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

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    Summer Zervos, a former contestant on the TV show The Apprentice, reacts next to lawyer Gloria Allred (L) while speaking about allegations of sexual misconduct against Donald Trump during a news conference in Los Angeles, California. Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Reuters

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The Republican nominee for president is under siege tonight: more women have come forward to say they were fondled or groped by Donald Trump.

    Lisa Desjardins has more on the day’s events. And warning to our viewers: some details of this report are explicit.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The first new accusation appeared on “The Washington Post’s” website. In graphic terms, Kristin Anderson described sitting next to Trump at a nightclub in the early 1990s.

    KRISTIN ANDERSON, Trump Accuser: The person to my right, who unbeknownst to me at the time was Donald Trump, put their hand up my skirt. And I as pushed the hand away and I got up and I turned around and I see these eyebrows — very distinct eyebrows of Donald Trump.

    LISA DESJARDINS: She said that he touched her genitals through her underwear. Hours later, in Los Angeles, attorney Gloria Allred introduced a one-time contestant on “The Apprentice.” Summers Zervos said Trump assaulted her in a hotel room when she thought she was there to talk about a job.

    SUMMER ZERVOS, Trump Accuser: He grabbed my shoulder and began kissing me aggressively, and placed his hand on my breast. I pulled back walked to another part of the room, and he grabbed my hand and took me to the bedroom. I walked out.

    LISA DESJARDINS: The candidate himself fired back in Greensboro, North Carolina.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate: They all are false. They’re totally invented, fiction. All 100 percent totally and completely fabricated.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Trump’s campaign said the timing points to a political smear. And he mocked Anderson’s account of assault in a nightclub.

    DONALD TRUMP: I was sitting alone by myself like this and then I went wah.

    LISA DESJARDINS: This after running mate Governor Mike Pence told the “Today” show’s Matt Lauer that Trump will release evidence disproving the accusations.

    GOV. MIKE PENCE (R), Vice Presidential Candidate: Well, Matt, I think it’s coming and it’s coming in frankly probably, in a matter of hours.

    LISA DESJARDINS: As of late afternoon, the Trump campaign had not released any new information.

    In Cleveland, President Obama went after Trump directly.

    PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: All he had time for was celebrities. Now all of a suddenly, he’s acting like populist out there. “Man, I’m going to fight for working people.” Come on, man.

    You want to know what somebody’s gonna do — look what they’ve been doing their whole lives.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, in a taped interview, talked to Ellen DeGeneres about Trump’s physical presence during Sunday’s debate.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Candidate: He was really trying to dominate and literally stalk me around the stage. And I would just feel this presence behind me and, you know, I thought, “Whoa, this is really weird”. And so, I was just trying to stay focused.

    LISA DESJARDINS: Clinton was also in print. She gave a series of written answers under penalty of perjury about her use of private e-mail, as secretary of state, this as part of a private lawsuit. Her lawyers wrote that Clinton did not recall any warning that her email account conflicted with or violated federal laws.

    Twenty-five days left until election day and we clearly are not done with the twists and turns of this campaign season yet.

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

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Late this afternoon, the Trump campaign released a statement from Mr. Trump denying that he ever acted inappropriately with “Apprentice” contestant Summer Zervos.

    The post Trump fires back after more women come forward with assault stories appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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

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

    ATLANTA — New ID requirements. Unfamiliar or distant polling places. Names missing from the voter rolls.

    Those are just some of the challenges that could disrupt voting across the country through Election Day. While most elections have their share of glitches, experts worry conditions are ripe this year for trouble at the nation’s polling places.

    This is the first presidential election year without a key enforcement provision of the federal Voting Rights Act, and 14 states have enacted new registration or voting restrictions. Adding to the uncertainty is a call by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for supporters to monitor the polls for voter fraud and concerns by the federal government that hackers could try to disrupt the voting process.

    All this has civil rights advocates on guard.

    “There is going to be a lot going on in this election that we are going to have to watch out for,” said Penda Hair, a civil rights lawyer who represented the North Carolina NAACP in its bid to overturn that state’s voter ID law.

    With no national standards for voting, rules vary widely across states and even counties.

    Voting experts and civil rights groups are encouraging voters to do their research before heading to the polls. That includes checking to ensure they are registered and finding their voting location, as well as understanding their rights if they face any problems.

    “People should not leave without casting a ballot,” said Wendy Weiser, head of the democracy program at the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU’s School of Law. “If you are an eligible voter, you should be able to have your vote counted no matter what anyone is saying.”

    [Watch Video]

    Adding to the potential for confusion are new voter ID laws in nine states as well as reduced hours for early voting and changes to polling locations in some states.

    In North Carolina, at least two counties no longer offer Sunday voting. Deborah Dicks Maxwell, 60, said she is worried that — along with early voting hours largely limited to between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. — will make it harder for people to cast ballots in her home county of New Hanover. She said Sunday voting was popular during North Carolina’s primary in March.

    “With the short hours we have and the high turnout that generally occurs in a presidential election year, someone is going to be in line,” said Dicks Maxwell, president of the New Hanover County branch of the NAACP. “Why penalize the citizens when you could have extended the hours and made it easier for them?”

    State officials have said the county didn’t offer Sunday voting in 2012 and that the current plan represents an increase in evening hours available during early voting.

    Long lines led to frustration during Arizona’s March primary, when some voters in the Phoenix area waited hours to cast ballots after county election officials opened 60 polling stations — fewer than half what is typical.

    Melissa Dunmore, a 26-year-old social worker from Phoenix, still doesn’t know if her primary ballot was counted. She waited an hour to vote, only to be told she wasn’t registered despite checking her status before heading to her polling place. She said she won’t be deterred and plans to vote early this time.

    “If we stop voting every time it was hard or it was denied, women wouldn’t have the right to vote, black people wouldn’t have the right to vote,” Dunmore said.

    Meanwhile, some 33 states have accepted an offer from the federal government to check their voter databases and reporting systems for vulnerabilities after hackers attempted to breach systems in two states over the summer. Trump’s warning that the election might be rigged along with his call for supporters to monitor polling places has alarmed some advocacy groups who say such comments threaten to undermine voter confidence in the election.

    “We are deeply concerned about the chilling effect this call might have on the electorate and minority voters in particular,” said Kristen Clarke, president of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. “And we are concerned about the disruption this will cause for election workers.”

    Clarke and others say Trump supporters at the polls could lead to intimidation at a time when the U.S. Department of Justice has had to make substantial changes to its federal election monitoring program following the 2013 Supreme Court decision that struck down a portion of the Voting Rights Act.

    For the 2012 election, more than 780 federal observers and Justice Department staff were sent to 51 jurisdictions in 23 states. Now federal election observers can be sent only to those locations where there is a court order, which exists for only a small number of places in five states.

    With fewer federal election observers on hand, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said last week that Justice Department employees will be sent instead to at least as many states as 2012. But she did not say how many officials will go and how much access they will have.

    Associated Press writers Josh Hoffner in Phoenix and Frank Bajak in Houston contributed to this report.

    The post Possible Election Day problems worry civil rights advocates appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) chats with senior Pakistani government officials before holding a bilateral meeting to promote U.S. climate and environmental goals, at the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on the elimination of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) use in Rwanda's capital Kigali October 14, 2016. REUTERS/James Akena - RTSS8W3

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (C) chats with senior Pakistani government officials before holding a bilateral meeting to promote U.S. climate and environmental goals, at the Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on the elimination of hydro fluorocarbons (HFCs) use in Rwanda’s capital Kigali October 14, 2016. Photo by James Akena/Reuters

    KIGALI, Rwanda — Nearly 200 nations have reached a deal, announced Saturday morning after all-night negotiations, to limit the use of greenhouse gases far more powerful than carbon dioxide in a major effort to fight climate change.

    The talks on hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, were called the first test of global will since the historic Paris Agreement to cut carbon emissions was reached last year. HFCs are described as the world’s fastest-growing climate pollutant and are used in air conditioners and refrigerators. Experts say cutting them is the fastest way to reduce global warming.

    President Barack Obama, in a statement Saturday, called the new deal “an ambitious and far-reaching solution to this looming crisis.”

    The agreement, unlike the broader Paris one, is legally binding. It caps and reduces the use of HFCs in a gradual process beginning by 2019 with action by developed countries including the United States, the world’s second-worst polluter. More than 100 developing countries, including China, the world’s top carbon emitter, will start taking action by 2024, when HFC consumption levels should peak.

    A small group of countries including India, Pakistan and some Gulf states pushed for and secured a later start in 2028, saying their economies need more time to grow. That’s three years earlier than India, the world’s third-worst polluter, had first proposed.

    “It’s a very historic moment, and we are all very delighted that we have come to this point where we can reach a consensus and agree to most of the issues that were on the table,” said India’s chief delegate, Ajay Narayan Jha.

    Environmental groups had hoped that the deal could reduce global warming by a half-degree Celsius by the end of this century. This agreement gets about 90 percent of the way there, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.

    Zaelke’s group said this is the “largest temperature reduction ever achieved by a single agreement.”

    The new agreement is “equal to stopping the entire world’s fossil-fuel CO2 emissions for more than two years,” David Doniger, climate and clean air program director with the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement.

    It is estimated that the agreement will cut the global levels of HFCs by 80 to 85 percent by 2047, the World Resources Institute said in a statement.

    Experts said they hope that market forces will help speed up the limits agreed to in the deal.

    HFCs were introduced in the 1980s as a substitute for ozone-depleting gases. But their danger has grown as air conditioner and refrigerator sales have soared in emerging economies like China and India. HFCs are also found in inhalers and insulating foams.

    Major economies have debated how quickly to phase out HFCs. The United States, whose delegation was led by Secretary of State John Kerry, and Western countries want quick action. Nations such as India want to give their industries more time to adjust.

    “Thank God we got to this agreement that is good for all nations, that takes into consideration all regional and national issues,” said Taha Mohamed Zatari, the head of Saudi Arabia’s negotiating team.

    Small island states and many African countries had pushed for early timeframes, saying they face the biggest threat from climate change.

    “It may not be entirely what the islands wanted, but it is a good deal,” Mattlan Zackhras, the minister-in-assistance to the president of the Marshall Islands, said in a statement. “We all know we must go further, and we will go further.”

    The U.N. says the next meeting in 2017 will determine how much of the billions of dollars needed to finance the reduction of HFCs will be provided by countries.

    HFCs are less plentiful than carbon dioxide, but Kerry said last month that they currently emit as much pollution as 300 coal-fired power plants each year. That amount will rise significantly over the coming decades as air conditioning units and refrigerators reach hundreds of millions of new people.

    HFCs don’t harm the ozone layer like chlorofluorocarbons and similar gases that were eliminated under the 1987 Montreal Protocol. The entire world ratified that agreement, helping to repair holes in the ozone that helps shield the planet from the harmful rays of the sun. The aim of this meeting was to attach an amendment to that treaty dealing specifically with HFCs.

    “This is about much more than the ozone layer and HFCs. It is a clear statement by all world leaders that the green transformation started in Paris is irreversible and unstoppable,” Erik Solheim, executive director of the U.N. Environment Program, said in a statement.

    Environmental groups were already turning attention Saturday to other greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide.

    “Acting on HFCs does not exempt us from acting on CO2 or other important greenhouse gases like methane. We emit considerably more carbon, and it lingers in the atmosphere for more than 500 years,” Carol Werner, executive director of the Environmental and Energy Study Institute, said in a statement.

    Associated Press videographer Khaled Kazziha in Kigali contributed.

    The post Global deal reached to limit powerful greenhouse gases appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    In 2007, Congress created a voucher program that shaves months off of the Food and Drug Administration's review process for drug development that targets rare pediatric diseases. Photo by Getty Images

    Consumers do not read or have difficulty reading risk information on prescription drugs, a recent study found. Photo by Getty Images

    How much attention do people pay to the risk information for prescription drugs?

    If you said “not much,” you would be correct.

    A recent study found that, while about 80 percent of those viewing risk information for a fictitious allergy drug claimed to have read at least half or more of the warnings, an eye-tracking tool found they actually read little to none of the cautionary material on a product website. Of 29 people, eight did not read any of the side effect disclosure, some of which was supposedly unique to this medicine.

    In general, the participants — all of whom had been diagnosed with a seasonal allergy and reported suffering symptoms during the past year — had a very low recall level. Of 12 side effects mentioned, on average, the participants correctly recalled just one. And nearly 45 percent did not recall any risks, while 17 percent recalled just one risk (there is more information starting on slide 15 and running through slide 31).

    The upshot is that “mere exposure to risks does not automatically indicate risk readership — no matter how fairly and well-balanced or clearly and conspicuously those risks may be presented,” according to the authors of the analysis, which was published online in the Journal of Risk Research in August, but was more widely publicized this week.

    The goal of the study was to assess the extent to which people actually absorb risk information as they scroll along a product website, since previous studies showed mixed results when researchers have relied on trial participants to report whether they read anything. This explains why the researchers relied on eye-tracking tools, as well as a survey to then assess recollections.

    The findings come amid ongoing concern that consumers do not read or have difficulty reading risk information. Last year, for instance, the Food and Drug Administration issued a draft guidance that recommended drug makers offer “consumer-friendly” summaries of side effect warnings in print ads and promotional materials, which often duplicate the risk information in product labeling.

    “The public health concern is that, if a drug contains novel or unique risks for the category, the consumer’s perceived familiarity hinders them from reading the risks and they overlook novel (or) unique risks with which they aren’t familiar — potentially to their detriment,” Mariea Hoy, a professor of advertising at the University of Tennessee and one of the study coauthors, wrote us.

    Why might some people say they read the risk information when they did not? The researchers explained that a key explanation is that participants believed they were already familiar with allergies and needed medicines. “This perceived familiarity prompted participants to ignore the risk information and discount the commercial information source,” the study authors concluded.

    Of course, there are limitations. Twenty-nine people is a small sample, which is why the researchers concede this was an exploratory study. Moreover, the participants were already familiar with the condition and, presumably, drugs used to treat symptoms. On the other hand, the researchers maintain this provides impetus for examining why some people do not bother reading important information.

    So what might be done? The authors speculated that most people start reading websites at the top of a screen and so they suggest designing webpages in which risks are visible before information about the benefits of a medicine. “By putting the risk information before the benefits, they might be more likely to notice the risk and read more of the risks,” Hoy wrote us.

    Whether drug makers would embrace such a notion is unclear. After all, a product is sold by its attributes first. Then again, if drug companies are made aware that risks are presented in a way that customers are not processing the information, perhaps they might face some type of liability. Most likely, there will be further studies into this subject before any of this gets decided.

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on Oct. 14, 2016. Find the original story here.

    The post What side effects? Most consumers don’t read drug risk information appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens to former Vice President Al Gore talk about climate change at a rally at Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens to former Vice President Al Gore talk about climate change at a rally at Miami-Dade College in Miami, Florida. Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

    At about 5 a.m. each day — maybe a little later on weekends — an email from the Rev. Bill Shillady arrives in Hillary Clinton’s inbox.

    The contents? A reading from Scripture. A devotional commentary. And a prayer. They’re sometimes inspired by the headlines — focusing recently, for example, on the role of women in the Bible.

    “I know she reads them, because she responds to me,” says Shillady, executive director of the United Methodist City Society in New York. “We’ve had some interesting emails back and forth about some of the concepts.”

    It’s no secret that Clinton is a lifelong Methodist. But Shillady — who officiated at Chelsea Clinton’s wedding, led a memorial service for Clinton’s mother, Dorothy Rodham, and gave the closing benediction at the Democratic National Convention — feels that many people don’t really know how much her faith “is a daily thing.”

    He says this is because Clinton’s faith is of a personal variety, one she’s not very comfortable with broadcasting.

    As Clinton said at a presidential forum in 2007: “I take my faith very seriously and very personally. And I come from a tradition that is perhaps a little too suspicious of people who wear their faith on their sleeves … a lot of the talk about and advertising about faith doesn’t come naturally to me.”

    One reason Clinton might not speak more about her faith is that her commitment to it has been challenged over the years by political foes for various reasons. That’s perhaps not surprising, given her decades as a polarizing political figure.

    [Watch Video]

    Donald Trump also has questioned her faith, with this claim in June: “We don’t know anything about Hillary in terms of religion.” Perplexed Clinton supporters noted plenty has been said and written, by Clinton and others, about her faith.

    Shillady has been sending Clinton the daily messages for some 19 months now. These days, he has a multi-faith team of clergy to help prepare them. Some younger female clergy have contributed recent writings about women, dovetailing with gender issues arising in the campaign.

    On Saturday, his message included a quote from St. Francis of Assisi about the need to have peace in one’s heart. Telling Clinton that she was being pulled in many directions and was “in the midst of a bee hive of this world,” the pastor reminded her about “the inner peace that needs to be the center of your being,” according to a copy of the message that he passed on.

    Often, Shillady says, Clinton will reply with comments. Sometimes she may incorporate the ideas into public remarks, but generally it’s for her own inspiration and comfort.

    Have the messages changed at all during the extremely tense debate season? “Some of the recent writings have definitely been about standing firm in the faith and being bold and courageous and things of that sort,” replies Shillady. “I’ve been sending messages about loving your neighbor, and loving those that are most difficult to love.”

    Shillady, who met Clinton in 2002 and came to know the family when they attended his Manhattan church, says “the spiritual component of her faith is pretty private” — partly due to the nature of Methodism itself. “The Bible says to pray in your private closet, and do good at all times, and I think that’s how she lives out her faith,” he says.

    Another key aspect of Methodism — social justice — comes into play when looking at Clinton’s life as a public servant, says Stephen Gunter of the Duke Divinity School. “Good Methodism is always a combination of acts of piety and deeds of justice,” says Gunter, the school’s associate dean of Methodist Studies. Methodist founder John Wesley, Gunter says, “had a favorite expression: ‘There is no holiness without a social holiness.'”

    Gunter says Clinton’s faith “is not something that she wears on her sleeve as a badge of superior identity or something. It simply is who she is.” And, he adds, “her personal faith has played a significant role in her formation as a public servant.”

    Clinton writes about Wesley and his teachings toward the beginning of her memoir, “Living History,” and also about a formative moment in her teenage years in Park Ridge, Illinois: meeting the Rev. Don Jones, a Methodist youth minister with whom she remained close until his death in 2009.

    “Rev. Jones stressed that a Christian life was ‘faith in action,'” she writes. “I had never met anyone like him.”

    It was Jones who took young Hillary Rodham and other youth group members to hear Martin Luther King Jr. speak in Chicago, which she describes as a moment of social awakening.

    Jones became “not only the most important teacher in young Hillary’s life, but also a counselor over the decades whose ministrations would show her ways to cope with adversity,” biographer Carl Bernstein writes in “A Woman in Charge: The Life of Hillary Rodham Clinton.” He adds that besides family, her Methodism is probably the most important foundation of her character.

    As first lady in Arkansas and then in the White House, Clinton relied on her faith at difficult moments. She met regularly with a Christian woman’s prayer group starting early in her husband’s first presidential term, and said in a 1999 magazine interview that she’d had survived the Monica Lewinsky and impeachment ordeals through “soul-searching, friends, religious faith and long, hard discussions.”

    “It’s just part of who she is,” says Lisa Caputo, Clinton’s White House press secretary during husband Bill Clinton’s first term. “She carries a passage or two from Scripture with her. She is a very spiritual person, and derives great strength and comfort from her faith.”

    Yet her faith has often been viewed through the prism of politics. A poll early this year showed that Democrats were much more likely than Republicans to see Clinton as religious.

    In the Pew Research Center poll in January, 65 percent of Democrats (or those leaning Democratic) said they saw Clinton as “very” or “somewhat” religious, with 27 percent saying she was “not too” or “not at all” religious. But among Republicans and Republican leaners, the figures were virtually reversed: 65 percent said she was not too or not at all religious, and 28 percent said she was at least somewhat religious.

    Shillady, the Methodist pastor, is a strong supporter of Clinton’s; he attended the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, and watched the second one on television.

    “Well, I sat there praying,” he says. “To give her strength, to give her courage, to give her compassion.”

    The post For Clinton, a daily dose of faith along with politics appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening in Northglenn, Colorado, in December 2013. Photo by Rick Wilking/File Photo

    A fully budded marijuana plant ready for trimming is seen at the Botanacare marijuana store ahead of their grand opening in Northglenn, Colorado, in December 2013. Photo by Rick Wilking/File Photo/Reuters

    Last year, Golden Leaf Holdings, a leading cannabis company, paid $3.3 million for almost 100 acres of land in Oregon to build a marijuana growing, processing and research site.

    The future looked bright: Oregon voters had legalized recreational marijuana in 2014. But Measure 91 gave counties and towns the opportunity to opt out and ban pot businesses.

    Days after Golden Leaf signed the papers on the property in Marion County near the town of Aurora, the county banned marijuana businesses in unincorporated areas. So did about 100 other towns and counties.

    “That shut us out completely out of the recreational market, which was our original strategy,” said Beau Whitney, a Golden Leaf vice president.

    Now, Golden Leaf has another chance. Marion County is one of about 50 Oregon towns and counties that will decide in the Nov. 8 election whether to opt back into the marijuana business, according to the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, which regulates and licenses the industry.

    Other states across America are also grappling with the issue of how to deal with the emerging marijuana business. Recreational or medical marijuana measures are on ballots in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, Nevada and North Dakota.

    At Golden Leaf’s property, in the Willamette Valley between Portland and Salem, valuable machines to process marijuana into potent oils are mostly idle, used only for medical marijuana. One greenhouse was filled with rows of robust pot plants, but about 20 other greenhouses stood empty under rainy skies on a recent afternoon.

    Whitney said Marion County will lose $7.5 million in employees’ wages per year and in company spending for infrastructure development if voters say no to marijuana, forcing Golden Leaf to move elsewhere.

    “We just want a level playing field,” Whitney said. “We’re just looking for reasonable regulation.”

    Marion County Commissioner Sam Brentano said he doesn’t want the county overrun by pot businesses attracted by its rich soil and highway access, and that he has received complaints about odor, noise and lights.

    One recent evening, 16 backers of pro-pot ballot measures gathered in an anteroom of a medical marijuana store. Some volunteered to staff a phone bank. Others said they would hand out flyers to boost voter awareness of the ballot measures.

    “This is really the Wild West now,” Genevieve Sheridan, an insurance agent representing cannabis businesses, told those gathered at West Salem Cannabis.

    A color-coded map published by the Association of Oregon Counties shows how the differing pot policies have created a patchwork. Oregon’s more conservative eastern counties are red, meaning they banned recreational marijuana businesses; counties establishing regulations for licensed marijuana businesses are green; those that have a pot vote pending are orange or violet; and others that haven’t taken any action are blue. Across the state, people are allowed to grow up to four plants, possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana in their homes and carry up to 1 ounce.

    The landscape is likely to change with this election.

    Steven Marks, executive director of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, told The Associated Press that “we will have more licensing and a bubble of activity coming. … We’ll see how many pass.”

    Some local governments, while perhaps opposed to the cannabis industry, want a greater share of the money if voters say yes to pot. Marion County is one of many jurisdictions that are asking voters to impose a 3 percent local sales tax on marijuana, on top of the 17 percent state tax.

    One recent morning, James Knox, president of Savant Plant Technologies, helped a friend harvest marijuana in a greenhouse in rural Benton County.

    Reggae music played as a half-dozen harvesters wearing surgical gloves pulled branches from the plants, stripped the leaves and tossed them into buckets, leaving behind sticky buds. The buds were dropped into another bucket and then taken outside and run through a trimming machine.

    “It seems like the public has spoken, two years ago,” Knox said over the whir of cooling fans. “Now we’re voting about it again. I really think the counties, the cities, the municipalities need to respect the voters.”

    Savant sells growing materials for cannabis producers. After Linn County, just a few miles from the greenhouse, imposed a moratorium on pot businesses, the six biggest customers of Knox’s flagship store moved away, costing him 40 percent of gross annual revenue. They didn’t stick around to see if county residents will vote to allow retail marijuana production and sales.

    “They literally vanished within a three-month time period,” Knox said. “The commerce they created, the jobs, it’s all gone. They’re spending their money somewhere else.”

    The post Investors anxious as Oregonians again vote on marijuana appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Increasing numbers of polar bears are finding land on the coast of Alaska. Photo by Carla SimsKayotuk

    Increasing numbers of polar bears are finding land on the coast of Alaska. Photo by Carla SimsKayotuk

    While Carla SimsKayotuk was getting ready for work last year in one of the U.S. Arctic’s northernmost villages, she noticed her door wasn’t shut all the way. She scrunched her head down as she opened it slowly and peeked outside.

    “And what do I see? Two huge eyes staring at me. It was a baby polar bear cub,” SimsKayotuk recalled. “My eyes got huge and his eyes got huge. I slammed my door shut.”

    Fossil fuels and deforestation have pushed global temperatures up by nearly 2°F since the 1800s, and the Arctic is warming faster than anywhere else, pushing polar bears onto natives’ door steps. As sea ice retreats past the shallow continental shelf in the Beaufort Sea off north Alaska into waters that can be too deep for foraging, increasing numbers of polar bears are finding land on the coast. If they’re hungry or curious enough, they roam into arctic villages.

    Warmer temperatures have also melted locals’ traditional permafrost freezers that they have relied on for more than 100 years to store subsistence whale meat, called muktuk, after their hunts — leaving them vulnerable to hungry bear raids.

    While images of malnourished polar bears have become a national symbol of the effects of climate change, they are a front line reality for Native Alaskans, who face them on their own property and do not want them to get hurt.

    SimsKayotuk would occasionally see a polar bear near her small village of Kaktovik as a child, but never one at her door -– a sign they are getting bolder.

    “Now we have like 40 bears that are hanging around our area,” she said. “You always have to look out when you step out of your house.”

    Since she cannot control the climate, she is testing a costly, designer, bear-resistant storage container, which she hopes can replace the permafrost ones and teach the bears that there is nothing for them in the villages.

    A polar bear tries to get into a food storage container. Photo by Lucy Soplu

    A polar bear tries to get into a food storage container. Photo by Lucy Soplu

    “With the influx of polar bears coming into town, it’s hard to keep [muktuk] safe because that just became an attractor,” she said.

    Locals and wildlife activists know that more interactions increase the potential that someone or one of the bears will get hurt. So there are two efforts underway to help them properly store food.

    Last fall, the nonprofit Defenders of Wildlife shipped to Kaktovik four stainless steel food containers designed by a specialist in Oregon. They are six feet long and cost $10,000 each — half for the design and the other half for shipping. SimsKayotuk is one of the people testing the containers.

    “They made it through the first winter and it looks like they’re doing really well into winter number two,” said Karla Dutton, the Alaska program director for the nonprofit. “I’d say I’m cautiously optimistic it was a success.”

    Dutton said she is applying for grants and asking donors to help pay for more because, “I think everyone will need to find an alternative to their ice cellars.”

    These designer food storage containers cost $5,000 to make and $5,000 to ship to the arctic. Photo courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife

    These designer food storage containers cost $5,000 to make and $5,000 to ship to the arctic. Photo courtesy of Defenders of Wildlife

    The nonprofit Kaktovik Community Foundation is also two years into building an underground cellar that locals say might be ready for trial next winter.

    Meanwhile, polar bears continue to be lured to the area by regularly-timed bone piles leftover from the bowhead whale hunts about a mile and a half away from town.

    While this phenomenon has turned Kaktovik into a popular tourist spot, the bears are starting to show up earlier and stay later, as the open water season gets longer. If there isn’t any food, they might start wandering into town.

    A young polar bear tries to get into a building in the U.S. Arctic. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    A young polar bear tries to get into a building in the U.S. Arctic. Photo courtesy of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

    “There’s some evidence that shows that bears that are nutritionally stressed are more bold,” said scientist Todd Atwood, who researches polar bear behavior at the U.S. Geological Survey. “At the same time we’re seeing dramatic decreases in the sea ice … it’s not really part of their historical life history to spend extended periods of time on land.”

    Atwood and other federal researchers recently found that polar bears that would usually live on ice in the southern Beaufort Sea are now three times as likely to come ashore as they were in the mid-1980s. Researchers also found that the Beaufort Sea population has rapidly dwindled from about 1,500 in 2006 to just over 900 in 2010 while the body mass of the average female has decreased by about 66 pounds, or about 7 percent, he said.

    Polar bears feed off a bone pile in the U.S. Arctic with tourists in the background. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    Polar bears feed off a bone pile in the U.S. Arctic with tourists in the background. Photo courtesy of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

    After SimsKayotuk slammed the door on the cub, she called her husband, 911 and the village’s Polar Bear Patrol – except she is on the Polar Bear Patrol, the team tasked with scaring the bears away from town with cars, quads, noise and beanbag guns.

    Eventually the cub, which had a sibling and its mom with it, left. Her husband came home and no one was hurt. But these encounters could grow more hostile as the animals stay longer and get hungrier.

    Dutton said there’s been an increased interest from the community for the storage containers.

    “Back in 2008, people were saying, ‘Well, I still have an ice cellar’,” she said.

    Not anymore. SimsKayotuk said there’s only one working permafrost cellar that remains in their village of about 250 people.

    “They have all just kind of filled up with water,” she said.

    The post Polar bears, growing desperate for food, threaten native Alaskans appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    electric

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    TESLA HOST: “Welcome to the stage, Mr. Elon Musk!”

    JOHN LARSON: When Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk announced in March that his company would build a new all electric car for the masses, many believed it might be a turning point toward a Holy Grail of sorts, a combination of cost and range that might somehow attract the mass market of American car buyers, and rewrite the more than century-old story of gasoline powered cars.

    ELON MUSK: “We have an amazing product to show you tonight, I think you’re going to be blown away.”

    JOHN LARSON: In its first 10 years, Tesla Motors had gone from a Silicon Valley startup to a small, but critically-acclaimed maker of expensive battery-powered cars. Its Model S, rolled out in 2012, cost between 60 to 120-thousand dollars and could go well over 200 miles on a charge at a time when most electric cars couldn’t even go 100. As we can attest, the Model S is one of the fastest-accelerating cars on the market, powering from 0 to 60 in under 3 seconds.

    ELON MUSK: “So do you want to see the car?”

    CROWD: “Yes!”

    JOHN LARSON: Musk says his new sedan, the “Model 3,” will cost 35-thousand dollars, but less than 30-thousand with Federal rebates, and it will have a driving range of at least 200 miles on a single charge.

    ELON MUSK: “So what do you think?”

    JOHN LARSON: Within a week, more than 300,000 people ordered the car, placing one thousand dollar refundable deposits.The factory to build the car wasn’t even built yet, and the car would not be available to most who ordered it for two, or or even three years. But the pre-orders represented 14 billion dollars in sales, making it the most lucrative rollout of any commercial product of any kind in history.

    AARON ROBINSON: You have to understand, you’ve got car companies that have been around for a century. Ford, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, the world’s oldest, they’ve never seen anything like that.

    JOHN LARSON: Car and Driver Magazine Executive Editor Aaron Robinson says the public’s reaction to Tesla’s announcement stunned boardrooms around the world.

    AARON ROBINSON: You had this case in Germany, there was shareholder meeting at Mercedes Benz where people were demanding of the board, ‘why, how come Tesla gets all this attention and we’ve never had anything like this? We’re falling behind.’

    JOHN LARSON: Last week, Mercedes-Benz introduced a new electric car line at the Paris Auto Show. So did a dozen car manufacturers, including America’s GM and Ford, which now have new electric cars in planning and development.

    JOHN LARSON: Electric cars have a long way to go. Of more than 89 million vehicles projected to be sold worldwide this year, less than 1 percent are projected to be electric. In the US, Tesla’s Model S is projected the top selling electric car this year, followed by the Chevy Volt, Tesla’s Model X, the Ford Fusion Energi, and the Nissan Leaf. Electric car sales are growing rapidly, up almost 40 percent in the US this year and 70-percent globally.

    AARON ROBINSON: Tesla made electric cars cool. Tesla made them driveway jewelry for the wealthy, and once you’re driveway jewelry for the wealthy, you’re then desired by everybody else.

    JOHN LARSON: In an effort to take electric cars mainstream. For the past year, Tesla has been building the world’s largest electric battery factory, in Nevada, called the “Gigafactory” to help lower battery costs. It has already built thousands of charging stations that are free to all of its car owners worldwide.

    JOHN LARSON: Tesla’s head start for an affordable electric car for the middle class has strong competition from Detroit.

    MARY BARRA: “Ladies and gentleman, meet the 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV!”

    JOHN LARSON: GM CEO Mary Barra has announced Chevrolet will deliver an all electric vehicle, the Bolt, with a range of 238 miles fully charged, for about the same price as Tesla’s Model 3.

    MARY BARRA: “And now for the real kicker, this isn’t some science project or a concept that is years away, the Bolt EV will be in production this year.”

    JOHN LARSON: The once viewed as stodgy General Motors from Detroit may beat the Silicon Valley darling to market by more than a year.

    JOHN LARSON: Josh Tavel is Chevrolet’s Chief Engineer for the Bolt EV.

    JOSH TAVEL: We talked about the Holy Grail, right? When you hit that 200-mile mark, that’s when the masses start considering, “yeah, maybe this car could be for me.”

    JOHN LARSON: GM is already producing the cars at its assembly plant in Orion, Michigan. Unlike Tesla, GM has massive production capability in place. Customers won’t have to wait. GM invited NewsHour Weekend to be the first national news broadcast to get a test drive.

    JOHN LARSON: “So you’re betting people when they drive this thing are going to really like it, they just don’t know it yet?”

    JOSH TAVEL: The best thing we can do is just have customers come drive the car, come drive the car for two minutes, get in the car, drive the car.

    JOHN LARSON: “The one thing I’ll tell the camera that is not a sales pitch, is it’s different, there’s no question about it. It feels different. It sounds different, drives different.”

    JOHN LARSON: Different, meaning the car is unusually quiet. There’s no gasoline engine running. And, it’s surprisingly fast, accelerating from 0 to 60 in six-and-a-half seconds. The cost of charging any electric car varies widely depending on the source of electricity. On average, it costs a driver about 3 cents a mile. But charging an electric car on the road is not that simple. A Tesla plug will not fit a Nissan Leaf. And, the quick charge plug for the Leaf will not fit the Chevy Bolt, or the electric vehicles from Volkswagen or BMW.

    AARON ROBINSON: Charging is a little bit like the Wild West right now. You have different kinds of charge adapters. This all scares the normal car driver, because when you pull into a gas station, it’s not like there’s different pump shapes and everything, you just stick the pump in, stuff goes in and then you go.

    JOHN LARSON: Few drivers know more about the charging hurdles than San Diego resident Tony Williams, a retired airline pilot who sells adapters for electric car chargers and consults for the industry. In 2012, he organized an electric car rally, driving from Mexico to Canada.

    TONY WILLIAMS: I thought well I’ll be the first guy to drive from Mexico to Canada and the first guy to cross Oregon and Washington on this brand new west coast electric highway.

    JOHN LARSON: With the range on his car at the time only 80 miles and limited charging points. It took him six days just to get out of California. Then last year, Williams drove his Tesla Model S cross country using Tesla’s free charging network the whole way.

    TONY WILLIAMS:
    And then I returned to the north through Cleveland, Chicago, and through Montana, and then back to Washington State, and then all the way 11-hundred miles back to here.

    JOHN LARSON: His total cost for driving 7,500 miles? Just a few bucks, for using a charger outside the Tesla network.

    TONY WILLIAMS: “It was ten dollars round trip, plus hotels and sandwiches.”

    JOHN LARSON: California, pushing for zero emission vehicles, has more than 10 thousand public charging stations. The state has spent 51 million dollars putting in thousands of charging connections, and will spend 21 million more within the next year and-a-half. Public utilities, like San Diego Gas and Electric, seeing a revenue growth opportunity, are planning thousands of charging stations at workplace locations and apartment buildings.

    JOHN LARSON: Across much of the country, dozens of quick charger stations have sprouted up, mainly in big cities. This, for example, is Chicago. Atlanta. New York. But away from the big cities, like Tuscaloosa, Alabama? Good luck.

    JOHN LARSON: In the race to make an affordable, long-range electric car, Tesla has been issuing stock and burning through cash, spending billions trying to bring its Model 3 to market.

    AARON ROBINSON: They’ve made a huge impression on the industry, but they’ve also stuck their neck on the chopping block. If you’re Volkswagen or you’re Toyota, you’re the world’s largest car companies, you get to make mistakes. If you’re Tesla, little Tesla, you don’t get to make a mistake. It’s not guaranteed that these guys are going to make it to the start of production for Model 3. My own personal feeling is that they are just barely holding this thing together.

    JOHN LARSON: And electric vehicle incentives, 75-hundred dollars in tax deductions per car from the Federal Government are scheduled to phase out.

    JOHN LARSON: “A lot of people say, well you know these cars couldn’t exist on their own unless there were incentives. What are your thoughts?”

    JOSH TAVEL: So I think they’re right up until this point. I think there needed to be that push because they didn’t exist for these vehicles to start existing. But I think these cars aren’t going to continue because the government is putting money on the hood in incentives. I think customers are going to value what electrification can bring.

    JOHN LARSON: So far GM has no plans to help build quick charging networks across the country as other car companies have. Tony Williams believes it might be 20 years before electric car charging stations are as mainstream as gasoline stations.

    TONY WILLIAMS: Emission requirements aren’t going away. They may wish they would or they would hope they could pay lobbyists to make them go away or complain a lot, but they’re not. And global warming I don’t believe is going to go away either. So the combination of the two events, with continued, constant and increasing political pressure is the only thing that is going to make manufacturers adopt electric drive in that 10 to 20 year period, and I do believe that will happen.

    JOHN LARSON: Car and Driver’s Aaron Robinson, who loves gasoline cars, also owns an older model electric car with a range of 60 miles.

    AARON ROBINSON: Most people don’t drive 200 miles every day. They drive 20, 30 maybe 40 miles a day. All of the electric cars including the one we’re currently in will fit those needs.

    The post Companies race to make electric cars mainstream appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally at a car dealership in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, U.S. October 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst - RTX2OZFT

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a rally at a car dealership in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, on Oct. 15, 2016. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — A beleaguered Donald Trump sought to undermine the legitimacy of the U.S. presidential election on Saturday, pressing unsubstantiated claims the contest is rigged against him, vowing anew to jail Hillary Clinton if he’s elected and throwing in a wild, baseless insinuation his rival was on drugs in the last debate.

    Not even the country’s more than two centuries of peaceful transitions of political leadership were sacrosanct as Trump accused the media and the Clinton campaign of conspiring against him to undermine a free and fair election.

    “The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her president,” he said, referring to the several women who have come forward in recent days to say that Trump had groped or sexually assaulted them. He has denied the claims, calling the women liars.

    Earlier Saturday, Trump took to Twitter to warn that “100% fabricated and made-up charges, pushed strongly by the media and the Clinton Campaign, may poison the minds of the American Voter. FIX!”

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

    “Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail,” he added. “Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election.”

    In a country with a history of peaceful political transition, his challenge to the election’s legitimacy — as a way to explain a loss in November, should that happen — was a striking rupture of faith in American democracy.

    It was not the first time Trump has raised the idea the election is unfairly tilted against him, but it has become a resurgent theme for the New York billionaire and many of his supporters in the past several days as he’s slipped in preference polls and faced allegations of sexual misconduct.

    Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said in a statement that campaigns “should be hard-fought and elections hard-won, but what is fundamental about the American electoral system is that it is free, fair and open to the people.”

    “Participation in the system_and particularly voting_should be encouraged, not dismissed or undermined because a candidate is afraid he’s going to lose,” he said.

    Trump also suggested at one point Saturday that Clinton had been on drugs during the last debate. Instead of spending the weekend preparing, he said, “I think she’s actually getting pumped up, you want to know the truth.”

    “I think we should take a drug test prior to the debate, ’cause I don’t know what’s going on with her,” he said.

    Trump offered no evidence to support the bizarre claim, which he appeared to base on his belief Clinton was energetic at the start of their second debate and downbeat at its conclusion. Nothing about Clinton’s demeanor in the debate suggested she was anything but clean and sober.

    The post Trump challenges legitimacy of election appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Curtis Allen 49, (L to R), Gavin Wright, 49 and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47 are shown in these booking photos in Wichita, Kansas provided October 15, 2016. The three were arrested and charged in connection with plotting to bomb an apartment complex in western Kansas where 120 people lived, including Muslim immigrants from Somalia, federal officials said.  Photo courtesy of Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office/Handout via REUTERS  ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY - RTX2OYMF

    Curtis Allen 49, (L to R), Gavin Wright, 49 and Patrick Eugene Stein, 47 are shown in these booking photos in Wichita, Kansas provided October 15, 2016. Photo courtesy of Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office via Reuters

    Three Kansas men face federal charges after authorities said Friday they uncovered a plot to bomb an apartment complex housing Somali immigrants.

    The men — Gavin Wright, 49, Patrick Eugene Stein, 47, and Curtis Allen, 49 — are accused of planning to use a weapon of mass destruction to target the community in an act of terrorism, according to charges filed in federal court on Friday.

    “These three defendants conspired to conduct a bombing attack against an apartment complex occupied by men, women and children in the Garden City, Kansas community,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Tom Beall of the District of Kansas in a statement. “Protecting our nation from such attacks, whether they are rooted in domestic or international terrorism, is our highest priority.”

    In February, the FBI launched an investigation on the men, who are members of a militia group called the Crusaders. A “confidential source” first reported their activities to authorities, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

    In a criminal complaint, the men are alleged to have gathered “firearms, ammunition and explosive components” and contemplated attacking several different locations before settling on the apartment complex in Garden City, Kansas, where a mosque used by residents is also located.

    Recordings acquired by the FBI show the men railing against immigrants and Muslims, the Washington Post reported.

    Stein met with an undercover FBI agent in September, when he sought to acquire guns. The criminal complaint alleges the group also discussed using four vehicles packed with explosives in areas surrounding the apartment complex.

    On Saturday, as new details emerged about the men, the Post reported Allen’s girlfriend this week showed the authorities a room containing some of the weapons they had planned to use in an attack. She said she decided to speak with authorities when Allen struck her on Tuesday after a fight over money. Allen was subsequently arrested on a domestic battery charge.

    The authorities moved to arrest the men on federal charges after Stein brought an undercover FBI agent to the complex on Wednesday, where the authorities said he revealed a strategy to use explosives. Stein allegedly told the agent the trio would use ammonium nitrate to make the bombs, a method used in 1995 by Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, according to the Associated Press.

    “These charges are based on eight months of investigation by the FBI that is alleged to have taken the investigators deep into a hidden culture of hatred and violence,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Beall. “Many Kansans may find it as startling as I do that such things could happen here.”

    Dr. John Birky, who works with the Somali community, told the AP about 300 to 500 Somali refugees reside in the area where the attacks were planned.

    The men’s’ next court appearance is set for Monday. If they are found guilty of the charges they could face up to life in prison.

    The post Kansas ‘Crusaders’ arrested for plot to bomb Somali community appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Bloomberg Photos Review Of 2013

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    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR:  A joint investigation by the “Associated Press” and “USA Today Network” has found in the first six months of this year, gun accidents killed at least one child in the United States every other day.  The report published yesterday analyzed more than 1,000 deaths and injuries from accidental shootings involving children ages 17 and younger between January 2014 and this June.

    Joining me now to talk about this is one of the reporters of that story, Ryan Foley, a member of “A.P.’s” national reporting team focused on state government coverage.  He is in Iowa today.

    First of all, what’s the purpose of the investigation?  What prompted it in the first place?

    A joint investigation by the “Associated Press” and “USA Today Network” has found in the first six months of this year, gun accidents killed at least one child in the United States every other day.  The report published yesterday analyzed more than 1,000 deaths and injuries from accidental shootings involving children ages 17 and younger between January 2014 and this June.

    Joining me now to talk about this is one of the reporters of that story, Ryan Foley, a member of “A.P.’s” national reporting team focused on state government coverage.  He is in Iowa today.

    First of all, what’s the purpose of the investigation?  What prompted it in the first place?

    RYAN FOLEY, ASSOCIATED PRESS:  So, we wanted to take a more comprehensive look at these shootings, why they were happening, who the victims were, what types of guns were being used.  And we also knew that there wasn’t a lot of government research into these questions.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: How do we keep track of them today and what did your investigation look at?

    RYAN FOLEY:  We started with data from the Gun Violence Archive, which is a national group that tries to track every single gun incident in the United States.  So, we took their data going back to 2014 and looked at more than 1,000 cases involving minors who were involved in these unintentional shootings.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  Aren’t there statistics from law enforcement or through the government?

    RYAN FOLEY:  The only government data that’s available comes from the CDC, and we found that, that data is very incomplete.  For 2014, they only listed 74 unintentional firearms deaths involving minors.  We actually found over 110.

    And the CDC admits that it is undercounting these because many local coroners classify these shootings as homicides other than unintentional or accidental.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  It looks like different populations under 17 have higher rates.  Why do, you know, kids three and under have such a high rate?  What’s the similarity with teenagers?

    RYAN FOLEY:  There’s a large spike in the number of these shootings involving three and four-year-olds.  In many cases, they’re able to access their parents’ unsecured loaded guns.  And they also pointed them back at their own faces, we found, and shot themselves by accident.

    Then, the data shows there’s another large spike for children ages 15 through 17, and those usually involve groups of teenagers who manage to obtain a gun and it accidentally goes off and kills a sibling or a friend.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  What efforts have been made on either a national or state level to try to prevent these gun deaths?

    RYAN FOLEY:  On the national level right now, there’s really not a lot going on.  Congress severely limited the funding that’s available back in the 1990s to the CDC.  Many former CDC officials will tell you that that’s been a major setback.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: What about safer gun storage?

    RYAN FOLEY:  There’s certainly a push, local and state level, to encourage safe gun storage, and that’s a key finding here.  But gun safety advocates will argue that a lot more does need to be done, first of all, to even study how big of a problem it is.

    The government used to do an annual survey where they asked Americans how they stored their guns.  The CDC stopped asking that question in 2004 on a nationwide level.  And just this year, the state officials who run that survey decided not to reintroduce those questions.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  All right.  Ryan Foley of the “Associated Press” joining us from Iowa today — thanks so much.

    RYAN FOLEY:  Thanks for having me.
    So, we wanted to take a more comprehensive look at these shootings, why they were happening, who the victims were, what types of guns were being used.  And we also knew that there wasn’t a lot of government research into these questions.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  How do we keep track of them today and what did your investigation look at?

    RYAN FOLEY:  We started with data from the Gun Violence Archive, which is a national group that tries to track every single gun incident in the United States.  So, we took their data going back to 2014 and looked at more than 1,000 cases involving minors who were involved in these unintentional shootings.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  Aren’t there statistics from law enforcement or through the government?

    RYAN FOLEY:  The only government data that’s available comes from the CDC, and we found that, that data is very incomplete.  For 2014, they only listed 74 unintentional firearms deaths involving minors.  We actually found over 110.

    And the CDC admits that it is undercounting these because many local coroners classify these shootings as homicides other than unintentional or accidental.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: It looks like different populations under 17 have higher rates.  Why do, you know, kids three and under have such a high rate?  What’s the similarity with teenagers?

    RYAN FOLEY:  There’s a large spike in the number of these shootings involving three and four-year-olds.  In many cases, they’re able to access their parents’ unsecured loaded guns.  And they also pointed them back at their own faces, we found, and shot themselves by accident.

    Then, the data shows there’s another large spike for children ages 15 through 17, and those usually involve groups of teenagers who manage to obtain a gun and it accidentally goes off and kills a sibling or a friend.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  What efforts have been made on either a national or state level to try to prevent these gun deaths?

    RYAN FOLEY:  On the national level right now, there’s really not a lot going on.  Congress severely limited the funding that’s available back in the 1990s to the CDC.  Many former CDC officials will tell you that that’s been a major setback.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  What about safer gun storage?

    RYAN FOLEY:  There’s certainly a push, local and state level, to encourage safe gun storage, and that’s a key finding here.  But gun safety advocates will argue that a lot more does need to be done, first of all, to even study how big of a problem it is.

    The government used to do an annual survey where they asked Americans how they stored their guns.  The CDC stopped asking that question in 2004 on a nationwide level.  And just this year, the state officials who run that survey decided not to reintroduce those questions.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  All right.  Ryan Foley of the “Associated Press” joining us from Iowa today — thanks so much.

    RYAN FOLEY:  Thanks for having me.

    The post A child dies every other day from gun accidents in U.S. appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., October 14, 2016.   REUTERS/Mike Segar - RTX2OWQ4

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    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR:  “The Washington Post” released a 2005 video of Donald Trump speaking in vulgar terms that disparaged women last week.  Then came a series of accusations by women accusing Trump of sexual improprieties.

    This is costing Trump support in his own party.  According to a “USA Today” survey, about 25 percent of the Republicans serving as governors, U.S. senators and members of the House of Representatives now say they do not support Trump.  And according to a “Time Magazine” tally, among female Republicans in office, around 35 percent do not support him.

    To discuss the gap within the GOP, I’m joined from Washington by Jonathan Swan, a national political reporter with “The Hill”.

    So, how significant is this rift?

    JONATHAN SWAN, NATIONAL POLITICAL REPORTER, THE HILL:  It’s about as significant as it can — as imaginable.  I mean, this —  particularly, in the last few weeks, when Donald Trump and his cohort made a strategic decision to no longer migrate towards the center.  I mean, there was sort of a period there where he was at least indicating that he was trying to reach out to some of those undecided voters.  Now, there seems to be a strategy to really just double down on the most incendiary rhetoric possible.

    So, you already had a whole lot of Republicans who were deeply uncomfortable about supporting Trump but wanted to support him, and he’s making it very, very easy for them now to say, “No, we don’t want to be a part of this”.  And what it’s doing, really, is severing through what was a very thin thread connecting the Paul Ryan wing of the Republican Party to the Donald Trump wing of the Republican Party.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  So, what happens to all the people that support Trump that no longer see, perhaps, the GOP as their home?

    JONATHAN SWAN:  Well, this is a conversation that’s now happening with increasing intensity all around Washington.  I mean, I — this week I had conversations with people close to Paul Ryan.  I had conversations with people who were working for Donald Trump.  And both camps are saying now openly that there may need to be a third party.

    I mean, how do you reconcile the Donald Trump universe, which is the view of Donald Trump and his campaign CEO Steve Bannon, is that Paul Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House, is part of the conspiracy with folks like George Soros and Paul Singer to bring about one-world government, to destroy America through open borders.  That’s literally their world view.

    Steve Bannon has said to his colleagues at “Breitbart” that Paul Ryan is the enemy.  How do you reconcile that with Paul Ryan and with the elite wing of the Republican Party that believes in all of these orthodoxies that they’ve supported for the past 20 years?  I don’t see how those two things join up.

    HARI SREENIVASAN:  Ryan’s task doesn’t get any easier after Election Day.

    JONATHAN SWAN:  It gets harder.  He’s going to have a reelection for speaker.  He’s probably going to have a slimmer majority.  I don’t believe that the House is going to flip, but they may lose some seats.  There’s quite a few vulnerable members.

    So, Paul Ryan is going to face a more hostile caucus.  He is going to have a month of nuclear warfare from the person who has possession of the biggest megaphone in the party.  Donald Trump has been savaging Paul Ryan.  He’s been suggesting there’s something sinister going on, that Paul Ryan is masterminding some kind of a plot to undermine him.

    So, that has resonance with the Republican base.  I can tell you, a lot of folks close to Paul Ryan are really worried about the effect, the toxic effect that Trump’s rhetoric is having among the Republican base and the way that they view Paul Ryan

    HARI SREENIVASAN: All right.  Something to keep an eye on.

    Jonathan Swan from “The Hill” — thanks for joining us.

    JONATHAN SWAN: A pleasure.

    The post Why are Republicans split about Trump? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    A soldier walks under portraits of North Korea's founder Kim Il-sung (L) and former leader Kim Jong-il at Pyongyang's main square October 11, 2015. Isolated North Korea marked the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers' Party on Saturday with a massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said his country was ready to fight any war waged by the United States.  REUTERS/Damir Sagolj - RTS3XF8

    A soldier walks under portraits of North Korea’s founder Kim Il-sung (L) and former leader Kim Jong-il at Pyongyang’s main square October 11, 2015. Isolated North Korea marked the 70th anniversary of its ruling Workers’ Party on Saturday with a massive military parade overseen by leader Kim Jong Un, who said his country was ready to fight any war waged by the United States. Photo by Damir Sagolj/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The U.S. military says it’s detected what’s being described as a failed missile launch by North Korea.

    A military statement says the launch occurred near the northwestern city of Kusong and that the missile is presumed to be a Musadan intermediate-range ballistic missile.

    The military says launch was attempted at 11:33 p.m. EDT Friday (12:03 p.m. Saturday local time) and that the missile didn’t pose a threat to North America.

    North Korea has claimed technical breakthroughs in its goal of developing a long-range nuclear missile capable of reaching the continental United States. South Korean defense officials have said the North doesn’t yet have such a weapon.

    In August, Japanese and South Korean officials said a medium-range ballistic missile flew about 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) and landed near Japan’s territorial waters.

    The post U.S. detects what it says is failed North Korean missile launch appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    FILE PHOTO - The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason conducts divisional tactic maneuvers as part of a Commander, Task Force 55, exercise in the Gulf of Oman September 10, 2016.  U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Blake Midnight/Handout via REUTERS/File PhotoTHIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS.     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSS0KI

    The U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason conducts divisional tactic maneuvers as part of a Commander, Task Force 55, exercise in the Gulf of Oman Sept. 10, 2016. A U.S. admiral said multiple missiles fired form Yemen targeted the warship on Saturday. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Blake Midnight/Handout via ReutersI

    WASHINGTON — Multiple missiles were fired again from a Houthi-controlled region in Yemen targeting an American warship in the Red Sea, a U.S. admiral said Saturday. No hits were reported.

    Later, U.S. officials said the initial reports as described by Adm. John Richardson, the top Navy officer, were being reassessed, and they declined to provide full details of what happened.

    If confirmed, the missile launches would be the third attack in about a week targeting the destroyer USS Mason and other U.S. ships.

    “The Mason once again appears to have come under attack in the Red Sea, again from coastal defense cruise missiles fired from the coast of Yemen,” Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters Saturday in Baltimore.

    Just two days earlier, a U.S. warship fired Tomahawk missiles into Yemen to destroy three radar sites that Pentagon leaders believed played a role in the earlier attacks.

    A senior U.S. defense official said the Mason was in international waters when multiple incoming surface-to-surface missiles were reported by the ship’s crew to have been detected about 3:30 p.m. EDT. The Mason was not struck and no crew members were hurt.

    A U.S. official said that additional radars could have been used in Saturday’s reported attack.

    The officials were not authorized to discuss the incident publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    AP National Security Writer Robert Burns contributed to this report.

    The post Admiral says missiles fired again at U.S. ship near Yemen appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Diabetics kit with blood test meter and finger pricker, with short and long acting vials of insulin with injection needle. Photo via Getty Images

    Diabetics kit with blood test meter and finger pricker, with short and long acting vials of insulin with injection needle. Photo via Getty Images

    The insulin market, dominated by old drugs that have skyrocketed in price, is on the verge of a shakeup.

    The first “follow-on” insulin for diabetics, similar to a generic medication for synthetic drugs, will hit the market in December. It’s expected to be followed in the coming months and years by a wave of new follow-on and “biosimilar” insulins that have the same protein structures as brand-name products.

    Experts predict that these new insulins will carry lower prices — but it’s far from certain that the competition will drive down costs overall.

    The stakes are high: About 6 million Americans with diabetes use insulin, either alone or in combination with an oral drug. The annual cost of insulin reached $736 per patient in 2013, up threefold since 2002. Diabetes medicines, including insulin, are the second most expensive category of prescription drugs, according to Express Scripts, the big pharmacy benefits manager.

    Here’s what you need to know about how insulin prices got so high — and what you should expect from the coming shifts in the market.

    What’s on the market now?

    The vast majority of diabetics who need insulin choose from a menu of a half-dozen “analog” brands, which are chemically altered from natural human insulin. They’re manufactured by just three different drug makers: Novo Nordisk, Sanofi-Aventis, and Eli Lilly. Some are long-acting insulins, injected once or twice a day; others act rapidly and patients inject or deliver them with a pump as needed. Many patients use both.

    A few of these products — like Novo Nordisk’s Tresiba and Sanofi’s Toujeo, which are both long-acting — have only been on the market a matter of months, and aren’t yet widely used. But the others have generally been around for at least a decade, and sell for list prices in the neighborhood of $250 per vial. (The actual price that consumers and insurance companies pay is often much lower.)

    A small percentage of diabetics use lower-priced “human” insulin brands, which are manufactured to mimic the insulin naturally made by the human body. Walmart, for instance, sells such a product (under the brand name ReliOn) for less than $25 per vial. A Walmart spokesperson didn’t respond to a query about how much of it the retailer sells.

    With all that competition, why aren’t prices dropping?

    You’d expect competition to lower prices, but it hasn’t worked out that way in the insulin market. If you track the list price of the best-selling analog brands in recent years, you’ll see something remarkable: Prices of directly competing brands have been going up in lockstep by the amount at about the same time, in a practice known as “shadow pricing.”

    So what’s going on here? Experts say there are a number of factors at play.

    Drug makers have said they don’t collude on pricing in advance, but move to match their competitors’ price hikes.

    They point out that the net price — how much revenue they get from each sale — has been rising fairly modestly, as detailed in a recent report from the Wall Street Journal.

    The list price has been going up more steeply, in part because the middlemen who stand between the manufacturer and the patient — such as pharmacy benefits managers — demand ever-larger rebates.

    “Rest assured there is great competition on insulin pricing” — but that’s taking place at the net pricing level, said Mike Mason, vice president of Lilly’s US diabetes business.

    Another key factor: Compared to other drug categories like cholesterol or pain relief medicines, there’s an unusual degree of reluctance among patients and physicians to switch between insulin brands. “These products are not completely substitutable, and manufacturers perceive that, and so they exercise monopoly power over pricing,” said Rena Conti, a health economist at the University of Chicago.

    Other reasons that analog insulin prices have not declined: Demand is up. And there are increasing regulatory demands on the manufacturing process.

    The cumulative effect of many gradual price hikes “snuck up on people,” said Dr. William Herman, who practices internal medicine at the University of Michigan. “The prices just went up and up and up.”

    Why are we only just now getting ‘generic’ insulin?

    Insulin has been around for nearly a century. But it’s hard to develop knock-off biological products, and for a long time there wasn’t a lot of incentive to do so.

    Key here is the difference between synthetic drugs like statins and those made from biological materials like insulin. It’s easy to develop chemically equivalent copies, or generics, of the former. By contrast, biological materials are more variable and, as as result, more complicated to duplicate.

    Patents have also a lot to do with it. For a long time, insulin makers have been able to make incremental improvements on their branded drugs that allowed them to extend the patent life on their products. But for some insulins, that gambit has run its course.

    The patent expired last year on Sanofi’s drug Lantus, known to scientists as glargine. And Lilly’s rapid-acting insulin, sold as Humalog, saw its compound and formulation patents expire in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

    With the patents expiring, some manufacturers are rushing to make “generic” versions of their competitors’ branded insulin. Lilly, for instance, has made an approved version of Sanofi’s glargine, known as Basaglar.

    What’s going to happen when the first ‘generic’ insulin hits the market?

    Basaglar will hit the market on Dec. 15. The company hasn’t set a price yet, but analysts expect Basaglar to carry a list price 10 to 20 percent lower than Lantus, which is listed at about $250 per vial.

    CVS and Express Scripts have both said they’ll list Basaglar on their formularies. (CVS, notably, said it would no longer cover Lantus.)

    Experts don’t expect Basaglar’s launch to mean much in the way of cost savings for patients, though they say it could mean big rebates and discounts for middlemen within the black box of drug pricing.

    For patients without insurance or for those facing high deductibles or copays, “I don’t think they’re going to see major improvements,” said Dr. Irl Hirsch, an endocrinologist at the University of Washington.

    OK, then, will prices go down when more ‘generic’ insulins become available?

    Don’t bet on it, though we’ll probably see slightly more savings.

    The likeliest candidate to follow Basaglar onto the market is another follow-on glargine product, from Merck. The drug maker in August filed for approval with the Food and Drug Administration, and Merck spokeswoman Doris Li said the company expects to receive a decision in the first half of next year.

    Sanofi is working on a follow-on insulin that would mimic Lilly’s Humalog; that’s in late-stage clinical trials, according to Sanofi spokeswoman Anna Robinson. Mylan also has several knockoff insulin products in the pipeline.

    Meanwhile the so-far futile quest continues for what experts say would be a tremendous innovation — an insulin pill. Novo Nordisk, for instance, has such a molecule in early stage trials.

    So are insulin prices just going to keep going up forever?

    Probably not; in fact, there are already signs they’re tapering off. Express Scripts reported that the unit cost of Lantus dropped by nearly 14 percent last year.

    “The manufacturers are beginning to feel the heat with respect to the prices of insulin,” Herman said.

    But Herman emphasized that questions remain unanswered about how to properly price a drug that many diabetics need to stay alive. “What is the value of insulin? It’s the value of a human life,” he said. “So how do you set a fair market price on it?”

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on Oct. 14, 2016. Find the original story here.

    The post The insulin market is heading for a shakeup. But patients may not benefit appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign voter registration event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign voter registration event in Charlotte, North Carolina. Photo by Brian Snyder/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton generally avoided direct criticism of Wall Street as she examined the causes and responses to the financial meltdown during a series of paid speeches to Goldman Sachs, according to transcripts disclosed by WikiLeaks.

    Three transcripts released Saturday as part of the hack of her campaign chairman’s emails did not contain any new bombshells showing she was unduly influenced by contributions from the banking industry, as her primary rival Bernie Sanders had suggested. Still, her soft-handed approach in the speeches was likely to act as a reminder to liberals in the party of their concerns that the Democratic presidential nominee is too close to Wall Street to be an effective check on its excesses if elected.

    In October 2013, the transcripts show, Clinton told bankers she had “great relations” and worked closely with Wall Street as New York’s senator, and said “the jury is still out” on whether the Dodd-Frank financial reforms put in place after the financial crisis had been the right approach. She said more openness from the start could have prevented the uproar on Wall Street over those reforms.

    “What happened, how did it happen, how do we prevent it from happening? You guys help us figure it out, and let’s make sure that we do it right this time,” she said.

    Working to relate her speech to her audience, Clinton in one speech likened her experience as secretary of state to business and finance, saying “it’s like anybody’s balance sheet,” with both opportunities and potential liabilities. In one exchange, a conference participant from Texas told Clinton that she had “the honor to raise money for you” during her 2008 presidential campaign.

    Clinton responded, “You are the smartest people.”

    [Watch Video]

    In the hard-fought Democratic primary, Sanders repeatedly called on Clinton to release the transcripts of her speeches to Wall Street, some of which earned her hundreds of thousands of dollars apiece. In an ironic twist, the transcripts ended up becoming public because her campaign aides had distributed them among themselves in an effort to prepare for any attacks she might face. Those internal campaign emails were then leaked in the hack of campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.

    Clinton’s campaign neither confirmed nor denied that the speech transcripts and leaked Podesta emails are authentic, but there have been no indications that they were doctored before being released. Clinton’s team has accused Russia’s government of hacking Podesta’s emails, and the Obama administration has formally blamed Moscow for a series of breaches affecting U.S. political groups.

    “There is no getting around it: Donald Trump is cheering on a Russian attempt to influence our election through a crime reminiscent of Watergate, but on a more massive scale,” said Clinton spokesman Glen Caplin.

    The transcripts, all from 2013, include speeches and question-and-answer sessions with Clinton at a “Builders and Innovators Summit,” an “Alternative Investment Management Summit” and a gathering of CEOS — all hosted by Goldman Sachs.

    A look at some of what Clinton said, according to the transcripts:

    Apology tour

    Clinton told the innovators summit she’d had to go on “The Clinton Apology Tour” after WikiLeaks in 2010 published diplomatic cables leaked by Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning. Clinton noted that the cables showed U.S. officials characterizing some foreign leaders as “vain, egotistical, power hungry, corrupt. And we knew they were. This was not fiction.”

    “I had grown men cry,” Clinton recalled. “I mean, literally. ‘I am a friend of America, and you say these things about me?'”

    Syria

    Clinton, a few months after departing the State Department in 2013, told a Goldman Sachs conference in South Carolina that she would have liked to see the U.S. intervene in Syria “as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene.”

    She added, “We used to be much better at this than we are now. Now, you know, everybody can’t help themselves. They have to go out and tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: Look what we’re doing and I want credit for it.”

    Filibuster

    Clinton appears to call for eliminating the filibuster rules in the Senate that make a 60-vote threshold necessary to pass most items rather than a 50-vote majority. Clinton says “we need to change the rules in the Senate” and say presidential nominees as well as “policies” deserve “an up-or-down vote.”

    Republicans are already incensed that Senate Democrats recently changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster for most nominations, an extraordinary step known as the nuclear option.

    China

    In the June 2013 speech, Clinton said Chinese President Xi Jinping, who had taken over as the country’s leader the previous fall, was “a more sophisticated, more effective public leader” than his predecessor, Hu Jintao. Clinton said she had watched Xi “work a room,” adding, “you can have him make small talk with you, which he has done with me.” She said Xi’s experience of visiting Iowa in the 1980s “was a very important part of his own development.”

    Associated Press writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report. Thomas reported from White Plains, New York.

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    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a Bollywood-themed charity concert put on by the Republican Hindu Coalition in Edison, New Jersey, U.S. October 15, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY      - RTX2P03U

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks at a Bollywood-themed charity concert put on by the Republican Hindu Coalition in Edison, New Jersey, U.S. October 15, 2016. Photo by Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Donald Trump keeps peddling the notion the vote may be rigged. It’s unclear whether he understands the potential damage of his words, or simply doesn’t care.

    Trump’s claim, made without evidence, undercuts the essence of American democracy, the idea that U.S. elections are free and fair, with the vanquished peacefully stepping aside for the victor. His repeated assertions are sowing suspicion among his most ardent supporters, raising the possibility that millions of people may not accept the results on Nov. 8 if Trump loses.

    The responsibilities for the New York billionaire in such a scenario are minimal. Trump holds no public office and has said he’ll simply go back to his “very good way of life” if Democrat Hillary Clinton wins.

    Instead, Clinton and congressional Republicans, should they retain control, would be left trying to govern in a country divided not just by ideology, but also the legitimacy of the presidency.

    As Trump’s campaign careens from crisis to crisis, he’s broadened his unfounded allegations that Clinton, her backers and the media are conspiring to steal the election. He’s accused Clinton of meeting with global financial powers to “plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty” and argued his opponent shouldn’t have even been allowed to seek the White House.

    [Watch Video]

    “Hillary Clinton should have been prosecuted and should be in jail,” Trump tweeted on Saturday. “Instead she is running for president in what looks like a rigged election.”

    Trump is referring to Clinton’s use of a private email system while serving as secretary of state. Republicans, and some Democrats, have harshly criticized her decision to do so, but the FBI did not recommend anyone face criminal charges for her use of a private email address run on a personal server.

    Trump has offered only broad assertions about the potential for voter fraud and the complaints that the several women who have recently alleged he sexually accosted them are part of an effort to smear his campaign.

    “It’s one big ugly lie, it’s one big fix,” Trump told a rally in North Carolina on Friday, adding later: “And the only thing I say is hopefully, hopefully, our patriotic movement will overcome this terrible deception.”

    Trump’s supporters appear to be taking his grievances seriously. Only about one-third of Republicans said they have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence that votes on Election Day will be counted fairly, according to poll from the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

    During a campaign event Tuesday with Trump’s running mate, Mike Pence, a voter said she was deeply concerned about voter fraud and pledged to be “ready for a revolution” if Clinton wins.

    Pence waved away the woman’s rallying cry, saying, “Don’t say that.” And on Sunday, in an interview with NBC’s “Meet The Press,” he said the campaign will “accept the will of the American people, you bet.”

    There is no evidence voter fraud is a widespread problem in the United States. A study by a Loyola Law School professor found that out of 1 billion votes cast in all American elections between 2000 and 2014, there were only 31 known cases of impersonation fraud.

    Trump’s motivations for stoking these sentiments seem clear.

    One of his last hopes of winning the election is to suppress turnout by making these final weeks so repulsive to voters that some just stay home. Trump advisers privately say they hope to turn off young people in particular. This group leans Democratic but doesn’t have a long history of voting and is already skeptical of Clinton.

    Trump is also likely considering how he would spin a loss to Clinton, given that he’s spent decades cultivating a brand based on success and winning. His years in public life offer few examples where he’s owned up to his own failings and plenty where he’s tried to pass the blame on to others, as he’s now suggesting he would do if he’s defeated.

    Clinton appears increasingly aware that if she wins, she’d arrive at the White House facing more than the usual political divides. “Damage is being done that we’re going to have to repair,” she said during a recent campaign stop.

    But that task wouldn’t be Clinton’s alone.

    The majority of Trump’s supporters are Republicans. If he loses, party leaders will have to reckon with how much credence they give to claims the election was rigged and how closely they can work with a president whom at least some GOP backers will likely view as illegitimate.

    Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office wouldn’t say Saturday whether he agreed with Trump’s assertions the election is being rigged. A spokeswoman for House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said Ryan is “fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.”

    Republicans have already experienced the paralyzing effect of Trump stirring up questions about a president’s legitimacy. He spent years challenging President Barack Obama’s citizenship, deepening some GOP voters’ insistence that the party block the Democrat at every turn.

    Jim Manley, a former adviser to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., recalled the skepticism some Republicans had about Obama. “I’m afraid a President Clinton is going to start off with far too many people raising similar questions,” he said.

    The post Why Trump ‘rigged’ vote claim could leave lasting impact appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    This piece by Saudi artist Ms. Saffaa commemorates 100 days since the creation of the #IAmMyOwnGuardian hashtag, which protests guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia. Photo courtesy of Ms. Saffaa

    This piece by artist Ms. Saffaa commemorates 100 days since the creation of the #IAmMyOwnGuardian hashtag, which protests guardianship laws in Saudi Arabia. Photo courtesy of Ms. Saffaa

    In 2012, an artist and activist who goes by Ms. Saffaa was finishing an honors degree at the University of Sydney when she was told by the Saudi Arabian government, which sponsored her, that she needed to live with a male guardian to supervise her. She was in her early 30s and hearing that was, in her words, “humiliating.”

    This is common practice in Saudi Arabia, according to Human Rights Watch. Guardian laws there require women to have the consent of a man, such as a husband, father, brother or son, in order to access many key facets of life. That includes the ability to marry, attain health care, exit state shelters and prisons, and some companies still require it of their female employees.

    For years, Saudi activists have fought against these laws and now the rest of the world is starting to pay attention. Online, the Saudi are using the work of one woman in particular: Ms. Saffaa. “I think my work has instigated a lot of conversation around what is feminine and what is power.”

    Four years ago, Ms. Saffaa, who grew up in Saudi Arabia and lives now in Sydney, Australia, created the hashtag #IAmMyOwnGuardian on Twitter along with illustrations to accompany it. Since then, Saudi women and allies have widely shared them to express dissent to the guardianship laws. In the past 10 years, legal restrictions on Saudi women have hardly relented. However, Saudi women have gained some access to political positions, increased autonomy in the labor market, and efforts by the government to better address domestic violence. And social media has been particularly critical to the growth of the movement because forms of public protest, such as marching in the street, are illegal in Saudi Arabia.

    We asked Ms. Saffaa about her life as an artist, observer and activist.

    How much time have you spent in Saudi Arabia?

    I grew up in Saudi Arabia. I lived there until I was 18. I moved [to Sydney] to go back to university. I did my undergraduate degree here, then an honors degree, and then Masters, and now I’m doing a Ph.D. [laughs] I am a perpetual student.

    The #IAmMyOwnGuardian movement has garnered a lot of interest lately. What has been your experience with guardianship laws?

    Well, I have to go back to 2012, when I was doing my honors degree at [the University of Sydney]. While the Saudi government does sponsor women, women sponsored by the government have to prove that their male guardians are actually living with them. I was an A student, and the only thing that was stopping me from completing my degree was [not] having my male guardian here. The government asked me a few times to prove that my male guardian was with me. At the time I was, I think, 31 or 32, and I found it humiliating, dehumanizing in many ways. And this was a moment that kind of shaped my career, and that’s when I decided to create #IAmMyOwnGuardian.

    What’s the history of this movement?

    “Sometimes it’s patronizing and condescending, the way I, as a Saudi woman, have been spoken for and about. My art is my way of showing that I exist.”

    The current movement, as it stands, was created by Saudi women living inside Saudi Arabia. And that’s important because we need to acknowledge the bravery of these women, tweeting from inside Saudi Arabia — risking getting arrested and risking their livelihood and safety in order to get their voices heard. So, my artwork is not a movement. My artwork was adopted by a few people and shared widely. The hashtag was also adopted after the movement started.

    Have you heard of Kristine Beckerle? The person who wrote the Human Rights Watch report [on Saudi Arabia]? … the movement was inspired by the report she wrote. And this kind of transnational solidarity is important because when Kristine went on CNN talking about the report, she shifted the international attention to the real issue, and highlighted how women in Saudi Arabia have agency and self-determination. And that was quite heart-warming to watch and hear because a lot of people all over the world turn it into a story about oppression and it’s not.

    For example, I have been creative about the issue for a long time, and there have been, for decades, Saudi activists working on the ground, behind-the-scenes, to change laws and she did not fail to acknowledge the Saudi women working on the issue. I would like to publicly appreciate what she’s doing because it gives an example to other people who want to support the movement, who want to show solidarity.

    I watch a lot of news reports from all over the world — I know the language they speak of Saudi women. Sometimes it’s patronizing and condescending, the way I, as a Saudi woman, have been spoken for and about. My art is my way of showing that I exist. And my voice has been out there for a long time. It’s just that the world hasn’t been paying attention.

    What would you say is your favorite medium for creating art?

    I’m a printmaker by trade, and it works really well for me because I am a street artist as well. I do a lot of pasting up on legal walls. I’m actually doing a wall next month in Melbourne to celebrate this women’s movement, and celebrate Saudi women and the diversity within our community.

    Why do you think art is an effective form of protest?

    A lot of people have contested the artwork I created because the woman in the artwork is wearing a male headdress. I think my work has instigated a lot of conversation around what is feminine and what is power. And for me, if art is not subversive, it’s not good. If you’re going to show an image of a battered woman, I personally don’t think it’s art. I think you’re just reporting. You’re not being creative and you’re not imagining an alternative reality.

    Was it an intended goal for you to raise discourse with your artwork accompanying this hashtag?

    I just wanted to show the world: here we are, Saudi women. White male and female feminists have been speaking on our behalf for a long time, taking our voices and projecting it through an orientalist lens. So that was my way of asserting my presence. I just wanted to show that we have a voice, that we are active agents in our society.

    This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

    The post ‘We have a voice’ — artist confronts Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship laws appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Member of the Specialized Criminal Prosecution Rajeh Zayed (L) responds to a call during a visit by human rights activists to a community hall that was struck by an air strike during a funeral on October 8, in Sanaa, Yemen, October 16, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi - RTX2P1N8

    Member of the Specialized Criminal Prosecution Rajeh Zayed (L) responds to a call during a visit by human rights activists to a community hall that was struck by an air strike during a funeral on October 8, in Sanaa, Yemen, on Oct. 16, 2016. Photo by Mohamed al-Sayaghi/Reuters

    LONDON — The United States and Britain are expressing hope that a cease-fire can be reached in Yemen in the coming days.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says mediation is ongoing involving Yemen’s exiled, internationally recognized government and the Houthi rebels who control much of the country.

    Kerry says: “This is the time to implement a cease-fire unconditionally and then move to the negotiating table.”

    [Watch Video]

    His message Sunday was supported by British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and the U.N. envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed.

    Kerry says they want the truce “as rapidly as possible, meaning Monday, Tuesday.”

    Their meeting in London also included the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia, which has led a military coalition against the Houthis.

    The post U.S., others hope for Yemen cease-fire in next days appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    pot

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    By Saskia de Melker and Melanie Saltzman

    Read the full transcript below: 

    MIKE TAIBBI: Beyond a winding country road out of the mountains in central California, a half-hour drive from a store of any kind, 63-year-old farmer Simon Caleb tends his crop.

    SIMON CALEB: We bought seed from a guy in town.

    MIKE TAIBBI: His crop, for more than 25 years…marijuana.  Medical marijuana, he says.  His grow operation…well, let’s say, discreet.

    SIMON CALEB: “I guess I like the thrill…of kind of being on the other side…”

    MIKE TAIBBI: A touch of outlaw?

    SIMON CALEB: A touch of outlaw, yeah.  Non-conformist, I guess.

    MIKE TAIBBI: In the 20 years since medical marijuana was approved here, farmers like Caleb say their cottage industry has been operating in a legal gray area where federal law and local regulations are at irreconcilable odds with each other. Now, on Election Day, that legal tension could ratchet up even higher: California will decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana through proposition 64, the adult use of marijuana act.The 62-page initiative comes down to this:

    For consumers: the ability to possess, transport, purchase, and use up to one ounce of the drug, and to cultivate up to six living plants.

    For growers: a prohibition on large scale cultivation licenses for the first five years to discourage a gold rush by giant corporate interests.

    For the state: an additional 15 percent tax on all pot purchases, on top of sales tax…with projected new revenue in the billions every year earmarked for youth drug awareness and treatment programs as well as law enforcement.

    The most outspoken supporter of Prop 64 is Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom.

    GAVIN NEWSOM:  I’m just anti-prohibition.  I’m vehemently anti-prohibition.  I think prohibition has done more harm than the drug itself.  That’s my crusade.

    MIKE TAIBBI: But Prop 64’s opponents have their own crusade.

    KEVIN SABET: And if you’re in an industry that is selling this stuff..

    MIKE TAIBBI: Kevin Sabet is a professor of psychiatry and has advised three presidents on drug policy. He now heads a nationwide anti-legalization group that advocates for public health-based approaches to marijuana regulation.

    KEVIN SABET:  What this is about is not adults smoking a joint in the privacy of their own home. This is about the mass commercialization of marijuana by for-profit companies.

    Medical marijuana is already an industry generating huge profits…nearly three billion dollars in California last year.

    NATPOP, BLUM SALESPERSON: Let me see your ID, too.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Derek Peterson’s Blum dispensary in Oakland sits just off a highway off-ramp, and the traffic inside is bumper to bumper.

    DEREK PETERSON: We see anywhere from 900 to a thousand people a day. About $13 million a year in revenue out of this store, and that’s just with the medical program in place.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Right now, 25 states allow the sale and use of medical marijuana; four states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized recreational use, and besides California, four more states will vote on legalized recreational pot on Election Day.

    But both sides agree that California, with its 39 million residents and the world’s 6th largest economy, is the linchpin that could lock up the West Coast for legalized pot and lead to the end of any meaningful marijuana prohibition in the U.S.

    GAVIN NEWSOM: I think if California goes, it’s a domino effect for the rest of the nation.

    KEVIN SABET: They see California as a massive economic powerhouse, as a massive place where their commercialized marijuana can make money.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Law enforcement also largely opposes legalization for recreational pot. Mike Boudreaux is sheriff in central California’s Tulare County.

    SHERIFF BOUDREAUX: I just can’t, in good judgment, believe that if we make it legal that our community will be safer.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Sheriff Boudreaux says that last year alone his department shut down more than 300 illegal marijuana grow operations, and he says, a number of those were linked to criminal drug trafficking operations.

    SHERIFF MIKE BOUDREAUX: Our resources are drawn very thin in the fight against these marijuana cartels and drug trafficking organizations. There’s violence that comes along with that. In 2011, there were nine of our 18 homicides that were directly related to marijuana grow sites.

    MIKE TAIBBI: He is also concerned about marijuana-impaired driving.

    For example, in Washington state, in its first year of legal marijuana sales, the percentage of drivers involved in fatal crashes who had marijuana in their system more than doubled from 8 percent in 2013 to 17 percent in 2014, that according to triple-A and the state’s traffic safety commission.

    But researchers are hesitant to draw any conclusions, because there’s no clear method for collecting this data and no reliable test for when drivers become impaired from using marijuana. Marijuana can stay in your bloodstream for weeks.

    Los Angeles police officer Kamaron Sardar says police are still searching for a tool like a breathalyzer to measure marijuana use and impairment.  The LAPD is testing this oral fluid device.

    MIKE TAIBBI: It collects just saliva from the mouth, is that it?

    OFFICER SARDAR: Correct…saliva and any debris in there.

    On the growers’ side, Simon Caleb has been showing up at meetings about Prop 64 because he wants to make sure he complies with any new regulations that may be coming. But even so, it may surprise you to learn — he does not support the initiative.

    SIMON CALEB: I am opposed to it. I don’t like the idea that big business is going to be able to come in. I think the whole industry is going to change. It’s going to stop from local farmers, the cottage industry, it’s going to be big business and the quality will go down.

    On his ten mile stretch of country road, he says, the number of similar grow operations known to law enforcement…is mind-boggling.

    SIMON CALEB:  237 that they know of.

    MIKE TAIBBI: That’s a precise number.  So they know there’s a marijuana grow operations?

    SIMON CALEB: Yes. It’s going to be too many for the area, too many for the whole market.

    MIKE TAIBBI: And then there’s that elephant in the room: Whatever California and other states decide, the federal drug enforcement administration still lists marijuana as a schedule one drug, among the most dangerous, along with heroin, LSD, and ecstasy. Buying and selling pot remains a crime under federal, and most state, laws.

    The result, say legalization advocates: more than 700-thousand arrests every year for marijuana-related offenses, many for mere possession and primarily of African-Americans and Latinos.

    Lynne Lyman is the California state director for the pro-legalization drug policy alliance.

    LYNNE LYMAN: We have the data that shows that black, white, Latino…we all use and sell drugs roughly at the same rate, and yet any jurisdiction in this country, certainly in California, you will see that the people we arrest and incarcerate for drug offenses are black and brown…”

    GAVIN NEWSOM: It’s about a war on drugs that’s an abject failure.  I want to end it, want to end it in this country. And I want to reduce the cost to the taxpayers. I want people to operate legally, and I want them to be accountable and responsible.”

    Anti-legalization activist Kevin Sabet does support decriminalization for the consumer as the middle ground between legalization and prohibition.

    KEVIN SABET: If they want to grow a plant, if they want to get it from a friend, I don’t care, if they want to get it as a gift from somebody, I don’t care. The point is. I don’t think the sales should be legal, because i think what that brings is another tobacco industry.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Sabet fears big marijuana is looking to hook buyers when they’re young…given the way medical marijuana and its edible products are already being marketed.

    MIKE TAIBBI: They look like gummy bears they’re called gummy bears… they’ve got lollipops.

    DEREK PETERSON:  Yup.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Things that kids like.

    DEREK PETERSON: Yup. In fact, opponents insist legalization for recreational use all but guarantees a parent’s worst nightmare…the normalization of pot use, even for children.

    KEVIN SABET: The last thing they want to see their kids get involved in is a drug that essentially makes you drop out of life, a drug that makes you not care about anything if you’re using it every day.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Are you getting to ‘pot makes you stupid’?

    KEVIN SABET: Well, using it every day certainly increases the chances of being stupid.

    DEREK PETERSON: You can smoke 15 joints a day, you’re not going to overdose, you’re not going to find your child on the floor convulsing and have to rush him to the emergency room.  It’s just not going to happen.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Legalization supporters point to the Netherlands, where a 2014 NewsHour Weekend report showed recreational pot use in so-called “coffee houses,” where customers smoke openly, has been tolerated for 40 years with no measurable increase in the use of harder drugs.

    Derek Peterson says the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries like his and the ease of getting a medical marijuana card have already lowered the bar for anyone in California who just wants pot.

    DEREK PETERSON: It is very quasi-recreational.  Anybody that tells you  otherwise is, to me, being dishonest.  But that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. You know I run a publicly traded company. I have 150 employees, I deal with very complicated issues, I’m a very functional individual… I smoke almost every day.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Legalization advocate Lynn Lyman says many Californians already tolerate such recreational pot use.

    LYNNE LYMAN: People who look like me. For white people, marijuana is practically legal in California.  I can use my marijuana anywhere, nobody ever bothers me.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Probably not in a local Starbucks.

    LYNNE LYMAN: Oh, believe me, I’ve done it.  Well, I have a vape, so it has no scent but if you are black or brown that is just not the case.

    MIKE TAIBBI: Legalization would be a bonanza for new pot products, including the oils for Lyman’s e-cigarette vaping devices and, yes, those edibles sold at the Blum dispensary.

    With imaginative chemists in a seed-to-sale operation, and legalization in other states on the horizon, Peterson envisions his business becoming a multi-state empire.

    DEREK PETERSON: Our short term trajectory, over the next 24 months, is to get the company between $50-75 million in revenue.

    MIKE TAIBBI: In the next 4, 5 years, you will be the R.J. Reynolds of the pot business.

    DEREK PETERSON: Hate that comparison but I like to look at our company more like a Ben & Jerry’s type of an organization than say R.J. Reynolds.

    MIKE TAIBBI: But for Simon Caleb and those other small growers who’ve been operating in the shadows for years, even decades,becoming street legal is a really complicated process.

    Complicated and expensive. there’ll be fees to the county and the state, income and payroll taxes, workers compensation insurance for his employees, inspections by a half dozen agencies. Caleb says many of his neighboring farmers say, ‘forget about it.’

    SIMON CALEB: I’ve only seen maybe two of them at a meeting.  They don’t attend; they’re, I guess, maybe burying their head in the sand, but it’s coming— and we have to be prepared.

    The post California to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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