Quantcast
Loading...
Are you the publisher? Claim or contact us about this channel


Embed this content in your HTML

Search

Report adult content:

click to rate:

Account: (login)
Loading...

More Channels


Showcase


Channel Catalog


Loading...

Channel Description:

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

older | 1 | .... | 986 | 987 | (Page 988) | 989 | 990 | .... | 1175 | newer

    0 0

    Norma McCorvey (L), the original Jane Roe in the Roe vs. Wade landmark abortion decision 25 years ago, addresses a group of teenagers at a pro-life convention in Chicago January 17. With McCorvey is Sandra Cano, another pro-life advocate whose name was once associated with pro-choice forces. McCorvey is now a 50-year-old grandmother who never had an abortion and considers the procedure an abomination. MCCORVEY - RTRAKDN

    Norma McCorvey (L), the original Jane Roe in the Roe vs. Wade landmark abortion decision 25 years ago, addresses a group of teenagers at a pro-life convention in Chicago January 17. With McCorvey is Sandra Cano, another pro-life advocate whose name was once associated with pro-choice forces. Photo via Reuters

    Norma McCorvey, who under the pseudonym “Jane Roe” served as the plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion, died Saturday at 69 in Katy, Texas, of a heart ailment.

    The Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade would transform the debate over reproductive rights in the U.S., bringing the ability to safely terminate pregnancy to millions of women while inspiring virulent opposition from anti-abortion critics. The decision ushered in a new era of reproductive options for women but intensified a debate over contraception fueled by health considerations, ethics, religion and politics — and the plaintiff at its center would eventually oppose abortion herself.

    Justice Harry A. Blackmun wrote the 7-to-2 ruling, which determined that a constitutional right to privacy included the right to terminate a pregnancy. Blackmun also established the trimester framework as a system to determine the state’s ability to regulate abortion at each phase of pregnancy.

    Norma Lea Nelson, whose middle name has been spelled several different ways, was born in Simmesport, Louisiana, on Sept. 22, 1947, into generations of hardship.

    Her grandmother was a sex worker, her mother was an abusive alcoholic and McCorvey stole money from the gas station where she worked to run away from home at the age of 10, according to The New York Times.

    In her early teenage years, she went to reform school and said that she was sexually assaulted by a nun and her mother’s relative at a young age. At 15, she met steelworker Woody McCorvey and soon married him, but he was abusive. She left him in order to raise their unborn child alone in her mother’s home.

    [Watch Video]

    After their daughter Melissa was born in 1965, McCorvey said she was tricked into signing over custody to her mother, according to “I Am Roe,” an autobiography she published in 1994.

    Years of drugs and alcohol use followed, and she became pregnant again during an affair with a co-worker at 19. She gave the baby up for adoption.

    She became pregnant a third time in 1969, days before her 22nd birthday. Joshua Prager wrote for Vanity Fair that McCorvey, now living in Texas, told her doctor that she did not want to bring this pregnancy to term. At the time, abortion was illegal in Texas, except in cases where the mother’s life was in danger. The procedure was legal in six states — Alaska, California, Hawaii, New York, Oregon and Washington — but she could not afford the trip.

    Her doctor referred her to an adoption lawyer, his childhood friend Linda Coffee, who was looking for a plaintiff to challenge the abortion statute in Texas. When McCorvey was six months pregnant, Coffee filed the suit against Dallas County district attorney Henry Wade on March 3, 1970.

    McCorvey gave birth before a three-judge panel on June 17 struck down the the Texas abortion statutes. The baby was adopted and its identity has been kept private, according to Vanity Fair. Regardless, it would take several more years for the case to go through the appeals process.

    A decade after the case, she began volunteering at a women’s clinic and spoke to media around the anniversary of the decision in support of abortion rights.

    In 1995, a Christian group devoted to making abortion illegal moved in next door to the clinic where she was working. McCorvey would visit and ask for them to “pray for her, and that summer, she “accepted Jesus as her savior” and began speaking out against abortion, according to Vanity Fair. In 1998, she converted to Roman Catholicism and continued to be a vocal opponent of abortion.

    The 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade came less than a decade after a 1965 Supreme Court ruling that overturned a state law that criminalized the use of contraceptives, and one year after the court ruled that unmarried women could receive birth control pills.

    The legalization of abortion was one of the most significant landmarks for women’s health in American history. But after decades of debate, access to the procedure still varies widely throughout the U.S., with some state laws outlawing abortion after a certain point of pregnancy and others that place strict requirements on abortion providers that critics say do not contribute to the health or safety of patients.

    The post Norma McCorvey, plaintiff in Roe v. Wade, dies at 69 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Little Finland

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    By Sam Weber and Laura Fong

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Deep in Nevada’s Mojave Desert — 100 miles from the Las Vegas strip — the rocks provide glimpses into the lives of Native Americans who inhabited this area for thousands of years. Hundreds of their petroglyphs, or etchings, are carved on the rocks in this area, now known as Gold Butte.

    JAINA MOAN, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, FRIENDS OF GOLD BUTTE: They also can date them by comparing them to other petroglyphs that they’ve seen…

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Jaina Moan is the executive director of Friends of Gold Butte, a non-profit advocacy group working to protect this stretch of desert.

    JAINA MOAN: So on this panel here you see a lot of abstract shapes, so honeycombs and squiggly lines, and then if you look over here on this panel you see more representational forms so humans, sheep…

    HARI SREENIVASAN: While petroglyphs have been found all over the world and in other parts of the Southwest, the concentration of images — and this drawing of a man appearing to fall — help make gold butte unique, according to Jim Boone, an ecologist and volunteer with Friends of Gold Butte.

    JIM BOONE, FRIENDS OF GOLD BUTTE: I think of the artist who did this as perhaps the Michelangelo of his day…

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Boone says unlike the stick figures found nearby, the “Falling Man” petroglyph is more lifelike.

    JIM BOONE: So it has real motion to it…and the arm is out as if to brace himself for a fall.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: A decade of advocacy by friends of Gold Butte, local Native American tribes like the Moapa Band of Paiutes, and other groups paid off last December, when President Barack Obama, in one his final acts of environmental conservancy, used his executive power to designate Gold Butte –its petroglyphs along with 300,000 surrounding acres of land owned by the federal government — as a national monument.

    The President’s proclamation cited Gold Butte’s ancient petroglyphs, and its “vital plant and wildlife habitat, significant geological formations,” and remnants of mining and ranching heritage.

    Nestled between Lake Mead in the west and the Grand Canyon National Monument in Arizona, the designation of Gold Butte permanently limits any commercial development, but doesn’t change existing recreational uses.

    JAINA MOAN: It’s assured that we are going to have this land for our enjoyment and for the health of the landscape itself and the plants and animals that live here. There’s no timeline that ends this particular designation.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The senior US Senator from Nevada at the time — Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid — had encouraged the President to make the move.

    FORMER SENATE MINORITY LEADER HARRY REID (D) NEVADA (APRIL 6, 2015): Is this worth protecting? Is this worth preserving? Of course it is.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: To protect Gold Butte, President Obama relied on a law from 1906 called the Antiquities Act, a law he used 34 times during his two terms in office, designating 553 million acres of land and sea as national monuments, the most ever by any president.

    University of Nevada, Las Vegas law school professor Bret Birdsong served during Obama’s second term as deputy solicitor for land resources at the Bureau of Land Management, or BLM, the federal agency tasked with managing Gold Butte.

    BRET BIRDSONG, LAW PROFESSOR, UNIV. OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS: President Roosevelt in 1908 protected the Grand Canyon for the first time because it was under threat of miners who were establishing claims there, using the Antiquities Act, and didn’t need to go through what can be a very long and lurching legislative process. And then as we’ve seen, the public support tends to grow around those designations.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Birdsong says Obama took action after the Republican-led Congress failed to pass legislation to protect Gold Butte, despite broad public support.

    A 2016 poll found 71 percent of Nevada voters supported creating a national monument.

    BRET BIRDSONG: What the President was doing is using a lawful power to provide the benefits and the protection for these areas that he thought were warranted, because Congress was really unable to act despite significant support to do so.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: But there was — and still is — strong local opposition to the national monument designation, and fear it will restrict access to the area.

    FORMER REP. CRESENT HARDY, (R) NEVADA: It all sounds great to the public out there. What they don’t understand is it is public lands right now, and it’s public lands for the use of me, my children, other people.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Cresent Hardy represented the Gold Butte area in Congress and the state Legislature. A Republican, Hardy calls the designation an overreach.

    CRESENT HARDY: If you want to protect the petroglyphs, and you want to designate that as the monument, that’s what the Antiquities Act was set up to do, is protect the minimum possible footprint of that of what you’re trying to designate. Not an extra 300,000 acres on top of the 50-100 acres that you could have protected.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The tension over control of federally-owned land has simmered since many western states were formed. The federal government owns almost half of these 11 western states. And no state has a greater percentage of federal land than Nevada, which is 85 percent federally owned. Former Congressman Hardy would like to see states have much more control of their own management.

    CRESENT HARDY: Give us the money that you spend out there across the country on every state, and let us manage our land. Let us do our planning processes instead of going to this heavy bureaucracy where you duplicate the same thing Nevada does, the federal government does and takes longer doing it.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Conflicts over federal land have also boiled over in this corner of Nevada and made national news.

    JUDY WOODRUFF (April 18, 2014): … where a standoff between the federal government and a local cattle rancher involving an armed militia almost turned violent.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Just north of Gold Butte, rancher Cliven Bundy, his two sons, and hundreds of their supporters engaged an armed confrontation with federal officials over cattle grazing fees in 2014.

    While Bundy and his sons are facing federal charges over the incident, since the stand-off, there has been almost no federal presence in the area

    Since then Friends of Gold Butte has worked to document existing and new damage — including illegal water tanks and vandalism of petroglyphs, even a few bullet holes.

    JAINA MOAN: We don’t want to see those continuing degrading effects impact the land and erase all of these wonderful treasures that we have out here. I mean when a petroglyph is shot, that’s it, it’s there forever.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Jim Boone says off-highway vehicles frequently damage habitat by veering off the more than 300 miles of designated trails. These fresh tracks during our visit marked where a vehicle drove around a fence meant to protect a plant species found only in this part of Nevada.

    JIM BOONE: So everybody gets their piece of the desert to do what they want, but people can’t go everywhere and do everything.

    BOB ADAMS, PRESIDENT, KOKOPELLI ATV CLUB: If there ain’t a road; I’m not going there.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Bob Adams is the president of a local all-terrain vehicle club. He’s ridden thousands of miles in and around Gold Butte in his “side by side” ATV, and says the area is generally respected by people that use it.

    BOB ADAMS: If you got a network of roads already that goes to those places, why would you want to go over and travel on something like that, just to say you did?

    HARI SREENIVASAN: The designation does not rollback driving in off-road vehicles, camping, hiking, or hunting, but Adams worries conservationists will exploit the rare acts of vandalism to put future limits on recreational access.

    BOB ADAMS: Why did they feel they needed to designate it as a national monument? Unless they then use that to, you know, put restrictions on it in some way, shape, or form.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Native American tribes like the Moapa Band of Paiutes consider Gold Butte to be sacred land and see the national monument declaration as an important step to preserve their cultural legacy. William Anderson is the tribe’s former chairman

    WILLIAM ANDERSON, FORMER CHAIRMAN, MOAPA BAND OF PAIUTES: Every attempt we tried to go ahead and preserve the land failed.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Last April, he helped organize an 11-mile “culture walk” through Gold Butte to raise awareness of the damage to petroglyphs and appeal to President Obama to grant monument status to the area.

    WILLIAM ANDERSON: Now that it’s a national monument, we’re able to go ahead and show them how important it is to our people and to go ahead and see what else we could do to provide more funding.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: For now, no new federal funding comes with national monument status. And the BLM had a maintenance backlog of about $600 million dollars in 2016.

    Former Congressman Hardy wants the Trump administration and Congress to reexamine the Gold Butte declaration.

    CRESENT HARDY: I would sure hope that this administration would look at that, shrinking the size, or let’s designate the area that needs protecting. But almost every president that’s gone through has abused the Antiquities Act in a manner that’s way beyond protecting that which is designed for the Antiquities Act. So I hope Congress looks at it.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Past presidents have only amended the size of a predecessor’s monument designation.

    BRET BIRDSONG: No president has ever tried to undo a national monument designation. The Antiquities Act says the president has the authority to designate national monuments. It is silent as to any un-designation of national monuments.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: In his confirmation hearings to become Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke said he’ll review the Gold Butte decision, but not before visiting the area himself. BLM’s Las Vegas field manager, Gayle Marrs-Smith, tells Newshour Weekend officials have started outreach on how the monument will be managed.

    GAYLE MARRS-SMITH, LAS VEGAS OFFICE FIELD MANAGER, BLM: This plan is to be developed with extensive public participation….We would want to take their input, their concerns and build that into the planning process.The more the merrier at this point.

    HARI SREENIVASAN: Jim Boone, of Friends of Gold Butte, is participating in the process, and pushing for this land to be protected.

    JIM BOONE: There’ll be more people. There’ll probably be more designated trails. There might be some kind of barriers to keep people from actually walking up and touching the petroglyphs. But by and large, the landscape, the geology, the big views, all of that stuff is going to be the same virtually forever.

    The post Gold Butte National Monument is controversial for some locals appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly (R) listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington January 31, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTX2Z1UQ

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, right, listens to U.S. President Donald Trump during a meeting with cyber security experts in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington January 31, 2017. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    MUNICH — President Donald Trump is working on a “streamlined” version of his executive order banning travel from seven predominantly Muslim nations to iron out the difficulties that landed his first order in the courts, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said Saturday.

    Speaking on a panel about combating terrorism at the Munich Security Conference, Kelly said Trump’s original order was designed as a “temporary pause” to allow him to “see where our immigration and vetting system has gaps — and gaps it has — that could be exploited.”

    He said the Trump administration was surprised when U.S. courts blocked it from implementing the executive order and now “the president is contemplating releasing a tighter, more streamlined version” of the travel ban.

    Kelly said this next time he will be able to “make sure that there’s no one caught in the system of moving from overseas to our airports.”

    Asked whether that meant Trump’s new executive order would allow people with green cards and visas to come into the United States, Kelly said “it’s a good assumption.”

    But he went on to say that only people with visas who were already in transit would be allowed in. For others, he said, “we will have a short phase-in period to make sure that people on the other end don’t get on airplanes.”

    He did not elaborate on whether this would apply to green card holders as well.

    Among the security challenges, Kelly said, was that the U.S. does not have “strong counter-terrorism partnerships” with the countries in question or “robust information on individuals traveling from these countries” to be able to make a good risk assessments before their citizens traveled to the United States.

    The nations affected by the original ban were Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Kelly mentioned “seven nations” again on Saturday, leading to speculation they will all be included in Trump’s next executive order.

    The U.S. needs to “find ways to vet in a more reliable way to satisfy us that the people that are coming to the United States are, in fact, coming for the right reasons,” he said.

    Asked about the effectiveness of a blanket ban on seven countries, fellow panelist Thomas de Maiziere, Germany’s top security official, suggested it could be counter-productive.

    “To ban whole countries perhaps could create more collateral damage, and perhaps does not produce more security,” he said. “The more precise you do it, the more effective you are.”

    The post Kelly says Trump is working on a ‘streamlined’ travel ban appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Russian servicemen equip an Iskander tactical missile system at the Army-2015 international military-technical forum in Kubinka, outside Moscow, Russia, June 17, 2015. Russia on Tuesday was accused of violating a nuclear arms treaty with the U.S. for deploying a ground-based missile system  similar to the Iskander. Photo By Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

    Russian servicemen equip an Iskander tactical missile system at the Army-2015 international military-technical forum in Kubinka, outside Moscow, Russia, June 17, 2015. Russia on Tuesday was accused of violating a nuclear arms treaty with the U.S. for deploying a ground-based missile system similar to the Iskander. Photo By Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

    Republicans on Thursday introduced bills that would take steps to hold Russia in compliance with a nuclear arms treaty formed with the U.S. in 1987.

    The bills came two days after The New York Times disclosed that Russia had violated the treaty by deploying a ground-based missile with nuclear capabilities.

    U.S. intelligence officials knew of the missile, which was classified and not made public until the Times reported the story on Tuesday. The weapon was identified as a ground-based cruise missile, a type banned under the Intermediate Range Nuclear (INF) Forces Treaty of 1987.

    In response to this week’s findings, Republicans on Thursday introduced legislative actions in the House and Senate to push back against the violations. Language in the Senate bill points to Russia’s non-compliant actions on the INF Treaty dating back to 2008. If enacted in its current form, the bill would allow Congress to declare Russia in “material breach” of the treaty and lay the legislative grounds for the United States to eventually develop its own ground-launched intermediate cruise missiles capability. 

    The INF treaty required the U.S. and the Soviet Union to eliminate ground-launched ballistic and cruise missiles with ranges between 500 and 5,000 kilometers, according to the Arms Control Association. Former President Barack Obama’s administration also accused Russia of testing a similar-style weapon in 2014. An intelligence report cited by the Times indicated the missile identified may have been an SSC-8.

    “The treaty marked the first time the superpowers had agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenals, eliminate an entire category of nuclear weapons, and utilize extensive on-site inspections for verification,” according to the Arms Control Association. It also led to both countries destroying more than 2,000 other nuclear weapons over a four-year period.

    Both the House and Senate bills, called the Intermediate-Range Forces Treaty (INF) Preservation Act, were introduced on Thursday with the purpose of bringing Russia into compliance with the 1987 treaty. The bills also raise the possibility of increasing the number of nuclear arms in Europe following significant reductions in the U.S. arsenal that began decades ago.

    The Senate bill was referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations for review, though it remained unclear whether the legislative actions would receive broad support in the Republican-controlled Congress.

    “If Russia is going to test and deploy intermediate range cruise missiles, then logic dictates that we respond,” Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Arkansas) who co-sponsored the bill with Sens. Marco Rubio (R-Florida) and Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), said in a statement. “Pleading with the Russian regime to uphold its treaty obligations won’t bring it into compliance, but strengthening our nuclear forces in Europe very well might. We’re offering this legislation so we can finally put clear, firm boundaries on Russia’s unchecked aggression.”

    File photo of U.S. President Ronald Reagan (R) and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev signing the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty at the White House, on December 8 1987. [Reagan was elected as the 40th U.S. president in 1980. Former U.S. President Reagan's health is deteriorating and he could have only weeks to live, a U.S. source close to the situation said on June 4, 2004. Reagan, now 93, has long suffered from the brain-wasting Alzheimer's disease. The source said Reagan's condition had worsened in the past week. "The time is getting close," he said.] Reuters

    U.S. President Ronald Reagan, right, and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty at the White House, on December 8, 1987. Photo via Reuters

    The report of the missile deployment comes after several tumultuous years of relations between the two countries and as President Donald Trump has sent mixed signals over his administration’s intentions toward Russia, which has made several incendiary moves in recent years including the annexation of the Crimean peninsula in Ukraine.

    Russian and U.S. officials met in Geneva in November to discuss accusations about Russian compliance with the INF treaty.

    Few additional details are known about the missile loosely identified this week as a SSC-8, according to interviews conducted by the PBS NewsHour with nuclear arms experts, political scientists and think tanks.

    But Michael Kofman, a research scientist and former fellow at the Woodrow Wilson International Center, said a ground-based cruise missile would be launched out of a truck-like transporter erector launcher. The missile identified this week was thought to be located among two battalions in Russia.

    “A standard missile brigade fields 12 launchers and about 51 vehicles total,” Kofman said in an email. “The range of this missile by definition would have to be over 500 kilometers to be in violation of the INF, but given known cruise missile designs it is likely not more than a few thousand kilometers in range.”

    Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said unlike ballistic missiles, which reach high altitudes, cruise missile are “powered, guided and maneuverable” missiles that follow a lower flight path.

    Thomas Karako, a senior fellow with the International Security Program and the director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said the bills introduced on Thursday may have been a way for Republicans to convey that “they want to get Russia back in compliance so here are the kind of things that we propose doing.”

    “Congress is taking this very seriously and should be taking this very seriously,” he said.

    Harvard University professor Matthew Bunn, a former adviser to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and a nuclear expert, said the Pentagon has a range of options for responding.

    “I continue to believe that the U.S. will be working with NATO allies,” he said. “So that we can sustain the treaty.”

    The post Republican bills counter Russia’s apparent violation of nuclear arms treaty appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives in Munich, Germany, February 17, 2017.    REUTERS/Michaela Rehle TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSZ7L7

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR:  For more perspective on the U.S./Russia relationship and the role of NATO, I am joined from Munich by James Jeffrey, who has served in Republican and Democratic administrations as U.S. ambassador to Turkey and to Iraq, and as deputy national security adviser.  He’s now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

    So, Ambassador Jeffrey, why are European leaders unsettled with President Trump?  Why were today’s reassurances necessary?

    JAMES JEFFREY, WASHINGTON INSTITUTE FOR NEAR EAST POLICY:  They were necessary because of things that the president said during the campaign against NATO, possibly forming some sort of alliance with the Russians, and basically, calling into question the validity of underlying values that everybody we say in the West, the Atlantic community, shares.  This made people very nervous because here in Europe, this is like a civic religion for the political class and much of the population, and it’s the anecdote to half a century of devastating war and totalitarian regimes that they experienced in the early 20th century.

    So, they were really frightened when they heard this, and that’s why the effort over the weekend to clear things up with Washington.

    SREENIVASAN:  Do they believe that what Vice President Pence has said, or Defense Secretary Mattis has said, is the last word, that they can trust that’s the U.S. foreign policy?

    JEFFREY:  The Europeans will never be completely satisfied or completely reassured ever with America, and particularly now because Donald Trump is such a different president and such a problematic president for Europeans.

    But if the president wants to point to a well-oiled element of his administration machine, it’s the efforts by Vice President Pence, Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Kelly, Secretary Mattis here in Germany over the weekend.  They hit every worry that the Europeans had, and they gave all kinds of assurances, not coming from them, but particularly the vice president said again and again, “This is what Donald Trump believes, that NATO is really important, that Russia will have to account for its actions in Ukraine and elsewhere.”

    This is exactly what they wanted to hear.  We’ll see whether they believe it.

    SREENIVASAN:  Europe is also at a crossroads right now.  We all remember that the United Kingdom decided to depart the E.U., the Brexit event.  We’ve got a rise of the far right.  We’ve got several important elections coming up.  And then there’s, also, this — I think this tone that perhaps the United States and Russia will be more closely allied, which changes the balance of power there.

    JEFFREY:  It started with the great economic crash of 2008, which ironically, hurt Europe far more than it did the United States and they have not yet recovered.  Combined with that is this huge refugee flow from the Middle East, and the set of terrorist attacks against Germany, against France, against Belgium.  This has them unsettled, nervous.  They’re questioning their future.  Brexit, the British decision to leave, was a terrible blow.

    And so, on top of this, the Trump administration, they were really rattled.  They’re less rattled now, and that’s a good thing.

    SREENIVASAN:  Speaking of the refugee situation, President Trump has been very critical of Germany’s policy.  He calls it an open door policy, and he in response has got a travel ban for the United States.  Now, there are some plans the travel ban will come back in a different form to address some of the concerns of 9th Circuit.

    How is that sitting with the European community?

    JEFFREY:  There are many, many people in Europe who think exactly the way Donald Trump thinks about Angela Merkel’s decision to let in a million refugees, in many cases without any screening whatsoever.  That doesn’t mean that the initial travel ban that the U.S. government imposed was a wise thing.  There’s nothing Merkel can do to really reverse the damage she has done to her party, to her reputation, and to European solidarity with that decision.  In a way, Donald Trump is just saying what many people here believe.

    SREENIVASAN:  All right.  Ambassador James Jeffrey from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, joining us from Germany tonight — thanks so much.

    JEFFREY:  Thank you.

    The post U.S. has ‘unwavering’ commitment to NATO, Pence says appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    U.S. President Donald Trump returns a salute as he steps from Air Force One to tour the Boeing South Carolina facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., February 17, 2017. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque - RTSZ7IM

    U.S. President Donald Trump returns a salute as he steps from Air Force One to tour the Boeing South Carolina facility in North Charleston, South Carolina, U.S., February 17, 2017. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — As he seeks to get his struggling administration back on track, President Donald Trump is interviewing at least four potential candidates to serve as his new national security adviser.

    White House spokesman Sean Spicer says that Trump will interview his acting adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, John Bolton; Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster; and the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen.

    Trump, who is spending the weekend at his private Palm Beach club, could potentially talk to a few others, Spicer said Saturday. Trump is also planning to talk with several foreign leaders Sunday, and will have a health care strategy meeting.

    Trump is working to replace ousted national security adviser Michael Flynn. Trump’s first choice — retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward — turned down the offer.

    The president tweeted Saturday morning that he “will be having many meetings this weekend at The Southern White House.” Trump also planned a campaign rally Saturday afternoon, and he continued his Twitter attacks against the news media.

    Finding a new national security adviser has proved challenging for the president. He had also expressed interest in former CIA Director David Petraeus, but Spicer said Petraeus was no longer under consideration.

    Petraeus, a retired four-star general, resigned as CIA director in 2012 and pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information relating to documents he had provided to his biographer, with whom he was having an affair.

    Flynn resigned at Trump’s request Monday after revelations that he misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

    Four weeks into his presidency, Trump has lurched from crisis to crisis, including the botched rollout of his immigration order, struggles confirming his Cabinet picks and a near-constant stream of reports about strife within his administration.

    Trump, who defended himself at Thursday’s marathon news conference, continued his rants against the news media Saturday, tweeting: “Don’t believe the main stream (fake news) media. The White House is running VERY WELL. I inherited a MESS and am in the process of fixing it.”

    Trump will get in front of supporters Saturday afternoon with a rally at an airport hangar in central Florida.

    For Trump, the rally offers an opportunity to recapture the energy of his upstart campaign and to connect with his supporters. Trump spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump wants to “speak directly to people across this county in an unfiltered way, in a way that doesn’t have any bias.”

    Big rowdy rallies were the hallmark of Trump’s presidential campaign. He continued to do them, although with smaller crowds, throughout the early part of the transition, during what he called a “thank you” tour.

    The event Saturday is being put on by Trump’s campaign, rather than the White House. Asked if it was a rally for the 2020 election, Sanders called it “a campaign rally for America.” Trump himself promoted his appearance on Twitter on Friday: “Looking forward to the Florida rally tomorrow. Big crowd expected!”

    During an appearance Friday at a Boeing plant in South Carolina, Trump slipped back into his campaign’s “America First” message with ease.

    “America is going to start winning again, winning like never ever before,” he said, as the company showed off its new 787-10 Dreamliner aircraft. “We’re not going to let our country be taken advantage of anymore in any way, shape or form.”

    The post Trump to interview four candidates to replace the ousted Flynn appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg waves to the audience during a meeting of the APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) Ceo Summit in Lima, Peru, November 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mariana Bazo  - RTSSDT2

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEEND ANCHOR: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has laid out his vision for the social network’s future in a nearly 6,000-word manifesto he posted on Thursday. Called “Building Global Community,” Zuckerberg called for more connectedness to empower people to combat social ills.

    For more, I’m joined by Kara Swisher, executive editor of the news site Recode, who spoke with Zuckerberg about his essay.

    Now, worth noting, the social network has 1.8 billion people —

    KARA SWISHER, EXECUTIVE EDITOR, RECODE: Yes, a lot of people.

    SREENIVASAN: — a quarter of the planet. But why is it a big deal? There are shareholder letters written all the time by companies.

    SWISHER: Uh-huh. Well, he didn’t write it to shareholders. He wrote it to employees of Facebook. And so, that was an interesting thing. And I think he wrote it for the general public, too. It wasn’t for investors and Facebook, certainly not from reading it. It wasn’t about investments or anything about their business, but more about their soul — the soul of the company.

    SREENIVASAN: Yes. You know, one of the things that seems to strike out is that there is this in the interest of global connectedness. He’s also speaking against what we are seeing as a nationalism and isolationism.

    SWISHER: Absolutely. Yes, it’s interesting. And he’s trying very hard to thread a very thin needle. He didn’t use the word “Trump” anywhere. He insisted that he’s been working on this idea for years.

    But there was one line I think in thing that said there was never a controversial thing, that connection — global connection was controversial, essentially. That’s what he was saying. And so, by saying that, you are saying, why is connection controversial?

    SREENIVASAN: Yes.

    SWISHER: And that was sort of the beginning of the essay and then it won’t there for a long, long time, on lots of issues around safety, around — everything from bullying to fake news, to how Facebook is going to let people handle their profiles going forward, to sort of an embrace of globalism.

    SREENIVASAN: Yes. For the fake news part, we in this business care a lot about it, and building a more informed world. His first response to the allegations of the responsibility of Facebook in all this was, “What? No, we didn’t do any of this. Not us.”

    SWISHER: Not us. I call it the “what” shrug (ph). Right?

    SREENIVASAN: Yes. And now, it seems to have shifted. At least he wants to be part of the problem, which means he’s sort of implying he was part of the problem in the first place.

    SWISHER: Yes, exactly. So, he — you know, I think in the beginning he was asked about it, and he shrugged it off that it wasn’t a big deal, except that every indication is that most people get their news from Facebook. So, even as he doesn’t see himself as a media company, he doesn’t see Facebook as a media company, it is. It’s a media distribution company for sure.

    And so, I think a lot of people reacted to that badly and said, wait a minute. Like everybody gets their news, and some of this news is fake, and don’t you have a responsibility to have some control over your platform or do you just want it to be this toxic waste dump that it’s becoming, sort of like Twitter. Twitter is sort of a free-for-all.

    And I think Mark is looking get somewhere in between, not take full responsibility, but least acknowledge that there are some implications of what Facebook does.

    SREENIVASAN: In this, he’s trying to almost build this connective tissue, a layer of infrastructure between other layers of infrastructure, between it’s the sort of thing that would be between our church and our school and everything else would be on Facebook which, of course, is good for business.

    SWISHER: Sure, absolutely. You know, the funniest headline was Mark Zuckerberg’s solution for the world crisis is more Facebook. You know what I mean? If we could only Facebook together, we’d all get along and have common ground.

    And he did talk about this idea of polarization, even within the Facebook system, is that you hang with your — this filter bubble that you hang with your friends and family and only people who are like-minded and you don’t get out and see other people.

    And I think that was the interesting part, is how do we connect you with more points of view? How can we connect you with different people? How come we give you a wider view point from your world? Which I think was different, because Facebook has been organically friends and family and some interests. But it’s largely friends and family and people like you.

    SREENIVASAN: Yes. Kara Swisher from Recode — thanks so much.

    SWISHER: Thanks a lot.

    The post In manifesto, Zuckerberg lays out vision for Facebook’s future appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A large sign reading "I am an American" placed in the window of a store, at 13th and Franklin streets, on December 8, the day after Pearl Harbor, is pictured in Oakland, California in this March 1942 handout photo. The store was closed following orders to persons of Japanese descent to evacuate from certain West Coast areas. The owner, a University of California graduate, was housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration of the war. February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two.  Courtesy Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection/Library of Congress/Handout via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSZ5LU

    A large sign reading “I am an American” placed in the window of a store, at 13th and Franklin streets, on December 8, the day after Pearl Harbor, is pictured in Oakland, California in March 1942. Photo by Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection/Library of Congress/Reuters

    SAN FRANCISCO — Satsuki Ina was born behind barbed wire in a prison camp during World War II, the daughter of U.S. citizens forced from their home without due process and locked up for years following Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor.

    Roughly 120,000 Japanese immigrants and Japanese-Americans were sent to desolate camps that dotted the West because the government claimed they might plot against the U.S. Thousands were elderly, disabled, children or infants too young to know the meaning of treason. Two-thirds were citizens.

    And now, as survivors commemorate the 75th anniversary of the executive order that authorized their incarceration, they’re also speaking out to make sure that what happened to them doesn’t happen to Muslims, Latinos or other groups.

    They’re alarmed by recent executive orders from President Donald Trump that limit travel and single out immigrants.

    READ NEXT: All of the changes to Trump’s executive order on immigration, explained

    In January, Trump banned travelers from seven majority Muslim nations from entering the U.S., saying he wanted to thwart potential attackers from slipping into the country. A federal court halted the ban. Trump said at a news conference Thursday that he would issue a replacement order next week.

    “We know what it sounds like. We know what the mood of the country can be. We know a president who is going to see people in a way that could victimize us,” said Ina, a 72-year-old psychotherapist who lives in Oakland, California.

    Members of the Japanese independent congregational church attending Easter services prior to evacuation of persons of Japanese ancestry from certain West Coast areas, in Oakland, in this April 1942 handout photo. February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two.   Courtesy Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection/Library of Congress/Handout via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSZ5LD

    Members of the Japanese independent congregational church attending Easter services prior to evacuation of persons of Japanese ancestry from certain West Coast areas, in Oakland, in this April 1942 handout photo. Photo by Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection/Library of Congress/Reuters

    President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, to protect against espionage and sabotage. Notices appeared ordering people of Japanese descent to report to civil stations for transport.

    Desperate families sold off belongings for cheap and packed what they could. The luckier ones had white friends who agreed to care for houses, farms and businesses in their absence.

    “Others who couldn’t pay their mortgage, couldn’t pay their bills, they lost everything. So they had to pretty much start from scratch,” said Rosalyn Tonai, 56, executive director of the National Japanese American Historical Society in San Francisco.

    People are loading a bus for relocation heading to the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California, in this 1943 handout photo. February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.   Courtesy Ansel Adams/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-A35-4-M-10/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSZ5NF

    People are loading a bus for relocation heading to the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California, in this 1943 handout photo. Photo courtesy of Ansel Adams/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-A35-4-M-10/Reuters

    Tonai was shocked to learn in middle school that the U.S. government had incarcerated her mother, aunts and grandparents. Her family hadn’t talked about it. Her mother, a teenager at the time, said she didn’t remember details.

    Her organization, the Japanese American Citizens League and others oppose the use of the word “internment.” They say the government used euphemisms such as “internment,” ”evacuation,” and “non-alien” to hide the fact that U.S. citizens were incarcerated and the Constitution violated.

    The groups say this White House has what they see as the same dangerous and flippant attitude toward the Constitution. Japanese-American lawmakers expressed horror when a Donald Trump supporter cited the camps as precedent for a Muslim registry.

    The Japanese American Citizens League “vehemently” objected to executive orders signed by Trump last month, to build a wall along the Mexican border, punish “sanctuary” cities that protect people living in the country illegally, and limit refugees and immigrants from entering the country.

    “Although the threat of terrorism is real, we must learn from our history and not allow our fears to overwhelm our values,” the statement read in part.

    Residents of Japanese ancestry awaiting the bus at the Wartime Cvili Control station in San Francisco, in this April 1942 handout photo. February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans during World War Two.   Courtesy Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection/Library of Congress/Handout via REUTERS    ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSZ5LO

    Residents of Japanese ancestry awaiting the bus at the Wartime Cvili Control station in San Francisco, in this April 1942 handout photo. Photo courtesy of Dorothea Lange/Farm Security Administration and Office of War Information Collection/Library of Congress/Reuters

    Hiroshi Kashiwagi was 19 when his family was ordered from their home in Northern California’s Placer County and to a temporary detention center.

    He remembers slaughtering his prized chickens— New Hampshire Reds— for his mother to cook with soy sauce and sugar. She stored the bottled birds in sturdy sacks to take on the trip. The family ate the chickens at night to supplement meals. The birds didn’t last long.

    Today, Kashiwagi, 94, is a poet and writer in San Francisco who speaks to the public about life at Tule Lake, a maximum security camp near the Oregon border. Winters were cold, the summers hot. They were helpless against dust storms that seeped inside.

    “I feel obligated to speak out, although it’s not a favorite subject,” he said. “Who knows what can happen? The way this president is, he does not go by the rules. I’m hoping that he would be impeached.”

    A mess line is formed in front of a building at midday at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California, in this 1943 handout photo. February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.   Courtesy Ansel Adams/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-A35-4-M-10/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSZ5NL

    A mess line is formed in front of a building at midday at the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California, in this 1943 handout photo. Photo courtesy of Ansel Adams/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-A35-4-M-10/Reuters

    Orders against Japanese-Americans were revoked after the war ended in 1945. They returned to hostility and discrimination in finding work or places to live.

    A congressional commission formed in 1980 blamed the incarceration on “race prejudice, war hysteria and a failure of political leadership.” In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a bill to compensate every survivor with a tax-free check for $20,000 and a formal apology from the U.S. government.

    Ina said that only then did her mother, Shizuko, feel she got her face back, her dignity returned. By then her father, Itaru, had died.

    “This is a burden we’ve been carrying, and if we can make that burden into something meaningful that could help and protect other people, then it becomes not so much an obligation but more as a responsibility,” Ina said.

    After Trump’s election, Ina vowed to reach out to the Muslim community and protest and tell everyone about what happened to her family. She brought her message to a gathering of camp survivors in the Los Angeles area.

    “And this old woman, she had a cane, she said, ‘OK. I’m going to tell everybody about what happened. This is very bad. It’s happening again,'” she said. “It’s that kind of spirit.”

    The post Executive order that incarcerated Japanese Americans is 75 appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    London's Mayor elect, Sadiq Khan, leaves Southwark Cathedral in London, Britain, May 7, 2016.  REUTERS/Peter Nicholls - RTX2D8HZ

    London’s Mayor elect, Sadiq Khan, leaves Southwark Cathedral in London, Britain, May 7, 2016. Photo by Peter Nicholls/Reuters

    LONDON — London’s mayor says that President Donald Trump shouldn’t receive a state visit in Britain because of his “cruel” policies on immigration.

    Sadiq Khan said Sunday the U.S. president should not get VIP treatment when he comes to Britain later this year because of his “ban on people from seven Muslim-majorities countries” and his decision to block refugees from entering the United States.

    Khan said that “in those circumstances we shouldn’t be rolling out the red carpet.”

    He spoke one day before British legislators are expected to debate a proposal to downgrade the planned state visit. The debate was scheduled in response to an online petition calling for the honor to be rescinded.

    A state visit usually includes extensive pomp and a stay at Buckingham Palace.

    The post London mayor says ‘cruel’ Trump should be denied state visit appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives to the gate of former German Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, Germany February 19, 2017.   REUTERS/Michael Dalder - RTSZC59

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence arrives to the gate of former German Nazi concentration camp in Dachau near Munich, Germany February 19, 2017. Photo by Michael Dalder/Reuters

    DACHAU, Germany — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence paid a somber visit to the site of the Dachau concentration camp on Sunday, walking along the grounds where tens of thousands of people were killed during World War II.

    Pence was joined by his wife, Karen, and the couple’s 23-year-old daughter, Charlotte, as they toured the exhibits at the former concentration camp that was established by the Nazis in 1933 near Munich.

    The vice president was accompanied by Abba Naor, a survivor of the camp, and other dignitaries as he passed through the wrought iron gate bearing the inscription, “Arbeit macht frei,” or “Work sets you free.” The Pences placed a wreath beneath the International Memorial at the center of the camp, toured the barracks and viewed the ovens inside the crematorium.

    The Pences also stopped at religious memorials at the site and later attended a church service on the camp’s grounds.

    More than 200,000 people from across Europe were held at Dachau, and more than 40,000 prisoners died there. The camp was liberated by U.S. forces in April 1945.

    Former Vice President Joe Biden visited Dachau during a trip to Germany in 2015.

    Making his first overseas trip as vice president, Pence spoke to foreign diplomats and defense officials at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday and met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders.

    Shortly after his arrival in Brussels later Sunday, Pence said the American people appreciate the nation’s alliance with Belgium and he’s looking forward to his meetings with European Union and NATO leaders on Monday.

    The post Pence visits former Nazi concentration camp appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    A Somali boy stands outside their shop destroyed near the scene of a suicide bomb explosion at the Wadajir market in Madina district of Somalia's capital Mogadishu February 19, 2017. REUTERS/Feisal Omar - RTSZDBL

    A Somali boy stands outside their shop destroyed near the scene of a suicide bomb explosion at the Wadajir market in Madina district of Somalia’s capital Mogadishu February 19, 2017. Photo by Feisal Omar/Reuters

    MOGADISHU, Somalia — A car bomb at a marketplace in Somalia’s capital has killed at least 20 people and injured 50 others, said a local Somali official.

    The blast by a car bomb parked near a restaurant went off at a busy time when shoppers and traders were gathered inside the market, said district commissioner Ahmed Abdulle.

    Mohamed Haji, a butcher who suffered shrapnel wounds, pointed to a clothes shop devastated by the blast. “Someone had parked the car here and left before it was detonated,” he said. Pieces of wood and metal sheets on the ground were all that remained of the shop.

    Women sobbed and screamed outside the market as rescue workers moved bloodied bodies and wounded victims into ambulances.

    “It’s a painful carnage.” said Ali Mire, a government soldier who was helping a friend with shrapnel wounds

    The powerful explosion was the first major attack since Somalia’s new president was elected on Feb.8. Although no group has yet claimed responsibility, it bears the hallmarks of Somalia’s Islamic extremists rebels, al-Shabab. In a Twitter post, President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed condemned the blast, saying that it shows the “cruelty” of al-Shabab.

    A few hours before the blast, al-Shabab denounced the new president as an “apostate” and vowed to continue fighting against his government.

    Italian Foreign Minister Angelino Alfano, in a statement condemning the attack, said that “Italy remains solidly on Somalia’s side in the process of the country’s stabilization.” He added that “together we will act so that the terrorists don’t succeed in stopping the path of peace and reconciliation that is underway.”

    [Watch Video]

    The post Blast in Somalia kills 20 in Mogadishu marketplace appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    A man smokes an electronic cigarette vaporizer, also known as an e-cigarette, in Toronto, August 7, 2015. Many of the world's junior miners are laying down their picks and shovels to start new ventures ranging from egg exporting to e-cigarette company, as they as try to survive a crash in metals prices by shifting away from exploration. Picture taken on August 7, 2015.    REUTERS/Mark Blinch - RTX1PBBR

    A man smokes an electronic cigarette vaporizer, also known as an e-cigarette, in Toronto, August 7, 2015. Photo by Mark Blinch/Reuters

    WASHINGTON — Congressional supporters of the tobacco industry have wasted no time in proposing legislation to help e-cigarette companies escape rules adopted under President Barack Obama.

    In what Representatives Tom Cole (R-Okla.) and Sanford Bishop (D-Ga.) described as a “clarification,” the two introduced a bill Thursday that would revise Food and Drug Administration rules governing the sale and advertising of e-cigarettes and cigars.

    The “FDA Deeming Authority Clarification Act of 2017” is an attempt by the lawmakers to set FDA policy back to where it was before the agency asserted authority over cigars, pipe tobacco, and vapor products such as e-cigarettes.

    The so-called deeming rule’s “grandfather” clause states that companies selling any such product after Feb. 15, 2007, must now disclose their ingredients and prove that their products meet the applicable public health standards set by the law.

    Cole and Bishop’s proposal would get rid of the “grandfather” clause.

    READ NEXT: FDA issues sweeping regulations for e-cigarettes for first time

    “Vapor products offer a promising path for harm reduction for those seeking to quit or limit their smoking,” said Bishop in a statement. “This legislation would ensure the FDA’s regulatory process does not limit the availability of safer tobacco options for those seeking to make use of them.”

    “The FDA effectively is making it more difficult for vapor products to come to market than cigarettes,” a statement from Cole’s office said.

    The industry fought the FDA proposal for years, enlisting big-name lobbyists like former Sen. Mary Landrieu, among others, from big tobacco companies. Vapor shop owners and cigar makers and sellers also joined the fight.

    Matthew L. Myers, president of the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, said he was not surprised by the re-appearance of the bill, which was also introduced last year.

    “By working on what purports to be a technical change, “ Myers said, “ it leaves on the market the candy and fruit-flavored e-cigarettes that are so popular among young people.”

    “You can put any gloss on it you want, this is the tobacco industry’s effort to continue to market flavored tobacco products to hook another generation of kids.”

    This article is reproduced with permission from STAT. It was first published on Feb. 16, 2017. Find the original story here.

    The post Lawmakers seek to help e-cigarette makers escape new regulations appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Members of the 51st Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) patrol in the remote mountains of Colombia, August 16, 2016. Picture taken August 16, 2016. Photo By John Vizcaino Reuters

    Members of the 51st Front of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) patrol in the remote mountains of Colombia, August 16, 2016. Picture taken August 16, 2016. Photo By John Vizcaino Reuters

    The last 300 members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, also known as FARC, began disarming on Sunday in a transition zone arranged as part of a peace agreement last year.

    The Colombian government and FARC agreed in November to end a conflict that had stretched on for nearly 52 years and killed more than 200,000 people.

    About 7,000 members of the FARC, Colombia’s largest rebel group, began moving this week from jungle camps toward 26 safe zones established as part of the peace agreement.

    FARC was formed in 1964 as an armed offshoot of the Communist Party by farmers dissatisfied with issues of inequality in the country. The group followed a Marxist-Leninist doctrine.

    The United Nations credited the group’s leadership for backing the camps that would allow FARC members to transition to civilian life, also stating that the move would reduce the risk of new incidents of armed contact.

    READ NEXT: Columbia and FARC sign amended peace deal

    Voters in Colombia narrowly rejected a referendum in October to forge an peace deal with FARC they said did not go far enough to hold the rebel group accountable after years of fighting. But a revised version allowed President Juan Manuel Santos to forge a peace agreement with the rebels a month later, ending more than a half-century of conflict that had displaced millions of people.

    The post Last 300 FARC rebels to lay down arms appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    U.S. President Donald Trump applauds his crowd as he holds a "Make America Great Again" rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque      TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTSZBI2

    U.S. President Donald Trump applauds his crowd as he holds a “Make America Great Again” rally at Orlando Melbourne International Airport in Melbourne, Florida, U.S. February 18, 2017. Photo by Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — President Donald Trump on Sunday was stepping up his search for a national security adviser, with several interviews on tap, and focusing on health care in talks with his health and budget chiefs, while his team pushed back against depictions of a young administration in disarray.

    His chief of staff used appearances on the Sunday news shows to echo his boss’ complaints about media coverage of the White House and cited what he said were multiple accomplishments in the first few weeks of the Trump presidency.

    “The truth is that we don’t have problems in the West Wing,” Reince Priebus told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    Priebus also denied a report that Trump advisers were in touch with Russian intelligence advisers during the 2016 campaign, and said he had assurances from “the top levels of the intelligence community” that it was false.

    After weeks of tumult in Washington, Trump returned to Florida and his private club for a third straight weekend as he tries to refocus. After a raucous campaign rally Saturday night, Trump and his wife, Melania, stopped by a fundraiser at his private Palm Beach club, put on by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. A White House official confirmed his attendance, requesting anonymity to discuss the president’s schedule.

    [Watch Video]

    High on Trump’s to-do list is finding a replacement for ousted Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

    Scheduled to discuss the job with the president at Mar-a-Lago were his acting adviser, retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg; John Bolton, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations; Army Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster and the superintendent of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Lt. Gen. Robert Caslen.

    Trump pushed out Flynn last Monday after revelations that Flynn misled Vice President Mike Pence about discussing sanctions with Russia’s ambassador to the U.S. during the presidential transition. Trump said in a news conference Thursday that he was disappointed by how Flynn had treated Pence, but did not believe Flynn had done anything wrong by having the conversations.

    Trump’s first choice to replace Flynn, retired Vice Adm. Robert Harward, turned down the offer.

    Trump also was expected to discuss health care policy in a meeting Health Secretary Tom Price and Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House budget office.

    Top House Republicans last week presented a rough sketch of a health overhaul to rank-and-file lawmakers that would void of President Barack Obama’s 2010 law and replace it with conservative policies. It features a revamped Medicaid program for the poor, tax breaks to help people pay doctors’ bills and federally subsidized state pools to assist those with costly medical conditions in buying insurance.

    House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has said Republicans would introduce legislation repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act after Congress returns in late February, but he offered no specifics.

    Also on Trump’s Sunday schedule: calls to the leaders of Panama, and Trinidad and Tobago.

    The day of presidential business follows a return on Saturday to campaign mode when Trump held a rally before thousands of supporters at an airplane hangar in Melbourne. He revived campaign promises to build a border wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, reduce regulations and create jobs — and continued his attacks on the media.

    The rally was put on by Trump’s campaign, not the White House. Trump told reporters he was holding a campaign rally because “life is a campaign.”

    Trump, who held a rally in the same spot in Florida in September, clearly relished being back in front of his supporters, welcoming the cheers and letting one supporter up on stage to offer praise for the president. He also enjoyed reliving his victory over Democrat Hillary Clinton.

    Trump has lurched from crisis to crisis since the inauguration, including the botched rollout of his immigration order, struggles confirming his Cabinet picks and a near-constant stream of reports about strife within his administration.

    Priebus would have none of it.

    “The fact of the matter is the level of accomplishment that he’s put forward so far in the first 30 days has been remarkable,” he told CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

    The post Trump steps up security aide search, focuses on health care appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    Voters sign in to cast their ballot in the Pennsylvania primary at a polling place in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2016. Nearly half of Americans believe that the system that U.S. political parties use to pick their candidates for the White House is "rigged" and two-thirds want to see the process changed, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller/File Photo - RTX2BUJR

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    By Mori Rothman and Yasmeen Qureshi

    JEFF GREENFIELD: On a Sunday in February, more than a hundred Democrats crowd into a home in the Philadelphia suburbs to listen to their Congressman talk about the state of their party and the nation.

    40-year-old Brendan Boyle is in his second term representing northeast Philadelphia and suburban Montgomery County.

    It’s something of a political family affair. Brendan’s younger brother, Kevin, is a 37-year-old State Representative in his fourth term.

    If you’re looking for what’s troubling Democrats, this is a good place to start: Mayfair. Not the tony London neighborhood, but northeastern Philadelphia, a working class neighborhood with a tradition of big pluralities for Democrats, a tradition that was broken last fall.

    Both Bill Clinton and Barack Obama easily won the Mayfair neighborhood. But Hillary Clinton carried it by a lot less, which was one factor in her narrow loss in Pennsylvania.

    KEVIN BOYLE: Hillary didn’t really sort of offer any economic plan that she really hammered home. Donald Trump was talking about bringing back industrial jobs to blue collar America and that’s what people cared about in my area.

    BRENDAN BOYLE: There is a real disconnect within the Democratic Party between the elites who make the decisions and the vast majority of people who are regular Democratic voters, and what the elites care about versus what most people here in Philadelphia who are casting Democratic ballots care about.

    KEVIN BOYLE: The hardcore social left are saying we can’t reach out to white working class voters, because somehow that would be racist. I think that is absolutely crazy to say that, because a progressive economic platform could unify workers, it could unify white workers with Latino workers, with African American workers, with Asian workers. Because at the end of the day what will drive the Democratic Party back into the majority is when Joe Smith in northeast Philadelphia, who voted for Barack Obama twice but then voted for Donald Trump in this last election, when he makes his determination as to who he’s going to vote for, to me it always comes down to economics.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Glenn Clark is one of those Obama voters who went for Trump. He’s a longtime firefighter and the co-owner of this bar, Pub 36.

    GLENN CLARKE: This is working class neighborhood, blue collar, more or less city employees.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: So you’re talking cops, firefighters, civil servants.

    GLENN CLARKE: Yes.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Add a good number of construction and factory workers, and you have a neighborhood, where, like many around the country, a dramatic loss of votes cost the Democrats dearly.

    So explain to me why a Democrat from a blue collar Philadelphia neighborhood voted for Donald Trump?

    GLENN CLARKE: Served in the Navy, could not support Hillary, because of Benghazi, didn’t trust her. Also don’t trust a lot of the politicians today. Donald Trump has four years as a non-politician to make a difference.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: For Brendan and Kevin Boyle, Trump’s showing is a political threat and a personal wound.

    BRENDAN BOYLE: Our dad came as an immigrant from Ireland when he was 19. He spent a lot of time cutting lawns and trying to get into a union. Eventually he was able to do that, was a warehouseman for Acme Markets for 25 years.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: That that kind of security of union jobs and the kind of comfort that brought, that’s not around much anymore much less, much less around. Is that an accurate perception?

    BRENDAN BOYLE: Yes, that’s completely accurate. Actually people feel more anxious than ever before and even worse than that is they’re really questioning whether the American dream still exists.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: One of the symbols of the jobs that aren’t around anymore is the Nabisco plant

    KEVIN BOYLE: You used to actually be able to smell the cookies being made where we’re sitting right now, we were that close.

    BRENDAN BOYLE: So that plant existed for generations and was profitable. For a company that was profitable, still employed 320 people, and these were not minimum wage jobs. These were good family sustaining jobs. Well, it turns out Nabisco ends up getting bought by a different company. They decide that they’re going to layoff completely close the plant even though it’s profitable, because they’re building a brand new one in Monterrey, Mexico, where they can employ people for far less.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: And which presidential candidate called out Nabisco for closing multiple plants?

    PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Nabisco closes a plant, they just announced a couple of days ago, in Chicago, and they’re moving the plant to Mexico!

    JEFF GREENFIELD: To help reestablish the party’s connection with working class voters. Brendan started the Blue Collar Caucus in Washington, now with 26 members, to push for higher wages and new manufacturing jobs.

    HOLLY OTTERBEIN: They rail against trade deals, they have proposed bills that would make college free for students that get at least a 3.0 GPA

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Holly Otterbein profiled the Boyle brothers for Philadelphia Magazine.

    HOLLY OTTERBEIN: At the same time, there are parts of the Boyle brother’s agenda that disappoints progressives in the party. In the past, Brendan has voted for pro-life legislation, although now he’s been endorsed by Planned Parenthood and has kind of changed his mind on that issue. So that raises the question that I think some progressives in the party have, which is that ‘If we try to go more aggressively for the white working class, do we have to sacrifice these things that are very important to the party?’ But a lot of Democrats are not convinced the party can or should rebuild its strength with the white working class. At last year’s national convention in Philadelphia, the party was more ethnically diverse than ever before, and social issues like abortion, gay rights, and gun control were front and center.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Joe DeFelice chairs Philadelphia’s Republican Party.

    JOE DEFELICE: Trump just found a way to connect with them, and he was saying things that they believed in. And it’s strange to think right that a billionaire from New York City can connect with, you know, working class people in northeast Philadelphia. I mean being from New York, spending time in Philadelphia. He understands the neighborhoods, understands the people here.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: DeFelice says the leftward drift of Democrats helped push working class voters into Trump’s camp.

    JOE DEFELICE: Look, I’m not going to tell them how to do their jobs, I’m a, I’m actually happy that they’re going further and further to the left, makes my job a little bit easier // But if they continue to push like some of these leftist policies with regards to immigration or whatever, I think you know, we’re going to continue to keep those people.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Which is why the Boyles say Democrats need to be open to more moderate approaches on social issues.

    BRENDAN BOYLE: We can’t end up becoming the worst caricature that talk radio on the right says we are.

    KEVIN BOYLE: I don’t think there’s any question that the Democratic Party is a pro-choice party, and we’ll always support a woman’s right to choose, and it’s part of our party platform and should certainly stay that way. With that said, in Appalachia, the areas where Donald Trump was winning two to one, if we were running, or if we were putting litmus tests on the sort of candidates that we were recruiting. I think we’d find it very challenging to keep those seats or to win those seats.

    BRENDAN BOYLE: Now, I’m clearly for stronger gun regulations. I sat in, participated in the sit-in with John Lewis on the House floor for 25 hours after the Orlando massacre, because I feel so strongly about the gun issue. That said, if we have that as a litmus test, we’re already in the deepest minority since 1928, we’ll be even further in the minority.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: Walking that tightrope is no easy challenge, especially when voters like Glenn Clarke see a potential champion in President Trump.

    GLENN CLARKE: He spoke of jobs. He spoke of safety, security. He wants to make America great again. And anybody that’s hoping that he fails can’t truly call themselves an American.

    JEFF GREENFIELD: So how do you convince skeptical white working class folks that, that they really ought to take this to heart.

    KEVIN BOYLE: I think it’s about authenticity. When we’re the party of the little guy, and I know that sounds simplistic, but when people internalize that, I think that we do much better in elections, and that’s what we have to be true to.

    BRENDAN BOYLE: I really believe our party is at its best when we’re the Robert Kennedy coalition, that we are the party of blue collar workers, of all races, of all backgrounds, that we are the party of those who were left out and deeply believe in the American dream and want to achieve it. That is who the Democratic Party is in our soul, that is the best to win elections, but it’s also the best to govern. If we’re going to achieve progress in these areas, we need to it needs to be everyone and that includes white working class voters.

    The post Democrats aim to reclaim the working class vote appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...
    0 0

    Gizelle Begler and Mira Veikley pose for a photograph at the Women's March in Washington U.S., January 21, 2017. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton - RTSWQFH

    Gizelle Begler and Mira Veikley pose for a photograph at the Women’s March in Washington U.S., January 21, 2017. Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters

    California has the most stringent equal pay laws in the nation. But among its own workers, the state is still struggling to close the pay gap between men and women.

    Women who work for the state earn 79 cents for every dollar that men earn, according to a 2014 report by the California Department of Human Resources. That’s a wider gap than that faced by women who work in the private sector or for the federal government in the state.

    California isn’t alone. While nationwide data is not available, male state workers earn more than their female counterparts in many states, including Idaho, Maryland and Texas.

    An assessment last year by the online salary data firm PayScale listed the gender pay gap in public administration the fourth-highest among 21 professions and industries across the economy, with women making less than 75 percent of what men make — an average of $16,900 less. The gap in public administration trailed only finance and insurance, professional services and mining.

    Many cities, including Alexandria, Virginia, New Orleans and Sacramento, have spotted the gap and tried to address it, just as some states have.

    Late last year, the California Senate gave 10 percent raises to 71 state employees in an effort to address disparities in pay between male and female workers employed in the state Legislature.

    READ NEXT: Equal pay for equal play. What the sport of tennis got right

    In January, lawmakers in South Carolina — where women who work for the state earn 87 percent of what men earn — introduced a bill that would guarantee equal pay for equal work and prohibit gender discrimination for private sector and state employees. In Missouri and New York, lawmakers have introduced legislation that would commission studies of wage disparities among state workers.

    In Minnesota, which has tried for decades to address the issue, Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton announced plans in November to grant state employees up to six weeks’ paid parental leave. The plan applies to all workers, but Edwin Hudson, deputy commissioner of the state’s management and budget office, said because women often lose wages when they take time off to care for children, it could help close the wage gap. Women in Minnesota state government earn 89 percent of men’s wages on average, up from 69 percent in 1976.

    In general, state jobs around the country are subject to stringent transparency rules, anti-discrimination laws and standardized pay rates. Despite these safeguards, disparities at the state level persist, though they are generally smaller than the pay gap in the private sector.

    Advocates for women such as Kate Nielsen, state policy analyst for the American Association of University Women (AAUW), said “occupational segregation” is partially to blame.

    “We need to look for ways to support women in nontraditional jobs and overcome implicit bias to make sure that women are being hired at all levels,” Nielsen said.

    For women to break into male-dominated fields in the state workforce, states need to step up recruitment efforts and work to ensure that entrance exams are not biased, said Ariane Hegewisch, the program director for employment and earnings at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, which focuses on policies that affect women.

    And once they’re on the job, women need to be protected from sexual harassment and discrimination, Hegewisch said. “Even if women get into these jobs, they may not decide to stay.”

    Women typically need more accommodating work arrangements, such as flex-time or telecommuting, to handle family obligations. As a result, Minnesota’s Hudson said, they often gravitate to lower-paying occupations that make it easier to meet the obligations. To close the gender gap among state workers, lawmakers need to pass flex-time legislation, Hudson said. Some jobs dictate strict schedules, but state government has to be creative, he said.

    “We’re going to have to be more competitive, particularly as the labor market shrinks,” Hudson said.

    Flurry of Legislation

    Nationwide, women experience a persistent pay gap in the public and private sector, earning 80 percent of what men do. For women of color, the gap is even larger. At the current rate of wage growth, the AAUW projects that women will not reach pay equity with men until 2152.

    In the absence of legislation by the U.S. Congress, bills to address the gender pay gap have been introduced this year in at least 18 states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

    Typically, equal pay legislation covers both private and public sector employees, the AAUW’s Nielsen said. One exception is Louisiana, whose equal pay law protects just public sector employees, who account for 6 percent of the workforce in the state.

    And it seems to be effective. Women who work in Louisiana’s private sector earn 57 cents for every dollar men earn, while women working for the state earn 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts make.

    [Watch Video]

    Louisiana lawmakers introduced legislation this year that would amend the state’s 1950 pay protection law to include private sector employees. It also would require government contractors to verify equal pay practices.

    In Texas, women and minorities working for the state consistently earn less than white men — a gap that has grown over the past decade, according to data analysis by The Dallas Morning News.

    And in Maryland, an investigation last year by The Washington Post found that the pay gap among state employees was largest in Republican Gov. Larry Hogan’s office, where men hold more senior positions and women earn 68 percent of what men earn.

    The wage gap among Maryland state workers “tells me that there is still some discrimination out there,” said Maryland state Sen. Susan Lee, a Democrat who sponsored a 2016 law aimed at combating the gender pay gap in the state and proposed a related bill this year. “Any kind of pay gap is not only unequal, it’s unacceptable.”

    State Efforts

    In the 1970s and ’80s, many states made a concerted effort to tackle pay inequities between male and female government workers. They required employers in the public and private sector to pay men and women equal pay for the same work.

    By 1989, 20 states had implemented programs to boost the pay of lower-paid female government workers. These programs are no longer in place, but a 1994 study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the Urban Institute found that the pay adjustments helped close the gap among state workers. Another 23 states had studied their wage gaps by the early ’90s.

    Today, a Minnesota commission monitors wages for state and local employees and reports on pay inequities to the Legislature every two years. According to a 2016 report by the state, an 11 percent wage gap persists among state workers largely because women are clustered at the lower end of the wage spectrum. The study found that if office, clerical and skilled craft jobs were held equally by men and women, the wage gap would decrease from 11 to 2 percent.

    California has several steps in place to try to prevent the wage gap between men and women. For example, the state outlines specific job classifications with corresponding pay rates for state workers, according to Joe DeAnda of the California Department of Human Resources. The state’s merit-pay system is also codified, with a specified range of pay raises. Sometimes this can work against managers seeking to remedy pay disparities. But it also means that managers can’t give male employees bigger raises, he said.

    Nationwide, the pay gap persists for a complex variety of reasons, from the stubbornness of the “pink collar ghetto” to “mommy tracking” to the fact that men typically occupy more senior positions in state government, equal pay advocates say.

    In short: Men and women continue to do different work — a phenomenon that plays out in state workforces around the country. In California, for example, the 20 percent pay gap persists partly because women work in lower-paying, clerical jobs, while men overwhelmingly work in male-dominated fields such as engineering, state police and fire departments, DeAnda says.

    “We’ve got more men in the higher-paying job classifications,” DeAnda said. “For the state, our job is to encourage more women to seek those higher-paying jobs.”

    The size of California’s pay gap has been decreasing, and DeAnda said he expects the state to continue to see improvements. But, he said, “this is a process that will take time, and perhaps require structural changes [i.e. legislation], to ultimately close the gap.”

    In its 2014 report, California’s Department of Human Resources recommended that state agencies step up efforts to recruit women, increase internships and job-shadowing opportunities for women, increase career development and professional training opportunities, and improve leadership development and succession planning efforts so the next generation of female workers is ready to step into upper-level positions.

    Closing the pay gap helps women and families to get ahead, said the AAUW’s Nielsen. And when states give female workers “a fair paycheck and a seat at the table, it means more women’s voices are represented, which means that there are more policies that will represent the population,” Nielsen said.

    To close the gap, states need to first do an audit, looking at pay and gender department by department, job by job, and ferret out what’s causing the inequities, said Emily Martin of the National Women’s Law Center, which advocates for legal and public policies that benefit women and families.

    “Only then can you close the gap,” Martin said.

    This story was produced by Stateline, an initiative of The Pew Charitable Trusts. You can read the original story here.

    The post States struggle to close their own gender pay gaps appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    PHOENIX - APRIL 28:  An undocumented Mexican immigrant is searched while being in-processed at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), center on April 28, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Across Arizona, city police and county sheriffs' departments turn over detained immigrants to ICE, which deports them to their home countries. Last year the federal agency deported some 81,000 illegal immigrants from the state of Arizona alone, and with the passage of the state's new tough immigration enforcement law, the number of deportations could rise significantly.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

    An undocumented immigrant is searched while being in-processed at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), center on April 28, 2010 in Phoenix, Arizona. Photo by John Moore/Getty Images

    WASHINGTON — The Homeland Security Department has drafted sweeping new guidelines aimed at aggressively detaining and deporting immigrants living in the U.S. illegally, according to a pair of memoranda signed by DHS Secretary John Kelly.

    The memos dated Friday seek to implement President Donald Trump’s broad directive to crack down on illegal immigration. Kelly outlines plans to hire thousands of additional enforcement agents, expand on the priority list for immigrants marked for immediate removal and enlist local law enforcement to help make arrests, according to a person briefed on the documents, who confirmed the details to The Associated Press.

    “The surge of illegal immigration at the southern border has overwhelmed federal agencies and resources and has created a significant national security vulnerability to the United States,” Kelly wrote.

    He said apprehensions on the southern U.S. border had seen an additional surge of 10,000 to 15,000 per month from 2015 to 2016.

    The memos leave in place one directive from the Obama administration, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows young people who were brought into the country illegally as children to stay and obtain work permits. The program has protected about 750,000 immigrants since its inception in 2012. Trump has previously indicated his desire to end the program, but at his press conference last week indicated that he would “show great heart” toward the program.

    READ NEXT: All of the changes to Trump’s executive order on immigration, explained

    The memos were reported first by The Washington Post and other news organizations. A U.S. official familiar with the documents did not dispute the accuracy of the memos signed by Kelly, which were originally scheduled for release Friday before they were postponed for White House review.

    A White House official said the White House has raised objections with the documents and is working with DHS to finalize the policy. The official was not authorized to discuss the process publicly and insisted on anonymity.

    Under the draft guidelines, Kelly seeks to “expeditiously hire” 10,000 more enforcement agents and 5,000 Border Patrol officers.

    Seeking to fulfill Trump’s campaign promise to build a wall along the Mexican border, Kelly also calls on Customs and Border Protection to “immediately begin planning, design, construction and maintenance of a wall, including the attendant lighting, technology (including sensors), as well as patrol and access roads.” He describes the wall as necessary to deter illegal immigration and calls it a “critical component” of Trump’s overall border security strategy.

    He says the department will also prioritize for more immediate removal those who have been convicted of a crime; charged with a crime; committed fraud in connection with a matter before a government agency; abused any program related to public benefits; or have not complied with orders to leave the country.

    Joanne Lin, senior legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union, criticized the proposed guidelines as a Trump style of immigration enforcement in which “due process, human decency and common sense are treated as inconvenient obstacles on the path to mass deportation.”

    “The Trump administration is intent on inflicting cruelty on millions of immigrant families across the country,” she said in a statement.

    The post Draft DHS guidelines seek to aggressively detain immigrants appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    trumpnsa

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: The White House is also drafting a new immigration executive order to replace the one blocked by courts that banned immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries — Iran, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen. According to drafts seen by the “Wall Street Journal,” the new streamlined order may ban immigration from the same seven predominantly Muslim countries, exempt green card holders, permanent legal residents, and lift a ban on Syrian refugees but limit their numbers. According to “The Journal” and “The Washington Post,” the administration is also considering ways to expedite deportation proceedings of undocumented immigrants from Mexico and Central America and prosecute parents who helped their children illegally enter the U.S.

    For more analysis, I’m joined by Skype from West Palm Beach, Florida, by “Reuters” reporter Jeff Mason, who is also the president of the White House Correspondents Association.

    Jeff, what do we know about the decision-making process to fill Mike Flynn’s job?

    JEFF MASON, REUTERS: Well, we know that President Trump was planning to interview four candidates today here in Florida. And he said to reporters on Air Force One last night, as we were traveling to his rally in Melbourne, Florida, that he intended to make his decision in the next couple of days. So, it’s clearly at the top of his to-do list and something that he is planning to execute very soon.

    SREENIVASAN: On his short list are multiple military leaders. Is there a reason for this focus?

    MASON: Well, he seems to have a comfort level with military leaders in this type of a role. He also chose military leaders for some of his top cabinet positions. Obviously, they are leaders who have background in national security and that’s something that he seems to be very comfortable with. And in fact, he said last night on the plane that he was leaning — of the four candidates that he’s looking, he was leaning towards somebody who was similar, and then he stopped himself. And I assume that when he started to say that he meant similar to his previous national security advisor who also had a military background.

    SREENIVASAN: OK. And also on that list was John Bolton, but he has very different views on foreign policy that perhaps the president does.

    MASON: Yes, indeed, he’s the one who does not have a military background. He also has a bit of a controversial history. He did serve in the Bush administration and was an advocate for the war against Iraq and also suggested that Iraq had biological and chemical weapons which, of course, turned out not to be true.

    Trump has been very critical of that war and so, that maybe something that’s sort of a thumbs down for Bolton. But he clearly he is in the list and he White House has said that he’s one of the people that the president is considering.

    SREENIVASAN: The administration has also said that they are expecting a revised version of the travel ban to happen sometime this week. Any idea how it’s going to be pared down?

    MASON: That’s right. We don’t have a whole lot of details about what is going to be into that plan. Clearly, they want to avoid the legal challenges that the last executive order led to. We have seen a few details such as that this new one will probably not affect green card holders. But otherwise, we are still waiting for a lot of details.

    The president is committed though to giving had a second try and to do so in a way that does not generate the legal problems that the last one did.

    SREENIVASAN:
    All right. Jeff Mason from “Reuters” joining us from Florida today via Skype — thanks so much.

    MASON: My pleasure.

    The post Trump interviews candidates for national security adviser appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    People are loading a bus for relocation heading to the Manzanar War Relocation Center in California, in this 1943 handout photo. February 19, 2017 marks the 75th anniversary of FDR signing executive order 9066, authorizing the internment of Japanese Americans during the Second World War.   Courtesy Ansel Adams/Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-A35-4-M-10/Handout via REUTERS   ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSZ5NF

    Watch Video | Listen to the Audio

    MINURO IMAMURA: This is my grammar school years here.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: Minoru Imamura was born in a farming community just south of Los Angeles in 1926. It’s where his immigrant parents had settled after leaving Japan in search of a better life. And while Imamura–who likes to be called Min–grew up during the Great Depression, he led what sounds very much like an all-American life.

    MINORU IMAMURA: I had a dog and I had a shotgun and went rabbit hunting and I think it was the nicest time of life for me.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: But the idyllic youth that Min remembers came to a very sudden end in his mid-teens. On December 7, 1941, Minoru Imamura was a high school sophomore and a few weeks shy of turning 16.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: Two months later President Roosevelt issued an executive order calling for all Japanese Americans to be relocated to internment camps.

    MINORU IMAMURA: My dad worked so hard. He put his energy in his farming, and he decided to buy 50 acres. He lost everything.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: A new book of photographs reveals some never-before-published images of the internment. It’s called “Un-American” and published by Chicago’s CityFile press. Michael Williams is the book’s co-writer who says a photograph he saw years ago sparked the project.

    MICHAEL WILLIAMS: It was of a Japanese-American shopkeeper in Oakland California and he was in the process of being incarcerated and he put a banner on the front of his business that said “I am an American.” And it was that single image that always stuck in my head.

    EDDIE ARRUZA:
    That photograph was taken by the noted photographer Dorothea Lange. Lange, along with other noted photographers, including Ansel Adams, were commissioned by the U.S. Government to chronicle the internment of Japanese-Americans. And those photos were carefully controlled by the government.

    MICHAEL WILLIAMS: If newspapers wanted a picture they would supply a picture. Generally they would be pictures that showed positive aspects of life in the camps. They did not document the dust storms, the extreme cold, the uninsulated conditions in which people were living. They did not show the horse stalls that entire families were living in.

    EDDIE ARRUZA:
    Michael Williams says he and his co-author sifted through thousands of photographs at the National Archives, uncovering some they say are being published for the first time and span the entire four years of the internment era, beginning in 1942, when families were notified and began selling off their possessions. They were transported by trucks and trains to assembly camps where they were processed.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: The Imamura family was later transferred to the internment camp in Granada, Colorado, one of ten such facilities. It’s where Min finished high school two years later and, in a supreme case of irony, he was then drafted into the Army.

    MINORU IMAMURA:
    There were two questionnaires: if you’ll be loyal to the United States and if you are drafted would you serve. And on the two questions I answered yes, yes.

    MINORU IMAMURA: But by the time he reached Europe, the War had ended.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: Back home, the last of the internment camps would not close until 1946.

    RONALD REAGAN: “For here we admit a wrong.”

    EDDIE ARRUZA: In 1988, President Ronald Reagan signed a law granting reparations to Japanese Americans who had been interned. Each survivor received 20 thousand dollars.

    EDDIE ARRUZA:
    Among them were Min Imamura and his wife Mary whom he met at the Granada Internment Camp. Gayle Imamura Huffman is their daughter.

    GAYLE IMAMURA: Whatever monetary amount was given was inadequate to compensate for our loss. I think my parents came out of that experience remarkably un-bitter compared to some other people that unfortunately it was a very scarring experience for them.

    EDDIE ARRUZA: And Min Imamura, who recently celebrated his 91st year as a proud Japanese-American and U.S. Army veteran, says he’s never lost pride for his homeland.

    MINORU IMAMURA: “There’s no country like the USA, yes.”

    The post Revisiting Japanese internment on the 75th anniversary appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    0 0

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and European Council President Donald Tusk hold a joint news conference Feb. 20 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo by  REUTERS/Francois Lenoir.

    U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and European Council President Donald Tusk hold a joint news conference Feb. 20 in Brussels, Belgium. Photo by REUTERS/Francois Lenoir.

    BRUSSELS — U.S. Vice President Mike Pence moved Monday to assuage European Union fears about the strength of Washington’s support for the union and its commitment to European security through the NATO military alliance.

    During meetings in Brussels, Pence said he was acting on behalf of President Donald Trump “to express the strong commitment of the United States to continued cooperation and partnership with the European Union.”

    “Whatever our differences, our two continents share the same heritage, the same values and above all the same purpose: to promote peace and prosperity through freedom, democracy and the rule of law,” he told reporters after talks with EU Council President Donald Tusk.

    READ MORE: In Europe, Pence says U.S. will hold Russia accountable

    Trump’s benevolence toward Russian President Vladimir Putin and campaign rhetoric that included branding NATO obsolete and vowing to undo a series of multinational trade deals has sparked anxiety in Europe. Trump was also supportive of Britain’s vote last year to leave the 28-nation EU, a withdrawal known as Brexit. And he has suggested that the EU itself could soon fall apart.

    Tusk, who chairs meetings of EU leaders, said he had been reassured after “open and frank talks” with Pence, but made clear that the bloc would watch closely to ensure the U.S. acts on its words of support.

    “I heard words which are promising for the future, words which explain a lot about the new approach in Washington,” Tusk said.

    He underlined that “too many new and sometimes surprising opinions have been voiced over this time about our relations — and our common security — for us to pretend that everything is as it used to be.”

    “We are counting, as always in the past, on the United States’ wholehearted and unequivocal — let me repeat, unequivocal — support for the idea of a united Europe,” Tusk said. “The world would be a decidedly worse place if Europe were not united.”

    He asserted: “The idea of NATO is not obsolete, just like the values which lie at its foundation are not obsolete.”

    Tusk added, “Both Europeans and Americans must simply practice what they preach.”

    MORE: U.S. has ‘unwavering’ commitment to NATO, Pence says

    After talks with NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg across town, Pence reiterated the administration’s strong support for the alliance, but warned that Trump wants to see “real progress” by the end of the year on boosting defense spending.

    NATO leaders agreed in 2014 that alliance members needed to start spending at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product by 2024. Only five nations currently do so: the United States, Britain, Poland, Estonia and Greece.

    “The truth is many others, including some of our largest allies, still lack a clear and credible path to meet this minimum goal,” Pence said.

    Asked what the administration would do if allies failed to meet the defense spending target, Pence said, “I don’t know what the answer is to ‘or else,’ but I know that the patience of the American people will not endure forever.”

    Pence’s meetings in Brussels were aimed at assuring European leaders that his words reflected the views of Trump and would not easily be swept away at the whim of the U.S. president or undermined by statements issued on Twitter.

    Pence, as he did in an address Saturday at the Munich Security Conference, also said Trump would demand that Russia honor its commitments to end the fighting in Ukraine.

    “In the interest of peace and in the interest of innocent human lives, we hope and pray that this cease-fire takes hold,” he said.

    The vice president also noted the “heartbreaking” suicide bombings at the Brussels airport and subway system in March 2016, and said the U.S. would continue to collaborate with EU partners to address safety and combat terrorism.

    “The United States’ commitment to the European Union is steadfast and enduring,” he said.

    The post Pence tries to reassure Europeans on US support appeared first on PBS NewsHour.


    Loading...

older | 1 | .... | 986 | 987 | (Page 988) | 989 | 990 | .... | 1175 | newer


Loading...