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Photos: Brazil’s Carnival in full swing despite widespread Zika threat

Brazilian model Sabrina Sato parades for Gavioes da Fiel samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February
         6, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker - RTX25P71

Brazilian model Sabrina Sato parades for Gavioes da Fiel samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

Even as widespread fears of the Zika virus hang heavy over Brazil–the world’s worst affected country–the annual Carnival festival was in full swing over the weekend as revelers kept the spirited tradition alive. 

The festival, which began on Friday and lasts through Wednesday, involves five days of parades and street parties, bringing together millions of partygoers.

“What’s interesting about Carnival is that at the very core the philosophy is, forget your troubles and party like there is no tomorrow,” NewsHour Science Correspondent Miles O’Brien said from Recife, Brazil on Friday. “That’s how the Brazilians view it and that’s why in most cases the party has gone on.”

Officials say as many as 100,000 people may have been exposed to the virus in the city of Recife, which has become known as the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, although symptoms are often mild or undetectable.

“I talked to a lot of public health officials and doctors and scientists who have been involved in this hunt for some action and some way to control the Zika outbreak, and many of them express misgivings about it, frankly, but the show is going on,” O’Brien said.

OLINDA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06: Dancers are blurred in a long exposure during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016
         in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Revellers in Olinda and sister city Recife are gathering for various concerts and street
         parades during Carnival in spite of fears over the Zika virus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Dancers are blurred in a long exposure during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

RECIFE, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06:  Revellers gather during the Galinho da Madrugada 'bloco', or street parade, during Carnival
         celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Officials say as many as 100,000 people may have already
         been exposed to the Zika virus in Recife, which is being called the epicenter of the Zika outbreak, although most people never
         develop symptoms.  (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Revellers gather during the Galinho da Madrugada ‘bloco’, or street parade, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Recife, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Revellers parade for Vila Maria samba school during carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. REUTERS/Paulo Whitaker
         - RTX25OV6

Revellers parade for Vila Maria samba school during Carnival in Sao Paulo, Brazil, February 6, 2016. Photo by Paulo Whitaker/Reuters

OLINDA, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 06: A reveller stands beneath a mosquito net, as a satirical costume, during Carnival celebrations
         on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Revellers in Olinda and sister city Recife are gathering for various
         concerts and street parades during Carnival in spite of fears over the Zika virus. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

A reveller stands beneath a mosquito net, as a satirical costume, during Carnival celebrations on February 6, 2016 in Olinda, Pernambuco state, Brazil. Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Henrique kisses his wife Paula, who is seven months pregnant, during an annual block party known as "Eu Acho e pouco"
         (I think it is little) one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Olinda, Brazil February 6,
         2016. REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino - RTX25SOG

Henrique kisses his wife Paula, who is seven months pregnant, during an annual block party known as “Eu Acho e pouco” (I think it is little) one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Olinda, Brazil February 6, 2016. Photo by Ueslei Marcelino/Reuters

A reveller from the Rocinha samba school dances as she takes part in the Group A category of the annual Carnival parade
         in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, Brazil, February 5, 2016.  REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes - RTX25OGS

A reveller from the Rocinha samba school dances as she takes part in the Group A category of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro’s Sambadrome, Brazil, February 5, 2016. Photo by Ricardo Moraes/Reuters

The post Photos: Brazil’s Carnival in full swing despite widespread Zika threat appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Debate takeaways: Rubio stuck in a loop, Christie on the attack

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump (C) passes between rivals Governor John Kasich (L), former Governor
         Jeb Bush (2nd R) and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R) at the conclusion of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate
         sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump passes between rivals Governor John Kasich, former Governor Jeb Bush and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio at the conclusion of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

MANCHESTER, N.H. — There have been no higher stakes on a Republican debate stage in the 2016 campaign for president than there were Saturday night.

Seven GOP Republican hopefuls faced off just three days before a make-or-break New Hampshire primary that some of them are not likely to survive.

Coming off a strong Iowa finish, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tripped up early under attack from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who are jockeying for the same Republican voters.

At the same time, the candidates on the still-crowded stage seemed unwilling to mix it up with Donald Trump, the national front-runner for months who needs a win in New Hampshire on Tuesday to avoid starting the 2016 race with two consecutive losses.

And then there was Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, the champion college debater who shared a deeply personal moment during an otherwise forgettable night while trying to build on his victory in the Iowa caucuses.

Here are some takeaways from Saturday night’s GOP debate:

RUBIO STUCK IN A LOOP

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio (L) talks with rival candidate businessman Donald Trump during
         a break in the midst of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in
         Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio talks with rival candidate businessman Donald Trump during a break in the midst of the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Rubio experienced his worst moment in a presidential debate at the worst time, stumbling badly when forced to answer the fundamental question posed by rivals of his candidacy: whether he has the experience necessary to lead the nation.

As a first-term senator with no executive experience, Rubio’s resume is remarkably similar to Barack Obama before he became president. Rubio tried to turn the question around by charging that Obama “knows exactly what he’s doing” by “undertaking a systematic effort to change this country.”

The answer was quickly challenged by Christie: “I like Marco Rubio, and he’s a smart person and a good guy, but he simply does not have the experience to be president of the United States.”

A clearly rattled Rubio responded by delivering the same line about Obama not once, but twice. And Christie made sure New Hampshire voters knew it: “There it is. The memorized 25-second speech. There it is, everybody.”

It was a cringe-worthy moment for Rubio three days before a New Hampshire contest in which he hopes to knock Christie, Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich from the race. Even if it doesn’t significantly change the contest in New Hampshire, the moment raises questions about Rubio’s readiness to take on Democrat Hillary Clinton in a general election debate.

CHRISTIE PULLS NO PUNCHES

Republican U.S. presidential candidate and Governor Chris Christie speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates
         debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate and Governor Chris Christie speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

He is barely registering in recent preference polls, but the New Jersey governor was the toughest candidate on the debate stage Saturday night. And that’s no small feat with the tough-talking Trump at center stage.

At seemingly every turn, Christie zeroed in on Rubio, pelting him with zingers about his inexperience and record in Washington. Calling out Rubio on his missed votes in the Senate, Christie charged, “That’s not leadership. That’s truancy.”

And when Rubio didn’t answer a moderator’s question about why he backpedaled on an immigration proposal he’d helped write when it appeared to become politically unpopular, Christie called him out.

“The question was, did he fight for his legislation. It’s abundantly clear that it he didn’t.” Then he twisted the knife: “That’s not what leadership is. That’s what Congress is.”

It was a performance Christie badly needed as he teeters on the edge of irrelevancy in the crowded Republican contest. Is it too little too late to rescue his campaign?

TRUMP LEFT ALONE … MOSTLY

Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates
         debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Trump’s rivals barely laid a glove on the frequent New Hampshire poll leader.

The decision to withhold fire was evident right from the start, when Cruz declined to repeat his assertion this week that Trump didn’t have the temperament to be commander in chief. Cruz dodged, saying everyone on the stage would be better leader of the U.S. military than Obama and Democratic contenders Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Pressed by a moderator whether he stood by his words that Trump was too volatile to be president, Cruz said simply, “I think that is an assessment the voters are going to make.” Trump noted that Cruz refused to answer the question.

Bush was the only one who took it directly to Trump. After the billionaire real-estate developer defended the use of eminent domain as a necessary tool of government, Bush said the businessman was “downright wrong” when his company tried to use eminent domain to build an Atlantic City casino.

Trump scoffed, saying Bush “wants to be a tough guy.”

Bush fired back, “How tough is it to take property from an elderly woman?”

It was the only moment in which Trump flashed any of the rhetorical jabs he’s become known for on Twitter. For the most part, Trump was content to lay back and let those chasing him in the preference polls fight amongst themselves.

A COMFORTABLE CRUZ

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz talks about the drug overdose death of his sister Miriam during
         the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire
         February 6, 2016.     Carlo Allegri/Reuters

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz talks about the drug overdose death of his sister Miriam during the Republican U.S. presidential candidates debate sponsored by ABC News at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire February 6, 2016. Photo by Carlo Allegri/Reuters

The champion college debater wasn’t much of a factor after a rough start to the debate, when he was asked about Trump’s temperament and allegations his campaign team engaged in “deceitful behavior” by suggesting in the moments before the Iowa caucuses started that retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson was leaving the race.

“When this transpired, I apologized to him then and I do so now,” Cruz said. “Ben, I’m sorry.”

Cruz returned to prominence when asked about substance abuse, and gave an answer that will be hard for some voters to forget.

The Texas senator shared the deeply personal story of his sister’s overdose death. He told New Hampshire voters, and a national television audience, that he and his father pulled his older sister out of a crack house. They pleaded with her to straighten out for the good of her son. But she didn’t listen.

“She died,” Cruz said.

It was a very human moment for a candidate sometimes criticized for not being likable.

And it was in line with his tone all night long, as he consistently rose above the mud-slinging, despite his near-daily attacks on his rivals on the campaign trail.

The post Debate takeaways: Rubio stuck in a loop, Christie on the attack appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

North Korea launches long-range rocket seen as missile test

A Japanese Self-Defence Force's soldier walks between the unit of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles at Defense
         Ministry in Tokyo February 7, 2016. North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it has said is a satellite,
         South Korea's defense ministry said, in defiance of United Nations sanctions. Toru Hanai/Reuters

A Japanese Self-Defence Force’s soldier walks between the unit of Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) missiles at Defense Ministry in Tokyo February 7, 2016. Photo by Toru Hanai/Reuters

The United Nations Security Council on Sunday strongly condemned North Korea less than a day after members say the country may have been testing a long-range ballistic missile in violation of international sanctions.

North Korea state media reported the launch placed a satellite into orbit as part of the country’s space program and was not a military operation, though UN council members said the claim was likely a cover to subvert a UN ban on North Korea’s use of ballistic missile technology.

North Korea conducted the test despite repeated warnings from the international community.

On Sunday, after an swiftly arranged emergency UN council meeting in New York, US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power said the international consortium would impose “serious consequences,”  including additional sanctions against North Korea.

On Saturday, South Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch an “intolerable provocation,” the AP reported.

A flying object soars into the air above North Korean territory as seen from the Chinese border city of Dandong, in this
         photo taken by Kyodo February 7, 2016. North Korea launched a long-range rocket on Sunday carrying what it has said is a satellite,
         South Korea's defense ministry said, in defiance of United Nations sanctions barring it from using ballistic missile technology.
         Kyodo/Reuters

A flying object soars into the air above North Korean territory as seen from the Chinese border city of Dandong, in this photo taken by Kyodo February 7, 2016. Photo by Kyodo/ReutersSouth Korean President Park Geun-hye called the launch an “intolerable provocation,” the AP reported.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry also condemned the missile launch as a “flagrant violation of UN Security County Resolutions,” calling the move the “most recent destabilizing and unacceptable challenge to our common peace and security.”

“This is the second time in just over a month that the D.P.R.K. has chosen to conduct a major provocation, threatening not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well,” Kerry said in a statement. “We reaffirm our ironclad commitment to the defense of our allies, including the Republic of Korea and Japan.”

The post North Korea launches long-range rocket seen as missile test appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Speeches earning Clinton millions remain allusive to voters

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers a question during February 3, 2016. CNN Democratic Town
         Hall in New Hampshire. In the months leading up to her second presidential bid the former Secretary of State netted millions
         in corporate speaking fees.  Rick Wilking/REUTERS

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton answers a question during February 3, 2016. CNN Democratic Town Hall in New Hampshire. In the months leading up to her second presidential bid the former Secretary of State netted millions in corporate speaking fees. Rick Wilking/REUTERS

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Hillary Clinton told voters in the latest Democratic debate there’s “hardly anything you don’t know about me.”

Just minutes later, she got tangled in a question about a part of her resume that is an enduring mystery.

In the 18 months before launching her second presidential bid, Clinton gave nearly 100 paid speeches at banks, trade associations, charitable groups and private corporations. The appearances netted her $21.7 million – and voters very little information about what she was telling top corporations as she prepared for her 2016 campaign.

What she said – or didn’t say – to Wall Street banks in particular has become a significant problem for her presidential campaign, as she tries to counter the unexpected rise of Democratic rival Bernie Sanders. He’s put her in awkward position of squaring her financial windfall with a frustrated electorate.

Asked in the debate – and not for the first time – about releasing transcripts of those speeches, she said: “I will look into it. I don’t know the status, but I will certainly look into it.” She added, “My view on this is, look at my record.”

Clinton addressed a broad swath of industries, speaking to supermarket companies in Colorado, clinical pathologists in Illinois and travel agents in California, to name several. Many of the companies and trade organizations that she addressed are lobbying Congress over a variety of interests.

She typically delivered an address, then answered questions from a pre-vetted interviewer. Her standard fee was $225,000, though occasionally it could range up to $400,000.

“That’s what they offered,” said Clinton, when asked this week whether her fees were too high.

Clinton defended her appearances Friday, saying she thought the speeches were “a good way to communicate” and answer questions about her experience as secretary of state.

“It was a useful exercise for me, because it also enabled me to think through, kind of, where I was in the assessment of what I would do next,” Clinton told MSNBC.

Other than her fees, which her campaign disclosed in response to media inquiries, details about most of her closed speeches are nearly impossible to find. The Associated Press and other news organizations have asked repeatedly for transcripts, and did so again Friday after her promise to review the issue. Last month, she laughed and turned away when a reporter specifically asked for transcripts of her speeches to Goldman Sachs.

“I don’t think voters are interested in the transcripts of her speeches,” Joel Benenson, Clinton’s pollster, told reporters Friday. But it was a voter who asked about her transcripts at a town-hall event on CNN on Wednesday.

AP’s inquiries to the campaign about her appearances before several Wall Street banks went unanswered. Deutsche Bank, which paid Clinton $475,000 for addresses in New York and Washington, declined to comment, as did Goldman Sachs.

Although many of her remarks were given to large groups, they were frequently barred to media coverage and few recordings are available online. In many instances, Clinton’s contract prohibited her comments from being broadcast, transcribed or “otherwise reproduced,” according a copy of one such agreement with the University of Buffalo.

In a few cases, details trickled out through company blogs and trade publications.

At the time, and increasingly as the months wore on, she was considered a likely prospect to run for president, despite the fact she said little to tip her hand publicly on whether she would.

When she addressed the National Multifamily Housing Council in April 2013, she focused on foreign affairs, including the Arab Spring and North Korea, and domestic issues like the federal debt, and answered questions from the chairman.

She deflected questions about whether she was considering a presidential run.

“That is certainly a question I haven’t been asked – in all of 12 minutes,” she cracked, according to a post on the organization’s website. “I’m just returning to civilian life and getting reacquainted with something called normal life.”

That post has since been taken down.

A reporter from the real estate blog The Real Deal was at her October 2014 speech to the annual convention of a commercial real estate women’s network in Miami Beach. Clinton focused on boosting the number of women in the field and achieving parity with men. “It’s so important for women like us to get out of our comfort zones and be willing to fail,” she said, according to the blog. “I’ve done that, too, on a very large stage.”

Speaking to a private crowd of 10,000 real estate people in San Francisco in November 2013, Clinton “affirmed the role realty places in American culture,” according to another blog post. Press was banned but participants at the conference, hosted by the National Association of Realtors, tweeted photos of her on stage.

Many organizations she addressed were reluctant to share details or even confirm her attendance, in part because contracts for those kinds of speakers typically prohibit sharing that information.

“I made speeches to lots of groups,” Clinton said this week. “I told them what I thought. I answered questions.”

Associated Press business writer Ken Sweet contributed to this report from New York.

The post Speeches earning Clinton millions remain allusive to voters appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

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