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

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    dayofdead

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    ALISON STEWART, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Tomorrow is Halloween, when American children — and many adults — dress up in costumes. But the reach of Halloween continues to grow around the world. Berlin this weekend saw its eighth annual zombie walk. Tokyo turned a shopping district into a pedestrian zone last night so families could revel in their costumes. There was at least one Donald Trump.

    PERSON IN COSTUME: I want to build a wall!

    ALISON STEWART: Then there was Mexico City, where the traditional “Day of the Dead” occurs later this week, the celebration had a twist.

    More than a 1,000 dancers, acrobats, and actors paraded through the streets of Mexico City yesterday in elaborate costumes in a case of life imitating art.

    Last year’s James Bond movie, “Spectre,” opened with a “day of the dead” parade featuring floats, puppets, and skeletons.

    The sequence, filmed in Mexico City, became the inspiration for yesterday’s parade. It’s part of a campaign by the government to bring tourists to there for the ancient Aztec “Day of the Dead.”

    Traditionally, Mexicans set up altars to the dead each November 1st and 2nd, and pay tribute to lost loved ones. To some in attendance, intermingling “Day of the Dead” and Halloween was inevitable.

    PERSON IN PARADE: Of course, it is being confused with Halloween. But it depends on us, the Mexican adults, to revive this tradition and make them (children) understand it.

    ALISON STEWART: To others, incorporating Halloween and new traditions comes at the expense of older rituals.

    PERSON IN PARADE: People wear wooden masks, dance across the city, make arcs at the gates of the house, cook zacahuil and all of that. It is really cool, very traditional, super Mexican, but no one has heard about it.

    ALISON STEWART: Tens of thousands of spectators watched the parade – many in costume which featured props used in the James Bond movie.

    The post James Bond inspires Dia de los Muertos parade in Mexico City appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    People vote at a polling place at the Canterbury Town Hall polling station in Canterbury, New Hampshire February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

    People vote at a polling place at the Canterbury Town Hall polling station in Canterbury, New Hampshire February 9, 2016. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

    WASHINGTON — Grab some toothpicks to prop open your eyelids because Election Day promises to be a marathon.

    Polls open before dawn on Tuesday, Nov. 8, and it will be Wednesday on the East Coast before the last votes are cast.

    It will be strictly a spectator sport for the estimated 46 million people who are likely to vote in advance. People in Colorado, Oregon and Washington have no choice but to vote by mail.

    The presidential nominees, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump, are expected to vote the old-fashioned way, trooping to their polling places in New York and undoubtedly trailed by cameras.

    Their running mates, Tim Kaine of Virginia and Mike Pence of Indiana, are likely to vote at home, later heading for New York to team up with their principals after spending much of the last three months promoting their respective tickets on their own.

    It’s a curtain-closer on one doozy of a presidential election and on House and Senate races that will determine which party controls Congress for the next two years.

    A look at how Election Day unfolds, using Eastern time:

  • 6 a.m.: The earliest polls open in scattered states along the East Coast. Already, though, a few hardy folk in three tiny New Hampshire towns will have gathered just after midnight to win bragging rights as the first to cast Election Day ballots.
  • 7 p.m.: Polls close in Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, South Carolina, Vermont and Virginia. This will be the first opportunity to read tea leaves about how things are going. Watch Virginia for an early indication in the presidential contest. Watch Indiana for an early indicator in the Senate; if Evan Bayh can manage a comeback, that’ll be a good sign for Democrats who are hoping to retake the Senate.
  • 7:30 p.m.: North Carolina, Ohio and West Virginia polls close. North Carolina is a good state to watch on the presidency. It tends to be quick-counting but the race is also close. On the Senate side, if Democrat Deborah Ross wins her Senate race there, it will help put her party on track to regain the Senate. Currently, the Senate has 54 Republicans, 44 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the Democrats.
  • 8 p.m.: Polls close in 16 states and the District of Columbia, including New Hampshire, Florida and Pennsylvania. Lots of states crucial to control of the Senate are among the 8 p.m. states, too. If Democrats were to win in Illinois, Pennsylvania, Missouri and New Hampshire, as well as Indiana, that would point them toward possible control of the chamber.
  • 8:30 p.m. Arkansas chimes in, considered a solid state for Trump.
  • 9 p.m.: Polls close in 14 states, including Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Wisconsin. Among the 9 p.m. states, Wisconsin offers Democrats their best chance to pick up a Senate seat. Republican Sen. Ron Johnson is in a close race against former Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.
  • 10 p.m.: Polls close in four states, including Utah, which is an improbable toss-up this year despite its reliably Republican history. That’s because Trump is deeply unpopular with Utah’s Mormons, who are giving a serious look to third-party candidates Evan McMullin and Gary Johnson.
  • 11 p.m.: Polls close in five states including solidly Democratic California with its 55 electoral votes.
  • Be warned: It can take a while for the presidential picture to clarify. In 2012, Republican Mitt Romney was still ahead in the electoral and popular vote at 10:30 p.m.; an hour later, President Barack Obama was on the brink of re-election.

  • Midnight: It could well be Wednesday before it’s clear who will control the House next year. Democrats would need a daunting 30-seat gain to take over the 435-seat chamber.
  • 1 a.m. Wednesday: Polls close in Alaska, which controls three presidential electoral votes.
  • The post Here’s the schedule for Election Day appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    For people living with a mental illness, factors like isolation, stigma, delayed care and inadequate community support can be barriers to living well.

    For people living with a mental illness, factors like isolation, stigma, delayed care and inadequate community support can be barriers to living well.

    Acknowledging that “there is more work to be done” to ensure that patients with mental illness and addiction do not face discrimination in their health care, a presidential task force made a series of recommendations Friday including $9.3 million in funding to improve enforcement of the federal parity law.

    The long-awaited report is the product of a task force President Barack Obama announced in March during a speech about the opioid epidemic.

    “These disorders affect society in ways that go beyond the direct cost of care,” the report authors write. “Without effective treatment, people with these health conditions may find it difficult to find or maintain a job, may be less able to pursue education and training opportunities, may require more social support services, and are more likely to have their housing stability threatened.”

    “These disorders affect society in ways that go beyond the direct cost of care.”

    Since the passage of the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act in 2008, health insurers and employers have made progress toward improving coverage for mental health and substance abuse issues. Most insurance plans, for example, no longer charge higher copays or separate deductibles for mental health care.

    But there have been significant problems with the parity law, too, including lax enforcement and little guidance for the public about the law itself or how to file a complaint.

    Over the past seven months, the task force received 1,161 public comments from patients, families, insurers, advocates, state regulators and others. Based on the findings, the group has taken several actions.

  • The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is awarding $9.3 million to states to help enforce parity protections. California, New York, Massachusetts, Oregon and Rhode Island were cited as models of promising enforcement efforts.
  • A new government website will help consumers identify the right agency to assist with their parity complaints and appeals.
  • A newly released consumer guide will help patients, families and providers understand their rights and look into whether they have experienced a parity violation.
  • The Department of Labor will report each year on its investigations into parity violations.
  • In addition, the task force recommended that the government increase its capacity to audit health plans for parity compliance and allow the DOL to assess civil monetary penalties for violations.

    Former congressman Patrick Kennedy, one of the authors of the parity law, said the report and actions were a step in the right direction. “However, much of what was released today still places the burden of real action squarely on the shoulders of the patients living with these conditions,” he said in a written statement. “[We] are asking these individuals to take up their own cases when they experience a parity violation, which usually occurs at the height of their crisis.”

    The next administration, Kennedy added, will need to be vigilant in enforcing the parity law.

    America’s Health Insurance Plans, the insurance industry’s main trade group, gave its support to the task force’s finding. “Health plans are committed to parity. We will continue to work hard to implement these changes,” AHIP said in a statement. “The report also recognizes the need for clearer, more consistent guidance on parity compliance for everyone.”

    “People do not see themselves as a disease or a select health benefit, but rather a person who has needs. Benefits and payments should follow the person, address their needs, and address the whole of their health.”

    The American Psychiatric Association was also on board. “Adoption of the Task Force recommendations is essential to achievement of parity for patients with mental illness,” said Dr. Saul Levin, the CEO and medical director of the association. “APA trusts that Congress and the Administration will work together to ensure that the recommendations become reality.”

    But even if the recommendations of the task force are successfully implemented, Benjamin Miller, director of the health policy center at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said true parity will only come from erasing the lines between “mental” and “physical” health care.

    “Separate is not equal — mental health is core to health,” said Miller. “People do not see themselves as a disease or a select health benefit, but rather a person who has needs. Benefits and payments should follow the person, address their needs, and address the whole of their health.”

    The post Discrimination persists against patients with mental illness and addiction, panel says appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the "Oversight of the State Department" in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

    FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on the “Oversight of the State Department” in Washington, D.C. Photo by Gary Cameron/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — The FBI has obtained a warrant to begin reviewing newly discovered emails that may be relevant to the Hillary Clinton email server investigation, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press.

    FBI investigators want to review emails of longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin that were found on a device seized during an unrelated sexting investigation of Anthony Weiner, a former New York congressman and Abedin’s estranged husband.

    The official, who has knowledge of the examination, would not say when investigators might complete the review of Abedin’s emails but said Sunday they would move expeditiously.

    The Clinton email inquiry, which closed without charges in July, resurfaced on Friday when FBI Director James Comey alerted members of Congress to the existence of emails that he said could be pertinent to that investigation.

    The FBI wants to review the emails to see if they contain classified information and were handled properly, the focus of the earlier Clinton inquiry.

    Separately Sunday, another law enforcement official said FBI investigators in the Weiner sexting probe knew for weeks about the existence of the emails potentially related to the probe of Clinton’s server. A third law enforcement official also said the FBI was aware for a period of time about the emails before Comey was briefed, but wasn’t more specific.

    In his letter that roiled the White House race, Comey said he’d been briefed on Thursday about the Abedin emails and had agreed that investigators should take steps to review them.

    It was not immediately clear Sunday what steps investigators took once the emails were first found to fully advise FBI leaders that additional and potentially relevant messages had been discovered.

    The officials were not authorized to discuss the matter by name and spoke on condition of anonymity.

    The timing of Comey’s letter less than two weeks before Election Day drew criticism from Democrats and some Republicans who cast it as unprecedented and as potentially tipping the scales in the presidential race in favor of Republican Donald Trump.

    Energized by the news, the GOP presidential nominee has rallied his supporters, calling the latest developments worse than Watergate and arguing that his candidacy has the momentum in the final days of the race.

    “We never thought we were going to say ‘thank you’ to Anthony Weiner.” – Donald Trump

    “We never thought we were going to say ‘thank you’ to Anthony Weiner,” Trump said in Nevada.

    Trump also highlighted reports that the Justice Department had discouraged the FBI from alerting Congress to the unexpected discovery of the emails, and said the department is trying “so hard” to protect Clinton.

    Comey told FBI colleagues in a memo Friday that he was aware the letter to Congress was at risk of being misunderstood, but he said he felt obligated to notify lawmakers about the new emails after having told them that the matter was closed.

    Dozens of former federal prosecutors, including former Attorney General Eric Holder, have signed a letter critical of Comey’s decision. And Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., wrote to Comey saying the action may have violated the law.

    In an op-ed written in Monday’s editions of The Washington Post, Holder called Comey’s decision to divulge the new inquiry “incorrect.”

    Holder said the Justice Department “has a policy of not taking unnecessary action close in time to Election Day that might influence an election’s outcome.”

    He called Comey “a man of integrity” but said “good men make mistakes.”

    Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid charged that Comey might have broken the law.

    “Your actions in recent months have demonstrated a disturbing double standard for treatment of sensitive information, with what appears to be a clear intent to aid one political party over another,” the Nevada Democrat wrote to Comey.

    Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State has dogged her campaign since early last year. In July, Comey recommended against criminal prosecution after a months-long investigation, but rebuked Clinton and her aides for being careless with classified material.

    Justice Department officials who were advised of the FBI’s intention to notify Congress about the discovery expressed concern that the action would be inconsistent with department protocols designed to avoid the appearance of interference in an election. Comey acted independently when he sent several members of Congress a letter about the emails on Friday, said one of the officials.

    It was not immediately clear what the Abedin emails were about or what significance, if any, they carried to the Clinton email server investigation.

    A person familiar with the investigation, who lacked authority to discuss the matter publicly and insisted on anonymity, said the device that appears to be at the center of the new review was a computer that belonged only to Weiner and was not one he shared with Abedin.

    As a result, it was not a device searched for work-related emails at the time of the initial investigation. The person said it is “news to (Abedin)” that her emails would be on a computer belonging to her husband.

    Abedin told lawyers in June in a deposition that, like millions of internet users who don’t manage their inboxes, she never deleted old emails on her devices, either at work with Clinton or at home with Weiner.

    “I didn’t have a practice of managing my mailbox other than leaving what was in there sitting in there,” Abedin said. “They all stayed in whatever device I was using at the time or whatever desktop I was on at the time.”

    In February 2013, Abedin signed a routine State Department document under penalty of perjury in which she promised to “turn over all classified or administratively controlled documents and materials” before she left her government job, and promised that she was not retaining copies, “including any diaries, memorandums of conversation or other documents of a personal nature.”

    Abedin and Weiner separated this year after Weiner was caught in 2011, 2013 and again this year sending numerous woman sexually explicit text messages and photographs of himself undressed. Federal authorities in New York and North Carolina are investigating online communications between Weiner and a 15-year-old girl.

    The post FBI obtains warrant to review new Hillary Clinton emails appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Peter Thiel, entrepreneur and co-founder of PayPal, holds a news conference on "nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to economic research and innovative public policies for the 21st century" at the National Press Club in Washington October 3, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

    Peter Thiel, entrepreneur and co-founder of PayPal, holds a news conference on “nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to economic research and innovative public policies for the 21st century” at the National Press Club in Washington October 3, 2011. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

    Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel says he is backing Republican Donald Trump because he is “the only outsider left in the race.”

    Thiel was speaking Monday at the National Press Club in Washington. He has donated $1 million to a pro-Trump super PAC and gave $250,000 to Trump’s campaign and Republican partners.

    A co-founder of PayPal, Thiel says he has a “strong bias for outsiders.” In 2008 and 2012 he backed libertarian-leaning Rep. Ron Paul in his failed GOP presidential bids. Thiel also praised Trump while speaking at the Republican National Convention this summer in Cleveland.

    Thiel says he does not support some of Trump’s most controversial comments, including what he has said about women. Yet, he said, Trump voters favor the New York businessman who has never held political office “because we judge the leadership of our country to have failed.”

    Among the Trump issues with which Thiel says he agrees: international trade deals not benefiting all Americans and too much U.S. involvement in wars abroad.

    The post Tech billionaire Peter Thiel explains why he supports Trump appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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     Photo by Matej Divizna / AFP / Getty Images


    Photo by Matej Divizna / AFP / Getty Images

    Hormone injections for men have proven to be an effective birth control method, according to a recent study.

    The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, found the contraceptive was 96-percent effective when men received two hormone injections every eight weeks.

    “If you’re comparing it to other reversible male methods, it’s far better than the condom and it puts it in the same ballpark as the pill,” Richard Anderson, an author of the study, told The Guardian.

    Test subjects did develop some side effects due to the high hormone levels needed to reduce sperm count. Mood disorders, depression, acne and other side effects caused 20 men to drop out of the study and stopped researchers from taking on new subjects in 2011, the BBC reported.

    Despite side effects, about 75 percent of the men in the trial said they were willing to continue the contraceptive.

    Scientists are conducting further research on the hormone doses as a way to limit side effects. They are also considering converting the shot into a gel that men could apply to their chests, The Guardian reports.

    Researchers say it likely cannot be made into a pill because the liver metabolizes the hormone too quickly. The injection does not guard against STDs.

    Some women praised the developments but encouraged researchers to continue developing the contraceptive despite the side effects.

    “When it comes to contraception, medicine is clearly biased towards men,” Anna Rhodes wrote in the Independent. “Women have had to bear the responsibility of contraception since the pill was first launched in 1962 – and all of the side effects that go along with it.”

    Just this year, a study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that women who used the birth control pill were 23 percent more likely to take anti-depressants.

    The male hormone is still less effective than some forms of female birth control, such as the IUD and arm implants that prevent pregnancies 99 percent of the time.

    Other women have also pointed out a less tangible barrier to a male contraceptive — trust between sexual partners.

    “There’s the lack of female trust towards men – the feeling that women (the ones who must after all deal with pregnancy) couldn’t entrust such an important matter to men, who may lie in the moment to get sex,” columnist Barbara Ellen writes in a recent recent op-ed responding to the male contraceptive study.

    The post Male contraceptive tests nearly 100-percent effective, poses side effects appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Photo by Adobe stock photos

    Photo by Adobe stock photos

    Fear continues to saturate our lives: fear of nuclear destruction, fear of climate change, fear of the subversive, and fear of foreigners.

    But a recent Rolling Stone article about our “age of fear” notes that most Americans are living “in the safest place at the safest time in human history.”

    It continues:

    Around the globe, household wealth, longevity and education are on the rise, while violent crime and extreme poverty are down. In the U.S., life expectancy is higher than ever, our air is the cleanest it’s been in a decade and, despite a slight uptick last year, violent crime has been trending down since 1991.

    So why are we still so afraid?

    Emerging technology and media could play a role. But in a sense, these have always played a role.

    In the past, rumor and a rudimentary press coverage could fan the fires. Now, with the rise of social media, fears and fads and fancies race instantly through entire populations. Sometimes the specifics vanish almost as quickly as they arose, but the addiction to sensation, to fear and fantasy, persists, like a low-grade fever.

    People often create symbols for that emotions are fleeting, abstract, and hard to describe. (Look no further than the recent rise of the emoji.)

    For over the last three centuries, Europeans and Americans, in particular, have shaped anxiety and paranoia into the mythic figure of the monster – the embodiment of fear, disorder and abnormality – a history that I detail in my new book, “Haunted.”

    There are four main types of monsters. But a fifth – a nameless one – may best represent the anxieties of the 21st century.

    Rejecting rationality

    The 1700s and 1800s were an era of revolutionary uprisings that trumpeted a limitless future, when the philosophers and scientists of the Enlightenment proclaimed that reason had the power to change the world. Emotion was pushed out of the intellectual sphere by scientific reasoning; awestruck spirituality had been repressed in favor of the Clockmaker God who set the universal laws into motion.

    Emotion was pushed out of the intellectual sphere by scientific reasoning; awestruck spirituality had been repressed in favor of the Clockmaker God who set the universal laws into motion.

    Of course, humans have always been afraid. But while the fears of the demonic and the diabolical characterized medieval times, the changes wrought by the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution created a whole new set of fears tied to advancements in science and technology, and an increasingly crowded and complex world.

    During this age of political upheavals and aggressive modernization, tales of Gothic horror, haunted castles, secret compartments and rotting corpses were the rage. The novels and stories of writers such as Horace Walpole, Matthew G. Lewis, Anne Radcliffe and Mary Shelley soon became bestsellers. These writers – and many others – tapped into something pervasive, giving names and bodies to a universal emotion: fear.

    The fictional monsters created during this period can be categorized into four types. Each corresponds to a deep seated anxiety about progress, the future and the human ability to achieve anything like control over the world.

    “The monster from nature” represents a power that humans only think they have harnessed, but haven’t. The Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, King Kong and Godzilla are all examples of this type. An awesome abnormality that we can’t predict and scramble to understand, it strikes without warning – like the shark in “Jaws.” While the obvious inspiration are real ferocious animals, they could also be thought of as embodied versions of natural disasters – hurricanes, earthquakes and tsunamis.

    “The created monster,” like Dr. Frankenstein’s monster, is the monster we have built and believe we can control – until it turns against us. His descendants are the robots, androids and cyborgs of today, with their potential to become all too human – and threatening.

    “The monster from within” is the monster generated by our own repressed dark psychology, the other side of our otherwise bland and blameless human nature (think the Mr. Hyde to our Dr. Jekyll). When nondescript and seemingly harmless young men turn into mass-murdering killers or suicide bombers, the “monster from within” has shown his face.

    “The monster from the past,” like Dracula, comes out of a pagan world and offers an alternative to ordinary Christianity with his promise of a blood feast that will confer immortality. Like a Nietzschean superman, he represents the fear that the ordinary consolations of religion are bankrupt and that the only answer to the chaos of modern life is the securing of power.

    Zombies: A vague, nameless danger

    Recently, our culture has become fixated on the zombie. The recent explosion of zombie films and stories illustrates how fear – while it may be a basic human trait – assumes the shape of particular eras and cultures.

    The zombie emerged from the brutal Caribbean slave plantations of the 17th and 18th centuries. They were the soulless bodies of undead slaves who stalked plantations grounds – so the myth went. But director George Romero’s pioneering films, like “Dawn of the Dead” (1978), generalized the figure into an unthinking member of a mass consumer society.

    The central distinction between the traditional monsters – such as the Frankenstein monster, Dracula or Mr. Hyde – is that the zombie exists primarily as part of a group. Unlike earlier monsters, who all stand alone, even in a kind of grandeur, one zombie is barely distinguishable from another.

    The central distinction between the traditional monsters – such as the Frankenstein monster, Dracula or Mr. Hyde – is that the zombie exists primarily as part of a group. Unlike earlier monsters, who all stand alone, even in a kind of grandeur, one zombie is barely distinguishable from another.

    What might the horrific image of mindless hordes out to eat our brains represent in the 21st century? It could symbolize whatever we fear will overwhelm and engulf us: epidemic disease, globalization, Islamic fundamentalists, illegal immigrants and refugees. Or it could be something less tangible and more existential: the loss of anonymity and individuality in a complex world, the threat of impersonal technology that makes each of us just another number in an electronic list.

    In 1918, German sociologist Max Weber announced the triumph of reason: “There are no mysterious incalculable forces that come into play,” he wrote in “Science as a Vocation.” “One can, in principle, master all things by calculation.”

    “The world,” he continued, “is disenchanted.”

    Weber may have been a bit optimistic. Yes, we are committed, in many ways, to reason and analytic thinking. But it seems that we need our monsters and our sense of enchantment as well.

    The Conversation

    Leo Braudy, Leo S. Bing Chair in English and American Literature, University of Southern California – Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences

    This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

    The post Column: Why we’ll always obsess over — and fear — monsters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Trust in government is at historically low levels this election season. As few as 19 percent of Americans say they trust their government always or most of the time, according to Pew Research data. Seventy-four percent think that the nation’s elected officials put their own interests ahead of their constituents. And a 2015 CNN/ORC poll found that 69 percent of Americans were angry about “the way things are going” in the U.S.

    Why are American voters so angry?

    Much of this anger seems to stem from the economy; more than three-quarters of Americans rate the economy poorly, according to the CNN poll. Anger about the economy has played a leading role in the 2016 race, whether it’s workers losing jobs to trade and globalization, college graduates suffocating under the weight of student loan debt or families struggling after the Great Recession.

    We teamed up with Jim Stone, author of “Five Easy Theses: Common-Sense Solutions to America’s Greatest Economic Challenges,” to see how informed you are about the economic challenges America faces — and whether your anger is based on the facts.

    The post Are you an informed voter? A quiz appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    (Original Caption) Los Angeles, California: Photo shows Vice President Richard Nixon with his wife, Pat, as they talk to the many supporters gathered here in what was to have been a victory celebration. The tally board at left gives the voting trend as Nixon offered a conditional concession of the outcome of the election.

    Richard Nixon giving his concession speech in Los Angeles on election night in 1960. Photo courtesy of the Bettman Archive and Getty Images

    On election night in 1960, Richard Nixon stepped in front of the cameras at his campaign headquarters to deliver a brief concession speech. The final votes were still being tallied, but the outcome was no longer in doubt.

    Standing in front of a large chalkboard displaying the results of the race, Nixon congratulated his Democratic opponent, John F. Kennedy, and pledged to give the next president his “wholehearted support.”

    In the half-century since, the concession speech has evolved into a major event. John Kerry used Boston’s historic Faneuil Hall as the backdrop for his concession speech in 2004. Mitt Romney conceded the 2012 race on a flashy stage decorated with American flags and images of the Statue of Liberty.

    And yet, despite these changes, the core message behind the concession speech has remained the same. It typically goes something like this: the American people have spoken, the election was fought fair and square, and now it’s time to move forward as a nation.

    This year, things could go quite differently.

    Donald Trump has refused to say that he will accept the election results on Nov. 8, and has claimed falsely that the race is rigged. The claim has gained traction with many Trump supporters, including some who have warned of a violent revolution if he doesn’t win.

    Robert Dallek, a historian and expert on the American presidency, said that it was anyone’s guess what Trump might say if he goes down in defeat to Hillary Clinton, because the Republican nominee is so “mercurial and erratic.”

    “Nobody knows what Trump is going to do. I don’t know if he knows what he’s going to do,” Dallek said. He added that it was unprecedented for a major-party nominee to question the entire electoral system.

    “In this election, I think the concession speech is becoming more significant, because of Trump’s attitude,” Dallek said. “We’ve never had someone come out and say, ‘Let’s take to the hills and fight.’”

    A tradition slow in the making

    The concession speech is seen as standard procedure now, but that wasn’t the case in the earliest days of the republic.

    Part of it was timing. Before 1845, when Congress passed a law mandating that every presidential election take place on the Tuesday after the first Monday in November, states were free to hold their votes on different days.

    The patchwork system meant that results didn’t come in at the same time each election, so there was no “obvious turning point” for the runner-up to make a formal concession, said Barbara Perry, the director of presidential studies at the University of Virginia’s Miller Center.

    Technology also played a role. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, there were no means, other than in-person conversation, for two candidates to communicate in the hours after the race was decided—and no real-time way to broadcast a concession to voters.

    That changed with the rise of the telegraph, telephone, and wire news services, and, later, the spread of radio and television. “The tradition of contacting an opponent on election night solidified in the early 1900s,” Perry said.

    The practice took hold slowly, over more than a century. But the idea of conceding a defeat with grace — or, conversely, not gloating over victory — has always resonated with the American public, Perry said.

    She pointed to Abraham Lincoln’s second inaugural address, delivered two months before the Civil War ended, in which he called on a divided nation to come together “with malice toward none, with charity for all.”

    The idea of conceding a defeat with grace — or, conversely, not gloating over victory — has always resonated with the American public.

    “I do think it’s a deep-seated part of the American spirit. Both on the battlefield and on the metaphorical battlefields of athletics and politics,” Perry said. “It’s what you teach Little Leaguers or kids playing soccer,” she added. “When the game is over, no matter how hard fought it is, or if it goes into five overtimes, they line up and shake hands.”

    By the time that Nixon conceded to Kennedy in 1960, delivering a short, gracious concession speech was a routine part of the runner-up’s responsibilities. Acting like a sore loser was frowned upon.

    On election night in 1976, Gerald Ford’s voice was so hoarse from campaigning that he decided not to give a concession speech. But instead he asked his wife, Betty Ford, to read the telegram he sent to Jimmy Carter earlier that evening, after the race was called.

    “Dear Jimmy, it is apparent now that you have won our long and intense struggle for the presidency,” the message began. “I congratulate you on your victory.” Ford went on to write, “I believe that we must now put the divisions of the campaign behind us, and unite the country once again in the common pursuit of peace and prosperity.”

    The friendly telegram, which Betty Ford read aloud to the press as her husband and the rest of their family looked on, seems quaint by today’s hyperpartisan political standards. At one point during the reading, a sad and exhausted-looking Gerald Ford sighed deeply, in a visible effort to maintain his composure.

    Lights, camera, concede

    PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 04:  Republican presidential nominee U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) gestures to supporters after he conceded victory on stage with his wife Cindy McCain during the election night rally at the Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa on November 4, 2008 in Phoenix, Arizona. U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) defeated McCain by a wide margin in the election to become the first African-American U.S. President elect.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

    John McCain and his wife, Cindy McCain, greeted supporters at his concession speech in Phoenix, Arizona in 2008. Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    More recently, campaigns have turned the concession speech into a larger and less intimate production.

    Michael Dukakis paved the way with his 1988 speech. It included music and an (‘80s-era) electronic light show. The event more closely resembled a campaign rally, and it set the tone for future concessions.

    John McCain conceded to Barack Obama in 2008 on a big, floodlit stage in a park in Phoenix, Arizona. The setting for Romney’s concession in 2012 was even grander.

    Heading into election night that year, Romney was so confident he would win that he didn’t write bother writing a concession speech ahead of time. Nevertheless, when it came time to concede, he stuck to the script.

    At times the speech betrayed Romney’s disappointment with losing, but his respect for the electoral process was also evident.

    “I so wish that I had been able to fulfill your hopes to lead the country in a different direction,” Romney told his supporters. “But the nation chose another leader. And so Ann and I join with you to earnestly pray for him and for this great nation.”

    Sometimes losing candidates still give a throwback concession speech.

    On December 13, 2000, after a Supreme Court ruling effectively ended one of the closest and most contentious elections in U.S. history, Al Gore gave his concession speech indoors, standing behind a blank podium.

    “Let there be no doubt, while I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it,” Gore said. “I also accept my responsibility, which I will discharge unconditionally, to honor the new president elect and do everything possible to help him bring Americans together.”

    Gore’s message lacked the pomp and circumstance of modern concession speeches. But Dallek, the presidential historian, said it stands out as the prime example of the country’s “tradition of peaceful transfer of power.”

    “Conceding the election after that contested result in Florida was a demonstration of a regard for the national interest,” Dallek said.

    Predicting the unpredictable

    This year, supporters on both sides are awaiting the closing chapter of the campaign with trepidation.

    Clinton has given no indication that she would stray from tradition if she loses. Her supporters speculated that a Clinton concession speech would feel similar to the one she gave in 2008, after losing a divisive Democratic primary battle to Obama.

    That speech is best remembered for Clinton’s declaration that, thanks to her primary supporters, the “highest, hardest glass ceiling” now had “about 18 million cracks in it.” But the rest of the speech — delivered before a large crowd at the National Building Museum in Washington, D.C. — was also remarkably forward-looking.

    na_clinton 6/7/08 333333 DC NW National Building Museum Post Photos by Richard A. Lipski NY Senator Hillary Clinton arrives with family, husband, former President Bill Clinton, her mother, Dorothy Rodham Clinton and daughter, Chelsea at her side before giving concession speech and offering all her support to Barrick Obama during rally at the National Building Museum.  (Photo by Richard A. Lipski/The Washington Post/Getty Images)

    Hillary Clinton with her husband, former President Bill Clinton, her mother, Dorothy Rodham Clinton and daughter, Chelsea at her side before giving her primary concession speech in 2008. Photo by Richard A. Lipski/The Washington Post/Getty Images

    Jerry Crawford, an attorney who served as the Midwest co-chairman of Clinton’s 2008 campaign, said that taking the “high road” positioned her for another shot at the White House.

    “From that moment, Clinton was arguably the favorite for the presidency in 2016,” at least on the Democratic side, Crawford said. “If she had been bitter and caustic, then that wouldn’t have happened.”

    Clinton also won praise from Democrats by immediately going to work on behalf of the party’s nominee. “She was on the phone with me two days later, asking me to do everything I could do to elect Barack Obama,” Crawford said.

    Predicting Trump’s response if he comes up short on election night is more difficult.

    Some of his fiercest supporters refused to entertain the possibility of a Trump loss, or guess at what his concession message might be, even though he entered the last days of the campaign trailing Clinton in the polls.

    “I’m not even going to go there, because I think Hillary’s going to be giving the concession speech,” said Cindy Costa, a Republican National Committeewoman from South Carolina.

    Robert Graham, the chairman of the Arizona Republican Party, said he thought that, in the event of a loss, Trump would grudgingly accept the final outcome but stop short of calling on the nation to support Clinton’s presidency.

    “If there’s no obvious fraud or rigging of the polling stations, I believe that he’ll come out and give a traditional concession, in the sense that he’ll thank the American people for giving him a shot,” Graham said.

    “But on the flip side of it, there’s going to be no love lost. He’s not going to be the guy who says, ‘We all need to get out and support Hillary Clinton,’” Graham added.

    Democrats were less convinced that Trump would bow to tradition if Clinton won the election. And they pointed out that a defiant concession speech would represent a significant break from the past.

    Tad Devine, who served as a senior adviser on Al Gore and John Kerry’s campaigns, recalled participating on a conference call between Kerry and his closest political aides the day after the 2004 election. Kerry was holed up in his Beacon Hill home with his running mate, John Edwards, and their wives. Kerry had waited to concede while the results from Ohio came in, but it was apparent that morning that he would lose.

    As the advisers huddled in a room at the Copley Square Hotel in Boston, going over the returns with Kerry, it did not take him long to make a final decision, said Devine, the chief strategist for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign.

    “It was not an emotional discussion,” Devine said. “Just listening to him, it was very businesslike.” Devine wondered if Trump was capable of taking a similar approach.

    “If Trump were gracious and noble [in defeat], and stood there and talked about the rule of law, he could go a long way toward convincing people to step back from the edge,” Devine said.

    On the other hand, Devine said, “if he wants to light a match, and put it to the fuse and walk away on election night, he can do that.”

    The post How Trump could rewrite concession speech history appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos tells the PBS NewsHour, “I went out and recognized the result” after voters rejected a peace deal with FARC rebels, “which is what any president and any citizen should do.” Watch more on tonight’s PBS NewsHour.

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    A pair of white-winged vampire bats feed on the foot of a chicken. Photo courtesy: Bat Conservation International/J. Scott Altenbach

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Finally, we stay in the Halloween spirit for our “NewsHour” Shares, something that caught our eye that we thought would be of interest to you, too.

    It turns out the vampire bat is hardly the agent of evil its association with Dracula would suggest. We asked Smithsonian researcher and vampire bat expert Gerry Carter to clear up some of the myths.

    GERRY CARTER: I’m Gerry Carter, and I study food-sharing relationships in vampire bats.

    Vampire bats are small, neotropical bats. They weigh about 30 grams, and they drink nothing but blood. The legend of the vampire actually came first before the bat was discovered by Europeans. So, the bat is actually named after the monster, and not the other way around.

    One idea about vampire bats that’s very common, especially in Latin America, is that most bats are vampire bats. And that’s certainly not true. There are only three species of vampire bats, and there are roughly 1,300 species of bats.

    The common vampire bat usually feeds on mammals and livestock. The white-winged vampire bat will often climb along the underside of a branch to feed on the toes of a bird. And the hairy-legged vampire bat will actually land on a bird like a chicken and hide in the feathers. So, it’s like a giant tick.

    Vampire bats have these razor-sharp teeth that they use to make a small cut, and then they lick the wound. And they have an anticoagulant in their saliva which keeps the blood flowing, and they will take about a tablespoon of blood. And if they’re successful, then the animal is none the wiser, never finds out that the bat was there until the next morning maybe.

    And one of the interesting things about the biology of vampire bats is that they’re very susceptible to starvation. So they don’t put on fat, they don’t store energy, and they can starve if they miss more than two meals.

    But other bats in their roosts will often regurgitate a portion of their blood meals to feed them. So, you can fast an individual, and then another individual will go and save that individual’s life, essentially.

    And that’s one of the things that makes the vampire case so interesting in terms of an example of cooperation in nature. These vampire bats, they’re like these alien life forms, and yet there are so many things that they do that seem very convergent with what people do, with what primates do.

    Vampire bats do things like they groom each other. They seem to have these friendship-like relationships. And yet everything else about them is so strange.

    I don’t think people should be scared of vampire bats. Even within bats, I think vampire bats are probably the most hated and feared of all of the bats. But I think, the more you learn about vampire bats, the more you realize just how incredible they are.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: I just saw one fly through the studio.

    That’s the “NewsHour” for tonight. I’m Judy Woodruff. Join us online and again right here tomorrow evening.

    For all of us at the “PBS NewsHour,” happy Halloween, and good night.

    In our NewsHour Shares series, we show you things that caught our eye recently on the web. What about you? Leave your suggestions in the comments below, or tweet to @NewsHour using #NewsHourShares. We might share it on air.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Now a special treat on this Halloween, a story about the magic of movies and zombies.

    The “NewsHour”‘s Mike Melia has our update.

    MIKE MELIA: You don’t often get to see someone’s dreams come true, even if they are the stuff of nightmares.

    We first met Sam Suchmann and Mattie Zufelt two years ago, when all they had was a big idea and a Kickstarter to make an epic zombie movie.

    MATTIE ZUFELT, Filmmaker: It’s going to be like between horror and comedy, drama, same kind of thing.

    SAM SUCHMANN, Filmmaker: We have every average, everyday teen drama, like love triangles, or like heartbreaks or betrayals or people living like…

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Or it could be like teenagers’ secret life.

    SAM SUCHMANN: What I do to Mattie is, I leave him behind.

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Yes.

    SAM SUCHMANN: And that is not cool. So…

    MATTIE ZUFELT: No. You can’t leave a friend behind.

    MIKE MELIA: The best friends — both have Down syndrome — first met at the Special Olympics in grade school.

    From his living room in Rhode Island, Sam told us a very personal reason for wanting to make the movie.

    SAM SUCHMANN: My whole life, I feel like I never fit in anywhere or had a voice, but someday, that will change. I will be somebody. And that day is today.

    MIKE MELIA: In many ways, Sam was right. Their lives were about to change in dramatic ways.

    Their Kickstarter raised nearly $70,000. They gathered together family, friends, along with film industry and special effects professionals. It was all happening.

    We got invited on set for a day, when they were filming a party scene on a yacht. Sam and Mattie originally wanted a cruise ship, but this was close. Peter Farrelly, behind hits like “Dumb and Dumber” and “Something About Mary,” was also on set.

    I was transformed into a zombie — but more on that later.

    The day before, “The Jersey Shore”‘s D.J. Pauly D. was there. He had been at the top of Sam and Mattie’s wish list for celebrity cameos. In some ways, they were becoming famous.

    MATTIE ZUFELT: I want to be famous because I want to be a deejay.

    SAM SUCHMANN: Yes. I want to be famous because I love to sing.

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Yes. He has a good voice.

    SAM SUCHMANN: I’m a singer. And I can rap, too. I’m do a little rap. Maybe you want to hear.

    MIKE MELIA: I would love to hear it. Yes.

    SAM SUCHMANN: Right here.

    (RAPPING)

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Yes, that’s really good. You’re good.

    MIKE MELIA: There are no record deals yet, but since our story first aired, Sam and Mattie have been profiled by “People” magazine, “The Today Show,” The Huffington Post, just to name a few.

    Microsoft flew them to L.A. as the official spokes-dudes for the Special Olympics World Games in 2015.

    SAM SUCHMANN: Stay tuned for more.

    MIKE MELIA: And they also made the movie. “Spring Break Zombie Massacre” premiered in September in their hometown of Providence. A week later, they were guests on Conan O’Brien’s show.

    CONAN O’BRIEN, Host, “Late Night With Conan O’Brien”: What I love about what you guys have done is, you met years ago, you talked about this dream, and you made it happen.

    Here we are, all these years later, and you made you made your zombie movie, and you had a premiere, a premiere that the press attended. Everyone loves the movie. And then you fly out here to come on our show. This is pretty spectacular.

    MIKE MELIA: It is pretty spectacular. I caught up with them for the film’s New York City premiere. They pulled up to the red carpet in a bloody SUV, to a long line of fans waiting outside.

    Don’t be confused. This is not a kids’ movie.

    JESSE SUCHMANN, Sam’s Brother: This is a hard R, OK? Like, there is guts. There is urinating on guts, OK?

    MIKE MELIA: Jesse Suchmann is Sam’s brother. He helped put together the original Kickstarter and has helped orchestrate everything since.

    JESSE SUCHMANN: I have learned so much from them. And I want to be like them. And I think that their confidence in their ideas and their clarity of vision and their confidence in themselves is so intoxicating to everyone around, that it drives everybody to do better.

    MIKE MELIA: It’s been a wild ride for me, too. Remember when I said I became a zombie? Turns out — and here’s a mini-spoiler — in the climatic fight scene, I get my head split open by a record thrown by D.J. Pauly D.

    After the New York screening, I asked Sam and Mattie what it’s been like for them.

    MATTIE ZUFELT: It is a hell of a ride. It is, never expecting much people — never expecting people to see this movie.

    SAM SUCHMANN: Chase your dreams, and always follow your dreams. Don’t let anyone tell you different. And don’t be a victim to bullies. And do not party like me and Mattie. I’m looking forward for having more Sam and Mattie adventures on the way.

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Yes, there will.

    SAM SUCHMANN: Yes, there is Mattie deejaying and dancing. And I can’t wait. It’s going to be fun.

    MIKE MELIA: Just yesterday, they were featured on “CBS Sunday Morning.”

    SAM SUCHMANN: I don’t do it for fame. I do it because I love it and because…

    MATTIE ZUFELT: I’m doing it for the money.

    QUESTION: You’re doing it for the money?

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Yes.

    SAM SUCHMANN: Well, I do it because I love it.

    QUESTION: Have you gotten rich on this so far?

    MATTIE ZUFELT: Not yet.

    MIKE MELIA: They are also making a documentary about their journey.

    Tim Forster is leading that project.

    TIM FORSTER, Movie Editor: We that as being kind of the big culmination of this whole thing. Obviously, the movie is — stands on its own, and we think professionals are going to love it, people are going to love it on its own.

    But to see the time, the effort, the patience involved with making this movie, that’s the real story.

    MIKE MELIA: On this Halloween, updating a feel-good zombie story, I’m Mike Melia for the “PBS NewsHour.”

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Sam and Mattie have a big future. We want to be there to cover the whole thing.

    The post The nightmare zombie movie that started with a dream appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Colombia's President Juan Manuel Santos acknowledges the applause while addressing people who worked for the peace accord to be approved in the recent referendum, after winning the Nobel Peace Prize, at Narino Palace in Bogota, Colombia, October 7, 2016. REUTERS/John Vizcaino   - RTSR9BJ

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: We go now to the nation of Colombia, where one of the most brutal and long-lasting civil wars in South America appeared to be coming to a peaceful end earlier this month.

    But the landmark peace agreement between the government and rebels was narrowly rejected in a nationwide referendum. Now both sides are struggling to pick up the pieces.

    Special correspondent Nadja Drost and her producer, Bruno Federico, have this report.

    NADJA DROST: It happened barely more than a month ago, but it seems like another age, a moving and hopeful ceremony in the port city of Cartagena to mark what many Colombians never thought possible: the armed insurgency FARC and the government signing off on a peace agreement to end 52 years of war.

    In front of hundreds at the shore, a women’s choir sings a goodbye to war and a welcome to peace. They brought their traditional songs of mourning to the ceremony from here, Bojaya, a town reached only by river in the isolated northwest of Colombia, in a church, where they commemorate those who lost their lives in what has become a symbol of the war’s brutality.

    on May 2, 2002, hundreds of residents were taking shelter in this church from fighting between paramilitaries and FARC guerrillas, when the guerrillas launched a homemade mortar round. It landed inside the church, killing 79 people, over half of them children.

    Later, thousands fled, tearing apart the community. Since then, the church has been rebuilt and maintained in memory of the victims and survivors like Macaria Allin.

    MACARIA ALLIN, Bojayá Resident (through translator): I was here with my three children. The cylinder bomb fell over there. This whole area was full of people. Everyone who was around here died, everyone. No one was left alive.

    NADJA DROST: The village was eventually abandoned, its residents displaced throughout the region, until it was relocated a mile upstream. Since the massacre, Bojaya has continued to suffer the worst of the conflict, caught in the crossfire of FARC guerrillas fighting the army and paramilitaries, the river and its banks converted into a large cemetery.

    Maxima Asprilla is one of the women who sang in Cartagena.

    MAXIMA ASPRILLA, Bojayá Resident (through translator): When I was singing — and that’s why we sang with such emotion and effort — the only thing I was thinking was, we want peace.

    NADJA DROST: Perhaps because of being so hard-hit by the conflict, Bojaya residents voted overwhelmingly, 95 percent, in support of the peace accords. Now, with the peace deal rejected nationally and mired in uncertainty, many here fear they may have lost their only and long-awaited chance to live in peace.

    MACARIA ALLIN (through translator): We feel abandoned, betrayed. We thought they would support us, those who have lived the war. The half-country who voted for no turned their back on us.

    NADJA DROST: The peace process, throughout its four years of negotiations, has generated fierce political debate. And the criticism by vocal opponents prompted President Juan Manuel Santos to call the referendum, with the hope that a show of public support could strengthen the deal.

    PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS, Colombia: Many people warned me against it, but I said this is something that I believe will be positive for the whole process. The decision backfired because we lost by a very small margin.

    NADJA DROST: With only 37 percent of voters bothering to go to the polls, and the no side winning by a mere 53,000 votes out of 13.5 million, there is perhaps no one more consumed with why the deal was rejected than the man who just won the Nobel Peace Prize for its signing.

    Why do you think that Colombians voted against the peace accords?

    JUAN MANUEL SANTOS: Of course, there’s been a lot of misinformation, a lot of lack of information. And maybe I’m a bit responsible for not being more effective in this process of telling people what the agreement was all about.

    NADJA DROST: The peace accords were defeated by a no campaign led by Santos archrival and former President Alvaro Uribe and his Central Democratic Party. But the campaign has been questioned over the claims it made to voters: that the country would become a socialist state like Venezuela, or that FARC leaders would receive impunity for their crimes.

    Rodrigo Uprimny, a constitutional law expert close to the peace talks, says the no campaign even made claims that had nothing to do with the peace accord.

    RODRIGO UPRIMNY, Legal Expert: They say to them, these peace accords are going to destroy your family because this peace accord is in favor of homosexuality, which quite clearly is not true.

    NADJA DROST: Ivan Zuluaga, the Central Democratic Party’s director and a former presidential candidate who lost to Santos in the last election, says the no vote’s victory sends a clear mandate to overhaul the agreements.

    IVAN ZULUAGA, “No” Campaign: They have to recognize that Colombians vote for it, so they have to accept not only the government, but even the FARC deep changes, fundamental changes.

    NADJA DROST: FARC leaders have said they are open to making some changes, but warn it will be difficult change the agreement’s core.

    We traveled via river from Bojaya to visit a FARC unit. Mid-level commanders known as Pablo Atrato and Natalie Mistral, a French citizen, led us to a camp where their troops, like thousands of others spread out amongst jungle enclaves, are waiting amid the uncertainty.

    Both Mistral and Atrato were at negotiations in Havana.

    PABLO ATRATO, FARC Commander (through translator): After years of negotiations, to resolve all this in two or three months, I don’t think it’s possible.

    NADJA DROST: The peace accords will grant immunity to much of the FARC’s rank-and-file, but those accused of crimes against humanity will receive alternative sentences in exchange for confessing the truth, not jail, but restrictions on their liberty.

    But many in the opposition say that is unacceptable.

    IVAN ZULUAGA: They have to go to jail five years. If they are in jail, they are not able to be eligible politically. And, instead of that, the treatment says, and the agreement with the FARC says, that they aren’t going to jail and they can be eligible for any major president or congress, for example.

    RODRIGO UPRIMNY: But that’s — that’s the deal. If you want an armed political — an armed political actor like the FARC to become a peaceful political actor, then you can not block them to make politics. That’s the crucial issue in a peace accord.

    NATALIE MISTRAL, FARC (through translator): I’m not willing to spend time in jail, and I’m not willing to let my superiors go to jail either. To serve jail time would nullify us politically. It’s unacceptable within a peace negotiation.

    NADJA DROST: While Santos has said his government is trying to satisfy the no side, he has made clear there will be disagreement on issues in reaching a new agreement.

    But Santos’ government and the FARC face an enormous challenge: making sufficient changes to the peace agreement to gain broader support of the public, without making the tectonic-shifting changes that could break it down.

    PABLO ATRATO (through translator): The risks are that this gets drawn out and we end up again in a spiral of war. I think that’s how it could end up, if we’re not capable in the next two or three months to find a way out of this.

    PRESIDENT JUAN MANUEL SANTOS: I am absolutely determined not to allow the country to go back to war with FARC. The FARC doesn’t want it. We don’t want it. And we’re trying to find the best and the most rapid path to get out of this situation, and that’s to have a new agreement as soon as possible.

    NADJA DROST: Santos told us he hopes to get a new peace deal by the end of the year. But delay could jeopardize the current cease-fire.

    Bojaya residents like Maxima Asprilla are finally feeling peace in their town, and have seen changes among the FARC.

    MAXIMA ASPRILLA (through translator): After having signed the cease-fire, they got into a different mode and the tension went down.

    NADJA DROST: In fact, the FARC even apologized to the community last year.

    MAN (through translator): We ask you to forgive us.

    NADJA DROST: After so many years of singing lamentations for their dead, these women hope to have a reason to compose a song in celebration of life, and the peace they so badly want.

    “We Colombians,” they sing, “ask that war not repeat.”

    But whether Bojaya’s plea for peace is answered is far from certain.

    From Bojaya, Colombia, reporting with Bruno Federico, I’m Nadja Drost for the “PBS NewsHour.”

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you can see more of Nadja’s interview with the Colombian president on our Web site, PBS.org/NewsHour.

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: And with that, we turn to Politics Monday.

    Joining me are Amy Walter of The Cook Political Report, and from The New York Times, Yamiche Alcindor. Tamara Keith is away.

    Eight days to go. Welcome to both of you.

    So, Amy — thumbs up.

    (LAUGHTER)

    AMY WALTER, The Cook Political Report: We’re so close.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, where does this race stand, and how much effect is this FBI news having?

    AMY WALTER: It seems like the race stands at a place where it’s always wanted to go, which is basically somewhere between a two- and a four-point Clinton lead.

    Even before the FBI — the notes of the FBI investigation came out, we already started to see a tightening of the race, that Hillary Clinton’s big, big lead, in some cases, it was double digits, was narrowing down, in part because — and this has been a theme we have seen this entire campaign, Judy — whenever the focus is on one candidate, the other candidate benefits.

    For most of October, the focus was on Donald Trump and all of his problems, whether that was debates or his other troubles. For the last week, even before the FBI story, it was about the Clinton Foundation. It was about Obamacare rates increasing.

    And so what we’re starting to see is that Republicans started to come home. The focus was on her negative traits. So I think that this race still is a Hillary Clinton lead, smaller, and it now comes down to discussing the battleground states, where she continues to have an advantage. He may — this may have stopped his fall in some of these states, but I don’t think that it’s enough to push him over the top.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Yamiche, you have been watching these candidates on the trail. I know you were in North Carolina over the weekend. And I’m going to ask you about that in a moment.

    But when you look at what the candidates are saying on the trail, do they look like they have changed their approach in some way?

    YAMICHE ALCINDOR, The New York Times: I think that Hillary Clinton has changed her approach a bit, because she was really talking a lot about Donald Trump and all his problems, talking a lot about his sexual assault allegations, and this idea of him being unqualified, and really doubling down on the idea that she has the experience.

    Now we’re seeing that she’s also kind of talking a little bit about the FBI and talking a little bit about whether or not there is any partisanship or what’s going on with the fact that this announcement was made so late in the game.

    So I think she’s done a little bit of shifting. And I think that, when I talk to a lot of her supporters, they’re kind of wanting her to go back to hitting Trump full-time.

    But Donald Trump, on the other hand, has really, I think, doubled down this idea that she’s corrupt. Regardless of whether or not the FBI made this announcement on Friday, he would have continued to say she is someone who almost like a Watergate, she has all these issues around her.

    He was doubling down on the idea of the Clinton Foundation being corrupt, on this idea that she belongs in jail, and that she really should not have been allowed to run. So, even though this FBI e-mail — he’s kind of in some ways seizing on the opportunity to talk about her e-mails through the FBI, he would have been talking about these e-mails regardless.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, Amy, you were telling us that, with regard to the e-mails, there are still real questions out there that have to be answered.

    AMY WALTER: Yes.

    I mean, part of the reason that we don’t know what impact it’s going to have is that we really don’t know what’s in there. And we’re only now starting to get a sense for whether we’re going to get an actual investigation into them, that the — the search warrant has actually been given. So we’re going to actually see some digging into these e-mails.

    But you hear reporting everything from we could find something out maybe before the election is over about whether there is anything substantive in there to maybe it’s going to be weeks and weeks from now.

    Obviously, the more attention on a drip, drip, drip coming out of this, not good for Hillary Clinton. Yamiche is right. This is — the Clinton campaign wants this to be ultimately a referendum on Donald Trump, not on e-mails.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, meantime, Yamiche, as we just said, you were in North Carolina talking to voters. Do you get the sense that they are changing, that it’s affecting how they think about this race at this point?

    YAMICHE ALCINDOR: It’s not affecting who people are choosing.

    When I was out in North Carolina, I went to the city of Charlotte, and I also went to some suburbs surrounding the city. And people told me that they were still going to go with the person that they were going for. So, when I talked to Trump supporters, they were still very much Trump supporters. When I talked to Clinton supporters, they were very much still in her camp.

    But this really motivated people to leave their houses. I was in Charlotte, North Carolina, at about 7:30 a.m. on a Saturday, and there were people lined waiting two hours already to get into the polls.

    So, I talked to a young man who said: “I saw the news of the FBI e-mails flash on my work computer on Friday and I said, I’m waking up at 8:00 to come to the polls and I want to vote early.”

    So, I think that that is what has been going on here. It’s not so much changing people’s ideas as much as it is about this idea that both people — both sets of supporters think that the other supporters are going to be motivated by this news and, thus, they want to show out.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Interesting.

    And, Amy, you were also talking to us about the so-called down-ballot races, the Senate races in particular that may be affected by this.

    AMY WALTER: This was the biggest concern from Republicans about a week-and-a-half ago was that Republicans were just so enthusiastic, were so depressed by how poorly Donald Trump had done in the debates, and that they just were not going to show up and vote.

    This may be something that help gets them out to vote, is what they’re hoping right now, again, motivated, oh, that’s right, this is what don’t like about Hillary Clinton, it’s why we have to come out and vote, and also maybe bolsters the argument that a lot of down-ballot candidates are making that they need to be a check on Hillary Clinton.

    Maybe you still think Hillary Clinton is going to win the presidency, but don’t you want to have a Republican in office, given what we know about Hillary Clinton?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Yamiche, what are you hearing? What do you see in your reporting about these Senate races that are still really close?

    YAMICHE ALCINDOR: What I’m hearing from voters — and I have heard a little bit about from Republicans who don’t want to vote for Donald Trump, because they don’t see him as qualified, but then who then are going to split their ticket and go and vote for Republicans to go down-ballot.

    The interesting thing, though, is that a lot of people for the last eight years have watched Barack Obama — or — excuse me — maybe for the last four years — have watched Barack Obama really struggle with this idea that he couldn’t get a lot of things passed because of the Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate.

    So, when I talk to people who say, I don’t want another four years of that, I don’t want another Hillary Clinton to have to face the same issues that Barack Obama faced, so even though there’s this idea that they want to have a check on Hillary Clinton, a lot of people say, I actually want her to be able to go in there and get things done.

    So, that’s, I think, why a lot of Democrats are coming out and talking to me about this idea of voting down-ballot and then the importance of local races. Of course, Republicans are happy to split their ticket because they don’t want to see Hillary Clinton enact some of the things that she has been talking about.

    Really, one of the most important things is immigration reform. She said in her first 100 days that she’s going to dealing with that issue. And a lot of Republicans are really worried that she might kind of have this idea of open borders and really not be as tough as they want her to be.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The clock is ticking. It’s closer than ever, eight days away.

    Amy Walter, Yamiche Alcindor, thank you both.

    The post How the Clinton email probe seems to be motivating voters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    JUDY WOODRUFF: Even before this FBI news broke last Friday, I wanted to go out on the campaign trail myself on this next-to-the-last weekend before Election Day to see both candidates up close, and talk directly to voters.

    I headed first to a Clinton event in Daytona Beach, Florida.

    Twenty-four hours after FBI Director Comey’s letter jolted the race for president, these Florida voters waiting to see Hillary Clinton said they were not deterred by the news.

    It doesn’t bother you?

    LISA PEREZ, Hillary Clinton Supporter: No, she has nothing to hide. If she had, she — no, she doesn’t. Do you want Trump as our president? Really? I mean, think about it. You got to weigh the pros and the cons.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: In fact, Lisa Perez and her friend Barbara Ballach sounded protective of Clinton.

    BARBARA BALLACH, Hillary Clinton Supporter: She has nothing to hide. As soon as it gets exposed, people can put it to rest. I’m not worried about her e-mails. I’m more worried about the issues.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Like what? For example, what? What issues?

    BARBARA BALLACH: Our economy. I feel real strong about immigration, and what Trump is threatening to do.

    He’s going to build a wall. He’s going to ship people home and break up families. He’s going to shame the Statue of Liberty.

    LISA PEREZ: Right. He’s going to bring us down. He’s going to make this economy worse. He is going to divide us.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Charles Ferguson is a registered Republican.

    Did you consider Donald Trump?

    CHARLES FERGUSON, Hillary Clinton Supporter: Absolutely not. I think Donald Trump would be a disaster for this country. I really think that it would be absolute chaos, and it would be — he would be — he would make our country his piggy bank, and he’d be the chief pig.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: When Clinton arrived to speak, she raised the FBI’s move.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: It’s pretty strange to put something like that out with such little information right before an election.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: But many who came to see her, like Marlo Duffy, ignored the e-mail matter altogether.

    Who is this young person?

    MARLO DUFFY, Hillary Clinton Supporter: This is Samuel. He’s six weeks old today.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And why are you and Samuel here?

    MARLO DUFFY: Because I want to hear our future president speak. This is historical, the first woman president.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: To make that happen, the campaign is counting on canvassers, supporters who knock on doors, make contact with voters who need a nudge to get to the polls.

    HILLARY CLINTON: We just reached a milestone. More than 200 million Americans are registered to vote. And that includes 50 million young people.

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Including the three Woody sisters.

    KRISTEN WOODY, Hillary Clinton Supporter: There was no doubt in my mind who my first vote would be cast for. Hillary Clinton is well-qualified to serve our country, and she needs to be the president.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Did you even consider Mr. Trump?

    LAUREN WOODY, Hillary Clinton Supporter: No, definitely not. He’s just ridiculous, and he doesn’t know how to run the country. He doesn’t even know what he is talking about at any point.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you think it would mean if he were elected president?

    JENNIFER WOODY, Hillary Clinton Supporter: Oh, it would set us back years in progress as far as race relations and people getting along.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Their mother, Debra, and dad, Carlos, rounded out the picture.

    DEBRA WOODY, Hillary Clinton Supporter: I feel that Hillary is going to be the answer for not only my girls, but all young women and our entire country.

    CARLOS WOODY, Hillary Clinton Supporter: Mr. Trump is very volatile. I am a registered Republican. And I will not vote for him. You have a Satan who was a Republican.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: did you mean to compare Donald Trump to Satan?

    CARLOS WOODY: I think, when you look at it, he is a cold, callous individual, and I don’t think he has a conscience. I really don’t. So, the comparison is what it is.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: From Daytona Beach, it was on to Las Vegas, where we found Donald Trump newly energized by FBI director’s letter to Congress.

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Hillary has nobody but herself to blame for her mounting legal problems.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Trump’s accusations play directly into the dark image of Clinton that animates so many of his supporters.

    Where are you from?

    CRYSTAL HOWARD, Donald Trump Supporter: Chicago, Illinois.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And you came all the way to Las Vegas. Why?

    CRYSTAL HOWARD: Absolutely, because I don’t want a liar in the office.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Crystal Howard was especially excited because the first time she came to see a Trump rally, it was so crowded, she couldn’t get in.

    What do you think he will do as president?

    CRYSTAL HOWARD: I hope that he secures our borders and hopefully takes care of our economy.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What needs to change about the economy?

    CRYSTAL HOWARD: We need more jobs. We more production. We need our jobs to quit leaving America. We need our children to have jobs when they get out of college.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Several Trump fans told us they know he has flaws, but like him anyway.

    RICHARD JARRETT, Donald Trump Supporter: I am supporting him mainly because he is the lesser of the two evils. They both have a lot of baggage.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: A registered Democrat, Richard Jarrett was actually a delegate to the 1996 Democratic National Convention in Chicago.

    When you say baggage, what are you referring to?

    RICHARD JARRETT: Well, I mean, the — he won’t release his tax returns. There’s questions about the women who came out against him. There’s other questions about how up and down he is, saying crazy stuff and conspiracies and so forth. But I think all of that is still better than what the Clinton crime family has to offer.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Rebecca Burr, another Democrat who supported Bernie Sanders in the Nevada caucuses, came wearing a prison uniform.

    “U.S. Department of Justice inmate Hillary Rodham Clinton.”

    REBECCA BURR, Donald Trump Supporter: I’m looking at the bigger picture here. I am looking for someone who doesn’t rig an election. I am looking for someone who doesn’t take money from foreign interests from overseas. And I am not saying Trump is perfect, but he is far better than Hillary Clinton any day.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: What was your reaction when the story came out about Mr. Trump’s comments in 2005, the “Access Hollywood” tape?

    REBECCA BURR: I thought was that that was something that Hillary knew all along. I know that she has a lot of tricks up her sleeves. And I wouldn’t be surprised if she has more dirt on him. But as far as, does it offend me as a woman? No.

    DONALD TRUMP: As your president, I will go into the poorest communities and work on a national plan for revitalization. We will break decades of failure.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Failures that Arizonan James Barber says he knows firsthand.

    JAMES BARBER, Donald Trump Supporter: I want him to go into the inner cities and fix them. It has not gotten better in the 50 years. So, hopefully, he will bring a much-needed change.

    The post Days to go, voters explain their White House hopes appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    FBI Director James Comey testifies at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in Washington, U.S., September 27, 2016.          REUTERS/Gary Cameron - RTSPOQM

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: For more now on the FBI’s investigation into the newly discovered e-mails which may be related to Hillary Clinton’s e-mail server, we turn to New York Times reporter Michael Schmidt and Politico reporter Josh Gerstein.

    And we welcome both of you to the “NewsHour.”

    Josh Gerstein, to you first.

    We know that, late this afternoon, there was a letter sent by the Department of Justice to congressional committee chairs. Tell us what was in the letter. Why was it sent?

    JOSH GERSTEIN, POLITICO: Well, it didn’t say very much.

    It was basically responding to Democratic complaints that what Comey did, FBI Director Comey did, on Friday, notifying that they had essentially reactivated this Clinton e-mail investigation, had a lot of spawned speculation and had a political impact. And they wanted more details on if this complied with Justice Department policy and what’s going on in the investigation.

    There were only really like two substantive sentences in this letter. One of them said that they’re working on getting this investigation done as expeditiously as possible. And the other one really didn’t address this issue of whether Comey might have violated Justice Department policy.

    It just simply said the department appreciated the lawmakers’ concerns. We know from our other reporting that Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates strongly advised Comey against sending the letter, but he felt he needed to, so he did it anyway.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    Let me turn to you, Michael Schmidt.

    How is the Justice Department, how is the FBI handling this cache of hundreds of thousands of e-mails?

    MICHAEL SCHMIDT, The New York Times: What they’re doing is, they’re putting it in a computer program to allows them to see whether there’s duplicates. That’s the real question here, whether any of the e-mails they’re in possession of are ones they had before that they know are classified or they know they looked at or if these are entirely a new batch.

    If it’s a new batch, this could be a very time-consuming process, because the FBI would then have to take those e-mails and send them out to other government agencies and departments, where the information could have originated from to see if they’re classified.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: How is that going? Do we know how fast it’s going?

    MICHAEL SCHMIDT: Well…

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Is this a laborious — go ahead.

    MICHAEL SCHMIDT: The process of figuring out the duplicates isn’t hard. The computer program can do that pretty quickly.

    So, they may have an idea even right now or even by tomorrow about sort of the universe of these. There’s hundreds of thousands of e-mails, but the computer will be able to quickly weed out which ones are new. So, at that point, they will sort of have a sense of, OK, we have dozens, hundreds, thousands of new e-mails that we really need to dig into.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, Josh Gerstein, what is known about what could be here? They’re looking for e-mails that came from Hillary Clinton’s server. Is there a belief that there is classified material here?

    JOSH GERSTEIN: Well, you know, the definitions of classified have proved fairly malleable in this investigation.

    So it really wouldn’t surprise me if there are additional copies, as Michael says, of the same e-mails. I don’t think that would change much in the way this investigation went forward. Of course, if there are more e-mails of a different kind or a different ilk and then particularly if there are any messages on here that reflect people’s thoughts on this issue, for example, if anyone talks about, like, I know this is classified, but I’m sending it anyway — it seems very unlikely anyone would do that.

    There wasn’t really much evidence of that in the first tens of thousands of e-mails that the FBI went through. But any message like that could be potentially incriminating for someone who sent it, if that exists.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael Schmidt, is it your understanding from your reporting that FBI officials already know what’s here or are they truly looking for something unknown?

    MICHAEL SCHMIDT: If you look at Director Comey’s letter to Congress, he basically says, we haven’t had a chance to look at these yet.

    I sort of find it hard to believe that the FBI would go with such an aggressive step of telling Congress without really having some idea of what is truly here. If these end up to be just a bunch of duplicates, then this will have been a big hubbub over nothing.

    So I wonder what the FBI really knows here. And did that lead them to push as far as they did?

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it certainly raises that question.

    Josh Gerstein, I understand you just recently heard from Huma Abedin’s attorney. What are they saying? What is she saying?

    JOSH GERSTEIN: Well, we reported on this, this morning, that Huma Abedin told colleagues that she was mystified by why there were any of her e-mails on this computer. She insisted this is Mr. Weiner’s laptop, not hers, and she never stored any e-mails intentionally on this computer at any point.

    And so she’s not sure exactly how this all came to pass. She says she’s cooperating with the FBI, but that they actually never reached out to her in connection with this most recent dramatic development in the investigation. There was thought maybe that she would be asked for her consent to go through the e-mails. That never happened.

    The FBI instead ended up getting a warrant, perhaps because the laptop does belong to Mr. Weiner. He probably wouldn’t have consented to them going through it further. And so they decided to go that route. But she is saying she doesn’t know how her messages got on to this laptop in the first place.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, Michael Schmidt, the reporting over the weekend about whether Director Comey acted because of pressure of some sort from FBI agents who felt that he wasn’t being tough enough on Hillary Clinton, what has your reporting told you about that?

    MICHAEL SCHMIDT: Yes, I find that hard to believe.

    I think that the line FBI agents who really knew what was going on with the e-mail investigation understood why Director Comey came out and said that the bureau wasn’t recommending charges. I think they realized that there wasn’t criminal intent there. So the idea that Director Comey would do this facing some insurrection by FBI agents, I think, is probably not true.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: All right, we’re going to leave it there for now. But I know both of you continue to watch this very closely. Michael Schmidt, Josh Gerstein, we thank you.

    MICHAEL SCHMIDT: Thank you, Judy.

    JOSH GERSTEIN: Thanks for having me.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And now for a closer look at Director Comey’s decisions and some of the behind the scenes at the FBI, we turn to Peter Zeidenberg. He’s an attorney and partner at Arent Fox. He spent 17 years at the Justice Department as a federal prosecutor. He’s also joined 100 others in an open letter critical of Comey’s actions. And Daniel Richman, he’s professor at Columbia Law School. He’s a former federal prosecutor, himself, and current policy adviser to Director Comey.

    And we welcome both of you to the program.

    Daniel Richman, let me start with you.

    As we have been discussing, there is a lot of criticism being directed at Director Comey for what he did on Friday. What do you know about what motivated him and whether this was a result of criticism from the FBI or something else?

    DANIEL RICHMAN, Columbia Law School: I think this is less about criticism from anybody and more about protecting the credibility of the organization and of his own credibility with Congress.

    Here, we had him having made statements about the completion of the investigation, about the completion of the review of the e-mails back in July. All of a sudden, he’s confronted with very little notice with a trove of e-mails that appeared to be pertinent.

    The next step is what to do. And I think what he figured he needed to do immediately is get the information that he had these right out. Was this extraordinary? Yes. But this is at a time when, as everyone focused on, there is an election going. The last statement he made was about the investigation having been completed.

    The last thing he wanted was somewhere down the line information coming out that he sat on these e-mails while the election was — and during its final days, and while Congress was obviously monitoring the progress.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Peter Zeidenberg, what do you make of that explanation?

    PETER ZEIDENBERG, Arent Fox: Well, I think it was premature.

    I think it was premature to notify Congress before he had had a chance to actually examine these e-mails. And so I think it was a mistake. And, frankly, I think it was irresponsible to do it and drop this bomb.

    And, as Josh Gerstein mentioned, it’s very possible, if not likely, that all these e-mails have been looked at already. They could all be duplicates.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: So, do you — are you saying you think he was trying to influence the outcome of the presidential race?

    PETER ZEIDENBERG: No, I’m not. And I’m not questioning Mr. Comey’s motives or his integrity. I just think it was a bad decision.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: You mean just on the spur of the moment? I mean, how do you explain it?

    PETER ZEIDENBERG: I think that, from the context, that he was — Congress put a lot of pressure on him, and I think he was concerned about being viewed as being not completely forthright.

    But I think it would — and he was in a difficult position. But the fact is, he’s going to get criticism either way. And if there were criticism after the fact of not being forthcoming enough, I think the response is, I didn’t know what I had, and it would have been irresponsible to make a pronouncement before examining these e-mails.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Daniel Richman, how do you explain his decision to do this against the advice of both the attorney general, Loretta Lynch, the deputy attorney general? That’s a pretty significant recommendation to go against.

    DANIEL RICHMAN: Those are significant recommendations, but I should note that had they wanted him not to do that, they could have ordered him not to do that. They do have hierarchical power over him.

    And I think it’s really interesting to note that they didn’t. And there is a reason why they didn’t. The fact is that this is an extraordinary place to be already. Yes, there are important departmental guidelines that have really good reasons, but, at the same time, all guidelines are in the hands in enforcement and interpretation and in application in the highest Justice Department officials, of which the director is one.

    So, here you had two officials who are hierarchically above him who decided not to prevent him from doing it, left it to his decision. He made his decision. Obviously, reasonable minds can differ, and they have differed. But to put him out alone, as they seem to have done, and then snipe at him from the sides, seems to be not very professional.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Peter Zeidenberg, how do you comment on that?

    PETER ZEIDENBERG: Well, I think, as I said, he act on his own, apparently, against advice. And, you know, I think it’s, as I said, surprising, disappointing and unprecedented.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: We have been hearing about divisions inside the Justice Department. FBI officials — there’s been reporting, most of it anonymous, about FBI officials critical of Director Comey, that he was perhaps feeling pressure in that way.

    We heard the reporters. We heard Michael Schmidt of The New York Times say he didn’t think that was the case. How do you read the atmosphere inside the Department of Justice over all this?

    PETER ZEIDENBERG: That would call for a bit of speculation on my part.

    I would say it’s unfortunate how we got here. There’s a series of events. I think, you know, President Clinton getting on the plane, Bill Clinton getting on the plane, and then Loretta Lynch feeling that she had to recuse herself, and then handing it over to Jim Comey, who then felt constrained, for some reasons, to give this press conference, which was really incredible, back in July.

    And then he testified and said, I will keep you apprised, to Congress. I think that was a mistake, to say, I will keep you apprised.

    It was premature. The Congress shouldn’t be involved intimately with an ongoing investigation.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And just quickly, Daniel Richman, back to you.

    Today, the Clinton campaign and others pointed out that there is now new reporting that Director Comey didn’t want it to be known that the administration had confirmed that the Russians were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, arguing that it was too close to the election, that this would influence the election.

    Is there inconsistency here?

    DANIEL RICHMAN: There is only inconsistency, in the sense that there are really different facts.

    And I certainly don’t know all the facts with regard to the internal deliberations with regard to the Russian hacking. But, yes, it certainly is the norm that the department doesn’t confirm or deny investigations and doesn’t confirm or deny the focus on any particular party.

    This goes back, as Mr. Zeidenberg said, to what was thought to have been the need — and I think the director decided it was — back in July to make a statement about there not being an investigation here. Once you make the statement — or rather that it was completed — once you make that statement, I think it does come with an obligation to correct it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Right.

    Peter Zeidenberg, just finally, the public watching all this, how much confidence can they have that the Justice Department in general is not suffused with politics?

    PETER ZEIDENBERG: Well, they — that really has been my experience when I was in the public integrity section.

    And I believe that still to be the case that the career prosecutors are not political. And, you know, unfortunately, this has gotten pulled into that, and I think it will raise questions in people’s mind that’s unfair and very unfortunate.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Peter Zeidenberg, Daniel Richman, we thank you both.

    DANIEL RICHMAN: Thank you.

    The post What’s behind Comey’s unprecedented reveal to Congress about Clinton probe? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) take part in an operation against Islamic State militants on the outskirts of the town of Hammam Al-Alil, south of Mosul, Iraq October 31, 2016. REUTERS/Stringer EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVE. - RTX2R78C

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: Iraqi troops fought their way inside the city limits of Mosul, two weeks after their offensive began. They advanced after seizing the last village held by Islamic State fighters on the city’s eastern edge.

    Special forces are using armored vehicles and tanks to make headway. They’re backed by artillery and airstrikes targeting is positions.

    Lebanon finally has a new president, after the top post sat vacant for two years during a political crisis. The Parliament today elected Michel Aoun. He’s 81 years old, and a strong ally of the Islamist militant group Hezbollah. The election took several rounds of voting, after extra ballots suspiciously appeared in the ballot box for the first few counts. Aoun’s win is a victory for pro-Iranian forces in the region.

    Turkey has opened another phase of the crackdown that began after last summer’s failed coup. Today, police arrested the chief editor and 11 senior staff of a major opposition newspaper. Supporters rallied outside the newspaper offices, one of the oldest in Turkey. A cartoonist for the paper condemned the attempts to silence journalists.

    MUSA KART, Cartoonist, Cumhuriyet (through translator): This is ridiculous. You will not intimidate anyone by putting pressure. I want to say that. It is impossible for people with conscience to endorse this scene. You cannot justify this to the world. Today, I am being detained for drawing cartoons, and only for drawing cartoons.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: Just yesterday, another 10,000 people were fired from their government jobs in Turkey. More than 100,000 have been dismissed since the coup.

    Police in Pakistan arrested 1,500 protesters overnight in a bid to silence critics of the country’s embattled prime minister. The effort continued today. Police used tear gas and batons against followers of opposition leader Imran Khan outside Islamabad, the capital. The protesters are demanding Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif step down, amid allegations of corruption.

    The Swedish diplomat who saved at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews from the Holocaust has finally been pronounced dead. Raoul Wallenberg was arrested by the Soviets as World War II ended. Later, they said he died of a heart attack in 1947. Sweden continued to list Wallenberg as missing, but has now formally classified him as deceased.

    And on Wall Street, it was a quiet start to the week. The Dow Jones industrial average lost just over 18 points to close at 18142. The Nasdaq fell one point, and the S&P 500 dropped a fraction of a point.

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    U.S. Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton speaks at a campaign rally at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, U.S. October 31, 2016.  REUTERS/Brian Snyder  - RTX2R9B6

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    JUDY WOODRUFF: For Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, it’s the start of the last full week of presidential campaigning. And with just eight days to go until Election Day, the contest has been injected with new uncertainty.

    John Yang begins our coverage.

    JOHN YANG: With Election Day just around the corner, the hot topic on the campaign today was something that’s dogged the Democratic nominee for nearly two years, her use of a private e-mail server as secretary of state.

    HILLARY CLINTON (D), Presidential Nominee: Now they apparently they want to look at e-mails of one of my staffers, and, by all means, they should look at them. And I am sure they will reach the same conclusion they did when they looked at my e-mails for the last year: There is no case here!

    (CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)

    DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Nominee: Hillary is not the victim. The American people are the victim of this corrupt system in every way. And this is your one chance right now, November 8, to change it.

    JOHN YANG: The FBI is scouring hundreds of thousands of newly discovered e-mails to see if any of them are relevant to its investigation of how she handled classified information.

    The e-mails were discovered on the computer of Anthony Weiner, the disgraced former congressman from New York who’s under investigation for allegedly sending sexual messages to a 15-year-old girl. He’s the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, one of Clinton’s closest aides, who was conspicuously absent today from Clinton’s campaign plane.

    Meanwhile, criticism continues to build over FBI Director James Comey’s decision to tell Congress of the new e-mails before they were evaluated.

    Former Attorney General Eric Holder wrote in today’s Washington Post that: “While Comey is a man of integrity and honor, he committed a serious error with potentially severe implications.”

    JOSH EARNEST, White House Press Secretary: Director Comey is a man of integrity. He’s a man of principle.

    JOHN YANG: The issue also dominated the day’s White House news briefing.

    JOSH EARNEST: The president doesn’t believe that Director Comey is intentionally trying to influence the outcome of an election. I’m just not going to be in a position to, frankly, either defend or criticize decisions that he’s made with regard to what to communicate in public.

    JOHN YANG: Meanwhile, CNN said it had cut ties with Donna Brazile, interim chair of the Democratic National Committee. That followed today’s WikiLeaks release of another batch of hacked Clinton campaign e-mails. One of them was from Brazile, then a CNN analyst, the day before the network hosted a debate between Clinton and Bernie Sanders in Flint, Michigan.

    She told campaign officials the details of one of the questions Clinton was asked at the event about the city’s tainted water crisis. It’s the second time hacked e-mails showed Brazile tipping the Clinton camp to debate questions. CNN said it is completely uncomfortable with her interactions with the campaign while a network analyst.

    Today, the candidates were in key battleground states. Clinton was in Ohio, where polls show a tight race. Trump was next door in Michigan, trying to gain ground in a state that hasn’t voted for a Republican presidential candidate since 1988, and where current polls show him behind.

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

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    File photo of House Speaker Paul Ryan by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    House Speaker Paul Ryan said Tuesday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” that he used early voting to cast his ballot for the Republican presidential nominee last week. Photo by Joshua Roberts/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — House Speaker Paul Ryan says he’s voted for Donald Trump, but he’s still not going to campaign with him.

    Ryan said Tuesday on Fox News’ “Fox and Friends” that he used early voting to cast his ballot for the Republican presidential nominee last week.

    Trump is campaigning Tuesday in Ryan’s home state of Wisconsin, but the speaker won’t be joining him. Ryan said he hadn’t been aware of Trump’s travel plans until 10 minutes before the Fox interview and would be in Indiana then. Trump’s travel plans had been announced at least a day in advance.

    Ryan and Trump have had a rocky relationship and Ryan has previously said he wouldn’t campaign for Trump.

    But Ryan said “we’ve worked with our nominee” on health care, national security, tax reform and other policy proposals.

    The post Paul Ryan votes for Trump, but will not campaign with him appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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    Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    Drugs are prepared to shoot intravenously by a user addicted to heroin in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

    CONCORD, N.H. — Hillary Clinton calls the scourge of heroin and opioid addiction a “quiet epidemic.” Donald Trump marvels that overdoses are a problem in picturesque American communities.

    “How does heroin work with these beautiful lakes and trees?” he said recently in New Hampshire. “It doesn’t.”

    Both presidential candidates agree drug addiction is a major problem in America, but only Clinton has offered a detailed plan to tackle it as part of her campaign. The Democratic nominee has outlined a $10 billion plan to give states more money for prevention, treatment and recovery programs. Trump has long centered his plan on stopping the flow of illegal drugs by building a wall along the southern border.

    More recently, he has called for expanding enforcement as well as treatment programs, but he has offered no specifics on costs.

    Heroin and opioid addiction is at a nationwide peak — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 78 Americans die from a drug overdose every day. It’s particularly felt in states such as Ohio and New Hampshire, frequent stops on the presidential campaign trail, where overdoses from heroin and other drugs, like the powerful synthetic version of the painkiller fentanyl, have skyrocketed in recent years.

    Here is a summary of their proposals:

    FUNDING

    CLINTON: Her $10 billion proposal calls for boosting federal spending in five areas: prevention, treatment and recovery, first responders, prescribers and criminal justice reform. Over 10 years, Clinton calls for sending $7.5 billion to states, which could receive up to $4 in federal dollars for every $1 of state money they spend on the problem. States would need to show concrete proposals in one of the five areas to receive the money. The remaining $2.5 million would go toward the federal Substance Abuse Prevention and Treatment Block Grant program.

    TRUMP: Trump has not proposed any specific spending.

    STOPPING THE SUPPLY

    CLINTON: Clinton’s $10 billion plan does not include drug enforcement efforts aimed at stopping drugs from entering the U.S.

    Heroin and opioid addiction is at a nationwide peak — the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 78 Americans die from a drug overdose every day.

    TRUMP: Trump’s statements on the drug crisis focus on stopping the flow of drugs into the United States. He’s said the wall he plans to build on the country’s southern border, a key piece of his immigration plan, will keep drugs out. The Drug Enforcement Administration says 79 percent of the heroin it analyzed in 2014 came from Mexico.

    Trump also has accused China of contributing to the problem, proposing to make it harder for Chinese dealers to ship deadly drugs into the United States. A Drug Enforcement Agency report released this summer says Chinese labs are mass-producing fentanyl and marketing it to North American drug trafficking groups.

    Fentanyl is a synthetic drug that can be prescribed and used to treat pain. But illegal production of a more deadly version has been on the rise. Trump says the DEA should limit production of Schedule II opioid painkillers, like oxycodone and fentanyl.

    Trump also is promising to end sanctuary cities that he says are harboring illegal immigrants that may be dealing drugs.

    PREVENTION, TREATMENT AND RECOVERY

    CLINTON: Clinton’s plan is focused on boosting access to treatment and recovery programs. State efforts could include building more beds in hospitals and residential treatment facilities, training more health care providers and recovery coaches, subsidizing child care for people in treatment and enforcing parity laws that require insurance companies to cover substance abuse treatment.

    Clinton also wants to promote greater use of medically assisted treatment, which can halt drug cravings and create adverse reactions to taking drugs. The Democrat would push for stricter prescribing laws and requiring states to use prescription drug monitoring systems to prevent doctor shopping. Developing an addiction to painkillers is a frequent path toward using heroin or other opioids.

    Clinton would also boost evidence-based prevention programs in schools and make naloxone, the overdose reversal drug, more widely available. Some states have already made naloxone available over the counter so family members and friends of addicts can purchase it. She’s also stressed a need to improve and integrate mental health and substance abuse care, as the two often occur together.

    TRUMP: While campaigning in New Hampshire on Oct. 15, Trump for the first time outlined ideas for treatment and recovery. Like Clinton, he pledges to expand access to naloxone and make it easier for doctors to prescribe “abuse-deterring drugs.” Trump says the Food and Drug Administration is too slow to approve medications that can stop cravings and that doctors face too many restrictions in prescribing them.

    He’s also proposing more incentives for states and local governments to establish drug courts, although he hasn’t outlined a dollar figure.

    CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM

    CLINTON: Clinton says she will ask her attorney general to issue guidance telling states to prioritize treatment over incarceration for low-level offenders. She supports the drug court programs that many states have created. She says she’ll also push states to consider alternatives to incarceration for low-level offenders, such as going through drug court programs that focus on treatment.

    TRUMP: Trump has not offered any specific policy on low-level or non-violent drug offenders. He is pledging, however, to “aggressively prosecute traffickers of illegal drugs.” In his Oct. 15 speech, he praised running mate Mike Pence for instituting stricter mandatory minimum sentences for drug offenses as governor of Indiana and suggested he’d pursue a similar policy federally.

    The post Where do the presidential candidates stand on treating drug addiction? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


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