Articles on this Page
- 12/09/16--13:04: _Column: Women, it’s...
- 12/09/16--13:11: _Trump expected to t...
- 12/09/16--13:21: _Would Trump’s defen...
- 12/09/16--13:50: _Entire chunk of fea...
- 12/09/16--15:20: _Shields and Brooks ...
- 12/09/16--15:25: _After Oakland fire,...
- 12/09/16--15:30: _Female Marine recru...
- 12/09/16--15:40: _Trump closed compan...
- 12/09/16--15:40: _The ‘thrill of the ...
- 12/09/16--15:45: _News Wrap: Obama or...
- 12/09/16--15:50: _Trump picks Goldman...
- 12/09/16--20:29: _Senate passes stop-...
- 12/10/16--06:20: _Trump deepens Goldm...
- 12/10/16--07:21: _Adding 200 more tro...
- 12/10/16--08:25: _Trump win could boo...
- 12/10/16--09:38: _Recounts bring Stei...
- 12/10/16--10:08: _What’s next for the...
- 12/10/16--10:17: _Tens of thousands h...
- 12/10/16--11:19: _State of emergency ...
- 12/10/16--12:38: _Trump at Army-Navy ...
- 12/09/16--13:04: Column: Women, it’s time to ask for a raise
- 12/09/16--13:21: Would Trump’s defense secretary push women back out of combat jobs?
- 12/09/16--13:50: Entire chunk of feathered dinosaur discovered in amber
- 12/09/16--15:20: Shields and Brooks on Trump’s understanding of presidential power
- 12/09/16--15:25: After Oakland fire, a nationwide crackdown on warehouse spaces
- 12/09/16--15:40: The ‘thrill of the chase’ in perpetuating fake news
- 12/09/16--15:45: News Wrap: Obama orders review of campaign cyberattacks
- 12/09/16--20:29: Senate passes stop-gap spending to avert government shutdown
- 12/10/16--06:20: Trump deepens Goldman ties as he builds out economic team
- 12/10/16--07:21: Adding 200 more troops to Syria, U.S. deepens involvement
- 12/10/16--09:38: Recounts bring Stein publicity that eluded her on the trail
- 12/10/16--10:08: What’s next for the Dakota Access Pipeline?
- 12/10/16--10:17: Tens of thousands homeless after Indonesian earthquake
- 12/10/16--11:19: State of emergency in France may be extended
- 12/10/16--12:38: Trump at Army-Navy game to salute armed forces
Editor’s Note: Sallie Krawcheck has an impressive resume. The former president of Global Wealth & Investment Management at Bank of America, former CEO of research firm Sanford C. Bernstein & Co.., former head of Merrill Lynch and chair of Ellevate is the founder and CEO of the new startup Ellevest.
But there’s one more step you should take before you begin investing: Ask for a raise. Below, Krawcheck explains one step to close the gender pay gap. She covers these gaps as well as steps women can take to close them in a recently published ebook, called “Mind the Gap — and Close It: The Ellevest Guide to Dominating Your Financial Future.”
— Kristen Doerer, Making Sen$e Editor
It’s December, which means it’s year-end review time. (I know — that made me break out in hives, too.) You probably know that, on average, women make 78 to 80 cents to a man’s dollar. And that pay gap can increase if you’re a woman of color — even more so if you’re a woman with a disability.
There are any number of reasons for this gender pay gap; some of those reasons have to do with gender bias and discrimination, certainly. But here’s one that I’ve observed: In all of the years that I managed people (and it was quite a number of years), the men almost always told me how much money they wanted to make. Almost always. I used to joke that they wore a path in the carpet to my office right before bonus time.
The women never did. And by never, I mean never. Never ever.
And it matters.
Say we have two employees, Joe and Joanne. They’ve both done the same great job this past year; they’re both valued workers. They’re both set to make the exact same $5,000 bonus.
Joe comes into my office for our weekly catch-up. At the end of it, he says, “I just want to quickly run down a few of my accomplishments this year.” He lists them, and then goes on to say, “And I’d like to make $10,000 as a bonus this year.”
After Joe leaves, I call my head of human resources to my office. I relay the conversation, and we laugh a bit. “Men!” we may chuckle.
Fast forward to time to allocate the bonuses. Joe is in for $5,000, we know he wants $10,000. We begin to write down $5,000, but… we don’t want to lose Joe, particularly with the big project coming up… He brought up a couple of accomplishments I had forgotten about… And did you notice that he was on the phone with his door closed the other day? His door is never closed. And isn’t the competitor down the street looking for someone with his qualifications? He sure has been unusually quiet for such an outgoing guy.
We really don’t want to lose Joe. And we really don’t want to upset Joe. And so we put him in for a $7,000 bonus. (We also say that come next year, we’ll remember giving Joe more than his allotted bonus this time, so we won’t bump him up as much — but you know we never remember that next year, right?)
OK, so Joe makes $7,000.
And now Joanne, who’s been working just as well, but never asked for any extra money. How much does Joanne make?
When I ask this, the answer I almost always get is $5,000.
Joanne makes $3,000.
That’s because the money is being allocated out of a bonus pool. The bonus pool is $10,000, and it doesn’t grow just because I reallocate it. (I’m using bonuses in this example. Feel free to substitute the word “salary.” Same line of reasoning. You still have to ask.) In other words, by not asking for that money, you aren’t just leaving money on the table, you are essentially handing that money straight over to the guy who did ask for the raise or bonus (And trust me, it will be a guy.)
Enough said. Even though this is a hypothetical example (and I tried to never let this happen), go ask for that bonus or that raise.
Women in the U.S. control $5 trillion in investible assets, but more than 70 percent of that money is left sitting in the bank in cash. The result? Women miss out on possible market returns — which have averaged 10 percent historically over longer periods of time in the equity markets — and thus the financial power and independence that comes along with growing wealth.
In other words the difference between getting the raise versus not getting the raise — and then investing versus not investing — is life changing.
WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name Goldman Sachs president Gary Cohn to an influential White House economic post, two people informed of the decision said Friday.
Cohn, 56, would lead the White House National Economic Council, a posting that would require him to leave his $21 million a year job as president and chief operating officer at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Trump repeatedly vilified the prestigious Wall Street bank on the campaign trail, yet with the selection of Cohn, he has now chosen three of its alumni to key positions in his upcoming administration.
Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury secretary nominee, and Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist and senior counselor, also worked at Goldman Sachs.
The National Economic Council helps to coordinate domestic and global issues, providing economic policy advice to the president and monitoring how the White House’s agenda is implemented across the government.
If Cohn accepts the nomination, he will also be the third Goldman executive to run the NEC. Robert Rubin was the NEC director under Bill Clinton, and Stephen Friedman had the job during George W. Bush’s administration.
The two people informed of the decision spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to publicly discuss the expected move.
Raised in Ohio, Cohn took a more circuitous path to Goldman.
He graduated jobless from American University in Washington, D.C., and moved back into his parents’ home, according to a speech he gave at his alma mater. Cohn quickly found work at U.S. Steel to appease his father, only to pivot to a Wall Street job within a few months that eventually led him to Goldman in 1990.
During the campaign, Trump repeatedly attacked his rivals over their Goldman ties.
He criticized GOP primary opponent Ted Cruz for taking loans from the bank, where Cruz’s wife worked, to help pay for his Texas Senate race in 2012. And he chided Clinton for accepting large speaking fees from Goldman and for not publicly sharing what she had told the bankers.
“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs,” Trump said at a South Carolina rally in February, when he was locked in a fierce battle with Cruz. “They have total, total control over him. Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”
Trump even featured video of Goldman chief executive Lloyd Blankfein in a campaign ad with the voiceover, “Hillary Clinton meets in secret with international banks to plot the destruction of U.S. sovereignty in order to enrich these global financial powers, her special interest friends and her donors.”
But Trump appears to have since changed his tune.
In a Dec. 9 speech in Des Moines, Iowa, Trump said, “I want people that made a fortune. Because now they’re negotiating with you, OK?”
AP writers Julie Pace and Julie Bykowicz contributed to this report.
The post Trump expected to tap Goldman Sachs banker for White House economic post appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to lead the Pentagon has repeatedly spoken out against allowing women to serve in military combat jobs, a contrast to new policies ordered by outgoing Defense Secretary Ashton Carter.
It’s unclear what position Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis would take on women in combat if he’s confirmed as secretary of defense. But Mattis’ public comments on the issue indicate that he could move to reverse a major change in military policy put in place by the Obama administration.
Since Trump nominated Mattis last week, the former Marine four-star general has received praise from both sides of the aisle. Backers have cited his no-nonsense attitude, Sun Tzu-like aphorisms, and required reading lists for Marines under his command as reasons for their support.
But far less attention has been paid to his position on women in combat.
In an appearance at the Marines’ Memorial Club in San Francisco last year, Mattis received a question about opening combat roles to women. In line with his bookworm reputation, Mattis’ answer was replete with references to the Old Testament and Greek mythology.
He argued that if women are allowed in combat units, the mission will be compromised by “eros,” or sexual desire.
“If you go back to the Bible, King David sends one of his officers off to fight so he could go to bed with his wife. I mean, it’s right in the Bible. We’ve had numerous cases that we put healthy young men and women together, and we expect them to act like little saints,” Mattis said.
He also drew an analogy between allowing women in combat and making Stanford University’s football team 50 percent female, a notion he dismissed as laughable.
“We take football more seriously than national defense,” he said.
In the same speech, Mattis said women should not be in combat, because if they were, he said, the nation’s enemies wouldn’t fear “America’s awesome determination to defend herself.” He said the physical standards for combat jobs would become more lax, and women would not have privacy for their “bodily functions.”
At the same time, Mattis said he was taking the non-inclusive stance “somewhat reluctantly because I like having anything open to anybody.”
Mattis also expressed opposition to combat integration at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing in January 2015.
In remarks that never included the word “women,” Mattis lauded “progressive instincts” that motivate bucking “rules, traditions, and standards.” But he recommended “reason over impulse” when considering the policy to allow women in combat.
Despite Mattis’ public comments on the issue, some military experts said it’s unlikely he would reverse the policy if he takes over at the Pentagon.
“I don’t think Mattis will reverse the order,” said retired Col. Mary Reinwald, who edits Leatherneck Magazine, which is focused on the Marine Corps community. “I, and most senior marines I’ve talked to, believe he will simply allow the system to ‘self correct,’” by keeping tough physical training standards in place that many women can’t meet.
“The opportunity to serve in the combat arms will still be there, but few [women] will take it,” Reinwald said. “I think he’ll recognize that it’s a fight he doesn’t have to engage in when the outcome is almost guaranteed anyway.”
Mattis served more than 40 years in the United States Marine Corps, the only military branch to request an exception to the Defense Department’s order to allow women in combat jobs.
Mattis is subject to Senate confirmation before taking his post as secretary of defense. The Senate must also grant him a waiver, because the law requires defense secretaries to be retired from the military for at least seven years. Mattis retired three years ago.
Daniel Sagalyn contributed reporting.
The post Would Trump’s defense secretary push women back out of combat jobs? appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
There are times – good times – a biologist may experience the overwhelming urge to use an obscenity. This is one such time. That’s because scientists announced yesterday in the journal Current Biology that they have found an entire chunk of a feathered dinosaur tail trapped in amber – feathers, flesh, bone and all. It’s as if Mother Nature handed us an early Christmas present and said, “You’re welcome, science.”
THANK YOU MOTHER NATURE.
Here are some glorious images of this brain-exploding find.
Again, because this bears repeating, these are REAL dinosaur feathers, people. Still in place on an actual dinosaur tail. AMAZING.
The color appears to have been chestnut brown on top and cream or white on the bottom, but it is possible the colors have been altered by, and it bears repeating here, the 99 million years they’ve spent in the ground.
This specimen almost slipped through our fingers. When found in an amber market in Myitkyina, Myanmar, it was thought to be some sort of plant (perhaps unsurprising considering the fern-like feathers) and was offered for sale for use in jewelry or as a curiosity. Lead author Lida Xing reconized its importance and saved it from becoming a bauble that would remain buried in obscurity.
The feathers occupy an interesting spot on the model of feather evolution, falling between two predicted stages (circled by an oval in image below).
This fossil suggests that feathered dinosaurs had a much wider variety of feather forms than would be predicted sheerly by looking at modern birds and their development. Airy and flexible, they are more like the ornamental feathers of modern birds than stiff, compact flight feathers. If the whole animal was covered in feathers like these found on its tail, it is very unlikely to have flown, the authors say.
The scientists note in their paper that this find is especially special because, although dinosaur feathers have been found trapped in amber before, we don’t know which dinosaurs they came from. The eight and a half vertebrae trapped inside this gemstone permit the scientists to identify the long-tailed dinosaur that sprouted them. And here it is:
It was a young coelurosaur — a member of a group of dinosaurs that includes Tyrannosaurus — who somehow simultaneously managed to bob its tail (assuming it was still alive when the tail got trapped) and make some hairless apes 99 million years down the road exorbitantly happy.
This article is reproduced with permission from Scientific American. It was first published on Dec. 9, 2016. Find the original story here.
The post Entire chunk of feathered dinosaur discovered in amber appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And to the analysis of Shields and Brooks. That’s syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks.
So, let’s talk about the Trump Cabinet.
We know that Rudy Giuliani’s out, took himself, they said, out of consideration. But we have got several names, Mark, of people who are in at Labor, at the EPA, HUD, Housing and Urban Development, Small Business, and they all seem to be people who don’t necessarily agree with what the mission of these agencies has been during the Obama administration.
What are we to make of them?
MARK SHIELDS: We have to make of them they’re very personal choices by Donald Trump.
Ben Carson is a world-renowned pediatric neurosurgeon, 400 surgeries a year. Surgeon General? No. Housing and Urban Development. And he’s owned several houses. He’s lived in a house.
MARK SHIELDS: I don’t know what the other qualifications are.
Particularly interesting to me was, after he met — the president-elect with Al Gore, probably the most prominent environmental voice in the entire Democratic Party, he then chose the Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, to be director of the Environmental Protection Agency. I think protection is a key word there.
And when you think of pristine preservation of America, you immediately think of Tulsa and Oklahoma.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Be careful, my birthplace.
MARK SHIELDS: I know it’s your birthplace, Judy. But let’s be very frank about it. It hasn’t — it’s not a vanguard state. It’s not a forefront state in environmental protection.
It’s a state that has been very big on fracking, that has had 907 earthquakes in the last year, which is more than they had in the last 35 years, under fracking, a 3.0-magnitude.
And I would say, if he’s not a denier of climate change, then Attorney General Pruitt is certainly a serious skeptic.
So, I don’t know if there’s a pattern here. Maybe David can figure it out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Pattern?
DAVID BROOKS: I rise to the defense of Oklahoma.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Thank you. I’m glad to have one of you.
DAVID BROOKS: And it’s exactly the sort of coastal condescension toward the beauties of Tulsa that has created the Trump phenomenon in the first place.
First, agencies and these issues, whether it’s environmental or labor issues, they have — it’s a tradeoff. And Democrats in environmental agencies tend to favor — be more sensitive to environmental harm. And Republicans tend to be more sensitive to business harm.
And so I don’t know if they’re going against the mission of the agencies. It’s just a different set of priorities, and it’s legitimate.
Trump has picked the more extreme versions of all Republicans so far, the more aggressive. And I think the thing to watch out for is, I could totally paint a scenario where Trump runs an authoritarian regime. I can totally paint a scenario where he has no control over his own government.
And that’s in part because of his attention span problems, but in part because running an agency is very hard. Cabinet secretaries often have no control over their agency. And it becomes doubly hard when you’re really out of opinion with the people who actually work in the agency.
And it becomes triply hard, as I think may happen, a lot of people will leave the government. There are a lot of people in a lot of these sorts of places that are weighing, do I really want to serve here?
And I have certainly heard from people who say, I really don’t. Yes, I’m a career person, I respect the political process, but I just don’t feel comfortable working here anymore.
MARK SHIELDS: It’s a reasonable point.
I do want to say one thing about the secretary of labor. I just wish once, when they pick a secretary of labor, they would say, gee, who’s the best boss in America? Who has great relations?
JUDY WOODRUFF: He runs two, what, food companies.
MARK SHIELDS: He runs — no, and he’s been — his relations with workers are not a hallmark of his career. He’s been very successful in maximizing profit. But there is no particular encomiums to him about…
JUDY WOODRUFF: We should say, his name is Andy Puzder.
MARK SHIELDS: Andy Puzder — to his relationship with his workers.
Aaron Feuerstein, who was head of Malden Mills at Lawrence, Massachusetts, when the mill burned down, the first thing he did was to keep all his employees on the payroll for 60 days while he rebuilt on the spot. He didn’t take the insurance or go offshore.
Or Dan Price in Seattle at Gravity Payments, who cut his own salary by 90 percent to give everybody a 70 percent — $70,000 minimum wage. I mean, just once, I would like to have somebody who says, I really do care about workers.
And Puzder has been very successful franchising Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., but there’s no particular record of his consideration or concern for workers.
JUDY WOODRUFF: David, the other point that was made about Linda McMahon, who was chosen for the Small Business Administration, she’s a billionaire with her husband. They were wrestling — professional wrestling entrepreneurs.
And then the question is, there are now four or five billionaires in the Trump Cabinet. Do we think that’s just the way it’s going to be?
DAVID BROOKS: Well, he likes his fellow billionaires, assuming he is one.
I do think, generally, populist movements don’t — are not against billionaires. They are not against self-made billionaires in particular. They’re certainly not — the Trump movement is certainly not hostile to professional wrestling.
What they tend to be suspicious is professionals and what they see as the managerial class. So, if he picked a lot of people who went to Harvard Law School, worked in the academy, worked in the media, then I think his supporters would be restless.
But they’re not — they’re sensitive to people they think are looking down upon them, basically the professional class. And so I don’t think it’s entirely inconsistent that — or out of spirit of his movement to have these Linda McMahon-type people.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Mark?
MARK SHIELDS: Ike had nine millionaires and a plumber in his Cabinet, Martin Durkin, the president of a plumbers’ union.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Eisenhower.
MARK SHIELDS: Eisenhower did.
It is. And the — Goldman Sachs is probably over-represented, considering it was part of the vast conspiracy with Hillary Clinton to rob the United States of its sovereignty, according to candidate Trump. And now he’s finding that they’re a personnel supplier for his administration.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The other thing we saw a little bit more of this week, David, was this continuation of Donald Trump tweeting criticism of Boeing aircraft over the cost, what he says may be the cost overrun for the new Air Force One, and then getting into a spat with a local union president in Indiana who had said, you know, you’re not really going to be saving as much jobs at the Carrier Corporation as you said you were.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
A friend of mine who’s a political strategist in town said to me, you know, half my conversations are about the dissent of fascism in America, and maybe that is going to happen, and then half are normal policy discussions about how to reform health care.
And so the Trump administration could go off in both directions. We could be seeing something entirely new, something entirely authoritarian, something that looks more like Ukraine or Russia than anything we’re used to seeing here.
And these tweets are to me one of the telltale signs of whether we’re going off in that direction. If he’s just tweeting about a union guy, then he’s just being the bully we have seen. But if he uses the power of the presidency to back up some of those tweets and he’s really, really coming down with a hammer on people he doesn’t like using the power of the presidency, then we’re seeing something very new and very different.
And it’s too soon to tell whether he is going to start doing that, but that, to me, would be an indicator of something very troubling, if he does that as president.
JUDY WOODRUFF: What do you see?
MARK SHIELDS: Well, cyber-bullying, the emphasis on bullying here, going after Chuck Jones, the president of Local 1999 of the Steel Workers, is punching down.
It’s somebody in a powerful, omnipotent position punching somebody who’s a lot less important, and putting them not only as the object of ridicule, but open threats that Chuck Jones has received as a consequence of the president doing this — president-elect doing this.
And he just doesn’t seem to grasp or understand, Mr. Trump, the majesty and the power of the office.
And I think Bob Dallek, the presidential historian, very respected, said that this behavior is beneath the dignity of the office. And it really is. And I don’t think he grasps it and understands it, the Boeing thing being one example, where you can move stock by just an idle comment.
But it’s intimidating. It’s silencing. It’s a chilling effect. And it’s decidedly unpresidential.
JUDY WOODRUFF: David, go ahead.
DAVID BROOKS: To a lot of people, it just seems like an active presidency, like he’s being active on behalf of the American people.
And I do think, oh, the Carrier thing, I hated it as a policy matter, but at least he’s hammering — he’s saving jobs. He’s doing stuff. Obama never did any of this stuff.
People have a different conception of what the presidency should be.
MARK SHIELDS: But it isn’t Carrier. I’m talking about tweeting.
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
MARK SHIELDS: I’m talking about tweeting against an individual and holding that individual — like Jeff Zeleny of CNN, terrific reporter, holding him up to ridicule for doing his job.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, and in connection with that, I want to ask you quickly, we did a segment, Hari did an interview about this earlier in the show, Mark, about the — we call it fake news. And we were just sitting here saying that doesn’t do justice to what’s been going on.
MARK SHIELDS: Lying.
JUDY WOODRUFF: It’s lies that are out there.
MARK SHIELDS: Right. Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Michael Flynn — General Michael Flynn, who has been chosen to be the president’s national security adviser, his son was actively tweeting, repeating some of these stories that were completely false about a pizza place in Washington being a place where there was a pedophile ring going on involving Hillary Clinton and her chief of staff.
A man from North Carolina — this was all in the news last week — comes to Washington with a gun, shoots it inside. This is a family place.
MARK SHIELDS: It’s a family place, where — Comet Ping Pong, where — pizza — where my 10-year-old granddaughter, Frances, I attended her 10th birthday party there recently in the back room with the ping-pong. It very much of a family — it has great pizza. It’s a very popular place.
It’s a total fabrication. It’s worse than a fabrication. It’s a slur and a libel. This — Alex Jones is involved in this, the radio personality, talks about Hillary Clinton murdering young children.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Yes.
MARK SHIELDS: I mean, it just has to be confronted.
And I thought Marc Fisher did a great job in The Washington Post, and he with his interview with Hari, in shooting it down. But if you have got to spend all your time shooting this stuff down, Judy…
DAVID BROOKS: Yes.
Somebody wrote a story about me where I allegedly called for Donald Trump’s assassination. And it was a long 1,500-word, very carefully written piece of reportage, where I allegedly gave an interview to a radio station that doesn’t exist.
And it was like being in a different, alternative — alternative universe in a novel, like some other novel, when, suddenly, the effects come back and hit me in real life.
And what’s troubling is the professionalism with which it’s done and how distrust of the media then leads to this extreme naivete, where people will believe anything.
MARK SHIELDS: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: We’re all used to people stretching the truth in what we do in journalism, but it’s just — it’s beyond the pale.
Just 40 seconds left, Mark. John Glenn, we lost a great American hero yesterday. What did he represent to this country?
MARK SHIELDS: Twenty-three years as a Marine jet pilot, combat pilot, 149 missions in two wars, first American to orbit the Earth, at a time when the United States was feeling — more than that, it gave the country a lift.
And, most of all, all he was about, he was everything that he seemed to be and more. He was the genuine article.
The thing, Judy, to remember about John Glenn is that he had had the ultimate in praise and national attention. He was an icon. All he wanted to do — he didn’t need validation. He didn’t need an ego fix. All he wanted to do was public service. And he did it. And he was a great senator and a great American.
DAVID BROOKS: Just Midwestern decency, yes.
MARK SHIELDS: Yes.
JUDY WOODRUFF: David Brooks, Mark Shields, we thank you.
And we remember John Glenn.
The post Shields and Brooks on Trump’s understanding of presidential power appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A week after the deadly fire at an artists’ warehouse space in Oakland, California, known as the Ghost Ship killed 36 people, fire departments around the country are investigating so-called “live-work” spaces.
These are places often inhabited by artists and low-income residents. There’s ever less affordable housing today in many metro areas, pushing people to new measures and extremes.
And again to Hari, who’s been working with our team on this story.
RACHEL SAXER, Artist & DJ: Everybody is watching us in all the other cities. It’s like becoming a national crisis.
HARI SREENIVASAN: In art warehouses across Oakland, people are anxious their way of life is under threat.
RACHEL SAXER: All the survivors live warehouses or occupy warehouses. And we’re all grieving, and people who are survivors are now at risk for losing their home.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Fears of a backlash from city inspectors and property owners are beginning to materialize.
ANGELA SCRIVANI, Scrivani Productions: This week, my leaseholder told me the landlord was scared of people living in our space and has asked anybody living there to move out by January 3.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Painter and photographer Angela Scrivani has been living and working in this Oakland art studio for the past eight years. She’s asking city officials to differentiate between a dwelling that’s unsafe vs. one that’s just not permitted properly.
ANGELA SCRIVANI: A lot of the spaces that I have been in where we didn’t pull permits to build the areas in which we live and work, we built them to code.
It’s such a desperate situation that we were willing to take the risk and hoped that it wouldn’t come to this.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Oakland is not alone in cracking down on buildings not zoned for residents. L.A., Dallas, Nashville and New Haven have all put landlords and tenants on notice to clear out buildings that might be substandard living conditions.
Baltimore is taking it a step further.
Que Pequeño is a multimedia artist. He had been living in this building known as the Bell Foundry until earlier this week. On Monday, the city evicted him and nine other artists without warning.
QUE PEQUENO, Multimedia Artist: Bell Foundry is just an example of what’s going to happen to, like, more spaces like this, in Baltimore — not only in Baltimore, but, like, in different cities.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Artists could live, work and party at the Bell Foundry. It was also a sanctuary for the LGBTQ community and artists of color, according to Pequeno.
QUE PEQUENO: My next move, hopefully, is to find a new safe space for black and brown artists, for black and brown people in Baltimore, from Baltimore.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Bell Foundry was never zoned for residential use, and it was unsafe, according to Kathleen Byrne, who is responsible for permits and code enforcement in Baltimore’s housing department.
KATHLEEN BYRNE, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Baltimore Housing: It was an accident waiting to happen. There were tons of flammables and combustibles, as well as debris located. And it just — it warranted imminent danger. So, it wasn’t just a matter of not getting the proper permit.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Even with the wakeup call in Oakland, these safety issues are nothing new for Baltimore.
KATHLEEN BYRNE: It’s probably every code enforcement official’s worst nightmare, what happened in Oakland. But these are things that we deal with on a daily basis. They’re just not in the public eye.
HARI SREENIVASAN: The Bell Foundry’s closure has put other Baltimore artists on high alert that their spaces could be targeted.
STEWART WATSON, Artist, Area 405 Owner: I’m terrified. I feel like someone’s going to take it away.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Stewart Watson owns Area 405, a massive mixed-use space converted from a 19th century factory. Watson spent 14 years getting the building up to code.
STEWART WATSON: The sprinkler system happened pretty quickly. The firewalls and the stairwells was within the first couple of years. But the other things have taken time. You know, updating electrical and things like that has taken — has taken a long time.
HARI SREENIVASAN: It’s a process, she says, must be done to keep artists safe.
STEWART WATSON: Not providing safety for the people who entrust their lives to you is unconscionable. People trust me with their lives, and I don’t take that lightly.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Because many artists lack the resources to operate safe spaces, the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance advocates on their behalf.
Executive director Jeannie Howe:
JEANNIE HOWE, Executive Director, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance: One of the most frequent calls we get is a search for space of some kind. And we have put together a couple of tools that help match folks with available space. We value this community tremendously. We value these artists and we value their contributions to the city. .
HARI SREENIVASAN: Robbie Kowal has been producing major outdoor music parties in San Francisco for 19 years. He says that if cities are serious about retaining their artists, they need to recognize that art spaces are critical.
ROBBIE KOWAL, Founder/Creative Director, HUSHconcerts: These warehouse spaces are the only places where they can afford to not only live, but pay that second rent to actually have a studio to create their work.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And he warns that regulatory effort could drive artists into more dangerous spaces.
ROBBIE KOWAL: Artists will find another place to make art.
So, I would just advise the public officials to concentrate on harm reduction over code compliance. Right? It’s a very big difference.
HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s what San Francisco does when it comes to regulating live performance spaces.
Jocelyn Kane heads the city’s Entertainment Commission.
JOCELYN KANE, Executive Director, San Francisco Entertainment Commission: We are much safer than other cities, where people are somewhat scared to come to government. And we have tools that we use in our toolbox to allow people to consider using, like, an out-of-the-box crazy space to do an event that would be unique or different. And then we can sort of guide them through in a way that feels safe to them.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Kane says that since many artists rely on income from live performances, it’s important they have easy access to spaces where they can safely host these events.
JOCELYN KANE: I’m sitting in City Hall. I’m a part of government, and I’m trying to be an advocate as much as possible, within the confines of what we call responsible hospitality.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Stewart Watson, owner of Area 405 in Baltimore, hopes more artists will also be able to invest in safe spaces.
STEWART WATSON: I want artists to buy places. I want them to fix them. I don’t want them to think that living in places that are not fixed up is OK.
HARI SREENIVASAN: And that’s just what Que Pequeño is climbing toward.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Hari Sreenivasan.
The post After Oakland fire, a nationwide crackdown on warehouse spaces appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Last night, we introduced you to three female pioneers, young women who are trying to enter the newly opened combat positions in the U.S. Marine Corps.
These roles had been blocked to women for generations, but not anymore.
The question now, will they meet the same rigorous standards as men to serve on the front lines?
Producer Dan Sagalyn and correspondent William Brangham continue our story.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Eighteen-year-old Rebekah Wolff is three weeks into Marine Corps boot camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. She’s one of the few young women who want to enter the combat positions that for years have been shut to women. She wants to be an air defense gunner, to shoot Stinger missiles.
But, first, it’s the basics of knife-fighting.
MAN: Hey, we see how slashing that partner right down the center of their chest, right?
MARINE RECRUITS: Yes, sir!
MAN: Vertical slash!
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: These early weeks of boot camp are tough. Recruits are still getting used to the rigors of Marine training. They don’t sleep much, and many haven’t been away from home for this long.
Recruit Wolff admits she’s having a hard time.
I know it’s still early in your training. How do you feel like you’re doing?
REBEKAH WOLFF, Marine Recruit: I feel like I could do better. I was a lot better at home, probably because I get a lot more sleep and I eat a lot more than what I do here.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: What have you been telling mom and dad back home?
REBEKAH WOLFF: In all honesty, I tell my mom and dad that I want to come home and that I can’t wait to see them.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: If you could choose, would you go home right now?
REBEKAH WOLFF: No, sir. I came here to become a Marine. And I’m going to leave as a Marine.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We met two other female recruits who also want to go into these newly opened combat positions.
Twenty-one-year-old Victoria Golab-Meyer wants to be a combat engineer.
VICTORIA GOLAB-MEYER, Marine Recruit: And the fact that there’s so many women now that are excited to try it and know that women have a place somewhere, it’s worth fighting for, to say the least.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And 18-year-old Lacey Elkins wants to operate a tank or an amphibious assault vehicle.
LACEY ELKINS, Marine Recruit: I like to experience new things, and I don’t like being comfortable. Comfortable just kind of sets you nowhere.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: As we reported previously, the Marines didn’t want women serving in certain combat positions, arguing it would make them a less effective fighting force. But they were overruled by the secretary of defense.
So, the Marines say orders are orders, and they’re now working hard to integrate women. One thing they have done is to establish physical standards for each combat position, and they are the same for men and women, one standard that everyone has to meet.
GEN. ROBERT NELLER, Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps: This is physically demanding stuff. You know, we’re talking carrying heavy loads. We’re not riding around. We’re walking. The Marine Corps infantry is light infantry. And the load is heavy.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: General Robert Neller is the commandant of the Marine Corps, the service’s highest military officer. He says equal standards for men and women is an important step to making integration work.
GEN. ROBERT NELLER: It doesn’t matter who you are, where you’re from, how much money you have got, the color of your skin, your religion. Nobody cares. There’s two types of people in combat, those that can, and those that you worry about. That’s it.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: And if women pass those standards and meet all those requirements, you’re not worried about them?
GEN. ROBERT NELLER: No. They’re Marines. Do your job.
SGT. CODY MORRIS, Basic Warrior Training Chief: How quickly you move directly translates to their survivability.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Combat veteran Sergeant Cody Morris oversees basic warrior training at Parris Island. He says equal standards are crucial, but he worries they won’t last. He echoed a concern we heard from many, that if enough women don’t pass these standards, they will be lowered.
SGT. CODY MORRIS: I guarantee the transition and them being able to mesh together would be a lot easier if we knew that, oh, you completed a 20-mile hike with this much weight and this much time? So did I. And that’s what matters most to the people that I know.
It isn’t so much that you’re a male and I’m a female and you’re this and you’re that. It’s that the mission is hard, and I need everybody to be able to accomplish it, and not just to meet some diversity criteria.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: We talked with some current Marines and some former Marines who say, OK, these jobs are now open to women, and that somewhere down the road there’s going to be some pressure brought to bear on the Corps to lower those standards to guarantee that more women get into these jobs.
Is that going to happen?
GEN. ROBERT NELLER: Not on my watch.
I have heard the secretary of defense and the secretary of the Navy say, we’re not going to lower the standard. We have established the standards. They know what the standards are. And if any standard we set was causing high attrition or high injury rate of anybody, then that’s probably something you want to look at. But, right now, that’s not the case.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: So far, of the 12,000 women who’ve enlisted in the Marines in the last three years, only 150 have chosen to apply for these combat jobs. And of those, only 53 about, one in three, passed these tougher standards. The rest failed, dropped out or are still in training. More broadly, women also get injured more often than men at boot camp, and they drop out at double the rate of men.
To some, this is all evidence that putting women into combat roles is a bad idea.
Retired Colonel Mary Reinwald spent 27 years in the Marines. She now edits “Leatherneck” magazine, a magazine for the Marine community.
COL. MARY REINWALD (RETIRED), Editor, Leatherneck Magazine: Women break, physically break down at a much greater level than our male counterparts. That’s just reality. Can a — women carry the same load as a man? And loads in Iraq and Afghanistan were as much as 70, 80 pounds, if not more, depending on what the mission was.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s the full battle gear.
COL. MARY REINWALD: That’s the full battle gear, and more in some cases.
You know, how long would I have lasted with something like that, again, as much heart as I may have had? But that’s really not the issue. It’s, when did my body start to break down?
LT. COL. KATE GERMANO (RETIRED), Former Commander, 4th Recruit Training Battalion: I would say that if there’s one woman out of 1,000 who can make that move and move into the ground combat job, then why should she be denied that opportunity?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Retired Lieutenant Colonel Kate Germano commanded the female battalion at Parris Island, but she was fired in 2015 for creating a — quote — “hostile command climate.”
She says she was pushing to improve recruit training. She says the reason so many women drop out and so many fail to pass the new combat standards is that the Marines haven’t raised the bar high enough for women.
So, you would argue that it’s lowered expectations of women over the years that has driven this disparity, not some inherent inability on behalf of women?
LT. COL. KATE GERMANO: Absolutely, absolutely lowered expectations for females.
And what I would say is that there is a lot of data to support that conclusion.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: As proof, Germano says she was able to dramatically improve female marksmanship at Parris Island.
LT. COL. KATE GERMANO: We were able to take an initial qualification rate of 67 percent for the women, compared to high 80s and 90 percent for male workers. We were able to take that low percentage and bring it to right under 92 percent in less than a year.
And that was not through any extra training. It wasn’t through any pre-recruit training, screening. It was strictly through changing the expectation that women could shoot and that they should be expected to shoot well.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Germano says those high expectations should trickle down to better conditioning of recruits before boot camp, like we saw Rebekah Wolff doing here this summer, as well as recruiting stronger women to begin with.
SGT. MAJ. ANGELA MANESS, U.S. Marine Corps: We have to look for a better product. America has to look and give us what we’re looking for here, and that’s a college athlete.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Sergeant Major Angela Maness, the highest ranking enlisted officer at Parris Island, says the Marines are setting high standards and have started a new initiative to recruit stronger women.
SGT. MAJ. ANGELA MANESS: So, when we have a solid foundation coming here already, with muscle already attached to her body, it’s not going to be that difficult to get her trained to the level that we need her.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: A few weeks after we first met the three recruits, we checked back at boot camp.
So, something is different since the last time I saw you.
LACEY ELKINS: Yes, I became a United States Marine.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Congratulations.
LACEY ELKINS: Thank you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Private 1st Class Lacey Elkins passed her combat fitness test with flying colors. She got some of the highest scores of her platoon. She will now train to operate amphibious assault vehicles.
And after completing the grueling two-day crucible at the end of boot camp, Private Victoria Golab-Meyer received her Marine insignia. In this emotional ceremony, she officially becomes a U.S. Marine. She also passed her combat fitness test and will move on to be a combat engineer.
But recruit Rebekah Wolff still had to pass her test, and today is the make-or-break day. To get into her chosen combat job, she has to run half-a-mile in a certain period of time, press a 30-pound ammunition can over her head at least 60 times in two minutes.
Right after, there’s a timed course that involves crawling on all fours, running with 60 pounds of weight in her hands, and carrying another recruit on her back, all this against the clock.
Wolff didn’t make it. Her scores were close, but not good enough.
Three weeks later, Wolff still graduated and became a U.S. Marine, but she’s now been assigned to a different non-combat position. Instead of shooting Stinger missiles, she will be coordinating the movement of equipment, supplies and people.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m William Brangham in Parris Island, South Carolina.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And William joins me now.
William, a remarkable story here.
Let’s talk about Rebekah Wolff. She goes through boot camp. She finishes. She graduates. But she doesn’t qualify for combat. How disappointed was she?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Initially, she was very, very disappointed. The day that she failed, she was crushed.
Now she says she’s not so crushed. It’s important to say Rebekah missed this test by just a hair. In those drills that we saw her doing, that ammo can lift, where she has to lift the weight over her head, she missed it by one. That long, extended race at the end, she missed that by 22 seconds.
So, and then also, 10 days hater, after that test, she was back home, out of boot camp. She was diagnosed with bronchitis and said she had been feeling sick all along.
So, she was disappointed initially, but now she’s a Marine. She’s proud to have gotten through boot camp, which is no small feat in and of itself. And she is going to go on and is being trained in North Carolina right now.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And the Marines don’t care if you’re sick, right?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: The Marine ethos is, suck it up. Basically, if you’re feeling crummy, you’re not feeling so good, life is hard, boot camp is hard, tough it out.
JUDY WOODRUFF: So this entire exercise, allowing women to qualify for combat in the Marines, this was ordered by the secretary of defense under President Obama.
We know very well that Donald Trump has expressed a different point of view. His incoming defense secretary, General James Mattis, is not a believer in women in combat. What is expected here? I mean, how much could this whole thing change?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: That’s the $64,000 question. I think all the women who are in the Marine Corps and the Marine community more broadly are looking very closely at what is going to happen.
As you said, the secretaries of defense under Obama pushed this order, and they pushed it against the resistance of the Marine Corps. But now we have a new secretary of secretary of defense. And what one orders, another one can just simply do away with.
And, as you know, General James Mattis is himself going to be a former Marine. He has been very strongly against this position. He thinks it is weakening the Marine Corps. He likened it to asking a football team to suddenly take on 10, 15, 20 percent female players and go ahead and play.
And he says you could imagine everyone would laugh at that idea, but that’s what you’re asking the Marine Corps to do.
So, he’s very strongly against it. And whether he overturns or not, it’s still not clear, but he is not a fan.
JUDY WOODRUFF: And, finally, you talked to so many women who were going through boot camp, William. What do you think their reaction would be if the Defense Department says, we’re going to undo the — or the Marines, if the Marines undo this?
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: I think there would be an enormous amount of disappointment amongst the female recruits and now the female Marines that we spoke to.
I think they went into it. They want to serve their country. They saw this as a final barrier that was breaking. And they were deeply proud to take on these jobs.
People who are outside of the Marine Corps, for instance, Lieutenant Colonel Kate Germano, who we talked to in our report, she said, if they were to do this — and they’re not sure that they’re going to — it would be a huge blow to the morale of women. It would reinforce the idea, she says, that exists in some corners of the Marine Corps that women are second-class citizens.
Others think they’re probably not going to want to take this fight on, they will simply let the standards stay high, and that not that many women will make it through, and that the policy will just continue.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Well, it’s just been a remarkable look inside something that we really almost never get a chance to see. And I know we’re going to continue to follow this.
William Brangham, thank you.
WILLIAM BRANGHAM: Thank you.
The post Female Marine recruits at boot camp strive to meet the same standards as men appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
WASHINGTON — Corporate registrations in Delaware show that President-elect Donald Trump shut down some of his companies in the days after the election, including four companies that appeared connected to a possible Saudi Arabia business venture.
News of the move comes days before Trump was expected to describe changes he is making to his businesses to avoid potential conflicts of interest as the U.S. president.
The Trump Organization’s general counsel, Alan Garten, told The Associated Press that the business currently has no deals in Saudi Arabia.
Garten said he did not know why those companies were set up or whether they were involved a previously planned business venture.
He said the closure of corporate entities was routine.
The post Trump closed companies with possible ties to Saudi Arabia after the election appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: This was a week where the problems of so-called fake news, often just a name for an out-and-out lie or unproven claim, were evident once again, and this time led to alarming consequences.
Hari Sreenivasan joins us from our New York studio tonight with a look at the latest concerns in the beginning of a periodic series on the subject.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Viral conspiracy theories masquerading as news spread at incredible speeds throughout the election cycle across social platforms like Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and 4chan, but on December 4 came a very real measure of their impact.
A 28-year-old man from North Carolina man entered Comet Ping Pong pizza in Washington, D.C., armed with an assault rifle, claiming he wanted to — quote — “self-investigate” a fast-spreading theory.
Edgar Maddison Welch, seen here with his arms up, was intrigued by the totally false conspiracy theory that the pizzeria was part of a child abuse ring led by Hillary Clinton and her former campaign manager. After aiming at an employee and discharging a weapon, he surrendered to authorities. Luckily, everyone inside escaped unharmed.
This week, more fallout from what has been dubbed as Pizzagate: The Trump transition team removed Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the man president-elect Trump wants as his national security adviser, after it became clear that Flynn Jr. was retweeting this and other conspiracies.
Hillary Clinton, herself the target of other lies spread over the Web repeatedly, weighed in during one of her few public appearances since the election.
HILLARY CLINTON, 2016 Democratic Presidential Nominee: It’s now clear that so-called fake news can have real-world consequences. This isn’t about politics or partisanship. Lives are at risk, lives of ordinary people just trying to go about their days, to do their jobs, contribute to their communities.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Technology companies like Facebook and Google say they are working to tackle the proliferation of fake news. One way has been to decrease the incentives for advertising that appears on these sites.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, on Thursday’s “Today Show”:
SHERYL SANDBERG, Chief Operating Officer, Facebook: We have taken important steps, but there is a lot more to do. We know that people don’t want to see hoaxes on Facebook and we don’t want to see hoaxes on Facebook.
HARI SREENIVASAN: According to a BuzzFeed News investigation, many fake news sites are built purely for profit, sometimes even created by opportunistic teens in far-off places like Macedonia, regardless of the content, because more clicks lead to more dollars.
What is motivating the rise of fake news, and what tools are tech companies developing to stop its spread?
As part of a series of conversations, I’m joined by Marc Fisher of The Washington Post, who wrote one of the deeper dives into how this baseless story spread so fast and how it almost ended in tragedy.
Marc, this is one of the first stories that I think drew a connection for people that virtual hoaxes have real-world consequences.
MARC FISHER, The Washington Post: Well, they absolutely do.
And we saw this when a gunman walked into the pizza place that was the subject of this false rumor about a supposed sex ring that Hillary Clinton and John Podesta, her campaign chairman, were running in a residential neighborhood pizza place in Washington, D.C.
And what we were able to do was to kind of trace this back to patient zero, looking back to, how did this spread and why did it spread? And what we found was a combination of people who had a profit motive and people who were really quite innocently running across this story and deciding that it was concerning to them and they wanted to know more about it.
HARI SREENIVASAN: That’s one of the things people are going to wonder about. How do you not see the falsehood in this? Or how do you press share? Or how do you end up kind of perpetrating this lie further and further? What were the answers that people were giving you?
MARC FISHER: You know, I think there is a tendency to dismiss the people who spread these stories as uneducated or simply not understanding the technology they’re dealing with.
Anything but the case. They tend to be quite educated people. They tend to be people who are very well-connected online. And what they’re stumbling into sometimes, first of all, there’s kind of a loss of trust.
So, if you look at the whole diminution of trust across society about government, about the news media, people are looking for alternative ideas and alternative sources. That’s why they are open to these kinds of stories that they find online.
And then, once they find them, what I found in talking to the people who spread the message most widely is that they were kind of caught up in the fun of this. To them, it was kind of a game, a serious game, because they thought they were saving children who were being held in this underground sex ring, but kind of a game, where they were really enjoying the hunt.
And that thrill of the chase is really very similar to what’s most satisfying about doing journalism, but without the responsibility part. And that’s the part where they say, well — you know, it’s reminiscent of what Silicon Valley executives used to say years ago, that the Internet is a self-correcting mechanism.
A lot of the people who were involved in this believe that, and they’re really not keeping it front of mind the real-world damage, such as a gunman showing up to conduct his own investigation.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, what you’re kind of describing is almost a large-scale game of “Clue” being played by thousands of people. I’m aging myself with the reference to that game.
But tell us a little bit more about the people who are doing this for a profit motive.
MARC FISHER: Well, there is that side of things.
And so some people are doing it for political reasons and some people are doing it for profit. And you find some of these — an extraordinary amount of the traffic online about Pizzagate, this rumor, was going through odd places, Vietnam, Macedonia.
What’s going on there is that people are setting up sites and setting up bots, which are essentially algorithms that are used to spread a message or to retweet something many, many times. And they do this because the more they can get people coming to their site, the more advertising revenue they get from the big social media companies.
So there is a profit that can be made by taking something, however fantastic or incredible, and putting it out there in such a way that it goes viral, and then all of that Web traffic, all of those clicks turn out to — translate into dollars.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Now, just recently, Facebook and Google tried to take a little bit of those dollar incentives away from these fake news sites. But, other than that, what else are they doing? What else can they do?
MARC FISHER: Well, they can do a lot more than they’re doing.
And the reason we’re able to say that is, we look across the ocean to Europe, where they are doing more, under pressure from governments there that don’t have our same system of First Amendment guarantees and don’t have the kind of freedom that our Internet companies have as a result of the exemption that absolves them from responsibility for the content that they have on their sites. That’s from the 1996 Telecommunications Act.
In Europe, without those legal strictures, there is a different kind of legal system involved where these companies are now being required to remove derogatory material about people from their sites. And they’re having to do that.
So, they clearly know how to do that. They choose not to in this country, in part because it’s very expensive to have editors and producers going through and making sure that the material that is on their site is responsible.
The Internet companies tend to say, that is not our responsibility, this is purely a matter for the users to express themselves however they wish.
But if you think about the rest of our economy, there is no other product, there is no other news product or even physical product where the maker says, we have no responsibility for what we make.
That is just the nature of our commerce. We expect companies that produce things to take responsibility.
HARI SREENIVASAN: So, how does it change the landscape of journalism?
There is definitely a line of thought that says just by us labeling this — quote, unquote — “fake news,” instead of outright lies or conspiracy theories, that we’re elevating it to a status of respect and credibility that it doesn’t deserve.
I mean, the idea of yellow journalism has existed since the late 1800s. It helped us get into the Spanish-American War.
MARC FISHER: Sure.
And conspiracy theories have been around since the dawn of civilization. There’s biblical admonitions against them. And so that’s always been there, probably always will be.
So, the problem is not really the fake news or the speech itself. The problem is the way it’s being spread. It’s being spread more quickly and more widely through technology than ever before. And that’s the part that we haven’t gotten a handle on.
So, what is the role for traditional journalism? Obviously, fact-checking, obviously trying to build up our credibility, so that people do see that there are places that can be trusted.
But we do happen to live in a time when trust is at a relative low. And we have seen this in periods of economic trouble and political trouble in our country, after the Kennedy assassination and now after the 2008 crash.
And so, during those periods, people do look for alternative sources, and that’s what’s happening now.
HARI SREENIVASAN: All right, Marc Fisher of The Washington Post, one of many conversations we will be having on this topic.
Thanks so much for joining us.
MARC FISHER: Thank you.
The post The ‘thrill of the chase’ in perpetuating fake news appeared first on PBS NewsHour.
JUDY WOODRUFF: In the day’s other news: The White House announced President Obama has ordered a full review of cyberattacks during the presidential campaign. A number of Democrats have complained that Russian hacking was aimed at aiding Donald Trump. But a presidential spokesman said this is not an effort to challenge the outcome of the election.
The U.S. Senate struggled today to finish a spending bill that would fund the government for four months. Coal state Democrats delayed the measure, as a federal shutdown loomed at midnight. They demanded that the bill extend benefits for retired coal miners for a full year, while Republicans urged them accept a shorter extension for now.
SEN. MITCH MCCONNELL, Majority Leader: My intention is that the miner benefits not expire at the end of April next year. As I just said, I’m going to work with my colleagues to prevent that. But this is a good time to take yes for an answer.
SEN. JOE MANCHIN (D-W.Va): We tried to basically negotiate. We tried to find compromise. We tried to find a pathway forward. That’s been hard for me to see a pathway forward right now. So, I’m going to have to oppose.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The bill would keep the government operating through late April.
The president of South Korea was impeached and stripped of her powers today. Park Geun-hye is implicated in an influence-peddling scandal that’s brought millions of people into the streets.
Our chief foreign affairs correspondent, Margaret Warner, has the story.
MARGARET WARNER: Roars of celebration erupted in Seoul as news of the impeachment reached the streets. Thousands of protesters had camped outside Parliament, anticipating the vote to strip President Park of her powers. It won support from both the opposition and Park’s own party, leaving her to accept the inevitable.
PRESIDENT PARK GEUN-HYE, South Korea (through translator): I deeply apologize to our citizens for causing such a big national confusion amid national security and economic concerns due to my carelessness.
MARGARET WARNER: Park’s impeachment is the culmination of a months-long scandal that sparked enormous public outcry. It stems from accusations that she granted special favors and access to Choi Soon-sil, a longtime confidant. She’s also accused of arranging for Choi to receive classified documents.
Choi has been indicted on charges of using her influence to bully businesses into donating nearly $70 million to her charity. President Park denies any criminal wrongdoing, but her standing in public opinion polls has plunged to just 4 percent.
The drama has raised concerns that North Korea, with its active nuclear weapons development program, might try to take advantage of political troubles in the South, where nearly 30,000 U.S. troops are stationed.
MARK TONER, State Department Spokesman: We’re going to continue to meet all our alliance commitments, especially with respect to defending against the threats we have seen emanating from North Korea.
MARGARET WARNER: For now, President Park’s duties will fall to the prime minister, while South Korea’s constitutional court decides whether to uphold her ouster.
For the “PBS NewsHour,” I’m Margaret Warner.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A Dutch court convicted anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders of hate speech today. The judges found Wilders illegally targeted the Moroccan minority in the Netherlands with insults, and incited others to discriminate against them. Wilders called the verdict totally insane. His party narrowly leads in polls ahead of national elections next March.
In Syria, thousands of civilians fled the fighting in Eastern Aleppo, as the army closed the noose on rebel fighters. Heavy air bombardment and ground fighting raged again. Syrian military officials claimed that they now control about 85 percent of the rebel enclave. Meanwhile, the U.N. General Assembly approved a nonbinding resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.
The World Anti-Doping Agency reports that Russian cheating on drug tests is even more sweeping than already known. Findings released today say it involves more than 1,000 Russian athletes in more than 30 sports. The agency concludes that the cheating and cover-up go back to at least 2011, and the report’s author says that Russia corrupted the 2012 London Olympic Games on a — quote — “unprecedented scale.”
RICHARD MCLAREN, Report Author: For years, international sports competitions have been hijacked by the Russians. Coaches and athletes have been playing on an uneven field. Sports fans and spectators have been deceived. It’s time that stops.
JUDY WOODRUFF: The head of Russia’s Anti-Doping Commission called the report out of date, pointing to reforms taken since the cover-up was first discovered.
Back in this country, a federal jury in Charleston, South Carolina, watched the videotaped confession of Dylann Roof. The self-described white supremacist is accused of shooting nine black church members to death in June 2015. The FBI recorded the confession. On it, Roof says: “I had to do it because somebody had to do it.”
That sweeping recall of Takata air bag inflators will end up affecting 42 million vehicles in the U.S. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued the new projection today. It also said that only 12.5 million of the inflators have been replaced so far. The devices can explode with too much force and spew metal shards.
And Wall Street rallied again for more record closes. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 142 points to finish near 19757. The Nasdaq rose 27, and the S&P 500 added 13.
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JUDY WOODRUFF: The president-elect has been out and about again today, taking his victory celebration to two more states. At the same time, he’s mulling more names for his administration.
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was this afternoon’s destination for the Trump “thank you” tour. He used it to stump for Republican John Kennedy in a U.S. Senate runoff election tomorrow.
DONALD TRUMP (R), President-Elect: If you go to the polls, he’s going to win. If you don’t go to the polls, he’s not going to win. And if he doesn’t win, I have got myself a problem in Washington, because we have — it’s pretty close.
JUDY WOODRUFF: A Kennedy win would give the GOP 52 seats in the Senate next year.
Mr. Trump also met today with the leader of the Republican House majority, Speaker Paul Ryan, before leaving New York.
REP. PAUL RYAN, Speaker of the House: We had a great meeting to talk about our transition. We’re very excited about getting to work and hitting the ground running in 2017 to put this country back on track.
JUDY WOODRUFF: With that in mind, the president-elect is pressing to fill out his Cabinet. According to reports today, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington state is the choice for secretary of the interior, and the president of investment bank Goldman Sachs, Gary Cohn, will head the National Economic Council. He would be the third Goldman alumnus in a top Trump administration post.
But former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani removed himself from consideration for any post. He said he wasn’t interested in anything other than secretary of state.
DONALD TRUMP: I’m here today for one main reason: to say thank you to the great, great people of Iowa.
(CHEERING AND APPLAUSE)
JUDY WOODRUFF: Last night, in Des Moines, the president-elect appeared with his pick for ambassador to China, Iowa Governor Terry Branstad.
DONALD TRUMP: With Terry on our side, I know we will succeed in bringing our jobs back. And I also know that China, who’s been so tough and so competitive, and, frankly, dealing with people that didn’t get it, but I will tell you what, we’re going to have mutual respect.
JUDY WOODRUFF: Meanwhile, Mr. Trump indicated today he may ban Pentagon officials who work on weapons programs from ever taking jobs with military supply companies.
Tonight, the president-elect’s focus is on Grand Rapids, Michigan, the fourth stop on his so-called thank you tour.
Also today, final figures showed the Trump campaign raised about $340 million for the primaries and the general election. Hillary Clinton raised $580 million.
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WASHINGTON — With less than hour to spare, the Senate late Friday backed legislation averting a government shutdown as coal-state Democrats retreated on long-term health care benefits for retired miners but promised a renewed fight for the working class next year.
The vote was 63-36 and sent the stop-gap spending bill to President Barack Obama for his signature ahead of a midnight deadline.
It came hours after Democrats dropped threats to block the measure in hopes of using the shutdown deadline to try to win a one-year respite for 16,500 miners facing the loss of health care benefits at year’s end. Instead, the legislation provides benefits at a cost of $45 million for four months.
Democrats evoked President-elect Donald Trump, a working class hero in coal country, in pressing for more benefits. Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a potential member of the Trump Cabinet, led the fight of coal-state Democrats.
“I’m born into a family of coal miners. If I’m not going to stand up for them, who is?” he asked reporters.
Manchin was meeting with Trump on Monday.
The fight gave Democrats, who suffered devastating election losses a month ago at the hands of working-class voters, a chance to cast themselves and not the GOP as the champion of the common man. Manchin was joined by other coal-state Democrats who face re-election in 2018 in states Donald Trump won last month, including Pennsylvania and Ohio.
“We’re just getting warmed up,” said Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., vowing a fight next year. “These miners and their families kept their promise, put their lives at risk. … It’s not too difficult for a senator or House member to keep a promise.”
The dispute over health benefits and a separate fight over controversial legislation to shift more of California’s scarce water resources to inland farmers were the final battles of a two-year session marked by constant quarreling. It was capped by a burst of productivity on legislation to authorize hundreds of water projects, repair Flint, Michigan’s lead-tainted water system, and keep the government running through April.
Congress will take a break before reconvening on Jan. 3 to get a swift start on repealing key elements of the Affordable Care Act and confirming Trump’s Cabinet.
The underlying funding bill would keep the government running through April 28 to buy time for the incoming Trump administration and Congress to wrap up more than $1 trillion in unfinished agency budget work. It also provides war funding, disaster aid for Louisiana and other states, and an expedited process for considering Trump’s nominee for defense secretary, retired Gen. James Mattis.
The trucking lobby won permanent relief from recent Transportation Department rules mandating more rest and overnight breaks for long-haul drivers, though the White House and Main Street Republicans were denied in a bid to revive the Export-Import Bank’s ability to approve export financing deals exceeding $10 million.
The miners’ issue had history. Seventy years ago, President Harry S. Truman guaranteed a lifetime of health and pension benefits for retired miners to avert a strike.
Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said the four-month extension was better than nothing. McConnell himself represents thousands of miners in the struggling coal industry and said he tried to get a longer solution in talks with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.
“Would I have preferred that provision to be more generous? Of course I would have,” the Republican said in a speech on the Senate floor.
The House had left town on Thursday, creating a dynamic in which the Senate had little choice but to adopt the stopgap measure. Both the funding measure and a water projects bill passed there by sweeping bipartisan votes.
Democratic opponents of the popular water projects bill, led by Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., assailed provisions to divert more water to corporate farmers. A vote to overcome a filibuster of that measure, which would also clear the way for long-delayed funding of $170 million to help Flint, Michigan, to fix its lead-tainted water system, was to follow action on the stopgap spending bill.
Democrats griped that GOP negotiators on the water bill dumped a permanent “Buy America” provision requiring U.S.-produced steel be used in water projects. But that effort lost steam Friday.
The spending bill also would provide $7 million to reimburse the New York Police Department for the cost of security around Trump Tower in Manhattan, far less than the $35 million the city requested.
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WASHINGTON — In the heat of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump accused primary rival Ted Cruz of being controlled by Goldman Sachs because his wife, Heidi, previously worked for the Wall Street giant. He slammed Hillary Clinton for receiving speaking fees from the bank.
“I know the guys at Goldman Sachs. They have total, total control over him,” Trump said of Cruz. “Just like they have total control over Hillary Clinton.”
Now, Trump is putting Goldman executives at the helm of his administration’s economic team. He’s expected to name bank president Gary Cohn to an influential White House policy post, according to two people informed of the decision, and has already nominated former Goldman executive Steve Mnuchin to lead the Treasury Department. Steve Bannon, Trump’s incoming White House senior adviser, also worked at Goldman before becoming a conservative media executive.
Wall Street executives have long wielded influence in Washington, filling top jobs in both Republican and Democratic administrations. Goldman Sachs itself has produced several Treasury secretaries, White House chiefs of staff and top economic advisers.
But the financial industry’s high-level presence in Trump’s burgeoning administration runs counter to some core campaign messages that energized his supporters.
And Goldman Sachs stocks are up 33 percent since Trump’s election.
Trump repeatedly warned that Clinton’s Wall Street ties — the Democrat gave paid speeches to Goldman and other banks — meant she would never reform the financial industry. He promised that he would “drain the swamp” in Washington, a city he painted as beholden to financial and political special interests. And he cast himself as a champion for working-class people who watched the big banks grow wealthier after a government bailout, but haven’t seen the effects of an improving economy in their own lives.
“I’m not going to let Wall Street get away with murder,” Trump told voters in Iowa. “Wall Street has caused tremendous problems for us.”
To Democrats, the fact that Trump is now plucking advisers from Wall Street smacks of hypocrisy.
“Everyone who voted for Trump, who thought he’d defend working people, pay attention to the reality of what he’s doing, not just his rhetoric,” said Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who railed against Wall Street’s influence in Washington when he ran against Clinton in the Democratic primary.
The concentration of power among so many players who once worked at Goldman is sure to feed suspicions of a government at the service of Wall Street. Goldman was involved in the securities market for subprime mortgages, the same financial instruments that helped fuel the housing bubble and ultimately led millions of Americans to lose their homes to foreclosure. Wall Street executives also opposed the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation signed by President Barack Obama, legislation Trump has vowed to overhaul.
Trump’s advisers dismiss charges that the president-elect is going back on his promises to put the interests of working-class Americans ahead of financial institutions. They say Trump is tapping people who bring real-world experience and business acumen to Washington.
“You’re not going to find better people than those who have been at the top of finance, the top of our markets, understand the way our markets work,” Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s senior adviser, said on MSNBC.
Democrats are sure to make an issue of Mnuchin’s Wall Street ties in his confirmation hearing. Cohn doesn’t need to be confirmed to serve as director of the National Economic Council, the White House post Trump is expected to name him to.
The NEC helps coordinate domestic and global issues, providing economic policy advice to the president and monitoring how the White House’s agenda is implemented across the government. If Cohn accepts the job, he also will be the third Goldman executive to run the NEC. Robert Rubin was the NEC director under Bill Clinton, and Stephen Friedman had the job during George W. Bush’s administration.
AP writer Josh Boak contributed to this report.
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MANAMA, Bahrain — Drawing the U.S. deeper into the Syria conflict, Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced Saturday he is sending 200 more troops to accelerate the push on the Islamic State’s self-declared capital of Raqqa.
The 200, to include special operations troops, are in addition to 300 already authorized for the effort to recruit, organize, train and advise local Syrian Arab and Kurdish forces to fight IS. Carter said the expanded U.S. involvement was approved by President Barack Obama last week.
On his final tour of the Mideast as Pentagon chief, Carter cast the new troop commitment as evidence that the U.S. backs its anti-IS words with military muscle. He offered an extensive defense of the Obama administration’s efforts to defeat the extremists, and he aimed sharp jabs at the region’s Arab powers, saying they need to stop complaining of U.S. shortcomings and do more to protect their own neighborhoods.
“They need to get in the game,” he said.
Speaking at an international security conference known as the Manama Dialogues, Carter also blasted Russia for its role in Syria. He said Moscow had joined the fighting with the stated goals of smoothing the way for a political transition and to combatting the Islamic State group.
“But then it did neither of those things,” he said, “and instead has only inflamed the civil war and prolonged suffering of the Syrian people.”[Watch Video]
Carter said U.S. partners in the Middle East who are serious about fighting extremism over the long term need to build up their ground and naval forces, special operations forces, and defenses against ballistic missiles and cyber threats.
“Given the persistent challenges facing the region – and because the future is always uncertain – developing these core capabilities will be ever more crucial to your security,” he said. “You ignore them at your peril.”
He did not criticize any Arab country by name, but it is well known that the key U.S. partners in the region are led by Saudi Arabia. Carter pointedly mentioned the United Arab Emirates as an example of how military capability should be developed and used.
“The UAE not only acquires effective capabilities, it puts skin in the game,” he said.
In unusually pointed terms, Carter suggested that some Mideast partner nations are disingenuous in their criticisms of U.S. policy.
“I would ask you to imagine what U.S. military and defense leaders think when they have to listen to complaints sometimes that we should do more, when it’s plain to see that all too often, the ones complaining aren’t doing enough themselves,” he said.
He said it is not unreasonable for Washington to expect regional powers who oppose extremism in the Middle East to do more to help fight it, “particularly in the political and economic aspects of the campaign.”
Carter said the 200 extra troops going to Syria will help local forces in their anticipated push to retake Raqqa, the de facto capital of the extremist group’s self-styled caliphate, and to deny sanctuary to IS after Raqqa is captured.
“These uniquely skilled operators will join the 300 U.S. special operations forces already in Syria, to continue organizing, training, equipping, and otherwise enabling capable, motivated, local forces to take the fight to ISIL,” Carter said. “By combining our capabilities with those of our local partners, we’ve been squeezing ISIL by applying simultaneous pressure from all sides and across domains, through a series of deliberate actions to continue to build momentum,” he said.
The coalition of Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters that has been working with U.S. trainers and advisers said Saturday it will expand operations against the Islamic State group in northern Syria. The predominantly-Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces, which control most of the frontier with Turkey, announced they were moving to the second phase of their “Wrath of the Euphrates” operations after recapturing dozens of villages from the extremists north of Raqqa.
The coalition said it would now isolate Raqqa from the west.
The military push is complicated by the predominance of local Kurdish fighters, who are the most effective U.S. partner against IS in Syria but are viewed by Turkey — a key U.S. ally — as a terrorist threat.
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The push to confer full “personhood” status on every fertilized human egg has been rejected by voters and lawmakers in state after state, including deep-red Mississippi.
But activists are cautiously hopeful that their cause could get a boost from Republicans who are about to assume leadership in Washington.
Georgia Representative Tom Price, who has been tapped by President-elect Donald Trump to run the Department of Health and Human Services, has twice co-sponsored federal legislation that would define fertilized human eggs as legal persons — a move that would outlaw not just abortion, but also potentially birth control pills and other common methods of contraception.
Vice President-elect Mike Pence, then a congressman from Indiana, also co-sponsored that bill, which was introduced in 2005 and 2007, as well as similar legislation in 2011. House Speaker Paul Ryan, who will see his power expand under the Trump administration, co-sponsored the same bill both years too, as well as similar legislation in 2009, 2011, and 2013.
Personhood activists, who generally oppose abortion even in the case of rape and incest, have several policy changes in mind as the new administration takes office.
As health secretary, for instance, Price could make it easier for employers or insurance plans to stop covering abortion and birth control. He could curtail federal funding for research on embryonic stem cells and contraception. And he, Pence, and Ryan could use their high-profile positions to raise awareness of the personhood movement.
Promoting ‘fetal tax credits’
In the meantime, personhood activists are pushing ahead with aggressive moves in a number of states. One novel tactic: introducing bills to give “fetal tax credits” — similar to the child tax credit — to pregnant women.
“There are just so many ways that personhood principles can be brought to bear on public policy,” said Dr. Patrick Johnston, a family doctor and pediatrician who’s also director of Personhood Ohio, an affiliate of the national advocacy group Personhood Alliance.
Johnston is leading a signature drive to get a constitutional amendment to assign personhood status to fertilized eggs on the 2018 ballot in Ohio. A similar effort is in motion in Florida, and is expected to start soon in Mississippi. And lawmakers plan to soon introduce personhood bills in Wisconsin, Alabama, South Carolina, and Mississippi.
They’re facing an uphill battle: Voters have rejected similar ballot measures everywhere they’ve been tried. Statehouses, too, have been roadblocks: Fetal personhood legislation introduced in at least nine states this year failed to advance, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group.
A Gallup poll earlier this year found that 4 out of 5 Americans don’t want to see abortion banned in all circumstances.
Even some abortion opponents hesitate to endorse personhood measures because they have such broad implications. They would effectively outlaw any form of contraception other than barrier methods — including the pill, the hormonal patch, and IUDs. Such birth control methods, which have been proven to be the most effective ways of preventing unplanned pregnancies, may sometimes work by preventing a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. (Most medical doctors consider pregnancy to begin at implantation, not fertilization.)
Personhood measures could also hamper in vitro fertility treatments, by disrupting the common practice of creating multiple embryos and implanting only the one or two most likely to be viable. The embryos that aren’t used are sometimes destroyed.
Yet another implication of personhood laws was on display this week in Louisiana, which has a unique law giving fertilized eggs some legal rights.
Two attorneys filed a headline-grabbing lawsuit in the state on behalf of two fertilized eggs created years ago by the actress Sofia Vergara and her former fiance, Nick Loeb. The suit accuses Vergara of denying the frozen embryos a chance to mature (and eventually be born) and demands that Loeb get custody of them.
One of the attorneys who filed the suit, Catherine Glenn Foster, has a record of legal advocacy for the anti-abortion cause. Personhood advocates told STAT they were not aware of any formal involvement by Foster in their movement, but one activist noted that Foster attended a conference earlier this year sponsored by a Cleveland anti-abortion group that works closely with the Personhood Alliance. (Foster didn’t return requests for comment.)
Building a legal framework for personhood
While they’ve failed to get full personhood bills passed, activists have made some progress pushing in that direction. At least 38 states have passed fetal homicide laws, which make punishments more severe for perpetrators who kill a pregnant woman, according to a count last year from the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Activists see such bills as an important step in laying out a legal framework that could help them pave the way for fetal personhood in the future.
Fetal tax credits would be another such step: They would allow pregnant women to claim tax write-offs for their unborn babies. Activists are working with legislators to craft such a bill in Mississippi, and have a goal of introducing it by mid-February, according to Les Riley, a personhood activist in Mississippi. Activists have also presented the idea to anti-abortion advocates in Iowa.
“It seems to us that that would be a personhood-affirming way to support women and to support families to keep their children, and at the same time to recognize the personhood of the child before birth,” said Gualberto Garcia Jones, national policy director of the Personhood Alliance. “It seems like such a commonsense thing that might even get bipartisan support.”
As health secretary, Price would not be able to unilaterally outlaw abortion or assign personhood to a fetus. But there are plenty of ways he could indirectly advance some of the policies that naturally flow from the personhood movement.
Price is expected to play a key role in executing Trump’s plan to dismantle the Affordable Care Act, which mandates that health plans cover approved forms of birth control with no copay for most insured women. And Obamacare wouldn’t even need to be repealed for that perk to go away; Price could eliminate it with a regulatory maneuver.
Such a change would be “a personhood victory,” said Rebecca Kiessling, a Michigan attorney and president of Save the 1, an affiliate of the Personhood Alliance.
Kiessling also wants to see Price change the interpretation of a federal amendment so that state Medicaid programs would not be mandated to cover abortions in cases of rape or incest, or to save the life of the mother. That would reverse a rule change made under former President Bill Clinton’s administration.
Jones, of the Personhood Alliance, wants to see Price take a broader view of a different federal amendment that protects health insurance plans that object to covering abortion. Essentially, Jones wants to see Price give religious employers, as well as insurers, the right to eliminate abortion coverage from the health plans they offer their workers.
Price’s congressional office and Trump’s transition team did not respond to requests for comment.
Disdaining ‘incremental’ abortion limits
The personhood movement hasn’t been embraced by the biggest anti-abortion groups, which worry its unpopularity could jeopardize their movement as a whole. (Asked about personhood this week, for instance, Americans United for Life told STAT it doesn’t focus on that topic.)
Giving legal status to a fertilized egg or a fetus is “seen as extreme even within the anti-abortion community,” said Dr. Diane Horvath-Cosper, an OB-GYN and an advocacy fellow for Physicians for Reproductive Health.
Instead, the mainstream anti-abortion movement has scored victories in recent years with state laws that limit access by shutting down clinics or imposing waiting periods before women can terminate a pregnancy. “What they’ve done successfully is fight where they can win,” said Michele Goodwin, a reproductive health law scholar at the University of California, Irvine.
Such approaches are often denounced by personhood activists as insufficient. They even disdain bills as hardline as the legislation passed this week by lawmakers in Ohio; it would prohibit abortion if a physician detects a heartbeat, which is usually possible about six weeks after conception — before many women even know they are pregnant.
“Those are what we call incremental legislation, and I would consider them to be morally compromised,” Jones said.
Jones said he fears Price — despite his past advocacy for personhood — will adopt this incremental approach and seek to chip away at abortion rather than shoot for sweeping bans. He pointed to the fact that the personhood bills co-sponsored by Republican leaders didn’t get hearings despite being introduced year after year.
“I think [Price is] a pragmatic pro-lifer,” he said. “I think he’s willing to bend and so I don’t expect him to push forcefully the personhood agenda.”
But even that prospect scares some reproductive rights activists, who say incremental steps may be more palatable to voters and lawmakers — but still impose real harm on women.
“When we see people support personhood or abortion bans, it makes all of the other restrictions look so much more moderate,” said Elizabeth Nash, a state policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, “when in fact they are real threats to humanity and dignity, too.”
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She has claimed, without concrete evidence, that the voting systems there are vulnerable to tampering and that a recount would reassure voters.
Long before presidential recounts crossed her mind, trash dumping and mercury contamination pushed Jill Stein into politics.
Stein, a physician, joined a 1990s movement to shut down or better regulate mercury-polluting incinerators in Massachusetts. She authored papers on child neurological damage and spoke at public gatherings. She testified at hearings as a medical expert.
Massachusetts eventually enacted strict limits on mercury emissions, and a few incinerators closed. But Stein had begun to see the system as set up to block change, and when the Green Party recruited her to run for governor in 2002, she took the chance.
“I was part of a very frustrated public health initiative, and then the Green Party came to me and said, ‘Why don’t you run for office?'” Stein said in an October interview with The Associated Press. “I said, ‘Everything else is failing, I might as well try electoral politics.'”
She’s been trying ever since, running for president in 2012 and again this year, earning roughly 1.5 million votes. She lost the 2002 bid, as well as another run for governor in 2010, state representative in 2004 and Massachusetts secretary of state in 2006.
A judge in Michigan ended the recount this week, ruling Stein lacked standing. A recount is underway in Wisconsin, and a judge is set to rule Monday on whether one can begin in Pennsylvania. Stein said efforts to stop the recounts will only increase voters’ distrust in the system.
Her critics, including President-elect Donald Trump, charge she is running a scam to raise her profile and rake in money for another presidential run. She has raised more than $7 million to help cover the costs of the recounts, double what she raised for her presidential campaign.
Democrats have painted her as a spoiler stealing their votes. Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton would have won all three states, and the presidency, if all of Stein’s votes had gone to her instead. But Stein argues most of her voters would not have supported Clinton.
Stein denies she’s trying to boost her profile. Her website says donors will be surveyed to determine how to spend any leftover recount money.
“If I was thinking about me, I’m not sure I would be doing this now,” Stein told the AP this week. “Election integrity is a big Green value.”
Those who know Stein say she is sincerely passionate about her issues. But few believe being a perennial candidate is the best route, given her lack of electoral success and inability to form an organized campaign.
“She certainly would’ve been, in my mind, more effective staying in the arena of being an advocate for health issues,” said Joan Kulash, an activist with Stein on the incinerator campaigns.
When the Green Party recruited Stein for 2002, co-chairman Jonathan Leavitt thought he had found a winner. He believed Stein’s medical background and articulation made her perfect to woo voters fed up with the status quo but wary of supporting a third party.
Massachusetts had just passed a law that allowed candidates to qualify for public funds. But campaigns were required to show 6,000 small contributions in order to qualify, and Stein came up short. Leavitt, serving as a campaign manager, eventually left because he felt too many people were trying to direct the campaign.
A Boston news poll showed Stein performed strongly in a televised debate against Republican Mitt Romney, Democrat Shannon O’Brien and two other third-party candidates. Ultimately, she captured just 3.5 percent of the vote; Romney won.
“If we had stayed focused on the mechanics of the campaign, then we would’ve had a third-party campaign with a big budget,” Leavitt said. “We would’ve won that campaign with Jill Stein in Massachusetts.”
Stein, 66, argues winning isn’t the only mark of success. She describes Democrats and Republicans as driving America toward an existential crisis, and sees the Green Party’s struggle against powerful interests as a battle designed for her to lose. She argues that the media deliberately locks third-party candidates out of coverage and debates and that the two major parties practice fearmongering to maintain allegiances.
Her presidential platform centered on erasing student debt, reaching 100 percent clean energy by 2030 and cutting back U.S. involvement in international conflicts.
Stein received nearly 1 million more votes in 2016 than she did in 2012, which she considers a sign of growing displeasure with the status quo. She said she’s not sure whether she’ll run again.
“This is a David and Goliath struggle,” Stein told the AP this week. “David doesn’t get Goliath on the first shot.”
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In the standoff over the Dakota Access Pipeline, neither side is calling it quits after a recent decision by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to halt a final leg of the project in order to research alternate routes.
The Army Corps on Sunday refused to grant the permit needed to build a section of the pipeline under the Missouri River near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, a decision that the tribe celebrated as a victory. The agency ordered that alternate routes be explored.
The Standing Rock Sioux and supporters say the $3.8 billion project disrupts sacred burial grounds, and threatens the tribe’s main source of drinking water and violates the terms of an 1851 treaty with the U.S. government. Large crowds of demonstrators set up camp near the proposed route in August, refusing to leave until the project is stopped. Now, following the Army Corps’ decision, both sides are assessing their next steps.
“[Our] mission has been accomplished,” Standing Rock Sioux tribal chairman David Archambault II told Reuters.
He then turned to the protesters’ next major hurdle.
“With the new administration coming in, it’s an opportune time for us to educate the President-elect and help him realize that what he has achieved is only because of the cost that our people have paid,” Archambault said.
Pipeline company and protesters assess next steps
Despite the harsh weather and Army Corps decision, reports say demonstrators continue to show up at Standing Rock. Some protesters took shelter in local casino resorts after blizzards blew through the main encampment.
Archambault has said that protesters should vacate the main encampment as North Dakota grows colder this winter. “It’s time for everybody to go home and be safe,” he told Reuters.
A federal court could still rule in favor of Energy Transfer Partners, ordering the Army Corps to grant a permit for the pipeline. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama could designate the federal land near the Missouri River a national monument, forcing Energy Transfer Partners to find another route. But it is unclear whether he has any plans to do so.
President-elect Donald Trump has said he supports the pipeline, and Trump’s spokesperson Jason Miller told the Associated Press on Monday that he will review the situation.
Trump has already appointed Scott Pruitt, a former Oklahoma attorney general, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency. Scott Segal, a partner with Bracewell LLP, a government relations firm that serves oil and gas industry clients, told the PBS NewsHour that Pruitt will revisit energy regulation and that some regulations “are probably going to be pared back.”
Trump also recently formed a Native American Coalition, which is markedly pro-business. New Mexico State Rep. Sharon Clachischillage, one of the coalition’s 27 members, said the Trump administration will “ease restrictions on American energy reserves worth trillions of dollars.” She said that will benefit Native Americans living in areas with abundant natural resources.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s senior advisor and former campaign manager, plans to visit Canadian tar sands before the President-elect’s s inauguration. She is also expected to meet with the Canadian super PAC Alberta Prosperity Fund, which called the future trip “a call to action for Alberta industry whose competitiveness and market access have been restricted by excessive regulation and public protests.”
The company behind the pipeline and other investors are also continuing their fight. Energy Transfer Partners, who is building the pipeline, said in a statement it is “fully committed to ensuring that this vital project is brought to completion and fully expect to complete construction of the pipeline without any additional rerouting.”[Watch Video]
What can other pipeline protests learn from Standing Rock?
Some protesters plan to remain at the pipeline camp, despite tribal council leaders advising them to go home.
Chase Iron Eyes, a resident and citizen of Standing Rock, recently posted to Facebook urging the thousands that have traveled to his reservation to stay put “until this pipeline is dead, until DAPL & Law Enforcement are gone.”
“We may never get another opportunity to change our destiny,” Iron Eyes wrote. “We deserve a better way.”
Others are focusing on how the recent protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline could be replicated elsewhere.
Native and environmental groups are protesting the expansion of the Alberta Clipper pipeline, which the State Department approved in 2009 and spans 1,000 miles from Hardisty, Alberta to Superior, Wisconsin. Protesters say the construction will harm the production of wild rice on tribal land.
A separate project, the Trans Mountain pipeline, owned by Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, has proposed a new expansion that critics say could endanger nearby lakes. Kinder Morgan aims to begin construction on the pipeline by 2017 and complete it by 2019.
Winona LaDuke, the executive director of the nonprofit group Honor the Earth, called these pipelines “catastrophes waiting to happen” in a blog post.
In October, climate change activists tried to shut off pipelines in five places in the U.S. One of the protesters, Ken Ward, was arrested and charged with criminal trespass and burglary after he went live on Facebook while he closed a safety valve of the Trans Mountain pipeline, owned by Enbridge.
Ward said his actions were in solidarity with Standing Rock.
A magnitude 6.5 earthquake that rocked Indonesia’s island of Sumatra this week has left tens of thousands homeless.
The quake killed more than 100 people and injured hundreds more on Wednesday, damaging or toppling more than 11,000 buildings and displacing more than 45,000 people in the northern province of Aceh, according to the country’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency.
“The basic needs of refugees must be met during the evacuation,” the agency said in statement.
In an interview with the PBS NewsHour this week, Reuters correspondent Kanupriya Kapoor described buildings several stories tall that were completely flattened, including mosques, after the quake struck close to land.
“What we saw was pretty widespread destruction in urban centers,” she said. “More recently we heard that more supplies are starting to stream in.”
Rescue workers continue digging through rubble searching for survivors in the town of Meureudu and several other locations, the Associated Press reported.
“We believe we have found 99 percent of the victims,” said Sutopo Nugroho, a spokesman for national disaster management agency told Reuters.
The government in Aceh has declared a two-week state of emergency while Indonesian President Joko Widodo met with survivors, many of whom were treated in makeshift medical tents.
The quake struck Pidie Jaya in the Aceh region, an area devastated by the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and subsequent tsunami that killed more than 120,000 people there.
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Saying the terrorism risk in France remains high following the Paris attack last November that left 130 dead, France’s Prime Minister on Saturday said he will push to extend its state of emergency to protect the upcoming election.
The status is supposed to be used in “cases of imminent danger,” or events that threaten a public disaster, according to France24. It gives police more power to search and detain people among other exceptions such as declaring curfews and confiscating certain weapons even when people are holding them legally.
The state of emergency in place now was enacted after the Nov. 13, 2015, assaults by Islamic State militants and was approaching a mid-January expiration, having been previously extended four times.
But Prime Minister Bernard Cazeneuve told reporters after a special cabinet meeting on Saturday that it has thwarted 17 potential attacks this year. Extending it to July 15, ahead of the 2017 election, is essential, Cazeneuve said.
“The state of emergency is not permanent, it’s a lever we have to pull in the face of an imminent peril,” he said.
The presidential and parliamentary elections will happen in April and June, and Bastille Day is July 14.
The prospect of an extension was mentioned last month by former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, who stepped down this week to pursue a campaign for presidency. Valls told the BBC on the anniversary of the attack that he would seek an extension to protect democracy.
But the extra police powers have been criticized as an infringement on human rights. More than 3,000 homes have been raided and 400 people arrested under them, according to the BBC.
This is the third time France has declared a state of emergency since the end of the 1962 war with Algeria, according to France24. The first time was in December 1984 amid violence in New Caledonia, a French archipelago, then again in 2005 during riots in Paris suburbs.
Parliament still has to approve the extension, a measure that will be discussed next week.
NEW YORK — Donald Trump is partaking in one of the nation’s most storied football rivalries, saluting U.S. troops at the annual Army-Navy game on Saturday as he prepares to enter the White House.
The future commander in chief attended the 117th game between the military academies at West Point and Annapolis, which is being held on relatively neutral ground, in Baltimore, Maryland.
Trump tweeted on Saturday morning that he was going to the game “as a show of support for our Armed Forces.” He planned to spend the first half of the game in the box of David Urban, a West Point graduate and Republican adviser and the second half in the box of retired Marine Lt. Col. Oliver North, a graduate of Annapolis.
A Trump transition official said Trump would not formally switch sides at halftime in the traditional symbol of commander in chief neutrality because he is not the sitting president. The team member spoke on condition of anonymity to describe the president-elect’s plans. Trump is a 1964 graduate of the New York Military Academy near West Point.
Before the game, Trump met with Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a leading contender for secretary of state. Trump’s pick to lead the State Department is among his most significant decisions and the deliberations have become a source of tension within his transition team, with chief of staff Reince Priebus said to be backing Mitt Romney while other advisers oppose the idea of selecting the 2012 GOP nominee, given his fierce criticism of Trump during the campaign.
Tillerson, who has led Exxon Mobil since 2006, and also met Trump earlier in the week.
In addition to Romney, Trump has also been considering Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and John Bolton, the former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
Trump announced Friday that Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who was an early favorite, was no longer under consideration.
Trump’s appearance at the football game was capping off a week of rolling out Cabinet picks, holding “thank you” rallies in North Carolina, Iowa and Michigan, and trying to cement his incoming Senate majority with Saturday’s runoff election in Louisiana.
The incoming president appeared jovial and relaxed as he plunged back into electoral politics on Friday, a full month after he won the presidency. He held large-scale events in Louisiana and in Michigan, where he regaled supporters in Grand Rapids by reciting his victories in battleground states.
Trump is the first Republican to win Michigan since George H.W. Bush in 1988. He attributed his feat to failures by Democrats.
In private, people close to Trump said he was expected to name yet another Goldman Sachs executive to his White House team. The president-elect’s National Economic Council is to be led by Gary Cohn, president and chief operating officer of the Wall Street bank, which Trump repeatedly complained during the election campaign would control Hillary Clinton if she won.
Associated Press writers Lisa Lerer, Julie Pace, Julie Bykowicz and Lolita Baldor in Washington and Thomas Beaumont in Des Moines, Iowa contributed.