Monday, October 24, 2016

SOUTH AFRICA - Leaving the International Criminal Court

"South Africa to leave the International Criminal Court" PBS NewsHour 10/22/2016


SUMMARY:  South Africa announced it will withdraw from the International Criminal Court, whose oversight includes 124 member nations.  Burundi's parliament has also voted to leave the court, which was established in 2002 to investigate and prosecute war crimes.  Andrew Meldrum, the acting Africa Editor for the Associated Press, joins Hari Sreenivasan from Johannesburg.

HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR:  The United Nations' Human Rights Council in Geneva voted yesterday to start a formal inquiry into the Syrian government's bombardment of Aleppo, with the U.N.'s top envoy to Syria saying the military strikes on the city, aided by Russia, may amount to war crimes.  The probe could eventually lead to a trial before the International Criminal Court, which was established in 2002 to investigate and prosecute wartime atrocities.

However, the court received a vote of no confidence yesterday when South Africa announced it will withdraw from the court's oversight.  It's the second nation to do so — the other is Burundi — and it is unclear how many countries might follow their lead.  The court has 124 member nations, including 34 in Africa.

Joining me now to discuss South Africa's move and how damaging it might be is Andrew Meldrum, the acting Africa editor for The Associated Press.  He's in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Thanks for joining us.

So, why did South Africa take this step?

ANDREW MELDRUM, THE ASSOCIATED PRESS:  South Africa made the decision to leave the International Criminal Court because it did not like the court's decision that South Africa should have arrested the Sudanese president, Omar al-Bashir, when he visited South Africa more than a year ago.  And South Africa said the court should not be telling it to arrest sitting heads of state.  There should have been diplomatic immunity.  And so, they said they don't like that — what they called interference — from the ICC.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Coming on the heels of the withdrawal from Burundi, is this part of a larger trend?

ANDREW MELDRUM:  Well, that — there are many that are worried that this — that the two African — that the decision of the two African countries to leave the ICC this week could set off a movement where several other African countries withdraw from the ICC.

Already, the African Union, which represents all 54 countries of Africa, has said that they don't think that the ICC should press charges against any sitting head of state.  And Uganda's deputy foreign minister has said that he would like to see this issue of African members being in the ICC be brought up at the next African Union meeting.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  So, why is this happening among African nations and not everywhere else?  Do they feel disproportionately prosecuted?

ANDREW MELDRUM:  That is the complaint, in fact.  All six current prosecutions or prosecutions in the process are of Africans, and there, so far, the ICC has not indicted or pressed charges against any other people from any other part world.  They do have the — the ICC does have investigations pending against leaders of Colombia and Afghanistan, but so far, no charges have been pressed.

And so, African leaders have said — they've complained for a couple of years now or more, that it's only Africans that the ICC is pressing charges against, and they think that is unfair.

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 10/21/2016

"Shields and Brooks on the danger of our ideological divide" PBS NewsHour 10/21/2016


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including the third and final presidential debate, Donald Trump's "reckless" questioning of the election's legitimacy, the country's vast ideological divide, the caustic tone at Thursday night's Al Smith Charity Dinner, and the candidates' rhetoric on the campaign trail.

RADIO - "A Prairie Home Companion"

"‘Prairie Home' gets a new companion" PBS NewsHour 10/21/2016


SUMMARY:  "A Prairie Home Companion" has always been synonymous with one man:  Garrison Keillor.  Since his departure, the live variety radio program transitioned to a new host.  But 35-year-old Chris Thile isn't actually new -- he's been performing on the show since he was 15 and listening since early childhood.  Jeffrey Brown reports on how the iconic program is changing -- and how it's remaining the same.

CHRIS THILE, A Prairie Home Companion:  You know, I suspect we're going to have some fun this evening.


JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  The new “A Prairie Home Companion,” still at the beautiful Fitzgerald Theater in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota, still a two-hour variety show presented live on public radio, but now led by 35-year-old Chris Thile.

CHRIS THILE:  I'm obsessed with the good things that people make to give to one another.  This show is a place, has been one of America's most consistent sources of good things for 40 years.  And I feel like it's imperative that it continue.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Since its founding in 1974, of course, “A Prairie Home Companion” has been synonymous with one man, Garrison Keillor.  He hosted it, wrote it, embodied it with a sense of the people and place he knew in his bones.

GARRISON KEILLOR, A Prairie Home Companion:  That's the news from Lake Wobegon, where all the women are strong, all the men are good-looking.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Two years ago on this very stage, Keillor told me of the magic of radio and storytelling.

GARRISON KEILLOR:  I think there's — there's a lot of power in listening to one person talking to you.  And — and this should never be underestimated.

JEFFREY BROWN:  It was Keillor who hand-picked his successor, one who'd been performing on the show since age 15 and had listened to it even earlier.

CHRIS THILE:  Some of my earliest memories are of hearing Garrison Keillor's voice in our living room, at a point when I…


CHRIS THILE:  Yes, when I couldn't even tell the difference between his voice and my father's voice.  It's like an authoritative — this authoritative, paternal sound coming from the radio.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Chris Thile, who grew up in Southern California, was a child prodigy on the mandolin.  With groups like Nickel Creek and the Punch Brothers, he grew into a leader of a new generation of bluegrass-based, genre-bending musicians.

He can seemingly do anything with his instrument.  I first spoke to Thile three years ago when he recorded an album of 'Bach Partitas.'

CHRIS THILE:  The fugal pieces where they're all about precision, and these second voices come in and then there's a third voice.


"Why student debt is ‘a crisis' for some borrowers" PBS NewsHour 10/21/2016


SUMMARY:  Student debt has been a prominent topic during this year's presidential campaign, with several candidates touting plans for tuition-free college.  Indeed, more than 40 million Americans carry debt from student loans, totaling around $1.3 trillion nationally.  While the median debt is about $27,000, people who owe less than $10,000 are the most likely to default.  Marketplace's Lizzie O'Leary reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Student debt has been a big talking point on the 2016 campaign trail.  Hillary Clinton proposes making tuition free for many students at public colleges.  Donald Trump would expand limits on how much borrowers have to pay back each month.

But what about those already holding debt?

We take a look as part of our series How the Deck Is Stacked, funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, in partnership with Frontline and Marketplace.

Marketplace's Lizzie O'Leary has the first of two stories.

LIZZIE O'LEARY, Marketplace:  If everything had gone according to plan, Chris Savelle would be on Wall Street right now, not biking through downtown Detroit in a free weekly community ride.

Savelle, who is 31, graduated into the teeth of the recession.  He's got $100,000 in student loan debt on his mind.

What does $100,000 feel like?

CHRIS SAVELLE, Student Borrower:  It sucks.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  Jessica Love Jordan is in a similar situation.  She started college late and is now working on finishing her master's in addiction counseling.  She juggles school, work and being a single parent.  Sometimes, the debt feels too much.

JESSICA LOVE JORDAN, Student Borrower:  Now and again, when I look at the statement, and see how much I actually have to pay back, it's almost suffocating.  I have those fleeing thoughts, you know what, let me just stop now, and go work, so I can be able to live later on in life.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  When she graduates, she can expect to make about $33,000 annually as an addiction counselor.  Her debt will be about $90,000.

The median student debt is much lower than Savelle or Love Jordan's, about $27,000.  But their experiences are similar to those of many students who attended state universities at a time when their budgets were being cut, and as the great recession hit.  The money for school had to come from somewhere, in most cases, students.

Where did you think you would be in your life at 31?

CHRIS SAVELLE:  Go work for an investment firm or hedge fund, Chicago, New York, something like that.

LIZZIE O'LEARY:  But when Savelle graduated in 2008, the best job he could find was at a local Wal-Mart.  He's recovered somewhat now.  He works as a supply chain engineer, and supports his mother and sister.

Temple University Professor Sara Goldrick-Rab has been researching the rising price of college for years.

LOAN SHARK SPEAK - Navient:  "We have been strong advocates for streamlining the enrollment process to make it easier for borrowers." aka 'we make it very easy to get into debt and hard to get out of debt.  We need our profits, after all.'

INSIDE JOB - NSA Espionage Suspect Flight Risk

"NSA contractor suspected of espionage is deemed a flight risk" PBS NewsHour 10/21/2016

REF:  The Shadow Brokers (with ransom note)

AGAIN - Snowden is a TRAITOR and he knows it, which is why he fled.


SUMMARY:  The National Security Agency contractor accused of mishandling massive amounts of classified data has been deemed a flight risk.  In August, Harold Martin was arrested at his home in Maryland, where the equivalent of half a billion pages of documents and electronic data was found, some allegedly taken from NSA headquarters.  William Brangham speaks with Matt Apuzzo of The New York Times for more.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  A judge ruled today that a Maryland man accused of stealing massive amounts of information from the National Security Agency was a flight risk and will remain in federal custody.

William Brangham has the story.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour):  This past August, Harold Martin III was arrested at his home in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.  In his house, investigators discovered the equivalent of half-a-billion pages of documents and electronic data, some allegedly taken from the NSA's headquarters at nearby Fort Meade.

Among the documents were ones marked top-secret and also tools used by the NSA to hack into the computer networks of foreign governments.

Joining me now for more on this case is Matt Apuzzo, who's been covering this story for The New York Times.

Matt Apuzzo, welcome.

I wonder if you would just start off by laying out the case against this gentleman, and what is his defense?

MATT APUZZO, The New York Times:  Well, I mean, what is fascinating is there is the case that's been brought.

And the case that's been brought, as you said, is; hey, this guy had terabytes, billions of pages of documents in his house, in his shed, in the back seat of his car, in the trunk of his car, and, obviously, you're not supposed to do that.  So, there is that case.

But then there is this other case that's kind of looming over all this, and the question is, is he the guy who, not too long ago, facilitated the release of NSA documents, basically for ransom, put them up for sale online?  These were hacking tools, the way the government, the United States government, hacks into other countries and businesses and whatnot?

And so that's really what's going on here, is, there's, OK, he mishandled classified information.  He has basically admitted that.  But is he the guy, is he part of some network that's putting information up for sale?

ELECTION 2016 - From People in Poverty

"What people living in poverty want the presidential candidates to know" PBS NewsHour 10/20/2016

IMHO:  Of course these people are not being listened to.  They are not rich enough to buy politicians.


SUMMARY:  In rural Wilkesboro, North Carolina, nearly a quarter of residents live in poverty, well above the national rate.  Residents there say their needs and concerns are not being discussed in the national political dialogue, which means for some, they won't vote at all. Lisa Desjardins reports.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  All right, this was your assignment for today, but since the election is so close, we have got you working on lots of different things.

And, as part of our Chasing the Dream series, you just recently went out to rural North Carolina.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  That's right.

And out there, we found a large group of people and a very large issue that the truth is the campaigns have nearly ignored.

It is a place rich in landscapes and in spirit, fiercely proud of its Appalachian heritage. But amid that beauty and strength, the towns of Western North Carolina are struggling, and many feel no one is listening.

MARK TRUDELL, North Carolina:  I don't have a savings.  It is pretty much paycheck to paycheck.

DARLA DIETZ, North Carolina:  And I don't think politicians realize how many of us.  This is the face of poverty.

LESLIE DIETZ:  They don't understand that there are people that actually try to get by and honestly make a living, and they automatically assume the worst.

LISA DESJARDINS:  It's a conversation happening far outside of Washington.

As the economy slowly improves in many places, here in Wilkes County, at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains, by many accounts, times are getting tougher.  Wilkes saw median income plunge 30 percent since the year 2000 down to $33,000 per household.  That's the second steepest drop in wealth in the nation.

CARBON TAX - View From State of Washington

"Pay for carbon pollution?  Why some environmentalists don't support this state tax" PBS NewsHour 10/20/2016

NOTE:  "The state of Washington is one of only seven states that does not levy a personal income tax."  They use a sales tax system.


SUMMARY:  In Washington state, economist Yoram Bauman is leading a campaign to cut carbon emissions by imposing a revenue-neutral carbon tax.  Everyone would have to pay, but instead of creating more revenue, existing taxes like the state sales tax would be cut.  Economics correspondent Paul Solman reports that the opponents and proponents of the measure are not who you might expect.

YORAM BAUMAN, Carbon Washington:  You might be an economist if you don't read human interest stories because they don't interest you.


PAUL SOLMAN (NewsHour):  At Seattle's Museum of Flight earlier this year, Climate Night, headlining, Yoram Bauman, who claims, with a straight face, that he's the world's first and only economic comic.

YORAM BAUMAN:  You might be an economist if you have ever gone into a bank or other financial institution in the hopes of getting a date.


YORAM BAUMAN:  If you adamantly refuse to sell your children because you think they will be worth more later.


PAUL SOLMAN:  But when we visited Seattle in April, Bauman had begun a dead serious fight, to combat climate change in his home state of Washington by imposing a tax on carbon emissions.  He'd founded the grassroots group Carbon Washington to put the issue to voters.

MAN:  Initiative 732, it's going to be on the November ballot.

MAN:  I-732 works by charging polluters with a carbon fee, which lowers pollution.

WOMAN:  And then the revenue that is created will go to reducing other taxes in the state.

PAUL SOLMAN:  Making the carbon tax, starting at $25 per ton of CO2, about 25 cents per gallon of gasoline, revenue-neutral.

YORAM BAUMAN:  The revenue from the carbon tax goes to cut existing taxes.  Most of it goes to cut the state sales tax by a full percentage point.

Most households are going to pay a few hundred dollars a year more for fossil fuels and a few hundred dollars a year less for everything else.

AMERICAN WATER SUPPLY - Cleaning the Heartland

"Using sensors to spoon-feed crops with extreme precision" PBS NewsHour 10/19/2016


SUMMARY:  To profitably produce corn in on Midwestern farms, nitrogen must be added to the soil.  But the practice has an unwanted environmental impact:  water contamination.  A University of Nebraska professor thinks he may have a solution.  Special correspondent Ariana Brocious of Harvest Public Media in Nebraska reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Now:  a look at trying to clean up the water supply in the country's heartland.

For decades, American farmers have been applying nitrogen fertilizer, in some cases too generously, to crops.  Much of that fertilizer has found its way into runoff, contaminating water supplies and forcing many communities to invest heavily in water treatment plants.

From NET in Nebraska, Ariana Brocious of Harvest Public Media reports on new technologies farmers are using to reduce contamination from their fields.

It's part of our series about the Leading Edge of science and tech.

ARIANA BROCIOUS, NET Nebraska:  When University of Nebraska professor Richard Ferguson looks at a cornfield, he has no illusions.

RICHARD FERGUSON, University of Nebraska – Lincoln:  To profitably produce corn in Nebraska, we have to apply nitrogen fertilizer.  In many cases, in the past, we applied more than we really needed.

ARIANA BROCIOUS:  Ferguson wants to reduce the chance that excess nitrogen will get into the groundwater.  His high-tech approach, called Project SENSE, uses sensor technology to help farmers fertilize during the growing season as timely and precisely as possible.

RICHARD FERGUSON:  If we can make them more money by the use of sensor technology, we think that's something they would adopt.

ARIANA BROCIOUS:  Project SENSE is being put to the test in areas where groundwater nitrate levels are high.  Today, it's at the Seim family farm in Central Nebraska.

The machine's arms have sensors that gauge how much nitrogen the plants need.  A computer fires applicators to deliver fertilizer, practically feeding plants one by one.

For Anthony Seim, SENSE is another tool for his family to try.

ANTHONY SEIM, Seim Ag Technology:  I don't think there's any farmer that wakes up in the morning and says, I'm just going to go dump 1,000 gallons of fertilizer down a ditch.  Everybody's trying.  It's just that it doesn't always work.  There's a lot of things that we can't control, weather being the biggest one.

WIKILEAKS - Assange Denied Internet Access

YES!  Finally this anti-government kook gets somewhat isolated.  Next, he gets thrown out and we burn him at the stake (I'll bring the barbecue sauce).

"What's the motive behind Julian Assange's internet ban?" PBS NewsHour 10/19/2016


SUMMARY:  Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, has been living in exile in London's Ecuadorian embassy for four years.  Now Ecuador says it's shut off Assange's internet access, months after WikiLeaks began to release documents and emails stolen from the DNC and the Clinton campaign.  Hari Sreenivasan learns more from Raphael Satter of the Associated Press.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  For the last four years, Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the anti-secrecy group, has been staying in self-imposed exile in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.

He's taking refuge from a sexual assault investigation in Sweden that Assange claims is an American plot to have him extradited.  Over the summer, WikiLeaks began divulging thousands of pages of documents and e-mails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, and, most recently, Hillary Clinton's campaign chairman, all in an effort, said Assange himself, to damage her presidential candidacy.

Now a new twist in this saga.  In a statement issued yesterday, Ecuador said it had cut off Assange's Internet access, saying in part:  “The government of Ecuador respects the principle of nonintervention in the internal affairs of other states.  It doesn't interfere in external electoral processes, nor does it favor any particular candidate.”

For more on this, I'm joined now from London by Raphael Satter of the Associated Press.  He's covered WikiLeaks extensively.

Is there anything more to it than that statement by the Ecuadorian government?

RAPHAEL SATTER, Associated Press:  You know, it's not much more — not much more official.

There is an enormous amount of speculation about what's going on behind the scenes.  WikiLeaks alleges that, despite what the Ecuadorian government has said, they are, in fact, bound to pressure from the U.S. State Department, and, in particular, John Kerry, the secretary of state.  Now, the State Department has denied all this.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  The batches of e-mails have been trickling out for months, Hillary Clinton's e-mails, John Podesta's e-mails for weeks now.  So, why now?  Why intervene now to try to cut off his Internet access?

RAPHAEL SATTER:  It's quite puzzling, actually.

The timing is a bit of a mystery.  And the best people to speak about this are the parties concerned themselves.  But neither WikiLeaks nor the Ecuadorian — nor various Ecuadorian officials that we have tried have returned our calls or even deigned to comment.  They have communicated via Twitter or through their Web sites in a series of terse statements, which leave a lot to the imagination, frankly.

ELECTION 2016 - The Real Vote Tampering

IMHO - These people (and I use the term very loosely) are just maladjusted sensation seekers.  It's not about the politics, it's about Scott Foval and his roaches.

"What we know and don't know about these videos alleging illicit strategies by Democrats" PBS NewsHour 10/19/2016


SUMMARY:  On Tuesday, a conservative group infamous for recording undercover videos released two new tapes.  One is being used to allege that operatives for the left have sent people to Donald Trump rallies to incite violence.  The other is being used to allege voter fraud.  The head of the DNC released a statement saying it does not believe the events occurred and there is no proof.  Lisa Desjardins reports.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  WikiLeaks is not the only online organization making political news.

Lisa Desjardins takes a closer look at a new release that also targets Democrats.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  The videos are from a conservative group famous and infamous for undercover work.  More on them in a minute.

But let's start with the content.  There are two videos and two allegations against Democrats.  The first, that operatives for the left, especially this man, Scott Foval, have sent people to Trump rallies to incite violence.  To an undercover operative, Foval says there is a script.

SCOTT FOVAL, Americans United for Change:  It's a matter of showing up, to want to get into the rally in a Planned Parenthood T-shirt or Trump is a Nazi.  You can message to draw them out and draw them to punch you.

LISA DESJARDINS:  Foval is a Democratic consultant who recently worked with a group called Mobilize hired by the Democratic Party in June.  It's not clear when the video was recorded, but Foval says he works directly with the party and the Clinton campaign.

SCOTT FOVAL:  I answer to the head of special events for the DNC and the head of special events and political for the campaign.

LISA DESJARDINS:  The Democratic National Committee flatly says Foval was a subcontractor and denies supporting anything like what Foval described.

But what do we know from actual events on the campaign trail?  Remember this, the clash of protesters, supporters and police in March in Chicago?  It led to Donald Trump canceling a rally.  On the tape, another Democratic operative brings it up.

MAN:  So, the Chicago protest when they shut all that, that was us.  None of this is supposed to come back to us, because we want it coming from people.  We don't want it to come from the party.

LISA DESJARDINS:  That's the first charge.

And before we go to the second, a quick word about who's behind these videos.  His name is James O'Keefe, a conservative whose group, Project Veritas Action, investigates left-leaning entities.  He's been arrested and pled guilty for some undercover tactics in the past.

O'Keefe insists his work is accurate, including the second charge in these videos about voter fraud.  Scott Foval seems to talk openly about bringing in people from one state to vote in another.  He mentions creating paychecks and finding cars with in-state license plates.

SCOTT FOVAL:  You use shells, use shell companies.  The cars come from one company.  The paychecks come from another.

UGANDA - A Country With Ethics

"Why Uganda is one of the world's most hospitable refugee destinations" PBS NewsHour 10/18/2016


SUMMARY:  In a world struggling with anti-immigrant sentiment, Uganda provides a rare hospitable welcome for those seeking asylum.  Refugees live in settlements where they are able to run small businesses, attend mosques and children attend school.  The country's support system is possible mainly because of its unilateral political structure.  Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports from Uganda.

Editor's Note:  A version of this story aired on the PBS program “Religion and Ethics Weekly.”

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  In a world struggling to accommodate a record number of refugees, one country has been notably welcoming.

Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro has a report from Uganda.  It's part of his Agents for Change series.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO (NewsHour):  Nakivale in Southern Uganda looks like any other dusty rural African town.  What's remarkable is that almost none of its 113,000 residents are Ugandan.


All of these schoolchildren and their parents are refugees.

Burundi? Rwanda?  Congo?

All told, 13 nations are represented in this crowded school, their families fleeing conflicts across a wide swathe of East Africa and finding haven in what must rank as one of the world's most hospitable countries to refugees.

In Uganda, refugees are placed in settlements and not camps, and the government says there's an important difference.  Camps tend to confine people, whereas, in Uganda, when refugees arrive, they are issued legal I.D.s that entitle them to move freely anywhere in the country, to find a job, start a business, put their children in school.

Refugees in rural areas are given a small plot of land to farm.  Others migrate to the urban areas.  Somalis are among the earlier arrivals in recent years.  Their enclaves in the capital, Kampala, are well-established with small businesses and mosques, a predominantly Muslim community in a mostly Christian nation.

Mohammed Abdi runs this grocery story with his partner, Zahara Hassan.

MOHAMMED ABDI, Somali Immigrant (through translator):  We have very many Ugandan customers and we are friends.  I am one of the Somali elders in the community.  We interact with the elders of the Ugandan community, whether leaders in this distract or region.  And we are friends, and they welcome us.  We're very happy.  We're like one people.

FRED DE SAM LAZARO:  And one scholar who's studied refugees in Uganda says there's reason to be happy.

ALEXANDER BETTS, Oxford University:  We showed in the capital city of Uganda, Kampala, 20 percent of refugees own businesses that employ someone else.  And of those they employ, 40 percent are citizens of the host country.  So refugees can contribute to the host societies that they're part of.

HOW THE DECK IS STACKED - Voters Not Trusting Data

IMHO - The reason is the American people have been addicted to a fast-paced life.  They expect everything NOW and not tomorrow, or next month, or next year.  They fail to realize that technology has made SOME things faster but not everything, including economic changes in an individual's life.

Also, yes, Wall Street stock exchanges are rigged gambling casinos.

"The economy is improving, yet these voters don't trust the data" PBS NewsHour 10/18/2016


SUMMARY:  Unemployment in the U.S. is at 5 percent, a relative low, and 10 million jobs have been created during the Obama administration.  But a new survey finds that many Americans are experiencing high levels of economic anxiety, a factor that will play into how they vote.  For more on the state of the economy, public perception and the election, Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Marketplace's Kai Ryssdal.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  One subject that's sure to come up in the final presidential debate is the state of the American economy, and, more specifically, the state of the American worker.

During the primary season, in what now seems ages ago, we looked at Americans' attitudes toward the economy.  We have an update tonight with our partners at Marketplace and Frontline, part of our series on How the Deck Is Stacked.

The unemployment rate may now stand at 5 percent officially, and more than 10 million new jobs have been created during the Obama administration.  But a new survey done by Marketplace and Edison Research found nearly a third of people are afraid of losing their jobs within the next six months, and almost 40 percent of people say they are losing sleep over their financial situation.

Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal is with us again.

Kai, when we first did this a year ago, we expected things to get better.  Why are people more anxious now and seem less financially secure?

KAI RYSSDAL, Host & Senior Editor, Marketplace:  The thing about the economy, Hari, is that we measure it in numbers, right, things like the unemployment rate, but people experience it through how they feel.

And what they're feeling now is anxiety, possibly because the election is drawing near, possibly because they sense that the headline numbers of unemployment at 5 percent and gross domestic product growing at a percent-and-a-half, plus or minus, they're not feeling that in their lives, while, at the same time, food prices are going up and gas is bopping around, $2.5, $3 a gallon, whatever it is.

People don't feel that security they really would like to feel seven years now into an economic expansion.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  All the numbers that you just rattled off, what's interesting is that your survey also reveals that there's a lack of trust in the data itself.

KAI RYSSDAL:  Oh, yes.

So, this was, to me anyway, one most of interesting and disturbing things about this entire survey.  We asked people whether they trust government economic data, the stuff that we do on Marketplace all the time, consumer spending, the unemployment rate, all of that stuff; 25 percent of all Americans completely distrust government economic data.

And then you drill down a little bit and you ask them to — who they're voting for and how they feel about government data, 48 percent of Donald Trump voters distrust government data; 5 percent of Hillary Clinton voters distrust the economic data.

And I think, if you look at what's happening out there on the campaign trail and some of the rhetoric that's coming from the Trump camp and from the candidate himself, it sort of stands to reason that his voters are going to distrust that data.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Speaking of distrust, there is also this feeling that your survey is picking up on about the system being rigged.  And a couple of the numbers that leapt out to me, 62 percent of Americans say that the system, the economy is rigged.

And then, when you break this down, 66 percent of Trump supporters say it's rigged for those who get government assistance; 62 percent of Clinton supporters say it's rigged for white Americans.  It's really depends on who you ask.  But, really, regardless of who you ask, they still think the deck is stacked against them.

KAI RYSSDAL:  Right.  They think the desk is stacked against them.

And what is interesting is who they think the deck is stacked for.  In about 90 percent of all responses, people think it's stacked for politicians, for corporations, and the rich.  And what you see here is this divide that we're seeing now out in the economy at large between those who have assets, those who have income, those who have wealth, and those (as we have been talking about for a long time now) who simply don't, and the income inequality gap in this country and how it's playing out now in this election.

ELECTION 2016 - The Lie

"Is there large-scale voter fraud in the U.S.?  In a word, No." PBS NewsHour 10/17/2016

COMMENT:  The only people TRYING to rig elections are Republicans and their fascist leader Donald Trump.


SUMMARY:  Donald Trump continues to speculate that the election is rigged against him, and many supporters agree:  Only one-third of Republicans have great confidence that their votes will be counted fairly.  Judy Woodruff talks to Republican strategist Al Cardenas and Richard Hasen from the University of California, Irvine about the chances of large-scale voter fraud and the potential for voter intimidation.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  As we heard earlier, Donald Trump continues to claim that the presidential election process is rigged against him.  That claim seems to be resonating with some voters.  Just one-third of Republicans say they have a great deal of confidence that their votes will be counted fairly this election.  That's according to a recent Associated Press poll.

For more on all this, we are joined by Richard Hasen.  He's professor of law at the University of California, Irvine.  He's author of the Election Law Blog.  And Al Cardenas is a Republican strategist.  He served as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida during the presidential recount in 2000.

And we welcome both of you to the NewsHour.

Al Cardenas, to you first.

Donald Trump is stepping up these warnings.  He tweeted just a short time ago — and I'm quoting — he said:  “Of course there's large-scale voter fraud happening on and before Election Day.”  He asked, he said, “Why do Republican leaders deny what's going on?  It's so naive.”

Is there large-scale voter fraud happening in this country?

AL CARDENAS, Republican Strategist:  Oh my, there isn't, hasn't been.  And our country has been spending 200-plus years to get it just right.

The checks and balances in the electoral process is amazing.  I know our guest will know more about it than I do.  But we have state elected — state officials elected or appointed who are in charge of the overall state process.  And every local government, counties or municipalities, have supervisor elections who are elected or appointed.

And then you have local canvassing boards made up oftentimes of judges.  And they're part of this whole processes.  Everyone who works in these voting precincts get trained, gets warned about violating the laws, gets warned about the criminal implications of violating the law.

We have a whole process in America.  And in 200-some years, we have never, ever had a national election that's been impacted by fraud, not even close.  Even in Florida, where I served as chairman in the famous recount, it — was that an issue.

JUDY WOODRUFF:  Richard Hasen, what is your take on this?  What is the likelihood that this process could be rigged, as Donald Trump charges?

RICK HASEN, University of California, Irvine:  If you're talking about rigging the way that Donald Trump is talking about rigging, I would say the chances are basically none.  It's impossible.

He's talking about people going into the polling place and voting five or 10 or 15 times.  He said this would happen in certain areas of Pennsylvania.  It seems to be, from what his surrogate Rudy Giuliani said, in minority areas, that Democrats are going to steal the votes by impersonating other people.

That's just now how — in the rare times when voter fraud occur, that's just not how elections are stolen in this country, and not on the kind of scale that could affect a presidential election, which would the cooperation of tens of thousands of people to try to commit voter fraud under the noses of election officials and party officials who are watching the whole process.


"This giant topaz is coming out of hiding" PBS NewsHour 10/17/2016


SUMMARY:  In our NewsHour Shares moment of the day, feast your eyes on the Ostro Stone, 9,381 carats of glittering topazThe largest known stone of its kind, the Ostro will be on view to the public for the first time ever, at London’s Natural History Museum.  Discovered in 1986 in the Amazon rainforest, the stone has been stowed away for three decades, until now.

IRAQ - Mosul in the Crosshairs

"Why capturing Mosul is a critical step toward defeating ISIS" PBS NewsHour 10/17/2016


SUMMARY:  Iraqi forces and their allies opened an offensive Monday to wrest the city of Mosul from Islamic State forces.  While the Iraqi commander issued a confident assessment, balancing the various factions taking part in the fight is a complicated matter.  Chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports and Jeffrey Brown speaks with former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Mosul and the start of operations to retake Iraq's second largest city from the Islamic State group.

Jeffrey Brown will speak with a former U.S. Ambassador to Iraq in a moment, but, first, chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner reports on today's events.

MARGARET WARNER (NewsHour):  Gunfire sounded all day, across the outskirts of Mosul.  Columns of smoke billowed from artillery fire and U.S. coalition airstrikes and from oil ignited by ISIS fighters to blind attacking planes.

Long anti-ISIS convoys advanced, and, by late in the day, the overall Iraqi commander issued a confident assessment.

LT. GEN. TALIB SHAGHATI, Iraqi Army (through translator):  The operations are going very well and according to plan.  Sometimes, we are ahead of the plan because of the high morale and the fighters' strong will to fight the Islamic State group and liberate Mosul, which has been under ISIS rule for the past two years.

MARGARET WARNER:  For the Iraqi army, the campaign for Mosul is by far its largest operation yet against the Islamic State.  U.S. intelligence estimates that up to 4,500 ISIS fighters are in the city.  Other estimates run to 8,000.

LT.  GEN.  STEPHEN TOWNSEND, U.S. Army:  This may prove to be a long and tough battle, but the Iraqis have prepared for it, and we will stand by them.

MARGARET WARNER:  Complicating matters, balancing the various factions taking part in the fight.  Kurdish forces began today by seizing several towns on the eastern fringes of Mosul.  They will be part of a five-pronged assault, including Iraqi army brigades, plus Sunni tribal fighters and police.  The ultimate drive into Mosul will likely be made by Iraqi special forces.

Providing air cover and assisting on the ground is the American military, including special operations troops.  Shiite militias backed by Iran are also taking part, but they have been accused of atrocities against Sunnis in other cities and may be kept out of Mosul proper.

Meanwhile, Turkey's president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, complained of being left out of the Mosul offensive.

PRESIDENT RECEP TAYYIP ERDOGAN, Turkey (through translator):  Look now.  The operation in Mosul has started.  The operation continues.  And what do they say?  Turkey shouldn't enter Mosul.  How can I do that?  I share 350 kilometers of border with Iraq, and I am under threat on that border.

MARGARET WARNER:  Erdogan said again he will keep some 3,000 Turkish-trained fighters in northernmost Iraq, despite objections from Baghdad.  As the fighting starts in earnest, concerns are also rising over the more than one million civilians still in the city.  The U.N. and other organizations say they're preparing for up to 200,000 refugees.

For the PBS NewsHour, I'm Margaret Warner.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  And now perspectives of James Jeffrey, the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq from 2010 to 2012, and currently fellow at the Washington Institute, a think tank and policy analysis group.

"What's being done to avoid a humanitarian crisis in Mosul" PBS NewsHour 10/18/2016


SUMMARY:  As Iraq fights to reclaim Mosul from ISIS, the chance of a humanitarian crisis is a growing concern.  John Irvine of Independent Television News reports and Jeffrey Brown talks to David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee, about the struggles for civilians caught in the crossfire, what the UN has done to prepare for the aftermath and the upcoming task of rebuilding the city.

"Petraeus says there's a bigger challenge to come once Iraq retakes Mosul from ISIS" PBS NewsHour 10/20/2016


SUMMARY:  The battle for Mosul is the most important of the two-year campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq.  Judy Woodruff speaks with retired Gen. David Petraeus, former commander of the Multi-National Force Iraq, about the current combat mission, as well as what he says is the greater challenge of governance of the region after ISIS has been dislodged.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

ELECTION 2016 - Donald Trump Must Withdraw. Here's Why.

from The Closer with Keith Olbermann

An angry monument of truth.

Donald Trump....
  • Has no morals
  • His ONLY ethic is Donal Trump first, always
  • Is actually anti-America and anti-Constitution
  • Is incapable of telling the truth

Monday, October 17, 2016

GUN CONTROL - U.S. Child Gun Accident Rates

"A child dies every other day from gun accidents in U.S." PBS NewsHour 10/15/2016


SUMMARY:  A joint investigation by the Associated Press and the USA Today Network has found that in the first six months of this year, gun accidents killed at least one child in the U.S. every other day.  Both the shooters and victims were most likely to be three years old.  Ryan Foley, one of the reporters on the story for the AP in Iowa, joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

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

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

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

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

OPINION - Shields and Brooks 10/14/2016

"Shields and Brooks on Trump assault allegations, Clinton leaked email insights" PBS NewsHour 10/14/2016


SUMMARY:  Syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week's news, including another barrage of sexual misconduct allegations for Donald Trump, the morality of Republicans who have changed their minds about their candidate, Michelle Obama's "authentic” speech, and whether the newest WikiLeaks dump will make a difference.

ELECTION 2016 - Candidates' Flaws as Fodder for Comedy

"The candidates' flaws are a laughing matter for Seth Meyers" PBS NewsHour 10/14/2016


SUMMARY:  From the "birther" controversy to beauty queens, this year's presidential election has granted endless fodder for late-night comedians.  How do Seth Meyers and his fellow talk-show hosts strike a balance between political analysis and humor?  Meyers joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss the antics of Donald Trump, why Meyers travels with his desk and his show's biggest competition.

SETH MEYERS, “Late Night With Seth Meyers”:  My new set, it's technically really just the same furniture in a different place.

JEFFREY BROWN:  You even brought your own desk.

SETH MEYERS:  My own desk, yes.  When a man hosts a show he builds a relationship with the desk, and you can't just–

JEFFREY BROWN:  Not just any desk.

SETH MEYERS:  You can't be promiscuous with the desk.  You have to be loyal to one desk.

So yeah, we brought it down.

Good evening, everybody.  I'm Seth Meyers.  This is “Late Night”.  We're in Washington D.C.

JEFFREY BROWN:  The nation's capital,  a destination, Seth Meyers told me, that fits with the DNA of his show.

SETH MEYERS:  They thought it was totally normally to just start walking off the stage while Hillary was giving an answer.

Where is he going?  What's back there, the ash heap of history?

JEFFREY BROWN:  Biting, direct, sometimes using raw language — Meyers' monologues have become increasingly political.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate:  Barack Obama was born in the United States, period.

SETH MEYERS:  President Obama was born in the United States, period?  (EXPLETIVE DELETED) you, exclamation point!

JEFFREY BROWN:  Targeting Donald Trump in particular.

When we met in the Warner Theater last Friday, just before the leak of the 2005 “Access Hollywood” tape, I asked about the daily focus on Trump.

SETH MEYERS:  Well, it's really because of what he's doing.  You know, we're not going out and sort of — we don't feel like we're making ad hominem attacks on him and just every day saying, “We got to find something on him.”  You know, it's on the front page of the paper every day.  You know, we do feel pretty strongly about everything.  You know, I feel like comedy these days particularly is allowed to have a point of view.

PHILIPPINES - Words of a Cancer Survivor

"This cancer survivor wants to stop kids in the Philippines from lighting up" PBS NewsHour 10/14/2016


SUMMARY:  As smoking rates have fallen in the U.S. and Europe, tobacco companies have focused their advertising elsewhere, especially Asia.  In the Philippines, 25 percent of the population smokes, and cigarettes are a leading cause of death.  But one former smoker is cultivating a grassroots campaign to influence legislation and publicize the dangers -- especially to children.  Hari Sreenivasan reports.

ACTIVISTS:  We want the pictures now!  Pictures save lives!

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  On the streets in Manila, demonstrators march against tobacco.

ACTIVIST:  We want to make our voices heard.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Their cause is supported by the medical profession here.

DR. TONY LEACHON, Philippine College of Physicians:  Smoking's the number one killer in the Philippines.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Dr. Tony Leachon is the president of the Philippine College of Physicians.

DR. TONY LEACHON:  For the young Filipinos, smoking is considered a macho image for men.

SMOKER:  I know it's bad — it's bad for our health, but this is to relax myself out from work.

RACHEL ROSARIO, Philippine Cancer Society:  Culturally, smoking seems to be an accepted mode of socialization, an accepted mode of relaxation.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Rachel Rosario is with the Philippine Cancer Society.

RACHEL ROSARIO:  There is that vision of holding a cigarette and smoking with makeup — it seems to be something that we have to fight against.

SMOKER:  It's really hard to kick the habit.  I try to lessen it down, cut it, but then you always have that urge.

NOBEL PRIZE - For Literature Goes to Bob Dylan

"American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan wins Nobel Prize in literature" by Larisa Epatko, PBS NewsHour 10/13/2016

He's gotten a presidential honor and performed for a pope.  Now musician Bob Dylan has won the Nobel Prize in literature.

When naming Dylan as the recipient on Thursday, the Norwegian Nobel Committee said he was granted the award “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Dylan, 75, has performed his unique blend of guitar, insightful lyrics and what some might consider inscrutable vocals for more than 50 years.

“He is a great poet in the English-speaking tradition and he is a wonderful sampler, he embodies the tradition.  And for 54 years he's been at it and constantly reinventing himself,” said Sara Danius, permanent secretary at the Swedish Academy, after the announcement.  Watch her full interview, where she compares Dylan to the ancient Greek poets.

Dylan's early songs such as “Blowing in the Wind” and “The Times They Are a-Changin” represented the civil rights era of the 1960s.  He famously switched to performing on electric guitar, one of the first among the nation's leading folk musicians, at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.

“It's a pivotal moment in rock ‘n' roll history,” said Elyse Luray of PBS' History Detectives, which explored the whereabouts of Dylan's guitar, in a 2012 PBS NewsHour interview.  “After Dylan plugs in and goes electric, we start seeing the movement of blues coming into rock ‘n' roll.  And at the same time he's changing, we have the Rolling Stones coming in and changing, we have Hendrix changing.”

Dylan writings include an experimental prose poetry collection called “Tarantula,” published in 1971.

In 1988, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Ohio.  In addition to 11 Grammy Awards for his music, Dylan won an Academy Award in 2000 and Golden Globe the following year for best original song “Things Have Changed” from the movie “Wonder Boys.”

He is the first American to win the Nobel Prize in literature since novelist Toni Morrison in 1993.

"Nobel honors Bob Dylan, bard for a changing world" PBS NewsHour 10/13/2016


SUMMARY:  By any measure, Bob Dylan is one of the most important and influential popular songwriters of his era.  Now he's also a Nobel laureate in literature, a choice that came as a surprise.  Jeffrey Brown talks to singer/songwriter James Taylor and others about the way Dylan's writing helped so many navigate a changing world.

BRIEF BUT SPECTACULAR - The Rumaan Alam Family

"My family attracts looks from strangers, and not just because my kids are adorable" PBS NewsHour 10/13/2016


SUMMARY:  While many families may look like the archetype of mom and dad and kids, every family has something that makes them different, says author Rumaan Alam.  The makeup of his family -- a brown man and a white man, with two black boys -- requires that he and his husband practice what he calls "radical honesty" with his kids.  Alam gives his Brief but Spectacular take on family.

ISIS - After the Fall, What?

"If ISIS falls, where will its fighters flee?" PBS NewsHour 10/13/2016


SUMMARY:  If the Islamic State group is driven out of Iraq and Syria, where will the remaining militants go?  William Brangham learns more about the current state of the militant group from Rukmini Callimachi of The New York Times and Peter Neumann of King's College.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM (NewsHour):  At its peak between November of 2014 and May of 2015, ISIS controlled large parts of Iraq and Syria, but, since then, ISIS has taken serious losses on the battlefield and has lost critical territory.

To understand what this means for the group's future, I'm joined by two people who studied ISIS in great detail.

Peter Neumann runs the International Center for the Study of Radicalization at King's College in London.  And Rukmini Callimachi is a reporter at The New York Times.

Welcome to you both.

Rukmini, I would like to start with you, if you don't mind.

RUKMINI CALLIMACHI, The New York Times:  Sure.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  Give us a status report.  How is ISIS doing right now?  Where are they operating?  And how are they doing?

RUKMINI CALLIMACHI:  They have certainly lost some territory both in Iraq and also more recently in Libya.

And we have seen that there has been a significant dip in their output in terms of their propaganda.  They're putting out less videos, less images, et cetera.

But I wouldn't be quick to declare victory of any kind.  This is a group that has shown itself to be very nimble.  And despite their losses on the battlefield, we're seeing that attacks in the West are continuing to proliferate.  Just in the last couple of days, German officials were able to dismantle a plot in Germany that was meant to be against the Berlin Airport possibly, and that, according to the officials I have spoken to, could have looked as bad as the Brussels attack that we saw in March of this year.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  Peter Neumann, is there anything you would add to that about how ISIS is doing globally?

PETER NEUMANN, King's College:  Right now, there are still an estimated 10,000 foreign fighters in ISIS territory.

If Syria and Iraq fall, those 10,000 will have to go somewhere.  Some will go to Turkey.  Some will try to return to their home countries.  Others will try to go to other battlefronts.  So I think the story of ISIS is not over once ISIS is defeated in Syria and Iraq.

WILLIAM BRANGHAM:  Peter, just staying with you for a moment, your center just put out a study that showed how ISIS is increasingly recruiting individuals who have criminal backgrounds.  And I wonder, just tell me, what is it that you have found?

PETER NEUMANN:  So, if you speak to European security agencies, they will tell you that, in Germany, for example, 66 percent of ISIS recruits were known to police.

The same picture in Norway, the Netherlands, Belgium, France.  A lot of former criminals are becoming attracted to ISIS.  The head of Brussels police is talking about ISIS as the super gang, and it's kind of true, because ISIS offers in many ways what gangs are offering, a strong sense of identity, power, a sense of strength.  And it kind of recruits in the same areas, often very deprived, socioeconomically marginalized areas, the suburbs of Paris and those of Brussels.

It's a very different type of recruit from the more sort of intellectual types that we saw in al-Qaida 15 years ago.

RAPE CULTURE - National Conversation on Sexual Assault

"Why the Trump tape started a national conversation about sexual assault" PBS NewsHour 10/12/2016

"Locker room talk" is NEVER acceptable anywhere!


SUMMARY:  A 2005 tape of Donald Trump speaking lewdly about women and describing sexual assault has gone far beyond politics, sparking a national discussion and an avalanche of reactions on social media after Kelly Oxford encouraged people to share their stories.  John Yang leads a discussion with Oxford, Anita Hill of Brandeis University and Mike Wise of The Undefeated.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  Almost a week after its release, the leaked tape of Donald Trump boasting of sexually harassing and assaulting women continues to raise issues that go well beyond presidential politics.

John Yang has that story.

BILLY BUSH, “Access Hollywood”:  Yes.  The Donald has scored!  Whoa, my man!

JOHN YANG (NewsHour):  The impact of this 2005 tape of Donald Trump and NBC personality Billy Bush has gone far beyond politics.  It's sparked a national discussion over misogyny and sexual assault.

DONALD TRUMP (R), Presidential Candidate:  I better use some 'Tic Tacs,' just in case I start kissing her.  You know, I'm automatically attracted to beautiful — I just start kissing them.  It's like a magnet.  I just kiss.  I don't even wait.  And, when you're a star they let you do it.  You can do anything.

BILLY BUSH:  Whatever you want.



DONALD TRUMP:  I can do anything.

JOHN YANG:  While Trump apologized for the remarks during Sunday night's debate, he also tried to dismiss them.

DONALD TRUMP:  Certainly, I'm not proud of it.  But this is locker room talk.

JOHN YANG:  He also raised decades-old accusations against his opponent's husband, former President Bill Clinton.

DONALD TRUMP:  Mine are words, and his was action.  His was what he's done to women.

JOHN YANG:  Hours before, the Republican nominee appeared with women who have accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct.  None of those accusations, it should be said, have ever resulted in any criminal charges.

This all comes amid a heightened sensitivity about sexual assault and violence.  There's the pending trial of comedian Bill Cosby on sexual assault charges in Pennsylvania and other similar allegations against him.  And there was the furor over the six-month jail sentence handed earlier this year to Brock Turner, a Stanford University swimmer who was convicted of sexually assaulting an unconscious woman.

Some Trump supporters have suggested that the reaction to the Trump tape is overblown.

SCOTT BAIO, Actor:  And ladies out there, this is what guys talk about when you're not around.  So, if you're offended by it, grow up.  (yuk, gag)

JOHN YANG:  But the tape prompted an avalanche of reaction on social media.

Author Kelly Oxford shared her own sexual assault experience, and encouraged others to do the same.  Her callout swiftly went viral.  More than 30 million people have either left a response or visited her Twitter page since Friday night, a nationwide catharsis of painful experiences.

And now for more on this, Kelly Oxford joins us now from Burbank, California, along with Anita Hill, who accused Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearings.  Hill is now a law professor at Brandeis University.  And here in the studio, Mike Wise, senior writer for ESPN's “The Undefeated.”

"Column: A parent’s guide to explaining an R-rated presidential election" by Wendy Thomas Russell, PBS NewsHour 10/12/2016

REQUIEM - Galaxy Note 7 Smartphone

"How the demise of its flagship phone will hurt Samsung" PBS NewsHour 10/11/2016


SUMMARY:  Samsung has announced that it's halting production of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.  The news comes after reports of the replacement phones catching fire -- just like the original models -- and on the same day that the battle between Apple and Samsung was set to be heard before the Supreme Court.  Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Backchannel's Jessi Hempel for more.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  It's an eventful day and a humbling one for the electronic giant Samsung, the world's largest maker of smartphones.

Today, the company announced that it is halting production of its beleaguered Galaxy Note 7 phone.  Reports of the Note 7 catching fire caused the company to issue a recall and then create replacement devices that were also found to be a fire risk.

It comes, coincidentally, as a prolonged battle between Apple and Samsung over money, patents and the designs of those phones you use went before the U.S. Supreme Court today.

Jessi Hempel is with Backchannel, a Web-based platform that covers the tech world.  She joins us now.

So, tell us a little bit about the issues surrounding this.  We have seen dribs and drabs of people saying, look at this burned-out battery, look at this burned-out shell.  How long has this been going on?  How serious it is?

JESSI HEMPEL, Backchannel:  Well, it's quite serious.

I mean, it's really impossible to underestimate how serious this is for Samsung.  It's been a month-and-a-half.  You know, at first, when the phones started catching fire, Samsung acted decisively and immediately and got a lot of credit for that.  It said, we issued a recall.  People went and returned their phones.

And then the new phones started catching fire.  And that's when it became a very serious problem for Samsung.  It suggests that we really can't trust the brand.  And, frankly, when people think about this, yes, maybe they will remember that it's the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, or maybe they will just think about the brand name Samsung.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Right.  And that's a big company.  They make everything from washers and dryers to lots of other bigger things.

JESSI HEMPEL:  Yes.  Right.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  But how important is this?  This is sort of the flagship phone, the thing they're supposed to be the most proud of.

JESSI HEMPEL:  This is their flagship phone.  And, therefore, it's really important.  And it's important for a couple reasons.

First off, this was what they put forward to compete with Apple's new iPhone.  And, quite frankly, it didn't work.  It will be a huge financial loss for the company.  Now, it's hard to say exactly how much, and it will be a while before we know, but I have seen estimates put it at between $4 and $5 billion.  So it's very important.


"Blaming Russia, how will the U.S. respond to pre-election hacks?" PBS NewsHour 10/11/2016

IMHO:  Wikileaks has morphed into a partisan Trump supporter and is no longer a friend nor protector of the people.  They definitely do NOT understand you cannot conduct international diplomacy nor anti-terrorist functions from within a glass-house.  A degree of secrecy is necessary.


SUMMARY:  WikiLeaks has been releasing emails it claims come from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, detailing behind-the-scenes strategy.  Meanwhile, the White House is blaming Russia for hacking Democratic party websites and attempting to influence the presidential election.  What's going on?  Hari Sreenivasan learns more from Lisa Desjardins and chief foreign affairs correspondent Margaret Warner.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Since Friday, the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks has been releasing e-mails that were hacked from the account of Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.  The stolen messages detail how the campaign responded to important issues through the race for the White House.

It is unclear who was behind this latest digital theft, but, on Friday, the Obama administration did blame Russia for the hacking of Democratic Party Web sites earlier this year and attempts to breach state election systems, in order to influence the vote for president.

Today, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said there will be a U.S. response to the alleged Russian hacking.  He told reporters aboard Air Force One:  “The President has talked before about the significant capabilities that the U.S. government has to both defend our systems in the United States, but also carry out offensive operations in other countries.  So, there are a range of responses that are available to the President, and he will consider a response that's proportional.”

With me now to sift through what all this means in both political and diplomatic terms are the NewsHour's Margaret Warner and Lisa Desjardins.

Lisa, tell me — let's start with what is in the e-mails.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  Right.

So, this latest dump, so people can keep track, began on Friday.  These are about 2,000 e-mails, a little bit more, coming from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, obviously a very big player in the Clinton world now and for years.

Now, in these, we see one of the standout notes that we have gotten — there haven't been all that many — is from a Clinton 2013 speech to an Italian bank.  You may have seen that quote.  In the speech that was referenced in these e-mails, it was purported to say — quote — “My dream is a hemispheric common market with open trade and open borders.”

Obviously, that's raised a lot of questions in this year of very heated talk about trade and especially after Clinton herself came out against one of the largest-in-history trade deals, the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

And that's probably the biggest kind of headline that's come out of these e-mails, but also they include a great deal of campaign tactics, including a 71-page briefing, sort of oppo research to some extent on Bernie Sanders.  All of this was happening during that very heated primary campaign.

Now, the Clinton campaign themselves is not confirming the authenticity of any of these e-mails.  It's very important to say that WikiLeaks has posted these.  We know they were hacked, so the authenticity is fair to question.

And the Clinton campaign is pushing back strongly, saying this is from a state actor, and this is obviously an illegal act in politics.

MUSIC - "Carnival of the Animals"

"How a composer's joke melodies became his unexpected legacy" PBS NewsHour 10/11/2016


SUMMARY:  Composer Camille Saint-Saëns would have celebrated his 181st birthday on Sunday.  During his lifetime, he was one of the world's most famous composers.  Today he is best known for his “Carnival of the Animals,” a legacy he would have found hard to swallow; Saint-Saëns wrote the pieces as a joke for a Mardi Gras party.  Composer and musician Rob Kapilow joins Jeffrey Brown to discuss.

JEFFREY BROWN (NewsHour):  Rob Kapilow, welcome.

ROB KAPILOW, Composer:  Thanks for having me.

JEFFREY BROWN:  So, today, we're marking the birthday of Camille Saint-Saëns.  This is a story of a great composer who didn't quite get the legacy that he wanted.

ROB KAPILOW:  During his lifetime, I mean, he was a famous composer, one of the most famous composers in the world, writing serious operas, serious symphonies.

JEFFREY BROWN:  Tell us a little bit about him, for those who don't know.

ROB KAPILOW:  Well, you know, he was also one of the world's greatest musical prodigies.  In fact, many people think he was even more of a prodigy than Mozart or Mendelssohn.

He started piano at two-and-a-half.  He wrote his first piece at four-and-a-half, made a public debut at 10, in which not only did he play two concertos and write his own cadenza, but, for an encore, he offered to play any Beethoven sonata from memory that the audience wanted.  That's 32 sonatas at the age of 10, one of the great musical proteges, utterly famous, yet then, for a joke, he writes this piece that literally became his legacy.

JEFFREY BROWN:  So, “Carnival of the Animals,” written for a friend, becomes this famous piece.  Tell us about it.

ROB KAPILOW:  Yes, it was a little party piece, and, in it, he took 14 animals in this grand zoological fantasy, is what he called it.

And each movement turns an animal somehow into music.  And the simplest way is to take the sound of the actual animal, and, in the first movement, that's what happens.  A lion's roar is turned into music.

But, sometimes, for example, in “Hemiones,” which is a wild Tibetan donkey famous for running at blinding speed up and down rough mountains, he turns the idea of the animal into music, and turns that into two pianists running up and down the keyboard at blinding speed in unison.

The Carnival Of Animals (27:12)

STUDENT DEBT - Explained

"Our student debt anxiety explained in one video" PBS NewsHour 10/11/2016


SUMMARY:  College affordability has become a major issue in the election because it's a major issue in our lives -- Americans currently hold $1.3 trillion in student debt, and it's on a staggering rise.  Frontline and Marketplace collaborated on this video with Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal on the state of student loans.

HURRICANES - St Augustine, Florida

"How the country's oldest city weathered Hurricane Matthew" PBS NewsHour 10/10/2016


SUMMARY:  To get a sense of the damage caused by Hurricane Matthew, Hari Sreenivasan traveled to St Augustine, Florida.  The city, billed as the oldest in the country, was devastated by last week's storm.  We tour one of its hardest-hit areas, where sewage litters the streets and residents were just allowed back on Saturday.  As for the city as a whole, only half its residents were able to evacuate.

HARI SREENIVASAN (NewsHour):  Earlier in the program, we told you about the record-breaking flooding in North Carolina.  Hurricane Matthew also left a wake of damage on its way to North Carolina along the coasts of three states.

Billed as the oldest city in America, St Augustine, Florida, was one of the places that felt the storm's might.  The small coastal town of nearly 14,000, which dates back to the 16th century, is only now emerging from this weekend's storm.

I was there yesterday.

It looked like one big garage sale on Solana Road in St Augustine, Florida.  But everything in the front yards was contaminated, couches, mattresses, family keepsakes all soaked by the floods after Hurricane Matthew.  Families were racing to get it all out before the moisture turned to mold and made its way into the walls.

MAYOR NANCY SHAVER, St Augustine:  When you evacuate, you take only the things that you really find irreplaceable.  But this is the whole — these are all the things that may be replaceable, but they're what give you something to come home to.

HARI SREENIVASAN:  Mayor Nancy Shaver took us to one of the low-lying areas that was hardest-hit.  The sewer pumps were still offline, meaning underground waste was overflowing onto the street.  Residents were only allowed back into the area Saturday.

NANCY SHAVER:  Your home is where you're supposed to go to be peaceful, restful, be with your family, sleep, eat.  And none of these things are possible in these homes.