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

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    What to watch for in the second debate:

    Polls have started breaking decisively in Hillary Clinton’s direction since the first presidential debate. She doesn’t have an insurmountable lead. But Donald Trump needs to make up ground fast, and he’s running out of time. Early voting is already underway in several states, including Iowa and Illinois. Election Day is now less than five weeks away.

    The Trump team is hoping to turn things around at the second presidential debate on Sunday in St. Louis. The town hall-style debate comes on the heels of a solid showing by Trump’s running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, at the vice-presidential debate last Tuesday in Virginia. Judging from past White House races, however, it’s unlikely that Trump will get a big enough boost from the debate to close Clinton’s three to five-point lead in the polls.

    But it’s possible. Trump has defied expectations so far. He’ll be under tremendous pressure on Sunday — but so will Clinton, who is hoping to repeat her commanding performance at the Hofstra University debate on Sept. 26. With this in mind, here is our guide to the second presidential debate.

    Up close and personal

    The town hall-style debate on Sunday involves a different set of skills than the first debate last month. Clinton and Trump will speak directly with voters, forcing them to answer questions that they might not have had a chance to prepare for in advance. In addition, they’ll be free to move around the stage, which puts an even greater emphasis on body language and presentation.

    The town hall format has produced some of the most damaging debate moments in the past.
    Trump supporters have argued that the more intimate format gives the Republican nominee an advantage. Trump is an accomplished entertainer who has years of experience interacting with everyday Americans on live television. He’s at his best when he plays to the crowd, which is one reason why he struggled mightily at the first debate, where the audience was required to remain silent while Trump and Clinton argued with each other behind formal podiums. On Sunday, Trump will have an opportunity to show off his interpersonal skills.

    But there is a danger for Trump, here, too: the town hall format is the least scripted of the three presidential debates. The last thing Trump needs now, as he struggles to stay on message in the final weeks of the race, is to make another off-the-cuff remark — on, say, his taxes or women — that could dominate the news cycle and take attention away from his message. Clinton could also run into difficulties if she mishandles an audience question on a controversial issue like her private email server or the Benghazi scandal.

    It will also be interesting to see how the candidates make use of their freedom on stage. The town hall format has produced some of the most damaging debate moments in the past. In 2008, John McCain awkwardly wandered around the stage; in 1992, George H.W. Bush looked down at his watch. On the other hand, town hall debates can also elicit genuine interactions between voters and a candidate. In that same 1992 debate, Bill Clinton walked to the edge of the stage and gave a memorable answer about the economy that resonated with the audience and viewers at home. On Sunday, the winner of the debate could be the candidate with the best stage presence.

    The tax issue

    In the first debate, Clinton attacked Trump for not releasing his tax returns. Now she has more material, thanks to a New York Times story, which came out days later, that found Trump reported a $916 million tax loss in 1995 — and potentially didn’t pay any federal income tax for the next 18 years.

    Trump did a poor job of explaining himself when the issue came up in the first debate. He said he would release his returns when the IRS completes an audit of his taxes. But Clinton (as well as the moderator, Lester Holt), noted that there is no rule blocking candidates under audit from releasing their returns. At two other points in the debate, Trump seemed to admit that he didn’t pay federal income taxes in recent years, though he later said he has.

    Pence offered a better defense in the vice-presidential debate. But the issue hasn’t gone away. Polls in the last week show that a majority of Americans think wealthy people should pay their fair share in taxes. A voter will likely question Trump on taxes at the second presidential debate, (and if a voter doesn’t, Clinton will raise the issue.) Trump needs to have a convincing answer ready. But what he says may matter less than how quickly he can pivot away from the issue. The more time Trump spends defending his refusal to release his tax returns, the worse off he’ll be.

    Energizing Millennials

    Clinton is making a big final push to win over disgruntled millennials. Her campaign suffered a setback on that front last week, when a recording surfaced of Clinton making disparaging remarks about young people who supported Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, her rival in the Democratic primaries. Sanders threw Clinton a lifeline by downplaying the comments. He has also ramped up his campaign schedule, and is now making several appearances a day on Clinton’s behalf.

    Sanders’ support could make a difference. Chelsea Clinton and Michelle Obama have also hit the campaign trail to drum up support among millennial and minority voters. But the surrogates matter less than the candidate. At the debate on Sunday, Clinton will have another prime-time chance to get millennials excited about her campaign. If she gets a question from a young person, it could be one of the most important moments of the night for her campaign.

    In that moment, Clinton will need to strike the right balance between offering policy specifics and a broader vision about the future of the country. A generalized, uplifting response could bring young people on board. A wonky answer won’t work nearly as well.

    Winning the positivity contest

    At this point in the race, many voters are sick of the mudslinging between the Clinton and Trump campaigns. The candidates will have two choices on Sunday: to talk about their plans to improve the nation’s economy and tackle other issues, or to criticize each other’s personal lives.

    The end result will likely be an unsatisfying combination of the two. Trump has said he might talk about the Clintons’ marriage at the second debate, a strategy many Republicans fear could backfire. That type of attack could alienate female voters, a group that Trump needs to do better with in order to win the presidency. And if Trump goes after Clinton on her husband’s infidelities, he could expose himself to criticism about his own marital history.

    On the other side, Clinton, armed with the new information about Trump’s taxes, could continue to hammer his business career — even though many Democratic insiders are hoping that she pivots to a sunnier message in the closing weeks of the campaign. The way she opens the debate will provide a clue about her strategy for the rest of the debate. If Clinton comes out swinging against Trump, it could turn into an ugly night.

    Will the debate make a difference?

    The vast majority of voters have already made up their minds in the presidential election. Past elections show that debates — especially second and third debates — rarely have a significant impact on the final outcome of the race. This does not bode well for Trump. Nor does the fact that viewership typically drops off after the first debate. Trump may perform better this time around, but it will likely come before a smaller television audience.

    This isn’t to say that the debate is meaningless. President Obama lost the first presidential debate in 2012 to Mitt Romney, but rebounded with a stronger performance in the town hall event. Trump needs a great night — or a terrible night from Clinton. Whatever happens, it’s unclear how much the debate will move the polls. Voters’ views of these two candidates are largely baked in. Barring something unusual, the underlying dynamics of the race will stay the same.

    The post WATCH LIVE: The second 2016 presidential debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    BJ Miller

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now to another of our Brief But Spectacular series, where we ask interesting people to share their passions.

    Tonight, we hear from BJ Miller, a palliative care doctor in the San Francisco Bay Area. He explains how working in end of life care can help inform the way we live.

    DR. BJ MILLER, Zen Hospice Project: When people find out I’m in palliative care, first of all, many people — you start with, well, oh, well, what is that? The interdisciplinary pursuit of quality of life, and the context is always advanced or serious illness.

    Palliative care is irrespective of the clock. You don’t have to be dying anytime soon.

    The curiosity from the public tends to be — and I hear this all the time — wow, you know, that must be so depressing. You know, you must be depressed all the time.

    It’s not always happy, by a long shot, but there is this side effect that seems to come. By facing mortality, it seems to inform how you live. So, the secret is that facing death has a lot to do with living well.

    The whole reason I went into medicine was because I became a patient. In college, sophomore year, my dear friends and I were horsing around one night. We decided to climb a parked train. I happened to have a metal watch on, and the — and, when I stood up, the electricity arced to the watch, and that was that.

    It was sort of an introduction to my own death, my own sense of mortality, my own finiteness.

    You’re the object of a lot of sympathy, pity, a lot of head-tilts. At first, it’s kind of sweet, but then it starts turning a little saccharine. You quickly look down that road, and it’s not too long before you realize that’s a dead end. That’s just another way of removing yourself or being removed from the flow of society.

    One of the ways that I got through some of the early days was insisting that this was a variation on a theme we all experience, and that theme is — basically is suffering. Some way, life is not going to do what you want it to do. Your body is not going to do what you want it to do. You will suffer. It’s unavoidable.

    And there is this unnecessary rind of suffering, which is so — which is the demoralizing part, because it’s the invented stuff. It comes in terms of how we treat each other, sometimes poorly. It comes in those moments of abandonment.

    We end up warehousing folks who are sitting on piles of wisdom and experience and just plain hilarious or good stories. If we could sort of shift that a little bit, there’s a lot more peace waiting for all of us as we age.

    I think a lot of us are really worried, not so much about the fact that we die, but how we die. Very often, patients themselves, the people doing the dying, will get to a place of acceptance, beyond acceptance even, you know, ready to go. You’re done. You’re done with this body.

    A lot of the effort, my effort, the team’s effort, the hospice organization’s effort, is actually not so much on the patient, the person doing the dying. It’s on the family.

    In a way, it’s harder to accept the death of another person than accept your own, especially when you really love that person.

    I’m BJ Miller. And this is my Brief But Spectacular take on tying dying and living.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You can watch additional Brief But Spectacular episodes on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour/Brief.

    The post In facing death, this doctor sees a way to live well appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Author Stephen King speaks at a news conference to introduce the new Amazon Kindle 2 electronic reader in New York, U.S. on February 9, 2009.  REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo - RTX2OTTU

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    GWEN IFILL: He is the author of “Carrie,” “The Shining, “Misery,” and so many more classic and frightening tales.

    In the latest addition to the “NewsHour” Bookshelf, Stephen King, master of the supernatural and suspense, reflects on the art of writing and his latest novel, “End of Watch.”

    He spoke with Jeffrey Brown recently at the National Book Festival here in Washington

    JEFFREY BROWN: “End of Watch,” the end of a trilogy, right?

    STEPHEN KING, Author, “End of Watch”: Yes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Does a trilogy start life as a trilogy?

    STEPHEN KING: That’s a very good question.

    Actually, no. I thought that the first book in the trilogy, “Mr. Mercedes,” would be the only book. And I kind of didn’t want to let the characters go, the main characters. So I had an idea for another book, and realized when I was working on that that I had unfinished business from the first book. So I had a nice rounded quality, the three of them.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So you didn’t know where you were heading, right? I mean, did you know — even when you start a character in the first book, Mr. Mercedes, do you know where that was going?

    STEPHEN KING: No, I didn’t.


    JEFFREY BROWN: … with you? You don’t know where — you don’t know?

    STEPHEN KING: I very rarely — sometimes, I have an idea of how the book will finish up, but it very rarely finishes up the way that I think it’s going to. You have to go where the book leads you.


    And what about a character?

    STEPHEN KING: There is a novelist called Thomas Williams, who’s passed on now, and he said that the idea for a novel is like a little tiny fire in a dark night. And, one by one, the characters come and stand around it and warm their hands.

    And I have always thought that’s the perfect metaphor for how it works.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Come around together and warm their hands.

    STEPHEN KING: They stand around the fire. And little by little, the fire grows. And you see them more clearly. And that’s the novel.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And the story grows.


    JEFFREY BROWN: You wrote a very lovely book that I read years ago on writing about your own life and the craft of writing. And you wrote in there, “The writer’s original perception of a character or characters may be as erroneous as the reader’s.”

    STEPHEN KING: Right.

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, this is the sense of what you’re talking about.

    STEPHEN KING: It is.

    Here’s an example of that. There’s a character in “Mr. Mercedes,” the first book of the Hodges Trilogy, a woman named Holly Gibney. And as far as I was concerned, she was just going to be a walk-on character. She’s going to come on. She’s going to be a little neurotic, and there is going to be some discussion with him. And then she was going to disappear from view, a minor character.

    And, instead, she came in and took over the whole book. And I let her because that’s what needed to happen. The worst thing you can try to do is to steer the story once it gets going. You just kind of follow along and see where it goes. That’s the fun.

    JEFFREY BROWN: That’s the fun of it.

    STEPHEN KING: That’s the fun of it, yes.

    JEFFREY BROWN: And it still is fun for you?

    STEPHEN KING: Not every day, but most days, it is, yes.

    I go where the story leads. And, sometimes, it is a little bit outrageous. And I relish that. I sort of want to be as much on the edge as I can. And I want to engage the reader. I’m an emotional writer, in the sense that I would be happy if you re-read a book for the intellectual or the mental part of it, but, the first time, I just like to reach out and grab you, pull you in.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You know, another thing that struck me, again going back to the book on writing, you say: “Let’s get one thing clear right now, shall we? There is no idea dump, no central story, no island of buried bestsellers,” which is to say that stories almost come from just out there, right? And your job is to, what, find them?

    STEPHEN KING: I don’t think you find them, exactly.

    I think what you do is, you keep your sensors open. And it’s — the more that you do the job, the more you come to understand in a kind of intuitive way that you’re always — you know, your radar is on. And the thing is going around and around and around. And it’s not picking up any blips.

    And then something will happen, and it will click, and you will say, this is an idea for a story. And, for me, I’m usually working on something, so that’s kind of got to go to the end of the line. And the best thing about that is, is that the bad ideas kind of just drop out of the mix. You forget about them. The good ones stick around. So…

    JEFFREY BROWN: So, does that mean writing can be taught, can be learned?

    STEPHEN KING: It can be learned, but I’m not sure it can be taught.

    It’s a self-taught kind of thing. I think the best writers are voracious readers who pick up the cadences and the feel of narration through a number of different books. And you begin by maybe copying the style of writers that really knocked you out.

    I mean, as a teenager, I read a lot of H.P. Lovecraft, so I wrote like H.P. Lovecraft. And in my 20s, I read a lot of Ross Macdonald and Raymond Chandler, so I wrote like those guys. But, little by little, you develop your own style.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You describe in “On Writing” book about learning the discipline, even the place where you want to write, things like that?

    STEPHEN KING: Yes. There’s a kind of self-hypnosis involved with it, too.

    If you start at the same time every day — most writers have little routines they go through. I like to always stop with a couple of pages that I haven’t — that are just raw copy, where I haven’t touched it, I haven’t tried to revise it, I haven’t tried to polish it.

    It’s like having a little bit of a runway. The next day when you sit down, you have the comfort of saying, well, I have got a little bit here, used to be in the typewriter. Now it’s in the magic box, the computer.

    JEFFREY BROWN: I see. So, it’s not an empty slate as you start the next day?

    STEPHEN KING: Cold start is a hard start.


    JEFFREY BROWN: So, let me ask you one more thing.

    Can you imagine stopping writing, not writing?

    STEPHEN KING: Well, when people say, what scares you, because I have written a lot of horror novels.

    JEFFREY BROWN: You have written some scary novels.


    I say, what really scares me is Alzheimer’s or premature senility, losing that ability to read and enjoy and to write. And you do it, and some days maybe aren’t so good, and then some days, you really catch a wave, and it’s as good as it ever was.

    So, it’s tough to imagine giving it up.

    JEFFREY BROWN: Stephen King, thank you very much.

    STEPHEN KING: Thank you. Pleasure.

    The post Stephen King wants to reach out and grab you — with his writing appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    File photo of pills by Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

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    GWEN IFILL: The abuse of opioids remains a major public health concern around the country.

    The federal government says more than 28,000 people died by overdose in 2014. That’s the most recent year for nationwide data. The health news site STAT has been reporting on the problem and what has been driving it.

    Journalist David Armstrong sat down with Hari Sreenivasan recently.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: David, your investigation looks at a number of big pharmaceutical countries that you say helped sow the seeds for some of this epidemic that we have today. How so?

    DAVID ARMSTRONG, STAT: Well, the way they sowed the seeds was by making this drug widely used.

    And the way they did that was to downplay the addictive properties of this drug when marketing it to doctors, in a way that was later shown to be false and misleading.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Now, doctors can prescribe drugs off-label for something that it wasn’t originally designed to, but how were the pharma companies abusing this?

    DAVID ARMSTRONG: Well, they were primarily abusing it in the way they were assuring doctors that these powerful opioids that are a controlled substance would not be addictive in the way that they later proved to be addictive and could be used for things like chronic pain, which we now know they’re not very effective at.

    So they were able to broaden the market through a series of misrepresentations and through a series of aggressive marketing tactics.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: How much money are we talking about? What did they stand to gain?

    DAVID ARMSTRONG: Well, let’s just look at OxyContin.

    When that came on the market in 1996, sales of the drug were about $50 million. By 2002, sales of this drug were $1.6 billion, and they have continued at that clip ever since, exceeding well over $30 billion in sales. That’s just one drug. So that gives you an idea of the scale here of the amount of money involved.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: You were also able to take a look at documents through Freedom of Information Act requests that were sealed that show how these drugs were being marketed. Explain that.


    So, one of the interesting things is, in the case of OxyContin, Purdue Pharma, which manufactures the drug, and its partner in marketing at Abbott Laboratories, they were sued over 1,000 times collectively for problems related to this drug.

    But in a lot of those cases, in fact, the vast majority of them, the documents involved in those cases were either destroyed or sealed. So we have been trying to unseal some of those in several jurisdictions, and we have been successful.

    So, in West Virginia, for instance, we saw some of the tactics that Abbott used. They did things like a dine-and-dash program. This is where they would meet a doctor at a restaurant, pay for his takeout order, and while waiting to pay for the order, sell him on the benefits of OxyContin.

    And then we wrote about a doctor, a surgeon who had a sweet tooth, a fondness for junk food. And these salespeople brought him a sheet cake filled with donuts and snack cakes spelled out to say OxyContin. And that did the trick. He was interested in hearing more about the drug at that point, and they would go back every week and get him to switch patients over to OxyContin. Those are just a few of the things.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: And the sales reps were rewarded for these tactics?

    DAVID ARMSTRONG: Very generously. They were rewarded with luxury trips. There were $20,000 scratch tickets that were sent out to them as rewards.

    So the compensation was very lucrative to get these doctors to switch patients to these powerful opioids.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: There are people who do need significant pain medications. I mean, they’re the ones who kind of get the short end of the stick as this abuse happens.

    What’s the government’s role in oversight of this?

    DAVID ARMSTRONG: Well, you’re now seeing, because we’re dealing with a public health crisis — we have tens of thousands of people dying each year now from these overdoses.

    You’re seeing governments, state governments in particular, move to restrict the prescription, primarily in making sure that prescriptions are a limited number of days. Before, they would be 30, 60 days, and there would be plenty of pills left over. And those would get misused. So that’s one way, and also educating prescribers.

    Nobody wants to see a prohibition of painkillers for people who need them, but one of the keys is to make sure doctors are educated in who truly need them and they are prescribing the right amount and the right drug.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, David Armstrong of STAT joining us from Boston, thanks so much.

    DAVID ARMSTRONG: Thank you.

    The post How drug companies helped drive the opioid crisis appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    A view of the Blomstrand Glacier, June 16, 2016, in Ny-Alesund, Norway. REUTERS/Evan Vucci/Pool/File Photo - RTX2L5RI

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: But first: The international climate agreement is set to take effect next month after enough countries pushed it past a key threshold this week. The European Parliament voted to ratify the accord. That means that more than 60 countries, accounting for at least 55 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, have ratified it.

    The agreement, reached in Paris less than a year ago, aims to lessen the effects of climate change. But the commitments are voluntary.

    President Obama, who pushed for the deal, hailed the moment in the Rose Garden yesterday.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today’s a historic day in the fight to protect our planet for future generations.

    Ten months ago in Paris, I said before the world that we needed a strong global agreement to reduce carbon pollution and to set the world on a low-carbon course. Now, the Paris agreement alone will not solve the climate crisis. Even if we meet every target embodied in the agreement, we will only get to part of where we need to go. But make no mistake, this agreement will help delay or avoid some of the worst consequences of climate change.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Hillary Clinton also supports the accord. But Donald Trump has said he would withdraw from it and he called it a bad deal.

    In a statement, his deputy policy director wrote it — quote — “ignores the reality that it will cost the American economy trillions of dollars. It will also impose enormous costs on American households through higher electricity prices and higher taxes. More of our coal miners will be forced out of work.”

    We look closer now at what takes effect under the treaty, the limits of what can be done, and what climate science says about carbon dioxide and warming.

    Gavin Schmidt is a climatologist and he’s the director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

    Gavin Schmidt, welcome to the “NewsHour.”

    What is the significance of this accord, when even the president of the United States, who’s a supporter, says it’s only going to get us part of the way we need to go?

    GAVIN SCHMIDT, Climatologist: Well, like the old proverb says, a journey of 1,000 miles starts with a single global agreement.

    And this is where we’re at. We have an agreement now that encompasses — that’s in effect that encompasses every country in the world. Every country in the world is thinking that this is something that they need to get behind. Every country has promised to reduce emissions to the level that they signed up for.

    While President Obama is correct that, in and of itself, this is not going to stop global warming, that’s a much bigger task. But this is a step in that right direction. And what the hope is, is that, with experience, with seeing the best practices that other countries have adopted, great ideas, new technologies, that people will be able to increase their commitments under this agreement at each of the next update stages, which come every few years.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But how do you — how confident are you, though, that you are going to be able to even take that baby step, when you still have critics out there saying things like, this is going to raise people’s electricity bills, fundamental costs of living, that it’s going to take jobs away in the fossil fuel industry?

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: So, but then there are jobs going to be created in renewable fuels. There are going to be jobs created in new technologies that are more efficient.

    There are many different things that are happening, both in building resiliency to future climate change, but also building the infrastructure of the future that is ongoing right now.

    I think you can get a little bit caught up with the supposed balance between the economy or the environment. I think that these things actually aren’t opposed, for the most part.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, this week, Gavin Schmidt, we saw one of the world’s most important sites for measuring carbon dioxide levels tell us levels now recently have risen above a symbolically important figure of 400 parts per million. This was a site in Hawaii.

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: That’s right.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: They say it’s likely to stay that way for the indefinite future.

    I guess my question is, how important is this? I mean, as scientists work on this issue, do you feel it’s just a constant uphill battle?

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: So, you have to remember what the context is here.

    The pre-industrial level, so where we were in the 19th century, was 280 parts per million; 400 parts per million is a 40 percent increase over that, and this is a level that hasn’t been seen in the climate since perhaps the Pliocene period, which was three million years ago.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, in other words…

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: It’s a big deal.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, you’re saying it’s a big deal, but you can’t get discouraged about something like that?

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: Well, so, what’s happening is that we are already a geological force on the climate.

    You know, the fingerprint of human activity on the climate, not just in carbon dioxide, but in many, many other aspects, is very, very clear. The agreements like the Paris agreement and efforts that are going on not just at the national, but at the state and city and individual levels, are attempts to kind of make that not quite as large an impact as we have already had.

    But it’s a tough road. I mean, to stabilize, so just to keep carbon dioxide levels at the same level in perpetuity, we would need to reduce emissions by 80 percent globally. That’s a huge task, and it’s not something that’s going to be accomplished today, or tomorrow or in one electoral cycle.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, at a time, Mr. Schmidt, when I think many of us certainly in the United States are focused on this big hurricane heading for the United States mainland, this has to give — and we know scientists have spoken about this, these big storms, the concern that they’re going to get even bigger.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: How should Americans and others think about climate change in the face of something like this?

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: So, one of the key things is sea level rise.

    So, sea level has risen about 10 foot, is actually rising faster on the Eastern Seaboard than elsewhere. For every extra foot of sea level rise, a storm surge, even if the climate of storms doesn’t change, the storm surge has more damage.

    There is many, many thresholds, that, you know, if the water rises five foot, you’re fine, but if it goes up six feet, then it overtops a levee, it over — it floods a subway. It has much greater damages.

    So, sea level rise is one of those aspects of change that multiply the damages that are caused by just the natural variation of climate and the natural variation of hurricanes and storms that we see.

    Plus, we have some expectation that hurricanes themselves and storms themselves will become more intense, perhaps less frequent, but more intense, and then that, obviously, adds to the damages as well.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s an occasion to think about all of this and to think about the interconnection.

    Gavin Schmidt with the Goddard Institute for Space Studies, we thank you.

    GAVIN SCHMIDT: Thank you very much.

    The post The Paris accord won’t halt climate change, but it’s a step appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    A man walks past a sign for the U.S. vice-presidential debate at Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia October 2, 2016. LREUTERS/Rick Wilking - RTSQFM8

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: This week, Longwood University in rural Virginia took its turn under the hot lights of the presidential campaign. Tonight, we unpack the decision and the kind of money that goes into choosing which schools host a debate, and what remains when everyone leaves campus.

    Special correspondent Roben Farzad has this week’s Making Sense, which airs every Thursday.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Farmville, Virginia, has a population of just over 8,000. But that swelled this week as hordes of journalists, political operatives and security details crammed into town and onto Longwood University.

    Staging a debate broadcast to 37 million viewers brings the kind of media spotlight most colleges cannot fathom. Many just can’t afford it. But past debate site hosts estimate the attention is equivalent to $45 million to $50 million of paid advertising.

    TAYLOR REVELEY, President, Longwood University: Hosting one of these crucial debates is a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Longwood President Taylor Reveley is a presidential scholar himself and the third member of his family to run a Virginia university.

    The debate cost Longwood, a public institution, about $5.5 million, including $2 million paid to the Commission on Presidential Debates. He says that specially earmarked fund-raising, not student fees or scholarship funds, financed Longwood’s debate effort, adding that the buzz around the debate increased the number of alumni donors by almost 25 percent this year.

    TAYLOR REVELEY: The general election season is like a Super Bowl buy, but, in reality, it’s much more than that. For our students, this is a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see history unfold. It takes a volunteer army to pull off this kind of event. So much of the rest of the world would deeply envy to have candidates in a democracy showing up on a stage together shaking hands.

    ROBEN FARZAD: This is town where a lot has happened. From colonial times to the Civil War to the civil rights movement, Farmville and Longwood University have been no strangers to history.

    In 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant just up the road at Appomattox Court House. A century later, in a defining showdown of the civil rights movement, black high school students protesting segregation joined the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education.

    Janet Brown heads the Commission on Presidential Debates.

    JANET BROWN, Executive Director, Commission on Presidential Debates: These are historic. Each is unique. They are memorable. They give the students, as well as the university or college community, a chance to participate in something unlike anything else that they will see.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Up to five dozen schools apply to hold one of these debates every general election. If you’re a winner, you pay the commission production fees and a whole lot more. This summer, Wright State pulled out of the running to host the first presidential debate, citing worries about costs and security.

    In its place, Hofstra University hosted its third debate. Brown says there are returns to a school beyond the bottom line.

    JANET BROWN: There are returns on reputation certainly for the school. I will tell you one that is not well-covered, and I find it fascinating. This is an example of management and leadership, in terms of the team effort that is required to put this together.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, thought the experience of hosting the vice presidential debate in 2000 was so worthwhile that it came back for seconds in 2012. Centre College continues to benefit, according to the school spokesman Michael Strysick.

    MICHAEL STRYSICK, Director of Communications, Centre College: The debate keeps on giving. A year later, two years later, if the candidates are in the news, they end up using photos from the debate that end up providing media value.

    What I would caution to debate hosts is to not look for an immediate return on the investment, but perhaps to be mindful of what Ben Franklin called the eighth wonder of the world, compound interest.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Assuming, of course, the candidates remember the name of your school.

    GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), Vice Presidential Nominee: Thank you to Norwood University for their wonderful hospitality.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Even before Pence’s flub, veteran ad executive John Adams tempered talk of return on investment, audience reach, and media impressions.

    JOHN ADAMS, Advertising Executive: Longwood is not the star of the show here. Longwood is the setting. Longwood is the venue. Obviously, there’s a great deal of name awareness that gets built as a result of it. And we will see beautiful pictures of the university and so forth.

    But the real test is, what does that name awareness and what does — the rub-off, positive rub-off over time?

    ROBEN FARZAD: The same holds true for the potential boost to town commerce. I stopped by Uptown Coffee Cafe in Farmville and talked to owner Jason Mattox.

    How do you stockpile? How do you prepare for something that’s largely unknown? What do you buy?

    JASON MATTOX, Owner, Uptown Coffee Cafe: We have had our kitchen manager really prepare the back. We have got extra cheese slices. We have got extra deli meats ready. We have put a shed out back for our disposables. We ordered extra coffee beans.

    Either we’re going to be really prepared and never run out, or we’re going to scrape the bottom. And I’m hoping we will scrape the bottom.

    ROBEN FARZAD: Back on campus, organizers were pulling out all the stops, from voter registration, to academic lectures on the foundations of democracy, to engaging all ages in the presidential election, from preschoolers to high-schoolers from around the state, to raffling tickets to the actual debate, and a tour of the area’s civil rights landmarks.

    Joy Cabarrus Speakes was one of the students who walked out of Farmville’s Moton High School. It was considered the student birthplace of America’s civil rights movement for providing a majority of the plaintiffs in the Brown v. Board of Education case. The debate put a spotlight on that history.

    JOY CABARRUS SPEAKES, Former Moton High School Protestor: It’s bringing a lot of information on the civil rights movement to the nation, because a lot of people never even knew about Prince Edward County. They never knew about the story. Now it’s going to bring it front and center, you know, to the world.

    SEN. TIM KAINE (D), Vice Presidential Nominee: This is a very special place.

    ROBEN FARZAD: In fact, Democratic vice presidential candidate Tim Kaine made reference to that rich history at the debate.

    SEN. TIM KAINE: Barbara Johns led a walkout of her high school, Moton High School. She made history by protesting school segregation.

    ROBEN FARZAD: It’s that kind of civic and academic engagement that Longwood’s president hopes will keep paying dividends.

    TAYLOR REVELEY: We have been in the midst of revising our core curriculum, which is a process that runs a number of years. We had been working on it for 18 months before we knew about the debate.

    And now we have used the debate to essentially run pilot courses for what the new curriculum that’s really going to have citizenship as its North Star.

    ROBEN FARZAD: After spending millions in two years on debate planning, Longwood is banking on the country remembering its name.

    In Farmville, Virginia, I’m Roben Farzad for the “PBS NewsHour.”

    GWEN IFILL: Online, we have your guide to what to watch for in the presidential debate Sunday at Washington University in Saint Louis. We will have special live coverage beginning at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

    The post Why it pays to host a presidential debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Salesman Ryan Martinez clears the chamber of an AR-15 at the "Ready Gunner" gun store In Provo, Utah, U.S. in Provo, Utah, U.S., June 21, 2016. Massachusetts will ban the sale of "copycat" assault-style weapons similar to those increasingly used in mass shootings, state Attorney General Maura Healey, said July 20, 2016. REUTERS/George Frey/File Photo - RTSIXLF

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    GWEN IFILL: Now we continue our series on issues shaping this election.

    Tonight, we focus on guns.

    John Yang reports.

    JOHN YANG: In their first debate, a rare moment of harmony, as the two presidential candidates actually agreed on a highly contentious subject: guns.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: We finally need to pass a prohibition on anyone who’s on the terrorist watch list from being able to buy a gun in our country. If you’re too dangerous to fly, you are too dangerous to buy a gun.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: I agree with you. When a person is on a watch list or a no-fly list — and I have the endorsement of the NRA, which I’m very proud of. These are very, very good people, and they’re protecting the Second Amendment.

    But I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watch lists.

    JOHN YANG: But that’s where the agreement ends. Donald Trump is running as a strong defender of gun rights and says Hillary Clinton wants to take guns away.

    Last month, Trump said, if Clinton wants to restrict access to guns, she should start with her Secret Service detail.

    DONALD TRUMP: I think that her bodyguards should drop all weapons. They should disarm, right? Right? I think they should disarm immediately. What do you think? She doesn’t want guns. Take their — let’s see what happens to her. Take their guns away.

    JOHN YANG: The National Rifle Association is running ads supporting Trump.

    NARRATOR: She keeps a firearm in this safe for protection. But Hillary Clinton could take away her right to self-defense, and, with Supreme Court justices, Hillary can.

    JOHN YANG: Clinton says she just wants tougher gun control.

    HILLARY CLINTON: I’m not here to repeal the Second Amendment. I’m not here to take away your guns. I just don’t want you to be shot by someone who shouldn’t have a gun in the first place.


    JOHN YANG: She vows to expand background checks for gun buyers by closing the Internet sales and gun show loopholes, using executive orders if Congress won’t act. After the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Clinton doubled down.

    HILLARY CLINTON: I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets.


    HILLARY CLINTON: And we may have our disagreements about gun safety regulations, but we should all be able to agree on a few essential things.

    JOHN YANG: Clinton has used urban gun violence to give urgency and a human face to her call for stricter gun control. Earlier this year, she spoke at a fund-raiser for the Circle of Mothers, a group that supports women whose children have been killed by gun violence.

    This week, she spoke about the issue at a black church in Charlotte, North Carolina.

    HILLARY CLINTON: We have to fight for commonsense reforms to stop the epidemic of gun violence in our communities.


    HILLARY CLINTON: Gun violence is by far the leading cause of death for young black men, more than the next nine causes combined.

    JOHN YANG: Adam Winkler is a UCLA Law professor.

    ADAM WINKLER: All of Secretary Clinton’s proposals are at the very top of the gun control agenda, universal background checks, restrictions on assault weapons, and things like a no-buy list for terrorists.

    JOHN YANG: Trump opposes restrictions on assault weapons and increased background checks. He says if a gun owner has a permit to carry a concealed weapon, it should apply nationwide.

    ADAM WINKLER: It would effectively mean that a state that has the easiest, loosest, most permissive carry laws will set the laws for the entire nation. This would be a radical reform of America’s gun laws, undermining states’ right and lead to far more people carrying guns.

    JOHN YANG: Immediately after the Pulse nightclub, Trump said more guns would have helped.

    DONALD TRUMP: If you had some guns in that club the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had.

    JOHN YANG: After the Sandy Hook school shooting, Trump tweeted that President Obama’s call for stricter gun control spoke for him and every American. Now Trump wants to eliminate gun-free zones around schools and parks.

    The fate of either candidates’ proposals is likely to rest with whoever controls Congress. So, no matter who wins the White House in November, the battle over gun control isn’t likely to end.

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

    The post Where Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton stand on gun control appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Audience members cheer as U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, U.S. October 4, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder  - RTSQS2E

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: With 33 days to go until Election Day, we turn now to the race for president, where a lot of the day’s action took place online and on TV.

    The next presidential debate is set for this weekend, and that made it a quiet day at the top of the tickets. Hillary Clinton took part in fund-raisers in New York, and Donald Trump scheduled a town hall-style event this evening in New Hampshire.

    The two candidates did send out tweets voicing concern for those in Hurricane Matthew’s path. And both campaigns aired new TV ads in key states on children and families.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: We face big challenges. But we can solve them the same way families do, working together, respecting one another, and never giving up. I want our success to be measured by theirs.

    NARRATOR: What does electing Donald Trump president mean for you? Families making $60,000 a year, you get a 20 percent tax rate reduction. Working moms, you get paid maternity leave and an average $5,000 child care tax reduction.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, the running mates were on the road in Pennsylvania. Republican Mike Pence toured the Civil War battlefield at Gettysburg. Earlier, on NBC’s “Today Show,” he defended his repeated denials, in Monday night’s debate, of past statements by Donald Trump.

    GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), Vice Presidential Nominee: And the mischaracterizations and the way Tim Kaine and Hillary Clinton continue to take Donald Trump’s statements out of context, it was something I just wasn’t going to tolerate during the debate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Clinton’s number two, Tim Kaine, campaigned in Pittsburgh, exhorting supporters to keep Trump out of the White House.

    SEN. TIM KAINE (D), Vice Presidential Nominee: There’s no room for second place here. There’s no room for doubt here. There’s no silver medal in this one. We got to get the gold medal.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, “The Atlantic” offered its endorsement in the presidential campaign, only the third time it’s done so, after Abraham Lincoln and Lyndon Johnson. The magazine backed Clinton and branded Trump — quote — “the most ostentatiously unqualified major party candidate in history.”

    Later, 30 former Republican members of Congress published a letter urging Republicans not to vote for Trump. Neither Trump nor Clinton has any public events scheduled for tomorrow, ahead of Sunday night’s debate in Saint Louis.

    And late today, France’s President Francois Hollande said that he hopes Hillary Clinton wins in November. He told a Paris audience, “There isn’t even a choice.”

    The post As Clinton and Trump prepare to debate, their running mates hit the road in Pennsylvania appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    People walk near an over-crowded graveyard in the rebel held al-Shaar neighbourhood of Aleppo, Syria October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Abdalrhman Ismail      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSR2T1

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    JUDY WOODRUFF:  In the day’s other news: Syria’s military and its Russian allies scaled back airstrikes on Aleppo, but President Bashar al-Assad vowed to recapture all of the city.  Meanwhile, Russia warned the U.S. about launching airstrikes against Assad’s forces.

    The Defense Ministry suggested Russian anti-aircraft sites might have to fire on the planes In self-defense.

    MAJ. GEN. IGOR KONASHENKOV, Russian Defense Ministry Spokesman: (through translator):  Some respected mass media have published leaks concerning discussions in the White House on carrying out strikes on Syrian army positions.  One should realize that Russian crews manning air defense systems will not have time to detect the exact flight path of missiles and where they are from.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  Amid the fighting, United Nations special envoy Staffan de Mistura warned there may be nothing left of Aleppo by year’s end unless the bombing stops.

    GWEN IFILL:  In Pakistan, lawmakers voted today to enact harsher penalties for so-called honor killings.  More than 1,000 Pakistani women were murdered last year by male relatives, mostly for marrying or dating without the family’s approval.  Current law allowed most of the killers to go free.  The new law imposes a 25-year minimum prison term.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  In Poland, the Parliament has overwhelmingly rejected a complete ban on abortions.  The proposal had sparked mass protests by women this week.  Today, the ruling Conservative Party unexpectedly withdrew its support for the legislation.  But supporters insisted they will keep trying.

    MARIUSZ DZIERZAWSKI, Stop Abortion Committee (through translator):  Naturally, we will not stop our actions.  We have more and more supporters, so we will intensify our actions in the nearest weeks and months.  We will intensify our action.  It’s not the first vote that we lost in the Parliament.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  Poland is a heavily Catholic nation and already has one of the strictest abortion laws in Europe.

    GWEN IFILL:  Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had an emergency heart procedure today after suffering chest pains.  He was sent home a few hours later, after a doctor said tests came back normal.  He told state-run TV: “Everything is OK.”  Abbas is 81, and has a history of heart trouble.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  The train that crashed into a Hoboken, New Jersey, station last week, and killed one person, was going twice the speed limit.  The National Transportation Safety Board says data recorders show the train hit 21 miles an hour in the last 30 seconds.  The engineer has said he has no memory of the crash.

    GWEN IFILL:  On Wall Street today, the Dow Jones industrial average lost 12 points to close at 18268.  The Nasdaq fell nine points.  The S&P 500 added one.  And the price of oil topped $50 a barrel for the first time since June.

    JUDY WOODRUFF:  And the music world is remembering British songwriter Rod Temperton, who turned out some of the most popular hits of the last 40 years.  His music publisher says he died of cancer last week in London.

    Starting in the late ’70s, Temperton wrote a long list of top 10 songs, including “Boogie Nights” and Michael Jackson’s mega-hit “Thriller.”

    Rod Temperton was 66 years old.

    And we will always remember that song.

    The post News Wrap: Syrian, Russian forces scales back airstrikes in Aleppo appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Red danger banners are seen on the Melbourne beach  while hurricane Matthew approaches in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. October 6, 2016. REUTERS/Henry Romero - RTSR3L6

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    GWEN IFILL: It keeps coming closer and getting stronger. Hurricane Matthew’s winds are back up to 140 miles an hour as it plows toward Florida tonight, in its wake, up to 140 dead, nearly all of them in the island nation of Haiti.

    From the skies above Southwestern Haiti, the destruction looks complete. Entire neighborhoods have been wiped out in Jeremie, the region’s main city.

    MAN (through translator): All the money we had has been lost. Everything is lost. We’re lost. We don’t know. We could see the destruction, and we asked for help, but no.

    GWEN IFILL: Aid workers are finally getting to some of the most heavily damaged areas, and they’re reporting near total losses.

    Holly Frew with the aid organization CARE is monitoring the situation from the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince.

    HOLLY FREW, Emergency Communications Officer, CARE: About 80 percent of the buildings and homes are damaged or destroyed in that area. Everyone is kind of in a state of shock. It’s just utter devastation in that western side of southern bluff where the hurricane eye just took a direct hit.

    GWEN IFILL: Despite the sweeping destruction, Tim Callaghan with the U.S. Agency for International Development, is holding out hope that the human cost may be less than feared.

    TIM CALLAGHAN: The damage observed from the air was structural damage and not heavy rain damage. A lot of people were not observed in the aerial overflight, which would indicate that people were in shelters or people were in homes.

    GWEN IFILL: Eastern Cuba is also assessing damage from the hurricane’s passage, and, overnight, the storm blew through the Bahamas, too.

    The U.S. mainland is the next target, with Matthew expected to blast north along the entire length of Florida’s Atlantic Coast beginning tonight. After that, it’s likely to rake Georgia and South Carolina, before weakening and veering out to sea. Overall, about two million people in those states are being warned to flee.

    GOV. RICK SCOTT (R-Fla.): Evacuate, evacuate, evacuate.

    GWEN IFILL: Florida Governor Rick Scott was out early and often today, telling people to leave.

    GOV. RICK SCOTT: Are you willing to take a chance to risk your life? Are you willing to take a gamble? That’s what you’re doing. If you’re reluctant to evacuate, just think of all the people this storm has already killed.

    GWEN IFILL: Many heeded the warnings, as heavy rain began falling in Miami. Interstate highways across the region were turned into one-way routes to speed the exodus.

    MAN: I’m thinking just to get as far away from the flood zone as possible.

    GWEN IFILL: Others hastily boarded up homes and businesses, and thousands checked into shelters.

    WOMAN: It’s too risky to stay, and just wanted to stay safe and really hope we have the grace to accept the aftermath.

    MAN: You cannot replace your child’s life or your mom’s life or your kid’s, dad’s, anybody’s life. Things are material. You can always replace your things.

    GWEN IFILL: And whether they were going or staying, people everywhere flocked to buy gasoline, food and water.

    The threat of Matthew is also forcing widespread cancellations and closures of everything from college football to theme parks to airline routes.

    This afternoon, President Obama declared a state of emergency for Florida and ordered federal aid to help on the-ground efforts there. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, has deployed people and supplies there and to Georgia and the Carolinas.

    I spoke to the agency administrator coordinating the federal response, Craig Fugate, from FEMA headquarters late this afternoon.

    I began by asking how FEMA prepares for such a massive storm.

    CRAIG FUGATE, FEMA Administrator: Well, we basically get ready based on the storm track, potential impacts and looking at four states.

    So, we divided up teams to go into each of the state emergency operation centers, and we have set up some supply bases that can support multiple states, so we can shift to wherever the heaviest impacts are. But we have been getting ready for the storm for the last couple of days, just like a lot of the states and local governments have been doing, before this storm makes impact.

    GWEN IFILL: So, you have been trying to preposition resources in places where they might be needed. How do you tell where that is, the places that might be — it might be needed, but might also be the hardest-hit part of the impact?

    CRAIG FUGATE: Well, part of it is looking at the overall track guidance to making some decisions about, where can we move things close to, but not in the area of impact, and then shift it as we get more information on the storm track.

    So, right now, we have moved stuff into Albany and Fort Bragg. Working with the state of Florida, we’re actually moving stuff down to their operations center where they have a big logistics base in Orlando. So we try to move as the storm shifts to just stay outside of the heavy-hit areas, but close enough where we’re going to be able to get in quickly to support the state and local responders.

    GWEN IFILL: What do you do when the governor of a state, for instance, of Florida, said evacuate, evacuate, evacuate, and people don’t do it?

    CRAIG FUGATE: Well, I have been in that role at the state level and at the local level. And that’s one of our challenges.

    And that’s one of the things you can help, explaining to people, showing them the hazards. But I think people understand we don’t have enough certainty of track forecast to tell people, you’re not going to be at risk or you’re at risk.

    We have to warn the area based upon the forecast. And sometimes it’s not that bad, and that’s actually good, because you can go back home. But if it is as bad as forecasted, I have actually listened to the 911 calls. There will be a point tonight where it’s too late, people cannot be rescued, they didn’t go in time, they’re going to run out of options.

    And, unfortunately, that means they may lose their lives. This is all about life safety. That’s why we’re so adamant about getting people to evacuate out of these areas. And, yes, if it’s not bad, go back home. But you have something to go back to. We can always rebuild, but we cannot replace lives lost.

    GWEN IFILL: What about coastal infrastructure like NASA launch pads, for instance? That’s right at the center of the potential hit zone.

    CRAIG FUGATE: Well, we have a lot of critical infrastructure.

    You have NASA. You have several military bases. You have the Port of Jacksonville. You have Port Canaveral. There’s a lot of things that have not been through hurricane conditions in a very long time, if ever, for the life of those structures.

    So, again, we get ready for the impacts. We expect to have substantial damage if that eye wall is coming ashore at a Category 4 or Category 3. But we can’t really do much about that right now. What we can do is get people to safety and then be prepared to respond afterwards to begin the response.

    GWEN IFILL: What have you learned from past disasters like Hurricane Hugo, I think, 1989, that prepares you for now?

    CRAIG FUGATE: Well, one of the things you will see along this part of the coast is, as you get further north, storm surge values will now go — I think you’re seeing in a lot of areas 10 to 12 feet.

    As you move into the Carolinas, particularly South Carolina and Northern Georgia, it even gets higher. One of the things we saw in Hurricane Hugo is how far inland storm surge can go, in some cases over 30 feet of water that went in miles and flooded communities that didn’t even think they were on the coast.

    That’s why it’s important that people heed those evacuation orders, particularly around rivers and the tributaries like the St. John’s, the St. Mary’s, up through the Savannah River and all those basins, because water can travel far inland and cause flooding well away from the coast, if people aren’t aware of it.

    GWEN IFILL: Which is more dangerous, or is it possible to quantify it, the actual landfall or the surge that you’re talking about?

    CRAIG FUGATE: If you go back in history, the most deadly parts of the hurricane has been water.

    And the majority of that and the large loss of life has been due to storm surge events followed by heavy rainfall. Wind is actually not as deadly as people think it is, although they tend to look at the wind field and look at that as a risk. What has historically killed people in past from hurricanes has been water, storm surge.

    That coastal flooding has been the leading cause of death. And that’s why we’re so adamant about getting people to evacuate. We spend a lot of time and resources to map those areas ahead of time. But it only works if people heed those evacuations and go to higher ground.

    GWEN IFILL: How many people would you say — there are so many tourist destinations in this particular stretch of the coast — will be stranded tonight as a result or tomorrow?

    CRAIG FUGATE: Well, they shouldn’t be stranded, because, again, a lot of times, as we work at the local levels — and this is something that when I was in the county in Gainesville.

    We used to worked with the hotels and motels, like when we would have football games. And most recently, we just got the update that the Florida-LSU game is going to be postponed.

    We look at our tourist as some of the groups we need to get out early. Many times, they don’t know the plan. They don’t know where to go. So we work with the local visitors and convention bureaus to make sure they get out safely, because that’s one of the things we have learned in the tourism business.

    The safety of our guests is of paramount importance. We want them to get to safety first. We will get the rest of the population out and then we get ready to start the recovery process.

    GWEN IFILL: FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate, I know you have a long night ahead of you. Thank you for taking some time for us.

    CRAIG FUGATE: Thank you.

    GWEN IFILL: A second Atlantic storm grew into a hurricane today. Nicole is some 330 miles south of Bermuda, with winds at 85 miles an hour. For the moment, it is not a threat to land.

    The post Nearly 2 million warned to flee destructive Hurricane Matthew in the U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Low-lying Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center may be covered by more than nine feet of water due to Hurricane Matthew. Data by  NOAA's nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub

    Low-lying Cape Canaveral and Kennedy Space Center may be covered by more than nine feet of water due to Hurricane Matthew. Storm surge prediction data by NOAA’s nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub


    Hurricane Matthew is yet to make landfall in the U.S., but the battering has begun. Thousands lost power in Florida’s Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties on Thursday, as the storm escalated to a Category 4. Matthew’s 140-mile-per-hour winds now march toward the coast, where Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued evacuation orders for more than 1.5 million people in 14 counties. Similar coastal evacuations are set for Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina, which are also in the storm’s path.

    Over the next three days, forecasters predict strong winds and storm surges will cause most of the damage. Any storm over Category 3 (that’s sustained winds greater than 111 mile per hour) carries the potential for toppling homes and trees. Meteorologists predict the storm will maintain Category 3 or higher status until it strikes southern Georgia early Saturday morning.

    But what about storm surge and flooding?

    For an answer, we turned to nowCOAST™, a potential storm surge flooding map created by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This model takes data from the National Weather Service and predicts the risk of coastal flooding caused by storm surge. It updates every hour or so, based on dozens of predictions of the storm’s path, and then displays a reasonable worst-case scenario.

    In Florida, Daytona Beach and St Augustine are the most populated areas directly in the bullseye of the storm, said Benjamin Strauss, an environmental scientist with Climate Central, and these locations, plus Cape Canaveral and Jacksonville, may suffer some of the the worst flooding. There, the flooding forecasts range anywhere from six to 10 feet. But Strauss said the most severe flooding could occur inland.

    St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Florida reside in Hurricane Matthew's bullseye -- the location where the storm is due to hit at its strongest point.  But severe flooding may hit inland rather than along the barrier beaches. Storm surge prediction data by NOAA's nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub
    St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Florida reside in Hurricane Matthew's bullseye -- the location where the storm is due to hit at its strongest point.  But severe flooding may hit inland rather than along the barrier beaches. Flood prediction data by  NOAA's nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub

    St. Augustine and Daytona Beach, Florida reside in Hurricane Matthew’s bullseye — the location where the storm is due to hit at its strongest point. But severe flooding may hit inland rather than along the barrier beaches. Storm surge prediction data by NOAA’s nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub

    “When most people think of hurricane of flooding, they think of the beach,” Strauss said. “But beaches have a slope where water can drain. It’s the backside of the barrier island that’s lower and flatter.”

    Such is the case for Cape Canaveral, where the Kennedy Space Center is bracing for damage to its $11 billion spaceport.

    Strauss cautioned that people should not feel sheltered just because they can’t see the beach, especially in the downtowns of Jacksonville and St Augustine in Florida, Savannah, Georgia, and Charleston, South Carolina. Local surges can happen a good distance from the waves due to inlets or intercoastal waterways.

    Hurricane Matthew's arrival may trigger unprecedented flood damage in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas due to storm surge and sea-level rise. Flood data by  NOAA's nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub

    “You’ve got situations where water squeezes into these inlets, and the surge can be amplified on a local basis,” Strauss said. “In St. Augustine, you see 10-foot-plus surge levels. Jacksonville would seem to be protected, but the models suggest some amplification of surge right around the inland waterways. The same is true in other places where there are little estuaries.”

    Flooding prediction for Savannah, Georgia based on data by NOAA’s nowCOAST™. Photo by Travis Daub

    On Thursday’s NewsHour, FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate cautioned people to pay close attention to storm forecasts and evacuation warnings.

    “There will be a point tonight where it’s too late, people cannot be rescued, they didn’t go in time, they’re going to run out of options,” Fugate told the NewsHour’s Gwen Ifill. “And, unfortunately, that means they may lose their lives. This is all about life safety. That’s why we’re so adamant about getting people to evacuate out of these areas.”

    He echoed Strauss that people should not feel protected because they’re not located directly on the coast. Hurricane Hugo, he said, was an example of a storm that caused destructive flooding far inland.

    “That’s why it’s important that people heed those evacuation orders, particularly around rivers and the tributaries like the St. John’s, the St. Mary’s, up through the Savannah River and all those basins, because water can travel far inland and cause flooding well away from the coast, if people aren’t aware of it,” Fugate said

    Strauss, whose team at Climate Central specializes in sea-level rise, believes coastal destruction with Matthew could be worse than past storms, because of rising sea levels. Global warming has intensified storms over time, and even though ocean levels have only risen an inch or two since the last major hurricane struck the U.S. more than a decade ago, Strauss expects more severe destruction from flooding this time around. That’s because flood damage increases at a sharper rate than the depth of the flood, based on research done by the Army Corps of Engineers, he said.

    “Think of how much more damage is done if the water ends up just below your electric socket or just above,” Strauss said. “It’s the difference between having to replace your electric system or not.”

    An inch or two may seem a small margin, but Strauss said “you’re still talking about thousands of people who wouldn’t have been flooded.”

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    A protester sits in her car waiting to see what happens during another night of demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri August 11, 2015. A state of emergency that was declared on Monday for the Ferguson area was still in effect on Tuesday. Protesters have been marching and staging acts of civil disobedience over police shootings of unarmed black men. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson  - RTX1NZEL

    A protester sits in her car waiting to see what happens during another night of demonstrating in Ferguson, Missouri August 11, 2015. A state of emergency that was declared on Monday for the Ferguson area was still in effect on Tuesday. Protesters have been marching and staging acts of civil disobedience over police shootings of unarmed black men. Photo by Lucas Jackson/Reuters

    ST. LOUIS — Two years later, the fatal police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson remains so politically sensitive that it has been injected into Missouri’s gubernatorial campaign.

    At issue is whether Democratic Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster, who is now running for governor, pushed for the ouster of Darren Wilson, the officer who shot Brown, before the facts were in. Republican gubernatorial candidate Eric Greitens has accused Koster of trying to get Wilson fired soon after the August 2014 shooting.

    Two central figures in Ferguson — Mayor James Knowles III and former police chief Tom Jackson — told The Associated Press in separate phone interviews that Koster called for Wilson’s firing or forced resignation in a series of closed-door meetings involving federal, state and St. Louis regional leaders in the weeks after the shooting.

    Koster denies it. Wilson’s attorney says Koster was supportive of Wilson’s well-being. And a former Missouri House leader says Koster was actually the voice of reason, urging against a rush to judgment.

    At a candidate forum on Sept. 30 in Branson, Greitens said of Koster: “When he showed up at Ferguson, one of the first things that he did was he said, ‘Can we fire Darren Wilson?’ He did this before he knew the facts. He did this because this was politically convenient for him.”

    Jackson told the AP that he was the one who told Greitens that Koster was behind the effort to fire Wilson. Jackson said Koster wanted him fired as police chief, too.

    “I thought it was outrageous, I thought it was unprofessional, undignified and unethical,” said Jackson, who didn’t attend the meetings but said he was given updates after each one. “I think to get somebody’s head on a platter as a way of solving the problem, rather than following the law, to me just came off as cowardly.”

    Knowles, who attended the meetings, said firing Wilson or Jackson before investigations were finished would have been improper.

    “It’s absolutely factual that he wanted to appease people before a riot, to get rid of Darren and/or the chief,” Knowles told the AP of Koster.

    Koster was unavailable for an interview because of his schedule, his campaign spokesman, David Turner said. But Turner said the assertion that Koster sought Wilson’s firing was absolutely wrong.

    “This may be a case where these two individuals’ memories are failing them or they have been affected by personal or political agendas,” Turner said of Jackson and Knowles in a statement. “At no time did he (Koster) call for the firing of Darren Wilson and he made every effort to ensure he was given due process.”

    The shooting death of Brown, a black and unarmed 18-year-old, initially set off weeks of sometimes-violent protests. A St. Louis County grand jury and the U.S. Department of Justice launched investigations.

    Police and political leaders worried that if Wilson, who is white, was not charged by the grand jury, protests could escalate again. They sought solutions at a series of private meetings, many at an office of Koster’s in downtown St. Louis.

    When the grand jury cleared Wilson of wrongdoing in November 2014, violent protests broke out again. Four months later, the Justice Department also declined to prosecute Wilson.

    Wilson resigned on his own days after the grand jury decision. Jackson, now 59, retired in March 2015 after the Justice Department’s report that cited racial bias in Ferguson’s criminal justice system.

    Turner said that in the weeks leading up to the grand jury decision, Koster and other elected leaders “worked to assemble a series of measures that could calm the unrest, protect officer safety, and protect the safety of the public, as well.” He said options discussed included a “change in leadership” for the Ferguson Police Department and that firing Wilson “was never an element of the proposal.”

    John Diehl, a Republican who was Missouri House majority floor leader at the time and attended many of the private meetings, said, “In fact, Koster was saying we shouldn’t rush to judgment on it, we should let the facts come in, and he always expressed concern about Darren Wilson’s long-term well-being.”

    Another meeting participant, St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson, said he doesn’t recall Koster singling out Wilson or making him a “scapegoat” but that “I think we all agreed in law enforcement that Darren Wilson was never going to be a police officer again.”

    Wilson’s attorney, Neil Bruntrager, was not at the meetings but said Koster was supportive in their conversations.

    “Never did Koster suggest anything other than, ‘How’s he doing? How’s he holding up?'” Bruntrager said. “There was never anything like, ‘Can you get him to quit?'”

    Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, who was at some of the meetings, did not address Koster’s role specifically.

    “Everyone had already acknowledged that Officer Wilson was not going to return to the Ferguson Police Department — including Officer Wilson himself,” she said in a statement. “Many were discussing ways to accomplish that goal, and to help ease the unrest in Ferguson, in a way that was fair to Officer Wilson.”

    Koster has been endorsed by the Missouri Fraternal Order of Police. Kevin Ahlbrand, legislative director for the FOP, said he would be surprised if Koster had tried to force out Wilson.

    The post Ferguson emerges as factor in Missouri governor’s race appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    A U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sign stands at the headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

    A U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sign stands at the headquarters in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014. Photo by Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. on Friday blamed the Russian government for the hacking of political sites and accused Moscow of trying to interfere with the upcoming presidential election.

    Pressure has been mounting on the Obama administration to call out Russia for the hacking of U.S. political sites and email accounts. Federal officials are investigating cyberattacks at the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Election data systems in at least two states also have been breached.

    “We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized these activities,” the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said in a joint statement with the Department of Homeland Security.

    The statement said recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on websites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks, and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona, are consistent with the methods and motivations of efforts directed by Russia, which has denied involvement.

    “These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the U.S. election process,” the statement said. “Such activity is not new to Moscow. The Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there.”

    A phone message and email left with the Embassy of the Russian Federation were not immediately returned Friday afternoon.

    California Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking member of the House intelligence committee, applauded the administration’s decision to publicly name Russia as the source of the hacking.

    “We should now work with our European allies who have been the victim of similar and even more malicious cyber interference by Russia to develop a concerted response that protects our institutions and deters further meddling,” Schiff said.

    Intelligence officials say some states have experienced scanning or probing of their election systems, which in most cases originated from servers operated by a Russian company. They stopped short, though, in attributing this activity to the Russian government. And administration officials say it would be difficult to alter the results of the election because of the decentralized nature of the American electoral process.

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    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Aston, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 22, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTSP1JN

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Aston, Pennsylvania, U.S. September 22, 2016. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    NEW YORK — Seizing on comments from a Border Patrol union leader, Donald Trump said Friday that agents have been told to allow immigrants into the United States illegally “so they can vote in the election.” But he offered no evidence to support his most recent claim that presidential voting may be tainted by fraud.

    In a round table on border security, Trump responded to comments from Art Del Cueto, a vice president for the National Border Patrol Council, who told the candidate that officials in the U.S. are being directed to ignore immigrants’ criminal histories and speed up citizenship applications.

    “They are letting people pour into the country so they can go ahead and vote,” the Republican presidential candidate responded, saying it would be ignored by the media.

    Neither Del Cueto nor Trump offered evidence to back up the idea immigration officials are taking action to allow people who have recently crossed the border to cast ballots on Election Day. A union spokesman later acknowledged the discussion was misleading. Newly admitted immigrants are not permitted to vote, a right that is reserved for citizens.

    Trump has repeatedly said he fears the election will be rigged and has made a hard-line stance on immigration a centerpiece of his campaign. His latest provocative claim comes as Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are increasingly focused on their second debate, a town-hall style confrontation Sunday night. Clinton spent Friday preparing with advisers near her suburban New York home.

    It’s a critical moment for Trump, who after a rough performance in last week’s debate is tasked with showing he can stick to his campaign message and steer clear of comments likely to alienate moderate voters.

    Trump showed little success on that front Friday. The New York businessman weighed in on the contentious racially charged “Central Park Five” rape case, in which five black teenage boys were convicted in the attack on a 28-year-old white woman jogging through Central Park.

    But in 2002, another man confessed to the crime and DNA evidence linked him to the crime scene. The five who were convicted received a $41 million settlement from New York State in 2014.

    “They admitted they were guilty,” Trump said in a statement to CNN that was published Friday. “The police doing the original investigation say they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous. And the woman, so badly injured, will never be the same.”

    Trump and Clinton had been treading somewhat lightly on the campaign trail in recent days, as Hurricane Matthew barreled down on Florida and the campaigns tried to show sensitivity to the unfolding crisis in the swing state.

    Both candidates received briefings by phone from top Homeland Security and Federal Emergency Management Agency officials on the storm and issued statements urging residents to stay safe.

    Trump, however, quickly veered from his message of support.

    After the round table at Trump Tower, National Border Patrol Council spokesman Shawn Moran said discussion between the candidate and the union leader was misleading.

    Border Patrol agents have indeed seen an increase in attempts to cross the U.S.-Mexico border illegally, Moran said. And, separately, union officials believe that United States Citizen and Immigration Services is working to speed up processing of citizenship applications before the November election. Moran said the discussion conflated the two separate issues.

    The process of achieving citizenship takes years. Citizenship applications are handled by USCIS, not the Border Patrol.

    There is no evidence that USCIS officials have been directed to quickly approve citizenship applications, though some lawmakers have asked the agency to address such reports. The union pointed to an internal email showing that overtime was offered to workers in a Houston field office to process pending citizenship applications, but there is nothing in the note directing officials to speed up the approval process or ignore an applicant’s criminal history.

    The post Trump suggests immigrants allowed into U.S. illegally to vote appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Bedford, New Hampshire, U.S. September 29, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTSQ3MV

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally with supporters in Bedford, New Hampshire, U.S. September 29, 2016. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    NEW YORK — Donald Trump blurted out lewd and sexually charged comments about women as he waited to make a cameo appearance on a soap opera in 2005. The Republican presidential nominee issued a rare apology Friday, “if anyone was offended.”

    Trump bragged about kissing, groping and trying to have sex with women who were not his wife on audio and video recordings obtained by The Washington Post and NBC News. The celebrity businessman boasted “when you’re a star, they let you do it,” in a conversation with Billy Bush, then a host of the television show “Access Hollywood.”

    The remarks were captured by a live microphone that Trump did not appear to know was recording their conversation.

    In a statement released by his campaign, Trump said: “This was locker room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

    The comments came two days before the Republican nominee meets Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton for their second presidential debate, and as he confronts a series of stories about his past comments about women and tries to move beyond remarks shaming a former Miss Universe for gaining weight.

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

    Warning: The video above contains explicit language.

    The 2005 remarks were recorded months after the reality TV star married his third wife, Melania. He is heard bemoaning that he tried and failed to seduce an unidentified woman, saying, “I moved on her and I failed, I’ll admit.”

    “I did try and f— her. She was married,” Trump said. “And I moved on her very heavily. In fact, I took her out furniture shopping. She wanted to get some furniture. I said, ‘I’ll show you where they have some nice furniture.'”

    Trump said he “moved on her like b—-” and then made a crass remark about the woman’s breast implants. Then, after seeing the actress Arianne Zucker on the set of the soap opera on which he was to appear, he said he needed some breath mints “just in case I start kissing her.”

    “You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump said. “And when you’re a star they let you do it. You can do anything.”

    He added: “Grab them by the p—-. You can do anything.”

    The comments, which appeared to condone sexual assault, were swiftly condemned by Clinton’s campaign.

    “This is horrific. We cannot allow this man to become president,” Clinton posted on her campaign’s Twitter account.

    Earlier this week, Trump dismissed questions about his history of vulgarity, telling a television station in Nevada that “a lot of that was done for the purpose of entertainment.” He added: “And I can tell you this, there’s nobody — nobody — that has more respect for women than I do.”

    Trump has a long history of making lewd and highly sexual comments toward and about women. The Associated Press reported this week that during his years as a reality TV star on the “The Apprentice,” the GOP nominee repeatedly demeaned women with sexist language, rating female contestants by the size of their breasts and talking about which ones he’d like to have sex with.

    During frequent interviews with shock jock Howard Stern in the 1990s, Trump made a long list of demeaning comments, saying that he could have had sex with Diana, princess of Wales, who had recently been killed in a car crash, and declaring that “A person who is very flat-chested is very hard to be a 10.”

    He has repeatedly called the comedian Rosie O’Donnell a “pig” and “slob” and suggested she’d be less depressed if she stopped looking in the mirror. The Los Angeles Times reported last month that managers at Trump’s golf club in southern California knew the New York developer only wanted good-looking women on staff.

    The Republican nominee delivered an uneven performance in the first presidential debate — punctuated by his frequent interruptions of his female opponent — and then spent days after the debate renewing his past attacks on Alicia Machado, the 1995 winner of the Miss Universe pageant that Trump used to own, over her weight.

    Trump also bragged in the moments after the first debate and days afterward that he had decided not to bring up Bill Clinton’ infidelities, even as he did so. But Thursday night in New Hampshire, Trump said at an event “let’s see what happens” when asked if he might do so in Sunday’s second debate.

    Trump is slated to travel Saturday to Wisconsin to campaign at an event with House Speaker Paul Ryan, in what would be their first joint campaign appearance. Several aides to Ryan did not respond to inquiries about whether the Wisconsin Republican still planned to appear with the nominee.

    Associated Press writer Jill Colvin contributed reporting from Jersey City, New Jersey.

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    A sign is taped to a brick wall outside a polling station for the Wisconsin presidential primary election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, April 5, 2016.     REUTERS/Jim Young  - RTSDPLZ

    A sign is taped to a brick wall outside a polling station for the Wisconsin presidential primary election in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States, April 5, 2016. Photo by Jim Young/Reuters

    Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton holds nearly a 4-to-1 lead over Donald Trump among registered Asian-American voters, according to the National Asian American Survey.

    The National Asian American Survey found that 55 percent of voters said they were likely to vote for Clinton, compared to 14 percent for Trump.

    “While Asian Americans evince progressive views on a wide range of social issues, Asian American millennials (age 18-34) and U.S.-born Asians are leading the charge,” Jennifer Lee, the principal investigator of the survey, said in a statement.

    But more than one in five Asian American voters remain undecided in the 2016 election.

    READ NEXT: Meet some of the Chinese Americans voting for Trump

    The survey also polled respondents on what issues were most important to them. Twenty-six percent said the economy, 12 percent named national security, and 10 percent chose racial discrimination.

    When asked specifically about their views on policy issues, Asian Americans tended to oppose Trump.

    “Donald Trump’s unfavorable ratings are like nothing we have ever seen before among Asian American voters,” survey director Karthick Ramakrishnan said. “It looks like Trump’s rhetoric will jeopardize the Republican National Committee’s efforts since 2013 to reach out to Asian American voters.”

    Of those Asian Americans surveyed, 62 percent said they opposed Donald Trump’s proposed ban on all Muslims entering the United States. Twenty-six percent said they supported the proposal.

    But Asian Americans showed mixed results in their support for accepting Syrian refugees. Forty-four percent supporting accepting them into the U.S., compared to 35 percent who are opposed.

    Nationwide, Americans of Asian ancestry make up a projected four percent of voters for 2016. But Asian-Americans are one of the fastest growing minorities in the U.S., projected to make up 14 percent of the U.S. population by 2065.

    The post Clinton holds a lead among Asian Americans, new survey says appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s also the moment we turn to the analysis of Shields and Gerson. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson. David Brooks is away.

    Gentlemen, welcome.

    So, there was a lot of news that we learned about late this afternoon that has to do with this campaign.

    But, Mark, I do want to start quickly with a question about Georgia. The very fact — and you heard to some of the voters we talked to — the very fact that a state that Mitt Romney won by eight points four years ago, where it’s close — I mean, it’s still uphill for Hillary Clinton, but it’s close because of what we talked about.


    No, it is. Defined — the interviews defined the enthusiasm gap. It isn’t just on one side. It’s on both sides. There’s minimal excitement. And, for Hillary Clinton, I think what came through in your piece is, it’s not a question of the percentage of the African-American vote, in addition trying to get 30 percent of the white vote, but it’s numbers.

    She could get high percentages, but if you don’t get numbers in the turnout — but the hope, obviously, is that Georgia can move eventually, if not this time, into the category of Virginia, North Carolina, states that have changed, Colorado and Nevada.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael.


    I think that the Republican fear is exactly the Virginia example. When Barack Obama won it in his first term, it was the first time Virginia had gone Democratic since 1964.

    MARK SHIELDS: That’s right.

    MICHAEL GERSON: And now it’s not even close. It’s because — Hillary Clinton is ahead by about eight points in Virginia.

    The state has gotten more diverse, more Hispanics and Asians, more college-educated people. It’s gone in a certain direction that I think Republicans fear for a couple of these states that region.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, as we said at the outset, there’s been a blizzard of news late this afternoon, Mark, starting with the Obama administration naming Russia, saying high officials in Russia were behind these hacks against the Democratic Party and other Democratic figures.

    Then you had WikiLeaks coming out soon after with information about John Podesta, who is Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, and some e-mailed exchanges over nuclear energy, and then the Washington Post story, which I think I want to start with that, essentially releasing the audiotape — and you heard it in John Yang’s report — showing — videotape showing Donald Trump’s lewd remarks about women about 10 years ago.

    MARK SHIELDS: Judy, let’s get one thing straight. This is not locker room talk. This is not a preteen, adolescent finding dirty words.

    This is a 60-year-old man being obscene, obscene toward — in discussing women, boasting, bragging in the worst and most offensive way.

    And I just think the political implications are profound. Senator Kelly Ayotte, Republican in New Hampshire, has said she would vote for Donald Trump, but will not endorse him. In a debate this past week, she was asked, do you consider Donald Trump to be an appropriate role model for the children of New Hampshire? “Absolutely” was the end of her answer, was immediately pounced on. She apologized. Cut a spot.

    Every Republican candidate in the country who is in a competitive race is going to be asked in the next week, whether in a debate or where else, by opponents or by the press, do you consider Donald Trump to be an appropriate role model for the children of our state?

    And it just — as far as the women’s vote you just reported on in Georgia, it makes it so, not simply difficult. It makes it almost impossible for somebody with self-respect, who has a mother or sister or a daughter, you know, somebody like this in Abraham Lincoln’s chair.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael, how do you assess this?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Well, I think the problem here is not just bad language, but predatory language, abusive language…

    MARK SHIELDS: It is.

    MICHAEL GERSON: … demeaning language.

    That indicates something about someone’s character that is disturbing, frankly, disturbing in a case like this. And I think evangelicals have a particular problem right now. I mean, they are the people who argued, many of whom, leaders, argued that character counts during the Bill Clinton years.

    And now character apparently doesn’t count at all. So, I think there’s a deep tension here.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And Trump’s response was to say, well, Bill Clinton has used far worse language than you heard here on the golf course, he said.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes. That’s a hell of a defense. And the other thing he said was just more disparaging remarks he made earlier that it was just entertaining or amusing.

    But Michael makes a central point here. The Republicans have, with some pride — George W. Bush won the White House by promising to restore dignity to the Oval Office. And they were or presented themselves as the family — the party of family values.

    It is impossible to say that today about the Republican standard-bearer in any way. And I just have to say that we’re forgetting moral values. We’re just — we’re talking about the Supreme Court. Character doesn’t count. The only thing that counts is the Supreme Court, apparently.

    MICHAEL GERSON: And there will be a question on Sunday night, certainly.

    There are women in the audience who are going to be asking questions during the debate. There will be a question saying, why should I support this disgusting boor?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes, we’re told — we learned today this is a group of uncommitted voters in the Saint Louis area who have been put together by the Gallup Organization.

    But, Michael, turning to the other — one of the other stories of this afternoon, the administration announcing after four months of saying they weren’t ready to say whether it was Russia officially behind these hacks — they’re now saying it was Russian — top Russian officials who were hacking the Democratic National Committee.


    This has all the appearance of a foreign power trying to undermine structures of legitimacy of an American election. That is a serious matter.

    I would — if I were the media, I would be wary of using anything that came out of these document dumps which serves the purpose of a foreign power. But, at the very least, Americans have to discount this. This is an attempt to hijack and change American democracy by a foreign power. It can’t be accepted.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes, I mean, I agree.

    The presidential option of economic sanctions are on the table and, you know, what the retaliation will take. But I would say it’s the end of the reset with China. That’s for certain. And the conclusion, the statement that only…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Reset with Russia.

    MARK SHIELDS: With Russia. Excuse me.


    MARK SHIELDS: Only — only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized, said the director of intelligence and the Homeland Security Department. This is pretty profoundly serious.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And seemingly hand in hand, or at least the timing is — may be more than coincidental. WikiLeaks released the John Podesta e-mails. So, he’s, of course, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman. He’s run his own lobbying firm in Washington for a number of years. And we haven’t really seen much of that yet, but it’s supposed to be having to do with nuclear energy and…


    No, it’s — New York Times had a big story last year, front-page story, about the sale of that uranium company that was authorized by the United States government to Russia, with Russia controlling it. And the allegations are that there were contributions made to the Clinton Foundation which were kept from the Obama White House.

    Now, whether in fact that’s confirmed, that’s pretty serious. That’s going to cause some real tensions, understandably, if that’s the case, within the Democratic family.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And I’m sure reporters are going to continue to pore over this.

    MARK SHIELDS: Exactly.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Michael, we have got — we do have the second presidential debate coming up Sunday night in Saint Louis.


    JUDY WOODRUFF: It is a different format.

    Is one or the other — we have talked about all the news that may or may not be asked about. But does this format benefit one or the other of these two people?

    MICHAEL GERSON: I think so.

    This is a format that doesn’t reward aggression. It rewards empathy, explanation. Those are not Trump strong points. He has not done a run-through, a full run-through of this, according to his own campaign, in private.

    He had an event in New Hampshire last night which was supposed to be like a — this sort of event, and he did terribly. It is quite possible that he will have a second miserable performance.

    And I don’t think that will make Republicans denounce him broadly. It will mean just that the balloon is out of Republican morale completely. And they will start looking at 2020, knowing that they don’t have a competent candidate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How do you see this debate?


    MARK SHIELDS: Half the questions will be from the audience…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Moderators.

    MARK SHIELDS: … and half from the moderator, and from people.

    The problem with these debates like this is that you can’t really prepare for them, because the questions are so individual and personal or even idiosyncratic.

    Now, it does — Secretary Clinton has a lot richer and deeper experience in doing these, obviously, than Donald Trump.

    But the people at home, you can’t — I can’t attack you, Michael, if we’re doing a town meeting or a town format. You have to answer the question that is asked.

    And what people at home are gauging, Judy, is, how does this candidate respond to the questioner? Do they show respect to the questioner? Do they try to understand why the questioner is asking that? Do they respond to the question?

    That is really what — I mean, is there empathy? Is there a human connection between the two? It’s where Barack Obama beat Mitt Romney in 2012. He lost the voters on who was a stronger leader, who had a vision for the future, but on who cares about people like me, he trounced Mitt Romney. And I think that will be a gauge of this Sunday night.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it sort of faded into the back of the news today, Michael, but it was just three or four nights ago that we had the vice presidential debate between Mike Pence and Tim Kaine. A lot of conversation about that in the day or so after it, but did that have a lingering effect on this election of any kind?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Very marginal temporary moral boost for Republicans, who were looking for any good news after a pretty disastrous week.

    But when you analyze it, Mike Pence could only defend Donald Trump in some circumstances by projecting an image of himself, as though he were — that Trump held his views on Russia or his views on Syria. And that’s really not true. So, it was a weird way to defend the person at the top of your ticket. And I think that was noticed.

    MARK SHIELDS: It’s a good point.

    I thought Mike Pence, upon reflection to me, came across a little bit like your favorite aunt who refuses, in spite of first-person evidence that grandpa has been drunk and disorderly in public, that, says, no, no, grandpa would never do that, even though grandpa is being taken off in handcuffs.


    MARK SHIELDS: I mean, Donald would never say those things about our good neighbors to the south.

    MICHAEL GERSON: When he did.

    MARK SHIELDS: Yes. Donald would never say that about our good co-religious Muslim friends.

    And I think the Democrats did a terrible disservice, the Clinton campaign did, to Tim Kaine. Tim Kaine had the earned reputation of being one of the most respected and well-liked, and not cheap partisan members of the United States Senate. And they turned him into an attack dog.


    MARK SHIELDS: He didn’t come across authentic. It wasn’t good. And it was — it just really — I think, for short-term benefit, I think they tarnished the brand, which is an awfully good brand.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Last thing I want to ask you two about very quickly is the Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson.

    He — if this is a close election, Michael and Mark, he could — his — whatever he gets could make a difference. We have seen him this week talking more about foreign policy and saying he — it’s OK not to have an opinion about it.

    Just in 10 seconds, how much of a factor is he?

    MICHAEL GERSON: Marginally hurts Hillary Clinton, but probably not a big factor.

    MARK SHIELDS: Less today than he did last week, and perhaps less tomorrow than he did today.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, Michael Gerson, we thank you both.

    And we hope you will be sure to join us right here on this Sunday for special live coverage of that presidential debate. It starts at 9:00 p.m. Eastern.

    The post Shields and Gerson on the 2005 Trump tape, Russian hacking and the upcoming debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Myanmar's Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 21, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTSOVFZ

    Myanmar’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Aung San Suu Kyi addresses the 71st United Nations General Assembly in Manhattan, New York, U.S. September 21, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday lifted U.S. economic sanctions on the former pariah state of Myanmar, the culmination of years of rapprochement that Obama has worked to facilitate.

    The Southeast Asian nation, also known as Burma, has pursued political reforms over the last five years following decades of oppressive military rule.

    Obama had announced plans to lift the sanctions last month, when Myanmar’s new civilian leader, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi, visited the Oval Office. Suu Kyi concurred it was time to remove all the sanctions that had hurt the economy and urged Americans to come to the country and “to make profits.”

    The U.S. has already eased broad prohibitions on investment and trade but had retained more targeted restrictions on military-owned companies and officials and associates of the former ruling junta. U.S. companies and banks have remained leery of involvement in one of Asia’s last untapped markets.

    Friday’s executive order lifts those restrictions. It removes the national emergency with respect to Myanmar — the executive order authorizing sanctions that has been renewed annually by U.S. presidents for two decades. It also lifts a ban on the importation of jadeite and rubies from Myanmar, and removes banking restrictions.

    [Watch Video]

    “I have determined that the situation that gave rise to the national emergency with respect to Burma has been significantly altered by Burma’s substantial advances to promote democracy, including historic elections in November 2015,” Obama wrote in a letter to the leaders of Congress. He said the U.S. intends to use other means to support Myanmar in the “significant challenges” it still faces.

    Some Myanmar nationals will remain on the Treasury Department’s list of Specially Designated Nationals under other sanctions authorities, such as those intended to block the drug trade, a Treasury statement said. This bars them from any business dealings with the U.S. They include alleged drugs kingpin Wei Hsueh Kang and other figures from the United Wa State Army, one of Myanmar’s biggest ethnic armed groups.

    Among those taken off are ex-junta chief, Than Shwe, and the founder of one of the nation’s largest conglomerates, Stephen Law, whose late father was once described by Treasury as one of the world’s key heroin traffickers. Also taken off were military officials added to the blacklist since 2013 for alleged arms trading with North Korea, such as Lt. Gen. Thein Htay, chief of the Directorate of Defense Industries.

    Human rights groups have argued that lifting sanctions is premature as the U.S. will lose leverage over Myanmar’s powerful military. Despite the election victory by Suu Kyi party last year, the military still wields major political and economic influence.

    Sen. Ben Cardin, top-ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, voiced support for the sanctions action but concern over the plight of Rohingya Muslims, ethnic reconciliation and reform of a junta-era constitution that guarantees the military a quarter of parliamentary seats.

    “Even as we lift these sanctions we must maintain a focus on on-going concerns regarding the role of the military in Burma’s economy and politics,” Cardin said in a statement, noting that Suu Kyi had raised the issue when she met with senators during her Washington visit last month.

    Obama’s outreach to Myanmar has reflected his willingness to engage with American adversaries — others being Cuba and Iran. The administration has also sought to promote U.S. strategic interests in Asia. During its years of international isolation, Myanmar was heavily reliant on its northern neighbor China, which remains a key source of trade and investment.

    Associated Press writer Josh Lederman contributed to this report.

    The post Obama orders U.S. economic sanctions on Myanmar lifted appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    SkyView Atlanta, a 200-foot (61-meter) tall Ferris wheel with 42 gondolas, is seen on the South end of Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta, Georgia July 19, 2013. The Ferris wheel, which was previously located in Paris, Switzerland, and Pensacola, Florida, opened to the public in Atlanta on July 16.  This the view from the 11th floor of the Omni Hotel at CNN Center. Picture taken on July 19, 2013.   REUTERS/Chris Aluka Berry  (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT CITYSPACE SOCIETY) - RTX11UC4

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, you’ve heard a lot in this election year about changing demographics in some states, rising numbers of minority voters who are scrambling the calculus for the candidates and the parties.

    But one of the places with the most dramatic change underway is Georgia. It hasn’t voted Democratic in 24 years, but is giving Hillary Clinton reason to hope this year.

    I flew there this past weekend.

    At the Sweet Auburn Festival on Saturday, neighbors and tourists showed up to eat, drink and enjoy local musicians. In this Atlanta neighborhood, known as the historic heart of the civil rights movement here, some are clear who they’re voting for.

    WOMAN: I’m looking forward to there being a female president. And also I like the way she — her campaign is run. I like the way she speaks. And I think she will do well to getting this world back into the order.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Voters like this are exactly what Hillary Clinton must have to turn Georgia blue for the first time since 1992, says Emory University’s Andra Gillespie.

    ANDRA GILLESPIE, Emory University: You need African-Americans to turn out in record numbers, just as they did in 2008 and 2012. I suspect that Hillary Clinton is going to do extremely well in the state amongst blacks who do turn out to vote. We should expect that they’re going to make up about 30 percent of the electorate here in Georgia.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In fact, due to dramatic demographic changes, growing numbers of blacks and other minorities, Clinton is relying on voters like 33-year-old Charisse Price.

    CHARISSE PRICE: I’m voting for her because I feel that she’s the candidate that most aligns with my values and the issues that are important to me. And I’m excited about what she offers as the most qualified candidate in history.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Democrats also hope to capitalize on negative feelings toward Donald Trump among the Latino community that has more than doubled since 2000.

    Latinos make up just under 10 percent of the population in Georgia, but they are now less than 3 percent of registered voters.

    Omar Rodriguez Esparza is a naturalized U.S. citizen from Mexico, who says he cannot support Trump.

    OMAR RODRIGUEZ ESPARZA: It really did bother me when he started to offend my community, calling us different things that were obscene and derogatory. And for me to stand behind a person that speaks that way about our community, I just can’t do it. That’s like turning my back against my own community.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But Georgia Republicans say they are not ready to simply cede minority voters to the Democrats.

    LEO SMITH, Minority Engagement Director, Georgia GOP: I think what they’re underestimating is the number of African-Americans who are now saying, I am independent in my thinking about politics.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Leo Smith is the Georgia GOP’s minority engagement director.

    LEO SMITH: The Georgia Republican Party decided in 2013 that we would embrace a strategy to target, micro-target demographics that we have not been successful with. And so we developed a strategy to make sure that we connected with blacks, that we connected with Latin Americans, Latino Americans, that we connected with Asian Americans.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In 2008, 98 percent of blacks who voted went Obama. But, this year, Democrats say the key is not the percentage, but the number of African-Americans who vote.

    STACEY ABRAMS (D), Georgia State Representative: So, you’re just now starting the real push.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Democrat Stacey Abrams is the minority leader in the Georgia State House of Representatives.

    STACEY ABRAMS: Most of the pre-work that happens in elections is persuading people to believe that your candidate has the right belief set, that they are the right person. Where we are now is convincing people that they need to turn out and do something about it. We have six weeks. And it’s going to be — it’s a heavy lift, but it’s a very doable lift.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Doable, but with a special challenge among younger voters.

    STACEY ABRAMS: She has a problem particularly amongst young African-Americans who appear to be soft on her. So, it doesn’t mean that they’re going to defect and vote for Donald Trump. I think the questions is, do they stay home or do they vote for somebody like Gary Johnson?

    SHAIDAH EHEHOSI: For me, voting for her would be like settling. And I don’t want to settle. I would rather, like, stay single, right?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Shaidah Ehehosi, a sophomore at Georgia State University, says she feels pressure to back Clinton, but, as of now, doesn’t think she can do that.

    SHAIDAH EHEHOSI: She’s so sneaky, and she’s just not honest. And Donald Trump is openly racist, you know, openly ridiculous, basically. But Hillary is so covert with her actions, that that scares me as well. And it’s just so — it’s tough.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In this state, with a population in transition, Clinton’s challenge is not only to turn out the Democratic base, especially African-Americans, but also to turn out more white voters than Democrats have won in the past five presidential elections.

    Thanks to the controversial candidacy of Donald Trump, the key could be white women like Jessica Mayer, who voted for Mitt Romney last time, but says Trump is out of the question. She’s considering Clinton.

    JESSICA MAYER: I don’t know if I want to vote for her or not. I like her. I don’t dislike her, but I like Gary Johnson a lot, too. I don’t want to vote for it just because she’s a woman, even though I’m — I feel like I’m leaning that way, because it’d be nice to have a woman in the White House.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The support of voters like Jessica is essential to a long-shot Democratic victory here, says strategist Gordon Giffin.

    GORDON GIFFIN, Democratic Strategist: To win a state like Georgia, you have got to appeal to a broad cross-section of genders. You can’t just go after one gender. Broad cross-section of all parts of our citizenry. So, to win here, Hillary Clinton would have to get a substantial part of the white vote, not just the minority vote.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Again, Andra Gillespie:

    ANDRA GILLESPIE: In the context of the first debate performance, and Donald Trump’s lashing out at Alicia Machado for her weight and other kinds of things, these are the kinds of messages that could play well to suburban white voters who are on the fence about Trump, and maybe she can convince them to come to her side.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Young Georgia Republicans like Jake Evans acknowledge Trump’s weakness among women who would normally lean right.

    JAKE EVANS: Millennials overall are a generation of equality on the gender side, on the race side, and he undoubtedly leads some people to believe that he doesn’t fully further gender equality motives.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Even so, Evans himself backs Trump, albeit without enthusiasm.

    JAKE EVANS: I will vote for Donald Trump because I think he aligns more with my personal ideologies, less government, lower taxes, less regulation. I believe, personally, that’s what’s best for the country, but I will do it reluctantly. And so I think it’s an election of the lesser of two evils, to be honest with you, for a lot of millennials.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Clinton supporters say she can win that argument, if her campaign targets all the voters who are turned off by Trump.

    GORDON GIFFIN: If 30 percent of the white vote in Georgia votes for Hillary Clinton, she will carry the state of Georgia.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We also found that, even among Clinton backers here, there is concern that the deep divisions in the country will undermine her if she’s elected.

    FRAN MARSHALL: I think that she is going to have as difficult a time as President Obama had as far as congressional support. I hope that they do not meet secretly the night that she is elected and decide that they are going to vote no for everything that she may present to Congress.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And that’s a snapshot right now of Georgia, where new voter registration ends next Tuesday, October 11.

    The post Why Clinton may have a chance in dark-red Georgia appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump, with his wife Melania, talks to reporters in the spin room after his first debate against Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, U.S. September 26, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTSPKVM

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first: The twists and turns keep coming in the race for the White House, just two days before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton meet in their second presidential debate.

    John Yang reports.

    JOHN YANG: Late today, a new storm around Donald Trump.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Hello. How are you? Hi.

    JOHN YANG: The Washington Post released a 2005 videotape in which Trump is heard talking in vulgar terms about trying and failing to seduce a woman.

    DONALD TRUMP: When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

    MAN: Whatever you want.



    DONALD TRUMP: You can do anything.

    JOHN YANG: It comes as Hillary Clinton has been blasting Trump for his treatment of women, and Trump has been threatening to make an issue out of Bill Clinton’s infidelities.

    In a statement, Trump apologized and said the tape was “locker room banter, a private conversation. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course. Not even close.”

    Campaigning in Las Vegas, Democratic running mate Tim Kaine reacted to the tape.

    SEN. TIM KAINE (D), Vice Presidential Nominee: It’s just — I mean, it makes me sick to my stomach. I don’t like to even say the words that he’s used in the past when he calls women pigs, dogs and — I should be surprised and shocked. I’m sad to say that I’m not.

    JOHN YANG: Earlier, Trump fired a new broadside on a signature issue, immigration, as he met with a Border Patrol unit that endorsed him. He charged agents are being told, in effect, to look the other way as Election Day approaches.

    DONALD TRUMP: They’re letting people pour into the country, so they can go and vote.

    MAN: They want to hurry up and fast-track them, so they can go ahead and be able to vote for these elections.

    DONALD TRUMP: And these are the professionals. These are the people that are on the border. You hear a thing like that, it’s — it’s a disgrace.

    JOHN YANG: Running mate Mike Pence vowed that he and Trump will end illegal immigration once and for all.

    Even with current controversies swirling around him, Trump weighed in on an old one, a racially charged 1989 rape case. Five teenagers, all minorities, were convicted of assaulting a white banker in Central Park, exonerated by DNA evidence and then paid $41 million in a settlement with New York City.

    But Trump told CNN: “They admitted they were guilty. The fact that that case was settled with so much evidence against them is outrageous.”

    Clinton was off the trail today preparing for Sunday’s debate.

    The campaigns are also watching the impact of Hurricane Matthew. Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican who is backing Trump, rejected a Clinton campaign request to extend voter registration beyond next Tuesday’s deadline.

    In addition, there could be troubles with the millions of mail-in ballots that went out this week, just as hundreds of thousands of voters in that toss-up state were told to evacuate.

    Meanwhile, President Obama took advantage of a fund-raising trip to Chicago to cast his vote. Despite prodding from reporters, he wouldn’t violate the sanctity of his secret ballot, but the expression on his face left little doubt who he voted for.

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

    The post Newly released video shows Trump making lewd remarks about women appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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