PBS NewsHour


Reviews of Clinton's memoir were deleted for violating company guidelines, Amazon says

PBS NewsHour

Tommy Noonan, founder of product review analysis site ReviewMeta, says concerns that Amazon's deletions serve as a cover-up of negative press is false, according to his data. In the case of Clinton's book, most of the unverified reviews flagged for removal happened to be negative. After a deeper investigation into similar cases, Noonan says "review brigades" were probably at work. According to research by Eric Anderson from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern and Duncan Simester at MIT Sloan School of Management, reviews by unverified users are twice as likely to receive a one-star review.


Are big tech companies trying to control our lives?

PBS NewsHour

FRANKLIN FOER, Author, "World Without Mind": Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple are among the most powerful monopolies in the history of humanity. PAUL SOLMAN: The most powerful gatekeepers ever, Foer calls them, the first, second, fourth and fifth most valuable companies on the U.S. stock market. And even though I'm somebody who likes to read conservatives, likes to read people on the far left, it's essentially only giving me screeds against Donald Trump, because that's what, based on my data, it thinks that I want. PAUL SOLMAN: You use the word pander several times in the book, pander to our taste.


5 important stories you may have missed

PBS NewsHour

The fatalities are largely driven by the opioid epidemic, responsible for 6 in 10 opioid deaths. China will set a deadline for automakers to stop making fuel-dependent cars, Bloomberg reported last week, making it the largest country yet to put such a restriction in place. And while people of Hispanic descent today are the fastest-growing immigrant group in the U.S., the latest numbers indicate Asians will become the country's largest immigrant group by 2055, making up 38 percent of all U.S. immigrants, compared to 31 percent who identify as Hispanic. The survey also showed 13 percent of the country's 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants were from Asia, largely from India, China, the Philippines and Korea.


Hurricane Irma's staggering power in numbers

PBS NewsHour

Barbuda recorded eight-foot storm surges, and people on Saint Martin and Saint-Barthélemy reported massive flooding. Half the island of Puerto Rico -- 900,000 people -- lost electricity Wednesday night and 50,000 were without access to water, even though the eye of Hurricane Irma passed north of the U.S. territory. On the British Virgin Islands, where Irma also struck Wednesday afternoon, Sam Branson -- son of billionaire Richard -- documented rooftops ripped off buildings and several destroyed buildings. The next 24 hours should dictate where and if Irma makes landfall, and this final determination may rely on a forecast model created by 34 European nations.


How online graduate programs offer degrees at significant savings

PBS NewsHour

HARI SREENIVASAN: It's graduation day, and these two students are earning their computer science master's degree from a top 10 program in the country. NICA MONTFORD, Online Graduate Student, Georgia Teach: Every GM employee gets $8,500 to spend in higher education every year, and so it falls well within the $8,500 that we get. EBONI BELL, Online Graduate Student, Georgia Teach: I knew I wanted to get my master's, and I also knew that I wanted to have a company that paid for it, because I didn't want to go into even more student loan debt. A professor of computer and cognitive science, Goel created an artificial intelligence tool to help answer questions for the 4,500 online master's degree students.


Are we on the brink of a jobless future?

PBS NewsHour

PAUL SOLMAN: In Silicon Valley, author Vivek Wadhwa says he already lives in the future. PAUL SOLMAN: Scary, because, while automation is the very definition of productivity -- more output per unit of labor -- as Oxford's Carl Frey points out: CARL FREY: Sadly, since the 1980s, quite a few workers have had a bad experience from automation, and I think that is what is determining much of the resurgence in populism that we see now. JERRY KAPLAN, Author, "Artificial Intelligence: What Everyone Needs to Know": There's more people employed today than there ever have been. For the PBS NewsHour, economics correspondent Paul Solman reporting -- don't do that again -- somewhat anxiously from El Camino Real in Palo Alto.


In the Persian Gulf, Iran's drones pose rising threat to U.S.

PBS NewsHour

ABOARD THE USS NIMITZ -- High above the Persian Gulf, an Iranian drone crosses the path of American fighter jets lining up to land on the USS Nimitz. From the Nimitz alone, U.S. fighter jets flew missions resulting in at least 350 bombs being dropped on IS militants just in the last month. Iran has routinely challenged U.S. ships and aircraft across the Gulf, asserting at times that the entire waterway is its territory. Dave Kurtz, the Nimitz's executive officer, Iranian drones fly over the carrier strike group almost daily.


Mayweather will beat McGregor, neuroscience predicts

PBS NewsHour

In Las Vegas, on August 26, the unbeaten American boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr and the immensely popular Irishman Conor McGregor will face off in a boxing ring, where only striking with hands while standing is allowed. Once the ball is in the air, the brain needs time to process the ball's trajectory and prepare an appropriate course of action, but by the time the body actually executes the required movements in response to these mental processes, the racket will do no more than slice the air, as the ball will have already passed by. The positioning and movements of feet, knees, shoulders and the serving hand in tennis give away clues about the direction and power of a tennis serve. This is illustrated by another unofficial cross-discipline event that occurred 50 years ago between the legendary Muhammad Ali and Jim Brown, National Football League (NFL) legend.


U.S. Postal Service's financial straits could disrupt daily mail delivery

PBS NewsHour

Postal Service (USPS) crates sit on the floor at the Brookland Post Office in Washington, D.C., U.S. No customer data was stolen in a recent data breach, USPS officials say. Postal Service is warning that it will likely default on up to $6.9 billion in payments for future retiree health benefits for the fifth straight year. It is citing a coming cash crunch that could disrupt day-to-day mail delivery. Postmaster General Megan Brennan stressed an urgent need for federal regulators to grant the Postal Service wide freedom to increase stamp prices to cover costs.


Military leaders get OK to shoot down drones over bases

PBS NewsHour

The Pentagon has sent new guidance to the armed services that lays out the military's authority to disable or shoot down any drone that violates airspace restrictions over a U.S. base and is deemed a security risk. The Pentagon has sent new guidance to the armed services that lays out the military's authority to disable or shoot down any drone that violates airspace restrictions over a U.S. base and is deemed a security risk. He said the new policy provides details about the actions the military can take to stop any threat, including destroying or seizing any unmanned aircraft -- including the smaller ones that the general public can easily buy -- that is flown over a base. He said that the actions taken by military officials at the bases to address a threat posed by a drone could include "incapacitating or destroying them.