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Donald Trump Finally Found a German Thing He Likes

widely-perceived disdain for all things German found an exception.” data-reactid=”38″>Earlier this month, Donald Trump’s widely-perceived disdain for all things German found an exception.

executive order providing funding for a new program that looks downright Teutonic: Trump wants the United States to have more apprenticeships, schemes designed to give would-be workers on-the-job training without attending college. The plan has echoes of Germany’s world-renowned job-training programs. In fact, Trump has sung the praises of the vocational education and training (VET) system before, saying it could be a model for America. Earlier this year, Ivanka Trump visited a vocational training center in Berlin together with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, and apparently left a full-blown fan.” data-reactid=”39″>The U.S. president signed an executive order providing funding for a new program that looks downright Teutonic: Trump wants the United States to have more apprenticeships, schemes designed to give would-be workers on-the-job training without attending college. The plan has echoes of Germany’s world-renowned job-training programs. In fact, Trump has sung the praises of the vocational education and training (VET) system before, saying it could be a model for America. Earlier this year, Ivanka Trump visited a vocational training center in Berlin together with Germany Chancellor Angela Merkel, and apparently left a full-blown fan.

The idea of putting in place German-style apprenticeship training programs in the United States is not new. The goal is to provide training for those eager to develop skills, but for whom college might not be a good fit — an important task in a country where there remains an egregious mismatch between the skills required in job openings and those possessed by their applicants.

But it’s far from clear that a German model — one that has always functioned as part of a broader welfare state that prioritizes social harmony over individuals — will function well in the United States, a very different economy and society. At the same time, paradoxically, the push to bring apprenticeships to the United States comes just as vocational training has begun to lose appeal in Germany itself, as workers grow increasingly interested in higher education instead.

Berufsschule certification is mandatory to practice one of Germany’s skilled professions. “In contrast to in the U.S., there’s real respect in Germany for all of the skilled professions covered by the VET,” explains William Symonds, director of the Global Pathways Institute at Arizona State University, who notes that even professions such a kindergarten teacher and retailer are recognized as skilled professions in Germany. “They’re treated with reverence because their graduates conduct their professions with a high degree of professional excellence. It’s not nearly as elitist as the U.S. labor market where many such jobs are looked down upon.”

Over half of Germany’s workers have VET certification; another 10 percent are master craftsmen or technicians — that is, Berufsschule graduates who, after a stint in the workforce, attend vocational colleges. Ninety percent of the country’s large businesses, as well as thousands of smaller and medium-sized enterprises, host the country’s 1.4 million apprentices every year. The private sector and the state schools work together so closely that the lion’s share of all dual-system graduates find a job in their profession immediately after certification, and more than a third of them with the firm they trained in. Through the in-house training, German businesses turn apprentices into customized specialists at low net costs. And, to keep pace with changes in the economy such as digitalization or the renewable energies boom, the occupations’ flexible curricula are constantly revised. Since 2002, for example, 44 new occupations have been created and 187 updated.” data-reactid=”44″>The scale of the Germanic model is a testament to its value. Over half of Germany’s workers have VET certification; another 10 percent are master craftsmen or technicians — that is, Berufsschule graduates who, after a stint in the workforce, attend vocational colleges. Ninety percent of the country’s large businesses, as well as thousands of smaller and medium-sized enterprises, host the country’s 1.4 million apprentices every year. The private sector and the state schools work together so closely that the lion’s share of all dual-system graduates find a job in their profession immediately after certification, and more than a third of them with the firm they trained in. Through the in-house training, German businesses turn apprentices into customized specialists at low net costs. And, to keep pace with changes in the economy such as digitalization or the renewable energies boom, the occupations’ flexible curricula are constantly revised. Since 2002, for example, 44 new occupations have been created and 187 updated.

underscores that vocational education in the United States is often considered the place for difficult students and underachievers. Some students, he argues, “are bored by traditional studies, while others don’t have the aptitude for college. Some would rather work with their hands.” In the United States, he notes, these types can fall through the cracks, winding up unemployed and in poverty.” data-reactid=”45″>American business consultant and author Harold Sirkin underscores that vocational education in the United States is often considered the place for difficult students and underachievers. Some students, he argues, “are bored by traditional studies, while others don’t have the aptitude for college. Some would rather work with their hands.” In the United States, he notes, these types can fall through the cracks, winding up unemployed and in poverty.

But the Germans, he maintains, “realize that everyone won’t benefit from college, but they can still be successful and contribute to society. Americans often see such students as victims. Germans see these students as potential assets who might one day shine if they’re matched with the right vocation.” It’s the VET, Sirkin underlines, that does the matching and provides the necessary training. America, he concludes, “for too long has attempted a cookie-cutter approach to secondary education: Stay in school; go to college; and we’ll all be happy. To our continued consternation, it doesn’t always work.”

70 percent of high school graduates enroll in college; in Germany it’s only a third.” data-reactid=”49″>In the United States, 70 percent of high school graduates enroll in college; in Germany it’s only a third.

But apprenticeships, in Germany at least, were never intended to be standalone programs; rather, they’ve always been embedded within the broader German social welfare state.

The modern VET was designed and honed through close cooperation between state, industry, and the trade unions. This collaboration itself has been a trademark of the federal republic, then and now. Postwar West Germany prioritized social unity; the idea behind the VET was not just to supply industry with labor, but also to nurture a cohesive citizenry in which skilled workers earn well and consider themselves constructive parts of the economy and society. This harmony between state, worker, and industry, however, was gained at the expense of accepting the sort of intense economic regulation and coordination that is antithetical to small-government loving Americans.” data-reactid=”51″>The modern VET was designed and honed through close cooperation between state, industry, and the trade unions. This collaboration itself has been a trademark of the federal republic, then and now. Postwar West Germany prioritized social unity; the idea behind the VET was not just to supply industry with labor, but also to nurture a cohesive citizenry in which skilled workers earn well and consider themselves constructive parts of the economy and society. This harmony between state, worker, and industry, however, was gained at the expense of accepting the sort of intense economic regulation and coordination that is antithetical to small-government loving Americans.

$9 billion a year from the state, and about the same from the private sector. The price of apprenticeships includes the cost of paying classroom instructors, on-the-job trainers, and the apprentices themselves. In contrast, in the United States, where classroom-based programs are the preferred method of job training, the federal government allots just $2.7 billion to such efforts, which Trump’s budget proposal aims to cut by 40 percent to $1.6 billion. The United States does also have apprenticeships, which under the Obama administration rose in number from 375,000 to half a million by 2016 (just a third of the number in Germany, which has a population about a quarter the size of the United States’.) But in the United States the novices tend to be substantially older than German apprentices and concentrated in fewer industries, according to the Global Pathways Institute. Trump’s budget proposal, released in late May, allocates $95 million for apprenticeships — about the same amount President Obama appropriated for such training in 2016. In the executive order, signed in mid-June, Trump raised the amount to $200 million.” data-reactid=”52″>And the Germans have been willing to pay for it; a not insignificant price of more than $9 billion a year from the state, and about the same from the private sector. The price of apprenticeships includes the cost of paying classroom instructors, on-the-job trainers, and the apprentices themselves. In contrast, in the United States, where classroom-based programs are the preferred method of job training, the federal government allots just $2.7 billion to such efforts, which Trump’s budget proposal aims to cut by 40 percent to $1.6 billion. The United States does also have apprenticeships, which under the Obama administration rose in number from 375,000 to half a million by 2016 (just a third of the number in Germany, which has a population about a quarter the size of the United States’.) But in the United States the novices tend to be substantially older than German apprentices and concentrated in fewer industries, according to the Global Pathways Institute. Trump’s budget proposal, released in late May, allocates $95 million for apprenticeships — about the same amount President Obama appropriated for such training in 2016. In the executive order, signed in mid-June, Trump raised the amount to $200 million.

And yet Germans, neither taxpayers nor businesses, gripe about the high cost: it’s considered well worth it in the long run.

“The idea that the U.S. might embrace the German approach has gone in and out of fashion,” explains Symonds, an expert on vocational training. “The general consensus is it would be impossible to import the German system, and that it might take decades to build broad support for an equivalent approach to education. The German dual system is widely supported by business, government, and many citizens. In the U.S., this approach to education is still embraced by just a distinct minority.”

Another obstacle — and Symonds admits that it’s an issue for him, too, although he admires the VET — is that young Germans are put on career tracks at a very early age. The process of sorting begins as early as the fourth grade, when it’s decided that some of the less talented kids will not be put on track to attend gymnasium, one of the elite, pre-college high schools that lead to academic higher education. Some critics call Germany’s tracked system inherently discriminatory as it’s usually lower-income children and immigrants who score poorly and get sorted out early. Late bloomers don’t have it easy. Nor do the Germans buy into the idea that anyone could grow up to be chancellor; the emphasis is on achieving stability as part of a cohesive society rather than pushing individuals to reaching for the stars.

technology-driven branches, including digitalization, information technnology, telecommunications, and building and electrical engineering. According to the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, there are 430,000 open positions in skilled professions, most of them in mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences, and technology. Experts warn that that figure could double in the future as Germany’s transition to a decarbonized economy demands ever more technicians and servicing staff.” data-reactid=”56″>Nevertheless, Germany’s VET is considered highly successful in Germany and is enormously popular. Despite this, recently it’s found itself unable to fill open apprenticeships. German companies are short on highly skilled labor, most pronounced in technology-driven branches, including digitalization, information technnology, telecommunications, and building and electrical engineering. According to the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, there are 430,000 open positions in skilled professions, most of them in mathematics, computer science, the natural sciences, and technology. Experts warn that that figure could double in the future as Germany’s transition to a decarbonized economy demands ever more technicians and servicing staff.

The shortages aren’t a matter of sagging demographics, though Germany’s workforce is aging. Rather, ironically, as the United States seeks to find new paths for those who aren’t college-bound, the number of young Germans opting for higher education (at colleges, universities, polytechnics) has increased, as have the number and types of degrees available, such as the four-year bachelor’s degree, a relatively new option in Germany. The college degree is more prestigious and the potential paycheck ultimately higher; a degree can also open up options for scaling the career ladder to much higher posts in management as well as in research, which the skilled technical professions can’t promise. And women still shy away from technical careers despite Germany’s herculean efforts to change this.

It’s a sign that a system that has worked well in Germany for decades may need to adjust even more for a rapidly shifting economy — and that the same system is far from an easily importable, one-size-fits-all fix.

Photo credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images” data-reactid=”59″>Photo credit: Adam Berry/Getty Images

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Donald Trump Finally Found a German Thing He Likes

California sheriff deputy mending from gunshot wound to face

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Alex Ladwig, a 25-year-old Sacramento County sheriff’s deputy, was working an evening rush-hour shift at a transit station when, without warning, he found himself fighting for his life.

The four-year Sheriff’s Department veteran was alone and working overtime at a Sacramento station when authorities say he approached 27-year-old Nicory Marquis Spann on the lower level shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. It’s not clear why he did so, but Ladwig soon radioed his colleagues for help, saying he was in a fight.

Moments later, he radioed he’d been shot.

The attack triggered an hours-long manhunt that snarled interstate traffic, forced dozens of bystanders to flee a nearby hotel, and ended with Spann surrendering in a hotel alcove after he was spotted by a remote-controlled police robot, authorities said Wednesday.

Ladwig was recovering in a hospital Wednesday after being shot in the face with his own gun.

Spann, of Sacramento, was jailed without bail for investigation of attempted murder of a sheriff’s deputy. Officials could not say if Spann had an attorney or will be assigned one when he appears Friday in court.

Sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. Tony Turnbull said Spann attacked the deputy without being provoked and wrestled away his gun, firing twice. One bullet struck Ladwig in the jaw.

More than 100 officers from multiple agencies swarmed the area within minutes of Ladwig’s distress calls. Fire trucks and ambulances followed. A sheriff’s helicopter arrived overhead so fast that deputies spotted Spann running into a nearby Red Roof Inn.

“Once you put out over the radio that you’re fighting somebody, immediately officers are usually responding,” Turnbull said.

Witness Tori Brant was with other people in a Starbucks across the street from the hotel and was told by police to evacuate immediately.

“Police said they were preparing for a shootout.” Brant told the Sacramento Bee.

Dozens of hotel guests were evacuated, and others were warned to stay locked inside their rooms while a special weapons and tactics team went door to door in search of the suspect.

“When you’re dealing with a building that has several stories, it becomes an even more tactically difficult situation,” Turnbull said. “You have to take one room at a time, one floor at a time. Your eyes have to be everywhere.”

Deputies brought in a remotely controlled bomb disposal robot, a multi-wheeled contraption equipped with an extendable arm and four cameras.

Using the robot, authorities spotted Spann hiding in an alcove in an outside hallway of the motel about 9:15 p.m. Deputies were able to talk to Spann through the robot, convincing him to surrender.

Court and prison records and an Associated Press story say Spann was convicted nearly a decade ago of charges linked to the fatal shootings of a brother and sister.

Spann, then 18, was initially charged with murder and conspiracy to commit murder.

He was eventually given a 16-month sentence on revised charges of being an accessory after the fact and receiving stolen property.

Spann was arrested with three other suspects after 24-year-old Omar Aquino and 27-year-old Teresa Sanchez-Aquino were fatally shot inside their Mountain View home in 2008.

He later received a three-year sentence for selling drugs and completed his parole in 2012. He has since faced several misdemeanor charges.

Ladwig’s duties at the bus and light rail station along Interstate 80 included checking fares and dealing with loiterers or people who appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

He was talking as he was rushed away by ambulance — “always a good sign,” Turnbull said. His jaw was surgically repaired and he was in stable condition Wednesday at Mercy San Juan Medical Center.

His injury will take months to fully heal, according to a GoFundMe account that has collected more than $22,000 after being set up by a family friend.

___

This story has been corrected to say Deputy Alex Ladwig was shot in the jaw, not suspect Nicory Marquis Spann.

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California sheriff deputy mending from gunshot wound to face

Cardinal Pell Makes Statement Following Announcement of Charges

Cardinal George Pell spoke of his innocence and said he is looking forward to having his day in court after Australian authorities charged him with historical sexual offences.

TV shows, movies and more on Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android.” data-reactid=”14″>Watch TV shows, movies and more on Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android.

About NBC News Specials” data-reactid=”15″>About NBC News Specials



See More” data-reactid=”25″>NBC News brings its worldwide resources to these in-depth special programs. Brian Williams takes the lead in covering topics that enlighten, uplift or demand further scrutiny. Important stories of our time; these are the stories of NBC News Specials. See More

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Cardinal Pell Makes Statement Following Announcement of Charges

British police officer tells how he took on London Bridge attackers

LONDON (Reuters) – A police officer who tried to stop three militants as they attacked people on London Bridge earlier this month described on Wednesday how he took on the men armed with just his baton despite being repeatedly stabbed and temporarily blinded.

The three attackers rammed a hired van into pedestrians on the bridge late on June 3 before going on the rampage through the bustling Borough Market area, where they slit throats and stabbed people, killing eight.

Police Constable Wayne Marques said he had heard screams coming from London Bridge and when he went to investigate saw people being attacked.

Armed with only his baton, the 38-year-old officer launched himself at the men who were wearing fake suicide belts.

“I take a deep breath and I charge in. I try to take the first one out in one go, I swing as hard as I can, everything behind it, aiming straight for his head,” said Marques, who works for the British Transport Police.

The attacker managed to get his hand up and block the blow.

“I still managed to get a good hit on him. I heard him yelp in pain,” Marques told the BBC.

He said he was overpowering the first man when he felt a “massive whack” to the side of his head. He had been stabbed and lost the vision in his right eye.

“I’m stumbling .. and I manage to look up and to see a knife coming up at me. Instincts more than anything … I just put my hand out and blocked his wrist with my baton.”

Despite his injuries, he tried to fight all three men, swinging his baton wildly, receiving another stab wound to his leg in the process. Finally he got some distance between himself and the men, who he remembers were staring at him with one saying “Allahu akbar” (God is greatest).

However, rather than rush him again, they moved away into Borough Market to continue their rampage, which was the third deadly attack by Islamists in Britain in three months.

“Either I was taking up too much time or they couldn’t figure me out or they were waiting for me to pass out with blood loss and then finish me off, you’re guess is as good as mine,” he said.

He estimated he spent about 90 seconds fighting the men. Police say it took from eight minutes from them receiving the first call about the incident until armed officers arrived at the scene and shot dead the three attackers.

Officers treated Marques at the scene and he needed hospital treatment after suffering major wounds to his head above his eye, his leg and hand.

“All I was trying to do was keep people alive,” he said. “That was my job, keep people alive. And that’s what I did, that’s what I tried to do.”

(Reporting by Michael Holden; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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British police officer tells how he took on London Bridge attackers

Community buy Texas man car after finding him walking 3 miles to and from work in 32 degree heat

A man who was forced to walk miles to work in sweltering heat, has been bought a car by members of his local community.

Justin Korva regularly braved temperatures of 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 Celsius) to get to his job at Taco Casa in Rockwell, Texas.

Facebook next to a message explaining his journey.” data-reactid=”24″>The 20-year-old was picked up on his three-mile trek one morning by Andy Mitchell, who posted a picture of pair on Facebook next to a message explaining his journey.

“To all the people what say they want to work but can’t find a job or don’t have a vehicle, all I can say is you don’t want it bad enough,” Mr Mitchell wrote.

CBS News reported.” data-reactid=”26″>The story was shared within the local community and Samee Dowlatshahi, the owner of a local pizza restaurant, started a secret donation box for Mr Korva at his business, CBS News reported.

In less than 48 hours members of the local community had donated $5,500 (£4,290).

A local car dealership then worked out a deal for a 2004 Toyota Camry, which was bought for Mr Korva with the money.

The car was then presented to him one day after work.

“Instead of you walking to work buddy, you’re driving this car from now on,” Mr Mitchell told his friend. “It’s paid for in full, all you’ve got to do is drive it.”

The money donated by people paid for the car, a year’s worth of insurance and a $500 (£390) petrol card.

Mr Korva was filmed hugging the members of the group who turned up to give him the car.

ABC13 news channel. “And as I’m leaving, I just see all these people — I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’”” data-reactid=”35″>“I’m at work, I’m clocking out and I’m leaving,” Korva told the ABC13 news channel. “And as I’m leaving, I just see all these people — I’m like, ‘What’s going on?’”

“I wouldn’t think something like that would happen to me,” he said.

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Community buy Texas man car after finding him walking 3 miles to and from work in 32 degree heat

Man with Super Smiley Mugshot Allegedly Threatened to Kill Lawmaker on Facebook: Cops

Florida man is facing charges after cops said he threatened the life of a state lawmaker over Facebook.” data-reactid=”18″>A Florida man is facing charges after cops said he threatened the life of a state lawmaker over Facebook.

But suspect Steve St. Felix won’t let the arrest blot out his sunshine.

Watch: This Man is Behind Bars After Sending Selfie to Police for Better Mugshot” data-reactid=”20″>Watch: This Man is Behind Bars After Sending Selfie to Police for Better Mugshot

The 34-year-old smiles with abandon in his mugshot, which Miami-Dade Police Department released Tuesday.

St. Felix made the threat Sunday against Republican state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, Miami-Dade police said in a statement. The post said St. Felix would kill the lawmaker if he appeared at a political meeting.

The Miami Herald.” data-reactid=”23″>”I’ll kill your ass and you better not show up to the next REC meeting,” the Facebook post read, according to The Miami Herald.

Read: Grandmother, 81, Sparks Police Chase After Driving Wrong Way While on Coffee Run” data-reactid=”24″>Read: Grandmother, 81, Sparks Police Chase After Driving Wrong Way While on Coffee Run

Police say St. Felix admitted to making the threat because he was “fed up” with Republicans.

He also told cops that he meant no real harm and the he’d neglected to take an unspecified medication prior to writing the post, according to a report.

St. Felix was charged with making written threats to kill or do bodily injury.

Watch: Teacher Smiles in Mugshot After Being Arrested for Sexual Relationship With Teen” data-reactid=”28″>Watch: Teacher Smiles in Mugshot After Being Arrested for Sexual Relationship With Teen

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Man with Super Smiley Mugshot Allegedly Threatened to Kill Lawmaker on Facebook: Cops

Chinese Navy Gets New Indigenously Built Destroyer

China’s navy launched Wednesday its most advanced destroyer, the domestically built 10,000-ton Type 055. Officials told state-run Xinhua news agency that the first ship of its kind entered the water at Shanghai’s Jiangnan Shipyard on Wednesday morning.

The news agency said the ship is equipped with the latest air, missile, ship and submarine defense systems. China is believed to be planning a total of four such ships, the Associated Press reported.

Will China Go To War With US?” data-reactid=”24″>Read: Will China Go To War With US?

The Type 055 is significantly larger than China’s other modern destroyer, the Type 052. The development has come at a time of rising competition with regional rivals like India and Japan. China’s increasing show of force at sea has also rankled the United States.

Global Times newspaper Wednesday. The vessel will have to undergo planned testing before it is commissioned into use , reports said.” data-reactid=”26″>“Type 055 destroyer will greatly enhance PLA Navy’s combat capability in the open sea, and ground attack capability, as its higher tonnage will enable it to be more versatile”, Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert, told the state-run Global Times newspaper Wednesday. The vessel will have to undergo planned testing before it is commissioned into use , reports said.

reports said, adding more carriers will be produced in the next 5 years. Chinese companies have also developed radio-radar equipment for the ships, as well as certain types of weapons and special equipment for planes.” data-reactid=”27″>China was once heavily dependent on foreign military technology. The first Chinese aircraft carrier, Liaoning, was commissioned in 2012, and was bought from Ukraine for $25 million. In April this year, it launched its first indigenously built aircraft carrier, Type 001A. China began the construction of the carrier in 2013 and it is expected to become operational by 2020, reports said, adding more carriers will be produced in the next 5 years. Chinese companies have also developed radio-radar equipment for the ships, as well as certain types of weapons and special equipment for planes.

reports said.” data-reactid=”28″>China is producing warships at a rapid pace as it plans to modernize its navy, which has been taking an increasingly prominent role among the country’s armed forces. State media claims that the navy commissioned 18 ships in 2016, including destroyers, corvettes and guided-missile frigates, reports said.

BBC reported. China’s total spending on defense will account for about 1.3 percent of the country’s projected gross domestic product in 2017.” data-reactid=”29″>The country has also decided to increase its military spending by about 7 per cent. The announcement was made ahead of the annual National People’s Congress in March. The announcement reveals that the Asian country’s defense budget remains smaller than that of the U.S. However, many Chinese observers argue that the real figure could be much higher, BBC reported. China’s total spending on defense will account for about 1.3 percent of the country’s projected gross domestic product in 2017.

Chinese Aircraft J-20 To Defeat American F-22 Raptor? ” data-reactid=”30″>Read: Chinese Aircraft J-20 To Defeat American F-22 Raptor?

Apart from emphasizing the modernization of its armed forces, China is also building artificial islands on reefs in waters claimed by other nations in the South China Sea. China has said in the past that it has no intention of militarizing the islands but claims that the developments are necessary for defense purposes.

There have been tussles between U.S. and Chinese ships in the South China Sea. Last year, a Chinese ship seized a U.S. Navy underwater drone off the Philippines, but later agreed to return it. Clashes and stand-offs between Chinese ships and vessels from Vietnam and the Philippines have also been reported in the past.

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    Chinese Navy Gets New Indigenously Built Destroyer

    Sen Warner: A Lot of Facts We Need to Get Out

    Senator Mark Warner, vice chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, talks with Rachel Maddow about progress in the Trump Russia investigation and the path forward, including processing 2000 pages of financial evidence with more on the way.

    TV shows, movies and more on Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android.” data-reactid=”14″>Watch TV shows, movies and more on Yahoo View, available now on iOS and Android.

    About The Rachel Maddow Show” data-reactid=”15″>About The Rachel Maddow Show



    See More” data-reactid=”25″>Launched in 2008, “The Rachel Maddow Show” follows the machinations of policy making in America, from local political activism to international diplomacy. Rachel Maddow looks past the distractions of political theater and stunts and focuses on the legislative proposals and policies that shape American life – as well as the people making and influencing those policies and their ultimate outcome, intended or otherwise. See More

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    Sen Warner: A Lot of Facts We Need to Get Out

    Hillary Clinton: Reading ‘Harry Potter’ builds compassion for immigrants, refugees

    Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton thinks that “Harry Potter” books have a magical touch for building compassion in young readers.

    J.K. Rowling’s celebrated fantasy series.” data-reactid=”16″>While speaking at the American Library Association conference in Chicago on Tuesday, Clinton touted reading fiction as a way of fostering empathy. She cited “years of data” and one study in particular that focused on author J.K. Rowling’s celebrated fantasy series.

    “One study even found that young people who read the ‘Harry Potter’ books, which first came out 20 years ago this week, were more compassionate toward immigrants, refugees and members of the LGBT community,” Clinton told the crowd. “And so, it’s impossible for me to overstate the impact on children who see themselves in the pages of a book and are introduced to people unlike themselves.”


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    Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the American Library Association’s annual conference. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in July 2014, titled: “The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice.” Researchers had conducted three studies — one with elementary school children and two with high school and college students in Italy and the U.K. — to determine whether extended reading time improved attitudes toward stigmatized groups.” data-reactid=”38″>Though she didn’t name the study, Clinton was likely referring to an academic article published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology in July 2014, titled: “The greatest magic of Harry Potter: Reducing prejudice.” Researchers had conducted three studies — one with elementary school children and two with high school and college students in Italy and the U.K. — to determine whether extended reading time improved attitudes toward stigmatized groups.

    passages from “Harry Potter” that deal with prejudice. These moments would involve characters like Draco Malfoy, a “pure-blood wizard,” calling Harry’s close friend Hermione a “Mudblood,” a derogatory term for a “Muggle-born” wizard or witch, and they show the hero’s subsequent anger at the callousness.” data-reactid=”39″>For the study, Loris Vezzali, a psychologist at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia in Italy, and his colleagues read children passages from “Harry Potter” that deal with prejudice. These moments would involve characters like Draco Malfoy, a “pure-blood wizard,” calling Harry’s close friend Hermione a “Mudblood,” a derogatory term for a “Muggle-born” wizard or witch, and they show the hero’s subsequent anger at the callousness.


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    Clinton at the ALA conference. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

    As a control condition, the researchers would read a section not involving prejudice — such as when Harry purchases his magic wand — to another group of children.

    After six weeks, both groups of children were asked about their feelings concerning children from other countries. The students who read the passage dealing with prejudice had kinder things to say.

    The researchers also said that teens and young adults who identified with Harry generally had more tolerant views toward gay people and refugees than those who did not.

    Throughout her speech, which was sponsored by Simon & Schuster (the publishing house that’s releasing her forthcoming children’s book), Clinton expounded upon why she believes the world needs libraries and librarians now more than ever. She said books help shatter stereotypes, broaden perspectives and spark important conversations.

    “If we’re serious about raising curious, empathetic, brave citizens, that starts with raising readers,” she said.

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    6.8-magnitude quake hits Guatemala, second in eight days: USGS

    Guatemala City (AFP) – A powerful 6.8-magnitude earthquake hit near Guatemala’s coast Thursday, injuring four people and damaging homes and roads, officials said, just eight days after another strong tremor killed five people in the Central American country.

    The quake struck at 6:31 am (1231 GMT) with its epicenter in the Pacific Ocean at a depth of 46.8 kilometers, about 23 kilometers (14 miles) southwest of Puerto San Jose, the US Geological Survey said.

    The Guatemalan Seismological Institute measured the quake at a magnitude of 6.7.

    The country’s civil protection authority said four people were injured but no one was reported dead due to the quake.

    Spokesman Julio Sanchez of the National Disaster Reduction Coordinator told reporters nine homes, nine schools and eight roads were damaged and a bridge destroyed.

    Culture Minister Jose Luis Chea said cracks appeared in the National Palace, a historic landmark in the capital.

    Residents of El Salvador also felt the quake, with many people coming out of their houses for fear of aftershocks, according to authorities in that country.

    On June 14, a 6.9-magnitude tremor hit Guatemala and southern Mexico, leaving five people dead, causing power outages and knocking down homes.

    Guatemala is in a risk zone for earthquakes, located at a meeting of three tectonic plates.

    The San Marcos department was hit by earthquakes in 2012 and 2014 that left dozens dead.

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    6.8-magnitude quake hits Guatemala, second in eight days: USGS

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