February 2014

PBS Newshour: Why are younger children alone in reducing obesity rates?

The Centers for Disease Control is reporting progress in cutting obesity among pre-schoolers. During the past decade, obesity in children aged 2 to 5 has dropped from 14 percent to 8 percent. Christina Economos of the Tufts University School of Medicine joins Gwen Ifill to discuss possible factors in the decrease, including changes to food assistance programs and nutrition and exercise campaigns.

PBS Newshour: Maduro sends mixed messages about U.S.-Venezuela relationship

The State Department expelled three Venezuelan officials from the U.S. after President Nicolas Maduro ordered three American diplomats leave his country. Now Maduro is proposing a new Venezuelan ambassador to the U.S. after years without an official representative. Meanwhile, 15 people have died in recent street clashes between protesters and police. Gwen Ifill talks to Girish Gupta of Reuters.

PBS Newshour: How will proposed military savings affect strategy and security?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel presented a plan to reshape the nation's military after more than a decade of war. Measures include cutting active-duty rolls, eliminating certain technology and making adjustments to benefits. Gwen Ifill weighs the options and the potential side effects with former National Security officer Gordon Adams and Thomas Donnelly of the American Enterprise Institute.

PBS Newshour: Has the moment passed for the West to sway Ukraine with sanctions?

World powers have watched as the Ukrainian conflict has escalated to unrestrained battle. How can they help ensure stability for this country that’s in the heart of Europe while tightly connected to Russia? Gwen Ifill talks to William Taylor, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, and Matthew Rojansky of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

PBS Newshour: Venezuela unrest could be ‘building block’ for opposition to make substantive change

Less than a year has passed since the death of Hugo Chavez and the election of President Nicolas Maduro, but the problems driving unrest in Venezuela have been building for a decade. Carl Meacham of the Center for Strategic and International Studies joins Gwen Ifill to offer background on the “snowballing” of anti-government sentiment and why neighboring countries have been shy to speak out.

PBS Newshour: How ‘microtargeting’ works in political advertising

What you watch, read, buy and listen to online can tell political campaigns whether it’s worth their time and money to woo your vote. Gwen Ifill talks to Ken Goldstein of the University of San Francisco and Eitan Hersh of Yale University to learn more about how our digital footprints are being used in the evolution of political advertising.

PBS Newshour: Recent confirmation hearings raise eyebrows at ambassador nomination criteria

Gaffes made by a fresh crop of ambassadorial nominees — several of them Obama campaign donors — have stirred up consternation about political appointments to diplomatic positions. Gwen Ifill gets analysis from former Foreign Service officer Nicholas Burns and Walter Russell Mead of The American Interest.

PBS Newshour: How will regulators see the Comcast-Time Warner deal?

In the debate over how to cure income inequality, talk about poverty and opportunity are increasingly converging. In a series of conversations about the growing divide between rich and poor, Gwen Ifill talks to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., about the importance of encouraging strong families and improving educational opportunities as keys to restoring the American dream.

PBS Newshour: Closing the Gap: Sen. Marco Rubio on how more education, fewer broken families can change income inequality

In the debate over how to cure income inequality, talk about poverty and opportunity are increasingly converging. In a series of conversations about the growing divide between rich and poor, Gwen Ifill talks to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., about the importance of encouraging strong families and improving educational opportunities as keys to restoring the American dream.

PBS Newshour: Athletes prepare to prove their medal at Sochi

In Sochi, the Olympic torch made its final tour and some preliminary competitions got underway. A day before the opening ceremony, Gwen Ifill gets a preview of the venues, the security, the new official events and the athletes to watch from Steve Wilson of the Associated Press, who is in Russia to cover the Olympic Games.