Browsing articles from "August, 2017"

Red Cross Exec Doesn’t Know What Portion Of Donations Go To Harvey Relief

Aug 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Red Cross Exec Doesn’t Know What Portion Of Donations Go To Harvey Relief

Malachia Medrano, 2, sleeps at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, which has been set up as a shelter for people escaping the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.

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Malachia Medrano, 2, sleeps at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, which has been set up as a shelter for people escaping the floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey.

LM Otero/AP

As Americans are opening their wallets and donating to relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, one of the most prominent charities is the American Red Cross.

But donors might be surprised to learn the Red Cross won’t, or can’t say, what percentage of their dollars will go directly to helping the victims of the storm.

Dating back to 2014, NPR and Pro Publica have reported that the Red Cross misstated how donor dollars are spent.

A study released by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, concluded that the Red Cross had spent $124 million — one-quarter of the money donors gave for earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010 — on internal expenses.

In an interview with Morning Edition host Ailsa Chang, Red Cross executive Brad Kieserman was asked about reports that the charity has unusually high administrative costs.

“We are committed, I am committed, my team is committed to using our resources and donor dollars in a way that best helps the people of Texas,” said Kieserman, vice president of disaster operations and logistics.

Kieserman said that as of Wednesday morning the Red Cross had spent $50 million on Harvey relief, mainly on 232 shelters for 66,000 people.

Chang: Through donations, how much of every dollar goes to relief?

Kieserman: Yeah, I don’t think I have the answer to that any better than the chief fundraiser knows how many, how much it costs to put a volunteer downrange for a week and how many emergency response vehicles I have on the road today. So I think if he was on this interview and you were asking how many relief vehicles in Texas, I don’t think he’d know the answer and I don’t know the answer to the financial question I’m afraid.

Ailsa pressed on. She said that NPR had reported that 25 percent of the money donated for Haiti to the American Red Cross after the 2010 earthquake went to internal spending.

Chang: Is that still happening? Such a substantial percentage of donations going to internal administrative costs, rather than to relief?

Kieserman: It’s not something I would have any visibility on. I can talk about what it costs to deliver certain relief services.

Chang: Yeah.

Kieserman: But the way the internal revenue stream works, uhh …

Chang: You don’t know what portion of that amount.

Kierserman: Not really.

Chang: You don’t know what portion of that total amount is for relief.

Kieserman: No, I really don’t. I wish I could answer your question, but it’s not something I have visibility on in the role that I play in this organization.

She asked him if he has “visibility” on any efforts by the Red Cross to reduce the amount of money spent solely on internal costs.

“The folks I work for are very, very attentive to cost effectiveness and cost efficiencies in making sure that as much as every dollar that we spend on an operation is client-facing,” said Kieserman.

Their conversation can be heard on Thursday’s Morning Edition.

Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks SB4, Texas Law Targeting Sanctuary Cities

Aug 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Federal Judge Temporarily Blocks SB4, Texas Law Targeting Sanctuary Cities

Protesters gather outside the federal courthouse in San Antonio in June to oppose SB 4, a new Texas law targeting “sanctuary cities.”

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Protesters gather outside the federal courthouse in San Antonio in June to oppose SB 4, a new Texas law targeting “sanctuary cities.”

Eric Gay/AP

Chief U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia ruled late Wednesday that Texas officials may not implement Senate Bill 4, a controversial measure designed to crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities” in that state.

The law, set to go into effect on September 1, would have given local law enforcement the authority to ask about a person’s immigration status during routine interactions such as a traffic stop.

It also required local officials to comply with requests from federal immigration authorities to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Local law enforcement officials could be fined and removed from office if they did not cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

Critics of the law said it would encourage racial profiling and violate the First and Fourth Amendments. The cities of San Antonio, Houston, Dallas and Austin had joined a lawsuit brought by the city of El Cenizo against SB 4, arguing that the law would undermine any cooperation between local police and immigrant communities in dealing with crime.

In his 94-page ruling, the judge said that there is overwhelming evidence from local officials, including local law enforcement, that SB 4 would “erode public trust and many communities less safe.”

Gov. Greg Abbbott promised to appeal the ruling. Attorney General Ken Paxton echoed that call in a statement.

“Senate Bill 4 was passed by the Texas Legislature to set a statewide policy of cooperation with federal immigration authorities enforcing our nation’s immigration laws. Texas has the sovereign authority and responsibility to protect the safety and welfare of its citizens. We’re confident SB 4 will ultimately be upheld as constitutional and lawful,” said Paxton.

In a statement, Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project praised Garcia’s ruling.

“The court was right to strike down virtually all of this patently unconstitutional law. Senate Bill 4 would have led to rampant discrimination and made communities less safe. That’s why police chiefs and mayors themselves were among its harshest critics — they recognized it would harm, not help, their communities,” said Gelernt.

Illinois Officials Ask Courts To Order Changes In Chicago Police Policies

Aug 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Illinois Officials Ask Courts To Order Changes In Chicago Police Policies

Illinois’ attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the city of Chicago in an effort to enforce changes to a police department plagued by systemic racism, unnecessary use of force and a lack of accountability.

Joining state Attorney General Lisa Madigan in announcing the lawsuit, was Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, reversing his position on whether the city needs strict federal court oversight to make significant changes in the troubled police department.

The U.S. Department of Justice released a scathing report in January outlining policing patterns and practices that often violated the civil rights of residents, including a culture of racial discrimination that often resulted in officers using excessive force, and a blue wall of silence which protected officers, many of whom rarely faced discipline for misconduct.

“Chicago has a long history fraught with tragedies followed by failed attempts at reform,” said Madigan. “The result is broken trust between communities and the police.”

“To combat violence and rebuild trust, we need true police reform and accountability,” Madigan continued. “The only way to achieve real, lasting reform is through a consent decree that specifically addresses the problems identified in the Justice Department’s report.”

Under President Obama, the Justice Department negotiated consent decrees with Cleveland, Baltimore, Ferguson, Mo., and other cities where investigators found a pattern of police abuses and racial discord.

But since coming into office shortly after the Chicago report was released, the Trump administration has taken a more hands-off approach. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has expressed skepticism of such legally binding efforts to reform departments and improve police-community relations. Both Sessions and Trump himself have been sharply critical of Chicago’s relatively high rate of shootings and homicides, as well as the city’s lawsuit against the DOJ to protect its “sanctuary city” status.

Emanuel’s administration nonetheless spent months negotiating a “memorandum of understanding” spelling out changes to police officer training and departmental policies aimed at improving accountability, trust and relations with residents.

The mayor insisted such an agreement, rather than a potentially costly consent decree, would be sufficient to ensure meaningful change.

But a draft plan drew sharp criticism from community leaders, activists and their legal advocates. Several groups, including Black Lives Matter, filed a lawsuit in June seeking to halt the tentative agreement in an effort to gain federal court oversight to enforce the deal and to include community involvement in the pact.

Madigan, too, had been critical of Emanuel’s efforts to reach a deal with the Department of Justice, saying earlier this summer it is “ludicrous” to negotiate with an administration that “fundamentally does not agree with the need for constitutional policing.”

Since then, the mayor says the Sessions Justice Department walked away from the deal and abandoned further talks. “It became clear they are disinterested in reform,” Emanuel said.

Madigan says the state of Illinois is “stepping into the shoes of the Department of Justice … shoes that the DOJ has abandoned.”

Her lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Chicago Tuesday seeks extensive oversight by a federal judge. With the Justice Department abandoning the usual role of overseeing police department changes, the lawsuit asks the court to appoint an independent monitor who would regularly report to the judge about whether the city was meeting benchmarks for reform.

Chicago’s police union is criticizing the move toward a consent decree. Local Fraternal Order of Police President Kevin Graham calls it “a potential catastrophe for Chicago” that will make the already difficult job police officers even harder. This consent decree will only handcuff the police even further,” Graham said in a statement.

The Illinois State FOP President Chris Southwood says the legal action “has added more divisive fuel to the fire regarding police reform in Chicago. By asking a federal judge to oversee that reform, Attorney General Madigan is characterizing police officers as the problem, when in fact those same officers put their lives on the line every day to try and make the community safer in these increasingly dangerous times.”

But police reform advocates applaud Madigan’s move. Craig Futterman, founder of the Civil Rights and Police Accountability Project at the University of Chicago says the mayor’s decision to work with Madigan “is a recognition that the Chicago Police Department cannot rectify the systemic deficiencies that have led to the department’s racist and violent practices without judicial oversight.”

He adds that “this can’t simply be a deal among politicians.” Futterman says community groups need to be included in the process. “The people who have been most hurt by police abuse must also have … a formal seat at the table,” he says.

Aloft In Translation: The Myriad Sides Of Bill Murray

Aug 31, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on Aloft In Translation: The Myriad Sides Of Bill Murray

On the upcoming album New Worlds, actor and comedian Bill Murray teams up with cellist Jan Vogler and friends for music by Bernstein and Gershwin and poetry and prose by Whitman and Twain.

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You never know just where Bill Murray might show up. From house parties to the White House, the actor and comedian has a penchant for crashing events and leaving everyone in his wake surprised.

Murray’s latest surprise finds him on a new album called New Worlds, due out Sept. 29, belting out Bernstein and Gershwin and reciting poetry to the strains of Saint-Saëns and Schubert.

Cover of Bill Murray's new album, New Worlds.

Cover of Bill Murray's new album, New Worlds.

Appropriately, the project was born from a chance encounter. On a flight from Berlin to New York, Murray met German cellist Jan Vogler, which sparked a new friendship, fueled by music and literature. After a few subsequent discussions, sing-a-longs and rehearsals, the two — with help from violinist Mira Wang and pianist Vanessa Perez – crafted a concept for a laid-back evening of music, poetry and prose with a distinctly American flavor. Murray and the musicians are taking the show on tour, stopping in Hamburg, Toronto, Chicago (among others) with a final bow at Carnegie Hall on Oct. 16.

The two pre-release tracks here offer Murray in two familiar modes: serious and slightly silly.

His delivery in Bernstein’s West Side Story may trigger memories of Nick Winters, the ham-de-la-ham of lounge singers from Murray’s early Saturday Night Live years. He’s not much of a vocalist, but it doesn’t really matter. There’s plenty of trademark Bill Murray zaniness, and his honesty reinforces the notion that we might all enjoy singing, regardless of our ability.

Then there’s Murray’s wistful side, on full view in movies like Lost in Translation and Broken Flowers. Some of that nostalgia surfaces in his recitation of prose from James Fenimore Cooper’s 1841 novel, The Deerslayer.

Set to an aching melody from Schubert’s Piano Trio in B-flat, Murray adopts a somewhat flat read, as he renders a bucolic scene where Cooper’s protagonist first beholds the beauty of Lake Otsego, in upstate New York. Murray allows the power of the prose to do the heavy lifting. There’s even an awkward hesitation or two, lending an improvised feel.

It’s as if Murray has again crashed the party, but this time he shows up in your living room, with an armload of books and a trio of fine musicians.

‘You Only Get One Life In This World’: Voices From Houston’s Convention Center

Aug 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on ‘You Only Get One Life In This World’: Voices From Houston’s Convention Center

Lines of people wait outside the George R. Brown Convention Center, which has been turned into a shelter for people seeking refuge from Tropical Storm Harvey, in downtown Houston.

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Lines of people wait outside the George R. Brown Convention Center, which has been turned into a shelter for people seeking refuge from Tropical Storm Harvey, in downtown Houston.

Ryan Kellman/NPR

Erica Brown called 911 for two days before a helicopter finally spotted her, trapped in her Houston home with her 7-month-old son and three other children. Sometimes when she called, she got nothing, just a busy signal and a disconnection. Multiple times she was told that they’d try to send help. Hours would go by with no rescue.

The family spent two nights in their trailer watching the floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey rise up the foundation. “It was a hard feeling because I thought me and my kids were going to lose our life in this hurricane disaster.”

On Tuesday around 11 a.m., a rescue team finally came.

Erica Brown is from Houston and is now at the convention center with her four kids. A helicopter rescued the family.

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“The helicopter came over my house and I heard him, and he saw me waving the white shirt. And he came on down and he got us in the basket and pulled us up,” says Brown, 29. They had to go two-by-two in the basket. She sent her two oldest girls, a third-grader and a first-grader, up first with a small suitcase of clothes.

When the basket came back down, she lifted her kindergartner in ahead of her and then carried her infant son. It was still raining.

Erica Brown’s children, JaCorey Landheart, 7 (left), Jazmine Brown, 8 (top right), Cal’Rhyanna Brown, 6 (foreground) play with another girl at the convention center.

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Brown and her family are now among the estimated 9,000 people at the downtown George R. Brown Convention Center, where officials said they had been expecting about 5,000. Outside on Tuesday, the scene is chaotic, with police, Red Cross volunteers and National Guard members patting people down, directing traffic and trying to help new arrivals and people dropping off donations.

Inside, families have spread out their soaked belongings to dry. There are long lines for food. A play area for kids is now a place for people to sleep, as space has become more tight in the past 24 hours.

Rico Smith has been at the George R. Bush convention center in Houston since Sunday. He is with his extended family. “It’s a blessing that we are dry and eating.” Smith was in Houston for Hurricanes Ike and Alison and was a volunteer in New Orleans after Katrina. “I’m numb to it. I’m affected but not too down about it. I’m used to it.”

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Ryan Kellman/NPR

Brown says the kids got fresh clothes at the convention center. Overnight, they slept on cardboard and army blankets on the floor, but on Tuesday morning an air mattress arrived. “They were very nice to us. It’s helpful for now until everything clears over,” she says.

“I was scared for our life,” Brown says. She says she found out on Monday that a friend died in the flooding over the weekend.

Another woman at the convention center, Michelle LaVan, 49, says she escaped her flooded home with seven family members.

They wanted to evacuate to a shelter beginning on Sunday, when their street flooded, but they couldn’t get through to emergency responders to help them. By midday Monday, they decided they needed to leave, or risk drowning in their four-bedroom apartment. They loaded suitcases with extra clothes and walked out into waist-deep water, yelling after a passing Coast Guard rescue boat.

Michelle LaVan, 49, escaped her flooded home with seven family members.

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“Someone flagged them down, said, ‘Hey, no no, stop! [There are] kids!'” LaVan recalls. The boat took them to a dump truck that took them to a parking lot where a private citizen drove them in the back of his pickup to the convention center.

Now she’s worried about what comes next. “Hopefully it stops raining tomorrow,” she says. “I know the water will go down in my subdivision if the rain stops.”

Dannie Harris and his sister Betty Shaw arrived at the convention center on Monday night. “When it first started the water rose and went down twice,” Betty says of the water in their home. “So we thought maybe it was gonna stop. I started sweeping up.” Dannie said “[Hurricane] Ike had just gone through.” After they realized it wasn’t going to subside they called for help.

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Dannie Harris and his sister Betty Shaw arrived at the convention center on Monday night. “When it first started the water rose and went down twice,” Betty says of the water in their home. “So we thought maybe it was gonna stop. I started sweeping up.” Dannie said “[Hurricane] Ike had just gone through.” After they realized it wasn’t going to subside they called for help.

Ryan Kellman/NPR

Her niece, 11-year-old Journey Booker, says the evacuation was mostly scary but a little bit fun. “All the water,” she says, smiling. “It looked like I just walked out of a bath after getting too much mud!” But it’s hard, knowing some of her friends and family are still in flooded homes, and that her middle school is flooded. Booker likes school, and she was excited to start sixth grade on Monday.

“I was excited. I was supposed to start yesterday, but Hurricane Harvey had a change of plans,” she says, sitting under a Red Cross blanket on the floor of the convention center.

Nearby, volunteer Emma Jones, 27, is handing out markers and paper to kids, and watching children while exhausted parents get food or use the bathroom. Jones is a social worker who works in crisis mental health at an outpatient clinic at UT Health in Houston.

Jazmine Brown, 8, and volunteer relief worker Emma Jones, 27, spent the morning drawing and writing notes.

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“I think I wasn’t expecting this many people to be here. Especially yesterday, there weren’t as many people,” Jones says. She says she’s talked to many people who don’t have their usual psychiatric medications and are struggling to handle the trauma of the storm.

“As I walk around, I’m hearing a lot of people saying ‘I don’t have my medications for bipolar disorder or schizophrenia for the first time.’ So we have these people who have this extreme experience, and also don’t have the medications they need for mood regulation,” she says.

Emergency officials have asked social workers and other mental health professionals to help as they can at shelters.

For those waiting out the rain at the convention center, many say they are just thankful to have a dry place to stay but are anxious for the future.

“It’s not a joke,” Brown says. “You only get one life in this world, so I’m glad we’re safe and sound now. But we have to start all over again.”

Joseph Guilroy, a server at IHOP got to the convention center via a city dump truck which took him to a transit center and then he got on a bus. “My apartment is done. It’s been hell. This is my city, I been here all my life. We are gonna get through it though. We always do.”

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Joseph Guilroy, a server at IHOP got to the convention center via a city dump truck which took him to a transit center and then he got on a bus. “My apartment is done. It’s been hell. This is my city, I been here all my life. We are gonna get through it though. We always do.”

Ryan Kellman/NPR

Hurricane Harvey Takes The Life Of Houston Police Officer Steve Perez

Aug 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on Hurricane Harvey Takes The Life Of Houston Police Officer Steve Perez

Houston Police say 60-year-old Sgt. Steve Perez, trying to get to work despite Hurricane Harvey, drowned in his patrol car in floodwaters.

In a somber news conference Tuesday afternoon, Police Chief Art Acevedo said Perez’s wife, Cheryl, had asked her husband not to report to work Sunday morning. But Perez, who had been on the police force for 34 years and was just a few days short of his 61st birthday, insisted on going in.

“Unfortunately in the darkness, Sgt. Perez drove into an underpass that’s about 16 1/2 feet, drove into the water and he died in a drowning-type event,” said Acevedo, his eyes moistening.

“Steve is one of the sweetest people in this department and I’ve been here only nine months. We have 6,500 employees and I knew who Steve Perez was because he was a sweet, gentle public servant.”

He Survived Hurricane Katrina. Now He's Had To Leave Houston

Perez’s father-in-law, a Korean War combat veteran, also told him not to go because the conditions were so bad. “And his response was, ‘We’ve got work to do,’ ” said Acevedo.

Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said Perez was typical of all of the city employees working flood relief.

Trump's Texas Visit Highlights Federal Response Effort

“Sometimes you find a way to make it happen, or you die in trying. Sgt. Perez lost his life because he tried to make it happen, he tried to get at his post … that’s the ultimate sacrifice,” said Turner, as quoted by the Houston Chronicle.

Perez left his home at 4 a.m. Sunday but was unable to get to his duty station in downtown Houston. Following protocol, he apparently was trying to report to another station in Kingwood. His body was found Monday night, but officers could not recover it from the water until Tuesday.

Perez is survived by his wife and an adult son and daughter.

The Loopholes That Allow Child Marriage In The U.S.

Aug 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on The Loopholes That Allow Child Marriage In The U.S.

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Maria Fabrizio for NPR

Child marriage isn’t just a practice that victimizes girls in poor countries. As this blog has previously reported, it’s also long been an issue in the United States, involving girls from a wide range of backgrounds. Based on state marriage license data and other sources, advocacy groups and experts estimate that between 2000 and 2015 alone, well over 200,000 children — nearly all of them girls — were married. In nearly all cases the husband was an adult.

Today, a report released by the Tahirih Justice Center sheds new light on how state laws are contributing to the problem.

The center — a non-profit advocacy group that works to end violence against women and girls — did a comprehensive analysis of the myriad statutes governing marriage in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Among the findings:

Twenty-five states do not set a minimum age at which a person can get married, and eight more set it at an age lower than 16. Alaska and North Carolina, for example, set the age at 14. In New Hampshire it’s 13 for girls, 14 for boys.

In all of these states, minors who are below a certain age – it varies from state to state — must still get a judge’s approval to marry.

But the report finds that this is hardly a robust protection against the exploitation of children. For instance, most states do not specify that the ruling judge must work in a court system that gives them expertise in such matters — say family, juvenile or domestic relations court. Similarly, very few states require that the child be appointed his or her own counsel. Only two state laws specify that a judge cannot approve a marriage solely because the child’s parents have consented. And nine states expressly permit pregnancy as a reason to lower the minimum marriage age.

All of this is problematic because it makes it hard to ensure that a girl isn’t being pressured into marriage by her own family or an adult partner who, but for the marriage, would be subject to prosecution for statutory rape. What’s more, even in states that do officially set the age of marriage at 16 or higher, judges are generally allowed to overrule the limit and let a child marriage go forward.

The Tahirih Just Center hopes that the report will spur lawmakers to correct the loopholes that they’ve identified in each state’s statues. So far progress has been slower than advocates would like. But interest in the issue is growing and over the last two years Virginia, Texas, and New York have all passed legislation that the report celebrated as putting in place “meaningful safeguards.” Before in New York, marriage was formally allowed for children as young as 14, with a judge’s permission. Now, the “age floor” is set at 17, and even then, approval is required by a judge who must determine that the minor is not being coerced, among other criteria. And the minori is appointed an attorney with training on domestic violence and forced marriage.

‘I’m Not Racist, I’m Argentine!’

Aug 30, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   World News  //  Comments Off on ‘I’m Not Racist, I’m Argentine!’

This viral video out of Hollywood raises an interesting question: What does racism look like from one Latino to another?

In the video, two Latinos — one, a dark-skinned Mexican street vendor, the other, a lighter-skinned Argentine out walking his dog — confront each other on an LA street. First, the walker complains that the vendor is taking up too much space on the sidewalk. “Mueve tu carro,” he says, “Si no lo mueves, te lo voy a mover yo.” (“Move your cart. If you don’t, I’ll move it for you.”)

The walker makes a move toward the vendor. The vendor throws chili powder at him in response. Then, the walker tips over the food cart, spilling corn, ice and syrup into the street.

As the vendor looks over the wreckage, he accuses the other man of being a racist.

“No soy racista!” the man responds. “Soy Argentino.” (“I’m not a racist! I’m Argentine!”)

The video ricocheted around LA’s Latino community, viewed more than 200,000 times. And it sparked a lot of discussions. Many activists used it as more fuel for the argument that street vending should finally be legalized in California. But people on the street, including a lot of street vendors, were more interested in talking about the racial issues it stirred up.

To help us put all this in context, we spoke to Celia Lacayo. She’s a fellow at the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center, where she studies white attitudes toward Latinos in Southern California. Below is an edited version of our conversation.

Is this a story about colorism? Latinos confronting other Latinos? Or are we seeing something else entirely?

I don’t particularly read this story as Latino against Latino. I read this through a whiteness lens, that comes out of colonization. Europeans believed the indigenous were inferior. They could conquer the Western Hemisphere as they did under the presumption that white was better.

That trickles down in Latin America, just like it does in the United States, but it has different manifestations. We know that people from Argentina, not all, but generally speaking, are very proud of their European ancestry, specifically Italian, to mark themselves as white — not to be confused with those others who were “contaminated” with indigenous and Afro-descended blood.

Colorism and racism exist among Latinos from every country. Are we making Argentines a scapegoat?

Well, this was a particular incident and so we’re talking about the Argentine point because the man was Argentinian. But you’re absolutely right. In Latin America, there’s this Latino exceptionalism, right? People say, “We don’t have racism here. My brother is black, my grandma’s blue. We’re all one.” We hear these kinds of fallacies, even when we know that güerito has positive connotation and negrita has a negative connotation. So for me, the biggest takeaway is how we continue to see these racial regimes historically and contemporarily privilege whiteness, and thinking about how that plays out across borders, across history, across communities.

There’s something about this video that really felt like it exposed some of our dirty laundry, as Latinos. From your vantage point, do you think that it threatens this fragile unity that exists between different Latino groups?

I don’t. I’ll tell a quick story. My father is conservative and monolingual and he listens to Univision, Telemundo. He calls me [one night] and he’s like “Este país no nos quiere aquí. Este país es racista contra nosotros.” You know, “This country doesn’t want us here. It’s racist against our people.” And I was like “Oh my gosh, can you put my dad on the phone? Because I don’t know who this is!”

And that is a reflection of the time. Clearly, there’s a lot of internal issues within Latino communities. White-passing Latinos do in fact use their privilege to socially and racially distance themselves from other Latinos. But I think the racialization process that has happened in the last 30 years has really unified Latinos in a way that I have not seen before. They understand that when Trump says that Mexicans are rapists, he’s really talking about all people from Latin America. They understand that they’re being targeted as a group.

North Korea Launches Another Missile, This One Over Japan

Aug 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on North Korea Launches Another Missile, This One Over Japan

A man in Seoul, South Korea, watches a TV screen on Saturday showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch.

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A man in Seoul, South Korea, watches a TV screen on Saturday showing file footage of a North Korean missile launch.

Lee Jin-man/AP

North Korea conducted a missile launch over Japan early Tuesday morning, further ratcheting up tensions in the region.

The incident was announced by South Korean officials who say the missile was launched from Sunan, near North Korea’s capital, Pyongyang. Japanese officials say the projectile flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido and landed in the Pacific Ocean.

Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning confirmed the news in a brief email. He said American officials are still assessing the launch and that North American Aerospace Defense Command “determined the missile launch did not pose a threat to North America.”

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe told reporters that his government was “aware of the movement of the missile immediately after the launch and had everything in order to protect the lives of our people.”

Abe also said:

“The reckless act of firing a missile over our nation is an unprecedented, grave and critical threat and it is an act that significantly diminishes the region’s peace and security, and we have lodged a firm protest.

“We have also requested an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council. We will work closely will other countries to intensify pressure on North Korea.”

The launch marks the second time in four days that North Korea has tested its missiles. Three short-range missiles were launched on Saturday.

The New York Times reports that this is the first time a North Korean missile was launched over Japan since 2009. Pyongyang had also launched projectiles over Japan in 1998. Both times North Korea said the projectiles were carrying satellites.

Preliminary reports said North Korea had launched three missiles in the most recent round. But it was later determined that only one projectile was launched and that it broke up into three parts. There were no reports of any damage, according to the Japanese broadcaster NHK.

You 2.0: How Silicon Valley Can Help You Get Unstuck

Aug 29, 2017   //   by Administrator   //   News from US  //  Comments Off on You 2.0: How Silicon Valley Can Help You Get Unstuck

Are you feeling stuck? Scroll down to take our quiz and find out whether you have a “gravity” problem.

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Are you feeling stuck? Scroll down to take our quiz and find out whether you have a “gravity” problem.

Renee Klahr/NPR

At one time or another, many of us feel stuck: in the wrong job, the wrong relationship, the wrong city – the wrong life.

Christine Metzger felt that way. After a decade of working in education administration, she woke up one day and realized she wasn’t the person she wanted to be.

Christine found what seemed like just the change she needed: a new job at a boarding school in England. She quit her job, sold her belongings, and prepared to embark on her new life.

Hidden Brain

“I was sleeping on an aerobed, and had my three suitcases next to me. I was right about to literally leave Hoboken and be on my way,” Christine says. “And I received a phone call from the folks in England saying, ‘We are really sorry, but we couldn’t get you a work visa.'”

Instead of heading to England to start her new life, Christine found herself unemployed.

The next job she found didn’t have visa issues. But “it was a long process, and unfortunately in the end it turned out the organization had a hiring freeze and the board did not give permission to hire me,” Christine says.

After a few more false starts, Christine was feeling lost.

“I put a lot of pressure on myself to make the exact right decision,” she says of that time.

Psychologists and self-help gurus have tried all different kinds of advice for people like Christine. But recently we heard a new idea, from the tech world.

It turns out that engineers and designers often face similar challenges when it comes to designing new products. How do you build something when you don’t know what to build?

Dave Evans used to work in Silicon Valley. One challenge he faced was in designing the Apple mouse. He and the other engineers weren’t sure what would be better – to have one button on the mouse, or two. So before they could figure out how to move forward, they had to think about what kind of mouse they wanted to build in the first place.

“Before you do problem solving you have to do problem finding,” Dave says. You have to ask, “What’s the right thing to be working on?”

The engineers built a couple of prototypes to see what users preferred – and it turns out, one button was better. Building a mouse with one button was a complicated engineering problem, but now the designers knew where they wanted to go.

This approach is called design thinking. A few years ago, Dave says he realized that design thinking might be useful outside the tech world, too. He started teaching a course at Stanford University called Designing Your Life. He has a new book out on this topic.

Many of his students come to him saying they don’t know what to do with their lives. They want to find the “right” answer. He tells them, ‘There is more than one you in there.’

“So the problem with the current approach that lots of people are taking,” he says, “is it starts with the wrong question. And the wrong question is, how do I figure out that one, best solution to my life?”

Design thinking is about recognizing your constraints, realizing there isn’t just one answer, and then trying something: “Building a prototype,” getting information from it, and then trying something else.

Christine went to a workshop Dave was running in New York, and while she hasn’t yet found her next job, she says his approach helped her look at her problems differently. “I liked what he said about, with design thinking, your goal is to fail early and often.”

The Hidden Brain Podcast is hosted by Shankar Vedantam and produced by Maggie Penman, Jennifer Schmidt, Renee Klahr, Rhaina Cohen, Parth Shah and Lucy Perkins. Our supervising producer is Tara Boyle. You can follow us on Twitter @hiddenbrain, and listen for Hidden Brain stories each week on your local public radio station.

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  • NPT: 2017-10-23 11:37 AM
  • EDT: 2017-10-23 01:52 AM
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