WATCH: Albright Says It's 'Almost Too Hard To Express' Excitement Over Clinton

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention.

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright spoke Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention. Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

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Madeleine Albright, who spoke Tuesday night at the Democratic National Convention, says it’s “almost too hard to express” the excitement she feels over Hillary Clinton’s presidential nomination.

Albright, the first female secretary of state, has been a fierce supporter of Clinton’s presidential campaign and told NPR’s Rachel Martin that she believes Clinton is the “perfect candidate and the best-prepared person to be president of the United States.”

In February, Albright was criticized for declaring at a Clinton campaign rally that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other.” She told Martin she regrets saying that phrase, which she has used often, in a political context.

Tuesday night, her remarks were less controversial, but the fellow Wellesley alumna (and fellow former secretary of state) gave a strong endorsement:

“She knows that safeguarding freedom and security is not like hosting a TV reality show. It is a complex, round-the-clock job that demands not only a steady hand and a cool head, but also a big heart. You are not just representing yourself; you are there for all of us. Hillary has displayed these qualities in every job she has ever had.”

Albright spoke about how Clinton can better engage with women, how she feels a Donald Trump victory would be welcomed by Vladimir Putin and what it means to have the first female nominee of a major U.S. political party.

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Interview Highlights

On the historic moment

It’s almost too hard to express because we’ve been waiting for this. And she is the perfect candidate and the best-prepared person to be president of the United States. And she is remarkable and it is historic. And it’s so, so exciting for everybody.

On how Clinton can win over women

I think she has to talk more about the things that she plans, things that she’s done. But I think the rest of us have to help, because we know what in fact is her history and how hard she works. And all the things that she’s done to dedicate herself. And I don’t, you know, I think women have to make up their own minds. But the truth is that we have a candidate that is so dedicated to women’s issues and all questions to do with society and health. And she’s perfect. And so I hope people understand that.

On that “special place in hell”

What happened is people didn’t hear what I was really saying because I had turned to Hillary and said therefore you are going to the other place because of everything you’ve done for women. But by then people were applauding. And I had made that statement so many times and it’s so popular it was on Starbucks cups. But I shouldn’t have said it in a political context, because I would never vote for Sarah Palin or women that I disagree with.

On Albright and Clinton’s friendship

I’m prejudiced. I obviously am. I’ve known her for a very long time and I’ve seen her care about people. You know, we went to lots of meetings in fancy rooms but what was interesting was the way that she really listened to people. When we were abroad, for instance, she’d meet with women’s groups or we’d go to hospitals. And she really would listen to what people needed. She is a really good listener. And I think that’s not something you go and stand at a podium and say I’m listening to you, she has to express her views. But I think she is brilliant and … she’s not a diva at all. She works very hard. She doesn’t expect to have favors done for her. I think she’s a remarkable person and we’re very lucky that she’s put herself this way. And I so want to help her and to be able to explain to my friends and other women and men why she would be so terrific.

On Trump as a “gift” for Putin

(Editor’s note: This interview was recorded ahead of Trump’s comments that Russia should try to find Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails.)

Putin deliberately wants to break up the European Union and NATO, as a very specific example. So when Putin all of a sudden says that he wanted to do that and then Trump in fact just last week talked about the fact that NATO — why would we support the Baltics? What is the basis of NATO? Why would we do that? That is almost as if Putin had written it. It’s crazy. And that’s the gift because Putin believes that the United States is really an enemy in some way. And some of the things that Trump is saying, I think, are a gift to Putin.

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Mysterious And Known As The 'Raven': Scientists Identify New Whale Species

In 2004 Reid Brewer of the University of Alaska Southeast measured an unusual beaked whale that turned up dead in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. A tissue sample from the carcass later showed that the whale was one of the newly identified species.

In 2004 Reid Brewer of the University of Alaska Southeast measured an unusual beaked whale that turned up dead in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. A tissue sample from the carcass later showed that the whale was one of the newly identified species. Don Graves hide caption

toggle caption Don Graves

For decades, Japanese fishermen have told stories about the existence of a dark, rare beaked whale that they called karasu — the “raven.”

But now, scientists say they have genetic proof to back up these tales. Long mistaken for its relative, the Baird’s beaked whale, scientists say it represents an entirely new species.

“There have been a lot of people out there surveying whales for a long time and never come across this in scientific research,” Phillip Morin, research molecular geneticist at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center, tells The Two-Way. “So it is a huge thing to discover this; it’s kind of baffling that we haven’t seen it before.” The team’s research was published Tuesday in Marine Mammal Science.

Japanese scientists published a paper in 2013 suggesting that three whales that washed ashore in Japan might represent a different species but concluding that the sample size was too small — that further research was needed. This got Morin’s attention.

What followed was an effort that involved people all over the world to find more samples of the mysterious new whale. It was “like a mystery, sleuthing out what these samples are and where they were,” he says.

Some samples were hidden in plain sight. A whale skull from the new species was on display at the Smithsonian, incorrectly identified as a Baird’s beaked whale. A Japanese scientist spotted it on a visit to the museum, Morin says. Also, a skeleton was found on display at an Alaska high school.

The only skeleton of the new species in the United States hangs on display in Unalaska High School, in Alaska's Aleutian Islands. The whale was found dead in 2004, and recent tests on stored tissue samples revealed that it is one of the few known specimens of the new species.

The only skeleton of the new species in the United States hangs on display in Unalaska High School, in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands. The whale was found dead in 2004, and recent tests on stored tissue samples revealed that it is one of the few known specimens of the new species. Unalaska City School District hide caption

toggle caption Unalaska City School District

Two others were found at the NOAA Southwest Fisheries Science Center’s collection, incorrectly labeled as Baird’s whales.

And fortuitously, a dead whale washed ashore on a remote island of St. George in Alaska’s Bering Sea after the search for new samples had already begun. National Geographic described that discovery, which happened in June 2014:

“A young biology teacher spotted the carcass half-buried in sand on a desolate windswept beach. He alerted a former fur seal researcher who presumed, at first, that she knew what they’d found: a Baird’s beaked whale, a large, gray, deep-diving creature that occasionally washes in dead with the tide.

“But a closer examination later showed that the flesh was too dark, the dorsal fin too big and floppy. The animal was too short to be an adult, but its teeth were worn and yellowed with age.”

Molin says the St. George specimen proved important because “the number of samples we have are very small.” And because it was a full-grown animal, it gave the researchers an idea about its length: only two-thirds the size of a Baird’s beaked whale as an adult.

Other differences: “It reportedly has a different shaped skull and maybe a shorter beak than a Baird’s beaked whale, relative to the shape of its head. And the dorsal fin is reported to be placed slightly differently, and differently shaped,” Morin says. They’re also “pretty cryptic” and spend a lot of time in very deep waters, he adds.

Illustration by Uko Gorter of the newly identified species of beaked whale, which is about two-thirds the size of and darker in color than the more common Baird's beaked whale.

Illustration by Uko Gorter of the newly identified species of beaked whale, which is about two-thirds the size of and darker in color than the more common Baird’s beaked whale. Uko Gorter/Natural History Illustration hide caption

toggle caption Uko Gorter/Natural History Illustration

The mysterious whale has never been spotted alive by scientists. Traditionally, species identification involves “detailed measurements and description of a physical specimen,” Morin says. “But with whales, that’s a really difficult thing to do. And with a whale as rare as this, it’s even more difficult because we just don’t have those materials.” He explains that they’re using “genetics as a line of evidence” to prove the existence of a new species.

There were two previously known types of beaked whale — Baird’s, which resides in the Northern Hemisphere, and Arnoux’s, which lives in the Southern Hemisphere. The scientists said in their article that the two known species “share a common ancestor more recently than they do with the black form.”

And while it’s “pretty incredible” to be discovering a new animal that’s 24 feet long, it also hints at how much more in the deep ocean is left to be discovered, Morin says:

“We’re using more and more technologies to get us there — but as some people have said, we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the bottom of the ocean. That’s a huge amount of space to investigate. … There’s all sorts of different ways we can use technologies to explore the oceans, but it’s still going to be a long process and we’re going to continue to discover things. Probably not a lot of large whales, but who knows? It wouldn’t surprise me if there were more whales that we’ve never documented before.”

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LIVE BLOG: President Obama To Headline Third Night Of DNC

Attendees cheer during the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.
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The third day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia began with a little bit of drama: The convention took up a motion to nominate Tim Kaine as the party’s vice presidential candidate.

Attendees cheer during the third day of the Democratic National Convention at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday. Drew Angerer/Getty Images hide caption

toggle caption Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Rep. Marcia Fudge moved to approve the nomination by acclamation. Most of the delegates obliged and Kaine was officially nominated. But for about a minute, supporters of Bernie Sanders who oppose Kaine demanded a roll call vote.

Here’s a bit of what to expect tonight:

— The headliner will be President Barack Obama. He is speaking 12-years to the day when he delivered a speech to the DNC in Boston. That speech catapulted an aspiring senator to the national stage and eventually led him to the White House.

— Part of the program today will be devoted to gun violence: We’ll hear from Christine Leinonen, whose son was killed at the shooting at Pulse night club in Orlando.

Erica Smegielski, whose mother was the principal at Sandy Hook Elementary, is expected to speak about “gun violence prevention methods.”

Tim Kaine is expected to accept his nomination as the presidential nominee.

— Vice President Joe Biden will also make an appearance.

We’ve posted a live stream of the proceedings at the top of this post. We’ll also update this post as the night develops.

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Sen. Tim Kaine's Record On Health Care: He's With Hillary

Sen. Tim Kaine, of Virginia, counted health care policy among his chief concerns at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton on July 23 in Miami.

Sen. Tim Kaine, of Virginia, counted health care policy among his chief concerns at a campaign rally for Hillary Clinton on July 23 in Miami. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images hide caption

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As he takes the stage tonight at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, vice presidential nominee Tim Kaine, is firmly in Hillary Clinton’s camp — and his party’s — on the big health care issues. Now a U.S. senator from Virginia, Kaine supports the Affordable Care Act and pushed its Medicaid expansion. He also worked to reform the mental health system when he was governor of Virginia.

Here are highlights and a few flashpoints of controversy from Kaine’s health policy record:

Mental Health

A defining moment in Kaine’s tenure as governor was the 2007 mass shooting at Virginia Tech, where 33 people, including the gunman — a student at the school — died.

Almost exactly one year later, Kaine signed a $42 million legislative package to reform the state’s mental health system. The money was used mostly for emergency mental health services, children’s mental health services, increased case managers and doctors and jail diversion projects, according to the Virginia Office of the Attorney General.

“Somebody shouldn’t be imprisoned because we won’t provide funding for community mental health,” Kaine said at a mental health conference in 2008, shortly after the bills were signed, according to the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk, Va.

The package of laws made it easier for authorities to commit someone having a mental health crisis into treatment involuntarily. They no longer had to prove the patient was in “imminent danger.” Instead, the new standard only required authorities to demonstrate a “substantial likelihood” that the person could cause serious harm to themselves or others.

Together, Kaine and the state’s General Assembly made a down payment on longer-term reforms for the delivery of mental health and behavioral health services in Virginia, says Peter Cunningham, a professor of health behavior and policy at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Abortion

As a Catholic who worked with Jesuit missionaries in Honduras in 1980, Kaine says he opposes abortion personally, but supports a woman’s right to choose for herself. His stance has drawn criticism over the years.

“Personally, I’m opposed to abortion and I’m opposed to the death penalty,” he said on NBC’s Meet the Press in June. “The right thing for government is to let women make their own decisions.”

That was a change from Kaine’s position in 2005, when he supported parental consent laws and bans on “partial birth” abortions, causing the Virginia chapter of NARAL Pro-Choice America to withhold an endorsement in his gubernatorial campaign. As governor, he signed a bill creating “Choose Life” license plates in Virginia, which he said was an issue of free speech.

Since then, Kaine has actively supported Planned Parenthood and opposed abortion restrictions.

In 2013, Kaine cosponsored legislation to improve access to contraception.

Affordable Care Act

Kaine did not mark himself as a health care reformer when he was Virginia’s governor, but his 2006-2010 term overlapped the recession when little reform was happening anywhere at state or national levels, Cunningham points out.

“He was probably pretty typical of the middle-of-the-road Democratic governors in sort-of-purple states,” Cunningham says. “When the recession hit, that precluded any other major health reform effort that he might have contemplated.”

Kaine supported Obamacare when he ran for Senate in 2012 and has since co-sponsored bills to improve the law. Kaine has pushed for Medicaid expansion in Virginia and co-sponsored legislation to incentivize expansion in other states as well. Like Clinton, Kaine has proposed adjusting the federal health care law to include some low-income families that aren’t currently covered — fixing the so-called “family glitch.” This year, he co-sponsored a bill to require more businesses to provide benefits under the Affordable Care Act.

Public Health

Kaine has occasionally incited controversy, as in 2007 when Virginia became the first state to require all girls get the human papillomavirus vaccine (protection against a virus that can cause cervical cancer) before enrolling in high school. In 2009, he backed a bill that banned smoking in bars and restaurants in the tobacco-producing commonwealth.

Opioids

Since his election to the Senate four years ago, Kaine has co-sponsored bills that would establish an advisory committee to help the FDA approve new opioids, reform guidelines for the VA regarding the prescription of opioids, protect first responders from lawsuits when they administer emergency drugs to counteract an overdose, and create a drug monitoring program for Medicare.

Many of those bills were rolled into CARA— the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, which was signed by President Obama in July. The bill bore Kaine’s name as a co-sponsor.

Kaiser Health News (KHN) is a national health policy news service. It is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Slave Labor And The 'Longer History' Of The White House

A drawing of the first White House designed by architect James Hoban, who won the competition to design the president's new house in 1792. Building began that year and ended in 1800.

A drawing of the first White House designed by architect James Hoban, who won the competition to design the president’s new house in 1792. Building began that year and ended in 1800. AP hide caption

toggle caption AP

First lady Michelle Obama on Monday referenced a bit of history in her speech at the Democratic National Convention that has both surprised and moved many.

“That is the story of this country, the story that has brought me to this stage tonight, the story of generations of people who felt the lash of bondage, the shame of servitude, the sting of segregation, but who kept on striving and hoping and doing what needed to be done so that today I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” she said.

Clarence Lusane, author of The Black History of the White House and chairperson of Howard University’s political science department, says slave laborers who built the White House were both skilled and unskilled. Carpentry work, for example, was skilled, he tells Morning Edition‘s Renee Montagne, but “a lot of it was just hard, intense manual labor,” often done under punishing weather conditions.

“Trees had to be cut down. Once those trees were cut down, then they had to be hauled away. Then the ground had to be cleared. To construct these buildings foundations had to be dug. So it was an incredible amount of hard labor that was involved,” Lusane says.


Interview Highlights

On the significance of Michelle Obama’s comment

I think it was a wonderful moment in American history. I thought what Michelle Obama was attempting to do was to draw that link to show that it isn’t just what’s going on in the White House now and isn’t it great that there’s a black family there, but there’s a much longer history that needs to be appreciated.

On the working conditions

The winters can often be bitterly cold. There are snowstorms. And the summers can be crazy hot.

And so during all of that, people who were forced to work continued. And what the record shows is that because there was such a concern about the cost of building this brand new city, there was pressure to have people work pretty much from “can’t see to can’t see,” so from early in the morning until they literally just cannot see at night.

On comments from Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly that slaves who built the White House were “well fed and had decent lodgings”

I think the overall critical issue is that people were enslaved. They had little choice about what work they could do, about what their lives would be like. And what Bill O’Reilly talks about — that some were better fed — may or may not be the case, but it never changed the fundamental issue that if the slave owner decided at any particular point that they wanted to remove that person, put them in a worse condition, they could do that without any repercussions at all.

On George Washington initially trying to avoid using slaves

I think he always had an ambiguous understanding in relationship to slavery. So in building this brand new symbol of the new America, the democracy that they were trying to promote and to establish the new country as a beacon in the world for liberation and freedom, it was clearly compromised by the issue of slavery. So I think in that context George Washington would have preferred not to have to address the issue of slave labor building the Capitol, building the White House. The problem was that there was not enough nonslave labor that could get the task accomplished.

So for example, the rock quarries which were in Virginia — [it was] just unimaginable back-breaking work. You had to dig these rocks out, then you had to load them on a boat, sail them across the [Chesapeake] Bay, then they had to be unloaded and then they had to be carried to the site. So this is just grueling, grueling kind of work. And nobody was really willing … to do it. So slave labor played a massive role in getting this city built.

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DNC Night 3 Schedule: President Obama, Biden, Kaine Take The State

Delegates on the Democratic Convention floor at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Delegates on the Democratic Convention floor at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Meg Kelly/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Meg Kelly/NPR

President Obama will address the Democratic Convention tonight — his speech will be an important endorsement for Hillary Clinton but also crucial to his own legacy.

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Vice President Joe Biden will also address attendees in Philadelphia to support Clinton, leaving his own White House dreams in the rearview mirror.

And Tim Kaine, now officially the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, will introduce himself to the audience.

Here is a partial evening schedule, as provided by the DNC:

5:30 – 6:00 p.m. ET

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

6:00 – 10:00 p.m. ET

Actress Star Jones

Flint, Mich. Mayor Karen Weaver

Former governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey

Actress Angela Bassett

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords & Astronaut Mark Kelly

Musical Performance: What the World Needs Now

Former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on the Bin Laden raid

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

Dr. Jill Biden

Vice President Joe Biden

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Michael Bloomberg

Lenny Kravitz Musical Performance

10:00 – 11:00 p.m. ET

Democratic Nominee for Vice President Tim Kaine

President Barack Obama

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DNC Night 3 Schedule: President Obama, Biden, Kaine Take The Stage

Delegates on the Democratic National Convention floor at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Delegates on the Democratic National Convention floor at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. Meg Kelly/NPR hide caption

toggle caption Meg Kelly/NPR

President Obama will address the Democratic National Convention tonight. His speech will be an important endorsement for Hillary Clinton but also crucial to his own legacy.

YouTube

Vice President Biden will also address attendees in Philadelphia to support Clinton, leaving his own White House dreams in the rearview mirror.

And Tim Kaine, now officially the Democratic Party’s vice presidential nominee, will introduce himself to the audience.

Here is a partial evening schedule, as provided by the DNC:

5:30-6 p.m. ET

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

6-10 p.m. ET

Actress Star Jones

Flint, Mich., Mayor Karen Weaver

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley

Former Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey

Actress Angela Bassett

Former Rep. Gabby Giffords and astronaut Mark Kelly

Musical performance: What the World Needs Now

Former Congressman and Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta on the bin Laden raid

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio

Dr. Jill Biden

Vice President Biden

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed

Michael Bloomberg

Lenny Kravitz Musical Performance

10-11 p.m. ET

Democratic nominee for vice president, Tim Kaine

President Obama

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Beekeeping is all the buzz in New York City

While in other parts of the world honeybees have been creating a buzz because of their rapid decline, in New York their population has been soaring for the past few years, literally.

The number of urban beekeepers has exponentially grown according to Andrew Coté, President of New York City Beekeepers Association, with registered beehives growing ten-fold in the past five years.

In Manhattan, many keep their hives on rooftops, including skyscrapers and office buildings which make for “fantastic apiaries”, according to Coté.

“Tending beehives on top of New York City and other urban areas is nothing new. However, there has been something of a renaissance in the past five to eight years and it has gained great popularity,” he told Reuters on Tuesday (July 26).

Coté tends hives on a dozen of skyscrapers throughout Manhattan, including the ones on the 76th floor of the Residence Inn hotel near Central Park, which at 723 feet (220 meters) is the highest apiary measured from the ground in the world according to management.

“Since we have put the hives in two and a half years ago, we have done a fair amount of research, and we haven’t been able to find a hive higher than we are at this point,” explained Timothy McGlinchey Area General Manager of Residence Inn Central Park.

The hotel started the “Broadway Bees” project as part of their green initiative as bees are the main pollinators of flowering plants, including many fruits and vegetables.

The rooftop hosts six hives which totals to about 180,000 honey bees, all in robust condition.

Bee populations are in sharp decline around the world, under attack from a poorly understood phenomenon known as colony collapse disorder. One reason is believed to be the bees’ exposure to excessive pesticides and chemicals in rural areas and the lack thereof in New York makes the hives healthy, says Coté.

“Beehives in New York City are healthier I would say then the beehives in the Midwest. There is little to no spraying (of pesticides) on top of buildings, no chemicals interfering with their ins and outs,” he said.

Naturally, the honey gathered by urban bees is apt for human consumption. Coté owns dozens of hives throughout the city and sells his “caramelized gold” in green markets and online. The labels read “Tribeca”, “Bushwick” or “Coney Island” corresponding with the neighborhood the honey was collected from.

“I don’t care. To me if it’s pure good organic, whether it’s made on a rooftop or in a shed, it doesn’t matter to me,” said Harvey Marshal, who frequently buys “Andrew’s Honey”.

“I just had a taste of it and it’s really nice,” said another customer Paul Walker.

New York has legalized beekeeping in 2010 and currently has nearly 300 registered hives according to the Department of Health.

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After Coup Attempt, Turkish Government Cracks Down On Press

Journalists gather outside a court building to support journalist Bulent Mumay, who was detained Tuesday in connection with the investigation of the attempted coup in Turkey.

Journalists gather outside a court building to support journalist Bulent Mumay, who was detained Tuesday in connection with the investigation of the attempted coup in Turkey. Petros Karadjias/AP hide caption

toggle caption Petros Karadjias/AP

The Turkish government has cracked down on independent media since an attempted coup on July 15, shutting down at least 45 newspapers and 16 TV stations, the Associated Press reports.

On Wednesday, the state-run news service Anadolu Agency reported 47 arrest warrants had been issued for employees of the newspaper Zaman, and that 13 people had been detained.

Zaman and a sister publication were raided by police in March for their supposed connection to the Hizmet religious movement led by exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen, who lives in Pennsylvania. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has repeatedly blamed Gulen for fomenting the military coup against him on July 15.

Other media outlets with suspected ties to Gulen have also been targeted. Earlier this week, the government issued an additional 42 arrest warrants for journalists, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The Committee wrote on its website “Many of the journalists on the reported [warrant] list … worked for media outlets which [are] already taken over by pro-government trustees for their ties to the Hizmet movement.”

Gauri van Gulik, Amnesty International’s deputy director for Europe, issued a statement condemning the media crackdown:

“By rounding up journalists the government is failing to make a distinction between criminal acts and legitimate criticism. Rather than stifling press freedom and intimidating journalists into silence it is vital that Turkish authorities allow the media to do their work and end this draconian clampdown on freedom of expression.”

On Wednesday, State Department spokesman John Kirby said the U.S. sees “a troubling trend in Turkey where official bodies, law enforcement and judicial, are being used to discourage legitimate political discourse,” reports Reuters.

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Many Well-Known Hospitals Fail To Score High In Medicare Rankings

Memorial Hermann Hospital System in Houston was one of very few nationally reowned hospitals to get a five-star ranking from Medicare.

Memorial Hermann Hospital System in Houston was one of very few nationally reowned hospitals to get a five-star ranking from Medicare. Ed Uthman/Flickr hide caption

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The federal government released its first overall hospital quality rating on Wednesday, slapping average or below average scores on many of the nation’s best-known hospitals while awarding top scores to many unheralded ones.

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services rated 3,617 hospitals on a one- to five-star scale, angering the hospital industry, which has been pressing the Obama administration and Congress to block the ratings.

Hospitals argue the government’s ratings will make teaching hospitals and other institutions that treat many tough cases look bad. They argue that their patients are often poorer and sicker when admitted, and so are more likely to suffer further complications or die, than at institutions where the patients aren’t as sick.

Medicare, which already publicizes on its website more than 100 hospital metrics, many of which deal with technical matters, acknowledges that the ratings don’t reflect cutting edge care, such as the latest techniques to battle cancer. Still, it has held firm in publishing the rankings, saying that consumers need a simple way to objectively gauge quality. Medicare does factor in the health of patients when comparing hospitals, though not as much as some hospitals would like.

Medicare based the star ratings on 64 individual measures that are published on its Hospital Compare website, including death and infection rates and patient reviews.

Just 102 hospitals received the top rating of five stars, and few are those considered as the nation’s best by private ratings sources such as U.S. News & World Report, or viewed as the most elite within the medical profession.

Medicare awarded five stars to relatively obscure hospitals and a notable number of hospitals that specialized in just a few types of surgery, such as knee replacements. There were more five-star hospitals in Lincoln, Neb., and La Jolla, Calif., than in New York City or Boston. Memorial Hermann Hospital System in Houston and Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., were two of the only nationally known hospitals to get five stars.

Medicare awarded the lowest rating of one star to 129 hospitals. Five hospitals in Washington, D.C., received just one star, including George Washington University Hospital and MedStar Georgetown University Hospital, both of which teach medical residents. Nine hospitals in Brooklyn, four hospitals in Las Vegas and three hospitals in Miami received only one star.

Some premiere medical centers received the second-highest rating of four stars, including Stanford Health Care in California, Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, Duke University Hospital in Durham, N.C., New York-Presbyterian Hospital and NYU Langone Medical Center in Manhattan, the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, and Penn Presbyterian Medical Center in Philadelphia. In total, 927 hospitals received four stars.

Medicare gave its below-average score of a two-star rating to 707 hospitals. They included the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan, North Shore University Hospital (now known as Northwell Health) in Manhasset, N.Y., Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, Tufts Medical Center in Boston and MedStar Washington Hospital Center in D.C. Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, Pa. — which is a favorite example for national health policy experts of a quality hospital — also received two stars.

Nearly half the hospitals — 1,752 — received an average rating of three stars. Another 1,042 hospitals were not rated, including all hospitals in Maryland.

The government said in a statement that it has been using the same type of rating system for other medical facilities, such as nursing homes and dialysis centers, and found them useful to consumers and patients. Those ratings have shown, Medicare said, “that publicly available data drives improvement, better reporting, and more open access to quality information for our Medicare beneficiaries.”

In a statement, Rick Pollack, president of the American Hospital Association, called the new ratings confusing for patients and families. “Health care consumers making critical decisions about their care cannot be expected to rely on a rating system that raises far more questions than answers,” he said. “We are especially troubled that the current ratings scheme unfairly penalizes teaching hospitals and those serving higher numbers of the poor.”

A preliminary analysis Medicare released last week found hospitals that treated large numbers of low-income patients tended to do worse.

A sizable proportion of the nation’s major academic medical centers, which train doctors, scored poorly, according to a Kaiser Health News analysis. Out of 288 hospitals that teach significant numbers of residents, six in 10 received below-average scores, the analysis found. Teaching hospitals comprised one-third of the facilities receiving one-star. A number were in high-poverty areas, including two in Newark, N.J., and three in Detroit.

“Hospitals cannot be rated like movies,” Dr. Darrell Kirch, president of the Association of American Medical Colleges, said in a statement. “We are extremely concerned about the potential consequences for patients that could result from portraying an overly simplistic picture of hospital quality with a star-rating system that combines many complex factors and ignores the socio-demographic factors that have a real impact on health.”

Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent news service supported by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.

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