Monday, April 19, 2021

COVID-19 - What Are My Chances?

"What are my chances of hospitalization even after being fully vaccinated?PBS NewsHour 4/17/2021


SUMMARY:  The latest on COVID-19 and vaccines: Johnson & Johnson shots continue to be on pause as health officials investigate extremely rare side effects; Moderna and Pfizer vaccination appointments are becoming easier to snag in many states; and what scientists are learning about the vaccine’s efficacy against variants and ‘breakthrough infections.’  ProPublica reporter Caroline Chen joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

LAID TO REST - Prince Philip

"Prince Philip is laid to rest after small funeral amid COVID-19 restrictionsPBS NewsHour 4/17/2021


SUMMARY:  Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, who died last week at 99, was laid to rest at St. George’s Chapel on Saturday.  The funeral, which was an intimate affair due to COVID-19 restrictions in the UK, was attended by only 30 members of the royal family, including the Queen, who sat alone.  Special Correspondent Ryan Chilcote joins for more.

OPINION - Brooks and Capehart 4/16/2021

"Brooks and Capehart on police shootings, the U.S. withdrawal from AfghanistanPBS NewsHour 4/16/2021


SUMMARY:  New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including police shootings of people of color, and the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  And to the analysis of Brooks and Capehart.  That is New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Jonathan Capehart, columnist for The Washington Post.

Hello to both of you.  Very good to see you on this Friday night.

But I want to start out with something that has been less than uplifting this week.  And that is more gun violence, in particular, two more police shootings of young Black men, different circumstances, one in Minneapolis, just 10 miles from the man who is accused of murdering George Floyd is on trial, the other one in Chicago.

Jonathan, my question is, we keep seeing this happen.  What do we make of it?  And is it something that is going to require a change in law?

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post:  It's going to require a change in a lot of things, Judy.  It's going to require a change in law, certainly, but a change in attitudes among the American people as a whole and among police.

You know, when I leave my home, when I leave my apartment, I know that, when I am no longer at home, I'm viewed with some level of suspicion, even as a threat, simply because I'm Black, and certainly because I'm a Black male.  And that is something that I have to deal with.

And I have said often and I will keep saying it, there's no such thing as a routine traffic stop when you're African American, and particularly when you're an African American man.

And I think attitudes need to change, particularly among police, because, more often than not, we are viewed as threats.  We saw that in the video of Army Lieutenant Nazario in Virginia that happened in December, but came to light last week.  We saw that in the video of the initial encounter with George Floyd.

When they tapped on the window of George Floyd's SUV with a flashlight, he turns around, and what does he see?  A gun in his face.

With Daunte Wright in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, the police officer said "I will Tase you,"  "Taser, Taser, Taser."

Instead, she had a gun in her hand and shot him.

Now, as you said, Judy, these are all different circumstances, but the overall mood is the same.  Black people feel under threat.  They feel under siege.  And until the rest of America changes its attitude, and until law enforcement somehow changes the way it views the people they are sworn to serve and protect, nothing is going to change.

Judy Woodruff:  David, why does this keep happening?  And what do you think about what needs to change?

David Brooks, New York Times:  Well, the first thing that needs to change is, we do need to accept that there is racial bias in policing.

There are still too many people, and especially too many people in the police force, who think it's — that it's not there.  But it's not only Jonathan's experience and almost every experience of every African American person I know.  There's just dozens of studies that show, in traffic stops, car searches, drug arrests, there's just vast disparate policing that still goes on.  And that's just about attitude.

The good news is, if you do take some reforms, you can make some progress.  There's been a sharp drop in the number of shootings of unarmed people.  Armed people, it's still pretty stable, but unarmed people, we have made some progress.  So, there are things that can be done.

And those are things like removing choke holds.  Those are things like — a little idea that I kind of like is, you have to have written permission to search a car, these things called pretextual stops, where they stop a car on the pretext of one thing, when they're really looking for something else.

Data is very poorly collected.  So, which parts of which police forces are having the most disparate arrests or the most desperate searches?  That data is not collected.  There are these things called police officers bill of rights which are in a lot of state legislatures that police unions have instituted that create all these artificial barriers to investigating an incident, that a cop has to be punished within 30 or 100 days, and if it's too late, then he's off.

And so there are lots of little things that can be done to hopefully reduce these kinds of tragedies.

Judy Woodruff:  And, Jonathan, are these the kinds of things that you think can make a difference?  Should we — what can we be trying that hasn't been tried before now?

Jonathan Capehart:  Well, actually, all of those things that David just mentioned are pieces of what is known as the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

And I think that if that does become law, that it will start to put us on a road of ameliorating this very severe problem.  But, also, it's a problem that is not just now, part of contemporary America.

Generations of African Americans have been talking about this and complaining about this.  And the one thing that is different is that a lot of this has been caught on video.  And so, if you do have things like ending racial profiling, collecting data, ending qualified immunity, which makes it possible for people to hold police officers and police departments accountable when they get it wrong, those are all things that will improve policing — excuse me — but will also improve the relationship between communities and police.

Because anyone who thinks that African Americans don't want protection from crime and don't want police to actually be there to serve and protect, they are suffering under a very wrong notion.

Judy Woodruff:  And, David, I should say, I misspoke.  I said the shooting of two young Black men.  One was a young Black man.  The other was a young — a teenager, Latino, who was 13 years old.

But, David, do you think these measures can make a difference?

David Brooks:  Yes, I think they have.  I think our policing has improved from where it was.

I was briefly a police reporter on the South and West Side of Chicago.  And there was an atmosphere then — maybe there still is, but I think it's probably less — of:  It's us vs. the world, that we cops are the good guys and the world is an awful place.

And so there was almost a military attitude.  And that military culture is something experts talk about in the training of policing.  And that's just not the right attitude.  And the hard part about this is, there are like, I think, 18,000 police forces in this country.  It's hyperlocal.  A lot of them are under-resourced.  A lot have their own cultures.

But changing that culture, so that people are out in the neighborhood, I think, has helped.  And getting diverse work forces has helped a bit.  So, I'm — this has been awful to watch these things, but it's not like it's something we haven't made some progress toward.

Judy Woodruff:  Something else I want to ask both of you about, the decision by President Biden, Jonathan, to pull all U.S. troops out of Afghanistan by September 11.  It will have been 20 years since the United States was attacked, of course, by al-Qaida.

The President's argument is that this was never meant to be a war that lasted this long, in his words, a multigenerational war.  And he also made the argument we don't need — the threat has metastasized around the world, and we can't fight it any longer with boots on the ground in one country.

What do you make of his argument and of the decision?

Jonathan Capehart:  I — excuse me — I think his argument is one that we should we should take seriously and one that we need to deal with.

Yes, the threat has metastasized around the world.  And it isn't just coming out of Afghanistan.  And it does make sense to remove our troops and have them nimble enough to respond to those.

And let's keep in mind, when there are 10,000 NATO troops in Afghanistan, 2,500 of them are U.S. troops.  So, we're not talking about the 100,000 troops on the ground as we had in 2011.  So, this is an easier lift.

But the other thing to keep in mind is the number of people who have cycled through there.  I have some stats here, 30,000 — 2,300 dead, 20,000 wounded; 30,000 U.S. service members have been deployed to Afghanistan at least five times.

And we're talking about not a broadly shared sacrifice.  We're talking about a narrowly shared sacrifice, and not even shared at all, when you have 1 percent of the American population serving in the military.

So this was not an easy decision, I would think, for the President, but the fact that he made it and said — and set a deadline, which is very controversial, but he wants the United States out.  And I give him credit for making a very tough decision.

Judy Woodruff:  And, David, what's your thinking on this?

David Brooks:  Yes, I disagree.  I think it's a grave mistake.

I think every expert that I read, or at least most of them, seem to believe that the Taliban will take over Afghanistan, will take over Kabul and the major cities.  And that's not going to be good for girls who want to go to school.  That's not good for people who want to enjoy a life of freedom.

That's a return to something pretty ugly.  We have only 2,500 there, but they're protecting the 10,000 — the other NATO troops, who are doing most of the training.  Our men and women in uniform are not on front-line combat, by and large, anymore.

And so it's not as onerous a lift as it was before.  And to preserve a somewhat free society, I think, is the right thing to do.  If the U.S. pulls out all, the other NATO forces are expected to pull out, and then we will be back.

And I understand the impatience.  It's been 20 years, but we have been in North Korea a long — or in South Korea a long time.  We have been in Europe a long time.  I think these things can sometimes serve a use.  And I say that while saluting the sacrifice of the people go over there.

Judy Woodruff:  Just briefly, Jonathan, what's — what do you say to this argument it's leaving a lot of people in the lurch in Afghanistan?

Jonathan Capehart:  Well, no, I understand that argument.  And David makes a — makes a very good point that we — Afghan women and girls probably face danger.  Afghanistan could collapse, but could and might, not assured.

And so, like I said, this was not an easy decision.  In some ways, it's a gamble.  But I think it's one that the President felt he had to make.

Judy Woodruff:  David?

David Brooks:  Yes, listen, we're not going to be the world's policemen anymore.  We're not going to be the kind of superpower we were in the aftermath of World War II.

But we still are the biggest power in the world.  And I think with that comes opportunities to try to preserve civilization when you can.  And that doesn't mean going to war.  That doesn't mean putting our men and women in combat, but guarding people who are training the Afghan soldiers to go into combat, that seems to me a right balance to strike.

Judy Woodruff:  Sobering stuff at the end of this week.

David Brooks, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both.

Jonathan Capehart:  Thanks, Judy.

David Brooks:  Thank you, Judy.

GUN IN AMERICA - FedEx Shooting

"Indianapolis mayor calls for national action on gun laws after FedEx shootingPBS NewsHour 4/16/2021


SUMMARY:  Police in Indianapolis have spent Friday looking for answers after a gunman shot eight people to death and then killed himself.  The incident prompted President Biden to call the nation’s gun violence incidents a “national embarrassment.”  The bloodshed stunned a city that's been hard hit by gun violence, and its mayor is calling for national action.



"New details, but few answers, about Thursday’s Indianapolis shootingPBS NewsHour 4/17/2021


SUMMARY:  More details about the mass shooting at an Indianapolis FedEx facility Thursday night continue to emerge, including the names of victims, that the FBI had previously interviewed the shooter, and that half of those dead from the shooting come from a Sikh background, raising more questions around the killer’s motive.  Lawrence Andrea, Public Safety and Breaking News Reporter for the Indianapolis Star, has been covering the shooting and joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss.

CANADA'S WAY - Critical Care

IMHO: Many may have noted that America DOES NOT have the best health care system in the world.  Why?  In America health care is a for-profit business which puts profit ahead of actually providing good health care, it's 'health care on the cheep.'

"What Canada’s universal health system could teach the U.S. about managing a pandemicPBS NewsHour 4/15/2021


SUMMARY:  More than 30 million Americans have gone without health insurance in the last year.  Other high-income nations cover their entire populations for a lot less money than the U.S. already spends.  But does a universal health care system help save lives in a pandemic?  For answers, William Brangham looks to our northern neighbor Canada and its single-payer system.

THE CAPITAL INSURRECTION - Analyzing the Capitol Police

"A picture of disorganization: Analyzing Capitol Police’s failures on January 6PBS NewsHour 4/15/2021


SUMMARY:  Lawmakers Thursday continued to assemble their picture of what went wrong on January 6.  An internal watchdog testified about his ongoing review of U.S. Capitol Police, and shared his initial conclusions about why their defense failed that day after a pro-Trump mob stormed the building.  Congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins has the report.

THE PONZI KING - Bernie Madoff Dies in Prison at 82

"The rise and fall of ponzi scheme mastermind Bernie MadoffPBS NewsHour 4/14/2021


SUMMARY:  Former financier Bernie Madoff, who organized the largest fraud in Wall Street's history, died Wednesday.  He swindled major charities, universities and celebrities out of billions, and was serving 150 years in prison.  Stephanie Sy has our report about his rise and fall.

RACE MATTERS - Policing in America

"The common ground between law enforcement and activists’ call to ‘defund the police’PBS NewsHour 4/14/2021


SUMMARY:  As the nation watches the trial of Derek Chauvin, we return to the debate that George Floyd's death ignited.  Special correspondent Charlayne Hunter-Gault spoke with current and former law enforcement officers about "defunding the police," and what reforms they believe are needed to improve relations between them and the communities they serve.  It's part of our ongoing series, Race Matters.

BABCOCK RANCH - A Solar-Powered Town

"Small Florida community aims for energy independence by harnessing the power of the sunPBS NewsHour 4/13/2021


SUMMARY:  Florida may be called the Sunshine State, but it is no stranger to the damaging impacts of climate change.  Miles O'Brien profiles one small Florida community that is trying to take advantage of all that sunshine, billed as the country's first solar-powered town.  This report is part of our collaborative series on climate change and its consequences, "Covering Climate Now."

MEMORIAM - Sergeant Ray Lambert, Age 100 RIP

"Remembering the heroic army medic who was in the first wave at Omaha BeachPBS NewsHour 4/12/2021


SUMMARY:  Sergeant Ray Lambert, the army medic in the first wave that assaulted Omaha Beach on D-Day, died this past Friday night, at age 100.  Two years ago on the 75th anniversary of D-Day, he spoke with our Malcolm Brabant beside the concrete block where he saved many lives that fateful day.

CONFLICTS - Israel/Iran and Ukraine/Russia

"How conflict between Iran and Israel could affect U.S. diplomacy with IranPBS NewsHour 4/12/2021


SUMMARY:  A major explosion Sunday disabled parts of Iran's uranium enrichment facility at Natanz, south of Tehran.  Iran quickly blamed Israel for the incident, which comes as indirect talks between the U.S. and Iran over the crippled nuclear deal are set to resume.  John Yang speaks to Henry Rome of the Eurasia Group about possible motives behind the attack, and how it affects U.S. diplomacy.



"After months of simmering conflict, thousands of Russian troops amass on Ukraine’s borderPBS NewsHour 4/12/2021


SUMMARY:  Russia- backed separatists have been fighting against Ukrainian forces since 2014, but this year Ukraine says Russia has gathered nearly 80,000 troops at its border.  The Russian government says it’s a reaction to what it claimed are NATO plans to push troops closer to Russia’s borders.  Bill Taylor, former acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, joins Amna Nawaz to discuss.


"Biden’s bipartisanship: What we learned from the President’s meeting with lawmakersPBS NewsHour 4/12/2021


SUMMARY:  Congress returns from recess this week, and as we reported earlier, the first stop for a bipartisan group of lawmakers was the White House — invited by the President as he works to sell his American Jobs Plan on infrastructure and climate.  Congressional correspondent Lisa Desjardins joins us for an update.



"Biden to remove remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan by SeptemberPBS NewsHour 4/13/2021


SUMMARY:  President Biden plans to announce Wednesday that all 2,500 U.S. troops in Afghanistan will leave the country by Sept. 11.  The troop withdrawal would be four months later than the previous deadline, and top Republicans immediately criticized the move.  Amna Nawaz joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.



"Biden says U.S. will still ‘hold Taliban accountable’ after troops leave AfghanistanPBS NewsHour 4/14/2021


SUMMARY:  President Joe Biden formally announced Wednesday that the United States would withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September 11, 20 years since the fateful day that led to the U.S. invasion.  More than 2,300 American soldiers have lost their lives in what's become the country's longest war.  John Yang begins our coverage.



"How the U.S. plans to address educational inequities, teacher burnout and school shootingsPBS NewsHour 4/14/2021


SUMMARY:  More than half of public schools around the country are back to full time in-person classes.  But many school districts still are using distance or hybrid learning, and there are many questions ahead about what it will take to reopen more fully in the coming months.  Amna Nawaz looks at those questions and more with Secretary of Education, Miguel Cardona.



"Biden flip-flops on refugee policy after blowback for keeping Trump-era restrictionsPBS NewsHour 4/16/2021


SUMMARY:  Friday saw the Biden Administration giving mixed messages on refugee admission.  After receiving blowback for keeping the historically low refugee cap set by President Trump, the White House quickly reversed its position, and said it will move to lift them.  Yamiche Alcindor has more on the flip-flop, and discusses it with Jenny Yang, the vice president of advocacy and policy at World Relief.

AGAIN! - The Killing of Daunte Wright

"Minnesota enforces curfew, deploys National Guard after new police shooting sparks protestPBS NewsHour 4/12/2021


SUMMARY:  As the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin went into a third week of testimony Monday, a police killing of a motorist in a neighboring community has once again left the region reeling.  Amna Nawaz speaks with Lisa Clemons of A Mother's Love Initiative and Campaign Zero's Sam Sinyangwe about the community's reaction.



"Minnesota on edge following the police killing of Daunte WrightPBS NewsHour 4/13/2021


SUMMARY:  The death of George Floyd and the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin has kept the state of Minnesota in the national spotlight.  Now the death of Daunte Wright near Minneapolis has led to new protests and opened long-standing wounds over policing and race.  Special correspondent Fred de Sam Lazaro reports.

CHAUVIN TRIAL - Week's Roundup

"George Floyd’s brother remembers him as a caring ‘leader’ in Chauvin trial testimonyPBS NewsHour 4/12/2021


SUMMARY:  In the Derek Chauvin trial Monday, prosecutors wrapped up their case, with jurors hearing testimony from George Floyd's brother about Floyd's character, and his role as a "leader" in the family.  Special correspondent Fred De Sam Lazaro reports.



"George Floyd’s brother: ‘People want to see change, they want to see justice’PBS NewsHour 4/13/2021


SUMMARY:  The killings of Daunte Wright and George Floyd continue to reverberate, not only in Minnesota but around the U.S., on policing, use of force and race.  Philonise Floyd, George Floyd's younger brother who took the stand Monday in former police officer Derek Chauvin's trial, and Ben Crump, an attorney representing the Floyd family and Daunte Wright's mother, join Yamiche Alcindor to discuss.



"Medical witness for defense in Chauvin trial says Floyd’s manner of death ‘undetermined’PBS NewsHour 4/14/2021


SUMMARY:  The defense team for former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been making the case that George Floyd died for other reasons, and that Chauvin's kneeling on Floyd's neck was not the crucial factor.  Today, the defense focused on that question with its own expert testimony stating that instead of "homicide," Floyd's manner of death was "undetermined."  Yamiche Alcindor has our report.



"Derek Chauvin refuses to testify as murder trial heads into closing argumentsPBS NewsHour 4/15/2021


SUMMARY:  The trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin, who is charged with murder in the death of George Floyd last May, is nearing its conclusion.  The trial is being watched closely all around the country and internationally.  The defense finished calling its witnesses Thursday, and Chauvin opted not to testify.  Special correspondent Fred De Sam Lazaro has our latest update on the case.



CLOSING COMMENT:  Our entire justice system is on trail here.  The question being, is law enforcement allowed to harm, even kill, citizens without being held to account.  Is any person's (especially LEOs) allowed to use deadly force just because they 'fear for their lives' without documented evidence that there was actual danger (i.e. can an unarmed person be a threat).  This is specially true when in involves non-white citizens (as historical evidence testifies) are always seen as a threat even while just walking down a street.

Friday, April 16, 2021

U.S. AIR FORCE - Special Warfare First

"In Special Warfare Milestone, Female Enlisted Airman to Enter Combat Controller Training" by Stephen Losey, 4/15/2021

The first female enlisted airman soon will enter training to become a combat controller, a milestone for the Air Force's efforts to add women to its elite special warfare ranks.

In an email Thursday, Air Education and Training Command spokeswoman Marilyn Holliday said that the unidentified airman is one of two enlisted women now in the special warfare training pipeline.  This airman recently completed the assessment and selection course, Holliday said, and will soon begin formal combat controller training.

The second enlisted airman will start the assessment and selection course in May, Holliday added.

Air Force Times was first to report that the female airman will enter combat controller training.

This is the furthest an enlisted woman has ever made it in the process to become a combat controller, Holliday said.

She explained that this airman -- like all those seeking to enter a special warfare career field -- will face the same standards used to evaluate male candidates.

Last summer, a female enlisted trainee began the Tactical Air Control Party Apprentice Course [AETC].  AETC said in December; at that time, she was still in the program.

However, AETC said Thursday that the trainee has since left the program and reclassified into another Air Force specialty.

The first female airman to enter the combat controller training pipeline did so in October 2019, though she ultimately did not make it to the formal training stage.

Combat controllers are highly trained airmen who often deploy with units into combat.  They can call in airstrikes, conduct air traffic control; command and control; and other operations under fire, as well as establish assault zones or airfields.  They are also certified FAA air traffic controllers.

ALASKA - The Muldrow Glacier

NOTE:  Follow article link to see interactive pics of glacier.

"This Glacier in Alaska Is Moving 100 Times Faster Than Normal" by Jugal K. Patel and Henry Fountain, The New York Times 4/13/2021

The Muldrow Glacier, on the north side of Denali in Alaska, is undergoing a rare surge.  In the past few months the 39-mile-long river of ice has been moving as much as 90 feet a day, 100 times its usual speed.

The event has excited glaciologists, who’ve rushed to study it using satellite imaging, specialized aerial photography and global positioning system devices delicately placed on the shifting ice.

Surges often last only a few months.  Most of them occur on remote glaciers and are detected only after they’ve ended — when, for example, satellite images show that a glacier front has rapidly advanced.  But the Muldrow is within Denali National Park and Preserve.  Planes regularly fly over the glacier carrying sightseers and climbers eager to ascend North America’s highest mountain.

In early March, the pilot of just such a flight near the Muldrow Glacier noticed large numbers of new crevasses as well as changes to lateral moraines, areas of rocky debris that build up on the edges of glaciers.  “They looked all torn up,” said Chris Palm, the pilot, with K2 Aviation.

He took photographs with his phone, which were quickly shared with researchers, including some from the National Park Service who have been studying the glacier for years.  Satellite data soon confirmed that the ice was moving much faster than the speed it had averaged over recent decades, less than a foot a day.

The stress and strain from rapid movement of so much ice — the glacier is up to about 1,500 feet thick and a mile and a half across — is causing all the deformation and fracturing.

“The whole glacier is so cracked up,” said Chad Hults, the Alaska regional geologist with the park service, who landed on the Muldrow in late March in a helicopter to set up equipment to measure the speed and other characteristics of the surge.

Mr. Hults was involved in a study of the Muldrow two decades ago, when the glacier was quiet and calm and relatively easy to walk across.  This time, he said, the ice was so shattered it was hard to find a place to land the helicopter.  And he could hear loud crashes and booms from breaking and falling ice even over the noise of the aircraft’s engine.

The Muldrow was the route used by the first climbers to ascend Denali, in 1913, and still some climbers choose that way up the mountain.  But with the climbing season about to begin, the route may be impassable, Mr. Hults said.

Surges occur on only about 1 percent of glaciers worldwide.  And on a given glacier, decades may pass between events.  Because of that relative rarity, scientists haven’t been able to study them enough to have a complete understanding of why they happen, or to gauge how climate change, which is rapidly melting glaciers in Alaska and elsewhere, may be affecting them.

Mark Fahnestock, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said changes in the mass balance between the top and bottom of the glacier play a critical role in surges.  Over time, ice accumulates in the higher, colder stretches and is lost from the lower, warmer ones.

“The upper parts thicken and the lower parts melt back,” Dr. Fahnestock said.  The surge restores the balance, rapidly shifting mass down to the lower parts.

Since global warming is causing less ice accumulation and more melting, Dr. Fahnestock said it is likely to have an impact.  “There will be effects, especially in Alaska because the mass loss is so high,” he said.

The Muldrow last surged in 1956-57, and research from the region suggested that it has done so about every 50 years.  So scientists were expecting the glacier to surge again at some point.

But what actually triggers a surge is not fully understood.

For the Muldrow and many other surging glaciers, meltwater that becomes trapped at the base of the glacier by sediment or other rocky debris, called till, may be part of what sets a surge off, said Martin Truffer, a glaciologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

This meltwater, created from the heat of friction between the ice and bedrock and from heat within the Earth itself, builds up in the trapped area.  At some point the water pressure becomes so high that the friction between the ice and bedrock is reduced, and the glacier picks up speed.

The Muldrow lies along a major fault, the Denali, and the steep, rugged terrain has been broken up by earthquakes and suffers severe erosion.  So the glacier, like many other glaciers that surge, has a lot of debris underneath it that could trap water.

“You need lots of till,” Dr. Truffer said.  “But that alone is not enough.”

Surges usually begin in the winter and end in the summer, when water from surface melting greatly increases the flow through the glacier, to the point where any bottlenecks are broken up.  That lowers the water pressure and increases the friction, slowing the ice.

Some surges start again the following winter when meltwater flow decreases.  But Dr. Truffer and others think the Muldrow is moving so fast that the shift in mass balance will play itself out in the next few months, and it will stop until the next surge, decades from now.

The 1956-57 surge pushed ice about four miles beyond the existing terminus.  That ice has been stagnant since then, much of it now covered with tundra, said Guy Adema, a park service scientist who led the Muldrow study two decades ago.  It is visible from one of the park’s visitor centers.

Mr. Adema said the current surge may push over and beyond the old ice, and if so should provide a visual treat for viewers — a wall of gleaming, fresh ice, cracking and occasionally breaking off pieces.

Monday, April 05, 2021

HATE IN AMERICA - Crackdown on Hate

"Crackdown on online hate speech pushes extremists to other platformsPBS NewsHour 4/3/2021


SUMMARY:  In a Congressional hearing last week the heads of Facebook and Twitter said they're taking measures to slow the spread of hate speech and conspiracies on their sites in the wake of the Jan 6 insurrectionBut a crackdown on mainstream platforms is pushing extremists onto less monitored forums.  Simon Ostrovsky reports as part of our series, “Exploring Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism."



"‘Hate is learned’: Tracing the history of anti-Asian violence in AmericaPBS NewsHour 4/4/2021


SUMMARY:  The rise in anti-Asian attacks has prompted the Biden administration to expand an initiative aimed at combating anti-Asian bias and violence.  But for many Asian Americans, the recent violence also highlights a long history of feeling invisible.  Mike Cerre reports from San Francisco as part of our series “Exploring Hate: Antisemitism, Racism and Extremism.A warning: some images may be disturbing.

OPINION - Brooks and Capehart 4/2/2021

"Brooks and Capehart on Biden’s new infrastructure plan, Georgia’s voting lawPBS NewsHour 4/2/2021

SUMMARY:  New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week in politics, including President Biden’s infrastructure plan, the pace of COVID-19 vaccinations amid spikes in infections, and Major League Baseball's reaction to Georgia's new voting law.

Judy Woodruff (NewsHour):  With the release of President Biden's infrastructure plan, states reopening, and boycotts brewing, we look to the analysis of Brooks and Capehart.

That is New York Times columnist David Brooks and Jonathan Capehart, columnist for The Washington Post.

Hello to both of you.  So good do see you, as always, this Friday.

And there is, as always, a lot to talk about.

Jonathan, I want to start with you on the President's big infrastructure plan, over $2 trillion.  What do you make of it?  Does it meet the need or does it overshoot?

Jonathan Capehart, The Washington Post:  Well, if you listen to progressives, Judy, it doesn't meet the need.  It doesn't go far enough.  If you listen to Republicans, it spends way too much.

I think the way you described the plan is perfect, actually, because you described it as an infrastructure planBut the actual name of this package is the American Jobs Act.  And that, I think, when you think of what the President proposed in terms of jobs, it all fits together.  It all makes sense.

One of the knocks against the President's plan is that, well, only a certain amount of it is spent on infrastructure.  Most people, when they think of infrastructure, they think of roads, bridges, seaports, airports, those types of things.

But what you see in the American Jobs Act is a broader definition of what infrastructure is.  Yes, it's roads and bridges, but it is also wind turbines and solar, green energy things, wiring the country with broadband, having broadband be for 2021 what the interstate system was in the mid-'50s, connecting the country, but connecting the country electronically, and also the electric power grid.

So, I think the President's going for a big, bold plan.  The key question is, can that big, bold plan actually become law?

Judy Woodruff:  And, David, Jonathan makes a points.  There is more in here than what's traditionally been thought of as infrastructure, hundreds of billions for caregiving for seniors and others.  What do you make of this?

David Brooks, New York Times:  No, I do worry about the debt.  We're spending almost $10 trillion, if all the Biden things pass.

That's a lot.  It's just a historical fact that rising debt contributed to the decline of the Roman Empire, the decline of the Spanish, imperial Spain, France in the 18th century, China in the 19th century.  History is replete with nations who hurt themselves by going into too much debt.

Nonetheless, I think, in these circumstances, the Biden plan is worth it.  And I say that for a couple of reasons.  One, we have simply underinvested in infrastructure and basic research and all such things for decades.  And that's just a fact.

Second, if you ask me to tell the economic story of America over the last 50 years, I would say that we have built a gigantic funnel that has funneled money and resources and wealth to highly educated people in large metro areas.

This plan funnels money to all the people who are not in those categories.  And so I think it rebalances our society in an important way.

And, finally, Jonathan and I were on a call with Anita Dunn, the President's adviser earlier in the week.  And she made the point that listen, we're — we have got to show democracy works.  There's a Chinese system out there that a lot of people think that's what works.  And we're just in this contest to show that democracy can get big things done.

So, given the circumstances, I overcome my incredibly high aversion to all this debt.

Judy Woodruff:  So Jonathan, does this look like it has a chance of getting — becoming law?


Jonathan Capehart:  Judy, right now, no.

And I say no because the Senate minority leader, Mitch McConnell, has already said that he's not going to support it.  I have not heard one Republican in the Senate step forward and say that he or she will support it.

That means the President is going to have to depend on a couple things, one, maintaining all 50 Democrats to vote for this plan.  But the other thing is that, in order for all 50 Democrats to have any say over this, the Senate parliamentarian has to rule whether the American Jobs Act, like the Recovery Act, can go through reconciliation, which is just a simple majority vote.

So, there are a lot of hurdles here.  And that's why I say, right now, the American Jobs Act is big and bold.  And, as necessary as it is, as it stands right now, I don't see how it becomes law.

Judy Woodruff:  David, your forecast?

David Brooks:  A tad more optimistic.

I hear a lot of moderates who are supporting it, moderate Democrats who are saying positive things about it.  So that's a good sign.

I think one of the challenges is going to be, this is just going to take a long time.  Nancy Pelosi said she hoped to get it out of the House by July 4, which is an ambitious timetable.  Then it goes to the Senate.  So we're looking at a six-month process.

And suppose we're generating 900,000 jobs a month, as we just did, over all that time.  A lot of people are going to say, why are we spending all this money?  The economy's really roaring.

And so that could drain away support.

Judy Woodruff:  All right, two other things I want to ask you both about.  We will try the squeeze them in.

First to you, Jonathan, on where we are with COVID.  We see more people are getting vaccinated, good signs.  What, over 100 million Americans now have been vaccinated.  But we are also seeing rise in the number of cases.  We're hearing talk about vaccine passports, requiring people to show a passport that they have been vaccinated before they can travel or go into a place of work, potentially.

And you also see states where the governors are opening up before Washington says they're ready for that.  Where do you see all this headed?

Jonathan Capehart:  I feel like Groundhog Day, because I believe I said this a few weeks ago.

We are so close.  We're always so close to getting to the other side of this pandemic, in terms of cases going down, hospitalizations, deaths, businesses being able to reopen.  And then states end up doing something to kind of mess it all up.

And for states to undue their mask mandates, open things wide open again, as cases are going up, as variants are running rampant across the land, when you have the CDC director going off-script and saying that she's extremely worried about what's going to happen, I don't think we're out of the woods yet.

And I think people are being a little too optimistic about how much they can do because of the vaccines.  I, like anyone, would like to get the vaccine and get back to normal.  But I would love for things to get back to normal when every — when the country can actually do it in a uniform way.

And I'm not seeing right now how we're going to be able to do that, in — by the time of the President's goal of July 4.

Judy Woodruff:  David?

David Brooks:  Yes, I think we need to make life a lot better for people who have had the vaccine.

I think we need vaccine passports, so they can go to gyms and restaurants.  And I say that as one who is too young to have the vaccine, which — the last time I have been too young for anything.


David Brooks:  It's…


David Brooks:  But we have got to induce the people who are vaccine-hesitant to say, wow, it's really great on the other side of the vaccine.

And one way to do that is to have these vaccine passports, so people can go and enjoy life.  The research has now, it's, as far as I understand it, become very clear.  You do not get the disease — at least your chances are fantastic — and you do not spread the disease.

So, if that's the case, then I say to all of you with the shots, party on.


Judy Woodruff:  David, Jonathan and I think of you as always young, so it's all good.  It's all good.


Judy Woodruff:  Just quickly, finally, we have talked about Georgia's voting law and the pushback against it, but now we have big corporations like Delta, Coca-Cola saying they don't like it.

And, today, Major League Baseball, Jonathan, announced they are pulling their All-Star Game out of Atlanta.  It was going to take place this summer.  They're going to find another home for it.

Is this kind of pressure likely to make a difference in Georgia and other states where they're looking at tightening voting?

Jonathan Capehart:  Well, in terms of the law, the Georgia law is the law.  And it is highly unlikely that Governor Kemp is going to go back or the legislature is going to go back and say, we will do — we will have a do-over.

But I do think it's very important for corporate America to take stands on issues that are of importance, not only to their customers, but to their employees.  And so, for Delta and Coca-Cola and Major League Baseball to take the stands that they have taken, I think, is very important.

I think what is also important was the letter from the 72 Black business executives, from Ken Chenault and Ken Frazier, American Express and Merck respectively, the president of the Ford Foundation, Darren Walker, Ursula Burns a former CEO of Xerox, putting pen to paper and saying, what's happening in Georgia is an attack on democracy.

And where are the business leaders, all business leaders in raising their voices about this?

And I think what's happening in Georgia should be a template for all the other states where what's happened in Georgia is happening in those states right now.

Judy Woodruff:  What effect, David, do you see this kind of corporate involvement having?

David Brooks:  Yes, I spoke very negatively, critically of the law last week, and I'm still very much against it.

I worry about this.  I worry about — we have seen one institution after another in American society get politicized, the church, the press.  I worry about corporations suddenly taking political sides.  I worry about boards of directors and CEOs who've got a lot of economic power wielding it in ways that's political.

And so I'm just nervous to see yet another institution gets super political.  They just don't do it well.  Delta, Coke, Major League Baseball, they all work in China, a country now committing genocide.  What standards do we hold people to?  So, I'm just a little nervous about people with a lot of power wielding it in this way.

I just — I'm more comfortable that we settle our differences, even if we hate the results, through politics and through persuasion and through votes and for activism and trying to get people to come out to the polls.  I'm just more comfortable with that as a means of social change.

Judy Woodruff:  A serious note to end on.

David Brooks, Jonathan Capehart, thank you both.  And have a good weekend.

Jonathan Capehart:  Thanks, Judy.

David Brooks:  You too.


"U.S. and Iran agree to talks on returning to the 2015 nuclear dealPBS NewsHour 4/2/2021


SUMMARY:  The United States announced Friday that it will join indirect talks with Iran beginning next week in Vienna, Austria.  The ultimate goal is to have nations return to a 2015 deal in which Iran curbed nuclear activities in exchange for sanctions relief.  Robert Malley, the U.S. Special Envoy to Iran, joins Judy Woodruff to discuss.

AMERICAN JOBS - The Jobs Report

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SUMMARY:  The U.S. Labor Department reported Friday a net gain of 916,000 jobs last month, the most since August, while the unemployment rate fell to 6 percent.  The upbeat jobs report seems to confirm some economists' forecasts that the economy is on its way to recovery.  Louise Sheiner, of the Hutchins Center on Fiscal and Monetary Policy at the Brookings Institution, joins William Brangham to discuss.

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SUMMARY:  Tonight, we report on why palliative care is crucial in rural communities from three different perspectives.  Dr. Jennifer Blechman of Bend, Oregon, hospice and social worker Liz Anderson of Asheville, North Carolina, and patient Joanie Devine alongside her fiancé David Keenan of Waynesville, North Carolina, join us with their Brief But Spectacular take on the issue.

THE ROAD AHEAD - Renewable Energy

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THE UNAPOLOGETIC CRIMINAL - G. Gordon Liddy 1930-2021

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SUMMARY:  He was part political provocateur, part ruthless operator.  Best known for his role in the Watergate break-in, which ultimately led to the downfall of President Richard Nixon.  Lisa Desjardins has the story of G. Gordon Liddy, who died Tuesday not far from Washington.

AMERICAN MILITARY - Transgender Troops

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SUMMARY:  The Pentagon announced new rules Wednesday allowing transgender military members to serve openly.  It fulfills an early pledge from President Joe Biden, restoring an Obama-era policy that was overturned by President Donald Trump.  Ali Rogin spoke to transgender service members who have been waiting for this day.

LOVE LETTER TO AMERICA - "Every Day Is a Gift"

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SUMMARY:  Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, made headlines recently when she threatened to block President Joe Biden's cabinet nominations until Asian Americans had more representation in the administration.  She joins Judy Woodruff now to speak about the administration's response, racism against Asian Americans, and the stories behind her new book, "Every Day Is a Gift."