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White House expands travel ban, restricting visitors from eight countries

USA expands travel ban

The Trump administration announced new restrictions Sunday on visitors from eight countries — an expansion of the preexisting travel ban that has spurred fierce legal debates over security, immigration and discrimination.

In announcing the new rules, officials said they are meant to be both tough and targeted. The move comes on the day the key portion of President Trump’s travel ban, one which bars the issuance of visas to citizens of six majority-Muslim countries, was due to expire.

“As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,” Trump wrote in a proclamation announcing the changes for visitors from specific nations. On Twitter, he added: “Making America Safe is my number one priority. We will not admit those into our country we cannot safely vet.”

Trump’s original travel ban, signed as an executive order in the first days of his presidency, was always meant to be a temporary measure while his administration crafted more permanent rules. A senior administration official cautioned the new restrictions are not meant to last forever, but are “necessary and conditions-based, not time-based.’’

The new travel ban represents the third version offered by the Trump administration.

Here’s what the Supreme Court ruling on Trump’s travel ban means
The Supreme Court on June 26 decided to allow a limited version of President Trump’s travel ban to be implemented. The court will also hold a hearing on the case in the fall. (Video: Bastien Inzaurralde/Photo: Jonathan Newton/The Washington Post)

Three nations were added to the list of countries whose citizens will face the restrictions: Chad, North Korea and Venezuela — although the restrictions on Venezuela are narrowly crafted, targeting that country’s leadership and their family members.

One country, Sudan, fell off the travel ban list issued at the beginning of the year. Senior administration officials said a review of Sudan’s cooperation with the U.S. government on national security and information-sharing showed it was appropriate to remove it from the list.

The new restrictions will be phased in over time, officials said, and the restrictions will not affect anyone who already holds a U.S. visa. For those visitors affected by the changed restrictions, the new rules will go into effect Oct. 18, according to the proclamation.

The new rules vary per country, barring entry into the United States of immigrants and non-immigrants from Chad, Libya and Yemen, on business, tourist or business-tourist visas. It bars entry of Iranian citizens, as immigrants or non-immigrants, but provides an exception for Iranian students, provided they receive extra screening. The proclamation bars immigrants and non-immigrants from North Korea and Syria. It bars immigration by citizens of Somalia.

Critics of the administration have argued that the travel bans are an unconstitutional attempt to deliver on Trump’s campaign promise of “a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.” Administration officials deny any of the bans were aimed at Muslims, saying they are based on security concerns about visitors from countries with failing or weak governments.


“The restrictions either previously or now were never, ever ever based on race, religion or creed,’’ one senior administration official said. “Those governments are simply not compliant with our basic security requirements.”

Anthony Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said adding North Korea and Venezuela to the administration’s list does not fix the travel ban’s core problem.

“President Trump’s original sin of targeting Muslims,” he said, “cannot be cured by throwing other countries onto his enemies list.”

The original version, signed as an executive order in January, blocked citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries — Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Somalia, Libya, Yemen and Syria — as well as all refugees across the globe.

When that measure was blocked in court, Trump signed a revised order removing Iraq from the banned list and only barring the issuance of visas to citizens of the six remaining countries and all refugees.

The second order, too, was blocked by judges, but the Supreme Court in June allowed it to go into effect with a significant caveat. The administration, the court said, could not block from entering the country those with a “bona fide” connection to the United States, such as family members or those with firm offers of employment.

The ban on citizens of the six countries was to last 90 days; the ban on refugees was to last 120 days. The refu­gee ban is set to expire Oct. 24, and it was not immediately clear what impact the new restrictions might have on it.

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The Supreme Court has scheduled arguments for Oct. 10 on whether the measure, at its core, is legal. The Justice Department signaled Sunday night that the new rules could affect how the court handles the case — lawyers for the administration filed a letter asking for new court briefs to address issues raised by the new rules.

In explaining how the administration came to cite these eight countries, officials said many governments already met U.S. requests — using secure biometric passports, for example, and willingly passing along terrorism and criminal-history information. Others agreed to make changes and share more data. But some were either unable or unwilling to give the United States what it needed, officials said.

The president had signaled earlier this month that an expansion of the travel ban was likely. Citing an attack in London, Trump wrote on Twitter, “The travel ban into the United States should be far larger, tougher and more specific — but stupidly, that would not be politically correct!”

Robert Barnes contributed to this report.

Source: washigntonpost

School libraries 'disappearing' as the digital age takes over

School libraries disappearing

Mr Hobbs is best known for his Horrible Harriet and Old Tom children's book series and said despite living in the digital age, libraries and librarians were essential for schools.

"I've got a real view about bureaucrats and politicians talking about literacy all the time, and at the same time libraries and librarians are disappearing, sort of seemingly one after another," he told News Breakfast.

"The problem with that is that parents don't know about it, because teachers aren't allowed to write letters to the paper."

What are your thoughts on libraries and librarians "disappearing" from schools across Australia? Join the discussion.

Mr Hobbs is the current Australian Children's Laureate — a position appointed by the non-profit Children's Literature Alliance to promote reading and literacy — and has been touring the country visiting schools and libraries.

He acknowledged the rise in digital resources presented a handy alternative to some physical books, but said librarians had expertise that could not be replicated online.

"They fulfil a very important role. Like teaching kids how to research and all these literacy skills," he said.

Exact figures on the number of teacher librarian roles remaining in Australia — and what these roles look like — are hard to come by.

A 2010 Federal Government inquiry into school libraries concluded there was a "fundamental need to collate some hard data to ascertain how many teacher librarians there are in Australia's primary and secondary schools".

"It is indisputable that the value of teacher librarians' work has been eroded over the years and undervalued by many in the community," the inquiry also found.


For those in the business, the trend towards downsizing or closing school libraries is clear.

Rick Susman set up the Booklegger company in 1978 to sell non-fiction books to school libraries, and in June this year finally made the call to shut down the distribution business. He will now focus on digital subscription services.

"Six years ago I was selling $1.25 million worth of print books — that's non-fiction reference books — into school libraries around Australia," he said.

"Last financial year it was $100,000.

"That's a 93 per cent drop in five or six years."
Mr Susman said when he first started Booklegger 39 years ago, every primary school in Victoria had a teacher librarian, but times had changed significantly.

"There are schools, including private schools, where there's no commitment to a library at all and where schools have just hived off responsibility and said, 'Oh we'll just put a whole lot of books in classrooms'," he said.

Australian company Softlink provides library management systems and for the past seven years has also conducted research into school libraries and their relation to literacy rates.

Its 2016 report echoes the findings of the 2010 Government report that there appears to be a link between library funding and literacy achievement.

"The 2016 findings continue to indicate a relationship between well-funded and well-staffed libraries and student achievement," Softlink found.

"The findings show, once again, a correlation between high NAPLAN literacy results and a well-resourced library."

Source: abc

Germany decides: Angela Merkel tipped to win fourth term

Angela Merkel tipped to win fourth term

Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to win a fourth term in office as Germans go to the polls on Sunday in an election that is also likely to see the farthest right-wing party in 60 years, the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, win seats in parliament.

Merkel campaigned on her record as chancellor for 12 years, emphasizing the country’s record-low unemployment, strong economic growth, balanced budget and growing international importance.


Merkel urged her supporters to keep up the momentum in the final hours before Sunday’s national election, urging a last push to try to sway undecided voters.

Merkel is seeking a fourth term in office and her conservative bloc of the Christian Democratic Party and Bavarian-only Christian Social union has a healthy lead in the polls. Surveys in the last week show it leading with between 34 to 37 per cent support, followed by the Social Democrats with 21 to 22 per cent.

Source: persecondnews

The Latest: More than 200 NFL players don’t stand for anthem

200 NFL players don’t stand for anthem

NEW YORK (AP) — The Latest on the sports world reacting to President Donald Trump’s remarks about pro football (all times Eastern):

9 p.m.

When you add up the numbers, about one in eight NFL players did not stand for the national anthem this weekend.

AP reporters and photographers counted the players kneeling or sitting at every NFL game Sunday. With one more game to go Monday night, already more than 200 players chose to protest. A handful of others raised their fists.

The league has 1,696 players on active rosters.

Last week, only six NFL players protested, continuing the movement started last year by former San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

But President Donald Trump’s comments and tweets saying protesting players should be fired sparked a massive show of defiance. Three teams stayed off the field for the anthems entirely. Other teams locked arms, with some players standing, some kneeling and some sitting.

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5:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump has continued to express his displeasure on Twitter about how NFL players are choosing to kneel or sit for the national anthem before games.

In one tweet, Trump said that “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad Ratings!” In another tweet, he says people “MUST honor and respect” the American flag.

About 150 players around the NFL sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the league’s early games.

In another tweet, Trump said the NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be going to the White House f or a ceremony. Trump recently rescinded a White House invitation for Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

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4 p.m.

Meghan Linsey finished singing the national anthem before the Seattle Seahawks game at the Tennessee Titans, and then the runner-up in “The Voice” took a knee as she finished. So did the guitarist accompanying her.

At least 130 players around the NFL sat or knelt during the anthems in the early games. The Seahawks and Titans didn’t come on the field until after Linsey finished singing. A handful of players stood outside the tunnel.

Earlier in Detroit, singer Rico Lavelle dropped to his right knee, bowed his head and raised his right fist wrapped around the microphone while finishing up his rendition of the national anthem before the Lions-Falcons game.

— AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker reported from Nashville, Tennessee

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4:01 p.m.

President Donald Trump has continued to express his displeasure on Twitter about how NFL players are choosing to kneel or sit for the national anthem before games.

In one tweet, Trump said that “Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad Ratings!” In another tweet, he says people “MUST honor and respect” the American flag.

More than 130 players around the NFL sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance during the league’s early games.

In another tweet, Trump said the NHL champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be going to the White House for a ceremony. Trump recently rescinded a White House invitation for Stephen Curry of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors.

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3:50 p.m.

The Tennessee Titans are joining the Seattle Seahawks in deciding not to come out for the national anthem.

The Seahawks announced nearly 30 minutes before kickoff that they would not stand for the national anthem because they “will not stand for the injustice that has plagued people of color in this country.”

The Titans followed 10 minutes later by saying they will remain in the locker room during the national anthem. They posted a statement on their website noting they want to be unified as a team with the players deciding jointly that staying inside was the best course of action.

The team also said their commitment to the military and community is “resolute” and that “the absence of our team for the national anthem shouldn’t be misconstrued as unpatriotic.”

Seattle has been one of the more outspoken teams in professional sports on social issues, led by Michael Bennett, Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin.

— AP Sports Writer Teresa M. Walker reported from Nashville, Tennessee

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3:40 p.m.

The Los Angeles Sparks did not participate in the national anthem before Game 1 of the WNBA Finals, joining a long list of protests being conducted on football fields across the NFL.

Moments before the Sparks and Minnesota Lynx were scheduled to line up for the national anthem, the Sparks left the floor. The Lynx stood arm-in-arm with each other while the anthem was performed. As soon as it was finished, the Sparks re-entered Williams Arena to a chorus of boos.

The gesture comes in solidarity with NFL players who either sat, took a knee or did not take the field for the anthem after President Donald Trump criticized football players for enacting such protests. At least 130 players were kneeling or sitting during the first NFL games.

— AP Sports Writer Jon Krawczynski reported from Minneapolis

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2:55 p.m.

It appeared no drivers, crew or other team members participated in a protest during the national anthem to start the NASCAR Cup series race Sunday in Loudon, New Hampshire. Several team owners and executives had said they wouldn’t want anyone in their organizations to protest.

Richard Childress, who was Dale Earnhardt’s longtime team owner, said of protesting, “It’ll get you a ride on a Greyhound bus.” Childress says he told his team that “anybody that works for me should respect the country we live in. So many people gave their lives for it. This is America.”

Hall of Fame driver Richard Petty’s sentiments took it a step further, saying: “Anybody that don’t stand up for the anthem oughta be out of the country. Period. What got ’em where they’re at? The United States.”

When asked if a protester at Richard Petty Motorsports would be fired, he said, “You’re right.”

Another team owner Chip Ganassi says he supports Pittsburgh Steelers coach Mike Tomlin’s comments. Tomlin said before the Steelers played on Sunday that players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.”

___

1 p.m.

NFL players used the national anthem to show their defiance to President Donald Trump’s criticism, with at least 100 players kneeling or sitting in protest and one team staying in the locker room.

Most teams in the early afternoon games locked arms in solidarity. At least three team owners joined their players.

More than 100 players sat or knelt, the form of protest started last season by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Kaepernick is now a free agent, and supporters believe teams have avoided signing him because of his protest.

The Pittsburgh Steelers remained in the locker room as the national anthem played before their game with the Chicago Bears. Coach Mike Tomlin stood by himself on the sideline.

How each team would observe the national anthem emerged as the center of attention on this NFL Sunday in the wake of Trump’s critical remarks toward players who don’t stand for the anthem.

Tomlin had said before the game that Pittsburgh’s players would remain in the locker room and that “we’re not going to let divisive times or divisive individuals affect our agenda.” Tomlin added that the Steelers made this choice “not to be disrespectful to the anthem but to remove ourselves from this circumstance. People shouldn’t have to choose.”

___

12:12 p.m.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have decided to stay in their locker room for the national anthem before their game against the Chicago Bears, coach Mike Tomlin has told CBS.

The move was apparently in reaction to President Donald Trump’s suggestion that NFL owners fire players who kneel for the national anthem.

Several players from the Jaguars and Ravens decided to kneel in the first NFL game of the day in London. Then Tomlin said his players would not be on the sideline at Soldier Field in Chicago for the anthem.

— AP Sports Writer Jay Cohen reported from Chicago

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12:13 p.m.

Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagilabue called President Donald Trump’s comments on NFL players “insulting and disgraceful.”

Tagliabue, who was in Charlotte, North Carolina, as a guest of Panthers owner Jerry Richardson, spoke to the media before Carolina’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

“For me to single out any particular group of players and call them SOB’s, to me, that is insulting and disgraceful,” Tagliabue said. “So I think the players deserve credit for what they do. And when it comes to speech they are entitled to speak. And we are entitled to listen. We are entitled to agree or disagree. But we’re not entitled to shut anybody’s speech down. Sometimes you don’t like what you hear and that is true in life in lots of contexts, but you can’t shut people down and be disgraceful when you are doing it.”

Richardson is not making a statement on the Trump’s remarks, per team spokesman Steven Drummond.

— AP Sports Writer Steve Reed reported from Charlotte, North Carolina

___

11:45 a.m.

A handful of Miami Dolphins players are wearing black T-shirts supporting free agent quarterback Colin Kaepernick during pregame warm-ups.

The shirts have “#IMWITHKAP” written in bold white lettering on the front.

Kaepernick was the first athlete to refuse to stand during the national anthem as a protest. This season, no team has signed him, and some supporters believe NFL owners are avoiding him because of the controversy.

Among the players sporting the shirts before their game against the New York Jets are wide receiver Kenny Stills, running back Jay Ajayi and offensive linemen Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James. Stills, also a team captain, posted a photo on Twitter of himself wearing the shirt , along with the post: “In case you didn’t know!”

— AP Sports Writer Dennis Waszak reporting from East Rutherford, New Jersey

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11:02 a.m.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin is defending President Donald Trump’s attacks on football players who kneel during the national anthem.

Speaking on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday morning, Mnuchin says the National Football League enforces other types of rules and Trump thinks “owners should have a rule that players should have to stand in respect for the national anthem.”

Mnuchin adds that “they can do free speech on their own time.”

Trump suggested during a speech Friday night that NFL owners should fire players who kneel during the national anthem. A handful of NFL players have refused to stand to protest several issues, including police brutality.

___

11:01 a.m.

The Pittsburgh Penguins say they’ve accepted an invitation from President Donald Trump to go to the White House after winning the Stanley Cup.

The Penguins released a statement Sunday saying they respect the office of the president and “the long tradition of championship teams visiting the White House.” The Penguins were honored by Barack Obama after winning the Stanley Cup in 2016 and previously by George H.W. Bush in the early 1990s.

“Any agreement or disagreement with a president’s politics, policies or agenda can be expressed in other ways. However, we very much respect the rights of other individuals and groups to express themselves as they see fit.”

Trump revoked the White House invitation to the NBA champion Golden State Warriors Saturday, after the team had said they might not accept.

—Stephen Whyno reporting from Washington

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10:15 a.m.

Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti says he “100 percent” supports his players’ decision to kneel during the national anthem ahead of Sunday’s game against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Wembley.

At least seven Ravens players and more than a dozen Jaguars players took a knee during the anthem while the rest of the players stood locked arm-in-arm in an apparent response to President Donald Trump, who said this week that NFL owners should fire those who disrespected the American flag.

But the Ravens issued a statement from Bisciotti minutes after kickoff, saying: “We recognize our players’ influence. We respect their demonstration and support them 100 percent. All voices need to be heard. That’s democracy in its highest form.”

Jaguars owner Shad Khan stood arm-in-arm with his players during the anthem.

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9:30 a.m.

About two dozen players, including Baltimore Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs and Jacksonville Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette, took a knee during the playing of the national anthem before the start of the teams’ game at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Other players on one knee during the performance included Ravens linebacker C.J. Mosley, wide receiver Mike Wallace and safety Lardarius Webb as well as Jaguars linebacker Dante Fowler, defensive tackle Calais Campbell, defensive end Yannick Ngakoue and cornerback Jalen Ramsey.

Players on both teams and Jaguars owner Shad Khan, who were not kneeling, remained locked arm-in-arm throughout the playing of the national anthem and “God Save The Queen,” the national anthem of Britain.

No players were kneeling during the playing of the British national anthem.

President Donald Trump had a suggestion on Saturday for National Football League owners whose players decide to take a knee during the national anthem: fire them.

Source: AP

President’s criticisms spark more protests at NFL games

 President’s criticisms NFL games

President Donald Trump’s criticism of players who kneel during the national anthem sparked angry protests around the National Football League Sunday, as about 200 players sat, knelt or raised their fists in defiance.

A week ago, just six players protested.

Most NFL players on Sunday locked arms with their teammates — some standing, others kneeling — in a show of solidarity. A handful of teams stayed off the field until after “The Star-Spangled Banner” to avoid the issue altogether.

As he prepared to board Air Force One to return to Washington from New Jersey, Trump said the players protesting the anthem were “very disrespectful to our country” and called again on owners to stop what he considers unpatriotic displays in America’s most popular sport.

“This has nothing to do with race,” Trump said. “This has to do with respect for our country.”

The president’s attack on athletes turned the anthems — usually sung during commercials — into must-watch television shown live by the networks and Yahoo!, which streamed the game in London. In some NFL stadiums, crowds booed or yelled at players to stand. There was also some applause.

The NFL and its players, often at odds, used Sunday’s anthems to show unity. One of Trump’s biggest supporters in the NFL, Patriots owner Robert Kraft, joined the chorus when he expressed “deep disappointment” with Trump.

“I like Bob very much. He’s my friend. He gave me a Super Bowl ring a month ago. So he’s a good friend of mine and I want him to do what he wants to do,” Trump said. “... We have great people representing our country, especially our soldiers our first responders and they should be treated with respect.

“And when you get on your knee and you don’t respect the American flag or the anthem.”

The protests started more than a year ago when former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick refused to stand during the anthem as a protest of police treatment of minorities. This season, no team has signed him, and some supporters believe NFL owners are avoiding him because of the controversy.

A handful of white players didn’t stand Sunday, but the vast majority of those actively protesting were black.

Defensive star Von Miller was among the large group of Denver Broncos who took a knee in Buffalo Sunday, where Bills running back LeSean McCoy stretched during the anthem.

“We felt like President Trump’s speech was an assault on our most cherished right, freedom of speech,” said Miller, who normally steers clear of politics and social issues.

Dozens of more players protested before the Raiders-Redskins game, the final one of the day and not far from the White House in Landover, Maryland. All but a handful of Raiders sat on their bench and seven Redskins took a knee while their teammates stood arm-in-arm along with owner Dan Snyder and president Bruce Allen.

In Chicago, the Pittsburgh Steelers stayed in the tunnel except for one player, Army veteran Alejandro Villanueva, who stood outside with a hand over his heart. Both the Seahawks and Titans stayed inside until after the national anthem was over in Nashville, a throwback to the pre-2009 NFL when teams, not the league, set pre-game policy regarding players standing on the sideline for the anthem.

A handful of NFL players had been continuing Kaepernick’s protest this season, but that ballooned Sunday following Trump’s two-day weekend rant. It began with the president calling for NFL protesters to be fired and continued Saturday when he rescinded a White House invitation for the NBA champion Golden State Warriors over star Stephen Curry’s criticism.

The president’s delving into the NFL protests started by Kaepernick brought new attention and angered many players who took one insult as a personal attack on their mothers.

“Wouldn’t you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, you’d say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired,’” Trump said to loud applause Friday night at a rally in Huntsville, Alabama.

“I’m a son of a queen,” Falcons defensive lineman Grady Jarrett said.

Super Bowl MVP Tom Brady was among the New England Patriots who locked arms in solidarity in Foxborough, Massachusetts. Aaron Rodgers did the same with his teammates in Green Bay.


“Standing with locked arms is good, kneeling is not acceptable. Bad ratings!” Trump tweeted Sunday.

In Detroit, anthem singer Rico Lavelle took a knee at the word “brave,” lowering his head and raising his right fist. In Nashville, anthem singer Meghan Linsey, took a knee as she finished singing.

Jets Chairman and CEO Christopher Johnson, whose brother, Woody, is the ambassador to England and one of Trump’s most ardent supporters, called it “an honor and a privilege to stand arm-in-arm unified with our players during today’s national anthem” in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The issue reverberated across the Atlantic, where about two dozen players took a knee during the playing of the U.S. anthem at Wembley Stadium.

“We stand with our brothers,” Ravens linebacker Terrell Suggs said. “They have the right and we knelt with them today. To protest, non-violent protest, is as American as it gets, so we knelt with them today to let them know that we’re a unified front.”

Jaguars owner Shad Khan and players on both teams who were not kneeling remained locked arm-in-arm throughout the playing of the anthem and “God Save The Queen.” No players knelt during the British anthem.

“Me taking a knee doesn’t change the fact that I support our military, I’m a patriot and I love my country,” Bills linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said. “But I also recognize there are some social injustices in this country and today I wanted to take a knee in support of my brothers who have been doing it.”

Alexander said he’ll go back to standing for the anthem next week.

“I just wanted to show them that I was with them today, especially in the backdrop of our president making the comments about our players, about their mothers,” Alexander said. “And then you put that in conjunction with how he tried to gray-area Nazism and KKK members as being fine people, I had to take a knee.”

The National Hockey League’s reigning champion Pittsburgh Penguins announced Sunday they’ve accepted a White House invitation from Trump. The Penguins said they respect the office of the president and “the long tradition of championship team visiting the White House.”

Before Game 1 of the WNBA Finals in Minneapolis on Sunday, the Los Angeles Sparks left the floor while the Minnesota Lynx stood arm-in-arm. The Sparks returned to a chorus of boos when the song was finished.

Trump also mocked the league’s crackdown on illegal hits, suggesting the league had softened because of its safety initiatives.

Kahn, who was among the NFL owners who chipped in $1 million to the Trump inauguration committee, said he met with his team captains before kickoff in London “to express my support for them, all NFL players and the league following the divisive and contentious remarks made by President Trump.”

Among the strongest criticisms of the president Sunday was this from Saints coach Sean Payton: “I’m disappointed in the comments that were made. I think we need a little bit more wisdom in that office,” he said of the White House. “I want that guy to be one of the smarter guys in the room and it seems like every time he’s opening up his mouth it’s something that is dividing our country and not pulling us together.”

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For more NFL coverage: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

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AP Sports Writers Dennis Waszak Jr., Steve Reed, Larry Lage, Teresa M. Walker, John Wawrow and Stephen Whyno and Associated Press Writer Zac Boyer contributed.

Source: AP

LEADING OFF: After Maxwell takes knee, will others join?

Maxwell takes knee

Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics became the first major league baseball player to kneel during the national anthem on Saturday, adopting a protest started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick in response to police treatment of blacks. More players could follow — there’s been a major backlash by athletes and executives after President Donald Trump denounced protests by NFL players at a rally on Friday. The Athletics quickly voiced support for Maxwell, tweeting shortly after the anthem that they “respect and support all of our players’ constitutional rights and freedom of expression” and “pride ourselves on being inclusive.”

WORKING OVERTIME

After playing three straight games that got decided in the 10th inning, the NL Central-leading Cubs and Brewers wrap up their series at Miller Park. Milwaukee bounced back from two losses to win Saturday 4-3 on Travis Shaw’s homer off closer Wade Davis. The Brewers moved within 4 1/2 games of the Cubs, and are even closer in the chase for the second wild-card spot. Jose Quintana starts for Chicago vs. Chase Anderson.

GETTING WILD?

The Diamondbacks try again to lock up a spot in the NL wild-card game when they host the Marlins. Giancarlo Stanton helped Miami thwart Arizona’s attempt to clinch Saturday, clubbing his 57th homer in a 12-6 win. Arizona’s Patrick Corbin (14-13, 4.14) gets the ball against Dan Straily (10-9, 4.17).


TRY AGAIN

Lance McCullers (7-3, 3.97) pitches for the AL West champion Astros when they host the Los Angeles Angels at night. The right-hander hasn’t pitched since he was scratched from his scheduled start on Sept. 13 because of arm fatigue. Manager A.J. Hinch said McCullers will be on a pitch count, but didn’t say exactly how many pitches they’ll let him throw. The Angels have lost six in a row and fallen back in the wild-card race.

KLUBOT IN CONTROL

Corey Kluber can improve his AL Cy Young Award resume when Cleveland faces Seattle. Kluber is 5-0 with a 1.15 ERA in his last five starts and hasn’t allowed a run in 22 innings. He is 2-1 with a 1.96 ERA in three career starts against Seattle.

FEELING BETTER

Jacob deGrom is expected back on the mound for the Mets after having a scheduled start pushed back because of a stomach bug. He’ll face Washington ace Max Scherzer in the last game of the season series between the teams. The Nationals may also get star outfielder Bryce Harper back soon. Harper played in a simulated game Saturday, and manager Dusty Baker says he’s “very close” to returning after hyperextending his left knee in August.

Source: AP

Berliners to vote on future of city’s Tegel Airport

Tegel Airport of berlin

BERLIN (AP) — Berliners are being asked to decide on the future of their Tegel Airport, which is due to close when a much-delayed big international airport opens near the German capital.

Some 2.5 million people were eligible to vote in a referendum Sunday on whether to keep Tegel operating in northwestern Berlin.

Tegel was meant to be closed six months after Berlin’s new airport began service. But the opening of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport, or BER, south of the capital has been delayed repeatedly since 2011 due to technical problems.

The outcome of the referendum is legally not binding. If Berliners vote to keep Tegel open, however, it would be a big blow to the city’s government, which has lobbied to close it.

Source: AP

Merkel bids for fourth term as Germans head to the polls

Merkel bids for fourth term

BERLIN (AP) — Chancellor Angela Merkel was widely expected to win a fourth term in office as Germans went to the polls on Sunday in an election that is also likely to see the farthest right-wing party in 60 years, the anti-migrant Alternative for Germany, win seats in parliament.

Merkel campaigned on her record as chancellor for 12 years, emphasizing the country’s record-low unemployment, strong economic growth, balanced budget and growing international importance.

That’s helped keep her conservative bloc well atop the polls ahead of Sunday’s election over the center-left Social Democrats of challenger Martin Schulz.

Pollsters said earlier in the week that many voters had remained undecided until the very last moment. That included Bernhard Sommerfeld, a 62-year-old book seller, who cast his vote Sunday morning in Berlin after the opening of the polling stations at 8 a.m. (0600GMT).

“I was really undecided,” Sommerfeld said. “I didn’t know which party I should cast my vote for — it was very difficult.”


Only a few people came to the polling stations on a cold and drizzly morning in the German capital, which also hosted its annual marathon Sunday. Many streets in the city were blocked as runners zigzagged their way through Berlin in an often festive mood with local bands playing on street corners and bystanders cheering and applauding.

Jens Schubert, an orchestra manager, also said this election was a difficult one for him.

“I usually vote for the same party from the left spectrum — the Green Party — but this time I voted for a different party,” the 54-year-old said as he came out of a polling station in Berlin’s Mitte neighborhood where Merkel was also expected to cast her vote later in the day.

The latest polls had Merkel’s bloc at 34 to 37 percent support, the Social Democrats with 21 to 22 percent and the Alternative for Germany, or AfD, with 10 to 13 percent support.

Source: AP

International community must call on India to halt aggressive acts: Pakistan

indian and pakistani news

UNITED NATIONS: Pakistan today accused India of adopting a posture of that of a "predator" and said if the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between the two neighbours, it must call on New Delhi to halt its provocations and aggressive actions. 

Terming India as the "mother of terrorism" in South Asia, Pakistan's Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi accused it of sponsoring terrorism in various parts of her country. 

Exercising her right to reply after External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj yesterday hit out at Pakistan for creating terror groups like LeT, JeM, Hizbul Mujahideen and the Haqqani Network, Lodhi alleged that "in her vitriol she (Swaraj) deliberately ignored the core issue" of . 

Swaraj in her remarks did not mention Kashmir. 

"If the international community wishes to avoid a dangerous escalation between India and Pakistan, it must call on India to halt its provocations and aggressive actions. It must end the ceasefire violations along the Line of Control. It must halt its sponsorship of terrorist groups against Pakistan," Lodhi said. 

Given that such responses are normally given by a low level foreign service official, it was quite significant that the top Pakistani diplomat took up the floor to launch a verbal dual against India. 

India did not immediately exercise its right to response to Lodhi's remarks, in which Pakistan for the second time accused the National Security Advisor Ajit K Doval of interfering in Balochistan. 

Lodhi said if the parties fail to resolve a dispute, the UN and the international community has not only the right but the obligation to intervene and help to resolve the dispute. 

"UN Security Council resolutions do not lapse with time. Or are 'overtaken', as the Indian foreign minister put it. Law has no expiry date. Morality has no sell-by date. India's posture is that of the predator. It cannot escape its legal and moral obligation to abide by the resolutions of the Security Council," she said.

Referring to Swaraj's remarks on terrorism and her push for a definition, Lodhi said the UN should actually define terrorism. 


"In that definition, we should include 'state terrorism'. The state terrorism which the Indian National Security Adviser has boasted is being sponsored by India's spy agencies in Pakistan's Balochistan province in what he called a 'double squeeze' strategy," she alleged. 

"India has sponsored and perpetrated terrorism and aggression against all its neighbours; creating terror groups; destabilising and blockading neighbours to do its strategic bidding and sponsoring subversion, sabotage and terrorism in various parts of Pakistan. All this establishes that India is the mother of terrorism in South Asia," she alleged. 

She said the 'largest democracy' is also "the world's largest hypocrisy" and it's ruled by the "fascist" ideology.   

Lodhi alleged that Swaraj in her speech criticised Pakistan's founding father M A Jinnah. 

She also said Pakistan remains open to resuming a comprehensive dialogue with India to address all outstanding issues, especially Jammu and Kashmir and discuss measures to maintain peace and security. 

"But this dialogue must be accompanied by an end to India's campaign of subversion and state sponsored terrorism in Pakistan," she demanded. 

In her speech, Swaraj had said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has offered the hand of peace and friendship since he assumed office. "Pakistan's Prime Minister must answer why his nation spurned this offer," she had said. 

Swaraj reminded Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi that in December 2015, when she was in Islamabad, a decision was made by then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that dialogue between India and Pakistan should be renewed and named it a "Comprehensive Bilateral Dialogue". 

"The word 'bilateral' was used consciously to remove any confusion or doubt about the fact that the proposed talks would be between our two nations and only between our two nations, without any third-party present. And he must answer why that proposal withered, because Pakistan is responsible for the aborting that peace process," Swaraj had said.

Source: indiatimes

Trump tweets take on GOP holdouts on health legislation


WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. John McCain’s opposition to the GOP’s last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Obama health law has dealt a likely fatal blow to the legislation — and perhaps to the Republican Party’s years of promises to kill the program.

It was the second time in three months the 81-year-old Arizona Republican had emerged as the destroyer of his party’s signature promise to voters.

“John McCain never had any intention of voting for this Bill, which his Governor loves. He campaigned on Repeal & Replace. Let Arizona down!” President Donald Trump said in a series of tweets Saturday that attacked GOP senators who hadn’t gotten behind the bill. The measure was co-written by South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, McCain’s closest Senate ally, and Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La.

“McCain let his best friend L.G. down!” Trump said, adding that the health bill was “great for Arizona.”

McCain, who is battling brain cancer in the twilight of a remarkable career, announced Friday that he could not “in good conscience” vote for the legislation.

“I believe we could do better working together, Republicans and Democrats, and have not yet really tried,” McCain said. “Nor could I support it without knowing how much it will cost, how it will affect insurance premiums, and how many people will be helped or hurt by it.”

Trump told those at a rally that Obamacare will be repealed. The president also took a jab at NFL players who protest during the National Anthem at games. (Sept. 22)

His opposition all but ensured a major setback for Trump and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It also appeared likely to deepen rifts between congressional Republicans and a president who has begun making deals with Democrats out of frustration with his own party’s failure to turn proposals into laws.

During the election campaign Trump had pledged to quickly kill the Affordable Care Act — “It will be easy,” he contended — and he has publicly chided McConnell for not winning passage before now.

McCain joined Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., as two declared GOP “no” votes on the repeal legislation, though Trump held out hope on Paul.

“I know Rand Paul and I think he may find a way to get there for the good of the Party!” Trump tweeted.

With Democrats unanimously opposed, two is the exact number of GOP votes McConnell can afford to lose.

But Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, said Friday she, too, is leaning against the bill, and Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was also a possible “no,” making it highly unlikely that McConnell can prevail.

Trump tweeted that health premiums have risen dramatically for Alaskans under the health law, “deductibles high, people angry!”

While Trump tries to keep up the pressure, the GOP seems destined to fail again on a campaign promise that every Republican agreed on — right up until the party obtained full control of Congress and the White House this year and was actually in position to follow through.

Trump, at a political rally Friday night in Alabama, he said he would continue the fight to repeal the law. “You can’t quit when you have one or two votes short.”

Graham, in a statement, said he would “press on,” and he reaffirmed his friendship with McCain.

Up until McCain’s announcement, McConnell allies were optimistic McCain’s relationship with Graham might make the difference.
GOP leaders hoped to bring the legislation to the full Senate this coming week. They face a Sept. 30 deadline, at which point special rules that prevent a Democratic filibuster will expire.

Democrats hailed McCain’s announcement and pledged to commit to the bipartisan process he sought. GOP Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington have been working on a package of limited legislative fixes to the health law’s marketplaces.

“John McCain shows the same courage in Congress that he showed when he was a naval aviator,” said Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. “I have assured Sen. McCain that as soon as repeal is off the table, we Democrats are intent on resuming the bipartisan process.”

Trump charged that Schumer “sold John McCain a bill of goods. Sad.”

The Graham-Cassidy bill would repeal major pillars of the health law and replace them with block grants to states to design their own programs.

“Large Block Grants to States is a good thing to do. Better control & management,” Trump wrote.

But major medical groups said millions of people would lose insurance coverage and protections. A bipartisan group of governors announced their opposition.

Yet Republican congressional leaders, goaded by GOP voters and the president himself, were determined to give it one last try.

Trump spent much of August needling McConnell for his failure to pass a repeal bill, and Republican lawmakers back home during Congress’ summer recess heard repeatedly from voters angered that after seven years of promises to get rid of the health law, the party had not delivered.

The House passed its own repeal bill back in May, prompting Trump to convene a Rose Garden celebration, which soon began to look premature.

After the Senate failed in several attempts in July, the legislation looked dead. But Cassidy kept at it with his state-focused approach, and the effort caught new life in recent weeks as the deadline neared. Trump pushed hard, hungry for a win.

The bill would get rid of unpopular mandates for people to carry insurance or face penalties. It would repeal the financing for Obama’s health insurance expansion and create a big pot of money states could tap to set up their own programs, with less federal oversight. It would limit spending for Medicaid, the federal-state program that now covers more than 70 million low-income people. Insurance rules that protect people with pre-existing conditions could be loosened through state waivers.

Over time, the legislation would significantly reduce federal health care dollars now flowing to the states. But McConnell had little margin for error in a Senate split 52-48 between Republicans and Democrats, and could lose only two votes, counting on Pence to break the tie.

Source: AP