Fergie’s NBA All-Star Game National Anthem Confuses, Amuses

Singer Fergie performs the national anthem prior to an NBA All-Star basketball game.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fergie tried something different with her national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game, and not everybody was cheering.

The Black Eyed Peas singer’s slow, bluesy rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” on Sunday night wasn’t particularly well received at Staples Center or on social media before the 67th edition of the NBA’s annual showcase.

A low chuckle rumbled through the sold-out arena after Fergie finished the first line of the song with a throaty growl on “the dawn’s early light.”

Fans throughout the star-studded crowd reacted with varying levels of bemusement and enthusiasm while her languid, 2 ½-minute version of the song continued. Although Fergie was on pitch, her tempo, musical accompaniment and sexy delivery were not exactly typical for a sporting event or a patriotic song.

Golden State All-Star Draymond Green captured the mood — and became an instant GIF — when he was shown open-mouthed on the scoreboard and the television broadcast in apparent confusion over the unique vocal stylings. Green then chuckled to himself after realizing he was on TV.

After a forceful finish, Fergie finally got big cheers when she shouted, “Let’s play some basketball!”

The Grammy Award-winning singer, born Stacy Ann Ferguson, is from nearby Hacienda Heights, California.

Famed basketball commentator Charles Barkley joked that he “needed a cigarette” after Fergie’s performance during the TNT halftime show.

Former Lakers star Shaquille O’Neal leaped to Fergie’s defense, saying: “Fergie, I love you. It was different. It was sexy. I liked it. Leave her alone.”

Others on social media weren’t as kind, with criticism of the performance outpacing the positive reviews.

The Forum in nearby Inglewood, California, was the site of arguably the most famous national anthem in sports history during another NBA All-Star Game 35 years ago.

Marvin Gaye’s touching rhythm-and-blues version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the 1983 game was initially criticized, but has since gained widespread acceptance as a groundbreaking musical performance.

Instead, Fergie is more likely to join the long list of curious versions of the anthem, even though she showed far more impressive vocal chops than the likes of Roseanne Barr or Carl Lewis.


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Pink Singing the National Anthem With the Flu Won the Super Bowl Before It Even Started

If performing for one of the largest audiences in the world is not already enough pressure, imagine doing it with the flu.

That’s what Grammy Award-winning artist Pink had to do ahead of the Super Bowl LII Sunday when she performed the National Anthem as this year’s competitors, the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles, looked on. Pink, who had a goal of performing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl after she saw Whitney Houston do so in 1991, battled through the flu Sunday — and her fans came flocking to Twitter to voice praise and admiration for singing while sick.

One Twitter user said, “Anyone who can sing the national anthem while having the flu with such grace is a legend in my book.” Another simply said, “All hail Pink.”

Pink announced she had the flu just ahead of her performance in an Instagram post, that showed her practicing at the stadium in Minneapolis. She blamed her “two small Petri dish kids who literally cough INTO MY MOUTH” for the illness, and wrote that she “arrived at another one of my dreams which is slowly becoming a sort of nightmare.”

Still, Pink wrote, she would give it her all. “I will tell you, this is one of the biggest honors of my life, singing this song in front of my family, my military family, my dad and brother and step mama and family and the world,” she added. “And the EAGLES!?!?! I promise I will do my best, as I always do.”

It appeared Pink was still battling the flu just moments before she was set to sing the National Anthem at the Super Bowl Sunday night. Some eagle-eyed fans (no pun intended) spotted the singer spit out what appeared to be gum or a cough drop.

The singer later cleared up the gum vs. cough drop debate online with a simple tweet.

As for the match-up between the Eagles and Patriots, Pink has a clear favorite. She’s a life-long Eagles fan.

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National Freedom Day Should Be Renamed Major Richard Wright Sr. Day

Every year, on the first of February, National Freedom Day kicks off the celebration of Black History Month—honoring the signing of a joint House and Senate resolution that later became the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution outlawing slavery and involuntary servitude in 1865.

The man who lobbied for this day to be recognized as a day of freedom for all Americans has been largely forgotten: Major Richard Robert Wright Sr. was born into slavery on May 16, 1855, six miles from Dalton, Georgia.

On the first of February 1941, he founded the National Freedom Day Association, bringing together local and national leaders in Philadelphia, to formulate plans to set aside the first of the month to memorialize the signing of the 13th Amendment (which freed all U.S. slaves) by President Abraham Lincoln on Feb. 1, 1865.

After the Civil War ended, Wright moved with his mother from Dalton to Cuthbert, Georgia, to attend the Storrs School along with other freed slaves’ children.

While visiting the school, retired Union General Oliver Otis Howard asked what message he should take to the North. Wright reportedly told him, “Sir, tell them we are rising.” The exchange inspired the famous poem by John Greenleaf Whittier.

Wright served as a major in the Spanish-American War, becoming the first African American to serve as an Army Paymaster. Wright had already had a long career in education and politics. At the age of 67, he enrolled at the Wharton School of Business in Pennsylvania to prepare for his new venture—the opening of a bank. When he opened the Citizens and Southern Bank and Trust Company at 1849 South Street in 1921, it was the only black bank in the North at the time. When it was sold in 1957, Citizens and Southern had assets worth $ 5.5 million.

A year after Wright’s death in 1947, a bill to make Feb. 1 National Freedom Day was passed and the holiday proclamation was signed into law on June 30, 1948, by President Harry Truman. National Freedom Day became the forerunner to Black History Day and was later recognized as Black History Month in 1976.

In subsequent years, 40 governors and all mayors of Philadelphia have issued proclamations, designating Feb. 1 as National Freedom Day in their respective states and cities. The purpose of the annual observance is to promote goodwill, harmony, and equal opportunity among all citizens, and to rededicate the nation to the ideal of freedom.

The post National Freedom Day Should Be Renamed Major Richard Wright Sr. Day appeared first on Black Enterprise.

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Towie’s Dan Edgar asks ex Lauren Pope to ‘be his date’ to the National Television Awards

TOWIE stars Dan Edgar and Lauren Pope could be getting back together, say friends, who reveal that Dan has asked Lauren to be his ‘date’ to the National Television Awards tomorrow.

The Essex stars – who first dated last year for a few months – will be walking the red carpet together at the glitzy awards party at London’s O2 Arena.

Lauren has talked about how good looking Dan is … and shes not wrong
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“Dan asked Lauren to be his date, and she agreed to go with him,” says a Towie source.

“A lot of the cast are going to the party, but everyone’s talking about the fact Dan and Lauren going together. They’ve always had chemistry and no-one would be surprised if Dan was trying to start things with Lauren again.”

Dan and Lauren have history – back in May 2017, they had a brief relationship but it fizzled out after they kissed on Towie.

“You can’t deny that Dan Edgar is still stunningly beautiful,” she said at the time.

The pair met on Towie and had a secret fling early last year
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“We had a little fling, if you can call it that, but it fizzled out when I moved away from Essex. We left it on really good terms. He’s nice and chilled out.”

She later refused to rule him out as a baby daddy, saying: “It’s worked for Cheryl and Liam so who knows?

“Dan’s not that young! Ideally 30 would be my cut-off point but time’s running out.

“I wish Dan was a little bit older, then I think he’d tick all the boxes – he’s so gorgeous and such a nice guy and me and him are very similar.

Things ended when Lauren left Essex

“Our natures are very calm, we’re not loud in-your-face people.”

“I do really want kids but it’s just so hard to meet a man who is good enough to be a dad to your children.

“I need to get a move on really. I definitely want a family but I won’t have it unless I know it’s right.”


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Alabama Claims National Title With Overtime Win Against Georgia

(ATLANTA) — Tua Tagovailoa threw a 41-yard touchdown to DeVonta Smith to give No. 4 Alabama a 26-23 overtime victory against No. 3 Georgia to win the College Football Playoff national championship Monday night.

Tagovailoa entered the game at halftime, replacing a struggling Jalen Hurts, and threw three touchdown passes, including the game-ender to give the Crimson Tide its fifth national championship since 2009 under coach Nick Saban.

After Alabama kicker Andy Pappanastos missed a 36-yard field goal that would have won it for the Tide (13-1) in the final seconds of regulation, Georgia (13-2) took the lead with a 51-yard field goal from Rodrigo Blankenship in overtime.

Tagovailoa took a terrible sack on Alabama’s first play of overtime, losing 16 yards. On the next play he found Smith, another freshman, streaking down the sideline and hit him in stride for the national championship.

This game will be remembered for Saban’s decision to change quarterbacks trailing 13-0.

“I just thought we had to throw the ball, and I felt he could do it better, and he did,” Saban said. “He did a good job, made some plays in the passing game. Just a great win. I’m so happy for Alabama fans. Great for our players. Unbelievable.”

What was he thinking as the winning pass soared?

“I could not believe it,” Saban said. “There’s lots of highs and lows. Last year we lost on the last play of the game and this year we won on the last play of the game. These kids really responded the right way. We said last year, ‘Don’t waste the feeling.’ They sure didn’t, the way they played tonight.”

Saban now has six major poll national championships, including one at LSU, matching the record set by the man who led Alabama’s last dynasty, coach Paul Bear Bryant.

This one was nothing like the others.

The all-Southeastern Conference matchup was all Georgia in the first half before Saban pulled Hurts and went with the five-star recruit from Hawaii to start the second half.

The Tide trailed 13-0 at halftime and 20-7 in the third quarter after Georgia’s freshman quarterback, Jake Fromm, hit Mecole Hardman for an 80-yard touchdown pass that had the Georgia fans feeling good about ending a national title drought that dates back to 1980.

A little less than a year after the Atlanta Falcons blew a 25-point lead and lost in overtime to the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl, there was more pain for many of the local fans. With the title game being held 70 miles from Georgia’s campus in Athens, Dawg fans packed Mercedes-Benz Stadium, but it turned out to be sweet home for Alabama.

It was not without angst.

Alabama drove into the red zone in the final minute and Saban started playing for a field goal that would end the game and win it for the Tide. A nervous quiet gripped the crowd of 77,430 as ‘Bama burned the clock. With the ball centered in the middle of the field, Pappanastos lined up for a kick to win the national championship. The snap and hold looked fine, but the kicked missed badly to the left.

For the second straight week, Georgia was going to overtime. The Bulldogs beat Oklahoma in a wild Rose Bowl in double overtime to get here, and after Jonathan Ledbetter and Davin Bellamy sacked Tagovailoa for a big loss on the first play, Alabama was in trouble — second-and-26.

Not for long. Tagovailoa looked off the safety threw the biggest touchdown pass in the history of Alabama football.


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Trump unveils US national security plan, blasts previous presidents

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Kaiser Permanente Stroke Patients Receive Clot-Busting Medication More Than Twice as Fast as National Rates

OAKLAND, Calif. — Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California are delivering clot-busting medication to new stroke patients more than twice as fast as the national average. This follows the regionwide adoption of an integrated telemedicine program, according to new research published Dec. 15 in the journal Stroke.

This is the among the first peer-reviewed, published studies to show how the successful implementation of standardized treatment protocols and telemedicine for acute ischemic stroke in a large, integrated system of hospitals can dramatically reduce the time it takes to start critical treatment.

“When a stroke happens, minutes matter,” said lead author Mai Nguyen-Huynh, MD, MAS, vascular neurologist and research scientist with the Kaiser Permanente Division of Research. “Faster treatment with intravenous r-tPA, which dissolves the stroke-causing clot and restores blood flow to the brain, is strongly associated with better functional outcomes for stroke patients.”

Intravenous r-tPA, also known as alteplase, is the only medication approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat acute ischemic stroke.

American Heart Association and American Stroke Association guidelines recommend “door-to-needle” times of 60 minutes or less for intravenous r-tPA. Studies show that less than 30 percent of acute ischemic patients in the United States are currently being treated within this window. The new study in Stroke shows that across Kaiser Permanente’s 21 Northern California hospitals, 87 percent of stroke patients were treated in 60 minutes or less, 73 percent in 45 minutes or less, 41 percent in under 30 minutes and the average treatment time for intravenous r-tPA was 34 minutes.

With the Stroke EXPRESS program (EXpediting the PRocess of Evaluating and Stopping Stroke), all Kaiser Permanente emergency departments in Northern California were equipped with telestroke carts, which include a video camera and access to scans and tests results, enabling the stroke specialist to conduct a patient’s neurologic physical exam even when they are many miles away.

Telemedicine was integrated into a complete reorganization of how acute strokes are managed in Northern California, said co-author Jeffrey Klingman, MD, chair of chiefs of neurology for Kaiser Permanente Northern California.

“Processes that used to happen sequentially during a stroke alert, one after another, are now happening at the same time, allowing us to quickly, safely and confidently provide evaluation and treatment with intravenous r-tPA to stroke patients who can benefit,” he added.

Each member of the stroke team is responsible for executing tasks in tandem, meticulously and quickly. Paramedics provide advance notification to the emergency department that a stroke patient is on the way. A “stroke alert” notifies a stroke neurologist, who meets the patient upon arrival, in person or via video, to coordinate the stroke alert. Pharmacists prepare clot-busting medication early so it is ready to be administered once a radiologist has read neuroimaging and confirmed that the patient is not having a hemorrhagic stroke and is thus a good candidate for intravenous r-tPA.

Stroke EXPRESS was rolled out in all Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California from September 2015 to January 2016. The researchers compared Kaiser Permanente members treated with intravenous r-tPAin the nine months before implementation (337 patients) with those treated in the nine months afterward (557 patients).

All 21 Kaiser Permanente medical centers in Northern California and 15 additional hospitals across the Kaiser Permanente program have been recognized by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the accomplishment in the Get With The Guidelines quality program.

About Kaiser Permanente
Kaiser Permanente is committed to helping shape the future of health care. We are recognized as one of America’s leading health care providers and not-for-profit health plans. Founded in 1945, Kaiser Permanente has a mission to provide high-quality, affordable health care services and to improve the health of our members and the communities we serve. We currently serve more than 11.7 million members in eight states and the District of Columbia. Care for members and patients is focused on their total health and guided by their personal Permanente Medical Group physicians, specialists and team of caregivers. Our expert and caring medical teams are empowered and supported by industry-leading technology advances and tools for health promotion, disease prevention, state-of-the-art care delivery and world-class chronic disease management. Kaiser Permanente is dedicated to care innovations, clinical research, health education and the support of community health. For more information, go to: kp.org/share.

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Charlie Sheen Sues National Enquirer Over Rape Claim

Charlie Sheen sued the National Enquirer on Friday, alleging that the tabloid defamed him when it reported that sexually abused Corey Haim when the latter was 13 years old. On Nov. 8, the Enquirer quoted former actor Dominick Brascia as saying that Haim — now deceased — told him of the sexual encounter. The story […]

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The best national parks in the United States

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When we consider how much beauty and magnificence there is in the United States, it’s not difficult to understand why so many people stay home for the holidays. More and more Americans are exploring the natural world closer to home these days, and you can get involved as well. City life is great, but sometimes you want to get out of the city, into the great wide open, and explore.

The United States is such a large country that there is a wealth of opportunity for those who love the outdoors. And we don’t mean going out in the garden and playing catch with your friends. There are some breathtaking national parks throughout the US that need to be discovered, explored, and experienced. These are just a few of the best national parks in the United States that demand your attention right now.

Yellowstone National Park

The vast, volcanic lushness of Yellowstone is one of the true highlights of Wyoming. Peppered with mud pots, hot springs, and geysers, this is a place that gives you the feeling of being in another world. The magnificent Canyon of the Yellowstone is the hallmark of this park, and it’s a truly stunning sight. There are vast forests here, as well as the highest altitude lake in all of North America. Yellowstone is a treat for everyone and the perfect place to visit if you want to bask in the beauty of nature.

Yosemite National Park

In the heart of California’s Yosemite valley, this stunning national park sits as a testament to the wild and untamed beauty of rural California. There are more natural wonders here than you can shake a stick at, and this is a place you could lose yourself for days on end. It is home to Yosemite Falls, America’s tallest waterfall, not to mention the sprawling Tioga Pass Road, taking you high up into the foothills. There are some stunning walks and wonderful scenery all around, and this is something you must experience.

Grand Canyon National Park

Grand Canyon National Park is the home to the Grand Canyon, one of the most stunning and recognizable tourist attractions on the planet. You’ve most likely seen pictures of this stunning gorge, but nothing can quite prepare you for the beauty and vastness of this amazing place. The desert of Arizona plays out in a backdrop to this magical scene, and the layered rock is truly spectacular. There’s a reason this is the second most visited national park in the United States, and it’s time for you to get out and see this stunning national park as soon as possible.

This is just a snapshot of the world of untamed America, and she’s simply breathtaking. Setting foot in these national parks will make you feel as though you have journeyed far and wide, but they are right on your doorstep. If you want to get a feel for the true rural America, we suggest you do what you can to check out these amazing national parks. There are plenty more, of course, but these are just a snapshot to help you get a taste of exactly what our great nation has to offer you.

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Over 200 women in the U.S. National Security community signed an open letter on sexual harassment: “We, too, are survivors”

Over 200 women in the U.S. National Security community signed an open letter on sexual harassment: “We, too, are survivors”


Over 200 women in the U.S. National Security community signed an open letter on sexual harassment: “We, too, are survivors”

More than 200 women who work on national security for the U.S. signed an open letter saying that they have survived sexual harassment and assault or know someone who has experienced it.

Signed by current and former diplomats, civil servants, servicemembers and development workers, the letter calls for stronger sexual harassment reporting, mandatory training and outside data collection on how often it occurs.

“This is not just a problem in Hollywood, Silicon Valley, newsrooms or Congress,” reads the letter, which was shared with TIME. “These abuses are born of imbalances of power and environments that permit such practices while silencing and shaming their survivors.”

The open letter is titled #metoonatsec, a reference to the “Me Too” movement which sprung up on social networks in October over sexual harassment in the aftermath of explosive reports about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s years of abusive behavior, along with allegations about other notable men.

“Assault and harassment are just as much as a problem for women working on the night-shift cleaning offices as it is for diplomats,” says retired Ambassador Nina Hachigian, who co-authored the letter with former State Department official Jenna Ben-Yehuda.

Signatories to the letter include 223 women who have served across the federal government — in the State Department, in the intelligence community, at USAID, and at the Pentagon — and at institutions within the national security space who all say that they have either witnessed or survived harassment and assault.

No specific allegations are outlined in the document, which Ben-Yehuda and Hachigian began sharing with their networks last week, but the former officials say many used it as an opportunity to open up about their experiences.

Still, some instances of harassment within the national security community have already been made public, such as the private Facebook group that Marines used to share naked photos of female service members, or the incidents former Ambassador Gina Abercrombie-Winstanley detailed in an interview for the July/August 2017 edition of the The Foreign Service Journal.

“There was one occasion in the department when a boss touched me and I told him if he did it again, I’d knock the s— out of him,” she said. “He did not repeat it, but he did try to get me to curtail from the position.”

In sharing the letter with their respective networks, both women say the stories they’ve heard were not unlike the stories that have been shared by women in Hollywood and in media. The current and former ambassadors Hachigian connected with through the group she co-founded, Women Ambassadors Serving America, voiced concern about how vulnerable women in contract support positions and locals who are hired to work in U.S. embassies can be.

Related article: Al Franken says he “let a lot of people down” over sexual misconduct allegations

Ben-Yehuda, who served in the State Department from 2001 until 2013 and founded the Women’s Foreign Policy Network, says that she has never experienced harassment herself, but recalls being told to avoid being alone with certain colleagues early in her career.

“I think that this national conversation has led a number of us, even those of us who haven’t been the direct victims of assault to really harken back to moments like that and realize what a toxic environment even comments like those can create,” she says.

Both women also say that many of the people they have heard from said that they tried to report the misconduct they faced or attempted to work through existing systems, but were left feeling like their voice was not heard. Even worse, says Ben-Yehuda, some said they felt like they became a “problem child” after coming forward. “Certainly didn’t create an environment that was conducive to coming forward,” she says.

To be clear, the federal departments and agencies that are named in the letter have sexual harassment policies in place, as required by federal law.

Within the Department of Defense, anti-sexual harassment training, data collection, oversight, and analysis is handled by the Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity. The Department also keeps track of the number of sexual harassment complaints it receives and how offenders are punished. According to the Fiscal Year 2016 Department of Defense Sexual Assault report, the Military Services and National Guard Bureau received and processed 601 sexual harassment complaints; by the end of the fiscal year, 363 of the 415 alleged offenders had been disciplined and punishment was pending for the remaining 52.

Related article: It’s not just Congress. Sexual harassment plagues California Legislature too

U.S. Army Major Dave Eastburn, a Pentagon spokesman, told TIME via email:

“There is NO room for sexual harassment within the Armed Forces and the Department of Defense. Sexual harassment violates the responsibility of DoD military and civilian personnel to treat each other with dignity and respect. Not only that, it jeopardizes combat readiness and mission accomplishment, weakens trust within the ranks, and erodes unit cohesion. The DoD maintains a ‘zero-tolerance policy’ for sexual harassment and is firmly committed to eliminating it from our ranks.”

The State Department’s anti-harassment policies are posted on the Department’s internal and external websites. Those policies are also discussed at employee trainings and included in the Foreign Affairs Manual, according to an official. The Secretary of State also release statements on diversity and harassment to the entire workforce at the beginning of their tenure. An official says that statement is reviewed annually.

The State Department’sOffice of Civil Rights handles sexual harassment complaints and collects data on reports of harassment.The Office also instructs employees on how to report concerns of harassment to officials and the resolution process that exists within the Department. That process includes some specific deadlines that must be met and steps that must be taken and there are some limitations on who can file Equal Employment Opportunity complaints within the department, according to the Office of Civil Rights website.

According to an official, the State Department reviews its anti-harassment policies on an ongoing basis and the recent scandals have provided the office “an opportunity to assess its anti-harassment program and determine that additional resources are necessary to ensure that each report and allegation receives attention.”

The Department of Homeland Security has an Anti-Harassment Unit that “ensures that Headquarters DHS employees are aware of the DHS Anti-Harassment Directive through training as well as through information on the DHS intranet site.” Training is mandatory for new hires and conducted regularly as a part of DHS’s compliance with a 2002 law that protects federal employees from discrimination and retaliation. Also, that Anti-Harassment unit tracks complaints that are reported to the Equal Opportunity Commission. The department is also reviewing its current policies in light of recent scandals “both to further reinforce its policies to employees, as well as to remind employees on how to file a harassment complaint.”

“As Acting Secretary, I will not tolerate workplace harassment of any kind, and together with DHS leadership will continue to ensure any and all reports of intolerable behavior are addressed swiftly and in accordance with our laws and department policies,” Acting Secretary Elaine Duke told TIME in a statement.

“DHS employees are expected to treat everyone they encounter with respect and professionalism – including their coworkers.”

The National Security Council is a component of the Executive Office of the President, which has a policy against sexual harassment and discrimination, but because NSC staff includes personnel that is detailed from other departments and agencies, those staff members must also comply with the training and anti-harassment policies of their home agency.

An NSC spokesman says it conducts recurring Workplace Harassment Training to address both sexual harassment and other improper workplace conduct. Its last training for managers and employees was conducted in June of 2017. Another training has been scheduled for December and January so that NSC can meet its “semi-annual training objective.”

After this story was first published, a spokesperson for USAID told TIME via email that the agency makes its sexual harassment policy available to employees on its Office of Civil Rights and Diversity’s internal webpage. That office conducts anti-harassment training with new hires, collects data on harassment, and regularly reviews its anti-harassment policies. The spokesman said the office has been reviewing its anti-harassment program in the wake of recent scandals.

The women behind the letter also note that reporting mechanisms exist, but call training “erratic” and “irregular” and say policies often go unnoticed among staff.Theletter calls for a number of reforms including a clear indication that leadership will not tolerate certain behavior, the creation of “multiple, clear, private” channels to report abuse without fear of retribution, and regular mandatory training for employees. The letter also demands external data collection of abuse claims and mandatory exit interviews for women who leave federal service positions.

Related article: “This is the moment!” U.N. welcomes the flood of sexual misconduct cases

“I think the more we know about the women in this space and their decision to stay or to leave, the more effectively we can work to put policies in place to stop it,” says Ben-Yehuda.

The also letter suggests that the spectrum of harassment that women face — from inappropriate comments and behavior to unconscious bias in promotion and hiring — could be keeping them from ascending to leadership positions at the federal agencies that deal with national security.

“Many women are held back or driven from this field by men who use their power to assault at one end of the spectrum and perpetuate-sometimes unconsciously-environments that silence, demean, belittle or neglect women at the other,” the letter reads.

According to an April 2017 Center for a New American Security report on Women in National Security, although they are underrepresented in top positions, women have made up a “stronger and more visible portion of the national security establishment” since 9/11.

In 2015, the report found, five out of 24 under and assistant secretary positions at the Pentagon were held by women. That same year, women made up 16 out of 34 of deputy, under, and assistant secretaries of state. Women also make up 15% of active duty military— up from 11% in 1990— according to Pew and around 7.1% of all U.S. military generals and admirals are women. In November 2016, three of the 11 National Security Council members were women, as were six of the 11 deputy committee members, according to CNAS.

The letter’s authors hope that conversations that are sparked as a result of them going public will lead to more data and better answers: the more that is known about composition of women in this space and their decision to stay or to leave, the more effectively leaders can put policies in place that aimed at curbing attrition, they say.

And like many who have begun to speak out on the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace, Hachigian and Ben-Yehuda acknowledge that policies alone may not be enough; to change behavior, the culture of what is and is not tolerated should change, too.

“Everybody can be a leader on this, no matter what your rank or what your position there are so many opportunities to set the tone to create a workplace that is safe and more inviting for women,” says Ben-Yehuda.

Adds Hachigian, “it’s about doing what is right for women, but also about improving foreign policy.”

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Michael Bennett Stands for National Anthem on ‘Salute to Service’ Night

Seattle Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett, who has been sitting during the national anthem this season to protest police brutality and social injustice, stood up in support of the military before a Thursday night game against the Arizona Cardinals, who were hosting their "Salute to Service" night.

It marks the second time Bennett has stood for the national anthem this season,

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Michael Bennett Stands for National Anthem on ‘Salute to Service’ Night

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On National STEM Day, there’s still a lot of work to do for women

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It’s National STEM day, and that means yet another reminder that women are underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and math. 

As educators mark their field’s national holiday, LinkedIn isn’t letting us forget one of the core problems facing STEM students and professionals. 

The jobs site looked at gender representation across college degrees and across software and IT, healthcare, and finance—all STEM-heavy fields. 

“In honor of National STEM Day, we looked at how women around the globe are faring in STEM-heavy industries—software and IT, healthcare, and finance. This included looking over the past 10 years on what women studied in university to ultimately land them in their respective careers,” LinkedIn wrote in a blog post. “What we found was that the gap starts early. While women are pursuing degrees relevant to STEM fields, they are severely underrepresented amongst graduates with technical degrees, and there is a high demand for more women in STEM fields.”  Read more…

More about Linkedin, Stem, Women In Tech, Stem Gender Gap, and Stem Education


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Anger as US national parks plan high-season price hikes

Visitor numbers at US national parks are soaring, yet the government says a proposed price surge is for ‘maintenance’, while slashing federal funding by almost $ 400m

On an unseasonably grey Monday last month, steady drizzle did not deter visitors to Utah’s Arches national park. Long queues of traffic crept sluggishly past viewpoints; car parks filled to capacity forced hikers to give up on planned trails. Such frustrations are typical nowadays: Arches’ dramatic rock formations now draw more than double the visitors they did in 2000. And it’s not an isolated problem: the US National Park Service (NPS) reported more than 330 million visits in 2016 – 44 million more than at the turn of the century.

This could be the real reason for NPS’s announcement last week that it is considering surge pricing at 17 popular parks. Under the proposals, entry to Yosemite, Yellowstone and others would swell from the current $ 25-30 per vehicle, to $ 70 at peak times. Charges for motorcyclists and pedestrians would double.

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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Sunrise Surf Shop Wins 2017 OSSC National Championship

PRESS RELEASE

 

RIVAS, Nicaragua, October 30, 2017Seven Regional Champion surf shop teams from around the U.S. traveled to Nicaragua to compete in the 2017 Oakley Surf Shop Challenge National Championships. Four-to-six foot surf welcomed competitors at Playa Colorado’s where Sunrise Surf Shop became five-time National Champions.

Heat One featured 7th Street Surf Shop (NE), Pacific Wave (NW) and Sweetwater (MA) kicking off competition with 7th Street coming out swinging posting a 27.46 heat total. Heat 2 was a scoring frenzy as Sunrise posted a heat high of 33.87, Huntington Surf and Sport (HSS) with a 33.01, T&C Surf posting a 30.26, and Sun Diego a 21.97.

Sunrise Surf Shop, defending National Champions HSS, and T&C Surf advanced to the final while the other four teams battled it out for the last spot in the final, that was Sweetwater advance.

Sunrise was on a mission to upset the defending champions, but HSS wasn’t letting them get off easy. Shop rider Tristan Thompson opened the gates with 6.9 and the eldest Thompson brother followed taking to the air posting a 9.6. HSS responded with a whammy 8.17 from Brett Simpson and an 8.87 from Brad Ettinger. Sunrise’s whammy surfer Evan Thompson secured the victory with an 8.6 as Sunrise beat HSS 38.17 to 37.10 respectively.

“This was the closest National Championships we’ve been a part of,” said Evan Thompson of Sunrise Surf Shop. “Every shop is stacked and was surfing really well in and out of the competition. We were really nervous during the final, competing against all the teams but especially HSS’ Brett Simpson and Brad Ettinger.  We’re stoked to take the win back home to Jacksonville.

Results:

1st: Sunrise Surf Shop – 38.18

2nd: Huntington Surf & Sport – 37.10

3rd: Sweetwater Surf Shop – 17.9

4th: T&C Surf – 16.77

For all of the latest information including photos, video footage, results and more, check out surfshopchallenge.com.

Special thanks to Oakley, SURFER and event partners, FCS, Leus and Aluminati Skateboards for their support, without which the Surf Shop Challenge series would not be possible.

 

About Surf Shop Challenge

Originally conceived to provide a fun and competitive format for the hardcore surf shop riders, the SURFER Shop Team Challenge was one of the most popular and exciting Southern California contests of the early 1980s.  Through the years the contest has evolved, with seven qualifying regional events around the country, culminating in a national championship in Bali, Indonesia for the first time in 2012. The underlying principles, however, have remained the same. The Oakley Surf Shop Challenge is still about giving back to the shops, the true backbone of the industry and the heart of the sport of surfing. Each year the competition level rises, the stakes become greater and the prizes become bigger.

 

About Oakley, Inc.

Established in 1975 and headquartered in Southern California, Oakley is one of the leading product design and sport performance brands in the world. The holder of more than 600 patents, Oakley is a culture of creators, inventors, idealists and scientists obsessed with using design and innovation to create products and experiences that inspire greatness. This philosophy has made Oakley one of the most iconic and inimitable brands on the market, with products that world-class athletes around the globe depend on to compete at the highest level possible. Oakley is known for its High Definition Optics®, which feature unparalleled optical clarity and precision along with impact resistance and UV protection, incorporated into all of the brand’s sun, prescription eyewear and premium goggles. Oakley extended its position as the world’s leading sports eyewear brand into apparel and accessories. Oakley has men’s and women’s product lines that appeal to Sports Performance, Active and Lifestyle consumers. Oakley is a subsidiary of Luxottica Group. Additional information is available at oakley.com.

 

About SURFER

In 1960, SURFER began as the original surf magazine. With a long history of delivering provocative and insightful editorial features, revealing interviews and award-winning, state-of-the-art photography, SURFER remains the authoritative voice of the surfing world and thus earned the moniker “the bible of the sport.” Through its website, social media channels, magazine, and television programming, SURFER continues to be the most current and reliable source of information to the surf community, reaching more than 22-million active sports enthusiasts. SURFER is published by TEN: The Enthusiast Network. To learn more, visit surfermag.com

 

About TEN: The Enthusiast Network

TEN: The Enthusiast Network is the world’s premier network of enthusiast brands, such as SURFER, TRANSWORLD SKATEBOARDING, GRINDTV, SOUND & VISION, and SHUTTERBUG. With the world’s largest action/adventure sports media platform, 38 publications, 30 annual events, and more than 20 iconic brands representing the best of action/outdoor and home technology, TEN inspires enthusiasts to pursue their passions. For more information, visit enthusiastnetwork.com.

 

Media Contact:

Dawn Hamilton

KHPR for TEN
P: 310-295-1189

dhamilton@khpublicrelations.com

The post Sunrise Surf Shop Wins 2017 OSSC National Championship appeared first on .

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New National Anthem Petition Asks Trump Supporters to ‘Show Your Patriotism’

President Donald Trump and Mike Pence are turning to their supporters to help them in their quest to prevent National Football League (NFL) players protesting during the national anthem. In a petition posted on the GOP website, the Trump Make

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: New National Anthem Petition Asks Trump Supporters to ‘Show Your Patriotism’

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Roger Goodell Says the NFL Will Not Force Players to Stand for the National Anthem

(NEW YORK) — In the face of fan unrest and accusations from the president about the league being unpatriotic, the NFL is not changing its national anthem policy to require players to stand.

Commissioner Roger Goodell and several owners said Wednesday at the league’s fall meetings that altering the policy language from “should stand” to “must stand” was not discussed.

New York Giants owner John Mara noted that Cowboys owner Jerry Jones “spoke at length” to the other owners about the anthem issue. Jones has said any Dallas player who doesn’t stand for “The Star-Spangled Banner” would not be playing.

Goodell reiterated that the league and its 32 clubs “believe everyone should stand for the national anthem. It’s an important part of our policy and the game. It’s important to honor our flag and our country and I think our fans expect that.”

Asked about any owners who threatened discipline for players who didn’t stand, Goodell said the owners didn’t discuss it.

“It wasn’t necessary,” he said. “We had a real focus on making sure all of our teams understood the kind of dialogue that took place and the kind of things that they were interested in getting support.

“And they were seeking support for the NFL, each club supporting its players and continuing the dialogue that they have had at the club level. I would tell you this, it’s unprecedented conversations and dialogue going on between our players and our owners, between our club officials and between our league, and that is a really positive change for us.”

Reminded that President Donald Trump tweeted again Wednesday about the demonstrations during the anthem, Goodell said there was nothing unpatriotic about his league.

“Everyone feels strongly about our country and have pride,” he said, adding the NFL is “not afraid of tough conversations.

“What we are trying to stay out of is politics.”

Goodell noted that only six or seven players are still kneeling or are involved in protests.

“We hope we will continue to work to put that at zero,” he said.

On Tuesday, in an unprecedented move for a league meeting, a group of 11 owners and more than a dozen players met for more than two hours at NFL headquarters. Among the topics discussed was enhancing the players’ platforms for speaking out on social issues.

The league and players say they have seen their messages getting lost because their demonstrations were misconstrued by the president and by fans.

“I understand the way they feel about these issues,” Goodell said Wednesday. “We feel the same about patriotism and the flag and I believe our players feel that way. We have a great deal of support for the efforts of our players.”

Several players said after Tuesday’s discussions that progress had been made in not only explaining their positions, but in how the 32 teams and their owners could support initiatives.

“I think we all have mutual interests,” Eagles safety Malcolm Jenkins said. “I think players are a part of this league, so we want to make sure the quality of product that we put out on the field is great. But at the same time we have a responsibility to the communities that we live in, the communities that we come from, and so I think we all share that interest in really talk more in collaboration than an us-against-you type of situation.”

Like many owners, Mara has told Giants players that they should stand during the anthem, but that if they have a reason that compels them not to, the team won’t prohibit it.

He also expects more talks between players and owners in the next few weeks.

“I think there’s a consensus to keep having dialogue,” Mara said. “That’s where our hope is, and we hope over time, few players will kneel.”

NOTES: The 2018 draft will be held at the Dallas Cowboys’ stadium in Arlington, Texas, from April 28-30. It will be the first time the draft has been staged at an NFL stadium. Since leaving New York, the draft has been held in Chicago (2015, 2016) and Philadelphia (2017). … Goodell said the initiatives to enhance the pace of games have worked, including 40-second clocks after touchdowns, use of the Microsoft Surface tablets for replay reviews, and the centralization in the New York headquarters of officiating calls that are reviewed.


Sports – TIME

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Trump Criticizes NFL for Not Forcing Players to Stand for National Anthem

During Tuesday's meeting with owners and players, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said the league didn't ask for a commitment from players to stand for the national anthem. Instead, Goodell explained, "We spent today talking about the issues that players have been trying to

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Trump Criticizes NFL for Not Forcing Players to Stand for National Anthem

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Opioid Crisis: Trump Urged to Withdraw Marino Nomination as ‘National Emergency’ Looms

When The Washington Post and 60 Minutes revealed “collusion” between Congress and big pharma in undermining efforts to combat America’s opioid epidemic, the fallout was quick to arrive.

A key element of the Sunday night story was the role of congressman Tom Marino, the lead sponsor of a bill that made it more difficult for the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) to freeze shipments of opioids such as Vicodin and oxycodone. That all happened under the presidency of Barack Obama, but it so happens that Marino is currently Donald Trump’s pick to head the Office of National Drug Control Policy.

After the expos? hit, West Virginia senator Joe Manchin joined other Democrats in urging Trump to withdraw Marino’s nomination. “No state in the nation has been harder hit than mine. I have seen this epidemic destroy families and communities throughout West Virginia,” he wrote in an open letter.

Read: DEA Whistleblower Blasts Drug Distributors, Congress Over Opioid ‘Collusion’

“The legislation that Congressman Marino pushed has tied the hands of the DEA in their efforts to enforce our nation’s laws and ensure that these wholesalers and other industry actors alert authorities to these suspicious orders instead of simply profiting from them,” the Democrat senator, who has some rapport with Trump, wrote.

Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer also asked Trump to withdraw Marino’s nomination, saying: “Confirming Rep. Marino as our nation’s drug czar is like putting the wolf in charge of the hen house.”

Read: Trump Seeks an Ally, or At Least an Ear, in West Virginia Democrat

So what does Trump think? The president said Monday that he would declare the opioid epidemic as a national emergency next week. However, he declined to express confidence in Marino as his drug czar pick.

Trump said Marino was “a great guy,” but said he will “make a change” if he decides Marino had hindered the fight against opioid addiction.

Read: Big Pharma Is Getting Hit With a Huge Wave of Opioid Suits

Meanwhile, Democrat senator Claire McCaskill also said Monday that she would launch an attempt to repeal Marino’s Ensuring Patient Access and Effective Drug Enforcement Act of 2016, as it has “significantly affected the government’s ability to crack down on opioid distributors that are failing to meet their obligations and endangering our communities.” It’s not clear how much congressional support her repeal bill would get, though.


Fortune

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Chance the Rapper, the National to Play Obama Foundation Concert

Chance the Rapper, the National and Gloria Estefan are among the artists that will perform at Barack Obama's inaugural

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Chance the Rapper, the National to Play Obama Foundation Concert

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Report: NFL Owners Discuss Rule About Players Standing for National Anthem

NFL owners will discuss a possible rule change in a meeting next week that would require players to stand for the national anthem, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. This comes two months after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell defended the league's players by saying he understands and respects them

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: Report: NFL Owners Discuss Rule About Players Standing for National Anthem

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How Oprah Stays in the Moment on National TV | The Oprah Winfrey Show | Oprah Winfrey Network

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Violence Mars Spain’s National Day In Barcelona | NBC News

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Roger Goodell in Memo: The NFL Must Move Past National Anthem Controversy

NFL owners will meet next week to consider changes to a game manual that says players “should” stand during the national anthem, a guideline the league has left to the discretion of players who kneeled in large numbers after criticism from President Donald Trump.

Commissioner Roger Goodell told club executives Tuesday in a memo obtained by The Associated Press that the anthem issue is dividing the league from its fans. He said the NFL needs “to move past this controversy.”

NFL spokesman Joe Lockhart said the guidance will be “front and center on the agenda” when owners meet in New York next Tuesday and Wednesday.

The movement started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last season over his view of police mistreatment of black males had mostly subsided when Trump told a rally in Alabama last month that owners should get rid of players who kneel during the anthem.

In his memo, Goodell reiterated the league’s belief that everyone should stand for the anthem and outlined plans to highlight efforts of players trying to bring attention to the social issues behind the game-day protests. Goodell said those plans would be presented to owners next week.

“The controversy over the anthem is a barrier to having honest conversations and making real progress on the underlying issues,” Goodell wrote. “We need to move past this controversy, and we want to do that together with our players.”

Lockhart said he wasn’t sure if players would be included in discussions during the league meetings. Most teams practice on one or both of those days. Houston and Detroit are the only teams with byes next week. The NFL Players Association didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

The game manual says that during the anthem “players on the field and bench area should stand at attention, face the flag, hold helmets in their left hand, and refrain from talking.” It is the NFL’s only known guidance on the subject.

The manual also says anyone not on the field by the start of the anthem can be fined or suspended. Lockhart said the league so far has chosen not to discipline any players. He sidestepped a question of whether “should” would be changed to “must” next week.

“I think there will be a discussion about the entire issue including the policy, including all of the various elements that have been raised over the last four weeks,” Lockhart said. “I’m not going to predict what might happen.”

The anthem issue flared again Sunday when Vice President Mike Pence, a former Indiana governor, left Indianapolis’ home game against San Francisco after about a dozen 49ers players knelt during the anthem.

A few hours later, Jerry Jones of the Dallas Cowboys became the first owner to declare publicly that he would bench any players for what he saw as disrespect of the American flag. Jones’ comments drew a swift response from union Executive Director DeMaurice Smith, who said Jones was contradicting assurances from Goodell that players could express themselves without reprisals.

Jones said on his radio show Tuesday that he considered anthem protests a workplace issue, giving him the right to punish his players. He said he was trying to keep the Cowboys out of the debate by declaring that they would all stand.

“I don’t want our fans to sit there and have angst over those type of issues,” Jones said. “I’m not going to have a situation with the flag that there is a debate over whether we’re respecting it or not. I’m clearing that one up.”

The Cowboys always stand for the anthem while lined up on the sideline. Two weeks ago before a Monday night game in Arizona, they kneeled arm-in-arm before the anthem — with Jones — then stood during the singing when the flag was displayed. It was three days after Trump’s comments in Alabama.

Trump tweeted his support of Jones after the owner made the threat to bench players following a loss to Green Bay. They spoke by phone after the game in Arizona.

“We would certainly support the NFL coming out and asking the players to stand, just as the president has done,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Tuesday. “We support the national anthem, the flag and the men and women who fought to defend it.”

Goodell wrote to league executives about “unprecedented dialogue with our players,” saying those discussions helped build the plan that owners will discuss next week.

“Everyone involved in the game needs to come together on a path forward to continue to be a force for good within our communities, protect the game, and preserve our relationship with fans throughout the country,” Goodell wrote. “The NFL is at its best when we ourselves are unified.”


Sports – TIME

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Vice President Mike Pence Leaves Football Game After Players Kneel During National Anthem

Vice President Mike Pence left a football game in Indiana Sunday after players from the San Francisco 49ers reportedly knelt during the national anthem.

“President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem,” Pence said in a series of tweets. “While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t think its too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and our national anthem.”

Pence, the former governor of Indiana, was attending a game of the Indianapolis Colts, who were playing a home game against the San Francisco 49ers — Colin Kaepernick’s former team. It appeared only members of the 49ers knelt during the anthem, not the Colts, according to the Indianapolis Star. Pence pointed this discrepancy out in a tweet, posting a picture of himself and his wife Karen standing during the anthem, and writing, “We were proud to stand – with all our colts- for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem.”

Last year, Kaepernick, who was playing as a quarterback for the 49ers at the time, routinely knelt during the National Anthem as a silent protest against racial injustice in America.

Kaepernick’s protest morphed into a kneeling movement last month after President Donald Trump sparked controversy when he referred to NFL players who took a knee during the anthem as “sons of bi—es” during a campaign rally in Alabama. More than 100 NFL players and owners linked arms and knelt before and during the anthem following Trump’s attack.

Trump said in a tweet that he had asked Pence to leave the stadium if any players kneeled during the national anthem, claiming such actions were disrespectful.


Sports – TIME

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THE COLOR PURPLE National Tour Begins Tonight in Schenectady

The first North American tour of the Tony Award-winning Broadway revival of THE COLOR PURPLE begins tonight, October 7, 2017 in Schenectady, New York at Proctors. The tour will have its official opening October 17, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland at The Hippodrome Theatre.
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What the Supreme Court Says About Sitting Out the National Anthem

When the president uses what used to be called his "bully pulpit" – but now is called "Twitter" – to attack a person or an issue, of course it has much broader consequences. For instance, it's no surprise that after campaigning on a travel ban focused on Muslims and selectively bringing attention to terrorist attacks only when perpetrated by Muslims, 

This article originally appeared on www.rollingstone.com: What the Supreme Court Says About Sitting Out the National Anthem

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Knicks Call Attention to ‘Serious Issues’ by Locking Arms During National Anthem

Prior to their preseason game against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday, players and coaches on the New York Knicks locked arms during the national anthem. They did so as a "sign of unity" and as a means to bring attention to the issues of "gun violence, poverty, equal justice, access to education and civil rights."

"We have a deep love and respect for this country," 

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Pittsburgh Steelers Will Stand For The National Anthem

Looks like somebody DIDN’T get Richard Sherman‘s memo from yesterday that said NFL players would not be bullied by Donald Trump. In fact, those words came out of his mouth.

In any event, the Pittsburgh Steelers declared there would be no more kneeling on the sidelines during the national anthem. The decision came as the team continues to receive criticism from mostly outraged white males over BLACK players choosing not to recite the anthem last weekend.

 

Offensive lineman Alejandro Villanueva was the only Steelers player to stand alone outside the tunnel during the playing of the anthem.

After the game, furious fans posted videos of themselves burning Steelers gear and season tickets.

Following the backlash, Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey says the team will stand this Sunday.

“I promise you one thing, this week we will all be standing out there for the national anthem. Trust me,” Pouncey said Wednesday.

Pouncey says he expects the entire team to be on the field for the anthem.

“As far as I know it’s 100 percent participation,” Pouncey told reporters. “We love this country. It’s America. We know there are injustice in this world, but to me, personally, football is football and that’s what we need to approach it as.”

“Pittsburgh Steelers will go out there and do the right thing,” Pouncey told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.

The Denver Broncos ball club also said they plan to stand during the anthem on Sunday.

“We’re a team and we stand together — no matter how divisive some comments and issues can be, nothing should ever get in the way of that,” the team said in a statement on Instagram. “Starting Sunday, we will be standing together.”

In related news, Spike Lee defended Colin Kaepernick during a heated debate with former New York Jets star Michel Faulkner, during a CNN Town Hall on the protests sweeping the NFL.

On Wednesday night, the 60-year-old director delivered a passionate case for Colin — comparing him to Jackie Robinson and posing a challenge to team owners.

“Branch Rickey made the decision ‘We’re going to hire Jackie Robinson.’ Nobody else wanted him,” Lee said, in objection to the notion that siding with fans who are against the protest is a business decision. “Which NFL owner’s gonna be the Branch Rickey of today, that is the question. Which NFL owner’s gonna be the Branch Rickey and give Colin Kaepernick a job?”

Faulkner noted that while Kaepernick may no longer be working in the NFL, he did take on a job when he opted to be an activist over an athlete.

Do you agree?

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(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)


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Patriots Fans Burn Team Gear in Response to NFL National Anthem Protests

In response to the New England Patriots who took a knee during the national anthem to protest social injustice before their game against the Houston Texans on Sunday, a large group of Patriots fans met for a "peaceful protest" on Thursday to

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NBA Issues a Memo Reminding Players and Coaches They MUST Stand During the National Anthem, Per League Rules [Video]

The NBA sent a memo late Friday to teams reinforcing its existing rule that players and coaches are to stand for the national anthem.

The memo also suggested other ways in which those who chose to might address the recent protest movement sweeping across the NFL and other sports.

via ESPN:

The memo, a copy of which was obtained by ESPN, was distributed by deputy commissioner Mark Tatum. It instructs teams that “the league office will determine how to deal with any possible instance in which a player, coach, or trainer does not stand for the anthem.”

The memo states that individual teams “do not have the discretion to waive” the rule that players, coaches and staff stand for the anthem. The league has the discretion to discipline players who violate the rule. It is not clear if the league would exercise it in the event of any protest. The league also does not want teams independently disciplining players, sources say, and has encouraged open dialogue within teams.

In the memo, Tatum suggests teams might address the current political climate by having players and coaches give a joint pregame address at their first home games.

“This could include a message of unity and how the team is committed to bringing the community together this season,” the memo states.

The memo also suggests teams might prepare a video tribute or public service announcement featuring “team leadership speaking about the issues they care about.”

The memo comes a day after commissioner Adam Silver said he expects players to stand for the national anthem.

Do you think any players will challenge the rule?

The post NBA Issues a Memo Reminding Players and Coaches They MUST Stand During the National Anthem, Per League Rules [Video] appeared first on B. Scott | lovebscott.com.

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Jordin Sparks Makes Her Own Statement While Singing the National Anthem Before Monday Night’s NFL Game

Jordin Sparks didn’t kneel, but that didn’t stop her from sending her own message on Monday night.

The “It Ain’t You” singer, 27, had Bible verses references written on her hands while singing the National Anthem before the Dallas Cowboys took on the Arizona Cardinals in Glendale, Arizona.

While holding a microphone, the verse ‘Prov. 31: 8-9’ were visible, a reference to the Book of Proverbs, which reads, “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

Many on social media took the star’s Bible quotes to be taking aim at President Donald Trump for not doing more to support people of color and those struggling in America.

Sparks’ father is nine-year NFL veteran Phillippi Sparks. The singer wasn’t the only star to stand up to the president.

During Monday’s football game in Glendale, the Dallas Cowboys dropped to one knee before standing and locking arms to sing the National Anthem. The Arizona Cardinals did the same.

The team’s owner, Jerry Jones, joined his players in solidarity. Jones had previously donated $ 1 million to Trump’s inauguration committee.

The owner spoke out against the man he back in a postgame news conference.

“Our players wanted to make a statement about unity and we wanted to make a statement about equality,” Jones told reporters. “They were very much aware that statement, when made or when attempted to be made in and a part of the recognition of our flag, can not only lead to criticism but also controversy.

“It was real easy for everybody in our organization to see that the message of unity, the message of equality was getting, if you will, pushed aside or diminished by the controversy. We even had the circumstances that it was being made into a controversy.”

Grey’s Anatomy actor Jesse Williams questioned the necessity of having the National Anthem in sports during an interview on MSNBC.

“It’s also important to realize this anthem thing is a scan,” he said. “This is not actually part of football. This was invented in 2009 from the government paying the NFL to market military recruitment to get more people to go off and fight wars to die.”

Pharrell Williams got down on two knees as he performed at a charity concert in Charlottesville, supporting a gesture by NFL players who have started kneeling during the national anthem to draw attention to racial injustice.


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TV ratings mixed amid NFL national anthem protests

Drama over the national anthem and President Trump’s calls to boycott the NFL didn’t appear to have a conclusive effect on the league’s latest ratings. NBC’s “Sunday Night Football” match-up between the Redskins and the Raiders saw an 11 percent dip in ratings compared with the same week last year, but CBS enjoyed an 11…
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London’s National Gallery prevails in ‘stolen’ Matisse lawsuit: New York judge

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The National Gallery in London on Thursday won the dismissal of a lawsuit in which three grandchildren of a muse of the artist Henri Matisse sought to recover a painting they said was stolen shortly after World War Two.


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Get Well Wednesday: September Is National Childhood Obesity Month

September is Childhood Obesity Month, which helps to bring awareness to the increasing number of children who are overweight and obese. Dr. Lisa Ashe works with children who have health problems due to obesity and hopes that more information about the necessity of children’s healthy eating habits will help to stem this dangerous trend. Here’s more information.

IS OBESITY HEREDITARY?
There is likely a genetic component of obesity, however this form of obesity is very rare, less than 1 percent.

WHAT CHRONIC HEALTH CONDITIONS ARE A RESULT OF  CHILDHOOD OBESITY?

High blood pressure, fatty liver, knee and back pain and arthritis, sleep apnea and risk for diabetes.

WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT OR HELP YOUR CHILD FROM CHILDHOOD OBESITY?

Avoid sugary drinks such as soda and juice, limit use of electronics. encourage exercise and outside playing, enroll them in sports or after school activities, limit fast food and encourage portion control.

HOW IS OBESITY MEASURED IN CHILDREN?

It is measured using the Body Mass Index (BMI) which is based on weight and height.

HOW DOES SLEEP AFFECT OBESITY?

Lack of sleep is linked to hormone deregulation, increase caloric intake and decreased energy, all of which can cause obesity.

IS IT OKAY TO PUT YOUR CHILD ON A STRICT DIET?

Yes, it is important to make sure your child is not overeating or eating the wrong things.

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO WHEN YOUR CHILD IS ACTIVE BUT STILL OVERWEIGHT? 

See a nutritionist and evaluate their diet. Also, are they on any medications that may contribute to their being overweight?

IS IT OKAY FOR CHILDREN TO TAKE MEAL SUPPLEMENTS AND DRINK WEIGHT LOSS TUMMY TEA?

Children are growing and need certain amounts of nutrients, calories and protein. These nutrients should be obtained through food and vitamins if recommended by the child’s pediatrician. Additionally, it is important that children learn portion control and how to eat healthy so obesity does not continue into adulthood.

Dr. Lisa Ashe serves as the medical director of Be Well Medical Group – a leading concierge medicine and wellness group currently serving the Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia metro areas. She’s a board certified internal medicine physician.

TEXT YOUR QUESTIONS TO 646464 AND DR. ASHE WILL ANSWER THEM ON BLACKAMERICAWEB.COM

TEXT TOM questions are answered on the next page.

Why don’t they use body fat percentage to determine overweight? Body fat preventage may be a better predictor of health.

More studies need to take place in order for it to be globally used.

What should the average healthy weight be for a four-year-old?

Average weight for a four-year-old is about 40 pounds.

Why aren’t there BMI charts specific to African-Americans? Our body composition is different from Caucasians or Asians.

The BMI charts are universal, however the studies that were done to develop the chart used primarily Caucasian participants. This is true for most research studies in the US. The BMI is a good overall predictor of healthy weight for average Americans.

What about children who have asthma and are on Albuterol or steroids. Steroids make children gain weight and asthmatic children can’t always play outside and exercise.

Steroids absolutely cause children and adults to gain weight. It is important for your doctor to have you on the lowest effective dose. Children on steroids may need to be on a more strict diet.

How much should a 16-year-old, 6′, black, semi-athletic female weigh?

Anywhere from 140-180 pounds on average.

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How Floating Down a River With Keri Hilson Taught Me to Appreciate the National Park Service

A week ago, I spent a day river floating down the 48-mile Chattahoochee River in metropolitan Atlanta, and wading into the river to learn how fly fishing enthusiasts cast and back cast. Back casting is easier!

(Keri Hilson leads a group down the Chattahoochee River. Image: CatMax Photography/National Park Foundation)

 

What a fun way to learn about the offerings of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area—established as a result of legislation Rep. Andrew Young introduced and President Jimmy Carter signed into law in 1978.

Nature, the Best Educator

 

The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area gets more than 3 million visitors every year, putting it in the top 35 of all 417 National Parks in the National Park Service.

(Cedric Talley, Visual Information Specialist at the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area. Image: File)

 

Maybe that’s because of the proximity to urban Atlanta—the river is within the city limits, although you’d never know it by the number of enormous trees on the river banks. I saw a couple of deer during my trip, as well as a blue heron and osprey flying above, but other wildlife also make their appearance—including muskrats, alligators, and the occasional bear.

There’s also tons to do in the park—paddle boating, river floating, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding, and mountain biking, as well as simply hiking or running the 83 miles of trails.

School groups come to the park to get hands-on lessons in nature, wildlife, insects, and the abundant flora. The state of Georgia stocks the river with rainbow trout and striped bass, which survive because of the river bottom’s cool temperatures.

(Raukisha Talley told us about the history of the park. Image: File)

 

This place is a naturalist’s dream. My son was an avid nature lover when he was little—and this was the kind of park he would have loved visiting. If you’re in or near Atlanta, you must take your kids for a day trip.

Class I Rapids

 

“People see the river as a real asset,” Bill Cox, superintendent of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area, told a group of us in the park’s visitor’s lodge, which is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

(Bill Cox and Hilson. Image: CatMax Photography/National Park Foundation)

 

The park’s vast 7,000 acres create a serene space for people living in the city. It’s accessible and free, though if you want to fish you need to purchase a permit and license; there’s also a cost to rent paddle boats.

But hiking, walking, or riding your own bike is free—and you still get to commune with nature and de-stress.

I’m glad the rapids were Class I when we floated down the ’Hooch, as locals call it, although water released from the dam causes the river depth to change rapidly—so checking the release schedule is advised.

(The author, ready to wade in the ‘Hooch. Image: )

 

Keri Hilson, the singer, songwriter, and actress, is an ambassador for the National Park Foundation. She regularly takes advantage of the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

“I’m an outdoorsy girl,” she told me. “Fitness is important to me, so I run in the park.” Being in the park elevates Hilson’s senses and puts her in a meditative mood.

(Image: CatMax Photography/National Park Foundation)

 

The great news is that you don’t need to live in Atlanta to run in one of the National Parks. With 417 National Park Service areas, chances are good that there’s one near you. As the National Park Service campaign says, Find Your Park!

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BWW TV: Go Inside the Rehearsal Room with the Company of the LOVE NEVER DIES National Tour!

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Love Never Dies, the spellbinding sequel to The Phantom of the Opera, will make its North American premiere on Wednesday, October 25 in Detroit, MI, following technical rehearsals and performances in Utica, NY September 22-24, Stanley Theatre and a special preview engagement in Baltimore’s Hippodrome Theatre October 3-8, 2017.
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This Football Player Fought for Civil Rights in the ’60s. Here’s What He Thinks About National Anthem Protests

On Thursday night, Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters became the latest NFL player to choose not to stand for the national anthem. Peters’ decision was part of a growing movement, largely inspired by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick‘s decision a year ago to sit and kneel during the song, to make a statement about what they see as a nation not living up to its ideals, particularly for African-Americans.

With football season’s week one beginning in earnest on Sunday, broadcast networks are preparing for the chance that other players might do the same over the weekend — while the fact that Kaepernick has gone so long without being signed has inspired some fans to protest too.

This is not the first time professional football players have gotten together to make a bold statement about racial inequality. One prominent example took place in 1965, when 21 African-American players refused to play in the American Football League’s all-star game if it was held in New Orleans — a city then angling for its own football franchise — because of the discrimination they faced there in the week leading up to the big game. The protest, which white players supported, forced officials to move the game to Houston.

More than 50 years later, Clem Daniels, former Oakland Raiders running back and one of the leaders of the boycott, spoke to TIME about the lessons he learned from that decision, and what current NFL players could learn from it.

TIME: How were you were treated in New Orleans when you got there?

DANIELS: First, when we got to New Orleans a week before the all-star game, I was with my teammate Art Powell and Earl Faison [of the San Diego Chargers]; there were about 15 cabs right in front of the airport, and when we whistled and beckoned them to come down, they just sat there until Earl Faison walked up to one and said we had to get a cab to the Roosevelt Hotel. The driver told us, “You’ll have to catch a colored cab in the back.”

At the hotel, the elevator operator said, “You’ll be the first black people to stay in this hotel.” We went downstairs to the café to get something to eat. We were seated two seats down from a white lady, and when Ernie Warlick [of the Buffalo Bills] hung his raincoat next to hers, she went up and grabbed her raincoat because she didn’t want her raincoat hanging next to his raincoat.

We decided we’d go to Bourbon Street. When we got there, [the doorman at the bar] opened up the peep hole and said you guys can’t come in here. Ernie Ladd said, “You open this door in the next 15 seconds or I will put it in your lap.” Someone behind the door told the doorman to let us in. There must have been about 200 people in the place, two large bands, and everybody stopped talking, the band stopped playing. There were no black patrons. We walked up to the bar, and I asked for five shots of tequila. We drank our shots, and we walked out.

When we got back to the hotel, other players had arrived, and everyone had a similar story to tell. So I said, “Let’s go up to the hospitality suite and talk about this.” About 15 or 20 minutes later, the doorbell on the suite rang and in walked the city attorney and the guy who was the local head of the NAACP, who later became the first black mayor of New Orleans. They were trying to get us to stay.

Why did you decide to leave?

The city attorney said we would gain more by playing than we would if we left, and that just did not make a whole lot of sense to me. We were there to entertain the general public. We weren’t there to take the abuse.

Everyone was sitting around looking at each other saying what are we going to do, and I said don’t know what you guys are going to do, but I’m going to get my bag and go home. My roommate Art Powell said, “I’m going with you.” I got back to San Francisco the next morning at about 7 o’clock, and got a call that the game had been moved from New Orleans, and I had a flight out to Houston.

You must have confronted segregation before New Orleans, though. How was this particular situation different?

Segregation varied from state to state. There were things that we were confronted with in New Orleans I had never been confronted with before, like having to take a black cab versus a white cab. The main reason I agreed to leave New Orleans that night is there are certain standards you must adhere prior to getting a franchise. One of the things you must adhere to [is that] when a team comes in to play, they should be allowed to go where they want to go, eat at restaurants they want to eat at. There should some progress that [the city is] making. That kind of degradation is too embarrassing.

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Having participated in that boycott, what do you think of NFL players’ refusal to stand for the national anthem?

I would have told Colin Kaepernick a long time ago that his approach right now may not be the most sensible approach to the problem that we have. My take on that is, you get with your leaders within your community, the black community, and discuss the most apt way to approach the protest and do it from a collective standpoint. And right now, the best thing you can do is play football, earn the money, save the money and put yourself in a position so you can help the cause on a long-term basis.

I remember lying in bed watching the Selma march on TV and getting up and calling Al Davis [the Oakland Raiders coach]. I said, “I gotta go, I need to be there with my people on the front lines.” Al said, “During the off-season you can do that, but let’s send them some money now. Who do you know who’s involved with this thing?” I knew someone who directed me to Martin Luther King’s West Coast physician, and we wrote a check to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.

Why was it better to go that route?

Professional football wasn’t as big. Even though I was the top running back in the AFL at the time, I would have been just another speck the crowd if I had gone down there. What Al Davis was saying at that time is, this is not going to go away. We’re going to be going through this fight for many years to come, so begin to position yourself now, so that over the long term, you can be a major part — an even more integral part — of the effort. And he was right, and I’m glad I’m listened to him.

What do you see as the differences between now and then? Is it harder to take a public political stance on the field as a professional football player today than it was when you were playing?

King, Jesse Jackson, Benjamin Hooks, John H. Johnson — these were the people I looked to for the best position to take, the most knowledgeable information. And you could call them when you had a problem. We were surrounded by those people. The black community was more accessible to all of us because we were all fighting for the same cause. Those kinds of leaders are not as prominent today, so Kaepernick is somewhat limited in terms of who he can consult with before making his decisions. Every NFL team should have someone on their staff who is closely linked to that black community. We had that kind of person for the Raiders when I was in the Raiders.

And what Charlottesville showed is that lot of things we thought had past, the evilness is as prevalent today as it was 50 years ago. I can’t remember a time in my life when we weren’t confronted with these kinds of issues.


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