates to remind voters that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton won’t be the only presidential candidates on the ballot come November.
But Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico and the Libertarian Party nominee, and Stein, who is running on the Green Party ticket, failed to qualify for the presidential debates, which begin next week at Hofstra University on Long Island.
The news, which was announced last week, was not a surprise. Neither third-party candidate came close to meeting the polling threshold of 15 percent to participate in the debates.
Nevertheless, in an election driven by voter frustration with the political establishment, Johnson and Stein could still do reasonably well in November — and potentially play a spoiler role in the final outcome, if the third-party candidates hurt Trump or Clinton in critical swing states. The prospect of a solid showing this year highlights one of the most confounding aspects of American politics: the electorate’s inconsistent, back-and-forth appetite for third-party candidates.
When it comes to non-major-party candidates, differences in political talent and experience help explain why some perform better than others.
But in interviews, political scientists, strategists and current and former third-party nominees all agreed that structural factors — such as access to campaign cash and media exposure — determine whether third party candidates break into the national consciousness or not.
“It has less to do with the characteristics of the individual candidate, and more to do with how well things are going in the country,” said Robert Shapiro, a political scientist at Columbia University. “What it really comes down to is the level of dissatisfaction with government, and whether there’s an open space on the ideological spectrum for a third or fourth-party candidate.”
In an interview on Wednesday, Johnson argued that voters this election were seeking alternative options to avoid supporting Clinton and Trump. “In this case you’ve got the two most polarizing figures of all time and space that are the two major party candidate nominees,” Johnson said.
Third-party candidates have been shut out of the presidency since the rise of the two-party system in the mid-1800s. The most successful third-party candidates in the past century have capitalized on political divisions within the two major parties that came about as a result of economic and cultural turmoil in the country.
Consider Theodore Roosevelt. In 1912, four years after his presidency ended, Roosevelt took advantage of a split in the Republican Party to mount an independent run on the Progressive Party ticket. Roosevelt had unusually high name recognition for a third-party candidate, but still only managed to win six states and 88 electoral college votes, finishing a distant second to Woodrow Wilson.
The next serious third-party challenger, George Wallace, built his 1968 presidential campaign around a strategy of appealing to white Southern Democrats who opposed the party’s embrace of the Civil Rights movement.
Wallace, a former governor of Alabama who was best known for his support of segregation, won a total of five states and 46 electoral college votes. He is the last third-party candidate to sweep a state’s electoral college votes, according to the historian Dan Carter, who has written about Wallace and the rise of modern American conservatism.
But all of Wallace’s victories took place in the Deep South, in states that Richard Nixon was likely to win in a two-way contest against Hubert Humphrey, the Democratic nominee.
Wallace seized on the racial prejudice of the era to run the most successful third-party campaign since Roosevelt’s, but his divisive approach only took him so far. “His main impact was carrying states that probably would have gone for Nixon,” Carter said. “In terms of the final vote, he was a regional candidate.”
More than two decades later, Ross Perot turned out to be that rare third-party candidate with true national appeal.
A Texas-born billionaire with no prior political experience, Perot used his wealth to run lengthy, chart-laden campaign ads that raised his standing in the polls in the 1992 presidential election, helping him land a spot in the debates with George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
“He was so weird that he captured the imagination. His tone of voice, his style, we’d never seen anything like it before,” said Bill Miller, a veteran lobbyist and political observer in Texas.
Perot was a gifted performer. But he also benefited from events at the time that created a unique opportunity for a plainspoken, outsider candidate to step in and challenge the status quo. In 1992, the economy was mired in a recession; Republicans were upset with President Bush for breaking his campaign promise not to raise taxes; and many voters were eager for a change after 12 years of Republican rule in the White House.
“For a third-party person to be successful, there has to be voter anger, and the candidate has to channel that,” Miller said. “And that’s not easy. That’s why most of them are unsuccessful.”
That fall, Perot won 19 percent of the popular vote, the second-highest total for a third-party candidate in modern U.S. history (after Roosevelt, who won 27 percent in 1912). But because Perot’s supporters were evenly distributed around the country, he failed to win a single electoral college vote. He fared even worse in his second presidential campaign four years later.
The most famous American third-party presidential candidate, arguably, is Ralph Nader, whom many Democrats still blame for the outcome of the 2000 presidential race.
Running as a Green Party candidate, Nader received 2.7 percent of the popular vote, a fraction of George W. Bush and Al Gore’s support. But Nader won about 97,000 votes in Florida, which Bush ultimately carried by just 537 votes after a recount battle that reached the Supreme Court.
Nader’s critics have long argued that Gore would have also won the state of New Hampshire, and avoided a recount, if Nader had not been on the ballot and a majority of the state’s Green Party supporters had backed the Democratic nominee.
Nader defended his 2000 campaign in an interview on Monday in New York, arguing that the race in Florida was decided by the thousands of Democratic voters who crossed party lines to support Bush.
In reflecting back on that race, and his subsequent, less-controversial White House bids in 2004 and 2008, Nader blamed the two major parties and the media for making it difficult for third-party candidates to compete in presidential elections.
“Here’s the interesting thing when you don’t get media,” said Nader, who sat for an interview in between promotional stops for a new book, “Breaking Through Power.” “I was probably known by 80 percent of the people as a consumer advocate. And I think 80 percent of the people didn’t even know I was running.”
Nader cited a study in a book by the academics Stephen Farnsworth and S. Robert Lichter that found he received just three minutes of speaking time on the evening news shows of the three major broadcast networks between Labor Day and Election Day in 2000. During that same time period, ABC, NBC and CBS broadcast a combined 53 minutes of uninterrupted speech by Gore, and 42 minutes by Bush.
Farnsworth, one of the report’s co-authors and a political science professor at the University of Mary Washington, confirmed the statistics in a phone interview.
“What’s very clear is that reporters focus on the two major-party candidates. So if you’re a third-party candidate and you don’t posses the vast personal fortune of a Ross Perot, you’re going to be ignored,” Farnsworth said. “Presidential candidates who do not have a D or R after their name are finished before they even start.”
Terry Holt, a former top Bush campaign adviser, argued that Nader wasn’t a factor in the race. “There’s always an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the major party candidates,” Holt said. “Al Gore had a weak spot in his base of support that he could never close.”
In the interview with PBS NewsHour, Nader, who is 82, focused on the media’s role in covering third-party presidential candidates. But he also acknowledged that he could have chosen to run more traditional campaigns that centered on a few signature issues.
“My problem is, I ran on too many issues,” he said. “People would say, ‘Narrow the issues.’ And I would say, ‘No, I don’t want to. I want to make a declaration.’”
Johnson and Stein have largely followed Nader’s make-a-declaration approach in 2016. It may not have gotten them into the debates, but Johnson is averaging around 8 percent in national polls, and Stein is polling around three percent. In one Quinnipiac University survey earlier this month, they polled a combined 17 percent — nearly the total Perot received on Election Day in 1992.
Johnson is drawing support from Democrats and Republicans, though some polls show that a majority of his backers are Republican, a sign that he could hurt Trump more than Clinton. In a recent CBS/NYT poll, for instance, Johnson received 13 percent support from likely voters. Among that group, 8 percent said they leaned Republican, compared to 6 percent who said they leaned Democratic.
With seven weeks left in the race, it’s still too early to tell what the third-party effect will be. But if Johnson, who is polling better than Stein, maintains his current level of support, he could change the outcome in some key battleground states.
In Florida, Clinton and Trump were tied at 43.3 percent in a national average of polls taken in the first three weeks of September. Johnson averaged 6 percent, more than enough to sway the race towards one of the major party nominees. Johnson is currently polling at roughly 8 percent in Ohio, another crucial swing state that has tightened in recent weeks.
Johnson claimed that he would finish much higher if he had qualified for the debates. “Ross Perot was polling lower than I am right now when he was allowed into the debates,” Johnson said in his interview with PBS NewsHour. “And when he was allowed into the debates at one point he was actually leading in that race.”
But experts cautioned that many polls inflate the public’s support for third-party candidates.
“In a poll, the voter is offered the candidates’ names; this isn’t the same thing as what a random voter may know,” Micah Sifry, the author of “Spoiling for a Fight: Third-Party Politics in America”, wrote in an email.
He added, “while many voters may be unhappy with the choice of Trump or Clinton, not that many are aware of Johnson or Stein, because they have little money or visibility. That’s why typically third-party presidential candidates always underperform their polling.”
Sifry noted that Perot was the sole exception.
Robert Shapiro, the political scientist at Columbia University, said that future presidential races could feature more third-party candidates if the two major parties continue to grow further apart.
“The one thing that’s been happening since the 1970s is increasing polarization and divergence between the parties,” he said. “The Republican Party is becoming a consistently conservative party and the Democratic Party is becoming consistently liberal, leaving an opening in the middle.”
But Shapiro said that doesn’t guarantee the next generation of third-party candidates will be any more successful than the last.
“What makes it imprecise is that you don’t know what would happen if [third party candidates] weren’t on the ticket. Would people vote for the mainstream candidates or not vote at all?” he said. “There’s no science.”
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GWEN IFILL: Finally tonight, the jewel in the Smithsonian Museum crown opens this weekend on the National Mall.
President Obama will be on hand to dedicate the National Museum of African American History and Culture. We take you on a tour and show how it all came to be.
JOYCE BAILEY, Museum Donor: We can see she has her camera right there. That was one of her photographic days.
Joyce Bailey’s legacy turned out to be worth more than money. Her mother, Lois Alexander Lane left her a treasure trove from the museum she created, the Harlem Institute of Fashion, costumes, dresses sewn and worn by slaves, celebrities and by civil rights icons.
One of the things I think people are surprised to know, or to remember, is that Rosa Parks was a seamstress.
JOYCE BAILEY: Yes, she was. She was actually carrying the dress that the museum now has on the day that she was arrested. It’s a beautiful yellow with brown stripes in it. It’s beyond belief. You really just have to see it.
GWEN IFILL: Beginning this weekend, thousands of people will stream into the brand-new National Museum of African American History and Culture to see elements of Bailey’s collection and countless other priceless items.
There is this, an airplane flown cross-country to the museum once piloted by the all-black Tuskegee Airmen, the casket of 14-year-old Emmett Till, lynched in 1955 for whistling at a white woman, the writings of abolitionist Frederick Douglass, shackles discovered on a sunken ship that brought hundreds of slaves to America, and from a South Carolina plantation, a fully restored slave cabin, the dress Marian Anderson wore when she sang at the Lincoln Memorial, and costumes from “The Wiz,” the all-black Broadway musical based on “The Wizard of Oz,” donated from Joyce Bailey’s collection.
This is as an amazing place, chockful of the expected and the expected. One thing missing, major artifacts from the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. His family apparently decided to hold onto some of the most famous memorabilia, including the Bible that President Obama used to take the oath of office in 2013.
In any case, it fell to museum director Lonnie Bunch and his band of curators to sort through what turned into a rush of donations.
LONNIE BUNCH, Director, Museum of African American History and Culture: But, when I saw them, I said, we are going to tell that story. And I just love, from “The Wiz,” I just love how they look. I just think they’re so distinctive. They obviously speak volumes about Geoffrey Holder.
GWEN IFILL: The designer.
LONNIE BUNCH: The designer. And, plus, they’re just so beautiful.
GWEN IFILL: It was a big moment at the time.
LONNIE BUNCH: Absolutely.
GWEN IFILL: From sobering memorabilia like rebellion leader Nat Turner’s Bible, to 20th century musical memories, Chuck Berry’s cherry red Cadillac, and Parliament Funkadelic’s iconic Mothership, here lit up and sheathed in plastic in preparation for the opening.
LONNIE BUNCH: During concerts, it would come down, and George Clinton would get out. So it’d be this notion that he was from another planet.
GWEN IFILL: Which he kind of was.
LONNIE BUNCH: Which he still is.
GWEN IFILL: The $540 million project, a century in the making, and the first green museum on the National Mall, captures the sweep of African-American history.
So, what do we have here?
LONNIE BUNCH: This is one of my great treasures. What I love is what my staff is able to find. And this is a playbill from Newcastle, England, in 1857 that is from Ira Aldridge’s career. Ira Aldridge, the great black thespian that couldn’t get jobs in the United States as a great actor, classical actor, had to go to Europe.
GWEN IFILL: Othello, who everyone now thinks of as a character always played by a black actor.
LONNIE BUNCH: Exactly. But it was always in blackface.
GWEN IFILL: Galleries are devoted to breakthroughs in sports and performance.
LONNIE BUNCH: The joy of Prince, and I love the Michael Jackson fedora. I just capture that. And, obviously, the “Soul Train” costume.
GWEN IFILL: “Soul Train” costume is a little alarming.
LONNIE BUNCH: Well, it is, because we thought that was cool.
GWEN IFILL: We. I don’t know about we.
GWEN IFILL: Speak for yourself.
GWEN IFILL: This is cool.
Bunch, a former president of the Chicago Historical Society, shepherded the project to completion, wooing Congress for half the money, and soliciting private donations from millionaires like Oprah Winfrey and philanthropist David Rubenstein.
But he also appealed to individuals, families, churches, fraternities and sororities, who handed over gems like James Baldwin’s inkwell and Malcolm X’s tape recorder.
Advance tickets flew out the door, 5,000 of them in 18 minutes one day.
On this journey you have been to get to this point with this museum, what has been the biggest surprise for you along the way?
LONNIE BUNCH: I think I have been stunned by the excitement and the way people really care. There are times I will walk in an airport and people will just sort of give me the thumbs up, or I will walk down the street and church ladies will come to me and say they’re praying for me.
So, I think the fact that this means so much to so many people has been the biggest surprise for me.
GWEN IFILL: As with other Smithsonian museums, one building cannot begin to hold its collection.
Conservator Antje Neumann has helped preserve the collection at the museum’s facility in a Washington suburb.
ANTJE NEUMANN, Conservator: There’s always the balance between preservation and exhibition, and allowing the public to see the national treasures, and then also balancing that with preserving it for future generations.
It’s lovely to have a place to highlight the struggles, the causes and the progression that many people and the contributions many people have done in this country.
GWEN IFILL: It falls to Neumann to repair Shaquille O’Neal’s size 20 shoe, to prepare a stool from Muhammad Ali’s gym, to restore worn pages of the first book of black poetry, and to spiff up funk singer Bootsy Collins’ bright yellow leather costume.
ANTJE NEUMANN: It just needs a bit — a little bit of cleaning in order to make it ready for presentation, as it has been used a lot on stage.
GWEN IFILL: Collins’ outfit occupies a place of honor inside the new building, which is a work of art itself.
The corona, the signature exterior feature, is made of 230 tons of bronze-colored aluminum panels, 3,600 in all.
Lead architect Phil Freelon oversaw the building’s striking design.
PHIL FREELON, Lead Architect: Many of the buildings on the Mall are marble, granite, concrete, lighter in color. This building has a variation in how it appears. So, on certain days, in certain lighting conditions, it can be very vibrant and bright. And other times of the day or in the evening, it is darker. So there is this interesting dynamic of changing appearance of the building.
GWEN IFILL: Within view, the Washington Monument and even a glimpse of the White House, which Michelle Obama famously noted was itself built by slaves.
Bunch says this makes race an integral part of the American experience.
But, in this country, we are so nervous about talking about race, about engaging. We keep having national conversations about race, and it seems that this building itself is a big conversation. Do you — did you encounter along the way any resistance to the notion that we talk about Americans only by race?
LONNIE BUNCH: I think there was fear that we would be a place that might be divisive, that people wouldn’t want to talk about race, and that we would force them to talk about race.
I think there was a great concern that, would this just be a museum by black people for black people? And I think we had to counter that, both by the kind of stories we told, by the way we tried to say, this is a story of America through an African-American lens.
GWEN IFILL: Joyce Bailey’s mother could not have foreseen this day, but she did see the value of preserving black history.
Lois Alexander passed away in 2007, leaving her daughter with a window into history.
But didn’t you feel a little emotional about letting it go?
JOYCE BAILEY: I was very happy about letting it go, because I knew my mother’s legacy would continue.
GWEN IFILL: Curators think about legacy too. Lonnie Bunch is still looking ahead.
LONNIE BUNCH: I want to make sure that curators 50 years from now can tell the story of today, if that’s what they want to tell.
So, I hope this museum will continue to evolve, continue to change, because it really has to be a place that is the great convener, that can bring anybody and everybody into a conversation around race.
GWEN IFILL: From groundbreaking in 2012 to open doors this week, America preserved, America celebrated, right in the nation’s front yard.
Online, you can watch our full extended interview with museum director Lonnie Bunch.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Wow.
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