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- 10/20/16--15:35: _Putting policy in c...
- 10/20/16--15:39: _Obama: Trump ‘dange...
- 10/20/16--15:40: _Here’s what law and...
- 10/20/16--15:45: _News Wrap: ‘Humanit...
- 10/20/16--15:50: _GOP pushback follow...
- 10/21/16--14:17: _Our politics team p...
- 10/21/16--14:26: _Internet struggles?...
- 10/21/16--14:37: _France to shut down...
- 10/21/16--15:15: _‘Prairie Home’ gets...
- 10/21/16--15:20: _Why student debt is...
- 10/21/16--15:25: _Shields and Brooks ...
- 10/21/16--15:30: _NSA contractor susp...
- 10/21/16--15:40: _White supremacist D...
- 10/21/16--15:40: _What the latest pol...
- 10/21/16--15:42: _Packed Cameroon tra...
- 10/21/16--15:45: _News Wrap: Russia e...
- 10/21/16--15:50: _After raucous chari...
- 10/21/16--17:12: _Mystery solved. Exo...
- 10/22/16--06:25: _Emails show Clinton...
- 10/22/16--07:32: _Pediatricians relax...
- 10/20/16--15:35: Putting policy in context at the final presidential debate
- 10/20/16--15:39: Obama: Trump ‘dangerous’ for suggesting he won’t concede
- 10/20/16--15:40: Here’s what law and history say about challenging election results
- 10/20/16--15:45: News Wrap: ‘Humanitarian pause’ begins in Aleppo
- 10/20/16--15:50: GOP pushback follows Trump’s election result resistance
- 10/21/16--14:37: France to shut down ‘Jungle’ migrant camp early next week
- 10/21/16--15:15: ‘Prairie Home’ gets a new companion
- 10/21/16--15:20: Why student debt is ‘a crisis’ for some borrowers
- 10/21/16--15:25: Shields and Brooks on the danger of our ideological divide
- 10/21/16--15:30: NSA contractor suspected of espionage is deemed a flight risk
- 10/21/16--15:40: White supremacist David Duke qualifies for Senate debate
- 10/21/16--15:40: What the latest polls mean for the presidency — and Congress
- 10/21/16--15:42: Packed Cameroon train derails, killing at least 53 people
- 10/22/16--06:25: Emails show Clinton campaign weighing Keystone XL decision
HARI SREENIVASAN: Unlike the first two debates, last night, we heard a lot more about policy from both candidates.
Here to help break them down is our own Lisa Desjardins.
One of the first exchanges that was substantive was about Supreme Court nominee decisions that these — one of these two presidents, in whoever wins, would have and what kind of impact that person would have in the courts and on cases like Roe v. Wade.
Here’s a clip.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Based on what she’s saying, and based on where she’s going, and where she’s been, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb in the ninth month on the final day. And that’s not acceptable.
HARI SREENIVASAN: How many late-term abortions are there? Because it usually gets distilled down into these worse-case scenarios.
LISA DESJARDINS: That’s right.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is really a good — the best resource we have for these kinds of statistics. But we only know after 21 weeks. Here’s what they say.
In the U.S., roughly 1.3 percent of all abortions happen after 21 weeks. That’s considered late term, but it’s still the middle of the second trimester. That translates into about 6,100 abortions. That was in 2012. That is out of almost 700,000. So it’s a small percentage.
HARI SREENIVASAN: What is Hillary Clinton’s position on this?
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
She says that she would favor restrictions in the third trimester on abortion, but only if the life of the mother or health of the mother was considered. That’s specifically her policy. It has been consistent.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And then what about that larger context that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton was asked about what happens If justices get appointed that overturn Roe v. Wade? What happens next?
LISA DESJARDINS: This is where it gets really fascinating.
It is thought by most legal scholars that it would return to the states, that state law would take over abortion. And we know right now there are states that have laws on the books saying if Roe vs. Wade is overturned, they would make abortion unlawful. Other states would increase restrictions.
But there’s a real question over whether the next president will have enough seats on the court to in fact overturn Roe vs. Wade.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And there was also another exchange about nuclear arms and kind of the race with Russia. Let’s take a listen.
DONALD TRUMP: We have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads — 1,800, by the way — where they expanded and we didn’t, 1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken.
We are so outplayed on missiles, on cease-fires. They are outplayed.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, I think both sides would agree that there’s not going to be a winner in a nuclear war around the world. But why does this numbers games matter?
LISA DESJARDINS: Right, 1,800, he’s saying.
And he’s talking about strategic deployed nuclear weapons by Russia. And let’s look real quick at where we are, just as some background. Right now, in 2016, Russia has about 1,735 deployed nuclear strategic nuclear weapons. Those are basically ready-to-launch weapons.
The U.S., 1,481 — that’s from the Arms Control Association. And here’s the thing, Hari, is that those numbers are misleading, because both countries are under a treaty. By 2018, both countries have to have less than 1,550. Both Russia and the U.S. right now are decreasing their nuclear arsenals. These matter for strategic and political reasons both.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And so aren’t all nukes the same? And what’s the decrease — what’s the cause in the decrease besides the treaty?
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
Not all nukes are the same. But we talked to one expert who counts the nukes and knows the different types of nukes, and says, overall, you step away from all of the details, what matters here is the difference in numbers between the U.S. and Russia really doesn’t matter in terms of the amount of number of nuclear weapons. The size of these arsenals are so huge, they can do tremendous damage. Difference of a few hundred nukes is not great.
HARI SREENIVASAN: There’s also a clip here I want to play. Chris Wallace brought up a revelation from WikiLeaks which tried to highlight the discrepancy between Hillary Rodham Clinton’s public positions on immigration and an excerpt from a speech that she gave. Let’s take a listen.
CHRIS WALLACE, Moderator: Is that your dream, open borders?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Well, if you went on to read the rest of the sentence, I was talking about energy.
You know, we trade more energy with our neighbors than we trade with the rest of the world combined.
LISA DESJARDINS: And, you know, this is a sentence that was just one — a couple of sentences. We don’t have the full speech. That’s the problem here.
We don’t know what Hillary Clinton was saying before she talked about open borders. Was she talking about immigration or was she talking about energy, as she claimed? We can look at a few other excerpts we have here and there from that speech, Hari.
She did talk about energy a lot in that speech. She also talked about trade. We don’t know that she talked about immigration. But this is a problem, because Hillary Clinton has not released the full transcript of that speech. We don’t know for sure what she was talking about when she said open borders.
The post Putting policy in context at the final presidential debate appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Video by PBS NewsHour
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — Calling it “dangerous,” President Barack Obama said Thursday that Donald Trump’s attempt to “sow the seeds of doubt” about the integrity of elections in America undermines U.S. democracy and does the work of the nation’s adversaries.
“That is not a joking matter,” Obama said at a campaign rally for Trump’s rival, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
During the final presidential debate with Clinton on Wednesday night, the Republican candidate refused to say whether he would follow years of tradition and concede if he doesn’t win the White House on Nov. 8. He has laid the groundwork by complaining for weeks that the system is “rigged” against him and in favor of Clinton.
“I will tell you at the time. I’ll keep you in suspense,” Trump said. Clinton responded by calling the statement “horrifying.”
On Thursday, Trump tried to make light of the situation while campaigning in Ohio.
“I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters and to all of the people of the United States that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election,” he said. After pausing for several seconds, he added: “If I win.”
Obama, who has felt the sting of losing an election and has conceded defeat, wasn’t buying it. He said Trump’s comments were further evidence of his lack of fitness for the office.
“All the Republicans — not all, but most — have acknowledged there’s no way to rig an election in a country this big,” Obama said. “He doesn’t even worry if what he says is true. It’s just about him worried that he’s losing, which means he really doesn’t have what it takes to hold this job.”
He urged Floridians to take advantage of the opportunity to vote early, beginning on Monday.
“There’s only one way we lose this election. Just one. If we don’t turn out to vote,” Obama said. “Only way. We got to do it big. We got to leave no doubt.”
Obama said Trump is the first major party nominee in U.S. history to suggest he will not accept a loss.
“That is dangerous,” Obama said. “Because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy. … You’re doing the work of our adversaries for them because our democracy depends on people knowing that their vote matters.”
Earlier in the week, Obama suggested that Trump “stop whining” and get to work trying to win people’s votes.
The post Obama: Trump ‘dangerous’ for suggesting he won’t concede appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: As we heard earlier, Donald Trump continued to suggest today that he might not accept the results of the November election if he doesn’t win. But should he lose, could Trump legally challenge the results? And how would that process work?
To examine some of these questions, we are joined now by Chris Ashby. He’s a Republican election lawyer. And Beverly Gage, she’s professor of American history at Yale University.
And we welcome both of you to the program.
Beverly Gage, to you first.
Have we ever seen anything quite like this before?
BEVERLY GAGE, Yale University: We have not seen anything like this before, Judy.
There have been contested elections in the past. And those are often close elections, where, once the results are in, they seem uncertain, and so you have a variety of appeals. But we have never had a major party candidate say this far in advance that the only legitimate outcome of only an election is his own victory. That is unprecedented.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, as you say, we have had contested elections after the fact. And we certainly — everyone who is at least of a certain age remembers 2000, Bush v. Gore. But there have been others in American history, haven’t there?
BEVERLY GAGE: Right, there have been contested elections and really fiercely fought elections with a lot of bad feelings almost since the beginning of the republic.
What those have always produced is, with one pretty big exception, is the peaceful transition of power. That exception, of course, is 1860, where much of the white South said that they wouldn’t accept Abraham Lincoln’s election as president, and we got the Civil War as a result.
But with that pretty big exception, everyone, despite challenges, has ultimately come around. Other than 2000, probably the famous one in recent memory was 1960, which was this squeaker of an election between Kennedy and Nixon, in which Nixon to some degree challenged the election, but himself stepped aside.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And we know there was a dispute about that one.
Chris Ashby, let me just play devil’s advocate here, because what Donald Trump is saying — and he said this today — he said, I want to reserve the right to file a challenge in case of a questionable result.
Is that not a reasonable thing for him to do?
CHRIS ASHBY, Election Lawyer: No, it’s not because it’s a statement of the obvious. He doesn’t waive his right. He doesn’t need to claim that right now.
What he should do is say what every major, indeed every presidential candidate before him has said, which is, I will accept the outcome. And then, after the election, if there is some evidence that an election of electors in a particular state was tainted by fraud, then he could pursue that.
But by saying it now, he’s undermining the legitimacy of this election and the individuals who it elects. And it’s very dangerous and it’s destructive to the country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s talk for a moment about what would it take to trigger a challenge.
How off would the results have to be in order to — for there to be warranted a legitimate challenge to the results?
CHRIS ASHBY: Well, the standard here in a challenge would be a significant number of votes that could be proven, right?
You can’t just say that there was generally fraud. You have to know how many votes either from fraud or by mistake. And it has to be enough votes to cover the margin between the candidates. And so, if you think that you have to go out and actually get this evidence, you have to find voters, you have to election records, and you have to quantify this, and you have to do it in a time period of about a month.
The election would have to be pretty close in order for them to have any chance of quantifying a difference between the two candidates.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, when you say pretty close, how close do you mean?
CHRIS ASHBY: Maybe a few hundred, maybe in the low thousands of folks. And even that would be a high bar.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And we’re talking state by state.
CHRIS ASHBY: That’s right, because the contest is not of the presidential election. It’s of the electors. And that happens in 51 different states and the District of Columbia.
And so you are bringing a contest to the election of the electors. And you would have to bring enough state contests to cover the difference in the Electoral College. And if this election heads the way that it appears that it’s heading, that could be hundreds of electoral votes that we need to swing in a contest decided by multiple states at once. It’s a very, very high bar.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Beverly Gage, back to what we have seen historically in American elections, what’s an example of a time when — I mean, you can talk about 1960, 2000. I mean, dig a little bit deeper into what it would take to trigger something and then to pursue it.
BEVERLY GAGE: Right.
Well, one thing to note about the 20th century, for the most part, we haven’t had particularly close presidential elections. So, Chris is right, that it would need to be incredibly close for anything like this to happen. And that’s actually fairly unusual, though we have gotten a little bit more used to it in recent years.
So, 1960 was really a razor-thin count. And, at that point, Nixon didn’t concede overnight, but he did concede in the morning. The Republican Party itself, however, went ahead and challenged various election results in states like Illinois, in Texas. Sometimes, that was through the courts. Sometimes, that was through recounts.
But there was never any truth that there had been any fraud significant enough to change the outcome of the election. And Nixon himself actually always took it as a point of political pride that, though he harbored a heavy heart in that moment, he in fact conceded to Kennedy for the good of the country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Chris Ashby, let’s talk for a moment about 2004, Ohio, John Kerry. The Democrats challenged some of how that state, the state of Ohio came out.
It went for Bush in 2004, but there were questions raised.
CHRIS ASHBY: Sure.
And they raised those questions in Congress, and Congress disposed of those questions pretty quickly. In the absence of some kind of compelling evidence of fraud or of mistakes in the conduct of the election that affects the outcome, I just don’t see people having much patience or time for this type of a challenge.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The other question, Chris Ashby — and we have discussed this on the program earlier this week — Donald Trump is saying to his supporters — and he’s said this in several different parts of the country — you need to go and watch what’s happening at polling places.
What would that mean, if that happened?
CHRIS ASHBY: Well, that’s a very dangerous situation, because, in most states, they’re not going to be allowed in.
Most states require poll watchers to have some sort of credential, some type of training and potentially understanding of the process that they’re observing. Even in those states where any member of the public can walk in and observe, they’re not going to get anywhere near a voter, anywhere near a poll booth, anywhere near an election official.
And if they try to interfere with the conduct of the election, they’re going to be removed. And when they either can’t get in or are taken out, I think that’s just going to feed right into the suspicion that led them there in the first place.
And now you play this out in polling places across the country, and you broadcast it on the news, and it gets picked up on the Internet, it’s a very, very flammable situation on Election Day.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, Beverly Gage, remind us what it means in our democracy that we are able to count on and respect the results of our elections.
BEVERLY GAGE: One of the most important things really since our founding has been the peaceful transition of power. It is something that every president has really prided himself on.
And if you think back to the founders, those were people with a living memory of revolution. They had seen it in Europe. They had experienced it themselves, and they understood that it was absolutely critical to affirm the electoral system and to see that power could pass peacefully.
And it was one of the great points of pride for the country and has been almost always ever since.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And this is another moment for us to think about that and remember what it does mean for our country and for our system of government.
Beverly Gage, Chris Ashby, we thank you both.
CHRIS ASHBY: Thank you.
BEVERLY GAGE: Thanks.
The post Here’s what law and history say about challenging election results appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: A Russia-Syrian humanitarian pause took effect in Syria in the besieged city of Aleppo. It could run as long as four days. Using loudspeakers, the Syrian military urged residents to leave and gunmen to lay down their weapons. The Syrian army also dropped leaflets.
But the U.N.’s special envoy said he doubts the effort will work.
STAFFAN DE MISTURA, UN Special Envoy for Syria: Certainly, my feeling is that, from what I’m hearing, that the people do not want to leave their places. They do not want to become refugees. They want to stay in their place. But they do request, stop the bombings, which needs to be, by the way, from both sides.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, a separate fight north of Aleppo. Turkey attacked Syrian Kurds who’ve been fighting Islamic State forces. Military footage showed airstrikes on Kurdish fighters linked to a group the U.S. supports. Turkey says they’re also tied to militants fighting the Turkish government.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In Iraq, the battle for Mosul claimed its first American casualty, a soldier killed by a roadside bomb. U.S. forces are advising Iraqis in their campaign to retake the city from the Islamic State. First, they have to capture outlying towns.
And John Irvine of Independent Television News reports on the harrowing trip of one such unit.
JOHN IRVINE, Independent Television News: A new day brought a fresh assault, and taking the fight I.S. for the first time, where Iraq special forces came to quickly make their mark.
The attack was a pincer movement, and we were in the lead vehicle with a team of (INAUDIBLE) who had to find safe passage through the land mines. Two led the way on foot, but soon came under sniper fire. A gunship was called in. The sniping was ended.
The explosives experts called for a tank to join them before leaving the Kalamoff (ph) Road and on to the safer ground that is the countryside. We were venturing into the so-called caliphate, and the Iraqi forces put down a lot of suppressing fire. But the telltale pings on our vehicle indicated that I.S. were still putting up a night.
We’re coming under sniper fire and firing back. That’s the problem with being in the lead vehicle in an offensive which right now is pretty slow-going.
Later, the special forces fired on a saloon car which had overturned speeding down a road. When nothing happened, we wondered if the driver had been an innocent just trying to flee the battlefield. No, he was a suicide bomber who had missed us. We were just glad that, at the end of the day, all of us and our battered vehicle had come through.
Only, it wasn’t the end of the day — a fourth car bomb attack on the convoy. Mosul is still a few days away for Iraqi forces, and the closer they get, the harder it will become.
HARI SREENIVASAN: There are 5,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. About 100 are embedded with Iraqi and Kurdish forces around Mosul. We will talk later to retired General David Petraeus. He commanded U.S. troops in Mosul in 2003.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. military confirms that North Korea test-fired another ballistic missile overnight, but it crashed shortly after launch. That’s the second failed test since Saturday. It came hours after the U.S. and South Korea agreed to strengthen military and diplomatic efforts against the North.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The president of the Philippines, Rodrigo Duterte, announced today what he calls a separation from the U.S. Duterte spoke in Beijing after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and signing a major commercial deal. Afterward, he said that in military and economic terms, America has lost.
PRESIDENT RODRIGO DUTERTE, Philippines: Maybe I will also go to Russia to talk to Putin and tell him that there are three of us against the world, China, Philippines and Russia.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Duterte also said he will work with Xi to settle their maritime dispute in the South China Sea. In Washington, the State Department called the comments baffling and said it will seek an explanation.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A super typhoon blasted the Northern Philippines overnight with winds of 140 miles an hour. It was the most powerful storm to hit the country in three years, but the death toll of seven was far lower than feared. The storm did trigger flooding, landslides and power outages. Nearly 100,000 people had been evacuated ahead of time.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The European Space Agency now says its latest Mars lander may have crashed. Ground controllers lost contact with the experimental probe yesterday as it dropped toward the surface. Animation showed how the lander was supposed to use a parachute and thrusters to make a soft landing. Europe’s last attempt at a Mars landing also failed back in 2003.
JUDY WOODRUFF: On Wall Street, stocks closed lower, giving up yesterday’s modest gains. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 40 points to close at 18162. The Nasdaq fell four, and the S&P 500 slipped nearly three.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And for wine lovers, it’s a case of sour grapes. A global survey out today finds this year’s production is the lowest since 2012. Floods, drought and other bad weather took a toll across Europe and South America. Wine output in the U.S. actually went up slightly.
HARI SREENIVASAN: On this day after the final debate, Donald Trump is at the center of a political storm again. It blew up last night with his refusal to say he’d acknowledge next month’s outcome.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election, if I win.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
HARI SREENIVASAN: Donald Trump in Delaware, Ohio, today, stirring the pot again on what happens if he loses.
DONALD TRUMP: Of course, I would accept a clear election result, but I would also reserve my right to contest or file a legal challenge in the case of a questionable result.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All of that after the nominee touched off a furor during his final debate with Hillary Clinton.
CHRIS WALLACE, Moderator: Are you saying you’re not prepared now to commit to that principle?
DONALD TRUMP: What I’m saying is that I will tell you at the time. I will keep you in suspense. OK?
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Well, Chris, let me respond to that, because that’s horrifying.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Clinton went further post-debate while flying from Las Vegas early this morning.
HILLARY CLINTON: So, what he said tonight is part of his whole effort to blame somebody else for his campaign and for where he stands in this election.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Trump also got pushback from fellow Republicans, including John Thune, the number three Republican in the Senate. He said all such talk — quote — “undermines an electoral system that is a model for nations around the world.”
Another Republican senator, Bob Corker, who has campaigned with Trump, tweeted: “It is imperative that Donald Trump clearly state that he will accept the results.”
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell declined comment today.
And House Speaker Paul Ryan’s office said he is fully confident the states will carry out this election with integrity.
And, late today, President Obama weighed in, stumping for Clinton in Miami.
PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: That is not a joking matter. No, no, no, I want everybody to pay attention here. That is dangerous, because when you try to sow the seeds of doubt in people’s minds about the legitimacy of our elections, that undermines our democracy.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Meanwhile, in New York, another woman came forward to accuse Donald Trump of groping her. Karena Virginia says it happened in New York in 1998.
And Trump today accused Clinton of political cheating. He cited a hacked e-mail that showed she was tipped about a death penalty question during a primary season town hall.
DONALD TRUMP: That is cheating at the highest level.
HARI SREENIVASAN: As for last night’s final face-off, early ratings show about 68 million Americans watched, more than the second debate, but far fewer than the first. Tonight, both candidates share a stage again, this time, at the gala Al Smith Dinner in New York.
The post GOP pushback follows Trump’s election result resistance appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
In an exceptionally strange race, what are the strangest things that happened on the campaign trail this week? Members of our politics team offer their picks.
This sentence may be all I need to type: Miley Cyrus is coming to Northern Virginia Saturday to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
How tempted I am to leave it there. But I’ll add just a few more words. The 23-year-old Cyrus is many things: actress, controversial pop star, reality show host, fashion flashpoint and a Twitter phenomenon with 30 million followers.
And now she’s a Hillary Clinton ambassador to the young. Among the (many) fascinating and strange things about this story is that Cyrus will be canvassing for Clinton in Northern Virginia. While her appointed spot, George Mason University, is full of young voters, the region surrounding it is notoriously full of people who take themselves seriously and avoid fashion risks. It makes for a potentially mind-blowing contrast.
Other note: Clinton is now fully unleashing the young celebrities. Katy Perry is out registering voters (without clothes, as in this viral video) and she is part of a national Get Out the Vote concert tour from the Clinton campaign that includes the National and J.Lo. Clearly Clinton needs young voters. And she is not making that appeal herself. It is getting strange, but at least this kind of strange is interesting.
— Lisa Desjardins, Correspondent
Before there was “Stronger Together,” there was “No Quit,” “Don’t Turn Back” and “Unleash Opportunity” — along with 80 other potential slogans the Hillary Clinton campaign considered, according to a hacked email posted by WikiLeaks.
The list of rejected campaign slogans was revealed Wednesday as part of a dump of hacked emails from the personal account of John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chairman. WikiLeaks claims they’ll release more than 50,000 of his emails in total before the election; they’ve already posted more than 20,000.
According to an email between campaign aides sent Aug. 18, 2015, campaign theme possibilities included “strength,” “basic bargain/making America work” and “it’s about you.” Among the rejected slogans:
Hillary – For Fairness. For Families.
Your family is her fight.
A better bargain for a better tomorrow.
Real Fairness; Real Solutions.
Because your time is now
Clinton has not verified the authenticity of the emails, instead pointing to Russian hacking as interfering with the election.
— Julie Percha, Reporter/producer
Meanwhile, at a rally in Springfield, Ohio, Democratic vice presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine touted his election record — kind of.
“So here’s the good news: I am 8-0 in elections, and I’m gonna be 9-0 on Nov. 8,” he said to cheers.
He continued: “But, the bad news is: When I win, I barely win. I mean, in Virginia, I’m, like, Mr. Barely Likeable Enough.”
The comment drew awkward silence. Kaine has never lost an election — from his first run for Richmond City Council in 1994, to Virginia governor in 2005, to the U.S. Senate in 2012. This one might be close, too: Clinton currently leads Trump by 6.3 points, according to a RealClear Politics average of polls.
— Jasmine Wright, Production assistant
The post Our politics team picks the strangest things on the campaign trail this week appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
Trying to watch Netflix’s new season of “Black Mirror” but can’t connect? You’re not alone.
Early Friday, hackers struck the New Hampshire-based web company Dyn, which controls one of the cornerstones of America’s internet infrastructure. The ongoing attack has spawned outages for major websites such as Twitter, Spotify, Amazon, Reddit, Airbnb, Tumblr, the Boston Globe and The New York Times.
Details are still unraveling, but here’s what we know so far.
At 7:10 am EDT, hackers performed a DDoS attack against Dyn’s Domain Name System services. Domain names are essentially the internet’s version of telephone numbers. So without these services, your computer cannot “call up” or connect to a website.
“Anytime you send an e-mail or browse a website, your machine is sending a DNS look-up request to your Internet service provider to help route the traffic,” cybersecurity expert Brian Krebs wrote of today’s outage.
Dyn (pronounced “dine”) rectified this first attack after a couple hours, but by lunchtime, the hackers had hit again. Computer engineers continue to battled the hackers who employed a DDoS attack to cripple Dyn’s servers throughout the day, though an update at 5:17 pm EDT said the issue had been resolved.
A DDoS attack is akin to an electronic blitzkrieg. Hackers attempt to overwhelm one or more online servers by redirecting huge swaths of fake traffic to it. Eventually, the server runs out of bandwidth to handle bonafide requests, in essence suffocating the system.
The DDoS weapon of choice right now is the botnet. To create a botnet, a hacker installs malicious software on as many devices as possible. The software can then execute commands, like send boatloads of traffic to companies like Dyn, unbeknownst to the device’s owner.
Security experts suspect that today’s attack on Dyn involved a sophisticated botnet called Marai. The program preys on the widespread but often understated vulnerabilities laced across the internet of things, IoT. The internet of things represent every new-aged, WiFi-enabled gadget in a household, business, car and classroom with access to the web. Marai can siphon an unprecedented amount of web traffic and cripple even the best cybersecurity systems. Brian Krebs’ website, for instance, got slammed by the largest DDoS attack in history in September. The instigator: Marai.
And Marai’s blueprint is now public.
“The source code for the botnet was released last month by a hacker by the name of Anna_Senpai,” James Scott, co-founder and senior fellow at the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology, ICIT, wrote in an email to NewsHour. “And since then, cybercriminals have begun to threaten attacks against organizations in extortion schemes.”
Though the culprit behind the Dyn hack remains unknown, DDoS strikes are ever popular among cybercriminals. The BBC and Donald Trump’s campaign website were targeted by massive DDoS attacks last winter. WordPress-backed sites are constant victims.
Over the last year, these attacks have increased by 130 percent, according to Akamai, a global leader in internet content delivery. Computers in China were responsible for most — 56 percent — of the phony traffic behind these offenses. The U.S. was next closest competitor at 17 percent.
Scott said today’s attack may be just the beginning. Bruce Schneier, one of the nation’s top cybersecurity experts, spotted signs that someone was probing for weaknesses among the companies responsible for critical pieces of the internet.
“The magnitude, precision, and methodology of the attack campaign indicates a level of sophistication and resourcefulness indicative of a nation state-sponsored threat; likely originating in Russia or China,” Scott said. “The adoption of Mirai or of a similar tool by an advanced persistent threat group is troubling because when combined with a disciplined methodology, the targeted attacks are significantly more devastating.”
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The French government confirmed Friday that it will close a migrant camp known as “the Jungle” in Calais starting next week.
It plans to relocate the camp’s residents to refugee centers in other parts of the country, BBC reported.
There should be an embedded item here. Please visit the original post to view it.
Aid groups pushed to delay the closure, but a French court denied that request earlier this week.
“The government needs to take its time; otherwise, half of the people in the ‘Jungle’ won’t find a place in the relocation process,” Frederic Amiel an official with Emmaus, the British-based homelessness charity, told the Associated Press. “They will disperse and return,” he added.
The camp, located in northern France, has become a hub for migrants hoping to cross the English channel into the U.K. and is home to as many as 10,000 migrants from Africa and the Middle East.
The camp has long been a source of controversy. In early September, truckers, farmers, dockworkers and merchants blocked the main access route to Britain in protest over “disruption” caused by the migrants.[Watch Video]
The French port of Calais has been inundated with thousands of migrants seeking ways to reach the United Kingdom. Blocked from transportation across the English Channel, the migrants have established a squalid camp, while residents of Calais feel the crisis is hurting the town. Special correspondent Malcolm Brabant reports.
Fabienne Buccio, head of the local administration, said the French government had 4,400 accommodations around France for the migrants, the AP reported.
The UK has agreed to take in some of the unaccompanied children in the camp who have relatives in that country. France also announced 80 college-aged students are being enrolled in a public university in Lille where they will learn French.
Migrants will be able to apply for asylum when they are relocated, French officials said earlier this summer.
The post France to shut down ‘Jungle’ migrant camp early next week appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You can imagine it is not easy to step in and take over a popular broadcast show, especially one that was hosted for more than 40 years by its creator and stamped with his personality.
But as the new season kicks off for one of public radio’s longtime favorites, Jeffrey Brown has the story of how a new host is trying to put his own spin on it.
CHRIS THILE, A Prairie Home Companion: You know, I suspect we’re going to have some fun this evening.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
JEFFREY BROWN: The new “A Prairie Home Companion,” still at the beautiful Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, still a two-hour variety show presented live on public radio, but now led by 35-year-old Chris Thile.
CHRIS THILE: I’m obsessed with the good things that people make to give to one another. This show is a place, has been one of America’s most consistent sources of good things for 40 years. And I feel like it’s imperative that it continue.
JEFFREY BROWN: Since its founding in 1974, of course, “A Prairie Home Companion” has been synonymous with one man, Garrison Keillor. He hosted it, wrote it, embodied it with a sense of the people and place he knew in his bones.
GARRISON KEILLOR, A Prairie Home Companion: That’s the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking.
JEFFREY BROWN: Two years ago on this very stage, Keillor told me of the magic of radio and storytelling.
GARRISON KEILLOR: I think there’s — there’s a lot of power in listening to one person talking to you. And — and this should never be underestimated.
JEFFREY BROWN: It was Keillor who hand-picked his successor, one who’d been performing on the show since age 15 and had listened to it even earlier.
CHRIS THILE: Some of my earliest memories are of hearing Garrison Keillor’s voice in our living room, at a point when I…
JEFFREY BROWN: Really?
CHRIS THILE: Yes, when I couldn’t even tell the difference between his voice and my father’s voice. It’s like an authoritative — this authoritative, paternal sound coming from the radio.
JEFFREY BROWN: Chris Thile, who grew up in Southern California, was a child prodigy on the mandolin. With groups like Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers, he grew into a leader of a new generation of bluegrass-based, genre-bending musicians.
He can seemingly do anything with his instrument. I first spoke to Thile three years ago when he recorded an album of Bach Partitas.
CHRIS THILE: The fugal pieces where they’re all about precision, and these second voices come in and then there’s a third voice.
JEFFREY BROWN: Musician, band leader, showman, and now host of a program that’s lost listeners in recent years, but still reaches some three-and-a-half million.
We watched rehearsal the day before the first live show. During a break, Thile spoke of the challenge of bringing in new and younger viewers, while replacing Garrison Keillor.
CHRIS THILE: I believe strongly that quality is not a generationally exclusive thing, that when you get to a certain level of goodness, it will appeal to everyone. I think there will necessarily be people who wanted exactly what Garrison was delivering and don’t want anything else. I have to…
JEFFREY BROWN: You may lose some people.
CHRIS THILE: I have to let them go…
JEFFREY BROWN: Yes.
CHRIS THILE: … because they will be just as dissatisfied with my best imitation of Garrison Keillor’s delivery of the show as they will be with whatever I would like to do with it. But I also really think that they will be in the minority.
And now another exciting episode of Detective Miller, phone cop.
JEFFREY BROWN: The new news from Lake Wobegon? It’s gone, as are some of the show’s regular storylines.
But actor Tim Russell has stayed on and now works with new writers. I asked what we might expect, and he went right into character.
TIM RUSSELL, Actor: Well, I must tell you, Chris — I mean Jeffrey. I’m sorry. I’m not good with names, OK? There might be a little political stuff. I don’t know. You could ask Bernie Sanders, but one-tenth of what we do will maybe be comedic.
What this public radio station needs is a membership revolution.
JEFFREY BROWN: Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump did make it into one skit.
TIM RUSSELL: It’s true. It’s true. Only I can make public radio great again. OK?
JEFFREY BROWN: But the humor is still more Saturday evening Minnesota than “Saturday Night Live.”
The nasty political season did come up in a song about autumn that Thile wrote. Instead of a Keillor-like opening monologue, he plans to begin each show with an original tune. He also plans to shake up the musical offerings a bit, which is just fine by longtime bandleader Rich Dworsky, who started at “Prairie Home” 23 years ago and will stay on.
RICH DWORSKY, Band Leader, “A Prairie Home Companion”: Chris is 35 years old, so he knows a different set of music. He knows different cultural references. So, everything is going to be maybe a little bit younger and hipper and edgier, you know, like the kids are today.
JEFFREY BROWN: Like those kids are.
RICH DWORSKY: And now I’m the old guy.
JEFFREY BROWN: For week one, the musical muscle came from a bona fide rock star, Jack White, and from the pop-soul sound of a rising group, Lake Street Dive.
Rachael Price and Mike Olson think the new “Prairie Home” can connect with young people eager for a music experience that goes beyond Pandora or Spotify.
RACHAEL PRICE, Lake Street Dive: The more that formats change, the more relevant these sort of older formats become, because they have so much value.
MIKE OLSON, Lake Street Dive: The desire to have a vinyl record and the desire to listen to a variety show and these kinds of things goes beyond nostalgia. And that’s a very visceral experience. And there’s something I think directly transferable to a show like this.
JEFFREY BROWN: To the extent that it can even be a cool thing?
RACHAEL PRICE: Yes. It’s cool that people used to sit down in their homes and listen to the radio together. That’s a cool thing. And there’s no reason why we should stop doing that, even though we have all of these other ways to, like, entertain ourselves.
JEFFREY BROWN: This, Chris Thile believes in his bones.
CHRIS THILE: Radio is a podcast that’s happening right now, live radio. Like, this is — our show is a live show, so…
JEFFREY BROWN: You like that aspect, clearly.
CHRIS THILE: I love that. There is nothing between you and what’s happening, like the — and I love the communal aspect of that, the idea that we could be connected in real time with that many people. The radio hasn’t lost any of its relevance in our lives. It’s still a unique piece of technology.
JEFFREY BROWN: Lake Wobegon may be gone, that is, but a great show, live on the radio, well, maybe that lives on.
CHRIS THILE: It is such a pleasure to spend a Saturday evening in this fashion with you fine people out there in radio land and here at the Fitz. I look forward to many, many more.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
JEFFREY BROWN: From St. Paul, Minnesota, I’m Jeffrey Brown for the “PBS NewsHour.”
JUDY WOODRUFF: Online, you can watch Chris Thile perform his first original song of the week for the new show about this autumn season of leaves falling and campaign rhetoric flying. That’s at PBS.org/NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Student debt has been a big talking point on the 2016 campaign trail. Hillary Clinton proposes making tuition free for many students at public colleges. Donald Trump would expand limits on how much borrowers have to pay back each month.
But what about those already holding debt?
We take a look as part of our series How the Deck Is Stacked, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in partnership with “Frontline” and Marketplace.
Marketplace’s Lizzie O’Leary has the first of two stories.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: If everything had gone according to plan, Chris Savelle would be on Wall Street right now, not biking through downtown Detroit in a free weekly community ride.
Savelle, who is 31, graduated into the teeth of the recession. He’s got $100,000 in student loan debt on his mind.
What does $100,000 feel like?
CHRIS SAVELLE, Student Borrower: It sucks.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: Jessica Love Jordan is in a similar situation. She started college late and is now working on finishing her master’s in addiction counseling. She juggles school, work and being a single parent. Sometimes, the debt feels too much.
JESSICA LOVE JORDAN, Student Borrower: Now and again, when I look at the statement, and see how much I actually have to pay back, it’s almost suffocating. I have those fleeing thoughts, you know what, let me just stop now, and go work, so I can be able to live later on in life.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: When she graduates, she can expect to make about $33,000 annually as an addiction counselor. Her debt will be about $90,000.
The median student debt is much lower than Savelle or Love Jordan’s, about $27,000. But their experiences are similar to those of many students who attended state universities at a time when their budgets were being cut, and as the great recession hit. The money for school had to come from somewhere, in most cases, students.
Where did you think you would be in your life at 31?
CHRIS SAVELLE: Go work for an investment firm or hedge fund, Chicago, New York, something like that.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: But when Savelle graduated in 2008, the best job he could find was at a local Wal-Mart. He’s recovered somewhat now. He works as a supply chain engineer, and supports his mother and sister.
Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab has been researching the rising price of college for years.
How has the aid picture changed as median incomes have stagnated, really, for the last 20 years?
SARA GOLDRICK-RAB, Temple University: The sticker price on a per student basis has gone up a lot, while the amount of financial aid on a per student basis has gone down. So, the result is that the net price, the amount that the families actually pay out of their pocket, is rising, and it’s rising fairly rapidly.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: More than 40 million Americans have student loan debt. The total amount is around $1.3 trillion. Even so, there are experts like Sandy Baum, who studies student debt at the Urban Institute, and says only certain people are being hurt.
SANDY BAUM, Urban Institute: Student debt is a crisis for some people, but student debt is not the generalized crisis that the common discourse would make it appear. Yes, people are paying more of their incomes for a college education, but still it’s worth it for most people. It’s still a very good investment for most people, but not for everyone.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: Sara Goldrick-Rab says far too many people are being saddled with substantial debt.
You wrote that debt is a symptom, not the disease. It sounds like you think the disease is the high price.
SARA GOLDRICK-RAB: The disease is the price. And we have a problem, where people are being priced out of college, and in their effort to not be priced out, they’re taking on debt that, frankly, they’re going to have real trouble repaying.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: People like Jordan Hoeft. He’s been trying to get a more manageable payment plan. He studied film, but couldn’t get a job in the industry. He now owes $100,000 in private student loans, but was paying interest only until recently.
He lives at home in the Chicago suburbs with his parents. They already were tapped out after helping his siblings with loans. So Jordan’s parents asked his grandparents to co-sign. And when his debt piled up, the loan servicer came calling.
MELODI HOEFT, Jordan’s Mother: My father co-signed for some of the kids’ loans after Patrick and I were tapped out on signing, co-signing for them. My father passed away, and within 60 days of my dad passing away, the private student loan venders were calling my mom, harassing her, wanting her to pay the balance in full.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: The whole thing?
MELODI HOEFT: The whole balance, and that he — they were not in arrears at all. My mom called me crying, saying, “I don’t have that money and they want me to pay this loan.” And I said, oh, no.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: She must have been terrified?
MELODI HOEFT: She was hysterical.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: Jordan Hoeft’s loans are serviced by Navient, which spun off from Sallie Mae, and now owns its student debt business. It is one of the nation’s largest student debt servicers. The company handles both private and federal loans.
Hoeft’s loans are private, not federal, and had a high interest rate.
JORDAN HOEFT, Student Borrower: So, I told them, almost as a joke, I said, I can either have you guys lower my payments, so I can make rent, and then pay you, or I can live in my truck and make the full payments to you every month. And the woman on the phone, dead serious, told me, “I don’t want to tell you to have to live in your truck, but you might have to live in your truck.”
LIZZIE O’LEARY: We asked Navient about that phone call, and they told us — quote — “Our representative sympathizes with Mr. Hoeft, and the two establish a rapport in which she dismisses his facetious comment that he may need to live in his car. Our representative didn’t urge him to live in his car. Rather, she encourages him to consider a practical option, such as finding a roommate to split expenses.”
Jordan and his mother decided to do something about how they were being treated by their servicer and reached out to their state’s top law enforcement officer.
LISA MADIGAN, Attorney General, Illinois: I have seen an increasing number of fraud complaints from current and former higher education students.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: Lisa Madigan is the attorney general for Illinois. After noticing a rise in complaints against companies involved in higher education, Madigan filed lawsuits against several for-profit schools. Now she is leading a multistate investigation into Navient.
Why did you decide to look at Navient?
LISA MADIGAN: It was the volume of complaints that we received and the serious nature of them. We have looked at over 5,000 complaints, we have listened to over 800 phone calls, and we have been able to determine that, time and time again, the servicers are not providing borrowers with their repayment options.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: The majority of student loans are federal and originate with the Department of Education, but they’re contracted out to a handful of companies who manage the payments. It’s a $140 billion industry annually, and servicers, like Navient, make about $2 billion in commission per year.
LISA MADIGAN: Most of the time, what they do if someone is struggling is, they will put them into a forbearance, which is not necessarily going to be the best thing for that borrower in the long run, certainly not going to make that debt any more manageable. In fact, it will often tend to grow that debt.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: There are several ways to reduce monthly payments. Deferment or forbearance temporarily postpones payments, but interest may continue to accrue while payments are on hold.
For federal loans, there are several income-based repayment options, where a borrower pays a portion of their discretionary income, from 10 percent down to zero if they’re unemployed. Madigan thinks servicers are pushing borrowers into forbearance.
LISA MADIGAN: Unfortunately, the way it ends up working out is, it’s good for the servicer, because they’re incentivized through their compensation to get people through the process, but it is bad for the borrower, which is ultimately bad for that person’s family and bad for our overall economy.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: Navient declined to comment directly on Madigan’s investigation and instead sent this statement: “Navient is a leader in enrolling eligible borrowers into income-driven repayment programs. We have been strong advocates for streamlining the enrollment process to make it easier for borrowers.”
“PBS NewsHour” requested an interview with the Department of Education. It declined.
The department pointed us to this policy memo suggesting servicers provide better information to borrowers, but any changes, if approved, wouldn’t take effect until 2019.
Borrowers like Jordan Hoeft may never see any changes.
Seth Frotman of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau says his agency is tracking complaints. The agency has started monitoring many key financial players, including loan service companies.
SETH FROTMAN, Consumer Finance Protection Bureau: And there’s an amazing government audit that found that 70 percent of federal student loan borrowers in default, so have defaulted on their loans, were actually eligible for an income-generated payment plan as low as zero dollars.
I think that’s an abysmal failure. And I think that’s a direct implication of student loan servicers and the oversight over student loan servicers.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: The borrowers most likely to default? Those with $10,000 or less in student loans. They have lower debt, but are less likely to have completed their degrees and may have lower earnings.
Chris Savelle’s debt has affected his little sister’s future as well.
If it weren’t for Chris’ debt, do you think Katie would be in a four-year school now?
JAN SAVELLE, Chris Savell’s Mother: I think she would. I think if she could see that she could get an education without having a lifetime of crushing debt, I think she would.
LIZZIE O’LEARY: The legacy of Chris Savelle’s debt will be with him, his sister and his whole generation long after it’s paid.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” this is Lizzie O’Leary in Detroit
JUDY WOODRUFF: In our next piece, the impact of debt on some students at for-profit schools.
And, online, we look at which student loan companies accrue the most complaints by borrowers.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But, first, for the second time this week, we get the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That is syndicated columnist Mark Shields, and New York Times columnist David Brooks, who’s joining us tonight from Houston.
And it’s so exciting. We get to see you twice this week.
MARK SHIELDS: Right.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The first time, Mark, of course was after Wednesday night’s debate, the final debate between these presidential candidates. What has changed since then?
MARK SHIELDS: I think the third debate, Judy, I think there was an awareness Donald Trump is not an unintelligent man. And he understood, I think, two things after the debates, A, that Hillary Clinton had beaten him in three debates.
She was better prepared. She outflanked him tactically. She got him to go for the bait on things like choked when meeting with the president of Mexico. And also there has to be the understanding that this was — because he was trailing, has been trailing in the polls, this was the last great chance where two campaigns collide, they’re on the same stage, he could challenge, change the terms of the debate. He didn’t.
And he, I think, almost as a consolation, has tried to divert the debate that he’s losing to a discussion, I mean, a reckless and dangerous discussion, about the legitimacy of the American elections, something that’s never been challenged before by any major party candidate.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Where do you see things right now, David?
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I do think there is an acceptance, I don’t know if in Donald Trump’s brain, but certainly in the Republican Party, about the fact that he’s going to lose, or the likelihood that he’s going to lose.
And the question becomes, how do people react to that? Two weeks ago, I was in Idaho, and I ran into a guy who said, well, obviously Trump is going to win because everybody I know is voting for him. And I tried to persuade — argue with this guy, well, if you look at the polls, he is actually not leading.
And this guy just wouldn’t accept that. That was not part of his lived reality. And you got the sense a guy like that, if Trump does lose, will be very angry and disbelieving and may be sensitive to the idea that the election was rigged.
Yesterday, I was in Mississippi. And there, there was a quietude, a passivity. I don’t know all the stages of grief, but acceptance is one of them. And there was a level of acceptance in a lot of the folks I spoke to there. I suspect that the latter group is the larger part and that, even if he does protest the election in some way, there will be some acceptance that he lost fair and square.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark, how much fallout is there over Trump’s unwillingness to say that he will accept the results of the election, whatever they are?
MARK SHIELDS: Well, I think, first of all, Judy, it puts other Republican candidates in a terrible position.
I mean, you have noticed the parade, the cavalcade of Republicans attesting to their belief in the ballot box, the belief in legitimacy and validity of American elections. Republicans are on the ballot on November 8. They’re going to win or lose by 100 votes or 200 votes in some cases. Do they want the legitimacy of that election tested?
So, I think, in that sense — but just enlarging upon what David — the point David made, it’s not restricted to the Trump people who don’t believe. There are Democrats who don’t believe that — there is a cleavage and a divide in this country like I have never seen before.
If you’re on the other side from me, you’re not simply wrong or ill-informed or mistaken. We don’t share the same country, the same values. You may not be the same kind of an American I am.
I think it’s really dangerous and it’s an enormous challenge for the next president.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, David, you’re seeing that out there on the trail, if you will, where you have been traveling around the country.
I want to ask you, though, about Trump’s continued, I don’t know — how do you describe the state he’s in? He goes to the Al Smith Dinner in New York City last night. This gets a lot of coverage today, where he — instead of doing the sort of self-deprecating jokes that people traditionally do, he really continues to go hard after Hillary Clinton.
Does it matter at this point that he’s still angry?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, angry is what he does.
I have to say, I read all the coverage, expecting to be appalled by his speech and cheered by Clinton’s. I thought they were both pretty bad. I thought they were both a little too harsh.
His was worse, but hers wasn’t funny or particularly well-delivered. So, it’s going to be a dreary couple of years of comedy acts, no matter who is elected.
I do think that his attacks, the line that she hates Catholics, is just tone-deaf and it’s just inner bitterness that is coming to the surface in unattractive ways. And I do think, starting with the — not only starting, but continuing with the claim that he won’t accept the — automatically the results of the election does fundamentally undermine the etiquette we have built up in our society.
Our system is not only based on rules, but a series of self-restraints that we won’t be as barbaric as we could be in competing for power because we know if we’re all barbaric as we could be, the whole country and the whole society falls apart.
And my critique with conservatives who say, well, I really hate the guy, but I need to vote for him because of the Supreme Court, the problem is that the moral foundation of the society, the way we interact with each other is more fundamental than the Supreme Court.
And if that gets polluted and that gets destroyed by somebody who’s just brutalistic and savage, then it doesn’t matter who’s on the Supreme Court because we have lost our country. And so I think their argument that the Supreme Court is worth it is basically the wrong argument when he’s behaving this way.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Pick up on that, Mark.
MARK SHIELDS: Sure.
No, the Al Smith Dinner, first of all, it’s a marvelous occasion. It’s really where people, candidates do come. And, Judy, you have covered enough campaigns. One of the first things every press secretary assures you is, the boss has a wonderful sense of humor, because not to have a sense of humor is considered flagrantly un-American.
And I remember George W. Bush at that dinner in 2000 standing up and saying, look at this audience, designer dresses and white tie and tails, the haves and the have-mores. Some people call you the elite. I call you my base.
So, he was laughing at himself that he was the candidate of the well-off or whatever else. And I think Trump just missed this completely. But I agree with David that there was too much of an edge even in Clinton’s remarks. But Trump just missed the whole thing, and it was — it’s a tone-deafness that’s — it’s unsettling.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, let’s talk a little bit, Mark and David, about what Hillary Clinton is saying out on the trail.
She isn’t hitting as many campaign stops as he is, but, David, we see today she is talking to voters about — she is saying things like, think about the future of the country. What sort of future do you want, what sort of country do you want? She said at one point, you live your life. I will do the worrying.
Does it sound like she’s already winding this thing down?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, there is a lot of let’s go for the landslide talk out of the Democratic Party, which a normal — the normal rules of campaigning, that’s a no-no.
You want your people to come out. You don’t want them to think, oh, we got this one in the bag. And so they may be trying to run up the score just to renounce the whole idea of the Trump idea. I get that.
But it’s come out in the WikiLeaks. And it’s been evident. And Mark and I have been talking about it at each debate. It’s not clear to people outside the campaign and even, as we learned from WikiLeaks, inside the campaign, what the core passion is.
What are — the core, animating thing that she would go to the mat for? And I still think that’s true. And in her rallies this week, it’s still evident that she doesn’t have a core rally, except for denying Donald Trump — a core passion, except denying Donald Trump the presidency.
I hope she finishes with something, because, in the likelihood that she wins, something to coast off of to sort of give herself a sense of priorities for the next few months and then the first 100 days.
JUDY WOODRUFF: You know, Mark, that’s a critique that you and David have been making for some time.
MARK SHIELDS: Repetitively.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Competitively. You have been making it repetitively, competitively.
MARK SHIELDS: I have anyway. David makes it freshly.
JUDY WOODRUFF: But some version of it, you both have been critical of her for not having a theme to her campaign.
Do you just at this point assume we’re not going to hear it, or…
MARK SHIELDS: Yes, I don’t think it’s there. I don’t think the lift of a driving dream or whatever, the Obama lift, the Reagan lift, I just don’t — I don’t think it’s there.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Stronger together doesn’t…
MARK SHIELDS: Stronger together is, I think, a preposition and a comparative adjective, but it’s not really an action verb or what it is.
I do think it makes sense for the Democrats to — that Trump has done a favor for them as far as turnout, because there isn’t that kind of enthusiasm and passion for her candidacy. And by his question of legitimacy, the idea that your vote does count, that it does matter, because, if it’s close, he’s going to raise questions about it.
So I think, in a strange way, he’s become the turnout agent for Democratic voting on November 8 by his questioning of the legitimacy and saying he’s going to challenge whether — the constitutionality of the vote. So I think, in that sense, it works.
But I don’t think we’re going to get that — not going to take us to the top of the mountain.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, is he doing her that favor?
JUDY WOODRUFF: Go ahead. Go ahead, David.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes, I would say I ran into a guy in Louisiana, in New Orleans, because I’m going to the fun places, too.
And he said he was going to vote for neither of the candidates, just because he was so appalled, until that Trump reference to not respecting the election results. And then he decided to go for Clinton, because he said, listen, this guy’s got to lose badly. We have got to at least defend that principle.
And so I do think that what he said sort of over — did overshadow everything he said in the debate and will drive up some of Clinton’s margins potentially.
JUDY WOODRUFF: There is so much talk in this country about how divided the country is still going to be, Mark, after this election.
Is there anything these candidates can do, either the candidates at the top of the ticket, Paul Ryan, or any of the other candidates can do to begin to address that, or do you just wait until the election is over and hope it works out?
MARK SHIELDS: You hope that there will be a sense of resolution.
I think Democrats ought to be concerned, Judy, that the party, in this election, has become almost prideful about the college-educated vote that it’s getting, the support that Hillary Clinton is getting against Donald Trump.
And, understandably, white working-class voters or working-class voters have felt abandoned, have felt, in many senses, disparaged by the political leadership of the country. And they have been the core historically of the Democratic Party, whether it’s Norma Rae or Joe Hill or the great stories of fighting for the underdog.
And I think the Democrats, I would hope that Hillary Clinton and the Democratic leadership wouldn’t be quite as smug about saying, oh, we have got the college-educated, aren’t we something, and understand that the anger and the sense of outrage and hurt that these people are feeling, many of whom are supporting Donald Trump, is legitimate and real.
And they feel abandoned by the Democratic Party, by Washington and certainly hurt by Wall Street.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, David, no matter what the outcome, the Democrats are due for some soul-searching, along with the Republicans?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, everybody.
I mean, I certainly hear a lot of people say that Trump not only incited some bad things. He also exposed some things. He exposed pain in the country that a lot of us didn’t have the full extent of, some of the divisions and chasms in the country.
And so that’s been an education which Donald Trump has given us, to his credit. And, secondly — and maybe it’s just what people say to me, but I hear a lot of desire for a snap-back, that we have had so much vulgarity, so much throwing away of any standards of decency, that there has been a lot of people coming forward and say, no, let’s — on matters of how we talk to each other, on matters how we respect each other and relate to each other, let’s not only stop doing this, let’s snap back and address the problems that we have all been suffering under during this election campaign.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Wouldn’t that be a welcome thing?
MARK SHIELDS: Well, David, the coarsening of the culture didn’t begin with Donald Trump. He’s accelerated it, but it did not — we have coarsened our country over the last generation.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark Shields, David Brooks, thank you both.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: Next: A judge ruled today that a Maryland man accused of stealing massive amounts of information from the National Security Agency was a flight risk and will remain in federal custody.
William Brangham has the story.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: This past August, Harold Martin III was arrested at his home in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. In his house, investigators discovered the equivalent of half-a-billion pages of documents and electronic data, some allegedly taken from the NSA’s headquarters at nearby Fort Meade.
Among the documents were ones marked top-secret and also tools used by the NSA to hack into the computer networks of foreign governments.
Joining me now for more on this case is Matt Apuzzo, who’s been covering this story for The New York Times.
Matt Apuzzo, welcome.
I wonder if you would just start off by laying out the case against this gentleman, and what is his defense?
MATT APUZZO, The New York Times: Well, I mean, what is fascinating is there is the case that’s been brought.
And the case that’s been brought, as you said, is, hey, this guy had terabytes, billions of pages of documents in his house, in his shed, in the back seat of his car, in the trunk of his car, and, obviously, you’re not supposed to do that. So, there is that case.
But then there is this other case that’s kind of looming over all this, and the question is, is he the guy who, not too long ago, facilitated the release of NSA documents, basically for ransom, put them up for sale online? These were hacking tools, the way the government, the United States government, hacks into other countries and businesses and whatnot?
And so that’s really what’s going on here, is, there’s, OK, he mishandled classified information. He has basically admitted that. But is he the guy, is he part of some network that’s putting information up for sale?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, this originally came about, as you’re indicating, there was this group called the Shadow Brokers who were auctioning off this software.
MATT APUZZO: Right.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And is it correct that investigators who were looking into that release and that case, that’s how they discovered Martin?
MATT APUZZO: Yes.
What we’re told here is that Martin sort of popped up on their radar screen during the early parts of the investigation into the Shadow Brokers’ release, and using some clever forensics and sort of old-fashioned investigative skills, were able to identify Martin.
And then when they raided his house, I think they were stunned to find as much stuff as they found. We’re talking about 20 years of classified information. It’s basically a catalogue of how the NSA has stored data over the past two decades. He has got stuff in paper. He has got stuff on C.D.s. He has got stuff on thumb drives. He has got stuff.
It just tells a story, and it’s a little archive of the NSA.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And what is Martin’s defense for all this? What does he say?
MATT APUZZO: Well, we haven’t heard a full defense.
Our understanding of what he’s told the FBI is he acknowledges that he took the stuff and he wasn’t supposed to take it, but there seems to be a little bit of, well, I was taking this stuff home to study it to become better at my job, to become a better patriot, to be a better NSA contractor.
Unlike somebody like Edward Snowden, who had, you know, a privacy, a libertarian bent, what we’re hearing about Harold Martin is that he was very rah-rah for the NSA and for the government’s programs and believed that he was a patriot.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So, has the government indicated at all what they think his motive might be for this? Why would he have these tools in his house?
MATT APUZZO: No, it’s a great question.
And more so than why did he have these tools in the house, if he’s been doing it 20 years, why would he start now, like — and why would he start with documents? These are questions that are at the heart of the case.
And I think if the government knew that in a really big way, we would have seen it in the court documents. We might have seen it in court. And so what you’re hearing now is, I think, a lot of federal investigators scratching their head and saying, we know we have got a big case here and we know there’s a lot of smoke, but can we prove it? Can we prove that — can we link him to these leaked documents, can we link him to some other — to a foreign intelligence service?
And so far, that hasn’t materialized in a provable way.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: More broadly, can we just talk a little bit about how damaging this might be for the NSA? This is the second instance where an NSA contractor has walked out the door with truckloads of incredibly valuable data.
What is the impact on the NSA from this kind of a thing?
MATT APUZZO: Sure.
I think one of the things, the damage assessment, the risk assessment is going on. And one of the questions they are going to have to face is, if they can’t figure out if any of the data has been compromised, do they have to assume that it’s all been compromised? And does that mean you have to start shutting down programs or whatnot?
But from a practical standpoint, yes, it really just does boggle the mind that you can, for 20 years, just walk out of the building with papers and thumb drives and C.D.s and whatnot. It certainly does make you wonder how that happens. And you can bet that that’s going to be something that they are going to be looking awful hard at.
And after Edward Snowden, too, that we’re still having this discussion, it kind of does boggle the mind.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: All right. It’s a case we will obviously keep watching as it goes forward.
Matt Apuzzo of The New York Times, thanks so much.
MATT APUZZO: Thanks for having me.
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BATON ROUGE, La. — White supremacist David Duke has qualified for a televised debate in Louisiana’s U.S. Senate race.
Duke’s campaign hasn’t said whether he plans to attend the debate, which will be held at historically black Dillard University.
Raycom Media commissioned an independent poll to determine which candidates to include in its Nov. 2 debate in New Orleans, which will air live on its TV stations across much of the state.
Any candidate with 5 percent or more in that poll received an invite — and Duke narrowly hit the mark, getting 5.1 percent in the telephone survey done by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research.
Five other contenders polled above him and also will be able to participate in the debate.
Duke didn’t qualify for a previous televised debate.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: We return to the presidential election now for a look at where the race stands, what each nominee’s path to victory is and how down-ballot races are shaking out this year.
We are joined by our own correspondent Lisa Desjardins and Nathan Gonzales. He’s editor of The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report and elections editor for Roll Call.
And hello to both of you.
So, Nathan, let’s start with you.
The electoral vote map has shifted a little. Tell us what things look like right now.
NATHAN GONZALES, The Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report: Well, Secretary Clinton has had the advantage both in the national polls, the national vote, but also in the Electoral College for quite some time.
But right now, she continues — there are a couple of states, Florida and North Carolina, that we just moved from tossup to leaning, tilting Democratic, and that just adds to the 270 electoral votes. Right now, on our map, we have over 323 electoral votes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Whoa.
NATHAN GONZALES: The two tossups that are remaining, I think, are Iowa and Ohio. And what is remarkable is, you would have told Republicans that you are going to win Ohio and you’re even going to win Iowa, a President Obama that won twice, I think they would be ecstatic.
The bad news is Florida, North Carolina, Wisconsin, Nevada, all of these other states are in poor shape. And there’s kind of a soft underbelly of some traditionally Republican states that Trump is risking losing as well.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Lisa, given that, what is Donald Trump’s path forward?
LISA DESJARDINS: Don’t you wonder?
And this is the fun part. This is where I get to say let’s look at the map. I think the best way to think of it is that he needs to win 64 more electoral votes than Mitt Romney did in 2012. The simplest way to do that is the big three states. That’s Pennsylvania, Ohio and Florida.
Problem there, Pennsylvania, Donald Trump has not won a poll in Pennsylvania since June, since before his convention. So let’s imagine that Pennsylvania is off the plate. And let’s also imagine this is not — we don’t know if this will happen — that Florida and Ohio, for the sake of argument, go Trump. That’s what he’s hoping for in his path to victory.
What does he have to do then? Well, look at the remaining swing states we have across the country. Donald Trump now has to win two or three of these in order to become president. These are states like Colorado, Wisconsin, Michigan, Virginia? What do they have in common?
As you just heard from Nathan, they have all been moving in Hillary Clinton’s direction strongly. Just Iowa remains really as a swing state in that group. And, as Nathan said, Judy, he has got problems on home turf like Arizona, places that are moving away from him, and North Carolina that he needs to keep.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Nathan, confirming, those are tough gets for Donald Trump, aren’t they?
NATHAN GONZALES: It is.
And I think it’s important to remember that this was going to be tough for any Republican nominee, Marco Rubio or John Kasich. There were four tossups coming into the election, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, and Virginia. And once we saw Colorado and Virginia moving toward Hillary Clinton, that means that it had to be Pennsylvania or another a big state. And it’s just not coming together.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Now, Lisa, you have looked at the polls and you have looked at why it is that Hillary Clinton has moved up, and I think it’s interesting, these results.
LISA DESJARDINS: Right.
I was wondering, what is going on? A lot of people might think, oh, well, women are shifting. No, when you look at the polls in these key states that are moving the most, it’s actually men who are changing. When you look at polls out of Nevada, for example, Monmouth polls this month vs. last month show that men under 50 years old, they’re voting 53 percent for Hillary Clinton right now, but a month ago, 29 percent.
That’s an unbelievable shift of 24 points in a month. And you see this in other states and nationally. And it seems men are moving away from Donald Trump right now.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s just there are stories all over the map.
And, Nathan, let’s talk about the Senate seats. Right now, it is very much in Republican hands. And Republicans seemed to be holding on to that majority up until recently, but now with this shift at the presidential level, what’s happening?
NATHAN GONZALES: Sure.
Republicans — well, Democrats need to gain four seats in order to get to 50. Vice President Tim Kaine would be the tie-breaker. So, four is the magic number. And I think, for most of the cycle, Republican candidates were remarkably resilient, based on Donald Trump being at the top of the ticket.
But then there was the “Access Hollywood” tape, the second debate, and now we have seen a steep decline in Trump’s numbers. And the presidential race has always had an impact on Senate races, but, as his hole gets deeper, that increases the number of ticket-splitters that these Republicans need in order to survive.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Lisa, talk about how then exactly the Democrats’ chances look for taking over the Senate.
LISA DESJARDINS: Yet again, let’s go to the map. I love it.
This is a case where again Republicans walked in with a disadvantage. And this is why, because, if you look at all the seats that are tossups this year, depending on how you count them, maybe about eight of them we will put on this map, the vast majority of them are red, they are held by Republicans. There is one, Nevada, that Democrats are defending.
Now, if you take these seats, it seems the most vulnerable for Republicans are two, Wisconsin and Illinois. So let’s imagine that they do go Democratic. That’s two of the four that Nathan says that Democrats need.
Then we have got six these remaining swing states that, of those, Democrats need to win three. So, is that maybe a win in Pennsylvania and New Hampshire, where Kelly Ayotte, who was doing well and now is having a problem? Same thing in Pennsylvania, where we see the incumbent Senator Toomey is also having a problem.
They were outperforming Trump a month ago. Now they’re on the ropes. And Democrats need to just pick up three of this group of six swing Senate seats. So, it’s getting more and more within their reach.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Nathan, if things look a little better for the Democrats in the Senate, what about the House? That’s been a reach. What does it look like now?
NATHAN GONZALES: Democrats have always had a tough reach in the House. They need 30 seats to gain 30 seats. Now, 30 out of 435 doesn’t sound like very many, but 30, when only about 40 are competitive, is tough.
They basically have to run the table. And, so far, we haven’t seen a uniform drop in Republican candidate support across the country. There are vulnerable districts out there, but I think the margin is probably closer to 10, 15 seats, 20 seats, rather than 30, because Trump is getting destroyed in the suburbs.
He is causing some suburban Republican incumbents to be vulnerable in the suburbs. But Trump is actually going well in a place like rural Michigan, Michigan’s 1st District, a seat Democrats have to win, but Trump’s performance is actually helping Republicans keep that seat.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Republicans losing some seats, but not anywhere near enough to lose the majority?
NATHAN GONZALES: Right now, it doesn’t look like the majority is in danger.
But two weeks can be a lot of time, and these House races are the latest ones to develop.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Two-and-a-half weeks to go.
Nathan Gonzales, Lisa Desjardins, thank you.
NATHAN GONZALES: Thank you.
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At least 53 people were killed and some 300 injured after a train traveling between Cameroon’s two largest cities derailed on Friday, state media reported.
The passenger train derailed and overturned nearby the town Eseka, which is about 75 miles away from its departure point in the capital Yaounde, Edgard Alain Mebe Ngo’o, Cameroon’s transport minister said today.
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“There was a loud noise. I looked back and the wagons behind us left the rails and started rolling over and over. There was a lot of smoke,” said a Reuters journalist, who was traveling near the train.
Rail officials said the train, which was heading for the port city of Douala, was carrying 1,300 passengers instead of the usual capacity of 600, the Associated Press reported.
The accident occurred around 11 a.m. local time Friday, following several days of heavy rain that triggered landslides that affected roads in the area, AP reported.
Cameroon Radio Television reported that rescue teams were dispatched to the scene of the crash. People injured were transported to a nearby hospital.
According to Reuters, train derailments are “relatively common” in West and Central Africa due to poor maintenance of the rail lines.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Russia extended a pause in fighting in Aleppo, Syria, for a third day, to allow people to receive aid, that after the U.N. said planned evacuations of the rebel-held east were halted, due to a lack of security guarantees from the warring sides.
Meanwhile, addressing a meeting in Geneva, the U.N.’s High Commissioner for Human Rights again denounced Russian and Syrian airstrikes.
ZEID BIN RA’AD ZEID AL-HUSSEIN, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights: Indiscriminate airstrikes across the eastern part of the city by government forces and their allies are responsible for the overwhelming majority of civilian casualties, and these violations constitute war crimes. And if knowingly committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against civilians, they constitute crimes against humanity.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Separately, the United Nations set up a special inquiry today to investigate alleged human rights abuses in Aleppo.
In Iraq, Islamic State militants launched attacks of their own today in and around the northern city of Kirkuk. Suicide bombers stormed a power plant, killing 13 workers, including four Iranians. Explosions and gunfire echoed throughout that area for hours.
The assault was apparently aimed at diverting Iraqi and Kurdish forces away from their massive offensive in the ISIS-held city of Mosul. A passenger train derailed in the Central African country of Cameroon today, killing at least 55 people and injuring nearly 600 more. Some 1,300 people were on board, more than twice the normal load. First-responders struggled to pull mud-soaked victims from the wreckage. Heavy rains had caused several roads in the area to collapse.
Back in this country, a series of cyber-attacks made dozens of popular Web sites inaccessible today, from Twitter to the music streaming site Spotify. The hack targeted the New Hampshire-based Internet infrastructure provider Dyn. The attacks were launched from devices infected with malware from millions of I.P. addresses around the world. The FBI is still working to determine who’s behind the hack.
The president of the Philippines has clarified comments he made yesterday about a — quote — “separation” from the United States. Rodrigo Duterte says he’s not cutting ties with the U.S., but rather meant that the Philippines — quote — “need not dovetail the foreign policy of America.”
In Washington, White House spokesman Josh Earnest expressed concern about the leader’s recent pronouncements.
JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: We have seen too many troubling public statements from President Duterte over the last several months. And the frequency of that rhetoric has added an element of unnecessary uncertainty into our relationship that doesn’t advance the interests of either country.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The U.S. and the Philippines have been allies for 70 years.
A U.S. Navy warship sailed near disputed islands in the South China Sea today, drawing a stern rebuke from China. The USS Decatur drew close to the Paracel Islands, one of the territories contested by China and its neighbors, before two Chinese ships warned it to leave. China’s Defense Ministry called the move illegal and provocative.
And stocks were mixed on Wall Street today. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 16 points to close at 18145. The Nasdaq rose 15 points, and the S&P 500 slipped less than a point. For the week, all three indexes gained a fraction of a percent.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The presidential campaigns focused on states most up for grabs today, with Republican Donald Trump promising no regrets in the remaining weeks of his campaign.
It was a battle of the battleground states today.
DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: In 18 days, we’re going to win the state of North Carolina.
HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Hello, Cleveland!
JUDY WOODRUFF: Donald Trump campaigned in the Tar Heel State, where he went after Hillary Clinton for a paid speech she made to a Brazilian bank. It was revealed through hacked e-mails.
DONALD TRUMP: Speaking in secret to a foreign bank, Hillary Clinton said her dream is for totally open trade. There goes your business. And open borders. There goes your country. There goes your country.
DONALD TRUMP: Oh, we love WikiLeaks.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Then he was off to Pennsylvania for two more rallies.
Clinton’s battleground stop was in neighboring Ohio, in Cleveland.
HILLARY CLINTON: On Wednesday night, Donald Trump did something no other presidential nominee has ever done. He refused to say that he would respect the results of this election.
HILLARY CLINTON: Now, make no mistake. By doing that, he is threatening our democracy.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Last night, the rivals sat practically side-by-side, at the Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York. The fund-raiser for Catholic charities is traditionally a place for political roasts. Neither candidate held their punches, and one was booed.
DONALD TRUMP: We have learned so much from WikiLeaks. For example, Hillary believes that it is vital to deceive the people by having one public policy and a totally different policy in private.
HILLARY CLINTON: Donald wanted me drug tested before last night’s debate.
HILLARY CLINTON: And, look, I got to tell you, I am so flattered that Donald thought I used some sort of performance enhancer.
HILLARY CLINTON: Now, actually I did. It’s called preparation.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The Clinton campaign, out with an ad featuring Khizr Khan, a Muslim-American whose son died while serving in the U.S. Army in Iraq.
KHIZR KHAN, Father of Killed U.S. Soldier: I want to ask Mr. Trump, would my son have a place in your America?
JUDY WOODRUFF: The ad will air in key battleground states.
In New Hampshire, where Trump is lagging, conservatives turned their focus to the Senate.
NARRATOR: No matter who the next president is, New Hampshire needs a strong voice in the U.S. Senate. That senator, Kelly Ayotte.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Ayotte faces a difficult reelection bid, and hers is one the tossup seats that could determine control of the Senate in just 18 days.
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A European Space Agency probe slated to land softly on Mars earlier this week appears to have crash-landed and possibly exploded upon impact instead, scientists announced Friday. ESA lost communication with the Schiaparelli lander soon after it entered the Martian atmosphere on Wednesday.
Signs of the lander were spotted by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. The photos show a black spot in place of where the lander should have been, measuring roughly 49 feet by 131 feet. The dark patch is believed to be the crash site of the lander, with its parachute located 3,000 feet away.
The ESA stated the problem likely occurred in the last 50 seconds of Schiaparelli’s descent. Landing vehicles on Mars is notoriously difficult, due to the planet’s thin atmosphere, which is roughly one percent of Earth’s.
Schiaparelli was designed to use a parachute during the first part of the descent, and then rocket thrusters at the end to cushion the landing. Mission scientists believe the thrusters failed to fire, causing the lander to hit the ground at a speed greater than 186 miles per hour. They stated rocket fuel tanks aboard the lander were probably still full and likely exploded.
But the ExoMars mission is far from a failure, ESA stated, even with this hiccup. For one, the second half of the project — the Trace Gas Orbiter satellite — is “working very well” and has settled into orbit, the ESA said. It will begin its goal of scanning for signs of life on the planet in March 2018.
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Pus, Schiaparelli transmitted a batch of data before losing contact.
“In terms of the Schiaparelli test module, we have data coming back that allow us to fully understand the steps that did occur, and why the soft landing did not occur,” David Parker, ESA’s Director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration, said Thursday in a statement. “From the engineering standpoint, it’s what we want from a test, and we have extremely valuable data to work with.”
BBC reported that ESA engineers will continue analyzing the probe’s descent. NASA’s Reconnaissance Orbiter will fly over the scene again next week for further insight.
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WASHINGTON — Hacked emails show Hillary Clinton’s campaign wrestled with how to announce her opposition to construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline without losing the support of labor unions that supported to project.Emails published this week by WikiLeaks show debate and confusion within the Clinton camp as it faced down the unexpectedly strong primary challenge by liberal Sen. Bernie Sanders, who opposed the pipeline.
As Clinton prepared to come out against the pipeline last year, her aides worried about how her shift in position would be perceived.
Clinton press secretary Brian Fallon asked in an email whether the candidate’s “newfound position on Keystone” would be “greeted cynically and perhaps as part of some manufactured attempt to project sincerity?”
The emails were stolen from the accounts of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, the latest in a series of high-profile hacks that U.S. intelligence officials have blamed on Russia. Clinton has condemned the breaches as an attempt by a hostile foreign government to sway the election in favor of her Republican rival, Donald Trump.
For seven years, the administration of President Barack Obama delayed deciding whether to build the pipeline to carry heavy crude oil from the tar sands of western Canada more than 1,700 miles to refineries on the U.S Gulf Coast. The pipeline had long been a flashpoint in the political debate over climate change, with environmentalists opposing its construction and Republicans in Congress voicing strong support.
As secretary of state, Clinton helped oversee the federal government’s yearslong review of the pipeline’s economic and environmental impact. Asked about the issue in 2010, Clinton said: “We’ve not yet signed off on it. But we are inclined to do so.”
But once she left the State Department and began preparing for her presidential run, Clinton studiously avoided taking a hard position on whether the pipeline should be built. Emails show that throughout 2015, Clinton’s aides were awaiting word on when Obama would come out against the pipeline, offering Clinton a measure of political cover to do the same.[Watch Video]
Clinton campaign labor liaison Nikki Budzinski and others warned that opposing the Keystone pipeline might earn the ire of union leaders who supported the pipeline due to the thousands of construction jobs that would be created. Political director Amanda Renteria offered reassurance in an August 2015 email that even if Obama took that position, the campaign could still keep support of the trade unions.
“We are so close to getting bldg trades and if we do this right, it will be ok even though they won’t like it,” Renteria wrote.
Energy adviser Trevor Houser circulated talking points intended to minimize potential political damage. They emphasized Clinton’s broader energy plans for the presidency, which would include infrastructure programs with enough spending and job creation to mollify specific labor groups, including ironworkers, boilermakers and electricians.
“We are trying to find a good way to leak her opposition to the pipeline without her having to actually say it and give up her principled stand about not second-guessing the president in public,” Clinton speechwriter Dan Schwerin wrote.
As the Clinton team prepared to announce her opposition to the pipeline, they heard that Obama had again pushed back his announcement until late October. Clinton aides speculated that the delay was due to political considerations involving the Canadian election, where Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau was working to oust Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper, an ardent Keystone proponent.
Concerned about the primary threat from Sanders, Clinton’s team decided not to wait on Obama. They drafted a statement for her “which uses opposition to KXL as a pivot to talk about a plan for broad investment in modernizing our energy infrastructure and forging a climate compact between the US, Mexico and Canada.”
According to the emails, the planned rollout was designed to “soften the blow to the Building Trades” with scripted language about “making the US the leader in fighting climate change and becoming a clean energy superpower.”
Budzinski provided an update on how efforts to work with various labor unions were going in September 2015.
“Great news that today we received the Bricklayers endorsement coming out of the meeting today. They brought checks today :)” Budzinski wrote.
She also detailed talks with the national building trades union, saying they appreciated Clinton being “candid and up front with them on a difficult issue like KXL.”
Budzinski added not to worry about reports that the Laborers’ International Union of North America was reaching out to Republicans.
“That is for show,” she wrote.
On Sept. 22, 2015, Clinton appeared at a community forum in Des Moines, Iowa.
“I think it is imperative that we look at the Keystone pipeline as what I believe it is — a distraction from important work we have to do on climate change,” Clinton said. “And unfortunately from my perspective, one that interferes with our ability to move forward with all the other issues. Therefore I oppose it.”
Obama finally announced in November 2015 that the pipeline project would be shelved.
“The right call,” Clinton tweeted in response to the president’s announcement. “Now it’s time to make America a clean energy superpower.”
Associated Press writers Desmond Butler and Bradley Klapper in Washington, Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin, and Jeff Donn in Plymouth, Massachusetts, contributed to this report.
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The American Academy of Pediatrics is out with new recommendations to help kids maintain a healthy diet — of tablets and smartphones.Previous guidelines focused on stricter limits: No screen time for kids under 2, and just two hours a day for older kids. But with the media landscape shifting, the physician group decided flexibility was in order.
The organization now recommends that parents keep infants and toddlers away from screens until they hit 18 months. The exception: video chatting, which is now seen as a healthy form of communication.
For kids ages 2 to 5, the organization recommends limiting consumption to an hour per day of high-quality programming. The key: Parents watching alongside their kids.
“We encourage parents to participate in the media,” said Dr. Megan Moreno, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an author of the new guidelines. Sitting down to watch TV or play an interactive game together, she said, makes media consumption into more of a family activity.
The new guidelines urge parents not to use media time as a way of soothing upset children, which could hurt their coping skills in the long run.
Once children hit school age, the recommendations loosen, leaving room for parents to make their own judgment calls. The AAP suggests that parents set boundaries on screen time and designate some media-free spaces, like the dinner table and bedrooms. But if they want their kids to follow the rules, parents have to set the example.
“When we say something to them but don’t follow that ourselves, they pick up on that really quickly,” said Dr. Shannon Scott-Vernaglia, a pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Experts recommend placing consistent limits on how often children can use media, and in what format. Having that conversation early is key, experts said, as backpedaling can be tricky with kids.
“Establish early that there are limits,” Scott-Vernaglia said. “Then you can adjust them as children get older and as those limits may change.”
She said she often talks with parents who think there’s an absolute limit on screen time and worry about letting kids sit in front of TVs or tablets too much. “I try to change that conversation to be — what are you doing with that screen time?” she said.
The group’s new approach reflects a recognition that blanket guidelines don’t work: Recommendations for a 2-year-old shouldn’t look anything like recommendations for a 17-year-old, Moreno said.
“Children and adolescents are personalizing the way they use media, and we really wanted our guidelines to reflect that,” Moreno said. “Media isn’t this bad thing we need to restrict. It can be highly beneficial.”
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