I-130 Cover Letter For Stepchild Snowboards

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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  February 14, 2018 3:00pm-4:01pm PST

captioning sponsored by newshour productions, llc >> woodruff: good evening, i'm judy woodruff. on the newshour tonight, multiple fatalities in a shooting at a south florida high school. so ahead, "serious derelictions"-- the u.s. veterans affairs secretary is the latest trump official to use taxpayer dollars for personal travel. plus, presidentrump pushes his n immigration agenda just as the senate's debate gets off the ground. the latest on chances for a bipartisan deal. then, miles o'brien explores how to track advances in north kores nuclear weapons progra >> they we going to show us a significant partr f their nuclmplex, particularly the plutonium complex. and that, that was just-- it was an eye-opener, it was really surprising.
and, the winter ympics heats up. u.s. snowboarder shaun whitema s history while addressing questions of sexual harassment. all that and more on tonight's pbs newshour. >> major funding for the pbs newshour has been provided by: >> babbel. a language app that teaches real-life conversations in a new language, like spanish, french, >> supported by the rockefeller >> supporting social entrepreneurs and their solutions to the world's mblt pressing ps-- skollfoundation.org. >> the lemelson foundation. committed to improving lives through invention.
in the u.s. and des.loping countr on the web at lemelson.org. >> supported by the . and catherine t. macarthur foundation. committed to building a more just, verdant and peaceful world. more information at macfound.org >> and with the ongoing support of these institutions: >> this program was made possible by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. ank you. >> woodruff: it's been a day of high-speed headlines, topped by chaos and carnage in south florida. a shooting erupted at a high school in parkland this afternoon. the broward county sheriff reported multiple deaths and at least 14 wounded. police swarmed the site,
searching for the gunman, even emergency workers treated and transport the wounded to hospitals. hours later, frantic parents were still arriving on the scene, while students tried to cope. >> you hear about this all the time but you never expect it to happen right here in your neighborhood. everybody knows its a safe place, you don't expect it to happen here, when it happens you're just taken aback. >> woodruff: the suspected w gunm arrested later, off campus. the sheriff identified him as a former old. t, about 18 years for more, n to james laporta of "the daily beast," who's in parkland. and you are joining us by phone. tell us what you are seeing right now a uh come on, the scene is still very active, even tho the majority of students have
been evacuated, but it's been a pretty emtional day hre, as you can imagine many, many parents have been trying to reunite wittheir children at the high school, an becausso many parents have been trying to get through, that has,ou know, clogged up phone lines and data to be able to reach their loved ones. so a verney emotional scown here. >> woodruff: we can only neagine. has anbeen able to share information about what happened? we are told this is a former student involved? >> correct, a former student around 18 to 19 years old. i spoke to one student who was outside when the shooting occurred. he said that heheard aroundot five shs, five diffegunt hots, but also he characterized it as it sounded like an ak-47. now, i have not been able to confirm that but that's what it sounded like to him. on the inside of the building, what's interesting about this is
we're getting to see the horror of the day in terms ofids being posted to social media, you know, in terms of, you know, s.w.a.t. teams clearing out classrooms. but in terms of what's going on down here,hooter appears to be 18, 19 years old. asinou said, 1ividuals have been taken to area hospitals. i've heard reports of approximately seven people are dead, but i've also heard as highs 20 people are dead. but, again, so much information is coming in right now, it'spi hard t down exactly what is truth at this point. >> woodruff: well, james laporta, we know it is a fast-moving story and we know the information we e right now is in -- incomplete but thank you very much for sharing what you.ave right now we appreciate it. >> thank you. >> woodruff: today's shooting is at least the fourth at a middle
or high school in the first two months of the year that led to deaths or injurils. there havebeen shootings near or on the grounds of other schools this year where students and teachers wernanot injured. stephens is the executive director of the national schoolr safety cen ronald stephens, it's no longeki sh, now, when there's a school shooting, is it? >> it's happening far too often r too many times, and every administrator who has faced ths, they've always d they never thought it would happen here, an yet these events are coming to so many unexpected communities at so many unexpected times. >> woodruff: do you believe -- you have been rking on this issue with your organization for a long time. do you believe schools tdayre better prepared when something like this happens? > my take is they are better prepared. our center worked with browardco ty schools more than a decade ago, and they were among one of the first school systems h the united states to really bring together all the firstde
resp and look how they would react when a problem like this occurs. so in terms of preparation, i would reallyescribe them as someone being on the cutting edge. >> woodruff: so what would make them cutting edge? whn would that meathey'd do? y> well, they put school saf on the agenda ahead of many other school sysms around the country, but basically in the training they've brought together all of the first responders, law enforcement, paramedics, s.w.a.t. team and really took some steps to prepare. but, you know, this situation is a reminder to us that schools really need to continue to keep school safety at the forefront, have some great crisis plans and really focus on some of these access control issues toe kep troublemakers like this off the campus. >> woodruff: and, as you're faying that, i'm wondering i this is a school and as other schools around the country,
other parents, educators are watching this, are they able to learn somethi from each one of these episodes? >> well, i think the reminder is how precious life is.f school oials and parents, if i were a parent, i would want to know wther or not my school had a safe school plan, what the access control was, what procedures would be in place, d, yet, these incidents are so difficult to controlecause school officials need to do everything they can, knowing they can't do eerything, because when you have a determined shooter, as in this case, they have quite a degree of latitude to get ind a cause incredible disruption. >> woodruff: and that's a pretty discouraging message, isn't it, both ford educators a parents as well as for the children. >> well, it is discouraging, but, at the same time, it also suggests there are some things we can do to enhance our
preparation and to work on focusing on prevention. and many of the schl administrators after they face these major crises, they said, you know what, we want to get to know our students better, we're going to pt together better threat assessment teams to try to get at least some perspective on these events before they happen. but, once again, you can only do what is humanly possible. so therein lies the challenge for y hool officials as th back and revisit their safe school plans andtrategies, and for parents, let your chiowldren ow much you love them and care for them. >> woodruff: for sure. and i did hear you sayfor many of these schools, it's only after something has happenedey ry to take some of these new measures. but we hope with every one of these terrible incidents that lessons can be learned. ronald stephens with theon na school safety center,
we thank you very much. >> you're welcome. we are now joined on the phone by michael udine, a broward county commissioner. he is the former mayor of a parkla a parent of a student at marjory stoneman douglas high.th 's the school where this happened. mr. udine, tell me, you must be besi yourself. >> yeah, it's a very tough day for our city andu or neighbors in parkland and northst broward. tragedy, i know many of the students, my daughter was in school today, my niece was in school during the incident, they're bo safe, luckily. but it's just been a chaotic scene. law enforcement from all over the areas. it's a senseless tragedy. >> woodruff: do you have any better understanding now of what owhappened? i t's still early. the facts are still being gathered. >> all i know is that there was
an active shooter incident that students were, you know, hiding where they needed to hide. there will be multiple fatalities, injuries a, you know, just issues that are -- such a senseless tragedy to eappen in this community. i know so many of tudents here. i can walk to the school from my house, all of my kidhave gone here. it's just a tragic and sad day for our community. >> woodruff: can you tell us something about parkland, the school, the neighborhood? >> it's an a-rated school. it's a high-achieving students. u know, we excel in sports, drama, leadership,eca, in business. these are good kids, and this is a senseless tragedy, and we'll have victims advocateshere tonight and we'll do whatever as
community to rally around this school to make sure we get back to some sense of normalcy as quickly as possible. n> woodruff: well, we can only imagine what you other parents and certainly thepa nts whose children have been hurt or worse tonig, and our hearts go out to all of you, an as i said to the -- and as i said to the gentleman i just spoke, with one can only hope there will be lessons learned. we appreciate it michael udine, brow thank you very much.r. >> thank you, bye-bye. >> woodruff: our second major headline tonight, the u.s. secretary of veterans affairs is in trouble for a priip to europe at government expense. david shulkin's own inspector general issued a blistering report today. it is the latest example of first-class travel problems to shake the trump cabinet. we'll have an extended look at the issue, right after the news summary. in the day's other news, president trump publicly condemned domestic abuse for the
nerst time since a top white house official resa week ago. rob porter accused him of physical assault during their marriages.o upw, mr. trump has praised porter, and appeared to cast doubt on the accusations. today, amid rising criticism, he fielded a question on the issue at a white house meeting. >> i am totally opposed to v domestlence of any kind, everyone knows that. it almost wouldn't even have to be said, so now you hear it, but you all know it. thank you all very much. >> woodruff: earlier, the chair of the oversight committee in the house of representatives, trey gowdy, said he's opening an investigation into how the white house handled the porter case -y and his seculearance. but vice president pence defended the chief of staff, john kelly, saying he's, "done a remarkable job." meanwhile, a senior aide on the national economic council, george banks, said he has
resigned after failing to get a permanent security clearance. he tol"politico" that the white house counsel's office cited his past marijuana use. the president's long-time personal attorney, michael cohen, now says he paid $130,000 to a porn film star who allegedly had an extramarital affair with mr. trump in 2006. the payment was made shortly before the 2016 election. cohen told "the new york times," that the money came out of his, own pockd that he was not reimbursed by the trump campaign or company. he did not say why he paid stephanie clifford, whose film name is stormy daniels. mr. trump has denied any affair. in south africa, embattled president jacob zuma announced tonight that he'll resign from office, effective immediately. it came after the ruling african congress ordered him to step down in the face of corruption scandals. in a 30-minute televised
address, zuma sputed the accusations against him, then abruptly called an end to his nearly nine-year ruleer >> i have ore come to the decision to resign as president of the republic of with immediate effect. even though i disagree with the decision of the leadership of my organization. >> woodruff: deputy president cyril ramaphosa is expected to succeed zuma. secretary of state rex tillerson called today for iran to withdraw its military forces in anria. he spoke in jordansaid iran is destabilizing the region. but tehran fired back that u.s. forces should leave syria. over the weekend, israel shot down an iranian drone over the golan heights, and syrian forces shot down an israeli warplane. there's word that former
republican presidential candidate mitt romney will run for the u.s. senate seat from utah. it's widely reported that the one-time governor ss husetts will make his announcement tomorrow. he'd be seeking to fill the seat held by republican orrin hatch, who's retiring. w wall street today, the jones industrial average g tned 253 poinclose at 24,893. the nasdaq rose 130 points, and the s&p 500 added 35. and, finally, highlights from day five at the winter olympics in south korea. wamerican snowboarder shate won his third olympic gold in the men's halfpipe, then faced questions about sexual harassment allegations. meanwhile, american luger emily sweeney had a scar crashing on her fourth run of the day.
she said she's sore, but otherwise okay. still to come on the newshour: trump administration officials using taxpayer money for lavish personal travel. methods used to count north korea's nuclear weapons, and much more. >> woodruff: the u.s. secretary of veterans affairs is in trouble for a pricey trip to europe at government expense. >> yang: department of veterans ifairs secretary david shulkin and his staff cafor harsh criticism from the agency's internal watchdog over an 11-day trip last year, to denmark and the united kingdom. the cost to taxpayers: more than $122,000. it included official biness
such as, meetings with danish officials who provide healths, care for veter lunch with danish health care executives, and a conference in london with senior officials from u.s. allies who also deal with veterans' issues. but the rert also details some of shulkins' leisure activity: attending the women's championship mat at the "wimbledon" tennis tournament, a tour of westminster abbey in , and a cruise down the thames river. the department's inspector general said shulkin improperly accepted the wimbledon tickets,d and directartment staff to plan a sightseeing schedule. he also said that shulkin's chief of staff misrepresented details about the trip, going so far as to alter an email, in allow taxpayers to pay for shulkin's wife's expenses. the inspector general said shulkin should reimburse the treasury for the cost of his wife's travel. he also he shulkin suld offer to pay his wimbledon host for the cost of the tickets, and if she declines pay that money to the u.s. government. in a letter to the inspector
general, shulkin said the report atoes not appear to be acc or objective, and it contains the thread of bias." shulkin is not the first trump cabinet membero be questioned about travel practices. interior secretary ryan zinke, and epa administrator scott pruitt are all under investigation by their department's internal watchdogs. st year, health and human services secretary tom price quit after his use of private planes was reported. for the pbs newshour, i'm john yang. >> woodruff: we explore these viations further now with: reporter lisa rein of the "washington post," ak, kathleen cl professor of law at washington university in st. louis, who works on issues of government ethics. and we welcome both of you to the program. lisa rein, you're the reporter here. i'm going to start with you. what secretary shulkin is
saying, he called it the "thread of bias" in ths report. it doesn't appear to be accurate or objective? how do we know what the inspector general fond is accurate? >> well, secretary shulkin has pushed back very, very hard against this report. he's hired a team of lawyers. he's hired a p.r. firm, which is pretty unusual. he -- some things he does not deny. for example, his chief of staff, who the inspector general sai doctored an email to ensure that shulkin's wife would be able to travel t europe expense-free and on the government's dime was not denied.'s mostly the wimbledon tickets. the inspector general said this was an inproper gift basically from a spor rts promoo had been a c.e.o. of prince harry'sa "invictus" gam had reason to potentially influence the
secretary because the "invictus" games are for veterans. >> woodruff: right. and the laws are very clear that if you have a cose friendship with the person giving you a gift, then you're rene. so it wally fascinating. the watchdog had to parse whether the shulkins were close friends with this promoter, this british wom the inspector general said, no, didn't seem they had much contact aside from a few meetings at big events. >> woodruff: which suggested there was something wrong here. so kathleen clark, how clear are the rules for these cabinet secretaries and other top officials in the administration out what's appropriate and what isn't? >> the rules on accepting giftsa are acy quite clear and detailed, and they apply not just to cabinet secretaries but just about every official in the executive branch. so officials are encouraged to seek advice from designated ethics counselors if they have
quesons about how the rules apply. so what we see here is that the chief of staff allegedly manipulated that advice process h order to get te answer she wanted. >> woodruff: and just to get back to the point that lisa made about the fridship, how much uld it matter whether he was h already good friends witor not the someone who did him a big favor, gave him theiseckets? >> yeah, there's an exception in the regulations thatllows an employee to accept a gift that would otherwise berohibited if the gift is based on personal friendship. and, in fact, as lisa rein indicated, the secretary does push back on that, providing even an affidavitar declaration from this sports promoter attesting to her iendship not so much with the secretary but with his wife. >> woodruff: and i'm being reminded by our producer that secretary shulkin has told the "army times" that he will
pay back whatever money he owes tien though he cones to dispute these allegations. lisa rein, how did these -- do these allegations against the vecretary fit in to what we' seen take place with other top cabinet officials in the trump administration? >> this became a big story last fall wheformer secretary of health and human services tom price dd a story on this. you travel a lot as a cabinet secretary. i would say this is not as egregious in the publicce east mind as price was forced to resign. e t then you havspectors general in three other agencies who have looked into -- well, i have ryan zinke, the intseerior etary who is under investigation now for travel that most will you opinionvolves mixing official interior events witholitical appearances. >> woodruff:ight. you have e.p.a. secretary scott pruitt who on -- we just
reported a few days ago pretty much always travels first class orusiness class wherever he's going, goes home to oklahoma a unt, that'r investigation. then you had steve mnuchin who -- a treasury secretary who the i.g. has already reported in his case heook about $800,000 worth of military flights. >> woodruff: and that was cleared as we -- >> it was cleared, although the inspector general had some questions about it. >> woodruff: so, kathleen clark, how unusual is it?in compare this atration and these investigations to previous administrations, how do they compare? >> this is not normal. it's not in any way normal to have four or five cabinet secretaries under investigation for their travel habits. it's also not normal for cabinet secretars to disregard the publica fisk in the wy that they have. i think it's part of a larger pattern in this administration
and i wonder whether they are king their marching orders from the president in terms of how careless or free he has ben in his travel, which has caused the secret service to incur extra expenses. >> woodruff: you mean because he travels many weekends to one of his homes either in florida or new jersey or -- precisely. >> woodruff: and so forth. i just want to come back to this question, kathleen clark, about how clear these rules are, because we're hearing about a lot of pushback from secretary shulkin. is there room to argue about the kinds of allegations we're discussing here?re >> tppears to be a factual dispute in this case regarding the wimbledon tickets. >> woodruff: right. the inspector general has concluded that the secretary did not have a close friendship with this promoter and he's pointing out -- and he's provided facts suggesting that he did, u know, what i would say
is t rules are clear, with you but the rules also have exceptions, so when you combine a strict rule with an exception how they meet can be in dispute as it is in this case. >> woodruft as you said, lisa rein, several investigations underway. >> that's also a question of optics. high-level officials who are in a presidential cabinet need to be thinking about optics, and that's, you know, what some people might arg mr. shulkin didn't think about. >> woodruff: he's made his way into the headlinesoday or certainly this story has. lisa rein with "the washington post," kathleen clarth the university of washington. thank you very much. >> thank you. dr
>> wf: stay with us, coming up on the newshour: republican senator david perdue of georgia on the immigration aubate on capitol hill. and snowboarder white brings home the gold but faces renewed scrutiny over sexual harassment allegations. but first, capitol hill >> woodruff: one of ung people whose fate -- apologies. our apologies. it's a night full of news. we're going to get straight now. the story we turn to now, how advanced is north korea's nuclear weapons program? i >>

Anyone know who David Lereah is?

For the last 4 years I have watched the housing market overheat like crazy. I was the guy 4 years ago saying that markets are cyclical and it can't last. Up, up, up the market rose. I would go to parties and meet some of the most stupid motherfuckers who thought they were the next Donald Trump because they happened to get in on the real estate market before it exploded - like they fucking knew their gains would be 50% per year.

Sure, it is sour grapes, but I remembered the Savings & Loan disaster in the late 80's. I remember the real estate company my father worked for, which was headed for a ridiculous fortune, implode on itself because of the fallout. At one point of time, my mother was fully expecting us to own a summer home in South Jersey, a vacation villa in Italy and a brand new home on the Main Line. Those never came to fruition due to the housing collapse in the 80's. Maybe this is part of the reason why I am so thorough when I make any purchases, real estate or otherwise. This profoundly affected my life, watching the dreams and apirations of my father and mother get quashed overnight.

Lots of my generation don't remember the real estate recession from 1988-1992. They were mostly too young to remember it or just weren't affected by it like my family was affected. Fortunately my father was extremely intelligent and very resourceful. He emerged from the collapse stronger, wiser and economically healthy. We never got that villa in Italy, but the old man did well enough to make us all proud of his financial success.

So what does this have to do with David Lereah?

Well, because of my experiences and my trepidation to the whole housing market, I would read all the housing articles over the years. One name that always stood out was David Lereah, the National Association of Realtors chief economist. He was the spin doctor. When the market was a shooting star, he was leading the parade and waving his baton. When the market started to turn, he became a broken record.

Read for yourself a smattering of quotes that I got from Bloomberg News:

Sept 25, 2006: National Association of Realtors' Lereah Comments on Housing,
“We think the housing market has now hit bottom…We're confident that the contraction in the housing market we've been seeing since August 2005 may be ending.”

Dec 11, 2006: Housing Will Recover in First Quarter, Realtors Say
“ Dec. 11 (Bloomberg) -- The worst of the U.S. housing slump is
over, according to the National Association of Realtors.”

Dec 28, 2006: U.S. Existing Home Sales Unexpectedly Rose Last Month
“It appears we've hit bottom,”

Feb 1, 2007: Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Rose 4.9% in December
“ ``It appears buyers are becoming more comfortable, sensing
the timing is good and that their local market has bottomed
out,'' David Lereah, chief economist for the Realtors' group,
said in a statement. ``I expect modest gains throughout the
year, with what I believe are sustainable levels of activity.''

Feb 15, 2007: Home Prices Fell in Half U.S. Cities in 4th Quarter
“Hopefully the fourth quarter was the bottom for the current housing cycle,'' Lereah said in the statement.

March 23, 2007: Realtors' Lereah Says Housing Market Has `Some Momentum'
“ ``I'd like to say yes, the worst is over. It seems like there
is some momentum now in the housing sector. Most measures in
housing have been on the up rather than the down.”

April 3, 2007: Pending Sales of Existing Homes Rose 0.7% in February
The gain in the February ``is encouraging,'' said David
Lereah, the real-estate agents group's chief economist in a
statement. ``The data suggests an underlying stabilization is
taking place in the housing market, but it will take another
month or two to clarify.''

Look, i'm fully aware he is a spin doctor. I know that being a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors he has to put a nice face on all the data. But how many times can this guy say that the market is "bottoming out" or "stabilizing"? I may not be a reporter, but if I was, I would absolutely be writing about this guy and going to my Lexus Nexus to see how many times he was quoted as saying the market bottomed out. I'm sure there is more quotes of his before Sept 25, 2006 that I could find which puts a happy face on everything.

Are you a reporter? Do you know a reporter? Just send them all my quotes and say, "Someone please call out David Lereah on his bullshit." I'd love to see how the spin doctor pooh-pooh's all the times he has said that the real estate market is botttoming out.

Now, with that being said, I met a neighbor from my same building last night.

I moved my car from Monroe Center for the Arts on 7th and Monroe to a new lot on Newark Street. It was $25 more per month, but having my car across the street from where I live was worth it. Unfortunately, the spot is tandem, but since I use my car maybe once or twice per month, it didn't bother me much. I am in line for a single spot, however.

I met the neighbor and she was a pleasant, 30-something woman of Indian heritage who also lived in the building. After we exchanged pleasantries, I asked her, "So what's wrong with the building", figuring i'd get the dirt now.

"Mice.", she replied.

Dammit!

One of the greatest things about my apartment is that we never had vermin issues. Nor did we have any major insect issues, except for the occasional ant invasion that was easily destroyed. Never had cockroaches. Saw an occasional spider.

My neighbor explained that the building across the street from ours was under construction and she surmised that the mice from there ran across the street into our building. My only caveat is that she is on the Willow side of the building as and i'm on the Clinton side (the building spans the entire block, and has 7 floors).

She also noted that the building did hire an exterminator, and was actively combating the problem. Also said that it wasn't an infestation, but it was a fairly good annoyance. She said that it seemed to be getting better.

Armed with that, I certainly plan to have my contractor look over my apartment for any holes that the mice could wiggle through. The building is concrete poured, not like some of the newer construction that is flimsier and easier to infest/tunnel. Unless the mice have super concrete eating teeth, i'm sure this problem can be managed. I fully expect that once I move in, i'm going to be very active with monitoring this issue with the building management & rallying the tenants to combat it. I told my neighbor that i'm that kind of guy - i'd be the guy printing off 60 copies of "How To Combat a Rodent Problem" from the internet and going to everyone's door handing out the pamphlets.

If I find that mice are a problem, I will go to the ASPCA and get 2 cats for my apartment. My old cat, Honey, was a great mouser - she used to catch mice all the time at my sister's old farmhouse and even caught one at my first apartment on Bloomfield street. She was nice enough to leave it in the middle of the kitchen floor for us, as if to say "Surprise! Look what I got for you!"

I'm kidding about getting two cats. Man, I hope the mice issue isn't that bad. I guess I will have to add to my list of things to do is get an exterminator to look over my apartment.

Oh, and i'm feeling much better today. 95% back to normal. Just a small twinge of stomach pain remains and I still have 2 Cipro tablets to take today, so I hope I will feel 100% by tomorrow or the next day.

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